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leaves of the low trees and bushes among nate local champion, who had come out of which he was lying, seemed to be directing the wrestler's embrace in the second fall the raid in person. There was something with broken ribs and dislocated shoulders. more pressing here, Jan gathered, than the It was generally agreed he was lucky to have mere burning of Polish villages -just what, escaped with his life. he could not catch, at first, but it came to “Aha!” he shouted, espying Adam shoulhim like a flash of lightning later, when he dering his way through the crowd, where comes saw the constant advance of large bodies of our valiant smith. Will he not try a fall with cavalry in the direction of Chelm.
me? Indeed, I am afraid of such a powerful Till that moment, Jan had dreamed only of fellow, for," sneering, “he is so much heavier saving his own life; now it swept over him, in than I am. Come, my hearty,” he shouted, a realization that made every nerve in his using his hands as a trumpet, "step on this body tingle, that something more vitally im- platform and show the good people what a portant than that was at stake. The king of mighty man you are!" Poland was at Chelm, and his trusted friends, Adam pretended not to notice him, but the Boris and his Cossacks, killing and looting, crowd joined the wrestler and he found all were moving on the city! Outside his small progress barred except in the direction of body-guard, Stefan had only the local militia the steps to the platform, where a lane was to rely on. Jan, of course, did not know that, opened. but only knew that his monarch was in “Go throw him, Adam!” danger. What counted his own life in such a “Put down the Cossack!" crisis? Ivan the Terrible was, without doubt, Some shouted encouragement; others, involved in the matter; but even that was not favoring the Cossack because of his slight worth thinking of at present. He must has- build and ready tongue, and that which often ten to Chelm and warn the king! As a matter counts with a crowd—that he came from afar of fact, it was one of the most deliberate at- and had an unfamiliar dazzle for their eyes, tempts in history to abduct a royal person. spoke tauntingly: Boris knew that because of Stefan's desire to "You could put down three of him.” win over the Cossacks to friendship he would Giving up his attempt to force his way to be received as a friend; and Stefan, not know- the royal dais, Adam, instead, let himself be ing that Boris had not broken with Muscovy, forced toward the platform steps. Once on but was actually a Russian agent, had gone to the boards, he rushed to the king. Kneeling Chelm without the least thought of treachery. before him, he said hurriedly: The plan was conceived by the wily Boris, "I ask your royal permission to speak.” who, bold-faced in his self-confidence and There was much formality in those days in assurance, had deliberately ridden to Chelm addressing a ruler, and unless certain forms and kissed the king's ring, pretending alle- of courtesy were observed, such as first gaingiance. Some of this Jan gathered from ing the written consent of certain stewards conversation, some from the movements of and chamberlains, it was difficult for a tradestroops, some from the sight of the leaders. man, a peasant, or an apprentice to obtain an But this is what he did: escaping from the audience. So although Jan was on fire with light guard, he stumbled through the brush his mission, he still feared to break the tradiand briar, finally reaching the town.
tions of approach which all Poles knew. As he finished the story, Adam was off like "Let him wrestle first." It was Boris an arrow for the market-place. Once there, himself who answered, and who was watching he fought his way through the crowd toward the crowd for any sign of commotion or disthe king's throne, counting nothing of the turbance of its holiday tranquillity which consequences which might arise from accus- might indicate that his uprising was dising the trusted hetman of treachery, just so covered. It was typical of his own insolent that the king might be saved.
