joy, Lucy sank into the arms of the virtuous proached the advanced line of the besiegers, lady. Accompanied only by Sir Robert Car- A soldier of the Parliament, who was about to bury and his wife, who were present at the give the alarm, was slain by Thomas himself. ceremony as witnesses, the young couple stood Already they were in the open field when they before the altar, where the pious chaplain ad- met a strong picket, which attacked them. It dressed a few appropriate remarks to them, and was not until now that they used their firethen married them. The passionate bride was The reports of their muskets aroused filled with an affection bordering on veneration the whole camp, and Overton himself hastened for her new sister-in-law. After the ceremony up at the head of his troops, which he had

was over, Alice kissed Lucy, but this did not hastily formed in line. A desperate struggle i satisfy the impetuous girl; she threw herself now ensued in the profound darkness, which

at her feet, and kissed her hands, notwithstand was broken only by the flashes of the muskets ing Alice's entreaties not to do so.

and the glittering of the swords. It was a Meanwhile the siege took its course. The most savage and bloody hand-to-hand conflict. troops of the Parliament had soon recovered Friend and foe were scarcely able to distinfrom their first defeat, and burned with the guish each other in the darkness of the night. desire of avenging their discomfiture as soon It was not until the moon rose and shed her as possible. They requested their commander pale light on the scene that Overton ascertained Overton to order immediately another assault, the insignificant number of his adversaries. but he preferred to surround the castle more They were soon hemmed in on all sides, and closely, and starve the garrison into a surren- nothing remained for them but to surrender or der. For this purpose he posted all around force a passage through the ranks of the enethe castle detachments which rendered it im- my, which, at the best, involved them in the possible for Sir Robert to obtain supplies from heaviest losses. the surrounding country. He also had heavy “Follow me!" shouted Thomas, courageousartillery brought up, in order to breach the ly. “Sell your lives as dearly as possible.” walls, and then ondertake another and more So saying, he rushed intrepidly at the iron successful assault. What few supplies the wall of the enemy, in order to break it; his garrison had were soon exhausted, and ammu men followed him with desperate impetuosity. nition was also scarce. Sir Robert was under But Overton opposed him with his veteran solthe necessity of tearing all the lead and iron diers. Twice they crossed their blades, and from the roofs and windows, in order to make the old adversaries recognized each other in balls and bullets. The enemy's artillery daily the dim moonlight. made sad havoc; the walls were soon in ruins, “Take this for Haywood Forest!” cried and the castle itself had already been injured Thomas, levelling at the Puritan's head a to some extent. The ranks of the garrison powerful stroke, which Overton parried with were thinned, many of its soldiers having been great skill. killed and wounded. Under these circum “Surrender !” shouted Overton. stances, a council of war was held, and the res Lord has delivered you a second time into my olution taken to make a sortie in order to pro- hands." vision the castle, and, if possible, to compel “Stop your sanctimonious phrases, which the Parliamentary troops to raise the siege. fill me only with disgust ! ”

In the dead of night the intrepid garrison, They fought with extreme exasperation, and, driven to extremity, left the castle and ap as before, the two were surrounded by a circle

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of men who, attracted by the extraordinary | the ditch. The ditch filled with the corpses of scene, had ceased fighting. Both adversaries the slain, which formed a natural bridge for the had already received several wounds, when Sir living. They stepped over them to return to Robert Carbury, who had vainly tried to break the charge. All efforts of Sir Robert were in the line of the enemy at another point, ap- vain; attacked both in front and rear, he was proached them. He rushed impetuously upon unable to prolong the fight. After resisting the Puritans, and the struggle became general in the most heroic manner, he sank mortally again. In the mêlée now ensuing Thomas was wounded to the grouud. But his fall was the separated from Overton. The victory re- signal of a still more desperate struggle. mained long doubtful; the scales of success Thomas, who had perceived from afar the inclining now to one side, now to the other. danger menacing his brother-in-law, hastened Sir Robert performed prodigies of valor; sur up with the remainder of his men to rescue rounded by his most faithful servants, he suc- him from his perilous position. He came too ceeded again in opening a bloody passage late to save him, but determined at least to through the ranks of the enemy; but the avenge his death. He attacked Overton and superior numbers of the latter rendered it im- bis troops with furious impetuosity. His possible for him to follow up the advantages grief added to his intrepidity, and the besieged he had obtained here and there. His force fought for the same reason with redoubled was thinned more and more, and his brave valor. The soldiers of the Parliament began men sank mortally wounded at his feet. to give way, and Thomas succeeded in breakCloser and closer became the net which he ing their ranks and retreating with his men to vainly tried to break. Hitherto he had man the castle, without being pursued by the enaged to keep his back free by retreating to a emy. He had Sir Robert's corpse conveyed small grove which was covered by a shallow into the court-yard, where Alice met the mournditch. With his rear protected in this man ful procession, and, uttering a piercing cry, ner, he was able to resist the superior force of threw herself upon the bloody bier. the enemy for some time. Overton, however, Notwithstanding her profound grief at the with his habitual penetration, had not over terrible loss which had befallen her, Alice did looked this natural bulwark: at his bidding, not lose her presence of mind; she was dea small detachment of his soldiers forced a termined to carry out the intentions of her passage, sword in band, through the bushes. lamented husband, and defend the castle as he The clash of the swords and the breaking of would have done. After his remains had been the branches informed Sir Robert of this new interred in the family vault, she appeared in and imminent danger. After a few minutes her weeds before the garrison, which was now the soldiers had removed all obstructions, and commanded by Thomas. Her noble form only the narrow ditch served him yet as a bul was wrapped in a black veil flowing to the wark, which he resolved to defend at any cost. ground, and leaving free only her pale face. The besiegers waded the ditch and rushed her arms she carried her orphan son, who up the opposite bank, which was only a few was playing unconcernedly with the dark ribfeet higher. Here they met with a truly des bons on her bosom. Thus she addressed the perate resistance. Carbury profited by the brave little garrison, and called upon them to slight advantages of his position, and, aided resist the Puritans with unflinching courage. by bis faithful men, hurled the soldiers, as Her aspect touched and fired the hearts of

