Chapter XVIII: Nordlingen
 

It was five o'clock in the afternoon when all the arrangements for the attack were completed. But as on the 3rd of August the evening is long, it was judged that there would be sufficient daylight to carry out the battle. The French began with a cannonade against the village, and this was replied to by the guns on the two hills. Not only did the position of the latter give them great superiority, but much time was lost by the French in being obliged to move forward their guns as the army advanced, a slow and tedious process in days when cannon were very heavy and cumbrous. Seeing that they were losing time and suffering more loss than they inflicted, Enghien gave the order to the infantry of the centre to advance.

They went forward with great speed and eagerness, for they were burning to retrieve their cowardly conduct at Marienthal. They carried the intrenchments Merci had thrown up at the mouth of the pass, and, heedless of the firing of the guns, rushed at the village. Here, however, they were received by so heavy a fire of musketry from the infantry posted there, who had loopholed all the walls and houses, that they came to a stop, and, being shot down in great numbers, turned and fled. The Count de Marsin was himself dangerously wounded. The Duc d'Enghien sent the Marquis de la Moussaie forward with a reinforcement of several regiments, but these, too, fell back before the Imperialists' fire. The Duc d'Enghien then rallied the infantry, added to them all those not yet engaged, and himself led them to the charge. Merci on his part brought forward his main body to the village.

The battle was now a desperate one. Enghien seemed to lead a charmed life. He was ever where the fight was hottest, encouraging the soldiers and setting them an example. His clothes were shot through in many places. Two horses were killed under him, and he received a contusion in the thigh. Merci on his part showed equal valour and intrepidity; but he was less fortunate, for he was struck by a musketball and killed. The news of his fall excited his soldiers to fury, and, hurling themselves on their assailants they cut the greater part of the infantry to pieces.

The French on the right had done no better, for the Bavarian cavalry charged them with such impetuosity that although they fought sturdily they were broken and routed. De Gramont did all that a leader could do to check their flight and lead them back to the battle; and when he saw that he was powerless to do this he put himself at the head of two regiments that had not yet been engaged, received the Bavarian horse with a heavy volley, and leading his troopers to the charge, broke into them, but advancing too far was surrounded and taken prisoner. John de Werth then fell on the reserve, broke them, penetrated the baggage, which was plundered, and then pursued the fugitives far away from the field of battle. Had he, instead of allowing his troops and himself to be carried away by their ardour, brought them round and attacked the French left in the rear, the Imperialist victory would have been complete.

Here for a time the conflict was doubtful. Turenne, in spite of the fire of the Imperialist artillery, led his troops in good order up the hill of Weinberg. His horse was shot under him and his cuirass was struck, but not pierced, by a musketball. On gaining the top of the hill a terrible fight took place between the Weimar and Hessian troops on one side, and the Austrians and Bavarians on the other. The former showed valour in strong contrast with the conduct of their French allies; and after repeated volleys had been exchanged infantry and cavalry rushed upon each other and fought with bayonet and sword. At last the first line of Imperialists gave way, but General Gleen brought up the second line and threw Turenne's first line into disorder, although they still maintained their ground. At this moment Conde, seeing that his centre was destroyed and his right utterly dispersed, came up and joined Turenne, and placing himself at the head of the Hessians, who formed the second line, brought them forward. The enemy's squadrons were broken, and the infantry defeated. The guns were then turned upon the Imperialists on the slope of the hill leading down to the village, and when they were shaken by the fire Turenne's squadron charged down upon them and completed their defeat. General Gleen was taken prisoner, and Turenne's troops, descending the hill, took the village in flank.

Had the defenders here fought with the same courage that they had previously evinced, they would have given time to John de Werth to return, and the fate of the battle would have been doubtful, but they were seized with unreasoning panic, and at once surrendered. The night had long since closed in, and so far as the fighting had gone the battle might be considered a drawn one. The French right and centre were utterly routed, but their left had captured one of the keys of the position and the village behind it. Had John de Werth, when he returned from the pursuit, shown himself an able general, rallied the Imperialists and sent them to recapture the village, and with his victorious cavalry made a circuit of the Weinberg and fallen upon Turenne's rear, the Imperialist success would have been as complete and striking as that which they had won on nearly the same ground over the Swedes; but although an impetuous leader of cavalry, he had no military genius, and on returning after dark, and hearing that the Weinberg was lost and the village captured, he drew off from the field.

