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Mitt lUHUilMU'OV mv IMiiSS I'llllMMW DUCK M liWK I 1 nJ.
T0JO0O0!t-OO1O0-0" t j i u .OXO O u o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o lo : O OS1 THE HOUSE. 0E ISSTENS. 'A Py Sir rTArlarjan listen, Cadi t of a Great 17onsc, Knight of tlx lioyat Order of Wasxmark and Cfnc, Time Ilmhnstiudor to the Court of Uliurhs I of England. MADE INTO A ROMANCE BY TIIEODORE ROBEHTS. Copyright, 1000, by American Press Association. nl(W.n.I.fn.n0D000000000!!-000OVO0OX-000:lid o p0PiOOOOOO'St-0OtOSOOOOOOOOOOXOOOOie Tin? tai.i. noimrut at tssrrwi. For a ti v bi'condri I wns totally nt n loss 1 1 know why I was i 1 1 i in tho diti.li with turn garments nnd bloody lnindn, Thmi I remembered the skir mish with the robbers, the lint chaso mid tho stumble. That lmd till hujijioned bv starlight. It was bright morning tl. w Tho ditch in which I found myself was ono my father's men had finished di ln ' a few days before lei drain off t (,'rtnt flwniiip of Isstens. There wan i ii . h water in the bottom of it to li'ii;- tin s. at of my riding breeches tJciidedlv damp and to cnmpli'tely cool n. spin n. 1 crawled stiffly out into Hi. "rass, nnd there to my vnst satis faction found my sword. I took it up, wiped the iniiocput moisture of dew fn n tho blade and turned to my left teward the creat house, of Isstens. It was b '1' in tho mine house and t rtsthet irv ancestors hnd lived since tin rv 1 ginning of tho kingdom of Was l virk. All the land, meadow and swamp, if It nnd for. st, to the amount of ten in i ir. l.jihs. had been given to one l uo t . I--t. in by the(ir.-t king of the h ni.try The word Isstens, a learned Kict.'r once told mo, st',od in somooraBV 0 i f rtt"ii language for sworder or i v , i in ( Inn th.i Isiitens, with rock from his iwn ( larrios. built tho hoilfcp, and from 1 t day to this whereon 1 writo bin 1 'cendnnts have lived in it. I brok'1 tlirnuili a shnggy hodgo of fir n.i went up the wide nvenjuo of beeches. 3.s-mg it great gate, all ribbed with Ir n and piorci d with musket holes, I in p 1 th" courtyard. The main door )f thi house st oil before mo ten paces jrith three shields above it. Thee lib st and least skillfully oxe mtt 1 i f tin io shields bore a long 1111 M. 1.11,, sword and undernenth strange yttteiHanl marks partly obliterated by tain nn 1 mm. The ne.it, which was itscr than either of tho others and only hrn centuries old, boro a coat of eight jnurterings with tho old two handed )v ird for crest set np on my parents' V 1 lin- day. Its gold was hardly tar Si b-'d, and its gules and azure Hazed bravely It 1 .ro the arms of my moth r s family, tho great D'Artagans of Ki ruiandy. Can you wonder that Harry, my eld ?r briber, and I wero as proud as tho dry d. vl lli ,t Ibavogivcn thoslip to my story, tr -iu'i all the arms and family history with trio much of my native pride. Par ill n ; 1 am not yet old enough to be jioilest. - I Upon entering tho dining hull I , oui;l Harry, Visconnt Isstens, in my 1 latlier'B great chair with bis head iwathcd in bandages. I "Hello, Dart!" ho cried, speaking as 1 w 11 as hi conld through the rags. "Half tho household is out hunting for ym." I embrace d him and sat down ton tin it pio that invited mo from tho la 1 . "Whcro havo yon been, old hot- j V (d 1" asked Hurry. ! "I spent tho night in tho ditch and put out of it about 12 minutp.s ago," I unsworn!, hunting about for a decanter. He laughed as loudly as ho could cciisideriuc; hie hfrcdgear. "You made a longer run than I did, , nnd it is a pity yon did not catch your D ill. Tact is" hn sighed and rubbed fais bead "ono of tho rascals clubbed ni in tho avenue." I miii n it a nian to talk much when I ir i lnuigry. but I pan.sed with the wine jlaus half way to my lips and asked yJiatth'iclnbhingnmnnnted to. "Noth tig but a Hwolleu bead and a lsoso jol li. ' h ' answered. Tli ro was silence after that until I joshed my plato away and Hhoved back lij rbair. "Wo will po out and see tho prisoner now, he is down in tho cellar," said aiy brother. I noticed my sword, and a I always like to havo it in my room t put it uudcr my arm, so that I might lake it up with nie alter inspecting the capture 1 robber. An wn went along ll'irry tnll'ea aliout tho fight. Ho told b iw ear father had run eino of them Ihrom h behind the stables; how old fMerrn had shot another; hn wounded brio, and Paul and Hed Harding caught Hieir Under. "And tho threo yon went after got away, " be said. I 'grinned soberly at this. "T1 o of them aro bagged sum hiourIi, my Lord Harry," I answered. "Tho first is in tho end of the great ilitrh, with a sword cut to sleep with, imd the second got in tho way of a pistol ball at tho end of the patch they aro plowing up in the swamp." Harry clapped 1110 on my mud stained back. "Yon old firo eating cadet I" bo cried, hia gray eyes dancing. Wo felt very will satisfied with ourselves, for Iheeo lobbeiB were 0110 of tho crudest and boldtnt bands in tho nqrthern mountains, but when wo arrived at that part of tho cellar in which tho prisoner bad been bound onr joy turned to chagrin. Tho man had gono clean Bs u gray wolf out of a pit. "Dart, this is a frightful mess we nro in," muttered the viscount, "for es snro as death ho will have bis whole tribe on us hot foot." "Perhaps ho is still nenr," I ven tured. "Let us hunt for him. I will ftay hero whilu yon get your swerd und pistols," Ho was U'.ed to being treated in this manner, nnd with a grnnt sped off to arm