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IMPENETRABLE, SECRET, &c. &c.
In winter's tedious nights, sit by the fire
In God's name, cheerly on, courageous friends,
LORD William de Mowbray and his troops meanwhile pursued their march, under the stillness of the night, without any interruption, save what arose from the nature of their route; the difficulties of this kind which, they had to encounter were indeed not a few. As it was of conVOL. II.
sequence to them to use whatever speed was in their power, they quitted the high road, which would have extended their journey several miles; and though attended by skilful guides, they found it by no means an easy task to wind up the unfrequented passes of the mountains which they were obliged to cross, or to ford the numerous rivulets which obstructed their progress.
However, these were difficulties thought lightly of by men who had been accustomed and inured to fatigue and danger, as niost of Lord William's men had been, both before and since they had been taken into his service; and they made such good use of their strength and spirits, that ere the morning began to break, they found themselves within a short disa' tance of the spot where. Donald's information had given them reason to believe that Allanrod and his advanced body had halted during the night.
The cheeks of the youth Donald glow
ed with anticipated vengeance on the murderer of his father, and the ravisher of his sister's honour; and he could not forbear expressing his joy as they marched on.
The Baron presently commanded a halt, in order that he might have an opportunity for consulting with his chief leader, Irwin, on the measures best to be pur. sued at this crisis, The situation occupied by him and his soldiers at the moment he issued this command, was one most favourable to the purpose of a short repose; it was a romantic glen, enclosed, on all sides, by rough and stupendous mountains, the frowning, craggy tops of most of which appeared to bespeak them impervious. Placing, therefore, guards at the avenues, which were alone believed accessible by De Mowbray and his commanders, the Baron seated himself, with his friend Irwin, and the youth Donald, at the foot of one of them; while his men reclined themselves on various spots ..