knew the truth of what lies between my cousin Hetherington
and myself. Will you listen?"
"Yes," said Verney, eagerly, and waited, but for a long
14 THE FAIR MAID OF GRAYSTONES
minute Jock twisted the bit of leather between his fingers
and frowned and was silent.
"You were telling me "
"After all," Jock resumed, "there is little to tell. I've no
pretty ballad story of a ravaged sister or a murdered father.
It is a child's tale. I scarce know how to put it into words.
I must go back to make you understand even a little, afar
off. We Hetheringtons, you must know, then, are the great
folk of Daske Forest, that lies in the West Riding, toward
the borders of Lancashire. The head of the house is lord
of the manors of Broxby and Begdon and Wretham-under-
Daske, and he has his seat at a noble old hall nigh to Broxby.
He is a very great man in the eyes of his tenants and in his
own eyes, greater, I think, than the king himself.
"My father was own brother to Squire Hetherington, the
father of the man that is dying yonder, and being a younger
brother, was bred to the church. Later they gave him the
living of Begdon, where the parson's tithes are never paid,
and he married my mother, a gentlewoman of the Lancashire
Holcrofts, and begot me. My mother died when I was a tiny
lad, and my father married the kitchen wench, a kind soul
who bore him many children.
"The tithes, as I say, were never paid, and old Squire's
widow he had been dead some years offered of her
charity to take me to live at the Hall. My father, I think,
was glad to be quit of me. So I went to the Hall. It was
fourteen years ago. I was rising eight years old, and my
cousin yonder was near fifteen. There's little to say. He
was a great lad and I was a little lad. I could forget all else
I could forget how he had everything, and I nothing, for
that was just, no doubt, since he was the young squire, and
I could forget how he was wont to play the bully with me,
'tis the way of older lads ofttimes, but my dog I will
never forget, and as God sees me, I never will forgive ! "
OUT OF THE FRYING-PAN 15
Jock tossed by the bit of leather, and dropping down on
one elbow, averted his eyes. "It was a little old spaniel,"
he said, speaking quickly. "It had been my mother's. I
brought it with me to the Hall. I used to huggle it in my
arms at night, and it licked my face when I cried for home-
sickness. One day my cousin struck me, and my dog snapped
at him. He beat out its brains with the butt of his fowling-
Verney Claybourne drew a hissing breath. He had dogs
of his own.
"When I was a little brat, my mother had taught me to
pray to God to make me a good lad," Jock hurried on. " After
that I altered my prayer. I used to beg God to make me a
tall man that I might kill my cousin John. You see He did
not grant my prayer, or maybe, growing faint-hearted, I
ceased too soon to pray."
"And that is all that has been between you and your
cousin?" Verney asked as Jock paused.
"All that was of moment," Jock answered indifferently.
" After a time he went away to Oxford. Then I was happier
at the Hall. My aunt suffered me ride the little horse that
he had outgrown. I was fourteen when he came back from
the university, a fine town gallant. He bade me clean his
shoes. I cast them into his face. Then he beat me, but it
was for the last time. That night I trudged three league
across the moors to my stepmother. My father was dead
five years before, thrown from his horse and killed at a cub
hunt. My stepmother was married again to a farmer named
Elroyd. I walked into their stableyard in the gray of the
morning, and told Goodman Elroyd I would clean his horses,
hew his wood, anything, if he would not send me back to the
Hall. In the end they suffered me bide with the Elroyds,
and my stepmother was always kind to me. There's no more
to say of my cousin John. He raised, a troop at the begin-
16 THE FAIR MAID OF GRAYSTONES
ning of the troubles and got him a captaincy. I went out in
a Lancashire regiment as a pikeman, and later one of my
mother's kinsmen gave me an ensign's commission."
"But you knew each other afterward, when you were in
High Germany?" Verney suggested.
Jock laughed. "Captain Hetherington was a gentleman
exile, living at his ease with money to squander. His mother
starved herself to keep him gallant. And I was a private
soldier once more. There was no great likelihood of our con-
sorting, was there?"
" Dick Tevery told me that your cousin balked your chance
of a commission with General Wrangel, and 'twas from that
sprang your disrelish to him."
Jock shrugged his shoulders. " 'Twas another shrewd turn
I had to thank my cousin for," he said. "But I told you I
had forgiven everything now everything except my dog.
You understand me well."