courage to sit there as the king's honored A glance at the platform showed him guest, even while his own men were guarding Marsyak, the wrestler, looking out over the the eastern approaches, but he had his multitude. He seemed more a powerful weather-eye on the situation always, watchsnake than a man, with his narrow, lithe ing it and feeling it out, so that he might, at body, long, bare brown legs, wiry arms, the least disturbance, slip away to the horse rounded chest, and back across which tense which was held for him at the edge of the muscles played at every motion. A group crowd and then lead his Cossacks to the of townsfolk were just removing an unfortu- king's throne. If he had been more far-see
ing, he could have carried out his plan per- helplessness of his great muscles. These, fectly, for he could have brought his Cossacks however, were nothing to the Cossack, who into Chelm as peaceable witnesses of the rather delighted to show his arts of maiming king's sojourn, but the confidence with which and bruising upon men larger than himself, he viewed the outcome of the scheme, and particularly if they were as clumsy at this the lawless and at times uncontrollable tem- game as Adam was. per of his men were responsible for a wild As they squared off for the second meeting, recklessness that at other times might have three visions from the outside world flashed seemed absolutely to forbid any hope for in upon Adam. One was the pale, upturned the success of the undertaking. Something face at Jadwiga at the crowd's edge. Who in Adam's abrupt petition to the king, coupled would care for her if he were gone? Another with the fact that he hated the boy beyond was the set, stolid face of the king. Was measure and knew that he knew it—this, there a bit of chagrin there that a Pole should with something of an intuition that the be so worsted by a Russian? The third was smith's apprentice meant no good to him at the face of Boris, working wild and touched this particular moment, warned him that he with infernal fingers, the mouth already must prevent him speaking, if possible. beginning to harden into those lines which
“You are right,” answered the king. “Let gave the owner his nickname of Wrymouth. him throw the other, and he may tell me But this time Adam did not rush. He what he chooses."
waited, watching like a cat, his consciousness "But, your Majesty," stammered poor tense with the importance of his mission. Adam.
Once the Cossack leaped at him as he had at “Not a word!" roared one of the chamber- first; but the smith's apprentice never needed lains. "To your wrestling."
to learn a lesson twice. His head moved Desperate, Adam threw off his jerkin and just a fraction of an inch, and the Russian's cast off his boots, ready to obey. With sink- arms missed their hold, slipping away, howing heart, he realized that he had fallen into ever, before Adam could seize them. Then a terrible trap. And the worst of it was began a series of steppings like those one that it was partly by accident.
sees when they dance the mazur. Back and minded to shout one word to the king, but forth they stepped, almost in measured realized that there would not be time to ex- rhythm, each motion a half-threat, but withplain before the guards had him under arrest drawn as each saw that the other was watchand on the way to prison-and then the Cos- ing. The face of Marsyak wore a sneering sacks would be in the town. So he turned smile. Adam's teeth were clenched in grim to face his opponent.
determination. Back and forth, back and He had kept his eyes from Marsyak's face, forth, around and about they stepped, the but he knew that those greenish eyes were on crowd holding its breath in admiration and his. When he was ready, he caught this eagerly watching. glance direct, and there was a glare of hate Adam knew nothing of wrestling, but he there that aroused every bit of antagonism in was not a fool, and the first fall had taught him. There came over him a strong desire to him more than he might have learned in seize that lean frame and crush it in his great many a lesson. Then, too, the necessity and hands for its treachery.
seriousness of his purpose held his mind This he thought for one second. In the at a pitch of attention and aggressive alertnext, two arms were around him, like the ness that Marsyak knew nothing of. From swift lash of a whip, and he lay flat on his being a thing of terror, the match began to be back amid the jeerings of the crowd.
a thing in which Adam felt enough confidence "First fall!" laughed Boris; "and now for to draw out a small whit of enjoyment, as any
a the second.”
strong man feels in an encounter that tests "If I could only get hold of him," thought his prowess fairly. In those intense seconds, Adam. He glanced out over the upturned points of the art of wrestling came to him in faces, seeking an expression of sympathy; surprising numbers. Intuitively, as time but at that moment all seemed turned to went on, he seemed to gain a knowledge of stone. He felt in his heart that in the second his opponent's brain; it seemed as if he could fall the Cossack would use every art to kill follow its workings, as it resolved itself in him, and of such arts Marsyak was a master. side-stepping, dodging, circling, guarding And then Adam almost shed tears at the against feints, and repulsing carefully what thought of his own mighty body and the seemed at first to be meaningless attacks.
