Maud looked down at the eager upturned face, feeling somewhat puzzled, but she thought Harry might have heard something that seemed to him very cruelâ€”something that the great Prince had been obliged to do to save the King, perhaps, which yet had roused Harry's anger, feeling so keenly as he did for everybody's distress. At all events, Harry was right, and Prince Rupert was right too, she had no doubt, if things could only be explained; and in this way she contrived to silence Bessie, if she did not convince her; and the little girl went to tell Bertie that Maud did not think his soldier-hero a bad man after all; while Maud pursued her walk through the fields, indulging in very happy thoughts, in spite of the danger she was anticipating for Harry when he should join the King's army.
She then set out on her walk back to Dame Coppins' cottage, determined to stay there all night, and protect the old woman by her presence. She was likewise anxious to tell her of this fresh danger threatening Harry, for she was the only one to whom she could speak about it, and she knew the old woman would sympathise with her in her sorrow.
Mary was surprised, but pleased; not that she loved the young soldier, she had not thought of such a thing. But he was handsome, and could be a pleasant companion; and then she had felt herself so disgraced since Harry had gone away, that she would gladly exchange the name of Drury for Stanhope. She did not tell her lover this, she only said something about thinking he liked Maud best, on which he muttered that Maud was too proud and cold for him, when she shyly said he must speak to her father, when, if he gave his consent, she was willing to ratify it.
Maud opened her eyes. Was the old woman a witch after all? Bertram's next words quite confirmed her in this wild notion. "Maud," he said in a whisper, "do you know that Harry was one of the prisoners."
"Maud," he said, drawing his chair close to hers as soon as they were left alone, "you heard that the King's cabinet had been captured at the battle of Naseby?"