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Chapter 57

  • Barnaby, armed as we have seen, continued to pace up and down before th_table-door; glad to be alone again, and heartily rejoicing in th_naccustomed silence and tranquillity. After the whirl of noise and riot i_hich the last two days had been passed, the pleasures of solitude and peac_ere enhanced a thousandfold. He felt quite happy; and as he leaned upon hi_taff and mused, a bright smile overspread his face, and none but cheerfu_isions floated into his brain.
  • Had he no thoughts of her, whose sole delight he was, and whom he ha_nconsciously plunged in such bitter sorrow and such deep affliction? Oh, yes.
  • She was at the heart of all his cheerful hopes and proud reflections. It wa_he whom all this honour and distinction were to gladden; the joy and profi_ere for her. What delight it gave her to hear of the bravery of her poor boy!
  • Ah! He would have known that, without Hugh’s telling him. And what a preciou_hing it was to know she lived so happily, and heard with so much pride (h_ictured to himself her look when they told her) that he was in such hig_steem: bold among the boldest, and trusted before them all! And when thes_rays were over, and the good lord had conquered his enemies, and they wer_ll at peace again, and he and she were rich, what happiness they would hav_n talking of these troubled times when he was a great soldier: and when the_at alone together in the tranquil twilight, and she had no longer reason t_e anxious for the morrow, what pleasure would he have in the reflection tha_his was his doing—his—poor foolish Barnaby’s; and in patting her on th_heek, and saying with a merry laugh, ‘Am I silly now, mother—am I silly now?’
  • With a lighter heart and step, and eyes the brighter for the happy tear tha_immed them for a moment, Barnaby resumed his walk; and singing gaily t_imself, kept guard upon his quiet post.
  • His comrade Grip, the partner of his watch, though fond of basking in th_unshine, preferred to-day to walk about the stable; having a great deal to d_n the way of scattering the straw, hiding under it such small articles as ha_een casually left about, and haunting Hugh’s bed, to which he seemed to hav_aken a particular attachment. Sometimes Barnaby looked in and called him, an_hen he came hopping out; but he merely did this as a concession to hi_aster’s weakness, and soon returned again to his own grave pursuits: peerin_nto the straw with his bill, and rapidly covering up the place, as if, Midas- like, he were whispering secrets to the earth and burying them; constantl_usying himself upon the sly; and affecting, whenever Barnaby came past, t_ook up in the clouds and have nothing whatever on his mind: in short, conducting himself, in many respects, in a more than usually thoughtful, deep, and mysterious manner.
  • As the day crept on, Barnaby, who had no directions forbidding him to eat an_rink upon his post, but had been, on the contrary, supplied with a bottle o_eer and a basket of provisions, determined to break his fast, which he ha_ot done since morning. To this end, he sat down on the ground before th_oor, and putting his staff across his knees in case of alarm or surprise, summoned Grip to dinner.
  • This call, the bird obeyed with great alacrity; crying, as he sidled up to hi_aster, ‘I’m a devil, I’m a Polly, I’m a kettle, I’m a Protestant, No Popery!’ Having learnt this latter sentiment from the gentry among whom he had lived o_ate, he delivered it with uncommon emphasis.
  • ‘Well said, Grip!’ cried his master, as he fed him with the daintiest bits.
  • ‘Well said, old boy!’
  • ‘Never say die, bow wow wow, keep up your spirits, Grip Grip Grip, Holloa!
  • We’ll all have tea, I’m a Protestant kettle, No Popery!’ cried the raven.
  • ‘Gordon for ever, Grip!’ cried Barnaby.
  • The raven, placing his head upon the ground, looked at his master sideways, a_hough he would have said, ‘Say that again!’ Perfectly understanding hi_esire, Barnaby repeated the phrase a great many times. The bird listened wit_rofound attention; sometimes repeating the popular cry in a low voice, as i_o compare the two, and try if it would at all help him to this ne_ccomplishment; sometimes flapping his wings, or barking; and sometimes in _ind of desperation drawing a multitude of corks, with extraordinar_iciousness.
  • Barnaby was so intent upon his favourite, that he was not at first aware o_he approach of two persons on horseback, who were riding at a foot-pace, an_oming straight towards his post. When he perceived them, however, which h_id when they were within some fifty yards of him, he jumped hastily up, an_rdering Grip within doors, stood with both hands on his staff, waiting unti_e should know whether they were friends or foes.
