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lage of which they had now a better dashing forward, but the man whu view than before. The young lady's had been left in command called him eyes, however, were still fixed upon back, saying that they had been ordered her brother's troop, as she sat with her to remain there, and must obey. By horse turned towards the wood and this time the charge had been repulsed, with her maids behind, with Arrah and the cavaliers were retreating under Neil upon her left hand, and the a heavy fire in some disarray. They small party of troopers a little in formed again, however, behind the advance. They had remained thus for waggons and carriages. some four or five minutes in breathless Miss Walton 'remonstrated against expectation of what was to come next, the recall of her messenger, but without when they perceived the troop brought waiting to hear the reply Arrah Neil to a sudden halt, and an apparent con- exclaimed—“I will go, dear lady, I will. sultation take place at the head of the go;" and shaking her rein, she put the little column. At that moment Annie horse to its speed, and darted forward Walton heard one of the troopers just before any one could stop her. before her say aloud " They have “I will go too,” cried Annie Walbarricaded the bridge, that's clear ton. “Why should she risk her life, enough."
and a sister fear.” And thus saying, “Good God,” she exclaimed, “what she struck her horse with the whip will they do!"
and followed. In a moment, without But the man, although he heard her uttering a word, the stout yeoman words, only turned his head over his Hurst was by her side, but Arrah shoulder to give her a look, without Neil outsped them both, and rode direct making any reply.
for the path she had observed. Without “ There is a little path, lady," said fear, without pause, the devoted girl one of the maids, who, placed higher rode on, although as soon as ever she up the hill, saw niore distinctly the was perceived from the bridge the. ground beneath—“there is a little shots began to drop around her, forpath down from the side of the bridge her object was instantly divined, and no into the meadows below, if they were consideration for her sex restrained to take that, they could get out of the the soldiery. way of the wood, and I should think “This way, lady, this way," cried 'could cross the river, for it spreads out Hurst, turning to the left—we can there so wide it must be shallow.” speak to them over the dyke, and we
“ They do not see it,” said Annie shall be further from the fire.” They Walton" they do not see it for the were now within a few hundred yards bank."
of Lord Walton's party, and he was Alinost as she spoke, a considerable seen at the head of the troop gesticubody of foot drew out from the wood; lating vehemently to his sister to keep and a party of about a hundred men back. running forward, drew up in line close
away, my dear, ride away," to the bridge, and opened a fire of cried Hurst; “ I will go on;" but at musketry upon the small troop of that moment a shot struck his charger, cavalry which occupied the road. and horse and rider went down togeSeveral horses at the head of the line ther. Miss Walton however rode were seen to plunge violently, and one forward, seeing the good yeoman strugfell with its rider; the next instant the gling up; and Arrah Neil too pursued whole were in motion, and a charge her way, reached the bridge, dashed up was made upon the bridge; and for a the path, entered the road, and, in the few moments all was confusion and midst of all the fire, galloped on till, disarray, in which they could only see when within ten yards of the carriages, a that the cavaliers had recourse to their ball struck the animal in the haunches, pistols, and were endeavouring appa- and he reared violently with the pain. rently to force the barricade.
She still kept her seat, however, till “Oh the path, the path !" cried Lord Walton, spurring forward, seized Annie Walton. " If any man will ride the bridle and caught her in his arms, and tell them of the path, and that just as the horse fell, and, struggling they can ford the river below, I will in the agonies of death, rolled over give him a hundred crowns."
into the dyke. One of the truopers was instantly “ Good God, what is it !” exclained.
Vol. XXII.No. 129.
Charles Walton, bearing her back be. hind the waggons. « Annie, Annie, ride away,” he shouted to his sister “ if you love me, ride away."
“ There is a path down by the bridge—the river is fordable below,” exclaimed Arrah Neil ; " there are no dykes beyond the stream. All is clear on that side.”
“ Look, look, Charles," cried Miss Walton, pointing with her hand, “there is a body of cavalry drawing out from the village, and some one riding at full speed towards our people on the hill.”
“ Friends, on my life !" cried Major Randal. “ Now, fair aid-de-camp, gallop round there to the right and keep out of fire. Tell your people to charge the Roundheads in the front, while those from the village take them on the flank, and we do the best we can on the right. What was that you said, pretty maid?” he continued, 'addressing Arrah Neil—" a path down by the bridge ? the stream fordable?"
