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peremptory, from the Court of France, forbidding any officer of Dillon's
regiment to be absent for more than twenty-four hours from his duties on
pain of being broke. Our secret's out. That's the plain truth of the
matter."

He stood by the table drumming with his fingers in a great agitation.
Then his fingers stopped. He had been drumming upon Wogan's sheet of
paper, and the writing on the sheet had suddenly attracted his notice.
It was writing in unusually regular lines. Gaydon, arrested by Misset's
change from restlessness to fixity, looked that way for a second, too,
but he turned his head aside very quickly. Wogan's handwriting was none
of his business.

"We will give them a month," said Wogan, who was conjecturing at the
motive of this order from the Court of France. "No doubt we are
suspected. I never had a hope that we should not be. The Court of
France, you see, can do no less than forbid us, but I should not be
surprised if it winks at us on the sly. We will give them a month.
Colonel Lally is a friend of mine and a friend of the King. We will get
an abatement of that order, so that not one of you shall be cashiered."

"I don't flinch at that," said Misset, "but the secret's out."

"Then we must use the more precautions," said Wogan. He had no doubt
whatever that somehow he would bring the Princess safely out of her
prison to Bologna. It could not be that she was born to be wasted.
Misset, however, was not so confident upon the matter.

"A strange, imperturbable man is Charles Wogan," said he to Gaydon and
O'Toole the same evening. "Did you happen by any chance to cast your eye
over the paper I had my hand on?"

"I did not," said Gaydon, in a great hurry. "It was a private letter, no
doubt."

"It was poetry. There's no need for you to hurry, my friend. It was more
than mere poetry, it was in Latin. I read the first line on the page,
and it ran, '_Te, dum spernit, arat novus accola; max ubi cultam_ - '"

Gaydon tore his arm away from Misset. "I'll hear no more of it," he
cried. "Poetry is none of my business."

"There, Dick, you are wrong," said O'Toole, sententiously. Both Misset
and Gaydon came to a dead stop and stared. Never had poetry so strange
an advocate. O'Toole set his great legs apart and his arms akimbo. He
rocked himself backwards and forwards on his heels and toes, while a
benevolent smile of superiority wrinkled across his broad face from ear
to ear. "Yes, I've done it," said he; "I've written poetry. It is a
thing a polite gentleman should be able to do. So I did it. It wasn't in
Latin, because the young lady it was written to didn't understand Latin.
Her name was Lucy, and I rhymed her to 'juicy,' and the pleasure of it
made her purple in the face. There were to have been four lines, but
there were never more than three and a half because I could not think of
a suitable rhyme to O'Toole. Lucy said she knew one, but she would never
tell it me."

Wogan's poetry, however, was of quite a different kind, and had Gaydon
looked at it a trifle more closely, he would have experienced some
relief. It was all about the sorrows and miseries of his unfortunate
race and the cruel oppression of England. England owed all its great men
to Ireland and was currish enough never to acknowledge the debt. Wogan
always grew melancholy and grave-faced on that subject when he had the
leisure to be idle. He thought bitterly of the many Irish officers sent
into exile and killed in the service of alien countries; his sense of
injustice grew into a passionate sort of despair, and the despair
tumbled out of him in sonorous Latin verse written in the Virgilian
measure. He wrote a deal of it during this month of waiting, and a long
while afterwards sent an extract to Dr. Swift and received the great
man's compliments upon its felicity, as anyone may see for himself in
the doctor's correspondence.

How the month passed for James Stuart in Rome may be partly guessed from
a letter which was brought to Wogan by Michael Vezozzi, the Chevalier's
body-servant.

The letter announced that King George of England had offered the
Princess Clementina a dowry of £100,000 if she would marry the Prince of
Baden, and that the Prince of Baden with a numerous following was
already at Innspruck to prosecute his suit.

"I do not know but what her Highness," he wrote, "will receive the best
consolation for her sufferings on my account if she accepts so
favourable a proposal, rather than run so many hazards as she must needs
do as my wife. For myself, I have been summoned most urgently into Spain
and am travelling thither on the instant."

Wogan could make neither head nor tail of the letter. Why should the
King go to Spain at the time when the Princess Clementina might be
expected at Bologna? It was plain that he did not expect Wogan would
succeed. He was disheartened. Wogan came to the conclusion that there
was the whole meaning of the letter. He was, however, for other reasons
glad to receive it.

