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BORDER CHAPTER IX. WILLIAM ARMSTRONG rode his splendid black steed like one more accustomed to the polishing of saddle leather than to the wearing out of the same material in the form of boots. Horse and man were so subtly suited, each to each, that such another pair might well bare given to some early artist the first idea of a centaur. Armstrong was evi dently familiar with the district he traversed, for he evinced no surprise when, coming to the crown of a height be saw in the valley below him a one storied stone building, whose out houses and general surroundings pro claimed it a solitary inn, but the horse, less self contained and doubtless more fatigued, thrust forward his ears and gave utterance to a faint whinny of pleasure at the near prospect of rest and refreshment. The hand of the rider affectionately stroked and patted the long black mane, as if in silent corroboration of the animal's eager an ticipations. The young man was as fair as his mount was dark. A mass of yellow hair flowed out from under his Scot's bonnet and over his broad shoulders. A heavy blond mustache gave him a semimllitary air, a look of the cavalier, as If he were a remnant of that strick en band across the border which was fighting for King Charles against dai ly increasing odds; but something of jaunty self confidence in Armstrong's manner betokened that the civil war raging in England was no concern of bis, or that, if he took any interest in It, his sympathies inclined toward the winning side, as indeed waa the case with many of his countrymen. His erect bearing, body straight as one of his native pines, enhanced the soldier like appearance of the horseman, and It needed but a glance at his clear skinned but resolute face and powerful frame to be convinced that he would prove a dangerous antagonist to meet In combat, while the radiant good nature of his frank countenance indi cated a merciful conqueror should vic tory fall to him, as seemed likely un less the odds were overwhelming. Both prowess and geniality were on the instant of being put to the test as he approached the inn, where a way farer is usually certain of a welcome if he has but money in his pouch. A lanceman, bis tall weapon held up right, stepped out into the road from the front of the closed door before which he had been standing, when he aaw that the traveler was about to halt and dismount "Yell be fur dawnerin' on a bit faurer forret" hinted the sentinel in a cautious, insinuating manner, as If he were but giving expression to the other's unspoken intention. "A wise man halts at the first public house he comes tp after the sun is down," replied Armstrong. "Ah'm thinkin' a man's no verra wise that stops whaur he's least want ed, if them that's no wantin' him has good aim in their hauns." "Aye, my lad, steel's a bonny argu ment, rightly used. Whut's a' th' steer here, that a tired man, willing to pay his way, is sent doon th' rod?" \ "Weel, ye see, there's muckle folk in ben yonner that has niony a thing ta chatter aboot, an' that's a' Ah ken ft except that Ah'm ta let nane insida Is disturb them." "Whose man are you?" "Ah belong ta th' Yerl o' Traquair." "And a very good friend of mine the Earl of Traquair is. Will you just go Inside and tell him William Armstrong U sitting here on his horse?" "That wull Ah no, fur if th' king hlmsel' were ta ask Ah munna let him by th' door. Sa Jist tak a fule's ad ttce fur yince and gang awa' ta th' next inn afore it gets darker an' ye're Hie to lose yer rod amang th' hills." "I must get something for my horse to eat He's done and should not be pushed farther. I'll wait outside until their lordships have finished their coun cil." "Th' stalls are a' fou already, an', if not wi better nags, at least wi the nags o' noblemen, an' Ah'm thinkin' that's neither you nor me." "The stalls may be fou, but my beast'B empty, and I must get a feed of corn, noble or simple. Ye tell the earl It's me and yell be thankit" "Indeed, me braw man, Ah tak' or ders fra the yerl himsel' an' fra nane else. Jist ticket yer beast wi' the spur, or Ah'll gie him a Jab wi' th' point o' this spear." The descent of young Armstrong was so Instantaneous that the man at arms had no opportunity of carrying out his threat or even of leveling the unwieldy weapon in his own defense. The horseman dropped on him as if he had fallen from the clouds, and the pike rang useless on the rough cobble stones. The black horse showed no »ign of fright as might have been expected, but turned his intelligent head and calmly watched the fray as If accustomed to any eccentricity on tbe part of his master. And what the fine eyes of the quadruped aaw was *wtling enough. The wide spread hffiba of the surprised soldier went *birUng through the air like the arms °f a windmill