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Title: Elsie at Viamede
Author: Finley, Martha, 1828-1909
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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ELSIE AT VIAMEDE

       *       *       *       *       *

A LIST OF THE ELSIE BOOKS AND OTHER POPULAR BOOKS

BY MARTHA FINLEY

      _ELSIE DINSMORE._
        _ELSIE'S HOLIDAYS AT ROSELANDS._
          _ELSIE'S GIRLHOOD._
            _ELSIE'S WOMANHOOD._
              _ELSIE'S MOTHERHOOD._
                _ELSIE'S CHILDREN._
      _ELSIE'S WIDOWHOOD._
        _GRANDMOTHER ELSIE._
          _ELSIE'S NEW RELATIONS._
            _ELSIE AT NANTUCKET._
              _THE TWO ELSIES._
                _ELSIE'S KITH AND KIN._
      _ELSIE'S FRIENDS AT WOODBURN._
        _CHRISTMAS WITH GRANDMA ELSIE._
          _ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS._
            _ELSIE YACHTING WITH THE RAYMONDS._
              _ELSIE'S VACATION._
                _ELSIE AT VIAMEDE._
      _ELSIE AT ION._
        _ELSIE AT THE WORLD'S FAIR._
          _ELSIE'S JOURNEY ON INLAND WATERS._
            _ELSIE AT HOME._
              _ELSIE ON THE HUDSON._
                _ELSIE IN THE SOUTH._
                  _ELSIE'S YOUNG FOLKS._
                    _ELSIE'S WINTER TRIP._
                      _ELSIE AND HER LOVED ONES._

       *       *       *       *       *

      _MILDRED KEITH._
        _MILDRED AT ROSELANDS._
          _MILDRED'S MARRIED LIFE._
            _MILDRED AND ELSIE._
              _MILDRED AT HOME._
                _MILDRED'S BOYS AND GIRLS._
                  _MILDRED'S NEW DAUGHTER._

       *       *       *       *       *

      _CASELLA._
        _SIGNING THE CONTRACT AND WHAT IT COST._
          _THE TRAGEDY OF WILD RIVER VALLEY._
            _OUR FRED._
              _AN OLD-FASHIONED BOY._
                _WANTED, A PEDIGREE._
                  _THE THORN IN THE NEST._

       *       *       *       *       *


ELSIE AT VIAMEDE

by

MARTHA FINLEY

Author of "Elsie Dinsmore," "The Mildred Books,"
"Thorn in the Nest," Etc., Etc., Etc.



New York
Dodd, Mead & Company
Publishers

Copyright, 1892
by Dodd, Mead & Company.
All rights reserved.



ELSIE AT VIAMEDE.



CHAPTER I.


IT was a beautiful evening at Viamede: the sun nearing its setting,
shadows sleeping here and there upon the velvety flower-bespangled lawn,
and filling the air with their delicious perfume, the waters of the
bayou beyond reflecting the roseate hues of the sunset clouds, and the
song of some negro oarsmen, in a passing boat, coming to the ear in
pleasantly mellowed tones. Tea was over, and the family had all gathered
upon the veranda overlooking the bayou. A momentary silence was broken
by Rosie's pleasant voice:

"Mamma, I wish you or grandpa, or the captain, would tell the story of
Jackson's defence of New Orleans. Now while we are in the neighborhood
we would all, I feel sure, find it very interesting. I think you have
been going over Lossing's account of it, mamma," she added laughingly,
"for I found his 'Pictorial History of the War of 1812' lying on the
table in your room, with a mark in at that part."

"Yes, I had been refreshing my memory in that way," returned her mother,
smiling pleasantly into the dark eyes gazing so fondly and entreatingly
into hers. "And," she added, "I have no objection to granting your
request, except that I do not doubt that either your grandfather or the
captain could do greater justice to the subject than I," glancing
inquiringly from one to the other.

"Captain, I move that you undertake the task," said Mr. Dinsmore. "You
are, no doubt, better prepared to do it justice than I, and I would not
have my daughter fatigued with the telling of so long a story."

"Always so kindly careful of me, my dear father," remarked Mrs. Travilla
in a softly spoken aside.

"I am doubtful of my better preparation for the telling of the story,
sir," returned the captain in his pleasant tones, "but if both you and
mother are disinclined for the exertion I am willing to undertake the
task."

"Yes, do, captain; do, papa," came in eager tones from several young
voices, and lifting baby Ned to one knee, Elsie to the other, while the
rest of the young members of the household grouped themselves about him,
he began his story after a slight pause to collect his thoughts.

"You all, I think, have more or less knowledge of the War of 1812-14,
which finished the work of separation from the mother country so nearly
accomplished by the War of the Revolution. Upon the close of that
earlier contest, England, it is true, acknowledged our independence, but
evidently retained a hope of finally recovering her control here.

"All through the intervening years, our sailors on our merchant vessels,
and even, in some instances, those belonging to our navy, were subjected
to insults and oppression when met on the high seas by the more powerful
ones of the English. The conduct of British officers--claiming the right
to search our vessels for deserters from theirs, and often seizing
American born men as such--was most gallingly insulting; the wrongs thus
inflicted upon our poor seamen were enough to rouse the anger and
indignation of the meekest of men. The clearest proofs of citizenship
availed nothing; they were seized, carried forcibly aboard the British
ships, and, if they refused to serve their captors, were brutally
flogged again and again.

"But I will not go into details with which you are all more or less
acquainted. We did not lack abundant cause for exasperation, and at
length, though ill prepared for the struggle, our government declared
war against Great Britain.

"That war had lasted two years; both parties were weary of the struggle,
and negotiations for peace were being carried on in Europe. In fact the
treaty had been signed, December 24, in the city of Ghent, Belgium, but
news did not travel in those days nearly so fast as it does now, and so
it happened that the battle of New Orleans was fought two weeks
afterward, January 8, 1815, both armies being still in ignorance of the
conclusion of peace."

"What a pity!" exclaimed Grace.

"And Andrew Jackson was the commanding general?" remarked Walter in a
tone between inquiry and assertion. "Was he an American by birth,
Brother Levis?"

"Yes; his parents were from Ireland, but he was born on the border
between North and South Carolina, in 1767; so that he was old enough to
remember some of the occurrences of the Revolutionary War; one of them
being himself carried to Camden, South Carolina, as a prisoner, and
there nearly starved to death and brutally treated by a British officer;
cut with a sword because he refused to black his boots for him."

"Was that so, sir?" queried Walter. "Well, I shouldn't wonder if the
recollection of all that made him more ready to fight them in the next
war, particularly at New Orleans, than he would have been otherwise."

"No doubt," returned the captain. "Jackson was a man of great energy,
determination, and persistence. It is said his maxim was, 'till all is
done nothing is done.' In May of 1814 he was made a major-general in the
regular army and appointed to the command of the Department of the
South, the Seventh Military District, with his headquarters at Mobile,
of which the Americans had taken possession as early as April, 1812.

"Jackson's vigilance was sleepless. The Spanish had possession of
Pensacola, and, though professing neutrality, were secretly favoring the
British. Of this Jackson promptly informed our government, but at that
time our War Department was strangely apathetic, and his communication
was not responded to in any way.

"But he had trusty spies, both white and dark-skinned, everywhere, who
kept him informed of all that was taking place in the whole region
around. He knew that British marines were allowed to land and encamp on
shore; that Edward Nichols, their commander, was a guest of the Spanish
governor, and the British flag was unfurled over one of the forts. Also,
that Indians were invited to enroll themselves in the service of the
British crown, and that Nichols had sent out a general order to his
soldiers, and a proclamation to the people of Kentucky and Louisiana,
announcing that the land and naval forces at Pensacola were only the van
of a far larger number of vessels and troops which were intended for
the subjugation of Louisiana and especially the city of New Orleans.

"Jackson arrived in that city on the 2d of December, and prepared to
defend it from the British, whom he had driven out of Florida. They had
planned to take the lower Mississippi Valley, intending to keep
possession of the western bank of the river. They had among them some of
the finest of Wellington's troops, who, but a short time before, had
been engaged in driving Napoleon out of Europe.

"In December, 12,000 men under the command of Sir Edward Packenham,
brother-in-law of Wellington, were landed below New Orleans. They had
come from Jamaica across the Gulf of Mexico. Their expedition was a
secret one, and they approached New Orleans midway between Mobile Bay
and the Mississippi River, entering Lake Borgne and anchoring there.

"A small American navy, composed of five gunboats, opposed their
progress, but was soon dispersed by their superior force of fifty
vessels, large and small. Then the British took full possession of the
lake, and landed troops upon a lonely island called the Isle des Pois
(or Pea Island).

"Some Spaniards, who had formerly lived in New Orleans, told Cochrane of
Bayou Bienvenu, at the northwestern extremity of Lake Borgne, by which
he could nearly reach the city, the bayou being navigable for large
barges to within a few miles of the Mississippi River.

"A party was sent to explore it, and found that by following it and a
canal they would reach a spot but half a mile from the river and nine
miles below the city.

"They hurried back to Cochrane with a report to that effect, and by the
23d of December half of the army had reached the spot.

"A few months before--September 1st--the British sloop of war _Sophia_,
commanded by Captain Lockyer, had sailed from Pensacola with despatches
for Jean Lafitte, inviting him and his band to enter the British
service."

"Lafitte! Who was he, Brother Levis?" queried Walter.

"A Frenchman," replied the captain, "who, with his elder brother,
Pierre, had come to New Orleans some six years before. They were
blacksmiths, and for a time worked at their trade; but afterward they
engaged in smuggling, and were leaders of a band of corsairs, seizing,
it was said, merchantmen of different nations, even some belonging to
the people of the United States, and for that they were outlawed, though
there was some doubt that they were really guilty. But they carried on a
contraband trade with some of the citizens of Louisiana, smuggling their
wares into New Orleans through Bayou Teche, or Bayou Lafourche and
Barataria Lake. That had brought them into trouble with the United
States authorities, and the British thought to get the help of the
buccaneers in their intended attack upon the city, where Pierre Lafitte
was at that time a prisoner.

"Captain Lockyer carried to Jean a letter from Colonel Nichols offering
him a captain's commission in the British Navy and $30,000, and to his
followers exemption from punishment for past deeds, indemnification for
any losses, and rewards in money and lands, if they would go into the
service of England's king.

"Lockyer also brought another paper, in which they were threatened with
extermination if they refused the offers in the first."

"Were they frightened and bribed into doing what the British wished,
sir?" asked Walter.

"No," replied the captain; "they seized Captain Lockyer and his
officers, and threatened to carry them to New Orleans as prisoners of
war; but Lafitte persuaded them to give that up, and they released the
officers. Lafitte pretended to treat with them, asking them to come back
for his reply in ten days, and they were permitted to depart.

"After they had gone, he wrote to a member of the legislature telling of
the visit of the British officers, what they had said to him and his
men, and sending with his letter the papers Captain Lockyer had left
with him. He also offered his own and his men's services in defence of
the city, on condition that past offences should never be brought up
against them.

"Troops were badly needed in the American army, and Governor Claiborne
was inclined to accept Lafitte's offer; but the majority of his officers
were opposed to so doing, thinking the papers sent were forgeries, and
the story made up to prevent the destruction of the colony of outlaws,
against whom an expedition was then fitting out. Lafitte knew of the
preparations, but supposed they were for an attack upon the British.
They, the members of the expedition, made a sudden descent upon
Barataria, captured a large number of Lafitte's men, and carried them
and a rich booty to New Orleans.

"Some of the Baratarians escaped, Jean and Pierre Lafitte among them.
They soon collected their men again near the mouth of Bayou Lafourche,
and after General Jackson took command in New Orleans, again offered
their services, which Jackson accepted, sending a part to man the
redoubts on the river, and forming of the rest a corps which served the
batteries with great skill.

"In his letter at the time of sending information with regard to the
attempt of the British to bribe him to enter their service, Jean Lafitte
said: 'Though proscribed in my adopted country, I will never miss an
occasion of serving her, or of proving that she has never ceased to be
dear to me.'"

"There!" exclaimed Lulu with enthusiasm, "I don't believe he was such a
very bad man, after all."

"Nor do I," her father said with a slight smile; then went on with his
story.

"Early on the 15th of December, Jackson, hearing of the capture of the
gunboats, immediately set to work to fortify the city and make every
possible preparation to repulse the expected attack of the enemy. He
sent word to General Winchester, in command at Mobile, to be on the
alert, and messengers to Generals Thomas and Coffee urging them to
hasten with their commands to assist in the defence of the city.

"Then he appointed, for the 18th, a grand review of all the troops in
front of the Cathedral of St. Louis, in what is now Jackson Square, but
at that time was called Place d'Armes.

"All the people turned out to see the review. The danger was great, the
military force with which to meet the foe small and weak, but Jackson
made a stirring address, and his aide, Edward Livingston, read a
thrilling and eloquent one.

"They were successful in rousing both troops and populace to an intense
enthusiasm, taking advantage of which, Jackson declared martial law and
a suspension of the writ of _habeas corpus_."

"What is that, papa?" asked Grace.

"It is a writ which in ordinary times may be given by a judge to have a
prisoner brought before him that he may inquire into the cause of his
detention and have him released if unlawfully detained. It is a most
important safeguard to liberty, inherited by us from our English
ancestors."

"Then what right had Jackson to suspend it, sir?" queried Walter.

"A right given by the constitution of the United States, in which there
is an express provision that it may be suspended in cases of rebellion
or invasion, should the public safety demand it," replied the captain:
then resumed his narrative.

"After the review, Jean Lafitte again offered his own services and those
of his men, urging their acceptance, and they were mustered into the
ranks and appointed to important duty.

"Jackson showed himself sleeplessly vigilant and wonderfully active,
making every possible preparation to meet and repulse every coming foe.

"On the evening of the 23d, the schooner _Carolina_, one of the two
armed American vessels in the river, moved down and anchored within
musket shot of the centre of the British camp. Half an hour later she
opened a tremendous fire upon them from her batteries, and in ten
minutes had killed or wounded a hundred or more men. The British
answered with a shower of Congreve rockets and bullets, but with little
or no effect, and in less than half an hour were driven in confusion
from their camp.

"They had scarcely recovered from that when they were startled by the
sound of musketry in the direction of their outposts. Some prisoners
whom General Keane had taken told him there were more than 12,000 troops
in New Orleans, and he now felt convinced that such was the fact. He
gave Thornton full liberty to do as he would.

"Thornton moved forward and was presently met by a column under Jackson.
There was some fierce fighting, and at length the British fell sullenly
back. About half past nine the fighting was over; but two hours later,
when all was becoming quiet in the camp, musket firing was heard in the
distance. Some drafted militia, under General David Morgan, had heard
the firing upon the _Carolina_ early in the evening, insisted upon being
led against the enemy, and on their way had met some British pickets at
Jumonsville and exchanged shots with them. By that advance against the
foe, Jackson had saved New Orleans for the time, and now he set
vigorously to work to prepare for another attack, for he knew there
would be another. Also, that the men who were to make it were fresh from
the battlefields of Europe--veteran troops not likely to be easily
conquered or driven away. He omitted nothing which it was in his power
to do for the defence of the city, setting his soldiers to casting up
intrenchments along the line of the canal from the river to Cypress
Swamp. They were in excellent spirits, and plied their spades with such
energy and zeal that by sunset a breastwork three feet high might be
seen along the whole line of his army.

"The American troops were quite hilarious on that Christmas eve, the
British soldiers gloomy and disheartened, having lost confidence in
their commander, Keane, and finding themselves on wet ground, under a
clouded sky, and in a chilly atmosphere; but the sudden arrival of their
new commander, Sir Edward Packenham, in whose skill and bravery they had
great confidence, filled them with joy.

"But while the Americans were at work preparing for the coming conflict,
the foe were not idle; day and night they were busy getting ready a
heavy battery with which to attack the _Carolina_. On the morning of the
27th, they had it finished, began firing hot shot upon her from a
howitzer and several twelve and eighteen pounders, and soon succeeded in
setting her on fire, so that she blew up.

"It was a tremendous explosion, but fortunately her crew had abandoned
her in time to escape it. The _Louisiana_, who had come down to her aid,
was near sharing her fate, but, by great exertion on the part of her
crew, she was towed out of reach of the enemy's shot, anchored nearly
abreast of the American camp, on the other side of the river, and so
saved to take a gallant part in the next day's fight. Packenham next
ordered his men to move forward and carry the intrenchments of the
Americans by storm. They numbered 8000, and toward evening the two
columns, commanded respectively by Generals Gibbs and Keane, obeyed that
order, moving forward, driving in the American pickets and outposts, and
at twilight they encamped, some of them seeking repose while others
began raising batteries near the river.

"The Americans, however, kept them awake by quick, sharp attacks, which
the British called 'barbarian warfare.'"

"Barbarian warfare, indeed!" sniffed Walter. "I wonder if it was half so
barbarous as what they employed the Indians to do to our people."

"Ah, but you must remember that it makes a vast difference who does
what, Walter," laughed Rosie.

"Oh, yes, of course," returned the lad; and Captain Raymond went on with
his story.

"Jackson was busy getting ready to receive the enemy: watching their
movements through a telescope, planting heavy guns, blowing up some
buildings that would have interfered with the sweep of his artillery,
and calling some Louisiana militia from the rear. By the time the
British were ready to attack, he had 4000 men and twenty pieces of
artillery ready to receive them. Also the _Louisiana_ was in a position
to use her cannon with effect in giving them a warm reception.

"As soon as the fog of early morning had passed away, they could be seen
approaching in two columns, while a party of skirmishers, sent out by
Gibbs, were ordered to turn the left flank of the Americans and attack
their rear.

"Just then a band of rough looking men came down the road from the
direction of the city. They were Baratarians, who had run all the way
from Fort St. John to take part in the fight, and Jackson was delighted
to see them. He put them in charge of the twenty-four pounders and they
did excellent service.

"Next came the crew of the _Carolina_, under Lieutenants Norris and
Crawley, and they were given charge of the howitzer on the right. A
galling fire of musketry fell upon the British as they advanced in solid
column, then the batteries of the _Louisiana_ and some of Jackson's
heavy guns swept their lines with deadly effect, one of the shots from
the _Louisiana_ killing and wounding fifteen men. The British rocketeers
were busy on their side, too, but succeeded in inflicting very little
damage upon the Americans.

"But I must leave the rest of the story for another time, for I see we
are about to have company," concluded the captain, as a carriage was
seen coming swiftly up the driveway. It brought callers who remained
until the hour for the retiring of the younger ones among his hearers.



CHAPTER II.


THE next evening the Viamede family were again gathered upon the
veranda, and, at the urgent request of the younger portion, seconded by
that of the older ones, the captain resumed the thread of his narrative.

"Keane's men," he said, "could no longer endure the terrible fire that
was so rapidly thinning their ranks, and they were presently ordered to
seek shelter in the little canals, where, in mud and water almost waist
deep, they leaned forward, concealing themselves in the rushes which
grew on the banks. They were Wellington's veterans, and must have felt
humiliated enough to be thus compelled to flee before a few rough
backwoodsmen, as they considered Jackson's troops.

"In the meantime, Gibbs and Rennie were endeavoring to flank the
American left, driving in the pickets till they were within a hundred
yards of Carroll and his Tennesseeans. Carroll perceived their object
and sent Colonel Henderson with 200 Tennesseeans to cut Rennie off from
the main body of the enemy by gaining his rear. Henderson went too far,
met a large British force, and he and five of his men were killed and
several wounded. But Gibbs, seeing how hard the fight was going with
Keane, ordered Rennie to fall back to his assistance. Rennie reluctantly
obeyed, but only to be a witness of Keane's repulse. Packenham, deeply
mortified by the unexpected disaster to his veterans, presently ordered
his men to fall back, and retired to his headquarters at Villere's."

"Had he lost many of his men that day, sir?" queried Walter.

"The British loss in the engagement is said to have been about one
hundred and fifty," replied Captain Raymond; "that of the Americans nine
killed and eight wounded. Packenham called a council of war, at which it
was resolved to bring heavy siege guns from the navy and with them make
another attempt to conquer the Americans and get possession of the city,
which Packenham now began to see to be by no means the easy task he had
at first imagined. He perceived that it was difficult, dangerous, and
would require all the skill of which he was master; that his movements
must be both courageous and persevering if he would save his army from
destruction.

"Jackson, too, was busy with his preparations, extending his line of
intrenchments, placing guns, establishing batteries, and appointing
those who were to command and work them.

"A company of young men from the best families, under Captain Ogden,
were made his body-guard and subject to his orders alone. They were
posted in Macarte's garden.

"Everybody was full of enthusiasm, active and alert. Particularly so
were the Tennessee riflemen; they delighted in going on 'hunts,' as they
called expeditions to pick off the sentinels of the enemy. So successful
were they in this kind of warfare on Jackson's left, very near the
swamp, that soon the British dared not post sentinels there. They (the
British) threw up a strong redoubt there which Captain You and
Lieutenant Crawley constantly battered with heavy shot from their
cannon; but the British persevered, and by the end of the month had
mounted several heavy guns, with which, on the 31st, they began a
vigorous fire upon the Americans.

"That night the whole of the British army moved forward to within a few
hundred yards of the American lines, and in the gloom, began rapid work
with spade and pickaxe. They brought up siege guns from the lake, and
before dawn had finished three half-moon batteries at nearly equal
distances apart, and six hundred yards from the American line.

"They (the batteries) were made of earth, hogsheads of sugar, and
whatever else could be laid hold of that would answer the purpose. Upon
them they placed thirty pieces of heavy ordnance, manned by picked
gunners of the fleet, who had served under Nelson, Collingwood, and St.
Vincent.

"That morning was the 1st of January, 1815. A thick fog hid the two
armies from each other until after eight o'clock. Then a gentle breeze
blew it aside, and the British began firing briskly upon the American
works, doubtless feeling sure they would presently scatter them to the
winds, and that their own army, placed ready in battle array, would then
rush forward, overpower the Americans, and take the city.

"Heavier and heavier grew their bombardment; the rocketeers sent an
incessant shower of fiery missiles into the American lines and upon
Jackson's headquarters at Macarte's, more than a hundred balls, shells,
and rockets striking the building in the course of ten minutes. He and
his staff immediately left the house, and in the meantime he had opened
his heavy guns on the assailants.

"The British were amazed to find heavy artillery thundering along the
whole line, and wondered how and where the Americans had got their guns
and gunners.

"It was a terrible fight. Packenham sent a detachment of infantry to
turn the American left, but they were driven back in terror by the
Tennesseeans under Coffee. After that, the conflict was between the
batteries alone, and before noon the fire of the British had sensibly
abated. Then they abandoned their works and fled helter-skelter to the
ditches for safety; for their demi-lunes were crushed and broken, the
hogsheads, of which they were largely composed, having been reduced to
splinters and the sugar that had filled them mixed with the earth. Some
of their guns were dismounted, others careened so that it was very
difficult to work them, while the fire of the Americans was still
unceasing. At noon, as I have said, they gave up the contest. That night
they crawled back and carried away some of their cannon, dragging them
with difficulty over the wet ground, and leaving five of them a spoil to
the Americans.

"They (the British) were deeply chagrined by their repulse, had eaten
nothing for sixty hours, nor had any sleep in all that time, so that
their New Year's Day was even gloomier than their Christmas had been.

"The Americans, on the other hand, were full of joy that they had been
able to repulse their own and their country's foes; and their happiness
was increased by the news that they were soon to have a re-enforcement,
Brigadier-General John Adair arriving with the glad tidings that 2000
drafted militia from Kentucky were coming to their assistance. These
arrived on the 4th of the month, and 700 of them were sent to the front
under Adair.

"Packenham had lost some of his confidence in the ability of himself and
his troops to conquer the Americans, but hoped to be more successful in
a new effort. He decided to try to carry Jackson's lines on both sides
of the river. He resolved to rebuild his two batteries near the levee,
which had been destroyed by the Americans, mount them well, and employ
them in assailing the American right, while Keane, with his corps, was
to advance with fascines to fill the ditches, and scaling ladders with
which to mount the embankments.

"But first 1500 infantry, with some artillery, were to be sent under
cover of night to attack Morgan, whose works were but feebly manned,
and, getting possession, enfilade Jackson's line, while the main British
army attacked it in front.

"All the labor of completing these arrangements was finished on the 7th,
and the army, now 10,000 strong, was in fine spirits, no doubt thinking
they had an easy task before them. But Jackson saw through their
designs, and was busily engaged in making his preparations. He had
thrown up a redoubt on the edge of the river, and mounted it with cannon
so as to enfilade the ditch in front of his line. He had, besides, eight
batteries at proper distances from each other, and Patterson's marine
battery across the river, mounting nine guns; also the _Louisiana_ near
at hand and ready to take any part she could in assisting him.

"The plain of Chalmette was in front of Jackson's line. His whole force
on the New Orleans side of the river was about 5000; only 2200 of them
were at his line; only 800 of them were regulars, most of them being new
recruits commanded by young officers.

"The British attempted to carry out Packenham's plans, but Thornton was
delayed in reaching Morgan by the falling of the water in the canal and
river, so that the sailors had to drag the boats through the mud in many
places, and it was three o'clock in the morning before half his force
had crossed. Besides, the powerful current of the Mississippi carried
them down stream, and they were landed at least a mile and a half below
the point at which they had intended to disembark, and the roar of the
cannon on the plain of Chalmette was heard before all had landed. The
British had formed in line and advanced to within 450 yards of the
American intrenchments, and there, under Gibbs and Keane, they stood in
the darkness, fog, and chilly air, listening for the boom of Thornton's
guns.

"The time must have seemed long to them, and doubtless they wondered
what delayed him. But day began to dawn, the red coats of the enemy
could be dimly seen by our troops through the fog, and Lieutenant
Spotswood, of battery No. 7, opened the battle by sending one of his
heavy shots in among them.

"The fog rolled away, and the British line was seen extending two-thirds
of the distance across the plain of Chalmette. A rocket was sent up from
each end of the line and it broke into fragments, the men forming into
columns by companies. Then Gibbs moved forward toward the wooded swamp,
his troops, as they advanced, terribly pelted by the fire of the
Americans, the batteries Nos. 6, 7, and 8 pouring shot incessantly into
their line, making lanes through it.

"Some sought shelter from the storm behind a projection of the swamp
into the plain; but in vain. Whole platoons were prostrated, but their
places were instantly filled by others.

"The company who were to have brought the fascines and scaling ladders
had forgotten them, and that, with the terrible fire of the American
batteries, wrought some confusion in the ranks; but they pressed on
bravely, cheering each other with loud huzzas, their front covered by
blazing rockets. As rank after rank fell under the fire of the
Americans, their places were instantly occupied by others, and the
column pushed on toward the American batteries on the left and the
weaker line defended by the Kentuckians and the Tennesseeans.

"Those British troops were Wellington's veterans who had fought so
bravely in Europe, and now, in spite of the awful slaughter in their
ranks, they moved unflinchingly forward, without pause or recoil,
stepping unhesitatingly over their fallen comrades, till they were
within two hundred yards of our lines, when General Carroll's voice rang
out in clear, clarion tones, 'Fire!' and, at the word, the Tennesseeans
rose from behind their works, where they had lain concealed, and poured
in a deadly fire, each man taking sure aim, and their bullets cutting
down scores of the enemy.

"Then, as the Tennesseeans fell back, the Kentuckians stepped quickly
into their places and poured in their fire with equally deadly aim; then
another rank followed, and still another, so that the fire slackened not
for a moment, while at the same time grape and round shot from the
batteries went crashing through the British ranks, making awful gaps in
them.

"It was enough to appall the stoutest heart, and their lines began to
waver; but their officers encouraged them with the cry, 'Here comes the
Forty-fourth with the fascines and the ladders!'"

"Papa, what are fascines?" asked Grace.

"Long faggots used for different purposes in engineering," he replied.
"It was true they were coming with them, Packenham at their head,
encouraging his men by stirring words and deeds; but presently a bullet
struck his bridle arm, and his horse was shot under him. He quickly
mounted a pony belonging to his favorite aid, but another shot disabled
his right arm, and, as his pony was being led away to the rear, another
passed through his thigh, killed the horse, and he and it fell to the
ground together. He was carried to the rear and placed under an oak,
where he soon died in the arms of Sir Duncan McDougall, the aid who had
resigned the pony to him.

"Other officers fell, till there were not enough to command. General
Keane was shot through the neck, and the wound compelled him to leave
the field. General Gibbs was mortally wounded and died the next day.
Major Wilkinson, who then took command, fell on the parapet, mortally
wounded; then the British fled in wild confusion."

"But they had been very brave," remarked Grace. "What a pity it was that
they had to fight in such a bad cause. Were there very many of them
killed, papa?"

"Yes, a great many. Of a regiment of brave Highlanders, with twenty-five
officers, only nine officers and one hundred and thirty men could be
mustered after the terrible fight was over. Another regiment had lost
five hundred men.

"While this fighting had been going on, another of their divisions of
nearly one thousand men, led by Colonel Rennie, attacked an unfinished
redoubt on Jackson's right and succeeded in driving out the Americans
there, but could not hold it long, being terribly punished by Humphreys'
batteries and the Seventh Regiment. Yet Rennie succeeded in scaling the
parapet of the American redoubt. Beale's New Orleans Rifles poured such
a tempest of shot upon the officers and men in the redoubt that nearly
every one was killed or wounded. Rennie, who had just shouted, 'Hurrah,
boys! the day is ours!' fell mortally wounded.

"And now this attacking column also fell back, and by hastening to the
plantation ditches, sought shelter from the terrible tempest of shot and
shell coming from Jackson's lines.

"General Lambert with his troops tried to come to the aid of Packenham,
Gibbs, and Keane, but was able only to cover the retreat of their
vanquished and flying columns."

"And the victory was won then, papa?" queried Lulu.

"Yes, though the battle had lasted but a short time; by half past eight
A. M. the musketry fire had ceased, though the artillery kept theirs up
till two o'clock in the afternoon."

"Were both Americans and British playing their national airs while the
fight was going on, sir?" asked Walter.

"The British had no music but a bugle," replied the captain, "not even a
drum or a trumpet; but all through the fight, from the time they sent up
their first signal rocket, the New Orleans Band was stationed near the
spot where the American flag was flying, playing national airs to cheer
and animate our soldiers."

"Were not the British rather more successful in another part of the
field, Captain?" asked Eva.

"Yes," he replied; "in their attack upon the troops on the right bank of
the river, they being only militia and few in number; also fatigued and
poorly armed. Morgan, their commander, was compelled to spike his cannon
and throw them into the river, his men being driven from their
intrenchments.

"Then Thornton, his assailant, pushed on to Patterson's battery, three
hundred yards in the rear, and Patterson, threatened by a flank movement
also, was compelled to spike his guns and flee on board of the
_Louisiana_, his sailors helping to get her out of the reach of the foe.

"But Thornton soon heard of the disasters of his comrades on the other
side of the river, and received orders to rejoin them. Jackson had sent
four hundred men to re-enforce Morgan, but there was now no need of
their services. Thornton re-embarked his troops at twilight, the
Americans repossessed themselves of their works, and Patterson removed
the spikes from his guns, put his battery in better position, and at
dawn informed Jackson of what he had done by heavy firing upon the
British outposts at Bienvenu's.

"In that battle of January 8, 1815, the British had lost twenty-six
hundred men, seven hundred killed, fourteen hundred wounded, and five
hundred made prisoners; while the Americans had only eight killed and
thirteen wounded. Lossing tells us, 'The history of human warfare
presents no parallel to this disparity in loss.'

"In Thornton's attack, the British loss was a little more than one
hundred; the American, one killed and five wounded. On that side of the
river the British secured their only trophy of their efforts to capture
New Orleans. So Lossing tells us, adding, 'It was a small flag, and now
[1867], hangs conspicuously among other war trophies in Whitehall,
London, with the inscription: "Taken at the battle of New Orleans,
January 8, 1815."'"

"That looks as though our British cousins must esteem it quite a triumph
to be able to succeed in taking anything from Uncle Sam," laughed Rosie.

"Yes," said Walter, "I think they compliment us by making so much of
that one little trophy."

"So do I," said Lulu. "Papa, is that the end of your story?"

"No, not quite," replied the captain. "After the battle had come to an
end, Jackson and his staff passed slowly along his whole line, speaking
words of congratulation and praise to his brave troops, officers and
men. Then the band struck up 'Hail Columbia,' and cheer after cheer for
the hero went up from every part of the line. The citizens also, who had
been anxiously and eagerly watching the battle from a distance, joined
in the cheering. Then, after refreshing themselves with some food
(doubtless having gone into the battle without waiting to eat their
breakfast), the soldiers set to work to bury the dead of the enemy in
front of Jackson's lines, and take care of the wounded.

"General Lambert sent a flag of truce asking for an armistice in order
to bury his dead, and Jackson granted it on condition that the British
should not cross to the right bank of the river.

"The next morning, detachments from both armies were drawn up in front
of the American lines, at a distance of three hundred yards, then the
dead bodies between that point and the intrenchments were carried by the
Americans upon the very scaling ladders left there by the British, and
delivered to them. They were buried on Bienvenu's plantation, and, as
Lossing tells us, the graves were still there undisturbed when he
visited the spot in 1861. He says also that it is regarded with
superstitious awe by the negroes in the neighborhood.

"The wounded who had been taken prisoners were carried to the barracks
in New Orleans and tenderly cared for by the citizens. Some of the dead
British officers were buried that night by torch light in the garden at
Villere's; the bodies of others, among whom were Packenham, Rennie, and
Gibbs, were sent to their friends in England."

The captain paused, and Violet said playfully, "I fear we are fatiguing
you, my dear; suppose you leave the rest of your story for another
time."

"And that we have some music now," added her mother, a suggestion which
was immediately adopted, the whole party adjourning to the parlor.



CHAPTER III.


THE captain opened the piano and glanced smilingly at his young wife.
But Violet shook her head playfully. "I think mamma should be the player
to-night," she said. "She has scarcely touched the piano for months, and
I am really hungry to have her do so."

"Will you give us some music, mother?" queried the captain, offering to
lead her to the instrument.

"Yes," she returned laughingly. "I could never wilfully allow my
daughter to suffer from hunger when in my power to relieve it."

"Patriotic songs first, please, mamma," entreated Walter, as she took
her seat before the instrument. "I do believe we all feel like singing
'Hail, Columbia!' and the 'Star-Spangled Banner.' At least I do, I am
sure."

"I presume we are all in a patriotic frame of mind to-night," she
returned, giving him a smile of mingled love and pride as she struck a
chord or two, then dashed off into "Yankee-doodle-dandy," with
variations.

"Hail Columbia!" and "Star-Spangled Banner" followed, old and young
uniting together with enthusiasm in singing the patriotic words, but
still other voices were unexpectedly heard joining in on the concluding
strains:

      "That star-spangled banner, oh, long may it wave
       O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!"

"Oh, Cousin Molly and Mr. Embury! Dick, too! and Betty!" cried Violet,
hurrying with outstretched hand toward the doorway into the hall, where
the cousins stood in a little group looking smilingly in upon them.
"Come in; I am delighted to see you."

The invitation was promptly accepted, and for the next few minutes there
was a tumultuous exchange of joyous greetings.

Dr. Percival and his half brother, Robert Johnson, had been spending
some months together in Europe, their sister Betty visiting friends in
Natchez through the winter, and only that morning the three had returned
to Magnolia Hall, where Betty had a home with her sister Molly, and the
brothers were always welcome guests.

Presently all were seated and a very animated conversation ensued, the
newly arrived having much to tell and many inquiries to make concerning
absent friends and relatives.

After a little it came out that Betty was engaged and shortly to be
married, provided "Uncle Horace" was satisfied with regard to the
suitableness of the match, of which no one acquainted with the
reputation, family, and circumstances of the favored lover, felt any
doubt.

It was a love match on both sides; the gentleman, an American, engaged
in a lucrative business, of irreproachable character and reputation,
pleasing appearance and manners, in fact, all that could reasonably be
desired, assured of which, Mr. Dinsmore gave a prompt consent, adding
his warm congratulations, which Betty accepted with blushes and smiles.

"I was not unprepared for this, Betty," he said with a smile, "having
received a letter from the gentleman himself, asking for the hand of my
niece, Miss Johnson."

"O Betty, how nice!" cried Rosie with a gleeful laugh, and softly
clapping her hands. "When is it to be? I hope before we leave for the
North, for I, for one, want to see what a pretty bride you will make,
and I dare say Mr. Norris, your favored suitor, feels in as great haste
as I."

"I am quite aware that I have no beauty to boast of, coz," laughed
Betty, "but I believe it's a conceded point that a woman always looks
her best at such a time, and in bridal attire. However that may be,
though, I shall want you all present, so I will hurry my preparations in
order that the great event may take place while you are here to have a
share in it. By the way, I have laid my plans to have three bridesmaids
and several maids of honor, and I have planned that they shall be my
three young friends, Cousin Rosie Travilla, Evelyn Leland, and Lucilla
Raymond," glancing from one to another as she spoke, then adding, "Now
don't decline, any one of you, for I shall be mortally offended if you
do."

"No danger of that, unless compelled by some one of the older folks,"
laughed Rosie, turning inquiringly toward her mother, while Evelyn
colored and smiled, hesitated momentarily, then said in a noncommittal
way, "You are very kind, Betty, but I'll have to think about it a little
and ask permission."

