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THE ROCK ISLAND AKLruo, xiu , .MA x ll,
... - j.
Clinton Ven-all. a travels, hear from
Hustspha of a mysterious country beyond
th Caucaalan range. They are carried
by an avalanche Into this mysterious
country. Mustapha Is killed, and VerraU
la captured by Captain CRyan.
O'Kyan serves the klnc of Drussenland.
who la at war with Princess Darla, whose
soldiers capture O Ryan and Verrall. Ver
raU meets the princess, who Is beautiful.
Prompted by O'Ryan, Verrall claims to
be the expected Knight of the Silver Star,
who Is to aid the princess and find a treat
treasure. Verrall discovers an enemy la
Kllllnr prisoners Is a custom In Drus
senland. Verrall Is accepted as the knight
Vasca plots to defeat him In a lance tour
nament. Drusseniand's people have pro
(Teased no further thaa the time of the
Verrall challenges Vasca. Darla s"rea
Verrall her handkerchief as a token. Ver
rall unhorses the count and wins. The
king's forces attack. Darla's army, led
by Vasca, drives the klnc's forces to
Yadasara. VerraU suspects Vasca of
VerraU. piqued by Darla's Indifference,
courts Lady Aldrlda. He and she plead
with Darla for the lives of prisoners.
VerraU Incenses Darla by displaying the
Darla disgraces Verrall. but through
Jasar. her confidant, arranges a secret
meeting. Verrall begs her pardon.
The piir.cess tells him he will be tn
great peril If she saves the prisoners and
insists that he make her a public apology.
V.'hlle on guard before her door be Is at
tacked. Verrall kills the would be assassin, but
la wounded. He suspects that the plot Is
Vasca'a work. Verrall shows the princess
tt.at he loves her.
HE princess' face
nothing that night. She re
reived me very graciously,
would not let me kneel to
hrr. I?ut there was something In her
manner which made me feel that the
hopes whi-h had grown up in my
tifart so quickly that day -were luxu
riant weeds, fit only to te cut down.
Fbe would not lot me talk much about
what had happened In the city.
"We are in perilous times," she said.
"But you must be fhy prisoner still.
You are not yet able to brave dan
pcrs. Mere you are safe. Get strong
again quickly. Sir Verrall, for I hare
need of you."
And so she dismissed me.
Princess Darla had a garden. The
only entrance to It was from her suit
of apartments. Hlph walls surround
ed It., and there was no fear of pry
ing eyes. Here T was privileged to
walk or lie at full length in the shade
of ome tree, fining' my lungs with
"J TOOK BIB
HAND ASI KISSED IT PA9-
new health at every breath. Here
Jasar and I talked, and the princess
joined us, staying only a little while
at first, but afterward longer. She )
talked of plans for the future. My
friends were so few that It was lxn- i
possible for me to stand unless some- ,
thing could be devised against my i
enemies. Truth to tell, my friends
sud enemies troubled me little just j
then. I was too happy to fear the
future, for the princess became each '
day less a princess and more a worn- ;
an. I lived In the present. I told j
them something of my country, of j
London, of railroads and telegraphs
sad of many thiuts which In Drus-'
svnland had never been beard of. j
"You tell of strange things. Sir Yer
. rail." Jasar said. "But because the
people In Drussenland are supersti
tious and legend lTlng you most not
think that we are all ready to believe
tales so far beyond all possibility.
"I speak the truth. There are even
more marrelons things that I bare not
told yon of."
"Her highness lores not supersti
tion and has no fear of disasters which
the priests prophesy. We know that
no miracle brought you lato our land
and that to account for your coming
you used a legend to save yourself.
Why seek to deceive us who are tout
friends r j
"Yes, friends.' said the princess j
I was inclined to be angry, but a
moment's reflection told me how im
possible my tales must seem to them.
"Indeed, there is no deceit." 1 an
swered. "Thlnps ir as I hav told
you In my couutry. Beside, my com
ing wan somewhat of ml rack-, sod
it was not I who claimed to be the
Xfiected . knight, remember. It was t
Copyright. 1907, by R. F. Fenno & Co.
O'Ryan who suggested it. and the
priests believed It"
Then I told them how I came Into
Drussenland. beginning with the tale
that poor Mustapha told that night.
