‘There!’ she cried, as she bounded from him, ’take thy first lesson in good manners. No one can rid thee of that mouthful, which is as thy evil words returned to choke thee!—Thou hadst better keep me in sight,’ she added, as she gave Dick his head, ’for no one else can free thee.’
Upstill ceased his futile efforts, caught up his carbine, and fired—not without risk to Dorothy, for he was far too wrathful to take the aim that would have ensured her safety. But she rode on unhurt, meditating how to secure Upstill when she got him to Wyfern, whither she doubted not he would follow her. Her difficulties were not yet past, however, for just as she reached her own ground, she was once again met by the order to stand.
This time it came in a voice which, notwithstanding the anxiety it brought with it, was almost as welcome as well known, and yet made her tremble for the first time that night: it was the voice of Richard Heywood. Dick also seemed to know it, for he stood without a hint from his mistress, while, through the last hedge that parted her from the little yet remaining of the property of her fathers, came the man she loved—an enemy between her and her own.
The marquis’s request to be allowed to communicate with the king had been an unfortunate one. It increased suspicion of all kinds, rendered the various reports of the landing of the Irish army under lord Glamorgan more credible, roused the resolution to render all communication impossible, and led to the drawing of a cordon around the place that not a soul should pass unquestioned. The measure would indeed have been unavailing had the garrison been as able as formerly to make sallies; but ever since colonel Morgan received his reinforcement, the issuing troopers had been invariably met at but a few yards from home, and immediately driven in again by largely superior numbers. Still the cordon required a good many more men than the besieging party could well spare without too much weakening their positions, and they had therefore sought the aid of all the gentlemen of puritian politics in the vicinity, and of course that of Mr. Heywood. With the men his father sent, Richard himself offered his services, in the hope that, at the coming fall of the stronghold, he might have a chance of being useful to Dorothy. They had given the cordon a wide extension, in order that an issuing messenger might not perceive his danger until he was too far from the castle to regain it, and then by capturing him might acquire information. Hence it came that posts could be assigned to Richard and his men within such a distance of Redware as admitted of their being with their own people when off duty.
Hearing Upstill’s shot, and then Dick’s hoofs on the sward, Richard fortunately judged well and took the right direction. What was his astonishment and delight when, passing hurriedly through the hedge in the expectation of encountering a cavalier, he saw Dorothy mounted on Dick! What form but hers had been filling soul and brain when he was startled by the shot! And there she was before him! He felt like one who knows the moon is weaving a dream in his brain.