This rides on a name that has meant sales, but the book is slim pickings at this price. In format a gift book, with open face type and line drawings by Steele Savage. The text tells, in the manner of the chivalric verse romances, the story of Lady Blanche, wed to the Count Raoul de Roche- Bernard, and true to her pledges while he was false to his. It is a story of the days of the Crusades, when ladies of the manors took over from their lords. Lady Blanche, during these years, met and loved a troubadour-confessed her love when he spoke his-but stayed by her duties to the castle and her absent lord. The title refers to a last gift of her father, a silver girdle, the wearing of which was evidence that its owner knew pain and toil, and was granted strength to endure. Episodically told, each brief chapter rounds out another step in the romantic tale. A tour de force. Slight appeal.