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´╗┐Title: Michel and Angele [A Ladder of Swords], Volume 1.
Author: Parker, Gilbert
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Michel and Angele [A Ladder of Swords], Volume 1." ***

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MICHEL AND ANGELE

[A Ladder of Swords]

By Gilbert Parker

Volume 1.



INTRODUCTION

If it does not seem too childish a candour to say so, 'Michel and Angele'
always seems to me like some old letter lifted out of an ancient cabinet
with the faint perfume of bygone days upon it.  Perhaps that is because
the story itself had its origin in a true but brief record of some good
Huguenots who fled from France and took refuge in England, to be found,
as the book declares, at the Walloon Church, in Southampton.

The record in the first paragraphs of the first chapter of the book
fascinated my imagination, and I wove round Michel de la Foret and Angele
Aubert a soft, bright cloud of romance which would not leave my vision
until I sat down and wrote out what, in the writing, seemed to me a true
history.  It was as though some telepathy between the days of Elizabeth
and our own controlled me--self-hypnotism, I suppose; but still, there it
was.  The story, in its original form, was first published in 'Harper's
Weekly' under the name of Michel and Angele, but the fear, I think, that
many people would mispronounce the first word of the title, induced me to
change it when, double in length, it became a volume called 'A Ladder of
Swords'.

As it originally appeared, I wrote it in the Island of Jersey, out at the
little Bay of Rozel in a house called La Chaire, a few yards away from
the bay itself, and having a pretty garden with a seat at its highest
point, from which, beyond the little bay, the English Channel ran away to
the Atlantic.  It was written in complete seclusion.  I had no visitors;
there was no one near, indeed, except the landlord of the little hotel in
the bay, and his wife.  All through the Island, however, were people whom
I knew, like the Malet de Carterets, the Lemprieres, and old General
Pipon, for whom the Jersey of three hundred years ago was as near as the
Jersey of to-day, so do the Jersiais prize, cultivate, and conserve every
hour of its recorded history.

As the sea opens out to a vessel making between the promontories to the
main, so, while writing this tale which originally was short, the larger
scheme of 'The Battle of the Strong' spread out before me, luring me, as
though in the distance were the Fortunate Isles.  Eight years after
'Michel and Angele' was written and first published in 'Harper's Weekly',
I decided to give it the dignity of a full-grown romance.  For years I
had felt that it had the essentials for a larger canvas, and at the
earnest solicitation of Messrs. Harper & Brothers I settled to do what
had long been in my mind.  The narrative grew as naturally from what it
was to larger stature as anything that had been devised upon a greater
scale at the beginning; and in London town I had the same joy in the
company of Michel and Angele--and a vastly increased joy in the company
of Lempriere, the hulking, joyous giant--as I had years before in Jersey
itself when the story first stirred in my mind and reached my pen.

While adverse reviews of the book were few if any, it cannot be said that
this romance is a companion in popularity with, for instance, 'The Right
of Way'.  It had its friends, but it has apparently appealed to smaller
audiences--to those who watch the world go by; who are not searching for
the exposure of life's grim realities; who do not seek the clinic of the
soul's tragedies.  There was tragedy here, but there was comedy too;
there was also joy and faith, patience and courage.  The book, taken by
itself, could not make a permanent reputation for any man, but it has its
place in the scheme of my work, and I would not have it otherwise than it
is.



A NOTE

There will be found a few anachronisms in this tale, but none so
important as to give a wrong impression of the events of Queen
Elizabeth's reign.



MICHEL AND ANGELE

CHAPTER I

If you go to Southampton and search the register of the Walloon Church
there, you will find that in the summer of 157_,

     "Madame Vefue de Montgomery with all her family and servants were
     admitted to the Communion"--"Tous ceux cj furent Recus la a Cene du
     157_, comme passans, sans avoir Rendu Raison de la foj, mes sur la
     tesmognage de Mons. Forest, Ministre de Madame, quj certifia quj ne
     cognoisoit Rien en tout ceux la po' quoy Il ne leur deust administre
     la Cene s'il estoit en lieu po' a ferre."

There is another striking record, which says that in August of the same
year Demoiselle Angele Claude Aubert, daughter of Monsieur de la Haie
Aubert, Councillor of the Parliament of Rouen, was married to Michel de
la Foret, of the most noble Flemish family of that name.

When I first saw these records, now grown dim with time, I fell to
wondering what was the real life-history of these two people.  Forthwith,
in imagination, I began to make their story piece by piece; and I had
reached a romantic 'denoument' satisfactory to myself and in sympathy
with fact, when the Angel of Accident stepped forward with some "human
documents."  Then I found that my tale, woven back from the two obscure
records I have given, was the true story of two most unhappy yet most
happy people.  From the note struck in my mind, when my finger touched
that sorrowful page in the register of the Church of the Refugees at
Southampton, had spread out the whole melody and the very book of the
song.

One of the later-discovered records was a letter, tear-stained, faded,
beautifully written in old French, from Demoiselle Angele Claude Aubert
to Michel de la Foret at Anvers in March of the year 157_.  The letter
lies beside me as I write, and I can scarcely believe that three and a
quarter centuries have passed since it was written, and that she who
wrote it was but eighteen years old at the time.  I translate it into
English, though it is impossible adequately to carry over either the
flavour or the idiom of the language:

     Written on this May Day of the year 157_, at the place hight Rozel
     in the Manor called of the same of Jersey Isle, to Michel de la
     Foret, at Anvers in Flanders.

     MICHEL, Thy good letter by safe carriage cometh to my hand, bringing
     to my heart a lightness it hath not known since that day when I was
     hastily carried to the port of St. Malo, and thou towards the King
     his prison.  In what great fear have I lived, having no news of thee
     and fearing all manner of mischance!  But our God hath benignly
     saved thee from death, and me He hath set safely here in this isle
     of the sea.

     Thou hast ever been a brave soldier, enduring and not fearing; thou
     shalt find enow to keep thy blood stirring in these days of trial
     and peril to us who are so opprobriously called Les Huguenots.  If
     thou wouldst know more of my mind thereupon, come hither.  Safety is
     here, and work for thee--smugglers and pirates do abound on these
     coasts, and Popish wolves do harry the flock even in this island
     province of England.  Michel, I plead for the cause which thou hast
     nobly espoused, but--alas! my selfish heart, where thou art lie work
     and fighting, and the same high cause, and sadly, I confess, it is
     for mine own happiness that I ask thee to come.  I wot well that
     escape from France hath peril, that the way hither from that point
     upon yonder coast called Carteret is hazardous, but yet-but yet all
     ways to happiness are set with hazard.

     If thou dost come to Carteret thou wilt see two lights turning this-
     wards: one upon a headland called Tour de Rozel, and one upon the
     great rock called of the Ecrehos.  These will be in line with thy
     sight by the sands of Hatainville.  Near by the Tour de Rozel shall
     I be watching and awaiting thee.  By day and night doth my prayer
     ascend for thee.

     The messenger who bears this to thee (a piratical knave with a most
     kind heart, having, I am told, a wife in every port of France and of
     England the south, a most heinous sin!) will wait for thy answer, or
     will bring thee hither, which is still better.  He is worthy of
     trust if thou makest him swear by the little finger of St. Peter.
     By all other swearings he doth deceive freely.

     The Lord make thee true, Michel.  If thou art faithful to me, I
     shall know how faithful thou art in all; for thy vows to me were
     most frequent and pronounced, with a full savour that might warrant
     short seasoning.  Yet, because thou mayst still be given to such
     dear fantasies of truth as were on thy lips in those dark days
     wherein thy sword saved my life 'twixt Paris and Rouen, I tell thee
     now that I do love thee, and shall so love when, as my heart
     inspires me, the cloud shall fall that will hide us from each other
     forever.

                                             ANGELE.

     An Afterword:

     I doubt not we shall come to the heights where there is peace,
     though we climb thereto by a ladder of swords.  A.


Some years before Angele's letter was written, Michel de la Foret had
become an officer in the army of Comte Gabriel de Montgomery, and fought
with him until what time the great chief was besieged in the Castle of
Domfront in Normandy.  When the siege grew desperate, Montgomery besought
the intrepid young Huguenot soldier to escort Madame de Montgomery to
England, to be safe from the oppression and misery sure to follow any
mishap to this noble leader of the Camisards.

At the very moment of departure of the refugees from Domfront with the
Comtesse, Angele's messenger--the "piratical knave with the most kind
heart "presented himself, delivered her letter to De la Foret, and
proceeded with the party to the coast of Normandy by St. Brieuc.
Embarking there in a lugger which Buonespoir the pirate secured for them,
they made for England.

Having come but half-way of the Channel, the lugger was stopped by an
English frigate.  After much persuasion the captain of the frigate agreed
to land Madame de Montgomery upon the island of Jersey, but forced De la
Foret to return to the coast of France; and Buonespoir elected to return
with him.



CHAPTER II

Meanwhile Angele had gone through many phases of alternate hope and
despair.  She knew that Montgomery the Camisard was dead, and a rumour,
carried by refugees, reached her that De la Foret had been with him to
the end.  To this was presently added the word that De la Foret had been
beheaded.  But one day she learned that the Comtesse de Montgomery was
sheltered by the Governor, Sir Hugh Pawlett, her kinsman, at Mont Orgueil
Castle.  Thither she went in fear from her refuge at Rozel, and was
admitted to the Comtesse.  There she learned the joyful truth that De la
Foret had not been slain, and was in hiding on the coast of Normandy.

The long waiting was a sore trial, yet laughter was often upon her lips
henceforth.  The peasants, the farmers and fishermen of Jersey, at first
--as they have ever been--little inclined towards strangers, learned at
last to look for her in the fields and upon the shore, and laughed in
response, they knew not why, to the quick smiling of her eyes.  She even
learned to speak their unmusical but friendly Norman-Jersey French.
There were at least a half-dozen fishermen who, for her, would have gone
at night straight to the Witches' Rock in St. Clement's Bay--and this was
bravery unmatched.

