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“My bonnie Scotland is not so kind to me as lain in a cave in the rocks with a few faithful she might be,” went on the stranger. "I love the friends, waiting for the cover of a dark night to Highlands best in sunny weather.”
But traveling in company became “Scotland !” exclaimed Roger, in a tone that too dangerous, and so we scattered. And now I sounded as though he thought his companion must reach the house of one Tammas Campbell, must be dreaming:
a gunsmith who lives just this side of Perth, for “Aye, bonnie Scotland,” repeated the other. to-night I will find there men who will smuggle "We are not so very far from Perth, and if the me on board the French ship that waits for me. snow were not so thick, you might see Kinnoul It should not be a long way to this Campbell's Hill. I must reach Perth before the dawn, but but for this storm." if the wind shift-” He broke off, and threw out By this time, Roger thoroughly realized that his hands to show how he felt as to what might they were not in the neighborhood of Westover happen then.
House, but in a rough and hilly country. They Roger thought they ought by now to be near were going uphill, and a new and piercing wind his father's house, but he did not say so.
blew straight in their faces as if from a gap in walked on silently, save for the crunching of the the hills. snow under his heavy-shod boots.
So they tramped on for what seemed like miles, “Don't you know who I am?" asked his com- through a white desert. They could see scarcely panion presently, turning toward him. “I know a yard in front of them, and it was only the you. Your name is Roger Miltoun."
banks that rose on either side that kept them in Roger had been thinking hard. This man must the road. Roger was chilled through, and every be the last of the Knights of the Golden Spur, muscle ached, but he knew that he must go on the slender man with the deep, dark eyes and the fighting through the storm beside Prince Charlie. smiling lips, who had kept turning a great seal. Every little while he glanced at the man beside ring upon his finger.
him, whose broad-brimmed hat and shoulders “I do remember you,” he said finally. "You were covered with drifts of snow, while now and had a hat with a feather, and a blue coat under then he would Aling his arms about to warm them. your cloak, and a seal-ring on your finger. I've Soon Roger found himself stumbling and almost been wondering who you are."
falling, and needed all his wits to keep his feet The man pulled his coat-collar a little away moving on the road. from his face, and Roger could see that he was They were in very bad plight in all seriousness. very handsome, although very pale and thin. “My Night had come and ringed them in, and the name is Charles Stuart,” said he, "and by right I darkness added its fear to that of the cold and should be King of England and of Scotland, as their ebbing strength. Then the road dipped, and my fathers were before me. But, instead, I am he wondered if they could be coming down from only called Prince Charlie, and the English troops the hills. Suddenly the wind veered and struck are hunting me through Scotland like a common them from the left. It brought a great, whirling thief."
mass of snow that hit them with terrific force. “Bonnie Prince Charlie !” exclaimed Roger. It seemed as if they could not take another step "Why, I 've heard lots of songs about you !" forward, but must either be blown back or fall
But Prince Charlie's lips had lost their smile, prone on the ground. Roger felt Prince Charlie's and he was staring very soberly ahead of him. arm around his shoulders, and so they stood, hold"Tracked like a thief in my own Scotland,” he ing to each other, while the sudden whirlwind beat murmured, “and driven back again to France. mercilessly against them. Then it slackened a Roger, if it were not for the love some of these little, and Roger heard his companion shouting at good people of the Highlands bear me, I had al- him, "I thought I heard a dog's bark on the right. most as soon sink into one of these great drifts We must climb up the bank.” and never rise again as to fight on." Then, very Roger had a remnant of strength left, and with abruptly, he threw back his shoulders, and his it he fought his way beside the prince up the eyes took on a new light. “Shame on you, Charlie slippery ground at the side of the road. Then lad,” said he. "The heir of the Stuarts to whine they stumbled on. Suddenly in the darkness they because he 's whipped! Nay, not so. Courage struck a wooden wall. Roger now heard the dog and a smile will always set doubts packing !" barking, and felt himself being pulled to the left.
