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Title: Amy in Acadia - A Story for Girls
Author: Reed, Helen Leah, 1860-1926
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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project.)



  Amy in Acadia



  [Illustration: "From a drawer behind the counter she drew a small fan."
  FRONTISPIECE. _See_ p. 25.]

  Amy in Acadia

  _A Story for Girls_

  By
  Helen Leah Reed

  Author of "The Brenda Books" "Miss Theodora"
  "Irma and Nap"

  With Illustrations by Katharine Pyle

  Boston
  Little, Brown, and Company
  1905



  _Copyright, 1905_,
  BY LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY.
  _All rights reserved_

  Published October, 1905

  THE UNIVERSITY PRESS, CAMBRIDGE, MASS., U. S. A.



  TO CONSTANCE
  MY NIECE
  WHO JOURNEYED WITH ME THROUGH ACADIA



  Contents


  CHAPTER                                 PAGE

      I BANISHED                             1

     II LOST AND FOUND                      14

    III TOWARD METEGHAN                     29

     IV YVONNE                              43

      V NEW PEOPLE                          57

     VI PIERRE AND POINT À L'ÉGLISE         71

    VII DIGBY DAYS                          89

   VIII TWO ADVENTURES                     105

     IX OLD PORT ROYAL                     119

      X EXPLORATIONS                       134

     XI A TEA PARTY                        147

    XII IN THE FOG                         163

   XIII LETTERS AND SOME COMMENTS          178

    XIV AN EXCURSION                       191

     XV WITH PREJUDICE                     204

    XVI EVANGELINE'S COUNTRY               219

   XVII SAFE AGAIN                         236

  XVIII THE RIGHT AND THE WRONG OF IT      249

    XIX A DISCOVERY                        263

     XX FIRE AND FLAME                     279

    XXI OLD CHEBUCTO                       299

   XXII FINDING COUSINS                    315

  XXIII GOOD-BYE TO HALIFAX                329



  List of Illustrations


  "From a drawer behind the counter she drew a small
     fan"                                           _Frontispiece_

  "'Madame Bourque,' she cried, 'I asked him to come to
     see me'"                                           _Page_ 71

  "'Hello! hello!' she shouted"                            "  170

  "'Why, what is the matter, child?' she asked
     affectionately"                                       "  246

  "After one ineffectual effort to pry open the lock, the
     other one had thrown down the scissors"               "  282

  "Behind Lucian stalked Malachai, flourishing his cane
     after the fashion of a drum-major"                    "  320



  _Amy in Acadia_



  CHAPTER I

  BANISHED


"No, Fritz, I cannot--"

"You _will_ not."

"Well, then I _will_ not ask mother to invite you to go on with us."

Amy spoke decidedly, but Fritz was not ready to give up.

"Oh, Amy, do be reasonable! I cannot say anything more to your mother,
for you are in an obstinate mood, evidently determined to persuade
yourself that you do not wish us to travel with you."

"That is true; I do not wish you to go on with us."

"But you and I are _such_ friends."

"So we are, and so we shall continue to be. Because we are such friends,
I am sure that you will forgive me for being so--"

"So unreasonable."

"No--reasonable. Now just look at the whole thing sensibly. Here we
are--mamma and I and two girls."

"What do you call yourself? Aren't you a girl?"

"Don't interrupt; perhaps I should have said two _school_girls. We have
come away partly for rest and change, partly for study. So it would only
upset all our plans to have you and your friend with us. You'd be
dreadfully in the way."

"In the way! I like that. Why, you could rest, or study all day, for all
we'd care, and we'd afford you the change that you would certainly need
once in a while. Only--if you'll excuse my saying so--who ever heard of
any one's resting or studying on a pleasure-trip? Just look at the funny
side of it yourself, Amy--and smile--please."

Whereupon, quite against her will, the smile that twitched Amy's lips
extended itself into a laugh, in which Fritz Tomkins joined heartily.

"Ah, Amy, that laugh makes me think of old times. So now perhaps you'll
condescend to explain why two lonely youths may not visit the historic
Acadia in company with you and your mother, not to mention the other
members of your party."

Amy made no answer, and Fritz continued:

"Just think what we shall lose! It always benefits me to be with your
mother, and you are so full of information, Amy, and you so love to
impart what you know, that by the end of the journey I should be a
walking guidebook. To go with you would be better than attending a
summer school."

"There, Fritz," interrupted Amy, with rising color, "you are getting
back at me for what I have said. But we really mean to make this an
improving trip."

"So I should judge. Improving only to yourselves."

"Well, then I'll explain, since you find it so hard to understand. You
surely know that mamma has been overworking, and yet she does not wish
to waste the whole summer. So, after resting a little, she expects to
find good sketching-material in Nova Scotia. Then I need more strength
before the beginning of my Senior year."

"I'll be a Senior, too, in the autumn," murmured Fritz; but Amy, not
heeding the interruption, continued:

"Then there's Priscilla; she has been rather low-spirited since her
father died. She is generally in Plymouth in the summer, and this will
be a change. Besides, she is to read a little English with me for her
Radcliffe examinations."

"_Rest_--and _change_--and _study_, for three of you. Well, I do hope
that the other girl is to get some pleasure out of the trip. Didn't you
tell me that she comes from Chicago?"

"Oh, Martine finds amusement in everything--even in study. She was at a
boarding-school last year on the Hudson, and she made life there so
entertaining for herself and her classmates that she had to leave. Her
parents then decided to have her visit relatives in Boston this spring.
Next year she's to go to Miss Crawdon's. She's especially in mother's
care, and I do hope she'll enjoy the summer, for she is worried about
her mother, who is ill at some baths in Germany."

"Thus far, Amy, you haven't offered a single reason for your desire to
banish us from your side. Neither Taps nor I will stand in the way of
your mother's sketches, except to pose for her when she asks. We
certainly won't deprive the air of its invigorating qualities; and we
might even study--"

"No, Fritz, you'd simply be in the way."

"I won't admit that, Miss Amy Redmond, and if I should ask your mother,
she would probably say that you are quite wrong in your opinion. In
fact, that's why you won't let me talk with her. However, as you've
extorted a promise from me, Taps and I will go as far away from you as
we can--in Nova Scotia. We'll travel in the opposite direction from
Acadia, for Nova Scotia is large enough to contain us all without a
collision. But mark my words, many a time in the next few weeks you'll
sigh for a manly arm to pull you out of your difficulties. _Then_ you'll
remember me."

"I'm not afraid. Acadia has no dangers. Even the Micmacs are tamed. The
French and Indian wars are over."

"That reminds me,--please excuse me for interrupting,--you will find
Digby, where you are going to-morrow, very tame compared with Pubnico."

"Pubnico?"

"Yes, Pubnico, a wonderful French village, with Acadians and descendants
of the old noblesse, and with many interesting things that you'll miss
altogether in your misguided course. Then we shall go to the deserted
Loyalist town, Shelburne, which is full of history and haunted houses."

"You seem to have digested a whole guidebook, Fritz. As Shelburne is on
the opposite side of the peninsula, I suppose that you really have not
intended to travel with us."

"Oh, I had two strings to my bow, and when I heard of the French
villages, I decided that to visit them would be the next best thing to
do." Then, looking at his watch, "But now I really must say good-bye;
it's past my time for meeting Taps."

"Good-bye, Fritz." Amy held out her hand amicably. "You are not angry,
are you?"

"No, not angry, only--I may never forgive you. Certainly I shall not
forget."

Before Amy could reply, Fritz had wheeled away, and, turning a corner,
was soon lost to sight. As Amy walked a few steps along the hotel
piazza, suddenly she met her mother face to face.

"Where's Fritz?" asked Mrs. Redmond. "I expected to find him with you."

"Oh, he's gone. It's settled that the boys are not to come with us."

"But, my dear, I hope you have not sent him off. Sometimes you are too
abrupt."

"Why, mother, I thought that you did not wish them to come with us."

"I was certainly surprised to see Fritz on the boat last evening. But he
is like my own son, and if he has set his heart on going to Digby, we
must not keep him away."

"Oh, he's going around on the other coast, he and his friend."

"Did you meet his friend?"

"No, I heard Fritz call him 'Taps'--a perfectly ridiculous name. Do you
know anything about him?"

"Only what Fritz told me last evening--that he was a Freshman who had
taken a violent fancy to him. Fritz said that he had agreed to travel
with the boy this summer from a sense of duty."

"A sense of duty!"

"Yes; 'Taps,' as he calls him, has been trying to shake off some
undesirable friends. He gave up a trip to Europe that he might avoid
running across them, and Fritz, knowing the circumstances, thought that
he could do no less than agree to take some other trip with him. It was
only on the spur of the moment that they decided to come with us."

"Fritz was terribly cut up to find that we did not care to have them."

"Naturally--and indeed, Amy, if I had had a chance to talk frankly with
him, we could have had them with us part of the time. His friend was a
bright, honest-looking lad, hardly more than a schoolboy."

"Oh, mamma, I thought him so dandified!--just the kind to be a nuisance
in a party that intends to rough it."

"Do you realize, Amy, that you use much more slang than before you went
to college?"

"That's another reason for not having Fritz with us; it is not _my_
college, but _his_, that twists my vocabulary."

"Possibly, but I only hope that he is not offended. Well! well! Why,
Priscilla, why, Martine, where have you been?"

As she spoke two young girls came running up the steps, and one of them
with a bound flung herself upon Mrs. Redmond's neck.

"Oh, isn't it a perfect morning, so cool and salt-smelling! and it's
almost as good as Europe to see a foreign flag floating from the
hotel--even if it is only English. And isn't Yarmouth a dear sleepy old
town, though it's said to be so American! Some one told me that it was
the only place in Nova Scotia where they hustled. My, but I wish they
could see Chicago! Then they'd know what 'hustle' means."

"Yes, my dear," gasped Mrs. Redmond; "but would you move your arm--just
a little? You almost choke me."

"Please excuse me, but I feel so excited that I must hug somebody, and
Priscilla and Amy never let me hug them."

"Why, I'm sure--" began Amy.

"Oh, no, you haven't said a word, that's quite true, and I've never even
tried to embrace you, yet I'm perfectly sure that you would hate it, and
so Mrs. Redmond--"

"Is the victim," rejoined Amy. "Well, mamma _is_ amiable. Only, while we
are travelling, do be careful not to squeeze too tightly; it rumples her
stock. Mamma, you'll really have to put on a fresh one before we start
out."

During this conversation Priscilla had been silent. She was shorter than
Martine, and fairer, and her expression was sad, or querulous,--at first
glance it was hard to say which. Yet her half-mourning costume--the
black skirt, and the black ribbon at her throat--suggested what was
really the case--that Priscilla had had some recent sorrow.

"What have you been doing, Priscilla?" asked Mrs. Redmond, noticing the
young girl's silence.

"Doing!" interrupted Martine, before Priscilla could speak. "Only think
how silly she's been. This beautiful morning--and in a new place--she
has spent writing letters. Isn't she a goose?"

"Oh, Martine!" and Amy shook her head in reproof.

Priscilla colored deeply as she turned apologetically to Mrs. Redmond.
"I promised mamma to write as soon as I could. She will get my letter
day after to-morrow."

"You were very considerate to write promptly. Your mother will be
delighted to hear so soon. But where have _you_ been, Martine?"

"Oh, rambling a little; I just couldn't stay in the house."

"It's strange, Martine," added Amy, "but a while ago, when I took a
stroll down the road, I saw a boy and a girl wheeling down a side street
together who looked so like you."

"Which, the boy or the girl?"

Disregarding Martine's flippancy, Amy continued: "I realized that it
couldn't possibly be you, as you know no one in Yarmouth."

"And didn't bring my wheel with me," added Martine. "So please, Miss Amy
Redmond, don't see double, or else before I know it you'll have all my
faults magnified to twice their size."

While Martine was speaking, Priscilla looked at her closely. But
Martine, if she felt Priscilla's eye upon her, showed no embarrassment.
Instead, she burst into a peal of laughter that woke from his slumbers a
quiet old gentleman dozing over his newspaper in a piazza chair.

Martine's laughter quickly degenerated into a giggle, and with only an
"Excuse me, I can't help it," she rushed into the house.

"There, mother," said Amy, "I fear that Martine will be a greater care
to us than we expected. If she hadn't run off I was going to suggest
that we all go for a walk, to see what there really is to be seen in the
town. We'll have plenty of time before dinner."

"I'll get my hat and bring Martine with me;" and Mrs. Redmond left
Priscilla and Amy by themselves.

A little later the four travellers were walking up the broad street,
partially shaded with trees, through which they had many glimpses of the
blue harbor.

"Isn't it strange," said Priscilla to Amy, "to think that this time
yesterday we were half-stifled with Boston heat! They said that it was
the hottest day of the season, and it is probably as hot there to-day;
and here we are--"

"Ready to shiver," interposed Amy. "You should have brought a coat,
Priscilla, for I almost feel an east wind."

"Oh, the air is soft. There's no danger of catching cold. Do you notice
all the flowers in these little gardens? It's a pleasant air, like the
Shoals, and those hawthorn hedges make me think of England,--at least,
what I've read of it, for I've never been there. We must ask Martine."

"You are almost as eloquent as Martine herself." Amy turned toward
Priscilla with a smile. "You were so quiet at breakfast, and indeed all
the morning, until now, that I feared you were not enjoying the trip."

"Well, to be honest, I felt homesick at first. You see, I have never
been away before without any of my family, and then I hadn't got the
motion of the boat out of my head. But now I feel perfectly well, and
perhaps--" but here Priscilla's voice was not quite steady--"perhaps I
shall not be homesick."

Amy drew Priscilla's hand within her arm.

"Of course not. Naturally, you will miss your mother and the children.
But you'll go back to them with such red cheeks, and so many interesting
things to tell, that you will be glad you had courage to come away. You
mustn't be homesick."

"Oh, I won't be," said Priscilla,--"that is, if I can help it; but if I
didn't know you much better than Martine, I think that I'd have to go
home."

Whereupon Amy, perceiving that Priscilla was not yet herself, strove to
divert her by telling her little incidents of early Nova Scotian
history. Her device was successful, and by the time they had overtaken
Mrs. Redmond and Martine, Priscilla was quite cheerful again.

In their walk they had turned aside from the main street, and had
reached a point on the outskirts where elevated land gave them a good
view of the water. Mrs. Redmond and Martine had found a large flat rock,
on which they seated themselves, and Mrs. Redmond was already at work
with her sketchbook before her.

"I'm glad that you've come, Amy,--I mean Miss Redmond," began Martine.
"I've been trying to tell your mother about some kind of a queer stone
that I heard some people talking about at the breakfast-table to-day,
but I haven't it quite clear in my mind, and so I'm waiting for you to
help me out."

"Oh, the runic stone?" asked Amy. "There isn't so very much to tell
about it, except that it was found more than seventy years ago, and is
thought by some people to be a memorial of the Norsemen."

"The Norsemen in Nova Scotia? But why didn't they discover the stone
before?"

"It was found by a Dr. Fletcher in a cove on his own property. The
inscription was on the under side, and showed signs of great age. There,
I believe I have something about it here;" and pulling a small notebook
from her pocket, Amy refreshed her memory.

"Yes, it weighed about four hundred and fifty pounds, and some
antiquarians have translated the inscription, 'Harki's son addressed the
men.' It seems that there was a man named Harki among those Norsemen who
sailed along the coast of America in 1007."

"That is certainly worth knowing," said Mrs. Redmond, "and I hope that
we can see the stone before we go."

"Well, it's only fair," continued Amy, "to tell you that some learned
people do not believe in the Norse theory."

"Perhaps it's like the inscription on the Dighton rock," interposed
Priscilla, "that they now think was made by Indians."

"Yes," added Amy, "but the strange thing is that a few years ago a
second stone was found about a mile away from the other, and the
inscription on it was almost the same."

"Well," exclaimed Martine, "it doesn't matter whether the Norsemen
really were here or not, as long as we can imagine that they may have
been. I like the romantic part of history, if it gives you something
entertaining to think about. It's all the same whether or not it is
true."

After which heretical sentiment, Priscilla, Plymouth-born Priscilla,
felt herself to be farther away than ever from Martine.

When Priscilla nestled down beside Mrs. Redmond to watch the growth of
her sketch, Martine became impatient.

"Let us go back. We've seen everything there is to see in this part of
the town, and perhaps I shall have time for a letter or two before
dinner."

"I'll go with you," responded Amy. "I have some packing to do."

"Packing?"

"Oh, just to rearrange some of my things."

"Very well," said Mrs. Redmond. "Priscilla and I will wait until this
sketch is finished, and then we'll return by the electric car."

"Any one would know that you and your mother are from Boston," said
Martine, turning to Amy with a laugh. "I have heard my father say that
Bostonians are the only people in the world who take the trouble to say
'electric cars.'"

"What do others say?"

"Why, trolley, of course. They'd laugh at you if you said anything else
in Chicago."

"You're pretty rapid in Chicago."

"And you are rather--well, rather slow in Boston."



  CHAPTER II

  LOST AND FOUND


Amy's face was flushed, her hat slightly askew, and she felt even more
uncomfortable than she looked. It was all on account of her lost keys.
For ten minutes or more she had been bending over boxes, and poking
among all kinds of things in the shed near the wharf, in the vain hope
that she might find what she had lost. When she had discovered that the
keys were missing, Priscilla volunteered to help her find them.

As the discovery had been made at the very moment when the carriage was
at the door to take them for an afternoon drive, Amy insisted that the
others should go without her, since it was evidently her duty to search
for the missing.

"Let me go with you," Priscilla had urged. "When we find the keys we can
go sightseeing by ourselves. It will be just as good fun as driving."
Thus Amy and Priscilla made their way by themselves to the wharf, while
Mrs. Redmond and Martine were driven in the direction of Milton.

"It wouldn't be so bad if it were only my trunk key," Amy had lamented,
"but there's a key of my mother's on the chain, and several keys of
little boxes--one or two of which I have with me; the others are at
home. I am always losing keys."

"You probably lost them after your trunk had been examined this morning.
What a fuss about nothing it was! Why, the inspector didn't even lift
the tray from my trunk. But we had all the trouble of unlocking and
opening our trunks, and in that way I suppose the keys were lost."

Priscilla spoke with more energy than was usual with her. When they
reached the wharf, the dignified Custom-House official and the small
boys congregated there and in the neighborhood of the train knew nothing
about the keys. The inspector remembered seeing them.

"I noticed your party particularly, and you were swinging your keys by a
long silver chain. Well, they may have slipped through a crack
somewhere, and so the best thing for you is to get a locksmith to fit a
key before you go any farther."

Overhearing this advice, one or two of the boys lounging about offered
to guide the young ladies to a locksmith. Thus Amy and Priscilla, not in
the best of spirits, with hats askew and shirt-waists somewhat rumpled,
came face to face with Fritz Tomkins.

"Oh, ho!" he cried mischievously, as the girls drew near. "What a
procession! All you need is a drum and a flag."

Turning her head, Amy saw six little boys walking behind her in Indian
file. There wasn't much going on at the wharf, and evidently all had
thought that there would be some fun in conducting the American young
ladies to the locksmith's.

Fritz himself, seated in the shade at a shop-door, looked aggravatingly
comfortable.

"Why, Fritz!" exclaimed Amy, "I thought you were miles and miles
away,--at Pubnico."

"Don't, don't show your disappointment too plainly. We thought that we'd
better not start before the train was ready. That will not be for an
hour yet. In the meantime, is there anything that I can do for you? You
look a little like a lady in distress."

"Well, then, appearances are deceitful." Amy had recovered from her
astonishment at seeing Fritz.

"I am sure that you are hunting for something."

"Why are you so sure?" Amy was determined not to tell.

"She _is_ looking for something, isn't she, Priscilla?" Fritz had seen
more or less of Priscilla in Boston the past winter, and naturally
called her by her first name.

Priscilla shook her head,--not in dissent, but to show that she had no
intention of disclosing more than Amy herself chose to explain.

"Very well," continued Fritz, "I am a mind reader. I can tell you all
about it. You are looking for a bunch of keys."

"How did you know?" For once Amy was off guard.

"Ah! Then it's true."

"Very well, since you know so much, where are the keys?"

Fritz, thrusting his hand in his pocket, drew out a long silver chain,
which he swung around his head in a circle before laying it in Amy's
hand.

"There, little boys, you--"

"Don't call them little boys, Amy; remember how I felt when I was ten."

"Here, young men." As Fritz spoke the boys drew nearer, and Fritz,
drawing from his pocket a handful of silver, laid in each of six palms a
bright ten-cent coin with the Queen's head stamped upon it.

"But we didn't do anything," one of the six managed to say.

"No, but you _would_ have helped the young lady find a locksmith, and
besides, you brought her to the particular spot where I was sitting, and
so you found her keys for her."

This logic was so correct that the six boys, feeling that they had
earned the money, rushed off with a shout of "Thank you," to find the
quickest way of spending it.

"You might have brought the keys to the hotel," complained Amy. "Then I
needn't have had this dusty walk."

"After the summary way in which you banished me this morning I certainly
could not put myself in your way again. But I knew that when you came to
dress for the afternoon you would miss your keys, and happen _my_ way.
Surely you can't object to my being here?"

"Of course not. I am very much obliged to you."

"Besides, I found the keys only this afternoon. They had slipped under a
board, and when I saw the end of the chain I recognized it at once. May
I walk with you part way up-town? I'm sorry that I can't go all the way.
But Taps and I have an errand to do, and it's now within an hour of
train time. Remember, you have banished us."

As they walked, Fritz, abandoning frivolity, outlined his plans for the
next week. Priscilla listened with great interest. Nova Scotia was
indeed a new land to her, and as she had rather suddenly decided to
accompany Amy and her mother she had read nothing on the subject of the
province in which they were to spend a few weeks.

Fritz had known little more than Priscilla until he had stumbled on some
one crossing on the boat the preceding night who had had much to say
about the old Fort La Tour and its neighborhood.

"Fort La Tour!" Amy exclaimed. "I shouldn't care to discredit your
history, but I am sure that that was on the River St. John across the
Bay, in quite the opposite direction from where you are going."

"There, there, my dear Miss Amy Redmond, you are just like other people.
Because you know _some_ Acadian history you think that you know it all.
There certainly was a Fort La Tour at St. John, but its remains, I hear,
are altogether invisible now; whereas the first Fort La Tour can still
be seen in outline, at least. There isn't any masonry, I believe, yet
you can trace the outline in the grass. You remember, Amy, it was once
called Fort Loméron."

"I'm sorry, Fritz, but I don't remember. You must have taken a special
course in history lately."

"Yes, this very morning. You see I had time to spare after you sent me
into exile, and Taps and I were to have our dinner at a private
boarding-house, where I thought we ought to stay, since you didn't care
to have us at the hotel. Well, to make a long story short, I found a set
of Parkman there, and it seemed wise to refresh my memory before going
down to Port La Tour."

"Do tell us what you learned." Amy spoke eagerly. "I'll admit that I've
quite forgotten the first Fort La Tour."

"I haven't much time now," said Fritz, "but I'll do what I can to make
my knowledge yours,--only you mustn't expect me to be perfectly
accurate. This, however, is the way I figure it out. After that old
rascal, Argall, attacked Port Royal, in 1613, Biencourt, or
Poutrincourt, as he was known after his father's death, wandered for
years in the woods with a few followers, sleeping in the open air, and
living on roots and nuts like an Indian. In some way or other he managed
to get men enough, and material enough, to build a small fort in the
Cape Sable region, that he called Fort Loméron,--a rocky and foggy
neighborhood. But there was fine fishing and hunting, and he felt that
the Fort was a warning to any enemies who might try to take away the
rest of what his father had left him. Well, among his followers was
young Charles de Saint Étienne de La Tour, who also had come out to
Acadia as a boy. When Biencourt died La Tour claimed that Acadia had
been left to him by his friend. He tried to get Louis XIII. to help him
against the English, and against Sir William Alexander in particular, to
whom James I. had granted Acadia. Now young Charles La Tour began to
have a hard time because his father Claude had married a Maid of Honor
to Queen Henrietta Maria, and had promised Charles I. that he would
drive out the French and establish the English in Nova Scotia. But when
Claude appeared with his two ships before his son's Fort, he could not
persuade him to turn color and become a Baronet of Nova Scotia. The
father made great promises in the name of King Charles if the son would
surrender, but the son withstood the father, and the latter lost English
support because he had not been able to keep his promise; and so he was
nothing but a refugee the rest of his life."

"Served him right for deserting his country," murmured Priscilla.

"Well, it's hard to understand just who did what in those days, and why.
Some say that Charles La Tour was no better than his father, and that
he, too, accepted from the English the title 'Baronet of Nova Scotia.'
On account of the conquest of Sir David Kirke, Nova Scotia was English
for a while, and then again it was under the control of the French after
Claude de Razilly brought out an expedition in 1632. Charles de Menou
d'Aunay, by the way, La Tour's great enemy, came with Razilly. But La
Tour made haste to put himself right with the King of France, and, after
a visit to Paris, came back to Nova Scotia 'Lieutenant-General for the
King at Fort Loméron and its dependencies, and Commander at Cape Sable
for the Colony of New France.' Doesn't that strike you as quite
tremendous, when you think of the rocks and the fogs and the seals,
together with the forests, that chiefly made up his domain?"

"It's very interesting," said Priscilla. "What became of La Tour?"

"It's a long story," responded Fritz. "I'm afraid I haven't time to tell
it now."

"Oh, I know all about his quarrel with D'Aunay," interposed Amy. "It
will come in better when we are at Port Royal--or rather Annapolis. But
I had forgotten this Fort near Cape Sable."

"You shouldn't have forgotten it." Fritz's tone deepened in reproach.
"For many of La Tour's descendants live near the Fort, and the place
itself is called Port La Tour. I am astonished that you should have left
it out of your plan of travel. You can't go there now, because that is
where Taps and I are bound, and it wouldn't do for us to get in your
way--I mean for you to get in our way. Beyond the tip end of Nova Scotia
there's Sable Island, that used to be haunted by pirates and privateers.
Some of them may be there still, and if Taps and I go there, and if
anything happens to us, you may be sorry that you drove us away.
Good-bye, Amy; even a Nova Scotia train won't wait for me;" and before
the astonished girls could say a word, Fritz, with a touch of his cap,
was walking rapidly away from them.

"We haven't offended him?" asked Priscilla, timidly.

"No, indeed. His plans were already made to go among the French
villages. In fact, I thought that he had gone this morning. He started
off soon after breakfast."

Although Amy spoke thus decidedly, secretly she wished that she had been
less summary with Fritz. It was not strange, indeed, that her conscience
should prick her a little. When she and Fritz were not yet in their
teens they had become acquainted at Rockley, a summer resort on the
North Shore where Fritz spent the summers with his uncle. Rockley was
Amy's home all the year, and as not many boys or girls of her own age
lived near her, she greatly appreciated the companionship of Fritz. The
latter, for his part, knew that he was very fortunate in having the
friendship of Amy and her mother; for, like Amy, he had neither brothers
nor sisters, and although his father was living, his mother had died
when he was a baby. His father spent little time with him, as he was
fond of exploring new countries, and his travels often kept him away
from home two or three years at a time.

Before entering college Fritz had lived with his father's elder
brother,--a serious, scholarly man. The uncle made little provision for
amusement in his nephew's life, until Mrs. Redmond had shown him that
all work and no play would do Fritz more harm than good. Amy and Fritz,
on the whole, had been very congenial friends, although the latter could
rarely resist an opportunity to tease Amy. Mrs. Redmond often had to act
as peacemaker, and Fritz always took her reproofs good-naturedly. No one
knew him so well as Mrs. Redmond did. There was no one to whose words he
paid quicker attention. He called her his "adopted mother," and
naturally it seemed strange to him that she should agree with Amy that
he and his friend would be in the way on the Nova Scotia tour. Beneath
the jesting tone that he had used with Amy lay something sharper, and
Amy, as he finally turned away, realized this.

After the departure of Fritz the girls walked on in silence. Suddenly an
exclamation of Priscilla's brought them to a standstill. In the window
of a little shop were two cups and saucers of thickish china, decorated
in a high-colored rose pattern. The cups were of a quaint, flaring
shape, and Priscilla announced that she must have them. There were other
curiosities in the window,--a small cannon-ball, two reddish
short-stemmed pipes, and many things of Indian make. The shop-keeper
proved to be an elderly woman, with a pleasant, soft accent. The cups,
she explained, had belonged to an old couple who had lately died,
leaving no children. At the auction she had bought a few bits of china.

"I know they are old,--more than a hundred years,--these two cups. I'm
sorry I haven't any more, but people from the States are always looking
for old things, and there's been a good many here this summer."

Priscilla bought the cups, and Amy inquired about the cannon-ball.

"It was dug up near Fort St. Louis, as some call it, or Fort La Tour,
and the pipes too. They say there's many a strange thing buried there
under the ground, if people only had the patience to dig."

Amy decided that it was hardly wise to burden herself with the
cannon-ball, and she didn't care especially for the pipes.

"There's something else here," said the woman, "if you won't be offended
at my showing it. Some Americans--"

"How did you know that we were Americans?" interrupted Amy.

"Oh, as soon as ever a Yankee--there, I beg your pardon--any one from
the States opens her mouth--"

"She puts her foot in it," returned Amy, with a smile.

"No, no, I wouldn't say a word against the accent, but I can always tell
it. I have a sister married in the States, and her children speak like
their father. When they come to visit me I tell them that they are
regular Yankees. Not that I have anything against that; I hope I'll live
to see Boston some time."

"Have you never been there?" asked Priscilla, in surprise.

"No, Miss; I know that it isn't so far away, but I was born in the Old
Country, and when I take a trip, that's where I'd rather go;" and the
little woman sighed. "But I'll show you the curiosity I spoke of."

From a drawer behind the counter she drew a small fan, one or two of
whose sticks were broken, while the silk was faded and torn.

"I bought that from an old lady who said that her grandmother fanned an
officer who was wounded at the Battle of Bunker Hill, while he lay sick
in her house after the battle. Perhaps I oughtn't to speak of it," she
concluded apologetically.

"Why not? The war's entirely over, and no one has any feeling about it
now."

"I suppose not." But the woman's voice carried a question.

"Why, to prove that I have no resentment I'll buy the fan,--even if it
did once soothe the brow of a hated Britisher." Amy smiled at Priscilla
as she spoke.

The price named came so well within Amy's means that she half doubted
the authenticity of the relic. Of her doubts, however, she gave no hint
to the talkative little Englishwoman. Instead, by what she afterwards
called a genuine inspiration, she asked some question about the French
people at Pubnico.

"Oh, they are good enough," said the woman, "and spend plenty of money
in Yarmouth; and there's many of the young people working here in our
shops and mills, although many French come from Meteghan and up that
way."

"Meteghan?" queried Amy.

"Yes, that's a pretty country up North on St Mary's Bay, and all French.
If you're going to Digby you'd better stop off."

"But we were going straight through to Digby."

"Yes, most people go straight through, and don't know what they miss.
You see, the natives up there are Acadians, and it's kind of foreign
like, for they mostly speak only French. My husband and I, we went up
there once and stayed at the hotel, for he had an order for some goods
that he had to see about himself."

While Mrs. Lufkins was talking the practical Priscilla had taken out her
notebook, in which she wrote the name of the station and other things
that would help them.

"Do you think that your mother would like to change her plans?"

"Yes, indeed; she will think this just the thing. Probably there will be
good material for sketching,--scenery, and odd people, and all that kind
of thing. I am sure that she will like it."

"Thank you, Mrs. Lufkins," said Amy, as they turned away from the
mistress of the little shop; and then in a particularly cheerful tone
she added to Priscilla, "I feel as if I had found a gold-mine. Fritz was
so very sure that he was to have a monopoly of the only French in Nova
Scotia, that it will be great fun to write him about our French people."

"Then you think you will go there?"

"Certainly; mother will enjoy it, and it will be great fun for the rest
of us. Wasn't Mrs. Lufkins entertaining? If she were Yarmouth-born,
perhaps she wouldn't speak of us as Yankees. You know the first
permanent settlement here was made about 1761, by Cape Codders. In fact,
the name's from Yarmouth on the Cape, not from the English Yarmouth
directly. I remember the names of two of the first settlers,--Sealed
Landers and Eleshama Eldredge. Don't they sound like real old Puritans?"

"But how did they come to be English? Why didn't they stay on our side
in the Revolution?" Priscilla's tone contained a whole world of reproach
for Sealed and Eleshama.

"Oh, that's a long story. I dare say they were on our side--in their
hearts; but they couldn't afford to give up all they had worked for,
after coming here as pioneers. Many of the Yarmouth people were thought
to be in sympathy with the American privateers that were always prowling
about the coast. But the English managed to hold Nova Scotia, and in the
War of 1812 the number of American vessels captured by Yarmouth was
greater than the number of Yarmouth vessels captured by the Americans."

"When I left home," said Priscilla, "I did not know that there was so
much history down here. I thought that we were just coming for change of
air."

"Oh, the place is alive with history; only you must let me know if I
bore you with too many stories."

"You could never bore me." Priscilla laid her hand affectionately on
Amy's. She was an undemonstrative girl, though her likes and dislikes
were well known to herself. But for her fondness for Amy she would
hardly have made one of this summer party.



  CHAPTER III

  TOWARD METEGHAN


Amy rested her hand on her bicycle, waiting to mount.

"I did not think that it would be quite so lonely; but still, you're
sure it's perfectly safe?"

"Oh, yes, Miss, and not a long way." There was a trace of accent in the
speech of the man who replied to Amy's question. He had just deposited a
pouch of mail in the vehicle in which sat Mrs. Redmond, Priscilla, and
Martine, and had turned to adjust the harness of his meek-looking horse.

"You are not afraid, are you?" Priscilla's voice was anxious. "I wish
that I had brought my bicycle, and could ride with you."

"You _do_ look like a maiden all forlorn,--spruce trees to right of you,
spruce trees to left of you. Excuse my smiling;" and Martine's smile
lengthened itself into a decided giggle.

"Don't," whispered Priscilla. "The driver will think that you are
laughing at him." It always surprised her that Martine should show so
little respect for Amy, who was several years her senior.

"Amy," interposed Mrs. Redmond, "do you object to our driving away and
leaving you? Doubtless if we tried, we could find some kind of a
conveyance to carry you and the bicycle."

"Not till after dinner, Madame." Their driver turned toward Mrs.
Redmond, lifting his hat politely,--"Every horse is away now."

"The only thing for Amy to do is to let you hold her on your lap,
Priscilla, while I take the bicycle on mine." At which absurd suggestion
even Priscilla was forced to laugh; for the vehicle sent down to
Meteghan station for her Majesty's mail was as narrow and shallow as any
carriage could well be that made even a pretence of holding four
persons. But with the deftness that comes with experience the driver had
managed to find room not only for his passengers, but for their suit
case and bags, for several packages that had come by train, and finally
for his great pouch of mail.

"There must be a perfect cavern under the seat," whispered Martine to
Mrs. Redmond. "I am sure that we could put Amy there."

But even as she spoke Amy had mounted, and was up the hill ahead before
the driver had taken his seat. Yet although Amy had taken the hill so
well, she was soon out of breath. The road was soft, and the hill
steeper than she had thought, and when a little chubby boy darted
directly toward her, she slipped from her wheel and bent down to talk to
the little fellow.

To her surprise, at first he did not respond to her "What's your name?"
but hung his head shyly. Then it occurred to her that he did not
understand, and when she repeated her question in French his "Louis,
Mademoiselle," showed that her venture had been right.

"Does every one here speak French, Monsieur?" she asked, as the carriage
approached.

"Yes, all," responded the driver, stopping beside her for a moment.

"And no English?"

"Oh, many, though some have no English."

Martine and Priscilla praised the bright eyes of little Louis. Mrs.
Redmond handed him an illustrated paper that she had brought from the
train, and the driver started up his horse.

"You follow me," he called back to Amy.

"Yes, yes," cried Amy, laughing, knowing that she could soon pass him;
but while she loitered to talk with the child, the carriage was soon so
far ahead that she could barely discern the fluttering of the long veil
that Martine held out to stream in the wind like a flag.

After leaving little Louis, Amy pedalled along leisurely. At first she
passed only one or two houses, but each of them offered her something to
think of. In front of one, two or three barefooted children were playing
hop-scotch, with the limits marked out in lines drawn by a stick on the
dusty road. "I should think they'd stub their toes," she thought, as she
watched them, "but they're so well-dressed, except their feet, that I
suppose they prefer to go without shoes."

In the doorway of a second cottage, set like the other, close to the
road, a mother was standing with a baby in her arms, and a tiny little
girl clinging to her skirts. These children, like all the others she had
seen, had the brightest of black eyes. Beside the door was a well,
boarded in, with a bucket beside it.

The woman looked so friendly that Amy stopped for a drink of water, and,
making use of her best French, she spent a few minutes talking with the
woman.

A fine team of oxen hauling an empty hay wagon, beside which walked a
strapping youth in blue jeans and a flapping straw hat, was the next
reminder to Amy that she was indeed in a foreign country. After she had
returned the cheerful _bonjour_ of two or three bareheaded women whom
she met trudging along toward a hayfield, Amy was recalled to herself.
Her mother and the others were out of sight. "The driver will think that
I am not even following;" and making good speed up a long, gradual hill,
she saw the carriage waiting for her some distance ahead.

"This way, this way," shouted Martine. The driver waved his whip toward
the left, and when Amy caught up, they had changed their direction, and
she could feel the soft fresh breeze blowing in from St. Mary's Bay.

"Did you ever see such a clear blue sky?"

"Oh, yes, Martine,"--Amy was thinking of cloudless days on the North
Shore,--"but none bluer, perhaps."

"But it seems so foreign," interposed Priscilla, in a tone that
expressed some disapproval of foreign things. "I'm not sure that I like
it."

"It seems different from other places, though I can't tell why."

"This child is part of the why. Just look at him." Martine pointed to a
little boy of about eight, dressed in black, with deep embroidered
ruffles of white falling about his wrists, and a broad ruffled collar on
his coat. He wore a hat that was something like a tam-o'-shanter, and
something like a mortar-board, and he carried a large slate under his
arm.

"He's evidently on his way home from school. See the crowd of children
behind him."

As the children drew nearer, some stood still, the better to see the
party of strangers. Thus the latter had a chance to note various
peculiarities of dress and general appearance. One or two little girls
wore sunbonnets, one or two wore hats, and several had on their heads
black _couvre-chefs_, that made them look like little old women. The
sturdy little boys in blouses were more like other boys, and they indeed
were too busy racing and tumbling over one another to pay attention to
the travellers.

"Amy," exclaimed Martine, "you should have kept beside us all the way,
we have been hearing such wonderful stories. Down there by the bridge
there are several descendants of the Baron d'Entremont, and other people
whose ancestors came from France hundreds of years ago."

"The Baron d'Entremont!" Amy felt a thrill of pleasure. Surely that was
one of the names that Fritz had mentioned in connection with Pubnico,
and if she too could come across some of his descendants, how delightful
this would be!

The houses were now nearer together than they had been. At the right
there was a glimmer of blue water. On the bridge at the foot of the
decline Amy dismounted to watch the men loading with lumber a little
schooner at the wharf near-by. The carriage drew up before the tiny
post-office, where part of the mail was left. A gray-bearded man in the
door of a small shop caught Amy's eye. With his broad-brimmed hat, loose
trousers, and slippers,--yes, slippers,--he reminded her of pictures she
had seen of old Frenchmen. She longed to snap her kodak, to catch him
just as he stood there, leaning on his cane. But she did not dare, there
was something so very venerable and dignified in his appearance.

Then her eye fell on the name d'Entremont over the shop. Martine and
Priscilla joined her. Martine was in great spirits.

"Your mother is writing a post-card in the office. So, while we are
waiting, let us go in here and try the d'Entremont brand of ginger ale.
They're sure to have some, and one doesn't often have the chance to
patronize the descendant of a French nobleman."

Within the dim little shop two or three men were lounging near the
counter, who probably said to themselves, "Oh, those foolish Americans!"

But their manner showed no disrespect as they moved aside, and the
proprietor made one or two pleasant remarks as he served the trio.

A few minutes later Amy was again on her bicycle, the others had taken
their places in the carriage, and the little village was behind them.
The large farms that they had seen near Meteghan station gave place to
small gardens. The houses were near together, and they were painted in
colors that drew many exclamations of approval from Martine. "This is
great! I never dreamed that I should see a lavender cottage with green
trimmings,--and what a shade of yellow for a house! Oh, Mrs. Redmond, I
hope that our water-colors will last the trip. I'm afraid that we'll use
them all up, painting the wonders of Meteghan. This is Meteghan, isn't
it?"

"Yes, Mees," replied the driver. "It was all Meteghan, from the station,
only that was a different name for the other post-office. But there is
our church; this is the true village."

"Star of the Sea" was an imposing building, but the journey since
leaving Yarmouth had been long, and they were too eager now to reach
their destination to give the church more than a passing glance.

Amy's quick eye had noted the swinging sign of the little inn not so
very far beyond the church, and, hastening ahead, she was the first to
be welcomed by Madame, wife of their driver, who was also proprietor of
the small hotel.

Welcomed with ceremonious politeness, they were soon made to feel
perfectly at home. When the question was pressed, they all admitted that
they were very hungry. In the pleasant rooms to which they were shown,
they had barely time to make themselves ready when a loud bell called
them to dinner. As the four entered the dining-room, they saw that there
were several other guests at the long table. One, a stout man with a
fondness for jokes, proved to be the agent for a millinery house in
Halifax. There were one or two others who said so little that even Amy
could not tell whether they were French or English; two middle-aged
ladies near Mrs. Redmond quickly let her know that they were teachers
from Connecticut, now for the first time making a tour of the provinces.
They had sailed from New York to Halifax for the sake of the sea voyage,
and had come down slowly through Windsor, Grand Pré, and Annapolis, and
were enthusiastic about all these places.

"But if you can," one of them concluded, "you must have a few days at
Little Brook,--Petit Ruisseau, as some call it. It's the centre of
everything interesting in Clare; it's really where the first Acadians
landed after the expulsion, and only a short distance from Point à
l'Église."

Amy listened eagerly. Here evidently was some one who could tell her
much that she wished to hear about this new country, and later, when
they were all outside on the little piazza at the front, she learned
what she wished to know. On consulting her mother, they decided that
after a day at Meteghan they would go on to Little Brook, and spend at
least two or three days there--if possible at the Hotel Paris, which the
teachers recommended.

Missing Priscilla and Martine, Amy found them in the little
sitting-room.

"Tell me," whispered Martine, "aren't you disappointed?"

"Disappointed with what?"

"Why, in this house--this room especially; it's so--so unforeign."

Amy glanced around her,--at the bright-flowered carpet; the
marble-topped table, on which was displayed a bouquet of wax-flowers
under a glass globe; on the two machine-made oak rockers; and then on
the pictures.

"Where do you suppose they found that picture of the Queen with such
very pink cheeks, and a mouth as small as a pin, and those wax-figure
princelings--and those saints? Do you suppose Madame and her children
know the names of them all?"

At that moment Madame herself entered the door.

"You like pretty things. Ah, you must see my rugs, if you would care
to."

"Yes, indeed," Amy replied politely.

"Then come with me. They are in my room,--the best,--and the American
ladies always admire them."

So the two girls followed their landlady upstairs, where she proudly
displayed rug after rug of wonderful design and still more wonderful
color. Martine dared not say what she thought,--that it seemed a pity
that so much time had been put into things that could only dazzle rather
than please the average beholder. Amy conscientiously praised those that
could be properly praised,--for here and there was a rug of really
artistic design,--and Priscilla gave an exclamation of delight as she
noticed on the bed a really exquisite spread.

"You like that?" asked Madame. "It is good work, all by hand; only two
or tree women can now make them. My old aunt who made that is dead,
but--"

"It is like the finest Marseilles, only I never saw so beautiful a
pattern. I did not know people could make such things by hand."

"On a loom, surely yes; there are only one or two in Meteghan, but you
can see one work, if you wish, at Alexandre Babet's."

"There, that will be something to see! Is it far?" cried Martine.

"Oh, no. You can find it quickly."

"After we are rested," responded Amy. "The sun is still hot. Your rugs
and the spread are beautiful."

As the girls sat down on the piazza, Priscilla turned to Amy. "You did
not think those rugs really beautiful?"

Amy did not resent this slight touch of reproach, even though Priscilla
was so much her junior.

"Yes, and no. Some of them were beautiful even from my point of view.
They all were from that of their owner, and since she desired to please
us by showing them, it seemed only fair to reward her with a word of
praise."

"But if every one praises her she will go on using those terrible
aniline colors. They made my head ache just to look at them."

"Oh, Priscilla, you are so precise I'll call you 'Prim' as well as
'Prissie.'"

"_No_ one else calls me 'Prissie,' Martine."

"No one else dares tease you. Probably your little brothers and sisters
are frightened to death of you, and then, because you are the oldest,
you have always been made to think that you are absolutely perfect."

"Oh, Martine!"

"There, there, I know just how it is. It's so in our family; I have an
elder brother, and he has always been held up as a model, although,
between you and me, he's far from perfect. It just keeps me busy,
showing him his faults. So, Miss Prissie, if you are too old-maidish
I'll have to show you yours."

Priscilla was helpless under Martine's rapid fire of words. In her
moments of reflection it surprised her that a girl whom six months
before she had not even heard of, should now venture to say things to
her that no one in her own family would dare to say.

A little later, Amy and Priscilla and Martine set out to see the loom
that made the fine quilts. Priscilla had desired to postpone the visit
until next morning. "It would be better to rest now."

"I'm tired resting," protested Martine. "Unless we move on, I will go
indoors, and play doleful things on the melodeon. You don't know what I
am when I'm melancholy."

Unmoved by Martine, when Amy showed that it was better not to spend the
whole afternoon listlessly, Priscilla objected no longer.

The Babet house was a ten minutes' walk up the street. After mistaking
one or two houses for the one they were seeking, their third trial
brought a tall, long-bearded man to the door who answered to the name of
Alexandre Babet.

"We hear that some one here--your wife, perhaps,--makes those beautiful
quilts."

"Oh, yes," responded Alexandre, in fair English. "They are good quilts,
and we have a loom."

Martine pinched Priscilla's arm. "I'm disappointed; I thought that he'd
speak French."

"Come in, come in;" and Alexandre showed them into the neatest of
sitting-rooms,--neat, but painfully bare. It was brightened, to be sure,
by one or two gay pictures of saints in brilliant-colored garments, and
by two or three geraniums in flower on the window. But the wooden floor
was unpainted, and on it was only one rug, and there was little
furniture besides the high dresser and a long table.

Alexandre went off to summon his wife, and soon she came in from the
kitchen, accompanied by another, whom Alexandre introduced as his
sister. The girls soon became embarrassed under the piercing gaze of
their black eyes. The women wore dark calico gowns with little shawls
over their shoulders, and their _couvre-chefs_ were bound closely to
their heads. Neither of them understood English, nor spoke it. But
Alexandre proved as talkative as any two women. Moreover, he
occasionally translated his own words into French, and in the same way
made the women understand what the young American girls said--to the
great amusement of Amy and Martine. Priscilla sat solemnly through the
conversation, as if she found something pathetic in the aspect of the
women.

During a moment of silence, when the room seemed rather close and
uncomfortable,--for the windows were shut, and the blinds were
drawn,--there came a gentle tapping on the door. Madame Babet sprang to
her feet.

"No, no, sit still; she can come in." Then turning to the others,
Alexandre added, "It is Yvonne, our little one. Come in, Yvonne," he
called in a louder tone; "here are Americans."

Upon this the door was pushed open, and a little girl wearing a pink
gingham gown and a white sunbonnet, entered slowly, holding one hand
outstretched, as if not quite sure of herself. Then, walking directly
toward Madame Babet, she slipped to the floor beside her, and laid her
head on her lap.

The girls looked from her to Alexandre to read an explanation in his
face, and he, understanding, raised his hand to his eyes.

"Blind!" exclaimed Martine, involuntarily. "Poor little thing!"

