Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

´╗┐Title: Roger Davis, Loyalist
Author: Baird, Frank
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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 "Roger Davis, Loyalist" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



[Illustration: Cover art]



[Frontispiece: HE THREW HIMSELF UPON THE GROUND.  _See page 136_]



ROGER DAVIS

LOYALIST


BY

FRANK BAIRD



WITH FOUR ILLUSTRATIONS



Toronto

THE MUSSON BOOK COMPANY LIMITED



CONTENTS


CHAPTER

    I. THE OUTBREAK
   II. AMONG ENEMIES
  III. MADE PRISONER
   IV. PRISON EXPERIENCES
    V. THE TRIAL AND ESCAPE
   VI. KING OR PEOPLE?
  VII. THE DIE CAST
 VIII. OFF TO NOVA SCOTIA
   IX. IN THE 'TRUE NORTH'
    X. THE TREATY
   XI. HOME-MAKING BEGUN
  XII. FACING THE FUTURE
 XIII. THE GOVERNOR'S PERIL
  XIV. VICTORY AND REWARD



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


HE THREW HIMSELF UPON THE GROUND . . . . . . . . . _Frontispiece_

SHE MOTIONED ME TO MY FATHER'S EMPTY CHAIR

'THAT MAN,' I SAID, TURNING AND FACING THE 'COLONEL,'
  WHO SAT PALE AND SHIVERING

'THIS IS NOVA SCOTIA,' HE SAID, POINTING TO THE MAP



Roger Davis, Loyalist



Chapter I

The Outbreak

It was Duncan Hale, the schoolmaster, who first brought us the news.
When he was half-way from the gate to the house, my mother met him.  He
bowed very low to her, and then, standing with his head uncovered--from
my position in the hall--I heard him distinctly say, 'Your husband,
madam, has been killed, and the British who went out to Lexington under
Lord Percy have been forced to retreat into Boston, with a loss of two
hundred and seventy-three officers and men.'

The schoolmaster bowed again, one of those fine, sweeping, old-world
bows which he had lately been teaching me with some impatience, I
thought; then without further speech he moved toward the little gate.
But I had caught a look of keen anxiety on his face as he addressed my
mother.  Once outside the garden, he stooped forward, and, breaking
into a run, crouching as he went as though afraid of being seen, he
soon disappeared around a turn in the road.

My mother stood without speaking or moving for some moments.  The birds
in the blossom-shrouded trees of the garden were shrieking and
chattering in the flood of April sunlight; I felt a draught of perfumed
air draw into the hall.  Then a mist that had been heavy all the
morning on the Charles River, suddenly faded into the blue, and I could
see clearly over to Boston, three miles away.

I shall not soon forget the look on my mother's face as she turned and
came toward me.  I have wondered since if it were not born of a high
resolve then made, to be put into effect later.  She was not in tears
as I thought she would be.  There were no signs of grief on her face,
but instead her whole countenance seemed illuminated with a strangely
noble look.  I was puzzled at this; but when I remembered that my
mother was the daughter of an English officer who was killed while
serving under Wolfe at Quebec, I understood.

In a firm voice she repeated to me the words I had already heard, then
she passed up the stairs.  In a few moments I heard her telling my two
sisters Caroline and Elizabeth--they were both younger than
myself--that it was time to get up.  After that I heard my mother go to
her own room and shut the door.  In the silence that followed this I
fell to thinking.

Was my father really dead?  Could it be that the British had been
repulsed?  Duncan Hale had been telling me for weeks that war was
coming, but I had not thought his prophecy would be fulfilled.  Now I
understood why he had come so often to visit my father; and why, during
the past month, he had seemed so absent-minded in school.  My
preparation for going to Oxford in the autumn, over which he had been
so enthusiastic, appeared to have been completely pushed out of his
mind.  I had once overheard my father caution him to keep his visits to
Lord Percy strictly secret.  I was wondering if the part he had played
might have any ill consequences for him and for us, when my mother's
footsteps sounded on the stairs.  She came at once to where I had been
standing for some moments, caught me in her arms, and, without
speaking, held me close for a moment, and then pressed a kiss on my
forehead.

'Go, Roger,' she said, 'and find Peter and Dora.  Bring them to the
library, and wait there till I come with your sisters.'

I was turning to obey, when I caught a glimpse through the hall doorway
of two rebel soldiers galloping up.  They had evidently come from
Boston.  At sight of my mother, one of them addressed her with an
unmannerly shout that sent the blood pulsing up to my cheeks in anger.
What my mother had been thinking I did not know; but from that moment a
great passion seized me.  That shout which almost maddened me, had, I
can see in looking back over it all, much to do in making me a
Loyalist, and in sending me to Canada.

The soldiers looked in somewhat critically, but passed.  They were
rough looking men, poorly mounted and badly dressed.  My mother
withdrew from the doorway and went upstairs, as I proceeded to seek out
our two faithful coloured servants.  I delivered to each the bare
message given me by my mother, and returned at once to the library.

Everything in the room suggested my father.  On his desk lay an
unfinished letter to my brother, who had enlisted in the King's forces
some six months before.  I had read but a few lines of this when the
door opened, and my mother entered with Caroline and Elizabeth.  In a
moment I saw that the spirit of my mother had passed on to my sisters.
I was sure they knew the worst; and although I could see Caroline
struggle with her feelings, both girls maintained a brave and sensible
silence.  A moment later Peter and Dora entered, each wide-eyed and
apprehensive, but still ignorant of the great calamity that had now
befallen our recently happy household.

The east window of the library looked toward Boston.  To this my mother
went, and stood looking out for some time; then she turned and began to
speak.

'Your master,' she said, addressing Peter and Dora, 'has been killed.
We are here to make plans for the future.'

Dora threw up both hands, giving a little shriek as she did so.  Peter
lifted his great eyes to the ceiling, and slid to his knees; a little
later he pressed his hands hard over his heart as though to prevent it
from beating its way through.  He found relief in swaying backward and
forward, and uttering a long, low moan, which finally shaped into,
'Poor Massa killed.'  He kept repeating this, until we were all on the
point of giving way to our smothered emotion.  But my mother's voice
recalled us.

'What are we to do, Roger?' she said.

Instantly the thought of a new and great responsibility flashed upon
me.  Was my mother to relinquish the leadership?  Did her question mean
that I was to step at once into the place of my fallen father?  Had she
forgotten that I was but sixteen?  I glanced at my sisters, but I found
I could not look long upon them in their helplessness, and retain my
self-control.

With a hurried glance at the servants, who now sobbed audibly in spite
of all efforts at suppression of grief, my eyes came again to the face
of my mother.  The look of noble fortitude had gone, and I saw that I
must no longer delay in coming to her assistance.

She motioned me to my father's empty chair; I took it at once, and,
though I felt all eyes in the room turn upon me, prompted by a rush of
heroic feeling, I neither flinched nor blushed under their gaze.  But
in spite of my pretended composure nature had her way.  My sister
Elizabeth, breaking into a flood of tears, rushed across the floor to
my mother's arms, and soon all were weeping uncontrollably.  Mastering
my rising feelings, I began thinking what was best to be done.

[Illustration: SHE MOTIONED ME TO MY FATHER'S EMPTY CHAIR.]

I knew the King's cause had many sympathisers on the farms that lay
about us.  What effect the real shedding of blood and the defeat of the
British would have I could not determine, but, while I knew that the
country would soon be swarming with rebels, I was equally sure that we
would not be absolutely alone, if we resolved to declare ourselves in
favour of the King and his government in the colony.  At first, it
occurred to me to advise fleeing at once inside the protected limits of
Boston.  But the thought of the value of my father's property turned me
from this course.  That we were in danger, I was certain.  My father,
owing to his trade relations with the colonists of all types, had not
openly espoused the royal cause; on many occasions rebels had claimed
him as a sympathiser; but I knew that now all would be revealed.  The
jeer of the soldiers half convinced me that all was known already.  Had
these simply gone by that they might return with others to carry us off
prisoners?

At that moment, on glancing through the window, I was startled to see
several buildings on fire away toward Boston.  The rebels had evidently
begun the work of destruction; but the thought that it had suddenly
come to this, that our quiet, happy, and thriving country-side was to
be devastated by fire and sword as during old wars of which I had read
in history, made me, for a moment, wonder if it were not all a horrible
dream.  Recalling myself, however, to the situation in which I was
placed, as the defender of my mother and sisters, I turned from the
window, and, when a silence fell in the sobbing, said, 'I shall see
Duncan Hale; he will help us.'

The painful day wore slowly on.  It was evident that the whole country
was deeply stirred.  Not a single soldier of the King could be seen,
but rebels were everywhere.  On horseback and on foot; in rough
carriages and farm wagons; armed and unarmed; singly and in crowds;
cheering, shouting, swearing, threatening--all day long these rough,
leaderless, untrained farmer soldiers kept passing and re-passing, in
what seemed to be wild, purposeless confusion.  Now and then the sound
of distant firing came from the direction of Boston; occasionally a
column of smoke arose from the country round, telling its own story of
destruction.

I wondered if a similar fate awaited our fine old house, with its
fluted Corinthian corners, and its air of English solidity.  I recalled
the peculiar pride with which my father had shown visitors through and
around it.  The big hallway running from front to back, and on either
side the lofty square rooms; the high wainscotting, the deeply recessed
window seats, and queer, old-fashioned mouldings that bordered the
ceilings; the wide fire-places with their curiously-wrought andirons;
the two magnificent lindens before the door, planted by my grandmother
when a bride some sixty years ago; the wide garden with shaded walks,
and the hundred acres of rich, valuable land, all took on a new
interest to me that day.  It came to me that these things could not be
given up without a pang.

The day--it was the twentieth of April, 1775--proved gloriously fine
until the end; this, with the unusual gaiety of the birds in the
lindens, the bursting of the buds in the gardens, and other assurances
of spring, were in striking contrast with all that had been taking
place in the world of men.  But the consequences of the events that had
preceded that day were to be infinitely greater than any contrast could
be.  I can see now, as I did not then, that rightly looked at, the
skirmish at Lexington where my father fell, had within it the
beginnings of two nations--and one of them was Canada.  But of this,
later in the story.

That night I was again in the library in consultation with my mother
and sisters, regarding the possible recovery of my father's body, when
a low knocking at the door startled us.  A few moments later Duncan
Hale and Doctor Canfield, minister of the parish, were seated among us.

In a few softly spoken words the good clergyman expressed his sincere
sympathy for us in our sudden affliction.  Doctor Canfield was one of
Harvard's most brilliant sons; he had travelled much; was directly
descended from a noble English family; he was possessed of means; many
of the foremost men of letters were his correspondents; he was tall and
military in bearing; graceful and eloquent in speech; the soul of
courtesy and honour; and withal, he was a master of the fine art of
manners.  It was Doctor Canfield and others like him who made
separation from England difficult, standing, as they did, for the only
refinement that the provinces knew, peopled as these were mainly with
rough, plain tradespeople and farmers.  As he talked with my mother, I
could not help setting his fineness over against the coarseness of the
many men I had seen through the day.

Duncan Hale sat silent, until Doctor Canfield, turning to him, asked
him to relate what he knew of the events of the previous day.  As this
was a matter to which our minds had been constantly reverting since the
reported death of my father, we gave him willing audience.

'Three days ago it became known to General Gage, madam,' he said,
rising and addressing my mother, 'that a considerable quantity of rebel
stores had been collected at the village of Lexington, some fourteen
miles from Boston.  The General decided, in the interests of His
Majesty's government and of peace, that these should be destroyed.
Accordingly he ordered Major Pitcairn to march with eight hundred men
to Lexington, and destroy or seize the rifles and ammunition there
stored.  Guided by your excellent husband, who knew the country as the
officers did not, the soldiers succeeded in destroying the stores, but,
when they were on the point of returning to Boston, they were attacked
by thousands of the rebels, who, having been previously made acquainted
with the intention of our soldiers by means of spies riding out from
Boston, one Paul Revere being chief, were fully armed and well
prepared.  Seeing themselves so overwhelmingly outnumbered, and being
informed that the whole country for fully fifty miles around was in
arms, the English officers, after consulting with Lord Percy, who had
gone out later in the day, agreed to fall back upon Boston.'

The schoolmaster finished and sat down.  There was a strangely agitated
look on his face.  I was wondering what this could mean, when a sharp
whistle sounded at the door.

Instantly we were on our feet.  Duncan Male's face went suddenly white.
The next moment a dozen or more of the rough rebel soldiers I had seen
through the day, burst into the room.

'Spy!' the leading man shouted, springing toward the schoolmaster.  But
a door that had been unobserved by the rebels, and therefore unguarded
by them before their attack, opened from the library upon the verandah.
Through this Duncan sprang, and in the shaft of light that shot from
the room, I saw him leap into the darkness.  The door shut with a
spring lock in the face of his pursuer.



Chapter II

Among Enemies

The next morning I boldly resolved to ride out into the country.  A
double purpose moved me to this course.  I was anxious first, to
recover, if possible, my father's body, and secondly, I knew that by
mingling with the rebels, I would gather information that might be of
service to me and to my mother in making our future plans.  The
invasion of our home by the soldiers and the sudden and dramatic
disappearance of my friend and schoolmaster, Duncan Hale, to whom I had
intended to look for advice, threw me quite upon my own resources.  As
to Dr. Canfield, much as he might wish to be of service to us, I was
aware that his position, as well as his pronounced sympathy with the
King's cause, would render it almost impossible for him to obtain
information except regarding the Royalist side.  I saw at once that if
information was to be gained, I must gain it myself.

I knew that there were many in the country around who had taken no part
in the long controversy that had preceded the shedding of blood.  There
were the quiet farmer people, with whom my father had traded so long,
and whom until yesterday I had seen for years almost daily go in
towards Boston with produce.  I was sure that these could not in a day
have become strong and violent partizans for either side.  Then, there
were those who were opposed to war, because it was wicked, and violated
the teaching of Scripture.  Taking our day-school to reflect the mind
of the community, I concluded that there must even yet be great
diversity of views regarding what was right and what was wrong.

My father had warned me against declaring myself on either side.  When,
in our home, Duncan Hale had fiercely engaged in denouncing the rebels,
he had urged upon him the necessity of a more cautious attitude.  The
events of the previous night led me to think that Duncan had not fully
taken to heart the advice my father had given him.  But I was sure
that, if he had offended, I had not.  At any rate I resolved to go out
into the country.

I found Peter, and told him to saddle the horse he used about the farm
and garden; then having dressed myself to look like one of the many
farmer boys I had seen passing our home, I rode off toward Lexington.

It was still early, but there were many coming and going.  I soon
learned that I had been quite successful in disguising myself.  A
fellow a little older than myself galloped up beside me.

'Goin' to enlist?' he asked.

'I am going out to Lexington to learn the truth about what happened
there,' I said.  'Where are you from?'

'Out Concord way.  I come from there last night, an' am on my way back.
Day before yesterday I shot a redcoat, one o' them fancy soldiers the
King sent to Boston two years ago to enforce his laws.  I'll show you
the place when we come to it.'  I glanced at his face, and marked in it
a note of triumphant glee.

'How long do you suppose the siege will last?' he said a little later.

'The siege,' I said, 'what siege?'

He stared at me for some moments.  'Where've ye been livin' lately, ye
galoot?  Don't ye know 'at Boston is besieged, an' that before two
weeks we're to drive what we don't shoot uv the King's men into the
harbour?  That's the plan.  That's good 'nough for 'em.  Why couldn't
they act decent, instead uv puttin' on airs an' insultin' folks.  How
much better is a soldier than a farmer, I'd like to know?  Then think
uv them laws.  Go 'way back to the very first--back over a hundred
years, when the trouble began by the surveyors puttin' the King's mark
on all the pine-trees over two feet in diameter.  Supposin' the King
did want masts for his ships, what was the sense in puttin' his arrow
on thousands of trees that would never be used?  What justice was there
in finin' a man a hundred pounds for cuttin' down an' sawin' up a tree
that was bein' left to rot?  Think uv my great grandfather spendin'
three months in jail for cuttin' lumber to build his house.  Was that
right?

'An' that wasn't the only bad law.  Why wouldn't the King allow people
to build mills an' use the waterfalls?  Who'd any right to say we
couldn't sell fish or boards wherever we chose--even to the French or
Spanish?  Our people wanted to work an' they weren't allowed to.
That's the way the trouble begun.  An' then think uv all them later
taxes on tea an' other things we 'ad to buy.  Were we to go on for ever
payin' an' payin', an' have nothin' to say about spendin' the money we
paid in?  No, sir; I'm glad war's come.  Now we've a chance to get even
with the King an' these saucy insultin' soldiers an' stuck-up officers,
who've always been pokin' fun at our militia.  Just wait till I get
another chance at them.  Then there's them Tories--all those people
who've been sayin' the King's right an' England's right--they're little
better'n the soldiers.  But they'll soon find out that.--Are there any
Tories up your way?'  He broke off suddenly, and looking at me more
critically than he had looked before, asked--

'What's your name?'

'Roger Davis,' I said at once, for I had determined to tell no lies.

'Davis?' he repeated.  'Davis?'  Then he looked at me yet more
critically.  'Yer father a merchant?'

