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He was a grim-visaged fellow, with a scar dividing his nose, from the brows downward, and scars on his cheeks, showing that he had been in action of some sort.

Bebind were half a dozen troopers ; four of them at a table playing dice with much loud laughter and constant sallies of wit--or, at any rate, of what was wit to them, and is to all of us, the difference lying only in expression ; for their theme was war and love-making. Two of these rough convivials looked on at their comrade's play, joined in the mirth, and all made frequent application to the blackjack, which passed from hand to hand almost as rapidly as the dice-box.

Lounging against the wall, close to the wide door which opened upon the corridor, was Ross, the sly old servitor who was the faithful adherent of Cochrane, and the uncle of the girl Mysie, who, without knowing it, had rendered such kindly office to Katherine when she had been entrapped in the minion's apartments.

Ross was a shrewd fellow, who saw everything and said nothing. His master had directed him to keep a sharp eye on Lady Cochrane—as he persisted in designating Katherine.

Ross pocketed the two golden angels which had been placed in his hand as the order was spoken in his ear. He knew that the gold pieces were only an instalment of what he might hope to get by-and-by; and so as they clinked in his pouch he pledged himself as the spy of the man in power.

He kept his pledge, and Katherine—not wholly unaware of the constant watch upon her—was scarcely at any moment beyond this man's vision, save when she was in the chambers of the Queen.

When she had asked for Captain Murray, and when he had conducted her to Lamington's cell, Ross had followed as far as the ward-room. There he had stopped, for he feared to expose his purpose by advancing too far; and he knew with what contempt the men of swords and halberds would have regarded him had he been denounced as a spy. They were rough fellows, and they would bave in all probability displayed their contempt in some fashion more forcible than looks or words,

He invented the excuse that he had come to have a


gossip with the troopers, and to replenish their black-jack wben it was empty. On these terms he was made welcome.

So he waited and watched. He was puzzled when Captain Murray returned without the lady, and passed through the room giving no instructions of


kind. He was still more puzzled when the lady reappeared with a cloaked figure behind her.

A burst of laughter, in the midst of which the sentinel called

“ Halt!"

Katherine, with a cool courage that surprised herself, looked in the man’s grim face, and smiled sweetly. It is impossible for a warrior—or a man of any

heartto look in a pretty woman's face, to see it smiling sweetly on him, and remain stern.

The soldier unbended visibly, grim as he was in feature.

Why do you stay us, good sir ? ” she said softly.

“Duty, lady; I must have authority for permitting you to pass hence.

Why, you saw me enter!” she exclaimed, with very pretty surprise, and a coaxing glance of the bright eyes.

* Ay, but not your companion.”
“Has not the captain told you there were two of us to


pass ?


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“Not a word said he, lady, else I would not dare to bar your way, unless it might be to have a minute's pleasure in looking at you."

Ross bent down to the men at the table, who were too busily occupied to notice what was passing behind them.

“Yonder’s a rare lass,” he said, with a wicked grin; “and she is up to some mischief with our comrade. Look to it." “ Did you ever see a pretty woman that wasn't up

to mischief ?" retorted the man nearest the speaker; and then he laughed so loud and heartily at his own humour that the others could not help joining him.

But they all looked round at Katherine and stared at her in a fashion that would have been unendurably offensive to her if she had only time to observe it. Lamington observed and almost forgot his promise to be silent and quiet, in his desire to bring them to a proper sense of respect.

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" What an eye she has !” said one.
“And what lips !” said another.

“ Take care,” said a third ; "it is the new dame of her Majesty the Queen. I saw her in attendance this morning. So take care of your tongues, my masters, or you may chance to get them clipped.”

The warning had its effect, and the gaze of free admiration promptly changed to one of respect. They were even about to resume their game and leave the lady as one whom they had no right to incommode by their observation, when Ross spoke again

“There is mischief, masters, I tell you; so look to it, and do not let them pass till I return, or you will answer for it to my Lord Cochrane."

He departed hastily.