"She understands English," said the man, warningly; "she does not wish
pity."

"I see much," said Yvonne, proudly, "when the light does not glare. I
see the American ladies. This one is pretty;" and rising, she made her
way carefully to Martine, and laid her hand confidingly in hers.

Martine's color deepened; she felt a great tenderness toward the girl,
and she raised the little hand to her lips.



  CHAPTER IV

  YVONNE


"She is adopted," said Alexandre, "but we know no difference. She calls
us her parents. Her mother and father are dead, and she makes her home
with us since she was a baby. When I get my gold out she shall sing, oh,
so beautifully."

"Your gold out?" queried Amy.

"Ah, yes! Back here on my farm, which looks all rocks, there is much
gold underneath. I know not how to get it out, but some day I shall find
a miner who knows. See!"

From a drawer in the dresser he brought out two pieces of quartz, which
he asked the girls to look at carefully. "It is gold underneath, sans
doute, and, Mees, if you know a miner in Boston to study this, he could
have some of my gold when it is dug out, but as for me I know not how to
get it out, and poor Yvonne cannot have her music."

Gradually the girls gathered that Yvonne had a voice "sweeter than an
angel's," and that Alexandre had set his heart on giving her a musical
education. His plans soared far beyond the Western continent. He would
send her to Paris, to Italy, and she should astonish the world. The most
of this conversation or monologue took place in the little field back of
the house that Alexandre dignified as "my farm." The soil was poor and
rocky, and evidently he had hard work to raise the few patches of
vegetables needed for his family. There was a tiny orchard,--it had not
been an Acadian farm without that. The trees were knotty and scrubby,
and Amy was not surprised that the prospect of a gold-mine offered even
more than the usual attractions to the visionary Alexandre. But Amy,
though she knew nothing of mineralogy, thought it most unlikely that a
gold-mine lay hidden beneath the stony surface in which Alexandre had
dug a deep, deep hole with a vague idea that it was a shaft. Indeed, Amy
felt quite sure that even a mineralogist--for such was the meaning of
his "miner"--would give him little encouragement. Yet as she looked at
the slender figure of Yvonne walking ahead with Martine, she felt deep
sympathy with his ambition.

Evidently Yvonne, in spite of her infirmity, was the pride of the little
household. Her print gown of a delicate pink cambric was spotlessly
neat, and her white sunbonnet had been laundered with the greatest care.
Though much shorter and slighter than Martine, the latter was surprised
to find that the little Acadienne was hardly a year younger, and that it
was true, as Alexandre said, that she ought soon to have the chance to
study--if--and here was the question--if her voice was what he pictured
it.

"Miss Amy," murmured Priscilla, half impatiently, "I thought that we
came to see the loom."

"Indeed we did, but these people have been so interesting that we have
spent too much time out here." Then turning toward their host, who had
fallen back, she asked him to show them the loom.

"Ah, yes, with the greatest pleasure,--the loom, and the beautiful
quilts that my wife makes, and the lace of Yvonne. The mine did almost
make me forget, but we shall go in quick."

When they were again in the house he led them up a steep flight of
stairs to an unfinished room, with great rafters overhead and two small
windows admitting little light.

There at the loom sat his silent wife, and beside her stood the equally
silent sister. So it fell on Alexandre to explain the workings of the
great wooden frame. While he was talking, however, the attention of all
the girls flagged a little. Amy had never been interested in machinery,
and made no pretence of understanding it. Priscilla was impressed by the
quaintness of the scene, but she was weary from her two or three days of
travelling, and her mind wandered while the voluble Frenchman was
talking; and Martine, fully occupied with Yvonne, paid little heed to
any one else. Nevertheless they were all sufficiently impressed with the
skill with which the rather dull-looking wife of Alexandre managed warp
and woof, and produced, even as they were looking at her, a fragment of
pattern.

While Alexandre was in the midst of one of his speeches Priscilla
whispered to Amy, and Amy, as if at her suggestion, turned to Alexandre.

"We cannot stay much longer," she said politely, "and we are delighted
to have seen this loom, so that we can understand how these quilts are
made. It's really quite wonderful, your wife is so clever;" and she
paused for a moment to watch the busy fingers now flying in and out
among the threads. "But we came particularly to see some of the quilts."

"Oh, yes, Mees, certainly, we will show you quick;" then with an eye to
business,--"perhaps you will want to buy."

"Yes," said Amy, "perhaps we may. Come, Priscilla; come, Martine."

The two women followed the girls downstairs, and when they were again in
the little front room, from a wooden chest in the corner they brought
out a large quilt of much more beautiful design than any they had seen.

"I must have that," cried Martine in delight; "it is just what I want."

Then, when a second was shown, she was equally enthusiastic, and then a
third was laid on top of the pile.

"The money from the quilts is saved for Yvonne," Alexandre whispered to
Amy, and the latter did not protest when four of the quilts were laid
aside for Martine. Amy also chose one for herself, but Priscilla,
although she praised them, expressed no inclination to buy. Only when
some narrow hand-made lace was brought out from the chest did she become
enthusiastic, or as nearly enthusiastic as was possible for Priscilla,
and Yvonne blushed under her praise.

"It is an old art," the little blind girl explained; "it was my
grandmother taught me, and her grandmother taught her, and so on back to
the days of old France."

"But how can she do it? She is blind!" exclaimed Amy.

"Oh, not all blind, and not always! She can see a little, though
everything is dim, and the lace it is knitted,--not pillow lace, like
some,--and she can make her fingers go, oh, so quickly! Ah, she has much
talent, the little Yvonne, and you must hear her sing."

So Yvonne sang to them standing there in the middle of the room, without
notes and unaccompanied, and the plaintiveness of the tone and the
richness of the voice drew tears from the eyes of the three American
girls, while father and mother and aunt were lost in admiration as they
gazed at the slender figure in the pale pink gown.

Hardly had she finished when Martine, jumping up, impulsively threw her
arms about Yvonne's neck.

"You must go back with me to the hotel. You must sing to me again. There
is a melodeon in the parlor, and I will accompany you. Please, Mr.
Babet, can she go back with us?"

"It is an honor for Yvonne," he replied politely; "I will ask her
mother."

"Oh, let me; I will make her say 'Yes'"; and in a few words of rapid
French Martine asked that Yvonne might go to the hotel as her guest, to
stay to tea. The mother at once assented, and both of the silent women
were in a flutter of excitement as they accompanied Yvonne to her
bedroom to make some additions to her dress.

"Ah," said Alexandre, "she has never been inside the hotel; it will seem
very grand to her."

Then Yvonne, kissing them all,--the mother, the aunt, and finally the
tall father,--turned her back to the cottage, and with beaming face
leaned on Martine's arm as Amy led the way.

A little distance down the road they saw a man standing by a gate.

"Good-day, little one," he called; "where are you going?"

"To the hotel, Uncle Placide."

"How happens it?"

"These American ladies have asked me. I am to have tea."

"Ah, well, she is a dear little one, and you are good to her."

The whole party had now halted in front of the gate, and these words
seemed to be particularly addressed to Amy; for, standing directly in
front of her, Placide lifted his hat. "Won't you enter?" he asked
pleasantly.

"But, uncle," remonstrated Yvonne, "we have no time; we go to the
hotel."

"Oh, but there is much time; I have been in the States, and I like to
talk to the strangers, so enter my garden at least, ladies, to taste of
my cherries."

There was nothing to do but enter the garden. At the mention of cherries
Yvonne indeed had seemed more willing to halt on her way to the hotel,
and the others, as Placide thrust upon them liberal handfuls of his
great crimson cherries, did not regret the delay.

"You are from Boston," he said, after Amy had mentioned her home. "Ah, I
worked in Boston, that is, in Lowell, which was the same, and then I
came home when I had saved enough to buy a house. It is not so gay here
as in Lowell, but it is happier, and I can make a pleasanter living. I
never did like the mill, but the pay was good."

"What do you do now, Mr. Placide?" asked Amy.

"Oh, I fish. The sea is good to us Acadians; it is better than the
factory. One gets health here as well as fish, and fish enough to keep
the house fed. So, with my potatoes and my cherries, I am rich." Then,
with an afterthought,--"But I hope sometime that little Yvonne can go to
Boston, where there is much music. She could study and be great singer,
for the voice it needs teaching. I know that, because I have been in the
States where people study so much."

The girls found it hard to leave Placide, for he was even more fluent
than Alexandre, and his years in the States had given him a certain
amount of information about things American, and he was evidently fond
of displaying what he knew. But at last they managed to say good-bye,
and continued their way down the road.

"I am tired," sighed Priscilla, as the four stood at the door of the
little hotel.

"Then let us sit here on the piazza. Would this suit you, Yvonne?"

Yvonne turned toward Amy with a smile. "I like whatever the other ladies
like; it is all good for me."

"Oh, yes," added Martine, "it will be great fun to sit here and watch
the passers-by. Things are rushing this afternoon; two persons are
entering that shop across the way, and I can count three ox-carts and
two buggies in sight. Where do you suppose the buggies are going?"

"Perhaps half a mile up the road; perhaps to Yarmouth. You know there is
a continuous street along St. Mary's Bay, about forty miles from
Yarmouth to Weymouth."

"One street forty miles long!" Amy's statement roused Priscilla from her
lethargy.

"The young lady says true," interposed Madame, their landlady, who had
stepped out on the piazza. "Forty miles, and all Acadians! Is it not
marvellous that they have grown to be so much, when the English treated
them so cruelly, long, long ago?"

"Ah, yes, Evangeline," responded Martine, politely.

"Evangeline never came back," said the literal Priscilla.

"That is true," assented the landlady. "But there is more than
Evangeline to tell about. Little Yvonne here knows many tales."

Yvonne sighed softly. "Ah, yes, very many. But Evangeline lived not in
Meteghan. Her country was Grand Pré, far north. You will go there,
without doubt?"

"Yes, Yvonne, we shall spend a week there."

"There are not so many stories about Meteghan, for no one lived here
until after the exile."

"I remember one," interposed Amy; "the story of Aubrey, who was lost in
the woods. At least, some writers say that he was lost in the Meteghan
woods, others that it all happened near Digby."

"Tell us the story, Amy, and we can decide for ourselves where it was."

"How like Martine!" thought Priscilla, "as if a girl could decide where
to place an historic event!"

"After all," continued Amy, "it's only a little story, but it tells of
something that happened on that first expedition to St. Mary's Bay, when
De Monts brought his vessels here in 1604, and Champlain named this
stretch of water, as he named so many other places. One member of the
expedition was Aubrey, a priest, with an intelligent love of nature. A
small party went off from the vessel to look for ore along the shores of
St. Mary's Bay. The priest was one of the number, but when the boat was
ready to return he could not be found. He had left his sword in the
woods, and had gone back to look for it. For four days the others
searched for him without success, and suspicion fell on one or two
Huguenots in the party, in whose company he was last seen. With one of
them he had had some rather violent discussions on religious matters. To
the credit of all, however, no harm was done to the Huguenots in spite
of the suspicion. After sailing without Aubrey, the party went farther
north, and it was nearly three weeks before they returned to the
neighborhood where he had disappeared."

"Did they find him?" asked Martine, somewhat impatiently. Amy was to
learn that Martine's temperament led her always to desire the climax
almost before she had heard the story itself.

"Yes, they found him; for when they were some distance from shore they
saw something that looked like a flag waving. A boat was sent out, and
to the delight of those who went in it, they saw that the flag was a
handkerchief tied to a hat on a stick, that the missing Aubrey was
holding to attract their attention. Looking for his sword, the good
priest had missed his way, and for seventeen days he had wandered in the
woods, living on berries and roots."

"How delighted he must have been to see his friends!"

"Not more delighted than they to see him; for had he not been found, the
consequences for the suspected Huguenots might have been serious."

"It is Yvonne's turn to tell us a story," said Martine, "but we all need
to rest before tea, and I want to tell your mother about the quilts. If
she disapproves of my buying so many--"

"I suppose that you will send them back;" Amy's tone contradicted her
words.

"Oh, no; I will not send them back. But I do wonder what I shall do with
them."

Yvonne and Martine went indoors, and Amy and Priscilla soon followed.
Amy prepared her mother for Yvonne by telling her all that they had
learned about the little girl.

"I won't discourage Martine's altruism," said Mrs. Redmond. "Her
impulsiveness in the past has sometimes led her into trouble, but
Martine herself will be benefited by having this warm interest in
another. As to the quilts, though we cannot carry them about with us,
they can be easily expressed home, and the duty will not be large."

After tea the whole party sat in the little parlor, to listen to Yvonne.
Her first two or three songs were without accompaniment. They were
plaintive songs with French words, and unfamiliar to the Americans who
were listening. But a chance question revealed the fact that Yvonne was
also familiar with much music that Amy knew well. Thereupon Martine
suggested that if Amy would improvise some accompaniments Yvonne might
be heard to even better advantage. So Amy, seated there at the melodeon,
played, and Yvonne continued to sing, and some of the music was rendered
with a dramatic power that surprised all who listened.

"Ah, she will be great some day," said the landlady, listening
enraptured to the bird-like tones. "How it had pleased her poor mother
to know that she was to be a singer!"

While Yvonne sang, various plans were rushing through Martine's busy
brain. "Yvonne shall have a parlor organ, Yvonne shall have teachers,
Yvonne shall have her eyes examined by a good oculist. Evidently she is
not blind,--not really blind."

While she was thinking and planning, her eyes never left the face of the
little French girl, held there by the wonderfully happy expression which
lit it. Yvonne's wide, brown eyes, her half-parted lips, the little
brown tendrils curling around her forehead, all combined to make a
picture that impressed itself strongly on all in the room. Moreover, the
gentle and unassuming manner of the young singer, as she received the
praise showered on her, completely won the hearts of all. Or perhaps it
would be more nearly true to say that if Priscilla's heart was not
completely won, she at least had begun to see some reason in Martine's
infatuation.

"Is it not wonderful?" asked Martine of Mrs. Redmond.

"She certainly sings remarkably well--for a little girl."

Martine looked up quickly at Mrs. Redmond. Was the latter able to find
some flaw in what she herself considered altogether perfect? She had no
time just then to question her, for Yvonne herself might overhear the
reply, and besides, the young girl was about to sing again, and Martine
could not spare a note.

When at last the tall figure of Alexandre Babet appeared in the doorway,
they knew that the music must end, and with a protracted farewell from
Martine, Yvonne and her adopted father started for home before nine
o'clock.

"Yvonne did not seem as much overcome by the grandeur of the hotel as
Alexandre prophesied," remarked Amy, as the girls went upstairs.

"Yvonne would never be overpowered by anything," responded Martine; "I
don't believe she'd be surprised by the Auditorium."

Whereat both Amy and Priscilla laughed loudly. "To compare small things
with great," said Priscilla, "of course she wouldn't be impressed by
this hotel. Why, it's smaller than a summer boarding-house."

"I wonder what Alexandre meant?" mused Martine.

"Oh, it was only his way of trying to make you think that you were doing
Yvonne a great favor by asking her here," responded Amy.

"Yes, the French way of pretending that things are what they are not,"
added Priscilla, as if the word "French" comprised the very essence of
deceit.

"Take care," retorted Martine. "I never dared tell you before, but I had
a French great-great-grandmother."

Although Priscilla made no reply to this, her inward comment was, "That
accounts for many things that have made me wonder."

At breakfast the next morning, before Martine had come down to the
table, Amy asked her mother what she really thought of Yvonne's singing.

"I do not profess to be a judge of that kind of thing, but the child
seems to have a fine natural voice, as well as a musical nature. Yet,
like all other singers, she must have her tones properly placed, and she
is still too young to profit by expensive musical instruction. It is my
own opinion that it would be better for her to sing little for the next
few years. Some of the things that she sang last evening were beyond
her, and there is danger of her forcing her voice, and so injuring it."

"Have you said this to Martine?"

"No, for Martine is the type of girl who profits most by finding out
things for herself. She will learn gradually that everything cannot be
done at once for Yvonne."



  CHAPTER V

  NEW PEOPLE


"I don't like to."

"Why not?"

"It seems strange. They may not care to have us visit them."

"We can only try. If they turn us away why, that is the worst we need
expect." So, drawing Priscilla's arm within hers, Amy led her up the
narrow flagged walk toward the Convent School.

A sister wearing a glazed bonnet with a long veil was trimming
rosebushes in the garden bed close to the house.

"Yes, surely, we are glad to have visitors. The school itself is closed
now, for the girls have their holidays, but you can see all there is.
Excuse me for a moment and I will be with you."

In a short time she had joined them in the little hallway to which they
had been admitted by another sister.

"Would the ladies care to see the chapel?"

"Ladies" had a pleasant sound to Priscilla, and she put aside her
prejudice against entering churches not of her own faith.

The chapel was simply a large room suitably fitted with altar and seats.
It had no color, but everything was daintily white, with here and there
a touch of gold.

The neat dormitory, the pleasant schoolroom, and the spotless
cleanliness of the whole house appealed to Priscilla, and to her
surprise she found herself asking the sister questions about her work.

"We are Sisters of Charity, and our headquarters are in Halifax," the
good sister said gently. "The school is but a little part of our work.
We go in and out among the sick and the troubled. The Acadians are good
to their own, and no one need suffer here; but some will make mistakes,
and some suffer through the fault of others, and often the priest and
the sisters alone can set things right."

Soon they had seen all that there was to see, and when the sister,
looking at the clock, regretted that she must leave them to visit a sick
woman, both girls asked if they might not walk with her.

"With pleasure," she replied. "Indeed, I would take you to the house
where I am going, were it not that this woman is too sick to see
visitors."

"We should like to see another Acadian house," said Amy; "we have
visited only that of Alexandre Babet, and that was so plain."

"Ah, you have been at Alexandre Babet's. Then you have seen the little
Yvonne. Is she not charming?"

"Yes, charming and talented. We have heard her sing."

"Yvonne sings sweetly. We have taught her some music here, but nature
has done the most for her, and she is so patient about her eyes."

"Do you think that she will be blind?" asked Amy, anxiously.

"Oh, no, not wholly blind, though it is largely a question of doctors.
This came to her through an illness a few years ago. She did not have
the right care. They did not understand. But there is always hope, and I
think that she is no worse this year or two."

"We have a friend who has taken a great fancy to Yvonne. She preferred
to go up to Alexandre Babet's this morning rather than to come
sightseeing with us."

"Yvonne wins the heart of all so quickly, and her good father and
mother, though adopted, would do everything for her if they could. Poor
Alexandre looks for a gold-mine."

"Yes, we know," and Amy smiled; "but I am glad to know that there is
hope for Yvonne's eyes."

"Ah, yes, there is hope. Poor child! She has had a strange history."

At that moment two small girls crossed their path. They looked like
little old women, with their shawls and _couvre-chefs_. The sister laid
her hand on the shoulder of one of them.

"Where are you going?"

The girls hung their heads shamefaced, and would not meet the sister's
gaze.

"Ah, you know; go home and get your hats."

The children ran off without looking back, and the sister turned with a
smile to Amy and Priscilla.

"You see they are foolish. When they are at school I tell them they must
wear hats every day; but in holidays they will put on _couvre-chefs_. It
is an old fashion that I think not good. When they are married--ah! it
is too bad--at once they put on the _couvre-chef_, the very girls that I
took such trouble with. It takes long to get the Acadians away from the
old fashions. But they are good people."

"We should like to see more of them," said Amy. "We should like to see
another Acadian house. That of Alexandre Babet did not seem typical."

"Then I should be glad to take you to see one. Why, here we are, just
opposite the house of Madame Doucet, who speaks some English, and with
her daughter you would see two excellent Acadians. Would you care to
call there? I will introduce you, though I must go on farther."

Priscilla looked up in protest, but when Amy expressed pleasure at the
prospect of making the visit, she said nothing in opposition. The
sister, saying a word or two more in praise of Madame Doucet, and
leading them across the street, knocked briskly on the door of a small
pink cottage.

This was one of the brightest of the brightly painted dwellings that Amy
had noticed when on her wheel the day before,--a pink with pale-green
trimmings. When the sister had introduced them to the heavy-browed young
woman who came to the door, she left them, to go farther on her errand
of mercy.

The young woman, after welcoming the girls heartily, led them to the
kitchen in the rear, into which the bright morning sunshine was pouring,
while a tiny canary in its cage sang cheerfully.

In the rocking-chair near a window sat an elderly woman, whom the
daughter introduced as her mother. She was stouter and stronger looking
than Madame Babet, and although she could hardly be called of ruddy
complexion, she was far less sallow. Her face showed signs of age, but
her hair had hardly begun to turn gray, and she welcomed the two girls
so cordially that they were at once at their ease.

Amy, while the daughter exchanged a few words with her mother, glanced
around the room. Its floor was partially covered with a square of
oilcloth, and the most conspicuous article of furniture was the large,
highly polished range, on which were several bright pans and kettles of
tin. There were religious pictures on the wall, and one or two
rocking-chairs. Evidently it was sitting-room as well as kitchen. A set
of shelves in the corner laden with dishes attracted Amy's attention.
Madame Doucet, observing Amy's interest, for she had stepped toward the
shelves, said to her kindly,--

"Ah, go close, eef you please; you may touch them."

Amy gave an exclamation of delight as she took down a pitcher of copper
lustre shining like burnished gold.

"How beautiful! I wish I had one like it."

"Ah, that is not to sell; it is family what you call it?"

"Heirloom," suggested Priscilla.

"But yes, that is so, for my grandmère had it long ago. She was daughter
to an exile."

Amy handled the pitcher carefully as she set it back on the shelf. Few
of the other dishes were china, though one delicate cup and saucer Amy
pronounced older even than the pitcher.

When Priscilla complimented the two women on their English, they beamed
with pride, and explained that they had made a great effort to learn it
while living in Yarmouth, where the older woman's husband had worked in
a mill.

"But we see not many English, so we have not much chance to practise.
That how the sister send you here."

"As a language-lesson," murmured Amy; and even Priscilla smiled in spite
of herself.

The younger woman was talkative. She took them into her neat bedroom,
with its floor in two colors,--a yellow geometrical design painted on a
brown ground,--and showed them with especial pride her dressing-table,
the frame of which she had fashioned with her own hands and draped with
white muslin. From the window she pointed out her little garden, with
its vegetable patch and tiny strawberry-bed, which she worked herself.

"I sell some every year," she said. "That helps keep house. We don't
need much, we Acadians; we very lazy."

"You don't seem lazy to me," remarked Amy; "certainly you are
hard-working."

"P'raps lazy is not the word--no, it is content. We Acadians are too
content with what we have. We want not too much, and so we make not
money as the Americans."

With some difficulty Amy brought to a close the visit to the cheerful
mother and daughter. She on her part, and they on theirs, had so many
questions to ask and to answer.

On their way back to the hotel they stopped for a moment at the
graveyard in front of the great brick church.

"Let us not go in," urged Priscilla.

"It may not be open," returned Amy, "though this Stella Maris interests
me because our landlady told me that the whole parish helped build it.
All saved and saved, and gave what they could, and the men, when they
came home tired from fishing, would go some distance where the bricks
were and haul them to the building. But if you don't care to go into the
church, do spend a few minutes in the churchyard,--I have a weakness for
studying old gravestones;" and as she spoke Amy's mind went back to a
day long ago when she and Brenda and Nora and Julia had poked among the
stones in that old burying-ground overlooking Marblehead Harbor. This
thought reminded her of Fritz, who had teased her that day in his boyish
way, and strangely enough these memories took such possession of her
that she could not put her mind on this little churchyard of the
Acadians.

Moreover there was less of interest here than she had expected.
Inscriptions were few, and these were modern and practical. There was
something pathetic in the general tangle of grass and shrubbery, and in
the plain little wooden crosses that marked the majority of the graves.

As they approached the hotel a shout greeted them,--"Amy, Amy, Prissie,
Prissie! Where have you been?"

"How silly Martine is!" Priscilla had barely time to say, when Martine
herself rushed out of a little building near the house.

"Oh, do come in, Yvonne is with me; I've been buying her a hat."

"A hat!"

"Yes, do come and see. There's a man here from Halifax,--a drummer, I
suppose,--and he has the loveliest fall styles. I would get one for
myself if I knew how to carry it."

"An autumn hat in July! Will you make poor Yvonne wear it now?"

When they entered the room where the millinery was displayed, they saw
Yvonne standing in rapt admiration before the long double row of hats
that the milliner's man had taken out of his boxes. In her hand she held
a large shaggy felt, trimmed with rosettes of velvet. The little girl
was fingering it lovingly.

"I have never had a hat," she explained, "only hoods and sunbonnets, but
my new friend, she desires that I have one for the winter, and it will
indeed be a pleasure. I could never wear a _couvre-chef_ like an old
woman. I do not see these plain, but they feel so soft."

"Put it on, Yvonne, you look so sweet."

So Yvonne put it on, and after trying one or two others, Martine still
preferred the first one. Accordingly it was packed in a large box, and
Martine carried it to the hotel, where Yvonne was to stay until Mrs.
Redmond and her party should start for Little Brook.

The afternoon was warm. Mrs. Redmond went down to the edge of the Bay to
finish a sketch that she had begun in the morning. Amy and Priscilla sat
on the piazza, lazily watching the passers-by, and commiserating the men
mowing grass in the meadow across the road that lay between them and the
sea.

Martine roamed about the house with Yvonne clinging closely to her, and
at last sat down for an hour in the parlor, to hear Yvonne sing some of
her plaintive songs.

After their early tea Alexandre came to claim Yvonne, and the two girls
fell on each other's necks in a farewell embrace. Though they were less
demonstrative in their expression, Amy and Mrs. Redmond, and Priscilla
too, felt some emotion at parting with their new friend.

"It isn't a real good-bye," whispered Martine to Yvonne; "I know that
Mrs. Redmond will help me carry out those plans I spoke of. So _au
revoir_."

From Meteghan to Little Brook they were to drive eight miles,--at least,
all but Amy were to drive, while she, as before, was to wheel beside the
carriage.

"You will stay in Little Brook a week," said the two Connecticut
teachers, bidding them good-bye. "Don't forget the Hotel Paris. It's
smaller than this," they added, smiling, "but you will find it
entertaining in every way."

"We can't stay a week," Mrs. Redmond had replied; "already we need our
trunks."

"And our letters," added Priscilla.

"Yes, they are waiting for us in Digby. You see this side trip to Clare
was as unexpected as it has been pleasant."

But the farewells were at last all said, and with only one backward
glance at the landlady and her children, the teachers, and the
commercial traveller, the four turned their faces toward Petit Ruisseau,

                   ... "'when brightly the sunset
     Lighted the village street.'"

sang Amy as they rode along. "Don't you remember that in 'Evangeline,'
Priscilla?" she asked, for she was riding close to the carriage.

"It sounds familiar. We must find time to read Longfellow while we are
at Little Brook."

"Yes, indeed; but now--"

Amy did not finish the sentence, for the driver started up his horse,
and to show that she did not intend to be outridden she increased her
own speed, and soon was out of hearing of the others. It was a beautiful
evening. The gaily painted houses of Meteghan, and even those that were
dazzling white, all suggested the toy dwellings of the Christmas shops.
Amy greatly enjoyed the scene as she pedalled along. A girl standing in
one doorway, knitting busily, called out a cheerful salutation, which
Amy returned.

At one corner was a little shop, where a few men in blue jeans had
gathered to talk after their day's work. Soon Meteghan was far behind,
and Amy had passed the great white church of Saulnierville. As she was
still some distance ahead of the carriage, she dismounted to speak to a
group of children playing some kind of a dancing game, to which they
sang an accompaniment. Making an effort to understand the words that
they sang to the merry air, she discovered that their French was unlike
hers.

A little farther on she noticed a boy walking along with the help of a
crutch. Her first glance made her think of Fritz, whom a slight accident
had once obliged to limp about in this same way. Something in the boy's
face when she looked at him a second time rather startled her. He
certainly resembled Fritz.

"I wonder if he is really lame, or if this crutch means only that he has
had some slight accident." This was her thought.

Dismounting, she turned back to the little boy.

"How far is it to Little Brook?"

"Oh, not very far on a wheel."

"A mile?" again ventured Amy.

"About a mile--perhaps."

Amy looked back. The carriage was so far behind that it was hardly worth
while for her to hurry on toward the Hotel Paris. Moreover, if she knew
just where the house was, she would not care to reach it ahead of her
mother and the others; so she walked along with the boy.

Although less talkative than some of the older Acadians whom she had
met, he was not at all shy, this little Pierre, who, after telling her
his name, confidently asked her hers.

"You speak good English," Amy said in compliment.

"Yes, Mademoiselle, we are taught English in school; we must learn it,
we Acadians. One often meets the English." The last was said with a
condescending air, amusing enough in one who was born a subject of the
Queen of England. "But you," continued Pierre, "are not English. You are
American,--is it not so?"

"Yes, Americans from the United States."

"Ah! they are strange, the Americans; you are going, perhaps, to the
Hotel Paris?"

"Yes, but how did you know?"

"Because it is the only place where Americans stay. So late, you would
be going somewhere. It is a good house, but Madame who keeps it has had
a death there to-day."

This piece of news disturbed Amy.

"A death! I must tell my mother. She is behind, in the carriage."

"You need not wait for it. It will soon overtake you if you walk with
me," said Pierre, sadly, glancing down at his crutch.

When, however, the carriage did overtake the two, they were not far from
the Hotel Paris. Mrs. Redmond heard what Pierre had to say about the
death of the landlady's sister, and when she learned that it was the
result of an accident received some years before, she felt less concern
than at first about approaching the house.

"It is unlikely, however, that Madame will wish us to stay there."

"Oh, she is not so," interposed Pierre; "she will always take money when
it comes to her."

"But I do not like to stay where there is a death," interrupted Martine.

Priscilla made no comment. But Mrs. Redmond was undisturbed. It was now
almost dark, and to return to Meteghan would mean a tiresome and
probably cold ride. Pierre asserted that there was no other house where
they could stay in Little Brook, and it was doubtful if there was any
room at Church Point.

"We must at least see Madame Bourque at the hotel. A message was sent
her last night, asking her to reserve rooms for us, and perhaps she can
help us out of our difficulty," said Mrs. Redmond.

To the great surprise of all, the Hotel Paris, when they reached it,
proved to be but a small dwelling-house, larger than its neighbors, but
even smaller than the inn at Meteghan, for which "hotel" seemed a
misnomer. As the four sat in the little parlor, Madame Bourque, a
dignified and even elegant appearing woman, in her black gown and black
_couvre-chef_, tried to make them feel comfortable.

"Ah, but the death, it makes no difference," she said, after assuring
Mrs. Redmond that the rooms were in readiness. "It is my sister who has
been long sick, and was glad to go. Indeed I am sorry that you heard of
it, for the funeral will be before you wake in the morning, and had I
thought it would disturb Madame, why, we might indeed have had it
to-day."

"Business before pleasure," whispered Martine to Amy, who was trying
valiantly to keep from smiling,--a difficult task, indeed, for any of
the four.

As they seemed to have no choice in the matter, the girls agreed with
Mrs. Redmond that they could hardly do better than take possession of
the large, pleasant rooms that Madame Bourque showed them.

In the early morning, a gray morning, before the others were awake, Amy
looked from the window. A sad little procession was setting out from the
door. The plain deal coffin was in an open wagon. Behind it were a dozen
shabby carriages, with mourners, men and women. They were to drive to
the churchyard at Point à l'Église, three miles away. She did not waken
the others, but she watched the little procession until it was out of
sight.

  [Illustration: "'Madame Bourque,' she cried, 'I asked him to come
  to see me.'"]



  Chapter VI

  PIERRE AND POINT À L'ÉGLISE


"Ah, why should she wish to see you, the American young lady? You have
much conceit, Pierre."

The words were French, the voice was Madame Bourque's, and Amy, quickly
translating what she overheard, perceived that Madame Bourque was
throwing obstacles in the way of the little boy's seeing her.

"Madame Bourque," she cried, stepping out into the hall, "I asked him to
come to see me. It is as he says."

"Oh, then excuse me, Mademoiselle. I did not understand. I did not know
that you had seen Pierre."

"Ah, yes, he helped me find my way last evening. He may come in, may he
not?"

"Ah, surely, since you wish it. Pierre talks much, and I have known
those whom he tired. But enter, Pierre, since you have been invited."

Then Pierre followed Amy into the little sitting-room, where Priscilla
and Martine were already seated near an open fire; for the gray and damp
early morning had introduced a foggy day, and at present sightseeing was
out of the question. Priscilla had been writing letters, Amy had been
reading a history of the Acadians, and Martine, before Pierre's arrival,
had been looking through "Evangeline."

"Pierre," Amy asked, not knowing just what to say to the old-fashioned
boy, "do you care for 'Evangeline'?"

"Surely, yes," he replied, his face lighting up. "Your Longfellow has
sympathy for the Acadians. A lady who stayed here last summer lent me
his poems, but best I understand the 'Evangeline.'

  "'Fair was she to behold, that maiden of seventeen summers.
    Black were her eyes as the berry that grows on the thorn by the
      wayside,
    Black, yet how softly they gleamed beneath the brown shade of her
      tresses!'"

Pierre recited with much expression.

"Ah," he continued, "I can say much of that beautiful poem, and indeed
it makes me weep to think how they were treated, those poor Acadians, my
ancestors. The English were most cruel."

"Amy," half-whispered Martine, "my history is a little rusty, so please
tell me if the Acadians were driven out from Little Brook."

"No, my dear, Little Brook was founded by some who made their way back
from exile. Pierre," she added in a louder tone, "you are so interested
in your people, can you tell us about those who founded Little Brook?"

"Yes, Pierre can tell you all the story," interposed Madame Bourque, who
had entered the room to put wood on the fire. "He knows it all from his
grandmother, and he remembers."

Pierre, thus commended, flushed even more deeply than he had when Amy
made her request; but he remained silent until she spoke again.

"Perhaps it is not everything that you would wish to hear," he said,
"that I shall tell; but my grandmother told me that it was all forest in
Clare when the Acadians were driven from their homes by the cruel
English. There were no farms here then, and so Petit Ruisseau has no sad
memories of poor people driven from their homes. But you know that
Acadians from Annapolis and Grand Pré and other places farther north
were carried off to the English settlements that are now the States, and
were treated like beggars; for they had no money, and spoke but a
strange tongue. Fathers were separated from children, and brothers and
sisters were not often in the same ship. But all were strong in their
hearts, and determined to come back to their beautiful Acadia. Some
began to come back before the Peace, and walked all the way--hundreds
and hundreds of miles--from Boston and New York, until they reached the
coast of the Bay. When the war was over, and there was a great Peace,
many, many more came, and walked all the way around from New Brunswick
to Nova Scotia to find their homes again."

"But I thought that all their houses were burned and that they had no
homes to return to."

"That is true; but some knew not this, and even those who had seen the
fires from the ships did not believe that everything of theirs was
destroyed. So they were very sad when they could find no signs of their
old homes, and saw that everything belonged to the English settlers. It
was a great crime, sending them away, oh, so many; I am proud my
great-great-grandparents were exiles and my great-grandmother was born
in Salem; so perhaps I am half Yankee; that's why I speak some English."

At that moment Madame Bourque took part in the conversation. "Ah, it is
terrible to think of their sufferings, people of such worth,--it is the
crime of history. Just think of Belliveau; you tell about him, Pierre."

"Oh, he was very brave, and the first exile to land in Clare. He and his
wife came across the bay in a little boat, bringing their baby too, and
they landed safely on the shore that you can see from the window. They
had a terrible passage--and to think to-day that some people fear to
cross the bay to St. John, even in a steamboat! At first they did have
nothing, but they cut wood, and soon other Acadians joined them who had
walked all the way around on land."

"Pierre," interposed Amy, "you describe things very well; what do you
intend to be when you grow up?"

A shadow crossed Pierre's face. "I should like to be a sailor, and then
a great captain, but I am not strong enough, and I shall never grow big;
so I think I may be a teacher, and that is why I take trouble to speak
and write English."

"You should be here," interrupted Madame Bourque, whose mind still dwelt
on the Acadians, "on the fifteenth of August; that is the day of the
return from exile that all the people in Clare celebrate."

"We shall hardly be in this part of the country then, Madame Bourque,"
responded Amy, "but we shall try to know all we can about the early
Acadians before we leave Little Brook. But, Pierre," added Amy, "you
haven't told us all that you know, have you? Haven't you some stories
that your mother or grandmother has told you?"

"One about the cane I like much."

"Then tell it to us."

"Well, there was one of our family, a great-grand-uncle, I think, who
lived down near Cape Sable before the exile; one time he was very kind
to a shipwrecked captain and took him into his house and gave him
clothes and food; then when my relative was driven from home they took
him to Boston, and he had to wander about, begging his bread, for he
could not speak English. And then he and his three sons with him were
put in jail; then the captain whom he had been kind to heard that these
Frenchmen were in jail, and, remembering the kindness he had had, went
to visit the prisoners. How surprised he was to find his old
acquaintance who had helped him after the shipwreck! My relative was
glad to see him too. Then the captain went to the governor and told him
about the kind Frenchman who was in jail, and the governor said to bring
him before him and perhaps he would pardon him. As my relative had no
clothes fit to wear before the governor, the captain bought him a
beautiful suit and a cane with a large head. Then the governor, when he
saw my grandfather, pardoned him and his three sons, and they stayed in
Boston several years, until the Peace, when they all came back to Nova
Scotia. I know this story is true, because I have seen the cane, which
one of my cousins owns in Pubnico."

"Do you think that is true?" whispered Priscilla to Martine.

"Oh, true enough; it certainly is not very exciting. It has been handed
down so long that the point is evidently lost."

Pierre, once started, continued to tell many stories of the hardships
borne by the early Acadians, beside which the tale of Evangeline seemed
almost cheerful.

"Now, Priscilla," said Martine, when Pierre paused, "you must admit that
the English don't show themselves in a very good light compared with the
Acadians. Did you ever hear of such cruelty?"

"There must have been some cause for it," rejoined Priscilla, stoutly;
"we have heard only one side thus far. Perhaps the Acadians themselves
were a little in the wrong."

"They certainly were not perfect," interposed Amy, taking part in the
discussion, "as you will admit when you have read their history more
carefully. We have not time to go into things more fully now, and I have
thought that Grand Pré would be the best place for our study of the
causes leading to the exile. It's putting the cart before the horse to
talk too much of the effects before we know the causes."

Had Pierre exactly understood Amy he might have entered into a
discussion with her, but for the moment he had run to the front door to
admit Madame Bourque's little daughters, whom he had seen entering the
yard. When he was again in the room Madame Bourque once more joined the
group.

"How does it happen, Madame Bourque," asked Martine, mischievously,
"that your hotel is the Hotel Paris? You should have named it 'Acadia'
or 'Evangeline,' or something like that."

"Ah," responded Madame Bourque, "it is that my husband is a Frenchman,
from Paris, and I like my children not to forget that. Some day, when
they grow up, they shall go to Paris."

"Have Acadians any real love for France?" asked Amy. "It is certainly a
long, long time since their ancestors left it."

"Yes, indeed," replied Madame Bourque, "just as the Englishman always
loves England, or the Irishman Ireland; they are still strangers in a
strange land, though they must call the English Queen their queen," she
concluded sentimentally. "Some Acadians go back to France to study, and
some French boys come out to the college at Church Point, and one of
them--ah, it is so romantic!--married an Acadienne a few years ago."

"Oh, tell us about it," exclaimed Martine; "I love anything romantic."

"Well, then," said Madame Bourque, "there was such a pretty girl at
Church Point in the convent, and this youth was sent by his parents to
study at the College of St. Anne. He fell in love with the pretty girl
and would marry her, and oh, his father and mother they felt so bad, for
they thought Acadians were something like Indians; and so they hurried
out to Nova Scotia, and when they saw the girl they fell in love with
her too, and knew she was no savage, and say their son can marry her.
But the girl would not leave her people, and as the son would not give
up the girl, the parents decided to come to Acadia to live, for he was
an only son and they were rich. So they have bought much land up beyond
Weymouth, and they call it New France. They have a great mill where they
cut timber, and a railroad of their own twenty miles long, by which they
send it to the sea, and good houses and electric lights--all on account
of a pretty Acadienne."

"That's just the kind of story I like," cried Martine. "I suppose
history is just as true, but someway I have more interest in things that
are happening to-day."

Madame Bourque now left the room to make arrangements for the early
dinner. She had foretold that the fog would lift before noon, and
accordingly Priscilla, looking out the window, was not surprised to
catch a fleeting glimpse of the sun through an opening in the veil of
mist.

"We'll take your word that the sun will shine," exclaimed Amy, "and I'll
run upstairs and ask mamma if she will drive this afternoon. I imagine
that the most there is to be seen is at Church Point, and the sooner we
go there the better."

Madame Bourque, when asked, promised to have two carriages ready early
in the afternoon, for Amy had not only invited Pierre to dinner, but
intended to take him to drive with her.

"Mamma," said Amy, as she gave her mother an account of the morning,
"you will find Madame Bourque very amusing. She evidently believes the
Acadians to be the salt of the earth; but though I sympathize with their
sufferings, I do not believe they were quite the superior beings that
she paints them."

"It might be unkind," replied Mrs. Redmond, "to suggest that this is
part of her stock in trade; the more remarkable she can represent the
old Acadians to have been, the more interested will her guests be in the
places associated with them. They were a good, honest people."

"But they were peasants, were they not, mamma? You would think to hear
her talk that they were very near nobility."

"Oh, among the Acadians of to-day are doubtless many descendants of men
of good family in France. Indeed, some of them can claim for ancestors
Charles de la Tour and Baron D'Entremont; but the peasant blood is in
the ascendant, and the strain of nobility must be very slight."

At the dinner-table Pierre won Mrs. Redmond's heart by the gentleness of
his manner, and she told Martine that Amy's protégé would be a close
rival of hers.

"No, indeed," replied Martine; "no one can rival Yvonne. Just think of
her voice and her little curls and her pink cheeks."

"I'll admit that Pierre lacks these characteristics, though all in all
they would hardly enhance his value. From what Amy says, however, I
should judge that Pierre, even if he has neither curls nor pink cheeks,
has a voice that is very effective when he uses it in telling stories."

Fearing that Pierre might overhear these personalities, Mrs. Redmond
changed the conversation. "Amy," she said in a somewhat louder voice,
"where do you suppose Fritz is now?"

"Oh, if Pubnico is as fascinatingly French as he expected it to be, he
is probably there still. I doubt if he will be better entertained than
we have been."

"I almost wish he were with us," rejoined Mrs. Redmond, "for he is
always a fund of entertainment in himself; I have thought of him many
times this dull morning, and I hope that we shall find a letter from him
awaiting us at Digby."

If Amy agreed with her mother, she did not so express herself at this
moment; yet if the truth were known, it must be said that more than once
since their parting at Yarmouth she had regretted that she had not at
least given Fritz a chance to join their party.

When the carriages came to the door in the afternoon Amy recognized them
as having formed part of the funeral procession; they were shabby, with
hard seats, and the horses, as well as the vehicles, looked as if they
had seen better days. It was arranged that Amy and Pierre should go in
the small carriage, as Madame Bourque's husband assured them that the
horse was perfectly safe for a lady to drive. "Ah, he could not run
away!"

"I should think not," said Amy. "If he manages to carry us even the
three miles to Church Point I shall be surprised; he seems so dispirited
that I imagine the funeral has made more impression on him than on
Madame Bourque herself."

Mrs. Redmond, Priscilla, and Martine were in the second carriage, and
Madame Bourque was the driver.

Amy noticed in gardens and windows fewer hollyhocks, oleanders, and
other bright flowers than she had seen at Meteghan. The houses, too,
were painted in less bright colors, and the village street had a less
stirring appearance.

Pierre was a good cicerone; he pointed out near the edge of the sea the
spot where the first of the returning exiles had landed. He also showed
Amy a little one-story house on a slight elevation, said to be the
oldest in the town, and to date but little later than the landing.

"It is hard," he said in his precise way, "to imagine that it was all
forest here in those first years, since now there is hardly a tree in
sight except the fruit trees in the orchards. The first comers had large
grants of land from the government; thus the English tried to make up
for the wrong they had done."

"But the farms are very small now," ventured Amy. "The yards are so
close together."

"Ah, yes, that is it; each father had many children and divided his land
among his sons, and as every one wanted his house to be on the village
street, they have kept it up, cutting it up into long narrow strips, some
of them running back one or two miles; and away at the end of the strips
there are still forests that are worth money."

Some time before they reached Church Point, the lighthouse and the
college buildings were seen in imposing outline in the distance.

Their horse justified Amy's forebodings, and when they overtook Madame
Bourque and her party the latter were standing near a monument before
the large building that Pierre had said was the College of St. Anne.
Amy, though undisturbed by Martine's gibes at the slowness of her steed,
was glad enough to get out of the carriage. Both horses were left in
charge of a boy whom Madame Bourque knew, while the sight-seers started
to walk to the shrines of the Acadians--for by this term did Madame
Bourque describe the burying-ground and site of the early houses.

"It is not a long walk," the voluble Frenchwoman had explained, "unless
you go out to the lighthouse, for which we have not time to-day."

Priscilla lingered behind the others to copy the inscription on the
monument. It was in honor of the Abbé Sigogne, to whom the Acadians of
Clare owe more than to any other one person.

Priscilla, reading the inscription, wondered why she had never before
heard of this man, who evidently had been so much to his own people.
Acadia is not far from Massachusetts, and yet already she realized that
this was a corner of the world of which she knew far too little. Amy,
however, could tell her what she wished to know, and she hurried on to
join the others, who were now far ahead.

"Amy," she cried, overtaking her friend, "tell me something about the
Abbé Sigogne; I am ashamed to say that I never heard of him before."

Pierre glanced at the American girl with an expression of absolute
amazement at her ignorance.

"There is so much to tell," said Amy, "that it would be too long a story
for the time that we have now; yet as we walk along I can give you a
little idea of his work. He was a French priest of good family, who
barely escaped losing his head during the French Revolution. After
fleeing from France he lived a few years in England. When he heard that
the poor Acadians of Clare were without a clergyman, he decided to go to
them, and from that time he made their lot his. This was in 1799, about
thirty years after their return from exile, and though they had cleared
the forest and built houses, they had made little progress in other
ways; they were without schools and almost without religion, but the
good Abbé built them a church, established schools, and made frequent
visits to all the little settlements along St. Mary's Bay, often
travelling along the coast in a small, open boat. He taught them many
things besides religion. He made them firm in their allegiance to Great
Britain, and when he died, in 1844, he was bitterly mourned by all who
knew him, whether English or French."

When Amy and Priscilla and Pierre caught up with the others, they were
in a large field, looking at a spot of ground on which Madame Bourque
said had stood the very first house at Point à l'Église, built after the
exile. Near by was a little old graveyard, where the first generation of
returning exiles had been buried. Only a few graves were marked, and
these with rough stones without inscriptions. A rude arch of whalebone
formed the entrance to this little enclosure. It was not very far from
the point of land on which stood the lighthouse, near which, along the
edge of the sea, a file of black-coated priests was walking. Though they
were indistinctly seen in the distance, their large caps and flapping
surtouts gave them a picturesque appearance.

A strange structure like a shrine of open slats decorated with spruce
boughs attracted Martine's attention, and she insisted on making a
sketch of it.

"It is a repository," explained Pierre, politely, "where the priest
stands, as a station for the procession, on festival days."

When they returned to the College of St. Anne, Madame Bourque grew more
and more eloquent.

"Is it not wonderful," she said, "that all this great building is
restored since the fire of two years ago? You will come inside, ladies,
and see how pleasant the rooms are."

"I will stay outside," replied Priscilla, "and watch the horses," she
concluded rather lamely.

"Nonsense," began Amy, but looking at Priscilla, she saw that the young
girl was in earnest, and so insisted no further.

"Amy," whispered Priscilla, as her friend drew near her, "I was sorry
afterwards that I went into the convent yesterday, and so I would much
rather not go into a priest's house."

"I had no idea that you would be so narrow," rejoined Amy.

"I don't mean to be narrow," responded Priscilla, "but I really don't
feel like going inside."