At that moment the sound of galloping troops fell upon our ears, and a
little later the largest body of American soldiers I had yet seen swept
around a turn in the road just ahead of us.  I drew to the left, and
they thundered past, going in the direction of Boston.  My companion
turned his horse, and prepared to join the troops.  As he galloped off
with them, I heard him shouting my name, at which I saw three or four
of those nearest to him turn their heads and look back toward me
somewhat curiously.  But they all kept on, and were soon lost in the
dust and distance.

As I went on my way alone, I could not help thinking upon the words of
my late companion, who had left me as suddenly as he came upon me.
What he had told me regarding laws and taxes was not really news; I had
heard the rebel side of the case many times from Duncan Hale; but there
was quite a different note in the words of the rough young farmer.
Evidently there were two sides to the great question--at least it was
not difficult to see that people thought there were.

With myself, as with many others, up to the time of the real outbreak,
it had not been necessary to take sides.  But now it was quite
different.  Then I was a schoolboy thinking only of Oxford; now I was
the sole defender and counsellor of my mother and sisters.  I was
anxious to try the case fairly and honestly.  I wished to do right.
Consulting my feelings alone, recalling the words of Duncan Hale, and
remembering that my father had been slain, I felt that perhaps I had
done wrong in not openly, even before the troop of soldiers, declaring
myself a sympathiser with the King and his cause.  But second thought
showed me that such a course would have been folly.  If I did this,
what of my mother and sisters?  It was here that the real difficulties
of my situation first dawned upon me.  Things were strangely bound
together.  As I rode along, thinking all the while, the situation,
instead of growing simpler, became more complex.

The whole country was, I saw, in the hands of the rebels.  During my
entire ride so far, I had not seen a single soldier of the King.  My
mother and sisters, my father's fine and valuable property, were all at
the mercy of the King's enemies.  Duncan Hale was a fugitive, if not
already a captive.  My brother was somewhere in the King's service,
but, following his usual policy, my father had revealed nothing.  Then
if we were able to find him, how could he help us?  He could not look
for a discharge at such a time.  Again, his presence with us might mean
more of danger than his absence from us.  But the question that
insisted on coming to me most seriously and frequently was, 'How am I
to serve the King, and yet do what is best for my mother and sisters?'

The sun was now getting high.  The glory of the spring was everywhere.
Here and there a ploughman followed his team in a distant field.  But
it became more and more evident, as I advanced along the road, that the
spirit of war would soon absorb everything.

Suddenly my horse snorted and lurched violently back, almost throwing
me from the saddle.  He gazed wild-eyed and with fiercely-blowing
nostrils at a spot in the road.  Here blood had been shed.  A momentary
shudder ran through me, but I urged him on.  A few miles further along
the way I noticed that the fence had been torn with bullets, and in a
field, a little from the road, were four fresh mounds that I took at
once for graves.  Under a shady tree near these sat an old man of some
eighty years.

'Are these graves?' I asked.

'Aye, they be.  Four redcoats lie here, or accordin' to some, three
sodgers and a Tory.  But if you're wantin' to see where the main
slaughter was, go on.  I'm watchin' here.  There's some reason for
thinkin' the one who wasn't a sodger was a person o' consequence--a man
o' valuable property that may be useful during the siege as well as
after.  There was a lank old villain--a schoolmaster of Cambridge, I
think our Colonel said--nosin' round here early this mornin'.  It
leaked out that he was huntin' for a body.  Anyway he was surprised,
captured, an' carried off to the village.  It's generally agreed that
he'll be hanged.'

It flashed upon me in an instant, that the man of consequence spoken of
was my father, and that the other was Duncan Hale.  I was quite sure
Duncan had escaped from the soldiers who had attempted to seize him in
our home; and I knew also that for friendship's sake he would in all
probability venture out, even in the face of danger, to learn, if
possible, where my father fell.  If I was right in my conjecture, and
the old man spoke truly, the faithful fellow's love had got him into
strange difficulties.  I resolved to go on, hoping to pick up some
further scraps of information before returning home.  Had I known all
that was to befall me, I certainly would not have gone further.  But
the information I had received regarding Duncan Hale, especially the
hint of his danger, convinced me that it was my duty to go on at least
to Lexington.

After leaving the old man at the graves, I saw numerous evidences of
severe fighting almost everywhere.  Barns and buildings on every side
were riddled with bullets.  Fences were thrown down, and the fields
showed the marks of galloping troops.  Graves and bloodstains became
more and more common.

But as I proceeded, I noticed that a Sabbath quiet had settled upon the
country.  I now met nobody.  The houses seemed deserted.  One of the
only moving objects was a farmer far up a hill slope who, with a large
white grain basket by his side, strode over the red ground sowing
grain.  One man at least in the midst of war was determined to be at
peace.

But I understood the quiet as soon as I came in sight of the village.
The church bell was slowly tolling and there seemed to be thousands of
people upon the village green.

At sight of the crowd the old man's words regarding the probable fate
of Duncan Hale flashed upon my mind.  For a moment my heart stood
still.  Was the crowd in the distance a mob bent on vengeance?  And
yet, why was the bell tolling?

In spite of the feeling that I might be acting unwisely, I urged my
horse rapidly on toward the village that lay in the valley before me.
I was out in search of information, and must obtain it.



Chapter III

Made Prisoner

I had scarcely reached the village, when I learned that I had been
quite wrong in supposing that violence was intended by the people.

'It's the funeral,' a man on the fringe of the crowd told me.  'It was
here the first of the shootin' was done day before yesterday.  The
eight of our men who were killed all belonged in this neighbourhood,
an' attended this church.  They are all to be buried here this
afternoon.'

He pointed to a row of eight graves near the church.

'They'll bury first,' he said, 'an' without takin' the coffins into the
church.  Ye'll see that done among the Tories, but not here.  Ye'll be
wantin' to hear the sermon, I suppose.  Well that's my barn over there.
Go an' put up yer horse, for he's lookin' tired.'

I did as I was instructed, and a little later I was wandering about
among the people.  It was a strangely mixed crowd.  There were many
farmers dressed as for work in the fields.  Others had evidently on
'Sunday clothes.'  Women and children, boys and girls, made up a great
part of the immense company.  Though they could not be distinguished by
either their dress or bearing, I soon learned that many of the men had
been engaged in the fighting of two days before.  These were usually
the centre of interested groups of people, who listened with eager
attention to the various accounts of the day that marked the opening of
the unfortunate war.

Being convinced by this time that I was in no danger, and having seen
many others dressed exactly as I was, I pushed my way almost to the
centre of a group close to the church.  A man with his arm in a sling
was speaking.

'It was here at the east end of the meeting-house,' I heard him say,
'that the redcoats first showed themselves.  Several of our men were
moving about on the green out there, only a few of them being formed in
a company, when I heard one of the redcoats shout out, "Disperse, ye
rebels!"  I think it was an officer who said it.  Not one of our men
moved.  As the order was repeated I brought my gun to my shoulder.
Just then an English officer rode out in front of his men, and
discharged a pistol into the air.  Immediately a lot of soldiers raised
their guns and fired towards where we stood.  This time nobody was hit;
there seemed to be nothing but powder in the guns.  Our men did not
fire, but after a few minutes other soldiers came up, and without any
command from the officers that I could hear, fired into us.  We replied
this time, but when we saw they were going to surround us, our Captain
gave the order and we dispersed.  That's my story of the way the fight
began, let others say what they will.'

A little later, as I wandered about, I heard quite different accounts,
especially as to which side fired first.  I could not then, nor have I
yet ever been able fully to satisfy myself on this point.  But as to
the fact that there had been severe fighting, even upon the steps of
the church, the numerous bullet holes which I saw left no doubt.  It
seemed not a little strange to me, that a place of worship should have
been the centre around which the storm of battle had raged.  And yet I
understood later why it had been thus.

The meeting-house, I knew, was the place where all the town, as well as
religious, meetings were held.  Here it had been agreed to take up
arms.  Here in the gallery was stored the town's supply of powder.
From the windows of the building several soldiers of the King had been
shot.  I could not help wondering for the moment how all these things
could be reconciled with religion.  From the appearance and
conversation of many of those in the crowd I took them to be men and
women of honour, of excellence of character, people who would not
willingly violate what they considered to be the laws of God.  But this
was one of the days I began to learn the meaning of religion as well as
of war; and I do not hesitate to confess now, in looking back, that I
was quite ignorant of both.  My horse had shied fiercely at the dry
bloodstains on the road as I came out; I was then quite unmoved, but
the dark, irregular marks on the steps of the Lexington meeting-house,
have not proved to be things I can easily forget.  It was surely a
strange place for men to shed each other's blood.  But I was
interrupted in my thinking by the arrival of the funeral processions at
the church.  The sight was a singular one.  As the mourning friends
gathered about the graves, all thought of war seemed swallowed up in
grief.  It was not like the soldiers' funerals of which I had read.
There was no military display, no firing, no flag, nothing to mark the
occasion off from the ordinary funeral of the country.  There were many
who wept; some threw flowers into the graves; but the great mass of the
people looked on, and listened to the words of the clergyman with
expressions upon their faces that spake other feelings than those of
grief.  These people were standing by the graves of the first dead of a
great war.  The greatness and suddenness of the recent events in their
midst had stunned them.  The quiet country was unused to such scenes.
The surroundings were singularly beautiful.  The gay note of birds,
preparing to nest in the magnificent trees around the meeting-house and
belfry, mingled in the solemn hymns sung with tremulous emotion by
those at the side of the graves; and the freshness of late April was
over all.

How had it all come about?  How long would it be before these men would
go back to the unsown fields and to their ploughs standing in the
furrows?  I had formerly moved mainly with those who sympathised with
the King; almost in spite of myself as I stood there looking into many
honest faces I felt my sympathies being divided.  And yet could these
people be right?  It was something, at least, to die.  And some had
already died.  Were there honest men on both sides?  Were both causes
right?--the cause of these people and the cause of the King also?  But
the last sods were being placed upon the graves, and I moved toward the
church.  I gained an entrance only with difficulty.

Everything about both church and service was quite unlike that to which
I had been accustomed.  The minister wore no gown; the hymns were
unfamiliar to me; there were no responses in the Scripture reading.
But I understood this when I recalled that I had heard that almost all
who opposed the King in the country around belonged to churches other
than the Church of England.

As the minister began to speak I noticed that he lacked the fineness of
language with which I was so familiar in Dr. Canfield, but the man's
quiet earnestness and direct frankness pleased me much.  The part,
however of the whole service that surprised me most was the sermon.  It
contained little reference to the dead, there was no attack upon
government and the King, freedom and tyranny of which I had heard so
much from others in the crowd were not once named; but the one thought
that ran through the entire discourse was the absolute necessity of a
saving faith in Jesus Christ.

I had not looked for this.  I was quite sure those about me would have
preferred a passionate harangue on oppression, or an extravagant eulogy
on the fallen; but the minister had not stooped to this.  With him,
standing in the midst of strife and hatred, one thing seemed
important--that men, whether living or dying, should be thoroughly
Christian in heart and life.

The sudden and unexpected death of my father may have assisted the
preacher in forcing his words home to my heart, but, as I left the
building, I felt a new and strange sense of my unfitness to appear
suddenly before God.  And this question had been pushed into a place of
such prominence, so unexpectedly and under such peculiar circumstances,
that I could not put it away.  Was it true that this matter was the
greatest of all?  Would a proper answering of this question help me in
any way to face the difficulties that were thickening about me?  My
father was dead.  Duncan Hale or my brother could be of no service to
me.  My mother and sisters were in my keeping.  They must not only be
protected but supported.  And the time had also come when I must take
one side or the other.

'There'll be no neutrals allowed about here.  It's going to be fight or
flee,' I had heard men before the funeral say, as they looked away up
the slope toward a second farmer sowing in his field.  And yet my
course was far from clear.  I was young, inexperienced, and alone.  Was
there really a source of help such as the preacher had indicated?  If
so, surely I should seek it.  If I lived through the war I would need
Divine aid; if I did not live--but I put that thought away.  I must
live.  There were my mother and sisters; and I had seen and heard
enough to convince me that the King's cause could spare none--not even
a boy.  I sought out my horse, mounted him, and was soon off for home.

But, as I was leaving the village, I noticed that a marked change had
come over the spirit of the people.  The coming of evening seemed to
blot out completely all memory of the events and sermon of the
afternoon.  I saw guns everywhere, most of them being long,
old-fashioned muskets, used formerly only in the game regions of the
mountains.  There were many who galloped up shouting, and waving swords
made of scythes and reaping hooks.  At the beating of a drum the men
thus rudely armed gathered for drill upon the green.  They were
strange-looking soldiers, unused to fighting and to war, but I saw
determination in their faces.  They had no flag, for the only flag yet
in the country was the flag of England; and that waved over the men
against whom these were to fight.

Looking backward occasionally I rode away.  As I passed the graves, in
one of which I had reason to believe my father slept, I noticed that
the old man still kept guard.  It was not long after this that I came
to a wood.  The dusk was deepening now, and it was very still.  Once I
thought I heard the sound of voices in the deep forest to my right; I
paused a moment, but the distant hooting of an owl was all I heard.

A little later, as I came opposite a logging road that had been used in
winter, I heard the unmistakable sound of a man's voice; then in the
deepening dusk that had gathered under the great trees I made out the
figure of a man running.  He was waving his arms and shouting for me to
stop.

But I did not stop.  My heart gave a leap into my throat at the thought
that I might be captured, and I dug my heels into my horse's sides.  He
sprang forward; but as he did so I shot a look backward over my
shoulder.  Instantly, in the clearer light of the highway, I recognised
the figure.  Any lingering doubt was dispelled the next moment by a
voice that brought me almost to a stand.  This cry was still in my ears
when a man vaulted into the saddle behind me.  It was Duncan Hale, with
a noosed rope about his neck.

'On, Roger, on,' he shouted, 'or they'll catch us.  I knew the horse as
you came by, and broke and ran.  They were to hang me in five minutes.'

I urged the horse madly forward, at the same time glancing backward.
The men had reached the highway and were coming.  I felt my small farm
horse sway and lose his pace under the double weight.  I knew all was
over for Duncan if they came up with us.  I pushed the reins into his
hands.

'They won't hang me,' I said.  'You go on.'  Then I slid from the
saddle; and the next moment I was standing in the middle of the road
facing Duncan's pursuers with both my hands held high in the air.



Chapter IV

Prison Experiences

I was soon surrounded by a group of about a dozen panting, angry men.
They made no attempts to conceal their rage.  I was seized by several
of them at once, violently shaken, and was asked so many questions all
at once that, for a time, I was afforded a pretext for not answering
any of them.

Finally quiet was restored.  When the last man of the party had come
up, they formed a ring about me on the road.  Every moment the shadows
of night were deepening, but I could clearly see that the fire of
revenge burned hot in every face.  Nor did I wonder at this.  Duncan's
escape had been so unexpected.  They were as lions cheated of their
prey.  Almost at the moment when their savage passion for sport of the
cruellest kind conceivable was to be gratified, their intended victim
had suddenly slipped through their fingers.  The thought of what I had
been able to do filled me with a kind of fearlessness that prevented me
from shrinking, as the circle of angry men narrowed about me, I felt I
was at their mercy; I might be in great danger; I had been the means of
thwarting them; but a thrill of pride went through me at the thought
that I had been able to save the life of my dead father's dearest
friend.

The leader of the party was a tall, rough, awkward-looking man of
perhaps forty-five.  I heard one of the men call him 'Colonel.'  He
stepped into the ring and brought a huge pistol to the level of my
forehead.

'What's yer name?' he roared.

'Roger Davis,' I said.

'Where 're ye from?

'Cambridge.'

'Who sent ye out here?'

'I came out this morning, of my own accord, to hear the truth about
what took place at Lexington the day before yesterday.  I was not sent
by any one.'

'The truth boy, or----'  He showed the mouth of the pistol so near to
my face that I could have blown my breath into the muzzle--'the truth,
boy, or I'll blow----'

'I am not accustomed to speaking lies,' I broke in suddenly, with some
spirit and much warmth.  'I belong to no party, and I would have you
understand that you may yet have to answer for obstructing the King's
highway.  I bid you stand out of my path, that I may proceed on my
journey.'

A great chorus of scornful laughter greeted my words.  But I was spared
further questions at any rate.  The circle opened on one side--the side
next to Lexington--and I was ordered to march.  As I stepped out of the
group, I heard the click of several pistols being made ready for action.

We had not gone far, when I learned from the conversation which I could
not but hear, that the men behind me held sharply differing views as to
what should be done.

'We were instructed by the committee to hang him,' I heard one say;
'and this we did not do.  We let him escape.  I for one am opposed to
going back to Lexington.  The committee have had their eye on Hale for
some months; and they considered that Providence had put him into their
hands this morning.  They will be, I assure you, in no pleasant mood,
when they hear he is again at large, having obtained much valuable
information.  And to think that there wasn't a single pistol ready when
he started.'

'Perhaps the committee will turn on us--have us arrested,' put in
another.  'An' hanged for neglectin' to fulfil orders,' said a third,
whom I had not before heard speaking.  The strife and difference grew,
until many high, hot words were being spoken.

