MoboReader > Literature > The Young Visiters or, Mr. Salteena's Plan

   Chapter 13 No.13

The Young Visiters or, Mr. Salteena's Plan By Daisy Ashford Characters: 44727

Updated: 2017-12-04 00:02


In the meantime the Young Lovell had dwelt at Cramlin. There was nothing that had not prospered with him, or that by diligence, cunning or swiftness he had not made to prosper. Daily men resorted to him and sought his service, coming in from the hills and moors and Debateable Lands, all strong and hardy men so that it was difficult to make a choice.

In a week's time it was known what his terms were. To every man that he took with him he would give three pounds English, for there would be little booty; such prisoners as they took he would ransom himself, for he wished to have them at his disposal to spare or to slay as seemed best to him. Such cattle as they took they might keep for themselves, or he would buy them at a fair price, for he understood that there were none left at Castle Lovell, where he would need them when he was the lord settled in that place. These terms he would make with every man, whether of his own men-at-arms, those he hired especially, or those that were the men of his friends. In the meantime he would find them in wine, meat, beer, bread and shelter.

In that way he had soon four hundred picked men-being one hundred and fifty archers, two hundred men-at-arms, and fifty of his bondsmen or bondsmen of his friends, men that were notable, light and swift-moving rievers.

There had joined him at Cramlin five young knights and eleven esquires that had been his friends before. These were Eures, Ridleys, Widdringtons, Riddells of Felton, Greys and Roddams, all being young men of his own generation. At first those of them that had fathers, uncles, or guardians found it a hard thing to get the consent of these to their going. For the days were past then of riding upon knight errantry, crusades, chevauchees, and other enterprises more splendid than profitable, and most fathers would not very willingly let their young men go fighting unless the gain in money much outweighed the costs. They would ride very well into Scotland if they were a great many together, so that it was a safe journey; but at that day France was lost to England. Most fathers would have gladly let their sons ride into France; such an enterprise as that of the Black Prince was still talked of. In that chevauchee he had ridden through France from north to south, from Calais to Marseilles, and had sacked more than six hundred towns and slain more than sixty thousand men, meeting with very little resistance. That had been a very chivalrous, gentle, joyous, and splendid raid. But since then France was gone; no Prince should ever make such a chevauchee again across that pleasant land; and the wars between King Henry VI and King Edward IV, and later between King Richard III and him that was then King Henry had impoverished and embittered all the older men of the North that knew things by hard facts rather than books of faicts of arms. These men were rather bitter, cynical, and perforce mercenary, than loyal, pious, and chivalric. They viewed with disfavour this enterprise that meant the attacking of a strong Castle, strongly held, with only a few men, no cannon, and not so much as a mangonel, a catapult, or such old-fashioned things. On the other hand, if their sons went to such a siege, they must go, richly caparisoned, in the best armour that they or their fathers had, and at great cost, for the Young Lovell was a great lord, and they could not let their sons and nephews come before him in ill harness. Yet, in such a desperate siege, such armour must at least be battered and dinted, the silken housings torn, the great chargers lamed, even if the young men were not killed or held for ransom in black mail or white. And even if that Castle should be taken there would be no great rewards-they could not sack it, for it would be their friend's. They would have nothing for it but praise, renown, the love of God, and the approval of Holy Church, as well as some plenary indulgences. But these were all things that filled no bellies and brought no cattle home.

Nevertheless, as from the first news of Young Lovell's home-coming the days went on, there came every day fresh news of how blind Fortune held her wheel still and favoured that lord. Those elders heard how, as it seemed, miraculously, he had taken Cramlin and held his mother's broad lands; how the Bishop had blessed and knighted him; how the King's commissioner hastened to do him service, and bent before him, and the Earl of Northumberland at his side. Then they heard of men-at-arms flocking to him, and, at last, how the White Tower was held for him that had in it one hundred and forty thousand pounds in gold and many rich stores. And they heard how, in boats, during four days at dawn, Richard Bek had sent him six thousand pounds, so that he could very sumptuously entertain any knights that came to him. Then, indeed, it seemed to these elder men that it might be profitable then, and in the future, to aid this favourite of the blind goddess-for some of them had learning enough to have heard that Fortune is blind, though many had not.

