Page:True stories of girl heroines.djvu/84

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True Stories of Girl Heroines

forth unattended; but Grizel would not have it otherwise. She believed that she would accomplish the thing better alone; and by leaving Donald in the place through which the messenger must pass, she felt that she gave herself another chance, should her first scheme miscarry.

The landlady of the little wayside inn at Belford smiled upon the bright-faced youth who reined up at her door and asked for a meal for himself and his horse.

"Step softly, if you will, fair sir," she said, pausing as she opened the door of the one room the inn boasted for the accommodation of travellers, "for the bearer of His Majesty's mail-bags stops here each time he passes, and has a spell of sleep ere he rides on to Berwick. He is sleeping soundly now, and I would not willingly have him disturbed. 'Tis a weary ride from London."

Grizel's heart beat thick and fast as she stepped softly within the room, golden possibilities presenting themselves to her imagination of getting at the bags and destroying certain of its contents, whilst the messenger slept the sleep of exhausted nature close beside her. But alas for her hopes! when she saw the sleeper, stretched snoring upon the alcove bed let into the wall, she noted that he had placed his bags for his pillow, and that each bag was securely sealed. This being so, she could neither possess