The children of aristocratic Colonel Beverley, a Cavalier officer killed at the Battle of Naseby, are believed to have died in the flames when their house is burned by Roundhead soldiers. However, they escape and are raised by Joseph Armitage, a gamekeeper in his cottage in the New Forest. The story describes the children's adaptation to the life of simple cottagers.
nt to his cottage to deposit his gun, saddled his forest pony, and set off for Arnwood. In less than two hours the old man was at the door of the mansion; it was then about three o'clock in the afternoon, and being in the month of November, there was not so much as two hours of daylight remaining. "I shall have a difficult job with the stiff old lady," thought Jacob, as be rung the bell; "I don't believe that she would rise out of her high chair for old Noll and his whole army at his back. But we shall see."
Before Jacob is admitted to the presence of Miss Judith Villiers, we must give some account of the establishment at Arnwood. With the exception of one male servant, who officiated in the house and stable as his services might be required, every man of the household of Colonel Beverley had followed the fortunes of their master, and as none had returned, they, in all probability had shared his fate. Three female servants, with the man above mentioned, co
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