It was clear that Marsyak was a little sur- Cossacks. Their leader is there," he pointed prised at the transformation in this awkward at Boris trying vainly to restore the unconfellow, but he thought it nothing serious, be- scious Marsyak. “They wear the livery of lieving that Adam could read death in his Ivan the Terrible and no man's life is safe in eye and was playing for time, as a cornered Chelm this night.” rat will sometimes battle. Finally, tiring of The chamberlain, who had sprung to the this sparring, and disregarding what he might platform to arrest him, gazed out to the east. have observed had he been wrestling with “There is truth in what he says, O King! more experienced man, he threw himself for. The heavens are full of smoke, and from the ward during the fraction of a second that he earth, there is more rising.' was out of poise. And in that instant, Adam's Then in the panic could be heard the clashopportunity came!
ing of steel feathers on the helmets and armorWith all his wrath, eagerness, indignation, plates of the knightly escort, the cries of the and hate let loose, he shot forward to meet women, and the shouts of the commanders of the attack, quick as a scared trout in a pool. the town companies ordering their men to Marsyak's advancing arms were forestalled. Snapping them into the grip of his onrush- But into it all came a lull, as the burly ing hands, Adam enclosed them with fin- form of King Stefan emerged toward the gers like steel bands, tossed them aside, and front of the platform. caught the Cossack around the waist, lifting "Kneel, sir!" he shouted to Adam, quickly him high in the air over his head, balancing and in snapping tones, as of one who is busy him there momentarily before hurling him to and has yet much business to perform. the platform--when an inspiration landed in “Give me thy name.” his brain like a white-feathered shaft quiver- “Adam Kosloski,” replied he. ing into the heart of a target.
“Then rise, Pan Adam Kosloski," said the For as he swung the wrestler aloft, Boris king, striking him gently across his bowed Wrymouth had half risen in alarm from his shoulders with his sword. “You have perchair close to the platform edge; that almost formed great service for your king this day, imperceptible motion, involuntary as it was, and may your children rejoice in it. In had caught Adam's quick eye, and before the half an hour, perhaps, it would have been too Cossack hetman had a chance to realize late." what was coming, or what was the appren- Then turning to the crowd, he said: “Good tice's intent, Adam catapulted his opponent's people, close your gates and prepare to stand great bulk directly at Boris.
siege. I have twenty thousand good men-atIt needed but little force, and for Adam it arms in Lublin who are a match for more was nothing, -he had often thrown great than three times that number of Cossacks. weights on a wager, -but he put into the Go Wladislaus,” he commanded his guard throw all the strength that he possesse i. leader, “take half the escort and ride like the Gravitation aided him, for the platform was wind to Lublin, and bring these troops by at least six feet high. Marsyak shot through sun-up to-morrow. the air with an inhuman cry, legs and arms “I will stay in this place. The Cossack wriggling violently. The human missle Marsyak I will send to his fellows to tell them caught Boris with a terrible impact; he that if a hostile Cossack enters this place I went down beneath Marsyak, crashing will hang Boris Wrymouth their hetman over through the chair, splintering the seat, one the east gate. Now, men of Chelm, rally of the supports of which caught the wrestler fast to your companies, for your king is in a blow on the head, so that he lay there danger and looks to you for protection. quietly, while the stunned Boris struggled to “May God save Poland!" his feet.
That was the beginning of a two-years Then, before the assembly had its breath, war that eventually brought Ivan the TerAdam leaped to the corner of the platform, rible to his knees and established Polish rule and, without kneeling, shouted to the king, throughout the lands where Poles lived. who had half risen:
After that, while King Stefan lived, there was "Treason, King Stefan, treason! Treach
peace and prosperity, until the days when the ery is at the gates of Chelm. Those who lie Turks set out to invade Europe. there are the traitors. See you that smoke And Sir Adam Kosloski and his wife Jadrising in the air? It is the smoke of burning wiga were as happy as any young and villages. Every eastern outlet is closed by honored couple could be.
