drel, 'tis pity you cannot yourself retake him. No doubt you
would " She paused, in search of a withering sarcasm, and
A GUEST UNLOCKED FOR 137
being a woman of barren imagination, was inspired by the
table before her. "No doubt, Rafe, you would bid that
ruffian to supper," she concluded scornfully.
"I would," said Rafe, and rose, half smiling, and stood
gazing down at his indignant wife. " Hetherington looked
hungry t'other night at Graystones, and by now I'll wager he
looks hungrier still."
"At times you do mad me," said Isabel, helplessly, and
Rafe kissed her, all unwilling though she was, and handed
her to the door and out upon the stairs that led to the hall
that was now deserted.
When she had gone, Rafe closed the door behind her and
sauntered back to the table. He did not sit, and though he
took up his tankard he put it down again untasted. For a
long minute he stood smoking slowly, with his eyes on the
candles before him and his brows knit, and Jock, watching
breathlessly, felt that he would have given much, could he
have read his thoughts. At last Rafe snuffed out the candles
with his fingers, one and then another, till but a single light
twinkled on the table, and then, by no conscious volition,
only with a sense that at some time this that he had planned
must be put to the proof, Jock dashed aside the arras.
At the slight stir of the hangings Rafe looked up, tense and
wary, and across the dim parlor the two men eyed each other
for an instant, while Rafe puffed a thought more quickly at
his pipe, and Jock licked his dry lips with his tongue.
"Mr. Heyroun!" Jock began, and then, with desperate in-
solence, walked out into the room and set himself astride a
chair. Over his folded arms that rested on the chair-back
he looked at the silent man before him, and he was minded
to try pleas and threats and arguments and a hundred
other devices, but what he ended by saying, bluntly and
blunderingly, was : " You see ! Even as you bade me, sir, I
am come hither to supper."
WHILE Jock wrought havoc among the stewed mutton and
parsnips, Rafe Heyroun sat opposite him at the table, with
his face half shadowed in the dim light of the one candle, and
courteous and half amused, asked questions touching Jock's
escape from the burning cottage. With a complete realiza-
tion that his fate hung on the issue of this hour, Jock an-
swered in kind, and once, at least, contrived to make Rafe
smile. To keep Rafe amused and, in a careless way, half
sorry for him, to convince Rafe that he was no mere stray
trooper, to be left without compunction to Wogan's tender
mercies, but a man, as individual and as sensitive as was Rafe
himself, that, Jock reasoned, was for the present his best hope.
Not till he had made his supper, and felt that, thanks to
the comfort of food and drink and a half hour of civil treat-
ment, he was restored in courage, did he set himself to the
serious business that was before him. He leaned forward,
then, with his folded arms upon the table. "You'll under-
stand, sir," he broke the moment's silence that had fallen,
" I did not come to seek you solely to get my supper, though
I thank you for it. I came hither to ask you a question that
already you must have asked of yourself."
Rafe lifted his brows, and his face became inscrutable.
With a sinking of the heart, Jock saw that the real
man who had smiled at his escapes had taken alarm in his
remnant of Puritan conscience and was drawing away to a
HIMSELF AGAIN 139
suspicious distance. None the less, he went forward stub-
bornly: "Mr. Heyroun, I pray you question yourself: why
did your cousin Philip, the chestnut-haired one, lie as to my
identity? Why was he fain to set an ignorant substitute in
the place of the right Captain Hetherington, who might have
borne tales? Why"
" My good Captain," said Rafe, deliberately, " I have re-
ceived no proof that my kinsman lied."
So speaking, Rafe made as if to push back his stool and rise,
but Jock, on desperate impulse, reached across the narrow
table and caught his arm. "Give me but time and oppor-
tunity to prove that I am I," he begged, "and, sir, as I live,
before you are done, you shall have sport and to spare with
your cousin Philip."
Beneath his grasp Jock felt Rafe's arm relax, and in Rafe's
eyes he caught a flash of the original devil, half mere mischief,
half settled hate, that boded little good to the chestnut-haired
Philip. " Well," said Rafe, but his voice was guarded, " and
how will you go about to prove that you are the man you
claim to be?"
" There are those in Yorkshire " Jock began.
Rafe shrugged his shoulders with a smile that to Jock
seemed the very headsman to his hope. "A safe choice!"
said he. "Yorkshire is many leagues hence."
