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How The Earl Of Surrey And The Fair Geraldine Plighted Their Troth In The Cloisters Of Saint George's Chapel

How The Earl Of Surrey And The Fair Geraldine Met In King James's Bower In The Moat

Of The Combat Between Will Sommers And Patch

How King Henry The Eighth Held A Chapter Of The Garter

What Passed Between Anne Boleyn And The Duke Of Suffolk And How Herne The Hunter Appeared To Her In The Oratory

How Mabel Lyndwood Was Taken To The Castle By Nicholas Clamp

Showing How Morgan Fenwolf Escaped From The Garter Tower

Of The Meeting Of King Henry The Eighth And Anne Boleyn At The Lower Gate

In What Manner Herne Declared His Passion For Mabel

How The Fair Geraldine Bestowed A Relic Upon Her Lover



Least Viewed

How Tristram Lyndwood Was Interrogated By The King

The Last Great Epoch In The History Of The Castle

Of The Mysterious Noise Heard In The Curfew Tower

Of The Interview Between Henry And Catherine Of Arragon In The Urswick Chapel

How Sir Thomas Wyat Found Mabel In The Sandstone Cave And What Happened To Him There

Comprising The Fourth Epoch In The History Of The Castle

How Herne Appeared To Henry In The Home Park

Of Henry's Attachment To Jane Seymour

How Anne Boleyn Received Proof Of Henry's Passion For Jane Seymour

Containing The History Of The Castle From The Reign Of Charles The Second To That Of George The Third






Showing How Morgan Fenwolf Escaped From The Garter Tower








Half-an-hour afterwards Fenwolf was visited by the Duke of Suffolk and
a canon of the college; and the guard-chamber being cleared, the duke
enjoined him to make clear his bosom by confession.

"I hold it my duty to tell you, prisoner," said Suffolk, "that there
is no hope of your life. The king's highness is determined to make a
fearful example of you and all your companions in crime; but he does not
seek to destroy your soul, and has therefore sent this holy man to you,
with the desire that you may open your heart to him, and by confession
and repentance save yourself from eternal perdition."

"Confession will profit me nothing," said Fenwolf moodily. "I cannot
pray if I would."

"You cannot be so utterly lost, my son," rejoined the canon. "Hell may
have woven her dark chains round you, but not so firmly but that the
hand of Heaven can burst them."

"You waste time in seeking to persuade me," returned Fenwolf.

"You are not ignorant of the punishment inflicted upon those condemned
for sorcery, my son?" demanded the canon.

"It is the stake, is it not?" replied Fenwolf

"Ay," replied the canon; "but even that fiery trial will fail to purge
out your offences without penitence. My lord of Suffolk, this wretched
man's condition demands special attention. It will profit the Church
much to win his soul from the fiend. Let him, I pray you, be removed to
the dungeon beneath the Garter Tower, where a priest shall visit him,
and pray by his side till daybreak."

"It will be useless, father," said Fenwolf.

"I do not despair, my son," replied the canon; "and when I see you again
in the morning I trust to find you in a better frame of mind."

The duke then gave directions to the guard to remove the prisoner, and
after some further conference with the canon, returned to the royal
apartments.

Meanwhile, the canon shaped his course towards the Horseshoe Cloisters,
a range of buildings so designated from their form, and situated at the
west end of St. George's Chapel, and he had scarcely entered them
when he heard footsteps behind him, and turning at the sound, beheld a
Franciscan friar, for so his habit of the coarsest grey cloth, tied
with a cord round the waist, proclaimed him. The friar was very tall
and gaunt, and his cowl was drawn over his face so as to conceal his
features.

"What would you, brother?" inquired the canon, halting. "I have a
request to make of you, reverend sir," replied the friar, with a lowly
inclination of the head. "I have just arrived from Chertsey Abbey,
whither I have been tarrying for the last three days, and while
conversing with the guard at the gate, I saw a prisoner brought into the
castle charged with heinous offences, and amongst others, with dealings
with the fiend."

"You have been rightly informed, brother," rejoined the canon.

"And have I also been rightly informed that you desire a priest to pass
the night with him, reverend sir?" returned the friar. "If so, I would
crave permission to undertake the office. Two souls, as deeply laden as
that of this poor wretch, have been snatched from the jaws of Satan by
my efforts, and I do not despair of success now."

"Since you are so confident, brother," said the canon, "I commit him
readily to your hands. I was about to seek other aid, but your offer
comes opportunely. With Heaven's help I doubt not you will achieve a
victory over the evil one."

As the latter words were uttered a sudden pain seemed to seize the
friar. Staggering slightly, he caught at the railing of the cloisters
for support, but he instantly recovered himself.

"It is nothing, reverend sir," he said, seeing that the good canon
regarded him anxiously. "Long vigils and fasting have made me liable to
frequent attacks of giddiness, but they pass as quickly as they come.
Will it please you to go with me, and direct the guard to admit me to
the prisoner?"

The canon assented; and crossing the quadrangle, they returned to the
gateway.