  • He had hardly done so, when he observed that those who advanced were _entleman and his servant; almost at the same moment he recognised Lord Georg_ordon, before whom he stood uncovered, with his eyes turned towards th_round.
  • ‘Good day!’ said Lord George, not reining in his horse until he was clos_eside him. ‘Well!’
  • ‘All quiet, sir, all safe!’ cried Barnaby. ‘The rest are away— they went b_hat path—that one. A grand party!’
  • ‘Ay?’ said Lord George, looking thoughtfully at him. ‘And you?’
  • ‘Oh! They left me here to watch—to mount guard—to keep everything secure til_hey come back. I’ll do it, sir, for your sake. You’re a good gentleman; _ind gentleman—ay, you are. There are many against you, but we’ll be a matc_or them, never fear!’
  • ‘What’s that?’ said Lord George—pointing to the raven who was peeping out o_he stable-door—but still looking thoughtfully, and in some perplexity, i_eemed, at Barnaby.
  • ‘Why, don’t you know!’ retorted Barnaby, with a wondering laugh. ‘Not kno_hat he is! A bird, to be sure. My bird—my friend— Grip.’
  • ‘A devil, a kettle, a Grip, a Polly, a Protestant, no Popery!’ cried th_aven.
  • ‘Though, indeed,’ added Barnaby, laying his hand upon the neck of Lor_eorge’s horse, and speaking softly: ‘you had good reason to ask me what h_s, for sometimes it puzzles me—and I am used to him—to think he’s only _ird. He’s my brother, Grip is—always with me—always talking—always merry—eh, Grip?’
  • The raven answered by an affectionate croak, and hopping on his master’s arm, which he held downward for that purpose, submitted with an air of perfec_ndifference to be fondled, and turned his restless, curious eye, now upo_ord George, and now upon his man.
  • Lord George, biting his nails in a discomfited manner, regarded Barnaby fo_ome time in silence; then beckoning to his servant, said:
  • ‘Come hither, John.’
  • John Grueby touched his hat, and came.
  • ‘Have you ever seen this young man before?’ his master asked in a low voice.
  • ‘Twice, my lord,’ said John. ‘I saw him in the crowd last night and Saturday.’
  • ‘Did—did it seem to you that his manner was at all wild or strange?’ Lor_eorge demanded, faltering.
  • ‘Mad,’ said John, with emphatic brevity.
  • ‘And why do you think him mad, sir?’ said his master, speaking in a peevis_one. ‘Don’t use that word too freely. Why do you think him mad?’
  • ‘My lord,’ John Grueby answered, ‘look at his dress, look at his eyes, look a_is restless way, hear him cry “No Popery!” Mad, my lord.’
  • ‘So because one man dresses unlike another,’ returned his angry master, glancing at himself; ‘and happens to differ from other men in his carriage an_anner, and to advocate a great cause which the corrupt and irreligiou_esert, he is to be accounted mad, is he?’
  • ‘Stark, staring, raving, roaring mad, my lord,’ returned the unmoved John.
  • ‘Do you say this to my face?’ cried his master, turning sharply upon him.
  • ‘To any man, my lord, who asks me,’ answered John.
  • ‘Mr Gashford, I find, was right,’ said Lord George; ‘I thought him prejudiced, though I ought to have known a man like him better than to have supposed i_ossible!’
  • ‘I shall never have Mr Gashford’s good word, my lord,’ replied John, touchin_is hat respectfully, ‘and I don’t covet it.’
  • ‘You are an ill-conditioned, most ungrateful fellow,’ said Lord George: ‘_py, for anything I know. Mr Gashford is perfectly correct, as I might hav_elt convinced he was. I have done wrong to retain you in my service. It is _acit insult to him as my choice and confidential friend to do so, rememberin_he cause you sided with, on the day he was maligned at Westminster. You wil_eave me to-night—nay, as soon as we reach home. The sooner the better.’
  • ‘If it comes to that, I say so too, my lord. Let Mr Gashford have his will. A_o my being a spy, my lord, you know me better than to believe it, I am sure.
  • I don’t know much about causes. My cause is the cause of one man against tw_undred; and I hope it always will be.’
  • ‘You have said quite enough,’ returned Lord George, motioning him to go back.
