Twenty Years After Chapter 55 Page 24

“That cannot be, sire,” said the earl.

“How, cannot be? What hinders it?” exclaimed the king.

“Your majesty is well aware that there is a truce between us and the English army.”

“And if there is a truce the English army has broken it by quitting the town, contrary to the agreement which kept it there. Now, I tell you, you must pass with me through this army across to Scotland, and if you refuse you may choose betwixt two names, which the contempt of all honest men will brand you with — you are either cowards or traitors!”

The eyes of the Scotch flashed fire; and, as often happens on such occasions, from shame they passed to effrontery and two heads of clans advanced upon the king.