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Red Axe eBook

Samuel Rutherford Crockett
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 328 pages of information about Red Axe.

The White Gate slowly opened upon creaking hinges.  The faces of the soldiers of Plassenburg were seen without, the weapons gleamed in their hands as they came on shouting fiercely.  The guards of the Duke rushed forward to close the gate.  But the woman had clamped the wheel and stood holding the bar.

It was the Lady Ysolinde.  She saw me as the soldiers of Duke Otho closed threateningly upon her.  She waved her hand to me almost happily.

I have saved my soul, Hugo Gottfried!” she cried. “I have saved my soul!”

At that moment a soldier of the Black Riders struck her fiercely with his lance.  I saw the white bosom of her dress redden as he plucked his weapon to him again.  I was in time to catch her in my arms as the soldiers of Plassenburg, with Prince Karl at their head, came through the White Gate like a spring-tide, carrying all before them.

The Prince stayed at his wife’s side.

“Ysolinde!” cried the Prince, aghast, bending over her—­not heeding, nor indeed, as I think, even seeing me.

“Karl!” she said, looking gently at him, “try and forgive me all the rest.  But be glad that I opened the White Gate for yon.  I, Ysolinde, your wife, did it for your sake.”

I put her into her husband’s arms.  I saw at a glance that there was no hope.  She could not live many moments with that lance-thrust through her breast.

She looked at him again.

“Karl—­say ‘Ysolinde, I love you!’” she whispered, almost shyly.

He looked down, and a rush of unwonted tears came to the eyes of the Prince of Plassenburg.

“Ysolinde, I love you!” he made answer, in a broken voice.

She smiled, and then looked over his shoulder up at me.

"Hugo Gottfried, have I not saved my soul?" she cried.

And so passed.

CHAPTER LVI

HELENA, PRINCESS OF PLASSENBURG

There was, however, deadly work yet before the men of Plassenburg.  We found, indeed, that the townsfolk were with us almost to a man.  Their guild train-bands gathered and mustered at their halls.  The guards at the city gates fraternally turned their arms to the ground.

“The Prince will restore your ancient liberties!” I cried.  And the people shouted.  “Prince Karl of Plassenburg and our ancient liberties!”

Then we made our way up the street by different routes to the Wolfsberg.  There was little fighting till we arrived under those vast and gloomy walls.  The Black Riders had disappeared within.  Those worst tools of grim tyranny had early withdrawn themselves, knowing that small mercy would be shown them by the people if once the Wolfsberg were taken.  But the common soldiers of the fighting rank, sons and brothers of the women of Thorn, tore off the badge of the bloody Dukes and with loud shouts marched with us as comrades.

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