  • ‘I desire to hear no more.’
  • ‘If you’ll let me have another word, my lord,’ returned John Grueby, ‘I’d giv_his silly fellow a caution not to stay here by himself. The proclamation i_n a good many hands already, and it’s well known that he was concerned in th_usiness it relates to. He had better get to a place of safety if he can, poo_reature.’
  • ‘You hear what this man says?’ cried Lord George, addressing Barnaby, who ha_ooked on and wondered while this dialogue passed. ‘He thinks you may b_fraid to remain upon your post, and are kept here perhaps against your will.
  • What do you say?’
  • ‘I think, young man,’ said John, in explanation, ‘that the soldiers may tur_ut and take you; and that if they do, you will certainly be hung by the nec_ill you’re dead—dead—dead. And I think you had better go from here, as fas_s you can. That’s what I think.’
  • ‘He’s a coward, Grip, a coward!’ cried Barnaby, putting the raven on th_round, and shouldering his staff. ‘Let them come! Gordon for ever! Let the_ome!’
  • ‘Ay!’ said Lord George, ‘let them! Let us see who will venture to attack _ower like ours; the solemn league of a whole people. This a madman! You hav_aid well, very well. I am proud to be the leader of such men as you.’
  • Bamaby’s heart swelled within his bosom as he heard these words. He took Lor_eorge’s hand and carried it to his lips; patted his horse’s crest, as if th_ffection and admiration he had conceived for the man extended to the anima_e rode; then unfurling his flag, and proudly waving it, resumed his pacing u_nd down.
  • Lord George, with a kindling eye and glowing cheek, took off his hat, an_lourishing it above his head, bade him exultingly Farewell!—then cantered of_t a brisk pace; after glancing angrily round to see that his servan_ollowed. Honest John set spurs to his horse and rode after his master, bu_ot before he had again warned Barnaby to retreat, with many significan_estures, which indeed he continued to make, and Barnaby to resist, until th_indings of the road concealed them from each other’s view.
  • Left to himself again with a still higher sense of the importance of his post, and stimulated to enthusiasm by the special notice and encouragement of hi_eader, Barnaby walked to and fro in a delicious trance rather than as _aking man. The sunshine which prevailed around was in his mind. He had bu_ne desire ungratified. If she could only see him now!
  • The day wore on; its heat was gently giving place to the cool of evening; _ight wind sprung up, fanning his long hair, and making the banner rustl_leasantly above his head. There was a freedom and freshness in the sound an_n the time, which chimed exactly with his mood. He was happier than ever.
  • He was leaning on his staff looking towards the declining sun, and reflectin_ith a smile that he stood sentinel at that moment over buried gold, when tw_r three figures appeared in the distance, making towards the house at a rapi_ace, and motioning with their hands as though they urged its inmates t_etreat from some approaching danger. As they drew nearer, they became mor_arnest in their gestures; and they were no sooner within hearing, than th_oremost among them cried that the soldiers were coming up.
  • At these words, Barnaby furled his flag, and tied it round the pole. His hear_eat high while he did so, but he had no more fear or thought of retreatin_han the pole itself. The friendly stragglers hurried past him, after givin_im notice of his danger, and quickly passed into the house, where the utmos_onfusion immediately prevailed. As those within hastily closed the window_nd the doors, they urged him by looks and signs to fly without loss of time, and called to him many times to do so; but he only shook his head indignantl_n answer, and stood the firmer on his post. Finding that he was not to b_ersuaded, they took care of themselves; and leaving the place with only on_ld woman in it, speedily withdrew.
  • As yet there had been no symptom of the news having any better foundation tha_n the fears of those who brought it, but The Boot had not been deserted fiv_inutes, when there appeared, coming across the fields, a body of men who, i_as easy to see, by the glitter of their arms and ornaments in the sun, and b_heir orderly and regular mode of advancing—for they came on as one man—wer_oldiers. In a very little time, Barnaby knew that they were a stron_etachment of the Foot Guards, having along with them two gentlemen in privat_lothes, and a small party of Horse; the latter brought up the rear, and wer_ot in number more than six or eight.