Then he broke into a light laugh. “What a Then he heard the prince beating on wood with chase those Hanoverian soldiers have had after his feet, and, before he knew what was happenme! Once I was hid in the trunk of a tree as ing, the darkness opened, and he lurched forward they shot past in full cry, and many a day I 've into a lighted room. He felt a sudden, sharp
pain, as of fire, shoot through him, and then, in claimed. “Forgi'e the likes o' us for being sae spite of his struggles, his eyelids closed.
familiar." When he opened his eyes again, he could not, “Forgive you for taking me in from the storm at first, imagine where he was. He was lying on and saving my life?" said the young man, with a a couch covered with skins. His boots and his smile. “No, I shall never forgive that, nor forfur cap and coat were gone. Great logs were blazing in a fireplace, a table was set with plates “I saw Your Majesty once-in battle,” said and glasses in the center of the room, and a girl Angus, “an' I was doubtin' just afore ye spoke,” was pouring something steaming hot from a stone “And I too,” said the girl. “I 've a picture in pitcher into a great bowl that stood upon the my locket o' Prince Charlie." hearth.
"Of King Charles, Elspeth,” corrected her A young man sat in front of the fire, swinging father. one leg slowly over the knee of the other. He "No," said the young man, “not King, but only wore a dark blue suit, but although Roger had Prince Charlie. I love the name, for those who only seen him in his cloak and high boots, he call me by it are fond of me." knew it was Prince Charlie. In a chair on the “And weel they may be, sir,” said the Scotchother side of the hearth sat an older man, of man, rising from his bended knee. “And when heavy build, with shaggy, gray hair. A boy, a ye come again, I 'll draw the claymore, right arm little older than Roger, had just come into the or nae right arm." room, and laid some logs of fire-wood on the "And that will surely help to win the day for hearth.
me," answered Prince Charlie. He spoke so “'I 've drawn nae sword mysel this last year," frankly and so courteously that his very words the gray-haired man was saying, "for my right seemed to make people love him. “But until that arm has lost its cunning and wull na bend. But day comes, I must go back to France,” he added, my brothers and all the clan MacGregor followed "and to do that I must reach before dawn the the beacon light, and my little lad Angus here house of a gunsmith, named Campbell, on the begged sae hard that I could na keep him hame. edge of Perth.” But I should beg your pardon, young sir,” the “ 'T is na sae far to Campbell's hoose,” said man went on. “It may be ye are nae Jacobite the Scotchman. “A mile straight doon the road. yoursel, but hereabouts 't is hard to speak of any. But ye 'll na be gangin' just yet. 'T is an honor thing but King Charles and the war."
my bairns and I will ne'er be forgettin' if we “Poor King Charlie,” said the girl. “Each micht hae our bonnie Prince Charlie to sup on night we say a prayer for him.”
Christmas e'en." “An' hope he be safe and sound,” added Angus, "And Charlie would like that supper," said the "and na skirling aboot the Hielands in despair." prince, “for the scones smell very good, and so
The man in blue turned toward the girl. does that bowl of punch. Aha! see the lad on the “Those prayers of yours will save him yet,” said couch prick up his ears at the naming of hot he. “Say them still after he goes to France, and things to eat.” he 'll come back again.”
It was true. Even the comfort of the bed of "Oh, do ye think sae ?” said she, taking a few skins was not so strong as Roger's appetite just steps forward.
then. He sat up, and soon, rising, stepped over to “Will he come back? Will Charlie cross the the fire. water?" exclaimed the old man in excited tones. “Is n't this a merry change, Roger?" asked the
The young man rose and stood with his back to prince. “Instead of raging snow and biting wind, the fire. “Aye, he will come back," said he, “sae blazing logs, a stout roof, and a steaming supper. lang as Scotch hearts beat sae true to him.” Come, let 's to table.”
“How d’ye ken ?” asked the man, sitting for- Prince Charlie took the chair at the head. ward in his chair.
