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Title: Philip Winwood - A Sketch of the Domestic History of an American Captain in the War of Independence; Embracing Events that Occurred between and during the Years 1763 and 1786, in New York and London: written by His Enemy in War, Herbert Russell, Lieutenant in the Loyalist Forces.
Author: Stephens, Robert Neilson, 1867-1906
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Philip Winwood - A Sketch of the Domestic History of an American Captain in the War of Independence; Embracing Events that Occurred between and during the Years 1763 and 1786, in New York and London: written by His Enemy in War, Herbert Russell, Lieutenant in the Loyalist Forces." ***

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PHILIP WINWOOD


  "The bravest are the tenderest."

                               BAYARD TAYLOR.


       *       *       *       *       *


Works of ROBERT NEILSON STEPHENS


      An Enemy to the King
      (Twenty-sixth Thousand)

      The Continental Dragoon
      (Seventeenth Thousand)

      The Road to Paris
      (Sixteenth Thousand)

      A Gentleman Player
      (Thirty-fifth Thousand)

      Philip Winwood
      (Fiftieth Thousand)


L.C. Page and Company, Publishers (Incorporated)
212 Summer St., Boston, Mass.


       *       *       *       *       *



PHILIP WINWOOD

A Sketch of the Domestic History of an American Captain in the War of
Independence; Embracing Events that Occurred between and during the
Years 1763 and 1786, in New York and London: written by His Enemy in
War, Herbert Russell, Lieutenant in the Loyalist Forces.

Presented Anew by

Robert Neilson Stephens

Author of _A Gentleman Player_, _An Enemy to the King_, _The
Continental Dragoon_, _The Road to Paris_, etc.

Illustrated by E. W. D. Hamilton

Boston: L.C. Page & Company (Incorporated)

1900



[Illustration: CAPTAIN PHILIP WINWOOD.]



CONTENTS

CHAPTER


    I. PHILIP'S ARRIVAL IN NEW YORK

   II. THE FARINGFIELDS

  III. WHEREIN 'TIS SHOWN THAT BOYS ARE BUT BOYS

   IV. HOW PHILIP AND I BEHAVED AS RIVALS IN LOVE

    V. WE HEAR STARTLING NEWS, WHICH BRINGS ABOUT A
       FAMILY "SCENE"

   VI. NED COMES BACK, WITH AN INTERESTING TALE OF A
       FORTUNATE IRISHMAN

  VII. ENEMIES IN WAR

 VIII. I MEET AN OLD FRIEND IN THE DARK

   IX. PHILIP'S ADVENTURES--CAPTAIN FALCONER COMES
       TO TOWN

    X. A FINE PROJECT

   XI. WINWOOD COMES TO SEE HIS WIFE

  XII. THEIR INTERVIEW

 XIII. WHEREIN CAPTAIN WINWOOD DECLINES A PROMOTION

  XIV. THE BAD SHILLING TURNS UP ONCE MORE IN
       QUEEN STREET

   XV. IN WHICH THERE IS A FLIGHT BY SEA, AND A DUEL
       BY MOONLIGHT

  XVI. FOLLOWS THE FORTUNES OF MADGE AND NED

 XVII. I HEAR AGAIN FROM WINWOOD

XVIII. PHILIP COMES AT LAST TO LONDON

  XIX. WE MEET A PLAY-ACTRESS THERE

   XX. WE INTRUDE UPON A GENTLEMAN AT A COFFEE-HOUSE

  XXI. THE LAST, AND MOST EVENTFUL, OF THE HISTORY



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.


CAPTAIN PHILIP WINWOOD                            Frontispiece

"OUR MOTIONS, AS WE TOUCHED OUR LIPS WITH THEM, WERE
SO IN UNISON THAT MARGARET LAUGHED"

"SHE WAS INDEED THE TOAST OF THE ARMY"

"'HE IS A--AN ACQUAINTANCE'"

"HE FINALLY DREW BACK TO GIVE HER A MORE EFFECTUAL BLOW"

"IT WAS PHILIP'S CUSTOM, AT THIS TIME, TO ATTEND FIRST
NIGHTS AT THE PLAYHOUSES"



CHAPTER I.

_Philip's Arrival in New York._


'Tis not the practice of writers to choose for biography men who have
made no more noise in the world than Captain Winwood has; nor the act
of gentlemen, in ordinary cases, to publish such private matters as
this recital will present. But I consider, on the one hand, that
Winwood's history contains as much of interest, and as good an example
of manly virtues, as will be found in the life of many a hero more
renowned; and, on the other, that his story has been so partially
known, and so distorted, it becomes indeed the duty of a gentleman,
when that gentleman was his nearest friend, to put forth that story
truly, and so give the lie for ever to the detractors of a brave and
kindly man.

There was a saying in the American army, proceeding first from Major
Harry Lee, of their famous Light Horse, that Captain Winwood was in
America, in the smaller way his modesty permitted, what the Chevalier
Bayard was in France, and Sir Philip Sidney in England. This has been
received more than once (such is the malice of conscious inferiority)
with derisive smiles or supercilious sneers; and not only by certain
of his own countrymen, but even in my presence, when my friendship for
Winwood, though I had been his rival in love and his enemy in war, was
not less known than was my quickness to take offence and avenge it. I
dealt with one such case, at the hour of dawn, in a glade near the
Bowery lane, a little way out of New York. And I might have continued
to vindicate my friend's character so: either with pistols, as at
Weehawken across the Hudson, soon after the war, I vindicated the
motives of us Englishmen of American birth who stood for the king in
the war of Independence; or with rapiers, as I defended the name of
our admired enemy, Washington, against a certain defamer, one morning
in Hyde Park, after I had come to London. But it has occurred to me
that I can better serve Winwood's reputation by the spilling of ink
with a quill than of blood with a sword or pistol. This consideration,
which is far from a desire to compete with the young gentlemen who
strive for farthings and fame, in Grub Street, is my apology for
profaning with my unskilled hand the implement ennobled by the use of
a Johnson and a Goldsmith, a Fielding and an Addison.

My acquaintance with the Captain's life, from the vantage of an
eye-witness and comrade, goes back to the time when all of us
concerned were children; to the very day, in truth, when Philip, a
pale and slender lad of eleven years, first set foot in New York, and
first set eye on Margaret Faringfield.

As I think of it, it seems but yesterday, and myself a boy again: but
it was, in fact, in the year 1763; and late in the afternoon of a
sunny Summer day. I remember well how thick and heavy the green leaves
hung upon the trees that thrust their branches out over the garden
walls and fences of our quiet street.

Tired from a day's play, or perchance lazy from the heat, I sprawled
upon the front step of our house, which was next the residence of the
Faringfields, in what was then called Queen Street. I believe the name
of that, as of many another in New York, has been changed since the
war, having savoured too much of royalty for republican taste.[1] The
Faringfield house, like the family, was one of the finest in New York;
and there were in that young city greater mansions than one would have
thought to find in a little colonial seaport--a rural-looking
provincial place, truly, which has been likened to a Dutch town almost
wholly transformed into the semblance of some secondary English town,
or into a tiny, far-off imitation of London. It lacked, of course, the
grand, gray churches, the palaces and historic places, that tell of
what a past has been London's; but it lacked, too, the begriming smoke
and fog that are too much of London's present. Indeed, never had any
town a clearer sky, or brighter sunshine, than are New York's.

From the Summer power of this sunshine, our part of Queen Street was
sheltered by the trees of gardens and open spaces; maple, oak,
chestnut, linden, locust, willow, what not? There was a garden,
wherein the breeze sighed all day, between our house and the
Faringfield mansion, to which it pertained. That vast house, of red
and yellow brick, was two stories and a garret high, and had a
doubly-sloping roof pierced with dormer windows. The mansion's lower
windows and wide front door were framed with carved wood-work, painted
white. Its garden gate, like its front door, opened directly to the
street; and in the garden gateway, as I lounged on our front step that
Summer evening, Madge Faringfield stood, running her fingers through
the thick white and brown hair of her huge dog at her side.

The dog's head was almost on a level with hers, for she was then but
eight years old, a very bright and pretty child. She turned her quick
glance down the street as she stood; and saw me lying so lazy; and at
once her gray eyes took on a teasing and deriding light, and I felt I
was in for some ironical, quizzing speech or other. But just then her
look fell upon something farther down the way, toward Hanover Square,
and lingered in a half-amused kind of curiosity. I directed my own
gaze to see what possessed hers, and this is what we both beheld
together, little guessing what the years to come should bring to make
that moment memorable in our minds.

A thin but well-formed boy of eleven; with a pleasant, kindly face,
somewhat too white, in which there was a look--as there was evidence
in his walk also--of his being tired from prolonged exertion or
endurance. He was decently, though not expensively, clad in black
cloth, his three-cornered felt hat, wide-skirted coat, and ill-fitting
knee-breeches, being all of the same solemn hue. I was to perceive
later that his clothes were old and carefully mended. His gray silk
stockings ill accorded with his poor shoes, of which the buckles were
of steel. He carried in one hand a large, ancient travelling-bag, so
heavy that it strained his muscles and dragged him down, thus partly
explaining the fatigued look in his face; and in his other hand a
basket, from the open top of which there appeared, thrust out, the
head of a live gray kitten.

This pretty animal's look of strangeness to its surroundings, as it
gazed about with curiosity, would alone have proclaimed that it was
arrived from travel; had not the baggage and appearance of its bearer
told the same story. The boy, also, kept an alert eye forward as he
advanced up the street, but it was soon evident that he gazed in
search of some particular object. This object, as the lad finally
satisfied himself by scanning it and its neighbours twice over, proved
to be the house immediately opposite ours. It was one of a row of
small, old brick residences, with Dutch gable ends toward the street.
Having made sure of its identity, and having reddened a little at the
gaze of Madge and me, the young stranger set down his bag with
perceptible signs of physical relief, and, keeping in his grasp the
basket with the cat, knocked with a seemingly forced boldness--as if
he were conscious of timidity to be overcome--upon the door.

At that, Madge Faringfield could not help laughing aloud.

It was a light, rippling, little laugh, entirely good-natured, lasting
but a moment. But it sufficed to make the boy turn and look at her and
blush again, as if he were hurt but bore no resentment.

Then I, who knew what it was to be wounded by a girl's laugh,
especially Madge's, thought it time to explain, and called out to the
lad:

"There's nobody at home there."

The boy gazed at me at a loss; then, plainly reluctant to believe me,
he once more inspected the blank, closed front of the house, for
denial or confirmation of my word. When he next looked back at me, the
expression of inquiring helplessness and vague alarm on his face, as
if the earth were giving way beneath his feet, was half comical, half
pitiful to see.

"It is Mr. Aitken's house, is it not?" he asked, in a tone low and
civil, though it seemed to betray a rapid beating of the heart after a
sudden sinking thereof.

"It was," I replied, "but he has gone back to England, and that house
is empty."

The lad's dismay now became complete, yet it appeared in no other way
than in the forlorn expression of his sharp, pale countenance, and in
the unconscious appeal with which his blue eyes surveyed Madge and me
in turn. But in a few moments he collected himself, as if for the
necessary dealing with some unexpected castastrophe, and asked me, a
little huskily still:

"When will he come home?"

"Never, to this house, I think. Another customs officer has come over
in his place, but this one lodges at the King's Arms, because he's a
bachelor."

The lad cast a final hopeless glance at the house, and then
mechanically took a folded letter from an inner pocket, and dismally
regarded the name on the back.

"I had a letter for him," he said, presently, looking again across the
street at me and Madge, for the curious Miss Faringfield had walked
down from her gateway to my side, that she might view the stranger
better. And now she spoke, in her fearless, good-humoured, somewhat
forward way:

"If you will give the letter to me, my father will send it to Mr.
Aitken in London."

"Thank you, but that would be of no use," said the lad, with a
disconsolate smile.

"Why not?" cried Madge promptly, and started forthwith skipping across
the dusty street. I followed, and in a moment we two were quite close
to the newcomer.

"You're tired," said Madge, not waiting for his answer. "Why don't you
sit down?" And she pointed to the steps of the vacant house.

"Thank you," said the lad, but with a bow, and a gesture that meant he
would not sit while a lady stood, albeit the lady's age was but eight
years.

Madge, pleased at this, smiled, and perched herself on the upper step.
Waiting to be assured that I preferred standing, the newcomer then
seated himself on his own travelling-bag, an involuntary sigh of
comfort showing how welcome was this rest.

"Did you come to visit in New York?" at once began the inquisitive
Madge.

"Yes, I--I came to see Mr. Aitken," was the hesitating and dubious
answer.

"And so you'll have to go back home without seeing him?"

"I don't very well see how I can go back," said the boy slowly.

"Oh, then you will visit some one else, or stay at the tavern?" Madge
went on.

"I don't know any one else here," was the reply, "and I can't stay at
the tavern."

"Why, then, what will you do?"

"I don't know--yet," the lad answered, looking the picture of
loneliness.

"Where do you live?" I put in.

"I did live in Philadelphia, but I left there the other day by the
stage-coach, and arrived just now in New York by the boat."

"And why can't you go back there?" I continued.

"Why, because,--I had just money enough left to pay my way to New
York; and even if I should walk back, I've no place there to go back
to, and no one at all--now--" He broke off here, his voice faltering;
and his blue eyes filled with moisture. But he made a swallow, and
checked the tears, and sat gently stroking the head of his kitten.

For a little time none of us spoke, while I stood staring somewhat
abashed at the lad's evident emotion. Madge studied his countenance
intently, and doubtless used her imagination to suppose little
Tom--her younger and favourite brother--in this stranger's place.
Whatever it was that impelled her, she suddenly said to him, "Wait
here," and turning, ran back across the street, and disappeared
through the garden gate.

Instead of following her, the dog went up to the new boy's cat and
sniffed at its nose, causing it to whisk back its head and gaze
spellbound. To show his peaceful mind, the dog wagged his tail, and by
degrees so won the kitten's confidence that it presently put forth its
face again and exchanged sniffs.

"I should think you'd have a dog, instead of a cat," said I,
considering the stranger's sex.

He answered nothing to this, but looked quite affectionately at his
pet. I set it down as odd that so manly a lad should so openly show
liking for a cat. The conduct of the animal in its making acquaintance
with the dog; the good-humoured assurance of the one, and the cautious
coyness of the other; amused us till presently Madge's voice was
heard; and then we saw her coming from the garden, speaking to her
father, who walked bareheaded beside her. Behind, at a little
distance, came Madge's mother and little Tom. All four stopped at the
gateway, and looked curiously toward us.

"Come over here, boy," called Madge, and heeded not the reproof her
mother instantly gave her in an undertone for her forwardness. For any
one of his children but Madge, reproof would have come from her father
also; in all save where she was concerned, he was a singularly correct
and dignified man, to the point of stiffness and austerity. His wife,
a pretty, vain, inoffensive woman, was always chiding her children for
their smaller faults, and never seeing the traits that might lead to
graver ones.

Mr. and Mrs. Faringfield awaited the effect of Madge's invitation, or
rather command, adding nothing to it. The boy's colour showed his
diffidence, under the scrutiny of so many coldly inquiring eyes; but
after a moment he rose, and I, with greater quickness, seized his bag
by the handle and started across the street with it. He called out a
surprised and grateful "Thank you," and followed me. I was speedily
glad I had not undertaken to carry the bag as far as he had done;
'twas all I could do to bear it.

"How is this, lad?" said Mr. Faringfield, when the boy, with hat off,
stood before him. The tone was stern enough, a stranger would have
thought, though it was indeed a kindly one for Madge's father. "You
have come from Philadelphia to visit Mr. Aitken? Is he your relation?"

"No, sir; he was a friend of my father's before my father came to
America," replied the lad, in a low, respectful voice.

"Yet your father did not know he was gone back to England? How is
that?"

"My father is dead, sir; he died six years ago."

"Oh, I see," replied Mr. Faringfield, a little taken down from his
severity. "And the letter my little girl tells me of?"

"If you please, my mother wrote it, sir," said the boy, looking at the
letter in his hand, his voice trembling a little. He seemed to think,
from the manner of the Faringfields, that he was obliged to give a
full account of himself, and so went on. "She didn't know what else to
do about me, sir, as there was no one in Philadelphia--that is, I
mean, she remembered what a friend Mr. Aitken was to my father--they
were both of Oxford, sir; Magdalen college. And so at last she thought
of sending me to him, that he might get me a place or something; and
she wrote the letter to tell him who I was; and she saw to it that I
should have money enough to come to New York,--"

"But I don't understand," interrupted Mr. Faringfield, frowning his
disapproval of something. "What made it necessary for her to dispose
of you? Was she going to marry again?"

"She was going to die, sir," replied the boy, in a reserved tone
which, despite his bashfulness, both showed his own hurt, and rebuked
his elder's thoughtless question.

"Poor boy!" whispered Mrs. Faringfield, grasping her little Tom's
hand.

"Oh," said her husband, slowly, slightly awed from his sternness. "I
beg your pardon, my lad. I am very sorry, indeed. Your being here,
then, means that you are now an orphan?"

"Yes, sir," was the boy's only answer, and he lowered his eyes toward
his kitten, and so sad and lonely an expression came into his face
that no wonder Mrs. Faringfield whispered again, "Poor lad," and even
Madge and little Tom looked solemn.

"Well, boy, something must be done about you, that's certain," said
Mr. Faringfield. "You have no money, my daughter says. Spent all you
had for cakes and kickshaws in the towns where the stage-coach
stopped, I'll warrant."

The boy smiled. "The riding made me hungry sir," said he. "I'd have
saved my extra shilling if I'd known how it was going to be."

"But is there nothing coming to you in Philadelphia? Did your mother
leave nothing?"

"Everything was sold at auction to pay our debts--it took the books
and our furniture and all, to do that."

"The books?"

"We kept a book-shop, sir. My father left it to us. He was a
bookseller, but he was a gentleman and an Oxford man."

"And he didn't make a fortune at the book trade, eh?"

"No, sir. I've heard people say he would rather read his books than
sell them."

"From your studious look I should say you took after him."

"I do like to read, sir," the lad admitted quietly, smiling again.

Here Madge put in, with the very belated query:

"What's your name?"

"Philip Winwood," the boy answered, looking at her pleasantly.

"Well, Master Winwood," said Madge's father, "we shall have to take
you in overnight, at least, and then see what's to be done."

At this Mrs. Faringfield said hastily, with a touch of alarm:

"But, my dear, is it quite safe? The child might--might have the
measles or something, you know."

Madge tittered openly, and Philip Winwood looked puzzled. Mr.
Faringfield answered:

"One can see he is a healthy lad, and cleanly, though he is tired and
dusty from his journey. He may occupy the end garret room. 'Tis an odd
travelling companion you carry, my boy. Did you bring the cat from
Philadelphia?"

"Yes, sir; my mother was fond of it, and I didn't like to leave it
behind."

The kitten drew back from the stately gentleman's attempt to tap its
nose with his finger, and evinced a desire to make the acquaintance of
his wife, toward whom it put forth its head as far as possible out of
its basket, beginning the while to purr.

"Look, mamma, it wants to come to you," cried little Tom, delighted.

"Cats and dogs always make friends quicker with handsome people," said
Philip Winwood, with no other intent than merely to utter a fact, of
which those who observe the lower animals are well aware.

"There, my dear," said Mr. Faringfield, "there's a compliment for you
at my expense."

The lady, who had laughed to conceal her pleasure at so innocent a
tribute, now freely caressed the kitten; of which she had been shy
before, as if it also might have the measles.

"Well, Philip," she said, a moment later, "come in, and feel that you
are at home. You'll have just time to wash, and brush the dust off,
before supper. He shall occupy the second spare chamber, William," she
added, turning to her husband. "How could you think of sending so nice
and good-looking a lad to the garret? Leave your travelling-bag here,
child; the servants shall carry it in for you."

"This is so kind of you, ma'am, and sir," said Philip, with a lump in
his throat; and able to speak his gratitude the less, because he felt
it the more.

"I am the one you ought to thank," said Madge archly, thus calling
forth a reproving "Margaret!" from her mother, and an embarrassed
smile--part amusement, part thanks, part admiration--from Philip. The
smile so pleased Madge, that she gave one in return and then actually
dropped her eyes.

I saw with a pang that the newcomer was already in love with her, and
I knew that the novelty of his adoration would make her oblivious of
my existence for at least a week to come. But I bore him no malice,
and as the Faringfields turned toward the rear veranda of the house, I
said:

"Come and play with me whenever you like. That's where I live, next
door. My name is Herbert Russell, but they call me Bert, for short."

"Thank you," said Winwood, and was just about to go down the garden
walk between Madge and little Tom, when the whole party was stopped by
a faint boo-hooing, in a soft and timid voice, a short distance up the
street.

"'Tis Fanny," cried Mrs. Faringfield, affrightedly, and ran out from
the garden to the street.

"Ned has been bullying her," said Madge, anger suddenly firing her
pretty face. And she, too, was in the street in a moment, followed by
all of us, Philip Winwood joining with a ready boyish curiosity and
interest in what concerned his new acquaintances.

Sure enough, it was Fanny Faringfield, Madge's younger sister, coming
along the street, her knuckles in her eyes, the tears streaming down
her face; and behind her, with his fists in his coat pockets, and his
cruel, sneering laugh on his bold, handsome face, came Ned, the eldest
of the four Faringfield young ones. He and Fanny were returning from a
children's afternoon tea-party at the Wilmots' house in William
Street, from which entertainment Madge had stayed away because she had
had another quarrel with Ned, whom she, with her self-love and high
spirit, had early learned to hate for his hectoring and domineering
nature. I shared Madge's feeling there, and was usually at daggers
drawn with Ned Faringfield; for I never would take any man's
browbeating. Doubtless my own quickness of temper was somewhat to
blame. I know that it got me into many fights, and had, in fact, kept
me too from that afternoon's tea, I being then not on speaking terms
with one of the Wilmot boys. As for Madge's detestation of Ned, she
made up for it by her love of little Tom, who then and always deserved
it. Tom was a true, kind, honest, manly fellow, from his cradle to
that sad night outside the Kingsbridge tavern. Madge loved Fanny too,
but less wholly. As for Fanny, dear girl, she loved them all, even
Ned, to whom she rendered homage and obedience; and to save whom from
their father's hard wrath, she now, at sight of us all issuing from
the gateway, suddenly stopped crying and tried to look as if nothing
were the matter.

Ned, seeing his father, paled and hesitated; but the next moment came
swaggering on, his face showing a curious succession of fear,
defiance, cringing, and a crafty hope of lying out of his offence.

It was, of course, the very thing Fanny did to shield him, that
certainly betrayed him; and when I knew from her sudden change of
conduct that he was indeed to blame, I would gladly have attacked him,
despite that he was twelve years old and I but ten. But I dared not
move in the presence of our elders, and moreover I saw at once Ned's
father would deal with him to our complete satisfaction.

"Go to your room, sir," said Mr. Faringfield, in his sternest tone,
looking his anger out of eyes as hard as steel. This meant for Master
Ned no supper, and probably much worse.

"Please, sir, I didn't do anything," answered Ned, with ill-feigned
surprise. "She fell and hurt her arm."

Fanny did not deny this, but she was no liar, and could not confirm
it. So she looked to the ground, and clasped her left wrist with her
right hand. But in this latter movement she again exposed her brother
by the very means she took to protect him; for quick-seeing Madge,
observing the action, gently but firmly unclasped the younger sister's
hand, and so disclosed the telltale marks of Ned's fingers upon the
delicate wrist, by squeezing or wrenching which that tyrant had
evinced his brotherly superiority.

At sight of this, Mrs. Faringfield gave a low cry of horror and
maternal pity, and fell to caressing the bruised wrist; and Madge,
raising her arm girl-wise, began to rain blows on her brother, which
fell wherever they might, but where none of them could hurt. Her
father, without reproving her, drew her quietly back, and with a
countenance a shade darker than before, pointed out the way for Ned
toward the veranda leading to the rear hall-door.

With a vindictive look, and pouting lips, Ned turned his steps down
the walk. Just then he noticed Philip Winwood, who had viewed every
detail of the scene with wonder, and who now regarded Ned with a kind
of vaguely disliking curiosity, such as one bestows on some
sinister-looking strange animal. Philip's look was, of course,
unconscious, but none the less clearly to be read for that. Ned
Faringfield, pausing on his way, stared at the unknown lad, with an
expression of insolent inquiry. Not daring to stay for questions, but
observing the valise, he seemed to become aware that the newcomer was
an already accepted guest of the house; and he thereupon surveyed
Philip a moment, inwardly measuring him as a possible comrade or
antagonist, but affecting a kind of disdain. A look from his father
ended Ned's inspection, and sent him hastily toward his imprisonment,
whither he went with no one's pity but Fanny's--for his mother had
become afraid of him, and little Tom took his likes and dislikes from
his sister Madge.

And so they went in to supper, disappearing from my sight behind the
corner of the parlour wing as they mounted the rear veranda: Mr. and
Mrs. Faringfield first, the mother leading Fanny by the wounded wrist;
the big dog next, wagging his tail for no particular reason; and then
Philip Winwood, with his cat in his basket, Madge at one side of him
and pretending an interest in the kitten while from beneath her lashes
she alertly watched the boy himself, little Tom on the other side
holding Philip's hand. I stood at the gateway, looking after; and with
all my young infatuation for Madge, I had no feeling but one of
liking, for this quiet, strange lad, with the pale, kind face. And I
would to God I might see those three still walking together, as when
children, through this life that has dealt so strangely with them all
since that Summer evening.



CHAPTER II.

_The Faringfields._


Having shown how Philip Winwood came among us, I ought to tell at
once, though of course I learned it from him afterwards, all that need
be known of his previous life. His father, after leaving Oxford and
studying medicine in Edinburgh, had married a lady of the latter city,
and emigrated to Philadelphia to practise as a physician. But whether
'twas that the Quaker metropolis was overstocked with doctors even
then, or for other reasons, there was little call for Doctor Winwood's
ministrations. Moreover, he was of so book-loving a disposition that
if he happened to have sat down to a favourite volume, and a request
came for his services, it irked him exceedingly to respond. This being
noticed and getting abroad, did not help him in his profession.

The birth of Philip adding to the doctor's expenses, it soon came
about that, in the land where he had hoped to make a new fortune, he
parted with the last of what fortune he had originally possessed. Then
occurred to him the ingenious thought of turning bookseller, a
business which, far from requiring that he should ever absent himself
from his precious volumes, demanded rather that he should always be
among them. But the stock that he laid in, turned out to comprise
rather such works as a gentleman of learning would choose for company,
than such as the people of Philadelphia preferred to read.
Furthermore, when some would-be purchaser appeared, it often happened
that the book he offered to buy was one for which the erudite dealer
had acquired so strong an affection that he would not let it change
owners. Nor did his wife much endeavour to turn him from this
untradesmanlike course. Besides being a gentle and affectionate woman,
she had that admiration for learning which, like excessive warmth of
heart and certain other traits, I have observed to be common between
the Scotch (she was of Edinburgh, as I have said) and the best of the
Americans.

Such was Philip's father, and when he died of some trouble of the
heart, there was nothing for his widow to do but continue the
business. She did this with more success than the doctor had had,
though many a time it smote her heart to sell some book of those that
her husband had loved, and to the backs of which she had become
attached for his sake and through years of acquaintance. But the
necessities of her little boy and herself cried out, and so did the
debt her husband had accumulated as tangible result of his business
career. By providing books of a less scholarly, more popular
character, such as novels, sermons, plays, comic ballads, religious
poems, and the like; as well as by working with her needle, and
sometimes copying legal and other documents, Mrs. Winwood managed to
keep the kettle boiling. And in the bookselling and the copying, she
soon came to have the aid of Philip.

The boy, too, loved books passionately, finding in them consolation
for the deprivations incidental to his poverty. But, being keenly
sympathetic, he had a better sense of his mother's necessities than
his father had shown, and to the amelioration of her condition and his
own, he sacrificed his love of books so far as to be, when occasion
offered, an uncomplaining seller of those he liked, and a dealer in
those he did not like. His tastes were, however, broader than his
father's, and he joyfully lost himself in the novels and plays his
father would have disdained.

He read, indeed, everything he could put his hands on, that had, to
his mind, reason, or wit, or sense, or beauty. Many years later, when
we were in London, his scholarly yet modest exposition of a certain
subject eliciting the praise of a group in a Pall Mall tavern, and he
being asked "What university he was of," he answered, with a playful
smile, "My father's bookshop." It was, indeed, his main school of
book-learning. But, as I afterward told him, he had studied in the
university of life also. However, I am now writing of his boyhood in
Philadelphia; and of that there is only this left to be said.

In catering to his mind, he did not neglect bodily skill either. His
early reading of Plutarch and other warlike works had filled him with
desire to emulate the heroes of battle. An old copy of Saviolo's book
on honour and fence, written in the reign of Elizabeth, or James, I
forget which, had in some manner found its way to his father's
shelves; and from this Philip secretly obtained some correct ideas of
swordsmanship.[2] Putting them in practice one day in the shop, with a
stick, when he thought no one was looking, he suddenly heard a cry of
"bravo" from the street door, and saw he was observed by a Frenchman,
who had recently set up in Philadelphia as a teacher of fencing,
dancing, and riding. This expert, far from allowing Philip to be
abashed, complimented and encouraged him; entered the shop, and made
friends with him. The lad, being himself as likable as he found the
lively foreigner interesting, became in time something of a comrade to
the fencing master. The end of this was that, in real or pretended
return for the loan of Saviolo's book, the Frenchman gave Philip a
course of instruction and practice in each of his three arts.

To these the boy added, without need of a teacher, the ability to
shoot, both with gun and with pistol. I suppose it was from being so
much with his mother, between whom and himself there must have existed
the most complete devotion, that notwithstanding his manly and
scholarly accomplishments, his heart, becoming neither tough like the
sportsman's nor dry like the bookworm's, remained as tender as a
girl's--or rather as a girl's is commonly supposed to be. His mother's
death, due to some inward ailment of which the nature was a problem to
the doctors, left him saddened but too young to be embittered. And
this was the Philip Winwood--grave and shy from having been deprived
too much of the company of other boys, but with certain mental and
bodily advantages of which too much of that company would have
deprived him--who was taken into the house of the Faringfields in the
Summer of 1763.

The footing on which he should remain there was settled the very
morning after his arrival. Mr. Faringfield, a rigid and prudent man,
but never a stingy one, made employment for him as a kind of messenger
or under clerk in his warehouse. The boy fell gratefully into the new
life, passing his days in and about the little counting-room that
looked out on Mr. Faringfield's wharf on the East River. He found it
dull work, the copying of invoices, the writing of letters to
merchants in other parts of the world, the counting of articles of
cargo, and often the bearing a hand in loading or unloading some
schooner or dray; but as beggars should not be choosers, so
beneficiaries should not be complainers, and Philip kept his feelings
to himself.

Mr. Faringfield was an exacting master, whose rule was that his men
should never be idle, even at times when there seemed nothing to do.
If no task was at hand, they should seek one; and if none could be
found, he was like to manufacture one. Thus was Phil denied the
pleasure of brightening or diversifying his day with reading, for
which he could have found time enough. He tried to be interested in
his work, and he in part succeeded, somewhat by good-fellowship with
the jesting, singing, swearing wharfmen and sailors, somewhat by
dwelling often on the thought that he was filling his small place in a
great commerce which touched so distant shores, and so many countries,
of the world. He used to watch the vessels sail, on the few and
far-between days when there were departures, and wish, with inward
sighs, that he might sail with them. A longing to see the great world,
the Europe of history, the Britain of his ancestors, had been
implanted in him by his reading, before he had come to New York, and
the desire was but intensified by his daily contact with the one end
of a trade whose other end lay beyond the ocean.

Outside of the hours of business, Philip's place was that of a member
of the Faringfield household, where, save in the one respect that
after his first night it was indeed the garret room that fell to him,
he was on terms of equality with the children. Ned alone, of them all,
affected toward him the manner of a superior to a dependent. Whatever
were Philip's feelings regarding this attitude of the elder son, he
kept them locked within, and had no more to say to Master Ned than
absolute civility required. With the two girls and little Tom, and
with me, he was, evenings and Sundays, the pleasantest playfellow in
the world.

Ungrudgingly he gave up to us, once we had made the overtures, the
time he would perhaps rather have spent over his books; for he had
brought a few of these from Philadelphia, a fact which accounted for
the exceeding heaviness of his travelling bag, and he had access, of
course, to those on Mr. Faringfield's shelves. His compliance with our
demands was the more kind, as I afterward began to see, for that his
day's work often left him quite tired out. Of this we never thought;
we were full of the spirits pent up all day at school, Madge and Fanny
being then learners at the feet of a Boston maiden lady in our street,
while I yawned and idled my hours away on the hard benches of a Dutch
schoolmaster near the Broadway, under whom Ned Faringfield also was a
student. But fresh as we were, and tired as Philip was, he was always
ready for a romp in our back yard, or a game of hide-and-seek in the
Faringfields' gardens, or a chase all the way over to the Bowling
Green, or all the way up to the Common where the town ended and the
Bowery lane began.

But it soon came out that Phil's books were not neglected, either. The
speed with which his candles burnt down, and required renewal, told of
nocturnal studies in his garret. As these did not perceptibly
interfere with his activity the next day, they were viewed by Mr.
Faringfield rather with commendation than otherwise, and so were
allowed to continue. My mother thought it a sin that no one interfered
to prevent the boy's injuring his health; but when she said this to
Phil himself, he only smiled and answered that if his reading did cost
him anything of health, 'twas only fair a man should pay something for
his pleasures.

My mother's interest in the matter arose from a real liking. She saw
much of Philip, for he and the three younger Faringfields were as
often about our house as about their own. Ours was not nearly as fine;
'twas a white-painted wooden house, like those in New England, but
roomy enough for its three only occupants, my mother and me and the
maid. We were not rich, but neither were we of the poorest. My father,
the predecessor of Mr. Aitken in the customs office, had left
sufficient money in the English funds at his death, to keep us in the
decent circumstances we enjoyed, and there was yet a special fund
reserved for my education. So we could be neighbourly with the
Faringfields, and were so; and so all of us children, including
Philip, were as much at home in the one house as in the other.

One day, in the Fall of that year of Philip's arrival, we young ones
were playing puss-in-a-corner in the large garden--half orchard, half
vegetable plantation--that formed the rear of the Faringfields'
grounds. It was after Phil's working hours, and a pleasant, cool,
windy evening. The maple leaves were yellowing, the oak leaves turning
red. I remember how the wind moved the apple-tree boughs, and the
yellow corn-stalks waiting to be cut and stacked as fodder. (When I
speak of corn, I do not use the word in the English sense, of grain in
general, but in the American sense, meaning maize, of which there are
two kinds, the sweet kind being most delicious to eat, as either kind
is a beautiful sight when standing in the field, the tall stalks
waving their many arms in the breeze.) We were all laughing, and
running from tree to tree, when in from the front garden came Ned, his
face wearing its familiar cruel, bullying, spoil-sport smile.

The wind blowing out Madge's brown hair as she ran, I suppose put him
in mind of what to do. For all at once, clapping his hand to his
mouth, and imitating the bellowing war-whoop of an Indian, he rushed
upon us in that character, caught hold of Madge's hair, and made off
as if to drag her away by it. She, screaming, tried to resist, but of
course could not get into an attitude for doing so while he pulled her
so fast. The end of it was, that she lost her balance and fell, thus
tearing her hair from his grasp.

I, being some distance away, picked up an apple and flung it at the
persecutor's head, which I missed by half an inch. Before I could
follow the apple, Philip had taken the work out of my hands.

"You are a savage," said Phil, in a low voice, but with a fiery eye,
confronting Ned at close quarters.

"And what are you?" replied young Faringfield promptly. "You're a
beggar, that's what you are! A beggar that my father took in."

For a moment or two Phil regarded his insulter in amazed silence; then
answered:

"If only you weren't her brother!"

Here Madge spoke up, from the ground on which she sat:

"Oh, don't let that stop you, Phil!"

"I sha'n't," said Phil, with sudden decision, and the next instant the
astounded Ned was recoiling from a solid blow between the eyes.

Of course he immediately returned the compliment in kind, and as Ned
was a strong fellow, Phil had all he could do to hold his own in the
ensuing scuffle. How long this might have lasted, I don't know, had
not Fanny run between, with complete disregard of her own safety,
calling out:

"Oh, Phil, you mustn't hurt Ned!"

Her interposition being aided on the other side by little Tom, who
seized Ned's coat-tails and strove to pull him away from injuring
Philip, the two combatants, their boyish belligerence perhaps having
had enough for the time, separated, both panting.

"I'll have it out with you yet!" said Master Ned, short-windedly,
adjusting his coat, and glaring savagely.

"All right!" said Phil, equally out of breath. Ned then left the
field, with a look of contempt for the company.

After that, things went on in the old pleasant manner, except that
Ned, without any overt act to precipitate a fight, habitually treated
Phil with a most annoying air of scorn and derision. This, though
endured silently, was certainly most exasperating.

But it had not to be endured much of the time, for Ned had grown more
and more to disdain our society, and to cultivate companions superior
to us in years and knowledge of the world. They were, indeed, a smart,
trick-playing, swearing set, who aped their elders in drinking,
dicing, card-gambling, and even in wenching. Their zest in this
imitation was the greater for being necessarily exercised in secret
corners, and for their freshness to the vices they affected.

I do not say I was too good for this company and their practices; or
that Philip was either. Indeed we had more than a mere glimpse of
both, for boys, no matter how studious or how aspiring in the long
run, will see what life they can; will seek the taste of forbidden
fruit, and will go looking for temptations to yield to. Indeed, the
higher a boy's intelligence, the more eager may be his curiosity for,
his first enjoyment of, the sins as well as the other pleasures. What
banished us--Philip and me--from Ned's particular set was, first,
Ned's enmity toward us; second, our attachment to a clan of boys
equally bent on playing the rake in secret, though of better
information and manners than Ned's comrades could boast of; third,
Phil's fondness for books, and mine for him; and finally, our love for
Madge.

This last remained unaltered in both of us. As for Madge, as I had
predicted to myself, she had gradually restored me to my old place in
her consideration as the novelty of Philip's newer devotion had worn
off. We seemed now to be equals in her esteem. At one time Phil would
apparently stand uppermost there, at another I appeared to be
preferred. But this alternating superiority was usually due to casual
circumstance. Sometimes, I suppose, it owed itself to caprice;
sometimes, doubtless, to deep design unsuspected by either of us. Boys
are not men until they are well grown; but women are women from their
first compliment. On the whole, as I have said, Phil and I were very
even rivals.

It was sometime in the winter--Philip's first winter with the
Faringfields--that the next outbreak came, between him and Master
Edward. If ever the broad mansion of the Faringfields looked warm and
welcoming, it was in midwinter. The great front doorway, with its
fanlight above, and its panel windows at each side, through which the
light shone during the long evenings, and with its broad stone steps
and out-curving iron railings, had then its most hospitable aspect.
One evening that it looked particularly inviting to me, was when Ned
and the two girls and I were returning with our skates from an
afternoon spent on Beekman's pond. Large flakes were falling softly on
snow already laid. Darkness had caught up with us on the way home, and
when we came in sight of the cheery light enframing the Faringfields'
wide front door, and showing also from the windows at one side, I was
not sorry I was to eat supper with them that evening, my mother having
gone sleighing to visit the Murrays at Incledon, with whom she was to
pass the night. As we neared the door, tired and hungry, whom should
we see coming toward it from the other direction but Philip Winwood.
He had worked over the usual time at the warehouse. Before the girls
or I could exchange halloes with Phil, we were all startled to hear
Ned call out to him, in a tone even more imperious than the words:

"Here, you, come and take my skates, and carry them in, and tell
mother I've stopped at Jack Van Cortlandt's house a minute."

And he stood waiting for Phil to do his bidding. The rest of us
halted, also; while Phil stopped where he was, looking as if he could
not have heard aright.

"Come, are you deaf?" cried Ned, impatiently. "Do as you're bid, and
be quick about it."

Now, of course, there was nothing wrong in merely asking a comrade, as
one does ask a comrade such things, to carry in one's skates while one
stopped on the way. No one was ever readier than Phil to do such
little offices, or great ones either. Indeed, it is the American way
to do favours, even when not requested, and even to inferiors. I have
seen an American gentleman of wealth go in the most natural manner to
the assistance of his own servant in a task that seemed to overtax the
latter, and think nothing of it. But in the case I am relating; apart
from the fact that I, being nearer than Phil, was the proper one of
whom to ask the favour; the phrase and manner were those of a master
to a servant; a rough master and a stupid servant, moreover. And so
Philip, after a moment, merely laughed, and went on his way toward the
door.

At this Master Ned stepped forward with the spirit of chastisement in
his eyes, his skates held back as if he meant to strike Phil with
their sharp blades. But it happened that Philip had by now mounted the
first door-step, and thus stood higher than his would-be assailant. So
Master Ned stopped just out of Philip's reach, and said insolently:

"'Tis time you were taught your place, young fellow. You're one of my
father's servants, that's all; so take in my skates, or I'll show
you."

"You're wrong there," said Phil, with forced quietness. "A clerk or
messenger, in business, is not a personal servant."

"Take in these skates, or I'll brain you with 'em!" cried Ned, to
that.

"Come on and brain!" cried Phil.

"By G----d, I will that!" replied Ned, and made to swing the skates
around by the straps. But his arm was, at that instant, caught in a
powerful grip, and, turning about in surprise, he looked into the
hard, cold eyes of his father, who had come up unseen, having stayed;
at the warehouse even later than Phil.

"If any blows are struck here, you sha'n't be the one to strike them,
sir," he said to Ned. "What's this I hear, of servants? I'll teach you
once for all, young man, that in my house Philip is your equal. Go to
your room and think of that till it becomes fixed in your mind."

To go without supper, with such an appetite, on such a cold night, was
indeed a dreary end for such a day's sport. I, who knew how chilled
and starved Ned must be, really pitied him.

But instead of slinking off with a whimper, he for the first time in
his life showed signs of revolt.

"What if I don't choose to go to my room?" he answered, impudently, to
our utmost amazement. "You may prefer an outside upstart over your
son, if you like, but you can't always make your son a prisoner by the
ordering."

Mr. Faringfield showed little of the astonishment and paternal wrath
he doubtless felt. He gazed coldly at his defiant offspring a moment;
then took a step toward him. But Ned, with the agility of boyhood,
turned and ran, looking back as he went, and stopping only when he was
at a safe distance.

"Come back," called his father, not risking his dignity in a doubtful
pursuit, but using such a tone that few would dare to disobey the
command.

"Suppose I don't choose to come back," answered Ned, to whose head the
very devil had now certainly mounted. "Maybe there's other places to
go to, where one doesn't have to stand by and see an upstart beggar
preferred to himself, and put in his place, and fed on the best while
he's lying hungry in his dark room."

"If there's another place for you, I'd advise you to find it," said
Mr. Faringfield, after a moment's reflection.

"Oh, I'll find it," was the reply; and then came what Master Ned knew
would be the crowning taunt and insult to his father. "If it comes to
the worst, I know how I can get to England, where I'd rather be,
anyway."

There was a reason why Mr. Faringfield's face turned dark as a
thunder-cloud at this. You must know, first, that in him alone was
embodied the third generation of colonial Faringfields. The founder of
the American branch of the family, having gone pretty nearly to the
dogs at home, and got into close quarters with the law, received from
his people the alternative of emigrating to Virginia or suffering
justice to take its course. Tossing up his last sixpence, he
indifferently observed, on its coming down, that it lay in favour of
Virginia. So he chose emigration, and was shipped off, upon condition
that if he ever again set foot in England he should be forthwith
turned over to the merciless law. His relations, as he perceived,
cherished the hope that he would die of a fever likely to be caught on
the piece of marshy land in Virginia which they, in a belief that it
was worthless, had made over to him. Pondering on this on the voyage,
and perhaps having had his fill of the flesh and the devil, he
resolved to disappoint his family. And, to make short a very long
story of resolution and toil, he did so, becoming at last one of the
richest tobacco-planters in the province.

He might now have returned to England with safety; but his resentment
against the people who had exiled him when they might have compounded
with justice otherwise, extended even to their country, which he no
longer called his, and he abode still by the condition of his
emigration. He married a woman who had her own special reasons for
inimical feelings toward the English authorities, which any one may
infer who is familiar with one phase (though this was not as large a
phase as English writers seem to think) of the peopling of Virginia.
Although she turned over a new leaf in the province, and seems to have
been a model wife and parent, she yet retained a sore heart against
the mother country. The feeling of these two was early inculcated into
the minds of their children, and their eldest son, in whom it amounted
almost to a mania, transmitted it on to his own successor, our Mr.
Faringfield of Queen Street.

The second Faringfield (father of ours), being taken with a desire for
the civilities and refinements of a town life, moved from Virginia to
New York, married there a very worthy lady of Dutch patroon descent,
and, retaining his Virginia plantation, gradually extended his
business, so that he died a general merchant, with a European and a
West Indian trade, and with vessels of his own. He it was that built
the big Faringfield house in Queen Street. He was of an aspiring mind,
for one in trade, and had even a leaning toward book-knowledge and the
ornaments of life. He was, moreover, an exceedingly proud man, as if a
haughty way were needful to a man of business and an American, in
order to check the contempt with which he might be treated as either.
His large business, his pride, his unreasonable hatred of England
(which he never saw), and a very fine and imposing appearance, he
passed down to our Mr. Faringfield, by whom all these inheritances
were increased. This gentleman, sensible of the injustice of an
inherited dislike not confirmed by experience, took occasion of some
business to make a visit to England, shortly after his father's death.
I believe he called upon his English cousins, now some degrees
removed, and, finding them in their generation ignorant that there
were any American Faringfields, was so coldly received by them, as
well as by the men with whom his business brought him in contact, that
he returned more deeply fixed in his dislike, and with a determination
that no Faringfield under his control should ever again breathe the
air of the mother island. He even chose a wife of French, rather than
English, descent; though, indeed, the De Lanceys, notwithstanding they
were Americans of Huguenot origin, were very good Englishmen, as the
issue proved when the separation came.

Miss De Lancey, however, at that time, had no views or feelings as
between the colonies and England; or if she had any, scarcely knew
what they were. She was a pretty, innocent, small-minded woman; with
no very large heart either, I fancy; and without force of character;
sometimes a little shrewish when vexed, and occasionally given to
prolonged whining complaints, which often won the point with her
husband, as a persistent mosquito will drive a man from a field whence
a giant's blows would not move him. She heard Mr. Faringfield's
tirades against England, with neither disagreement nor assent; and she
let him do what he could to instil his own antagonism into the
children. How he succeeded, or failed, will appear in time. I have
told enough to show why Master Ned's threatening boast, of knowing how
to get to England, struck his father like a blow in the face.

I looked to see Mr. Faringfield now stride forth at all risk and
inflict upon Master Ned some chastisement inconceivable; and Ned
himself took a backward step or two. But his father, after a moment of
dark glowering, merely answered, though in a voice somewhat unsteady
with anger:

"To England or the devil, my fine lad, before ever you enter my door,
until you change your tune!"

Whereupon he motioned the rest of us children to follow him into the
house, leaving his eldest son to turn and trudge defiantly off into
the darkness. From Ned's manner of doing this, I knew that he was sure
of shelter for that night, at least. Noah, the old black servant,
having seen his master through the panel windows, had already opened
the door; and so we went in to the warm, candle-lit hall, Mr.
Faringfield's agitation now perfectly under control, and his anger
showing not at all upon his surface of habitual sternness.

As for the others, Phil walked in a kind of deep, troubled study, into
which he had been thrown by Ned's words regarding him; I was awed into
breathless silence and a mouse-like tread; and kind little Fanny went
gently sobbing with sorrow and fear for her unhappy brother--a sorrow
and fear not shared in the least degree by her sister Madge, whose
face showed triumphant approval of her father's course and of the
outcome.



CHAPTER III.

_Wherein 'tis Shown that Boys Are but Boys._


The Faringfield house, as I have said, was flanked by garden space on
either side. It was on the Eastern side of the street, and so faced
West, the next house Southward being ours. The wide hall that we
entered ran straight back to a door opening from a wooden veranda that
looked toward the rear garden. At the right of this hall, as you went
in, a broad oak stairway invited you to the sleeping floor above. But
before you came to this stairway, you passed a door that gave into the
great parlour, which ran the whole length of the hall, and, being used
only on occasions of festivity or ceremony, was now closed and dark.
At the left of the hall, the first door led to the smaller parlour, as
wide but not as long as the great one, and in daily use as the chief
living-room of the house. Its windows were those through which the
candle-light within had welcomed us from the frosty, snowy air that
evening. Behind this parlour, and reached either directly from it, or
by a second door at the left side of the hall, was the library,
so-called although a single case of eight shelves sufficed to hold all
the books it contained. Yet Philip said there was a world in those
books. The room was a small and singularly cosy one, and here, when
Mr. Faringfield was not occupied at the mahogany desk, we children
might play at chess, draughts, cards, and other games. From this room,
one went back into the dining-room, another apartment endeared to me
by countless pleasant memories. Its two windows looked Southward
across the side grounds (for the hall and great parlour came not so
far back) to our house and garden. Behind the dining-room, and
separating it from the kitchen and pantry, was a passage with a back
stairway and with a bench of washing-basins, easily supplied with
water from a cistern below, and from the kettle in the adjacent
kitchen. To this place we youngsters now hastened, to put ourselves to
rights for supper. The house was carpeted throughout. The great
parlour was panelled in wood, white and gold. The other chief rooms
were wainscoted in oak; and as to their upper walls, some were bright
with French paper, while some shone white with smooth plaster; their
ceilings and borders were decorated with arabesque woodwork. There
were tiled fireplaces, with carved mantels, white, like the
rectangular window-frames and panelled doors. Well, well, 'twas but a
house like countless others, and why should I so closely describe
it?--save that I love the memory of it, and fain would linger upon its
commonest details.

Mighty snug was the dining-room that evening, with its oaken
sideboard, its prints and portraits on the wall, its sputtering fire,
and its well-filled table lighted from a candelabrum in the centre.
The sharp odour of the burning pine was keen to the nostrils, and
mingled with it was the smell of the fried ham. There was the softer
fragrance of the corn meal mush or porridge, served with milk, and
soft was the taste of it also. We had sausage cakes, too, and pancakes
to be eaten either with butter or with the syrup of the maple-tree;
and jam, and jelly, and fruit butter. These things seem homely fare,
no doubt, but there was a skill of cookery in the fat old negress,
Hannah--a skill consisting much in the plentiful use of salt and
pepper at proper stages--that would have given homelier fare a relish
to more fastidious tongues. I miss in the wholesome but limited and
unseasoned diet of the English the variety and savouriness of American
food (I mean the food of the well-to-do in the large towns), which
includes all the English and Scotch dishes, corrected of their
insipidity, besides countless dishes French, German, and Dutch, and
many native to the soil, all improved and diversified by the
surprising genius for cookery which, in so few generations, the negro
race has come to exhibit. I was a busy lad at that meal; a speechless
one, consequently, and for some minutes so engrossed in the business
of my jaws that I did not heed the unwonted silence of the rest. Then
suddenly it came upon me as something embarrassing and painful that
Mr. and Mrs. Faringfield, who usually conversed at meals, had nothing
to say, and that Philip Winwood sat gloomy and taciturn, merely going
through a hollow form of eating. As for Fanny, she was the picture of
childish sorrow, though now tearless. Only Madge and little Tom, who
had found some joke between themselves, occasionally spluttered with
suppressed laughter, smiling meanwhile knowingly at each other.

Of course this depression was due to the absence of Ned, regarding the
cause of which his mother was still in the dark. Not missing him until
we children had filed in to supper after tidying up, she had then
remarked that he was not yet in.

"He will not be home to supper," Mr. Faringfield had replied, in a
tone that forbade questioning until the pair should be alone, and
motioning his wife to be seated at the table. After that he had once
or twice essayed to talk upon casual subjects, as if nothing had
happened, but he had perceived that the attempt was hopeless while
Mrs. Faringfield remained in her state of deferred curiosity and vague
alarm, and so he had desisted.

After supper, which the lady's impatience made shorter than my
appetite would have dictated, the husband and wife went into the small
parlour, closing the door upon us children in the library. Here I
managed to make a pleasant evening, in games with Madge and little Tom
upon the floor. But Philip, though he came in as was his wont, was not
to be lured into our play or our talk. He did not even read, but sat
silent and pondering, in no cheerful mood. I, not reading him as Madge
did, knew not what the matter was, and accused him of having vapours,
like a girl. He looked at me heedlessly, in reply, as if he scarce
heard. But Madge, apparently, divined his feeling, and at times
respected it, for then she spoke low, and skilfully won me back from
my efforts to enliven him. At other times, his way seemed to irritate
her, and she hinted that he was foolish, and then she was
extraordinarily smiling and adorable to me (always, I now suspect,
with the corner of her eye upon him) as if to draw him back to his
usual good-fellowship by that method. But 'twas in vain. I left at
bedtime, wondering what change had come over him.

That night, I learned afterward, Philip slept little, debating
sorrowfully in his mind. He kept his window slightly open at night, in
all weather; and open also that night was one of the windows of Mr.
and Mrs. Faringfield's great chamber below. A sound that reached him
in the small hours, of Mrs. Faringfield whimpering and weeping,
decided him. And the next morning, after another silent meal, he
contrived to fall into Mr. Faringfield's company on the way to the
warehouse, which they had almost reached ere Phil, very down in the
mouth and perturbed, got up his courage to his unpleasant task and
blundered out in a boyish, frightened way:

"If you please, sir, I wished to tell you--I've made up my mind to
leave--and thank you very much for all your kindness!"

Mr. Faringfield stared from under his gathered brows, and asked Phil
to repeat the strange thing he had said.

"Leave what, sir?" he queried sharply, when Phil had done so.

"Leave your warehouse, sir; and your house; and New York."

"What do you mean, my boy?"

And Phil, thankful that Mr. Faringfield had paused to have the talk
out ere they should come among the men at the warehouse, explained at
first in vague terms, but finally in the explicit language to which
his benefactor's questions forced him, that he seemed, in Master Ned's
mind, to be standing in Ned's way; that he would not for the world
appear to supplant any man's son, much less the son of one who had
been so kind to him; that he had unintentionally been the cause of
Ned's departure the evening before; and that he hoped his going would
bring Ned back from the absence which caused his mother grief. "And I
wouldn't stay in New York after leaving you, sir," he said, "for
'twould look as if you and I had disagreed."

To all this Mr. Faringfield replied briefly that Ned was a foolish
boy, and would soon enough come back, glad of what welcome he might
get; and that, as for Philip's going away, it was simply not to be
heard of. But Phil persisted, conceding only that he should remain at
the warehouse for an hour that morning and complete a task he had left
unfinished. Mr. Faringfield still refused to have it that Phil should
go at all.

When Philip had done his hour's work, he went in to his employer's
office to say good-bye.

"Tut, tut," said Mr. Faringfield, looking annoyed at the interruption,
"there's no occasion for goodbyes. But look you, lad. I don't mind
your taking the day off, to put yourself into a reasonable state of
mind. Go home, and enjoy a holiday, and come back to your work
to-morrow, fresh and cheerful. Now, now, boy, I won't hear any more.
Only do as I bid you." And he assumed a chilling reserve that indeed
froze all further possible discussion.

