Page:True stories of girl heroines.djvu/153

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Elizabeth Stuart 127

hide, and how many more strange places were still left for him to find.

Harry ran gaily into the cottage, when somebody had forced open the locked door for him, at a sign from the Earl, whose face had suddenly clouded over. But ransack as they might, not a trace of the fugitive could be found.

With a stifled exclamation of dismay the Earl dashed down to the water-gate, which he found open. Then the truth flashed across him, and he bit his lips in perplexed confusion.

" Conduct the Princess and the Duke to the house," he said, " we must make further inquiries into this matter ! "

Then Elizabeth knew at least that James had escaped from the Palace, though she could not know for many days whether he would succeed in making good his escape to Holland.

She sought the privacy of her own rooms, and, falling upon her knees, gave thanks to God for His great goodness in watching over them thus far.

Every day she expected to hear that some severe punishment was to be inflicted upon her perhaps even death itself, so little did she understand the laws of the land for the part she had taken in her brother's escape. But strange to say her own complicity in the plot was never suspected at that time. Her very calmness ^and courage, which enabled her first

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