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FKT--fi O w
THE STOr.T OF THOMAS WDCGFIEI
I, Thomas Wingfield, was born li
Dltehinghoni and in this very room
I write today. I am sprung from th(
ily of the Wingfields of Wingfield (
In Suffolk, that lies some two huv
horseback from this place. My grr
thor was a shrewd man, more of n ye
than a squire, though tis birth was g
Ho lt was who bought this place wit
lands round ic and gathered up sonn
tune, mostly by carefully niarryinj
living, for though ho bad but one s
was twice married, and also by iradi
Now, my grandfather was godly m
even to superstition, and, strange
may seem, having only one son, no:
would satisfy him but that thc boy s'
bo made a priest. But my father ha
tie leaning toward the priesthood an
in a monastery, though at all season
grandfather strove to reason it into
sometimes with words and cxampli
others with his thick cudgel of holly
still hangs over the ingle in the sn:
sitting room. Tho end of it was tba
lad was sent to thc priory hero in Bul
where his conduct was of such nature
within a year thc prior prayed his pa
to take him back and set him in sonic
of secular life. Not only. said tho i
did my father cause scandal by his act
breaking out of tho priory at night
visiting drinking houses and other pl
but such was thc sum of his wicket
he did not scruple to question and i
mock of thc very doctrines of tho chi
alleging even that there was nothing
cred in thc image of thc Virgin ?
Which stood in the chancel, and shu
eyes in prayer before all the congrega
When the priest elevated the host. "Tl
fore," said thc prior. "I pray you to
bock your son and let him lind some o
road to thc stake than that which :
through thc gates of Bungay priory."
i It was believed both by my grandfa
and thc prior that thc true cause of m;
thcr's contumacy was a passion wine
had conceived for a girl of humble bin
miller's fair daughter who dwelt at
ingford Mills. So the end of it was
he went 'to foreign parts in thc care i
porty of Spanish monks, who had jour
cd hero to Norfolk on a pilgrimage to
shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.
Thus it chanced that when he had sr;
from Yarmouth a year and six mo;
there caine a letter from the abbot of
monastery in Seville to his brother,
prior of Sr. Mary's at Bungay, saying I
my father had lied from thc monastery
Two more years passed away, and t
came other news-namely, that my fa'
had been captured: that he had !> en
ed over to the power of the holy office
thc accursed inquisition was then nan
and tortured to death at Seville. W
my grandfather heard tins, he wept'. S
he did not believe that my father was d
in truth, sino- on thc last day of his c
life, that ended two years later, he sp
of him as a living man and left mcssu
to him as to the management of the la
which were now his.
And in tho end it became clear that t
belief was not ill founded, for one d
three years after thc old man's death, tli
landed at thc port of Yarmouth none ci
er than my father, who had been abs
some eight years in all. Xor did he co
alone, for with him ho brought a wife
young and very lovely lady, who af terw?
was my mother. She was a Spaniard
noble family, having been born at SovL'
and her maiden name was Donna Luisa
? Thcro were three of us children-Ge
frey, my cider brother, myself and my ?
ter Mary, who was ono year my j uni
the sweetest child and tho most beau tl
that I havo ever known. Wc were v<
happy children, and our beauty was 1
pride of our father and mother and t
. envy of other parents. I was the dark'
of tho three, dark indeed to swarthino
but in Mary tho Spanish blood show
only in her rich eyes of velvet hue, and
tho glow upon her cheek that was like i
blush on a ripe fruit.
My mother used to call me her lit
Spaniard because of my swarthiness-cl
is, when my father was nut near, for sti
names angered him. Sin* never u
speak English very well, but he won
suffer her to talk in no other tongue befo
him. Still when he was not there s
spoke in Spanish, of which language, hoi
over, I alone ot thc family became a ms
ter, and that was more because of ccrtai
volumes of old Spanish romances whit
she had by her than for any other miso
From my earliest childhood I was fond
such tales, and it was by bribing mc wil
tho promise that I should read them th;
sho persuaded mc to learn Spanish, fi
my mother's heart still yearned toward bi
old sunny home, and often she would tal
of it with uc children, moro especially i
tho winter season, which she hated as
do. Onco I asked her if she wished to j
back to Spain. She shivered and answerc
no, for there dwelt one who was her ci
erny and would kill her; also her bea:
Was with us children and our father.
1 Now, when I was IS)J years old, on
certain evening in the month of May, :
happened that a friend of my father":
Squire Bozard, late of tho hall in this pai
ish, called at thc lodge on his road froi
yarmouth, and in tho course of his tal
let it fall Shut a Spanish ship was at ai
chor in tho roads laden with merchandise
My father pricked up his ears at this an
asked who her captain might be. Squir
Bozard answered that he did not kum
his name, but that he had seen him in th
market place, a tall and stately man, rich
ly dressed, with ii handsome face and ;
pear upon his temple.
