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The Story Teller— ln the Train of William the Norman
O™^ NE rainy day, while rummaging in my ancestral home
at Thirwall, Sussex. I came across an old manuscript,
i yellow with age. Written on the outside of the paper
'TOfeSj were the words: 'The Story of My Grandparents, by
VllfllYlV William d.c Valois." Knowing that William de Valois
was the founder of our house I became interested in tracing my
ancestry still farther back. The story ran tnus:
Robert de Valois was the youngest son of Rufus de Valois,
the highest noble attending on the Duke of Normandy. When"
.William was preparing for his conquest of England Robert
claimed the right of accompanying him as a memner of his body
guard. Knowing that the youth was a valiant soldier and was
burning to claim the gilded spurs, William acquiesced.
In the battle of Hastings, when the Normans were hardest
pressed, William was beaten onto one knee bf the ax of a gigantic
Saxon warrior. The Saxon had raised his ax for the fatal blow
when Robert de Valois, who had been near his sovereign during
the whole of the battle, struck up the Saxon's ax, thus enabling
William to regain his feet! Once more upon his feet, William
soon forced his adversary to the ground. But instead of dis
patching him he said:
"By my faith, thou hast a stout arm and a strong. I could
not take the life of a warrior such as thou. Rise up, mine op
ponent, and go thy way. I respect thee too much, both for thy
strength and thy gray hairs, to take thy life. But first tell me
thy name, oh. doughty champion."
"I am called Egbert of the Large Ax," quoth the stranger.
""I thank thee for thy clemency, my lord, and will fight no more
this day." So saying the old warrior disappeared.
"How, now, sirs, this is pretty work, to leave me to mine own
devices," quoth the duke to his bodyguard, wno had by this time
gathered round him. "If it were not for thy companion here,"
pointing to Robert, "methinks Normandy would have had an
other duke. Thou shalt not. be forgotten, Robert," he said. "This
i 3 enough for the present. Let us to the front again," for the
tide of battle had by this time surged far forward. "Come to my
tent to-morrow, Robert, if we are victorious, and thou shalt ob
tain thy reward."
So saying, he spurred again into the thickest of the fray.
The following morning Robert went to the tent of the duke,
who asked him in what shape he would like nis reward. Roberc
replied that he wished no better recompense than the favor of
the duke. But the duke was bound to give him material reward.
So he said:
"If we conquer this fair country I will make it my bounden
fluty to see that thou hast a fair estate. Now, we will proceed to
the pleasant task of dubbing thee knight. Kneel." Robert
was astonished, for he had expected no such surprise. He could
scarcely stammer out his thanks. The duke performed the acco
lade and said: "Robert de Valois, as a reward for the bravery
at the field of Hastings, I dub thee knight Arise, Sir Robert de
Robert had won the first part of his reward." He had yet to
be given the last.
Six months later Robert, with an escort of armed men, went
9own into Sussex to his new estate. Its name was Thorwald. He
was instructed to demand the estate of its Saxon owner, and. if
he was opposed to take the castle by force of arms and to send
the Saxon lord and his family as prisoners to the duke, who was
now king. Robert demanded a conference with the lord of the
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HE unique crusade of Mrs. Carrie Nation against the
liquor traffic has reached the tragic stage in the killing
at Millwood, Kan., of the wife of a saloon-keeper
whose place was being raided by sympathizers of Mrs.
' Nation. Mrs. Nation started on her present career
shortly after Christmas, by wrecking a saloon at Wichita, Kan.
She was arrested, caught in jail by a smallpox quarantine, and
.when released swept across Kansas, gathering enthusiastic sup
porters among women, who left rack and rutn in saloon circles
wherever they went.
It has been feared from the first that Mr-s. Nation's self-im
posed work would result in murder. Since Mrs. Nation's return
from Chicago, where, by the way, she wielded no weapon more
dangerous or offensive than her tongue, she turned her atten
tion to cleaning out the saloons at Topeka, Kan. She was ar
rested four times in one day there, but immediately upon her
release returned to her destruction of property. She will be tried
at the April term of court upon several complaints of the mali
cious destruction of property. So far she has always appeared
as her own defender In the courts.
Personally Mrs. Nation was not concerned, in the raid at
i. Millwood, Kan., Feb. 18, which resulted in murder. The keeper
of the place had been warned to close but disregarded the notice.
A mob composed largely of farmers entered the place and upon a
given signal attacked the keeper. His wife, disturbed at the
shots, ran into the room, and one of the hundred or more shots
fired killed her. No women, fortunately, were concerned in this
Mrs. Nation's methods are decidedly disapproved of by the
leaders of the conservative method of handling the temperance
question. It is also needless to say that Mrs. Nation's methods
verge closely upon anarchy. They have led to a state of armed
suspense in Winfield, Kan., each side expecting attack from
The settlement of the Chinese question is quite as much of an
tmcertainty as it was at first. The peculiar quality of Chinese
diplomacy is just as disconcerting as ever, and the powers find
themselves, between the horns of a dilemma in so far as they
have no idea of exactly what the dowager empress intends to do,
nor what they may be compelled to do to make her do anything
agreeable at all.