himself. Ho had hardly loft the cellar when the tallest man I ever saw leaped at nie over a bundle of fagots. I gnvo way sharply, for a boy of 20 yoars is not as cool as a soldier of 20 lights. He cut at me with a club marlo from ono of our own fagots. I ducked iny head, slipped and sprawled forward between his legs, at tho same tinio dropping my rapier. Tho robber tried to spring away toward tho pasr.go lead lngjo the courtyard, but I caught his 0O-O-O0T o-;roo ' j o OMj ma o o o--'. -ro I nnkle ami lipid mi. Down ho enmc on top of 1110 with all his weight. Things looked very had. for tho sprightly D'Artagan of Isstens. Hut as he stared at me as if not knowing what to do, Harry returned and pmoto him across the poll with the butt of a pistol, (living vent fo a bull-like roar, the tnll iiinn arose, knocked Harry spinning with his fist and escaped into tho courtyard. CHAPTER II. Till! NK1UT ATTACK. What a rumims there was when Baron Is?ton, the baroness nnd tho servants returned and found us shaken and bloody and the prisoner escaped I Our mother bad hystprics before sho had done with kiring me, but our fa ther swore a big oath and rushed out, to order "boot and saddle." The gaping niensnrvants followed him, and Harry Btarted np. "My boy, you cannot go!" cried our beautiful mother, her face stained with blood from bis bruised lips. "1 havo to go, lady mother. Iain not hurt," ho answered over his shoulder as he ran from the room. 1 buckled on my sword belt and clashed homo my good blade. "You ton?" she moaned. IJut thcrp was 11 flnb of piide in her eyes that we wero both true sons. "1 must, mother, to look after our gentlemen of title, to sen tint they come to no harm," 1 laughingly re plied. Then I bent (I went a little over sis feet even at that ago) and kissed tho pale upturned face. In nnother minute 1 was climbing into the s-iddlo and straightening my pistol holders. .Six of us clattered out and down tho long avenue. The afternoon was well bogun and the air was warm. Wo saw two of our men carrying a body out of tho ditch. It was the robber 1 bad run thiongh 011 the previous night. Wo could see a gleam of rod sash and metal belt where nnother lay on the fre-di turned furrows. Spreading out into tho fields that bordered the road we beat every cover, but no giant mountaineer could we find. Harry, because of the beat, had polled the bandages from bis face, leav ing the blue lump 011 his forehead and the swollen jaw exposed to view. When tho dusk of evening and tho chill mist from the swamp bad over taken 11s and not until then did my fa ther order a return wo wheeled silent ly on the wide road and cantered back toward tho honso of Isstens. "We will break np their nest, Dart, boy, as soon as tho crop- aro in," said my. father, laving his hand on my knee as wo swung nlong. I "I only want tho chanco to charge 1 into them," I answered, "Imt tbepeas- I ants say that they aro many and well armed." j ! "Yes, and every man of them has innocent blood on his hands and is an outlaw from his country, whatever land that may be, for they come from every where, but we are true subjects of our king and noblemen of Wayjimark. I think if wn call in tho foresters wo will , break tlm." j He put ont his other band and pressed ' Hurry's shoulder. Little things liko this meant much from the Ilaroii Isstens. When we gained tho courtyard, they were awaiting us anxiously with Inn terns and candles. In tho ball our ' mother unbuckled our sword belts. First her husband's, then Harry's, then mine. It was queer to see her pull loose tho great buckles and drag tho clanging scabbards aside, him was smiling all tho while with tho joy of our return, nnd the father stood with a broad grin on his shaven lips, and his eyes follow ing every move she made. That night we had supper in the lit tle tapestried parlor oft the dining hall. There were six of us around the table. My mother sat at the tea urn (rather an uncommon pieco of table plato in those days) and my father at the round of beef at the other end. Mistress Sarah Lyons, the widow of an English officer who bad been slain in Wassmark, and my mother's right hand in all house keeping matters, snt beside Hurry, nnd opposite them senrred old Lieutenant Red Harding and your bumble cadet. Hud Harding was 11 peasant by birth, but had done sneh good service as a soldier to tho hoiiso of Isstens that ho had long ago been dnbbed gentleman nnd treated as one. Thongh n raid from tho tnountnin outlaws hung over us, we formed a , t merry pnrty, tho baron drawing out Red Hnrding to tell stories of tho woods nnd peoplo, nnd thu baroness saying all ! manner of witty things. Mistress ' Lyons told 11s tales of England, from which we gathered that the peoplo there nro very strong and brave, eat as muua .if is good for them, dnviK nun Gennnns nnd go to church regularly. Wo could hear now and then a shout of laughter or a burst of song from tho men in tho outer hall. Foresters nnd keepern, shepherds and plowmen had been called in to form a garrison. We uid not tarry over the firo after supper, but retired to our chambers. Harry and I slopt in a turret room that overlooked tho rear walls and n wide field lying ready for the sowing of thu grain. Hare and chill it looked under tho white stars. Wo were tired nnd soro, but nftrr throwing- off our stiff skirted coats, in which it was our habit to sup, nnd putting asidn our lacu collars, wo sprawled in tho window seat and gazed out. Here and thero glimmered tho light of n