The Baldwin Libriar
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GROOMBRIDGE AND SONq.
HEREWARD BOUND UP I HE WOUND OF HIS FATHER'S BONDSMAN.
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A l.EI7E\\A1:LJ THE BIrV,..
A I" I.L ,OF "IIE N ,AN CNUI.IESI
LY JULIA COA,1NER.
I the good old times of our Saxon forefathers, not
long before the Norman Conquest, there lived in
England a rich and noble lord named Leofric, who was
the owner of a large domain in Lincolnshire, called the
Manor of Bourne, where he resided with his wife and
his only son, Hereward, a boy of remarkable beauty
and excellent disposition, but chiefly famous for his bold
and daring spirit, which caused him to be regarded in
the light of a hero, even from his early childhood. Be-
fore he was fifteen he was well skilled in all the athletic
sports of the age, and there was not a youth in that
part of the country who could shoot an arrow so far and
with so true an aim as Hereward, who, in all trials of
strength or agility with his companions, was sure to
come off conqueror. Then he was generous and kind-
hearted too, as well as fearless, so that it was no wonder
his parents should be proud of him, or that he was
HEREWARD THE BRAVE.
beloved by all his father's vassals, who looked up to him
as their future lord, and prophesied that he would be a
brave chief as well as a good master. It must, indeed,
have been a joyful thing for the peasantry in those days
of bondage, when they were not at liberty to leave the
estate on which they were born, and were wholly at the
mercy of its lord, that he who was to rule over them
and their children was no tyrant, but one who would
care for the comfort of his people. The Manor House,
as Lord Leofric's abode was called, was a large mansion
built entirely of wood, for stone or brick buildings were
very rare in those days, and there were no castles in
England till after the country was conquered by the
Normans; but the dwellings of the Saxon English
nobles were strong and well fortified, being usually sur-
rounded by a deep moat, crossed by a drawbridge,
which could be raised at pleasure, so that in case the
house was attacked by enemies, which was not uncom-
mon at that period, they could not very easily get across
the moat, and the inmates were thus enabled to defend
themselves. There was a wide moat round the Manor
House of Bourne, and at a short distance stood the vil-
lage belonging to the domain, where Leofric's people
resided in small huts or cottages, and there was not a
ceorl or a serf on the estate but would have gone
through fire and water to serve the young lord, Here-
ward, who always had a kind word and look for every
one, down to the meanest swineherd. The whole of
Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire, and indeed all that
part of England as far as the sea-coast, was at that
time so marshy, that it was generally termed the Fen
Country, being intersected in every direction by lakes,
meres, and narrow rivers, that divided the land into
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innumerable little islands, and having no embankments,
nor any channels to carry off the water into the sea,
continually overflowed in the rainy season and laid the
whole country for miles under water, so that human
habitations were few and far between, as they could
only be erected where there chanced to be some spot
sufficiently elevated to place them out of danger when
the land was flooded; and we all know that the eastern
counties are flat, and in parts swampy even now, with
very few hills to boast of. The people in those days
always carried long poles to help them over the bogs,
and when the waters were out they could only get from
one house or town to another in light boats made for
the purpose, which all the inhabitants of the fen
country knew how to manage; but this sort of naviga-
tion was so difficult for those who were unaccustomed to
it, that this part of England had always been a place of
refuge from the Danes and other invaders. Another of
its natural defences was constituted by the immense
quantities of willow trees, which grew in such abun-
dance as to form large forests that were impene-
trable to those unacquainted with the turnings and
windings that were familiar to the natives. I am thus
particular in my description of the place, because it was
here that the English people made a long and deter-
mined resistance to William the Conqueror after he had
taken possession of the throne, and it was here that
Hereward gained the renown that has immortalized his
We look back to the Norman Conquest as a sort of
boundary line that separates the ancient from the
modern history of England, yet a great number of us
are the descendants of those very people who were the=
HEREWARD THE BRAVE.
conquered, and might trace back our ancestry to the
Anglo-Saxons. But to proceed with my story. Here-
ward was born in the reign of Edward the Confessor,
and when he was ,yown up to man's estate, that
monarch was still on the throne. He was called the
Confessor on account of his extreme piety, which made
people say he was more fitted to be a monk than a king,
for he paid but little attention to the, II ,r -. of the king-
dom, most of his time and thoughts being given up to
devotional exercises and the ceremonials of the church.
He was married, but lived apart from his wife, not
because he disliked her, but because he thought it a
religious duty to deny himself the pleasures of domestic
life, and so the poor queen was compelled to live in
almost as much seclusion as if she had been a nun.
This unhappy lady was the daughter of Godwin, Earl
of Kent, the richest and most powerful nobleman in
England, and sovereign lord of a great portion of the
southern part of the country; for you must understand
that, although the seven kingdoms of the old Saxon
Heptarchy had long since been united under one king,
those divisions which had formerly been separate states
were now called earldoms, and were held by the chief
nobles in the land, who were looked upon by the people
more in the light of their sovereigns even than the king
himself. Three of these great earldoms were possessed
by Earl Godwin and two of his sons; Tostig being Earl
of Northumberland, and Harold of East Anglia, which
latter comprised all the fen country, where he was
idolized by the common people, and greatly esteemed
by those of higher grade, many of whom thought he
would make a far better king than the meek and pious
Edward. Amongst thor% who held this opinion was
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Hereward, the gallant son of Lord Leofric, who became
devotedly attached to the young earl, and, when he was
actually raised to the throne, proved one of his most
faithful friends during the brief period of his unfor-
Harold was indeed a man to win all hearts. Brave,
courteous, noble, and just, he was never known to be
guilty of an act of cruelty or oppression, and was as
wise in the council as he was valiant in the field. His
form was tall and majestic, his face perfect in its manly
beauty, and the graceful dignity of his person was
heightened by a profusion of light brown hair as bright
as gold, that fell in long curls over his shoulders accord-
ing to the fashion of the Saxon nobility. He was the
second, and by far the most popular, of Godwin's six
sons, for Sweyn, the eldest, had been outlawed for some
"ery serious crime, and Tostig was a fierce tyrant, who
was feared and disliked by the people of Northumberland,
whose lord he was, whilst the younger ones had not as
yet distinguished themselves in any way. The first
great public event that made an impression on the mind
of young Hereward, who was then a mere boy, was the
banishment of Earl Godwin with his two sons, Harold
and Tostig, on a charge of treason. All the three were
dispossessed of their earldoms and sought an asylum
in Flanders, where Tostig was soon married to the Lady
Judith, one of the daughters of Count Baldwin, the
sovereign prince of that country, whose other daughter,
Matilda, was the wife of William, Duke of Normandy,
afterwards famed as William the Conqueror.
The banishment of the Earls Godwin and Harold
was a great grief to the English people generally, but
more particularly to those who had lived under their
HEREWARD TIE BRAVE.
rule. Besides, it was well known that they had done
no wrong, and that the decree was unjust in the
extreme; consequently the king, who was no great
favourite with his subjects, became more unpopular than
ever. Lord Leofric first brought the news from London,
where he had been on some errand to the Court, and he
had there learned what was the true cause of the great
earl's disgrace, which was brought about by enemies
who were jealous of his power and influence. One of
these was a certain Norman Count named Eustace, who
had been staying with King Edward at his palace in
Westminster. Now, Edward was very fond of the
Normans, for he had been brought up in Normandy,
and was much attached to Duke William, who was his
cousin. Ever since his accession to the throne, the
English Court had been frequented by these foreigners,
who were always treated with more distinction and
favour than the English nobles, who were, of course,
discontented at such undue preference. Count Eustace,
attended by a number of his followers, on his way back
to France, stopped for a while at Dover,' where his
people conducted themselves with the utmost insolence,
intruding into the houses of the inhabitants and taking
whatever they chose without the least ceremony. It
was hardly to be expected that the citizens would put
up quietly with such behaviour, and a dreadful tumult
arose, in which many were killed on both sides. Count
Eustace went back to the king in a violent rage, and
made out a fine tale against the rioters as he called
them, demanding that the principal leaders should be
put to death, on which the king sent for Earl Godwin
and desired him to give orders to that effect, as Dover
was within his government; but the earl refused, for ha
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knew that the people had only acted in their own de-
fence, and that it was the Normans who were in the
wrong, and it was for this refusal to obey the royal
mandate that he was doomed to exile, with all his family,
even the queen, his daughter, being by the king's com-
mand shut up in a convent. Then the people were more
exasperated than ever against the Normans, to whom
they attributed the loss of their favourite earls, which
none lamented more sincerely than Leofric, the Lord of
Bourne. Soon after Godwin's departure, Duke William
of Normandy came over to England, attended by a
numerous retinue of knights and nobles, on a visit to
his cousin Edward, who received him with open arms
at his palace of Westminster, which was close to where
Westminster Hall now stands. Never had King
Edward displayed so much magnificence as he did on
this occasion. All the strangers were lodged in the
palace, and entertained sumptuously every day. Nor
was any expense spared to do honour to the royal guest,
whose ascendancy over the king appeared to be un-
bounded. They often went out hunting together, for
there were large forests then in the vicinity of London,
even close up to the city gates; and, in their frequent
excursions, the Normans saw what a fine, fertile coun-
try England was, and looked with longing eyes on the
rich estates of the English lords, and on the wealthy
abbeys with their broad, well-cultivated lands, for there
iere several churchmen in the duke's suite who wvere
anchristianlike enough to covet other men's posses-
It was in the autumn of the year 1051 that Lord
Leofric arrived late one evening, after a long journey,
at tho Manor House, where he was joyfully welcomed
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by his noble lady and his young son, who had been both
impatient for his return.
"Have you brought any tidings of Lord Harold ?"
was almost the first question the lady asked.
I have heard nought of him, dear wife, but I bring
much news. There are grand doings at the Court. The
Norman Duke is at the palace with a host of his needy
followers. He and the king are like sworn brothers,
and his people lord it over the English as if they were
their masters. I trfst no harm may come of it."
"There hath come enough harm already," replied
the lady. Who but they have we to thank for the loss
of our noble earl ?"
What manner of man is this Duke William,
father ?" said Hereward.
"In truth, my son, I like him not; yet he is comely
to look upon, for he hath a goodly presence, and a
countenance that men call handsome, but it beareth a
wonderful resemblance to a lion, and there is a crafty
look in his keen dark eyes that betokens one not to be
trusted. Truly, Hereward, I like him not, and fear he
may cause more mischief here than is yet dreamed of."
"Why, what can he do, dear father ?"
I know not, my son; but there is that in his face
which does not please me."
"What fashion of dress doth he wear, my dear
"A true woman's question, Ediva," answered Leo-
fric, with a smile. He wears, as all these Normans
do, a mantle so short that it does not reach far below
his girdle, which seems to me a most unseemly fashion
and, when I saw him, he was dressed in a short, close
vest of a dark colour, bordered with gold, and his throat
HEREWARD THE BRAVE.
was bare, which looked the more singular from his hair
being clipped quite short and his beard shaved clean
off; but I cannot deny that he hath a princely look too,
and were he not a Norman, I might not mislike his
"I have heard he is near akin to our sovereign lord
the king," said Hereward thoughtfully.
"He is his uncle's sop," replied Leofric.
And who, my father, will be king of England when
Edward dies ?"
"I guess your meaning, Hereward," said his mo-
ther. You think this Norman prince hath an eye to
"He dares not!" exclaimed Leofric, indignantly.
"None but an Englishman shall rule over us; still, as
you say, wife, it is not iirnossible his desires may tend
"What think you, father "' said Hereward, "our
good Abbot of Ely says ?"
"What says he, my son?"
"He says that, if King Edward should die, there is
no man so worthy to succeed him as our brave Earl
Harold, who is, moreover, near to the throne as being
the queen's brother."
"He is right," answered Leofric. "And I believe
most men are of that mind. And how fares it with the
noble Abbot Thurstan ?"
He is well in health, father, but grieved at heart
for the earl's downfall."
He may rise again ere long," said the Lady Ediva.
"I dreamed last night that a dark cloud came over the
sun which obscured its light, then a violent tempest
arose which lasted but a little while, and, when it sub-
HEREWARD THE BRAVE.
sided, the cloud was gone, and the sun shone out
brighter than before. So let us hope that the king's
displeasure will pass away, and the great Earl Godwin
be restored to his own again."
THE fine old Abbey of Ely stood on one of the most
conspicuous heights in Cambridgeshire. It was on a
small islet in the midst of the fen country, and the spot
is still called the Isle of Ely, although it is long since
it ceased to be an island. The abbey, even at that early
period, was a magnificent stone building, richly orna-
mented, and was surrounded by a town that was
governed by the Abbot Thurstan, a noble-minded,
liberal man, much beloved and respected. He was
very rich too, and was famed for his benevolence as
well as his unbounded hospitality.
Hereward was a great favourite with all the monks
of Ely. and also with those of Croyland Abbey, which
was also in the fen land, and indeed both communities
owed a deep debt cf gratitude to the Lords of Bourne,
who had on several occasions, in days gone by, saved
their monasteries from being plundered by the piratical
Danes. At all times, therefore, Hereward was a wel-
come guest at Ely, and many happy days had he spent
with the holy brethren, from whom he had gained such
learning as befitted a youth of noble birth.
The prediction of the Lady Ediva respecting Earl
Godwin was soon verified, for that nobleman, after an
absence of about four years, returned with a large fleet
HEREWARD THE BRAYE.
from Flanders, and being joined by Harold, who came
from Ireland, with several ships filled with soldiers, they
sailed together up the Thames to London; and, as they
passed along, the people on each side of the river came
flocking down to the banks with shouts of joy, ready to
join them in case of need. Godwin was, in fact, deter-
mined to regain his rights, though he was willing, if
possible, to avoid bloodshed; therefore, he sent a mes-
senger to the king with proposals for an amicable
arrangement, to which Edward replied that he would
not listen to any overtures of peace, or look upon the
earls in any other light than that of traitors and rebels,
unless they disbanded their forces and sent away their
ships, which Godwin refused to do. The king had
assembled his army to oppose them, but no sooner was
it known to the soldiers that Harold was with his
father, than many of them deserted the royal standard
and went over to the earl, which threw the king into the
utmost consternation, and caused such a panic amongst
the Normans at the Court that they did not wait to see
the event, but took to their horses and gallopped off tc
the nearest seaport, whence they embarked for their own
At length Earl Godwin agreed to refer his cause to
the Witan or Parlianent of the nation, and submit to
its decision, whatever that might be. So the king
summoned the members of this great council, who
assembled in the hall of the palace at Westminster,
Hereward's father being amongst the number, and the
/king presided, seated on his throne, dressed in his robes
of state, with the crown on his head and the sceptre in
his hand. The trial was conducted in due form. Godwin
defended himself with touching eloquence, and although
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be had many secret enemies amongst the nobles, as all
great men are sure to have, he was acquitted of the
charge of treason, and he and his sons were restored to
their former dignities.
