Friday, August 30, 2013

Mary Anne Talbot A Woman In Disguise

Mary Anne Talbot, the youngest of sixteen illegitimate children, whom her mother bore to one of the heads of the noble house of Talbot was betrayed into a life of servitude and disguise. Mary was born on February 2nd, 1778, and educated under the eye of a married sister, at whose death she was committed to the care of a gentleman named Sucker, "who treated her with great severity, and who appears to have taken advantage of her friendless situation in order to transfer her, for the vilest of purposes, to the hands of a Captain Bowen, whom he directed her to look upon as her future guardian." Although barely fourteen years old, Captain Bowen made her his mistress; and, on being ordered to join his regiment at St. Domingo, he compelled the girl to go with him in the disguise of a footboy and under the name of John Taylor. But Captain Bowen had scarcely reached St. Domingo when he was remanded with his regiment to Europe to join the Duke of York's Flanders Expedition. And this time she was made to enrol herself as a drummer in the corps.

She was in several skirmishes, being wounded once by a ball which struck one of her ribs, and another time by a sabre stroke on the side. At Valenciennes, however, Captain Bowen was killed; and, finding among his effects several letters relating to herself, which proved that she had been cruelly defrauded of money left to her, she resolved to leave the regiment, and to return, if possible, to England. Accordingly she set out attired as a sailor boy, and eventually hired herself to the Commander of a French lugger, which turned out to be a privateer. But when the vessel fell in with some of Lord Howe's vessels in the Channel, she refused to fight against her countrymen, "notwithstanding all the blows and menaces the French captain could use." The privateer was taken, and our heroine was carried before Lord Howe, to whom she told candidly all that had happened to her—keeping her sex a secret.

Mary Anne Talbot, or John Taylor, was next placed on board the Brunswick, where she witnessed Lord Howe's great victory of the 1st June, and was actively engaged in it. But she was seriously wounded, "her left leg being struck a little above the knee by a musket-ball, and broken, and severely smashed lower down by a grape shot." On reaching England she was conveyed to Haslar Hospital, where she remained four months, no suspicion having ever been entertained of her being a woman. But she was no sooner out of the hospital than, retaining her disguise, she entered a small man-of-war—the Vesuvius, which was captured by two French ships, when she was sent to the prisons of Dunkirk. Here she was incarcerated for eighteen months, but, having been discovered planning an escape with a young midshipman, she was confined in a pitch-dark dungeon for eleven weeks, on a diet of bread and water. An exchange of prisoners set her at liberty, and, hearing accidentally an American merchant captain inquiring in the streets of Dunkirk for a lad to go to New York as ship's steward she offered her services, and was accepted. Accordingly, in August, 1796, she sailed with Captain Field, and, on arriving at Rhode Island, she resided with the Captain's family.

But here another kind of adventure was to befall her—for a niece of Captain Field's fell deeply in love with her, even going so far as to propose marriage. On leaving Rhode Island, the young lady had such alarming fits that, after sailing two miles, Mary Anne Talbot was called back by a boat, and compelled to promise a speedy return to the enamoured young lady. On reaching England, she was one day on shore with some of her comrades when she was seized by a press-gang, and finding there was no other way of getting off than by revealing her sex, she did so, her story creating a great sensation. From this time she never went to sea again, and soon afterwards lived in service with a bookseller, Mr. Kirby, who wrote her memoir.

Notes and Queries, 6th Series, X., passim, for "Women on board ships in action"; and "Chambers's Pocket Miscellany," "Disguised Females, 1853."

 Compiled From Sources In The Public Domain.

Ladies who  are abducted and prevail...and those who do not, figure prominently in the plot of Shadows In A Timeless Myth.

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Smiles & Good Fortune,
It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one’s dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank and independent. W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) Of Human Bondage, 1915

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


A Frankish noble named Sigismer, who lived a.d. 600, was to marry a Visigoth princess. A Roman soldier saw their wedding, and gave the following description of it in a letter to a friend:

"As you are so fond of beholding war and armor, it would have been a great pleasure for you if you had seen the royal youth Sigismer dressed as a bridegroom, according to the custom of his people, walking to his father-in-law's house. His horse was decorated with brilliant housings, and other horses went before and behind him all glittering with precious stones. The bridegroom, however, did not ride, for it was considered more becoming that he should go on foot among his comrades, dressed in bright purple, with ornaments of red gold and white silk, while his hair, complexion, and skin were in keeping with these ornaments. But the appearance of his comrades was formidable even in peace: their feet up to the ankles were encased in rough boots, above which their shins, knees, and thighs were bare. Besides these, they wore a short tight-fitting tunic of many colors, which did not reach down to the knees. The sleeves reached only to the elbows, the bright green tunic contrasting sharply with the ruddy limbs. Their swords were suspended by straps from their shoulders, and stuck close to their fur-clad hips. The same dress which serves them for ornament serves also for defense. In the right hand they carried barbed lances and battle-axes, which can also be used as missiles; and in the left a shield, with a snow-white rim and yellow boss. This shield is evidence of the wealth of its owner, as well as of the skill of its maker. Altogether everything was so arranged that the whole seemed to be not merely a bridal procession, but a military one also."

 Compiled From Sources In The Public Domain.

Smiles & Good Fortune,
 It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one’s dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank and independent. W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) Of Human Bondage, 1915

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Interview with Angela Ford author of the Romantic Suspense novel Closure

Today MyLadyWeb is pleased to present an interview with Angela Ford, author of the new Romantic Suspense novel Closure.:

Well to begin, I live in Mississauga (Canada) and originally from Nova Scotia. I'm a Mom to two amazing kids. I have two full-time jobs besides being Mom and Author. I work for Public Education as an Accounts Payable Clerk and I manage the building I live in. I am also a member of the RWA, an avid romance reader and the Author of the new Romantic Suspense "Closure".

Q. Tell us about Closure
A. Closure is a romantic suspense about an FBI task force that tracks online predators who prey on children. With three murdered teenagers, Agent Jessica Resario confronts the serial killer only to put her own life at risk. She escapes to her family beach home for the first time since her parents were murdered there and discovers a horrific secret of the past. Ghosts, secrets, danger and an attraction to her boss send her on an emotional rollercoaster, while trying to catch a killer.

Q. What was it about Romantic Suspense that captured your fancy?
A. I love to read romance in all genres but its the thrill and twists of a mystery that captures my interest. I love trying to figure out "who-dunnit?" while sitting on the edge of my to say.

Q. Do you have an all-time favorite Romantic Suspense novel, and what elements make it your favorite?
A. Allison Brennan's "Love Me to Death" (introducing the Lucy Kincaid series). Allison is the master of suspense and can definitely deliver a terrifying and nail-biting thriller. Her storyline is always cleverly-delivered with definite conflict and believable characters you fall in love with. A definite page-turner.

Q. How do you research your novels?
A. Through books, the web and experts in the field.

Q. Tell us about your favorite novel that you have written, and why it's your favorite?
A. Closure is my first's my favorite. With many dedicated years of volunteering within schools, I was involved with cyber safety seminars with our local police. So, I crafted what I learned into a suspense and of course with a dash of romance.

On Writing:

Q. Is there anything you absolutely must have in order to write?
A. Solitude :) A peaceful place so I can escape into another world.

Q. What is the most difficult part of writing for you?
A. Writing the query letter....

Q. What's a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write?
A. It's a long day...My day begins at 5am to clean the building I live in and manage. By 7am I have my morning coffee in hand and ready to check my social network sites or get a little writing in. By 9am I'm at the SchoolBoard in the Accounting department until 430pm. Back to the building to make dinner for the kids and catch up on their days, and deal with any tenant or building issues. Hopefully by 8pm I'm in the 'bat-cave' I call room of write. Somewhere around 11pm I catch an episode of Criminal Minds and crash into a well-deserved sleep!

Q. Tell us a little bit about your life online and the sites you maintain.
A. Posts..Tweets..Pins...Votes...Notifies...Replies...My daily maintenance consists of Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, The Romance Reviews and my website emails.

Just For Fun:

Q. What is your favorite quote?
A. "While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about."

Q. Where is your favorite place to read?
A. The Beach. :)

Q. What is your favorite non-romantic suspense book and author, and why?
A. Danielle Steele. I started reading her books when I was a teenager. They are my treasured collection. I love the way she draws me into the world of her characters and the storyline.

Q. If you were a supernatural or mythological entity, what, or who, would you be, and why?
A. I would chose mythological and pick 'fairy'...more so, a fairy-godmother. A fairy-godmother has magical powers and acts as a parent or mentor to help and support. I'm a mom and a romance author of happily-ever-afters.