"Tell me the history of Drussenland,"
Jasar told it to me. hurrying through
the legendary part, dilating fully on
that which was known to be true. The
Drussenlanders were the descendants
of a great army gathered from all the
nations of the world so Jasar said
which was led into a country beyond
the hills to fight for the true religion.
Year after year this army, constantly
recruited, fought with varying success,
and at last came peace. Some return
ed home again; some remained in the
land of their warfare, took wives of
the daughters of the land, and wan-
i dered forth to find a city to dwell in.
So they had come to Drussenland. and.
as the years passed, became a great
people. This was the legendary part
which Jasar said mig"ht have some
truth in it
To me it seemed clear. These peo
ple were descended from the survivors
of the last crusade.
Ever and again the princess would
lead me to consider my present posi
tion. No ancient history could help
me in that -
"The days pass swiftly." he said.
"You are almost strong now. The
priests clamor for action, and the peo
ple cry with them. What are we to
"Jasar suggested a way out of the
difficulty," 1 answered "My death
would relieve your highness of much
"It Is no rime to talk folly. It !s
time to act," was all she sal.l to me.
The princess told me that she needed
knights with strong arms and strong
courage. She said the priests were
loyal to her apart fr my cause. Aft
er a long con versa t .-.' I suggested to
her that I would attend the nest coun
cil and tell the members that her en
emies should be defeated. I volun
teered to go to Yad:isara as a spy. The
princess was apprehensive of such a
scheme, but I soon rellevedher fears.
I told her I hoped to place her on tht
throne. and when she asked me what I
expected as a reward I answered her
In a language that love dictated. She
understood. Then she asked my name.
When I told her it was Clinton Verrall
it pleased her.
"It Is the name of the man who wor
ships you," I whisiered, and I took her
hand and. bending low. kissed It pas
sionately. I dared not touch her lips.
Just then Jasar came in and told
the princess that the count was asking
for her. She gave me her hand and
said: "Be brave for my sake tomor
For my sake return fmm Yada- j
sara Then she left me.
The council was fixed for the after
oon. It was an unusual time, but the
princess had so ordered it The moment ;
I entered the hall I felt equal to any ;
emergency, uanger nung in me air,
and my courage rose to meet it
I mounted the steps and took my
place as near to the princess' chair as
possible. I endeavored to bold my own
firmly but courteously, neither mak
ing myself too prominent nor seeking
to escape observation. I was not a
prisoner aoout to pieaa ror mercy, out
a man prepared to hurl defiance In the j
teeth of a crowd incensed against me. j
Vasca stood beside t,he chair and to ;
him I bowed. Then I turned to the ;
chief of the priests and bowed to him
Purposely. I think, the princess did
not keep the council waiting. I had
taken my place only a few moments
when the curtains were drawn, and
she stepped to her seat She shot one
swift glance at me so swift that I
doubt if any other noticed tt She
bowed proudly as a roar of voices wel
comed her, but she looked pale and
"It has ever been our custom In
Drussenland to let even a prisoner
speak an answer to bis accusers." It
was a relief to hear her voice break those who sin? I rejoiced at the
the silence. She spoke softly, yet so knight's coming, so is my sorrow keen
clearly that she must have been beard : er that be bas made bis mission of
even in the farthest comer. "In these
days, however, it bas pleased certain
of our subjects to speak bitterly of one
who fs not a prisoner one who came
to ns and was welcomed by us as a
knight long expected In our land. The
Judgment that be was what he has
claimed to be rested not with us. Wis
dom greater than ours declared bis
coming to be propitious to our state,
and In arms be has borne himself cal-
lctly, as many a valiant warrior can
here attest. Yet some among us have
spoken bitterly of him, and more
have. In their hearts, condemned him
without a hearing. That la Indeed in
justice. "But worse offense baa been com
mitted. In our own palace, at our very
door, was this knight attacked while
he guarded our person. If the assas
sin's knife were raised against us,
then truly we and all our loyal sub
jects owe this knight thanks for his
'protection of us. If, as some affirm,
the attack was made upon the knight,
then are there some among ns whom
it would be well to stamp out, since
for lack of courage they seek to mur
der and are no true Drussenlanders.