So Priscilla sat down on the grass near the monument and all the others
went inside the main building of the College of St. Anne. Not very long
afterwards Mrs. Redmond came out again, with her sketch-book in her
hand.  "I thought it a good time now to make a sketch of the church.  I
have seen many other schools like this one, for, after all, it's only a
boys' boarding-school. The girls enjoy practising their French with the
Eudist Father, who is taking them about, and it will probably be some
time before they are ready to leave. I think you make a mistake,
Priscilla, in not joining them."

"It isn't a very old building," said Priscilla, implying that this was
sufficient reason for her staying away from the party.

"It is certainly not very old," rejoined Mrs. Redmond; "the college has
been established less than ten years. It is a great thing to have
founded it here in the midst of the Acadians, and it has made the boys
of Clare much more ambitious."

"What good is a college education to them?" asked Priscilla; "fishing
and farming seem to be their chief occupations."

"This is really only a preparatory school," replied Mrs. Redmond, "and
the boys who are going into the Church or into the professions enter
other colleges in Canada or in France. The Father told us with pride of
the high standing of some of the graduates in their work in other
colleges."

"If I do not care for the college," said Priscilla, "I love this church
of Abbé Sigogne's; it makes me think of a New England meeting-house,
with its white walls and steeple."

Mrs. Redmond's sketch was hardly finished when the others came out from
the college. Madame Bourque was in her most talkative mood, as she led
them across the road into the white church. This time Priscilla went
with them and looked with some interest at the paintings on the wall,
and the sacred emblems, and the tablet inscribed to the memory of Abbé
Sigogne.

Martine, it must be admitted, found something amusing even in this
church, for inside the gallery where the choir boys sat were many
pictures of little boats, and even of full-rigged ships scratched in
deeply with a penknife, presumably by the fingers of mischievous young
singers.

Pierre, who happened to be with Martine when she made this discovery,
did not laugh with her, but shaking his head solemnly, said, "Ah, those
pictures show what really fills the heart of the Acadian boy."

Madame Bourque was disappointed that her party of Americans did not care
to visit the girls' school near by, but the hour was late, and the
tired-looking horses were not likely to make speed on the way home.

"We have really seen so much," said Mrs. Redmond, "that we shall need to
think it all over before seeing more, and you have been so good a guide
that in our one visit to Church Point we have learned as much as most
persons do in two."

"We have learned a great deal," murmured Priscilla to Amy, "but I always
feel that Madame Bourque paints the Acadians as much more remarkable
than they are. But I should like to have seen Father Sigogne baptizing
Indian pappooses; they say that he used to wipe their faces with his
gown to find a spot where he could kiss them."

"Yes, and Madame Bourque says that there are people still living who can
remember great crowds of Indians filing through the woods to Church
Point that they might receive Abbé Sigogne's blessing on St Anne's Day."



  CHAPTER VII

  DIGBY DAYS


On the way back to Little Brook Amy had a good chance to talk with
little Pierre about his hopes and ambitions. She found that he was
extremely fond of reading, and it was almost impossible for him to get
books such as a boy loves to read. About half a mile from Madame
Bourque's, Pierre pointed out a small cottage which he said was his
home.

"My mother will be there now," he said, "and I hope you will come in
with me to see her. She does not speak so very good English," he added
apologetically, "but she can understand it."

Though Madame Robichaud greeted Amy warmly and thanked her for her
kindness to Pierre, there was something pathetic in her manner and
appearance. She was a tall, thin woman, with a delicate, pale face that
was made all the paler by her plain black gown and the _couvre-chef_
that covered her hair. Her husband, Pierre explained, was lost at sea
when Pierre was five years old, and since that time she had supported
them both wholly by her own labor.

Madame Robichaud showed Amy with great pride some drawings nailed to the
wall that Pierre himself had made,--simple drawings of ships and houses
that showed draughtsmanship rather than imagination. These suggested to
Amy that Pierre had a talent that might be cultivated to greater
advantage than his ambition for school-teaching.

She and Pierre parted reluctantly, and Madame Robichaud promised that
the little boy should be at the hotel in the morning before Amy left
Little Brook.

All the travellers slept soundly that night despite the huge
feather-beds that Madame Bourque had provided, as she thought, for their
comfort.

In the morning they wrote their names in her visitors' book, on whose
pages were inscribed the names of a number of Americans, some of them
fairly well known, who at one time or another had been guests at the
Hotel Paris. Pierre arrived very soon after breakfast with a great bunch
of hollyhocks or _passe-rose_ for Amy. He had evidently taken a great
fancy to his new friend.

"She is more beautiful even than my school-teacher," he had said to
Madame Bourque; a compliment which the latter repeated as of especial
value, because hitherto Pierre had considered his teacher the model of
womanly perfection.

"Martine," said Mrs. Redmond, before the carriage arrived, "have you
written to Yvonne?"

"Oh, no; I meant to, but now I'll wait till we reach Digby."

"I fear that Yvonne will be disappointed. She probably expected a letter
to-day."

"I know it; I am ashamed of myself."

Martine's tone was penitent, but no one who knew Martine ever expected
her to do promptly what she had promised. It was always a little easier
to put off things to another day. Priscilla looked at her scornfully, as
if to say "How fickle!"

When at last they were ready to start, all felt sad at parting with
Madame Bourque and her family, for in two days they had come to seem
almost like old friends. The two little Bourque girls, as the carriage
drove off, looked with astonishment at the dollar bill that Mrs. Redmond
had put in the hands of the elder to divide with her younger sister.

Pierre walked on a little way with Amy before she mounted her wheel, and
on saying good-bye at last he knew that the American lady would really
send him the books that she had promised.

Their train to Digby was not the famous "Flying Bluenose," but a local
that made no pretence of hurrying; it instead gave them ample
opportunity to study the scenery from the windows.

When at last they reached Digby, they were warm and dust-covered, and
glad enough, too, when they found carriages waiting for them at the
station.

"It's nothing but a summer resort, this Digby that we have heard so much
about," complained Martine, as they drove along the main street. "Just
look at those boys in golf suits, and that crowd carrying shawls and
wraps as if bound for a sailboat. Why, the town doesn't even look
English. It makes me think of Blue Harbor in Maine, where we spent one
summer."

"I noticed a great deal of Philadelphia accent while we were waiting for
our trunks at the station."

"Oh, don't mention it," replied Martine; "Philadelphians flock
everywhere, and they are so cliquey that they just spoil a place for me,
though I'll admit that they know a good thing when they see it."

"Be careful, Martine," cautioned Amy; "no more slang than you can help
on this trip."

"'On this trip!' If that isn't slang I'd like to know what is."

"No matter now; here's the hotel; mail first and rooms afterwards."

In an instant Amy had hurried to the hotel office, returning to the
others with a bundle of letters, which she gave to Priscilla to
distribute while she went ahead with her mother to look at the rooms
they had engaged. The hotel was like most small summer hotels, and in
spite of their pleasant remembrance of Clare, Mrs. Redmond and the girls
had to admit that it was more comfortable than the little French houses.

"'Pubnico!' why, of course;" here Amy stopped as she held the letter in
her hand, turning it over once or twice as people will before opening a
letter.

"Of course; don't hesitate to tell us that it's from Fritz. It would be
very strange indeed if he had not written," cried Martine,
mischievously.

"'Pubnico,'" said Priscilla, as if the word had just penetrated her
brain; "why, there were two letters with that postmark, were there not?"

"Oh, no, only one," replied Amy, promptly, "and, as Martine surmises, it
was from Fritz."

But while Amy was speaking Priscilla looked sharply at Martine, and
Martine, as if uncomfortable under her gaze, suddenly left the room.

After dinner, as they all sat on the piazza, "Amy," said Mrs. Redmond,
"you haven't told us yet how Fritz is enjoying his journey."

"Oh, he thinks he has found the only French in Nova Scotia. He describes
their dress and their houses and their great fat oxen, and speaks of the
misfortunes of the exiled Acadians as if he were an original discoverer.
How foolish he will feel when he finds that what he has seen is old news
to us, for his description reads just like a description of Clare."

"Only I'll warrant that he didn't find any Madame Bourque," and
Priscilla smiled.

"No, nor an Yvonne," added Martine.

"Not to speak of Pierre," concluded Amy.

"My letter from home," said Priscilla, "mentions that this was the
hottest week of the season. Just think, only yesterday we were half
frozen driving home in the fog from Church Point."

After breakfast, on their second morning at Digby, Mrs. Redmond and the
girls walked the whole length of the tree-lined main street. As Martine
had surmised, they had indeed arrived at a regulation summer resort. The
holiday spirit prevailed on all sides; every one was going somewhere, or
had just been somewhere, on pleasure bent.

In spite of her professed prejudice against Philadelphians, Martine
almost fell into the arms of a former schoolmate from the Quaker City,
who rushed out to greet her from the garden of a small hotel near the
top of the hill.

"Isn't the view fine, and the air just perfect? I'm so glad you're here;
there's something to do every hour of the day, and we shall be so glad
to have you join us, you and your friends." And she glanced dubiously at
Priscilla's mourning dress and serious face.

"Thank you, but I can't make plans just now. There are four in our
party; the other two have walked ahead. We arrived only on Saturday, and
yesterday was so rainy that we stayed indoors until evening, when we all
went to church. Until we really have our bearings I don't think that I
can make any plans. But you must come to see us. There, I haven't
introduced you to Priscilla; you must excuse me. Priscilla, the Rose of
Plymouth, let me introduce you to Peggy Pratt from the quiet city of
Philadelphia."

"You are the same old Martine," cried Peggy, as they turned away, while
Priscilla, reddening, added as the two walked on, "Oh, Martine, how
silly you can be!"

Amy was delighted with everything that they saw in the course of that
morning walk, from the beautiful view of the Basin, surrounded by hills
that looked mountains, to the little fish-houses, the quintessence of
neatness, in front of which quantities of cod were drying. As to the
Basin, when she said she felt as though she had seen it before, Mrs.
Redmond reminded her that it resembled closely the harbor of Santiago,
with which she was familiar through pictures.

"Ah, yes," rejoined Amy, "and that little opening into the Bay of Fundy
that they call 'The Gut' is like the passage where Hobson tried to sink
the Merrimac."

"It isn't such a very little passage; somebody told me that it is nearly
a mile wide; it was there that the ships of De Monts entered the Basin
in 1604, when they discovered Acadia," Mrs. Redmond added.

"Sixteen hundred and four!" cried Martine. "Oh, dear, we're going
backwards in our history. It was seventeen hundred and something when
the Acadians were expelled, and I shall never be able to remember
earlier dates."

"At present we may put dates aside. For a day or two we can merely enjoy
ourselves."

"I hope we are coming to some English history," said Priscilla; "I am
tired of the French. I always supposed Nova Scotia was a British
province, but this whole week we have heard very little about the
English."

"I tell you what we'll do, Priscilla," cried Amy; "while mamma and
Martine sit here to make a sketch of something or other, you and I can
set out in search of some English history. Undoubtedly there's an
historic house or two to discover. That's the kind of thing I never let
escape me."

At first it seemed as if Amy's search would be unsuccessful. One person
after another whom she asked said that there were no historic houses in
Digby.

"There's an old shop over across the way," one added, "the frame of
which, they say, was brought out from England; I'll point it out to you,
though it doesn't look very old."

This last statement was true enough, for the old house had been
reshingled and reclapboarded and repainted, so that it retained hardly a
vestige of antiquity in its appearance. To compensate Amy for her
disappointment, the obliging native made a suggestion that in the end
proved valuable.

"What you ought to do is to see Mrs. Sally Tatem; her house isn't much
to look at, but it's old enough, and she knows more about the history of
Digby than any one else here."

"Where does she live?"

"Oh, just a little way up that street and round the next corner and up
the hill and you will see a little cottage at the end of the lane; just
knock at the door, and if she's at home she'll be very obliging."

So Amy and Priscilla went "up the street and round the next corner and
up the hill," and at "the end of the lane" they saw a small white
cottage almost covered with vines. Amy's knock brought to the door a
little old lady with silvery hair and a tiny ruffled cap, wearing a gray
gown and, most important of all, a pleasant smile. The hesitation that
Amy had felt in explaining the object of their visit disappeared under
the old lady's greeting.

"Dear child, come right in; I'll tell you all the Digby history I know;
but it isn't so very much."

As Amy sat down in the little sitting-room, she could not help looking
about, and she was quick to recognize that the two chairs were
Chippendale.

"They were brought by my grandfather," said Mrs. Tatem, noting the
direction of Amy's glance. "He was a captain in the Queen's Rangers; you
know many Americans were on the King's side in the Revolution."

A look of surprise crossed Priscilla's face, but she did not venture to
raise a question.

"Yes," responded Amy, "I know about the Loyalists."

"Well, my grandfather was a farmer in Westchester County, rich and
prosperous, but he would not take arms against the King. A friend and
neighbor of his was tarred and feathered, and he was in some danger
himself. So he went into the war, and when it was over he couldn't stay
in New York. With other Loyalists he came down here. Of course it was
very hard for him to have all his property taken away, but his wife was
brave and she was willing to suffer."

"Who sent them away?" asked Priscilla, eagerly.

"Why, the Yankees,--the Americans, I mean," said Mrs. Tatem.

"The Patriots," whispered Priscilla.

"Yes, yes," interposed Amy.

"But," continued Priscilla, "I didn't know that there were two sides to
the story." And as she said this the old lady smiled.

"We have no bitterness now. I ought not to have said 'Yankees.' I have
many friends in the States, but it was hard for my mother and aunts to
have to grow up in the wilderness. I used to hear my aunt talk. She was
an older daughter."

"But how did they live here in those days?"

"Oh, the King gave a large grant of land and provisions for three years
and some building material. Many who came to settle would not stay, and
it was harder for those who did remain. There was no church even, for a
long time, until good Mr. Viets came; he did everything for the white
settlers, and even held a school for the Blacks."

"The Blacks?"

"Oh, yes; you see many people brought their slaves with them."

"Southerners?"

"No, New Yorkers. Many Northern people had slaves in those days. I know
that my grandfather had two, but when he died he left them their freedom
in his will. Out at the Joggins' there are still living many descendants
of these slaves, and of the Black Pioneers, a regiment of Blacks that
fought on the English side in the war."

"What you've told us is almost as romantic as the French Revolution,"
said Priscilla.

"Maybe so," replied the old lady, hesitatingly, "though things probably
did not seem romantic to the first settlers here; but perhaps it's just
as well that our lot was cast in this healthy climate. I hear there's a
great deal of sickness in New York, and it's a great big city where
people care only for money. I'm sorry our young people go off so much to
the States; they could all make a comfortable living if they would only
stay at home."

Amy could not refrain from admiring the china and all the daintiness of
the little house, plain and unpretending though it was. But the most
interesting thing of all was the old lady with her charming manner and
fund of history.

"I've heard my mother say," she remarked before they went, "that the
first name of Digby was Conway, and it was only after Admiral Digby had
been here that it was named in his honor."

"Why didn't the French settle Digby?" asked Priscilla; "they seem to be
everywhere else in Nova Scotia."

"Probably because there are no marshes; they were attracted by the dyke
lands at Annapolis and Grand Pré."

The girls bade good-bye to Mrs. Tatem with real regret. Before she
returned to the hotel Amy wandered by herself in a little old churchyard
where lay many of the first settlers, and as she looked at the
weather-beaten stones she saw that many of those who lay buried there
were natives of New York or its neighborhood; closing her eyes for a
moment to shut out the present, she pictured to herself what life in the
wilderness must have been to these refugees who had suffered everything
in a losing cause.

That afternoon Martine's friend, Peggy, from Philadelphia, invited them
all to join a sailing party; though at first disinclined to go, Amy at
last accepted the invitation. It was a delightful afternoon, with wind
and sea in their favor, and the charm of the surrounding scenery was
increased by a delicate mist that hovered over the North Mountain, as a
reminder of the Bay of Fundy outside.

For some reason this sail around Digby reminded Amy of some of her
excursions in Marblehead Harbor, especially of a certain day on the
"Balloon," and this in spite of the fact that the "Mary Jane" in no way
compared in equipment with Philip's yacht. No picture of Marblehead
could of course be complete unless Fritz were in it, and almost to her
annoyance Amy now found Fritz occupying a large corner of her mind.
Nevertheless, she was interested in all that was going on around her,
and once or twice lent a hand to the skipper, when a sudden change of
wind occasioned a quick shifting of the sails. Then the Bluenose skipper
complimented the Yankee girl on her skill in handling the ropes, and
Martine and Priscilla and Peggy expressed their astonishment that she
should know so much about a boat.

For almost the first time since their departure from Boston Priscilla
was now in good spirits; she had overcome her original homesickness, and
her letters from Plymouth had been so cheerful that she was almost ready
to find enjoyment in the new scenes and faces. Between her and Martine
there was less intimacy than between her and Amy. Mrs. Redmond was sorry
to see that, for some reason, Priscilla lacked confidence in Martine.
This was to be accounted for, perhaps, by the fact that the two girls
were so unlike in temperament and education. Though reserved in speech,
Priscilla was uncompromisingly accurate in statement; Martine, on the
other hand, while apparently unreserved, occasionally lacked frankness.
No one could accuse her of being untruthful, and yet her exaggerations
and her occasional concealments were a constant annoyance to the literal
Priscilla.

On the second day of their stay at Digby, Martine had written a long
letter to Yvonne, and at the same time had sent her a roll of new music,
which she had happened to find in a Digby shop.

"If I knew just how long we should be here, I really think I would send
for Yvonne to spend a week with us."

"We shall not be here a week," rejoined Mrs. Redmond, "and I am afraid
that Yvonne would rather handicap us if we tried to have her travel
farther."

On their last morning at Digby, Amy and Martine had a parting walk
around the wharf. The wharf had been a source of much amusement to
Martine, and she had sketched it at high tide when it looked just like
any other wharf, and at low tide when it rose high above the water, its
sides covered with seaweed and barnacles. Indeed the vagaries of the Bay
of Fundy tides were an endless amusement to the party, exposing, as they
did, long, long stretches of reddish mud, and apparently casting up all
kinds of craft high and dry on the land.

"Now, around by the fish-houses," cried Martine; "how I shall miss the
cod which we meet here at every turn! Fish flakes, in my mind, will
always be the emblem of Digby. Priscilla says that she has seen more on
Cape Cod, but I can hardly believe her. It's strange that no one has
given us a Digby chicken since we came here. Any one would suppose that
the Digby chicken is the only fish that grows here; yet really and truly
we haven't seen one, have we, since our arrival? For it's the cod that's
everywhere, and it's funny to think that they send so much codfish to
the West Indies. People there must be thirsty enough without having cod
sent to tantalize them."

On their way back to the hotel they did an errand in a corner shop. The
clerk addressed them in rather broken English, and in answer to Amy's
question said that he was a descendant of an Acadian exile. He told them
one or two anecdotes, and when he had to turn to other customers Amy
waited until they were served, hoping to hear more from him.

"That negro," he explained, as a tall Black went out of the shop, "is a
descendant of one of the slaves of the Revolution."

"Was that other man a negro, too, who went out with him?"

"Oh, no, he's an Indian from the Bear River Reservation. If you go that
way, you must be sure to visit it."

"I hope that we are going there, for I hear that Bear River is a
beautiful place. Though I am not particularly anxious to see the Micmac
on his native heath, it certainly is interesting to have met
representatives of the four race elements in this little shop," said
Amy, as they turned away.

"Four race elements?" asked Martine, not quite understanding her.

"Yes, of Nova Scotia Loyalists, Acadians, Indians, and negroes. To be
sure Pre-Loyalists would be more representative than negroes--but the
former did not settle Digby."

"Let's go up on Cannon Hill for a last look. Your mother just loves it.
We have made some fine sketches of those crooked apple-trees and that
old house."

"And the cannon? They are certainly unlike any others you will come
across."

"I have photographed the cannon," replied Martine, with dignity, "and if
I had time, I might sketch them."

"I love it here," cried Martine, as they stood on the hill. "One gets
such a splendid view of the entrance to the Basin,--I can't bring myself
to say Gut. When I stand here, I just close my eyes, and then fancy how
these steep shores must have looked to the Frenchmen, Champlain and the
others, who came sailing in through the passage that June morning so
long ago. Then when I open my eyes I can actually see them out
there--and if I were a poet, like you, Amy, I would write something
worth while."

"I a poet! what nonsense! What put that into your head?"

"As if I didn't know all about you, Miss Amy Redmond," and Martine
quoted a line or two of verse that brought the color to Amy's cheeks.

"That isn't poetry," she said with a smile. "But you are in a mood that
shows me we ought to go home."



  CHAPTER VIII

  TWO ADVENTURES


"Oh dear," sighed Priscilla three hours later, as she strapped her
valise, "I believe I'd rather stay in one place all summer than move so
often. I shall miss the pier and the barnacles. When we came in from the
boat at low tide the other day, it seemed like one of the caverns of
fairyland--so dark and mysterious."

"Yes, and you'll miss the codfish, too. Amy and I have been going
through the missing agony this morning. But I have a fish story that
will please you, Puritan Prissie. Though curing codfish is a leading
occupation here six days of the week, on Sunday that man is fined who
even sticks a pitchfork into a helpless cod--except,--and here I am
afraid that this covers a quantity,--that if there has been a week of
wet weather, if Sunday is sunny, then the gentle codfish may be turned
over. This is merely a humane provision for the comfort of the cod, who
otherwise would become unduly weary lying so long on one side."

"We shall become unduly weary waiting for you," cried Amy, who had
entered the room during the latter part of Martine's speech. "I hope
that you are both ready, for it is almost train time."

"All aboard then," cried Martine. "If my hat is on straight, nothing
need delay us. Let me help you with your valise, Priscilla. My luggage
has gone on."

When they reached the station Mrs. Redmond and her party found that
after all they had some time to spare. At five minutes past the hour
they took their seats. "Standard time, Halifax time, hotel time, local
time," hummed Martine. "I wonder which we're starting by."

Presently the conductor walked along the station platform to the little
waiting-room, and from the open window they heard him speak to some one
inside.

"Have you made up your minds yet, ladies, about going?" he asked in a
polite tone.

"Oh, gracious, yes," exclaimed a shrill voice. "We were waiting for the
bell;" and two elderly women hurried toward the train with their
knitting in their hands. Amy had noticed them busily knitting there, in
a corner, when she passed. It seemed, by the conductor's subsequent
explanation, that knowing they were uncertain whether to go by that
train or the next, he had patiently waited for them to decide.

Bear River was one of the places where Mrs. Redmond had planned to stay.
After a short railroad journey that included a passage over some
wonderful bridges, beyond which was a great extent of water, and after a
drive of five or six miles, they found themselves gazing down at
picturesque Bear River. The beautiful town sloped to a broad stream, its
white houses and spires half hidden by trees.

"It reminds me of Switzerland," cried Martine.

"It's a dream," exclaimed Priscilla.

"I don't believe Fritz has seen anything more beautiful," added Amy.

"It deserves a more beautiful name," said Mrs. Redmond.

"But, really, mamma, it's named for Imbert, the explorer, and the name
doesn't seem so bad when we think of that."

Their day in Bear River proved to be a gala day of the town. They had
arrived at the height of the Cherry Carnival, and games and boat-races
and other festivities had been arranged as part of the celebration. The
girls were up very early that first morning, and soon after breakfast
Martine was out with her camera, taking snapshots in every direction. A
fat old squaw in a red jersey pretended to be afraid of the kodak, and
turned her head; but there was a grin on her face as she looked around,
which Martine quickly caught. Another squaw, also fat, with a little
pappoose in her arms and another clinging to her skirts, begged Martine
to take her.

"Where you live?" asked Martine, as if talking to a child.

"Up there," pointing vaguely in the distance.

"Where?"

"Reservation; you come see."

Martine was interested.

"Is it far?"

"Oh, no."

"What's your name?" asked Martine.

"Marie Brown. You find my house."

Though the name didn't seem to fit the Indian, Martine was glad that it
was one that she could remember; for all in a moment she had made up her
mind to visit the Reservation.

During the morning, while she watched the sports and chatted with the
bystanders and ate dozens and dozens of the famous Bear River cherries,
Martine said nothing to the others of her intention of visiting the
Reservation. It would be easy enough to borrow Amy's bicycle and say
that she did not care to drive with the others.

Everything happened as she planned.

"Bear River is so hilly," said Mrs. Redmond, "that you will hardly wheel
very far. But yet it's a quiet little place, and there is no risk in
your doing some sight-seeing by yourself."

Martine soon found herself on a road leading toward the Micmac
Reservation; she had asked her way once or twice, and felt lonely as
houses and shops were left behind; but though she was going in the
direction of the Reservation, she saw nothing to remind her of Indians.

"Where are the wigwams? Surely with so many Indians around there must be
wigwams somewhere."

Martine looked about anxiously at trees, bushes, and at one or two small
wooden houses. She had been riding for half an hour, and she felt that
she had not taken the wrong way. There was nothing to do but to inquire
at one of the little houses. As she approached it, she realized that it
was an Indian dwelling; three pappooses were playing in front of it, and
a tall, thin squaw, in a purple calico gown, came out to the door as she
entered the gate.

"Marie Brown," said the woman; "oh, that far away. Too far for you; you
better go home; it's late."

Martine knew that this was intended as advice, not as discourtesy, but
Martine was not fond of advice, and she decided that if she could not
see Marie Brown she would visit the chapel, of which she had heard some
one speak at dinner that day.

When she asked the way, the woman drew her one side to an open space
behind the house, where, on a hill that did not look too remote, she saw
a small, square building with a cross on top for a steeple; so after a
little conversation with the squaw about her people and their way of
living, Martine pushed on toward the hill. She soon found that she must
leave her bicycle behind, as there was no good road and the path was
steep, and finding a spot that was screened by bushes, she left her
wheel there; so on she went on foot until she had come to the enclosure,
in the centre of which stood the Micmac Chapel.

Seen at close range, it looked like a toy church, built plainly of wood,
absolutely simple and bare on the outside. Martine raised herself on a
ledge of wood so that she could look in through the windows. There was
something almost pathetic in the tawdry attempts at decoration--the
little altar draped with old lace curtains and gold lace and some faded
flowers. On top there was a silver cross within a white canopy, and a
small altar with a canopy in the corner. Walking around the graveyard,
Martine noticed that there were French names on almost all the stones.

Suddenly she was disturbed by the barking of a dog, and, following the
direction of the sound, she saw a house on a hill high above the chapel.
The dog was running up and down in front of the house, and barking
loudly, as if he detected the presence of a stranger near the church.
Martine remembered that the Indian woman in the cabin below had spoken
of the chief's house near the church, but this did not reassure her.
Perhaps the chief, himself, would object to the presence of a young
American girl, and she began to wonder how she should make her peace
with him if he should interfere; she was less afraid of the possible
chief, however, than of the very real dog, whose barking still
continued. To leave the enclosure by the way she had come would bring
her out in full view of the creature. To avoid this, therefore, with
some difficulty she climbed a fence at the other side, believing that
she was going straight in the direction of the bicycle. But alas for her
miscalculations! She was in a tangled thicket of shrubbery; she tore her
dress and scratched her ankles, and she could not get back to the
bicycle nor even find the cabin from which she had been directed to the
chapel.

When at last she reached the broad road, she sat down disconsolately by
the side of a fence.

"Why was I so foolish as to borrow Amy's bicycle?" Had it been her own
wheel, so reckless was Martine's disposition, she would have left it
behind without a qualm. Yet though it was quite possible for her to buy
a new one for Amy, it did not seem quite right to return to the hotel
without it. While she was pondering, without seeing any way out of the
difficulty, she heard a shrill voice crying,--

"Hi, lady, hi!"

Turning about, she saw the tall, thin Indian woman in the purple gown
walking down the hill and guiding the bicycle beside her.

"Why, how did you know I was here?" asked Martine, after she had thanked
her profusely.

"Oh, I could see the way you start from the chapel, and I thought you
not find your wheel, so I thought I bring him."

Martine, thanking the woman warmly, gave her all the silver that she
happened to have in her purse,--not a very large sum from her point of
view, but magnificent from that of the Indian.

The squaw then walked with her down the hill and into the village,
saying that young ladies should not go so far alone. As they walked,
Martine asked several questions about Indian life, and was told that, in
the summer, many were away selling baskets or fishing; they would be
coming back soon, she said, and even as she spoke Martine looked toward
the river on which two canoes were gliding, each containing two or three
Indians and their numerous belongings.

"They are coming back for St. Anne's Day," said the woman; "great time
then at the chapel."

They had not gone very far together when, turning a corner, the two came
suddenly on Priscilla and Amy.

"Oh, Martine," cried the latter, "where have you been? We have had our
tea, and mother is so worried about you."

"I hope it was a good tea and that you saved me some," rejoined Martine;
"for now that you mention it, though I hadn't thought of it before, I
realize that I'm half starved."

"But where have you been?"

"Oh, I've been a kind of babe in the woods, only there weren't any
berries for me to feed on, and all that I have to show for my adventure
are these tears in my gown."

"Good-bye, ladies," said the Indian woman, while Martine was talking,
"and I thank you much," she concluded, holding out her hand to Martine.

In a moment she had disappeared.

"Is that another protégée?" asked Priscilla, a little sharply.

Martine did not answer. She had already plunged into a lively account of
her afternoon, omitting nothing, not even her own carelessness in
relation to the bicycle.

At the hotel Mrs. Redmond spoke to Martine more seriously about the
danger in expeditions by herself. "I had no idea that you thought of
doing anything beyond wheeling around the town," she said; "and if you
had met any real mishap, it would have been very hard for Amy and me, in
whose care your father and mother put you."

So Martine promised that in the future she would be less thoughtless.
"Although to be honest," she added, "my thoughts are so apt to come
afterwards that it is almost dangerous to promise anything."

That evening, in the little hotel parlor, when Martine narrated her
adventure, an old gentleman who was a permanent boarder there told her
many anecdotes of the Micmacs.

"In the early days, as you know, they were very friendly to the French.
They were early baptized and became Roman Catholics, and as they began
to be civilized, they liked to be known by French names, and many
married with the French. The Canadian Government is very good to them,
and provides for them on reservations or encourages them to own land for
themselves. The children all go to school, some in reservation schools,
and some attend the ordinary day schools with white children. While some
of them still prefer to live by hunting, fishing, and Indian
handicrafts, others work in mills and on railroads; and, on the whole,
they compare well with the lower class of white citizens, for they _are_
citizens with certain voting rights."

"I thought they'd be more picturesque and like real savages," said
Martine. "I was so disappointed. There's something attractive in the
name 'Micmac,' and I supposed that at least they'd live in wigwams."

"Considering the way in which you rushed in among them," interposed Mrs.
Redmond, "I should think you would be glad that you met only tame
Indians to-day."

"Very tame," rejoined Martine. "Only a tall, thin Indian woman in a
purple calico gown."

"There are certainly not many of the original red men left in Nova
Scotia," said Mr. Dolph, the gentleman who had been talking to them.
"There are some collections of their legends that are interesting to
read, and the names of many Nova Scotia places are of Indian origin."

"Oh, yes," said Amy; "I came across some lines to-day that I copied,"
and she began to recite:

  "'The memory of the Red Man,
        How can it pass away?
    While their names of music linger,
        On each mount and stream and bay?
    While Musquodoboit's waters
        Roll sparkling to the main,
    While falls the laughing sunbeam
        On Chegoggin's fields of grain?'"

The next morning, when they were ready to leave Bear River, Amy decided
to wheel rather than drive to the station. It was hardly five miles,
over a main road, and she felt that she needed exercise.

"Keep us in sight, Amy."

"Oh, yes, if I don't pass you," she replied.

But Amy at first lagged behind,--there were so many lovely points of
view, and she stopped several times to enjoy them to the utmost. What a
curious effect, to look down on the river, or rather to look down from a
hill, and see a ship apparently moored among trees! Of course the
explanation was that the beautiful Bear River lay in a narrow valley,
surrounded by hills that descended sharply to its very margin, with
trees so close together on its banks as to produce the strange effect
that Amy had noted.

The carriage was out of sight when Amy finally pushed on. Shortly she
realized that pedalling required great effort. At first she ascribed her
difficulty to the hills, but a slight grating of the wheel made her look
at her tires, and, to her dismay, she found a small puncture. What
should she do? She glanced at her watch, and was surprised to see how
much time she had lost. One or two wagons had already passed her on
their way to the train, and she regretted that she had not called for
help. It might have been ignominious--it certainly would have been more
discreet--to make her appearance at the station carried in a wagon
rather than to lose her train altogether, as now appeared probable. She
stopped a boy whom she met walking toward her.

"How far is it to the station?" she asked.

"Only a little way," he replied, after the fashion of boys, and she
pushed on hopefully. She heard wheels in the distance, and made up her
mind to humiliate herself to the extent of asking the new-comer to
assist her; but when the vehicle came in sight it proved to be a narrow,
one-seated buggy, and its three passengers seemed more than enough for
it. A little farther on she heard an ominous whistle. The train was
nearing the station. She felt indignant.

"Why should this particular train be on time on this particular day?
Nova Scotia trains are not noted for hurrying."

Now she was walking and dragging her bicycle along. She met a number of
persons who evidently had left the train at the Bear River station and
were walking up to their homes. Then she heard the engine whistle again
as the signal for starting on, and she knew that it was useless to go
down to the station itself. She stood still for a moment, half
paralyzed. Of course there was no special danger; her mother and the
others might go on to Annapolis without her, and she could return to
Bear River for the night; but it was all very mortifying. Then a sudden
thought came to her; in fact, it had occurred to her when she first
discovered the punctured wheel.

"If Fritz were with me, he would have found some way of mending the
puncture; in fact, one man is almost necessary on an excursion." That
was what Fritz himself had said to her.

She recalled his very words, and the remark with which he had
ended,--"Then you'll remember me."

But there was no time for reflection now. The train was coming slowly
along the bridges; Amy could see the smoke from the engine. Between her
and the track lay an open space--a slight decline from the point where
she stood on the road--covered with long grass and bushes. A quick
impulse urged her on; at the worst she could only fail; Nova Scotia
conductors were very obliging, and there was more than half a chance
that she might succeed. She lifted her bicycle across her arm, managed
to climb over the low fence, and was pushing her way down the hill as
the train drew near. A man, probably the conductor, was standing on the
platform of a car; she waved her hand violently. The train seemed to
move more slowly; a man thrust his head out of the engine cab; he, too,
had seen her. She was now not far from the track; the train stood still;
the conductor leaped down from his post, plunged into the shrubbery,
relieved her of her wheel, and she followed him without a word; then one
or two passengers pulled her on board the train, the signal was given,
and the engine started on.

"Lucky it wasn't a flying express," said one of the passengers.

"I guess they wouldn't do that in the States," said another.

Red-faced and crestfallen, Amy found herself a moment later in the bosom
of her family.

"A punctured tire," she began.

"Yes, yes; don't try to talk."

Amy sat still.

Martine fanned her.

Priscilla brought her a glass of water.

Her mother asked for no explanation.

The passengers stared at her; the majority as if amused, though. One or
two talked as if they thought their rights had been infringed.

"We were sorry," Mrs. Redmond said later, "to go without you, but it was
better for you to be left than for the rest of us to lose the train; we
knew you could go back to Bear River, and we could have telegraphed you
what to do; we knew you would be equal to the occasion."

"So I was."

"Well, we hardly expected you to stop a train."

"Oh, the train stopped me."

"'All's well that ends well'"

Later in the day Martine came over to sit beside Amy.

"I'm afraid, Amy, that I may have punctured your tire yesterday; the
road to the chapel was so very stony."

"Tires are bound to be punctured," replied Amy, "and if this hadn't
happened when it did, I shouldn't have had the fun of stopping a train."



  CHAPTER IX

  OLD PORT ROYAL


At Annapolis, the old Port Royal, Amy and her party were to stay longer
than at any other place. They had engaged rooms at a pleasant house
where there were no other boarders, and when they had unpacked their
trunks, began to feel as if they were really away for the summer.

"We have a fine view of the river," said Mrs. Redmond to Martine the
morning after their arrival, as they looked from the windows of her
room, which was at the rear of the house.

"River!" sniffed Martine; "I see nothing but red mud and green marshes;
I wonder where the water is."

"You won't ask that question at high tide; you'll find water enough to
float a small vessel," she replied, "and if you look a little beyond our
immediate neighborhood, you can see the whole Basin, and far, far away
there in the distance, I suppose, that land is Digby. I am going out to
sketch immediately after breakfast; I've seen several photographs of the
old fort, and I have special reasons for wishing to make a sketch of it;
and you, Martine, will get plenty of inspiration for your water-colors."

Amy was in her element at Annapolis. She had already given some time to
the history of the old town, and anticipated great pleasure in retracing
the steps of the brave Frenchmen who had made it famous.

"More French history!" Priscilla exclaimed, when Amy began to talk about
De Monts and Poutrincourt; "when shall we hear about the English?" and
Priscilla, with a wry face, continued, "I'm so tired of the French."

"All in good time," responded Amy; "but now we must take things in due
order and not skip about as we did. Let us go with the others into the
port to-day, and while they are sketching I'll talk a little about its
history."

So it was that, while Mrs. Redmond and Martine were making sketches of
the sally-port and old officers' quarters, Amy, seated near them, played
the part of historian and guide.

"This fort, you know, is from Vauban's plans, with four bastions and
connecting curtains."

"Do you suppose there's a moat?" interrupted Priscilla; "it looks as if
there should be one here."

"There used to be a wet ditch in the eighteenth century, and I suppose
that was much the same thing, though it's dry now."

"Oh, I can tell you something more entertaining than that," interposed
Martine. "They used to have logs on the top of the parapet ready to roll
down on the heads of assailants. But tell me, Amy, I've forgotten; did
Champlain build this fort?"

"My dear Martine, where is your history? Vauban and Champlain; oh, no.
Champlain's fort is six miles down the river, opposite Goat Island."

"Then who first built this fort?"

"Probably D'Aunay first planned it, and it was improved by Brouillan and
Subercase. You must remember that it has suffered twenty attacks and ten
regular sieges. There's little good in talking about it until you know
the history of the times better."

"Oh, dear," murmured Martine, "of course I knew this was to be an
improving trip, and yet I do think it's hard to have to learn history in
the summer."

"I'm afraid there's no escape for it," said Amy; "the fog is rolling in,
and this afternoon I will tell you once for all certain things that will
give you great interest in Annapolis during your stay here."

So, undisturbed by further historical information during the morning,
Martine, under Mrs. Redmond's direction, completed her sketch of the
officers' quarters within the fort,--a quaint old building, with its
thirty-six chimneys and thirty-six fireplaces, every one of which had
probably been needed in the long and cold winters of old Acadia.

As Amy had prophesied, the afternoon was foggy, and she felt little
compunction in insisting that Martine as well as Priscilla should join
her before her open fire while she talked to them of Port Royal history.

"Although some French," she said, "may have visited Acadia as early as
1504, our starting point is 1604, when De Monts, who was a nobleman of
the Court of Henry Fourth, and Champlain, and Poutrincourt, and
Pontgravé came out on a voyage of exploration. Poutrincourt seems to
have been the one most anxious to make a permanent settlement here.
Champlain was the geographer and map-maker of the expedition, and was
also on the search for ores. The grant of the land known as Acadia had
been given by Henry Fourth to De Monts. He, as well as Pontgravé had
been on a previous expedition to the New World. At first they were
delighted with Acadia. They saw fine opportunities for fur-trading as
well as for a permanent settlement. But after visiting the shores of the
Annapolis Basin, they made a mistake by going farther south to the St.
Croix River, and they spent their first winter on an island some
distance from its mouth. This proved a bad thing, for the climate was
severe and many of the colonists died; so when the weather permitted
they went back to the neighborhood of Port Royal and set up their houses
and built a small fort on Goat Island.

"They found the Indians everywhere very friendly, especially the old
chief, Membertou, who was said to be nearly one hundred years old.

"When their buildings were finished, De Monts sailed back for France,
knowing that he could be spared until after the harvests were gathered.
Pontgravé was left in charge of the colony in his absence, assisted by
Champlain and Champdore. When the spring of 1606 came and De Monts had
not returned, the colonists were alarmed. They needed the supplies that
he had promised to bring them, and they were afraid that something had
happened to him. So, late in July, Pontgravé started off to see if he
could not find some fishing-vessel to take them all back to France.

"In the meantime, De Monts in France had had trouble in getting people
to interest themselves in the Port Royal Colony. But Poutrincourt, who
had returned with him, proved his best friend, and helped in fitting out
a vessel called the 'Jonas,' and promised to return to Acadia with De
Monts, and take his family with him, to establish a permanent colony.

"With them came Lescarbot, an advocate of Paris, who afterwards wrote a
full account of his residence in Acadia, from which we learn many
interesting details that, but for him, we would not know. Pontgravé fell
in with a shallop from De Monts' vessel and all returned to Port Royal.
De Monts wasn't perfectly satisfied with Port Royal for a permanent
settlement, and he persuaded Poutrincourt to make a journey farther
south to find a better place; but this expedition ended badly, and
Poutrincourt returned, convinced that he could be better off at Port
Royal than anywhere else in the New World.

"Unluckily, the merchants in France who had supplied money for this
trading colony sent word that they had decided to give it up. Without
money with which to trade, the colony could not prosper, and so the
majority of the colonists decided to go back to France. Poutrincourt,
however, was determined to come back, and he took home with him
specimens of grain grown in Acadia, and various animal, vegetable, and
mineral products, to show the King what could be raised in Acadia. The
King encouraged him to go back, and ratified the grant of land that De
Monts had given him.

"So Poutrincourt returned to Acadia, and it is greatly to the credit of
the Indians he had left in charge that all the buildings were unharmed.
A new crop of grain, planted by the Indians, was growing finely, and
Membertou and savages welcomed him very cordially.

"The King had given him a grant of money to be used for the Church and
he brought with him a Jesuit priest, who baptized the savages by
wholesale.

"In the summer of 1610, Poutrincourt sent his son, Biencourt, back to
France to report the conversion of the savages and the general
prosperity of the colony. Things in France were not going to be very
favorable now for Poutrincourt. When Biencourt arrived in Paris, it was
not long after the assassination of Henry Fourth. The Jesuits were now
anxious to get control of Acadia, and, to make a long story short,
Madame De Guercheville obtained a grant from the King of the very land
that De Monts had granted to Poutrincourt; Biencourt had to take certain
Jesuits back with him to Acadia; and there was much dissension in the
little colony. But what really proved its downfall was an attack made in
1613 by the Virginian Argall, who killed and captured many of the
inhabitants and burnt all the buildings to the ground. Poutrincourt made
no effort to re-establish Port Royal, but Biencourt, his son, remained
in the woods, living, with a few companions, the life of an Indian."

"Oh, yes, it was he, was it not," said Priscilla, "who was the friend of
Charles La Tour down at Fort St. Louis?"

"The very man," replied Amy. "I often think that if Biencourt had left a
record of his wanderings we should have something very interesting. He
and his father made a good fight for New France, but circumstances were
too strong for them."

"Thank you," said Priscilla. "I understand better than I did before how
the French happened to settle Port Royal."

"Why," asked Martine, "did that Virginian--Argall, I think you called
him--wish to interfere with the French? Jamestown had been settled only
six years when he came up here and attacked Port Royal, and there wasn't
any Plymouth, then, Priscilla."

"He had no real right to interfere, but the English, even then, claimed
the whole coast of North America, basing their claims on the discoveries
of the Cabots; Argall himself, however, is considered little more than a
pirate, and no Englishman justifies his destruction of the prosperous
and peaceful colony at Port Royal.

"The next settlement here was under the auspices of Sir William
Alexander, a friend of James the First. You remember that he made La
Tour a Baronet of Nova Scotia. He had great plans, and his colony was
near Goat Island. I am told that some people here in Annapolis still
speak about the Scotch fort, some trace of which is yet to be seen.

"War between France and England finally put an end to Sir William
Alexander's colony, and it was Charles La Tour who did more than any one
else to make Acadia of some importance to France. He claimed that
Biencourt, Poutrincourt's son, when he died in 1623, had left all his
claims to Acadia to him, including the position of Governor."

"Amy," said Martine, yawning slightly, "this is all very interesting,
but unless I have time to digest it I shall forget it entirely. Let us
put history aside until another day and see if we cannot find something
more amusing."

"I'm going downstairs for a moment," said Priscilla; "I have an idea the
mail has come."

In a moment she returned with a handful of letters.

"Boston, Plymouth, two from Shelburne--where's that? I suppose that I
may look at the postmarks?"

"Give, give," cried Martine, and Priscilla put a couple in her hand.

"Only one for me," said Amy, "and it's from Fritz; he's at Shelburne.
Did you have one too, mamma?"

"No," replied Mrs. Redmond, who had just entered the room.

"Oh, I thought there were two Shelburne postmarks."

Priscilla noticed Martine's heightened color, and an idea that had come
to her at Yarmouth now returned. As it was a matter in which she had no
real right to meddle, she said nothing.

"What does Fritz say?" asked Mrs. Redmond, turning to Amy.

"That he's having the time of his life, that he and Taps have found the
best fishing in the world, and like Nova Scotia so much that they may
bring a party of their own here next summer. What he writes about the
French of Pubnico sounds exactly like Meteghan and Church Point, so I'll
skip all that; Shelburne seems more romantic, and I almost wish it had
lain in our path. He says it has one of the finest harbors he ever saw,
but I will read you a little in his own words.

"'Shelburne, my dear Amy, is like the ghost of a city, to one who has
imagination. It was planned to be the chief city of Nova Scotia, and
there is something rather tragic in looking at the broad streets that
were meant for a larger city. Hardly one of the fine old houses remains.
They say that twelve thousand Loyalists came here just after the
Revolution, and most of them were rich and influential. The frames of
large houses were brought and set up here; people tried to live as they
would in a great city, with servants and every luxury. With such a great
harbor they expected to have a great seaport; but the trouble was, there
was nothing in the country back of them. There was no farming land, and
no farmers to supply produce for the ships in the harbor to carry away
in exchange for other goods. After a while people found they had used up
the money they had brought with them from New York and other places.
Then those who could left Shelburne. Some went away leaving their houses
fully furnished, and they never came back. They went to Halifax, to
Annapolis, or even back to New York and Boston after the bitter feeling
over the war had gone down.

"'If you were here, Amy, you'd find plenty of material for poems in
Shelburne, especially on moonlight nights like last night, when Taps and
I wandered up and down the broad streets, trying to imagine what
Shelburne must have been in the days of its greatness. I hope that you
and the others are enjoying yourselves as much as you expected to,
without me or any other masculine disturber of the peace. I haven't a
doubt that your mother thinks we've been pretty badly treated. She
always was an unusually sensible woman, and we'd have been useful to
carry your bags, if nothing more; however, mark my words, before your
journey is over you will sigh for me more than once, and the day will
come when you'll really need me.'"

"He thinks enough of himself, doesn't he?" said Martine.

"Oh, he's not really conceited," replied Amy, "and I dare say that he
would liven us up a little; but on the whole things are best as they
are."

"Aren't you quieter than usual, Martine?" asked Amy that evening.

"Well, I had a letter from papa to-day," she said, "and he says that
mamma is really very ill, and that they may have to stay abroad all
summer. I have just written him about Yvonne; but of course it will be
some time before I can get an answer."

"What do you want him to do?" asked Amy,--"to let you adopt her? She's
almost as tall as you are."

"Well, I'm not sure what I want, but I know that if Yvonne should have
her voice cultivated she'd be a great prima donna, and what a feather in
my cap to have been her discoverer!"

"I fear that your father would need more than your opinion to enable him
to decide a matter like that. In fact, only an expert musician could
make a safe prophecy about Yvonne."

"Well, at least, I hope that he will consent to letting her go to Boston
to study next winter. We could find a doctor to help her eyesight."

"Why not ask your father to invest in Alexander's gold mine?" asked Amy,
with a smile; "then he could do everything for Yvonne himself."

"That isn't the point. I've really taken a great fancy to Yvonne, and I
want to have her near me. Have you written to Pierre yet?"