There were great rejoicings at Ely, and at every
house in the fen country, when the happy news was
brought there of Earl Harold's return. A grand feast
was given by Lord Leofric to celebrate the joyful event,
and his cup-bearer had enough to do that day to pour
out wine for the "drink hael," that is, for drinking the
health of Harold the Earl. The banquet hall of the
Manor House at Bourne was spacious but not lofty,
with a roof formed of beams and rafters thatched over
on the outside; but, as this covering did not prevent
drops of rain from falling through, the principal table,
which stood on the dais, or raised part of the floor, at
the upper end of the hall, was protected by a canopy of
scarlet cloth, and the table itself was covered with a
cloth of the same colour, which displayed to great ad-
vantage the profusion of gold and silver that graced the
board, for the wealth and luxury of the Saxon nobility
as regarded domestic life was far greater than was
promised by the rude exterior of their habitations. The
private apartments were often adorned with silken
hangings embroidered with gold, and the chairs fur-
nished with cushions of beautiful needlework, for the
ladies of those days spent most of their time in such
works, having in truth few other resources in their
isolated mansions, with no books to while away the Lours
that would have been tedious indeed but for their per-
severing industry with the needle.
And how did the great earl bear himself before lthe
king ?" asked one of the guests.
HEREWARD THE BRAVE.
Right nobly," answered Leofric. I would the
Norman duke had been there to hear him plead his
But Earl Harold, father," said Hereward, tell us
of Earl Harold. Did he not speak too?"
He spoke but little, my son, as was beseeming,
when his father was in presence; but in all that great
assembly none looked so stately and so like a king as
he. All ears were inclined towards Earl Godwin; but
all eyes, I trow, were bent upon Harold his son."
Ay," said another, in a low tone, "and some day
the eyes of the whole nation will turn to Harold, when
our lord the king shall sleep his last sleep."
Godwin did not long enjoy his recovered prosperity,
for he died suddenly in the following year, when Harold
succeeded to all his honours and vast possessions in
place of his eldest brother, Sweyn, the outlaw, so that,
next to Edward himself, he was now the greatest man
in the kingdom. It appeared that the king had become
very much attached to him, for he consulted him on all
occasions, and treated him with such marked distinction
that everybody thought he designed him for his suc-
cessor, for no one knew that Duke William, when he
was in England, had artfully contrived to obtain a
promise from Edward that he, being so near a relative,
should succeed to the throne, for William was the
younger of the two by many years; but this compact
was kept a secret between themselves, as they both
knew how distasteful it would be to the English people.
However, it seems that, in making this promise, Edward
did what he had no right to do, as, in case there was no
direct heir to the crown, the choice of a king rested with
the Witan. Still, the fact of having passed his word to
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that effect was sufficient tc give the duke P pretext for
asserting his claim, though he knew it tr, be unlawful,
and this he was resolved to do when the time came. He
was, therefore, not at all pleased at hearing that Harold
stood so high in the royal favour, especially as he was
well aware there was not another man in all England so
popular or so much beloved. In short, he was afraid
that Harold's power and influence would stand in the
way of his own ambition, and his mind had become
greatly disturbed in consequence, when chance afforded
him an advantage he had not calculated upon.
Two youths of Earl Harold's family, his youngest
brother and his nephew, were living at the court of
Normandy, apparently as guests, but in reality as cap-
tives; for they had been given as hostages for Earl
Godwin's fealty after his trial, and the king had sent
them to Duke William for safe custody. The boys
were well treated, but when Godwin died, and there was
no further occasion for their detention, William would
not give them up, although they were, in point of fact,
King Edward's prisoners, not his.
At length Harold, at his mother's request, deter-
mined to go himself to Rouen, where William held his
court, and demand their release, not apprehending any
personal danger to himself from so doing, as he had not
the least suspicion of William's views with regard to
the crown of England, or perhaps he would have been
more cautious. Great then was his surprise, and greater
still his indignation, on finding that the duke would not
suffer him to return to England either with or without the
boys; but, under the mask of friendship, contrived, on
Ine pretext or another, to detain him for several
months at the court, where, though to all appearance
HEREWAED THE BRAVE.
treated as an honoured guest, he felt that he was in fact
a prisoner. To leave without the duke's knowledge and
consent was impossible, for he was surrounded with
spies who watched his every movement; but at length,
to his great joy, after repeated delays, William, with
many deceitful expressions of regret at being obliged to
part with so dear a friend, gave the desired permission
for his departure, and ordered that a suitable escort
should be in readiness to accompany him and the two
boys as far as the French coast.
On the appointed day the noble Harold was prepar-
ing for his journey, little dreaming of the price he would
yet have to pay for his liberty, when he was informed
that the duke desired to see him, and the messenger, as
he led the way to the hall of state, advised him to do
whatever might be required of him, throwing out dark
hints of a dungeon and chains if he should set himself
in opposition to the duke's will. Harold was alarmed;
he knew how completely he was in William's power, and
with a heavy heart he entered the hall where the duke
was seated in his chair of state, surrounded by his chief
nobles. He told Harold of the promise made to him by
Edward the king, and required the earl to take a solemn
oath that, on the demise of the king, he would assist him
to the utmost of his power in taking possession of the
English throne. Harold was perfectly astounded, but he
felt that he was caught in a snare and could not extri-
cate himself, for he must either comply with this de-
mand or brave the consequences, which he shuddered
to think of. There was no time for deliberation-his
liberty, probably his life, depended on his instant de-
cision, and he did take an oath, in the most sacred terms,
before all those witnesses, that lie would salpport William
HEREWARD THE iREAVE.
of Normandy in his pretensions to the throne of Eng-
land, and it was in the full belief that he would not
dare to break his vow that the duke allowed him to
While Harold was away, his brother Tostig had been
guilty of so many acts of cruelty and oppression in his
earldom of Northumbria, that it was taken from him,
and bestowed on a nobleman named Morcar, the second
son of the Earl of Mercia, who had lately died, and was
succeeded in his own government of Mercia by his eldest
son Edwin. This powerful family had always been at
enmity with Earl Godwin and his sons; but both Edwin
and Morcar were very good young men nevertheless,
and highly esteemed, so that the Northumbrians were
rejoiced at having Morcar to rule over them, instead of
the fierce and tyrannical Earl Tostig, who retired to
Bruges with his wife, a proud, ungentle lady, who, it
must be remembered, was the sister of Matilda, the
Duchess of Normandy. Tostig expected that Harold
would use his influence with the king to get him rein-
stated, and was very angry that he did not do so; but
his brother knew that he had brought his misfortunes
upon himself by his own misdeeds, and thought it would
not be just to force upon the people of the north a lord
and master who so cruelly oppressed them, therefore he
did not interfere. The king was at this time in such
bad health that it was evident he could not live long,
and the chief men in the kingdom had already deter-
mined that Harold should succeed him. He died about
four years after the return of the latter from Normandy,
and then it was formally announced to the noble earl
that the people of England had, with one accord, chosen
him for their king. This communication would have
HEREWARD THE BRAVE.
been highly gratifying, but for the fatal oath that had
been extorted from him by the crafty William, which
had hitherto been a heavy burden on his mind. He
had never spoken of it to any one, but he now made an
open confession to the highest dignitaries of the Church,
who did not scruple to release him from his vow, saying
that a promise forced from any man by threats, against
his will, could not be binding either by the laws of God
or man, and in this case, which involved the interests of
the whole nation, it would be far more sinful to keep
it than to break it. Harold's conscience being thus set
at rest, he no longer hesitated to comply with the wishes
of the people, and was crowned at Oxford with great
As soon as he was king some of his wisest counsel-
lors advised him to secure the friendship of the Earls
Edwin and Morcar, by offering his hand in marriage to
their sister Elgitha, the beautiful young widow of
Griffith, Prince of Wales, who was killed in a border
warfare conducted by Harold himself. The earl had
offered to make peace with him, but Griffith refused to
submit to the proposed conditions, and on that account
was assassinated by some of his own subjects, who were
suffering from famine in consequence of the war.
Harold behaved with all honour and courtesy towards
the young widow, whom he sent, under the care of a
proper escort, to her father, and it is probable that his
generous conduct on this occasion might soften the
feelings of enmity that had so long subsisted between
the two noble families. It was whispered that the lady
had never cared for the barbarian prince, her husband,
and that she was secretly attached to Harold before ner
marriage, although the feud between her father and
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Harl Godwin had been a bar to their union; but the
case was now altered, her brothers offered no objection
to an alliance with the king, and the nuptials were
celebrated amid general rejoicing. It may readily be
supposed that when Duke William heard how Harold
had broken his vow and was made king of England, he
was very much enraged against him, and wished he had
not let him go when he had him in his power, nor was
Tostig less wrathful on I.,1: that his brother had
formed so close an alliance with Earl Morcar, whom he
looked upon as the usurper of his own rights, and his
mortal foe. Revenge was the only thought of this bad
man-revenge on his good and noble brother--therefore
he set off at once to Rouen, to learn what William in-
tended to do. They then consulted together, and the
result was that r went to Hardrada, the King of
Norway, to ask his assistance, backing his request, n&
doubt, with very tempting offers in the way of gain, for
the kings of Denmark and Norway in those days were
no better than pirate chiefs, so Hardrada agreed to fur-
nish him with ships and men, and to take the conii.nnd
of them himself in an expedition to the north of Eng-
land to regain possession of the forfeited earldom.
Tostig was pretty sure that if lie raised a rebellion in
the north, Harold would bring all the forces he could
muster to assist the reigning Earl Morcar, his brother-
in-law, and as the south of England would, by that
means, be left unprotected, William was to take advan-
tage of so favourable an opportunity to invade the
country for the purpose of dethroning Harold, and.
making himself king in his stead. Such was the artful
scheme they had plotted between them, and, as far as
the Norman prince was concerned, it proved but too
HEREWARD THE BRAVE.
successful. Hardrada was literally a great warrior, for
he was full seven feet high, and his strength was pro-
portionate to his gigantic stature. His very iame
spread terror far and wide, so that it is no wonder the
people of Northumbria should be dismayed when the
hostile fleet sailed up the river Tyne under the command
of this formidable chieftain. Messengers were sent off
on the fleetest horses that could be procured to convey
the intelligence to King Harold, who lost no time in
marching northward at the head of all the forces he
could muster, and as he proceeded he was joined by
many thanes and nobles, with bands of their own
dependents, well armed and ready to do battle for the
king and the good Ear] Morcar.
Amongst those who rallied round his standard was
Hereward, no longer a boy, but able to take his father's
place in the field, for Leofric was now too old and infirm
to go to the wars, therefore Hereward led the men of
Bourne to battle, and a valiant leader he was, as had
been foretold. He had attended Harold in his expedi-
tion against Griffith, Prince of Wales, and again he
buckled on his armour with a right good will to aid his
king against the unworthy Tostig and the giant Har-
drada. But this time there was a slight shade of
sorrow on his countenance, for he had bidden adieu to
his lady love, the fair daughter of Sebert, the lord of
Dunmere, and his solo heiress, for she was his only
child. Aldina was a lovely maiden, and young, scarcely
yet seventeen. She had no mother, but had been bred
up in a convent under the care of her aunt, who was
the lady abbess, and would willingly have induced her to
become a nun, but Aldina had no taste for the dull life
ofa cloister, and although she was very fond of the good
HEREWARD THE BRAVE.
abbess, and had been very happy as a child amongst the
gentle sisterhood of St. Katherine's, she was exceed.
ingly joyful when summoned by her father to take her
place as mistress of his mansion at Dunmere, which
was close to the manor of Bourne. This happened
about the time that Harold was made king, and her
first meeting with Hereward was at a grand festival
held by Sebert on that occasion, when she looked so
beautiful, and deported herself with such a becoming
grace, that some of Leofric's retainers whispered to each
other that she would be a fitting bride for their young
lord, and no doubt Hereward thought so too, as he took
great pains that day to win her favour. They had met
frequently since then, sometimes at Bourne, sometimes
at Dunmere, for Leofric and the lord of Dunmere were
friendly with each other; but it was not till the eve of
his departure for this cruel war that Hereward ventured
to speak of love. He had gone over to Sebert's manor
house to take leave, as he said, of the old lord, but it
might be that he thought he should like to bid farewell
to the young lady, and perchance to see how she would
be affected on hearing of the perilous contest in which
he was about to be engaged.
It was a warm, sunny day, in the autumn of the
year; there had been no rain for some time, and the
meadows, bright with verdure, looked pleasant to the
eye, whilst innumerable flocks and herds were feeding
on the rich pastures belonging to the Manor of Dun-
mere. And the heiress of that fair domain was walking
by the side of a narrow rivulet with two of her maidens,
when they were joined by Hereward, and then the two
damsels, looking slily at each other, loitered behind to
search for flowers among the grass, so that the young
v ,- '"
StC '' '~
V" 4 -_. -. -.-
HBKEW SWlD A
I~ Ii'' "II
:~ *** ---I--
HEIflEWAR~D AND TH1E LADY AL~DINA.
HEREWARD THE BRAVE.
pair went on alone. How long they walked together
perhaps neither of them knew, nor do we care to tell,
but when Hereward departed on the following day, he
wore beneath his armour an embroidered ribbon, to
which was attached a gold ring set with jewels that had
that morning adorned the small, white haud of the lady
IT was a sore grief to the noble-hearted Harold to be
compelled to take up arms against his own brother, and
he would willingly have made peace with him had it been
possible to do so without acting unjustly; but Tostig
rejected his friendly proposals with disdain, saying that
he would accept of no conditions short of his restoration
to the government of Northumberland. War was
therefore inevitable, and a battle was fought at Stamforl
Bridge, said to have been one of the most sanguinary
engagements that ever took place in England, and in
that terrible conflict, where brother was opposed to
brother, Tostig and Hardrada were both slain. Tostig,
impelled by rage, had sought the king in the field, but
Harold had avoided him, and very thankful he was, when
the battle was over, to think it was not by his hand his
misguided brother had fallen. The victory was com-
plete, yet it was revolting to his generous nature to
make any great demonstration of joy under the circum-
stances; therefore it was not without pain that he
consented to hold a festival at York to celebrate his
HEREWARD THE BRAVE.
triumph; bat he found it was necessary to do so, in
order to satisfy the good friends who had fought in his
cause; for, to say the truth, the Anglo-Saxons were
remarkably fond of feasting. The entertainment on
this occasion was both costly and magnificent. King
Harold sat at the head of the board, and near him,
amongst other distinguished chiefs, was Hereward of
Bourne, whose bravery throughout the battle had con-
tributed, in a great measure, towards the success of the
day. The revelry was at its height; the minstrels had
zung of the warlike deeds of Earl Godwin and his
ancestors; and now, one of the nobles holding a silver
goblet filled to the brim, above his head, rose up and
called on the guests to drink ill luck to William of
Normandy, a pledge that was received with loud shouts
of applause, which had not yet ceased when a knight in
full armour rushed into the hall, and making his way
straight up to the king, said in a loud voice, "The
Normans are come. They have landed at Hastings, and
are ravaging the country with fire and sword. Look to
thine own, most noble king, or they will rend the land
from thee and thine !"