And all this while their sons and nephews and bastards pressed them unceasingly for leave to go on this enterprise, saying that it was not easy to have experience in the taking of strong castles, and that the Young Lovell was a leader that it would be great glory to serve under. So the elders yielded under these considerations, doing what they would not for the love of God at the bidding of Holy Church, or for the sake of oppressed chivalry. Therefore, the monk Francis, who heard of many of these discussions, and took part in one or two where the lords were in easy reach, said that those were very evil times where no thought was of anything but money, and God so nearly forgotten. And he said that before long a great calamity should fall upon England; nay, that the saints of God must soon leave hovering over a country so vile.

Nevertheless, afterwards he somewhat changed his note when he saw how many young knights of good family came to join the Young Lovell. These were, as has been said, five knights and eleven esquires of the families of Eures, Ridleys, Widdringtons, Riddells of Felton, Greys and Roddams. Amongst them was one older than the others, being Sir Matthew Grey, that had seen the French wars under Edward IV. Of him the Young Lovell was very glad, for he intended to divide his forces into two camps, and needed a commander.

So, on the flat ground around the Castle of Cramlin arose many tents, and it was like a fair in the sunshine on the short and baked grass. The Lady Margaret of Glororem had had made in the city of Durham a great tent all of fair silk, in the green and vermeil colours of the house of Lovell, and from that city the Young Lovell had had brought many vessels of silver, salt-cellars and great dishes and goblets that he had bought of a Canon of Durham, having more than he needed. A silversmith had wrought on them very swiftly the arms of that lord, and it was his intention to leave those furnishings in Castle Cramlin, that his mother might be fairly served when she came there.

They set up that tent on the eleventh of June, and were two days arranging the banquet that there was given by the Young Lovell. Many fair ladies came from Durham and Morpeth and the Castles around, and cooks came, and scullions and servers, for those knights and esquires lent to the Young Lovell their pages, that they might go to all the places around and deliver his invitations. Those ladies might all sleep in that Castle, for by that time he had bought for it, out of the gold that Richard Bek had sent him, furniture, hangings, beds a many and all such silken stuffs as should make it fair. This he did to be an honour to his mother when she came there.

So all those esquires and knights, and the ladies and the Lady Margaret, and the Young Lovell sat to take their dinner in the silken tent. That banquet began at noon, and at seven in the evening they still sat at the board. Five courses that meal had, each of sixty dishes, each dish being different, so that it was agreed that such a banquet had never been given in those parts, unless it was one that the Earl of Warwick gave upon the occasion of the marriage of his daughter. The sides of that tent were held up upon gilded staves, for it was very hot and breathless weather, so that many men said a storm must soon come. The haze of heat ran all across that champaign country; the high banks of the river were all clothed with green and whitened here and there with elder. The men-at-arms marched before them in shining steel; the bowmen in green, each with the badge of the esquire or knight that he served upon his shoulder; and the bondsmen, having each a little target, a great sword, and a very tall pike with a hook at its end. Upon these pikes they could set torches the better to put fire upon roofs or in at the upper windows of peel towers. So, before their eyes, the bowmen set up targets and shot at them for their entertainment, and they passed these hot hours very joyously. When the cool of the evening was come, the Young Lovell took Sir Matthew Grey apart into a grove beside the river.

He told that knight very carefully how he would have him dispose the men that should be under his command, for he should not see those men again before they met victoriously in the Castle. Sir Matthew Grey listened to him and said that that was a very good scheme and he would observe it carefully. So, just as the young moon set, Sir Matthew Grey with all the men-at-arms, all the bowmen and fifty of the rievers, making in all two hundred and fifty men, having with him all the knights and esquires as well as the Young Lovell's most trusted esquire, Cressingham, that knew very well the ways into Castle Lovell-all rode over the whiteness of the river at the ford and were lost beneath the light of the stars. Then such of the ladies as would sleep at Castle Cramlin went into it; the others had already ridden away with their attendants. The cooks and scullions and serving men began to take down that great silken tent, and the men-at-arms that remained struck those that had sheltered their former comrades. The Young Lovell begged the Lady Margaret very courteously that she would walk with him in the grove of the river where he had talked with Sir Matthew Grey. The white small moon looked in on them through the branches; the river ran very swiftly.

There walking, he told once more to that lady very carefully his plan for the taking of Castle Lovell, for it was such things that she heard of more willingly than of any others. Sieges, tourneys, journeys, feats of arms and dangerous quests, of these she was never tired of talking; she loved them better than putting on the newest hood made after a Queen's model of France.