"But I do say good-bye, sir, and mean it," said Phil, tremulously.
"And I thank you from my heart for all you've done for me."

And so, with a lump in his throat, Phil hastened home, and sped up the
stairs unseen, like a ghost; and had all his things out on his bed for
packing, when suddenly Madge, who had been astonished to hear him
moving about, from her mother's room below, flung open his door and
looked in upon him, all amazed.

"Why, Phil, what are you doing home at this hour? What are you putting
your things into your valise for?"

"Oh, nothing," said Phil, very downcast.

"Why, it looks as if--you were going away somewhere."

Phil made a brief answer; and then there was a long talk, all the
while he continued to pack his goods, in his perturbation stowing
things together in strange juxtaposition. The end of it was that
Madge, after vowing that if he went she would never speak to him
again, and would hate him for ever, indignantly left him to himself.
Phil went on packing, in all the outward calmness he could muster,
though I'll wager with a very pouting and dismal countenance. At last,
his possessions being bestowed, and the bag fastened with much
physical exertion, he left it on the bed, and slipped down-stairs to
find his one remaining piece of property. Philip's cat had waxed plump
in the Faringfield household, Master Ned always deterred from harming
it by the knowledge that if aught ill befell it, the finger of
accusation would point instantly and surely at him.

Phil was returning up the stairs, his pet under his arm, when Mistress
Madge reappeared before him, with magic unexpectedness, from a doorway
opening on a landing. As she stood in his way there, he stopped, and
the two faced each other.

"Well," said she, with sarcastic bitterness, "I suppose you've decided
where you're going to."

"Not yet," he replied. He had thought vaguely of Philadelphia or
Boston, either of which he now had means of reaching, having saved
most of his small salary at the warehouse, for he was not a bound
apprentice.

"I make no doubt," she went on, "'twill be the farthest place you can
find."

Phil gave her a reproachful look, and asked where her mother and the
children were, that he might bid them good-bye. He wondered, indeed,
that Madge had not told her mother of his resolve, for, from that
lady's not seeking him at once, he knew that she was still unaware of
it. He little guessed that 'twas the girl's own power over him she
wished to test, and that she would not enlist her mother's persuasions
but as a last resource.

"I don't know," she replied carelessly.

"I shall look for them," said Philip, and turned to go down-stairs
again.

But (though how could a boy imagine it?) Miss Faringfield would not
have it that his yielding should be due to her mother, if it could be
achieved as a victory for herself. So she stopped him with a sudden
tremulous "Oh, Phil!" and, raising her forearm to the door-post, hid
her face against it, and wept as if her heart would break.

Philip had never before known her to shed a tear, and this new
spectacle, in a second's time, took all the firmness out of him.

"Why, Madge, I didn't know--don't cry, Madgie--"

She turned swiftly, without looking up, and her face, still in a
shower of tears, found hiding no longer against the door-post, but
against Phil's breast.

"Don't cry, Madgie dear,--I sha'n't go!"

She raised her wet face, joy sparkling where the lines had not yet
lost the shape of grief; and Phil never thought to ask himself how
much of her pleasure was for his not going, and how much for the
evidence given of her feminine power. He had presently another thing
to consider, a not very palatable dose to swallow--the returning to
the warehouse and telling Mr. Faringfield of his change of mind. He
did this awkwardly enough, no doubt, but manfully enough, I'll take my
oath, though he always said he felt never so tamed and small and
ludicrous in his life, before or after.

And that scene upon the landing is the last picture, but one, I have
to present of childhood days, ere I hasten, over the period that
brought us all into our twenties and to strange, eventful times. The
one remaining sketch is of an unkempt, bedraggled figure that I saw at
the back hall door of the Faringfields one snowy night a week later,
when, for some reason or other, I was out late in our back garden.
This person, instead of knocking at the door, very cautiously tried it
to see if it would open, and, finding it locked, stood timidly back
and gazed at it in a quandary. Suspecting mischief, I went to the
paling fence that separated our ground from the Faringfields', and
called out, "Who's that?"

"Hallo, Bert!" came in a very conciliating tone, low-spoken; and then,
as with a sudden thought, "Come over here, will you?"

I crossed the fence, and was in a moment at the side of Master Ned,
who looked exceedingly the worse for wear, in face, figure, and
clothes.

"Look here," said he, speaking rapidly, so as to prevent my touching
the subject of his return, "I want to sneak in, and up-stairs to bed,
without the old man seeing me. I don't just like to meet him till
to-morrow. But I can't sneak in, for the door's locked, and Noah would
be sure to tell dad. You knock, and when they let you in, pretend you
came to play with the kids; and whisper Fanny to slip out and open the
door for me."

I entered readily into the strategy, as a boy will, glad of Ned's
return for the sake of Phil, who I knew was ill at ease for Ned's
absence being in some sense due to himself.

Old Noah admitted me at my knock, locked the door after me, and sent
me into the smaller parlour, where the whole family happened to be.
When I whispered my message to Fanny, she turned so many colours, and
made so precipitately for the entrance hall, that her father was put
on the alert. He followed her quietly out, just in time to see a very
shivering, humble, shamefaced youth step in from the snowy outer
night. The sight of his father turned Ned cold and stiff upon the
threshold; but all the father did was to put on a grim look of
contempt, and say:

"Well, sir, I suppose you've changed your tune."

"Yes, sir," said the penitent, meekly, and there being now no reason
for secrecy he shambled after his father into the parlour. There,
after his mother's embrace, he grinned sheepishly upon us all. Fanny
was quite rejoiced, and so was little Tom till the novelty wore off;
while Madge greeted the prodigal good-humouredly enough, and one could
read Phil's relief and forgiveness on his smiling face. Master Ned,
grateful for an easier ordeal than he had feared, made no exception
against Phil in the somewhat sickly amiability he had for all, and we
thought that here were reconciliation and the assurance of future
peace.

Ned's home-coming brought trouble in its train, as indeed did his
every reappearance afterward. It came out that he and another boy--the
one in whose house he had found refuge on the night of his running
away--had started off for the North to lead the lives of hunters and
trappers, a career so inviting that they could not wait to provide a
sufficient equipment. They travelled afoot by the Albany post-road,
soliciting food at farmhouses, passing their nights in barns; and got
as far as Tarrytown, ere either one in his pride would admit to the
other, through chattering teeth, that he had had his fill of snow and
hunger and the raw winds of the Hudson River. So footsore, leg-weary,
empty, and frozen were they on their way back, that they helped
themselves to one of Jacob Post's horses, near the Philipse
manor-house; and not daring to ride into town on this beast,
thoughtlessly turned it loose in the Bowery lane, never thinking how
certainly it and they could be traced--for they had been noticed at
Van Cortlandt's, again at Kingsbridge, and again at the Blue Bell
tavern. After receiving its liberty, the horse had been seen once,
galloping toward Turtle Bay, and never again.

So, a few days after Ned's reentrance into the bosom of his family,
there came to the house a constable, of our own town, with a deputy
sent by the sheriff of Westchester County, wanting Master Edward
Faringfield.

Frightened and disgraced, his mother sent for her husband; and for the
sake of the family name, Mr. Faringfield adjusted matters by the
payment of twice or thrice what the horse was worth. Thus the would-be
hunter and trapper escaped the discomfort and shame of jail; though by
his father's sentence he underwent a fortnight's detention on bread
and water in his bedroom.

That was the first fright and humiliation that Master Ned brought on
his people; and he brought so many of these in after years, that the
time came when his parents, and all, were rather glad than sorry each
time he packed off again, and shuddered rather than rejoiced when,
after an absence, he turned up safe and healthy as ever, with his old
hangdog smile beneath which lurked a look half-defiant, half-injured.
As he grew older, and the boy in him made room for the man, there was
less of the smile, less injury, more defiance.

I do not remember how many years it was after Philip's coming to New
York, that our Dutch schoolmaster went the way of all flesh, and there
came in his place, to conduct a school for boys only and in more
advanced studies, a pedagogue from Philadelphia, named Cornelius. He
was of American birth, but of European parentage, whether German or
Dutch I never knew. Certainly he had learning, and much more than was
due alone to his having gone through the college at Princeton in New
Jersey. He was in the early twenties, tall and robust, with a large
round face, and with these peculiarities: that his hair, eyebrows, and
lashes were perfectly white, his eyes of a singularly mild blue, his
skin of a pinkish tint; that he was given to blushing whenever he met
women or strangers, and that he spoke with pedantic preciseness, in a
wondrously low voice. But despite his bashfulness, there was a great
deal in the man, and when an emergency rose he never lacked resource.

He it was to whom my education, and Ned Faringfield's, was entrusted,
while the girls and little Tom still strove with the rudiments in the
dame-school. He it was that carried us to the portals of college; and
I carried Philip Winwood thither with me, by studying my lessons with
him in the evenings. In many things he was far beyond Mr. Cornelius's
highest teaching; but there had been lapses in his information, and
these he filled up, and regulated his knowledge as well, through
accompanying me in my progress. And he continued so to accompany me,
making better use of my books than ever I made, as I went through the
King's College; and that is the way in which Phil Winwood got his
stock of learning eked out, and put in due shape and order.

It happened that Philip's taste fastened upon one subject of which
there was scarce anything to be learned by keeping pace with my
studies, but upon which much was to be had from books in the college
library, of which I obtained the use for him. It was a strange subject
for a youth to take up at that time, or any time since, and in that
colonial country--architecture. Yet 'twas just like Phil Winwood to be
interested in something that all around him neglected or knew nothing
about. What hope an American could have in the pursuit of an art, for
which the very rare demands in his country were supplied from Europe,
and which indeed languished the world over, I could not see.

"Very well, then," said Phil, "'twill be worth while trying to waken
this sleeping art, and to find a place for it in this out-of-the-way
country. I wouldn't presume to attempt new forms, to be sure; but one
might revive some old ones, and maybe try new arrangements of them."

"Then you think you'll really be an architect?" I asked.

"Why, if it's possible. 'Faith, I'm not so young any more that I still
want to be a soldier, or a sailor either. One thing, 'twill take years
of study; I'll have to go to Europe for that."

"To England?"

"First of all."

"What will Mr. Faringfield say to that?"

"He will not mind it so much in my case. I'm not of the Faringfield
blood."

"Egad," said I, "there's some of the Faringfield blood hankers for a
sight of London."

"Whose? Ned's?"

"No. Margaret's."

We were young men now, and she would not let us call her Madge any
more. What I had said was true. She had not grown up without hearing
and reading much of the great world beyond the sea, and wishing she
might have her taste of its pleasures. She first showed a sense of her
deprivation--for it was a deprivation for a rich man's daughter--when
she finished at the dame-school and we boys entered college. Then she
hinted, very cautiously, that her and Fanny's education was being
neglected, and mentioned certain other New York gentlemen's daughters,
who had been sent to England to boarding-schools.

Delicately as she did this, the thought that his favourite child could
harbour a wish that involved going to England, was a blow to Mr.
Faringfield. He hastened to remove all cause of complaint on the score
of defective education. He arranged that the music teacher, who gave
the girls their lessons in singing and in playing upon the harpsichord
and guitar, should teach them four days a week instead of two. He
engaged Mr. Cornelius to become an inmate of his house and to give
them tuition out of his regular school hours. He paid a French widow
to instruct them in their pronunciation, their book-French and grammar
being acquired under Mr. Cornelius's teaching. And so, poor girls,
they got only additional work for Margaret's pains. But both of them
were docile, Fanny because it was her nature to be so, Margaret
because she had taken it into her head to become an accomplished lady.
We never guessed her dreams and ambitions in those years, and to this
day I often wonder at what hour in her girlhood the set design took
possession of her, that design which dominated all her actions when we
so little guessed its existence. Besides these three instructors, the
girls had their dancing-master, an Englishman who pretended to impart
not only the best-approved steps of a London assembly-room, but its
manners and graces as well.

So much for the education of the girls, Philip, and myself. Ned
Faringfield's was interrupted by his expulsion from King's for gross
misconduct; and was terminated by his disgrace at Yale College
(whither his father had sent him in vain hope that he might behave
better away from home and more self-dependent) for beating a smaller
student whom he had cheated at a clandestine game of cards. His
home-coming on this occasion was followed by his being packed off to
Virginia to play at superintending his father's tobacco plantations.
Neglecting this business to go shooting on the frontier, he got a
Scotch Presbyterian mountaineer's daughter into trouble; and when he
turned up again at the door in Queen Street, he was still shaky with
recollections of the mob of riflemen that had chased him out of
Virginia. That piece of sport cost his father a pretty penny, and
resulted in a place being got for Ned with a merchant who was Mr.
Faringfield's correspondent in the Barbadoes. So to the tropics the
young gentleman was shipped, with sighs of relief at his embarkation,
and--I have no doubt--with unuttered prayers that he might not show
his face in Queen Street for a long time to come. Already he had got
the name, in the family, of "the bad shilling," for his always coming
back unlooked for.

How different was his younger brother!--no longer "little Tom" (though
of but middle height and slim build), but always gay-hearted,
affectionate, innocent, and a gentleman. He was a handsome lad,
without and within--yes, "lad" I must call him, for, though he came to
manly years, he always seemed a boy to me. He followed in our steps,
in his time, through Mr. Cornelius's school, and into King's College,
too, but the coming of the war cut short his studies there.

It must have been in the year 1772--I remember Margaret spoke of her
being seventeen years old, in which case I was nineteen--when I got
(and speedily forgot) my first glimpse of Margaret's inmost mind. We
were at the play--for New York had had a playhouse ever since Mr.
Hallam had brought thither his company, with whom the great Garrick
had first appeared in London. I cannot recall what the piece was that
night; but I know it must have been a decent one, or Margaret would
not have been allowed to see it; and that it purported to set forth
true scenes of fashionable life in London. At one side of Margaret her
mother sat, at the other was myself, and I think I was that time their
only escort.

"What a fright!" said Margaret in my ear, as one of the actresses came
upon the stage with an affected gait, and a look of thinking herself
mighty fine and irresistible. "'Tis a slander, this."

"Of whom?" I asked.

"Of the fine ladies these poor things pretend to represent."

"How do you know?" I retorted, for I was somewhat taken with the
actresses, and thought to avenge them by bringing her down a peg or
two. "Have you seen so much of London fine ladies?"

"No, poor me!" she said sorrowfully, without a bit of anger, so that I
was softened in a trice. "But the ladies of New York, even, are no
such tawdry make-believes as this.--Heaven knows, I would give ten
years of life for a sight of the fine world of London!"

She was looking so divine at that moment, that I could not but
whisper:

"You would see nothing finer there than yourself."

"Do you think so?" she quickly asked, flashing her eyes upon me in a
strange way that called for a serious answer.

"'Tis the God's truth," I said, earnestly.

For a moment she was silent; then she whispered:

"What a silly whimsy of my father, his hatred of England! Does he
imagine none of us is really ever to see the world?--That reminds me,
don't forget the _Town and Country Magazine_ to-morrow."

I had once come upon a copy of that publication, which reflected the
high life of England, perhaps too much on its scandalous side; and had
shown it to Margaret. Immediately she had got me to subscribe for it,
and to pass each number clandestinely to her. I, delighted to do her a
favour, and to have a secret with her, complied joyously; and obtained
for her as many novels and plays as I could, as well.

Little I fancied what bee I thus helped to keep buzzing in her pretty
head, which she now carried with all the alternate imperiousness and
graciousness of confident and proven beauty. Little I divined of
feminine dreams of conquest in larger fields; or foresaw of dangerous
fruit to grow from seed planted with thoughtlessness. To my mind,
nothing of harm or evil could ensue from anything done, or thought, in
our happy little group. To my eyes, the future could be only radiant
and triumphant. For I was still but a lad at heart, and to think as I
did, or to be thoughtless as I was, is the way of youth.



CHAPTER IV.

_How Philip and I Behaved as Rivals in Love._


I was always impatient, and restless to settle uncertainties. One fine
morning in the Spring of 1773, Philip and I were breaking the Sabbath
by practising with the foils in our back garden. Spite of all the
lessons I had taken from an English fencing-master in the town, Phil
was still my superior in the gentlemanly art. After a bout, on this
sunshiny morning, we rested upon a wooden bench, in the midst of a
world of white and pink and green, for the apple and cherry blossoms
were out, and the leaves were in their first freshness. The air was
full of the odour of lilacs and honeysuckles. Suddenly the matter that
was in my mind came out.

"I wish you'd tell me something, Phil--though 'tis none of my
business,--"

"Why, man, you're welcome to anything I know."

"Then, is there aught between Margaret and you--any agreement or
understanding, I mean?"

Phil smiled, comprehending me thoroughly.

"No, there's nothing. I'm glad you asked. It shows there's no promise
between her and you, either."

"I thought you and I ought to settle it between ourselves
about--Margaret. Because if we both go on letting time pass, each
waiting to see what t'other will do, some other man will slip in, and
carry off the prize, and there will both of us be, out in the cold."

"Oh, there's little fear of that," said Phil.

"Why, the fellows are all coming after her. She's far the finest girl
in town."

"But you see how she treats them, all alike; looks down on them all,
even while she's pleasant to them; and doesn't lead any one of them on
a step further than the rest."

"Ay, but in time--she's eighteen now, you know."

"Why, did you ever try to imagine her regarding any one of them as a
husband; as a companion to live with day after day, and to agree with,
and look up to, and yield to, as a wife does? Just fancy Margaret
accommodating herself to the everlasting company of Phil Van
Cortlandt, or Jack Cruger, or Bob Livingstone, or Harry Colden, or
Fred Philipse, or Billy Skinner, or any of them."

"I know," said I; "but many a girl has taken a man that other men
couldn't see anything in."

"Ay, the women have a way of their own of judging men; or perhaps they
make the best of what they can get. But you may depend on't, Margaret
has too clear a sight, and too bright a mind, and thinks too well of
herself, to mate with an uncouth cub, or a stupid dolt, or a girlish
fop, or any of these that hang about her."

'Twas not Phil's way to speak ill of people, but when one considered
men in comparison with Margaret, they looked indeed very crude and
unworthy.

"You know," he added, "how soon she tires of any one's society."

"But," said I, dubiously, "if none of them has a chance, how is it
with us?"

"Why, 'tis well-proved that she doesn't tire of us. For years and
years, she has had us about her every day, and has been content with
our society. That shows she could endure us to be always near her."

It was true, indeed. And I should explain here that, as things were in
America then, and with Mr. Faringfield and Margaret, neither of us was
entirely ineligible to the hand of so rich and important a man's
daughter; although the town would not have likened our chances to
those of a De Lancey, a Livingstone, or a Philipse. I ought to have
said before, that Philip was now of promising fortune. He had risen in
the employ of Mr. Faringfield, but, more than that, he had invested
some years' savings in one of that merchant's shipping ventures, and
had reinvested the profits, always upon his benefactor's advice, until
now his independence was a certain thing. If he indeed tried
architecture and it failed him as a means of livelihood, he might at
any time fall back upon his means and his experience as a merchant
adventurer. As for me, I also was a beneficiary of Mr. Faringfield's
mercantile transactions by sea, my mother, at his hint, having drawn
out some money from the English funds, and risked it with him.
Furthermore, I had obtained a subordinate post in the customs office,
with a promise of sometime succeeding to my father's old place, and
the certainty of remaining in his Majesty's service during good
behaviour. This meant for life, for I had now learned how to govern my
conduct, having schooled myself, for the sake of my mother's peace of
mind, to keep out of trouble, often against my natural impulses. Thus
both Phil and I might aspire to Margaret; and, moreover, 'twas like
that her father would provide well for her if she found a husband to
his approval. It did not then occur to me that my employment in the
English service might be against me in Mr. Faringfield's eyes.

"Then," said I, reaching the main point at last, "as you think we are
endurable to her--which of us shall it be?"

"Why, that question is for her to settle," said Phil, with a smile
half-amused, half-surprised.

"But she will have to be asked. So which of us--?"

"I don't think it matters," he replied. "If she prefers one of us, she
will take him and refuse the other, whether he ask first or last."

"But suppose she likes us equally. In that case, might not the first
asker win, merely for his being first?"

"I think it scarce possible but that in her heart she must favour one
above all others, though she may not know it yet."

"But it seems to me--"

"'Faith, Bert, do as you like, I sha'n't say nay, or think nay. If you
ask her, and she accepts you, I shall be sure you are the choice of
her heart. But as for me, I have often thought of the matter, and this
is what I've come to: not to speak to her of it, until by some hint or
act she shows her preference."

"But the lady must not make the first step."

"Not by proposal or direct word, of course--though I'll wager there
have been exceptions to that; but I've read, and believe from what
I've seen, that 'tis oftenest the lady that gives the first hint. No
doubt, she has already made sure of the gentleman's feelings, by signs
he doesn't know of. If a man didn't receive some leading on from a
woman, how would he dare tell her his mind?--for if he loves her he
must dread her refusal, or scorn, beyond all things. However that be,
I've seen, in companies, and at the play, and even in church, how
girls contrive to show their partiality to the fellows they prefer.
Why, we've both had it happen to us, when we were too young for the
fancy to last. And 'tis the same, I'll wager, when the girls are
women, and the stronger feeling has come, the kind that lasts. Be sure
a girl as clever as Margaret will find a way of showing it, if she has
set her mind on either of us. And so, I'm resolved to wait for some
sign from her before I speak."

He went on to explain that this course would prolong, to the
unfortunate one, the possession of the pleasures of hope. It would
save him, and Margaret, from the very unpleasant incident of a
rejection. Such a refusal must always leave behind it a certain
bitterness in the memory, that will touch what friendship remains
between the two people concerned. And I know Philip's wish that,
though he might not be her choice, his old friendship with her might
continue perfectly unmarred, was what influenced him to avoid a
possible scene of refusal.

"Then I shall do as you do," said I, "and if I see any sign, either in
my favour or yours, be sure I'll tell you."

"I was just about to propose that," said Phil; and we resumed our
fencing.

There was, in our plan, nothing to hinder either of us from putting
his best foot forward, as the saying is, and making himself as
agreeable to the young lady as he could. Indeed that was the quickest
way to call forth the indication how her affections stood. I don't
think Phil took any pains to appear in a better light than usual. It
was his habit to be always himself, sincere, gentle, considerate, and
never thrusting forward. He had acquired with his growth a playful
humour with which to trim his conversation, but which never went to
tiresome lengths. This was all the more taking for his quiet manner,
which held one where noise and effort failed. But I exerted myself to
be mighty gallant, and to show my admiration and wit in every
opportune way.

I considered that Phil and I were evenly matched in the rivalry; for
when a young fellow loves a girl, be she ever so divine, and though he
feel in his heart that she is too good for him, yet he will believe it
is in him to win her grace. If he think his self-known attractions
will not suffice, he will trust to some possible hidden merits,
unperceived by himself and the world, but which will manifest
themselves to her sight in a magical manner vouchsafed to lovers. Or
at worst, if he admit himself to be mean and unlikely, he will put
reliance upon woman's caprice, which, as we all know, often makes
strange selections. As for me, I took myself to be quite a conquering
fellow.

In looks, 'twas my opinion that Philip and I were equally gifted. Phil
was of a graceful, slender figure; within an inch of six feet, I
should say; with a longish face, narrowing from the forehead downward,
very distinctly outlined, the nose a little curved, the mouth still as
delicate as a boy's. Indeed he always retained something boyish in his
look, for all his studiousness and thoughtfulness, and all that came
later. He was not as pale as in boyhood, the sea breezes that swept in
from the bay, past the wharves, having given him some ruddiness. His
eyes, I have said, were blue, almost of a colour with Margaret's. I
was an inch or two shorter than Phil, my build was more heavy and
full, my face more of an equal width, my nose a little upturned so as
to give me an impudent look, my eyes a darkish brown.

That I was not Phil's match in sense, learning, talents, self-command,
and modesty, did not occur to me as lessening my chances with a woman.
If I lacked real wit, I had pertness; and I thought I had a manner of
dashing boldness, that must do one-half the business with any girl,
while my converse trick of softening my voice and eyes to her on
occasion, would do the other half.

But Margaret took her time before giving a hint of her heart's
condition. She was the same old comrade to us, she confided to us her
adverse opinions of other people, laughed with us, and often at us
(when it was like as not that she herself had made us ridiculous),
told us her little secrets, let us share her gaiety and her dejection
alike, teased us, soothed us, made us serve her, and played the
spoiled beauty with us to the full of the part. And a beauty she was,
indeed; ten times more than in her childhood. The bud was approaching
its full bloom. She was of the average tallness; slender at neck,
waist, wrist, and ankle, but filling out well in the figure, which had
such curves as I swear I never saw elsewhere upon earth. She had the
smallest foot, with the highest instep; such as one gets not often an
idea of in England. Her little head, with its ripples of chestnut
hair, sat like that of a princess; and her face, oval in shape, proud
and soft by turns in expression--I have no way of conveying the
impression it gave one, but to say that it made me think of a nosegay
of fresh, flawless roses, white and red. Often, by candle-light,
especially if she were dressed for a ball, or sat at the play, I would
liken her to some animate gem, without the hardness that belongs to
real precious stones; for indeed she shone like a jewel, thanks to the
lustre of her eyes in artificial light. Whether from humidity or some
quality of their substance, I do not know, but they reflected the rays
as I have rarely seen eyes do; and in their luminosity her whole face
seemed to have part, so that her presence had an effect of warm
brilliancy that lured and dazzled you. To see her emerge from the
darkness of the Faringfield coach, or from her sedan-chair, into the
bright light of open doorways and of lanterns held by servants, was to
hold your breath and stand with lips parted in admiration, until she
made you feel your nothingness by a haughty indifference in passing,
or sent you glowing to the seventh heaven by a radiant smile.

While we were waiting for the heart of our paragon to reveal itself,
life in Queen Street was diversified, in the Fall of 1773, by an
unexpected visit.

Mr. Faringfield and Philip, as they entered the dining-room one
evening after their return from the warehouse, observed that an
additional place had been made at the table. Without speaking, the
merchant looked inquiringly, and with a little of apprehension, at his
lady.

"Ned has come back," she answered, trying to speak as if this were
quite cheerful news.

Mr. Faringfield's face darkened. Then, with some sarcasm, he said:

"He did not go out of his way to stop at the warehouse in coming from
the landing."

"Why, no doubt the ship did not anchor near our wharf. He came by the
_Sophy_ brig. He took some tea, and changed his clothes, and went out
to meet a fellow passenger at the coffee-house. They had some business
together."

"Business with a pack of cards, I make no doubt; or else with rum or
madeira."

'Twas the second of these conjectures that turned out right. For Mr.
Edward did not come home in time to occupy at supper the place that
had been set for him. When he did appear, he said he had already
eaten. Perhaps it was to strengthen his courage for meeting his
father, that he had imbibed to the stage wherein he vilely smelt of
spirits and his eyes and face were flushed. He was certainly bold
enough when he received his father's cold greeting in the parlour,
about nine o'clock at night.

"And, pray, what circumstance gives us the honour of this visit?"
asked Mr. Faringfield, not dissembling his disgust.

"Why," says Mr. Ned, quite undaunted, and dropping his burly form into
an armchair with an air of being perfectly at home, "to tell the
truth, 'tis a hole, the place you sent me to; a very hell-hole."

"By what arrangement with Mr. Culverson did you leave it?" Mr.
Culverson was the Barbadoes merchant by whom Edward had been employed.

"Culverson!" echoed Ned, with a grin. "I doubt there was little love
lost between me and Culverson! 'Culverson,' says I, 'the place is a
hole, and the next vessel bound for New York, I go on her.' 'And a
damned good riddance!' says Culverson (begging your pardon! I'm only
quoting what the man said), and that was the only arrangement I
remember of."

"And so that you are here, what now?" inquired Mr. Faringfield,
looking as if he appreciated Mr. Culverson's sentiments.

"Why, sir, as for that, I think 'tis for you to say."

"Indeed, sir?"

"Yes, sir, seeing that I'm your son, whom you're bound to provide
for."

"You are twenty-two, I think," says Mr. Faringfield.

"I take it, a few paltry years more or less don't alter my rights, or
the responsibilities of a parent. Don't think, sir, I shall stand up
and quietly see myself robbed of my birthright. I'm no longer the man
to play the Esek, or Esock, or whatever--"

"Esau," prompted Fanny, in a whisper.

"And my mouth isn't to be stopped by any mess of porridge."

"Pottage," corrected Fanny.

"Well, sir," said Mr. Faringfield, rising, and holding himself very
stiffly, "I'll think upon it." Whereupon he went into the library, and
closed the door after him.

'Tis certain that he had both the strength and the inclination to
chastise his son for these insulting rum-incited speeches, and to cast
him out to shift for his own future; instead of enduring heedlessly
the former, and offering to consider the latter. His strength was
equal to his pride, and he was no colder without than he was
passionate within. But there was one thing his strength of mind fell
short of facing, and that was the disgrace to the family, which the
eldest son might bring were he turned looser, unprovided for, in New
York. 'Twas the fear of such disgrace that always led Mr. Faringfield
to send Ned far away; and made him avoid any scene of violence which
the youth, now that he was a man and grown bold, might precipitate in
discussions such as the father had but now cut short.

"Now I call that frigid," complained Edward to his mother, staring at
the door behind which Mr. Faringfield had disappeared. "Here was I, in
for a pleasant confab with my father, concerning my future; and before
I can put in a word, out he flings, and there's an end of it. 'Tisn't
fatherly, I protest! Well, well, I might have known! He was always
stony-hearted; never would discuss matters. That's the gratitude I get
for putting the case to him in a reasonable, docile, filial fashion.
However, he said he'd think upon it. That means I shall stay here, and
take a holiday, till he makes up his mind where to ship me to next.
'Twon't be England, I fancy, mother. I wouldn't object to France,
egad! I could learn to eat frogs as soon as another man, if it came to
that. Well, I need a holiday, after working so hard in that cursed
devil's paradise I've just come from. I suppose I can depend on you
for a little pocket-money, ma'am, till dad comes to a conclusion?"

During the next fortnight, as he passed most of his time in the
taverns and the coffee-house, save when he attended horse-races on
Long Island, or chased foxes upon Tom's horse, or lent the honour of
his presence to cock-fights; Mr. Edward found his mother's resources
inadequate to his demands, and so levied tribute not only upon Fanny
and Tom but also upon Mr. Cornelius, who still abode in the
Faringfield house, and upon Philip Winwood. To Phil his manner was
more than civil; 'twas most conciliating and flattering, in a
pleasantly jocular way.

Ere Mr. Faringfield had announced his mind, the visitor had worn out
his welcome in most of his tavern haunts, and become correspondingly
tired of New York. One evening, as Philip was leaving the warehouse, a
negro boy handed him a note, in which Mr. Ned begged him to come
immediately, on a matter of importance, to the King's Arms tavern.
There he found Edward seated at a small table in a corner of the
tap-room. Ned would have it that Phil should send home his excuses, by
the negro, and sup at the tavern; which, for the sake of peace, though
unwillingly, Philip finally consented to do.

Edward was drinking rum, in a kind of hot punch of his own mixing.
Phil, though fond of madeira at home, now contented himself with ale;
and the two were soon at work upon a fried chicken prepared in the
Maryland fashion.

"You know, Phil," says Ned at last, having talked in a lively strain
upon a multitude of matters, none of which Philip perceived to be
important, "'fore gad, I always liked you! Tis so, as the Lord's my
judge. Nay, you think I took a damned odd way of showing it. But we're
not all alike. Now look you! Hearken unto me, as the parson says. I
can say a good word for you in a certain ear."

"Whose?" queried Phil, wondering in what ear he needed a good word
said.

"Whose, eh? Now whose would it be? Come, come, I'll speak to the
point. I'm no man for palaver. 'Tis an ear you've whispered more than
one sweet thing into, I'll warrant. You're young, Philip, young: you
think you can fall in love and nobody find it out. Why, I hadn't been
landed two hours, and asked the news, when I was told that you and
Bert Russell were over ears in love with my sister."

Phil merely looked his astonishment.

"Now, sir, you mayn't think it," says Mr. Ned, "but my word has some
weight with Fanny."

"Fanny?" echoed Philip. "What has she to do with it?"

"Why, everything, I fancy. The lady usually has--"

"But Fanny isn't the lady."

"What? Then who the devil is?"

"I don't think 'tis a matter need be talked of now," said Phil.

"But I'd like to know--'gad, it can't be the other sister! Madge--that
spitfire! Well, well! Your face speaks, if your tongue won't. Who'd
have thought any man would go soft over such a vixen? Well, I can't
help you there, my lad!"

"I haven't asked your help," says Phil with a smile.

"Now, it's a pity," says Ned, dolefully, "for I thought by doing you a
good turn I might get you to do me another."

"Oh, I see! Why, then, as for my doing you a good turn if it's
possible, speak out. What is it?"

"Now, I call that noble of you, Phil; damned noble! I do need a good
turn, and that's a fact. You see I didn't tell my father exactly the
truth as to my leaving the Barbadoes. Not that I don't scorn a lie,
but I was considerate of the old gentleman's feelings. I couldn't
endure to shock him in his tenderest place. You understand?"

"I probably shall when you've finished."

"Why, I dare say you know what the old man's tenderest place is. Well,
if you won't answer, 'tis his pride in the family name, the spotless
name of Faringfield! Oh, I've worked upon that more than once, I tell
you. The old gentleman will do much to keep the name without a
blemish; I could always bring him to terms by threatening to disgrace
it--"

"What a rascal you've been, then!"

"Why, maybe so; we're not all saints. But I've always kept my word
with father, and whenever he gave me the money I wanted, or set me up
in life again, I kept the name clean--comparatively clean, that is to
say, as far as any one in New York might know. And even this time--at
the Barbadoes--'twasn't with any purpose of punishing father, I vow;
'twas for my necessities, I made myself free with a thousand pounds of
Culverson's."

"The devil! Do you mean you embezzled a thousand pounds?"

"One cool, clean thousand! My necessities, I tell you. There was a
debt of honour, you must know; a damned unlucky run at the cards, and
the navy officer that won came with a brace of pistols and gave me two
days in which to pay. And then there was a lady--with a brat, confound
her!--to be sent to England, and looked after. You see, 'twas honour
moved me in the first case, and chivalry in the second. As a
gentleman, I couldn't withstand the promptings of noble sentiments
like those."

"Well, what then?"

"Why, then I came away. And I hadn't the heart to break the truth to
father, knowing how 'twould cut him up. I thought of the old
gentleman's family pride, his gray hairs--his hair _is_ gray by this
time, isn't it?--"

"And what is it you wish me to do?"

"Why, you see, Culverson hadn't yet found out how things were, when I
left. I pretended I was ill--and so I was, in a way. But he must have
found out by this time, and when he sends after me, by the next
vessel, I'm afraid poor father will have to undergo a severe
trial--you know his weakness for the honoured name of Faringfield."

"By the Lord, Ned, this is worse than I should ever have thought of
you."

"It _is_ a bit bad, isn't it? And I've been thinking what's to be
done--for father's sake, you know. If 'twere broken to him gently, at
once, as nobody but you can break it, why then, he might give me the
money to repay Culverson, and send me back to Barbadoes by the next
ship, and nothing need ever come out. I'm thoroughly penitent, so help
me, heaven, and quite willing to go back."

"And incur other debts of honour, and obligations of chivalry," says
Phil.

"I'll see the cards in hell first, and the women too, by gad!" whereat
Mr. Edward brought his fist down upon the table most convincingly.

He thought it best to spend that night at the tavern; whither Phil
went in the morning with news of Mr. Faringfield's reception of the
disclosure. The merchant had listened with a countenance as cold as a
statue's, but had promptly determined to make good the thousand pounds
to Mr. Culverson, and that Ned should return to the Barbadoes without
the formality of bidding the family farewell. But the money was to be
entrusted not to Mr. Edward, but to Mr. Faringfield's old clerk,
Palmer, who was to be the young man's travelling companion on the
Southward voyage. At word of this last arrangement, Edward showed
himself a little put out, which he told Phil was on account of his
father's apparent lack of confidence. But he meditated awhile, and
took on a more cheerful face.

It happened--and, as it afterward came out, his previous knowledge of
this had suggested the trick he played upon Phil and Mr.
Faringfield--that, the same day on which the next Barbadoes-bound
vessel sailed, a brig left port for England. Both vessels availed
themselves of the same tide and wind, and so went down the bay
together.

On the Barbadoes vessel, Ned and Mr. Palmer were to share the same
cabin; and thither, ere the ship was well out of the East River, the
old clerk accompanied Ned for the purpose of imbibing a beverage which
the young gentleman protested was an unfailing preventive of
sea-sickness, if taken in time. Once in the cabin, and the door being
closed, Mr. Ned adroitly knocked Palmer down with a blow from behind;
gagged, bound, and robbed him of the money, and left him to his
devices. Returning to the deck, he induced the captain to put him, by
boat, aboard the brig bound for England, which was still close at
hand. Taking different courses, upon leaving the lower bay, the two
vessels were soon out of hail, and that before the discovery of the
much puzzled Palmer's condition in his cabin.

The poor old man had to go to the Barbadoes, and come back again,
before a word of this event reached the ears of Mr. Faringfield. When
Palmer returned with his account of it, he brought word from Mr.
Culverson that, although Ned had indeed settled a gambling debt at the
pistol's point, and had indeed paid the passage of a woman and child
to England, his theft had been of less than a hundred pounds. Thus it
was made manifest that Ned had lied to Philip in order to play upon
his father's solicitude concerning the name of Faringfield for
integrity, and so get into his hands the means of embarking upon the
pleasures of the Old World. Very foolish did poor Philip look when he
learned how he had been duped. But Mr. Faringfield, I imagine,
consoled himself with the probability that New York had seen the last
of Mr. Edward.

I think 'twas to let Mr. Faringfield recover first from the feelings
of this occasion, that Philip postponed so long the announcement of
his intention to go to England. Thus far he had confided his plans to
me alone, and as a secret. But now he was past twenty-one years, and
his resolution could not much longer be deferred. Nevertheless, not
until the next June--that of 1774--did he screw up his courage to the
point of action.

"I shall tell him to-day," said Philip to me one Monday morning, as I
walked with him part of the way to the warehouses. "Pray heaven he
takes it not too ill."

I did not see Phil at dinner-time; but in the afternoon, a little
before his usual home-coming hour, he came seeking me, with a very
relieved and happy face; and found me trimming a grape-vine in our
back garden, near the palings that separated our ground from Mr.
Faringfield's. On the Faringfield side of the fence, at this place,
grew bushes of snowball and rose.

"How did he take it?" I asked, smiling to see Phil's eyes so bright.

"Oh, very well. He made no objection; said he had not the right to
make any in my case. But he looked so upset for a moment, so
deserted--I suppose he was thinking how his own son had failed him,
and that now his beneficiary was turning from him--that I wavered. But
at that he was the same haughty, immovable man as ever, and I
remembered that each of us must live his own life; and so 'tis
settled."

"Well," said I, with a little of envy at his prospect, and much of
sorrow at losing him, and some wonder about another matter, "I'm glad
for your sake, though you may imagine how I'll miss you. But how can
you go yet? 'Tis like leaving the field to me--as to _her_, you know."
I motioned with my head toward the Faringfield house.

"Why," he replied, as we both sat down on the wooden bench, "as I
shall be gone years when I do go, Mr. Faringfield stipulated only that
I should remain with him here another year; and I was mighty glad he
did, or I should have had to make that offer. 'Twasn't that I was
anxious to be off so soon, that made me tell him I was going; 'twas
that in harbouring the intention, while he still relied upon my
remaining always with him, I seemed to be guilty of a kind of
treachery. As for--_her_, if she gives no indication within a year,
especially when she knows I'm going, why, 'twill be high time to leave
the field to you, I think."

"She doesn't know yet?"

"No; I came first to you. Her father isn't home yet."

"Well, Phil, there's little for me to say. You know what my feelings
are. After all, we are to have you for a year, and then--well, I hope
you may become the greatest architect that ever lived!"

"Why, now, 'tis strange; you remind me of my reason for going. Since
Mr. Faringfield gave me his sanction, I hadn't thought of that. I'm
afraid I've been something of a hypocrite. And yet I certainly thought
my desire to go was chiefly on account of my architectural studies;
and I certainly intend to pursue them, too. I must have deceived
myself a little, though, by dwelling on that reason as one that would
prevail with Mr. Faringfield; one that he could understand, and could
not fairly oppose. For, hearkee, all the way home, when I looked
forward to the future, the architectural part of it was not in my
head. I was thinking of the famous historic places I should see; the
places where great men have lived; the birthplace and grave of
Shakespeare; the palaces where great pageants and tragedies have been
enacted; the scenes of great battles; the abbey where so many poets
and kings and queens are buried; the Tower where such memorable dramas
have occurred; the castles that have stood since the days of chivalry;
and Oxford; and the green fields of England that poets have written
of, and the churchyard of Gray's Elegy; and all that kind of thing."

[Illustration: "OUR MOTIONS, AS WE TOUCHED OUR LIPS WITH THEM, WERE SO
IN UNISON THAT MARGARET LAUGHED."]

"Ay, and something of the gay life of the present, I'll warrant," said
I, with a smile; "the playhouses, and the taverns, and the parks, and
Vauxhall, and the assembly-rooms; and all _that_ kind of thing."

"Why, yes, 'tis true. And I wish you were to go with me."

"Alas, I'm tied down here. Some day, perhaps--"

"What are you two talking of?" The interruption came in a soft, clear,
musical voice, of which the instant effect was to make us both start
up, and turn toward the fence, with hastened hearts and smiling faces.

Margaret stood erect, looking over the palings at us, backed by the
green and flowered bushes through which she and Fanny had moved
noiselessly toward the fence in quest of nosegays for the
supper-table. Fanny stood at her side, and both smiled, Margaret
archly, Fanny pleasantly. The two seemed of one race with the flowers
about them, though Margaret's radiant beauty far outshone the more
modest charms of her brown-eyed younger sister. The elder placed her
gathered flowers on the upper rail of the fence, and taking two roses,
one in each hand, held them out toward us.

We grasped each his rose at the same time, and our motions, as we
touched our lips with them, were so in unison that Margaret laughed.

"And what _were_ you talking of?" says she.

"Is it a secret any longer?" I asked Philip.

"No."

"Then we were talking of Phil's going to England, to be a great
architect."

"Going to England!" She looked as if she could not have rightly
understood.

"Yes," said I, "in a year from now, to stay, the Lord knows how long."

She turned white, then red; and had the strangest look.

"Is it true?" she asked, after a moment, turning to Phil.

"Yes. I am to go next June."

"But father--does he know?"

"I told him this afternoon. He is willing."

"To be sure, to be sure," she said, thoughtfully. "He has no authority
over you. 'Tis different with us. Oh, Phil, if you could only take me
with you!" There was wistful longing and petulant complaint in the
speech. And then, as Phil answered, an idea seemed to come to her all
at once; and she to rise to it by its possibility, rather than to fall
back from its audacity.

"I would gladly," said he; "but your father would never consent that a
Faringfield--"

"Well, one need not always be a Faringfield," she replied, looking him
straight in the face, with a kind of challenge in her voice and eyes.

"Why--perhaps not," said Phil, for the mere sake of agreeing, and
utterly at a loss as to her meaning.

"You don't understand," says she. "A father's authority over his
daughter ceases one day."

"Ay, no doubt," says Phil; "when she becomes of legal age. But even
then, without her father's consent--"

"Why, now," she interrupted, "suppose her father's authority over her
passed to somebody else; somebody of her father's own preference;
somebody that her father already knew was going to England: could her
father forbid his taking her?"

"But, 'tis impossible," replied mystified Phil. "To whom in the world
would your father pass his authority over you? He is hale and hearty;
there's not the least occasion for a guardian."

"Why, fathers _do_, you know."

"Upon my soul, I don't see--"

"I vow you don't! You are the blindest fellow! Didn't Polly
Livingstone's father give up his authority over her the other day--to
Mr. Ludlow?"

"Certainly, to her husband."

"Well!"

"Margaret--do you mean--? But you can't mean _that_?" Phil had not the
voice to say more, emerging so suddenly from the clouds of puzzlement
to the yet uncertain sunshine of joy.

"Why shouldn't I mean that?" says she, with the prettiest laugh, which
made her bold behaviour seem the most natural, feminine act
imaginable. "Am I not good enough for you?"

"Madge! You're not joking, are you?" He caught her hands, and gazed
with still dubious rapture at her across the fence.

My sensations may easily be imagined. But by the time she had assured
him she was perfectly in earnest, I had taught myself to act the man;
and so I said, playfully:

"Such a contract, though 'tis made before witnesses, surely ought to
be sealed."

Philip took my hint; and he and Margaret laughed, and stretched arms
across the paling tops; and I lost sight of their faces. I sought
refuge in turning to Fanny, who was nearer to me than they were. To my
surprise, she was watching me with the most kindly, pitying face in
the world. Who would have thought she had known my heart regarding her
sister?

"Poor Bert!" she murmured gently, scarce for my hearing.

And I, who had felt very solitary the moment before, now seemed not
quite so lonely; and I continued to look into the soft, compassionate
eyes of Fanny, so steadily that in a moment, with the sweetest of
blushes, she lowered them to the roses in her hand.



CHAPTER V.

_We Hear Startling News, Which Brings about a Family "Scene"._


I have characterised Margaret's behaviour in the matter of this
marriage proposal as forward; though I have admitted that it scarce
looked so, so graceful and womanlike was her manner of carrying it
off, which had in it nothing worse than the privileged air of a
spoiled beauty. Now that writing of it has set me thinking of it, I
see that 'twas a more natural act than it appears in the cold recital.
For years she had been our queen, and Phil and I her humble subjects,
and the making of the overtures appeared as proper in her, as it would
have seemed presumption in either of us. And over Phil, from that
bygone day when she had gone across the street to his rescue, she had
assumed an air of authority, nay of proprietorship, that bade him wait
upon her will ere ever he acted or spoke. And, again, though out of
consideration for his rival he had been purposely silent while
awaiting a sign from her, she had read his heart from the first. His
every look and tone for years had been an unconscious act of wooing,
and so when she brought matters to a point as she did, 'twas on her
part not so much an overture as a consent. As for marriage proposal in
general, all men with whom I have discussed it have confessed their
own scenes thereof to have been, in the mere words, quite simple and
unpoetical, whether enacted in confusion or in confidence; and to have
been such as would not read at all finely in books.

The less easy ordeal awaited Philip, of asking her father. But he was
glad this stood yet in his way, and that 'twas not easy; for 'twould
make upon his courage that demand which every man's courage ought to
undergo in such an affair, and which Margaret's conduct had precluded
in his coming to an understanding with her.

But however disquieting the task was to approach, it could be only
successful at the end; for indeed Mr. Faringfield, with all his
external frigidity, could refuse Phil nothing. In giving his consent,
which perhaps he had been ready to do long before Phil had been ready
to ask it, he made no allusion to Phil's going to England. He
purposely ignored the circumstance, I fancy, that in consenting to the
marriage, he knowingly opened the way for his daughter's visiting that
hated country. Doubtless the late conduct of Ned, and the intended
defection of Philip, amicable though that defection was, had shaken
him in his resolution of imposing his avoidance of England upon his
family. He resigned himself to the inevitable; but he grew more
taciturn, sank deeper into himself, became more icy in his manner,
than ever.

Philip and Margaret were married in February, four months before the
time set for their departure. The wedding was solemnised in Trinity
Church, by the Rev. Mr. Barclay, on one of those white days with a
little snow in the air, which I for one prefer over sunny days, in
winter, as far more seasonable. The young gentlemen of the town
wondered that Miss Faringfield had not made a better match (as she
might have done, of course, in each one's secret opinion by choosing
himself). The young ladies, though some of them may have regretted the
subtraction of one eligible youth from their matrimonial chances, were
all of them rejoiced at the removal of a rival who had hitherto kept
the eyes of a score of youths, even more eligible, turned away from
them. And so they wished her well, with smiles the most genuine. She
valued not a finger-snap their thoughts or their congratulations. She
had, of late, imperceptibly moved aloof from them. Nor had she sought
the attentions of the young gentlemen. 'Twas not of her will that they
dangled. In truth she no longer had eyes or ears for the small
fashionable world of New York. She had a vastly greater world to
conquer, and disdained to trouble herself, by a smile or a glance, for
the admiration of the poor little world around her.

All her thoughts in her first months of marriage--and these were very
pleasant months to Philip, so charming and sweet-tempered was his
bride--were of the anticipated residence in England. It was still
settled that Philip was to go in June; and her going with him was now
daily a subject of talk in the family. Mr. Faringfield himself
occasionally mentioned it; indifferently, as if 'twere a thing to
which he never would have objected. Margaret used sometimes to smile,
thinking how her father had put it out of his power to oppose her
wishes: first by his friendly sanction to Phil's going, to refuse
which he had not the right; and then by his consent to her marriage,
to refuse which he had not the will.

Naturally Philip took pleasure in her anticipations, supposing that,
as to their source and object, they differed not from his. As the pair
were so soon to go abroad, 'twas thought unnecessary to set up in a
house of their own in New York, and so they made their home for the
time in the Faringfield mansion, the two large chambers over the great
parlour being allotted to them; while they continued to share the
family table, save that Margaret now had her morning chocolate abed.

"I must initiate myself into London ways, dear," she said, gaily, when
Fanny remarked how strange this new habit was in a girl who had never
been indolent or given to late rising.

"How pretty the blue brocaded satin is!" quoth Fanny, looking at one
of Margaret's new gowns hanging in a closet. "Why didn't you wear it
at the Watts' dinner yesterday? And your brown velvet--you've not had
it on since it came from the dressmaker's."

"I shall wear them in London," says Margaret.

And so it was with her in everything. She saved her finest clothes,
her smiles, her very interest in life, her capacity for enjoyment, all
for London. And Philip, perceiving her indifference to the outside
world, her new equability of temper, her uniform softness of
demeanour, her constant meditative half-smile due to pleasurable
dreams of the future, read all these as tokens of blissful content
like that which glowed in his own heart. And he was supremely happy.
'Tis well for a man to have two months of such happiness, to balance
against later years of sorrow; but sad will that happiness be in the
memory, if it owe itself to the person to whom the sorrow in its train
is due.

She would watch for him at the window, in the afternoon, when he came
home from the warehouse; and would be waiting at the parlour door as
he entered the hall. With his arm about her, he would lead her to a
sofa, and they would sit talking for a few minutes before he prepared
for supper--for 'twas only on great occasions that the Faringfields
dined at five o'clock, as did certain wealthy New York families who
followed the London mode.

"I am so perfectly, entirely, completely, utterly happy!" was the
burden of Phil's low-spoken words.

"Fie!" said Margaret, playfully, one evening. "You must not be
perfectly happy. There must be some cloud in the sky; some annoyance
in business, or such trifle. Perfect happiness is dangerous, mamma
says. It can't last. It forbodes calamity to come. 'Tis an old belief,
and she vows 'tis true."

"Why, my poor mother held that belief, too. I fear she had little
perfect happiness to test it by; but she had calamities enough. And
Bert Russell's mother was saying the same thing the other day. 'Tis a
delusion common to mothers, I think. I sha'n't let it affect my
felicity. I should be ungrateful to call my contentment less than
perfect. And if calamity comes, 'twill not be owing to my happiness."

"As for that, I can't imagine any calamity possible to us--unless
something should occur to hinder us from going to London. But nothing
in the world shall do that, of course."

'Twas upon this conversation that Tom and I broke in, having met as I
returned from the custom-house, he from the college.

"Oho!" cried Tom, with teasing mirth, "still love-making! I tell you
what it is, brother Phil, 'tis time you two had eyes for something
else besides each other. The town is talking of how engrossed Margaret
is in you, that she ignores the existence of everybody else."

"Let 'em talk," said Margaret, lightly, with an indifference free from
malice. "Who cares about their existence? They're not so interesting,
with their dull teas and stupid gossip of one another! A set of
tedious rustics."

"Hear the countess talk!" Tom rattled on, at the same time looking
affectionate admiration out of his mirthful eyes. "What a high and
mighty lady is yours, my lord Philip! I should like to know what the
Morrises, and Lind Murray, and the Philipse boys and girls, and our De
Lancey cousins, and the rest, would think to hear themselves called a
set of rustics."

"Why," says Phil, "beside her ladyship here, are they _not_ a set of
rustics?" With which he kissed her, and rose to go to his room.

"_Merci_, monsieur!" said Margaret, rising and dropping him a curtsey,
with the prettiest of glances, as he left the parlour.

She hummed a little French air, and went and ran her fingers up and
down the keys of the pianoforte, which great new instrument had
supplanted the old harpsichord in the house. Tom and I, standing at
the fireplace, watched her face as the candle-light fell upon it.

"Well," quoth Tom, "Phil is no prouder of his wife than I am of my
sister. Don't you think she grows handsomer every day, Bert?"

"'Tis the effect of happiness," said I, and then I looked into the
fireplace rather than at her. For I was then, and had been for long
months, engaged in the struggle of detaching my thoughts from her
charms, or, better, of accustoming myself to look upon them with
composure; and I had made such good success that I wished not to set
myself back in it. Eventually my success was complete, and I came to
feel toward her no more than the friendship of a lifelong comrade. If
a man be honest, and put forth his will, he can quench his love for
the woman that is lost to him, unless there have existed long the
closest, tenderest, purest ties between them; and even then, except
that 'twill revive again sometimes at the touch of an old memory.

"You dear boys!" says Margaret, coming over to us, to reward Tom with
a kiss on the cheek, and me with a smile. "What a vain thing you will
make me of my looks!"

"Nay," says candid Tom, "that work was done before ever we had the
chance of a hand in it."

"Well," retorted Margaret, with good-humoured pertness, "there'll
never be reason for me to make my brother vain of his wit."

"Nor for my sister to be vain of hers," said Tom, not in nettled
retaliation, but merely as uttering a truth.

"You compliment me there," says Margaret, lightly. "Did you ever hear
of a witty woman that was charming?"

"That is true," I put in, remembering some talk of Phil's, based upon
reading as well as upon observation, "for usually a woman must be
ugly, before she will take the trouble to cultivate wit. The
possession of wit in a woman seems to imply a lack of other reliances.
And if a woman be pretty and witty both, her arrogance is like to be
such as drives every man away. And men resent wit in a woman as if
'twere an invasion of their own province."

"Sure your explanation must be true, Mr. Philosopher," said Margaret,
"'tis so profound. As for me, I seek no reasons; 'tis enough to know
that most witty women are frights; and I don't blame the men for
refusing to be charmed by 'em."

"Well, sis," said Tom, "I'm sure even the cultivation of wit wouldn't
make you a fright. So you might amuse yourself by trying it, ma'am. As
for charming the men, you married ladies have no more to do with
that."

"Oh, haven't we? Sure, I think 'tis time little boys were in bed, who
talk of things they know nothing about. Isn't that so, Bert?"

"Why," said I, "for my part, I think 'tis unkind for a woman to
exercise her charms upon men after she has destroyed the possibility
of rewarding their devotion."

"Dear me, you talk like a character in a novel. Well, then, you're
both agreed I mustn't be charming. So I'll be disagreeable, and begin
with you two. Here's a book of sermons Mr. Cornelius must have left.
That will help me, if anything will." And she sat down with the volume
in her hands, took on a solemn frown, and began to read to herself.
After awhile, at a giggle of amusement from schoolboy Tom, she turned
a rebuking gaze upon us, over the top of the book; but the very effort
to be severe emphasised the fact that her countenance was formed to
give only pleasure, and our looks brought back the smile to her eyes.