This unwelcome news put an end to the feast. There
was no time to be lost, and though all those brave men
were in need of rest, and many suffering from wounds
not severe enough to keep them from the banquet, but
wanting -are, there was not one but declared his
readiness to stand by the king in this "great peril. As
for Harold himself, he was nothing daunted, for he had
the courage of a lion in open warfare; nevertheless he
well knew that his army was not in a good condition to
meet the foe, being thinned in numbers and weakened
by the recent battle, besides having to undergo the
HEREWALD THE BRAVE.
fatigue of a long journey; therefore his fine features
were clouded with anxiety, as he saw his men preparing
for their toilsome march, with the prospect of a hard
conflict at the end of it.
A great body of Normans had indeed landed on the
coast of Sussex with the duke at their head, and terrible
havoc they had made already in the country for miles
round their camp, for William laid no restraint upon his
soldiers, bat allowed them to seize anything they could
lay their hands on, and as the greater number had been
induced to join the expedition in the hope of enriching
themselves by plunder, they did not scruple to make full
use of the license given them. Marauding parties went out
every day from the camp; they attacked the herdsmen
in the fields, and carried off their cattle; broke into the
people's houses to rob them of everything that was
worth taking, and, if any resistance was offered, would
set them on fire and kill all who opposed them.
Many villages were burned down, and the poor people
driven to seek shelter in the woods, where numbers died
of starvation; in short, it is impossible to describe the
misery wrought by these merciless invaders even in the
short space of ten or twelve days after their landing.
Oh, how the people prayed for the arrival of their king,
who, they firmly believed, would speedily deliver them
from this fearful scourge. Little did they anticipate the
blow that was about to fall upon the nation. In the
whole history of the world there never was a battle
more resolutely contested, or followed by more im-
portant consequences than the battle of Hastings.
Bravely did the noble Harold fight for his kingdom and
his people that day-bravely did his friends stand by
him to the last; he saw his good soldiers falling on
HEREWARD THE BRAVE.
every side overpowered by the superior numbers and
greater strength of the enemy, still he did not abandon
all hope till he found himself with a few of his most
staunch adherents completely surrounded by the foe,
without the slightest chance of escape, for he was re-
cognized, and there were full ten to one against him.
Two of his brothers, Gurth and Leofwine, were trying
to defend him, one on either side, and close to them was
Hereward, whose powerful arm struck down three of
the Normans in succession, as their swords flashed over
the head of the king.
But all was in vain. First fell the gallant Leof-
wine, then the brave Gurth, and, last of the three
ill-fated brothers, the noble Harold himself; who,
covered with wounds, and exhausted with the super-
human efforts he had made, dropped his sword, and
falling into the midst of a heap of dead, was never
A loud cry of triumph burst from the Normans on
seeing him fall, and as they crowded to the spot one of
Hereward's men, seizing this favourable moment for
preserving his own life and that of his master, rode up
to his side and said-" All is lost, it is useless to hold
out longer; fly, my Lord Hereward, and save yourself;
another moment, and it will be too late."
Then Hereward, stricken with grief, and scarcely con-
scious of what he was doing, followed his faithful monitor,
who put spurs to his horse and fled from the field, never
slackening his speed till far from the din of the battle,
and the deafening shouts with which the Normans pro-
claimed their victory. At last, when all fear of pursuit
was over, they dismounted by the side of a brook some
miles from Hastings, and Hereward took off his helmet
THE BATTLE OF HASTINGS.
HEREWARD THE DRAVE.
and slaked his burning thirst with the clear waters
of the streamlet. Elfred," he said, I must leave
England, for my life will be sought; but go you to my
father, that he may be assured of my safety."
"Nay, my lord, let me go with you; we can find
other means to send intelligence to my Lord Leofric."
"No, Elfred, that must not be; he may need your
services, for who can tell what next may befall. But
what is this, my good Elfred ? You are bleeding."
It is but a scratch, my lord; one of their Norman
battle-axes touched my arm rather too roughly, but I
paid for the blow by cleaving the skull of him who
"In truth, I saw you strike down more than one,"
said Hereward; "but you must let me bind up that
wound, or you will never reach Bourne."
And so saying he undid the ribbon from his neck,
having nothing else at hand, and drawing off the ring,
which he placed in his bosom, told Elfred to bare his
"Nay, my lord," said the young man, "that is a
love token, and must not be used for such unworthy
"It cannot be used for better purpose than ^
staunch the wound of a brave mar," replied his master;
"and she who gave it would say so too." Then,
seeing that Elfred still hesitated, he assumed an air of
authority, saying, You are bound to obey me, and I
command you to do my bidding."
So Elfred, with tears of grateful affection in his eyes,
iared his arm, and Hereward bound up the wound of
his father's bondsman with the cherished gift of the lady
Aldina, which he would never have parted with for his
HEREWARD THE BRAVE.
own bohoof. He then charged Elfred with many loving
messages for his father and mother, as also for the young
mistress of Dunmere, and, with a heavy heart, pursued
his way to Winchelsea, whence he embarked for
Flanders, where he had rich and powerful friends. The
success of the Normans at Iiastings was but the be-
ginning of a long series of misfortunes which the
English people were destined to suffer in consequence of
the invasion. It was not merely the fact of having a
foreign prince to rule over them that was the great
evil, they might have become reconciled to that in time,
if he had left them in possession of their rights and
property, as at first he promised, and perhaps was
inclined to do; but he soon found it would be im-
possible to maintain his conquest withoutbreaking these
fine promises, inasmuch as those on whose aid he de-
pended were not disposed to assist him, unless they
could make their own advantage by it. Every knight
and noble required as the price of his services the grant
of some estate, with leave to get it by force if it was
not already taken; while the bishops and abbots who,
unlike the peaceful English monks and prelates, were all
soldiers, obtained permission to possess themselves of
the richest abbeys and benefices with their broad lands
William was crowned on the Christmas-day after
the great battle, and it was then he gave his word that
every Saxon lord who would take the oath of fealty to
him should retain his estates, and be secured from
aggression; a fair promise, that induced many to
tender their submission, and amongst these were the
Lords Leofric of Bourne and Sebert of Dunmere, who
were both old, and would fiin end their days in peace.
HEREWARD THE BRAVE.
But men who were younger and more resolute were
determined to hold out so long as any chance remained
of expelling the invaders from the land ; and there was
one circumstance which tended more than any other
towards keeping alive this spirit of resistance. It was
very generally believed that Harold was still alive, and
would return in time to rescue his country from its
oppressors; a belief that arose from the fact that his
body had been sought for in vain on the field of battle;
but, as he was never heard of more, the probability is
that he had been carried away secretly by his friend.
and buried in some consecrated spot. It is supposed
that Waltham Abbey is the earthly resting-place of that
illustrious prince, but there does not appear to be any
certainty about it.
In the meanwhile the miseries of the people were
constantly increasing. The Normans, armed with the
royal authority for their misdoings, overspread the
country, building castles in every place of importance,
and seizing on houses and lands without the slightest
compunction, so that the wealthiest of the Saxons
were reduced at once from affluence to complete desti-
tution. As to the rustics, most of them remained on
the lands to which they belonged, under the sway of
these new lords of the soil, for what else could they do ?
But they were very differently treated from what they
had been by their former masters, for the haughty con-
querors looked upon them as no better than the cattle
of the field, and made them work harder than they had
been used to do, caring little for their comforts. Some
of the disinherited nobles went abroad, whilst others,
setting all laws at defiance, betook themselves to the
forests with their families and as many of their people
FEREWAEU THE BRAVE.
as were willing to follow them, where they managed to
subsist by hunting the wild deer, and robbing travellers,
like the famous Robin Hood of later times; in fact, it is
supposed that the renowned hero of Sherwood Forest
was the grandson or great-grandson of one of these
unfortunate and high-born refugees; nor does the tradi-
tion seem to be ill founded, since nothing is more likely
than that the descendants of men who were driven to
adopt such a mode of life should follow the same course;
and, from all we read of bold Robin Hood, he appears to
have inherited a noble nature. This cruel spoliation,
which converted men of wealth and station into house-
less wanderers and bandit chiefs, had been going on for
the space of four years, when Lord Leofric died; and
as Hereward had been declared an outlaw, and a price
set upon his head, the Manor of Bourne was bestowed
on one Raoul, a Norman knight of fierce and tyrannical
disposition, on which the widowed Lady Ediva' took
refuge in a convent, where she soon died of a broken
BY this time the mighty conqueror of England was
pretty firmly seated on the throne, and Matilda his wife
had been crowned, she being the first lady entitled by
that ceremony to assume the style and dignity of an
English Queen. New laws and institutions had super.
cdded the old ones; new customs and manners had been
introduced, and even the English language was fast
HEREWARD THE BRAVE.
falling into disus- except amongst the lower orders;
for as nothing but French was spoken at the court, all
the Saxons of superior grade who from various motives
had thought it best to submit to the existing circum-
stances, were perforce obliged to adopt the language of
those who now formed the highest classes of the nobility.
Not long after the death of Leofric, the lord of Dunmere
,died, leaving his daughter in wardship of Lanfranc, the
Norman Archbishop of Canterbury, a highly talented,
as well as a good man, who, although a staunch sup-
porter of King William, could not help sympathizing
with the sufferings of the conquered people, and was
far less arbitrary than his royal master. It was pro-
bably on this account that Sebert had chosen him for
the guardian of Aldina, as otherwise the king might
have taken her estate into his own hands, and compelled
her to marry any one he thought proper to fix upon, as
he had already done in the case of many a wealthy
heiress, having in view the double object of enriching
his friends, and lessening the enmity between the two
nations. It was a long time, however, before the Saxons
and Normans were so intermingled as to form but one
people, yet this happy state of things gradually came to
pass; the distinction between the conquering and the
conquered races became less apparent with each succeed-
ing generation, till at length it totally disappeared.
Aldina was not, however, wholly freed, by her father's
choice of a guardian, from the danger of being obliged to
take a Norman husband, for Lanfranc had promised to
bestow her hand on one of the king's needy relatives;
but he did not attempt to hasten the marriage, as Wil-
liam certainly would have done, and in the meanwhile
the young lady was permitted to reside in her own house
DEREWARD THE BRAVE.
at Dunmere, so she did not give way to despair, but
went on hoping that, if she could but gain sufficient
time, chance might bring about some happy change. It
was true, indeed, that Hereward was an exile under
ban; his life was forfeited if ever he should be found in
England, ard his inheritance was gone; yet she loved
him better now than in the days of his most brilliant for-
tunes, when he was the friend and favourite of his sove-
reign, with the prospect of honour, wealth, and fame
before him. It so happened that her Norman suitor was
called away to assist the king in subduing an insurrection
that had broken out in the north, and while he was
absent an event took place he had little dreamed of, or,
no doubt, he would have taken measures to secure his
bride before his departure. The case was this: some
of the disinherited Saxon nobles had taken refuge in the
fen country, where they were so kindly received by the
Abbot of Ely that others were induced to follow their
example, till they formed quite a large company. The
two abbeys of Ely and Croyland were almost the only
rich monasteries in England that had not been plun-
dered and taken by the Normans, and this was owing to
the impregnable nature of the place wherein -they were
situated. Noeerthelcss, the Abbot of Croyland, for the
better security, had tendered his submission to the Con-
queror; but not so the noble Thurstan, who still che-
rished the hope that Harold would appear again, and
resolved to remain faithful to him, whatever others might
do. So, when he found that the refugees who came to
him for protection were disposed to make one more
effort for tne recovery of their freedom, he sent out
emissaries to make known, as secretly as possible, that
all who had courage for so bold an enterprise would be
HIEREWARD THE BZRAE.
made welcome at the abbey. In consequence of this
hospitable invitation the Isle of Ely was soon crowded
with men of all ranks, and a groat number of huts were
built on a wide, open space of ground, which came to be
called the Camp of Refuge, for the accommodation of the
many who could not find room within the abbey walls,
where all the chief noblemen, however, were lodged,
while every one, high and low, was free to dine in the
hall every day at the abbot's expense, for he was as
liberal as he was wealthy, and did not spare his own
flocks and herds for their entertainment, added to which
there were many wild boars to be caught in the neighbour-
hood, and plenty of fish in the lakes.
Now, when King William heard of these proceedings,
he vowed he would destroy the camp, set fire to the
abbey, and put an end to the rebellious abbot's domi-
nion altogether. But this was more easily said than
done, for how were his soldiers to get into the island,
seeing they had none of the light boats used by the
natives, neither did they know where it was safe to
cross the marshes, or understand the use oi fen-poles?
But not being aware of these difficulties, the, king sent
a large body of men, under the command of one of his
ablest captains, with orders to put his threats in exe-
The principal entrance to the island was by a
wooden bridge across the River Cam, and at the other
end of this bridge the Normans built a strong fort, in
which they shut themselves up to watch for an oppor-
tunity of making the proposed assault. By this time
there were enough men assembled at Ely to form a
powerful army, and as the Normans had now com-
menced a regular campaign against them, they deter-
HEREWARD THE BRAVE.
mined upon making a desperate struggle with the view
of dethroning the usurper, and expelling the invaders
from the land.
