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her, he strove to draw her to him.
"Peter! Help me, Peter!" cried Margaret as she struggled fiercely in his
"No, no, if you want a saint, my bonny lass," said the drunken
Scotchman, "Andrew is as good as Peter," at which witticism those of the
others who understood him laughed, for the man's name was Andrew.
Next instant they laughed again, and to the ruffian Andrew it seemed as
though suddenly he had fallen into the power of a whirlwind. At least
Margaret was wrenched away from him, while he spun round and round to
fall violently upon his face.
"That's Peter!" exclaimed one of the soldiers in Spanish.
"Yes," answered another, "and a patron saint worth having"; while a
third pulled the recumbent Andrew to his feet.
The man looked like a devil. His cap had gone, and his fiery red hair
was smeared with mud. Moreover, his nose had been broken on a cobble
stone, and blood from it poured all over him, while his little red eyes
glared like a ferret's, and his face turned a dirty white with pain and
rage. Howling out something in Scotch, of a sudden he drew his sword and
rushed straight at his adversary, purposing to kill him.
Now, Peter had no sword, but only his short knife, which he found no
time to draw. In his hand, however, he carried a stout holly staff shod
with iron, and, while Margaret clasped her hands and Betty screamed, on
this he caught the descending blow, and, furious as it was, parried and
turned it. Then, before the man could strike again, that staff was up,
and Peter had leapt upon him. It fell with fearful force, breaking the
Scotchman's shoulder and sending him reeling back.
"Shrewdly struck, Peter! Well done, Peter!" shouted the spectators.
But Peter neither saw nor heard them, for he was mad with rage at the
insult that had been offered to Margaret. Up flew the iron-tipped staff
again, and down it came, this time full on Andrew's head, which it
shattered like an egg-shell, so that the brute fell backwards, dead.
For a moment there was silence, for the joke had taken a tragic turn.
Then one of the Spaniards said, glancing at the prostrate form:
"Name of God! our mate is done for. That merchant hits hard."
Instantly there arose a murmur among the dead man's comrades, and one of
"Cut him down!"
Understanding that he was to be set on, Peter sprang forward and
snatched the Scotchman's sword from the ground where it had fallen, at
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