By CHRISTINE WHITING PARMENTER
I SUPPOSE it 's only because I 'm editor of years more she would have been pensioned, the “High School Bulletin" that Dr. Gardner but her health gave out too soon, and she chose me to write an account of Miss Lucia and her sister, Miss Lydia, were getting Little's Christmas stocking, and what grew along nobody knew how, because Miss Lucia out of it. Anyway, he made me stop work was in bed most of the time, and Miss Lydia and sit right down amid these snips of cam- had to give up her job at the bank to take bric and whirring sewing-machines (to say care of her. nothing of tongues!) and write the whole "Is Miss Lucia worse?'' asked Molly, as story.
she put the last stitch in an embroidered It was Sue Gardner who started it, though rosebud. she declares that it was only her father's "She might be considerably better," timely remark that put the idea into her answered the doctor. He was seated on the head. We girls were sitting before the fire davenport, unbuckling his overshoes. The in the Gardners' living-room, working on Gardners' is an awfully comfortable house. Christmas gifts, and we'd just been laughing You never feel that you must leave your at the sort of gifts they were. Among the rubbers on the front porch and let them freeze, four girls who were present only one was yet somehow the rooms never seem turned making anything ornamental, and that was up, though Sue says that 's only because an embroidered dress for Molly Gilson's she 's forever fixing them. small niece-the first grandchild in the Gil- “You see__” went on the doctor, but he son family, so you could hardly blame Molly did n't finish his sentence, because at that for her bit of embroidery. It was the first moment he kicked off an overshoe which Christmas after the armistice was signed, and landed on the cat, who retreated in such we'd all been doing useful things so long indignant haste that we all laughed and that it seemed more natural to be knitting might have forgotten Miss Lucia had not socks for our fathers and brothers than to be Dr. Gardner gone back to the subject. making frilly pincushions, or useless things "I 'm mighty sorry for Miss Lucia,” he that nobody knows what to do with anyway; said quietly. “She has served us faithfully but Jo Lambert had just remarked that our for years, and has been too generous, I fear, work did n't look exactly Christmasy, when for her own good. There was no fire on the Dr. Gardner came in
hearth in her bedroom, though Dr. Gardner is a dear. In the first place, chilly, and I noticed that the wood-basket he looks young enough to be Sue's brother; was empty; although she and Miss Lydia and then he gave up his private sanitarium were sweet and cheerful as ever. That 's to the disabled soldiers; and he's just the why I said I hoped Santa would not forget kindest, most cheerful man, although he is her." always seeing sick people. Mrs. Gardner It was then that the great idea hit Sue. has been an invalid ever since an automobile “Let 's see that he does n't,” she said accident ten years ago.
She suffers a great quietly, though her eyes were shining. "Let deal, and depends on him for everything. 's send her a stocking."
It was storming that afternoon, and when "Good work, Sue!" said the doctor, boythe doctor came in all white with snow, Jo ishly, and his eyes were shining too. Sue's said that he might be Santa Claus, except eyes are exactly like her father's, though she for the fact that he was minus whiskers. has her mother's forehead and lovely waving Dr. Gardner laughed and replied that he was hair. afraid whiskers were n't intended for his “Let's make it a silk stocking while we 're special style of beauty, but that he'd like to about it,” said Jessie Haynes, who can't remind Santa not to forget Miss Lucia afford silk stockings for herself. "I'll Little.
provide a pair as my donation, and we can That was the timely remark. We all put one of them inside. I remember Bud pricked up our ears, because every one of telling about his first day at school, and how us, and the generation before us, too, had scared he was until Miss Lucia smiled at gone to school to Miss Lucia. In three him."