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Title: Graham of Claverhouse
Author: Maclaren, Ian, 1850-1907
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Illustration: Lady Dundee lifted up the child for him to kiss.
Pages 261-2.]



  Graham of Claverhouse

  By

  IAN MACLAREN

  Author of

  _"Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush,"_
  _"Kate Carnegie," "Young Barbarians,"_
  _"A Doctor of the Old School,"_
  _Etc., Etc._

  Illustrated in Water-Colors by FRANK T. MERRILL

  Copyright, 1907, by John Watson


  The Sale of this book in New York and Philadelphia
  is confined to the stores of
  JOHN WANAMAKER.


  NEW YORK AND LONDON
  THE AUTHORS AND NEWSPAPERS ASSOCIATION
  1907



  COPYRIGHT, 1907, BY
  JOHN WATSON.

  _Entered at Stationers' Hall._
  _All rights reserved._


  Composition and Electrotyping by
  J. J. Little & Co.
  Printing and binding by
  The Plimpton Press, Norwood, Mass., U. S. A.



CONTENTS


                           BOOK I.
  CHAPTER                                                 PAGE
    I.--By the Camp Fire                                    11
   II.--The Battle of Sineffe                               31
  III.--A Decisive Blow                                     53
   IV.--A Change of Masters                                 72

                           BOOK II.

    I.--A Covenanting House                                 93
   II.--The Coming of the Amalekite                        114
  III.--Between Mother and Lover                           133
   IV.--Thy People Shall Be My People, Thy God My God      155

                          BOOK III.

    I.--One Fearless Man                                   175
   II.--The Crisis                                         194
  III.--The Last Blow                                      216
   IV.--Thou Also False                                    237

                           BOOK IV.

    I.--Treason in the Camp                                263
   II.--Visions of the Night                               284
  III.--Faithful Unto Death                                303



[Illustration: (FACSIMILE PAGE OF MANUSCRIPT FROM BESIDE THE BONNIE
BRIAR BUSH)]



GRAHAM OF CLAVERHOUSE



BOOK I

CHAPTER I

BY THE CAMP-FIRE


That afternoon a strange thing had happened to the camp of the Prince
of Orange, which was pitched near Nivelle in Brabant, for the Prince
was then challenging Condé, who stuck behind his trenches at Charleroi
and would not come out to fight. A dusty-colored cloud came racing
along the sky so swiftly--yet there was no wind to be felt--that it
was above the camp almost as soon as it was seen. When the fringes of
the cloud encompassed the place, there burst forth as from its belly a
whirlwind and wrought sudden devastation in a fashion none had ever
seen before or could afterwards forget. With one long and fierce gust
it tore up trees by the roots, unroofed the barns where the Prince's
headquarters were, sucked up tents into the air, and carried soldiers'
caps in flocks, as if they were flocks of rooks. This commotion went
on for half an hour, then ceased as instantly as it began; there was
calm again and the evening ended in peace, while the cloud of fury
went on its way into the west, and afterwards we heard that a very
grand and strong church at Utrecht had suffered greatly. As the camp
was in vast disorder, both officers and men bivouacked in the open
that night, and as it was inclined to chill in those autumn evenings,
fires had been lit not only for the cooking of food, but for the
comfort of their heat. Round one fire a group of English gentlemen had
gathered, who had joined the Prince's forces, partly because, like
other men of their breed, they had an insatiable love of fighting, and
partly to push their fortunes, for Englishmen in those days, and still
more Scotsmen were willing to serve on any side where the pay and the
risks together were certain, and under any commander who was a man of
his head and hands. Europe swarmed with soldiers of fortune from Great
Britain, hard bitten and fearless men, some of whom fell far from
home, and were buried in unknown graves, others of whom returned to
take their share in any fighting that turned up in their own country.
So it came to pass that many of our Islanders had fought impartially
with equal courage and interest for the French and against them, like
those two Scots who met for the first time at the camp-fire that
night, and whose fortunes were to the end of the chapter to be so
curiously intertwined. There was Collier, who afterwards became My
Lord Patmore; Rooke, who rose to be a major-general in the English
army; Hales, for many years Governor of Chelsea Hospital; Venner, the
son of one of Cromwell's soldiers, who had strange notions about a
fifth monarchy which was to be held by our Lord himself, but who was a
good fighting man; and some others who came to nothing and left no
mark. Two young Scots gentlemen were among the Englishmen, who were to
have a share in making history in their own country, and both to die
as generals upon the battle-field, the death they chiefly loved. Both
men were to suffer more than falls to the ordinary lot, and the life
of one, some part of whose story is here to be told, was nothing else
but tragedy. For the gods had bestowed upon him quick gifts of mind
and matchless beauty of face, and yet he was to be hated by his
nation, till his name has become a byword, and to be betrayed by his
own friends who were cowards or self-seekers, and to find even love,
like a sword, pierce his heart.

Scotland contains within it two races, and partly because their blood
is different and partly because the one race has lived in the open and
fertile Lowlands, and the other in the wild and shadowy Highlands, the
Celt of the North and the Scot of the south are well-nigh as distant
from each other as the east from the west. But among the Celts there
were two kinds in that time, and even unto this day the distinction
can be found by those who look for it. There was the eager and fiery
Celt who was guided by his passions rather than by prudence, who
struck first and reasoned afterwards, who was the victim of varying
moods and the child of hopeless causes. He was usually a Catholic in
faith, so far as he had any religion, and devoted to the Stuart
dynasty, so far as he had any policy apart from his chief. There was
also another sort of Celt, who was quiet and self-contained,
determined and persevering. Men of this type were usually Protestant
in their faith, and when the day of choice came they threw in their
lot with Hanover against Stuart. Hugh MacKay was the younger son of an
ancient Highland house of large possessions and much influence in the
distant North of Scotland; his people were suspicious of the Stuarts
because the kings of that ill-fated line were intoxicated with the
idea of divine right, and were ever clutching at absolute power; nor
had the MacKays any overwhelming and reverential love for bishops,
because they considered them to be the instruments of royal tyranny
and the oppressors of the kirk. MacKay has found a place between
Collier and Venner, and as he sits leaning back against a saddle and
to all appearance half asleep, the firelight falls on his broad,
powerful, but rather awkward figure, and on a strong, determined face,
which in its severity is well set off by his close-cut sandy hair.
Although one would judge him to be dozing, or at least absorbed in his
own thoughts, if anything is said which arrests him, he will cast a
quick look on the speaker, and then one marks that his eyes are steely
gray, cold and penetrating, but also brave and honest. By and by he
rouses himself, and taking a book out of an inner pocket, and leaning
sideways towards the fire, he begins to read, and secludes himself
from the camp talk. Venner notices that it is a Bible, and opens his
mouth to ask him whether he can give him the latest news about the
fifth monarchy which made a windmill in his poor father's head, but,
catching sight of MacKay's grim profile, thinks better and only
shrugs his shoulders. For MacKay was not a man whose face or manner
invited jesting.

Upon the other side of the fire, so that the two men could only catch
occasional and uncertain glimpses of each other through the smoke, as
was to be their lot in after days, lay the other Scot in careless
grace, supporting his head upon his hand, quite at his ease and in
good fellowship with all his comrades. If MacKay marked a contrast to
the characteristic Celt of hot blood and wayward impulses, by his
reserve and self-control, John Graham was quite unlike the average
Lowlander by the spirit of feudal prejudice and romantic sentiment, of
uncalculating devotion and loyalty to dead ideals, which burned within
his heart, and were to drive him headlong on his troubled and
disastrous career. A kinsman of the great Montrose and born of a line
which traced its origin to Scottish kings, the child of a line of
fighting cavaliers, he loathed Presbyterians, their faith and their
habits together, counting them fanatics by inherent disposition and
traitors whenever opportunity offered. He was devoted to the Episcopal
Church of Scotland, and regarded a bishop with reverence for the sake
of his office, and he was ready to die, as the Marquis of Montrose had
done before him, for the Stuart line and their rightful place. One
can see as he stretches himself, raising his arms above his head with
a taking gesture, that he is not more than middle size and slightly
built, though lithe and sinewy as a young tiger, but what catches
one's eye is the face, which is lit up by a sudden flash of firelight.
It is that of a woman rather than a man, and a beautiful woman to
boot, and this girl face he was to keep through all the days of strife
and pain, and also fierce deeds, till they carried him dead from
Killiecrankie field. It was a full, rich face, with fine complexion
somewhat browned by campaign life, with large, expressive eyes of
hazel hue, whose expression could change with rapidity from love to
hate, which could be very gentle in a woman's wooing, or very hard
when dealing with a Covenanting rebel, but which in repose were apt to
be sad and hopeless. The lips are rich and flexible, the nose strong
and straight, the eyebrows high and well arched, and the mouth, with
the short upper lip, is both tender and strong. His abundant and rich
brown hair he wears in long curls falling over his shoulders, as did
the cavaliers, and he is dressed with great care in the height of
military fashion, evidently a gallant and debonair gentleman. He has
just ceased from badinage with Rooke, in which that honest soldier's
somewhat homely army jokes have been worsted by the graceful play of
Graham's wit, who was ever gay, but never coarse, who was no ascetic,
and was ever willing to drink the king's health, but, as his worst
enemies used grudgingly to admit, cared neither for wine nor women.
Silence falls for a little on the company. Claverhouse looking into
the fire and seeing things of long ago and far away, hums a Royalist
ballad to the honor of King Charles, and the confounding of crop-eared
Puritans. Among the company was that honest gentleman, Captain George
Carlton, who was afterwards to tell many entertaining anecdotes of the
War in Spain under that brilliant commander Lord Peterborough. And as
Carlton, who was ever in thirst for adventures, had been serving with
the fleet, and had only left it because he thought there might be more
doing now in other quarters, Venner demanded whether he had seen
anything whose telling would make the time pass more gayly by the
fire, for as that liberated Puritan said: "My good comrade on the
right is engaged at his devotions, and I also would be reading a Bible
if I had one, but my worthy father studied the Good Book so much that
men judged it had driven him crazy, and I having few wits to lose
have been afraid to open it ever since. As for Mr. Graham, if I catch
the air he is singing, it is a song of the malignants against which as
a Psalm-singing Puritan I lift my testimony. So a toothsome story of
the sea, if it please you, Mr. Carlton."

"Apart from the fighting, gentlemen," began Carlton, who was a man of
careful speech and stiff mind, "for I judge you do not hanker after
battle-tales, seeing we shall have our stomach full ere many days be
past, if the Prince can entice Condé into the open, there were not
many things worth telling. But this was a remarkable occurrence, the
like of which I will dare say none of you have seen, though I know
there are men here who have been in battle once and again. Upon the
'Catherine' there was a gentleman volunteer, a man of family and fine
estate, by the name of Hodge Vaughan. Early in the fight, when the
Earl of Sandwich was our admiral and Van Ghent commanded the Dutch,
Vaughan received a considerable wound, and was carried down into the
hold. Well, it happened that they had some hogs aboard and, the worse
for poor Hodge Vaughan, the sailor who had charge of them, like any
other proper Englishman, was fonder of fighting than of feeding pigs,
and so left them to forage for themselves. As they could get nothing
else, and liked a change in their victuals when it came within their
reach, they made their meal off Vaughan, and when the fight was over
there was nothing left of that poor gentleman except his skull, which
was monstrous thick and bade defiance to the hogs. This is not a
common happening," continued Carlton with much composure, "and I thank
my Maker I was not carried into that hold to be a hog's dinner. Yet I
give you my word of honor that the tale is true."

"Lord! it was a cruel ending for a gallant gentleman," said Collier,
"and it makes gruesome telling. Have you anything else sweeter for the
mouth, for there be enough of hogs on the land as well as on sea, and
some of them go round the field, where men are lying helpless, on two
legs and not on four, from whom heaven defend us."

"Since you ask for more," replied Carlton, "a thing took place about
which there was much talk, and on it I should like to have your
judgment. Upon the same ship with myself, there was a gentleman
volunteer, and he came with the name of a skilful swordsman. He had
been in many duels and thought no more of standing face to face with
another man, and he cared not who he was, than taking his breakfast.
You would have said that he of all men would have been the coolest on
the deck and would have given no heed to danger. Yet the moment the
bullets whizzed he ran into the hold, and for all his land mettle he
was a coward on the sea. When everyone laughed at him and he was
becoming a thing of scorn, he asked to be tied to the mainmast, so
that he might not be able to escape. So it comes into my mind,"
concluded Carlton, "to ask this question of you gallant gentlemen, Is
courage what Sir Walter Raleigh calls it, if I mind me rightly, the
art of the philosophy of quarrel, or must it not be the issue of
principle and rest upon a steady basis of religion? I should like to
ask those artists in murder, meaning no offence to any gentleman
present who may have been out in a duel, to tell me this, why one who
has run so many risks at his sword's point should be turned into a
coward at the whizz of a cannon ball?"

"There is not much puzzle in it as it seems to me," answered Rooke;
"every man that is worth calling such has so much courage, see you,
but there are different kinds. As Mr. Carlton well called it, there is
land mettle, and that good swordsman was not afraid when his feet
were on the solid ground, then there is sea mettle, and faith he had
not much of that, a trifle too little, I grant you, for a gentleman.
So it is in measure with us all I never saw the horse I would not
mount or the wall within reason I would not take, but I cannot put my
foot in a little boat and feel it rising on the sea without a tremble
at the heart. That is how I read the riddle."

"What I hold," burst in Collier, "is that everything depends on a
man's blood. If it be pure and he has come of a good stock, he cannot
play the coward any more than a lion can stalk like a fox. Land or
sea, whatever tremble be at the heart he faces his danger as a
gentleman should, though there be certain kinds of danger, as has been
said, which are worse for some men than others. But I take it your
gentleman volunteer, though he might be a good player with the sword,
was, if you knew it, a mongrel."

"If you mean by mongrel humbly born," broke in Venner, "saving your
presence, you are talking nonsense, and I will prove it to you from
days that are not long passed. When it came to fighting in the days of
our fathers, I say not that the lads who followed Rupert were not
gallant gentlemen and hardy blades, but unless my poor memory has
been carried off by that infernal whirlwind, I think Old Noll's
Ironsides held their own pretty well. And who were they but
blacksmiths and farmer men, from Essex and the Eastern counties. There
does not seem to me much difference between the man from the castle
and the man behind the plough when their blood is up and they have a
sword in their hands."

"I am under obligation to you all for discussing my humble question,
but I see that we have two Scots gentlemen with us, and I would crave
their opinion. For all men know that the Scots soldier has gone
everywhere sword in hand, and whether he was in the body-guard of the
King of France, or doing his duty for the Lion of the North, has never
turned his back to the foe. And I am the more moved to ask an answer
for the settlement of my mind, because as I have ever understood, the
Scots more than our people are accustomed to go into the reason of
things, and to argue about principles. It is not always that the
strong sword-arm goes with a clear head, and I am waiting to hear what
two gallant Scots soldiers will say." And the Englishman paid his
tribute of courtesy first across the fire to Claverhouse, who
responded gracefully with a pleasant smile that showed his white,
even teeth beneath his slight mustache, and then to MacKay, who leaned
forward and bowed stiffly.

"We are vastly indebted to Mr. Carlton for his good opinion of our
nation," said Claverhouse, after a slight pause to see whether MacKay
would not answer, and in gentle, almost caressing tones, "but I fear
me his charity flatters us. Certainly no man can deny that Scotland is
ever ringing with debate. But much of it had better been left unsaid,
and most of it is carried on by ignorant brawlers, who should be left
ploughing fields and herding sheep instead of meddling with matters
too high for them. At least such is my humble mind, but I am only a
gentleman private of the Prince's guard, and there is opposite me a
commissioned officer of his army. It is becoming that Captain Hugh
MacKay, who many will say has a better right to speak for Scotland
than a member of my house, and who has just been getting counsel from
the highest, as I take it, should give his judgment on this curious
point of bravery or cowardice."

Although Graham's manner was perfectly civil and his accents almost
silken, Venner glanced keenly from one Scot to the other, and everyone
felt that the atmosphere had grown more intense, and that there was
latent antipathy between the two men. And even Rooke, a blunt and
matter-of-fact Englishman, who having said his say, had been smoking
diligently, turned round to listen to MacKay, who had never said a
word through all the talk of the evening.

"Mr. Carlton and gentlemen volunteers," MacKay began, with grave
formality, "I had not intended to break in upon your conversation,
which I found very instructive, but as Claverhouse" (and it was
characteristic of his nation that MacKay should call Graham by the
name of his estate) "has asked me straightly to speak, I would first
apologize for my presence in this company. I do not belong, as ye
know, to the King's guard, and it is true that I have a captain's
commission. As the tempest of to-day had thrown all things into
confusion, and it happened that I had nowhere to sit, Mr. Venner was
so kind as to ask me to take my place by this fire for the night, and
I am pleased to find myself among so many goodly young gentlemen. I
make no doubt," he added, "that everyone will so acquit himself as
very soon to receive his commission."

"The sooner the better," said Hales, "and as I have a flask of decent
Burgundy here, I will pass it round that we may drink to our luck
from a loving cup." And everyone took his draught except MacKay, who
only held the cup to his lips and inclined his head, being a severe
and temperate man in everything.

"Concerning the duel and the action of that gentleman," continued
MacKay, "my mind may not be that of the present honorable company. It
has ever seemed to me that a man has no right to risk his own life or
take that of his neighbor save in the cause of just war, when he
doubtless is absolved. For two sinful mortals to settle their poor
quarrels by striking each other dead is nothing else than black
murder. There is no difficulty to my judgment in understanding the
character of that duellist. When he knew that through skill in fencing
he could kill the other man and escape himself, he was always ready to
fight; when he found that danger had shifted to his own side, he was
quick to flee. My verdict on him," and MacKay's voice was vibrant, "is
that he was nothing other than a butcher and a coward."

"As the Lord liveth," cried Venner, "I hear my sainted father laying
down the law, and I do Captain MacKay filial reverence. May I inquire
whether Scotland is raising many such noble Puritans, for they are
quickly dying out in England. Such savory and godly conversation have
I not heard for years, and it warms my heart."

"The sooner the knaves die out in England the better," cried Collier;
"but I mean no offence to Venner, who is no more a Puritan than I am,
though he has learned their talk, and none at all to Captain MacKay,
whom I salute, and of whose good services when he was fighting on the
other side we have all heard. Nor can I, indeed, believe that he is a
Roundhead, for I was always given to understand that Highland
gentlemen were always Cavaliers, and high-spirited soldiers."

"Ye be wrong then, good comrades," broke in Claverhouse, "for all
Highlanders be not of the same way of thinking, though I grant you
most of them are what ye judge. But have you never heard of the godly
Marquis of Argyle, who took such care of himself on the field of
battle, but afterwards happened to lose his head through a little
accident, and his swarm of Campbells, besides some other clans that I
will not mention? My kinsman of immortal memory, whom I maintain to be
the finest gentleman and most skilful general Scotland has yet reared,
could have told you that there were Highland Roundheads; he knew them,
and they knew him, and I hope I need not be telling this company what
happened when they met." As Graham spoke, it may have been the
firelight on MacKay's face, but it seemed to flush and his expression
to harden. However, he said no word and made no sign, and Claverhouse,
whose voice was as smooth as ever, but whose eyes were flashing fire,
continued: "If there should be trouble soon in Scotland, and my advice
from home tells me that the fanatics in the West will soon be coming
to a head and taking to the field, we shall know that some of the
clans are loyal and some of them are not. And for my own part, I care
not how soon we come to our duel in Scotland. Please God, I would
dearly love to have the settling of the matter. With a few thousand
Camerons, Macphersons, MacDonalds, and such like, I will guarantee
that I could teach the Psalm-singing canters a lesson they would never
forget. But I crave pardon for touching on our national differences,
when we had better be employed in cracking another flask of that good
Burgundy." And Graham, as if ashamed of his heat, stretched his arms
above his head.

"May God in His mercy avert so great a calamity," said MacKay after a
pause. "When brother turns against brother in the same nation it is
the cruellest of all wars. But the rulers of Scotland may make
themselves sure that if they drive God-fearing people mad, they will
rise against their oppressors. Mr. Graham, however, has wisdom on his
side--I wish it had come a minute sooner--when he said there was no
place for our Scots quarrels in the Prince's army. Wherefore I say no
more on that matter, but I pray we all may have the desire of a
soldier's heart, a righteous cause, a fair battle, and a crowning
victory, and that we all in the hour of peril may do our part as
Christian gentlemen."

"Amen to that, Captain MacKay of Scourie, three times Amen!" cried
Graham. "I drink it in this wine, and pledge you all to brave deeds
when a chance comes our way. The sooner the better and the gladder I
shall be, for our race have never been more content than when the
swords were clashing. I wish to heaven we were serving under a more
high-spirited commander; I deny not his courage, else I would not be
among his guard, nor his skill, but I confess that I do not love a man
whose blood runs so slow, and whose words drop like icicles. But these
be hasty words, and should not be spoken except among honorable
comrades when the wine is going round by the camp-fire. And here is
Jock Grimond who, because he taught me to catch a trout and shoot the
muir-fowl when I was a little lad, thinks he ought to rule me all my
days, and has been telling me for the last ten minutes that he has
prepared some kind of bed with the remains of my tent. So good night
and sound sleep, gentlemen, and may to-morrow bring the day for which
we pray."



CHAPTER II

THE BATTLE OF SINEFFE


It was early in the morning on the first day of August, and darkness
was still heavy upon the camp, when Grimond stooped over his master
and had to shake him vigorously before Claverhouse woke.

"It's time you were up, Maister John; the Prince's guards are
gatherin', and sune will be fallin' in; that's their trumpets
soundin'. Ye will need a bite before ye start, and here's a
small breakfast, pairt of which I saved oot o' that stramash
yesterday--sall! the blast threatened to leave neither meat nor
lodgin', and pairt I happened to light upon this mornin' when I was
takin' a bit walk through the camp with my lantern."

Grimond spread out a fairly generous breakfast of half a fowl, a piece
of ham, some excellent cheese, with good white bread and a bottle of
wine, and held the lantern that his master might eat with some
comfort, if it had to be with more haste.

"Do you ken, Jock, where I was when you wakened me, and flashed the
light upon my face? Away in bonnie Glen Ogilvie, where everything is
at its best to-day. I dreamed that I was off to Sidlaw Hill, to see
what was doing with the muir-fowl, and I felt the good Scots air
blowing upon my face. This is a black wakening, Jock, but I've slept
worse, and you have done well for breakfast. Ye never came honestly by
it, man. Have ye been raiding?"

"Providence guided me, Maister John, and I micht have given a little
assistance mysel'. As I was crossing thro' a corner of the Dutch camp,
I caught a glimpse of this roast chuckie, with some other bits o'
things, and it cam into my mind that that was somebody's breakfast.
Whether he had taken all he wanted or whether he was going to be too
late was-na my business, but the Lord delivered that fowl into my
hands, and I considered it a temptin' o' Providence no to tak it, to
say nothin' o' the white bread. The wine and the ham I savit frae
yesterday."

"You auld thief, I might have guessed where you picked up the
breakfast. I only hope 'twas a heavy-built Dutchman who could starve
for a week without suffering, and not a lean, hungry Scot who needed
some breakfast to put strength in him for a day's fighting, if God be
good enough to send it. Isn't it a regiment of the Scots brigade which
is lying next to us, Jock?"

"It is," replied that worthy servitor, "and I was hopin' that it was
Captain MacKay's rations which were given into my hands, so to say, by
the higher power. I was standing behind you, Maister John, last nicht
when you and him was argling-bargling, and if ever I saw a cunning
twa-faced Covenanter, it's that man. They say he has got a good word
with the Prince through his Dutch wife, and where ye give that kind of
man an inch, he will take an ell. It's no for me to give advice, me
bein' in my place and you in yours. But I promised your honorable
mither that I wouldna see you come to mischief if I could help it, and
I am sair mistaken if yon man will no be a mercilous and persistent
enemy. May the Almichty forbid it, but if MacKay of Scourie can hinder
it there will be little advancement for Graham of Claverhouse in this
army."

"You are a dour and suspicious devil, Jock, and you've always been the
same ever since I remember you. Captain MacKay is a whig and a
Presbyterian, but he is a good soldier, and I wish I had been more
civil to him last night. We are here to fight for the Prince of
Orange and to beat the French, and let the best man win; it will be
time enough to quarrel when we get back to Scotland. Kindly Scots
should bury their differences, and stand shoulder to shoulder in a
foreign land."

"That is bonnie talk, laird, but dinna forget there's been twa kinds
of Scot in the land since the Reformation, and there will be twa to
the end of the chapter, and they'll never agree till the day of
judgment, and then they'll be on opposite sides. There was Queen Mary
and there was John Knox, there was that false-hearted loon Argyle,
that ye gave a grand nip at the fire last nicht, and there was the
head o' your hoose, the gallant Marquis--peace to his soul. Now
there's the Carnegies and the Gordons and the rest o' the royal
families in the Northeast, and the sour-blooded Covenanters down in
the West, and it's no in the nature o' things that they should
agree any more than oil and water. As for me, the very face of a
Presbyterian whig makes me sick. But there's the trumpet again,"
and Grimond helped his master to put on his arms.

"I've been awfu favored this mornin', Maister John, for what div ye
think? I've secured nae less than a baggage waggon for oorsels. The
driver was stravagin' aboot in the dark and didna know where he was
going, so I asked him if he wasna coming for the baggage of the
English gentlemen, to say naething of a Scots gentleman. When he was
trying to understand me, and I was trying to put some sense into him,
up comes Mr. Carlton, and I explained the situation to him. He told
the driver in his own language that I would guide him to the spot, and
me and the other men are packing the whole of the gentlemen's luggage
and ane or twa comforts in the shape of meat and bedding which the
fools round about us didna seem to notice, or were going to leave.
That waggon, Mr. John, is a crownin' mercy, and I'm to sit beside the
driver, and it will no be my blame if there's no a tent and a supper
wherever Providence sends us this nicht." And Jock went off in great
feather to look after his acquisition, while his master joined his
comrades of the Prince's guard.

As the day rapidly breaks, they find themselves passing from the level
into a broken country. The ground is rising, and in the distance they
can see defiles through which the army must make its way. The
vanguard, as they learn from one of the Prince's aides-de-camp, is
composed of the Imperial corps commanded by Count Souches, and must by
this time be passing through the narrows. In front are the Dutch
troops, who are under the immediate command of the Commander-in-Chief,
the Prince of Orange. The English volunteers being the next to the
Prince's regiment of Guards, followed close upon the main body of the
army, and behind them trailed the long, cumbrous baggage train. The
rear-guard, together with some details of various kinds and nations,
consisted of the Spanish division, which was commanded by Prince
Vaudemont. As they came to higher ground Claverhouse began to see the
lie of the country, and to express his fears to Carlton.

"I don't know how you judge things," said Claverhouse, "but I would
not be quite at my ease if I were his Highness of Orange, in command
of the army, and with more than one nation's interest at stake,
instead of a poor devil of a volunteer, with little pay, less
reputation, and no responsibility. If we were marching across a plain
and could see twenty miles round, or if there were no enemy within
striking reach, well, then this were a pleasant march from Neville to
Binch, for that is where I'm told we are going. But, faith, I don't
like the sight of this country in which we are being entangled. If
Condé has any head, and he is not a fool, he could arrange a fine
ambuscade, and catch those mighty and vain-glorious Imperialists and
that fool Souches like rats in a trap. Or he might make a sudden
attack on the flank and cut our army into two, as you divide a
caterpillar crawling along the ground."

"The General knows what he is about, no doubt," replies Carlton with
true English phlegm; "he has made his plan, and I suppose the cavalry
have been scouting. It's their business who have got the command to
arrange the march and the attack, and ours to do the fighting. It will
be soon enough for us to arrange the tactics when we get to be
generals. What say you to that, Mr. Graham? There's no sign of the
enemy at any rate, and Souches must be well in through the valley."

"No," said Graham, "there are no Frenchmen to be seen, but they may be
there behind the hill on our right, and quick enough to show
themselves when the time comes. Oh! I like this bit of country, for it
minds me of the Braes of Angus, and I hate a land where all is flat
and smooth. By heaven! what a chance there is for any commander who
knows how to use a hill country. See ye here, comrade, suppose this
was Scotland, and this were an army of black Whigs, making their way
to do some evil work after their heart's desire against their King and
Church, and I had the dealing with them. All I would ask would be a
couple of Highland clans and a regiment of loyal gentlemen,
well-mounted and armed. I would wait concealed behind yon wood up
there near the sky-line till those Imperialists were fairly up the
glen and out of sight and the Dutch were plodding their way in. Then
I'd launch the Highlanders, sword in hand, down the slope of that
hill, and cut off the rear-guard, and take the baggage at a swoop, and
in half an hour the army would be disabled and the third part of it
put out of action."

"What about the Imperial troops and the Dutch, my General?" said
Carlton, much interested in Claverhouse's plan of battle. "You can't
take an army in detachments just as you please."

"You can with Highlanders and cavalry, and then having struck your
blow retire as quickly as you came. Faith, there would be no option
about the retiring with your Highlanders; when they got hold of the
baggage they would do nothing more. After every man had lifted as much
as he could carry, he would make for the hills and leave the other
troops to do as they pleased. An army of Highlanders is quickly
gathered and quickly dispersed, and the great point of attraction is
the baggage. Condé has no Highlanders, the worse for him and the
better for us, but he has plenty of light troops--infantry as well as
cavalry--and if he doesn't take this chance he ought to be discharged
with disgrace. But see there, what make you of that, Carlton?"

"What and where?" said Carlton, looking in the direction Claverhouse
pointed. "I see the brushwood, and it may be that there are troops
behind, but my eyes cannot detect them."

"Watch a moment that place where the leaves are darker and thicker,
and that tree stands out; you can catch a glitter, just an instant,
and then it disappears. What do you say to that?"

"By the Lord!" cried Carlton, who was standing in his stirrups and
shading his eyes with his hand, "it's the glitter of a breastplate.
There's one trooper at any rate in that wood, and if there is one
there may be hundreds. What think you?"

"What I've been expecting for hours. Those are the videttes of the
French army, and they have been watching us all the time our vanguard
was passing. I'll stake a year's rental of the lands of Claverhouse
that if we could see on the other side of that hill we would find
Condé's troops making ready for an attack."

"I will not say but that you are right, and I don't like the situation
nor feel as comfortable as I did half an hour ago. Do you think that
the general in command knows of this danger, or has heard that the
French outposts are so near?"

"If you ask me, Mr. Carlton, I would say that those Dutch officers
don't know that there is a Frenchman within ten miles; they are good
at drill, and steady in battle, but their minds are as heavy as their
bodies. Their idea of fighting is to deploy according to a book of
drill on a parade ground; you cannot expect men who live on the flat
to understand hills. That wood," and Claverhouse was looking at the
hill intently, "is simply full of men and horses, and within an hour,
and perhaps less, you will see a pretty attack. Aren't we at their
mercy?" Claverhouse pointed forward to the crest of a little hill over
which the Dutch brigade were passing in marching formation, and
backward to the lumbering train of baggage-wagons.

"'Whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad,' is a Latin
proverb I picked up at St. Andrew's University, and one of the few
scraps of knowledge I carried away from the good old place. They might
at least have thrown out some of our cavalry on the right to draw fire
from that wood, and enable us to find their position. It's not overly
pleasant to jog quietly along as if one were riding up the Carse of
Gowrie to Perth fair, when it's far more likely we are riding into the
shambles like a herd of fat bullocks going to Davie Saunders, the
Dundee butcher."

"See you here, friend," cried Carlton, "I am not in a mind to be taken
at a disadvantage and ridden down by those Frenchmen when we are not
in formation. They have us at a disadvantage in any case, but, by my
life, we ought at any rate to deploy to the right, and seize that
higher ground, or else they will send us into that marshland that I
see forward there on the left. If they do, there will be some throats
cut, and it might be yours or mine. What say you, Mr. Graham, to ride
forward and tell one of the officers in attendance on his Highness
what we have seen, and then let them do as they please?"

"I have nothing to say against that, but I know one man who will not
go, and that is John Graham of Claverhouse. It may be vain pride, or
it may not, but I will not have the shame of telling my tale to one
of those Dutchmen as if you were speaking to a painted monument, and
then have him order you back to your place as if you were a mutineer;
my hand would be itching for the sword-handle before all was done, and
so I'll just be doing. But I will be ready when the cloud breaks from
yon hill, and it's not far off the bursting now." And Graham pointed
out that the glitter was repeated at several points, as when the sun
is reflected from broken dishes on a hillside.

"You Scots are a proud race," laughed Carlton, "and quick to take
offence. We English have a temper, too, but we are nearer to those
Dutchmen in our nature. I'll not see the army ambuscaded without a
warning. If they take it we shall make a better fight, and for the
first hour it will be bad enough anyway till the vanguard are brought
back, and if they won't take it, why, we have done our duty, and we
will have to look after ourselves." And Carlton spurred his horse and
cantered forward to where the headquarters staff were riding with the
troop which was called the Scots brigade, because it was largely
officered and to some extent manned by Scotsmen, and in which MacKay
had a captain's commission.

In some fifteen minutes Carlton rejoined Claverhouse red and annoyed,
and on the sight of him Claverhouse laughed.

"Without offence, good comrade, I take it you have not been thanked
for your trouble or been promised promotion. Sworn at, I dare say, if
those godly Dutchmen are allowed to rap out an oath. At any rate you
have been told to attend to your own work and leave our wise generals
to manage theirs, eh?"

"You are right, Graham. I wish I had bitten off my tongue rather than
reported the matter. I got hold of an aide-de-camp, and I pointed out
what we had seen, and he spoke to me as if I was a boy with my heart
in my mouth for fear I would be shot every minute. For a set of
pig-headed fools----"

"Well, it would not have mattered much, for the news, as it happened,
would have come too late. See, the attack has begun; whatever be the
issue of the battle before night, it will be one way or another with
us within an hour." As he spoke Claverhouse began to put himself in
order, seeing that his pistols were ready in the holsters, his sword
loose in the scabbard, and the girths of his saddle tight.

"It will be a sharp piece of work for us, and some good sword play
before it is done."

Suddenly from the wood a line of cavalry emerged, followed by
another and still another, till at least three regiments were on
the side of the hill, and behind them it was evident there was a
large body of troops. By this time the staff had taken alarm, and
an officer had galloped up with orders that the English volunteers
and Dutch cavalry should deploy to the right, and orders were also
sent to the Spaniards in the rear to advance rapidly and cover the
baggage. The Dutch troops in front who had entered the defile were
arrested, and began to march back, and an urgent message was sent
to the Imperialists to follow the Dutch in case the French should
make a general attack. Before the Dutch troops had returned to the
open, and long before the Imperialists could be in action, the
French, crossing the hill with immense rapidity and covered by a
screen of cavalry, attacked the Spanish rear-guard before it was
able to take up a proper form of defence, and though the Spaniards
fought with their accustomed courage, and no blame could be
attached to the dispositions made in haste by Vaudemont, this
division of the army was absolutely routed, and one distinguished
Spanish general, the Marquis of Assentar, was killed when cheering his
men to the defence. The defeat of the Spaniards left the baggage
train unprotected, and the French troops fell upon it with great
zest: indeed, Claverhouse that night declared that the Highlanders
themselves could not have raided more heartily or more swiftly. Nor
did the Spaniards, when once they had been beaten and scattered,
and fighting was no longer of any use, disdain to help themselves to
the plunder. Grimond was furious as he saw his wagon in danger, and
endeavored to rally some odds and ends of flying Spaniards and
terrified wagon-drivers to defend his cherished possessions. But he
was left to do so himself, and after beating off the two first
Frenchmen who came to investigate, and being wounded in a general
fight with the next lot, he was obliged to leave the possessions of
the English volunteers to their fate and set off to discover how it
fared with his master.

The Battle of Sineffe was to last all day, and before evening the two
armies would be generally engaged; eighteen thousand men were to fall
on both sides, and there were to be many hot encounters, but the
sharpest took place at the centre and early in the day. The cavalry
with the English volunteers were thrown forward to hinder the advance
of the French cavalry who, while their infantry were dealing with the
Spanish corps, were being hurled at the centre in order to cut the
army in two and confine the Dutch troops to the defile, or if they
emerged from the defiles, to crush them before they could deploy on
the broken country.

"Where do you take it is the point of conflict?" asked Carlton as the
regiment of the guards with which they were serving went forward at a
sharp trot across the level ground, on which the French cavalry should
soon be appearing. "Where is his Highness himself, for I can get no
sight of the rest of the Dutch cavalry?"

"To the left, I take it, where the fight has already begun. Do you not
hear the firing? and I seem to catch some shouts, as if the Dutch and
the French were already meeting. Mind you, Carlton, his Highness may
have been too confident and laid the army open to attack, but he can
tell where the heart of the situation is, and his business will be to
resist the French onslaught till the infantry are in position. Just as
I thought, we are to go to his aid, and in ten minutes, or my name is
not Graham, we shall have as much as we want."

In less than that space of time the regiment, now galloping, found
themselves in the immediate rear of the fighting line, and opened out
and prepared to advance. In front of them three regiments of Dutch
cavalry were being beaten back by a French brigade, and just when the
English volunteers arrived the French received a large accession of
strength, and the Dutch, broken and ridden down by weight of men and
horses, were driven back. It was in vain that their colonel ordered
his men to charge, for in fifty yards the mass of Dutch cavalry in
front were thrown upon them and broke their line. It was now a man to
man and hand to hand conflict for a few minutes, and Claverhouse, when
he had disentangled himself from the hurly-burly, and forced his way
through the mass, was in immediate conflict with a French officer in
front of their line, whom he disarmed by a clever sword trick which he
had learned from a master of arms in the French service. A French
soldier missed Claverhouse's head by a hair's-breadth, while he,
swerving, struck down another on his right. Carlton had disappeared,
Hales had been wounded, but in the end escaped with his life. Collier
and Claverhouse were now in the open space behind the first line of
the French cavalry, and they could see more than one Dutch officer
and some of the Dutch troopers also in the same dangerous position.
Graham was considering what to do when he caught sight, a short
distance off on the left, of a figure he seemed to know: it was an
officer riding slowly along the line as if in command, and taking no
heed of the many incidents happening round him.

"Collier," cried Graham, "see you who that is among the French
soldiers alone and at their mercy? As I am a living man it is the
Prince himself. Good God! how did he get there, and what is he going
to do?"

While Graham was speaking the Prince of Orange, who was now quite
close to him, but gave no sign that he recognized him, suddenly threw
out an order in French to the regiment behind which he was riding, and
which was hewing its way through a mass of Dutch. He called on them to
halt and reform, and their officers supposing him to be one of their
generals who had arrived from headquarters, set to work to extricate
their men from the mêlée. The Prince passed with the utmost coolness
through their line as if to see what was doing in front, while
Claverhouse and Collier followed him as if they were attached. As soon
as he had got to the open space in front, for what remained of the
Dutch were in rapid retreat, and were scattering in all directions,
he put spurs to his horse, and shouting to Claverhouse and Collier to
follow rapidly, for his trick had already been detected, he galloped
forward to the place where the crowd of fugitives was thinnest, that
he might as soon as possible rejoin his staff and resume command when
above all times a general was needed. A French officer, however, had
recognized him as he passed through the line, and now with some dozen
soldiers was pursuing at full speed. The Prince's horse had been
wounded in two places and was also blown with exertion, and passing
over some marshy ground had not strength to clear it, but plunged
helplessly in the soft soil. In two minutes, the French would have
been upon them and made the greatest capture of the war. Claverhouse,
leaping off his horse, asked the Prince to mount, who, instantly and
without more than a nod, sprang into the saddle and escaped when the
Frenchmen were within a few yards. Claverhouse fired at the French
officer and missed him, but brought down his horse, which did just as
well, and Collier sent his sword through the shoulder of the French
soldier who followed next. Claverhouse, seizing this minute of delay,
ran with all his might for a hedge, over which dismounted stragglers
were climbing in hot haste, and made for the nearest gap. It was
blocked by a tall and heavily-built Dutch dragoon, who could neither
get through nor back, and was swearing fearfully.