'Twasn't my fault that he escaped,' said one.  'Twas,' roared another.
'You was nearest to him.'

Then the lie was passed; and a moment later nothing but the violent
intervention of 'the Colonel' could have prevented both blows and shots.

Finally a halt was decided upon.  It was agreed that I was to be kept a
prisoner: that two of the party were to convey me to the village and
hand me over to the proper authorities, while 'the Colonel' boldly
declared that he, in order to simplify matters, would inform the
committee that the spy Hale had been hanged according to instructions.
As I afterwards plodded on through the darkness with the tramp, tramp,
of my two guards sounding in my ears behind me, I wondered that twelve
men who had been reared in the King's Province of Massachusetts could
have consented to such a lying proposal without protest.

After a journey that seemed doubly long owing to my hunger and
weariness, we came to the village, and I was immediately handed over to
an official.  Though it was very dark, he put a heavy bandage over my
eyes; then, with the men who had brought me following, I was led by a
very rough path through a field, and across a brook.  But I said
nothing.  It was not a time for words.

Finally we came to a stand.  I could hear the sound as of heavy timbers
being removed and thrown down.  Then there was the noise of the sliding
back of a door.  In a few moments I was led into what seemed to be the
mouth of a cave.  The air was damp, and I detected at once a close,
unpleasant odour.

It was not long before my eyes were unbandaged and I was permitted to
look about.  The place seemed to have been dug out of solid rock; water
dripped from one side of the roof; there was no floor but the natural
rock.  In one corner, supported on four stones, lay an old door.  I
looked a moment at this, and then turned to the faces of three men who
stood about me.  They were each eyeing me keenly.  One of the faces I
felt sure I had seen--but where?  The single lantern carried by the
jailer threw only a faint and imperfect light on the faces and on
everything about me; still I suddenly became certain that one of the
two men who stood before me was the man who had sprung into the room of
our house in pursuit of Duncan Hale.  He looked at me very critically.
Then on a signal from him the jailer lifted the lantern and held it
close, so that a better light fell upon my face.  The next moment all
the men suddenly withdrew.  I heard the heavy timbers being thrown
against the closed door; a few words that sounded like oaths fell on my
ears, and then there was the tramp, tramp, of the men's feet as they
receded from the place.  This sound gradually shaded into silence, and
I was left alone, the first prisoner of the great war.

For a time,--for a great, long time,--I stood immovable, where the men
had left me, in the centre of my dungeon, for a dungeon it really
seemed.  What was to become of me?  Had they put me here to starve?  I
was hungry up to the point of faintness, for since early morning I had
been riding or walking almost continuously, and had eaten food but
once.  The feeling of exhaustion growing upon me, I moved toward the
place where I remembered having seen the door resting on the four
stones.  I found this and sat down.

All was dark about me.  There was no sound but the occasional drip,
drip of the water from the rock above.  The damp, cold air of the place
chilled me to the bone.  It was certainly a strange place into which I
had been forced.  Had it been a prison, I would have been content.  But
the name 'prison' was much too dignified for my place of confinement.
I had visited a prison once with my father; I was familiar with the
quarters in which animals were housed; but I had never seen anything
like this.  From my surroundings my mind finally wandered to other
things.  I thought of Duncan Hale.  Had he really escaped?  If so, my
case might not yet be utterly hopeless, for I knew that Duncan, having
free access to Lord Percy, would at once make known my capture.  But
had Duncan reached the British lines?  Might he not have been
recaptured?

Then there were my mother and my helpless sisters.  Would they know of
my being carried off?  It was difficult to think they would, unless
Duncan had galloped directly home to tell them; and this I was quite
sure he would not risk doing.  My mother was probably anxiously waiting
for my coming every moment.  As matters looked at present, she must
wait long.

From this my mind passed to thinking upon consequences that might
follow from my having been recognised by the man who had brought me to
this place.  If he knew me; if it were revealed that Duncan and my
father had both been doing much, for many months past, towards securing
information regarding the smuggling expeditions of many of the
so-called 'patriot' merchants; if it were learned that my brother was
in the King's service;--indeed, I felt that if any or all of these
facts became known, the chances of my being set at liberty would be
small.

During my experience on the road I had heard, in connection with the
case of Duncan Hale, much said of 'the committee.'  I wondered what
this was.  Were there not courts of justice in the land?  By what
authority had any committee the right to pronounce sentence of death on
any man?  Was the country not still the King's, and was it not still
under the King's laws?  But in spite of the hotness of my indignation,
the dripping of the water by my side, and the frightful dampness and
cold of the place, with no covering over me, and with no pillow but my
arm, I finally slept upon the hard door.

When I awoke, I was surprised to find that, owing to a rain having set
in, the entire floor of the place was flooded almost to the edge of my
board bed, and that almost every part of the roof of my strange prison
dripped cold, muddy water.  Light enough crept in about the door to
reveal to me the fact that I was in neither a dungeon nor cave, but in
an old mine.  In spite of the cold and dampness of the place, I felt
refreshed by my sleep.  I sat up, and almost at the same time I heard a
sound as of the removal of the heavy timbers about the door.  This was
soon opened, and through it was pushed a large, dirty-looking wooden
bowl, and the door closed the next moment.  I heard the timbers being
replaced, and then, as on the preceding night, the sound of the
footsteps died away in the distance.

Hunger mastered my feelings of resentment, and I drew the bowl toward
me.  Floating in a kind of slate-coloured liquid, which may have been
intended for soup, I found two large balls or dumplings of offensive
beef rolled in dark and mouldy flour; but with the appetite of a bear,
I ate and drank almost the entire contents of the bowl.

The day passed; then another and another.  I had read many stories of
captures and imprisonments, but in none of them could I find a parallel
for my own unhappy situation.  With unvarying regularity at morning and
evening the same foul-smelling, unwashed bowl, filled with food that
varied only in degrees of offensiveness, was handed in to me.  The life
and the food and the home of many beasts would have been a relief and a
joy to me.  And what was my crime?  I was a mere boy.  I had never
spoken word nor lifted hand on either side.  True, I had saved the life
of a man from the hands of a mob; and was I to drag out my life in a
dark, dripping, unhealthy cave for that?

It was well on in the third week of my bitter experience, just as I had
found it almost impossible to hope for deliverance, that, one
afternoon, I heard the sound of loud voices approaching.  As the door
was being opened, I heard the voice of a man protesting loudly.  He was
saying--

'I tell you again, I am on no side.  I am an honest farmer, and wish to
go back to my farm from which you dragged me.  I am neither Whig nor
Tory; I will not fight on the side of either King or people.  I must
work my farm, and support my wife and children.'

As he spoke the last words, he was rudely pushed into the mine, where
his feet splashed some of the muddy water upon my face.  A moment
later, and without a word from those outside, the door was closed, and
the timbers were replaced against it.



Chapter V

The Trial and Escape

I did not speak.  For a time the man evidently considered himself
alone.  It was several minutes before--his eyes having become adjusted
to the partial darkness--he discovered me.  His jaw dropped, his hands
went up, and I noticed some of the warm colour slip out of his face.
He drew sharply back, and gazed at me in undisguised amazement for some
moments.  A little later the look of wonder shaded into one of sympathy.

'How long have you been here?' he said.

'Almost three weeks,' I told him.

'They've been usin' ye bad, haven't they?'

He came nearer and looked at me more closely than before.  I tapped on
the door with my foot.

'This is my bed,' I said.  'The food is plain, to say the least.'

Looking at my face, he said, 'It must be.'

All the time he had been standing at the lower side of the mine, where
the water was well up about his ankles.  When I told him the rock was
almost dry where I was, he came and stood beside me.  There was a
sincere, honest look in the fellow's homely face, and when he asked me
how I came to be there, I told him my story without keeping anything
back.

'What has been takin' place outside?' I asked, when I had finished.

'What has been takin' place outside,' he repeated in a voice that rose
almost to a shriek.  'What hasn't been takin' place?  Have ye not
heard?'

I assured him that I had heard nothing since the day of the funerals at
Lexington.

'The day I sowed my oats,' he exclaimed; 'the very day, I mind it well.
It was just after that they began scourin' the country.  I lived three
miles from here well back on my own small farm.  Myself an' several of
my neighbours had never taken any part in the disputes that were makin'
so much trouble in Boston.  It didn't concern us.  We were poor, with
families to keep, an' had no time to bother findin' out whether the
King was right or wrong.  We were gettin' a livin', an' were happy.
The day o' the shootin', as well as the day o' the buryin', I went on
with my farmin'.

'The time they come for me I was in my fiel' as usual.  "We've come
from the committee," they said.  "What committee?" says I.  "Oh," one
o' them broke in,--he was a Boston chap, not one o' our peaceable
farmers,--"Oh," says he, "is that all ye know about the affairs o' yer
country?  We're authorised by the Committee of Safety to visit every
man in this county, and tell him he must either fight or flee."

'"Feth, a' I'll do neether," I said, an' whipped up my horses.

'They went off, an' I seen no more o' them till this mornin', when they
come again--an'--well, here I am.'

I had listened with a sort of greedy interest to every syllable.  'Were
there many in your settlement who refused to take up arms?' I asked.

'Bout half o' us at first; but when they begun the burnin', the
shearin' an' paintin' o' the cattle an' horses; the smashin' o'
windows, an' the threatenin' with tar and feathers, of course a number
got frightened, an' said they'd fight.

'Then in our settlement the way they used old man Williams scared a
lot.  These men who said they'd been sent by the Committee o' Safety,
seized the old man one night, fastened all the doors an' closed the
chimney-top, and then smoked the ol' fellow so badly that it isn't
known yet whether he'll live or die.  My own daughter was pelted with
rotten eggs--and by men, mind you, by men.'

His voice rose here almost to a scream, and I saw that great anger
burned in his face.

'That's what's been goin' on all over this whole country for the last
three weeks; an' that's not hearsay; I've seen it.  It's cruel, it's
wicked, it's persecution, an' how can it be any less wrong because it's
done by the "Sons o' Liberty," as they call themselves?  Fine liberty
that tears a man away from his wife an' children, an' farm, an' lands
him in a place like this.'

There was a note of bitter scorn in the closing words.

'These cruelties will make friends for the King, won't they?' I said.

'They will,' he said with emphasis; 'they've done that already.'

In answer to further questions I learned that my fellow prisoner's name
was David Elton; that he had been a farmer all his life, and that his
great hope was to return soon to his farm and family, which he claimed
never needed him more than in this spring season of the year, when
crops had to be put in.  Of Boston and what was happening there he knew
nothing, except that the siege was still going on.

We spent the night, both of us sleeping as best we could, on the door.
The next morning we were blindfolded and led away.  After a half-hour's
walk we found ourselves in the presence of one of the numerous
Committees of Safety.

These had, I learned afterwards, been organised all over the country as
soon as the mobs of the wilder sort, described by David Elton, had
driven away the lawful magistrates and judges who had held their
offices under the King.  These committees were made up of the most
bitter partisans, and yet they were supposed to take the place of the
King's courts of justice.  The committees were approved by the
Provincial Congress, and given absolute power over all matters civil as
well as military.  Thus, during the first weeks of the war, did the
control of the entire country pass into the hands of the King's
enemies, who were not slow to avail themselves of the fruits of even
mob violence.  The advantage gained through these committees was
immense, as by their proclamation all neutrals and opponents of the
revolution were designated rebels and enemies of authority and their
country.

It was before one of these committees that my fellow prisoner and I
were called.  It was plain from the beginning that everything was
against us.  The man who occupied the chair was not a farmer, I
noticed.  I concluded at once that he, and at least half of the
committee of twelve, were residents of Boston.  This fact I was quite
sure would not increase our chances of acquittal.  I had often heard my
father express his confidence in the farmer people of the country, but
his opinion of many Boston merchants, whose sense of honour had been
dulled by years of trading in smuggled goods, was far from high.

As I looked about the room I soon recognised that there were many other
prisoners in addition to ourselves.  I listened eagerly as one after
another was put upon the stand and questioned.  It soon appeared to me
that most of the men were neutrals who, like David Elton, had been
taken forcibly from their farms because they had refused to take up
arms.  A few boldly declared for the King; some promised to fight; many
wavered.  These latter, as a rule, were given a time limit, in which to
decide finally, and were let go.  The Loyalists were sent back to jail.
David Elton, when called, stoutly refused to declare himself.  He
protested that he was a farmer, a man of peace, who had a large family
to support, and he was determined to go back to his farm.  He was
handed over to a guard, then hurried away.  Almost before the sound of
his loud, shrill voice, raised high in protest, was out of my ears, I
heard my own name sharply called by the court.

When I went forward I noticed a look of deepened interest on the faces
of both committee and spectators.  My case was not like those of the
other prisoners, who were practically all farmers of the community.  As
I faced the crowd of onlookers I noticed that two men suddenly and
quietly left the room.  The chairman of the committee followed them
sharply with his eye, a few others turned to look, but the great
majority steadily and critically scrutinised myself.  The murmur in the
building fell to silence.

'Your name?' was the first question asked of me.

I gave it, also my age and place of residence.

'Will you now relate fully and concisely all that has taken place in
your life since the morning of April twentieth?'  This question was put
by the man who was acting as judge.

I had spoken but a few words when a member of the committee rose, and
addressing the chairman, asked to be excused.  While I had not been
positive of the face, since the light had been uncertain when I saw the
man before, the first words he spoke dispelled all doubt.  I knew the
man.  He was the person whom I had heard addressed as 'Colonel,' on the
night Duncan escaped and I was made prisoner.

A chorus of protests broke from both committeemen and spectators.
Instantly I understood.  This was the man whom I had heard declare he
would tell that Duncan Hale had been hanged.  As a reward for his
supposed services he had been chosen a member of the Committee of
Safety!

During the parley that followed I was able to turn over the situation
in my mind.  The men who had gone out had evidently been members of the
party which Duncan had eluded, and they had feared my story.  What
would I do?  The 'Colonel' feared it also.  Would telling the whole
truth help or harm me?  I did not care to go back to the mine, and I
felt that I should proceed with the utmost caution.  The mere promise
to fight, I had learned from the cases of others that day, meant
freedom.  Would not this simplify matters?  Should I not here under the
circumstances be justified in making a promise that I did not intend to
keep.  I was sure the truth, if told, would make trouble for the
'Colonel'; but would it not make corresponding trouble for myself by
showing my sympathy with Duncan Hale, who was hated as were few men of
the King's party?  Finally, I resolved to hazard the whole truth.

The uproar in the court ended in the 'Colonel' not being allowed to go,
and I was ordered to proceed.

Knowing I had but one thing of importance to say, I spent little time
in leading up to it.  I said I had taken no part in the dispute: that I
rode out to Lexington simply to learn the truth.  I spoke of meeting
the body of troops, and of seeing the old man at the graves; I referred
briefly to the burial, even to the sermon--all this to stamp my story
as unmistakably true--then I plunged into the scene on the road to
Boston and told of Duncan's escape.  'And that man there,'--I said,
turning and facing the 'Colonel,' who sat pale and shivering,--'that
man there declared in the presence of all the others in the party, that
he would go to the village and tell the committee that Duncan Hale had
been hanged.'

[Illustration: "THAT MAN," I SAID, TURNING AND FACING THE 'COLONEL,'
WHO SAT PALE AND SHIVERING.]

I felt sure that this was the point where my story should close.  I had
nothing stronger than this.  Moved by a certain latent instinct for the
dramatic I broke off and sat down.

There was a short, ominous silence--then a great uproar.  'Traitor!'
yelled several at once, as they sprang upon the benches, waving their
arms wildly.

'Shoot him,' shouted others; 'he let him go purposely.'

But I heard little more, for the individual voices became indistinct in
the general chorus of angry shouts that burst from every part of the
room.  Friends and defenders crowded near the 'Colonel,' and soon the
house was divided against itself.  Had it not been that two armed
guards stood at the door, I think I would have broken for liberty.

Finally, standing upon the table behind which he had sat with so much
of badly simulated dignity, the chairman, very red and very hoarse,
succeeded in restoring order.

'We have agreed,' he said, 'that this whole matter shall be fully
investigated, and justice shall be done.  It is certainly unwelcome
news to hear that the notorious Hale is still at large.  If he has
escaped, as this lad declares, if among ourselves there are some who
are unworthy of our confidence, it is well that these things be known.
Everything will be fully investigated, and'--he roared the words so
loudly that they were almost unintelligible--'and justice shall be done
to both friend and foe.'

The whole assembly cheered mightily.  Then the man on the table spoke
again.

'Now in the name,' he said, 'and by authority of the Committee of
Safety for the township of Lexington, I adjourn this meeting for one
week, and order that this boy Davis and Colonel John Griffin be kept
close prisoners till that time.'

I was not taken back to the mine, but was put in a comparatively
comfortable prison.  That night--a little after midnight--I was aroused
by a low tapping on my door.  As I drew near this it opened.  I stepped
out.  The brilliant May night was all about me: and it was very still.

Without a word a figure that crouched in the shadow of the door
motioned me toward the great black wood that stretched from the edge of
the prison yard away up the mountain.  I flew off like a bird.

