The Days of Bruce Vol 1 eBook

Grace Aguilar
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 432 pages of information about The Days of Bruce Vol 1.

“Sleeping or waking? it hath been both,” he answered, and his voice faltered.  “If it be in the front of the war, amid the press, the crush, the glory of the battle, he hath come, circled with bright forms and brighter dreams, to the sleeping warrior on the eve of his last fight; if”—­and his voice grew lower and huskier yet—­“if by the red hand of the foe, by the captive’s chain and headsman’s axe, as the noble Wallace, there have been those who say—­I vouch not for its truth—­he hath been seen in the vigils of the night on the eve of knighthood, when the young, aspiring warrior hath watched and prayed beside his arms.  Boy! boy! why dost thou look upon me thus?”

“Because thine eye hath read my doom,” he said, in a firm, sweet tone; “and if there be aught of truth in thy tale, thou knowest, feelest I have seen him.  God of mercy, the captive’s chain, the headsman’s axe!  Yet ’tis Thy will, and for my country—­let it come.”

CHAPTER XVII.

“Thou art idle, maiden; wherefore not gather thy robes and other gear together, as thy companions?  Knowest thou not in twenty-four hours we shall be, heaven willing, safely sheltered under the holy wing of St. Duthac?” was Queen Margaret’s address to Agnes, about a week after the conversation we have recorded.  There were many signs of confusion and tokens of removal in her scanty train, but the maiden of Buchan stood apart, offering assistance when needed, but making no arrangements for herself.

“I seek not such holy keeping, may it please you, madam,” she replied.  “I do not quit this castle.”

“How!” exclaimed Margaret.  “Art thou mad?”

“In what, royal madam?”

“Or hath love blinded thee, girl?  Knowest thou not Hereford and Lancaster are advancing as rapidly as their iron-clad force permits, and in less than seven days the castle must be besieged in form?”

“I know it, madam.”

“And thou wilt brave it, maiden?—­dare a danger that may be avoided?  Is thy life of so little worth, or if not thy life, thy liberty?”

“When a life is wrapt up in one—­when there is none on earth save that one to whom that life is of any worth, wherefore should I seek safety save by his side?  Royal madam, I am not mad nor blind; but desolate as I am,—­nay, were I not ’twould be the same—­I covet to share Sir Nigel’s fate; the blow that strikes him shall lay me at his side, be it in prison or in death.  My safety is with him; and were the danger ten times as great as that which threatens now, I’d share it with him still.”

“Nay, thou art but a loving fool, Agnes.  Be advised, seek safety in the sanctuary; peril cannot reach us there.”

“Save by the treachery of the dark-browed earl who grants that shelter.  Nay, pardon me, madam; thou lovest not to list that theme, believing him as honorable and faithful as thyself.  God grant he prove so!  If,” she added, with a faint smile, “if it be such mad folly to cling to a beloved one in danger as in joy, in adversity as in triumph, forgive me, royal lady, but thy maidens have learned that tale of thee.”

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The Days of Bruce Vol 1 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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