It was Mary! She had returned. The thongs no longer hurt me. The pangs of hunger and thirst disappeared. I realized that it had been loneliness from which I suffered most.
"Mary!" I exclaimed. "You are a good girl. You have come back, after all. I had commenced to think that you would not. Did you give my message to the queen? Will she come? Where is she?"
The child's sobs increased, and she flung herself upon the dirt floor of the hut, apparently overcome by grief. 12 strap on
"What is it?" I asked. "Why do you cry?"
"The queen, my mother, will not come to you," she said, between sobs. "She is dead. Buckingham has killed her. Now he will take Victory, for Victory is queen. He kept us fastened up in our shelter, for fear that Victory would escape him, but I dug a hole beneath the back wall and got out. I came to you, because you saved Victory once before, and I thought that you might save her again, and me, also. Tell me that you will."
"I am bound and helpless, Mary," I replied. "Otherwise I would do what I could to save you and your sister."
"I will set you free!" cried the girl, creeping up to my side. "I will set you free, and then you may come and slay Buckingham."
"Gladly!" I assented.