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hunt after a brace of runaway lovers who could not be discovered.

“Know you who leads the Hot Trod ?” said Gordon to one stalwart fellow whom he heard swearing that he believed the whole affair was a trick of the Borderers to harry the town.

I neither ken nor care,” answered the man, surlily.

“It is Cochrane, the maker of the base placks—the fellow who has commanded us to accept pieces of lead and brass for good silver money, and who has ruined honest men by his knavery.”

I wish we could lay hands on the chiel; we'd let him ken what we think o' the Cochrane placks.”

After me, then, and you shall have your wish.”

“Hey, lads, here's sport that's worth while turning out for," shouted the man to his comrades. 66 Wha’ll take Cochrane placks in payment for his wark or guids ? "

“Nane of us," was the general yell of execration which rose at the mention of the debased coin.

“Let the maker of them ken that. Here's a chiel says that Cochrane himsel's among us the night. Come on, and gie him a taste of our mettle.”

The proposition was greeted with a vehement shout that echoed from one end of the town to the other, and indicated the hearty detestation which was entertained for the king's favourite, in consequence of his ill-advised attempt to impose upon the people, in the matter of the new coin.

The crowd instantly followed Lamington towards the Royal Hunt; and as it passed onward the meaning of the new movement was hurriedly explained to neighbours and friends with all the exaggerations and transformations which a word passing rapidly from lip to lip in an excited mob

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The crowd swelled as it progressed, and the original cause of the rising was entirely forgotten in the present and much more personal source of action.

The people had doggedly refused to accept the coin issued by Cochrane, trade had been interrupted in consequence, and much misery had been felt on that account in every town in Scotland. Merchants would not accept payment in the new coin for their goods, farmers would not take it for their grain, and labourers would not have it for their hire. The result was ruin to many men, starvation to many more, and discomfort to every one.

For these reasons the people entertained an intense hatred towards the man who had endeavoured to force the ialse coin upon them. And this sentiment was at any inoment ready to assume a perilous expression wherever the king's favourite appeared, and any man bold enough to act as leader stood forward.

The happy remembrance of these circumstances promised now to afford Gordon and Katherine all the assistance of which they stood so much in need, and for which they could not have hoped from any

other source. His heart swelling with the consciousness of triumph, Gordon rushed onward, raising the shout

“ Justice for the people—no more base placks !

The crowd pressed round the doors of the hostelry in spite of all the efforts to keep them back, made by the Borderers who had been left on guard.

The Borderers, unable to discover the meaning of the riot, formed inside the doorways with spears fixed in close phalanx, thereby checking the foremost of the crowd.

The people surged excitedly to and fro, and, still obeying the guidance of Lamington, called loudly for Sir Robert Cochrane, although they did not make any immediate attempt to break down the spears of the guard and force an entrance.

Suddenly there was a movement amongst the Borderers; they divided, leaving a passage for one man, and Sir Robert Cochrane, bearing a torch in his left hand, presented himself to the people.

The light shone full upon his stern visage, and the air of proud authority which he assumed, combined with the undaunted coolness with which he appeared unarmed before the men who summoned him so furiously, awed them for the moment, and made them silent.

“I am he you call Robert Cochrane,” he said in a sharp, clear tone; "what is it you seek with me?”

A murmur like the distant roll of thunder passed along the crowd ; but at first no one seemed to have courage enough to stand forward as spokesman, and singly to brave his contemptuous regard.


Lamington whispered in the ear of the man whom he had first addressed, and he immediately made a step in advance of his companions.

“Will ye tak' back the placks ye hae sent out to us made wi' brass and lead, and gie us guid silver to trade wi'?"

"The day I'm hanged they may be called in-not sooner, was the contemptuous retort.

There's mony a true word spoke in jest, my lord," said the man threateningly.

“Stand aside, varlet; and all you who hear me, take heed of what you do, for any violence offered to me in this matter is offered to the king himself, whose laws you break, and whose commands you disobey."

A crowd is as lightly moved as a feather, which goes any way the strongest current of wind blows it. Cochrane's calmness and audacity, and the authority with which he spoke, checked the impulse of the mob, which, having no plan of action, was brought to a stand-still by his decisive

There was another murmur and another pause; and during that pause Gordon heard the shrill note of the whistle which he had given to Katherine to sound in warning, if any danger assailed her during his absence. Before the note of alarm had done echoing through the house, his sword was in his hand.