[Illustration: Claverhouse fired at the French officer and missed him,
but brought down his horse. Page 49.]

"It's maist awfu' to see a Christian man misusing the Lord's mercies
like that," and at the sound of that familiar voice Claverhouse turned
to find Grimond by his side, who had been out in the hope of finding
his master, and had certainly come to his aid at the right time.

"Would onybody but a blunderin' fool of a Dutchman think of blockin' a
passage when the troops are in retreat? If we canna get through him,
we had better get ower him. I've helped ye across a dyke afore,
Maister John, and there ye go." Claverhouse, jumping on Grimond, who
made a back for him, went over the Dutchman's shoulders. Then he
seized the Dutchman by his arm, while Grimond acted as a battering-ram
behind: so they pulled what remained of him, like a cork out of the
mouth of a bottle, and Grimond followed his master. Collier, who had
been covering the retreat, left his horse to its fate, and ran by the
same convenient gap.

"To think o' the perversity o' that Dutchman obstructin' a right o'
way, especially on sich a busy day, wi' his muckle unmannerly
carcase, as if he had been a Highland cattle beast. Dod! he would make
a grand Covenanter for the cursed thrawnness o' him."

That night when the English volunteers, who had all escaped with some
slight wounds and the loss of their baggage, were going over the day's
work, an officer attached to the Prince asked if a Scots gentleman
called Mr. Graham was present. When Claverhouse rose and saluted him,
the officer said, with the curt brevity of his kind, "His Highness
desires your presence," and immediately turned and strode off in the
direction of the headquarters, while Claverhouse, shrugging his
shoulders, followed him in his usual leisurely fashion. On arriving at
the farm-house where the Prince had gone after the French had retired,
Graham was immediately shown into his room. The Prince, rising and
returning Claverhouse's respectful salutation, gave him one long,
searching glance, and then said: "You did me a great service to-day,
and saved my person from capture, perhaps my life from death. I do not
forget any man who has done me good, and who is loyal to me. What you
desire at my hands I do not know, and what it would be best to do for
you I do not yet know. If you determine after some experience to
remain in my service, and if you show yourself the good soldier I
take you to be, you will not miss promotion. That is all I will say
to-night, for I know not where your ambitions may lie." The Prince
looked coldly at Graham's love-locks and Cavalier air. "Your cause may
not be my cause. I bid you good-evening, Mr. Graham. We shall meet
again."



CHAPTER III

A DECISIVE BLOW


"You have the devil's luck, Graham," said Rooke, who had taken a meal
fit for two men, and now had settled down to smoke and drink for the
evening. "To get the best place in the attack to-day on the town, and
to escape with nothing more than a cat scratch, which will not hurt
your beauty, is more than any ordinary man can expect. There will be
some hot work before Grave is taken, and plenty of good men will get
their marching orders," for the Prince and his troops were now
besieging Grave keenly, and the English volunteers were messing
together after an assault which had captured some of the outworks.

"I would lay you what you like, Rooke," drawled Venner, "if I were not
a Puritan, and didn't disapprove of drinking and gambling and other
works of Satan, that Chamilly will come to terms within fourteen days.
He has no stomach for those mortars that are playing on the place, and
he knows that Orange, having got his teeth in, will never take them
out. Another assault like to-day will settle the matter. Graham here
used to say that his Highness was an icicle, but I judge him a good
fighting man. You will get as much as you want if you follow the
Prince. Ballantine that's gone to-day always said that there was no
soldier in Europe he would put before the Prince. Speaking about that,
who, think you, will get the place of lieutenant-colonel in the Scots
Brigade in succession to Sir William?"

"Don't know, and don't care," said Collier, stretching himself and
yawning. "It will go to some officer of the Scots Brigade, and though
I am a born Scot, nobody remembers that, and I pass for an Englishman.
And to tell the truth, I'm happier with you volunteers than among
those canny Scots; they are as jealous and as bigoted as a Roundhead
Conventicle, and I don't envy the man who gets promotion among them.
But it doesn't concern any of us."

"There I differ with you, comrade," broke in Carlton. "You seem to
have forgotten that one of our good company is not only a Scot,
but has done the Prince priceless service. I make little doubt that
we shall hear news in twenty-four hours. We are proud to have Mr.
Graham with us, for he is a good comrade and a good soldier, but I
expect to-morrow to drink a flask of wine to his commission as
lieutenant-colonel. What say you to my idea?"

"If promotion went by merit, I'm with you, Carlton; but, faith, it
goes by everything else, and specially back-door influence. A man gets
his step, not because he is a good soldier, but because he has got a
friend at court, or he is the same religion as the general, or I have
heard cases where it went by gold."

"That such things are done, Rooke, I will not deny, but they say that
promotion goes fairly where his Highness commands; he has an eye for a
good soldier, and you have forgotten that he would not be in his place
to-day had it not been for our comrade's help."

"I remember that quite well, and I wish to God other people may
remember, for Graham ran a pretty good chance of closing his life that
day and never seeing Scotland again, but Princes have short memories.
If Charles II. of sainted character had called to his mind that my
grandfather, more fool he, melted all his plate and lost all his land,
to say nothing of three or four sons, for the Stuart cause, I would
not be a gentleman volunteer in this army without a spare gold piece
in my pocket. Kings bless you at the time with many pretty words, and
then don't know your face next time you meet; but I wish you good
luck, Graham, and I drink your health. What think you yourself?"

"What I ought to think, gentlemen, is that I am much honored to have
your good opinion and your friendly wishes." And Graham gathered them
all with a smile that gave his delicate and comely features a rare
fascination. "You are true comrades as well as brave gentlemen. I will
not deny, though I would only say it among my friends, that I have
thought of that vacancy, and have wondered whether the appointment
would come my way. I received, indeed, a private word to apply for it
this evening, but that I will not do. The Prince knows what I have
done, though I do not make so much of saving his life as you may
think. If he is pleased to give me this advance, well, gentlemen, I
hope I shall not bring disgrace upon the Scots Brigade. But let us
change the subject. We be a barbarous people in the North, but after
all a gentleman does not love to talk about his own doings, still less
of his own glory. To bed, my comrades, we may have heavy work
to-morrow."

The Prince gave his troops a day's rest, and left the artillery to do
their work, and Claverhouse was reading for the sixth time some
letters of his mother's, when Grimond came in with the air of a man
full of news, but determined not to tell them until he was questioned,
and even then to give what he had grudgingly and by way of favor.

"What news, did ye say, Mr. John? Weel, if ye mean from Scotland, ye
have the last yersel' in the letters of your honorable mither. What I
am hearing from some Scot that cam oot o' the west country is that if
the council does na maister the Covenanters, the dear carles will
maister them, and then Scotland will be a gey ill place to live in. It
will be a fine sicht when you and me, Claverhouse, has to sign the
Solemn League and Covenant, and hear Sandy Peden, that they call a
prophet, preachin' three hours on the sins o' prelacy and dancin'. My
certes!" And at the thought thereof Grimond lost the power of speech.

"Never mind Scotland, Jock, just now; the auld country will take care
of herself till we go home, and then we'll give such assistance as in
the power of a good sword. Who knows, man, but we'll be riding through
the muirs of Ayrshire after something bigger than muir-fowl before
many years are over? But the camp, man, what's going on here this
morning, and what are the folk talking about, for, as ye know, I've
been on the broad of my back after yesterday's work?"

"If ye mean by news, laird, what wasna expected, and that, I'm
judging, is a correct definition o' news, there's naethin' worth
mentionin'. A dozen more Scots have come to get their livin' or their
death, as Providence wills, in a foreign army, instead of working
their bit o' land on a brae-side in bonnie Scotland. But that's no
news, for it has been goin' on for centuries, and I'm expectin' will
last as long as thae foreign bodies need buirdly men and Scotland has
a cold climate.

"They are saying, I may mention, that Chamilly is getting sick o'
these mortars, and didna particularly like the attack yesterday, and
the story is going about that he will soon ask for terms, and that if
he gets the honors of war the Prince may have the town. It will be
another feather in his cap, and, to my thinkin', he has got ower many
for his deservin'--an underhand and evil-hearted loon." And Grimond
spoke with such vehemence and a keen dislike that Claverhouse
suspected he had heard something more important than he had told.

"'Is that all?' ye ask, Claverhouse, and I reply no; but I wish to
gudeness that it was. If news be what has happened, even though some
of us expected it, then I have got some, although I would rather that
my tongue was blistered than tell it. It cam into my mind that the
Prince micht be appointin' the new colonel to the Scots Brigade this
mornin', and so I just happened to give a cry on an Angus man who is
gettin' his bit livin' as a servant to one of the aides-de-camp. He is
called a Dutchman, but has honest Scots blood in his veins. We havered
about this and about that, and then I threipit (insisted) that he
would never hear onything that was goin' on, and, for example, that he
wouldna know who was the new colonel. 'Div I no?' said Patrick Harris.
'Maybe I do, but maybe I wouldna be anxious to tell ye, Jock Grimond,
for ye michtna be pleased.' 'Pleased or no pleased,' I said, 'let me
hear his name.' 'Well,' he answered, 'if ye maun have it, it's no your
maister that folk thought would get it.' 'Then,' said I, 'Patrick, I
jalouse who it is; it's MacKay of Scourie.' 'It is,' said Patrick. 'I
heard it when I was standin' close to the door, and I canna say that
I'm pleased.' Naither was I, ye may depend upon it, Claverhouse, but I
wouldna give onybody the satisfaction of knowing what I thocht. So I
just contented mysel' wi' sayin', 'Damn them baith, the are for an
ungrateful scoundrel, and the other for a plottin', schemin'
hypocritical Presbyterian. I cam to tell ye, but no word would have
passed my lips if ye hadna chanced to ask me."

"Jock, you've been a faithful man to the house of Graham for many
years," said Claverhouse, after a silence of some minutes, during
which Grimond busied himself polishing his master's arms, "and I will
say to you what I am not going to tell the camp, that you might have
brought better news. Whether I was right or wrong, man, I had set my
heart upon succeeding Ballantine, and I was imagining that maybe this
very afternoon I could write home to my mother and tell her that her
son was a lieutenant-colonel in the good Scots Brigade. But it's all
in the chances of war, and we must just take things as they come. Do
ye know, Jock, I often think I was born like the Marquis, under an
unlucky star, and that all my life things will go ill with me, and
with my cause. I dinna think that I'll ever see old age, and I doubt
whether I'll leave an heir to succeed me. I dreamed one nicht that the
wraith of our house stood beside my bed and said, 'Ye'll be cursed in
love and cursed in war, and die a bloody death at the hand of
traitors whom ye trusted.'"

"For God's sake, Maister John, dinna speak like that." And Grimond's
voice, hard man though he was, was nigh the breaking. "It's no chancy,
what ye say micht come to pass if ye believe it. Whatever the evil
spirit said in the veesions o' the nicht--oh! my laddie, for laddie ye
have been to me since I learned ye to ride your pony and fire your
first shot, ye mauna give heed or meddle wi' Providence. Ye have been
awfu' favored wi' the bonniest face ever I saw on a man, so that
there's no a lass looks on ye but she loves ye, and the hardiest body
ever I kenned. Ye have the best blood of Scotland in your veins, and I
never saw ye fearful o' onything; ye have covered yersel' wi' glory in
this war, and I prophesy there will be a great place waiting you in
the North country. There's no a noble lady in Scotland that wouldna be
willing to marry you, and I'm expectin' afore I die to see you famous
as the great Marquis himsel', wi' sons and daughters standin' round
ye. I ken aboot the wraith o' the house o' Graham, a maleecious and
lying jade. If she ever comes to ye again by nicht or day, bid her
begone to the evil place in the name o' the Lord wha redeemed us."

"You're a trusty friend, Grimond, for both my mother and myself count
you more friend than servant, and you've spoken good words; but I take
it this day's happenings are an omen of what is coming. Maybe I am
ower young to take black views o' hidden days, but ye'll mind
afterwards, Jock Grimond, when ye wrap me in a bloody coat for burial,
for there will be no shroud for me, that I said the shadow began to
fall at the siege of Grave. But there's no use complaining, man; our
cup is mixed, and we must drink it, bitter or sweet. Aye, the Grahams
are a doomed house, and we maun dree oor weird (suffer our destiny)."

"Weird," broke out Grimond, with a revulsion from pathos to anger. "Ye
speak as if it were the will o' the Almichty, but I am thinkin' the
thing was worked from another quarter. Providence had very little hand
in it, unless ye call Captain Hugh MacKay Providence, and in that case
it'll be true what some folks say, that the devil rules the world.
From all I can gather, and I keep my ears open when you are concerned,
laird, I am as sure as you are Laird of Claverhouse that Scourie,
confoond his smooth face, has been plottin' aginst ye ever since ye
sat that nicht afore the Battle of Sineffe roond the camp-fire. I saw
how he looked, and I said to mysel', 'You're up to some mischief.' His
party hangit the noble Marquis and plagued him wi' their prayers on
the scaffold, and it is as natural for a Covenanter to hate a Graham
as to eat his breakfast. MacKay saw we were dangerous, and ye'll be
more dangerous yet, Claverhouse, to the black crew. He has been up the
back stairs tellin' lies aboot ye, and sayin' that though many trust
ye, for a' that ye are an enemy to Presbytery. Ye'll have your chance
yet, laird, and avenge the murder o' the Marquis, but there'll be no
place for ye here so long as MacKay is pourin' the poison o' asps, as
auld David has it, into the Prince's ear."

"Na, na, Mr. John," concluded Grimond when his master had remonstrated
with him for speaking against the Prince and an officer of the army,
and warned him to be careful of his tongue, "ye needna be feart that a
word o' this will be heard ootside. I mind the word in the Good Book,
'Speak not against the King, lest a bird of the air carry the matter.'
There's plenty o' birds in this camp that would be glad enough to work
us wrang. Gin onybody speaks to me aboot Captain MacKay being made a
colonel, I'll give him to understand that my master was offered the
post and declined to take it for special reasons o' his own; maybe
because ye wanted to stay wi' the gentlemen volunteers, and maybe
because there was a grand position waitin' for ye in Scotland. Let me
alone, laird, for makin' the most o' the situation: but dinna forget
MacKay."

Claverhouse was of another breed from Grimond, and had the chivalrous
instincts of his house, but as the time wore on and Graham went with
the Prince's guards after the surrender of Grave to The Hague, where
Colonel MacKay and the Scots Brigade were also stationed, the constant
spray of insinuations of MacKay's cunning and the Prince's prejudice
began to tell upon his mind. He was conscious of a growing dislike
towards MacKay, beyond that coolness which must always exist between
men of such different religious and political creeds. It was a
tradition among the Scots Royalists from the days of Montrose that the
Whig Highlanders, such as the Campbells, were cunning and treacherous,
and then it was right to admit that MacKay might think himself
justified in warning the Prince of Orange, who was surrounded by
Presbyterians, and already coming under the masterful influence of
Carstairs, the minister of the Presbyterian Church, and afterwards
William's most trusted councillor, that Graham belonged to a
thoroughgoing and dangerous Cavalier house, and that it would not be
wise to show him too much favor. Although they were fellow-soldiers,
and had met in camp life from time to time, they had never been
anything more than distant acquaintances. Now it seemed to Claverhouse
that MacKay looked at him more coldly than ever, and that he had
caught a triumphant expression in his eye. MacKay was getting upon his
nerves, and he had come to hate the sight of him. As a matter of fact,
and as Claverhouse granted to himself afterwards, while MacKay was not
his friend and could not be, he had never said a word against him to
the Prince, and if he had used no influence for him, had never tried
to hinder his promotion. The day was coming when Claverhouse would
acknowledge that though MacKay was on the wrong side, he had conducted
himself as became a man of blood and a brave soldier. In those days at
The Hague, disappointed about promotion, and with evil news from
Scotland, to say nothing of Grimond ever at his elbow goading and
inflaming him through his very loyalty, Claverhouse allowed himself to
fall into an unworthy and inflammatory temper. When one is in this
morbid state of mind, he may at any moment lose self-control, and it
was unfortunate that, after a long tirade one morning from Grimond,
who professed to have new evidence of MacKay's underhand dealing,
Claverhouse should have met his supposed enemy in the precincts of the
Prince's house. MacKay was going to wait upon the Prince, and was
passing hurriedly with a formal salutation, when Claverhouse, who in
this very haste found ground of offence, stood in the way.

"May I have the honor, if you be called not immediately to the
Prince's presence, to wish you good-morning, Colonel MacKay, and to
say, for it is better to give to a man's face what one is thinking
behind his back, that, although I have not the satisfaction of
speaking much with you, I hear you are busy enough speaking about
me."

"If we do not meet much, Claverhouse," replied MacKay, with a look of
surprise on his calm and composed face, "this is not my blame, and
doubtless it may be counted my loss. It is only that our duties lie
apart and we keep different company. I know not what you mean by your
charge against me, which, I take it, comes to this, that I have said
evil of you to some one, I know not whom, and in some place I know not
where. Is that why you have been avoiding me, and even looking at me
as if I were your enemy? My time is short, but this misunderstanding
between gentlemen can surely be quickly cleared. I pray you of your
courtesy, explain yourself and give your evidence."

"No doubt you have little time, and no doubt you will soon be busy
with the same work. You were born of a good house, though it has taken
an evil road in these days; you know the rules by which a man of blood
should guide his life, and the things it were a shame for him to do,
even to the man he may have to meet on the battle ground. Is it
fitting, Scourie, to slander a fellow-officer to his commander, and so
to pollute his fountain of influence that he shall not receive his
just place? You have asked what I have against you; now I tell you,
and I am ashamed to bring so foul an accusation against a Scots
gentleman."

"Is that the cause of your black looks and secret ill-will?" And
MacKay was as cold as ever, and gave no sign that he had been stirred
by this sudden attack. "In that case I can remove your suspicion, and
prevent any breach between two Scots officers who may not be on the
same side in their own country, but who serve the same Prince in this
land. Never have I once, save in some careless and passing reference,
spoken about you with the Prince, and never have I, and I say it on
the honor of a Highland gentleman, said one word against you as a man
or as a soldier. You spoke of evidence. What is your evidence? Who has
told you this thing, which is not true? Who has tried to set you on
fire against me?"

"It is not necessary, Colonel MacKay, to produce any witness or to quote
any saying of yours. The facts are known to all the army; they have
seen how it has fared with you and with me. I will not say whether I
had not some claim to succeed Ballantine as lieutenant-colonel in
the Scots Brigade, and I will not argue whether you or I had done most
for his Highness. I have not heard that you saved his life, or that he
promised to show his gratitude. I will not touch further on that
point, but how is it, I ask you, that since that day, though I had my
share of fighting at the siege of Grave and elsewhere as ye know, there
is no word of advance for me? If you can read this riddle to me and
keep yourself out of it, why then I shall be willing to take your hand
and count you, Presbyterian though you be, an honest man."

"Why ask those questions of me, especially as ye seem to doubt my
word, Captain Graham?" And for the first time MacKay seemed stung by
the insinuation of dishonorable conduct. "If you will pardon my
advice, would it not be better that you go yourself to the Prince and
ask him if any man has injured you with him, and how it is you have
not received what you consider your just reward?"

"That is cheap counsel, Hugh MacKay, and mayhap you gave it because
you knew it would not be taken. Never will I humble myself before that
wooden image, never will I ask as a favor what should be given as my
right. It were fine telling in Scotland that John Graham of
Claverhouse was waiting like a beggar upon a Dutch Prince. I would
rather that the liars and the plotters whom he makes his friends
should have the will of me."

MacKay's face flushes for an instant to a fiery red, and then turns
ghastly pale, and without a word he is going on his way, but
Claverhouse will not let him.

"Will nothing rouse your blood and touch your honor? Must I do this
also?" And lifting his cane he struck MacKay lightly upon the breast.
"That, I take it, will give a reason for settling things between us.
Mr. Collier will, I make no doubt, receive any officer you are
pleased to send within an hour, and I will give you the satisfaction
one gentleman desires of another before the sun sets."

"You have done me bitter wrong, Captain Graham." And MacKay was
trembling with passion, and putting the severest restraint upon his
temper, which had now been fairly roused. "But I shall not do wrong
against my own conscience. When I took up the honorable service of
arms, I made a vow unto myself and sealed it in covenant with God that
I would accept no challenge nor fight any duel. It is enough that the
blood of our enemies be on our souls. I will not have the guilt of a
fellow-officer's death, or risk my own life in a private quarrel. I
pray you let me pass."

"It is your own life you are concerned about, Colonel MacKay,"
answered Claverhouse, with an evil smile full of contempt, and in
the quietest of accents, for he had resumed his characteristic
composure, "your own precious life, which you desire to keep in
safeguard." Then, turning with a graceful gesture to some officers who
had been passing and been arrested by the altercation, Claverhouse
said with an air of careless languor: "May I have the strange
privilege never given me before, and perhaps never to be mine
again, of introducing you, by his leave or without it, to a Scot
whom no one can deny is by birth a gentleman, and whom no one can
deny now is also a coward--Lieutenant-Colonel MacKay, of the Prince's
Scots Brigade."



CHAPTER IV

A CHANGE OF MASTERS


When his first fierce heat cooled, and Claverhouse had time for
reflection, he was by no means so well satisfied with himself as he
had imagined he would be in the foresight of such a scene. For one
thing he had shown the soreness of his heart in not getting promotion,
and had betrayed a watchful suspiciousness, which was hardly included
in a chivalrous character. He had gone out of his way to insult a
fellow-Scot, and a fellow-officer who had never pretended to be his
friend, and who was in no way bound to advance his interest, because,
to put it the worst, MacKay had secured his own promotion and not that
of Claverhouse. As regards MacKay's courage, it had been proved on
many occasions, and to call him a coward was only a childish offence,
as if one flung mud upon a passer-by. When Claverhouse reviewed his
conduct, and no man was more candid in self-judgment, he confessed to
himself that he had played an undignified part, and was bitterly
chagrined. The encounter, of course, buzzed through the camp, and
every man gave his judgment, many justifying Captain Graham, and
declaring that he had shown himself a man of mettle--they were the
younger and cruder minds--many censuring him for his insolent ambition
and speaking of him as a brawling bravo--they were some of the staid
and stronger minds. His friends, he noticed, avoided the subject and
left him to open it if he pleased, but he gathered beforehand that he
would not receive much sympathy from that figure of common-sense
Carlton, nor that matter-of-fact soldier Rooke, and that the
ex-Puritan Venner would only make the incident a subject of satirical
moralizing. With another disposition than that which Providence had
been pleased to give John Graham, the condemnation of his better
judgment, confirmed by the judgment of sound men, would have led him
to the manly step of an apology which would have been humiliating to
his pride, but certainly was deserved at his hands. Under the
domination of his masterful pride, which was both the strength and the
weakness of Graham's character, making him capable of the most
absolute loyalty, and capable of the most inexcusable deeds, a pride
no friend could guide, and no adversity could break, Claverhouse fell
into a fit of silent anger with himself, with MacKay, with his absent
critics, with the Prince. It was also in keeping with his nature to be
that afternoon gayer than usual--recalling the humorous events of
early days with Grimond, who could hardly conceal the satisfaction he
dared not express, treating every man he met with the most gracious
courtesy, smiling approval of the poorest jest, and proposing healths
and drinking national toasts that evening with his friends as if
nothing had happened, and no care heavier than thistledown lay upon
his mind. But Claverhouse knew that the incident was not closed, and
he was not surprised when an officer attached to the Prince's person
called at his lodging and commanded his presence at the Prince's house
next morning. He was aware that in striking MacKay and challenging him
to a duel he had infringed a strict law, which forbade such deeds
within the Royal grounds.

William of Orange was a younger man than when England knew him, and
he came as king to reign over what was ever to him a foreign people,
as he was to them an unattractive monarch. He was a man of slight
and frail body; of calm and passionless nature, capable as few men
have been of silence and reserve. His mind worked, as it were, in
vacuo, secluded from the atmosphere of tradition, prejudice,
emotions, jealousies. It was free from moods and changes, clear,
penetrating, determined, masterful. Against no man did he bear a
personal grudge, for that would have only deflected his judgment and
embarrassed his action. For only two or three men had he any
personal affection; that also might have affected the balance of his
judgment and the freedom of his action. His courage was undeniable,
his spirit of endurance magnificent, his military talents and his
gift of statesmanship brilliant. Perhaps, on the whole, his most
valuable characteristic qualities were self-control and a spirit of
moderation, which enabled him to warm his hands at other men's fires
and to avoid the perils of extremes. His weakness was the gravity
of his character, which did not attract the eye or inspire devotion
in the ordinary man, and an inevitable want of imagination, which
prevented him entering into the feelings of men of a different caste.
It would, indeed, have been difficult to find a more vivid contrast
between the two men who faced each other in the Prince's room, and
who represented those two schools of thought which have ever been
in conflict in religion--reason and authority, and those two types
of character which have ever collided in life--the phlegmatic and the
empassioned.

"What, I pray you, is the reason of your conduct yesterday in the
precincts?" asked the Prince at once after formally acknowledging
Claverhouse's reverence. "I am informed upon good evidence that you
wantonly insulted Lieutenant-Colonel MacKay of the Scots Brigade, and
that you invited him to a duel, and that when he, as became an officer
of judgment and piety, as well as of high courage, declined to join
with you in a foolish and illegal act, that you called him a coward.
Have I been rightly informed?

"Then that point is settled as I expected, and in order that you may
not make any mistake on this matter I will add, though I am not
obliged to do so, that Colonel MacKay did not condescend to inform
against you. The scandal was public enough to come from various
quarters, and now to my chief question, have you anything to say in
your defence?"

"Nothing, sir," replied Claverhouse. "I judged that Colonel MacKay had
done me a personal injury for which I desired satisfaction in the way
that gentlemen give. He has a prudent dislike to risk his life,
although I endeavored to quicken his spirit. And so I allowed him to
know what I thought of him, and some officers who overheard our
conversation seemed to have been so much pleased with my judgment that
they carried it round the army. In this way I presume it came to your
Highness's ears. That is all," concluded Graham with much sweetness of
manner, "that I have to say."

"It is what you ought to be ashamed to say, Mr. Graham," said William
severely. "Neither of us are old men, but I take it you are older than
I am----"

"I am twenty-six years of age, may it please your Highness,"
interpolated Claverhouse, "and have served in two armies."

"We are, at any rate, old enough not to play the fool or carry
ourselves like headstrong boys. As regards your quarrel, I am given to
understand that the cause lies not so much with your fellow-officer as
with your general. You are one of that large company who can be found
in all armies, who are disappointed because, in their judgment,
promotion has not corresponded with their merits. Be good enough to
say if I do you an injustice? You are silent, then I am right. And
so, because another officer was promoted before you, you choose to
take offence and try to put shame upon a gallant gentleman. Is
this"--the Prince inquired with a flavor of contempt--"how well-born
Scots carry themselves in their own country?"

"Your Highness's reasoning," replied Graham with elaborate deliberation,
"has convinced me of my error, but I should like to make this plea,
that if I had not been carried by a gust of passion in the park
yester-morning, I had not disputed with Colonel MacKay. It still seems
to me that he has been treated with over much kindness in this matter of
promotion, in which--it may be their foolishness--soldiers are apt to
be jealous, and I have been in some degree neglected. But I most
frankly confess that I have been in the wrong in doing what I did,
since it was more your Highness's business than mine to have resented
this quarrel."

"What mean you by this word, for it has an evil sound?" But there was
not a flush on William's pale, immovable face, and it was marvellous
to see so young a Prince carry himself so quietly under the polite
scorn of Claverhouse's manner and the rising insolence of his speech.

"As your Highness insists, it is my pleasure to make my poor meaning
plain in your Highness's ears. If I know what happened, Colonel
MacKay, reaching the highest quarter by the back stair, persuaded your
Highness to give him the colonelcy, although it in honor belonged to
another officer, and I submit to your Highness's judgment that it was
you who should have flicked him with your cane. Colonel MacKay has
done John Graham of Claverhouse less injury in disappointing him of
his regiment, though it has been a grievous dash, than in inducing
your Highness to break your promise." And Claverhouse, whose last word
had fallen in smoothness like honey from the comb, and in venom like
the poison of a serpent, looked the Prince straight in the face and
then bowed most lowly.

"You are, I judge, Captain Graham, recalling a certain happening at
the Battle of Sineffe, when you rendered important service to me, and
it may be saved my life. If you conclude that this has been forgotten,
or that a Prince has no gratitude, because you did not obtain the
place you coveted, then understand that you are wrong, and that with
all your twenty-six years and your service in two armies, you are
ignorant of the principle on which an army should be regulated. Upon
your way of it, if any young officer, more raw in character than in
years, and not yet able to rule his own spirit, or to keep himself
from quarrelling like a common soldier, should happen to be of use in
a strait--I acknowledge the strait--to a king, his foolishness should
be placed in command of veteran officers and men. It were right to
recompense him at the cost of the Prince, mayhap, but not at the cost
of gallant soldiers whom he was unfit to govern, because he could not
govern himself."

Whether William was angry at Claverhouse's impertinence, or was no
more touched than the cliff by the spray from a wave, only his
intimates could have told, but in this conflict between the two
temperaments, the Prince was in the end an easy victor. If William had
no boiling point, Claverhouse, though as composed in manner as he was
afterwards to be cruel in action, had limits to his self-restraint. As
the Prince suggested that, though two years older than himself, he was
a shallow-pated and self-conceited boy, who was ever looking after his
own ends, and when he was disappointed, kicked and struggled like a
child fighting with its nurse; that, in fact, in spite of thinking
himself a fine gentleman, he ought to know that he had neither sense
nor manners, and was as yet unfit for any high place, Claverhouse's
temper gave way, and he struck with cutting words at the Prince.

"What I intended to have said, but my blundering speech may not have
reached your Highness's mind, is that if a Prince makes a promise of
reward to another man who has saved his life at the risk of his own,
that Prince is bound to keep his word or to make some reparation. And
there is a debt due by your Highness to a certain Scots officer which
has not been paid. Is a Prince alone privileged to break his word?"

"You desire reparation," answered the Prince more swiftly than usual,
and with a certain haughty gesture, "and you shall have it before you
leave my presence. For brawling and striking within our grounds, you
are in danger of losing your right arm, and other men have been so
punished for more excusable doings. You have been complaining in a
public place that you have not obtained a regiment, as if it were your
due, and you have charged your general with the worst of military sins
after cowardice, of being a favorer. I bestow upon you what will be
more valuable to you than a regiment which you have not the capacity
to command. I give you back your right arm, and I release you from the
service of my army."

"May I ask your Highness to accept my most humble and profound
gratitude for sparing my arm, which has fought for your Highness, and
if it be possible, yet deeper gratitude for releasing me from the
service of a Prince who does not know how to keep his word. Have I
your Highness's permission to leave your presence, and to make
arrangements for my departure from The Hague?"

Claverhouse spoke with an exaggerated accent of respect, but the words
were so stinging that William's eyes, for an instant only, flashed
fire, and the aide-de-camp in the room made a step forward as if to
arrest the Scots officer. There was a pause, say, of fifteen seconds,
which seemed an hour, and then the Prince ordered his aide-de-camp to
leave the chamber, and William and Claverhouse stood alone.

"You are a bold man, Mr. Graham," said the Prince icily, "and I should
not judge you to be a wise one. It is not likely that you will ever be
as prudent as you are daring, and I foresee a troubled career, whether
it be long or short, for you.

"No man, royal or otherwise, has ever spoken to me as you have done;
mayhap in the years before me, whether they be few or many, no one
will ever do so. As you know, for what you have said any other Prince
in my place would have you punished for the gravest of crimes on the
part of an officer against his commander."

Claverhouse bowed, and looked curiously at the Prince, wondering
within himself what would follow. Was it possible that his Highness
would lay aside for an hour the privilege of royalty and give him
satisfaction? Or was he merely to lecture him like the Calvinistic
preachers to whom his Highness listened, and then let him go with
contempt? Claverhouse's indignation had now given way to intellectual
interest, and he waited for the decision of this strong, calm man,
who, though only a little more than a lad, had already the coolness
and dignity of old age.

"Were I not a Prince, and if my creed of honor were different from
what it is, I should lay aside my Princedom, and meet you sword in
hand, for I also, though you may not believe it, have the pride of a
soldier, and it has been outraged by your deliberate insolence.
Whether it was worthy of your courtesy to offer an insult to one who
cannot defend himself, I shall leave to your own arbitrament, when
you bethink yourself in other hours of this situation. I pray you be
silent, I have not finished. My intention is to treat your words as if
they had never been spoken. The officer in attendance has learned
better than to blaze abroad anything that happens in this place, and
you will do as it pleases yourself, and is becoming to your honor as a
gentleman. I have no fear of you. You are a brave man whatever else
you be; you will do me the justice of believing I am another."
Claverhouse remembered this was the first moment that he had felt any
kindness to the Prince of Orange.

"My reason for dealing with you after this fashion is that you have
some cause to complain of injustice, and to think that the good help
you gave has been forgotten, because I have not said anything nor done
anything. This is not so, for I have not been certain how I could best
recompense you. When a moment ago I spoke of you as not fit for
promotion, I did you injustice, for, though there be some heat in you,
there is far more capacity, and I take it you will have high command
some day." The last few words were spoken with a slight effort, and
Graham, when in his better mood the most magnanimous of men, was
suddenly touched by the remembrance of the Prince's station and
ability, his courage and severity, and his grace in making this amend
to one who had spoken rudely to him. Claverhouse would have responded,
but was again silent in obedience to a sign from the Prince.

"Let me say plainly, Mr. Graham, that you are a soldier whom any
commander will be glad to enroll for life service in his army,
but"--and here his Highness looked searchingly at Graham as he had
once done before--"I doubt whether your calling be in the Dutch army
or in any army that is of our mind or is likely to fight for our
cause.

"It is not given to man to lift the veil that hides the future, but we
can reason with ourselves as to what is likely, and guide our course
by this faint light. I have advices from Scotland, and I know that the
day will come, though it may not be yet, when there will be a great
division in that land and the shedding of blood. Were you and I both
in your country when that day comes, you, Mr. Graham, would draw your
sword on one side and I on the other.

"We may never cross one another in the unknown days, but each man must
be true to the light which God has given him. Colonel MacKay will
fulfil his calling in our army and on our side; in some other army and
for another side you will follow your destiny. It is seldom I speak at
such length; now I have only one other word to say before I give you
for the day farewell.

"Mr. Graham, I know what you think of me as clearly as if you had
spoken. Let me say what I think of you. You are a gallant gentleman,
full of the ideas of the past, and incapable of changing; you will be
a loyal servant to your own cause, and it will be beaten. To you I owe
my life. Possibly it might have been better for you to have let me
fall by the sword of one of Condé's dragoons, but we are all in the
hands of the Eternal, Who doeth what He wills with each man. You will
receive to-day a captain's commission in the cavalry, and in some day
to come, I do not know how soon, and in a way I may not at present
reveal to you, I will, if God please, do a kindness to you which will
be after your own heart, and enable you to rise to your own height in
the great affair of life. I bid you good-morning."

Few men were ever to hear the Prince of Orange use as many words or
give as much of his mind. As Claverhouse realized his fairness and
understood, although only a little, then, of his foresight, and as he
came to appreciate the fact that the Prince was trying to do something
more lasting for him than merely conferring a commission, he was
overwhelmed with a sense of the injustice he had done his Highness. He
also realized his own petulance with intense shame.

"Will your Highness forgive my wild words, for which I might have been
justly punished"--Graham, with an impulse of emotion, stepped forward,
knelt down, and kissed the Prince's hand--"and the shame I put upon a
Scots gentleman, for which I shall apologize this very day. My sword
is at your Highness's disposal while I am in your service and this arm
is able to use it. If in any day to come it be my fate to stand on
some other side, I shall not forget I once served under a great
commander and a most honorable gentleman, who dealt graciously with
me."

Two years passed during which Captain Graham saw much fighting and
many of his fellow-officers fall, and it was in keeping with the
character of the Prince that during all that time he took no
special notice of Claverhouse, and gave no indication that he had
that interview in mind. Claverhouse had learned one lesson,
however--patience--and he would have many more to learn; he had
also been taught not to take hasty views, but to wait for the long
result. And his heart lifted when, after the abortive siege of
Charleroi, he was summoned for a second time to the Prince's presence.
On this occasion the Prince said little, but it was to the point;
it was the crisis in Claverhouse's life.

"Within a few days, Captain Graham," said the Prince, with the same
frozen face, "I leave for London. I may not speak about my errand nor
other things which may happen, but if it be your will, I shall take
you in attendance upon me. At the English court I may be able to give
you an introduction which will place you in the way of service such as
you desire, and if it be the will of God, high honor. For this
opportunity, which I thought might come some day, I have been waiting,
and if it be as I expect, you will have some poor reward for saving
the life of the Prince of Orange."

It was known by this time in the army, and, indeed, throughout Europe,
that William of Orange was going to wed the Princess Mary, who was the
daughter of the Duke of York, the King of England's brother, and
likely to be herself the daughter of an English sovereign. For certain
reasons it seemed an unlikely and incongruous alliance, for even in
the end of 1677, when the marriage took place, anyone with prescience
could foresee that there would be a wide rift between the politics of
the Duke of York when he became King and those of William, and even
then there must have been some who saw afar off the conflict which
ended in William and Mary succeeding James upon the throne of England.
There were many envied Claverhouse when it came out that he was to be
a member of the Prince's suite, and be associated with the Prince's
most distinguished courtiers. But he carried himself, upon the whole,
with such graciousness and gallantry that his brother officers
congratulated him on every hand, and feasted him so lavishly before he
left that certain of his own comrades of the Prince's guard were laid
aside from duty for several days. It was to the credit of both men
that on the morning of his departure one of his last visitors was
Colonel MacKay, who wished him success, and prophesied that they would
hear great things of him in days to come, since it was understood that
Claverhouse would not return to the Dutch service.

For some time after the arrival of the Prince and his staff in London,
William gave no sign of the good he was going to do Claverhouse.
Indeed, he was busy with the work of his wooing and the arrangements
for his marriage. Claverhouse by this time had learned, however, that
William forgot nothing and never failed to carry out his plans, and
his pulse beat quicker when the Prince requested him to be in
attendance one afternoon, and to accompany him alone to Whitehall,
where the Duke of York was in residence. There was a certain
superficial likeness in character between the Prince and his
father-in-law, for both appeared unfeeling and unsympathetic men, but
what in James was obstinacy, in William was power, and what in James
was superstitious, in William was religion, and what in James was
pride, in William was dignity. His friends could trust William, but no
one could trust James; while William could make immense sacrifices for
his cause, James could wreck his cause by an amazing blindness and a
foolish grasping at the shadow of power. If anyone desired a master
under whom he would be led to victory, and by whom he would never be
put to shame, a master who might not praise him effusively but would
never betray him, then let him, as he valued his life and his career,
refuse James and cleave to William. But it is not given to a man to
choose his creed, far less his destiny, and Claverhouse was never to
have fortune on his side. It was to be his lot rather to be hindered
at every turn where he should have been helped, and to run his race
alone with many weights and over the roughest ground.