"'Tis no use," said Tom, "you couldn't help being charming if you
tried."

She threw down the book, and came and put her arm around him, and so
we all three stood before the fire till Philip returned.

"Ah," she said, "here is one who will never ask me to be ugly or
unpleasant."

"Who has been asking impossibilities, my dear?" inquired Philip,
taking her offered hand in his.

"These wise gentlemen think I oughtn't to be charming, now that I'm
married."

"Then they think you oughtn't to be yourself; and I disagree with 'em
entirely."

She gave him her other hand also, and stood for a short while looking
into his innocent, fond eyes.

"You dear old Phil!" she said slowly, in a low voice, falling for the
moment into a tender gravity, and her eyes having a more than wonted
softness. The next instant, recovering her light playfulness with a
little laugh, she took his arm and led the way to the dining-room.

And now came Spring--the Spring of 1775. There had been, of course,
for years past, and increasing daily in recent months, talk of the
disagreement between the king and the colonies. I have purposely
deferred mention of this subject, to the time when it was to fall upon
us in its full force so that no one could ignore it or avoid action
with regard to it. But I now reach the beginning of the drama which is
the matter of this history, and to which all I have written is
uneventful prologue. We young people of the Faringfield house (for I
was still as much of that house as of my own) had concerned ourselves
little with the news from London and Boston, of the concentration of
British troops in the latter town in consequence of the increased
disaffection upon the closing of its port. We heeded little the fact
that the colonies meant to convene another general congress at
Philadelphia, or that certain colonial assemblies had done thus and
so, and certain local committees decided upon this or that. 'Twould
all blow over, of course, as the Stamp Act trouble had done; the
seditious class in Boston would soon be overawed, and the king would
then concede, of his gracious will, what the malcontents had failed to
obtain by their violent demands. Such a thing as actual rebellion,
real war, was to us simply inconceivable. I believe now that Philip
had earlier and deeper thoughts on the subject than I had: indeed
events showed that he must have had: but he kept them to himself. And
far other and lighter subjects occupied our minds as he and I started
for a walk out the Bowery lane one balmy Sunday morning in April, the
twenty-third day of the month.

Mr. and Mrs. Faringfield, Fanny, and Tom, had gone to church. Philip
and I boasted of too much philosophical reading to be churchgoers, and
I had let my mother walk off to Trinity with a neighbour. As for
Margaret, she stayed home because she was now her own mistress and had
a novel to read, out of the last parcel received from London. We left
her on the rear veranda, amidst the honeysuckle vines that climbed the
trellis-work.

"I've been counting the weeks," she said to Phil, as we were about to
set forth. "Only seven more Sundays." And she stopped him to adjust
the ribbon of his queue more to her taste. "Aren't you glad?"

"Yes; and a thousand times so because it makes you happy, my dear,"
said he.

She kissed him, and let him go. "Don't walk too far, dear!" she called
after us.

We looked back from the gateway, and saw that she had come to the end
of the veranda to see us from the garden. We doffed our hats, and Phil
threw her a kiss; which she returned, and then waved her hand after
us, softly smiling. Philip lingered a moment, smiling back, to get
this last view of her ere he closed the gate.

We had just passed the common, at the Northern end of the town, when
we heard a clatter of galloping hoofs in the Bowery lane before us.
Looking up the vista of road shaded by trees in fresh leafage, we saw
a rider coming toward us at a very severe pace. As he approached, the
horse stumbled; and the man on its back, fearing it might sink from
exhaustion, drew up and gave it a moment in which to recover itself.
He evidently wished to make a decent entrance into the town. He was in
a great panting and perspiration, like his trembling steed, which was
covered with foam; and his clothes were disturbed and soiled with
travel. He took off his cocked felt hat to fan himself.

"You ride fast, for Sunday, friend," said Phil pleasantly. "Any
trouble?"

"Trouble for some folks, I guess," was the reply, spoken with a Yankee
drawl and twang. "I'm bringing news from Massachusetts." He slapped
the great pocket of his plain coat, calling attention to its
well-filled condition as with square papers. "Letters from the
Committee of Safety."

"Why, has anything happened at Boston?" asked Phil, quickly.

"Well, no, not just at Boston. But out Concord way, and at Lexington,
and on the road back to Boston, I should reckon a few things _had_
happened." And then, leaving off his exasperating drawl, he very
speedily related the terrible occurrence of the nineteenth of
April--terrible because 'twas warlike bloodshed in a peaceful land,
between the king's soldiers and the king's subjects, between men of
the same race and speech, men of the same mother country; and because
of what was to follow in its train. I remember how easily and soon the
tale was told; how clearly the man's calm voice, though scarce raised
above a usual speaking tone, stood out against the Sunday morning
stillness, with no sound else but the twittering of birds in the trees
near by.

"Get up!" said the messenger, not waiting for our thanks or comments;
and so galloped into the town, leaving us to stare after him and then
at each other.

"'Faith, this will make the colonies stand together," said Philip at
last.

"Ay," said I, "against the rebellious party."

"No," quoth he, "when I say the colonies, I mean what you call the
rebellious party in them."

"Why, 'tis not the majority, and therefore it can't be said to
represent the colonies."

"I beg your pardon--I think we shall find it is the majority,
particularly outside of the large towns. This news will fly to every
corner of the land as fast as horses can carry it, and put the country
folk in readiness for whatever the Continental Congress may decide
upon."

"Why, then, 'twill put our people on their guard, too, for whatever
the rebels may attempt."

Philip's answer to this brought about some dispute as to whether the
name rebels, in its ordinary sense, could properly be applied to those
colonists who had what he termed grievances. We both showed heat, I
the more, until he, rather than quarrel, fell into silence. We had
turned back into the town; choosing a roundabout way for home, that we
might observe the effect of the messenger's news upon the citizens. In
a few streets the narrow footways were thronged with people in their
churchgoing clothes, and many of these had already gathered into
startled groups, where the rider who came in such un-Sabbath-like
haste had stopped to justify himself, and satisfy the curiosity of
observers, and ask the whereabouts of certain gentlemen of the
provincial assembly, to whom he had letters. We heard details
repeated, and opinions uttered guardedly, and grave concern everywhere
expressed.

By the time we had reached home, Mr. and Mrs. Faringfield were already
there, discussing the news with my mother, in the presence of the two
daughters and Tom. We found them all in the parlour. Margaret stood in
the library doorway, still holding her novel in her hand, her finger
keeping the page. Her face showed but a languid interest in the
tragedy which made all the others look so grave.

"You've heard the news, of course?" said Mr. Faringfield to us as we
entered, curiously searching Philip's face while he spoke.

"Yes, sir; we were the first in the town to hear it, I think," replied
Phil.

"Tis a miracle if we do not have war," said Mr. Faringfield.

"I pray not," says my mother, who was a little less terrified than
Mrs. Faringfield. "And I won't believe we shall, till I see it at our
doors."

"Oh, don't speak of it!" cried Mrs. Faringfield, with a shudder.

"Why, ladies," says Philip, "'tis best to think of it as if 'twere
surely coming, and so accustom the mind to endure its horrors. I shall
teach my wife to do so." And he looked playfully over at Margaret.

"Why, what is it to me?" said Margaret. "Tis not like to come before
we sail, and in England we shall be well out of it. Sure you don't
think the rebels will cross the ocean and attack London?"

"Why, if war comes," said Phil, quietly, "we shall have to postpone
our sailing."

"Postpone it!" she cried, in alarm. "Why? And how long?"

"Until the matter is settled one way or another."

"But it won't come before we sail. 'Tis only seven weeks. Whatever
happens, they'll riddle away that much time first, in talk and
preparation; they always do."

"But we must wait, my dear, till the question is decided whether
there's to be war or peace. If we come round to the certainty of
peace, which is doubtful, then of course there's naught to hinder us.
But if there's war, why, we've no choice but to see it out before we
leave the country."

I never elsewhere saw such utter, indignant consternation as came over
Margaret's face.

"But why? For what reason?" she cried. "Will not vessels sail, as
usual? Are you afraid we shall be harmed on the sea? 'Tis ridiculous!
The rebels have no war-ships. Why need we stay? What have we to do
with these troubles? 'Tis not our business to put them down. The king
has soldiers enough."

"Ay," said Phil, surprised at her vehemence, but speaking the more
quietly for that, "'tis the colonies will need soldiers."

"Then what folly are you talking? Why should we stay for this war."

"That I may take my part in it, my dear."

"Bravo, brother Phil!" cried Tom Faringfield. "You nor I sha'n't miss
a chance to fight for the king!"

"Nor I, either," I added.

"'Tis not for the king, that I shall be fighting," said Phil, simply.

A silence of astonishment fell on the company. 'Twas broken by Mr.
Faringfield:

"Bravo, Phil, say _I_ this time." And, losing no jot of his haughty
manner, he went over, and with one hand grasping Phil's, laid the
other approvingly on the young man's shoulder.

"What, have we rebels in our own family?" cried Mrs. Faringfield,
whose horror at the fact gave her of a sudden the needful courage.

"Madam, do your sentiments differ from mine?" asked her husband.

"Sir, I am a De Lancey!" she replied, with a chilling haughtiness
almost equal to his own.

Tom, buoyed by his feelings of loyalty above the fear of his father's
displeasure, crossed to his mother, and kissed her; and even Fanny had
the spirit to show defiantly on which side she stood, by nestling to
her mother's side and caressing her head.

"Good, mamma!" cried Margaret. "No one shall make rebels of us!
Understand that, Mr. Philip Winwood!"

Philip, though an ashen hue about the lips showed what was passing in
his heart, tried to take the bitterness from the situation by treating
it playfully. "You see, Mr. Faringfield, if we are indeed rebels
against our king, we are paid by our wives turning rebels against
ourselves."

"You cannot make a joke of it, sir," said Margaret, with a menacing
coldness in her tone. "'Tis little need the king has of _my_
influence, I fancy; he has armies to fight his battles. But there's
one thing does concern me, and that is my visit to London.--But you'll
not deprive me of that, dear, will you, now that you think of it
better?" Her voice had softened as she turned to pleading.

"We must wait, my dear, while there is uncertainty or war."

"But you haven't the right to make me wait!" she cried, her voice
warming to mingled rage, reproach, and threat. "Why, wars last for
years--I should be an old woman! You're not free to deny me this
pleasure, or postpone it an hour! You promised it from the first, you
encouraged my anticipations until I came to live upon them, you fed my
hopes till they dropped everything else in the world. Night and day I
have looked forward to it, thought of it, dreamt of it! And now you
say I must wait--months, at least; probably years! But you can't mean
it, Phil! You wouldn't be so cruel! Tell me!"

"I mean no cruelty, dear. But one has no choice when patriotism
dictates--when one's country--"

"Why, you sha'n't treat me so, disappoint me so! 'Twould be breaking
your word; 'twould be a cruel betrayal, no less; 'twould make all your
conduct since our marriage--nay, since that very day we promised
marriage--a deception, a treachery, a lie; winning a woman's hand and
keeping her love, upon a false pretence! You _dare_ not turn back on
your word now! If you are a man of honour, of truth, of common
honesty, you will let this miserable war go hang, and take me to
England, as you promised! And if you don't I'll hate you!--hate you!"

Her speech had come out in a torrent of increasing force, until her
voice was almost a scream, and this violence had its climax in a
hysterical outburst of weeping, as she sank upon a chair and hid her
face upon the back thereof. In this attitude she remained, her body
shaking with sobs.

Philip, moved as a man rarely is, hastened to her, and leaning over,
essayed to take her hand.

"But you should understand, dear," said he, most tenderly, with what
voice he could command. "God knows I would do anything to make you
happy, but--"

"Then," she said tearfully, resigning her hand to his, "don't bring
this disappointment upon me. Let them make war, if they please; you
have your wife to consider, and your own future. Whatever they fight
about, 'tis nothing to you, compared with your duty to me."

"But you don't understand," was all he could reply. "If I could
explain--"

"Oh, Phil, dear," she said, adopting again a tender, supplicating
tone. "You'll not rob me of what I've so joyously looked forward to,
will you? Think, how I've set my heart on it! Why, we've looked
forward to it together, haven't we? All our happiness has been bound
up with our anticipations. Don't speak of understanding or
explaining,--only remember that our first thought should be of each
other's happiness, dear, and that you will ruin mine if you don't take
me. For my sake, for my love, promise we shall go to England in June!
I beg you--'tis the one favour--I will love you so! Do, Phil! We shall
be so happy!"

She looked up at him with such an eager pleading through her tears
that I did not wonder to see his own eyes moisten.

"My dear," said he, with an unsteady voice, "I can't. I shouldn't be a
man if I left the country at this time. I should loathe myself; I
should not be worthy of you."

She flung his hand away from her, and rose in another seizure of
wrath.

"Worthy!" she cried. "What man is worthy of a woman, when he cheats
her as you have cheated me! You are a fool, with your talk of loathing
yourself if you left the country! In God's name, what could there be
in that to make you loathe yourself? What claim has the country on
you, equal to the claim your wife has? Better loathe yourself for your
false treatment of her! You'd loathe yourself, indeed! Well, then, I
tell you this, 'tis I that will loathe you, if you stay! I shall
abominate you, I shall not let you come into my sight! Now, sir, take
your choice, this instant. Keep your promise with me--"

"'Twas not exactly a promise, my dear."

"I say, keep it, and take me to London, and keep my love and respect;
or break your promise, and my heart, and take my hate and contempt.
Choose, I say! Which? This instant! Speak!"

"Madge, dear, you are not yourself--"

"Oh, but I am, though! More myself than ever! And my own mistress,
too! Speak, I bid you! Tell me we shall go. Answer--will you do as
your wife wishes?"

"I will do as your husband ought."

"Will you go to England?"

"I will stay till I know the fate of the colonies; and to fight for
them if need be."

"You give me up, for the sake of a whim, of some silly fustian about
patriotism, some fool's rubbish of high-sounding words! _Me_, you
balance against a crazy notion! Very well, sir! How I shall hate you
for it! Don't come near me--not a step! Cling to your notion; see if
it will fill my place! From this moment, you're not my husband, I'm
not your wife--unless you promise we shall sail in June! And don't
dare speak to me, except to tell me that!"

Whereupon, paying no heed to his reproachful cry of "Madge," she swept
past him, and across the parlour, and up the hall staircase to her
room; leaving us all in the amazement which had held us motionless and
silent throughout the scene.

Philip stood with his hand upon the chair-back where she had wept;
pale and silent, the picture of abandonment and sorrow.



CHAPTER VI.

_Ned Comes Back, with an Interesting Tale of a Fortunate Irishman._


Before any of us knew what to say, a soft tread in the library
announced the approach of Mr. Cornelius. He entered unaware of the
scene that had just terminated, and with the stormy character of which
on Margaret's part, nothing could have been in greater contrast than
the quiescent atmosphere that ever accompanied the shy, low-speaking
pedagogue. His presence diffused peace and quietude; and more than
formerly was this the case of late, since he had resumed an intention
of entering the Presbyterian ministry.

He had qualified himself for this profession at Princeton. But after
his full preparations, a conscientious scruple had arisen from a sense
of his diffidence, which he despaired of conquering, and by which he
believed his attempts at pulpit eloquence were sure to be defeated.
Though he could compass the hardihood to discourse to an assemblage of
distracting schoolboys several hours every week-day, he could not
summon the courage to address an audience of somnolent adults two
hours on Sunday.

But latterly he had awakened to a new inward call, and resolved upon a
new trial of his powers. By way of preliminary training, he had set
about practising upon the sailors and wharfmen who ordinarily spent
their Sundays in gaming or boozing in low taverns along the
water-front. To as many of these as would gather in some open space,
at the sound of his voice raised tremulously in a hymn, he would
preach as a layman, thus borrowing from the Methodists a device by
which he hoped not only his present hearers, but also his own future
Presbyterian congregations, should benefit. It was from one of these
informal meetings, broken up by the news from Massachusetts, that he
was but now returned.

The stupefaction in which we all sat, did not prevent our noting the
excitement in which Cornelius came; and Mr. Faringfield looked a mute
inquiry.

"Your pardon, friends," said the pedagogue to the company; and then to
Mr. Faringfield: "If I might speak with you alone a moment, sir--"

Mr. Faringfield went with him into the library, leaving us all under
new apprehension.

"Dear bless me!" quoth Mrs. Faringfield, looking distressed. "More
calamity, I vow."

In a moment we heard Mr. Faringfield's voice raised in a vehement "No,
sir!" Then the library door was reopened, and he returned to us,
followed by Cornelius, who was saying in his mildest voice: "But I
protest, sir--I entreat--he is a changed man, I assure you."

"Changed for the worse, I make no doubt," returned the angry merchant.
"Let him not darken my door. If it weren't Sunday, I should send for a
constable this moment."

"What is it?" cried Mrs. Faringfield. "Sure it can't be--that boy
again!"

"Mr. Edward, madam," said the tutor.

"Dear, dear, what a day! What a terrible day! And Sunday, too!" moaned
the lady, lying back in her chair, completely crushed, as if the last
blow of fate had fallen.

"He arrived in the _Sarah_ brig, which anchored yesterday evening,"
explained Mr. Cornelius, "but he didn't come ashore till this
morning."

"He thought Sunday safer," said Mr. Faringfield, with scornful
derision.

"I was returning from my service, when I met him," continued the
tutor. "He was at the Faringfield wharf, inquiring after the health of
the family, of Meadows the watchman. I--er--persuaded him to come home
with me."

"You mean, sir, he persuaded you to come and intercede for him," said
Mr. Faringfield.

"He is now waiting in the garden. I have been telling Mr. Faringfield,
ma'am, that the young man is greatly altered. Upon my word, he shows
the truest signs of penitence. I believe he is entirely reformed; he
says so."

"You'd best let him come in, William," counselled Mrs. Faringfield.
"If you don't, goodness knows what he may do."

"Madam, I resolved long ago to let the law do its utmost upon him, if
he should ever return."

"Oh, but think what scandal! What will all my relations say? Besides,
if he is reformed--"

"If he is reformed, let him show it by his conduct on my refusing to
take him back; and by suffering the penalty of his crime."

"Oh!--penalty! Don't speak such words! A jailbird in the family! I
never could endure it! I shouldn't dare go to church, or be seen
anywhere in public!"

"The same old discussion!" said Mr. Faringfield, with a wearied frown.

"Papa, you won't send him to jail, will you?" ventured Fanny, with
eyes rapidly moistening, and lips turning to a pout in spite of
herself.

"Really, sir," put in Cornelius, trembling at his own temerity, "if
you could but see him--take my word, sir, if ever there was a case
where forgiveness--"

After much more of this sort of talk, and being shaken in will by the
day's previous excitements, Mr. Faringfield at length gave in so far
as to consent to an interview with the penitent, to whom thereupon
Cornelius hastened with the news.

It was indeed a changed and chastened Ned, to all outward appearance,
that entered meekly with the pedagogue a few minutes later. His tread
was so soft, his demeanour so tame, that one would scarce have known
him but for a second look at his shapely face and burly figure. The
face was now somewhat hollowed out, darkened, lined, and blotched; and
elongated with meek resignation. His clothes--claret-coloured cloth
coat and breeches, flowered waistcoat, silk stockings, lace ruffles,
and all--were shabby and stained. He bowed to the company, and then
stood, furtively watching for some manifestation from the rest before
he dared proceed to warmer greetings.

Fanny stepped softly forward and kissed him, in a shy, perfunctory
manner; and then good-natured Tom shook his hand, and Philip followed
suit; after which Mrs. Faringfield embraced him somewhat stiffly, and
I gingerly held his fingers a moment, and my mother hoped he found
himself well.

"Quite well, I thank you, considering," said he; and then gazed in a
half-scared way at his father. All the old defiance had disappeared
under the blows of adversity.

"Well, sir," said his father, coldly, "we had scarce looked for you
back among us."

"No, sir," said Ned, still standing. "I had no right to be looked for,
sir--no more than the prodigal son had. I'm a bit like him, sir."

"Don't count upon the fatted calf, however."

"No, sir; not me. Very plain fare will do for me. I--I ask your
pardon, sir, for that--that business about Mr. Palmer."

"The world has put you into a humble mood," said Mr. Faringfield, with
sarcastic indifference.

"Yes, sir; the way of transgressors is hard, sir."

"Why don't you sit down?" put in Mrs. Faringfield, who was made
uncomfortable by the sight of others being so.

"Thank you, mother," said Ned, availing himself of the implied
permission.

"I hear you've undergone a reformation," said his father.

"I hope so, sir. They tell me I've got religion."

"Who tells you?"

"The Methodists. I went to their meetings in London. I--I thought I
needed a little of that kind of thing. That's how I happened to--to
save my soul."

"And how do you conceive you will provide for your body?"

"I don't know yet--exactly. If I might stay here till I could find
some employment--"

Mr. Faringfield met the pleading look of Fanny, and the prudent one of
his wife. The latter reflected, as plainly as words, what had
manifestly entered his own mind: that immunity from future trouble on
Ned's account might indeed be had without recourse to a step entailing
public disgrace upon the family. So he said:

"My intention was, if you should ever show your face in New York
again, to see you punished for that matter of the money and Mr.
Palmer. I don't give up that intention; I shall only postpone carrying
it out, during your good behaviour."

"Thank you, sir; I dare say it's better than I deserve."

And so was Mr. Ned established home again, to be provided for by his
father until he should obtain some means of self-support. In this task
his father offered no assistance, being cautious against vouching for
a person hitherto so untrustworthy; and it soon became evident that
Ned was not very vigorously prosecuting the task himself. He had the
excuse that it was a bad time for the purpose, the country being so
unsettled in the expectation of continued war. And he was content to
remain an idle charge upon his father's bounty, a somewhat neglected
inmate of the house, his comings and goings not watched or inquired
into. His father rarely had a word for him but of curt and formal
greeting. His mother found little more to say to him, and that in a
shy reserved manner. Margaret gave him no speeches, but sometimes a
look of careless derision and contempt, which must have caused him
often to grind his teeth behind his mask of humility. Philip's
courtesy to him was distinctly chilly; while Tom treated him rather
with the indifferent amiability of a new and not very close
acquaintance, than with any revival of old brotherly familiarity. I
shared Phil's doubts upon Ned's spiritual regeneration, and many
people in the town were equally skeptical. But there were enough of
those credulous folk that delight in the miraculous, who believed
fully in this marvellous conversion, and never tired of discussing the
wonder. And so Ned went about, posing as a brand snatched from the
burning, to the amusement of one-half the town, the admiration of the
other half, and the curiosity of both.

"'Tis all fudge, says I," quoth lean old Bill Meadows, the watchman at
the Faringfield wharves. "His story and his face don't hitch. He
declares he was convarted by the Methodies, and he talks their talk
about salvation and redemption and the like. But if he really had
religion their way, he'd wear the face o' joy and gladness. Whereas he
goes about looking as sober as a covenanter that expected the day of
judgment to-morrow and knew he was predestinated for one O' the goats.
Methodie convarts don't wear Presbyterian faces. Ecod, sir" (this he
said to Phil, with whom he was on terms of confidence), "he's got it
in his head that religion and a glum face goes together; and he
thereby gives the lie to his Methodie convarsion."

Ned was at first in rather sore straits for a companion, none of his
old associates taking well to his reformation. He had to fall back
upon poor Cornelius, who was always the most obliging of men and could
never refuse his company or aught else to any tolerable person that
sought it. But in a week or so Ned had won back Fanny to her old
allegiance, and she, in the kindness of her heart, and in her pity
that the poor repentant fellow should be so misunderstood, his
amendment so doubted, gave him as much of her time as he asked for.
She walked with him, rode with him, and boated with him. This was all
greatly to my cost and annoyance; for, ever since she had so gently
commiserated my loss of Margaret, I had learned more and more to value
her sweet consolation, rely upon her sympathy in all matters, and find
serenity and happiness in her society. It had come to be that two were
company, three were none--particularly when the third was Ned. So, if
she _would_ go about with him, I left her to go with him alone; and I
suffered, and pined, and raged inwardly, in consequence. 'Twas this
deprivation that taught me how necessary she was to me; and how her
presence gave my days half their brightness, my nights half their
beauty, my taste of everything in life half its sweetness. Philip was
unreservedly welcome to Madge now; I wondered I had been so late in
discovering the charms of Fanny.

But one day I noticed that a coolness had arisen between her and Ned;
a scarce evident repulsion on her part, a cessation of interest on
his. This was, I must confess, as greatly to my satisfaction as to my
curiosity. But Fanny was no more a talebearer than if she had been of
our sex; and Ned was little like to disclose the cause intentionally:
so I did not learn it until by inference from a passage that occurred
one night at the King's Arms' Tavern.

Poor Philip, avoided and ignored by Madge, who had not yet relented,
was taking an evening stroll with me, in the soothing company of the
pedagogue; when we were hailed by Ned with an invitation to a mug of
ale in the tavern. Struck with the man's apparent wistfulness for
company, and moved by a fellow feeling of forlornness, Philip
accepted; and Cornelius, always acquiescent, had not the ill grace to
refuse. So the four of us sat down together at a table.

"I wish I might offer you madeira, gentlemen; or punch, at least,"
said Ned regretfully, "but you know how it is. I'm reaping what I
sowed. Things might be worse. I knew 'em worse in London--before I
turned over a new leaf."

The mugs being emptied, and the rest of us playing host in turn, they
were several times replenished. Ned had been drinking before he met
us; but this was not apparent until he began to show the effect of his
potations while the heads of us his companions were still perfectly
clear. It was evident that he had not allowed his conversion to wean
him from this kind of indulgence. The conversation reverted to his
time of destitution in London.

"Such experiences," observed Cornelius, "have their good fruits. They
incline men to repentance who might else continue in their evil ways
all their lives."

"Yes, sir; that's the truth!" cried Ned. "If I'd had some people's
luck--but it's better to be saved than to make a fortune--although, to
be sure, there are fellows, rascals, too, that the Lord seems to take
far better care of than he does of his own!"

Mr. Cornelius looked a little startled at this. But the truth was, I
make no doubt, that the pretence of virtue, adopted for the purpose of
regaining the comforts of his father's house, wore heavily upon Ned;
that he chafed terribly under it sometimes; and that this was one of
the hours when, his wits and tongue loosened by drink, he became
reckless and allowed himself relief. He knew that Philip, Cornelius,
and I, never tattled. And so he cast the muzzle of sham reformation
from his mouth.

He was silent for a while, recollections of past experience rising
vividly in his mind, as they will when a man comes to a certain stage
of drink.

"Sure, luck is an idiot," he burst out presently, wrathful from his
memories. "It reminds me of a fool of a wench that passes over a
gentleman and flings herself at a lout. For, lookye, there was two of
us in London, a rascal Irishman and me, that lived in the same
lodgings. We did that to save cost, after we'd both had dogs' fortune
at the cards and the faro-table. If it hadn't been for a good-natured
woman or two--I spoke ill of the breed just now, but they have their
merits--we'd have had no lodgings at all then, except the Fleet,
maybe, or Newgate, if it had come to that. Well, as I was saying, we
were both as near starvation as ever _I_ wish to be, the Irishman and
me. There we were, poverty-stricken as rats, both tarred with the same
stick, no difference between us except he was an ugly brute, and a
scoundrel, and a man of no family. Now if either of us deserved good
fortune, it certainly was me; there can't be any question of that. And
yet, here I am, driven to the damnedest tedious time of it for bare
food and shelter, and compelled to drink ale when I'm--oh, curse it,
gentlemen, was ever such rotten luck?"

Cornelius, whom disillusion had stricken into speechlessness at this
revelation of the old Ned under the masquerade, sighed heavily and
looked pained. But Philip, always curious upon matters of human
experience, asked:

"What of the Irishman?"

"Driving in his chariot, the dog! Swaggering in Pall Mall; eating and
drinking at taverns that it makes my mouth water to think of; laying
his hundred guineas a throw, if he likes. Oh, the devil! The fat of
London for that fellow; and me cast off here in New York to the most
hellish dull life! 'Tisn't a fair dispensation; upon my soul it
isn't!"

"And what made him so fortunate?" inquired Philip.

"Ay, that's the worst of it! What good are a man's relations? What
good are mine, at least? For that knave had only one relation, but she
was of some use, Lord knows! When it came to the worst with him, he
walked to Bristol, and begged or stole passage to Ireland, and hunted
up his sister, who had a few pounds a year of her own. He had thought
of borrowing a guinea or two, to try his fortune with again. But when
he saw his sister, he found she'd grown up into a beauty--no more of a
beauty than my sisters, though; but she was a girl of enterprise and
spirit. I don't say Madge isn't that; but she's married and done for.
But Fanny--well, I don't see anything brilliant in store for Fanny."

"What has she to do with the affairs of your Irishman?" I asked.

"Oh, nothing. She's a different kind from this Irish lady. For what
did that girl do, after her brother had seen her and got the idea,
than pack up and come to London with him. And he showed her around so
well, and her fine looks made such an impression, that within three
months he had her married to a lord's son--the heir to Lord Ilverton's
estates and title. And now she's a made woman, and he's a made man,
and what do you think of that for a lucky brother and a clever sister?
And yet, compared with Fanny--"

"Do you mean to say," interrupted Philip, in a low voice, "that you
have ever thought of Fanny as a partner in such a plan?"

"Little use to think of her," replied Ned, contemptuously. "She hasn't
the spirit. I'm afraid there ain't many sisters like Mullaney's. Poor
Fan wouldn't even listen--"

"Did you dare propose it to her?" said Phil. My own feelings were too
strong for speech.

"Dare!" repeated Ned. "Why not? 'Twould have made her fortune--"

"Upon my word," put in Mr. Cornelius, no longer able to contain his
opinions, "I never heard of such rascality!"

Something in the pedagogue's tone, I suppose, or in Ned's stage of
tipsiness at the moment, gave the speech an inflammatory effect. Ned
stared a moment at the speaker, in amazement. Then he said, with
aroused insolence:

"What's this, Mr. Parson? What have _you_ to say here? My sister is
_my_ sister, let me tell you--"

"If she knew you as well as I do now," retorted Cornelius, quietly,
"she wouldn't boast of the relationship."

"What the devil!" cried Ned, in an elevated voice, thus drawing the
attention of the four or five other people in the room. "Who is this,
talks of relationships? You cursed parson-pedagogue--!"

"Be quiet, Ned," warned Philip. "Everybody hears you."

"I don't care," replied Ned, rising, and again addressing Cornelius.
"Does anybody boast of relationships to you, you tow-headed bumpkin?
Do you think you can call me to account, as you can the scum you
preach to on the wharves? I'll teach you!"

Whereat, Cornelius being opposite him, Ned violently pushed forward
the table so as to carry the tutor over backward in his chair. His
head and back struck the floor heavily, and he lay supine beneath the
upset table.

An excited crowd instantly surrounded our group. Philip and I
immediately removed the table, and helped Cornelius to his feet. The
pedagogue's face was afire; his fists were clenched; his chest
swelled; and one could judge from his wrists what sturdy arms his
sleeves encased. As he advanced upon Ned, he was all at once become so
formidable a figure that no one thought to interpose. Ned himself,
appalled at the approaching embodiment of anger and strength,
retreated a foot or two from the expected blow. Everybody looked to
see him stretched flat in a moment; when Cornelius suddenly stopped,
relaxed his muscles, unclosed his fists, and said to his insulter, in
a quiet but virile voice quite different from that of his usual
speech:

"By the grace of God, I put my hands behind my back; for I've spoiled
handsomer faces than yours, Edward Faringfield!"

There was a moment's pause.

"The grace of God has no such effect upon me!" said I, rapping Ned
over the mouth with the back of my hand. Before the matter could go
any further, Philip caught my arm, and Cornelius's, and hurried us out
of the tavern.

I now knew what had broken the friendship between Fanny and her
worthless brother. I feared a catastrophe when Mr. Faringfield should
learn of the occurrence at the tavern. But, thanks to the silence of
us who were concerned, and to the character of the few gentlemen with
whom he deigned to converse, it never came to his ears. Ned, restored
to his senses, and fearing for his maintenance, made no attempt to
retaliate my blow; and resumed his weary pretence of reformation. But
years afterward we were to recall his story of the Irishman's sister.



CHAPTER VII.

_Enemies in War._


As this is not a history of the wars I shall not dwell upon the talk
and preparations that went on during the weeks ensuing upon our
eventful Sunday: which talk was common to both parties, but which
preparations were mainly on the part of the rebels, we loyalists
awaiting events and biding the return from England of Governor Tryon.
There were looks of suspicion exchanged, and among the more violent
and uncouth there were open boasts bandied, open taunts reciprocated,
and open threats hurled back and forth. Most of the quality of the
town were on the loyal side; but yet there were some excellent
families--such as the Livingstones--who stood first and last among the
so-called Whigs. This was the case in great part of the country, the
wealth and culture, with distinguished exceptions, being for the king
and parliament; though, I must own, a great quantity of the brains
being on the other side: but in Virginia and her Southerly neighbours,
strange to say, the aristocracy largely, though not entirely, leaned
toward revolt; for what reason I never knew, unless it was that many
of them, descended from younger sons of good English stock who had
been exiled as black sheep or ne'er-do-wells, inherited feelings
similar to Mr. Faringfield's. Or perhaps 'twas indeed a pride, which
made them resentful of the superiority assumed by native Englishmen
over them as colonists. Or they may have felt that they should
actually become slaves in submitting to be taxed by a parliament in
which they were not represented. In any case, they (like Philip
Winwood and Mr. Faringfield, the Adamses of Boston, and thousands of
others) had motives that outweighed in them the sentiment of loyalty,
the passion of attachment to the land whence we had drawn our race and
still drew our culture and all our refinements and graces. This
sentiment, and this passion, made it impossible for Tom Faringfield
and me to see any other course for us than undeviating fidelity to the
king and the mother-country. There were of course some loyalists (or
Tories, if you prefer that name) who took higher views than arose from
their mere affections, and who saw harm for America in any revolt from
English government; and there were others, doubtless, whose motives
were entirely low and selfish, such as holders of office under the
crown, and men who had powers and privileges of which any change of
system, any disturbance of the royal authority, might deprive them. It
was Philip who called my attention to this last class, and to the
effect its existence must have on the common people in the crisis then
present.

"The colonists of America are not like any other people," said he.
"Their fathers came to this land when it was a savage wilderness,
tearing themselves from their homes, from civil surroundings; that
they might be far from tyranny, in small forms as well as great. Not
merely tyranny of king or church, but the shapes of it that Hamlet
speaks of--'the oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely, the
insolence of office.' All for the sake of liberty, they battled with
savages and with nature, fought and toiled, bled and starved. And
Tyranny ignored them till they had transformed their land and
themselves into something worth its attention. And then, backed and
sustained by royal authority, those hated things stole in upon
them--'the insolence of office, the proud man's contumely, the
oppressor's wrong.' This, lookye, besides the particular matter of
taxation without representation; of being bid to obey laws they have
no hand in making; of having a set of masters, three thousand miles
away, and not one of their own land or their own choosing, order them
to do thus and so:--why, 'twere the very soul and essence of slavery
to submit! Man, how can you wonder I am of their side?"

"And with your taste for the things to be found only in the monarchies
of Europe; for the arts, and the monuments of past history, the places
hallowed by great events and great men!" said I, quoting remembered
expressions of his own.

"Why," says he, smiling a little regretfully, "we shall have our own
arts and hallowed places some day; meanwhile one's taste must defer to
one's heart and one's intelligence."

"Yes," said I, with malicious derision, "when 'tis so great a question
as a paltry tax upon tea."

"'Tis no such thing," says he, warming up; "'tis a question of being
taxed one iota, the thousandth part of a farthing, by a body of
strangers, a body in which we are not represented."

"Neither were we represented in it when it sent armies to protect us
from the French, and toward the cost of which 'tis right we should
pay."

"We paid, in men and money both. And the armies were sent less for our
protection than for the aggrandisement of England. She was fighting
the French the world over; in America, as elsewhere, the only
difference being that in America we helped her."

So 'twas disputed between many another pair of friends, between
brothers, between fathers and sons, husbands and wives. I do not know
of another civil war that made as many breaks in families. Meanwhile,
the local authorities--those of local election, not of royal
appointment--were yet outwardly noncommittal. When Colonel Washington,
the general-in-chief appointed by the congress of the colonies at
Philadelphia, was to pass through New York on his way to Cambridge,
where the New England rebels were surrounding the king's troops in
Boston, it was known that Governor Tryon would arrive from England
about the same time. Our authorities, rather than seem to favour one
side, sent a committee to New Jersey to meet the rebel commander and
escort him through the town, and immediately thereafter paid a similar
attention to the royal governor. One of those who had what they
considered the honour of riding behind Mr. Washington a part of his
way (he came accompanied by a troop of horse from Philadelphia, and
made a fine, commanding figure, I grant) was Philip Winwood. When he
returned from Kingsbridge, I, pretending I had not gone out of my way
to see the rebel generalissimo pass, met him with a smile, as if to
make a joke of all the rebel preparations:

"Well," says I, "what manner of hero is your illustrious chief? A very
Julius Cæsar, I make no doubt."

"A grave and modest gentleman," says Phil, "and worthy of all the
admiration you used to have for him when we would talk of the French
War. I remember you would say he was equal to all the regular English
officers together; and how you declared Governor Shirley was a fool
for not giving him a king's commission."

"Well," said I, "'tis a thousand to one, that if Colonel Washington
hadn't been disappointed of a king's commission, he wouldn't now be
leader of the king's enemies." I knew I had no warrant the slightest
for attributing Mr. Washington's patriotism to such a petty motive as
a long-cherished resentment of royal neglect; and years afterward, in
London, I was to chastise an equally reckless speaker for a similar
slander; but I was young and partisan, and being nettled by the
reminder of my inconsistency, spoke to irritate.

"That is a lie!" said Phil, quietly, looking me straight in the face.

Such a word from Philip made me stare in amazement; but it did not
improve my temper, or incline me to acknowledge the injustice I had
uttered. My face burned, my fingers clenched. But it was Philip that
had spoken; and a thing or two flashed into my mind in the pause; and,
controlling myself, I let out a long breath, opened my fists, and,
with the best intentions in the world, and with the quietest voice,
gave him a blow far more severe than a blow of the fist had been.

"I will take that from you, Phil," said I: "God knows, your stand in
this rebellion has caused you enough unhappiness."

He winced, and sent me a startled look, stung at my alluding to the
estrangement of his wife. I know not whether he took it as a taunt
from so dear a friend, or whether the mere mention of so delicate a
sorrow was too much for him; but his face twitched, and he gave a
swallow, and was hard put to it to hold back the tears.

"Forgive me," I said, stricken to the heart at sight of this. "I am
your friend always, Phil." I put a hand upon his shoulder, and his
face turned to a kindly expression of pardon, a little short of the
smile he dared not yet trust himself to attempt.

Margaret's demeanour to him, indeed, had not shown the smallest
softening. But to the rest of the world, after the immediate effects
of that Sunday scene had worn off, she seemed vastly more sparkling
and fascinating than ever before: whether she was really so, and of
intention, or whether the appearance was from contrast with her
treatment of Philip, I dare not say. But the impression was Philip's,
I think, as well as every one's else; and infinitely it multiplied the
sorrow of which he would not speak, but which his countenance could
not conceal. When the news of the affair at Bunker's Hill was
discussed at the supper-table one evening in June, I being present,
and Margaret heard how bravely the British charged the third and
successful time up to the rebel works, after being hurled back twice
by a very hell of musketry, she dropped her fork, and clapped her
hands, crying:

"Bravo, bravo! 'Tis such men that grow in England. I could love every
one of 'em!"

"Brave men, I allow," said Philip; "but as for their victory, 'twas
but a technical one, if accounts be true. Their loss was greater than
ours; and the fight proved that Americans can stand before British
regulars."

Margaret paid no more notice than if Philip had not spoken--'twas her
practice now to ignore his speeches not directed to herself alone--and
when he had done, she said, blithely, to one of the young De Lanceys,
who was a guest:

"And so they drove the Yankees out! And what then, cousin?"

"Why, that was all. But as for the men that grow in England, you'll
find some of us grown in America quite as ready to fight for the king,
if matters go on. Only wait till Governor Tryon sets about calling for
loyal regiments. We shall be falling over one another in the scramble
to volunteer. But I mean to be first."

"Good, cousin!" she cried. "You may kiss my hand for that--nay, my
cheek, if I could reach it to you."

"Faith," said De Lancey, after gallantly touching her fingers with his
lips, "if all the ladies in New York had such hands, and offered 'em
to be kissed by each recruit for the king, there'd be no man left to
fight on the rebel side."

"Why, his Majesty is welcome to my two hands for the purpose, and my
face, too," she rattled on. "But some of our New York rebels were
going to do great things: 'tis two months now, and yet we see nothing
of their doings."

"Have a little patience, madam," said Philip, very quietly. "We rebels
may be further advanced in our arrangements than is known in all
quarters."

The truth of this was soon evident. In the open spaces of the
town--the parade-ground (or Bowling Green) outside the fort; the
common at the head of the town; before the very barracks in Chambers
Street that had just been vacated by the last of the royal troops in
New York, they having sailed for Boston rather for their own safety
than to swell the army there--there was continual instructing and
drilling of awkward Whigs. Organisation had proceeded throughout the
province, whose entire rebel force was commanded by Mr. Philip
Schuyler, of Albany; subordinate to whom was Mr. Richard Montgomery,
an Irish gentleman who had first set foot in America at Louisbourg, as
a king's officer, and who now resided beyond Kingsbridge.

It was under Montgomery that Philip Winwood took service, enlisting as
a private soldier, but soon revealing such knowledge of military
matters that he was speedily, in the off-hand manner characteristic of
improvised armies, made a lieutenant. This was a little strange,
seeing that there was a mighty scramble for commissions, nine out of
every ten patriots, however raw, clamouring to be officers; and it
shows that sometimes (though 'tis not often) modest merit will win as
well as self-assertive incompetence. Philip had obtained his
acquaintance with military forms from books; he was, in his ability to
assimilate the matter of a book, an exception among men; and a still
greater exception in his ability to apply that matter practically.
Indeed, it sometimes seemed that he could get out of a book not only
all that was in it, but more than was in it. Many will not believe
what I have related of him, that he had actually learned the rudiments
of fencing, the soldier's manual of arms, the routine of camp and
march, and such things, from reading; but it is a fact: just as it is
true that Greene, the best general of the rebels after Washington,
learned military law, routine, tactics, and strategy, from books he
read at the fire of the forge where he worked as blacksmith; and that
the men whom he led to Cambridge, from Rhode Island, were the best
disciplined, equipped, uniformed, and maintained, of the whole Yankee
army at that time. As for Philip's gift of translating printed matter
into actuality, I remember how, when we afterward came to visit
strange cities together, he would find his way about without a
question, like an old resident, through having merely read
descriptions of the places.

But rank did not come unsought, or otherwise, to Philip's fellow
volunteer from the Faringfield house, Mr. Cornelius. The pedagogue,
with little to say on the subject, took the rebel side as a matter of
course, Presbyterians being, it seems, republican in their nature. He
went as a private in the same company with Philip.

It was planned that the rebel troops of New York province should
invade Canada by way of Lake George, while the army under Washington
continued the siege of Boston. Philip went through the form of
arranging that his wife should remain at her father's house--the only
suitable home for her, indeed--during his absence in the field; and
so, in the Summer of 1775, upon a day much like that in which he had
first come to us twelve years before, it was ours to wish him for a
time farewell.

Mr. Faringfield and his lady, with Fanny and Tom, stood in the hall,
and my mother and I had joined them there, when Philip came
down-stairs in his new blue regimentals. He wore his sword, but it was
not his wife that had buckled it on. There had been no change in her
manner toward him: he was still to her but as a strange guest in the
house, rather to be disdained than treated with the courtesy due even
to a strange guest. We all asked ourselves what her farewell would be,
but none mentioned the thought. As Phil came into view at the first
landing, he sent a quick glance among us to see if she was there. For
a moment his face was struck into a sadly forlorn expression; but, as
if by chance, she came out of the larger parlour at that moment, and
his countenance revived almost into hope. The rest of us had already
said our good-byes to Mr. Cornelius, who now stood waiting for Philip.
As the latter reached the foot of the stairs, Margaret suddenly turned
to the pedagogue, to add her civility to ours, for she had always
liked the bashful fellow, and _his_ joining the rebels was to her a
matter of indifference--it did not in any way affect her own pleasure.
This movement on her part made it natural that Philip's first
leave-taking should be of Mr. Faringfield, who, seeing Margaret
occupied, went forward and grasped Phil's hand.

"God bless thee, lad," said he, showing the depth of his feelings as
much by a tenderness very odd in so cold a man, as by reverting to the
old pronoun now becoming obsolete except with Quakers, "and bring thee
safe out of it all, and make thy cause victorious!"

"Good-bye, Philip," said Mrs. Faringfield, with some betrayal of
affection, "and heaven bring you back to us!"

Fanny's farewell, though spoken with a voice more tremulous and eyes
more humid, was in the same strain; and so was that of my mother,
though she could not refrain from adding, "Tis such a pity!" and
wishing that so handsome a soldier was on the right side.

"Good-bye and good luck, dear old Phil!" was all that Tom said.

"And so say I," I put in, taking his hand in my turn, and trying not
to show my discomposure, "meaning to yourself, but not to your cause.
Well--dear lad--heaven guard you, and give you a speedy return! For
your sake and ours, may the whole thing be over before your campaign
is begun. I should like to see a war, and be in one--but not a war
like this, that makes enemies of you and me. Good-bye, Phil--and come
back safe and sound."

'Twas Margaret's time now, for Ned was not present. There was a pause,
as Phil turned questioningly--nay wistfully--toward her. She met his
look calmly. Old Noah and some of the negroes, who had pressed forward
to see Phil's departure from the house, were waiting for her to speak,
that they might afterward call out their Godspeed.

"Good-bye!" she said, at last, holding out her hand indifferently.

He took the hand, bent over it, pressed it with his lips. Then he
looked at her again. I think she must have shown just the slightest
yielding, given just the least permission, in her eyes; for he went
nearer, and putting his arm around her, gently drew her close to him,
and looked down at her. Suddenly she turned her face up, and pursed
her lips. With a look of gladness, he passionately kissed her.

"God bless you, my dear wife," he whispered; and then, as if by
expecting more he might court a disappointment to mar the memory of
that leave-taking, he released her, and said to us all: "Take care of
her, I pray!" whereupon, abruptly turning, he hastened out of the open
door, waving back his hat in response to our chorus of good-byes, and
the loud "Go' bless you, Massa Philip!" of the negroes.

We followed quickly to the porch, to look after him. But he strode off
so fast that Cornelius had to run to keep up with him. He did not once
look back, even when he passed out of sight at the street corner. I
believe he divined that his wife would not be among those looking
after, and that he wished not to interpose any other last impression
of his dear home than that of her kiss.

When we came back into the hall, she had flown. Later, as my mother
and I went through the garden homeward, passing beneath Margaret's
open windows, we heard her weeping--not violently, but steadily,
monotonously, as if she had a long season of the past to regret, a
long portion of the future to sorrow for. And here let me say that I
think Margaret, from first to last, loved Philip with more tenderness
than she was capable of bestowing upon any one else; with an affection
so deep that sometimes it might be obscured by counter feelings
playing over the surface of her heart, so deep that often she might
not be conscious of its presence, but so deep that it might never be
uprooted:--and 'twas that which made things the more pitiful.

Tom and I went out, with a large number of the town's people, to watch
the rebel soldiers depart, and we saw Philip with his company, and
exchanged with him a smile and a wave of the hat. How little we
thought that one of us he was never to meet again, that the other he
was not to see in many years, and that four of those years were to
pass ere he should set foot again in Queen Street.

Many things, to be swiftly passed over in my history, occurred in
those four years. One of these, the most important to me, happened a
short time after Philip's departure for the North. It was a brief
conversation with Fanny, and it took place upon the wayside walk at
what they call the Battery, at the green Southern end of the town,
where it is brought to a rounded point by the North and East Rivers
approaching each other as they flow into the bay. To face the gentle
breeze, I stopped and turned so we might look Southward over the bay,
toward where, at the distant Narrows, Long Island and Staten Island
seem to meet and close it in.

"I don't like to look out yonder," said Fanny. "It makes me imagine
I'm away on the ocean, by myself. And it seems so lonely."

"Why, you poor child," replied I, "'tis a sin you should ever feel
lonely; you do so much to prevent others being so." I turned my back
upon the bay, and led her past the fort, toward the Broadway. "You
see," said I, abruptly, glancing at her brown eyes, which dropped in a
charming confusion, "how much you need a comrade." I remember I was
not entirely unconfused myself at that moment, for inspiration had
suddenly shown me my opportunity, and how to use it, and some inward
trepidation was inseparable from a plunge into the matter I was now
resolved upon going through.

"Why," says she, blushing, and seeming, as she walked, to take a great
interest in her pretty feet, "I have several comrades as it is."

"Yes. But I mean one that should devote himself to you alone. Philip
has Margaret; and besides, he is gone now, and so is Mr. Cornelius.
And Tom will be finding a wife some day, and your parents cannot live
for ever, and your friends will be married one after another."

"Poor me!" says she, with a sigh of comic wofulness. "How helpless and
alone you make me feel!"

"Not so entirely alone, neither! There's one I didn't mention."

"And that one, too, I suppose, will be running off some day."

"No. He, like Tom, will be seeking a wife some day; perhaps sooner
than Tom; perhaps very soon indeed; perhaps this very minute."

"Oh, Bert!--What nonsense! Don't look at me so, here in the
street--people will take notice."

"What do I care for people? Let the fellows all see, and envy me, if
you'll give me what I ask. What say you, dearest? Speak; tell me! Nay,
if you won't, I'll make you blush all the more--I love you, I love
you, I love you! Now will you speak?"

"Oh, Bert, dear, at least wait till we are home!"

"If you'll promise to say yes then."

"Very well--if 'twill please you."

"Nay, it must be to please yourself too. You do love me a little,
don't you?"

"Why, of course I do; and you must have known it all the time!"

But, alas, her father's "yes" was not so easily to be won. I broached
the matter to him that very evening (Fanny and I meanwhile having come
to a fuller understanding in the seclusion of the garden); but he
shook his head, and regarded me coldly.

"No, sir," said he. "For, however much you are to be esteemed as a
young gentleman of honour and candour and fine promise, 'tis for me to
consider you rather as an adherent of a government that has persecuted
my country, and now makes war upon it. The day may come when you will
find a more congenial home nearer the crown you have already expressed
your desire to fight for. And then, if Fanny were your wife, you would
carry her off to make an Englishwoman of her, as my first daughter
would have been carried by her husband, upon different motives, but
for this war. Perhaps 'twere better she could have gone," he added,
with a sigh, for Margaret had been his favourite child; "my loss of
her could scarce have been more complete than it is. But 'tis not so
with Fanny."

"But, sir, I am not to take it that you refuse me, definitely,
finally?--I beg--"

"Nay, sir, I only say that we must wait. Let us see what time shall
bring to pass. I believe that you will not--and I am sure that Fanny
will not--endeavour any act without my consent, or against my wish.
Nay, I don't bid you despair, neither. Time shall determine."

I was not so confident that I would not endeavour any act without his
consent; but I shared his certainty that Fanny would not. And so, in
despondency, I took the news to her.

"Well," says she, with a sigh. "We must wait, that's all."

While we were waiting, and during the Fall and Winter, we heard now
and then from Philip, for communication was still possible between New
York and the rebel army proceeding toward Canada. He wrote Margaret
letters of which the rest of us never saw the contents; but he wrote
to Mr. Faringfield and me also. His history during this time was that
of his army, of which we got occasional news from other sources.
During part of September and all of October it was besieging St.
John's, which capitulated early in November. Schuyler's ill-health had
left the supreme active command to Montgomery. The army pushed on, and
occupied Montreal, though it failed to capture Governor Carleton; who
escaped to Quebec in a boat, by ingeniously disguising himself as a
countryman. At Montreal the jealousies and quarrels of officers, so
summarily created such, gave Montgomery much trouble, and when he set
forward for Quebec, there to join the force sent under Arnold through
the Maine wilderness from the rebel main army at Cambridge, he could
take with him but three hundred men--so had the patriot warriors of
New York fallen off in zeal and numbers! But you may be sure it was
not from Philip's letters that we got these items disadvantageous to
his cause.

Our last word from him was when he was in quarters before Quebec:
Cornelius was with him; and they were having a cold and snowy time of
it, waiting for Quebec to fall before them. He mentioned casually that
he had been raised to a captaincy: we afterward learned that this was
for brave conduct upon the occasion of a sally of Scotch troops from
one of the gates of Quebec to cut off a mortar battery and a body of
riflemen; Philip had not only saved the battery and the riflemen, but
had made prisoners of the sallying party.

Late in the Winter--that is to say, early in 1776--we learned of the
dire failure of the night attack made by the combined forces of
Montgomery and Arnold upon Quebec at the end of December, 1775; that
Arnold had been wounded, his best officers taken prisoners, and
Montgomery killed. The first reports said nothing of Winwood. When
Margaret heard the news, she turned white as a sheet; and at this
triumph of British arms my joy was far outweighed, Mr. Faringfield's
grief multiplied, by fears lest Philip, who we knew would shirk no
danger, had met a fate similar to his commander's. But subsequent news
told us that he was a prisoner, though severely wounded. We comforted
ourselves with considering that he was like to receive good nursing
from the French nuns of Quebec. And eventually we found the name of
Captain Winwood in a list of rebel prisoners who were to be exchanged;
from which, as a long time had passed, we inferred that he was now
recovered of his injuries; whereupon Margaret, who had never spoken of
him, or shown her solicitude other than by an occasional dispirited
self-abstraction, regained all her gaiety and was soon her old,
charming self again. In due course, we learned that the exchange of
prisoners had been effected, and that a number of officers (among whom
was Captain Winwood) had departed from Quebec, bound whither we were
not informed; and after that we lost track of him for many and many a
month.

Meanwhile, the war had made itself manifest in New York: at first
distantly, as by the passage of a few rebel companies from
Pennsylvania and Virginia through the town on their way to Cambridge;
by continued enlistments for the rebel cause; by the presence of a
small rebel force of occupation; and by quiet enrolments of us
loyalists for service when our time should come. But in the beginning
of the warm weather of 1776, the war became apparent in its own shape.
The king's troops under Sir William Howe had at last evacuated Boston
and sailed to Halifax, taking with them a host of loyalists, whose
flight was held up to us New York Tories as prophetic of our own fate.
Washington now supposed, rightly, that General Howe intended presently
to occupy New York; and so down upon our town, and the island on which
it was, and upon Long Island, came the rebel main army from Cambridge;
and brought some very bad manners with it, for all that there never
was a finer gentleman in the world than was at its head, and that I am
bound to own some of his officers and men to have been worthy of him
in good breeding. Here the army was reinforced by regiments from the
middle and Southern provinces; and for awhile we loyalists kept close
mouths. Margaret, indeed, for the time, ceased altogether to be a
loyalist, in consequence of the gallantry of certain officers in blue
and buff, and several Virginia dragoons in blue and red, with whom she
was brought into acquaintance through her father's attachment to the
rebel interest. She expanded and grew brilliant in the sunshine of
admiration (she had even a smile and compliment from Washington
himself, at a ball in honour of the rebel declaration of independence)
in which she lived during the time when New York abounded with rebel
troops.