Q. If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you desperately want with you, and why?
A. kids...because I couldn't live without any of them!

So to wrap up:

Special Agent Jessica Resario is compelled to save the next victim and puts her life into the hands of a serial killer. Her supervisor, Tom Erickson, sends her away to escape the danger. Jess returns to her family beach home for the first time since her parents were murdered there. The stakes are raised when she discovers postcards marked "I Crave You". Old ghosts, secrets, imminent threats and an inevitable attraction to Tom send her on an emotional rollercoaster.

Books To Go Now


Angela Ford
Angela's Facebook
Angela's Twitter
Angela on Goodreads
Angela on The Romance Reviews

To Enter To Win A Copy of Closure visit Angela's Facebook Page Here:

Smiles & Good Fortune,
 It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one’s dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank and independent. W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) Of Human Bondage, 1915

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Fair Janet The Young Tamlane and the Fairy Queen

The Fair Janet The Young Tamlane and the Fairy Queen
"He's ta'en her by the milk-white hand,
Among the leaves so green."
This tale belongs to the romantic side of the Border minstrelsy, and illustrates some of the common superstitions of olden times concerning elves and fairies. The scene is laid in the Selkirk or Ettrick Forest, a mountainous tract covered with the remains of the old Caledonian Forest. About a mile above Selkirk is a plain called Carterhaugh, and here may still be seen those fairy rings of which it was believed that anyone sleeping upon one will wake in a fairy city. And here was, and perhaps still is, an ancient well. The ballad opens by telling how all young maids were forbidden to come or go by way of Carterhaugh, "for young Tamlane (or Thomalin) is there," and every one going by Carterhaugh is obliged to leave him something in pledge. But the Lady Janet, the fairest of the Selkirk lasses, was obstinate, and declared that she would come or go to Carterhaugh, as she pleased, "and ask no leave of him," since the land there belonged to her by hereditary right. She kilted her green mantle above her knee, and braided her yellow hair above her brow, and off she went to Carterhaugh. When she got to the well, she found the steed of the elfin knight Tamlane standing there, but he himself was away.
"She hadna pu'd a red, red rose,
A rose but barely three;
Till up and starts a wee, wee man
At Lady Janet's knee.
Says—'Why pu' ye the rose, Janet?
What gars (makes) ye break the tree?
Or why come ye to Carterhaugh,
Withouten leave of me?'
Says—'Carterhaugh it is mine ain;
My daddy gave it me:
I'll come and gang to Carterhaugh,
And ask nae leave o' thee.'"
But Tamlane took her by the hand and worked upon her his spells, which no maiden might resist, however proud she might be.
When she came back to her father's hall, she looked pale and wan; and it seemed that she had some sore sickness. She ceased to take any pleasure in combing her yellow hair, and everything she ate seemed like to be her death. When her ladies played at ball, she, once the strongest player, was now the faintest. One day her father spoke out, and said he, "Full well I know that you must have some lover." She said:—
"'If my love were an earthly knight,
As he's an elfin grey,
I wouldna give my own true love
For no lord that ye hae.'"
Then she prinked herself, and preened herself, all by the light of the moon alone, and went away to Carterhaugh, to speak with Tamlane. When she got to the well, she found the steed standing, but Tamlane was away. She had barely pulled a double rose, when up started the elf.
"Why pull ye the rose, Janet?" says he; "why pull ye the rose within this garden green?" "The truth ye'll tell me, Tamlane; were ye ever in holy chapel, or received into the Christian Church?" "The truth I'll tell thee, Janet; a knight was my father, and a lady was my mother, like your own parents. Randolph, Earl Moray, was my sire; Dunbar, Earl March, is thine. We loved when we were children, which yet you may remember. When I was a boy just turned nine, my uncle sent for me to hunt, and hawk, and ride with him, and keep him company. There came a wind out of the north, a deep sleep came over me, and I fell from my horse. The queen of the fairies took me off to yon green hill, and now I'm a fairy, lithe and limber. In Fairyland we know neither sickness nor pain. We quit our body, or repair unto them, when we please. We can inhabit, earth, or air, as we will. Our shapes and size we can convert to either large or small. We sleep in rose-buds, revel in the stream, wanton lightly on the wind, or glide on a sunbeam. I would never tire, Janet, to dwell in Elfland, were it not that every seven years a tithe is paid to hell, and I am so fair of flesh, I fear 'twill be myself. If you dare to win your true love, you have no time to lose. To-night is Hallowe'en, and the fairy folk ride. If you would win your true love, bide at Miles Cross." Miles Cross is about half a mile from Carterhaugh, and Janet asked how she should know Tamlane among so many unearthly knights. "The first company that passes by, let them go. The next company that passes by, let them go. The third company that passes by, I'll be one of those. First let pass the black steed, Janet, then let pass the brown; but grip the milk-white steed, and pull down the rider—
"For I ride on the milk-white steed,
And aye nearest the town;
Because I was a christened knight,
They gave me that renown."
Tamlane went on to explain that his fairy comrades would make every effort to disgust her with her captive. They would turn him in her very arms into an adder; they would change him into a burning faggot, into a red-hot iron goad, but she must hold him fast. In order to remove the enchantment, she must dip him in a churn of milk, and then in a barrel of water. She must still persevere, for they would shape him in her arms into a badger, eel, dove, swan, and, last of all, into a naked man, but
"Cast your green mantle over me,
I'll be myself again."
So fair Janet in her green mantle went that gloomy night to Miles Cross. The heavens were black, the place was inexpressibly dreary, a north wind raged; but there she stood, eagerly wishing to embrace her lover. Between the hours of twelve and one she heard strange eldrich sounds and the ringing of elfin bridles, which gladdened her heart. The oaten pipes of the faires grew shrill, the hemlock blew clear. The fairies cannot bear solemn sounds or sober thoughts; they sing like skylarks, inspired by love and joy. Fair Janet stood upon the dreary heath, and the sounds waxed louder as the fairy train came riding on. Will o' the Wisp shone out as a twinkling light before them, and soon she saw the fairy bands passing. She let the black steed go by, and then the brown. But she gripped fast the milk-white steed, and pulled down the rider. Then up rose an eldrich cry, "He's won among us all!" As Janet grasped him in her arms the fairies changed him into a newt, an adder, and many other fantastic and terrifying shapes. She held him fast in every shape. They turned him at last into a naked man in her arms, but she wrapped him in her green mantle. At last her stedfast courage was rewarded, she redeemed the fairies' captive, and by so doing won his true love! Then up spoke the Queen of Fairies, "She that has borrowed young Tamlane has got a stately groom! She's taken the bonniest knight in all my company! But had I known, Tamlane," said the fairy queen, "had I known that a lady would borrow thee, I would have taken out thy two grey eyes, and put in wooden eyes. I would have taken out thy heart of flesh, Tamlane, and put in a heart of stone. I would have paid my tithe seven times to hell ere I would have let her win you away."