It came to be known along the coast that "Ma'm'selle" was waiting for a
lover fleeing from the French coast.  This gave her fresh interest in the
eyes of the serfs and sailors and their women folk, who at first were not
inclined towards the Huguenot maiden, partly because she was French, and
partly because she was not a Catholic.  But even these, when they saw
that she never talked religiously, that she was fast learning to speak
their own homely patois, and that in the sickness of their children she
was untiring in her kindness, forgave the austerity of the gloomy-browed
old man her father, who spoke to them distantly, or never spoke at all;
and her position was secure.  Then, upon the other hand, the gentry of
the manors, seeing the friendship grow between her and the Comtesse de
Montgomery at Mont Orgueil Castle, made courteous advances towards her
father, and towards herself through him.

She could scarce have counted the number of times she climbed the great
hill like a fortress at the lift of the little bay of Rozel, and from the
Nez du Guet scanned the sea for a sail and the sky for fair weather.
When her eyes were not thus busy, they were searching the lee of the
hillside round for yellow lilies, and the valley below for the campion,
the daffodil, and the thousand pretty ferns growing in profusion there.
Every night she looked out to see that her signal fire was lit upon the
Nez du Guet, and she never went to bed without taking one last look over
the sea, in the restless inveterate hope which at once sustained her and
devoured her.

But the longest waiting must end.  It came on the evening of the very day
that the Seigneur of Rozel went to Angele's father and bluntly told him
he was ready to forego all Norman-Jersey prejudice against the French and
the Huguenot religion, and take Angele to wife without penny or estate.

In reply to the Seigneur, Monsieur Aubert said that he was conscious of
an honour, and referred Monsieur to his daughter, who must answer for
herself; but he must tell Monsieur of Rozel that Monsieur's religion
would, in his own sight, be a high bar to the union.  To that the
Seigneur said that no religion that he had could be a bar to anything at
all; and so long as the young lady could manage her household, drive a
good bargain with the craftsmen and hucksters, and have the handsomest
face and manners in the Channel Islands, he'd ask no more; and she might
pray for him and his salvation without let or hindrance.

The Seigneur found the young lady in a little retreat among the rocks,
called by the natives La Chaire.  Here she sat sewing upon some coarse
linen for a poor fisherwoman's babe when the Seigneur came near.  She
heard the scrunch of his heels upon the gravel, the clank of his sword
upon the rocks, and looked up with a flush, her needle poised; for none
should know of her presence in this place save her father.  When she saw
who was her visitor, she rose.  After greeting and compliment, none too
finely put, but more generous than fitted with Jersey parsimony, the
gentleman of Rozel came at once to the point.

"My name is none too bad," said he--"Raoul Lempriere, of the Lemprieres
that have been here since Rollo ruled in Normandy.  My estate is none
worse than any in the whole islands; I have more horses and dogs than any
gentleman of my acres; and I am more in favour at court than De Carteret
of St. Ouen's.  I am the Queen's butler, and I am the first that royal
favour granted to set up three dove-cotes, one by St. Aubin's, one by St.
Helier's, and one at Rozel: and--and," he added, with a lumbering attempt
at humour--"and, on my oath, I'll set up another dove-cote with out my
sovereign's favour, with your leave alone.  By our Lady, I do love that
colour in yon cheek!  Just such a colour had my mother when she snatched
from the head of my cousin of Carteret's milk-maid wife the bonnet of a
lady of quality and bade her get to her heifers.  God's beauty!  but 'tis
a colour of red primroses in thy cheeks and blue campions in thine eyes.
Come, I warrant I can deepen that colour"--he bowed low--"Madame of
Rozel, if it be not too soon!"

The girl listened to this cheerful and loquacious proposal and courtship
all in one, ending with the premature bestowal of a title, in mingled
anger, amusement, disdain, and apprehension.  Her heart fluttered, then
stood still, then flew up in her throat, then grew terribly hot and hurt
her, so that she pressed her hand to her bosom as though that might ease
it.  By the time he had finished, drawn himself up, and struck his foot
upon the ground in burly emphasis of his devoted statements, the girl had
sufficiently recovered to answer him composedly, and with a little glint
of demure humour in her eyes.  She loved another man; she did not care so
much as a spark for this happy, swearing, swashbuckling gentleman; yet
she saw he had meant to do her honour.  He had treated her as courteously
as was in him to do; he chose her out from all the ladies of his
acquaintance to make her an honest offer of his hand--he had said nothing
about his heart; he would, should she marry him, throw her scraps of
good-humour, bearish tenderness, drink to her health among his fellows,
and respect and admire her--even exalt her almost to the rank of a man
in his own eyes; and he had the tolerance of the open-hearted and open-
handed man.  All these things were as much a compliment to her as though
she were not a despised Huguenot, an exiled lady of no fortune.  She
looked at him a moment with an almost solemn intensity, so that he
shifted his ground uneasily, but at once smiled encouragingly, to relieve
her embarrassment at the unexpected honour done her.  She had remained
standing; now, as he made a step towards her, she sank down upon the
seat, and waved him back courteously.

"A moment, Monsieur of Rozel," she ventured.  "Did my father send you to
me?"

He inclined his head and smiled again.

"Did you say to him what you have said to me?" she asked, not quite
without a touch of malice.

"I left out about the colour in the cheek," he answered, with a smirk at
what he took to be the quickness of his wit.

"You kept your paint-pot for me," she replied softly.

"And the dove-cote, too," he rejoined, bowing finely, and almost carried
off his feet by his own brilliance.  She became serious at once--so
quickly that he was ill prepared for it, and could do little but stare
and pluck at the tassel of his sword; for he was embarrassed before this
maiden, who changed as quickly as the currents change under the brow of
the Couperon Cliff, behind which lay his manor-house of Rozel.

"I have visited at your manor, Monsieur of Rozel.  I have seen the state
in which you live, your retainers, your men-at-arms, your farming-folk,
and your sailormen.  I know how your Queen receives you; how your honour
is as stable as your fief."

He drew himself up again proudly.  He could understand this speech.

"Your horses and your hounds I have seen," she added, "your men-servants
and your maid-servants, your fields of corn, your orchards, and your
larder.  I have sometimes broken the Commandment and coveted them and
envied you."

"Break the Commandment again, for the last time," he cried, delighted and
boisterous.  "Let us not waste words, lady.  Let's kiss and have it
over."

Her eyes flashed.  "I coveted them and envied you; but then, I am but a
vain girl at times, and vanity is easier to me than humbleness."

"Blood of man, but I cannot understand so various a creature!" he broke
in, again puzzled.

"There is a little chapel in the dell beside your manor, Monsieur.  If
you will go there, and get upon your knees, and pray till the candles no
more burn, and the Popish images crumble in their places, you will yet
never understand myself or any woman."

"There's no question of Popish images between us," he answered, vainly
trying for foothold.  "Pray as you please, and I'll see no harm comes to
the Mistress of Rozel."

He was out of his bearings and impatient.  Religion to him was a dull
recreation invented chiefly for women.  She became plain enough now.
"'Tis no images nor religion that stands between us," she answered,
"though they might well do so.  It is that I do not love you, Monsieur of
Rozel."

His face, which had slowly clouded, suddenly cleared.  "Love! Love!"  He
laughed good-humouredly.  "Love comes, I'm told, with marriage.  But we
can do well enough without fugling on that pipe.  Come, come, dost think
I'm not a proper man and a gentleman?  Dost think I'll not use thee well
and 'fend thee, Huguenot though thou art, 'gainst trouble or fret or any
man's persecutions--be he my Lord Bishop, my Lord Chancellor, or King of
France, or any other?"

She came a step closer to him, even as though she would lay a hand upon
his arm.  "I believe that you would do all that in you lay," she answered
steadily.  "Yours is a rough wooing, but it is honest--"

"Rough! Rough!" he protested, for he thought he had behaved like some
Adonis.  Was it not ten years only since he had been at Court!

"Be assured, Monsieur, that I know how to prize the man who speaks after
the light given him.  I know that you are a brave and valorous gentleman.
I must thank you most truly and heartily, but, Monsieur, you and yours
are not for me.  Seek elsewhere, among your own people, in your own
religion and language and position, the Mistress of Rozel."

He was dumfounded.  Now he comprehended the plain fact that he had been
declined.

"You send me packing!" he blurted out, getting red in the face.

"Ah, no!  Say it is my misfortune that I cannot give myself the great
honour," she said; in her tone a little disdainful dryness, a little
pity, a little feeling that here was a good friend lost.

"It's not because of the French soldier that was with Montgomery at
Domfront?--I've heard that story.  But he's gone to heaven, and 'tis vain
crying for last year's breath," he added, with proud philosophy.

"He is not dead.  And if he were," she added, "do you think, Monsieur,
that we should find it easier to cross the gulf between us?"

"Tut, tut, that bugbear Love!" he said shortly.  "And so you'd lose a
good friend for a dead lover?  I' faith, I'd befriend thee well if thou
wert my wife, Ma'm'selle."

"It is hard for those who need friends to lose them," she answered sadly.

The sorrow of her position crept in upon her and filled her eyes with
tears.  She turned them to the sea-instinctively towards that point on
the shore where she thought it likely Michel might be; as though by
looking she might find comfort and support in this hard hour.

Even as she gazed into the soft afternoon light she could see, far over,
a little sail standing out towards the Ecrehos.  Not once in six months
might the coast of France be seen so clearly.  One might almost have
noted people walking on the beach.  This was no good token, for when that
coast may be seen with great distinctness a storm follows hard after.
The girl knew this; and though she could not know that this was Michel de
la Foret's boat, the possibility fixed itself in her mind.  She quickly
scanned the horizon.  Yes, there in the north-west was gathering a dark-
blue haze, hanging like small filmy curtains in the sky.

