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"My Merry Rockhurst" Being Some Episodes in the Life of Viscount Rockhurst, a Friend of King Charles the Second, and at One Time Constable of His Majesty's Tower of London

"My Merry Rockhurst"
Being Some Episodes in the Life of Viscount Rockhurst, a Friend of King Charles the Second, and at One Time Constable of His Majesty's Tower of London
Author: Castle Agnes
Title: "My Merry Rockhurst" Being Some Episodes in the Life of Viscount Rockhurst, a Friend of King Charles the Second, and at One Time Constable of His Majesty's Tower of London
Release Date: 2018-06-27
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
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The Project Gutenberg eBook, "My Merry Rockhurst", by Agnes Castle andEgerton Castle

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Title: "My Merry Rockhurst"

Being Some Episodes in the Life of Viscount Rockhurst, a Friend of King Charles the Second, and at One Time Constable of His Majesty's Tower of London

Author: Agnes Castle and Egerton Castle

Release Date: June 27, 2018 [eBook #57407]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8

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[i]

“MY MERRY ROCKHURST”

Cover image

[ii]

By Agnes & Egerton Castle

  • THE PRIDE OF JENNICO
  • “IF YOUTH BUT KNEW!”
  • THE SECRET ORCHARD
  • ROSE OF THE WORLD
  • THE STAR-DREAMER
  • THE HOUSE OF ROMANCE
  • THE BATH COMEDY
  • INCOMPARABLE BELLAIRS
  • THE HEART OF LADY ANNE
Decorative leaf image

By Egerton Castle

  • YOUNG APRIL
  • THE LIGHT OF SCARTHEY
  • CONSEQUENCES
  • MARSHFIELD THE OBSERVER
  • LE ROMAN DU PRINCE OTHON
  • THE JERNINGHAM LETTERS
  • ENGLISH BOOK-PLATES
  • SCHOOLS AND MASTERS OF FENCE
  • ETC.

[iii]

Through the open window, out of the darkness, gathered a heavyrumble of wheels; then again uprose the call of the bell, the cryof the hoarse voice: “Bring out your dead!” (See p. 293.)


[iv]

“MY MERRY ROCKHURST”

BEING
SOME EPISODES IN THE LIFE OF VISCOUNTROCKHURST, A FRIEND OF KING CHARLESTHE SECOND, AND AT ONE TIME CONSTABLEOF HIS MAJESTY’S TOWEROF LONDON

RECOUNTED BY
AGNES & EGERTON CASTLE

AUTHORS OF
“THE PRIDE OF JENNICO,” “‘IF YOUTH BUT KNEW!’” “ROSE OF THE WORLD,” ETC.

New York
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
1907

All rights reserved

[v]

Copyright, 1907,
By THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.

Set up and electrotyped. Published October, 1907.

Norwood Press
J. S. Cushing Co.—Berwick & Smith Co.
Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.


[vi]

TO
RANDOLPH HENRY STEWART

ELEVENTH EARL OF GALLOWAY
HEAD OF THE ANCIENT HOUSE OF STEWART
THIS STORY IS DEDICATED
WITH THE
AUTHORS’ AFFECTIONATE REGARD

Sept. 1, 1907.


[vii]

CONTENTS

PAGE
The King’s Comrade 1
I. The State Crust 3
II. Cavalier and Capitan 21
Farrant Chace 43
I. Farrant Chace 45
II. The Lady in the Snow 58
III. The Ransom 64
IV. Under the Stars 78
The Enigma of the Locket 87
I. Little Satan 89
II. Whitehall Stairs 106
III. The Linnet’s Song 124
The Peacock Walk 145
I. June Roses 147
II. Fatherly Wisdom 168
III. The New French Pass 186
The King’s Cup 197
I. Little Satan 199
II. The Venetian Glass 225
III. The Phial of Acquetta 236
Lady Chillingburgh’s Last Card-Party 251
I. Lincoln’s Inn Fields 253
II. Love’s Reproach 267
[viii]III. The Plague-Cart 281
Broken Sanctuary 297
I. The Haven of Refuge 299
II. The Gold Whistle 308
III. Nemesis 323
The Red Desolation 339
I. The Watchers 341
II. The Testament 351
III. The Last Command 368

