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opportunity of shewing Esclairmonde and Lilias one to the other, as well as one of his own few chances of seeing Esclairmonde.

Once they must meet, that their promises might be restored the one to the other; but as the betrothal remained the lady's security this could not be done till she became pledged at St. Katharine's. When the opportunity came, she was to send Malcolm a messenger, and he would come to her at once. Until then he promised that he would not leave Great Britain.

On Monday the cousins proceeded, coming after a time to the route by which Malcolm had ridden three years before, and where he was now at home in comparison with Patrick. How redolent it was with recollections of King Harry, in all his gaiety and grace, ere the shock of his brother's death had fallen on him! At Thirsk, Malcolm told of the prowess and the knighthood of honest Trenton and Kitson, to somewhat incredulous ears. The two squires had been held as clownish fellows, and the sentiment of the country was that Mistress Agnes was well quit of them, and the rough guardianship by which they had kept off all other suitors. As mine host concluded, “ 'Tis a fine thing to go to the wars.' Hearing that Kitson's mother lived not a mile out of his way,

Malcolm rode to the fine old moated grange, where he found her sitting at her spinning, presiding over a great plentiful household, while her second son, a much shrewder looking man than Sir Christopher, managed the farm. • The travellers were welcomed with eager hospitality so soon as it was understood that they brought tidings of 'our Kit;' and Malcolm's story was listened to with tears of joy by the old lady, while the brother could not get over his amazement at hearing that Trenton and Kitson had become a proverb in the camp for oneness in friendship. • Made it

up with Will Trenton! And never fought it out! I'd never know our Kit again after that!'

His steady bravery, his knighthood, and the King's praise, his having assisted in saving Lord Glenuskie's life against such odds, did not seem to strike Wilfred Kitson half as much as the friendship with Trenton, and Malcolm did not think the regret was very great at the two knights having given up their intention of returning. Our Kit's' place seemed to have closed up behind him; Wilfred seemed to be too much master to be ready to give up to the elder brother; and even the mother had learnt to do without him. * I'll warrant,' quoth she, “that now he is a knight and got used to fine French ways, he'll think nothing good enow for him. And if he brought Will Trenton with him, I'd not sit at the board with the fellow.—But ye'll ride over, Wilfred, and take care the minx Agnes knows what she's lost. Ay, and if you knew of a safe hand, Sir, when the shearing is over I'd send the lad a purse of nobles to keep up his knighthood in the camp, forsooth.'

*Certes,' said Malcolm, as after a salt-fish dinner he mounted again,


'if honest Kitson knew, he would scarce turn back from the camp where he is somebody. Shall we find ourselves as little wanted when we get home, Patie?'

Patrick drew himself up with a happy face of secret assurance. Nothing could make Lilias forsake him, he well knew.

At Durham they found their good friend Father Akefield, erst Prior of Coldingham, but who had been violently dispossessed by the House of Albany in favour of their candidate, Drax, about a year before, and was thankful to have been allowed with a few English monks to retire across the Border to the mother Abbey at Durham.

The good father could hardly believe his eyes when he beheld Malcolm, now a comely and personable young gentleman, less handsome and graceful indeed than many, but with all his painful personal peculiarities gone, with none of the scared imploring look, but with a grave thoughtful earnestness about his face, as though all that once was timid and wandering was now fixed and steadfast.

He could tell nothing of Lilias since his own expulsion, but as the Prioress of St. Abbs was herself a Drummond and no one durst interfere with her, he had no alarms for her safety. But he advised the two gentlemen to go straight to St. Abbs, without shewing themselves at Coldingham, lest Prior Drax, being in the Albany interest, should make any demur at giving her up to the care of the brother, who still wanted some months of his twenty-first year.

Accordingly they pushed on, and in due time slept at Berwick, receiving civilities from the English governor that chafed Patrick's blood, which became inflammable as soon as he neared the Border; and rising early the next morning, they passed the gates, and were on Scottish ground once more, their hearts bounding at the sense that it was their own land, and would soon be no more a land of misrule. With their knowledge of King James and his intentions, well might they have unlimited hopes for the country over which he was about to reign.