He was joined by the Imperialist infantry, and when the morning broke Turenne's division stood victors on the field. A number of officers, many standards, and all the cannon of the enemy fell into their hands. Of the French infantry not more than fifteen hundred were rallied after the battle, and of the allied army Turenne's German troops, although they had suffered severely, alone remained intact. John de Werth retreated with the remains of the Imperialist force to Donauworth, and crossed to the other side of the Danube, although his force was still superior to that of Turenne, for the loss suffered by the French and Turenne's German troops was very much greater than that of the Imperialists. Enghien, in his despatch announcing the victory, acknowledged in his letter to the queen that it was due to the valour and honour of Turenne.

Nordlingen and Dinkelsbuhl opened their gates to the victors. Enghien fell ill and was forced to return to France, leaving Turenne in command. De Gramont was exchanged for Gleen, and he and Turenne took counsel as to the course that had best be pursued. John de Werth had already recrossed the Danube, and the French generals fell back to Hall, where they remained for twelve days to refresh the troops, provisions being plentiful in the neighbourhood.

But their position was daily becoming more untenable. The Duke of Bavaria, greatly alarmed by the result of the battle of Nordlingen, wrote to the emperor that unless Austria largely increased her force in the field he should retire from the contest, of which he had hitherto borne the brunt, and make terms with the French. The emperor, who had just brought a war with Hungary to a close, despatched the Archduke Leopold, his son, with a great body of horse, and he soon effected a junction with Gleen and John de Werth, and together they pushed forward at the utmost speed to surprise the French. As soon as Turenne received news of the movement he and de Gramont agreed that an instant retreat must be made, seeing that their force was less than half that which was advancing to attack them. The baggage was abandoned, and as there was no bridge available the army crossed the Neckar by swimming, each cavalryman taking one of the infantry behind him. They continued their retreat until they arrived at Philippsburg. Here Turenne with the whole of his army took up his position, covered by the guns of the fortress, while Gramont passed the river with the remains of Enghien's army and all the cavalry.

The Imperialists, after examining Turenne's position, came to the conclusion that it could not be attacked, and, marching away, besieged and captured all the towns taken by the French in their advance. Thus beyond the empty honour of a nominal victory at Nordlingen, the campaign under Enghien and Turenne ended, without any solid advantage whatever being gained by the French.

The Poitou regiment, which was the only French battalion in the army of Turenne, had been placed with the Hessians in the second line. It had fought with distinguished bravery on the crest of the Weinberg, and had publicly been thanked by Enghien, who had on the day of the battle ridden by the side of Hector at their head when they fell upon the Imperialists. They had suffered but a small number of casualties, for the enemy were already shaken before they charged, and had, after receiving a shattering volley, broken and fled as the regiment charged with fixed bayonets. Turenne was always anxious to impress upon Hector the lessons that were to be learned from each action, and while they were encamped round Hall he went over the events of the campaign with him on a map.

"You see," he said, "that what I said to you on the evening before we marched from Dinkelsbuhl has been completely justified. Instead of manoeuvring so as to fight in the open, we dashed ourselves against this strong position, with the inevitable consequences, two-thirds of our army were routed, and the infantry of the centre and right all but annihilated; and although by hard fighting we on the left gained an advantage, it was only the impetuous folly of John de Werth that saved us from destruction. Now, you see, we are in no position to fight another battle. A victory won in one's own country is decisive for a considerable time, but a victory in an enemy's country, unless it involves his disastrous defeat and the utter breakup of his army, is practically without value. We can receive no reinforcements, for none can reach us from France in less than a couple of months; the enemy, on the other hand, have rapidly filled up their ranks, and have received, or are about to receive, large reinforcements, and as soon as they advance we must retreat in all haste, sacrifice all the advantages we have gained, and shall be lucky if we can maintain a footing on this side of the Rhine.

"Five or six thousand lives have been thrown away and nothing whatever gained. Now, you see, had we instead of knocking our heads against the enemy's position, manoeuvred to place ourselves between him and the Danube, he must have retreated without fighting a battle, for he was inferior to us in numbers, and we should have been able to go into winter quarters in Nordlingen and possibly lay siege to Eichstadt. A genius may win a battle, Campbell, but genius, if accompanied by impetuosity and a thirst for great victories, will very seldom win a campaign. I love as well as admire Enghien; he is chivalrous and generous, he has great military genius; possibly with age his impetuosity may be tempered with discretion, but at present, although a brilliant leader, he is not the general that I would choose to serve under in a long campaign."