cottage window. .Unlike some land holders, the Ibstens gave their peoplo lottijges instead of huts and kind words instead of kicks. This was much to onr ndvantago, as you will presently see. Wo had no light in tho room, mid Hurry, who wns three years my senior and had been several times at Ilia ten burg, tho king's city, began talking softly of a court lady ho had danced wit 11. I thought this mighty line, and littuiod with all my ears. He cawo to 1 very touching part. Ho was siiyitit;, "Sho gnvo nie a little strand of lur hair lenniiii! from the conch window, and I kissed lur bund throe times nnd sworn" unci nt that moment wo heard a noiso that would make the starkest lover swear "blue devils." It was the loud roaring of pistols and muskets and the fierce shouts of men. 1 Wo took our swords from their scab bards mid a pistol in each left baud and lied down the stairs. Tho men were nrinlng and mulling forth to support ' the guards, nnd my father wns tearing about in search of his new horse pistols. Upon entering the courtyard wp found Red Hnrding and n handful of men at the great gate and a few stout forester' with boar spears, thrusting tho enemy back from the top of tho wall where it is lowest. "At them I" I shouted, and just then the Inn on passed me with his dags and two handed sword. Wo three opened firo on the black heads bobbing over the wall, and then turned to see how things wero shaping. The noiso of bellowing men and clashing guns wns fearful. "I am glad wo have a garrison," said Harry, "and lots of half pikes and boar spears for the plowmen. " I iKd not ntiswer, for at that moment tbj grfit gate was smashed in nnd a bo'i of burly ruffians plunged through. Without turning to look at them, Red Harding and his men cut and thrust at the oips trying to follow, so wrathfnlly that they gave way, nnd up wi'nt the nnk ngain with a mighty grindstone nnd a keg of iron bolts to hold it. Eight fellows hml entered, however, and these fought with a dash nnd fierceness liko mountain wolves at bay with a very good chance for life, too, for our gar rison could not sparo its numbers from the gates and walls. Harry raised the family warcry "The Long sword I The long sword!" and followed by mo and a half dozpn old retainers ru-hed at them. Them was no loading of pieces in that tussle. It was cut and tlnkist, dodvie and strike, n'ivo and take, with hissiii'.' bruit h and muffled curses. I have never I "en 111010 proud of my brother than I was then Though palo of face, liko a bookman, and more given to writing ballads than bouts with single sticks, he played his lithe rapier blade against their swords and pikes like white lightning For awhile we stood abreast with our men on either side. Tho invaders niaiked our line linen shirts and powdered hair and yelled; "Down with the fine gen tlemen! Down with the fat landhold ers!" Uy this hoping to win our peas ants. "And, thank God, they held tho land!" cried an old herdi r. 1 got my point into a fellow, drop ping him so that tho next could get nt me. Uy tho saints, the man who tool: his place was th" giant of tho cellar. Ho carried n rapier, and with it in his grip woie tho air of a man of breeding. Wo worked back from tho others, wo , two. Ho fenced like a master, but hap pily for 1110 he had been pricked slightly I in the right shoulder. j "I havo the honor of crossing swords with D'Artagan. cadet of listens?" bo asked. "The same," I grunted, parrying a thrust in quarto. I backed slowly. He was certainly my master in skill. Presently 1 gained a little. "Tho chief of robbers, I believe?" 1 queried with fine scorn. "Sir Cadet, yon aro very young and very proud," ho said quietly. "I was onco a very devil at counting quarter inga and riding to hounds myself." I was filled with surprise at the tone of bis voice more than nt what he snid, for any base born fool can lie about his brccdic We Kfirnulrd In the ufndoie sent. yiy wrfsi, was tiring when saw with relief that the members of the at tacking party inside the walls wero nil killed or captured. "Pray surrender, sir; your men aro down," I jianted. Hi! lowered thu point of his sword. "I suriender to as bravo a gentleman, sir, as ever chipped hand to hilt," and bowing like a dancing master ho pre bcntcd his rapier. Harry and bis men came running toward us. "This is my nrisoner. " I cried through the clatter and din, "and tho man that harms him answers thu sword of thu cadet." Tho men turned off to help at tho gates, and Harry said. "Well done, ! brother," and followed them. "Where can I leave you? I must back j to tho light," 1 said hurriedly, "Though I am a man of honor, I beg you to turn a key on me, for form j sake," he replied. lie seemed to tnko his capture cheer fully. Wu entered the house and I in troduced him to one of the larders aim bolted the door on tho outside. Half an hour later thu enemy with' drew, leaving thu courtyard a ghastly placo of hlexid, silent bodies und broken bill, and tho soft dawn showing under tho stars, Tho baron, covered with blood from wounds on his cheek and shoulder, camo into the great hall, where our wounded lay moaning and tho others rested. He dolfed his hat and in his clear voice cried: "Men, I must thank yon from my heart. You havo stood tonight where tho best trained troops in Europe would falter. May Uod give to all the king's peers as hravo a following as ho has to me and my house." He went through tho door to tho in ner rooms amid the loyal cheers of tho garrison, and Harry and I turned