But they wanted an ( i..;,t. leader, and the abbot
held a council of the chiefs to deliberate on this point,
when all, with one accord, declared that no man was so
fit for such an undertaking as Hereward, the exiled Lord
of Bourne. But Hereward was now living in affluence
at Yprds, and some said it was not likely he would give
"up his present security to take upon himself a task of
toil and danger that, in case of failure, would be certain
death. But the abbot was of a different opinion, and it
was decided to send to him, at any rate, and await his
Now it so happened that, only a few days before this,
Elfred, the bondsman, had fled from Bourne, and sought
shelter from the tyranny of his new master in the camp
at Ely. Thurstan had spoken with him, and being
satisfied of his devoted attachment to his own rightful
lord, thought he would be a proper person to entrust
with the important mission, and this proposition was
agreed to. Elfred therefore departed with joy for the
Netherlands, furnished by the abbot with a consider-
able sum of money for the purchase of weapons and
It would be hard to tell which was most rejoiced at
the meeting, the noble Hereward or his faithful servant,
and when Elfred had told his errand he began to speak of
the lady Aldina, and the wooing of her Norman lover,
which vexed Hereward not a little. With his usual
promptitude he accepted the dangerous post assigned to
him, and with the money Elfred had brought, to which
he added a large sum of his own, hired five ships and
I;1LEW',ARED THE BEAVE.
manned them with English refugees, who readily en-
gaged in his service. Then he bought a good store of
cross-bows, lance heads, and swords, with several suits
of steel armour, and thus equipped for war, set sail with a
hopeful spirit for his own dear native land. It is need-
less to speak of the joy with which he was received in
the camp, where he arrived with Elfred on Christmas-
eve, in the year 1071, having left his little fleet at the
port of Lynn, one of the townships belonging to the
Abbot of Ely. The Christmas feast was held with great
splendour at the abbey, all thought of graver matters
being laid aside for that one day, and Hereward, in his
glittering coat of mail, over which he wore a scarlet
cloak, sat at the abbot's right hand, looking like the
gallant hero that he was. It was the general custom at
this season to give up a week or more to festivity, but
the noble chieftain said it would be unwise to delay the
work they had in hand, and he hoped, ere long, every
man there would be feasting again in his own halls; to
which all responded, "We will be guided by Lord
He then explained his plans, according to which,
the first thing to be done was to recover all the places
that had been seized by the Normans within a certain
distance round the camp, and when a portion of terri-
tory was thus regained, to take all means of extending
it on every side, till the invaders were fairly driven
out of the country. Such was his hope, and although
the Great Disposer of all human events saw fit that it
should not be realized, his patriotic endeavours met
with partial success, and won for him not only the gra-
titude of his countrymen, but the respect and admiration
of his foes.
HEREWARD THE BRAVE.
Amongst the people at Ely, there were some monks
who had been ejected from the priory at Spalding, which
was now ruled by a Norman prior, and occupied by a
community of foreigners. Hereward therefore proposed
to commence operations by dispossessing the intruders
and restoring the expelled brotherhood to their proper
*11r I' .1111' I ^
habitation. With that intent he selected about twenty
resolute men, and taking Elfred with him, they proceeded
in boats, for the waters were out, to Spalding, where
ahey arrived just as the Norman monks had sat down to
dinner, little thinking how unpleasantly they were about
to be interrupted. Suddenly the assailants, whose
HEREWARD THE BRAVE.
approach had not been heard, burst into the refectory,
and seizing the whole fraternity, dragged them from the
table with shouts of derision, and tied their hands be-
hind them with their own girdles, before they had time
to think of resistance. Hereward then, laughing at their
sad plight, told them not to be uneasy lest the dinner
should be wasted, since he and his friends were hungry,
and would do ample justice to the good fare they had so
kindly provided. And in truth he and his men made a
sumptuous meal, while the captives looked ruefully on,
wonderingwhat was going to be done with them; but they
were not long in doubt, for Hereward sent them all off
to Ely as prisoners, and ordered that the boats which
took them should bring back the English monks, with a
sufficient guard for their protection. Having success-
fully accomplished this exploit, and rested one night at
Spalding, he put on the dress of a common sailor, and
took his way alone to Bourne. It was yet early in the
day when he came within sight of the well known
scene, the home of his happy boyhood, and a tear dimmed
his eye as he thought of the beloved parents who would
never more be there to welcome him as in the days that
were gone. Turning away with a sigh, he went on to
the village and entered one of the cottages where a man
was sitting on the floor at work. He looked up with a
scowl on his brow, expecting some message from Raoul,
but when Hereward raised his cap, he started up with a
cry of joy, and threw himself at his feet, murmuring in
a voice half choked by emotion-
"My lord my own dear lord !"
Hush! my good Wolfin, hush," said Hereward.
" None but trusty friends must know I am here."
You may trust us all, my Lord Hereward; there
HEREWARD THE BRAVE.
is not a man here but would give his life to restore thee
to thine own."
If that be so," said Hereward, "let all be ready to
join me and those I shall bring with me to-morrow night.
But take care that no suspicion gets abroad amongst
Raoul's men; for, if we take him by surprise, I hope to
drive him forth from my house without losing one of
"my good people; and you may tell them, Wolfin, that
whatever danger there may be, I will share it equally
Having given all needful instructions to Wolfin,
Hereward went on to Dunmere, where he contrived,
without being discovered, to obtain an interview with
Aldina. The meeting was, no doubt, a joyful one for
both; and it was arranged between them that, imme-
diately after the attack on the Manor House, they would
be married by a priest Hereward was to bring with him
from Spalding for that purpose.
It was night, and everything was quiet in the little
village of Bourne. The fires and lights were all extin-
guished, for the curfew bell had tolled nearly an hour
before; but though it was dark and silent, every man was
up and on the watch for Hereward's signal, which was
soon heard at the door of Wolfin's cottage. The man
looked out cautiously.
It is I," said the chief, in a low whisper; "is all
Allis ready," answered Wolfin in the same under-
tone; and the signal being repeated at every door, the
men came out in perfect silence, armed with billhooks,
mattocks, and other agricultural implements, for the
Normans had taken away the weapons they used in war-
fare. But Hereward had a band of well-armed men
HEREWAIIRD THE BRAVE.
waiting at a little distance, who had brought bows and
arrows for the men of Bourne as well as for themselves;
so that, altogether, they made quite a formidable little
army. During the night they made three bridges over
the moat, and worked so quietly that no one in the house
was roused, nor was any suspicion entertained of what
was going on, till daylight revealed to the terrified in-
mates that they were besieged on all sides. As soon as
Raoul learned that Lord Hereward himself was at the
head of the besiegers, he expected nothing less than to
be put to death at once, for he saw that he could not
defend the place against such a strong force; but the
generous chief sent him word that, if he offered no
resistance, he and his people might pass out of the
house in safety, provided they carried no arms with
them; and to these conditions Raoul was glad to sub-
mit. The drawbridge was let down, and the Normarx
lord, with dejected looks, came out, followed by his
retainers, and went his way, leaving the true lord of
Bourne in possession of his own domain. Loud were
the shouts of joy and welcome that proclaimed his
triumph as he stood once more in his paternal hall; and
the first use he made of his recovered rights was to
reward the brave Elfred for his faithful services.
Kneel down, Elfred," he said, "and let all present
witness what I do this day. No longer a bondsman,
thou art henceforth free to go where thou wilt, and no
man shall hinder thee." So Elfred rose up a free man,
and, moreover, Hereward gave him a house and some
land on the manor of Bourne to belong to him and his
heirs for evermore. That same evening there was a
happy wedding at Dunmere; and three days afterwards
Hereward left his fair bride in his own Manor House,
HEREWARD THE BRAVE.
with a strong guard for her protection, and returned to
the camp at Ely with Elfred, his freed man and armour-
bearer. To tell of all the brave deeds he performed, the
townships he reconquered, and the many victories he
gained in the space of two years, would 11 a book much
larger than this.
During the whole of that time the Normans at Cam
Bridge were constantly making ineffectual attempts to
get into the island, by making causeways and bridges;
but their works were generally destroyed, or, if suffered
to advance, until they thought themselves sure of
effecting an entrance, they got so entangled among the
marshes and willow woods, that they fell an easy prey
to the watchful Saxons; and lucky were they who got
back to tell the fate of the rest. From time to time
reinforcements were sent to the fort at Cam Bridge, still
no advantage was gained; and at length the king deter-
mined to undertake in person the task of driving the
Saxons from this, their last stronghold, saying he should
never feel himself a king so long as Hereward main-
tained his position. Yet he could not but admire the
noble spirit of the Saxon hero, saying he would give
much to have such a man for his friend. He even
offered him a free pardon with possession of his own and
his wife's estates-the latter of which had been declared
forfeited in consequence of her marriage; but Hereward
would not listen to proposals that affected his own per-
sonal interests alone. Liberal offers had also been
made to Thurstan the abbot, but without success;
therefore William set to work as earnestly as when he
first invaded the kingdom. He brought as large an
army against the little Isle of Ely as if he was going to
war with some powerful state, and established a com.
HEREWARD THE BRAVE.
plete blockade all round it. Then he employed a num-
ber of clever engineers to construct bridges and cause-
ways so strong that they could not be destroyed; and
once he made his way into the island with a body of
troops, when he so narrowly escaped sinking in a bog,
that he did not repeat the attempt, but trusted to re-
ducing the camp by famine. How long this might have
taken, it is impossible to say; perhaps it never would
have been done at all but for the greedy propensities of
some of the monks, who were discontented because the
Normans had cut off their supplies; venison was not to
be had, the wine was all gone, and bread was scarce, as
no corn was grown in that part of the country. In
consequence of these privations they consulted together
in secret, and determined to show the Normans the way
into the camp, and thus the conqueror of England was
at length enabled, by the treachery of others, to accom-
plish the object that had baffled all his skill as a com-
mander. Led by the traitorous monks through the
intricate paths they never would have found out by
themselves, the Normans entered the camp from several
points at once, and after a long and desperate struggle
the Saxons were forced to give up the contest.
HEREWARD, who had fought like a lion, was still en-
deavouring to keep his men together, when some of the
HEREWARD THE BRAVE.
chiefs who had laid down their arms advised him to
That will I never do," he replied. Now, all who
value their liberty, follow me."
At this cry, about three hundred of the bravest
gathered round him, and, fighting their way out of
the camp, they went on by lake and mere, where
the Normans could not follow them, until they reached
the Manor House at Bourne, where Hereward's lady
and infant son still resided. The king was vexed to
the heart at his escape, for he had offered fifty marks
of gold to any one who should kill, or take him
I would give all the lives we have taken this day
for the life of that one man," he exclaimed; or I would
give my best earldom to count him among my liege
The fight being over, William went up to the abbey,
where the monks, who had betrayed their friends, pre-
sented themselves in the expectation of receiving a
reward, but he treated them with the scorn they merited,
and declared that if Thurstan would acknowledge him
as king, he should be Abbot of Ely still, and deal
with the false friars as he thought fit. So the good
abbot, who was lying ill on his bed, arose and came to
"If," said he, "I was not certified that my lord
Harold was surely dead, I would rather die myself than
do this thing. But since I now know that he sleepeth
to wake no more, I do acknowledge thee, 0 William of
Normandy, as sovereign lord of the country thou hast
conquered, and henceforth I will be true subject unto
HEREWARD THE BRAVE.
Hereward blamed not the Abbot of Ely for making
this concession, although he would not submit himself
to the man he looked upon as his country's worst enemy;
and for three years longer he carried on a war with the
Normans, over whom he gained many victories, for he
had established a new camp in the fens of Lincolnshire,
and succeeded in holding his own house at Bourne in
spite of the royal decree. But the conquerors had gained
too firm a footing in the land to be expelled by this de-
sultory kind of warfare, of which Hereward himself
began to tire, seeing it was not likely to lead to any good
At last the Lady Aldina said to him-
"Will it not be better, my dear lord, to cease this
useless strife ? Our son is now growing up, and should
be heir to our lands, but if you continue to oppose the
Norman king, he will be an outlaw and a beggar when
we are gone. For his sake then, dear Hereward, sheath
your sword, and make peace while yet you may. You
can do so now with honour, for you have done all that a
man could do for the rescue of your country."
So Hereward pondered on the words of his gentle
lady. He saw, indeed, that the cause for which he had
drawn his sword was hopeless, and after a painful strug-
gle with his own heart, he sent proposals of peace to the
king, who gladly agreed to secure to him and his leirs
full and free possession of all the lands that were his
right, either by inheritance or marriage, provided only
he would take the oaths of allegiance; and, moreover,
he promised never to call upon the lord of Bourne for
military service against the Saxons.
Then Hereward went to the court, and placing
his hand in the king's hand, took the oath of fealty,
HEIEWARD THE BRAVE.
to the great joy of William the Conqueror, who, from
that time, had not in all his realms a subject he so
highly valued as the gallant hero who had so long been
his most formidable foe.
S. ,,__o -
'" ,' .-_=-., a*: -^ .,~-
"GO)D SUPPE I F)3 SICK CAPTAIN," EXCLAIMED GUINEA, WITI HUGE
BY G. E. SARGENT.
"fO-E, cheer up, Georgey."
'J"Yes, it is very well to say 'cheer up'; but it is
not so easy to do it."
"Why not ?"
Why not just think of our cruel situation, Albert."
"It was worse yesterday morning, George."
"I don't see that," said George Hastings, heavily
The two boys were standing side by side on the
sea-shore. It was very early in the day, for the sun
was only two or three degrees above the horizon.
Stretched before them was the broad, blue ocean, very
calm and quiet; and, by a telescope which the elder of
the two had in his hand, it would seem that they had
been looking for some distant object. But not a sail
was visible, and nothing intervened to break the faint
line which separated the sea from the sky.
Near to the boys, and drawn up some little way on
to the beach, was an open boat, lying on its side, empty;
hd still higher up was a confused heap of boxes, bags,
,nd bundles partially covered with an old sail.
Looking from the shore, inland, a sceno of con-
siderable loveliness, now lighted up and brightened
by the rising sun, would have opened upon the spec-
tator. There were no abrupt cliffs or rocky eminences
to be seen, and the immediate landscape was regular
in its outline; but its charm consisted in the rich
luxuriance of vegetable life. Here was a broad savan-
nah, or open space, clothed in a garb of bright green
herbage, varied by flowers of many brilliant hues; and
there, a forest of tall trees, stretching as far back as
the eye could reach, and spreading down to the very
water's edge, at about a furlong's distance from the spot
occupied by Albert and George Hastings.
Pleasant as was the scene, it was in many respects
quite different from any that would have been presented
to a spectator on an English shore. The grass and
flowers of the plain, and the foliage of the wood,
would have been strange to an untravelled and un-
accustomed eye; and even the sand beneath the feet
of the two youths, which was marked with the ripples
of the mimic waves, gave tokens of another climate
and hemisphere than our somewhat cold, northern
England, in the beauty and variety and richness of
colour of the sea-shells with which it was strewed.