At this news my m< thor turned palo be
neath her olive skin and muttered in Span
. "Holy Mother, grant that lt bo not he!'
My father also looked frightened ant
questioned tho squire closely as to th<
mon's appearance, but without learning
anything more. Then he bade him adi) I
With little ceremony, and taking horst
rodo away for Yarmouth.
That night my mother never slept, bul
sat all through lt in her nursing chair,
brooding over I know not what. As I lcfi
her when I wont to my bed so I found hoi
When I came from it : t dawn. I can re
member well pushing thc door ajar to sei
her face glimmering white in thc twilight
of thc May morning as she sat, her larg)
eyes fixed upon tho lattice.
''You havo risen early, mother," I said.
"I havo newer laid down, Thomas," slit
"Why not? What do you fear?"
"I fear tho past and the future, my son
Would thot your father were back."
About 10 o'clock of that morning, ns I
was making ready to walk Into Bungay to
Gio house of thc physician under whom I
Was learning the art of healing, my father
rodo up. My mother, who was watching
at thc lattice, ran out to meet him.
Springing from his horse, he embraced
her, saying: "Bo of good cheer, sweet; it
cannot bc he. This man hos another
"But did you 6cc hun?" she asked.
"No; he was out at his ship for the
night, and I hurried home to tell you,
knowing your fears. "
"It were surer if you had soon him, hus
bond. Ho may well have taken another
4,I never thought of that, sweet," my
father answered, "but have no fear.
Should it be he, and should ho dare to set
foot in the parish of Ditchinghnm, there
aro those who will know how t<> deal with
.him. But I am sure that i* i?- not he."
"Thanks he to Jesu then!" she said,
?and they began talking in a low voico.
Now, seeing that 1 was not wanted, I
took my cudgel and started down tho
bridgo path toward the common foot
bridge, when suddenly my mother called
"Kiss me before you gt), Thomas," she
said. ".You nr " wonder what all .this
may mean. Ui?C day yo?r lather "wm tell
"Kiss vic before you ?jo, Tliomas," xhc
you. It has to clo with a shadow which
lias hung over my life for many year?, but
that is. I trust, .irone forever."
"If it bea man who flings it,'he had
best keep out of reach of this, " I said,
laughing and Bhaking my thick stick.
"It is a man," she answered, "'but ono
to be dealt with otherwise than by blows,
Thomas, should you ever chance to meet
'.May be, mother, but might is tho best
argument at the last, for the most cunning
have a life to lose."
''You are too ri adv to usc your.strength,
son." she said, smiling and kissing me.
"Romcmbcr tho old Spanish proverb, 'no
strikes hardest who strikes last.' "
..And remember the other proverb,
mother, 'Strike before thou art strick
en,' " I answered and went.
I never saw her again till she was dead.
TOE COMING O'/ THE SPANIARD.
And now I must po back and speak of
my own matters. As I have told, it waa
my father's wish that I should bo a- phy
sician, and since I came back from my
schooling at Norwich-that Aras when I
had entered on my sixteenth year-Iliad
studied medicine under tho doctor who
practiced Ids art in tin" neighborhood of
Bungay. He was a very learned man and
an honest, C?limstonc by name and asl
had some liking for tho business I mado
good.progress undo;* lum.
Medic'ne was not thc only thing that 1
studied in those days, however. Squire
Bozard of Ditchinghain, the same who
told my father of tho coming of the Span*
ish ship, had two living children, a son
and a daughter, though his wife had horno
hun many more who died in infancy.
Thc daughter was named Lily and of my
own ago, haring been born three weeks
after mo in the same year.
From our earliest 'lays wo children, Bo
zards and Wingfields, lived almost ns
brothers and sisters, for day liv day we met
and played together in the snow or in tho
flowers. Thus it would bo hard for me to
say when I began to love Lily or when she
began to love mi-, but I know that when
I first went to school at Norwich I grieved
more at losing sir.' .. of her than because 1
must part from my mother and thc rest.
In all our games she was ever my partner,
and I would search the country, round for
days to find such flowers as she chanced
to love. When I came back from school,
it was thc same, though by degrees Lily
grew shier, and I also grew suddenly shy,
perceiving that from a child .she' had be
come a woman. Still wo met often, and,
though neither said anything of it, it was
sweet to us to meet.
