Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/229

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1313 A.D.]
181
Campaigns of Edward II.

for the lands of Aymer de Valence, now Earl of Pembroke, were forfeited by King Edward, because his tenants had "traitorously joined Robert de Brus." One night Douglas arrived at a house on the Water of Lyne, intending to rest there till the morrow; but he found it already occupied. Cautiously approaching a window, he listened to the voices within, and, from the nature of certain expressions,[1] judged that there were strangers there. He caused his men to surround the house, and bursting open the door, surprised the inmates before they could get into their harness. There was a confused struggle in the dark, in which Adam de Gordon and some soldiers escaped; but they left behind them two prisoners of great value—no less than Thomas, the son of Randolph of Strathdon, King Robert's nephew, and Sir Alexander of Bonkill, brother of James the Steward and first cousin of Douglas.

The King of Scots, when Thomas was brought bebefore him, said he hoped his nephew would be reconciled now to his rightful monarch. But Thomas (who in deference to popular custom must be referred to henceforward under the name of Randolph) is said to have answered fiercely, taunting his uncle with having challenged the King of England to

  1. "Nerhand the hous, sa listnet he,
    And herd thar sawis ilke dele [every part of what they said],
    And be that persavit wele
    That tha war strange men."—The Brus, lxxiv., 15.

    In the Edinburgh MS. (1489) the second line runs:
    "Herd ane say tharin 'the Dewill.'"