they were climbing up, again and again into these valiant men; many an eye, which bad

seldom or never wept, filled with tears. All thrown himself with a number of determined swore of their own accord to live and die for

men into the tower; there was also Alice with their mistress.

her child. The brave men fired from the winDespite Carbury's death, the besiegers met, dows at the enemy, and their bullets killed as before, with an unexpectedly vigorous re- yet many a soldier of Parliament. A detachsistance. Accompanied by Lucy, Alice ap- ment of intrepid volunteers, armed with axes, peared at all hours of the day among her faith- approached to break in the iron doors leading ful defenders to fire their courage, and she into the tower. Several well-aimed volleys never failed to do so. Wherever the danger of the besieged, however, were sufficient to seemed more imminent than anywhere else, dislodge them. Overton himself led his men there she was sure to be found. Her whole once more to the charge; they no longer nature had undergone a sudden change. listened to his orders, but gave way dismayed Hitherto timid and retiring, she had all at once at the shower of bullets thinning their ranks. become a heroine, avenging the death of her There remained only one means, to which husband and keeping the faith plighted to her their commander, from motives of humanity, king. Like the heroic women of antiquity, had hitherto refused to resort; but now he she did not shrink from the terrors of war, the ordered his men to fetch pitch and torches to clash of arms, and the sight of the dead and set fire to the tower. Dense clouds of smoke wounded. After sharing by day all the dan arose after a few minutes, and the greedy gers of her men, she walked by night through flames, fed by straw and fagots, consumed the the halls to dress the wounds of the brave. worm-eaten timber with great rapidity. The She herself underwent the greatest privations, devouring conflagration rose from story to and as the lack of provisions became every story, and soon threatened to burn the garday more distressing, she willingly deprived rison. No escape seemed possible, and all herself of her wonted food and comforts. The prepared to die in the raging sea of flames. whole garrison, among whom there was not a “It is better for us,” said Thomas, at last, single deserter or traitor, displayed a fidelity“ to fall sword in hand than to perish so miserand perseverance unheard of in this war. ably in the fire. Let us, at least, sell our lives Nevertheless, all efforts of the besieged were as dearly as possible.” unsuccessful. The artillery of the besiegers His proposition met with general approval. had destroyed the larger part of the ramparts Thomas then signed to his men, who drew and walls, and the garrison was unable to re back the bolts of the iron door, and the bepair the damages. Exasperated by this un-sieged, now reduced to a very small number, expected delay, Overton resolved to venture rushed from the burning tower. In their midst on another assault. At midnight, when the were Lucy and Alice, who carried her son in garrison, overcome by the fatigues of the inces- her arms. The Parliamentary troops immesant struggle, had fallen asleep, the Parliamen- diately surrounded them. Escape was hardly tary troops scaled the walls, and, before the possible, but all the more desperate was the sentinels were able to give the alarm, they struggle. Thomas succumbed to the odds of were slain.

the enemy, and was taken prisoner; the same The court-yard soon filled with soldiers, fate befell such of his men as were not slain by who attacked the surprised garrison from all the exasperated victors. The two women were quarters. But the besieged offered even now more fortunate. In the darkness and general the most desperate resistance. Thomas had confusion they succeeded in effecting their

escape without being perceived by the infuri “Thunder and lightning !” he cried out. ated soldiers. Already they had reached “If I am not mistaken, I have caught a presmall gate leading to the park and the open cious little bird. You and your child must fields, when the cries of the babe attracted the accompany me. Give me the babe.” attention of a soldier, who immediately pur “I will die rather than do so," replied Alice, sued them. It was no other than Billy Green, resolutely, pressing her little son firmly to her who, imitating the example of many similar heaving bosom. adventurers, was now seeking for booty and “No foolery,” said Billy, grufily. “You promotion in the Parliamentary army, after his are the lady of the castle, and my prisoner. patron Pym had died, and his profession as a Do not resist me; you see that I know who spy and informer was no longer so lucrative you are.” as at the outset. He took good care to keep Alice vainly implored him to spare ber and out of danger, and watched only for an oppor- her child. Already Billy stretched out his tunity, after the fight was over, to fill his band to seize the babe, when Lucy, of whom pockets with the spoils that fell into the hands he had hitherto taken no notice whatever, of the victors. Such an opportunity seemed rushed at the villain with the courage of an to have come for him now. Owing to the angry lioness. Before he was able to prevent bright glare of the burning tower, he discovered her, she had snatched the pistol which he wore the fleeing women immediately; and when he in his broad belt. had to deal with women he was always ex “Stand back !” she shouted to him in a ceedingly brave. He had soon overtaken Alice thundering voice, "or, as sure as there is a and seized her dress.

