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- Two Penniless Princesses - 42/42 -


We must not describe the parting of the sisters, nor the many messages sent by Elleen to bonny Scotland, and the brothers and sisters she was willing to see no more for the sake of her Austrian Duke. Of her all that needs to be said is that she lived and died happy and honoured, delighting him by her flow of wit and poetry, and only regretting that she was a childless wife.

Barbe and Trudchen were to remain in her suite, Barbe still grieving for 'her boy,' and hoping to devote all she could obtain as wage or largesse to masses for his soul, and Trudchen, very happy in the new world, though being broken in with some difficulty to civilised life.

Having been conveyed by by-streets to the great factory or shop of Maltre Coeur at Tours, a wonder in itself, though far inferior to his main establishment at Bourges, Madame de Ste. Petronelle and Jean, with her faithful Skywing nestled under her cloak, were handed by Jaques himself to seats in a covered wain, containing provisions for them and also some more delicate wares, destined for the Duchess of Brittany. He was himself in riding gear, and a troop of armed servants awaited him on horseback.

'Was he going with them?' Jean asked.

'Not all the way,' he said; but he would not part with the lady till he had resigned her to the charge of the Sire de Glenuskie. The state of the roads made it so needful that a strong guard should accompany any valuable convoy, that his going with the party would excite no suspicion.

So they journeyed on in the wain at the head of a quarter of a mile of waggons and pack-horses, slowly indeed, but so steadily that they were sure of a good start before the princess's departure was known to the Court.

It was at the evening halt at a conventual grange that they came up with the rest of the party, and George Douglas spurred forward to meet them, and hold out his eager arms as Jean sprang from the waggon. Wisdom as well as love held that it would be better that Jean should enter Brittany as a wife, so that the Duke might not be bribed or intimidated into yielding her to Louis. It was in the little village church, very early the next morning, that George Douglas received the reward of his long patience in the hand of Joanna Stewart, a wiser, less petulant, and more womanly being than the vain and capricious lassie whom he had followed from Scotland two years previously.


Two Penniless Princesses - 42/42

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