Lulu's face grew radiant with delight. "O Betty, how good of you!" she
exclaimed. "Papa, may I?" turning a very pleading look upon him and
hurrying to his side.

He took her hand in his, smiling affectionately into the eager,
entreating eyes. "I think you may, daughter," he said kindly, "since
Cousin Betty is so good as to include you in the invitation. I see
nothing in the way at present."

"Oh, thank you, sir!" she cried joyously, then turned to listen with
eager interest to an animated discussion going on among the ladies in
regard to the most suitable and tasteful attire for bride and
bridesmaids or maids of honor.

"The bride will, of course, wear white," Violet was saying, "but it
would be pretty and in accordance with the fashion for her maids of
honor to dress in colors."

"Yes," assented Rosie, "and I propose blue for Eva, delicate straw or
canary color for Lu, who has a complexion just to suit, and pink for me.
What do you say, girls?" turning to them where they stood side by side.

"I like the idea," replied Evelyn, Lulu adding, "And so do I. Do you
approve, papa?" hurrying to his side again.

"Yes, daughter; if it pleases you and meets the approval of the ladies."

"You are so good to me, dear papa!" she exclaimed with a look of
gratitude and affection.

But it was growing late, and leaving various matters to be settled in
another interview to be held at an early day, the cousins bade good
night and departed.

"Papa, I do think I have just the best and kindest father in the whole
world!" exclaimed Lulu, seating herself upon his knee and putting her
arm about his neck, her lips to his cheek, when he had come to her room
for the usual good-night bit of chat.

"Rather strong, isn't it?" he queried laughingly, holding her close and
returning her caress with interest.

"Not too strong, you dear, dear papa!" she said, hugging him tighter.
"Oh, if ever I'm disobedient or ill tempered again I ought to be
severely punished."

"My dear child," he said gravely, smoothing her hair with caressing hand
as he spoke, "do not ever again give your father the pain of punishing
you. Watch and pray, and try every day to grow into the likeness of the
dear Master. It makes me happy that you want to please me, your earthly
father, but I would have you care far more about pleasing and honoring
Him."

"I do care about that, papa. Oh, I want very much to have Him pleased
with me, but next to that I want to please you, because you are such a
good, kind father, and I love you so dearly."

"Yes, daughter, and I esteem your love one of the great blessings of my
life, while you are dearer to me than words can express: one of God's
good gifts for which I am truly thankful. But I must now bid you
good-night and leave you to rest, for it is growing late."

"Yes, sir. But I feel as wide-awake as possible--I'm so excited thinking
about Betty's wedding. So I wish you'd stay just a little bit longer.
Can't you, papa?"

"No, daughter, I must leave you and you must go to bed at once; try to
banish exciting thoughts, and get to sleep."

"I'll try my very best to obey my own dear father," she returned,
looking up into his face with eyes full of ardent affection.

He smiled, held her close for a moment, repeating his caresses, saying
low and tenderly, "God bless and keep my dear daughter through the
silent watches of the night, and wake her in the morning in health and
strength, if it be His will." Then releasing her he left the room.

She was soon in the land of dreams; the sun was shining when she awoke
again.

The wedding and matters connected with it were the principal topics of
discourse at the breakfast table. Betty had expressed an ardent wish to
have present at the ceremony all the relatives from the neighborhood of
her old home, saying that she and Molly had already despatched
invitations which she hoped would be accepted, and now it was settled
that Mr. Dinsmore and Grandma Elsie should write at once, urging all to
come to Viamede and remain till the summer heats would make it more
prudent to return to a cooler climate. There was talk, too, of an
entertainment to be given there to the bride and groom, of suitable
wedding gifts, and also the attire of maids of honor.

The young girls selected to take part in the ceremony were particularly
interested, excitable Lulu especially so; she could hardly think of
anything else, even in the school-room, and as a consequence recited so
badly that her father looked very grave indeed, and when dismissing the
others told her she must remain in the school-room studying, until she
could recite each lesson very much more creditably to both herself and
her teacher.

"Yes, sir," she said in a low, unwilling tone, casting down her eyes and
coloring with mortification; "but I think the lessons were dreadfully
hard to-day, papa."

"No, daughter, it is only that your mind is dwelling upon other things.
You must learn to exercise better control over your thoughts and
concentrate them always upon the business in hand."

"But, papa, I'll never be able to learn the lessons before dinner time,
and I am hungry now; are you going to make me fast till I recite
perfectly?"

"No, my child: you may eat when the rest of us do, and finish your tasks
afterward. You may have a cracker now if you are hungry."

"Oh, may I go and get her some, papa?" asked Grace, who had lingered
behind the others, full of concern and sympathy for her sister, and was
now standing close at his side.

"Yes, my darling," he said, smiling upon the little girl, and smoothing
her hair with softly caressing hand.

"Oh, thank you, sir!" and away she ran, to return in a few moments with
a plate of crackers, when she found Lulu alone, bending over a book,
apparently studying with great diligence.

"Oh, thank you, Grace!" she exclaimed; "you are ever so good. I was so
taken up with the talk about the wedding at breakfast time, that I
didn't eat nearly so much as usual. Some folks in papa's place would
have made me fast till my lessons were learned; but he's such a good,
kind father; isn't he?"

"Yes, indeed!" returned Grace emphatically, setting down the plate as
she spoke. "Now I'll run away and let you learn your lesson."

Lulu did not feel fully prepared for her recitations when the dinner
bell rang, but, having her father's permission, she went to the table
with the others. At the conclusion of the meal he inquired in an aside,
his tone kind and pleasant, if she were ready for him.

"No, sir," she replied, "not quite."

"You may take half an hour to digest your dinner, then go back to your
tasks," he said.

"Yes, sir, I will," she answered, taking out the pretty little watch,
which was one of his gifts, and noting the time. Then, in company with
Rosie, Evelyn, and Grace, she went out upon the lawn and sauntered about
under the trees, gathering flowers.

She was careful to return to the school-room at the appointed hour.
Presently her father followed her. "Are those lessons ready, daughter?"
he asked in his usual kindly tones.

"No, sir; not quite," she replied.

"I am sorry," he said, "as if they were, I would hear them at once and
you might make one of the party who are going over to Magnolia Hall."

"Papa, I should so like to go along!" she exclaimed, looking up
coaxingly into his face.

"And I would be glad to give you the pleasure," he said with a slight
sigh; "but you know I cannot do that, having already told you your
lessons must be creditably recited before you can be allowed any further
recreation."

"They're so long and hard, papa," grumbled Lulu, looking wofully
disappointed.

"No, my child; with your usual attention you could easily have learned
them before the regular school hours were over," he said. "I am not
going with the others and will come for your recitation in another hour
or perhaps sooner." So saying he turned and left the room.

"Oh, dear! I do wish I was old enough not to have lessons to learn,"
sighed Lulu. But seeing there was no escape, she turned to her tasks
again, and when her father came in according to his promise, was able to
say she was ready for him and to recite in a creditable manner. He gave
the accustomed meed of praise, smiling kindly on her as he spoke.
"There, daughter," he added, "you see what you can do when you give
your mind to your work, and I hope that in future you will do so always
at the proper time."

"I hope so, papa; I do really mean to try," she replied, hanging her
head and blushing. "Are the ladies and girls all gone?"

"Yes; some time ago," he said. "I am sorry I could not let you go with
the others, as I have no doubt you would have enjoyed doing so."

"I hope you didn't stay at home just to hear my lessons, papa?" she said
regretfully.

"I might possibly have gone could I have taken my eldest daughter with
me," he replied, "though there were other matters calling for my
attention. However," he added with a smile, "you need not measure my
disappointment by yours, as I am certain it was not nearly so great."

At that moment a servant came to the door to tell the captain that a
gentleman had called on business, and was in the library waiting to see
him.

"Very well; tell him I will be there presently," replied Captain
Raymond. Then turning to Lulu, "You may amuse yourself as you like for
an hour, then prepare your lessons for to-morrow."

"Yes, sir," she answered, as he left the room, then put on her hat and
taking a parasol wandered out upon the lawn.

The captain had been giving the young people some lessons in botany, and
the girls were vieing with each other as to who should gather into her
herbarium the largest number of plants and flowers, particularly such as
were to be found in that region, but never, or very rarely, in the more
northern one they called their home. Lulu had found, and, from time to
time, placed in her herbarium, several which she highly prized for both
beauty and rarity, and now she went in quest of others.

She had scarcely left the house when, much to her surprise, she met her
baby brother and his nurse.

"Why, Neddie dear, I thought you had gone----" but she paused, fearing
to set the child to crying for his mother.

"Marse Ned's sleeping when dey goes, Miss Lu; I spec's dey'll be back
fo' long," said the nurse; and catching him up in her arms she began a
romping play with him, her evident object to ward off thoughts of his
absent mother.

Lulu walked on, spent a half hour or more gathering flowers, then
returned to the school-room, where she had left her herbarium lying on
her desk. But Master Ned, there before her, had pulled it down on the
floor, where he sat tearing out the plants which she had prepared and
placed in it with so much labor and care.

At that trying sight, Lulu's anger flamed out as it had not in years;
not since the sad time when little Elsie was so nearly sacrificed to her
eldest sister's lack of self-control.

"You naughty, naughty, naughty boy!" she exclaimed, snatching the
herbarium from the floor. "I'd just like to shake you well, and spank
you, too. You deserve it richly, for you have no business to be here
meddling with my things!"

At that the baby boy set up a wail. Then their father's voice was heard
from the veranda outside. "Come here to papa, Neddie boy," and the
little fellow, who had now scrambled to his feet, hastened to obey.

Lulu trembled and flushed hotly. "I wish I'd known papa was so near and
I'd kept my temper, too," she sighed ruefully to herself, then set to
work to repair damages to the best of her ability; but, as her passion
cooled, with thoughts dwelling remorsefully upon her unkind treatment of
her baby brother, also apprehensively on the consequent displeasure of
her dearly loved father. She loved little Ned too, and heartily wished
she had been more gentle and forbearing toward him.

But her hour of recreation was past, and with Ned's baby prattle to his
father, as he sat on his knee, coming to her ear through the open
window, she sat down at her desk, took out her books, and tried to
study; but it seemed impossible to fix her thoughts upon the business in
hand, and presently hearing the patter of the little fellow's feet as he
ran along the veranda, then out into the garden, she sprang up and
followed him.

"O Neddie dear," she said, catching him in her arms and giving him a
hearty kiss, "sister is ever so sorry she was cross to you. Will you
forgive her and love her still?"

"Ess," returned the baby boy with hearty good will, putting his chubby
arms about her neck and hugging her tight; then cooing sweetly, "Ned
'oves oo, Lu."

"And Lu loves you, Neddie darling," she returned, kissing him again and
again.

Then setting him down, she sped back to the school-room, took up her
book, and made another attempt to study; but without success; laying it
aside again almost immediately, she went in search of her father.

He had left the veranda, but going on into the library, she found him in
an easy chair, with a newspaper in his hand which he seemed to be
reading with great attention, for he did not turn his head or eyes
toward her as she drew near and stood at his side. She waited longingly
for a recognition of her vicinity, but he gave none, seeming too intent
upon his paper to be aware of it; and he had taught her that she must
not rudely interrupt him or any grown person so engaged, but wait
patiently till her presence was noted and inquiry made as to what she
wished to say.

The five or ten minutes she stood silently waiting seemed a long time to
her impatient temperament. "Oh, would papa never give her an opportunity
to speak to him?" At last, however, as he paused in his reading to turn
his paper, she ventured a low breathed, "Papa."

"Go instantly to your own room, taking your books with you, Lucilla, and
don't venture to leave it till you have my permission," he said in
stern, cold accents, and without giving her so much as a glance.

She obeyed in silence. Reaching her own room she again opened her book
and tried to study; but found herself so disturbed in mind that it was
wellnigh impossible to take in the meaning of the words as she read them
over and over. "I can't learn these lessons till I've made it up with
papa," she sighed half aloud, and putting down the book opened her
writing desk.

In a few minutes she had written a very humble little note, saying how
sorry she was for the indulgence of her passion and her unkindness to
her darling little brother; but that she had asked and received his
forgiveness; then sought her father to beg him to forgive her too, and
tell him she was ready to submit to any punishment he thought best to
inflict. But oh, might it not be something that would be over before the
rest of the family should come home from their drive?

She signed herself "Your penitent little daughter Lulu," folded the
note, sealed it up in an envelope, and wrote her father's name on the
outside.

She could hear the prattle of her baby brother coming from the lawn. Her
window opened upon an upper veranda, and going out there, she called
softly, "Ned, Neddie dear!"

The little fellow looked up and laughed. "Lu!" he called; then catching
sight of the note in her hand, "What oo dot?" he queried.

"A letter for papa," she replied. "Will you take it to him and ask him
to please read it?"

"Ess; fro it down," he said, holding up both hands to catch it. "Me will
tate it to papa."

It fell on the grass at his feet, he stooped and picked it up, then
trotted away with it in his hand.

Again Lulu took up her book and tried to study, but with no better
success than before. "What will papa do and say to me?" she was asking
herself. "Oh, I hope he won't keep me long in suspense! I don't believe
he will; he never does, and--ah, yes, I hear his step."

She rose hastily, hurried to the door and opened it. He stood on the
threshold. "Papa," she said humbly, "I am very, very sorry I was
passionate and cross to dear little Ned."

"As I am," he replied, stepping in, securing the door, then taking her
hand, leading her to the side of an easy chair and seating himself
therein. "I was deeply grieved to hear my eldest daughter speak in such
angry words and passionate tones to her baby brother. It not only gave
the dear little fellow pain, but set him a very bad example which I
greatly fear he will follow one of these days, so giving me the pain of
punishing him and you that of seeing him punished!"

"Papa, I am the one who ought to be punished," she burst out in her
vehement way, "and I just hope you will punish me well. But oh, please
don't say I shall not go to Cousin Betty's wedding, or not be one of her
bridesmaids or maids of honor."

He made no reply at first. There was a moment's silence, then she
exclaimed, "Oh, papa, I just can't bear it! I'd even rather have the
severest whipping you could give me."

"You are a little too old for that now," he said in moved tones, drawing
her to a seat upon his knee. "It has always been to me a hard trial to
feel called upon to punish my dear child in that way; a sad task to have
to do so in any way; and if you are a good girl from now on to the time
of the wedding, you may accept Betty's kind invitation."

"Oh, thank you, sir! thank you very much indeed!" she exclaimed. "I
don't deserve to be allowed to, but oh, I do fully intend to rule my
temper better in future!"

"I hope so indeed; but you will not succeed if you try merely in your
own strength. Our sufficiency is of God, and to Him alone must we look
for strength to resist temptation and be steadfast in fighting the good
fight of faith. Try, my dear child, to be always on your guard! 'Watch
and pray,' is the Master's command, repeated again and again. 'Take ye
heed, watch and pray.' ... 'Watch ye, therefore.' ... 'And what I say
unto you I say unto all, Watch.' ... 'Watch ye and pray lest ye enter
into temptation.'"

"Papa, I do really mean to try very hard to rule my own spirit," she
said humbly; "I have been trying."

"Yes, dear child, I have not been blind to your efforts," he returned in
tender tones. "I know you have tried, and I believe you will try still
harder, and will at length come off conqueror. I fear I have not been so
patient and forbearing with you to-day as I ought. I think now I should
have let you speak when you came to me in the library a while ago. Your
father is by no means perfect, and therefore has no right to expect
perfection in his children."

"But I had indulged my temper, papa, and did deserve to be punished for
it."

"Yes, that is true. But it is all forgiven now, and your father and his
eldest daughter are at peace again," he added, giving her a loving
embrace.

"And that makes me so happy," she said, lifting her dewy eyes to his. "I
am always very far from happy when I know that my dear father is
displeased with me."

"You love him, then?"

"Oh, yes, yes, indeed! dearly! dearly!" she exclaimed, putting her arms
about his neck and laying her cheek to his.

He held her close for a moment, then saying, "Now I want you to spend an
hour over your lessons for to-morrow, after which you and I will have a
walk together," he left her.

By tea time the family were all at home again, and their talk at the
table was almost exclusively of the preparations for the approaching
wedding.

"Mamma," said Rosie at length, "I for one would dearly like to go to New
Orleans and select dress and ornaments for myself; also a present for
Betty."

"I see no objection, if a proper escort can be provided," was the
smiling rejoinder.

"Suppose we make up a party to go there, do the necessary shopping, and
visit the battle fields and everything of interest connected with them,"
suggested Captain Raymond. "We can stay a day or two if necessary, and I
think we'll all feel repaid."

The proposal was received with enthusiasm by the younger portion of the
family, and even the older ones had nothing to say against it. Lulu was
silent, but sent a very wistful, pleading look in her father's
direction. It was answered with a nod and smile, and her face grew
radiant, for she knew that meant that she would be permitted to take the
little trip with the others.

"Dear papa, thank you ever so much," she said, following him into the
library as they left the table.

"For what?" he asked jestingly, laying a hand upon her head and smiling
down into the happy, eager face.

"Giving me permission to go with you and the rest to New Orleans."

"Ah, did I do that?" he asked, sitting down and drawing her to a seat
upon his knee.

"Not in words, papa, but you looked it," she returned with a pleased
laugh, putting her arm about his neck and kissing him with ardent
affection. "Didn't you, now?"

"I don't deny that I did, yet it depends largely upon the good conduct
of my eldest daughter," he said in a graver tone, smoothing her hair
caressingly as he spoke. "I hope she will show herself so sweet tempered
and obedient that it may not be necessary to leave her behind because
she is lacking in those good qualities."

"Papa," she replied low and feelingly, "I will ask God to help me to be
patient and good."

"And if you ask for Jesus' sake, pleading his gracious promise, 'If ye
ask anything in my name, I will do it,' your petition will be granted."

At that moment the other girls came running in, Rose saying eagerly,
"Oh, Brother Levis, we all hope you will be so kind as to go on with
your historical stories of doings and happenings at New Orleans. Please
treat us to some of them to-night, and let us have all before we visit
their scenes, won't you?"

"Certainly, Sister Rose," he replied, adding, "It looks very pleasant on
the veranda now. Shall we establish ourselves there?"

"Yes, sir, if you please," she said, dancing away, the others
following.

Presently all were quietly seated, the older people almost as eager for
the story as were the young, and the captain began.

"While the armies before New Orleans were burying their dead, others of
the British troops were trying to secure for themselves the free
navigation of the Mississippi below the city by capturing Fort St.
Philip, which is in a direct line some seventy or eighty miles lower
down the stream, and was considered by both British and Americans as the
key of the State of Louisiana.

"The fort was at that time garrisoned by three hundred and sixty-six men
under the command of Major Overton of the rifle corps, with the addition
of the crew of a gun-boat. Just about the time that the British killed
in the battle of New Orleans were being carried by the Americans under
Jackson to their comrades for burial, a little squadron of five English
vessels appeared before the fort and anchored out of range of its heavy
guns, the bomb vessels with their broadsides toward it; and at three
o'clock they opened fire on it. Their bombardment went on with scarcely
a pause till daybreak of the 18th, when they had sent more than a
thousand shells, using for that purpose twenty thousand pounds of
powder. They had sent, too, beside the shells, many round and grape
shot.

"During those nine days the Americans were in their battery, five of
the days without shelter, exposed to cold and rain a part of the time;
but only two of them were killed and seven wounded.

"On the 18th, the British gave up the attempt. That same day a general
exchange of prisoners took place, and that night the British stole
noiselessly away. By morning they had reached Lake Borgne, sixty miles
distant from their fleet.

"They could not have felt very comfortable, as the wintry winds to which
they were exposed were keen, and the American mounted men under Colonel
De la Ronde, following them in their retreat, annoyed them not a little.

"The British remained at Lake Borgne until the 27th, then boarded their
fleet, which lay in the deep water between Ship and Cat Islands.

"In the meantime Jackson had been guarding the approach to New Orleans
lest they might return and make another effort against it. But on
leaving that vicinity they went to Fort Bowyer, at the entrance to
Mobile Bay, thirty miles distant from the city of that name, then but a
village of less than one thousand inhabitants. The fort is now called
Fort Morgan.

"It was but a weak fortress, without bomb-proofs, and mounting only
twenty guns, only two of them larger than twelve pounders, some of them
less. It was under the command of Major Lawrence.

"The British besieged it for nearly two days, when Lawrence, a gallant
officer, was compelled to surrender to a vastly superior force.

"It is altogether likely that the British would then have gone on to
attack Mobile, had not news come of the treaty of peace between the
United States and Great Britain.

"The news of Jackson's gallant defence of New Orleans caused intense joy
all over the Union, while in England it was heard with astonishment and
chagrin."

"They didn't know before how Americans could fight," said Walter with a
look of exultation, "and they have never attacked us since."

"No," said his mother, "and God grant that we and our kinsmen across the
sea may ever henceforward live in peace with each other."

"It seems a great pity that the news of peace had not come in time to
prevent that dreadful battle of New Orleans and the after fighting of
which you have just been telling us, Captain," remarked Evelyn.

"Yes," he replied; "and yet, perhaps, it may have been of use in
preventing another struggle between the two nations; we have had
difficulties since, but fortunately they have thus far been settled
without a resort to arms."

"I suppose there was an exchange of prisoners?" Walter said inquiringly.

"Yes, though, in regard to some, the Dartmoor captives in especial, it
was strangely slow."

"Dartmoor, papa?" Grace said with inquiring look and tone.

"Yes; Dartmoor is a desolate region in Devonshire; its prison, built
originally for French prisoners of war, had thirty acres of ground
enclosed by double walls, within which were seven distinct prisons.

"At the close of the War of 1812-14 there were about six thousand
prisoners there, twenty-five hundred of them impressed American seamen
who had refused to fight against their country, having been forced into
the British Navy and being still there at the beginning of the struggle.
Some of the poor fellows, though, had been in Dartmoor Prison ten or
eleven years. Think what an intense longing they must have felt for home
and their own dear native land! How unbearable the delay to liberate
them must have seemed! They were not even permitted to hear of the
treaty of peace till three months after it had been signed. But after
hearing of it, they were in daily expectation of being released, and
just think how hope deferred must have made their hearts sick. Some of
them showed a disposition to attempt an escape, and on the 4th of April
they demanded bread, and refused to eat the hard biscuits that were
given them instead.

"Two evenings later they very reluctantly obeyed orders to retire to
their quarters, some of them showing an inclination to mutiny, passing
beyond the limits of their confinement, when, by the orders of Captain
Shortland, commander of the prison, they were fired upon; then the
firing was repeated by the soldiers without the shadow of an excuse, as
was shown by the impartial report of a committee of investigation, the
result of which was the killing of five men and the wounding of
thirty-three."

"I hope those soldiers were hung for it!" exclaimed Walter, his eyes
flashing.

"No," replied the captain, "the British authorities pronounced it
'justifiable homicide'; which excited the hottest indignation on this
side of the ocean; but now the memory of it has nearly passed away."

"Now, Brother Levis, if you're not too tired, won't you please go on and
tell us all about the taking of New Orleans in the last war?" asked
Walter, looking persuasively into the captain's face.

"Certainly, if all wish to hear it," was the pleasant toned reply; and
all expressing themselves desirous to do so, he at once began.

"Ship Island was appointed as the place of rendezvous for both land and
naval forces, the last named under the command of Captain David G.
Farragut, the others led by General Butler.

"Farragut arrived in the harbor of the island, on the 20th of February,
1862, on his flag-ship, the _Hartford_, in which he sailed on the 2d,
from Hampton Roads, Virginia, but sickness had detained him for a time
at Key West.

"The vessels of which he had been given the command, taken collectively,
were styled the Western Gulf Squadron. Farragut had been informed that a
fleet of bomb vessels, under Commander David D. Porter, would be
attached to his squadron. Porter was the son of Commodore David Porter,
who had adopted Farragut when a little fellow and had him educated for
the navy. It was he who commanded the _Essex_ in the War of 1812, and
Farragut was with him, though then only in his twelfth year."

"Then he must have been past sixty at the time of the taking of New
Orleans," remarked Walter reflectively.

"He and Porter joined forces at Key West," continued the captain.
"Porter's fleet had been prepared at the Navy Yard in Brooklyn, exciting
much interest and curiosity. There were twenty-one schooners of from two
to three hundred tons each; they were made very strong and to draw as
little water as possible. Each vessel carried two thirty-two pounder
rifled cannon, and was armed besides with mortars of eight and a half
tons weight that would throw a fifteen-inch shell which, when filled,
weighed two hundred and twelve pounds.

"Farragut's orders were to proceed up the Mississippi, reducing the
forts on its banks, take possession of New Orleans, hoist the American
flag there, and hold the place till more troops could be sent him.

"An expedition was coming down the river from Cairo, and if that had not
arrived he was to take advantage of the panic which his seizure of New
Orleans would have caused, and push on up the river, destroying the
rebel works. His orders from the Secretary of War were, 'Destroy the
armed barriers which these deluded people have raised up against the
power of the United States Government, and shoot down those who war
against the Union; but cultivate with cordiality the first returning
reason which is sure to follow your success.' Farragut, having received
these orders, at once began carrying them out, with the aid of the plans
of the works on the Mississippi which he had been directed to take,
particularly of Fort St. Philip, furnished him by General Barnard, who
had built it years before.

"The plan made and carried out was to let Porter's fleet make the attack
upon the forts first, while Farragut, with his larger and stronger
vessels, should await the result just outside the range of the rebel
guns; then, when Porter had succeeded in silencing them, Farragut was to
push on up the river, clearing it of Confederate vessels, and cutting
off the supplies of the fort. That accomplished, Butler was to land his
troops in the rear of Fort St. Philip and try to carry it by assault.
Those two forts, St. Philip and Jackson, were about thirty miles from
the mouth of the river, Fort Jackson on the right bank, and Fort St.
Philip on the left.

"Ship Island, the place of rendezvous, is about one hundred miles
northeast of the mouth of the Mississippi. In the last war with England,
as I have told you, St. Philip had kept the British in check for nine
days, though they threw one thousand shells into it.

"Fort Jackson was a larger fortification, bastioned, built of brick,
with casemates and glacis, rising twenty-five feet above the water. Some
French and British officers, calling upon Farragut before the attack,
having come from among the Confederates, while visiting whom they had
seen and examined these forts with their defences, warned him that to
attack them would only result in sure defeat; but the brave old hero
replied that he had been sent there to try it on and would do so; or
words to that effect.

"The forts had one hundred and fifteen guns of various kinds and sizes,
mostly smooth-bore thirty-two pounders. Above them lay the Confederate
fleet of fifteen vessels, one of them an iron-clad ram, another a large,
unfinished floating battery covered with railroad iron. Two hundred
Confederate sharp-shooters kept constant watch along the river banks,
and several fire-rafts were ready to be sent down among the Federal
vessels. Both these and the sharp-shooters were below the forts. Also
there were two iron chains stretched across the river, supported upon
eight hulks which were anchored abreast.

"Farragut's naval expedition was the largest that had ever sailed under
the United States flag, consisting of six sloops of war, twenty-one
mortar schooners, sixteen gun-boats, and other vessels, carrying in all
two hundred guns.

"But the vessels were built for the sea and were now to work in a much
narrower space--a river with a shifting channel and obstructed by
shoals.

"To get the larger vessels over the bar at the southwest pass was a work
of time and great labor. They had to be made as light as possible and
then dragged through a foot of mud. Two weeks of such labor was required
to get the _Pensacola_ over, and the _Colorado_ could not be taken over
at all.

"The mortar vessels were towed up stream and began to take their places.
Porter disguised them with mud and the branches of trees, so that they
could not be readily distinguished from the river banks, being moored
under cover of the woods on the bank just below Fort Jackson. The
stratagem was successful; his vessels were moored where he wished to
have them, the nearest being two thousand eight hundred and fifty yards
from Fort Jackson, and three thousand six hundred and eighty from Fort
St. Philip.

"On the opposite side of the river, and a little farther from the forts,
Porter had his six remaining vessels stationed, screening them also with
willows and reeds, and mooring them under cover of the woods to conceal
their true character.

"On the 18th of April, before nine o'clock in the morning, the attack
was begun by a shot from Fort Jackson, then, as soon as Porter was
ready, the _Owasco_ opened fire, and the fourteen mortar boats concealed
by the woods, also the six in full sight of the forts, began their
bombardment.

"The gun-boats took part in the conflict by running up and firing heavy
shells when the mortars needed relief. Porter was on the _Harriet Lane_,
in a position to see what was the effect of the shells, and direct their
aim accordingly.

"The fight went on for several days, then Farragut, deeming there was
small prospect of reducing the forts, prepared to carry out another part
of his instructions by running past them. He called a council of the
captains in the cabin of the _Hartford_, and it was then and there
decided that the attempt should be made.

"It was an intensely dark night, the wind blowing fiercely from the
north, but Commander Bell with the _Winona_, the _Itasca_, _Kennebec_,
_Iroquois_, and the _Pinola_ ran up to the boom. The _Pinola_ ran to the
hulk under the guns of Fort Jackson, and an effort was made to destroy
it with a petard, but failed. The _Itasca_ was lashed to the next hulk,
but a rocket sent up from the fort showed her to the foe, who
immediately opened a heavy fire upon her. But half an hour of active
work with chisels, saws, and sledges parted the boom of chains and logs,
and the hulk to which she was attached swung round and grounded her in
the mud in shallow water. But the _Pinola_ rescued her.

"Two hours later an immense fire-raft came roaring down the stream, but,
like those sent before, it was caught by our men and rendered harmless.
They would catch such things with grappling-irons, tow them to the
shore, and leave them there to burn out harmlessly.

"Day after day the bombardment went on, fire-rafts coming down the river
every night, but Fort Jackson still held out, though its citadel had
been set on fire by the shells from the mortar boats, and all the
commissary stores and the clothing of the men destroyed; also the levee
had been broken in scores of places by the exploding shells, so that the
waters of the river flooded the parade ground and casemates.

"By sunset on the 23d, Farragut was ready for his forward movement, but
Porter, with his mortar boats, was to stay and cover the advance with
his fire. Farragut, on board his flag-ship, the _Hartford_, was to lead
the way with it, the _Brooklyn_, and the _Richmond_.

"These vessels formed the first division, and were to keep near the
right bank of the river, fighting Fort Jackson, while Captain Theodorus
Bailey was to keep close to the western bank with his (the second)
division, to fight Fort St. Philip. His vessels were the _Mississippi_,
_Pensacola_, _Varuna_, _Oneida_, _Katahdin_, _Kineo_, _Wissahickon_,
_Portsmouth_.

"Captain Bell still commanded the same vessels which I just mentioned as
his, and his appointed duty was to attack the Confederate fleet above
the forts, to keep the channel of the river, and push right on, paying
no attention to the forts themselves.

"In obedience to these orders, the _Itasca_ ran up to the boom, and at
eleven o'clock showed a night signal that the channel was clear of
obstruction excepting the hulks, which, with care, might be passed
safely.

"A heavy fog, and the settling of the smoke from the steamers upon the
waters, made the night a very dark one. No sound came from the forts,
yet active preparations were going on in them for the approaching
struggle, and their fleet was stationed near them in readiness to assist
in the effort to prevent the Union vessels from ascending the river.

"At one o'clock every one on the Union ships was called to action, but
the fleet remained stationary until two, and at half past three
Farragut's and Bailey's divisions were moving up the river, each on its
appointed side, and at the rate of four miles an hour.

"Then Porter's mortars, still at their moorings below the forts, opened
upon those forts a terrible storm, sending as many as, if not more than,
half a dozen shells, with their fiery trails, screaming through the air
at the same moment.

"But no sound came from the forts until they discovered Captain Bailey's
ship, the _Cayuga_, just as she had passed the boom, when they brought
their heavy guns to bear upon her, and broke the long silence with their
roar.

"When she was close under Fort St. Philip she replied with heavy
broadsides of grape and canister as she passed on up the river.

"The other vessels of Bailey's division followed closely after, each
imitating the _Cayuga's_ example in delivering a broadside as she passed
the forts, which they did almost unharmed, with the exception of the
_Portsmouth_, a sailing vessel, which lost her tow, on firing her
broadside, and drifted down the river.

"Captain Bell and his division were not quite so fortunate. Three of his
vessels passed the forts, but the _Itasca_ received a storm of shot, one
of which pierced her boiler, and she drifted helplessly down the river.
The _Kennebec_ lost her way among the obstructions and went back to her
moorings below; the _Winona_, too, recoiled from the storm.

"In the meantime, Farragut was in the fore rigging of the _Hartford_,
watching with intense interest, through his night glass, the movements
of the vessels under the command of Bailey and Bell, while the vessels
he commanded in person were slowly nearing Fort Jackson. He was within a
mile and a quarter of it when its heavy guns opened upon him. They were
well aimed, and the _Hartford_ was struck several times.

"Farragut replied with two guns which he had placed upon his forecastle,
while at the same time he pushed on directly for the fort. When within a
half mile of it he sheered off and gave them heavy broadsides of grape
and canister; so heavy that they were driven from all their barbette
guns. But the casemate guns were kept in full play, and the fight became
a very severe one.

"The _Richmond_ soon joined in it; the _Brooklyn_ got entangled with
some of the hulks that bore up the chain, and so lagged behind. She had
just succeeded in freeing herself from them, when the Confederate ram
_Manassas_ came furiously down upon her, and when within about ten feet,
fired a heavy bolt at her from its trap-door, aiming for her smoke
stack; but fortunately the shot lodged in some sand-bags that protected
her steam-drum.

"The next moment the ram butted into the _Brooklyn's_ starboard gangway;
but she was so effectually protected by chain armor that the _Manassas_
glanced off and disappeared in the darkness.

"All this time a raking fire from the fort had been pouring upon the
_Brooklyn_, and just as she escaped from the _Manassas_ a large
Confederate steamer attacked her. She pushed slowly on in the darkness,
after giving the steamer a broadside that set it on fire and speedily
destroyed it, and suddenly found herself abreast of Fort St. Philip.

"She was very close to it, and speedily brought all her guns to bear
upon it in a tremendous broadside.

"In his report Captain Craven said, 'I had the satisfaction of
completely silencing that work before I left it, my men in the tops
witnessing, in the flashes of the shrapnel, the enemy running like sheep
for more comfortable quarters.'

"While the _Brooklyn_ was going through all this, Farragut was having
what he called 'a rough time of it.' While he was battling with the
forts, a huge fire-raft, pushed by the _Manassas_, came suddenly upon
him all ablaze, and in trying to avoid it the _Hartford_ got aground,
and the incendiary came crashing alongside of her.

"In telling of it Farragut said, 'In a moment the ship was one blaze all
along the port side, half way up the main and mizzen tops. But thanks to
the good organization of the fire department, by Lieutenant Thornton,
the flames were extinguished, and at the same time we backed off and got
clear of the raft. All this time we were pouring shells into the forts
and they into us; now and then a rebel steamer would get under our fire
and receive our salutation of a broadside.' The fleet had not fairly
passed the forts when the Confederate ram and gun-boats hastened to take
part in the battle.

"The scene was now both grand and awful. Just think of two hundred and
sixty great guns and twenty mortars constantly firing, and shells
exploding in and around the forts; it 'shook land and water like an
earthquake,' Lossing tells us, 'and the surface of the river was strewn
with dead and helpless fishes.' Major Bell, of Butler's staff, wrote of
it, 'Combine all that you have ever heard of thunder, and add to it all
you have ever seen of lightning, and you have, perhaps, a conception of
the scene. And,' continues our historian, 'all this destructive energy,
the blazing fire-rafts and floating volcanoes sending forth fire and
smoke and bolts of death, the thundering forts, and the ponderous rams,
were crowded, in the greatest darkness just before dawn, within the
space of a narrow river, "too narrow," said Farragut, "for more than two
or three vessels to act to advantage. My greatest fear was that we
should fire into each other; and Captain Wainwright and myself were
hallooing ourselves hoarse at the men not to fire into our ships."'

"The _Cayuga_ met the flotilla of Confederate rams and gun-boats as soon
as she passed Fort St. Phillip. For a few minutes there were eighteen
Confederate vessels intent upon her destruction."

"Was the _Manassas_ one of the eighteen, sir?" queried Walter.

"Yes," replied the captain, "and the floating battery _Louisiana_ was
another. Captain Mitchell was the name of her commander, and he was
also commandant of the remaining sixteen vessels of that rebel fleet.

"Captain Bailey could not fight so many at once without some assistance,
so used his skill in avoiding the butting of the rams and the efforts to
board his vessel. At the same time he was making such good use of his
guns that, while saving his own vessels, he compelled three of the
Confederate gun-boats to surrender to him before Captain Boggs and
Captain Lee, of the _Varuna_ and the _Oneida_ came to his assistance.

"The _Cayuga_ had then been struck forty-two times and a good deal
damaged in spars and rigging, but, in accordance with Farragut's orders,
she moved up the river as leader of the fleet.

"It was upon the _Varuna_ that the enemy next poured out the vials of
his wrath. In his report of the fight Captain Boggs, her commander, said
that immediately after passing the forts he found himself 'amid a nest
of rebel steamers.' He rushed into their midst, giving each a broadside
as he passed. The first of those steamers seemed to be crowded with
troops. One of the _Varuna's_ shots exploded her boiler and she drifted
ashore. Next a gun-boat and three other vessels were driven ashore in
flames, and presently they blew up, one after another.

