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HOW THE KNIGHTS DECIDED
cast off. “Noo,” said Tammas, "pull for the brig other night, and also the little amulet of jade. yonder. All the redcoats i' the kingdom should He took the book from the shelf and the amuna hae Prince Charlie noo."
let from its drawer in the cabinet, and carried The prince looked back at the shore they were them to the tiger skin before the fire. He leaving. “Farewell, Scotland !” he murmured. stretched out, and opened the book at the page “My heart is sore at going, but I 'll come back. that was still marked with the slip of paper he Yes, I 'll come back to you."
had left in it. He read the lines again, out loud, The Scotchmen pulled strong oars, the water
to catch the sound of them. splashed from their blades, and the light on the He finished reading, and, looking down at the brig grew larger, and soon Roger could make out amulet in his hand, wished that he might see his her lines and even see a group of men gathered knights again. Then, above the crackling of the in the bow, facing toward them. “Noo let her fire, he caught a murmur of voices. With a beatrun !" called Tammas. The oars rose and stayed ing heart, he got up and looked about. Yes, the poised, and the long boat shot gently into the room was as it had been on that other night, with great black shadow made by the ship. “Here we tapestries hanging where the windows would are, Roger," said Prince Charlie. "In good time, have been. too, for yonder streak on the horizon looks like Trembling with excitement, Roger dropped the dawn to me."
amulet into his pocket, and walking across the CHAPTER XIV
room, pulled the tapestries apart. Beyond lay the hall of the Knights of the Golden Spur. The
banner of white, with the spur of gold in its When Roger woke up the next morning, he center, hung high above the shining table, and found the storm had cleared and he could see the torches in their rings about the walls lighted from his window the motionless white arms of the faces and figures of the six men who sat the elm at the side of the house. But he did not about the board. One chair stood empty, just as jump right out of bed because he could not help it had before. wondering how Prince Charlie was faring in the Sir Lancelot was speaking. “'T is well met French brig, and if he would really return to we are, brothers," said he, "to cast our balance Scotland some day and fight for his throne again. on this closing night of the year. When we last As he was thinking that, Roger's father knocked met, a lad of this new century came to us, eager at his door, and said, “Roger, you 'd better tumble to win yon vacant seat. Has each of ye seen him out as quick as you can, or you 'll find it 's the since ?" day after Christmas."
“Aye,” came in a chorus of voices from those That would never do; so Roger hastened to gathered there. dress, and ran down to breakfast. He got there “And what think ye of him?" asked Lancelot. in time to find that it was still December twenty "Speak first, Prince Charlie.” fifth, and to wish all the family a Merry Christ- The young man in blue smiled as he glanced
about the circle of expectant faces. "Roger MilThat was a wonderful holiday week, for the toun went through a storm with me when we fine weather held, and the boys could live out-of- were like to perish,” he answered. "He carried doors. But one thing worried Roger as the news of my capture to a house of strange men, holidays wore on. Each one of the knights who and brought them back to save me. He was true had sat at the table had come to Westover House as steel to me." and taken him away with him, as they had "What sayest thou, Philip Sidney?" asked Sir agreed, and now he was afraid there would be Lancelot, turning. no more adventures.
Sir Philip Sidney pushed his chair a little back Christmas week passed, and he saw none of from the table. “England needed help," said he, them. New-year's eve came, and Roger's father "for Spain's Armada was ready to descend upon and mother drove away in a sleigh to a neigh- Traitors were sending secrets across seas, bor's house, for a dinner-party, and to see the and, when they might have slipped me, Roger New-year in. Roger sat reading in the library pursued and wrenched the gilded tube from a until the clock struck eleven. Then he put his traitor's neck. My gracious Queen Elizabeth has book on the table and went over to the hearth, thanked him, and she is a judge of daring men.” where he kicked the big logs into a blaze. He "And I," said the tall man in the black armor, did not feel sleepy, and he did not want to go to with the ostrich-plumes in his helmet, "can vouch bed. Then he remembered the book, bound in his cunning and his courage. He won me back green and gold, that he had been reading on that my father, who was duped by certain evil men.”
“He helped me bring a young earl out of evil order, Little John, Richard Cour de Lion, the plight," put in Richard Cæur de Lion. “And his Blaok Prince, Sir Philip Sidney, and Prince wits are of keen edge.”
Charlie. Last of all, Roger sat down in his big “So say I,” said Little John. “We made him arm-chair. one of Robin Hood's band.”
One fear was in his mind, and he could not "He rode with me to Forfars," said Lancelot, keep it from his lips. “Will the amulet and the "and but for him, I should never have seen verses bring you all again, Sir Lancelot?” he Camelot again. How say ye? Is he worthy the asked. seat that 's waiting there?"
