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received the grateful plaudits of an admiring populace. With this audacity he bore himself to the last.

He thanked his executioner when he observed that the scaffold intended for him was the central one of the row, and that it was raised about a foot higher than any of the others. Even in such a ghastly transaction as the present, he declared himself gratified by the admission of his superiority.

As a further distinction of his iniquity, a rope of bair had been procured to hang him with ; and at this, too, he expressed himself pleased. He did not blanch even at the last moment, when the cord was round his neck. He looked scornfully down at the animated faces of the crowd of soldiers and burghers, and in a clear voice, he said,

“I have done the people of Scotland good service, and they repay me with a gallows. But the day comes when this deed will be my honour and the shame of your country.”

The denunciation was received in silence; for his courage at this terrible moment had an imposing effect on the listeners, much as they detested him.

The executioners did their work, and in a few minutes afterwards there was a row of lifeless forms dangling in the air on Lauder bridge.

The words which Cochrane had once spoken in jesting scorn were realized. Immediately after his death, one of the first measures of those in power was to recall the “ Cochrane Placks."

The Scottish army marched to Haddington; but the contest which had been imminent was averted by the discretion of the Scottish nobles, seconded by the efforts of the person on whose account the English invasion was reputed to have been made. The Duke of Albany, with that impulsiveness which characterized his career and unfitted him for the pursuance of any steady course, became suddenly convinced that his claim to the throne would not be supported by the people. He therefore showed himself as ardently desirous of peace as he had been anxious for war.

Accompanied by Richard, Duke of Gloucester, Albany attended a meeting of the council at Edinburgh to arrange the terms of a truce. The council refused to admit the right of Gloucester to have any say in the proceedings; but their lordships declared themselves ready to hear Albany, and desired to know his wishes.

“Then, in the first place," he said, "I require the release of the King, my brother.”

“That shall be done,” replied the Earl of Angus, or Bell-the-Cat, as he was now universally called, “and the rather that you desire it. As for the person who is with you, we cannot admit his authority to demand anything from the council of Scotland. But in you we recognize the nearest heir to the throne, next to his Majesty's son; and the King shall be freely delivered to you, in the hope that your friendship and council will enable him in future to govern the country to the satisfaction of the people, and to the content of the nobles, so that we may never again have need to act contrary to his pleasure.”

According to the arrangements entered into, the English retained Berwick, but Gloucester and his army removed to the south.

James was set at liberty, and his reconciliation with his brother was so complete, that nothing would content him but that Albany should ride on the same horse with him from the castle down the Cannongate to Holyrood; and further he insisted that they should occupy the same bedchamber. For some time this happy state of atters continued: the King was permitted to engage himself in the refined pursuits of painting, architecture, and music, and Albany administered the affairs of Government. All went satisfactorily until the duke's impulsive ambition took possession of him again, and he was compelled to fly to England to the protection of his friend Gloucester, who had by that time become Richard III.

Whilst everything was at the height of well-being between the royal brothers, and their recent animosity seemed to be finally extinguished, there was a gallant bridal celebrated at Linlithgow. Sir Richard Janfarie, almost completely restored to health, with his brother Nicol, represented the family of the bride.

Of course the bride was Katherine, and Lamington the bridegroom. All question as to the former rites through which she had been dragged was removed by the death of

Cochrane. The Abbot Panther performed the ceremony of marriage in the presence of the King, Queen, and the Duke of Albany. The latter discharged the pledge he had given to Gordon for aiding his escape from the castle: the escheated estates of Lamington's father were restored to the son, and his Majesty, to mark his appreciation of him and the service he had done, presented him with letters patent creating him Viscount of Kenmore.

The Glenkens and the Rhinns of Galloway were ablaze with bonfires in honour of the bridal, and in welcome of the knight to his home again. The lady was the toast of the country round; and there was not a man or woman from Johnstone to Kenmore who did not rejoice in the union of the lady who had suffered so cruelly for her love, and of the knight who had proved himself faithful through all adversity.

Mysio Ross was removed from the unkindly guardianship of her uncle, and accompanied the Countess of Kenmore to her new home. Not a very long while after there was another wedding, not quite so grand, but quite as merry, and this time the happy couple were Mysie and Muckle Will, whose goodness she accounted more than enough to outweigh his awkwardness. Stark was a little disconsolate at first; but he soon came to devote himself to his mistress as faithfully as he had hitherto devoted himself to his master alone.

Richard and Nicol Janfarie maintained their place long as chiefs amongst the Border riders; and from the date of the meeting in the tent at Lauder camp, they never regretted the flight of their sister from Johnstone.

EPILOGUE.

The readers who have pursued the events of the story to this page may be interested in the following brief memoranda regarding the principal historical personages who have been presented to them.

The assassination of the Earl of Mar, and the assumption of his title by Cochrane; the attack on the King at

un

Linlithgow; the escape of Albany; and the execution of the royal favourites, are historical events reproduced with little variation from the fact, save as regards the part played in them by Lamington.

James III. was, as he is represented here, a weak, kindly, and superstitious man; artistic in his tastes; fitted for the time he lived in and for the position he occupied. His death, after the battle of Sauchieburn, forms a sad and tragic episode in history. His person, and that of Queen Margaret, are described principally from the portraits in Holyrood.

Robert Cochrane, the chief favourite, was educated at Padua, and was an architect by profession, but the nobles contemptuously dubbed him “the Mason.” The character ascribed to him is that of tradition; Mr. Froude has made some attempt to show that he was a man of talent. It is scarcely necessary

to
say

that his association with Katherine Janfarie is fictitious.

The introduction of the Abbot Panther is an anachronism. He belonged to the sixteenth century, and was busily employed in affairs of state under the Regency which preceded the reign of Queen Mary, and continued to be so employed some time during her reign. The first throes of the Reformation were beginning to be felt when he was a youth; he lived to see the Reformation effected, much to his dissatisfaction. He was gifted with a jovial spirit, and a shrewd, politic mind; full of intrigue and enterprise, faithful to his friends and not unmerciful to his foes --in brief, an admirable example of the priest-politician.

THE END.

PRINTED AT THE CAXTON PRESS, BECCLES.

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