Meanwhile the conversation between Katherine and the sentinel proceeded.

“Well," she said, laughing good-naturedly, and quite captivating the poor fellow to the destruction of all caution, "you have had several minutes of the pleasure you seem to covet; so now you will let us go on our way.'

I dare not, lady, without some warrant." “ Will this satisfy you?”

And she held up her pretty hand to show him the King's signet.

The man took down a lantern from its iron hook; and taking her hand in his own horny fist examined the ring. Do

you not know it ? ” she said, with just the least perceptible impatience.

“It bears his Majesty's crest,” answered the sentinel, slowly.

“It is your King's signet,” she said, with a tone of proud complacency.

The man shouldered his halberd, and made a respectful salute.

“I ask your pardon, lady, for staying you; but my commands are strict.”

He stepped aside.

'You are blameless," she said, with a gracious smile, as she passed him.

She advanced to the door, which was now the only


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obstacle between her and the comparative freedom of her companion. He walked by her side.

But they were brought to a sudden halt. The six troopers, who had been a moment before busy with their dice and ale, now stood on guard at the entrance with their halberds in rest.

The name of Cochrane was not a popular one even amongst these men, but it was one they feared ; and the intimation that they would have to answer to him, if the two persons before them escaped, instantly cleared their brains of whatever dulness the fumes of the liquor they had been quaffing might have produced. They sprang to their feet, seized their weapons, and stood on guard.

"Pardon, my lady," said the soldier, who had recognized Katherine as one of the Queen's ladies, but

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“How, fellow ? " exclaimed Gordon, unable to restraini himself.

She grasped his arm and pressed it convulsively to remind him of his promise.

His indignation and her anxious movement were observed by the soldiers, and held as confirmation of the suspicion which Ross had awakened that there was some treachery afloat.

By whose orders do you detain us ?” she said, boldly, although her heart was quaking.

"We hope you will not blame us, lady, but you must remain here for a few minutes until we are relieved from this awkward duty that has been forced on us.

“What awkward duty, and by whom is it forced upon you?" she rejoined, still maintaining her haughty bearing.

The sentinel, who had been the first to stay them, approached at this juncture to aid them.

“There's a mistake, comrade; you must not stop her ladyship.”

“ It's not so much the lady as the gentleman who is with her that must be stopped,” said the soldier. Has she shown you a warrant to permit them to pass, comrade ?

“The lady has shown me the signet of his Majesty the Kirg, and after that I had no business to ask who or what the gallant is who goes with her," answered the sentinel, with the tone of one whose discretion has been unfairly questioned.

“Will you show it to me, my lady ? ” said the spokes. man of the guard, who with his comrades began to feel somewhat uneasy at the announcement of the authority which had overcome the sentinel's opposition.

“ It is there!

She held it up to him, and the soldier saluted, hesitated, and said

We have been told that we will be answerable to Sir Robert Cochrane for the detention of your ladyship and this gentleman who keeps himself so closely hidden from us."

The pulse of the man and woman seemed to suspend their action at this information.

Katherine recovered quickly.

“ Master soldier, you will be answerable to the King himself if you set the authority of his servant before his


The men were staggered. She seized the moment of hesitation and said authoritatively

“ Stand aside, sirs."

Her dignity and imperative tone made the desired impression. The men wavered, looked stupidly from one to another, and finally stepped back from the entrance.

The way was clear now. No, fortune was in one of her coquetting moods, and was alternately raising and dashing the hopes of Gordon and his brave champion.

“Here is the captain,” cried one of the soldiers, with much satisfaction in the prospect of entire relief from all responsibility in this peculiar business, which seemed to threaten them with dire penalties whichever way they acted.

On the one side was the authority of the tyrant they feared, and on the other appeared the authority of the King, whom they were bound to honour and obey before all others. So the entrance of Captain Murray was source of congratulation to the soldiers, although it was the source of another and more serious check than any previous one to those who were eager to escape from the place.

The woman's wit was sharpened by the necessities of the occasion. She acted as if by inspiration. Before the


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