 Compiled From Sources In The Public Domain.

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Smiles & Good Fortune,
It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one’s dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank and independent. W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) Of Human Bondage, 1915

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Vampire Prevention Under Historic Russian Law

Only in the Russian penal code, especially in the sections Ulosheniye and Ustav on felonies and frauds, as cited by Löwenstimm, do we find a distinct recognition and designation of various forms of superstition as incentives to crime. Thus, in paragraph 1469 of the first of these sections, the murder of "monstrous births or misshapen sucklings" as changelings is expressly mentioned, and the penalty prescribed; and in other clauses of the code punishments are imposed for the desecration of graves and mutilation of corpses, in order to procure talismans or to prevent the dead from revisiting the earth as vampires, and for various offenses emanating from the belief in sorcery and diabolical possession.

The practice of opening graves and mutilating dead bodies is quite common, and arises in general from the notion that persons who die impenitent and without extreme unction, including suicides and victims to delirium tremens, apoplexy, and other forms of sudden death, as well as schismatics, sorcerers, and witches, come forth from their graves and wander about as vampires, sucking the blood of individuals during sleep and inflicting misery upon entire communities by producing drought, famine, and pestilence. The means employed to prevent this dangerous metamorphosis, or at least to compel the vampire to remain in the grave, differ in different countries.

In Russia the deceased is buried with his face downward, and an ashen stake driven through his back, while in Poland and East Prussia the corpse is wrapped up in a fish net and covered with poppies, owing, doubtless, to the soporific qualities of this plant. Preventive measures of this kind are often taken with the consent and co-operation of the clergy and local authorities. Thus, in 1849, at Mariensee, near Dantzig, in West Prussia, a peasant's wife came to the Catholic priest of the parish and complained that an old woman named Welm, recently deceased, appeared in her house and beat and otherwise tormented her child. The priest seems to have accepted the truth of her statement, since he ordered the corpse to be disinterred, decapitated, reburied at a cross-road, and covered with poppies.