I was free at last, but whether they were friends of the 'Colonel,' or
friends of my own, who accomplished my release, I was never able to
discover.



Chapter VI

King or People?

The road between Lexington and Cambridge lay well in the valley.  But I
kept to the hill country.  I knew that all the roads must be avoided.
I felt sure that I could keep the course, which I knew was easterly,
and tramp home by way of the low, timber-crowned ridge of mountains.  I
set down the danger of getting lost as light compared with that of
arrest which might await me on the road in the valley, for I was by no
means anxious to return to my former quarters in either mine or prison.

Then I recalled having seen many clearings, and several small
farmhouses, dotted along the ridge, all well up toward the top of the
wooded slope.  I resolved to work my way from one to another of these
until I reached home.

It was probably about nine in the morning when I came, somewhat
suddenly, upon the first clearing.  It afforded a view of the whole
valley for miles.  Here and there I caught glimpses of the road as it
wound round toward Boston.

I stood for some moments looking upon the scene before me.  It was all
magnificent.  The sun was high, warm, and bright, away across the
valley.  The strong, vigorous life of the New England spring was
everywhere; and my three weeks' enforced stay in the cold, damp mine
threw all the beauty of the bursting leaves, the greening, distant
valley, and the singing birds, into high and clear relief.  A new life
seemed to pulse in my veins.  I was once more free.

As I advanced across the clearing I was struck with the evident
remoteness of the place.  The valley seemed to be miles away; the woods
walled in the place on every side; and yet the soil had been freshly
cultivated.  Could it be that this was one of the numerous highland
farms which I had seen when riding in the valley?

At that moment a dull sound, as of one beating the earth, fell upon my
ears.  I turned, and close to the edge of the woods, working with a hoe
in the black earth among the charred stumps, I saw the stooped figure
of a woman.  As I looked she stood the hoe by the side of a stump,
stepped a little to one side, picked up a small basket, and swung her
hand about as though scattering grain.  A moment later she was again
working rapidly with the large, heavy hoe.

For some time I stood where I was, without moving or speaking.  I was
still undecided as to what I should do, when I heard the cry of a
child.  At this the woman dropped her hoe, and turned directly toward
me.  On seeing me she threw up her hands, and stood for a moment gazing
at me.  I saw a great terror come into her face, but before I could
speak to quiet her fears, she sprang like a wild thing, uttering a
piercing shriek as she did so, toward the green hollow that had served
for a cradle, and, snatching up a crying infant, she fled away in the
direction of the small log house at the north-west corner of the
clearing.  To this I followed her.  Standing outside the closed door I
explained my situation, and in less than half an hour I was eating with
great relish a homely but substantial breakfast.  I had almost finished
this before the woman fully threw off restraint and talked freely.

'It was a great fright you gave me at first,' she said.  'I was sure
they were comin' to take me off too.  It's only two days since a lot of
men, who said they were sent by some committee, came to the fiel' an'
took away my husband.  He told me to try and do what I could at puttin'
in the rest of the crop; but the work in the new lan' is hard for a
woman.'

She had one child in her arms, and as she spoke, four others trooped
into the little room, and taking up positions beside her looked at me
curiously.

'We've five little ones,' she said; 'an we were gettin' on nicely till
this awful war come.  An' it all seemed to come so sudden.  Away up
here we heard little about it, till after the shootin' begun.  Even now
I don't know what all the trouble is about.  All the neighbours 'bout
here were poor, peaceable folk, an' wanted to go on with their
croppin'.  Some say the King's wrong, that the laws are hard, an' all
that, but we never had any reason to complain.  An' even if the laws
weren't right, wouldn't it have been better to live on peaceably, than
to have things as they are now?  Look at me left with these five
children!  What'll they do if their father isn't let come back to them
an' the farm?'  A look of anxious fear came into the woman's face, as
she spoke.

'What was your husband's name?' I asked.

'David--David Elton.  My maiden name was Merton.  We're married ten
years this summer.'

'David Elton,' I repeated; 'is David Elton your husband?'

'He is.  Did you ever hear of him?'

'Yes,' I said: 'I have.'  Then I told her many things, to which she
gave eager attention.

Half an hour later I had said goodbye to Mrs. Elton and her children,
and was entering the woods to continue my journey.  Taking a glance
backward, I saw the woman with the infant in her arms emerge from the
little log house, and cross the clearing to the spot where she had been
when I first saw her.  She placed the child in the green hollow again,
took up the basket and scattered some seed about, and the next moment
she was digging the grain into the black, ashy earth with her heavy
hoe.  As I looked, a lump rose in my throat, and I got a new glimpse of
the meaning of war.

Late that night I reached home in safety.  My mother and sisters were
overjoyed at my coming.  They spoke much of my changed appearance, and
when I saw myself in the mirror I did not wonder.  My experience of
almost four weeks had told remarkably upon me; still I felt I had
obtained valuable information, which might be of service to the King's
cause.  I had learned and could tell of what was going on in the
country; I now knew something of the character and methods of the men
who were carrying on the war, and all this I  felt much more than made
up for the loss of a few pounds of flesh.

But my mind was soon diverted from myself by other thoughts that
crowded upon me.  'Have you seen Duncan Hale?' I asked my mother; and,
as the words left my lips, I felt a great fear about my heart pulling
the blood from my cheeks.  The last time I had seen him there was a
noosed rope about his neck, with a long, dangling end.  The memory of
the sight was fearful.  But my mother was speaking.

'Duncan,' she said, 'the good friend and noble fellow that he is, has
come to us as regularly as possible from Boston.  The city is besieged,
and he comes at great, personal risk.'

The words afforded me unspeakable relief; I felt my lost colour return.

'What has been happening in Boston lately?' I inquired.

'Some new troops have arrived from England, and the fortifications are
being strengthened.'

After some further questions and answers, I detailed my experiences as
fully as I thought necessary.  My mother was much disappointed at my
inability to secure definite information regarding my father's death
and resting-place, but both she and my sisters bravely accepted the
hard conditions imposed upon us by our great and sudden loss.

From one matter we passed to another, and then another, until, in a
little silence that fell, my mother, turning to Caroline, said, 'Bring
the paper that officer left yesterday.  Roger should see it.'

While our talk had scarce touched the future at all, the document,
which was soon in my hands, convinced me that the real crisis for us
was still ahead.  The paper was addressed to my mother.  It opened with
a review of supposed grievances, referred to the causes that had led up
to the war, and ended with the statement that the house and entire
estate would be seized by American soldiers, and appropriated to the
use of the army, unless a full and satisfactory declaration of sympathy
with the rebel cause were made inside of twelve days.

With the knowledge I possessed of what was taking place in the country,
I was not surprised at the contents of the paper.  I had seen that
events were shaping directly toward this end.  But the paper brought
the crisis near, and made it real.  I laid the document on the table,
and for some time, without speaking, looked into my mother's face.

'It has come to this,' I said finally.

'Yes; what are we to do?' she answered.  'Must we give up all and fly,
or else declare ourselves opposed to the King?  Does it really mean
that?'

'That is what it means, mother,' I said.  'That is made very clear.
Our property is a valuable one, and, being situated as it is, would
afford many advantages to the King's enemies.'

'But they will pay us if they take our place--won't they?'  It was my
youngest sister Elizabeth who thus innocently spoke.

'No, dear,' my mother answered, with fine composure; 'they will not pay
us.  They will come with soldiers and drive us away.  For the rest of
our lives we shall be poor, and shall be forced to work for our
living--that is, if we declare for the King.'  As she spoke her last
words, my mother turned from Elizabeth to me.  There was a searching,
appealing look in her face.  I saw that she had seized the situation
correctly; I felt she knew that a decision upon which our entire future
depended could not be long delayed.

For many people in the Colonies the question of choice of sides in the
great conflict was solved by the nature of things.  Most of those
engaged in shipping, or in any branch of trade upon which duties had
been imposed, the naturally discontented and revolution-loving people,
as well as many others, ranged themselves immediately--without
consideration of consequences, and evidently without any doubts as to
the proper course to be pursued--under the banner of the King's enemies.

On the other hand, there were the officials of the government, the seat
of which was in England; there were the many cultured and learned
persons whose relatives and whose interests were all in Britain; and
there were the more humble, but not less loyal people--many of them
among the farmer and working classes--who loved British institutions
with a love as strong as the love of life itself.  Some of these had
fought under English commanders against the French, and their hearts
warmed at the name of King--their enthusiasm rose at the sight of
England's flag.  For these also to decide was easy.

But between the people of these two classes, whose decisions were
rendered almost inevitable, there were many who could not so easily and
so hastily settle the question of sides in the contest.  Many of the
more thoughtful did not know on which side the right lay.  Many who
wished to choose rightly were at a great loss to know what course to
pursue.

Probably, of the thousands of families all over the country, who
pondered the situation raised by the papers such as my mother had
received, none found the problem more difficult and complex than did
we.  Our feelings; our training and interests; our sense of what was
right; our love of England for England's sake, and of the King for the
King's sake; all said, and said to each of us, 'Rise and flee, let all
go.'  But how were we to live?  Our property was our support.  If our
feelings said go, self-interest argued stoutly for remaining.  My
mother and sisters were defenceless and helpless; I was but a
schoolboy.  And it was soldiers the King wanted--not refugees.

But the hour had grown very late.  We felt that the question was too
large for us.  I rose and was leaving the library for my room.  It was
then that my sister Caroline slipped to my side with a book in her hand.

'Prayers,' she said softly, pushing me back toward my seat.  'I have
found you the prayer for the day,' she added, 'you must read it as
father used to do.'

A rush of emotion, mingled with a feeling of shame at my thoughtless
ingratitude toward the Father of all mercies, almost mastered me as I
took the book of prayers from my sister's hand.  Had God not been good
in delivering me?  Had not my father prayed?  Was not prayer more
necessary now than it had ever been in my life?

We all knelt, and I stammered through the beautiful words.  They
brought to me a feeling of strange relief.  Before I slept, in words of
my own, I thanked God that He had given me a sister, who, in my
weakness, had sent me to Him for strength.



Chapter VII

The Die Cast

The next day was Sunday.  As I walked about the hedged garden in the
early morning, as I looked away toward Boston and marked the general
quiet of the country about, I was surprised that I did not see more
evidence of war and disorder.  Except some white tents in the distance,
and the occasional passing of a supply wagon from the country, there
was really nothing to break the Sabbath quiet, or to remind one that
the city of Boston was closely invested by thousands of farmer
soldiers, and that a great revolution was in progress.  When the church
bells chimed out sweetly on the beautiful spring air, it seemed harder
still to think that the time of peace had really passed.

I left the garden and re-entered the house.  At the foot of the stairs
I met my sister Caroline.

'You will come with us to church, Roger,' she said.  'Doctor Canfield
will be delighted to see you back.'

My mind ran back a little.  Would I not be in danger of arrest?  The
whole country, I knew, was swarming with spies.  I thought of the part
I had played in saving Duncan Hale, also of my imprisonment and escape.
I had not thought of openly showing myself, at least for a little while.

But Caroline was of quite a different mind.  'You will be in no more
danger in church than at home,' she argued.  'I have seen many at
church lately who I am sure are in favour of the King.  Since you left,
things have gone on quite as usual; nobody has been molested, and
Doctor Canfield has said nothing of the war.  Then Roger'--she came
nearer to me, and put her hand upon my arm--'should we not go to church
to-day, at least, and pray that God might guide us to do what may be
best?'

I felt once more rebuked by my sister.

In less than half an hour I was seated, with my mother and two sisters,
in the handsome church that had been for years the pride of the town of
Cambridge.  Not even Boston could boast a finer church building, or a
more cultured congregation.  Boston was a centre of trade; its narrow
and crooked streets; its wharves and many ships; its mixed population;
its noise and taverns; its large and busy crowds, had for years stood
out in sharp contrast with the quiet and delightful country culture of
Cambridge.  The educated and the wealthy, particularly those in whom
the English instincts were strongest, had, like my father, chosen to
live in the country rather than in the city.  Thus it was that, when
Doctor Canfield entered his pulpit that Sabbath morning, he faced
representatives of all that was best and most intellectual in the life
of the colony.

On glancing about I noticed that the church was very full.  Doctor
Canfield's church was not the only one in Cambridge, but as a rule to
it came not only all the Episcopalians, but most of the Scottish
Presbyterians, who had not, at that time, a church of their own in the
town.  They had been, mainly, silent people, who had lived quietly,
without doing or saying anything that betrayed sympathy with either
side.  Were these friends of the King?  Did the circulating of the
papers calling for a declaration of sympathy explain their presence in
such large numbers this morning at Doctor Canfield's church?

My mother had told me previously that many of them had been attending
our church for some weeks.  Had the great sifting and selecting process
begun?  Had persecution here, as in the country, been making friends
for the King?  At any rate, as I looked about, I was led to hope that
religious differences were likely to be obliterated, or sunk, in loyal
zeal for the King's cause.

I was interrupted at this point in my thinking by Doctor Canfield
announcing his text.  It was, 'Love the brotherhood; fear God; honour
the king.'

He repeated the words twice with much deliberation.

A great, strained silence fell upon the vast congregation.  I was
startled; for a time my breath came short and uncertainly.  Had the
reserved, hitherto-silent man, made up his mind to declare himself?
One great question--the question raised and forced home to each of his
hearers by the papers such as my mother had received--filled every
mind.  But great and pressing as this question was, could it be
discussed?  I felt sure I knew what Doctor Canfield would say; he was
an honest man, and would honestly speak his mind.  But was he sure of
the temper and sympathies of his hearers that day?  Had he counted the
cost?

I glanced at my mother, and saw that she was plainly agitated.  Even
Elizabeth, my sister of but twelve, seemed to realise that a crisis was
at hand.  Caroline's face was serenely calm.  On every countenance that
I could see there sat an expression of profound, even painful interest.
The silence deepened, and the interest grew, as the minister proceeded.
He first briefly discussed the part of his text bearing on love of the
brotherhood; then touched briefly, but with earnestness, on the
necessity for fearing God, and passed to the third and last part of his
subject.

As he approached this, I noticed that a note of emotion had crept into
his voice, and some of the colour had slipped down from his face; but
he was still very calm, and spoke unbrokenly as he finished his second
heading, and then twice repeated the words,

  'Honour the King!'


At this point he suddenly stopped.  The silence that fell was painfully
intense.  People leaned forward; here and there heads went down on the
pews in front.  I felt my heart beat quick and unevenly.  But the
apparent calmness of Doctor Canfield reassured me.

He did not proceed with his sermon; but, picking up a paper that lay
beside the Bible, he slowly opened it, then brought it before the gaze
of the people.  I recognised the paper at once as being similar to the
one received by my mother.

'It is not necessary,' he began, 'that I should read to you, my
brethren, the contents of this paper.  With what is here written, you
are no doubt familiar.  This paper has brought before us all a matter
of the supremest importance.  I have given it the most earnest and
careful consideration.  In regard to you, my brethren, as to the course
you should pursue in this great and lamentable crisis that is now
facing our beautiful but unhappy country--concerning you, I have
neither suggestions to offer, nor advice to give; but for myself, I
feel now constrained, in the presence of God and of this congregation,
to say that in the past my sympathies have been, at the present they
are, and in the future they shall be, always and only with my true and
rightful sovereign, the King of England.'

He said no more.  The people before him sat stunned and dumb.  Many had
known his mind before; many were aware that when he spoke he would
speak as he had spoken; and yet, to even these, the declaration came
with a shock.  Hitherto, he had proclaimed only the gospel; he had
stood apart from politics; he had considered himself the pastor of all,
not of part, of his people.  But there is a time when to be silent is
to be false--when to be true one must speak.  Doctor Canfield had
evidently felt that such a time had come in the New England Colonies of
King George, and he had spoken in words that could not be misunderstood.

Slowly the people recovered from the shock.  Those who had leaned
forward leaned back.  All through the church there was a swaying
movement as when a harvest field is wind swept.  I noticed evidences of
relief and joy steal into the faces of many; but on the countenances of
others there were unmistakable signs of disappointment and anger.  I
saw at a glance that a majority--but not all--were for the King.

Doctor Canfield stood as still as a statue.  His face had gone very
white.  Soon through the sound of swaying people, there came to my ears
the noise of footsteps.  Then a moment later, all over the church, men
and women rose and pressed toward the door.  A few of the leaders of
the church went, old and true Episcopalians, some also of the
non-Episcopalians.  The faces of many who remained showed signs of
struggle and indecision.  A few rose and sat down again.  Some looked
questions at those beside them.  In the seat directly in front of us a
husband was leaving the seat when his wife drew him back.  Not a few in
the church wept audibly.

And thus it was throughout all New England, during that Sunday and the
days following, that men, many of them in the house of God, silently,
suddenly, prayerfully committed themselves to the cause of King or
people.  They saw themselves under two masters, and painful though the
decision was, they felt that they must, for the future, hold to the
one, even though it was difficult for them to find it in their hearts
to despise the other.

When all had gone who had resolved to go, when quiet had fallen again
in the church, the minister, without a word of further comment,
announced the National Anthem.  The pent-up feelings of the people--and
there was yet a large congregation, for fully three-fourths of the
worshippers had remained--found freedom and relief in the old familiar
words.