When Weimar's cavalry crossed the Rhine with de Gramont they broke into mutiny, declaring that they were raised to fight in Germany and would not fight in France. Turenne crossed and endeavoured to get them to return to their duty, recalling to them how nobly they had fought under him, and appealing to them in the strongest way not to desert him now. A portion of them gave in to his entreaties, but the rest rode away to effect a junction with the Swedish army, and he was therefore deprived of a considerable portion of the force that had been the mainstay of his little army. Upon the other hand, the Archduke Leopold marched away to Bohemia to oppose the Swedes, who had gained several successes in that direction. Turenne, however, determined to carry out one more enterprise before the winter set in, and to reinstate the Elector of Treves, who had been deprived of his dominions for twelve years, in consequence of his having entered into an alliance with France. In order to effect this he marched in the first week in November with a small force of infantry and his cavalry to the Moselle, a distance of forty leagues.

He was joined by some of Enghien's troops from Metz, and on the 14th of November he invested Treves. The Imperialists were unable to gather a force of sufficient strength to relieve the town, which was, therefore, after a short resistance, forced to capitulate. The small garrisons from other towns in the elector's dominions were speedily driven out and the elector restored to his possessions, a result doubly gratifying, since his restoration produced a widespread effect among the German princes who had thrown in their lot with France, while the material advantage was no less, as it closed a door through which the Imperialists, when in sufficient force, could at any time pour their troops into France. This brought the campaign of 1645 to a close. Turenne was called to Paris, where he received the honours that were due to him for the skill and bravery by which, with altogether insufficient forces -- raised, equipped and paid to a large extent from his private purse -- he had for two years guarded the Rhine frontier from invasion by the united forces of Bavaria and Austria. Hector's regiment had been left at Philippsburg when Turenne marched away; but the marshal told him that there was no occasion whatever for him to remain with it during the winter. He thought indeed that it would be advantageous that he should pay a short visit to Paris, present himself to Mazarin, and then go down and see how matters fared with the estate, to which he had paid but a flying visit. He therefore set out without delay, Turenne entrusting him with some despatches to the cardinal.

"They are of no great importance," he said, "but it is always well for an officer returning to Paris to carry despatches with him. It shows that he has the hearty approval of his commander in leaving his post for a while, and that he has distinguished himself in a special degree to be thus selected. I have several times in my despatches had occasion to speak of the excellent service rendered by your regiment, and it will ensure you a good reception at court. Besides, Mazarin is evidently disposed to regard you with special favour, and an occasional visit keeps that feeling alive, whereas it naturally cools down after a prolonged absence. Therefore in every respect it is as well that you should show yourself in Paris for a short time before going down to Poitou, where I hear there have been some troublesome risings of the peasantry. The province, being broken and hilly for the most part, offers considerable advantages to irregular forces, who move unencumbered with baggage, and against whom cavalry cannot well act. I do not know that any of these troubles have occurred in the neighbourhood of your estate, but you would naturally wish to see for yourself how matters are going on."

"It seems more than two years since we left here, master," Paolo said, as they rode into Paris.

"It does indeed. It is more than six years now since I first rode away with Turenne, and a month later you entered my service. We have gone through a good deal together since those days, Paolo."

"Yes, indeed, sir. It was a fortunate day for me when my brother took me to your quarters."

"It has been quite as fortunate for me, Paolo. I doubt whether I should ever have proposed undertaking to carry Turenne's message into the citadel of Turin had I not felt that I could rely upon you as my companion in the business, and it was that which gave me my first step. Since then you have always been by my side, and have more than once saved my life."

On reaching Mazarin's hotel Hector found that he was at the Louvre, and immediately went there, and as bearer of despatches from the army was at once introduced to the minister's apartment.

"Come with me at once to the queen's closet," the cardinal said as he entered. "She has just sent for me, and her majesty, being at once a woman and a queen, does not like being kept waiting. She always wishes to receive the first news from the army, therefore I can venture to take you with me without asking her permission.

"I have brought Monsieur de Villar to your majesty," he said as he entered the queen's apartment. "He has just reached Paris with despatches from the Viscount Turenne. He has only this instant arrived, and I thought I might venture to bring him at once to you."

"'Tis a long time since we have seen you, monsieur," the queen said graciously, "but we have heard of you from the marshal's despatches, and were glad to see that your regiment bore itself as well in the field of battle as in the park of Versailles. What news do you bring? Nothing of importance, I hope, for there can hardly be good news when the marshal has so scanty a force with which to guard the frontier."