Jock drew back, where he had leaned half across the table,
and for a moment sat silent. He had cast down his eyes,
but he felt the candlelight full upon his face and knew, for his
torment, that Rafe, at his leisure, was scrutinizing and ap-
praising him. Hopelessly he was seeking for some new road
by which to break through the rampart of his opponent's
studied unbelief, when just outside the door he caught the
sound of a high-pitched child's voice : " Daddy ! Are you
At the words Rafe turned in his place, but before he could
140 THE FAIR MAID OF GRAYSTONES
speak, the door to the hall, which stood unlatched, was pushed
half open, and through the crack a little boy sidled into the
room. Plainly he had just come prowling from his bed. His
feet and legs were bare; he wore his little shirt outside his
breeches ; and his brown hair fell in a disordered tangle about
his keen face and his dark eyes that were like Rafe Heyroun's.
One glance Jock took from the man to the boy that was the
man in little, the boy that was Rafe's only son, the boy that
his merry cousin had half drowned hi the horse-trough at
Graystones; then he staked everything on one desperate
hazard. "Mr. Heyroun," he said crisply, "I have a witness
to my identity nearer than Yorkshire, and he stands yonder.
Lad !" He turned to the bewildered child. "Will you come
hither to me?"
If the child should cry out, or even shrink and draw back,
Jock realized that his last hope would be taken from him, but
he found that, acting on mere instinct, he had acted wisely.
Little Philip Heyroun was his father's son in more than looks.
Warily, like his father, but with good courage, he eyed the
stranger that had addressed him, and then he looked to his
father, but Rafe made no sign, save that he leaned forward
in his seat with eyes intent on what was passing. Of his own
will, then, the boy pattered across the room, and with a grave
little bow gave his hand to Jock.
"How do you fare, sir?" he asked with childish courtesy,
and he made no sign of shrinking when Jock slipped an arm
about him and drew him to stand between his knees.
"So you live here at Draycote, eh, my man?" Jock asked
in a voice that he tried hard to keep indifferent.
"Ay," said the boy, "with daddy and mammy and my
sister Nell, but she is a girl and cannot climb."
"Perchance," Jock hesitated, "you go sometimes to visit
your kin at Graystones?"
Again the child assented. "Ay, sir. I went thither in
HIMSELF AGAIN 141
June, and Captain Hetherington did souse me in the horse-
trough, but I did not cry, and when I am a man, I will buy
me a sword and kill him. Are you a soldier like mine Uncle
Lambert?" he questioned suddenly, with a glance at Jock's
great boots. "And where is your sword, then?"
"You spoke of Captain Hetherington," Jock brought him
back to the subject in hand. " Would you know the Captain
an you saw his face?"
The child nodded, with a knitting of the brows that made
him very like his father, and thus encouraged, Jock hazarded
the crucial question, " You do not hold, then, that I am Cap-
Puzzled, the boy looked across the table at his father, who
kept silent, and then he looked up at Jock, and slowly parted
his lips in a smile. "Thou art jesting," he said shyly.
For that word Jock could have hugged him, but loath to
startle the child, he held himself in check. "How know
you that I am not the Captain?" he asked after a moment.
"Tell us that, boy."
There, however, the boy was at a loss and stood frowning
and fumbling at the top of Jock's boot with one small hand.
"He was he, and you are you," he said at last. "You do
not speak with his voice, and and " With sudden inspi-
ration he laid his hand on Jock's left arm that rested laxly
across his knee. From elbow to wrist the shirt sleeve was
rent away, and the arm was bare. "Sure," said the boy,
with the pride of a discoverer, "Captain Hetherington had a
scar within his arm and I saw it. When he doused me into
the horse-trough, his shirt sleeve was upturned and I saw the
scar. And you have no scar. But you are a soldier, none
the less? And were you in battles?"
The question fell upon deaf ears, for Rafe was out of his
seat at last and stood over Jock, candle in hand, and Jock,
without waste of words, had thrust back his right shirt sleeve
142 THE FAIR MAID OF GRAYSTONES
and held both unscarred arms to the light. For a moment,
then, the two men scanned each other in silence, across the
tousled head of the wide-eyed child.
"Still," said Rafe, replying to what had not been spoken,
" the boy is scarce seven years old, too young for credence in
a court of law."
"This is no court of law," retorted Jock, in a voice that
struck a note of masterfulness.
At last he realized that the balance was inclining to his
side, and in that realization felt his confidence wax strong.