None of the others would have sat down, but he The young man twisted the signet-ring about insisted. Elspeth had set all the dishes out, so on his finger. “I should know,” said he, "for my that now she had little to do in waiting on them. name is Charles Stuart, and I sail for France at The prince and Roger were so hungry that their dawn."
Scotch host was kept busy cutting slices of veniThere was absolute silence for a moment, then son to fill their plates. the Scotchman rose from his chair and dropped It was a real Christmas eve feast, and it ended on his knees before the man in blue, and the boy with Elspeth's pride-a fine plum-pudding. When and girl knelt on either side of him. "Sae it is the last of that had vanished, Prince Charlie Your Majesty in vera truth !” the Scotchman ex- pushed his chair back from the table, and told
them some of the strange adventures that had “Get me my boots and cap and coat,” said befallen him in the last few weeks. Then he Roger. “Then if you can draw the soldier away asked Elspeth if she would not sing for him, and, from the kitchen door a minute, I 'll slip out. with a flushed face, she stood up and sang the old Call him over to the fire for a dish of broth.” Jacobite song of “The Young Chevalier," her Elspeth returned in a moment, and Roger pulled sweet voice trembling as she looked at the prince. on his boots and struggled into his fur coat and The song ended, and the prince clapped his cap.
. “Now go back and get that soldier over by hands, crying, “Brava, brava, Elspeth !" But the the fire," said he. words were scarcely out of his mouth before Again Elspeth did as she was told. Then, very there was a loud knocking at the door, and a cautiously, Roger looked in at the kitchen door. voice cried, “Open! open in the king's name !" The only light in the room was what came from
Then, before any one had time to think, the the fire. The soldier was standing beside Elspeth, door broke inward, and an officer in English uni- watching her ladle hot broth into a big cup. form stood in the room with sword drawn. And Roger waited until the soldier took the cup in behind him came others, all with muskets. The his hand and held it up to drink. Then he first man cast his eye over the startled group, and slipped around the edge of the room, keeping in singled out the young man in blue. “My orders the shadow, until he came to the door. The are to hold you, sir," said he, with a bow, "until soldier had left this unlatched, and he could open the captain-general comes out from Perth.” it without making any noise. He crept out, and
The Scotchman sprang forward, throwing him- pulled the door shut after him. self between the prince and the English officer. The storm had ended. Before him lay a great “This mon bides wi' me, and ye maun e'en kill white field of snow, and beyond were the lights me afore ye can tak him."
of a good-sized town. Roger knew that must be “Nay, friend,” said the prince. “This good Perth, so he turned up his collar, pulled his cap soldier has made a mistake. He takes me for down over his ears, and headed for the road that some other person than the simple man I am." Prince Charlie and he had left. Luckily there
"Your pardon, sir, but I take you for Charles was enough starlight now for him to see his way. Stuart,” answered the officer. “My men have been on your track since early day. There 's no
CHAPTER XIII use fighting," he added, looking at the Scotchman. "It would only be good blood spilled."
The Scotchman looked as if he were about to Roger knew that he must hurry if he was to aid throw himself on the officer, but Prince Charlie Prince Charlie. The captain and the five men put a hand on his shoulder. “There is a time for who were guarding him now were likely to be everything,” said he, gently but firmly, “and this relieved at any moment by the arrival of others is none for fighting.”
from the castle at Perth. His business was to The prince sat down again in his seat by the get to Tammas Campbell at once. So he ran and fire, and the officer bade certain of his men to slid and hurried down the highroad as fast as he guard the doors of the house. Then he helped could, until he could make out the blur of many himself to a glass of the punch.
houses, and could see spirals of smoke floating "Sit here with me, captain,” said the prince, from chimneys across the starlit sky. Several invitingly, pointing to a chair near him. “Friends cottages stood on either side of the road, and he are much better gear than enemies."
