The Lion of the North

by G. A. Henty

In the book, The Lion of the North, that I just finished reading, it tells the story of Malcolm Graeme, and how he gained a high position in the king’s court. The book is set in Scotland in the year 1630. It started out as Malcolm waiting in the forest for a group of horsemen, to guide them through the forest. Malcolm was 16 years old and lived with his uncle, Nigel, because his parents have died.

Captain Hume was with the horsemen and met Malcolm in the forest. Malcolm took Captain Hume and the horsemen to his uncle’s house for the night. The next morning, Captain Hume invited Nigel and Malcolm to collect a band of men from the city of Nithsdale, to help build an army. Nigel and Malcolm agreed with this plan and proceeded to find men who were willing to fight for their country.

A few days later, Malcolm, Nigel, and the men who volunteered to be in the army were shipwrecked. They were resourceful and built a raft out of the wreckage. They eventually got to the King’s castle, the place they had been trying to get to before they were shipwrecked.

At the King Gustavus’ castle, there was a feast going on, and Malcolm met Sir John Hepburn. Sir John Hepburn had been welcomed into the counsel of King Gustavus because he had proven his worth by fighting at a young age. In the book, we are told that Sir John Hepburn led his army at the battle of Schiefelburne. Sir John and his army of men were victorious!

Later on in the book, a village is attacked by freebooters or in other words, pirates or bandits. Malcolm was told the news and rode with an army to the village. Malcolm and his army drove the attackers out of Wolfsburg. Because of his wondrous and brave deed, Malcolm is introduced to King Gustavus! The King was impressed with Malcolm’s prudence and modesty and promoted him to the rank of Colonel. He was also given a suit of armor.

Malcolm was eventually promoted to Captain. This is how it happened. The town of Oppenheim in Scotland was captured by pirates. The King told Malcolm of this tragedy and promoted him to Captain so that he could go and free Oppenheim. Malcolm succeeded in this task and the pirates surrendered! After this victory, during Christmas, Malcolm was introduced to the Count and Countess of Mansfield and their daughter, Thelka. They all became great friends.

Sometime later, Malcolm was sent to investigate a peasant town and wound up getting captured. The men he brought with them also got captured while looking for him. Malcolm escaped the place he was in and rescued his men. Together, the got away from the peasants. They found a church tower to hide in, but the peasants found them and tried to draw them out. Malcolm and the men held off the peasants until Captain Burgh came to save them.

The war between the Scots and the Swedes and Germany continued. Sadly, in one of these battles, King Gustavus died from two musket shots. Malcolm mourned greatly for the loss of his king, but at least they won the battle. Even though Malcolm is greatly saddened by the death of his king, he still went out and fought. In one of these battles, Malcolm himself was wounded. Thankfully he recovered a few days later.

It was December when Malcolm got a letter from the Countess. It said that she, her husband, and her daughter had been captured along with their town and the Castel of Mansfeld. She asked for help from Malcolm, he decided to help free her, her family, and her people. He disguised himself as a peasant boy, entered the city walls, and was allowed to go into the Count’s apartment. The Count and Countess needed Malcolm’s help. The German Emperor was going to force the Count’s daughter, Thelka, into Becoming a Catholic nun Nobody wanted this to happen, so Malcolm offered to help Thelka escape. The Count and Countess trusted Malcolm because he was a Scottish gentleman and a Protestant soldier. Malcolm found a place for Thelka to stay at while Malcolm followed the instructions he received from Colonel Munro

Later there was a Coronation for the new king, Ferdinand, and in the middle of the Coronation, three traitors started attacking the people who were there. They killed four officers and Wallenstine. They even captured Malcolm! He was taken prisoner and put in a dungeon in a castle in Germany. An old man who was a prisoner in the dungeon, helped Malcolm escape the German castle.

When Malcolm returned, the officers were planning for another war. The war came extremely soon. The battle was called “The Battle of Nordlingen”. This battle was a large one. The Scotts and Swedes beat the Germans in a glorious victory! The Scotts and Swedens even freed the entire city from the Germans. When Malcolm came home he married Thelka, and once again, the country was at peace.