"Yes," said Verney, and thought that he spoke the truth.
As a matter of fact, being midland born, he was a thousand
miles from understanding the dour hatred of the northern
For a moment there was silence between them. Jock suf-
fered himself to fall back at full length on the pavement, and
with arms beneath his head, stared up into the dim, vaulted
roof of the church. "Thirteen years I've waited to quit the
score that I owe my cousin John," he said half to himself.
" 'Tis a droll stroke that instead I should come by my death
for thrusting into his quarrel."
Verney, who had been lazing with his two elbows propped
on the pavement, straightened himself suddenly. "Death?
What mean you by that, Jock?" He spent five minutes of
hard labor in getting to the bottom of Jock's meaning, but
he was no fool, and in Jock's chance sentence he had been
given a key to the situation. He got the truth at last of Issa-
OUT OF THE FRYING-PAN 17
char Pedock's threat and Jock's very real peril, and he became
grave indeed as he heard the story.
"I had no mind to tell you," muttered Jock.
"The more fool you!" said Verney. "And the more fool
I, not to know that something was grievously amiss !"
Verney did not add what he had in mind, that any sane man
would have guessed from Jock's telling such intimate matters
that he held himself on the verge of a long parting. It was
not Jock's practice to unbosom himself on any slight pretext.
Having no time to waste, Verney did not stay to explain these
deductions to Jock, but rose up and sought Dick Tevery, the
noisy gentleman with the bandaged head, and an unshaven
gentleman named Will Framlingham, and a coatless, sleepy,
and bad-tempered gentleman named Robert Welch.
These four, presently returning, sat down with Jock under
Dame Eleanor's gilded tablet and held a council of war. It
was a council characteristic of the Cavalier party in that it
was noisy, heated, protracted, and came to nothing. Half-
way through, Welch discovered from Jock's account what
disposition was to be made of the gentlemen volunteers, and
forthwith washed his hands of Jock's affairs and went to
spread the glad tidings among his fellow-prisoners. Tevery
had but one piece of advice to offer, namely, that they should
instantly, one and all, assault the guards, by which means,
Framlingham was at pains to point out, they would instead
of saving Jock reduce themselves to his condition. Fram-
lingham himself, being an astute gentleman, thought that
something might be accomplished by bribing somebody with
something, and Tevery at that grew in his turn derisive. Who
was to be bribed? The sergeant, perhaps? It was likely
that he would show marked favor to the prisoner that his
mates had singled out for punishment, when already his
credit would be tottering for his tacit assent to the fight.
And how was he to be bribed, when not a man among them
18 THE FAIR MAID OF GRAYSTONES
had a groat wherewith to bless himself? No, the only way
was to thrash the guards instantly!
Thus they wrangled, while the sunlight crept higher
on the walls of the church, and in the chancel the shadows
grew longer and blacker. A faint breath of wind stirred at
the casements and at the open door. Evening was coming,
with coolness and a hint of peace, even for the weary prisoners
in St. Andrew's, but with the evening would come the night
guard, and the men who were bent to avenge Faintnot Pedock.
Jock himself had been silent for the last half hour, lying
with his head on one hand and his eyes on the pavement.
He had taken note that he was resting on the flagstone that
covered the grave of Philip Heyroun of Heronswood, who
died An. Dom. 1605, and he traced the deep-cut letters with
one finger, and ceased all pretence of sharing in the councils
of his friends. "Well, if you will not, you will not, a devil
run away with you !" he heard Tevery conclude at last, and
saw him drive his hands into his breeches pockets. Jock did
not trouble himself to ask questions; he knew that his coun-
sellors had reached the same conclusion that he had reached
four hours ago, and had judged his case to be hopeless.
The minutes seemed to Jock now to crawl, now to gallop.
He saw Tevery rise and pace up and down by the wall, swear-
ing half audibly. He saw Framlingham get up and slip away
to the other prisoners. Then when the church was dusking
with twilight, he felt Verney touch his arm.
" Jock," said Verney, " I've just come into my estate down
in Cambridgeshire. It's near a thousand pounds a year, and
I'm thinking even one of Fairfax's officers will not be so nota-
ble a griper as to ask it all of me in way of ransom. So if the
promise of recompense will avail you with this fry of devils
you know that what I have is yours to serve you."
Jock bit his lip, hardly knowing what to reply, touched and
embarrassed, and most unhappy at the unlooked-for offer.