to 1 follow him. I "Uod keep tho viscount," cried a big j plowmaut v it i " Phe ! jigs? k .wi, . tit!, oi 'VI v aj;""'. t "Ard tho cadet," sounded a mullled voice from tho birder. CHAPTER III. Tin: K011111-.il c aptun'h UAunttTr.it. In a few days things had talo n on very much their old faces. Five pris oners, being robbers and murderers, were hung, but out of sight of the house. My prisoner, whom wo called "the captain," was kept for ransom. So I told the men, but I doubt, if I would have let him hang under any circumstniices, for he fnseiiiated 1110 strangely. Ho was prisoned in my chamber and fed from our own table. We took him all manner of books, which ho read with pleasure. Harry, who was a wonderful scholar, far be yond anything I could hope for, used to argue with him over Homer and (Jiosar, and sometimes they wrote songs to-' gether. Then they would have me in to hear tho songs, which, I must say, wero very learned and not u littlu un common. Tho crops worn put in and lifo went on ill the cottages and fields, as well aa in tho house, very much as it had be fore the great robber raid. One morning I was seated on,a stono bench half way down tho avenue of beeches, dreaming of things which the captain's scngs had started in my brain, when on raising my head I saw a lass tripping toward me np 1'"-' rind. She was robed in all manner of fine silks, like my mother 011 occasions, and hail wbito gloves on her whiter arms. Merry golden curls fell down from un der the great feathered hat. "Hy the long sword, here conies that court lady after Hairy," I muttered to myself, and straightway rose and bowed, hand on heart in the latest mode. She answered with a lino courtey. "Ale yon the lmd cadet of Isstens, sir?" she aked, gazing sweetly. I con VI sen now that her face was wan and her eyes red from weeping. "1 am the cadet of tho house, ma dame, but without u title. Perhaps it is my brother, the visenini.t, you would see?" I bowed low ufter each word. "Nny, sir. it is the brnve cadet. I hear he captured my lather with his singlo sword, and took him into tho house kindly, as became a gentleman," tho said very softly, looking at mu with wonderful eyes all tho while. "What!" I cried. "Are yon tho rob ber captain'r daughter, lnadnmo?" And I fell to staring at b r like a great frog. Shu flushed haughtily nt that, i "1 am Captain Caitletrio's daughter yes. Does it olfund your eurs, my lord ?" I wns confused woefully. "Do you wnnt to take him away, inadame? Ho is very quiet and is helping my brother write verses," I gasped. The lady laughed merrily at my speech and face. "I would like to havo him, Sir Cadet, but I do not want to mr broth er's rhymes. " I recovered from my confusi i. "Let 11s talk it over. Yon Know ho is a prihoner of war," I said, bowing She einsiri t1 7(i 11 fine cnurteay. her to thu seat. 1 thought to impress Her with the greatness of the favor she asked, so continued, "Tho four other laptivos were hung." She Hashed her eye at me. Because they were common scuni," cried, "do you think they had no souls?" ) don't tliinls they had. madame, foi wcTft rue foulest rogues and mur derers under heaven. The captain is a man of breeding and may not bo u ras cal, after all. At any rat" I havo kept him safe, and we me fund of him now." Her eyes filled with tears. "Oh, forgive me." she cried. "I havo sinned in .speaking so to von. May Uod I ble-s you for your spai'ing hand." The tears sprung to my own eyes nt the words of her forgivenesi'. "It was very little tc do. It was n pleasure," I stammered. Then, "May I tnko you to your father, Mistress Gas tletreeY" She accepted my proffered hand, and together wir went up thu avenue and through thu great gnto of tho houso of Isstens. CHAPTER IV. "nOVOUI-OVK HKlt, VlSTOT'NT?" Can you imagine tho stir all through the house when I ushered in thu cap tain's daughter, splendid in her silks and sunny smiles? Out came my father and bowed like a gallant of 'JO. Out camo my mother and swept the floor witli a grand courtesy, Mistress Lyons cried, "llless her dear Engli-h face!" and kissed her. Ah, thought I, Castletree is an Eng lish name, is it, nnd 1 gracefully pre sented Harry, who could not have coino faster to meet tho court lady whoso hand ho had kissed. I ran and released my prisoner, who camo down and received that littlo form silks and curls, great hat and all into his arms with u cry of joy. Ho told her how kind we had all been to him a foreign outlaw, a lender of rob bersand wu blushed and withed wo had been 'JO times kinder. Then tho maiden was taken oif under my mother's wing, and we men held counsel in tho littlo dining parlor. "I am clear of tho robbers," said tho big captain, "and I swear" ho did in English "that I would plow liko a peasant sooner than return to them." "You are a worthy gentleman, sir," said the baron, "and hww you came to mix and fight witli such dogs I cannot see. ' ' "That my reason for it is a closed jingo of my life, " answered tho Eng lishman. "Enough, my lord, that I was once hnjijiy in my own cnstlu in Devon, with u sweet wife, honor and wealth, and now" And ho burst into tears. Tho sight of n strong man in the agony of weeping is over 11 pain to 1110. When ho recovered himself, my father olfcred him a jiositioii in tho In nsehold, to iii'iko him imd Ml tress Cn th treu of tho family. My heart rose at Unit. , Tho captain looked up proudly. "Can learn our bread, my lord 7 Is there Wurk for 1110 to do?" Tim baron, who was slightly tho elder of