« Ride away, Annie, ride away,” cried Lord Walton/" more to the right, more to the right.”
“ We must push forward the carriages and carts," said Major Randal ; “they will give us some shelter. Where this girl came up, there can we go
“ I saw the path quite clear," said one of the men.
But without more words the new plan proposed was immediately fol. lowed; the carts, drawn up two abreast, were pushed forward towards the bridge by the main strength of the dismounted troopers, for the horses had become unmanageable, and the traces had been cut; and under shelter of these and of the carriages, which formed a line on the left, the troop advanced in good order to the bridge, notwithstanding all the efforts of the musketeers.
In the meanwhile Annie Walton took her way back towards the hill, beckoning to the yeoman, Hurst, who had by this time freed himself from his horse ; but he, with that sort of passive bravery which is so character. istic of the English peasant, continued deliberately to unbuckle the girths of his saddle, (about which it appeared afterwards all his stock was stowed away in various bags and contrivances,) and made not the slightest effort to
get out of musket shot till he had got the whole upon his back, after which he trudged away towards the bill, only injured by one ball which grazed his arm.
Losing no time by the way, Miss Walton soon rejoined the party of troopers at the knoll, and was giving them the order of Major Randal, when Barecolt himself came up at full speed, exclaiming
“ Great news, great news! There is the Earl of Beverley with two hundred horse, ready to charge the Roundheads in the flank."
“We have Major Randal's orders to charge them in front," said the sergeant.
“Stay, stay,” cried Barecolt-"wait a minute, wait a minute, and then the man who does not kill his five of the enemy, should never sit down with a gentleman to dinner again. Steady, my men, steady; look to your pistols, have ready your spurs. As soon as the earl has crossed the road I give the word."
“ See, see," cried Annie Walton, “they have got down into the meadow-they are fording the streamsee what a fire the enemy are keeping up upon them. Oh, charge, charge, for God's sake, and help them !"
“ Madame, I always obey a lady," said Barecolt, with a low bow, at the same time raising the blade of his sword to his lips and kissing it. is the best commanding officer in the world. Now! Upon them-charge and at them !” and with these words he led his little troop forward with an air of gallantry and determination which went far to justify the gasconades in which he indulged.
The ford though somewhat deep was smooth and easy, but still it exposed the troop of cavaliers to a terrible fire of musketry from the bridge ; and Annie Walton, left alone with her women on the hill, saw with a sinking heart flash after flash run along the road, whilst the thick white smoke was wafted by the wind over her brother's party, rendering the figures indistinct, and concealing their movements in some degree from her eyes. A moment after, however, she saw two or three horsemen break out of the cloud and gallop on for several hundred yards into the meadow; then followed a greater number, and she
could hear shouts and calls, in the a wild neigh broke away again, and midst of which she thought she dis- rushed across the plain. In another tinguished her brother's voice; and instant three or four men on foot, with then she saw the troopers halt, and muskets in their hands, were seen form again in line, while Barecolt with running at full speed, and Miss his little party bore steadily on at a Walton checked her horse, fearing that quick pace somewhat to the right; and they might come near her ; but they à much larger body of cavalry, which made direct for one of the ditches we seemed to have taken a circuit from have mentioned, and jumping in, the village behind some hedgerows seemed to crouch down for concealthat skirted the edge of the plain, ment. appeared advancing rapidly on the left “ They have won the day,” cried of the musketeers, and occupying the Annie Walton, and turning to her whole space between the wood and the women, who had followed somewhat high road.
slowly, she repeated_“ The cavaliers There was now a momentary pause, have won the day—God grant it may the firing ceased, the troop of Lord be without great loss ;" and at the Walton and Major Randal remained thought of what might be her brostill, the smoke cleared in some degree ther's fate in that fierce fight, her away, and Annie asked herself, " what heart sunk with that dread which we next!”
all feel when the veil which always The moment, however, that Bare- hangs more or less over the future is colt came upon a line with the rest, brought nearer to our eyes, so as to the shrill blast of a truinpet was heard render our contemplation even of the from the two larger bodies of horse ; present dim and indistinct. all were again in movement; and, gal- A larger party of foot, consisting of loping forward towards the point oc- perhaps twenty or thirty men, was cupied by the musketeers, the three then seen hurrying along the road; parties of royalists charged headlong but close upon them came a body of down upon them, while once more the cavalry, and in a moment they were bright flash of the firearms ran along dispersed and flying over the plain the line of the road, and the cloud of Almost at the same time the heavy smoke again rolled over the com- mass of horse and infantry which had batants.