"Your Highness has of your courtesy allowed me to present in public
audience the officers who have come with me from The Hague," said the
Prince of Orange to James, "and now I have the pleasure to specially
introduce this gentleman who was lately a captain in my cavalry, and
who some while ago rendered me the last service one man can do for
another. Had it not been for his presence of mind and bravery of
action, I had not the supreme honor of waiting to-day upon your
Highness, and the prospect of felicity before me. May I, with the
utmost zeal towards him and the most profound respect towards your
Highness, recommend to your service Mr. Graham of Claverhouse, who
distinguished himself on many fields of battle, and who is a fine
gentleman and a brave officer fit for any post, civil or military. I
will only say one thing more: he belongs to the same house as the
Marquis of Montrose, and has in him the same spirit of loyalty."

Claverhouse, overcome by the remembrance of the past, is stirred to
the heart, and can hardly make his reverence for emotion. As he kisses
James's hand he registers a vow which he was to keep with his life.
And when he has left the presence of the Duke, the Prince of Orange
said to Claverhouse's new master: "You have, sir, obtained a servant
who will be faithful unto death; I make him over to you with
confidence and with regret. This day, I believe, he will begin the
work to which he has been called, and so far as a man can, he will
finish it."



BOOK II

CHAPTER I

A COVENANTING HOUSE


The glory of Paisley Castle has long departed, but it was a brave and
well-furnished house in the late spring of 1684, to which this story
now moves. The primroses were blooming in sheltered nooks, where the
keen east wind--the curse and the strength of Scotland--could not
blight them, and the sun had them for his wooing; there were signs of
foliage on the trees as the buds began to burgeon, and send a shimmer
of green along the branches; the grass, reviving after winter, was
showing its first freshness, and the bare earth took a softer color in
the caressing sunlight. The birds had taken heart again and were
seeking for their mates, some were already building their summer
homes. Life is one throughout the world, and the stirring of spring in
the roots of the grass and in the trunks of the trees touches also
human hearts and wakes them from their winter. The season of hope,
which was softening the clods of the field, and gentling the rough
massive walls of the castle, were also making tender the austere face
of a Covenanting minister standing in one of the deep window recesses
of what was called in Scots houses of that day the gallery, and what
was a long and magnificent upper hall, adorned with arms and tapestry.
He was looking out upon the woods that stretched to the silver water
of the Clyde, then a narrow and undeveloped river, and to the far-away
hills of Argyleshire, within which lay the mystery of the Highlands.
Henry Pollock had been born of a Cavalier and Episcopalian family,
with blood as loyal as that of Claverhouse; he had been brought up
amid what the Covenanters called malignant surroundings, and had been
taught to regard the Marquis of Montrose as the first of Scotsmen and
the most heroic of martyrs. Although the senior of Claverhouse by two
years, he had been with him at St. Andrew's University, and knew him
well, but in spite of his heredity Pollock had ever carried a more
open mind than Graham. During his university days he had heard the
saint and scholar of the Covenant, Samuel Rutherford, who was
principal and professor in the university and a most distinguished
preacher of his day in Scotland. No doubt Rutherford raged furiously
against prelacy as a work of the devil, and the enemy of Scots
freedom; no doubt he also wrote books which struck hard at the
authority of the King, and made for the cause of the people. His name
was a reproach among Pollock's friends, and Pollock began with no
sympathy towards Rutherford's opinions, but the lad's soul was stirred
when, in the college chapel of St. Andrew's and also in the parish
kirk where Rutherford was colleague with that servant of the Lord Mr.
Blair, he listened to Rutherford upon the love of God and the
loveliness of Christ. One day he was present, standing obscure among a
mass of townsfolk, when Rutherford, after making a tedious argument on
the controversies of the day which had almost driven Pollock from the
Kirk, came across the name of Christ and then, carried away out of his
course as by a magnet, began to rehearse the titles of the Lord Jesus
till a Scots noble seated in the kirk cried out, "Hold you there,
Rutherford." And Pollock was tempted to say "Amen." With his side he
resented the Covenanting regime, because it frowned on gayety and
enforced the hateful Covenant, but even then the lad wished that his
side had preachers to be compared with Rutherford and Blair, and the
words of Rutherford lay hidden in his heart. When the Restoration came
he flung up his cap with the rest of them, and drank only too many
healths to King Charles. For a while he was intoxicated with the
triumph of the Restoration, but there was a vein of seriousness in him
as well as candor, and as the years passed and the people were still
drinking, and as the tyranny of Cromwell gave place to the brutality
of the infamous crew, Lauderdale, the renegade, and others, who
misruled Scotland in the name of the King, Pollock was much shaken,
and began to wonder within himself whether the Presbyterians, with all
their bigotry, may not have had the right of it. If they did not dance
and drink they prayed and led God-fearing lives, and if they would not
be driven to hear the curates preach, there was not too much to hear
if they had gone. When the Covenant was the symbol of oppression,
Pollock hated it, when it became the symbol for suffering he was drawn
to it, till at last, to the horror of his family, he threw in his lot
with the Covenanters of the west of Scotland. Being a lad of parts
with competent scholarship, and having given every pledge of
sincerity, he was studying theology in Holland, while Claverhouse was
fighting in the army of the Prince, and he was there ordained to the
ministry of the kirk. When one has passed through so thorough a
change, and sacrificed everything which is most dear for his
convictions, he is certain to be a root and branch man, and to fling
himself without reserve, perhaps also, alas, without moderation, into
the service of his new cause. Pollock was not of that party in the
kirk which was willing to take an indulgence at the hands of the
government and minister quietly in their parishes, on condition that
they gave no trouble to the bishops. He would take no oaths and sign
no agreements, nor make any compromise, nor bow down to any
persecutor. He threw in his lot with the wild hillmen, who were being
hunted like wild birds upon the mountains by Claverhouse's cavalry,
and as he wandered from one hiding place to another, he preached to
them in picturesque conventicles, which gathered in the cathedral of
the Ayrshire hills, and built them up in the faith of God and of the
Covenant. Like Rutherford, who had been to him what St. Stephen was to
St. Paul, he was that strange mixture of fierceness and of tenderness
which Scots piety has often bred and chiefly in its dark days. He was
not afraid to pursue the doctrine of Calvin to its furthest extreme,
and would glorify God in the death of sinners till even the stern
souls of his congregation trembled. Nor was he afraid to defend
resistance to an unjust and ungodly government, and he was willing to
fight himself almost as much, though not quite, as to pray.

But even the gloomiest and bitterest bigots that heard him, huddled in
some deep morass and encircled by the cold mist, testified that Henry
Pollock was greatest when he declared the evangel of Jesus, and
besought his hearers, who might before nightfall be sent by a bloody
death into eternity, to accept Christ as their Saviour. When he
celebrated the sacrament amid the hills, and lifted up the emblems of
the Lord's body and blood, his voice broken with passion, and the
tears rolling down his cheeks, they said that his face was like that
of an angel. Times without number he had been chased on the moors;
often he had been hidden cunningly in shepherd's cottages, twice he
had eluded the dragoons by immersing himself in peat-bogs, and once he
had been wounded. His face could never at any time have been otherwise
than refined and spiritual, but now it was that of an ascetic, worn by
prayer and fasting, while his dark blue eyes glowed when he was moved
like coals of fire, and the golden hair upon his head, as the sun
touched it, was like unto an aureole. Standing in the embrasure of
that gallery, which had so many signs of the world which is, in the
pictures of sport upon the walls and the stands of arms, he seemed to
be rather the messenger and forerunner of the world which is to come.
As he looks out upon the fair spring view, he is settling something
with his conscience, and is half praying, half meditating, for, in his
lonely vigils, with no company but the curlew and the sheep, he has
fallen upon the way of speaking aloud.

"There be those who are called to live alone and to serve the Lord
night and day in the high places of the field, like Elijah, who was
that prophet, and John the Baptist, who ran before the face of the
Lord. If this be Thy will for me, oh, God, I am also willing, and Thou
knowest that mine is a lonely life, and that I bear in my body the
marks of the Lord Jesus. If this be my calling, make Thy way plain
before Thy servant, and give me grace to walk therein with a steadfast
heart. He that forsaketh not father and mother ... and wife for His
name's sake, is not worthy." And then a change came over his mood.

"But the Master came not like the Baptist; He came eating and
drinking; yea, He went unto the marriage of Cana in Galilee, and He
blessed little children and said, 'For of such is the Kingdom of God.'
Thou knowest, Lord, that I have loved Thy children, and when a bairn
has smiled in my face as I baptized it into Thy name, that I have
longed for one that would call me father. When I have seen a man and
his wife together by the fireside, and I have gone out to my
hiding-place on the moor, like a wild beast to its den, I confess, oh,
Lord, I have watched that square of light so long as I could see it,
and have wondered whether there would ever be a home for me, and any
woman would call me husband. Is this the weakness of the flesh; is
this the longing of the creature for comfort; is this the refusing of
the cross; is this my sin? Search me, oh, God, and try me." And again
the gentler mood returned. "Didst Thou not set the woman beside the
man in the Garden? Has not the love of Jacob for Rachel been glorified
in Thy word? Art not Thou Thyself the bridegroom, and is not the kirk
Thy bride? Are we not called to the marriage supper of the Lamb? Is
not marriage Thine own ordinance, and shall I count that unclean, as
certain vain persons have imagined, which Thou hast established? Oh,
my Saviour, wast Thou not born of a woman? My soul is torn within me,
and unto Thee, therefore, do I look for light; give me this day a sign
that I may know what Thou wouldst have me to do, that it may be well
for Thy cause in the land, and the souls of Thy servants committed to
my charge."

He is unconscious of everything except the agony of duty through
which he is passing, and his words, though spoken low, have a sweet
and penetrating note, which arrest the attention of one who has come
down the gallery, and is now standing at the opening of the alcove
where Pollock is hidden. It is his hostess, the widow of Lord
Cochrane, the eldest son of the Earl of Dundonald, who was still
living, though old and feeble, and who left the management of
affairs very much to Lady Cochrane. Like many other families in the
days of the "Troubles," the Cochranes was a house divided against
itself, although till now the strength had been all on one side. Lord
Dundonald had been a loyal adherent of the Stuarts, and had rendered
them service in earlier days, for which it was understood he had
received his earldom; but he was a broken man now, and had no
strength in him to resist his masterful daughter-in-law. She was a
child of the Earl of Cassillis, one of the stoutest and most
thoroughgoing of Covenanters; her husband had died in the year when
the Battle of Bothwell-Brig had been fought, and his last prayers
were for the success of the Covenanters. His younger brother had
been one of the Rye House Plot men, and was now an exile for the
safety of his life in Holland. By her blood and by her sympathy, by
everything she thought and felt, Lady Cochrane was a Covenanter, and
in her face and figure, as she stands with the light from the
window falling upon her, she symbolizes her cause and party. Tall and
strong-boned, with a lean, powerful face, and clear, unrelenting eyes,
yet with a latent suggestion of enthusiasm which would move her to
any sacrifice for what she judged to be righteousness, and with an
honest belief in her religious creed, Lady Cochrane was one of the
godly women of the Covenant. The old Earl had no chance against her
resolute will, and contented himself with a quavering protest
against her ideas, and bleating disapproval of her actions. When
she denounced the Council as a set of Herods, and filled the house
with Covenanting ministers and outlawed persons, his only comfort and
sympathizer was Lady Cochrane's daughter Jean. This young woman had
of late taken on herself the office of protector, and had shown a
tendency to criticise both her mother's words and ways, which led
to one or two domestic scenes. For though her ladyship was loud
against the tyranny of the government, she was an absolute ruler in
her own home. And that day she was going to assert herself and put
down an incipient rebellion.

"I give you good-morning, Mr. Pollock," said Lady Cochrane, "and I
crave your pardon if I have done amiss, but since you were, as I take
it, wrestling in prayer I had not the mind to break in upon you; I
have therefore heard some portion of your petitions. It seems to me,
though in such matters I am but blind of eye and dull of hearing, that
God indeed is giving a sign of approval when He seems to have been
turning your heart unto the thought of the marriage between the
bridegroom and the bride in the Holy Scriptures, of which other
marriages are, I take it, a shadow and a foretaste."

"It may be your ladyship is right," said Pollock after he had returned
his hostess's greeting, "but we shall soon know, for God hath promised
that light shall arise unto the righteous. For myself, I declare that
as it has happened on the hills when I was fleeing from Claverhouse,
so it is now in my affairs. I am moving in a mist which folds me round
like a thin garment; here and there I see the light struggling
through, and it seems to me most beautiful even in its dimness; by and
by the mist shall altogether pass, and I shall stand in the light,
which is the shining of His face. But whether I shall then find myself
at Cana of Galilee or in the Garden of Gethsemane, I know not."

"If it were in my handling," said Lady Cochrane, regarding her guest
with a mixed expression of admiration and pity, "ye would find
yourself, and that without overmuch delay, at a marriage feast. The
dispensation of John Baptist is done with in my humble judgment,
and I count the refusing to marry to be pure will-worship and a
soul-destroying snare of the Papists. Ye are a good man, Mr. Henry,
and a faithful minister of the Word, but ye would be a better, with
fewer dreams and more sense for daily duty, besides being more
comfortable, if you had a wife. Doubtless the days are evil, and
there be those who would say that this is not a time to marry, but if
you had the right wife it is no unlikely ye might be safer than ye
are to-day. For there would be a big house to hide you, and, at
the worst, you and she could make your ways to Holland, and get
shelter from the Prince till those calamities be overpast."

"My fear," continued her ladyship, "is not that ye will do wrong in
marrying, but that ye may fail to win the wife ye told me yesterday
was your desire. No, Mr. Henry, it is not that I am not with you, for
I am a favorer of your suit. In those days when the call is for
everyone to say whether he be for God or Baal, I would rather see my
daughter married to a faithful minister of the kirk, than to the
proudest noble in Scotland, who was a persecutor of the Lord's people.
As regards blood, I mind me also that ye belong to an ancient house,
and as regards titles, it was from King Charles the earldom came to
the Cochranes, and the most of the nobles he has made have been the
sons of his mistresses. There will soon be more disgrace than honor in
being called a lord in the land of England."

"It may be," hazarded Pollock anxiously, "that the Earl then does not
look on me with pleasure, and as the head of the house----"

"As what?" said Lady Cochrane. "It is not much his lordship has to say
on anything, for his mind is failing fast, and it never, to my seeing,
was very strong. He says little, and it's a mercy he has less power,
or rather, I should say, a dispensation of Providence, for if the
misguided man had his way of it, Jean would be married to-morrow to
some drinking, swearing officer in Claverhouse's Horse, or, for that
matter, to that son of Satan, Claverhouse himself."

"While I am here," continued this Covenanting heroine, "you need
not trouble yourself about the Earl of Dundonald, but I cannot speak
so surely for my daughter. Jean's name was inserted in the Covenant,
and she has been taught the truth by my own lips, besides hearing
many godly ministers, but I sorely doubt whether she be steadfast
and single-hearted. It was only two days ago she lent her aid to
her grandfather when he was havering about toleration, and before
all was done she spoke lightly of the contendings of God's remnant in
this land, and said that if they had the upper hand Scotland would
not be fit to live in. So far as I can see she has no ill-will to
you, Mr. Henry, and has never said aught against you. Nay, more, I
recall her speaking well of your goodness, but whether she will
consent unto your plea I cannot prophesy. Where she got her proud
temper and her stubborn self-will passes my mind, for her father
was an exercised Christian and a douce man, and there never was a
word of contradiction from him all the days of our married life. It
may be the judgment of the Lord for the sins of the land, that the
children are raising themselves against their parents. Be that as it
may, I have done my best for you, and now I will send her to the
gallery and ye must make your own suit. I pray God her heart may be
turned unto you."

When the daughter came down the middle of the gallery, with an easy
and graceful carriage, for she was a good goer, it would seem as if
the mother had returned, more beautiful and more gentle, yet quite as
strong and determined. Jean Cochrane--whose proper style as a lord's
daughter would be the Honorable Jean, but who, partly because she was
an earl's granddaughter, partly in keeping with the usage of the day,
was known as Lady Jean--was like her mother, tall and well built,
straight as a young tree, with her head set on a long, slender neck,
and in conversation thrown back. Her complexion was perfect in its
healthy tone and fine coloring; she had a wealth of the most rich and
radiant auburn hair, somewhat like that of Pollock, but redder and
more commanding to the eye; her eyes were sometimes gray and sometimes
blue, according to their expression, which was ever changing with her
varying moods. This is no girl of timid or yielding nature who can be
coaxed or driven, or of clinging and meek affection. This is a woman
full grown, not in stature only, but in character, of high ambition,
of warm passion, of resolute will and clear mind, who is fit to be the
mate for a patriot, in which case she would be ready to accompany him
to the scaffold, or for a soldier, in which case she would send him to
his death with a proud heart. Her mobile face, as flexible as that of
a supreme actress, is set and hard when she enters the gallery, for
she and her mother had just crossed swords, and Lady Jean knew for
what end she had been asked to meet the Covenanter. Lady Cochrane was
an unhappy advocate for such a plea, and with such a daughter,
although she might have been successful with a helpless and submissive
girl. With that look in her eyes, which are as cold as steel and have
its glitter, one could not augur success for any wooer. It was a
tribute not so much to the appearance of Pollock as to the soul of the
man shining through his face in most persuasive purity and sincerity,
that when they met and turned aside into that window space and stood
in the spring sunlight, her face softened towards him. The pride of
her carriage seemed to relax, and the offence went out of her eyes,
and she gave him a gracious greeting, and no woman, if she had a mind,
could be more ingratiating. Then, still standing, which suited her
best, and looking at him with not unfriendly gravity, she waited for
what he had to say.

"Lady Jean," he began, "your honorable mother has told you for what
end I desired speech with you this day, and I ask you to give me a
fair hearing of your kindness, for though I have been called of God to
declare His word before many people, I have no skill in the business
to which I now address myself. In this matter of love between a man
and a maid I have never before spoken, and if I succeed not to-day,
shall never speak again. Bear with me when I explain for your better
understanding of my case, that I began my life in the faith of my
family, and that I came into the Covenant after I was a man. I was
called, as I trust of God, unto the ministry of the Evangel, and I
have exercised it not in quiet places, but in the service of God's
people who are scattered and peeled among the hills. It seemed
therefore of my calling that I should live as a Nazarite and die
alone, having known neither wife nor child, and indeed this may be my
lot." Having said so much, as he looked not at the girl but out of
the window, he now turned his face upon her, which, always pale, began
now to be ashen white, through rising emotion and intensity of heart.

"Two years ago I first came to this castle and saw you; from time to
time upon the errands of my master or sheltering from my pursuers I
have lived here, and before I knew it I found my heart go out to you,
Lady Jean, so that on the moors I heard your voice in the singing of
the mountain birds, and saw your face with your burning hair in the
glory of the setting sun. The thought of you was never far from me,
and the turn of your head and your step as you have walked before me
came ever to my sight. Was not this, I said to myself, the guidance of
the Lord in Whose hands are the hearts of men, and Who did cause Isaac
to cleave to Rebecca? But, again, might it not be that I was turning
from the way of the cross and following the desires of my own heart? I
prayed for some token, and fourteen days ago this word in the Song of
Solomon came unto me, and was laid upon my heart. 'Behold thou art
fair, my love, behold thou art fair, thou hast dove's eyes within thy
locks, thy hair is as a flock of goats that appear from Mount Gilead.'
Wherefore I make bold to speak to you to-day, and on your reply will
hang the issue of my after life." His eyes had begun to shine with
mystic tenderness and yearning appeal, so that she, who had been
looking away from him, could not now withdraw her gaze.

"Is there in your heart any kindness and confidence towards me, and
have you been moved to think of me as one whom you could wed and whose
life you could share? It is not to wealth nor to honor, it is not to
ease and safety that I invite you, Lady Jean; you must be prepared to
see me suffer, and you must be willing that I should die. What I could
do to protect and cherish you, if God gave you to me, I should, and
next to the Lord who redeemed me, you would be the love of my heart in
time and also in eternity, where we should follow the Lord together,
unto living fountains of waters."

It was not the wooing of quieter days or gentler lives; it was not
after this fashion that a Cavalier would have spoken to his ladylove,
but his words were in keeping with the man, and streamed from the
light of his eyes rather than from his lips. And the girl, who had
come to say no as briefly and firmly as might be consistent with
courtesy, was touched in the deepest part of her being, and for the
moment almost hesitated.

"Ye have done me the chief honor a man can offer to a woman, Mr.
Pollock, and Jean Cochrane will never forget that ye asked her in
marriage. It cannot be, and it is better that I should say this
without delay or uncertain speech, but I pray you, Mr. Henry,
understand why, and think me not a proud or foolish girl. It is not
that I do not know that you are a holy and a brave man, whom the folk
rightly consider to be a saint, and whom others say would have made a
gallant soldier. It is not that I doubt the woman ye wedded would be
well and tenderly loved, for, I confess to you, ye seem to me to have
the making of a perfect husband. And it is not that I"--and here she
straightened herself--"would be afraid of any danger, or any suffering
either, for myself or you. I should bid it welcome, and if I saw you
laid dead for the cause ye love, I should take you in my arms and kiss
you on the mouth, though you were red with blood, as I never kissed
you living on our marriage day." And she carried her head as a queen
at the moment of her coronation.

"No," she went on, while the glow faded and her voice grew gentle; "it
is for two reasons, but one of them I tell you only to yourself, in
the secrecy of your honor. I admire and I--reverence you as one lifted
above me like a saint, but this is not the feeling of a woman for the
man that is to be her husband. I do not love you as I know I shall in
an instant love the man who is to be my man when I first see him, and
for whom I shall forsake without any pang my father's house, or else,
if he appear not, I shall never wed. That mayhap is reason enough, but
I am dealing with you as a friend this day. Though my name be in the
Covenant, I am not sure--oh, those are dark times--whether I would
write it to-day with my own hand. I might be able to do so when I was
your wife, but that I may not be. Yet it is left to me, Mr. Henry, to
have your name in my prayers, that God may keep you in the hard road
ye have chosen, and give you in the end a glorious crown. And I will
ask of you to mention at a time Jean Cochrane before the throne of
grace. For surely ye will be heard, and blessed shall she be for whom
ye pray."

For an instant there was silence, and then, before she left, Lady
Jean, as Pollock stood with head sunk on his breast and lips moving in
prayer, bent forward and kissed him on the forehead. When an hour
later the minister descended to Lady Cochrane's room, he told her that
his suit was hopeless, but that he was thankful unto God that he had
spoken with Lady Jean.



CHAPTER II

THE COMING OF THE AMALEKITE


It would have been hard to find within the civilized world a more
miserable and distracted country than Scotland at the date of our
history, and the West Country was worst of all. The Covenanters, who
were never averse to fighting, had turned upon Claverhouse and his
dragoons when they came to disperse a field-meeting at Drumclog, and
had soundly beaten the King's Horse. Then, gathering themselves to a
head and meeting the royal forces under the Duke of Monmouth at
Bothwell Bridge, they had in turn been hopelessly crushed. What
remained of their army was scattered by the cavalry, and since that
day, with some interludes, Claverhouse had been engaged in the
inglorious work of dispersing Presbyterian Conventicles gathered in
remote places among the hills, or searching the moss-hags for outlawed
preachers. It was a poor business for one who had seen war on the
grand scale under the Prince of Orange, and had fought in battles
where eighteen thousand men were left on the field. War was not the
name for those operations, they were simply police work of an irksome
and degrading kind. There were some who said that Claverhouse gloried
in it, and that the inherent cruelty of his nature was gratified in
causing obstinate Covenanters, who had not taken the oath, to be shot
on the spot, and haling others to prison, where they were treated with
extreme barbarity. Others believed that being a man of broad mind and
chivalrous temper, he absolutely disapproved of the government policy
and loathed the butcher work to which he and his troopers were set.

Upon one way of it he was a bloodthirsty tyrant, and upon the
other he was an obedient soldier, but the truth was with neither
view. There is no doubt that, like any other ambitious commander,
he would much rather have been engaged in a proper campaign, and it
may be granted that as a brave man he did not hanker to be the
executioner of peasants; but he absolutely approved of the policy
of his rulers, and had no scruple in carrying it out. It was the only
thing that could be done, and it had better be done thoroughly; the
sooner the turbulent and irreconcilable Covenanters were crushed
and the country reduced to peace the better for Scotland. And it
must be remembered that, though they were only a fraction of the
nation, the hillmen were a very resolute and harassing fraction,
and kept the western counties in a state of turmoil. No week passed
without some picturesque incident being added to the annals of this
lamentable religious war, and whether it was an escape or an
arrest, an attack or a defeat, the name of Claverhouse was always in
the story. The air was thick with rumors of his doings, and in every
cottage enraged Covenanters spoke of his atrocities. No doubt the
king had other officers quite as merciless and almost as active, and
the names of men like Grierson of Lag and Bruce of Earleshall and
that fierce old Muscovite fighter, General Dalziel, were engraved for
everlasting reprobation upon the memory of the Scots people. But
there was no superstition so mad that it was not credited to
Claverhouse, and no act so wicked that it was not believed of him.
During the hours of day he ranged the country, a monster thirsting
for the blood of innocent men, and the hours of the evening he
spent with his associates in orgies worthy of hell. His horse,
famous for its fleetness and beauty, was supposed to be an evil
spirit, and as for himself, everyone knew that Claverhouse could not
be shot except by a silver bullet, because he was under the
protection of the devil. Perhaps it is not too much to say that during
those black years--black for both sides, and very much so for
Claverhouse--he was, in the imagination of the country folk, little
else than a devil himself, and it was then he earned the title which
has clung to him unto this day and been the sentence of his infamy,
"Bloody Claverse."

Although there were not many houses of importance in the west which
Graham had not visited during those years, it happened that he had
never been within Paisley Castle, and that he had never met any of the
family except the earl and his aged countess. Lady Cochrane and the
Covenanting servants could have given a thumb-nail sketch of him which
would have done for a mediæval picture of Satan, and an accompanying
letter-press of his character which would have been a slander upon
Judas Iscariot. Her heroic ladyship had, however, never met
Claverhouse, and she prayed God she never would, not because she was
afraid of him or of the devil himself, but because she knew it would
not be a pleasant interview on either side. But it was not likely in
those times that the Dundonalds should altogether escape the notice of
the government, or that Graham, ranging through the country seeking
whom he might devour, as the Covenanters said, should not find himself
some day under their roof. The earl himself was known to be well
affected, and in any case did not count, but Lady Cochrane was a
dangerous woman, and her brother-in-law, Sir John, had been plotting
against the government and was an exile. No one was much surprised
when tidings came to the castle early one morning that Claverhouse
with two troops of his regiment, his own and the one commanded by Lord
Ross, Jean Cochrane's cousin, was near Paisley, and that Claverhouse
with Lord Ross craved the hospitality of the castle. It was natural
that he should stay in the chief house of the neighborhood, and all
the more as Lord Dundonald was himself notoriously loyal, but it was
suspected that he came to gather what information he could about Sir
John Cochrane, and to warn Lady Cochrane, the real ruler of the
castle, to give heed to her ways.

"The day of trial which separates the wheat from the chaff has come at
last, as I expected it would," said Lady Cochrane, with pride
triumphing over concern; "it would have been strange and a cause for
searching of hearts if the enemy had visited so many of God's people
and had passed us by as if we were a thing of naught, or indeed were
like unto Judas, who had made his peace with the persecutors. Have ye
considered what ye will do, my lord?" she said to the earl, who was
wandering helplessly up and down the dining-hall.

"Do, my lady?" It was curious to notice how they all called her my
lady. "I judge that Claverhouse and any servants he brings must be our
guests, and of course Ross. But you know more about what we can do
than I. Do you think we could invite the other officers of his troop?
There will be Bruce of Earleshall and--" Then, catching Lady
Cochrane's eye, he brought his maundering plans of hospitality to a
close. "Doubtless you will send a letter and invite such as the castle
may accommodate. I leave everything, Margaret, in your hands."

"_I_ invite John Graham of Claverhouse and his bloody crew, officers
or men it matters not, to cross our threshold and break bread within
our walls--I, a daughter of the house of Cassillis and the widow of
your faithful son? May my hand be smitten helpless forever if I write
such a word, and my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth if I welcome
this slayer of the saints to my home!" And Lady Cochrane rose from her
place and stood like a lioness at bay. "Receive that servant of the
Evil One into Paisley Castle? Yea, I would receive him if I could. If
early word had been sent of his approach and it were in my power, I
would call together every man in this region who is true unto God and
the Covenant, and I would close the gates of the castle and bid the
persecutor take it by force. I should count it an honor before the
Lord to shed my own blood in its defence. But I doubt that may not
be."

"What shall I do, then?" in answer to a quavering question from the
earl, who was now huddled in a chair before the huge open fireplace.
"I would leave the castle if it were not too late, and seek some
lodging till Claverhouse be gone, for I fear to dwell beneath the same
roof with this man of blood lest the Lord smite us with a common
destruction. See him or speak with him I will not; I will to my own
rooms, and there I will seclude myself, praying that God may speedily
judge this man, and cast him from his place. Lord Dundonald, I will
leave it to you to play the host: very likely ye will not have much
sorrow over it, for ye have more than a friendly heart to the
Malignants."

"It seems to me, if I be not too bold in saying it, that ye are taking
a wise course, my lady, for there might arise some slight debate
between you and Claverhouse, and that in the present circumstances
would not be convenient. Not quite, as I said, convenient. You are a
brave woman, Margaret, and worthy of your honorable house, but
Claverhouse is the king's officer, and I forget--my memory is not what
it was--the number of men in a troop, but he has two troops with him.
Apart from that," rambled on the earl, "we must remember John, who is
in danger, and we may not give offence if we can speak a canny word
which will get the right side of Claverhouse."

"Ye have learned your lesson well, my lord, and ye will do your part
in this day of expediency when men are more concerned about their
safety and that of their children than that of the kirk of God and the
cause of righteousness. I make sure that there will be much fair talk
between you and your guests, but I cannot breathe this air, and so you
will excuse me from your company. Jean, you will come with your
mother and stay with me till this plague has left the house, for I
count a visit of Claverhouse worse than leprosy or the black death."

"Craving your pardon, mother," said Jean, who had been listening to
this conversation with intense sympathy, and entering keenly into the
contrast between the earl and Lady Cochrane, "I will not go with you
and hide myself till Colonel Graham be gone. There should, it seems to
me, be some woman by the side of the head of the house, especially
when he is no longer young, to receive Claverhouse, for whether we
hate or love him he is our guest while underneath this roof. I am not
afraid of him, and I will make free to confess that I desire to see
this man of whom we have heard so much ill. It may be, after all, that
he is not what those foolish people think. At any rate, by your leave,
I shall stand by the earl's side if he will have me."

"Ye speak boldly, girl. Though you have often debated with me more
than was becoming, I do not recall till this day that ye have
disobeyed me. But be it so, since this gives pleasure to his
lordship" (who had crept over and was standing, as it were, under
the shield of his bold granddaughter). "Only, one word of warning,
if ye be not too proud and high-minded to take it. Albeit this man
has the heart of Pontius Pilate, and will be the curse of everyone
that has to do with him, yet the story goes that the master whom he
serves has given him a fair face and beguiling words, and I bid you
beware. But from what I hear outside it is time I left. Your guest
is at your gate: I pray you may have comfort in him, and that he may
not bring a shadow to this home." And Lady Cochrane swept her
majestic way out of the dining-hall; and retired to her apartments
in another wing.

As she left, the earl, with Jean, went to the public door of the hall
to meet Lord Ross and Claverhouse, who, without waiting for any
invitation to stay in the castle, had come to pay their respects to
the earl. They were already ascending the narrow stone stairs by which
visitors came from the courtyard to the hall, and almost as soon as
the earl and Jean had taken their places, Lord Ross came through the
doorway, and having bowed to the earl turned aside to present
Claverhouse. Jean saw him for the first time framed in the arch of the
door, and never while she lived, even after she was the loyal wife of
another man, forgot the sight. Ten years had passed since Graham
jested at the camp-fire with his comrades of the English Volunteers,
on the night before the battle of Sineffe, but war, with many
anxieties, had left only slight traces upon his face. He was no longer
a soldier of fortune, but the commander of "His Majesty's Own Regiment
of Horse," and a colonel in the king's army. By this time also he was
a member of the Privy Council, and a favorite person at Court; he had
held various offices and taken part in many public affairs. Yet he was
the same gracious and engaging figure, carrying on his face the
changeless bloom of youth, though now thirty-six years of age. He was
in the handsome uniform of his regiment, completed by a polished and
gleaming breastplate over which his neckerchief of white lace
streamed, while his face looked out from the wealth of brown hair
which fell over his shoulders. His left hand rested on his sword, and
Jean marked the refinement and delicacy of his right hand, which was
ungloved, as if for salutation. The day had been cloudy, and the hall,
with its stone floor, high roof, oaken furniture, and walls covered by
dark tapestry, was full of gloom, only partially relieved by the
firelight from the wide, open hearth. While Claverhouse was coming up
the stairs to the sound of his spurs and the striking of his sword
against the wall, the sun came out from behind a cloud, and a ray of
light streaming from an opposite window fell upon the doorway as he
entered. It lingered but for a moment, and after touching his
picturesque figure as with a caress, disappeared, and the eyes of John
Graham and Jean Cochrane met.

They were the opposite of each other: he slight and graceful, she tall
and strong; he dark and rich of complexion, with hazel eye, she fair
and golden, with eyes of gray-blue; he a born and convinced Cavalier,
and she a born and professed Covenanter; he a kinsman of the great
marquis whom the Covenanters beheaded, and she on her mother's side
the daughter of a house which hated Montrose and all his works. There
was nothing common between them; they stood distant as the east from
the west, and yet in that instant their hearts were drawn together.
They might never confess their love--there would be a thousand
hindrances to give it effect--it was in the last degree unlikely that
they could ever marry, but it had come to pass with them as with
innumerable lovers, that love was born in an instant.

"I thank you, my lord," said Claverhouse, bowing low to the earl,
"for this friendly greeting, and for the invitation you now give to be
your guest during my short stay in the district. It is strange that
through some ordering of circumstances, to me very disappointing, I
have never had the honor of offering to you an assurance of my respect
as a good subject of the king, and one whom the king has greatly
honored. As you know, my lord, I come and go hastily on the king's
business. I only wish, and I judge his Majesty would join in the wish,
that my visits to those parts were fewer. One is tempted, preachers
tell us, to think well of himself, overmuch indeed, maybe, but I have
been wonderfully delivered from the snare of imagining that I am a
beloved person in the west of Scotland." As he spoke, a sudden and
almost roguish look of humor sprang from his eyes and played across
his face. And he smiled pleasantly to Lady Jean, to whom he was now
introduced, and whose hand he kissed.

"You will give your indulgence to a poor soldier who must appear in
this foolish trapping of war, and whose time in these parts is spent
in the saddle rather than in a lady's rooms. I trust that it is well
with the Lady Cochrane, of whom I have often heard, and whom I dared
to hope I might have the privilege of meeting." And a second time the
same smile flickered over Claverhouse's face, and he seemed to
challenge Jean for an answer.

"My mother, Colonel Graham," responded Jean, with a careful choice of
words, "does not find herself able to receive you to-day as we would
have wished, and I fear she may be confined to her room during your
visit. It will, I fear, be the greater loss to you that you have to
accept me in her place, but we will try to give you such attention as
we can, and my good cousin here knows the castle as if it were his own
home."

"Yes, and he has often spoken of our fair hostess of to-day"--and
Claverhouse led Lady Jean to the table, where a meal was spread--"and
everyone has heard how wide is the hospitality of Paisley Castle. Am I
too bold in asking whether Lord Ross and I are the only guests, or
whether we may not expect to have a blessing on this generous board
from some minister of the kirk, even perhaps from the worthy Mr. Henry
Pollock? I think, my lord, he favors you sometimes with his company."
Again the smile returned, but this time more searching and ironical.

"Pollock? Henry? That name sounds familiar. One of the leaders of the
hillmen, isn't he, who were giving such trouble to the government? I
am not sure but he was in this district not long ago, maybe a month
since. Last Monday, was it? Well, you will know better than I do,
Colonel. My Lady Cochrane and I don't perhaps quite agree in this, but
I can't approve of any trafficking with persons disaffected to the
government. Gone! what, did any man say that Pollock was here?" And
the earl shuffled in his chair beneath Claverhouse's mocking eyes.

"If you desire to know the truth," Jean Cochrane said, with severe
dignity, "it were better not to ask my lord, because many come and go,
and he sometimes forgets their names. Mr. Henry Pollock was our guest
three days ago, as you are ours to-day, but next day he left, and we
know not where he is. If, as I judge, you have surrounded the castle,
I think you might let your troopers go to their dinner."

"It is good advice," laughed Claverhouse, concealing his disappointment,
and nodding to Lord Ross, who rose and left the table, to send off
the soldiers. "For one thing, at any rate, I have come a day behind
the fair, and I shall not have the pleasure this time of hearing
some gracious words from that eminent saint, and introducing my
unworthy self to his notice. We have met once or twice before, but at a
distance, and he had no leisure to speak with me. Some day I hope to be
more fortunate."

"When you do meet, Colonel Graham," retorted Jean, stung by this
mockery, for she knew now that one of the ends of Claverhouse's visit
was the arrest of Pollock, and if it had not been the accident of her
refusal, Pollock would have been Claverhouse's prisoner, "you will be
in the company of a good man and a brave, who may not be of your way,
but who, I will say in any presence, is a gentleman of Christ."

"Whatever else befall him, Pollock is fortunate in his advocate."
Claverhouse looked curiously at Jean. "God knows I do not desire to
say aught against him. Had I found him in Paisley Castle I should have
done my duty, and he would have done his. We were together in the old
days at St. Andrew's, and he was a good Cavalier then; he is a man of
family and of honor. Pardon me if I think he has chosen the wrong
side, and is doing vast evil in stirring up ignorant people against
the government and breeding lawlessness. But there, I desire not to
debate, and none grieves more over the divisions of the day than an
unhappy soldier who is sent to settle them by the rough medicine of
the sword. Henry Pollock has chosen his side and taken his risk: I
have chosen mine and taken my risk, too. If it be his lot when the
time comes he will die as a brave man should, for there is no
cowardice in Pollock, and when my time comes, may heaven give me the
same grace. But I fear, Lady Jean, it is a struggle unto life or
death." Claverhouse's face grew stern and sad, and he repeated, "Unto
life or death."

Then suddenly his face relaxed into the old polite, mocking smile as
he turned to Lord Dundonald. "The Lady Jean and I have fallen upon
much too serious talk, and I take blame, my lord, that I have not been
inquiring for the welfare of your family. I congratulate you on my
Lord Cochrane, who well sustains the fame of your house on all its
sides for turning out strong men and fair women. Some day I hope
Cochrane will ask for a commission in his Majesty's Regiment of Horse
and join his kinsman Ross under my command. But what news have you
from Sir John? It came to my ears somehow that he was travelling
abroad; is that so, my lord? Some one told me also that you had a
letter from him a week ago."

"John! We have not seen him for a year. He was in London, but he is
not there now. Yes, I seem to remember that he had some business which
has taken him out of the country for a little. We hope he will soon
return, and when he knows that you have done us the honor of coming
beneath our roof he will be very sorry that he was not here to
meet you." The earl havered to the end of his breath and his
prevarications, like a clock which had run down.