Lancelot smiled. “When there is need of brave Again came the chorus of voices, “Aye, he is !" work to be done, of wrongs to be redressed, of
"I pray thee bring him hither, Prince Charlie," ills to be prevented, we will each come to thee, said Sir Lancelot.
according to our need. When thou hast need of Prince Charlie rose and stepped to the tapes- any one of us, hold the little spur in thy hands tries. He flung them back. There stood Roger, and speak his name. He will be standing by his eyes dancing with joy and excitement. thee when thou lookest up again. Twice every “Oho,” said Prince Charlie, “so you heard what year we meet here in our hall, summer's I said about you !"
night, and every New-year's eve. Thou wilt “I could n't help it," answered Roger. "I know we are here, for I shall summon thee.” did n't know you were all here again, but when I Roger sat back in his chair, satisfied. He had found you, I could n't go away."
never been so happy in his life. Then there “There is no need of that now, Roger," said boomed out on the night the first stroke of a the young man in blue. “Give me your hand.” great bell, ringing somewhere in the distance.
Prince Charlie led him past the curtains and up Sir Lancelot stood up. “The old year passes, to the big arm-chair which stood on the opposite brothers. A welcome to the New-year!" side of the round table from that of Sir Lancelot. They all leaped to their feet, a sword shining The knights had all risen and were looking at in each unlifted hand. Roger felt instinctively Roger.
at his belt. He found the hilt of a sword, and "Here is Roger Miltoun, my brothers,” said drew the blade forth. Like the rest, he pointed Prince Charlie, "and he is as fit to be a knight of it toward the banner. “Hail to the New-year; this new century as we each were of ours." to the New-year all hail !" came the loud chorus
Roger glanced about the circle of faces, each of voices, Roger's among them. So they stood so different from the others, and yet each that of while the bell rang out its twelve slow strokes, an old friend. At last he looked at the splendid and at the last each thrust his sword yet higher man in gold, whose clear, deep eyes were fixed toward the banner.
“We have all tried thee, Roger," he said slowly, The last stroke was still echoing in the air, but "in peril of witchcraft and of storm, of treach- the torches, the table, and the knights were gone. ery and craft, and we have all found thee stead- Roger was standing at the bow-window in his fast. The last seat at the board is thine."
father's library, looking out over the fields of Then Sir Lancelot took a small golden spur
He heard the last echo grow fainter, that hung at his shining belt, and passed it to fainter, and then vanish. He held something Little John. He, in turn, handed it to the Black clutched in his left hand. He opened his fingers Prince, and he to Prince Charlie. “This is the and looked down at it. It was a little gold spur, of badge of our order," said Prince Charlie, as he an old-fashioned pattern and curiously wrought. placed the little spur in Roger's hands.
He turned and walked over to the fireplace. “Now," came the ringing voice of Lancelot, The book bound in green and gold still lay on the "our table is complete! Hail the last knight; tiger rug where he had left it. He looked about give hail to Roger Miltoun !"
the room. There was no doubt it was his father's Each man drew his sword and flashed it above library. "Yes, I 'm wide awake," said he, aloud, his head, pointing it toward the great banner "and I 'm certainly here at home." He looked that hung high above the table. "Hail, Roger down at the spur again. “Yet here 's the spur Miltoun! Hail, the new Knight of the Golden they gave me; so it must be true. I 've only to Spur!" they cried.
keep it safe, and want one of them very much, The swords fell and were sheathed. Then and he'll come to me. And more than that, I, Lancelot took his seat again, and after him in too, am a Knight of the Golden Spur!"
BY GEORGE LAWRENCE PARKER
ROUND every general can and will keep him from losing his character.
when he goes to It may not make a boy win every foot-ball game,
ness or selfishness or wrong. It will make him sometimes a whole commander of himself and of his own thoughts troop, called his and actions, even if the rest of his army is debody-guard. Their feated. If the troops in the field become demain duty is to moralized, as the phrase is, the body-guard reprotect the com- mains to see that our real self is not defeated.
mander. Whoever You see how important a thought this is. And,
is in danger, he first of all, notice that there is a difference in the
must not be; whoever two body-guards I have mentioned. The genfalls, he must not. They do not do skirmish duty, eral's body-guard is only provided for him after nor picket duty, this body-guard; they protect the he becomes a general. But the body-guard of general. Their business is to serve the whole each of us as individuals, as Tom, or Mary, or army by guarding the life of the one who, in his Elizabeth, is provided for us from the very moturn, serves the army by commanding it. The ment of our birth. We go on adding to it or position of these men is a proud one, and they strengthening it, but it is really there almost as are often the pick of the fighting force. To be soon as we begin to live. In other words, our near the general and responsible for his safety is body-guard grows up with us; it is not made up an enviable post, and the warm sense of friend- of strangers. It is around us from the first. ship between the chief of the whole army and this Who and what are some of the members of small part of it, is a prize that every soldier this body-guard-some of these things that are would like to call his own.