"It is very well I have this letter," said he, "for until it came I had
no scrap of writing whatever to show either to her Highness or, what I
take to be more important, to her Highness's mother," and he went back
to his poetry.

Misset and his wife, on the other hand, drove forward to the town of
Colmar, where they bought a travelling carriage and the necessaries for
the journey. Misset left his wife at Colmar, but returned every
twenty-four hours himself. They made the excuse that Misset had won a
deal of money at play and was minded to lay it out in presents to his
wife. The stratagem had a wonderful success at Schlestadt, especially
amongst the ladies, who could do nothing day and night but praise in
their husbands' hearing so excellent a mode of disposing of one's
winnings.

O'Toole spent his month in polishing his pistols and sharpening his
sword. It is true that he had to persuade Jenny to bear them company,
but that was the work of an afternoon. He told her the story of the rich
Austrian heiress, promised her a hundred guineas and a damask gown, gave
her a kiss, and the matter was settled.

Jenny passed her month in a delicious excitement. She was a daughter of
the camp, and had no fears whatever. She was a conspirator; she was
trusted with a tremendous secret; she was to help the beautiful and
enormous O'Toole to a rich and beautiful wife; she was to outwit an old
curmudgeon of an uncle; she was to succour a maiden heart-broken and
imprisoned. Jenny was quite uplifted. Never had a maid-servant been born
to so high a destiny. Her only difficulty was to keep silence, and when
the silence became no longer endurable she would run on some excuse or
another to Wogan and divert him with the properest sentiments.

"To me," she would cry, "there's nothing sinful in changing clothes
with the beautiful mistress of O'Toole. Christian charity says we are to
make others happy. I am a Christian, and as to the uncle he can go to
the devil! He can do nothing to me but talk, and I don't understand his
stupid language."

Jenny was the one person really happy during this month. It was Wogan's
effort to keep her so, for she was the very pivot of his plan.

There remains yet one other who had most reason of all to repine at the
delay, the Princess Clementina. Her mother wearied her with perpetual
complaints, the Prince of Baden, who was allowed admittance to the
villa, persecuted her with his attentions; she knew nothing of what was
planned for her escape, and the rigorous confinement was not relaxed. It
was not a happy time for Clementina. Yet she was not entirely unhappy. A
thought had come to her and stayed with her which called the colour to
her cheeks and a smile to her lips. It accounted to her for the delay;
her pride was restored by it; because of it she became yet more patient
with her mother, more gentle with the Prince of Baden, more
good-humoured to her gaolers. It sang at her heart like a bird; it
lightened in her grey eyes. It had come to her one sleepless night, and
the morning had not revealed it as a mere phantasy born of the night.
The more she pondered it, the more certain was she of its truth. Her
King was coming himself at the hazard of his life to rescue her.




CHAPTER XI


Therefore she waited in patience. It was still winter at Innspruck,
though the calendar declared it to be spring. April was budless and
cold, a month of storms; the snow drifted deep along the streets and M.
Chateaudoux was much inconvenienced during his promenades in the
afternoon. He would come back with most reproachful eyes for Clementina
in that she so stubbornly clung to her vagabond exile and refused so
fine a match as the Prince of Baden. On the afternoon of the 25th,
however, Clementina read more than reproach in his eyes, more than
discomfort in the agitation of his manner. The little chamberlain was
afraid.

Clementina guessed the reason of his fear.

"He has come!" she cried. The exultation of her voice, the deep breath
she drew, the rush of blood to her face, and the sudden dancing light in
her eyes showed how much constraint she had set upon herself. She was
like an ember blown to a flame. "You were stopped in your walk. You have
a message for me. He has come!"

The height of her joy was the depth of Chateaudoux's regret.

"I was stopped in my walk," said he, "but not by the Chevalier Wogan.
Who it was I do not know."

"Can you not guess?" cried Clementina.

"I would not trust a stranger," said her mother.

"Would you not?" asked Clementina, with a smile. "Describe him to me."

"His face was wrinkled," said Chateaudoux.

"It was disguised."

"His figure was slight and not over-tall."

M. Chateaudoux gave a fairly accurate description of Gaydon.

"I know no one whom the portrait fits," said the mother, and again
Clementina cried, -

"Can you not guess? Then, mother, I will punish you. For though I
know - in very truth, I know - I will not tell you." She turned back to
Chateaudoux. "Well, his message? He did fix a time, a day, an hour, for
my escape?"