This plan for the taking of Castle Lovell was as follows, and it was to get under way at the hour of five on the sixteenth day of June -- that was to say, in three days' time. There were three entries to be made into that Castle within five minutes, one through the great gate that was beneath the tower called Wanshot: one through the passage coming up beneath the flagstones in the men's kitchen that was built into the wall between the towers Constance and de Insula; the third was to take place from the White Tower over the little drawbridge that connected that hold with the Castle.

The first entry, that through the great gate, was to be conducted by the Young Lovell's esquire Cressingham that well knew the ways into the Castle. This was a very dangerous enterprise, or one with no danger at all as it turned out. Besides the esquire Cressingham there were to be engaged upon it four young knights greedy of glory-Sir Michael Ridley, Sir Thomas Eure, the Lady Margaret's cousin, Sir Hugh Widdrington, and Sir Edward Riddell of Felton. It was in this way. There were usually five guards at that great gate, four to man the meurtrières and one to go to the grille; the space there was scarcely sufficient for more, nor were more necessary, so strongly was the gate protected from above by machicolations, stone balls and bowmen. So there were usually no more than five men there. Now those four knights, under the command of the esquire Cressingham, covering their armour completely with peasants' clothes and cloaks, should go up to that gate in the quiet of the morning with sacks on their backs. In these sacks they should have a good store of last year's walnuts and apples-though it was difficult enough to find these in June, yet some they had found that had ripened very late the year before. So these pretending peasants should say that they had heard that there was a great dearth of agreeable meats in that Castle, and that they were come with some fruits for sale from the neighbourhood of Sunderland. Then, very surely, those guards would desire to see those fruits, for it was certain that they all in the Castle were thirsting for such things. The false peasants should make to open a sack, and it would be a very easy thing to let the contents of one whole one fall to the ground and run rolling here and there. Very surely, too, then those guards would bend down to pick up those fruits and nuts, for it is not in human nature to withstand such a temptation.

The four knights and the esquire Cressingham should have their daggers privily ready under their cloaks and so they might very easily stab each of those guards in the back of the neck, and if they did that with skill they might slay them so peaceably that they would speak never a word. It was in that way that the Spaniards won the city of Amiens from the French a little later.

If then those guards died without tumult the esquire Cressingham should go quietly to the within-side of the gateway and wave a little cloth up to those on the White Tower. If, on the other hand, they make a noise, that outcry in itself should serve for a signal. The danger of this enterprise was this, that if the Castle was at all diligently guarded there would be in the chamber above that gate a great company of archers under a captain, and if those guards should make an outcry the archers might very easily come down and work some mischief to those knights. Moreover, the herse or portcullis was worked from that upper chamber by means of pulleys and chains. Thus the archers there if they knew what was passing below might let down that portcullis and thus not only should they catch those knights like rats in a trap, but they should prevent others entering in.

To guard against this the Young Lovell gave the following directions: In the first place, as soon as those guards were over-mastered or slain, one of the knights should close the door that let men down from the upper chamber. A very strong door it was, at the bottom of narrow steps, so that it would be no easy task to break through it. Thus, if those archers desired to come at those knights they must run along the battlements and down by the steps of the tower called de Insula, and that would take time. As for the portcullis, there was across the great gate a very strong and stout balk of wood, running in bolts. This they should take out and set upwards in the slots down through which the herse descended. Once that was there there should be no closing that way. This the Young Lovell knew very well, for once when he had been a boy he had done it out of devilment to plague the captain of the archers.

Upon the sign from the esquire Cressingham, or upon hearing a tumult in the gate house, the Young Lovell, from the top of the White Tower, should fire cannon shots into that Castle, and the firing of those shots should serve a double purpose. In the first place they should be for a signal to all the others to go forward; in the second, they should serve to frighten and distract the archers in that upper chamber if that were necessary.

Upon those sounds at once the men in the tunnel should issue out into the kitchen and fall upon the hovels that were around the keep and slay all that would not yield and afterwards set fire to the hovels themselves, for that would make not enough flame to burn down the keep but enough to smoke out all that were in it. Those that were in that tunnel were to be the Castle Lovell bondsmen, Hugh Raket, Barty of the Comb, and others. They should have introduced themselves secretly and under cover of the night into Corbit Jock's Barn that stood, as had been said, against the Castle wall, not fourteen feet from where that tunnel came into the grassy mound. Under cover of that same darkness Sir Matthew Grey, the elder knight, should have hidden himself with one hundred men-at-arms and esquires, all mounted, and one hundred bowmen in the houses of the township of Castle Lovell and in the barns, some of which were not twenty yards from the Castle gate. And upon the firing, those bowmen from behind the middens and the hillocks should rain arrows at those that were on the battlements, and Sir Matthew Grey with his men-at-arms should ride furiously up to the gate that should be kept open for him by those five knights, and a little afterwards those bowmen should follow, putting up their bows and drawing their hangers and dirks.