so long remained mingled together It was no longer to be repulsed that near the bridge, seemed to explode the cavaliers now charged. For full like a shell, parties of foot and horseten minutes the eyes of the watchers men scattering here and there in every on the hill could perceive nothing but direction; and the terrible scene of a one struggling and confused mass in rout and pursuit now took place—the the midst of the dim white cloud musketeers in general casting down with the frequent flashes of the guns, their arms and flying, while the cavaand every now and then a party of two liers followed them here and there over or three becoming more apparent, and the plain, and put them to the sword then plunging again into the midst of on the least show of resistance. In the melee. At the same time the fre- the midst of all this disarray and conquent reports of the musketry and the fusion a group of some twenty or long-continued blasts of the trumpet, thirty horsemen were seen gathered mingled with shouts and cries, were round a small flag upon the highest part borne by the wind to the ear, showing of the road near the bridge; and after that the fight was continued with des- a brief pause, during which they reperate determination on each side ; and mained perfectly still and motionless, the Annie Walton could restrain her loud and peculiar trumpet call-known anxiety no longer, but moved slowly in those days as the recall to the stanforward towards the scene of combat. dard-came shrill but musical upon the
Before she had advanced many air ; and the next instant four or five yards, a horse without a rider rushed horsemen separated themselves from across the road, and galloped over the the party, and rode up at an easy canmeadows towards her-paused, turned ter towards the wooded knoll. round, and, with elevated head and ex- Annie Walton gazed eagerly, and, panded nostrils, gazed towards the recognising her brother's form after place from which he came-then with one moment of brief anxiety, rode on
to meet him with her heart at ease. Lord Walton pushed forward his horse before the rest, and wheeling it by her side, pressed her hand in his, murmuring, “ My dearest Annie, my sweet sister, you have been sadly terrified, I fear, but yet you have showed yourself a soldier's child.”
“ Oh, Charles, Charles, you are wounded,” cried Annie, looking in his face, which was bleeding, and at a gory scarf which was round his left arm.
“ Nothing, nothing," replied her brother. “ Men will have scratches when they fight with wild beasts, Annie; and these Roundheads have showed themselves as fierce and intractable. They fought gallantly, however, it must be owned, and have made us pay dearly for our success."
« I fear so, indeed, Charles,” cried Miss Walton. “ I am sure it must be But
poor Arrah Neil-is she safe?"
“ Oh yes, thank God," replied Lord Walton. “I sent just now to the coach in which I had placed her, to make sure she was uninjured. I must not blame her rashness, my Annie, nor yours either, for it has been the means of saving us; but it was a terrible risk, my dear girl, and your escape is a miracle.”
“ And good Major Randal?" asked Annie, willing to change the subject.
“ He is safe too,” replied Lord Walton, “and without a scratch, though never man exposed himself more. But here comes another friend whom you will be glad to see, and to whom we owe all our success.”
• Oh, Sir Francis Clare," exclaimed Miss Walton, with a glow of pleasure rising in her cheek, “ I am most happy to see you."
“Nay, not Sir Francis Clare either," cried her brother, “but my oldest and truest friend, the Earl of Beverley."
“ Nay,” said Annie, with a smile, o this is not fair of you, my lord, to give me a false name the other day. I half intend to punish you by treating you as a stranger still. Had you told me it was Lord Beverley, I should not have said that I never heard my brother mention you, for I can assure you, in former days his letters were full of no one else. However, there is my hand—I forgive you, trusting with all a woman's foolish confidence
that you had some good reason for cheating me."
“ I will never cheat you more, dear lady," replied Lord Beverley, taking her hand and raising it to his lips ; “but in such times as these, it is sometimes needful to seem not what we are, and these noms de guerre when once assumed should be kept up to every one. I had to ride near two hundred miles across a disturbed country where the name of Francis Clare might pass unquestioned, when that of Beverley might have soon found me a lodging in the tower. Walton said it was a rash act of mine to risk such an expedition at all, but I have just heard from him that I am not the only rash person where there is a good cause and a great object to be gained."
