170 KIPLING'S SUSSEX
round the villages of South Mailing, Ringmer and Glynde. It was to South Mailing the four knightly murderers of Thomas-a-Becket rode with whip and spur, after their dreadful deed. " On entering the house, they threw off their arms and trappings on the large dining-table which stood in the hall, and after supper gathered round the blazing hearth; suddenly the table started back, and threw its burden on the ground. The attendants, roused by the crash, rushed in with lights and replaced the arms. But soon a second still louder crash was heard, and the various articles were thrown still further off. Soldiers and servants with torches searched in vain under the solid table to find the cause of its convulsions, till one of the conscience-stricken knights suggested that it was indignantly refusing to bear the sacrilegious burden of their arms." So ran the popular story; and as late as the fourteenth century it was still shewn in the same place—the earliest and most memorable instance of a " ' rapping,' ' leaping ' and ' turning' table "— (Stanley).
Two miles beyond Mailing, we arrive at Ringmer, which is linked with the name of White of Selborne, who was accustomed from this point to pursue his delightful labours in the grand