Then, when all these engaged the attention of those of the Castle, the Young Lovell, giving up his firing of artillery, should issue fiercely from the White Tower over the drawbridge with the twenty or thirty men that that tower held, and he could not well doubt that that should be the coup de grace to those of the Castle. Then he would hang the Knights of Cullerford and Haltwhistle and Henry Vesey. His sisters he would put into nunneries, and the Decies send beyond the seas if the monk Francis did not claim him for the courts ecclesiastical to be broken on the wheel. But this the Young Lovell did not wish, for the Decies was his father's son.

The Lady Margaret said that that was the very properest scheme she had ever heard for the taking of a castle, part by stratagem and part by force. And they walked, devising of that scheme for a long time, beneath the night-black boughs, with the thin white moon that peeped between and the swiftness of the river below their feet. And ever the Lady Margaret was aware of a bitter grief in his tones, spake he never so hotly. Ever the Young Lovell was aware that the thought of marrying with this woman was an intolerable weariness to him, though she was gallant and fair and loving. He looked upon her face in the moonlight and saw how fair it was with the shadows of the hazel wands across it. That place was called the banks of Cramlin, and bitter banks they were to him. For there was no mark against that lady and none in those parts could be a fitting mate for him but she. And he considered how she had cherished him and helped him, and that he had no grief against her. Ever he sighed deeply and yet talked of the joy they would have in pleasaunces and in the wilderness hawking, in devising, in the stables, picking the wild flowers in spring, watching their husbandmen with the ploughs, sitting in the little chambers before the fire in winter, and at bed and board. And ever the Lady Margaret put aside the talking of those things and talked of firing cannon into Castle Lovell with the bitter tears on her lids. She knew him so well she read his heart.

So with a heavy sigh he kissed her on the cheek her that had been used to lie in his arms, and her tears were wet upon his lips, and in the darkness, amidst the waternoises of those Cramlin banks-for the miller had let down his sluices whilst they talked-amidst the glimmer of the birch trunks that grew with the hazels, he left her that he should never see again for many weary years. Then, with his fifty bondsmen, he rode north into the black night beyond the ford.

It was three in the morning when the Young Lovell came to Cullerford Tower, and it was very dark. By daylight that baleful place upon the open moor was smoking to the sky, and that was not much more difficult to do than cracking a walnut, though a very great and square tower it was, more like the keep of a castle than a peel, though it followed those lines. Forty-seven paces it was in length and twenty across, the walls being three yards deep in solid stone. It was entered from the ground by a door like that of a barn, and indeed the lowest story was no more than such a barn, containing no rooms nor partitions, and serving, in dangerous times, to store wheat, cattle or whatever the Knights of Cullerford had that was of value. No staircase led from this story to the rooms above, but only a ladder going to a trap hatch, so that when that ladder was drawn up there was no coming to them of the tower. At that time there were no men-at-arms there at all, only several old fellows under the command of an old man called Hogarth, together with a few women and several children, and the cattle were all in the barn below them. The hay that they had lately got stood in stacks round about that tower, and a hundred yards away were nearly three hundred lambs that should have been driven to market the next day, and filled the night with their bleatings, for they were but newly taken from their mothers. But so sorely did Sir Walter Limousin need money that he wished to sell them before they were ready.

The Young Lovell had with him fifty rievers mounted on little horses and fifty men-at-arms that he had taken from Cramlin, where he had left one hundred men under the command of the esquire La Rougerie, and that bleating of lambs aided those rievers to creep up to that tower door. They had the door half burst down before ever those above were aware that they had come. Then a great wail went up from those women and children in the tower, for they thought it had been the false Scots and that their deaths were near. Some old men came running up on to the battlements on the top of the tower, intending to cast down rocks and other things on the rievers that were at work upon that stout door. But the Young Lovell bade shoot so many arrows up that that handful of old men could not stay there, and very loudly he called out to them his name and titles. So an old man came to a window and said that his name was Adam Hogarth and that he had command there. So the Young Lovell bade him rend

er up that tower, for he was in a hurry and could not stay to be gentle with them, which was the greater pity, for the number of women and children that he could hear were there by their cries. Adam Hogarth said that he would not render up that place until they had fought well for it, not to the brother of his lady and mistress or to any man. Then the Young Lovell said that he was sorry for it.