Thus things went on till this day of my
mother's death. But before I go fur;lier I
must tell that Squire Bozard looked with
no favor on the friendship between his
daughter and myself, and this not because
he disliked me, but rather because he
would have seen Lily wedded to my elder
brother, Geoffrey, my father's hi Lr, and not
to a younger sen. So hard diu he grow
about the matter at last that we two
might scarcely nu et except by seeming ac
cident, whereas my brother was ever wel
come at the hall. And on this account
some bitterness arose between us two broth- j
ers, as is apt to bo thc case when a woman
comes between friends, however close, for
it must bc kn iwn that my brother Geoffrey
also loved Lily, as all men would have
loved her, and with a better right perhaps
than I liad, for he' was my elder by three
years and burn to possessions
Kow, when I had attained 1'.'years I was
a man full grown, and, writing as 1 du in
extreme old ago I may say itwitiioutfal.se
shame, a vcr.' handsome youth to boot. I
was not overfall indeed, measuring but 5
feet DJf? inches in height, but my limbs
were well made, and I was both deep and
broad in tito chest. In color I was, and,
my white hair notwithstanding am still,
extraordinarily dark hued; my eyes also
were large and dark, and my hair, which
was wavy, was coal black. In my deport
ment 1 was reserved and grave to sadness;
in speech I was slow and temperate and
more apt at listening than in talking. I
Weighed matter.-, well before I made up
my mind upon them, but being made up
nothinp could turn me from that mind
short of death itself, whether it were set
on good or evil, on foHy or wisdom. In
those days also I had little religion, since
partly because of my father's secret teach
ing and partly through tho workings of
my own n ason I learned to doubt the doc
trines of the church as they used to be set
On this sad day of which I writolknew
that Lily, whom I loved, would be walk
ing alone beneath tho great pollard oaks
Jn thc park at Ditchinghain hall. Herc,
in Grubswcll, as the spot is called, grew,
indeed still grow, certain hawthorn trees
th.:: arc the earliest toblow of any in these
parts, and when we bad me;, nt tho church
door on the Sunday Lily said that there
would be bloom upon them by thc Wednes
day, and on that afternoon sho should go
to cut it. It may well bo that sho spoko
thus with d' sign, for love will breed cun
ning in tile hean of thc mos! guileless and
truthful maid. Then and there I vowed
I to myself that I also would bo gathering
hawthorn bloom in this samo place, and
on that Wednesday af moon-yes, even
if Imust play truant and leave all the
sick of Bungay to nature's nursing. More
over, I was detcrmitu don one tiling-that
if I could lind Lily alone I would delay no
longer, but tell her all that was in my
heart, no great secret indeed, for though
no word of love had ever passed between
us as yet each know thc other's hidden
Now, it chanced that on this afternoon 1
was hard put to it to escape to my tryst,
for my master, the physician, was ailing
and sent me to visit the sick for him,
carrying them their medicines. At thc
last, however, between -1 and 5 o'clock, I
lied, asking no leave. Taking tho Nor
wich road. I ran for a mile and more till I
had passed tho Manor House and thc
church turn and drew near to Ditching
ham park. Then I dropped my pace to a
walk, for I did not wish to como before
Lily heated .-.nd disordered, hut rather
looking ny best, to which end I had put
on my $ uuday garments. Now, as I went
down tho little hill in the road that runs
past the parki saw a man on horsclv.cl:
who looked ilrsl ai tho bridle path thal a?
this spot tums off to tho right, then back
across thc common lands toward the Vine
yard hills and the Wav ney, and then
along thc road, as though he did not know
Which way to turn. I was quick to notice
things, though at this moment my mind
was not at its swiftest, being set on oilier
matters and chiefly as t" how i should tell
my tale to Lily, and I saw at once that
this man was not of our country.
Ho was very tall and noble looking,
dressed in rich garments of velvet adorned
hy a crold chain that hum: about his neck. '
I ? ll III 1 III III I I ?w,l-mn-?.Ill? l-l? -.T?
~ft?(i,~ :is~l -3iulged,~ab?ut '40 years ol
But it was his face which chiefly ci
my eye, for that moment there was ?
thing terrible about it. It was long,
and deeply carved. Tho eyes were
and gleamed like gold in sunlight
mouth was small and well shaped, b
wore a devilish and cruel sneer; thc
head lofty, indicating a man of mind
marked with a slight scar. For the
the cavalier was dark and southern
ing; his curling hair, like my own,
black, and ho wore a peaked chestnui
By thc time that I had finished I
observations my feet had brought no
most to thc stranger's side, and foi
first time he caught sight of me. Inst'
his face changed, tho sneer left it, a:
became kindly and pleasant looking,
ing his bonnet with much courtes;
stammered something in broken En)
of which all I could catch was thc i
Yarmouth Then, perceiving that I
not understand him, ho cursed thc 3
lish tongue, and all those who spok
aloud and in good Castilian.
"If thc senor will graciously expr?s
wish in Spanish," I said, speaking in
language, "it may bc in my power to
"What, you speak Spanish, young ?
he said, starting, "and yet you arc v
Spaniard, though by your faco you
might be. Caramba, but it is stran?
and he eyed mc curiously.
"It maybe ?trange, sir," I answc
"but I um in haste. Be pleased to
your question and let me go."
"Ah," he said, '"perhaps I can gucsf
reason of your hum-. I saw n white j
down hythe streamlet yonder," and
nodded toward thc park. "Take thc
vice of an older man, young sir, am
careful. Make what sport you will v
such, but never believe them and n<
marry them-lest you should live to dc
to kill them!"