He came to his feet, and leaning with both hands on the table,
poured out his plea in what was for him a veritable torrent
of words. To the Rafe Heyroun that, after his careless fash-
ion, would liefer be kind to all men than to play the bully, he
pleaded for mere justice, for the mercy of protection from
Wogan's threatened vengeance that he, who was not Captain
Hetherington, had in no wise merited; to the Rafe Heyroun
that was weary of Dray cote and longed for diversion, he set
forth the zest of the game of hunting down the chestnut-haired
Philip in the coils of his lie. Strengthening this, his strongest
line of pleading, he freely gave away his hoarded information
how the right Captain Hetherington was dead at Col-
chester, how the chestnut-haired Philip had besought him,
standing in the Captain's place, to be silent and as he
spoke, he held Rafe's eyes, and glimpsing the soul beyond,
knew that he had shaken the man from the unbelief where
he had chosen to ground himself.
Yet Rafe, the wary and experienced, was non-committal.
He heard Jock to the end without comment, and still without
comment turned then to the deeply interested child, with a
commonplace question as to what had brought him out of
bed. The child, it seemed, had been wishful to have a drink
of water from the kitchen, so Rafe, with a meaning word
to Jock to stay till his return, led him from the parlor.
HIMSELF AGAIN 143
Left alone, Jock leaned against the table and eyed the door
through which Rafe had gone, and wondered what Rafe
would say on his return, and wondered what he had himself
accomplished, and finally ceased wondering, and did no more
than stare at the long streaks of light upon the dusky floor.
At last he heard Rafe's step on the stair, and Rafe came into
the room, alone, with a heavy cloak on his arm.
"For to-night you can lie here undisturbed," said Rafe,
" and in the morning well, when morning comes, we'll find
what is next to do. Meantime, I have your promise that you
will attempt no more escapes?"
Jock bowed, with the touch of dignity that was his at his
oldest and best. "In all things, sir, I am now at your dis-
posal," he said, and, moved by something in the tone, Rafe
turned on the threshold, candle in hand, and said with a
smile, "Give you good night Hetherington!" For the
first time he omitted the hated title of Captain, and that omis-
sion Jock hugged to his heart by way of comfort.
After Rafe was gone and the room was in darkness, Jock
wrapped himself in the cloak and lay down on the floor.
Weary to the bone and spent with two full nights of wakeful-
ness, he speedily was fast asleep, and he knew no more till,
roused by a touch upon the forehead, he opened his eyes to
find the parlor gray with the first dawn and Rafe Heyroun
standing over him.
Half blinded with sleep, Jock rose and followed Rafe down
the short flight of stairs, across the empty hall, where the
hearth was gray with the ashes of the banked fire, and so by
a narrow staircase to a lobby above and a little chamber that
nestled beneath the eaves. This was little Philip's sleeping
place, Rafe gave him to understand, but little Philip was
already up and out. Jock could rest here undisturbed and
unmarked till his presence was required belowstairs, and
meantime here was fresh water and a razor, and clothes
144 THE FAIR MAID OF GRAYSTONES
and a pair of shoes that Lieutenant Philip, most ill advisedly,
it would appear, had stored at his brother's house.
As soon as he was alone, Jock set to work, and, to the tune
of the awaking life in the stable-court below his window,
made himself clean and presentable as he had not been in
some days. Midway of the task he heard a dubious little rap
at his door, and opening, let in the last and least of the Philip
Heyrouns. Ostensibly the child had come to get some strands
of horsehair from the chest below the window where he kept
his treasures, but in reality, as was soon apparent, he was
eager to make the acquaintance of the pleasing stranger.
He sat down on the bed, and while Jock shaved and settled
himself in the doublet that had been Lieutenant Philip's and
found, to his joy, that the borrowed shoes were a tolerable fit,
entertained him with sundry tales of his martial uncles, and
ended with an artless request for a story about a battle.
This request Jock could not grant, for he was no teller of tales,
but, by way of compromise, he showed little Phil how to braid
a fish-line from the horsehairs, and over this task they were
speedily good friends.
They were sitting side by side on the chest, with the child's
head resting against Jock's arm, as he watched the line grow
longer, when of a sudden Jock became aware of a new note
in the clamor of the stable-court. To the lowing of cattle,
the whinnering of horses, the voices of men, were added
the cry of dogs, each moment louder, and the hammering of
hoofs on the hard-trodden lane. With sudden inspiration,
Jock slapped his thigh. "The learners from Graystones, for
a thousand pound!" he said.
