A ROYAL GUEST
HIS was a busy day at Scrooby Inn. Before the sun had set,
the great house with its
fifty rooms had been made ready to receive the party. The
long table in the dining hall was spread with the finest
linen. In the kitchen the three big brick ovens were filled
with browning bread, cakes, and other dainties. Fowls were
being roasted, before the open fire.
Many times that afternoon the children ran to an upper
window to look for the royal guests. The sun sank lower and
lower, but still they did not come.
"Perhaps they have lost their way," said Fear.
"They will have a guide, so they cannot lose their way,"
replied Jonathan, "but perhaps they have been met by
In those days travelers were often overtaken by bands of
rough men who robbed them of money and horses. So Jonathan's
words filled their hearts with dismay. There were three very
sober little faces in the window.
But before the sun was quite gone, the thrilling note of a
bugle was heard and those faces brightened in a moment. Out
of a little grove far down the road, appeared a company of
horsemen. Nearer and nearer they came until the first rider,
 proudly bearing the red and gold banner of his queen, was in
Upon the shining spears and plumed helmets of the knights
who rode behind him, fell the last rays of the setting sun,
making them glisten like gold.
Within the square formed by the horsemen was a splendid
coach, heavily carved and richly gilded. Upon the driver's
seat rode two coachmen, dressed in gay liveries of red and
gray. Two footmen sat upon the high seat behind. The coach
was drawn by six fine black horses, which arched their
beautiful necks and daintily lifted their slender feet as
they sped toward the village.
The party was soon so near that the sound of the horses'
feet could be heard, and, sometimes, the clear ring of their
The news of the royal visit had spread through the town, and
at every gate was a group of villagers eager to greet the
queen and her party. As they rode through the street the air
rang with cries of, "Long live the queen!"
The great gates of Scrooby Inn were thrown open, and a maid
was sent to bring the children into the garden, where
William Brewster and his entire household had gathered to
receive the queen.
There was a moment of breathless waiting, then over the
bridge and into the yard swept the dazzling company of
knights, and the splendid coach.
 The footmen sprang to the ground and opened the doors. Again
rang the cry, "Long live the queen!"
Jonathan waved and shouted with the rest, but little
Patience was silent. As she glanced from one to another of
the four ladies who stepped from the coach, a look of
disappointment clouded her face. She was looking for a lady
with many strings of jewels about her bare throat, and a
sparkling crown upon her head.
Patience had seen pictures of many queens; all had worn
crowns and jewels. Surely there was no queen in this party.
"Jonathan, where is the queen? I do not see her," she
whispered, tears of disappointment filling her eyes.
"Hush!" answered Jonathan, softly. "That is she in the blue
velvet gown and the hat with the long white plumes. You did
not think she would wear a crown when traveling, did you?"
Perhaps the lady may have heard something for she looked
down at the children and smiled. As Patience looked into the
kind, beautiful face, her disappointment melted away and she
forgave the queen for not wearing her jewels.
Jonathan and Patience and Fear saw very little of the queen
and her company that night, for Mistress Brewster believed
that children should be neither seen nor heard when there
were strangers at the inn.
 It seemed very hard to go to bed at the usual time when
there were knights and a real queen in the house. They were
sure they could not go to sleep; but when Mistress Brewster
went to their beds half an hour later, all three were in a
dreamland of kings and queens, knights and ladies, castles
and deep forests.
Patience wakened very early the next morning. She dressed
quickly and went down to the garden to gather fresh flowers
for the breakfast table. Yet, early as she was, some one was
there before her. A lady was bending over a bush of
beautiful roses; when she turned, Patience saw it was the
The child bowed in the quaint, pretty way her mother had
taught her. She was wondering whether she ought to go back
into the house, when the lady smiled and said:
"I am admiring your roses. How fresh and pretty they are
with the dew still on them!"
"This bush is my very own," said Patience, as she gathered
some blossoms for the lady. "I call these the Bradford roses
because William Bradford gave the bush to me."
"And who is William Bradford?"
"Oh, he is a young friend of father's. He does not live in
Scrooby, but he comes here to church every Sunday, and so do
Master Chilton and his family and ever so many others. We
have a large
 chapel in our house right over the dining room. Nearly every
one in Scrooby comes here to church, and some people come as
far as twenty miles."
"She gathered some blossoms for the lady"
"I noticed a beautiful church as we rode through the village
yesterday," the lady said. "I should think you would all go
 "That is King James's church," answered Patience. "If we go
there we have to worship just as he wishes us to. Father thinks
the king's way is not right. Almost every one about here
says the king's way is not right, so we do not go to his
"King James would not like to hear that," said the queen,
gently, "and it would not be safe for you to talk to every
stranger so freely."
Poor little Patience! What had she said! Suddenly she
remembered that she had been telling a very great secret.
Her face turned as red as the roses and her eyes filled with
"Never mind, little one," said the queen, kindly.
"Your secret is safe with me. Let us forget all about it."
Then she talked to the child about the flowers, and Patience
took her to see the lilies which grew in one of the ponds in
An hour later three children stood at the gate of Scrooby
Inn, watching a gilded coach and a company of horsemen
disappear down the road.
Soon the coach was gone and the last glistening spear was
lost to sight. Although she never saw her again, Patience
always remembered the beautiful queen who shared their