"It would have been more good fortune than I expected from my
information if I had found Sir John here, for unless rumor be a
wilder liar than usual he is in Holland, where there is a considerable
gathering of worthy Presbyterians at present, taking council
together, no doubt, for the good of their country. When you are
writing to Sir John, would you of your courtesy give him a message
from me? Say that I know Holland well, and that the climate is
excellent for Scotsmen--more healthy sometimes, indeed, than their
native air--and that some of his well-wishers think that he might be
happier there than even in Paisley Castle. If he wishes service in
the army, I could recommend him to the notice of my old fellow-officer
MacKay of Scourie, who is now, I hear, a general in the Prince's
service. You will be pleased to know, my lord, that the Rye House
Plot against his Majesty was a very poor failure, and that all
engaged in it, who were caught, will be soundly trounced."

"If anyone says that my son had anything to do with that damnable
proceeding, which all loyal subjects must detest, then he is
slandering John, who is----"

"Your son, my lord, and the brother of my late Lord Cochrane cut off
too soon. I am curious to get any gossip from the low country. Would
it be too great a labor for you to let your eyes rest again on Sir
John's letters, and to learn whether he has anything to tell about my
old commander, his Highness of Orange, or anything else that would
satisfy my poor curiosity. Burned them, have you? Strange. If I had a
son instead of being a lonely man, I think his letters would be kept.
But you are a wise man, my lord, no doubt, and I seem to be doomed to
disappointment to-day in everything except the most gracious
hospitality. Now, with your permission, Lady Jean, I must go to see
that those rascals of mine are not making your good people in the town
drink the king's health too deeply."



CHAPTER III

BETWEEN MOTHER AND LOVER


For no less a time than fourteen days did Claverhouse and his men
remain in Paisley, to the amazement of the district and the fierce
indignation of Lady Cochrane. During that time the soldiers made
sudden journeys in various directions, but if they arrested any
Covenanters they were never brought to Paisley, and although Lady
Cochrane prophesied the murder of the saints every day, no new
atrocity was laid to her guest's charge. Once or twice he went out
with his men himself, but he mostly contented himself with directing
their operations, and he occupied his time with writing long
despatches on the case of Sir John Cochrane and the state of affairs
in Scotland. He was not so busy, however, that he had no leisure for
the duties of a guest, and now that he had missed Pollock and had
found out all he wanted about Sir John, he never came a thousand miles
within controversy. He was studiously courteous to the servants at
the castle, who had regarded his coming with absolute terror; he
calmed and gentled the timid old earl, and drew him out to tell
stories of the days of the Commonwealth, when one of Cromwell's
troopers pulled the minister out of the pulpit of the Abbey kirk, and
held forth himself on the sins both of Prelacy and Presbytery,
declaring that he was as good a priest as any man. Claverhouse made no
objection when the minister of the Abbey, who had taken the indulgence
and was on good terms with the government, but whom Lady Cochrane
detested and considered to be a mere Gallio, came up to hold family
worship in the castle. He attended the service himself, and explained
that he always had prayers when he was at home, and that he generally
had a chaplain with him. When he was not shut up in his room reading
or writing despatches, he mingled freely with the family and suited
himself to each one's taste with great tact and good nature. It was
not long since he had returned from Court at London, where he was now
a popular and influential person, and he had many good tales for young
Lord Cochrane, about hunting with the Duke of York, cock-fighting and
other sports in vogue, and all the doings of the royal circle. For
Jean he had endless interesting gossip from the capital about the
great ladies and famous men, and the amusements of the Court and the
varied life of London. But he was careful never to tell any of those
tales which buzzed through the land about the ways of Charles, but
which were not fit for a maiden's ears. From time to time, also, as
they walked together in the pleasaunce of the castle, they touched on
deeper things, and Jean marked that, although this man had lived a
soldier's life, and had been much with people who were far removed
from Puritanism, he was free from the coarseness of the day, and that,
although he might be capable of severity and even cruelty, he was of
more fastidious and chivalrous temper than anyone else she had met
among the Covenanters except Henry Pollock. Unconsciously Jean began
to compare the two men, and to weigh their types of character. There
was nothing to choose between them in honor or in manliness, though
the one was a minister of the Evangel and the other a colonel of his
Majesty's Horse, but they were different. Pollock, with all his
narrowness of faith and extravagance of action, was a saint, and no
one could say that of Claverhouse, even though they might admit he was
not the devil of the Covenanting imagination. But John Graham was
more human: he might not see visions, and there never came into his
face that light of the other world which she had seen on Pollock's,
but he knew when a woman was walking by his side, and his eyes
caressed her. His voice never had that indescribable accent of
eternity which thrilled Henry Pollock's hearers, and was to them as a
message from God, but Graham's speech could turn from grave and
courteous mockery, which was very taking in its way, to a gentle
deference and respectful appeal, which, from a strong man with so
dazzling a reputation, was irresistible to a woman's heart. Then, no
one could deny that his person was beautiful--a rare thing to say of a
man--or that his manner was gracious, and Jean began to admit to
herself that if he set himself he would be a successful lover. The
very contradiction of the man--with so graceful a form and so high a
spirit, with so evil a name for persecution and so engaging a
presence, with such a high tone of authority among the men in power
and so modest a carriage towards maidens--made him a captivating guest
and dangerous to women's hearts. There was also a natural sympathy
between John Graham and Jean Cochrane, because, though they had been
brought up under different traditions and were on opposite sides, they
were both resolute, honest, independent, and loyal. No word or hint of
love passed between them during those days, but Jean knew that for the
first time her heart had been touched, and Claverhouse, who had seen
all kinds of women and had been indifferent to them all, and who for
the beauty of him had been tempted at Court quite shamelessly and had
remained cold as ice, understood at last the attraction of a maid for
a man, and also realized that Jean Cochrane was a fit mate for him
because her spirit was as high as his own.

They were trying days for Lady Cochrane in her self-enforced
seclusion, and her temper was not improved by the news, brought
diligently to her by her waiting-maid, that her daughter was doing her
utmost to make the persecutor's time pass pleasantly. Her mother had
no suspicion at this point that Jean was really wavering in loyalty to
the good cause, but as a woman with insight and discernment she knew
the danger to which Jean was exposed, and blamed herself for her own
inconvenient pride. What if by way of putting a slight on this arch
enemy she were to sacrifice her own child? It was impossible, of
course, that any daughter of hers should ever allow her affections to
be entangled by the murderer of the saints, and Claverhouse dared not,
if he would, marry a Cochrane, for he might as well throw up his
commission and join Henry Pollock at the next preaching on the moors.
But foolish ideas might come into the girl's head, and it was said
that Claverhouse could appear as an angel of light. It might be as
well to strengthen and safeguard her daughter against the wiles of the
wicked one, so she summoned her to her room, and, as her manner was,
dealt with Jean in a straightforward and faithful fashion. Lady
Cochrane had, however, learned that her daughter could not be
browbeaten or captured by direct assault, but that, however thorough
might be her own mind and uncompromising her will, she would have to
walk warily with Jean.

"It was an ill wind that blew that evil man to this castle, and an ill
work, I make no doubt, he has been after in this district. He came
like a bloodhound to catch Henry Pollock, and like a fox to get what
news he could about Sir John. What he lingers for his master only
knows, but it grieves me, lassie, that ye have had the burden of him
on your shoulders. They are too light, though they may be stronger
than most, for such a weight; I will not deny your spirit, but he, as
the Proverb goes, must have a lang spoon to sup wi' the deil. Has he
spoken civilly"--and Lady Cochrane eyed her daughter keenly--"or has
he been saying evil of our house and the cause?"

"Claverhouse has said no evil of any man that I can mind of, mother,"
replied Jean coldly; "and what he did say about Mr. Henry Pollock
would have rather pleased than angered you. He does not discourse
without ceasing, as certain do when they come to the castle, about the
times and all the black troubles; he seems to me rather to avoid
matters of debate, I suppose because they would give offence. I doubt
whether you could quarrel with him if you met him."

"What, then, is the substance of his talk--for, if all stories be
true, it is not much he knows of anything but war and wicked people?
What has he for a godly maiden to hear?"

"Nothing worth mentioning, mayhap"--and Jean spoke with almost studied
indifference--"what is going on in London, and how the great ladies of
the Court are dressed, and the clever things the king says, and how
the Duke of York loves sport, and suchlike. It would please you to
hear him, for ye have seen the Court."

"Once, Jean, and never again by God's mercy, for it is a spring of
corruption from which pours every evil work, where no man can live
clean, and no chaste woman should ever go. The like of it has not been
seen for wickedness since the daughter of Herodias danced before Herod
and his lewd courtiers, and obtained the head of John the Baptist on a
charger for her reward. Black shame upon John Graham! Cruel he is, but
I thought he would not pollute any girl's ears with such immodest
tales." And Lady Cochrane was beginning to lose control of herself.

"Colonel Graham said never a word which it were unbecoming a maiden to
hear, and especially a daughter of Lady Cochrane." And Jean grew hot
with indignation. "His talk was about the ceremonies and the dresses;
there was no mention of any wrongdoings. Nor was his speech always of
London, for he touched on many other things, and seemed to me to have
right thoughts, both of how men should live and die. For example, he
said, that though Mr. Henry Pollock and he differ, Mr. Henry was a
good and brave gentleman."

"Did he, indeed?" and Lady Cochrane was very scornful. "Doubtless that
was very cunning on his part, and meant to tickle your ears. But ye
know, Jean, that if by evil chance, or rather, let us say, a dark
ordering of the Lord, he had caught Mr. Henry here, like a bird in the
snare of the fowler, he would have given him a short trial. If ye had
cared to look ye would have seen that godly man shot in our own
courtyard by six of Claverhouse's dragoons. Aye, and he would have
given the order in words as smooth as butter, and come back to tell
you brave tales of the court ladies with a smile upon his bonnie face.
May God smite his beauty with wasting and destruction!"

"Mother," said Jean, flushing and throwing back her head, "ye speak
what ye believe to be true, and many hard things are done in these
black days on both sides; but after I have spoken with Claverhouse, I
cannot think that he would have any good man killed in cold blood."

"What does it matter, Jean, what you think, for it is weel kent that a
young lassie's eye is caught in the snare of a glancing eye and a
gallant's lovelocks. Listen to me, and I will tell you what three
weeks ago this fair-spoken and sweet-smiling cavalier did. He was
hunting for the hidden servants of the Lord in the wild places of
Ayrshire, and he caught near his own house a faithful professor of
religion, on whose head a price was set, and for whose blood those
sons of Belial were thirsting. Claverhouse demanded that he should
take the oath, which no honest man can swear, and of which ye have
often heard. And when that brave heart would not, because he counted
his life not dear to him for the Lord's sake, Claverhouse gave him
three minutes to pray before he died. You are hearing me, Jean, for I
have not done?

"The martyr of the Lord prayed so earnestly for his wife and children,
for the downtrodden Kirk of Scotland, and for his murderer, that
Graham ordered him to rise from his knees, because his time was come.
When he rose he was made to stand upon the green before his own house,
with his wife and bairns at the door, and Claverhouse commanded so
many of his men to fire upon him. Ah! ye would have seen another
Claverhouse than ye know in that hour. But that is not all.

"His dragoons are ignorant and ungodly men, accustomed to blood, but
after hearing that prayer their hearts were softened within them and
they refused to fire. So Graham took a pistol from his saddle, and
with his own hands slew the martyr. Ye are hearing, Jean, but there is
more to follow. With her husband lying dead before her eyes,
Claverhouse asked his wife what she thought of her man now. That brave
woman, made strong in the hour of trial, wrapt her husband's head in a
white cloth and took it on her lap, and answered: 'I have always
honored him, but I have never been so proud of him as this day. Ye
will have to answer to man and God for this.' This is what he gave
back to her: 'I am not afraid of man, and God I will take into my own
hands.' That is how he can deal with women, Jean, when he is on his
errands of blood, and that is what he thinks of God. But his day is
coming, and the judgment of the Lord will not tarry."

[Illustration: "Ye will have to answer to man and God for this." Page
143.]

"My lady," said Jean, who had grown very pale, and whose face had
hardened through this ghastly story, "that, I am certain as I live, is
a lie. Colonel Graham might order the Covenanter to be shot, and that
were dreadful enough. He would never have insulted his wife after such
a base manner--none but a churl would do that, and Claverhouse is not
base-born."

"He is base, girl, who does basely, it matters not how fair he be or
how pleasing in a lady's room. And I am not sure about his respect for
ladies and the high ways of what ye would call his chivalry. Mayhap ye
have not heard the story of his courting--then I have something else,
and a lighter tale for your ears, but whether it please you better I
know not. Though I begin to believe ye are easily satisfied." At the
mention of courting Lady Cochrane searched the face of her daughter,
but though Jean was startled she gave no sign.

"There be many tales which fly up and down the land, and are passed
from mouth to mouth among the children of this world, and some of
them are not for a godly maiden's ears, since they are maistly
concerned wi' chambering and wantonness. But this thing ye had better
hear, and then ye will understand what manner of man in his walk and
conversation we are harboring beneath our roof. For a' he look so
grand and carries his head so high, he has little gold in his purse,
but the black devil of greed is in his heart. So, like the lave of the
gallants that drink and gamble and do waur things at the king's
court, he has been hunting for some lass that will bring him a tocher
(dowry) and a title. For this is what the men of his generation are
ever needing. Ye follow me, Jean? This may be news to a country lass
wha has not been corrupted among the king's ladies.

"Weel, it's mair than three years ago our brave gentleman scented his
game, and ever since has been trying to trap this misguided lass, for
like the rest o' them, when he is not persecuting the saints, he is
ruining innocent women soul and body. I would have you understand
that, daughter, and maybe ye will walk with him less in the
pleasaunce." Both women were standing, and Lady Cochrane was watching
Jean to see whether she had touched her. Her daughter gave no sign
except that her face was hardening, and she tapped the floor with her
foot.

"Ye may not have heard of Helen Graham, for she belongs to another
world from ours, and one I pray God ye may never see the inside of,
for a black clan to Scotland have been the Grahams from the Marquis
himself, who was a traitor to the Covenant and a scourge to Israel, to
this bonnie kinsman of his, who has the face of a woman and the dress
of a popinjay and the heart of a fiend. Now, it happens that this fair
lass, whom I pity both for her blood and for her company, for indeed
she is a daughter of Heth and hath the portion of her people, is
heiress to the Earl of Monteith, and whaso-ever marries her will
succeed to what money there is and will be an earl in his own richt. A
fine prize for an avaricious and ambitious worldling.

"For years, then, as I was saying, Claverhouse has been scheming
and plotting to capture Helen Graham and to make himself Earl o'
Monteith. It wasna sic easy work as shootin' God's people on the
hillside, and for a while the sun didna shine on his game. Some say
the Marquis wanted her for himself, and then John Graham of
Claverhouse would have to go behind like a little dog to his
master's heel. Some say that her father had some compunction in
handing over his daughter into sic cruel hands. Some say that the
lass had a lover of her own, though that is neither here nor there
with her folk. But it's no easy throwing a bloodhound off the
track, and now I hear he has gained his purpose, and afore he left
the Court and came back to his evil trade in Scotland the contract
of marriage was settled, and ane o' these days we will be hearing
that a Graham has married a Graham, and that both o' them have gotten
the portion that belongeth to the unrighteous. Ye ken, Jean, that I
have never loved the foolish gossip which fills the minds o' idle
folk when they had better be readin' their Bibles and praying for
their souls, but I judged it expedient that ye should know that
Claverhouse is as gude as a married man."

"If he were not," said Jean, looking steadily at her mother, and
drawing herself up to her full height, "there is little danger he
would come to Paisley Castle for his love, or find a bride in my Lady
Cochrane's daughter. Ye have given me fair warning and have used very
plain speech, but I was wondering with myself all the time"--and then
as her mother waited and questioned her by a look--"whether miscalling
a man black with the shameful lies of his enemies is not the surest
way to turn the heart of a woman towards him. But doubtless ye ken
best." Without further speech Jean left her mother's room, who felt
that she would have succeeded better if her daughter had been less
like herself.

Jean gave, truth to tell, little heed to the stories of Claverhouse's
savagery, partly because rough deeds were being done on both sides,
and they were not so much horrified in the West Country of that time
at the shooting of a man as we are in our delicate days; partly, also,
because she had been fed on those horrors for years, and had learned
to regard Claverhouse and the other Royalist officers as men capable
of any atrocity. Gradually the dramatic stories had grown stale and
lost their bite, and when she noticed that with every new telling it
was necessary to strengthen the horrors, Jean had begun to regard them
as works of political fiction. But this was another story about
Claverhouse's engagement to Helen Graham. Jean would not admit to
herself, even in her own room or in her own heart, that she was in
love with Graham, and she was ready to say to herself that no marriage
could be more preposterous than between a Cochrane and a Graham. It
did not really matter to her whether he had been engaged or was going
to be engaged to one Graham or twenty Grahams. She had never seen him
till a few days ago, and very likely, having done all he wanted, he
would never come to Paisley Castle again. Their lives had touched just
for a space, and then would run forever afterwards apart. They had
passed some pleasant hours together, and she would ever remember his
face; perhaps he might sometimes recall hers. So the little play would
end without ill being done to her or him. Still, as she knew her
mother was not overscrupulous, and any stick was good enough wherewith
to beat Claverhouse, she would like to know, if only to gratify a
woman's curiosity, whether Claverhouse was really going to marry this
kinswoman of his, and, in passing, whether he was the mercenary
adventurer of her mother's description.

This was the reason of a friendly duel between that vivacious woman
Kirsty Howieson, Jean Cochrane's maid and humble friend, and that
hard-headed and far-seeing man of Angus, Jock Grimond, Claverhouse's
servant and only too loyal clansman.

"It's no true every time 'Like master like man'"--and Kirsty made a
bold opening, as was the way of her class--"for I never saw a woman
wi' a bonnier face than Claverhouse, and, my certes, mony a lass would
give ten years o' her life, aye, and mair, for his brown curls and his
glancing een. I'm judgin' there have been sair hearts for him amang
the fair Court ladies."

"Ye may weel say that, Kirsty," answered Jock; "if Providence had been
pleased to give ye a coontinance half as winsome, nae doot ye would
have been married afore this, my lass. As for him, the women just rin
after Claverhouse in flooks. It doesna matter whether it be Holland or
whether it be London, whether it be duchesses at Whitehall or
merchants' daughters at Dundee, he could have married a hundred times
over wi' money and rank and beauty and power. Lord's sake! the
opportunities he has had, and the risks he has run, it's been a
merciful thing he had me by his side to be, if I may say it, a guide
and a protector."

"If the Almichty hasna done muckle for your face, Jock, He's given you
a grand conceit o' yoursel', and that must be a rael comfort. I wish
I'd a share o' it. So you have preserved your maister safe till this
day, and he's still gaeing aboot heart-free and hand-free."

"Na, Kirsty"--and Grimond looked shrewdly at her--"I'll no say that
Claverhouse isna bound to marry some day or ither, and, of course, in
his posseetion it behove him to find a lady of his ain rank and his
ain creed. Noo, what I'm tellin' ye is strictly between oorsel's, and
ye're no to mention it even to your ain mistress. Claverhouse is
contracted in marriage to Miss Helen Graham, the daughter of Sir James
Graham, his own uncle, and the heiress to the Earl of Monteith. Ye
see, Miss Helen is his kinswoman, and she brings him an earldom in her
lap. Besides that she's verra takin' in her appearance and manner, and
I needna say just hates a Covenanter as she would a brock (badger).
It's a maist suitable match every way ye look at it, and it has my
entire approbation. But no a word aboot this, mind ye, Kirsty--though
I was juist thinkin' this afternoon of recommendin' Claverhouse to let
this contract be known. He's an honorable man, is the laird, and, by
ordinary, weel-livin'; but there's nae doot he is awfu' temptit by
women, and I wouldna like to see their hearts broken."

"A word in season to my Lady Jean, if I'm no sair mistaken"--and Jock
chuckled to himself when Kirsty had gone--"and a warning to the laird
micht no be amiss. It would be fine business for a Graham o'
Claverhouse to marry a Covenantin' fanatic and the daughter o' sic a
mither. Dod! it would be fair ruin for his career, and misery for
himsel'. I'll no deny her looks, but I'll guarantee she has her
mither's temper. What would Claverhouse have done without me--though I
wouldna say that to onybody except mysel'--he would have been just an
object--aye, aye, just a fair object."

As Grimond had communicated the engagement of Claverhouse to Helen
Graham under the form of a secret, he was perfectly certain that
Kirsty would tell it that evening to her mistress and in the end to
the whole castle. But he thought it wise to reinforce the resolution
of the other side, and when he waited on his master that evening he
laid himself out for instruction.

"Ye would have laughed hearty, Mr. John, if you had heard the officers
over their wine this afternoon in the town. Lord Ross wasna there, and
so they had the freedom o' their tongues, and if Sir Adam Blair wasna
holdin' out that you had fallen in love wi' Lady Jean, and the next
thing they would hear would be a marriage that would astonish
Scotland. Earleshall nearly went mad, and said that if ye did that you
would be fairly bewitched, and that you might as well join the
Covenanters. I tell ye, laird, they nearly quarrelled over it, and I
am telt they got so thirsty that they drank fourteen bottles o' claret
to five o' them besides what they had before. Ye will excuse me
mentionin' this, for it's no for me to tell you what the gentlemen
speak aboot, but I thought a bit o' daffin' (amusement) micht lichten
ye after the day's work."

"It is no concern of mine what the officers say between themselves,
and I've told you before, Grimond, that you are not to bring any idle
tales you pick up to my ears. You've done this more than once, and I
lay it on you not to do it again."

"Surely, Mr. John, surely. I ken it's no becoming and I'll no give ye
cause to complain again. But as sure as death, when I heard them
saying it as I took in your message to Earleshall I nearly dropped on
the floor, I was that amused. Claverhouse married to a Covenanter! It
was verra takin'.

"Na, na, Mr. John, I kent better than that, but I'm no just
comfortable in my mind sae lang as ye are in Paisley Castle and in the
company o' Lady Jean. Her mither is an able besom, and her young
ladyship is verra deep. What I'm hearin' on the ither side o' the
hedge is that she's trying to get round ye so as to get a pardon for
Sir John, and to let him come home from Holland. No, Claverhouse, ye
maunna be angry wi' me, for I've waited on ye longer than ye mind, and
I canna help bein' anxious. Ye are a grand soldier, and ye've been a
fine adviser to the government. There's no mony things ye're no fit
for, Mr. John, but the women are cunning, and have aye made a fule o'
the men since Eve led Adam aff the straicht and made sic a mishanter
o' the hale race. They say doon stairs that Lady Jean is getting roond
ye fine, and that if it wasna that her family wanted something from
you, you would never have had a blink o' her, ony mair than her auld
jade o' a mither. For a hypocrite give me a Covenanter, and, of
course, the higher they are the cleverer.

"Just ae word more, Claverhouse, and I pray ye no to be angry, for
there's naebody luves ye better than Jock Grimond. I hear things ye
canna hear, and I see things ye canna see. Naebody would tell you that
Lady Jean and Pollock, the Covenantin' minister, are as gude as man
and wife. They may no be married yet, but they will be as sune as it's
safe, and that's how he comes here so often. She has a good reason to
speak ye fair, laird, and she has a souple tongue and a beguilin' way,
juist a Delilah. Laird, as sure as I'm a livin' man this is a hoose o'
deceit, and we are encompassed wi' fausehood as wi' a garment." And
although Claverhouse's rebuke was hot, Grimond felt that he had not
suffered in vain.



CHAPTER IV

"THY PEOPLE SHALL BE MY PEOPLE, THY GOD MY GOD"


A month had passed before Claverhouse returned to Paisley, and this
time he made his headquarters in the town, and did not accept the
hospitality of the castle, excusing himself on the ground of his many
and sudden journeys. His real reason was that he thought it better to
keep away, both for his own sake and that of Jean Cochrane. During his
lonely rides he had time to examine the state of his feelings, and
he found himself more deeply affected than he thought; indeed he
confessed to himself that if he were to marry he should prefer Jean
to any other woman he had ever met. But he remembered her ancestry,
especially her mother, and her creed, which was the opposite of
his, and he knew that either she would not marry him because he
was the chief opponent of her cause, or if he succeeded in winning
her, he would most likely be discredited at Court by this suspicious
marriage. It was better not to see her, or to run any further risks.
He had made many sacrifices--all his life was to be sacrificed for
his cause--and this would only be one more. He tried also to think
the matter out from her side, and although he hated to think that
she was a traitress trying to ensnare him for her own ends, yet it
might be that her family were making a tool of her to seduce him from
the path of duty, and although he doubted whether she was betrothed
to Pollock, yet it might be true, and he certainly was not going to
be Pollock's unsuccessful rival. Altogether, it was expedient that
they should not see one another, and Claverhouse contented himself
with sending a courteous message by Lord Ross to the earl and Lady
Jean, and busied himself with his public and by no means agreeable
task of Covenanter-hunting. As, however, he had received the very
thoughtful and generous hospitality of the castle on his last
visit, and as Lord Ross was constantly saying that the earl would
like to see him, he determined to call on the afternoon before his
departure. Lady Cochrane, as usual, did not appear, and neither did
her daughter, and after a futile conversation with Dundonald, who
seemed feebler than ever, Claverhouse left, and had it not been for a
sudden whim, as he was going through the courtyard, he had never
seen Jean Cochrane again, and many things would not have happened.
But there was a way of reaching the town through the pleasaunce,
and under the attraction of past hours spent among its trees
Claverhouse turned aside, and walking down one of its grass walks,
and thinking of an evening in that place with Jean, he came suddenly
upon her on her favorite seat beneath a spreading beech.

"I crave your pardon, my Lady Jean," said Claverhouse, recovering
himself after an instant's discomposure, "for this intrusion upon your
chosen place and your meditation. My excuse is the peace of the garden
after the wildness of the moors, but I did not hope to find so good
company. My success in Paisley Castle has been greater than among the
moss-hags."

"It is a brave work, Colonel Graham, to hunt unarmed peasants"--and
for the first time Claverhouse caught the ironical note in Jean's
speech, and knew that for some reason she was nettled with him--"and
it seems to bring little glory. Though, the story did come to our
ears, it sometimes brought risk, and--perhaps it was a lie of the
Covenanters--once ended in the defeat of his Majesty's Horse. I seem
to forget the name of the place."

"Yes," replied Claverhouse with great good humor, "the rascals had the
better of us at Drumclog. They might have the same to-morrow again,
for the bogs are not good ground for cavalry, and fanatics are dour
fighters."

"It was Henry Pollock ye were after this time, we hear, and ye
followed him hard, but ye have not got him. It was a sair pity that
you did not come a day sooner to the castle, and then you could have
captured him without danger." And Lady Jean mocked him openly. "Ye
would have tied his hands behind his back and his feet below the
horse's belly, and taken him to Edinburgh with a hundred of his
Majesty's Horse before him and a hundred behind to keep him safe; ye
would have been a proud man, Colonel Graham, when ye came and
presented the prisoner to your masters. May I crave of you the right
word, for I am only a woman of the country? Would Mr. Henry Pollock
have been a prisoner of war--of war?" she repeated with an accent and
look of vast contempt.

Never had Claverhouse admired her more than at that moment, for the
scorn on her face became her well, and he concluded that it must
spring from one of two causes. Most likely, after all, Pollock was her
lover.

"'Tis not possible, my Lady Jean," softening his accent till it was as
smooth as velvet, and looking at the girl through half-closed eyes,
"to please everyone to whom he owes duty in this poor world. If I had
been successful for my master his Majesty the King--I cannot remember
the name of any other master--then I would have arrested a rebel and a
maker of strife in the land, and doubtless he would have suffered his
just punishment. That would have been my part towards the king and
towards Mr. Henry Pollock, too, and therein have I for the time
failed. To-morrow, Lady Jean, I may succeed."

"Perhaps," she said, looking at him from a height, "and perhaps not.
And to whom else do you owe a duty, and have you filled it better?"

"I owe a service to a most gracious hostess, and that is to please her
in every way I can. Whether by my will or not, I have surely given you
satisfaction by allowing Mr. Henry Pollock to escape, instead of
bringing him tied with ropes to Paisley Castle. So far as my
information goes you may sleep quietly to-night, for he is safe in
some rebel's house. Yet I am sorry from my heart," said Claverhouse,
"and I am sorry for your sake, since I make no doubt he will die some
day soon, either on the hill or on the scaffold."

"For my sake?" said Jean, looking at him in amazement. "What have I to
do with him more than other women?"

"If I have touched upon a secret thing which ought not to be spoken
of, I ask your pardon upon my bended knees. But I was told, it seemed
to me from a sure quarter, that there was some love passage between
you and Henry Pollock, and that indeed you were betrothed for
marriage."

As Claverhouse spoke the red blood flowed over Jean's face and ebbed
as quickly. She looked at Claverhouse steadily, and answered him in a
quiet and intense voice, which quivered with emotion.

"Ye were told wrong, then, Claverhouse, for I have never been
betrothed to any man, and I shall never be the wife of Henry Pollock.
I am not worthy, for he is a saint, and God knows I am not that nor
ever likely to be, but only a woman. But I tell you, face to face,
that I respect him, suffering for his religion more than those who
pursue him unto his death. And when he dies, for his testimony, he
will have greater honor than those who have murdered him. But they did
me too much grace who betrothed me to Henry Pollock; if I am ever
married it will be to more ordinary flesh and blood, and I doubt
me"--here her mood changed, and the tension relaxing, she smiled on
Claverhouse--"whether it will be to any Covenanter."

"Lady Jean," said Claverhouse, with a new light breaking on him, for
he began to suspect another cause of her anger, "it concerns me to see
you standing while there is this fair seat, and, with your leave, may
I sit beside you? Can you give me a few minutes of your time before we
part--I to go on my way and you on yours. I hope mine will not bring
me again to Paisley Castle, where I am, as the hillmen would say, 'a
stumbling-block and an offence.'" Jean, glancing quickly at him, saw
that Claverhouse was not mocking, but speaking with a note of sad
sincerity.

"When you said a brief while ago that mine was work without glory, ye
said truly. But consider that in this confused and dark world, in
which we grope our way like shepherds in a mist, we have to do what
lies to our hand, and ask no questions--and the weariness of it is
that in the darkness we strike ane another. We know not which be
right, and shall not know till the day breaks: we maun just do our
duty, and mine, by every drop of my blood, is to the king and the
king's side. But mind ye, Lady Jean, it will not be always through the
moss-hags--chasing shepherds, ploughmen and sic-like; by and by it
will be on the battle-field, when this great quarrel is settled in
Scotland. May the day not be far off, and may the richt side win."

As Claverhouse spoke he leaned back in the corner of the seat and
looked into the far distance, while his face lost its changing
expressions of cynicism, severity, gracious courtesy and keen
scrutiny, and showed a nobility which Jean had never seen before. She
noticed how it invested his somewhat effeminate beauty with manliness
and dignity.

"That is true"--and Jean's voice grew gentler--"nane kens that better
than myself, for nane has been more tossed in mind than I have been.
Ilka man, and also woman, must walk the road as they see it before
them, and do their part till the end comes; but the roads cross
terribly on the muirs in the West Country. If I was uncivil a minute
syne I crave your pardon, for that was not my mind. But if rumor be
true it matters not to you what any man says, far less my Lady
Cochrane's daughter, for ye were made to gang yir ain gait."

"Ye are wrong there, Lady Jean, far wrong," Claverhouse suddenly
turned round and looked at her with a new countenance. "I will not
deny that I am made to be careless about the strife of tongues, and to
give little heed whether the world condemns or approves if I do my
devoir rightly to my lord the king. But it would touch me to the heart
what you thought of me. They say that a woman knows if a man loves
her, even though his love be sudden and unlikely, and if that be so,
then surely you have seen, as we walked in this pleasaunce those fair
evenings, that I have loved you from the moment I saw you in the hall
that day. Confess it, Jean, if that be not so. I, with what I heard of
Pollock, was bound in honor to be silent."

"Was Pollock the only bond of honor?" and Jean blazed on him with
sudden fury. "Is there no other tie that should keep you from speaking
of love to me and offering me insult in my father's house? Is this the
chivalry of a Royalist, and am I, Jean Cochrane, to be treated like a
light lady of the Court, or some poor lass of the countryside ye can
play with at your leisure? Pleased by your notice and then flung
aside like a flower ye wore till it withered."

"Before God, what do ye mean by those words?" They were both standing
now, and Graham's face was white as death. "Is the love of John Graham
of Claverhouse a dishonor?"

"It is, and so is the love of any man if he be pledged to another
woman. Though we go not to Court, think you I have not heard of Helen
Graham, the heiress of Monteith, and your courting of her--where, the
story goes, ye have been more successful than catching ministers of
the kirk? Ye would play with me! I thank God my brother lives, and
they say he is no mean swordsman."

"If it were as you believe, my lady, and I had spoken of love to you
when I was betrothed to another woman, then ye did well and worthy of
your blood to be angry, and my Lord Cochrane's sword, if it had found
its way to my heart, had rid the world of a rascal. Rumor is often
wrong, and it has told you false this time. I deny not, since I am on
my confession, that I desired to wed Helen Graham, and I will also say
freely, though it also be to my shame, that I desired to win her, not
only because she was a Graham and a gracious maiden, but because I
should obtain rank and power, for I have ever hungered for both, that
with them I might serve my cause. My suit did not prosper, so that we
were never betrothed, and now I hear she is to be married to Captain
Rawdon, the nephew of my Lord Conway. I would have married Helen
Graham in her smock if need be, though I say again I craved that
title, and I would have been a faithful husband to her. But I have
never loved her, nor any other woman before. Love, Jean"--he went on,
and they both unconsciously had seated themselves a little apart--"is
like the wind spoken of in the Holy Gospel. It bloweth where it
listeth, and is not to be explained by reasons. In my coming and going
to Court I have seen many fair women, and some of them have smiled on
me and tried to take me by the lure of their eyes, but none has ever
been so bonnie to me as you, Jean, and your hair of burnished gold.
Doubtless I have met holier women than you, though my way has not lain
much among the saints, but though one should show me a hundred faults
in you, ye are to me to-day the best, and I declare if ye had sinned I
would love you for your sins only less than for your virtues. I love
you as a man should love a woman: altogether, your fair body from the
crown of your head to the sole of your foot, your hair, your eyes,
your mouth, your hands, the way you hold your head, the way you walk,
your white teeth when you smile, and the dimple on your cheek.
Yourself, too, the Jean within that body, with your courage, your
pride, your scorn, your temper, your fierce desires, your fiery
jealousies, your changing moods. And your passion, with its demands,
with its surrenders, with its caresses, with its pain. You, Jean
Cochrane, as you are and as you shall be, with all my heart and with
all my body, with all my loyalty, next to that I give my king, I love
you, Jean." He leaned towards her as he spoke, and all the passion
that was hidden behind his girl face and Court manner--the passion
that had made him the most daring of soldiers, and was to make him the
most successful of leaders--poured from his eyes, from his lips, from
his whole self, like a hot stream, enveloping, overwhelming and
captivating her. Strong as she was in will and character, she could
not speak nor move, but only looked at him, with eyes wide open, from
the midst of the wealth of her golden hair.

[Illustration: She could not speak nor move, but only looked at him.
Page 166.]

"Do I not know the sacrifice I am asking if you should consent to be
my wife? Jean, I will tell you true: not for my love even and your
bonnie self will I lie or palter with my faith. You will have to come
to me, I will not go to you; you will have to break with the Covenant,
leave your father's house and face your mother's anger, and be
denounced by the godly, up and down the land, because ye married the
man of blood and the persecutor of the saints. I will not change, ye
understand that? No, not for the warm, soft clasp of your white arms
round my neck; no, not though ye tie me with the meshes of your
shining hair. I judge that ye will not be a temptress, but I give you
warning I am no Sampson, in his weakness to a woman's witchery, when
it comes to my faith and my duty. I will love you night and day as a
man loveth a woman, but I will do what I am told to do, even though it
be against your own people, till the evil days be over. And it may be,
Jean, that I shall have to lead a hopeless cause. Ye must be willing
to give me to death without a grudge, and send me with a kiss to serve
the king.

"Can you do this"--and now his voice sank almost to a whisper, and he
stretched his hands towards her--"for the sake of love, for love's
sake only, for the sight of my face, for the touch of my lips, for the
clasp of my arms, for the service of my heart, for myself? If ye
should, I will be a true man to you, Jean, till death us do part. I
have not been better than other men, but women have never made me play
the fool, and even your own folk, who hate me, will tell you that I
have been a clean liver. And now I will never touch or look on any
other woman in the way of love save you. If I have to leave your side
to serve the king, I will return when the work is done, and all the
time I am away my love will be returning to you. If you be not in my
empty arms, you shall ever be in my heart; if I win honor or wealth,
it will now be for you. If I can shelter you from sorrows and trouble,
I will do so with my life, and if I die my last thought, after the
cause, will be of you, my lady and my love.

"Jean Cochrane, can you trust yourself to me; will you be the wife of
John Graham of Claverhouse?"

They had risen as by an instinct, and were facing one another where
the light of the setting sun fell softly upon them through the fretted
greenery of the beech tree.

"For life, John Graham, and for death," and as she said "death" he
clasped her in his arms. The brown hair mingled with the gold, they
looked into one another's eyes, and their lips met in a long,
passionate kiss, renewed again and again, as if their souls had flowed
together. Then she disentangled herself and stood a pace away, and
laying her hands upon his shoulders and looking steadfastly at him,
she said: "Whither thou goest I will go, and where thou lodgest I will
lodge, thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God."

The sooner they were married the better pleased John Graham and Jean
Cochrane would be, for life in Paisley Castle could not be a paradise
for Jean after that betrothal. Three weeks later Claverhouse rode down
one Saturday from Edinburgh to Paisley against his marriage day on the
following Tuesday. His love for Jean had steadily grown during those
days, and now was in a white heat of anticipation, for she was no nun,
but a woman to stir a man's senses. Yet there were many things to
chasten and keep him sober. No sooner was it known that he was to
marry Lady Cochrane's daughter and the granddaughter of Lord Cassillis
than his rivals in the high places of Scotland and at Whitehall did
their best to injure him, setting abroad stories that he was no longer
loyal, and that in future he would play into the hands of the enemy.
His young wife would certainly get round him and shake his integrity,
and it would not be wise to trust Claverhouse with secrets of grave
affairs. It was prophesied that this amazing and incongruous marriage,
the mating of opposites, would only work ruin to his career, and that
indeed this was the beginning of the end for Claverhouse. Lady
Cochrane, raging like a fiend in Paisley Castle, did not fail, in the
interludes of invective against her daughter for disgracing their good
name and giving herself into the hands of the cruelest enemy of the
kirk, to remind Jean also that she was doing the worst injury to the
man she professed to love, and that in the end Claverhouse would be
twice damned--for his sin against the Covenanters and for his
disloyalty to his own cause. Jean was, of all women, most capable of
holding her own even with her masterful mother, and Claverhouse was
perfectly confident that neither Lady Cochrane nor her family would be
able to shake Jean's fidelity. But there were times, and they were her
bitterest hours, when Jean was not sure whether she had not done
selfishly and was not going to satisfy her love at the expense of her
lover. On his part, he could not help being anxious, for it seemed as
if every man of his own party had turned his hand against him. With
all his severity, Claverhouse had a just mind, and he offended
Queensberry by protesting against the severity of the law; while the
Duke of Perth, an unprincipled vagabond, ready to play traitor to
either king or religion, hated Claverhouse because he was an honorable
man. Claverhouse thought it necessary to write to the Duke of York,
explaining the circumstances of his marriage and assuring him of his
continued loyalty, and to the Duke of Hamilton, whose daughter was to
be married to young Lord Cochrane, testifying to the integrity of
Jean. "For the young lady herself, I shall answer for her. Had she
been right principled she would never in despyt of her mother and
relations made choyse of a persecutor, as they call me. So, whoever
think to misrepresent me on that head will find themselves mistaken;
for both the king and the church's interest, dryve as fast as they
think fit, they will never see me behind."