Here I made as though I would pass
but lie spoke again:
"Pardon my words; they wcro i
meant, and perhaps you may come tole
their truth. I will detain you no mi
Will you graciously direct me on my r
to Yarmouth, for I om not sure of it, 1
ing ridden by another way, and your E
lish country is so full of trees that a n
cannot sec a mile?"
I walked a dozen paces down the br;
path that joined the road at this place ?
pointed out thc way that he should
past Ditchingham church. As I did ?
noticed that while I spoko thc stran
was watching my face keenly, and it sec
ed to me with an inward fear which
strove to master and could not. Who
had finished, he raised his bonnet ?
thanked mc, saying:
"Will you bc so gracious as to tell
your name, young sir!'"
"What is my name to you?" I answe
roughly, for I disliked this man. "'S
have not told me yours. "
"No. indeed; I am traveling incogni
Perhaps I also have met a lady in til
parts," and he smiled strangely. "I oi
wished to know thc name of ono who 1
done mc a courtesy, but who, it seems,
not so courteous asl deemed." And
shook his horse's reins.
"I am not ashamed of my name,'
said. "It has been an honest one so f
and if vou wish to know it it is Thon
"I thought it," he cried, and ashespc
his face grew like thc face of a fiend. Th
before I could lind time even to wont
he had sprung from his horse and sto
within three paces of me.
"A lucky day! Now wc will sec wi:
truth there is in prophecies, " he sai
drawing his silver mounted sword
name for a name; Juan de Garcia gi\
you greeting, Thomas Wingfield."
Now, strange as it may seem, it was
this moment only that there flashed acre
my mind thc thought of all that I h
heard about thc Spanish stranger, thc i
port of whose coming to Yarmouth hi
stirred my father and mother so dccpl
At any other time I should have remci
herod it soon enough, but on this day
was so set upon my tryst with Lily ai
what I should say to her that nothh
else could hold a place in my thoughts.
'"This must bc thc man," I said to m
self, and then I said no moro, for he W
on me, sword up. I saw tho keen poii
flash toward mo and sprang to one sid
having a desiro to fly, as, being unarm<
except for my stick, I might havo doi
without shame. But spring as I would
could not avoid the thrust altogether,
was aimed at my heart, and it pierced tl
sleeve of my left arm, passing through tl
flesh-no more. Yet at thc pain of that ci
all thought of flight left mc, and instcc
of it a cold anger filled mc, causing mc 1
wish to kill this man who had attackc
me thus and unprovoked. In my han
was my stout oaken staff, which I had ci
myself on the banks of Hollow hill, and
I would fight I must make such play wit
Ibis as I might. It seems a poor wcapo
indeed to match against a Toledo blade i
the hands of one who could handle it wei
and yet there are virtues in a cudgel, fe
when a man sees himself threatened wit
it he is likely to forget that he holds i
his hand a more deadly weapon, and t
take to tho guarding of his own head i
placo of running his adversar}' throug
And that was what chanced in this case
though how it came about exactly I can
not tell. Thc Spaniard was a fine sword.?
man, and had I been armed as ho wa
would doubtless have overmatched mc
who at that agc had no practice in thc art
which was almost unknown in England
But when he saw thc big stick flourishci
over him ho forgot his own advantage am
raised his arm to ward away tho blow
Down it came upon tho back of his hand
and his^feword fell from it to tho gross
But I did not sparo him becauso of that
for my blood was up. Tho next stroki
took him on tho lips, knocking out a tooti
and sending him backward. Then I caugh
him by tho leg and boat him unmerciful
ly, not upon tho head indeed, for now thai
I was victor I did not wish to kill on<
whom I thought a madman, as I wouk
that I had done, but on every other part ol
Indeed I thrashed him till my arms were
weary, and then I fell to kicking him, and
all the whilo he writhed liko a wounded
snake and cursed horribly, though ho ncvci
cried out or asked for mercy. At last 1
ceased and looked at him, and he was nc
pretty sight to seo. Indeed what with his
cuts and bruises and tho miro of the road
way it would have been hard to know him
for thc gallant cavalier whom I had mot
not five minutes before. But uglier than
all his hurts was tho look in his wicked
eyes as he lay there on his back in thc path
way and glared up at mc.
"Now, friend Spaniard," I said, "you
have learned a lesson, and what is there to
hinder mc from treating you as you would
have dealt with mo who had never harmed
your"' And I took up his sword and held
it to his throat.
"Strike home, you accursed whelp!" ho
answered in a broken voice. "It is better
to die than live to remember such shame
..No," I said; "I nm no foreign murder
er to kill a defenseless man. You shall
away to thc justice to answer for yourself.
The hangman has a rope for suchas you."