We must not linger over this description of natural
scenery, however, but turn to the boys, who seemed at
that time to be the only representatives of human kind
within sight or hearing. A short notice must suffice.
The elder of the brothers (for they were brothers)
was a tall, slight youth of fourteen, or thereabout. His
complexion was originally dark, and it had been raised
to a rich, ripe colour by exposure and exercise, while
his gray eyes sparkled with animation every time he
The features of George Hastings were cast in a more
delicate mould. His complexion was lighter than that
of his brother, and so also was his hair, which would
have rivalled silk in its texture. His countenance was
almost feminine in its outline, but it was redeemed
from too much softness by a high broad forehead, which
gave promise of mental capacity. Ordinarily, George
Hastings was playful and sprightly in disposition, but
now an air of thoughtfulness and depression was spread
over his whole demeanour, while his brother kindly and
tenderly was trying to comfort and encourage him.
"I don't see that," said he, in reply to Albert's as-
sertion that their situation was worse twenty-four hours
before than at the time of their present conference.
"Not see it, Georgey?" interrogated Albert; "when
we were being cast adrift in yonder leaky boat, and did
not know that we should be able to reach even this
island. If a sudden squall had come upon us, we should
have perished, all of us."
"And how much better are we now, Albert, witl
our poor father so ill as he is, and mother and Marian
with no shelter but a miserable tent ?"
"That's it, George," replied his brother; "we must
set about and make a better shelter for them, and do
what we can to bring father round again. These are
reasons why we should cheer up, are they not?"
"And what is to be the good of if-, Albert ?" asked
the younger boy, despondingly; we were only put here
to be starved to death, and that is worse than being
There is no danger of our being starved for some
days to come, Georgey," replied Albert, cheerfully. "The
men gave us a good lot of provisions; we may say that
"They won't last long; and what are we to do
when they are all gone ?" George wanted to know.
"Oh, we shall find something to eat-never fear.
Plenty, I hope."
Where, Albert ? and how ?"
Well, I don't know exactly where or how," said
Albert, rather puzzled; "but people have done it before.
There was Robinson Crusoe, you know; and you re-
member, Georgey, when we were reading the book, we
said what good fun it would be to be cast ashore on a
It was very good fun to fancy it, Albert; but there
is no fun in the reality," said George, who seemed bent
on taking a gloomy view of the circumstances of the
case. What those circumstances were shall be ex-
"Well, it is no fun, certainly, Georgey," rejoined
Albert, affectionately and seriously; but that is no
reason why we should not be cheerful and hopeful; eh,
George ? And so I vote for thinking that we shall get
on famously-that we shall have a happy time of it
while we are here-that mother and Marian will be the
queen and princess of this desert island-that father
will soon get well again, and be the king-that you and
I, and Guinea and Nep, will be their obedient subjects,
-and that, by and by, when we are tired of it, a ship
will come and take us off, and land us safely in England.
And let me see," added the boy, who, to tell the truth,
was far from being light of heart and unconcerned, but
who was doing violence to his own feelings that he
might raise his brother's spirits, "we must give our
kingdom-that is, father's kingdom-a name. What
shall it be ? Suppose we call it SEA-SHELL ISLAND, for
the sea-shells seem to be innumerable."
"You may call it what you like, Albert," replied
George, smiling, though rather mournfully. But we
do not know that the island has not got a name already,
and a king, too, and people living upon it."
So much the better, Georgey. In that case, we
shall fall in with the natives, who will furnish us with
food before our ship provisions have all disappeared."
More likely we shall furnish them with food,
Albert," retorted the younger brother. "Who knows
that they are not cannibals ?"
What makes you fancy such a thing as that,
"I don't know; because I am a coward, I suppose,"
You a coward! You did not look much like a
coward yesterday morning, when we thought the men
were going to murder us, and when they laid hold on
poor little Marian so roughly. I declare, George, you
were a regular hero then."
That was because I was in a passion, perhaps; and
you would have done the same if you had not been held
back by the men."
Passion, or no passion, you proved that you were
no coward, George; but I hope we shall not have our
courage proved in that way again. If there are natives,
most likely they will be friendly; and, if they are not, I
suppose we must take to our boat, and leave them in
quiet possession of their island."
Our boat! that leaky old thing! It could never
live an hour in a rough sea," retorted George. Guinea
says it couldn't," he added.
Guinea does not know anything about it; Guinea
is no sailor," said Albert.
He is a good fellow, though, for sticking to us as
he did," said George; and, talking about him, here he
comes, and Neptune with him."
In another minute the two boys were joined by a
black man, very tall and muscular, accompanied by a
large Newfoundland dog, which bounded and jumped
round them all with very strong demonstrations of
Down, Nep, down !" said Albert, patting the dog
however; and now, Guinea, what news ?"
"All right, Massa Albert," said the neg.ro; "there's
plenty good eating."
"That's something, but not all we want, Guinea.
We must have a place to live in."
All right that, too, Massa Albert; let Guinea alone
"It will be all right, if you say so, I dare say; but
there are ladies to find lodgings for, you remember."
Captain's lady and little missy," interposed the
black man quickly. Guinea knows. Young massas
come and see."
Presently, Guinea; but what do you think-is the
island inhabited ?"
Plenty pigs," replied Guinea, laughing, and, in that
action, showing to advantage two formidable rows of
"Any other inhabitants-any people, Guinea ?"
The negro shook his head. "Think not,MassaAlbert."
"We have it all to ourselves, then. The 'Albatross'
is out of sight."
"Berry glad of that," said Guinea.
"And we cannot make out any land in this direc-
tion," continued the youth; "but, perhaps, your eyes
are better than mine," and he handed the telescope to
Guinea, who gravely applied it to his eye, and carefully
scanned the horizon. Without result, however; and he
silently returned the instrument. Then, after another
short consultation, the little party left the beach, and
bent their steps towards the forest, under the guidance
of the negro.
Now let us turn to another scene.
I said just now that, on one part of the shore, the trees
grew down to the water's edge. Just on the borders of
this forest, and about fifty yards from the beach, a small
tent, or hut, had been erected, evidently with haste, and
yet with some skill and care. It was composed of four
oars, stuck into the ground, under a broad-spreading
tree, and covered in with an old square sail, which was
large enough to reach to the ground on all sides.
Some pains had been taken to make this temporary
lodging comfortable within. The ground had been
cleared, and trodden or beaten down hard. Over it a
quantity of dry fern-leaves had been thickly spread.
Close to the canvas wall on one side was a narrow
mattress, on which lay a man of middle age, fever-
stricken and helpless. He was awake, and was holding
a laboured, whispering conference with a delicate-look-
ing female who was seated by his side, and who, from
time to time, moistened his parched lips with water.
There was another occupant in the tent. This was
a fair-haired child, who lay cozily wrapped up in a boat-
cloak in one corner of the tent, looking peaceful and
happy, though her restin'g-place was so rude.
And now, for our promised explanation.
Captain Edward Hastings had lived some years in
California, where he had amassed considerable property,
the greater part of which he had from time to time re-
mitted to his native country, England. Tired, at length,
of his occupation, and anxious to enjoy the fruits of his
labour in peace and quiet, he willingly accepted the
command of a small bark, named the "Albatross," laden
principally with gold-dust, and bound for London; so,
putting the remainder of his property on board, he em-
barked with his wife and children, little anticipating the
troubles in. store for them as well as himself.
He soon found, however, that the greater part of his
crew were a set of reckless desperadoes of different
nations-deserters, some of them, from other ships-
who had been disappointed in their hopes as gold-
diggers, and were ripe for almost any villany. But he
did not know that they had banded together to seize
the "Albatross," and all the property on board, at the
first favourable opportunity.
This opportunity did not occur so soon as they
anticipated, for Mr. Hastings was vigilant and wary;
and the mate, with a few of the sailors, who were not in
the secret with the rest, were faithful.
But about a week after the ship left port, a heavy
-storm arose, which lasted two whole days, and when
it was at its greatest fury, three of the best sailors
were swept overboard by a mighty billow and were
Then came another trouble; a fever broke out on
board, of which the mate and two sailors died, and at
length the captain was stricken down by the disease,
and rendered helpless both in mind and body.
All now went according to the wishes of the secret
mutineers. The man who had succeeded the mate was
their leader, and they speedily put their project into
execution. Mr. Hastings was given to understand that
he had no longer any authority in the vessel, and that
himself and his family were prisoners.
It may be readily conceived that this great cata-
strophe aggravated the captain's fever. He relapsed,
became delirious, and. would, in all probability, have
sunk under the unexpected blow, but for the attentions
of his wife and the compassion of a negro cook, who
obtained permission from the mutineers to wait on the
prisoners in their cabin. Gradually, then, Mr. Hastings
recovered his senses, and the worst symptoms of his
fever abated; but he was still so weak as to be unable
to move without assistance; and, meanwhile, three
weeks had passed away, during which time the muti-
neers had altered the ship's course, and steered, from
day to day, at their own pleasure; while the terror and
suspense of Mrs. Hastings were increased by the threat-
ening aspect and sullen words of the mutineer captain.
At length the suspense was ended.
One morning she and her children were ordered to
ascend to the deck; and when they hesitated, they were
warned that, if they were obstinate, force would be used
to compel obedience. Force, indeed, was used; for be-
fore Albert was aware of the design, he found himself
in the grasp of two sailors, one of whom, however, took
an opportunity of whispering in his ear that no violence
was intended, if resistance were not offered. Resistance
was not offered, except by George, who flew furiously
at one of the men who was about, as he supposed, to
ill-treat his sister; but this little scene was soon ter-
minated; and when Mrs. Hastings was told that her
husband was also to be conveyed on deck, she quietly
complied with the peremptory order.
What followed may be briefly told. A boat had
been lowered, and into this boat were stowed a quantity
of ship's stores, as well as some of the personal property
of the captain and his family. Then Mr. Hastings him-
self was conveyed into it, over the ship's side, as he lay
helpless and almost speechless on his mattress. One by
one, his wife and children were required to follow him,
which they did silently, scarcely yet comprehending the
extent of their misfortunes.
At the distance of three or four miles could be dis-
cerned a long line of breakers, caused by a reef of coral
rocks; beyond this, land was visible; and when the
boat was laden, one of the crew pointed in that direction,
and told the boys that they might row away towards it
as fast as they pleased.
You are only doing this to frighten us," said Mrs.
Hastings, speaking as calmly as she was able; "you
do not mean to abandon your captain in this manner."
We have got another captain now," said the man,
sullenly, and them's his orders."
You will be brought to justice for this, as sure as
your name is Green," said Mr. Hastings, endeavouring
to rise from his mattress; but the exertion overpowered
him, and he sunk back exhausted.
You had better not threaten, sir," said the man,
hurriedly, and in a low voice, as he leaned over the bul-
warks; we are not all so bad as you think; and there are
two or three of us have done our best for you. If it had not
been for some of us, you would all have been murdered."
"What are you palavering about there ?" shouted
the ringleader of the mutineers. Cut it short, Green,
and cast off the line."
Ay, ay, sir," replied the half-repentant sailor, and in
another minute the heavily-laden boat was drifting away
from the ship's side. There was no help for it; for to
have attempted to regain the deck would have been
madness; and, after a short whispered conference with
their mother, the boys took the oars and pulled slowly
towards the unknown and dangerous shore.
They had lessened the distance by nearly a mile, and
were gazing on the ship from which they had been so
cruelly banished, when a shout reached them from the
surface of the water, and in the wake of their boat; and
glancing in that direction, they perceived two dark ob-
jects evidently approaching them.
"There's Nep! poor Nep, broken loose from his
kennel," exclaimed Albert, resting on his oar. "Poor
Nep, who saved father's life in California; and we were
so ungrateful as to forget him and leave him among
"And Guinea too," added George, following his
brother's example-" it was his voice we heard; I
thought he was too faithful to join with the mutineers."
Perhaps they have repented, and he is bringing us
a message-an invitation to return," said Mrs. Hastings,
trembling and pale with excitement, and for a moment,
though for a moment only, withdrawing her attention
from her husband, who, scarcely sensible of what was
transpiring around him, lay motionless beside her.
The boys had ceased rowing, and soon the negro
and his consort reached the boat; without much cere-
mony, Neptune, assisted by Albert, clambered in, and
after shaking himself and wagging his tail for gladness,
laid quietly down at his master's feet.
"Now, Guinea, it is your turn," said the boy to the
negro, who, encumbered as he was with his clothes, was
glad to rest himself after his exertions, by holding on to
the bow of the boat.
The negro shook his woolly head. "There are
enough in the boat already," he said.
Nonsense, Guinea; suppose a shark-- "
Golly, Massa Albert, I forgot all about him," cried
Guinea, with a lively apprehension of this not impro-
bable danger; and it required no further arguments to
induce him to follow Neptune's example. Without
wasting more words, he contrived to raise himself into
the boat, and then, seizing a spare pair of oars, he be-
gan to pull lustily towards land.
Guinea had brought no penitent message from the
rebellious crew, this was plain. He had only watched
his opportunity to escape; and having, unperceived,
released Nep, who was rampant with excitement, they
had sprung together from the deck of the "Albatross"
to follow the evil fortunes of their deposed master.
But how to get to land, through that barrier of
snarp-pointed coral reef and the dangerous breakers!
It was accomplished at last, through a narrow channel
which they discovered; after this, happily, the water
was smooth, and the shore offered no impediment to
landing. To spring on to the beach, to convey the
helpless captain tenderly to a sheltered spot, and to
erect a hut with one of the old sails, which had been
thrown into the boat by some charitable hand perhaps,
and then to unload the boat, and draw it up as far as
they could on to the sandy shore-all this was soon
accomplished. The rest of the day was spent by Mrs.
Hastings in watching by her husband's side, and in
quieting the alarms of Marian in the way she was best
able, while Guinea and the two boys were collecting
fern leaves from the forest, and adding as well as they
could to the comfort of the tent. Then a meal had to
be prepared for the desolate party, from the provisions
with which they had been furnished. All this time the
"Albatross lay like a log on the water, without apparent
life or motion; but when an evening breeze sprang up,
some signs of activity on board were perceived by those
who were anxiously watching it. Sail after sail was
set, then it slowly moved away. More and more dis.
tant it became, till night closed in, and hid it from
sight; then the little group who were watching it knew
that they were deserted, and after again visiting the
tent for a short time, the two boys returned to the boat,
now high and dry on the sand, in which they deter-
mined to take shelter, while Guinea and Neptune kept
watch and guard over both tent and boat.
"AND where do you think we are, Guinea ?"
Goodness knows, Massa Albert."