Lord Dundonald himself was pleased because the marriage secured
Claverhouse's influence, and so were his personal friends, such as
Lord Ross, who knew and admired Jean; Claverhouse could not hide from
himself, however, that the world judged the marriage an irreparable
mistake, and Grimond, so far as he dared--but he had now to be very
careful--rubbed salt into the wound. All the omens were against them,
and when on the Sunday Claverhouse sat beside his bride in the Abbey
church, the people gave them a cold countenance, and as they went up
the street true Presbyterians turned their faces from Claverhouse. The
marriage service was performed in the gallery of the castle, and the
minister officiating was one who had taken the indulgence and was
avoided by the stricter people of the kirk. The contract was signed by
Lord Dundonald and the old countess with weak and feeble hands, but
the bride and bridegroom placed their names with strong and
unhesitating characters. Lord Ross stood beside his commanding officer
as best man, and young Lord Cochrane was also present, full of
good-will and sympathy, for was he not himself about to marry the
daughter of the Duke of Hamilton? But neither Dundonald's weakly
approval nor the gayety of the young men could lift the shadow that
fell within and without, both in the gallery and in the courtyard of
the castle, upon the marriage of Claverhouse and Jean Cochrane. News
had come two days before that there had been a rising among the
Covenanters, and Claverhouse was ordered to pursue them with his
cavalry. His regiment was in the district, and while the service was
going on in the castle, his horse was saddled in the courtyard, and a
guard of troopers were making ready to start. The sound of the
champing of bits and the clinking of spurs came up through the quiet
summer air and mingled with the prayer of the minister. Lady Cochrane
was not supposed to be present, but when the minister asked if anyone
could show just cause why this marriage should not be performed, she
appeared suddenly from an alcove where she had been sheltered behind
the servants. Stepping forward, she said, with an unfaltering voice,
vibrant with solemn indignation, "_In the name of God_ and in my own,
I, the mother of Jean Cochrane, forbid this marriage, because she is
marrying against my will, and joining herself to the persecutor of
God's people; because she is turning herself against her father's
house and forsaking the faith of her father's God." The minister
paused for a moment, for he was a quiet man and stood in awe of Lady
Cochrane; he looked anxiously at the bride and bridegroom. "I have
made my choice," said Jean, "and I adhere to it with my mind and
heart," and Claverhouse, with a smile and bow, bade the minister do
his duty. When they were married there was a moment's stillness,
during which the bridegroom kissed the bride, and then Lady Cochrane
spoke again. "Ye have gone your own way and done your own will, John
Graham and Jean Cochrane, and the curse of God's kirk and of a mother
goes with you. The veil is lifted from before my eyes, and I prophesy
that neither the bridegroom nor the bride will die in their beds.
There are those here present who will witness one day that I have
spoken true."

Claverhouse led his bride to the wing of the castle, where she lived,
and from which she could look down on the courtyard. At the door of
her room he kissed her again and bade her good-by. "This is what ye
have got, Jean, by marrying me," and his smile was dashed with
sadness. Two minutes later he rode out from the courtyard of the
castle to hunt the people of Lady Cochrane's faith, while her daughter
and his bride waved him God speed from her window.



BOOK III

CHAPTER I

ONE FEARLESS MAN


Above the town of Dundee, and built to command the place, stood, at the
date of our tale, Dudhope Castle, a good specimen of Scots architecture,
which in its severity and strength is, like architecture everywhere, the
physical incarnation of national creed and character. The hardness of
Dudhope was softened in those days by what was not usual in the case of
keeps and other warlike buildings, for Dudhope was set in the midst of
sloping fields where cattle browsed, and had also round it rising
plantations of wood. Before the castle there was a terrace, and from
it one looked down upon the little town, nestling under the shelter of
the castle, and across the Firth of Tay to Fifeshire, where so much
Scots history had been made. It was to Dudhope Claverhouse brought his
bride, after that stormy honeymoon which she had to spend under the shadow
of her mother's hot displeasure in Paisley Castle, and he occupied
with the weary hunt of Covenanters up and down the West Country. Their
wedding day was the 10th of June, but it was not till August that
Claverhouse and his wife came home to Dudhope. Since then four years have
passed, during which the monotony of his duty in hunting Covenanters had
been relieved by the office of Provost of Dundee, in which it is said he
ruled severely, and the sameness of Jean's life at Dudhope by a visit
to the Court of London, where she produced a vast impression, and was
said to have been adored in the highest quarter. There were hours when
she felt very lonely, although she would not have confessed this, being
a woman of invincible spirit and fortified by the courage of her love.
She never knew when her husband would be called away for one of his
hunts, and though there were many Loyalist families in Forfarshire, it
was not a time for easy social intercourse, and Jean was conscious that
the Carnegies and the rest of them of the old Cavalier stock looked
askance at her, and suspected the black Covenanting taint in her blood.
Claverhouse, like a faithful gentleman, had done his best to conceal
from her the injury which his marriage had done him, but she knew that his
cunning and bitter enemy, the Duke of Queensberry, had constantly
insinuated into the mind of the Duke of York and various high personages
in London that no one who had married Lady Cochrane's daughter could, in
the nature of things, be perfectly loyal. It was really for this love
that he had lost the post of commander-in-chief in Scotland, to which he
was distinctly entitled, and had experienced the insult of having his
name removed from the Scots Council. It might be her imagination, but
it seemed as if his fellow officers and other friends, whom she met
from time to time, were not at ease with her. She was angry when they
refrained from their customary frank expressions about her mother's
party, just as she would have been angry if they had said the things
they were accustomed to say in her presence. Claverhouse assured her on
those happy days when he was living at Dudhope, and when they could be
lovers among the woods there, as they had been in the pleasaunce at
Paisley Castle, that he never regretted his choice, and that she was
the inspiration of his life. It was pleasant to hear him repeat his
love vows, with a passion as hot and words as moving as in the days of
their courtship, and the very contrast between his unbending severity
as a soldier and his grace as a lover made him the more fascinating to
a woman who was herself of the lioness breed. All the same, she could not
forget that Claverhouse would have done better for himself if he had
married into one of the great Scots houses of his own party--and there
were few in which he would not have been welcome--and that indeed he
could not have done much worse for his future than in marrying her. It
was a day of keen rivalry among the Royalists, and a more unprincipled
and disreputable gang than the king's Scots ministers could not be
found in any land; indeed Claverhouse was the only man of honor
amongst them. His battle to hold his own and achieve his legitimate
ambition was very hard, and certainly he needed no handicap. Jean
Graham was haunted with the reflection that Claverhouse's wife, instead
of being a help, was a hindrance to her husband, and that if it were not
for the burden of her Covenanting name, he would have climbed easily to
the highest place. Nor could she relish the change of attitude of the
common people towards her, and the difference in atmosphere between
Paisley and Dundee. Once she had been accustomed to receive a
respectful, though it might be awkward, salutation from the dour West
Country folk, and to know that, though in her heart she was not in
sympathy with them, the people in the town, where her mother reigned
supreme, felt kindly towards her, as the daughter of that godly
Covenanting lady. In Dundee, where the ordinary people sided with the
Presbyterians and only the minority were with the Bishops, men turned away
their faces when she passed through the place, and the women cried "Bloody
Claverse!" as she passed. She knew without any word of abuse that both she
and her husband were bitterly hated, because he was judged a persecutor
and she a renegade. They were two of the proudest people in Scotland,
but although Claverhouse gave no sign that he cared for the people's
loathing, she often suspected that he felt it, being a true Scots
gentleman, and although Jean pretended to despise Covenanting fanaticism,
she would rather have been loved by the folk round her than hated.
While she declared to Graham that her deliverance from her mother's
party, with their sermons, their denunciations, their narrowness and
that horrible Covenant, had been a passage from bondage to liberty, there
were times, as she paced the terrace alone and looked out on the gray
sea of the east coast, when the contradictory circumstances of her
life beset her and she was troubled. When she was forced to listen to
the interminable harangues of hill preachers, sheltering for a night in
the castle, and day by day was resisting the domination of her mother,
her mind rose in revolt against the Presbyterians and all their ways.
When she was among men who spoke of those hillmen as if they were
vermin to be trapped, and as if no one had breeding or honor or
intelligence or sincerity except the Cavaliers, she was again goaded
into opposition. Jean had made her choice both of her man and of her
cause--for they went together--with her eyes open, and she was not a
woman to change again, nor to vex herself with vain regrets. It was
rather her nature to decide once for all, and then to throw herself
without reserve into her cause, and to follow without question her man
through good report and ill, through right, and, if need be, wrong. Yet
she was a shrewd and high-minded woman, and not one of those fortunate
fanatics who can see nothing but good on one side, and nothing but ill on
the other. Life had grown intolerable in her mother's house, and Jean
had not in her the making of a convinced and thoroughgoing Covenanter,
and in going over to the other party, she had, on the whole, fulfilled
herself, as well as found a mate of the same proud spirit. But she
was honest enough to admit to herself that those Ayrshire peasants were
dying for conscience' sake, though she might think it a narrow
conscience, and were sincere in their piety, though she might think it an
unattractive religion. And she could not shut her eyes to the fact that
there was little glory in shooting them down like muirfowl, or that the
men of Claverhouse's side were too often drunken and evil-living bravos.

Jean was feeling the situation in its acuteness that evening as she
read for the third time a letter which had come from Edinburgh by the
hands of Grimond. At the sight of the writing her pulse quickened, and
Grimond marked, with jealous displeasure (for that impracticable Scot
never trusted Jean), the flush of love upon her cheek and its joy in
her eyes. She now drew the letter from her bosom, and this is what she
read, but in a different spelling from ours and with some slight
differences in construction, all of which have been translated:

  SWEETHEART: It is my one trouble when I must leave you, and save
  when I am engaged on the king's work my every thought is with you,
  for indeed it appeareth to me that if I loved you with strong
  desire on the day of our marriage, I love you more soul and body
  this day. When another woman speaks to me in the daytime, though
  they say that she is fair, her beauty coming into comparison with
  your's, is disparaged, beside the sheen of your hair and the
  richness of your lips, and though she may have a pleasant way with
  men, as they tell me, she hath no lure for me, as I picture you
  throw back your head and look at me with eyes that challenge my
  love. When the night cometh, and the task of the day is done, I
  hold you in my embrace, the proudest woman in Scotland, and you
  say again, as on that day in the pleasaunce, "For life, John
  Graham, and for death."

  It has not been easy living for you, Jean, since that marriage-day,
  when the trumpets were our wedding-bells, and your mother's curse
  our benediction, and I take thought oftentimes that it has been
  harder for thee, Sweetheart, than for me. I had the encounters
  of the field with open enemies and of the Council with false
  friends, but thou hast had the loneliness of Dudhope, when I was
  not there to caress you and kiss away your cares. Faithful have
  you been to the cause, and to me, and I make boast that I have not
  been unfaithful myself to either, but the sun has not been always
  shining on our side of the hedge and there have been some chill
  blasts. Yet they have ever driven us closer into one another's arms,
  and each coming home, if it has been like the first from the work of
  war, has been also like it a new marriage-day. Say you is it not
  true, Sweetheart, we be still bridegroom and bride, and shall be
  to the end?

  When I asked you to be my wife, Jean, I told you that love even
  for you would not hinder me from doing the king's work, but
  this matter I have had on hand in Edinburgh has tried me
  sorely,--though one in the Council would guess at my heart. I have
  also the fear that it will vex you greatly. Mayhap you have
  heard, for such news flies fast, that we lighted upon Henry
  Pollock and a party of his people last week. They were going
  to some preaching and were taken unawares, and we captured
  them all, not without blows and blood. Pollock himself fought as
  ye might expect, like a man without fear, and was wounded. I saw
  that his cuts were bound up, and that he had meat and drink. We
  brought him on horseback to Edinburgh, treating him as well as we
  could, for while I knew what the end would be, and that he
  sought no other, I do not deny that he is an honest man and I do
  not forget that he loved you. Yesterday he was tried before the
  Council, and I gave strong evidence against him. Upon my word
  it was that he was declared guilty of rebellion against the king's
  authority, and was condemned to death. None other could I do,
  Jean, for he that spared so dangerous and stalwart an enemy as
  Pollock, is himself a traitor, but when the Council were fain
  to insult him I rebuked them sharply and told them to their
  face that among them there was no spirit so clean and brave.
  This morning he was executed and since there was a fear lest
  the people who have greatly loved him should attempt to rescue, I
  was present with two troops of horse. It needeth not me to tell
  you that he died well, bidding farewell to earth and welcome to
  heaven in words I cannot forget, tho' they sounded strange to me.
  Sweetheart, I will say something boldly in thine ear. I have had
  little time to think of heaven and little desire for such a
  place, but I would count myself fortunate if in the hour of death
  I were as sure of winning there as Henry Pollock. So he died
  for his side, and I helped him to his death; some day I may die
  for my side, and his friends will help me to my death. It is a
  dark day and a troubled nation. Henry Pollock and John Graham
  have both been thorough. God is our judge, wha kens but He may
  accept us baith? But I cannot deny he was a saint, as ye once
  said of him, and that I shall never be, neither shall you, Jean
  Graham, my love and my heart's delight

  This is sore writing to me, but I would rather ye had it from my
  hand than from another's, and I fear me ye will hear bitter words
  in Dundee of what has been done. This is the cup we have to drink
  and worse things may yet be coming, for I have the misgiving that
  black danger is at hand and that the king will have to fight for
  his crown. Before long, if I be not a false prophet, my old
  general, the Prince of Orange, will do his part to wrest the
  throne from his own wife's father. If he does the crown will not
  be taken without one man seeing that other crowns be broken, but I
  fear me, Jean, I fear greatly. In Scotland the king's chief
  servants be mostly liars and cowards, seeking every man after his
  own interest, with the heart of Judas Iscariot, and in London I
  doubt if they be much better. These be dreary news, and I wish to
  heaven I had better to send thee. This I can ever give, unless ye
  answer me that it is yours before, the love of my inmost heart
  till I am able to give you it in the kiss of my lips, with your
  arms again flung about me, as on that day. Till our meeting and
  for evermore, my dearest lady and only Sweetheart first and last,
  I am your faithful lover and servant,

                                                      JOHN GRAHAM.

So it had come to pass as she had often feared, that Pollock would die
by Claverhouse's doing, and now she had not been a woman if her heart
were not divided that evening between her lovers, although she had no
hesitation either then or in the past about her preference. Jean knew
she was not made to be the wife of an ascetic, but never could she
forget the look in Pollock's eyes when he told her of his love, nor
cease to be proud that he had done her the chief honor a man can
render to a woman. She knew then, and she knew better to-day, that she
had never loved Pollock, and never indeed could have loved him as a
woman loves her husband. But she revered him then, and he would have
forever a place in her heart like the niche given to a saint, and she
hoped that his prayers for her--for she knew he would intercede for
her--would be answered in the highest. Nor could she refrain from the
comparison between Pollock and Graham. In some respects they were so
like one another, both being men of ancient blood and high tradition,
both carrying themselves without shame and without fear, both being
fanatics--the one for religion and the other for loyalty--and, it
might be, both alike to be martyrs for their faith. And so unlike--the
one unworldly, spiritual, and, save in self-defence, gentle and meek;
the other charged with high ambition, fond of power, ready for battle,
gracious in gay society, passionate in love. Who had the better of it
in the fight--her debonair husband, with his body-guard of dragoons,
striking down and capturing a minister and a handful of shepherds, or
that pure soul, who lived preaching and praying, and was willing to
die praying and fighting against hopeless odds? She had cast in her
lot with the Royalists, but it came over her that in the eternal
justice Pollock, dying on the scaffold, was already victor, and
Graham, who sent him there, was already the loser. If it had been
cruel writing for Claverhouse, it was cruel reading for his wife, and
yet, when she had read it over again, the passage on Pollock faded
away as if it had been spiritualized and no longer existed for the
earthly sense. She only lingered over the words of devotion and
passion, and when she kissed again and again his signature she knew
that whether he was to win or to be beaten, whether he was right or
wrong, angel or devil--and he was neither--she belonged with her whole
desire to Claverhouse.

Claverhouse's letter to his wife was written in May, and by October
his gloomy forebodings regarding the king were being verified. During
the autumn William of Orange had been preparing to invade England, and
it was freely said he would come on the invitation of the English
people and as the champion of English liberty. From the beginning of
the crisis James was badly advised, and showed neither nerve nor
discernment, and among other foolish measures was the withdrawal of
the regular troops from Scotland and their concentration at London.
From London James made a feeble campaign in the direction of the west,
and Claverhouse, who was in command of the Scots Cavalry, and whose
mind was torn between contempt for the feebleness of the military
measures and impatience to be at the enemy, wrote to Jean, sending
her, as it seemed to be his lot, mixed news of honor and despair.

  _For the fair hands of the Viscountess of Dundee, and Lady Graham
  of Claverhouse._

  MY DEAREST LADY: If I have to send ye evil tidings concerning the
  affairs of the king, which can hardly be worse, let me first
  acquaint you with the honor His Majesty has bestowed upon me, and
  which I count the more precious because it bringeth honor to her
  who is dearer to me than life, and who has suffered much trouble
  through me. Hitherto our marriage has meant suffering of many
  kinds for my Sweetheart, though I am fain to believe there has
  been more consolation in our love, but now it is charged with the
  King's favor and high dignity in the State. Whatever it be worth
  for you and me, and however long or short I be left to enjoy it, I
  have been made a Peer of Scotland by the titles written above, and
  what I like best in the matter, is that the peerage has been
  given--so it runs, and no doubt a woman loves to read such things
  of her man--for "Many good and eminent services rendered to His
  Majesty, and his dearest Royal brother, King Charles II, by his
  right trusty and well-beloved Councilor, Major-General John Graham
  of Claverhouse; together with his constant loyalty and firm
  adherence upon all occasions to the true interests of the crown."
  Whatever befalls me it pleases me that the king knows I have been
  loyal and that he is grateful for one faithful servant. So I kiss
  the hand of my Lady Viscountess and were I at Dudhope I might
  venture upon her lips, aye, more than once.

  When I leave myself and come unto the King I have nothing to tell
  but what fills me with shame and fear. It was not good policy to
  call the troops from Scotland, where we could have held the land
  for the King, but one had not so much regret if we had been
  allowed to strike a blow against the Usurper. Had there been a
  heart in my Lord Feversham--it hurts me to reflect on the
  King--then the army should have made a quick march into the West,
  gathering round it all the loyal gentlemen, and struck a blow at
  the Prince before he had established himself in the land. By God's
  help we had driven him and his Dutchmen, and the traitors who have
  flocked to him, into the sea. But it is with a sore heart I tell
  thee, tho' this had better be kept to thy secret council, that
  there seemeth to be neither wisdom nor courage amongst us. His
  Majesty has been living in the Bishop's Palace, and does nothing
  at the time, when to strike quickly is to strike for ever.
  Officers in high place are stealing away like thieves, and others
  who remain are preaching caution, by which they mean safety for
  themselves and their goods. "Damn all caution," say I, to
  Feversham and the rest of them, "let us into the saddle and
  forward, let us strike hard and altogether, for the King and our
  cause!" If we win it will be a speedy end to rebellion and another
  Sedgemoor; if we are defeated, and I do not despise the Scots
  Brigade with Hugh MacKay, we shall fall with honor and not be a
  scorn to coming generations. For myself, were it not for thee,
  Jean, I should crave no better end than to fall in a last charge
  for the King and the good cause. As it is, unless God put some
  heart into our leaders, the army will melt away like snow upon a
  dyke in the springtime, and William will have an open road to
  London and the throne of England. He may have mair trouble and see
  some bloodshed before he lays his hand on the auld crown of
  Scotland. When I may get awa to the North countrie I know not yet,
  but whether I be in the South, where many are cowards and some are
  traitors, or in the North, where the clans at least be true, and
  there be also not a few loyal Lowland Cavaliers, my love is ever
  with thee, dear heart, and warm upon my breast lies the lock of
  your golden hair.

                           Yours till death,

                                                           DUNDEE.

God was not pleased to reënforce the king's advisers, and his cause
fell rapidly to pieces. Claverhouse withdrew the Scots Cavalry to the
neighborhood of London, and wore out his heart in the effort to put
manhood into his party, which was now occupied in looking after their
own interests in the inevitable revolution. And again Claverhouse, or,
as we should call him, Dundee, wrote to Jean:

  DEAREST AND BRAVEST OF WOMEN: Were ye not that, as I know well, I
  had no heart in me to write this letter, for I have no good thing
  to tell thee about the cause of the King and it seems to me
  certain that, for the time at least, England is lost. I am now in
  London, and the days are far harder for me than when I campaigned
  with the Usurper, and fought joyfully at Seneffe and Grave. It is
  ill to contain oneself when a man has to go from one to another of
  his comrades and ask him for God's sake and the King's sake to
  play the man. Then to get nothing but fair and false words, and to
  see the very officers that hold the King's commission shuffling
  and lying, with one eye on King James and the other on the Prince
  of Orange. Had I my way of it I would shoot a dozen of the
  traitors to encourage the others. But the King is all for
  peace--peace, forsooth! when his enemies are at the door of the
  palace. What can one man do against so many, and a King too
  tolerant and good-natured--God forgive me, I had almost written
  too weak? It is not for me to sit in judgment on my Sovereign, but
  some days ago I gave my mind to Hamilton in his own lodgings,
  where Balcarres and certain of us met to take council. There were
  hot words, and no good came of it. Balcarres alone is staunch, and
  yesterday he went with me to Whitehall and we had our last word
  for the present with the King. He was gracious unto us, as he has
  ever been to me when his mind was not poisoned by Queensberry or
  Perth, and ye might care to know, Jean, what your man, much
  daring, said to His Majesty: "We have come, Sir, to ask a favor of
  your Majesty, and that ye will let us do a deed which will waken
  the land and turn the tide of affairs. Have we your permission to
  cause the drums to be beat of every regiment in London and the
  neighbourhood, for if ye so consent there will be twenty thousand
  men ready to start to-morrow morning. Before to-morrow night the
  road to London will be barred, and, please God, before a week is
  over your throne will be placed beyond danger." For a space I
  think he was moved and then the life went out of him, and he sadly
  shook his head. "It is too late," he said, "too late, and the
  shedding of blood would be vain." But I saw he was not displeased
  with us, and he signified his pleasure that we should walk with
  him in the Mall. Again I dared to entreat him not to leave his
  capital without a stroke, and in my soul I wondered that he could
  be so enduring. Had it been your man, Jean, he had been at the
  Prince's throat before the Dutchman had been twenty-four hours in
  England. But who am I to reflect upon my King? and I will say it,
  that he spake words to me I can never forget. "You are brave men,"
  said the King, and, though he be a cold man, I saw that he was
  touched, "and if there had been twenty like you among the officers
  and nobles, things had not come to this pass. Ye can do nothing
  more in England, and for myself I have resolved to go to France,
  for if I stayed here I would be a prisoner, and there is but a
  short road between the prison and the graves of Kings. To you," he
  said to Balcarres, "I leave the charge of civil affairs in
  Scotland," and, then turning to me, "You, Lord Dundee, who ought
  before to have had this place, but I was ill-advised, shall be
  commander of the troops in Scotland. Do for your King what God
  gives you to do, and he pledges his word to aid you by all means
  in his power, and in the day of victory to reward you." We knelt
  and kissed his hand, and so for the time, heaven grant it be not
  forever, bade goodbye to our Sovereign. As I walked down the Mall
  I saw a face I seemed to know, and the man, whoever he was, made a
  sign that he would speak with me. I turned aside and found to my
  amazement that the stranger, who was not in uniform, and did not
  court observation, was Captain Carlton, who served with me in the
  Prince's army and of whom ye may have heard me speak. A good
  soldier and a fair-minded gentleman, tho' of another way of
  thinking from me. After a brief salutation he told me that the
  Prince was already in London and had taken up his quarters at Zion
  House.

  "Then," said I to him, "it availeth nothing for some of us to
  remain in London, it were better that we should leave quickly."
  "It might or it might not be," he replied, being a man of few and
  careful words, "but before you go there is a certain person who
  desires to have a word with you. If it be not too much toil will
  you lay aside your military dress, and come with me this evening
  as a private gentleman to Zion House?" Then I knew that he had
  come from the Prince, and altho' much tossed in my mind as to what
  was right to do, I consented, and ye will be astonished, Jean, to
  hear what happened.

  There was none present at my audience, and I contented myself with
  bowing when I entered his presence, for your husband is not made
  to kiss the hands of one king in the morning and of another in the
  evening of the same day. The Prince, for so I may justly call him,
  expected none otherwise, and, according to his custom--I have
  often spoken of his silence--said at once, "My lord," for he knows
  everything as is his wont, "it has happened as I prophesied, you
  are on one side and I am on another, and you have been a faithful
  servant to your master, as I told him you would be. If it had been
  in your power, I had not come so easily to this place, for the
  council you gave to the King has been told to me. All that man can
  do, ye have done, and now you may, like other officers, take
  service in the army under my command." Whereupon I told the Prince
  that our house had never changed sides, and he would excuse me
  setting the example. He seemed prepared for this answer, and then
  he said, "You purpose, my lord, to return to Scotland, and I shall
  not prevent you, but I ask that ye stir not up useless strife and
  shed blood in vain, for the end is certain." I will not deny,
  Jean, that I was moved by his words, for he is a strong man, and
  has men of the same kind with him. So far I went as to say that
  if duty did not compell me I would not trouble the land. More I
  could not promise, and I reckon there is not much in that promise,
  for I will never see the Prince of Orange made King of Scotland
  with my sword in its sheath. If there be any other way out of it,
  I have no wish to set every man's hand against his neighbour's in
  Scotland. He bowed to me and I knew that the audience was over,
  and when I left Zion House, my heart was sore that my King was not
  as wise and resolute as this foreign Prince. The second sight has
  been given to me to-day, and, dear heart, I see the shroud rising
  till it reaches the face, but whose face I cannot see. What I have
  to do, I cannot see either, but in a few days I shall be in
  Edinburgh, with as many of my horse as I can bring. If peace be
  consistent with honor then ye will see me soon in Dudhope for
  another honeymoon, but if it is to be war my lot is cast, and,
  while my hand can hold it, my sword belongs to the King. But my
  heart, sweet love, is thine till it ceases to beat.

                      Yours always and altogether,

                                                           DUNDEE.



CHAPTER II

THE CRISIS


Early springtime is cruel on the east coast of Scotland, and it was a
bitter morning in March when Dundee took another of his many farewells
before he left his wife to attend the Convention at Edinburgh. It was
only a month since he had come down from London, disheartened for the
moment by the treachery of Royalists and the timidity of James, and he
had found relief in administrating municipal affairs as Provost of
Dundee. If it had been possible in consistence with his loyalty to the
Jacobite cause, and the commission he had received from James, Dundee
would have gladly withdrawn from public life and lived quietly with
his wife. He was an ambitious man, and of stirring spirit, but none
knew better the weakness of his party, and no one on his side had been
more shamefully treated. It had been his lot to leave his bride on
their marriage day, and now it would be harder to leave her at a time
when every husband desires to be near his wife. But the summons to be
present at the Convention had come, and its business was to decide who
should be King of Scotland, for though William had succeeded to the
throne of England, James still reigned in law over the northern
kingdom. Dundee could not be absent at the deposition of his king and
the virtual close of the Stuart dynasty. As usual he would be one of a
beaten party, or perhaps might stand alone; it was not his friends but
his enemies who were calling him to Edinburgh, and the chances were
that the hillmen would settle their account with him by assassination.
His judgment told him that his presence in Edinburgh would be
fruitless, and his heart held him to his home. Yet day after day he
put off his going. It was now the thirteenth of March, and to-morrow
the Convention would meet, and if he were to go he must go quickly. He
had been tossed in mind and troubled in heart, but the instinct of
obedience to duty which Graham had obeyed through good report and
evil, without reserve, and without scruple, till he had done not only
the things he ought to have done, but many things also which he ought
not to have done, finally triumphed. He had told Jean that morning
that he must leave. His little escort of troopers were saddling their
horses, and in half an hour they would be on the road, the dreary,
hopeless road it was his fate to be ever travelling. Jean and he were
saying their last words before this new adventure, for they both knew
that every departure might be the final parting. They were standing at
the door, and nothing could be grayer than their outlook. For a haar
had come up from the sea, as is common on the east coast, and the cold
and dripping mist blotted out the seascape; it hid the town of Dundee,
which lay below Dudhope, and enveloped the castle in its cold
garments, like a shroud, and chilled Graham and his wife to the very
bone.

"Ye will acknowledge, John, that I have never hindered you when the
call came." As she spoke Jean took his flowing hair in her hand, and
he had never seen her so gentle before, for indeed she could not be
called a soft or tender woman.

"Ye told me what would be the way of life for us, and it has been what
ye said, and I have not complained. But this day I wish to God that ye
could have stayed, for when my hour comes, and it is not far off, ye
ken I will miss you sairly. Other women have their mothers with them
in that strait, but for me there is none; naebody but strangers. If
ony evil befall thee, John, it will go ill with me, and I have in my
keeping the hope of your house. Can ye no bide quietly here with me
and let them that have the power do as they will in Edinburgh? No man
of your own party has ever thanked you for anything ye did, and if my
mother's people do their will by you, I shall surely die and the child
with me. And that will be the end of the House of Dundee. Must ye go
and leave me?" And now her arm was round him, and with the other hand
she caressed his face, while her warm bosom pressed against his cold,
hard cuirass.

"Queensberry, for the liar he always was, said ye would be my Delilah,
Jean, but that I knew was not in you," said Dundee, smiling sadly and
stroking the proud head, which he had never seen bowed before.

"You are, I believe in my soul, the bravest woman in Scotland, and I
wish to God the men on our side had only had the heart of my Lady
Dundee. With a hundred men and your spirit in them, Jean, we had
driven William of Orange into the sea, or, at the worst, we should
certainly save Scotland for the king. Well and bravely have ye stood
by me since our marriage day, and if I had ever consulted my own
safety or sought after private ends, I believe ye would have been the
first to cry shame upon me. Surely ye have been a true soldier's wife,
and ye are the same this morning, and braver even than on our wedding
day.

"Do not make little of yourself, Jean, because your heart is sore and
ye canna keep back the tears. It is not given to a man to understand
what a woman feels in your place but I am trying to imagine, and my
love is suffering with you, sweetheart. I do pity you, and I could
weep with you, but tears are strange to my eyes--God made me soft
without and hard within--and I have a better medicine to help you than
pity." Still he was caressing her, but she felt his body straightening
within the armor.

"When ye prophesy that the fanatics of the west will be at me in
Edinburgh, I suspect ye are right, but I pray you not to trouble
yourself overmuch. They have shot at me before with leaden bullets and
with silver, trying me first as a man and next as a devil, but no
bullet touched me, and now if they fall back upon the steel there are
two or three trusty lads with me who can use the sword fairly well,
and though your husband be not a large man, Jean, none has had the
better of him when it came to sword-play. So cheer up, lass, for I may
fall some day, but it will not be at the hands of a skulking
Covenanter in a street brawl.

"But if this should come to pass, Jean--and the future is known only
to God--then I beseech you that ye be worthy of yourself, and show
them that ye are my Lady Dundee. If I fall, then ye must live, and
take good care that the unborn child shall live, too, and if he be a
boy--as I am sure he will be--then ye have your life-work. Train him
up in the good faith and in loyalty to the king; tell him how Montrose
fought for the good cause and died for it, and how his own father
followed in the steps of the Marquis. Train him for the best life a
man can live and make him a soldier, and lay upon him from his youth
that ye will not die till he has avenged his father's murder. That
will be worthy of your blood and your rank, aye, and the love which
has been between us, Jean Cochrane and John Graham."

She held him in her arms till the very breastplate was warm, and she
kissed him twice upon the lips. Then she raised herself to her full
height--and she was as tall as Graham--and looking proudly at him, she
said:

"Ye have put strength into me, as if the iron which covers your breast
had passed into my blood. Ye go to-day with my full will to serve the
king, and God protect and prosper you, my husband and my Lord
Dundee."

For a space the heat of Jean's high courage cheered her husband's
heart, but as the day wore on, and hour by hour he rode through the
cold gray mist which covered Fife, the temperature of his heart began
to correspond with the atmosphere. While Dundee had always carried
himself bravely before men, and had kept his misgivings to himself,
and seemed the most indifferent of gay Cavaliers, he had really been a
modest and diffident man. From the first he had had grave fears of the
success of his cause, and more than doubts about the loyalty of his
comrades. He was quite prepared not only for desperate effort, but for
final defeat. No man could say he had embarked on the royal service
from worldly ends, and now, if he had been a shrewd Lowland Scot, he
had surely consulted his safety and changed his side, as most of his
friends were doing. Graham did not do this for an imperative
reason--because he had been so made that he could not. There are
natures which are not consciously dishonest or treacherous, but which
are flexible and accommodating. They are open to the play of every
influence, and are sensitive to environment; they are loyal when
others are loyal, but if there be a change in spirit round them they
immediately correspond, and they do so not from any selfish
calculation, but merely through a quick adaptation to environment.
People of this kind find themselves by an instinct on the winning
side, but they would be mightily offended if they were charged with
being opportunists. They are at each moment thoroughly convinced of
their integrity, and are ever on the side which commends itself to
their judgment; if it happens to be the side on which the sun is
shining, that is a felicitous accident. There are other natures,
narrower possibly and more intractable, whose chief quality is a
thoroughgoing and masterful devotion, perhaps to a person, perhaps to
a cause. Once this devotion is given, it can never be changed by any
circumstance except the last and most inexcusable treachery, and then
it will be apt to turn into a madness of hatred which nothing will
appease. There is no optimism in this character, very often a
clear-sighted and painful acceptance of facts; faults are distinctly
seen and difficulties are estimated at their full strength, sacrifice
is discounted, and defeat is accepted. But the die is cast, and for
weal or woe--most likely woe--they must go on their way and fight the
fight to the end. This was the mould in which Dundee was cast, the
heir of shattered hopes, and the descendant of broken men, the servant
of a discredited and condemned cause. He faced the reality, and knew
that he had only one chance out of a hundred of success; but it never
entered his mind to yield to circumstances and accept the new
situation. There was indeed a moment when he would have been willing,
not to change his service, but to sheathe his sword and stand apart.
That moment was over, and now he had bidden his wife good-by and was
riding through the cold gray mist to do his weary, hopeless best for
an obstinate, foolish, impracticable king, and to put some heart, if
it were possible, into a dwindling handful of unprincipled,
self-seeking, double-minded men. The day was full of omens, and they
were all against him. Twice a hare ran across the road, and Grimond
muttered to himself as he rode behind his master, "The ill-faured
beast." As they passed through Glenfarg, a raven followed them for a
mile, croaking weirdly. A trooper's horse stumbled and fell, and the
man had to be left behind, insensible. When they halted for an hour
at Kinross it spread among the people who they were, and they were
watched by hard, unsympathetic faces. The innkeeper gave them what
they needed, but with ill grace, and it was clear that only fear of
Dundee prevented him refusing food both to man and beast. When they
left a crowd had gathered, and as they rode out from the village a
voice cried: "Woe unto the man of blood--a double woe! He goeth, but
he shall not return, his doom is fixed." An approving murmur from the
hearers showed what the Scots folk thought of John Graham. Grimond
would fain have turned and answered this Jeremiah and his chorus with
a touch of the sword, but his commander forbade him sharply. "We have
other men to deal with," he said to Grimond, "than country fanatics,
and our work is before us in Edinburgh." But he would not have been a
Scot if he had been indifferent to signs, and this raven-croak the
whole day long rang in his heart. The sun struggled for a little
through the mist, and across Loch Leven they saw on its island the
prison-house of Mary. "Grimond," said Graham, "there is where they
kept her, and by this road she went out on her last hopeless ride, and
we follow her, Jock. But not to a prison, ye may stake your soul on
that. It was enough that one Graham should die upon a scaffold. The
next will die in the open field."

It was late when they reached Edinburgh, and a murky night when they
rode up Leith Wynd; the tall houses of Edinburgh hung over them; the
few lights struggled against the thick, enveloping air. Figures came
out of one dark passage, and disappeared into another. A body of
Highlanders, in the Campbell tartan, for a moment blocked the way.
Twice they were cursed by unknown voices, and when Claverhouse reached
his lodging someone called out his name, and added: "The day of
vengeance is at hand. The blood of John Brown crieth from the altar!"
And Grimond kept four troopers on guard all night.

The next night Claverhouse and Balcarres were closeted together, the
only men left to consult for the royal cause, and both knew what was
going to be the issue.

"There is no use blinding our eyes, Balcarres," said Graham, "or
feeding our hearts with vain hopes, the Convention is for the Prince
of Orange, and is done with King James. The men who kissed his hand
yesterday, when he was in power, and would have licked his feet if
that had got them place and power, will be the first to cast him
forth and cry huzza for the new king. There is a black taint in the
Scots blood, and there always have been men in high position to sell
their country. The lords of the congregation were English traitors in
Mary's day, and on them as much as that wanton Elizabeth lay her
blood. It was a Scots army sold Charles I to the Roundheads, and it
would have been mair decent to have beheaded him at Edinburgh. And now
they will take the ancient throne of auld Scotland and hand it over,
without a stroke, to a cold-blooded foreigner who has taught his wife
to turn her hand against her own father. God's ban is upon the land,
Balcarres, for one party of us be raging fanatics, and the other party
be false-hearted cowards. Lord, if we could set the one against the
other, Argyle's Highlanders against the West Country Whigs, it were a
bonnie piece of work, and if they fought till death the country were
well rid o' baith, for I know not whether I hate mair bitterly a
Covenanter or a Campbell. But it would set us better, Balcarres, to
keep our breath to cool oor ain porridge. What is this I hear, that
Athole is playing the knave, and that Gordon cannot be trusted to keep
the castle? Has the day come upon us that the best names in Scotland
are to be dragged in the mire? I sairly doot that for the time the
throne is lost to the auld line, but if it is to be sold by the best
blood of Scotland, then I wish their silver bullet had found John
Graham's heart at Drumclog."

"Ye maunna deal ower hardly with Athole, Dundee, for I will not say he
isna true. His son, mind you, is on the other side, and Athole himself
is a man broken in body. These be trying times, and it is not every
ane has your heart. It may be that Athole and other men judge that
everything has been done that can, and that a heavy burden o' guilt
will rest on ony man that spills blood without reason. Mind you," went
on Balcarres hastily, as he saw the black gloom gathering on Dundee's
face, "I say not that is my way of it, for I am with you while ony
hope remains, but we maun do justice."

"Justice!" broke in Claverhouse, irritated beyond control by
Balcarres's apologies and his hint of compromise. "If I had my way of
it, every time-serving trickster in the land would have justice--a
rope round his neck and a long drop, for a bullet would be too
honorable a death. But let Athole pass. He was once a loyal man, and
there may be reason in what ye say. I have never known sickness
myself, and doubtless it weakens even strong men. But what is this I
hear of Gordon? Is it a lie that he is trafficking with Hamilton and
the Whig lords to surrender the castle? If so, he is the most damnable
traitor of them all, and will have his place with Judas Iscariot."

