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tiously, feeling the stone roqf above
him, and crept carefully along the
The spot of light grew larger.
Cardwell emerged into a second
room, much larger than the one he
had left It was filled with dust, and
in the dust were footprints of a shoe
with a' tapering toe. Cardwell shud
dered. The-man who left that print
must have passed that way centuries
No, it was a woman's footprint, for
beside it were the lafger ones of a
man. Her guard! There was along
line in the dust beside them, evident;
ly causd by some trailing weapon.
Cardwell followed the prints. He
passed through an old oak doorway
and suddenly emerged upon the an
open space, tufted with grass and in
closed by high walls
the Tower about him and realized
that he was standing in a little dis
used courtway, leading upon a larg
er one. From this came the murmur
of voices. Cardwell followed hastily,
passed through a gate and stood still,
horrified at what he saw.
In the center of the courtway was
a grisly block. Beside it Stood a
headsman, and, kneeling in front of
it was a woinan in antique dress,
with long, fair hair tied back and
the throat of her gown unfastened.
A dozen men in black, wearing
swords at their sides, were watching.
the scene. The headsman lifted his
ax and ran histhumb along .the
Cardwell leaped forward so sud-J
denly that he took the headsman
completely by surprise. He snatched
the ax from him. The woman at
the block turned her face toward
him. It was very fair and quite com
posed. With loud 'cries the spectators ran
forward, unsheathing their swords.
But Cardwell swung his ax so vig
orously that" they fell back, scowling
and muttering fiercely.
."What doth this fellow here?"
cried the foremost "Do you bear hit
majesty's pardon, sir?"
"Nay, my lord," said the girl-at the
block. T know there can be no par
don for such as I. His majesty 'hath
given orders to his high sheriff that
I be done to death expeditiously for
my part in his grace of Suffolk's con
spiracy." Cardwell sprang to her side. But
now the others, who had crept upon
him unawares while the girl was
speaking, leaped tn him from every
quarter. The ax was snatched from
his hand and a dozen swords were
pointed at his breast ,
As in a dreadful dream, CJardwell,
helpless there, saw the girl lay her
head down on the block again, saw
the ax rise and fall. He struggled,
Then he was lying upon his bed in
He could see the grim outlines 6f rthe cell again and the faint light of
morning straggled tnrougn tne sut in
the wall above him.
He started up. As he did. so he
heard footsteps in the corridor out
side. His jailer entered, accompa
nied by the governor of the Tower.
Cardwell sprang to his feet and gave
the military salute. .
The governor, acknowledging it,
produced a document and began to
read, while Cardwell, cursing the de
lay for such a formality, waited until
he had finished.
"Well, I'm ready if you are," he
said, trying to calm himself for the
"For what?" asked the governor.
"The Jittle firing party"
"I am sorry I did not make myself
clearer," said the governor. "The
paper that I have just read you is a
reprieve from his majesty, who has
commuted your sentence to that of
imprisonment for life. Which means,
of course that you can count on be
ing set free after the war that be
ing unofficial. "-
Dazed, Cardwell could only stare
at the other, who went on, half joc
ularly, to ease-the strain of the situ
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