"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
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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]
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“MY MERRY ROCKHURST”
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
By Egerton Castle
- YOUNG APRIL
- THE LIGHT OF SCARTHEY
- MARSHFIELD THE OBSERVER
- LE ROMAN DU PRINCE OTHON
- THE JERNINGHAM LETTERS
- ENGLISH BOOK-PLATES
- SCHOOLS AND MASTERS OF FENCE
“MY MERRY ROCKHURST”
SOME EPISODES IN THE LIFE OF VISCOUNTROCKHURST, A FRIEND OF KING CHARLESTHE SECOND, AND AT ONE TIME CONSTABLEOF HIS MAJESTY’S TOWEROF LONDON
AGNES & EGERTON CASTLE
“THE PRIDE OF JENNICO,” “‘IF YOUTH BUT KNEW!’” “ROSE OF THE WORLD,” ETC.
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
All rights reserved
By THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.
Set up and electrotyped. Published October, 1907.
J. S. Cushing Co.—Berwick & Smith Co.
Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.
RANDOLPH HENRY STEWART
ELEVENTH EARL OF GALLOWAY
HEAD OF THE ANCIENT HOUSE OF STEWART
THIS STORY IS DEDICATED
AUTHORS’ AFFECTIONATE REGARD
Sept. 1, 1907.
|The King’s Comrade||1|
|I.||The State Crust||3|
|II.||Cavalier and Capitan||21|
|II.||The Lady in the Snow||58|
|IV.||Under the Stars||78|
|The Enigma of the Locket||87|
|III.||The Linnet’s Song||124|
|The Peacock Walk||145|
|III.||The New French Pass||186|
|The King’s Cup||197|
|II.||The Venetian Glass||225|
|III.||The Phial of Acquetta||236|
|Lady Chillingburgh’s Last Card-Party||251|
|I.||Lincoln’s Inn Fields||253|
|I.||The Haven of Refuge||299|
|II.||The Gold Whistle||308|
|The Red Desolation||339|
|III.||The Last Command||368|
|“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|
|“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|
THE KING’S COMRADE
THE KING’S COMRADE
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 slippedon, 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 stubbornnessand 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