They turned aside from Coldingham, and made for the sea, and at length the promontory of St. Abb’s Head rose before them; they passed through the outer buildings intended as shelter for the attendants of ladies coming to the nunnery, and knocked at the gateway.

A wicket in the door was opened, and the portress looked out through a grating

Benedicite, good Sister,' said Malcolm. “Prithee tell the Mother Abbess that Malcolm Stewart of Glenuskie is here from the King, and craves to speak with her and the Lady Lilias.'

‘Lord Malcolm ! Lady Lilias ! St. Ebba's good mercy!' shrieked the portress. They heard her rushing headlong across the court, and looked on one another in consternation.

Patrick betook himself to knocking as if he would beat down the door, and Malcolm leant against it with a foreboding that took away his breath-dreading the moment when it should be opened.

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The portress and her keys returned again, and parleyed a moment. “You are the Lord Malcolm in very deed—in the flesh.'

• Wherefore not?' demanded Malcolm.

• Nay; but we heard ye were slain, my Lord,' explained the portress, letting him in, however, and leading them across the court, to where the Mother Abbess, Annabel Drummond, awaited them in the parlour.

* Alas, Sirs, what grievous error has this been !' was her exclamation, while Malcolm, scarcely waiting for salutation, demanded, “Where is my sister?'

‘How-? In St. Hilda's keeping at Whitby, whither the King sent for her,' said the Abbess.

• The King !' cried Malcolm, 'we come from the King! Oh, what treachery has been here? And

you, Lord Malcolm-and you, my kinsman, Sir Patrick of the Braes, how do I see you here! We had heard you both were dead.'

"You heard a lying tale then, good Mother,' said Patrick grufily, ‘no doubt devised for the misery of the-of my- He could not finish the sentence, and Malcolm entreated the Abbess to tell the whole.

It appeared that about a year previously the chaplain of the monastery had learnt at Coldingham that Sir John Swinton of Swinton had sent home tidings that Patrick Drummond had been thrown from his horse and left behind in a village which the English had harried, and as he could not move, he was sure to have been either burnt or hung. This conclusion was natural, and argued no malice in the reporter ; and while poor Lilias was still in her first agony of grief, Prior Drax himself sent over intelligence derived from the Duke of Albany himself that Malcolm Stewart of Glenuskie had been stabbed in the forest of Vincennes. This report Malcolm himself accounted for. He had heard a Scots tongue among his foes, though national feeling had made him utterly silent on that head to the Duke of Bedford, and he guessed it to belong to a certain M’Kay, whose clan regarded themselves as at feud with the Stewarts, and of whom he had heard as living a wild routier life. He had probably been hired by Ghisbert for the attack, and had returned home and spread the report of its success.

Some few weeks later, the Abbess Annabel continued, there had arrived two monks from Coldingham, with an escort, declaring themselves to have received orders from King James to transport the Lady Lilias to the nunnery at Whitby, where the Abbess had promised to receive her, till he could determine her fate.

The forlorn and desolate Lilias, believing herself to stand alone in the world, was very loth to quit her shelter and her friends at St. Abb’s; but the Abbess, doubting her own ability to protect her from the rapacious grasp of Walter Stewart, now that she had, as she believed, become an heiress, and glad to avert from her house the persecution that such protection would bring upon it, had gratefully heard of this act of consideration on the King's part, and expedited her departure. The two

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monks, Simon Bell and Ringan Johnstone, had not returned to the monastery, but had been thought to be in the parent house at Durham ; but Malcolm, who knew Brother Simon by sight, was clear that he had not seen him there.

All this had taken place a year ago, and there could be no doubt that some treachery had been exercised. Nothing had since been heard of Lilias; none of Malcolm's letters had reached St. Abb’s, having doubtless been suppressed by the Prior of Coldingham, and all that was certain was that Walter Stewart, to whom their first suspicions directed themselves, had not publicly avouched any marriage with Lilias or claimed the Glenuskie estates; or the King, who had of late been in close correspondence with Scotland, must have heard of it. And it was also hardly possible that the Regent Murdoch and his sons, though they might for a few weeks have been misled by M’Kay's report, should not have soon become aware of Malcolm's existence.