"Oh, yes; I went out this morning and bought him a copy of Longfellow.
He had never owned one himself, and was anxious to have it. I have asked
him to write us so that we shall get the letter at Grand Pré."

"It's time Priscilla had a protégée," said Martine, "though she doesn't
seem the kind of person to adopt anything very warmly except her own
opinions."

This was a rather sharp remark for Martine to make, and it convinced Amy
of something that she had tried to doubt--that the two girls were really
rather far apart, "and both such charming girls," she said to herself.

Martine's letters with the Pubnico and Shelburne postmarks had given
Priscilla considerable concern. Though not a meddler, she yet saw
Martine's lack of frankness about those letters. Priscilla knew that
neither was in the handwriting of Fritz Tomkins, and she was sure that
they were written by the Freshman with him whom she knew only by the
name of "Taps." She was now quite convinced, also, that it really was
Martine whom Amy had seen wheeling through the streets of Yarmouth with
this same youth. That it was no concern of hers she realized perfectly;
and yet, she wondered if it might not be her duty to tell Mrs. Redmond
what she knew. Priscilla was over-conscientious; she was always more
ready to disclose her own faults than to conceal them,--to disclose, at
least, faults that she herself recognized. She did not altogether
realize that a certain form of censoriousness was growing upon her; that
she was too much inclined to measure all people by her own standard.

Thus many little things that Martine did quite innocently and naturally
seemed to Priscilla bits of affectation. Martine's hand was ever in her
pocket. When it was a question of buying books or fruit or some other
little thing for the traveller, Martine always managed to pay for it,
and Priscilla thought that her readiness to do this came from a desire
to display the size of her allowance. Priscilla herself, on the other
hand, had to be careful about little expenses, and while their present
trip called for no great expenditure, she hated to be obliged so often
to thank Martine for small luxuries. Then, too, Martine had an
extravagant way of talking that disturbed the serious Priscilla. She
could not say that she had ever found Martine in a real untruth. Still,
Martine's way was not her way, and instead of drawing nearer together as
the journey progressed, the two girls were farther apart.

Martine, on her part, thought Priscilla rather old-fashioned, but
accounted for the seriousness of her dress and her manner by the fact
that she was still in mourning for her father, who had died of fever
contracted in Cuba at the beginning of the late war.

Perhaps it was because she realized that her prejudices were a little
unreasonable, that Priscilla hesitated about speaking to Amy or Mrs.
Redmond regarding the suspicious postmarks.

The long "historical disquisition," as Martine called it, that Amy had
given them on their first day at Annapolis, was not immediately followed
by another. Their mornings were spent in sketching in the neighborhood,
and their afternoons in driving. One day they crossed the Grandville
Ferry and went down to the old fort near Goat Island. But though they
all professed to see slight traces of the earthworks, it required
imagination rather than eyesight to discern even a slight trace of
Poutrincourt's fort.

"It's one of the ironies of history," said Amy, "that tradition should
speak of this as a Scotch fort, for the Scotch were here so short a time
before the French were again in power."

"What became of the Scotch?" asked Priscilla.

"It is supposed that most of them went back home, and that the few who
stayed intermarried with the conquering French. Sir William Alexander
and his Baronets of Nova Scotia made little impression on Acadia."

"Amy," said Martine, "of all the people you've told us about the most
interesting to me is young Biencourt, wandering about in the woods and
living like an Indian; I even dreamt about him the other night. How did
he happen to escape when Argall destroyed the fort?"

"Oh, he and some of his companions were up there where Annapolis now is,
working in their grain fields; you know they had a mill up there, and
rich fields of grain. The fort itself was not in a good location,--at
least for farming. It is said that Argall and the other Virginians were
not aware of the existence of the mill and the fields, and when they had
destroyed the fort, thought that there was nothing left for the French."

"You may be pretty sure," said Martine, "they wouldn't have let anything
escape if they'd known; the English are always greedy."

"They are not a bit worse than the French," retorted Priscilla. "Just
think how cruel the French were during the Reign of Terror."

"Oh, that's an entirely different kind of thing; the French are never
half as anxious to grab other people's land as the English are."

"There, there," interposed Amy, "I'll have to be a Board of
International Arbitration; in other words, let us have peace. There's
one thing," she continued, "I feel as if young Biencourt kept alive the
love of the French for Port Royal. Charles La Tour was himself only a
boy like Biencourt when he first came to the New World. The King had
certainly given Poutrincourt rights in Acadia, and he had passed them on
to his son. Poutrincourt was killed at the Siege of Marye in 1610,
scarcely three years before Argall's destruction of Port Royal."



  CHAPTER X

  EXPLORATIONS


"How very gay your attire, Martine! Do you think of paying afternoon
visits?"

"No, my dear Amy, I do not, because I know no one to visit; but I'm
tired of cloth skirts and a shirt-waist, and I thought I would like to
see how it would feel to wear something decent."

Martine's gown was a pale blue voile, made up over a bright blue lining,
with a delicate white insertion on the waist; her hat, a blue chip,
trimmed with white flowers, and she carried a parasol to match.

"Is your gown quite suitable for a walk on a dusty road?"

"Perhaps it isn't," responded Martine, "but sometimes one must live up
to her feelings, and this is how I feel to-day,--like wearing my very
best; besides, this is nothing remarkable, this dress, but it happens to
be the best I have with me."

"Very well," and Amy sighed; "it's no use to argue with you, and as soon
as Priscilla comes downstairs we'll set off."

When Priscilla appeared, she, like Amy, had a short cloth skirt and
shirt-waist, but she made no comment on the elegance of Martine's
appearance.

There was one thing rather incongruous in Martine's aspect,--she carried
a small shovel, which looked as if it had never been used; such, indeed,
was the case, and as she brandished it she said cheerfully, "I hope we
shall go somewhere where we can dig. I hear there's any amount of hidden
treasure around Annapolis, and I am anxious to get some of it for
myself."

The girls walked a good while before they saw anything likely to reward
an amateur antiquarian. Then, in a field quite outside the town,
Martine's sharp eyes saw something that interested her. In a moment she
was over the fence, with the others following.

"There," she said excitedly, "you see these very old, gnarled
apple-trees and this clump of willows; I'm perfectly sure that this used
to be an Acadian farm."

"That's a safe guess," rejoined Amy, "for all the land about here was
once in the hands of the Acadians."

"Yes, but I think from this little mound and that hollow beside it that
there was a house on this very spot. I noticed what Dr. Gray said when
he was talking to your mother last evening, and that was what decided me
to do some digging for myself."

"In a blue voile dress," responded Amy, in a tone of disapproval. "Ah,
Martine, you are so absurd!"

Even while Amy was speaking Martine had begun to dig,--aimlessly, of
course, although in a few minutes she had made a fairly large hole. When
her shovel struck something hard she was delighted, but, digging deeper,
she brought up only a piece of broken brick. Undiscouraged, she dug one
side of the first hole, and presently she held out to Amy what at first
puzzled them both. It looked like a mere bit of rusty iron, but later
they decided that it was probably part of an old lock.

"Which I shall label 'Exhibit No. 1' in my museum of curiosities," said
Martine.

"Let me see what I can do," cried Amy; "you must be tired."

So Martine surrendered her shovel, and in a quarter of an hour Amy
brought up an old bottle, not at all remarkable in shape, but very
valuable from Martine's point of view, because it was undoubtedly an
Acadian trophy.

Priscilla contented herself with some slips from an ancient willow-tree.

"It is not the best time of year for making cuttings," she said, "but
these French willows cling to life as closely as the proverbial cat. I
heard of a man who had a walking-stick cut from a willow-tree. It looked
as hard and dry as a bone, but one day he happened to stick it in the
ground near a spring and forgot all about it. Some time afterwards, when
he passed, the walking-stick was sending out little shoots, and in time
it became a full-fledged willow-tree."

"That's a very good story," commented Martine, "and as we know you never
tell anything but the exact truth, Priscilla, neither Amy nor I would
think of doubting it."

As the trio were walking back toward town they met Mrs. Redmond,
driving.

"Come," she cried, "which two of you will drive with me? You slipped off
this afternoon without my realizing that you were going away, and now I
want company."

"I would rather stroll along," replied Amy, "but I am sure that Martine
and Priscilla would enjoy the drive. Martine is turning antiquarian, and
if your driver can take you to some old grave or Indian mound, she will
be delighted to use her shovel."

"I don't know what I can promise in the way of graves and mounds, but if
Martine comes with me I can offer her a lovely view."

"If you please, Mrs. Redmond," said Priscilla, "I would rather walk back
home than drive."

Although Amy tried to make her change her mind, Priscilla was firm, and
the discussion ended by Amy's getting into the carriage with Martine and
Mrs. Redmond.

As she walked along the main street, where the houses were still rather
far apart, Priscilla noticed a little graveyard in a corner of a garden.
As the gate was open, she felt at liberty to walk inside. The stones at
which she glanced were of marble, and the inscriptions were well cut.
The names on two or three of them were French, and the men who bore them
had evidently been officers in the English army. This interested her,
and when she saw a girl of about her own age standing at the door of a
cottage near by, she felt emboldened to speak to her.

"They were not really French," said the girl, in answer to her question,
"but of Huguenot family, who fought for the King in the Revolution. I've
heard my mother say that one of them was a cousin of her grandmother's,
and they all came here together at the close of the war."

Priscilla was delighted. Here, perhaps, was a person who would tell her
something about the Loyalists of the Revolution.

"Were your people Loyalists?" she asked.

"Why, of course," was the reply, as if anything else were unsupposable.

"Oh, I'm so glad!" responded Priscilla. "I've been waiting to hear more
about the Loyalists."

"You are an American?" questioned the girl. "Americans are not apt to
care about Loyalists; they seem to think only about the Acadians; but my
ancestors were all Loyalists, and if you will just come into the house
my mother would love to talk to you."

So Priscilla followed her new acquaintance indoors. Outside, the house
looked small, but within she found many rooms opening one into another,
none of them very large, and all of them with low ceilings.

"My mother's great-grandfather built this house when he first came from
New York. He was an officer in the Loyal American Regiment. There is his
commission; we framed it to hang on the wall."

"By His Excellency Sir Henry Clinton, K. B., General and
Commander-in-Chief of all His Majesty's Forces within the Colonies lying
on the Atlantic Ocean, from Nova Scotia to West Florida inclusive, etc.,
etc., etc.

"By Virtue of the Power and Authority in Me vested, I DO hereby
constitute and appoint You to be Captain of a Company in the Loyal
American Regiment commanded by Colonel Beverly Robinson."

Priscilla read the whole commission in which the duties of the newly
made captain were defined, to the very end where the signature of Sir
Henry Clinton still stood out clearly.

While the new acquaintance went to call her mother, Priscilla looked
around the pleasant sitting-room. There was a high, old-fashioned
bookcase filled with books, many of them in dingy calf bindings. The
young girl returned while she was looking at them, expressing her regret
that her mother was not at home.

"My grandfather brought many of these books from New York," she said;
"he was a nephew of the rector of Trinity Church, and was himself a
graduate of King's College, New York."

"I don't see how they had the courage to give up everything and come
down here so far away. Even if they did not like the new government, I
should think they would rather have stayed where most of their friends
and relatives were."

"Oh, it wasn't always a matter of choice," rejoined Eunice, for this,
Priscilla discovered, was her new friend's name; "some had to come,
because they had been too active in the King's cause and the other side
would not forgive them. Even after the Peace many were in danger of
imprisonment; and then a great many had had all their property
confiscated, and thought it would be easier to start over again down
here than to live in poverty among their old friends and neighbors."

Priscilla looked in amazement at Eunice. She expressed herself so much
more carefully than most girls of her age.

"Martine would call her quaint," thought Priscilla, looking at her, "and
if she knows as much about other things as she does about history, she
must be a wonder."

"I wish my mother were here," said Eunice, politely. "She gets quite
worked up when she talks about the Loyalists."

"I should think she would," responded Priscilla. "They certainly had a
hard time."

"She thinks that we have been cut off from things that really are our
own, and now, when we have so little money that I can't even afford to
go away to college, she feels more and more indignant at the injustice
of it all."

Priscilla did not know exactly what to say. In her mind there was a
struggle between her feeling of patriotism and her sense of justice. As
Eunice had put it, it did not seem fair that the Loyalists should have
lost everything, simply because they had had the courage to hold out for
the King. But a phrase came into her mind that she had often heard, and
for the moment it seemed the only sentiment that she could express.

"After all," she said gently, "I suppose it was the 'fortune of war'
that your people suffered so much."

"Oh, yes," responded Eunice, "that is what I often say to my mother; and
then I tell her too, that in one hundred and twenty-five years the
family probably would have lost all the property they had before the
Revolution."

Finding that the subject was getting a little beyond her, Priscilla
ventured a more general remark.

"There must be many interesting historical incidents connected with
Annapolis; I mean, incidents that are not French," she concluded
hastily. "I am just a little tired, myself, of the Acadians."

"I don't know of many very entertaining things," responded Eunice, "but
I remember one story that might amuse you. During the Revolution, the
people of Annapolis were awfully afraid of attacks from Privateers. You
see, after the Acadians were driven out a large colony from New England
came down here. They received grants of land from the government, and
were very prosperous when the war began. Many were on the side of the
Yankees, but in the end England was able to hold Nova Scotia. However,
the small privateering vessels were constantly coming into Nova Scotia
ports, and even Annapolis wasn't perfectly safe. One night two rebel
schooners came up to the mouth of the river; they had about eighty men,
and landed them safely, because the sentry at the fort was asleep. They
entered the houses and stirred people up immensely; they seemed more
bent on making mischief than in doing any real violence. There were not
many citizens here in the town then, but one of them, looking from the
window when he heard a noise in the street, saw two of the rebels
disputing over something they had stolen; when they saw him at the
window, they dashed into his house, and a minute or two afterwards
another Annapolis man, only half dressed, rushed excitedly into the room
to tell his friend that the Yankees were plundering the town; this was
unnecessary information, because, as I have said, two rebels were
already in the house. He discovered them with their bayonets pointed at
him just as he had finished telling his story, and he was so surprised
that he fell backward over a cradle, with his feet in the air. His
comical appearance made the rebels laugh so, that he afterwards said
that this saved his life, for before they had recovered he had jumped to
his feet and run away. But later he and all the other able-bodied
citizens were shut up in the fort, while the men from the schooners went
through the houses and carried away everything movable. They allowed the
ladies to keep their shoes, though they first removed the silver
buckles. The schooners disappeared in the morning, when the report was
spread around that the militia of the county were gathering and coming
to Annapolis. That, I believe, was the only attack on Annapolis during
the Revolution. It happened two or three years before the arrival of the
refugees, and the accounts of it that have been handed down always
represented it as a very comical affair."

"Did you say 'Yankees'?" asked Priscilla. "Did you mean--"

"Oh, I meant schooners from New England; I've heard they were from Cape
Cod," replied Eunice.

"It was pretty small business," said Priscilla, almost apologetically.
"I don't believe that the men on the schooners were either soldiers or
sailors. I am sure that Washington wouldn't have approved if he had
known."

"You don't think that all on your side were good, do you," asked Eunice,
"and that all on ours were bad?"

Priscilla hardly knew what to reply. She was getting again into deep
water, for she saw that although the war was long over, Eunice was still
a strong partisan. So, as a kind of peace-offering, she asked Eunice if
she would not walk back home with her.

"I should like to have you meet my friends whom I am travelling with,"
she said. "We are going to stay in Annapolis a week or more. Mrs.
Redmond is making some beautiful sketches, and her daughter Amy is just
dear; she is older than Martine and I, but she never makes us feel the
difference in our ages, and she knows more than almost anybody I ever
saw."

"I should love to walk back with you," said Eunice, "though I cannot
stay very long. What is Martine like?" she asked abruptly.

"Oh, Martine,--well, Martine is different. She always sees the funny
side of things, and she doesn't care what anything costs if she happens
to want it. She's perfectly devoted to the French, and I'm so terribly
tired of her Acadians that I want to find out what the English did in
Annapolis."

"I will be glad to do what I can to help you," responded Eunice, "only
you mustn't be too touchy about things; for you see we're still all
English down here."

As Priscilla walked back to the boarding-house she congratulated herself
on her new friend; for although she had known Eunice so short a time,
she already regarded her as much more than an ordinary acquaintance.

"I can always tell," she said to herself, "whether any one is going to
wear well. Mother says that that is the only test for real friends, and
I can see that Eunice and I are likely to be more than acquaintances. I
feel as if I had known her a long time. Now it wasn't so with Martine,
and even though we have been together so much this summer, some way I
don't feel perfectly comfortable with her. I'd like to be fair, but
still--"

Yes, Priscilla meant to be fair, but still--what was the trouble? It is
to be feared that she had not yet learned the real meaning of tolerance.
Martine's point of view was often so unlike hers that Priscilla did not
make enough effort to put herself in her friend's place. While believing
herself just, she certainly permitted herself to be biassed little in
her judgments. Nor did she realize that Martine herself often spoke in
an exaggerated tone, chiefly for the purpose of seeing to what extent
she could impose on Priscilla; for Martine, discovering Priscilla's
attitude toward her, liked to say things to surprise her,--"Puritan
Prissie," as she called her at these times.

It would not be quite true, perhaps, to say that Priscilla distrusted
Martine's interest in Yvonne, although she had a strong conviction that
it was merely impulse that had led her to promise so much.

"For the day that we spent at Meteghan, Yvonne was like a new plaything
to her. Had Martine been with Yvonne a week, it would have been the
same; she would have lavished things on her, and would have been ready
to promise her anything. But 'out of sight, out of mind;' I believe that
that is always the way with her. I am not even sure that she is as fond
of Mrs. Redmond and Amy as she seems to be."

Poor Priscilla! she was really borrowing trouble needlessly, and yet in
more senses than one it was real trouble to her, because she was never
sure just how she ought to respond to the more flippant remarks made by
Martine. They were often so witty that she could not help laughing, even
when she felt the greatest need of preserving her own dignity.

Another grievance was Martine's way of addressing Amy. Priscilla herself
had begun by trying to say "Miss Redmond;" occasionally she slipped into
"Amy," but more usually "Miss Amy" was her form of address. Martine had
laughed loudly at this, and one day she said, "It is what I call too
servile. Amy is not greatly our superior, but still I'd rather call her
Miss Redmond. I notice that Fritz Tomkins in some of his letters says
'Miss Amy Redmond.' I wonder if that would do for us?"

"Oh, Amy--that is, Miss Redmond--explained that it was just his way of
making fun of her when he says 'Miss Amy Redmond.'"

"Probably, but when I can't think of anything else I will say that,
though generally Amy is good enough for me, and here she is, looking as
sweet as a rose." Whereupon, without the slightest regard for the
dignity with which Priscilla would have liked to hedge Amy, Martine had
thrown herself upon the older girl's neck, to the destruction of
something less ideal than her dignity; to wit, the freshness of her
muslin stock.

Thinking of this scene, Priscilla sighed. "Eunice would never do or say
anything silly." This goes to show that she did indeed regard Eunice as
a kindred spirit.



  CHAPTER XI

  A TEA PARTY


"Prissie, Prissie," said Martine, in a teasing tone, "you are altogether
too enthusiastic; I don't believe in these perfect people, and your
little Tory must be rather a prig, from what you say."

When Martine called her "Prissie," Priscilla knew that she meant
mischief, and though in her inmost heart she admitted that Martine's
teasing carried no real sting, she never stood this teasing with very
good grace.

"She isn't a Tory," she replied rather sharply; "there are no Tories in
these days, and Eunice Airton is not a prig."

But Martine only laughed; perhaps she retained too firmly in her mind
the remembrance of Priscilla's indifference to Yvonne and was now trying
to pay her back. Priscilla had just given an enthusiastic account of her
new acquaintance, and Mrs. Redmond and Amy had listened with great
attention. Mrs. Redmond, indeed, was pleased that Priscilla had found
something really to interest her. Although away from home not quite two
weeks, Priscilla had begun to show the good effects of the trip in round
and rosier cheeks, and in a slightly more animated manner. Yet it had
seemed to Mrs. Redmond that she was not quite as pleased with things in
general as the other two girls. She was sorry too to note the growing
antagonism between Martine and Priscilla, though its cause was hard to
discover. At first Martine's teasing had proceeded from the merest love
of fun, and she thought that Priscilla took it all too seriously. Amy
had already cautioned her that she could soon disarm Martine, by
receiving everything she said as if said in pure fun. But Priscilla was
sensitive, and she was just conscious enough of certain little foibles
of her own to realize that sometimes Martine was laughing at her.

"Even if Eunice were a Tory, I shouldn't care," she continued. "I never
heard any one talk as well as she does."

"Ah, that's just it, my dear Miss Prissie Prunes," retorted Martine;
"I'll warrant that she's just as prim and precise as--"

Martine did not finish the sentence, but Priscilla realized well that
she meant to say "as prim and precise as you are."

The day after this conversation Mrs. Airton called on Mrs. Redmond and
the girls. Martine was not at home, but the others were pleased with the
delicate little woman, in rather faded black, who was particularly
cordial and anxious to have them see Annapolis at its best.

As she talked, it was easy to understand how Eunice came by her precise
manner and language, for there was a certain bookishness in her choice
of words, and correctness of expression, that, although not really
subject to criticism, might become tiresome. Mrs. Airton had heard more
or less about Mrs. Redmond and her party from Dr. Gray, to whose family
Mrs. Redmond had brought an introduction.

"Now I hope," she said, toward the end of her visit, "that you will give
us the pleasure of spending to-morrow afternoon with us and staying to
tea. I suppose 'tea' has gone out of fashion in the States, but it's
just the height of the strawberry season now, and perhaps you'll accept
high tea in place of a late dinner."

"We shall be delighted to accept your invitation," Mrs. Redmond replied,
"and as for tea, why, we never have late dinner at home in summer. We
shall enjoy your hospitality."

Now it happened, unfortunately, that on the morning of Wednesday, the
day for which Mrs. Airton had invited them, Martine and Priscilla had
their first falling out. Like most fallings out, it began in a very
trivial way. Among Martine's belongings was an elaborate toilet set of
silver-mounted brushes and boxes; she had had the good sense not to
carry them in her travelling bag, but at Annapolis, where they were to
stay longer than at some places, she had unpacked them all from her
trunk, and they were spread out in elaborate array on her bureau. Amy
had planned an excursion for the morning to Granville across the
Granville Ferry to a certain picturesque spot on the other side. When
she and Priscilla were ready to start, they knocked at Martine's door,
thinking that she too would be ready. To their surprise, they found her
in a loose dressing-sack, busily engaged in polishing her silver.

"There, I forgot all about going with you," cried Martine; "the damp air
has blackened my brushes so that I just thought the best thing was to
sit down and polish them."

"Oh, dear," rejoined Priscilla, "we are late as it is; for if we miss
this ferry-boat, we'll have to wait so long for another that we won't
have any time on the other side."

"I can't help it," retorted Martine; "you can go without me if you like,
though I'll drop what I'm doing and hurry to get dressed; but if you do
not want to wait, it's all the same to me."

"Of course we'll wait," said Amy, gently. "I particularly wish you to be
with us, Martine, and though it will shorten our time a little, we must
make the best of it now."

Priscilla looked at her watch. "We ought to take this next ferry-boat,
and if we wait for Martine we shall lose it. Cleaning silver seems such
a waste of time when we're travelling."

Priscilla's manner rather than her actual words irritated Martine.

"I am the best judge of what wastes my own time," she said with unwonted
sharpness, "and as a matter of fact, I'd rather stay here than go with
you."

Amy, looking at her earnestly, realized that this was not the time for
further argument.

"Very well," she rejoined. "Priscilla, let us go on. Martine is
certainly the best judge of what she ought to do."

"I know I shouldn't have criticised Martine," apologized Priscilla, as
they walked along; "but it seems so silly to me that she should carry a
valuable set of silver like that on a trip of this kind. I spoke before
I thought."

"Martine has always been greatly indulged," said Amy. "At least, I've
been told that she sets no value on money, and so what would seem a
little extravagant to us does not seem so to her."

"Well, good taste is good taste," rejoined Priscilla, "and if I had ten
times as much money as I have, I'd never carry jewelry about with me
travelling, nor expensive toilet-sets."

Amy did not reply to this. Her own view was much the same as that of
Priscilla, but she realized that it was not for her to criticise either
girl.

The trip to Granville proved less satisfactory than she had hoped. The
town itself, though small, was attractively situated, and she identified
one or two historical spots that she had hoped to see; but she missed
the particular road for which she was looking, and on account of their
engagement at Mrs. Airton's, she had to hurry back to Annapolis without
accomplishing what she had set out to do. The mid-day sun was very hot,
and she and Priscilla reached the house dusty and tired, to find Martine
looking tantalizingly cool and comfortable, seated on a rustic bench
under a tree in the orchard, busily working at a water-color sketch.

After their early dinner, Mrs. Redmond took Amy aside and said rather
anxiously:

"I wish you could persuade Martine to go with us this afternoon."

"Go with us?" returned Amy. "Why, of course. Mrs. Airton expects her."

"I don't quite understand it, but she says that she does not care to go,
and in fact she has engaged a horse for a ride."

"On horseback! Who is going with her?"

"No one. She says that it's perfectly safe for her to go alone, and
though I tried to dissuade her, I can see that she is determined to have
her own way."

"I suppose that's what they mean by Martine's being difficult to manage.
Thus far I had thought her remarkably amiable."

"There's one thing about it," rejoined Mrs. Redmond, "it may be better
to let her have her way this time than to have her take it without our
permission. I have learned that the horse she is to have is perfectly
safe,--so safe in fact, that I fear she'll find it rather a bore,--and
she says that she'll only go over the road where we drove the other
afternoon, every step of which she knows; but I must say that I regret
her discourtesy to Mrs. Airton, for her refusal of her invitation must
seem very strange. Why do you suppose she is unwilling to go?"

"I'm afraid it's because she and Priscilla had a little disagreement
this morning. It was so slight that I wouldn't have attached any
importance to it, but apparently Martine has taken it more to heart."

When Priscilla learned of Martine's change of plan, she made no comment,
believing in her inmost heart that Martine had taken this way to show
her real distaste to those whom she called Priscilla's "Tory friends."
When Mrs. Redmond and the other girls reached Mrs. Airton's early in the
afternoon, they found their friend Mrs. Gray there, and one or two young
girls of the neighborhood. For a while they sat in the low-studded
sitting-room where Priscilla had looked at the commission signed by Sir
Henry Clinton. Their conversation did not concern itself entirely with
the past, but there were many questions about the present, of Nova
Scotia in general and Annapolis in particular, that the Americans were
anxious to ask and the others glad to answer.

Later, however, they got back to the subject in which Priscilla was
especially interested,--the Loyalist refugees and the hard times they
experienced. Eunice had shown her, among other things, her
great-great-grandfather's silver breastplate, with his monogram and a
crown finely engraved upon it, and one or two of his letters, the paper
yellow with age and the ink faded.

"Since you are interested in such things," said Mrs. Airton, "perhaps
you would like to see some other letters. You might show her, Eunice,
that one that we have that is a copy of the one that my great-grand-aunt
Hester wrote to Sir Guy Carlton, when she was trying to arrange to leave
New York. You know, my dear," she continued in explanation, "in those
days people almost always made copies of their letters, and we have a
good many that are really very interesting. I believe this letter
contained a request from Hester and her sister, Anne, whose husbands had
both been killed toward the close of the war."

So Amy, taking up the paper, read without difficulty the clear, round
handwriting:

    "'The Memorial of Hester Danforth, widow of Benjamin
    Danforth, late captain of the Prince of Wales' American
    Regiment and Anne Dutton, widow of Josiah Dutton, Lt. in
    said Regt.
        Humbly sheweth
                That your Memorialist, Hester Danforth
    has two sons, one fourteen and the other twelve years old,
    and Anne Dutton three children, oldest son fourteen,
    youngest son seven and her daughter ten years old--That as
    they purpose to go to Nova Scotia with their children--

    They wish to go on the ship with Dr. Peter Brown, who is
    about going with a company of refugees to St. Johns River.

    That they may be indulged with drawing the land's Government
    may allow them in that quarter and with the company that
    goes under the direction of Dr. Brown or such other company
    of refugees as may appear to your Memorialists more
    eligible.

    That they may be indulged with the liberty of taking with
    each of them a man and woman servant and allowances of
    provisions, clothing, etc. as to your Excellency may seem
    meet.

    That, should your Excellency graciously order six months
    advance upon their pensions to be paid previous to their
    sailing, it will be very thankfully received as indeed their
    circumstances are such as they cannot go with reasonable
    Comfort and Decency without it.

    As your Memorialists sufferings have been very long and
    great--They humbly ask as many Favours and Indulgences as to
    your Excellency shall appear anyways reasonable and fit, and
    as in duty bound they will ever pray etc.

                    HESTER DANFORTH
                    ANNE DUTTON

    NEW YORK, _June 2, 1783_.'"

"I always think that an interesting letter," said Mrs. Airton, "because
both of those ladies who signed it were brought up in the greatest
luxury; their father had one of the large estates on the Hudson and
their mother was of English birth and an heiress; but the family saved
not a single shred of their fortune and it is rather touching to read
behind the lines of this letter and to see that both these young women,
for they were under thirty-five, had for some time been suffering for
the necessities of life."

"'The fortune of war,'" commented Priscilla, in the very words that she
had used on her first visit to Eunice.

"I hope," added Amy, "that they found life comfortable after they came
here."

"Ah," said Mrs. Airton, shaking her head, "at first life here could
hardly be called comfortable. Imagine twenty-five hundred people crowded
into this little town, which had not rooms for one tenth the number.
Often a whole family had to content itself with one room, and delicately
reared women and children had to spend at least a part of that first
winter in tents. Several hundred, it is said, were herded together in
the church. Of course, after a few months they began to distribute
themselves through the country. Sometimes they had great trouble in
taking possession of the land granted them, because it was already in
the possession of the New Englanders who had settled on the farms of the
Acadians twenty years before. Usually these pre-Loyalist settlers had a
rightful title to the land they claimed; then the refugees had to apply
for other lands. Many of these refugees were professional men or
merchants from New York City, and they found it hard in middle life to
become farmers; but, as you say, my dear, it was the fortune of war, and
in time they adapted themselves to the new conditions. In the course of
a few years some went back to New York, others sailed over to St. John,
where, from the beginning, city life prevailed, and those who stayed
here in Nova Scotia seemed to be contented with their lot; although I
for one feel very bitter when I think of all that my family in its
various branches lost. I feel it the more because I'm able to do so
little for my children, and they are reaching an age when a little money
would mean so much."

"Ah, yes, mamma," interposed Eunice, "but if the money had stayed in the
family after the Revolution it might all have been lost before this, and
besides, Balfour and I do not care half as much for wealth as--" and
here she stopped, for at this point Mrs. Gray interrupted her.

"Indeed, I think it a greater privilege to have grown up in Annapolis
than to have lived in the finest city of the United States. Why, I can
assure you, Mrs. Redmond," turning to the latter, "that few places of
its size have had so many distinguished residents. When the fort was
garrisoned, it was quite like an English town, and I've heard my
grandmother speak of the parties that were given here when she was
young; not to mention the Duke of Kent, who was here before her day,
there have been such men in the garrison as Sir Colin Campbell,
afterwards Lord Clyde, while Sir Fenwick Williams, the defender of Kars,
was a native of the town, and surely no literary man in America has a
wider reputation than Judge Haliburton, whose house was just down there
beyond the hotel. I often think of the lines by Oliver Goldsmith, who
lived here,--a grand-nephew, my dear," laying her hand on Amy's, "of the
great English poet, who himself wrote 'The Rising Village,' describing
Annapolis."

"Oh, can't you recite a part of it?" asked Amy. She had already
discovered a vein of sentimentality in Mrs. Gray, and she was right in
judging that the request would please her.

"I'm sorry to say," replied Mrs. Gray, "that my memory is not what it
used to be, and the only lines I recall do not touch on the social so
much as the natural charms of Annapolis."

"Oh, but please do say them." This time it was Priscilla, and Mrs. Gray
began:--

    "'Here the broad marsh extends its open plain,
    Until its limits touch the distant main;
    There verdant meads along the uplands spring,
    And grateful odours to the breezes fling.
    Here crops of grain in rich luxuriance rise,
    And wave their golden riches to the skies;
    There smiling orchards interrupt the scene,
    Or gardens, bounded by some hedge of green;
    The farmer's cottage bosomed 'mong the trees,
    Whose spreading branches shelter from the breeze;
    The winding stream that turns the busy mill,
    Whose clacking echoes o'er the distant hill;
    The neat, white church, beside whose walls are spread,
    The grass-clad hillocks of the sacred dead.'"

"It sounds like 'The Deserted Village,'" said Priscilla, politely; "that
was one of the poems that we studied at school last year; you recite
this beautifully."

"Ah, well, I'm aware that the first Oliver Goldsmith's poem is greater
poetry, but here in Annapolis people were very fond of Oliver the
younger, and if ever you've time to read the whole poem, you will find
that he thoroughly appreciated Acadia."

But all the hours of that pleasant afternoon were not spent in
historical conversation. Priscilla and Eunice, arm in arm, wandered out
in the pleasant orchard, and, swinging together in the hammock, talked
about all kinds of things, more frivolous than serious, such as girls
care to talk about. In appearance the two girls were not unlike, though
Eunice was a little the taller, despite the fact that she was a few
months younger; her eyes were the same gray-blue and her hair the same
pale brown as Priscilla's; not quite fair enough to be called golden,
and hardly dark enough to be called brown.

"It is strange," Amy had said to her mother, after Eunice had first
called on them, "that Eunice Airton reminds me of some one I have known;
I cannot say just who, but it is one of those resemblances that worry
one; you feel as if you must decide whom it is she resembles, yet try as
I can I cannot think."

While the girls were in the orchard, Eunice pointed out to Priscilla the
various additions that had been made to the house. Little ells and rooms
had been added, some of them only one story high, and the original
house, built by her Loyalist ancestor, was the very smallest part of the
present dwelling.

"I thought it strange," said Priscilla, "when you said that this house
was built just after the Revolution, that it should have been so large,
but now I understand."

"Oh, there's been an ell added for nearly every generation. To tell you
the truth," she concluded, "although my mother speaks so despondingly
now, the family have seen better days, even in Annapolis. My grandfather
Balfour was a very successful lawyer, and in spite of the
Revolution"--here she smiled--"we might have been rich to-day if he had
not sunk his money in unlucky speculation."

"Balfour?" queried Priscilla. "Where have I heard that name?"

"Oh, the name itself is not so very uncommon. There must be many of the
name somewhere, although our family was the only one down here."

A little later the girls were looking over some of the old books on the
bookshelves; they were chiefly history and poetry. There was Robertson's
"Charles Fifth," a fine set of Pope's Complete Works, and Dodsley's
"Miscellany," with the gilding on its calf binding not yet quite worn
off. Priscilla looked at these books with less interest than Amy showed
for them; she was not as ardent a lover of things ancient, although her
respect for Eunice increased when the young girl told her that she had
read nearly every book in the house.

"We have long winter evenings," she said, "and fewer amusements, I
suppose, than you have in the cities; and really I would rather read
than do anything else."

"But these books are so very old-fashioned, and Pope's poetry, don't you
find it pretty dull? I didn't care so very much for 'The Rape of the
Lock,' though some people call it amusing."

"I prefer Tennyson," replied Eunice, in a judicial tone, "but I feel
there are certain things one must read some time, and mother says that I
might as well read them now, while I have the books. Some time," and
here she sighed, "we may have to break up our home, and that might mean
packing away all our books; so it's well to 'make hay while the sun
shines,'" she concluded with a bright smile that was in marked contrast
with the sigh of a moment before.

In the meantime Amy, in looking over some of the books, gave an
exclamation of surprise; she had opened a large Bible, on the fly-leaf
of which was written "Audrey Balfour, Her book."

"There is something very familiar in that name," she cried, "Audrey
Balfour, and yet for the moment I can't recall any one to whom it
belongs."

"It's a family name," said Eunice, "and I've always wished that it had
been given to me, for there has always been an Audrey in the family for
each generation until now."

At last supper was announced, and if any of the party had lacked
appetite, the sight of the long table, with its delicate china and
old-fashioned silver and glass, would have been an inspiration. The
silver spoons, to be sure, were very, very thin, and the cups and
saucers were not without cracks, and here and there showed other
imperfections; but these things only emphasized the fact that silver and
china were really old; and the large silver dish, heaped with great
strawberries, was of a style that Mrs. Redmond said would make it almost
worth its weight in gold to a collector.

"I am so sorry," said Mrs. Airton, politely, "that Miss Martine is not
with you. I have seen her passing two or three times, and she is a
particularly attractive girl."

"She is indeed very attractive," responded Mrs. Redmond, "and on this
account we regret her occasional wilfulness; she had planned a ride to
the Bay Shore and we could not induce her to give it up. But she wished
me to thank you for her invitation, and she said that if she possibly
could, she would be here in time for tea; but it seems now as if she has
been unable to carry out this part of her plan."

"Oh, if she really goes to the shore," interposed Mrs. Gray, "I am sure
she will hardly be back in Annapolis before dark. It's a long ride, and
I only hope she doesn't find the road too hard."

"Martine is a good horsewoman; her father told us that we might trust
her on any horse, and had I not known this, I should have hesitated to
let her go."

"She did not go alone, I hope," said Mrs. Airton, anxiously.

"Oh, no; she consented rather reluctantly to an escort, and from the
stable they sent a Mr. Frazer, an elderly man, who promised to look
after her."

"Mr. Frazer!" Eunice laughed as she uttered the name. "Well, if he's on
his own horse and if Miss Martine keeps beside him, she'll certainly
have a slow, safe ride."



  CHAPTER XII

  IN THE FOG


In the meantime, where was Martine? When Mr. Frazer and his staid sorrel
steed appeared in front of the hotel, Martine had smiled inwardly.

"His horse certainly looks safe, and the man himself,--well, he may be a
good guide, as they say, and perhaps he can tell me about everything we
see in passing; but if he proves a bore, as I am perfectly sure he will,
I'll contrive some way to rid myself of his company."

It was a perfect afternoon for a ride, mild and windless, with just
enough sun to relieve the landscape of the monotony by creating artistic
effects of light and shade. Martine was in great spirits, for, like most
persons from the inland cities, she loved the sea even more deeply than
those who dwell beside it.

"The Annapolis basin is tame," she had said the day before. "I am tired
of the still, blue water and the red mud and the marshes and the
meadows, and I long for a breath of the real ocean."

"We're some distance still from the ocean," Amy had rejoined. "The
nearest to it is the Bay of Fundy."

"Well, from all I've heard, the Bay of Fundy is fiercer than the ocean
itself, and I must see it; for I've been tracing our route on the map,
and it seems to me that we've left out the Bay of Fundy altogether; we
are curving away from it all the time."

"Perhaps we can have a picnic on the Bay Shore before we leave."

"Oh, no, my dear Miss Amy Redmond; we won't have many days, and 'a bird
in the hand is worth two in the bush.' Just as soon as I can manage it,
I'm going to the Bay Shore myself."

So Martine had "managed it" by giving up the afternoon at Mrs. Airton's,
and now, as she rode along toward the North Mountain, she had a certain
feeling of triumph.

At first she and her guide kept very close together. He felt it
incumbent on him to give her as much information as he could about the
country and its history. Even when his tale concerned the Loyalists,
Martine did not assume the air of indifference that was always hers when
Priscilla touched on the same subject.

"It's a pity," said Mr. Frazer, "that there is nothing to be seen now of
all the wonders that old General Ruggles did in his time. He had one of
the largest grants of land hereabouts, away up over the top of a
mountain, and though he was past seventy when the war ended, he set to
work clearing forests and laying out his grounds like a young man. He
imported all kinds of trees from Massachusetts, and his place was a
model for the whole county. He found a deep gulch on his land that was
sheltered from the winds and yet sunny, and there he planted some rare
trees,--black walnut and peach and other things that generally grow only
in the far south."

"Was he an English general?" asked Martine, listlessly.

"Oh, I've heard," replied Mr. Frazer, "that though he was bred a lawyer
in Massachusetts, he became a colonel in the wars that the Americans
fought against the French, and was high in command at Ticonderoga and
Crown Point; it was in that war that he got his title of Brigadier
General, and so he might be called an American officer."

"Then what was he doing down here in Nova Scotia?"

"Oh, when the Revolutionary troubles began he wasn't in favor of
breaking off from the mother country; he was a Chief Justice of Common
Pleas, and he wrote and spoke against separation. So at last he and his
family had to give up everything and take refuge with the British in
Boston. He doesn't seem to have been a fighter against his countrymen,
but he preferred exile to sacrificing his principles. I've always been
interested in the old general," added Mr. Frazer, apologetically,
"though I don't just know why, for he was dead long before my father
even was born. But I've read a lot about him, and people here still tell
many stories of him, and altogether he seems something like those heroes
we hear of, working so energetically to keep his spirits up."

"Yes," said Martine, "I agree with you that it does seem rather heroic,
only it's a pity that he was on the wrong side." Then, lest Mr. Frazer
should be inclined to argue with her, she quickly changed the subject.

"This road over the mountain is pleasanter than I thought it would be; I
mean, everything looks so cultivated and prosperous."

"Oh, there isn't a better section anywhere than this," he replied. "The
orchards and farms all pay well; why, there's a place up beyond," he
continued, "that they call Paradise; and if it wasn't for winter, which
I suppose they don't have in heaven, I should say that the name just
fitted."

Mr. Frazer was so pleased with his own wit that he chuckled softly, and
so far forgot himself as to urge his horse forward.

"Let's stop here," cried Martine, "for a moment; I never saw so many
beehives."

"I don't know," replied Mr. Frazer, timidly, "as it's hardly safe;
sometimes, when they're swarming, they are apt to sting if you go too
near them."

But Martine was already off her horse and over the low fence, and Mr.
Frazer could only follow her example. The farm was situated at the
junction of two roads. Martine had taken the precaution to tether her
horse to a hitching-post, but Mr. Frazer, trusting too implicitly to the
sedateness of his steed, had left it unfettered to nibble the grass by
the roadside. The hives that had attracted Martine's attention proved as
harmless as she had prophesied, so she wandered on toward an
old-fashioned garden, blazing with mid-summer blossoms. Now Jill, the
sorrel that Mr. Frazer had ridden so proudly, proved less reliable than
might have been expected from the character of its owner; for, in the
course of its nibbling, it wandered down the road, passing back of the
farm, and Mr. Frazer was so intent upon telling Martine all that he knew
about bees and flowers that he quite forgot to keep his eye on his
horse. Thus it happened that the animal found itself near some hives
whose occupants were changing habitations. Then, at the very moment when
Mr. Frazer bethought him of Jill, to his horror and great surprise he
saw her starting on a run down this back road. He did not wait to
explain matters to Martine; he knew by the cloud of bees in the distance
that the horse had undoubtedly been stung. "Wait until I come back," he
shouted, as he started in pursuit of his horse.

Martine smiled as he leaped over a fence, his coat tails flying in the
air.

"Unseemly haste," she murmured, "for so dignified a person. I wonder how
long he can keep it up."

For five or ten minutes Martine continued to wait in the old-fashioned
garden; then she looked at her watch. It was later than she supposed;
the sun was less bright, and a slight chill in the air warned her of
approaching fog.

"I didn't promise to wait," she said to herself, "and after all the
bother of arranging it I can't be cheated out of my sight of the Bay.
It's a straight road and perfectly safe, and my horse hasn't shown a
sign of a trick; so in five minutes, if my guide hasn't returned, I
shall go on alone."

At the end of five minutes Mr. Frazer had not appeared, and Martine,
remounting her horse, resumed her way toward the Bay Shore. She set off
at a speed that would have quite shaken the breath out of Mr. Frazer,
and she was really surprised to discover how much life her animal had.
Thus it happened that in spite of the delay she really had a glimpse of
the Bay of Fundy before the fog had hidden it. It is true that already
there was a thin veil of mist floating about her and permitting her to
see rather dimly the rocky shore, and the scattered hamlet that lay at
her feet.

Martine felt most uncomfortable. Her situation was certainly lonely, and
she would gladly have borne the rather tiresome conversation of her late
guide for the sake of his protection. But though she waited as long as
she dared, he did not appear; nor did she meet him as she turned about
toward Annapolis.

Toward Annapolis--but where was Annapolis? For all at once she seemed to
be riding through a cloud, and she recalled a day when she and a party
of friends had thought themselves lost on one of the highest of the
White Mountains, pushing their way vaguely through the cloud that
enshrouded them. Of one thing, however, she now felt sure. When she
reached the crossroads and the farm where the beehives were, she would
have no difficulty in continuing her way.

But, alas for all calculations! how it happened she never knew, but soon
she realized that she was on a road quite different from the one by
which she had travelled to the shore. In the fog she had turned
somewhere, and the new road was lonely in the extreme. There were no
houses near; at least, she judged there were not, for the road itself
was rough, more like a forest road, and both sides seemed to be lined
with trees. For a short time she went on cautiously; then a line of
verse came into her mind that she had heard Amy quote only the day
before,--

    "'When once a man hath misséd the right way,
      The farther he doth go, the farther doth he stray.'"

So she brought herself to a full stop and, slipping from her horse,
stood beside him, gently stroking his side.

"Good old fellow," she said gently, "if I'd leave you to yourself, I
dare say you'd carry me home safely. Perhaps in a few minutes we can
turn round and make a fresh start; but now I want to think."

So she stood for five minutes or more, and among the many thoughts that
flew across her brain was one that, if shaped into words, would have
been: "I wish that I had gone with the others to Mrs. Airton's." But she
could not remain inactive.

"Whatever happens, I won't be lost on the mountain," cried Martine,
emphatically. "It's always better to go on than to stand still, and
especially as the fog is so thick that I'm likely to be drenched to the
skin if I stay here much longer."

At this moment the surrounding stillness was broken by a sound; she
listened intently, and in a very short time realized that what she heard
was really the noise of approaching wheels. She drew her horse close to
the side of the road; a vehicle of some kind was near her.

"Hello, hello," she shouted, picturing herself at the moment as a
stranded mariner on a shipwrecked vessel. The vehicle was close upon
her; the driver drew up his horse; Martine approached him.

"What on earth--" he began.

"Yes, on earth," responded Martine. "I shouldn't like to be at sea, lost
in the fog."

"So you're lost, are you?" replied the driver of the wagon, in a brisk,
cheerful voice. "Well, there's one thing, you needn't stay lost."

Martine looked at the speaker, who had now jumped down from his seat and
was standing beside her. He was a tall youth, with reddish brown hair
and a frank, pleasant face, and she judged that he was two or three
years her senior.

"It's fortunate," he said, "that we happened to have an order for some
groceries up beyond at the Jones farm. I don't come this way once a
month, and there is very little passing any day; so if you had waited
for some one to rescue you, you would have had to wait a long time."

Martine was not sure that she liked the word "rescue." All her life she
had prided herself on her independence, and it irritated her to realize
that she had put herself in a position that obliged her to depend on a
stranger.

  [Illustration: "'Hello! hello!' she shouted."]

"Perhaps I shouldn't have said 'lost,'" she responded; "I've only just
missed my way a little, and if the fog should lift I could easily find
my way back to my friends."

"If the fog should lift!" The boy laughed heartily. "Are you acquainted
with the habits of fogs? Or perhaps it behaves differently in the
States; but in this part of the world, when it sets in late in the
afternoon, it generally stays all night. But come," he continued more
gently, "you'll catch cold if you stay here much longer. I'm on my way
to Annapolis myself, and I'll very gladly take you there. Come," he
continued, holding out his hand; "you'd better get into the wagon here,
and I have a rope by which we can lead the horse behind."

"Oh, no," said Martine; "I can ride just as well. I don't mind the fog,
if you will let me follow your wagon."

"Nonsense!" protested the boy; "you can't go fast enough to keep warm,
and your horse might make a misstep; and besides," he concluded, "I have
a sister about your age and I know what's best for girls. Come, jump
in."