But that was a short time; for the British disembarked upon Long
Island, met Washington's army there and defeated it, so that it had to
slip back to New York in boats by night; then landed above the town,
almost in time to cut it off as it fled Northward; fought part of it
on the heights of Harlem; kept upon its heels in Westchester County;
encountered it again near White Plains; and came back triumphant to
winter in and about New York. And now we loyalists and the rebel
sympathisers exchanged tunes; and Margaret was as much for the king
again as ever--she never cared two pins for either cause, I fancy,
save as it might, for the time being, serve her desire to shine.

She was radiant and joyous, and made no attempt to disguise her
feelings, when it was a settled fact that the British army should
occupy New York indefinitely.

"'Tis glorious!" said she, dancing up and down the parlour before Tom
and me. "This will be some relief from dulness, some consolation! The
town will be full of gallant generals and colonels, handsome majors,
dashing captains; there are lords and baronets among 'em; they'll be
quartered in all the good houses; there will be fine uniforms,
regimental bands, and balls and banquets! Why, I can quite endure
this! War has its compensations. We'll have a merry winter of it,
young gentlemen! Sure 'twill be like a glimpse of London."

"And there'll be much opportunity for vain ladies to have their heads
turned!" quoth Tom, half in jest, half in disapproval.

"I know nothing of that," says she, "but I do know whose sister will
be the toast of the British Army before a month is past!"

If the king's troops acquired a toast upon entering New York, the
rebels had gained a volunteer upon leaving it. One day, just before
Washington's army fled, Tom Faringfield came to me with a face all
amusement.

"Who do you think is the latest patriot recruit?" cried he. It was our
custom to give the rebels ironically their own denomination of
patriots.

"Not you nor I, at any rate," said I.

"But one of the family, nevertheless."

"Why, surely--your father has not--"

"Oh, no; only my father's eldest."

"Ned?"

"Nobody else. Fancy Ned taking the losing side! Oh, 'fore God, it's
true! He came home in a kind of uniform to-day, and told father what
he had done; the two had a long talk together in private after that;
and though father never shows his thoughts, I believe he really has
some hopes of Ned now. The rebels made a lieutenant of him, on
father's account. I wonder what his game is."

"I make no doubt, to curry favour with his father."

"Maybe. But perhaps to get an excuse for leaving town, and a way of
doing so. I've heard some talk--they say poor Sally Roberts's
condition is his work."

"Very like. Your brother is a terrible Adonis--with ladies of a
certain kind."

"Not such an Adonis neither--at least the Adonis that Venus courted in
Shakespeare's poem. Rather a Jove, I should say."

We did not then suspect the depth of Mr. Ned's contrivance or
duplicity. He left New York with the rebels, and 'twas some time ere
we saw, or heard of, him again.

And now at last several loyalist brigades were formed as auxiliaries
to the royal army, and Tom and I were soon happy in the consciousness
of serving our king, and in the possession of the green uniforms that
distinguished the local from the regular force. We were of Colonel
Cruger's battalion, of General Oliver De Lancey's brigade, and both
were so fortunate as to obtain commissions, Tom receiving that of
lieutenant, doubtless by reason of his mother's relationship to
General De Lancey, and I being made an ensign, on account of the
excellent memory in which my father was held by the loyal party. Mr.
Faringfield, like many another father in similar circumstances, was
outwardly passive upon his son's taking service against his own cause:
as a prudent man, he had doubtless seen from the first the advantage
of having a son actually under arms for the king, for it gave him and
his property such safety under the British occupation as even his
lady's loyalist affiliations might not have sufficed to do. Therefore
Tom, as a loyalist officer, was no less at home than formerly, in the
house of his rebel father. I know not how many such family situations
were brought about by this strange war.



CHAPTER VIII.

_I Meet an Old Friend in the Dark._


I shall not give an account of my military service, since it entered
little into the history of Philip Winwood. 'Twas our duty to help man
the outposts that guarded the island at whose Southern extremity New
York lies, from rebel attack; especially from the harassments of the
partisan troops, and irregular Whiggery, who would swoop down in
raiding parties, cut off our foragers, drive back our wood-cutters,
and annoy us in a thousand ways. We had such raiders of our own, too,
notably Captain James De Lancey's Westchester Light Horse, Simcoe's
Rangers, and the Hessian yagers, who repaid the visits of our enemies
by swift forays across the neutral ground between the two armies.

But this warfare did not exist in its fulness till later, when the
American army formed about us an immense segment of a circle, which
began in New Jersey, ran across Westchester County in New York
province, and passed through a corner of Connecticut to Long Island
Sound. On our side, we occupied Staten Island, part of the New Jersey
shore, our own island, lower Westchester County, and that portion of
Long Island nearest New York. But meanwhile, the rebel main army was
in New Jersey in the Winter of 1776-77, surprising some of our
Hessians at Trenton, overcoming a British force at Princeton, and
going into quarters at Morristown. And in the next year, Sir William
Howe having sailed to take Philadelphia with most of the king's
regulars (leaving General Clinton to hold New York with some royal
troops and us loyalists), the fighting was around the rebel capital,
which the British, after two victories, held during the Winter of
1777-78, while Washington camped at Valley Forge.

In the Fall of 1777, we thought we might have news of Winwood, for in
the Northern rebel army to which General Burgoyne then capitulated,
there were not only many New York troops, but moreover several of the
officers taken at Quebec, who had been exchanged when Philip had. But
of him we heard nothing, and from him it was not likely that we should
hear. Margaret never mentioned him now, and seemed to have forgotten
that she possessed a husband. Her interest was mainly in the British
officers still left in New York, and her impatience was for the return
of the larger number that had gone to Philadelphia. To this impatience
an end was put in the Summer of 1778, when the main army marched back
to us across New Jersey, followed part way by the rebels, and fighting
with them at Monmouth Court House. 'Twas upon this that the lines I
have mentioned, of British outposts protecting New York, and rebel
forces surrounding us on all sides but that of the sea, were
established in their most complete shape; and that the reciprocal
forays became most frequent.

And now, too, the British occupation of New York assumed its greatest
proportions. The kinds of festivity in which Margaret so brilliantly
shone, lent to the town the continual gaiety in which she so keenly
delighted. The loyalist families exerted themselves to protect the
king's officers from dulness, and the king's officers, in their own
endeavours to the same end, helped perforce to banish dulness from the
lives of their entertainers. 'Twas a gay town, indeed, for some folk,
despite the vast ugly blotches wrought upon its surface by two great
fires since the war had come, and despite the scarcity of provisions
and the other inconveniences of a virtual state of siege. Tom and I
saw much of that gaiety, for indeed at that time our duties were not
as active as we wished they might be, and they left us leisure enough
to spend in the town. But we were pale candles to the European
officers--the rattling, swearing, insolent English, the tall and
haughty Scots, the courtly Hessians and Brunswickers.

"What, sister, have we grown invisible, Bert and I?" said Tom to
Margaret, as we met her in the hall one night, after we had returned
from a ball in the Assembly Rooms. "Three times we bowed to you this
evening, and got never a glance in return."

"'Faith," says she, with a smile, "one can't see these green uniforms
for the scarlet ones!"

"Ay," he retorted, with less good-humour than she had shown, "the
scarlet coats blind some people's eyes, I think, to other things than
green uniforms."

It was, I fancy, because Tom had from childhood adored her so much,
that he now took her conduct so ill, and showed upon occasion a
bitterness that he never manifested over any other subject.

"What do you mean, you saucy boy?" cried she, turning red, and looking
mighty handsome. "You might take a lesson or two in manners from some
of the scarlet coats!"

"Egad, they wouldn't find time to give me lessons, being so busy with
you! But which of your teachers do you recommend--Captain Andre, Lord
Rawdon, Colonel Campbell, or the two Germans whose names I can't
pronounce? By George, you won't be happy till you have Sir Henry
Clinton and General Knyphausen disputing for the front place at your
feet!"

[Illustration: "SHE WAS INDEED THE TOAST OF THE ARMY."]

She softened from anger to a little laugh of conscious triumph, tapped
him with her fan, and sped up the stairs. Her prediction had come
true. She was indeed the toast of the army. Her mother apparently saw
no scandal in this, being blinded by her own partiality to the royal
side. Her father knew it not, for he rarely attended the British
festivities, from which he could not in reason debar his wife and
daughters. Fanny was too innocent to see harm in what her sister did.
But Tom and I, though we never spoke of it to each other, were made
sensitive, by our friendship for Philip, to the impropriety of the
situation--that the wife of an absent American officer should reign as
a beauty among his military enemies. I make no doubt but the
circumstance was commented upon, with satirical smiles at the expense
of both husband and wife, by the British officers themselves. Indeed I
once heard her name mentioned, not as Mrs. Winwood, but as "Captain
Winwood's wife," with an expression of voice that made me burn to
plant my fist in the leering face of the fellow who spoke--some
low-born dog, I'll warrant, who had paid high for his commission.

It was a custom of Tom's and mine to put ourselves, when off duty
together, in the way of more active service than properly fell to us,
by taking horse and riding to the eastern side of the Harlem River,
where was quartered the troop of Tom's relation, James De Lancey. In
more than one of the wild forays of these horsemen, did we take an
unauthorised part, and find it a very exhilarating business.

One cold December afternoon in 1778, we got private word from Captain
De Lancey that he was for a raid up the Albany road, that night, in
retaliation for a recent severe onslaught made upon our Hessian post
near Colonel Van Cortlandt's mansion, either ('twas thought) by Lee's
Virginia Light Horse or by the partisan troop under the French
nobleman known in the rebel service as Armand.

At nightfall we were on the gallop with De Lancey's men, striking the
sparks from the stony road under a cloudy sky. But these troops,
accustomed to darkness and familiar with the country, found the night
not too black for their purpose, which was, first, the seizing of some
cattle that two or three Whig farmers had contrived to retain
possession of, and, second, the surprising of a small advanced post
designed to protect rebel foragers. The first object was fairly well
accomplished, and a detail of men assigned to conduct the prizes back
to Kingsbridge forthwith, a difficult task for which those upon whom
it fell cursed their luck, or their commander's orders, under their
breath. One of the farmers, for stubbornly resisting, was left tied to
a tree before his swiftly dismantled house, and only Captain De
Lancey's fear of alarming the rebel outpost prevented the burning down
of the poor fellow's barn.

The taking of these cattle had necessitated our leaving the highway.
To this we now returned, and proceeded Northward to where the road
crosses the Neperan River, near the Philipse manor-house. Instead of
crossing this stream, we turned to the right, to follow its left bank
some way upward, and then ascended the hill East of it, on which the
rebel post was established. Our course, soon after leaving the road,
lay through woods, the margin of the little river affording us only
sufficient clear space for proceeding in single file. De Lancey rode
at the head, then went two of his men, then Tom Faringfield and
myself, the troop stringing out behind us, the lieutenant being at the
rear.

'Twas slow and toilsome riding; and only the devil's own luck, or some
marvellous instinct of our horses, spared us many a stumble over
roots, stones, twigs, and underbrush. What faint light the night
retained for well-accustomed eyes, had its source in the
cloud-curtained moon, and that being South of us, we were hidden in
the shadow of the woods. But 'tis a thousand wonders the noise of our
passage was not sooner heard, though De Lancey's stern command for
silence left no sound possible from us except that of our horses and
equipments. I fancy 'twas the loud murmur of the stream that shielded
us. But at last, as we approached the turning of the water, where we
were to dismount, surround the rebels hutted upon the hill before us,
creep silently upon them, and attack from all sides at a signal, there
was a voice drawled out of the darkness ahead of us the challenge:

"Who goes thar?"

We heard the click of the sentinel's musket-lock; whereupon Captain De
Lancey, in hope of gaining the time to seize him ere he could give the
alarm, replied, "Friends," and kept riding on.

"You're a liar, Jim De Lancey!" cried back the sentinel, and fired his
piece, and then (as our ears told us) fled through the woods, up the
hill, toward his comrades.

There was now nothing for us but to abandon all thought of surrounding
the enemy, or even, we told ourselves, of taking time to dismount and
bestow our horses; unless we were willing to lose the advantage of a
surprise at least partial, as we were not. We could but charge on
horseback up the hill, after the fleeing sentinel, in hope of coming
upon the rebels but half-prepared. Or rather, as we then felt, so we
chose to think, foolish as the opinion was. Indeed what could have
been more foolish, less military, more like a tale of fabulous knights
in some enchanted forest? A cavalry charge, with no sort of regular
formation, up a wooded hill, in a night dark enough in the open but
sheer black under the thick boughs; to meet an encamped enemy at the
top! But James De Lancey's men were noted rather for reckless dash
than for military prudence; they felt best on horseback, and would
accept a score of ill chances and fight in the saddle, rather than a
dozen advantages and go afoot. I think they were not displeased at
their discovery by the sentinel, which gave them an excuse for a
harebrained onset ahorse, in place of the tedious manoeuvre afoot that
had been planned. As for Tom and me, we were at the age when a man
will dare the impossible.

So we went, trusting to the sense of our beasts, or to dumb luck, to
carry us unimpeded through the black woods. As it was, a few of the
animals ran headforemost against trees, and others stumbled over roots
and logs, while some of the riders had their heads knocked nearly off
by coming in contact with low branches. But a majority of us, to judge
by the noise we made, arrived with our snorting, panting steeds at the
hill-crest; where, in a cleared space, and fortified with felled
trees, upheaved earth, forage carts, and what not, stood the
improvised cabins of the rebels.

Three or four shots greeted us as we emerged from the thick wood. We,
being armed with muskets and pistols as well as swords, returned the
fire, and spurred our horses on toward the low breastwork, which, as
it was not likely to have anything of a trench behind it, we thought
to overleap either on horse or afoot. But the fire that we met, almost
at the very barrier, felled so many of our horses and men, raised such
a hellish chorus of wild neighing, cries of pain and wrath, ferocious
curses and shouts of vengeance, that the men behind reined up
uncertain. De Lancey turned upon his horse, waved his sword, and
shouted for the laggards to come on. We had only the light of musketry
to see by. Tom Faringfield was unhorsed and down; and fearing he might
be wounded, I leaped to the ground, knelt, and partly raised him. He
was unharmed, however; and we both got upon our feet, with our swords
out, our discharged muskets slung round upon our backs, our intent
being to mount over the rebel's rude rampart--for we had got an
impression of De Lancey's sword pointed that way while he fiercely
called upon his troops to disregard the fallen, and each man charge
for himself in any manner possible, ahorse or afoot.

But more and more of the awakened rebels--we could make out only their
dark figures--sprang forward from their huts (mere roofs, 'twere
better to call these) to the breastwork, each waiting to take careful
aim at our mixed-up mass of men and horses before he fired into it. As
Tom and I were extricating ourselves from the mass by scrambling over
a groaning man or two, and a shrieking, kicking horse that lay on its
side, De Lancey rode back to enforce his commands upon the men at our
rear, some of whom were firing over our heads. His turning was
mistaken for a movement of retreat, not only by our men, of whom the
unhurt promptly made to hasten down the hill, but also by the enemy, a
few of whom now leaped from behind their defence to pursue.

Tom and I, not yet sensible of the action of our comrades, were
striding forward to mount the rampart, when this sally of rebels
occurred. Though it appalled us at the time, coming so unexpectedly,
it was the saving of us; for it stopped the fire of the rebels
remaining behind the barrier, lest they should hit their comrades. A
ringing voice, more potent than a bugle, now called upon these latter
to come back, in a tone showing their movement to have been without
orders. They speedily obeyed; all save one, a tall, broad
fellow--nothing but a great black figure in the night, to our
sight--who had rushed with a clubbed musket straight upon Tom and me.
A vague sense of it circling through the air, rather than distinct
sight of it, told me that his musket-butt was aimed at Tom's head.
Instinctively I flung up my sword to ward off the blow; and though of
course I could not stop its descent, I so disturbed its direction that
it struck only Tom's shoulder; none the less sending him to the ground
with a groan. With a curse, I swung my sword--a cut-and-thrust
blade-of-all-work, so to speak--with some wild idea of slicing off a
part of the rebel's head; but my weapon was hacked where it met him,
and so it merely made him reel and drop his musket. The darkness
falling the blacker after the glare of the firing, must have cloaked
these doings from the other rebels. Tom rose, and the two of us fell
upon our enemy at once, I hissing out the words, "Call for quarter,
you dog!"

"Very well," he said faintly, quite docile from having had his senses
knocked out of him by my blow, and not knowing at all what was going
on.

"Come then," said I, and grasped him by an arm, while Tom held him at
the other side; and so the three of us ran after De Lancey and his
men--for the captain had followed in vain attempt to rally them--into
the woods and down the hill. Tom's horse was shot, and mine had fled.

Our prisoner accompanied us with the unquestioning obedience of one
whose wits are for the time upon a vacation. Getting into the current
of retreat, which consisted of mounted men, men on foot, riderless
horses, and the wrathful captain whose enterprise was now quite
hopeless through the enemy's being well warned against a second
attempt, we at last reached the main road.

Here, out of a chaotic huddle, order was formed, and to the men left
horseless, mounts were given behind other men. Captain De Lancey
assigned a beast to myself and my prisoner. The big rebel clambered up
behind me, with the absent-minded acquiescence he had displayed ever
since my stroke had put his wits asleep. As we started dejectedly
Southward, full of bruises, aches, and weariness, there was some
question whether the rebels would pursue us.

"Not if their officer has an ounce of sense," said Captain De Lancey,
"being without horses, as he is. He's scarce like to play the fool by
coming down, as I did in charging up! Well, we've left some wounded to
his care. Who is their commander? Ask your prisoner, Lieutenant
Russell."

I turned on my saddle and put the query, but my man vouchsafed merely
a stupid, "Hey?"

"Shake him back to his senses," said De Lancey, stopping his horse, as
I did mine, and Tom his.

But shaking did not suffice.

"This infernal darkness helps to cloud his wits," suggested the
captain. "Flash a light before his eyes. Here, Tippet, your lantern,
please."

I continued shaking the prisoner, while the lantern was brought.
Suddenly the man gave a start, looked around into the black night, and
inquired in a husky, small voice:

"Who are you? Where are we?"

"We are your captors," said I, "and upon the Hudson River road, bound
for Kingsbridge. And now, sir, who are you?"

But the rays of the lantern, falling that instant upon his face,
answered my question for me.

"Cornelius!" I cried.

"What, sir? Why--'tis Mr. Russell!"

"Ay, and here is Tom Faringfield," said I.

"Well, bless my soul!" exclaimed the pedagogue, grasping the hand that
Tom held to him out of the darkness.

"Mr. Cornelius, since that is your name," put in De Lancey, to whom
time was precious. "Will you please tell us who commands yonder, where
we got the reception our folly deserved, awhile ago?"

"Certainly, sir," said Cornelius. "'Tis no harm, I suppose--no
violation of duty or custom?"

"Not in the least," said I.

"Why then, sir," says he, "since yesterday, when we relieved the
infantry there--we are dragoons, sir, though dismounted for this
particular service--a new independent troop, sir--Winwood's Horse--"

"Winwood's!" cried I.

"Ay, Captain Winwood's--Mr. Philip, you know--'tis he commands our
post yonder."

"Oh, indeed!" said De Lancey, carelessly. "A relation of mine by
marriage."

But for a time I had nothing to say, thinking how, after these years
of separation, Philip and I had come so near meeting in the night, and
known it not; and how, but for the turn of things, one of us might
have given the other his death-blow unwittingly in the darkness.



CHAPTER IX.

_Philip's Adventures--Captain Falconer Comes to Town._


Upon the way back to our lines, we were entertained by Mr. Cornelius
with an account of Philip's movements during the past three years. One
piece of information interested Captain De Lancey: the recent attack
upon Van Wrumb's Hessians, which it had been our purpose that night to
revenge, was the work of Winwood's troop of horse. Our curiosity upon
hearing of Philip as a captain of independent cavalry, who had left us
as a lieutenant of New York foot, was satisfied in the course of the
pedagogue's narrative. The tutor himself had received promotion upon
two sides: first, to the Presbyterian ministry, his admission thereto
having occurred while he was with the rebel army near Morristown, New
Jersey, the last previous Winter but one; second, to the chaplaincy of
Winwood's troop.

"Sure the devil's in it," said I, when he had told me this, "if the
rebels' praying men are as sanguinary as you showed yourself
to-night--leaping out to pursue your beaten enemy, as you did."

"Why," he replied, self-reproachfully, in his mildest voice, "I find,
do what I can, I have at bottom a combative spirit that will rise upon
occasion. I had thought 'twas long since quelled. But I fear no man is
always and altogether his own master. I saw even General Washington,
at Monmouth--but no matter for that. Especially of late, I have found
my demon of wrath--to speak figuratively--too much for me. 'Twas too
violently roused, maybe, that night your General Grey and his men fell
upon us as we slept, yonder across the Hudson, and slaughtered us like
sheep in the barn we lay in."

"Why, were you in that too?" I asked, surprised. "I thought that troop
was called Lady Washington's Light Horse."[3]

"Ay, we were then of that troop, Captain Winwood and I. 'Twas for his
conduct in that affair, his valour and skill in saving the remnant of
the troop, that he was put, t'other day, in command of an independent
company. I may take some pride in having helped him to this honour;
for his work the night General Grey surprised us was done so quietly,
and his report made so little of his own share in the business,
'twould have gone unrecognised, but for my account of it. Though, to
be sure, General Washington said afterward, in my hearing, that such
bravery and sagacity, coupled with such modesty, were only what he
might expect of Captain Winwood."

Cornelius had shared Philip's fortunes since their departure from New
York. When Winwood fell wounded in the snow, between the two
blockhouses at the foot of the cliff, that night the rebels met defeat
at Quebec, the pedagogue remained to succour him, and so was taken
prisoner with him. He afterward helped nurse him in the French
religious house, in the walled "upper town," to which the rebel
wounded were conveyed.

Upon the exchange of prisoners, Philip, having suffered a relapse, was
unable to accompany his comrades homeward, and Cornelius stayed to
care for him. There was a Scotchwoman who lived upon a farm a few
miles West of Quebec, and whose husband was serving on our side as one
of Colonel Maclean's Royal Highlanders. She took Winwood and the
pedagogue into her house as guests, trusting them till some uncertain
time in the future might find them able to pay.

When at last Philip dared hazard the journey, the rebel siege of
Quebec, which had continued in a half-hearted manner until Spring
brought British reinforcements up the river in ship-loads, had long
been raised, and the rebels had long since flown. Provided by Governor
Carleton with the passports to which in their situation they were
entitled, the two started for New York, bound by way of the St.
Lawrence, the Richelieu, the lakes, and the Hudson. It was now Winter,
and only Winwood's impatience to resume service could have tempted
them to such a journey in that season.

They came part way afoot, receiving guidance now from some solitary
fur-capped _courier du bois_ clad in skins and hoofed with snow-shoes,
now from some peaceful Indian, now from the cowled brothers of, some
forest monastery which gave them a night's shelter also. Portions of
the journey they made upon sledges driven by poor _habitans_ dwelling
in the far-apart villages or solitary farmhouses. At other times they
profited by boats and canoes, propelled up the St. Lawrence by French
peasants, befringed hunters, or friendly red men. Their entertainment
and housing were sometimes from such people as I have mentioned;
sometimes of their own contriving, the woods furnishing game for food,
fagots for fuel, and boughs for roof and bedding.

They encountered no danger from human foes until they were in the
province of New York, and, having left the lakes behind them, were
footing it Southward along the now frozen Hudson. The Indians in
Northern New York had been won to our interest, by Sir John Johnson,
of Johnson Hall, in the Mohawk Valley, and were more than formerly
inclined to vigilance regarding travellers in those lonely regions.
Upon waking suddenly one night when camped in the woods, Philip saw by
the firelight that he was surrounded by a party of silent savages; his
sword and pistol, and Cornelius's rifle, being already in their
possession. The two soldiers were held as prisoners for several days,
and made to accompany their captors upon long, mysterious
peregrinations. At last they were brought before Sir John Johnson, at
one of his forts; and that gentleman, respecting Governor Carleton's
passes, and the fact that Captain Winwood was related by marriage to
the De Lanceys, sent them with a guide to Albany.

Here they reported to General Schuyler; and Philip, having learned by
the experience of his journey that his wound left him incapacitated
for arduous service afoot, desired an arrangement by which he might
join the cavalry branch of the army. Mr. Schuyler was pleased to put
the matter through for him, and to send him to Morristown, New Jersey,
(where the rebel main force was then in Winter quarters) with a
commendatory letter to General Washington. Cornelius, whose time of
service had expired, was free to accompany him.

Philip, being enrolled, without loss of nominal rank, in Lady
Washington's Light Horse, which Cornelius entered as a trooper, had now
the happiness of serving near the person of the commander-in-chief. He
was wounded again at the Brandywine, upon which occasion Cornelius
bore him off the field without their being captured. During the Winter
at Valley Forge, and at the battle of Monmouth, and in the recent
partisan warfare on both sides of the Hudson, their experiences were
those of Washington's army as a whole, of which there are histories
enough extant: until their troop was cut to pieces by Earl Grey, and
Captain Winwood was advanced to an independent command. This was but a
recent event.

"And did he never think of us in New York," said Tom, "that he sent us
no word in all this time?"

"Sure, you must thank your British occupation of New York, if you
received none of our messages. General Washington allowed them to
pass."

"Ay, 'tis not easy for rebels to communicate with their friends in New
York," quoth I, "despite the traffic of goods between the Whig country
folk and some of our people, that Captain De Lancey knows about."

"Tut, man!" said De Lancey. "Some things must be winked at; we need
their farm stuff as much as they want our tea and such. But
correspondence from rebels must go to headquarters--where 'tis like to
stop, when it's for a family whose head is of Mr. Faringfield's way of
thinking."

"Well," said Mr. Cornelius, "Captain Winwood and I have discussed more
than one plan by which he might perchance get sight of his people for
a minute or so. He has hoped he might be sent into New York under a
flag of truce, upon some negotiation or other, and might obtain
permission from your general to see his wife while there; but he has
always been required otherwise when messengers were to be sent. He has
even thought of offering to enter the town clandestinely--"

"Hush!" I interrupted. "You are indiscreet. We are soldiers of the
king, remember. But, to be sure, 'tis nonsense; Phil would not be such
a fool as to risk hanging."

"Oh, to be sure; nonsense, indeed!" Cornelius stammered, much upset at
the imprudence due to his thoughtlessness. "And yet," he resumed
presently, "never did a man more crave a sight of those he left
behind. He would barter a year of his life, I think, for a minute's
speech with his wife. He talks of her by the hour, when he and I are
alone together. There was some coolness, you will remember, before
their parting; but 'twas not on his side, and his lady seemed to have
dropped it when he was taking leave of her; and three years of absence
have gone since then. So I am sure she has softened quite, and that
she desires his return as much as he longs for her presence. And
though he knows all this must be so, he keeps me ever reassuring and
persuading him it is. Ah, sir, if ever there was a man in love with
his wife!"

I made no reply. I had previously informed him of her good health, in
answer to a question whose eagerness came of his friendship for
Philip. I asked myself whether his unsuspecting mind was like to
perceive aught that would pain him for Philip's sake, in her
abandonment to the gaieties of the town, to the attentions of the
king's officers, to the business of making herself twice as charming
as the pedagogue had ever seen her.

We got it arranged that our prisoner should be put on parole and
quartered at Mr. Faringfield's house, where his welcome was indeed a
glad one. When Margaret heard of his presence in the town, she gave a
momentary start (it seemed to me a start of self-accusation) and paled
a little; but she composed herself, and asked in a sweet and gracious
(not an eager) tone:

"And Philip?"

I told her all I had learned from Cornelius, to which she listened
with a kindly heedfulness, only sometimes pressing her white teeth
upon her lower lip, and other times dropping her lustrous eyes from my
purposely steady, and perhaps reproachful, gaze.

"So then," said she, as if to be gay at the expense of her husband's
long absence, "now that three years and more have brought him so near
us, maybe another three years or so will bring him back to us!" 'Twas
affected gaiety, one could easily see. Her real feeling must have been
of annoyance that any news of her husband should be obtruded upon her.
She had entered into a way of life that involved forgetfulness of him,
and for which she must reproach herself whenever she thought of him,
but which was too pleasant for her to abandon. But she had the virtue
to be ashamed that reminders of his existence were unwelcome, and
consequently to pretend that she took them amiably; and yet she had
not the hypocrisy to pretend the eager solicitude which a devoted wife
would evince upon receiving news of her long-absent soldier-husband.
Such hypocrisy, indeed, would have appeared ridiculous in a wife who
had scarce mentioned her husband's name, and then only when others
spoke of him, in three years. Yet her very self-reproach for
disregarding him--did it not show that, under all the feelings that
held her to a life of gay coquetry, lay her love for Philip, not dead,
nor always sleeping?

When Cornelius came to the house to live, she met him with a warm
clasp of the hand, and with a smile of so much radiance and sweetness,
that for a time he must have been proud of her on Phil's behalf; and
so dazzled that he could not yet see those things for which, on the
same behalf, he must needs be sorrowful.

Knowing now exactly where Philip was, we were able to send him speedy
news of Cornelius's safety, and of the good health and good wishes of
us all; and we got in reply a message full of thanks and of
affectionate solicitude. The transfer of his troop to New Jersey soon
removed the possibility of my meeting him.

In the following Summer (that of 1779), as I afterward learned,
Captain Winwood and some of his men accompanied Major Lee's famous
dragoons (dismounted for the occasion) to the nocturnal surprise and
capture of our post at Paulus Hook, in New Jersey, opposite New York.
But he found no way of getting into the town to see us. And so I bring
him to the Winter of 1779, when the main rebel camp was again at
Morristown, and Philip stationed near Washington's headquarters. But
meanwhile, in New York, in the previous Autumn some additional British
troops had arrived from England; and one of these was Captain
Falconer.

There was a ball one night at Captain Morris's country-house some
eight or ten miles North of the town, which the rebel authorities had
already declared confiscate, if I remember aright, but which, as it
was upon the island of Manhattan and within our lines, yet remained in
actual possession of the rightful owner. Here Washington (said to have
been an unsuccessful suitor to Mrs. Morris when she was Miss Philipse)
had quartered ere the British chased the rebels from the island of
Manhattan; and here now were officers of our own in residence. 'Twas a
fine, white house, distinguished by the noble columns of its Grecian
front; from its height it overlooked the Hudson, the Harlem, the East
River, the Sound, and miles upon miles of undulating land on every
side.[4]

On this night the lights showed welcome from its many windows, open
doors, and balconies, and from the coloured paper lanterns festooned
upon its façade and strung aloft over its splendid lawn and gardens.
The house still stands, I hear, and is known as the Jumel Mansion,
from the widow who lives there. But I'll warrant it presents no more
such scenes as it offered that night, when the wealth and beauty of
New York, the chivalry of the king's army, arrived at its broad
pillared entrance by horse and by coach in a constant procession. In
the great hall, and the adjacent rooms, the rays of countless candles
fell upon brilliant uniforms, upon silk and velvet and brocade and
broadcloth, upon powdered hair, and fans and furbelows, upon white
necks and bosoms, and dazzling eyes, upon jewels and golden buckles
and shining sword-hilts.

We that entered from the Faringfield coach were Mrs. Faringfield and
my mother, Margaret and Fanny, Tom and myself. We had just received
the greeting of our handsome hostess, and were passing up the hall,
when my eyes alighted upon the figure of an officer who stood alone,
in an attitude of pensive negligence, beside the mantelpiece. He was
fully six feet tall, but possessed a carriage of grace and elegance,
instead of the rigid erectness of so many of his comrades. He had a
slender, finely cut, English face, a long but delicate chin, gray eyes
of a beautiful clearness, slightly wavy hair that was now powdered,
and the hands and legs of a gentleman.

"What a handsome fellow! Who is he?" whispered Margaret to Fanny.

I glanced at her. Her eyes showed admiration--an expression I had
never before seen in them. I looked back at the officer. He in turn
had seen her. His face, from having worn a look half melancholy, half
languid, had speedily become animated with interest. 'Twas as if each
of these two superb creatures had unexpectedly fallen upon something
they had scarce hoped to find in their present environment.

"A mighty pretty gentleman, indeed," said my mother.

"Nay," said Margaret, with a swift relapse into indifference, "no such
Adonis neither, on second view."

But I saw that she turned the corner of her eye upon him at intervals
as she moved forward, and that she was not sorry or annoyed to find
that he kept his gaze boldly upon her all the while. Presently he
looked about him, and singled out an acquaintance, to whom he made his
way. Five minutes later he was being introduced, as Captain Falconer,
to Mrs. Winwood.

"'Faith," said he, in a courteous, subdued voice, after bowing very
low, "I did not think to find a lady so recently from St. James', in
this place. One might swear, looking at you, madam, that this was
Almack's."

"Sir, you speak to one that never saw St. James' but in imagination,"
said Margaret, coolly. "Sure one can be white, and moderately civil,
and yet be of New York."

"The deuce, madam! A native? You?"

"Ay, sir, of the aborigines; the daughter of a red Indian!"

"'Fore God, then, 'tis no wonder the American colonists make war upon
the Indian race. Their wives and daughters urge 'em to it, out of
jealousy of the red men's daughters."

"Why, if they wished the red ladies exterminated, they couldn't do
better than send a number of king's officers among 'em--famous
lady-killers, I've heard."

"Madam, I know naught of that; nor of the art of lady-killing itself,
which I never desired to possess until this evening."

The captain's eyes, so languid with melancholy or ennui a short while
before, now had the glow of pre-determined conquest; his face shone
with that resolve; and by this transformation, as well as by the
inconsistency of his countenance with the soft tone and playful matter
of his words, which inconsistency betrayed the gentleness to be
assumed, I read the man through once for all: selfish, resolute,
facile, versatile, able to act any part thoroughly and in a moment,
constant to his object till it was won, then quick to leave it for
another; unscrupulous, usually invincible, confident of his proven
powers rather than vain of fancied ones; good-natured when not
crossed, and with an irresistible charm of person and manner. And
Margaret too--there was more and other meaning in her looks than in
her light, ironical speeches.

He led her through two minuets that night, and was her partner in the
Virginia reel (the name the Americans give the Sir Roger de Coverly);
and his was the last face we saw at our coach window as we started
homeward.

"You've made the rest of the army quite jealous of this new captain,"
growled Tom, as we rolled Southward over the stony Harlem road. "The
way Major Tarleton glared at him, would have set another man
trembling."

"Captain Falconer doesn't tremble so easily, I fancy," said Margaret.
"And yet he's no marvel of a man, as I can see."

Tom gave a sarcastic grunt. His manifestations regarding Margaret's
behaviour were the only exception to the kind, cheerful conduct of his
whole life. A younger brother is not ordinarily so watchful of a
sister's demeanour; he has the doings of other young ladies to concern
himself with. Tom did not lack these, but he was none the less keenly
sensitive upon the point of Margaret's propriety and good name. 'Twas
the extraordinary love and pride he had centred upon her, that made
him so observant and so touchy in the case. He brooded upon her
actions, worried himself with conjectures, underwent such torments as
jealous lovers know, such pangs as Hamlet felt in his uncertainty
regarding the integrity of his mother.

Within a week after the Morris ball, it came to pass that Captain
Falconer was quartered, by regular orders, in the house of Mr.
Faringfield. Tom and I, though we only looked our thoughts, saw more
than accident in this. The officer occupied the large parlour, which
he divided by curtains into two apartments, sitting-room and
sleeping-chamber. By his courtesy and vivacity, he speedily won the
regard of the family, even of Mr. Faringfield and the Rev. Mr.
Cornelius.

"Damn the fellow!" said Tom to me. "I can't help liking him."

"Nor I, either," was my reply; but I also damned him in my turn.



CHAPTER X.

_A Fine Project._


Were it my own history that I am here undertaking, I should give at
this place an account of my first duel, which was fought with swords,
in Bayard's Woods, my opponent being an English lieutenant of foot,
from whom I had suffered a display of that superciliousness which our
provincial troops had so resented in the British regulars in the old
French War. By good luck I disarmed the man without our receiving more
than a small scratch apiece; and subsequently brought him to the
humbleness of a fawning spaniel, by a mien and tone of half-threatening
superiority which never fail of reducing such high-talking sparks to
abject meekness. 'Twas a trick of pretended bullying, which we
long-suffering Americans were driven to adopt in self-defence against
certain derisive, contemptuous praters that came to our shores from
Europe. But 'tis more to my purpose, as the biographer of Philip
Winwood, to continue upon the subject of Captain Falconer.

He was the mirror of elegance, with none of the exaggerations of a
fop. He brought with him to the Queen Street house the atmosphere of
Bond Street and Pall Mall, the perfume of Almack's and the assembly
rooms, the air of White's and the clubs, the odour of the chocolate
houses and the fashionable taverns. 'Twas all that he represented, I
fancy, rather than what the man himself was, and conquering as he was,
that caught Margaret's eye. He typified the world before which she had
hoped to shine, and from which she had been debarred--cruelly
debarred, it may have seemed to her. I did not see this then; 'twas
another, one of a broader way of viewing things, one of a less partial
imagination--'twas Philip Winwood--that found this excuse for her.

Captain Falconer had the perception soon to gauge correctly us who
were of American rearing, and the tact to cast aside the lofty manner
by which so many of his stupid comrades estranged us. He treated Tom
and me with an easy but always courteous familiarity that surprised,
flattered, and won us. He would play cards with us, in his
sitting-room, as if rather for the sake of our company than for the
pleasure of the game. Indeed, as he often frankly confessed, gambling
was no passion with him; and this was remarkable at a time when 'twas
the only passion most fine young gentlemen would acknowledge as
genuine in them, and when those who did not feel that passion affected
it. We admired this fine disdain on his part for the common
fashionable occupation of the age (for the pursuit of women was
pretended to be followed as a necessary pastime, but without much real
heart) as evidence of a superior mind. Yet he played with us, losing
at first, but eventually winning until I had to withdraw. Tom, having
more money to lose, held out longer.

"Why now," said the captain once, regarding his winnings with a face
of perfect ruefulness, "'tis proven that what we seek eludes us, and
what we don't value comes to us! Here am I, the last man in the world
to court success this way, and here am I more winner than if I had
played with care and attention."

Tom once mentioned, to another officer, Captain Falconer's luck at
cards as an instance of fortune befriending one who despised her
favours in that way.

"Blood, sir!" exclaimed the officer. "Jack Falconer may have a mind
and taste above gaming as a pleasure, for aught I know. But I would I
had his skill with the cards. 'Tis no pastime with him, but a
livelihood. Don't you know the man is as poor as a church-mouse, but
for what he gets upon the green table?"

This revelation a little dampened our esteem for the captain's
elevation of intellect, but I'll take my oath of it, he was really
above gaming as a way of entertaining his mind, however he resorted to
it as a means of filling his purse.

Of course Tom's friendly association with him was before there was
sure cause to suspect his intentions regarding Margaret. His manner
toward her was the model of proper civility. He was a hundred times
more amiable and jocular with Fanny, whom he treated with the
half-familiar pleasantry of an elderly man for a child; petting her
with such delicacy as precluded displeasure on either her part or
mine. He pretended great dejection upon learning that her heart was
already engaged; and declared that his only consolation lay in the
fact that the happy possessor of the prize was myself: for which we
both liked him exceedingly. Toward Mrs. Faringfield, too, he used a
chivalrous gallantry as complimentary to her husband as to the lady.
Only between him and Margaret was there the distance of unvaried
formality.

And yet we ought to have seen how matters stood. For now Margaret,
though she had so little apparent cordiality for the captain, had
ceased to value the admiration of the other officers, and had
substituted a serene indifference for the animated interest she had
formerly shown toward the gaieties of the town. And the captain, too,
we learned, had the reputation of an inveterate conqueror of women;
yet he had exhibited a singular callousness to the charms of the
ladies of New York. He had been three months in the town, and his name
had not been coupled with that of any woman there. We might have
surmised from this a concealed preoccupation. And, moreover, there was
my first reading of his countenance, the night of the Morris ball;
this I had not forgotten, yet I ignored it, or else I shut my eyes to
my inevitable inferences, because I could see no propriety in any
possible interference from me.

One evening in December there was a drum at Colonel Philipse's town
house, which Margaret did not attend. She had mentioned, as reason for
absenting herself, a cold caught a few nights previously, through her
bare throat being exposed to a chill wind by the accidental falling of
her cloak as she walked to the coach after Mrs. Colden's rout. As the
evening progressed toward hilarity, I observed that Tom Faringfield
became restless and gloomy. At last he approached me, with a face
strangely white, and whispered:

"Do you see?--Captain Falconer is not here!"

"Well, what of that?" quoth I. "Ten to one, he finds these companies
plaguey tiresome."

"Or finds other company more agreeable," replied Tom, with a very dark
look in his eyes.

He left me, with no more words upon the subject. When it was time to
go home, and Mrs. Faringfield and Fanny and I sought about the rooms
for him, we found he had already taken his leave. So we three had the
chariot to ourselves, and as we rode I kept my own thoughts upon Tom's
previous departure, and my own vague dread of what might happen.

But when Noah let us in, all seemed well in the Faringfield house.
Margaret was in the parlour, reading; and she laid down her book to
ask us pleasantly what kind of an evening we had had. She was the only
one of the family up to receive us, Mr. Faringfield having retired
hours ago, and Tom having come in and gone to bed without an
explanation. The absence of light in Captain Falconer's windows
signified that he too had sought his couch, for had he been still out,
his servant would have kept candles lighted for him.

The next day, as we rode out Northward to our posts, Tom suddenly
broke the silence:

"Curse it!" said he. "There are more mysteries than one. Do you know
what I found when I got home last night?"

"I can't imagine."

"Well, I first looked into the parlour, but no one was there. Instead
of going on to the library, I went up-stairs and knocked at Margaret's
door. I--I wanted to see her a moment. It happened to be unlatched,
and as I knocked rather hard, it swung open. No one was in that room,
either, but I thought she might be in the bedchamber beyond, and so I
crossed to knock at that. But I chanced to look at her writing-table
as I passed; there was a candle burning on it, and devil take me if I
didn't see a letter in a big schoolboy's hand that I couldn't help
knowing at a glance--the hand of my brother Ned!"

"Then I'll engage the letter wasn't to Margaret. You know how much
love is lost between those two."

"But it was to her, though! 'Dear M.,' it began--there's no one else
whose name begins with M in the family. And the writing was fresh--not
the least faded. I saw that much before I thought of what I was doing.
But when I remembered 'twasn't my letter, I looked no more."

"But how could he send a letter from the rebel camp to her in New
York?"[5]

"Why, that's not the strangest part of it. There's no doubt Washington
has spies in the town, and ways of communicating with the rebel
sympathisers here; I've sometimes thought my father--but no matter for
that. The fact is, there the letter was, as certainly from Ned as I'm
looking at you; and we know he's in the rebel army. But the wonder,
the incredible thing, is that he should write to Margaret."

"'Tis a mystery, in truth."

"Well, 'tis none of ours, after all, and of course this will go no
further--but let me tell you, the devil's in it when those two are in
correspondence. There's crookedness of some kind afoot, when such
haters combine together!"

"You didn't ask her, of course?"

"No. But I knocked at her chamber door, and getting no answer I went
down-stairs again. This time she was in the parlour. She had been in
the library before, it seemed; 'twas warmer there."

But, as I narrowly watched the poor lad, I questioned whether he was
really convinced that she had been in the library before. He had said
nothing of Captain Falconer's sitting-room, of which the door was that
of the transformed large parlour, and was directly across the hall
from the Faringfields' ordinary parlour, wherein Tom had first sought
and eventually found her.

'Twas our practice thus to ride back to our posts when we had been off
duty, although our rank did not allow us to go mounted in the service.
For despite the needs of the army, the Faringfields and I contrived to
retain our horses for private use. All of that family were good
riders, particularly Margaret. She often rode out for a morning's
canter, going alone because it was her will thereto, which was not
opposed, for she had so accustomed us to her aloofness that solitary
excursions seemed in place with her. One day, a little later in that
same December, Tom and I had taken the road by way of General De
Lancey's country mansion at Bloomingdale, rather than our usual
course, which lay past the Murray house of Incledon. As I rode
Northward at a slow walk, some distance ahead of my comrade, I
distinctly heard through a thicket that veiled the road from a little
glade at the right, the voice of Captain Falconer, saying playfully:

"Nay, how can you doubt me? Would not gratitude alone, for the
reparation of my fortunes, bind me as your slave, if you had not
chains more powerful?"

And then I caught this answer, in a voice that gave me a start, and
sent the blood into my face--the voice of Margaret:

"But will those chains hold, if this design upon your gratitude fail?"

She spoke as in jest, but with a perceptible undercurrent of
earnestness. This was a new attitude for her, and what a revelation to
me! In a flash I saw her infatuation for this fine fellow, some fear
of losing him, a pursuit of some plan by which she might repair his
fortunes and so bind him by obligation. Had Margaret, the invincible,
the disdainful, fallen to so abject a posture? And how long had these
secret meetings been going on?

There was new-fallen snow upon the road, and this had deadened the
sound of our horses' feet to those beyond the thicket. Tom was not yet
so near as to have heard their voices. I saw the desirability of his
remaining in ignorance for the present, so I uttered a loud "chuck,"
and gave a pull at my reins, as if urging my horse to a better gait,
my purpose being to warn the speakers of unseen passers-by ere Tom
should come up. I had not let my horse come to a stop, nor had I
otherwise betrayed my discovery.

But, to my dread, I presently heard Tom cry sharply, "Whoa!" and,
looking back, saw he had halted at the place where I had heard the
voices. My warning must have failed to hush the speakers. Never shall
I forget the look of startled horror, shame, and anger upon his face.
For a moment he sat motionless; then he turned his horse back to an
opening in the thicket, and rode into the glade. I galloped after him,
to prevent, if possible, some fearful scene.

When I entered the glade, I saw Margaret and Captain Falconer seated
upon their horses, looking with still fresh astonishment and
discomfiture upon the intruder. Their faces were toward me. Tom had
stopped his horse, and he sat regarding them with what expression I
could not see, being behind him. Apparently no one of the three had
yet spoken.

Tom glanced at me as I joined the group, and then, in a singularly
restrained voice, he said:

"Captain Falconer, may I beg leave to be alone with my sister a few
moments? I have something to ask her. If you would ride a little way
off, with Mr. Russell--"

'Twas, after all, a most natural request. A brother may wish to speak
to his sister in private, and 'tis more fitting to put a gentleman
than a lady to the trouble of an absence. Seeing it thus, and speaking
with recovered composure as if nothing were wrong, the captain
courteously replied:

"Most certainly. Mr. Russell, after you, sir--nay, no precedence to
rank, while we are simply private gentlemen."

He bowed low to Margaret, and we two rode out to the highway, there to
pace our horses up and down within call. Of what passed between
brother and sister, I afterward received a close account.

"I must have a straight answer," Tom began, "for I must not be put to
the folly of acting without cause. Tell me, then, upon your honour,
has there been reason between you and Captain Falconer for me to fight
him? The truth, now! Of course, I shall find another pretext. It looks
a thousand to one, there's reason; but I must be sure."

"Why, I think you have lost your wits, Tom," said she. "If a gentleman
known to the family happens to meet me when I ride out, and we chance
to talk--"

"Ay, but in such a private place, and in such familiar tones, when you
scarce ever converse together at home, and then in the most formal
way! Oh, sister, that it should come to this!"

"I say, you're a fool, Tom! And a spy too--dogging my footsteps! What
right have you to call me to account?"

"As your brother, of course."

"My younger brother you are; and too young to understand all you see,
for one thing, or to hold me responsible to you for my actions, for
another."

"I understand when your honour calls for my actions, however! Your
very anger betrays you. I will kill Falconer!"

"You'll do nothing of the kind!"

"You shall see! I know a brother's duties--his rights, by heaven!"

"A brother has no duties nor rights, concerning a sister who is
married."

"Then, if not as your brother, I have as your husband's friend. For,
by God, I _am_ Phil's friend, to the death; and while he's not here to
see what's passing, I dare act on his behalf. If I may not have a care
of my sister's honour, I may of Philip Winwood's! And now I'll go to
your captain!"

"But wait--stay, Tom--a moment, for God's sake! You're mistaken, I
tell you. There's naught against Philip Winwood's honour in my meeting
Captain Falconer. We have conferences, I grant. But 'tis upon a matter
you know nothing of--a matter of the war."

"What nonsense! To think I should believe that! What affair of the war
could you have to do with? It makes me laugh!"

"I vow there's an affair I have to do with. What do you know of my
secrets, my planning and plotting? 'Tis an affair for the royal cause,
I'll tell you that much. Nay, I'll tell you all; you won't dare betray
it--you'd be a traitor to the king if you did. You shall be let into
it, you and Bert. Call back Captain Falconer and him."

Puzzled and incredulous, but glad to test any assertion that might
clear his sister of the suspicion most odious, Tom hallooed for us.
When we re-entered the glade, Margaret spoke ere any one else had time
for a word:

"Captain Falconer, I think you'll allow me the right to admit these
gentlemen into the secret of our interviews. They are both loyal, both
so dear to me that I'd gladly have them take a part in the honour of
our project--of which, heaven knows, there'll be enough and to spare
if we succeed."

"Madam," said he, "its chance of success will be all the greater, for
the participation of these gentlemen."

"Well?" said Tom, looking inquiringly at his sister.

"You promise your aid, then, both?" she asked.

"Let us hear it first," he replied.

She obtained our assurances of secrecy in any event, and proceeded:

"Everybody knows what this rebellion costs England, in money, men, and
commerce; not to speak of the king's peace of mind, and the feelings
of the nation. Everybody sees it must last well-nigh for ever, if it
doesn't even win in the end! Well, then, think what it would mean for
England, for the king, for America, if the war could be cut short by a
single blow, with no cost; cut short by one night's courage, daring,
and skill, on the part of a handful of men!"

Tom and I smiled as at one who dreams golden impossibilities.

"Laugh if you will," said she; "but tell me this: what is the soul of
the rebellion? What is the one vital part its life depends on? The
different rebel provinces hate and mistrust one another--what holds
'em together? The rebel Congress quarrels and plots, and issues money
that isn't worth the dirty paper it's printed on; disturbs its army,
and does no good to any one--what keeps the rebellion afoot in spite
of it? The rebel army complains, and goes hungry and half-naked, and
is full of mutiny and desertion--what still controls it from melting
away entirely? What carries it through such Winters as the rebels had
at Valley Forge, when the Congress, the army, and the people were all
at sixes and sevens and swords' points? What raises money the Lord
knows how, finds supplies the Lord knows where, induces men to stay in
the field, by the Lord knows what means, and has got such renown the
world over that now France is the rebels' ally? I make you stare,
boys; you're not used to seeing me play the orator. I never did
before, and I sha'n't again, for heaven forbid I should be a woman of
that kind! But I've studied this matter, and I hope I have a few ideas
upon it."

"But what has done all these things you mention? May I ask that?" said
I, both amused and curious.

"Washington!" was her reply. "Remove him, and this rebellion will
burst like a soap-bubble! And that's the last of my speechmaking. Our
project is to remove Washington--nay, there's no assassination in it.
We'll do better--capture him and send him to England. Once he is in
the Tower awaiting trial, how long do you think the rebellion will
last? And what rewards do you think there'll be for those that sent
him there?"

"Why," said Tom, "is that a new project? Hasn't the British army been
trying to wipe out Washington's army and take him prisoner these four
years?"

"But not in the way that we have planned it," replied Margaret, "and
that Captain Falconer shall execute it. Tell them, captain."

"'Tis very simple, gentlemen," said the English officer. "If the
honour of the execution is to be mine, and the men's whom I shall
lead, the honour of the design, and of securing the necessary
collusion in the rebel camp, is Mrs. Winwood's. My part hitherto has
been, with Sir Henry Clinton's approval, to make up a chosen body of
men from all branches of the army; and my part finally shall be to
lead this select troop on horseback one dark night, by a devious
route, to that part of the rebel lines nearest Washington's quarters;
then, with the coöperation that this lady has obtained among the
rebels, to make a swift dash upon those quarters, seize Washington
while our presence is scarce yet known, and carry him back to New York
by outriding all pursuit. Boats will be waiting to bring us across the
river. I allow such projects have been tried before, but they have
been defeated through rebel sentries giving the alarm in time. They
lacked one advantage we possess--collusion in the rebel camp--"

"And 'twas you obtained that collusion?" Tom broke in, turning to
Margaret. "Hang me if I see how you in New York--oh, but I do, though!
Through brother Ned!"

"You're a marvel at a guess," quoth she.

"Ay, ay! But how did you carry on your correspondence with him? 'Twas
he, then, originated this scheme?"

"Oh, no; 'twas no such thing! The credit is all mine, if you please. I
make no doubt, he _would_ have originated it, if he had thought of it.
But a sister's wits are sometimes as good as a brother's--remember
that, Tom. For I had the wit not only to devise this project, but to
know from the first that Ned's reason for joining the rebels was, that
he might profit by betraying them."

"Ay, we might have known as much, Bert," said Tom. "But we give you
all credit for beating us there, sister."

"Thank you! But the rascal never saw the way to his ends, I fancy; for
he's still in good repute in the rebel army. And when I began to think
of a way to gain--to gain the honour of aiding the king's cause, you
know, I saw at once that Ned might help me. Much as we disliked each
other, he would work with me in this, for the money 'twould bring him.
And I had 'lighted upon something else, too--quite by chance. A
certain old person I know of has been serving to carry news from a
particular Whig of my acquaintance (and neither of 'em must ever come
to harm, Captain Falconer has sworn) to General Washington." (As was
afterward made sure, 'twas old Bill Meadows, who carried secret word
and money from Mr. Faringfield and other friends of the rebellion.)
"This old person is very much my friend, and will keep my secrets as
well as those of other people. So each time he has gone to the rebel
camp, of late--and how he gets there and back into New York uncaught,
heaven only knows--he has carried a message to brother Ned; and
brought back a reply. Thus while he knowingly serves the rebel cause,
he ignorantly serves ours too, for he has no notion of what my brother
and I correspond about. And so 'tis all arranged. Through Ned we have
learned that the rebel light horse troop under Harry Lee has gone off
upon some long business or other, and, as far as the army knows, may
return to the camp at any time. All that our company under Captain
Falconer has to do, then, is to ride upon a dark night to a place
outside the rebel pickets, where Ned will meet them. How Ned shall
come there unsuspected, is his own affair--he swears 'tis easy. He
will place himself at the head of our troop, and knowing the rebel
passwords for the night, as well as how to speak like one of Major
Lee's officers, he can lead our men past the sentries without alarm.
Our troop will have on the blue greatcoats and the caps the rebel
cavalry wear--General Grey's men took a number of these last year, and
now they come into use. And besides our having all these means of
passing the rebel lines without hindrance, Ned has won over a number
of the rebels themselves, by promising 'em a share of the great reward
the parliament is sure to vote for this business. He has secured some
of the men about headquarters to our interest."

"What a traitor!" quoth Tom, in a tone of disgust.