Little Phil, much interested, scrambled up on the chest,
and peering from the window, made a prompt report. " 'Tis
hounds little hounds a heap of 'em, baying and whin-
ing. And horses. And more troopers. And Sim, the hunts-
man, from Graystones. And mine Uncle Philip." In the
HIMSELF AGAIN 145
midst of the clamor of the dogs that now rose deafeningly
from the stable-court, he snuggled down in his old place
beside Jock. "Finish my line, I pray thee," he begged.
"I'm fain to show it to my Uncle Phil."
So Jock, listening to the cry of the hounds that had tracked
him, went on steadily twisting the fish-line. He did not find it
easy to do at that moment, but he would have essayed a much
harder task for the sake of keeping the little lad there at his
side. He twisted the line, and he even contrived to halt out
a tolerable story, not of a battle, to be sure, but of a great
trout that he had caught long ago, as a young lad, in one of
the brown becks that flowed through Daske Forest, and all
the while, as he talked, he listened alertly for the first sound
of steps outside his door. He heard them at last, and how
he ended his tale he never could have told, but at least he
still had the child nestled there against his side in perfect
friendliness, when the child's Uncle Philip, for the child's
sake Jock's sworn enemy, burst into the room.
At Lieutenant Phil's heels was Wogan, white-faced and
grim, and Rafe Heyroun, as inscrutable as an image, but
Jock's sole concern was with the Lieutenant. In his heart
he knew that already he had won Rafe to espouse his cause,
and with equal certainty he knew that he could never win
Captain Wogan, who loved Blanche Mallory, to believe that
he had spoken the truth and that she, by implication, was
false and worse, but of this blundering and headlong Lieu-
tenant Phil he had his hopes. To be sure, the Lieutenant
was not won over by the mere sight of the child at Jock's
side. He had to bluster and expostulate for a time, while
Rafe, in half amusement, and Wogan, in grim disapproval,
added no more than a word or two. He had to cross-ques-
tion the child, reducing him at last almost to tears, but
throughout Jock sensed that more and more the Lieutenant
was yielding to a doubt as to his identity.
146 THE FAIR MAID OF GRAYSTONES
Then, from an unlooked-for quarter, came assistance, for
Isabel Heyroun suddenly appeared in the room, militant and
bristling, and caught her young son to her. "Now, by my
truly !" said she, "you are well put to work, the ging of you,
to vex the poor lamb till he is ready to weep ! Why will you
be questioning, Phil Heyroun, whether yonder man be Cap-
tain Hetherington or no ? Have you no eyes to see ? Why,
this is not that black swaggerer, the Captain. This is no more
than a lad."
Across the narrow chamber Jock caught Rafe's amused
eyes, and very nearly spoilt all by smiling at the jest that
in silence they shared between them. He wondered if the
gentlewoman had been so sure of his youth and innocence,
had she looked on him a little earlier, before the shave and
the fresh clothes that he owed to Rafe's long-headed fore-
sight, had changed him from the semblance of battered eight
and twenty to weary and rather boyish twenty-one. Next
moment he saw another reason for Mistress Heyroun's un-
expected partisanship, for Wogan at last took a hand in the
" Tis all pestilence folly I" said Wogan. "The child is too
young to know whereof he testifies, and did not Mistress
Mallory herself swear that this fellow is Captain Hethering-
" My child is as good a witness as Blanche Mallory any day ! "
cried the sister of the man whom Mistress Mallory designed to
marry, and went on to cast aspersions on crafty hussies in
general, naming no names, and having no need to.
At that Wogan cried, "Bel Wogan!" in a voice that sug-
gested that, had she been indeed Bel Wogan and not Bel
Heyroun, he would have shaken his sister, then and there.
Then, of a sudden, the Lieutenant, convinced against his
will, came charging in to aid his sister-in-law. " Sure, Lam-
bert," said the Lieutenant, "if you be so confident that
HIMSELF AGAIN 147
Mistress Mallory spoke the truth, you can have no reason
to grudge at our doing all that we can to sift this fellow's
story. When he's proved in the end to be a liar as no
doubt he will be ! why, then he's still a prisoner in your
hands to deal with as best likes you."
"Ay," sniffed Isabel, ignoring her brother-in-law's ponder-
ous diplomacy, "if you were a kind brother, Lambert, you
would rejoice to establish this man's identity and thereby
help us to recover the deal box, when you know not but that
our Uncle Philip may have left an inheritance to mine own
little Phil, and you have ever professed to love the child,
For the first time, to outward seeming, Rafe took a hand
in the game. "Go to, Bel!" said he. "Uncle Philip, be
sure, never left a groat to child of mine. Never look that
way, lass !" Then he glanced at the cloudy faces of his kins-
folk, and half smiling, suggested that they had best discuss
the matter further after breakfast. ""Pis ill arguing on an
empty stomach," he concluded, and somehow contrived to
send all from the room. Last of the train, he turned upon
the threshold, and once more Jock had a comfortable sense
of sharing a jest with him. " Stay here until I send for you,"
Rafe bade; "'twill not be long !" and so went his way.