in a gale. Armstrong had grasped him by the **ist and turned him end for end, re volving him, Catherine-wheel-wise, un til the bewildered wits of the victim threatened to leave him through the action of centrifugal force. By the time the unfortunate sentinel lost all reckoning of the direction in which £°hd earth lay with regard to his own cbauj£in s position found Wnrsnr ttc~ rar-B*s*TiaTrrs snou;aer gaping like a newly landed trout and! thus hoisted aloft he was carried to the closed door, which a kick from Armstrong's foot sent crashing Inward The intruder flung his burden into the nearest corner of the large room as if he were a sack of corn. Then, facing the startled audience, the young man cried: , "Strong orders should have a stron ger guard than you set gentlemen. I hold to the right of every Scotsman to enter a public dram shop when he pleases." A dozen amazed men had sprung to their feet, oversetting a chair or a stool here and there behind them and here and there a flagon before them. Elev en swords flashed out but the upraised right hand of the chairman and his commanding voice caused the weapons to hang suspended. "The very man! The very man we want! Will, where have you dropped from?" "From the back of my horse a mo ment since, as your henchman here will bear witness, Traquair." "Armstrong, your arrival at this juncture is providential. That's what It is, providential!" "It must be, my lord, for you did your best to prevent it. Your stout pikeman would not even let you -know I was within call, so I just brought him in to give the message properly." The sentinel had by this time got on his feet and was staring at the com pany like one dazed. "Where's your pike?" demanded Tra quair. "On the stanes ootside, ma lord." "Very well, go out and lift it, and see that you hold a better grip of it when the next man comes along. Attend to Armstrong's horse and keep an eye up and down the road." "I'll look after my own beast, Tra luair." "No need for that, Will. We have (batters of importance to discuss, and Angus here will feed the horse as well is you can do it." "I'll eat and drink whatever's set be fore me and never ask who is the cook, but I trust no mau to wait on my horse. You bide by your senary march, Angus, and I'll see to the beast." With this Armstrong strode out of the house, the ill used sentinel follow ing him. As the door closed the inter rupted hum of conversation rose again. Who the interloper might be was the burden of the inquiry. "Armstrong's the very man for our purpose," said Traquair. "If any one can get through Old Noll's armies by craft or by force it is Will. I had no idea he was near by or I would never have wasted thought on any other. I have known him for years, and there's none to match him, hielan' or lowlan'. We need seek nae farrar If Christie's Wull is wullin'. I wish unanimous con sent to tender our present dangerous mission to William Armstrong in the hope that he may get safely to Oxford and, what is more important, bring us with equal safety the king's written command. If any of you have some one else to propose whom you think may accomplish his business better than WUI Armstrong, I ask you to nom inate the man and give reasons for your preference." Each man looked at the others as if waiting for some one else to make fur ther suggestion, but as the silence waa prolonged the earl was about to ad dress the company when the door opened and Armstrong himself en tered. CHAPTER X. *• WW V ULL," cried Traquair. "We ■Ml have been talking of you, WW my man. and we have some employment for you if you are ready for it" "Well, my lord, there's no lack of that in these kittle times, for a fight ing man gets civility and a welcome, whether in England or Scotland, which ever side he takes." "I hope you are for law and tha king against riot and rebels?" "Ye see, Traquair, I'm not just a fac tion man, but am standing clear, tc give both sides fair play." "The crisis is this, William," said Traquair. "There are papers that we must get through to King Charles at Oxford. Then, what is much more im portant, we must get his signed war rant back to us before we can act to any real purpose in this ploy. The victorious rebels pretend that they are fighting for certain so called liberties, but we have reason to know that their designs run much deeper, that they aim at nothing less than the dethrone ment and possible murder of the king. It is necessary to get proof of this to the king and to obtain his sanction to certain action on our part, for if we move without his written commission and our plans fall we are like to get short shrift from Cromwell, who will deny us the right of belligerents. Whether the king believes this or not the documents we wish to send him are less to the purpose than that you should bring back to us his commis