"Na, na, Dundee, nae Gordon has ever been false, though I judge maist
o' them, since Mary's day, have been foolish. Concerning the castle,
this is how the matter stands, and I pray you to hear me patiently and
not to fly out till I have finished."

"For God's sake, speak out and speak on, and dinna sit watching me as
if you were terrified for your life, and dinna pick your words, like a
double-dealing, white-blooded Whig lawyer, or I will begin to think
that the leprosy of cowardice has reached the Lindsays."

"Weel, Dundee"--but Balcarres was still very careful with his word--"I
have reason to believe, and, in fact, I may as well say I know, that
there have been some goings and comings between Gordon and the Lords
of Convention. I will not say that Gordon isna true to the king, and
that he would not hold the castle if it would help the cause. But I am
judging that he isna minded to be left alone and keep Edinburgh
Castle for King James if all Scotland is for King William." And
Balcarres, plucking up courage in the face of his fierce companion,
added: "I will not say, Dundee, that the duke is wrong. What use would
it be if he did? But mind you," went on Balcarres hastily, "he hasna
promised to surrender his trust. He is just waiting to see what
happens."

"Which they have all been doing, every woman's son of them, instead of
minding their duty whatever happens; but I grant there's no use
raging, we maun make our plans. What does Gordon want if he's holding
his hand? Out with it, Balcarres, for I see from your face ye ken."

"If the duke," replied Balcarres, "had ony guarantee that a fight
would be made for the auld line in Scotland, and that he would not be
left alane, like a sparrow upon the housetop in Edinburgh Castle, I
make certain he would stand fast; but if the royal standard is to be
seen nowhere else except on one keep--strong though that be--the duke
will come to terms wi' the Convention. There ye have the situation,
mak' o' it what ye will."

"By God, Balcarres, if that be true, and I jalouse that ye are richt,
Gordon will get his assurance this very nicht. It's a fair and just
pledge he asks, and I know the man who'll give it to him. Edinburgh
will no be the only place in the land where the good standard flies
before many days are passed. Man! Balcarres, this is good news ye have
brought, and I am glad to ken that there is still red blood in
Gordon's heart. I'm thinking ye've had your own communings wi' the
duke, and that ye ken the by-roads to the castle. Settle it that he
and I can meet this very nicht, and if need be I'll be ready to leave
the morrow's morning. Aye, Balcarres, if the duke holds the fastness,
I'll look after the open country." And before daybreak there was a
meeting between the Gordon and the Graham. They exchanged pledges,
each to do his part, but both of them knew an almost hopeless part,
for the king. Many a forlorn hope had their houses led, and this would
be only one more.

While his master had been reënforcing the duke's determination and
giving pledges of thoroughness, Grimond had been doing his part to
secure Dundee's safety in the seat of his enemies. Edinburgh was
swarming with West Country Whigs, whose day of victory had come, and
who had hurried to the capital that they might make the most of it. No
one could blame them for their exultation, least of all Claverhouse.
They had been hunted like wild beasts, they had been scattered when
worshipping God according to the fashion of their fathers, they had
been shot down without a trial, they had been shut up in noisome
prisons--and all this because they would not submit to the most
corrupt government ever known in Scotland, and that most intolerable
kind of tyranny which tries, not only to coerce a man as a citizen,
but also as a Christian. They had many persecutors, but, on the whole,
the most active had been Graham, and it was Graham they hated most. It
is his name rather than that of Dalzell or Lauderdale which has been
passed with execration from mouth to mouth and from generation to
generation in Scotland. The tyrant James had fled, like the coward he
was, and God's deliverer had come--a man of their own faith--in
William of Orange. The iron doors had been burst and the fetters had
been broken, there was liberty to hear the word of the Lord again, and
the Kirk of Scotland was once more free. Justice was being done, but
it would not be perfect till Claverhouse suffered the penalty of his
crimes. It had been the hope of many a dour Covenanter, infuriated by
the wrongs of his friends, if not his own, to strike down Claverhouse
and avenge the sufferings of God's people. Satan had protected his
own, but now the man of blood was given into their hands. Surely it
was the doing of the Lord that Dundee should have left Dudhope, where
he was in stronghold, and come up to Edinburgh, where his friends were
few. That he should go at large upon the streets and take his seat in
the Convention, that he should dare to plot against William and lift a
hand for James in this day of triumph, was his last stroke of
insolence--the drop which filled his cup to overflowing. He had come
to Edinburgh, to which he had sent many a martyr of the Covenant, and
where he had seen Henry Pollock die for Christ's crown and the Scots
kirk. Behold! was it not a sign, and was it not the will of the Lord
that in this high place, where godly men had been murdered by him, his
blood should be spilled as an offering unto the Lord?

This was what the hillmen were saying among themselves as they
gathered in their meetings and communed together in their lodgings.
They were not given to public vaporing, and were much readier to
strike than to speak, but when there are so many, and their hearts are
so hot, a secret cannot be easily kept. And Grimond, who concealed
much shrewdness behind a stolid face--which is the way with Scots
peasants--caught some suspicious words as two unmistakable Covenanters
passed him in the high street. If mischief was brewing for his master,
it was his business to find it out and take a hand in the affair. He
followed the pair as if he were a countryman gaping at the sights of
the town and the stir of those days, when armed men passed on every
side and the air was thick with rumors. When the Covenanters, after
glancing round, plunged down a dark entry and into an obscure tavern,
Grimond, after a pause, followed cautiously, assuming as best he
could--and not unsuccessfully--the manner of a man from the west. The
outer room was empty when he entered, and he was careful when he got
his measure of ale to bend his head over it for at least five minutes
by way of grace. The woman, who had glanced sharply at him on entry,
was satisfied by this sign of godliness, and left him in a dark
corner, from which he saw one after another of the saints pass into an
inner chamber. Between the two rooms there was a wooden partition, and
through a crack in the boarding Grimond was able to see and hear what
was going on. It was characteristic of the men that they opened their
conference of assassination with prayer, in which the sorrows of the
past were mentioned with a certain pathos, and thanks given for the
great deliverance which had been wrought. Then they asked wisdom and
strength to finish the Lord's work, and to rid the land of the chief
of the Amalekites, after which they made their plan. Although Grimond
could not catch everything that was said, he gathered clearly that
when Claverhouse left his lodging to attend the Convention on the
morning of the fifteenth of March, they would be waiting in the narrow
way, as if talking with friends, and would slay the persecutor before
he could summon help. When it was agreed who should be present, and
what each one should do, they closed their meeting, as they had opened
it, with prayer. One of them glanced suspiciously round the kitchen as
he passed through, but saw no man, for Grimond had quietly departed.
He knew his master's obstinate temper and reckless courage, and was
afraid if he told him of the plot that he would give no heed, or trust
to his own sword. "We'll run no risks," said Grimond to himself, and
next morning a dozen troopers of Claverhouse's regiment guarded the
entry to his lodging, and a dozen more were scattered handily about
the street. They followed him to the Convention and waited till he
returned. That was how Claverhouse lived to fight the battle of
Killiecrankie, but till that day came he had never been so near death
as in that narrow way of Edinburgh.

Dundee was not a prudent man, and he was very fearless, but for once
he consulted common-sense and made ready to leave Edinburgh. It was
plain that the Convention would elect William to the throne of
Scotland, and as the days passed it was also very bitter to him that
the Jacobites were not very keen about the rising. When he learned
that his trusted friends were going to attend the Convention, and did
not propose with undue haste to raise the standard for the king,
Dundee concluded that if anything should be done, it would not be by
such cautious spirits. As he seemed to be the sole hope of his cause,
the sooner he was out of Edinburgh the better. When he was seen upon
the street with fifty of his troopers, mounted and armed, there was a
wild idea of arresting him, but it came to nothing. There was not time
to gather the hillmen together, and there was no heart in the others
to face this desperate man and his body-guard. With his men behind
him, he rode down Leith Wynd unmolested, and when someone cried,
"Where art thou going, Lord Dundee?" he turned him round in the saddle
and answered, "Whither the spirit of Montrose will lead me." A
fortnight later, in front of his house at Dudhope, he raised the
standard for King James, and Jean Cochrane, a mother now, holding
their infant son in her arms, stood by his side before he rode north.
As he had left her on their marriage day with his troopers, so now he
left her and their child, to see her only once again--a cruel meeting,
before he fell. Verily, a life of storm and stress, of bitter
conflicts and many partings. Verily, a man whom, right or wrong, the
fates were treating as a victim and pursuing to his doom.



CHAPTER III

THE LAST BLOW


It is said that those stories are best liked which present a hero
and sing his achievements from beginning to end. And the more
faultless and brilliant the hero, the better goes the tale, and the
louder the applause. Certainly John Graham is the central figure in
this history, and so rich is the color of the man and so intense
his vitality, that other personages among whom he moves become pale
and uninteresting. They had, if one takes the long result, a larger
share in affairs, and their hand stretches across the centuries,
but there was not in them that charm of humanity which captivates the
heart. One must study the work of William of Orange if he is to
understand the history of his nation, but one would not go round the
corner to meet him. Claverhouse, if one faces the facts and sweeps
away the glamour, was only a dashing cavalry officer, who happened
to win an insignificant battle by obvious local tactics, and yet
there are few men whom one would prefer to meet. One would make a long
journey to catch a sight of Claverhouse riding down the street, as one
to-day is caught by the fascination of his portrait. But the reader
has already discovered that Graham can hardly be called a hero by
any of the ordinary tests except beauty of personal appearance. He
was not an ignorant man, as certain persons have concluded from the
varied and picturesque habits of his spelling, but his friends
cannot claim that he was endowed with rich intellectual gifts. He
had sense enough to condemn the wilder excesses of his colleagues
in the government of the day, but he had not force enough to replace
their foolishness by a wiser policy. Had his powers been more
commanding, or indeed if he had had any talent for constructive
action, with his unwavering integrity and masterful determination,
he might have ousted Lauderdale and saved Scotland for King James.
But accomplished intriguers and trained politicians were always too
much for Claverhouse, and held him as a lithe wild animal is caught in
the meshes of a net.

Wild partisans, to whom every man is either white as snow or black as
pitch, have gone mad over Graham, making him out, according to their
craze, either an angel or a devil, and forgetting that most men are
half and between. But it must be also said that those who hold John
Graham to have been a Jacobite saint are the more delirious in their
minds, and hysterical in their writing, for they will not hear that he
ever did anything less than the best, or that the men he persecuted
had any right upon their side. He is from first to last a perfect
paladin of romance whom everyone is bound to praise. Then artists rush
in and not only make fine trade of his good looks, but lend his beauty
to the clansmen who fought at Killiecrankie, till the curtain falls
upon "Bonnie Dundee" being carried to his grave by picturesque and
broken-hearted Highlanders dressed in the costly panoply of the
Inverness Gathering, and with faces of the style of George MacDonald
or Lord Leighton. Whatever Claverhouse was, and this story at least
suggests that he was brave and honorable, he was in no sense a saint,
and would have been the last to claim this high degree. It is open to
question whether he deserved to be called a good man, for he was
ambitious of power and, perhaps for public ends, of wealth; he had no
small measure of pride and jealousy in him; he was headstrong and
unmanageable, and for his own side he was unrelenting and cruel.
There are things he would not have done to advance his cause, as, for
instance, tell lies, or stain his honor, but he never would have
dreamed of showing mercy to his opponent. Nor did he ever try to enter
into his mind or understand what the other man was feeling.

It is sometimes judged enough for a hero that he succeed without being
clever or good, but neither did Graham pass this doubtful and
dangerous test. For when you clear away the romance which heroic
poetry and excited prose have flung around him, you were an optimist
if you did not see his life was one long failure as well as a
disappointment and a sorrow. He did bravely with the Prince of Orange,
and yet somehow he missed promotion; he was the best officer the
government had in Scotland, and yet it was only in the last resort he
became commander-in-chief. He was the only honest man among a gang of
rascals in the Scots council, and yet he was once dismissed from it;
he was entitled to substantial rewards, and yet he had to make
degrading appeals to obtain his due. He was loyal to foolishness, yet
he was represented to the Court as a man who could not be trusted. He
had only two love affairs; the first brought him the reputation of
mercenary aims, and the second almost ruined his life. He embarked on
a contest which was hopeless from the beginning, and died at the close
of a futile victory. Except winning the heart of Jean Cochrane, he
failed in everything which he attempted. With the exception of his
wife he was betrayed on every hand, while a multitude hated him with
all their strength and thirsted for his blood. If Jean were not true
to him there would not be one star in the dark sky of Claverhouse's
life.

But this irredeemable and final disaster is surely incredible. Dundee,
fooled as he had been both by his master and by his friends till he
was alone and forsaken, was bound to put his whole trust in his wife.
Had she not made the last sacrifices for him and through dark days
stood bravely by his side? Their private life had not always run
smoothly, for if in one way they were well mated, because both were of
the eagle breed, in another way, they were ill-suited, because they
were so like. John Graham and Jean Cochrane both came of proud houses
which loved to rule, and were not accustomed to yield, they both had
iron and determined wills, they shared the dubious gift of a lofty
temper and fiery affections. They were set upon their own ways, and
so they had clashed many a time in plan and deed; hot words had passed
between them, and they had been days without speech. But below the
tumult of contending wills, and behind the flash of fiery hearts, they
were bound together by the passion of their first love, which had
grown and deepened, and by that respect which strong and honorable
people have for one another. They could rage, but each knew that the
other could not lie; they could be most unreasonable, but each knew
that the other could never descend to dishonor, so their quarrels had
always one ending, and seemed, after they were over, to draw them
closer together and to feed their love. One could not think of them as
timid and gentle creatures, billing and cooing their affection; one
rather imagined the lion and his lioness, whose very love was fierce
and perilous. No power from without could separate these two nor make
them quail. Alone and united Dundee and his wife could stand
undismayed and self-sufficient, with all Scotland against them.
Nothing could ever break their bond except dishonor. But if one should
charge the other with that foulest crime, then the end had come,
beside which death would be welcome. Where life is a comedy one
writes with gayety not untouched by contempt; where life is a tragedy
one writes with tears not unredeemed by pride. But one shrinks when
the tragedy deepens into black night, and is terrified when strong
passions, falling on an evil day, work their hot wills, with no
restraining or favorable fate. There are people whose life is a
primrose path along which they dance and prattle, whose emotions are a
pose, whose thoughts are an echo, whose trials are a graceful luxury;
there are others whose way lies through dark ravines and beside raging
torrents, over whose head the black clouds are ever lowering, and whom
any moment the lightning may strike. This was their destiny. Upon
their marriage day one saw the way that these two would have to go,
and it was inevitable that they should drink their cup to the dregs.

The blame of what happened must be laid at Graham's door, and in his
last hours he took it altogether to himself; but since it has to be
written about, and he showed so badly, let us make from the first the
best excuse we can for him, and try to appreciate his state of mind.
It was a brave event and a taking scene when he set up the standard of
King James above Dundee, and he left to raise the North Country with
a flush of hope. It soon passed away and settled down into dreary
determination, as he made his toilsome journey with a handful of
followers by Aboyne and Huntly, till he landed in Inverness. The
Gordons had sent him a reënforcement, and certain of the chiefs had
promised their support, but the only aid the Highlanders had given was
of dubious value and very disappointing issue. The MacDonalds had
hastened to Inverness by way of meeting Dundee, and then had seized
the opportunity to plunder their old enemies, the Mackintoshes, and to
extract a comfortable ransom out of Inverness. This was not his idea
of war, and Dundee scolded Keppoch, who commanded the MacDonalds, most
vigorously. Keppoch immediately returned homeward to his fastnesses
with the accumulated spoil, partly because his fine, sensitive
Highland nature was hurt by Dundee's plain speech, and partly because
whatever happened it was wise to secure what they had got. It is no
reflection on Dundee's manhood that he was cast down during those days
at Inverness, for a ten times more buoyant man would have lost heart.
His life was a romantic drama, and it seemed as if the Fates had
constructed it for the stage, for now, after the lapse of years,
MacKay, his old rival in Holland, reappears, and they resume the duel,
which this time is to be unto death. While Dundee was struggling in
Edinburgh to save the throne for James, MacKay was on his way with
regiments of the Scots Brigade to make sure of Scotland for William. A
few days after Dundee left Edinburgh MacKay arrived, and now, as
Dundee rode northward in hot haste, MacKay was on his track. Both were
eager for a meeting, but the bitterness of it for Dundee was that he
dared not run the risk. With all his appeals and all his riding, he
had only a handful of mounted men, and the clans had not risen. It
seemed as if his enterprise were futile, and that Scotland would not
lift a hand for King James. He might be a commander-in-chief, but he
was a commander of nobody; he might raise a standard, but it was only
a vain show. It did not matter where he went or what he did; he was
not a general, but a fugitive, a man to be neglected, and his
following a handful of bandits. The rising was a thing to laugh at,
and the report was current in the capital that he had absconded with
one or two servants. This pretty description of his campaign had not
reached his ears, but the humiliation of his situation burned into
his proud heart. Much as he would have liked to meet MacKay, there
remained for him no alternative but flight. Flight was the only word
which could describe his journey, and as he planned his course on the
morrow, how he would ride to Invergarry, and then return on his
course, and then make his way to Cluny, he started to his feet and
paced the room in a fury of anger. What better was he than a hare with
the hounds after him, running for his life, and doubling in his track,
fleeing here and dodging there, a cowering, timid, panting animal of
the chase? "Damnation!" and Dundee flung himself out of the room, and
paced up and down the side of the river.

There was a dim light upon the running water, and his thoughts turned
to the West Country, to the streams he had often crossed and along
whose bed he had sometimes ridden, as he hunted for his Covenanting
prey. The Fates were just, for now the Whigs were the hunters and he
was the hunted. He began to understand what it was to be ever on the
alert for the approach of the enemy, to escape at the first sign of
danger, to cross hills in full flight, and to be listening for the
sound of the pursuer. As yet he had not to hide, but before many days
were over he also may be skulking in moss-hags, and concealing
himself in caves, and disguising himself in peasant's garments, he,
John Graham of Claverhouse, and my Viscount of Dundee. The tables had
turned with a vengeance, and the day of the godly had come. The
hillmen would laugh when they heard of it, and the Conventicles would
rejoice together. MacKay would be sitting in his quarters at Elgin
that night making his plans also, but not for flight, and hardly for
fighting. When officers arrest an outlaw, it is not called a battle
any more than when hounds run a fox to his lair. MacKay would be
arranging how to trap him, anticipating his ways of escape, and
stopping all the earths, so that say, to-morrow, he might be quietly
taken. It would not be a surrender; it would be a capture, and he
would be sent to Edinburgh in charge of half a dozen English dragoons,
and tried at Edinburgh, and condemned for treason against King
William--King William. They would execute him without mercy, and be
only doing to him what he had done to the Whigs, and just as he had
kept guard at Pollock's execution, that new Cameronian Regiment, of
which there was much talk, would keep guard at his. There would be
little cause for precaution; no one need fear a rescue, for the
hillmen would be there in thousands with the other Whigs, to feast
their eyes upon his shame, and cheer his death. He could not complain,
for it would happen to him as it had to many of them, and what he had
sown that would he reap. Would MacKay be laughing that night at Elgin,
with his officers, and crying in his Puritanic cant, "Aha, aha, how is
the enemy fallen and the mighty cast down! Where now is the boasting
of his pride, where now is the persecutor of the saints?" No, far
worse, MacKay would give orders in his cold, immovable manner, and
treat the matter as of no account, as one who had never expected
anything else from the beginning, and was only amazed at his
opponent's madness. That was the inner bitterness of it all; they had
taken their sides fifteen years ago; MacKay had chosen wisely, and he
had chosen foolishly, as the world would say. The conflict had been
inevitable, and it was quite as inevitable that his would be the
losing side. William saw what was coming afar off, so did MacKay; and
it had all come to pass, year by year, act by act, and now MacKay was
to give the last stroke. They had won, and they had been sure all the
time they were going to win, and they would win with hardly an effort.
He did not repent of his loyalty, and he would not have done
otherwise if he had had the choice over again. But their foresight,
and their patience, and their capacity, and their thoroughness, and
the madness of his own people, and their feebleness, and their
cowardice, and their helplessness, infuriated him. "Curse MacKay and
his master, and the whole crew of cold-blooded Whigs! But it is I and
mine which are cursed."

"Amen to the malediction on the Usurper and all his servants; it's
weel deserved, and may it sune be fulfilled, full measure and rinnin'
over, but for ony sake dinna curse yersel', my lord, for it's
blessings ye've earned as a faithful servant o' your king." And Dundee
turned round to find his faithful servant had arrived from home and
had sought him out on the riverside.

"You took me by surprise, Jock, and startled me, for I knew not that
any man was near. I thought that you of all men were at Dudhope, where
I left you, to protect Lady Dundee and the young lord. Is aught
wrong," cried Dundee anxiously, "my wife and child, are they both
well? Speak quickly." For even then Dundee saw that Grimond was
hesitating, and looked like a man who had to speak carefully. "Do not
tell me that MacKay has ordered the castle to be seized, and that the
dragoons have insulted my family; this were an outrage on the laws of
war. If they have done this thing I will avenge it before many days
pass. Is that the news ye bring?" And Dundee gripped his servant's
shoulder and shook him with such violence that Grimond, a strongly
built fellow, was almost thrown from his feet.

"Be quiet, Maister John, for I canna help callin' ye that, and dinna
work yoursel' into a frenzy, for this is no like your ain sel'. Na,
na, Dudhope is safe, and no a single dragoon, leastways a soldier, has
been near it since ye left; whatever other mischief he may do, Colonel
Livingstone, him that commands the cavalry ye ken, at Dundee, will no
see ony harm come to my Lady Dundee. Have no fear on that concern, my
lord."

"You havena come for nought, Grimond, and I'm not expecting that ye
have much good to tell. Good tidings do not come my way in these days.
Is the lad well?" said Dundee anxiously, "for in him is all my hope."

"It's a gude hope then, my lord, for the bairn is juist bye-ordinary.
I could see him growing every day, and never a complaint from his
mouth except when he wants his food. God be thankit there's nothing
wrong wi' him, and it does my heart good to see that he is a rael
Graham, a branch o' the old tree; long may it stand in Scotland, and
wide may its branches spread. If it be the will of Providence I would
like to live till my auld een saw Lord Graham of Claverhouse, for that
I'm supposing is his title, riding on the right hand of the Viscount
of Dundee. And I would be a' the better pleased if it was over the
necks of the Whigs. My lord, ye will never be ashamed of your son."

"Ye have said nothing of Lady Dundee's health, surely she isna ill or
anything befallen her. It was hard, Jock, for a man to leave his wife
but a few weeks after his son was born. Yet she recovered quickly as
becometh a strong and healthy woman, and when I left her she was in
good heart and was content that I should go. There is nothing wrong
with Lady Dundee, Jock?"

"Ye may set yir mind at rest aboot her ladyship, Maister John. She's
stronger than I've ever seen her, and I can say no more than that, nor
have I ever marked her more active, baith by nicht and day, and in
spite o' her lord being so far awa and in sic peril, ye would never
think she had an anxious thought. It's amazin' an' ... very
encouragin' to see her ladyship sae content an' ... occupied. Ye need
have nae concern aboot her bodily condeetion, an' of course that's a
great matter."

Dundee was so relieved to hear that his wife and child were well, and
that Dudhope was safe, that he did not for the moment catch with the
dubious tone of Grimond's references to Lady Dundee, and indeed it
struck no unaccustomed note. Grimond had all the virtues of a family
retainer--utter forgetfulness of self, and absolute devotion to his
master's house, as well as a passionate, doglike affection for Dundee.
But he had the defects of his qualities. It seems the inevitable
disability of this faithfulness, that this kind of servant is jealous
of any newcomer into the family, suspicious of the stranger's ways,
over-sensitive to the family interests, and ready at any moment to
fight for the family's cause. Grimond had done his best to prevent his
master's marriage with Jean Cochrane, and had never concealed his
conviction that it was an act of madness; he had never been more than
decently civil to his mistress, and there never had been any love lost
between them. If she had been a smaller woman, Jean would have had him
dismissed from her husband's side, but being what she was herself,
proud and thoroughgoing, she respected him for his very prejudices,
and his dislike of her she counted unto him for righteousness. Jean
had made no effort to conciliate Grimond, for he was not the kind of
watchdog to be won from his allegiance by a tempting morsel. She
laughed with her husband over his watchfulness, and often said, "Ye
may trust me anywhere, John, if ye leave Grimond in charge. If I
wanted to do wrong I should not be able." "Ye would be wise, Jean,"
Graham would reply, "to keep your eye on Grimond if ye are minded to
play a prank, for his bite is as quick as his bark." They laughed
together over this jest, for they trusted each other utterly, as they
had good reason to do, but the day was at hand when that laughter was
to be bitter in the mouth.

"Ye are like a cross-grained tyke which snarls at its master's best
friend through faithfulness to him. Ye never liked your mistress from
the beginning, because ye thought she would not be loyal, but, man, ye
know better now," said Dundee kindly, "and it's time ye were giving
her a share o' the love ye've always given me."

"Never!" cried Grimond hotly. "And I canna bear that ye should treat
this maitter as a jest. Many a faithful dog has been scolded--aye,
and maybe struck, by his maister when he had quicker ears than the
foolish man, and was giving warning of danger.

"Ye think me, my lord, a silly and cankered auld haveril, and that my
head is full of prejudices and fancies. Would to God that I were
wrong. If I were, I would go down on my knees to her ladyship and ask
her pardon and serve her like a dog all the days of my life; but, waes
me, I'm ower richt. When my lady is loyal to you I'll be loyal to her,
but no an hour sooner, say ye as ye like, laugh ye as ye will. But my
lady is false, and ye are deceived in your own home."

"Do you know what you are saying, Grimond, and to whom you are
speaking? We have carried this jest too far, and it is my blame, but
ye may not again speak this way of your mistress in my presence. I
know you mean nothing by it, and it is all your love of me and dislike
of Covenanters that makes you jealous; but never again, Grimond,
remember, or else, old servant though you be, you leave me that hour.
It's a madness with you; ye must learn to control it," said Dundee
sternly.

"It's nae madness, my lord," answered Grimond doggedly, "and has
naethin' to do with my lady being a Cochrane. Maybe I would rather
she had been a Graham or a Carnegie, but that was nae business o'
mine. Even if I didna like her, it's no for a serving-man to complain
o' his mistress. I ken when to speak and when to hold my tongue, but
there are things I canna see and forbear. My lord, it's time you were
at Dudhope, for the sake, o' your honor."

"Grimond," said Dundee, and his words were as morsels of ice, "if it
were any other man who spoke of my wife and dishonor in the same
breath I would kill him where he stood; but ye are the oldest and
faithfullest follower of our house. For the work ye have done and the
risks ye have run I pardon you so far as to hear any excuse ye have to
make for yourself; but make it plain and make it quick, for ye know I
am not a man to be trifled with."

"I will speak plainly, my lord, though they be the hardest words I
have ever had to say. I ken the risk. It is not the first time I have
taken my life in my hand for the Grahams and their good name. My
suspicions were aroused by that little besom Kirsty, when I saw her
ane day comin' oot from the quarters of Colonel Livingstone, wha
commands the dragoons at Dundee. I kent she could be doing nae good
there, for she's as full o' mischief as an egg is full o' meat. So I
wheeped up by the near road and met her coming up to the castle. When
she saw me she hid a letter in her breast, and, question her as I
like, I could get nothing from her but impudence. But it was plain to
me that communication was passing between someone in Dudhope and the
commander o' William's soldiers."

"Go on," said Dundee quietly.

"Putting two and two together, my lord, I watched in the orchard below
the castle that nicht and the next, and on the next, when it was dark,
a man muffled in a cloak came up the road from the town and waited
below the apple trees, near where I was lying in the hollow among the
grass. After a while a woman in a plaid so that ye couldna see her
face came down from the direction of the castle. They drew away among
the trees, so that I could only see that they were there, but couldna
hear what they were saying. After a while, colloguing together, they
parted, and I jaloused who the two were, but that nicht I could not be
certain."

"Go on," said Dundee, "till you have finished."

"Three nichts later they met again, and I crept a little nearer, and
the moon coming out for a minute I saw their faces. It was her
ladyship and Colonel Livingstone. She was pleading wi' him, and he was
half yielding, half consenting. Her voice was so low I couldna catch
her words, but I heard him say: 'God knows ye have my heart; but my
honor, my honor.' 'I will be content wi' your heart,' I heard her
answer. 'When will you be ready? For if Dundee hear of it, he will
ride south night and day, tho' the whole English army be in his
road!'

"'For eight days,' said Livingstone, 'I am engaged on duty and can do
nothing, on the ninth I am at your service for ever.' Then I saw him
kiss her hand, and they parted. Within an hour I was riding north. Ye
may shoot me if you please, but I have cleared my conscience."

Dundee's face was white as death, and his eyes glittered as when the
light shines on steel. Twice he laid his hand upon his pistol, and
twice withdrew it.

"If an angel from heaven told me that Lady Dundee was untrue I would
not believe him, and you, you I take to be rather a devil from hell.
Said Livingstone eight days? And two are passed. I was proposing to go
south for other ends, and now I shall not fail to be there before that
appointment. But it may be, Grimond, I shall have to kill you."



CHAPTER IV

THOU ALSO FALSE


Dundee was a man of many trials, and one on whom fortune seldom
smiled; but the most cruel days of his life were the ride from
Inverness by the Pass of Corryarrack to Blair Athole, and from Blair
Athole by Perth to Dundee. He learned then, as many men have done in
times of their distress, the horror of the night time and the
blessing of the light. Had his mind not been affected by the
universal treachery of the time, and the disappointments he had met on
every side, till it seemed that every man except himself was hunting
after his own interest, and no one, high or low, could be trusted, he
had from the beginning treated Grimond's story with contempt and
made it a subject of jest. He would no more have doubted Jean's
honor than that of his mother. He would have known that Grimond never
lied, and that he did not often drink, but he also would have been
sure that even if it was Jean who met Livingstone, that there was
some good explanation, and he never would have allowed his thoughts
to dwell upon the matter. If Jean had been told that Graham had been
seen with a lady of the Court at Whitehall, she would have scorned
to question him, and indeed she had often laughed at the snares
certain frail beauties of that day had laid for him in London. For
she knew him, and he also knew her. But he was sorely tried in
spirit and driven half crazy by the disloyalty of his friends, and it
is in those circumstances of morbid, unhealthy feeling that the seeds
of suspicion find a root and grow, as the microbes settle upon
susceptible and disordered organs of the body.

As it was, he was divided in his mind, and it was the alternation of
dark and bright moods which made his agony. Spring had only reached
the Highlands as he rode southwards, but its first touches had made
everything winsome and beautiful. While patches of snow lingered on
the higher hills, and glittered in the sunlight, the grass in the
hollows between the heather was putting on the first greenness of the
season, and the heather was sprouting bravely; the burns were
full-bodied with the melting snow from the higher levels and rushing
with a pleasant noise to join the river. As he came down from the
bare uplands at Dalnaspidal into the sheltered glen at Blair Castle,
the trees made an arch of the most delicate emerald over his head, for
the buds were beginning to open, and the wind blew gently upon his
face. The sight of habitations as he came nearer to the Lowlands, the
sound of the horses' feet upon the road, the gayety of his band of
troopers, the children playing before their humble cottages, the
exhilarating air, and the hope of the season when winter was gone,
told upon his heart and reënforced him. The despair of the night
before, when he tossed to and fro upon a wretched bed or paced up and
down before the farmhouse door, imagining everything that was
horrible, passed away as a nightmare. Was there ever such madness as
that he, John Graham, should be doubting his wife, Jean Cochrane, whom
he had won from the midst of his enemies, and who had left her mother
and her mother's house to be his bride? How brave she had been, how
self-sacrificing, how uncomplaining, how proud in heart and high in
spirit; she had given up the whole world for him; she was the bravest
and purest of ladies. That his wife of those years of storm and the
mother a few weeks ago of his child should forget her vows and her
love, and condescend to a base intrigue; that she should meet a lover
in the orchard where they often used to walk, where the blossom would
now be opening on the trees, that Livingstone, whom he knew and
counted in a sense a friend, though he held King William's commission
now, and had not stood by the right side, should take the opportunity
of his absence to seduce his wife! It was a hideous and incredible
idea, some mad mistake which could be easily explained. Dundee,
throwing off his black and brooding burden of thought, would touch his
horse with the spur and gallop for a mile in gayety of heart and then
ride on his way, singing some Cavalier song, till Grimond, who kept
away from his master those days and rode among the troopers, would
shake his head, and say to himself, "God grant he be not fey"
(possessed). Dundee would continue in high spirits till the evening
shadows began to fall, and then the other shadow would lengthen across
his soul. The night before he met his wife he spent in Glamis Castle,
and the grim, austere beauty of that ancient house affected his
imagination. Up its winding stairs with their bare, stern walls men
had gone in their armor, through the thickness of the outer walls
secret stairs connected mysterious chambers one with another. Strange
deeds had been done in those low-roofed rooms with their dark carved
furniture, and there were secret places in the castle where ghosts of
the past had their habitation. Weird figures were said to flit through
the castle at night, restless spirits which revisited the scene of
former tragedies and crimes, and the room in which Graham slept was
known to be haunted. Alas! he needed no troubled ancestor of the
Strathmore house to visit him, for his own thoughts were sufficient
torment, and through the brief summer night and then through the
dawning light of the morning he threshed the question which gnawed his
heart. Evil suggestions and suspicious remembrances of the past, which
would have fled before the sunlight, surrounded him and looked out at
him from the shadow with gibbering faces. Had he not been told that
Jean laid traps for him in Paisley that she might secure the safety of
her lover Pollock, and also of her kinsman, Sir John Cochrane? Had she
not often spoken warmly of that Covenanting minister and expressed her
bitter regret that her husband had compassed Pollock's death? She had
tried to keep him from attending the Convention, and of late days had
often suggested that he had better be at peace and not stir up the
country. After all, can you take out of the life what is bred in the
bone?--and Jean Cochrane was of a Covenanting stock, and her mother a
very harridan of bigotry. Might there not have been some sense in the
fear of his friends that he would no longer be loyal to the good
cause, and was Jock Grimond's grudge against his marriage mere
stupidity and jealousy? Everyone was securing his safety and adjusting
himself to the new regime; there was hardly a Lowland gentleman who
had irretrievably pledged himself to King James, and as for the
chiefs, they would fight for their own hand as they had always done,
and could only be counted on for one thing, and that was securing
plunder. Was not he alone, and would not he soon be either on the
scaffold or an exile? The Whigs would soon be reigning in their glory
over Scotland, and it would be well with everyone that had their
password. If he were out of the way, would there not be a strong
temptation for her to make terms with her family and buy security by
loyalty to their side? No doubt she was a strong woman, but, after
all, she was only a woman, and was she able to stand alone and live
forsaken at Glenogilvie, with friends neither among Cavaliers nor
Covenanters? Could he blame her if she separated herself from a
ruined cause and a discredited husband, for would she not be only
doing what soldiers and courtiers had done, what everybody except
himself was doing? Why should she, a young woman with life before her,
tie herself up with a hopeless cause, and one who might be called
commander-in-chief of James's army, but who had nothing to show for it
but a handful of reckless troopers and a few hundred Highland thieves,
a man whom all sensible people would be regarding as a mad adventurer?
Would it not be a stroke of wisdom--the Whigs were a cunning crew, and
he recalled that Lord Dundonald was an adroit schemer--to buy the
future for herself and her child by selling him and returning to her
old allegiance? There was enough reality in this ghost to give it, as
it were, a bodily shape, and Graham, who had been flinging himself
about, struck out with his fist as if at flesh and blood.

"Damn you, begone, begone!"

For a while he lay quietly and made as though he would have slept.
Then the ghosts began to gather around his bed again as if the
Covenanters he had murdered had come from the other world and were
having their day of vengeance. It must have been Jean who met
Livingstone in the orchard, and it must have been an assignation.
There was no woman in Dudhope had her height and carriage, and the
vision of her proud face that he had loved so well brought scalding
tears to his eyes. For what purpose had she met Livingstone, if not
to arrange some base surrender, if not to give information about
him so that MacKay might find him more easily? Was it worse than that,
if worse could be when all was black as hell? Livingstone had known
her for years; it had been evident that he admired her; he was an
attractive man of his kind. Nothing was more likely in that day,
when unlawful love was not a shame, but a boast, than that he had been
making his suit to Lady Dundee. Her husband was away, likely never
to return; she was a young and handsome woman, and Livingstone had
time upon his hands at Dundee. A month ago he had sworn that the
virtue of his wife was unassailable as that of the Blessed Virgin; he
would have sworn it two days ago as he rode through Killiecrankie; but
now, with the brooding darkness round him and its awful shapes
peopling the room, he was not sure of anything that was good and
true. Had he not lived at Court, had he not known the great ladies,
had not they tried to seduce him, and flung themselves at his
head? Was not Jean a woman like the rest, and why should his wife be
faithful when every other woman of rank was an adulteress! This,
then, was the end of it all, and he had suffered the last stroke of
treachery, and the last stain of dishonor. How he had been befooled
and bewitched; what an actress she had been, with a manner that
would have deceived the wisest! What a stupid, blundering fool he
had been! There are times, the black straits of life, when a man
must either pray or curse. If he be a saint he will pray, but Dundee
was not a saint, so he rose from his bed, and sweeping away the evil
shapes from before him with his right arm, and then with his left,
as one makes his road through high-standing corn that closes in behind
him, he raged from side to side of the room in which the day was
faintly breaking, while unaccustomed oaths poured from his mouth.
One thing only remained for him, and at the thought peace began to
come. He had planned weeks ago to visit Dundee again and give the
chance to Livingstone's dragoons to join him, for he had reason to
believe that they were not unalterably loyal. He was on his way to
Dundee now, and to-morrow he would be there, but he cared little what
the dragoons would do; he had other folk to deal with. If he found
he had been betrayed at home, and by her who had lain on his breast,
and by a man whom he had counted his friend, they should know the
vengeance of the Grahams. "Both of them--both of them to hell, and
then my work is done and I shall go to see them!"