"Then you must drag mo thither, " ho
groaned and shut his eyes as though with
faintness, and doubtless he was somewhat
Now, as I pondered on what should bo
done wit li t he villain, it chanced that I
looked ii]) through a nap In tho fence, and
there, anion;: thc Grubswcll oaks 800yards
or more away, I caught sight of the flutter
of u white robo that I knew well, and it
seemed to mc that ll)'1 wearer of that robe
was moving toward tho bridge of tho "wa
tering, " as though slie were weary of wait
ing for one who did not come.
Thon I thought to myself that if I staid
to drag this man to the village stocks or
some oilier sale pince there would bean
end of meeting wil li my love that day, and
I did not know when I might lind another
chance. Now, I would not have missed that
hour's talk willi Lily to bring a score of
murderous minded foreigners to their de
serts. Ami, mor -.VIT,"this oin; had eimeo
good payment lor his behavior. Surely,
though I I, ho might wait.awhile till I had
douo my lovemaking, and if he would not
wait I could lind a means to make him do
so. Xi it JO paces from us the horse stood
cropping the grass. I went to him and
undid his bridle rein, and with it fastened
tho Spaniard to a small wayside tree as
best I was aide.
"Now, here you stay," I said, "till I am
ready to fetch you," and I turned to go.
But as I went a great doubt took mc,
caco more I remembered ?ni' mother's
"four, and~how my father nacl n??'on in
liaste to Yarmouth on business about J
Spaniard. Now today a Spaniard had wan
dered to Ditchingham, and when he learn
ed my name had fallen upon me, madly
trying to kill me. Was not this tho man
whom my mother feared, and wus it right
that I should leave him thus that I might
go Maying with my dear? I know in my
breast that it was not right, but I was so
Bet upon my desire and so strongly did
my heartstrings pull mo toward her
whose white robe now fluttered on tho
slope of thc Park hill that I never heeded
Well had it been for mc if I had dono so
and well for some who were yet unborn.
Then they had never known death, nor I
tho land of exile, thc tasto of slavciy and
tho altar of sacrifico.
THOMAS TELLS HIS LOVE.
Having mudo tho Spaniard as fast as I
could, his arms being bound to the treo
behind him, and taking his sword with
mc, I began to run hard after Lily and
caught her not too soon, for in ono moro
minute she would have turned along tho
road that runs to tho watering and over
tho bridge by the Park hill path to tho
Hearing my footsteps, sho faced about to
greet mo, or lather as though to seo who
it was that followed her. Thcro sho stood
In tho evening light, a bough of hawthorn
bloom in her hand, and my heart beat yet
moro wildly at thc sight of her. Never
had she seemed fairer than as sho stood
thus in her white robe, a look of amazo
upon her face and in her gray eyes that
was half real, half feigned, and with tho
sunlight shifting on her auburn hair that
showed beneath her little bonnet. Lily
was no round checked country maid, with
few beauties save thoso of health and
youth, but a tall and shapely lady, who
hud ripened carly to her full grace and
sweetness, and so it carno about that,
though wo were almost of an ago, yet In
her presence I felt always as though I were
thc younger. Thus in my love for her was
mingled some touch of reverence.
''Oh, it is you, Thomas," she said, blush
ing as she spoke. "I thought you wera
Urn-tug made thc Spaniard as fast as I
not-I mean that I a:n going home, as it
grows late. But, say, why do you run so
fast, and what has happened to you,
Thomas, that your arm is bloody and you
carry a sword in your hand?"
' I have no breath to speak yet," I an
swered. "Comeback to tho hawthorns,
and I will tell you."
"No; I must be wending homeward. I
have been among thc trees for more than
an hour, and there is little- bloom upon
''I could nop come before, Lily. I wa3
kept and in a strange manner; also I saw
bloom as I ran."
"Indeed I never thought that you would
como, Thomas," she answered, looking
down, "who havo other things to do than
to go out Maying like a girl. But I wish
to hear your story, if it is short, and I will
walk a little way with you."
So wo turned and walked side by side
toward thc great pollard oaks, and by tho
time that we reached them I had told her
tho talo of thc Spaniard, and how ho
6trovo to kill mc, and how I had beaten
him with my staff. Now, Lily listened ea
gerly enough and sighed with fear when
sho learned how close I had been to death.
"But you are wounded, Thomas!" she
broke in. "Sec, thc blood runs fast from
your arm. Is thc thrust deep?"
"I have not looked to sec. I havo had no
time to look."
"Take off your coat, Thomas, that I
may dress the wound. Nay, I will have
So I drew off the garment, not without
pain, and rolled up tho shirt beneath, and
the:c was the hurt-a clean thrust through
tnc fleshy part of thc lower arm. LUy
washed it with water from the brook and
bound lt with her kerchief, murmuring
words of pity all thc while. To say truth,
I would have suffered a worso harm glad
ly if only I could And her to tend it. In
deed her gentle care broke down .the fenco
of my doubts and gave mo a courage that
otherwise might have failed mo in her
presence. At first indeed I could find no
words, but as she bound my wound I bont
down and kissed her ministering hand.