Shortly after we reached home that day, through the green of the trees,
waving high in front of the rectory, I caught a glimpse of the Union
Jack.



Chapter VIII

Off to Nova Scotia

It was several weeks later.  My mother, Dr. Canfield, Duncan Hale, and
I were sitting in a room in Boston, awaiting our turn for a promised
interview with Lord Percy, who was still with the army.  The battle of
Bunker Hill had been won by the British; but, in spite of this success,
General Washington, who arrived in July to take command of the army,
had succeeded in drawing his lines uncomfortably close about the city.
We, with thousands of others, had been forcibly driven from our
beautiful homes in the country, to make quarters for Washington's
soldiers.  We had been allowed to take nothing away.  From all that was
most dear to us--from the luxury of a quiet life of culture; from rooms
where hung portraits of hero ancestors; from walks and gardens that had
become part of our life; from broad, rich fields and firm-set old
mansions, with their wide halls and fine Corinthian architecture;--from
all these, one day in late June, my sisters, my mother, and myself, had
been driven by a mob-like body of rough, jeering men who called
themselves patriot soldiers.

True, we might have remained.  Indeed, as we passed down the path from
our home, my mother was presented with a second paper, the signing of
which would have restored to us all that from which we were being
driven.  She read a few lines, then, tearing the paper into bits, she
threw these in the face of the soldier who stood before her.  After
this, without a single look backward upon our home--on foot, under the
blazing June sun--we had hurried away toward the besieged city of
Boston.  None hindered us; but many jeered as we passed.  We had lost
much--much upon which we never again looked--but we felt we had gained
in this: we were under the flag of the King.

But that was the past.  What of the future?  This was the question in
the mind of each of us that day in Lord Percy's waiting-room, when a
servant appeared, and asked us to follow him.

After receiving us all very graciously, his lordship asked us to be
seated.  I thought I had seldom seen a handsomer man.  He was tall,
graceful and youthful; his manners were polished, and his language bore
all the marks of the utmost culture.  He first addressed himself to my
mother.  After making some kindly references to my late father, and his
services in the King's cause, he passed at once to a discussion of what
was to be in the future.

'You cannot be unaware, madame,' he said, 'of the deep and sympathetic
interest I take in the welfare of yourself and your family.  The noble
spirit of self-sacrifice manifested by you in voluntarily giving up
your lands and home, I consider quite beyond praise; and it is with
feelings of the profoundest regret that I feel myself obliged to say
that it is quite beyond my power to offer compensation to you in any
degree commensurate with your loss.  As to the future of the rebellion,
nothing definite can be said; for myself, I believe that the arms of
the King will finally triumph; but this cannot be hoped for in the
immediate future.  You cannot remain here; the danger grows daily.
What think you of Canada, madame?  Or of Nova Scotia, of those wide,
peaceful, loyal provinces of His Majesty to the north of us?  Many of
our people, as you know, have sailed for England--too many, I fear;
others have asked to be sent to Canada.'

My mother did not answer for a time.  Finally, she said: 'I like
America; I was born here; I have now few friends in England, and I am
without means.'

At the mention of Canada, I had seen Duncan Hale's face brighten; but
he did not speak.  A little later, Lord Percy turned to him.

'Tell us,' he said, 'what is said of Nova Scotia in the geographies?
Is it really a habitable land?'

Duncan bowed very low.

'Yes, my lord,' he said, 'it is a country in no degree less fruitful
than that in which we live.  In addition to what is writ in our books
of it, I have learned from traders that the soil is rich, that it is a
land of delightful summers, of mighty rivers, and of boundless forests.
The wealth of its fisheries and mines cannot be estimated; and best of
all, your lordship, it is a land undefiled by the feet of traitors.'

The closing words were spoken in such a manner as to show that Duncan
Hale was not one of those who had found it difficult to choose between
King and people.

Doctor Canfield, who had so far said little, rose and walked to a large
map of America that hung upon the wall.

'This is Nova Scotia,' he said, pointing to a large, irregular
peninsula.  'Canada is further west, is it not?'

[Illustration: 'THIS IS NOVA SCOTIA.' HE SAID, POINTING TO THE MAP.]

We gathered about the map, a new and peculiar interest attaching to it,
owing to the situation in which we were placed.

Duncan Hale explained fully and clearly that all the land on both sides
of the water marked Bay of Fundy was called Nova Scotia.  This was a
single province, which had a Governor who lived in Halifax.  'Canada,'
Lord Percy explained later to my mother, 'is known as the Province of
Quebec.  There are many French there,' he said; 'but in Nova Scotia
most of the people are English or Scotch.  In Halifax they have had a
Parliament for some years now, and from all we have been able to learn
the people here'--he swept his hand all over the peninsula and around
the Bay of Fundy--'are happy and prosperous in the enjoyment of the
liberties of all British subjects.'

After touching on the question of sailing for England, we discussed
with Lord Percy more fully the relative merits of Canada and Nova
Scotia.  Then we went out.

As we passed along, we noticed that the streets were crowded.  There
were many soldiers in their bright red uniforms, but the great majority
of the people were like ourselves--refugees who had come in from the
surrounding towns and country for protection from the rebels who were
daily becoming more insolent and offensive.  We had come almost to the
quarters kindly put at our disposal by Lord Percy, when in a crowd of
plain countrymen I caught sight of a face which I was quite sure I had
seen before.  Doctor Canfield went on with my mother and sisters, while
Duncan Hale and I turned aside.

A moment later, hearing the voice of the man who had attracted my
attention, I was fully convinced that I had hit upon my old
fellow-prisoner of the mine at Lexington, David Elton.  He shook my
hand warmly, told me briefly of his escape, and of his return to his
home.

'But when I got back,' he went on, 'I found a great change in the
settlement.  Some had taken up arms on the side of the people; some had
enlisted with the King's men.  I and several others could not think it
was right to fight on either side.  Finally they came an' burned our
houses, an' drove off our stock, so we had to flee.'

'What are your plans for the future?' I asked.

'Some o' them here'--he waved his hand over the group of hardy,
honest-looking farmers--'have been talkin' o' goin' to--what's the name
o' the place?' he said, turning to those who stood behind him.

'Nova Scotia,' several said at once.

'Aye, Nova Scotia.  That's it.  There's peace there, they say, an'
plenty o' better lan' than what we've had here on the hillsides.  Most
of us have about made up our minds to go there.'

'Well done,' broke in Duncan Hale at this; 'for myself I'd rather be
there on two meals a day under the flag of the King than living as a
lord here among traitors, rebels and cut-throats.'

At this a few of the crowd hurrahed and pressed closer.  They listened
attentively for some time, as Duncan told them of the new land in the
north to which their minds had already turned.  As I looked on this
group of rough, plain men eagerly listening to the schoolmaster, as I
marked their hard hands and weather-beaten faces, as I heard them cheer
the King's name, it came to me that it was not the cultured and refined
only who were with the King.  The bone and sinew of the country, as
well as the brain and learning of it, were united in their loyalty to
the cause that was growing dearer to me every day.  The siege of Boston
dragged slowly and painfully on.  Weeks slid into months, and still no
decided advantage was gained by either side.  There were times when we
heard that it would be useless to go to either Canada or Nova Scotia,
for these already had been invaded and conquered.  All communication by
land was cut off, and closer and closer about the city were drawn the
lines of the besiegers.  English ships kept coming and going, but
gradually it began to dawn upon me that Boston must be given up.

The winter was wearing towards spring of the year 1776.  The condition
of things in Boston was far from comfortable.  It was eight months
since we had left our home in Cambridge.  Almost all who sympathised
with the besiegers had left the city, but it was still much
overcrowded.  The fleet lay in the harbour, but the supply ships from
England came less and less regularly.  Food began to be scarce and
dear.  The trade of busy and prosperous Boston languished almost to
nothing.  A spirit of grumbling discontent seized the soldiers.  The
heart of the Loyalists sank very low.  Drunkenness and disorder, crime
and confusion, were spreading.

It was during these dull, heavy days when even my mother's brave spirit
had almost deserted her, when even Doctor Canfield found it hard to be
cheerful, and when I was feeling particularly depressed, that a new
hope suddenly entered my life.  For some time my sister Caroline had
been endeavouring to turn my mind inward upon myself.  An experience
quite unlooked for lent her strange and powerful assistance.

She had cautioned me again and again not to expose myself to danger
from the enemy.  Several shells thrown by the besiegers had been
bursting in the city lately, and had done considerable damage.

'Be careful, Roger,' Caroline said to me on leaving home one day for my
usual walk about the city: 'How dreadful it would be both for us and
yourself if anything should happen to you.'

As I walked I could not help recalling the words, 'How dreadful for
yourself if anything should happen to you.'

Did my sister really think I was unprepared for death?  I had heard her
pray earnestly for me.  I noticed that while the rest spoke much of the
war and the danger about us she said little of these things.  For the
future she seemed to have no fear, except her fear for me.  Why was
this?  I was not openly wicked.  I was not profane, and yet I was sure
my sister had a faith, a peace, a happiness even in our distressing
circumstances that I did not possess.

It was at that moment that a great crashing noise fell upon my ears.  A
shell burst almost at the feet of a man who had been walking but a few
yards in front of me.  Through the great cloud of dust raised I saw him
fall; I heard him shriek out a prayer to God for mercy upon him; and
then a few moments later he was dead.

For almost a year I had been familiar with the sight of many wounded
and dead.  I had known of many being thus suddenly taken off; and yet
my own need of preparation never came home to me as at that moment.
Had I been a few yards further ahead all would have been over with me.
Then my sister's words came back with double meaning.

That night, in the quiet of my small room, I poured out my soul to God
in prayer for forgiveness.  I made up my mind that whether we finally
resolved upon going to England, to Canada, or to Nova Scotia, I would
go not in my own strength, but in the strength of God and in dependence
upon Christ as my Saviour.

My decision was not made any too soon.  The next morning showed that
during the night the Americans had strongly fortified themselves on the
heights much nearer the city than ever before.  Seeing this, a council
of war was held by the British officers, and it was decided that Boston
must be given up at once.

The following night the whole army, with eleven hundred Loyalists like
ourselves, were hurried on board the King's ships that lay in the
harbour, and by the time the sun rose we were well down the bay, with
our vessels headed for the new land in the north called Nova Scotia.



Chapter IX

In the 'True North'

As the vessels drew away from Boston I was surprised to hear not a
single expression of regret.  On all of the forty or more vessels there
were crowded, in addition to the soldiers, over a thousand men and
women who were leaving the land of their birth for a country that was
new, strange, and practically unknown.  Behind them, on the slopes that
rose from the city, through the lifting mist of the morning, many could
distinguish the outlines of the farms they had cleared by long and
patient toil.  The white of their comfortable homes stood out sharply
against the grey ground about them and the green forest behind.  In the
making of these clearings and homes, men and women had grown old;
neither the suns of summer nor the storms of winter had turned them
aside from their great purpose of living honestly, of passing the
result of years of toil on to their children, and then lying down to
sleep in the hillside cemeteries with their fathers.

But the plans slowly being matured through the years had been rudely
broken in upon.  War had come.  And now, though they might have
remained; though history afforded, as Duncan Hale affirmed, no parallel
for their action in leaving as they did; though no sword had been
lifted up to drive them hence; though no law but the law of their own
consciences bound them, they were sailing away.  And while they looked
back with interest, I could not see on the many faces about me a single
evidence of pain at the going.  Many of the men were old, and must
begin in the new land, where they had begun here fifty years ago; but,
as was fitting in the pioneers of a new way for many thousands of their
countrymen who were to follow them during the war and after its close,
they looked back that day upon the receding shores of Massachusetts
without regrets, and when the homes and farms could no longer be seen
on the grey, cold slopes, they turned dry eyes and resolute faces to
the sea and the pure March north wind.  If the country to which they
went would be new, the flag, at least, would be the old one.

As soon as we were well away from Boston, a feeling of buoyancy
possessed us.  The sun shone brilliantly; this, together with the wide
stretch of sparkling sea about us, the shouting from ship to ship, the
feeling of freedom after so many weary months of restraint in the
besieged city, all tended to render us unexpectedly happy.  Social
distinctions vanished.  One in our loyalty, we resolved to be one in
everything.  My mother moved about among the farmer women from the
country, and at times talked even gaily with them.  Elizabeth romped
the decks with children of her age from the hillsides, while Duncan
Hale and Doctor Canfield, both of whom were on our ship, discussed
plans for the future with the men.

On the afternoon of the third day after sailing we entered Halifax
harbour.  I was standing by Duncan Hale.

'It's all magnificent, magnificent,' I heard him say partly to himself.
'The whole British navy might enter here and manoeuvre.'

Then he hastened away to find Doctor Canfield.  When he returned with
him the vessel was well within the projecting horns of land that shut
the great harbour safely in from the ocean swell.  On our left a high
bold bluff rose sheer from the water to a great height; on the right
the land lay much lower.  Directly in front lay the harbour.  It ran
away to the north for full six or seven miles, by two or three in
breadth, and was dotted with the ships that had come in before, and
hedged about on every side by the dark magnificent forests--here and
there broken by ledges of rock.  Doctor Canfield surveyed it all slowly.

'Why, it's a whole inland sea,' he said at length.  'Neither Boston
harbour nor any others on the whole New England coast can be compared
with this.'

Many others made remarks, all expressing wonder at the magnificence of
the harbour and the beauty of the surrounding country.  At sight of the
Union Jack flying from a tall staff on the top of a great mound some
distance in front and to the left, a feeling of proud satisfaction came
in upon me.  The feeling of my new responsibility seemed to press upon
me as it had not done before.  The wind blew down over the forests
fresh and cool, for it was yet March; here and there broad patches of
snow held fast in the hollows.

Our means were very limited; the new land before us was evidently a
wilderness.  But when I had looked for a moment on the well-known flag
waving from the distant hilltop, when from this I allowed my thoughts
to run on upward to Him whom I had solemnly pledged myself to serve, no
matter where we went or what happened, then for a time in the great
happiness that came upon me, I forgot that I was but a boy of not yet
seventeen, landing in a strange country with the responsibility of
supporting my mother and two sisters resting upon me.  God had heard my
prayer for the safety of myself and others.  I recalled Doctor
Canfield's last text, and felt that I could best honour the King by now
more reverently fearing God.

It was at this point that I was startled to hear my sister Caroline,
who had been standing beside me--looking forward in silence--break out
sweetly, but in a low voice, into an old familiar hymn.  The spirit of
the words gave fitting expression to my own feelings, and forgetting
those about me, I joined with her as she sang:--

  'O God, our help in ages past,
    Our hope for years to come,
  Our shelter from the stormy blast,
    And our eternal home.'


With the opening of the second verse we were joined by many others.
Soon it seemed that every person on the crowded deck was singing.
Other ships caught it.  Just as we drew to the landing-place the
singers reached the last verse, and surely nothing could have been more
appropriate than the words:--

  'O God, our help in ages past,
    Our hope for years to come,
  Be Thou our guard while troubles last,
    And our eternal home.'


The words had a strangely moving effect upon the people's emotions.
Tears that had refused to flow on leaving Boston, now, with many, had
their way.

Doctor Canfield, seizing the opportunity presented by the quiet that
followed the hymn, stepped forward, and in simple but beautiful
language offered up a prayer of thanks for deliverance from the deep,
and finally and earnestly commended all to the guidance and the mercy
of God for the days to come.

A little later, as great bars of scarlet were shooting up from the
west, over the hill on which gaily flew the King's flag--for which we
had willingly sacrificed so much--happy in the consciousness of having
done right, strong in faith for the future, like our ancient ancestors
the Pilgrim Fathers, with both songs and prayers on our lips, we
stepped ashore.  And from that day--the 30th of March, 1776--though we
did not know it, a new nation began to be made, in the 'True North,' on
Canadian soil.

The Governor of Nova Scotia welcomed us heartily.  The sudden and
unexpected arrival of so many soldiers and Loyalists produced some
difficulties, but everything possible was done to make us comfortable.
For those of the Loyalists who had no means, both food and shelter were
provided by the Government.  With the assistance of Doctor Canfield, I
was able to secure a temporary lodging for my mother and my sisters at
a moderate rental.  In this we proposed to remain until matters assumed
a more settled shape, and we were enabled to resolve upon a course for
the future.

Fully two weeks were occupied before all the people were even fairly
well provided for.  Many had to be content with sheds, barns, and
warehouses for homes.  Good food was not always easily obtained.  Many
who had been accustomed only to finely carpeted halls, and to couches
of down, were forced to occupy quarters where the floors were of rough
planks, and the beds of straw.

But there was no complaining.  We resolutely determined to be happy;
and we were happy.  On the streets, in the quarters I visited, at the
market, about the wharves, and on the ships, people moved care-free and
light-hearted.  Few spoke of the country we had left.  There were many
entertainments.  The Governor, the army officers, the members of the
council, and the more wealthy citizens opened their homes freely for
our entertainment and comfort, and in a remarkably short time the
memory of our sufferings and loss began to fade.  To many, the old,
happy days of colonial Boston came suddenly back again.

