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Hereward The Wake

from True Stories Of Wonderful Deeds





When William of Normandy came over the sea, and took the crown of
England, many English people would not call him king. The young lord
Hereward was one of these. He and his men made for themselves a "Camp of
Refuge" among the reeds and rushes on the marshes. All day they lay
there, hidden from view by the mists which rose from the watery ground,
and at night they came out, and attacked the Normans in their tents, and
burned their towns.

Hereward was called "the Wake" because he was so watchful and wide-awake
that the Normans could not catch him. They were always trying to find
him, but they did not know the safe paths over the marshes which he and
his men used, and when they tried to cross, they sank with their horses
in the soft muddy ground, and had to turn back.

But at last a false friend of the English showed them the way to the
"Camp of Refuge", and then Hereward had to flee to save his life. He
went with a few friends to the sea-shore, and there he found some
fishermen who were going to sell fish to the Norman guards in an English
town.

The fishermen took Hereward and his men into their boats, and covered
them with straw; then they set sail. The Norman guards bought the fish
as usual, and had it served for dinner. While they were eating it, the
English soldiers came quietly from the boats, and killed most of them
before they could get their swords to defend themselves. When the
English people in the place saw this, they gladly joined Hereward and
made him master of their town.





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Previous: Not Angles But Angels



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