"And are you sure that the 'Albatross' will not
come back again to take us off?" asked George.
"Hope not, Massa George," said Guinea, earnestly.
"A mercy they let us off as they did."
"Well, they are off, and I suppose we ought to be
thankful; and now, wherever we are, we must make the
best of it-eh, Guinea ?"
All right, Massa Albert; we shall do berry well."
This conversation, and much more which it is not
necessary to set down, passed as the negro was, on the
morning when our story opened, conducting the cap-
tain's sons to a spot about a mile from tfhe shore.
Having passed through a narrow belt of natural forest,
they emerged suddenly into open ground, and a scene
broke upon their view which called forth loud exclama-
tions of delight from Albert, while the countenance of
his brother lost, for a time at least, all traces of his
recent distress. A lovely plain was spread immediately
before them; on one side it was hemmed in by the forest
already mentioned, and on the other, that furthest from
the coast, rose a chain of hills, some of them rugged,
rocky, and bare, others clothed in verdure, and orna-
mented with clumps of trees, which rose, tier above tier,
to their summits. From one of the more precipitous"
hills a stream of water dashed downward, now spark-
ling and shining in the bright sunshine, and then losing
itself for a brief space in its deep and narrow bed, to
reappear winding round the rocky base of the hill, until
it reached a small lake near the centre of the plain.
The plain was not barren of wood. Here and there
were groups of trees, some with gorgeous yellow blos-
soms, and others with slender trailing branches, while
above them rose tall and graceful cocoa-palms, with
their broad pendant leaves and rich clusters of fruit.
There was animal life also. The air was filled with
the screeching of parrots and the wild notes of other
birds; on the little lake several flocks of water-fowl
were swimming about, unconscious of danger; and
amid the tall vegetation of the plain were leisurely
feeding small herds of swine.
"Told you plenty to eat," said Guinea, chuckling
True enough, Guinea, if we could only catch them,"
said Albert; "but 'no catchoe no habee ;' isn't that it ?"
Catchee and habee both in good time," said
Guinea; "but time enough for that another day. A
nice place this to build house, Massa Georae."
Build a house we cannot do that; and if we could,
I hope we shall not stay here long enough to want one,"
rejoined the boy.
"Want one ebery day and always," replied the negro,
s'pose stop here a week, must have place to sleep in;
live in tent not good for sick captain, and lady, and
Guinea is right, George; we must knock up some
sort of a shanty or cabin; but how we are to do it
without tools is a puzzle."
Find tools, all right," said Guinea.
"And then," objected Albert, "this is too far from
Captain get well sooner here," continued the negro.
It is higher ground, if that is what you mean,
Guinea; but we must be where we can keep a good look-
out for a ship to take us off; and while we are shut in
here a dozen might pass, and we be none the better for
Guinea knows-come a little higher up," said the
negro, again leading the way across the plain, and then
ascending the highest of the steep rocky hills. It was
hard work, climbing up, but at last it was accomplished,
and then they were well rewarded for their pains. It
was easy to see that the island on which they had been
cast was a very small one, and almost surrounded with
coral reefs, for in every direction breakers were visible.
No other land was in sight, except two or three bare
rocky islets about a mile distant from the opposite side
to that where they had landed. All around, the scenery
of the island was very agreeably diversified; but the
great advantage of that elevated spot was the unin-
terrupted view it enabled them to take of the ocean.
All objection to the removal of their father to the plain
at their feet was now obviated; and having determined
on calling that hill their observatory, they returned
with all speed to the tent by the sea-shore.
"Told you so, Massa Albert," said Guinea, exultingly,
when, after hastily despatching breakfast, the two boys
and he were overhauling their stores on the sand; and
as he spoke he held up a good broad-axe in one hand,
and a hand-saw in the other, while a heavy bag of
nails lay at his feet. "Said we should have tools
enough to build a house. Guinea took 'em out of the
boat last night, when you were busy with other things."
These were not the only unexpected treasures that
were found. The fact was, that the better disposed of
the sailors had taken care to put into the boat, unper-
ceived by their mutineer captain, many articles in
addition to the provisions he had ordered. There were
two handspikes, for instance, and several hanks of
twine, a coil of rope, the two old sails which had al-
ready been put to good service, several cooking utensils,
and the telescope, which has been seen in Albert's hand.
As to the provisions, there were enough, they calculated
to last them a month or more, if carefully stored.
It was the morning's work to remove all these things
to the vicinity of the hut, and to take measures for
their being secured from injury.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Hastings had not been inactive;
she was conscious that much depended on herself-that
her example would either excite or depress the exertions
of her sons; and though she could not remove far from
her husband's side, she had busied herself in arranging
the goods and in preparing a good meal for the little
party, by a fire which she had no difficulty in kindling,
for plenty of dry wood was scattered about, and among
their stores were fortunately found some boxes of
As to Marian, the child was at an age when trouble
once passed leaves few marks behind. She was very glad
to have escaped from the ship, where she had been in
great fear, and through the morning she had wandered
on the sandy shore, within sight both of the tent and
the boat, amusing herself in collecting some of the
beautiful shells which had before attracted the attention
of her brothers.
"And what shall you do with them, Marian ?" asked
Albert, to whom she exhibited her treasures.
Take them home," said the child.
"And when will that be, do you suppose ?"
When papa gets well. When will papa get well,
"Very soon, I hope, darling."
TniL following morning found the two boys and Guinea
very busy on the upland plain. Having first of all as-
cended the observatory, and ascertained that no ship
was in sight, they proceeded to select a spot for the
hut they proposed to build. They took care that it
should be screened as much as possible from the wind,
which they judged, from the direction of the taller trees,
usually blew stronger from one particular quarter, and
after some little consultation, they fixed upon a broad
level space just at the foot of their observatory, which
offered several advantages in addition to that of shelter,
In the first place, it was near the stream of fresh water,
which, dashing over the rugged rock, fell into a natural
basin below, whence it glided swiftly downwards, in a
clear current, into the lake. In the next place, a thick
grove of trees grew at no great distance, from which
materials for building could easily be obtained. And
lastly, this elevated spot commanded a full view of the
plain, which lay spread out below in all the loveliness of
The plan of their house was simple. A space was
marked out on the ground, sufficient for two small
rooms, and then, with the handspikes, holes were made
at sufficient intervals to receive the uprights of the outer
walls. Next, they proceeded to the grove and cut
down several dozens of small palms, the straight stems
of which rendered them admirably suited to their pur-
pose, and these, divested of their tops by the sharp edge
of the axe, were conveyed to the ground and firmly
fixed in their sockets. It was warm work, and hard
work as well, especially as the sun shone fiercely, but
Guinea took care to perform the heaviest part of the
business, and before they returned to the beach, the
entire frame-work of the hut, with the exception of the
roof, was erected.
There is nothing like useful occupation for dispelling
anxious care. George's countenance was no longer sad,
and his usual playfulness had returned.
I wish we could take a good bucket-full of this
water down to the tent with us," said he, as he drank
a long deep draught from the delicious stream;
"how stupid it was of us not to bring the old kettle
"Take something as good," said Guinea, halting
suddenly before several tall trees, growing closely to-
gether, with straight, smooth trunks, rising upwards of
fifty feet from the ground without a single branch, and
then crowned with an enormous mass of foliage.
What is as good, Guinea ? asked Albert.
SEA-bHlELl ISLA .-
"Young massas soon see," responded the negro,
casting his eyes upwards. Like cocoa-nut, Massa
Oh, yes, Guinea; are these cocoa-nut trees ?"
Soon see," replied Guinea. Nice piece of rope
this; guessed we should want it," he added, as he un-
coiled from his waist a piece of stout line, several feet
in length, with which he loosely encircled the trunk of
one of the largest trees, then fastening the ends to-
gether in a secure knot.
"Now, Massa Albert, please to lend Guinea him
handkerchief; good silk, eh ?"
"Don't spoil it, Guinea," said Albert, as he handed
the handkerchief to his black companion; there are
no stores here, you know, where I can buy another," he
Guinea made no reply, but, stooping down, he tied
his feet together, just above the ankles, so that they
were about eighteen inches apart, and then he inserted
his body into the slack circle of rope. Young gentle-
men soon see now how to get cocoa-nut," said he, gravely.
"A funny way you have got of climbing a tree, if
that is what you mean, Guinea," said George.
"All right," replied Guinea, after testing the rope
with a mighty pull, and then slipping it down just under
his arms. In another moment the cleverness, and at
the same time, the simplicity of his manoeuvres were
manifest to the admiring boys. Clinging to the circular
surface of the tree with his feet, which could not slip
beyond a certain distance apart because of the bandage,
the whole weight of the climber's body could be thrown
back upon the rope, which he also held on each side
with his hands. His first movement was to lean back
* -. -
S. ..- .
GUINEA CLIMBING THE COCOA-NST Tr.EF.
against the rope, and lift the feet one step upwards;
next, by a sadden spring of the body towards the tree,
he jerked up with his hands, at the same instant, that
part of the rope on the opposite side of the stem, so as
to gain a higher hold. These alternate movements
enabled the negro to raise himself to the top of the
smooth trunk with amazing rapidity; and then, one
after another, the nuts, which grew in clusters among
the footstalks of the enormous leaves, which constituted
the foliage, were thrown to the ground.
"Hold, hold, Guinea; we have more now than we
shall be able to carry," shouted Albert, when nearly a
score had fallen at their feet.
Him think no more for another day," said Guinea,
laughing, and at the same time sliding down the stem
with greater celerity than that with which he mounted
it. Never fear, Massa Albert," Guinea said, plenty
to eat and drink, too. Very nice place here, Massa
George; better than 'Albatross;' more liberty, more
fun. Him like fan, Massa George ?"
The boy did not reply to this. He was too busily
engaged helping his brother to strip off the soft outer
husks of the precious fruit, to make it more portable;
but, even then, there were too many nuts to be con-
veniently carried, until it occurred to Albert to make a
kind of hand-barrow of the two handspikes, by placing
them parallel with each other, and fastening their hand-
kerchiefs between them. The spoil was then easily
borne by two of the party, and they soon arrived at the
tent in great triumph.
It was considerably past noon, and Mrs. Hastings
had begun to feel anxious respecting her sons; but she
had not neglected to provide a good meal against their
return, to which the cocoa-nuts made an acceptable
Especially were they welcome to the patient, whose
thirst was almost incessant. Again and again he drained
the cup of pure liquid, poured out for him from the full
shells, and then, after a few words of thanks for this
unexpected refreshment, he sank into a sleep more quiet
than any he had enjoyed through many preceding days
It had been previously arranged that six hours every
day should be employed in building the hut until it was
completed, and that the afternoons and evenings should
be occupied by the boys in sharing with their mother
the task of watching and waiting on their father. This
was a wise plan, on many accounts, and though they
were anxious to complete their work, they were neither
of them sorry to rest after their morning's exertions.
The remainder of the day passed away rapidly; and
they had the gratification of seeing their father so far
revived that he was able to sit up on his couch and hold
a short conversation with his fellow-sufferers, in which
he exhorted them to patience and hopefulness, and
hinted at several reasons even for thankfulness.
"But where do you suppose we are, boys ?" con-
tinued Mr. Hastings.
We would rather you should tell us that, father,"
"It is not very difficult to guess," continued the
captain. Calculating how long it is since we left port,
the variations of climate we have experienced since then,
and the description you have given of the country, so far
as you have observed it, I conclude that we are on one
of the Polynesian islands, considerably north of New
Zealand, and out of the ordinary track of navigation. ft
may be one of a group; in that case, we shall soon make
some further discoveries; or possibly it is some hundreds
of miles distant from any other and larger islands. If
so, our prospect of speedy deliverance is not quite so
certain, as some weeks or months may elapse before any
ship approaches near enough to discern our signals. By
the way, this must be looked to; you must hoist a flag,
"We have been thinking about that father," said
Albert; "and we mean to do it to-morrow."
"Would it not be better to do it to-day ?"
Sure enough, Massa Captain is right," interposed
Guinea, who had been a listener in the conference;
" Guinea hoist a flag mast-high in no time. Only find
the flag first."
"There is one thing to do first of all," resumed Mr.
Hastings, who, by this time, was nearly exhausted. His
wife, however, understood what he meant; and, she
added, that among other causes for thankfulness, she
had found her own Bible in one of the packages, and
that it was her husband's and her own determination to
devote a short time every day in reading a portion of
the sacred book, and in prayer to God for his help.
She, therefore, opened the Bible and read the forty-sixth
Psalm; and then her husband found strength enough to
offer up a few earnest petitions, and thanksgivings for
mercies already received.
A flag was soon found-indeed, one of the packages
brought from the ship was accidentally tied up in a
large square piece of red bunting, and before night it
was floating in the breeze, over one of the highest trees
on the hills. Before night, too, Guinea and the boys
had fetched down from the little river a good supply
of fresh water, which was a pleasant change from the
stale and muddy fluid they had brought with them in
THE building progressed rapidly. On the second day
the frame-work of the roof was completed. To assist
them in rearing this, the builders contrived to make a
ladder of two straight stems of young trees nailed to,
gether with cross pieces of split wood. This and the
fastenings of the roof diminished their stock of nails
sadly, however, and when they came to consider how
much they would want nails for other purposes, they
cast about to contrive some substitute for their future
That evening, after their return to the beach, a large
shipwright's auger was found in the bottom of the boat
under the loose boards. This was a very happy dis-
covery, for now they could bore holes, and use wooden
pegs instead of nails. As to the pegs they could easily
be made. Guinea undertook to cut out, every evening,
with the axe, as many as would be required for the next
Having completed the frame-work of the house, the
next thing was to cover it in. For the roof, nothing
could be better than the strong fibrous leaves of the
cocoa-nut tree, many of which were from twelve to fif-
teen feet in length, and capable of resisting any amount
Noxt, the walls had to be prepared. These were to
be of bark. Their plan was to select some of the largest
trees in the forest, to cut the bark into sections about
six feet long and three wide, and then to strip it off
from the trunk. The broad-axe served them in good
stead in this operation-indeed, it was an invaluable
tool, for it served in turns for knife, chisel, hammer,
mallet, and wedge. There was, in short, hardly an
operation they performed in which the axe did not play
a distinguished part. Then, in conveying the bark to
their building, the industrious workmen made use of a
hand-barrow, which by this time they had contrived
out of some split stems of a tough kind of wood, and
this very much lightened their labour.