"The 27th is the day, and at eight o'clock of the night."

"I will be ready."

"He will come here to fetch your Highness. Meanwhile he prays your
Highness to fall sick and keep your bed."

"I can choose my malady," said Clementina. "It will not all be
counterfeit, for indeed I shall fall sick of joy. But why must I fall
sick?"

"He brings a woman to take your place, who, lying in bed with the
curtains drawn, will the later be discovered."

The Princess's mother saw here a hindrance to success and eagerly she
spoke of it.

"How will the woman enter? How, too, will my daughter leave?"

M. Chateaudoux coughed and hemmed in a great confusion. He explained in
delicate hints that he himself was to bribe the sentry at the door to
let her pass for a few moments into the house. The Princess broke into a
laugh.

"Her name is Friederika, I'll warrant," she cried. "My poor Chateaudoux,
they _will_ give you a sweetheart. It is most cruel. Well, Friederika,
thanks to the sentry's fellow-feeling for a burning heart, Friederika
slips in at the door."

"Which I have taken care should stand unlatched. She changes clothes
with your Highness, and your Highness - "

"Slips out in her stead."

"But he is to come for you, he says," exclaimed her mother. "And how
will he do that? Besides, we do not know his name. And there must be a
fitting companion who will travel with you. Has he that companion?"

"Your Highness," said Chateaudoux, "upon all those points he bade me say
you should be satisfied. All he asks is that you will be ready at the
time."

A gust of hail struck the window and made the room tremble. Clementina
laughed; her mother shivered.

"The Prince of Baden," said she, with a sigh. Clementina shrugged her
shoulders.

"A Prince," said Chateaudoux, persuasively, "with much territory to his
princeliness."

"A vain, fat, pudgy man," said Clementina.

"A sober, honest gentleman," said the mother.

"A sober butler to an honest gentleman," said Clementina.

"He has an air," said Chateaudoux.

"He has indeed," replied Clementina, "as though he handed himself upon a
plate to you, and said, 'Here is a miracle. Thank God for it!' Well, I
must take to my bed. I am very ill. I have a fever on me, and that's
truth."

She moved towards the door, but before she had reached it there came a
knocking on the street door below.

Clementina stopped; Chateaudoux looked out of the window.

"It is the Prince's carriage," said he.

"I will not see him," exclaimed Clementina.

"My child, you must," said her mother, "if only for the last time."

"Each time he comes it is for the last time, yet the next day sees him
still in Innspruck. My patience and my courtesy are both outworn.
Besides, to-day, now that I have heard this great news we have waited
for - how long? Oh, mother, oh, mother, I cannot! I shall betray myself."

The Princess's mother made an effort.

"Clementina, you must receive him. I will have it so. I am your mother.
I will be your mother," she said in a tremulous tone, as though the mere
utterance of the command frightened her by its audacity.

Clementina was softened on the instant. She ran across to her mother's
chair, and kneeling by it said with a laugh, "So you shall. I would not
barter mothers with any girl in Christendom. But you understand. I am
pledged in honour to my King. I will receive the Prince, but indeed I
would he had not come," and rising again she kissed her mother on the
forehead.

She received the Prince of Baden alone. He was a stout man of much
ceremony and took some while to elaborate a compliment upon Clementina's
altered looks. Before, he had always seen her armed and helmeted with
dignity; now she had much ado to keep her lips from twitching into a
smile, and the smile in her eyes she could not hide at all. The Prince
took the change to himself. His persistent wooing had not been after all
in vain. He was not, however, the man to make the least of his
sufferings in the pursuit which seemed to end so suitably to-day.

"Madam," he said with his grandest air, "I think to have given you some
proof of my devotion. Even on this inclement day I come to pay my duty
though the streets are deep in snow."

"Oh, sir," exclaimed Clementina, "then your feet are wet. Never run such
risks for me. I would have no man weep on my account though it were only
from a cold in the head."

The Prince glanced at Clementina suspiciously. Was this devotion? He
preferred to think so.

"Madam, have no fears," said he, tenderly, wishing to set the anxious
creature at her ease. "I drove here in my carriage."

"But from the carriage to the door you walked?"