Sho flushed red as thc evening 6ky, tho
flood of crimson losing itself at last bc
ncuth her auburn hair, but it burned deep
est upon thc white hand which I had kiss
"Why did you do that, Thomas?" sho
6aid in a low voice.
Then I spoke. "I did lt becauso I lovo
you, Lily, and do not know how to begin
the telling of my love. I love you, dear,
and havo always loved, us I always shall
"Aro you so suro of that, Thomas?" she
"Thcro is nothing clso in tho world of
which I am so sure, Lily. What I wish
to be as suro of is that you lovo mo as I
For a moment she stood quiet, her head
sunk almost to her breast. Then she lift
ed it, and her eyes shone as I had never
seen them sh ino before. .
"Cun you doubt it, Thomas?" sho said.
And now I took her in my arms and
kissed her on the lips, and tho memory of
that kiss has gone with mo through my
long lifo and is with mo yot, when, old
and withered, I stand upon tho borders of
tho gruvo. It wus tho greatest joy that
has been given to me in all my days. Too
soon, nias! it was done, that first pure kiss
of youthful love, and I spoke again, some
"It seems, then, that you do lovo mo
who love you so well?"
"If you doubted it before, can you doubt
it now?" she answered very softly. '-Rut
liston, Thomas. It is well that we should
lovo each other, for wo were born to it and
have no help in the mutter, even if wo
wished to find it. Still, though love bo
sweet und holy, it is not all, for thoro is
duty to bc thought of, and what will my
father say to this, Thomas?"
"I do not know, Lily, and yet I can
guess. I am sure, sweet, that ho wishes
you to take my brother Gooff rey and leave
mo on one side. "
"Then his wishes arc not mine., Thomas;
also, though duty be strong, it is not
strong enough to force a woman to a mar
riage for which she hus no liking. Yet it
may prove strong enough to keep a woman
from a marriage for which her heurt pleads.
Perhaps also lt should have been strong
enough to hold mc back from tho telling
of my love.1 '
"No, Lily; thc love itself la much, and
though it should bring no fruit, still it is
something to have won it forever and a
"You nm very young to talk thus,
Thomas. J uni also young, I know, but
wo women ripen quicker. Perhaps all
this is but a boy's fancy, to pass with boy
'.It will never pass, Lily. They say that
our first loves are the longest, and that
which is sown in youth will flourish in
our age. Listen, Lily. I have my place to
make in the world, and it may take a time
in the making, and I ask one promise of
you, though perhaps lt is a selfish thing to
seek. I ask of you that you will be faith
ful to me. and, come fair weather or foul,
will wed no other man till you know me
"It is something to promise. Thomas,
for with timo como changea, still lair
--i sure erf uiysoif timi I atomise- bur. '
"swear ic. Ol juu i cannot bc sure,
things arc so wit b us women that wc ii
risk all upon a throw, and if wc lose g
by to happiness."
Then wo talked cn, and I cannot
member what we said, though these w
I have written down remain in my m
partly because of their own weight
in part because of all that came abou
thc after years.
And at last I knew that I must
though wc were sad enough at parting
So I took lier in my arms and kissed
so closely that some blood from my wo
ran down her white attire. But as
embraced I chanced to look up and sa
Fight that frightened mc enough,
there, not five paces from us, stood Sq'
Bozard, Lily's father, watching all,
his face wore no smile.
He had been riding by a bridle pat]
tho watering ford, and seeing a coi
trespassing beneath thc oaks dismour
from Iiis horse to hunt them away,
till ho was quite near did lie lenow wi:
ho came to hunt, and then ho stood f
in astonishment. He was a short, st
man, with a red face and stern, gray c
that 6cemcd to bc starting from Iiis h
with anger. For awhile ho could
speak, but when ho began ab length
words came fast enouglu All that he s
I forget, but thc upshot of it was that
desired to know what my business i
with his daughter. I waited till ho i
out of breath, then answered him t
Lily and I loved each other well and w
plighting our troth.
'.Is this so, daughter?" he asked.
"It is so, my father," sho answc
Then ho broke out swearing. "y
light minx," he said, "you shall bc wh
ped and kept cool on bread and water
your chamber. And for you, my half b:
Spanish cockerel, know once and for
that this maid is for your betters. H
dare you come wooing my daughter, j
empty pillbox, who have not two silver pi
nies to rattle in your pouch! Go win f
tuno and a name before you tiaro to lc
up to such as she!"
"That is my desire, and I will do
sir," I answered.