Their way of fixing up the walls was this : first of
all, they cut three or four longitudinal slits in the inner
parts of the bark, so as to cause it to lay out flat; after
this, holes were bored with the auger in the uprights,
with corresponding holes along the edges of the pieces
of bark, which were then securely pegged into their
places without the expenditure of a single nail. As the
walls were only six feet in height from the ground to
the overhanging eaves of the roof, and the pieces of
bark were six feet in length, no joining or overlapping
was required, and the work was soon completed, a space
being left at one end for an entrance, and two others,
smaller, at the side, for windows.
The builders would have been glad now of spades to
raise an embankment round the foundation of the walls ;
but in the absence of these they contrived to cut a
quantity of turf with their axe, and to detach it from
the ground with their handspikes. This they laid round
the house, close to the walls, so as eFectually to keen
the earthen floor free from draughts and dry.
When thus far completed, the boys regarded their
work with some degree of complacency. True, it was
a very rough piece of workmanship; but it was a better
shelter than the tent, and if they should be compelled
to remain long on the island it would be easy to make
improvements. All that, at present, remained to be
done was to collect a quantity of fern leaves for their
carpet, as they called it, and to nail the smaller sail
across the hut from side to side, so as to divide it into
two apartments, according to their original plan.
It will be seen that no provision was made for a fire
within the house. This had been a matter of grave con-
sultation with the builders, who had at last decided that
a fire would not be needed for warmth, and that the
easier and more convenient plan would be to carry on
all cooking operations, for a time, at a little distance
from the house, in the open air. As to a door and
windows, these were to be made of strips of the sail in
the form of curtains, to be looped back on either side
or to be allowed to fall close over the apertures, at the
pleasure of the inhabitants.
Meanwhile, during the time the building was going
on, there were many other matters to engage the atten-
tion of the young builders and their associate. First of
all, as we may suppose, they did not neglect to keep a
good look-out, from time to time, from their observatory.
No sail, however, was visible on the sea in any quarter;
and they were compelled to conclude that some time
would probably elapse before they could hope to be
delivered from their desolate condition. In the next
place, they took pains to find out, as far as they could,
what resources for food and comfort were available to
them. This obliged them to take daily excursions
through the island when their morning's work was
over; and as their father, though slowly mending, was
still unable to leave the tent, Guinea was their com-
panion and guard. And now they found by experience
the advantage of making friends of even the most lowly
On board the "Albatross," poor Guinea had been the
butt of all the sailors because he was a negro. Only the
captain and his family had treated him with considera-
tion and kindness. Well did Guinea now return this
kindness. It is difficult to conceive what the deserted
family would have done without his faithful services.
And it was pleasant to Albert and George, as they
worked by the black man's side, or rambled with him
along the shore and in the forest, to think that they
had no need to humble themselves before him, and ask
him to forgive and overlook their former pride and
scorn. They never had scorned the poor black man.
There was no great danger of the explorers losing
themselves in these excursions, even when they were in
the thickest of the forests. Albert had a small ma-
riner's compass, in the form of a seal, which was
attached to his watch-chain. This had been a mere toy
to him before; but now it came into good service, for
the needle pointed due north and south, and they had
only to consult this when they were at a loss.
They found other good things on their desert island,
besides cocoa-nuts. One evening, before the house was
completed,the boys and Guinea had extended their ramble
almost to the opposite side of the island. Presently
Guinea uttered a shout of great delight. Hi, hi !"
said he, springing forward, and pointing to a large
tree, nearly sixty feet high, with widely spreading
branches, stretching out horizontally, and clothed in a
foliage of dark glossy leaves, something like those of a
fig-tree, but much larger; "Guinea been looking for
you, massa good tree; and found him now before long."
What tree is it ?" demanded Albert.
"Him not know bread-tree ?" Guinea clapped his
hands as he said this, he could scarcely contain his
"If that is a bread-fruit tree, there are plenty more
of them," said George, who had been quietly looking
round; "look, there is a regular lot of them, further on."
"No more ship-biscuits now, Massa George," con-
tinued the joyful negro; get new bread, now, 'most
every day, always. Good baker shop this, Massa
Albert;" and the next minute he had mounted the tree,
and was on one of the lower branches.
"Massa George, catch," said he, and the next
minute a large oval fruit or vegetable, not unlike a
pumpkin, and light green colour, was in George's hand,
then another, and another, until a heap of five or six
lay at his feet. Then they hastened back, joyfully.
This was not the only adventure that happened to
the Sea-shell Islanders that evening. While her bro-
thers and Guinea were absent, Marian had amused her-
self in rambling along the sandy shore, accompanied by
Neptune, who had constituted himself her protector.
Suddenly, the dog bounded away from his young mis-
tress, and commenced barking furiously at a large un-
wieldy object, slowly moving over the sand, having
evidently just emerged from the sea. Marian's first im-
pulse was to run away; but on second thought she
plucked up courage cautiously to approach the strange
animal, which seemed to be perfectly indifferent to the
growling and barking of Neptune. And thus it hap-
opened that, just after the three explorers emerged
from the wood, and were striking across the open
meadow towards the tent, with their valuable burden,
the barking reached their ears, and they saw also
Marian eagerly waving her handkerchief to them to
come to the spot.
Albert was the first to join his sister, who was
standing at a little distance from the object of Nep's
Oh, Albert, take care it will bite you if you don't
mind," cried Marian, in lively alarm, when she saw her
brother hastily lay down his load, and then throw him-
self boldly on the strange-looking animal, which no
sooner felt his weight, than it began scuttling off
towards the sea.
"Nonsense, Marian; don't you see it is only a tur-
tle. Hey, Nep, Nep; catch hold of his flapper, good
dog," he called out, when he found that all the strength
he could muster had no effect in detaining the unex-
pected, but not unwelcome, visitor. Indeed, in his at-
tempts to hold on, and with the struggles of the turtle
(which, happily, was a small one) to regain its native
element, the boy would probably have undergone an
involuntary bath, if Guinea and George had not come
up to alter the aspect of affairs.
Golly! him good as bread-fruit, anyhow; him good
supper for sick captain," exclaimed Guinea, with huge
satisfaction. Turn him over on his back, Massa
Albert; can't run away then," and, adapting the action
to the word, he, with the help of the boys, succeeded at
length in accomplishing his design. The poor animal
was then easily despatched, and dragged homeward in
SEVERAL weeks had passed away, and the captain and
his family were yet on the island. No friendly ship had
seen their flag of distress, and not a sail had been visible,
though an anxious look-out was kept from the observa-
tory, day after day.
In the meantime, they had removed from their tent
on the shore to the bark hut on the plain; and many
comforts had been added to this dwelling. To make it
more warm and weatherproof, an inner coating of bark
had been pegged on, and several articles of furniture
had been contrived. The active builders had also
reared a small cooking-house at a little distance from
the dwelling, of which Guinea took possession at night.
As to Neptune, he was free to come and go as he
pleased, and sometimes he lay curled up on the floor,
close by Albert and George, while, at other times, he
shared with Guinea in the cooking-house.
By this time Mr. Hastings had so far recovered
strength that he was able to walk, though feebly, a
few paces in the open air. He was very much debili-
tated by his long illness; but, by God's mercy, he was
gaining strength, though slowly, every day.
Hitherto, they had been so well supplied with fresh
provisions, that the greater part of what they had
brought from the "Albatross" yet remained. The great
dependence of the Sea-shell Islanders was on the bread-
fruit, which they found to grow in great abundance in
one particular part of the island. They discovered,
also, several varieties of this useful tree, the fruit of
which, ripening at different periods, promised an abun-
dant supply of nutritious food almost all the year round,
if they should be detained so long on the island. They
dressed the fruit in various ways, sometimes boiling
it as a vegetable, but oftener cutting it in slices, and
roasting it over the coals of a clear wood fire.
Not only was the bread-fruit itself so valuable, but
other parts of the tree were found useful to the solitary
family thus cast upon their resources and the exercise
of ingenuity and forethought. The broad, tough leaves,
for instance, served them excellently for plates and
dishes, as well as for other domestic purposes. The
inner bark of the branches, cut into strips, was woven
by Guinea into excellent mats and baskets; and the
young catkins, being collected and dried, served the
purpose of tinder. And this was not a trifling matter,
for an unfortunate accident befel their stock of matches,
by which almost all of them were rendered useless.
Next to the bread-fruit, the cocoa-nut tree furnished
the family with an unfailing supply of useful materials.
On the same trees, the large nuts grew in progressive
stages towards ripeness-all yielding delicious food and
drink. But besides this, the hard inner shells of the
ripe fruit were easily converted into drinking cups and
bowls; while the strong fibres of the outer covering
could be twisted into coarse string and cord. There
was also another part of the tree which they soon began
to put to essential service. Round that part of the stem
of its enormous leaves which was attached to the trunk
of the tree, they found a remarkably fine and strong
substance like cloth or matting, composed of delicate
fibres, crossing and recrossing each other, with almost
as grat regularity and intricacy as though woven by
man's art. This natural cloth was obtained in strips,
about two feet in length and one in width, and was
easily converted into outer garments by the ingenuity
of Mrs. Hastings; and though these were not imme-
diately needed, it was plain to her that if she and her
family continued on the island, their clothing, especially
that of the boys and Guinea, would have, ere long, to be
Many other kinds of fruit were found from time to
time by Albert and George, in their frequent incursions
into the woods, which made an agreeable variety to the
simple fare of the inhabitants of the bark hut, especially
some fine bananas, or plantains, which gave them many
" GUINEA," said Albert, one day, you forgot some
things when you were tumbling bags and barrels and
handspikes into the old boat."
"Hey! what them things, Massa Albert ?" said
Guinea, opening his eyes wide.
A gun or two, and a barrel of gunpowder," replied
No, Massa Albert, not forget."
"No ? we did not find them, however."
"'Cause not there. Guinea tried to smuggle them
in, Massa Albert, but big rascal rebel master, he catch
him, and say ugly fierce words, and tell Guinea put him
down; confound him, big knave."
Oh, that was it," rejoined Albert, rather discon-
"What him want gun for, Massa Albert ?"
What ? why don't you see how the trees swarm
with birds, and what a lot of fowl there is on the lake,
and how the island is overrun with pigs, and we can't
lay hold of any of them ? And Nep isn't a bit of use
for hunting. I sent him after a pig yesterday-you
saw, Guinea-and the good-tempered fellow thought it
good sport, I suppose, to have a race; but as soon as he
got up with the long-legged porker, he began to try to
romp with him, as if he was a fellow puppy. There was
not a bit of catchee in him."
Hi, hi! Guinea saw," exclaimed the negro, laughing
heartily at the recollection of the odd race; "but Massa
Albert want pig, really ?"
"To be sure, Guinea. Do you know how many
sorts of teeth you and I have got ?"
"Massa Albert very fine teeth; so Massa George,"
said the black, flatteringly, showing his own double row
to advantage at the same time.
"Nonsense, Guinea," said Albert, laughing for com-
pany; "that is not what I mean. You put your finger
here, and feel my teeth all along."
Him rather not-rather be 'scused, Massa Albert,"
said Guinea, putting his hands behind him.
Ah, well, never mind. I should not bite you though
-honour But you see every man has got three sorts
"Hi! and every woman too, Massa Albert."
"Yes; and every boy as well. One of these sorts is
"Yes, Massa Albert, scissors."
"Yes, scissors if you like; they are to cut with, you
see. Then another sort is called grinders," continued
Albert, going on with his lecture.
Guinea understand berry well. Them be to grind
Quite correct, Guinea; well, all animals have cut-
ting teeth and grinding teeth, and man is an animal,
Berry funny animal, Massa Albert."
"I don't know about that; at any rate, he is an
animal. Well, but about the teeth; there is another
sort that we have, and these are called canine-teeth."
"What him mean, Massa Albert ?"
"Why, this means teeth like dog's teeth."
Guinea no want dog's teeth," said he, shutting his
mouth with a clap.
"Ah, but you have got them whether or not you
want them," said Albert triumphantly. And do you
know what this proves ?"
No, Massa Albert; not a bit.
"Why, it proves that, like dogs, we are carnivorous
Guinea shook his head; it was plain he was puzzled.
"Carnivorous animals are flesh-eating animals.
Dogs eat flesh when they can get it."
Nep not had much flesh lately, Massa Albert."
"No; but he would like to have some if he could
get it; and so would some of the rest of us."
"Berry true; all right, Massa Albert, Guinea under-
stand now. Catchee pig and eatee pig."
Yes, Guinea; or a bird or two now and then, just
by way of variety you know."
No reason why not; why you not tell Guinea this
before, Massa Albert ?"
Why, we have had so much to do besides; and we
have had so many other good things--"
"What we have received, Lord make us thankful,"
interposed Guinea, solemnly.
"Yes, I hope so, Guinea; but that is no reason we
should not have a change now and then. Variety is
charming, you know."
"Berry right, Massa Albert. Learn to shoot pig
and bird too."
Shoot!-exactly; but that is the very thing we
can't do. We have not a gun; that is what I have
been saying, Guinea."
"Bow and arrow, Massa Albert-him try that."
"Bow and arrow! I never thought of that. And I
am afraid we should make slow work of it; at least, I
know that I should. Did you ever use a bow and
arrow to any purpose, Guinea?" the boy asked.
Guinea's countenance fell.
In Guinea's own country once," said he, in a low
Bows and arrows were soon made. There was plenty
of strong elastic wood suited for the bows; and some
light reeds which grew by the lake made capital arrows
when pointed with nails, and. feathered with feathers
picked up in the woods. For bow-strings they had
The first attempts of Albert and George at shooting
were not very successful; but after a great deal of prac-
tice, and with the help of Guinea's superior skill and
strength, they had become able to obtain a supply of
meat and fowl for their flesh-eating propensities.
Nor did they neglect the stores of provisions which
fltA 4' t.
MAKING BOWS AND ARROWS.
the sea offered. Between the coral reef and the island
the water was generally very smooth, and Mr. Hastings
sometimes permitted his boys to launch the boat and
row along the coast. They easily supplied themselves
"with fishing-rods and lines, and manufactured hooks out
of the bones of birds they had killed for food. In this
way the Sea-shell Islanders rejoiced in a further and
very acceptable change of diet. They found oysters,
too, on one part of the coast; but above all things they
prized, was a further occasional dish of turtle, which
they managed to capture in the following manner:-
The water round the island was so clear that even
at two or three fathoms' depth the bottom was visible.
Rowing, one day, gently along the shore, they perceived,
beneath their boat, a large turtle slowly crawling on
Guinea catch him berry quick," said the negro,
quietly shipping his oars, and throwing off his jacket
"You are not going to dive after it, are you, Guinea?"
Soon see," said Guinea; but first, Massa Albert,
take this," and catching up a stout line, he made a
running noose in it, then put it into Albert's hand.