To her own great surprise Martine found herself obeying the strange
youth; perhaps, after all, she felt that there would be more comfort for
her in his covered wagon than in picking her way through the fog, over
the rough road. When she was seated, he handed her a carriage robe which
he bade her wrap around her; then he tied his rope to the horse's
bridle, saying as he did so:

"I know this animal well, and he'll follow us like a tame cat."

Then he took his seat beside Martine and they drove along slowly. After
a turn or two they came to the place that Martine called "the beehive
farm." Already she had related the story of Mr. Frazer's adventure, and
her acquaintance had laughed heartily at her account of the good man's
flight after the recreant Jill.

"I didn't suppose even a swarm of bees could put any speed into Jill,
but Frazer himself is so conscientious that I wonder that he isn't
sitting here on the fence waiting for your return."

As they talked Martine wondered and wondered who her rescuer could be.
Both his language and his subjects of conversation were not what she
would have expected from a grocer's boy, for that was what he called
himself once or twice, and in the back of the wagon there was a large
kerosene can, with one or two empty boxes, as well as some packages that
certainly looked like groceries. But she did not waste much time in
speculating, because she found so many things to ask that she had never
thought to ask any one else before.

"Didn't realize that the first mill on the Continent was built at
Annapolis?"--said her companion, "and you from Chicago, where people are
supposed to think and dream about flour and grain? I am surprised. And
you didn't know that Membertou, that old Indian, is reckoned the first
convert made in America? Dear me, where have you been brought up?"

"Oh, I'm learning," responded Martine. "I'd never heard about the
Acadians until we came down here. But now I think they're just great;
don't you?"

"I should hardly call them great," returned the other, with a smile,
"although there's any amount of interesting history connected with them;
but I've always taken more interest myself in the early days of Port
Royal than in the exile of the Acadians. I wish they'd change the name
of Goat Island back to Biencourtville, for that's what it's called on
Lescarbot's map."

"Oh," replied Martine, not knowing what else to say.

She knew nothing about Lescarbot and less about his map, but she didn't
wish to display her ignorance.

"I remember Biencourt," she added meekly; "he had a very hard time,
hadn't he?"

The face of the other brightened.

"Oh, I'm glad you remember him; he's my idea of a hero. I believe if he
had lived Port Royal would have fared much better. Charles La Tour was
not at all the same kind of man. But Madame La Tour, ah, she was the
right sort! Perhaps you know her story."

"No," replied Martine, meekly, "I do not, but probably Amy does."

"Who is this paragon, this 'Amy'? You've spoken of her several times;
she seems to know everything."

"I really think she does," replied Martine--"know almost everything. But
I wish you could tell me about Madame La Tour."

"There won't be time now, but I could lend you a book, if you stay here
longer. She doesn't exactly belong to Annapolis; it was the fort at the
mouth of the St. John that she defended. But here we are fairly in the
town, and you can consider yourself saved," he concluded with a smile.

"Why, there's Mrs. Airton's house!" exclaimed Martine in surprise; "I
didn't know you were coming this way."

The boy looked at her curiously.

"Do you know Mrs. Airton?"

"Well, not exactly, for I was out when she called, but she was kind
enough to ask me to tea to-day, only I thought I'd like to ride instead.
I thought that perhaps I'd be back in time for tea."

"You were right in that," rejoined her companion, pulling up his horse.
"I'm sure they're not through tea yet; I can leave you and take your
horse on to the stable. Here, jump out."

But Martine hesitated, and for the moment she was annoyed at her
rescuer. If Priscilla or Amy should look from a window, how mortifying
it would be to be seen driving in a grocer's cart with a riderless steed
tagging on behind.

"No, thank you," she said; "I would rather go on to my boarding-house;
please drive on."

She never knew whether her new acquaintance would have heeded her
request or not, for hardly had she spoken when from a side door Eunice
Airton and Priscilla rushed toward the wagon.

"Where's Martine?" cried Priscilla, excitedly; "we recognized the
horse."

"Oh, Balfour," began Eunice, "what--"

Without further ado Martine jumped down from the seat. The girls had
approached the wagon from the rear, and at first had not seen her. Her
sudden appearance surprised them. By this time Amy had reached the
group.

"What happened?" and she looked on Martine for an explanation.

"Nothing, nothing," replied Martine, "only I was caught in the fog."

Amy laid her hand on Martine's arm.

"Your clothes are damp; you may take cold."

"Come into the house," added Eunice; "we are not yet through tea."

Martine saw that protest could not avail. As a matter of fact, she was
not only cold but hungry, and the prospect of something to eat was one
that she could not resist.

"You said that you might come to tea," remarked Amy, "and so Mrs. Airton
will not be altogether surprised."

Had any one but Amy said this, Martine would have suspected her of
sarcasm; but even if Amy would inwardly smile at her ignominious return,
Martine could bear ridicule from her better than from any one else.

When Martine had replaced her waist with a drier one belonging to
Eunice, Eunice led her to the dining-room, where the others had resumed
their seats. Mrs. Redmond and Mrs. Airton made little comment on her
misadventure, and never did hot biscuit, and strawberries, and
chocolate, and cookies seem more appetizing to Martine than they did on
this occasion. Later, when Amy and Priscilla were helping Eunice clear
the table, Mrs. Airton sat down beside Martine.

"I am glad it was Balfour who found you," she said, "though I am sorry
that he could not come in to tea with you. It is his night at the store,
and he usually waits for his tea until late in the evening."

"Balfour?" asked Martine; "who is Balfour? Of course I know he drove me
home, but who is he?"

"Balfour," replied Mrs. Airton, "why, Balfour is my son and Eunice's
brother."

"Ah," cried Martine, "I did not realize that; now I understand."

But what she understood she did not then explain.

Not long after tea Mr. Frazer rushed excitedly into Mrs. Airton's
sitting-room.

"I'm so glad the young lady's safe," he cried, "though indeed I thought
she'd wait for me; but the sorrel led me a long chase, and when I got
back to the farm she wasn't there. But I never thought of her going to
the Bay Shore with the fog rolling in so thick, and when I found she
wasn't at the house, I went back again to the farm, thinking she'd taken
a wrong turn somewhere. At last I met some one who had seen her driving
with Balfour; then I knew she was safe. So I must apologize again for
the behavior of my sorrel, though it was all the fault of the bees."

Martine forgave the sorrel as readily as she forgave Mr. Frazer, for her
adventure had ended so pleasantly that there was no occasion for blaming
any one.



  CHAPTER XIII

  LETTERS AND SOME COMMENTS


"Do you realize that we have only a day or two longer in Annapolis?"
asked Amy, one soft afternoon in July, as she sat with Martine and
Priscilla within the walls of the old fort.

Mrs. Redmond, seated some distance from them, was sketching a bit of
far-off shore that came within her range of view. Martine had her hands
folded idly in her lap, though the sketching-block and materials that
lay beside her showed that at least she had made some pretence of work
that day.

"Yes, I realize it all too well," she responded. "I wish we could stay
here all summer."

"It has been so much pleasanter since we knew the Airtons that we shall
find it very hard to go," added Priscilla.

"Of course we might stay here the rest of the summer," replied Amy,
"only, since we had a definite route planned out it would be a pity not
to follow it."

"The other places may be very stupid," murmured Martine.

"Not Grand Pré," rejoined Priscilla. "You'll probably enjoy that far
better than Annapolis; you seem to forget that it is full of memories of
the expelled Acadians."

"Oh, yes, the Acadians; but do you know they don't seem half so
important to me as they did when we were in Clare. I've really grown
tremendously interested in those first Frenchmen, who had such an
unlucky time here at Port Royal. Annapolis has memories enough for me."

"What a fickle creature you are, Martine! Surely you haven't forgotten
Yvonne."

"No, no," and Martine sprang to her feet. "I'm only waiting for a letter
from my father and then you shall know what is going to happen to
Yvonne. Why, I've written her three times since I left Meteghan; I
thought you knew that, Amy."

"Yes, but don't excite yourself unduly, child; only, when you expressed
your indifference to Acadians I wondered whom you included. Nothing
would make me forget little Pierre. Here's a letter that I received from
him to-day."

Amy drew from her pocket a half-sheet of paper and read its contents to
her friends:--

    "'MY DEAR MADEMOISELLE, AMY REDMOND,--It gives me great
    pleasure to think that you and your beautiful mother and the
    charming young ladies like so well our historic Annapolis. I
    once it visited with my uncle, to view the fort that was
    built in the days of the greatness of Acadia; it was sad to
    me to know that now it belongs to the cruel English, who
    drove my ancestors from their happy homes. When I am a
    learned man, I shall teach history in a great school, and I
    will write books to make all know the truth; but now I am
    only a little boy, and I thank you for your letter and the
    book you sent me that will ever keep your lovely face fresh
    in my mind. So with her best duty from my mother, I
    subscribe myself,

           "'Your humble friend,
                    "'PIERRE ROBICHAUD.

    "'P. S. Please write soon again.'"

Martine and Priscilla smiled at the quaint letter, with its curious
mingling of pride and humility and its touch of French gallantry.

"Pierre seems quite sure of his own future,"--and Amy replaced the sheet
in her pocket. "With his aim so firmly in view, it's quite probable that
he'll attain his ambition."

"'Best duty,'" observed Priscilla, "isn't that a strange expression?"

"It certainly isn't French; he has picked it up from some of the 'cruel'
English."

"He probably had an old-fashioned school-teacher at some time. I hope
that we'll see both Pierre and Yvonne before we return home; but now we
must keep our minds on Annapolis. I'm so afraid that you haven't got all
you might of its history."

"Oh, my dear Amy, Priscilla is just brimful of the Loyalists and their
sufferings; you ought to hear some of the stories that she has gathered
up. Show her your note-book, Priscilla."

Priscilla reddened and shook her head, while Martine continued:

"And as for me, I'm so charged with historical associations that I feel
as if I'd give them out in electric sparks if any one should rub me the
right way. Of course I know that this is not the original French fort,
but when one is dreaming, she needn't be so very particular about facts;
so if I shut my eyes, here on this very spot," and Martine suited the
action to the word, "I can see Poutrincourt and Lescarbot and all the
others who were here that long winter when De Monts had gone back to
France, leaving Pontgravé in charge. I just imagine that the old
barracks over there is the great hall where they used to have their
feasts, and I can see them all marching in with the fifteen gentlemen at
the head who sat at Poutrincourt's table, the Grand Master strutting in
front, with his staff of office in his hand and his napkin over his
shoulder. L'Ordre de Bon Temps--that was a capital idea of Lescarbot's,
to keep them all in good spirits and make each man think himself of
supreme importance for a day."

"Tell me about it," said Priscilla. "If I ever knew, I believe I've
forgotten what it was."

"That's it, my dear; you have been so very full of the much less
important English history of Annapolis that you've overlooked the more
romantic French." Then pointing toward the Basin, Martine chanted:

  "'Sing on, wild sea, your sad refrain,
    For all the gallant sons of France
    Whose songs and sufferings enhance
    The romance of the western main.'"

"Well, if this is a wild sea I wonder what you'd call the Bay of Fundy,"
said Amy, laughing.

"Oh, dear! You are so very practical; but I can't argue with you now,
for I must make Priscilla understand just what 'The Order of the Good
Time' was. During the long winter Lescarbot suggested that each of the
fifteen gentlemen of greatest importance in the settlement should be
appointed caterer for a day at a time; so they took turns, and each one
tried to outdo the others in providing as many delicacies as possible.
The steward of the day was called the Grand Master, and fish and game
were so abundant here that often the table was supplied with food that
the King of France might have envied. In order to keep up their dignity,
they all observed a very formal ceremony, entering the hall at each meal
just as I told you a little while ago. At the close of the day, after
grace, the Grand Master removed his collar and placed it on the neck of
the one who was to do duty the next day, while they drank each other's
health in wine and recited appropriate verses. No wonder the Indians
thought it great sport to watch the white men dine, for they crowded the
hall at every meal, and Membertou, their Chief, was often at the
Governor's table."

"I hope the other Indians had something to eat."

"Oh, yes indeed; they were always well fed by the French, and well
treated; so that from the very beginning the French and Indians were on
the very friendliest terms."

"You must have done a deal of reading, Martine, you know your subject so
well," said Amy, quizzically.

"Oh, I haven't read so much," she began.

"No, it's all Balfour Airton," interposed Priscilla. "He talks like a
book, and he's discovered that he can make Martine listen to him."

"Any one would like to listen to him," rejoined Martine, "and I'm glad
to say that though he is of English descent, he doesn't consider the
English absolutely perfect."

"There, there," said Amy, throwing oil on the waters, "our acquaintance
with the Airtons has certainly added to the pleasure of us all. Balfour
seems a plucky fellow, for it can't be particularly pleasant to him to
serve as a grocer's clerk in the summer holidays."

"But he needs the money."

"Oh, yes, Martine; but I know boys who would remain idle rather than do
work that they thought a little beneath them."

"To tell you the truth," added Priscilla, "I'm afraid that the Airtons
have very little money indeed. Eunice says that there's a mortgage on
their house, and that they may have to give it up before long. Balfour
has offered to stay out of college and look for work in Halifax, but his
mother will not listen to this; she wishes him to be a lawyer like his
grandfather."

"He has a scholarship at college, and he earns more or less money all
the year, so that really his education costs his family nothing."

"I fear our conversation is too personal," interrupted Amy, "though it
has certainly been a pleasure to meet two people so free from
self-consciousness as Eunice and Balfour. That reminds me," concluded
Amy, "that I had a letter to-day from my friend Brenda, Mrs. Weston. She
is surprised that we find so much to interest us in Nova Scotia. She
made a trip this way one summer with her parents, but they travelled
rather hurriedly through the province and made their longest stay at
Halifax."

"Oh, Halifax," interrupted Martine. "Nothing but English; only fancy,"
with a true English accent, and she raised her hand toward her eye as if
holding a monocle. "If there's anything in the world I dislike, it's the
real English. Excuse me, Priscilla; I did not mean to hurt your
feelings."

"My feelings? Why, I'm no more English than you are, Martine. You won't
deny that you have some English blood in your veins?"

"Unluckily, I can't deny it; but I'm glad that they named me Martine;
that at least is un-English."

"It certainly is a queer name."

"Not queer at all, Priscilla. My grandfather was Martin, and Martine is
the French feminine for it. If I'd been a boy, I would have been named
Martin. Unluckily I wasn't, and so Martine was the best that could be
done. My elder brother had been named for my father; Lucian, you know,
is his name. I never heard any one else call 'Martine' a queer name;"
and the Chicago girl turned away petulantly.

Noting again the signs of a coming storm, already too frequent on this
trip, Amy hastened to change the subject.

"I don't know why I should have so many letters in my pocket to-day, but
since I brought my mail with me, let me read you a little from Brenda's
letter; you know her, Priscilla?"

"Yes, indeed."

"Oh, Brenda,--Mrs. Weston," cried Martine, eagerly, all trace of
annoyance disappearing from her face and voice. "I've never talked with
her, but I've seen her several times; I think she's just fine. She isn't
a bit prim and stiff like most Bostonians. Why, she has as much style as
a Chicago girl."

"My dear," interposed Amy, "remember that Priscilla and I are from the
neighborhood of Boston."

"Oh, yes, but you don't set up for style--there, I don't mean that, of
course; I only mean--"

But Martine was getting herself into deep water, and her floundering
amused Amy, although she maintained a grave face, as she said:

"Style is not confined to dress; other things are considered just as
important by the true critic. However, I'm glad that you admire Brenda,
for you'll be the more interested in her letter.

    "'Your account of what you have seen in Nova Scotia is
    perfectly fascinating. But you haven't told me how you like
    those funny little brown fish that they call Digby chickens,
    that have a flavor made up of smoked ham and salt cod; you
    can fancy how surprised I was when I ordered them, for I
    thought they'd be real chickens. We didn't see any French in
    Nova Scotia; I can't imagine where you found them. Are they
    the real thing? or do they speak with a Stratford atte Bow
    accent?

    "'How different this summer is from last, when we were all
    so worried about Arthur and the Spanish War,--at least, I
    was. It is just a year since I was so very ill, and now I am
    perfectly happy. I feel quite ridiculous when they ask me to
    chaperone parties of girls who are older than I until I
    remember that I am really an old married woman and quite
    settled.

    "'It is all I can do to prevent Arthur's going to the
    Philippines; he really has the war fever, and I wonder what
    will come of it all. Next month he is to make an address at
    some reunion of Spanish War Veterans; doesn't it seem absurd
    to call him a veteran? Tim McSorley is at Manila. Maggie is
    down here at Rockley with us this summer, and you haven't an
    idea how useful she is. My mother says that the way she does
    things is recommendation enough for the Mansion School, and
    that if Julia needed to earn money she would make a small
    fortune training girls.

    "'I had a letter yesterday from Happy Hill,--you know that's
    the name of the farm where she has the girls this summer.
    They are nearly all new girls, who do not interest me as
    much as the others who were there my year. Norah is with
    Julia this summer; but there, I'm telling you things that
    are no news to you, and in fact I have very little news of
    any kind to write; but I hope you'll give my love to your
    mother and Priscilla, and Miss Stratford and I only hope
    that you are as strict with them as you can be some times,
    when you want people to get all the information they can out
    of a trip.

    "'Oh, that reminds me. I hear that Fritz Tomkins is in Nova
    Scotia; you do not mention him in your letter, but you must
    be delighted to have him with you. Of course four women can
    get along perfectly well, but if anything should happen, it
    is so much better to have a man in your party; and Fritz is
    so like a brother that I'm sure you can make him very
    useful. With love to all,

                    "'Sincerely,
                      "'BRENDA WESTON.'"

Amy had read the whole letter aloud without realizing how personal it
was, for her original intention had been only to read that part relating
to Nova Scotia.

"That sounds just like Brenda," she said to the girls, "and I'm glad
that she's so happy, for last summer was a miserable one for her."

"It was for all of us," murmured Priscilla.

And then Amy suddenly realized that the Spanish War was a subject too
sore for her to touch on in Priscilla's presence.

"Come," she said, "one last look at old Port Royal. We shall have
several farewell calls to pay to-day and to-morrow, and we may not have
time to return to the Fort."

"Amy," said Martine, "I know I'm very stupid, but I'd really like to
know where Port Royal ends and Fort Anne begins. Some one told me that
this is really Fort Anne, but you always speak of it as Port Royal; so
just to gratify my curiosity I'm willing to listen to a little more
history."

"Then I'll give you as much, or rather as little, as I can to make you
understand some of the happenings at this Fort in the early days. I am
sorry that I cannot go at all into details about the many sieges and
expeditions against the Fort in the seventeenth century. The quarrels of
D'Aunay and Charles de La Tour form a most exciting series of episodes,
and you must read them at length in Parkman or some other history.
Although theirs was not warfare between French and English, La Tour was
a Huguenot, and in a general way the English were on his side. In fact,
he once came down to Boston and interested Winthrop and others in his
cause. In the end I suppose La Tour may be considered to have been the
conqueror; at least, he survived D'Aunay, and later married for his
second wife D'Aunay's widow. Port Royal was captured by Cromwell's fleet
in 1654, and a few years later, in the reign of Charles II, was given
back to France. In 1690, when England and France were again at war, De
Menneval, the governor of the Fort, had to surrender to Sir William
Phipps, and the account of this expedition you will surely read
sometime, for Phipps was a New Englander and his career most
interesting."

"The New Englanders seem to have had a special spite against Acadia,"
said Martine; "so it isn't strange, Priscilla, that you have inherited
part of it."

"Oh, no, I haven't; only if I must choose I naturally prefer what is
English to what is French."

"After all that Phipps thought he had accomplished," continued Amy,
"Acadia was again handed back to France; but I will pass over other
attacks to remind you of what you have doubtless read many times in your
school histories, that, when the Treaty of Utrecht settled the wars
between Queen Anne and Louis XIV, Acadia was given to the English. Since
that time the fort has been Fort Anne and the town Annapolis."

"It's no wonder," said Martine, "that the Acadians hardly knew whom to
obey, when they'd been handed over from one side to another so often."

"This does account for much of the misunderstanding that finally led to
their deportation. They trusted too implicitly in the French King, and
for a long time vainly hoped that he would conquer the English and make
them again his subjects."

Hardly had Amy finished when a boyish voice was heard crying,
"Good-morning, good-morning. Is it really true that you're starting
North to-day?"

"No, not to-day; we have still a day or two left before we set out for
Grand Pré; we are going over to see your mother this afternoon."

"I'm glad of that," responded Balfour, "for I'm to have a day off, or
rather an afternoon, and I wanted to be sure of your plans."

Balfour did not explain that he had asked for this special holiday in
order to have some time with his new friends.

"You won't spend the whole afternoon with my mother," he began
awkwardly,--"at least, not all of you,--and so I thought that perhaps
some of you would go for a drive with me."

"I am going to stay with Eunice," said Priscilla; "it will be our last
day together."

Martine said nothing.

Then Balfour turned to Amy:

"Would not you and Miss Martine drive with me? I can take you to one or
two out-of-the-way places that you probably haven't visited."

"Surely," responded Amy, "that will be delightful. I can go, and with
pleasure. As for Martine, she must speak for herself."

Amy had no doubt as to Martine's desire, so that it was hardly necessary
for her to await a reply.

"Why, of course," replied Martine; "there's nothing I'd like so well."



  CHAPTER XIV

  AN EXCURSION


Balfour, when the three started on their afternoon expedition, was in a
particularly happy frame of mind.

"There's one advantage in working all summer--a half holiday seems ten
times more valuable now than usually. Not that I'm working hard this
summer, only my days are not my own, and I can seldom make plans;
besides, I do begrudge the time that I have to take from study."

"Then you will probably think to-day wasted."

"No, indeed; besides, we are going to study nature, and--"

"A little French history," interposed Martine. "Did you not say that you
would take us to an old battleground?"

"Yes, I hope to, for my steed is not like Jill. We can depend on getting
somewhere with Lion, whereas Jill--"

"Mr. Frazer would say that she went fast enough the day he rode her in
my company."

"It's a great thing for a horse to know when to stop, as well as when to
go on. Whoa, Lion! There, we can leave him standing while we go up that
little hill. It's said to be the site of an ancient French church. It
may interest you."

Amy and Martine loudly praised the beauty of the scenery as they stood
on the elevated land above the narrow, winding river.

"They say that a church stood here in the earliest French days, with a
set of silver bells that rang out most musically over the water. Then,
when the church fell to pieces, the bells sank into the earth, and are
hidden somewhere underground,--and any one who likes may dig for them."

Martine began to prod in the earth with her parasol.

"Come, my dear, we won't have time to-day, and you need a crowbar rather
than that tiny stick. If you found them they would be rather too clumsy
to carry home;" and Amy laid her hand on Martine's arm.

"I'd rather look for Apostle spoons," replied Martine. "I heard of a
woman who dug up two in her garden, and when she saw how dirty they
were, threw them into a kettle of lye that she happened to have boiling
for soap, or something of that kind. She almost lost her head when the
ugly lead things came out looking like gold, for they were silver washed
with gilt. If she found such things, why not I, for it's a true story,
isn't it?" turning to Balfour.

"Oh, yes, fairly true, and there's always a chance of finding something
by digging long enough. But I would never waste my time digging, except
with hoe and spade, for fruit and vegetables. There's good money," he
concluded, "in strawberries here in Nova Scotia. In Annapolis I know a
man who has several acres, and in good seasons he gets two thousand
boxes a day."

"Strawberries! Aren't apples the prize crop here?"

"Yes, and more certain than anything else. A man can get $300 an acre
from a good orchard. If money were the only thing I'd rather be a farmer
than a lawyer down here."

"That's better than some gold mines," said Amy, as they turned and
walked down the hill to the carriage.

"When I was a small shaver," continued Balfour, "and had plenty of time
to spare, I used to walk there along the top of the dykes of Annapolis.
From the base of seven or eight feet it narrows to hardly a foot at the
top, and I can tell you that it was ticklish work keeping a footing."

"Why didn't I know of that before?" cried Martine. "I certainly should
have tried it. I love to walk on railroad tracks, and dyke-walking must
be almost the same."

"You can't try anything of that kind while you are in my care,"
interposed Amy. "The river is probably deeper than it looks, and if you
should go too near the edge--"

"Oh, I can swim, my dear Miss Amy Redmond, though, to put your careful
soul at ease, I'll promise not to go near the water. All the same, I
wish that I were an Indian, at this very moment gliding down from Minas
to Digby. Didn't you tell me that this was one of their favorite
routes?" and she turned to Balfour for a reply.

"Why, yes," he replied, "from any point outside Minas they used to glide
over to French Cross, then by a portage of four miles to Aylesford, and
they would be borne on by the current down the Annapolis River,
sometimes as far even as Digby."

"French Cross?" asked Amy. "What have I heard of French Cross?"

"Perhaps of the awful winter there that some of the Acadians passed
through, just after the deportation."

"Tell me about it," cried Martine, eagerly. "I never heard of it."

"Well, after the Acadians had been put aboard the ships at Grand Pré,
some friendly Micmacs hurried down secretly to warn the French at the
eastern end of Annapolis. When they heard the news, about sixty Acadians
decided on flight, and with a Micmac guide began to make their way
north. They hoped to reach a point on the shore where the English would
not see them, from which they could cross over to New Brunswick, and
then get the protection of the French at Quebec. But when they reached
Aylesford they did not dare try to cross. Their food was poor, sickness
broke out among them, many died, and were buried in the soft Aylesford
sand. The others went on to French Cross, but still did not dare cross
the Bay. During the bitter cold of December, while they were suffering
everything, they saw the last of the transports pass down the Bay,
carrying their countrymen to the southern colonies. Many died during the
winter, and when spring came the friendly Indians made birch-bark canoes
for the remainder, who then crossed in safety to the New Brunswick
shore."

"Man's inhumanity to man," sighed Amy, sentimentally.

"What wretches the English were!" exclaimed Martine, more energetically.

"Remember, please, that I am English;" and Balfour raised his hand in
remonstrance. "Besides, the persecutors of the Acadians were not
English, but your fellow New Englanders, who took the whole matter on
themselves, without asking leave of any one else."

"But I am no New Englander," objected Martine.

"Oh, it's all the same. Some of your ancestors were from New England
undoubtedly, unless you are different from most Chicagoans. But if you
repudiate New England, you cannot object to my arousing your sympathies
for some of those exiled Loyalists who suffered quite as much as the
over-pitied Acadians."

"It's a shame Priscilla is not here," murmured Martine.

Now Balfour was not likely to speak idly, and in a moment he had begun
his recital.

"The old lady who told this story to my mother was visiting Annapolis
from Fredericton, and her mother, the daughter of an officer in a New
Jersey regiment, experienced all the hardships that she described. The
vessels with these New Jersey officers and soldiers and their families
went up the St. John River in early October, and landed at a place
called St. Ann's, that later became Fredericton, the capital of the
Province. It was a wet, cold season, and the people had no shelter but
tents, that they tried to cover with spruce boughs. Their floor was the
ground, and when snow fell in early November the old lady's mother said
that her family tried to shut it out by putting their one rug against
the opening. Often a part of the family had to sit up all night to keep
the others from freezing. When everything else failed they would heat
boards at the fire, and hold them over the children to give them needed
warmth."

"A likely story!" and Martine smiled.

"Indeed, it is perfectly true," rejoined Balfour, gravely. "Many men and
women died of exposure and lack of food that terrible winter. Their
graves were dug with pickaxe and shovel, in the hard ground not far from
the tents. Like the Acadians at French Cross, they had no clergyman to
pay the last rites. They had been used to comfortable and pleasant
homes, and many of them had had wealth; so it was doubly hard to have to
live in Indian fashion on fish, and moose, and berries. In the spring
they made maple sugar, and killed pigeons. There was great rejoicing
when the first vessels came with corn and rye. They were in constant
fear of the Indians, and it was long before they could live even half
decently."

"I have always sympathized with the Loyalists," said Amy, quietly.

"Oh, well, it's all over now," returned Balfour, bitterly. "But it must
have been hard for many of them to remember that their houses and lands,
and even their personal property, had been passed over to people who to
them seemed to have no shadow of right to it."

"Do you care now?" asked Martine, gently.

"Oh, no;" but Balfour's tone belied his words. "My family did not suffer
so much as some, though we had to start here in Annapolis with little
besides the land that the King granted."

"Back to the soil is a good thing sometimes."

"Oh, yes, and Nova Scotia was very hospitable to the poor Loyalists; but
still--to tell the truth, sometimes I wish that I had grown up on the
other side of the line. There seems to be more chance in many ways;" and
Balfour sighed.

Amy looked at Balfour in surprise. He was evidently considerably her
junior, yet he talked like one much older.

"I should like to see him and Fritz together," she thought. "I believe
that Fritz would appear five years younger, for he always persists in
talking like an overgrown boy."

"There," concluded Balfour, "I have said too much. On the whole, I am
contented, and the Province offers more than many corners of the world
to an ambitious young man, so enough said. Now, just see, I was so
absorbed in harrowing your feelings over the Loyalists that I have taken
a wrong turn, and we are now so far from the battleground that we'll
have to give it up this afternoon."

"'All roads are alike to me,'" hummed Amy, while Martine added, "But the
scenery here is lovely. Just see how the North Mountain stands out, with
that little fringe of mist hanging about the top, and I've never seen so
many fine orchards. Oh, I wouldn't have missed this particular drive for
anything;" and her flushed cheeks and beaming eyes showed that she had
meant what she said.

"The drive has been full of pictures, too," added Martine. "I've seen a
great many things even that you have not spoken of, and whenever I look
over there toward the woods I fancy I see an Indian creeping along; not
an unfriendly savage, but one with a smile on his face, hoping perhaps
to be asked by Lescarbot to stay to dinner at the Fort."

"Yes," rejoined Balfour, "one of those jolly fellows who objected to the
wording of the Lord's Prayer in asking for bread, saying that bread
alone wouldn't do for him, as he needed moose, and fish besides."

"Yes, and some of the French dishes that they favored him with
occasionally."

"Well, I have heard many things that make me believe that the Indians of
Acadia were jokers. Some of the stories would shock you, I am afraid;"
and Balfour hesitated.

"Oh, we are not so easily shocked. Tell us, do."

"Very likely you've heard this particular thing. But it is said that one
of the men in that first expedition of the French undertook to make a
dictionary, and when he tried to get some of the natives to give him the
Micmac for various sacred names, the Indian gave him words that were
just the contrary,--almost profane, in fact,--so that the Frenchman made
himself very ridiculous when he tried to make use of his new
vocabulary."

"Which shows," said Martine, "that the Micmac Indian was not such a
serious and solemn creature as those that used to appear in our school
histories bewailing the advance of the white man. I always thought I'd
like to meet one of them."

"Why, Martine?"

"Yes, just for the pleasure of sticking a pin in him. He would never
have had spirit enough to turn his tomahawk against me. But these
Micmacs knew how to enjoy life. The dictionary maker was probably a
prim, conceited fellow, who deserved to be laughed at. Of course, in a
general way," she concluded hastily, "I am always on the side of the
French, and I love to remember that the old Fort once belonged to them."

  "'When from Port Royal's rude-built walls
        Gleamed o'er the hills afar,
    The golden lilies on the shield
        Of Henry of Navarre.

  "'A gay and gallant company,
        Those voyagers of old,
    Whose life in the Acadian Fort
        Lescarbot's verse has told,'"

recited Balfour, as they turned into St. George's Street, "and here we
are in sight of Fort Anne, and it pleases my soul that the flag floating
above is the flag of Great Britain."

"We won't quarrel about that now," said Martine, "for you have given us
the very pleasantest afternoon we've had."

"Yes," added Amy, "it has certainly been delightful, and so it is all
the harder to remember that this is probably our last excursion around
Annapolis,--at least, for the present."

"You are very good to appreciate our old town so, and I hope that you
will find Wolfville almost as attractive. I am sorry enough, however,
that you are going away. We shall miss you all;" and though emphasizing
"all," Balfour looked directly at Martine as he spoke. "My sister has
grown so fond of Miss Priscilla that she has forgotten her inborn hatred
for New Englanders, and I hope you'll understand that we all appreciate
your interest in Acadian history. I only trust I haven't bored you and
Miss Martine by my facts and reminiscences. I fear that I've been almost
garrulous."

"Oh, no, indeed, far from that;" and Martine's emphasis showed how
deeply she meant what she said.

At this moment they had reached their own door and the last good-byes
had to be said.

"I cannot come again this evening," Balfour explained, "but I'll see you
for a moment at the train."

Then, thrusting his hand into his pocket, with an exclamation he drew
out a small object that he held toward Martine. "I had almost forgotten,
but if you would take this," he cried, "for your collection, I would be
so pleased. It's in a better condition than most things they dig up;"
and as Martine took it, she saw that it was a small trowel, remarkably
bright, yet of a curious shape.

"Another Acadian relic. How kind you are!"

"This fork is for you, Miss Redmond. Even if you have not a collection,
it will interest you. The trowel," Balfour continued, "was almost as
bright as this when it was dug up, it had been buried so deep, and the
fork is of an odd shape. Of course they haven't any great value," he
concluded, "only they are genuine relics, as I know, for I dug them up
myself. I might have brought you a gridiron with a long handle and four
feet, but you would have found some difficulty in carrying it about, and
the little spade can be carried in your travelling-bag for use in
mending a broken dyke, or shaping bricks, if you happen to wish to mend
or build on the way. That at least was its original use, and the
fork--well, you can find many uses for it;" and he turned from Martine
to Amy.

Both girls found it hard to bid good-bye to Balfour. In spite of the
shortness of their acquaintance he was already an old friend, one whose
friendship they particularly valued.

"How sensible he is," sighed Martine, as they went indoors, "and to
think that he's only a year older than Taps!"

"A year older than--who?" asked Amy, thinking that she must have
misunderstood. "What did you say?"

"Oh, nothing--really nothing," replied Martine, hastily, with a
heightened color. "I was only thinking that Balfour Airton seems so very
much older than most boys of his age, and he knows so much more than
most students." Martine's words were hurried and nervous, and Amy
decided that she was more disturbed than she had expected her to be at
parting with her Annapolis friends.

But if Amy only suspected Martine's feelings, she had no difficulty in
deciding how Priscilla felt. She and Eunice had formed a most romantic
attachment for each other, and made no effort to hide the tears that
fell freely as they bade good-bye at the station. At the final parting
each threw her arms around the other's neck, and the bystanders tried
not to laugh when Eunice in her emotion knocked off Priscilla's hat and
entangled the cord of her eyeglasses in Priscilla's belt. But the
bystanders, if amused, were sympathetic, consisting as they did chiefly
of Dr. and Mrs. Gray, Balfour, and Mrs. Airton, and one or two other
friends whom the travellers had met during their weeks in Annapolis.

"Your tears, my dear Eunice," said Dr. Gray, "exactly express the
feelings of all the rest of us; and while we wish you, Mrs. Redmond, a
safe journey, it is perhaps not too selfish to hope that you and the
young ladies may look back to Annapolis as the brightest spot on the map
of your travels."

"Indeed, we shall," said Mrs. Redmond, cordially, "and--"

"All aboard!" called the conductor; "Good-bye," shouted Balfour; "Write
soon," sighed Eunice.

"Come back next summer," cried Dr. Gray.

"Perhaps sooner," responded Amy, and with a puff and a shriek the
"Flying Bluenose" glided off toward the real land of Evangeline.



  CHAPTER XV

  WITH PREJUDICE


"Priscilla," said Amy, as they finished breakfast on their first morning
at Wolfville, "you are no longer homesick."

"Did I say I was homesick?"

"Perhaps not in words, though you have looked it a great many times. But
I noticed a change during our last week in Annapolis; you have seemed
perfectly cheerful ever since."

"Oh, I'm sorry," responded the over-conscientious Priscilla, "if I
seemed less than cheerful before; it was really very wrong in me, for
you and your mother have been so kind, and Martine is so very--" here
she hesitated for a moment--"so very lively."

Amy smiled at Priscilla's earnestness.

"To most persons you would have seemed perfectly cheerful, but little
things have shown me that your heart was not wholly with us."

"That was only because I had never before been altogether away from my
family. But if there has been any change lately, it has been on account
of Eunice. She seems to me the most sensible person I have ever known,
and I hope that she can carry out her plan of going to college. If papa
had lived I could have done something for her, but now I can't make any
promises for the future, because mamma says that we shall have to be
very careful about spending for a few years."

"I'm glad, however," responded Amy, "that you have this interest in
Eunice, even if you cannot do all that you would like to do for her; it
is rather curious that each of us should have found a protégé in the
course of our travels; Yvonne, Pierre, and Eunice, each one so unlike
the others, and yet all of them rather interesting."

"Martine, of course, can accomplish the most," and Priscilla sighed. "I
imagine that her father and mother never say 'no' to her."

"Money isn't everything," replied Amy, "and you and I can do more or
less for Eunice and Pierre in spite of the fact that time and thought
are the most we can give. I have often noticed that the person who has a
real interest in the welfare of some one else can really accomplish
things in better ways than by spending money."

"Balfour wouldn't let any one spend much money on Eunice; he is so very
independent, and wishes always to stand on his own feet. I never saw any
one just like him."

"I agree with you, Priscilla, and I feel that we owe much to him for all
he did for us in Annapolis; besides, he has given mother one or two
letters to people in Wolfville, so that I fancy we shall be somewhat
indebted to him here."

A few moments later Amy, in her little bedroom, reread a letter received
from Fritz that morning. Its tone was so cheerful that it ought to have
had an exhilarating effect on her; on the contrary, she was now less
happy than before she received it. Fritz and his friend had already
reached Chester on the east coast, and he wrote most enthusiastically of
the charms of this little watering-place. Not one word of regret did he
utter now over his separation from Mrs. Redmond's party. His time was
apparently fully occupied with boating and driving excursions and other
pleasures of the conventional summer resort. One sentence only, at the
end, suggested that he had not forgotten what he had previously said to
Amy.

"I am surprised that you have travelled so comfortably, with not a
single accident to interfere with your pleasure; but if anything
disagreeable should happen, then perhaps you will wish that you had some
stronger person to help you out of your difficulty."

With a sigh Amy laid the letter in her bureau drawer, and as she did so
her eye fell on an envelope addressed to Martine. Evidently she had
picked it up with her own letters when she had brought them upstairs.
The envelope was empty and hardly worth returning, but as she took it to
drop into the waste basket, she looked, as one will, at the postmark. To
her surprise, it was the same, "Chester," as on her own letter from
Fritz. Then her mind flew back to the morning at Yarmouth, when she
thought she had seen Martine wheeling down the side street with an
unknown youth. The inference was now plain--in some way Martine had made
the acquaintance of Fritz's friend, and was keeping up a correspondence
with him. There was nothing very wrong in this in itself, except that it
implied on Martine's part a certain amount of deception. "Taps," as
Fritz called him, might have been a perfectly desirable friend for all
the girls, and Fritz himself might have introduced him to Martine. She
had had no opportunity to meet him on the boat. Yet even had he been an
old friend of hers, there seemed to be no reason why she should not
speak frankly about him. The discovery of this envelope reconciled Amy
completely to Fritz's banishment. It was just as well that he and his
friend had been sent off by themselves.

As to Martine, Amy decided that at present it was hardly well to speak
to her of the letter, or even mention it to Mrs. Redmond. But for the
rest of the day she was less cordial than usual toward Martine, and the
young girl felt the change.

When Amy returned to the piazza, where she had left the others, she
found only her mother and Martine. In a moment Priscilla joined them,
looking bright and happy, and with unusual color in her fair cheeks.

"I've been down the street," she said, "and the town is so attractive
that you must all come with me on an exploring tour; I can't tell why,
but I feel more at home here than in most places. Wolfville seems less
English than Annapolis; in fact, it is more like one of our own New
England towns."

"That, I dare say," rejoined Mrs. Redmond, "is partly because it is a
college town, but more likely because it was settled by Americans. I
have an idea that hardly a Loyalist came here after the Revolution."

"Settled by Americans?" cried Martine. "Wasn't this all French country
through here?"

"Yes--once--my dear. You remember, however, that after the French were
deported, their lands were granted to colonists from New England. Those
who came to this part of Nova Scotia were chiefly from Connecticut, and
Wolfville is named for a well-known family of these colonists, named De
Wolfe."

"Then this isn't Grand Pré?"

"Oh, no; there is still a Grand Pré two or three miles to the west, with
relics and memories without end, of Evangeline and Basil."

"Let us go there, then, as soon as we can," cried Martine.

"Not yet, my dear. We would better first see something nearer at hand;
Mr. Knight, Balfour's friend, has offered to drive us to Grand Pré this
afternoon, and if this suits you all, I will send him a reply at once."

The three girls, agreeing that they should enjoy the afternoon drive,
fell in with Mrs. Redmond's suggestion for a morning walk.

"I have been advised," said Mrs. Redmond, "to take a road behind the
college, leading to the top of the ridge, where we can get a fine view
of the Gaspereau Valley."

Though it was a steep hill, the view from the summit repaid them by its
surpassing beauty. The deep valley, bordered with trees of varying
shades of green, the blue river flowing between, and toward its mouths
winding in and out among the marshes, formed a scene long to be
remembered.

"If we could see to the very mouth," said Mrs. Redmond, "and bring our
imagination into full play, we could picture the poor Acadians gathered
in forlorn groups waiting to be dragged away to the English transports.
Their pleasant homes were found all along the sides of this valley, as
well as at Grand Pré. Undoubtedly it is Longfellow's poem that has given
the latter place its greater prominence."

Some distance along the ridge the four Americans continued to walk,
until they reached a point from which they had a wider view; then for
the first time their eyes fell on the clear waters of Minas Basin. On
its farther shore rose a high, red bluff.

"Bluff," at least, was what Martine called it, but Priscilla, repeating
her words, exclaimed:

"No, no, it's a mountain; it must be."

Mrs. Redmond smiled at the emphasis that each girl threw into her words.

"My dear children," she exclaimed, "I should think that you'd at once
know Blomidon; surely you must often have seen it pictured. Blomidon,
you remember, was the home of Glooscap, the deity of the Micmacs, and
Minas Basin was his beaver pond. Poets and painters have been inspired
by Blomidon, and I imagine, Martine, that you and I will even make some
attempt to reproduce its beauty."

"Ah," sighed Martine, "but we could never give the effect of that light
and shade on the side of the mountain, for it really is a mountain, as
Priscilla says; and there's something quite wonderful in that deep red
that stands out so between the sky and the water."

"From Grand Pré we'll have an even better view, I'm told, of Blomidon.
You are so fond of jewels, Martine, that you'll be tempted to cross the
Basin to hunt for amethysts."

"That reminds me," said Amy, "of something I read the other day; when De
Monts visited the Basin, he called Blomidon, 'Cap d'Or.' Among the
amethysts that he found on an island near by was one of extraordinary
size, which he took back to France and presented to the King and Queen,
who had it set among the crown jewels."

"We cannot linger here much longer," said Mrs. Redmond; "if we take this
lower road, it will probably bring us into the business section, and
then we can walk back home, along the main street."

When they had done their errands and were perhaps half-way home, Mrs.
Redmond, who was ahead, looked back for a moment.

"Here, Amy, is something especially for you."

Amy hurried on and found herself at the entrance of a little graveyard.

"Oh, mamma, you are laughing at me."

There was a suspicious smile on Mrs. Redmond's lips as she said:

"Every one, my dear child, knows your _penchant_ for old graveyards, and
this one is so bright and cheerful that you might have missed it had I
not called your attention to it."

Following Mrs. Redmond and Amy, the others entered the enclosure. It
was, as Mrs. Redmond had said, "bright and cheerful," with neatly kept
walks, and a little fountain playing in the centre. Evidently it was no
longer a place of burial. Many of the stones were more than a hundred
years old, and marked the resting-place of the first Connecticut
settlers.

"How far away they were," said Amy, "from their real home. After all, in
spite of the rich dyke-lands given them here, I wonder if many of them
did not regret the homes they had left."

"That reminds me," said Priscilla, "of some lines I copied from a poem
the other day; Eunice had the book," and she turned over the leaves of
her note-book.

"Read them, please," said Mrs. Redmond. So Priscilla began rather
timidly, "The poem is 'The Resettlement of Acadia,' but I copied only
parts of it," and then she read with expression:

  "'But the simple Norman peasant-folk shall till the land no more,
    For the vessels from Connecticut have anchored by the shore,
    And many a sturdy Puritan, his mind with Scripture stored,
    Rejoices he has found at last "the garden of the Lord."

       *     *     *     *     *

    They come as Puritans, but who shall say their hearts are blind
    To the subtle charms of nature, and the love of humankind?

       *     *     *     *     *

    And tears fall fast from many an eye, long time unused to weep,
    For o'er the fields lay whitening the bones of cow and sheep.'"

"I know that you'll think me frightfully stupid," was Martine's comment,
as Priscilla finished reading. "That is delightful poetry, but it isn't
clear in my mind who the Connecticut Puritans were. Were they exiles,
too, like the Acadians and the Loyalists?"

"Only by their own will. But you are not stupid in failing to understand
about the resettling of Acadia. Many Nova Scotians know very little
about it. After the French had been deported in 1755, this fertile
Province would have been of little service to England without
inhabitants. The simplest way to repeople the land was to attract
colonists from the older colonies. So Governor Lawrence sent a
proclamation to Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, stating
the terms on which the Government would grant land to settlers. As a
result three separate groups of settlers were formed. The Massachusetts
families came to Annapolis; the Rhode Islanders to the country North of
Grand Pré, where there is now a Newport; and the Connecticut settlers,
as Priscilla has just read, to Grand Pré. These people were of the
highest character. Many of them had considerable property of their own,
and they came down here in the spirit that took so many sturdy New
Englanders West a generation or two ago."

"Thank you, Mrs. Redmond; I am glad to know that they didn't drive the
French out."

"Oh, no, many of them had undoubtedly seen the fertility of Nova Scotia
during the long French and Indian Wars, in which they had fought; the
richness of the country was pretty well understood. But they themselves
had nothing to do with deporting the Acadians. Dr. Gray explained all
this at Annapolis. But come, girls! You can copy these inscriptions some
other day, Priscilla. We must rest a little now, if we expect to enjoy
the afternoon."

When Mr. Knight called for them that afternoon the girls were surprised
at his appearance. Mrs. Redmond had forgotten to say that he was an
extremely young man, whose youth seemed all the greater because he tried
to assume the manners and aspect of a much older person. He had been
graduated from Acadia College a few years before, the youngest of his
class by more than a year. He was now a teacher in the neighboring
school that fitted boys for Acadia, and on this account perhaps felt the
need of maintaining a dignity of demeanor that should make them forget
his youth.

His friendship for Balfour and his sincere admiration of the whole
Airton family ought to have saved him from Martine's ridicule. But from
the moment that her eye took in the details of his costume,--his
high-standing collar, his round-headed walking-stick, his monocle, and
his hair neatly parted in the middle (though this was hardly a detail of
costume), she was convulsed with laughter. The carriage that Mr. Knight
had brought was two-seated, but each seat was wide enough for three, and
the pair of horses looked capable of travelling many miles without
fatigue.

Martine and Priscilla begged for the front seat with the driver, and Mr.
Knight, accordingly, sat on the back seat with Amy and Mrs. Redmond.

The party was soon outside the more closely built streets, on a broad
road that for the time offered little outlook. Mr. Knight, with the
evident intention of doing his full duty by Balfour's friend kept up a
monologue whose steady current afforded great amusement to Martine.

"Talk of babbling brooks," she murmured; "did you ever hear anything
like it?" and she gave Priscilla's arm a gentle pinch that made her
squirm.

"He's taking any amount of trouble to make history clear," rejoined
Priscilla, who, as usual, was not ready to accept Martine's point of
view.

"Yes, but he's beginning at the wrong end. We know all about Champlain,
and De Monts, and the Scotch Fort, and all that; what we want is how the
Acadians were treated at Grand Pré, and where--"

"Oh, he'll get there."

"Yes, if we give him time. But I am going to make him change the
subject." So, leaning back, Martine turned to Mr. Knight, "You are a
great friend of Mr. Airton's, I believe."