The Seigneur of Rozel presently broke the silence so awkward for him.
He had seen the tears in her eyes, and though he could not guess the
cause, he vaguely thought it might be due to his announcement that she
had lost a friend.  He was magnanimous at once, and he meant what he said
and would stand by it through thick and thin.

"Well, well, I'll be thy everlasting friend if not thy husband," he said
with ornate generosity.  "Cheer thy heart, lady."

With a sudden impulse she seized his hand and kissed it, and, turning,
ran swiftly down the rocks towards her home.

He stood and looked after her, then, dumfounded, at the hand she had
kissed.

"Blood of my heart!" he said, and shook his head in utter amazement.

Then he turned and looked out upon the Channel.  He saw the little boat
Angele had descried making from France.  Glancing at the sky, "What fools
come there!" he said anxiously.

They were Michel de la Foret and Buonespoir the pirate, in a black-
bellied cutter with red sails.



CHAPTER III

For weeks De la Foret and Buonespoir had lain in hiding at St. Brieuc.
At last Buonespoir declared all was ready once again.  He had secured for
the Camisard the passport and clothes of a priest who had but just died
at Granville.  Once again they made the attempt to reach English soil.

Standing out from Carteret on the Belle Suzanne, they steered for the
light upon the Marmotier Rocks of the Ecrehos, which Angele had paid a
fisherman to keep going every night.  This light had caused the French
and English frigates some uneasiness, and they had patrolled the Channel
from Cap de la Hague to the Bay of St. Brieuc with a vigilance worthy of
a larger cause.  One fine day an English frigate anchored off the
Ecrehos, and the fisherman was seized.  He, poor man, swore that he kept
the light burning to guide his brother fishermen to and fro between
Boulay Bay and the Ecrehos.  The captain of the frigate tried severities;
but the fisherman stuck to his tale, and the light burned on as before--
a lantern stuck upon a pole.  One day, with a telescope, Buonespoir had
seen the exact position of the staff supporting the light, and had mapped
out his course accordingly.  He would head straight for the beacon and
pass between the Marmotier and the Maitre Ile, where is a narrow channel
for a boat drawing only a few feet of water.  Unless he made this, he
must run south and skirt the Ecriviere Rock and bank, where the streams
setting over the sandy ridges make a confusing perilous sea to mariners
in bad weather.  Else, he must sail north between the Ecrehos and the
Dirouilles, in the channel called Etoc, a tortuous and dangerous passage
save in good weather, and then safe only to the mariner who knows the
floor of that strait like his own hand.  De la Foret was wholly in the
hands of Buonespoir, for he knew nothing of these waters and coasts; also
he was a soldier and no sailor.

They cleared Cape Carteret with a fair wind from the north-east, which
should carry them safely as the bird flies to the haven of Rozel.  The
high, pinkish sands of Hatainville were behind them; the treacherous
Taillepied Rocks lay to the north, and a sweet sea before.  Nothing could
have seemed fairer and more hopeful.  But a few old fishermen on shore at
Carteret shook their heads dubiously, and at Port Bail, some miles below,
a disabled naval officer, watching through a glass, rasped out,
"Criminals or fools!"  But he shrugged his shoulders, for if they were
criminals he was sure they would expiate their crimes this night, and if
they were fools--he had no pity for fools.

But Buonespoir knew his danger.  Truth is, he had chosen this night
because they would be safest from pursuit, because no sensible seafaring
man, were he King's officer or another, would venture forth upon the
impish Channel, save to court disaster.  Pirate, and soldier in priest's
garb, had frankly taken the chances.

With a fair wind they might, with all canvas set--mainsail, foresail,
jib, and fore-topsail--make Rozel Bay within two hours and a quarter.
All seemed well for a brief half-hour.  Then, even as the passage between
the Marmotier and the Ecrehos opened out, the wind suddenly shifted from
the north-east to the southwest and a squall came hurrying on them--a few
moments too soon; for, had they been clear of the Ecrehos, clear of the
Taillepieds, Felee Bank, and the Ecriviere, they could have stood out
towards the north in a more open sea.

Yet there was one thing in their favour: the tide was now running hard
from the north-west, so fighting for them while the wind was against
them.  Their only safety lay in getting beyond the Ecrehos.  If they
attempted to run in to the Marmotier for safety, they would presently be
at the mercy of the French.  To trust their doubtful fortunes and bear on
was the only way.  The tide was running fast.  They gave the mainsail to
the wind still more, and bore on towards the passage.  At last, as they
were opening on it, the wind suddenly veered full north-east.  The sails
flapped, the boat seemed to hover for a moment, and then a wave swept her
towards the rocks.  Buonespoir put the helm hard over, she went about,
and they close-hauled her as she trembled towards the rocky opening.

This was the critical instant.  A heavy sea was running, the gale was
blowing hard from the north-east, and under the close-hauled sail the
Belle Suzanne was lying over dangerously.  But the tide, too, was running
hard from the south, fighting the wind; and, at the moment when all
seemed terribly uncertain, swept them past the opening and into the
swift-running channel, where the indraught sucked them through to the
more open water beyond.

Although the Belle Suzanne was in more open water now, the danger was not
over.  Ahead lay a treacherous sea, around them roaring winds, and the
perilous coast of Jersey beyond all.

"Do you think we shall land?" quietly asked De la Foret, nodding towards
the Jersey coast.

"As many chances 'gainst it as for it, M'sieu'," said Buonespoir, turning
his face to the north, for the wind had veered again to north-east, and
he feared its passing to the north-west, giving them a head-wind and a
swooping sea.

Night came down, but with a clear sky and a bright moon; the wind,
however, not abating.  The next three hours were spent in tacking, in
beating towards the Jersey coast under seas which almost swamped them.
They were standing off about a mile from the island, and could see
lighted fires and groups of people upon the shore, when suddenly a gale
came out from the southwest, the wind having again shifted.  With an
oath, Buonespoir put the helm hard over, the Belle Suzanne came about
quickly, but as the gale struck her, the mast snapped like a pencil, she
heeled over, and the two adventurers were engulfed in the waves.

A cry of dismay went up from the watchers on the shore.  They turned with
a half-conscious sympathy towards Angele, for her story was known by all,
and in her face they read her mortal fear, though she made no cry, but
only clasped her hands in agony.  Her heart told her that yonder Michel
de la Foret was fighting for his life.  For an instant only she stood,
the terror of death in her eyes, then she turned to the excited fishermen
near.

"Men, oh men," she cried, "will you not save them?  Will no one come with
me?"

Some shook their heads sullenly, others appeared uncertain, but their
wives and children clung to them, and none stirred.  Looking round
helplessly, Angele saw the tall figure of the Seigneur of Rozel.  He had
been watching the scene for some time.  Now he came quickly to her.

"Is it the very man?" he asked her, jerking a finger towards the
struggling figures in the sea.

"Yes, oh yes," she replied, nodding her head piteously.  "God tells my
heart it is."

Her father drew near and interposed.

"Let us kneel and pray for two dying men," said he, and straightway knelt
upon the sand.

"By St. Martin, we've better medicine than that, apothecary!" said
Lempriere of Rozel loudly, and, turning round, summoned two serving-men.
"Launch my strong boat," he added.  "We will pick these gentlemen from
the brine, or know the end of it all."

The men hurried gloomily to the long-boat, ran her down to the shore and
into the surf.

"You are going--you are going to save him, dear Seigneur?" asked the
girl tremulously.

"To save him--that's to be seen, mistress," answered Lempriere, and
advanced to the fishermen.  By dint of hard words, and as hearty
encouragement and promises, he got a half-dozen strong sailors to man the
boat.

A moment after, they were all in.  At a motion from the Seigneur, the
boat was shot out into the surf, and a cheer from the shore gave heart to
De la Foret and Buonespoir, who were being driven upon the rocks.

The Jerseymen rowed gallantly; and the Seigneur, to give them heart,
promised a shilling, a capon, and a gallon of beer to each, if the rescue
was made.  Again and again the two men seemed to sink beneath the sea,
and again and again they came to the surface and battled further, torn,
battered, and bloody, but not beaten.  Cries of "We're coming, gentles,
we're coming!" from the Seigneur of Rozel, came ringing through the surf
to the dulled ears of the drowning men, and they struggled on.

There never was a more gallant rescue.  Almost at their last gasp the two
were rescued.

"Mistress Aubert sends you welcome, sir, if you be Michel de la Foret,"
said Lempriere of Rozel, and offered the fugitive his horn of liquor as
he lay blown and beaten in the boat.

"I am he," De la Foret answered.  "I owe you my life, Monsieur," he
added.

Lempriere laughed.  "You owe it to the lady; and I doubt you can properly
pay the debt," he answered, with a toss of the head; for had not the lady
refused him, the Seigneur of Rozel, six feet six in height, and all else
in proportion, while this gentleman was scarce six feet.

"We can have no quarrel upon the point," answered De la Foret, reaching
out his hand; "you have at least done tough work for her, and if I cannot
pay in gold, I can in kind.  It was a generous deed, and it has made a
friend for ever of Michel de la Foret."

"Raoul Lempriere of Rozel they call me, Michel de la Foret, and by Rollo
the Duke, but I'll take your word in the way of friendship, as the lady
yonder takes it for riper fruit!  Though, faith, 'tis fruit of a short
summer, to my thinking."

All this while Buonespoir the pirate, his face covered with blood, had
been swearing by the little finger of St. Peter that each Jerseyman there
should have the half of a keg of rum.  He went so far in gratitude as to
offer the price of ten sheep which he had once secretly raided from the
Seigneur of Rozel and sold in France; for which he had been seized on his
later return to the island, and had escaped without punishment.

Hearing, Lempriere of Rozel roared at him in anger: "Durst speak to me!
For every fleece you thieved I'll have you flayed with bow-strings if
ever I sight your face within my boundaries."