It was very dark then, but those rievers were skilful men, and whilst the Young Lovell spoke with Adam Hogarth they had that great door open and began to drive out the cattle that came willingly enough in the darkness, but it was dangerous work because of the horns. One hundred and forty-seven steers were there and nineteen cows with calves, as well as over a dozen heifers. Whilst these came out an old man at a window above that door came with a crock of boiling water and poured it out. It fell on no man, but on the backs of several bullocks that stampeded into the night and came amongst the men-at-arms that were upon horseback. This caused some confusion and the Young Lovell bade light a torch or two, and indeed there were some torches lit in that lower barn so that it showed like an illuminated caravan beneath the black shape of the tower. The stars were very fine and it was very dark just before the dawn. All the while cries went up from the women and children in the tower; so that the night was unquiet.

Then that old man came again to the window to pour out boiling water, but there was a little light behind him from the fire that he had used for the heating. The Young Lovell had a bowman ready and that man loosed an arrow. It sped invisible through the night and went in that old man's mouth and killed him there, so that he never poured any more water. The Young Lovell said that was very well shot, considering the darkness of the night, and he gave that bowman two French crowns for having done it.

Then Adam Hogarth loosed off a demi-saker that he had in an upper room. He aimed it at the Young Lovell who stood upon a little mound with a torch flaring near him. But that bullet went a shade wide, nevertheless it killed a steer, striking that beast on the cheek beside the eye. Then the Young Lovell bade put out the torches and commanded his bowmen to direct a stream of arrows against all the windows that were on that side of the tower, so that though that demi-saker sent out once more its stream of flame and spoke hoarsely, that was the last of it. For the rest of that work they could see well enough without torches; it consisted in taking mounds of hay into that barn, and when it was half filled they poured water and fat upon it so as to damp it, and a little tar. Then into that mass they cast three or four torches and so they watched it smoulder. Of flame there was very little, but the smoke and stench in verity were insupportable, and that filtered into the upper part of the tower.

Then the dawn began to point over the Roman wall and grey things appeared, and fat smoke curling up all around the doomed tower in the still air of the morning. It grew a little cold so that they must slap their arms around them, and said that that waiting was slow work. As soon as it was light enough, the Young Lovell began to count those cattle. He sent men also to drive up the hurdled lambs that had cried all night, and others to find their dams that were in charge of a shepherd in the fields beyond the Wall. The Wall began to show clear on top of a rise, running over the tops of hills and down into hollows, grey, into invisibility. Then after a time, those men brought in the sheep. They had caught that shepherd where he slept, and drove him before them, pricking him with lances so that he commanded his dogs to drive those sheep where they should go. Thus then were all the flocks and herds of Cullerford collected together in a goodly concourse, and when the Young Lovell knew that he had them all, he ordered the men-at-arms that he had brought from Castle Cramlin to drive them to that place, for he had no more need of men-at-arms.

So they went away over the moors to the north and east, going through a gap in the wall just after they were out of sight. Those sheep and cattle the Young Lovell meant for the provisioning of his mother. He thought that his sister would not need them when her husband was hanged and herself in a nunnery. So, whilst he stood and watched that fatly smoking tower from which there came a strong odour of burning grease, a great sadness fell upon him at the thought that all this profited him nothing, for he desired none of these things for his intimate pleasure. It was all for decency and good order in his lands that he did it, and to punish evildoers. So his head hung down and he sat his horse like a dying man.

It was these moods in him that the monk Francis dreaded. But the monk Francis thought he had him safe for two days or three, for he himself had urgent business in his monastery of Belford, more particularly over the affair of the hermitage of Castle Lovell. For it was reported to him that that pious hermit was really dead. During ten days he had spoken words none at all and the stench that came out of the little hole where they put in his bread and water was truly unbearable and such as it had never been before. So the monk Francis had gone to Belford to see how that might be. The Young Lovell he thought he might well leave. For with the banquet and the sending off of his troops he would be well occupied, and he had made the Lady Margaret promise to be a zealous lieutenant and see that that lord was never unoccupied till he rode on that raid. For the monk Francis considered that whilst he was upon a raid, that emissary of Satan or whatever she was would have no power over him, so ardent a soldier was this young lord.