sion, so you will know that your home coming Is much more vital to us than your outgoing." "I see. Still, if they kill me on the road there, it is not likely I will win my way back, so both Journeys are equally vital to me." "You will be traveling through a hos tile country, but nevertheless will find many to favor you, for though the land is under the iron hand of Cromwell he Is far from pleasing all the people, al though they may make a quiet mouth save a doubting head. Brave as you are. Will, it is on the smooth tongue rather than on the sharp sword that you must depend, for, however many silent friends we may have along the route, there are too many outspoken enemies for even you to fight your way through. Have you a good horse?** "The best In the world." "The pick of my stables Is at your choice. Had rQU not better take a THE EVENING STATESMAN SATURDAY, APRIL 29, 1905. spare animal with yon?" "No. That would be advertising the importance of my Journey. If I can get through at all, it must be by dawn ering along as a cannie drover body anxious to buy up cattle and turn an honest penny by selling them to those who want them worse than I do, a per fectly legitimate trade even during these exciting times. They all know the desire of a humble Scotsman to make a little money, though the heav ens and kings be falling." "That's an admirable idea, and you know the country well?" "No one better. Indeed I'll trade my way to the very gates of Oxford if time Is not too great an object with you." "Time is an object, Armstrong, but you will have to do the best you can, and we shall await your return with what patience we may. You will tac kle the job then?" "It's Just the kind of job I like. Can you allow me three weeks or a month?" "If you're back inside of a month. Will, you'll have done what I believe no other man in all Scotland could do. Well, that's settled, then." The earl was interrupted by a roar from the sentinel outside, which caused every man in the room to start to his feet, but before they could move An gus came bursting in. "Somebody dropped from the hole on the loft above the stables an' wuz aff ta th' wood afore I could stop him." "To horse!" cried Traquair. "Mount Instantly and let's after him!" "It's useless, my lord," said Arm strong quietly, the only unexclted man In the group. "Ye might as well look for some particular flea In all the hie lan's. He'll have a horse tied to a tree, and a thousand cavalry couldn't catch nim if he knows the wilds hereabout.'" "Where's the landlord?" Traquair asked. "Angus, bring him in here." The sentinel left tbe room and speed ily reappeared with-a cowering man, evidently as panic stricken as any of his guests. "Have there been some stragglers about today?" demanded Traquair. "Not a soul, my lord, on my oath, not a soul." "Is there connection between the room above and the loft over the Btable?" "No possibility of it, my lord." "What did I tell you?" said Hender son, plucking up courage again. "This turmoil Is utterly without foundation." "Dash it!" cried Armstrong, with a gesture of impatience. "Will you take a man's word for a thing you can prove in a moment? Get a ladder, Angus, and speel up through the hole the spy came out at. Take a torch, an' if ye drop a lowe in the straw you'll no' be blamed for it by me. See if you can win your way through from tbe stables to the house." "Go at once, Angus," commanded Traquair; then to the landlord, who showed signs of wishing to be else where, "No; you stay here." "I'm feared th' man wull set fire ta the place," w"hined the landlord. "Better be feared o' the rope that will be round your neck if you have lied to us," said tbe earl grimly, and as be spoke they heard the tramp of the sentinel's feet overhead. "Is that you, Angus?" asked Traquair in an ordinary tone of voice. "Can you hear what I say?" "Perfectly, ma lord. There's a very cunnin' trap 'tween th' stable loft an' this, that one would na hey foun' in a hurry, but the thief left it open in his sudden flight." The Hps of the landlord turned white, but he remained motionless, panting like a trapped animal, for the giant form of Armstrong stood with his back against the door, the only exit. "Very well. Come down," said Tra quair quietly. When the sentinel returned, Traquair bade him get a rope and tie the inn keeper hand and foot, while the prison er groveled for his life, his supplica tions meeting with no response. "Now take him outside, Angus, and if there is any attempt on his part to move, or if there is an alarm of rescue, run him through with your pike and retreat on us. As for you, you false knave, your life will depend on your lying quiet for the moment and on what you tell-us hereafter." "Am I ta be ta'en awa', your merci ful lordship?" sobbed the man, who, now that his life seemed in no immedi ate