"Gone to the church?" asked Grace, trembling.
"Ay, and all the sword-dancers at his back." And she stood there and wrung her hands with dismay.
The ancients had a proverb, "Better is an army of stags with a lion for their leader, than an army of lions with a stag for their leader." The Cairnhope sword-dancers, though stout fellows and strong against a mortal foe, were but stags against the supernatural; yet, led by Guy Raby, they advanced upon the old church with a pretty bold front, only they kept twenty yards in their leader's rear. The order was to march in dead silence.
At the last turn in the road their leader suddenly halted, and, kneeling on one knee, waved to his men to keep quiet: he had seen several dark figures busy about the porch.
After many minutes of thrilling, yet chilling, expectation, he rose and told his men, in a whisper, to follow him again.
The pace was now expedited greatly, and still Mr. Raby, with his double-barreled gun in his hand, maintained a lead of some yards and his men followed as noiselessly as they could, and made for the church: sure enough it was lighted inside.
The young man who was thus beset by two distinct bands of enemies, deserved a very different fate at the hands of his fellow-creatures.
For, at this moment, though any thing but happy himself, he was working some hours every day for the good of mankind; and was every day visiting as a friend the battered saw-grinder who had once put his own life in mortal peril.