But here he had reckoned without the obstinacy of Adam Hogarth who kept all those aged men and the women and children stifling in that fat smoke. The Young Lovell was never in greater danger. He looked down upon the ground and sighed heavily. He had it in him to ride into a far country and leave all those monotonies. But at last on the top of the tower he perceived Adam Hogarth, who held up his hands. So he knew that that tower had surrendered. Then he called out that all those in the tower might come down a ladder that they might set down from an upper window, and that they might bring down their clothes and gear and take it away with them where they would-all except Adam Hogarth, with whom he had some business. As for that Tower he meant to burn it out.

So down the ladder came thirty or forty poor people with ten or a dozen children. Their eyes were red and wept grimy tears, and they were all in rags of grey homespun, such as the poor wear, for Sir Walter Limousin and his wife were very bad paymasters, and such a collection of clouts the Young Lovell thought he had never seen in the grey of the morning. Nay, he was moved to pity at the thought that this dishonoured his kin, and to each of those poor people he gave a shilling that they might have wherewithal to live till they found other masters, and to women that had children he gave four groats. Some carried pots, some pans, and all of that ragged company filed away over the moorlands beneath the Wall, making mostly for Haltwhistle, and showing no curiosity at all, except two or three old women that had to do with Adam Hogarth.

Then the Young Lovell took Adam Hogarth down to a little grove of trees that was near the ford and asked that blear-eyed old man where his master, Cullerford, had hidden the charters and muniments of his mother the Lady Rohtraut; for he knew that there they were. Adam Hogarth said that he did not know and set his teeth. Without more words the Young Lovell had a rope brought and a slip-noose made. He sent a man up a great elm to drop the noose over a stout branch and Adam Hogarth watched him dumbly. Then the Young Lovell had that noose set round Adam Hogarth, beneath the arm-pits and three men hauled him up till he hung thirty feet high, looking down with the tears dripping out of his red eyes. So when the Young Lovell had watched him for a minute or two and he spoke no word, the lording walked away to where the womenkind of that pendard were, and asked which of them were his kinswomen. One red-eyed crone was his sister, another his wife. So the Young Lovell took that sister to where Adam Hogarth hung and pointed him out. He bade her tell him where those charters were, but she would not. Then he had Adam Hogarth let down. The rope was set about his neck and the Young Lovell bade his men haul slowly. Adam Hogarth choked in his throat and rose up to his tip-toes, but he would make no sign with his hand and his sister would not speak. Then that man was let down again and the Young Lovell said it was the greater pity, for he must bring the wife. So the other old woman was brought, and when Adam Hogarth swung the height of a man's thigh with his feet off the ground, and his legs were working like those of a frog and his face purple with the hempen collar round his neck and the knot beneath his ear so that he should not die very quickly, that old woman fell on her knees and cried out that she would tell the Young Lovell that news. So the Young Lovell cut through that rope with his sword to do Adam Hogarth greater honour, and he fell to the ground very little the worse for wear.

The old woman took the Young Lovell to a haystack where, beneath the trampled hay around it, there was a well-head locked with a great padlock. This padlock a man with a hammer knocked off, and a chain went down into that well, the well being dry. So they pulled up that chain, and at the end of it was the muniment-box of the Lady Rohtraut that the Young Lovell well knew. So when he had had the iron lid prised open with a lance-head-for without doubt the Lady Isopel wore the little gold key of it round her neck-the Young Lovell recognised that the deeds were there, for, though he had no time to read them, he knew them by their seals. Then he was well content for his mother's sake, for, though it is a good thing to have lands in actual possession, it is twice as well to have the muniments appertaining to them.