the two, took his hand. "There is work, my friend, for n trno gentlpinaii with a trno sword in tho ho.ise of Isstens. Will you swear to ho loyal to this family until this family or siinio member of it is disloyal to you?" "I swear it on my honor," said tho captain. I flipped out nud getting his surren dered sword from my room returned mid placed it in bis hands. "Not this sword," be said. "I will purchase) a new 0110 from tho house of Isstens." And ho broko tho lithu blade across his -kneo and. handed 1110 back the two piece.!. "It was not the sword I used in tho service of my old king. Neither will I use it in tho service of my new lord, tho llnron IssteiiH," ho said, mailing sadly. And tlina tho house of Isstens was iticn r;ied, and life seemed to bo mer rier and mote worth tho trouble inside tho gray old walls. Tho captain know 11 great deal about farming and even morn about weapons and tho drilling of men. Soon all tho peoplo 011 the estate, including old Red Harding, looked up to him with lovo and respect, and some of them whis peied that ho bud been a prince ill his own country. Blithely, liko red petnls blowing from a bush, went the days through May and June. Tho brigands lay close in their mountain fastnesses, evidently crushed by our bravo defense, tho 1 slaughter nt the gates and tho hanging of tho captives. The peasants, returned to their work, tho foiesters and keepers to thu woods, the plowmen and sowers to tho fields, and the young grain was green over the uplands. Captain Castletree was eveiy while. For three days bo tramped about in tho forests with a squad of nxmcn marking thu lumber to be cut for building and where tho underbrush was to bo cleared out for firewood. 1 wondered if ho ever thought of tho Isstens fagot bo had tried so heartily to use over my head. Tlure was a second ditch to bo run through the swamp, and the captain marked the best course for it, and own helped at tho blasting out of rocks witli his own hands And yet a finer and prouder gentleman could not bo found ,11 Wassninrk, where it is said tho no bility cannot bend to pick up their gloves should they happen to fall. It did not take mo many weeks to discover that I was deeply in love with Mistress Castletree. Her other iianio was Marion, which both Hany and I thought very pretty. My brother mada verses about it and read them to us 011 the south terrace. Sometimes my heart iiclud that I, too, could not writo danc ing rhymes to bring smiles to her lips. I looked at Harry through a green light and said all manner of unpleasant things to hint, and for answer lie would only eye me and .smile. One day 1 caught him by tho shoul der wu wero alone and cried, "Do you love her, viscount?" At first I thought he was about to say "No!" but his face changed and ho cried: "Fie, fie, my dear cadet I And what if I do?" "Yes, poor cadet," I hissed. "Oh, but the cadet has a sword, a:td by all the eivils tt is not an easy oue to get beyond!" With horror at my words Ii turned away. Cjnicl: as a flash ho was at my shoulder. 1 "Don't worry, old fire eater," ho said, laughing; "there is some ono in I Dlatenbnrg, you know." And then he! broke off and began to sing. I rushed j after him and craved pardon humbly 1 for my hasty word". Wo went out to-, gether and found Marion on the south1 terrace looking out acroi.s tho valley j with dreamful eyes. ' Harry had a slip of paper in his hand. "Listen to Dart's first poem," he said, tho while 1 stared at him speech less. Ho road: "Sweet or the trolden linll Jlero to your fm-t I lirtnu Sword ami heart ami hanil. Truer thun heart at king. "Know Hint the sword Is lent iron till, this life la (lone Know that my heert Is thine, Sweetest M11I1I Marlon." Hero thu viscount turned and fled, leaving mo gazing at Mistress Castle tree and she at thu sky. Her face was crimson, mid I think mine was too. "liy all thu littlu blue dev" I re membered myself and fled away also. CHAPTER V. thi: Kixn's summons. When I found Harry, ho was con vulsed with laughter, lying on tho conch in onr chamber. I could not chal lenge him to light, so I sprang upon him with my knees and said that I would both writo and read my own jioems in tho future. When next I met Marion, she Unshed her eyes at 1110 in a hniighly way that raised both terror and admiration in my heart. She did not go down to her seat on the south terrace for tbiee days after tho jester jilny of Harry's. How to mend mutters I did not know, though I jiondered over it continually nnd forgot my sword exerciso nnd nil interest in quarter stall'. Hut ono night a jilan dawned ujion me, and I begged Harry to givo 1110 the versos. Ilo did so without questioning, and going uji to my room I scrawled beneath thenr "This is all true; I swear it, though Harry wrote the rhymes. D'Artagan." Then I nut tho minor into her silver cup down in tho dining bull and went nn to bed. Scarcely lmd l got clear ot my beiuts wnen in camo i-iieiuouani Red Harding. "Up, sir, and into saddlo for Blaten burg, at the king's command," and oil ngain to tind Harry, who was some where reading Ciesar. I nulled 011 my riding boots, changed my silk coat for a leather jerkin with steel breastplate, buckled on my sword belt, nnd, lint in hand, clattered down stairs. Harry, Red Harding mid I, with 12 1 horsemen, were to answer tho king's buminous, leaving my father and thu ! caitain with tho rest of tho men to guard tho house. Tho mother camo out to bid us god sjieed, but no Marion; so away wo started on tho !K milorond