We know that the hand which held
the knife was not the hand of him
who devised the crime. The tool paid
dearly for his part, and so In good
time shall they who planned and who,
to screen themselves from our anger,
silenced forever the guards who could
have betrayed them. Now we are
here not to Judge, nor of our wish is
this council called together. It la by
the wish of the knight you have ac
cused; not all of you, but some. Only
vaguely has he heard the charges
brought against him, and. since there
can be no steady answer to vague ru
mor. It is our will that you who have
aupht to say speak and that the knights
shall answer you. You who listen,"
BE HONEST 1EN, NOT FOOLS OW PASSION.
and she swept her arm round tw .
elude every upturned face in the ball
"you who listen pive a patient bear
Ing. We seek not to guide you, but
be honest men. not fools of passion to
be led by every one who tries to move
you. Be Drussenlanders, not wretches
making otir street corners dangerous,
men ready to creep in the dark and
stab from behind. I have gloried In
that I am your princess, gloried in the
brave hearts I rule, gloried In your
j deeds, have been proud to cry to the
whole world that I am a princess in
j Drussenland, but show me that you
j are cravens, men afraid to meet their
enemy face to face, and I will fling
this polden circle of my sovereignty
among you. Make whom you will
your ruler. I should think it shame to
call suh men my subjects."
.For a moment there was silence:
then a murmur ran through the hall
and thpn a eTeat roar. Khp had touch-
e(1 them Dexterously she had naved
j the way for me.
"You. our priests, have somewhat
against the knight." she said when the
Bhoutlntr hart as(Hl
and you. our
oyal tnlgbts. Speak
you. Sir Verrall. answer honestly, so
Justice shall be done."
She looked first at the chief of the
priests, then at Count Vasca and then
The priest began to speak in a rather
singsong tone, as though be wtre re- i
citing a lesson be had committed to .
"The expected knight was to do
many things tn Drussenland," he said.
"He was to bring peace and plenty
into it That he (should be mighty tn
achievement I believed, but with that
I have nothing to do. My office hln- i
ders me from wielding a sword, and.
though my heart may leap at the sight
of brave deeds. I can have no part In
them. My oiflce Is to watch over the
sacred things of this land, to punish
those who bring our great religion Into
disrepute, giving occasion to 4hose of
lesser Intellect to revile and turn the
God we worship Into a Jest
"Your highness has broken a law.
and therefore your people bare bro
ken a law. Think you peace and
plenty shall be poured Into the laps of
For him punishment
awaits at the band of him who sent
him. Our duty Is not to delay his go
ing. If it be so willed thst as be
came miraculously so miraculously
can be be taken from ns. then It shall
be. But death la the only means we
mortals know of by which be can re
turn. Therefore by death should we
seek pardon for ourselves. I would
my words could take a happier tone.
If my eyes are blinded, if 1 have not
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read our laws aright, then power will
be granted to the knight to Increase my
wisdom. I wish not to condemn htm
unheard. It Is not 1 that condemn him
it is our religion which does so."
"For my own part. I had rather re
main silent." said Count Vasca. "It
may seem envious In me to seek to
condemn a knight who In tournament
has met me honestly and in the field
has fought valiantly. Indeed. I speak
only for the many as chief of the
knights who attend your highness."
"That we know. Sir Vasca," said the
princess, looking fixedly at him.
She did not take her eyes from him
while he spoke. Perhaps be saw dis
trust In them, for, after beginning so
humbly, he went on bitterly enough:
"The priest has spoken of the laws.
With them I have nothing to do. but,
since the priests and I have been of
ten at variance, in that we are agreed
in this matter proves the justice of
our complaint The knight was to ac
complish two things with which I am
concerned to place your highness on
the throne in Yadasara and to find a
treasure that should bring plenty to
our land. I blame not that these
things are not.yet accomplished, but
that nothing has' been done. We are
at present a divided country, and
whichever side finds the treasure wins
also the throne in Yadasara. These
fonhrn dogs the king bas brought Into
this land would leave him tomorrow
were they paid for doing so, and there
are hundreds of men In this city who
would march to Yadasara tomorrow
were the treasure In the king's bands.
The time is ripe to win or to lose, for
success or rebellion. They expected
much of Sir Verrall's coming. They
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Enndl oif Sojunnnnmeir
believe they are a6orm-i to aisappoiut
ment, therefore they csy out Though,
as a true Drussenlander. I have no
pity for those who attacked the knight
when be stood your highness' senti
nel, still I afilrni that he has only him
self to blame. If he Is the expected
knight let him fulfill his mission; If
not let him answer for the lie whl?b
made us give him welcome."
