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CHAPTER VII.-“ Fallen in the Fight.”
It was about this time that I was summoned into
the presence of our Captain, IN the 18th of November, the enemy opened - Ensign Holbeck,” he said, looking at me gravely,
their battery on Lipson Works, but we had even sternly, “I have undertaken to make private strengthened our ramparts and ditch, and investigation into an affair that is, I am sorry to
the deep valley which lies there prevented say, likely to be very serious for you, unless you can their guns doing us much harm.
freely and fully explain it to me."
I answered his look boldly, though not imperti- feel any animosity against me that I called your nently, my conscience happily being clear of any principles in question ?" The Captain extended his wrong against the Parliament.
hand pleasantly towards me, and held mine as he con" You do not know,” continued Captain Wansey, tinued in a very friendly tone : “ A secret traitor is a questioningly, “to what I refer?"
far more deadly enemy than an open foe. I will never “ Indeed I do not, sir."
ask a man to betray his friends, but it behoves every I have never found you other than truthful, young honest man to make careful choice of friends at this sir; but these are times when the minds of men are hour.” sometimes unaccountably warped from the truth. There has been very sad business in regard to the You are reported to have been, of choice, in the com- seaman Ellis Carteret, concerning whom I was thus pany of malignants. Two names of gross offenders closely questioned by Captain Wansey. Late in against the Parliament are reported to me.”
November, Roger Kemborn, our chief gunner at MaudMy heart stood still. Were Mr. Woollcombe and lyn Fort, a man deemed prudent and pious, gave his daughter these gross offenders ?
himself up, as it may be termed, to Colonel Wardlaw, “ Allow me, Captain Wansey, to tell you every- with every appearance of extreme distress of mind. thing."
It has been freely spoken of throughout the garrison, Certainly. Confession of this kind (not the for a timely warning to all of us, how the Lord visited Popish confession, that is contrary to the Scripture) Kemborn with continual sleeplessness and wretchedis, I believe, good for the soul.”
ness of soul, until he determined to confess his sin. “You remember I was so happy as to save Miss Ellis Carteret, a very plausible fellow, and one that Woollcombe from a dreadful death.”
could make his own story good, and with a rare gift “Ah! Miss Woollcombe.”
for talking so as to make others listen, had some dis"I carried her to her home, she being unable to tant relationship to Kemborn through the wife of the walk. Since then I have inquired for her health, gunner, and used this as an introduction to him. He as a gentleman is in common courtesy bound to do; would get with him on one pretence and another, and once I spent an hour or two with her and her and gradually insinuated himself so skilfully as to father. I do not know whether this is what has been make Kemborn listen to treachery. reported to you. There is nothing else to report." So he suggested that the powder-room, which was
· And at Mr. Woollcombe's louse you met- buried in Maudlyn Fort, and of which Kemborn had asked Captain Wansey.
the key, might be blown up, to the great damage of No one.”
our party, and the joy of the malignants, or King's “You have not spoken to or in any way treated party, as Carteret called them, who would take care with Mr. Collins, an attorney ?”
to amply reward such service, and would have occuCertainly not, sir ; I do not even know there is pation for so skilful a gunner in their ranks, and such a man.
would take care to reward him well. Our Maudlyn · Nor with Mr. Pike, a vintner ? ”
Work being in the direct road from their headquarters “I know Mr. Pike by sight; I have never ex- at Widey, would have opened a way to the inner changed a word with him.”
defences of the town, which would have been especially “You knew they were malignants ?”
easy and convenient for them to pursue. I have heard Mr. Pike talked of as such amongst But the sincerity of Kemborn's religion has the people of Plymouth, sir.”
fortunately hindered such a vile piece of work for us. • There is a man in another line of life to them, And Kemborn acknowledges also that God was mercalled Ellis Carteret, a sailor. Do you know him ?" ciful enough to his soul, to send him a true friend in
“I do, sir; I have warned him off from amongst us, the moment of his sore temptation. This friend was when I have seen him holding a parley with my men, no other than our dauntless Ironside, Sergeant as if by accident."
Gurney. It appeared that the gunner went about “ Why?"
his work no longer cheerfully, but heavily, which the “ Because he openly boasts, when he is in liquor, good old sergeant perceiving, questioned him narrowly, that he is a King's man."
having suspicion of some treason. And by degrees, Why have you not reported him?"
holding, Kemborn says, the fear of God before him “I
have threatened him that I would do so, Capas a lantern that must shine into his heart, he detected tain Wansey, and since then he has held himself aloof the man's perplexity and drew the miserable story from the men of our regiment. He knows he will from him.' And after the two men had engaged have no credence or sympathy from us."
in prayer together over the business, Sergeant Gurney "You are prepared, if required, to take your oath despatched him to the fort to make confession to to all this?"