 In 1851, during the prevalence of cholera in Ukraine, in the governmental province of Kiev, the peasants of Possady attributed the epidemic to a deceased sacristan and his wife, who were supposed to roam about at night as vampires and kill people by sucking their blood. In order to stay the ravages of the scourge the corpses of this couple were exhumed, their heads cut off and burned, and ashen stakes driven through their backs into the ground. In 1892 a peasant woman in the Russian province of Kovno hanged herself in a wood near the village of Somenishki. The priest refused her Christian burial because she had committed suicide, and was therefore given over to the devil. In order that she might rest quietly in her grave and not be changed into a vampire, her sons severed her head from her body and laid it at her feet. In thus refusing to perform religious funeral rites the priest obeyed the canons of the church and also the laws of the Russian Empire.

Until the twentieth century a corner of unconsecrated ground next to the wall of the Russian cemetery was reserved as a sort of carrion pit for the corpses of self-murderers, and it is expressly prescribed in the Svod Sakonov that they "shall be dragged to such place of infamy by the knacker, and there covered with earth." This treatment of a felo-de-se by the ecclesiastical and civil authorities directly fosters popular superstition by tending to confirm the notion that there is something uncanny, eldritch, demoniacal, and preternaturally malignant inherent in his mortal remains, a notion still further strengthened by a most unjust paragraph (1472) in the Russian code, which declares the last will and testament of a suicide to have no legal validity.

Drought, too, as well as pestilence, is ascribed to the evil agency of vampires, which "milk the clouds," and hinder the falling of the dew. In 1887 the South Russian province of Cherson began to suffer from drought soon after a peasant had hanged himself in the village of Ivanovka, the inhabitants of which, assuming a causative connection between the aridity and the self-homicide, poured water on the grave while uttering the following words: "I sprinkle, I pour; may God send a shower, bring on a little rainfall, and relieve us from misery!" As this invocation failed to produce the desired effect, the body was taken up and inhumed again in a gorge outside of the village. In some districts the corpse is disinterred, beaten on the head, and drenched with water poured through a sieve; in others it is burned.

General Code, vol. xiii, edition of 1892, cited by Löwenstimm.

 Compiled From Sources In The Public Domain.

The main character in Shadows In A Timeless Myth is based on my unique interpretation of where the legends of Vampire arose.

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Smiles & Good Fortune,
It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one’s dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank and independent. W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) Of Human Bondage, 1915

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Black Agnes Heroine Countess of Dunbar

Black Agnes of Dunbar
The fortress of Dunbar was always a very important one to the Scots. It commanded the coast road from England across the Border to Edinburgh, not only one of the best routes in itself, but one which had the additional advantage to the English that by following it they could keep in touch with their ships. So it is not surprising that many stirring events in history took place at this historic town.

King Edward I. of England won a very important victory at Dunbar during his first invasion of Scotland, and to the place which had witnessed the triumph of the father, his son, Edward II., fled for safety after his defeat at Bannockburn, taking ship thence back to England. In the time of Mary Queen of Scots the fortress was held by Earl Bothwell; from here he consented to the surrender of poor Mary, and here he rested in safety before his final flight to Scandinavia. Oliver Cromwell fought and won at Dunbar his desperate battle with the Scottish Presbyterians, the fate of which for some time hung in the balance. Cromwell considered the place so valuable that he had new harbour works made there, and a portion of his work, forming part of the east pier of the present much larger harbour, is still to be seen.

The last time that Dunbar resounded to the march of an army bent on immediate fight was in 1745, when the boastful English general, Sir John Cope, landed here to engage the Highland followers of Prince Charles Edward (called the "Young Pretender"). Prince Charlie was at Edinburgh, and Dunbar Castle commanded the road into England. Cope asserted that the Highlanders would run away at the mere sight of his army. He marched westward, but was surprised in the early morning by his enemies when near Prestonpans. In less than ten minutes it was the unprepared English who were flying in disorder, utterly routed.