Nay, will you scold me too ?" rejoined Miss Walton, laughing; "if so I will hold no further conversation with you. Yet, my good lord, to say truth, I take less blame to myself for what I did, than for not doing it at once. To see the poor gir), Arrah Neil, willing to risk' her life to serve my brother shamed me, to think that she should encounter danger alone.”
“ But you might have sent one of the men, dear Annie," said Lord Walton: “it was a soldier's, not a lady's, task to carry such intelligence.”
• But they would not go," replied Annie Walton; and as they rode back towards the high road, she explained to her brother and his friend the circumstances under which she had acted.
For a minute or two the conversation was as gay and cheerful as a great success just obtained, a great deliverance just achieved, could render it. Lord Beverley explained to his fair companion, that having learned that morning on entering the neighbouring village with a body of two hundred horse, which he had raised for the service of the king, that a regiment of parliamentary musketeers were lying concealed at the back of the wood, and supposing that their ambush was directed against himself, he bad determined to remain in the place, and defend it, should need be, against them; but that when he found the passage of Lord Walton's troop was opposed, and his friend in danger, he had instantly called his men to the saddle, and advanced to support him. Lord Walton, too, related many of
those actions which in such scenes of able below. However, get you into strife are always crowded into the the carriage again, and shut your eyes space of a few minutes; and much or draw the curtains, for I see you praise did he bestow upon the gallant look white and sickish, and these sights determination of Major Randal and are not fit for women. The men will his troop, and also upon the steadiness have soon pulled down that barricade, and courage displayed by his own and then you can go on, while we get tenantry and adherents. Captain Bare- up the wounded and follow. We must colt himself had his full share of com- do ten miles more to-night.” mendation.
“I should prefer to ride," replied “I had thought,” said Charles Miss Walton; “ you had better put Walton, « from his ridiculous brava- the wounded people in the carriages. does during the last two days, that the " True, true-well bethought,” anman must be at least a coward, al. swered the old soldier.
" You are a though Randal is not one to suffer good girl after all.” such an animal near him: but it proved Lord Walton smiled at the somequite the contrary; and I saw his what ambiguous compliment to his long body constantly in the thick of sister ; but as no time was to be lost, the melee, and his heavy sword cutting he left her under the care of Lord right and left at the steel caps of the Beverley, and proceeded to give orders, musketeers over the very muzzles of and make those arrangements which their guns."
the circumstances required. The barAs they approached nearer to the ricade, which had been constructed scene of conflict, however, the sights hastily of felled trees, stone, and turf, which Miss Walton witnessed the was speedily removed, and the foredead, the dying, the wounded, the most of the carriages was being road stained with deep pools of blood, brought forward to receive some of and the sounds that met her ear-the the severely wounded, who were lying groan of anguish, the sad complaint, about within the very narrow circle to the cry for water and for help_blotted which the strife had been confined, when out all memory of their success ; and Lord Walton's servant, Langan, rode with a shuddering frame and a sad up, exclaiming—“ My lord, my lord, heart she followed her brother to the the prisoners have made their escape.' spot where Major Randal was sitting “ What prisoners ?" demanded Lord by his cornet, on the parapet of the Walton, forgetting those he had bridge, receiving accounts from the brought from Bishop's Merton. different troopers as they came in of Why that Roundhead rascal and the prisoners taken from the enemy, canting hypocrite, Dry of Longsoaken, and the killed and wounded on their with Thistleton, and the rest. own part, while ever and anon a “ No," rejoined Roger Hartup, who mounted trumpeter by his side blew a was standing near, with a severe wound loud, long blast to call the parties in his shoulder, “I shot Thistleton from the pursuit.
through the head after the first charge. “ Ah, Miss Walton," cried the old He had picked up a sword, I don't officer, starting up and addressing her know how, and got out of the carin his usual bluff tone, “ I am glad riage, and was just making a plunge at to see you safe and well. I will never Jackson, the forester, when I blew his say that women are of no use any brains out with my pistol ; you will more; for by my faith, you and that find him lying behind the waggons. other girl got us out of a pretty pre- Of the rest I know nothing.” dicament. I was blind enough or • They are all gone,'
answered stupid enough, and so were all the Langan. rest, not to mark the little path, for 66 And Arrah Neil?" exclaimed Lord we passed it in charging up to the Walton, advancing towards the car. bridge, and if we had we should not riages. But Arrah Neil was not have known that the stream was ford- there.