[ix]

ILLUSTRATIONS

“Through the open window, out of the darkness, gathered a heavy rumble of wheels; then again uprose the call of the bell, the cry of the hoarse voice: ‘Bring out your dead!’” (See page 293) Frontispiece
OPP. PAGE
“The single contemptuous exclamation fell like the cut of a whip” 68
“She felt at last that she had power” 132
“Lionel took place beside him and from narrowed lids looked smilingly at the young man’s happy countenance” 184
“The huddled figure in the great chair. The face of her that had so stout a heart, conquered in death—but less piteous, less awful sight than the living face of the French madam” 314
“Harry gave a deep groan, covered his face with his hands, and fell upon the bench” 364

[1]

THE KING’S COMRADE

[2]


[3]

THE KING’S COMRADE

I
THE STATE CRUST

The early September night had descended uponBruges,—“City of Bridges,”—once the seat of themost luxurious court in Europe, now so far away,fallen from its high if not from its wealthy estate. Thelife of the little town, never very active or variedunder the Spaniard’s rule, seemed this evening tohave been swept into a stillness emphasised only byan occasional footfall upon the cobbles of its windingstreets, some husky cry from a barge gliding ghost-likedown a canal, or the far-away barking of dogs onthe farm lands beyond the walls. A sea mist hadcrept from the north, muffling even these sounds ofsilence, rolling in thicker volumes along the manysluggard waters that intersect the old Flemish Martand bring prosperity to her comfortable merchants,as it were in their sleep. It hung itself in loose wispsaround the carven towers of the Cathedral, the giddyheights of the belfry—whence, as the hours slipped[4]on, deep bell voices answered clear bell voices, likespirits communing from their heights across the pettylives below.

The corner house of a row of solid burgher mansions,flanking the canal on the Quai Vert, stoodslightly apart with an air of greater importance thanthe rest, giving to the street on the one side throughcourtyard and wrought-iron gate, and on the othersheer over the water that lazily lipped the green,slimy foot of its walls.

The second floor of this house had been the dwellingof my lord Viscount Rockhurst ever since—thatis, some two years before—Charles had transferredto Bruges his penurious little court of EnglishCavaliers, exiles like himself since the fateful daysof Worcester, of Boscobel, and Whiteladies.

In a long, low room overlooking the canal, twomen sat together, one on each side of an open hearth,lost in deep musings. The curtains were undrawn;one window stood open, and ever and anon admitteda wreath of the sea-fog that swirled a moment andswiftly fainted away. The only light in the apartmentwas the ruddy glow of a driftwood fire, nowcheerfully burning, although the acrid savour thatstill hung in the air betrayed its recent stubbornness[5]and explained the gaping casement. It seemed as ifthe two lacked the energy either to shut out the gloomof night or call for the enlivening of candle or lamp;as if the paralysing, sodden weight lying upon theworld without had laid hold of their souls.

The blue-tipped flames that leaped round the logsflung now one brooding countenance in relief, nowthe other. Upon the right, the dark head of theexiled King of England, still in the very ripeness ofyoung manhood, would be sketched against theleather-backed chair upon which it wearily rested.But not all the geniality of the blaze could givesanguine hue or gleam of cheerfulness to the sallow,harsh visage. In utter dejection, the long figure—“atall man, above two yards high,” so had run thedescription on the Council of State’s Warrant forthe apprehension of Charles Stuart—extendeditself as if unconsciously to the warmth, chin sunkupon breast, eyes fixed and moody under droopinglids and singularly bushy eyebrows.

Upon the left, the fitful tongues of flame revealeda face of equal melancholy if of greater

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