A murmur of approbation sounded
through the halL Then nil eyes turn
ed toward me. I found courage In
the look that was In the princess' eye9
as she turned to me,
"I am accused of breaking a law or
of causing your highness to break it."
I said. "It is true. That 1 succeeded.
though with difSculty, as you, who j
heard me make my petition, know j
well, is the greatest good I have ac- 1
complished since I have been In Drus
senland. I will tell you why. Your
priest said if he had Judged amiss I
should have power to Increase his
wisdom. That power I have, 1 wlsn
him power to understand, and not
only the priest, but all you who hear
me. From whence I came you do not
know. You have a legend which you
look to be fulfilled, and at my coming
you welcomed me. Think you fulfill
ment comes . exactly as men expect?
The priests have wisdom, and they
prophesy, but I came into Drussen
land from a more enlightened country,
where the wisdom of your priests
would be but as the idle prattling of
a child. This law of yours that pris
oners of war shall be slain was
framed when men knew little of him
they worshiped. This be bids me tell
you that to kill men as you would
f kill your prisoners Is murder. In that
the priests prophesy disaster to this
lsnd because that law is broken tbey
err most grievously. I prophesy peace
for this land if you let mercy rule yon
rather than vengeance. I fear noth
ing of what you can do to me. Death!
What Is It? A moment In time that
sends me to a life of rest But I have
a mission, as every true man bas. and
If In living I cannot fulfill it it shall
be fulfilled In dying. That Is my an
swer to your priests. They err from
ignorance. I have been given power
to speak wisdom to them. Let them
beware how they shut their ears to
the voice that speaks the truth.
"Count Vasca'a . accusation Is of a
different kind. I have not yet placed
your princess on the throne In Yada
sara. I have not yet found the treas
ure hidden la this huid. But he bas
made a graver accusation, not apalnst
me. but against you. What men are
they who hold loyalty so IlKhtly. who
care so little who reipns over them,
who grumble so loudly and who
would bo readily march to Yadugara
to fight against her highness? Who
are they? Speak! In her highness
name. I promise pardon to any man
who confesses to disloyalty. No an
swer? What! Are we n strangely
divided that in this ball only loyal
subjects lind a place? Are all the
murmurers without? Keiuember, the
count accused you. not 1. I have
fought tfeside some of you. 1 have
witnessed many of you do, gallantly.
I have more faith in you than the
And then, . turning quickly to the
princess, I added:
"These are honest men. your high
ness, but they feared to
The rafters rang again. I bad be
come an orator to some purpose.
"You see. Count Vasca, you were mis
taken. Why. when the enemy fled
across the river the other day were we
not led to follow them? ' You are a sol
dier. You know why. The time was
not ripe. It would have been to court
defeat We knew not at what point
the city was letst defended. Neither
is the time ripe for the finding of the
treasure, but it ripens."
"Any knight could speak so. We ex
pect deeds, not words, from Sir Ver
rall," he answered.
"You have forced me to words. Mark
you not" and I spoke to those in the
hall "mark you not bow the twn
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things go together? To set the prin
cess ou the throne la Yndiisani and to
find a treasure. At the sword's point
must one be accomplished. Is it not
the sword's point which shall unlock
the hiding place of the other? Your
treasure lies hidden where only knight
ly deeds can win it Your treasure Is
valueless until the foreigner Is driven
from the land. Where think you a
trensure would most likely He In Drus
senland? Where but in the greatest
stronghold the In ml coutains in the
fortres of Yadasara?"
Again the rafters rang. The knights
shouted as ncxxl knight will shout at
the promise of conflict Even the
j priests forgut to scowl und listened,
j "Here sire swords in plenty. Lend us
i to victory!" So Hie knights shouted,
i and 1 knew that the greatest danger ,
i was over.
I will do more. t said. "Threedays
hence 1 will go to Yadasara. I will en
ter the city nDd spy om Its wenkness
that Is. If her hignii gives me learo
The count's Hp curled.
"You will not return." be said.
I shall. Count Vasca. 1 shall return
to lead loyal rii'u to victory."
I turned to face the now excited
crowd. I spread out my arms, and I
cried to tbem:
"Sir knights, loyal men of Drussen
land. have I answered my accusers?
Shout your trust In we. or. If there Is
no truft see here I stand unarmed,
draw your weapon tsnd ulay me."
, I had played a bold game. It nad
served me well. I had won.
(To be Continued.)