The first answer from the Chines© court to the joint note
from the ministers was decidedly insulting. The demands were
refused and the Chinese envoys were shrewishly berated for not
making a decided protest against it.
The powers seem to have been expecting some such reply from
China, for almost Immediately upon receipt of this message
Count yon Waldersee announced an expedition to Tayan-fa on the
road to Singan-fu, in other words, an expedition against the
court established at the latter place, with the intention of forc
ing them by a display of arms to give up their policy of dilly
dallying and come to a definite and satisfactory arrangement
'with the representatives of the civilized nations now in Peking.
This plan was hardly more than made public than the announce
ment came that the Imperial court was willing to comply with
ail demands by the powers.
The Chinese envoys, Li Hung Chang and Prince Ching, have
been greatly worried over this expedition and brought the great
est pressure to bear upon the court to avoid it. They both be-
THE JOURNAL JUNIOR. MINNEAPOLIS. MINNESOTA, SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 1901.
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castle. To his surprise, he found him to be no less a person than
the Saxon who had so nearly ended William's life at the battle of
He told Egbert what his errand was, but said that he should
never take his estate away from him. Furthermore, he assured
the Saxon that if he would but accompany him to court, the duke
would doubtless give him security in the holding of his estate.
The Saxon replied that for himself alone he would never ask favor
of a Norman, but for the sake of his wife and daughter he would
humble himself and ask his estate of William. Being im
pressed with the courtesy and generosity of the young Norman,
he offered him his'hospitality. Robert bade- his followers wait
outside the castle until the morrow, when he would return with
them to court.
lieved that, in case the powers consider it necessary to carry it
out, the end would be the dismemberment of China.
Spain seems to be again on the verge of a change in rulers.
The present regent. Queen Christina, has never been popular
with the Spanish people. She was not only reared in the tradi
tions of the Austrian court, which of themselves are naturally
obnoxious to the warm-blooded, pleasure-loring Spaniards, but
she was at the time of her marriage the head of a religious or
der whose abbess has been from time immemorial some feminine
member of the royal house. There are no vows which render
marriage on the part of the abbess impossible and several of the
Spanish queen's relatives have occupied the position since she
resigned it to become the bride of Alfonso XIL
The wedding of the Princess of the Asturias to the son of the
Count of Caserta, a man dangerous to the peace of the present
dyansty, because he is the chief worker in favor of Don Carlos,
the pretender to the throne of Spain, was the occasion of a very
alarming display by the people. So great were the threatened
disorders that Weyler was put in command and Madrid was pro
claimed under martial law. The queen regent distrusts and dis
likes Weyler, and it was only because his reputation gained in
Cuba was such as to most effectually cow the mobs that she
gave him the appointment.
The expectation of the Spanish people, at the end of tha
Spanish-American war, was that since the rottenness of the ad
ministration had been so effectually shown op the queen regent
would make a clean sweep of the corrupt office holders and so
give Spain a needed opportunity to rebuild upon a proper found
ation. Christina has not done this, for some reason or other, and
dissatisfaction with her apparent weakness, taken with that
which the Spanish people have always felt because of her birth,
has made the strongest opposition to her continued rule that
she has faced during her long regency.
It is feared now that at last the queen's courage has failed
and that she will resign the regency in favor of her sister-in-law,
the Infanta Isabella, elder sister of her late husband, Alfonso
XII. Those among the Spaniards who favor a constitutional
government for Spain, all the liberal elements, in fact, in Span
ish politics, know that such a change would work disaster to their
plans. The Infanta Isabella considers a constitutional govern-
ment as rank an offense as republicanism. She is so heartily
disliked by the anarchistic element in Spain that they blew up
her summer home with dynamite five years ago. Her entrance
upon the regency would probably throw Spain into a reign of
terror, unprecedented even in that land of terrorism.
Three-fourths of the Cape to Cairo telegraph line, which was
begun seven years ago, is finished. This will be the longest line
in the world, the distance between the terminals being 5,600
miles. A great deal of the supplies, poles, apparatus and food
has had to be dragged overland on the backs of porters. Of the
remaining 1,200 miles, all but 500 miles can nave these supplies
brought to the workers by water. This idea was a favorite one
of Cecil Rhodes, and is unlike anything of the kind ever at
tempted. Even in America the telegraph did not precede civiliza
tion as this line has.
Lord Kitchener had a narrow escape from capture by Boers,
who derailed a baggage train which followed the one containing
"Rise, Sir William de Valois."
The following day saw Robert returning to court accompanied
by the Saxon. The wife and daughter of Egbert had been very
kind to Robert and had treated him, not as an enemy, but as a
friend, which indeed he was. And Robert lert his heart behind
him in the" possession of the Saxon's daughter, the fair Edelia.
Egbert laid his petition before the duke, or rather the king.
•'Mine old friend and enemy," said the king. "I would will
ingly give thee thy estate, more especially as it is near Christ
mastide, the time when all men should give and receive. But
the estate is not mine to give. Ask thy estat* of Robert here. It
"Sire," sajd Robert, "I have already told the Saxon that I
■would never be the one to rob him of his heritage."
