A story of the days of Queen Elizabeth. Young Denis Cleeve, who tells the story, goes up to London in answer to an appeal from a rascally uncle who has sent word to the brother he had once wronged that he is imprisoned in the tower. Denis goes, bearing the bulk of his father's wealth, but learns too late that the appeal is only a ruse. He finds himself in the power of a band of clever rogues, and unaided, save by the girl, Idonia, makes his way to liberty, foils their plots, and unmasks his uncle's villainy. The author succeeds in reproducing the atmosphere of those spacious days without invoking the magic of the great names of the period.
'He is not within,' he said, in a low voice, and neither of us spoke nor even moved forward to search the room thoroughly. It was very manifest to us that the shadow under which we had been moving for many days was now to lift; and the certainty that it would lift upon black terror held us in a sort of trance.
"I am not of a ready wit at most times, Mr. Denis, but somehow without the use of wit, and almost upon instinct I said: 'Go you again to your own chamber, master, and if all be well there, be pleased to meet me below in the great hall,' and with that, hastening away, I left him.
"I ran at once to the stair, which has a window overlooking the base court; and as I ran methought the sound I had heard before of horses whinnying, was strangely clear and loud, they being safe in stable long since and the door shut. The candle which I still bore just then a gust of wind extinguished, so that I could scarce find my way to the window, so black was all, and I so distraught. But once there, I needed