d not dare to be insolent."
"But he has a dangerous-looking gang of fellows with him."
"Of the same kind as himself, Ralph. Have no fear of that. If there were real danger, we could soon summon a dozen stout men to deal with him and his party. But, as I said, let him only bring in two or three with him."
Ralph hurried out, and found the captain and his men forming a picturesque group about the stone steps; and as soon as he appeared, the former swung himself round, and threw his cloak over his shoulder, with a swaggering gesture.
"Hallo, my young eagle," he cried. "What saith the parent bird, the gallant lord of the castle?"
"My father will see you, sir," replied Ralph. "This way."
"Aha! I knew he would," cried the man, giving his steel cap a cock over on one side, and displaying a large pink patch of his bald head. "Come on, brave boys."
"Stop!" cried Ralph quickly. "Three of you, only, are to accompany your leader."
"Eh? What?" cried the captain fierce