When him comes up throw it over him head, and pull
him tight-tight round him neck."
Round your neck, Guinea ?"
Hey no; him big turtle."
"Very well; when he does come up, I'll do my
best," replied Albert, incredulously.
Guinea make him come up; whisper in him ear he
wanted," said Guinea; and the next minute he was over
the boat's side. In another moment he was on the back
of the turtle, pressing down its hind part with all his
weight, and raising the fore part of its body with his
hands. The first impulse of the turtle was to scuttle
away with its unexpected burden; but, finding this im-
possible, it rapidly rose to the surface, close to the boat,
with Guinea still clinging to its back. The next
moment the noose was dexterously thrown over its
head, and the boat was rapidly being rowed to land,
towing the now helpless animal at its stern.
Six months passed away, and no sign of deliverance
appeared. Sometimes the thought of being shut in for
life in their island home caused a shade of sadness to
pass over the countenances of the family; but they were
too constantly and actively engaged to suffer much
from gloom, and both Mr. and Mrs. Hastings were, as
I have said, more disposed to think of their mercies
than their trials.
By this time, the strength of Mr. Hastings had re-
turned, and he was able to attend and direct his sons in
their daily occupations. On one occasion he determined
to explore the small island more carefully and thoroughly
than had yet been done. Leaving George and Neptune,
therefore, to take care of Mrs. Hastings and Marian in
their absence, the captain, with Albert and Guinea,
struck boldly over the hills to the opposite side of the
island, which was not more than three or four miles
across. Many such islands, the reader is aware, are
scattered over the great Southern Ocean, and have been
formed, in past ages, by the labours of small animals,
called polypi, which build up a rocky material, known
as coral, for their own habitations. These insects, it is
supposed, first select a suitable situation, such as the
summit of a volcano, or the top of a submarine moun-
tain. Having thus selected the spot, innumerable
myriads of these wonderful little animals work with
incredible diligence until they reach the surface of the
water, above which they cannot build. Drift wood and
other substances, which are conveyed by currents and
winds, there find a lodgment; sand, etc., is washed up
by the waves of the sea, and thus an island is formed.
Birds visit the spot; seeds are by this means conveyed;
and a soil is subsequently created by decayed vegetable
matter, and, by various means or accidents, animals
find their way to the new land.
Few things have excited greater wonder than the
edifices constructed by these extraordinary insect tribes,
both on account of their extreme beauty and vast extent.
Islands and reefs entirely composed of them and their
works, spread over the eastern and southern seas.
Almost every island to the south of the equator, between
Australia and the western coast of America, is the pro-
duction of these tribes; but the degree of elevation which
many of these attain, proves the prodigious forces of an
expansive and volcanic kind that have raised them to
their present height; and in several of these islands
extensive caverns are found.
A discovery of this kind was made by the explorers
on our desert island. Near to the sea-shore, on a more
rocky part of the coast than that which they inhabited,
they came upon a large opening which spread out into a
magnificent cavern, the floor of which was covered with
the finest sea-sand, and the roof, more than twenty feet
above their heads, glittered with beautiful spars. Their
attention, however, was taken off from these objects by
an exclamation from Guinea, who at the same time
recoiled with terror from the extremity of the cave, to
which he had ventured.
The cause of this was sooa perceived by the light
which streamed in at the opening of the cavern. Seve-
ral human bodies were there, decaying, and loathsome
with ghastliness. A few articles of rude manufacture
were found scattered around them, but nothing more to
give any indication of the history of those tenants of the
cave. Probably, however, they were the last native in-
habitants of the island, and, being attacked by disease,
had retired to that gloomy refuge to die
It was with solemn feelings that Mr. Hastings and
his companions returned to their hut. That they also
were liable to sickness and death, which might over-
take them at any moment, and diminish their number,
until all had been swept away, was a thought which
oppressed them with sadness.
But more cheerful feelings succeeded. They knew
that they were in the hand of God and under his watch-
ful eye, and that no death is really terrible when pre-
paration has been made for that event by faith, obe-
dience, and love.
Nevertheless, from that time escape from the island
was more earnestly longed for, and many plans for at-
tempting it were discussed. The most feasible of these
was to fit up the boat with the sails and rigging, and
venture on to the great expanse of ocean, trusting to
God's providence to guide them to some other land; but
this was at last set aside as clearly a tempting of provi-
dence. The boat was not seaworthy; and, from obser-
vations Mr. Hastings had taken, he was convinced that
their Sea-shell Island was some hundreds of miles from
any country where help could be reckoned on. He
shrunk, therefore, from the thought of exposing his
family to the certain perils and sufferings, and probable
fatal termination, of a long uncertain voyage in an open
and rotten boat.
Looking, then, on all the schemes yet spoken of as
impracticable, nothing could be done for deliverance
beyond earnestly praying for it, if it should please God
to grant their request, and to keep a yet more constant
watch from the hill for a passing sail. Moreover, know-
ing that the flag Guinea had hoisted, and which con-
tinued to float in the breeze, could scarcely be seen so
as to attract attention very far from the shore, the boys
and their useful willing assistant collected a large store
of inflammable wood into a pile on the very summit of
their observatory, to light as a beacon at the first sight
of any vessel, and thus to attract attention to the spot.
Meanwhile they had reason to congratulate them-
selves, both on their early industry in building a house,
and on having placed it at some distance from the shore.
For several months they had experienced almost unin-
terrupted fine weather; but after this came a series of
storms which devastated the island, while the sea raged
with dreadful fury all around them. It was fearful to
see the effects of these tornadoes in large trees torn up
by the roots, and whirled away by the mighty wind, and
to hear the terrific peals of thunder which continued for
many days to roll around them, while the rain descended
in torrents, and perpetual flashes of lightning blazed in
every quarter of the sky. In the midst of all this tur-
moil, the frail hut stood securely, and sheltered its
thankful inhabitants from the fury of the tempestuous
elements. Very thankful were they then that they had
not ventured to sea in their boat.
Gradually, however, the storm subsided, and the sun
shone out again with its accustomed brilliancy by day,
while the bright constellation, of the southern hemi-
sphere lightened the darkness of the cloudless night.
Or all the small castaway party, not one was more
contented and happy than the little Marian. She had
very soon made herself at home in the bark cabin;
her cheerful prattle and trusting disposition had often
helped to relieve the languor of her father during his
slow recovery; and afterwards she was his, as well as
her brother's frequent companion in many a ramble by
the sea-shore, where her great delight was to search
for the beautiful shells with which to decorate their
dwelling. At other times she remained with her mother
while her father, brothers, and Guinea were abroad.
One day, about a week after the dreadful storm,
Mrs. Hastings and Marian were thus left alone, with
Neptune as their guard, while the captain and his com-
panions were fishing.
Mamma, if we go on to the hill we shall be able to
see the boat," said Marian; and, at her invitation, Mrs.
Hastings ascended the observatory. The scene was
very lovely, for the sea was as smooth as though its
surface had never been ruffled, and the bright trans-
parent water reflected the brilliant blue of the sky.
Marian was disappointed, however, in her object, for
tempted by the beauty of the day and the calmness of the
water, the fishers had rowed along the coast until they
were hidden from view by the irregularities of the coast.
In a moment, however, this disappointment was for-
gotten, or suspended, by another sight which attracted
See, see, mamma-is that the 'Albatross' ?" said
she eagerly, pointing to a distant spot in the horizon.
Mrs. Hastings started at the question, and followed
the direction of the child's finger. For a moment her agi-
tation prevented her seeing clearly the object indicated.
But she succeeded at last, and uttered a joyful cry.
It is a ship, Marian-a ship in full sail!"
"Is it the ship that is coming to take us away?"
asked Marian; and then turning to her mother., and
noticing how her countenance was changed, she added,
"Oh, mamma, mamma, are you ill ?"
"Not ill, Marian, only---but-- oh, Marian, if it
should go by, and not see our flag "
"Mamma, I know what we must do. Albert told
me what was to be done when a ship came in sight;"
and in another moment the child was descending the
hill at full speed, while Mrs. Hastings, scarcely con.
scious of what was transpiring, still continued to gaze
at the distant ship.
In a few minutes Marian returned, waving above
her head a burning brand she had snatched from the fire.
"Look, father look, Albert Guinea, look !" ex-
claimed George, as he was steering the boat which the
aegro was rowing, while Albert and his father were
watching their fishing-lines.
"Look at what, George ?"
There was no need for George to answer the ques-
tion. Turning towards the island, on which his eager
gaze was fixed, they saw a dense column of smoke rising,
and hanging over it in a dark cloud.
Our poor hut !" cried Albert.
"Is it the hut, Albert ?" said his father.
This was a question no one could answer, until
swiftly rowing back to their landing-place, they saw not
only the smoke, but bright flames of fire rising from
their beacon pile. They spring on to the beach, leaving
their fishing-lines behind them, and then hastened to the
observatory, where they found Mrs. Hastings and Ma-
rian, heaping fresh fuel upon the fire.
Darlings, what does this mean ?"
Mean! what could it mean but one thing ? They
soon found out what that one thing was-a ship at sea.
Oh misery! it is sailing by. Neither flag nor beacon
fire are seen on board.
No, it is not sailing by; see, the ship's course is
altered; and now-yes, it is true, quite true-it is
bearing down upon the island. More fuel! more! more
Heap it up high; deliverance is at hand.
That evening a ship lay at anchor outside the coral
reef; and a boat had passed more than once to and
from the island. At last its errand was accomplished;
the boat was raised and placed on its slings, the anchor
was weighed, and the ship's sails were set to a favouring
breeze. Meanwhile, Sea-shell Island had lost its inha-
bitants, and on the deck of the stranger ship stood a
little group, who continued to gaze, with thoughts very
glad and grateful, yet not a little mournful, on the plea-
sant land, until it was lost in the increasing gloom of
night. Then they retired below; but ere this they had
learned that their rescue from banishment was owing to
the vessel having been driven hundreds of miles out of
its course by storm and tempest.
A few months afterwards Captain Hastings and his
family, including Guinea and Neptune, arrived in Eng-
land. They had been given up as lost, for nothing had
been heard of the "Albatross" after it left California,
and it was supposed that it had foundered at sea. Pro-
bably it had, for no tidings of that bark or any of its
mutinous crew ever reached home.
HoME HOME It has a pleasant sound; and the
Sea-shell Islanders were home at last. But they never
forgot the goodness and mercy which watched over them
in their banishment, and the blessings which rested on
their individual and united efforts to make the best of
circumstances, and their determination not to be over.
come by unlooked-for calamity.
iRS. GREG)RY STOPPED TO WSH A "GOOD- DAY, AND INQUIRE AFT TE
THE PEIDLAWI'S HBi,i1, l. .
BY MaIii LLMN. j ,
As it is necessary to our story that we should have a
few words with our reader, we will step into Mrs.
Margison's little chandler's shop, where Mrs. Gre-
gory is buying her Saturday's stock of odds and ends.
The counter is well strewn with small packages; her
business is, therefore, nearly finished, and her weekly
gossip about to begin in earnest. We say in earnest,
for it cannot be supposed that Mrs. M. and Mrs. G.
have been together half an hour without a little light
skirmishing with their tongues; the more especially as
Mrs. Gregory lives away up in the forest, and rarely
comes into town (as our village calls itself) except to
market, or to see the doctor.
"Isn't that Lucy Lightfoot ?" asked Mrs. Gregory,
pushing aside the clusters of long sixes hanging in the
window which obstructed her view into the street, and
that's a foreigner'* with her, isn't it ?"
A stranger, Sussex.
THE PEDLAR'S HOAn.
"Ye-es!" replied Mrs. Margison, spe&&ing very
measuredly, and holding her head on one side in a
rather peculiar manner, as she twisted half a pound
of sugar round and round in her hands; she is Lucy
Lightfoot, Mrs. Gregory !"
The words were few, but they conveyed a meaning,
from the way in which they were delivered, that made
Mrs. Gregory's face a blaze of curiosity.
"And he is a 'foreigner,' continued Mrs. Margison,
without raising her eyes, -nd giving the paper contain-
ing the sugar its finishing touch. "I trust he is a
respectable man-thavt' all the harm I wish her."
"Dear me !" exclaimed Mrs. Gregory, "are they
'walking '* together ? '
"It looks like it," said Mrs. Margison, "though
nobody down here knows who he is. He came to the
Clifford Arms about a month ago; dropped at the door
by the higgler's cart which had brought him from the
railway station. Ah! it's a great pity that a pretty
girl like Lucy Lightfoot should have no better place
than a public-house bar. Her grandfather might do
well for her if he pleased; but he left her poor mother
to work herself to death because she married unlucky.
Anything else, Mrs. Gregory ?"
Mrs. Gregory, anxious to prolong the gossip, thought
she did want a pennyworth of mixed pins.
And so they've struck up a match, have they ?"
said the forester's wife.
"* I'm afraid so. I was asking her old friend Mary
darden what she thought; but Mary would say nothing
except that she believed Lucy to be a good girl, and
hoped no harm would come of this London acquaintance,"
TEE PEDLAR'S HOARD.
answered Mrs. Margison, now reckoning up on her slate
the amount of her customer's purchases.
Ah! Mary Garden wouldn't have done so, I'll be
bound," remarked Mrs. Gregory, packing with evident
reluctance her market-basket. Her old grandfather
was very kind to all of us girls and boys, and he was
the first shopkeeper in the place. Only to think that
Mr. Garden, who used to keep a pony-chay for his
children to ride in, should now be a common pedlar,
tramping the country for weeks together. What a
tumble, Mrs. Margison !"
"Well, yes, in one way. He lost his money, it's
true; but there is no one in the country has a better
name than old John Garden. He shall always have my
good word, and Mary too, for she keeps the old man's
little cottage like a queen's palace."
Mrs. Gregory readily gave her assent to this state-
ment; and, having paid her reckoning, and carefully
wrapped up the change in her cotton housewife, she bade
Mrs. Margison good afternoon, and went to complete
her marketing. There was more news for Mrs. Gregory
at the butcher's, the shoemaker's, and the tinman's, all
)f whom she visited in turn, and an hour had passed
since she had left the shop, and was now on her way
homeward. As she approached the wooden bridge
which crossed the brook at the end of the village, she
was startled, she could never tell wherefore, to see the
stranger seated on one of the side rails, looking anxiously
up the road which led to the railway station, some three
miles distant. Either her fear or curiosity made her
stop and partly conceal herself behind a great eln which
grew by the roadside, in order, as she said, to recover
her breath, or, as we believe, to observe the stranger