"Oh, yes, indeed; that is--but of course you know--well, Mr. Airton
is--ah, not exactly a contemporary of mine--that is, he is--I am older."

Mr. Knight, as he spoke, grew rather red in the face. There seemed to be
no excuse for his embarrassment, except the one that Mrs. Redmond gave
later, that he regarded Martine's question and her way of putting it
much in the light of a question from an _enfant terrible_.

Realizing, however, that he had not said just the right thing, the poor
young man next began to stammer in his effort to explain himself.

"Balfour certainly is a great friend of mine, and one of the finest boys
I know."

This ought to have been sufficient to please even the critical Martine,
and had Mr. Knight not used the word "boy" she might have been quite
content. As it was, this word happened to irritate her, and she
responded in a tone that disturbed Amy:

"Oh, did you say that Mr. Airton is younger than you? Isn't he
considerably taller?"

If Mr. Knight's face had been red before, it now became almost a deep,
deep crimson. Amy, rejoicing that her mother's seat was so far from
Martine's that she had not heard this remark, resolved at the earliest
opportunity to have a word alone with Martine.

The opportunity, however, did not come for some time, and meanwhile Mr.
Knight talked enthusiastically of the apple crops of Cornwallis, and of
the fortune that any man might gather who would deal intelligently with
the Gravenstein.

"The Cornwallis Valley," he said, "is one of the finest farming regions
in the world. You will see what I mean when you go to the Look-off, as
you will while you are here. But now--"

"Oh, is this an old French church?" asked Martine, excitedly, as they
approached an ancient wooden structure half hidden by Lombardy poplars.

If Mr. Knight heard her, he did not reply, but he jumped to the ground,
even before the driver had fairly pulled up his horses, and then, when
the carriage came to a full stop, offered to assist Mrs. Redmond to the
ground.

"This," he began, "is sometimes incorrectly called an Acadian church."

"Does he mean to snub me?" whispered Martine to Priscilla.

"Yet it is merely an old Scotch church," continued Mr. Knight, "built
about a hundred years ago. A service is held here two or three times a
year, but the building receives no great care, and, as you can see, even
some of its windows have been broken by mischievous boys."

"Such as Balfour Airton?" suggested Martine. But Mr. Knight took no
notice of her flippant criticism of his previous remark about Balfour.

"It is like a New England meeting-house," said Amy, with a tinge of
disappointment, as they looked inside the old building, noting its high
pews, and sounding-board, and unadorned walls. Then, as she saw Martine
standing apart from the others, she remembered the words that she had
meant to say to her. So, drawing near, she took the young girl's hand in
hers. Martine looked up at her with a smile.

"I know that you have a scolding tucked away somewhere, but I just won't
let you give it to me. It won't do me the least little bit of good, and
you wouldn't waste even a scolding, would you?"

"Oh, Martine, you are incorrigible; you surely realize that you need at
least a reproof. Mother would give it to you if she had heard."

"Mrs. Redmond is too sensible to overhear disagreeable things."

"Very well, Martine; but tell me honestly, wouldn't you prefer to sit
with mamma? She always has a soothing effect on you."

"That would bring me beside Mr. Knight. No, thanks. Surely, Amy, you
realize how ridiculous he is, talking in that patronizing way of
Balfour, who is a whole head taller than he."

"You forget, my dear child, that if he were not a great friend of
Balfour's we should not have had the pleasure of his escort this
afternoon. He is certainly most kind in taking all this trouble."

"I'll admit that he is very kind, though I dare say that we could have
found our way around without him. But he is ridiculous, isn't he, with
his walking-stick, and his English accent in an out-of-the-way place
like this?"

"As Wolfville has always been his home, Mr. Knight probably feels that
he has the right to a walking-stick or an English accent. If he had a
French accent you would perhaps make greater allowances for him. But for
the sake of peace, if you don't object, I'll have Priscilla change
places with you. If you overhear anything you dislike, you may vent your
anger on me. I do not wish Priscilla to be a victim."

"A victim! She doesn't realize that she is a victim now. Just look at
her. She is hanging on every word that Mr. Knight utters--and it's all
on account of his English accent."



  CHAPTER XVI

  EVANGELINE'S COUNTRY


"I will admit that what he is saying is perfectly true."

"And absolutely necessary, Martine, to our understanding properly this
land of Evangeline."

"But he needn't talk so conceitedly, as if he were the only one in the
world who knows that there was no real Basil, nor Gabriel, and that
Evangeline herself was somebody else. Why, even in Chicago, where we are
farther away from Acadia than you are in Massachusetts, we know that.
But just listen,"--and as Martine and Amy stood there in silence a few
feet from the willows, they heard Mr. Knight's rather shrill voice
saying:

"I am aware that you Americans have mapped out almost every inch of
Grand Pré, and that you can point out the site of Basil's smithy, and
Gabriel's house, and the old church, although as a matter of fact only
the last is at all certain. It is quite natural that you should accept
your Longfellow as real history, but--"

Here Martine could restrain herself no longer. Stepping forward she
faced Mr. Knight, who stopped talking in his surprise at her sudden
appearance from the background; and in a clear voice she began to
recite:

                            "'with a summons sonorous
  Sounded the bell from its tower, and over the meadows a drum beat.
  Thronged erelong was the church with men. Without, in the churchyard,
  Waited the women. They stood by the graves, and hung on the headstones
  Garlands of autumn-leaves and evergreens fresh from the forest.
  Then came the guard from the ships, and marching proudly among them
  Entered the sacred portal. With loud and dissonant clangor
  Echoed the sound of their brazen drums from ceiling and casement.'

Isn't that history," she asked gravely, "as well as Longfellow?"

"Why, yes, in a general way," responded Mr. Knight, with an amused
smile. "As to details, why, I am not quite so sure, though I can assure
you I have no intention of questioning Mr. Longfellow's accuracy. Far
from it. His picture of the deportation is wonderfully complete."

"Yet you were criticising him."

"Oh, no, only the tendency of some tourists to connect everything in the
neighborhood of Grand Pré with something mentioned by Longfellow."

"But if it makes the place more interesting," began Martine.

"Oh, certainly, that is one of the uses of poetry, and really, Miss
Stratford, I intended no criticism of 'Evangeline,' only--" and again
that smile of amusement--"you will pardon me when I say that these are
not Evangeline's willows, as some call them, except in the poetic
sense."

"They are very picturesque," said Amy, in an effort to turn the
conversation. "Until I came to Nova Scotia I had never thought of
willows as so strong and sturdy. In fact, I had in mind only the weeping
variety."

The line of willows, a dozen or so beside the rail fence, with two or
three cows grazing in their shade, formed a picture so tempting that
Priscilla turned her camera upon it, and with a wave of her hand pointed
to something beyond. In a minute or two Mrs. Redmond and Amy were beside
her, with Mr. Knight and Martine but a step behind.

"Shall you object if we call this Evangeline's well?" asked Martine,
with a touch of scorn in her voice.

"Ah, call it what you please, Miss Stratford. It is certainly an old
French well. Evangeline may have drunk from it."

"Is it quite safe to drink from an old well?"

"Oh, mamma, you are not usually so anxious."

"I can assure you, Mrs. Redmond, that this is pure water. The wall was
built a few years ago, and you will find the water deliciously cold.
This well, by the way, is probably near the site of the priest's house;"
and involuntarily he glanced toward Martine.

"Oh," she rejoined, as if in answer to his glance, "I thought that there
was no priest--except in the poem."

"Ah, surely there had been a priest, though not Father Felician; and
indeed at the time of the deportation the priest was away from Grand
Pré, a prisoner at Halifax, and so he could not exhort the people. But
these are mere matters of detail. Undoubtedly we are now standing very
near the site of the church."

"I wonder if the bells are hidden in the earth like those we heard of at
Annapolis," and Amy turned to Martine with a smile, hoping to divert her
from quizzing Mr. Knight.

"Ah, the bells!" exclaimed the offending young man. "There is a
story--if you should care for it."

"By all means," replied Mrs. Redmond; and under the embarrassing gaze of
four pairs of eyes Mr. Knight told his tale.

"It isn't a remarkable story in any way, only they say that when the
Acadians saw that they were prisoners, some of them managed to take down
the bell and wall it up in one of the vaults under the church, while the
church treasure was put in the other. Years afterwards, in the days of
the English settlers, a strange vessel was seen in the Basin one night.
People who passed this way thought they heard queer noises during the
night, and in the morning the ground near the site of the old church was
disturbed. Some people said that in the night they had heard a bell
ringing. That night there came a terrible storm, and soon bits of
wreckage drifted in that must have come from the strange vessel. In this
way every one believed that the theft had been avenged--if the strangers
stole the bell and the treasure. It is only fair to say," continued Mr.
Knight, "that some believe that the bell was taken by returning Acadians
who wished to set it up in an Acadian chapel on the Gaspé coast. At any
rate, there are people still living who have heard their parents say
that at certain times they can hear the distant ringing of this Grand
Pré bell."

"How weird!" cried Martine. "Are there any more stories like that? I
love them."

"Oh, there are some others connected with buried treasures, but an evil
fate was usually supposed to attend those who grew suddenly rich by
unearthing Acadian treasure; and there are tales of ghostly fires on St.
John's eve; and other stories used to trouble me very much when I was
small and had to pass lonely places in the night."

"Oho," thought Martine, though she said nothing, "then it is as I
thought; he is easily scared."

"At the time of the deportation," said Mr. Knight, as they took their
places again in the carriage, "the water came much nearer the village.
Since the days of the Acadians thousands of acres of dyke-lands have
been reclaimed. When the Connecticut settlers came they found many dykes
broken, through which the sea was rolling in, and they might have had a
hard time repairing them if they had not found a few Acadians still left
in the country, who had managed to escape the English and were lurking
in the neighborhood of their old homes."

"That reminds me," said Priscilla; "who were the Acadians, that is,
where did they come from in the first place? I have never thought of
this before."

"Why, Priscilla, they were--" then Amy stopped, not feeling quite sure
of her ground.

"Oh, they were French, from--" and Martine could get no farther.

"Of course they were French, but why did they know so much about dykes
and such things?"

When no one else seemed inclined to answer the question, Mr. Knight
undertook to reply.

"The Acadians of Grand Pré, like the Acadians of Annapolis, were nearly
all descended from a group of peasants from Rochelle, Pictou, and
Saintonge, who came out with D'Aunay and Razilly about 1630. They came
from a region of marshes, and they brought with them the art of building
dykes. The _aboiteaux_ that they built were marvels, and before you go
we must try to show you one of the dykes at low tide, when all the
wonderful method of building will be displayed. Pierre Terriau, by the
way, was the name of the first Acadian to settle in the Grand Pré
region. He came to the shores of the Habitant in 1671. Others soon
joined him. The people at Minas were so shut off from Port Royal that
they grew very independent. Indeed, this desire to escape the close
observation of those at the Fort was what sent Acadians from Port Royal
to this new region. In time there were three parishes in Minas,--St.
Joseph, St. Charles, and Grand Pré,--and the people were like one great
family, constantly inter-marrying, and always ready to help one another.

  "'Neither locks had they to their doors, nor bars to their windows;
    But their dwellings were open as day and the hearts of the owners;
    There the richest was poor, and the poorest lived in abundance,'

as your Longfellow says;" and Martine, had she been inclined, might have
taken this as an apology for the disrespect she had imagined cast on her
poet a little earlier.

But there was no time now to discuss either Longfellow or the Acadians.
Before the party stretched the broad dyke-lands, where already many
farmers were cutting hay, while here and there were mammoth haystacks.

Priscilla snapped her camera at a hay wagon with a larger load than any
she had ever seen, drawn by two of the heaviest, sleekest oxen; Amy made
a few notes in her diary; Mrs. Redmond sighed for her palette and
sketch-book; and Martine exclaimed loudly on the richness of color, the
vivid green of the marshes, the unclouded blue of the sky, and the
richer blue of the water, with a glimpse here and there of reddish
shores, and above all Blomidon, the magnificent, showing up in the
distance, like a veritable giant.

"Have you seen all that you care to see at Grand Pré?" asked Mr. Knight,
politely, with a "Here, driver, draw up for a last look at Blomidon
before we turn toward Avonport."

"How dark it looks now!" exclaimed Amy, pointing to the promontory.

"That is because the sun no longer shines on it," replied Mr. Knight
"Listen to one of our poets:

  "'This is that black bastion, based in surge,
    Pregnant with agate and with amethyst,
    Whose foot the tides of storied Minas scourge,
    Whose top austere withdraws into its mist.

       *     *     *     *     *

  "'Yonder, across these reeling fields of foam,
    Came the sad threat of the avenging ships.
    What profit now to know if just the doom,
    Though harsh. The streaming eyes, the praying lips,
    The shadow of inextinguishable pain,
    The poet's deathless music, these remain.'"

"Have we seen all that we can see?" interrupted Martine, untouched by
the poetical tribute to her Acadians. She was determined to show no
appreciation of anything said by Mr. Knight.

"Have we seen all that we can see?" repeated Martine, adding with some
sharpness, "I thought that there would be much more."

"Well, I am sure--" and Mr. Knight hesitated, "I am sorry--but there
isn't so very much--you know all the Acadian houses were burnt, and it's
just a modern village--the old Covenanter Church is perhaps the oldest
thing--and you've seen the old well and the willows and the things that
we point out to Americans."

"There it is!" thought Martine, "that same patronizing tone when he
speaks of Americans."

"Oh, there is one thing," continued the unhappy young man, conscious
now, as at all times, of Martine's disapproval, "I should have shown you
the little ridge near the station where Colonel Noble and one of his
soldiers were buried, after that terrible fight in 1747. You remember
the French had only seven killed to the one hundred English who were
slaughtered."

"That was a cowardly attack," said Amy, warmly.

"But it was the real French, and not the Acadians, who were
responsible," interposed Martine.

"Yet the Acadians helped--at least as guides."

"This pleasant country has certainly witnessed a great deal of tragedy."
Mrs. Redmond's voice was that of the peacemaker.

"Yet through it all Blomidon has remained there calm and placid." Up to
this time Priscilla had had little to say.

"But Glooscap, the deity of the Micmacs," responded Mrs. Redmond,--"you
remember that after the white men came to Minas, displeased with their
teachings, he fled away, and has never been seen since.

  "'You can see yourself Five Islands Glooscap flung at him that day,
    When from Blomidon to Sharp he tore the Beaver's dam away.
    Cleared the channel, and the waters thundered out into the Bay.
    Here he left us--see the orchards, red and gold in every tree!
    All the land from Gaspereau to Portapique and Cheverie,
    All the garden lands of Minas and a passage out to sea.'"

"Why, mamma, I never heard you quote poetry--at such length."

"Perhaps you thought that I couldn't, but this is a Canadian poet, and
later you must read more of the myths grouped around Glooscap."

"Oh, I know that Blomidon was his home, and Minas his beaver-pond, and
Spencer Island used to be his kettle that he tipped upside down when he
deserted Acadia, and two rocks there in the Bay were once his dogs that
he turned to stone at the same time. He never was cruel, never grew old,
and was never to die, and so I suppose that the Indians are looking
constantly for him to come back and restore their own to them."

"As to that," said the serious Mr. Knight, "the Indians in Nova Scotia
are much better off than in the days of Glooscap. They may sit side by
side with white children in almost all the schools of the country. Many
of them live on land of their own, and raise live stock--though
unluckily they prefer ponies to heifers, and in every way the government
is fitting them for the full responsibilities of citizenship."

"Oh, dear," sighed Martine, laying her hand on Amy's and leaning forward
so that those on the back seat might not hear. "What a regular
schoolmaster he is! He is more improving even than you, Miss Amy
Redmond. But listen--how much more appreciative is our dear Priscilla."

In spite of herself Amy could but smile as Priscilla's gentle voice came
to her. "Thank you, Mr. Knight; the present condition of the Indians
interests me very much, and I have made a note of what you have said to
report at one of our Indian Aid Association meetings when I return
home," whereat the driver of their vehicle laughed, chuckled, and shook
his head.

"I'd like to show her some specimen Micmacs," he said to Martine, "that
come round here oftener than once in a while, and have some distance to
travel before they are fully fitted for the responsibilities of
citizenship."

"Now, ladies, a last look at Blomidon," cried Mr. Knight, as the
carriage took a sharp turn, and then, after one long, backward look,
they pressed on and drove westward toward Avonport.

"Dear Prissie," said Martine, when at last they stood on the broad
beach, "you have been a very good girl to-day." Priscilla, reddening at
her words, made no reply.

"Yes, you have been very good," continued Martine, "and when Mr. Knight
recalls this afternoon he will remember with pleasure the close
attention that you have given to his every word."

"Oh, Martine, how absurd you are; I never heard you talk so pompously
before."

"This is the effect of a few hours spent with an eloquent guide,
philosopher, and friend. Poor Amy is under the spell now; he seems to be
teaching her geology."

Looking in the direction of the spot where they had left Mrs. Redmond
and Amy, Priscilla saw that Mr. Knight was pointing at the stones with
his walking-stick, as if they were diagrams on a blackboard.

"He is probably explaining the rock formation," said Priscilla,
solemnly. "My guidebook says that the region has great geological
interest."

"Then let us go off by ourselves somewhere, for if he gets the chance he
will try to teach us all he knows, and really, I could not stand any
more instruction to-day. Come, Prissie."

At first Priscilla hesitated.

"Do come; we'll have such a good chance to study those rocks and crags
by ourselves."

"I'd rather wait for the others, but still--"

"That's a good girl;" and, half dragging Priscilla by the arm, Martine
set off rapidly toward the bold cliffs that promised them more
entertainment than they had had that afternoon.

"There are sure to be shells," said Martine, "and perhaps curious
seaweeds in some of the little pools. The tide is so high that
undoubtedly there are many strange things washed up here."

Martine was correct in her surmises, and for half an hour the two felt
like explorers as they picked their way from stone to stone, filling
their hands with trophies.

"Isn't it fun?" cried Martine. "I feel as if we were quite alone in the
world. We can just enjoy ourselves without thinking of history or
geology, or anything else."

"I wonder if the others will be worried," said Priscilla, who herself
was not quite sure that she enjoyed this sensation of being quite alone
in the world, with nobody near but Martine.

"Of course they won't be worried. We shall be back before they even miss
us. Besides, I'd like to worry Mr. Knight."

Priscilla looked at her watch. "I think that we ought to return now; we
have been gone more than half an hour."

"Oh, not yet--but listen; some one is calling. It is Mr. Knight. 'Young
ladies, young ladies,'" and Martine mimicked the tones that now were
borne quite clearly to their ears. "I just won't have him find us, and
lead us back as if we were two children who had done something that we
shouldn't; let us hide behind these rocks until he passes."

Somewhat against her will Priscilla allowed herself to be led into a
rocky nook where a jutting ledge hid them effectually from any
passer-by.

So Mr. Knight, walking along the cliffs above them, even had he peered
down to the lower level, could hardly have seen them. His "Young ladies,
young ladies, we're starting home now," grew feebler and feebler, and
when Martine had assured herself that he was really a safe distance
away, she came out from her hiding-place with a cry of "Danger past."

"We mustn't stay here too long," remonstrated Priscilla; "Mrs. Redmond
will be worried."

"I am perfectly willing to go now," replied Martine, "since Mr. Knight
won't lead me by the nose. We had a hard climb to this grotto, but it
will be much easier going down."

Hardly had Martine spoken when Priscilla, who was a few steps ahead of
her, turned back with a cry of alarm.

"Look, Martine; what shall we do?"

Stepping up beside her friend, Martine too exclaimed in surprise.

"Do you suppose it will come any higher? I have heard of the rapid rise
of the tide, but this has just rushed in."

Even in that first quick glance both girls realized that they were in a
critical position. In going up to the "grotto," as Martine called it,
they had taken no notice of tide-water marks, such as both of them might
have observed. The rocky arms by which they had ascended were now
covered by water, and an incoming wave dashed over Priscilla's feet as
they stood there, uncertain what to do.

"Will it come all the way in? We shall be drenched if it does."

"No," said Martine, turning about and inspecting the nook where they had
been standing when they heard Mr. Knight's voice.

"You can see that if the last high tide had come in lately as far as
that little hollow, there would be some water there now. Instead, it is
perfectly dry. You can prove that for yourself."

"Yes, yes, you are right; by standing back here we can at least keep
dry, but oh, dear, when shall we get out?"

"Probably not until Mr. Knight rescues us," replied Martine, cheerfully,
"and even he will hardly come to our relief until low tide, which is
probably some hours away."

Whatever the real danger, Priscilla and Martine saw at once that they
were in a very disagreeable predicament. The little niche in which alone
they could have a dry footing on three sides had steep walls, whose
height at the lowest was surely twenty feet. Martine scanned the sides
carefully, but the stone surface was perfectly smooth. Nowhere was there
a projection that offered the least foothold. It was in no way possible
for either girl to climb to the top. Toward them flowed the advancing
tide. It had entirely cut them off from the path by which they had
reached the grotto, and though it might not be dangerously deep at every
point of the beach and rocks that it now covered, neither girl had
courage to venture into the water.

Martine indeed had proposed to wade as far as it seemed safe, and then,
if necessary, swim to some point where she might get a footing.

"No, no," Priscilla had remonstrated, "you might in some way miss the
others, and if you had to wait around for some time in your wet clothes
you would be really worse off than you are now--and besides, I should
hate to be left here all alone."

"It might be a waste of energy," replied Martine, "for surely the tide
cannot come up to this little hollow; so it is only a question of time
when we shall get out of this. But it does seem to me that so unusually
clever a person as that Mr. Knight thinks himself might have found us
before this."

"You aren't quite fair, Martine, for he certainly was just above us
here, calling with all his might. I dare say that he even looked over
the edge. You hid yourself so completely, and made me hide too, so that
when he looked he could not see us. He must think that we went in
exactly the opposite direction, and he and the others are probably a
mile away now, searching for us."

"I do not care how much bother Mr. Knight has, but I do regret putting
Mrs. Redmond and Amy to such trouble. Why did you come with me,
Priscilla? If you had refused we shouldn't have got into this scrape."

"Oh, Martine, when you fairly dragged me here! Surely you are unjust."

Martine knew that she was unjust but like many persons who realize their
own foolishness, she experienced a certain relief for the present in
blaming some one else.

"It will be hours," she grumbled, "before the tide will be low enough to
let us out for it is still coming in, and we shall be kept here for some
time after it turns."

"If we get out before dark I shall be thankful. It will be terribly
disagreeable to find ourselves alone here in the dark."

"Oh, it won't be as bad as that!" Martine's voice became suddenly
cheerful. Self-reproach had taken hold of her. What if Priscilla should
really suffer from this escapade? As if in answer to her thoughts,
Priscilla coughed once or twice.

"There it is," thought Martine; "Priscilla is away for her health, and I
may undo all the good of the summer. It will be a great disappointment
to Mrs. Redmond, as well as to Priscilla's mother. They both expected so
much from this trip." Which reflections showed that Martine was
certainly not a villain of the deepest dye. Had she been hardened in
perversity she could not so soon have reached a state of repentance.

But repentance without works avails little, and when Priscilla coughed
for a fourth time Martine became quite feverish with anxiety.

Two large clouds in the distance seemed to her to indicate a coming
storm. Wretched enough would their condition be if they should be caught
by a heavy rain while they were in this exposed position.



  CHAPTER XVII

  SAFE AGAIN


Time passes slowly when one has nothing to do, and although the fact
that their situation was equally disagreeable to both should have drawn
Martine and Priscilla closely together, they now found even less than
usual to talk about. Yet strangely enough, without blaming the other
each was heaping mental reproaches on herself,--Martine saw her own
folly in running away from the others, and Priscilla was conscious that
she had been too easily led.

"We might help time pass by reciting poetry," said Martine.

"Or discussing history," rejoined Priscilla.

"This might be a good time to settle the respective merits of the
Loyalists and the Acadians."

"With the tide coming in so fast I should hardly dare get into a
discussion; there'd be no one to help pull us in if we fell out. But
listen, isn't that some one calling?"

"I believe it is, although the sound doesn't come from above. Don't you
hear it?"

"Yes, I do; it's some one calling 'halloo, halloo.' Perhaps--"

"Yes, it may be some one searching for us."

Any doubts that Martine may have had were soon removed by the sight of a
small dory gliding into their field of vision some distance below them.
There were two men in the dory, both hatless and in their shirt-sleeves.
In an instant both girls were on their feet, waving their handkerchiefs.
In the same instant the men in the boat caught sight of them, and one of
them lifted his oar and flourished it two or three times in the air.

"How will they get here?" asked Martine.

"Oh, probably the water isn't very deep; they can push up part way, and
then wade."

"If they can wade, we might have ventured."

"It would not have been safe for us. See, they are pushing the boat up
all the way."

The water, indeed, was deep enough to let the boat come up into the
hollow--now filled with water--between the two arms of rock, whereby the
two girls had climbed to their present position. While the boat was
still some distance away Priscilla and Martine had recognized the
immaculate Mr. Knight as the man who was steering. Mr. Knight, however,
was immaculate no longer; he was hatless and coatless, his hair somewhat
tumbled, and his face very red from the unwonted exertion.

From the moment of recognizing him until the moment when the side of the
boat grazed the ledge was a very short time indeed.

"We thought we'd find you somewhere near here; at least, we hoped so,"
said Mr. Knight, looking from one girl to the other as if to decide
which was the real culprit. "But how in the world did you get here?"

"Walked," replied Martine, laconically; "hadn't time to swim."

"But if you walked why didn't I see you when I looked an hour or two
ago? I remember standing above this particular place and calling.
Perhaps you weren't here then."

Martine said nothing. If it should be necessary to confess she could
attend to this later. At present she had enough to think about.

"Is Mrs. Redmond worried?" asked Priscilla, anxiously.

"Yes and no," replied Mr. Knight, "though she'll be glad enough to see
you."

"Must we go in the boat?" Priscilla spoke as if she dreaded the
experiment, and she added, "It looks so very wobbly."

"Oh, that boat, she's as steady as a setting hen," exclaimed Mr.
Knight's companion. "Just you look out, though, and don't wet your
feet."

"I'll go first, Priscilla, and if I survive, why, then you can follow."

But before Martine had attempted to take her place Mr. Knight turned to
Priscilla, "Of course, if you would rather not go in the dory we could
wait here until the tide ebbs. I could stay with you while Mr. Sands
rows back to report to Mrs. Redmond. But the boat is perfectly safe, I
can assure you."

"Of course it is perfectly safe," exclaimed Martine, angrily; "I never
heard such a silly idea." But whether she meant to apply "silly" to
Priscilla's timidity or to Mr. Knight's suggestion she did not deign to
explain, and the young man, after one curious glance in her direction,
did not address her again.

It was but the work of a minute or two to get the girls aboard the dory,
and soon they were at a landing-place from which they could reach Mrs.
Redmond and Amy.

"You ain't the first people that's got caught in that way on the rocks,"
said Mr. Sands as they rowed along, "only generally it's some romantic
couple that rather likes to stay there till the tide goes out. But your
ma was afraid that if you was there you might try to wade, and so catch
your death of cold, and besides, she wasn't sure you were anywhere, as
long as Mr. Knight couldn't find you; so when they all seemed so
concerned the only thing was to haul out the dory, though it wouldn't
have hurt you a mite if you'd had to stay."

"I would as soon have stayed," said Martine, coldly; "it was a good
view, and I rather enjoyed sitting there in that little grotto."

"Grotto," Mr. Sands laughed loudly, and Martine fancied that a smile
flickered at the corners of Mr. Knight's lips. "Grotto," repeated Mr.
Sands. "Well, I never heard that name used before in these parts. I
thought a grotto was foreign, but you've said something now that I won't
forget. Here, Mr. Knight, you help the young ladies out, while I steady
the boat," and in a second the two girls were running up the beach,
where Mrs. Redmond and Amy greeted them with open arms.

It was now after sunset, and all were hungry and cold. In aspect they
were wholly unlike the party that had set out from Wolfville that
afternoon. All seemed quiet and subdued,--Martine and Priscilla, because
they had really been more fatigued by their little adventure than at the
time they had realized; Mrs. Redmond and Amy, because they had been most
anxious at the prolonged absence of the girls, and Mr. Knight--well,
perhaps inwardly he was blaming "those Americans" for giving him much
more trouble than was his due. Whatever his thoughts, however, he made
no criticism, and any perturbation that he may have felt was shown only
by his silence.

What was most to the point, however, the horses and the driver were in
good spirits, and set out for Wolfville at a fine rate. While the others
had been looking and waiting, man and beast had had food and drink, and
this accounted for their energy.

"Grotto," cried Mr. Sands, as the party drove away, "well, that does
beat all."

Once on the way back to Wolfville they stopped before a house, after Mr.
Knight had had a word with the driver. Then the young man, excusing
himself, went within, returning soon with a small package. This he
opened after he had resumed his seat, and distributed to each of the
party a bread and butter sandwich and two or three cookies. "I might
have brought more," he explained, "but it would be a pity to take away
all your appetite for your supper at Wolfville."

The sandwiches and the cakes seemed to promote conversation, and in the
remaining half hour the party was as bright and cheerful as a party of
young persons ought to be after a summer excursion. When they reached
the house Mr. Knight declined the invitation that Mrs. Redmond gave him
to stay to tea, though he promised to call on her the next day.

"While we are in Wolfville," said Mrs. Redmond, as he turned away, "we
may not be able to show you how thoroughly we enjoyed the delightful
afternoon you have given us, but if you come to Boston we will do our
best to make a return."

"I can assure you that the pleasure has been altogether on my side,"
responded Mr. Knight.

"And I can assure you," added Martine, who had now fully recovered her
spirits, "that Priscilla was an unwilling accomplice of mine this
afternoon, and that you were very good to rescue me as well as
her--everything considered."

"Oh, but I can assure you," began Mr. Knight, "that I didn't mean--that
is, I--" and here realizing that the more he tried to say the more he
might blunder, the poor young man backed down the steps with a polite
bow and a single "good-night."

"Priscilla," said Amy, that evening, as she handed the former her mail,
"here's a funny little package for you, half open at one end, and a
letter directed in the same handwriting. Excuse my noticing that the
letter is post-marked 'Meteghan.'"

"Why shouldn't you?" responded Priscilla. "We all have acquired the
habit of looking at one another's post-marks."

"Open the parcel," cried Amy; "I'm curious to see what it is." Priscilla
glanced at Martine, who was deep in a letter from one of her
boarding-school friends. Then she cut the string, and, loosening the
paper, handed the package to Amy while she glanced over the Meteghan
letter.

"Why, it looks like Yvonne's lace," cried Amy, and at the word "Yvonne"
Martine joined the group.

"Why, it is Yvonne's lace," she exclaimed. "How did you get it?"

"I sent for some," replied Priscilla. "I thought that it might help her
if I should buy it. I could not buy much, but it has pleased her to sell
it. Read her letter."

Tears came into Martine's eyes as she read the simple letter of thanks
that seemed to come straight from the heart of the little French girl.
"She remembers us all, though she doesn't spell the names just right,
and she sends the best love of Uncle Alexandre, Uncle Placide, and aunts
Mathilde and Marie. Well, we must have made an impression." Then, after
glancing at the letter a second time, Martine continued: "But you are a
brick, Priscilla. How did you happen to think of sending for the lace? I
had forgotten all about it, though I was anxious to help Yvonne."

"She writes a good letter, considering that she sees so dimly;" and Amy
called Martine's attention to the clear, round hand. "The convent
sisters have certainly done a great deal for the child."

When all had admired the strip of lace, Priscilla folded it up neatly
and laid it with her letters. She was relieved that Martine had not
taken offence at her writing for it. Though Priscilla had not intended
this to be a silent reproof to Martine, it had somewhat this effect, for
too frequently in Martine's life "out of sight" meant "out of mind," and
though she had no desire to break the promises that she had made so
freely when in Meteghan, still, but for Priscilla's reminder she might
have been long in keeping them. At the same time it is but fair to say
that already without Priscilla's knowledge she had taken steps toward
carrying out the larger plan that she had conceived regarding Yvonne's
future.

"Mamma," said Amy, after she had shown Mrs. Redmond Yvonne's letter, "I
have just had a letter from Julia."

"Ah, that is delightful," said Mrs. Redmond. "I am always so pleased to
hear from Julia."

Julia Bourne, the cousin of Amy's friend Brenda,--Mrs. Weston--was
little older than Amy or the other girls in Brenda's group. Julia, on
being graduated from Radcliffe, had decided to spend most of her time
and a fair share of her income on a Domestic Science School for girls.

The experiment carried on in the Mansion, a stately West End house
belonging to her former teacher, Miss South, during its two years of
existence, had proved most successful. The work at the Mansion had been
in the nature of social settlement work, and Amy, with little money to
give, had been glad to enroll herself as a voluntary teacher.

But for the Nova Scotia trip Amy would have been one of Julia's
assistants this very summer at Happy Hill. Often, indeed, in the course
of her travels she had thought of the work going on there, and had
indulged in a little self-reproach that she should be spending her own
holidays in idleness. Most persons, even those inclined to be critical,
would have said that Amy had really enough work on her hands in the five
or six hours of tutoring that she tried to give Priscilla every week.

Yet even granting that her time was not sufficiently occupied, there is
a kind of idleness that in the end is more beneficial to the individual
than any amount of work. Although Amy had not been in danger, perhaps,
of breaking down during the past season, still, Mrs. Redmond realized
that she had been working up to the limit of her strength, and she had
planned the Nova Scotia trip in such a way that Amy should be unable to
withstand going. That Amy would need all her strength for her senior
year at Wellesley had been Mrs. Redmond's strongest plea. Every day of
this summer had been a proof to Amy of her mother's wisdom.

    "Of course we miss you [wrote Julia], and I am glad to say
    that no one else can exactly take your place. But I honestly
    believe that in a certain way you can do almost as much good
    in Acadia as here; for it will be a great thing to inspire
    Priscilla with more confidence in herself, and tone down
    Martine a little.

    "Here at Happy Hill we have two or three of the girls who
    were at the Mansion its first year. We have been able, I am
    glad to say, to imbue them with some sense of
    responsibility. Each of them in turn is called housekeeper
    for a week, and although things are not really altogether in
    her hands, the effect on her is really the same, and we
    older people merely act as a check to prevent matters from
    going too far out of line.

    "It is very amusing to see these older girls take charge of
    the younger, and instruct them in all the details of country
    life. They have some gardening to do, and they make butter
    and cheese, and each one is shown how to drive, and is
    permitted at intervals to drive down to the village. Then
    they have open-air gymnastics in addition to the very
    considerable amount of exercise that goes with their
    housework, and they have just enough study from books every
    day to prevent their growing altogether rusty.

    "Mr. and Mrs. Elton--it doesn't seem quite natural yet to
    speak of Miss South as Mrs. Elton--are now, I suppose, in
    Norway. They sent the girls a box of unmounted photographs
    last week, showing the most picturesque scenery in Greece
    and Italy, where they were in the early spring. Nora is to
    be with me part of the summer, and Anstiss Rowe, as perhaps
    you know, is giving all her time to Happy Hill. Brenda
    undoubtedly keeps you informed about affairs at Rockley. She
    is perfectly happy, and altogether different from the Brenda
    of a year ago.

    "When your Acadia days are over, I hope that you will have a
    week to spare for Happy Hill before Wellesley opens again.
    With my best regards to your mother and the girls,

                    "JULIA."


When Amy had finished this letter Mrs. Redmond glanced through it.

"I should like to go up to Happy Hill for at least a week," said Amy.

"It is altogether probable that you can. We shall be at home by the
first of September. Why, what has become of Martine?"

Amy looked toward the chair where Martine had been sitting a few minutes
before. It was certainly empty.

"I'll run up to her room;" and, suiting her action to her word, in a
moment Amy was knocking at Martine's door.

In answer to a feeble "Come in" she entered, only to find Martine lying
face downward on the bed.

"Why, what is the matter, child?" she asked, affectionately stroking
Martine's hair.

"Oh, nothing," came in muffled tones from the prostrate Martine, "only
this has been such a long day."

"You are tired," responded Amy, "and probably you were more excited than
you realized when you and Priscilla were lost."

"We weren't lost"--Martine threw considerable spirit into her voice,--"I
knew just where we were."

"But we did not--" Amy, though amused, tried not to show her
amusement--"we were rather alarmed, so really my mother and I ought to
be the persons to collapse. Come, Martine, even if you are tired, you
must cheer up, and go to bed."

  [Illustration: "'Why, what is the matter, child?' she asked
   affectionately."]

"It isn't because I'm tired," and Martine's tears flowed afresh, "but I
thought that to-night there would be a letter from my mother. There must
be a mail in, and I have counted up the time from New York. There ought
to be a letter to-night. I am sure that she's worse."

"Nonsense, child. Probably she does not feel quite well enough to write,
and your father has overlooked the mail. You know how apt men are to
forget."

So Amy tried to pacify Martine, and at last succeeded in getting her to
look at things more cheerfully. She had never before seen Martine in low
spirits, and she felt quite sure that fatigue, even more than
disappointment, had caused the tears.

"I will admit," she said, "that this has been a trying day, beginning
with--"

"Beginning with Mr. Knight,"--and now Martine was smiling. "Wasn't he
funny, with his 'you Americans,' as if we were some strange species?"

"But in the end don't you think that Mr. Knight did pretty well? I think
that he more than redeemed himself by his kindness."

"Well, as he is a friend of Balfour Airton's I suppose that I ought not
to criticise him. There, don't shake your head, Amy. Yes, I do think
that he was very kind--in the end. But the day has been fearfully long.
We ought not to have taken that walk this morning."

When at last Martine went to bed Amy sat beside her until she fell
asleep. There was a strange mingling of childishness and womanliness in
this little Chicagoan to which Amy could not accustom herself. Her
worldly wisdom and grown-up air of womanliness were quite as hard to
understand as the extreme childishness in which she sometimes indulged.
The more equable Priscilla was much easier to comprehend, and yet Amy
was not altogether sure that Priscilla, under stress of circumstances,
would be the easier to manage.



  CHAPTER XVIII

  THE RIGHT AND THE WRONG OF IT


"For my own part," said Martine, "I am just as firmly on the side of the
Acadians as ever. They may have been stupid about the oath, and probably
they were too easily influenced by Le Loutre, but they had been handed
from England to France and from France to England so often that I don't
see how they could consider themselves English when really they were
French."

"You must have had Irish ancestors as well as French," said Amy, with a
laugh. "Your remark sounds almost like a bull."

"Well, I mean to take the bull by the horns," replied Martine; "you can
blame any one else for the deportation, but not the poor Acadians. They
certainly did not in the least know who they were. But I am glad," she
concluded, "that you have taken so much trouble to explain it all to me,
Miss Amy Redmond, for I have never before understood why the English
were so cruel."

"It is surely a fact"--Amy spoke decidedly--"that the English Government
would have preferred to keep the Acadians their subjects. They needed
them to supply provisions, and to man their garrisons. With their
knowledge of woodcraft, and of the Indians, the Acadians would have been
invaluable on the English side."

"But you couldn't expect them to fight against the French, who were
their own flesh and blood!" and Martine cast a glance of reproach at her
friend.

"That, of course, was the chief point in the dispute. The Acadians
claimed to be neutrals, when really they were sending their produce to
Louisbourg, or to the French in other places, to help them continue
their war with the English. Yet they expected the protection of the
English when in trouble, and they always had it, although their only tax
was the tithe that they spent for the support of their own church."

Amy and Martine were sitting on the broad sands of Evangeline's beach,
looking toward Blomidon, and waiting for Priscilla, who had strolled
some distance away. They had driven over from Wolfville in the omnibus,
and were to have an hour or two at the edge of the Basin before they
need return. In the midst of the discussion Priscilla rejoined them.

"More Acadians!" she cried with a smile. "Let me ask you a favor--"

"To say no more about them?"

"No, not that. When we leave the neighborhood of Wolfville we shall
think of other things; so, once for all I, for one, should be glad to
have the whole story straightened out. We know what happened after the
expulsion, for we've been at Clare, and we know about the earliest
French; we heard all that at Annapolis. But now, my dear Miss Amy
Redmond, you have been looking into this thing thoroughly, and if--"

"Yes," urged Martine, "if you'll please tell us what happened in the
years between, it will save our reading, and you will make it much
clearer to us than any book."

"Down with your flattery," rejoined Amy; "yet as there's no time like
the present, I will tell the story briefly. We might as well pass over
the various transfers of Acadia from France to England, and from England
to France, before 1710. But the conquest of Annapolis by General
Nicholson in that year gave Acadia finally to England. The change of
Government was confirmed by the treaty of Utrecht in 1713, and all
Acadians who did not wish to be subject to England were given time to
leave. Those who remained were required to take an oath of fidelity to
King George, and England on her part agreed to let them exercise their
own religion under their own priests. In spite of these arrangements
many of these simple-minded Acadians still considered themselves
subjects of the King of France, even up to the time of the expulsion.
Perhaps the priests encouraged them in this and delayed their taking the
oath of allegiance. By 1730, however, nearly all had signed the oath,
and if war had not broken out later between France and England there
might have been no further trouble. But when it was found that many of
the Acadians, instead of remaining neutral, were joining with French and
Indians in attacks on the English, Lord Cornwallis, the Governor at
Halifax, required them to take the oath again. This was necessary
because a new generation had grown up who had been encouraged by the
priests and politicians in enmity to England. Most of them would not
take the new oath, because it required them to defend Acadia against the
enemies of England, and this, they said, would oblige them to fight
against the French, their kinsmen. In 1751 there was a large immigration
of Acadians to Île St. Jean, then in the hands of the French. These
exiles suffered much, but they were encouraged to hope that when France
reconquered Acadia they could go back to their deserted homes.

"Cornwallis continued firm, and at last the Acadians were informed that
all who would not take the oath must leave Nova Scotia. In the very
beginning deputies from the Acadian villages had gone to Halifax to say
that it would be impossible to take the oath and ask permission to
dispose of their farms and leave the country."

"Why didn't they go? It would have been so much better in the end."

"It is hard to say, Martine. Friends of the Acadians claim that the
English put all kinds of obstacles in their way, first refusing them
transportation in English vessels, then preventing their buying rigging
at Louisbourg for vessels of their own. But, as I have said, more than a
thousand did eventually pass over to the Île St. Jean, and some of these
took part in the defence of Beauséjour."

"Well, they were surely very conscientious," said Martine, "for they
knew that by taking the oath and becoming British subjects they could
live in comfort on their farms. It was very brave in them to choose
poverty and exile."

"It might seem braver, if behind it all they had not had the feeling
that the time was near when the French would drive the British from Nova
Scotia and so restore them to their own."

"It was all that Le Loutre, I suppose," commented Priscilla; "he was
responsible for so much."

"Whether he was really as bad as some represent him would be hard to
say; but this missionary to the Micmacs had great influence, and it was
all used against the English. We pity the Acadians, but we ought to pity
the innocent English settlers on the outskirts of Halifax, and at other
places, who were tortured and murdered by the Indians whom Le Loutre and
other French had stirred up. Now, to keep to our story without making it
too long, the Acadians dallied and dallied. They did not take the oath
of allegiance, and they did not seem to be preparing to leave the
country. At last Lieutenant-Governor Lawrence gave them only a short
time to decide.

"Well, the French and Indian War continued, and the English were
generally more successful than the French. At last Beauséjour was
captured, chiefly by the help of a body of troops commanded by Colonel
Winslow. These men were New Englanders,--sturdy, conscientious men from
country towns, a large number of whom had been farmers and small
tradesmen.

"Beauséjour fell the middle of June, and it may interest you, Priscilla,
to know that Le Loutre, rather than fall into the hands of the English,
fled to Quebec, where he was coldly received. Later he went to France,
and died in obscurity.

"In July, 1755, a memorial was sent to Lieutenant-Governor Lawrence,
signed by twenty-five leading Acadians, on the subject of the oath, and
requesting the return of their guns that the Government had obliged them
to give up on account of their sympathy with the French. When Governor
Lawrence sent for the signers to come to Halifax, fifteen appeared
before them. He pointed out the insincerity of their memorial, and when
he desired them to sign the oath they flatly refused. Finally, on the
twenty-eighth of July, these deputies and others from Annapolis appeared
before the Governor and Council, and although warned that the
consequences would be serious, they declined to take any oath differing
from that taken under Governor Phillips; that is, they were unwilling to
bear arms for the English against the French."

"That, I must say, seems noble to me, since they knew what risks they
were running," cried Martine.

"That is to an extent a matter of opinion. But their refusal decided
Governor Lawrence what to do. He immediately wrote to Colonel Monckton
that enough transports had been ordered up the Bay for the Acadians, and
that he must remove them. He was told that all the property of the
Acadians was now forfeited to the Crown, and that they would be allowed
to take on board ship only their money and their household goods."

"It is a wonder he left them anything," said Martine, sarcastically.

"He wasn't absolutely heartless, and he gave careful directions for
provisioning the transports for their long journey."

"I am sorry that it was a New Englander who had to carry out these cruel
orders," said Priscilla.

"Yes, it fell on Lieutenant-Colonel Winslow, and a detachment of those
New England troops that had fought at Beauséjour to attend to the
deportation at Grand Pré. It was Tuesday, the second of September, when
he ordered all the male inhabitants from ten years upwards to assemble
on the following Friday in the church at Grand Pré, to hear what his
Majesty had to say to them. Then--but really I think one gets the story
better from Longfellow. It is from this point that we have our
sympathies so deeply touched, and we are willing to forget that the
simple-minded Acadians had brought much of their trouble on themselves."

"It doesn't make their sufferings less, even if they were to blame,"
interposed Martine.

"That is true. They may have been less peaceable and amiable than they
have been represented by the poet, and their homes and their ways of
living may have been less--less--"

"Æsthetic," suggested Priscilla, with a smile.

"Well, æsthetic, then. But all this does not alter the fact that they
deserved the greatest pity. Many of them, indeed, honestly believed that
they were still the subjects of Louis XV, and that to take the oath
required by the English would be a great crime."

"What they needed was a really good and disinterested man to advise
them; some one like Paul Mascarene, who was partly French, and yet could
get the English point of view," said Priscilla. "Some way I can't feel
that the English were altogether disinterested--although," she concluded
hastily, "I am more on the English side than the French,--and I am very
sorry that it was a man of Plymouth descent who carried away the
Acadians from Grand Pré."

This, in view of Priscilla's previous prejudice against the Acadians,
was really a very liberal statement, as the others realized.

"It should console you, then, to remember that Colonel Winslow was
simply a soldier acting under orders, and we have no reason to think
that he used needless cruelty. 'It hurts me to hear their weeping and
wailing,' he said in his journal, and this shows that he had a tender
heart."

"But I can't see why families were separated, and why all these Acadians
couldn't have been sent up to Upper Canada to the other French;" and
Martine sighed deeply.

"You forget that France and England were still at war, and to have put
so many able-bodied men at the service of France would indeed have been
madness. Governor Lawrence explained all this in letters to the
governors of the different colonies to whom he sent the Acadians. They
were sent to as many different colonies as possible, and broken up into
small groups, so that they could not unite in any plan for return."

"I suppose that Governor Lawrence thought it better for them to become
public charges,--people who had always been perfectly independent."

"Oh, well, there is a bright side. Many of them never lost hope for a
minute, and even those who went to the French West Indies soon began to
plan to get back to Acadia. In the end, after the Peace, they began to
take the oath, and receive their new grants of land, and since then
England has had no more devoted subjects--as we saw for ourselves in
Clare."

"All the same," said Martine, "this must be a haunted region around
here, and I can tell you I should hate to walk through Grand Pré alone
after dark, or even drive through."

"Speaking of haunted regions," said Priscilla, "though I don't know why
I think of him just now, what do you suppose has happened to Mr. Knight?
No one has seen him since our adventure."

"_We_ haven't seen him," responded Amy, "but I sincerely hope that he is
in the land of the living. I must have forgotten to tell you that mamma
had a letter from him the day after our drive, telling us that he had
been suddenly called to New Brunswick, and expressing his regret that
probably he should not see us again."

"That must have been a great relief to him," murmured Martine, "that
call to New Brunswick. Otherwise he might have had to see us again."