"No, madam, I was carried."

Clementina's lips twitched again.

"I would have given much to have seen you carried," she said demurely.
"I suppose you would not repeat the - No, it would be to ask too much.
Besides, from my windows here in the side of the house I could not see."
And she sighed deeply.

The fatuous gentleman took comfort from the sigh.

"Madam, you have but to say the word and your windows shall look
whichever way you will."

Clementina, however, did not say the word. She merely sighed again. The
Prince thought it a convenient moment to assert his position.

"I have stayed a long while in Innspruck, setting my constancy, which
bade me stay, above my dignity, which bade me go. For three months I
have stayed, - a long while, madam."

"I do not think three years could have been longer," said Clementina,
with the utmost sympathy.

"So now in the end I have called my pride to help me."

"The noblest gift that heaven has given a man," said Clementina,
fervently.

The Prince bowed low; Clementina curtsied majestically.

[Illustration: THE PRINCE STRUTTED TO THE WINDOW; CLEMENTINA SOLEMNLY
KEPT PACE WITH HIM." - _Page 161._]

"Will you give me your hand," said he, "as far as your window?"

"Certainly, sir, and out of it."

Clementina laid her hand in his. The Prince strutted to the window;
Clementina solemnly kept pace with him.

"What do you see? A sentinel fixed there guarding you. At the door
stands a second sentinel. Answer me as I would be answered, your window
and your door are free. Refuse me, and I travel into Italy. My trunks
are already packed."

"Neatly packed, I hope," said Clementina. Her cheek was flushed; her
lips no longer smiled. But she spoke most politely, and the Prince was
at a loss.

"Will you give me your hand," said she, "as far as my table?"

The Prince doubtfully stretched out his hand, and the couple paced in a
stately fashion to Clementina's table.

"What do you see upon my table?" said she, with something of the
Prince's pomposity.

"A picture," said he, reluctantly.

"Whose?"

"The Pretender's," he answered with a sneer.

"The King's," said she, pleasantly. "His picture is fixed there guarding
me. Against my heart there lies a second. I wish your Highness all speed
to Italy."

She dropped his hand, bowed to him again in sign that the interview was
ended. The Prince had a final argument.

"You refuse a dowry of £100,000. I would have you think of that."

"Sir, you think of it for both of us."

The Prince drew himself up to his full stature.

"I have your answer, then?"

"You have, sir. You had it yesterday, and if I remember right the day
before."

"I will stay yet two more days. Madam, you need not fear. I shall not
importune you. I give you those two days for reflection. Unless I hear
from you I shall leave Innspruck - "

"In two days' time?" suddenly exclaimed Clementina.

"On the evening of the 27th," said the Prince.

Clementina laughed softly in a way which he did not understand. She was
altogether in a strange, incomprehensible mood that afternoon, and when
he learnt next day that she had taken to her bed he was not surprised.
Perhaps he was not altogether grieved. It seemed right that she should
be punished for her stubbornness. Punishment might soften her.

But no message came to him during those two days, and on the morning of
the 27th he set out for Italy.

At the second posting stage, which he reached about three of the
afternoon, he crossed a hired carriage on its way to Innspruck. The
carriage left the inn door as the Prince drove up to it. He noticed the
great size of the coachman on the box, he saw also that a man and two
women were seated within the carriage, and that a servant rode on
horseback by the door. The road, however, was a busy one; day and night
travellers passed up and down; the Prince gave only a passing scrutiny
to that carriage rolling down the hill to Innspruck. Besides, he was
acquainted neither with Gaydon, who rode within the carriage, nor with
Wogan, the servant at the door, nor with O'Toole, the fat man on the
box.

At nightfall the Prince came to Nazareth, a lonely village amongst the
mountains with a single tavern, where he thought to sleep the night.
There was but one guest-room, however, which was already bespoken by a
Flemish lady, the Countess of Cernes, who had travelled that morning to
Innspruck to fetch her niece.

The Prince grumbled for a little, since the evening was growing stormy
and wild, but there was no remedy. He could not dispute the matter, for
he was shown the Countess's berlin waiting ready for her return. A
servant of the Count's household also had been left behind at Nazareth
to retain the room, and this man, while using all proper civilities,
refused to give up possession. The Prince had no acquaintance with the
officers of Dillon's Irish regiment, so that he had no single suspicion
that Captain Misset was the servant. He drove on for another stage,
where he found a lodging.