Colonel Wardlaw, he himself taking his place and “Certainly, sir."
possession of the powder-room keys during his “Let me advise you, as a friend, Ensign Holbeck, absence. not to frequent the house of Mr. Woollcombe at Colonel Wardlaw smiled when he heard this, and present. You shall not be without knowledge of Miss declared, rather grimly, they could not be in better Woollcombe's condition, if you are anxious on her hands than those of that old “ bull-dog.” Ellis account. But until certain matters respecting the Carteret was sent for, and easily found loitering three I have named are settled, it behoves every upon the Barbican, he having no suspicion that young officer, especially, to be guarded and careful in Kemborn had told of him. But when he learned his conduct. That faithful servant of the Parliament, that he was wanted, and the authority of Colonel Sergeant Gurney, has vouched for your integrity, Wardlaw and the Mayor were both named to but I felt it my duty to question you. You will not him, he made desperate resistance, and,
How I Fared at the Siege of Plymouth.
rushing away, threw himself over the quay into the had the work under Lipson. Just here was a fierce sea, but some men in a boat easily captured him, the conflict. We fell on the first advance, hoping to beat soldiers shouting, “ For God and the Parliament !” them off before their seconds came up, and fell resoand he was brought at length, dripping wet, and dull lutely on them, but met with strong opposition. Our and disconsolate enough, before his judges.
gallant Captain Wansey, he who showed himself to me The Mayor mercifully enough ordered him some so kind a friend as well as commander, charged at a dry clothes before his trial; which Colonel Wardlaw gap which he knew to be open formerly. This gap appeared to consider an excess of charity ; yet he had the enemy had filled. Here, shouting, “ God with them nevertheless. And when the miscreant saw us!” in a loud clear voice, he fell, slain-a brave endRoger Kemborn ready to witness against him, and ing to a brave life. Seeing him, their bold leader, fall, others also, who had heard his proud boastful words discouraged our horse, and caused a rout through against the Parliament, his coarse, rough face was three fields of both horse and foot. Some of the pitiable to see, he had such a woeful countenance, enemy's horse came after us, within pistol-shot of the so full of apprehension, and almost paralysed with walls, mixing themselves with us, and were killed or fear. He attempted no defence whatever, and threw taken. Then we made a stand on the height of the himself on the mercy of the gentlemen and officers. hill above Lipson Work, determined to make a better He was ordered to very strict imprisonment for the finish of the business. Our men drew fresh courage present, and it was more than hinted that there were in that place; Sergeant Gurney was to be seen everyothers in a higher position who had aided and en- where, rallying, exhorting, encouraging, cheering on couraged him in his malignancy.
to victory. Orders were given for Moses Collins, the attorney, My brave lad,” he called out, as he ran past me, and Henry Pike, the vintner, to be sent for to the “do a deed of valour worth dying for before thou Court. But it was discovered they had fled imme- diest! Think of thy father and of thy God !” diately the news concerning Carteret was brought to This heartened me above mere animal courage, and them, and though their houses were searched most I held my ground with my men, as others did, with thoroughly (which I can vouch for, as I was sent with theirs, till fresh reinforcements from several guards a small detachment of men to bring them), we could came up. But our ships at Laira Point entertained only find the female relatives of both, in any of the a parley with the enemy, instead of aiding us, and so rooms of the house, and a few workmen and serving stood neuter till we had done the work and beaten men at Mr. Pike's.
the enemy to a retreat. And for this behaviour some But I saw a sight that troubled me, for while we are, as they deserve to be, in danger of losing their were making this necessary but disagreeable investi- lives, more certainly than in bold fight. gation, I found in the room with Mrs. Collins and her confident of success, sent a trumpet to Lipson Work daughters the lovely Lucy Woollcombe. It was not to summon it, which we answered with a cannon, a time for interchange of pleasant courtesies, I could being quite otherwise minded. but attempt a grave respectful recognition, and her Just at this time, I heard my name called, and smile though sweet, was rather sad, and, as it seemed looking round, I saw, to my great surprise, and with
reproachful. I never abhor this war so much some anxiety, Lieutenant Dick Tonkin, my dear friend, as when it seems so widely to separate those who riding at the head of a small body of men, and accommight fitly otherwise be dear friends, and even, as I panied by two of his brothers, who had come to offer sometimes think and hope, far nearer even than that. their services as soldiers, or in any capacity in which I hope Mr. Woollcombe will keep himself from all they could serve the Parliament. Dick's courage had malignant practices.
fired theirs; he could not rest at home, knowing there On the 3rd of December, which was the Lord's Day, was work to be done, so declared he would fight we had reason to accuse Messrs. Collins and Pike of till his left hand was as weak as his right, and they even further treachery. Three hours before daybreak had on their parts decided he should not go alone. they guided some officers with four hundred musque- So now, having sent away the trumpet from Freeteers to Laira Point, and surprised our guard there, dom Field with scorn, we planted a small drake (it is and took them and three pieces of ordnance. This fit to call a cannon a drake, methinks) in the crossguard is placed there only to give the alarm if the way, and opened fire on the enemy's horse with good enemy should approach the Point over the sands when execution. The drummers were instructed to give a the tide is out. The enemy skilfully approached sign when our several commanded places should fall from behind, coming under Lipson Work, which, by on, and the malignants, by no means expecting such reason of its steepness, was a good screen for them, behaviour on our part, began to give ground. Then and especially in the darkness of a winter night. two hundred of the town's train-bands came march
But directly the news reached the town, even by ing out to our aid, and a party of sixty musqueteers break of day, 150 horse and 300 musqueteers of our were directed to play on the backs of the enemy. All troops were ready to fall upon the enemy that had this soon induced him to command a retreat, which possessed themselves of our work ; which intention on we took care to follow closely, so that it became little our part was perceived by those of the malignants better than a hasty flight. They foolishly began to stationed at Mount Stamford on the height, who retreat over the Laira, instead of the way they came. warned their whole army by a signal, and caused Prince This Laira is a marsh when the tide is out, but Maurice and all the gallantry of his forces to ad- wholly swept over by the sea when the tide is in ; and vance, with five regiments of horse and four of foot. we forced their rear guard of horse, about one All these approached, as I say, under the protection of hundred in number, into the mud between Lipson their own ordnance and a hedge where we used to and Laira Point. These were taken or drowned, when have our sentries, but which we abandoned since we the sea came in, as it did swiftly; some of the riders