to the king'ti city. Hairy jested so that the men shook till I thought they would roll from tledr saddles. I did not feel un usually gay. which I think was qtiito natural. While Harry and Rjd Hard- inri chntt d merrily I renin at Ihn non tenant's h ft, sih lit n t i 'bla b f. r live hours on the road, whlili was 111. id to tho fetlock most of tho way, tho dawn broke in front of us. We dis , mounted at n littlu hostel and drained , a cup, while the fellows fed our hirses a bito mid rubbed them dry with hiind fills of straw. I washed Hagart's mouth ont myself, for he is a fine liorso and too good (o bo trusted to every waysldo stable buy Ueforo the sun had rispn n palo width nhove thn fir trees we wero mounted again. Half an hour later we rode into RlntPiiburg, tho king'ti city, nnd by the light on thu viscount's fuco ono might hnvo thought it wns his. Tho streets wero alive, early thongh tho hour was, and armorers had their forges going and the smiths, too for many of tho incoming horses had cast their shoes. Tho great houses, the hur rying people and the bright faces made what seemed to 1110 a wondrous bravo sight. Our lender, Ilnrry, took 11s far inlo tho city, mid there ordered us to dismount nt a big inn not far from thu royal palace. Out of tho saddles wu climbi'd, glad enough to be rid of them. Our horses wero led away, and wu went insido to breakfast. 'Iho landlord took us to the highest table, while a drawer hustled our men in to a spread of limn and beer. "Have you beard anything of tho Ho hemiuns?" asked Harry. "Huron Vossgofl defented them Inst night 1H miles to the north, my lord," answered the fellow, with a broad smile. "Thank Uod!" wo ciied, and drained to the health of Huron YossgolT, Harry, as our captain and represent ative of the house of Isstens, must go P nml report to thu king, but Red Harding and I, belted and spurred, sal lied out arm in arm to view Iho city. I think wo were a fierce looking jinir by the way the other soldiers turned to stare at us. I wore gold across my breast and the mark of the cadet, to gether with thu Isstens' crest 011 my nHi, and Red Harding was bravely 1 trigged out with lace and gold, polished brass and scarlet. Though ladies waved tlnir scarfs to us from the windows and balconies of thu tall houses and ni"u saluted 11s in tho streets, my heart would not away from the gray house of Isstens. When wo returned to the tavern, Hairy was awaiting us. Ilo was most beautifully dressed in satin and luce. Wise viscount to bring his court suit along witli him I It was evening and ho bore news of a great feto in tho jialace and jialacu gurdins, to which all true officers and gentlemen were invited. At this Red Hnrding, who was something of a blado at heart, jiulled a long face. "Uy the devils, viscount, can I go in tliPsn boots?" be gnsiied. The troopers at the doer fell to laugh-, ing at this. Tho lieutenant froze them with a stare, and then he went in to sujiper. lint as feasting would be going on at the palace we did not siiend much time over the tavern beef. I had two men in to rub us up boots, hreastjilates and spurs and Red Harding groaned, "If we can't go look ing liko tho viscount, we will go look ing very much liko the devil." On our way np the hill, which wns jiaved with marble for foot passengers, Harry took an arm of i nch mid snid, "The king hns ordered me to stay with him and use my poor brains in his counsel while the trouble lasts and yon to take thp men and out and ue your good swords against thi; Bohemians. " We saluted. Then Red Harding said, "It is good news, viscount, but it will bo strange without you riding and cut ting between us. " "True!" I cried; then. "Thank God, I hnvo more blado than brains!" When wo reached tho gardens, my rustic eyes were near to jiojijiing oct at tight of all the lights and gay costumes. We passed iuto a magnificent ball, and while 1 was staring about Harry plucked nie by thu sleevo. Thero was a tnll, ruddy man at bis elbow, smiling broadly. "Tho king!" whispered Harry. I dropped on ono knee, flapping lint in hand. "Arise, sir," be said, and, when I wns up, "I hnvo heard much of you from thu viscount hero." Then he said some kind words to Red Hnrding and let us go. We followed Ilnrry through the brilliant throng liko hound pup attur their dam in a new cover. After parading up threo great rooms Hurry halted us in front of a young woman in figuro much liko Marion, but with brown hair and tho most roguish green eyes 1 had over seen. Shu was talking with n tnll cavalier in red and gray, but looked up with a faint run of color over her' brow on onr approach. I nudged Harry, who nodded. "Ho, hoi" thought I. "So this is onr lady of tho coach window our future baroness, Harry presented us and then excused himself, and, with tho grizzled lieuten ant 011 his arm, left me alternately grinning at tho lady and glaring at thu cavalier, who almost immediately bowed and went also. Then tho Lndy St. Arniind moved over nnd bndo mo rest on tho snmo seat. In sjiite of my sword play, my pride nnd my great talk of thu rights of tho cadet (which same, in truth, are no rights at all), 1 wns littlo more than an unpolished rustic, and this honor nearly threw 1110 into a fit. Marion had never asked 1110 to sit beside her 011 tho south terrace. But the lady was so kind and fascinating, liko a rare, bright jewel, that I soon found myself at ease. Now 1 will get even with Harry nnd burn his ships behind him, 1 thought so 1 told her of his littlo story, which bad been interrupted by tho raid of tbo lull men "So tho viscount kises nud tellsl' sho snid, rni.sing her eyebrows. "Not always," I answered. "I onco saw him kiss my mother's maid, but he didn't tell us about it afterward." Sho le.jked at me gayly. 