小说搜索     点击排行榜   最新入库
首页 » 经典英文小说 » Maid Sally » CHAPTER XX. IN CAMPAIGN
选择底色: 选择字号:【大】【中】【小】
Sally's soft tread was heard only by a great dog who rushed out as she crept toward the hay sheds at the Hinds1 farmlands.
She easily made friends with the dog, who trotted2 quietly away after being patted and quieted.
It was plain that some of the house servants were already astir, but Sally kept out of sight as best she could.
One thing she did that pleased her greatly.
She got into the barn and filled the front of the coat with hay. This she carried to Hotspur, who enjoyed the crisp breakfast greatly.
"I wish I could bring you water, dear," she said, "but how am I to get my own breakfast?"
For with all her shrewdness, the maiden3 had[Pg 234] given not one thought to food when she started out, and a healthy maid of fourteen could not long be unmindful of hunger after a four hours' ride.
In a few moments however, she was to be glad of having made friends with the great dog. For a colored boy put a pan with meat bones, cold biscuit, and a basin of water by the shed, for the dog's breakfast.
As the boy slouched away, up crept Sally, and snatched two of the biscuit, and oh, what luck! a good doughnut, long and twisted, was close against the biscuit. She snatched that too.
"Surely I may have part of the dog's food without stealing," she said.
Then she cast about in her mind how next to proceed. Time was precious.
Now it may well be supposed that during her long ride so bright a maid as Sally would have tried to think of some plan that might help her once she reached her journey's end. And she had not forgotten that all she had[Pg 235] heard and learned about the present condition of her Fairy Prince had come to her as she sat by a tree.
"Might not a tree help me again?" she asked. "Could I but make a sound, or give a sign, it surely would help me, if only the young Prince came near enough. I can think of no other way unless I hide about the house and watch my chance for a quick word."
Ah, but with others around, how long might it be ere the chance would come. And time was passing swiftly away.
A fine elm stood before the house, and Sally resolved to scramble4 into it and at least take a good look around. The branches grew closely, and fortunately came nearer the ground than was usual.
She watched some time before daring to climb, but at length she found a place where she could seat herself, and the great boughs5 made a very good screen.
Another precious hour went by; it was between five and six o'clock. Farm-hands[Pg 236] were at work. Sally could see them in the distance.
All at once she caught her breath in the way natural to her when surprised or excited.
For there at the front door stood her Fairy Prince, but with how gloomy and clouded a face! And close beside him was a strong and stalwart man.
"His guard!" whispered Sally. "Shameful6, oh, shameful!"
The two strolled out and down the path. Sally nearly choked as they paused close by the tree. In her hand she held a bit of bark, picked with a purpose.
The older man turned his head. Down fluttered a bit of bark close to young Lionel's feet. Down fluttered another. The young man looked up. Sally made a swift sign.
"I wonder which way is the wind," said Lionel; "the vane is just out of sight."
The man walked a few yards away toward a corner of the house.
"Don't look up," called Sally, in a loud[Pg 237] whisper, "but Hotspur is here. Down in the dell to the right. Run! he is only lightly tied. The others will be at Pamunkey turnpike at noon."
The man was already turning back, and Sally was surprised and, ah! how greatly disappointed to see her Fairy Prince go quietly with him to the porch.
Did he not hear her? Did not he believe her? The days were such as to make men crafty7, quick to catch an idea, swift to use it.
Aha! as the front door, heavy and thick, was reached and both were stepping in, Lionel gave the man a sudden push, sending him head-long into the hall; then he slammed to the door, and rushed like mad to the dell sloping off to the right.
In a moment the great door opened and the attendant and another man ran out, but almost the next instant Sally, straining her ears, heard the rush and sweep of a fleet horse that seemed to scud8 like the wind, and—her Fairy Prince was free!
[Pg 238]"There he goes! And I helped him!" gasped9 Sally, hugging her own young breast and quivering in every limb.
The men looked right and left and listened, half deceived by the sound. At last, far down the road, they saw horse and man, but going at a pace it were mere10 folly11 to strive to overtake.
"We cannot catch him, and if we could he would defend himself now," said the man who had guarded Lionel, in a voice of anger and concern. "Woe12 the day! What will Sir Percival say?"
"His orders were that not an instant was he to be out of our sight," said the other man. "One or the other of us was to be on the watch."
"And he was not out of my sight," said the first man. "I only left his side a moment before to look at the weathercock, and he stood alone just where I left him as I turned back. We came through the doorway13 together, then he pushed me fairly over and ran away. Woe the day! I shall lose both respect and reward."
[Pg 239]"How in the name of Great Cæsar could he have gotten a message about the horse?" asked the second man. "I have seen no one around."
"Nor have I," was the reply. "Beshrew me, but I could half believe the Fairies or the witches have been about! It is a mystery indeed."
