again led them on. Again they were routed, and Rupert drew off across the river without further contest. It was indeed only the courage of Hampden that had fired his little troop to face the Cavaliers; and he could fire them no more. In the last charge a shot struck him in the shoulder and disabled his sword-arm. His head bending down, his hands resting on his horse's neck, he rode off the field before the action was done, "a thing he never used to do." The story of the country-side told how the wounded man rode first towards Pyrton. It was the village where he had wedded the wife he loved so well, and beyond it among the beech-trees of the Chilterns lay his own house of Hampden. But it was not there that he was to die. A party of Royalists drove him back from Pyrton, and turning northwards he paused for a moment at a little brook that crossed his path, then gathering strength leaped it, and rode almost fainting to Thame. At first the surgeons gave hopes of his recovery, but hope was soon over. For six days h
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