“We shall have your promise, master, to undo the cheat you

have put upon us, nevertheless," he shouted, hoarsely.

The crowd caught up the shout with an eagerness that showed their sympathy in it, and their readiness to follow any leader in such a cause.

The whistle was still ringing in his ears, and he gave instant action to his words-an example which he knew the men behind him would follow if he led the


before their reawakened sense of injury received any new check.

With a swift stroke of his sword he swept the torch out of Cochrane's hands. The suddenness of the movement had the advantage of preventing any of the Borderers observing who had struck the blow.

The crowd, now heaving and shouting with the fury of demons, pressed close behind him, and in its irresistible tide carried Cochrane away from the door. He struggled with might and main, but without effect. His loud cries for assistance were heard by Richard Janfarie, and he, raising the slogan of his father's house, pushed forward to the rescue, whilst his followers made a stout fight to support him.

As the men pushed their way out at the door, Lamington forced bis way

in. The excitement and confusion was too great for his movement to be observed.

Above all the tumult, his quick ear distinguished the voice of Katherine, and as he burst into the kitchen, he saw her struggling in the midst of half a dozen of her father's men.

Hislop was lying on the floor stunned; the hostess was using her nails furiously in trying to make one grimvisaged fellow relinquish his grasp of the lady whom the men were dragging towards the door.

When Lamington had quitted the kitchen, Katherine had waited in trembling impatience for the result of his adventure. For some minutes she had been undisturbed ; but at length she was startled by the sudden reappearance of Cochrane with six men. He had only had time to ask where the drover had gone when the tumultuous summons of the people had called him away.

He bade the men remain, however, and they asked for some ale, being fatigued with their long ride, and ready to make themselves comfortable at the first opportunity that offered.

The host produced a large can of ale, and Katherine, the better to sustain her character as an attendant, handed the mugs round to the men. One of them, being of a jovial mood, caught her hand.

Come, sweeten the mug wi' your lips, my lass,” he said. “I'll barter my jack and spear for a cradle, if yours be not a fine face if that rag were off and both een whole."

“If it was aff ye'd see a face that wad scare ye, maister,” she answered, forcing a laugh, and trying to sustain her part, although her limbs trembled under her ; for she knew that the man had seen her frequently at Johnstone.

She trembled almost as much at the thought of being detected in such a trivial vulgar way by one of the common


retainers, after she had safely passed before the eyes of her father and brother, as at the knowledge of her helpless position.

“A face to scare me!” he cried, with a loud gaffaw. “There's no a face o' man, woman, or imp could do that; and I'll prove it, whether ye are blind or no.

I ken a fresh lip when I see it.”

He suddenly threw his arm round her neck. She started from him, and in doing so the bandage which had concealed one of her eyes and part of her face was lifted off by his bent arm.

The loud laugh with which the men had greeted their comrade's exploit became abruptly hushed when they heard him exclaim

“ Mistress Katherine herself, or I'm bewitched.”

She attempted to re-cover her face, and to laugh the man out of his conviction. But he promptly bade one of his comrades summon the master of Johnstone and Sir Robert Cochrane, whilst he seized her by the arm. She instantly gave the signal with all her might, and Hislop sprang to the door to prevent any one passing. He had a sharp tussle with three of the men until a heavy blow on the head with a spear-staff laid him insensible on the Aoor.

Meanwhile Katherine, assisted by the dame, had been struggling to release herself, and to repeat the signal. Thus she was when Gordon came to the rescue.

A glance showed him the position of affairs.

cry of joy at his appearance turned the attention of her captors to him, and four spears were instantly levelled at his breast.

Parrying the thrust of the foremost, he cut the man down, and springing to one side, gripped a second by the throat, and hurled him over his fallen comrade with such force that his head striking on the floor, he was stunned. The other two made furious lounges, which were dexterously warded, and by another sudden spring he closed with the third man. The fourth, however, as if prepared for this movement, suddenly dropped his spear and drew his whinger, with which he would be able to assist his comrade better at close quarters.

At the same time the man who had recognized Katherine

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