He added, gloomily:
"Now I must acquaint Sir Percival of what hath happened, and, by my faith, I had rather take a ducking or show a broken limb."
It seemed to Sally that the men would never be done looking about, peering here and there, but keeping near the house, as if bent14 on finding some one who had helped Lionel's escape. It was not until the middle of the morning that they went into the barn; then, with many a halt, she finally let herself down from the tree, but only to hide behind another.
Sally was thankful when at last she found herself in the road after creeping from one cover to another. Then, with a slouching step, she moved more rapidly away.
[Pg 240]For a long time she kept steadily15 on, then, at a great field she was passing, an ox team, loaded with marshy16 grass, came toward the road.
"Might I cotch a ride?" she said to the man who was guiding the oxen.
"Tired, are ye?" called the man.
"Tired I'll be afore I gets to Homeview," said Sally.
Homeview was a plantation17 near Williamsburg.
"Get ye up then," said the man. "I goes far as Humphrey Three Corners, that's all."
By walking and begging many a mile's ride, and also by begging two or three cups of milk, Sally reached Parson Kendall's near supper time, as hungry and fagged a maiden as one would wish to see.
She managed to enter the porch and hang up the coat and hat without being seen by any of the parson's family. Then she started for the library, but met the parson in the hall.
[Pg 241]"Whither away, maiden?" cried the parson, sternly.
"I would have speech with thee in the library," said Sally, rather faintly.
"And I would have speech with thee!" the parson replied.
Not a word spake good Parson Kendall while Sally told her story.
Goodwife Kendall knew that Sally had returned, but so discreet18 a tongue had she, that not even her sisters knew that the whereabouts of the maiden who had appeared neither at the breakfast nor the dinner table were unknown either to the parson or his wife.
There was silence as Maid Sally finished her strange, brave story.
Was her best friend, the kind parson, angry at what she had done? Would he blame her sharply, or cry shame on so bold a deed?
A queer note there was in his voice when he spoke19 at last.
"I am proud of thee, maid, proud of thee! Thou art fit to rank with the soldiers who[Pg 242] would put down injustice20 and oppression. But why aid the young son of Sir Percival Grandison, why he in particular, eh?"
For a moment it was Sally's turn to be silent. Then she said, with her steadfast21 eyes on the parson's face:
"I have told you, sir, what floated to my ears. It was the first case wherein I bethought me that my own courage might serve my country in a way, and serve one of her sons, too."
Parson Kendall was content with the reply.
"We worried over thee this morn," he said, "and have made quiet inquiries22 to-day, but all without letting any one know thou hadst really disappeared. Do not so try us again."
"I will not," said Maid Sally.
"Now get for thyself food and drink," said the parson. "I have sharp summons to attend upon Mistress Cory Ann Brace23, who lieth ill at her house. I was about to set forth24 to visit her when thou appearedst. And after thy repast, thou hadst best go to thy bed at once. I will speak with Goodwife Kendall a moment concerning[Pg 243] thy story. Long sleep wilt25 thou need after thy night's campaign."
Sally smiled at the parson's speech. Full well she knew that while an army kept the field it was in "campaign."
"Did I keep the field last night, sir?" she inquired.
"Verily I think thou hadst the field all to thyself, from set out to finish," smiled the parson. "I am proud of thee! But let us know the next time when thou goest on rescue."
"I will, sir," said Maid Sally.


1 hinds 9c83b8ed7e4ac4f6e3da5b043ec94aa4     
n.(常指动物腿)后面的( hind的名词复数 );在后的;(通常与can或could连用)唠叨不停;滔滔不绝
  • He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places. 诗18:33他使我的脚快如母鹿的蹄、使我在高处安稳。 来自互联网
  • He makes my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places. 33他使我的脚快如母鹿的蹄,又使我在高处安稳。 来自互联网
2 trotted 6df8e0ef20c10ef975433b4a0456e6e1     
小跑,急走( trot的过去分词 ); 匆匆忙忙地走