"Then the _Varuna_ was furiously attacked by the _Governor Moore_,
commanded by Beverly Kennon, one who had left the United States service
for that of the rebels. His vessel raked along the _Varuna's_ port,
killing four men and wounding nine. Captain Boggs sent a three-inch
shell into her, abaft her armor, and several shots from the after rifled
gun, which partially disabled her, and she dropped out of action.

"In the meantime, another ram struck the _Varuna_ under water with its
iron prow, giving her a heavy blow in the port gangway. The _Varuna_
answered with a shot, but it glanced harmlessly from the armored prow of
the rebel ram, and it, backing off a shorting distance, shot forward
again, gave the _Varuna_ another blow in the same place, and crushed in
her side.

"But the ram had become entangled, and was drawn around to the side of
the _Varuna_, and Captain Boggs gave her five eighteen shells abaft her
armor from his port guns. In telling of it afterward he said, 'This
settled her and drove her ashore in flames.'

"But his own vessel was sinking; so he ran her into the bank, let go her
anchor, and tied her bow up to the trees, but all the time kept his guns
at work crippling the _Moore_.

"He did not cease firing till the water was over the gun-tracks, but
then turned his attention to getting his wounded and the crew out of the
vessel.

"Just then, Captain Lee, commander of the _Oneida_, came to his
assistance. But Boggs waved him after the _Moore_, which was then in
flames and presently surrendered to the _Oneida_. Kennon, her commander,
had done a cowardly deed in setting her on fire and fleeing, leaving his
wounded to the horrible fate of perishing in the flames. The surrender
was, therefore, made by her second officer.

"That ended the fight on the Mississippi River; it had been a desperate
one, but lasted only an hour and a half, though nearly the whole of the
rebel fleet was destroyed. The National loss was thirty killed and not
more than one hundred and twenty-five wounded."



CHAPTER IV.


CAPTAIN RAYMOND paused, seemingly lost in thought. All waited in silence
for a moment, then Violet, laying a hand on his arm, for she was seated
close at his side, said with a loving smile into his eyes:

"My dear, I fear we have been tiring you."

"Oh no, not at all!" he replied, coming out of his revery and taking
possession of the pretty hand with a quiet air of ownership.

"I am sure nobody else is," said Walter; "so please go on, sir, won't
you? and tell us all about the taking of the forts and the city."

"I will," replied the captain. "By the way, I want to tell you about a
powder boy on board of the _Varuna_, Oscar Peck, a lad of only thirteen
years, who showed coolness and bravery which would have entitled a man
to praise.

"Captain Boggs was very much pleased with him, and in his report to
Farragut praised him warmly. He said that seeing the lad pass quickly he
asked where he was going in such a hurry. 'To get a passing box, sir,'
replied the lad; 'the other was smashed by a ball.' When the _Varuna_
went down Oscar disappeared. He had been standing by one of the guns
and was thrown into the water by the movement of the vessel. But in a
few minutes he was seen swimming toward the wreck. Captain Boggs was
standing on a part of the ship that was still above water, when the lad
climbed up by his side, gave the usual salute, and said, 'All right,
sir, I report myself on board.'"

"Ah," cried Walter exultantly, "he was a plucky American boy! I'm proud
of him."

"Yes," said the captain, "and the more men and boys we have of a similar
spirit the better for our dear land.

"But to go on with my story. Captain Bailey moved on up the river with
his crippled vessel, the _Cayuga_, leaving the _Varuna_ to continue the
fight at the forts.

"A short distance above Fort St. Philip was the Quarantine Station.
Opposite to it was a Confederate battery in charge of several companies
of sharp-shooters, commanded by Colonel Szymanski, a Pole.

"On perceiving the approach of the _Cayuga_, they tried to flee, but a
volley of canister-shot from her guns called a halt, and they were taken
prisoners of war.

"By that time the battle at the forts was over and the remaining twelve
ships presently joined the _Cayuga_. Then the dead were carried ashore
and buried."

"And where was Butler all this time, sir?" queried Walter.

"He had been busy preparing for his part of the work while the naval
officers were doing theirs," was the reply. "His men were in the
transports at the passes and could hear distinctly the booming of the
guns and mortars, but the general was at that time on the _Saxon_, which
was following close in the rear of Bailey's division, until the plunging
of shot and shell into the water around her warned Butler that he had
gone far enough. He then ordered the _Saxon_ to drop a little astern, an
order which was by no means disagreeable to her captain and was promptly
obeyed, for he had on board eight hundred barrels of gunpowder; a
dangerous cargo, indeed, when exposed to the fiery missiles of the
enemy."

"Wasn't it?" exclaimed Rosie.

"Where was Porter just then, sir?" asked Walter.

"He and his mortar fleet were still below the forts," replied the
captain, "and just as Butler had ordered his vessel away from that
dangerous spot, the rebel monitor _Manassas_ came moving down into the
midst of his fleet. She had just been terribly pounded by the
_Mississippi_ and was a helpless wreck, but that was not perceived at
first, and some of the mortars opened fire upon her, but stopped when
they saw what was her condition: her hull battered and pierced, her
pipes twisted and riddled by shot, smoke pouring from every opening. In
a few minutes her only gun went off, flames burst out from stern,
trap-door, and bow port, and she went hissing to the bottom of the
river.

"Butler now hurried to his transports and took them to Sable Island,
twelve miles in the rear of Fort St. Philip. From there they went in
small boats, through the narrow and shallow bayous, piloted by
Lieutenant Weitzel. It was a most fatiguing journey, the men sometimes
having to drag their boats through cold, muddy water waist deep. But the
brave, patriotic fellows worked on with a will, and by the night of the
27th they were at the Quarantine, ready to begin the assault on Fort St.
Philip the next day, when they were landed under cover of the guns of
the _Mississippi_ and the _Kineo_. Butler sent a small force to the
other side of the river above Fort Jackson, which Porter had been
pounding terribly with the shells from his mortars. On the 26th, Porter
sent a flag of truce with a demand for the surrender of the fort, saying
that Farragut had reached New Orleans and taken possession.

"Colonel Higginson, the commander of the fort, replied that he had no
official report of that surrender, and that until he should receive such
he would not surrender the fort; he could not entertain such a
proposition for a moment.

"On the same day, General Duncan, commander of the coast defences, but
at that time in Fort Jackson, sent out an address to the soldiers,
saying, 'The safety of New Orleans and the cause of the Southern
Confederacy, our homes, families, and everything dear to man yet depend
upon our exertions. We are just as capable of repelling the enemy to-day
as we were before the bombardment.'

"Thus he urged them to fight on. But they did not all agree with the
views he expressed. They could see the blackened fragments of vessels
and other property strewing the waters of the river as it flowed swiftly
by, and the sight convinced them of the truth of the report which had
reached them of the fall of New Orleans. They had heard, too, of the
arrival of Butler's troops in the rear of Fort St. Philip.

"Doubtless they talked it all over among themselves that night, as a
large number of them mutinied, spiked the guns bearing up the river, and
the next day went out and surrendered themselves to Butler's pickets on
that side of the river, saying they had been impressed, and would not
fight the government any longer. Their loss made the surrender of the
fort a necessity, and Colonel Higginson accepted the generous terms
offered him by Porter. He and Duncan went on board the _Harriet Lane_
and the terms of surrender were reduced to writing.

"While that was going on in her cabin, a dastardly deed was done by the
Confederate officer Mitchell, who, as I have said, commanded the battery
called the _Louisiana_. It lay above the forts. He had it towed out into
the strong current, set on fire and abandoned, leaving the guns all
shotted, expecting she would float down and explode among Porter's
mortar fleet; but a good Providence caused the explosion to come before
she reached the fleet. It took place when she was abreast of Fort St.
Philip, and a soldier, one of its garrison, was killed by a flying
fragment. Then she went to the bottom, and the rest of the Confederate
steamers surrendered.

"Porter and his mortar fleet were still below the forts, but Farragut
had now thirteen of his vessels safely above them and was ready to move
upon New Orleans.

"Half an hour after he reached the Quarantine, he sent Captain Boggs to
Butler with despatches. Boggs went in a small boat through shallow
bayous in the rear of Fort St. Philip, and, as I have already said, the
next day Butler and his troops arrived at the Quarantine in readiness to
assault the forts.

"Fort St. Philip was as perfect when taken by the Union forces as before
the fight, and Fort Jackson was injured only in its interior works.

"The entire loss of the Nationals in all this fighting was 40 killed and
177 wounded. No reliable report was given of the Confederate losses in
killed and wounded. The number of prisoners amounted to nearly one
thousand.

"General Lovell, who had command of the Confederate troops at New
Orleans, had gone down the river in his steamer _Doubloon_, and arrived
just as the National fleet was passing the forts. He was near being
captured in the terrible fight that followed, but escaped to the shore
and hurried back to New Orleans as fast as courier horses could carry
him.

"A rumor of the fight and its results had already reached the city, and
when he confirmed it a scene of wild excitement ensued; soldiers hurried
to and fro, women were in the street bareheaded, brandishing pistols,
and screaming, 'Burn the city! Never mind us! Burn the city!'

"Merchants fled from their stores, and military officers impressed
vehicles to carry cotton to the levees to be burned. Four millions of
dollars in specie was sent out of the city by railway; foreigners
crowded to the consulates to deposit money and other valuables for
safety, and Twiggs, the traitor, fled, leaving to the care of a young
woman the two swords that had been awarded him for his services in
Mexico.

"Lovell believed that he had not a sufficient number of troops to
defend the city, and convinced the city authorities that such was the
fact. Then he proceeded to disband the conscripts and to send munitions
of war, stores of provisions, and other valuable property to the country
by railroad and steamboats. Some of the white troops went to Camp Moore,
seventy-eight miles distant, by the railroad, but the negro soldiers
refused to go.

"The next morning Farragut came on up the river, meeting on the way
blazing ships filled with cotton floating down the stream. Then
presently he discovered the Chalmette batteries on both sides of the
river only a few miles below the city. The river was so full that the
waters gave him complete command of those confederate works, and,
causing his vessels to move in two lines, he set himself to the task of
disabling them.

"Captain Bailey in the _Cayuga_ was pressing gallantly forward and did
not notice the signal to the vessels to move in close order. He was so
far ahead of the others that the fire of the enemy was for a time
concentrated upon his vessel; for twenty minutes she sustained a heavy
cross fire alone. But Farragut hastened forward with the _Hartford_,
and, as he passed the _Cayuga_, he gave the batteries heavy broadsides
of grape, shell and shrapnel; so heavy were they that the first
discharge drove the Confederates from their guns. The other vessels of
the fleet followed the _Hartford's_ example, and in twenty minutes the
batteries were silenced and the men running for their lives.

"Oh, what a fearful scene our vessels passed through! The surface of the
river was strewn with blazing cotton bales, burning steamers and
fire-rafts, all together sending up clouds of dense black smoke. But
they were nearing the city, these National vessels, and the news that
such was the case had caused another great panic, and, by order of the
Governor of Louisiana and General Lovell, the destruction of property
went on more rapidly than before. Great quantities of cotton, sugar, and
other staple commodities of that region of country, were set on fire, so
that for a distance of five miles there seemed to be a continuous sheet
of flame accompanied by dense clouds of smoke; for the people, foolishly
believed that the Government, like themselves, regarded cotton as king,
and that it was one of the chief objects for which the National troops
were sent there. So they brought it in huge loads to the levee, piled it
up there, and burnt not less than fifteen hundred bales, worth about
$1,500,000. For the same reason they burned more than a dozen large
ships, some of which were loaded with cotton, as well as many
magnificent steamboats, unfinished gun-boats, and other vessels, sending
them down the river wrapped in flames; hoping that in addition to
destroying the property the Federals were after, they might succeed in
setting fire to and destroying their ships and boats.

"But the vessels of Farragut's squadron all escaped that danger, and in
the afternoon, during a fierce thunderstorm, they anchored before the
city.

"Captain Bailey was sent ashore with a flag and a summons from Farragut
for the surrender of the city; also a demand that the Confederate flag
should be taken down from the public buildings and replaced by the stars
and stripes.

"Escorted by sensible citizens he made his way to the City Hall, through
a cursing and hissing crowd. Lovell, who was still there, positively
refused to surrender, but seeing that he was powerless to defend the
city he said so and, advising the mayor not to surrender or allow the
flags to be taken down, he withdrew with his troops.

"The mayor was foolish enough to follow that very foolish advice, and
sent to Farragut a silly letter saying that though he and his people
could not prevent the occupation of their city by the United States,
they would not transfer their allegiance to that government, which they
had already deliberately repudiated.

"While this was going on troops from the _Pensacola_ had landed and
hoisted the United States flag over the Government Mint; but scarcely
had they retired from the spot when the flag was torn down by some young
men and dragged through the streets in derision."

"Our flag! the glorious stripes and stars!" exclaimed Lulu, her eyes
flashing; "I hope they didn't escape punishment for such an outrage as
that?"

"One of them, a gambler, William B. Mumford by name, afterward paid the
penalty for that and other crimes, on the scaffold," replied her father.
"A few hours after the pulling down of that flag, General Butler arrived
and joined Farragut on the _Hartford_. On the 29th, Butler reported to
the Secretary of War, and, referring to the treatment of the flag, said,
'This outrage will be punished in such a manner as in my judgment will
caution both the perpetrators and the abettors of the act, so that they
shall fear the stripes, if they do not reverence the stars, of our
banner.'

"The secessionists expressed much exultation over the treatment of the
flag and admiration of the rebellious deed.

"Farragut was very patient with the rebels, particularly the silly
mayor; in reply to whose abusive letter he spoke of the insults and
indignities to the flag and to his officers, adding, 'All of which go to
show that the fire of this fleet may be drawn upon the city at any
moment, and in such an event the levee would, in all probability, be
cut by the shells and an amount of distress ensue to the innocent
population which I have heretofore endeavored to assure you that I
desire by all means to avoid. The election therefore is with you; but it
becomes me to notify you to remove the women and children, from the city
within forty-eight hours, if I have rightly understood your
determination.'

"To this the foolish mayor sent a most absurd reply, saying that
Farragut wanted to humble and disgrace the people, and talking nonsense
about 'murdering women and children.' It was a decidedly insolent
epistle; but the commander of a French ship of war, that had just come
in, was still more impertinent. He wrote to Farragut that his government
had sent him to protect the 30,000 of its subjects in New Orleans. And
that he should demand sixty days, instead of forty-eight hours as the
time to be given for the evacuation of the city, his letter closed with
a threat: 'If it is your resolution to bombard the city, do it; but I
wish to state that you will have to account for the barbarous act to the
power which I represent.'

"Farragut was much perplexed, and troubled with doubts as to what to do,
but was soon greatly relieved by the news of the surrender of the forts
below, making it almost certain that Butler would soon be there to
relieve him of the care of the city, and with that in prospect he was
able to quietly await the arrival of the land forces.

"The people of New Orleans believed it impossible that those forts could
be taken, and deemed it safe to indulge in their defiant attitude toward
the Federal forces already at their doors; but this unwelcome news
convinced them of the folly and danger of further resistance and
defiance of the General Government, and a sort of apology was made to
Farragut for the pulling down of the flag from the Mint; it was said to
have been the unauthorized act of the men who performed it.

"The next day Captain Bell landed with a hundred marines, hauled down
the emblems of rebellion on the Mint and Custom House, flung to the
breeze the National flag in their places, then locking the Custom House
door, carried the key to his vessel.

"There was a military organization in New Orleans, called the European
Brigade, composed of British, French, and Spanish aliens, whose
ostensible purpose was to aid the authorities in protecting the citizens
from unruly members; but now finding their occupation almost at an end,
its English members voted at their armory that, as they would have no
further use for their weapons and accoutrements, they should be sent to
Beauregard's army at Corinth, as 'a slight token of their affection for
the Confederate States.'"

"I should say that was but a poor sort of neutrality," remarked Rosie.

"So I think," responded the captain; then went on with his story.

"Only a few hours after Mumford and his mates had pulled down the flag,
Butler arrived, joined Farragut on the _Hartford_, and presently made to
the Secretary of War the report of which I have already spoken.

"He hurried back to his troops and made arrangements for their immediate
advance up the river. On the first of May he appeared before New Orleans
with his transports bearing two thousand men; the general with his wife,
his staff, and one thousand four hundred troops, was on the
_Mississippi_, the vessel in which he had sailed from Hampton Roads
sixty-five days before.

"At four o'clock on the afternoon of that day the troops began to land:
first, a company of the Thirty-first Massachusetts, presently followed
by the rest of the regiment, the Fourth Wisconsin, and Everett's battery
of heavy field guns.

"They formed in procession, acting as an escort to General Butler and
General Williams and his staff, and marched through several streets to
the Custom House, their band playing the 'Star-Spangled Banner.' They
had been given strict directions not to resent any insults that might be
offered by the vast crowd gathered in the streets, unless ordered so to
do; if a shot should be fired from any house, they were to halt, arrest
the inmates, and destroy the building.

"Their patience was greatly tried during that short march, the crowd
constantly growing greater and more boisterous and pouring out upon them
volleys of abusive epithets, both vulgar and profane, applying them to
the general as well as his troops."

"I think anybody but an American would have ordered his soldiers to fire
upon them for that," remarked Walter. "Did they do no fighting at all at
the time, sir?"

"No," replied the captain; "they were obedient to the orders of their
superior officers and brave enough to endure the undeserved abuse in
silence.

"At length their destination was reached, Captain Everett posted his
cannon around the Custom House, quarters there were given to the
Massachusetts regiment, and the city was comparatively quiet through the
night.

"General Butler passed the night on board the _Mississippi_, and at an
early hour in the evening sent out a proclamation to the citizens of New
Orleans. It was first sent to the office of the _True Delta_ to be
printed; but the proprietor flatly refused to use his types in such an
act of submission to Federal rule."

"I hope he wasn't allowed to do as he pleased about it?" growled Walter.

"I think hardly," returned the captain with an amused smile. "Some two
hours later a file of soldiers were in his office, half a dozen of whom
were printers, and in a very short time the proclamation was sent out in
printed form.

"Meanwhile the Federal officers had taken possession of their city
quarters. General Butler was at the St. Charles Hotel, and invited the
city authorities to a conference with him there. That very foolish
mayor, Monroe, told the messenger sent to him that his place of business
was at the City Hall. He was answered by a suggestion that such a reply
was not likely to prove satisfying to the commanding general, and then
prudently decided to go and wait on General Butler at the St. Charles.

"Some of his friends accompanied him; among them Pierre Soulé, who had
been a representative to Congress before the war.

"General Butler and these callers had a talk together in regard to the
proper relations existing between the General Government and the city of
New Orleans, Butler maintaining that the authority of the Government of
the United States was and ought to be supreme; it had a right to demand
the allegiance of the people, and that no other authority could be
allowed to conflict with it in ruling the city.

"The mayor, Soulé, and his friends, on the contrary, insisted that
Louisiana was an independent sovereignty and that to her alone the
people owed their allegiance. They asserted that the National troops
were invaders, the people doing right in treating them with contempt and
abhorrence, and that they would be fully justified in driving them away
if it were in their power to do so.

"While this hot discussion was going on, a messenger came from General
Williams, who had command of the regiment protecting headquarters,
saying that he feared he could not control the mob which had collected
in the street.

"Butler calmly replied: 'Give my compliments to General Williams, and
tell him if he finds he cannot control the mob, to open upon them with
artillery.'

"At that the mayor and his friends sprang to their feet, exclaiming
excitedly, 'Don't do that, General.' Butler asked, 'Why not?' and went
on, 'The mob must be controlled. We can't have a disturbance in the
street.'

"At that the mayor stepped out upon the balcony and spoke to the mob,
telling them of the general's orders and advising them to disperse.

"At that interview General Butler read to his callers the proclamation
he was about to issue. Soulé told him it would give great offence, and
that the people would never submit to its demands; for they were not
conquered and could not be expected to act as a conquered people would.
'Withdraw your troops and leave the city government to manage its own
affairs,' he said. 'If the troops remain there will certainly be
trouble.'"

"And Butler, of course, did as he was told," laughed Rosie.

"Not exactly," returned the captain. "'I did not expect to hear from Mr.
Soulé a threat on this occasion,' he said. 'I have long been accustomed
to hear threats from Southern gentlemen in political conventions, but
let me assure the gentlemen present that the time for tactics of that
nature has passed, never to return. New Orleans _is_ a conquered city.
If not, why are we here? How did we get here? Have you opened your arms
and bid us welcome? Are we here by your consent? Would you, or would you
not, expel us if you could? New Orleans has been conquered by the forces
of the United States, and by the laws of all nations lies subject to the
will of the conquerors.'"

"Some of the New Orleans people, especially the women, behaved very
badly, did they not, captain?" asked Evelyn.

"Yes; though no man was injured by the troops, who behaved in a
perfectly orderly manner; no woman was treated with the slightest
disrespect, though the women were very offensive in their manifestations
of contempt of the officers, not omitting even the commanding officer
himself. They would leave street cars and church pews when a Federal
officer entered them; the sidewalks also, going round the gentlemen,
turning up their noses and sometimes uttering abusive words; they wore
secession colors in their bonnets, sang rebel songs, and turned their
backs on passing soldiers, when out on their balconies, and played airs
that were used with rebel words; indeed they tried to show in every
possible way their contempt and aversion for the Union officers and
soldiers. At length a woman of the 'dominant class,' meeting two Union
officers on the street, spit in their faces. Then General Butler decided
to at once put a stop to such proceedings, and on the 5th of May he
issued order No. 28, which had the desired effect."

"What was it, papa? What did he order the people, or the soldiers, to
do?" queried Lulu.

"The amount of the order was that every woman who should behave as that
one had, insult or show contempt for any officer or soldier of the
United States, should be regarded and held liable to be treated as not
of good moral character. The mayor made it the subject of another
impudent and absurd letter to General Butler, for which he was arrested,
but he was soon released again upon making a humble apology."

"Did they let him be mayor again, papa?" asked Grace.

"No; instead General G. F. Sheply of Maine, was appointed Military
Governor of New Orleans, and made an excellent one, having the city made
cleaner, and in consequence more wholesome, than it had been for years,
if ever before. Soon after that William B. Mumford was arrested, tried
by a military court for treason in having torn down the flag, found
guilty, and hanged."



CHAPTER V.


THERE was a moment of silence broken by Lulu with an eager exclamation.
"Oh, papa, don't you remember that when we were at Saratoga last summer
you promised that sometime you would tell us about the fighting in the
Revolution near and at Fort Schuyler? and won't you please do so now?"

"I will if the others wish to hear it," he replied, and a general eager
assent being given he at once began the story.

"Fort Schuyler," he said, "at first called Fort Stanwix, in honor of the
general of that name, who directed the work of its erection, stood at
the head of boat navigation on the Mohawk, where the village of Rome now
is. It cost the British and Colonial Government two hundred and
sixty-six thousand four hundred dollars and was a strong post of
resistance to attack from the French in Canada, with whom, as you all
know, I think, the colonists were often at war, on their own account or
that of the mother country, and a powerful protection to the Indian
trade. It commanded the portage between Lake Ontario and the Mohawk
valley, the theatre of many stirring events during the War of the
Revolution. Indians and Tories kept in terror the people who lived there
and were loyal to the cause of their country. There were daylight
struggles and stealthy midnight attacks in such numbers that Tryon
County came to be spoken of as 'the dark and bloody ground.'

"Congress perceiving the importance of defending the northern and
western frontiers of New York from incursions by the British and
Indians, sent General Schuyler to strengthen old Fort Stanwix, which had
been allowed to fall into a state of decay so that it was little more
than a ruin, and, if he found it necessary, to erect other
fortifications.

"General Phillip Schuyler was a gentleman of fortune, of military skill,
experience, sound judgment, and lofty patriotism. Lossing tells us that,
'for causes quite inexplicable, he was superseded in effect by Gates in
March 1777, but reinstated in May, and that no appointment could have
been more acceptable to the people of northern New York, who were at
that time in a state of great excitement and alarm.'

"In recent campaigns against the French and Indians on Lakes Champlain
and George, General Schuyler had done great service to the colony and
the people along the northern frontier. That of itself was sufficient
cause for attachment to him, besides his many virtues, which had
endeared him to all who knew him. And in fighting the British he would
be defending his own home and large landed estate.

"In March, 1777, Burgoyne arrived at Quebec, bearing the commission of a
lieutenant-general, and by the first of June a force of seven thousand
men was collected for him and mustered at St. John's at the foot of Lake
Champlain. Also the British Lieutenant-colonel St. Leger, was sent with
a force of seven hundred rangers up the St. Lawrence and Lake Ontario to
Oswego. He was to gather the Indians, make friends with them, and get
them to act as his allies; then to sweep the valley of the Mohawk, with
the help of Johnson and his Tories, take Fort Schuyler, and afterward
join Burgoyne.

"Colonel Peter Gansevoort was at that time in command of Fort Schuyler.
The people of Tryon County, hearing of St. Leger's movement, and that a
descent was to be made upon them by the way of Oswego, were greatly
alarmed. In June a man from Canada was arrested as a spy and from him
the Americans learned that a detachment of British, Canadians, and
Indians was coming against them on their way to join Burgoyne at
Albany."

"But Burgoyne never got there--to Albany--until he went as a prisoner;
did he, sir?" asked Walter.

"No, my boy, he was defeated and made prisoner while on his way to the
city. The battle of Saratoga was a disastrous one to the invaders of our
land.

"The intelligence of which I just spoke as given by the spy was
afterward confirmed by Thomas Spencer, a friendly Oneida half breed
sachem, who was sent to Canada as a secret emissary and there became
acquainted with the plans of Burgoyne.

"For a time the loyal people, the Whigs, who were for their native land
and not for the English king who had been showing himself a tyrant and
oppressor, were almost paralyzed with alarm. Fort Schuyler was still
unfinished and the garrison feeble. But Colonel Gansevoort was hopeful,
vigilant, and active. He wrote urgently to General Schuyler for aid, and
the general made a like appeal to the Provincial Congress of New York,
and the General Congress. But it was too late for them to send him help
before the attack would be made.

"On the 2d of August Brant and Lieutenant Bird began the investment of
the fort, and on that very day Gansevoort and his little garrison of
seven hundred and fifty men received a re-enforcement of two hundred men
under Lieutenant-colonel Melon, and two bateaux loaded with provisions
and military stores; a most welcome addition to the scant supplies in
the fort.

"The next day Colonel St. Leger arrived with the rest of his troops. The
siege was begun on the 4th. The Indians, hiding in the bushes, wounded
some of our men who were at work on the parapets, and a few bombs were
thrown into the fort.

"The next day it was the same; the Indians spread themselves about
through the woods encircling the fort, and all through the night tried
to intimidate the Americans by their hideous yells.

"On that very day General Herkimer was coming to its aid with more than
eight hundred men of the militia of Tryon County. He was near Oriskany,
a little village eight miles eastward from the fort; from there he sent
a messenger to tell Colonel Gansevoort that he was approaching, and
asking to be informed of the man's arrival by the firing of three guns
in quick succession, knowing that they could be heard at Oriskany. But
unfortunately his messenger did not reach the fort until the next day,
and while Herkimer, who though brave was cautious, decided to halt till
he should hear the signal or receive re-enforcements, some of his
officers and men were impatient to push on.

"Herkimer would not consent, and two of his colonels, Paris and Cox,
called him a coward and a Tory. Herkimer replied calmly, 'I am placed
over you as a father and guardian and shall not lead you into
difficulties from which I may not be able to extricate you.'

"But they continued their taunts and demands till he was stung by them
into giving the command, 'March on!'

"St. Leger knew of the advance of Herkimer and his troops and sent a
division of Johnston's Greens, under Major Watts, Brant with a strong
body of Indians, and Colonel Butler with his rangers, to intercept him
and prevent his making an attack upon the entrenchments which he had
made about Fort Schuyler.

"Gansevoort noticed the silence in the enemy's camp, and also the
movement of his troops down toward the river along the margin of the
wood. When the courier came with the message from Herkimer he understood
the meaning of it all, and immediately fired the signal guns.

"Herkimer had said in his message that he intended, on hearing the
signals, to cut his way through the camp of the enemy to the fort, and
asked that a sortie from it should be made at the same time.

"As quickly as possible Gansevoort had it made. A detachment of two
hundred men, of his own and Wesson's regiments, with an iron
three-pounder, were detailed for the duty; then fifty more were added
for the protection of the cannon and to assist in whatever way they
could. Colonel Marinus Willett was given the command.

"It rained heavily while the necessary preparations were going on in the
fort, but the moment it ceased Willett and his men hastened out and
attacked the enemy furiously.

"The advanced guard were driven in, and so sudden and impetuous was the
charge that Sir John Johnson had no time to put on his coat. He tried to
bring his troops into order, but they were so panic stricken that they
fled, and he with them. They crossed the river to St. Leger's camp and
the Indians concealed themselves in the deep forest.

"The Americans took much plunder; all Sir John's baggage and his papers,
as well as those of other officers, giving valuable information to the
garrison of Fort Schuyler; also the British colors, all of which--there
were five--the Americans presently raised upon their flagstaff, beneath
their own rude flag--fashioned, as I have already told some of you, out
of strips of red and white obtained by tearing up men's shirts for the
one, and joining bits of scarlet cloth for the other; while a blue cloak
belonging to Captain Abraham Swartwout, of Dutchess County, then in the
fort, was used to form the ground for the white stars, and the staff
upon which all these hung was in full view of the enemy. Then the whole
garrison mounted the parapets and made the forest ring with three loud
cheers.

"While all this was going on in and around the fort, General Herkimer
and his men were coming toward it through the woods. It was a dark,
sultry morning. The troops were chiefly militia regiments and marched in
an irregular, careless way, neglecting proper precautions.

"Brant and his Tories took advantage of this carelessness, hid
themselves in a ravine which crossed Herkimer's path, and had a thick
growth of underwood along its margin, which made it easy for them to
conceal themselves, and when all except the rear-guard of the
unsuspecting Americans had entered the ravine, where the ground was
marshy and crossed by a causeway of earth and logs, Brant gave a signal,
immediately followed by a warwhoop, and the savages fell upon our poor
men with spear, hatchet, and rifle-ball; as Lossing says, 'like hail
from the clouds that hovered over them.'

"The rear-guard fled and left the others to their fate, yet perhaps
suffered more from the pursuing Indians than they would if they had
stood their ground, helping their fellows. The attack had been so sudden
that there was great confusion in the ranks; but they presently
recovered and fought like veterans; fought bravely for their lives, and
for their country."

"And were many of them killed, sir?" asked Walter.

"Yes," replied the captain sighing; "the slaughter was dreadful, and the
good general was soon among the wounded. A musket ball passed through
his horse, killing it and sadly wounding him, shattering his leg just
below the knee. He at once ordered the saddle taken from his horse and
placed against a large beech tree near by, and there he sat during the
rest of the fight, calmly giving his orders while the enemy's bullets
whistled around him like sleet, killing and wounding his men on every
side."

"He was no coward after all," exclaimed Walter, his eyes shining. "But
did any of our men escape being killed, sir?"

"After a little they formed themselves into circles," continued the
captain, "so meeting the enemy at all points, and their fire became so
destructive that the Tories and the Johnson Greens charged with the
bayonet, and the patriots being equally prompt to defend themselves, it
became a terrible hand to hand fight.

"It was at length stopped by the shower that had delayed the sortie from
the fort; both parties seeking shelter under the trees. Then, as soon as
the shower was over, Colonel Willett made his sally from the fort,
attacking Johnson's camp, and the battle at Oriskany was renewed.

"It is said to have been the bloodiest of the war in proportion to the
numbers engaged. It is stated that about one-third of the militia fell
on the battle ground, and as many more were mortally wounded or carried
into captivity. About fifty wounded were carried from the field on
litters, General Herkimer among them. He was taken to his own home,
where he died ten days afterward."

"But who gained the victory, papa?" asked Lulu.

"The Americans, the others having fled; but they were unable to
accomplish the object of the expedition--the relief of Fort Schuyler.
And surrounded as they were by the enemy, the men in the fort could gain
no intelligence as to the result of the fight at Oriskany, and St. Leger
took advantage of their ignorance to falsely represent the British to
have been the victors to the total defeat of the Americans, and announce
a victorious advance by Burgoyne.

"Two American officers, Colonel Billenger and Major Frey, who had been
taken prisoners, were forced to write a letter to Colonel Gansevoort,
containing many misrepresentations and advising him to surrender. This
Colonel Butler delivered to Gansevoort and verbally demanded his
surrender.

"Gansevoort refused, saying he would not answer such a summons verbally
made unless by St. Leger himself.

"The next morning Butler and two other officers drew near the fort
carrying a white flag, and asked to be admitted as bearers of a message
to the commander of the fort.

"The request was granted, but they were first blindfolded, then
conducted to the dining room of the fort, where they were received by
Gansevoort, the windows of the room being closed and candles lighted."

"What was that for, papa?" asked Grace.

"To prevent them from seeing what was the condition of things within the
fort," replied her father.

"And was Gansevoort alone with them, papa?"

"No; he had with him Colonels Willett and Mellen. Butler and his
companions were politely received, and one of them, Major Ancram by
name, made a little speech, telling of the humanity of St. Leger's
feelings, and his desire to prevent bloodshed; that he found it
difficult to keep the Indians in check, and that the only salvation of
the garrison was an immediate surrender of the fort and all its stores.
Officers and soldiers would be allowed to keep their baggage and other
private property, and their personal safety would be guaranteed. He
added that he hoped these honorable terms would be immediately
accepted, for if not it would not be in St. Leger's power to offer them
again."

"So the Americans of course were afraid to reject them?" sniffed Walter.

"Hardly," returned the captain with a smile. "But that was not all
Ancram said with a view to inducing them to do so. He went on to say
that the Indians were eager to march down the country, laying it waste
and killing the inhabitants; that Herkimer's relief corps had been
totally destroyed, Burgoyne had possession of Albany, and there was no
longer any hope for this garrison."

"What a liar he was, that Ancram!" exclaimed Walter. "Why, Burgoyne had
not even got as far as Saratoga then."

"No," responded the captain, "and the bright and plucky officers of Fort
Schuyler, to whom he was speaking, were not so easily hood-winked; they
saw through his designs, and were not to be deceived by the falsehoods
and misrepresentations of his address.

"It was Colonel Willett who, with the approval of Gansevoort, made
answer, speaking, as Lossing says, with 'emphasis,' and looking Ancram
full in the face.

"'Do I understand you, sir? I think you say that you came from a British
colonel, who is commander of the army that invests this fort; and, by
your uniform, you appear to be an officer in the British service. You
have made a long speech on the occasion of your visit, which, stripped
of all its superfluities, amounts to this: that you come from a British
colonel to the commandant of this garrison, to tell him that, if he does
not deliver up the garrison into the hands of your colonel, he will send
his Indians to murder our women and children. You will please to
reflect, sir, that their blood will be upon your heads, not upon ours.
We are doing our duty; this garrison is committed to our care, and we
will take care of it. After you get out of it, you may turn round and
look at its outside, but never expect to come in again unless you come a
prisoner. I consider the message you have brought a degrading one for a
British officer to send, and by no means reputable for a British officer
to carry. For my own part, I declare, before I would consent to deliver
this garrison to such a murdering set as your army, by your own account,
consists of, I would suffer my body to be filled with splinters and set
on fire, as you know has at times been practiced by such hordes of women
and children killers as belong to your army.'"

"Good!" said Walter; "and the other two American officers, I suppose,
agreed with him."

"Yes," Captain Raymond replied, "and they all felt satisfied that they
would not be so urgently pressed to surrender at once, and on conditions
so favorable, if their prospects were as dark as their besiegers would
have them believe."



CHAPTER VI.


"ST. LEGER made another effort to induce them to do so," continued
Captain Raymond. "On the 9th he sent a written demand offering about the
same terms as before.

"Gansevoort replied in writing: 'Sir, your letter of this date I have
received, in answer to which I say, that it is my determined resolution,
with the force under my command, to defend this fort to the last
extremity, in behalf of the United States, who have placed me here to
defend it against all their enemies.'"

"Did the British give it up then, papa?" asked Grace.

"No; they began digging and making preparations to run a mine under the
strongest bastion of the fort, while at the same time they sent out an
address to the people of Tryon County, signed by Clause, Johnson, and
Butler, urging them to submit to British rule, asserting that they
themselves were desirous to have peace, and threatening that in case of
refusal all the horrors of Indian cruelty would be visited upon them.
Also they called upon the principal men of the valley to come up to
Fort Schuyler and compel its garrison to surrender, as they would be
forced to do in the end."

"Did the men in the fort give up then, papa?" queried Grace.

"No, no indeed, little daughter!" he replied. "They were brave men, and
staunch patriots, and had no intention to surrender so long as they
could possibly hold out; but fearing ammunition might give out, their
supply of provisions too, they resolved to send word to General
Schuyler, who was then at Stillwater, asking for aid from him in their
sore extremity.

"Of course it would be a hazardous attempt, but Colonel Willett offered
to be the messenger, and one stormy night he and Lieutenant Stockwell
left the fort at ten o'clock by the sally-port, each armed with a spear,
and crept along the morass on hands and knees, to the river, which they
crossed upon a log. Their way lay through a tangled wood and they soon
lost it. The bark of a dog presently warned them that they were near an
Indian camp, and fearing to either advance or retreat they stood still
there for several hours.