stopped in front of each one and looked for a All this time Roger had been watching every- sign. They all seemed to be small farmers' thing, but saying nothing. Two of the soldiers houses, so he kept on along the road until he sat down by the supper-table, and another was reached one that stood farther back from the talking with the Scotchman and his son Angus in highway. Following a path made by recent foota corner. One stood, musket on shoulder, out- prints, he came to the door, and peered up at a side the front door, and another had gone to sign-board that hung creaking in the wind. He watch the door at the back of the house. Elspeth could make out two crossed muskets on it, and had slipped out of the room, and now Roger stole the words, “T. Campbell, Gunsmith." out of the room also. He found Elspeth in the Roger knocked boldly upon the door. No one little dark hall, crying as if broken-hearted. answered him, so he knocked again, and then,
"Where are my boots and coat?" asked Roger, after a little wait, a third time. He stepped back, in a low voice.
and looked the house over. It was small, with a "Oh, the puir prince,” sobbed Elspeth, seeing thatched roof, and all the windows were covered it was Roger. “And he sae bonnie, too."
with wooden shutters. He was certain that this
WHAT HAPPENED TO PRINCE CHARLIE
must be the place that the prince had been aiming France ?” he asked, turning around to Roger. for, so he gave the door a stout kick with his “Ye seem to hae part o' a countersign I ken, but foot. Almost instantly it opened, and a man na the rap at the door. What is 't ye'd say to me?" looked out at him. “De'il tak ye! Why be ye Roger glanced at the men half hidden by the
haze of peat-smoke. "I'd rather speak to you alone,” said he; and added, "that is if you are Tammas Campbell."
“Aye, lad, I be Tammas Campbell right enow. An' these be good friends o' mine wha ken all my secrets." Then, as if he understood the reason for Roger's hesitation, he said: "If there 's a man wha's gangin' aff to France the morn, they be anxious to hear o' him.”
Roger realized that this was no time for distrust. “I came through the hills with a man this afternoon," said he. “We were caught in a storm and had to stop at a cottage about a mile from here. Some English soldiers broke into the house after supper, and took him prisoner."
"An' why did they do that?" demanded Campbell.
“They said he was Prince Charles Stuart.”
"Prince Charles Stuart!”
echoed the gunsmith. He "THE SOLDIER WAS WATCHING ELSPETH LADLE HOT BROTH INTO A CUP." turned toward the group of
men. “Now what think ye knockin' up honest folk this time o' nicht?” said o' that? 'T is ill news the lad brings.” the man, angrily.
"An' was he Charlie himsel?” one of the men “There 's a man up the road needs help,” said demanded. Roger. “A man who wants to go to France." "Yes," said Roger, "it was really he."
The man at the door stared at him for a mo- “Then by the blessed Saint Andrew !” exment. Then he said, “I thought ye waur a troop claimed the gunsmith, “I 'll na be sittin' here. o' horse by the racket ye made, but syne ye be Lads, will ye leave him trapped in the hands o' only a lad, ye may e'en come indoors.”
yon English butchers ?" The gunsmith's main room was a strange-look- In a trice, they were all up, stamping, growling ing place. A peat fire burned on the hearth and at the English, blessing Prince Charlie, feeling filled the room with smoke. All about were the for their dirks, and making ready to set out at parts of guns, and odds and ends of old metal. once. The fire gave the only light, but it was enough to "Every mon tak a gun," said the smith, pointshow Roger that there were a number of men on ing to a rack of muskets. “Noo, lad, lead us to the far side of the room, a rough, weather-beaten yon cot.” lot, who looked like sailors or smugglers.