"The Viscount de Turenne is too zealous in your service, madam, to remain idle, however small his force. He started suddenly the day I left with his cavalry and a small body of infantry to march to Treves, with two or three regiments he has persuaded the Duc d'Enghien to send him from Metz with some guns, and he hoped to capture the city and clear the electorate of the enemy before they can receive strong reinforcements, seeing that they are all scattered in their winter quarters."

"A bold stroke indeed, cardinal," the queen said, much gratified. "It has touched our honour that the elector should so long have suffered for his fidelity to France; and, moreover, its possession in his hands will relieve us of much anxiety and give us the Moselle as a barrier against the incursions of the enemy in that corner of our dominions. He is indefatigable, this good viscount, cardinal; and he is not one of those who look for great rewards for every service. He has indeed carried on the war largely on his own resources, which has been of no slight advantage to us, seeing that our exchequer is but too often strained to meet demands from other quarters. If he succeeds in this enterprise, you must write in our name and bid him come hither to receive our thanks in person, and to rest for a while from his labours in our service.

"You have changed somewhat, Monsieur de Villar, since we last saw you. The ladies of the court called you then the little colonel -- not because of your size, for you already overtopped the greater portion of our courtiers, but from your age. Now you look all over a soldier, and a weatherbeaten one."

Hector had indeed aged during the past two years. He was now nearly two-and-twenty, his moustache had grown, and, as was the custom of the time, he wore a small imperial. The habit of command had given to his face an expression of decision and resolution unusual at his age, and a life spent in the open air, and for the most part sleeping without cover, had bronzed his skin, and had counteracted the youthful appearance caused by his fair complexion.

"'Tis but some three months since we heard of you as a prisoner, having been captured while with your regiment covering the retreat after the unfortunate battle of Marienthal. The cardinal told me that he had written to the field marshal to try and arrange an exchange for you if possible. We had not heard that he had done so when the Duc d'Enghien's report of the battle of Nordlingen spoke of you as doing good service with your regiment there. I suppose Turenne, in the press of business, omitted to say that you had been exchanged."

"I was not exchanged, madam. I succeeded in effecting my escape from the fortress of Ingoldstadt."

"You seem born to have adventures, monsieur," the queen said. "We heard before of your regiment performing prodigies of valour at Freiburg, and of withstanding Merci's whole army, foot and horse, for three hours. Last winter the governor of Lorraine reported that you and a company of your regiment from Nancy had defeated a great body of insurgent peasants, and had rescued Madame de Blenfoix and her daughter from massacre at their hands. There is no officer under the rank of general whose name has been so frequently brought under our notice. You intend to make some stay in Paris, I hope?"

"I shall do myself the honour later on, your majesty; but I hear that there are peasant troubles down in Poitou, and as I only paid a visit of a few days there, when your majesty had the goodness to present the fief to me, I am anxious to know how matters are going on, and to see that my castle is secure from attack by the insurgents."

"Your excuse is a good one. It would be well if more possessors of estates would spend their time in endeavouring to alleviate the condition of their people, instead of wasting their time and money in Paris."

"Monsieur de Villar took steps in that direction, your majesty, before leaving for the war; for my agents, who keep me informed of most things that take place, acquainted me with the fact that Monsieur de Villar entirely remitted the usual fines on taking possession, and reduced the annual payment of his tenants by one half until times should mend."

"A noble example!" the queen said warmly. "I would that we could afford to do the same through all the royal domains. It is a pleasure to us to know that one at least of our fiefs has been so worthily bestowed. Well, sir, I shall see you at the court this evening."

Hector bowed and withdrew. His first step was to go to the clothing establishment most frequented by men of good family. "I have to attend at the court this evening. I have just returned from the army, and have but the clothes that I stand up in. Have you any garments that will fit me suitable for such an occasion?"

"Of shoulder cloaks I have great store in silks, satins, and velvets of all shades and colours. There is no difficulty about doublets, for of these I always keep a large stock in hand; and although you are a bigger man than the majority of my customers, I think that I can suit you. Tight pantaloons are chiefly worn by those who affect the latest fashion, but it would be impossible for me to make these at such short notice. As you are a military man this matters little, for these chiefly affect loose breeches trimmed at the bottom with rich lace, stockings of silk, and shoes with rosettes. Such breeches I could promise you in three hours, for they require but little making. The stockings of all shades I have in stock, also shoes. These would need but rosettes of the colour to suit the dress, to be added to them."