Meanwhile the hired carriage rolled into Innspruck, and a storm of
extraordinary violence burst over the country.




CHAPTER XII


In fact, just about the time when the Prince's horses were being
unharnessed from his carriage on the heights of Mount Brenner, the hired
carriage stopped before a little inn under the town wall of Innspruck
hard by the bridge. And half an hour later, when the Prince was sitting
down to his supper before a blazing fire and thanking his stars that on
so gusty and wild a night he had a stout roof above his head, a man and
a woman came out from the little tavern under the town wall and
disappeared into the darkness. They had the streets to themselves, for
that night the city was a whirlpool of the winds. Each separate chasm in
the encircling hills was a mouth to discharge a separate blast. The
winds swept down into the hollow and charged in a riotous combat about
the squares and lanes; at each corner was an ambuscade, and everywhere
they clashed with artilleries of hail and sleet.

The man and woman staggered hand in hand and floundered in the deep
snow. They were soaked to the skin, frozen by the cold, and whipped by
the stinging hail. Though they bent their heads and bodies, though they
clung hand in hand, though they struggled with all their strength,
there were times when they could not advance a foot and must needs wait
for a lull in the shelter of a porch. At such times the man would
perhaps quote a line of Virgil about the cave of the winds, and the
woman curse like a grenadier. They, however, were not the only people
who were distressed by the storm.

Outside the villa in which the Princess was imprisoned stood the two
sentinels, one beneath the window, the other before the door. There were
icicles upon their beards; they were so shrouded in white they had the
look of snow men built by schoolboys. Their coats of frieze could not
keep out the searching sleet, nor their caps protect their ears from the
intolerable cold. Their hands were so numbed they could not feel the
muskets they held.

The sentinel before the door suffered the most, for whereas his
companion beneath the window had nothing but the house wall before his
eyes, he, on his part, could see on the other side of the alley of trees
the red blinds of "The White Chamois," that inn which the Chevalier de
St. George had mentioned to Charles Wogan. The red blinds shone very
cheery and comfortable upon that stormy night. The sentinel envied the
men gathered in the warmth and light behind them, and cursed his own
miserable lot as heartily as the woman in the porch did hers. The red
blinds made it unendurable. He left his post and joined his companion.

"Rudolf," he said, bawling into his ear, "come with me! Our birds will
not fly away to-night."

The two sentries came to the front of the house and stared at the
red-litten blinds.

"What a night!" cried Rudolf. "Not a citizen would thrust his nose out
of doors."

"Not even the little Chateaudoux's sweetheart," replied the other, with
a grin.

They stared again at the red blinds, and in a lull of the wind a clock
struck nine.

"There is an hour before the magistrate comes," said Rudolf.

"You take that hour," said his companion; "I will have the hour after
the magistrate has gone."

Rudolf ran across to the inn. The sentinel at the door remained behind.
Both men were pleased, - Rudolf because he had his hour immediately, his
fellow-soldier because once the magistrate had come and gone, he would
take as long as he pleased.

Meanwhile the man and woman hand in hand drew nearer to the villa, but
very slowly. For, apart from the weather's hindrances, the woman's anger
had grown. She stopped, she fell down when there was no need to fall,
she wept, she struggled to free her hand, and finally, when they had
taken shelter beneath a portico, she sank down on the stone steps, and
with many oaths and many tears refused to budge a foot. Strangely
enough, it was not so much the inclemency of the night or the danger of
the enterprise which provoked this obstinacy, as some outrage and
dishonour to her figure.

"You may talk all night," she cried between her sobs, "about O'Toole and
his beautiful German. They can go hang for me! I am only a servant, I
know. I am poor, I admit it. But poverty isn't a crime. It gives no one
the right to make a dwarf of me. No, no!" - this as Wogan bent down to
lift her from the ground - "plague on you all! I will sit here and die;
and when I am found frozen and dead perhaps you will be sorry for your
cruelty to a poor girl who wanted nothing better than to serve you."
Here Jenny was so moved by the piteousness of her fate that her tears
broke out again. She wept loudly. Wogan was in an extremity of alarm
lest someone should pass, or the people of the house be aroused. He
tried most tenderly to comfort her. She would have none of the
consolations. He took her in his arms and raised her to her feet. She


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