It was characteristic of the man that, though he had no assistance
from Grimond in the morning--for Jock dared not go near him--Dundee
appeared in perfect order, even more carefully dressed than usual; but
as he rode from the door of Glamis Castle through the beautiful domain
of park and wood, Grimond was aghast at his pinched and drawn face and
the gleam in his eye. "May the Lord hae mercy, but I doot sairly that
he is aff his head, and that there will be wild work at Dudhope." And
while Grimond had all the imperturbable self-satisfaction and unshaken
dourness of the Lowland Scot, and never on any occasion acknowledged
that he could be wrong or changed his way, he almost wished that he
had left this affair alone and had not meddled between his master and
his master's wife. It was again a fair and sunny day, when the
freshness of spring was feeling the first touch of summer, as Dundee
and his men rode up the pass through the hills from Strathmore to
Dundee. There were times when Graham would have breathed his horse at
the highest point, from which you are able to look down upon the sea,
and drunk in the pure, invigorating air, and gazed at the distant
stretches of the ocean. But he had no time to lose that day; he had
work to do without delay. With all his delirium--and Graham's brain
was hot, and every nerve tingling--he retained the instincts of a
soldier, and just because he was so suspicious of his reception he
took the more elaborate precautions. Before he entered the pass his
scouts made sure that he would not be ambuscaded, for it might be that
his approach was known, and that Livingstone, taking him at a
disadvantage in the narrow way, by one happy stroke would complete his
triumph. As he came near Dundee, he sent out a party to reconnoitre,
while he remained with his troop to watch events. When the sound of
firing was heard he knew that the garrison was on the alert, and that
the town could only be taken by assault. The soldiers came galloping
back with several wounded men, having left one dead. Livingstone was
for the moment safe in his fastness, and it was evident that the
dragoons were not in a mind to desert their colors. By this time it
would be known at Dudhope that he was near, and the sooner he arrived
the more chance of finding his wife. It was possible that Livingstone
had garrisoned Dudhope, and that if he rode forward alone he might be
snared. But this risk he would take in the heat of his mind, and
summoning Grimond with a stern gesture to his side, and ordering the
soldiers to follow at a slight interval and to surround the castle, he
galloped forward to the door. The place appeared to be deserted, but
at last, in answer to his knocking, as he beat on the door with the
hilt of his sword, it was opened by an old woman who seemed the only
servant left, and who was driven speechless by her master's unexpected
appearance and his wild expression. For, although John Graham had been
a stern as well as just and kind master, and although he had often
been angry, and was never to be trifled with, no one had ever seen him
before other than cool and calm, smooth-spoken and master of himself.

"What means it, Janet, or whatever be your name, that the door was
barred and I kept standing outside my own house? What were ye doing,
and who is within the walls? Speak out, and quickly, or I will make
you do it at your pain. Have the dragoons been here, and are there any
hid in this place? Is my Lady Dundee in the castle, and if so, where
is she?" And then, when the panic-stricken woman could not find
intelligible words before the unwonted fury of her master, he pushed
her aside and, rushing up the stair, tore open the door of the
familiar room where Jean and he usually sat--to find that she was not
there nor anywhere else in the castle, that his wife and the child
were gone. With this confirmation of his worst fears, his fever left
him suddenly, and he came to himself, so far as the action of his mind
and the passion of his manner were concerned. Sending for Janet, he
expressed his regret, with more than his usual courtesy, that he had
spoken roughly to her and for the moment had frightened her.
Something, he said, had vexed him, but now she must not be afraid, but
must tell him some things that he wished to know. Had everything been
going well at Dudhope since he left, and had her ladyship and my
little lord been in good health? That was excellent. He hoped that the
dragoons had not been troublesome or come about the castle? They had
not? Well, that was satisfactory. Their commander, Colonel
Livingstone, perhaps had called to pay his respects to Lady Dundee,
and render any kindness he could? No, never been seen at the castle?
That was strange. Her ladyship--where had she gone, for she did not
appear to be in the castle, nor her maid nor the other servants? Where
were they all? Had her ladyship taken refuge in Dundee for safety in
those troubled times? And as his master asked this question with
studied calmness and the gentlest of accents, Grimond shuddered, for
this was the heart of the matter, and there was murder in the answer.
Not to Dundee--where then? To Glenogilvie, only last night in great
haste, as if afraid of someone or something happening. Of whom, of
what? But Janet did not know, and could only say that Lady Dundee and
the household had formed a sudden plan and departed at nightfall for
the old home of the Grahams. Whereat Dundee smiled, and, crossing to a
window and looking down upon the town, said to himself: "A cunning
trap. I was to be taken at Dundee, when in my hot haste, and thinking
I had an easy capture, I rushed the town without precautions, as I
might have done. While in quiet Glenogilvie my lady waited for his
triumphant coming, victor and lover. It was a saving mercy, as her
people would say, that our scouts drew their fire and brought out the
situation. They might have baited the trap at Dudhope had they been
cleverer, and I been taken in my home with her by my side--but that
would have been dangerous. Now it is left for me to see whether the
town could be rushed, and I have the last joy of one good stroke at
Colonel Livingstone. But if that be beyond my reach, as I fear it may,
then haste me to Glenogilvie."

During the day Graham hung about the outskirts of the town searching
for some weak spot where he could make a successful entrance with his
troopers. Before evening he was driven to the conclusion that an
assault could only mean defeat and likely his own death, and he wished
to live at least for another day. So when the sun was setting he rode
away from Dudhope, and on the crest of the hill that overhangs Dundee,
he turned him in his saddle and looked down on the castle from which
he had ruled the town, and where he had spent many glad days with
Jean. The shadows of evening were now gathering, and when he reached
the home of his boyhood in secluded Glenogilvie the night had fallen.
It was contrary to his pride to practise any tactics in his own
country, and they rode boldly to the door from which he had gone out
and in so often in earlier, happier days. They had been keeping watch,
he noticed, for lights shifted in the rooms as they came near, and
almost as soon as he had crossed the threshold his wife came out from
her room to greet him. He marked in that instant that, though she was
startled to see him, and had not looked for him so soon, she showed no
sign of confusion or of guilt. Against his will he admired the courage
of her carriage and her dignity in what he judged a critical hour of
her life. It was not their way to rush into one another's arms, though
there burned in them the hottest and fiercest passion of love. In
presence of others they never gave themselves away, but carried
themselves with a stately grace. "We heard you were on your way, my
lord," she simply said, "but I did not expect so quick a meeting. Have
ye come from the north or from Perth? A messenger went to Lord Perth's
house with news of the happenings at Dundee, but doubtless he missed
you." She gave him her hand, over which he bent, and which he seemed
to kiss, but did not. "We left Perth two days ago," he replied, with a
cold, clear voice, which did not quite hide the underlying emotion,
"and we have this day paid our visit to Dundee--to get a chill
welcome and find Dudhope empty. It was a pity that we missed the
messenger, Lady Dundee, who doubtless sought for us diligently, for if
we had known where you were when we left Glamis this morning, it had
been easy--aye, and in keeping with my mind--to turn aside and visit
Glenogilvie." They were still standing in the hall, and Jean had begun
to realize that Dundee was changed, and that behind this cold courtesy
some fire was burning. When they were alone she would, in other
circumstances, have cast herself in the proud surrender of a strong
woman's love into his arms, and he would have kissed her hair, her
forehead, her eyes, her cheeks, her chin, and, last, her mouth; but at
the sight of his eyes she stood apart, and straightening herself, Jean
said: "What is the meaning of this look, John, and what ails you? Ye
seem as if ye had suffered some cruel blow. Has aught gone wrong with
you? Ye have come back in hot haste."

"Yes, my Lady Dundee, something wrong with me, and maybe worse with
you. I have come quicker than I intended, and have had a somewhat cold
reception at Dundee, but I grant you that was not your blame, you had
doubtless prepared a warmer. Livingstone was the laggard."

"You are angry, John, and I now understand the cause. It was not my
blame, for what woman could do I did, and maybe more than becometh
your wife, to win him over. He almost consented, and I declare to you
that Livingstone is with us. I could have sworn two days ago that the
regiment would have joined us and been waiting for you. But that
determined Whig, Captain Balfour, discovered the plot, and I had a
message yesterday afternoon that it was hopeless. So for fear of
arrest I hurried to Glenogilvie, and tried to intercept your coming.
Blame not me, for I could do no more--and what mean you by calling me
ever by my title and not by my name, after our parting for so long and
dangerous a time?"

"You are right, Jean Cochrane, and I will do you this justice, ye
could not do more than meet him in the orchard and in the dark of the
night. Yes, ye were both seen, and word was brought me to the north by
a faithful messenger--I judge the only true heart left. That was fine
doing and fine pleading, when he confessed that you had won his heart,
but his honor was hindering him. Ye cannot deny the words, they are
graven on my heart like fire, and are burning it to the core. You, my
wife, and whom I made my Lady Dundee, as if you had been a lowborn
country lass."

"You are unjust, my lord, shamefully and cruelly unjust. It was not a
pleasant thing for me to do, and I hated myself in the stooping to do
it, but there was no other way for it, since he dared not come in the
daylight, and I dared not go to him. Now I wish to God I had never
troubled myself and never lifted my little finger to accomplish this
thing for the cause, since spies have been going and coming between
Dudhope and the north. What I did, I did for you and King James, and
if I had succeeded ye would have praised me and said that a woman's
wiles had won a regiment of horse. But because I have failed ye fling
my poor effort in my face, and make me angry with myself that I ever
tried to serve you--you who stand here reproaching me for my
condescension."

"Well acted, my lady, and a very cunning tale. So it was to serve me
ye crept out at night disguised, and it was to win his heart for King
James that ye spoke so tenderly? I never expected the day would come
when John Graham of Claverhouse would call down blessings--aye, the
richest benediction of heaven--upon a Covenanter, but I pray God to
bless Captain Balfour with all things that he desires in this world
and in that which is to come. Because, though he knew not what he was
doing, and might have served his own cause better by letting things
run their course, he saved, at least in the eyes of the world, my
honor, and averted the public shame of a treacherous wanton."

As the words fell slowly and quietly from his lips, like drops of
vitriol, Jean's face reflected the rapid succession of emotions in her
heart. She was startled as one not grasping the meaning of his words:
she was horrified as their shameful charge emerged: she was stricken
to the heart as the man she had loved from out of all the world called
her by the vilest of all names a woman can hear. Then, being no gentle
and timid young wife who could be crushed by a savage and unexpected
blow and find her relief in a flood of tears, but a proud and
determined woman with the blood of two ancient houses in her veins,
after the briefest pause she struck back at Dundee, carrying herself
at her full height, throwing back her head with an attitude of scorn,
her face pale because intense feeling had called the blood back to the
heart, and her eyes blazing with fury, as when the forked lightning
bursts from the cloud and shatters a house or strikes a living person
dead. And it was like her that she spoke almost as quietly as Graham,
neither shrinking nor trembling.

"This, then, is the cause of your strange carriage, Lord Dundee, which
I noted on your coming, and tried to explain in a simple and honorable
way, for I had no key to your mind, and have not known you for what
you are till this night. So that was the base thing you have been
imagining in your heart, as you rode through the North Country, and
that was the spur that drave you home with such haste--to guard your
honor as a husband, and to put to shame an adulterous wife? Pardon me
if I was slow in catching your meaning, the charge has taken me
somewhat by surprise." And already, before her face, Dundee began to
weaken and to shrink for the first time in his life.

"And you are the man whom I, Jean Cochrane, have loved alone of
all men in the world, and for whose love I forsook my mother and my
house, and became a stranger in the land! You are the husband whom
I trusted utterly, for whom I was willing to make the last sacrifice
of life, of whom I boasted in my heart, in whom I placed all my joy! I
knew you were a bigot for your cause; I knew you were cruel in the
doing of your work; I knew you had a merciless ambition; I knew you
had an unmanageable pride; I have not lain in your arms nor lived
by your side, I have not heard you speak nor seen you act, without
understanding how obstinate is the temper of your mind, and how fiery
is your heart. For those faults I did not love you less, and of
them I did not complain, for they were my own also. That you were
incapable of trusting, that you could suspect your wife of dishonor,
that you would be moved by the report of a spy, a baseborn peasant
man, that you could offer the last gross, unpardonable insult to a
virtuous woman, is what I never could have even imagined. The
Covenanters called you by many evil names, and I did not believe
them. I believe every one of them now--they did not tell half the
truth. They called you persecutor and murderer, they forgot to call
you what I now do. As when one strikes a cur with a whip, so to
your fair, false face I call you liar and coward. Peace till I be
done, and then you may kill me, for it were better I should not live,
and if I had the sword of one of my kinsfolk here I would kill you
where you stand. God in heaven, what an accusation! A wife of five
years, and a mother of only a few weeks, that she should sin with
an honorable man who is her friend and her husband's friend! Did
Livingstone say, according to that dastard hiding in the wood, that
his heart was with us? That was with our cause, and not with me.
Did he say honor hindered him? That was not honor towards you, it
was honor towards his colors. But honor is a strange word in your ears
now, my lord. I have never thought of Livingstone more than any
other man who has a good name and has never betrayed a trust. This
night my heart is favorable to him, for I saw him in an agony about
his honor, and I judge if he were a woman's husband, and she was such
a woman as I am before God this day, he would rather die than
insult her."

"Ye wished for some weapon wherewith to take a coward's life. Here is
my sword, Jean, and here is my heart. I would not be sorry to die, and
I would rather take the last stroke from you than from my enemies. It
is not worth while to live, for I have no friend, and soon shall have
no possessions. My cause is forlorn, and my name is a byword, and now,
by my own doing, I have lost my only love. Strike just here, and my
blood will be an atonement to thee for my sin, and generations unborn
will bless the hand which slew Claverhouse.

"Ye hesitate for a moment"--for she was holding the sword by the hilt,
and her face was still clouded with gloom, although the fire was dying
down. "Then I will use that moment, not to ask your pardon, for I
judge you are not a woman to forgive--and neither should I be in your
place--but to explain. I shall not speak of my love for you, for that
now ye will not believe, nor of my shame in having received those evil
thoughts for a moment into my heart. I have never known the bitterness
of shame before, but I would fain tell how it happened, that the
remembrance of me be less black after we have parted forever. Had I
been in my natural state it had been impossible for me to doubt thee,
Jean, and if I had seen thee sin before mine eyes, I would have
thought it was another. But my mind has been distraught through
weariness of the body on the long rides, and nights without sleep as I
lay a-planning, and the desertion of friends in whom I trusted, and
the refusals of men of whom I expected loyalty, and the humiliating
helplessness before William's general, my old rival MacKay. I was
almost mad. In the night-time, I think, I was mad altogether. But I
had always one comfort, like a single star shining in a dark sky, and
that was the faithfulness of my wife. When a cloud obscured that
solitary light, then a frenzy passed into my blood. I ceased to
reason, and according to the measure of my love was my foolish,
groundless hate."

"Take back your sword, Dundee, for I am not now minded to use it. Five
minutes ago it had been dangerous to give it me. If ye fall, it shall
be by another hand than your wife's, and in another place than your
home. We have said words to one another this night which neither of us
will lightly pardon, for we are not of the pardoning kind. I do not
feel as I did: my anger has turned into sorrow; the idol of my
idolatry is broken--my fair model of chivalry--and now I can only
gather together the pieces. Even while I hated you I was loving
you--this is the contradiction of a woman's heart--and I knew that
love of me had made you mad. Whatever happens, I will always remember
that you loved me, but my dream has vanished--forever."

They spent next day walking quietly in the glen, and the following
morning he left for his last campaign. They said farewell alone, but
after he was in the saddle Lady Dundee lifted up the child for him to
kiss--which was to die before the year was out. He turned as they were
riding down the road and waved his plumed hat to his wife, where she
stood, still holding the child in her arms. And that was the last Jean
Cochrane saw of Claverhouse.



BOOK IV

CHAPTER I

TREASON IN THE CAMP


Since the day Dundee rode away from Glenogilvie, after the scene with
Jean, he was a man broken in heart, but he hid his private wound
bravely, and gave himself with the fiercer energy to the king's
business. Hither and thither through the Highlands he raced, so that
he was described in letters of that day as "skipping from one hill to
another like wildfire, which at last will vanish of itself for want of
fuel," and "like an incendiary to inflame that cold country, yet he
finds small encouragement." Anything more pathetic than this last
endeavor of Dundee, except it be his death, cannot be imagined. The
clans were not devoured with devotion to King James, and were not the
victims of guileless enthusiasm; they were not the heroes of romance
depicted by Jacobite poets and story-tellers: they were half-starved,
entirely ignorant, fond of fighting, but largely intent on stealing.
If there was any chance of a foray in which they could gather spoil,
they were ready to fling themselves into the fray, but as soon as they
had gained their end, they would make for the glens and leave their
general in the lurch. Whether they would rise or not depended neither
on the merits of William or James, but in the last issue upon their
chiefs--and the chiefs were not easy to move. Some of them were
hostile, and most of them lukewarm; and Dundee drank the cup of
humiliation as he canvassed for his cause from door to door. By
pleading, by arguing, by cajoling, by threatening, by promising and by
bribing, he got together some two thousand men, more or less, and he
had also the remains of his cavalry. His king had, as usual, left him
to fend for himself, and sent him nothing but an incapable Irish
officer called Cannon and some ragged Irish recruits, while MacKay was
watching him and following him with a well-equipped force. Now and
again the sun shone on him and he had glimpses of victory, driving
MacKay for days before him, and keeping up communication with
Livingstone, who had come from Dundee with his dragoons, and was
playing the part of traitor in MacKay's army--for Jean was still
determined, with characteristic obstinacy and indifference to
suspicion, to reap the fruit of her negotiation with Livingstone. It
seemed as if Dundee would at least gain a few troops of cavalry, which
would be a great advantage to him and a disquieting event for MacKay's
army. But again the Fates were hostile, and misfortune dogged the
Jacobite cause. MacKay got wind of the plot, Livingstone and his
fellow-officers were arrested, and Jean's scheming, with all its weary
expedients and bitter cost, came to naught.

When Claverhouse, in the height of summer, started on his last
campaign and descended on Blair Athole, he carried himself as one in
the highest spirits and assured of triumph. He sent word everywhere
that things were going well with the cause, and that the whole world
was with him; he made no doubt of crushing MacKay if he opposed his
march into the Lowlands, and of entering Edinburgh after another
fashion than he had left it. He kept a bold front, and wrote in a
buoyant style; but this was partly the pride of his house, and partly
the tactics of a desperate leader. Though a bigot to his cause, Graham
was not a madman. He was a thorough believer in the power of guerrilla
troops, but he knew that in the end they would go down before the
regulars. He hoped, by availing himself of the hot courage of the
clansmen, to deal a smashing blow at his old rival, but unless the
Lowlands and the regulars joined James's side, there was not the
remotest chance of unseating William from his new throne. His words
were high, but his heart was anxious, as he hurried with his little
army to strike once at least for the king, and to make his last
adventure. He had decided on the line of march to be taken next
morning, and the place where he would join issue with MacKay, who was
coming up from Perth with a small army of regular troops, many of whom
were veterans. He had discussed the matter with his staff, and settled
with the jealous and irascible chiefs as best he could the position
they were to take on the battle-field, and he had fallen into a fit of
gloomy meditation, when Grimond entered the room in Blair Castle,
where Dundee had his headquarters for the night.

If Grimond, for pure malice or even for jealousy, had invented that
unhappy interview between Lady Dundee and Livingstone, or if it had
been shown that he had by a word perverted the conversation, then
his master, who had sent many a Covenanter to death, because he loved
his religion more than King James, would have shot even that
faithful servant without scruple and with satisfaction. But it was
in keeping with the chivalry of Dundee--his sense of justice, his
appreciation of loyalty, and his admiration for thoroughness--that
he took no revenge for his own madness upon the unwitting cause
thereof. During the brief stay at Glenogilvie, Grimond hid himself
with discretion, so that neither his master nor mistress either saw
or heard of him, and when Dundee left his home with his men,
Grimond was not in the company. But as a dog which is not sure of a
welcome from its master, or rather expects a blow and yet cannot leave
him or let him go alone, will suddenly join him on the road by which
he is making his journey, and will follow him distantly, but ever
keep him in sight, so Jock was found one morning among the troopers.
He kept as far from his master as he could and was careful not to
obtrude himself or offer to resume a servant's duty. Dundee's face
hardened at the sight of him, but he said no word, and Jock made
no approach. With wise discretion he remained at a distance, and
seemed anxious to be forgotten, but he had his own plan of operations.
One morning Dundee found his bits and stirrups and the steel work of
his horse furnishing polished and glittering as they had not been
since he rode to Glenogilvie, and he suspected that an old hand had
been at work. Another day his cuirass was so well and carefully
done, his uniform so perfectly brushed and laid out, and his lace
cravat so skilfully arranged that he was certain Grimond was doing
secret duty. Day by day the signs of his attention grew more
frequent and visible, till at last one morning he appeared in person,
and without remark began to assist his master with his arms. Nothing
passed between them, and for weeks relations were very strained,
but before the end Grimond knew that he had been forgiven for his
superfluity of loyalty, and Dundee was thankful that, as the
shadows settled upon his life blacker and deeper every day, one
honest man was his companion, and would remain true when every
fair-weather friend and false schemer had fled. One can make
excuses for jealousy when it is another name for love; one may not
quarrel with doggedness when it is another name for devotion. There
are not too many people who have in them the heart to be faithful unto
death, not too many who will place one's interest before their own
life. When one's back is at the wall, and he is not sure even of his
nearest, he will not despise or quarrel with the roughest or plainest
man who will stand by his side and share his lot, either of life or
death. So Jock was reinstated without pardon asked or given, and
with no reference to the tragedy of Glenogilvie, and Dundee knew that
he had beside him a faithful and fearless watchdog of the tough old
Scottish breed. As Grimond busied himself with preparations for the
evening meal--among other dark suspicions he had taken into his head
that Dundee might be poisoned--his master's eye fell on him, and
at the sight memory woke. John Graham recalled the days when Grimond
received him from the charge of his nurse, and took him out upon
the hills round Glenogilvie. How he taught him to catch trout with
his own hands below the big stones of the burn, how he told him the
names of the wild birds and their ways, how he gave him his first
lesson in sport, how one day he saved his life, when he was about to
be gored by an infuriated bull. All the kindness of this hard man
and his thoughtfulness, all his faithfulness and unselfishness,
touched Dundee's heart--a heart capable of affection for a few,
though it could never be called tender, and capable of sentiment,
though rather that which is bound up with a cause than with a person.

"Jock," said Graham, with a certain accent of former days and kindly
doings. Now, a person's name may mean anything according to the way in
which it is pronounced. It may be an accusation, a rebuke, an insult,
a threat, or it may be an appeal, a thanksgiving, a benediction, a
caress. And at the sound of the word, said more kindly than he had
ever heard it, Grimond turned him round and looked at his master; his
grim, lean, weather-beaten face relaxed and softened and grew almost
gentle.

"Maister John, Maister John," and suddenly he did a thing incredible
for his undemonstrative, unsentimental, immovable granite nature. He
knelt down beside Dundee, and seizing his hand, kissed it, while tears
rolled down his cheeks. "My laddie, and my lord, baith o' them, this
is the best day o' my life, for ye've forgiven me my terrible mistake,
and my sin against my mistress. It's sore against my grain to confess
that I was wrang, for it's been my infirmity to be always richt, but I
sinned in this matter grievously, and micht have done what could never
be put richt. But oh! my lord, it was a' for love's sake, for though I
be only a serving man to the house of Graham, I dare to say I have
been faithful. With neither wife nor child, I have nothing but you,
my lord, and I have nothing to live for but your weel. When ye were
angry wi' me I didna blame you, I coonted ye just, but 'twas to me as
when the sun gaes behind the clouds. I cared neither to eat nor
drink--had it not been for your sake, I didna care to live. But noo,
when ye've buried the past and taken me back into your favor, I'm in
the licht again, and I carena what happens to me, neither hardship nor
death. Oh! my loved lord, will ye call me Jock again? When the severe
and self-contained Lowland Scot takes fire, there is such strength of
fuel in him, that he burns into white heat, and there is no quenching
of the flame. And at that moment Graham understood, as he had only
imagined before, the passion which can be concealed in the heart of a
Scots retainer.

"Get up, Jock, you old fool and--my trusty friend." Claverhouse
concealed but poorly behind his banter the emotion of his heart, for
Jock had found him in a lonely mood.

"You and me are no made for kneeling, except to our Maker and our
king. Faith, I judge we are better at the striking. Aye, we are
friends again, and shall be till the end, which I am thinking may not
be far off. Ye gave me a bitter time, the like of which I never had
before, and beside which death, when it comes, will be welcome, but ye
did it not in baseness, but in all honesty. It was our calamity. Life,
Jock, is full o' sic calamities, and we are all for the maist part at
cross purposes. It seemeth to me as if we were travelling in the
darkness, knowing not whether the man beside us be friend or foe, and
often striking at our friends by mistake. But we must march on till
the day breaks.

"It'll break for us soon, at any rate," went on Dundee, "for by
to-morrow night the matter will be settled between General MacKay and
me. Div ye mind, Jock, how I fain would have fought with him at The
Hague, and he wouldna take my challenge?"

"Cowardly and cold-blooded Whig like the lave o' them," burst out
Jock, in a strong reaction from his former mood of tenderness. "Leave
him to look after himsel', he micht have stood mair nor once thae last
weeks and faced ye like a man, but would he? Na, na, he ran afore ye,
and I doot sair whether he will give you a chance to-morrow."

"Have no fear of that, Jock, we've waited long for our duel, but, ye
may take my word for it, it will come off at Killiecrankie before the
sun goes down again behind the hills. There will be a fair field and a
free fight, and the best man will win; and, Jock, I will not be sorry
when the sun sets. What ails you, Jock, for your face is downcast?
That didna used to be the way with you in the low country on the
prospect of battle. Div ye mind Seneffe and the gap in the wall?"

"Fine, my lord, fine, and I'll acknowledge that I've nae rooted
objection in principle or in practice to fechtin'--that is, when it's
to serve a richt cause and there be a good chance o' victory, to say
nothing o' profit. But a' thing maun be fair and aboveboard, and I'm
dootin' whether that will be the case the mornin'. What I'm feared o'
is no war, but black murder." And there was an earnestness in
Grimond's tone which arrested Dundee.

"My lord," said Jock, in answer to the interrogation on his master's
face, "I came here to speak, if Providence gave me the chance, for
aifter all that has happened, I didna consider your ear would be open
to hear me. When a man has made as big a mistake as I have dune, and
caused as muckle sorrow, it behooves him to walk softly, and this is
pairt of his judgment that them he loves most may trust him least.

"Na, na, my lord," for the face of Dundee was beginning again to
blacken. "I've no a word to say against her ladyship. I gather she
has been doing what she can for the cause wi' them slippery rascals o'
dragoons and their Laodicean commander, of whom I have my ain
thoughts. I fear me, indeed, to say what I have found, and what I am
suspecting, for ye hae reason to conclude that my head is full o'
plots, and that broodin' ower treachery has made me daft."

"What is it now, Jock?" in a tone between amusement and seriousness.
"Ye havena found a letter from Lochiel to the Prince of Orange,
offering to win the reward upon my head, or caught General MacKay,
dressed in a ragged kilt, stealing about through the army? Out with
it, and let us know the worst at once."

"Ye are laughin', Maister John, and I will not deny ye have
justification. I wish to God I be as far frae the truth this time as I
was last time, but there is some thin' gaein' on in the camp that
bodes nae gude to yersel', and through you to the cause. It was not
for naethin' I watched two of our new recruits for days, and heard a
snap o' their conversation yesterday on the march."

"I'll be bound, Jock, ye heard some wild talk, for I doubt our men are
readier with an oath than a Psalm and a loose story than a sermon.
But we must just take them as they come--rough men for rough work, and
desperate men for a wild adventure."

"Gude knows, my ears are weel accustomed to the clatter of the camp,
and it's no a coarse word here or there would offend Jock Grimond. But
the men I mean are of the other kind; they speak like gentlefolk, and
micht, for the manner o' them, sit wi' her ladyship in Dudhope
Castle."

"Broken gentlemen, very likely, Jock. There have always been plenty in
our ranks. Surely you are not going to make that a crime at this time
of the day. If I had five hundred of that kidney behind me, I would
drive MacKay--horse, foot and bits of artillery--like chaff before the
wind. A gentleman makes a good trooper, and when he has nothing to
lose, he's the very devil to fight."

"But that's no a' else. I wouldna have troubled you, my lord, but the
two are aye the-gither, and keep in company like a pair o' dogs
poachin'. They have the look o' men who are on their gaird, and are
feared o' bein' caught by surprise. According to their story they had
served with Livingstone's dragoons, and had come over to us because
they were for the good cause. But ain o' Livingstone's lads wha
deserted at the same time, and has naethin' wrong wi' him except that
he belongs to Forfar and has a perpetual drouth, tells me that our twa
friends were juist in and oot, no mair than a week wi' the dragoons.
My idea is that they went wi' Livingstone to get to us. And what
for--aye, what for?"

"For King James, I should say, and a bellyful of fighting," said
Dundee carelessly.

"Maybe ye're richt, and if so, there's no mischief done; and maybe
ye're wrang, and if so, there will be black trouble. At ony rate, I
didna like the story, and I wasna taken wi' the men. No that they're
bad-lookin', but they're after some ploy. Weel, they ride by
themsel's, and they camp by themsel's, and they eat by themsel's, and
they sleep by themsel's. So this midday, when we haltit, they made off
to the bank o' the river, and settled themsel's ablow a tree, and by
chance a burn ran into the river there wi' a high bank on the side
next them. Are ye listenin', my lord?"

"Yes, yes," said Dundee, whose thoughts had evidently been far away,
and who was attaching little importance to Jock's groundless fears.
"Go on. So you did a bit of scouting, I suppose?"

"I did," said Jock, with some pride, "and they never jaloused wha was
lying close beside them, like a tod (fox) in his hole. I'm no
prepared to say that I could catch a' their colloguing, but I got
enough to set me thinkin'. Juist bits, but they could be pieced
togither."

"Well," said Dundee, with more interest, "what were the bits?"

"The one asks the other where he keeps his pass. 'Sown in the lining
of my coat,' says he. 'Where's yours?' 'In my boot,' answers he, 'the
safest place.' Who gave them the passes, thinks I to myself, and what
are they hiding them for? So I cocks both my ears to hear the rest."

"And what was that, Jock?" And Dundee now was paying close attention.

"For a while they spoke so low I could only hear, 'This underhand work
goes against my stomach.' 'Aha, my lad, so it's underhand,' says I in
my hole. 'It's worth the doing,' says the other, 'and a big stroke of
work if we succeed. It might be a throne one way or other.' 'Not to
us,' laughs the first. 'No,' says his friend, 'but we'll have our
share.' 'This is no ordinary work,' says I to mysel', and I risked my
ears out of the hole. 'It's no an army,' says one o' them, 'but juist
a rabble, and a' depends on one man.' 'You're right there,' answers
the other, 'if he falls all is over.' Then they said something to one
another I couldn't catch, and then one stretched himself, as I took it
by his kicking a stone into the river, and rose, saying, 'By heaven!
we'll manage it.' The other laughed as he rose too, and as they went
away the last words I heard were, 'The devil, Jack, is more likely to
be our friend.' Notice this, my lord, every word in the English
tongue, as fine and smooth spoken as ye like. Where did they come
from, and what are they after? Aye, and wha is to fall, that's the
question, my lord?"

Dundee started, for Jock's story had unloosed a secret fear in his
mind, which he had often banished, but which had been returning with
great force. As a band holds together the sheaf of corn, so he alone
kept King James's army. Apart from him there was no cohesion, and
apart from him there was no commander. With his death, not only would
the forces disperse, but the cause of King James would be ended. If he
were out of the way, William would have no other cause for anxiety,
and he knew the determined and cold-blooded character of his former
master. William had given him his chance, and he had not taken it. He
would have no more scruple in assassinating his opponent than in
brushing a fly off the table. Instead of gathering an army and
fighting him through the Highlands and Lowlands, just one stroke of a
dirk or a pistol bullet and William is secure on his throne. "Jock may
be right for once," said Claverhouse to himself, "and, by heaven! if I
am to fall, I had rather be shot in front than behind." He wrote an
order to the commander of the cavalry, and in fifteen minutes the two
troopers were standing before him disarmed and guarded.

The moment Dundee looked at them he knew that Jock was correct in
saying that they were not common soldiers, for they had the
unmistakable manner of gentlemen, and as soon as they spoke he also
knew that they were Englishmen. One was tall and fair, with honest
blue eyes, which did not suggest treachery, the other was shorter and
dark, with a more cautious and uncertain expression.

"For certain reasons, gentlemen," said Dundee, with emphasis upon the
word, "I desire by your leave to ask you one or two questions. If you
will take my advice, you had better answer truthfully. I will not
waste time about things I know. What brought you from Livingstone's
dragoons to us? why were ye so short a time with them? and why did ye
leave the English army? Tell no lies, I pray you. I can see that ye
are soldiers and have been officers. Why are you with us in the guise
of troopers?"

"You know so much, my lord," said the taller man, with that outspoken
candor which is so taking, "that I may as well tell you all. We have
held commissions in the army, and are, I suppose, officers to-day,
though they will be wondering where we are, and we should be shot if
we were caught. You will excuse me giving our names, for they
could not be easily kept. We belong to families which have ever been
true to their king, and we came north to take a share in the good
work. That is the only way that we could manage it, and we do not
fancy it overmuch, but we have taken our lives in our hands for the
adventure."

"You are men of spirit, I can see," said Dundee ironically, "but ye
are wise men also, and have reduced your risks. Would you do me the
favor of showing the passes with which you provided yourselves before
leaving England? Save yourselves the trouble of--argument. One of you
has got his pass in his coat, and the other in his boot. I'm sure you
would not wish to be stripped."

The shorter man colored with vexation and then paled, but the other
only laughed like a boy caught in a trick, and said, "There are quick
eyes, or, more likely, quick ears, in this army, my lord." Then,
without more ado, they handed Lord Dundee the passes. "As I expected,"
said Dundee, "to the officers of King William's army, and to allow the
bearers to go where they please, and signed by his Majesty's secretary
of state." And Dundee looked at them with a mocking smile.

"Damn those passes!" said the spokesman with much geniality. "I always
thought we should have destroyed them once we were safely through the
other lines, but my friend declared they might help us afterwards in
time of need."

"And now, gentlemen, they are going to hang you, for shooting is too
honorable for spies and, worse than spies, assassins, for," concluded
Dundee softly, "it was to shoot me you two loyal Cavaliers have
come."

The shorter man was about to protest, in hope of saving his life, but
his comrade waved him to be silent, and for the last time took up the
talk.

"We are caught in a pretty coil, my lord. Circumstances are against
us, and we have nothing to put on the other side, except our word of
honor as gentlemen. Neither my comrade nor I are going to plead for
our lives, though we don't fancy being hung. But perhaps of your
courtesy, if we write our names, you will allow a letter to go to
General MacKay, and that canting Puritan will be vastly amused when he
learns that he had hired us to assassinate my Lord Dundee. He will be
more apt to consider our execution an act of judgment for joining the
Malignants. We got our passes by trickery from Lord Nottingham, and
they have tricked us, and, by the gods! the whole affair is a fine
jest, except the hanging. I would rather it had been shooting, but I
grant that if MacKay had sent us on such an errand, both he and we
deserve to be hung." And the Englishman shrugged his shoulders as one
who had said his last word and accepted his fate.

He carried himself so bravely, with such an ingenuous countenance and
honest speech, that Claverhouse was interested in the man, and the
reference to MacKay arrested him in his purpose. They were not likely
to have come on such an errand from MacKay's camp without the English
general knowing what they were about. Was MacKay the man to sanction a
proceeding so cowardly and so contrary to the rules of war? Of all
things in the world, was not this action the one his principles would
most strongly condemn? Certainly their conversation by the riverside
had been suspicious, but then Grimond had made one hideous mistake
before. It was possible that he had made another. Graham had insulted
his loyal wife through Grimond's blundering; it would be almost as bad
if he put to an ignominious death two adventurous, blundering English
Cavaliers. He ordered that the Englishmen should be kept under close
arrest till next morning, and he sent the following letter by a swift
messenger and under flag of truce to the general of the English
forces.

                                    BLAIR CASTLE, _July 26, 1689_.

  _To Major-General Hugh MacKay, Commanding the forces in the
  interests of the Prince of Orange._

  SIR: It is years since we have met and many things have happened
  since, but I freely acknowledge that you have ever been a good
  soldier and one who would not condescend to dishonor. And this
  being my mind I crave your assistance in the following matter.

  Two English officers have been arrested in disguise and carrying
  compromising passes; there is reason to believe that their errand
  was to assassinate me, and if this be the case they shall be hung
  early to-morrow morning.

  Albeit we were rivals in the Low Country and will soon fight our
  duel to the death, I am loath to believe that this thing is true
  of you, and I will ask of you this last courtesy, for your sake
  and mine and that of the two Englishmen, that ye tell me the
  truth.

  I salute you before we fight and I have the honor to be,

                      Your most obedient servant,

                                                           DUNDEE.



CHAPTER II

VISIONS OF THE NIGHT


Upon the highest floor of Blair Castle there was a long and
spacious apartment, like unto the gallery in Paisley Castle, where
John Graham had been married to Jean Cochrane, and which to-day is
the drawing-room. To this high place Claverhouse climbed from the room
where he had examined the two Englishmen, and here he passed the
last hours of daylight on the day before the battle of Killiecrankie.
Seating himself at one of the windows, he looked out towards the
west, through whose golden gates the sun had begun to enter.
Beneath lay a widespreading meadow which reached to the Garry;
beyond the river the ground began to rise, and in the distance were
the hills covered with heather, with lakes of emerald amid the
purple. There are two hours of the day when the soul of man is
powerfully affected by the physical world in which we live, and in
which, indeed, the things we see become transparent, like a thin
veil, and through them the things which are not seen stream in upon
the soul. One is sunrise, when there is first a grayness in the
east, and then the clouds begin to redden, and afterwards a joyful
brightness heralds the appearing of the sun as he drives in rout the
reluctant rearguard of the night. The most impressive moment is
when all the high lands are bathed in soft, fresh, hopeful sunshine,
but the glens are still lying in the cold and dank shadow, so that
one may suddenly descend from a place of brightness, where he has
been in the eye of the sun, to a land of gloom, which the sun has not
yet reached. Sunrise quickens the power that has been sleeping,
and calls a man in high hope to the labor of the day, for if there
be darkness lingering in the glen, there is light on the lofty
table-lands, and soon it will be shining everywhere, when the sun
has reached his meridian. And it puts heart into a man to come over
the hill and down through the hollows when the sun is rising, for
though the woods be dark and chill, the traveller is sure of the
inevitable victory of the light.