God in heaven, I will instantly shoot you “Halloo !” he shouted. “My sweet little down ! " dove, you will not escape in this manner.” Billy, seized with terror, staggered back a

“For God's sake, let me go! What do you few steps, and the livid pallor of cowardice want of me?"

overspread his features; but he was soon en"What a foolish question !” laughed the couraged by the thought that he had to deal villain. “You wear on your neck a golden only with a feeble woman. He left Alice and chain which pleases me amazingly.”

turned to his new enemy. “Take it, then, and do not detain me any

“Stand back!” she shouted to him once longer.”

more, cocking the pistol. “There is also a little ring glittering on your Whether the villain was ashamed of his finger. I should like to get it for my sweet- former cowardice, or was impelled by the de heart."

sire of effecting an important capture, and “ It is my wedding-ring,” replied Alice, thereby securing a large reward, he disremournfully.

garded the threat, and put his hand on his “Let me see whether it is worth any thing," sword in order to intimidate Lucy and arrest was his unfeeling reply.

her and Alice; but before he was able to carry Billy grasped her hand in order to draw his purpose into effect, Lucy aimed at him and the ring from it. In doing so, he had ap- discharged the pistol. Billy Green fell woundproached so close to her that she recognized ed, and shouted piteously for help. Before him as the impudent Comus of Haywood any of his comrades had heard his cries, Lucy Forest. He seemed to remember her like- had seized the hand of her sister-in-law and wise.

fled with her.

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had hitherto connected the two hostile parties CHAPTER XXII.

was broken. The discord between the Presbyterians and Independents broke out with undisguised fury. Both were intensely jealous

of each other; the former preponderated in MISFORTUNE after misfortune had befallen the Parliament, the latter in the army. To the king; his troops had been routed, his ad- deprive their opponents of the support of the herents were fleeing or imprisoned; he himself army, the Presbyterians resolved to disband a was wandering about from place to place with part of it, and send the remainder to Ireland, the demoralized remnants of his army. Thus where the rebellion was still raging with unadeserted by all the world, he listened at last bated violence. The soldiers, to whose valor to the counsels of Montreville, the French am- alone Parliament was indebted for its triumph, bassador, and repaired to the camp of the were extremely indignant at thes Scots. He preferred to intrust himself to They held daily meetings of the most excited bis Scotch rather than his English subjects character in the camp, and appointed comcounting, doubtless, partly on their generosity, mittees to maintain the rights of the army. partly on the jealousy constantly prevailing Old Henderson, who exercised considerable between the two nations. He soon, however, influence over his party, stood, a few days acquired the conviction that he had been mis- after the king had been delivered to the Engtaken. The Scots sold the king for the sum lish, in front of his tent, surrounded by a of four hundred thousand pounds to the Eng- number of soldiers who shared his opinions. lish Parliament. The Presbyterians, who were some bad Bibles in their hands; others leaned still in the ascendant, seized the king, and con on the hilts of their long swords. Their stern veyed him to Holmby, where he was strictly faces were even graver than usual; fanatical guarded by their commissioners, but still zeal reddened their cheeks, and gleamed from treated with the respect due to his exalted under their shaggy eyebrows. They resembled rank. Charles himself indulged once more a congregation of ecstatic worshippers rather the hope that, by negotiating with his adver-than a crowd of soldiers. saries, he would not only succeed in saving “Israel, arm!” shouted the old Puritan. his crown, but by and by recover his former

“Gird on thy sword, and prepare for the power and authority. In accordance with his struggle with the heathens. The Lord has usual duplicity, he seemed to listen readily to vouchsafed a great victory to the lion of Juthe terms and proposals of Parliament, while dah, but the cowardly jackal is intent on dehe was secretly trying to be delivered from priving him of his well-deserved reward, and their hands. He thought the fanatical Inde- robbing him of the spoils that belong to him pendents and the army would help him to re- alone. While we were fighting, the idle babcover his liberty. He hated the moderate blers reposed in safety; while we were starvPresbyterians, who were in favor of a consti- ing, they revelled in wine; while we were tutional monarchy, far more than the republi- watching, they slept on soft cushions. Instead can Independents. Despotism always inclines of thanking us, they mock and revile the war. more toward extreme democracy than toward riors of the Lord. Woe, woe to them !” the constitutional friends of liberty.

“Woe, woe to them!” murmured the sol. No sooner was the struggle ended by the diers, grasping the hilts of their swords in a capture of the king, than the last tie which I menacing manner.

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