"But at length the dawn of day showed them where they were, so that they
were able to find the right road and pursue their way. They took a
zigzag course, now on land, now through the bed of a stream, to foil any
attempt on the part of some possible pursuer to gain upon them by the
scent of their footsteps.

"They arrived safely at the German Flats, mounted fleet horses, and sped
down the valley to the quarters of General Schuyler. On arriving they
learned that he had already heard of the defeat of Herkimer, and was
preparing to send succor to the besieged in the fort.

"Meanwhile St. Leger was pressing his siege, and the garrison, hearing
nothing of the successful journey of their messengers, or of aid coming
to them from any quarter, many of them began to grow despondent and to
hint to their commander that it might be best to surrender, as their
supply of both provisions and ammunition was getting low.

"But Gansevoort was too brave and hopeful to think of so doing. He told
the despondent ones that in case help did not arrive before their
supplies were exhausted, they would sally forth in the night and cut
their way through the enemy's camp.

"But relief came in an unexpected manner, that always reminds me of that
siege of Samaria by the host of the Syrians, in the days of Elisha the
prophet of Israel, and the way the Lord took to deliver them, causing
'the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots and a noise of horses, even the
noise of a great host; and they said one to another, Lo, the King of
Israel hath hired against us the Kings of the Hittites and the Kings of
the Egyptians to come upon us. Wherefore they arose and fled in the
twilight, and left their tents and their horses, and there asses, even
the camp as it was, and fled for their lives.' For suddenly and
mysteriously the British, Indians, and Tories besieging Fort Schuyler
did the same--fled, leaving tents, artillery, and camp equipage behind
them."

"Why, papa, how very strange!" exclaimed Lulu, "were they really
frightened in the same way?"

"Not exactly the same but somewhat like it," replied her father.
"General Schuyler, then at the mouth of the Mohawk, had made an appeal
to his men for volunteers to go to the relief of Gansevoort and his men,
now besieged by the enemy in Fort Schuyler, and Arnold and his troops,
most of them Massachusetts men, responded with alacrity and, joined by
the First New York regiment, they marched at once.

"Arnold's force was much smaller than that of St. Leger's and he
resorted to stratagem as the only means of securing his end. A half
idiot, a nephew of General Herkimer, named Hon-Yost Schuyler, a coarse,
ignorant fellow, had been taken prisoner along with that Walter Butler
who had been arrested while carrying to the people of Tryon County the
call for them to force the defenders of Fort Schuyler to surrender,
tried and condemned as a spy.

"The same thing had befallen Hon-Yost, but his mother plead for him, and
though at first Arnold was inexorable, he at length agreed to release
the fellow on condition that he would go to Fort Schuyler and alarm St.
Leger with the story that the Americans were coming against him in force
to compel the raising of the siege.

"Hon-Yost seemed not at all unwilling, readily gave the required
promise, and his mother offered to remain as a hostage for his faithful
performance of the duty; but Arnold chose instead Nicholas, the brother
of Hon-Yost, as his security.

"Hon-Yost managed the business with great adroitness. Before leaving he
had seven bullets shot through his coat, which he showed to the British
and Indians on arriving at their encampment as proof of 'a terrible
engagement with the enemy.' He was acquainted with many of the Indians,
and when he came rushing into the camp almost out of breath with haste
and fright, apparently, telling this story, with the added information
that the Americans were coming and he had barely escaped with his life,
his hearers were very much alarmed.

"They asked what were the numbers of the Americans, and in reply he
shook his head mysteriously, pointing as he did so to the leaves on the
trees, as if he would say that they were numberless.

"The Indians, who had been uneasy and moody ever since the battle of
Oriskany, and were at the moment of Hon-Yost's arrival holding a pow-wow
to plead with the 'Great Spirit' to guide and direct them, at once
resolved to flee, and told St. Leger of their decision.

"He sent for Hon-Yost, questioned him, and was told that Arnold would be
there in twenty-four hours with two thousand men.

"Hon-Yost had come in to the camp alone, he and the Oneida chief having
laid their plans before hand, the chief to arrive a little later than
the other, so that they would not appear to be in collusion, and just as
Hon-Yost finished his story to St. Leger, the chief and two or three
straggling Indians of his tribe, who had joined him on his way, came in
with the same story of the near approach of a large body of Americans.
One told St. Leger that Arnold had three thousand men with him; another
that the army of Burgoyne was cut to pieces. They pretended that a bird
had brought them news that the valley below was swarming with warriors.

"The savages were now thoroughly alarmed, and all the bribes and
promises of St. Leger could not induce them to remain any longer; they
suspected foul play and would not touch the strong drink he offered, and
when, finding that they would go, he asked them to take the rear in
retreating, they indignantly refused, saying, 'You mean to sacrifice us.
When you marched down you said there would be no fighting for Indians;
we might go down and smoke our pipes; numbers of our warriors have been
killed, and you mean to sacrifice us also.'

"The council broke up, the Indians fled, the panic was communicated to
the rest of the army, and they fled in terror to their boats on Oneida
Lake, the Indians making merry over their flight, hurrying on after them
with the warning cry: 'They are coming, they are coming!' So alarmed
were the Tories and British troops that they threw away their knapsacks
and their arms as they ran. Also the Indians killed or robbed many of
them and took their boats, so that St. Leger said, 'they became more
formidable than the enemy we had to expect.'"

"And did the Americans chase them that time, sir?" asked Walter.

"Yes; Gansevoort at once sent word to Arnold that the British were
retreating, and Arnold sent nine hundred men in pursuit. The next day he
himself reached the fort; but he and his men presently marched back to
the main army, then at Stillwater, leaving Colonel Willett in command of
Fort Schuyler.

"So ended the siege of which Lossing says that 'in its progress were
shown the courage, skill, and endurance of the Americans everywhere so
remarkable in the revolution.'"

"Yes, sir," said Walter; "but will you please tell what became of
Hon-Yost?"

"Yes; he went with the British as far as Wood Creek, then managed to
desert and at once carried the news of Arnold's approach to Fort
Schuyler. He went back to Fort Dayton, afterward fled with his family
and fourteen of his Tory friends, and joined Sir John Johnson. When the
war was over he returned to the valley, where he died in 1818."



CHAPTER VII.


"NOW, papa, if you're not too tired won't you please tell us about the
writing of the 'Star-Spangled Banner'?" pleaded Lulu, with a smiling,
coaxing look up into her father's face.

"I am not too tired, and if all wish to hear it, will willingly tell the
story to the best of my ability," he replied, taking in his and softly
patting the hand she had laid on his knee.

"I'm sure we will all be glad to hear it, sir," said Walter. "It
happened in the War of 1812, didn't it?"

"Yes. The British had taken Washington, where they had behaved more like
vandals than civilized men, burning and destroying both public buildings
and private property--the Capitol, the President's house, the Arsenal,
the library of Congress, and barracks for nearly three thousand troops;
besides private property--a large ropewalk, some houses on Capitol Hill,
and a tavern; all of which they burned. The light of the fire was seen
at Baltimore, and the news of the capture of Washington caused intense
excitement there; particularly because it was known that the British
were so much exasperated at the Baltimoreans on account of its being
the place whence had been sent out many swift clipper-built vessels and
expert seamen who had struck heavy blows at British commerce on the high
seas.

"Baltimore is on the Patapsco River, ten miles from Chesapeake Bay. The
narrow strait connecting harbor and bay is defended by Fort McHenry,
which stood there at that time. It was expected that Baltimore would be
the next point of attack by the enemy, and there was, of course, great
excitement.

"General Samuel Smith, who had been a revolutionary officer, at once
exerted himself to prepare both Baltimore and Annapolis for successful
defence. He was a fine officer. You all perhaps remember him as
commander at Fort Mifflin when attacked by the British and Hessians in
the Revolutionary War. He had been active in this war also, ever since
the appearance of a British squadron in the Chesapeake, in the spring of
the previous year, 1813."

"And this was in the fall of 1814, was it not, captain?" queried Evelyn.

"Yes, early in September. In the spring of 1813 it was rumored that the
British were coming to attack the city, and several persons were
arrested as traitors and spies. Also five thousand men were quickly in
arms ready to defend the city, and companies of militia came pouring in
from the country. All this within a few hours.

"Then General Striker's brigade and other military bodies, to the number
of five thousand and with forty pieces of artillery, were reviewed. The
marine artillery of Baltimore was one hundred and sixty in number,
commanded by Captain George Stiles, and composed of masters and master's
mates of vessels there. It was a corps celebrated for its gallantry, and
was armed with forty-two pounders.

"Finding the city so well prepared to give them a warm reception the
British abandoned their intention to attack it, went to sea, and
Baltimore enjoyed a season of repose. But, as I have been telling you,
they returned after the capture of Washington, and again the people set
to work at preparations for defence.

"General Smith was made first in command of all the military force
intended to insure the safety of the city. But it is with the attack
upon Fort McHenry and its repulse that we are concerned. The fort was
garrisoned by about a thousand men under the command of Major George
Armistead."

"Regulars, sir?" asked Walter.

"Some were, others volunteers," replied the captain. "There were,
besides, four land batteries to assist in the work. But I will not go
into particulars in regard to them, as I know they would be rather
uninteresting to the greater part of my listeners.

"It was on Sunday evening, September 11, that the British were seen in
strong force at the mouth of the Patapsco, preparing to land at North
Point, fifteen miles from the city by land, twelve by water. Their fleet
anchored off that point, two miles from the shore. It was a beautiful
night, a full moon shining in a cloudless sky, and the air balmy.

"Ross intended to take Baltimore by surprise, and had boasted that he
would eat his Sunday dinner there. At two o'clock in the morning the
boats were lowered from his ships, and seamen and land troops went on
shore, protected by several gun brigs anchored very near. The men were
armed, of course, and each boat had a carronade ready for action.
Admiral Cockburn and General Ross were on shore by about seven o'clock
with 5000 land troops, 2000 seamen, and 2000 marines.

"Their intention was to march rapidly upon Baltimore and take it by
surprise, therefore they carried as little baggage as possible, and only
eighty rounds apiece of ammunition. At the same time a frigate was sent
to make soundings in the channel leading to Baltimore, as the navy was
intended to take part in the attack upon the city."

"Oh, wasn't everybody terribly frightened, papa?" asked Grace.

"There was a good deal of alarm," replied the captain, "and many of the
citizens fled, with their valuables, to places in the interior of the
country, filling the hotels for nearly a hundred miles north of the
city.

"I will not at present go into the details of the battle of North Point,
which immediately followed, but will tell of what was going on upon the
water.

"The British frigates, schooners, sloops, and bomb-ketches had passed
into the Patapsco early in the morning, while Ross was moving from North
Point, and anchored off Fort McHenry, but beyond the reach of its guns.
The bomb and rocket vessels were so posted as to act upon Fort McHenry
and the fortifications on the hill, commanded by Rodgers. The frigates
were stationed farther outward, the water being too shallow to allow
them to approach within four or five miles of the city, or two and a
half of the fort.

"Besides, the Americans had sunk twenty-four vessels in the narrow
channel between Fort McHenry and Lazaretto Point, to prevent the passage
of the vessels of the enemy.

"That night was spent by the British fleet in preparations for the
morrow's attack upon the fort and the entrenchments on the hill, and on
the morning of the 13th their bomb-vessels opened a heavy fire upon the
American works, about seven o'clock, and at a distance of two miles.
They kept up a heavy bombardment until three o'clock in the afternoon.

"Armistead at once opened the batteries of Fort McHenry upon them, but,
after keeping up a brisk fire for some time, discovered that his
missiles fell short and were harmless. It was a great disappointment to
find that he must endure the tremendous shower of the shells of the
enemy without being able to return it in kind, or do anything whatever
to check it. But our brave fellows kept at their posts, enduring the
storm with great courage and fortitude.

"At length a bomb-shell dismounted one of the twenty-four pounders,
killing Lieutenant Claggett and wounding several of his men. That caused
some confusion, which Cochrane perceived, and, hoping to profit by it,
he ordered three of his bomb-vessels to move up nearer the fort,
thinking to thus increase the effectiveness of his guns.

"No movement could have been more acceptable to Armistead, and he
quickly took advantage of it, ordering a general cannonade and
bombardment from every part of the fort, thus punishing the enemy so
severely that in less than half an hour he fell back to his old
anchorage.

"One of their rocket vessels was so badly injured that, to save her from
being entirely destroyed, a number of small boats had to be sent to tow
her out of the reach of Armistead's guns. The garrison gave three cheers
and ceased firing.

"The British vessels returned to their former stations and again opened
fire, keeping up, with very little intermission, a furious bombardment
until past midnight, when it was discovered that they (the British) had
sent a pretty large force up the Patapsco to capture Fort Covington,
commanded by Lieutenant Newcomb, of the United States Navy, and the City
Battery, then attack Fort McHenry in the rear. For this purpose there
had been sent one thousand two hundred and fifty men in barges, with
scaling ladders and other implements for storming the fort. But
providentially their errand was made known to the garrison of Fort
McHenry in good season by the throwing up of rockets to examine the
shores, and not the fort alone but also two redoubts on the Patapsco
immediately opened a heavy fire upon them, and drove them away.

"So heavy was the firing that the houses of Baltimore were shaken to
their very foundations. Lossing tells us that Rodgers's men in Fort
Covington worked their guns with effect, but to Webster's continuous
cannonade with his six gun battery Armistead said he was persuaded the
country was much indebted for the final repulse of the enemy. The
historian adds that he thinks it not too much to say that Webster's
gallant conduct on that occasion saved both Fort McHenry and the city."

"Were any of the British killed, sir?" asked Walter.

"Yes, a large number; also two of their vessels were sunk."

"And did they go on firing at the fort?"

"They did, until seven o'clock in the morning of the 14th, then ceased
entirely."

"Oh, papa, you have not told us of the writing of the 'Star-Spangled
Banner'!" exclaimed Lulu. "Wasn't it that night it was written?"

"Yes; by Mr. Francis S. Key, a resident of Georgetown in the District of
Columbia, who was at that time a volunteer in the light artillery
commanded by Major Peter.

"When the British returned to their vessels after the capture of
Washington, they carried with them Dr. Beanes, a well known physician of
Upper Marlborough. Cockburn carried him away on board the flag-ship of
Admiral Cochrane, in spite of the intercession of his friends.

"Then Mr. Key was entreated by the friends to go to Cochrane and
intercede for the doctor's release. Key consented, obtained permission
of the President, and went under a flag of truce in the cartel ship
_Minden_ in company with General Skinner.

"When they reached the British fleet it was at the mouth of the Potomac,
preparing to attack Baltimore, and though Cochrane agreed to release Dr.
Beanes, he refused to let him or his friends return then. They were
placed on board the _Surprise_ and courteously treated. The fleet sailed
up to the Patapsco, and they were transferred to their own vessel, but
with a guard of marines to prevent them from landing and communicating
with their friends and countrymen.

"Their vessel was anchored in sight of Fort McHenry, and from her deck
the Americans watched the fight, oh, so anxiously! and though it was, as
I have said, over before midnight, those anxious watchers did not know
until morning how it had ended--whether by surrender of the fort, or the
abandonment on the part of the enemy of the attempt to take it. It was
with very anxious hearts they waited for the coming of the dawn, but at
last, in the dim light, as the day began to break, their eyes were
gladdened by the sight, through their glasses directed toward Fort
McHenry, of the beautiful stars and stripes 'still there,' and to their
great joy they soon learned that the attack on Baltimore had failed,
that Ross was killed, and the British were returning to their vessels.

"It was while pacing the deck during the bombardment, full of anxiety
for the result, that Mr. Key composed that song so dear to the American
heart, 'The Star-Spangled Banner.'"

"Oh, let us sing it!" exclaimed Lulu, and with one consent, patriotic
enthusiasm swelling in every breast, they did so, the voices of old and
young uniting in the soul-stirring words.

  "Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
    What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
   Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
    O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming
              And the rockets' red glare
              The bombs bursting in air,
   Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
   Oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
   O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

  "On that shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
    Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
   What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
    As it fitfully blows, now conceals, now discloses?
              Now it catches the gleam
              Of the morning's first beam,
   In full glory reflected, now shines in the stream;
   'Tis the star-spangled banner; oh, long may it wave
   O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

  "And where are the foes who so vauntingly swore
    That the havoc of war, and the battle's confusion,
   A home and a country should leave us no more?
    Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps pollution;
              No refuge could save
              The hireling and slave,
   From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave;
   And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
   O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

  "Oh, thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
    Between their loved homes and the war's desolation!
   Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-rescued land
    Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
              Then conquer we must
              When our cause it is just,
   And this be our motto, 'In God is our trust';
   And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
   O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!"

A moment of silence followed the dying away of the last strains, then
Captain Raymond resumed his narrative:

"The first rough notes of the song were written by Key upon the back of
a letter he happened to have in his pocket, and after his arrival in
Baltimore he wrote it out in full. The next morning he read it to his
uncle, Judge Nicholson, one of the gallant defenders of the fort, asking
his opinion of it. The judge was delighted with it, took it to the
printing office of Captain Benjamin Edes, and directed copies to be
struck off in handbill form. That was done, the handbills were
distributed, and it was sung first in the street, in front of Edes'
office, by James Lawrenson, a lad but twelve years of age. That was on
the second day after the bombardment of Fort McHenry. The song was 'set
up,' printed, and distributed by another lad seventeen or eighteen years
old, named Samuel Sands. It created intense enthusiasm, was sung nightly
at the theater, and everywhere in public and private."

"Papa," asked Lulu, "what became of that very star-spangled banner Mr.
Key was looking for when he wrote the song?"

"I presume it is still in existence," replied her father. "Lossing says
it was shown him in Baltimore, during the Civil War, by Christopher
Hughes Armistead, the son of the gallant defender of the fort, and that
it had in it eleven holes made by the shot of the British during the
bombardment."

"Had not the British made very sure beforehand of being able to take
Baltimore, Captain?" asked Evelyn.

"Yes; and their intention was to make it the base for future operations.
As early as the 17th of June a London paper said, 'In the diplomatic
circles it is rumored that our naval and military commanders on the
American station have no power to conclude any armistice or suspension
of arms. They carry with them certain terms which will be offered to the
American government at the point of the bayonet. There is reason to
believe that America will be left in a much worse situation, as a naval
and commercial power, than she was at the commencement of the war."

"Ah, but they crowed too soon--before they were out of the woods,"
laughed Walter. "They needed the lesson they got at Baltimore, and the
one Jackson gave them some months later at New Orleans."



CHAPTER VIII.


"CAPTAIN, I fear we have been imposing sadly upon good nature in asking
so much history of you in one evening," remarked Grandma Elsie; "and you
have been extremely kind in complying with the request."

"It has been a pleasure to me, mother," he returned. "There is hardly a
subject more interesting to me than the history of my dear native land,
and it is my ardent desire to train and teach my children to be
earnestly, intelligently patriotic."

"Including your pupils in the list, I presume, sir?" supplemented Rosie,
with a saucy smile up into his face.

"Of course, little sister, and as many others as I can influence," was
his pleasant toned rejoinder. "But I am happy to believe that there are
few Americans who are not ardent lovers of their own country,
considering it the best the sun shines upon."

"As it certainly is, sir!" exclaimed Walter. "I'm more thankful than
words can express that God gave me my birth in the United States of
America."

"As I have no doubt we all are, little brother," said Violet. "But to
change the subject: when shall we take that delightful trip to New
Orleans? I suppose the sooner the better, that we may not be too much
hurried with the necessary dressmaking?"

"I think so," said her mother, "for both the reason you have given and
because the weather will soon become unpleasantly warm for shopping in
the city."

"You are going with us, mamma?" queried Rosie.

"I really have not thought of it, and probably it would be more prudent
for me to stay quietly where I am, Rosie dear," she replied.

"Oh, mamma, we must have you along if you are able to go!" exclaimed
Walter. "Please do say that you will."

"Yes, mamma dear, I think it would do you good," said Violet; and all
the young folks joined urgently in the request that she would make one
of the party.

"Perhaps you might, Elsie," her father said in reply to an inquiring
look directed to him. "I incline to the opinion that such a change,
after your long seclusion here, might, probably would be, of benefit."

"Possibly, father," she said, "though I had been thinking my staying at
home might make Vi more comfortable in leaving her little ones for a
day or two."

"I do not care to go, and will gladly take charge of the babies if Vi
and the captain will trust me with them," Grandma Rose hastened to say,
and was warmly thanked by both parents, and assured that they would have
no hesitation in doing so except on the score of giving her too much
care and trouble and missing her pleasant companionship on the
contemplated trip.

However, after some further discussion of the matter, it was decided
that Mr. and Mrs. Dinsmore would remain at Viamede in charge of house
and little ones during the short absence of the others on the
contemplated trip.

"Papa, dear papa," Lulu said, with tears shining in her eyes, and
putting her arms lovingly about his neck when he had come into her room
to bid her good-night, as his custom was, "you are so good to me, your
own bad, quick-tempered little daughter! Oh, I do want to be good and
make you glad that I belong to you."

"I am that, my darling, in spite of all your faults," he said, caressing
her tenderly. "You are very dear to your father's heart, and I am not
without hope that you will one day gain full control of the temper which
causes so much pain to both you and me."

"Oh, I do hope I shall, papa, and I want you to punish me every time I
indulge it," she said, "but I'm so glad, so thankful to you that you
have said I may go with you and the others to-morrow. I feel that I
don't deserve it in the least, but I do intend to try as hard as
possible to rule my own spirit in future."

"I am glad to hear it, daughter," the captain responded, imprinting a
kiss upon her forehead. "But I must leave you now, for it is growing
late and you ought to be in bed, that you may be ready to rise betimes
in the morning."

"Yes, sir; but oh, do stay one minute longer; I--I----" she paused,
blushing and a trifle shame faced.

"What is it, daughter?" he asked, smoothing her hair and cheek
caressingly. "Never be afraid to tell your father all that is in your
heart."

"Yes, sir; I don't think I'm really afraid--yes, I am a little afraid
you might be displeased, and I don't want to do anything to vex or
trouble my dear, kind father, but if you're willing, papa, I would like
to be allowed to choose for myself what I'm to wear to the wedding."

"Your taste and wishes shall certainly be consulted, daughter," he
replied kindly, "yet I am not prepared to promise that you may have in
every case exactly what you would prefer; we must take your mamma and
Grandma Elsie into our counsels in order to make sure of getting what
will be most becoming and appropriate."

"Dear me, I would like to be grown up enough to be considered capable of
choosing things for myself!" she exclaimed with rueful look and tone.
"But oh, don't be grieved and troubled," as her ear caught the sound of
a low breathed sigh; "I'm determined I will be good about it. It
certainly would be a very great shame if I were anything else, papa,
after all your undeserved goodness to me."

"I do not like to refuse my dear child anything she asks," he said,
drawing her into a closer embrace, "but I know too much indulgence would
not be for her happiness in the end. And since life is short and
uncertain with us all, it may be that she will not be long troubled by
being subject to her father's control."

"Oh, papa, please don't talk so!" she exclaimed, sudden tears springing
to her eyes. "I can't bear to think of ever losing my own dear, dear
father. I hope God may let you live till he is ready to take me too."

"If he sees best I hope we may long be spared to each other," the
captain said, holding her close to his heart. "But now about the matter
of which we were speaking. Wise as my dear eldest daughter considers
herself, her father thinks Grandma Elsie and Mamma Vi, by reason of
their superior age and knowledge, will be better capable of judging what
will be most suitable for her to wear as one of the bride's-maids. And
as they are very tasteful in their own dress, and her father is ready to
go to any reasonable expense that his dear little girl may be suitably
and tastefully attired, also entirely willing to allow her to decide for
herself wherever there is a choice between two or more equally suitable
articles, do you not think, as he does, that she should be ready and
willing to take what the ladies and he deem most suitable in other
things which she would perhaps prefer to have somewhat different?"

"Yes, you dear papa," she returned, with a look of ardent affection into
his eyes. "I do always find out in the end that you know best; and I'd
even rather wear any of the dresses I have now than not have you pleased
with me; for I know I'm never the least bit happy when you are
displeased with me."

"Neither am I," he sighed; "it troubles me more than I can tell when my
dear daughter Lulu is disobedient and wilful. But it is high time you
were in bed and resting. God our heavenly Father bless my dear child and
keep her safely through the silent watches of the night." And, bestowing
upon her another tender embrace, he released her and left the room.

She was quite ready for bed, and as she laid her head on her pillow,
"Lulu Raymond," she said to herself, "if you do the least thing to vex
or trouble that dear father of yours, no punishment he could possibly
inflict would be equal to your deserts."

In another minute she was fast asleep, nor did she move again till
awakened by some slight sound to find the sun already shining in at her
windows.

Her father had directed her the night before what to wear as most
suitable for making the trip to the city and back again, and she now
made her toilet in haste, but with the care that he required, and which
her own neat taste made desirable. She had just finished when he came
in.

"That is right," he said, with an approving smile, and bending down to
give her the usual morning caress; "my little girl looks neat and
bright, and I hope is quite well."

"Yes, papa," she returned, putting her arms round his neck and her lips
to his in an ardent kiss; "and are you and all the rest?"

"All, so far as I know, and all who are to take the little trip with us
full of pleasurable excitement. We must now go down to breakfast, which
is earlier than usual this morning, for we expect the boat in an hour or
so."

He took her hand and led her from the room as he spoke. "The others have
nearly all gone down already," he added, "and there is the bell now; so
we have no time to lose."

Lulu was full of pleasurable excitement. "Oh, I'm so glad and so
thankful to you, papa, that you will let me go!" she exclaimed, lifting
to his eyes sparkling with joyous anticipation; "for I know I don't
deserve it in the very least. But I do intend to be as pleasant tempered
and obedient as possible."

"I don't doubt it, daughter, or expect to have any trouble with you," he
said kindly.

But now they had reached the dining room door, morning salutations were
exchanged as the different members of the family came flocking in, all
quickly took their places at the table, the blessing was asked, and the
meal began.

The talk was almost exclusively of what would probably be seen and done
during the trip by those who were to take it, suitable gifts for the
bride that was to be, and necessary or desirable shopping for themselves
and those remaining at home.

Lulu, sitting beside her father, asked in a low aside, "Papa, may I buy
a handsome present for Cousin Betty? I've had occasion to spend hardly
any pocket-money since we have been here; so I think I've enough to get
her something handsome."

"I shall be pleased to have you do so," he replied, with a pleasant
smile.

"And I may choose it myself?"

"Yes; but don't you think it would be well to get some assistance from
the rest of us in making your choice?"

"Oh, yes, sir; yes indeed. I really would not want to buy anything you
and Grandma Elsie and Mamma Vi thought unsuitable, or that would not be
likely to please Cousin Betty."

"And may I too, papa?" asked Grace, who, seated close to his other side,
had overheard the bit of low toned talk.

"Yes, yes indeed, little daughter," he replied, laying a caressing hand
upon her head for an instant.

An hour later the little party were all on board the boat steaming away
in the direction of the Gulf, and the talk was more of the beautiful
country they were passing through than of the history of that portion
yet to be visited. Their route grew more interesting to the young
people, and indeed to all, as they came upon scenes made memorable by
events in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars and that of 1812-14.

As they passed up the river, the captain pointed out Forts St. Philip
and Jackson, and other localities connected with the doings and
happenings of those times, all gazing upon them as scenes to be
indelibly impressed upon the memory of every lover of our dear native
land.

The localities about New Orleans connected with the struggle there
against British invaders and aggressors, received due attention also,
and were regarded with equal interest by the young girls and Walter, to
say nothing of the older members of the party.

Lulu and Grace, not to speak of Rosie and Evelyn, who were allowed more
latitude in their selection, or of Walter, who was more than willing to
trust to "mamma's taste" rather than his own, readily adopted the
opinions of papa, Grandma Elsie, and Mamma Vi.

On the evening of their second day in the city they went to their hotel,
weary enough, to enjoy a few hours of rest.

"Mamma dear," said Violet, glancing at her mother's face as they entered
the lower hall, "you do look so fatigued; let us step into this parlor
and rest a little before going to our rooms."

"Perhaps it would be as well to do so," replied Mrs. Travilla, following
her daughter into the room and sinking wearily into an easy chair which
Violet drew forward for her.

"Oh, dear Grandma Elsie, how tired you do look!" exclaimed Grace; and
Walter, speaking at the same instant, said in a tone of deep concern,
"Oh, mamma, how pale you are! You must be ill. I wish Cousin Arthur, or
some other good doctor, was here to do something to make you feel
better."

"Mamma, dear mamma, I fear you are really ill!" exclaimed Rosie in a
tone of anxiety, while Lulu ran back into the hall in search of her
father, who had stepped aside to the clerk's desk to attend to some
business matter; for to her he was a tower of strength to be flown to in
every need.

But an elderly lady and gentleman, the only other occupants of the
parlor at the moment, hastily rose and drew near the little group, the
lady saying in a tone of mingled concern and delight, "It is my Cousin
Elsie--Mrs. Travilla--I am sure! You know me, dear cousin? Mildred
Keith--Mrs. Dr. Landreth? And this is my husband, the doctor. I think he
could do something to relieve you."

"Cousin Mildred! Oh, what a joyful surprise! how glad I am to see you!"
exclaimed Mrs. Travilla, the color coming back to her cheek, and the
light to her eyes, as she raised herself to a sitting posture and threw
her arms about Mildred's neck.

The two held each other in a long, tender embrace, hardly conscious for
the moment of the presence of the others, who stood looking on in
surprise and delight, Captain Raymond and Lulu having joined the group.

Then mutual introductions and joyous greetings followed, questions
about absent dear ones were asked and answered, and each party learned
that the other was in the city for but a brief sojourn, purposing to go
thence to Viamede or its near vicinity.

And in the meanwhile Mrs. Travilla seemed to have forgotten her
weariness and exhaustion, and was looking more than ordinarily young and
bright.

Dr. Landreth remarked it with a pleased smile. "I am glad to meet you,
Cousin Elsie," he said, "though you seem no longer in need of my
services as physician."

"No indeed, Cousin Charlie," she returned brightly; "you are so
excellent a doctor that your very presence--especially when accompanied
by that of your wife"--with a smiling glance at Mildred--"does one good
like a medicine."

"Still, if you will allow it, I will prescribe, were it only to keep my
hand in," he said: "an hour's rest on a couch in your own room, to be
followed by a good, substantial meal either there or at the table with
the rest of us."

"Exactly the prescription I should give were I your physician, mother,"
said Captain Raymond. "May I not assist you to your room?"

"Yes," she said with a smile. "As I know Dr. Landreth to be an excellent
physician I shall follow his advice, confidently expecting to profit by
so doing. Doctor," turning to him, "we have a pleasant private parlor
where we take our meals and enjoy each other's society in the intervals
of sight-seeing, shopping, etc. I hope you and Cousin Mildred will join
us at meal-times, and all times when you find it agreeable, making
yourselves perfectly at home. Now good-by for the present. I hope to be
able, after an hour's rest, to join you all at the tea-table."

With evident pleasure her invitation was accepted; an hour later she
made her appearance in the parlor, much refreshed by rest and sleep; a
tempting meal was partaken of by all, with evident appetite, the
remainder of the evening passed in delightful social intercourse, and
all retired early that they might be ready for a long day of interesting
and, to the children especially, captivating shopping; for, as Rosie
remarked, "Nothing could be more enjoyable than the business of
selecting wedding gifts and pretty things to be worn at the wedding
festivities."

She was delighted with her own finery and presents for Betty, selected
by herself with her mother's assistance, Violet occasionally giving her
opinion or advice, Mrs. Landreth and the gentlemen doing the same when
asked. They consisted of handsome jewelry and silver.

Walter, too, chose, with his mother's help, a set of gold lined silver
spoons for his cousin Betty. Evelyn's gift was a handsome silver pie
knife and salt spoons. Lulu, too, and Grace, gave silver, also a pair of
beautiful gold bracelets. The captain's own gift was an expensive set of
jewelry; Violet's a lovely bridal veil; Grandma Elsie's a beautiful and
costly diamond pin, to which she afterward added a check for five
thousand dollars. Also Dr. and Mrs. Landreth bought as their gift some
very handsome articles of dress and house furnishing.

The shopping and a little sight-seeing filled up the time till Saturday,
when they returned to Viamede by the same boat that had brought the
captain and his party to the city.

It was a very warm and joyous welcome that awaited them there from
Grandpa and Grandma Dinsmore, and little Elsie and Ned Raymond, and none
the less joyous was the greeting given to Dr. and Mrs. Landreth by their
relatives and old friends, Mr. and Mrs. Dinsmore.

To each of the four it was a delightful reunion, and much of the evening
was passed in recalling the events of their intercourse in those early
days when Elsie and her cousin Annis were happy children together, these
older ones gay, young married folks, the eldest son of each couple but a
baby boy, though now each was the head of a young family of his own.

These reminiscences were very interesting to themselves, Grandma Elsie,
and the Keiths, who had been invited to Viamede to take tea with these
relatives, and who were to go to the parsonage after a short stay with
these others.

But after a little the young folks grew tired of listening to the talk,
and sought out another part of the veranda where they could converse
among themselves without disturbing their elders.

Captain Raymond's eyes followed the movements of his little girls with a
look of fond fatherly pride, not without a shade of anxiety as they
noted the weariness in Grace's face, and presently he rose and drew near
the little group.

"Gracie, my darling, do you not want to go to your bed?" he asked. "I
think my little girl is looking tired and would be better for a long
night's rest."

"Yes, papa, I am 'most too tired to keep my eyes open," she replied,
with a faint smile up into his face.

"Then come, my pet," he said, bending down and taking her in his arms;
"I will carry you to your room and bid the others good-night for you
when I come down again; you are too tired to wait to do that yourself,"
and he carried her away.

Lulu sprang up and ran after them. "Shall I go too, papa?" she asked.

"If you, too, feel too tired to stay up for prayers," he answered
pleasantly; "otherwise I would not have you absent from that service."

"Yes, sir, I'm not too tired. Good-night, Gracie," she said, and ran
back to her mates.

Their tongues were running on the old theme of the wedding so soon to
take place, gifts to the bride, and dresses to be worn by her and her
attendants. But all of them were pretty well worn out with the shopping
and traveling gone through in the last few days, seeing which their
elders thought best to hold the evening service a little earlier than
usual, then retired to rest.

"Papa, please may I ask a few questions now, before you leave me?" Lulu
entreated when he came in to bid her good-night.

"Yes," he replied with an amused look; "that is number one, and how many
are to follow?" seating himself and drawing her to his knee.

"Oh, I don't know exactly, sir; it will depend somewhat upon the
answers, I think," she returned laughingly, putting an arm round his
neck and kissing him with ardent affection.

"Then let me go through the ordeal as soon as possible," he responded,
patting her cheek and pressing his lips to hers.

"I hope it won't be a very dreadful ordeal to you, papa," she said,
smiling up into his eyes. "Firstly, then, are we to have school as
usual between this and the time of the wedding?"

"Yes," was the prompt, decided reply.

"Oh, dear!" she said between a sigh and a laugh, "I 'most wish you were
one of the fathers that could be coaxed. But oh, please don't begin to
look sorry and grave. I'm determined I will be good about that and
everything; just as good as I know how to be; and if I'm not I just hope
you'll punish me well, only not by refusing to allow me to act as
bridesmaid to Cousin Betty."

"Love to your father and a desire to please him seems to me a far better
motive for good behavior than fear of punishment," he said with grave
look and tone.

"Yes, sir; and that is my motive; please believe it, my own dear, dear
father," she said, lifting dewy eyes to his.

"Then I have strong hope that my pleasure in the coming festivities will
not be spoiled by having a naughty, rebellious little daughter to deal
with, or an idle one, either. Now what else?"

"Only this, papa: that if you should have letters to write you will let
me help you, using my typewriter, you know."

"Thank you, my dear little helpful daughter. Should I find that I have
letters you could answer for me in that way, I will call upon you for
your offered assistance, as I well know it will be a pleasure to you to
render it," he replied, with a smile and another tender caress. "And I
hope you feel no doubt that it is not for lack of love for his dear
child that your father refuses the holiday you have asked for."

"No indeed, papa. I know you love me dearly. It would break my heart to
think you didn't."

"As it would mine to think my little girl did not love me. Now you must
go at once to bed. Good-night and pleasant dreams."



CHAPTER IX.


IT was early morning at Ion, breakfast awaiting the return of Mr. Edward
Travilla, who had ridden into the village on some business errand,
leaving word that he would be back within the hour to partake of the
morning meal with his wife.

Zoe, tastefully attired, was on the veranda, and the twin babies, fresh
from their bath, looking, the young mother averred, like little angels
in their dainty white robes, were toddling about there, laughing,
cooing, and prattling. They were the idols of her heart. She romped and
played with them now, but with frequent pauses to listen for the sound
of a horse's hoofs or gaze down the avenue, saying in joyous tones to
the babies, "Papa is coming, coming soon; dear, dear papa! and mamma and
his darlings will be so glad to see him. Ah, there he is at last!" she
added at length, as a horseman turned in at the great gates and came at
a quick canter up the avenue.