Meanwhile, the prisoner had been removed to the lower chamber of the
Garter Tower. This fortification, one of the oldest in the castle, being
coeval with the Curfew Tower, is now in a state of grievous neglect and
ruin. Unroofed, unfloored, filled with rubbish, masked by the yard walls
of the adjoining habitations, with one side entirely pulled down, and
a great breach in front, it is solely owing to the solid and
rock-like construction of its masonry that it is indebted for partial
preservation. Still, notwithstanding its dilapidated condition, and
that it is the mere shell of its former self, its appearance is highly
picturesque. The walls are of prodigious thickness, and the deep
embrasures within them are almost perfect; while a secret staircase may
still be tracked partly round the building. Amid the rubbish choking up
its lower chamber grows a young tree, green and flourishing-a type, it

is to be hoped, of the restoration of the structure.

Conducted to a low vaulted chamber in this tower, the prisoner was cast
upon its floor-for he was still hound hand and foot-and left alone and
in darkness. But he was not destined to continue in this state long. The
door of the dungeon opened, and the guard ushered in the tall Franciscan
friar.

"What ho! dog of a prisoner," he cried, "here is a holy man come to pass
the night with you in prayer."

"He may take his Ave Maries and Paternosters elsewhere-I want them not,"
replied Fenwolf moodily.

"You would prefer my bringing Herne the Hunter, no doubt," rejoined the
guard, laughing at his own jest; "but this is a physician for your soul.
The saints help you in your good work, father; you will have no easy
task."

"Set down the light, my son," cried the friar harshly, "and leave us; my
task will be easily accomplished."

Placing the lamp on the stone floor of the dungeon, the guard withdrew,
and locked the door after him.

"Do you repent, my son?" demanded the friar, as soon as they were alone.

"Certes, I repent having put faith in a treacherous fiend, who has
deserted me-but that is all," replied Fenwolf, with his face turned to
the ground.

"Will you put faith in me, if I promise you deliverance?" demanded the
friar.

"You promise more than you can perform, as most of your brethren do,"
rejoined the other.

"You will not say so if you look up," said the friar.

Fenwolf started at the words, which were pronounced in a different tone
from that previously adopted by the speaker, and raised himself as far
as his bonds would permit him. The friar had thrown hack his cowl, and
disclosed features of appalling hideousness, lighted up by a diabolical
grin.

"You here!" cried Fenwolf.

"You doubted me," rejoined Herne, "but I never desert a follower.
Besides, I wish to show the royal Harry that my power is equal to his
own."

"But how are we to get out of this dungeon?" asked Fenwolf, gazing round
apprehensively.

"My way out will be easy enough," replied Herne; "but your escape is
attended with more difficulty. You remember how we went to the vaulted
chamber in the Curfew Tower on the night when Mark Fytton, the butcher,
was confined within it?"

"I do," replied Fenwolf; "but I can think of nothing while I am tied
thus."

Heme instantly drew forth a hunting-knife, and cutting Fenwolf's bonds
asunder, the latter started to his feet.

"If that bull-headed butcher would have joined me, I would have
liberated him as I am about to liberate you," pursued Herne. "But to
return to the matter in hand. You recollect the secret passage we then
tracked? There is just such another staircase in this tower."

And stepping to the farther side of the chamber, he touched a small knob
in the wall, and a stone flew hack, disclosing an aperture just large
enough to allow a man to pass through it.

"There is your road to freedom," he said, pointing to the hole. "Creep
along that narrow passage, and it will bring you to a small loophole in
the wall, not many feet from the ground. The loophole is guarded by a
bar of iron, but it is moved by a spring in the upper part of the stone
in which it appears to be mortised. This impediment removed, you will
easily force your way through the loophole. Drop cautiously, for fear of
the sentinels on the walls; then make your way to the forest, and if
you 'scape the arquebusiers who are scouring it, conceal yourself in the
sandstone cave below the beech-tree."

"And what of you?" asked Fenwoif.

"I have more to do here," replied Herne impatiently-"away!"

Thus dismissed, Fenwolf entered the aperture, which was instantly closed
after him by Herne. Carefully following the instructions of his leader,
the keeper passed through the loophole, let himself drop softly down,
and keeping close to the walls of the tower till he heard the sentinels
move off, darted swiftly across the street and made good his escape.

Meanwhile Herne drew the cowl over his head, and stepping to the door,
knocked loudly against it.

"What would you, father?" cried the guard from without.

"Enter, my son, and you shall know," replied Herne.

The next moment the door was unlocked, and the guard advanced into the
dungeon.

"Ha!" he exclaimed, snatching up the lamp and looking around, "where is
the prisoner?"

"Gone," replied Herne.

"What! has the fiend flown away with him?" cried the man, in mixed
astonishment and alarm.

"He has been set free by Herne the Hunter!" cried the demon. "Tell all
who question thee so, and relate what thou now seest."

At the words a bright blue flame illumined the chamber, in the midst of
which was seen the tall dark figure of Herne. His Franciscan's gown had
dropped to his feet, and he appeared habited in his wild deer-skin garb.
With a loud cry, the guard fell senseless on the ground.

A few minutes after this, as was subsequently ascertained, a tall
Franciscan friar threaded the cloisters behind Saint George's Chapel,
and giving the word to the sentinels, passed through the outer door
communicating with the steep descent leading to the town.





Next: How Herne The Hunter Was Himself Hunted

Previous: How The King And The Duke Of Suffolk Were Assailed By Herne's Band



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