It was one evening when the entire city had passed under the spell of
this lighter mood, that I walked with Duncan Hale to the top of the
great mound where flew the flag.  The warmth of the beautiful spring
air was everywhere about us.  The grass had sprung green on the
hillslopes, the brooks ran full to overflowing, and the dark green of
the great forest was taking on a lighter shade.  But Duncan's face wore
a heavy, apprehensive look.

'I have seen the Governor,' he said in answer to a question, 'and
things at present are far from hopeful.  The rebels have been winning
in New England.  Many in this province whom the Government had hoped
would be loyal have refused the oath of allegiance to the King.  A few
have openly declared for the enemy.  Two nights ago a cargo of hay
being shipped from here to New York for the King's cavalry was burned.
Worst of all, reports have come from about the great bay to the
north--from the St. John and Miramichi Rivers, that thousands of the
Indians, urged by agents from the rebel General Washington, are on the
point of rising.'

At the last words I suddenly stopped.  The beauties of the spring
evening had no more charm for me.  'Can all this be true?' I gasped.

'It is not to be denied, the Governor fears,' Duncan said.  'Halifax
may be besieged in less than a month.'

'But cannot something be done?' I cried.

'The Governor has one hope, that the Indians on the St. John may yet be
kept loyal.  He has asked me to go with others and make the attempt.'

'I shall go also,' I said, 'if the Governor will permit.'

'The Indian is treacherous; there will be danger.'

'I shall go though, Duncan: I must go, if I may be of service.  I
thought all was now safe.'

'So do many.  Few in the city know our real danger.  And another thing
that is discouraging is this: David Elton and many other farmers, who
have been into the country for several miles, say that it is absolutely
unfit for cultivation.  Rocks, rocks, and only rocks everywhere is
their report.  Food also is running very low in the city.'

We turned and walked down the slope.  Had I been right in being so
cheerful?

As I entered the door of our temporary home, I heard my mother and
Caroline in earnest conversation.

'But I ought to accept the offer, mother,' my sister was saying.  'We
are poor now, and our money is half spent already.  What are we to do
when it is gone?  Are we to remain, like so many others, a burden on
the King and the Government?'

'But, Caroline,' my mother said, 'you must remember your family, your
name, and social standing.  To accept this position means that you
become a servant.  Have you considered that, my dear?'

'Yes, mother,' Caroline said as I entered the room, 'I have thought of
that.  But how can there be any disgrace in doing honest work?  I am
strong and well; I want to do something to help Roger support you and
Lizzie.'

My mother did not speak.  I saw that a conflict was going on within
her, the conflict that had to be fought out in so many Loyalist breasts
between pride and necessity in Canada.  But in this, as in most other
cases, necessity won.  My proud-spirited mother was finally overborne
in her opposition to my sister's proposal.  Before we slept that night,
it was agreed that Caroline should enter a Halifax family where she
would earn some ten shillings per week teaching two children and doing
some other light duties.

We were surprised the next morning by an early visit from Duncan Hale.

'The Governor,' he said addressing me, 'will give you a place as
secretary to one of the officers who is to go to St. John with
Lieutenant-Governor Hughs to attempt to pacify the Indians.  The salary
will be six shillings per day.  Will you go?'

'Yes,' I said eagerly; 'I will.'



Chapter X

The Treaty

The details of the expedition to the Indians on the St. John were
finally arranged, and we set off.  Duncan Hale was to act as secretary
to Sir Richard Hughs, the lieutenant-governor, while I was assigned to
a similar position under a certain Colonel Francklin, who had been
appointed by the Government as superintendent of Indian affairs.  There
went with us also a Rev. Father Bourg, a former missionary to the
Indians, a Romanist, a man of French descent, but, as I was afterwards
to learn, a valuable and loyal subject of King George.

Our party, including soldiers and a few gentlemen who went to look over
the country north of the bay, with a view to getting some of the many
farmers who had come from Boston to settle upon it, numbered, in all,
twenty-seven persons.

Somewhat tired from the long journey on horseback over a road that was
exceedingly rough, we finally reached Annapolis.  The country about
here was partly settled, and seemed to be remarkably fertile.  There
were wide, rich marshes, orchards, and many well-cultivated farms,
occupied mainly by settlers who had come in from the American Colonies
before the war.  These lands, Father Bourg explained to me, had
originally been occupied by his ancestors, who had come from France
over a hundred years previously.

From Annapolis we took a sailing vessel, and were soon across the Bay
of Fundy, and in the harbour at the mouth of the great St. John River.
The shores of the harbour seemed to be particularly rocky and
forbidding.  At a place called Portland Point, where we landed, there
were a few buildings, somewhat rudely constructed, and used mainly by a
trading company that, for years, had done business with the Indians and
others up the river.  On a hill to the eastward was a fort, called Fort
Howe; everywhere else, down even to the water's edge, stretched the
black, unbroken forest.

We found the members of the trading company here, though American
born--unlike some others afterwards discovered up the river--to be true
and loyal subjects of the King.  They exerted themselves to house us
comfortably, and then proceeded to give us much valuable information.

'The Indians,' I heard Mr. Simonds, the head of the company, tell
Colonel Francklin, the evening of the day of our arrival, 'are becoming
more and more insolent.  Not only have agents from the rebels been
among them, but their chiefs have, in answer to a special invitation,
visited General Washington at Boston.  He there spoke many flattering
words to them, told them also that the English were planning to take
their country and make them slaves.  Besides this he gave them large
presents, presented them with a wampum belt, a flag--a new design with
stars and stripes--provided them with arms, and finally exacted a
promise from them to kill or drive out the English found on the St.
John.'

I saw Colonel Francklin's face take on a look of keen anxiety.  'Have
these chiefs yet returned?' he asked.

'They have.  For some days on the upper waters of the river they have
been poisoning the minds of the tribes.  Cattle of the loyal settlers
have been driven off by them, houses burned, while the boats and nets
of some of our fishermen have been destroyed.'

That night there was a long conference at the little trading post.  The
next morning Colonel Francklin, Father Bourg, Mr. Simonds and myself,
with some dozen others, went on board a small sailing vessel, and
proceeded up the river, the plan being to meet the Indians and bring
them to the fort for an interview with the lieutenant-governor.

As our vessel swung away from the wharf, and proceeded up the great
stream, I could not help admiring the grandeur of the scenery.  On the
right there arose a great cliff of bluish white limestone.  Far up this
a few workmen, in the employ of Mr. Simonds, were chipping and drilling
the rock, while down near the water's edge, where two schooners were
being loaded with barrels of lime, great puffs of smoke rose from the
kilns.  It was my first glimpse of industry in the new country.

After passing the cliffs, the banks of the river fell away back,
affording us a full and magnificent view of the great stream and its
surroundings.  Far up the valley ahead, narrowed by the distance and
sparkling in the flood of May sunlight, I could see the winding line of
the river sliding among other lower hills, which showed blue through
the lifting mist.  White, circling gulls shrieked out protests as they
swooped angrily very near to the Union Jack at our masthead; but apart
from this, and the strong swish of waters about our bows, the unbroken
silence of the great wilderness was over all.

Standing on the deck and looking about, a feeling of exceeding
smallness and loneliness came in upon me.  I had seen nothing like this
in New England, nor yet in Nova Scotia, for richness, for real
magnificent bigness and beauty.  The sky above seemed higher and bluer,
the water below was clearer, the wind purer, the sweep of scenery finer
than any my memory could recall.  Was nature to help in compensating us
for what we had lost and left behind?  Had fate been cruel a year ago
in order to be kinder now?  At any rate I felt as I looked out over it
all, then up at the small flag flaunting its red gaily against the
blue, that with these hills about me, with this river in front and with
that flag and God above me, I could be happy.  I breathed a prayer,
then I resolved to make a home for my mother and sisters on the River
St. John.

The evening of the second day on the river was approaching when I saw
Father Bourg rise from his seat on the deck, and advancing to the
vessel's prow, look eagerly up the stream.  When he turned he said
simply, 'De Indian; dey are coming in great number.'

For some time I could see nothing; but under the direction of the good
priest I was finally able to make out a long, thin line far up the
river, stretching almost from bank to bank.

'Dese are canoe,' he said, and then leaving me to look and wonder, he
was off to seek out Colonel Francklin and Mr. Simonds.

In half an hour our vessel was surrounded by over five hundred warriors
in ninety canoes.  It was evident from the first that they were
hostile.  The flag at our masthead became a target for many arrows; now
and then there sounded out sharply the crack of an American rifle;
there was also much shouting and wild jeering such as I had never heard
before.  In one of the leading canoes waved a flag that bore stars and
stripes upon it.  It was the new flag of the rebel colonies, and had
been presented to the chiefs by Washington.  The sight of this filled
me with much bitterness.

As the canoe bearing the flag came nearer to our vessel, I saw some of
the anxiety disappear from the face of Father Bourg.  He said something
I did not hear to Colonel Francklin, then the next moment advanced to
the rail.  'Pierre Tomah,' he shouted, 'Pierre Tomah'; then still
speaking very loudly in a language I had never heard before, he briefly
addressed a distinguished-looking warrior who sat under the flag.

When he had finished the warrior rose.  He was a man of magnificent
proportions.  His tall plume swayed in the gentle wind, and his
brilliant costume glittered in the evening sun.  'I baptize him
feefteen years ago on de Restigouche,' I heard Father Bourg say in a
low voice to Colonel Francklin.  'Dis is most fortunate: we may yet
succeed.'

The chief lifted his hand commandingly to those behind him.  Without a
word the five hundred warriors dropped their rifles and removed the
arrows from their bow-strings.  A great silence fell over the fleet of
swaying canoes.  On our vessel each man breathed uneasily.  Pierre
Tomah was the chief of all the Indians in the great country north of
the Bay of Fundy.  On the Restigouche, on the wide, full Miramichi, on
the St. John and all its branches, his word was law.

'Pere Bourg,' I heard the great chief say in opening, and then all was
unintelligible to me for a time.  At length I caught the word
'Washington' and a moment after I saw him point upward to the flag that
flew above him.

Father Bourg replied with great spirit, waving his arms as he did so.
I heard him use the words 'Washington,' 'England,' and 'King George.'

For a time Pierre Tomah was silent.  Then his eyes wandered toward the
wide sandy stretch of shore.  In a few moments it was arranged that we
should land, for a fuller discussion of the questions at issue.

Colonel Francklin and Father Bourg then proceeded to reason with the
chiefs, most of whom showed themselves openly hostile.  Finally Pierre
Tomah said he could not decide without having first consulted the
Divine Being.  He then threw himself upon the sand and remained lying
face downward, speechless and motionless for a long time.  On rising he
informed the other chiefs that he had been advised by the Great Being
to keep peace with King George and his people.  For a time the decision
was very unpopular with many of the warriors, but all finally yielded,
and consented to accept the invitation of the lieutenant-governor,
asking them to go to the mouth of the river.

The next morning, surrounded by the flotilla of canoes, we started on
the return journey, reaching the trading-post and fort at the river's
mouth after having been absent four days.  Negotiations were at once
entered into, and the terms of a treaty of peace were, after several
days, finally agreed upon.  When all had been arranged, the
lieutenant-governor, representing King George, accompanied by Colonel
Francklin, the commander of the fort, and several soldiers who formed a
bodyguard, marched down from the fort to a meeting-place previously
arranged.  When the King's representative was seated, Pierre Tomah, the
other chiefs, and many of the principal Indians who had gathered from
all parts of Nova Scotia, came and solemnly knelt before him.

First they delivered up the flag received from General Washington, also
the letter written by him to them, as well as the numerous presents he
had sent, together with the treaty made with the Massachusetts
government some weeks previously, binding them to send six hundred
warriors into the field.  They then took a solemn oath, 'to bear faith
and true allegiance to His Majesty King George the Third; to take no
part directly or indirectly against the King in the struggle with his
rebellious subjects, and to return to their homes to engage in the
usual pursuits of hunting and fishing in a peaceable and quiet manner.'

This declaration made, as a pledge that it should be kept, Pierre Tomah
then gave into the hand of the lieutenant-governor a belt of wampum,
while that gentleman, in turn, rising and walking along the line of
kneeling chiefs, placed a decoration on the shoulder of each.  He also
presented the warriors with a large Union Jack.  When handsome speeches
had been made on both sides the chiefs performed a song and dance in
honour of the great conference.  The night was spent in feasting and
rejoicing under the British flag.

The next day the warriors, accompanied by the loyal and clever Father
Bourg, embarked for the return up river.  In answer to the salute from
the cannon on Fort Howe, they gave three huzzahs and an Indian whoop.
The last sound we heard as they drew around a bend in the river above
was Father Bourg, with his French accent, leading in singing, 'God Save
the King.'

That night, after talking long with Duncan Hale of the clever manner in
which we had outwitted Washington and his agents, I fell asleep and
dreamed of the new home I was to build on the now peaceful St. John for
my mother and sisters.  One step at least had been taken: from being an
enemy the Indian had been turned into a friend.



Chapter XI

Home-Making Begun

The treaty was not made a day too soon.  Next morning I was awakened
very early by loud shouting around the fort.

'The rebel vessels--the Machias men--the American pirates who were here
before and plundered us, have come again,' I heard some one say to
Colonel Francklin in the next room.

I sprang up, and ran to the single window that overlooked the harbour.
Sweeping in on the flood tide I saw three New England schooners.  From
the mast of each flew flags similar to that we had received from the
Indians.  The decks were black with men.

I dressed hurriedly, and presented myself in Colonel Francklin's
quarters.  Mr. Simonds had entered before me, and was speaking.
'This,' he said, pointing to the schooners which had now come to
anchor, 'is another part of a plan to seize the fort.  One of our men
heard that the Indians were to come down the river, and be met here by
the schooners: we were then to be subjected to a double attack.'

Outside I could hear the quick, sharp commands of the captains and the
tramp of the garrison preparing for action.  In less than ten minutes I
was at a loophole in the wall of the fort with a rifle, waiting the
order to fire.  Not far from me, similarly armed, was Duncan Hale.  I
noticed a look of triumphant glee upon his face, as he said to a
soldier beside him--

'Now we'll pay them in their own coin for trying to stir up the
Indians: then I've a score against these rebels on another account.
They'd have hanged me once.'

'Hanged you?  Where?'

'Just out of Boston--two days after the war began.  They'd a rope round
my neck.'  The whole scene came back upon me vividly.

'What had you done?' the soldier asked.

'Done!  I'd exposed some of their smuggling and treasonable actions.
That was all.'

At that moment the movements of some on the schooners attracted my
attention.  'They are getting their boats in shape,' I heard Colonel
Francklin, who was looking through a glass, say to Lieutenant-Governor
Hughs, who stood beside him, 'and appear to be preparing to come
ashore.'

There was a brief consultation among the officers.  Then the Major in
command said: 'Every man ready to fire at them as they come over the
sides.'

From that time onward moments seemed hours.  Finally the painful strain
was broken by the single word--

'Fire!'

There was a thunder of cannon and a sharp crash of musketry.  When the
smoke blew to one side, we could see the boats pulling back to the
vessels.  Looking through his glass, Colonel Francklin reported that a
number of shots had taken effect.

As we reloaded the sound of quick-working anchor windlasses came in
over the water and up the hill slope.  The rebels who had been playing
havoc on the river for so long had this time met a reception quite
different from that which they had planned.  The fort, well hidden by
trees, had been built and garrisoned since their last trip, so their
surprise could not have been much more complete.

When the ebb began to make they hoisted sail and drew off down the bay.
On looking seaward at noon, nothing could be seen but the line of the
Nova Scotia coast, pencilled low and irregular on the base of the sky.

It is probably not to be wondered at that, during the afternoon, we
were somewhat high-spirited.  All through the war the St. John settlers
had been harassed, plundered, imprisoned or shot, by cruel and
unscrupulous marauders from New England, who had never before been
resisted, much less repulsed.

'Things are moving finely,' I heard Mr. Simonds tell Duncan Hale that
evening.  'With the Indians quiet, and the pirates scared out, we can
go on with our trade as usual.  Till the war began we did well here.
Since that we have had dreadful times--no business possible--but now
I'm in hopes we can go on with the fishing, the lime-burning, and
"masting" as usual.'

'Masting, Mr. Simonds,' I said.  'What is masting?'

'Were you not up the river?  Did you not see the magnificent forests of
pine and spruce?  These make the best masts in the world.  There is
nothing in New England like them; and in places they positively
overhang the rivers.  Then there are thousands of trees.  Masting on
this river must become a great industry.  The King's whole navy may be
supplied from here.  All we want is quiet Indians--and peace.'

'I understand,' I said.

'And what of the land?' Duncan Hale asked.  'Is it fit for farming?'

'As good as any in the world.  The crops raised on this river before
the war were wonderful.  This is the richest part of the province.'

'And how may the land be obtained?' I said.  'To whom should one apply
for a grant?'  Mr. Simonds laughed heartily.

'Thinking of settling, young man?' he said.

'Yes,' I replied, a little resentment showing in my tone; 'my mother
and two sisters are in Halifax.  I mean to settle on this river and
make a home for them.'

Duncan Hale joined Mr. Simonds in his laugh.

'You think I can't?' I said.