He lifted his hat with a bow and smile to his wife as he drew near; then
alighting at the steps, where a servant took the reins and led the horse
away, he hastily ascended them, and the next moment was seated with a
little one upon each knee.

"Papa's darlings!" he said, caressing them in turn; "papa's dear pets!"

"Tell papa we have been wanting him," said Zoe, standing alongside,
smoothing Edward's hair with softly caressing hand, and smiling down
fondly into the faces of the three; "tell him he stayed so long we did
not know how to wait."

"I must acknowledge I am a trifle late, my dear," Edward said, smiling
up into the pretty, rosy face, "detained by business; but here is my
atonement," handing her a telegram which he took from his pocket.

Zoe read it aloud. It was an invitation to a wedding (whose it did not
say), at Viamede to take place in three weeks from that day.

"Why, who on earth can be going to be married?" she exclaimed in
surprise. "Rosie? Evelyn? Lulu? Every one of them is too young." Then
with a look into Edward's laughing eyes, "Now you needn't laugh, Ned. I
know and acknowledge that Rosie is a little older than I was when we
married, but we would not have made such haste except under those
peculiar circumstances."

"Quite true, my dear," he responded. "But I suppose you will hardly
think it necessary to decline the invitation on that account?"

"Oh, no indeed," was the quick, laughing rejoinder. "I am altogether in
favor of accepting--shall begin my preparations at once. But there's the
breakfast bell."

When they had fairly begun their meal the subject was renewed, Edward
remarking, "My dear, you will want a new dress. If you like we will
drive into the city this morning, make necessary purchases, and at once
set Alma or some other dressmaker at work."

"Oh, thank you, dear Ned," she returned, her eyes shining with pleasure;
"no woman ever had a more generous husband than mine. But there are so
many ways for your money to go, and I have several that would be, with
remodelling and retrimming, tasteful, handsome, and becoming as any new
one."

"But you must have a new one, my love," Edward replied decidedly. "I can
easily afford it, and it is a great pleasure to me to see my little wife
well and becomingly dressed."

"A very nice speech, my dear husband," returned Zoe laughingly, "and
really I have not the heart to refuse you the pleasure of seeing your
wife arrayed in finery just suited to your taste. So I am very glad you
are willing to go with me and assist in the selection. Shall we take the
babies along?"

"To help with the shopping? I doubt if we would find them of much
assistance."

"They are good little things though, and would not be any hindrance,"
returned the young mother laughingly. "But the trip might interfere with
their morning nap, so if you think best we will leave the darlings at
home."

"I really think they would have a more comfortable time," Edward said;
"we also. Hark! there's the telephone. Excuse me a moment, my dear."

"Certainly, my love, but as I may possibly be the one wanted, I'll go
along; by your leave," she added laughingly, running after him as he
left the room.

The call proved to be from Mrs. Elsie Leland. A telegram from Viamede
had reached them also, and they would be at Ion in the course of an hour
to talk over necessary arrangements for the journey, if, as they
supposed, Edward and Zoe would like to take it in company with them.
They too were invited, of course?

"Yes," Edward answered; "mamma would certainly not neglect her eldest
son at such a time. Come over as soon as you like, prepared to drive
into the city with us to make necessary purchases before setting the
dressmakers at work upon suitable adornments for the ladies of our
party."

"Nothing to be bought for the gentlemen, I suppose?" was Elsie's
response, accompanied by a low, sweet laugh. "Will be happy to accept
your invitation. Good-by till then."

"Now let us go back and finish our breakfast," said Zoe. "If the Lelands
are to be here in half an hour we have no time to spare."

They were turning away when the bell rang again.

It was Ella Conly who called this time. The same invitation for herself
and brothers had just been received. They knew that Ned and Zoe must of
course have shared the summons to Viamede, and, if convenient, they
would call at Ion after tea that evening to talk over plans and
preparations.

They were cordially urged to do so. Then Edward called to his Uncle
Horace at the Oaks, his Aunt Rose at the Laurels, and Aunt Lora Howard
at Pinegrove, and learned to his satisfaction that all had received, and
would accept the same invitation. But they had not yet settled upon
their plans in regard to needed preparations and the time of setting out
upon their journey.

Edward suggested that it might be satisfactory for all to meet at Ion
that evening and talk the matter over, an invitation which was promptly
accepted by all.

"Now let us finish our breakfast," Edward said, leading the way back to
the table.

"Yes," said Zoe, "for I am sure that I for one have no time to waste if
I'm to be ready to start for the city in an hour."

She was ready, however, when, in less than an hour, the Fairview
carriage drove up bringing the Lelands. Elsie declined an invitation to
alight. "We have none too much time now," she said, "for shopping cannot
always be done in haste, and we are not making a very early start. Just
get in here with us, you two, will you not? There is plenty of room, and
we can talk over matters and settle plans as we drive."

"A very good idea, and we are much obliged," returned Edward, handing
Zoe in and taking a seat by her side.

"Who is to be married, Elsie?" asked Zoe. "Surely it could not be mamma
herself?" she added, with a light laugh. "I feel quite sure she would
not accept the best and greatest man upon earth."

"And I feel as sure of that as you do," said Mrs. Leland. "She thinks of
my father not as lost to her but waiting for her to rejoin him in the
better land. I have been trying to think who the coming bride is to be,
and suppose it is Betty Johnson."

"But it may be that the groom and not the bride belongs to our family,"
remarked Lester. "Who more likely than Dick Percival?"

"Why, yes, to be sure!" exclaimed Edward. "It is about time Dick had a
wife. And mother would of course be interested and ready to do anything
in her power to make it pleasant for him and her."

"Well, I should really like to know something more about it before
choosing gifts for her," remarked Zoe.

"I too," said Elsie.

"Then suppose we let that wait for another day, and content ourselves
with purchasing what is needed for the adorning of you two ladies,"
suggested Edward; and that was what, after a little further
consultation, was decided upon.

The city was reached in safety, and some hours later they returned, as
Zoe said, "Laden with lovely things for their own adornment."

The babies were on the veranda waiting, watching eagerly for papa and
mamma, who, their nurse kept telling them, would soon be seen coming up
the avenue. When they did appear, alighting from the Fairview carriage,
they were recognized with a glad cry, and Zoe, forgetting her weariness,
ran to the little ones, embraced first one and then the other, put a toy
in the hand of each, spent another minute or two caressing them, then
hurried to her own apartments to dress for tea and the family gathering
expected in the evening.

Elsie and her husband had driven home, but would return for the
informal assembly of the members of the connection.

The guests came early, Ella Conley and her brothers from Roselands being
the first. Ella was in high glee. She had long felt an ardent desire to
visit Viamede, and now hailed with delight the opportunity to do so. The
circumstances of both brothers had greatly improved; they were disposed
to be very generous to the only sister remaining at home with them, and
had told her she must have a new, handsome dress for the wedding, and
everything else she needed to fit her out well for the journey and a
sojourn of some weeks at Viamede.

Zoe felt flattered by being consulted in regard to necessary or
desirable purchases, and greatly enjoyed exhibiting her own, and
describing Elsie's, of that day.

Then the other families, or delegates from them, arrived in rapid
succession, and a merry sociable interview ensued. All were quite
resolved, should nothing interfere, to accept the invitation to Viamede,
but some of them could not yet decide upon the exact time when they
would be prepared to leave their homes for that distant point, and for
an absence of several weeks. But the Ion, Oaks, Fairview, and Roselands
people would all go in two weeks in company.

It was still early, when wheels were heard approaching from the
direction of the village, a hack turned in at the gate, drove rapidly up
the avenue, halted at the veranda steps, and an old gentleman alighted.

"Cousin Ronald!" exclaimed Elsie Leland, Edward, and Zoe in a breath,
and they and the others gathered about him with words of cordial
greeting and welcome.

"You have given us a most pleasant surprise, Cousin Ronald," Edward said
when the old gentleman was comfortably seated in an easy chair. "You
have not been to tea?"

"Yes, laddie, I took that in the village yonder where I alighted frae
the cars. But the auld folks seem to be missing here," glancing about in
search of them as he spoke. "I dinna see your honored grandsire, his
wife, or my sweet Cousin Elsie, your mither. The bairns Rosie and
Walter, too, are not here; what's become o' them a', laddie? They're no
ill, I hope?"

"They were quite well at last accounts, sir," replied Edward. "They have
spent the winter and early spring at Viamede, and will not return for
some weeks yet."

"Ah ha! um h'm! ah ha!" murmured the old gentleman reflectively. "It's
no the best o' news to me--an auld mon who has been wearyin' for a sight
o' your mother's sweet face."

"Don't say that, cousin, for we are going there ourselves, and shall be
glad indeed to take you with us. I know of no one who would be a more
welcome guest to my mother."

"Have a care, sir, that ye dinna tempt an auld mon too far," laughed
Cousin Ronald.

"Oh, but you must go with us, sir," said Zoe. "What would mamma say if
we failed to bring you? Besides, we want your company even if mamma
would not be displeased were you not with us."

"Ah ha! um h'm! ah ha! Weel, my bonny leddy, I can no refuse an
invitation that holds out so great a prospect of enjoyment."

"No, you must not think of refusing, Cousin Ronald!" exclaimed Edward
and his sister Elsie, speaking simultaneously.

"Indeed no," said Mr. Horace Dinsmore; "we can assure you of a hearty
welcome, and my sister, as Zoe says, would be by no means pleased should
we fail to take you along with us. But since the first division of our
company does not start for two weeks, there will be abundance of time to
hear from her on the subject."

"Certainly there will, uncle," responded Edward. "I shall write to mamma
to-night. Several of us have heard from her to-day by telegraph, Cousin
Ronald, and we think we shall surely have letters soon."

Then followed the story of the telegrams received that day, and the
guesses and surmises as to whose wedding they were invited to attend.

Mr. Lilburn was evidently much interested and more than willing to yield
to their persuasions to accompany them to Viamede.

"Well, friends and cousins," he said, "there is scarce anything I can
think of at this moment that would delight me more than to gang with you
to see them at that lovely spot--an earthly paradise, as it may well be
called. I am somewhat fatigued the now, but rest for a few days--the
days that must come and go afore you start--will no doubt supply the
needed strength for the new journey; and the wedding festivities to
follow will not come amiss even to a man of my ain venerable age."

"No, indeed!" exclaimed Zoe, "I should think not. Surely people of any
age may enjoy gay and festive scenes and doings. It has always been a
source of regret to me that Edward's and my nuptials were graced by none
of them."

"Possibly there may be better luck for you next time, my dear," remarked
Edward laughingly.

"Indeed I want no next time," she returned with spirit. "I've no
intention of trying a second husband lest I might do worse than I did in
taking you."

"It strikes me there might be a possibility of doing very much worse,
my dear niece," remarked Mr. Horace Dinsmore pleasantly.

"As it does me," responded Zoe, with a proudly affectionate look into
her young husband's eyes.

"I am glad to hear it," was his answering remark, given with a smiling,
affectionate glance into the bright, sweet face.

For the next two weeks Zoe and the other ladies of the connection were
very delightfully busy with their preparations for the wedding.

Letters had come telling that Betty was, as had been conjectured, the
prospective bride; also who was to be the groom, where the ceremony was
to take place, the bridal feast to be partaken of, with other
interesting particulars. The dresses of bride, bridesmaids, and maids of
honor were not described, as they would be seen by all the relatives at,
if not before, the wedding.

The journey to New Orleans was made by rail; from there they took a
steamboat for Berwick Bay, preferring to make the rest of the journey by
water. The party consisted of the Dinsmores, Lelands, Travillas,
Conleys, and their Aunt Adelaide, Mrs. Allison of Philadelphia, who had
come on from her home shortly before to join these relatives in their
trip to Louisiana; for she too had been urgently invited to attend the
wedding; and last but not least was Mr. Ronald Lilburn.

They were a cheerful set, the younger ones quite gay and mirthful. There
were a few other passengers, among whom was a lady clad in deep
mourning--widow's weeds--who kept her face carefully concealed by her
thick crape veil and sat apart, seeming to studiously avoid all contact
with her fellow voyagers; observing which they refrained from making
advances toward acquaintanceship. But now and then Dr. Conley turned an
observing eye upon her. There was a droop about her figure that struck
him as an indication of illness or exhaustion from some other cause.

At length he rose, and stepping to her side, said in a low sympathizing
tone, "I fear you are ill, madam. I am a physician, and if I can do
anything for you my services are at your command."

She made an inarticulate reply, in tones quivering with emotion,
staggered to her feet as she spoke, made one step forward and would have
fallen had he not caught her with his arm.

Her head dropped upon his shoulder, and instantly the other members of
his party gathered about them with hurried, excited exclamations. "What
is the matter?" "Is she ill?" "Do you know her, Art? She has fainted,
has she not?" The last exclamation and query came from the lips of Mrs.
Elsie Leland.

"Yes; she is quite unconscious," was Arthur's low toned reply "and this
thick, heavy veil is smothering her."

The next instant he had succeeded in disentangling it. With a quick
movement he threw it back, lifted the seemingly lifeless form, laid it
on a settee with the head low, laid his finger on her pulse for an
instant, then began compressing the ribs and allowing them to expand
again.

"I will have to loosen her clothing," he said, leaning over her to do
so; then for the first time catching sight of her face, he started back
with a low, pained exclamation: "My sister Virginia! is it possible!"

"Virginia!" exclaimed Adelaide and Calhoun in a breath; for both were
standing near; "can it be?" The others exchanged glances of
astonishment; then Ella asked in low, terrified tones, "O Art, is
she--is she dead? Poor, poor Virgie!"

"No; it is only a faint," he answered, going on with his efforts to
restore consciousness, in which he was presently successful.

Virginia's eyes opened, looked up into his with evident recognition,
then closed, while tears stole down her cheeks. He leant over her in
brotherly solicitude.

"Virgie, my poor, dear sister," he said in tones tremulous with emotion,
"you are with relatives and friends who will gladly do anything and
everything in their power for your comfort and happiness. I think you
are not well----"

She seemed to be making an effort to speak, and, leaving his sentence
unfinished, he bent down over her with his ear almost touching her lips.

"Starving," was the whispered word that came in reply, and he started
back aghast, his features working with emotion.

"Can it be possible!" was his half suppressed exclamation.

"What is it?" asked Calhoun; "what does she say?"

"She is faint and ill with hunger," returned his brother in a moved
tone. "Get me a glass of hot milk as quickly as you can, Cal," and
Calhoun hurried away in quest of it.

In a very few minutes he was back again with a large tumbler of rich,
sweet milk, which Virginia drank with avidity. Some more substantial
food was then given her, and after a little she was able to exchange
greetings with the other relatives on board and to give some account of
herself.

"Henry Neuville is dead, and I set out on my journey to beg a home with
Isa as soon as I had seen him laid decently away," she said. "I have no
means at all--unfortunate creature that I am--but perhaps I can make
myself useful enough to earn my bread."

"And your brothers will be both able and willing to clothe you," said
the doctor, Calhoun adding, "certainly; and to give you a home, too,
should Isa and her husband find it inconvenient to do so."

At that tears coursed down Virginia's cheeks.

"You are good, kind brothers," she said; "far better to me than I
deserve. But living with a man of the stamp of Henry Neuville has taught
me how to appreciate true gentlemen."

"O Virgie, did he die as he had lived?" asked her cousin Elsie.

"I saw no sign of repentance or reformation," returned Virginia; "he
died of drink and with curses on his tongue. I can't mourn his loss; how
could I? but I'm the most unfortunate woman--the poorest in the whole
connection. I wasn't brought up to support myself either, and can't do
it."

"Perhaps you may learn how," said Zoe encouragingly. "There are many
avenues to self-support now open to women, you know."

A look of disgust and annoyance was Virginia's only response to that.

A few moments of silence ensued, broken only by the prattle of the
little ones, then there was a sudden sound as of some heavy body
plunging into the water, and a shrill cry: "Man overboard!"

A great commotion instantly followed, the captain giving his orders to
lower a boat and go in search of the man, and at the same time slowing
the movements of the steamer.

Our party were much interested and excited, most of them full of concern
for the drowning one, who seemed to have strangely disappeared, for not
a trace of him could be seen as the boat was rowed hither and thither;
and at length, resigning all hope of finding even the lifeless body, the
men returned to the larger vessel to report their failure.

The ladies were in tears, and as the captain drew near, Zoe asked in
tones tremulous with emotion, "Is there no hope at all of saving the
poor fellow, captain?"

"I'm afraid he's gone to the bottom, ma'am, though it's odd he couldn't
keep up for the few minutes it took to launch the boat; but I suppose
the wheel must have struck him. By the way," he added, as if struck by a
sudden thought, "I don't know yet who it was. I must have the crew
mustered on deck and see who is missing."

He proceeded to do so at once, when to the surprise of all it was
discovered that no one was missing.

"A stowaway, evidently!" growled the captain, "and he's got his
desserts; though I wouldn't have let him drown if I could have helped
it."

At that instant a light broke upon Edward Travilla and Dr. Conley, and
both turned hastily toward their guest, Mr. Ronald Lilburn.

He was sitting near, quietly listening to the talk, his features
expressing grave concern, yet they could perceive a sparkle of fun in
his eye.

Edward stepped to his side, and, bending down over him, spoke in an
undertone close to his ear. "I think you could tell us something of the
man, Cousin Ronald."

"I, laddie? What would I ken o' the folk i' this part o' the world?"
queried the old gentleman, raising his eyebrows in mock surprise.

"Ah, sir, who is to say he belonged to this part of the world?" laughed
Edward. "I must own that I strongly suspect he was a countryman of
yours; a Scotchman, at least."

Then going to the side of his wife he said a word or two in an undertone
that chased away her tears, while she sent a laughing glance in Cousin
Ronald's direction.

But they were drawing near their journey's end, and presently everything
else seemed to be forgotten in gazing upon the ever changing beauties of
the landscape as they threaded their way through lake and lakelet, past
swamp, forest, plain, and plantation. They gazed with delight upon the
cool, shady dells carpeted with a rich growth of flowers, miles upon
miles of smoothly shaven lawns, velvety green and shaded by magnificent
oaks and magnolias, lordly villas peering through groves of orange
trees, tall white sugarhouses, and the long rows of cabins of the
laborers, forming all together a panorama of surpassing loveliness.

"Oh, it is an earthly paradise, is it not, Ned?" cried Zoe, clasping her
hands in an ecstacy of delight.

"Very, very beautiful," he responded, his eyes shining with pleasure.
"But you know this is not, like yours, my first sight of it; I spent a
very happy winter here in the days when my dear and honored father was
with us."

"And I," said his sister Elsie, softly sighing at the thought that that
loved parent had left them to return no more. "It will not seem the same
without him; yet with so many dear ones left--especially our dear, dear
mother--our visit can hardly be otherwise than most enjoyable. Ah, Ned,
is not that our own orange orchard just coming into view?"

"It is, my dear sister; we will be there in a very few minutes now."

"At home and with mamma!" she exclaimed in joyous tones; then called to
her little sons, "Come here, Ned and Eric. We are almost at dear
grandmamma's house, and she will soon have you in her arms."

At that the little fellows came running to her with a joyous shout, for
they dearly loved their Grandma Elsie, and to their infant minds the
time of separation from her had seemed very long.

To their Aunt Adelaide, the Conleys--Arthur excepted--and the young
Dinsmores the scenes were equally new, and called forth from one and all
demonstrations of admiration and delight. Very soon the boat reached and
rounded to at the landing, where were gathered all the members of the
Viamede, Magnolia Hall, and parsonage families to meet and welcome these
dear ones from their own old homes farther to the north.

It was an altogether joyous meeting, Cousin Ronald and Virginia, as well
as the rest, receiving most kind and cordial greeting, though the latter
was an entirely unexpected guest.

Isadore took her sister in her arms, kissed and wept over her as a near
and dear one who had gone through great trials during the years of their
separation.

"What a long, long while it is since we parted, and what sore trials you
have gone through in the meantime, Virgie!" she sighed. "Ah, I hope the
future may have better things in store for you."

"I should say it ought indeed, considering all I've had to suffer in the
past," returned Virginia. "I've come to beg a home with you, Isa, as you
might have had to of me if I had been the lucky one in the matter of
drawing a prize in the matrimonial lottery."

"I will try to do the very best I can for you, Virgie," was Isadore's
pleasant toned reply, though it was not with unmingled satisfaction that
she saw opening before her the prospect of receiving this selfish,
indolent sister into her peaceful, well regulated household as a
permanent addition to it.

Zoe was in ecstasies over the beauties of Viamede--the large, palatial
mansion, the beautiful grounds, the lovely scenery.

"Oh, mamma," she exclaimed, pausing on the veranda to take a general
survey, "it is just too lovely for anything! It really exceeds my
expectations, though they were raised very high by all I have heard of
the beauties of Viamede. I wonder you can ever resign yourself to
leaving it for a longer time than the hot season, when it is not so
healthy as your more northern home."

"Yes, I sometimes wonder at myself," Elsie said with a smile; "and yet
both Ion and the Oaks are very dear to me--so many happy years of my
life have been passed in them. Ah, no, I could not give up those dear
homes entirely any more than I could this."

"Ah, you are a most fortunate woman, cousin mine," remarked Mr. Lilburn,
standing by, "and worthy of it all; no one more so."

"Ah, Cousin Ronald, you, like all the rest of my friends, are only too
ready to pass my imperfections by and see only virtues; some of them
altogether imaginary, I fear," she returned with a smile. "I cannot tell
you how glad I am to see you here again, and I hope you may so greatly
enjoy your sojourn among us that you will be pleased to repeat your
visit whenever opportunity offers."

"Ah, many thanks, cousin, but have a care lest you should be in danger
of seeing me here oftener than will be found agreeable," was his
laughing reply.

At that Elsie only shook her head with a playful smile, then turned to
baby Lilly, who was reaching out her little arms to grandma, crying,
"Take! take, gamma!"

"No, no, mother dear," Edward said, coming up to them and taking his
little daughter from the nurse's arms, "I can't have you wearying
yourself with her." Then to the child, "Papa is going to carry you
upstairs, little pet. Dear grandma has been sick and is not strong
enough to carry you about. The friends and relatives will all be here
for some time, mother?" turning to her again.

"Yes," she replied; "they will all stay to tea."

"And Zoe and I will join you and them again in a few minutes," he said,
moving on through the hall, in the direction of the stairway.

All scattered to their rooms then, but reassembled on the veranda some
few minutes before the call to the tea-table. It was a large, merry,
informal tea-party, Grandma Elsie having been most hospitably urgent
that everyone should stay, partake with her and the others who had been
making Viamede their home for months past, and spend the evening.

The approaching wedding and matters connected with it were naturally the
principal themes of discourse, and Betty was good-humoredly rallied on
the conquest she had made and the pleasant prospect of having a home of
her own with at least one loyal subject. Zoe insisted on a description
of the trousseau, especially the wedding dress.

"Drive over to Magnolia Hall day after to-morrow and you shall see
everything for yourself, Zoe," Betty said, laughing and blushing; "at
least all but the gifts which have not yet come in."

"Thank you; I think I'll accept that invitation," returned Zoe. "But I
suppose there is something to be seen here?"

"Yes; the dresses of the bridesmaids and maids of honor," said Rosie;
"and we who are to wear them think them quite beautiful. Don't we,
girls?" turning toward Evelyn and Lulu, who answered with an emphatic,
"Yes, indeed!"

"Suppose you come and take a look at them, Zoe," proposed Rosie, as they
left the table, and Zoe promptly accepted the invitation, Betty, Elsie
Leland, Ella, and Virginia, and the Dinsmore cousins going along.

"Oh, they are lovely!" was the united exclamation at sight of the
dresses, Zoe adding, "I can't say which is handsomest."

"That's just how it is with me," laughed Betty; "but I own to thinking
the bride's dress a trifle handsomer than any of these."

"Ah, yes; but just think how we may outshine you when our turns come to
wear a wedding dress," said Rosie. "I mean to have one that shall be a
marvel of beauty and taste. Don't you, Eva and Lu?"

"I very much doubt whether I shall ever have any," replied Evelyn, with
her grave, sweet smile.

"If you don't it will be your own fault, I am sure," said Rosie. "And it
will be just the same with Lu."

"I'm not going to get married ever!" cried Lulu emphatically. "I
wouldn't leave my father for all the rest of the men in all the world."

"Ah, your father is glad to hear it," said a voice close at her side,
while a hand was laid affectionately on her shoulder. "But my dear
eldest daughter is still quite too young to be even thinking of such
things."

"Then I won't think of them if I can help it, papa dear," she said,
lifting loving, smiling eyes to his face, "for indeed I do want to obey
even your slightest wish."

"I don't doubt it, daughter," he returned, pressing affectionately the
hand she had slipped into his.

"Now, Elsie," said Zoe, addressing Mrs. Leland, "let us show our wedding
finery. You, Ella Conley, I suppose won't care to open your trunks, as
they are to be carried over to the Parsonage."

"They have already gone," said Isadore, she also having joined the party
of inspection, "but the finery can be shown there just as well."

"Yes, it can wait," returned Ella, "and will perhaps be all the more
appreciated for not being seen along with so many other beauties."

"I am the only one who has no finery to exhibit," remarked Virginia in
an ill used tone. But they were already on the way to Mrs. Leland's room
and no one seemed to hear or heed the complaint, everybody being too
much engrossed with the business in hand to take notice of her
ill-humor.

But it was Saturday evening and the Parsonage and Magnolia Hall people
returned to their homes at an early hour, taking their guests with them.

"Now, daughter," Captain Raymond said, turning to Lulu as the last
carriage disappeared from sight, "go at once to your own room and
prepare for bed."

"Yes, sir; and must I say good-night now to you?" she asked in a low
tone, close at his ear.

"No," he returned, with a smile, "I will be with you presently for a few
minutes."

She looked her thanks, and hastened to obey.

"I am quite ready for bed, papa," she said when he came into her room.
"Please mayn't I sit on your knee for five or ten minutes?"

"That is just what I want you to do," he said, taking possession of an
easy chair and drawing her to the coveted place. "I must have a little
talk with my dear eldest daughter," he continued, smoothing her hair and
cheek caressingly.

"What about, papa dear?" she asked, nestling closer in his arms. "I
haven't been misbehaving, have I? You are not displeased with me, are
you?"

"No, dear child; only afraid that you may be caring too much about dress
and finery, and that perhaps I am not altogether blameless in regard to
that--that I may not have guarded my dear little girl against it as I
should."

"I am afraid that perhaps I do care too much about it, papa dear," she
sighed, hanging her head, while blushes dyed her cheek; "but I'm sure it
is all my own fault, not yours at all; so please don't feel badly about
it."

He took up her Bible, opened it, and read, "Whose adorning, let it not
be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold,
or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart,
in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet
spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this
manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned
themselves."

"Papa, is it wrong to wear nice, pretty clothes, and to enjoy having
them?" she asked, as he closed the book and laid it aside. "Is that what
is meant in those verses?"

"I think not," he said; "if I understood it in that way I should feel it
wrong to allow a daughter of mine to wear them. I think it means that
you are not to care too much about such adornment, but more, much more,
for that other and greater adornment, even the hidden man of the heart,
the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, remembering that in the sight
of God it is of great price, worth infinitely more than any ornament of
gold, the richest jewels, or the finest attire. Cultivate that with all
diligence, my own darling child, if you desire to please and honor your
heavenly Father and make yourself even dearer than you now are to your
earthly one, and lovelier in his eyes."

"Oh, I do, papa! I do want to please and honor God, and you too; I want
to be just a joy and blessing and comfort to you, my own dear, dear
father! I don't think you have any idea how very, very dearly I love
you, papa," putting her arms about his neck and kissing him over and
over again. "Gracie and I think--indeed we feel quite sure--that no
other children ever had such a dear, good, kind father as ours. And I
know Max thinks the same."

"Well, daughter, I delight in having you and all my children think so,
however mistaken you maybe," he said, with a pleased smile, holding her
close and returning her caresses; "and it certainly is the earnest
desire of my heart to be the best, kindest, and dearest of fathers to
the darling children God has given me."

"As I am sure you are, dear papa," she said. "I never have any doubt of
it at all, even when you punish me. And, papa," she added, with an
effort, "if you think finery bad for me, I am willing to be dressed just
as plainly as you think best."

"That is my own dear little girl," he returned, with a gratified look;
"but I have not been dressing you better--more richly, gayly, or
tastefully--than seems to me right and proper; also, I think quite as
much sin may be committed by being proud of plainness in dress as proud
of wearing finery. What I am aiming at is to have my little daughter
look upon dress as a secondary matter, and feel far more anxious to be
one who is pleasing in the sight of her heavenly Father than one admired
and envied by some earthly creature as the possessor of wealth, and fine
or costly raiment. In short, I want you to feel that the style and
richness of your attire is a matter of little consequence, while to live
in the light of God's countenance, pleasing and honoring him and growing
in holiness and conformity to his will, is to be desired and striven for
beyond everything else."

"Yes, papa," she said softly, "I will ask God to help me to do so; and
you will pray for me too, won't you?"

"Indeed I will, my darling; we will kneel down and ask him now; ask for
help to keep from indulging in worldly mindedness and vanity, and that
our earnest desire and effort may ever be to serve and honor and glorify
him in all our words and ways."

"My own dear father," she said, when they had risen from their knees, "I
am sure that if I don't grow up a good Christian the fault will not be
yours." Then, glancing at the bed where Grace lay in a profound sleep,
"I am so glad and thankful that I am not feeble like poor, dear Gracie,
because if I had to go to bed and to sleep so early as she almost always
does, I'd miss these nice talks from you. But, fortunately, she doesn't
need so much help to be good as I do. Ah, papa, I've given you a great
deal more trouble to train me up right than she ever has, or will."

"My darling," he said, "if you only grow up to be a noble, useful
Christian woman, such as I hope one day to see you, I shall feel more
than repaid for all the anxiety, care, and trouble of your training."



CHAPTER X.


GUESTS and entertainers, old and young, went to church the next morning,
riding, driving, or walking, as best suited the inclination of each.

In the afternoon there was the usual gathering of the house servants and
field hands on the lawn, near the veranda, where the family and guests
were seated, and Mr. Dinsmore, Dr. Landreth, and Captain Raymond each
gave them a little talk suited to their capacities, and the sacredness
of the day, and their needs as members of the fallen race of man.

The captain, standing before them with an open Bible in his hand, said,
"My friends, I want to talk with you a little, about some of the words
spoken by the Apostle Paul when he was taking leave of the elders of the
Church at Ephesus. He told them that he had been testifying both to the
Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our
Lord Jesus Christ. Now, what is meant by repentance toward God? It is a
feeling of true sorrow for our sins against him (and everything wrong we
have done, or thought, or felt was a sin against God). And what is it to
have faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ? To believe in him as one
abundantly able and willing to save us--to save us from sin, from the
love of it, and the punishment due to us for it. We are all sinners; we
have all come short of the glory of God, neglecting many things that we
ought to have done, and doing very many things that we ought not to have
done. We are all born with a sinful nature, and God only can change it,
so that we will hate sin and love holiness: he only can give us true
faith in his dear Son the Lord Christ.

"'By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is
the gift of God.' We are saved by grace; it is only of God's undeserved
goodness, not because we have done or can do anything pleasing in his
sight. Paul speaks in this same chapter of the Gospel of the grace of
God. Gospel means good news, and what could be better news than that?
that God offers us salvation of his free, unmerited grace? What an offer
that is! salvation as his free, undeserved gift, without money, and
without price. His offer is, 'Come unto me and be ye saved all ye ends
of the earth.' No one is left out; this wonderful offer is to each one
of us, and to every other inhabitant of this world, so that if any one
fails to be saved, the fault will be all his own. For God has said, 'I
have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth: wherefore turn
yourselves and live ye.' And oh, how plain he has made it that he does
love us and would have us live! 'For God so loved the world that he gave
his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not
perish, but have everlasting life.'"

The service was not a long one, and when it was over the captain
repaired to the school-room with Lulu and Grace to hear them recite
their Bible verses and catechism.

When that duty had been attended to, "Now, daughters," he said, "if you
have anything to say, or questions suitable to the sacredness of the day
to ask, I am ready to listen and reply to the best of my ability; but
even a child may ask a question that a grown person cannot answer," he
added with a smile.

"Indeed, papa," said Grace, putting an arm round his neck and laying her
cheek lovingly to his, "I think you do know 'most everything; and I'm
oh! so glad God gave you to me for my own father."

"I know you are, Gracie, I'm sure of it; but you can't be gladder than I
am that he is my father, too," said Lulu, lifting to his eyes full of
filial love and reverence.

"Nor than I am that these two little girls are my very own," responded
the captain, holding both in a close embrace. "But now for the
questions."

"I have one to ask, papa," said Lulu. "It is, what does the Bible mean
by growing in grace?"

"Growing in likeness to Jesus and in conformity to his will; having more
and more of the love and fear of God in our hearts; more faith and
patience, and more love to our fellow-creatures; for the more we love
the Master, the more will we love those whom he died to redeem."

"And the more we love him, the more we will try to be like him?" Lulu
said in a tone of mingled assertion and inquiry.

"Yes, my child; and it is the dearest wish of my heart that I may see my
children thus growing in grace, and in likeness to the dear Master."

"Papa, I want to," said Grace softly; "oh, I want to, very much!"

"Then ask God to help you, my darling, remembering that he is the hearer
and answerer of prayer."

"And you will ask him for both of us, won't you, papa?"

"I will, I do, my darling; there is never a day when I do not pray
earnestly for each one of my dear children, that God will make them his
own true followers and keep them in every time of trial and temptation,
taking them safely to heaven at last. Life in this world is exceedingly
short compared with the eternal existence which awaits us all in
another--that life of infinite joy and blessedness at God's right hand,
or of everlasting, untold misery, unending, inconceivable anguish, in
the blackness of darkness, shut out forever from his presence," he added
in moved tones. "God in his infinite goodness and mercy grant that the
first and not the last may be the portion of each one of my beloved
children!"

"Oh, papa," said Grace softly, "how can any one help loving the dear
Saviour who died that we might go to heaven and not to that other awful
place!"

"Oh," said Lulu, "I do want to love him more and serve him better! When
I think of his wonderful goodness and love to us poor sinners, I'm just
as ashamed as I can be that I don't love him at all as I ought, and am
so often ill-tempered and selfish and bad. Papa, I do really think it is
kind and good in you to punish me when I deserve it, and need it to make
me a better girl."

"And I shall be very glad indeed if you never again make it necessary
for me to do so," he responded.

"I do hope I won't," she returned. "Papa, I'm very much afraid I'll be
thinking and talking to-day about the wedding and what everybody is
going to wear at it, and I know I won't be in half so much danger of
doing so if I keep close to you; so mayn't I?"

"Yes, daughter; I am always glad to have you near me," he said kindly;
"and it pleases me that you are desirous to avoid temptation to do
wrong."

"And you are just as willing to let me keep near you, papa?" Grace said
inquiringly, and with a wistful, pleading look up into his face.

"Certainly, my dear little daughter. I love you not a whit less than I
do your sister," he said, drawing her into a closer embrace. "However,
you may both stay here reading your Bibles and Sunday school books for a
half hour longer. Then I will come for you and you may spend the rest of
the day as close to your father's side as you choose." With that he left
them.

"Such a dear, good father as ours is!" exclaimed Lulu, gazing after him
with loving, admiring eyes.

"Yes, indeed! I am sure there couldn't be a better or dearer one. Oh, I
do love him so!" said Grace, turning over the leaves of her Bible.
"Let's read verse about, Lu."

"I'm agreed; and let it be the Book of Esther. I do think that is such a
lovely story."

"So it is; and so is Ruth, and that's shorter. I don't believe we'll
have time to read all of Esther before papa comes for us."

"Maybe not," assented Lulu; "so we will read Ruth."

They had finished the story and were talking it over together when
their father came. It was then nearly tea time.

Sacred music filled up most of the evening, and all the young girls and
boys retired early to bed that they might be ready for the pleasures and
employments of the coming day. The older people sat somewhat longer upon
the veranda, conversing upon topics suited to the sacredness of the day.
They were Christians, and loved to speak of the Master and the things
concerning his kingdom.

"Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord
hearkened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him
for them that feared the Lord and that thought upon his name. And they
shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my
jewels; and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth
him."

As usual, Lulu was up early the next morning, and joined her father in a
walk under the trees along the bank of the bayou.

"Well, daughter, has the rest of the Sabbath made you ready for work in
the school-room again?" he asked, smiling down affectionately into her
face, rosy, bright, and happy with health and gay spirits.

"Yes, papa, I feel more like it than I did on Saturday," she answered,
lifting to his sparkling eyes, full of affection.

"I rejoice to hear it," he said; "for it is by no means a pleasant task
to me when I have to compel a pupil--whether one of my own children or
the child of someone else--against his or her inclination; though I
enjoy teaching when all are happy and interested."

"As we all ought to be when we have such a good, kind, wise teacher,
dear papa," she returned. "It will be difficult, very difficult, I'm
afraid, to give my mind to lessons when we are all so much taken up with
the preparations for the wedding, but I'm determined to try my very best
to do so to please my dearest, kindest, best of fathers," lifting his
hand to her lips.

"A father who would far rather be obeyed from love than fear," he said,
with a tender, loving look down into her face.