danger, turned his anxiety toward his property. "What'll become o' th' inn, for there's nane here to tak care o't?" "We'll take care o't, never fear," re plied Traquair grimly. The stalwart Angus dragged the man out, and the door was once more closed. "I think we may venture to seat our selves again," said Traquair, suiting the action to the word. "There's noth ing more to be done, and pursuit is hopeless." All sat down with the exception of Amstrong, who remained standing with his back to the door, gazing somewhat scornfully on the conclave. "You will pardon me, Traquair," be gan he, "for you know I would be glad to forward anything you had a hand In, short of slipping my neck Into a noose, but at that point I draw back. I'll not set foot on English soil now, king or no king. Man, Traquair, I wonder at you! The let of you remind me of a covey of partridges holding conference in a fox's den." "I'm not going to defend the covey of partridges, Will. But, after all's said and done, the danger's not so much greater than It was before." "Do you think I'm fool enough to set face south when there is a spy gal loping ahead of me with full particu lars of every item In my wallet? Not me! It was bad enough before, as you gay; now it's impossible. That is, it is Impossible for me, for the flying man knows all about me. No; the proper thing to do is to meet at your castle or some other safe olace and. choose a man whose name and description are not In the wind ahead of him." "But I've known you to clinch with quite as dangerous a task before." "It's not the danger, Traquair, as much as the folly that holds me back. I've been in many a foolish scramble before now, as you have hinted, but I learn wisdom with age." "Will nothing change your decision?" "Nothing—nothing in the world; not anything even you can say, my lord. Any trampling ass may break an egg, but, once broken, the wisest man in the kingdom cannot place It together again. Tonight's egg is smashed, Traquair." "I cannot blame you; I cannot blame you," said the earl dejectedly, drawing a deep sigh. Then, turning to the oth ers, be continued: "Gentlemen, there's no more to be said. We must convene again. Would tomorrow or the day after be convenient for you?" It was agreed that the meeting should take place two days from that time. "You are not angry with me, Tra quair?" asked Armstrong. "Not in the least, Will. I appreciate your point of view, and were I In your place I should Lave reached exactly the same conclusion." "Then I must beg a bed from you tonight. I have no wish to stay in this place, and if you are bent for home, as I surmise, I'll Just trot my nag alongside o' yours." "I was this moment going to ask you, fcr I confess I'll ride the safer that your stout arm is near." The company left the inn together, and in the middle of the road, before the bouse, they found Angus, with a torch, standing guard over a shapeless bundle huddled at his feet. The bundle was making faint pleadings to ihe man at arms, to which that war rior was listening with stolid indiffer ence. The murmurs ceased as the group of men drew near. Traquair ex tended a cordial invitation to all or any to spend the night at the castle, which was the nearest house, but the others did not accept. Each man got upon his horse, and some went one direction and some another. "Fling your lighted torch into the loft," said Traquair to Angus. "That will prevent this wolf worrying about his property. When you've done that, throw him across your horse and fol low us. Has there been sign of any one else about?" "No, ma lord," replied Angus, prompt ly obeying the injunction about the torch. He then tossed the howling hu man mass in front of his saddle, sprang into his seat and went down the road after the two who preceded him, the flames from the burning bothy already throwing long shadows ahead. The Earl of Traquair, chagrined at the temporary defeat of his plans, in wardly cursing the stupidity of those with whom he was compelled to act, rode moody and Silent, and this re serve the young man at his side made no attempt to interrupt until they had reached a slight eminence, where the To the Ladies of Walla Walla We are making another sweeping reduc tion in the price of SOROSIS SHOES. - We have 100 pairs of Sorosis Shoes, sizes 2 to 3 1-2, widths A A to EE, at.. $2.50 150 pairs, sizes 6 to 8, widths AA to EE, at *2.50 These numbers include oxfords, tans and blacks. All other shoes are reduced accordingly. Our Gents' Shoes are also reduced: A Torrey $6.00 Shoe now . . #4-20 A Torrey $5.50 Shoe now .. $3-90 A Torrey $5.00 Shoe now . . $375 A Packard $3.50 Shoe now . $2.75 t « i ***** » All other shoes reduced in like manner Allow us to suggest that this is a grand opportunity to get hne shoes for little money. Yours sincerely, SOROSIS SHOE HOUSE 15 MAIN STREET