OUT OF THE FRYING-PAN 19
"I thank you, Verney," he said at last. "I doubt, though,
if 'twill be of any use. Hark ! They're changing the guard
Through the open door came the unmistakable sound of
clattering accoutrements, and a moment later the tramp of
men, gathering among the graves in the churchyard. Jock
started to his feet, and at that moment Framlingham returned
with two sheepish recruits, one of whom was the boy that had
taken so zealous an interest in the fight.
"We'll back you," said Framlingham, savagely. "The
rest are too busied wondering if they'll get their rations this
night to care what comes of you."
They stood round Jock, the five of them, and waited.
Tevery tried to joke, and broke off to swear. The boy had
a brilliant and youthful scheme by which Jock might escape
through one of the windows. He set it forth at length, and
nobody took the trouble to stop him, and Jock indeed grinned
at his ineptitudes and thus found solace. But all six men in
the group by the tomb of the Heyrouns were alert, and at the
same moment all caught the first step of the guards entering
the church, and fell silent.
The sergeant who commanded the guard for the night came
first, a wiry, civil, quiet man, who knew his business only
too well. Ten of his musketeers he bade line up by the door
with their loaded pieces. Four others he bade follow him up
the nave, and Issachar Pedock came at his side. Midway of
the nave he halted and looked about him. "Gentlemen "
he began gravely.
"I don't like that," muttered Framlingham. "I'd liefer
"There was a riot amongst you this afternoon," the civil
sergeant went on. "The fellow that began it I am going to
clap into close confinement."
"Are you?" said Tevery, audibly.
20 THE FAIR MAID OF GRAYSTONES
"And moreover," the sergeant ended, "until the culprit
is in my hands, no rations will be issued to you. Now, where
There was a moment of ghastly comprehension on the part
of near threescore of hungry men, and in that moment died
all hope of active resistance in Jock's behalf. Still, even
among the hungry threescore, not one had yet sunk low enough
to point out the victim. The sergeant turned perforce to
Issachar Pedock. "Find him!" he ordered.
At that, partly to spare his friends a hopeless fight, partly
because he was tired of waiting and wished to end it now, with
dignity, Jock thrust aside Verney, who stood before him, and
walked up to the sergeant. " I'm the man that beat the sen-
tinel," he said.
"Take him," the sergeant ordered his musketeers, who
instantly fell in round Jock. "Take him down into the
Jock heard the little stir and protesting growl of his fellow-
prisoners, and from their pity of him he realized the sore
strait in which he stood. The crypt to which they were order-
ing him was deep below St. Andrew's church. Whatever
happened there, no sound, no outcry, no plea for mercy could
ever reach the outer world. It was to a living grave they were
"You stark cowards!" he heard Tevery cry. "Will you
suffer them take him thus?"
Jock drew a great breath. "Hold your tongue, Dick!"
he called. "You can do me no good." He was startled at
the sound of his voice, so shaken and husky it came to his ears.
Why, he must be afraid, and the thought that he could be
afraid frightened him the more. He felt the hand of one of
the guards laid on his shoulder, and he needed all his resolu-
tion not to struggle, to remember that he must go quietly.
In the same moment Jock realized that he could not yield,
OUT OF THE FRYING-PAN 21
that he could not go down into the crypt. If his courage
should fail him there, cut off from his comrades ! It were
better to be killed that moment in the church, while he still
had the strength to bear himself like a man. He halted short,
braced for the last struggle, or rather, he found himself and
his guards halted, and at that, with an inrush of shame, mas-
tered himself and would have gone on quietly. But when
he started forward the guards stopped him, and then he saw
that it was not his movement that had halted them.
A man had come in at the open door of the church, a broad-
shouldered man, who wore an officer's scarf so much only
could Jock make out in the twilight. He had halted by the
door, and the sergeant advanced to him.
"You have the gentlemen volunteers of Lisle's regiment
here in your custody?" the stranger asked, and Jock scarcely
knew whether to bless or curse him for the moment's respite.
"Find me out if John Hetherington, one time a captain in
the king's service, is among your prisoners," the officer went
on. " Tis the General's orders that you deliver him at once
into my custody."