"Why, sure, we can make use of his treason, without being proud of him
as one of the family," said Margaret. "The matter now is, that Captain
Falconer offers you two gentlemen places in the troop he has chosen."

"The offer comes a little late, sir," said Tom, turning to the
captain.

"Why, sir," replied Falconer, "I protest I often thought of you two.
But the risk, gentlemen, and your youth, and my dislike of imperilling
my friends--however, take it as you will, I now see I had done better
to enlist you at the first. The point is, to enlist you now. You shall
have your commander's permission; General Clinton gives me my choice
of men. 'Twill be a very small company, gentlemen; the need of silence
and dash requires that. And you two shall come in for honour and pay,
next to myself--that I engage. 'Twill make rich men of us three, at
least, and of your brother, sir; while this lady will find herself the
world's talk, the heroine of the age, the saviour of America, the
glory of England. I can see her hailed in London for this, if it
succeed; praised by princes, toasted by noblemen, envied by the ladies
of fashion and the Court, huzza'd by the people in the streets and
parks when she rides out--"

"Nay, captain, you see too far ahead," she interrupted, seeming ill at
ease that these things should be said before Tom and me.

"A strange role, sure, for Captain Winwood's wife," said Tom; "that of
plotter against his commander."

"Nay," she cried, quickly, "Captain Winwood plays a strange rôle for
Margaret Faringfield's husband--that of rebel against her king. For
look ye, I had a king before he had a commander. Isn't that what you
might call logic, Tom?"

"'Tis an unanswerable answer, at least," said Captain Falconer,
smiling gallantly. "But come, gentlemen, shall we have your aid in
this fine adventure?"

It was a fine adventure, and that was the truth. The underhand work,
the plotting and the treason involved, were none of ours. 'Twas
against Philip Winwood's cause, but our cause was as much to us as his
was to him. The prospect of pay and honour did not much allure us; but
the vision of that silent night ride, that perilous entrance into the
enemy's camp, that swift dash for the person of our greatest foe, that
gallop homeward with a roused rebel cavalry, desperate with
consternation, at our heels, quite supplanted all feelings of slight
in not having been invited earlier. Such an enterprise, for young
fellows like us, there was no staying out of.

We gave Captain Falconer our hands upon it, whereupon he told us he
would be at the pains to secure our relief from regular duty on the
night set for the adventure--that of the following Wednesday--and
directed us to be ready with our horses at the ferry at six o'clock
Wednesday evening. The rebel cavalry caps and overcoats were to be
taken to the New Jersey side previously, and there put on, this
arrangement serving as precaution against our disguise being seen
within our lines by some possible rebel spy who might thereupon
suspect our purpose and find means of preceding us to the enemy's
camp.

Tom and I saw the English captain and Margaret take the road toward
the town, whereupon we resumed our ride Northward. I could note the
lad's relief at being able to account for his sister's secret meeting
with Falconer by a reason other than he had feared.

"By George, though," he broke out presently, "'tis plaguey strange
Margaret should grow so active in loyalty! I never knew her zeal to be
very great for any cause of a public nature. 'Tisn't like her; rabbit
me if it is!"

"Why," quoth I, "maybe it's for her own purposes, after all--the
reward and the glory. You know the pleasure she takes in shining."

"Egad, that's true enough!" And Tom's face cleared again.

Alas, I knew better! Besides the motive I had mentioned, there had
been another to stimulate her wits and industry--the one her words,
overheard by me alone, had betrayed too surely--the desire of
enriching and advancing Captain Falconer. Well, she was not the first
woman, nor has been the last, scheming to pour wealth and honour into
a man's lap, partly out of the mere joy of pleasing him, partly in
hope of binding him by gratitude, partly to make him seem in the
world's eyes the worthier her devotion, and so to lessen her demerit
if that devotion be unlawful.

"Poor Philip!" thought I. "Poor Philip! And what will be the end of
this?"



CHAPTER XI.

_Winwood Comes to See His Wife._


'T were scarce possible to exaggerate the eagerness with which
Margaret looked forward to the execution of the great project. Her
anticipations, in the intensity and entirety with which they possessed
her, equalled those with which she had formerly awaited the trip to
England. She was now as oblivious of the festivities arising from the
army's presence, as she had been of the town's tame pleasures on the
former occasion. She showed, to us who had the key to her mind, a
deeper abstraction, a more anxious impatience, a keener foretaste (in
imagination) of the triumphs our success would bring her. Her
favourable expectations, of course, seesawed with fears of failure;
and sometimes there was preserved a balance that afflicted her with a
most irritating uncertainty, revealed by petulant looks and tones. But
by force of will, 'twas mainly in the hope of success that she passed
the few days between our meeting in the glade and the appointed
Wednesday evening.

"Tut, sister," warned Tom, with kind intention, "don't raise yourself
so high with hope, or you may fall as far with disappointment."

"Never fear, Tom; we can't fail."

"It looks all clear and easy, I allow," said he; "but there's many a
slip, remember!"

"Not two such great slips to the same person," she replied. "I had my
share of disappointment, when I couldn't go to London. This war, and
my stars, owe me a good turn, dear."

But when, at dusk on Wednesday evening, Tom and I took leave of her in
the hall, she was trembling like a person with a chill. Her eyes
glowed upon us beseechingly, as if she implored our Herculean
endeavours in the attempt now to be made.

We had to speak softly to one another, lest Mr. Faringfield might hear
and infer some particular enterprise--for we were not to hazard the
slightest adverse chance. Captain Falconer had been away from his
quarters all day, about the business of the night, and would not
return till after its accomplishment. Thus we two were the last to be
seen of her, of those bound to the adventure; and so to us were
visible the feelings with which she regarded the setting forth of our
whole company upon the project she had designed, for which she had
laboriously laid preparations even in the enemy's camp, and from which
she looked for a splendid future. Were it realised, she might defy Mr.
Faringfield and Philip: they would be nobodies, in comparison with
her: heroines belong to the whole world, and may have their choice of
the world's rewards: they may go where they please, love whom they
please, and no father nor husband may say them nay. Though I could not
but be sad, for Philip's sake, at thought of what effect our success
might have upon her, yet for the moment I seemed to view matters from
her side, with her nature, and for that moment I felt that to
disappoint her hopes would be a pity.

As for myself (and Tom was like me) my cause and duty, not Margaret's
private ambitions, bade me strive my utmost in the business; and my
youthful love of danger sent me forth with a most exquisite thrill, as
into the riskiest, most exhilarating game a man can play. So I too
trembled a little, but with an uplifting, strong-nerved excitement far
different from the anxious tremor of suspense that tortured Margaret.

"For pity's sake, don't fail, boys!" she said, as if all rested upon
us two. "Think of me waiting at home for the news! Heaven, how slow
the hours will pass! I sha'n't have a moment's rest of mind or body
till I know!"

"You shall know as soon as we can get back to New York," said I.

"Ay--if we are able to come back," added Tom, with a queer smile.

She turned whiter, and new thoughts seemed to sweep into her mind. But
she drove them back.

"Hush, Tom, we mustn't think of that!" she whispered. "No, no, it
can't come to that! But I shall be a thousand times the more anxious!
Good night!--that's all I shall say--good night and a speedy and safe
return!"

She caught her brother's head between her hands, bestowed a fervent
kiss upon his forehead, swiftly pressed my fingers, and opened the
door for us.

We passed out into the dark, frosty evening. There was snow on the
ground but none in the air. We mounted our waiting horses, waved back
a farewell to the white-faced, white-handed figure in the doorway; and
started toward the ferry. Margaret was left alone with her
fast-beating heart, to her ordeal of mingled elation and doubt, her
dread of crushing disappointment, her visions of glorious triumph.

At the ferry we reported to Captain Falconer, who was expeditiously
sending each rider and horse aboard one of the waiting flat-boats as
soon as each arrived. Thus was avoided the assemblage, for any length
of time, of a special body of horsemen in the streets--for not even
the army, let alone the townspeople, should know more of our setting
forth than could not be hid. The departure of those who were to embark
from the town was managed with exceeding quietness and rapidity.
Captain Falconer and the man who was to guide us to Edward
Faringfield's trysting-place were the last to board.

Upon rounding the lower end of the town, and crossing the Hudson to
Paulus Hook, which post our troops had reoccupied after the rebel
capture of its former garrison, we went ashore and were joined by men
and horses from up the river, and by others from Staten Island. We
then exchanged our hats for the caps taken from the rebel cavalry,
donned the blue surtouts, and set out; Captain Falconer and the guide
riding at the head.

For a short distance we kept to the Newark road, but, without
proceeding to that town, we deviated to the right, and made
Northwestwardly, the purpose being to pass through a hiatus in the
semicircle of rebel detached posts, turn the extremity of the main
army, and approach Morristown--where Washington had his
headquarters--from a side whence a British force from New York might
be the less expected.

Each man of us carried a sword and two pistols, having otherwise no
burden but his clothes. At first we walked our horses, but presently
we put them to a steady, easy gallop. The snow on the ground greatly
muffled the sound of our horses' footfalls, and made our way less
invisible than so dark a night might have allowed. But it made
ourselves also the more likely to be seen; though scarce at a great
distance nor in more than brief glimpses, for the wind raised clouds
of fine snow from the whitened fields, the black growth of tree and
brush along the road served now as curtain for us, now as background
into which our outlines might sink, and a stretch of woods sometimes
swallowed us entirely from sight. Besides, on such a night there would
be few folk outdoors, and if any of these came near, or if we were
seen from farmhouses or village windows, our appearance of rebel horse
would protect our purpose. So, in silence all, following our captain
and his guide, we rode forward to seize the rebel chief, and make
several people's fortunes.

I must now turn to Philip Winwood, and relate matters of which I was
not a witness, but with which I was subsequently made acquainted in
all minuteness.

We had had no direct communication with Philip since the time after
our capture of Mr. Cornelius, who, as every exchange of prisoners had
passed him by, still remarked upon parole at Mr. Faringfield's. If Mr.
Faringfield received news of Winwood through his surreptitious
messenger, Bill Meadows, he kept it to himself, naturally making a
secret of his being in correspondence with General Washington.

Though Philip knew of Meadows's perilous employment, he would not risk
the fellow's discovery even to Margaret, and so refrained from laying
upon him the task of a message to her. How she found out what Meadows
was engaged in, I cannot guess, unless it was that, unheeded in the
house as she was unheeding, she chanced to overhear some talk between
her father and him, or to detect him in the bringing of some letter
which she afterward took the trouble secretly to peep into. Nor did I
ever press to know by what means she had induced him to serve as
messenger between her and Ned, and to keep this service hidden from
her father and husband and all the world. Maybe she pretended a desire
to hear of her husband without his knowing she had so far softened
toward him, and a fear of her father's wrath if he learned she made
Ned her correspondent in the matter. Perhaps she added to her gentler
means of persuasion a veiled threat of exposing Meadows to the British
if he refused. In any event, she knew that, once enlisted, he could be
relied on for the strictest obedience to her wishes. It needed not, in
his case, the additional motive for secrecy, that a knowledge of his
employment on Margaret's business would compromise him with General
Washington and Mr. Faringfield.

How Meadows contrived to meet Ned, to open the matter to him, to
convey the ensuing correspondence, to avoid discovery upon this matter
in the rebel camp, as he avoided it upon Washington's business in New
York, is beyond me: if it were not, I should be as skilful, as fit for
such work, as Meadows himself. 'Tis well-known now what marvellously
able secret agents Washington made use of; how to each side many of
them had to play the part of spies upon the other side; how they were
regarded with equal suspicion in both camps; and how some of them
really served their enemies in order finally to serve their friends.
More than one of them, indeed, played a double game, receiving pay
from both sides, and earning it from both, each commander conceiving
himself to be the one benefited. In comparison with such duplicity,
the act of Meadows, in undertaking Margaret's private business as a
secret matter adjunctive to his main employment, was honesty itself.

'Tis thus explained why, though Margaret might communicate with her
brother in the enemy's camp, she got no word from her husband there.
But his thoughts and his wishes had scarce another subject than
herself. The desire to see her, possessed him more and more wholly. He
imagined that her state of mind must in this be a reflection of his
own. Long ago her anger must have died--nay, had it not passed in that
farewell embrace when she held up her face to invite his kiss? The
chastening years of separation, the knowledge of his toils and
dangers, must have wrought upon her heart, to make it more tender to
him than ever. She must grieve at their parting, long for his
home-coming. So convinced was he of such feelings on her part, that he
pitied her for them, felt the start of many a tear in sorrow for her
sorrow.

"Poor girl!" he thought. "How her face would gladden if I were to walk
into her presence at this moment!"

And the thought gave birth to the resolution. The joy of such a
meeting was worth a thousand risks and efforts.

His first step was to get leave of absence and General Washington's
permission to enter New York. The former was quickly obtained, the
latter less so. But if he failed to demonstrate to the commander the
possible profit of his secretly visiting the enemy's town, he
convinced him that the entrance was not too difficult to one who knew
the land so well, and who could so easily find concealment.
Sympathising with Philip's private motive in the case, trusting him
implicitly, and crediting his ability to take care of himself in even
so perilous a matter, Washington finally gave consent.

Philip rode in proper manner from the rebel camp, bound apparently
Southward, as if perchance he bore despatches to the rebel civil
authorities at Philadelphia. Once out of observation, he concealed his
uniform cap and outer coat, and provided himself at a New Jersey
village with an ordinary felt hat, and a plain dark overcoat. He then
turned from the Southward road, circled widely about the rebel camp,
and arrived at a point some distance north of it. Here, in a
hospitable farmhouse, he passed the night. The next day, he rode
Eastward for the Hudson River, crossing undiscovered the scanty,
ill-patrolled line of rebel outposts, and for the most part refraining
from use of the main roads, deserted as these were. By woods and
by-ways, he proceeded as best the snow-covered state of the country
allowed. 'Twas near dusk on the second day, when he came out upon the
wooded heights that looked coldly down upon the Hudson a few miles
above the spot opposite the town of New York.

He looked across the river and Southeastward, knowing that beyond the
low hills and the woods lay the town, and that in the town was
Margaret. Then he rode back from the crest of the cliff till he came
to the head of a ravine. Down this he led his beast, arriving finally
at the narrow strip of river-bank at the cliff's foot. He followed
this some distance Southward, still leading the horse. 'Twas not yet
so dark that he could not make out a British sloop-of-war, and further
down the river the less distinct outline of a frigate, serving as
sentinels and protectors of this approach to the town. From these he
was concealed by the bushes that grew at the river's edge.

At last he turned into the mouth of a second ravine, and, rounding a
sharp side-spur of the interrupted cliff, came upon a log hut built
upon a small level shelf of earth. At one end of this structure was a
pent-roof. Philip tied his horse thereunder, and, noting a kind of dim
glow through the oiled paper that filled the cabin's single window,
gave two double knocks followed by a single one, upon the plank door.
This was soon opened, and Philip admitted to the presence of the
single occupant, an uncouth fellow, fisherman and hunter, whose
acquaintance he had made in patrolling the New Jersey side at the head
of his troop. The man was at heart with the rebels, and Winwood knew
with whom he had to deal. Indeed Philip had laid his plans carefully
for this hazardous visit, in accordance with his knowledge of the
neighbourhood and of what he might rely upon.

"I wish to borrow one of your canoes, Ellis," said he, "and beg your
attention to my horse, which is in the shed. Be so kind as to give it
feed, and to cover it with a blanket if you have such a thing. But
leave it in the shed, and ready saddled; I may have to ride in a
hurry. I sha'n't need you with me in the canoe--nor any supper, I
thank you, sir."

For the man, with the taciturn way of his kind, had motioned toward
some pork frying at a fire. With no thought to press, or to question,
he replied:

"I'll fetch the canoe down the gully, cap'n. You stay here and warm
yourself a minute. And don't worry about your hoss, sir."

A few minutes later, Philip was launched upon the dark current of the
Hudson, paddling silently toward the Eastern shore. Darkness had now
fallen, and he trusted it to hide him from the vigilance of the
British vessels whose lights shone dim and uncertain down the river.

Much larger craft landed much larger crews within our lines, on no
darker nights--as, for one case, when the Whigs came down in
whaleboats and set fire to the country mansion of our General De
Lancey at Bloomingdale. Philip made the passage unseen, and drew the
canoe up to a safe place under some bushes growing from the face of a
low bluff that rose from the slight beach. His heart galloped and
glowed at sense of being on the same island with his wife. He was
thrilled to think that, if all went well, within an hour or two he
should hold her in his arms.

He saw to the priming of his pistols, and loosened the sword that hung
beneath his overcoat; and then he glided some way down the strip of
beach. Coming to a convenient place, he clambered up the bluff, to a
cleared space backed by woods.

"Who goes there?"

'Twas the voice of a man who had suddenly halted in the clearing,
half-way between the woods and the crest of the bluff. The snow on the
ground enabled the two to descry each other. Winwood saw the man raise
a musket to his shoulder.

"A word with you, friend," said Philip, and strode swiftly forward ere
the sentinel (who was a loyalist volunteer, not a British regular) had
the wit to fire. Catching the musket-barrel with one hand, Winwood
clapped his pistol to the soldier's breast with the other.

"Now," says he, "if you give a sound, I'll send a bullet through you.
If I pass here, 'twill bring you no harm, for none shall know it but
us two. Let go your musket a moment--I'll give it back to you, man."

A pressure of the pistol against the fellow's ribs brought obedience.
Philip dropped the musket, and, with his foot, dug its lock into the
snow, spoiling the priming.

"Now," he continued, "I'll leave you, and remember, if you raise an
alarm, you'll be blamed for not firing upon me."

Whereupon Philip dashed into the woods, leaving the startled sentinel
to pick up his musket and resume his round as if naught had occurred.
The man knew that his own comfort lay in secrecy, and his comfort
outweighed his military conscience.

Through woods and fields Winwood proceeded, skirted swamps and ponds,
and waded streams, traversing old familiar ground, the sight of which
brought back memories of countless holiday rambles in the happy early
days. Margaret's bright face and merry voice, her smiles, and her
little displays of partiality for him, were foremost in each
recollection; and that he was so soon to see her again, appeared too
wonderful for belief. He went forward in the intoxication of joy,
singing to himself as a boy would have done.

He knew where there were houses and barns to avoid, and where there
were most like to be British cantonments. At length he was so near the
town, that he was surprised to have come upon no inner line of
sentries. Even as he wondered, he emerged from a copse into a field,
and received the usual challenge--spoken this time in so quick,
machine-like a manner, and accompanied by so prompt and precise a
levelling of the musket, that he knew 'twas a British regular he had
to deal with.

He made a pretence of raising a pistol to shoot down the sentry. This
brought the sentry's fire, which--as it too was of a British regular
of those days--Philip felt safe in risking. But though the shot went
far wide, he gave a cry as if he had been hit, and staggered back into
the woods. He was no sooner within its cover, than he ran swiftly
Eastward with all possible silence. He had noted that the sentry had
been pacing in that direction; hence the first of the sentry's
comrades to run up would be the one approaching therefrom. This would
leave a break in the line, at that part of it East of the scene of the
alarm. Philip stopped presently; peered forth from the woods, saw the
second sentry hasten with long steps Westward; and then made a dash
across the latter's tracks, bending low his body as he went. He thus
reached a cover of thicket, through which he forced his way in time to
emerge toward the town ere any results of the alarming gun-shot were
manifest.

Unless he were willing to attempt crossing what British defences he
knew not, or other impediments that might bar passage to the town
elsewhere than at the Bowery lane entrance, he must now pass the guard
there, which served for the town itself as the outer barriers at
Kingsbridge served for the whole island of Manhattan. He chose the
less tedious, though more audacious alternative of facing the guard.

He could not employ in this case the method used in passing the shore
patrol, or that adopted in crossing the line of sentinels above the
town; for here the road was the only open way through, it was flanked
by a guardhouse, it was lighted by a lantern that hung above the door,
and the sentinels were disciplined men. Philip gathered these facts in
a single glance, as he approached by slinking along the side of the
road, into which he had crawled, through a rail fence, from an
adjoining field.

He was close upon the sentinels who paced before the guardhouse, ere
he was discovered. For the third time that night, he heard the
challenge and saw the threatening movement.

"All's well," he replied. "I'll give an account of myself." And he
stepped forward, grasping one of his pistols, not by the breech, but
by the barrel.

"Stop where you are!" said the sentry, menacingly.

Philip stood still, raised the pistol, flung it at the lantern, and
instantly dropped to his knees. The sentinel's musket flashed and
cracked. Total darkness ensued. Philip glided forward between the two
men, his footfalls drowned by the sound of their curses. When past
them, he hurled his remaining pistol back over his shoulder toward a
mass of bushes on the further side of the sentinels. Its descent
through the brush had some sound of a man's leap, and would, he hoped,
lead the enemy to think he might have escaped in that direction. By
the time the noise of a commotion reached him, with orders to turn out
the guard, he was past the building used as a prison for his fellow
rebels, and was hastening along the side of the common--now diverted
to camp uses of the British as it had been to those of the
rebels--able to find the rest of his way in Egyptian blackness. He
knew what alleys to take, what short cuts to make by traversing
gardens, what ways were most like to be deserted. The streets in the
part of the town through which he had to pass were nearly empty, the
taverns, the barracks, and most of the officers' quarters being
elsewhere. And so, with a heart elated beyond my power of expression,
he leaped finally into the rear garden of the Faringfield mansion, and
strode, as if on air, toward the veranda.

He had guessed that the family would be in the smaller parlour, or the
library, and so he was not surprised to see all the lower windows dark
that were visible from the direction of his approach. But, which gave
him a thrill of delightful conjecture, two upper windows shone with
light--those above the great parlour and hence belonging to one of the
chambers formerly occupied by Margaret and him. He knew no reason why
his wife should not still retain the same rooms. She would, then, be
there, and probably alone. He might go to her while none was present
to chill their meeting, none before whom her pride might induce her to
conceal the completeness of her reconciliation, or to moderate the joy
of her greeting. Would she weep? Would she laugh? Would she cry out?
Would she merely fall into his arms with a glad smile and cling in a
long embrace under his lingering kiss? He trembled like a schoolboy as
he climbed the trellis-work to enter by a window.

Creeping up the sloping, snow-covered roof of the veranda, he came at
length to the window, and looked in. The chamber was empty, but the
door was ajar that led to the apartment in front, used as a
sitting-room. She must be in that room, for his first glance had
recognised many of her trinkets and possessions in the first chamber.
He asked himself if the years had changed her: they would have made
her a little graver, doubtless.

He opened the window so slowly that the noise was scarce perceptible.
Then he clambered over the ledge into the chamber; strode tiptoe
toward the next room, catching a mirrored glimpse of his face as he
passed her dressing-table--the most joyous, eager face in the world.
He pushed the door further open, and stepped across the threshold. She
was there, in the centre of the room, standing in meditation, her face
turned by chance toward the door through which he entered.

"My dear," said he, in a voice scarce above a whisper; and started
toward her, with arms held out, and (I am sure) a very angel's smile
of joy and love upon his face.

She opened her eyes and lips in wonder, and then stood pale and rigid
as marble, and made a faint gesture to check his approach. As he
halted in astonishment, his joy dying at her look, she whispered
hoarsely:

"You! You, of all men? And to-night, of all nights!"

'Twas the night of our setting forth upon her great design of seizing
his commander-in-chief.



CHAPTER XII.

_Their Interview._


Philip took note, at the time, rather of her look than of her words.

"Why, dear," said he, "don't be frightened. Tis I, Philip--'tis not my
ghost."

"Yes, 'tis you--I know that well enough."

"Then--" he began, and stepped toward her.

But she retreated with such a movement that he stopped again.

"What's the matter?" he questioned. "Why do you look so?--This is
scarce the welcome I had imagined."

"Why are you here?" she asked, in a low voice, regarding him steadily.
"How did you come? What does it mean?"

"It means I love you so much, I could stay no longer from seeing you.
I came by horse, boat, and foot. I passed the British sentries."

"You risked your life, then?"

"Oh, of course. If they caught me inside their lines, they would hang
me as a spy. But--"

She could not but be touched at this. "Poor Philip!" she murmured,
with a tremor in her voice.

"Not poor," said he, "now that I am with you--if you would not draw
back, and look so. What is wrong? Am I--unwelcome?"

She saw that, to be true to her design, to her elaborate plan for the
future, she must not soften toward him--for his reappearance, with the
old-time boyish look and manner, the fond expression now wistful and
alarmed, the tender eyes now startled and affrighted, revived much
that had been dormant in her heart, and made Captain Falconer seem a
very far-off and casual person. Against the influence of Philip's
presence, and the effect of his having so imperilled himself to see
her, she had to arm herself with coldness, or look upon the success of
her project as going for naught to her advantage. She dared not
contemplate the forfeit; so she hardened her heart.

"Why," she said, with a forced absence of feeling, "so many years have
passed--so many things have happened--you appear so much a stranger--"

"Stranger!" echoed he. "Why, not if you had thought of me half as
constantly as I have of you! You have been in my mind, in my heart,
every hour, every minute since that day--Can it be? Is it my Margaret
that stands there and speaks so? So unmoved to see me! So cold! Oh,
who would have expected this?"

He sat down and gazed wretchedly about the room, taking no cognisance
of what objects his sight fell upon. Margaret seated herself, with a
sigh of annoyance, and regarded him with a countenance of displeasure.

"Margaret, do you mean what you say?" he asked, after a short silence.

"I'm sure you shouldn't blame me," said she. "You enabled me to learn
how to endure your absence. You stayed away all these years. Naturally
I've come to consider you as--"

"Nay, don't attempt to put me in the wrong. My heart is as warm to you
as ever, in spite of the years of absence. Those years have made no
change in me. Why should they have changed you, then? No--'tis not
their fault if you are changed, nor mine neither. There is something
wrong, I see. Be frank, dear, and tell me what it is. You need not be
afraid of me--you know I wouldn't hurt a hair of your head. Oh,
sweetheart, what has come between us? Tell me, I beg!"

"Why, nothing, of course--nothing but the gulf that time has widened.
That's all--sure 'tis enough."

"But 'tis more than that. Were that all, and I came back to you thus,
a minute's presence would bridge that gulf. All the old feelings would
rush back. Why, if I were but a mere acquaintance whom you had once
known in a friendly way, you wouldn't have greeted me so coldly. There
would have been cordiality, smiles, a warm clasp of the hand,
questions about my health and doings, at least a curiosity as to how I
had passed the years. But you meet me, not merely with lack of warmth,
but with positive coldness. Nay, you were shocked, startled,
frightened! You turned white, and stood still as if you saw a spirit,
or as if you were caught in some crime! Yes, 'twas for all the world
like that! And what was't you said? It passed me then, I was so amazed
at my reception--so different from the one I had pictured all the way
thither, all the weeks and months. What was't you said?"

"Some word of surprise, I suppose; something of no meaning."

"Nay, it had meaning, too. I felt that, though I put it aside for the
time. Something about the night--ah, yes: 'to-night of all nights.'
And me of all men. Why so? Why to-night in particular? Why am I the
most inconvenient visitor, and why _to-night_? Tell me that! Tell
me--I have the right to know!"

"Nay, if you work yourself up into a fury so--"

"'Tis no senseless fury, madam! There's reason at the bottom of it, my
lady! I must know, and I will know, what it is that my visit
interferes with. You were not going out, I can see by your dress. Nor
expecting company. Unless--no, it couldn't be that! You're not capable
of that! You are my wife, you are Margaret Faringfield, William
Faringfield's daughter. God forgive the mistrust--yet every husband
with an imagination has tortured himself for an instant sometime with
that thought, suppose his wife's heart _might_ stray? I've heard 'em
confess the thought; and even I--but what a hell it was for the moment
it lasted! And how swiftly I put it from me, to dwell on your
tenderness in the old days, your pride that has put you above the
hopes of all men but me, the unworthy one you chose to reach down your
hand to from your higher level!"

"So you have harboured _that_ suspicion, have you?" she cried, with
flashing eyes.

"No, no; harboured it never! Only let my perverse imagination 'light,
for the space of a breath, on the possibility, to my unutterable
torment. All men's fancies play 'em such tricks now and then, to
torture them and take down their vanity. Men would rest too easy in
their security, were it not so."

"A man that suspects his wife, deserves to lose her allegiance," cried
Margaret, with a kind of triumphant imputation of blame, which was her
betrayal.

He gazed at her with the dawning horror of half-conviction.

"Then I have lost yours?" he asked, in a tone stricken with doubt and
dread.

"I didn't say so," she replied, reddening.

"But your words imply that. You seemed to be justifying yourself by my
suspicion. But there was no suspicion till now--nothing but a
tormenting fancy of what I believed impossible. So you cannot excuse
yourself that way."

"I'm not trying to excuse myself. There's nothing to excuse."

"I'm not sure of that! Your manner looks as if you realised having
said too much--having betrayed yourself. Margaret, for God's sake,
tell me 'tis not so! Tell me my fears are wrong! Assure me I have not
lost you--no, no, I won't even ask you. 'Tis not possible. I won't
believe it of you--that you could be inconstant! Forgive me,
dear--your strange manner has so upset me--but forgive me, I beg, and
let me take you in my arms." He had risen to approach her.

"No, no! Don't. Don't touch me!" she cried, rising in turn, for
resistance. She kept her mind fixed upon the expected rewards of her
project, and so fortified herself against yielding.

"By heaven, I'll know what this means!" he cried. He looked wildly
about the room, as if the explanation might somewhere there be found.
Her own glance went with his, as if there might indeed be some
evidence, which she must either make shift to conceal, or invent an
innocent reason for its presence. Her eye rested an instant upon a
book that lay on the table. Philip noted this, picked up the book,
turned the cover, and read the name on the first leaf.

"'Charles Falconer.' Who is he?"

[Illustration: "'HE IS A--AN ACQUAINTANCE.'"]

"No matter," she said quickly, and made to snatch the book away. "He
is a--an acquaintance. He is quartered in the house, in fact--a
British officer."

"An acquaintance? But why do you turn red? Why look so confused? Why
try to take the book away from me? Oh, my God, it is true! it is
true!" He dropped the volume, sank back upon a chair, and regarded her
with indescribable grief.

"Why," she blundered, "a gentleman may lend a lady a novel--"

"Oh, the lending is nothing! 'Twas your look and action when I read
his name. 'Tis your look now, your look of guilt. Oh, to see that
flush of discovered shame on _your_ face! You care for this man, I can
see that!"

"Well, what if I do?"

"Then you confess it? Oh, can it be you that say this?--you that stand
there with eyes that drop before mine for shame--nay, eyes that you
raise with defiance! Brazen--oh, my God, my God, tell me 'tis all a
mistake! Tell me I wrong you, dear; that you are still mine, my
Margaret, my Madge--little Madge, that found me a home that day I came
to New York; my pretty Madge, that cried when I was going to leave on
Ned's account; that I loved the first moment I saw her, and--always--"

He broke down at this, and leaned forward upon the table, covering his
face with his hands. When he next looked up, with haggard countenance,
he saw her lips twitching and tears in her eyes.

"Ah!" he exclaimed, with a flash of hope, and half rose to go to her.

"No, no! Let me alone!" she cried, escaping narrowly from that
surrender to her feelings which would have meant forfeiting the fruits
of her long planning.

His mood changed.

"I'll not endure this," he cried, rising and pacing the floor. "You'll
find I'm no such weakling, though I can weep for my wife when I lose
her love. _He_ shall find it so, too! I understand now what you meant
by 'to-night of all nights.' He was to meet you to-night. He's
quartered in the house, you say. He was to slink up, no doubt, when
all were out of the way--your father divines little of this, I'll
warrant. Well, he may come--but he shall find _me_ waiting at my
wife's door!"

"You'll wait in vain, then. He is very far from here to-night."

"I'll believe that when it's proven. I find 'tis well that I, 'of all
men,' came here to-night."

"Nay, you're mistaken. You had been more like to find him to-night
where you came from, than where you've come to."

How true it is that a woman may always be relied on to say a word too
much--whether for the sake of a taunt, or the mere necessity of giving
an apt answer, I presume not to decide.

"What can that mean?" said he, arrested by the peculiarity of her tone
and look. "Find him where I came from? Why, that's our camp. What does
he do there, 'to-night of all nights?' Explain yourself."

"Nothing at all. I spoke without thinking."

"The likelier to have spoken true, then! So your--acquaintance--might
be found in our camp to-night? Charles Falconer, a British officer. I
can't imagine--not as a spy, surely. Oho! is there some expedition?
Some attack, some midnight surprise? This requires looking into."

"I fear you will not find out much. And if you did, it would be too
late for you to carry a warning."

"The expedition has too great a start of me--is that what you mean?
That's to be seen. I might beat Mr. Falconer in this, as he has beaten
me--elsewhere. I know the Jersey roads better than I have known my
wife's heart, perchance. What is this expedition?"

"Do you think I would tell you--if there were one?"

"I'm satisfied there is some such thing. But I doubt no warning of
mine is needed, to defeat it. Our army is alert for these night
attempts. We've had too many of 'em. If there be one afoot to-night,
so much the worse for those engaged in it."

This irritated her; and she never used the skill to guard her speech,
at her calmest; so she answered quickly:

"Not if it's helped by traitors in your camp!"

"What?--But how should you, a woman, know of such a matter?"

"You'll see, when the honours are distributed."

"This is very strange. You are in this officer's confidence, perhaps.
He is unwise to trust you so far--you have told me enough to--"

"There's no more need of secrecy. Captain Falconer's men are well on
their way to Morristown. Even if you got out of our lines as easily as
you got in, you could only meet our troops returning with your
general."

Doubtless she conceived that by taunting him, at this safe hour, with
this prevision of her success, she helped the estrangement which she
felt necessary to her enjoyment of her expected rewards.

"Oho!" quoth he, with a bitter, derisive laugh. "Another attempt to
seize Washington! What folly!"

"Not when we are helped by treason in your camp, as I said before.
Folly, is it? You'll sing another song to-morrow!"

She smiled with anticipated triumph, and the smile had in it so much
of the Madge of other days, that his bitterness forsook him, and
admiration and love returned to sharpen his grief.

"Oh, Madge, dear, could I but win you back!" he murmured, wistfully.

"What, in that strain again!" she said, petulant at each revival of
the self-reproach his sorrow caused in her.

"Ay, if I had but the chance! If I might be with you long enough, if I
might reawaken the old tenderness!--But I forget; treason in our camp,
you say. There is danger, then--ay, there's always the possibility.
The devil's in it, that I must tear myself from you now; that I must
part with you while matters are so wrong between us; that I must leave
you when I would give ten years of life for one hour to win your love
back! But you will take my hand, let me kiss you once--you will do
that for the sake of the old times--and then I will be gone!"

"Be gone? Where?"

"Back to camp, of course, to give warning of this expedition."

"'Tis impossible! Tis hours--"

"'Tis not impossible--I will outride them. They wouldn't have started
before dark."

"You would only overtake them, at your best. Do you think they would
let you pass?"

"Poh! I know every road. I can ride around them. I'll put the army in
readiness for 'em, treason or no treason! For the present, good-bye--"

The look in his face--of power and resolution--gave her a sudden sense
of her triumph slipping out of her grasp.

"You must not go!" she cried, quite awakened to the peril of the
situation to her enterprise.

"I must! Good-bye! One kiss, I beg!"

"But you sha'n't go!" As he came close to her, she clasped him tightly
with both arms. She made no attempt to avoid his kiss, and he, taking
this for acquiescence, bestowed the kiss upon unresponsive lips.

"Now let me go," said he, turning to stride toward the door by which
he had entered from the rear chamber.

"No, no! Stay. Time to win back my love, you said. Take the time now.
You may find me not so difficult of winning back. Nay, I have never
ceased to love you, at the bottom of my heart. I love you now. You
shall stay."

"I must not, I dare not. Oh, I would to God I could believe you! But
whether 'tis true, or a device to keep me here, I will not stay. Let
me go!"

"I will not! You will have to force me from you, first! I tell you I
love you--my husband!"

"If you love me, you will let me go."

"If you love me, you will stay."

"Not a moment--though God knows how I love you! I will come to see you
soon again."

"If you go now, I will never let you see me again!--Nay, you must drag
me after you, then!"

He was moving toward the door despite her hold; and now he caught her
wrists to force open the clasp in which she held him.

"Oh! you are crushing my arms!" she cried.

"Ay, the beautiful, dear arms--God bless them! But let me go, then!"

"I won't! You will have to kill me, first! You shall not spoil my
scheme!"

"Yours!"

"Yes, mine! Mine, against your commander, against your cause!" She was
wrought up now to a fury, at the physical force he exerted to release
himself; and for the time, swayed by her feelings only, she let policy
fly to the winds. "Your cause that I hate, because it ruined my hopes
before! You are a fool if you think my being your wife would have kept
me from fighting your hateful cause. I became your wife that I might
go to England, and when that failed I was yours no longer. Love
another? Yes!--and you shall not spoil his work and mine--not unless
you kill me!"

For a moment his mental anguish, his overwhelming shame for her,
unnerved him, and he stared at her with a ghastly face, relaxing his
pressure for freedom. But this weakness was followed by a fierce
reaction. His countenance darkened, and with one effort, the first
into which he had put his real strength, he tore her arms from him.
White-faced and breathing fast, with rage and fear of defeat, she ran
to a front window, and flung it open.

"By heaven, I'll stop you!" she cried. "Help! A rebel--a spy! Ah, you
men yonder--this way! A rebel spy!"

Philip looked over her head, out of the window. Far up the street
swaggered five or six figures which, upon coming under a corner lamp
whose rays yellowed a small circle of snow, showed to be those of
British soldiers. Their unaltered movements evidenced that they had
not heard her cry. Thereupon she shouted, with an increased voice:

"Soldiers! Help! Surround this house! A rebel--"

She got no further, for Philip dragged her away from the window, and,
when she essayed to scream the louder, he placed one hand over her
mouth, the other about her neck. Holding her thus, he forced her into
the rear chamber, and then toward the window by which he meant to
leave. At its very ledge he let her go, and made to step out to the
roof of the veranda. But she grasped his clothes with the power of
rage and desperation, and set up another screaming for help.

In an agony of mind at having to use such painful violence against a
woman, and how much more so against the wife he still loved; and at
the grievous appearance that she was willing to sacrifice him upon the
British gallows rather than let him mar her purpose, he flung her away
with all necessary force, so that, with a final shriek of pain and
dismay, she fell to the floor exhausted.

He cast an anguished glance upon her, as she lay defeated and
half-fainting; and, knowing not to what fate he might be leaving her,
he moaned, "God pity her!" and stepped out upon the sloping roof. He
scrambled to the edge, let himself half-way down by the trellis,
leaped the rest of the distance, and ran through the back garden from
the place he had so well loved.

While his wife, lying weak upon the floor of her chamber, gazed at the
window through which he had disappeared, and, as if a new change had
occurred within her, sobbed in consternation:

"Oh, what have I done? He is a man, indeed!--and I have lost him!"



CHAPTER XIII.

_Wherein Captain Winwood Declines a Promotion._


Philip assumed that the greatest risk would lie in departing the town
by the route over which he had made his entrance, and in which he had
left a trail of alarm. His best course would be in the opposite
direction.

Therefore, having leaped across the fence to the alley behind the
Faringfield grounds, he turned to the right and ran; for he had
bethought him, while fleeing through the garden, that he might
probably find a row-boat at the Faringfield wharves. He guessed that,
as the port of New York was open to all but the rebel Americans and
their allies the French, Mr. Faringfield would have continued his
trade in the small way possible, under the British flag, that his loss
by the war might be the less, and his means of secretly aiding the
rebel cause might be the more. So there would still be some little
shipping, and its accessories, at the wharves.

Though the British occupation had greatly changed the aspect of the
town by daylight, it had not altered the topography of that part which
Philip had to traverse, and the darkness that served as his shield was
to him no impediment. Many a time, in the old days, we had chased and
fled through those streets and alleys, in make-believe deer-hunts or
mimic Indian warfare. So, without a collision or a stumble, he made
his way swiftly to the mouth of a street that gave upon the
water-front, by the Faringfield warehouse where so many busy days of
his boyhood and youth had passed, and opposite the wharves.

He paused here, lacking knowledge whether the river front was guarded
or not. He saw no human being, but could not be sure whether or not
some dark form might emerge from the dimness when he should cross to
the wharves. These, like the street and the roofs, were snow-covered.
Aloft beyond them, but close, two or three faint lights, tiny yellow
islets in a sea of gloom, revealed the presence of the shipping on
which he had counted. He could hear the slap of the inky water against
the piles, but scarce another sound, save his own breathing.

He formed the intention of making a noiseless dash across the
waterside street, with body bent low, to the part of the wharf where a
small boat was most like to be. He was standing close to one side of a
wooden building that fronted toward the wharf.

He sprang forward, and, just as he passed the corner of the edifice,
his head struck something heavy but yielding, which toppled over
sidewise with a grunt, and upon which Philip fell prone, forcing from
it a second grunt a little less vigorous than the first. 'Twas a human
body, that had come from the front of the house at the same instant in
which Philip had darted from along the side.

"Shall I choke him to assure silence?" Phil hurriedly asked himself,
and instinctively made to put his hands to the man's neck. But the
body under him began to wriggle, to kick out with its legs, and to lay
about with its hands.

"What the hell d'yuh mean?" it gasped. "Git off o' me!"

Philip scrambled promptly to his feet, having recognised the voice.

"I'll stake my life, it's Meadows!"

"Yes, it is, and who in the name of hellfire an' brimstone--?"

"Hush, Bill! Don't you know my voice? Let me help you up. There you
are. I'm Philip Winwood!"

"Why, so y'are, boy! Excuse the way I spoke. But what on airth--?"

"No matter what I'm doing here. The thing is to get back to camp.
Come! Is the wharf a safe place for me?"

"Yes, at this hour of a dark night. But I'd like to know--"

"Keep with me, then," whispered Philip, and made for the wharf,
holding the old watchman's arm. "Show me where there's a small boat. I
must row to the Jersey side at once, and then ride--by heaven, I wish
I might get a horse, over there, without going as far as Dan Ellis's!
I left mine with him."

"Mebbe I can get you a hoss, yonder," said Meadows. "An' I reckon I
can row you round an' acrost, 'thout their plaguey ships a-spyin' us."

"Then, by the Lord," said Philip, while Meadows began letting himself
down the side of the wharf to the skiff which he knew rode there upon
the black water, "'tis enough to make one believe in miracles, my
running into you! What were you doing out so late?"

"Mum, sir! I was jest back from the same camp you're bound fur.
'Tain't five minutes since I crawled up out o' this yer skift."

"What! And did you meet a party going the other way--toward our camp,
I mean?"

"Ay," replied Meadows, standing up in the boat and guiding the legs of
Philip as the latter descended from the wharf. "I watched 'em from the
patch o' woods beyont Westervelt's. I took 'em to be Major Lee's men,
or mebbe yours, from their caps and plumes; but I dunno: I couldn't
see well. But if they was goin' to the Morristown camp, they was goin'
by a roundabout way, fur they took the road to the right, at the fork
t'other side o' them woods!"

"Good, if 'twas a British troop indeed! If I take the short road, I
may beat 'em. Caps and plumes like ours, eh! Here, I'll pull an oar,
too; and for God's sake keep clear of the British ships."

"Trust me, cap'n. I guess they ain't shifted none since I come acrost
awhile ago. I'll land yuh nearest where we can get the hoss I spoke
of. 'Tis the beast 'ut brung me from the camp--but mum about that."
The two men moved at the oars, and the boat shot out from the sluggish
dock-water to the live current, down which it headed. "Don't you
consarn yerse'f about them ships--'tis the dark o' the moon an' a
cloudy night, an' as fur our course, I could _smell_ it out, if it
come to that!"

They rounded the end of the town, and turned into the Hudson, gliding
black over the surface of blackness. They pulled for some distance
against the stream, so as to land far enough above our post at Paulus
Hook. Going ashore in a little cove apparently well-known to Meadows,
they drew up the boat, and hastened inland. Meadows had led the way
about half a mile, when a dark mass composed of farmhouse and
outbuildings loomed up before them.

"Here's where the hoss is; Pete Westervelt takes keer of him,"
whispered the watchman, and strode, not to the stables, but to the
door of what appeared to be an outer kitchen, which he opened with a
key of his own. A friendly whinny greeted him from the narrow dark
space into which he disappeared. He soon came out, leading the horse
he used in his journeys to and from the American camp, and bearing
saddle and bridle on his arm. The two men speedily adjusted these,
whereupon Philip mounted.

"Bring or send the beast back by night," said Meadows, handing over
the key, with which he had meanwhile relocked the door of his
improvised stable. "Hoss-flesh is damn' skeerce these times." This was
the truth, the needs of the armies having raised the price of a horse
to a fabulous sum.

Philip promised to return the horse or its equivalent; gave a swift
acknowledgment of thanks, and a curt good-night; and made off, leaving
old Meadows to foot it, and row it, once more back to New York.

'Twas now, till he should reach the camp, but a matter of steady
galloping, with ears alert for the sound of other hoof-beats, eyes
watchful at crossroads and open stretches for the party he hoped to
forestall. While he had had ways and means to think of, and had been
in peril of detection by the British, or in doubt of obtaining a horse
without a long trudge to Ellis's hut, his mind had been diverted from
the unhappy interview with Margaret. But now that swept back into his
thoughts, inundating his soul with grief and shame, of the utmost
degree of bitterness. These were the more complete from the
recollection of the joyous anticipations with which he had gone to
meet her.

Contemplation of this contrast, sense of his desertion, overcame his
habitual resistance to self-pity, a feeling against which he was
usually on the stronger guard for his knowledge that it was a
concomitant of his inherent sensibility. He quite yielded to it for a
time; and though 'twas sharpened by his comparison of the Margaret he
had just left, with the pretty, soft-smiling Madge of other days, that
comparison eventually supplanted self-pity with pity for her, a
feeling no less laden with sorrow.

He dared not think of what her perverseness might yet lead her to. For
himself he saw nothing but hopeless sorrow, unless she could be
brought back to her better self. But, alas, he by whose influence that
end might be achieved--for he could not believe that her heart had
quite cast him out--was flying from her, and years might pass ere he
should see her again: meanwhile, how intolerable would life be to him!
His heart, with the instinct of self-protection, sought some interest
in which it might find relief.

He thought of the cause for which he was fighting. That must suffice;
it must take the place of wife and love. Cold, impersonal, inadequate
as it seemed now, he knew that in the end it would suffice to fill
great part of that inner heart which she had occupied. He turned to it
with the kindling affection which a man ever has for the resource that
is left him when he is scorned elsewhere. And he felt his ardour for
it fanned by his deepened hate for the opposing cause, a hate
intensified by the circumstance that his rival was of that cause. For
that rival's sake, he hated with a fresh implacability the whole royal
side and everything pertaining to it. He pressed his teeth together,
and resolved to make that side pay as dearly as lay in him to make it,
for what he had lost of his wife's love, and for what she had lost of
her probity.

And the man himself, Falconer! 'Twas he that commanded this night's
wild attempt, if she had spoken truly. Well, Falconer should not
succeed this night, and Philip, with a kind of bitter elation, thanked
God 'twas through him that the attempt should be the more utterly
defeated. He patted his horse--a faithful beast that had known but a
short rest since it had travelled over the same road in the opposite
direction--and used all means to keep it at the best pace compatible
with its endurance. Forward it sped, in long, unvarying bounds, seeing
the road in the dark, or rather in the strange dusky light yielded by
the snow-covered earth and seeming rather to originate there than to
be reflected from the impenetrable obscurity overhead.

From the attempt which he was bent upon turning into a ridiculous
abortion, if it lay in the power of man and horse to do so, Philip's
thoughts went to the object of that attempt, Washington himself. He
was thrilled at once with a greater love and admiration for that firm
soul maintaining always its serenity against the onslaughts of men and
circumstance, that soul so unshakable as to seem in the care of Fate
itself. Capture Washington! Philip laughed at the thought.

And yet a British troop had seized General Charles Lee when he was the
rebels' second in command, and, in turn, a party of Yankees had taken
the British General Prescott from his quarters in Rhode Island. True,
neither of these officers was at the time of his seizure as safely
quartered and well guarded as Washington was now; but, on the other
hand, Margaret had spoken of treachery in the American camp. Who were
the traitors? Philip hoped he might find out their chief, at least.

It was a long and hard ride, and more and more an up-hill one as it
neared its end. But Philip's thoughts made him so often unconscious of
his progress, and of the passage of the hours, that he finally
realised with a momentary surprise that he had reached a fork of the
road, near which he should come upon the rebel pickets, and that the
night was far spent. He might now take one road, and enter the camp at
its nearest point, but at a point far from Washington's headquarters;
or he might take the other road and travel around part of the camp, so
as to enter it at a place near the general's house. 'Twas at or near
the latter place that the enemy would try to enter, as they would
surely be so directed by the traitors within the camp.

Heedless of the apparent advantage of alarming the camp at the
earliest possible moment, at whatever part of it he could then reach,
he felt himself impelled to choose the second road. He ever afterward
held that his choice of this seemingly less preferable road was the
result of a swift process of unconscious reasoning--for he maintained
that what we call intuition is but an instantaneous perception of
facts and of their inevitable inferences, too rapid for the reflective
part of the mind to record.

He felt the pressure of time relaxed, for a troop of horse going by
the circuitous route Meadows had indicated could not have reached the
camp in the hours since they had passed the place where Meadows had
seen them. So he let his horse breathe wherever the road was broken by
ascents. At last he drew up, for a moment, upon an eminence which
gave, by daylight, a wide view of country. Much of this expanse being
clear of timber, and clad in snow, it yielded something to a
night-accustomed eye, despite the darkness. A low, far-off, steady,
snow-muffled beating, which had imperceptibly begun to play on
Winwood's ear, indicated a particular direction for his gaze.
Straining his senses, he looked.

Against the dusky-white background of snow, he could make out an
indistinct, irregular, undulating line of moving dark objects. He
recognised this appearance as the night aspect of a distant band of
horsemen. They were travelling in a line parallel to his own.
Presently, he knew, they would turn toward him, and change their
linear appearance to that of a compact mass. But he waited not for
that. He gently bade his horse go on, and presently he turned straight
for the camp, having a good lead of the horsemen.

He was passing a little copse at his right hand, when suddenly a dark
figure stepped from behind a tree into the road before him. Thinking
this was a soldier on picket duty, he recollected the word of the
night, and reined in to give it upon demand. But the man, having
viewed him as well as the darkness allowed, seemed to realise having
made a mistake, and, as suddenly as he had appeared, stalked back into
the wood.

"What does this mean?" thought Philip; and then he remembered what
Margaret had said of treachery. Was this mysterious night-walker a
traitor posted there to aid the British to their object?

"Stop or I'll shoot you down!" cried Philip, remembering too late that
he had parted with both his pistols at the Bowery lane guard-house.

But the noise of the man's retreat through the undergrowth told that
he was willing to risk a shot.

Philip knew the importance of obtaining a clue to the traitors. The
rebels had suffered considerably from treachery on their own side; had
been in much danger from the treason of Doctor Church at Boston; had
owed the speedier loss of their Fort Washington to that of Dumont; and
(many of them held) the retreat which Washington checked at Monmouth,
to the design of their General Charles Lee. So the capture of this
man, apart from its possible effect upon the present business, might
lead to the unearthing of a nest of traitors likely at some future
time, if not to-night, to menace the rebel cause.

Philip leaped from his horse, and, trusting to the animal's manifest
habit of awaiting orders, stopped not to tie it, but plunged directly
into the wood, drawing his sword as he went.

The sound of the man's flight had ceased, but Philip continued in the
direction it had first taken. He was about to cross a row of low
bushes, when he unexpectedly felt his ankle caught by a hand, and
himself thrown forward on his face. The man had crouched amongst the
bushes and tripped him up as he made to pass.

The next moment, the man was on Philip's back, fumbling to grasp his
neck, and muttering:

"Tell me who you are, quick! Who are you from? You don't wear the
dragoon cap, I see. Now speak the truth, or by God I'll shoot your
head off!"

Philip knew, at the first word, the voice of Ned Faringfield. It took
him not an instant to perceive who was a chief--if not _the_
chief--traitor in the affair, or to solve what had long been to him
also a problem, that of Ned's presence in the rebel army. The
recognition of voice had evidently not been mutual; doubtless this was
because Philip's few words had been spoken huskily. Retaining his
hoarseness, and taking his cue from Ned's allusion to the dragoon cap,
he replied:

"'Tis all right. You're our man, I see. Though I don't wear the
dragoon cap, I come from New York about Captain Falconer's business."

"Then why the hell didn't you give the word?" said Ned, releasing his
pressure upon Philip's body.

"You didn't ask for it. Get up--you're breaking my back."

Ned arose, relieving Philip of all weight, but stood over him with a
pistol.

"Then give it now," Ned commanded.

"I'll be hanged if you haven't knocked it clean out of my head,"
replied Philip. "Let me think a moment--I have the cursedest memory."

He rose with a slowness, and an appearance of weakness, both mainly
assumed. He still held his sword, which, happily for him, had turned
flat under him as he fell. When he was quite erect, he suddenly flung
up the sword so as to knock the pistol out of aim, dashed forward with
all his weight, and, catching Ned by the throat with both hands, bore
him down upon his side among the briars, and planted a knee upon his
neck. Instantly shortening his sword, he held the point close above
Ned's eye.

"Now," said Phil, "let that pistol fall! Let it fall, I say, or I'll
run my sword into your brain. That's well. You traitor, shall I kill
you now? or take you into camp and let you hang for your treason?"

Ned wriggled, but finding that Philip held him in too resolved a
grasp, gave up.

"Is it you, brother Phil?" he gasped. "Why, then, you lied; you said
you came from New York, about Falconer's business. I'd never have
thought _you'd_ stoop to a mean deception!"

"I think I'd better take you to hang," continued Philip. "If I kill
you now, we sha'n't get the names of the other traitors."

"You wouldn't do such an unbrotherly act, Phil! I know you wouldn't.
You've too good a heart. Think of your wife, my sister--"

"Ay, the traitress!"

"Then think of my father; think of the mouth that fed you--I mean the
hand that fed you! You'll let me go, Phil--sure you'll let me go.
Remember how we played together when we were boys. I'll give you the
names of the other traitors. I'm not so much to blame: I was lured
into this--lured by your wife--so help me God, I was--and you're
responsible for her, you know. _You_ ought to be the last man in the
world--"

Philip's mood had changed at thought of Ned's father; the old man's
pride of the name, his secret and perilous devotion to the rebel
cause: he deserved better of that cause than that his son should die
branded as a traitor to it; and better of Phil than that by his hand
that son should be slain.

"How can you let me have the names without loss of time, if I let you
go, on condition of your giving our army a wide berth the rest of your
days?" Philip asked, turning the captive over upon his back.

"I can do it in a minute, I swear," cried Ned. "Will you let me go if
I do?"

"If I'm convinced they're the right names and all the names; but if
so, and I let you go, remember I'll see you hanged if you ever show
your face in our army again."

"Rest easy on that. I take you at your word. The names are all writ
down in my pocketbook, with the share of money each man was to get. If
I was caught, I was bound the rest should suffer, too. The book is in
my waistcoat lining--there; do you feel it? Rip it out."