nobleman reined In his horse and look ed back down the valley at the biasing steading, which now filled the hollow with Its radiance. "We will wait here till Angus over takes us." he said. "This bonfire may collect some of the moths, and it's bet ter traveling three than two." "We've not far to go," said Arm strong, "and that's a blessing, Tor I'm on a long jaunt in the'morning and would be glad of my bed as soon as may be." "Where are you off to?" asked the earl indifferently, gazing anxiously down the road for a sight of his fol lower, who was not yet visible. Armstrong replied with equal non chalance, "Oh, I'm just away for Ox ford to carry a message from Lord Traquair to the king of England." "What!" cried his lordship, nearly starting from his saddle in amaze ment "Surely my talk before these cuddies did not mislead you. I'll take your message through and bring you back an answer, if the thing's possible, but I cannot have those fools pottering and whispering in the matter. They must know nothing of my going. You will meet them two days hence, accept whomsoever they propose and let him blunder along to a rebel gallows. It will be one blockhead out of the way, and then wise folk can do their bit travels unmolested." "But how can I send papers with him when they'll be in your pouch?" "Indeed, and that they will not be. This night's work compels one to a change of programme. I shall carry no papers with me. If you let me read them I'll remember every word though they be as long as the Psalms. I'll repeat them to the king with as few slips as any man in the realm. If you have a password or sign, or if you can tell me some incident that only you and the king know of, which will assure him that I am from you, every thing else will be plain plodding. It would be folly for me now that Cromwell's spy is on the gallop to carry a line of writing that bears relation to politics. I'll be arrested before I'm a mile be yond the border, so my chance of get ting through will depend on the search they make. If they find nothing It is likely they'll let me go, and I must manage to get back as best I can. There's no sense in being hanged for a spy the first day I set out." "Armstrong, you're a hero," said Tra quair. "You shall read the papers to night and look over them again in the morning. The important matter is to get the king's commission back to us. Ah, here is Angus with his sack, so we'll say no more until we reach the castle." (To be Continued.) ♦ Read the Evening Statesman's ♦ -♦• want columns. Will be found on ♦ ♦ page 7. "*> t»AQI NINE > FLEET COLLEGIANS IN RELAYS PHILADELPHIA. April 29.—The eyes of the college world are turned to wards Franklin Field today. Upon tha famous arena of the University of Pennesylvanla. the pick and flower of American college athletes will strive with every effort to win glory and fame and the plaudits of the multi tude. The occasion is the eleventh an nual intercollegiate and interscholas tic relay contests under the auspices of the athletic department of the Uni versity of Pennsylvania. Never before In the history of college athletics has an event of greater importance been held in which a keener pitch of en thusiasm has been aroused. The entries reach the enormous to tal of more than 1.000 men. The big eastern colleges such as Yale, Harvard, Columbia. Princeton. Pennsylvania. Georgetown and Cornell are well rep resented, while the smaller Institutions that have entered number several score. From the west have come the crack teams of the Universities of Chi cago, Minnesota, Wisconsin. Michigan and Purdue. The most sensational fights are look ed for this year in the one and two mile races. The one mile event brings together the famous quartettes from Yale, Pennsylvania, Harvard, George town and Cornell, with Yale and Penn sylvania ruling favorites. Another ex citing race is looked for in the two mile event. In this Yale and Pennsyl vania are again the principal entries, though the fast team from the Uni versity of Wisconsin makes the issue a doubtful one. In the special events a good race Is expected in the 100 yard, which will bring together Shick of Harvard, Selts the new Georgetown flyer. Dear of Pennsylvania, Torrey of Yale, and Ru lon Miller of Princeton. In the other special events chief In terest centers in the shotput. This will bring together for the fourth time the two foremost shotputters among college athletes, W. W. Coe of Somer ville. and Ralph Rose, the California giant. Shooting Tourney at San Diego. SAN DIEGO, Cal., April 29.—The annual shooting tourney of the Pas time Gun club opened today under successful auspices. A\ nunusually large number of prominent marksmen: have been attracted by the liberal prize offerings which include $300 in cash prizes in addition to the hand some Jenks, Fano and Hoegee troph ies.