Unless, then, Walter had married her on the first brash,' as Patrick called it, he might not have thought her a prize worth the winning; but the whole aspect of affairs had become most alarming, and Malcolm turned pale as death at the thought that his sister might be suffering retribution for the sin he had contemplated.

The danger was terrible! He could not imagine Lilias to have the moral grandeur and force of Esclairmonde. Moreover, she supposed her lover dead, and had not the same motive for guarding her troth. Forlorn and despairing, she might have yielded, and Walter Stewart was, Malcolm verily believed, worse to deal with than even Boëmond. As the whole danger and uncertainty came over him, his senses seemed to reel; he leant back in his seat, and heard as in a dream of his sister's sobs and groans, Patrick's fierce and furious exclamations, and the Abbess's attempts at consoling him. Dizzy with horror at the scene he realized, Lilias's cries and shrieks of entreaty were ringing in his ear-when suddenly a sweet full low voice seemed to come through them, “I am bound ever to pray


sister.' Mingled with the cry came ever the sweet soft Litany cadences: "For all that are desolate and oppressed; we beseech Thee to hear us, good Lord.' Gradually the cries seemed to be swallowed up, both voices blended in Kyrie eleison and then in the Gloria, and at that moment he became aware of Patrick crying, ‘I will seek her in every castle in Scotland.

‘Stay, Patrick,' he said, rising, though forced to hold by his chair, that must be my part.'

‘You-why, the laddie is white as a sheet! He well-nigh swooned at the tidings. You seek her, forsooth!' and Patrick laughed bitterly.

'Yes, Patie,' said Malcolm, 'for this I am strong. It is my duty and not yours, and God will strengthen me for it.'

Patrick burst out at this. Neither man nor devil shall tell me it is not mine.'

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"You are the King's prisoner still,' said Malcolm, rising to energy; "You are bound to return to him. The tidings must be taken to him at once.'

groom could do that.' “ Neither so swiftly nor surely as you. Moreover, your word of honour binds you not to wander at your own pleasure.'

‘My honour binds me not to trust you—wee Malcolm-to wander into the wolf's cage alone.'

'I am not the silly feekless callant I once was, Patie,' answered Malcolm. There are many places where my student's serge gown will take me safely, where your corslet and lance would never find entrance. No one will know me again as I am now.-Will they, holy Mother?'

Assuredly not,' said the Abbess.

‘A student is too mean a prey to be meddled with, proceeded Malcolm, and is sure of hospitality in castle or convent. I can try at Coldingham to fiud out whither the two monks are gone, and then follow up the track.'

Patrick stormed at the plan, and was most unwilling it should be adopted. He at least must follow, and keep watch over his young cousin, or it would be a mere throwing the helve after the hatchet-a betrayal of his trust.

But a little reflection convinced him that thus to follow would only bring suspicion on Malcolm and defeat his plans; and that it were better to obtain some certain information ere the King should come home, and have to interfere with a high hand; and Malcolm's arguments about his obligations as a captive, too, had their effect. He perceived his own incapacity to act; and in his despair that nothing should be done, consented to risk Malcolm in the search, while he himself should proceed to the King, only ascertaining on the way that Lilias was not at Whitby. And so, in grief and anxiety, the cousins parted, and Malcolm alone durst speak a word of hope.

(To be continued.)

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The departure of his visitor left the young painter in no very satisfactory mood for his afternoon's work. Two causes of excitement were influencing him more or less, and it was in vain that he endeavoured to return to the usual tranquillity of his demeanour. A call from a peer of the realm was in itself not an every-day occurrence; but that this nobleman should connect himself with the eventful recollections of Westerleigh, and should press him so closely upon a point forgotten, as he had supposed, by all the world, and about the last that he would

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