Roger glanced at the crowd. There were a Tammas Campbell shut the door and bolted it. dozen of them, strapping big fellows, who looked “What was that ye said aboot a man bound to as if they would rather fight than eat. “Come!”
he cried, and, unbolting the door, led the way out “Come here, Roger,” said Prince Charlie. “Do into the road.
you know that all the time I sat by the fire with It was harder work toiling uphill than it had the English captain, I had a hope that you 'd be been sliding down, but at last Roger could point winning down to Campbell's ?" out the cottage to Campbell. The gunsmith went “He's a clever lad," said Tammas. "When he first to reconnoiter, leaving the others crouched rappit at the door, he did na give the countersign behind the bank at the side of the road. When agreed to, so I e'en let him rap. But he did na go he came back, he gave his orders, and the band away, but kept on poundin', so I took a look at of Scots crept forward. Two were told off to the him.” front of the house, and these two came so sud- “Angus, my coat and hat and boots," said denly and so fiercely upon the soldier on guard Prince Charlie. “They should be well warmed by there, that, the first thing he knew, he was flung We must be making for the French ship, forward into a snowdrift, and so stunned that he or there 'll be another rescue party climbing the could give no cry. Then these two stood by the hill.” door, and the others went to the windows. Angus brought the prince's outer garments Roger, one of the gunsmith's muskets in his hand, from the kitchen, and now helped him on with stood his place with the rest, ready to break the them. Prince Charlie shook hands with the boy window in front of him and fire as soon as he and his father.
and his father. “Keep those claymores sharp," got the word of command.
said he, "for I shall be coming back soon, and if He could see Prince Charlie and the English you two do not join me, my cause is as good as captain talking by the fire, and the soldiers sit- lost. But where is Elspeth? I must be hastening, ting at the supper-table. Then suddenly the door but I want to say good-by to her first.” was burst open, and Tammas Campbell stood on Elspeth, when she heard her name spoken, the threshold, a leveled musket at his shoulder. came into the room. The prince put out his hand "Hands up!” he roared in a voice of thunder. and took hers. “No matter what happens to me,” Without waiting, he cried, “Fire!” Musket bar- said he, “I 'll never forget how you sang, 'Charlie rels broke the glass of every window in the room, is my darling.' and muskets, aimed at the ceiling, sent out a She flushed, her eyes misty with tears. “And round of shot. Then, while the English soldiers I 'll never forget Prince Charlie," said she; and were almost blinded by the smoke and dazed by before he could stop her, she had bent and kissed the roar, the Scots sprang forward, dirks in hand, his hand. following Tammas through the open door.
Leaving the English soldiers in the ScotchThe captain, leaping from his chair by the fire, man's care, the gunsmith called his men together was sent sprawling by a blow from Campbell's and placed Prince Charlie and Roger in the fist. The soldiers at the table threw up their center of the square they formed.
"So if we hands when the steel of the dirks danced before meet any soldier men,” he explained, "they 'll na their eyes. There came a cry of warning from see who we hae wi' us, but tak us for a band o' the kitchen, and then the noise of a heavy man country loons singin' Christmas carols to the falling to the floor. Two Scots had taken charge neighbors.” of the guard at the rear, and handled him with But they looked like anything but carol singers the same skill and despatch their mates had as they shouldered their muskets and started showed with the soldier at the front. Roger down the road. Tammas led the march, and dashed into the room just in time to see the turned off by a path to the right before they enemy's complete defeat.
reached Perth. The snow was deeper here, but Campbell gave his orders sharply. The cap- the men in front made a trail which provided tain's sword and his men's muskets were secured, easier going for the prince and Roger. At last and their arms bound. Not until he had seen they paused upon a slope and saw where just in them made absolutely secure did he turn to the front of them a lantern on a ship made a rippling man in blue. Then he pulled off his woolen cap path of light upon the water. and bowed low to him.
"Yon 's the French brig,” said Tammas, point"Heaven save Your Majesty !" said he. “Trusting to the rocking light. a Scottish mon to tak an English !"
A hundred yards more brought them to a small "You've done it as neatly as ever hunter inlet, and there lay a long rowboat half hidden in trapped a boar," answered Prince Charlie. “I'll beach-grasses. The Scotchmen stepped on board never forget this night's work of you and your and took their places at the oars, Prince Charlie The boy brought you the tidings?”
and Roger sat in the stern seat, and Tammas "Aye, the lad here," said Tammas, nodding. crouched in front of them. A man in the bow