Philip did so, and, sitting on Ned's chest, with a heel ready to beat
in his skull at a treacherous movement, contrived to strike a light
and verify by the brief flame of the tow the existence of a list of
names. As time was now of ever-increasing value, Philip took it for
granted that the list was really what Ned declared it. He then
possessed himself of Ned's pistol, and rose, intending to conduct him
as far as to the edge of the camp, and to release him only when Philip
should have given the alarm, so that Ned could not aid the approach of
Falconer's party. But Philip had no sooner communicated this intention
than Ned suddenly whipped out a second pistol from his coat pocket, in
which his hand had been busy for some time, and aimed at him. Thanks
to a spoiled priming, the hammer fell without effect.

"You double traitor!" cried Philip, rushing upon Ned with threatening
sword. But Ned, with a curse, bent aside, and, before Philip could
bring either of his weapons into use, grappled with him for another
fall. The two men swayed together an instant; then Philip once more
shortened his sword and plunged the point into Ned's shoulder as both
came down together.

"God damn your soul!" cried Ned, and for the time of a breath hugged
his enemy the tighter. But for the time of a breath only; the hold
then relaxed; and Philip, rising easily from the embrace of the limp
form, ran unimpeded to the road, mounted the waiting horse, and
galloped to the rebel lines.

When our party, all the fatigue of the ride forgotten in a thrill of
expectation, reached the spot where Ned Faringfield was to join us,
our leader's low utterance of the signal, and our eager peerings into
the wood, met no response. As we stood huddled together, there broke
upon us from the front such a musketry, and there forthwith appeared
in the open country at our left such a multitude of mounted figures,
that we guessed ourselves betrayed, and foresaw ourselves surrounded
by a vastly superior force if we stayed for a demonstration.

"'Tis all up, gentlemen!" cried Captain Falconer, in a tone of
resignation, and without even an oath; whereupon we wheeled in
disappointment and made back upon our tracks; being pursued for some
miles, but finally abandoned, by the cavalry we had seen, which, as we
did not learn till long afterward, was led by Winwood. We left some
dead and wounded near the place where we had been taken by surprise;
and some whose horses had been hurt were made prisoners.

For his conduct in all this business, an offer was made to Philip of
promotion to a majority; but he firmly declined it, saying that he
owed the news of our expedition to such circumstances that he chose
not, in his own person, to profit by it.[6]



CHAPTER XIV.

_The Bad Shilling Turns up Once More in Queen Street._


"This will be sad news to Mrs. Winwood, gentlemen," said Captain
Falconer to Tom and me, as we rode toward the place where we should
take the boats for New York. The day was well forward, but its gray
sunless light held little cheer for such a silent, dejected crew as we
were.

The captain was too much the self-controlled gentleman to show great
disappointment on his own account, though he had probably set store
upon this venture, as an opportunity that he lacked in his regular
duties on General Clinton's staff, where he served pending the delayed
enlistment of the loyalist cavalry troop he had been sent over to
command. But though he might hide his own regrets, now that we were
nearing Margaret, it was proper to consider our failure with reference
to her.

"Doubtless," he went on, "there was treachery against us somewhere;
for we cannot suppose such vigilance and preparation to be usual with
the rebels. But we must not hint as much to her. The leak may have
been, you see, through one of the instruments of her choosing--the man
Meadows, perhaps, or--" (He stopped short of mentioning Ned
Faringfield, whose trustworthiness on either side he was warranted, by
much that he had heard, in doubting.) "In any case," he resumed,
"'twould be indelicate to imply that her judgment of men, her
confidence in any one, could have been mistaken. We'd best merely tell
her, then, that the rebels were on the alert, and fell upon us before
we could meet her brother."

We thought to find her with face all alive, expectant of the best
news, or at least in a fever of impatience, and that therefore 'twould
be the more painful to tell her the truth. But when the captain's
servant let the three of us in at the front door (Tom and I had waited
while Falconer briefly reported our fiasco to General Clinton) and we
found her waiting for us upon the stairs, her face was pale with a set
and tragic wofulness, as if tidings of our failure had preceded us.
There was, perhaps, an instant's last flutter of hope against hope, a
momentary remnant of inquiry, in her eyes; but this yielded to
despairing certainty at her first clear sight of our crestfallen
faces.

"'Twas all for nothing, then?" she said, with a quiet weariness which
showed that her battle with disappointment had been fought and had
left her tired out if not resigned.

"Yes," said the captain, apparently relieved to discover that no storm
of disappointment or reproach was to be undergone. "They are too
watchful. We hadn't yet come upon your brother, when a heavy fire
broke out upon us. We were lucky to escape before they could surround
us. Nine of our men are missing."

She gave a shudder, then came to us, kissed Tom with more than
ordinary tenderness, grasped my hand affectionately, and finally held
the captain's in a light, momentary clasp.

"You did your best, I'm sure," she said, in a low voice, at the same
time flashing her eyes furtively from one to another as if to detect
whether we hid any part of the news.

We were relieved and charmed at this resigned manner of receiving our
bad tidings, and it gave me, at least, a higher opinion of her
strength of character. This was partly merited, I make no doubt;
though I did not know then that she had reason to reproach herself for
our failure.

"And that's all you have to tell?" she queried. "You didn't discover
what made them so ready for a surprise?"

"No," replied the captain, casually. "Could there have been any
particular reason, think you? To my mind, they have had lessons enough
to make them watchful."

She looked relieved. I suppose she was glad we should not know of her
interview with Philip, and of the imprudent taunts by which she
herself had betrayed the great design.

"Well," said she. "They may not be so watchful another time. We may
try again. Let us wait until I hear from Ned."

But when she stole an interview with Bill Meadows, that worthy had no
communication from Ned; instead thereof, he had news that Captain
Faringfield had disappeared from the rebel camp, and was supposed by
some to have deserted to the British. Something that Meadows knew not
at the time, nor I till long after, was of the treasonable plot
unearthed in the rebel army, and that two or three of the participants
had been punished for the sake of example, and the less guilty ones
drummed out of the camp. This was the result of Philip's presentation
to General Washington of the list of names obtained from Ned, some of
the men named therein having confessed upon interrogation. Philip's
account of the affair made it appear to Washington that his discovery
was due to his accidental meeting with Ned Faringfield, and that
Faringfield's escape was but the unavoidable outcome of the
hand-to-hand fight between the two men--for Philip had meanwhile
ascertained, by a personal search, that Ned had not been too severely
hurt to make good his flight.

Well, there passed a Christmas, and a New Year, in which the
Faringfield house saw some revival of the spirit of gladness that had
formerly prevailed within its comfortable walls at that season. Mr.
Faringfield, who had grown more gray and taciturn each year, mellowed
into some resemblance to his former benevolent, though stately, self.
He had not yet heard of Ned's treason. His lady, still graceful and
slender, resumed her youth. Fanny, who had ever forced herself to the
diffusion of merriment when there was cheerlessness to be dispelled,
reflected with happy eyes the old-time jocundity now reawakened. My
mother, always a cheerful, self-reliant, outspoken soul, imparted the
cordiality of her presence to the household, and both Tom and I
rejoiced to find the old state of things in part returned. Margaret,
perhaps for relief from her private dejection, took part in the
household festivities with a smiling animation that she had not
vouchsafed them in years; and Captain Falconer added to their gaiety
by his charming wit, good-nature, and readiness to please. Yet he, I
made no doubt, bore within him a weight of dashed hopes, and could
often have cursed when he laughed.

The happy season went, leaving a sweeter air in the dear old house
than had filled it for a long time. All that was missing, it seemed to
us who knew not yet as much as Margaret knew, was the presence of
Philip. Well, the war must end some day, and then what a happy
reunion! By that time, if Heaven were kind, I thought, the charm of
Captain Falconer would have lost power over Margaret's inclinations,
and all would be well that ended well.

One night in January, we had sat very late at cards in the Faringfield
parlour, and my mother had just cried out, "Dear bless me, look at the
clock!"--when there sounded a dull, heavy pounding upon the rear hall
door. There were eight of us, at the two card-tables: Mr. Faringfield
and his lady, my mother, Margaret and Fanny, Mr. Cornelius, Tom, and
myself. And every one of us, looking from face to face, showed the
same thought, the same recognition of that half-cowardly, half-defiant
thump, though for so long we had not heard it. How it knocked away the
years, and brought younger days rushing back upon us!

Mr. Faringfield's face showed a sweep of conjectures, ranging from
that of Ned's being in New York in service of his cause, to that of
his being there as a deserter from it. Margaret flushed a moment, and
then composed herself with an effort, for whatever issue this
unexpected arrival might portend. The rest of us waited in a mere
wonder touched with the old disquieting dread of painful scenes.

Old Noah, jealous of the single duty that his years had left him, and
resentful of its frequent usurpation by Falconer's servant, always
stayed up to attend the door till the last of the family had retired.
We now heard him shuffling through the hall, heard the movement of the
lock, and then instantly a heavy tread that covered the sound of
Noah's. The parlour door from the hall was flung open, and in strode
the verification of our thoughts.

Ned's clothes were briar-torn and mud-spattered; his face was haggard,
his hair unkempt, his left shoulder humped up and held stiff. He
stopped near the door, and stared from face to face, frowning because
of the sudden invasion of his eyes by the bright candlelight. When his
glance fell upon Margaret, it rested; and thereupon, just as if he
were not returned from an absence of three years and more, and
heedless of the rest of us, confining his address to her alone, he
bellowed, with a most malignant expression of face and voice:

"So you played a fine game with us, my lady--luring us into the dirty
scheme, and then turning around and setting your husband on us in the
act! I see through it all now, you underhanded, double-dealing slut!"

"Are you speaking to me, sir?" asked Margaret, with dignity.

"Of course I am; and don't think I'll hold my tongue because of these
people. Let 'em hear it all, I don't care. It's all up now, and I'm a
hanged man if ever I go near the American camp again. But I'm safe
here in New York, though I was damn' near being shot when I first came
into the British lines. But I've been before General Knyphausen,[7]
and been identified, and been acknowledged by your Captain Falconer as
the man that worked your cursed plot at t'other end; and I've been let
go free--though I'm under watch, no doubt. So you see there's naught
to hinder me exposing you for what you are--the woman that mothered a
British plot, and worked her trusting brother into it, and then
betrayed him to her husband."

"That's a lie!" cried Margaret, crimson in the face.

"What does all this mean?" inquired Mr. Faringfield, rising.

Paying no attention to his father, Edward retorted upon Margaret, who
also rose, and who stood between him and the rest of us:

"A lie, is it? Perhaps you can make General Knyphausen and Captain
Falconer believe that, now I've told 'em whose cursed husband it was
that attacked me at the meeting-place, and alarmed the camp. You
didn't think I'd live to tell the tale, did you? You thought to hear
of my being hanged, and your husband promoted for his services, and so
two birds killed with one stone! But providence had a word to say
about that. The Lord is never on the side of plotters and traitors,
let me tell you, and here I am to outface you. A lie, is it? A lie
that your husband spoiled the scheme? Why, you brazen hussy, he came
from New York that very night--he told me so himself! He had seen you,
and you had told him all, I'll lay a thousand guineas!"

'Twas at the time a puzzle to me that Margaret should condescend to
explanations with him as she forthwith did. But I now see how,
realising that proofs of Philip's visit might turn up and seem to bear
out Ned's accusation, she must have felt the need of putting herself
instantly right with Tom and me, lest she might eventually find
herself wrong with General Clinton and Captain Falconer.

"I own that Philip saw me that night," she said, with a self-control
compelled by her perilous situation. "He came here by stealth, and
took me by surprise. He found reason to suspect our plot, but till now
I never knew 'twas really he that put the rebels on their guard. I
thought he would be too late. 'Twas through no intention of mine that
he guessed what was afoot. I never told Tom and Bert" (these words
were meant for our ears) "--or Captain Falconer--of his visit, for
fear they might think, as you seem to, that I was to blame. That's all
the truth, and we shall see whether Captain Falconer will believe you
or me."

Here Mr. Faringfield, whose patience at being so far ignored, though
'twas supported by the hope of receiving the desired enlightenment
from their mutual speeches, was at length exhausted, put in with some
severity.

"Pray, let us into these mysteries, one of you. Margaret, what is it I
hear, of a visit from Philip? of a British plot? By heaven, if I
thought--but explain the matter, if you please."

"I have no right to," said she, her face more and more suffused with
red. "'Tis not my secret alone; others are concerned."

"It appears," rejoined Mr. Faringfield, "it is a secret that abides in
my house, and therefore I have a right to its acquaintance. I command
you to explain."

"Command?" she echoed lightly, with astonishment. "Is a married woman
subject to her father's commands?"

"An inmate of my house is subject to my commands," he replied,
betraying his hidden wrath by a dark look.

"I beg your pardon," said she. "That part of the house which Philip
has paid, or will pay, for my living in, is my own, for the time
being. I shall go there--"

"You shall not leave this room," cried her father, stalking toward the
door. "You fall back upon Philip's name. Very well, he has delegated
the care of you to me in his absence. 'Tis time I should represent his
authority over you, when I hear of your plotting against his country."

"I have a right to be loyal to the king, above the authority of a
husband."

"If your loyalty extends to plotting against your husband's cause, you
have not the right under my roof--or under Philip Winwood's part of
it. I will know what this scheme is, that you have been engaged in."

"Not from me!" said Margaret, with a resolution that gave a new,
unfamiliar aspect to so charmingly feminine a creature.

"Oh, let her alone, father," put in Ned, ludicrously ready for the
faintest opportunity either to put his father under obligation or to
bring down Margaret. "I'll be frank with you. I've no reason to hide
what's past and gone. She and Captain Falconer had a plan to make
Washington a prisoner, by a night expedition from New York, and some
help in our camp--"

"Which you were to give, I see, you treacherous scoundrel!" said his
father, with contempt.

"Oh, now, no hard names, sir. You see, several of us--some good
patriots, too, with the country's best interests at heart--couldn't
swallow this French alliance; we saw that if we ever did win by it, we
should only be exchanging tyrants of our own blood for tyrants of
frog-eaters. We began to think England would take us back on good
terms if the war could be ended; and we considered the state of the
country, the interests of trade--indeed, 'twas chiefly the thought of
_your_ business, the hope of seeing it what it once was, that drove
_me_ into the thing."

"You wretched hypocrite!" interposed Mr. Faringfield.

"Oh, well; misunderstand me, as usual. Call me names, if you like. I'm
only telling the truth, and what you wished to know--what _she_
wouldn't tell you. I'm not as bad as some; I can up and confess, when
all's over. Well, as I was about to say, we had everything ready, and
the night was set; and then, all of a sudden, Phil Winwood swoops down
on me; treats me in a most unbrotherly fashion, I must say" (Ned cast
an oblique look at his embarrassed shoulder); "and alarmed the camp.
And when the British party rode up, instead of catching Washington
they caught hell. And I leave it to you, sir, whether your daughter
there, after playing the traitor to her husband's cause, for the sake
of her lover; didn't turn around and play the traitor to her own game,
for the benefit of her husband, and the ruin of her brother. Such
damnableness!"

"'For the sake of her lover,'" Mr. Faringfield repeated. "What do you
mean by that, sir?" The phrase, indeed, had given us all a
disagreeable start.

"What I say, sir. How could he be otherwise? I guessed it before; and
I became sure of it this evening, from the way he spoke of her at
General Knyphausen's quarters."

"What a lie!" cried Margaret. "Captain Falconer is a gentleman; he's
not of a kind to talk about women who have given him no reason to do
so. 'Tis ridiculous! You maligning villain!"

"Oh, 'twasn't what he said, my dear; 'twas his manner whenever he
mentioned you. When a man like him handles a woman's name so
delicate-like, as if 'twas glass and might break--so grave-like, as if
she was a sacred subject--it means she's put herself on his
generosity."

Margaret affected a derisive laugh, as at her brother's pretensions to
wisdom.

"Oh, I know all the stages," he continued, watching her with a
malicious calmness of self-confidence. "When gentry of his sort are
first struck with a lady, but not very deep, they speak out their
admiration bold and gallant; when they find they're hit seriously, but
haven't made sure of her, they speak of her with make-believe
carelessness or mere respect: they don't like to show how far gone
they are. But when she's come to an understanding with 'em, and put
'em under obligations and responsibilities--it's only then they touch
her name so tender and considerate, as if it was so fragile. But that
stage doesn't last for ever, my young lady--bear that in mind!"

"You insolent wretch!" said Margaret, ready to cry with rage and
confusion.

"This is outrageous," ventured Mrs. Faringfield, daring to look her
indignation at Ned. "William, how can you tolerate such things said
about your daughter?"

But Mr. Faringfield had been studying his daughter's countenance all
the while. Alas for Margaret, she had never given pains to the art of
dissimulation, or taken the trouble to learn hypocrisy, or even
studied self-control: a negligence common to beauties, who rely upon
their charms to carry them through all emergencies without resort to
shifts. She was equal to a necessary lie that had not to be maintained
with labour, or to a pretence requiring little effort and encountering
no suspicion, but to the concealment of her feelings when she was
openly put to the question, her powers were inadequate. If ever a
human face served its owner ill, by apparently confessing guilt, where
only folly existed, Margaret's did so now.

"What I may think of the rascal who says these things," replied Mr.
Faringfield, with the unnatural quietness that betrays a tumult of
inward feelings, "I will tolerate them till I am sure they are false."
His eyes were still fixed on Margaret.

"What!" said she, a little hysterically. "Do you pay attention to the
slanders of such a fellow? To an accusation like that, made on the
mere strength of a gentleman's manner of mentioning me?"

"No, but I pay attention to your manner of receiving the accusation:
your telltale face, your embarrassment--"

"'Tis my anger--"

"There's an anger of innocence, and an anger of guilt. I would your
anger had shown more of contempt than of confusion." Alas! he knew
naught of half-guilt and _its_ manifestations.

"How can you talk so?--I won't listen--such insulting
innuendoes!--even if you are my father--why, this knave himself says I
betrayed Captain Falconer's scheme: how could he think that, if--"

"That proves nothing," said Ned, with a contemptuous grin. "Women do
unaccountable things. A streak of repentance, maybe; or a lovers'
quarrel. The point is, a woman like you wouldn't have entered into a
scheme like that, with a man like him, if there hadn't already been a
pretty close understanding of another kind. Oh, I know your whole
damn' sex, begad!--no offence to these other ladies."

"William, this is scandalous!" cried Mrs. Faringfield. My mother, too,
looked what it was not her place to speak. As for Tom and me, we had
to defer to Mr. Faringfield; and so had Cornelius, who was very
solemn, with an uneasy frown between his white eyebrows. Poor Fanny,
most sensitive to disagreeable scenes, sat in self-effacement and mute
distress.

Mr. Faringfield, not replying to his wife, took a turn up and down the
room, apparently in great mental perplexity and dismay.

Suddenly he was a transformed man. Pale with wrath, his lips moving
spasmodically, his arms trembling, he turned upon Margaret, grasped
her by the shoulders, and in a choked, half-articulate voice demanded:

"Tell the truth! Is it so--this shame--crime? Speak! I will shake the
truth from you!"

"Father! Don't!" she screamed, terrified by his look; and from his
searching gaze, she essayed to hide, by covering her face with her
hands, the secret her conscience magnified so as to forbid confession
and denial alike. I am glad to recall this act of womanhood, which
showed her inability to brazen all accusation out.

But Mr. Faringfield saw no palliating circumstance in this evidence of
womanly feeling. Seeing in it only an admission of guilt, he raised
his arms convulsively for a moment as if he would strike her down with
his hands, or crush her throat with them. But, overcoming this
impulse, he drew back so as to be out of reach of her, and said, in a
low voice shaken with passion:

"Go! From my house, I mean--my roof--and from Philip's part of it.
God! that a child of mine should plot against my country, for
England--that was enough; but to be false to her husband, too--false
to Philip! I will own no such treason! I turn you out, I cast you off!
Not another hour in my house, not another minute! You are not my
daughter, not Philip's wife!--You are a thing I will not name! We
disown you. Go, I bid you; let me never see you again!"

She had not offered speech or motion; and she continued to stand
motionless, regarding her father in fear and sorrow.

"I tell you to leave this house!" he added, in a slightly higher and
quicker voice. "Do you wait for me to thrust you out?"

She slowly moved toward the door. But her mother ran and caught her
arm, and stood between her and Mr. Faringfield.

"William!" said the lady. "Consider--the poor child--your favourite,
she was--you mustn't send her out. I'm sure Philip wouldn't have you
do this, for all she might seem guilty of."

"Ay, the lad is too kind of heart. So much the worse her treason to
him! She _shall_ go; and you, madam, will not interfere. 'Tis for me
to command. Be pleased to step aside!"

His passion had swiftly frozen into an implacable sternness which
struck fear to the childish heart of his wife, and she obeyed him
dumbly. Dropping weakly upon a chair, she added her sobs to those of
Fanny, which had begun to break plaintively upon the tragic silence.

Margaret raised her glance from the floor, in a kind of wistful
leave-taking, to us who looked on and pitied her.

"Indeed, sir," began Mr. Cornelius softly, rising and taking a step
toward Mr. Faringfield. But the latter cut his good intention short,
by a mandatory gesture and the harshly spoken words:

"No protests, sir; no intercessions. I am aware of what I do."

"But at midnight, sir. Think of it. Where can she find shelter at this
hour?"

"Why," put in my mother, "in my house, and welcome, if she _must_
leave this one."

"Thank you, Mrs. Russell," said Margaret, in a stricken voice. "For
the time being, I shall be glad--"

"For all time, if you wish," replied my mother. "And we shall have
your things moved over tomorrow."

"By the Lord, sis," cried Ned, with a sudden friendliness quite
astonishing after the part he had taken, and to be accounted for only
by the idea that had struck him, "here's a blessing in disguise!
There's a ship sails next Wednesday--so I found out this evening--and
damn me if you sha'n't go to London with me! That's the kind of a
forgiving brother I am!"

She had utterly ignored his first words, but when he reached the
point, she looked at him thoughtfully, with a check upon her
resentment. She made no reply, however; but he had not missed her
expression. Tom and I exchanged side glances, remembering Ned's former
wish that he might imitate his Irish friend by taking his sister to
London to catch a fortune with. As for Margaret, as matters stood, it
would be something to go to London, relying on her beauty. I fancied I
saw that thought in her look.

Mr. Faringfield, who had heard with cold heedlessness my mother's
offer and Ned's, now rang the bell. Noah appeared, with a sad,
affrighted face--he had been listening at the door--and cast a furtive
glance at Margaret, in token of commiseration.

"Bring Mrs. Winwood's cloak," said Mr. Faringfield to the old negro.
"Then open the door for her and Mr. Edward."

While Noah was absent on this errand, and Margaret waited passively,
Tom went to her, kissed her cheek, and then came away without a word.

"You'll accept Mrs. Russell's invitation, dear," said Mrs.
Faringfield, in tears, "and we can see you every day."

"Certainly, for the present," replied Margaret, who did not weep, but
spoke in a singularly gentle voice.

"And I, too, for to-night, with my best thanks," added Ned, who had
not been invited, but whom my mother preferred not to refuse.

Noah brought in the cloak, and placed it around Madge with an unusual
attentiveness, prolonging the slight service to its utmost possible
length, and keeping an eye for any sign of relenting on the part of
his master.

My mother and I stood waiting for Margaret, while Mrs. Faringfield and
Fanny weepingly embraced her. That done, and with a good-night for Tom
and Mr. Cornelius, but not a word or a look for her father, who stood
as silent and motionless as marble, she laid her hand softly upon my
arm, and we went forth, leaving my mother to the unwelcome escort of
Ned. The door closed upon us four--'twas the last time it ever closed
upon one of us--and in a few seconds we were at our steps. And who
should come along at that moment, on his way to his quarters, but
Captain Falconer? He stopped, in pleased surprise, and, peering at our
faces in the darkness, asked in his gay, good-natured way what fun was
afoot.

"Not much fun," said Margaret. "I have just left my father's house, at
his command."

He stood in a kind of daze. As it was very cold, we bade him good
night, and went in. Reopening the door, and looking out, I saw him
proceeding homeward, his head averted in a meditative attitude. I knew
not till the next day what occurred when he arrived in the Faringfield
hall.

"Sir," said Tom Faringfield, stepping forth from where he had been
leaning against the stair-post, "I must speak low, because my parents
and sister are in the parlour there, and I don't wish them to hear--"

"With all my heart," replied Falconer. "Won't you come into my room,
and have a glass of wine?"

"No, sir. If I had a glass of wine, I should only waste it by throwing
it in your face. All I have to say is, that you are a scoundrel, and I
desire an opportunity to kill you as soon as may be--"

"Tut, tut, my dear lad--"

"I'll think of a pretext, and send my friend to you to-morrow," added
Tom, and, turning his back, went quietly up-stairs to his room; where,
having locked the door, he fell face forward upon his bed, and cried
like a heart-broken child.



CHAPTER XV.

_In Which There Is a Flight by Sea, and a Duel by Moonlight._


It appeared, from Ned Faringfield's account of himself, that after his
encounter with Philip, and his fall from the shock of his wound, he
had awakened to a sense of being still alive, and had made his way to
the house of a farmer, whose wife took pity on him and nursed him in
concealment to recovery. He then travelled through the woods to Staten
Island, where, declaring himself a deserter from the rebel army, he
demanded to be taken before the British commander.

Being conveyed to headquarters in the Kennedy House, near the bottom
of the Broadway, he told his story, whereupon witnesses to his
identity were easily found, and, Captain Falconer having been brought
to confront him, he was released from bodily custody. He must have had
a private interview with Falconer, and, perhaps, obtained money from
him, before he came to the Faringfield house to vent his
disappointment upon Madge. Or else he had got money from some other
source; he may have gambled with what part of his pay he received in
the early campaigns. He may, on some occasion, have safely violated
Washington's orders against private robbery under the cover of war. He
may have had secret dealings with the "Skinners" or other unattached
marauders. In any case, his assured manner of offering Madge a passage
to England with him, showed that he possessed the necessary means.

He had instantly recognised a critical moment of Madge's life, the
moment when she found herself suddenly deprived of all resource but a
friendly hospitality which she was too proud to make long use of, as a
heaven-sent occasion for his ends. At another time, he would not have
thought of making Madge his partner in an enterprise like the
Irishman's--he feared her too much, and was too sensible of her
dislike and contempt.

He set forth his scheme to her the next day, taking her acquiescence
for granted. She listened quietly, without expressing her thoughts;
but she neither consented nor refused. Ned, however, made full
arrangements for their voyage; considering it the crowning godsend of
a providential situation, that a vessel was so soon to make the trip,
notwithstanding the unlikely time of year. When Margaret's things were
brought over to our house, he advised her to begin packing at once,
and he even busied himself in procuring additional trunks from his
mother and mine, that she might be able to take all her gowns to
London. The importance of this, and of leaving none of her jewelry
behind, he most earnestly impressed upon her.

Yet she did not immediately set about packing, Ned probably had
moments of misgiving, and of secret cursing, when he feared he might
be reckoning without his host. The rest of us, at the time, knew
nothing of what passed between the two: he pretended that the extra
trunks were for some mysterious baggage of his own: nor did we then
know what passed between her and Captain Falconer late in the day, and
upon which, indeed, her decision regarding Ned's offer depended.

She had watched at our window for the captain's passing. When at
length he appeared, she was standing so close to the glass, her eyes
so unmistakably met his side-look, that he could not pretend he had
not seen her. As he bowed with most respectful civility, she beckoned
him with a single movement of a finger, and went, herself, to let him
in. When he had followed her into our parlour, his manner was
outwardly of the most delicate consideration, but she thought she saw
beneath it a certain uneasiness. They spoke awhile of her removal from
her father's house; but he avoided question as to its cause, or as to
her intentions. At last, she said directly, with assumed lightness:

"I think of going to London with my brother, on the _Phoebe_."

She was watching him closely: his face brightened wonderfully.

"I vow, you could do nothing better," he said. "_There_ is _your_
world. I've always declared you were a stranger in this far-off land.
'Tis time you found your proper element. I can't help confessing it;
'tis due to you I should confess it--though alas for us whom you leave
in New York!"

She looked at him for a moment, with a slight curling of the lip;
witnessed his recovery from the fear that she might throw herself upon
his care; saw his comfort at being relieved of a possible burden he
was not prepared to assume; and then said, very quietly:

"I think Mrs. Russell is coming. You had best go."

With a look of gallant adoration, he made to kiss her hand first. But
she drew it away, and put her finger to her lip, as if to bid him
depart unheard. When he had left the house, she fell upon the sofa and
wept, but only for wounded vanity, for chagrin that she had exposed
her heart to one of those gentry who will adore a woman until there is
danger of her becoming an embarrassment.

Before long, she arose, and dried her eyes, and went up-stairs to pack
her trunks. Thus ended this very light affair of the heart; which had
so heavy consequences for so many people.

But Captain Falconer's inward serenity was not to escape with this
unexpectedly easy ordeal. When he reached his room, he found me
awaiting him, as the representative of Tom Faringfield. I had, in
obedience to my sense of duty, put forth a few conventional
dissuasions against Tom's fighting the captain; and had presumed to
hint that I was nearer to him in years and experience than Tom was.
But the boy replied with only a short, bitter laugh at the assured
futility of my attempts. Plainly, if there was to be fighting over
this matter, I ought not to seek a usurpation of Tom's right. And
fighting there would be, I knew, whether I said yea or nay. Since Tom
must have a second, that place was mine. And I felt, too, with a young
man's foolish faith in poetic justice, that the right must win; that
his adversary's superiority in age--and therefore undoubtedly in
practice, Falconer being the man he was--would not avail against an
honest lad avenging the probity of a sister. And so I yielded
countenance to the affair, and went, as soon as my duty permitted, to
wait upon Captain Falconer.

"Why," said he, when I had but half told my errand, "I was led to
expect this. The young gentleman called me a harsh name, which I'm
willing to overlook. But he finds himself aggrieved, and, knowing him
as I do, I make no doubt he will not be content till we have a bout or
two. If I refuse, he will dog me, I believe, and make trouble for both
of us, till I grant him what he asks. So the sooner 'tis done, the
better, I suppose. But lookye, Mr. Russell, 'tis sure to be an
embarrassing business. If one or other of us _should_ be hurt, there'd
be the devil to pay, you know. I dare say the General would be quite
obdurate, and go the whole length of the law. There's that to be
thought of. Have a glass of wine, and think of it."

Tom and I had already thought of it. We had been longer in New York
than the captain had, and we knew how the embarrassment to which he
alluded could be provided against.

"'Tis very simple," said I, letting him drink alone, which it was not
easy to do, he was still so likeable a man. "We can go from
Kingsbridge as if we meant to join Captain De Lancey in another of his
raids. And we can find some spot outside the lines; and if any one is
hurt, we can give it out as the work of rebel irregulars who attacked
us."

He regarded me silently a moment, and then said the plan seemed a good
one, and that he would name a second with whom I could arrange
details. Whereupon, dismissing the subject with a civil expression of
regret that Tom should think himself affronted, he went on to speak of
the weather, as if a gentleman ought not to treat a mere duel as a
matter of deep concern.

I came away wishing it were not so hard to hate him. The second with
whom I at length conferred--for our duties permitted not a prompt
despatching of the affair, and moreover Captain Falconer's disposition
was to conduct it with the gentlemanly leisure its pretended
unimportance allowed--was Lieutenant Hugh Campbell, one of several
officers of that name who served in the Highland regiment that had
been stationed earlier at Valentine's Hill; he therefore knew the
debatable country beyond Kingsbridge as well as I. He was a mere
youth, a serious-minded Scot, and of a different sort from Captain
Falconer: 'twas one of the elegant captain's ways, and evidence of his
breadth of mind, to make friends of men of other kinds than his own.
Young Campbell and I, comparing our recollections of the country,
found that we both knew of a little open hollow hidden by thickets,
quite near the Kingsbridge tavern, which would serve the purpose.
Captain Falconer's duties made a daylight meeting difficult to
contrive without exposing his movements to curiosity, and other
considerations of secrecy likewise preferred a nocturnal affair. We
therefore planned that the four of us, and an Irish surgeon named
McLaughlin, should appear at the Kingsbridge tavern at ten o'clock on
a certain night for which the almanac promised moonlight, and should
repair to the meeting-place when the moon should be high enough to
illumine the hollow. The weapons were to be rapiers. The preliminary
appearance at the tavern was to save a useless cold wait in case one
of the participants should, by some freak of duty, be hindered from
the appointment; in which event, or in that of a cloudy sky, the
matter should be postponed to the next night, and so on.

The duel was to occur upon a Wednesday night. On that afternoon I was
in the town, having carried some despatches from our outpost to
General De Lancey, and thence to General Knyphausen; and I was free
for a few minutes to go home and see my mother.

"What do you think?" she began, handing me a cup of tea as soon as I
had strode to the parlour fire-place.

"I think this hot tea is mighty welcome," said I, "and that my left
ear is nigh frozen. What else?"

"Margaret has gone," she replied, beginning to rub my ear vigorously.

"Gone! Where?" I looked around as if to make sure there was no sign of
her in the room.

"With Ned--on the _Phoebe_."

"The deuce! How could you let her do it--you, and her mother, and
Fanny?"

"We didn't know. I took some jelly over to old Miss Watts--she's very
feeble--and Madge and Ned went while I was out; they had their trunks
carted off at the same time. 'Twasn't for an hour or two I became
curious why she kept her room, as I thought; and when I went up to
see, the room was empty. There were two letters there from her, one to
me and one to her mother. She said she left in that way, to save the
pain of farewells, and to avoid our useless persuasions against her
going. Isn't it terrible?--poor child! Why it seems only yesterday--"
And my good mother's lips drew suddenly down at the corners, and she
began to sniff spasmodically.

"But is it too late?" I asked, in a suddenly quieted voice. That the
brightness and beauty of Madge, which had been a part of my world
since I could remember, should have gone from about us, all in a
moment!--'twas a new thought, and a strange one. What a blank she
left, what a dulness!

"Too late, heaven knows!" said my mother, drying her eyes with a
handkerchief, and speaking brokenly. "As soon as Mrs. Faringfield read
the letters, which I had taken over at once, Fanny and Mr. Cornelius
started running for the wharves. But when they got there, the _Phoebe_
wasn't in sight. It had sailed immediately their trunks were aboard, I
suppose. Oh, to think of pretty Madge--what will become of her in that
great, bad London?"

"She has made her plans, no doubt, and knows what she is doing," said
I, with a little bitterness. "Poor Phil! Her father is much to blame."

When I told Tom, as soon as I reached the outpost, he gave a sudden,
ghastly, startled look; then collected himself, and glanced at the
sword with which he meant to fight that night.

"Why, I was afraid she would go," said he, in a strained voice; and
that was all.

Whenever I saw him during the rest of the evening, he was silent,
pale, a little shaky methought. He was not as I had been before my
maiden duel: blustering and gay, in a trance-like recklessness;
assuming self-confidence so well as to deceive even myself and carry
me buoyantly through. He seemed rather in suspense like that of a
lover who has to beg a stern father for a daughter's hand. As a slight
hurt will cause a man the greatest pain, and a severe injury produce
no greater, so will the apprehensions of a trivial ordeal equal in
effect those of a matter of life and death; there being a limit to
possible sensation, beyond which nature leaves us happily numb.
Sometimes, upon occasion, Tom smiled, but with a stiffness of
countenance; when he laughed, it was in a short, jerky, mechanical
manner. As for me, I was in different mood from that preceding my own
first trial of arms: I was now overcast in spirit, tremulous, full of
misgivings.

The moon did not disappoint us as we set out for the tavern. There
were but a few fleecy clouds, and these not of an opaqueness to darken
its beams when they passed across it. The snow was frozen hard in the
fields, and worn down in the road. The frost in the air bit our
nostrils, and we now and again worked our countenances into strange
grimaces, to free them from the sensation of being frozen hard.

"'Tis a beautiful night," said Tom, speaking in more composure than he
had shown during the early evening. The moonlight had a calming
effect, as the clear air had a bracing one. His eyes roamed the sky,
and then the moonlit, snow-clad earth--hillock and valley, wood and
pond, solitary house bespeaking indoor comfort, and a glimpse of the
dark river in the distance--and he added:

"What a fine world it is!"

When we entered the warm tap-room of the tavern--the house above
Kingsbridge, outside the barriers where the passes were examined and
the people searched who were allowed entrance and departure; not
Hyatt's tavern, South of the bridge--we found a number of subalterns
there, some German, some British, some half-drunk, some playing cards.
Our Irish surgeon sat in a corner, reading a book--I think 'twas a
Latin author--by the light of a tallow candle. He nodded to us
indifferently, as if he had no engagement with us, and continued to
read. Tom and I ordered a hot rum punch mixed for us, and stood at the
bar to drink it.

"You look pale and shaky, you two," said the tavern-keeper, who
himself waited upon us.

"'Tis the cold," said I. "We're not all of your constitution, to walk
around in shirt-sleeves this weather."

"Why," says the landlord, "I go by the almanac. 'Tis time for the
January thaw, 'cordin' to that. Something afoot to-night, eh? One o'
them little trips up the river, or out East Chester way, with De
Lancey's men, I reckon?"

We said nothing, but wisely looked significant, and the host grinned.

"More like 'tis a matter of wenches," put in a half-drunken ensign
standing beside us at the bar. "That's the only business to bring a
gentleman out such a cursed night. Damn such a vile country, cold as
hell in winter, and hot as hell in summer! Damn it and sink it! and
fill up my glass, landlord. Roast me dead if _I_ stick _my_ nose
outdoors to-night!"

"A braw, fine nicht, the nicht, gentlemen," said a sober, ruddy-faced
Scot, very gravely, with a lofty contempt for the other's remarks.
"Guid, hamelike weather."

But the feelings and thoughts prevailing in the tap-room were not in
tune with those agitating our hearts, and as soon as Captain Falconer
and his friend came in, we took our leave, exchanging a purposely
careless greeting with the newcomers. We turned in silence from the
road, crossed a little sparsely wooded hill, and arrived in the
thicket-screened hollow.

'Twas in silence we had come. I had felt there was much I would like,
and ought, to say, but something in Tom's mood or mine, or in the
situation, benumbed my thoughts so they would not come forth, or
jumbled them so I knew not where to begin. Arrived upon the ground
with a palpitating sense of the nearness of the event, we found
ourselves still less fit for utterance of the things deepest in our
minds.

"There'll be some danger of slipping on the frozen snow," said I,
trying to assume a natural, even a cheerful, tone.

"'Tis an even danger to both of us," said Tom, speaking quickly to
maintain a steadiness of voice, as a drunken man walks fast to avoid a
crookedness of gait.

While we were tramping about to keep warm, the Irish surgeon came to
us through the bushes, vowing 'twas "the divvle's own weather, shure
enough, barrin' the hivvenly moonlight." Opening his capacious
greatcoat, he brought from concealment a small case, which Tom eyed
askance, and I regarded ominously, though it had but a mere
professional aspect to its owner.

We soon heard the tread, and the low but easy voices, of Captain
Falconer and Lieutenant Campbell; who joined us with salutations,
graceful on Falconer's part, and naturally awkward on that of
Campbell. How I admired the unconcerned, leisurely manner in which
Falconer, having gone a little aloof from Tom and me, removed his
overcoat, laced coat, and waistcoat, giving a playful shiver,
purposely exaggerated, as he stood in his ruffled shirt and
well-fitting boots and breeches. I was awkward in helping Tom off with
his outer clothes. The moonlight, making everything in the hollow
well-nigh as visible as by day, showed Tom's face to be white, his
eyes wide-open and darkly radiant; while in Falconer's case it
revealed a countenance as pleasant and gracious as ever, eyes neither
set nor restless.

Campbell and I perfunctorily compared the swords, gave them a bend or
two, and handed them to the principals. We then stood back. Doctor
McLaughlin looked on with a mild interest. There was a low cry, a ring
of steel, and the two men were at it.

I recall the moonshine upon their faces, the swift dartings of their
faintly luminous blades, their strangely altering shadows on the snow
as they moved, the steady attention of us who looked on, the moan of
the wind among the trees upon the neighbouring heights, the sound of
the men's tramping on the crusted snow, the clear clink of their
weapons, sometimes the noise of their breathing. They eyed each other
steadfastly, seeming to grudge the momentary winks enforced by nature.
Falconer's purpose, I began to see, was but to defend himself and
disarm his opponent. But Tom gave him much to do, making lightning
thrusts with a suddenness and persistence that began at length to try
the elder man. So they kept it up till I should have thought they were
tired out.

Suddenly Tom made a powerful lunge that seemed to find the captain
unready. But the latter, with a sharp involuntary cry, got his blade
up in time to divert the point, by pure accident, with the guard of
his hilt. His own point was thus turned straight toward his
antagonist; and Tom, throwing his weight after his weapon, impaled
himself upon the captain's. For an infinitesimal point of time, till
the sword was drawn out, the lad seemed to stand upon his toes,
leaning forward, looking toward the sky with a strange surprise upon
his face, eyes and mouth alike open. And then he collapsed as if his
legs and body were but empty rags; and fell in a huddle upon the snow:
with a convulsive movement he stretched himself back to the shape of a
man; and lay perfectly still.

The captain bent over him with astonishment. The surgeon ran to him,
and turned him flat upon his back. I was by this time kneeling
opposite the surgeon, who tore open Tom's shirts and examined his
body.

"Bedad, gentlemen," said the Irishman sadly, in a moment, "he's beyont
the need of my profession. 'Tis well ye had that sthory ready, in case
of accident."

I stared incredulously at the surgeon, and then buried my face upon
the dear body of the dead, mingling my wild tears with his blood.

"Oh, Madge, Madge," thought I, "if you could see what your folly has
led to!"



CHAPTER XVI.

_Follows the Fortunes of Madge and Ned._


But Madge could know nothing yet of that night's occurrence. She was
then many miles out to sea, her thoughts perhaps still lingering
behind with her old life, but bound soon to overtake her, and to pass
far ahead to the world she was sailing for, the world of her
long-cherished desires.

I shall briefly relate a part of what she afterward recounted to me.
The voyage from New York to Bristol lasted six weeks. She suffered
much from her cramped quarters, from the cold weather, from
seasickness; but she bore up against her present afflictions, in the
hope of future compensations. She put away from her, with the facility
of an ambitious beauty, alike her regrets for the past, and her
misgivings of the future.

Not to risk any increase of those misgivings, she refrained from
questioning Ned as to his resources, nor did she require of him a
minute exposition of his plans. She preferred to leave all to him and
to circumstance, considering that, once launched upon the sea of
London, and perfectly unrestricted as to her proceedings, she could
make shift to keep afloat. She had an earnest of the power of her
beauty, in its effect upon the ship's captain, who, in the absence of
passengers, was the only person aboard whose admiration was worth
playing for. She had the place of honour at his table, and in her
presence he was nothing but eyes and dumb confusion, while the
extraordinary measures he took for her comfort proclaimed him her
willing slave.

She listened without objection or comment when Ned, in confidential
moods, forced his purposes upon her attention.

"We'll make 'em stare, my dear," said he. "We'll make 'em open their
eyes a bit; just you wait! We'll find lodgings somewhere in the thick
of the town, and I'll take you to the theatres, and to walk in St.
James Park, and to the public assemblies, and wherever you're sure to
be seen. I wish 'twere Summer; then there'd be Vauxhall and Ranelagh,
and all that. 'Tis a bad time of year in London now; but we'll do our
best. There'll be young sparks of quality enough, to ask each other
who that goddess is, and that Venus, and that angel, and all that kind
of thing; and they'll be mad to make your acquaintance. They'll take
note of me, and when they see me at the coffee-houses and faro-tables,
they'll fall over one another in the rush to know me, and to be my
friends. And I'll pick out the best, and honour 'em with invitations
to call at our lodgings, and there'll be my pretty sister to mix a
punch for us, or pour out tea for us; and once we let 'em see we're as
good quality as any of 'em, and won't stand any damn' nonsense,' why,
you leave it to brother Ned to land a fat fish, that's all!"

She had a fear that his operations might at length become offensive to
her taste, might stray from the line of her own ambitions; but she saw
good reason to await developments in silence; and to postpone
deviating from Ned's wishes, until they should cease to forward hers.

Upon her landing at Bristol, and looking around with interest at the
shipping which reminded her of New York but to emphasise her feeling
of exile therefrom, her thrilling sense of being at last in the Old
World, abated her heaviness at leaving the ship which seemed the one
remaining tie with her former life. If ever a woman felt herself to be
entering upon life anew, and realised a necessity of blotting the past
from memory, it was she; and well it was that the novelty of her
surroundings, the sense of treading the soil whereon she had so long
pined to set foot, aided her resolution to banish from her mind all
that lay behind her.

The time-worn, weather-beaten aspect of the town, its old streets
thronged with people of whom she was not known to a soul, would have
made her disconsolate, had she not forced herself to contemplate with
interest the omnipresent antiquity, to her American eyes so new. And
so, as she had heroically endured seasickness, she now fought bravely
against homesickness; and, in the end, as nearly conquered it as one
ever does.

'Twas a cold ride by stage-coach to London, at that season; there were
few travellers in the coach, and those few were ill-natured with
discomfort, staring fiercely at the two strangers--whose strangeness
they instantly detected by some unconscious process--as if the pair
were responsible for the severe February weather, or guilty of some
unknown crime. At the inns where they stopped, for meals and
overnight, they were subjected to a protracted gazing on the part of
all who saw them--an inspection seemingly resentful or disapproving,
but indeed only curious. It irritated Madge, who asked Ned what the
cause might be.

"Tut! Don't mind it," said he. "'Tis the way of the English,
everywhere but in London. They stare at strangers as if they was in
danger of being insulted by 'em, or having their pockets picked by
'em, or at best as if they was looking at some remarkable animal; but
they mean no harm by it."

"How can they see we are strangers?" she queried. "We're dressed like
them."

"God knows! Perhaps because we look more cheerful than they do, and
have a brisker way, and laugh easier," conjectured Ned. "But you'll
feel more at home in London."

By the time she arrived in London, having slept in a different bed
each night after landing, and eaten at so many different inns each
day, Madge felt as if she had been a long while in England.[8] She
came to the town thus as to a haven of rest; and though she was still
gazed at for her beauty, it was not in that ceaseless and mistrustful
way in which she had been scrutinised from top to toe in the country;
moreover, the names of many of the streets and localities were
familiar to her, and in her thoughts she had already visited them: for
these reasons, which were more than Ned had taken account of, she did
indeed feel somewhat at home in London, as he had predicted.

The night of their arrival was passed at the inn, in the Strand, where
the coach had set them down. The next morning Ned chose lodgings in
Craven Street: three rooms, constituting the entire first floor; which
Madge, though she thought the house had a dingy look, found
comfortable enough in their faded way; and wherein the two were
installed by noon. They spent the afternoon walking about the most
famous streets, returning to their lodgings for dinner.

"I think," said Ned, while they were eating, "'twon't do any harm to
get on one of your best gowns, and your furbelows, and we'll go to the
play, and begin the campaign this very night."

"Bless me, no! I'm tired to death with sightseeing," replied Madge. "I
could fall asleep this moment. Besides, who's here to dress my hair? I
couldn't go without a commode."

"Oh, well, just as you like. Only be pleased to remember, ma'am, my
purse isn't a widow's mite--widow's cruse of oil, I mean, that runs
for ever. I've been at a great expense to bring you here, and pounds
and shillings don't rain from heaven like--like that stuff the Jews
lived on for forty years in the wilderness. The sooner we land our
fish, the sooner we'll know where the money's coming from. I sha'n't
be able to pay for lodgings and meals very long."

"Why, 'tis a pretty pass if you've no more money--"

"Well, it _is_ a pretty pass, and that's just what it is. I didn't
count the cost when I made the generous offer to bring you. Oh, we can
last a week or so yet, but the sooner something is done, the sooner we
shall be easy in our minds. On second thoughts, though, you'd better
go to bed and rest. It mightn't be well to flash on the town to-night,
looking fagged, and without your hair dressed, and all that. So you go
to bed and I'll go around and--call upon a few friends I made when I
was here before."

Ned had so improved his attire, by acquisitions in New York, Bristol,
and London, that his appearance was now presentable in the haunts of
gentlemen. So he went out, leaving her alone. She could no longer
postpone meditating upon what was before her.

Now that she viewed it for the first time in definite particulars, its
true aspect struck her with a sudden dismay. She was expected to do
nothing less than exhibit herself for sale, put herself up at auction
for the highest bidder, set out her charms as a bait. And when the
bait drew, and the bidders offered, and the buyer awaited--what then?
She would never, her pride alone would never let her, degrade herself
to a position at the very thought of which she caught her breath with
horror. Come what may, the man who purchased her must put the
transaction into the form of marriage. True, she was already married,
in the view of the law; but, with a woman's eye for essentials, she
felt her divorce from Philip already accomplished. The law, she
allowed, would have to be satisfied with matters of form: but that was
a detail to be observed when the time came; Philip would not oppose
obstacles.

So she would let matters take their course, would wait upon
occurrences. In very truth, to put herself on view with intent of
catching a husband, of obtaining an establishment in life, was no more
than young ladies of fashion, of virtue, of piety, did continually,
under the skilled direction of the most estimable mothers. In Madge's
case, the only difference was, on the one side, the excuse of
necessity; on the other side, the encumbrance of her existing
marriage. But the latter could be removed, whereas the former would
daily increase.

She must, therefore, benefit by Ned's operations as long as they did
not threaten to degrade her. By the time they did threaten so, she
would have gained some experience of her own, circumstances would have
arisen which she could turn to her use. Of actual destitution, never
having felt it, she could not conceive; and therefore she did not take
account of its possibility in her case.

So, having recovered from her brief panic, she went to bed and slept
soundly.

The next morning Ned was in jubilant spirits. His visit the previous
night had been to a gaminghouse in Covent Garden, and fortune had
showered him with benefactions. He saw the margin of time at their
disposal lengthened by several weeks. He bade his sister put herself
at her best, drank with her to their success, and went and engaged a
hairdresser and a maid. They went that night, in a hackney-coach, to
the play at Drury Lane.

The open-mouthed gazing of her new maid, the deftly spoken admiration
of her hairdresser, and the mirror upon her dressing-table, had
prepared Madge for triumph. Her expectations were not disappointed,
but they were almost forgotten. Her pleasure at sight of the restless,
chattering crowd; her interest in the performance; her joy in seeing,
in fine: supplanted half the consciousness of being seen. But she was,
indeed, stared at from all parts of the house; people looked, and
nudged one another; and the powdered bucks and beauties in the
side-boxes, glancing up, forgot their own looks in examining hers.

Ned was elated beyond measure. He praised her all the way home in the
coach, and when they stood at last on the step of their lodging-house,
he waited a moment before going in, and looked back toward the Strand,
half-thinking that some susceptible and adventurous admirer might have
followed their conveyance to the door.

The next day, Sunday, he took her to church, at St. James's in
Piccadilly, where they had difficulty in getting seats, and where
several pious dowagers were scandalised at the inattention of their
male company to the service. Ned walked out alone in the afternoon,
but, to his surprise, he was not accosted by any gentleman pretending
to recognise him as some one else, as a means of knowing him as
himself.

On Monday he made himself seen at numerous coffee-houses and taverns,
but, although he came upon two or three faces that he had noted in the
theatre, no one looked at him with any sign of recollection. "Well,
well," thought he, and afterward said to Madge, "in time they will
come to remember me as the lovely creature's escort; at first their
eyes will be all for the lovely creature herself."

They went to Covent Garden that evening, and to the Haymarket the
next; and subsequently to public assemblies: Madge everywhere
arresting attention, and exciting whispers and elbowings among
observers wherever she passed. At the public balls, she was asked to
dance, by fellows of whom neither she nor Ned approved, but who, Ned
finally came to urge, might be useful acquaintances as leading to
better ones. But she found all of them contemptible, and would not
encourage any of them.

"If we could only get an invite to some private entertainment, the
thing would be done in a jiffy," said Ned, "but damn it, you won't
lead on any of these fellows--sure they must know ladies to whom they
would mention you."

"I shouldn't think much of ladies that sought acquaintances on _their_
recommendation."

"Why, curse it, we must begin somewhere, to get in."

"If we began where these could open the doors, I warrant we shouldn't
get very far in."

"Rat me if I understand why the men that are taken with you at the
play, and elsewhere--real gentlemen of quality, some of 'em--never try
to follow you up through me. I've put myself in their way, the Lord
knows. Maybe they think I'm your husband. Curse it, there _is_ a
difficulty! If you walked alone, in St. James Park, or past the
clubs--?"

"You scoundrel, do you think I've come to that?"

Her look advised him not to pursue his last suggestion. By this time
his expectations from their public appearances together had been sadly
dampened. They must make acquaintances; creditable ones, that is to
say, for of another kind he had enough and to spare.

But at last, after some weeks, during which he remained unapproached,
and at the end of which he came to a belated perception of the
insuperable barrier between the elect and the undesirable, and of his
own identity with the latter class, he decided he must fall back upon
his friends for what they might be worth. He had undergone many snubs
in his efforts to thrust himself upon fine gentlemen in taverns,
coffee-houses, and gaming-places. As for Madge, her solitude had been
mitigated by her enjoyment of plays and sights, of the external
glimpses of that life to which her entrance seemed impossible.

Ned began therefore to bring his associates to their lodgings:
chiefly, a gambling barrister of Lincoln's Inn, a drunken cashiered
captain of marines, and a naval surgeon's mate with an unhealthy
outbreak on his face. One meeting with each rascal sufficed to make
Madge deny her presence upon his next visit. At this Ned raged,
declaring, that these gentlemen, though themselves in adverse
circumstances, had relations and friends among the quality or the
wealthy. And at length he triumphantly made good his assertion by
introducing a youth to whom the barrister had introduced him, and who,
he whispered to Madge, though not blessed with a title, was the heir
in prospect of an immense fortune. It came out that he was the son of
a prosperous fishmonger in the city.

He was a fat, good-humoured fellow, expensively dressed, and clean,
being in all these points an exception among Ned's acquaintances.
Madge found him, as a mere acquaintance, more amusing than
intolerable; but as a possible husband, not to be thought of save with
laughter and contempt.

Her refusal to consider him in the desired light, made Ned very wroth;
and in revenge he went out, and, between drink and gaming, rid himself
of every penny he possessed. He thereupon begged that Madge would let
him pawn some of her jewelry. She refused to do so; until their
landlady threatened ejection and suit.

After that, matters went from bad to worse. With part of the money
obtained upon what trinkets she gave him, Ned tried to repair his
fortunes at the gaming-table; and that failing, he consoled himself in
drunkenness. More of her valuables were demanded; yielded up after
terrible quarrels with Ned, and humiliating scenes with the landlady.
The visits to the play ceased, the maid was discharged, the
hairdresser was no more brought into requisition. Their fall to
destitution was worthy of the harebrained design, the bungling
conduct, of Ned; the childish inexperience, the blind confidence, of
Madge. 'Twas a fall as progressive as a series of prints by Hogarth.
The brother was perpetually in liquor; he no longer took Madge out
with him. Often he stayed away nights and days at a time.

