In Freedom's Cause : a Story of Wallace and Bruce eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 418 pages of information about In Freedom's Cause .

One evening the old man, as usual before going to sea, came into the hut which Archie and Sir James Douglas inhabited, and told him that he was going out early the next morning.  “Fish are scarce,” he said, “and it would be a disgrace on us islanders if our guests were to run short of food.”

“I shall be ready, Donald,” Archie replied, “and I hope we shall have good sport.”

“I can’t see what pleasure you take, Sir Archie,” the young Douglas said, when the fisherman had left, “in being tossed up and down on the sea in a dirty boat, especially when the wind is high and the sea rough.”

“I like it best then,” Archie replied; “when the men are rowing against the wind, and the waves dash against the boat and the spray comes over in blinding showers, I feel very much the same sort of excitement as I do in a battle.  It is a strife with the elements instead of with men, but the feeling in both cases is akin, and I feel the blood dancing fast through my veins and my lips set tightly together, just as when I stand shoulder to shoulder with my retainers, and breast the wave of English horsemen.”

“Well, each to his taste, I suppose,” Douglas said, laughing; “I have not seen much of war yet, and I envy you with all my heart the fights which you have gone through; but I can see no amusement in getting drenched to the skin by the sea.  I think I can understand your feeling, though, for it is near akin to my own when I sit on the back of a fiery young horse, who has not yet been broken, and feel him battle with his will against mine, and bound, and rear, and curvet in his endeavours to throw me, until at last he is conquered and obeys the slightest touch of the rein.”

“No doubt it is the same feeling,” Archie replied; “it is the joy of strife in another form.  For myself, I own I would rather fight on foot than on horseback; I can trust myself better than I can trust my steed, can wheel thrice while he is turning once, can defend both sides equally well; whereas on horseback, not only have I to defend myself but my horse, which is far more difficult, and if he is wounded and falls I may be entangled under him and be helpless at the mercy of an opponent.”

“But none acquitted them better on horseback at Methven than you did, Sir Archie,” the young fellow said, admiringly.  “Did you not save the king, and keep at bay his foes till your retainers came up with their pikes and carried him off from the centre of the English chivalry?”

“I did my best,” Archie said, “as one should always do; but I felt even then that I would rather have been fighting on foot.”

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In Freedom's Cause : a Story of Wallace and Bruce from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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