"So, you apothecary's drudge, you w
win name and place, will you? We
long before that deed ls dono tho mt
6hull bo safely wedded to ono who 1
them and who is not unknown to ye
"Daughter, say now that you have finish
''I cannot say that, father," she replie
plucking at her robe. "If it is not yo
will that I should marry Thomas hoi
my duty is plain, and I may not wed hil
But I am my own, and no duty can ma
mo marry whero I will not. While Thom
lives I am sworn to him and to no oth
"At thc least you have courage, hussy
said her father. " But listen now. Kith
you will marry where and when I wi
or tramp lt for your bread. Ungratcf
girl, did I breed you to flaunt me to n
face? Now for you, pillbox! I will tea*
you to como kissing honest men's daug
tors without their leave, " and with a cur
he rushed at mc, stick aloft, to thrash m
Then for thc second time that day n
quick blood boiled in mc, and snatchir
up thc Spaniard's sword that lay upon tl
grass beside me I held it at tho point, f
the game was changed, and I who lu
fought with cudgel against sword mu
now light with sword against cudgel. Ar
had it not been that Lily, with a qul<
cry of fear, struck my arm from beneutl
causing the point of the sword to pass ovi
his shoulder, I believe truly chat I shoul
then and there have pierced her fathi
through and ended my days early with
uoosj about my neck.
'"Are you mad?" she cried, "and do yo
think to win mc by slaying my fa thc
Throw down that sword, Thomas."
"As for winning you, it seems thatthui
is small chanco of it, " I answered hotlj
"but I tell you this-not for the sake of a
thc maids upon the earth will I stand t
bc beaten with a stick like a scullion."
"And there I do not biomo you, lad,
said her father, more kindly. "I sec the
you also have courage, which may scrv
you in good stead, and it was unworth
of mc to call you 'pillbox' in my ange)
Still, os I have said, the girl is not for yoi;
so begone and forget her as best you maj
and if you value your lifo never let m
And you two kissing again. And kno^
that tomorrow I will have a word wit
your father on this matter."
"I will go, since I must go, " I answer
cd, "but, sir, I still hope to live to cul
your daughter wife. Lily, farewell til
theso storms arc overpast."
'.Farewell, Thomas," she said, weeping
"Forget mc not, and I will never forge
my oath to you."
Then, taking Lily by the arm, her fathc
led her away.
I also went away-sud, but not alto
gcther ill pleased, for now I knew that i
I had won thc father's anger I had als<
won thc daughter's unalterable love, anc
love lasts longer than wrath, and here o;
hereafter will win Its way at length
When I had gone a little distance, I re
membered the Spaniard, who hud beer
clean forgotten by me in all this lovo am
war, and I turned to seek him and drar.
him to tho stocks, which I should havi
dono with joy and been glad to find sonu
one on whom to wreak my wrongs. Bul
when I came to thc spot where I had lcfl
him I found that fate had befriended him
by thc hand of a fool, for thcro was nc
Spaniard, but only thc villugo idiot, Bill j
Minns by name, who stood staring first at
tho troc to which thc foreigner had been
made fast and then at a pieco of silver in
'.Whero ls tho man who was tied hero,
Billy?" I asked.
"I know not, Master Thomas, " ho an
swered in his Norfolk talk, which I will not
set down. "Hulf way to wheresoever ho
was going, I should say, measured by tho
puce at which ho left when once I had sat
him upon his horse Lawks, but ho was
glad to be gone! How he did gallop!"
"Now, you arc a bigger fool even than I
thought you, Billy Minns," I said in an
ger. '"That man would have murdered
me. I overcamo him and made him fast,
and you have let him go."
"He would have murdered you, master,
and you made him fast! Well, ho's gone,
and this alone is left of him." And ho
spun thc piece into the air.
Now, seeing that there was reason In
Billy's talk, for tho fault was mine, I
turned away without more words, not
straight homeward, for I wished to think
alone awhile on all that had como about
between me and Lily and her father, but
down thc way which runs ocross thc hmo
to tho crest of the Vineyard hills. Theso
hills are clothed with underwood, in which
large oaks grow to within somo 2U0 yards
of this house where I write, and this un
derwood is pierced bypaths that my moth
er laid out, for sho loved to walk hero.
Ono of these paths runs along the bottom
of tho hill by the edge of tho pleasant
river Woven ey and thc other a hundred
feet or more above and near tho crest of
the slope, or, to speak more plainly, thcro
is but one [lath, shaped like tho letter O,
placed longitudinally, tho curved ends of
the letter marking how thc path turns
upon the hillside.
Now, I si ruck the path at tho end that
is farthest from this houso and followed
that half of it which runs down by tho
river bank, having thc water on one sido
of lt und tho brushwood upon thc other.
Along this lower path I wandered, my
eyes fixed upon tho ground, thinking deep
ly as I went, now of tho Joy of Lily's lovo
and now of tho sorrow of our parting and
of her fal lier's wrath, and my eyes fell
upon footprints iii tho wet sand of the
pnth. One of them was my mother's. I
could have sworn to it among a thousand,
for i!?o other woman in these parts had so
delimite a foot. Close to it-, as though fol
low big after, was another that ut first I
thought must also have been made by a
woman-lt was so narrow. But presently
I t?avr that this could scarcely bc, becauso
of itfi length, and, moreover, that tho boot
which left it was like none that I know,
being cut very high nt the Instep Mid very
pointed at tho toe.