She resolved to entrust nothing further to him, but to dispose of her
ornaments herself, and to devote the proceeds to necessities alone, as
he had wasted them in drink and gaming. When she acted upon this
resolution, he behaved like a madman. Fearful quarrels ensued. He
blamed her for defeating his plans, she upbraided him for alluring her
to London. Recriminations and threats filled the hours when he was
with her; loneliness and despondency occupied the periods of his
absence. Finally, while she slept, he robbed her of money she had got
upon a bracelet; then of some of the jewelry itself. She dared no
longer sleep soundly, lest he might take away her last means of
subsistence. She was in daily and nightly terror of him.

She made up her mind, at last, to flee to some other part of the town,
and hide from him; that her few resources left might be devoted to
herself alone, and thus postpone the day of destruction to the
furthest possible time. After her last jewel, she might dispose of her
dresses. It was on a moonlight night in spring that she came to this
determination; and, as Ned had gone out in a mood apparently presaging
a long absence, she set about packing her clothes into her trunks, so
as to take them with her when she left by hackney-coach at early
daylight to seek new lodgings.

Suddenly she heard the door below slam with a familiar violence, and a
well-known heavy tread ascend the stairs. There was no time to conceal
what she was at, ere Ned flung open the door, and stumbled in. He
stared in amazement at her trunks and dresses.

"What's this?" he cried. "Why is all this trash lying around? Why,
damme, you're packing your trunks!"

She had passed the mood for dissembling. "Well," she retorted, "I may
pack my trunks if I please. They're my trunks, and my things in 'em."

"What! You thankless hussy, were you going to run away?"

"'Tis no concern of yours, what I was going to do!"

"Oh, isn't it? We'll see about that! Begad, 'tis lucky I came back! So
you were going to desert me, eh? Well, I'm damned if there was ever
such ingratitude! After all I've done and suffered!"

[Illustration: "HE FINALLY DREW BACK TO GIVE HER A MORE EFFECTUAL
BLOW."]

She gave a derisive laugh, and defiantly resumed her packing.

"What! you're rebellious, are you?" quoth he. "But you'll not get away
from me so easy, my lady. Not with those clothes, at least; for
yourself, it doesn't much matter. I'll just put those things back into
the press, and after this I'll carry the key. But your rings and
necklace--I'll take charge of them first."

He stepped forward to lay hands upon the ornaments, which, for their
greater security from him, she now wore upon her person at all times.
She sprang away, ready to defend them by every possible means, and
warning him not to touch her. Her flashing eyes and fiery mien checked
him for a moment; then, with a curse, he seized her by the neck and
essayed to undo the necklace. Thereupon she screamed loudly for help.
To intimidate her into silence, he struck her in the face. At that she
began to struggle and hit, so that he was hard put to it to retain
hold of her and to save his face from her hands. Enraged by her
efforts, he finally drew back to give her a more effectual blow; which
he succeeded in doing, but at the cost of relaxing his grasp, so that
she slipped from him and escaped by the door. She hastened down the
stairs and into the street, he in wrathful pursuit. She fled toward
the Strand.

At the corner of that thoroughfare, she ran into a trio of gentlemen
who just at the moment reached the junction of the two streets.

"The deuce!" cried one of the three, flinging his arms around her.
"What have we here? Beauty in distress?"

"Let me go!" she cried. "Don't let _him_ take me."

"Him!" echoed the gentleman, releasing her. He was a
distinguished-looking fellow of twenty-eight or so, with a winning
face and very fine eyes. "Oh, I see. The villain in pursuit!"

"Egad, that makes you the hero to the rescue, Dick," said one of the
young gentleman's companions.

"Faith, I'll play the part, too," replied Dick. "Fear not, madam."

"Thank you, sir, for stopping her," said Ned, coming up, panting.

"Pray, don't waste your thanks. What shall I do to the rascal, madam?"

"I don't care," she answered. "Don't let him have me."

"None of that, sir," spoke up Ned. "She's a runaway, and I'm her
natural protector."

"Her husband?" inquired Dick.

"No--"

"I congratulate you, madam."

"I'm her brother," said Ned.

"And condole with you in the same breath," finished Dick, to Margaret.
"You're a lady, I see. Pardon my familiarity at first. Sure you
needn't fear me--I have a wife as beautiful as yourself. As for this
relation of yours--"

"He tried to rob me of my necklace and rings. We lodge yonder, where
the light is in the window. He found me packing my trunks to leave
him--"

"And leave him you shall. Shall she not, gentlemen?"

His two companions warmly assented. Ned savagely measured them with
his eyes, but did not dare a trial of prowess against three. Moreover,
their courtly address and easy manners disconcerted him.

"Oh, I sha'n't harm her," he grumbled. "'Twas but a tiff. Let her come
back home; 'twill be all well."

But Madge was not for resigning herself a moment to his mercy. She
briefly explained her situation and her wishes. The upshot of all was,
that the young gentleman called Dick turned to his friends and said:

"What say you, gentlemen? Our friends at Brooks's can wait, I think.
Shall we protect this lady while she packs her trunks, find lodgings
for her this very night, and see her installed in them?"

"Ay, and see that this gentle brother does not follow or learn where
she goes," answered one.

"Bravo!" cried the other. "'Twill be like an incident in a comedy,
Dick."

"Rather like a page of Smollett," replied Dick. "With your permission,
madam, we'll accompany you to your lodgings."

They sat around the fireplace, with their backs to her, and talked
with easy gaiety, while she packed her possessions; Ned having first
followed them in, and then fled to appease his mind at an ale-house.
Finally Dick and one of the gentlemen closed her trunks for her, while
the other went for a coach; wherein all three accompanied her to the
house of a wigmaker known to Dick, in High Holborn; where they roused
the inmates, made close terms, and left her installed in a decent room
with her belongings.

As they took their leave, after an almost tearful burst of thanks on
her part, Dick said:

"From some of your expressions, madam, I gather that your resources
are limited--resources of one kind, I mean. But in your appearance,
your air, and your voice, you possess resources, which if ever you
feel disposed to use, I beg you will let me know. Pray don't
misunderstand me; the world knows how much I am in love with my
wife."[9]

When he had gone, leaving her puzzled and astonished, she turned to
the wigmaker's wife, who was putting the room to rights, and asked:

"Pray what is that last gentleman's name?"

"Wot, ma'am! Can it be you don't know _'im?_"

"He forgot to tell me."

"Sure 'e thought as you must know already. Everybody in London knows
the great Mr. Sheridan."

"What! Mr. Richard Brinsley Sheridan, the dramatist?"

"And manager of Drury Lane Theaytre. Didn't you 'ear 'im hoffer to put
you on the stage, w'en 'e spoke about your looks and voice?"

Madge turned to the mirror; and saw, for the--first time in weeks, a
sudden light of hope, a sense of triumphs yet in her power, dawn upon
her face.



CHAPTER XVII.

_I Hear Again from Winwood._


Meanwhile we passed through a time of deep sorrow at the Faringfield
house and ours. The effect of Tom's untimely fate, coming upon
Margaret's departure and the disclosures regarding her and Ned, was
marked in Mr. Faringfield by a haggardness of countenance, an averted
glance, a look of age, pitiful to see. His lady considered herself
crushed by affliction, as one upon whom grief had done its worst; and
she resigned herself to the rôle of martyr in the comfortably
miserable way that some people do, without losing her appreciation of
the small consolations of life, such as morning chocolate, afternoon
tea, and neighbourly conversation upon the subject of her woes. Poor
Fanny bore up for the sake of cheering her parents, but her face, for
a long time, was rarely without the traces of tears shed in solitude.
Of that household of handsome, merry children, whose playful shouts
had once filled the mansion and garden with life, she was now the only
one left. I sighed to think that my chances of taking her away from
that house were now reduced to the infinitesimal. Her parents, who had
brought into the world so promising a family, to find themselves now
so nearly alone, must not be left entirely so: such would be her
answer to any pleas I might in my selfishness offer.

What a transformation had been wrought in that once cheerful
household! How many lives were darkened!--Mr. Faringfield's, his
wife's, Fanny's, Philip's (when he should know), Madge's (sooner or
later), the sympathetic Cornelius's, my mother's, my own. And what a
promising, manly, gentle life had been cut short in its earliest
bloom! I knew that Tom's life alone had been worth a score of lives
like Captain Falconer's. And the cause of all this, though Margaret
was much to blame, was the idle resolve of a frivolous lady-killer to
add one more conquest to his list, in the person of a woman for whom
he did not entertain more than the most superficial feelings. What a
sacrifice had been made for the transient gratification of a
stranger's vanity! What bitter consequences, heartrending separations,
had come upon all of us who had lived so close together so many
pleasant years, through the careless self-amusement of a chance
interloper whose very name we had not known six months before!

And now, the pleasure-seeker's brief pastime in that quarter being
ended, the lasting sorrows of his victims having begun; his own career
apparently not altered from its current, their lives diverted rudely
into dark channels and one of them stopped short for ever: was the
matter to rest so?

You may easily guess what my answer was to this question. When I
pondered on the situation, I no longer found Captain Falconer a hard
man to hate. The very lightness of his purpose, contrasted with the
heaviness of its consequences, aggravated his crime. To risk so much
upon other people, to gain so little for himself, was the more heinous
sin than its converse would have been. That he might not have foreseen
the evil consequences made possible, was no palliation: he ought to
have examined the situation; or indeed he ought to have heeded what he
must have known, that little offences may always entail dire evils.
Measured by their possibility to work havoc with lives, there are no
_small_ sins. The man who enters carelessly upon a trivial deviation
is therefore as much to be held responsible as he that walks
deliberately into the blackest crime. Not to know this, is not to have
studied life; and not to have studied life is, in a person of mature
years, a mighty sin of omission, because of the great evils that may
arise from ignorance. But Captain Falconer must have known life, must
have seen the hazards of his course. Therefore he was responsible in
any view; and therefore I would do my utmost toward exacting payment
from him. Plainly, in Philip's absence, the right fell to me, as his
friend and Tom's--nay, too, as the provisionally accepted husband of
Mr. Faringfield's second daughter.

But before I got an opportunity to make a quarrel with Falconer (who
had moved his quarters from the Faringfield house, wherein he had not
slept or eaten since the night of Margaret's leaving it, though he had
spent some time in his rooms there on the ensuing day) I had a curious
interview with Mr. Faringfield.

While in the town one day, I had stopped as usual to see my mother.
Just as I was about to remount my horse, Mr. Faringfield appeared at
his garden gate. Beckoning me to him, he led the way into the garden,
and did not stop until we were behind a fir-tree, where we could not
be seen from the house.

"Tell me the truth," said he abruptly, his eyes fixed piercingly upon
mine, "how Tom met his death."

After a moment's confusion, I answered:

"I can add nothing to what has been told you, sir."

He looked at me awhile in silence; then said, with a sorrowful frown:

"I make no doubt you are tongue-tied by a compact. But you need not
fear me. The British authorities are not to be moved by any complaint
of mine. My object is not to procure satisfaction for my son's death.
I merely wish to know whether he took it upon himself to revenge our
calamities; and whether that was not the true cause of his death."

"Why, sir," I said awkwardly, as he still held me in a searching gaze
that seemed to make speech imperative, "how should you think that?"

"From several things. In the first place, I know Tom was a lad of
mettle. The account of the supposed attack that night, has it that
Falconer was in your party; he was one of those who returned with you.
What would Tom have been doing in Falconer's society, when not under
orders, after what had occurred? Other people, who know nothing of
that occurrence, would see nothing strange in their being together.
But I would swear the boy was not so lost to honourable feeling as to
have been Falconer's companion after what had taken place here."

"'Twas no loss of honourable feeling that made him Falconer's
companion!" said I, impulsively.

"Then," cried he, quickly, with eagerness in his voice, "'twas to
fight Falconer?"

"I didn't say that."

"Thank God, then, if he had to die, 'twas not as that man's friend,
but his antagonist! My poor, brave Tom! My noble boy! Oh, would I had
known him better while he lived!"

"He was all that is chivalrous and true, sir."

"I wanted only this assurance. I felt it in my heart. Don't fear my
betraying you; I understand how these affairs have to be managed at
such times. Alas, if I had but known in time to prevent! Well, well,
'tis too late now. But there is one person I must confide this
to--Philip."

"But I haven't told you anything, sir."

"Quite true; and therefore what I shall confide to Philip will not be
of your telling. He will be silent, too. We shall make no disclosures.
Falconer shall receive his punishment in another manner."

"He shall, sir," said I, with a positiveness which, in his feeling of
sorrow, and yet relief, to know that Tom had died as champion of the
family honour, escaped his notice. I thereupon took my leave.

As I afterward came to know, he sent Philip an account of the whole
lamentable affair, from Ned's reappearance to Tom's death; it was
written in a cipher agreed upon between the two, and 'twas carried by
Bill Meadows. Mr. Faringfield deemed it better that Philip should know
the whole truth from his relation, than learn of Madge's departure,
and Tom's fate, from other accounts, which must soon reach his ears in
any case.

I know not exactly how many days later it was, that, having a free
evening in the town, I went to the Faringfield house in hope of
bearing some cheer with me. But 'twas in vain. Mrs. Faringfield was
keeping her chamber, and requiring Fanny's attendance. Mr. Faringfield
sat in a painful reverie, before the parlour fire; scarce looked up
when I entered; and seemed to find the lively spirits I brought in
from the cold outer world, a jarring note upon his mood. He had not
ordered candles: the firelight was more congenial to his meditations.
Mr. Cornelius sat in a dark corner of the room, lending his silent
sympathy, and perhaps a fitting word now and then, to the merchant's
reflections.

Old Noah, the only servant I saw, reflected in his black face the
sorrow that had fallen on the home, and stepped with the tread of a
ghost. I soon took my leave, having so far failed to carry any
brightness into the stricken house, that I came away filled with a
sadness akin to its own. I walked forward aimlessly through the wintry
dusk, thinking life all sorrow, the world all gloom.

Suddenly the sound of laughter struck my ears. Could there indeed be
mirth anywhere--nay, so near at hand--while such woe dwelt in the
house I had left? The merriment seemed a violence, a sacrilege, an
insult. I looked angrily at the place whence the noise proceeded.
'Twas from the parlour of the King's Arms tavern--for, in my doleful
ponderings, my feet had carried me, scarce consciously, so far from
Queen Street. I peered in through the lighted window. A number of
officers were drinking, after dinner, at a large table, and 'twas the
noise of their boisterous gaiety that my unhappy feelings had so
swiftly resented.

While the merry fellows dipped their punch from the great bowl
steaming in the centre of the table, and laughed uproariously at the
story one was telling, I beheld in sharp contrast this jocund scene
and the sad one I had so recently looked upon. And, coming to observe
particulars, I suddenly noticed that the cause of all this laughter,
himself smiling in appreciation of his own story as he told it, his
face the picture of well-bred light-hearted mirth, was Captain
Falconer. And he was the cause of the other scene, the sorrow that
abode in the house I loved! The thought turned me to fire. I uttered a
curse, and strode into the tavern; rudely flung open the parlour door,
and stood in the presence of the laughing officers.

Falconer himself was the first to recognise me, though all had turned
to see who made so violent an entrance.

"Why, Russell," cried he, showing not a whit of ill-humour at the
interruption to his story, "this is a pleasure, by George! I haven't
seen you in weeks. Find a place, and dive into the punch. Ensign
Russell, gentlemen--if any of you haven't the honour already--and my
very good friend, too!"

"Ensign Russell," I assented, "but not your friend, Captain Falconer.
I desire no friends of your breed; and I came in here for the purpose
of telling you so, damn you!"

Falconer's companions were amazed, of course; and some of them looked
resentful and outraged, on his behalf. But the captain himself, with
very little show of astonishment, continued his friendly smile to me.

"Well acted, Russell," said he, in a tone so pleasant I had to tighten
my grip upon my resolution. "On my conscience, anybody who didn't know
us would never see your joke."

"Nor would anybody who did know us," I retorted. "If an affront before
all this company, purposely offered, be a joke, then laugh at this
one. But a man of spirit would take it otherwise."

"Sure the fellow means to insult you, Jack," said one of the officers
to Falconer.

"Thank you," said I to the officer.

"Why, Bert," said the captain, quickly, "you must be under some
delusion. Have you been drinking too much?"

"Not a drop," I replied. "I needn't be drunk, to know a scoundrel.
Come, sir, will you soon take offence? How far must I go?"

"By all that's holy, Jack," cried one of his friends, "if you don't
knock him down, I shall!"

"Ay, he ought to have his throat slit!" called out another.

"Nay, nay!" said Falconer, stopping with a gesture a general rising
from the table. "There is some mistake here. I will talk with the
gentleman alone. After you, sir." And, having approached me, he waited
with great civility, for me to precede him out of the door. I accepted
promptly, being in no mood to waste time in a contest of politeness.

"Now, lad, what in the name of heaven--" he began, in the most gentle,
indulgent manner, as we stood alone in the passage.

"For God's sake," I blurted irritably, "be like your countrymen in
there: be sneering, resentful, supercilious! Don't be so cursed
amiable--don't make it so hard for me to do this!"

"I supercilious! And to thee, lad!" he replied, with a reproachful
smile.

"Show your inward self, then. I know how selfish you are, how
unscrupulous! You like people for their good company, and their
admiration of you, their attachment to you. But you would trample over
any one, without a qualm, to get at your own pleasure or enrichment,
or to gratify your vanity."

He meditated for a moment upon my words. Then he said, good-naturedly:

"Why, you hit me off to perfection, I think. And yet, my liking for
some people is real, too. I would do much for those I like--if it cost
not too many pains, and required no sacrifice of pleasure. For you,
indeed, I would do a great deal, upon my honour!"

"Then do this," quoth I, fighting against the ingratiating charm he
exercised. "Grant me a meeting--swords or pistols, I don't care
which--and the sooner the better."

"But why? At least I may know the cause."

"The blight you have brought on those I love--but that's a cause must
be kept secret between us."

"Must I fight twice on the same score, then?"

"Why not? You fared well enough the first time. Tom fought on his
family's behalf. I fight on behalf of my friend--Captain Winwood.
Besides, haven't I given you cause to-night, before your friends in
there? If I was in the wrong there, so much the greater my offence.
Come--will you take up the quarrel as it is? Or must I give new
provocation?"

He sighed like a man who finds himself drawn into a business he would
have considerately avoided.

"Well, well," said he, "I can refuse you nothing. We can manage the
affair as we did the other, I fancy. It must be a secret, of
course--even from my friends in there. I shall tell them we have
settled our difference, and let them imagine what they please to. I'll
send some one to you--that arrangement will give you the choice of
weapons."

"'Tis indifferent to me."

"To me also. But I prefer you should have that privilege. I entreat
you will choose the weapons you are best at."

"Thank you. I shall expect to hear from you, then. Good-night!"

"Good-night! 'Tis a foggy evening. I wish you might come in and warm
yourself with a glass before you go; but of course--well, good-night!"

I went out into the damp darkness, thanking heaven the matter was
settled beyond undoing; and marvelling that exceptional, favoured
people should exist, who, thanks to some happy combination of
superficial graces, remain irresistibly likable despite all exposure
of the selfish vices they possess at heart.

But if my prospective opponent was one who could not be faced
antagonistically without a severe effort, the second whom he chose was
one against whose side I could fight with the utmost readiness, thanks
to the irritating power he possessed upon me. He was Lieutenant Chubb,
whom I had worsted in the affair to which I have alluded earlier,
which grew out of his assumption of superiority to us who were of
American birth. I had subjected this cock to such deference in my
presence, that he now rejoiced at what promised to be my defeat, and
his revenge by proxy, so great reliance he placed upon Captain
Falconer's skill with either sword or pistol. I chose the latter
weapon, however, without much perturbation, inwardly resolved that the
gloating Chubb should so far fail of his triumph, as to suffer a
second humiliation in the defeat of his principal. For my own second,
Lieutenant Berrian, of our brigade, did me the honour to go out with
me. A young New York surgeon, Doctor Williams, obliged us by assuming
the risk which it would have been too much to ask Doctor McLaughlin to
undertake a second time. At my desire, the place and hour set were
those at which Tom Faringfield had met his death. I felt that the
memory of his dying face would be strongest, there and then, to make
my arm and sight quick and sure.

A thaw had carried away much of the snow, and hence we had it not as
light as it had been for Tom's duel; although the moon made our
outlines and features perfectly distinct as we assembled in the
hollow, and it would make our pistol-barrels shine brightly enough
when the time came, as I ascertained by taking aim at an imaginary
mark.

Falconer and I stood each alone, while the seconds stepped off the
paces and the surgeon lighted a small lantern which might enable him
to throw, upon a possible wound, rays more to the purpose than the
moon afforded. I was less agitated, I think, than the doctor himself,
who was new to such an affair. I kept my mind upon the change wrought
in the Faringfield household, upon the fate of Tom, upon what I
imagined would be Philip's feelings; and I had a thought, too, for the
disappointment of my old enemy Chubb if I could cap the firing signal
with a shot the fraction of a second before my antagonist could. We
were to stand with our backs toward each other, at the full distance,
and, upon the word, might turn and fire as soon as possible. To be the
first in wheeling round upon a heel, and covering the foe, was my one
concern, and, as I took my place, I dismissed all else from my mind,
to devote my entire self, bodily and mental, to that one series of
movements: all else but one single impression, and that was of
malicious exultation upon the face of Chubb.

"You'll smile on t'other side of your face in a minute," thought I,
pressing my teeth together.

I was giving my hand its final adjustment to the pistol, when suddenly
a man dashed out of the covert at one side of the hollow, and ran
toward us, calling out in a gruff voice:

"Hold on a minute. Here's su'thin' fur you, Ensign Russell."

We had all turned at the first sound of the man's tread, fearing we
had been spied upon and discovered. But I now knew there was no danger
of that kind, for the voice belonged to old Bill Meadows.

"What do you mean?" I asked sharply, annoyed at the interruption.

"Nothin'. Read this here. I've follered yuh all evenin', thinkin' to
ketch yuh alone. I gev my word to get it to yuh, fust thing; an' fur
my own sake, I tried to do it unbeknownst. But now I must do it anyhow
I ken. So take it, an' my compliments, an' I trust yuh to keep mum an'
ask no questions, an' furget 'twas me brung it. And I'll keep a shet
mouth about these here goings on. Only read it now, fur God's sake."

He had handed me a sealed letter. My curiosity being much excited, I
turned to Falconer, and said:

"Will you grant me permission? 'Twill take but a moment."

"Certainly," said he.

"Ay," added Chubb, against all the etiquette of the situation, "it can
be allowed, as you're not like to read any more letters."

I tore it open, disdaining to reply in words to a gratuitous taunt I
could soon answer by deed. The doctor having handed me his lantern, I
held it in one hand, the letter in the other. The writing was that of
Philip Winwood, and the letter read as follows:

    "DEAR BERT:--I have learned what sad things have befallen. You
    will easily guess my informant; but I know you will not use your
    knowledge of my communication therewith, to the detriment
    thereof. And I am sure that, since I ask it, you will not betray
    (or, by any act or disclosure, imperil or hamper) the messenger
    who brings this at risk of his life; for the matter is a private
    one.

    "Pondering upon all that has occurred, I am put in a fear of your
    forgetting whose right it is to avenge it, and of your taking
    that duty to yourself, which belongs by every consideration to
    me. This is to beg, therefore, that you will not forestall me;
    that while I live you will leave this matter to me, at whatsoever
    cost though it be to your pride and your impatience. Dear Bert, I
    enjoin you, do not usurp my prerogative. By all the ties between
    us, past and to come, I demand this of you. _The man is mine to
    kill_. Let him wait my time, and I shall be the more, what I long
    have been, Ever thine,

    "PHILIP."

I thought over it for a full minute. He asked of me a grievous
disappointment; nay, something of a humiliation, too, so highly had I
carried myself, so triumphant had my enemy Chubb become in
anticipation, so derisive would he be in case of my withdrawal.

If I receded, Chubb would have ground to think the message a device to
get me out of a peril at the last moment, after I had pretended to
face it so intrepidly thereunto. For I could not say what my letter
contained, or who it was from, without betraying Meadows and perhaps
Mr. Faringfield, which both Philip's injunction and my own will
prohibited my doing. Thus, I hesitated awhile before yielding to
Philip what he claimed so rightly as his own. But I am glad I had the
courage to face Chubb's probable suspicions and possible contempt.

"Gentlemen," said I, folding up the letter for concealment and
preservation, "I am very sorry to have brought you out here for
nothing. I must make some other kind of reparation to you, Captain
Falconer. I can't fight you."

There was a moment's pause; during which Lieutenant Chubb looked from
me to his principal, with a mirthful grin, as much as to say I was a
proven coward after all my swagger. But the captain merely replied:

"Oh, let the matter rest as it is, then. I'm sorry I had to disappoint
a lady, to come out here on a fool's errand, that's all."

He made that speech with intention, I'm sure, by way of revenge upon
me, though doubtless 'twas true enough; for he must have known how it
would sting a man who thought kindly of Madge Faringfield. It was the
first cutting thing I had ever heard him say; it showed that he was no
longer unwilling to antagonise me; it proved that he, too, could throw
off the gentleman when he chose: and it made him no longer difficult
for me to hate.



CHAPTER XVIII.

_Philip Comes at Last to London._


A human life will drone along uneventfully for years with scarce a
perceptible progress, retrogression, or change; and then suddenly,
with a few leaps, will cover more of alteration and event in a week
than it has passed through in a decade. So will the critical
occurrences of a day fill chapters, after those of a year have failed
to yield more material than will eke out a paragraph. Experience
proceeds by fits and starts. Only in fiction does a career run in an
unbroken line of adventures or memorable incidents.

The personal life of Philip Winwood, as distinguished from his
military career, which had no difference from that of other commanders
of rebel partisan horse, and which needs no record at my hands, was
marked by no conspicuous event from the night when he learned and
defeated Madge's plot, to the end of the war. The news of her
departure, and of Tom's death, came to him with a fresh shock, it is
true, but they only settled him deeper in the groove of sorrow, and in
the resolution to pay full retribution where it was due.

He had no pusillanimous notion of the unworthiness of revenge. He
believed retaliation, when complete and inflicted without cost or
injury to the giver, to be a most logical and fitting thing. But he
knew that revenge is a two-edged weapon, and that it must be wielded
carefully, so as not to cause self-damage. He required, too, that it
should be wielded in open and honourable manner; and in that manner he
was resolved to use it upon Captain Falconer. As for Madge, I believe
he forgave her from the first, holding her "more in sorrow than in
anger," and pitying rather than reproaching.

Well, he served throughout the war, keeping his sorrow to himself,
being known always for a quietly cheerful mien, giving and taking hard
blows, and always yielding way to others in the pressure for
promotion. Such was the state of affairs in the rebel army, that his
willingness to defer his claims for advancement, when there were
restless and ambitious spirits to be conciliated and so kept in the
service, was availed of for the sake of expediency. But he went not
without appreciation. On one occasion, when a discontented but useful
Pennsylvanian was pacified with a colonelcy, General Washington
remarked to Light Horse Harry Lee: "And yet you are but a major, and
Winwood remains a captain; but let me tell you, there is less honour
in the titles of general and colonel, as borne by many, than there is
in the mere names of Major Lee and Captain Winwood."

When Lee's troop was sent to participate in the Southern campaign,
Philip's accompanied it, and he had hard campaigning under Greene,
which continued against our Southernmost forces until long after the
time of the capitulation of Lord Cornwallis's army at Yorktown, to the
combined rebel and French armies under Washington. It happened that
our battalion, wherein I was promoted to a lieutenantcy shortly after
my abortive meeting with Captain Falconer near Kingsbridge, went South
by sea for the fighting there, being the only one of De Lancey's
battalions that left the vicinity of New York. We had bloody work
enough then to balance our idleness in the years we had covered
outposts above New York, and 'twas but a small fraction of our number
that came home alive at last. I never met Philip while we were both in
the South, nor saw him till the war was over.

Shiploads of our New York loyalists left, after Cornwallis's defeat at
Yorktown showed what the end was to be; some of them going to England
but many of them sailing to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, there to
begin afresh the toiling with the wilderness, and to build up new
English colonies in North America. Others contrived to make their way
by land to Canada, which thereby owes its English population mainly to
those who fled from the independent states rather than give up their
loyalty to the mother country. The government set up by the victorious
rebels had taken away the lands and homes of the loyalists, by acts of
attainder, and any who remained in the country did so at the risk of
life or liberty. What a time of sad leave-taking it was!--families
going forth poor to a strange land, who had lived rich in that of
their birth--what losses, what wrenches, what heart-rendings! And how
little compensation England could give them, notwithstanding all their
claims and petitions! Well, they would deserve little credit for their
loyalty if they had followed it without willingness to lose for it.

But my mother and I had possessed nothing to lose in America but our
house and ground, our money being in the English funds. Fortunately,
and thanks to our insignificance, we had been overlooked in the first
act of attainder, and, taking warning by that, my mother had
gratefully accepted Mr. Faringfield's offer to buy our home, for which
we had thereafter paid him rent. Thus we had nothing to confiscate,
when the war was over. As for Mr. Faringfield, he was on the
triumphant side of Independence, which he had supported with secret
contributions from the first; of course he was not to be held
accountable for the treason of his eldest son, and the open service of
poor Tom on the king's side.

My mother feared dreadful things when the victorious rebels should
take possession--imprisonment, trial for treason, and similar horrors;
and she was for sailing to England with the British army. But I flatly
refused to go, pretending I was no such coward, and that I would leave
when I was quite ready. I was selfish in this, of course; but I could
not bring myself to go so far from Fanny. Our union was still as
uncertain a possibility as ever. Only one thing was sure: she would
not leave her parents at present.

The close of the war did not bring Philip back to us at once. On that
day when, the last of the British vessels having gone down the bay,
with the last British soldier aboard, the strangely empty-looking town
took on a holiday humour, and General Washington rode in by the Bowery
lane, with a number of his officers, and a few war-worn troops to make
up a kind of procession of entry, and the stars and stripes were run
up at the Battery--on that day of sadness, humiliation, and
apprehension to those of us loyalists who had dared stay, I would have
felt like cheering with the crowd, had Philip been one of those who
entered. But he was still in the South, recovering from a bullet wound
in his shoulder.

My mother and I were thereafter the recipients of ominous looks, and
some uncomfortable hints and jeers, and our life was made constantly
unpleasant thereby. The sneers cast by one Major Wheeler upon us
loyalists, and upon our reasons for standing by the king, got me into
a duel with him at Weehawken, wherein I gave him the only wound he
ever received through his attachment to the cause of Independence.
Another such affair, which I had a short time afterward, near the
Bowery lane, and in which I shot a Captain Appleby's ear off, was
attributed by my mother to the same cause; but the real reason was
that the fellow had uttered an atrocious slander of Philip Winwood in
connection with the departure of Phil's wife. This was but one of the
many lies, on both sides of the ocean, that moved me at last to
attempt a true account of my friend's domestic trouble.

My mother foresaw my continual engagement in such affairs if we
remained in a place where we were subject to constant offence, and
declared she would become distracted unless we removed ourselves. I
resisted until she vowed she would go alone, if I drove her to that.
And then I yielded, with a heart enveloped in a dark mist as to the
outcome. Well, I thought with a sigh, I can always write to Fanny, and
some day I shall come back for her.

It was now Summer. One evening, I sat upon our front step, in a kind
of torpid state of mind through my refusal to contemplate the dismal
future. My eye turned listlessly down the street. The only moving
figure in it was that of a slender man approaching on the further side
of the way. He carried two valises, one with each hand, and leaned a
little forward as he strode, as if weary. Instantly I thought of years
ago, and another figure coming up that street, with both hands laden,
and walking in a manner of fatigue. I rose, gazed with a fast-beating
heart at the man coming nearer at every step, stifled a cry that
turned into a sob, and ran across the street. He saw me, stopped, set
down his burdens, and waited for me, with a tired, kind smile. I could
not speak aloud, but threw my arms around him, and buried my clouded
eyes upon his shoulder, whispering: "Phil! 'Tis you!"

"Ay," said he, "back at last. I thought I'd walk up from the boat just
as I did that first day I came to New York."

"And just as then," said I, having raised my face and released him, "I
was on the step yonder, and saw you coming, and noticed that you
carried baggage in each hand, and that you walked as if you were
tired."

"I am tired," said he, "but I walk as my wounds let me."

"But there's no cat this time," said I, attempting a smile.

"No, there's no cat," he replied. "And no--"

His eye turned toward the Faringfield garden gate, and he broke off
with the question: "How are they? and your mother?"

I told him what I could, as I picked up one of his valises and
accompanied him across the street, thinking how I had done a similar
office on the former occasion, and of the pretty girl that had made
the scene so bright to both him and me. Alas, there was no pretty girl
standing at the gate, beside her proud and stately parents, and her
open-eyed little brother, to receive us. I remembered how Ned and
Fanny had come upon the scene, so that for a moment the whole family
had stood together at the gateway.

"'Tis changed, isn't it?" said Philip, quietly, reading my thoughts as
we passed down the garden walk, upon which way of entrance we had
tacitly agreed in preference to the front door. "I can see the big dog
walking ahead of me, and hear the kitten purring in the basket, and
feel little Tom's soft hand, and see at the other side of me--well,
'tis the way of the world, Bert!"

He had the same boyish look; notwithstanding his face was longer and
more careworn, and his hair was a little sprinkled with gray though he
was but thirty-one.

I left him on the rear veranda, when old Noah had opened the hall door
and shouted a hysterical "Lor' bress me!--it's Massa Phil!" after a
moment's blinking inspection to make sure. From the cheered look on
Mr. Faringfield's face that evening, and the revived lustre in Mrs.
Faringfield's eyes, I could guess what welcome Philip had received
from the stricken pair.

I told him the next day, in our garden, how matters stood with Fanny
and me, and that Captain Falconer had sailed for England with the
royal army.

"I don't think Mr. Faringfield will hold out for ever," said Philip,
alluding to my hopes of Fanny. "'Faith, he ought to welcome the
certainty of happiness for at least one of his children. Maybe I can
put the matter to him in that light."

"But Fanny herself will not leave, as long as she thinks they need
her."

"Why, then, he must use his parental authority, and bid her come to
you. He's not the man who would have his child wait upon his death for
happiness. We must use the hope of grandchildren as a means of
argument. For you'll come back to America at last, no doubt, when old
hurts are forgot. And if you can come with a houseful of
youngsters--egad, I shall paint a picture to his mind, will not let
him rest till he sees it in way of accomplishment! Go to England
without fear, man; and trust me to bring things to pass before you've
been long away."

"But you? Surely--"

"Oh, I shall follow you soon. I have matters of my own to look to,
over there."

He did not confide to me, at this time, his thoughts and intentions
regarding his wife (of whom we were then ignorant whether she was dead
or alive, but supposed she must be somewhere in London), or regarding
Captain Falconer; but I knew that it was to her future, and to his
settlement with Falconer, that he alluded. I guessed then, and
ascertained subsequently, that Phil gave Fanny also encouragement to
believe all should come right between her and me, and yet not to the
further sorrow of her parents. I divined it at the time, from the
hopeful manner in which she supported our departure, both in the busy
days preceding it, and in the hour of leave-taking. True, she broke
down on the ship, whither Philip and Cornelius had brought her to bid
us farewell; and she wept bitter tears on my mother's breast, which I
knew were meant chiefly for me. But at last she presented a brave face
for me to kiss, though 'twas rather a cold, limp hand I pressed as she
started down the ladder for the boat where Cornelius awaited.

"Good-bye, lad," said Phil, with the old smile, which had survived all
his toils and hurts and sorrows; "I shall see you in London next, I
hope. And trust me--about Fanny."

"Thank you, dear Phil, and God bless you! Always working for other
people's happiness, when your own--well, good-bye!"

He had made no request as to my course in the possibility of my
meeting Madge in London; but he knew that _I_ knew what he would wish,
and I was glad he had not thought necessary to tell me.

Philip and Cornelius rowed the boat back, Fanny waving her
handkerchief. We saw them land, and stand upon the wharf to watch our
ship weigh anchor. My mother would wave her handkerchief a moment, and
then apply it to her eyes, and then give it another little toss, and
then her eyes another touch. I stood beside her, leaning upon the
gunwale, with a lump in my throat. Suddenly I realised we were under
way. We continued to exchange farewell motions with the three upon the
wharf. How small Fanny looked! how slender was Philip! how the water
widened every instant between us and them! how long a time must pass
ere we should see them again! A kind of sudden consternation was upon
my mother's face, and in my heart, at the thought. 'Twas a
foretaste--indeed it might prove the actuality--of eternal separation.
Our three friends were at last hidden from our sight, and in the
despondency of that moment I thought what fools men are, to travel
about the world, and not cling all their days to the people, and the
places, that they love.

       *       *       *       *       *

We lodged at first in Surrey Street, upon our arrival in London; but
when October came, and we had a preliminary taste of dirty fog, my
mother vowed she couldn't endure the damp climate and thick sky of the
town; and so we moved out to Hampstead, where we furnished a small
cottage, and contrived with economy to live upon the income of our
invested principal, which was now swelled by money we had received
from Mr. Faringfield for our home in New York. The proceeds of the
sale of our furniture there had paid our passage, and given us a start
in our new abode. Meanwhile, as an American loyalist who had suffered
by the war, and as a former servant of the king; though I had no claim
for a money indemnity, such as were presented on behalf of many; I was
lucky enough, through Mr. De Lancey's offices, to obtain a small
clerkship in the custom-house. And so we lived uneventfully, in hope
of the day when Phil should come to us, and of that when I might go
and bring back Fanny.

The letters from Philip and Fanny informed us merely of the continued
health, and the revived cheerfulness, of Mr. and Mrs. Faringfield; and
presently of the good fortune of Mr. Cornelius in being chosen to fill
two pulpits in small towns sufficiently near New York to permit his
residence in Queen Street. Mr. Faringfield and Philip were occupied in
setting the former's business upon its feet again, and something like
the old routine had been resumed in the bereaved house. I knew that
all this was due to Phil's imperceptible work. At last there came
great news: Philip was to follow his letter to England, in the next
Bristol vessel after the one that carried it. 'Twas but a brief note
in which he told us this. "There is some news," wrote he, "but I will
save it for word of mouth. Be prepared for a surprise that I shall
bring."

With what expectation we awaited his coming, what conjectures we made
regarding the promised surprise as we talked the news over every
evening in the little parlour where we dined on my return from the
city, I leave my reader to imagine. I had my secret notion that it
concerned Fanny and me.

At the earliest time when a ship might be expected to follow the one
by which the letter came, I began to call every evening, ere starting
for Hampstead, at the inn where the Bristol coaches arrived. Many a
long wait I had in vain when a coach happened to be late. I grew so
accustomed to the disappointment of seeing no familiar figure among
the passengers alighting, that sometimes I felt as if Phil's letter
were a delusion and he never would appear.

But one evening as I stared as usual with the crowd in the coach yard,
and had watched three portly strangers already emerge from the open
door to the steps, and was prepared for the accustomed sinking of my
heart, what did that heart do but give a great bound so as almost to
choke me! There he was in the doorway, the same old Phil, with the
same kindly face. I rushed forward. Before I reached him, he had
turned around toward the inside of the coach, as if he would help some
one out after him. "Some decrepit fellow traveller," thought I, and
looked up indifferently to see what sort of person it might be: and
there, as I live, stepping out from the coach, and taking his offered
hand, was Fanny!

I was at her other side before either of them knew it, holding up my
hand likewise. They glanced at me in the same instant; and Phil's glad
smile came as the accompaniment to Fanny's joyous little cry. I had an
arm around each in a moment; and we created some proper indignation
for a short space by blocking up the way from the stage-coach.

"Come!" I cried. "We'll take a hackney-coach! How happy mother will
be!--But no, you must be hungry. Will you eat here first?--a cup of
coffee? a glass of wine?"

But they insisted upon waiting till we got to Hampstead; and, scarce
knowing what I was about, yet accomplishing wonders in my excitement,
I had a coach ready, and their trunks and bags transferred, and all of
us in the coach, before I stopped to breathe. And before I could
breathe twice, it seemed, we were rolling over the stones Northward.

"Sure it's a dream!" said I. "To think of it! Fanny in London!"

"My father would have it so," said she, demurely.

"Ay," added Phil, "and she's forbidden to go back to New York till she
takes you with her. 'Faith, man, am I not a prophet?"

"You're more than a prophet; you're a providence," I cried. "'Tis your
doing!"

"Nonsense. 'Tis Mr. Faringfield's. And that implacable man, not
content with forcing an uncongenial marriage upon this helpless
damsel, requires that you immediately resign your high post in the
king's service, and live upon the pittance he settles upon you as his
daughter's husband."

"'Tis too generous. I can't accept."

"You must, Bert," put in Fanny, "or else you can't have me. 'Tis one
of papa's conditions."

"But," Phil went on, "in order that this unhappy child may become used
to the horrible idea of this marriage by degrees, she is to live with
your mother a few months while I carry you off on a trip for my
benefit and pleasure: and that's one of my conditions: for it wouldn't
do for you to go travelling about the country after you were married,
leaving your wife at home, and Fanny abominates travelling. But as
soon as you and I have seen a very little of this part of the world,
you're to be married and live happy ever after."

We had a memorable evening in our little parlour that night. 'Twas
like being home again, my mother said--thereby admitting inferentially
the homesickness she had refused to confess directly. The chief piece
of personal news the visitors brought was that the Rev. Mr. Cornelius
had taken a wife, and moved into our old house, which 'twas pleasant
to know was in such friendly hands; and that the couple considered it
their particular mission to enliven the hours of Mr. and Mrs.
Faringfield, with whom they spent half their time.

Philip's first month in England was spent in exploring London,
sometimes with me, sometimes alone, for 'tis needless to say in whose
society I chose to pass much of my time. What sights he saw; what
unlikely corners he sought out because some poet had been born, or
died, or drunk wine there; what streets he roamed: I am sure I never
could tell. I know that all the time he kept eyes alert for a certain
face, ears keen for a certain name; but neither in the streets, nor at
the shops, nor in the parks, nor at the play, did he catch a glimpse
of Margaret; nor in the coffee-house, or tavern, or gaming-place, or
in the region of the clubs, did he hear a chance mention of the name
of Falconer. And so, presently, we set about making the tour he had
spoken of.

There was a poor family of Long Island loyalists named Doughty, that
had settled in the seacoast town of Hastings in Sussex, in order that
they might follow the fisheries, which had been their means of
livelihood at home. Considering that a short residence in the more
mild and sunny climate of the Channel might be a pleasant change for
my mother, and not disagreeable to Fanny, we arranged that, during the
absence of Phil and me, we should close our cottage, and the ladies
should board with these worthy though humble people, who would afford
them all needful masculine protection. Having seen them comfortably
established, we set forth upon our travels.

We visited the principal towns and historic places of England and
Scotland, Philip having a particular interest in Northamptonshire,
where his father's line sprang from (Sir Ralph Winwood having been a
worthy of some eminence in the reigns of Elizabeth and James),[10] and
in Edinburgh, the native place of his mother. Cathedrals, churches,
universities, castles, tombs of great folk, battle-fields--'twould
fill a book to describe all the things and places we saw; most of
which Phil knew more about than the people did who dwelt by them. From
England we crossed to France, spent a fortnight in Paris, went to
Rheims, thence to Strasburg, thence to Frankfort; came down the Rhine,
and passed through parts of Belgium and Holland before taking vessel
at Amsterdam for London. "I must leave Italy, the other German states,
and the rest till another time," said Philip. It seemed as if we had
been gone years instead of months, when at last we were all home again
in our cottage at Hampstead.

After my marriage, though Mr. Faringfield's handsome settlement would
have enabled Fanny and me to live far more pretentiously, we were
content to remain in the Hampstead cottage. Fanny would not hear to
our living under a separate roof from that of my mother, whose
constant society she had come to regard as necessary to her happiness.

Philip now arranged to pursue the study of architecture in the office
of a practitioner of that art; and he gave his leisure hours to the
improving of his knowledge of London. He made acquaintances; passed
much time in the Pall Mall taverns; and was able to pilot me about the
town, and introduce me to many agreeable habitués of the
coffee-houses, as if he were the elder resident of London, and I were
the newcomer. And so we arrived at the Spring of 1786, and a momentous
event.



CHAPTER XIX.

_We Meet a Play-actress There._


It was Philip's custom, at this time, to attend first nights at the
playhouses, as well from a love of the theatre as from the possibility
that he might thus come upon Captain Falconer. He always desired my
company, which I was the readier to grant for that I should recognise
the captain in any assemblage, and could point him out to Phil, who
had never seen him. We took my mother and Fanny excepting when they
preferred to stay at home, which was the case on a certain evening in
this Spring of 1786, when we went to Drury Lane to witness the
reappearance of a Miss Warren who had been practising her art the
previous three years in the provinces. This long absence from London
had begun before my mother and I arrived there, and consequently
Philip and I had that evening the pleasurable anticipation of seeing
upon the stage a much-praised face that was quite new to us.

[Illustration: "IT WAS PHILIP'S CUSTOM, AT THIS TIME, TO ATTEND FIRST
NIGHTS AT THE PLAYHOUSES."]

There was the usual noisy throng of coaches, chairs, people afoot,
lackeys, chair-men, boys, and such, in front of the playhouse when we
arrived, and though we scanned all faces on whom the light fell, we
had our wonted disappointment regarding that of Captain Falconer. We
made our way to the pit, and passed the time till the bell and the
chorus "Hats off!" signalled the rising of the green curtain, in
watching the chattering assemblage that was every moment swelled from
the doors; but neither among the lace-ruffled bucks and macaronis who
chaffed with the painted and powdered ladies in the boxes, nor among
those dashing gentry who ogled the same towering-haired ladies from
the benches around us in the pit, did I perceive the elegant and easy
captain. We therefore fell back upon the pleasure to be expected from
the play itself, and when the curtain rose, I, for one, was resigned
to the absence of him we had come partly in quest of.

No sooner had Miss Warren come upon the stage, in her favourite part
of Fanny in "The Clandestine Marriage," revived for the occasion, than
I knew her as Madge Faringfield. I bent forward, with staring eyes and
gaping mouth; if I uttered any exclamation it was drowned in the sound
of the hand-clapping that greeted her. While she curtseyed and
pleasantly smiled, in response to this welcome, I turned abruptly to
Phil, my eyes betokening my recognition. He nodded, without a word or
any other movement, and continued to look at her, his face wearing a
half-smiling expression of gentle gladness.

I knew, from my old acquaintance with him, that he was under so great
emotion that he dared not speak. It was, indeed, a cessation of secret
anxiety to him, a joy such as only a constant lover can understand, to
know that she was alive, well, with means of livelihood, and beautiful
as ever. Though she was now thirty-one, she looked, on the stage, not
a day older than upon that sad night when he had thrown her from him,
six years and more before--nay, than upon that day well-nigh eleven
years before, when he had bade her farewell to go upon his first
campaign. She was still as slender, still had the same girlish air and
manner.

Till the curtain fell upon the act, we sat without audible remark,
delighting our eyes with her looks, our ears with her voice, our
hearts (and paining them at the same time) with the memories her every
movement, every accent, called up.

"How shall we see her?" were Phil's first words at the end of the act.

"We may be allowed to send our names, and see her in the greenroom,"
said I. "Or perhaps you know somebody who can take us there without
any preliminaries."

"Nay," returned Philip, after a moment's thought, "there will be other
people there. I shouldn't like strangers to see--you understand. We
shall wait till the play is over, and then go to the door where the
players come out. 'Twill take her some time to dress for going
home--we can't miss her that way."

I sympathised with his feelings against making their meeting a scene
for the amusement of frivolous lookers-on, and we waited patiently
enough. Neither of us could have told, when the play was over, what
was the story it presented. Even Madge's speeches we heard with less
sense of their meaning than emotion at the sound of her voice. If this
was the case with me, how much more so, as I could see by side-glances
at his face, was it with Philip! Between the acts, we had little use
for conversation. One of our thoughts, though neither uttered it, was
that, despite the reputation that play-actresses generally bore, a
woman _could_ live virtuously by the profession, and in it, and that
several women since the famous Mrs. Bracegirdle were allowed to have
done so. 'Twas only necessary to look at our Madge, to turn the
possibility in her case into certainty.

When at last the play was ended, we forced our way through the
departing crowd so as to arrive almost with the first upon the scene
of waiting footmen, shouting drivers, turbulent chair-men, clamorous
boys with dim lanterns or flaming torches, and such attendants upon
the nightly emptying of a playhouse. Through this crush we fought our
way, hastened around into a darker street, comparatively quiet and
deserted, and found a door with a feeble lamp over it, which, as a
surly old fellow within told us, served as stage entrance to the
theatre. We crossed the dirty street, and took up our station in the
shadow opposite the door; whence a few actors not required in the
final scene, or not having to make much alteration of attire for the
street, were already emerging, bent first, I suppose, for one or other
of the many taverns or coffee-houses about Covent Garden near at hand.

While we were waiting, two chair-men came with their vehicle and set
it down at one side of the door, and a few boys and women gathered in
the hope of obtaining sixpence by some service of which a player might
perchance be in need on issuing forth. And presently a coach appeared
at the corner of the street, and stopped there, whereupon a gentleman
got out of it, gave the driver and footman some commands, and while
the conveyance remained where it was, approached alone, at a blithe
gait, and took post near us, though more in the light shed by the lamp
over the stage door.

"Gad's life!" I exclaimed, in a whisper.

"What is it?" asked Phil, in a similar voice.

"Falconer!" I replied, ere I had thought.

Philip gazed at the newcomer, who was heedless of our presence. Phil
seemed about to stride forward to him, but reconsidered, and whispered
to me, in a strange tone:

"What can he be doing here, where _she_--? You are sure that's the
man?"

"Yes--but not now--'tis not the place--we came for another purpose--"

"I know--but if I lose him!"

"No fear of that. I'll keep track of him--learn where he's to be
found--while you meet her."

"But if he--if she--"

"Wait and see. His being here, may not in any way concern her. Mere
coincidence, no doubt."

"I hope to God it is!" whispered Phil, though his voice quivered.
"Nay, I'll believe it is, too, till I see otherwise."

"Good! And when I learn his haunts, as I shall before I sleep, you may
find him at any time."

And so we continued to wait, keeping in the darkness, so that the
captain, even if he had deigned to be curious, could not have made out
our faces from where he stood. Philip watched him keenly, to stamp his
features upon memory, as well as they could be observed in the yellow
light of the sickly lamp; but yet, every few moments Phil cast an
eager glance at the door. I grant I was less confident that Falconer's
presence was mere coincidence, than I had appeared, and I was in a
tremble of apprehension for what Madge's coming might reveal.

The captain, who was very finely dressed, and, like us, carried a cane
but no sword, allowed impatience to show upon his usually serene
countenance: evidently he was unused to waiting in such a place, and I
wondered why he did not make free of the greenroom instead of doing
so. But he composed himself to patience as with a long breath, and
fell to humming softly a gay French air the while he stood leaning
motionlessly, in an odd but graceful attitude, upon his slender cane.
Sometimes he glanced back toward the waiting coach, and then, without
change of position as to his body, returned his gaze to the door.

Two or three false alarms were occasioned him, and us, by the coming
forth of ladies who proved, as soon as the light struck them, to be
other than the person we awaited. But at last she appeared, looking
her years and cares a little more than upon the stage, but still
beautiful and girlish. She was followed by a young waiting-woman; but
before we had time to note this, or to step out of the shadow, we saw
Captain Falconer bound across the way, seize her hand, and bend very
gallantly to kiss it.

So, then, it was for her he had waited: such was the bitter thought of
Phil and me; and how our hearts sickened at it, may be imagined when I
say that his hope and mine, though unexpressed, had been to find her
penitent and hence worthy of all forgiveness, in which case she would
not have renewed even acquaintance with this captain. And there he
was, kissing her hand!

But ere either of us could put our thought into speech, our sunken
hearts were suddenly revived, by Madge's conduct.

She drew her hand instantly away, and as soon as she saw who it was
that had seized it, she took on a look of extreme annoyance and anger,
and would have hastened past him, but that he stood right in her way.

"You again!" she said. "Has my absence been for nothing, then?"

"Had you stayed from London twice three years, you would have found me
the same, madam," he replied.

"Then I must leave London again, that's all," said she.

"It shall be with me, then," said he. "My coach is waiting yonder."

"And my chair is waiting here," said she, snatching an opportunity to
pass him and to step into the sedan, of which the door was invitingly
open. It was not her chair, but one that stood in solicitation of some
passenger from the stage door; as was now shown by one of the
chair-men asking her for directions. She bade her maid hire a boy with
a light, and lead the way afoot; and told the chair-men to follow the
maid. The chair door being then closed, and the men lifting their
burden, her orders were carried out.

Neither Philip nor I had yet thought it opportune to appear from our
concealment, and now he whispered that, for the avoidance of a scene
before spectators, it would be best for him to follow the chair, and
accost her at her own door. I should watch Falconer to his abode, and
each of us should eventually go home independently of the other. Our
relief to find that the English captain's presence was against Madge's
will, needed no verbal expression; it was sufficiently manifest
otherwise.

Before Philip moved out to take his place behind the little
procession, Falconer, after a moment's thought, walked rapidly past to
his coach, and giving the driver and footman brief orders, stepped
into it. 'Twas now time for both Phil and me to be in motion, and we
went down the way together. The chair passed the coach, which
immediately fell in behind it, the horses proceeding at a walk.

"He intends to follow her," said I.

"Then we shall follow both," said Phil, "and await events. 'Tis no use
forcing a scene in this neighbourhood."

So Philip's quest and mine lay together, and we proceeded along the
footway, a little to the rear of the coach, which in turn was a little
to the rear of the chair. Passing the side of Drury Lane Theatre, the
procession soon turned into Bow Street, and leaving Covent Garden
Theatre behind, presently resumed a Southwestward course, deflecting
at St. Martin's Lane so as to come at last into Gerrard Street, and
turning thence Northward into Dean Street. Here the maid led the
chair-men along the West side of the way; but Philip and I kept the
East side. At last the girl stopped before a door with a pillared
porch, and the carriers set down the chair.

Instantly Captain Falconer's footman leaped from the box of the coach,
and, while the maid was at the chair door to help her mistress, dashed
into the porch and stood so as to prevent any one's reaching the door
of the house. The captain himself, springing out of the coach, was
at Madge's side as soon as she had emerged from the chair. Philip
and I, gliding unseen across the street, saw him hand something to
the front chair-man which made that rascal open his mouth in
astonishnent--'twas, no doubt, a gold piece or two--and heard him
say:

"You and your fellow, begone, and divide that among you. Quick!
Vanish!"

The men obeyed with alacrity, bearing their empty chair past Phil and
me toward Gerrard Street at a run. The captain, by similar means, sent
the boy with the light scampering off in the opposite direction.
Meanwhile, Philip and I having stopped behind a pillar of the next
porch for a moment's consultation, Madge was bidding the footman stand
aside from before her door. This we could see by the rays of a street
lamp, which were at that place sufficient to make a carried light not
absolutely necessary.

"Come into the coach, madam," said Falconer, seizing one of her hands.
"You remember my promise. I swear I shall keep it though I hang for
it! Don't make a disturbance and compel me to use force, I beg. You
see, the street is deserted."

"You scoundrel!" she answered. "If you really think you can carry me
off, you're much--"

"Nay," he broke in, "actresses _are_ carried off, and not always for
the sake of being talked about, neither! Fetch the maid, Richard--I
wouldn't deprive a lady of her proper attendance. Pray pardon
this--you put me to it, madam!"

