Twenty Years After Chapter 55 Page 23

matter, gentlemen; answer and exculpate yourselves, for I stand here to accuse you.”

“Sire,” said Lord Leven, with hesitation, “sire, your majesty has been deceived by false reports.”

“My own eyes have seen the enemy extend itself between myself and Scotland; and I can almost say that with my own ears I have heard the clauses of the treaty debated.”

The Scotch chieftains looked at each other in their turn with frowning brows.

“Sire,” murmured Lord Leven, crushed by shame, “sire, we are ready to give you every proof of our fidelity.”

“I ask but one,” said the king; “put the army in battle array and face the enemy.”