"Then," said the king, "take thy estate as a hearty Christ
mas gift, Egbert. And I trust that.l have made at least one
Saxon friend." „
"Indeed, my lord, you have. And now, my young friend, is
there no reward for thy generosity, which I can give thee?" he
said, turning to Robert, who hesitated, coloi*ed, and looked em
"Speak up, my boy," said the king.
"Sir," said Robert, turning to Egbert, "I would fain cray«
a great boon of thee, no less a one than thy daughter's hand."
"Ho! ho!" said the king, "thou are truly a sly rascal. Thy
boon is indeed great. But what say you, Egbert?"
"Indeed, my lord, providing my daughter is willing I coulfl
wish no better son-in-law than Sir Robert de "Valois."
"Robert," said the king, "how acted the maiden? Did she
shun thee? Think'st thou thy suit will be won?"
"I know not, my lord, but the maiden at least did not seem
to hate me."
"Well, get thee gone to thy lady, and ask her what sin
thinks of thee."
So ended the conversation. Robert and Egbert started again
for Thorwald. Arriving there, Egbert called his daughter, saying:
"My daughter, here is one who would speak with thee. I rec»
ommend him to thy mercy."
"What wouldst thou, sir?" said Edelia, with downcast eyes.
"I have come to ask thy hand,"' said Robert. "Dost car«
"Oh, sir, in truth I know not," said the girl, as the colo»
swept over her face.
What followed is not for us. Let it suffice to say that upon
the next Christmas the king and court witnessed the union of
Robert de Valois, Earl of Leicester, the favorite of the king, and
Edelia, daughter of the Thane of Thorwald. Never was there
a happier Christmas than this in all of merry England. The
soothsayers and bards prophesied a union of all things Saxon
and Norman in time to come, and thanked the pair for their
good example. Written by William de Valois, Earl of Leicester,
in the year of Our Lord, 1249. Methinks the prophecy is even
now come true, for the Saxons and Normans are now living in
peace and happiness.
Thus I learned that my ancestor was the first Earl of Lei
cester and that my blood, which I had deemed purely Norman,
was partly Saxon. The Saxon name of Thorwald has evidently
been corrupted into Thirwall, and I am living in the home of my
beautiful ancestress, Edelia, Countess of Leicester.
B Ninth Grade, —Alice Winter,
South Side High School. 851 Sixteenth Avenue S.
Lord Kitchener himself. An armored train drove them off, but
not before they had secured the booty, from the derailed train.
The long-promised concerted movement against Ue Wet is
said to have really been started. During the past week Kitch
ener's troops, headed by the sirdar himself, with their horses
stripped to the lightest outfit possible, have been racing in
three separate columns toward De Wet, hoping to close in on him.
However, no word has come of the capture of De Wet, and it is
feared that he has again escaped his foes. De Wet is quoted a3
having said: "I will give Lord Roberts thre*> years to catch me.
Lord Kitchener three months and General Methuen all his life."
The recruiting officers have received a rude shock in the curt
refusal by the authorities at Sydney, New South Wales, to per
mit the presence of a British recruiting agent in the colony. The
people are so weary of the war that recruiting is extremely diffi
cult and the ranks are filled in many instances only by the offer
of extra inducements.
On Feb. 15 there was an explosion of gas In the Union mine*
near Cumberland, B. C, and sixty-five men tvere caught by the
flames. As soon as the fires were put out rescuers began dig
ging through to their relief, but none were found alive. This is
one of the worst mine disasters in the history of the dominion.
The national present for Queen Wilhelmina, which so far has
remained a secret, is said to be a new royal crown. Fully $100,
--000 have already been subscribed.
Considerable feeling was aroused among the Servians be
cause King Alexander did not attend the funeral of his father,
ex-King Milan, who died last week. A mob gathered about the
palace at Belgrade, hooting and yelling and finally ended by
smashing the windows. The reason given for the absence of
King Alexander from the funeral ceremonies is that matters of
state were in such a dangerous condition that he dared not
leave his capital even for that short stay for fear of the over
throw of his government.
The trouble between the Venezuelan government and the New
York and Bermudez Asphalt company, which created so much
discussion a short time since, is still in a very unsettled condi
tion. The government of the South American republic is trying
to persuade the company to take its troubles into the local courts,
but the company feels assured that there will be no justice for
them there and so far have resisted all efforts to force them
to this step.
The New York and Bermudez company has quietly assembled
a strong force under the command of an able American officer
and will resist all encroachments, whether 6y government or
revolutionary forces. The government of th& United States has
ordered the gunboat Scorpion to the vicinity of the lake, with
strict orders not to allow the present company to be dispossessed
until the investigation now on at Washington has determined
the merits of the case.
Petroleum has been found in paying quantities in the vicin
ity of Forty-mile creek, near its junction with the Yukon. Nearly
every valuable mineral has been found in Alaska, but this is
the first discovery of oil in quantities to warrant any mention.