1 could sco at onco Unit sho was jiainfully harp of wit "Yon shock mo, SirCndot sho cried in a feigned voice. "It shocked me, too, nt tho time, or tho same maid would never let mo kiss her," I said. Sho looked demurely at her pointed shoes. "What n strango choice," sho mur mured, "to let thu Viscount Isstens kiss her when the cadet of thu sanio name was within calling I" I know that sho was playing with her meaning hero and that sho intended I should know it So I smiled simply and iLintirked that she would mako ' V '1 Hep: .Wii-, dropped on one hnre, flopping hnt In hand. Isstens a very merry old placo. At this sho blushed, stared haughtily and waved nie off, anil upon seeing Harry coming toward us I backed away. Later, when Red Harding and I were stamping about tho guldens, Harry caino out. nnd pressed my hnnds. j "Thanks, biother, " ho whispered. "1 think wo aro quits now." Then ho laughed merrily, as if his heart had nothing more to say, nnd left us. Tho old lieutcnmit scratched his icnrred cheek. "Alack I" hu cried. "The viscount and the cadet hnvo ogled the Indies and been ogled most lovingly in return, and the Cavalier Red Hard ing has not won so much as a smile." "It is safer so. comrade," I replied, "for a youth is in danger of losing his head before the smiles of women." Shortly after midnight wo left the gay throng, for wo looked to bo well on the road with our men beforo sunrise of thu morrow CHAPTER VI. Tin: captukk ov tick stkanoi: lady. The horses wero saddled by lantern light, and wo wero all mounted before the dawn At the city gates we joined threo other gentlemen, each leading ten horsemen. So together wo made n stont little squad of VI men and five of ficers. Our orders wero to ride until we met Baron Vos.sgotT, who was ex jiecting at nny hour an attack from the second Bohemian army. Tho roads were better than tho ones wo had traveled before; so wo pounded along right mer rily. A few miles out we imssed a regi ment of jiikemen with their officers mounted on shaggy jinnies. They cheered ns wo rode by in tho ditch. Be fore noon we enmo ujion the army, which lay along tho crest of three low tills, awaiting tho Bohemians. After rejiorting to the baron wo sta tioned our men in a goat jiastnro and ordered the jireparation of dinner. The three officers of the private comjianies wu hart ridden along with came to our lire. Two of them belonged to great houses in the went and tho third was a lowly born, well tehted soldier liko Red Harding. Whilu we devoured our Spar tan fare and told of past adventures wo watched company after company of borso, foot and artillery creeji along the road and tako np position to right nnd left. We were dowu a little from the main body of the army, with a thicket of birches in front of us, but jiresently camo noise of a disturbance and rumor that onr scouts and out pickets were riding in, many of them wounded. Then tho bugles began all along tho line, fiercest on the hill to our left, whero most of tho cannon wero limited. Red Harding filled n flagon with wine 1 to tho brim and got to his feet. "My lords, as the olde-t officer in our circle, with most scars on my body, I jiledgo the war cup. To onr country and our king! To tho glory of the houses we servo and to ourselves!" he shouted, and, tipping tho cup, drained it. 1 Nothing about "To tho glory of God I nnd tho saints." which is but a juior excusu for blowing out men's brains and cutting oil' their heads: but wo lifted ourswerds and sworo to tight liko loyal men, and thu troopers cheered. No sooner wero wo in onr saddles than tho guns of the enemy began to jiop and our cannon and culverins to answer. A richly accontered cavalier rode uji and saluted us. Wo sainted in I return with drawn swords. "The general's compliments, nnd bo begs you to fall in behind Do Audrey's lancors on tho left of tho princo's dragoons. " j Hero was honor, for these wero the picked horsemen of tho kingdom. Wo saluted again, and ho rode 011. I "Though wo aro free companies, nn ! der none but Uod and the king," cried I, standing in my stirrups, "let us , mako Viscount Von Brum our colonel i till tho fight bo over, that wo may , wheel and chargo with one mind Tho others agreed, mid on Brum thanked us and rode to the head of tho squad. Wo found Do Audrey's lancers nnd took np our position without delay. Thero were so many broad backs and big spears in front that I could see no more of tho enemy than if I had been home at Isr-tens, but hearing them was nnother matter. Our 10 fellows wero nrnied with swords nnd jiistols and a few with car bines. I had tho baron's horse pistols in my holsters and my raider in jdaco of a saber. Red Harding wore his broad sword nnd cairied a blunderbuss across his saddle. Ho told mo it was loaded with !)0 leaden slugs and grinned jdeas antly "It will kick very hnrd," said I. "Yes, unless it has changed mightily in its habits ; but 1 am used to it nnd will braco my horse beforo I let fly," ho answered. Our now commander looked over his shoslder at tho piece in bomo concern. "You will plenso refrain from lotting it fly into my back, lieutenant, tain j bo. ! Red Harding chuckled and answered 1 him that it was safe not to go off be fore tho fourth drop of tho hammer. 