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The Lady Ursula






Category: TALES OF PURITAN LAND

Source: Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land

In 1690 a stately house stood in Kittery, Maine, a strongly guarded place
with moat and drawbridge (which was raised at night) and a moated grange
adjacent where were cattle, sheep, and horses. Here, in lonely dignity,
lived Lady Ursula, daughter of the lord of Grondale Abbey, across the
water, whose distant grandeurs were in some sort reflected in this manor
of the wilderness. Silver, mahogany, paintings, tapestries, waxed floors,
and carven chests of linen represented wealth; prayers were said by a
chaplain every morning and evening in the chapel, and, though the main
hall would accommodate five hundred people, the lady usually sat at meat
there with her thirty servants, her part of the table being raised two
feet above theirs.

It was her happiness to believe that Captain Fowler, now absent in
conflict with the French, would return and wed her according to his
promise, but one day came a tattered messenger with bitter news of the
captain's death. She made no talk of her grief, and, while her face was
pale and step no longer light, she continued in the work that custom
exacted from women of that time: help for the sick, alms for the poor,
teaching for the ignorant, religion for the savage. Great was her joy,
then, when a ship came from England bringing a letter from Captain Fowler
himself, refuting the rumor of defeat and telling of his coming. Now the
hall took on new life, reflecting the pleasure of its mistress; color
came back to her cheek and sparkle to her eye, and she could only control
her impatience by more active work and more aggressive charities. The day
was near at hand for the arrival of her lover, when Ursula and her
servants were set upon by Indians, while away from the protection of the
manor, and slain. They were buried where they fell, and Captain Fowler

found none to whom his love or sorrow could be told.





Next: Father Moody's Black Veil

Previous: Mogg Megone



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