"Oh, he expressed great regret at having to go without doing so."

"That was kind in him, even if it wasn't quite sincere. It is my own
opinion that he went away on purpose. He couldn't bear to see us again
when he remembered how his hair was tumbled--not a sign of the
parting--and his cuffs wet. But _we_ remember, don't we, and I hardly
blame him for running away."

"Martine, my dear child, you are very absurd. No man could possibly be
so vain."

"Especially, my dear Miss Amy Redmond, one whose business is the
instruction of youth," rejoined Martine, flippantly.

"I had a letter from Eunice this morning," interposed Priscilla, "and
she said that Balfour had had a letter from Mr. Knight, who thanked him
for the introduction he had given him to us. She said that he had
written about our trip to Grand Pré, and was surprised to find Americans
so much interested in Acadian history."

"That is all very well. People always write that way after a letter of
introduction; they feel that they must. You cannot persuade me that Mr.
Knight had any other reason for running to New Brunswick except to avoid
us."

"Perhaps he wished to escape our thanks for the rescue."

"Rescue!" Martine's tone was scornful enough. "We weren't in the least
little bit of danger."

"We weren't exactly comfortable," responded Priscilla. "I was thankful
enough, I can tell you, when Mr. Knight and the dory came in sight. Why,
we might have had to stay there for hours."

"Oh, no; there would have been some way. The tide goes out as rapidly as
it flows in."

"Well, leaving out individuals, who certainly have been very kind to
us," interposed Amy, "considering that in their hearts many of them
think of us as 'those Yankees,' Wolfville has been fairly worth while."

"Yes," replied Martine, "though I haven't been able to paint Blomidon, I
have captured the Grand Pré willows. The subject may be trite, but I've
managed to give it a touch of individuality by adding a tree or two and
lopping off a branch or so, here and there, and this will set some
persons guessing as to what my view is."

"Oh, Martine!"

"But the artistic reputation of the party is kept up by your mother's
sketches. That one of the marshes is simply perfect. No one who had not
seen the colors could believe that nature up here in the north is so
brilliant. The water is so blue,--and she has caught it exactly,--and
the bright red of the shore at low tide, and the vivid green of the dyke
grass, varied here and there with clumps of yellow--"

"Stop, stop; you make me fairly dizzy."

"But it's a true picture, isn't it? and your mother has reproduced it to
perfection, and if she doesn't sell it before Christmas I shall get papa
to buy it for me."

So the three friends sat and chatted on this their last afternoon in
Evangeline's land, half regretting that the time was near when they must
bid good-bye to Acadia.

Though they had not tried to do all the things possible for the tourist,
they had gone to the Look-off, the highest part of the Blomidon ridge,
and from this spot had had a magnificent view of the Annapolis and
Cornwallis valleys, and the six rivers flowing into Minas, and the
hundreds of fertile farms and the picturesque seaports lying almost at
their feet; and they had made also several side trips.

Priscilla had slaked her thirst for information by setting down in her
note-books many facts about the productiveness of the region, and
declared that in future if she should meet a boy anxious to become a
farmer she would send him to Nova Scotia rather than to the unknown
West.

"Ah, but there's no government land for him to take up here, and farms
don't go for a song. Every inch is cultivated," rejoined Amy.

Thus at last, when Amy with her mother and her friends were ready to
leave Wolfville and Grand Pré and their neighborhood, their minds were
filled not only with the history of Acadia and the memories of the past,
but with pictures of the present that seemed likely to be lasting.

Mrs. Redmond, moreover, in balancing her accounts,--not a reckoning of
money, but of something more precious--counted as the greatest gain the
improvement in health made by Priscilla and the improvement in
disposition made by Martine.

Priscilla's gain was easily recognized. Even she herself could see it
when she looked in the glass, and she was daily growing more and more
conscious of it. But Martine's gain,--perhaps she herself did not
realize it. Perhaps she had not known in the beginning how much she
needed improving. Yet Mrs. Redmond, realizing it, had observed with
pleasure that Martine was not nearly as self-willed, was not nearly as
ready to ridicule the foibles of others as at the beginning of the trip.
Just as the angles of Priscilla's disposition were rounding off to a
certain degree, so Martine was much less likely than formerly to fly off
in a tangent. Although it could hardly be said that the two girls
understood each other perfectly, it was yet the fact that wishes
collided far less often than in the past. When Priscilla yielded, she
did so with a smaller show of helpless resignation than had been her
wont, and Martine no longer thought it clever to laugh at every
suggestion made by Priscilla.

As to Amy, her mother saw with pleasure that to her the summer had been
one of real refreshment. If she had been absolutely idle she could not
have been half as happy as now, with the sense of responsibility that
was hers in having the care, or at least the partial care, of Martine
and Priscilla; moreover the trip itself, opening as it did to her a
country of which previously she had known so little, was in every way a
delight to her. It had shown to her a world of history and poetry with
which she had not been familiar, even though she had known something
about it, and this in itself was worth much to her.



  CHAPTER XIX

  A DISCOVERY


"I almost wish," said Amy to her mother, as their train was speeding
away from Wolfville, "that we were going direct to Halifax."

"That _is_ a concession," responded Mrs. Redmond, with a smile, "for if
you had been less anxious to see Windsor we should have passed on
without stopping there. Perhaps even yet it is not too late to change
our plans."

"Oh, no; I am just as anxious as ever to visit King's College, and
Martine and Priscilla, if not enthusiastic, still feel pleased at the
prospect of seeing one more town before we reach Halifax. I've had to
use some persuasion to get them to take this point of view, and it would
be very foolish indeed for me to be the one to change plans now."

A moment later Martine and Priscilla, who had been looking from the
window on the opposite side of the car, returned to their seats.

"Would you care to give up Windsor now?" asked Mrs. Redmond.

"No, indeed; since I realized that Windsor is the old Piziquid of the
Acadians I have been crazy to see it, for I read a story the other day
whose scene was laid there; and besides, I've heard that Windsor has one
of the queerest harbors in the world, with water in it hardly two or
three hours a day, and only red mud the rest of the time."

"That's nothing very new," interrupted Priscilla; "we've seen enough of
that kind of thing already in Nova Scotia."

"Oh, but the difference is that the harbor of Windsor is so large that
they say it is very amusing to see so many great vessels stranded in it
I'm quite reconciled now to spending a day or two there; it's only
Priscilla who objects, Mrs. Redmond."

"I don't really object" responded Priscilla, "but I'm afraid we won't
have all the time we need at Halifax."

"After all, we shall not be limited in our stay there. Unless those
letters that I expect insist on my return at once I shall be quite
willing to stay away until after the first of September."

"Who is it then, besides Priscilla, who wishes to cut Windsor?"

"No one but me, Martine," returned Amy; "and this is only because I have
a little feeling that I can't explain that we might better go through
directly to Halifax. It's the kind of feeling that leads people
sometimes to give up a particular train from fear that some accident
will befall it."

"Ugh!" and Martine held up her hands in protest. "I never knew before,
Miss Amy Redmond, that you could be superstitious, for that's what
'having feelings' amounts to."

"Well, at least I'm strong-minded enough to disregard these
premonitions. In my heart of hearts I believe that we shall not only
escape from Windsor alive, but enjoy our stay there thoroughly."

Not so very long after leaving Wolfville the travellers were within
sight of Windsor. They had passed through beautiful farming regions with
occasional glimpses of river and marsh; and there across a stretch of
yellowish water they caught sight of the town which the Indians had so
correctly named Piziquid, "the meeting of the waters." This first
glimpse showed a town built up on the sides of leafy hills and
stretching down to the water, bordered with many wharves, at which lay
three-masted schooners and craft of every size.

Their rooms had been engaged at one of the smaller hotels. It was
delightfully situated on a side street, and within seemed pleasant and
homelike. Already their bags had been taken to the rooms assigned them,
and Martine and Priscilla lingered a moment to speak to the landlady's
little daughter, a child of five or six, who was playing in the hall.

"How red her cheeks are! I must kiss her;" and Martine bent down to suit
the action to the word. But the little girl was coquettish, and,
slipping away, stood at some distance, staring at the strange young
ladies. Priscilla looked sharply at the child.

"I wouldn't kiss her," she remonstrated. "Her cheeks are flushed; they
are almost feverish. I believe she's not well."

"Nonsense," rejoined Martine, with a laugh. "Every one down here has red
cheeks;" and she took a few steps forward in pursuit of the child.

Priscilla laid her hand on her arm "No, no, she looks just as my little
sister did after she had scarlet fever; promise me you won't kiss her."

"I don't see why you should care," said Martine; "but you seem so in
earnest that for once I'll do what you wish."

At this moment Mrs. Redmond approached the girls, in company with the
landlady, who had been showing her her room. She, too, looked keenly at
the little child.

"Is this your little girl?" she asked her companion.

"Yes, my only child."

"Is she,--is she quite well?"

The woman hesitated for a moment.

"She has been sick, but she's almost well," she replied.

"What was the matter with her?" asked Mrs. Redmond, pleasantly.

"She has had scarlet fever, but--"

"Girls," said Mrs. Redmond, "have your bags brought from your rooms."

Then she turned to the landlady.

"I can understand now why you can offer us a choice of so many rooms;
the fever, I suppose, drove your guests away. I'm sorry, but we, too,
must look farther."

In a few moments the four had called a carriage and were on their way to
seek a new abode. Martine saw the ridiculous side of the whole affair
and made the others laugh at her account of the way Priscilla had saved
her from the fatal kiss.

"It is no laughing matter," protested Mrs. Redmond; "the child was
evidently in that condition when the disease is particularly contagious,
even though she herself is not especially ill. I shall have to watch you
all very carefully, and shall be thankful enough if you do not suffer
from this exposure."

"There, Amy," cried Priscilla, "the worst is over; your premonitions are
justified, and another time we won't laugh at your superstition. Though
you hadn't scarlet fever in mind, this was the danger which we were to
pass through."

"I hope that the worst really is over, but it is rather curious that
this particular incident should have happened here after what I said."

Under the guidance of their driver the party soon found a boarding-place
in a large wooden house, attractively situated on a hill.

On the morning after their arrival Mrs. Redmond advised the girls to
make the most of their time.

"I'm told that we can visit the college and return in time to take the
afternoon train for Halifax, but perhaps it will be as well to do things
a little more at our leisure and go on to-morrow."

"Oh, far better," said Martine; "it would be so tiresome to go on
to-day; besides--" and here she stopped as if she had almost disclosed
something that she should not speak about.

Soon after breakfast Martine and Amy strolled off to the grass-grown
ramparts of Fort Edward, the defence that had been built by the English
against the French when Acadia came into their possession. An old
blockhouse was the most interesting thing to be seen from the Fort;
interesting at least from the historical point of view.

"What makes Windsor seem so very new?" asked Martine. "Every one speaks
of it as such an old town, and it seems to be full of new brick
buildings that look as if they'd been finished hardly a week."

"It's the fire," replied Amy. "The greater part of Windsor was destroyed
by fire a year or two ago. It used to be much prettier, they say, with
its old wooden buildings and tree-lined streets. The trees and the
old-fashioned dwellings have all been swept away,--at least in this part
of the city. When we go to King's College this afternoon we shall see
what is left of the older section."

"Martine," said Mrs. Redmond, when the two returned, "I'm sorry to have
to reprove you."

"If any one is to reprove me you are the one, Mrs. Redmond, whom I
should prefer to administer the reproof; but what is the trouble now? Am
I in danger of catching anything new?"

"No, my child, but see!"

Mrs. Redmond held up before Martine a small chamois bag.

"Oh, dear, did I really leave it lying about?"

"Yes, Martine, and had any one else found it you might have been put to
considerable trouble to recover your rings."

Taking the little bag from Mrs. Redmond's hands, Martine emptied its
contents on a table. There they were,--not only the four beautiful
rings, but the diamond star that her father had given her the preceding
Christmas. Ever since Priscilla had expressed her contempt for those who
wore expensive jewelry while travelling, Martine had carried her rings
in the little bag in which she kept the star and one or two other
valuable pins.

"It seems to me," said Mrs. Redmond, "that it would have been wiser to
leave these valuable things in Boston."

"But I always have them with me, and nothing has ever happened."

Mrs. Redmond hesitated as to what she should say. Although she was
Martine's temporary guardian, she believed that it was not her place to
instruct the young girl on points that would naturally come within the
observation of her parents. If they had established no rules regarding
the times when she should or should not wear jewelry, it was hardly the
duty of another to interfere. Yet she saw that a word or two now might
prevent further complications while she and Martine were travelling
together.

"It is true," she said, "that people must judge for themselves when they
shall and when they shall not wear jewels. But your rings, I can see,
are all valuable, especially the emerald, and it is so easy to mislay
such things when dressing, or when leaving a boarding-house, that if I
were you I would put them safely away."

Though she did not express it, her real thought was that in travelling
there is seldom an occasion when a young girl needs to wear jewelry.

"Thank you, Mrs. Redmond," said Martine, pleasantly. "I am truly sorry
that I brought these things with me, although at home I always wear my
rings without thinking about them. The diamond star I thought might be
worn if we were invited to a party or a reception while away, but I see
now that it would not be the thing for me to wear it at all this summer.
In fact, when papa gave it to me he said that he did not expect me to
wear it often until I was eighteen, but I thought I would like to have
it with me, and it seemed safe enough in this bag."

"Yes, when you wear the bag around your neck; but if you leave it
carelessly lying about, you'll have only yourself to blame if you lose
it."

"Thank you, Mrs. Redmond," responded Martine; "after this I will see
that it is put away."

Martine had received Mrs. Redmond's words so well that the latter was
more than ever impressed with the young girl's amiability, and she
wondered that between her and Priscilla there could still exist any
antagonism.

There was no evidence, however, of anything but good feeling when the
four set out for their drive to King's College. Amy had told them that
they were to drive also near the grounds of the old home of that Judge
Haliburton whose other home they had seen at Annapolis, explaining:

"Some persons call him 'the father of Canadian literature,' because his
'Sam Slick' and his history were almost the first books written in
Canada to attract the attention of people outside."

King's College, in a certain way, offered rather less than the girls had
expected, though its chief college building was an imposing structure,
with great columns in front. The grounds were extensive, and the gently
rolling lawns suggested an English landscape.

"King's is an old college for this part of the world," said Mrs.
Redmond, "and though I cannot remember all I have heard about it,
various old forms and ceremonies are kept up here, I believe, and
commencement is always very interesting."

"It isn't as old as Harvard, is it?" asked Martine.

"What a question!" interposed Priscilla. "No college is as old as
Harvard--at least, in this country. Just see how small this is, too!"

"Yet you ought to be especially interested in King's College,
Priscilla," said Mrs. Redmond, gently, "for it was founded by exiled
Loyalists almost immediately after the Revolution. Indeed, plans for the
college were made in New York even before the close of the war, when it
was seen that large numbers of educated men and women would probably
have to bring up their children in a new country, where it would take
time to establish even ordinary day schools."

"After the Revolution! That seems young compared with Harvard. But come,
let us see what there is in this ancient-looking library. The driver
says it's the only building open to visitors now," said Amy, who had
been leading the way.

There were some entertaining books and portraits in the old library, and
after lingering over them a little while, the girls prepared to return
to the town. They took a last look at the old college before the
carriage drove away.

"Its surroundings are beautiful," exclaimed Amy, "but it doesn't compare
with Wellesley;" and before her eyes rose a picture of the College
Beautiful, with its lake, its hills and groves, and its many fine
buildings.

"I'm very glad, however," she added, "that we came here, for I have got
a certain impression from King's College that is quite worth having."

"So say we all of us," added Martine. And thus in an amiable frame of
mind the party returned to their boarding-house, pleased with their
sightseeing. Although none of the girls would admit that they were
tired, Mrs. Redmond suggested that all go to bed early.

"I'll agree," responded Martine, "if you'll come up first to my room."

Martine's room was large and pleasant, and even for so short a stay she
had thought it worth while to give it a few homelike touches.
Photographs of her parents and of one or two of her friends in
ornamental frames were on the mantelpiece, and over the mantelpiece
itself she had draped a soft foreign scarf. Her silver toilet articles
occupied the top of the bureau; for in spite of Priscilla's disapproval,
or perhaps because of it, she now carried these things in her suit case.
Slight though these little touches were, Martine had contrived to
relieve the room of its purely boarding-house aspect.

The house itself was plain, and both inside and out had a certain aspect
of flimsiness. This had been accounted for by some one who had told Mrs.
Redmond that it had been put up very hastily, immediately after the
recent fire. It had been built for a boarding-house and pretended to be
nothing else. It was airy and clean, but neither its landlady nor the
other boarders attracted the travellers sufficiently to incline them to
stay downstairs in the general sitting-room; so the three girls and Mrs.
Redmond sat and chatted in Martine's room, enjoying the box of
chocolates that she had opened for their especial pleasure.

"They ought to be good," she said, when Mrs. Redmond praised them. "They
came from Halifax;" and she glanced mischievously at Priscilla.

"From Halifax?" repeated Amy. "I suppose that's where most shopkeepers
in Windsor get their goods."

"Halifax by way of Windsor."

"No, no," retorted Martine, "not by way of Windsor at all; they came to
me by mail. You know I went down to the post-office the last moment
before we left Wolfville."

The others made no comment, but Priscilla and Amy exchanged glances, and
Priscilla's seemed to say:

"I told you so."

Before, however, anything could be said, Martine rushed to her bureau.

"I received a letter, too, at the same time," she cried, "and except for
these chocolates I never should have thought of it again."

Lifting the cover of the candy box, she took from it a large square
envelope, which for safe keeping, perhaps, she had placed under the lace
paper that lined it.

"What next?" thought Amy. "If the letter is from either Fritz or Taps, I
wonder if she'll venture to read it."

Then Martine, with the utmost unconcern, opened the envelope, saying as
she did so:

"It's from Mrs. Blair; you know she's a cousin of mamma's, and she often
gives me good advice; I suppose this letter is full of it. That's one
reason I left it to read on the train. I knew it would keep till then;
and, after all, I entirely forgot it."

"Mrs. Blair would feel complimented," interposed Amy.

"Oh, she knows me; I never hide my feelings."

"Do you ever try?"

"Yes, my dear Mrs. Redmond; I've never dared let you know just how much
I care for you."

Thus effectually silenced, Mrs. Redmond waited for Martine to read her
letter.

"You ought to like Mrs. Blair," said Amy, for Martine still held the
opened envelope in her hand without attempting to read its contents.

"Why?"

"Because she has style, Martine, and you generally put that before
everything else; but read your letter, I would like to hear where they
are, for I am always interested in Edith's doings."

"Yes, yes," yet Martine did not take the letter from the envelope; "but
people need something besides style. I get so out of patience with Mrs.
Blair when she and mamma are together. She always has the air of
disapproving of mamma for having married a western man. She makes me
think of the New Yorker who said to a Chicago woman, 'How can you bear
to live so far away?' 'Away? From what?' asked the other. And the New
Yorker couldn't say a word."

"But that isn't like Mrs. Blair, for she always has a word ready for
everything. Do read your letter, Martine," continued Amy.

So Martine glanced hastily over the pages, making comments as she read.

"Oh, it's a kind of duty letter. She wants me to think it a great
privilege that you have allowed me to travel with you this summer. She
seems to have an especially high regard for you, Priscilla. I won't
flatter you by reading what she says. Oh, yes, and she wants to give me
some bad news. She has seen mamma at Carlsbad and thinks her looking
very miserable. Well, that's about all, except that she wishes Edith
cared more for Europe."

"Yes," interposed Amy, "Edith was very anxious to go West this summer
with Philip and Pamela; they're having a fine trip over the Canadian
Rockies."

Martine evidently was not listening to Amy. Her face wore an expression
of great bewilderment, and then, with an exclamation of surprise she
thrust the letter into Amy's hand:

"Read it," she cried; "isn't it extraordinary?" and she pointed to the
signature. "'Audrey Balfour Blair!' Did you know that was her name?"

"Why, I'm not sure," responded Amy. "I never had a letter from Mrs.
Blair."

"Nor I," responded Martine, "though Edith often writes to me."

"That's why Balfour and Audrey seem so familiar to me," added Priscilla,
whose family were on rather intimate terms with Mrs. Blair.

"I never heard even mamma speak of Mrs. Blair by her first name,"
continued Martine. "Of course I must have known that it was Audrey, but
I had never noticed the Balfour before."

"Well, if Balfour is a family name of Mrs. Blair's it must be of your
mother's also; or at least it probably is."

"In that case," said Martine, "then Balfour and I may be cousins."

"I wish that Eunice and I were cousins." Priscilla's wistful tone was in
contrast to the brighter one in which Martine had spoken.

"What's in a name?" continued the latter. "I dare say it's only the
merest happening that these names are alike."

"I was going to suggest," commented Mrs. Redmond, "that it might be
wiser not to build your hopes too high, although I'll admit that there
may be some connection between the two families."

"What pleases me the most," said Martine, "is to think of Mrs. Blair's
disgust when she hears that her family names belong also to people in
Nova Scotia."

"And one of them a grocer's clerk," added Amy, whereupon Martine colored
deeply.

"Balfour's just as good as Philip Blair, and he won't have to leave
college without taking his degree." Then, as if ashamed of her
petulance, she added: "To find out how things really are I suppose that
after this I'll have to take an interest in genealogy. Mrs. Blair
belongs to the Colonial Dames and offered to have mamma's name put
through, and I think she would have consented to this if I hadn't
laughed so at the idea. I dare say the Dames are different from the
Daughters. I hope so at any rate, for the Daughters are always waving
their ancestors in one another's faces, especially at their meetings,
which I am told are like real battles."

"Oh, no," protested Mrs. Redmond, "not always. I've been at some that
were very pleasant."

"Well, before long," concluded Martine, "you'll find me climbing family
trees in a way that will make you dizzy; in fact, I feel a little giddy,
as the English say, at the very prospect of having--Eunice for a cousin.
Indeed, I believe I'll not sleep a wink to-night in my effort to settle
the question."



  CHAPTER XX

  FIRE AND FLAME


Long after the others had left her Martine sat alone. She was restless
and wide-awake, and any one looking at her would have seen that her face
was far less cheerful than usual. Her thoughts, indeed, were disturbed,
and one or two tears fell as she held her mother's portrait before her
and looked earnestly into the deep blue eyes.

The portrait was a miniature, painted in the days when her mother was
almost as young in appearance as Martine herself, though in fact she had
been married for several years. The young girl especially valued it
because she could remember perfectly when her mother had been very like
the lady in the picture, and also because this miniature had not been
copied. It was too valuable a thing for Martine to carry with her when
travelling.

Mrs. Blair's letter, with its mention of her mother's poor health, had
stirred her deeply. She had concealed her feelings in the presence of
Mrs. Redmond and the girls; or rather, for the moment she had been more
impressed by the suggestion that came to her, through Mrs. Blair's
signature, of a connection between her family and the Airtons. Now,
however, she began to dwell on the significance of the news from
Carlsbad, and the conclusion was hard to set aside that her mother's
condition was even worse than her father's brief letters had given her
to understand. Putting away the miniature with a sigh, she drew the last
two letters from the portfolio, reading and re-reading them in a vain
effort to decide whether her father had written briefly merely to
conceal his feelings.

"It's strange that men always write so little in a letter. Though papa
would always rather telegraph than write, still, when he does write, I
_do_ think that he might say something. Now if it were mamma, why, she
would tell me everything;" and upon this, with the knowledge that it
might be long before her mother could write to her, Martine burst into
tears. As she tossed the letters aside Martine threw herself on her bed,
and then--

How long she had lain there she did not know, although rising with a
start, she realized that she had fallen asleep, and almost as quickly
she perceived a strong smell of smoke in the room.

Opening her door, she turned toward the ell where Mrs. Redmond and the
two girls had their rooms. The smell of smoke was stronger there, and in
the darkness some one brushed against her, crying, "The house must be on
fire." With a leap Martine reached the top floor where her friends were.
Mrs. Redmond's door opened to her knock, and then she rapped loudly on
the door of the room that Amy and Priscilla occupied together.

"Fire, fire!" she called, and in a moment Mrs. Redmond's voice was added
to hers.

"Open the door, Amy; don't wait to dress. Come, come, don't you
understand? The house is on fire."

"Yes, yes, we are dressing."

"Unlock the door; I can help bring out some of your things."

The hall was thick with smoke. Mrs. Redmond and Martine knew that the
fire was near. Amy's voice was heard from the room--or was it
Amy?--speaking almost in terror, "I cannot open the door; I have mislaid
the key."

"Why did you take it from the lock? Oh, Amy!"

Mrs. Redmond uttered no further reproof now. It was a time for action.
"Martine," she cried, "we must go for help." But Martine made no reply.
Already she was far on her way downstairs. All the people in the house
were now evidently aware of the fire. Doors were slamming, and she heard
steps and voices ahead of her. In spite of her difficulty in making her
way through the thick smoke, Martine soon found herself near the broad
front door. Here two or three men were standing.

"Please help me quickly," cried Martine, breathlessly; "my friends are
in a room in the wing, and cannot open the door. Come, I will show you."

Leading the way, Martine was soon at Amy's door again. She could see no
one, for there were no lights in the hall, but she recognized Mrs.
Redmond's voice.

"I found a pair of large scissors in my valise; perhaps with them the
lock can be pried open."

One of the men who had come with Martine was already pounding on the
panels of the door to learn where it could most easily be broken in.
After one ineffectual effort to pry open the lock, the other one had
thrown down the scissors that Mrs. Redmond had handed him. Both of these
things had occupied seconds rather than minutes,--seconds that seemed
hours to Martine and Mrs. Redmond,--and then, before further violence
had been done to the door, there was a click, a turn of the lock, and
Amy and Priscilla stood before the four others. Their appearance showed
that they had indeed dressed hastily, but they made no apologies as they
hurried on.

When they reached the street Mrs. Redmond drew a breath of relief. "Oh,
Amy," she cried, "how could you be so careless?"

"I took the key from the door absent-mindedly, and had set my
travelling-bag on it. I'm thankful enough that I found it, for the door
might have been hard to break in."

"Look, look!" cried Priscilla, excitedly. "We are out none too soon."

As she spoke flames were bursting from the wing of the house that they
had so lately left, and men and women were pouring in and out of the
main building, removing furniture, pictures, and clothes.

"Let me count you," cried Mrs. Redmond. "I am not sure--"

"It's Martine, mamma,--she is not with us. Where did she go?"

  [Illustration: "After one ineffectual effort to pry open the lock,
  the other one had thrown down the scissors."]

"Perhaps she has gone back to her room for her things. She had left
everything behind when she came to rouse us."

"Impossible! She would not be so foolish. The fire is close to her room.
Here are the engines. Why were they so long in coming?"

"Where is Martine? We must find her."

"No, no, Amy," and Mrs. Redmond laid her hand on her daughter's arm.

"But, mother, if she had not called us--"

"Yes, if she had not called us we might be in there now. She did not
think of herself, and now she has gone to her room for some of her
things."

"Her diamond perhaps;" and then, as if ashamed of her words, Priscilla
added, "But I can help Amy, Mrs. Redmond. You cannot hurry as we must."

As Mrs. Redmond watched Amy and Priscilla running into the house she
wished she had gone with them. Uncertainty was harder to bear than any
effort she might have made. Her suspense, however, was not long, for to
her relief she heard Amy's voice.

"Here's Martine, mamma. We had barely time to reach her. Look, look!"

This latter exclamation was called forth by the rapid spread of the
flames. It was a beautiful sight--beautiful yet terrible to those who so
lately had been within the walls that now seemed to be melting in the
heat. Yet even as they gazed Martine began to laugh hysterically. "You
look so--so queer--Priss--Prissie," she cried, and again she laughed.
The light from the fire enabled them to see one another plainly, and as
the others glanced at Priscilla they saw a black streak across her
forehead that altogether changed her expression.

"It's a case where the pot can't call the kettle black," rejoined Amy;
"your own complexion is not milk-white at the present moment, Martine."

"You are the only one who has her hair properly arranged, Miss Amy. Even
your mother has a hasty coiffure, and no collar. Oh, Mrs. Redmond!" and
again Martine laughed nervously.

"It matters less how we look than how we feel. I wish that you, like
Priscilla, had brought your coat, though I fear there is only one hat
among us."

"What a noise the engine makes! Can't we get away soon?"

"I hope so. If we only had a man with us we could send him off for a
carriage. Even Fritz would be useful now."

From her mother's tone Amy could not judge whether or not she was in
earnest, though in truth the same thought had come to her.

"After all," cried Martine, holding up her watch, "it is not half-past
eleven. I had begun to think that to-morrow had come. The flames are not
so bright. I believe that the fire is dying down. It started in so well
that I almost hoped that we'd see the house in ashes."

"Oh, Martine!"

"But nearly all the furniture has been saved, and the house is probably
insured, and--"

"You are shivering, Martine. Come, we must make our way through the
crowd. Even if we have to walk down to the large hotel near the station,
that will be better than staying here."

So they made their way through the crowd. Heaps of household goods and
pieces of furniture were scattered over the lawn, and even on the
sidewalk in front. The engine was still hissing, flames were still
darting from back and sides of the house that had so lately sheltered
them.

Hardly had the four reached the street when a man's voice called, "Stop,
ladies, for a moment." As they halted, the man, whose outline they could
barely distinguish, overtook them. "You are the American ladies whose
doors I tried to break open a little while ago. I would have helped you
further, but I had to return immediately to my sister, who has been ill,
and who is now in a neighbor's house. I have been anxious about you, for
you are strangers. Have you plans, or will you permit me to make a
suggestion?"

"We shall be only too happy to hear your suggestion, Mr.--"

"Taunton," quickly rejoined the stranger, as Mrs. Redmond paused,
adding, "I would suggest that you come with me to the house where I have
taken my sister, and I may say that I have been asked to bring you back
with me. The house is large, and you can all get a good night's rest."

It is needless to say that Mr. Taunton's invitation was gratefully
accepted, and soon the four found themselves in a warm room, where a
hospitable little hostess bustled about, offering them tea, and bread
and butter, though after all it wasn't a meal-time.

"She's very good," murmured Martine to Amy, "not to mention how queer we
look. For my own part, I haven't dared look a mirror in the face, though
there are two in the room. How much has happened in the last hour!--for
it is only a little more than an hour since we knew of the fire; that
is, since I smelled smoke."

"I hope that it wasn't long enough for you and Priscilla to catch cold.
We shall never forget how chilly the air of an August midnight can be."

"Oh, I am all right," responded Martine. And then, as if to disprove her
own words, she sneezed violently.

"Why did you go back to your room, Martine? It was a dangerous thing to
do. You brought nothing out with you but that little bag."

"Oh, I had barely time to get that. The room was so hot and smoky that I
quite lost my head, yet I got what I especially went for;" and she
opened the little bag and drew from it a small velvet case.

"Your diamond!" cried Amy. "Ah, Martine, how foolish to have had it with
you!"

"No, Amy, not my diamond pin;" and snapping a spring she disclosed the
miniature of her mother.

"That is more to me than ten diamond pins. I had barely time to snatch
it from the bureau and pick up this bag."

"Then you left the pin behind!"

"No, child, no; it is safely hung around my neck. But one of my rings
was on the cushion, and it will delight Priscilla's heart to know that I
did not save a single brush or silver-topped bottle. It will be rather
hard for papa, for he'll have to replace them all next Christmas. But I
do wish that I had my hat and my suit case. Until we overtake our trunks
at Halifax we can't make ourselves perfectly respectable."

"But still," rejoined Amy, "I am thankful that we have a place where we
can sleep to-night--and mamma is beckoning us, so let us follow."

It was nine o'clock, and the sun was streaming brightly through their
windows before Mrs. Redmond and the girls left their rooms next morning.
All but Priscilla had slept well, but the latter had tossed about all
night, with her thoughts dwelling more on Martine even than on the
exciting events of the fire. Clearly Martine had acted very generously
in the efforts she had made to awaken the others. She had had ample time
to save all her own possessions, yet quite neglectful of herself, her
one thought had been for others. If Priscilla was sometimes harsh in her
criticisms, she at least wished to be fair. After her night of confused
thoughts, it was not strange, perhaps, that Priscilla awoke heavy-eyed
and dull, thus causing Mrs. Redmond to wonder whether this one
experience might not undo all the good accomplished during their weeks
in Acadia.

Martine was still inclined to sneeze, but she laughed when caught in the
act.

"It sounds like hay fever, doesn't it? I have never had a fashionable
ailment before, and if it is hay fever, why, I am in the part of the
world where patients are often sent, and my recovery will be rapid."

After breakfast Mr. Taunton, their new acquaintance, offered to help
Mrs. Redmond in any way that she might suggest. "You may wish your
luggage or your tickets attended to--or, or your shopping," he
concluded. "My sister and I saved both our trunks, and she is resting so
comfortably this morning that I can put myself at your service."

"I do not wonder that you speak of shopping. We could hardly go even as
far as the station without buying a few necessary things. If we could
have a carriage in about an hour we could do some errands. We are going
to Halifax by the afternoon train."

"You have lost more than most of the other boarders, in proportion to
what you had in the house," continued Mr. Taunton. "Our late landlady is
the heaviest loser, but she is a cheerful little body, and consoles
herself with the thought that she is well insured."

"Don't forget to pay our board bill, mamma; it just occurred to me that
we left so unexpectedly that we forgot even to mention it to her,"
interrupted Amy.

Mr. Taunton laughed heartily at her suggestion, and then began an
earnest plea for his own city, St. John, in contrast with Halifax.

"If you can visit but one, St. John is the better worth seeing. We come
to Nova Scotia occasionally to rest, but St. John is wide-awake, and its
churches and public buildings will compare favorably with any in the
United States. Then you have heard of our wonderful reversible falls,
that flow with the tide one way and with the river the other, and the
beautiful Kennebecasis--"

"You would make a good tourist agent," interrupted their amiable
hostess, Mrs. Andrews, entering the room at this moment. "But if I
should begin to paint the charms of the Citadel, and old St. Paul's, and
the Northwest Arm, and--"

Mr. Taunton laughed. "It's a feud as old as the hills, this rivalry
between St. John and Halifax, and a stranger can settle the matter for
himself only by seeing both places; but if you must give up either, I
honestly believe that you can best spare Halifax."

Before Mrs. Andrews could protest, a violent ringing of the doorbell
called her from the room. A second later she returned to the
sitting-room, followed by two young men.

In an instant half a dozen tongues were loudly exclaiming, "Why, Fritz,
how in the world did you find us?" Mrs. Redmond held the hand of one of
the new-comers while she looked affectionately up into his face; Amy,
drawing back a little, appeared far from displeased at this sudden
appearance; and Martine,--Priscilla could hardly believe her eyes,--yes,
Martine had certainly thrown her arms around the neck of Fritz's
companion, who was no other than the Freshman "Taps," of whom Priscilla
had had a passing glimpse on the Yarmouth boat.

While Priscilla gasped in amazement Mrs. Redmond and Amy could not
conceal their surprise at Martine's demonstrativeness. But they had not
to wait long for the explanation, which Martine herself saw was due
them.

"There, there, Lucian, don't be too affectionate until I explain--"

"Explain what?" asked the so-called "Taps."

"Wait, listen;" and slipping her arm through that of Fritz's friend,
Martine turned with a bow toward Mrs. Redmond.

"Let me introduce to you and Amy and Priscilla, as well as to the rest
of the company, my brother, Lucian Stratford, otherwise 'Taps.' There,
Lucian, don't say a word. Let me explain how it was. Of course at first
we didn't mean to make any secret of it, but Lucian and I thought it
would be fun to see whether you could tell whether we were brother and
sister, and he made Fritz--I mean Mr. Tomkins--promise not to tell you.
It seemed rather funny that you hadn't heard. Then when Amy was so
sniffy--excuse me, Amy--about having boys in the party, why, I had to
promise not to tell. It was hard at first, but I got interested in
keeping it up when I found that Priscilla was so suspicious."

Priscilla, coloring, looked more and more uncomfortable, Mrs. Redmond
was slowly grasping the situation, and only Amy appeared to be angry.

"It's like you, Fritz," she exclaimed, "to go out of your way to play a
practical joke on me, but I did expect something better from Martine."

Martine's face grew serious.

"I can't see that the joke affects you, particularly, Miss Amy Redmond!"
rejoined Fritz. "To be sure, you have had various accidents that might
not have happened had we been with you to protect you, but as to knowing
that 'Taps' was Martine Stratford's brother, why, you could have found
that out for yourself, or at any rate I should have told you only too
gladly had you given me a chance. But when you banished me so
completely--"

"Come, come, children, no quarrelling. We won't banish you again, Fritz,
and if you feel like going on with us we shall be only too happy to have
your company. Your coming now is certainly most opportune. You can do so
much to help us; we have shopping--But first let me introduce you to Mr.
Taunton, who has been so kind to us, and to Mrs. Andrews, our hostess,
and to the others."

After the introductions Fritz explained why they had come to Windsor.

"Halifax may be slow, but it is reached by telegraph, and the daily
papers contain some news, so when I saw the headlines 'Fire at Windsor,'
I naturally read the whole thing, for, according to the schedule which
Lucian had from his sister, you were due here yesterday, or the day
before, and we had even thought of running up to meet you."

"Though we decided it would be better sport to take you by surprise at
Halifax," interposed Lucian.

"Yes, and when we read that some American ladies had barely escaped with
their clothes--"

"Not all of their clothes," murmured Martine.

"We thought," continued Fritz, "that we'd risk it by rushing up here."

"So we bolted our breakfast," interposed Taps, "and made the 'Yankee'
and--"

"We poked among the ruins," added Fritz," and when we didn't find any
remains, we asked a few questions of some others who were poking there."

"And here we are," concluded Taps, "and from this on I'm going to keep
my eye on Martine. You didn't set the fire, did you, sister?"

"There, Lucian, if you tease like that you'll be banished."

"No more banishment for either of us," cried Fritz, boldly. "You've all
had accidents enough to show you the need of adequate protection."

"Perhaps you could have prevented the fire," said Amy, with some
sarcasm.

"I could have prevented your staying at any house but the most
fire-proof hotel in the town, and that I believe is still standing."

"What did you save?" asked Lucian, in an effort to turn the
conversation.

"Oh, my mother's picture," said Martine, softly. And then, as if afraid
of seeming sentimental, "But I lost an emerald ring and all my silver
brushes, and a pair of slippers, and one of my gloves, and a dozen
postage stamps."

"Stop, stop, Martine."

"Well, I saved my best stock, and Mrs. Redmond saved her umbrella, and
we--"

"Are all clothed and in our right minds, excepting you, Martine, who
seem in danger of losing yours," interrupted Amy. "I believe that
carriage at the door is the one that Mr. Taunton telephoned for; so, if
we are going to Halifax to-day, it is surely time to start on our
shopping expedition."

Acting on this suggestion, Priscilla and Martine helped Amy gather
together their few remaining possessions, while Mrs. Redmond discussed
her plans with Fritz.

When at last the moment came for the few words of farewell, Mrs. Redmond
and the girls felt that in bidding good-bye to Mrs. Andrews and the
Tauntons they were parting with friends whom they had known for weeks
instead of hours.

Mrs. Redmond and the girls drove to the station, where Fritz and Lucian
met them after a brisk walk down town.

"Fritz," said Amy, as the two stood together in the hotel sitting-room,
"I have a confession to make."

"Open confession is good for the soul, so out with it at once, fair
lady."

"It is simply this: I am really glad that you are here to take charge of
things. Even in travelling mamma, you know, hates to attend to practical
details. Now of course we have got on very well, barring one or two
little things."

"Fires and such." There was a mischievous twinkle in Fritz's eye.

"Oh, well, even that might have been worse; so now, until we reach
Halifax, I do wish that you would take charge of everything."

"With pleasure," responded Fritz. "Especially will I see that you do not
mislay your keys. But you look tired, Amy. Come, sit down."

Whereupon Amy sank wearily upon a sofa, only too glad that for the
present her responsibility was shifted to some one else.

There was a funny side, however, to the zeal displayed by Fritz and
Lucian. They insisted, with an emphasis that no one dared oppose, that
the girls and Mrs. Redmond should rest quietly while they went out to
shop.

"My dear boys," Mrs. Redmond had protested, "there is hardly a thing
that we shall really need before we reach Halifax. In the parlor cars we
shall be unnoticed and perfectly comfortable, and after we have opened
our trunks we can tell what we most require."

"Oh, Mrs. Redmond, there must be some errands for us to do. Can't you
trust us?"

Lucian's face was so expressive of disappointment that Mrs. Redmond was
glad that she had made out a small list.

"Of course there are some things--and we are ever so much obliged to you
and Fritz for your willingness to do errands."

"You see," continued Lucian, confidentially, and dropping his voice that
his sister might not overhear him, "I didn't ask Martine what she
needed. That would have started her off to suggest no end of
things,--you know what girls are. I can tell pretty well what she ought
to have, so we'll just slip off before she can say anything."

Fritz had condescended to accept a few suggestions from Amy, and the two
boys rushed off in high spirits. An hour later, when they returned,
their arms filled with packages, followed by a grinning hotel boy who
was dragging a large parcel, Mrs. Redmond lifted her hands in amazement.

"Two hats!" she exclaimed, in still greater surprise as they undid the
strings of the larger package, "but only one was really needed. Martine
left hers behind, but Amy--"

"Now, Mrs. Redmond," said Fritz, "perhaps you didn't observe Amy's. Why,
some one must have turned the hose on it; the flowers were all
bedraggled, and the ribbon--Mrs. Redmond, surely you must have noticed
its condition. But these are so pretty that I couldn't let Lucian be the
only one to buy a hat."

"It's certainly very thoughtful in you, Fritz, but still my list--"

"Oh, we've got everything that was on the list, only these little extras
were just to amuse ourselves."

"Six stocks! you extravagant boy!" Martine, arriving on the scene, had
opened one of her brother's parcels.

"Six stocks!" he repeated. "Why, that's only one and a half apiece!"

"And gloves; well, we could have waited until we reached Halifax. They
are probably better there. I wish I had thought to speak of shirt
waists," continued Martine. "This is hardly respectable."

"Oh, I thought of that, too," replied Lucian; "at least, I remembered
you hadn't a coat, so I supposed some sort of a wrap would do. Coats
have to be kind of tailor-made and fitted, don't they?" While he spoke
Lucian was undoing the largest package, from which he drew out a Scotch
shawl of brown and yellow plaid.

"There, that's the thing!" he exclaimed with pride. "It looks as if it
had come straight from Edinburgh. You can throw it over your shoulders
instead of a coat."

"Oh, Lucian," cried Martine, "you can't expect me to wrap myself up like
that, especially on a warm August afternoon!"

"Why shouldn't it be all right travelling?" asked Lucian, with less
elation. "You wouldn't have to think about the fit."

But when he saw that all the others were laughing at him, he walked off
toward the window, murmuring what sounded like "There's no pleasing some
people."

"Come back, come back," cried Martine, as he turned away; "the shawl
will be very useful if we go yachting at Halifax, and no one but you
would have thought of these delicious boxes of chocolates. We all thank
you very, very much; see, there's a box for you and Priscilla, Amy, as
well as for me."

Lucian's face brightened under his sister's praise, while Amy and
Priscilla thanked him for their chocolates.

"You were dreadfully worried, weren't you, Prissie," said Martine,
mischievously, "over the chocolates that I offered you last evening? But
though Lucian was the giver in that case, perhaps you will enjoy these
better, knowing where they came from."

"Shall I put this magazine in your bag?" asked Priscilla, hoping thus to
divert Martine from further teasing.

"Certainly," replied Martine. "Let Lucian help you with the catch. It is
hard to open."

"The magazines are Fritz's contribution," explained Lucian, as he worked
with the spring of Martine's bag. "There's one for each of the party.
But hello, what's this? Did you think of digging a grave, or anything of
that kind, sister, when you brought this along? It's a strange thing to
have saved from a fire;" and before Martine could protest Lucian had
withdrawn his hand from the bag in which he had been fumbling, and
before the gaze of the whole party held up a queerly shaped little
trowel.

"I didn't ask you to meddle with things in my bag," cried Martine,
excitedly, after the manner of sisters.

"Well, what's the matter with the little spade?" asked Lucian, looking
from one to the other.

No one replied as Amy snatched it from his hand. In fact, Amy was the
only one to recognize it as the Acadian relic that Balfour Airton had
given to Martine.



  CHAPTER XXI

  OLD CHEBUCTO


So slightly had the travellers really suffered from the fire that they
soon recovered from the effects of that exciting night, yet they were
glad enough to reach Halifax and open their trunks.

"It seems better than luck that we sent these trunks ahead to Halifax.
If they had been burned--"

"We should have had great fun shopping, my dear Miss Amy Redmond,"
responded Martine; "as it is, we shall just have to pretend that we need
things when we see any startling bargains in the shop-windows."

"If you should try to replace what you have lost you could keep yourself
busy for a day or two," rejoined Amy.

"No, thank you. The things that I lost I can wait for until Christmas. I
have bought some inexpensive brushes, plain enough for Priscilla to
approve; but at Christmas--well, perhaps I can persuade papa to get
tortoise-shell, or something more elaborate than the simple silver set
that melted away at Windsor."

In this way Martine always turned aside the sympathy that the others
tried to offer her for her losses.

Fritz and Lucian had taken the travellers to the small Halifax hotel,
where they themselves had been staying for two or three days before
their sudden flight to Windsor. It was a cheerful, homelike place, and
in its little garden the girls spent more or less time resting after the
exertions of their later days in Acadia.

The fire and the events immediately following it had seemed to bring
Martine and Priscilla more closely together,--at least, for the time
their lack of sympathy was less plainly evident.

One day the two were sitting in the garden.

"I almost wish we had been a week longer in Acadia," Priscilla said.

"Why, we are in Acadia still!" rejoined Martine. "Don't speak of Acadia
as so far away."

"Oh," responded Priscilla, "perhaps all Nova Scotia is Acadia; but
really, when we use the word we mean where the French settled. Halifax
is thoroughly English. On that account I do prefer it, though Acadia was
certainly interesting."

"Thanks!" said Martine, "but I am going to prove that Halifax also was
settled by the French. Amy laughed at me yesterday when I tried to prove
my case. But listen; it was Amy herself who told me that no one had
thought seriously of making a settlement here until D'Anville's fleet
took refuge here after their defeat near Louisbourg. The ships were safe
enough, but the men died by hundreds, and were buried on the beach.
Well, after they had gone away, some sort of a petition was sent from
Boston to England, asking that a settlement and fortifications be
established to prevent the French from coming into Chebucto again and
interfering with New England ships. The English thought this a good
plan, because the Acadians at Annapolis and other places would be kept
down if there was a strong town on the coast. So, you see, if it hadn't
been for the French, Halifax might never have been settled. Have I
proved my case?"

Priscilla shook her head. She could not quite tell whether Martine was
in fun or in earnest.

"It seems to me that if Massachusetts men suggested the plan to England,
you could just as easily say that Boston men settled Halifax."

"That's just what 'Taps'--I beg his pardon--Lucian said when I explained
my theory to him. But then, he can't be expected to share my feelings
about the Acadians,--at least, not yet,--although on the whole he is
pretty sensible, isn't he?"

Priscilla found it difficult to answer this question directly, so, to
conceal her embarrassment, she propounded another question.

"Why do they call your brother 'Taps'?" she asked abruptly.

"For no reason whatever, that I could ever see. But you know how boys
insist on nicknaming one another. Mamma just hates it; and, if you
notice, I always say 'Lucian.'"

"'Lucian' is such a good name," said Priscilla.

"Yes, and don't you think that Lucian himself is a dear?"

"I like him very much," responded Priscilla, simply. She would hardly
have applied Martine's term to him, but she had found Lucian helpful and
entertaining during their three or four days in Halifax.

"I believe," continued Martine, "that I might have told you something
about Lucian before, except that I thought you might be prejudiced."

"Prejudiced!"

"Yes, a month ago you were much narrower-minded than you are now, and of
course you and Amy had heard that Fritz Tomkins had charge of a Freshman
who had been in rather bad company last year; and so if you had heard
that it was Lucian before you had seen him, why, you might have had the
queerest notions about him."