'Of course you can,' Mr. Simonds said in a moment; 'and I shall do my
best to help you in any way I can.  It's young fellows with push and
spirit we want here now.'  He looked at me more critically than he had
done before.  'If things keep on improving, especially if the war ends,
we shall be going into masting strong here next winter, and we'll be
wanting a smart young fellow to look after accounts and act as clerk.
How much schooling have you had?'  Duncan Hale explained somewhat fully
the work I had done, ending by saying he had considered me almost ready
for Oxford.

'You might do us finely,' Mr. Simonds said, 'and as to you, sir,'
turning to Duncan Hale, 'what think you of founding a school?  A
country as rich as this cannot but prosper.  We shall yet have a city
here.  The war drags now toward a close; and even though England
should, in spite of recent disasters, yet win, many will choose this
country in preference to New England.  If I and my partners mistake
not, in five years this river valley will have thousands of inhabitants
no matter what flag waves over it.  Think over the question of a
school, sir.'  But customers were waiting, and Mr. Simonds left us to
serve them.

For several days I remained about the fort.  My duties as secretary to
Colonel Francklin were light, so I roamed about the high, rocky
country, sometimes alone, but oftener in company with Duncan Hale.  The
hopeful words of Mr. Simonds, the fine buoyancy of the spring air, the
manner in which we had succeeded in making peace with the Indians, and
in driving off the rebel Americans, all combined to make us
surprisingly happy.

The fishermen in the harbour were making fabulous catches of valuable
mackerel and other fish.  The smaller streams near swarmed with salmon
and huge trout.  Here and there on our rambles giant moose faced us for
a moment, then went crashing off into the forest.  Vegetation was
springing up with marvellous rapidity, while all day long the woods
rang with the song and chatter of nesting birds.  An exuberance of wild
beauty and unrestrained life abounded everywhere.

In a little over a month our party, having accomplished the object for
which it had been sent, set off for Halifax, not, however, before I had
engaged to return and accept a position as clerk with Mr. Simonds later
in the season.

We found a spirit of remarkable cheerfulness in Halifax.  The soldiers
had all sailed for New York.  Many of the Loyalists, both men and
women, had obtained situations.  In several places, about the outskirts
of the town, the more resolute ones, to whom lands had been granted,
were boldly hewing their own way into the forest; and here and there,
where the gaps on the slopes were widest in the broken ranks of the
trees, small log houses were being built.

In a few days the matter of my own grant on the St. John had been fully
arranged.  Since I was not yet of age, the grant--it consisted of four
hundred acres some miles up the river in what Mr. Simonds had told me
was the most fertile part--was made out in my mother's name.  My sister
Caroline, who was still engaged with the Halifax family, was delighted
with the prospect of having a new home of our own.

'Mother, won't it be grand?' she said one evening as we sat and talked
together, 'simply grand.  Four hundred acres--all ours--a big river in
front and mountains behind.  We'll be far richer than ever we were.
When are we to go, Roger?'

'Not till next spring,' I said.  'David Elton has secured a lot
alongside of ours; he is to do some chopping on both places this
summer, then during the winter we shall prepare for building houses.
Next spring the Government is to give us seed, tools, and a cow.'

A few days later, accompanied by Doctor Canfield and Duncan Hale, now
free from his former duties as secretary, along with David Elton and
several other farmers not yet settled about Halifax, I bade a cheerful
goodbye to my mother and sisters and again set off for the St. John.

It was the middle of August when we arrived.

'The Indians are acting finely up the river,' Mr. Simonds told us on
our arrival, 'and as for the pirates, we have not seen hilt nor hair of
them since they scuttled out of the harbour in the spring.  That was a
settler we gave them that day.'

'How's business been since?' I said.

'Fine, fine; looking up wonderfully ever since the peace with the
Indians.  Fishing couldn't be better, and as for the lime, it's turning
out first class.  We've almost all our plans made, too, for sending up
the largest masting crew this fall we ever put in the woods.  You are
to go with them.  You'll be quite near your own grant.'

A few days later, and before entering finally on my duties with the
trading firm, with David Elton and some other farmers I went up the
river to my grant secured in Halifax.  Though I was little accustomed
to the use of an axe, I felled the first tree myself.  Before the
second day had closed my hands were much blistered.  However, I
continued to work every day from early in the morning till late at
night for two weeks.

This was the limit of time given me by Mr. Simonds.  But before
returning to the mouth of the river, I engaged with David Elton to
spend at least a month in chopping upon my grant.

I then returned to the river's mouth, and a few weeks later found
myself far in the forest with a crew of twenty men.  First a camp of
logs was built, then the huge pines were cut, partly hewn, and dragged
to the river by means of oxen.  Many spruce trees were cut for yards.
Much of the work was extremely laborious.  My duties as clerk were to
see that the masts and yards were properly marked and measured when
cut, to keep a record of the time each man worked, and to record the
number of sticks, large and small, hauled to the river each day.  Thus
employed, I spent the winters until one spring, when on my way down the
river, I learned that the war was over, that the rebels had won, that
agents sent to the St. John had reported favourably on the land, and
that five thousand Loyalists were expected from the New England
colonies.



Chapter XII

Facing the Future

On arriving at the river's mouth, I found everything bustle and
confusion.  Mr. Simonds confirmed the reports I had heard on my way
down.  'The settlers are coming in thousands,' he said
enthusiastically, 'in thousands.'

The words were to be verified sooner than I expected.  That
afternoon--it was the 18th of May--I was sitting with Duncan Hale on a
bluff near the fort looking off seaward.  Duncan was telling me of the
school he had succeeded in forming during the winter.

'I have thirteen pupils,' he said; 'the exact number of worshippers
Doctor Canfield had at his first service in Mr. Simonds' house.  But we
are both determined not to be discouraged.  If these late reports that
were brought in by the schooner yesterday are true----'

He stopped, shaded his eyes with his hand, and looked seaward.  'Look,
Roger!' he cried.

The day was fine, the air thin and clear.  Looking straight over the
harbour and directly across the bay, I saw the wavy line of the distant
coast beyond.  My eye followed this southerly, till its irregularity
shaded into the steady, even line of the sea.  On this, between the
distant low shore and the bold horn of land that made the westerly side
of the harbour, delicately but firmly etched on the sky, I made out the
shape of at least a dozen ships.  Duncan looked more critically.

'They're coming,' he said.

'They're coming,' I repeated.

For a full half-hour, speaking only now and then, till the vessels
already in sight had grown large, till numerous others had emerged to
stand like specks on the firm, far, high line of the sea, we sat and
looked eagerly down the wide, sparkling bay.

After a time Duncan rose.  'They're coming,' he said once more.  'Let
us go.'

We hurried down from the bluff to the little trading post at Portland
Point, the bearers of great tidings.  Three hours later the headmost
vessels were at the rude piers, and the people were swarming ashore.

It became evident at a glance that all classes were represented among
the newcomers.  The soft-handed and fine-faced Englishman of culture;
ladies richly dressed, who bore themselves as proudly as at court, came
ashore rubbing shoulders with the rough, plain farmer men and women
from the hillside farms of Vermont.  Some carried bundles in which were
all their possessions.  Some bore peddler-like packs on their backs.
Others rolled barrels before them or dumped rough boxes ashore; many
women bore crying infants swathed in shawls.  There were a few, of both
men and women, cripples; many were old and stooped.  There were some
armless sleeves, and now and then came men who limped, or whose
foreheads were bandaged.  These had been in arms.

Almost immediately after landing the people began to scatter about.
Some of the younger and more spirited ran gaily up the slope toward the
fort, where flew the old familiar flag.  Some slowly made their way
along the rough bush-hung paths, over rocks and through thickets, until
they found spots high enough to afford an outlook upon the surrounding
country.  It was not difficult for me to understand the look of
disappointment which I saw creep over many faces.

The surroundings of the harbour were not attractive.  Wave-beaten,
weed-covered rocks, with the tide surging in and out among them, were
everywhere; high, bare cliffs, a single mill, a patch of brown marsh, a
score or less shanty-like buildings, a few Indian wigwams, the fort,
and behind these, huddled close, bare in some spots and wooded in
others, the unbroken ranks of the hills stretched away into the sunset.
Many looked long on these, then turned seaward to see the ships that
had brought them, sweeping off on the ebb of the tide that had borne
them in.  The surroundings were forbidding, but the captains of the
vessels, by their speedy departure, had made going back impossible.

That evening I was talking with Duncan Hale in his small but
comfortable quarters.

'I'll have no lack of pupils now,' he said.  'Doctor Canfield has this
afternoon selected a site for a church.'

'How many people have come?' I asked.

'Almost three thousand; and there are many more to follow during the
summer.  It is well your grant is secured.  The whole river front will
be taken before fall, I hear.  A new province is likely to be formed
here north of the bay also.  Halifax will be too far away when it comes
to arranging the details of grants for all these people.  See,' he
said, waving his hand toward the many tents the people were putting up,
'we've a city already.'

It was only a few days after the landing of the Loyalists at St. John,
that I set off for Halifax on one of Mr. Simonds' lime-laden schooners.
The weather proved remarkably fine, and on the third day after sailing
we were discharging our cargo in Halifax, where I discovered much
interest manifested in what had been taking place north of the bay.

I found my mother particularly happy over having received a letter from
my brother, who had joined the King's troops before my father's death.
We had not heard from him for almost two years.  He had learned of our
flight to Nova Scotia from an officer who had returned to New York from
Halifax.

My sisters were overjoyed when I told them that our new house would be
ready for us--I had left the building of it largely to David Elton--on
our arrival.  They were very anxious to be off; and off we soon were.
After an uneventful voyage we reached the St. John in safety.

During the two weeks of my absence many changes had taken place.  There
were scores of new buildings in process of erection.  Everybody seemed
happy and hopeful.  The look of disappointment I had formerly seen on
so many faces had completely disappeared.  Duncan Hale was happy in the
promise of a large new school building; Doctor Canfield already had the
foundation of a Church well under way.  Back on the hill slopes there
were already numerous little gaps in the green of the forest.  Vessels
from New England were bringing in new Loyalists almost daily.

These invariably told the same sad stories of reckless cruelty.  The
end of the war and the declaration of peace had roused many to
barbarities unheard of during the conflict.  On the way up the river to
my farm with my mother and sisters, I talked with an old man on the
deck of the little schooner.

'The mobs,' he said, 'were bad enough at the beginning of the war, but
weeks after peace was declared soldiers were found wreaking vengeance
on our helpless people.  I saw my own son, whose only crime was that he
had fought for the King, tarred and feathered.  As I sailed out of the
harbour of Charleston--it is true, every word of it, as God is above
me--I saw on looking backward the bodies of twenty-four Loyalists
swinging from a row of gibbets on a single wharf.  And there,
too,'--his voice broke and tears came freely then, covering his face as
if to hide the awful scene, he sobbed out, 'there, too, I had a son.'

No one spoke.  I recalled the narrow escape of Duncan Hale, and could
believe it all.

'They say General Washington was opposed to these cruelties,' the old
man added after a time, raising his head.

He fumbled in his pocket and drew out a paper.  'Here is a copy of part
of a letter written by him.  It fell into the hands of one of our
officers.  The hand and signature were Washington's, so there can be no
mistake.  Read this, young man,' he said, thrusting the paper toward
me.  I opened it and read:--


'BOSTON, _March_ 31, 1776.

'DEAR SIR,--All those who took upon themselves the style and title of
Loyalists have shipped themselves off.  One or two have done what a
great number ought to have done long ago, committed suicide.  By all
accounts there never existed a more miserable set of beings than these
wretched creatures now are.'


'It may be,' the old man said, as I returned the paper to him, 'that
Washington was opposed to the scourging and hanging of our people, but
that's his opinion of the Loyalists, anyway.'

Without further remark he rose, turned, and walked away.  Though no one
spoke--it had become a fixed rule among us to treat the war and those
who had wronged us with silent disdain--I saw by the faces about me
that there had been a violent stirring up of deep and bitter thoughts.'

We follow one current only of the times out of which the United States
grew into strength and greatness.  The siege of Boston was far advanced
when General Gage wrote home, 'The rebels are shown not to be the
disorderly rabble too many have supposed.'  Not all at once did
Washington bring into relief the finer qualities of his people.  The
struggle when it began covered a vast region, and chaos brooded over
many districts.  In the first division of men natural passion broke out
in acts of violence.  There was even a time of terror, and numbers were
driven into the struggle who had little living interest in the things
at stake.  Gradually the true issues appeared, and the work of
reconstruction went forward under different forms to the changes we now
see.

It was wearing toward evening when the little schooner drew in toward
shore, directly opposite a clearing in the middle of which stood a
small log house.  'There is our home, mother,' I said, 'and there is
David Elton waiting for us at the foot of the path by the river.'

My mother did not speak--she looked in silence.  But a glance told me
that she was seeing, not the little house of logs before us on the
slope, but a fine, old colonial mansion with fluted Corinthian corners,
with two spreading lindens in front, and wide, rich meadows about it.

In a short time all our possessions had been put ashore.  Then the
schooner, bearing others to their grants further up the river, swung
away, and we turned to go up the path to our new but humble home.

'I did the best I could, madam,' David was explaining to my mother, a
little later.  'It's hardly a place for fine ladies like you my wife
was telling me, but with good lan' and plenty of lumber you needn't
live here long.'

'This is all right; this is good enough for anybody to live a whole
life in,' broke in Caroline, as she looked about the walls of wood, and
up to the ceiling of bark.  'This is all fine.  And, mother, just see
the magnificent view from this door.  Isn't it grand?  The river, the
hills, the woods!'

That night we slept soundly and well.  The next day, with prayers over,
I climbed with a Union Jack to the top of a tall tree, flung it out to
the breeze, then came down and began--as all the thousands of Loyalists
began--the long, hard fight with the wilderness.



Chapter XIII

The Governor's Peril

Several years had slipped away since the day of our arrival at our new
home on the St. John, when, one day, I was standing watching the mail
boat making her way slowly up the river.

Wonderful changes had taken place in the years since our coming.  On
both sides of the river, far as the eye could range from the door of
our home, running from the water's edge away up into the dark, green
timber, stretched the smooth, fertile fields.  The log houses had given
place to stately frame buildings.  The request for a new province north
of the bay, to be called New Brunswick, in spite of strong opposition
from Halifax, had been granted by the Imperial Government and a
governor sent out.

As the vessel drew toward the shore where I stood, I was surprised to
make out the figure of Duncan Hale on her deck.  I had not expected
him.  'I came,' he was explaining a little later, 'to tell you that the
new governor--Colonel Carleton--is to visit you.  He has been
overworked attending to the details of numerous grants, and wishes a
holiday and fishing trip--a general rest before the elections and the
meeting of the House.'

'The elections,' I said.  'What elections?'

'Didn't you hear there was to be an Assembly for the province, chosen
by the people, in addition to the Council appointed by the King?'

'No,' I said.  'Are we to have representatives--a parliament?'

'That is part of the new constitution granted by the King.  It is the
intention of the Imperial Government to make New Brunswick one of the
freest countries in the world.'

We were walking up the green slope from the river to the house.  Duncan
broke off.  'What a herd of cattle,' he said, 'and such magnificent
fields!--and the house!  Roger, is it possible that this is your house?
I had heard of it, but had no idea it was so fine.'

Duncan was greeted with warm cordiality by my mother and my sisters,
now both young women.  But it was difficult for me to long refrain from
telling the news I had heard.  'Mother, think of this--the new
governor--Colonel Carleton--is coming up to see us, and to go hunting
and fishing.'

'The new governor!'

'Yes, the governor.  He'll be here to-morrow or next day.'

Elizabeth clapped her hands gleefully.

'The governor!' she exclaimed; 'a soldier, a fine gentleman just from
England, like those in books.'

From my own farm a little later I wandered with Duncan to where David
Elton worked in his field.

'Better off?' David said in answer to Duncan's question; 'of course I'm
better off than I ever could have been in New England.  I'll confess I
thought it hard to be driven away as I was; but the lan' was poor an'
rocky there.  There was no prospect.  There I had twenty acres; here
I've two hundred.  Then look at my stock, my lumber property, my marsh,
my frame house here.  He knows,' he said, pointing to me, 'the kin' of
shanty I was living in, and would have died in, yonder.  This is a
better country.  The war was the best thing that ever happened us.  Let
them have their rocky, poverty-stricken lan'; and to think of them now
passin' laws that we'll be hanged "without benefit of clergy;" them are
the words, aren't they? if we dare to go back.  Go back,--back there!'
He gave a loud, shrill laugh.

'I wouldn't go back if they made me president; an' I'd rather'--this
dropping his voice to a reverent pitch--'I'd rather see any child in my
family under the ground than under the new American flag.  That,' he
said, pointing to a Union Jack that flew from the top of a staff on his
largest barn, 'that's the flag for me.'

I saw the colour come up into Duncan's old face.  'Well said,' he
exclaimed; 'well and nobly spoken.'  Then turning to me as we walked
away, 'Are there many like that on the river?'

'We're all like that,' I said.  'Why shouldn't we be?  David is just
one of thousands.'

'It will be a right loyal representative you'll be sending to the new
parliament from here then, won't it?  Who is likely to be chosen?'