Then of a sudden it came upon me that
tho Spanish stranger wura such boots, for
I had noted them while I talked with him,
and that his feet were following those of
my motlier, for they had trodden on her
track, and in some places his alone had
stamped their impress on tho sand, blot
ting out her footprints.
Here t ivy were mixed one with another,
as though the two had stood close togeth
er, moving now this way and now that in
struggle. I looked up the pal h. hut there
wen; none. Then I east round about like
a beadle, first .idegg. Oe river sid". t'"m
up thc Dunk, iicro they were- again, ana
mado by feet that flew and feet that fol
lowed. "Up tho bank they went 50 yards
and more, now lost where the turf was
sound, now seen In sand or loam, till they
led to thc bolo of a big oak and were once
more mixed together, for here the pursuer
had como up with thc pursued.
Despairingly as ono who dreams, for
now I guessed all and grew mad with fear,
I looked this way and that till at length
1 found moro footsteps-those of tho Span
iard. These were deep marked, as of n
man who carried somo heavy burden. I
followed them. First they went down tho
hill toward tho river, then turned asido to
a spot whero tho brushwood was thick.
In the deepest of thc clump thc boughs,
now bursting into leaf, were bent down
ward as though to hide something beneath.
I wrenched them aside, and there, gleam
ing whitely in thc gathering twilight, was
tho dead face of my mother!
TnOMAS SWEARS AX OATH.
For awhile I stood amazed with horror,
6taring down at thc dead faco of my be
loved mother. Then I stooped to lift her
and saw that she had been stabbed, and
through thc breast-stabbed with the
sword which I carried in my hand.
Now I understood. This was thc work
of that Spanish stranaer whom I had met
os he hurried from the placo of murder,
who, because of thc wickedness of his heart
For awhile I atood amazed with luyrror.
or for 6omo secret reason, had striven to
slay mc also wheo he leurned that I was
my mother's :: m. And I had hold this
devil in my power, and that I might meet
my May I had suffered him to escape my
vengeance whereas had I known the truth
I woidd have dealt with him as the priests
of Anahuac?cnl with the victims of their
gods. I understood and shed tears of pity,
rage and shame. Then I turned and fled
homeward like one mad.
At the.doorway I met my father and my
brother Geoffrey riding up from Bungay
market, and there was that wrltton on my
face which caused thurn to ask ;u>with one
"What evil tiling has hnppcncd?"
Thrice I looked at my father before I
could speak, for I feared lest the blow
should kill him. Hut speak I must ot last,
though I chose that it should be to Geof
frey, my bri it her. "'Our mother lies mur
dered yonder on thc Vineyard hilL A
Spanish man has done the deed Juan de
Garcia by name." When my father heard
these words, his face became livid os
though with pain of thc heart, his jaw fell,
and a low moan issued from his open
mouth. Presently he rested his hand upon
tho pommel of the saddle, and lifting his
ghastly face he said:
''Where is this Spaniard? Have you
"No, father. Ho chanced upon me In
crubswcll, and when he learned my nome
ho would have murdered mc. But I played
quarter staff with him and beat him to a
pulp, taking his sword. "
"Aye, and then?"
"And then I let him go, knowing noth
ing of thc deed he had already wrought
upon our mother. Afterward I will tell
"You let him go. son? You let Jean de
Garcia go! Then, Taenias, may the ourse
of God rest upon you fill you And him and
finish that which you began today."
"Spare to curso mo, father, who am ac
cursed by my own conscience. Turn your
horses rather and ride for Yarmouth, for
there his ship lies, and thither ho has gone
with two hours' start. Perhaps you may
still trap him before he sets sail."
Without nnother word my father and
brother wheeled their horses round and de
parted at full gallop into thc gloom of tho
They rode so fiercely that, their horses
being good, they came to tho gates of Yar
mouth in lit tle moro than 1% hours, and
that is fast riding. But the bird waa
flown. Tliey tracked him to tho quay and
found that he had shipped awhile before
in a boat which was in waiting for him
and passed to his vessel, which lay in the
roads at anchor, but with thc most of her
canvas set. Instantly she sailed and now
was lost in the night. Then my father
caused notico to bc given that ho would
pay a reward of 200 pieces in gold to any
ship that would capture thc Spaniard, and
two started on thc quest, but they did not
find her that before morning was far on
her wuy across thc sea.
At length the morning carno, and with
it my father and brother, who returned
from Yarmouth on hired horses, for their
own were spent. In tho afternoon also
news followed them that tho ships which
had put to sea on thc track of tho Span
iard had been driven back by bad weather,
ha vi na seen nothlm/
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