The foregoing is but a brief outline of the stormy history of those grey and ruined battlements overlooking the bleak North Sea at the southernmost point of entrance to the noble Firth of Forth. The mention of these stirring incidents, however, will serve to show what a very important place Dunbar was, and that it was necessary to Scottish safety that a strong hand should have charge of its fortress. We are now to see how at one of the most critical hours a woman was to hold command, and to hold it worthily.

Early in the reign of King Edward III. of England Scottish affairs were in some confusion. King Robert Bruce had lately died, leaving a son, King David II., then only five years old. That great leader and friend of Bruce, Randolph, Earl of Moray, was appointed Guardian of Scotland, but he too soon died. Edward III., anxious to interfere in Scottish affairs, agreed to help Edward Balliol to make himself king of the Scots. So an English army was again in Scotland, and one of the places they were keenest to take was the fortress of Dunbar.

The castle was a very strong one. It was built on a chain of great rocks that stretched out to sea, and could only be reached from land by one road, which was, of course, strictly guarded. The lord of the castle was the Earl of March (the word March in those days meant a border-land), but he was away with the Scottish army, and his wife was in charge of the castle. She was the daughter of that brave Earl of Moray, Guardian of Scotland, who has just been mentioned. The English army was led by an experienced general, the Earl of Salisbury, and he probably thought that he would not have much trouble in overcoming "Black Agnes," as the dark-haired countess was called.

He soon discovered that she was of heroic mould, however, for though he himself led the storming-parties, she on her side, urging on her men in person, hurled back his every attack. The Lady Agnes was quite fearless, and treated the siege as if it were a pastime to be enjoyed. When the English, with machines made for the purpose, hurled heavy stones against the walls, Black Agnes would call one of her maidens with a napkin to wipe off the dust that they made! The biggest of all the English war-machines was called a sow, and when it was brought to the walls the countess cried out in rough jest that it was surrounded by little pigs. At the same moment a mass of rock, which she had caused to be loosened, was hurled by her men on to the English, crushing their sow and many soldiers with it.

At last there seemed a chance for the English. Near midnight a Scot came into their camp, saying that he was ready to betray the castle for a reward. The Earl of Salisbury and some chosen knights rode carefully forward, and found the gate open and the portcullis raised, as the man had promised. But for all that, they doubted if Black Agnes could so far relax her vigilance; wherefore instead of the earl entering first, he sent forward a retainer. His caution was soon justified, for no sooner had this man passed the gate than the portcullis fell. It was a trick to capture the earl, but the Scots were disappointed this time.

The gallant English lord was loud in admiration of the brave Scottish lady who was thus defying him. Once when examining the defences with a lieutenant, an arrow struck his companion dead. "The countess's love-arrows pierce to the heart," said Salisbury, on his return to the camp. Despite the courtly manner in which the well-bred baron referred to the lady, however, he did not relax his efforts to overcome her.

Salisbury's land forces had now surrounded the castle on the land side, while his ships at sea completed the blockade. The garrison was threatened with starvation. Greater and greater became the privations of the heroic defenders. The countess, no less brave than ever, hoped on, though ground for hope grew less and less. She could not bring herself to think of defeat, and her brave, bright face still gave courage and inspiration to all.

Meantime the story of the struggle and difficulties of the defenders was raising up helpers, and Sir Alexander Ramsay of Dalhousie got ready a light vessel filled with provisions and manned by forty brave Scots, who only waited for a dark night to make the attempt to steal past the English fleet. They lay hidden by the Bass Rock, a lofty islet at the mouth of the Firth of Forth, some seven or eight miles from Dunbar, until one starless night they stole very cautiously down the wild coast-line of Haddingtonshire, sometimes all but bumping into an English vessel in the dark. Fortune favours the brave, and despite dangers and difficulties they got safely at last to the castle, whose distant light had been their guide. Be sure Black Agnes welcomed them! This proved to be the turning-point of the long siege. With fresh hope, the garrison made a sudden sally on the English, driving back their advance guard, and after five months of fierce but fruitless attempts, Salisbury was compelled to withdraw his forces and admit defeat. Nevertheless, the English were gallant enough to sing their praises of this Scottish heroine; their minstrels made songs in her honour, in one of which Salisbury is made to say:—
"Came I early, came I late,
I found Black Agnes at the gate."
 Compiled From Sources In The Public Domain.

Please take a moment to "Like" Shadows In A Timeless Myth on Amazon.
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Smiles & Good Fortune,
It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one’s dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank and independent. W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) Of Human Bondage, 1915