Then he bade his men get together what balks of timber and wood they could find and cast them into the hay that still burned in that lower story so that the fire might spring up, and also to take torches and cast them through the upper windows so that that tower might well burn in all parts where it was wooden. After that he called before him that Adam Hogarth and commended him for his faith to his master and commended his sister as well. And he said that that man and his sister might have for their own, to divide between them, such steers as had escaped during the stampede of the night before, as well as three bulls that were upon the upper pastures with several sheep, and some pigs and hens that were in a barn by the river and had escaped observation. And he said that Adam and his sister might dwell in that tower, after the fire had well burned it so that it could not be held as a fortress, but it would shelter them very well until he should decide whether he would hold that tower himself or till the heirs of Sir Walter Limousin should compound with him for his sister's dower. For Sir Walter, he said, was as good as a dead man. As for Adam Hogarth's wife, they might do what they liked for her, but he would give her nothing, for he held that she had not done well in betraying her master's secret, to keep which should be the first duty of a servant, man or woman. And as for his reward to Adam Hogarth, he gave him those things which would make him richer than he had ever been in his life before in order to encourage such faith as he had shown. And if he husbanded those cattle well they would increase and multiply. But Adam Hogarth said no more than "Least said is soonest mended," for he was a crabbed old man of few words.

Then the Young Lovell and his men made a breakfast of some small beer and bread that they found in that tower, and so they rode away northwards through the Wall, for it was five o'clock with the sun high and they had far to go, but their little horses would carry them well. He left two or three men to see that Adam Hogarth and his wife and sister did not seek to quench that burning. But he did not think they would, for when he looked back he could see against the pale sky the pale flames rise over the hill.

But as soon as he was gone that Adam Hogarth fell upon his wife and beat her very furiously. He said that he knew very well that that Young Lovell would never have hung him, for there was no priest there to confess him, and that never would he have betrayed that secret until after the Young Lovell had let him be shriven. So the Young Lovell must have paid him much money. Besides, he could have borne with hanging for a quarter of an hour longer and come to no harm. So he beat that woman and she screamed out, and the men that the Young Lovell had left behind roared with laughter and the tower burned.

So, when those men caught up with the Young Lovell, which they did near Fontoreen, west of Morpeth, they told him of the cunning of that husbandman. So the Young Lovell did not know whether to be more vexed with that peasant, because it was not so much love for his master as greed that made him be half-hanged, or whether to marvel that such a low fellow should have read his mind so well, for surely he would never have hanged him unshriven.

They rode on all that day until they came to Sea Houses by North Sunderland, having covered nearly sixty miles of rough country, for they went by the South Forest and past Rothbury and the high moors so that they might not be observed. Four miles from Sea Houses, it being then ten o'clock at night, the Young Lovell sent his men forward towards Castle Lovell, and in a fisherman's hut on the sounding pebbles of the sea he found the monk Francis, who was very glad to see him and glad of his news. The monk had been that day in the village of Castle Lovell and had found that the hermit was indeed dead. So he had appointed the day following at six in the evening for skilled masons to come and disinter that holy man to give him holy burial. For he thought that by that hour the Young Lovell would be well established in his Castle.

So when they had exchanged their news the lord and the monk lay down to sleep a little on a pile of nets that the fisherman heaped up for them in a corner of his hut, he himself lying outside upon seaweed with his wife. At a quarter to three he waked them and they set out upon their voyage to the White Tower. There was a good following breeze from the due south, so that they might well come to Castle Lovell in an hour or a little under. But the dancing motion of that little boat made that monk Francis very ill, which was great pity for the Young Lovell. With fasting, prayer and vigil that good monk was become very weak, though he had once been a very strong knight. He lay on the bottom-boards of that boat, and so deeply had he fainted that when they had come to the little harbourage beneath the White Tower he was insensible and they could not tell that he was not dead. So there was no getting him up the ladder of iron spikes that was all the way there was into that tower from the sea. The Young Lovell would not trust those spikes to bear the two of them or he would have carried the monk up. So he climbed up alone, and Richard Bek and the others were awaiting. But the fisherman rowed that monk straight to the shore and carried him over the sand to the township. Here in a hut he found the Lady Margaret of Glororem, who had ridden all that day and night before to come there. So she tended that monk and in about an hour he could stand again. But then there was no way of coming into that tower.

Therefore the monk Francis and the Lady Margaret went up to the little mound on which was the chapel the Young Lovell had first watched his harness in. This was so near the Castle that half of the bowmen under Sir Matthew Grey had been appointed to spend the night in it so that they might come out when the gun fired and shoot their arrows against the battlements between de Insula and Wanshot Towers. So that monk and that lady knelt in that porch, and between their prayers for the success of their dear lording they watched the dawn pointing over the sea, which came with the grey forms of waterspouts. These moved silently, here and there upon the horizon. So they saw the sun come up white and fiercely shining between those monstrous appearances. The monk Francis said that that pale sunrise was a certain sign that the weather was breaking, and he thanked God that all their hay was in. Then they saw the Young Lovell spring up on to the coping of the White Tower. So clear the weather and the light were that they could mark the little lion's head that was carved on the peak of his helmet like the handle of a curling stone.

