Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/246

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196
[1314 A.D.
Robert the Bruce.

they lay close under the wall while sentries were being relieved; how a sentry flung a stone over their heads, crying, "Away! I can see you," though he saw nothing; and how, in the end, they scaled the wall, surprised the garrison, slew Sir Peter de Lubaud, the governor, and got possession of the castle.[1] But he does not mention what the chronicler of Lanercost, being informed from English sources, relates, that simultaneously with the escalade on the north side, an attack was delivered on the south (it must have been on the west, and a feint), whereby the attention of the defenders was withdrawn from the real point of danger.[2]

The exact date of the capture or surrender of Dundee, held by Sir Alexander de Abernethy with a strong garrison, has not been ascertained; nor that of the taking of Rutherglen. But both of these strongholds fell into the hands of Edward de Brus; and, by the spring of 1314, the only important fortresses held by the English in Scotland were those of Berwick, Stirling, Bothwell, and possibly Lochmaben.

The warmest partisan in the Scottish cause cannot but feel some pity for the English commanders and soldiers, left as they were at this time without support or encouragement from their own King, in the presence of an enemy daily growing in strength. Garrison after garrison was obliged to yield to the force of numbers or stress of starvation. But a

  1. The Brus, lxxxiv.
  2. Lanercost, 223.