Yet more imperious and irresistible is the impression of sunset as
Dundee saw the closing pageant of the day on the last evening of his
life. When first he looked the green plain was flooded with gentle
light which turned into gold the brown, shaggy Highland cattle
scattered among the grass, and made the river as it flashed out and
in among the trees a chain of silver, and took the hardness from the
jagged rocks that emerged from the sides of the hills. As the sun
entered in between high banks of cloud, the light began to fade from
the plain, and it touched the river no more; but above the clouds were
glowing and reddening like a celestial army clad in scarlet and
escorting home to his palace a victorious general. In a few
minutes the sun has disappeared, and the red changes into violet
and delicate, indescribable shades of green and blue, like the
color of Nile water. Then there is a faint flicker, sudden and
transient, from the city into which the sun has gone, and the day is
over. As the monarch of the day withdraws, the queen of the night
takes possession, and Claverhouse, leaning his chin upon his hand
and gazing from the sadness of his eyes across the valley, saw the
silver light, clear, beautiful, awful, flood the mountains and the
level ground below, till the outstanding hills above, and the
cattle which had lain down to rest in the meadow, were thrown out as
in an etching, with exact and distinct outlines. The day, with
its morning promise, with its noontide heat, with its evening glory,
was closed, completed and irrevocable. The night, in which no man can
work, had come, and in the cold and merciless light thereof every
man's work was revealed and judged. The weird influence of the
hour was upon the imagination of an impressionable man, and before
him he saw the history of his life. It seemed only a year or so
since he was a gay-hearted lad upon the Sidlaw hills, and yesterday
since he made his first adventure in arms, with the army of France.
Again he is sitting by the camp-fire in the Low Country, and crossing
swords for the first time with Hugh MacKay, with whom he is to
settle his warfare to-morrow. He is again pledging his loyalty to
King James at Whitehall, whom he has done his best to serve, and who
has been but a sorry master to him. His thoughts turn once more to the
pleasaunce of Paisley Castle, he hears again the jingling of the
horses' bits as he pledges his troth to his bride. Across the
moss-hags, where the horses plunge in the ooze and the mist encircles
the troopers, he is hunting his Covenanting prey, and catches the
fearless face of some peasant zealot as he falls pierced with bullets.
Jean weaves her arms round his neck, for once in her life a tender
and fearful woman, pleading that he should withdraw from the fight
and live quietly with her at home, and then, more like herself, she
rages in the moment of his mad jealousy and her unquenchable
anger. To-morrow he would submit to the final arbitrament of arms
the cause for which he had lived, and for which the presentiment
was upon him that he would die, and the quarrel begun between him
and MacKay fifteen years ago, between the sides they represent
centuries ago, would be settled. If the years had been given back to
him to live again, he would not have had them otherwise. Destiny had
settled for him his politics and his principles, for he could not
leave the way in which Montrose had gone before, or be the comrade of
Covenanting Whigs. It would have been a thing unnatural and
impossible. And yet he feared that the future was with them and
not with the Jacobites. He only did his part in arresting fanatical
hillmen and executing the punishment of the law upon them, but he
would have been glad that night if he had not been obliged to shoot
John Brown of Priest Hill before his wife's eyes, and keep guard at
the scaffold from which Pollock went home to God. He had never loved
any other woman than Jean Cochrane, and they were well mated in
their high temper of nature, but their marriage had been tempestuous,
and he was haunted with vague misgivings. What light was given him
he had followed, but there was little to show for his life. His king
had failed him, his comrades had distrusted him, his nation hated
him. His wife--had she forgiven him, and was she true-hearted to him
still? Behind high words of loyalty and hope his heart had been
sinking, and now it seemed to him in the light of eternal judgment,
wherein there is justice but no charity, that his forty years had
failed and were leaving behind them no lasting good to his house or to
his land. The moonlight shining full upon Claverhouse shows many a
line now on the smoothness of his fair girl face, and declares his
hidden, inextinguishable sorrow, who all his days had been an actor
in a tragedy. He had written to the chiefs that all the world was
with him, but in his heart he knew that it was against him, and
perhaps also God.

Once and again Grimond had come into the gallery to summon his master
to rest, but seeing him absorbed in one of his reveries had quietly
withdrawn. Full of anxiety, for he knows what the morrow will mean,
that faithful servitor at last came near and rustled to catch his
master's ear.

"Jock," said Claverhouse, startling and rising to his feet, "is that
you, man, coming to coax me to my bed as ye did lang syne, when ye
received me first from my nurse's hands? It's getting late, and I am
needing rest for to-morrow's work, if I can get it. We have come to
Armageddon, as the preachers would say, and mony things for mony days
hang on the issue. All a man can do, Jock, is to walk in the road that
was set before him from a laddie, and to complete the task laid to his
hand. What will happen afterwards doesna concern him, so be it he is
faithful. Where is my room? And, hark ye, Jock, waken me early, and be
not far from me through the night, for I can trust you altogether. And
there be not mony true."

Worn out with a long day in the saddle, and the planning of the
evening together with many anxieties, and the inward tumult of his
mind, Claverhouse fell asleep. He was resting so quietly that Grimond,
who had gone to the door to listen, was satisfied and lay down to
catch an hour or two of sleep for himself, for he could waken at any
hour he pleased, and knew that soon after daybreak he must be
stirring. While he was nearby heavy with sleep, his master, conscious
or unconscious, according as one judges, was in the awful presence of
the unseen. He woke suddenly, as if he had been called, and knew that
someone was in the room, but also in the same instant that it was not
Grimond or any visitor of flesh and blood. Twice had the wraith of the
Grahams appeared to him, and always before a day of danger, but this
time it was no sad, beautiful woman's face, carrying upon its weird
grace the sorrows of his line, but the figure of a man that loomed
from the shadow. The moon had gone behind a cloud, and the room was so
dark that he could only see that someone was there, but could not tell
who it was or by what name he would be called. Then the moon struggled
out from behind her covering, and sent a shaft of light into the
gloomy chamber, with its dark draping and heavy carved furniture. With
the coming of the light Claverhouse, who was not unaccustomed to
ghostly sights, for they were his heritage, raised himself in bed, and
knowing no fear looked steadily. What he saw thrown into relief
against the shadows was the figure of a hillman of the west, and one
that in an instant he knew. The Covenanter was dressed in rough
homespun hodden gray, stained heavily with the black of the peat
holes in which he had been hiding, and torn here and there where the
rocks had caught him as he was crawling for shelter. Of middle age,
with hair hanging over his ears and beard uncared for, his face bore
all the signs of hunger and suffering, as of one who had wanted right
food and warmth and every comfort of life for months on end. In his
eyes glowed the fire of an intense and honest, but fierce and narrow
piety, and with that expression was mingled another, not of anger nor
of sorrow, but of reproach, of judgment and of sombre triumph. His
hands were strapped in front of him with a stirrup leather, and his
head was bare. As the moon shone more clearly, Claverhouse saw other
stains than those of peat upon his chest, and while he looked the red
blood seemed to rise from wounds that pierced his heart and lungs, it
flowed out again in a trickling stream, and dripped upon the whiteness
of his hands. More awful still, there was a wound in his forehead, and
part of his head was shattered. The scene had never been absent long
from Claverhouse's memory, and now he reacted it again. How this man
had been caught after a long pursuit, upon the moor, how he had stood
bold and unrepentant before the man that had power of life and death
over him, how he refused to take the oath of loyalty to the king, how
he had been shot dead before his cottage, and how his wife had been
spectator of her husband's death.

"Ye have not forgot me, John Graham of Claverhouse, nor the deed which
ye did at Priest Hill in the West Country. I am John Brown, whom ye
caused to be slain for the faith of the saints and their testimony,
and whom ye set free from the bondage of man forever. Behold, I have
washed my robes and made them white in better blood than this, but I
am sent in the garment o' earth, sair stained wi' its defilement, and
in my ain unworthy blude, that ye may ken me and believe that I am
sent."

"What I did was according to law," answered Claverhouse, unshaken by
the sight, "and in the fulfilling of my commission, though God knows I
loved not the work, and have oftentimes regretted thy killing. For
that and all the deeds of this life I shall answer to my judge and not
to man. What wilt thou have with me, what hast thou to do with me? Had
it been the other way and I had fallen at Drumclog, I had not troubled
thee or any of thy kind."

"Nor had I been minded or allowed to visit thee, John Graham, if I
had fallen in fair fight, contending for Christ's crown and the
liberty of the Scots Kirk, but these wounds upon my head and breast
speak not of war, but of murder. Because thou didst murder Christ's
confessors, and the souls of the martyrs cry from beneath the altar, I
am come to show thee things which are to be and the doing of Him who
saith, 'I will avenge.' Ye have often said go, and he goeth, and come
and he cometh, but this nicht ye will come with me, and see things
that will shake even thy bold heart." And so in vision they went.

Claverhouse was standing in a country kirkyard, and at the hour of
sunset. Round him were ancient graves with stones whose inscriptions
had been worn away by rough weather, and upon which the grass was
growing rank. They were the resting-places of past generations whose
descendants had died out, and whose names were forgotten in the land
where once they may have been mighty people. Before him was a
burying-place he knew, for it belonged to his house. There lay his
father, and there he had laid his mother, the Lady Magdalene Graham,
to rest, taken as he often thought from the evil to come. The ground
had been stirred again, and there was another grave. It was of tiny
size, not that of a man or woman, but of a child, and one that had
died in its infancy. It was carefully tended, as if the mother still
lived and had not yet forgotten her child. At the sight of it
Claverhouse turned to the figure by his side.

"Ye mean not----"

"Read," said the Covenanter, "for the writing surely is plain." And
this is what Claverhouse saw:

                            "JAMES GRAHAME,
                 Only son and child of my Lord Dundie.
                          Aged eight months."

"Ye longed for him and ye were proud of him, and if the sword of the
righteous should slay thee, ye boasted in your heart that there was a
man-child to continue your line. But there shall be none, and thine
evil house shall die from out the land, like the house of Ahab, the
son of Omri, who persecuted the saints. Fathers have seen their sons'
heads hung above the West Port to bleach in the sun for the sake of
the Covenant, and mothers have wept for them who languished in the
dungeon of the Bass and wearied for death. This is the cup ye are
drinking this night before the time, for, behold, thou hast harried
many homes, but thy house shall be left unto thee desolate."

For a brief space Claverhouse bent his head, for he seemed to feel the
child in his arms, as he had held him before leaving Glenogilvie. Then
he rallied his manhood, who had never been given to quail before the
hardest strokes of fortune.

"God rest his innocent soul, if this be his lot; but I live and with
me my house."

"Yea, thou livest," said the shade, "and it has been a stumbling-block
to many that thou wert spared so long, but the day of vengeance is at
hand. Come again with me."

Claverhouse finds himself now on a plain with the hills above and a
river beneath and an ancient house close at hand, and he knows that
this is the battle-field of to-morrow. They are standing together on a
mound which rises out of a garden, and on the grass the body of a man
is lying. A cloth covers his face, but by the uniform and arms
Claverhouse knows that it is that of an officer of rank, and one that
has belonged to his own regiment of horse. A dint upon the cuirass and
the sight of the sword by his side catch his eye and he shudders.

"This--do I see myself?"

"Yes, thou seest thyself lying low as the humblest man and weaker now
than the poorest of God's people thou didst mock."

"It is not other than I expected, nor does this make me afraid, and I
judge thou art a lying spirit, for I see no wound. Lift up the cloth.
Nor any mark upon my face. I had not died for nothing."

"Nay, thou hadst been ready to die in the heat of battle facing thy
foe, for there has ever been in thee a bold heart, but thy wound is
not in front as mine is. See ye, Claverhouse, thou hast been killed
from behind." And Claverhouse saw where the blood, escaping from a
wound near the armpit, had stained the grass. "Aye, some one of thine
own and riding near beside thee found that place, and as thou didst
raise thine arm to call thy soldiers to the slaughter of them who are
contending for the right, thou wast cunningly stricken unto death. By
a coward's blow thou hast fallen, O valiant man, and there will be
none to mourn thy doom, for thou hast been a man of blood from thy
youth up, even unto this day."

"Thou liest there, and art a false spirit. It may be that your
assassins are in my army, and that I may have the fate of the good
archbishop whom the saints slew in cold blood and before his
daughter's eyes. But if I fall I shall be mourned deep and long by
one who was of your faith, and had her name in your Covenant, but
whose heart I won like goodly spoil taken from the mighty. If I die by
the sword of my Lady Cochrane's men, her daughter will keep my grave
green with her tears. If, living, I have been loved by one strong
woman, and after I am dead am mourned by her, I have not lived in
vain."

"Sayest thou," replied the shadowy figure, with triumphant scorn.
"That was a pretty catch-word to be repeated over the wine cup at the
drinking of my lady's health. Verily thou didst deceive a daughter of
the godly, and she was willing to be caught in the snare of thy fair
face and soft words. Judge ye whether the child who breaks the bond of
the Covenant and turns against the mother who bore her, is likely to
be a true wife or a faithful widow. Again will I lift the veil, and
thou wilt see with thine own eyes the things which are going to be,
for as thou hast shown no mercy, mercy will not be shown to thee. Dost
thou remember this place?"

Claverhouse is again within the gallery of Paisley Castle, and he is
looking upon a marriage service. Before him are the people of five
years ago, except that now young Lord Cochrane is Earl of Dundonald,
and is giving away the bride, and my Lady Cochrane is not there
either to bless or to ban. For a while he cannot see the faces of the
bride or bridegroom, nor tell what they are, save that he is a
soldier, and she is tall and proud of carriage.

"My marriage day!" exclaimed Claverhouse, his defiant note softening
into tenderness, and the underlying sorrow rising into joy. "For this
vision at least I bless thee, spirit, whoever thou mayest be, Brown or
any other. That was the day of all my life, and I am ready now or any
time in this world or the other to have it over again and pledge my
troth to my one and only love, to my gallant lady and sweetheart,
Jean."

"Thou wilt not be asked to take thy marriage vow again, Claverhouse,
nor would thy presence be acceptable on this day. It is the wedding of
my Lady Viscountess Dundee, but be not too sure that thou art the
bridegroom. She that broke lightly the Covenant with her living
heavenly bridegroom, will have little scruple in breaking the bond to
a dead earthly bridegroom. Thy Jean hath found another husband."

From the faces of the bride and bridegroom the mysterious shadow,
which hides the future from the present in mercy to us all, lifted.
It was Jean as majestic and as youthful as in the days when he wooed
her in the pleasaunce, with her golden hair glittering as before in
the sunshine, and the love-light again in her eye. And beside her, oh!
fickleness of a woman's heart, oh! irony of life, oh! cruelty to the
most faithful passion, Colonel Livingstone, now my Lord Kilsyth. And
an expression of fierce satisfaction lit up the Covenanter's ghastly
face.

"This then was thy revenge, Jean, for the insult I offered at
Glenogilvie, and I was right in my fear that thy love was shattered.
Be it so," said Claverhouse, "I believe that thou wast loyal while I
lived, and now, while I may have hoped other things of thee, I will
not grudge thee in thy loneliness peace and protection. When this
heart of mine, which ever beat for thee, lies cold in the grave, and
my hair, that thou didst caress, has mingled with the dust, may joy be
with thee, Jean, and God's sunshine ever rest upon thy golden crown.
Thou didst think, servant of the devil, to damn my soul in the black
depths of jealousy and hatred, as once I damned myself, but I have
escaped, and I defy thee. Do as thou pleasest, thou canst not break my
spirit or make me bend. Hast thou other visions?"

"One more," said the spirit, "and I have done with thee, proud and
unrepentant sinner."

Before Claverhouse is a room in which there has been some sudden
disaster, for the roof has fallen and buried in its ruins a bed
whereon someone had been sleeping, and a cradle in which some child
had been lying. In the foreground is a coffin covered by a pall.

"She was called before her judge without warning, prepared or
unprepared, and thou hadst better see her for the last time ere she
goes to the place of the dead." And then the cloth being lifted,
Claverhouse looked on the face of his wife, with her infant child, not
his, but Kilsyth's, lying at her feet. There was no abatement in the
splendor of her hair, nor the pride of her countenance; the flush was
still upon her cheek, and though her eyes were closed there was
courage in the set of her lips. By an unexpected blow she had been
stricken and perished, but in the fullness of her magnificent
womanhood, and undismayed. Lying there she seemed to defy death, and
her mother's curse, which had come true at last.

"So thou also art to be cut off in the midst of thy days, Jean. Better
this way both for you and me, than to grow old and become feeble, and
be carried to and fro, and be despised. We were born to rule and not
to serve, to conquer and not to yield, to persecute if need be, but
not to be persecuted. Kilsyth loved thee, it was not his blame, who
would not? He did his best to please thee. Mayhap it was not much he
could do, but that was not his blame. He was thy husband for awhile,
but I am thy man forever. Thou art mine and I am thine, for we are of
the same creed and temper. I, John Graham of Claverhouse, and not
Kilsyth, will claim thee on the judgment day, and thou shalt come with
me, as the eagle follows her mate; together we shall go to Heaven or
to Hell, for we are one. Slain we may be, Jean, but conquered never.
We have lived, we have loved, and neither in life or death can anyone
make us afraid."

Outside the trumpets sounded and Claverhouse awoke, for the visions of
the night had passed and the light of the morning was pouring into his
room.



CHAPTER III

FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH


It is written in an ancient book "weeping may endure for a night,
but joy cometh in the morning," and with the brief darkness of the
summer night passed the shadow from Claverhouse's soul. According,
also, to the brightness and freshness of the early sunshine was his
high hope on the eventful day, which was to decide both the fate of
his king and of himself. The powers of darkness had attacked him on
every side, appealing to his fear and to his faith, to his love and
to his hate, to his pride and to his jealousy, to see whether they
could not shake his constancy and break his spirit. They had failed at
every assault, and he had conquered; he had risen above his ghostly
enemies and above himself, and now, having stood fast against
principalities and powers of the other world, he was convinced
that his earthly enemies would be driven before him as chaff before
the wind. He knew exactly what MacKay and his army could do, and
what he and his army could, in the place of issue, where, by the
mercy of God, Who surely was on the side of His anointed, the
battle would be fought. What would avail MacKay's parade-ground
tactics and all the lessons of books, and what would avail the
drilling and the manoeuvring of his hired automatons in the pass of
Killiecrankie, with its wooded banks and swift running river, and
narrow gorge and surrounding hills? This was no level plain for
wheeling right and wheeling left, for bombarding with artillery and
flanking by masses of cavalry. Claverhouse remembers the morning of
the battle of Seneffe, when he rode with Carleton and longed to be on
the hills with a body of Highlanders, and have the chance of taking
by surprise the lumbering army of the Prince of Orange and sweeping it
away by one headlong charge. The day for this onslaught had come,
and by an irony, or felicity, of Providence, he has the troops he
had longed for and his rival has the inert and helpless regulars. News
had come that MacKay was marching with phlegmatic steadiness and
perfect confidence into the trap, and going to place himself at the
greatest disadvantage for his kind of army. The Lord was giving the
Whigs into his hand, and they would fall before the sun set, as a
prey unto his sword. The passion of battle was in his blood, and
the laurels of victory were within his reach. Graham forgot his
bitter disappointments and cowardly friends, the weary journeys and
worse anxieties of the past weeks, the cunning cautiousness of the
chiefs and their maddening jealousies. Even the pitiable scene at
Glenogilvie and his gnawing vain regret faded for the moment from
his memory and from his heart. If the Lowlands had been cold as death
to the good cause, the Highlands had at last taken fire; if he had not
one-tenth the army he should have commanded, had every Highlander
shared his loyalty to the ancient line, he had sufficient for the
day's work. If he had spoken in vain to the king at Whitehall and
miserably failed to put some spirit into his timid mind, and been
outvoted at the Convention, and been driven from Edinburgh by
Covenanting assassins and hunted like a brigand by MacKay's troops,
his day had now come. He was to taste for the first time the glorious
cup of victory. He had not been so glad or confident since his
marriage day, when he snatched his bride from the fastness of his
enemy, and as Grimond helped him to arm, and gave the last touches to
his martial dress, he jested merrily with that solemn servitor,
and sang aloud to Grimond's vast dismay, who held the good Scottish
faith that if you be quiet Providence may leave you alone, but if you
show any sign of triumph it will be an irresistible temptation to the
unseen powers.

"I'm judging my lord, that we'll win the day, and that it will be a
crownin' victory. I would like fine to see MacKay's army tumble in are
great heap into the Garry, with their general on the top o' them. I'm
expectin' to see ye ride into Edinburgh at the head o' the clans, and
the Duke o' Gordon come oot frae the castle to greet you, as the
king's commander-in-chief, and a' Scotland lyin' at yir mercy. But for
ony sake be cautious, Maister John, and dinna mak a noise, it's juist
temptin' Providence, an' the Lord forgie me for sayin' it, I never saw
a hicht withoot a howe. I'm no wantin' you to be there afore the day
is done. Dinna sing thae rantin' camp songs, and abune a' dinna
whistle till a' things be settled; at ony rate, it's no canny."

"Was there ever such a solemn face and cautious-spoken fellow living
as you, Jock Grimond, though I've seen you take your glass, and unless
my ears played me false, sing a song, too, round the camp-fire in
days past. But I know the superstition that is in you and all your
breed of Lowland Scots. Whether ye be Covenanters or Cavaliers, ye are
all tarred with the same stick. Do ye really think, Jock, that the
Almighty sits watching us, like a poor, jealous, cankered Whig
minister, and if a bit of good fortune comes our way and our hearts
are lifted, that He's ready to strike for pure bad temper? But there's
no use arguing with you, for you're set in your own opinions. But I'll
tell you what to do--sing the dreariest Psalm ye can find to the
longest Cameronian tune. That will keep things right, and ward off
judgment, for the blood in my veins is dancing, Jock, and the day of
my life has come."

Claverhouse went out from his room to confer with the chiefs and his
officers about the plan of operation, "like a bridegroom coming out of
his chamber and rejoicing as a strong man to run a race." Grimond, as
he watched him go, shook his head and said to himself, "The last time
I heard a Covenanting tune was at Drumclog, and it's no a cheerfu'
remembrance. May God preserve him, for in John Graham is all our hope
and a' my love."

Through the morning of the decisive day the omens continued
favorable, and the sun still shone on Claverhouse's heart. As a rule,
a war council of Highland chiefs was a babel and a battle, when their
jealous pride and traditional rivalry rose to fever height. They were
often more anxious to settle standing quarrels with one another than
to join issue with the enemy; they would not draw a sword if their
pride had in any way been touched, and battles were lost because a
clan had been offended. Jacobite councils were also cursed by the
self-seeking and insubordination of officers, who were not under the
iron discipline of a regular army, and owing to the absence of the
central authorities, with a king beyond the water, were apt to fight
for their own hand. Dundee had known trouble, and had in his day
required more self-restraint than nature had given him, and if there
had been division among the chiefs that day, he would have fallen into
despair; but he had never seen such harmony. They were of one mind
that there could not be a ground more favorable than Killiecrankie,
and that they should offer battle to MacKay before the day closed.
They approved of the line of march which Dundee had laid out, and the
chiefs, wonderful to say, raised no objection to the arrangement of
the clans in the fighting line, even although the MacDonalds were
placed on the left, which was not a situation that proud clan greatly
fancied. The morning was still young when the Jacobite army left their
camping ground in the valley north of Blair Castle, and, climbing the
hillside, passed Lude, till they reached a ridge which ran down from
the high country on their left to the narrow pass through which the
Garry ran. Along this rising ground, with a plateau of open ground
before them, fringed with wood, Dundee drew up his army, while below
MacKay arranged his troops, whom he had hastily extricated from the
dangerous and helpless confinement of the pass. During the day they
faced one another, the Jacobites on their high ground, William's
troops on the level ground below--two characteristic armies of
Highlanders and Lowlanders, met to settle a quarrel older than James
and William, and which would last, under different conditions and
other names, centuries after the grass had grown on the battle-field
of Killiecrankie and Dundee been laid to his last rest in the ancient
kirkyard of Blair. Had Dundee considered only his own impetuous
feelings, and given effect to the fire that was burning him, he would
have instantly launched his force at MacKay. He was, however,
determined that day, keen though he was, to run no needless risks nor
to give any advantage to the enemy. The Highlanders were like hounds
held in the leash, and it was a question of time when they must be let
go. He would keep them if he could, till the sun had begun to set and
its light was behind them and on the face of MacKay's army.

During this period the messenger came back with an answer to the
despatch which Dundee had sent to MacKay the night before. He had
found William's general at Pitlochry, as he was approaching the pass
of Killiecrankie, and, not without difficulty and some danger, had
presented his letter.

"This man, sir, surrendered himself late last night to my Lord
Belhaven, who was bivouacking in the pass which is ahead," said an
English aide-de-camp to General MacKay, "and his lordship, from what I
am told, was doubtful whether he should not have shot him as a spy,
but seeing he had some kind of letter addressed to you, sir, he sent
him on under guard. It may be that it contains terms of surrender, and
at any rate it will, I take it, be your desire that the man be kept a
prisoner."

"You may take my word for it, Major Lovel," said young Cameron of
Lochiel, who, according to the curious confusion of that day, was with
MacKay, while his father was with Dundee, "and my oath also, if that
adds anything to my word, that whatever be in the letter, there will
be no word of surrender. Lord Dundee will fight as sure as we are
living men, and I only pray we may not be the losers. Ye be not wise
to laugh," added he hotly, "and ye would not if ye had ever seen the
Cameron's charge."

"Peace, gentlemen, we are not here to quarrel with one another," said
General MacKay. "Hand me the letter, and do the messenger no ill till
we see its contents."

As he read his cheek flushed for a moment, and he made an impatient
gesture with his hand, as one repudiating the shameful accusation, and
then he spoke with his usual composure.

"You are right," he said, addressing Cameron, who was on his staff,
"in thinking that Lord Dundee is ready for the fight. I had expected
nothing else from him, for I knew him of old, the bigotry of his
principles, and the courage of his heart. We could never be else than
foes, but I wish to say, whatever happens before the day is done, that
I count him a brave and honorable gentleman, as it pleases me to know
he counts me also.

"This letter"--and MacKay threw it with irritation on the table of the
room in which he had taken his morning meal, "is from Dundee
explaining that two English officers have been arrested, who were
serving as privates in his cavalry, and who are suspected of being
sent by us to assassinate him. If no answer is sent back they will be
hung at once, but if the charge is denied, they will be released,
which, I take it, gentlemen, is merciful and generous conduct.

"I will write a letter with my own hand and clear our honor from this
foul slander. Spying is allowed in war, though I have never liked it,
and the spy need deserve no mercy, but assassination is unworthy of
any soldier, and a work of the devil, of which I humbly trust I am
incapable, and also my king. Give this letter"--when he had written
and sealed it--"to the messenger, Major Lovel, and see that he has a
safe conduct through our army, and past our outposts." Lovel saluted
and left the room, but outside he laughed, and said to himself, "Very
likely it's true all the same, and a quick and useful way of ending
the war. When Claverhouse dies the rebellion dies, too, and there's a
text somewhere which runs like this, 'It is expedient that one man
should die than all the people.' I wonder who those fellows are, and
if they'll manage it, and what they're going to get. They have the
devil's luck in this affair, for, of course, MacKay would be told
nothing about it; he's the piousest officer in the English army."

Dundee received MacKay's letter during the long wait before the
battle, and this is what he read:

  _To My Lord Viscount Dundee, Commanding the forces raised in the
  interest of James Stuart._

  MY LORD: It gives me satisfaction that altho' words once passed
  between us, and there be a far greater difference to-day, you have
  not believed that I was art and part in so base a work as
  assassination, and I hereby on my word of honor as an officer, and
  as a Christian, declare that I know nothing of the two men who are
  under arrest in your camp. So far as I am concerned their blood
  should not be shed, nor any evil befall them.

  Before this letter reaches your hand we shall be arrayed against
  one another in order of battle, and though arms be my profession,
  I am filled with sorrow as I think that the conflict to-day will
  be between men of the same nation, and sometimes of the same
  family, for it seemeth to me as if brother will be slaying
  brother.

  I fear that it is too late to avert battle and I have no authority
  to offer any terms of settlement to you and those that are with
  you. Unto God belongs the issue, and in His hands I leave it. We
  are divided by faith, and now also by loyalty, but if any evil
  befel your person I pray you to believe that it would give me no
  satisfaction, and I beg that ye be not angry with me nor regard me
  with contempt if I send you as I now do the prayer which, as a
  believer in our common Lord I have drawn up for the use of our
  army. It may be the last communication that shall pass between
  us.

    I have the honor to be,

                         Your very obedient servant,

                                                      HUGH MACKAY.
                         Commander-in-Chief of His Majesty's Forces.

And this was the prayer, surely the most remarkable ever published by
a general of the British army:

  O Almighty King of Kings, and Lord of Hosts, which by Thy Angels
  thereunto appointed, dost minister both War and Peace; Thou rulest
  and commandest all things, and sittest in the throne judging
  right; And, therefore, we make our Addresses to Thy Divine Majesty
  in this our necessity, that Thou wouldst take us and our Cause
  into Thine Own hand and judge between us and our Enemies. Stir up
  Thy strength, O Lord, and come and help us, for Thou givest not
  always the Battle to the strong, but canst save by Many or Few. O
  let not our sins now cry against us for vengeance, but hear us Thy
  poor servants, begging mercy, and imploring Thy help, and that
  Thou wouldst be a defence for us against the Enemy. Make it
  appear, that Thou art our Saviour, and Mighty Deliverer, through
  Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Dundee ordered the English officers to be brought before him, and for
thirty seconds he looked at them without speaking, as if he were
searching their thoughts and estimating their character. During this
scrutiny the shorter man looked sullen and defiant, as one prepared
for the worst, but the other was as careless and gay as ever, with the
expression either of one who was sure of a favorable issue, or of one
who took life or death as a part of the game.

"If I tell you, gentlemen, that your general refuses to clear you from
this charge, have ye anything to say before ye die?"

"Nothing," said their spokesman, with a light laugh, "except that we
would take more kindly to a bullet than a rope. 'Tis a soldier's
fancy, my lord, but I fear me ye will not humor it; perhaps ye will
even say we have not deserved it."

When Dundee turned to the other, who had not yet spoken, this was all
he got:

"My lord, that it be quickly, and that no mention be made of our
names. It was an adventure, and it has ended badly."

"Gentlemen, whoever ye may be, and that I do not know, and whatever ye
may be about, and of that also I am not sure, I have watched you
closely, and I freely grant that ye are both brave men. Each in his
own way, and each to be trusted by his own cause, though there be one
of you I would trust rather than the other.

"I have this further to say, that General MacKay declares that, so far
as he knows, ye are innocent of the foul crime of which we suspected
you. I might still keep you in arrest, and it were perhaps wiser to do
so; but I have myself suffered greatly through mistrusting those who
were true and honorable, and I would not wish to let the shadow of
disgrace lie upon you, if indeed ye be honest Cavaliers. You have your
liberty, gentlemen, to return to your troop, and if there be any
gratitude in you for this deliverance from death, ride in the front
and strike hard to-day for our king and the ancient Scottish glory."

"Thank you, my lord, but I expected nothing else. I give you our word
that we shall not fail in our duty," said the taller soldier, with a
light-hearted laugh. But the other grew dark red in the face, as if a
strong passion were stirring within him. "My lord," he said, "I would
rather remain as I am till the battle be over, and then that ye give
me leave to depart from the army."

Dundee glanced keenly at him, as one weighing his words, and trying to
fathom their meaning, but the taller man broke in with boisterous
haste:

"Pardon my comrade, general, we Englishmen have proud stomachs, and ye
have offended his honor by your charges, but to-day's fighting will be
the best medicine." And then he hurried his friend away, and as they
left to join their troop he seemed to be remonstrating with him for
his touchy scruples.

"What ye may think of those two gentlemen I know not, my lord," said
Lochiel, who had been standing by, "but I count the dark man the truer
of the two. I like not the other, though I grant they both be brave.
He is fair and false, if I am not out in my judgment, with a smooth
word and a tricky dirk, like the Campbells. God grant ye be not
over-generous, and trustful unto blindness."

"Lochiel, I have trusted, as ye know, many men who have betrayed our
cause; I have distrusted one who was faithful at a cost to me. On this
day, maybe the last of my life, I will believe rather than doubt, in
the hope that faith will be the surest bond of honor. There is
something, I know not what, in that tall fellow I did not like. But
what I have done, I have done, and if I have erred, Lochiel, the
punishment will be on my own head."

"On many other heads, too, I judge," muttered Lochiel to himself, and
for an instant he thought of taking private measures to hinder the two
Englishmen from service that day, but considering that he would have
enough to do with his own work, he went to prepare his clan for the
hour that was near at hand.

Dundee dismissed his staff for the time on various duties, and
attended only by Grimond, sat down upon a knoll, from which he could
see the whole plateau of Urrard--the drawn-out line of his own army
beneath him, and the corresponding formation of the English troops in
the distance. He read MacKay's prayer slowly and reverently, and then,
letting the paper fall upon the grass, Dundee fell into a reverie.
There was a day when he would have treated the prayer lightly, not
because he had ever been a profane man, like Esau, but because he had
no relish for soldiers who acted as chaplains.

To-day, with the lists of battle before his eyes, and the ordeal of
last night still fresh in his experience, and his inexcusable cruelty
to Jean, his heart was weighed with a sense of the tragedy of life and
the tears of things. He was going to fight unto death for his king,
but he was haunted by the conviction that William was a wiser and
better monarch. MacKay and he were to cross swords, as before they had
crossed words, and would ever cross principles, but he could not help
confessing to himself that MacKay, in the service of the Prince of
Orange, had for years been doing a more soldierly part than his, in
hunting to the death Covenanting peasants. His Highlanders below,
hungering for the joy of battle and the gathering of spoil, were brave
and faithful, but they were little more than savages, and woe betide
the land that lay beneath their sword; while the troops on the other
side represented the forces of order and civilization, and though they
might be routed that evening, they held the promise of final victory.
Was it worth the doing, and something of which afterwards a man could
be proud, to restore King James to Whitehall, and place Scotland again
in the hands of the gang of cowards and evil livers, thieves and liars
who had misgoverned it and shamefully treated himself? What a confused
and tangled web life was, and who had eyes to decipher its pattern? He
would live and die for the Stuarts, as Montrose had done before him;
he could not take service under William, nor be partner with the
Covenanters. He could do none otherwise, and yet, what a Scotland it
would be under James, and what a miserable business for him to return
to the hunt of the Covenanters!

The buoyancy of the morning had passed, and now his thoughts took a
darker turn. MacKay, no doubt, had told the truth, for he was not
capable of falsehood, but if those Englishmen were not agents of the
English government, did it follow that they were clear of suspicion?
There was some mystery about them, for if indeed they had been
Cavalier gentlemen who had abandoned the English service, would they
be so anxious to conceal themselves? Why should they refuse to let
their names be known? They had come from Livingstone's regiment. Was
it possible that they had been sent by him, and if so, for what end?
It is the penalty of once yielding to distrust that a person falls
into the habit of suspicion, and the latent jealousy of Livingstone
began to work like poison in Dundee's blood. Jean was innocent, he
would stake his life on that, but Livingstone--who knew whether the
attraction of those interviews was Dundee's cause or Dundee's wife? If
Livingstone had been in earnest, he had been with King James's men
that day; but he might be earnest enough in love, though halting
enough in loyalty. If her husband fell, he would have the freer
course in wooing the wife. What if he had arranged the assassination,
and not William's government; what if Jean, outraged by that
reflection upon her honor and infuriated by wounded pride, had
consented to this revenge? Her house had never been scrupulous, and
love changed to hate by an insult such as he had offered might be
satisfied with nothing less than blood. Stung by this venomous
thought, Dundee sprang to his feet, and looking at the westering sun,
cried to Grimond, who had been watching him with unobtrusive sympathy,
as if he read his thoughts, "Jock, the time for thinking is over, the
time for doing has come."

He rode along the line and gave his last directions to the army.
Riding from right to left, he placed himself at the head of the
cavalry, and gave the order to charge. That wild rush of Highlanders,
which swept before it, across the plain of Urrard, the thin and
panic-stricken line of regular troops, was not a battle. It was an
onslaught, a flight, a massacre, as when the rain breaks upon a
Highland mountain, and the river in the glen beneath, swollen with the
mountain water, dashes to the lowlands with irresistible devastation.
Grimond placed himself close behind his master for the charge, and
determined that if there was treachery in the ranks, the bullet that
was meant for Dundee must pass through him. But the battle advance of
cavalry is confused and tumultuous, as horses and men roll in the
dust, and eager riders push ahead of their fellows, and no man knows
what he is doing, except that the foe is in front of him. They were
passing at a gallop across the ground above Urrard House, when
Grimond, who was now a little in the rear of his commander, saw him
lift his right arm in the air and wave his sword, and heard him cry,
"King James and the crown of Scotland!" At that instant he fell
forward upon his horse's mane, as one who had received a mortal wound,
and the horse galloped off towards the right, with its master helpless
upon it. Through the dust of battle, and looking between two troopers
who intervened, Grimond saw the fair-haired Englishman lowering the
pistol and thrusting it into his holster, with which he had shot
Dundee through the armpit, as he gave his last command. Onward they
were carried, till one of the troopers on his right fell and the other
went ahead, and there was clear course between Grimond and the
Englishman. They were now, both of them, detached from the main body,
and the Englishman was planning to fall aside and escape unnoticed
from the field. His comrade could not be seen, and evidently had taken
no part in the deed. Grimond was upon him ere he knew, and before he
could turn and parry the stroke, Jock's sword was in him, and he fell
mortally wounded from his horse. Keen as Grimond was to follow his
master, and find him where he must be lying ahead, he was still more
anxious to get the truth at last out of the dying man. He knelt down
and lifted up his head.

"It is over with ye now, and thou hast done thy hellish deed. I wish
to God I'd killed thee before; but say before thou goest who was thy
master--was it Livingstone? Quick, man, tell the truth, it may serve
thee in the other world, and make hell cooler."

"Livingstone," replied the Englishman with his dying breath, and a
look of almost boyish triumph on his face, "what had I to do with him?
It was from my Lord Nottingham, his Majesty's secretary of state, I
took my orders, and I have fulfilled them. Did I not lie bravely and
do what I had to do thoroughly? Thou cunning rascal, save for thee I
had also escaped. You may take my purse, for thou art a faithful
servant. My hand struck the final blow." Now, his breath was going
fast from him, and with a last effort, as Grimond dropped his head
with a curse, he cried, "You have--won--the battle. Your cause
is--lost."

Amid the confusion the cavalry had not noticed the fall of their
commander, and Grimond found his master lying near a mound, a little
above the house of Urrard. He was faint through loss of blood, and
evidently was wounded unto death, but he recognized his faithful
follower, and thanked him with his eyes, as Jock wiped the blood from
his lips--for he was wounded through the lungs--and gave him brandy to
restore his strength.

"Ye cannot staunch that wound, Jock, and this is my last fight. How
goes it--is it well?"

"Well for the king, my lord--the battle is won; but ill for thee, my
dear maister."

"If it be well for the king, it's well for me, Jock, but I wish to God
my wound had been in front. That fair-haired fellow, I take it, did
the deed. Ye killed him, did ye, Jock? Well, he deserved it, but I
fain would know who was behind him before I die. If it were he whom I
suspect, Jock, I could not rest in my grave."

"Rest easy, Maister John, I wrung the truth frae his deein' lips. It
was Lord Nottingham, the English minister, wha feed him, the
black-hearted devil. Livingstone had naethin' to do wi' the maitter,
far less onybody--ye luved."

"Thank God, and you too, Jock, my faithful friend.... Tell Lady Dundee
that my last thoughts were with her, and my last breath repeated her
name.... For the rest, I have done what I could, according to my
conscience.... May the Lord have mercy on my sins.... God save the
King!"

So, after much strife and many sorrows, Claverhouse fell in the moment
of victory, and passed to his account.


THE END



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                  *       *       *       *       *



Transcriber's Note:

  Illustrations have been moved closer to their relevant paragraphs.

  Author's archaic and variable spelling and hyphenation is
  preserved.

  Author's punctuation style is preserved.

  Passages in italics indicated by _underscores_.

  Passages in bold indicated by =equal signs=.

  Typographical problems have been changed and are listed below.


Transcriber's Changes:

  Frontispiece caption: Was 'Page 265' (Lady Dundee lifted up the
            child for him to kiss. =Pages 261-2=.)

  Page 143, illustration caption: Was '145' ("Ye will have to answer
            to man and God for this." Page =143=.)

  Page 158: Was 'hundrel' (belly, and taken him to Edinburgh with a
            =hundred= of his Majesty's Horse before him and a hundred
            behind to keep him safe; ye)

  Page 166, illustration caption: Was '168' (She could not speak nor
            move, but only looked at him. Page =166=.)

  Page 226: Was 'Mackay' (more than when hounds run a fox to his lair.
            =MacKay= would be arranging how to trap him, anticipating
            his ways of escape, and stopping)

  Page 299: Was 'brown' (joy. "For this vision at least I bless thee,
            spirit, whoever thou mayest be, =Brown= or any other. That
            was the day of all my life,)

  Page 318: Was 'perpare' (enough to do with his own work, he went to
            =prepare= his clan for the hour that was near at hand.)





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