  • She trotted her pony around the field. 她骑着小马绕场慢跑。
  • Anne trotted obediently beside her mother. 安妮听话地跟在妈妈身边走。
3 maiden yRpz7     
  • The prince fell in love with a fair young maiden.王子爱上了一位年轻美丽的少女。
  • The aircraft makes its maiden flight tomorrow.这架飞机明天首航。
4 scramble JDwzg     
  • He broke his leg in his scramble down the wall.他爬墙摔断了腿。
  • It was a long scramble to the top of the hill.到山顶须要爬登一段长路。
5 boughs 95e9deca9a2fb4bbbe66832caa8e63e0     
大树枝( bough的名词复数 )
  • The green boughs glittered with all their pearls of dew. 绿枝上闪烁着露珠的光彩。
  • A breeze sighed in the higher boughs. 微风在高高的树枝上叹息着。
6 shameful DzzwR     
  • It is very shameful of him to show off.他向人炫耀自己,真不害臊。
  • We must expose this shameful activity to the newspapers.我们一定要向报社揭露这一无耻行径。
7 crafty qzWxC     
  • He admired the old man for his crafty plan.他敬佩老者的神机妙算。
  • He was an accomplished politician and a crafty autocrat.他是个有造诣的政治家,也是个狡黠的独裁者。
8 scud 6DMz5     
  • The helpers came in a scud.救援者飞奔而来。
  • Rabbits scud across the turf.兔子飞快地穿过草地。
9 gasped e6af294d8a7477229d6749fa9e8f5b80     
v.喘气( gasp的过去式和过去分词 );喘息;倒抽气;很想要
  • She gasped at the wonderful view. 如此美景使她惊讶得屏住了呼吸。
  • People gasped with admiration at the superb skill of the gymnasts. 体操运动员的高超技艺令人赞叹。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
10 mere rC1xE     
  • That is a mere repetition of what you said before.那不过是重复了你以前讲的话。
  • It's a mere waste of time waiting any longer.再等下去纯粹是浪费时间。
11 folly QgOzL     
  • Learn wisdom by the folly of others.从别人的愚蠢行动中学到智慧。
  • Events proved the folly of such calculations.事情的进展证明了这种估计是愚蠢的。
12 woe OfGyu     
  • Our two peoples are brothers sharing weal and woe.我们两国人民是患难与共的兄弟。
  • A man is well or woe as he thinks himself so.自认祸是祸,自认福是福。
13 doorway 2s0xK     
  • They huddled in the shop doorway to shelter from the rain.他们挤在商店门口躲雨。
  • Mary suddenly appeared in the doorway.玛丽突然出现在门口。
14 bent QQ8yD     
  • He was fully bent upon the project.他一心扑在这项计划上。
  • We bent over backward to help them.我们尽了最大努力帮助他们。
15 steadily Qukw6     
  • The scope of man's use of natural resources will steadily grow.人类利用自然资源的广度将日益扩大。
  • Our educational reform was steadily led onto the correct path.我们的教学改革慢慢上轨道了。
16 marshy YBZx8     
  • In August 1935,we began our march across the marshy grassland. 1935年8月,我们开始过草地。
  • The surrounding land is low and marshy. 周围的地低洼而多沼泽。
17 plantation oOWxz     
  • His father-in-law is a plantation manager.他岳父是个种植园经营者。
  • The plantation owner has possessed himself of a vast piece of land.这个种植园主把大片土地占为己有。
18 discreet xZezn     
  • He is very discreet in giving his opinions.发表意见他十分慎重。
  • It wasn't discreet of you to ring me up at the office.你打电话到我办公室真是太鲁莽了。
19 spoke XryyC     
n.(车轮的)辐条;轮辐;破坏某人的计划;阻挠某人的行动 v.讲,谈(speak的过去式);说;演说;从某种观点来说
  • They sourced the spoke nuts from our company.他们的轮辐螺帽是从我们公司获得的。
  • The spokes of a wheel are the bars that connect the outer ring to the centre.辐条是轮子上连接外圈与中心的条棒。
20 injustice O45yL     
  • They complained of injustice in the way they had been treated.他们抱怨受到不公平的对待。
  • All his life he has been struggling against injustice.他一生都在与不公正现象作斗争。
21 steadfast 2utw7     
  • Her steadfast belief never left her for one moment.她坚定的信仰从未动摇过。
  • He succeeded in his studies by dint of steadfast application.由于坚持不懈的努力他获得了学业上的成功。
22 inquiries 86a54c7f2b27c02acf9fcb16a31c4b57     
n.调查( inquiry的名词复数 );疑问;探究;打听
  • He was released on bail pending further inquiries. 他获得保释,等候进一步调查。
  • I have failed to reach them by postal inquiries. 我未能通过邮政查询与他们取得联系。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
23 brace 0WzzE     
n. 支柱,曲柄,大括号; v. 绷紧,顶住,(为困难或坏事)做准备
  • My daughter has to wear a brace on her teeth. 我的女儿得戴牙套以矫正牙齿。
  • You had better brace yourself for some bad news. 有些坏消息,你最好做好准备。
24 forth Hzdz2     
  • The wind moved the trees gently back and forth.风吹得树轻轻地来回摇晃。
  • He gave forth a series of works in rapid succession.他很快连续发表了一系列的作品。
25 wilt oMNz5     
  • Golden roses do not wilt and will never need to be watered.金色的玫瑰不枯萎绝也不需要浇水。
  • Several sleepless nights made him wilt.数个不眠之夜使他憔悴。


©英文小说网 2005-2010

有任何问题,请给我们留言,管理员邮箱:tinglishi@gmail.com  站长QQ :点击发送消息和我们联系56065533