"Then I'll fetch and carry no more for M'sieu' of Rozel," said
Buonespoir, in an offended tone, but grinning under his reddish beard.

"When didst fetch and carry for me, varlet?" Lempriere roared again.

"When the Seigneur of Rozel fell from his horse, overslung with sack, the
night of the royal Duke's visit, and the footpads were on him, I carried
him on my back to the lodge of Rozel Manor.  The footpads had scores to
settle with the great Rozel."

For a moment the Seigneur stared, then roared again, but this time with
laughter.

"By the devil and Rollo, I have sworn to this hour that there was no man
in the isle could have carried me on his shoulders.  And I was right, for
Jersiais you're none, neither by adoption nor grace, but a citizen of the
sea."

He laughed again as a wave swept over them, drenching them, and a sudden
squall of wind came out of the north.  "There's no better head in the
isle than mine for measurement and thinking, and I swore no man under
eighteen stone could carry me, and I am twenty-five--I take you to be
nineteen stone, eh?"

"Nineteen, less two ounces," grinned Buonespoir.

"I'll laugh De Carteret of St. Ouen's out of his stockings over this,"
answered Lempriere.  "Trust me for knowing weights and measures!  Look
you, varlet, thy sins be forgiven thee.  I care not about the fleeces, if
there be no more stealing.  St. Ouen's has no head--I said no one man in
Jersey could have done it--I'm heavier by three stone than any man in the
island."  Thereafter there was little speaking among them, for the danger
was greater as they neared the shore.  The wind and the sea were against
them; the tide, however, was in their favour.  Others besides M. Aubert
offered up prayers for the safe-landing of the rescued and rescuers.
Presently an ancient fisherman broke out into a rude sailor's chanty, and
every voice, even those of the two Huguenots, took it up:

          "When the Four Winds, the Wrestlers, strive with the Sun,
          When the Sun is slain in the dark;
          When the stars burn out, and the night cries
          To the blind sea-reapers, and they rise,
          And the water-ways are stark--
               God save us when the reapers reap!
          When the ships sweep in with the tide to the shore,
          And the little white boats return no more;
          When the reapers reap, Lord give Thy sailors sleep,
          If Thou cast us not upon the shore,
          To bless Thee evermore:
          To walk in Thy sight as heretofore
          Though the way of the Lord be steep!
          By Thy grace,
          Show Thy face,
               Lord of the land and the deep!"

The song stilled at last.  It died away in the roar of the surf,
in the happy cries of foolish women, and the laughter of men back from
a dangerous adventure.  As the Seigneur's boat was drawn up the shore,
Angele threw herself into the arms of Michel de la Foret, the soldier
dressed as a priest.

Lempriere of Rozel stood abashed before this rich display of feeling.
In his hottest youth he could not have made such passionate motions of
affection.  His feelings ran neither high nor broad, but neither did they
run low and muddy.  His nature was a straight level of sensibility--a
rough stream between high banks of prejudice, topped with the foam of
vanity, now brawling in season, and now going steady and strong to the
sea.  Angele had come to feel what he was beneath the surface.  She felt
how unimaginative he was, and how his humour, which was but the horse-
play of vanity, helped him little to understand the world or himself.
His vanity was ridiculous, his self-importance was against knowledge or
wisdom; and Heaven had given him a small brain, a big and noble heart, a
pedigree back to Rollo, and the absurd pride of a little lord in a little
land.  Angele knew all this; but realised also that he had offered her
all he was able to offer to any woman.

She went now and put out both hands to him.  "I shall ever pray God's
blessing on the lord of Rozel," she said, in a low voice.

"'Twould fit me no better than St. Ouen's sword fits his fingers.  I'll
take thine own benison, lady--but on my cheek, not on my hand as this day
before at four of the clock."  His big voice lowered.  "Come, come, the
hand thou kissed, it hath been the hand of a friend to thee, as Raoul
Lempriere of Rozel said he'd be.  Thy lips upon his cheek, though it be
but a rough fellow's fancy, and I warrant, come good, come ill, Rozel's
face will never be turned from thee.  Pooh, pooh! let yon soldier-priest
shut his eyes a minute; this is 'tween me and thee; and what's done
before the world's without shame."

He stopped short, his black eyes blazing with honest mirth and kindness,
his breath short, having spoken in such haste.

Her eyes could scarce see him, so full of tears were they; and, standing
on tiptoe, she kissed him upon each cheek.

"'Tis much to get for so little given," she said, with a quiver in her
voice; "yet this price for friendship would be too high to pay to any
save the Seigneur of Rozel."

She hastily turned to the men who had rescued Michel and Buonespoir.
"If I had riches, riches ye should have, brave men of Jersey," she said;
"but I have naught save love and thanks, and my prayers too, if ye will
have them."

"'Tis a man's duty to save his fellow an' he can," cried a gaunt
fisherman, whose daughter was holding to his lips a bowl of conger-eel
soup.

"'Twas a good deed to send us forth to save a priest of Holy Church,"
cried a weazened boat-builder with a giant's arm, as he buried his face
in a cup of sack, and plunged his hand into a fishwife's basket of
limpets.

"Aye, but what means she by kissing and arm-getting with a priest?"
cried a snarling vraic-gatherer.  "'Tis some jest upon Holy Church, or
yon priest is no better than common men but an idle shame."

By this time Michel was among them.  "Priest I am none, but a soldier,"
he said in a loud voice, and told them bluntly the reasons for his
disguise; then, taking a purse from his pocket, thrust into the hands of
his rescuers and their families pieces of silver and gave them brave
words of thanks.

But the Seigneur was not to be outdone in generosity.  His vanity ran
high; he was fain to show Angele what a gorgeous gentleman she had failed
to make her own; and he was in ripe good-humour all round.

"Come, ye shall come, all of ye, to the Manor of Rozel, every man and
woman here.  Ye shall be fed, and fuddled too ye shall be an' ye will;
for honest drink which sends to honest sleep hurts no man.  To my kitchen
with ye all; and you, messieurs"--turning to M. Aubert and De la Fore-
"and you, Mademoiselle, come, know how open is the door and full the
table at my Manor of Rozel--St. Ouen's keeps a beggarly board."



CHAPTER IV

Thus began the friendship of the bragging Seigneur of Rozel for the
three Huguenots, all because he had seen tears in a girl's eyes and
misunderstood them, and because the same girl had kissed him.  His pride
was flattered that they should receive protection from him, and the
flattery became almost a canonising when De Carteret of St. Ouen's
brought him to task for harbouring and comforting the despised Huguenots;
for when De Carteret railed he was envious.  So henceforth Lempriere
played Lord Protector with still more boisterous unction.  His pride knew
no bounds when, three days after the rescue, Sir Hugh Pawlett, the
Governor, answering De la Foret's letter requesting permission to visit
the Comtesse de Montgomery, sent him word to fetch De la Foret to Mont
Orgueil Castle.  Clanking and blowing, he was shown into the great hall
with De la Foret, where waited Sir Hugh and the widow of the renowned
Camisard.  Clanking and purring like an enormous cat, he turned his head
away to the window when De la Foret dropped on his knees and kissed the
hand of the Comtesse, whose eyes were full of tears.  Clanking and
gurgling, he sat to a mighty meal of turbot, eels, lobsters, ormers,
capons, boar's head, brawn, and mustard, swan, curlew, and spiced meats.
This he washed down with bastard, malmsey, and good ale, topped with
almonds, comfits, perfumed cherries with "ipocras," then sprinkled
himself with rose-water and dabbled his face and hands in it.  Filled to
the turret, he lurched to his feet, and drinking to Sir Hugh's toast, 27

"Her sacred Majesty!" he clanked and roared.  "Elizabeth!" as though
upon the field of battle.  He felt the star of De Carteret declining and
Rozel's glory ascending like a comet.  Once set in a course, nothing
could change him.  Other men might err, but once right, the Seigneur of
Rozel was everlasting.

Of late he had made the cause of Michel de la Foret and Angele Aubert
his own.  For this he had been raked upon the coals by De Carteret of St.
Ouen's and his following, who taunted him with the saying: "Save a thief
from hanging and he'll cut your throat."  Not that there was ill feeling
against De la Foret in person.  He had won most hearts by a frank yet
still manner, and his story and love for Angele had touched the women
folk where their hearts were softest.  But the island was not true to
itself or its history if it did not divide itself into factions, headed
by the Seigneurs, and there had been no ground for good division for five
years till De la Foret came.

Short of actual battle, this new strife was the keenest ever known,
for Sir Hugh Pawlett was ranged on the side of the Seigneur of Rozel.
Kinsman of the Comtesse de Montgomery, of Queen Elizabeth's own
Protestant religion, and admiring De la Foret, he had given every
countenance to the Camisard refugee.  He had even besought the Royal
Court of Jersey to grant a pardon to Buonespoir the pirate, on condition
that he should never commit a depredation upon an inhabitant of the
island--this he was to swear to by the little finger of St. Peter.
Should he break his word, he was to be banished the island for ten years,
under penalty of death if he returned.  When the hour had come for
Buonespoir to take the oath, he failed to appear; and the next morning
the Seigneur of St. Ouen's discovered that during the night his cellar
had been raided of two kegs of canary, many flagons of muscadella, pots
of anchovies and boxes of candied "eringo," kept solely for the visit
which the Queen had promised the island.  There was no doubt of the
misdemeanant, for Buonespoir returned to De Carteret from St. Brieuc the
gabardine of one of his retainers, in which he had carried off the stolen
delicacies.

This aggravated the feud between the partisans of St. Ouen's and Rozel,
for Lempriere of Rozel had laughed loudly when he heard of the robbery,
and said "'Tis like St. Ouen's to hoard for a Queen and glut a pirate.
We feed as we get at Rozel, and will feed the Court well too when it
comes, or I'm no butler to Elizabeth."