"You have the funniest way of putting things;" and Priscilla smiled
again.

"Well, really," continued Martine, "there was nothing wrong with Lucian,
only he is rather too good natured, and papa might as well give him a
smaller allowance. But I heard Fritz Tomkins telling Mrs. Redmond that
Lucian had kept a very good standing last year, but he wanted to break
off with one or two men who were not going just the right way, and they
wanted him to go to Paris and Vienna, and the only way was to plan some
other kind of a trip. But there's really no harm in Lucian."

"Oh, no," said Priscilla, "I am sure of that; he has such a good face.
It is curious that, with his blond hair and blue eyes, he still reminds
me of you, and you are almost a brunette."

As Priscilla paused for a moment, the latch of the iron gate clicked
sharply, and as a step sounded on the flagged walk, Martine rose quickly
to her feet.

"Why, Mr. Knight!" she exclaimed, and in a moment Priscilla, too, was
welcoming the new-comer.

"But we thought you in New Brunswick!"

"So I was a day or two ago. Certain business has brought me now to
Halifax, and it is rather singular that we should be staying at the same
hotel. I saw your names on the book this morning, and wondered if I
should see you before my departure."

Mr. Knight's manner was so unaffected that Martine at once reproached
herself inwardly for having imagined that he had run away from Wolfville
to escape Mrs. Redmond's party.

"I am to be here only a day or two," he continued, "but if there's
anything I can do--"

"In the way of rescuing," interrupted Martine.

"Oh, please," he protested, "don't mention that; it was so slight."

"You know," continued Priscilla, "we've been rescued once more,--at
least I have been, for really it was Martine who was the rescuer." And
then, when the young man seemed mystified by their words, the two had to
tell him the story of the Windsor fire, of which, it seemed, he had not
heard.

After Mr. Knight had congratulated them on their escape and condoled
with them on their losses, he said:

"In case I have no other chance, I must tell you that my chief regret in
leaving Wolfville so unexpectedly was the fact that I had no chance to
show you through Acadia College, or tell you much about it. I know that
that was one of the things Balfour had in mind when he wrote to me that
I should present Acadia College in the best possible light."

"Oh, indeed," responded Martine, with a slight touch of impatience, "we
have heard quantities about it,--that it offers the same advantages to
women as to men; that a great many distinguished college men in the
'States,' as you say down here, were graduates of Acadia; that it has a
lovely situation, and plenty of time to grow," she concluded suddenly,
for, after all, though truce had been declared, Martine could not resist
the opportunity of teasing Mr. Knight.

"I saw Balfour Airton," continued Mr. Knight, apparently undisturbed,
"when at Annapolis the other day, and he is to be one of the
distinguished graduates of Acadia."

"Did he say so?" Martine did not try to conceal her genuine surprise.

"Oh, no; Balfour thinks of nothing now but hard work, and he's likely to
have his share of it the next few years."

A little later Mr. Knight excused himself for leaving the two, on the
plea of letters to write, and during the two remaining days of his stay
they saw little of him.

"He's afraid that he may have to rescue us again," Martine confided to
Amy, though secretly she was a little piqued by his indifference. Fritz
and Lucian, however, pronounced Mr. Knight a brick, and spent one
afternoon with him in a long tramp to a place called Herring Cove, the
description of which filled the girls with envy.

During their whole stay in Halifax, however, the boys went off on few
excursions by themselves.

"You have been left too long to your own devices," Fritz would say,
solemnly shaking his head, "and the punishment for your rash deeds is
that you are now to be forever in our care and protection. Until you are
safely back in Boston I hardly dare let you out of my sight, for fear of
fire and flood."

"Do you consider this sail-boat especially safe just because you are in
it?" asked Priscilla. "If my mother could behold us now she would think
us in the greatest danger. In spite of spending all her summers at the
edge of the sea, she is always afraid of a sail-boat."

"But I would rather run some risk than miss this sail around the
Northwest Arm. In fact I wouldn't have missed it for the world;" and Amy
glanced gratefully in Fritz's direction, for it was he who had planned
this particular excursion, and had gained Mrs. Redmond's rather
reluctant consent. "This narrow arm of the sea is so picturesque," she
continued, "with its wooded shores, and the harbor is so interesting
with its islands and its shipping."

"Just like any harbor," cried Martine.

"Oh, I don't know. One has a sense of its greatness here. No wonder even
the Micmacs called it Chebucto, which I believe is a word of theirs for
'Great harbor.'"

"Please, Amy, this is a pleasure trip with no instruction. You mustn't
tell us the size of the dry dock, nor the number of guns mounted on
George's Island or on York Redoubt, or on any other of the harbor
fortifications."

"Nor the time of day," retorted Amy, looking at her watch, "though all
the same, Captain Fritz, it is time to turn about, for I absolutely
promised that we'd be at home by five o'clock."

"Your word is law," responded Fritz.

"Tell me a little history," urged Lucian; but Amy refused to do anything
but enjoy the sail, and Martine, looking at her closely, wondered if she
had taken her words as criticism.

"There's one bit of harbor history that I shall speak of," said Lucian,
as they turned homeward. "No, Martine, you needn't try to stop me.
Everybody remembers Captain Lawrence and his 'don't give up the ship.'
Well, do you know that he died here in Halifax? The 'Shannon' brought
the 'Chesapeake' as a prize into this very harbor where we are now
sailing. It was the first Sunday in June, 1813, and the town was in the
greatest excitement. The news of their coming went quickly through the
town, and every one who could get hold of a small boat pushed out to see
the ships. The men were swabbing the decks, and the scuppers ran red
with blood."

"Don't, Lucian," cried Martine.

"Oh, but this is history, and the kind you should remember. The
'Shannon' had set out from Halifax but a short time before, and when the
two ships met in Boston Harbor they fought a fierce duel. The 'Shannon'
had less than a hundred in killed and wounded, and the 'Chesapeake'
nearly two hundred, all in about twenty minutes; so no wonder it's
called one of the bloodiest fights on record. The ships must have been a
sight to the quiet Haligonians. Then," continued Lucian, "Captain
Lawrence and Lieutenant Ludlow were buried with high honors in the old
English burying-ground here, and there was a great procession from the
King's Wharf, with the coffins covered with our flags, and six British
post captains bearing the pall."

"You'll have to visit the grave, Amy," said Martine, mischievously.

"Can't be done. An American brig with a flag of truce came for the
bodies in August, and they were carried back to their native country."

"How in the world did you remember so much?" asked Martine. "I never
realized before that you took an interest in history."

"This is the result," retorted Lucian, "of travelling with an
intelligent companion," and he pointed to Fritz.

"No, I didn't do it; don't blame me," rejoined Fritz. "He ran across a
history yesterday, or book of annals, or something of that kind, and
naturally the mention of the 'Chesapeake' and the 'Shannon' interested
him."

"Enough said--in excuse," replied Martine, while Priscilla added, "I
wonder if we shall visit Melville Island before we go. You know that is
where they kept the American prisoners during that war. I had a
great-grand uncle who was taken prisoner, and I've always remembered
that he was at Melville Island, Halifax. My mother has his diary."

"Why, that is interesting," said Amy. "Perhaps it may sound like wishing
ill to my forebears, but I'd even be willing to have had a relative or
two imprisoned here, just for the sake of having a closer association
with Halifax."

"That's a very silly remark, Miss Amy Redmond," cried Fritz,
disapprovingly.

"Yes," added Martine; "I might as well wish that some of my French
ancestors had been among the exiled Acadians, so that I could take a
deeper interest in Clare. Not that I need a deeper interest--but that
reminds me," and she turned to her brother. "It's strange, Lucian, that
I hadn't thought to tell you before, but I believe I've found some new
relations in Nova Scotia; at least, I hope so. Do you know whether we
had any Tories in our family?"

"Tories! I should hope not," and Lucian's voice rang with patriotism.

"Oh, they are all dead now, so don't excite yourself. But two things
equal to the same thing are sometimes equal to each other. We are
certainly cousins of Mrs. Blair's. You'll admit that?"

"Yes, worse luck to it," grumbled Lucian. "She is such a--such a--"

"You mean so conventional," interposed Martine, sedately; "but that's
very proper for a Bostonian. Well, Mrs. Blair's name is Audrey Balfour
Blair."

"Why not?" asked Lucian.

"Well, we met a girl this summer whose grandmother's name was Audrey
Balfour, and what I want to know is--are we related to her?"

"To the grandmother?" exclaimed Lucian. "How in the world should I know?
and if we are, what's the difference? Probably the old lady's dead by
this time. Most grandmothers are."

"Oh, Lucian, do be serious."

"You'd better be serious yourself--say, look out for the boom, or you'll
lose your head as well as your temper."

"I haven't lost my temper. There, I'm glad we're putting in for shore
now, if Lucian is going to be so disagreeable."

Thus the conversation drifted from Audrey Balfour, and for the present
Martine's question was unanswered.

This afternoon was only one of several that they spent on the water, and
when the conditions were favorable, sometimes Amy, sometimes Martine,
had a chance to show her skill as skipper, while the boys approved or
made suggestions, and Mrs. Redmond and Priscilla sat back, trying not to
show the timidity that they felt.

On shore as well as at sea they found much to occupy them, and as
conditions for picture-taking happened for the time to be particularly
favorable, each one added largely to her own collection of photographs.
Each of the girls had a camera with her; but at first Priscilla had been
the only one really zealous for photography.

When they visited the Citadel Lucian and Fritz had managed to intimidate
them by telling them of the fearful fate that might be theirs should
their cameras be seen in its neighborhood; so the cameras were hidden
until the girls were far from what Martine called "the sacred
precincts," until, indeed, the sight of a redcoat on Barrington Street,
standing where the sun illuminated his whole figure, caused her to shout
in delight:

"There, my camera, quick, Lucian. Here's my chance to catch one of those
crazy little caps. How do they manage to make them stay on one ear?
Quick, before he moves, or sees us," and then the click of a spring
showed that she had accomplished her aim.

       *     *     *     *     *

One dull afternoon Amy and Priscilla, wandering about, found their way
into the Parliament building, and after admiring the stately old
portraits in the rooms of the historical society, spent an hour or two
over some of the old books and papers in the archives. This was
especially gratifying to Priscilla, because she was thus able to satisfy
her curiosity about the exiled Loyalists. Their sufferings seemed all
the more real when written out in detail in these old manuscript
volumes, and as she read, she sighed. The sigh was not wholly for the
miseries of the past. That very morning she had received a letter from
Eunice that had set her thinking.

    "I am so glad [wrote Eunice] that you like Halifax. But it
    there--in the capital of our Province? Sometimes it seems as
    if I should never go anywhere, though Balfour says that he
    will send me to college, that I can depend on that. But that
    will be only to Acadia, and I shall have to wait so long,
    until he has a law practice--and when will that be? Besides,
    he thinks now that he may have to stay out of college a
    year, if not give it up altogether. It's the mortgage on the
    house. There's some kind of trouble about it, and Balfour is
    determined not to let it go. It would just break mother's
    heart. But I oughtn't to make this a complaining letter,
    when one of the pleasantest things this summer--or any
    summer--has been my acquaintance with you,--and the others,
    too, of course, though I didn't know them so well. Please
    give them my love, but the most for yourself.

                "Your affectionate
                    "EUNICE."

Now Eunice was really so fond of Priscilla that nothing was farther from
her thoughts than to make her friend unhappy. Yet such was Priscilla's
sympathy for her Annapolis friend that the remembrance of the letter
made her feel sad, even as she sat with Amy in the old library.

"If papa had only lived," she thought, "I could have asked him to do
something, but now,--why, Eunice herself would be surprised to know how
little pocket money I have. Not that Eunice wants anything, but it would
be so delightful to pay off that mortgage, and then make sure that
Balfour could get through college, and then see him put Eunice through
college, and then perhaps she could come up and take post-graduate work
with me at Radcliffe." Then, amused at the rapidity with which her
thoughts were running away with her, for Priscilla had not yet passed
her own finals for college, she laughed aloud. Unexpectedly the clouds
had been chased away.

"Priscilla," said Amy, "I am delighted to hear you laugh. You have been
altogether too quiet to-day. Surely you are not homesick again."

"Oh, no, not homesick, only thinking."

"Tell me then, so that I may laugh too,--unless it's a secret."

"Oh, no, it's hardly worth mentioning; besides, it has ended in a
foolish wish--if only I had money like Martine!"

"Martine cares little for money," responded Amy, with some sharpness.
This was not the first time that she had thought Priscilla too ready to
criticise Martine.

"I know that. She is surely very generous, only it would be so easy to
do things for others if one had as much money as she has."

"I know what you think, Priscilla; but still Martine's way of spending
money is not altogether extravagance. She has had more in her hands than
most girls we know, and rich Chicagoans are fonder of spending than
hoarding. It's in the air. Martine does not care for money in itself,
but for what money buys."

"But she surely throws it around without getting full value."

"That's a matter of temperament."

"Yes," but Priscilla's voice sounded as if she were not sure of this. To
herself, indeed, she was saying, "It is strange that Martine has not
talked of making plans for Yvonne. Ah, if I had as much in my power I
certainly wouldn't let Eunice worry about mortgages and going to college
and all that kind of thing."

"Priscilla, Priscilla, wake up," cried Amy, a moment later. "Look at the
citadel. It's hard to realize that this is the greatest fortress in
America, and that only a few generations ago it was nothing but a
stockade, a defence against the Indians."

"A few generations ago!" repeated Priscilla. "Why, it must be--"

"A bare hundred and fifty years, my dear child, since the English ships
with their two or three thousand settlers came sailing into the harbor."

"A bare hundred and fifty years," echoed Priscilla, "and yet that is
rather a long time, and Halifax isn't a large city yet."

Before Amy could reply she felt her arm seized from behind. Turning
about, she found herself face to face with Martine, who held a letter in
her disengaged hand. Priscilla, not hearing the steps, had walked on a
little before she discovered that Amy was not with her. But a moment
later she too faced about, and, as her eye fell on Martine, she could
not help seeing that the latter was holding her finger on her lips with
a warning glance at Amy, as if between the two there was some secret
understanding.



  CHAPTER XXII

  FINDING COUSINS


In the end it had been much better for Priscilla if she had at once
retraced her steps. Instead, while Amy still had her back to her, while
Martine stood with her finger on her lips, Priscilla, with a rapid step
that was almost a stride, walked farther away from them. Turning first
one corner and then another, she indulged herself in her unreasonable
annoyance with Amy and Martine. For a minute or two she continued to
walk briskly, wondering all the time if the others would catch up with
her. At length, when her curiosity overcame her pride, she did turn
around, only to discover that her friends were nowhere in sight.

"I shouldn't think Amy would have acted so," she said to herself. "Of
course I can't expect much from Martine, but Amy is different."

Yet if any one else had put the question to Priscilla she would have
found it hard to say wherein Martine was at fault. It was only that in
that fleeting glance she had gained the impression that the two were
trying to hold some secret from her.

Priscilla had not walked very far when another turn brought her in front
of a small wooden building that reminded her at once of a child's toy.

"Is it a school, or a church?" she wondered, and she glanced up at the
little steeple.

"Hello, Miss Denman;" and Priscilla, lowering her gaze from the steeple,
saw in front of her Martine's brother, Lucian Stratford.

"I didn't expect to see you here by yourself," continued Lucian. "I
thought that you girls were off somewhere together."

"We were," replied Priscilla, "but I just thought I would--do a little
sightseeing alone."

"Well, I don't blame you," rejoined Lucian; "it's sometimes so hard to
get Martine to take an interest in things. It used to be just so in
Europe. We could never depend on her, so I don't blame you for keeping
by yourself."

Priscilla made no reply. She really had no explanation.

"This is a funny little church, isn't it?" continued Lucian. "Fritz and
I were over here the other day. Some one had told him about it. It's a
little Dutch church, and almost as old as the city itself. It was built
for the Lutherans, for in the beginning there were a lot of German
settlers here in Halifax."

"Thank you," said Priscilla. "You are as good as a guide-book; one never
expects a boy to take an interest in such things."

"I can't say that I do generally, only you remember that foggy afternoon
when you girls were all so busy writing letters? Well, Fritz and I got
tired of staying indoors browsing over books, so we started out. We went
down to the great dry dock--though I don't suppose that you girls would
care for that,--and we had a chance to go into old St. Paul's,--that's
about as old as the city too, and makes you think of one of the queer,
dingy London churches. It has any number of interesting tablets and
memorials, and we planned to take you girls there before we go, and then
walking about we just chanced on this little toy building. But I've got
a suggestion for to-day," concluded Lucian. "You see, it's Saturday, and
one of the market days, so if you'd like to go, I'd be happy to take you
down there. What do you say?"

"Why, yes, of course I'd like it. You are very kind to think of it."
Priscilla remembered that Amy had spoken of going to the market, and for
a moment she regretted her absence.

Lucian Stratford, however, proved a surprisingly agreeable guide, and
even before they had reached the Green Market Priscilla was quite
ashamed of the little prejudice that she had once held against him.

"It's an old custom," Lucian explained, as the two stood in the middle
of the street, "for the country people to drive in with their produce."

The market was in Post Office Square, and almost every foot of space was
occupied by some man or woman with something to sell. Indians, negroes,
country people--it was a motley crowd and well worth seeing. The Indians
for the most part sat on the sidewalk, bent over their wares, though
here and there one or two leaned back against a building.

"We saw Indians like these at Bear River," said Priscilla, "only a
little better dressed,--perhaps because it was a holiday. But these
baskets are the best I've seen this summer."

Baskets and sweet grass were the stock in trade of these Indians, and
some of the baskets were of odd designs and really artistic shapes.

"Do you really like them?" asked Lucian, and almost in the next breath
he had laid three or four of the prettiest in Priscilla's arms.

"For Martine?" asked Priscilla.

"No, no, for you,--if you'll take them. There, let me carry them. I did
not mean to load you down. Only I thought I might see something else."

"Oh, nothing more now, thank you. You are very kind, but these are
really almost too much, and I can carry them myself--"

An old negro at this moment crossed their path, swinging a cane. They
realized his nearness only when a sudden flourish of the stick sent
Priscilla's baskets flying into the street. The negro, apologizing
profusely, hastened to help Lucian collect the baskets, and Priscilla
was pleased that Lucian showed no anger at the man's carelessness.
Instead, he began an animated conversation with the old fellow, and
returned to Priscilla's side smiling broadly.

"The old man has been praising his son's wife's vegetables so warmly
that we'll just have to go over there to see them. She is the fat darkey
sitting in that cart yonder, and I hope we'll get off without buying her
out."

The next moment Lucian was laughing and chaffering with the old negro's
son's wife, and Priscilla gasped as she saw him pointing out turnips,
carrots, and even summer squashes. She did not know him well enough to
protest, and she only wondered how he meant to get the things home.

"They're all mine," he called to Priscilla, as she waited for him a
short distance from the cart. Then he leaned over toward the old man and
said something, and the negro hobbled off, smiling. In a moment he
returned with a large pail, into which his son's wife heaped Lucian's
purchases.

"There," said Lucian, as he returned to Priscilla's side, "won't Mrs.
Redmond and the others stare when they behold this load?" and he lifted
the pail that Priscilla might the more readily admire its contents.

"But you don't intend to carry it through the streets?" There was a
question in Priscilla's tone. Lucian glanced at her curiously. He had
just been thinking how companionable she was, and now this Plymouth girl
was going to show herself as narrow and conventional as others.

"I needn't carry it," he responded. "Perhaps Sambo here--is your name
Sambo?"

"No, sir, my name's Mr. Malachai Robertson."

"Oh, excuse me, Sambo--I mean, Mr. Malachai Robertson--could you find me
a good smart boy to carry this pail?"

Malachai looked at his stick--symbol of dignity--then at the young man,
but at the same time he probably reflected that a fair fee was in sight;
so he straightened himself up, reached over toward the pail, and with an
"I'll carry it, sah," fell into line behind Lucian and Priscilla. Before
the two, however, were quite ready to turn homeward, they lingered to
watch the shoppers patronizing the Green Market, and buying supplies of
vegetables and fruit.

"I only wish that Mrs. Redmond had come. It will be too bad if she
misses it altogether--and Amy; the sun has come out so bright that she
ought to be here to photograph some of these groups of colored people."

"Oh, the chance is that you will all be here in Halifax next Wednesday
morning. The Market is here twice a week," responded Lucian. "Just now I
suppose we ought to be turning home, as they are horribly prompt about
meals at The Mayflower."

As the two walked up Hollis Street Priscilla noticed that some whom they
met looked at them curiously. But only after she herself had thrown a
backward glance over her shoulder did she realize the cause, for
straight behind Lucian stalked Malachai, flourishing his cane after the
fashion of a drum-major with his baton, while with the other hand he
supported on his shoulder the pail of vegetables, balancing it with such
a nicety that the carrots and squash and the large bunch of radishes
kept their place on the top, though to the casual observer they seemed
on the point of falling to the ground.

  [Illustration: "Behind Lucian stalked Malachai, flourishing his cane
  after the fashion of a drum-major."]

Had Priscilla been able to see herself she would have discovered that
she, too, added to the gaiety of the group, for her baskets were even
more brilliant in coloring than the vegetables, and as she had to carry
them in her arms they made a rather startling display. Lucian had
offered to take her load, but she had waved him away.

"No, a boy always finds it much harder to manage clumsy packages. These
are not heavy; it's merely that they look awkward."

So Lucian had contented himself with buying three or four bouquets of
the brightest flowers,--dahlias and garden asters chiefly,--and with
both hands thus filled he made the procession more brilliant.

When they reached the house none of their party happened to be in sight,
so, at Lucian's suggestions, Priscilla left her baskets on the
sitting-room table while she went upstairs to find Mrs. Redmond. Amy's
room adjoined her mother's, and as Priscilla stood there at Mrs.
Redmond's half-open door the sound of voices in the inner room floated
out to her. For a moment she stood there listening, quite unconscious
that she was eavesdropping, until a sentence in Martine's clear voice
came to her.

"She certainly is a terrible trial, narrow minded and priggish, and I
don't wonder, Amy, that you dislike her."

When Priscilla grasped this sentence in its entirety she turned about
instantly.

"Did you find them? Are they coming down?" asked Lucian, cheerfully, as
she rejoined him.

"I--I didn't; that is, I'm not sure," stammered Priscilla. "If you don't
mind, I'll leave the baskets here. Perhaps you would give them to the
others;" and before Lucian could stop her she had run upstairs again.

At the dinner-table Lucian looked anxiously at Priscilla. When she
thought that no one was observing her, he caught her wiping away a
surreptitious drop of moisture. What could be the matter? Lucian racked
his brains to decide if by any mischance he had in word or act offended
Priscilla; but his conscience reassured him. He could not recall
anything that might have annoyed her. On the contrary, up to the moment
of their return to the house they had got along swimmingly--the latter
phrase was his way of putting it.

"There's no accounting for girls," he said to himself. "I've known
Martine to get dreadfully excited about nothing; but Priscilla Denman
seemed such a sensible girl that I don't quite understand what the
trouble is."

Before dinner had ended, however, Lucian decided that whatever it was
that had disturbed Priscilla she did not blame him; for she turned to
him with the utmost friendliness when he made some allusion to their
morning walk, and between them they soon had the others at table
laughing at their account of Malachai and the Green Market.

"I hope you paid the old man well for his trouble," said Martine; "for
it probably was a great favor on his part to walk up Hollis Street
toting a pail."

"Probably he paid him too well," rejoined Fritz, "unless he has changed
his habits within the week. On our way from Yarmouth I tried to make
Lucian see how demoralizing it would be to the natives to introduce the
habit of tipping here."

"Oh, but one ought to pay for benefits received," said Lucian, "and I
really do try to be prudent."

When dinner was over Lucian noticed that, as they left the room,
Priscilla seemed to be trying to avoid Martine. She hardly replied to
some question that the latter addressed her, and he saw other evidences
that Priscilla did not care to speak to her.

After dinner Martine ran up to her brother.

"Oh, Lucian," she cried, "here's the most exciting letter from papa! I
can't tell you all that's in it now, for it must be kept secret a little
longer. But aren't you glad that mamma is better? I know you had a
letter from her this morning. To think they'll be home in September! Oh,
Lucian, I'd like to hug you, I'm so happy!"

"Please, please, not now," begged Lucian; "we couldn't explain to people
that I'm your brother;" and he pointed to several passers-by on the
sidewalk just outside the garden.

"Then sit here with me in this little arbor. I have several questions,
and this is the first good chance I've had. Did you ever hear the name
'Balfour' in our family--in mother's family, I mean?"

Lucian shook his head. "'Balfour'?" he repeated. "I've certainly heard
the name somewhere--lately, too, I should think."

"Yes, of course, dear stupid. Balfour Airton; that's the nice boy we met
at Annapolis. Mr. Knight's friend, you know, the one we've talked
about."

"Oh, yes, of course; do you mean to ask if he is in our family? Strange
I never heard of it."

"There, listen, Lucian; this is what I mean. Mrs. Blair is mother's
cousin, and her name, you know, is Audrey Balfour Blair."

"Has she a first name, and one so frivolous as 'Audrey'? How did that
happen?"

"That's just what I wish to know. I thought that perhaps you would
remember whether her name was Balfour before her marriage."

For a few minutes Lucian seemed lost in reflection, then looking up he
exclaimed,--

"Yes, Martine, I am sure; Mrs. Blair's name was _not_ 'Balfour,' it was
'Tuck.' I once met a brother of hers. He was visiting Chicago. But, I'll
tell you what--I am pretty sure that her grandmother was a Balfour.
That's where the relationship to mamma comes in. You know that _her_
grandmother was a Balfour, and that's what makes them cousins; their
grandmothers were sisters."

"Why, Lucian," cried Martine, jumping to her feet in her excitement,
"that's just what I wanted to know. I don't care anything about Mrs.
Blair's grandmother, but if there's a Balfour in mamma's family, don't
you see how splendid it would be?"

"Can't say that I do," responded Lucian; "but if it pleases you, it's
probably all right." Lucian had often said confidentially to his friends
that the ways of girls were past finding out, and he did not except his
sister from the general rule.

"Oh, but can't you see, Lucian, that if I could prove that Balfour
Airton is a cousin to Mrs. Blair, and if mamma is a cousin of Mrs.
Blair's, which--"

"Which she is, without doubt," said Lucian.

"Why, then, don't you see--"

"Oh, yes, I see," cried Lucian. "Why, then, you would be cousin to
Balfour Airton and his sister. Well, perhaps there's no harm in that, if
it pleases you; but what is there in it for me? I might not like either
of your prodigies, and so I am not ready to be made a cousin to people I
have never seen."

Yet a good-humored twinkle in Lucian's eye seemed to say, "If I would I
could tell you something that would please you mightily--and perhaps I
will."

Now Martine, understanding her brother pretty well, saw that he was
really more sympathetic than he professed to be, so she wisely decided
to wait until he was quite reedy to tell her what she wished to know;
and to change the subject she pulled a letter from her pocket.

"If you hadn't had a letter from mamma by the same mail I would show
this to you," she said. "It's the most delightful letter papa has ever
written me, though I won't tell why--at least not just now," and she
waved the closely written sheet rather tantalizingly before him.

"Oh, ho, child, you cannot tease me at this late day; and besides, I
know why you try. Put your letter away, little sister; I can wait until
you choose to read it to me. But I know what you want, and I am willing
to gratify your curiosity. Yes, there was an Audrey Balfour in mother's
family; but you may be less interested in her when I tell you about her.
She was a Tory."

Lucian uttered the last word with all the scorn of one who has studied
American history built on the most thoroughgoing anti-British basis.

"Oh, that's nothing," responded Martine; "at least, Priscilla would call
it nothing. Each of us likes both Acadians and Tories, though I am
supposed to care only for Acadians, and Priscilla for Tories. But how do
you happen to know about this Audrey Balfour?"

"Through the Colonial Dames, my dear. You see, mamma had to have some
papers filled out last spring. It was while you were at school, and she
asked me to get a genealogist to copy certain things for her. Well, I
found that mother's great-grandfather was a Tory, who was driven from
his home and went to England or to Canada to live. One or two of his
elder children were married before the Revolution, and their husbands
were on the patriot side. One of these was Audrey, who was the
grandmother of Mrs. Blair; another was our great-grandmother Edmonds.
She was Martha Balfour."

"I see," interrupted Martine. "Our great-grandmother! Then it isn't so
strange that I didn't remember the Balfour in our family; it is so far
away. I think it's just wonderful that you remember it."

"Oh, it only happened so because I had had to have it looked up. I had
the whole line typewritten for my own benefit, and I looked at it
several times this year. I noticed the Tory Thomas and Audrey
especially, and I wondered if they would effect my eligibility to a
patriotic society that I am anxious to join. But I believe that I am all
right because I am the loyal descendant of a Tory ancestor."

"Dear me!" cried Martine, when Lucian had finished this long speech.
"You really sound quite learned! I believe that college has done you
some good after all."

"After all! If you look up my record you'll find that I took all the
history last year that Harvard allows a Freshman, and it's because I
have a bent that way that I can remember these things."

"Well, Lucian, you've proved yourself a brick. I hope Priscilla won't
object to this. Sometimes she is a little jealous--but there, don't
repeat it--perhaps jealous is not just the word; but somehow, she
doesn't always approve of me."

"She's fighting rather shy of you to-day," responded Lucian, "and I
can't help wondering what you've been up to. Miss Denman doesn't seem to
me an unreasonable girl. She and I had a fine time to-day at the market.
I'm afraid that you have been teasing her, Martine."

But Martine continued to insist that her conscience was quite clear, so
far as Priscilla was concerned, and that Lucian must imagine any traces
of ill-feeling.

Nevertheless, she could but observe that Priscilla seemed to be avoiding
her; for, in the afternoon, when Amy and Fritz went off on their
bicycles for a spin through the Park, Priscilla declined Martine's
invitation to go with her and Lucian to the Public Gardens to hear the
band play.

"I have letters to write," she said, "and--well, on the whole, I really
can't go."

"Very well," rejoined Martine, rather shortly, as she left Priscilla's
room to report to Lucian that her invitation had been so scorned.

"You must have done something to offend her; think it over carefully,
Martine, and then confess," urged Lucian. Priscilla had made so good an
impression on him that he was unable to consider her wholly in the
wrong.



  CHAPTER XXIII

  GOOD-BYE TO HALIFAX


Lucian's well-meant advice shared the fate of most advice volunteered by
brothers. Martine, unconscious of offence, had no intention of
apologizing to Priscilla for things she had not done. Instead, she began
to feel annoyed with the latter for her unfairness; for certainly,
Priscilla, in giving Lucian the impression that he had received, must
have been unfair.

"But if she has been unfair," said Martine, "she can just wait for my
news. It's too bad, for when I first read papa's letter it seemed as if
I could hardly wait to go downstairs to tell the others."

Now Martine, though impulsive, was not naturally vindictive, and it
would have been almost impossible for her to keep her secret from Amy
and Priscilla had she not, immediately after reading her letter,
confided its contents to Mrs. Redmond. Somebody knew; and in the course
of two or three hours that they all passed together on Saturday evening,
Martine more than once changed her seat to have a whispered word or two
with Amy's mother.

On Sunday they all set out for the Garrison Church. "We make almost as
imposing an array as the troops themselves," said Amy.

"Perhaps we might if we were stretched out in single file. Since the
boys joined us we are really a regiment; but Halifax people are so used
to seeing strangers that I am afraid that they won't take any special
notice of us," responded Martine.

"I should hope they wouldn't. How well we should have to behave if we
felt that all eyes were upon us," replied Amy.

After service they pushed their way through the crowd waiting outside
the churchyard to see the troops form in line.

"It doesn't seem quite the thing on Sunday, does it?" murmured Priscilla
to Amy; whereat Martine, laughing loudly, cried:

"But surely it is better for the soldiers to turn out to church in a
body than to sit in their barracks moping."

"Soldiers moping!" and Fritz laughed.

"Perhaps it isn't the soldiers, but the people crowding to stare at
them, who take away the Sunday feeling," continued Priscilla.

"That's just what we are doing ourselves," retorted Martine, "and I
don't feel very wicked."

"Come, come, children, don't quarrel," cried Lucian. "You are both
probably right, and both probably wrong."

Neither girl replied, for the troops in their brilliant uniforms were
beginning their homeward march to the inspiring music of a fine band.

As they walked homeward Martine, slipping her arm through Amy's, drew
her one side.

"Tell me," she said, "and please don't let the others hear or they will
laugh--is Halifax the capital of Canada?"

"No, my dear, it--"

"There, I thought it couldn't be; I knew it must be Montreal. But I
asked Priscilla why that old gray building was called Government House,
and she said because Halifax was the capital. I never expect Priscilla
to make a mistake;" and there was a slight touch of sarcasm in Martine's
tone.

"She was not wholly wrong," rejoined Amy, "for Halifax is the capital of
Nova Scotia. Canada itself is composed of several provinces, of which
Nova Scotia is one. The provinces are united under a general government
with Ottawa the capital--not Montreal--as you suggested. All the
provinces send representatives to the Parliament that assembles every
year at Ottawa."

"Oh, I see--like our States and Washington."

"Yes, the general plan of government is much the same, and each province
has its own Parliament. Priscilla and I were in the Parliament building
here the other day. It is really a State House."

"I've noticed the Parliament building, but what is the Government
House?"

"Oh, that is the residence of the Governor of Nova Scotia. His real
title is Lieutenant-Governor, because all Canada has a Governor-General,
who lives at Ottawa."

Both girls had been so interested in this little conversation that
unconsciously they had lagged, and the others were now far ahead of
them.

"Martine," said Amy, "as we have a few minutes alone now, do let me
influence you to make up with Priscilla--not that any little
misunderstanding is wholly your fault, but it is so much harder for
Priscilla to give in than it is for you."

"But honestly, I haven't said or done a thing to offend her,--at least,
not a thing that I know of, though of course for a day or two I have
seen that she was trying to be particularly stiff with me."

"Well, then I wouldn't notice her stiffness. Just act as if you were the
best friends in the world, and things will soon straighten themselves
out."

"That certainly would be the most agreeable way, and to please you, Miss
Amy Redmond, I will follow your advice. Besides, I have something very
exciting to tell you and Priscilla, and I really cannot wait longer than
this afternoon."

"Hurry, young ladies, hurry, hurry!"

It was Lucian calling to them. He had turned to meet them.

"What kept you so long, Martine? What have you been doing?"

"Nothing, only talking."

"Oh, that accounts for it. When once Martine begins to talk in earnest,
she takes no heed of time."

Martine replied lightly to her brother's badinage, and the three reached
the house in great spirits. With Amy's caution before her Martine
avoided collision with Priscilla during the dinner hour. After dinner,
while they were all sitting together in the little arbor,--Mrs. Redmond
as well as the girls,--Martine drew a letter from her pocket.

"Listen," she cried; "I have something to read you--no, I can tell it
better in my own words, although it is nearly all in papa's letter. So
listen, Amy; it's for you,--and it's for you, Priscilla, as well as for
me."

"And for me, too?" asked Lucian, trying to throw great expression into
his voice.

"No, no, of course not. Mrs. Redmond knows, and she thinks it fine, so
listen. In the first place, papa feels much obliged to every one for
keeping me contented. You know I tried to make a fuss when they wouldn't
take me to Europe, and he says that it's a splendid thing for me to get
so interested in history. This is what he says:--

"'When you get back to Chicago you'll find that there's a lot of history
there that is worth studying--not entirely about the great fire, and
part of the history of Illinois is French.' I never knew that before,"
interpolated Martine. Then she continued to read, "'Your mother and I
think that you owe much to the young ladies who are with you, as well as
to Mrs. Redmond, to whom I am also writing this mail. We are much
gratified by what you write about the various young people in whom you
are interested. Although I cannot promise, without knowing more about
her, to launch your special protégée, Yvonne, on a prima donna's career,
it seems right that you should be helped to do something for her, so I
am enclosing a check for three hundred dollars.'"

Amy started; Priscilla gazed in astonishment.

"'This,'" Martine continued to read, "'is to be divided into three
parts. Your third is for Yvonne; a second third is for Miss Amy to use
as she sees fit for the little French boy--I forget his name; and though
you haven't said so, I am sure that Miss Priscilla hasn't been behind
her friends in adopting somebody. Perhaps I ought to have sent more, but
it will do for a beginning, and I shall be glad to hear that the money
does some good.'"

"There's more about mamma's getting better and coming home soon, that I
needn't read. But isn't it splendid? You can't think how hard it was for
me to keep it to myself a whole day."

Upon this there was a small Babel for a second or two, until, after a
moment of silence, Priscilla, in words that showed some slight
hesitation, spoke,--

"I must thank you, Martine, as much as your father. You must have made
him think very pleasantly of us all. But I wonder if I ought to keep the
money?"

"No, my dear Puritan Prissie, you mustn't keep it. It's for you to give
away as quickly as you can to your protégée, and we all know who that
is."

"Yes," added Mrs. Redmond; "you need have no hesitation in using it for
Eunice. Mr. Stratford has written me fully on the subject. He says that
this summer has cost him so much less than Martine's vacations usually
cost, that his gift is only a part of what he has saved."

"He hasn't heard yet about the Windsor fire," murmured Martine, "or he
might feel differently, though the silver and the jewelry will be a
Christmas matter," she concluded hastily. "Shall I send all the money at
once to Yvonne, Mrs. Redmond?"

"Oh, no, my dear; we must talk things over and make careful plans for
Yvonne and Pierre. A little money will go a good way with both of them."

"Oh, of course, Mrs. Redmond, whatever you say will be the thing. That
isn't slang is it, Miss Amy Redmond? There's a pained expression at the
corners of your mouth; but never mind, you can't deny that I've improved
this summer--to beat the band;" and with this shot Martine, darting
forward, laid her hand on Amy's arm.

"As an impartial judge I can say that you all have improved this
summer,--at least, speaking for the three girls," said Mrs. Redmond.
"Although I haven't commented on it, it has pleased me greatly to
observe the rounding off of several sharp corners."

"'Speaking for the three girls,'" quoted Fritz,--"but where do we two
come in? Didn't we banish ourselves when we were bid, and keep out of
sight, until we heard that you had been almost destroyed by fire? Our
improvement has been quite remarkable, though I don't see any one paying
premiums to us; and if we had protégés whom we wished to protect we'd
have to go deep into our own pockets for the wherewithal."

"Yes," added Lucian, "I was thinking of that myself. It's a good thing
that we haven't found any one to be interested in."

"Oh, but you have, Lucian; at least, I have found some one for you.
Don't you remember our new cousins, the Airtons? How stupid! I haven't
told any one else." And hereupon, without further delay, Martine plunged
into an account of the discovery that she thought that she had
made--that Eunice Airton and her brother were cousins in the third or
fourth degree to her and Lucian.

"I feel as if we ought to wait until we can make sure, but Lucian says
that he can put his hand on the papers when he returns to Cambridge--and
at any rate mamma will know. I'm awfully sorry, Prissie dear, that they
are not your cousins too; but perhaps we can find a link somewhere back
among the Mayflowers--just large enough to join you and Eunice."

Priscilla, not knowing what to reply to Martine's fun, wisely chose the
golden mean of silence. If Martine had not said "Prissie" she might have
thought her wholly in earnest.

"But oh, dear," reflected Priscilla, "I do wish that Eunice had turned
out to be my cousin instead of Martine's. It doesn't seem fair that she
should have everything." This thought, however, had hardly shaped
itself, when Priscilla put it far from her. Martine had certainly been
generous, and Priscilla, if narrow in some ways, meant never to be
unjust.

Martine, however, had other things than Priscilla's attitude on her
mind.

"So you see, Lucian," she concluded, "there is some one for you to
help,--not that Balfour Airton wishes any one to do anything for
him,--but if he's a cousin, you'd naturally want to help him save his
time for study in the summer holidays."

"I study so diligently myself in the summer," commented Lucian, "that
I'd be a fine one to lay down the law to my new cousin! No, poor fellow,
if I have anything to do with him, I'll certainly not advise him to lay
himself out on summer study."

"Oh, Lucian! If I didn't know that you'd take an interest in Balfour,
I'd try to persuade you; but just think how Mrs. Blair will feel!"

"Mrs. Blair! What in the world has she to do with--anything?" concluded
Amy, vaguely.

"Why, if Eunice and Balfour are our cousins, then they are her cousins,
and as she doesn't like people who work, it will be great fun to tell
her about Balfour, for probably he'll get through college much better
than Philip did--"

"My dear Martine, did Mrs. Blair ever harm you?"

"No, except to say that what a pity it is that I am not at all like
Edith."

"There! Eunice Airton reminds me of Edith; that's the resemblance that
puzzled me;" and Amy seemed pleased with her discovery.

"Oh, if they're at all alike, I won't object to this Eunice as a cousin,
for Edith isn't half bad, and--"

Lucian's speech was cut short by the appearance on the scene of the
little buttons of the hotel, who happened to know Lucian rather better
than the rest of the party.

"If you please, sir," he said, "here's a telegram for one of the ladies,
and I don't know which is which, though her name--it seems to be Mrs.
Redmond," and he handed an envelope to Lucian.

In an instant Mrs. Redmond had read the despatch, while Amy asked
anxiously, "Is it anything serious, mamma?"

"No, no, my child, far from it. I told you there was a probability that
certain business would call me home a little earlier than we had
planned. Well, the summons has come, and I ought to start to-morrow."

"Oh, I am so glad!" exclaimed Priscilla, with an expression of real
delight.

"Why, I thought that you were enjoying yourself."

"Yes, Mrs. Redmond, so I am, but I shall be so happy to see mamma again,
and the children. I had a letter from the twins yesterday, and they miss
me dreadfully."

"Shall we go home through Clare? Shall we have a chance to see Yvonne?"

"And Pierre?" added Amy.

"And Eunice? Of course we could stay over one train at Wolfville,"
pleaded Priscilla.

"My dear children," remonstrated Mrs. Redmond, "I fear that you did not
understand me. I must be in Boston as quickly as possible, and that
means that we must take the direct boat from Halifax."

"All of us? Then Lucian and I will return to New England with hardly a
glimpse of the real Acadia."

"I have no control over your movements. You and Lucian must do whatever
seems best for yourselves."

"Whatever you advise is best," interposed Lucian, gallantly, "but I am
pretty sure that Fritz will agree with me that it would be much
pleasanter for us if you would permit us to return with you."

"Not only pleasanter, but much safer for some of the members of your
party;" and Fritz assumed an air of importance.

"Yes," added Lucian, "there's my sister. Suppose she should accidentally
fall overboard, or--"

"Or suppose Amy should lose her keys," interrupted Fritz, "or--"

"There, there, if the girls never suffer greater mishaps than those that
have come to them this summer, they will do very well. We call this a
pretty successful trip."

"And really," added Martine, "nothing that has happened was anybody's
fault. Those things were simply adventures, and besides, I might easily
have had scarlet fever; so congratulate me on my escape. Even a trip
through Acadia would have been just a little dull without some mishaps."

When Mrs. Redmond had left the young people to themselves, they
separated into two groups, Martine and Priscilla and Lucian in one, and
Amy and Fritz in another.

"Now, Priscilla," cried Martine, "since we are friends again, perhaps
you will not object to telling me why you were annoyed with me
yesterday. Even Lucian noticed it."

Priscilla, coloring at this abrupt question, glanced shyly at Lucian.

"Oh, you needn't mind Lucian," said Martine, noting the direction of her
glance. "He doesn't count."

Thus Priscilla, feeling less afraid of Lucian's criticism than of his
sister's reckless tongue, admitted that her feelings had been hurt by
the glimpse that she had had of Martine with her finger on her lips.

"I always have hated secrets," she admitted, "especially when it seems
as if some one is trying to keep something from me. I thought that if
you and Amy didn't wish me to know anything,--I mean, if there was
anything that you didn't wish me to know,--why I wouldn't intrude; but I
realize now how foolish I was, especially as the secret was something
pleasant for me."

"After all, I didn't tell it to Amy then, so you might as well have
stayed with us."

"Oh, no, she mightn't, for then Miss Denman and I wouldn't have had that
visit to the Green Market. You, by the way, will miss it, because you
won't be here next Market Day," interposed Lucian.

"It certainly was great fun, especially Mr. Malachai Robertson," added
Priscilla, with a smile, "and I have learned one thing--not to indulge
myself in any little jealous feelings, particularly on this trip."

"On this trip;" and Martine shook her finger at her friend. "To think
that Puritan Prissie should break forth into slang!" But the only effect
of her ridicule was to make Priscilla smile too, and open her heart a
little wider.

"I haven't quite finished my confession," she continued. "You know
yesterday morning, when your brother and I came home from the Green
Market, I overheard you talking to Amy about some one who was
'narrow-minded and conventional,' and you didn't wonder she disliked
her, and I thought it was me," concluded poor Priscilla, with an
apparent disregard of grammar.

"Of course we didn't mean you," responded Martine, "although at this
moment I don't quite--oh, yes, I do remember. It was Miss Belloc, one of
Amy's classmates. Amy was telling me of some priggish things that Miss
Belloc had said, and I did use those very words yesterday. But if you
had listened longer you would have heard Amy say, 'not that I disliked
Miss Belloc, but her narrow views.' Then you would have known that we
didn't mean you."

"Oh, I know that you didn't, and I realize now that I have been very
unfair."

"Oh, no, only a little unfair," rejoined Martine, "but 'least said,
soonest mended,' and the most important thing is that now we are both
going to be perfectly fair after this."

Meanwhile Amy and Fritz were discussing various practical matters.

"Your mother and I have been talking over this letter of Mr.
Stratford's, and we both agree that you probably will not disagree with
us--in other words, we think it would be wiser for you girls not to send
money to your protégé Pierre, or to Yvonne, or Eunice, until after we
have reached Boston." Fritz had assumed a manner of unwonted dignity,
and with difficulty Amy refrained from laughing at him.

"Delay will give Martine time to find out if it is best to put part of
the money in the hands of some one to spend for Yvonne in Clare, or
whether it would be better to have her come to Boston to have her eyes
treated. Then, after you have talked with one or two teachers, you can
judge whether Pierre is too young to have a course of manual training.
You don't know what you want yourself yet."

"Really, Fritz!"

"Yes, really, Miss Amy Redmond, I think that the poor little beggar
ought to have some fun with his hundred dollars, instead of being ground
down to more education. Then, as to Eunice Airton and her brother, why,
if they really are cousins of Martine's, Priscilla Denman needn't have
them on her mind any longer. Mr. Stratford will come down with something
handsome, so they might have this hundred as an instalment to get some
fun with at once."

"You don't know Balfour Airton. I shouldn't be surprised if he should
insist on his sister's returning Martine's present."

"Then the sooner Martine proves her cousinship the better. The money can
wait until that is accomplished. Now a word especially for you, Miss Amy
Redmond. Please admit that Lucian and I are very magnanimous in making
so few reflections upon our banishment. Also admit, please, that you
would have had a much better time if we had been with you."

"We couldn't have had a better time," averred Amy, stoutly. "We've
enjoyed every minute of it, and I shall return to college a new person.
Why, I've gained ten pounds in these few weeks."

"Ah, Amy," sighed Fritz, "you are as practical and unsentimental as ever
you were at Rockley. Yet you love old graveyards, and can write poetry.
Here I would have saved you from fire and flood, could have kept your
keys in my care, and still you say that by yourselves you have had a
better time than if we had been with you!"

"Oh, no, I didn't say that, only that we have had so pleasant a time
that it couldn't have been better."

Here Amy stopped. She saw that she had involved herself in a
contradiction; so with Fritz's laughing voice ringing in her ears she
hastened indoors to talk over with Mrs. Redmond the various arrangements
for their departure from Acadia.


  THE END

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  Transcriber's Notes:

  Obsolete and alternate spellings were retained.
  Punctuation was standardized.
  Regional dialect was retained, e.g. 'tree' instead of 'three'
  'hat' changed to 'that' ... think that she is no worse ...
  'yo'd' changed to 'you'd' ... if you'd had to stay ...





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