With which, he grasped her around the waist, lifted her as if she were
a child, and started with her toward the coach. The footman, a huge
fellow, adopted similar measures with the waiting-woman, who set up a
shrill screaming that made needless any cries on Madge's part.

Philip and I dashed forward at this, and while I fell upon the
footman, Phil staggered the captain with a blow. As Falconer turned
with an exclamation, to see by whom he was attacked, Madge tore
herself from his relaxed hold, ran to the house door, and set the
knocker going at its loudest. A second blow from Philip sent the
captain reeling against his coach wheel. I, meanwhile, had drawn the
footman from the maid; who now joined her mistress and continued
shrieking at the top of her voice. The fellow, seeing his master
momentarily in a daze, and being alarmed by the knocking and
screaming, was put at a loss. The house door opening, and the noise
bringing people to their windows, and gentlemen rushing out of Jack's
tavern hard by, Master Richard recovered from his irresolution, ran
and forced his master into the coach, got in after him to keep him
there, and shouted to the coachman to drive off.

"Very well, madam," cried Falconer through the coach door, before it
closed with a bang, "but I'll keep my word yet, I promise you!"
Whereupon, the coach rolled away behind galloping horses.

Forgetting, in the moment's excitement, my intention of dogging the
captain to his residence, I accompanied Philip to the doorway, where
stood Madge with her maid and a house servant. She was waiting to
thank her protectors, whom, in the rush and partial darkness, she had
not yet recognised. It was, indeed, far from her thoughts that we two,
whom she had left so many years before in America, should turn up at
her side in London at such a moment.

We took off our hats, and bowed. Her face had already formed a smile
of thanks, when we raised our heads into the light from a candle the
house servant carried. Madge gave a little startled cry of joy, and
looked from one to the other of us to make sure she was not under a
delusion: then fondly murmuring Phil's name and mine in what faint
voice was left her, she made first as if she would fall into his arms;
but recollecting with a look of pain how matters stood between them,
she drew back, steadied herself against the door-post, and dropped her
eyes from his.

"We should like to talk with you a little, my dear," said Phil gently.
"May we come in?"

There was a gleam of new-lighted hope in her eyes as she looked up and
answered tremulously:

"'Twill be a happiness--more than I dared expect."

We followed the servant with the candle up-stairs to a small
drawing-room, in which a table was set with bread, cheese, cold beef,
and a bottle of claret.

"'Tis my supper," said Madge. "If I had known I should have such
guests--you will do me the honour, will you not?"

Her manner was so tentative and humble, so much that of one who scarce
feels a right even to plead, so different from that of the old petted
and radiant Madge, that 'twould have taken a harder man than Philip to
decline. And so, when the servant had placed additional chairs, down
we sat to supper with Miss Warren, of Drury Lane Theatre, who had sent
her maid to answer the inquiries of the alarmed house concerning the
recent tumult in the street.



CHAPTER XX.

_We Intrude upon a Gentleman at a Coffee-house._


Little was eaten at that supper, to which we sat down in a constraint
natural to the situation. Philip was presently about to assume the
burden of opening the conversation, when Madge abruptly began:

"I make no doubt you recognised him, Bert--the man with the coach."

"Yes. Philip and I saw him outside the theatre."

"And followed him, in following you," added Philip. "We had
intended--"

"You must not suppose--" she interrupted; but, after a moment's halt
of embarrassment, left the sentence unfinished, and made another
beginning: "I never saw him or heard of him, after I left New York,
till I had been three years on the stage. Then, when the war was over,
he came back to London, and chanced to see me play at Drury Lane. He
knew me in spite of my stage name, and during that very performance I
found him waiting in the greenroom. I had no desire for any of his
society, and told him so. But it seems that, finding me--admired, and
successful in the way I had resorted to, he could not be content till
he regained my--esteem. If I had shown myself friendly to him then, I
should soon have been rid of him: but instead, I showed a resolution
to avoid him; and he is the kind of man who can't endure a repulse
from a woman. To say truth, he thinks himself invincible to 'em all,
and when he finds one of 'em proof against him, even though she may
once have seemed--when she didn't know her mind--well, she is the
woman he must be pestering, to show that he's not to be resisted.

"And so, at last, to be rid of his plaguing, I went away from London,
and took another stage name, and acted in the country. Only Mr. and
Mrs. Sheridan were in the secret of this: 'twas Mr. Sheridan gave me
letters to the country managers. That was in the Fall of '83. Well, I
heard after awhile that he too had gone into the country, to dance
attendance on an old aunt, whose heir he had got the chance of being,
through his cousin's death. But I knew if I came back to London he
would hear of it, and then, sure, farewell to all my peace! He had
continually threatened to carry me off in a coach to some village by
the Channel, and take me across to France in a fishing-smack. When I
declared I would ask the magistrates for protection, he said they
would laugh at me as a play-actress trying to make herself talked
about. I took that to be true, and so, as I've told you, I left
London.

"Well, after more than two years, I thought he must have put me out of
his mind, and so I returned, and made my reappearance to-night. And,
mercy on me!--there he was, waiting outside the theatre. From his
appearance, I suppose the aunt has died and he has come into the
money. He followed me home, as you saw; and for a moment, when he was
carrying me toward the coach, I vow I had a fear of being rushed away
to a seaport, and taken by force, on some fisherman's boat, across the
Channel. And then, all of a sudden, 'twas as if you two had sprung out
of the earth. Where did you come from? How was it? Oh, tell me
all--all the news! Poor Tom! I thought I should die when I heard of
his death. 'Twas--'twas Falconer told me--how he was killed in a
skirmish with the--What's the matter? Why do you look so? Isn't it
true? I entreat--!"

"Did Falconer tell you Tom died that way?" I blurted out, hotly, ere
Phil could check me.

"In truth, he did! How was it?" She had turned white as a sheet.

"'Twas Falconer killed him in a duel," said I, with indignation, "the
very night after you sailed!"

"What, Fal--! A duel! My God, on my account, then! Oh, I never knew
that! Oh, Tom--little Tom--the dear little fellow--'twas I killed
him!" She flung her head forward upon the table, and sobbed wildly, so
that I repented of my outspoken anger at Falconer's deception of her.
For some minutes her grief was pitiful to see. If ever there was the
anguish of remorse, it was then. I sat sobered, leaving it to Phil to
apply comfort, which, when her outburst of tears had spent its
violence, he undertook to do.

"Well, well, Madge," said he, softly, "'tis done and past now, and not
for us to recall. 'Twas an honourable death, such as he would never
have shrunk from; and he has long been past all sorrow. The most of
his life, while it lasted, was happy; and you could never have
foreseen. He will not be unavenged, take my word of that!"

But it was a long time ere Phil could restore her to composure. When
he had done so, he asked her what had become of Ned. Thereupon she
told us all that I have recorded in a former chapter, of their first
days in London, and the events leading to her acceptance of Mr.
Sheridan's offer. After she had been acting for some time, under the
name of Miss Warren, Ned chanced to come to the play, and recognised
her. He thereupon dogged her, in miserable plight, claiming some
return of the favours which he vowed he had lavished upon her. She put
him upon a small pension, but declared that if he molested her with
further demands she would send him to jail for robbing her. She had
not seen him since; he had called regularly upon her man of business
for his allowance, until lately, when he had ceased to appear.

Of what had occurred before she turned actress, she told us all, I
say; for the news of Tom's real fate had put her into a state for
withholding nothing. Never was confession more complete; uttered as it
was in a stricken voice, broken as it was by convulsive sobs, marked
as it was by falling tears, hesitations for phrases less likely to
pain Philip, remorseful lowerings of her eyes. She reverted, finally,
to her acquaintance with Falconer in New York, and finished with the
words:

"But I protest I have never been guilty of the worst--the one thing--I
swear it, Philip; before God, I do!"

If any load was taken from Phil's mind by this, he refrained from
showing it.

"I came in search of you," said he, in a low voice, "to see what I
could do toward your happiness. I knew that in your situation, a wife
separated from her husband, dependent on heaven knew what for a
maintenance, you must have many anxious, distressful hours. If I had
known where to find you, I should have sent you money regularly from
the first, and eased your mind with a definite understanding. And now
I wish to do this--nay, I _will_ do it, for it is my right. Whatever
may have happened, you are still the Madge Faringfield I--I loved from
the first; nothing can make you another woman to me: and though you
chose to be no longer my wife, 'tis impossible that while I live I can
cease to be your husband."

The corners of her lips twitched, but she recovered herself with a
disconsolate sigh. "Chose to be no longer your wife," she repeated.
"Yes, it appeared so. I wanted to shine in the world. I have shone--on
the stage, I mean; but that's far from the way I had looked to. A
woman in my situation--a wife separated from her husband--can never
shine as I had hoped to, I fancy. But I've been admired in a way--and
it hasn't made me happy. Admiration can't make a woman happy if she
has a deeper heart than her desire of admiration will fill. If I could
have forgot, well and good; but I couldn't forget, and can't forget.
And one must have love, and devotion; but after having known yours,
Philip, whose else could I find sufficient?"

And now there was a pause while each, fearing that the other might not
desire reunion, hesitated to propose it; and so, each one waiting for
the other to say the word, both left it unsaid. When the talk was
finally renewed, it was with a return of the former constraint.

She asked us, with a little stiffness of manner, when we had come to
London; which led to our relation, between us, of all that had passed
since her departure from New York. She opened her eyes at the news of
our residence in Hampstead, and lost her embarrassment in her glad,
impulsive acceptance of my invitation to come and see us as soon as
possible. While Philip and she still kept their distance, as it were,
I knew not how far to go in cordiality, or I should have pressed her
to come and live with us. She wept and laughed, at the prospect of
seeing Fanny and my mother, and declared they must visit her in town.
And then her tongue faltered as the thought returned of Falconer's
probable interference with the quiet and safety of her further
residence in London; and her face turned anxious.

"'Faith! you need have no fear on that score," said Philip, quietly.
"Where does he live?"

She did not know, but she named a club, and a tavern, from which he
had dated importunate letters to her before she left London.

"Well," said Philip, rising, "I shall see a lawyer to-morrow, and you
may expect to hear from him soon regarding the settlement I make upon
you."

"You are too kind," she murmured. "I have no right to accept it of
you."

"Oh, yes, you have. I am always your husband, I tell you; and you will
have no choice but to accept. I know not what income you get by
acting; but this will suffice if you choose to leave the stage."

"But you?" she replied faintly, rising. "Shall I not see--?"

"I shall leave England in a few days: I don't know how long I shall be
abroad. But there will be Bert, and Fanny, and Mrs. Russell--I know
you may command them for anything." There was an oppressive pause now,
during which she looked at him wistfully, hoping he might at the last
moment ask her that, which he waited to give her a final opportunity
of asking him. But neither dared, for fear of the other's hesitation
or refusal. And so, at length, with a good-bye spoken in an unnatural
voice on each side, the two exchanged a hand-clasp, and Philip left
the room. She stood pale and trembling, bereft of speech, while I told
her that I should wait upon her soon. Then I followed Philip
down-stairs and to the street.

"I will stay to-night at Jack's tavern yonder," said he. "I can watch
this house, in case that knave should return to annoy her. Go you
home--Fanny and your mother will be anxious. And come for me to-morrow
at the tavern, as early as you can. You may tell them what you see
fit, at home. That's all, I think--'tis very late. Good night!"

I sought a hackney-coach, and went home to relieve the fears of the
ladies, occasioned by our long absence. My news that Margaret was
found (I omitted mention of Captain Falconer in my account) put the
good souls into a great flutter of joy and excitement, and they would
have it that they should go in to see her the first thing on the
morrow, a resolution I saw no reason to oppose. So I took them with me
to town in the morning, left them at Madge's lodgings, and was gone to
join Philip ere the laughing and crying of their meeting with her was
half-done.

As there was little chance to find Captain Falconer stirring early,
Phil and I gave the forenoon to his arrangements with his man of law
at Lincoln's Inn. When these were satisfactorily concluded, and a
visit incidental to them had been made to a bank in the city, we
refreshed ourselves at the Globe tavern in Fleet Street, and then
turned our faces Westward.

At the tavern that Madge had named, we learned where Falconer abode,
but, proceeding to his lodgings, found he had gone out. We looked in
at various places whither we were directed; but 'twas not till late in
the afternoon, that Philip caught sight of him writing a letter at a
table in the St. James Coffeehouse.

Philip recognised him from the view he had obtained the previous
night; but, to make sure, he nudged me to look. On my giving a nod of
confirmation, Philip went to him at once, and said:

"Pray pardon my interrupting: you are Captain Falconer, I believe."

The captain looked up, and saw only Philip, for I stood a little to
the rear of the former's elbow.

"I believe so, too, sir," he replied urbanely.

"Our previous meeting was so brief," said Philip, "that I doubt you
did not observe my face so as to recall it now."

"That must be the case," said the captain, "for I certainly do not
remember having ever met you."

"And yet our meeting was no longer ago than last night--in Dean
Street."

The captain's face changed: he gazed, half in astonishment, half in a
dawning resentment.

"The deuce, sir! Have you intruded upon me to insult me?"

"'Faith, sir, I've certainly intruded upon you for no friendly
purpose."

Falconer continued to gaze, in wonder as well as annoyance.

"Who the devil are you, sir?" he said at last.

"My name is Winwood, sir--Captain Winwood, late of the American army
of Independence."

Falconer opened his eyes wide, parted his lips, and turned a little
pale. At that moment, I shifted my position; whereupon he turned, and
saw me.

"And Russell, too!" said he. "Well, this is a--an odd meeting,
gentlemen."

"Not a chance one," said Philip. "I have been some time seeking you."

"Well, well," replied the captain, recovering his self-possession. "I
imagine I know your purpose, sir."

"That will spare my explaining it. You will, of course, accommodate
me?"

"Oh, yes; I see no way out of it. Gad, I'm the most obliging of
men--Mr. Russell will vouch for it."

"Then I beg you will increase the obligation by letting us despatch
matters without the least delay."

"Certainly, if you will have it so--though I abominate hurry in all
things."

"To-morrow at dawn, I hope, will not be too soon for your
preparations?"

"Why, no, I fancy not. Let me see. One moment, I pray."

He called a waiter, and asked:

"Thomas, is there any gentleman of my acquaintance in the house at
present?"

"Oh, a score, sir. There's Mr. Hidsleigh hup-stairs, and--"

"Mr. Idsleigh will do. Ask him to grant me the favour of coming down
for a minute." The waiter hastened away. "Mr. Russell, of course,
represents you, sir," the captain added, to Philip.

"Yes, sir; and you are the challenged party, of course."

"I thank you, sir. If Mr. Russell will wait, I will introduce my
friend here, and your desire for expedition may be carried out."

"I am much indebted, sir," said Philip; and requesting me to join him
later at the tavern in Dean Street, he took his leave.

When Mr. Idsleigh, a fashionable young buck whom I now recalled having
once seen in the company of Lord March, had presented himself, a very
brief explanation on Falconer's part sufficed to enlist his services
as second; whereupon the captain desired affably that he might be
allowed to finish his letter, and Idsleigh and I retired to a
compartment at the farther end of the room. Idsleigh regarded me with
disdainful indifference, and conducted his side of the preliminaries
in a bored fashion, as if the affair were of even less consequence
than Falconer had pretended to consider it. He set me down as a
nobody, a person quite out of the pale of polite society, and one whom
it was proper to have done with in the shortest time, and with the
fewest words, possible. I was equally chary of speech, and it was
speedily settled that our principals should fight with small swords,
at sunrise, at a certain spot in Hyde Park; and Idsleigh undertook to
provide a surgeon. He then turned his back on me, and walked over to
Falconer, without the slightest civility of leave-taking.

I went first in a hackney-coach to Hyde Park, to ascertain exactly the
spot which Mr. Idsleigh had designated. Having done so, I returned to
Dean Street; and, in order that I might without suspicion accompany
Philip before daybreak, I called at Madge's lodgings, and suggested
that my mother and Fanny should pass the night in her house (in which
I had observed there were rooms to let) and take her to Hampstead the
next day; while I should sleep at the tavern. This plan was readily
adopted. Thereupon, rejoining Philip, I went with him to the Strand,
where he engaged a post-chaise to be in waiting for him and me the
next morning, for our flight in the event of the duel having the fatal
termination he desired.

"We'll take a hint from Captain Falconer's threat," said Phil: "ride
post to Hastings, and have the Doughty boys sail us across to France.
You'd best write a letter this evening, to leave at Madge's lodgings
after the affair, explaining your departure, to Fanny and your mother.
Afterward, you can either send for them to come to France, or you can
return to Hampstead when the matter blows over. I might have spared
you these inconveniences and risks, by getting another second; but I
knew you wouldn't stand that."

And there, indeed, he spoke the truth.



CHAPTER XXI.

_The Last, and Most Eventful, of the History._


I took my mother and Fanny to the play that night, to see Madge act,
and we three met her after the performance and were driven to her
lodgings with her. I then bade the ladies good-night, with a secret
tenderness arising from the possibility, unknown to them, that our
parting then might be for as many months as they supposed hours.

Returning to Philip at the tavern, I found he had passed the evening
in writing letters; among others, one for me to copy in my own name,
to be left at Madge's lodgings in case of my having to flee the
country for awhile. It was so phrased that the result of the duel,
whether in Philip's death or his antagonist's, could be told by the
insertion of a single line, after its occurrence.

Phil and I rose betimes the next morning, and went by hackney-coach,
in the darkness, to a place in the Oxford road, near Tyburn; where we
left our conveyance waiting, and proceeded afoot to the chosen spot in
the Park.

No one was there when we arrived, and we paced to and fro together to
keep in exercise, talking in low voices, and beguiling our agitation
by confining our thoughts to a narrow channel. The sod was cool and
soft to our tread, and the smell of the leaves was pleasant to our
nostrils. As the sky whitened above the silent trees, and the gray
light penetrated to the grassy turf at our feet, Phil quoted softly
the line from Grey's Elegy in which the phrase of "incense-breathing
morn" occurs; and from that he went to certain parts of Milton's
"L'Allegro" and then to Shakespeare's songs, "When Daisies Pied" and
"Under the Greenwood Tree."

"'Faith," said he, breaking off from the poetry, "'tis a marvel how
content I feel! You would not believe it, the serene happiness that
has come over me. 'Tis easy to explain, though: I have adjusted my
affairs, provided for my wife, left nothing in confusion or disorder,
and am as ready for death as for life. I feel at last responsible to
no one; free to accept whatever fate I may incur; clear of burdens.
The great thing, man, is to have one's debts paid, one's obligations
discharged: then death or life matters little, and the mere act of
breathing fresh air is a joy unspeakable."

We now descried the figures of Falconer, Idsleigh, and a third
gentleman, approaching under the trees. Civil greetings passed as they
came up, and Falconer overwent the demands of mere courtesy so far as
to express himself upon the coolness and sweetness of the morning. But
he was scrutinising Philip curiously the while, as if there were some
reason why he should be less indifferent regarding this antagonist
than he had shown himself regarding Tom Faringfield and me.

The principals removed their hats, coats, and waistcoats. As they were
not booted, but appeared in stockings and low shoes, they made two
fine and supple figures to look upon. The formalities between Mr.
Idsleigh and me were as brief as possible. Falconer chose his sword
with a pretence of scarce looking at it, Philip gave his the usual
examination, and the two men stood on guard.

There was a little wary play at first, while each sought an inkling of
the other's method. Then some livelier work, in which they warmed
themselves and got their muscles into complete facility, followed upon
Phil's pretending to lose his guard. All this was but overture, and it
came to a stop for a short pause designed as preliminary to the real
duel. Both were now perspiring, and breathing into their lungs deep
draughts of air. Falconer's expression showed that he had recognised
better fencing in Phil's work than he had thought to find; but Phil's
face conveyed no such surprise, for he had counted upon an adversary
possessed of the first skill.

'Twas Falconer who began what we all felt was to be the serious part
of the combat. Phil parried the thrust neatly; made a feint, but,
instantly recovering, availed himself of his opponent's counter
movement, and sank his point fair into Falconer's left breast. The
English captain tumbled instantly to the ground. The swiftness of the
thing startled us. Idsleigh and his medical companion stared in
amazement, wondering that the fallen man should lie so still. It took
a second or two for that which their eyes had informed them, to
penetrate to their understanding. But Philip and I knew that the lunge
had pierced the heart, and that the accomplished Lovelace on the
ground would charm no more women.

'Twas only when we were hastening back to our hackney-coach, that
Philip trembled. Then for a few moments his teeth chattered as if he
were taken with a chill, and his face was deathly pale.

"'Tis terrible," he said, in an awed tone, "to kill a man this way.
'Tis not like in war. On a morning like this, in the civil manner of
gentlemen, to make of such a marvellous living, thinking, feeling
machine a poor heap of senseless flesh and bone that can only
rot:--and all in the time of a sword-thrust!"

"Tut!" said I, "the world is the better for the riddance. Think of
Tom, and all else!"

"I know it," said Phil, conquering his weakness. "And such men know
what they risk when they break into the happiness of others. I could
not have lived in peace while he lived. Well, that is all behind us
now. Yonder is our coach."

We got in, and were driven to the tavern in Dean Street. We there
dismissed the coach, and Philip started afoot for the inn, in the
Strand, where our post-chaise was to be in readiness. I was to join
him there after completing the letter and leaving it at Madge's
lodgings, Philip using the mean time in attending to the posting of
certain letters of his own. We had no baggage to impede us, as we
intended to purchase new wearables in France: we had, on the previous
day, provided ourselves with money and letters of credit. My affairs
had been so arranged that neither my wife nor my mother could be
pecuniarily embarrassed by my absence. Philip's American passport,
used upon our former travels, was still in force and had been made to
include a travelling companion. So all was smoothed for our flight.

Taking my letter to the house in which Madge lived, I asked for her
maid, telling the house servant I would wait at the street door: for,
as I did not wish to meet any of the three ladies, I considered it
safer to entrust the letter to Madge's own woman. The girl came down;
but I had no sooner handed her the letter, and told her what to do
with it, than I heard Madge's voice in the hall above. She had come
out to see who wanted her maid, suspecting some trick of Falconer's;
and, leaning over the stair-rail, had recognised my voice.

"What is it, Bert? Why don't you come up?"

"I can't--I'm in haste," I blundered. "Good morning!"

"But wait! What's wrong? A moment, I entreat! Nay, you shall--!" And
at that she came tripping swiftly down the stairs. The maid,
embarrassed, handed her the letter. Without opening it, she advanced
to me, while I was wildly considering the propriety of taking to my
heels; and demanded:

"What is it you had to write? Sure 'tis your own hand. Why can't you
tell me?"

"Not so loud," I begged. "My mother and Fanny mustn't know till I am
gone."

"Gone!" With this she tore open the letter, and seemed to grasp its
general sense in a glance. "A duel! I suspected--from what Philip
said. Oh, my God, was he--?" She scanned the writing wildly, but in
her excitement it conveyed nothing to her mind.

"Captain Falconer will not annoy you again," I said, "and Philip and I
must go to France for awhile. Good-bye! Let mother and Fanny see the
letter in half an hour."

"But wait--thank God, he's not hurt!--France, you say? How? Which
road?"

She was holding my coat lapel, to make me stay and tell her. So I
answered:

"By post to Hastings; there we shall get the Doughty boys to--"

At this, there broke in another voice from above stairs--that of
Fanny:

"Is that Bert, Madge dear?"

"Tell her 'no,'" I whispered, appalled at thought of a leave-taking,
explanations, weeping, and delay. "And for God's sake, let me--ah,
thank you! Read the letter--you shall hear from us--God bless you
all!"

The next moment I was speeding from the house, leaving Madge in a
tumult of thoughts at the door. I turned into Gerrard Street without
looking back; and brisk walking soon brought me to the Strand, where
Philip himself was just ready to take the post-chaise.

"A strange thing delayed me," said he, as we forthwith took our seats
in the vehicle; which we had no sooner done than the postilions set
the four horses going and our journey was begun.

"What was it?" I asked, willing to reserve the account of my interview
with Madge till later.

"The most remarkable thing, for me to witness on this particular
morning," he replied; and told me the story as we rattled through
Temple Bar and Fleet Street, on our way to the bridge and the Surrey
side. "After I left you, I don't know what it was that kept me from
coming through St. Martin's Lane to the Strand, and made me continue
East instead. But something did; and finally I turned to come through
Bow Street. When I was nearly in front of the magistrate's house, a
post-chaise stopped before it, and a fellow got out whom I took to be
a Bow Street runner. Several people ran up to see if he had a prisoner
in the chaise, and so the footway was blocked; and I stopped to look
on for a moment with the rest. A man called out to the constable,
'What you got, Bill?' The constable, who had turned around and reached
into the chaise, stopped to look at the speaker, and said, 'Nobody
much--only the Soho Square assault and robbery--I ran him down at
Plymouth, waiting for a vessel--he had a mind to travel for his
health.' The constable grinned, and the other man said, 'Sure that's a
hanging business, and no mistake!'"

"And so it is," said I, interrupting Philip. "I read of the affair at
the time. A fellow named Howard knocked down his landlady, robbed her
money-box, and got away before she came to."

"Yes," Phil went on, "I remembered it, too. And I waited for a glimpse
of the robber's face. He stepped out, and the constable, with a
comrade from inside the chaise, led him to where they hold prisoners
for examination. He was all mud-stained, dishevelled, and frowsy: for
two seconds, though he didn't notice me, I had a good view of him. And
who do you think this Howard really was?"

"Bless me, how should I know? My acquaintance among the criminal
classes isn't what it might be."

"'Twas Ned Faringfield!" said Philip. "I should have known him
anywhere--heavens, how little a man's looks change, through all
vicissitudes!"

"Well, upon my soul!" I exclaimed, in a chill. "Who'd have thought it?
Yet hanging is what we always predicted for him, in jest. That it
should come so soon--for they'll make short work of that case, 'tis
certain."

"Yes, I fear they'll not lose much time over it, at the Old Bailey. We
may expect to read his name among the Newgate hangings in a month or
two. Poor devil!--I'll send him some money through my lawyer, and have
Nobbs see that he gets decent counsel. Money will enable him to live
his last weeks at Newgate in comfort, at least; though 'tis beyond
counsel to save his neck. His people must never know. Nor Fanny."

"Unless he gives his real name at the trial, or in his 'last dying
speech and confession.'"

"Why, even then it may not come to their ears. Best bring Fanny and
your mother soon to France. Madge will never tell, if she learns; I'll
warrant her for that. To think of it!--the dear old house in Queen
Street, and the boys and girls we used to play with--Tom's fate--and
now Ned's--Fanny in England--and Madge--! Was ever such diversity of
destinies in so small a family?"

He fell into his thoughts: of what strange parts we play in the world,
how different from those anybody would predict for us in our
childhood--how different, from those we then predict for ourselves.
And so we were borne across the Thames, looking back to get our last
view of St. Paul's dome for some time to come; through Southwark, and
finally into the country. The postilions kept the horses at a good
gait Southward. We did not urge them to this, for indeed we saw but
little necessity for great haste, as there was likely to be some time
ere Falconer's death became known to the authorities, and some time
longer ere it was traced to us. But as Mr. Idsleigh, before getting
out of the way himself, _might_ take means to lay written information
against us, which would serve at least to put the minions of the law
on the right track, and as we might be subjected to some delay at
Hastings, we saw no reason to repress the postilions' zeal, either.

In our second stage we were not favoured with so energetic conductors,
and in our third we had unfit horses. So we had occasion to be glad of
our excellent start. Thus, between good horses and bad, live
postilions and lethargic, smooth roads and rough, we fared on the
whole rather well than ill, and felt but the smallest apprehension of
being caught. To speak metaphorically, the coast of France was already
in our sight.

At the end of the first stage, we had breakfasted upon eggs and beer.
We took an early dinner at Tunbridge Wells, and proceeded through
Sussex. 'Twas well forward in the afternoon, and we were already
preparing our eyes, faces, and nostrils for the refreshing intimation
of the sea, when our ears notified us of a vehicle following in our
wake. Looking back, at a bend of the road, we saw it was a conveyance
similar to our own, and that the postilions were whipping the horses
to their utmost speed. "Whoever rides there," said I, "has paid or
promised well for haste."

"'Tis strange there should be other folk bound in a hurry for Hastings
this same day," replied Phil.

We looked at one another, with the same thought.

"Their post-boys seem to be watching our chaise as much as anything
else," I remarked. "To be sure, they can't know 'tis you and I."

"No, but if they _were_ in quest of us, they would try to overtake
this chaise or any other on the road. Ho, postilion!--an extra crown
apiece for yourselves if you leave those fellows yonder behind for
good." And Phil added quietly to me: "It won't do to offer 'em too
much at first--'twould make 'em suspicious."

"But," quoth I, as our men put their horses to the gallop. "How the
devil could any one have got so soon upon our track?"

"Why, Idsleigh may have turned informer, in his own interest--he was
in a devilish difficult position--and men would be sent with our
descriptions to the post-houses. 'Tis merely possible. Or our
hackney-coachman may have guessed something, and dogged me to the
Strand, and informed. If they found where we started, of course they
could track us from stage to stage. 'Tis best to be safe--though I
scarce think they're in our pursuit."

"Egad, they're in somebody's!" I cried. "Their postilions are shouting
to ours to stop."

"Never mind those fellows' holloing," called Philip to our riders.
"'Tis a wager--and I'll double that crown apiece."

We bowled over the road in a way to make me think of Apollo's chariot
and the horses of Phaeton; but we lengthened not a rod the stretch
betwixt us and our followers, though we nullified their efforts to
diminish it. We could make out, more by sight than by hearing--for we
kept looking back, our heads thrust out at either side--that the
pursuing post-boys continued bawling vehemently at ours. What they
said, was drowned by the clatter of horses and wheels.

"Well, they have seen we are two men," said Philip, "and still they
keep up the race. They certainly must want us. Were they merely in a
hurry to reach Hastings, they could do that the sooner by sparing
their horses--this is a killing pace."

"Then we're in a serious plight," said I. "Though we may beat 'em to
Hastings, they will catch us there."

"Unless we can gain a quarter of an hour's start, and, by one chance
in twenty, find the Doughty boys ashore, and their boat in harbour."

"Ay, there's one chance in twenty, maybe," I growled, looking gloomily
back, and wishing I might see the pursuing chaise upset, or one of its
horses stumble.

There is an old proverb about evil wishes rebounding to strike the
sender; and a recollection of this was my paramount thought a moment
later: for at a sharp turn our chaise suddenly seemed to leap into the
air and alight on one wheel, and then turned over sidewise with what
appeared to be a solemn deliberation, piling me upon Philip in a heap.
We felt the conveyance dragged some yards along the road, and then it
came to a stop. A moment later we heard the postilions cursing the
horses, and then we clambered out of the upper side of the chaise, and
leaped into the road. We had been knocked, shaken, and bruised, but
were not seriously hurt.

"Here's the devil to pay," cried the older postilion excitedly,
turning his attention from the trembling horses to the wrecked
vehicle.

"We will pay--but you will let us ride your horses the rest of the
way?" asked Phil, quietly, rather as a matter of form than with any
hope of success.

"No, sir!" roared the man. "Bean't there damage enough? Just look--"

"Tut, man," said Phil, examining the chaise, "a guinea will mend
all--and there it is, and your extra crowns, too, though you failed.
Well," he added, turning to me, "shall we take to the fields? They'll
have to hunt us afoot then, and we may beat 'em at that."

But I found I was too lame, from the knocking about I had got in the
upset vehicle, for any game of hare and hounds. "Go you," said I. "I
was only the second--there's less danger for me."

"I'll not go, then," said he. "What a pity I drew you into this, Bert!
I ought to have considered Fanny and your mother. They'll never
forgive me--they never ought to.--Well, now we shall know the worst!"

The second vehicle came to a triumphant stop near us, the postilions
grinning with satisfaction. Phil and I stood passive in the road: I
remember wondering whether the officers of the law would put handcuffs
upon us. A head was thrust out of the window--a voice called to us.

"Madge!" we cried together, and hastened to her.

"I was afraid you might sail before I got to Hastings," cried she,
with relief and joy depicted on her face.

"Who is with you?" asked Phil.

"No one," she answered. "I left Bert's letter with my maid, to give to
Fanny. I left the girl too, to stay with her if she will take her. I
didn't wish to encumber--Your chaise is broken down: get into this
one. Oh, Phil!--I couldn't bear to have you go away--and leave
me--after I had seen you again. 'Twas something to know you were in
London, at least--near me. But if you go to France--you must let me
go, too--you must, dear--as your friend, your comrade and helper, if
nothing more--your old friend, that knew you so long ago--"

She lost voice here, and began to cry, still looking at him through
the mist of tears. His own eyes glistened softly as he returned her
gaze; and, after a moment, he went close to the window through which
her head was thrust, raised his hand so as to stroke her hair, and
kissed her on the lips.

"Why, you shall come as my wife, of course," said he, gently. "If I
had been sure you wished it, you might have travelled with us from
London, and been spared this chase.--But think what you are giving up,
dear--'tis not too late--the theatre, the praise and admiration,
London--"

"Oh, hang 'em all!" cried she, looking joyous through her tears. "'Tis
you I want!"

And she caught his face between her hands, and kissed it a dozen
times, to the open-mouthed wonder of the staring postilions.

       *       *       *       *       *

She took us in her post-chaise to Hastings, where the three of us
embarked as we had planned to do, having first arranged that one of
the Doughty boys should go to Hampstead and act as a sort of man
servant or protector to my mother and Fanny during their loneliness.
They joined us later in Paris, and I finally accompanied them home
when Captain Falconer's fatal duel was a forgotten matter. Philip and
Madge then visited Italy and Germany; and subsequently returned to New
York, having courageously chosen to outface what old scandal remained
from the time of her flight. And so, despite Phil's prediction, 'tis
finally his children, not mine, that gladden the age of Mr. and Mrs.
Faringfield, and have brought back the old-time cheer to the house;
for Fanny and I have remained in England, and here our young ones are
being reared. Each under the government for which he fought--thus
Philip and I abide. 'Tis no news, that Phil has become one of the
leading architects in his country. My own life has been pleasantly
monotonous, save for the duel I fought against a detractor of General
Washington, which, as I merely wounded my adversary, did not
necessitate another exile from the kingdom.

It is still an unsolved mystery in London, as to what became of Miss
Warren, the actress of Drury Lane: she was for long reported to have
been carried away by a strange gentleman who killed Captain Falconer
in a duel over her. 'Tis not known in New York that Mrs. Winwood was
ever on the stage. And as I must not yet make it known, nor disclose
many things which have perforce entered into this history, I perceive
that my labour has been, after all, to no purpose. I dare not give the
narrative to the world, now it is done; but I cannot persuade myself
to give it to the fire, either. Let it lie hid, then, till all of us
concerned in it are passed away; and perchance it may serve to
instruct some future reader how much a transient vanity and wilfulness
may wreck, and how much a steadfast love and courage may retrieve.


THE END.



NOTES.


NOTE 1 (Page 13).

Before the Revolution, there were Queen Street and Pearl Street,
together forming a line continuous though not exactly straight. After
the Revolution, the whole line was named Pearl Street. King Street and
Duke Street were others that rightly underwent re-christening. But,
with equal propriety, many old names smacking of the English régime
were retained, and serve as memorials of the English part of the
city's colonial history: such names, for instance, as William Street,
Nassau Street, Hanover Square, Kingsbridge; not to mention New York
itself. The old Dutch rule, too, remains marked in the city's
nomenclature--for ever, let us hope. I say, "let us hope;" for there
have been attempts to have the authorities change the name of the
Bowery itself, that renowned thoroughfare which began, in the very
morn of the city's history, as a lane leading to Peter Stuyvesant's
_bauer_. I scarce think this desecration shall ever come to pass: yet
in such matters one may not be sure of a nation which has permitted
the spoiling (by the mutilation of headlands and cliffs, for private
gain) of a river the most storied in our own land, and the most
beautiful in the world.


NOTE 2 (Page 34).

In 1595 was published in London: "Vincentio Saviolo his Practise. In
two Bookes. The first intreating the use of the Rapier and Dagger. The
second of Honour and Honourable Quarrels." (Etc.) The celebrated
swordsman sets forth only the Italian system, and has naught to say
upon the French. The book that Winwood studied may have been some
reprint (now unknown), with notes or additions by a later hand. In any
case, he may have acquired through it sufficient rudimentary
acquaintance with some sort of practice to enable him to excite the
French fencing-master's interest.


NOTE 3 (Page 182).

"Lady Washington's Light Horse" was a name sometimes unofficially
applied to Lieut.-Col. Baylor's Dragoons. They were sleeping in a barn
and outbuildings, at Old Tappan, one night in the Fall of 1778, when
they were surprised by General Grey, whose men, attacking with
bayonets, killed 11, mangled 25, and took about 40 prisoners. Both
Col. Baylor and Major Clough were wounded, the latter fatally. It is
of course this affair, to which Lieut. Russell's narrative alludes.


NOTE 4 (Page 191).

The Morris house, now known as the Jumel mansion, was half a
generation old at the beginning of the Revolution. Thither, as the
bride of Captain Morris, a brother-officer of Washington's in the old
French war, went Mary Philipse; whom young Washington was said to have
wooed while he tarried in and about New York upon his memorable
journey to Boston to solicit in vain, of Governor Shirley, a king's
commission. The Revolution found the Morrises on the side opposed to
Washington's; for a short time during the operations above New York in
1776 he occupied this house of theirs as headquarters. They lost it
through their allegiance to the royal cause, all their American real
estate being confiscated by the New York assembly. The mansion became
in time the residence of that remarkable woman who, from a barefoot
girl in Providence, R.I., had grown up to be the wife of a Frenchman
named Jumel; and to be the object of much admiration, and the subject
of some scandal. In her widowhood she received under this roof Aaron
Burr, after his duel with Hamilton (whose neighbouring country-house
still exists, in Convent Avenue), and under this roof she and
Burr--both in their old age--were united in marriage. I imagine that
some of the ghosts that haunt this mansion, if they might be got in a
corner, would yield their interviewers a quaint reminiscence or two.
The grounds appertaining to the house have been sadly diminished by
the opening of new streets; yet it is still a fine, striking landmark,
perched to be seen afar, as from the railroad trains that follow the
East bank of the Harlem, or, better, from West 155th Street at and
about its junction with St. Nicholas Place and the Speedway. At the
time when I left New York for a temporary residence in the Old World,
there was talk of moving the house to a less commanding, but still
eminent, height that crowns the bluff rising from the Speedway: the
owner was compelled, it was said, to avail himself of the increased
value of the land whereon it stood. 'Tis some pity if this has been,
or has to be, done; but nothing to the pity if the mansion had to be
pulled down. Apart from all associations and historical interest, this
imposing specimen of our Colonial domestic architecture, so simple and
reposeful an edifice amidst a world of flat buildings, and of gew-gaw
houses built for sale on the instalment plan to the ubiquitous Mr. and
Mrs. Veneering, is a precious relief, nay an untiring delight, to the
eye.


NOTE 5 (Page 202).

During this Winter (1779-80) the Continental army was in two main
divisions. The one with which Washington made his headquarters was
hutted on the heights about Morristown, N.J. The other, under General
Heath, was stationed in the highlands of the Hudson. Intermediate
territory, of course, was more or less thoroughly guarded by detached
posts, militia, and various forces regular and irregular. The most of
the cavalry was quartered in Connecticut; but Winwood's troop, as our
narrative shows, was established near Washington's headquarters. This
was a memorably cold Winter, and as severe upon the patriots as the
more famous Winter (1777-78) at Valley Forge. About the latter part of
January the Hudson was frozen over, almost to its mouth.


NOTE 6 (Page 269).

Long before I fell upon Lieut. Russell's narrative, a detailed account
of a British attempt to capture Washington, by a bold night dash upon
his quarters at Morristown, had caught my eyes from the pages of the
old "New Jersey Historical Collections." Washington was not the only
object of such designs during the War of Independence. One was planned
for the seizure of Governor Livingstone at his home in Elizabeth,
N.J.; but, much to Sir Henry Clinton's disappointment, that
influential and witty champion of independence was not at home when
the surprise party called.


NOTE 7 (Page 277).

Lieut-Gen. Knyphausen was now (January, 1780) temporarily in chief
command at New York, as Sir Henry Clinton and Lord Cornwallis had
sailed South (December 26, 1779) to attack Charleston and reduce South
Carolina.


NOTE 8 (Page 311).

At that time, the Bristol and Bath stage-coaches took two days for the
trip to London. Madge doubtless would have slept a night or two at
Bristol after her landing; and probably at the Pelican Inn at
Speenhamland (opposite Newbury), the usual midway sleeping-place, at
the end of the first day's ride. But bad weather may have hindered the
journey, and required the passengers to pass more than one night as
inn-guests upon the road.


NOTE 9 (Page 325).

Mrs. Sheridan's surpassing beauty, talent, and amiability are
well-known to all readers; as is the fact that her brilliant husband,
despite their occasional quarrels, was very much in love with her from
first to last.


NOTE 10 (Page 359).

Sir Ralph Winwood, born at Aynho, in Northamptonshire, in 1564, was
frequently sent as envoy to Holland in the reign of James I., by whom
he was knighted in 1603. He was Secretary of State from a date in 1614
till his death in 1617. His collected papers and letters are entitled,
"Memorials of Affairs of State in the Reigns of Queen Elizabeth and
King James I.," etc. His portrait painted by Miereveldt, is in the
National Portrait Gallery in London.



L.C. Page and Company's

Announcement of List of New Fiction.


Philip Winwood. (50th thousand.) A SKETCH OF THE DOMESTIC HISTORY OF
AN AMERICAN CAPTAIN IN THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE, EMBRACING EVENTS THAT
OCCURRED BETWEEN AND DURING THE YEARS 1763 AND 1785 IN NEW YORK AND
LONDON. WRITTEN BY HIS ENEMY IN WAR, HERBERT RUSSELL, LIEUTENANT IN
THE LOYALIST FORCES. Presented anew by ROBERT NEILSON STEPHENS, author
of "A Gentleman Player," "An Enemy to the King," etc.

  With six full-page illustrations by E.W.D. Hamilton.

  Library 12mo, cloth decorative, 400 pages.                 $1.50

"One of the most stirring and remarkable romances that has been
published in a long while, and its episodes, incidents, and actions
are as interesting and agreeable as they are vivid and dramatic. . . .
The print, illustrations, binding, etc., are worthy of the tale, and
the author and his publishers are to be congratulated on a literary
work of fiction which is as wholesome as it is winsome, as fresh and
artistic as it is interesting and entertaining from first to last
paragraph."--_Boston Times_.


Breaking the Shackles. By FRANK BARRETT.

  Author of "A Set of Rogues."

  Library 12mo, cloth decorative, gilt top, 350 pages.       $1.50

"The story opens well, and maintains its excellence throughout. . . .
The author's triumph is the greater in the unquestionable interest and
novelty which he achieves. The pictures of prison life are most vivid,
and the story of the escape most thrilling."--_The Freeman's Journal,
London_.


The Progress of Pauline Kessler. By FREDERIC CARREL.

  Author of "Adventures of John Johns."

  Library 12mo, cloth decorative, gilt top, 350 pages.       $1.50

A novel that will be widely read and much discussed. A powerful sketch
of an adventuress who has much of the Becky Sharpe in her. The story
is crisply written and told with directness and insight into the ways
of social and political life. The characters are strong types of the
class to which they belong.


Ada Vernham, Actress. By RICHARD MARSH.

  Author of "Frivolities," "Tom Ossington's Ghost," etc.

  Library 12mo, cloth decorative, gilt top, 300 pages.      .$1.50

This is a new book by the author of "Frivolities," which was extremely
well received last season. It deals with the inside life of the London
stage, and is of absorbing interest.


The Wallet of Kai Lung. By ERNEST BRAMAH.

  Library 12mo, cloth decorative, gilt top, 350 pages.       $1.50

This is the first book of a new writer, and is exceedingly well done.
It deals with the fortunes of a Chinese professional storyteller, who
meets with many surprising adventures. The style suggests somewhat the
rich Oriental coloring of the Arabian Nights.


Edward Barry: SOUTH SEA PEARLER. By LOUIS BECKE.

  Author of "By Reef and Palm," "Ridan, the Devil," etc.

  With four full-page illustrations by H.C. Edwards.

  Library 12mo, cloth decorative, gilt top, 300 pages.       $1.50

An exceedingly interesting story of sea life and adventure, the scene
of which is laid in the Lagoon Islands of the Pacific.

This is the first complete novel from the pen of Mr. Becke, and
readers of his collections of short stories will quickly recognize
that the author can write a novel that will grip the reader. Strong,
and even tragic, as is his novel in the main, "Edward Barry" has a
happy ending, and woman's love and devotion are strongly portrayed.


Unto the Heights of Simplicity. By JOHANNES REIMERS.

  Library 12mo, cloth decorative, 300 pages.                 $1.25

We take pleasure in introducing to the reading public a writer of
unique charm and individuality. His style is notable for its quaint
poetic idiom and subtle imaginative flavor. In the present story,
he treats with strength and reticence of the relation of the sexes and
the problem of marriage. Certain social abuses and false standards of
morality are attacked with great vigor, yet the plot is so interesting
for its own sake that the book gives no suspicion of being a problem
novel. The descriptions of natural scenery are idyllic in their charm,
and form a fitting background for the love story.


The Black Terror. A ROMANCE OF RUSSIA. By JOHN K. LEYS.

  With frontispiece by Victor A. Searles.

  Library 12mo, cloth decorative, 350 pages.                 $1.50

A stirring tale of the present day, presenting in a new light the
aims and objects of the Nihilists. The story is so vivid and true to
life that it might easily be considered a history of political intrigue
in Russia, disguised as a novel, while its startling incidents and
strange denouement would only confirm the old adage that "truth
is stranger than fiction," and that great historical events may be
traced to apparently insignificant causes. The hero of the story
is a young Englishman, whose startling resemblance to the Czar is
taken advantage of by the Nihilists for the furtherance of their
plans.


The Baron's Sons. By MAURUS JOKAI.

  Author of "Black Diamonds," "The Green Book," "Pretty Michal," etc.
  Translated by Percy F. Bicknell.

  Library 12mo, cloth decorative, with photogravure portrait of the
  author, 350 pages.                                         $1.50

An exceedingly interesting romance of the revolution of 1848, the
scene of which is laid at the courts of St. Petersburg, Moscow, and
Vienna, and in the armies of the Austrians and Hungarians. It follows
the fortunes of three young Hungarian noblemen, whose careers are
involved in the historical incidents of the time. The story is told
with all of Jokai's dash and vigor, and is exceedingly interesting.
This romance has been translated for us directly from the Hungarian,
and never has been issued hitherto in English.


Slaves of Chance. By FERRIER LANGWORTHY.

  With five portraits of the heroines, from original drawings by
  Hiel.

  Library 12mo, cloth decorative, gilt top, 350 pages.       $1.50

As a study of some of the realities of London life, this novel is one
of notable merit. The slaves of chance, and, it might be added, of
temptation, are five pretty girls, the daughters of a pretty widow,
whose means are scarcely sufficient, even living as they do, in a
quiet way and in a quiet London street, to make both ends meet.
Dealing, as he does, with many sides of London life, the writer
sketches varied types of character, and his creations are cleverly
defined. He tells an interesting tale with delicacy and in a fresh,
attractive style.


Her Boston Experiences. By MARGARET ALLSTON (nom de plume).

  With eighteen full-page illustrations from drawings by Frank O.
  Small, and from photographs taken especially for the book.

  Small 12mo, cloth decorative, gilt top, 225 pages.         $1.25

A most interesting and vivacious tale, dealing with society life at
the Hub, with perhaps a tinge of the flavor of Vagabondia. The story
has appeared serially in _The Ladies' Home Journal_, where it was
received with marked success. We are not as yet at liberty to give the
true name of the author, who hides her identity under the pen name,
Margaret Allston, but she is well known in literature.


Memory Street. By MARTHA BAKER DUNN.

  Author of "The Sleeping Beauty," etc.

  Library 12mo, cloth decorative, 300 pages.                 $1.25

An exceedingly beautiful story, delineating New England life and
character. The style and interest will compare favorably with the work
of such writers as Mary E. Wilkins, Kate Douglas Wiggin, and Sarah
Orne Jewett. The author has been a constant contributor to the leading
magazines, and the interest of her previous work will assure welcome
for her first novel.


Winifred. A STORY OF THE CHALK CLIFFS. By S. BARING GOULD.

  Author of "Mehala," etc.

  Library 12mo, cloth decorative, illustrated, 350 pages.    $1.50

A striking novel of English life in the eighteenth century by this
well known writer. The scene is laid partly in rural Devonshire, and
partly in aristocratic London circles.


At the Court of the King: BEING ROMANCES OF FRANCE. By G. HEMBERT
WESTLEY, editor of "For Love's Sweet Sake."

  With a photogravure frontispiece from an original drawing.

  Library 12mo, cloth decorative, 300 pages.                 $1.25

Despite the prophecies of some literary experts, the historical
romance is still on the high tide of popular favor, as exemplified by
many recent successes. We feel justified, consequently, in issuing
these stirring romances of intrigue and adventure, love and war, at
the Courts of the French Kings.


God's Rebel. By HULBERT FULLER.

  Author of "Vivian of Virginia."

  Library 12mo, cloth decorative, 375 pages.                 $1.25

A powerful story of sociological questions. The scene is laid in
Chicago, the hero being a professor in "Rockland University," whose
protest against the unequal distribution of wealth and the wretched
condition of workmen gains for him the enmity of the "Savior Oil
Company," through whose influence he loses his position. His after
career as a leader of laborers who are fighting to obtain their rights
is described with great earnestness. The character drawing is vigorous
and varied, and the romantic plot holds the interest throughout. _The
Albany Journal_ is right in pronouncing this novel "an unusually
strong story." It can hardly fail to command an immense reading
public.


A Georgian Actress. By PAULINE BRADFORD MACKIE.

  Author of "Mademoiselle de Berny," "Ye Lyttle Salem Maide," etc.

  With four full-page illustrations from drawings by E.W.D. Hamilton.

  Library 12mo, cloth decorative, gilt top, 300 pages.       $1.50

An interesting romance of the days of George III., dealing with the
life and adventures of a fair and talented young play-actress, the
scene of which is laid in England and America. The success of Miss
Mackie's previous books will justify our prediction that a new volume
will receive an instant welcome.


God--The King--My Brother. A ROMANCE. By MARY F. NIXON.

  Author of "With a Pessimist in Spain," "A Harp of Many Chords," etc.

  With a frontispiece by H.C. Edwards.

  Library 12mo, cloth decorative, 300 pages.                 $1.25

An historical tale, dealing with the romantic period of Edward the
Black Prince. The scene is laid for the most part in the sunny land of
Spain, during the reign of Pedro the Cruel--the ally in war of the
Black Prince. The well-told story records the adventures of two young
English knight-errants, twin brothers, whose family motto gives the
title to the book. The Spanish maid, the heroine of the romance, is a
delightful characterization, and the love story, with its surprising
yet logical dénouement, is enthralling.


Punchinello. By FLORENCE STUART.

  Library 12mo, cloth decorative, gilt top, 325 pages.       $1.50

A love story of intense power and pathos. The hero is a hunchback
(Punchinello), who wins the love of a beautiful young girl. Her sudden
death, due indirectly to his jealousy, and the discovery that she had
never faltered in her love for him, combine to unbalance his mind. The
poetic style relieves the sadness of the story, and the reader is
impressed with the power and brilliancy of its conception, as well as
with the beauty and grace of the execution.


The Golden Fleece. Translated from the French of Amédée Achard, author
of "The Huguenot's Love," etc.

  Illustrated by Victor A. Searles.

  Library 12mo, cloth decorative, illustrated, 450 pages.    $1.50

Amédée Achard was a contemporary writer of Dumas, and his romances
are very similar to those of that great writer. "The Golden Fleece"
compares favorably with "The Three Musketeers" and the other
D'Artagnan romances. The story relates the adventures of a young
Gascon gentleman, an officer in the army sent by Louis XIV. to assist
the Austrians in repelling the Turkish Invasion under the celebrated
Achmet Kiuperli.


The Good Ship _York_. By W. CLARK RUSSELL.

  Author of "The Wreck of the _Grosvenor_," "A Sailor's Sweetheart,"
  etc.

  Library 12mo, cloth decorative, illustrated, 350 pages.    $1.50

A romantic and exciting sea tale, equal to the best work of this
famous writer, relating the momentous voyage of the clipper ship
_York_, and the adventures that befell Julia Armstrong, a
passenger, and George Hardy, the chief mate.

"Mr. Russell has no rival in the line of marine fiction."--_Mail and
Express_.


Tom Ossington's Ghost. By RICHARD MARSH.

  Author of "Frivolities," "Ada Vernham, Actress," etc. Illustrated
  by Harold Pifford.

  Library 12mo, cloth decorative, gilt top, 325 pages.       $1.50

"I read 'Tom Ossington's Ghost' the other night, and was afraid to go
up-stairs in the dark after it."--_Truth_.

"An entrancing book, but people with weak nerves had better not read
it at night."--_To-day_.

"Mr. Marsh has been inspired by an entirely original idea, and has
worked it out with great ingenuity. We like the weird but _not_
repulsive story better than anything he has ever done."--_World_.


The Glory and Sorrow of Norwich. By M.M. BLAKE.

  Author of "The Blues and the Brigands," etc., etc., with twelve
  full-page illustrations.

  Library 12mo, cloth decorative, gilt top, 315 pages.       $1.50

The hero of this romance, Sir John de Reppes, is an actual personage,
and throughout the characters and incidents are instinct with the
spirit of the age, as related in the chronicles of Froissart. Its main
claim for attention, however, is in the graphic representation of the
age of chivalry which it gives, forming a series of brilliant and
fascinating pictures of mediæval England, its habits of thought and
manner of life, which live in the mind for many a day after perusal,
and assist to a clearer conception of what is one of the most charming
and picturesque epochs of history.


The Mistress of Maidenwood. By HULBERT FULLER.

  Author of "Vivian of Virginia," "God's Rebel," etc.

  Library 12mo, cloth decorative, 350 pages.                 $1.50

A stirring historical romance of the American Revolution, the scene of
which for the most part being laid in and about the debatable ground
in the vicinity of New York City.


Dauntless. A TALE OF A LOST CAUSE. By CAPTAIN EWAN MARTIN.

  Author of "The Knight of King's Guard."

  Library 12mo, cloth decorative, 400 pages, illustrated.    $1.50

A stirring romance of the days of Charles I. and Cromwell in England
and Ireland. In its general character the book invites comparison with
Scott's "Waverley." It well sustains the reputation gained by Captain
Martin from "The Knight of King's Guard."


The Flame Of Life. (IL FUOCO.) Translated from the Italian of Gabriel
D'Annunzio, author of "Triumph of Death," etc., by KASSANDRA VIVARIA,
author of "Via Lucis."

  Library 12mo, cloth decorative, 350 pages.                 $1.50

This is the first volume in the Third Trilogy, "The Romances of the
Pomegranate," of the three announced by the great Italian writer. We
were fortunate in securing the book, and also in securing the services
as translator of the talented author of "Via Lucis," herself an
Italian by birth.





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