closest to us? We must know them by name, When we enter the fighting-field of life, as if what I have said of them is true. each of us must do, we are provided with a body- The first I want to name is Character. Charguard. In time we may come to command large acter is the quality that keeps us always ourarmies in the field of business, or we may com
selves. It stands nearest to that innermost part mand forces in the field of art, as Raphael and of us that each calls “myself”; sometimes it is even Rembrandt and Turner did; or in the field of hard to distinguish the two. But I like to keep science, as Helmholz and Edison; or in literature, Character in my body-guard. Character stands as did Dickens and Stevenson. We may do all firm under every trial, if we give it the chance to this, and yet be exposed to great danger and do so. It says to all the enemies,-temptation, failure if our body-guard should desert or prove discouragement, bad luck, the blues, and hosts of cowardly. And, on the other hand, it is well to others, — “You may defeat the rest of the army, remember that if we never hold a generalship or but you dare not come near the general.” Chara place of command, this body-guard is still acter is the quality that always reminds me that necessary. Every person needs it, and every per- I am myself. It stands just next to myself and son has it, whether he becomes as famous as goes on repeating, "Be yourself! Don't forget Napoleon, or lives quietly in a country village all who you are; don't act below yourself.” Wherhis life. It is as much needed in carrying on ever it began, Character is the first in our bodythe smallest duties of life as it is in conducting guard. He will never desert. A boy or girl who campaigns of war or discovering a new comet. has character, who keeps character strong and The body-guard I am speaking of, as you surely alive, can never truly be defeated. see by this time, is something that has to do with Then, in our body-guard, is one called Disposius as individuals, rather than as people who hold tion. Some people have good characters, but unthis or that position. It is the protecting force, pleasant dispositions. Disposition obeys orders, the selected troop of habits, influences, and char- and we really are to blame if he sulks constantly. acter, which is close to us to see that, no matter He is more teachable than Character, and we can whether we win or lose the fight, we shall not improve him if we begin early. If I am cross lose the life of our best self. This body-g rd and ugly in my tone of voice or looks, it may not may not keep a man from losing his money, but it be bad character, but more likely it is bad disposition. What I need to do is to cultivate that body-guard. He will obey the general only. If Disposition, educate him until he grows better. I, that self of mine, give him strict orders, he If my character is really good, I must tell my will obey; but if I am careless, he obeys no one disposition that he must not tell a falsehood about and tries to command every one. Habit is the me, but must show me to others as I really am. timekeeper of the body-guard. He tells the rest Disposition must be made to keep step with of the troop just when the general needs help.
. Character. As the actors on the stage usually Habit, if allowed to get slipshod, will at once get their signs, or "cues," from another actor, so spoil the rest of the body-guard, and then the Disposition must take his sign from Character; general himself, and his right-hand man, Charotherwise we appear worse than we are. And, acter, are in very great danger. Yes, very great ! sometimes, if Disposition remains bad too long, he The body-guard has many others in it whom can even spoil Character entirely. Just as a poor you can write down for yourself. You will be player can easily spoil the acting of a great one. wise if you call the roll some day soon. Ask
Temper is in our body-guard, a most excellent Purpose if he is there; ask Good-will if he is protector if controlled. I will only say of him there; call for Industry, Energy, Perseverance, that he is like a good watch-dog. He does best Hopefulness, and for the whole splendid comservice when he is chained up. Keep Temper in pany. They like to be reminded of the general's the body-guard, as we keep a good dog near the care, and you are the general. door of our house at night. He will bark when You see why the body-guard is a selected troop noise reaches him, but he must not run after -the King's Own. And do you not also see that, noises a mile off that don't concern him. A great as we go on through life, these are the things many boys lose their tempers over foolish things. that stay nearest to us. They protect us; and beTheir watch-dog has run away, and is off duty. tween us and them grows up an affection and I have seen a boy get angry over a shoe-lace that friendship which is far greater than we can ever had caught in a knot; then when, a few moments have for mere skill, or cunning, or power, or later, he saw another boy act rudely, he had no knowledge. These last are good troops, and we temper left to make him go up to that boy and need them. But far more do we need about us say, in a quiet but strong voice: "You ought to the body-guard of Character, Disposition, Temknow better than that."
per, Habit, Purpose, and their sort. When the In this chosen troop, so very close to us, is one battle is lost, we are still victors if we can say, called Habit. He is a kind of an outsider at “My body-guard stood firm. I am still a confirst, yet he sooner or later manages the whole queror, for I have been true to myself."
BY PAULINE FRANCES CAMP
A THOUSAND little plants should be a-greening o'er the land,
“Good resolutions" were the seeds they planted in the snow;
So, in this lovely springtime, look about beneath the leaves,
'T is time the plants were getting just a little better care ! VOL. XXXIX. -81.