Jock took one bare second for reflection. Then he lifted
his voice. "Sir," he cried, "I am the man you seek. I am
INTO THE FIRE
IN the hush that followed upon his desperate lie, Jock
waited to hear a half hundred voices cry aloud a contradic-
tion. He knew the way in which the vaulted roof would
echo back the sound, and in anticipation he flinched at the
accusing clamor. To his amazement he heard no such up-
roar, not even one voice, one whisper of refutal. There was
a moment it seemed to him full five minutes of silence,
and then all that happened was that the Roundhead officer,
in an unastonished voice, bade, "Bring him hither to the
doorway that I may see his face."
Without further prompting Jock stepped from the midst
of his guards and halted in the doorway, where the last of the
daylight was fading from the church. The officer, standing
opposite him, had taken a crumpled paper from his pocket
and scanned it from time to time, holding it aslant to catch
the light, and then in turn scanned Jock. " Eyes, com-
plexion, " he checked the items, and glanced up again.
"You've shaved your beard and cut your hair?" he asked.
"Yes," said Jock, in a voice where confidence was growing.
At sober second thought, as far as thought could be sober
at such a crisis, he realized that the impulse on which he had
claimed his cousin's place was not altogether without sanity.
In the haphazard fashion in which, of necessity, matters had
been handled in Colchester in the feverish hours that came
after the fall of the town, no full record had been made of the
names of the gentlemen who had surrendered themselves as
INTO THE FIKE 23
prisoners. Not a guard there present was likely to know that
there were two John Hetheringtons in St. Andrew's; not one
of the prisoners, even of those who had hesitated to risk their
skins or their rations in Jock's behalf, was likely to expose
the deception; and Jock's cousin, who alone could have had
a personal interest in preventing the imposture, lay in the
unconsciousness that precedes death.
Moreover, by a stroke of luck, the Roundhead officer appar-
ently had no personal knowledge of the John Hetherington
that he sought. He was identifying his man by the sole aid
of a written description, and therein lay Jock's safety. Allow-
ing for the change that the shaving of the beard and the cutting
of the hair might work in a man's appearance, Jock was in
looks, as far as any offhand description could phrase it, his
cousin over again. He saw, then, a gleam of hope hope
that he might for a few hours pass himself off as the ex-
Captain Hetherington, Hetherington of Broxby, a man who
could pay ransom and, as such, was worthy of considerate
treatment. Maybe, before the cheat was detected, he could
hit upon some means of escape or, at worst, he might win
the Roundhead officer to protect him from the violence of
Jock looked anxiously at the officer upon whom his fate
depended, and tried to judge what manner of man he might
be. To look at, he seemed about thirty years of age, a big,
sun-browned, clean-shaven captain of horse, who wore his
accoutrements like a soldier of some years' standing. He did
not appear to be overblessed with cleverness, which was a
distinct advantage for Jock, but he looked as if he might on
occasion have some glimmering of humanity. At any rate,
Jock would liefer be in his custody than in that of Issachar
Pedock, and he would at least win by his desperate shift a
temporary escape from St. Andrew's, a few hours' respite,
and for what might come after he would plan when it came.
24 THE FAIK MAID OF GRAYSTONES
The officer crumpled the paper back into his pocket. "So
you are Captain Hetherington," he repeated with eyes on Jock.
" Not a captain now," Jock answered. It was a manifesta-
tion of his north-country caution that, when feasible, he pre-
ferred to tell the truth rather than to lie. " I served here in
Colchester as a gentleman volunteer."
The other cut him short. " No need to quibble, sir. You
held a captaincy of the king in the earlier troubles. You
came from France three months ago, and landed with a crew
of rakehells like yourself near Clegden in Suffolk. You admit
" I don't deny it," said Jock, with a fair assumption of his
cousin's insolent manner.
The Roundhead captain turned to the sergeant. "This is
the man I seek," he announced. " He goes hence in my cus-
tody. I have the General's warrant."
More of the formal business of the transfer Jock might have
heard, had he chosen to listen, but he found in the next
minutes that he preferred to look. He held that the sight
of Issachar Pedock's baffled face was worth all that the cap-
tain and the sergeant between them could say, and satisfac-
tion of another sort he found in the glimpse that he had of
the dusky corner near Dame Heyroun's tomb, where Tevery,
in a vigorous and soundless pantomime, was pounding Fram-
lingham between the shoulders and Verney Claybourne him-
self seemed inclined to lend a hand.