But trouble was at hand for Michel and for his protector.  The spies of
Catherine de Medici, mother of the King of France, were everywhere.
These had sent word that De la Foret was now attached to the meagre suite
of the widow of the great Camisard Montgomery, near the Castle of Mont
Orgueil.  The Medici, having treacherously slain the chief, became mad
with desire to slay the lieutenant.  She was set to have the man, either
through diplomacy with England, or to end him by assassination through
her spies.  Having determined upon his death, with relentless soul she
pursued the cause as closely as though this exiled soldier were a
powerful enemy at the head of an army in France.

Thus it was that she wrote to Queen Elizabeth, asking that "this arrant
foe of France, this churl, conspirator, and reviler of the Sacraments,
be rendered unto our hands for well-deserved punishment as warning to all
such evil-doers."  She told Elizabeth of De la Foret's arrival in Jersey,
disguised as a priest of the Church of France, and set forth his doings
since landing with the Seigneur of Rozel.  Further she went on to say to
"our sister of England" that "these dark figures of murder and revolt be
a peril to the soft peace of this good realm."

To this, Elizabeth, who had no knowledge of Michel, who desired peace
with France at this time, who had favours to ask of Catherine, and who
in her own realm had fresh reason to fear conspiracy through the Queen of
the Scots and others, replied forthwith that "If this De la Foret falleth
into our hands, and if it were found he had in truth conspired against
France its throne, had he a million lives, not one should remain."
Having despatched this letter, she straightway sent a messenger to Sir
Hugh Pawlett in Jersey, making quest of De la Foret, and commanding that
he should be sent to her in England at once.

When the Queen's messenger arrived at Orgueil Castle, Lempriere chanced
to be with Sir Hugh Pawlett, and the contents of Elizabeth's letter were
made known to him.

At the moment Monsieur of Rozel was munching macaroons and washing them
down with canary.  The Governor's announcement was such a shock that he
choked and coughed, the crumbs flying in all directions; and another pint
of canary must be taken to flush his throat.  Thus cleared for action, he
struck out.

"'Tis St. Ouen's work," he growled.

"'Tis the work of the Medici," said Sir Hugh.  "Read," he added, holding
out the paper.

Now Lempriere of Rozel had a poor eye for reading.  He had wit enough to
wind about the difficulty.

"If I see not the Queen's commands, I've no warrant but Sir Hugh
Pawlett's words, and I'll to London and ask 'fore her Majesty's face if
she wrote them, and why.  I'll tell my tale and speak my mind, I pledge
you, sir."

"You'll offend her Majesty.  Her commands are here."  Pawlett tapped the
letter with his finger.

"I'm butler to the Queen, and she will list to me.  I'll not smirk and
caper like St. Ouen's; I'll bear me like a man not speaking for himself.
I'll speak as Harry her father spoke--straight to the purpose.  .  .  .
No, no, no, I'm not to be wheedled, even by a Pawlett, and you shall not
ask me.  If you want Michel de la Foret, come and take him.  He is in my
house.  But ye must take him, for come he shall not!"

"You will not oppose the Queen's officers?"

"De la Foret is under my roof.  He must be taken.  I will give him up
to no one; and I'll tell my sovereign these things when I see her in her
palace."

"I misdoubt you'll play the bear," said Pawlett, with a dry smile.

"The Queen's tongue is none so tame.  I'll travel by my star, get sweet
or sour."

"Well, well, 'give a man luck, and throw him into the sea,' is the old
proverb.  I'm coming for your friend to-night."

"I'll be waiting with my fingers on the door, sir," said Rozel, with a
grim vanity and an outrageous pride in himself.



CHAPTER V

The Seigneur of Rozel found De la Foret at the house of M. Aubert.  His
face was flushed with hard riding, and perhaps the loving attitude of
Michel and Angele deepened it, for at the garden gate the lovers were
saying adieu.

"You have come for Monsieur de la Foret?" asked Angele anxiously.  Her
quick look at the Seigneur's face had told her there were things amiss.

"There's commands from the Queen.  They're for the ears of De la Foret,"
said the Seigneur.

"I will hear them too," said Angele, her colour going, her bearing
determined.

The Seigneur looked down at her with boyish appreciation, then said to
De la Foret: "Two Queens make claim for you.  The wolfish Catherine
writes to England for her lost Camisard, with much fool's talk about
'dark figures,' and 'conspirators,' 'churls,' and foes of 'soft peace';
and England takes the bait and sends to Sir Hugh Pawlett yonder.  And, in
brief, Monsieur, the Governor is to have you under arrest and send you to
England.  God knows why two Queens make such a pother over a fellow with
naught but a sword and a lass to love him--though, come to think,
'a man's a man if he have but a hose on his head,' as the proverb runs."

De la Foret smiled, then looked grave, as he caught sight of Angele's
face.  "'Tis arrest, then?" he asked.

"'Tis come willy nilly," answered the Seigneur.  "And once they've forced
you from my doors, I'm for England to speak my mind to the Queen.  I can
make interest for her presence--I hold court office," he added with
puffing confidence.

Angele looked up at him with quick tears, yet with a smile on her lips.

"You are going to England for Michel's sake?" she said in a low voice.

"For Michel, or for you, or for mine honour, what matter, so that I go!"
he answered, then added: "there must be haste to Rozel, friend, lest the
Governor take Lempriere's guest like a potato-digger in the fields."

Putting spurs to his horse, he cantered heavily away, not forgetting to
wave a pompous farewell to Angele.  De la Foret was smiling as he turned
to Angele.  She looked wonderingly at him, for she had felt that she must
comfort him, and she looked not for this sudden change in his manner.

"Is prison-going so blithe, then?" she asked, with a little uneasy laugh
which was half a sob.

"It will bring things to a head," he answered.  "After danger and busy
days, to be merely safe, it is scarce the life for Michel de la Foret.
I have my duty to the Comtesse; I have my love for you; but I seem of
little use by contrast with my past.  And yet, and yet," he added, half
sadly, "how futile has been all our fighting, so far as human eye can
see."

"Nothing is futile that is right, Michel," the girl replied.  "Thou hast
done as thy soul answered to God's messages: thou hast fought when thou
couldst, and thou hast sheathed thy blade when there was naught else to
do.  Are not both right?"

He clasped her to his breast; then, holding her from him a little, looked
into her eyes steadily a moment.  "God hath given thee a true heart, and
the true heart hath wisdom," he answered.

"You will not seek escape?  Nor resist the Governor?" she asked eagerly.

"Whither should I go?  My place is here by you, by the Comtesse de
Montgomery.  One day it may be I shall return to France, and to our
cause--"

"If it be God's will."

"If it be God's will."

"Whatever comes, you will love me, Michel?"

"I will love you, whatever comes."

"Listen."  She drew his head down.  "I am no dragweight to thy life?
Thou wouldst not do otherwise if there were no foolish Angele?"

He did not hesitate.  "What is best is.  I might do otherwise if there
were no Angele in my life to pilot my heart, but that were worse for me."

"Thou art the best lover in all the world."

"I hope to make a better husband.  To-morrow is carmine-lettered in my
calendar, if thou sayst thou wilt still have me under the sword of the
Medici."

Her hand pressed her heart suddenly.  "Under the sword, if it be God's
will," she answered.  Then, with a faint smile: "But no, I will not
believe the Queen of England will send thee, one of her own Protestant
faith, to the Medici."

"And thou wilt marry me?"

"When the Queen of England approves thee," she answered, and buried her
face in the hollow of his arm.

An hour later Sir Hugh Pawlett came to the manor-house of Rozel with
two-score men-at-arms.  The Seigneur himself answered the Governor's
knocking, and showed himself in the doorway, with a dozen halberdiers
behind him.

"I have come seeking Michel de la Foret," said the Governor.

"He is my guest."

"I have the Queen's command to take him."

"He is my cherished guest."

"Must I force my way?"

"Is it the Queen's will that blood be shed?"

"The Queen's commands must be obeyed."

"The Queen is a miracle of the world, God save her!  What is the charge
against him?"

"Summon Michel de la Foret, 'gainst whom it lies."

"He is my guest; ye shall have him only by force."  The Governor turned
to his men.  "Force the passage and search the house," he commanded.

The company advanced with levelled pikes, but at a motion from the
Seigneur his men fell back before them, and, making a lane, disclosed
Michel de la Foret at the end of it.  Michel had not approved of
Lempriere's mummery of defence, but he understood from what good spirit
it sprung, and how it flattered the Seigneur's vanity to make show of
resistance.

The Governor greeted De la Foret with a sour smile, read to him the
Queen's writ, and politely begged his company towards Mont Orgueil
Castle.

"I'll fetch other commands from her Majesty, or write me down a pedlar of
St. Ouen's follies," the Seigneur said from his doorway, as the Governor
and De la Foret bade him good-bye and took the road to the Castle.



CHAPTER VI

Michel de la Foret was gone, a prisoner.  From the dusk of the trees by
the little chapel of Rozel, Angele had watched his exit in charge of the
Governor's men.  She had not sought to show her presence: she had seen
him--that was comfort to her heart; and she would not mar the memory of
that last night's farewell by another before these strangers.  She saw
with what quiet Michel bore his arrest, and she said to herself, as the
last halberdier vanished:

"If the Queen do but speak with him, if she but look upon his face and
hear his voice, she must needs deal kindly by him.  My Michel--ah, it is
a face for all men to trust and all women--"

But she sighed and averted her head as though before prying eyes.

The bell of Rozel Chapel broke gently on the evening air; the sound,
softened by the leaves and mellowed by the wood of the great elm-trees,
billowed away till it was lost in faint reverberation in the sea beneath
the cliffs of the Couperon, where a little craft was coming to anchor in
the dead water.