"I put myself in your hands," Hector said. "I wish for a handsome dress, and yet one which shall in no way be foppish, but shall be suitable to my station. I am Baron de la Villar, colonel of the Poitou regiment of infantry."

"Do you incline to silk, velvet, or satin? I should say a velvet cloak and satin tunic and breeches would suit you best with your fair hair. I should choose for the cloak a crimson or violet, and for the doublet and breeches a yellow. If you would prefer a blue cloak I should say a white satin doublet and breeches would become you."

Hector shook his head. "No, I should prefer the first mixture. I care not whether the cloak is crimson or violet."

"I think violet, monsieur, and rosettes of the same colour on your shoes. It were best, I think, that the stockings should match the doublet. You will, of course, have a pointed lace collar for your cloak, and at the bottom of your breeches and at your wrists to match. I think, sir, that a large collar and gold embroidery would go best with the costume."

Hector nodded. "I leave it entirely to you, Master Poitrou, so that everything is ready in time for me to wear them. I also want a travelling suit of good fashion -- I leave the matter of colour to you -- and also a suit for wearing here in Paris."

The cloak and doublets were speedily chosen, as M. Poitrou had several of the colour and material in stock. Hector was then measured for the breeches, which were of the fashion now known as knickerbockers, but somewhat looser. He then chose a violet cap with a yellow feather to match the court dress, a court sword, high riding boots, and loose turned-over boots used for walking, but left all other matters to the tailor.

"When your man brings the things to me at the auberge Pome d'Or I will pay him at once," he said. He was indeed well supplied with funds, for as he passed through Nancy he had drawn the sums standing to his credit from an agent there, to whom he had, as occasion offered, transmitted the greater portion of his pay, and also the balance of the sum that had been paid him when he first took possession of his estate, after paying for the various expenses he had incurred in St. Denis and in Paris. Monsieur Poitrou was faithful to his promise, and although free from vanity, Hector could not but perceive, after he had donned his court suit, that he made a good figure. Such, indeed, was the opinion of not a few of the ladies of the court as he entered the great reception room.

He had now adopted the general fashion, and wore his hair in ringlets hanging down on to the collar. His fair complexion contrasted strongly with the much darker one of the majority of the courtiers, and this, as well as his height and erect soldierly bearing, rendered him a conspicuous object among them. The queen and cardinal both honoured him with marked attention; but what pleased him most during the evening was the hearty greeting that he received from Colonel Maclvor, of whom he had seen but little during the campaign, as the Scottish regiment formed part of Enghien's command, and was not present at the battle of Nordlingen, being left in garrison at Metz when the duke marched to join Turenne. Mazarin himself presented him to many of the ladies of the court, thereby showing that he wished him to be regarded as a particular friend of his; and Hector, having gained much in self possession since he had last appeared there, was able to make himself more agreeable to them than before, to bandy compliments, and adapt himself to the general atmosphere of the court. The cardinal sent for him again the next morning.

"The news is bad from Poitou, Colonel Campbell, and I think that it would be well that you should proceed there at once. So we will release you from further attendance, and you can make up for it by giving us a longer time on your return."

Hector, however, tarried two days longer in Paris, by which time he had received all the clothes that he had ordered. Early on the morning of the third day he mounted and rode away with Paolo and three of his troopers. Hunter had been left behind at Philippsburg for the cure of a wound that he had received at Nordlingen. Hector was mounted on one of the horses that Enghien had given him; the other was in the hands of the Imperialists. They traveled fast, and met with no adventure until they arrived at Poitou, where Hector learned that in the western part of the province the peasants had almost everywhere risen, had defeated the royal troops who had marched against them from La Rochelle and Nantes, and had captured and burnt any chateaux, slaying all persons of the better class who fell into their hands.

As he neared his own estate, learning that the tenants there had so far not joined the rising, but that several bodies of insurgents were in the neighbourhood, he rode still more rapidly forward. Signs of the trouble were everywhere apparent. In the villages only women were to be seen; there was no sign of life or movement in the fields; and he passed two chateaux which were now but empty shells. As soon as he had crossed into his own estates he found the houses entirely deserted; no man, woman, nor child was to be seen; no animals grazed in the fields, and the little stacks of hay and straw had been carried away.

