St George's Cross eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 100 pages of information about St George's Cross.

“And then,” asked Alain shyly, “shall not I too have something to expect from thee:  when thou art Bailiff again, and a man high in power, will thou still be willing to give me thy sister-in-law?”

“Parbleu!” cried Lempriere, “if maids could be given like passports.  But Marguerite will have her way; it is for thee, coquin, to make her way thine.”

Thus, jointly labouring at airy castles, the pair of islanders pricked their steps through the dirty and dimly-lighted streets till they reached a squalid row of houses on Tower Hill, where was situated the only lodging within the present means of the Seigneur of Maufant.

“To-night thou must share my chamber, telle quelle,” he said. “’Tis a poor one, as thou mayest suppose. Infelix, habitum temporis hujus habe?

“It is all one to me,” said Alain, lightly; “whether here or at Maufant thou art always good.”

As they neared the door a voice came to them from the shadow of a projecting oriel:—­

“Have a care, Jerseymen!  You are betrayed.”

They ran to the shaded corner; but the moon was young and low and gave but little light in the narrow street.  A figure, seemingly that of a tall man, was seen to glide away into another street, but they failed to recognise it or trace its departing movements.  Silently, and with downcast looks they sought the entry of Lempriere’s lodging, the door of which he opened with a key that he carried in his pocket.  Striking a light from flint and steel on the hall table, Lempriere kindled a hand-lamp, and led the way into a small chamber on the ground floor, where they wrapped themselves in their cloaks and lay down on a pallet in the corner.  The younger man, fatigued with travel, was soon asleep; Lempriere, with more to think of, passed great part of the night in wakeful anxiety.  Before he finally sank to slumber he had resolved to send Alain back at once to Jersey.

ACT I.

The king.

In 1649, when Charles II. was uncertain as to what steps he should take on the death of his father, it was considered that the best and safest place for his temporary residence was the Castle at S. Helier, in Jersey, known by the name of Queen Elizabeth, where he had already lived for a short time on an earlier occasion.  Founded by order of the Sovereign whose name it bore, it stands on a rocky islet, once a promontory of the mainland, but long since insulated by every high tide.  At low water it communicated with the town by a natural causeway of shingly rock called “The Bridge,” commanded by its own guns.  On the Western curve of the bay, nearly two miles off as the bird flies, was the small town of S. Aubin, guarded by a smaller fortress.  The entire bay was protected, by the batteries of these two places, against the entrance of hostile shipping.  Circumstances, not now entirely traceable but connected probably

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St George's Cross from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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