"Yes, I know you would, papa, and my love for you is, oh! ever so much
stronger than my fear; though I own I am afraid of your displeasure and
punishments, for I know you can punish severely when you think it your
duty and for my good; but I respect and love you too a great deal more
than I would or could if you indulged me in bad behavior."

"I don't doubt it," he said; "and I, as I have often told you, punish
you when I deem it needful, because I know you will be the happier in
the end for being compelled to try to conquer your faults; happier than
you ever could be if allowed to indulge them."

"Yes, papa, I know that is so; I am never at all happy when indulging
wrong tempers and feelings," she acknowledged, with another loving look
up into his face.

At that moment they were joined by Evelyn and Rosie.

"Brother Levis," said Rosie, "you surely are not going to be so
unreasonable and tyrannical as to require lessons of us to-day?"

"I'm afraid I am, little sister," he replied, with a smile, "and I hope
you are not going to be so naughty and rebellious as to require any kind
of discipline?"

"I don't know," she said, with a pretended pout; "I feel no inclination
at all toward lessons, but a very strong one in favor of a ride or drive
over to Magnolia Hall."

"Which can be gratified when study and recitations have been duly
attended to," returned the captain; "and if in need of an escort you may
call upon me for that service."

"Oh, a thousand thanks! that will do very well indeed!" she exclaimed in
a tone of relief and pleasure.

"And all the good and industrious little girls may go along," added the
captain, with a smiling look into Lulu's eagerly inquiring face.

"Thank you, papa; thank you very much!" she exclaimed joyously. "I do
want to go, and intend to be as industrious as possible, and as good and
obedient, so that you can take me. And you'll take Gracie too if she
wants to go, won't you?"

"Certainly," he said; "Gracie deserves all the indulgences and pleasures
I can give her."

"You are very kind indeed, Captain, to spend so much of your time in
teaching us to-day; for I feel very sure you would enjoy going to
Magnolia Hall with the other gentlemen and the ladies this morning,"
remarked Evelyn, with a grateful, affectionate look up into his face.

"Thank you, my dear," he replied. "It would be pleasant to me to go, but
it is also a pleasure to help my own children, and other appreciative
pupils, to climb the hill of science."

Just then Grace and little Elsie came running to meet them, and the next
minute the breakfast bell summoned them all to the house.

After breakfast followed family worship, school, play-time, then dinner,
and, late in the afternoon, the pleasant drive through the woods to
Magnolia Hall. It was only for a call, however, and at tea-time the
Viamede family and all their guests gathered about the table there.

From then until the wedding day the young folks were in a state of
pleasurable excitement, though the captain kept his pupils steadily at
their work, and they found it not impossible to fix their minds upon
their studies for a portion of each day. The other relatives invited had
arrived, and in a few days the marriage was to take place.

It was Saturday morning. Scarcely two hours had been spent in the
school-room when the captain dismissed his pupils, telling them, with
his pleasant smile, that they had done very well indeed, and would be
allowed a holiday until the wedding festivities were over, an
announcement no one was sorry to hear, although he had made the lessons
interesting and enjoyable to them as ever since undertaking the work of
teaching them. All returned warm thanks, and Rosie, Evelyn, and Walter
hastened from the room, which Captain Raymond had already left; but his
two little girls lingered there a while longer, putting their desks in
perfect order.

"Gracie," said Lulu, "how much money have you left?"

"Not a single cent," was the reply in a rather rueful tone; "and I
suppose yours is all gone too?"

"Yes; every cent of it. I feel as poor as a church mouse."

"But we are not wanting to buy anything just now, and papa will be
giving us some pocket-money again pretty soon," returned Grace in a
determinedly cheerful tone.

"Yes, so he will! Oh, what a dear, good, kind father he is! I really
don't believe there are very many girls of our ages that get so much
pocket-money every week. And papa gave us so much extra money too, to
use in buying our gifts for Cousin Betty."

"Oh, yes, and now I think of it, I don't believe we ought to expect any
more pocket-money for a good while. Do you, Lu?"

"No, I don't; for this wedding's costing a good deal--to papa as well as
other folks; and the journey home will cost ever so much, besides all
that papa paid to bring us here. Then, too, he's going to see Max again
after we get home, and will maybe take one or both of us along--if we're
good."

"Oh, do you think so?" exclaimed Grace. "Oh, I'd love to see Maxie! but
if only one of us can go it ought to be you, because you're the oldest,
and so well that it wouldn't give papa half so much trouble to take care
of you as of me."

"I'm just sure papa doesn't think it any trouble to take care of you,
Gracie," returned Lulu in her quick, earnest way. "And you are a better
girl than I, therefore more deserving of such indulgences."

"That's a mistake of yours, Lu," said Grace; "you've been good as gold
ever since we came to Viamede--as well as before--and helped papa with
your typewriter, while I haven't done anything but wait on him a
little, and try to learn my lessons well, and amuse the little ones
sometimes."

Lulu's face had grown very red while Grace was speaking, and she hung
her head in a shamefaced, remorseful way.

"No, Gracie," she said in a low, mortified tone, "I haven't been half so
good as you think; I displeased papa very much that day when you all
went to Magnolia Hall, and I had to stay at home and learn my lessons
over. I was very angry and cross with dear little Ned because he meddled
with my herbarium, which I had carelessly left lying out on my desk. If
papa had punished me very severely it would have been no more than I
deserved, but all he did was to send me to my room for a while till I
told him how sorry I was and asked forgiveness of him, and Neddie, too."

Grace looked surprised. "No, I never heard a word of it before," she
said; "but I'm sure you did all you could when you asked forgiveness of
both of them--papa and Neddie."

The little girls had no idea that their father was within hearing, yet
such was the case, and their little talk pleased him greatly.

"The darlings!" he said to himself, "they shall not be long penniless,
for their father thinks them very worthy to be trusted with
pocket-money. Two more unselfish children I am sure it would be hard to
find."

With that he rose and went to the library, to which they presently
followed him, asking if there were anything he wanted them to do.

"Why, it is your play-time, daughters," he returned, with a loving smile
into the bright young faces.

"But we'd like to do something to help you, dear papa," Grace said,
laying her small, white hand on his arm, and looking lovingly up into
his face.

"Yes, indeed we would, papa," said Lulu, standing on his other side, and
putting her arm round his neck. "Please, if you have letters to answer,
mayn't I write them for you on my typewriter?"

"Does my dear eldest daughter deem that a privilege?" he asked, smiling
down into her beseeching eyes, while he put one arm round her, the other
about Grace's waist, and drew both in between his knees, kissing first
one and then the other.

"Indeed I do, papa," Lulu answered in an earnest tone; "it's very sweet
to me to feel that I am of even a little use to my dear, dear father,
who does so much for me, taking so much trouble to teach me, and gives
me so many, many nice things to eat, to wear, to read, and to amuse
myself with--so many that it would take quite a long while to count them
all up."

"Ah, that reminds me," he said, taking out his pocket-book, "I shouldn't
wonder if my little girls had about emptied their purses in buying gifts
for the bride that is to be, and so forth. Get them out and let me see
what can be done toward replenishing them."

He noted with pleasure that as he spoke each young face grew very
bright.

"We've left them upstairs, papa," said Lulu, "and though you're ever so
kind," hugging and kissing him again, "we don't want to take any more
now when you have to spend so very much on the wedding, and to take us
all home to Woodburn."

"No, indeed we don't, you dear, dear papa," chimed in Grace, nestling
closer to him and patting his cheek lovingly.

"My precious darlings!" he said, holding them close, "your father can
spare it without denying himself or anybody else anything at all
needful; and he feels very sure that he could not get more enjoyment out
of it in any other way. So get your purses and bring them here to me,"
he concluded, releasing them from his embrace.

They ran joyfully to do his bidding, and on their return each found a
little pile of money waiting for her--two clean, fresh one dollar
bills, two silver half dollars, four quarters, and ten dimes; all
looking as if just issued from the mint.

"Oh! oh! oh!" they cried, "how much! and all so bright and new!" Lulu
adding, "Papa, are you quite, quite sure you can really spare all this
without being--embarrassed?"

"Yes, quite sure," he returned, regarding her with a twinkle of fun in
his eyes; "I really think I should not be greatly embarrassed if called
upon for twice as much."

At that Lulu drew a long breath of relief, while Grace threw her arms
about his neck, saying, "You dear, dear papa! I don't believe any other
children ever had such a good, kind father as ours."

"Well, now, I really hope there are a great many other fathers quite as
good and kind as yours," he said, with a smile, pinching the round, rosy
cheek, kissing the ruby lips, and fondly stroking the soft, shining
curls of her pretty head.

"I hope so," said Lulu, "but I'm just sure there's not another one I
could love so, so dearly as ours. I do think God was very good to me in
making me yours, papa. Your very own little daughter."

"And me too," said Grace.

"Yes; good to me as well as to you," responded the captain, "for my
darlings seem to me the dearest, most lovable children in the world.
Well, Lulu daughter, you may help me with your machine for a half hour,
if you wish."

"Oh, yes, papa; yes, indeed! I'll be glad to!" she exclaimed, hastening
to uncover it, put in the paper, and seat herself before it, while her
father took up a letter, glanced over the contents, then began his
dictation.

It was a business note and had no interest for Grace, who presently
wandered out upon the veranda with her well filled purse in her hand.

Grandma Elsie sat there alone, reading. "What a bright, happy face, my
little Gracie," she said, glancing up from her book as the child drew
near. "Has some special good come to you, dear?"

"Yes, ma'am; see!" exclaimed the little girl, displaying her well filled
purse; "it was empty, and my dear papa has just filled it. You see,
Grandma Elsie," drawing near and lowering her voice, "I was wanting to
buy a few things for good-by presents to some of the poor old colored
folks, but I'd spent every cent of my money and thought I'd have to give
it up; and I'm oh, so glad that I won't have to now. And--Oh, Grandma
Elsie, you and mamma will help me to think what will be best to get for
them, won't you?"

"I will be very glad to do anything I can to help you, dear child,"
replied Grandma Elsie in her low, sweet tones, and softly stroking the
golden curls as the little girl stood close at her side. "Suppose you
get a pencil and paper from the school-room and make out a list of those
to whom you wish to give, and opposite to each name the gift that seems
most suitable."

Grace's reply was a joyful assent, and she hurried away in search of the
required articles.

She was not gone more than a very few minutes, but on her return found
that her Mamma Vi, Rosie, and Evelyn had joined Grandma Elsie on the
veranda, had been told by her what was the business in hand, and were
desirous to have a share in it.

They had a pleasant time over their lists, each making out one for
herself, while Lulu finished the work she had undertaken for her father.
They decided to write to the city for what was wanted, and that anyone
else who wished could send at the same time; so that matter was
satisfactorily disposed of.

"Oh!" exclaimed Grace, struck by a sudden thought, "suppose I run to the
library and tell papa and Lu about it, and get him to tell her what to
say, and let her write on the typewriter for the things?"

Everyone thought it an excellent idea, and Grace immediately carried it
out.

"I quite approve," her father said, when she had told her story and made
her request.

"I too," said Lulu, "and I'll join you if papa will help me to decide
what to buy. I'll write the letter too, if he will tell me what to say."

"I am entirely willing to do both, daughter," he said. "Let us set to
work at once, as it will soon be dinner-time, and I want to take my
little girls out for a drive this afternoon."

"Oh, thank you, papa, thank you very much!" they cried in joyous tones.

"Is anybody else going, papa?" asked Lulu.

"Your Grandma Elsie, Mamma Vi, and our little ones, in our carriage; as
many more as may wish to go either in other carriages or on horseback.
Perhaps you would prefer to ride your pony?"

"No, sir; not if you are to be in the carriage I may ride in."

"Ah, you are very fond of being with your father," he said, with a
pleased smile.

"Yes, sir; yes, indeed! just as close as I can get," stroking and
patting his cheek, then pressing her lips to it in an ardent kiss.

"And it's exactly the same with me, you dear, darling papa!" exclaimed
Grace, putting an arm round his neck. "And it's exactly the same with
every one of your children from big Maxie down to baby Ned."

"I believe it is, and it makes me very happy to think so," he replied.
"But now, my dears, we must to work on our list of articles."



CHAPTER XI.


IT was a large party that set out from Viamede shortly after leaving the
dinner-table. Most of the young people--among them Chester, Frank, Maud,
and Sydney Dinsmore, Evelyn Leland, Rosie and Walter Travilla--preferred
riding.

These, having swifter steeds, presently distanced the rest of the
riders, as well as those who were driving, and in passing a plantation,
which was the home of Nettie Vance, an old school-mate of the Viamede
young folks at the time, several years before, of their attendance at
Oakdale Academy, they were joined by her and a young man whom she
introduced as her brother, both well mounted and looking merry and
happy.

"Bob and I were just starting out for a ride," she said, "and consider
ourselves fortunate in meeting with such good company. May I take my
place alongside of you, Miss Leland? I have a bit of news to tell which
I think will interest you and Miss Travilla. It is that Signor Foresti,
who, as you will doubtless remember, was a teacher of music--anything
but an agreeable one, by the way--at Oakdale Academy when we were there
together, is quite ill, partly from an accident, partly from drink, and
extremely poor. I must say I hardly pity him very much for that last,
but I do feel sorry for his wife and children."

"I too," said Evelyn. "I wish it were in my power to relieve them, but
my purse is about empty just at present. However, I will report the
matter at Viamede, and I am sure the kind friends there will see that
something is done toward supplying their pressing needs."

"Yes," returned Nettie, "I have heard a great deal of the kindness and
benevolence of Mrs. Travilla and her father; of Captain Raymond's also;
though I for one could hardly blame him if he utterly refused to give
any assistance to a man who had abused his daughter as Foresti did
Lulu."

"Nor I," said Evelyn; "yet I feel almost certain that he will assist
Foresti. He would not let the wife and children suffer for the man's ill
deeds, nor indeed the man himself, unless I am greatly mistaken; for the
captain is a truly Christian gentleman."

"Indeed he is," said Rosie, "and very benevolent; exceedingly kind to
the poor; to anyone who is in distress of any kind. I am very proud of
that brother-in-law of mine, Nettie, and don't care who knows it."

"I do not wonder at that," returned Nettie. "I certainly should be if he
were mine; it is very plain from the way in which Lulu and Gracie look
at him that they are both fond and proud of their father."

"Nor do I wonder at it," said Robert Vance, joining in the conversation.
"Nettie pointed him out to me at church last Sunday, and I remarked then
that he was as fine looking a man as ever I saw; tall, straight,
handsome in feature, and of most noble countenance."

"Thank you," Rosie said, with a smile and a bow. "I think him all that,
and as noble in character as in looks. It is my opinion that my sister
Violet drew a prize in the matrimonial lottery; and the captain also,
for Vi is in every way worthy of him."

"Surely," returned the young man, "one glance at her is sufficient to
assure one of that."

Rosie and Evelyn then asked where the Forestis were to be found, and
what were their most pressing needs, and having learned those
particulars, promised that someone from Viamede would call to see and
relieve them, Rosie adding, with a smile, "We, as you probably know, are
busy with preparations for a wedding in the family, yet I have no doubt
some one or more among us could find time to attend to this call for
help."

"Yes," said Walter, who had been quietly listening to the talk, "mamma
will be sure to find time for such an act of kindness; she always does."

"I am sure of it," responded Nettie heartily, "from her sweet looks and
all I have heard of her. And so your cousin, Miss Johnson, is going to
be married?" she added, looking at Rosie. "We received our invitations
yesterday, and are busy with our preparations. It must be delightful to
have such a thing coming off in the family; particularly to be the
bride; for I hear it is to be quite a grand affair and the match an
excellent one."

"Yes," returned Rosie, "we are all much pleased with what we have heard
of the gentleman, and I hope they are going to be very happy together."

"I hope so, indeed," responded Nettie. "I am but slightly acquainted
with Miss Johnson, but have always liked her looks."

It was near tea-time when the Viamede party reached home again; the
ladies and little girls had barely time to dress for the evening before
the summons to the table.

It was while all where seated about it that Rosie and Evelyn told of the
news learned from Nettie Vance in regard to Signor Foresti and his
family.

"Ah, poor things! we must do something for them," Grandma Elsie said,
when the story was finished. "Papa, shall we stop there to-morrow on
our way to or from church? It would be a work of mercy suited to the
day, I think. Do not you?"

"Yes," replied Mr. Dinsmore; "and it might be well to carry a basket of
provisions with us."

Lulu had listened in silence while the others were talking, and all
through the evening she had but little to say, seeming much of the time
lost in thought, though usually she was quite talkative, unless, as
occasionally happened, checked by a slight reminder from her father that
it would be more becoming in a child of her age to show herself a quiet
listener to older people.

The captain noticed her abstraction, but, guessing at the cause, said
nothing about it till they were alone together in her bedroom; then,
drawing her to his knee, "My little girl has been unusually silent this
evening," he said. "Is anything wrong with her?"

She drew a long sigh. "I have been trying to decide a question of duty,
papa," she said, "and, please--I'd like you to tell me what to do."

"In regard to what, daughter?"

"Giving a part of my money--the money you put into my purse this
morning--to--to the Forestis."

"I think it would be right and kind for you to do so. Do not you?"

"Yes, sir; and I will do it," she said with sudden determination. "It
will be returning good for evil, as the Bible bids us; won't it, papa?"

"Yes; and I think will help you to forgive the man for his ill treatment
of my dear little daughter," drawing her closer and kissing her fondly.

"Yes, sir; even the resolve has made me feel more kindly toward him. How
much ought I to give, papa? I hardly think I'll have very much left
after I've paid for the presents I've sent for, for the servants here."

"No, not a very great deal, I presume; but you are not likely to need
much before there will be more pocket-money coming to you."

"Oh, no, sir, I'll not, of course, because my dear, dear father provides
everything I need to eat or wear, and pays my travelling expenses too,
so that I'm not really obliged to spend anything on myself," she said,
putting an arm about his neck and laying her cheek lovingly to his.
"Papa, do you think a dollar will be enough for me to give the
Forestis?"

"You may decide that question for yourself, my darling," he said,
patting her cheek and stroking her hair; "I leave it entirely to you to
give much, little, or nothing, as conscience and inclination dictate."

"Thank you, papa; you are very kind to say that; but please tell me if
you think a dollar will be enough for me?"

"Yes, I do," was his reply, and Lulu looked satisfied and relieved.

"I'm glad, papa," she said, "for I really do not know that I shall have
more than that left after paying for the presents for the servants; and
of course I can't give more than I have."

"Quite true," he returned, with a slight smile. "I would have you make
it a rule never to go into debt for your own gratification or for any
other object. 'Out of debt, out of danger,' is an old and wise saying.
Now, daughter, it is time to say good-night; but first let me remind you
that to-morrow is the Lord's day, and to be kept holy. Try not to think
of the exciting events expected in the coming week, but to spend the
time in the worship of God and the study of his word, that you may grow
in grace and conformity to his will, thus becoming 'meet for the
inheritance of the saints in light,' and ready, when he shall call you
away from earth, to dwell forever with him in that holy, happy land
where sin and sorrow are unknown. We will kneel down together now for a
moment and ask him to help us both to do so, 'running with patience the
race set before us, ever looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of
our faith.'"

Sunday was passed by the Viamede family in the usual quiet way, most of
its hours filled up with divine service in the sanctuary or at home,
and all retired to rest at an early hour, to rise the next morning in
renewed health and strength, the children rejoicing in their holiday and
the near approach of the wedding festivities.

Mr. and Mrs. Dinsmore had the day before, on their way to church, called
upon the Italian music teacher, taking with them delicacies for the sick
man, and other articles of food for the rest of the family; some money
also, in which was included Lulu's dollar; and finding the services of a
physician were needed, had engaged to send one.

Dr. Dick Percival undertook the errand, made a professional call, and on
his return reported the man quite ill, but likely to recover with good
and competent nursing. He went over again on Monday morning, but called
first at Viamede to report to his uncle Dinsmore and the captain.

Lulu was present at the interview and heard with interest all that
Cousin Dick had to tell about the signor and his family.

"There are three children," said Dick--"forlorn looking little
creatures, with apparently no playthings except a few broken bits of
china, and for doll babies, some corn cobs wrapped in rags."

"Oh, papa," exclaimed little Elsie, seated upon her father's knee,
"mayn't I send dem some of my dollies?"

"Yes, if you want to do so," he replied, smiling upon her, and smoothing
her curls caressingly with his hand.

"And I will hunt up some playthings for them too, if I may, papa," said
Lulu.

"Certainly," he said; "you may do so at once, and we three and Gracie
will drive over there in the carriage, which I will order immediately;
that is, if Cousin Dick does not object to our company?"

"Not by any means, Captain; I shall be delighted to have it," said Dr.
Percival. "And will you drive over with me, Art?" turning to Dr. Conley.

"With pleasure, Dick," was the reply, and in a short time all were on
their way, the children well laden with toys and sweets for the little
Forestis.

Violet had been invited to accompany her husband, but declined because
of some preparations still to be made for the wedding. Little Ned,
however, had no such excuse, and gladly made one of the merry little
party in his father's carriage.

Dr. Percival, having other patients needing his attention, said he
intended to make but a short call upon the Italian, and the captain did
not think it worth while for his children to alight; but from the
carriage they witnessed with delight the pleasure conferred upon the
little Forestis by their gifts.

Captain Raymond left them for a few moments while he went in to see the
sick man, to whom he spoke with the utmost kindness, condoling with him
on his sufferings, and inquiring if they were very great.

"De bains ish ver bad, sare," replied the man, with a heavy sigh. Then,
with an earnest look into the captain's face, his own flushing hotly,
"You, sare, ish de fader off Mees Lu Raymond?" he said inquiringly.

"I am, sir," replied the captain with some sternness of look and tone.

"Mees Lu, she bees one goot leetle girl for send me that monish
yesterday," continued Foresti; "dot make me ver sorry I haf so leetle
batience mit her dat time she sthrike me mit de music book."

"Yes," said Captain Raymond, "and I trust that when you are again able
to teach you will try to be more patient and forbearing with your
pupils. It will be better for both you and them."

"Yes, sare, I vill try dat blan; but mine batience bees sorely dried mit
de mishtakes off dose careless bupils I haf to teach."

"I dare say that is true," said the captain, "but one who finds it
impossible to have patience with pupils, should try some other way of
making a livelihood than by teaching."

In another minute or two the captain left--not waiting for the doctors,
who were, as he knew, going in another direction--re-entered his
carriage, and started on the return trip to Viamede.

"Papa," asked Lulu, "can't we take a little different route going home?"

"Yes," he replied in an indulgent tone, and gave the necessary
directions to the driver.

It was a pleasant, shady road into which they presently turned, and the
children chatted and laughed right merrily, receiving no rebuke from
their father and fearing none.

They had not gone far on that road when they espied two horsemen
approaching from the opposite direction.

"Oh," cried little Elsie, "here come Cousin Ronald and Uncle Horace."

"An unexpected meeting, Captain," Mr. Dinsmore remarked, with a bow and
smile as they drew near.

"But none the less pleasant," returned Captain Raymond.

"Very true, sir," said Mr. Lilburn, bowing and smiling in his turn.

"For the captain and you young folks, no doubt, but a trifle less
delightful for us who have the load to carry," seemed to come from the
mouth of one of the horses as he tossed his head to shake off a fly.

"True enough, Selim. You doubtless envy me with only this gentleman to
carry; and I pity you from the bottom of my heart; only that it must be
good fun to hear those little folks chatting and laughing," was the
answering remark apparently made by the horse ridden by Mr. Lilburn,
speaking as they passed the captain's carriage.

Lulu and Grace clapped their hands, laughing merrily, while baby Ned
exclaimed, with a look of astonishment, "Me didn't fink horsey could
talk like udder folks!"

"Oh, yes! but why did they never do it before?" cried little Elsie.
"Papa, did you know they could talk?"

"I never heard them do so before, daughter," the captain said, with an
amused smile down into the earnest, surprised little face, "and I
suspect that it is only when Cousin Ronald is about that they can."



CHAPTER XII.


RIDES, drives, sports of various kinds, and preparations for the
wedding, made the time pass very rapidly and pleasantly to the young
folks at Viamede, Magnolia Hall, and the Parsonage, until at length all
was in readiness for the expected festivities.

The ceremony was to be performed at the church, the Rev. Cyril Keith
officiating, and to be immediately succeeded by a wedding breakfast on
the lawn at Magnolia Hall. That was to be about noon, so did not
interfere with the usual morning meal and family devotions at Viamede.

When these had been attended to, the ladies and young girls scattered to
their rooms to dress for the important occasion.

It had been arranged that Grace Raymond and Rose Lacy were to act as
flower girls, dressed in white tarlatan, and white hats trimmed with
white ribbon, and each carrying a basket filled with white roses, white
japonicas, and smilax. Rose Travilla, Evelyn Leland, and Lulu Raymond,
dressed as had been planned at the first, were to act as bridesmaids,
while Lora Howard, Maud and Sydney Dinsmore, were to be maids of honor,
dressed in white, and carrying bouquets of white flowers.

Betty's own dress was a rich white silk, trimmed with elegant and costly
lace--the gift of her brother-in-law, Mr. Embury--and a tulle veil,
fastened to her head with a wreath of orange blossoms. Her bouquet was
of bride roses and smilax. The Dinsmore and Howard cousins were to act
as ushers and groomsmen.

All this had been satisfactorily arranged, and rehearsals gone through
with several times at Magnolia Hall and Viamede, that each one might be
perfect in his or her part; otherwise timid little Gracie could not have
been induced to undertake her share in the ceremony.

When she and Lulu were dressed for the occasion they went in search of
their father to ask his opinion of their appearance and attire. He
scanned each daintily attired, graceful little figure with a look of
proud, fond affection, clasped them in his arms and kissed them
tenderly.

"My darlings look very sweet in their father's eyes," he said; "but do
not be too proud of your appearance, for fathers are apt to see their
own children through rose-colored glasses; and it is not very likely
that you will attract particular attention among so many attendants upon
the bride, who will doubtless be gazed upon more admiringly and
critically than anyone else."

"I'm ever so glad of that, papa," Gracie said, with a sigh of relief;
"because I don't like to be viewed with a critic's eye," she concluded
with a merry, though slightly disturbed little laugh.

"Well, dear child, just try to forget yourself, and I have no doubt
everything will go right," he said, drawing both her and Lulu closer
into his arms for a little more petting and caressing.

That was interrupted by the entrance of their mamma Vi, coming upon the
same errand that had brought them.

"Will I do, my dear?" she asked, with a bright, winsome smile.

"Ah, my Violet, my sweet and beautiful flower," he returned, regarding
her with ardently admiring eyes, "I fear you will outshine the bride.
You look very like one yourself, except a most becoming air of maturity;
scarcely older and certainly not less beautiful than when you gave
yourself to me."

"And accepted you in return; deeds which I have never yet for a moment
regretted," she said, with a coquettish smile up into his face; for he
had put his little girls gently aside and risen to take a critical
survey of his young and beautiful wife.

"And never shall if in my power to prevent it, my love, my darling," he
said low and tenderly, laying a hand upon her shoulder, and bending
down to press a fond kiss upon her lips.

They were in the library, whither the captain had gone, after arraying
himself for the wedding festival, to wait for the ladies and damsels who
were to go under his care.

"Ah, Brother Levis, I have caught you in the very act," laughed Rosie,
dancing into the room, already in bridesmaid's attire, and looking but
little less attractive than Violet herself.

"Ah! and what of that, little sister?" he asked. "Who has a better right
than her husband to bestow caresses upon a beautiful and attractive
woman?"

"Captain Raymond, being my teacher, has an undoubted right to question
me in the school-room," laughed Rosie, with an arch look up into his
face, "but--I don't know that he has here and now. Now please let me
have your candid opinion of my dress and appearance."

"You will do very well, little sister; there is no fault to be found
with your appearance, so far as I can see," he answered in a
non-committal tone, and with a mischievous twinkle of fun in his eye.

At that Rosie pretended to pout. "You keep all your compliments for Vi,"
she said. "But--ah, here comes Eva, and I wonder if you can afford one
to her. She is certainly worthy of it."

Evelyn did indeed look sweet and fair in a becoming white chip hat and
her pretty dress of pale blue silk trimmed with lovely lace.

Rosie's own dress was a delicate pink; Lulu's canary color; all of the
same material.

"That she is, in my opinion," returned the captain, bestowing a fatherly
caress upon the young orphan girl, then offering the same to Rosie.

"Well, now, you are a nice brother--my big, big brother, you remember,"
she laughed, "so I won't repulse you; help yourself and let us have it
over."

Just at that moment her mother came in, dressed for the wedding in a
beautiful pearl-colored silk and point lace, a knot of white roses at
her throat and in her belt, her lovely and abundant golden brown hair
simply and tastefully arranged.

"Mamma!" exclaimed Violet, "you are the most beautiful and tastefully
attired one among us!"

"In the partial eyes of my daughter Violet," was the smiling rejoinder.
"But to me her youthful beauty far exceeds her mother's fading charms."

"I incline to the opinion that the fading is perceptible to no eyes but
your own, mother," remarked the captain gallantly.

"I also," said Violet; "a richer, riper bloom is all that I can see."

"Or that anybody else can," added Walter, who, ready dressed for the
wedding, had entered the room just in time to catch Violet's first
exclamation.

Then the other members of the family and the guests came flocking in,
the carriages were announced as waiting for their living freight, and
presently all were seated in them and on their way to the church, which
they found crowded with invited guests and other spectators.

The ceremony was short, but impressive. Bride, bridesmaids, flower
girls, and maids of honor were all looking their best, and behaved
admirably; groom, groomsmen, and ushers also, among whom were a brother
and an intimate friend of the bridegroom, the young cousins Arthur and
Walter Howard, Chester and Frank Dinsmore, and little Walter Travilla.

Old Mr. Dinsmore, the uncle and guardian of the bride, gave her away,
and was the first to salute, and call her by her new name on the
completion of the ceremony, the first to congratulate the groom, and
wish them a great deal of happiness.

Other affectionate greetings and best wishes followed in quick
succession; then the carriages were re-entered, and all drove to
Magnolia Hall to partake of the wedding breakfast.

The place was looking its very loveliest: the grass on the lawn like a
velvet carpet of emerald green, spangled with many flowers of varied
hues, which filled the air with delicious perfume, and there, scattered
about underneath the magnolia, orange, and other beautiful shade trees,
were many small tables resplendent with the finest napery, shining
silver, cut glass, and delicate china, and loaded with delicate and
delicious viands.

Presently every table was surrounded by a merry group quite disposed to
do justice to the tempting fare, and the air filled with the pleasant
hum of happy voices and low, gleeful laughter.

The bride and groom, with their attendants, were seated about two tables
not many feet apart, while the older members of the Viamede family and
Cousin Ronald occupied another, quite near to both; and Mr. Embury and
his Molly, with the Parsonage family, Virginia and the older Embury
children, filled a third, not far from either of the others, when
presently Nero, a great big Newfoundland dog belonging to Mr. Embury,
showed himself at his master's side, looking up wistfully into his face.

"I'm hungry, good master," were the words that seemed to come from his
lips, "and surely your faithful dog might have a taste of this feast."

At that some of the guests looked startled and astounded, too much
surprised to speak, but Mr. Embury, who was not ignorant of Cousin
Ronald's talents, though a little startled at first, recovered his wits
instantly, and replying, "Certainly, certainly, Nero; that's only fair,"
handed the dog a generous bit of chicken, and bade him carry it to a
distance and eat it. An order which was promptly obeyed.

"Ah ha, ah ha, um h'm! that's a bright and capable dog, Mr. Embury,"
remarked Cousin Ronald, elevating his eyebrows in mock surprise. "What
would you take for him, sir?"

"He is not for sale, Mr. Lilburn," was Mr. Embury's grave rejoinder.
"You must surely see for yourself, sir, that he is no ordinary dog, but
an uncommonly valuable animal. There are not many of his race who can
speak so plainly."

"Ah ha, ah ha, um h'm! that is very true, sir. I don't wonder you are
not inclined to part with him, for it is no easy matter to find a dog
that can speak such good English, nor for that matter any other
language."

"No, sir, they are scarce indeed," said Mr. Embury, "and I had no idea
Nero was one of them until he spoke just now."

"Ah, I'm afraid the power of speech will be lost by him as suddenly as
it was found," remarked Mrs. Embury with a low, gleeful laugh.

"There must certainly be a ventriloquist among us," remarked the groom,
with a searching look at Cousin Ronald.

"Ah, do you really think so, sir?" inquired Mr. Lilburn gravely, "and
would you do me the favor to point him out?"

"Well, sir, I cannot say that I am absolutely certain, but strongly
incline to the opinion that he sits in the chair occupied by yourself."

"Indeed, sir, I didna think I filled the place so ill that room could be
found in it for another mon!" exclaimed Mr. Lilburn, again raising his
eyebrows like one astonished, then sending a downward glance over his
own portly person, and assuming so comical an expression of countenance
that no one could see it without smiling or laughing outright.

So fully was he absorbing the attention of all that no one noticed the
return of Nero until words were again heard apparently issuing from his
lips.

"That was a nice morsel, master, but not enough to satisfy the appetite
of a dog of my size; so another bit, sir, if you please."

"Yes, sir, you shall have it, since you ask so politely," returned Mr.
Embury, handing him another and larger piece of the chicken, "but carry
it off where there will be no danger of contact with wedding finery."

Nero obeyed, and as he trotted away, a voice that seemed to come from
behind Mr. Embury, said whiningly:

"I'm hungry too, sir, and surely a human creature should be treated at
least as well as a dog."

At that Mr. Embury turned suddenly round as if to see the speaker,
nearly everyone else doing likewise, but no beggar was in sight.

"Well, sir," he said, "I cannot give to an invisible suppliant; show
yourself if you want anything."

"Sir," replied the voice, now seeming to come from a clump of bushes
near at hand, "I'm not used to begging, and don't want to be seen. Can
you not send a servant here with a plateful of your most toothsome
viands?"

"Quite a modest request, sir," returned Mr. Embury, laughing. "But I
think you will have to wait till the servants have more leisure; at
present they are all fully occupied in waiting upon my guests."

"But then you'll let him have something to eat, won't you, papa?"
pleaded little Mary Embury. "You never do turn anybody away hungry."

"Certainly not, little daughter; if he could be found he should be fed."

"But shan't I drive him out, sir?" queried a servant man; "we doan' want
no beggahs 'bout yar. Dey mout help deirselfs to some o' de silvah when
nobody aint lookin'."

"Well, Bill, you might drive him out; he's perhaps a tramp watching his
opportunity to help himself."

Bill, well pleased with the errand, set down with alacrity the dish he
carried, and hurried toward the clump of bushes that apparently
concealed the tramp. "Ki, you ole tief you!" he cried, "git long out ob
dis; nobody doan' want yo' hyar! I'se break yo' skull fo' yo' ef ye doan
be gone putty quick!"

He pulled apart the bushes as he spoke, but instantly started back in
astonishment and terror as he perceived that no one was concealed there.

"Whar dat fellah dun gone?" he exclaimed. "Dis chile doan' see nobody
dar nohow 'tall!"

"Ha, ha! you don't look in the right place," cried the same voice that
had begged for food a moment before, the speaker seeming to be directly
behind him; and Bill wheeled about with unusual alacrity with the
intention of seizing his tormentor, but turned almost white with terror
on perceiving that no one was there.

"Wha--wha--wha dat raskil done gone?" he exclaimed, "t'ot he right dar,
an' he aint nowhar 'bout."

"Never mind, Bill; it seems he has saved you the trouble of driving him
off," said Mr. Embury, "and you may come back to your duties. More
coffee is wanted here."

Bill obeyed, but on his return with the coffee kept glancing
apprehensively in the direction of the bushes.

"I wonder where the man did go!" exclaimed little Mary presently. "I've
been watching, and don't know how he could get away without being seen."

"Beggars are sometimes very quick at hiding, little lassie," remarked
Mr. Lilburn.

"Ha, ha! so they are!" cried the voice of the beggar, sounding as though
he stood just behind her chair.

"Oh!" she exclaimed, with a start and a backward glance. "Why, where is
he? I don't see him at all."

"Don't be frightened, daughter," Mr. Embury said in an encouraging tone.

"No, bit lassie, he's not dangerous," remarked Mr. Lilburn, with a
reassuring smile.

"Oh, do you know him, sir?" she asked, looking up inquiringly into his
face.

"I didna see him," replied the old gentleman laughingly, "but judging by
his voice I think I know who he is--a quiet, inoffensive countrymon o'
me ain."

"Ah, yes, a rather intimate acquaintance of yours, sir, is he not?"
queried Norton, with a searching look into the face of the old
gentleman and a half mocking smile.

"I think I may have heard the voice before, sir," Mr. Lilburn replied
with unmoved countenance. "It is not unusual for beggars to accost one
who is by no means o' the same class as themselves. In fact, as ony body
can see, it would be useless to ask alms o' those no richer than
themselves."

"Ah, true enough, sir!" was the reply.

Meanwhile, many mirthful glances had been exchanged by
those--particularly the young folks--acquainted with the secret of
Cousin Ronald's peculiar talent, and the guests at more distant tables
were looking on with a good deal of curiosity. Bill was presently
questioned as he passed them on his way to and from the kitchen. "What
was it you saw yonder in that bush, Bill?"

"Nothin' 'tall, sah."

"But you seemed frightened; you looked scared."

