Bubble Chirk drew a long breath, and his eyes flashed. “I wish’t I’d ben alive then!” he said.
“Why, Bubble?” asked Hilda, much amused; “what would you have done?”
“I’d ha’ killed Lord Scroope!” he cried,—“him and the hull kit of ’em. Besides,” he added, “I’d like t’ ha’ lived then jest ter see him,—jest ter see the bold Buckle-oh; that’s what I call a man!” And Queen Hildegardis fully agreed with him.
They had nearly reached the house when the boy asked: “If that king was her brother, why did she treat him so kind o’ ugly? My sister don’t act that way.”
“What—oh, you mean Queen Elizabeth!” said Hilda, laughing. “King James was not her brother, Bubble. They were cousins, but nothing more.”
“You said she said ‘brother,’” persisted the boy.
“So I did,” replied Hilda. “You see, it was the fashion, and is still, for kings and queens to call each other brother and sister, whether they were really related to each other or not.”
“But I thought they was always fightin’,” objected Bubble. “I’ve got a hist’ry book to home, an’ in that it says they fit like time whenever they got a chance.”
“So they did,” said Hilda. “But they called each other ’our royal brother’ and ‘our beloved sister;’ and they were always paying each other fine compliments, and saying how much they loved each other, even in the middle of a war, when they were fighting as hard as they could.”
“Humph!” said Bubble, “nice kind o folks they must ha’ been. Well, I must go, Miss Hildy,” he added, reluctantly. “I’ve had a splendid time, an’ I’m real obleeged to ye. I sh’ll try to larn that story by heart, ’bout the bold Buckle-oh. I want to tell it to Pink! She’d like it—oh, my! wouldn’t she like it, jest like—I mean jest like spellin’! Good by, Miss Hildy!” And Bubble ran off to bring home the cows, his little heart swelling high with scorn of kings and queens, and with a fervor of devotion to Walter Scott, first lord of Buccleugh.