1 am nnablu to do justice to a battle, so 1 will let this one imss witli only a littlo ink spilling. Wo charged over the hill, keeping together as well as wo conld. Tho lan cers drove nt tho horsemen in front of them, und it was a long time beforo wo could get into tho light. When wo did, Red Harding tiled his old gnu and blew himself almost over his horse's tail, lie si rambled forward into his saddle again, however, and charm d with tho rest of us. Thero was a great deal tf sini ke nnd 1 . rr n A 1 . i 11 rem u .1 i v ' in it 1 down and lenpi 1 1, itov.r tin I nnd so fmmd th" inein . t ti. , e n v 1' 1 of footmen "A had a warm nud in. time in there, I can tell y.,u A I captain on a whP'i Urr v njamiM against me. Hi -v . r 11 r. (i. n and shortened )o- m .1 t run 1 through, 'in', be did n- t i i-e all . nnco for my wi :isf j Pit., ol .not. 1. fioiu the bmi..!I. wiiii nil 1 1 o llefoie evening toe iihem m- i 1 broken nttc-iy and running ft ititr . for the woods. Not many r. te in w. !. i hi litis . MC S' Ill- V nil. away, for our lii;)it Morse foil cut them down .-. ni. v fled, el if it Were as nun Ii sp, . t as th fox hunting. Win 11 R I Hind rotinted our men, v f .1 of the 12 who r.le nt 1 1 all tlmm, like out Iv. s, ..in, wounds. It had . 1 1 . i ' our peasnnt soldier- l t td. lend on and the ImMi r He tie thu happier for tle ni 1 t 1 I I 1 1 ' 1 the sweat fiom their facts 1 -"Tho king, the king, nnd ewoid of I-steus!" Wo built our fires on the nnd lay down to rest p, i , yawn twice along cune a . r Hilly attn. 1 and said tl. it imiy Wmil I pblV the ,e 1 1 I sli'itr tho J. Itfl. fn her -pti i : It r. i with tun villages f.iither on if ? .Id not inter fere. "I will see to it," I s. vonred our frugal meal In then got about 11. id II, r homes llaart was witl.. I'l We d- u. 1 ; onr tr d 'it U SCI Htrh, tell frr-h i 1 IT' 1 I .i road H t but some of the men In ! t mounts A- we went , , tramp!, d 1, idh tnw.i'.l t I . Hari'.to,' L't i inhl.'d a -.v.n una tacbe hi .. n stilkv It iiitnl "By all the l.eer inn of what ail- von '" I :i;.. I r his ni'ii Germany, "I h.ie lost iny gan. ..! 1 1 w in thi name .f heaven arc . t to gi .rl thc-p .h.'PJj of vill.lgi'I H W .it.it ' ha muttered. This ;,fter tho licit f tic fch -all laughing till the (. .,r- tt 1 , n na wn mid wt.-iied wbito streaks m '.he b. t and du-t. Until,,' sir wly nlcn:; t' ' r Men r under th" to tb" Li. I'iv t.tth. 1 I shut lief, ire ni", the tll-t II. 1111c. s. said vheii mist my lho.i.;i r- " eet I- 1 -,lish Marion in tl. Ik. f lay eys, nnd tli lovely as 1 had r" she w 1 - en In r ' m il.vr, all 1 It I wond r. I sho found d in -llks uni 1 ir her b" n t v rses wrh r 1 up H v 1. H.11 rv u u And IUmj, iny p. -t- 11 pt in her benutif i! -he rending those sun tic the learned rogue, what Lav. c h rrnit be making in the hearts of the 1...: ladies, I thought. I wns ronsed from my reveries t lied HardiiiR, who tapped my thth "What are the lights ahead ' h nsked. "I was just wondering," I answer 1 (a l'vm 1,111st lie sometiruc'V "Let 1 3 hpur on and find out We put our horses to thn sill -r.. whirled down upon a htti w ivsi it.ti n crowd of soldiers, a 10 .1, servr.n'i and lanterns. A young wotr..m was speaking haughtily from the c.-.i. h window, and a crowd of rasx'uls were haming to b r horses' bridles. A tall n 1:1 in cljals and hat answered her from ho road "What tho devil doss mean . ' I asked, riding up to the r, h. "It means," said the i.idy, "tbnt these rogues the canntllo of Bohen.11 will not let mo pass. They hnve tali, u my money, killed my servants, and non they waut my horses." I looked at tho men. Thoy were fel lows from my father's farms an 1 stnblea. I looked at tho man in ti a cloak. It was Captain Castletree "I think yon are mietaken. rna dame," I said, bowing to har. "Txies are peasants from Isstens, and this ge:. tlenimi is an English captain." But in spite of my cool voire I wns sorely puzzled, having loft them ail safe nt home. The lady bit her lijis and withdrew her bend from the window "Takeout tho horses. " commanded the captain, "and set a guard on coach, hnt no rudeness, men, ir yi walk up to the hilt i t this sword Then he nncovif. I t. n e and wiIn his rare sniila as'.. .1 ire ? 1 , uie n. It was a .strange tale ts.e cHpt r.n hd to null Id, of a ines-ai;e li t from to jien of a fnendlv li rnnn e. tint, stn 1 that a lady of ilejnc v as P' -n 1 through tno country w.tn i 1. tttr ; r tho king of B'.n-:nr. f".l . t Ins, t . - t him nt our throats, if a wild cm-.' and at last this capture within s. iv 1 of tho great ha'tle "This is the letter," b" said in r, n elusion, handing nn- a seal, d . r I lutnrned it to him ' We will t,m it to tho king, mv dear eaitaio, m I 1 think it is ns sale 111 y.uir I;. . inn.- 1 in mine " Wb-re'it he jmt it 1 .u k his nreast uad 1 sU his win. "Wo will t.l.' tMi'idv too, in h crash am; vir," 1 add. d iilaeo tho men n - "It y. 1 Vi I will ride inside witn her nut snip at. 1 see that sho plas no trn .- "All right, comrade, bo said, and wo went out to our men Walking up to thee 1. h, I op -t 1 the door. The lady was s. ited 111 U.e conn r with her fnco 111 b. r hands. "Madame,'.' 1 stnni' ' -1, ".win.; ti circumstances it is my b,ty to i..a inside and rido with n to Ulatm burg. " 1 stepped in and closed tho door I conld hear tho lady b,.ubiug and through thu window Castletr. e 11 ml Red HaidiilT snapping out cm it mn.R PrioeiiUv tho cu.un j lutd, tia ulivrr A A plhetnan rem 'i ? m ' ''1 but I ' t I if 111 e (