So he went down out of sight again and they prayed very fiercely, holding each other's hands for comfort. The bowmen whispered from the door behind to know if it were not near time. White smoke flew out from the top of that tower, and the monk cried out so loudly that they never heard the sound of the shot, for he knew that the great gateway was taken. Out ran the archers with their bows bent and stood on the green sward. They shot arrows high so that they fell over the battlements-long arrows with great feathers of the grey goose that journeyed intently through the air. So that gun sounded again and again, and they saw the Young Lovell once more upon that coping. The bowmen in the Castle were sending arrows up against him, but they glanced off his armour because of their slanting flight. He stood there looking down and behind him were the grey waterspouts.

Now as for such as dwelt within the Castle:

A little before the exact minute of sunrise such of them that slept were awakened by the firing of cannon shot, two following. A stone ball came into the window of the Lady Douce and broke a chest. Then from many quarters there came cries, sharp but short like gun shots. And then one scream so high and dreadful that all men stood deaf and amazed. Such a cry had never before been heard in all Northumberland amidst the rain of arrows. There were men bursting in at the great gate of the Castle and others with their swords high coming from the men's kitchen that was between the tower called Constance and that called Wanshot. The men upon the battlements had their bows bent or held up beams and bolts of iron, or were setting iron poles under great stones to roll them down through the machicolations. And the Knight of Wallhouses was whispering to the Lady Douce, who had run down into the great hall, that there were no men coming against the little postern nearest the sea, and that he and she and his men would make their way out of the Castle by the gate.

That tide of dreadful war had come upon them so quickly that it seemed as if, before Henry Vesey's eyes could see, men were bursting in at the great gate and from other places in the Castle. Then he knew that the Young Lovell must be aware of secret ways in that none of them had heard of, and before that fray was two minutes gone he knew that they were lost. Therefore he made ready to get himself gone by the postern.

But when that most dreadful cry was heard all those people stood still; the men with bows, balks, and levers, the men running in with swords; Sir Henry whispering; the Lady Isopel calling from her window; the Decies turning in his bed, and Sir Symonde running along the battlements. That cry deprived them of the powers of motion and made their bones quiver within their flesh like shaken reeds. Some that then heard it said afterwards that it was no more than the voice of the elements.

The monk Francis deemed to the end of his life that he had heard the cry of fear of a false goddess, for, when he went, a broken man, to commune of these things with the Bishop Palatine, that Bishop told him that so that false goddess whom they most dreaded and who is the bane of all Christendom, since in quiet hearts she setteth carnal desire-so that false goddess had cried out when, in the form of a cloud of mist or may be of a rainspout, she had hastened to the rescue of the hero Paris. That had been at the siege of a strong Castle called Troy. That Paris of Troy she had carried away to the top of a high hill near the town, as it might have been Spindleston Crags, and there she had kept him till that battle was done. And part of the cry had been for fear, and partly it was from pain because an arrow had struck her, she being vulnerable, though her blood would turn to jewels.

So the monk Francis was very certain that he had heard at least the cry of fear of a false goddess wailing for her love, and that in the waterspout that bore the Young Lovell away he had seen her twisting and writhing form. Whether she were wounded or not he did not know, but he hoped she was, and well she might have been, for arrows a many were glancing round the form of the Young Lovell where he stood upon the battlements, and all around him and below people stood rigid like figures seen in a flash of lightning whose hearts had ceased to beat, and it fell as black as in the hour before the dawn.

Sir Symonde Vesey, who had been running along the battlements looking up, perceived, so near his hand could touch them, millions of little black clouds twisting in an agony like snakes. Then all that water fell upon him and hurled him from that height into the inner court, where he lay senseless a long while, and so was drowned in a gutter. There was no man there could stand up against that torrent of rain twisting round. Four waterspouts struck that Castle one after the other, and for ten hours so it rained that most of the hovels in the courtyard were washed down, and the mud there was so deep it was up to a man's thighs.

Men fought a little in the corridors, and some three or four were killed in the great kitchen where some had taken refuge. But they could find none of their leaders for a long time, and most of them gave over.

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