"It is evident," he said to Paolo, "that MacIntosh has called all the tenantry into the chateau; had they joined the insurgents the women and children would still be here."

As they ascended the steep hill on whose brow the chateau stood, he could make out that there were a number of men posted upon the walls.

"He is evidently determined that he will not be caught napping, Paolo, and all the peasants of Poitou could not take the place unless they were well provided with cannon."

The chateau, indeed, still retained the characteristics of a castle. The site had evidently been selected with a sole eye to defence; the hill on which it stood fell abruptly away on three sides, and could hardly be attacked except in front. Here a plateau extended some three or four hundred yards long and upwards of a hundred yards across. A wall with flanking turrets had been a sufficient defence on the other three sides, but here there was a strong tower on each flank, and also on each side of the central gate. The walls inclosed a space of some two acres, in the centre of which stood the castle. This had been to some extent modernized -- windows having taken the place of loopholes in the upper floors, while those looking into the inner courtyard extended to the ground. The point where the road reached the plateau was some three hundred yards from the gateway, and as Hector galloped towards the walls it was evident that he was recognized, for shouts were raised by the men on guard and the drawbridge over the fosse -- cut in the solid rock along the foot of the wall -- was lowered.

As he rode across it the gate swung open and MacIntosh ran out to meet him.

"Is all well, old friend?" Hector asked as he sprang from his horse and clasped the sergeant's hand.

"All is well so far, colonel; still, I am glad indeed that you have returned, for at any moment trouble may begin. We hear that the peasants mean to attack us. I hardly think they will venture to do so, but I have no doubt they will play havoc on the estate and burn every house, because the tenants, instead of joining them, have come up here to aid in the defence. It was a good day indeed when madam and her daughter came here, they have made themselves so loved by the tenants that they would do anything for them. Ah, if all the ladies of France had been as good to their people as they have been, we should not have these troubles on hand! Here they come to welcome you."

Hector hurried across the outer court, where two lines of palings had been erected, forming a passage from one gate to the other, and keeping back the animals that crowded the enclosure.

"Welcome back, welcome back, Colonel Campbell!" the baroness said as she came up with both hands extended, and her words were echoed by her daughter. In the year that had elapsed since they started under the charge of Paolo both had changed. The look of care and anxiety, which had been heightened by the terrible events of the two previous days, had passed from the elder lady's face, and had been succeeded by one of contentment and happiness.

Norah showed an even greater change; she had now attained her full height, her figure had filled out, and she stood on the threshold of womanhood and bid fair to attain a high degree of beauty of the type characteristic of her nationality. Her hair was dark, her eyes gray, her expression changing rapidly from grave to gay, the latter movement generally predominating.

"I need hardly ask, madam," Hector said as they entered the chateau, "whether you have been comfortable here, for your face shows that you have at least been contented with your lot as chatelaine."

"I have been more than contented, I have been very happy, Monsieur Campbell. It has been a pleasant task indeed to be your almoner, and to be able to carry comfort to those in distress, sympathy and aid to those in suffering. Within the castle, nothing could be more pleasant than our position. Captain MacIntosh has been unwearied in his efforts to make us comfortable, and your steward has in all cases been willing to aid me with money and counsel when I asked for them. The proof that your goodness has been appreciated by the tenants is that every one of them without exception has refused to join the insurgents, and has forsaken his home in order to come up and aid in the defence of the castle."

"That is indeed gratifying, madam; but methinks their action is due rather to the kindness of yourself and Mademoiselle Norah, than to the gifts they receive."

"I do not choose to be called Mademoiselle Norah," the girl said, tossing her head. "I am Irish on both sides, and have not a drop of French blood in my veins. To strangers I am Miss Norah O'More; to you, and to any I may love, I am plain Norah."

"I don't think that you can be that to anyone, Norah."

"Now I don't like that, Colonel Campbell. That may do at the court of Louis XIV, but not at the chateau of la Villar, and if you are going to pay compliments I shall be stiff and unpleasant, and shall insist upon being addressed as Miss Norah O'More."

"As I did not mean to compliment you, for I spoke but the truth, I shall not accept the penalty. Now," he went on, "unromantic as it may sound, I own that I am hungry, and I am sure that my four followers are also, for we have ridden far and fast, and have not stopped, save to bait our horses and snatch a mouthful while they ate, since daybreak. In truth the news we received made me sorely anxious, though I felt sure that MacIntosh could hold the chateau against any attack that was likely to be made on it."