At first the sound of the bell soothed her, softening the thought of the
danger to Michel.  She moved with it towards the sea, the tones of her
grief chiming with it.  Presently, as she went, a priest in cassock and
robes and stole crossed the path in front of her, an acolyte before him
swinging a censer, his voice chanting Latin verses from the service for
the sick, in his hands the sacred elements of the sacrament for the
dying.  The priest was fat and heavy, his voice was lazy, his eyes
expressionless, and his robes were dirty.  The plaintive, peaceful
sense which the sound of the vesper bell had thrown over Angele's sad
reflections passed away, and the thought smote her that, were it not for
such as this black-toothed priest, Michel would not now be on his way to
England, a prisoner.  To her this vesper bell was the symbol of tyranny
and hate.  It was fighting, it was martyrdom, it was exile, it was the
Medici.  All that she had borne, all that her father had borne, the
thought of the home lost, the mother dead before her time, the name
ruined, the heritage dispossessed, the red war of the Camisards, the
rivulets of blood in the streets of Paris and of her loved Rouen, smote
upon her mind, and drove her to her knees in the forest glade, her hands
upon her ears to shut out the sound of the bell.  It came upon her that
the bell had said "Peace!  Peace!" to her mind when there should be no
peace; that it had said "Be patient!" when she should be up and doing;
that it had whispered "Stay!" when she should tread the path her lover
trod, her feet following in his footsteps as his feet had trod in hers.

She pressed her hands tight upon her ears and prayed with a passion and
a fervour she had never known before.  A revelation seemed to come upon
her, and, for the first time, she was a Huguenot to the core.  Hitherto
she had suffered for her religion because it was her mother's broken
life, her father's faith, and because they had suffered, and her lover
had suffered.  Her mind had been convinced, her loyalty had been
unwavering, her words for the great cause had measured well with her
deeds.  But new senses were suddenly born in her, new eyes were given
to her mind, new powers for endurance to her soul.  She saw now as the
martyrs of Meaux had seen; a passionate faith descended on her as it had
descended on them; no longer only patient, she was fain for action.
Tears rained from her eyes.  Her heart burst itself in entreaty and
confession.

"Thy light shall be my light, and Thy will my will, O Lord," she cried at
the last.  "Teach me Thy way, create a right spirit within me.  Give me
boldness without rashness, and hope without vain thinking.  Bear up my
arms, O Lord, and save me when falling.  A poor Samaritan am I.  Give me
the water that shall be a well of water springing up to everlasting life,
that I thirst not in the fever of doing.  Give me the manna of life to
eat that I faint not nor cry out in plague, pestilence, or famine.  Give
me Thy grace, O God, as Thou hast given it to Michel de la Foret, and
guide my feet as I follow him in life and in death, for Christ's sake.
Amen."

As she rose from her knees she heard the evening gun from the castle of
Mont Orgueil, whither Michel was being borne by the Queen's men.  The
vesper bell had stopped.  Through the wood came the salt savour of the
sea on the cool sunset air.  She threw back her head and walked swiftly
towards it, her heart beating hard, her eyes shining with the light of
purpose, her step elastic with the vigour of youth and health.  A
quarter-hour's walking brought her to the cliff of the Couperon.

As she gazed out over the sea, however, a voice in the bay below caught
her ear.  She looked down.  On the deck of the little craft which had
entered the harbour when the vesper bell was ringing stood a man who
waved a hand up towards her, then gave a peculiar call.  She stared with
amazement: it was Buonespoir the pirate.  What did this mean?  Had God
sent this man to her, by his presence to suggest what she should do in
this crisis in her life?  For even as she ran down the shore towards him,
it came to her mind that Buonespoir should take her in his craft to
England.

What to do in England?  Who could tell?  She only knew that a voice
called her to England, to follow the footsteps of Michel de la Foret, who
even this night would be setting forth in the Governor's brigantine for
London.

Buonespoir met her upon the shore, grinning like a boy.

"God save you, lady!" he said.

"What brings you hither, friend?" she asked.

If he had said that a voice had called him hither as one called her to
England, it had not sounded strange; for she was not thinking that this
was one who superstitiously swore by the little finger of St. Peter, but
only that he was the man who had brought her Michel from France, who had
been a faithful friend to her and to her father.

"What brings me hither?"  Buonespoir laughed low in his chest.  "Even to
fetch to the Seigneur of Rozel, a friend of mine by every token of
remembrance, a dozen flagons of golden muscadella."

To Angele no suggestion flashed that these flagons of muscadella had
come from the cellar of the Seigneur of St. Ouen's, where they had been
reserved for a certain royal visit.  Nothing was in her mind save the one
thought-that she must follow Michel.

"Will you take me to England?" she asked, putting a hand quickly on his
arm.

He had been laughing hard, picturing to himself what Lempriere of Rozel
would say when he sniffed the flagon of St. Ouen's best wine, and for an
instant he did not take in the question; but he stared at her now as the
laugh slowly subsided through notes of abstraction and her words worked
their way into his brain.

"Will you take me, Buonespoir?" she urged.  "Take you--?" he questioned.

"To England."

"And myself to Tyburn?"

"Nay, to the Queen."

"'Tis the same thing.  Head of Abel!  Elizabeth hath heard of me.  The
Seigneur of St. Ouen's and others have writ me down a pirate to her.  She
would not pardon the muscadella," he added, with another laugh, looking
down where the flagons lay.

"She must pardon more than that," exclaimed Angele, and hastily she told
him of what had happened to Michel de la Foret, and why she would go.

"Thy father, then?" he asked, scowling hard in his attempt to think it
out.

"He must go with me--I will seek him now."

"It must be at once, i' faith, for how long, think you, can I stay here
unharmed?  I was sighted off St. Ouen's shore a few hours agone."

"To-night?" she asked.

"By twelve, when we shall have the moon and the tide," he answered.
"But hold!" he hastily added.  "What, think you, could you and your
father do alone in England?  And with me it were worse than alone.  These
be dark times, when strangers have spies at their heels, and all
travellers are suspect."

"We will trust in God," she answered.

"Have you money?" he questioned--"for London, not for me," he added
hastily.

"Enough," she replied.

"The trust with the money is a weighty matter," he added; "but they
suffice not.  You must have 'fending."

"There is no one," she answered sadly, "no one save--"

"Save the Seigneur of Rozel!" Buonespoir finished the sentence.  "Good.
You to your father, and I to the Seigneur.  If you can fetch your father
by your pot-of-honey tongue, I'll fetch the great Lempriere with
muscadella.  Is't a bargain?"

"In which I gain all," she answered, and again touched his arm with her
finger-tips.

"You shall be aboard here at ten, and I will join you on the stroke of
twelve," he said, and gave a low whistle.

At the signal three men sprang up like magic out of the bowels of the
boat beneath them, and scurried over the side; three as ripe knaves as
ever cheated stocks and gallows, but simple knaves, unlike their master.
Two of them had served with Francis Drake in that good ship of his lying
even now not far from Elizabeth's palace at Greenwich.  The third was a
rogue who had been banished from Jersey for a habitual drunkenness which
only attacked him on land--at sea he was sacredly sober.  His name was
Jean Nicolle.  The names of the other two were Herve Robin and Rouge le
Riche, but their master called them by other names.

"Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego," said Buonespoir in ceremony, and waved
a hand of homage between them and Angele.  "Kiss dirt, and know where
duty lies.  The lady's word on my ship is law till we anchor at the
Queen's Stairs at Greenwich.  So, Heaven help you, Shadrach, Meshach, and
Abednego!" said Buonespoir.

A wave of humour passed over Angele's grave face, for a stranger quartet
never sailed high seas together: one blind of an eye, one game of a leg,
one bald as a bottle and bereft of two front teeth; but Buonespoir was
sound of wind and limb, his small face with the big eyes lost in the
masses of his red hair, and a body like Hercules.  It flashed through
Angele's mind even as she answered the gurgling salutations of the
triumvirate that they had been got together for no gentle summer sailing
in the Channel.  Her conscience smote her that she should use such
churls; but she gave it comfort by the thought that while serving her
they could do naught worse; and her cause was good.  Yet they presented
so bizarre an aspect, their ugliness was so varied and particular, that
she almost laughed.  Buonespoir understood her thoughts, for with a look
of mocking innocence in his great blue eyes he waved a hand again towards
the graceless trio, and said, "For deep-sea fishing."  Then he solemnly
winked at the three.

A moment later Angele was speeding along the shore towards her home on
the farther hillside up the little glen; and within an hour Buonespoir
rolled from the dusk of the trees by the manor-house of Rozel and knocked
at the door.  He carried on his head, as a fishwife carries a tray of
ormers, a basket full of flagons of muscadella; and he did not lower the
basket when he was shown into the room where the Seigneur of Rozel was
sitting before a trencher of spiced veal and a great pot of ale.
Lempriere roared a hearty greeting to the pirate, for he was in a sour
humour because of the taking off of Michel de la Foret; and of all men
this pirate-fellow, who had quips and cranks, and had played tricks on
his cousin of St. Ouen's, was most welcome.

"What's that on your teacup of a head?" he roared again as Buonespoir
grinned pleasure at the greeting.  "Muscadella," said Buonespoir, and
lowered the basket to the table.

Lempriere seized a flagon, drew it forth, looked closely at it, then
burst into laughter, and spluttered: "St. Ouen's muscadella, by the hand
of Rufus!"

Seizing Buonespoir by the shoulders, he forced him down upon a bench at
the table, and pushed the trencher of spiced meat against his chest.
"Eat, my noble lord of the sea and master of the cellar," he gurgled out,
and, tipping the flagon of muscadella, took a long draught.  "God-a-
mercy--but it has saved my life," he gasped in satisfaction as he lay
back in his great chair, and put his feet on the bench whereon Buonespoir
sat.

They raised their flagons and toasted each other, and Lempriere burst
forth into song, in the refrain of which Buonespoir joined boisterously:

              "King Rufus he did hunt the deer,
                 With a hey ho, come and kiss me, Dolly!
               It was the spring-time of the year,
                 Hey ho, Dolly shut her eyes!
               King Rufus was a bully boy,
               He hunted all the day for joy,
               Sweet Dolly she was ever coy:
                 And who would e'er be wise
                 That looked in Dolly's eyes?

