One portion of the gallery was set aside for the portraits of the family. Grim old warriors and fair ladies hung side by side; faces of marvelous beauty, bearing the signs of noble descent, shone out clearly from their gilded frames.
"Look, Ronald," Lord Earle said, laying one hand upon his shoulder, "you stand before your ancestors now. Yours is a grand old race. England knows and honors it. Look at these pictured faces of the wives our fathers chose. There is Lady Sybella Earle; when one of Cromwell's soldiers drew his dagger to slay her husband, the truest friend King Charles ever had, she flung herself before him, and received the blow in his stead. She died, and he lived--noble and beautiful, is she not? Now look at the Lacy Alicia--this fair patrician lady smiling by the side of her grim lord; she, at the risk of her life, helped him to fly from prison, where he lay condemned to death for some great political wro