Jock drew an added sense of relief from the visible relief of
his friends, and, very hopeful for the future, followed at the
heels of his new captor out into the churchyard. It was a
little space of scuffed and trodden turf, with gray stones on
either hand and a black yew tree by the northern wall, but
to the man that had just been reprieved from the crypt,
it seemed a spacious, peaceful, sheltering spot. Westward,
above the steep roofs of the town, the sunset glow bathed
INTO THE FIKE 25
the sky with rose and opal light. Jock turned his face thither,
and in a half-formed way made good and prudent resolves.
He would not jeopardize this, his Heaven-sent chance of es-
cape. He would be meek and circumspect. Whatever orders
this Roundhead captain gave him, he would obey. Above all
he would not lift his hand against any man, least of all,
against any guard, as long as life was in him, as long
At that moment, following as he was bidden, Jock stepped
from the churchyard into the narrow street that was over-
shadowed on the one side by houses and on the other by the
churchyard wall, a dirty and ill-favored street, and there by
the wall waited three unmounted troopers. The captain
glanced at them, and glanced at Jock. "Secure him! "he
bade. The three closed on Jock, and Jock, with prudent
counsels in his mind and peace and good-will in his heart, hit
the first man on the point of the chin and knocked him into
the kennel, just as he had knocked Faintnot Pedock.
Beyond doubt this was the briefest and most amazing fight
in which Jock had ever engaged, for having knocked his man
down, he said, "Name of the Lord!" and stood staring at
him in horror. With his hard-won knowledge of the frangi-
bility of Puritan skulls, he verily believed that he had killed
the fellow, and he looked to see him bleed at nose and mouth
as Pedock had bled. While Jock waited, albeit but for an in-
stant, the prostrate man rose up with surprising nimbleness
and hit him a cuff in the head that made him see more sunset
clouds than ever were in the sky. By the time that Jock was
convinced of the glad reality of this guard's being alive, and
very much alive, he found himself "secured," as the captain
had phrased it, in a workmanlike manner, with his wrists tied
"There's no need of this," Jock protested. "I'll go quietly
whither you are pleased to take me. I'll give you my word
of honor "
26 THE FAIR MAID OF GRAYSTONES
"Your word?" the captain answered with an unpleasant
laugh. " It's not worth a rush."
Jock opened his mouth to reply with some heat, and then,
thinking better of it, kept silent, partly because he realized
that it was his cousin's honor that was aspersed, and with the
Roundhead captain's estimate of that fragile commodity
he was in complete accord, and partly because he realized
with a return of sense, that protests would not mend
In silence, then, Jock went whither his guards led him,
down the narrow street that skirted the walls of St. Andrew's,
where overhead casements were flung back, in the sequel of
the scuffle, and dimly seen faces looked forth, through a wind-
ing lane or two, along the wide High Street where the waning
light was stronger, and so into the paved court of the King's
Head Inn, where candlelight flickered from the windows and
a savor of cooking, tantalizing to a hungry man, floated from
the kitchen door.
For a moment Jock was in terror lest some of the tavern-
folk from whom, in the days of the siege, he had after the
manner of his kind levied meat and drink, might recognize
him and explain to his captors that he was merely a Hether-
ington, not their Hetherington ; but he suffered no such be-
trayal. Save for one stableboy, who, seeing small likelihood
of Jock's hitting back, cursed him fluently but impersonally
for a pestilent rogue of a malignant who was like to get his
deserts, Jock saw no one of the tavern-folk, and his stay in
that danger spot was mercifully brief. Scarcely five minutes
from the time that he and his captors entered the court, they
were riding forth again on troop-horses that had been wait-
ing in readiness.
Jock was bound into the saddle of the sorriest horse of the
five, and his bridle-rein was looped over the saddlebow of one
of the troopers, but at least he was turning his back upon St.
INTO THE FIKE 27
Andrew's church. Eagerly he noted each familiar landmark
of the High Street, the Moot-hall, St. Ronwald's church,
the green bailey of the Castle, and began to breathe more
freely as he realized that the little squadron was indeed headed
for the East Gate. At the gate he had a qualm of apprehen-
sion, for there they halted while the Roundhead captain dis-
mounted and collogued with the officer of the watch. Jock
studied their faces in the light of the torch that flared in the
dark arch of the gateway, and feared to read in their expres-
sion some trace of suspicion, some purpose of remanding him
to his old prison, but his fears were groundless. The Round-
head captain swung into his saddle again, the little company
followed him through the black gateway, and Jock drew a