               "King Rufus he did have his day,
                 With a hey ho, come and kiss me, Dolly!
               So get ye forth where dun deer play--
                 Hey ho, Dolly comes again!
               The greenwood is the place for me,
               For that is where the dun deer be,
               'Tis where my Dolly comes to me:
                 And who would stay at home,
                 That might with Dolly roam?
               Sing hey ho, come and kiss me, Dolly!"

Lempriere, perspiring with the exertion, mopped his forehead, then lapsed
into a plaintive mood.

"I've had naught but trouble of late," he wheezed.  "Trouble, trouble,
trouble, like gnats on a filly's flank!" and in spluttering words, twice
bracketed in muscadella, he told of Michel de la Foret's arrest, and of
his purpose to go to England if he could get a boat to take him.

"'Tis that same business brings me here," said Buonespoir, and forthwith
told of his meeting with Angele and what was then agreed upon.

"You to go to England!" cried Lempriere amazed.  "They want you for
Tyburn there."

"They want me for the gallows here," said Buonespoir.  Rolling a piece of
spiced meat in his hand, he stuffed it into his mouth and chewed till the
grease came out of his eyes, and took eagerly from a servant a flagon of
malmsey and a dish of ormers.

"Hush, chew thy tongue a minute!" said the Seigneur, suddenly starting
and laying a finger beside his nose.  "Hush!" he said again, and looked
into the flicker of the candle by him with half-shut eyes.

"May I have no rushes for a bed, and die like a rat in a moat, if I don't
get thy pardon too of the Queen, and bring thee back to Jersey, a thorn
in the side of De Carteret for ever!  He'll look upon thee assoilzied by
the Queen, spitting fire in his rage, and no canary or muscadella in his
cellar."

It came not to the mind of either that this expedition would be made at
cost to themselves.  They had not heard of Don Quixote, and their gifts
were not imitative.  They were of a day when men held their lives as
lightly as many men hold their honour now; when championship was as the
breath of life to men's nostrils, and to adventure for what was worth
having or doing in life the only road of reputation.

Buonespoir was as much a champion in his way as Lempriere of Rozel.
They were of like kidney, though so far apart in rank.  Had Lempriere
been born as low and as poor as Buonespoir, he would have been a pirate
too, no doubt; and had Buonespoir been born as high as the Seigneur, he
would have carried himself with the same rough sense of honour, with as
ripe a vanity; have been as naive, as sincere, as true to the real heart
of man untaught in the dissimulation of modesty or reserve.  When they
shook hands across the trencher of spiced veal, it was as man shakes hand
with man, not man with master.

They were about to start upon their journey when there came a knocking at
the door.  On its being opened the bald and toothless Abednego stumbled
in with the word that immediately after Angele and her father came aboard
the Honeyflower some fifty halberdiers suddenly appeared upon the
Couperon.  They had at once set sail, and got away even before the
sailors had reached the shore.  As they had rounded the point, where they
were hid from view, Abednego dropped overboard and swam ashore on the
rising tide, making his way to the manor to warn Buonespoir.  On his way
hither, stealing through the trees, he had passed a half-score of
halberdiers making for the manor, and he had seen others going towards
the shore.

Buonespoir looked to the priming of his pistols, and buckling his belt
tightly about him, turned to the Seigneur and said: "I will take my
chances with Abednego.  Where does she lie--the Honeyflower, Abednego?"

"Off the point called Verclut," answered the little man, who had
travelled with Francis Drake.

"Good; we will make a run for it, flying dot-and-carry-one as we go."

While they had been speaking the Seigneur had been thinking; and now,
even as several figures appeared at a little distance in the trees,
making towards the manor, he said, with a loud laugh:

"No.  'Tis the way of a fool to put his head between the door and the
jamb.  'Tis but a hundred yards to safety.  Follow me--to the sea--
Abednego last.  This way, bullies!"

Without a word all three left the house and walked on in the order
indicated, as De Carteret's halberdiers ran forward threatening.

"Stand!" shouted the sergeant of the halberdiers.  "Stand, or we fire!"

But the three walked straight on unheeding.  When the sergeant of the
men-at-arms recognised the Seigneur, he ordered down the blunderbusses.

"We come for Buonespoir the pirate," said the sergeant.

"Whose warrant?" said the Seigneur, fronting the halberdiers, Buonespoir
and Abednego behind him.  "The Seigneur of St. Ouen's," was the reply.

"My compliments to the Seigneur of St. Ouen's, and tell him that
Buonespoir is my guest," he bellowed, and strode on, the halberdiers
following.  Suddenly the Seigneur swerved towards the chapel and
quickened his footsteps, the others but a step behind.  The sergeant of
the halberdiers was in a quandary.  He longed to shoot, but dared not,
and while he was making up his mind what to do, the Seigneur had reached
the chapel door.  Opening it, he quickly pushed Buonespoir and Abednego
inside, whispering to them, then slammed the door and put his back
against it.

There was another moment's hesitation on the sergeant's part, then a door
at the other end of the chapel was heard to open and shut, and the
Seigneur laughed loudly.  The halberdiers ran round the chapel.  There
stood Buonespoir and Abednego in a narrow roadway, motionless and
unconcerned.  The halberdiers rushed forward.

"Perquage!  Perquage!  Perquage!" shouted Buonespoir, and the bright
moonlight showed him grinning.  For an instant there was deadly
stillness, in which the approaching footsteps of the Seigneur sounded
loud.

"Perquage!" Buonespoir repeated.

"Perquage!  Fall back!" said the Seigneur, and waved off the pikes of
the halberdiers.  "He has sanctuary to the sea."

This narrow road in which the pirates stood was the last of three in the
Isle of Jersey running from churches to the sea, in which a criminal was
safe from arrest by virtue of an old statute.  The other perquages had
been taken away; but this one of Rozel remained, a concession made by
Henry VIII to the father of this Raoul Lempriere.  The privilege had been
used but once in the present Seigneur's day, because the criminal must be
put upon the road from the chapel by the Seigneur himself, and he had
used his privilege modestly.

No man in Jersey but knew the sacredness of this perquage, though it was
ten years since it had been used; and no man, not even the Governor
himself, dare lift his hand to one upon that road.

So it was that Buonespoir and Abednego, two fugitives from justice,
walked quietly to the sea down the perquage, halberdiers, balked of their
prey, prowling on their steps and cursing the Seigneur of Rozel for his
gift of sanctuary: for the Seigneur of St. Ouen's and the Royal Court had
promised each halberdier three shillings and all the ale he could drink
at a sitting, if Buonespoir was brought in alive or dead.

In peace and safety the three boarded the Honeyflower off the point
called Verclut, and set sail for England, just seven hours after Michel
de la Foret had gone his way upon the Channel, a prisoner.



CHAPTER VII

A fortnight later, of a Sunday morning, the Lord Chamberlain of England
was disturbed out of his usual equanimity.  As he was treading the rushes
in the presence-chamber of the Royal Palace at Greenwich, his eye busy in
inspection--for the Queen would soon pass on her way to chapel--his head
nodding right and left to archbishop, bishop, councillors of state,
courtiers, and officers of the crown, he heard a rude noise at the door
leading into the ante-chapel, where the Queen received petitions from the
people.  Hurrying thither in shocked anxiety, he found a curled gentleman
of the guard, resplendent in red velvet and gold chains, in peevish
argument with a boisterous Seigneur of a bronzed good-humoured face, who
urged his entrance to the presence-chamber.

The Lord Chamberlain swept down upon the pair like a flamingo with wings
outspread.  "God's death, what means this turmoil?  Her Majesty comes
hither!" he cried, and scowled upon the intruder, who now stepped back a
little, treading on the toes of a huge sailor with a small head and bushy
red hair and beard.

"Because her Majesty comes I come also," the Seigneur interposed grandly.

"What is your name and quality?"

"Yours first, and I shall know how to answer."

"I am the Lord Chamberlain of England."

"And I, my lord, am Lempriere, Seigneur of Rozel--and butler to the
Queen."

"Where is Rozel?" asked my Lord Chamberlain.

The face of the Seigneur suddenly flushed, his mouth swelled, and then
burst.

"Where is Rozel!" he cried in a voice of rage.  "Where is Rozel!  Have
you heard of Hugh Pawlett," he asked, with a huge contempt--" of Governor
Hugh Pawlett?"  The Lord Chamberlain nodded.  "Then ask his Excellency
when next you see him, Where is Rozel?  But take good counsel and keep
your ignorance from the Queen," he added.  "She has no love for stupids."
"You say you are butler to the Queen?  Whence came your commission?"
said the Lord Chamberlain, smiling now; for Lempriere's words and ways
were of some simple world where odd folk lived, and his boyish vanity
disarmed anger.

"By royal warrant and heritage.  And of all of the Jersey Isle, I only
may have dove-totes, which is the everlasting thorn in the side of De
Carteret of St. Ouen's.  Now will you let me in, my lord?" he said, all
in a breath.

At a stir behind him the Lord Chamberlain turned, and with a horrified
exclamation hurried away, for the procession from the Queen's apartments
had already entered the presence-chamber: gentlemen, barons, earls,
knights of the garter, in brave attire, with bare heads and sumptuous
calves.  The Lord Chamberlain had scarce got to his place when the
Chancellor, bearing the seals in a red silk purse, entered, flanked by
two gorgeous folk with the royal sceptre and the sword of state in a red
scabbard, all flourished with fleur-de-lis.  Moving in and out among them
all was the Queen's fool, who jested and shook his bells under the noses
of the highest.

