But it was not till the ardour of his flight had abated, that Alfred
could fully realise that his unhappy brother was committed to a deed of
scandalous atrocity, and the discovery was hard for him to bear. The
strong impression which his dream had made upon him--an impression
that he was to be the means of saving his brother from some great sin--
came upon him now with greater force than ever, and was of great
comfort. The identity of the scenery he had seen in dreamland with the
actual scenery he had gone through, made him feel that he was under the
special guidance of Providence.
Returning to the inn he sought Father Cuthbert, and found him somewhat
uneasy at his long absence, and to him he communicated all that he had
seen and heard.
The good father was a man of sound sense but of much affection, and at
first he could not credit that the boy he had loved so well, Elfric of
Aescendune, should have grown to be the associate of murderers, for such
only could either he or Alfred style the agents of Edwy's wrath.
But, once fully convinced, he was equal to the emergency.
"We will not start at once, we should but break down on the road, and
defeat our own object. We must rest quietly, and sleep soundly if
possible, and start with the earliest dawn. We shall reach Glastonbury
by midday, and be able to warn the holy abbot of his danger in good time."
So Alfred was forced to curb his impatience and to try to sleep soundly.