Before they started Wallace briefly gave them his orders, so that no word need be spoken when near the town. The band were, when they entered, to divide in three. Sir John Grahame, with a party, was to make for the dwelling of Sir Robert Thorne. Auchinleck, who had arrived with the party summoned by the bugle, was to arouse the town and attack any parties of soldiers in the street, while Wallace himself was to assault the house of Hazelrig. He bade Archie accompany him.
Knowing the town well Wallace led the party to the moat at a spot facing a sally port. They moved without a word being spoken. The men bearing the tree laid it noiselessly to the ground. Wallace himself sprang into the moat and swam across. The splash in the water attracted the attention of a sentry over the gate, who at once challenged. There was no answer, and the man again shouted, peering over the wall to endeavour to discover what had caused the splash. In a few vigorous strokes Wallace was across, hauled himself up to the sill of the door, and with his heavy battleaxe smote on the chains which held up the drawbridge. Two mighty blows and the chains yielded, and the drawbridge fell with a crash across the moat.
Instantly the men lifted the tree, and dashing across swung it like a battering ram against the door — half a dozen blows, and the oak and iron yielded before it. The door was burst in and the party entered Lanark. The sentry on the wall had fled at once to arouse the garrison. Instantly the three leaders started to perform the tasks assigned to them. As yet the town lay in profound sleep, although near the gate windows were opening and heads were being put out to ascertain the cause of the din. As the Scots ran forward they shouted “Death to the English, death to the bloody Hazelrig!” The governor had long been odious for his cruelty and tyranny, and the murder of Marion Bradfute had that day roused the indignation of the people to the utmost. Not knowing how small was the force that had entered the town, but hoping only that deliverers had arrived, numbers of the burghers rose and armed themselves, and issued forth into the streets to aid their countrymen. Wallace soon arrived at the governor s house, and with a few blows with his axe broke in the door; then he and his followers rushed into the house, cutting down the frightened men as they started up with sudden alarm, until he met Sir John Hazelrig, who had snatched up his arms and hurried from his chamber.
“Villain!” Wallace exclaimed, seizing him by his throat; your time has come to make atonement for the murder of my wife.”