It was an event of which the Seigneur of Rozel told to his dying day:
that he entered the presence-chamber of the Royal Palace of Greenwich at
the same instant as the Queen--"Rozel at one end, Elizabeth at the other,
and all the world at gaze," he was wont to say with loud guffaws.  But
what he spoke of afterwards with preposterous ease and pride was neither
pride nor ease at the moment; for the Queen's eyes fell on him as he
shoved past the gentlemen who kept the door.  For an instant she stood
still, regarding him intently, then turned quickly to the Lord
Chamberlain in inquiry, and with sharp reproof too in her look.  The Lord
Chamberlain fell on his knee and with low uncertain voice explained the
incident.

Elizabeth again cast her eyes towards Lempriere, and the Court, following
her example, scrutinised the Seigneur in varied styles of insolence or
curiosity.  Lempriere drew himself up with a slashing attempt at
composure, but ended by flaming from head to foot, his face shining like
a cock's comb, the perspiration standing out like beads upon his
forehead, his eyes gone blind with confusion.  That was but for a moment,
however, and then, Elizabeth's look being slowly withdrawn from him, a
curious smile came to her lips, and she said to the Lord Chamberlain:
"Let the gentleman remain."

The Queen's fool tripped forward and tapped the Lord Chamberlain on the
shoulder.  "Let the gentleman remain, gossip, and see you that remaining
he goeth not like a fly with his feet in the porridge."  With a flippant
step before the Seigneur, he shook his bells at him.  "Thou shalt stay,
Nuncio, and staying speak the truth.  So doing you shall be as noted as a
comet with three tails.  You shall prove that man was made in God's
image.  So lift thy head and sneeze--sneezing is the fashion here; but
see that thou sneeze not thy head off as they do in Tartary.  'Tis worth
remembrance."

Rozel's self-importance and pride had returned.  The blood came back
to his heart, and he threw out his chest grandly; he even turned to
Buonespoir, whose great figure might be seen beyond the door, and winked
at him.  For a moment he had time to note the doings of the Queen and her
courtiers with wide-eyed curiosity.  He saw the Earl of Leicester,
exquisite, haughty, gallant, fall upon his knee, and Elizabeth slowly
pull off her glove and with a none too gracious look give him her hand
to kiss, the only favour of the kind granted that day.  He saw Cecil, her
Minister, introduce a foreign noble, who presented his letters.  He heard
the Queen speak in a half-dozen different languages, to people of various
lands, and he was smitten with amazement.

But as Elizabeth came slowly down the hall, her white silk gown fronted
with great pearls flashing back the light, a marchioness bearing the
train, the crown on her head glittering as she turned from right to left,
her wonderful collar of jewels sparkling on her uncovered bosom, suddenly
the mantle of black, silver-shotted silk upon her shoulders became to
Lempriere's heated senses a judge's robe, and Elizabeth the august judge
of the world.  His eyes blinded again, for it was as if she was bearing
down upon him.  Certainly she was looking at him now, scarce heeding the
courtiers who fell to their knees on either side as she came on.  The red
doublets of the fifty Gentlemen Pensioners--all men of noble families
proud to do this humble yet distinguished service--with battle-axes, on
either side of her, seemed to Lempriere on the instant like an army with
banners threatening him.  From the ante-chapel behind him came the cry of
the faithful subjects who, as the gentleman-at-arms fell back from the
doorway, had but just caught a glimpse of her Majesty--"Long live
Elizabeth!"

It seemed to Lempriere that the Gentlemen Pensioners must beat him down
as they passed, yet he stood riveted to the spot; and indeed it was true
that he was almost in the path of her Majesty.  He was aware that two
gentlemen touched him on the shoulder and bade him retire; but the Queen
motioned to them to desist.  So, with the eyes of the whole court on him
again, and Elizabeth's calm curious gaze fixed, as it were, on his
forehead, he stood still till the flaming Gentlemen Pensioners were
within a few feet of him, and the battle-axes were almost over his head.

The great braggart was no better now than a wisp of grass in the wind,
and it was more than homage that bent him to his knees as the Queen
looked him full in the eyes.  There was a moment's absolute silence, and
then she said, with cold condescension:

"By what privilege do you seek our presence?"

"I am Raoul Lempriere, Seigneur of Rozel, your high Majesty," said the
choking voice of the Jerseyman.  The Queen raised her eyebrows.  "The man
seems French.  You come from France?"

Lempriere flushed to his hair--the Queen did not know him, then!  "From
Jersey Isle, your sacred Majesty."

"Jersey Isle is dear to us.  And what is your warrant here?"

"I am butler to your Majesty, by your gracious Majesty's patent, and I
alone may have dove-cotes in the isle; and I only may have the perquage-
on your Majesty's patent.  It is not even held by De Carteret of St.
Ouen's."

The Queen smiled as she had not smiled since she entered the presence-
chamber.  "God preserve us," she said--"that I should not have recognised
you!  It is, of course, our faithful Lempriere of Rozel."

The blood came back to the Seigneur's heart, but he did not dare look up
yet, and he did not see that Elizabeth was in rare mirth at his words;
and though she had no ken or memory of him, she read his nature and was
mindful to humour him.  Beckoning Leicester to her side, she said a few
words in an undertone, to which he replied with a smile more sour than
sweet.

"Rise, Monsieur of Rozel," she said.

The Seigneur stood up, and met her gaze faintly.  "And so, proud
Seigneur, you must needs flout e'en our Lord Chamberlain, in the name of
our butler with three dove-cotes and the perquage.  In sooth thy office
must not be set at naught lightly--not when it is flanked by the
perquage.  By my father's doublet, but that frieze jerkin is well cut;
it suits thy figure well--I would that my Lord Leicester here had such a
tailor.  But this perquage--I doubt not there are those here at Court who
are most ignorant of its force and moment.  My Lord Chamberlain, my Lord
Leicester, Cecil here--confusion sits in their faces.  The perquage,
which my father's patent approved, has served us well, I doubt not, is a
comfort to our realm and a dignity befitting the wearer of that frieze
jerkin.  Speak to their better understanding, Monsieur of Rozel."

"Speak, Nuncio, and you shall have comforts, and be given in marriage,
multiple or singular, even as I," said the fool, and touched him on the
breast with his bells.

Lempriere had recovered his heart, and now was set full sail in the
course he had charted for himself in Jersey.  In large words and larger
manner he explained most innocently the sacred privilege of perquage.
"And how often have you used the right, friend?" asked Elizabeth.

"But once in ten years, your noble Majesty."  "When last?"

"But yesterday a week, your universal Majesty."  Elizabeth raised her
eyebrows.  "Who was the criminal, what the occasion?"

"The criminal was one Buonespoir, the occasion our coming hither to wait
upon the Queen of England and our Lady of Normandy, for such is your
well-born Majesty to your loyal Jersiais."  And thereupon he plunged into
an impeachment of De Carteret of St. Ouen's, and stumbled through a blunt
broken story of the wrongs and the sorrows of Michel and Angele and the
doings of Buonespoir in their behalf.

Elizabeth frowned and interrupted him.  "I have heard of this Buonespoir,
Monsieur, through others than the Seigneur of St. Ouen's.  He is an
unlikely squire of dames.  There's a hill in my kingdom has long bided
his coming.  Where waits the rascal now?"

"In the ante-chapel, your Majesty."

"By the rood!" said Elizabeth in sudden amazement.  "In my ante-chapel,
forsooth!"

She looked beyond the doorway and saw the great red-topped figure of
Buonespoir, his good-natured, fearless fare, his shock of hair, his clear
blue eye--he was not thirty feet away.

"He comes to crave pardon for his rank offences, your benignant Majesty,"
said Lempriere.

The humour of the thing rushed upon the Queen.  Never before were two
such naive folk at court.  There was not a hair of duplicity in the heads
of the two, and she judged them well in her mind.

"I will see you stand together--you and your henchman," she said to
Rozel, and moved on to the antechapel, the Court following.  Standing
still just inside the doorway, she motioned Buonespoir to come near.  The
pirate, unconfused, undismayed, with his wide blue asking eyes, came
forward and dropped upon his knees.  Elizabeth motioned Lempriere to
stand a little apart.

Thereupon she set a few questions to Buonespoir, whose replies,
truthfully given, showed that he had no real estimate of his crimes, and
was indifferent to what might be their penalties.  He had no moral sense
on the one hand, on the other, no fear.

Suddenly she turned to Lempriere again.  "You came, then, to speak for
this Michel de la Foret, the exile--?"

"And for the demoiselle Angele Aubert, who loves him, your Majesty."

"I sent for this gentleman exile a fortnight ago--" She turned towards
Leicester inquiringly.

"I have the papers here, your Majesty," said Leicester, and gave a packet
over.

"And where have you De la Foret?" said Elizabeth.  "In durance, your
Majesty."

"When came he hither?"

"Three days gone," answered Leicester, a little gloomily, for there was
acerbity in Elizabeth's voice.  Elizabeth seemed about to speak, then
dropped her eyes upon the papers, and glanced hastily at their contents.

"You will have this Michel de la Foret brought to my presence as fast as
horse can bring him, my Lord," she said to Leicester.  "This rascal of
the sea--Buonespoir--you will have safe bestowed till I recall his
existence again," she said to a captain of men-at-arms; "and you,
Monsieur of Rozel, since you are my butler, will get you to my dining-
room, and do your duty--the office is not all perquisites," she added
smoothly.  She was about to move on, when a thought seemed to strike her,
and she added, "This Mademoiselle and her father whom you brought hither-
where are they?"

"They are even within the palace grounds, your imperial Majesty,"
answered Lempriere.

"You will summon them when I bid you," she said to the Seigneur; "and you
shall see that they have comforts and housing as befits their station,"
she added to the Lord Chamberlain.

So did Elizabeth, out of a whimsical humour, set the highest in the land
to attend upon unknown, unconsidered exiles.



ETEXT EDITOR'S BOOKMARKS:

Boldness without rashness, and hope without vain thinking
Nothing is futile that is right
Religion to him was a dull recreation invented chiefly for women





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