"Dat's de reason, sah; somebody talkin' an' nobody dare."

"Why, how was that, Bill?" queried another voice.

"Dunno, sah; maybe witches roun'; 'spect dat de splanation ob de
mattah."

"Oh, of course," laughed the gentleman; "but one hardly expects such
company at a wedding."

Questions were put to Mr. and Mrs. Embury and others as the guests drew
together again upon the conclusion of the meal, but no satisfactory
answers were elicited.

A reception occupied some hours after that, then all returned to their
homes, to meet again at Viamede in the evening, where a beautiful and
bountiful entertainment awaited them.

The next evening a smaller party was given at the Parsonage, and on the
following afternoon the bride and groom took their departure for a
little trip northward, expecting to settle down in their own home upon
their return.



CHAPTER XIII.


IT was only the next day after the departure of Betty and her husband
that a letter was received by Mrs. Cyril Keith, informing her of the
death of her aunt Delaford, leaving the bulk of her large fortune to
her, and a fat legacy to each of the Conley brothers--Calhoun, Arthur,
Walter, and Ralph--and the sisters Virginia and Ella.

Isadore was well satisfied with the provisions of the will, as were the
others also, with the exception of Virginia, who frowned and grumbled
audibly that she herself might have been made to share equally with
Isadore, who had a good home and husband already, therefore really
needed less than herself, "lone and lorn, and poor as a church mouse."

"But you have no children, Virgie," said her cousin Elsie, in whose
presence the remark was made, "no one to support but yourself; and the
interest of this money will be sufficient for your comfortable
maintenance."

"Possibly, if I had a home, as Isa has; but not without," returned
Virginia in a pettish tone, while her eyes flashed angrily.

Elsie bore patiently with the rebuff, and said no more at that time, but
considered the matter earnestly, carefully, and prayerfully, in the
privacy of her own room, then had a talk about it with her father,
without whose approval she seldom took a step of any great importance.

Finding him alone on the veranda, "Papa," she said, taking a seat by his
side, "I want a few minutes' chat with you before we are joined by
anyone else. You heard Virginia's complaint of yesterday--that she had
no home of her own. I have been thinking it over, also of the fact that
Dick and Bob are in the same condition, and it has occurred to me that I
might invite them to take possession here while we are absent at our
more northern home, giving employment to the servants, keeping the house
in repair, and the grounds in order; that is, merely overseeing the work
and looking to me for the means necessary to cover the expense, I to
retain my present satisfactory overseer, and pay his wages out of the
returns from the crops; also those of the laborers."

"You mean that you would simply give a home here to your cousins?"
returned Mr. Dinsmore interrogatively.

"Yes, sir; a home without expense--except, perhaps, some small increase
of the wages of the servants in consideration of the additional work
made for them, and a share of the fruits, vegetables, fowls, and so
forth, raised upon the plantation."

"A share? meaning all they might want to use? the 'and so forth' I
suppose, meaning milk, cream, butter, and eggs?"

"Yes, sir."

"I should call it a very generous offer, and I have no objection to
bring it forward, seeing that you are well able to afford it, if it is
your pleasure so to do."

"I am glad my project meets with your approval," she said, with a smile,
"for otherwise, as I think you know, papa, it would never be carried
out. Ah, how thankful I should be, and I hope I am, that I have been
given the financial ability to do such kindness to others!"

"Yes," he said, with an affectionate smile into the soft brown eyes
looking into his; "I know of no one who enjoys doing kindness more than
my dear eldest daughter.

"What a delightful winter and early spring we have had here," he
continued after a pause; "but it is now growing so warm that I think we
must soon be moving northward."

"Yes, sir; when the last arrivals have had a week or more of the
enjoyment to be found in this lovely region of country."

"Yes; they are enjoying it," he said, with a pleased smile; "the younger
ones especially, the children of your brother and sister not less than
the others. And by the way, daughter, I think you will be doing no
little kindness to your cousins Cyril and Isadore by giving Virginia a
home here."

"Yes, I think their home life will be more peaceful," she said in
assent. "Poor Virgie seems to be not of--the happiest or most contented
disposition."

"No, she never was," said Mr. Dinsmore; "a discontented, fretful,
complaining creature she has always been since I have known her, and she
was a very little child when our acquaintance began."

In the course of that day Elsie's plans were made known to the Keiths,
Virginia, and her cousins Dick Percival and his half-brother Bob
Johnson, joyfully accepted by the two gentlemen, and half ungraciously
by Virginia, who said complainingly, that "Viamede was a pretty enough
place, to be sure, but would be dreadfully lonesome for her when the
boys were away."

"Then you can amuse yourself with a book from the library, a ride or
drive, as the horses and carriages will be left here for your use and
that of Dick and Bob," Elsie answered pleasantly, while Isadore,
blushing vividly for her sister, exclaimed, "O Virgie, you could not
have a lovelier, sweeter home, and I think Cousin Elsie is wonderfully
kind to offer it!"

"Of course, I'm greatly obliged to her," Virginia said, coloring
slightly as though a trifle ashamed of her want of appreciation of the
kind offer "and I'll not damage anything, so that the house will be none
the worse for my occupancy, but possibly a little better."

"Yes, perhaps it may," Elsie said pleasantly, "though the servants
usually left in charge are careful about airing it and keeping
everything neat and clean. I really think you will have no trouble with
your housekeeping, Virgie."

"That seems a pleasant prospect, for I never liked housekeeping,"
returned Virginia, "and I really am much obliged to you, Cousin Elsie."

"You are very welcome, and I hope will be happy here," was the kindly
reply.

Another fortnight of constant intercourse between the three
places--Viamede, Magnolia Hall, and the Parsonage--of rides, drives,
walks, sailing or rowing about on the lagoon, and every other pleasure
and entertainment that could be devised, then the party began to break
up, those from the north returning to their homes, most of them by rail,
as the speediest and the most convenient mode of travel. However, Mr.
and Mrs. Dinsmore, Evelyn, Grandma Elsie and her youngest two, Cousin
Ronald and the Woodburn family, returned together by sea, making use of
the captain's yacht, which he had ordered to be sent to him in season
for the trip by the Gulf and ocean.

There was no urgent need of haste, and the captain did not deny that he
was conscious of a longing to be, for a time, again in command of a
vessel sailing over the briny deep; besides, it would be less fatiguing
for the little ones, to say nothing of their elders.

The little girls were full of delight at the prospect of both the voyage
and the return to their lovely homes, yet could not leave beautiful
Viamede without deep regret.

It was the last evening but one of their stay; all were gathered upon
the veranda looking out upon the lagoon sparkling in the moonlight, and
the velvety flower-bespangled lawn, with its many grand and beautiful
old trees. The little ones had already gone to their nests, but Evelyn,
Lulu, and Grace were sitting with the older people, Grace on her
father's knee, the other two together close at hand.

There had been some cheerful chat, followed by a silence of several
minutes. It was broken by a slight scuffling sound, as of a negro's
footstep, in the rear of Elsie's chair, then a voice said in mournful
accents, "Scuse de in'truption, missus, but dis chile want to 'spress to
you uns dat we uns all a'most heart-broke t'inkin' how you's gwine 'way
an' p'r'arps won't be comin' heah no mo' till de ol'est ob us done gone
foreber out dis wicked worl'."

Before the sentence was completed every eye had turned in the direction
of the sounds; but nothing was to be seen of the speaker.

"Oh, that was you, Cousin Ronald," laughed Rosie, recovering from the
momentary start given her by the seemingly mysterious disappearance of
the speaker.

"Ah, Rosie, my bonnie lassie, how can you treat your auld kinsman so ill
as to suspect him of murdering the king's English in that style?"
queried the old gentleman in hurt, indignant tones.

"Because, my poor abused cousin, I am utterly unable to account in any
other way for the phenomenon of an invisible speaker so close at hand."

Cousin Ronald made no reply, for at that instant there came a sound of
bitter sobbing, apparently from behind a tree a few feet from the
veranda's edge, then a wailing cry, "Oh, Miss Elsie, Massa Dinsmore, and
de res' ob you dar, doan' go for to leab dis po' chile! She cayn't stan'
it nohow 'tall! her ole heart like to break! Doan' go way, massa an'
missus; stay hyah wid de niggahs dat lubs you so!"

"Oh, Cousin Ronald, don't!" Elsie said in half tremulous tones. "It
seems too real, and almost breaks my heart; for I am greatly attached
to many of these poor old men and women."

"Then I think they will not distress you with any more complaints and
entreaties to-night, sweet cousin," returned the old gentleman in
pleasant, though half regretful tones.



CHAPTER XIV.


THE next day the servants were gathered on the lawn and presented with
the parting gifts procured for them by the ladies and little girls,
which they received with many thanks and demonstrations of delight. But
the following morning, when the time of parting had really come, there
were some tears shed by the old retainers, yet they were greatly cheered
by the assurances of their loved mistress, her father, and Captain
Raymond, that in all probability it would not be very long before the
family would be there again for a season.

The feelings of the departing ones were of a mingled character--regret
at leaving lovely Viamede, and joy in the prospect of soon being again
in their own sweet homes farther north.

The weather was delightful, light fleecy clouds tempering the heat of
the sun; the fields and plantations clothed in the richest verdure of
spring; the air filled with the perfume of flowers and vocal with the
songs of birds; then on reaching Bayou Teche they found their own yacht,
the _Dolphin_, awaiting them.

The young folks of the party greeted her with a clapping of hands and
many another demonstration of delight, and soon all were on board, and
she was steaming out through the bay, into the Gulf beyond, her
passengers, from Grandpa Dinsmore down to baby Ned, grouped together on
deck underneath an awning.

"We are in the Gulf now, aren't we, sir?" asked Walter at length,
addressing the captain.

"Yes, my boy," was the pleasant toned reply; "and are there any places
along its coast that you or any of the others would particularly like to
see?"

"Oh, yes, sir; yes, indeed!" exclaimed Walter with enthusiasm. "I for
one would like greatly to see Mobile Bay with its fort. Morgan is the
name?"

"Yes; Fort Morgan is at the extremity of Mobile Point, where Fort Bowyer
stood in the War of 1812-14. You remember what happened there at that
time?"

"It was attacked by the British, wasn't it, sir?"

"Yes; in September, 1814, by a British squadron of two brigs and two
sloops of war, aided by a land force of one hundred and thirty marines
and six hundred Indians, led by Captain Woodbine, who had been trying to
drill them at Pensacola.

"Florida did not belong to us at that time; the Spaniards had made a
settlement at Pensacola in 1696, were still there at the time of our
last war with England, and favored the British, who there, as well as in
other parts of Florida, organized expeditions against the United States,
the Spanish governor, though professing neutrality, evidently siding
with and giving them aid and comfort."

"And when then did we get possession of Florida, sir?" asked Walter.

"In July of 1821," answered the captain.

"Didn't Jackson capture Pensacola at one time during that war with
England, Captain?" asked Evelyn.

"Yes; in the attack about which Walter was just asking, before Lafitte
forwarded to New Orleans those documents showing how the British were
trying to get him into their service, Jackson had perceived that the
Spaniards were, as I have said, secretly siding with the British, and
now, with the positive proof furnished by those papers before him, he
squarely accused Manrequez, the Spanish governor at Pensacola, of bad
faith.

"Then followed a spicy correspondence, which Jackson closed by writing
to the governor, 'In future I beg you to withhold your insulting charges
against my government for one more inclined to listen to slander than I
am; nor consider me any more a diplomatic character unless so proclaimed
from the mouth of my cannon.'

"Then he set to work to raise troops, and in a very short time had two
thousand sturdy young Tennesseeans ready for the field.

"But before these reached Mobile, hostilities had begun. Jackson himself
went there early in August, and on his arrival perceived that an attempt
would be made by the British to seize it as soon as their talked of
great expedition should be ready to move.

"Fort Bowyer was but a small and weak fortification; had no bomb-proofs,
and but twenty guns, only two of them larger than twelve pounders, some
still smaller in size.

"Yet small and weak as was the fort, it was the chief defence of Mobile;
so Jackson threw into it a hundred and thirty of his Second Regular
Infantry, under Major William Lawrence, who was as gallant an officer as
any in the service.

"Lawrence at once made every preparation in his power to resist the
expected attack. But before he could complete his work, on the morning
of the 12th of September, the British Lieutenant-colonel Nichols
appeared on the peninsula back of the fort, with, as I have said, his
marines and Indians, the latter under the command of Captain Woodbine,
who had been drilling them at Pensacola.

"Later in the evening of the same day the four British vessels of which
I spoke appeared in sight, and anchored within six miles of Mobile
Point. They were a part of a squadron of nine vessels in Pensacola Bay,
under the command of Captain Percy.

"Our little garrison slept upon their arms that night. The next morning
Nichols caused a howitzer to be dragged to a sheltered point within
seven hundred yards of the fort, and threw some shells and solid shot
from it, but without doing much damage."

"And our fellows fired back at him, of course?" exclaimed Walter
excitedly.

"Yes, but their fire was equally harmless; but later in the day
Lawrence's guns quickly dispersed some of Percy's men who were
attempting to cast up intrenchments, and in the same way several light
boats, whose men were engaged in sounding the channel nearest the fort.

"The next day was occupied in very much the same way, but on the third
the garrison perceived that an assault was to be made from both land and
water. At two o'clock the vessels were seen approaching, and Lawrence
called a council of officers.

"All were determined to resist to the last, and if finally compelled to
surrender, to do so only on condition that officers and privates should
retain their arms and private property, be treated as prisoners of war,
and protected from the savages.

"The words adopted as the signal for the day were, 'don't give up the
fort.'

"At half past four the battle began, the four vessels opening fire
simultaneously, and pouring broadside after broadside upon the fort,
which returned a fearful fire from its circular battery.

"While this was going on in front, Captain Woodbine was assailing our
men in the rear, from behind his sand-dune, with a howitzer and a
twelve-pounder.

"So the battle raged for an hour; then the flag of the _Hermes_ was shot
away, and Lawrence stopped firing to learn if she had surrendered; but
the _Caron_ fired another broadside, and the fight went on with renewed
vigor. Soon a shot cut the cable of the _Hermes_, and she floated away
with the current, her head toward the fort, and her decks swept of men
and everything by a raking fire from the fort.

"Then the fort's flag-staff was shot away and her ensign fell, but the
British, instead of following Lawrence's humane example, redoubled their
fire. At the same time, Woodbine, supposing that the fort had
surrendered, hastened toward it with his Indians, but they were driven
back by a storm of grape-shot, and almost immediately the flag was seen
again floating over the fort at the end of the staff to which Major
Lawrence had nailed it."

"And was that the end of the fight, papa?" asked Lulu.

"Very nearly, if not quite," he replied. "Two of the attacking vessels
presently withdrew, leaving the helpless _Hermes_ behind; she finally
grounded upon a sand-bank, when Percy fired and abandoned her. Near
midnight her magazine exploded."

"I should think that was a great victory; was it not, Brother Levis?"
queried Walter.

"I think it was," the captain said. "The result was very mortifying to
the British. It was entirely unexpected, and Percy had said that he
would allow the garrison only twenty minutes to capitulate. It is not
surprising that he expected to take the weak little fort, with its
feeble garrison of one hundred and thirty, when he brought against it
over thirteen hundred men and ninety-two pieces of artillery.

"The Americans lost only eight men, one-half of whom were killed. The
assailants lost two hundred and thirty-two, one hundred and sixty-two of
them killed.

"One result of that fight was that the Indians lost faith in the
invincibility of the British, and many of them deserted, and sought
safety from the anger of Jackson by concealing themselves in the
interior of their broad country."

"Papa," said Grace earnestly, "did not God help our cause because we
were in the right?"

"No doubt of it, daughter," replied the captain; "ours was a righteous
cause, a resistance to intolerable oppression and wrong, as our poor
sailors felt it to be when a British man-of-war would stop our
merchantmen on the high seas and force into their service any man whom
they choose to say was an Englishman.

"But I need not enlarge upon that subject to my present audience, as I
am convinced that you all know of and appreciate that bitter wrong.

"To resume. The Americans were highly gratified with the result of the
conflict at Fort Bowyer, and their zeal was greatly quickened for
volunteering for the defence of New Orleans, whose citizens testified
their appreciation of Major Lawrence's achievement by resolving to
present him with an elegant sword in the name of their city."

"Was there not a second attack by the British upon Fort Bowyer,
Captain?" asked Evelyn.

"Yes; after their defeat at New Orleans. That, you will remember, was on
the 8th of January, 1815. They reached their fleet, lying in the deep
water between Ship and Cat Islands, on the 29th of that month, Fort
Bowyer on the 9th of February, and besieged it for nearly two days, when
Major Lawrence found himself compelled to surrender to a superior force.
That left Mobile at the mercy of the foe, but just then came the news
of peace, concluded at Ghent nearly two months before."

"But wasn't there some fighting done there or at Mobile in the Civil
War, sir?" asked Walter.

"Yes; on August 5, 1864, the government forces under Farragut attacked
the Confederate defences there, consisting principally of the two forts,
Morgan on the eastern side of the bay, and Gaines on the western, about
three miles apart.

"A line of piles and a double one of torpedoes stretched nearly across
from Fort Gaines to Fort Morgan, leaving only a narrow channel between
that fort and the point of termination. It was through that channel,
indicated by a red buoy, that blockade runners passed in and out, and
inside of these defences lay the Confederate ironclad _Tennessee_, and
three wooden gun-boats. It was early in the morning of that August day
that Farragut's signal was given, for the advance of his seven sloops of
war. The firing was heavy and destructive on both sides. But I will not
go into particulars at this time, only saying that the result was in
favor of the Federals; but the victory cost many lives--of Federals 335
men, of whom 113 were drowned in the _Tecumseh_--the leading monitor,
which had struck a torpedo and gone down--and 52 killed by shot, while
the Confederate loss was 10 killed, 16 wounded, and 280 prisoners,
besides the loss in the forts, which is unknown."

Just at this point a passing vessel attracted the attention of the
captain and his listeners, and the conversation was not renewed until
after dinner.



CHAPTER XV.


IT was Mrs. Travilla, or Grandma Elsie, as Lulu and Grace called her,
who that afternoon started the captain upon the historical sketches so
greatly enjoyed by the younger part of the company, to say nothing of
the older ones.

"We will pass near enough to Forts Gaines and Morgan to get a view of
them--the outside at least--will we not, Captain?" she asked, with a
smile.

"Yes, mother," he replied. "Pensacola also, whither, as I have said, the
British went after their fruitless attack upon Fort Bowyer--now Fort
Morgan--then occupied by the Spaniards under Manrequez, and where they
were publicly received as friends and allies.

"All that, and the revelations of Jean Lafitte concerning their attempt
to engage him and his outlaws to help them in their contemplated attack
upon New Orleans, kindled the hottest indignation in the minds of
Jackson and the people of the Southwest. The general issued a
proclamation in retort for one sent out by the British officer Nichols
shortly before, in which he had made inflammatory appeals to the
French, who were prejudiced against the Americans, and the Kentuckians,
who were discontented because of a seeming neglect by their
government--a state of things largely owing to the arts of ambitious
politicians.

"Nichols had also sent out Indian runners to excite their fellows
against the Americans, and in that way he gathered nearly a thousand
Creeks and Seminoles at Pensacola, where they were supplied with
abundance of arms and ammunition.

"Jackson, in his proclamation--told of all this the conduct of the
British, and the perfidy of the Spaniards--and called upon the people of
Louisiana to 'arouse for the defence of their threatened country.'"

"And did they do it, sir?" queried Walter.

"Yes; they were thoroughly roused and much excited by the threatening
aspect of affairs, and at once set vigorously to work to prepare for
determined resistance to the threatened invasion of their country and
their homes.

"Jackson was impatient to march on Pensacola and break up that
rendezvous of the enemies of the United States, but it was slow work to
get his troops together, and November had come before he had his forces
ready for the attack.

"At last, however, he had four thousand men gathered at Fort Montgomery,
due north from Pensacola, and on the 3d of the month they marched for
that place, some Mississippi dragoons leading the way.

"On the evening of the 6th, Jackson, with his whole army, encamped
within two miles of their destination. Major Pierre was sent to the
Spanish governor with a flag of truce, and a message from his general
saying that he had not come to injure the town, or make war upon a
neutral power, but to deprive the enemies of the republic of a place of
refuge. Pierre was also told to demand the surrender of the forts.

"The British, however, were in possession of Fort St. Michael, over
which their's and the Spanish flags had been waving together until the
day before, and as soon as the American flag of truce was seen
approaching, it was fired upon from the fort by a twelve-pounder.

"Pierre returned to Jackson and reported these facts; then Jackson sent
to the governor a Spaniard whom he had captured on the way, demanding an
explanation.

"The governor asserted that he knew nothing of the outrage, and promised
that another flag should be respected.

"At midnight Pierre, sent again by Jackson, called once more upon the
governor with a proposal that American garrisons should be allowed to
take possession of the forts until Manrequez could man them with a
sufficient number of Spanish troops to enable him to maintain the
neutrality of his government against violations of it by the British,
who had taken possession of the fortresses, it seemed, in spite of the
Spanish governor's protests, the American troops to be withdrawn as soon
as the additional Spanish ones arrived.

"The governor rejected the propositions and before dawn three thousand
of the Americans were marching upon Pensacola. They passed along the
beach, but the sand was so deep that they could not drag their cannon
through it. Then the centre of their column charged gallantly into the
town, but on reaching the principal street they were met by a shower of
musketry from the gardens and houses, while a two-gun battery opened
upon them with balls and grape-shot.

"But Captain Laval and his company charged and captured the battery,
when the governor quickly showed himself with a flag, and promised to
comply with any terms offered if Jackson would spare the town."

"I hope Jackson wasn't too good to him," laughed Rosie.

"The surrender of all the forts was what Jackson demanded and received,"
replied the captain. "But one, six miles away, called Fort Barancas, and
commanding the harbor, in which the British vessels lay, was still in
the hands of the enemy. Jackson determined to march suddenly upon it
the next morning, seize it, turn its guns on the British vessels, and
capture or injure them before they could escape.

"But before morning the British squadron had gone, carrying with it
Colonel Nichols, Captain Woodbine, the Spanish commandant of the fort,
and about four hundred men, besides a considerable number of Indians;
and before leaving they had blown up the fort.

"Jackson suspected that they had gone to make another attack upon Fort
Bowyer and the town of Mobile, so hurried away in that direction,
leaving Manrequez angry and indignant at this treatment of himself by
the British, and the Indians filled with the idea that it would be very
imprudent for them to again defy the wrath of Andrew Jackson; much
dejected and alarmed, they scattered themselves through the forests.

"As for Jackson, when he reached Mobile, on the 11th of November, he
received messages urging him to hasten to the defence of New Orleans.

"He left that place on the 21st, reached it on the 2d of December--but
of what he accomplished there I have already told you."

"Yes, papa," said Lulu; "I'll never forget that interesting story. But
do tell me, will we pass near enough to Mobile to see those forts?"

"Yes," he said; then turning to Grandma Elsie, asked, "Mother, would
you like to stop and visit the forts?"

"I am willing if the rest wish it," she replied; "but otherwise would
prefer to press on toward home, my Ion home, which, now that we have
left Viamede fairly behind, I begin to long to see again."

"That being the case I am sure no one of us will wish to stop," returned
the captain gallantly, a sentiment at once re-echoed by Mr. Dinsmore and
all present.

"We are nearing there now, are we not, my dear?" asked Violet.

"Yes; we are moving rapidly, and if all goes well may expect to see the
forts early this evening."

There was an exclamation of pleasure from several of the young people;
then Lulu asked, "Papa, are there not some other historical places we
shall have to pass while we are in the Gulf or after we reach the
ocean?"

"Quite a number, daughter, but we will not delay our voyage in order to
visit them at this time."

"Perhaps some other day, then?" she returned inquiringly, smiling up
into his face as she spoke.

"Very possibly," he returned, smoothing her hair with caressing hand;
for she was, as usual, close at his side.

A pause in the talk was at length broken by a remark from Cousin Ronald.

"You had some great men among your Union officers, Captain, in both army
and navy, in the days of that terrible Civil War."

"We had indeed, sir," was the hearty response; "a number of them in both
arms of the service, and none more worthy of respect and admiration than
Farragut, who did such splendid service at both New Orleans and Mobile
Bay, to say nothing of other places. The city of Mobile could not be
captured as New Orleans had been, by reason of shoal water and
obstructions in the channel, but the passage of blockade runners,
carrying supplies to the Confederacy, was stopped, which was the main
object of the expedition."

"Yes, he did good service to his country," returned Mr. Lilburn,
"although, if I mistake not, he was a Southerner."

"He was born in Tennessee," replied Captain Raymond. "In the winter of
1860-61 he was on waiting orders at Norfolk, Virginia, where he watched
with intense interest the movements of the Southern States, and
especially the effort to carry Virginia out of the Union into the
Confederacy; and when that was accomplished he remarked that 'the State
had been dragooned out of the Union.'

"He talked very freely on the subject, and was told that a person with
such sentiments as his 'could not live in Norfolk.' 'Well, then,' he
replied, 'I can live somewhere else,' and that very evening left the
place, with his wife and son. That was the 18th of April, 1861. He went
first to Baltimore, but afterward took a cottage at Hastings-on-the-Hudson.

"The next December he was summoned to Washington, and on the 2d of
February sailed from Hampton Roads for New Orleans."

"Where he certainly did splendid service to his country," remarked Mr.
Lilburn. "I hope she appreciated it."

"I think she did," returned the captain; "he received many marks of the
people's appreciation, among them a purse of $50,000, which was
presented him for the purchase of a home in New York City."

"Did he live to see the end of the war, sir?" asked Walter.

"Yes; he was on the James River with General Gordon when Richmond was
taken, and on hearing the news the two rode there post-haste, reaching
the city a little ahead of President Lincoln. A few days after that the
naval and military officers at Norfolk, with some of the citizens who
had remained true to the Union, gave him a public reception.

"Farragut was one of the speakers, and in the course of his remarks
said: 'This meeting recalls to me the most momentous events of my life,
when I listened in this place till the small hours of the morning, and
returned home with the feeling that Virginia was safe and firm in her
place in the Union. Our Union members of the convention were elected by
an overwhelming majority, and we believed that every thing was right.
Judge, then, of our astonishment in finding, a few days later, that the
State had been voted out by a miserable minority, for want of firmness
and resolution on the part of those whom we trusted to represent us
there, and that Virginia had been dragooned out of the Union. I was told
by a brother officer that the State had seceded, and that I must either
resign and turn traitor to the government which had supported me from
childhood, or I must leave this place.

"'Thank God, I was not long in making my decision. I have spent half my
life in revolutionary countries, and I know the horrors of civil war;
and I told the people what I had seen and what they would experience.
They laughed at me, and called me "granny," and "croaker"; and I said,
"I cannot live here, and will seek some other place where I can live." I
suppose they said I left my country for my country's good, and I thank
God I did.'"

"A countryman to be proud of," remarked Mr. Lilburn.

"Oh, I wish I could have seen him!" exclaimed Grace. "Papa, wasn't he a
Christian man?"

"I think so, daughter," replied the captain. "He is said to have had a
strong religious nature and a firm reliance upon Providence, believing
in God's constant guidance."

"Do you remember," said Grandma Elsie, "those lines of Oliver Wendell
Holmes' written in honor of Admiral Farragut, and read at a dinner given
him, in which this passage occurs?

          "Fast, fast are lessening in the light
             The names of high renown,
           Van Tromp's proud besom pales from sight,
             Old _Benbow's_ half hull down.

          "Scarce one tall frigate walks the sea,
             Or skirts the safer shores,
           Of all that bore to victory
             Our stout old commodores.

          "Hull, Bainbridge, Porter--where are they?
             The answering billows roll,
           Still bright in memory's sunset ray,
             God rest each gallant soul!

          "A brighter name must dim their light,
             With more than noontide ray:
           The Viking of the river fight,
             The Conqueror of the bay.

          "I give the name that fits him best--
             Ay, better than his own--
           The Sea-King of the sovereign West,
             Who made his mast a throne."

"A fine poem indeed, and with a subject worthy of all its praise,"
remarked Cousin Ronald, as Mrs. Travilla ceased. "No wonder you are
proud of him, cousins, for he was, as I said a moment since, one to be
proud of; I should be proud indeed of him were he a countryman of mine."

"As each one of us--his countrymen and women--certainly is," said Mr.
Dinsmore.

There was a silence of a few moments, presently broken by the captain.

"Yes," he said, "I think there are few, if any, of his countrymen, who
are not proud of our grand naval hero, Farragut; and there were others
among our naval heroes of that day, almost, if not quite, as worthy of
our affectionate admiration. Captain, afterward Admiral, Bailey, for
instance, who was second in command at the taking of New Orleans,
leading, in the _Cayuga_, the right column of the fleet of government
vessels in the passage of Forts St. Philip and Jackson, the capture of
the Chalmette batteries and the city.

"As you probably remember, he passed up ahead of the fleet, through the
fire of the forts, the Confederate vessels, the rams, fire-rafts,
blazing cotton bales, and dense clouds of smoke, meeting the attacks of
all unaided.

"Also it was he who was sent by Farragut in company with only one other
man, Lieutenant George H. Perkins, to demand the surrender of the city,
the taking down of the Confederate flag, and the hoisting in its stead
of the Stars and Stripes.

"It certainly required no small amount of courage to pass through those
city streets surrounded by a hooting, yelling, cursing crowd,
threatening them with drawn pistols and other weapons.

"And who can fail to admire the words of Bailey, in his official report
of the victory: 'It was a contest of iron hearts in wooden ships against
iron-clads with iron beaks--and the iron hearts won?'

"And not less admirable was his modest behavior at a dinner given him at
the Astor House, when called upon to reply to the toast of 'The Navy.'"

"Ah, what was that, sir?" asked Mr. Lilburn, pricking up his ears.

"I was reading an account of it only the other day," pursued Captain
Raymond. "The old hero straightened himself up, and began, 'Mr.
President and gentlemen--hem--thank ye.' Then made a long pause,
glancing up and down the table. 'Well, I suppose you want to hear about
that New Orleans affair?' he continued. At that there were cries of
'Yes! yes!' and a great stamping of feet. So Bailey went on; 'Well,
d'ye see, this was the way of it. We were lying down the river below the
forts, and Farragut, he--he signalled us to go in and take 'em. Being as
we were already hove short, it didn't take much time to get under way,
so that wasn't so much of a job as ye seem to think. And then the
engineers, they ran the ships, so all we had to do was to blaze away
when we got up to the forts, and take 'em, according to orders. That's
just all there was about it.' And he sat down amid thunders of
applause."

"Ah ha, um h'm, ah ha! a nice, modest fellow he must have been,"
remarked Cousin Ronald, nodding reflectively, over his cane.

The call to tea interrupted the conversation, but on leaving the table
all gathered upon the deck again to watch the sunset, the rising of the
moon, and for the forts, Morgan and Gaines, which they were now rapidly
nearing, and upon which all gazed with interest as the captain pointed
them out and the vessel steamed slowly past.

"Ah, what a terrible thing is war!" sighed Grandma Elsie. "God forbid
that this dear land should ever again be visited with that fearful
scourge!"

"Ah, I can say amen to that!" Mrs. Dinsmore exclaimed, low and
tremulously, thinking of the dear young brothers who had fallen victims
in that unnatural strife. "We cannot be thankful enough for the peace
and prosperity that now bless our native land."

"No; and may it ever continue," added her husband. "Her growth and
prosperity since that fearful struggle ended have been something
wonderful."

A few moments of silence followed, the vessel moving swiftly on her way,
and a gentle breeze fanning the cheeks of her passengers as they sat
there placidly gazing out over the moonlit waters, then the quiet was
suddenly broken in upon by a loud guffaw, followed by a drunken shout.

"Aint I fooled ye nice, now? Ye didn't know I was aboard, capting, nor
any o' the rest o' ye. Ye didn't guess ye'd got a free passenger aboard
'sides that old Scotch feller a-settin' yander a-looking like he feels
hisself as good 's any o' the rest, ef he don't pay nothin' fer his
trip."

Everyone started and turned in the direction of the sounds.

"A stowaway!" exclaimed Captain Raymond. "The voice seems to come from
the hold. Excuse me, ladies and gentlemen; I must see to his case, and
that we are secured from the danger of a visit from him, as he is
evidently a drunken wretch," and with the words he hastened away in the
direction of the sounds.

"Ha, ha! I hear ye, capting!" shouted the voice; "but drunken wretch or
not, I wouldn't harm a hair o' any o' yer heads. All I'm a-wantin' is a
free passage up furder north, where I come from."

"Oh, mamma, I'm so frightened! so 'fraid the bad man will hurt my dear
papa," cried little Elsie, clinging to her mother, while tears filled
her sweet blue eyes.

"No, papa will whip de naughty mans," said Ned, shaking his baby fist in
the direction of the sounds.

"Ah ha, ah ha, um h'm! little laddie; I have no doubt your papa is
bigger and stronger than the naughty mans," said Cousin Ronald, "and if
he catches the good-for-nothing scamp, can whip him within an inch of
his life."

At that Walter burst into a laugh. "Now, Cousin Ronald," he said, "I'd
not be a bit surprised to learn that you are well acquainted with that
scamp. However, I'll run after Brother Levis to see the fun, if there is
any, but I'm sure nobody need be one bit afraid," and with that away he
ran.

"Ah, Cousin Ronald," began Violet, laughing, the others joining in with
her, and all entirely occupied in looking at the old gentleman, whose
face, however, could be but indistinctly seen, as he had so placed
himself that the moonlight did not fall fully upon it, "confess
that----"

But she got no further. A shout of drunken laughter from the other side
of the vessel again startled them.

"Ha, ha! the capting's gone in the wrong direction to catch this
customer. But he needn't to hunt me up. I'm a real harmless kind o'
chap, an' wouldn't hurt a hair o' any o' your heads."

Again every head was turned in the direction of the sounds, but seeing
no one they all burst into gleeful laughter, in which the captain
presently joined, having returned from his bootless search, fully
convinced that it need be carried no farther.



CHAPTER XVI.


IT was a bright, sweet May morning. _Reveille_ sounded at the Naval
Academy at Annapolis, and with the first tap of the drum Max woke and
sprang from his bed. He glanced from the window as he hurried on his
clothes, and a low exclamation of surprise and delight burst from his
lips.

"What now, Raymond?" queried Hunt, who was dressing with equal
expedition.

"The _Dolphin_! the _Dolphin_!" cried Max, in a joyful, exultant tone.
"She lies at anchor down yonder, and I haven't a doubt that I shall see
my father and all the rest presently."

"Possible? What a fortunate fellow you are, Raymond," returned Hunt,
hurrying to the window to take a hasty peep. "Sure enough! and what a
beauty she is, that _Dolphin_! and the captain will be here presently
getting you leave to spend the day on board; and it being Saturday, and
he and the commandant old friends, there'll be no trouble in managing
it. Accept my most hearty congratulations, old fellow."

"Thank you," said Max, vainly trying to suppress his excitement, for
his affectionate, boyish heart was bounding with joy at the thought of
presently seeing all his loved ones; most of all, the father who was to
him the personification of all that was good, honorable, brave, noble,
and true; the father to whom, he knew beyond a doubt, he himself was an
object of strong parental affection and pride.

"And it's fortunate for you that I'm the fellow to set the room to
rights on this memorable occasion," continued Hunt. "I say, Raymond, I
think you must have been born under a lucky star."

"Ah, yes, old fellow," laughed Max, "I rather suspect that's what's the
matter. But hark! what's that?" as approaching footsteps were heard in
the hall without.

A rap quickly followed. Max flew to the door and threw it open, to find
a messenger there from the commandant requiring his presence immediately
in the grounds below.

Little doubting what awaited him, Max obeyed the summons with joyful
alacrity, running down one flight of stairs after another till the
lowest hall was reached, then out into the grounds, sending an eagerly
inquiring look from side to side.

Ah, yes, in the shade of a tree, yonder, a few yards from the door-way,
stood the commandant in earnest conversation with another gentleman,
not in uniform, but of decidedly soldierly bearing. Max recognized the
face and form on the instant, and flew to meet him.

Both gentlemen turned at the sound of the approaching footsteps.

Max hastily saluted his superior officer, saying half breathlessly, "I
am here, sir."

"So I see, Raymond," was the smiling rejoinder, "and for the present I
resign you to this gentleman's care," turning toward the captain.

Max's hand was instantly clasped in that of his father, who held it fast
and, bending down, kissed his son with ardent affection, saying, with
emotion, and in low, earnest tones, "My boy, my dear, dear boy!"

"Papa, papa!" cried Max, his voice, too, trembling with feeling and
excitement, "I never was gladder in my life!"

"I am very glad for you, Max," said the commandant, in kindly
sympathizing tones. "And Raymond, let me assure you that the lad is
worthy of every indulgence that could be afforded him; a more
industrious or better behaved cadet I have never had under my care.
Hoping to see you again in the course of the day, I bid you
good-morning. You also, Max," and with a bow and smile he left father
and son alone together.

"So good a report of his eldest son makes your father a very happy man,
Max," the captain said, pressing the hand he held, and gazing into the
rosy, boyish face with eyes brimful of fatherly love and pride.