  • They advanced steadily; neither quickening their pace as they came nearer, no_aising any cry, nor showing the least emotion or anxiety. Though this was _atter of course in the case of regular troops, even to Barnaby, there wa_omething particularly impressive and disconcerting in it to one accustomed t_he noise and tumult of an undisciplined mob. For all that, he stood hi_round not a whit the less resolutely, and looked on undismayed.
  • Presently, they marched into the yard, and halted. The commanding-office_espatched a messenger to the horsemen, one of whom came riding back. Som_ords passed between them, and they glanced at Barnaby; who well remembere_he man he had unhorsed at Westminster, and saw him now before his eyes. Th_an being speedily dismissed, saluted, and rode back to his comrades, who wer_rawn up apart at a short distance.
  • The officer then gave the word to prime and load. The heavy ringing of th_usket-stocks upon the ground, and the sharp and rapid rattling of the ramrod_n their barrels, were a kind of relief to Batnahy, deadly though he knew th_urport of such sounds to be. When this was done, other commands were given, and the soldiers instantaneously formed in single file all round the house an_tables; completely encircling them in every part, at a distance, perhaps, o_ome half-dozen yards; at least that seemed in Barnaby’s eyes to be about th_pace left between himself and those who confronted him. The horsemen remaine_rawn up by themselves as before.
  • The two gentlemen in private clothes who had kept aloof, now rode forward, on_n either side the officer. The proclamation having been produced and read b_ne of them, the officer called on Barnaby to surrender.
  • He made no answer, but stepping within the door, before which he had kep_uard, held his pole crosswise to protect it. In the midst of a profoun_ilence, he was again called upon to yield.
  • Still he offered no reply. Indeed he had enough to do, to run his eye backwar_nd forward along the half-dozen men who immediately fronted him, and settl_urriedly within himself at which of them he would strike first, when the_ressed on him. He caught the eye of one in the centre, and resolved to he_hat fellow down, though he died for it.
  • Again there was a dead silence, and again the same voice called upon him t_eliver himself up.
  • Next moment he was back in the stable, dealing blows about him like a madman.
  • Two of the men lay stretched at his feet: the one he had marked, droppe_irst—he had a thought for that, even in the hot blood and hurry of th_truggle. Another blow—another! Down, mastered, wounded in the breast by _eavy blow from the butt-end of a gun (he saw the weapon in the act o_alling)—breathless—and a prisoner.
  • An exclamation of surprise from the officer recalled him, in some degree, t_imself. He looked round. Grip, after working in secret all the afternoon, an_ith redoubled vigour while everybody’s attention was distracted, had plucke_way the straw from Hugh’s bed, and turned up the loose ground with his iro_ill. The hole had been recklessly filled to the brim, and was merel_prinkled with earth. Golden cups, spoons, candlesticks, coined guineas—al_he riches were revealed.
  • They brought spades and a sack; dug up everything that was hidden there; an_arried away more than two men could lift. They handcuffed him and bound hi_rms, searched him, and took away all he had. Nobody questioned or reproache_im, or seemed to have much curiosity about him. The two men he had stunned, were carried off by their companions in the same business-like way in whic_verything else was done. Finally, he was left under a guard of four soldier_ith fixed bayonets, while the officer directed in person the search of th_ouse and the other buildings connected with it.
  • This was soon completed. The soldiers formed again in the yard; he was marche_ut, with his guard about him; and ordered to fall in, where a space was left.
  • The others closed up all round, and so they moved away, with the prisoner i_he centre.
  • When they came into the streets, he felt he was a sight; and looking up a_hey passed quickly along, could see people running to the windows a littl_oo late, and throwing up the sashes to look after him. Sometimes he met _taring face beyond the heads about him, or under the arms of his conductors, or peering down upon him from a waggon-top or coach-box; but this was all h_aw, being surrounded by so many men. The very noises of the streets seeme_uffled and subdued; and the air came stale and hot upon him, like the sickl_reath of an oven.
  • Tramp, tramp. Tramp, tramp. Heads erect, shoulders square, every man steppin_n exact time—all so orderly and regular—nobody looking at him—nobody seemin_onscious of his presence,—he could hardly believe he was a Prisoner. But a_he word, though only thought, not spoken, he felt the handcuffs galling hi_rists, the cord pressing his arms to his sides: the loaded guns levelled a_is head; and those cold, bright, sharp, shining points turned towards him: the mere looking down at which, now that he was bound and helpless, made th_arm current of his life run cold.