N Scotland, in the time of King Robert Bruce, there lived
a brave man whose name was
In the war with the English, who were trying to drive Bruce
from Scotland, the Black Douglas did many brave deeds;
and the English people became very much afraid of him. By
and by the fear of him spread all through the land.
Nothing could frighten an English lad more than to tell him
that the Black Douglas was not far away. Women
would tell their
There was a large
"Pooh, pooh!" said the watchman. "Those are nothing
to frighten us. They are the farmer's
But the dark objects were not cattle. They were the Black Douglas and his men, creeping on hands and feet toward the foot of the castle wall. Some of them were dragging ladders behind them through the grass. They would soon be climbing to the top of the wall. None of the English soldiers dreamed that they were within many miles of the place.
The woman watched them until the last one had passed around
a corner out of sight. She was not afraid,
for in the
"Hush ye, hush ye, little pet ye,
Hush ye, hush ye, do not fret ye,
The Black Douglas shall not get ye."
All at once a gruff voice was heard behind her, saying, "Don't be so sure about that!"
"Don't be so sure about that!"
She looked around, and there stood the Black Douglas
himself. At the same moment a Scottish soldier climbed
off a ladder and leaped upon the wall;
and then there came another and another and another, until
the wall was covered with them. Soon there was hot fighting
in every part of the castle. But the English were so taken
by surprise that they could not do much. Many of them were
killed, and in a little while the Black Douglas
and his men were the masters of the castle, which by right
As for the woman and her child, the Black Douglas would not suffer any one to harm them. After a while they went back to England; and whether the mother made up any more songs about the Black Douglas I cannot tell.