"Thank you for saying it, papa," returned Max, flushing with joy; "but
with such a father I ought to be a better and brighter boy than I am.
But I do try, papa, and I mean always to try to honor you by being and
doing all I know you would wish."

"I haven't a doubt of it, my son," the captain said, again
affectionately pressing the lad's hand, then letting it go; "but now I
must return to the _Dolphin_, taking my eldest son with me if he wishes
me to do so."

"Yes, indeed, papa!" cried the boy, ready to dance with delight; "but
may I go back to my room for a moment first? I'm afraid that in my hurry
to obey the summons of the commandant, I haven't left everything quite
in ship shape."

"Yes, go, son," replied his father; "and if your morning devotions have
not been attended to, do not neglect them any longer. I will wait for
you here under the trees. By the way, I am to hear your recitations for
this morning, so you may bring the needed books with you."

"Yes, sir," returned Max, and hurried away, his father looking after him
with proudly beaming eyes till the lithe, graceful young figure
disappeared within the door-way, then taking a morning paper from his
pocket, he seated himself on a bench beneath a tree to await the lad's
return.

He had not long to wait; in a few minutes Max was again at his side, and
the two were wending their way toward the row-boat that was to take them
to the _Dolphin_, anchored some distance out in the stream.

All was so still and quiet in and about the vessel that morning that her
passengers slept later than usual, but Lulu, as generally happened, was
one of the earliest risers, and had not been up long before she hastened
to the deck to exchange the accustomed morning greeting with her father.
But, to her surprise and disappointment, a hasty glance about the deck
showed her that he was not there.

"Why, what is the matter?" she said to herself. "I'm afraid papa must be
sick, for I do not know what else would keep him in his stateroom till
this time of day. But," with another sweeping glance from side to side,
"we're certainly anchored; and where? Why, it looks like--yes, it is
Annapolis!" hearing the splash of oars and catching sight of a row-boat
with several persons in it, "for there's papa, and Max with him. Oh, oh,
oh, how glad I am!" and with the words she ran to the side of the vessel
and the next minute was in Max's arms.

It was a very hearty embrace on the part of both, their father standing
by and watching them with shining eyes.

"O Maxie, how you have grown!" exclaimed Lulu, gently withdrawing
herself from his embrace and scanning him with keen scrutiny from head
to foot; "you look every inch a naval cadet."

"Do I?" he queried laughingly. "Thank you, for I consider it a decided
compliment. And you too have changed; you are taller, and look more than
ever like papa."

"O Max, you could not say anything that would please me better than
that," she exclaimed, flushing with pleasure; "and I can return the
compliment with interest. I think you will look exactly like our dear
father when you are his age," turning toward the captain, and lifting
her eyes to his full of ardent filial affection; for he was standing
there regarding both with fatherly tenderness, and pride in their
youthful comeliness of form and feature.

"My dear, dear children!" he said, bending down to give Lulu the usual
morning caress, "your mutual love makes me very happy. May it never be
less than it is now!"

At that moment Violet, Grace, and the two little ones joined them, and
more hearty, loving embraces followed, all, except Violet, being as much
taken by surprise at the sight of Max as Lulu had been.

Grace almost cried with joy as Max caught her in his arms and hugged her
close, kissing her sweet lips again and again.

"I doubt," he said laughingly, as he let her go, "if there is another
fellow at the Academy who has such sisters as mine, or such a young,
pretty mamma, or darling baby brother and sister," kissing each in turn;
"and," looking up into his father's face, a telltale moisture gathering
in his eyes, "I'm perfectly certain there's not one can show a father to
be so proud of."

"Ah, my dear boy, Love is blind to defects and very keen-sighted as
regards good and admirable qualities in those she favors," was the
captain's answering remark.

"What a surprise you have given us, papa!" exclaimed Lulu; "me at least,
for I hadn't the least idea we were coming here."

"No, but some of the rest of us knew," said Violet, with a merry little
laugh; "your father told me of his intentions last night--as a secret,
however, for he wanted to give you and Gracie a pleasant surprise."

"And it was certainly a pleasant one to me," said Max. "Papa, thank you
ever so much."

"Did you get leave for him to stay all day, papa?" asked Lulu in a tone
that seemed to say she hoped so with all her heart.

"He will be with us through the day, except during the two hours of
drill, which we will all go to see; also all day to-morrow," was the
captain's reply to that, and it seemed to give pleasure to all who heard
it: all the passengers on board, for by that time the others had come up
to the deck, and one after another gave Max a pleased and hearty
greeting--the older people as one they had expected to see, the younger
with joyful surprise. They gathered about him, some of them--Walter in
especial--with many questions in regard to the daily routine of life at
the Academy, all of which Max answered readily and to the best of his
ability.

"Haven't you lessons to say to-day?" queried Walter.

"Yes, but I'm to recite them to papa," Max replied, with a pleased,
smiling glance into his father's face.

"You may well look pleased, Max, for he's an excellent teacher, as all
his Viamede pupils can testify," remarked Rosie demurely.

"Oh, yes, I remember now that he has been teaching you all while you
were down there," said Max. "Well, I never saw a better teacher, though
perhaps, being his son and very fond of him, it's possible I may be a
partial judge."

"Quite possible, my boy," laughed his father, "and I think no one of my
pupils is disposed to view me with a critic's eye."

"You need not say the rest of it, papa," said Lulu, "for I'm sure you
haven't any imperfections to be passed by."

"Quite right, Lu," laughed Violet.

But at that moment came the call to breakfast, a summons everyone was
ready to obey with alacrity. They had a pleasant, social time about the
table; the fare was excellent, appetites were of the best, and everyone
was in fine spirits and high good-humor.

Max was called upon to answer so many questions with regard to life at
the Naval Academy, and his replies were listened to with so much
deference, that the captain began to fear his boy might become
insufferably conceited. Disturbed by that fear, he watched him so
closely and with so grave an air that at length Max noticed it, and was
much disturbed with the fear that he had unwittingly done or said
something to hurt or displease his dearly loved father.

He took the first opportunity--following the captain about the vessel,
after breakfast and family prayers were over, till they found themselves
alone together for a moment--to inquire, in a tone of much concern, if
it were so.

"No, my son, not at all," was the kindly reply, "but I felt a little
anxious lest my boy should be spoiled and made conceited by being
applied to by older people for so much information."

"I hope not, papa; I know very well it was only because I've been living
there and they haven't; and that every one of them knows far more than
I do about many another thing."

"Quite true, my son," the captain said, with a smile, adding, "and now
you may get out your books and look over those lessons, as I shall soon
be ready to hear them."

"Yes, sir; it will be really a great treat to recite to my old tutor
once more," returned the lad, with a look of relief and pleasure. "I am
very glad indeed that he is not displeased with me as I feared."

"Very far from it, my dear boy," was the captain's kindly rejoinder;
"the account given me to-day by the commandant, of your conduct and
attention to your studies, was most gratifying to my pride in my eldest
son."

Those words, and also the warm praise bestowed upon his recitations when
they had been heard, filled the boy's heart with happiness. His father
returned to the Academy with him at the hour for drill, but the others
witnessed it from the deck of the _Dolphin_. At its conclusion, Captain
Raymond and his son returned to the yacht, Max having permission to
remain there until near ten o'clock on Sunday night.

A trip up the river had been planned for the afternoon, and anchor was
weighed and the yacht started as soon as her commander and his son had
come aboard.

All were seated upon the deck under an awning, greatly enjoying a
delicious breeze, the dancing and sparkling of the water, and the
distant view of the shore arrayed in the lovely verdure of spring.

Mrs. Dinsmore, Mrs. Travilla, and Mrs. Raymond sat together, busy with
fancy work and chatting cheerily, while the younger ones had their
drawing materials or books--except Grace, who was dressing a doll for
little Elsie. Few of them, however, were accomplishing a great deal,
there being so small necessity for the employment and so many things to
withdraw their attention from it.

Max speedily made his way to Mrs. Travilla's side. She looked up from
her work, and greeted him with her sweet smile. "It is quite delightful
to have you among us again, my dear boy," she said, taking his hand and
pressing it affectionately in hers.

"Thank you, dear Grandma Elsie," he returned, his eyes sparkling; "it is
a great pleasure to hear you say so, though I don't know how to believe
that you can enjoy it half so much as I do."

"I am glad to hear that you do, laddie," she said brightly. "Now suppose
we have a bit of chat together. Take that camp chair by your
grandmother's side and tell her how you enjoy that artillery exercise
you have just been going through."

"Thank you, ma'am," said Max laughingly, as he took the seat indicated.
"It's really delightful to be treated as a relative by so dear and sweet
a lady, but you do look so young that it seems almost ridiculous for a
great fellow like me to call you grandma."

"Does it? Why, your father calls me mother, and to be so related to him
surely must make me your grandmother."

"But you are not really old enough to be his mother, and I am his oldest
child."

"And begin to feel yourself something of a man, since you are not called
Max, but Mr. Raymond at the Academy yonder?" she returned in a playfully
interrogative tone.

Max seemed to consider a moment, then smiling, but blushing vividly,
"I'm afraid I must plead guilty to that charge, Grandma Elsie," he said
with some hesitation.

"What is that, Max?" asked his father, drawing near just in time to
catch the last words.

"That I begin to feel that--as if I'm a--at least almost--a man, sir,"
answered the lad, stammering and coloring with mortification.

"Ah, that's not so very bad, my boy," laughed his father. "I believe
that at your age I was more certain of being one than you are--really
feeling rather more fully convinced of my wisdom and consequence than I
am now."

"Were you indeed, papa? then there is hope for me," returned the lad,
with a pleased look. "I was really afraid you would think me abominably
conceited."

"No, dear boy, none of us think you that," said Mrs. Travilla, again
smiling sweetly upon him. "But you have not yet answered my query as to
how you enjoyed the artillery exercise we have just seen you go
through."

"Oh, I like it!" returned Max, his eyes sparkling. "And I don't think I
shall ever regret my choice of a profession if I succeed in passing, and
become as good an officer as my father has been," looking up into the
captain's face with a smile full of affection and proud appreciation.

"Now I fear my boy is talking of something that he knows very little
about," said the captain, a twinkle of fun in his eye. "Who told you,
Max, that your father had been a good officer?"

"My commandant, sir, who knows all about it, or at least thinks he
does."

At that instant there was a sound like the splashing of oars on the
farther side of the vessel, and a boyish voice called out, "Ahoy there,
Raymond! A message from the commandant!"

"Oh, I hope it isn't to call you back, Maxie!" exclaimed Lulu, springing
up and following Max and her father as they hastened to that side of
the vessel, expecting to see a row-boat there with a messenger from the
Academy.

But no boat of that kind was in sight. Could it have passed around the
vessel? Max hurried to the other side to make sure but no boat was
there.

"Oh!" he exclaimed, with a merry laugh, "it was Mr. Lilburn," and he
turned a smiling, amused face toward the old gentleman, who had
followed, and now stood close at his side.

"Eh, laddie! what was Mr. Lilburn?" queried the accused. "That I'm no
down there in a boat is surely evident to all who can see me standing
here. Are ye no ashamed to so falsely accuse an auld friend who wad
never do harm to you or yours?"

Then a voice seemed to come from a distant part of the vessel. "Ah, sir,
ye ken that ye're known to be up to such tricks. All only to make fun
for your friends, though, not to cause fright or harm to anyone--unless
it might be a gambler or some other rascal."

"Hear that, now, cousin!" cried Mr. Lilburn. "Somebody seems ready to do
justice to the auld man our fine young cadet here is so ready to suspect
and accuse."

By this time all the other passengers had joined them, everybody but the
very little ones understood the joke, and it was received with merry
peals of laughter.

To Max the afternoon and evening seemed to pass very quickly, so
delightful was it to be once more surrounded by his dear ones, not the
least pleasant part being a half hour spent alone with his father after
the others had retired; he had so many little confidences that he would
not willingly have shared with anyone else, and they were heard with so
much evident interest, such hearty sympathy, and replied to with such
good and kindly advice. Max was even more firmly convinced than ever
before that such another dear, kind, and lovable father as his was
nowhere to be found.

And, by the way, the captain was almost equally sure that no other man
had a son quite so bright, handsome, intelligent, noble, industrious,
and in every way worthy to be the pride of his father's heart, as this
dear lad who was his own.

"God, even the God of his fathers, keep my dear boy in every hour of
trial and temptation, and help him to walk steadily in the strait and
narrow way that leads to everlasting life," he said with emotion when
bidding his son goodnight. "Keep close to the dear Master, my son, ever
striving to serve and honor him in all your words and ways, and all will
be well with you at the last."



CHAPTER XVII.


THE captain, Max, and Lulu were all three early on deck the next
morning--as lovely a May morning as ever was seen. The sun had but just
showed his face above the horizon when Lulu mounted the companion-way to
the deck, but she found her father and brother already there, sitting
side by side, both looking very happy and content.

"Good-morning, papa and Max," she said, hurrying toward them.

The salutation was returned by both in cheery, pleasant tones.

"I thought I'd be the very first on deck; but here you both are before
me," she added as she gained her father's side.

"But pleased to have you join us," he said, drawing her to a seat upon
his knee. "A sweet Sabbath morning, is it not? And how did my little
girl sleep?"

"As well as possible, thank you, papa. It is much cooler here than at
Viamede now, and a delightful breeze came in at the window. But I almost
always sleep well, and that is something to be thankful for, isn't it?"

"It is, indeed," he responded. "May my dear eldest daughter never be
kept awake by the reproaches of a guilty conscience, cares and
anxieties, or physical distress; though that last I can hardly hope she
will escape always until she reaches that blessed land where 'the
inhabitant shall not say, I am sick.'"

"Yes, sir," she said, "I ought to be very thankful that I am so healthy;
I hope I am; but any kind of physical pain I have ever been tried with
is far easier for me to bear than the reproaches of a guilty conscience.
I can never forget how hard they were to endure after I had hurt dear
little Elsie so because I was in a passion."

"I can't bear to think of that time," said Max; "so let us talk of
something else. The view here is lovely, is it not, papa?"

"Oh," cried Lu in surprise, "we are at anchor again in the river at
Annapolis, aren't we, papa?"

"Yes; I brought you all back here in the night, to spend the Sabbath. I
think we will go into the city to church this morning, and have some
religious exercises on the vessel this afternoon and evening."

"Oh, I like that plan, papa," said Max, "especially the afternoon part,
for I am really hungry for one of those interesting Bible lessons with
you for my teacher."

"Yes, Maxie, I pity you that you can't share them with Gracie and me
every Sunday," said Lulu. "Papa, won't you give us--Max and Gracie and
me--a private Bible lesson all to ourselves after the service for the
grown folks, sailors and all, has been held, just as you used to do when
we were all at home at Woodburn?"

"Quite willingly, if my children wish it; indeed, it is what I had
contemplated doing," replied the captain; "for we cannot better employ
the hours of the holy Sabbath than in the study of God's Word, which he
has given us to be a 'lamp to our feet and a light to our path' that we
may journey safely to that happy land where sin and sorrow are unknown.

"Never forget, my children, that we are but strangers and pilgrims upon
this earth, only passing through it on our way to an eternal home of
either everlasting blessedness or never ending woe--a home where all is
holiness, joy, peace, and love, or to that other world of unending
remorse and anguish, 'the blackness of darkness forever.'"

"It is very difficult to keep that always in mind, papa," said Max. "I
hope you will often ask God to help us--me especially--to remember it
constantly, and live, not for time, but for eternity."

"I do, my dear boy; there is never a day when I do not ask my heavenly
Father to guard and guide each one of my dear children and give them a
home with him at last. But we must all strive to enter in at the strait
gate, remembering the warning of Jesus, 'Strait is the gate, and narrow
is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.'"

Violet joined them at that moment, then the rest of the party, one after
another. Then came the call to breakfast; and soon after leaving the
table, and the holding of the regular morning service on the vessel,
nearly everyone went ashore and to church.

At the close of the exercises there, they returned to the _Dolphin_,
dined, a little later assembled under the awning on the deck, and being
presently joined by the greater part of the crew, another short service,
consisting of the reading of the Scriptures, with explanatory remarks,
prayer, and the singing of hymns, followed.

After that, the captain took his three older children aside and gave
them, as in the dear old times at Woodburn, a Bible lesson, in which
they were free to ask of him as many questions as they would.

"Papa," said Grace, "I was reading in Isaiah this morning this verse,
'Therefore, thus saith the Lord God, Behold I lay in Zion for a
foundation, a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner-stone, a sure
foundation.' Does it mean the dear Lord Jesus, papa?"

"Yes, daughter; in both the Old and New Testaments Christ Jesus is
called a Foundation. The foundation of a building is the part that
supports all the rest; and that Jesus is to all his Church, his people.
He is the foundation of all the comforts, hopes, happiness of the
Christian; the foundation of the covenant God has made with his Church;
the foundation of all the sweet and precious promises of God's Word; a
sure foundation on which his people may securely rest, knowing that he
will never deceive, fail, or forsake anyone who trusts in him. He is the
only Saviour, the head of the Church, the only Mediator between God and
man.

"We are not to look too much to our feelings, doings, prayers, or even
our faith, but on the finished work of Christ. We can have assurance of
hope, but must attain to it by resting upon God's word of promise,
remembering that it is Christ's righteousness which God accepts, not
ours, so imperfect, so unworthy of mention.

"In that way only can we have peace and safety, for our own
righteousness is but as filthy rags, exceedingly offensive in the sight
of God, who is 'of purer eyes than to behold sin, and cannot look upon
iniquity,' so utterly abhorrent is it to his holy nature.

"The Bible tells us, 'He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting
life; he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath
of God abideth on him.'"

"Papa," said Grace, low and feelingly, "those are dreadful words, 'the
wrath of God abideth on him.'"

"They are indeed," he said. "The one great question is, 'Do you believe
on the Son of God?' There in Egypt, when God sent those plagues upon
Pharaoh and his people, it was not the feelings of the Israelites that
saved them, but the blood on the door-posts, symbolizing the blood of
Christ, which would in future ages be offered to satisfy the demands of
God's broken law; and it was when he saw that blood that the angel
passed over, harming them not.

"The scape-goat too, was a type of Christ bearing the sins of the people
away into the wilderness; if our sins are laid on Jesus they will come
no more into remembrance before our righteous Judge, but covered with
the beautiful robe of his righteousness, God will treat us as if it were
our very own. Ah, my beloved children, it is the dearest wish of your
father's heart that each one of you may have that righteousness put upon
you!"

A slight pause; then Grace said in low, clear, and joyous tones, "Papa,
I think we have. I feel that I do love Jesus and trust in him, and so do
Max and Lulu, I believe."

"I do," said Max with feeling. "I know I am very, very far from
perfect, but I do desire above everything else to be a follower of
Jesus, and known as such; to live near him, and honor him in all my
words and ways."

"My boy, nothing could have made me happier than that confession from
your lips," his father said with emotion. "And it is no less a joy of
heart to me to know that my dear little Grace is a follower of Jesus."
He drew her nearer as he spoke, then turned loving, questioning eyes
upon Lulu.

"Papa," she said in tremulous tones, "I--I feel that I am not worthy to
be called one of Jesus' disciples, but I do love him, and long to grow
in likeness to him. I do ask him very, very often to take away all the
evil that is in me, and make me just what he would have me to be."

"And he will hear your prayer, he will grant your petition," her father
replied in moved tones. "Oh, my dear children, your father's heart is
full of thankfulness that he has reason to hope and believe that you are
all true followers of the blessed Master, and that we may all live and
love together, not in this world only, but also in the next."

To Max that delightful day and evening seemed very short. He was
surprised when his father, glancing at his watch, said, "It is half past
nine, my son. Say good-night and good-by to your friends here, for we
must go back to the Academy. It need not be a very sad parting," he
added, with a smile, "as you may expect to see some, if not all, of us
next month, at the time of the commencement exercises."

"Thank you, papa; that is good news," said the lad, his countenance
brightening very much, "for it is the greatest treat to a fellow to see
home folks once in a while."

"I know that, my boy. I haven't forgotten the feelings of a cadet, which
are pretty much like those of other lads."

The farewells were quickly spoken, father and son entered the waiting
row-boat, and in a few minutes were at the Academy.

Captain Raymond bade his son good-by at the door, reminding him in
cheerful tones that he might hope to see him, and perhaps the entire
Woodburn family, again in a few weeks.

With that pleasant prospect in view, Max went to his room in excellent
spirits. He found Hunt already there.

"Hello, Max! glad to see you back again," he exclaimed in a tone of
hearty good-will. "Had a royal time of it, I suppose?"

"Delightful!" cried Max gayly; "and the best of it is that my father
holds out the prospect of another visit from our whole family at the
time of the June commencement, which you know is not so very far off."

"Well, I must say you're a lucky dog, Raymond," returned Hunt. "I wish I
had the same prospect of seeing my folks; but they're too far off, and
money's too scarce."

Violet was alone on deck when her husband returned to the yacht, the
others having retired to the cabin or their state-rooms.

"Waiting for me, love?" he asked, as he stepped to her side and passed
an arm round her waist.

"Yes," she said; "the air is so pleasant here, and I thought it would be
really delightful for us two to have the deck entirely to ourselves for
a while."

"Nothing could be pleasanter to me, dearest," he said, giving her his
arm and beginning a leisurely promenade.

"And you have left Max at the Academy again?" she said interrogatively.
"How manly he grows, the dear fellow! and so handsome; he's a son to be
proud of, Levis."

"So his father thinks," returned the captain, with a low, happy little
laugh. "My dear boy is one of God's good gifts to me."

"And how evidently he admires and loves his father--as he well may, I
think. He grows more and more like you in looks, too, Levis. I can
imagine that at his age you were just what he is now."

"No, my dear; if I am not much mistaken he is both a handsomer and a
better lad than his father was at the same age."

"Doubtless not half so conceited and vain as his father was then or is
now," she returned, with her low, sweet silvery laugh. "There must have
been a vast improvement, however, before I had the happiness of making
his acquaintance."

"Max's?" he queried with mock gravity.

"The acquaintance of Max's father, sir," she replied demurely. "I have
known the captain now for five years, and can truly say I have never
seen him show such vanity and conceit as you are pleased to charge him
with, or at least to say were once among his attributes; and I will not
have him slandered, even by you."

"Very well, then, let us change the subject of discourse."

"Agreed. How soon do we leave Annapolis to pursue our homeward way?"

"A little after midnight, if that plan suits my wife's wishes."

"Entirely. But you are not going to remain on deck till then?"

"Probably. I feel no inclination for sleep at present, and the air
outside here is, as you remarked a moment since, delightful."

"Especially when enjoyed in such good company, I presume?"

"Yes, that makes a vast difference, of course, yet I can hardly ask you
to stay very long with me; cannot have the cruelty to rob my heart's
best treasure--my young and lovely wife--of her beauty sleep."

"What a gallant speech!" she laughed; "it surely deserves the reward of
at least another half hour of her delectable society. Ah, my best and
dearest of husbands," she added in a more serious tone, "there is
nothing else in the world I so keenly enjoy as these rare times when I
can have you all to myself."

"Yet I cannot believe they are ever more enjoyable to you than to me, my
love," he returned; "sweet as your society was to me in the days of our
courtship, it is, I think, even sweeter now. And I hope mine is not less
enjoyable to you."

"Indeed, no," she said earnestly; "you seem to grow dearer and more
lovable every day that we live together; a blessing far, far beyond my
deserts. Oh, I can never cease to marvel that I have won so great a
prize in the matrimonial lottery."

"It is wondrous strange," he returned, with a happy laugh, "that a
young, beautiful girl, belonging to one of the very best families in the
land, and who might have had her pick and choice among its most
desirable matches, should have been able to secure a middle-aged widower
with three children. You may well wonder at so great good fortune
falling to your lot, lady mine," with a strong emphasis upon that last
word.

"Ah, my husband, you could hardly bestow upon me a sweeter name than
that," she said softly, and with a bright, winsome look up into his
face. "It is so sweet to belong to you, and to have you belong to me.
And then our darling children are such treasures."

"Yes; our two dear babies."

"Ah, yes; but I meant to include the others also; for I surely may claim
now that even Lulu loves me, not as a mother exactly, but as a dear
older sister."

"Yes, I am certain of it, dearest," he said in tones expressing
heart-felt happiness; "she shows it in many ways, and however many and
serious her faults may be, hypocrisy and deceit are not among them."

"No, indeed! I never knew anyone more perfectly free from those
faults--so perfectly open and candid. I am sure that if her life were in
peril she would not be deceitful or untrue in order to save it."

"Thank you, my love," he said with emotion. "I share that belief, and it
has been a great consolation to me when sorely distressed by her very
serious faults."

"But she is overcoming those under her father's wise and affectionate
training."

"I think she is," he said; "she is certainly struggling hard against
them, though the training you speak of, has, I fear, been far from
faultless."

"Ah, you have not so much confidence in her father's wisdom as I have,"
returned Violet, with a smile and a look up into his face which
expressed a world of loving appreciation.

The conversation then turned upon other themes not unsuited to the
sacredness of the day; they seated themselves and sang a hymn or two
together, then Violet went below and sought her berth, to be followed an
hour later by her husband.



CHAPTER XVIII.


THE next morning the _Dolphin's_ passengers, on awaking, found her
speeding on her homeward way. No one regretted it, for all were full of
joy at the thought of seeing home again, delightful as had been their
sojourn at lovely Viamede and on the vessel.

It was still early in the day when they reached their wharf, but
carriages from Ion, Fairview, and Woodburn were in waiting, conveyances
for the luggage also, and in a very short time they had left the city
behind, and were whirling rapidly over the familiar road toward the
loved homes they had left some months before--a happy company, the
younger ones full of mirth and gayety.

The grounds belonging to each estate were looking their loveliest, and
the returning travelers were greeted with the warmest of welcomes. Zoe
and Edward had reached Ion some days in advance of the others, and seen
to it that everything there was in perfect order, while at Woodburn such
matters had received careful attention from Christine and Alma.

"Welcome home, my love," the captain said to his wife as the carriage
turned in at the great gates. "And you too, my darlings," addressing his
children. "Is it almost as lovely here as at Viamede?"

"Oh, yes; yes, indeed, papa!" they responded, baby Ned adding, "Oh, me
so blad to det home adain."

Then a joyous bark was heard, and Prince, Max's dog, came bounding to
meet them.

"Oh, dere our big doggie Prince!" cried Ned, with a joyous laugh, and
clapping his chubby hands. "Maxie dere too, papa?"

"No, Neddie boy; we have left Brother Maxie behind at Annapolis,"
answered his father; then as the carriage came to a standstill, he threw
open the door, exclaiming, "Home at last!" sprang to the ground, and
proceeded to hand out wife and children.

"Yes," said Violet, who, as well as the children, had been gazing with
delight upon the grounds from the carriage window, "and I for one am as
glad as I was to see Viamede on our arrival there. How very lovely
everything is looking! Ah, Christine and Alma," as the two came hurrying
out to greet the returned travellers, "I hope you are well? What good
care you have taken of everything in our absence."

"Thanks, Mrs. Raymond; it is very kind in you to notice it; and we are
delighted to see you all at home again," the two women returned,
smiling with pleasure over the arrival and Violet's appreciative words,
to which the captain added his hearty commendation, and the children
glad, warm greetings.

Prince's actions, in the meantime, told the same story of his feelings;
he was fawning upon one and another, capering about and wagging his tail
with many a joyous bark that seemed to say, "I am very glad, very happy
to see you all here again," and receiving much loving stroking and
patting in return.

The servants, too, came crowding about, with smiling faces and
exclamations of joy and thankfulness. "Bress de Lawd yous all safe home
agin!" "We's pow'ful glad to see you, cap'n, Miss Wi'let, an' all ob de
chillens!"

"Dis chile 'specs yo's pow'ful hungry, Miss Wi'let an' de res'; but de
dinnah's 'mos' ready fo' to dish up," remarked the cook.

"Oh, we are not starving, by any means, Aunt Judy," returned Violet. "We
had an excellent and abundant breakfast on board the _Dolphin_, and it
is hardly the regular dinner hour yet."

"And oh, papa, mayn't we run about everywhere and look at everything?"
asked Lulu and Grace half breathlessly.

"Certainly, daughters," he replied, smiling affectionately into the
eager upturned faces, "though as dinner is so nearly ready, I think it
might be well to first take off your hats and make yourselves neat for
the table; then keep within doors until after the meal."

"Oh, yes, sir," cried Lulu, "and there is no place we want to see more
than our own rooms. So come, Gracie, let's hurry up there. Hark! there's
my Polly screaming 'Lu! Lu!' She seems to know I've got home. Who can
have told her? And where's your kitten?"

"Here," returned Gracie; "don't you see I've got her in my arms? and I
do believe she's glad to see me. Oh, you pretty pet! I often wanted to
see you while I was away."

They were hurrying up the stairs while they talked, and presently
reached their own little sitting room. "Oh!" they cried in a breath,
"how sweet and lovely it does look!" Then they made a hasty circuit of
Lulu's bedroom and the little tower room opening into it, exclaiming
again and again at the beauty of the furnishings, as though they had
never seen them before, and the extreme neatness which attested the good
housekeeping of Christine.

Last of all they entered Grace's bedroom, to find its appearance quite
as inviting as that of the others.

"How sweet it does look, Lu!" exclaimed Grace. "Oh, I do think we have
just the sweetest home, as well as the dearest, kindest father in the
whole world!"

"Of course we have," returned Lulu. "I'd a thousand times rather be his
child than any king's daughter."

"Would you, indeed, my dear child?" asked a familiar voice close behind
her, while a kind hand was laid upon each shoulder. "Well, my darlings,
contentment is better than wealth, and most assuredly your father would
not exchange you for any king's daughters, or the children of any other
man."

As he spoke he bent down to press a fatherly kiss upon Lulu's lips, then
putting an arm round Grace, caressed her in like manner.

"Now make yourselves neat for the dinner-table, daughters," he said,
"and after the meal, if you wish you may spend the whole afternoon in
going over the house and grounds."

"Oh, thank you, papa," they exclaimed, looking full of delight.

"Lu! Lu!" called Polly from the sitting room, "what you 'bout? Polly
wants a cracker."

"O Polly, I beg your pardon; but you have been so quiet ever since I
came in that I really forgot all about you," laughed Lulu, running
toward the cage, followed by her father and Grace. "So you want a
cracker, do you?"

"You shall have it, Polly," the captain said, opening the door of a
small cupboard where things of that sort were wont to be kept. "Yes,
here is a paper of them," taking one out and handing it to the parrot,
who promptly took it in one claw, and, standing on the other foot, began
biting off bits and disposing of them with a comically serious air and
evident enjoyment.

Just then the little ones came running in, eager to see Polly and hear
her talk. But she was too much absorbed with her cracker to vouchsafe
them a single word.

"Is mamma ready for dinner, Elsie?" the captain asked presently.

"Yes, sir," answered Violet's own voice from the doorway; "and there is
the bell."

"Then we will go down at once," said the captain, picking up Elsie and
Ned, and following his wife down the stairs, Lulu and Grace bringing up
the rear.

The diningroom looked very attractive as they entered it; there was
perfect neatness and order, vases of freshly cut flowers stood here and
there, delighting the senses with their beauty and fragrance, and
forming a lovely decoration for the table, which presented a most
inviting appearance thus ornamented and set out with delicate china,
snowy damask, and glittering cut glass and silver ware.

Everyone regarded it with evident satisfaction, Violet saying gayly,
"After all, my dear, can any lovelier or better place be found than
this--our own sweet home?"

"There is no dearer spot on earth to me, my love," he answered, with a
smile that spoke fond affection, and delight in her appreciation of his
efforts for her happiness and enjoyment.

"I think no place on earth could be more beautiful than Viamede,"
remarked Lulu; "but this is more charming because it is our very own."

"Yes," chimed in Grace, "papa's and mamma's and ours. It is ever so good
in you, papa, to let us own it too."

"Ah?" he returned laughingly, "but that is because I own you, you know."

He had lifted baby Ned to his high chair, and now all seated themselves
and the blessing was asked.

They were a lively, happy little dinner-party, the children allowed a
share in the conversation.

"Papa," asked Grace at length, "are we to begin lessons to-morrow?"

"No," he replied, "I will give you two days to run about and see
everything here, at Ion, Fairview, the Oaks, and so forth. Then you must
settle down to work and be very good and industrious if you want to be
of the Annapolis party in June."

"Oh, that will be so delightful, papa, and we do intend to be as good
and industrious as possible!" she exclaimed, Lulu adding, "I am sure I
do, and if I should deserve punishment, papa," she went on in an
undertone hardly audible to anyone but him, for as usual she was seated
close at his right hand, "please do make it something else than being
left at home."

"I have little fear of being compelled to punish you in that way or any
other, daughter," he replied, giving her a loving look.

"Thank you, dear papa; it is so kind in you to say that; and Gracie and
I do just love to belong to you," raising her voice a little, "Don't we,
Gracie?"

"I do, I'm sure," returned Grace, with a loving smile up into her
father's face.

"Well, what shall we do this afternoon?" queried Violet. "I for one feel
inclined to go all over the house and grounds, to look at every dear,
familiar spot."

"Well, my dear, then that is what we will do," responded her husband;
"and the children may go with us or refrain, as they please," with a
smiling glance from Lulu to Grace, which both answered with an eagerly
expressed desire to accompany him and Violet; Grace adding, "But I do
want to see Elf and Fairy more than anything else."

"Well, dear child," said her father, "they are disporting themselves
out yonder in the meadow, and you may run out to look at and pet them as
soon as we leave the table, if you wish."

"Oh, thank you, papa, that is just what I'd like to do!" she replied.

"And I think all the rest of us will be glad to go with you," said
Violet.

Ned, however, presently began to nod, and had to be carried away to his
crib before the others were quite ready to leave the table.

"I think Elsie, too, looks as if she would enjoy a nap more than
anything else," remarked the captain, with a kind look at his youngest
daughter, who seemed to be very nearly nodding over her plate.

"Oh, no, papa!" she said straightening up and opening her eyes very
wide; "please, I want to see the ponies first."

"Very well, so you shall, and the nap can come afterward," he returned
in an indulgent tone.

"Then, as we are all done eating, shall we not go at once, my dear?"
asked Violet.

"I think it would be well to do so," he returned. "Put on your hats,
children, and we will go."

Elf and Fairy seemed glad to see their young mistresses, who stroked,
patted, and fed them with bits of sugar. The next thing was to explore
every nook and corner of the grounds, which to them all looked lovelier
than ever.

Then they returned to the house, little Elsie willingly submitted to
being laid in her crib, for she was very sleepy, and the captain,
Violet, Lulu, and Grace went over the whole house, finding it in
beautiful order, and saying to each other that it seemed a sweeter home
than ever.

By that time there were callers from Ion, the Oaks, Roselands, and the
Laurels, those from Ion bringing the news that Grandma Elsie invited all
to a family reunion to be held at her home on the afternoon and evening
of the next day. An invitation that every member of the Woodburn family
was glad to accept.

"Ah, Brother Levis," said Rosie coaxingly, "you surely will not be so
unkind as to require lessons of us to-morrow?"

"No, little sister, to-morrow and the next day may be given up to
amusement; but after that I shall hope and expect to have some very
industrious pupils."

"As you certainly shall," she replied, with a grave, emphatic nod; "I am
glad of the promised holiday; duly grateful for it, too, as I presume
all your scholars are."

"Yes, yes, indeed we are, sir!" was the hearty response from Evelyn and
Walter, Lulu and Grace adding, "And so are we, papa."

The callers left early, declining an invitation to stay to tea; the
family partook of their evening meal; Grace and the little ones, wearied
with their journey, the excitement of the homecoming, and seeing so much
company, went early to bed; an errand took the captain into the village
for a short season, and Violet and Lulu were left for an hour or more to
each other's society.

They were on the veranda together, pacing slowly back and forth, each
with an arm about the other's waist.

"Oh, Mamma Vi, isn't it just delightful to be at home again?" exclaimed
Lulu.

"Yes, indeed! when the home is such an one as ours, and with such a man
as your father at the head of affairs," returned Violet. "Lu dear, I'm
so glad that you and all his children love him as you do, though really
I do not see how any one of you could help it."

"Nor do I, Mamma Vi; and I'm very glad that you love him so too; that
makes me love you even better than I could if you didn't appreciate him
so highly. But we can't love him so dearly without loving one another;
can we?"

"No, certainly not; I am very fond of all five of his children as well
as of their father," Violet replied, with her low, sweet laugh.



       *       *       *       *       *



Transcriber's note:

Obvious punctuation errors were corrected. Inconsistent hyphenation
was retained.

Page 27, "suceeeded" changed to "succeeded" (Rennie succeeded in)

Page 76, "surrrender" changed to "surrender" (would not surrender the)

Page 77, "mutined" changed to "mutinied" (them mutinied, spiked)

Page 80, "confederates" changed to "Confederates" (drove the
Confederates)

Page 81, "quantites" changed to "quantities" (Great quantities of
cotton)

Page 82, "strips" changed to "stripes" (by the stars and stripes)

Page 94, "sufficent" changed to "sufficient" (sufficient cause for)

Page 102, "Ganesvoort" changed to "Gansevoort" (delivered to Gansevoort)

Page 133, "whereever" changed to "wherever" (for herself wherever)

Page 140, "y" changed to "by" (profit by so doing)

Page 146, "he" changed to "be" (would be back)





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