For a full hour Jock lay upon little Philip's bed in the
deserted chamber, and over and over again numbered the
allies that he had won. Chief of all, he felt that Rafe would
insist on his identification, partly for mere justice, partly for
the joy of battling with the chestnut-haired Philip, and Lieu-
tenant Phil, a reputed beneficiary under the lost wills and
so set to snatch at any least hope held out of their recov-
ery, would side with Rafe for his own fortune's sake, and
Isabel Heyroun, most unexpectedly, would make a third,
partly because of her hopes for her son, should the lost wills
be found, and partly, Jock concluded, because she would take
148 THE FAIR MAID OF GRAYSTONES
any side in reason or in unreason that was opposite to the
side on which Blanche Mallory fought. These three he could
count on, and he felt that he had cruelly misjudged them if
they did not prove more than a match for Lambert Wogan.
So the minutes ran on and the hour had lengthened to two
hours, when Jock heard a sound so welcome that he judged
it to be the shaping of his hopeful fancy. Almost he thought
it to be the sound of horses led forth, of saddles flung into
place, of all the pleasant bustle of a squadron's making ready
to mount and ride, and dreading to dissipate the vision, he
hesitated to rise and look forth into the stable-court. But
when at length he heard the unmistakable voice of Captain
Wogan, giving a command to mount, he sprang to his feet
and gained the window in two strides. Then he found that he
had not dreamed this happy consummation. In sober truth,
he looked down upon Wogan and Lieutenant Phil and their
men, all mounted, and presently, a sight that was more
gladsome still, he saw their buff-coated backs and the tails
of their horses, as they denied into the narrow lane.
A moment later little Phil came once more to the chamber.
Daddy was fain to speak with Mr. Hetherington, he said,
swelling with pride that he should do the errand, and Jock,
at the word, went belowstairs at a pace that troubled the
child to keep up with him. In the hall, where the sunlight
came dimly through the leaded panes of the eastern window,
Jock saw Mistress Heyroun, who glanced up from a house-
wifely task and bestowed a smile upon him, because he was
anathema to Blanche Mallory, and then, at the entrance of a
passage that tunnelled forth, beneath low rafters, to a flagged
yard without, he came face to face with dark Rafe Heyroun.
He saw that Rafe wore the look of a man who has won a
"So they are gone?" Jock spoke his thought outright.
"Ay, gone!" said Rafe, in entire harmony with Jock's
HIMSELF AGAIN 149
mood of rejoicing, and then tried to assume a formal tone,
and did it so ill that in his own despite he smiled. " We are
in some doubt, sir, as to your true identity, so I have sent for
Inchcome to advise with me. Until he decides what is best
to do, Captain Wogan whose lawful prisoner you are has
been pleased to commit you to my custody."
For a moment Jock stood speechless, while from his mind
there slowly faded the vision of the whipping-post at Bury
St. Edmund's, of the lonely roof room at Graystones, of the
deadly hatred on Captain Wogan's face, what time he felt the
Captain's hands close upon his throat. He saw the low-roofed
homely farmhouse hall in which he stood, so dim the instant
before, flooded, as it were, with a sudden shower of light.
Unsuspicious, for once, and grateful to the point where words
were hard to find, he held out his hand to Rafe. " From my
heart, sir, I thank you," he said.
"If you thanked my son Philip," Rafe answered, "you
would go nearer to putting thanks where they are due, sir.
By the way," he added, with his hand on Jock's shoulder,
"what is it that you call yourself?"
Jock met his eyes, with the rare smile that he had for his
friends. "I was christened John Hetherington," he said,
" but you can call me what you will, so that you do not call
me Captain Hetherington."
THE LATTER END OP JOT
IN the natural order of events Esdras Inchcome should
have jogged up the lane to Dray cote farm next day or, at
longest, the day after; but the two days passed, while Jock,
thankful for the respite, cemented his friendship with little
Philip and won the favor of Mistress Heyroun, and Rafe,
thankful for the diversion, studied Jock and found him satis-
fying, and still there was no sign of the little old lawyer. On