But my mind was on preparations for the coming of the governor.
'Wouldn't it be well to have the people gathered here to give the
governor a reception when he lands?'

''Twould be capital, capital,' Duncan assented eagerly.  'He's not
coming officially, but he'd be immensely pleased.  Isn't the time too
short, though?' he added.

'David would go for Father Bourg and the Indians--they're only a few
miles up--I could see the French at Sainte Ann's; the people about here
will come in swarms--at a word.  It can be done,' I said.

Three days later the shore of the river in front of our home was lined
for a full half-mile with a strangely mixed crowd of expectant people.
The governor's vessel was in full view on the river--and coming slowly
up.  Father Bourg was there with a group of Indians; there were many
French from Sainte Ann's; the Loyalists were present from the
surrounding country in hundreds.

As the governor stepped ashore, a mighty cheer went up that seemed to
set the very bed of the river quivering.  The people saw in this
representative, the King they loved, and for whom they had sacrificed.
After a loyal address, a reply, and much good humour on all sides, the
people dispersed.

With the governor had come Colonel Francklin and Doctor Canfield.  They
had tents and provisions sufficient for two weeks in the woods, and it
was arranged that Duncan Hale, myself and two Indian guides should
accompany them across the country by portage some twenty miles into the
very heart of the forest, to a trout stream that ran at a sharp angle
to the river, emptying into it some ten miles below.  Our plan was to
strike the stream about thirty miles from its mouth, and fish down to
the main St. John.  But not all plans are carried out.

We reached the stream in safety, and I sent the team back to the
settlement.  It was late June, and the whole forest seemed to throb
with life.  The governor was delighted.  He was a lover of the woods,
and insisted upon taking long rambles back from the stream, following
the winding, logging roads.  It was owing to one of these rambles that
our original plan was not carried out.

It was our fourth day in the woods.  We were camped some five miles
below the point where we had reached the stream.  A little after noon,
the governor, having fished for some time, left us, and wandered into
the forest.  The middle of the afternoon, then evening, then dusk
came--and passed,--and he did not return.

'I cautioned him,' I heard Colonel Francklin say to Doctor Canfield;
'telling him the woods were deceptive, also that there were many beasts
of prey.'

He had scarcely spoken, when down over the forest, low but clear, came
a long, wailing sound as of a spirit in distress.  Instantly I saw
Emile and Louis, our Indian guides, who bore the French baptismal names
given them by Father Bourg, start, and hastily make the sign of the
cross before their foreheads.  A great fear overspread their faces;
they trembled and went pale.  And then there flashed into my mind the
tales I had heard from the old inhabitants on the river, of the dread
Loup-garou, or Indian devil as many called it.  The low, clear, sound;
its paralysing effect on the Indians; the time of day--just as evening
was shading into night--the rise and fall of the long, fear-filling,
distant wail; all these were exactly as described to me more than once
by Father Bourg and others who knew the remoter woods of the province.

In the silence that followed the long-drawn cry, a feeling of chill
fear crept over me.  The Loup-garou, was the one wild beast of all the
woods that unnerved the Indian.  For him it was more evil spirit than
beast.  It went, according to the belief, through the tree tops like
lightning: it seemed to come and go on the wind; from it there was no
escape; the giant moose, the bear, the deer, in one case a farmer and
his team of oxen far in the woods--I had heard the story told and
retold on the river--all had been fallen upon and eaten in a single
hour.

The memory of these tales was far from comforting.  The governor was
lost in the woods.  Colonel Francklin, Doctor Canfield and Duncan Hale
were as ignorant of the forest as children.  The Indians, my only hope,
stood terrified.  What was I to do?

At that moment, distant at first, then swelling louder and nearer, down
through the trees now swaying in the gentle evening breeze, clear,
weird, paralysing, there came again, the long-drawn, dreadful sound.
There was no mistaking it; it was the Loup-garou.

Both Indians dropped on their knees, and turned their faces up to the
stars.  The sound came at intervals seven times; then it grew faint in
the east, and we heard it no more.

Far into the night we fired off guns, shouted and kept torches burning
on tree tops.  But the governor did not come.  Had the fierce
Loup-garou, that dread, strange blend of panther, wolf, and devil,
fallen upon him?

A keen feeling of responsibility pressed heavily upon me.  In a sense
the governor was my guest.  He had come to this particular part of the
forest at my suggestion.  I knew what it would mean in Britain, I
understood the derision that would be provoked in the United States, I
felt how our new province would suffer, when it went abroad that our
first governor had been eaten by a strange, half-devil fiend of the
forest.  And yet what was to be done?

The next day Emile and Louis were silent, morose and fearful; they
could not be induced to go more than a few rods from the tent.  They
spent most of the time praying.  All our efforts to trace out and bring
back our distinguished fellow-sportsman proved unavailing.

When afternoon came, I made a proposal.  'You remain here,' I said,
addressing Colonel Francklin, Doctor Canfield and Duncan Hale, 'and I
will go up the stream and call out the portage for assistance.  Father
Bourg and David Elton both know the woods.  I shall get them to
organise searching parties, so that we may scour the country.  The
governor must be found.'

'Very well,' Colonel Francklin said; then, after some further
consulting, I was off.

On my arrival on the river, I first told Father Bourg of the governor
being lost; then I referred to the strange sound, and to the action of
Emile and Louis, and ended by saying I supposed we could look for no
help from the Indians in the search.  But the man who had won the
Indians from Washington seven years before, who had kept them faithful
to the King ever since, had power still.

'Wait,' he said.

He called the chiefs about him.  He explained the situation of the
governor, and commanded the Indians to go and find him.  'As for the
Loup-garou,'--raising his voice and speaking with great energy, 'in the
name of the Great Spirit I pronounce a curse upon him until the
governor be found, and do now declare that during all the search he
shall be powerless to hurt you.'

A great shout rose from the Indians.  Then I hurried away.

Two days later there were fully three thousand men in the woods.  The
news of what had happened had run far up and far down the great river.
The King's representative was lost in the woods, the wail of the
Loup-garou had been heard.  The whole province was stirred to unity in
a common hope, and in a common fear.  The hearts of French, of Indians,
of Loyalists, of old and new inhabitants beat as one from the beginning
of the great search.

On the fifth day after leaving the stream I was back again at our tent.
I first met Duncan Hale.  He was pale and anxious-looking.  'There is
no word yet,' he said.

I sank down from exhaustion and disappointment.  'But the Indians are
out,' I gasped--'and the French--everybody--men, even women.'

'The Indians!'

'The Indians,' I repeated.  'Father Bourg----'

But I could say no more.



Chapter XIV

Victory and Reward

It was three weeks later.  There were fully five thousand people on the
river in boats or canoes, and about our home.  The great search was
over; the governor had been found.

The honour of finding him had fallen upon two Indians and myself, who,
on the tenth day of the search, had somewhat unexpectedly come upon him
sitting on a knoll eating winter-green berries and fern-bulbs.

He was somewhat reduced in flesh and strength; but as the season was
late June, and the weather had been dry and warm, he had not suffered
materially.  We conveyed him to the stream, where a large and
comfortable canoe was secured; in this he had been safely brought down
the stream, then up the river to our home; and now, three days after
this, the morning of the day had arrived when the whole St. John was to
give expression to its feelings of joy and gratitude over the finding
of the governor, in a grand and loyal celebration of the event.

Before entering upon the search, Father Bourg had sent out to all parts
of the province swift runners to call the Indians to the St. John.  It
so happened, that the day before that set for the celebration, many of
the tribes from the remoter sections had just arrived.  From the far
Restigouche and Madawaska; from the Miramichi and the Richibucto; from
the sandy reaches and pine-studded bluffs that jutted far into the
broad Grand Lake; from Shediac, from the beautiful Kennebecassis and
the still Neripeis; from Mispec and Lepreau; from Passamaquoddy and
Bocabec, even from the Penobscot and the surrounding country far over
the American line--from every corner of the land to which the news had
run as on the wings of the wind--there came the Indians, expectant,
anxious, interested, in swarms like bees that seek a new hive, in
flocks like birds that fly north in spring.

Nor were the Indians all.  The city had sent up its councillors, its
merchants, its shipowners, its fine ladies who had graced courts in
Britain or old colonial Boston, its handsome men, cold, dignified, and
English in tone and manner.  The French were also there from the Jemseg
and Sainte Anne's; 'old inhabitants' of the river who had long since
successfully striven to wipe off the stain of their treasonable
correspondence with Washington and the government of Massachusetts;
several 'refugees,' now anxious to show the loyalty they had smothered
during the war for the sake of self; honest men who had foolishly been
deluded into following Jonathan Eddy to an attack on old Fort
Cumberland in '76--all these, as well as Loyalists of '83, in countless
numbers, of all classes and conditions, were there on that great day in
July.

As I stood on the high platform that had been erected in front of the
house that the governor might more conveniently address the great
throng, and looked out upon it all, my heart swelled with feelings of
pride and satisfaction.  Far above and below me, slipping between the
rich meadows, I could follow the winding, glittering line of the river.
The hills, rising belt on belt beyond, were throbbing with the warmth
and life of the magnificent mid-summer day.  The air was warm and sweet
with clover bloom.  The sun shone brilliantly and yet not oppressively.
The fields of grain, just beginning to show full green heads; the wild
gaiety of the flower-decked pastures and gardens; the neat, white
homes; the slow moving flocks and herds on the hillsides near and far;
the black mass of people in front; the hundreds of schooners and
thousands of canoes on the river, winding and passing, bowing and
saluting like figures in a dance, all gaily and variously decorated,
made up a picture that would be difficult to surpass.

The forenoon of the day was spent in sports--in rowing, running,
wrestling, shooting, and jumping--in all of which the Indians took
prominent part.  During all this part of the celebration, the governor
moved among the people as an ordinary citizen.  Dressed as an English
gentleman, he moved easily and happily among the people.  Now it was
the French with whom he talked, now the farmer Loyalists; now he
congratulated warmly a crew of Indians as they stepped from the winning
canoe in the race; now he was relating part of his strange adventure in
the woods to a group of interested and courtly ladies in the garden.
Everywhere, in everything, he was the fine gentleman, the master of the
art of manners, the representative of the finest traditions in both
colony and kingdom; and it was not to be wondered at that the hearts of
many Loyalists swelled larger that day, as they thought of the
transplanting to the St. John, of a finer culture, directly from the
homeland.

But the proceedings of the morning were to be quite overshadowed by the
events of the afternoon.  A vessel from St. John had brought up the
governor's magnificent uniform.  He was arrayed in this--no longer the
citizen, but now the representative of the King--when in the afternoon,
surrounded by his entire council and many distinguished Loyalists, he
appeared upon the raised platform from which he was to speak.  By the
governor's special request, my mother and sisters, Father Bourg, Pierre
Tomah (the Indian chief), I and the two Indians who had accompanied me
at the fortunate ending of our great search in the forest, were taken
to the platform.  Then when the mighty cheer with which he was received
had died in the throats of the mass of people that filled the field
from the house to the river, the governor spoke.

'Subjects of the King,' he began, 'my friends and fellow-citizens, it
is with feelings of just pride and thankfulness that I stand before you
to-day.  In the name of your King, whose representative I am, I bring
you greeting.'  A wave of applause swept the crowd.  The people pressed
closer; canoes on the river hurried shoreward.

The speaker went on--

'For many of you, around the name of King, there cluster, I am sure,
associations that cannot but bring memories of your past--a past as
noble as it is unparalleled in the history of the world.

'My friends and fellow-citizens, I am not unacquainted with what you
have done and suffered; of your zeal and unflinching courage, of your
devotion to your flag, your country, and your King; of your loyalty and
sacrifices; of your honour and perseverance; of what you have done
south of the line, nay, of what you have done here;--of these things I
might say much, but I feel it is quite unnecessary that I should speak
of them.  Further, it is a task to which I am unequal.  Again, your
deeds are their own vindication; your acts are their own eulogy.  You
left a country rich and beautiful for one that seemed poor and
forbidding.  No sword was lifted up to drive you hence; driven only by
the fire of your loyalty you came; this is your defence.  What more is
necessary?'

Passing then from the Loyalists, he commended the French for their
refusal to assist the rebels; thanked the Indians for the fulfilment of
all their treaty obligations; and declared forgiveness to all who, on
the river, had been misguided into rebellion.  Then, in a few words, he
closed.

'And now, my friends and fellow-citizens, as I look abroad upon this
magnificent river before me; as I behold these fields and flocks; as I
look into your faces and read there your past, I read a future also.
You are happy now; it is the King's good pleasure that you shall be
happier still.  In that distressed land to the south of us, though
cannon no longer boom, and though the sword is sheathed, a great war
still wages--the war of faction and political turmoil that must always
exist where men are unscrupulous and where measures are unjust.  Here
peace shall flourish.  If you will permit me a glimpse into the future
years, I see rising a nation, new, pure-blooded, loyal, strong, the
happiest land on earth.'

A wave of applause surged over the crowd and swept off to the canoes on
the river.

'I wouldn't go back'--it was the loud, shrill voice of David Elton from
the crowd that came up above the babel--'I wouldn't go back if they
made me president.  Look at my farm an' herd o' cattle, an'----'  But
the rest was lost in the ringing proposal, 'Three cheers for the
governor!'  It came from a score of throats at once.  The cheer, like
the applause, ran far out on the river over the swaying canoes.

But the governor had not done yet.

'Here in this magnificent valley'--he swung his hand all about--'here
men, by the will of God and the King, shall for ever be free, free to
worship as they will, free to govern as they choose, free in all
things.  See to it, my friends, that you prove not only worthy of your
great past but worthy also of your great future.'

He turned and sat down.

Then, as when a volcano opens and pours out its lava and is relieved,
the mighty throng burst into 'God Save the King.'  Everybody sang.  And
this also helped in the laying of the foundations of a new province, of
a new nation.

The next day, after the governor had departed for St. John, I was
talking with Duncan Hale, who had remained.  'What a fine thing it was
that the governor got lost?' Duncan said.

'Yes,' I said, 'it drew out the people's sympathy, binding them
together, and showing them the governor in a new light.'

'But it did more than that.' Duncan was smiling.  'Didn't you know that
last night the governor met a number of the leading people of the
river, and that, after explaining to them that you had really saved his
life by finding him in the woods, the people unanimously agreed to
nominate and elect you their representative in the new Assembly of the
province?  Didn't you know that?'

'No,' I said.  'I don't believe it.'

'They did it though.  You'll find out when the time comes in the fall.
And that was not the only matter arranged last night.'  I saw a look of
mischievous interest grow on the old schoolmaster's face.

'What more, Duncan?' I said.  'Go on.'

'Did you see that tall, fine-looking young Englishman--the governor's
secretary--who took the long walk through the meadows and by the river
with Caroline in the evening?'

'Well?' I said.

'Well, you heard the governor make a prediction about this country; I
am going to make a prediction about that young man and Caroline.
They'll be married!'  He came near and laid his hand on my arm.  'Do
you know,' he said, 'that there is only a single life,--a man of
seventy-four,--between that young man and a dukedom?'

I laughed heartily.  Soon I was calling at the top of my voice,
'Caroline!  Caroline!'

      *      *      *      *      *

In the late fall of the same year I was sitting one evening, with my
mother and sisters, around an open fire.  The elections were over--the
report from the farthest parish had come in.

A great happiness sat on my mother's face.  'To think,' she said, 'that
you were really elected, Roger, and at the head of the poll too.'  I
did not answer.  Something about the room and the way we were seated
had suggested to me another occasion, another evening, when, the day
after the fight at Lexington, over eight years ago, in deep sorrow, we
had gathered in the library of our former home at Cambridge, to make
plans for the future.  But I recalled my thoughts.

'Yes, mother,' I said, 'there is no doubt of it.  I have been elected.
Things have not turned out so badly for us after all.  Indeed, I do not
know a single one of our acquaintances who is not happier than before
the war.  Doctor Canfield's new church is quite magnificent, Duncan
Hale's school is fast becoming a college; as for the farmers about,
well--I don't think there is much danger of any of them wanting to go
back to be buried "without benefit of clergy."  What is it David Elton
says?  Oh, yes--"I wouldn't go back if they'd make me president."  Poor
David, the way he did storm and rage the day they put him in the mine
with me.  True, they were hard days those for both of us.'

'But the mine led to the parliament,' my mother said, smiling.

'Yes,' I said, 'there is no doubt but the war was a blessing to us.  We
were the real victors in the conflict.  We are happier than we ever
could have been without it.'  As I said this, I looked very hard at
Caroline.  'Aren't we, Carrie?' I said.  The crimson mounted to her
cheeks, and I was preparing to defend myself, when she was forced to
join the rest of us in a merry laugh.

'Everything had its part to play--the war--the mine--and last of all
even the Loup-garou,' I said, and we all laughed again.

'And just to think, mother,' Elizabeth put in a little later, 'a member
of parliament in the family already, and'--her face was beaming with
mischief and delight--'and a possible duchess also!'



THE END.



UNWIN BROTHERS, LIMITED, THE GRESHAM PRESS, WOKING AND LONDON.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Roger Davis, Loyalist" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home