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Title: The Canadian Brothers; Or, The Prophecy Fulfilled: A Tale of the Late American War — Volume 1
Author: Richardson, Major (John)
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Canadian Brothers; Or, The Prophecy Fulfilled: A Tale of the Late American War — Volume 1" ***

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Charles Franks and Distributed Proofers.



The Canadian Brothers; or, The Prophecy Fulfilled.
A tale of the late American war.

By Major Richardson,

Knight of the military order of Saint Ferdinand,
author of "Ecarte," "Wacousta," &c. &c.

In Two Volumes.



VOL. I.



INSCRIPTION.

To His Excellency Major General Sir John Harvey, K.C.B.:
K.C.H. Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick who bore a
conspicuous part in the war of 1812, and who contributed
so essentially to the success of the British arms during
the campaigns of 1813 and 1814, and particularly at Stoney
Creek in Upper Canada, on the night of the 5th June 1813,
when, entrusted with the execution of his own daring
plan, he, at the head of sever hundred and twenty men of
the 8th and 49th Regiments, (The former the Author's
Corps,) surprised and completely routed at the point of
the bayonet, a division of the American army, (under
generals Winder and Chandler,) three thousand five hundred
strong, capturing their leaders, with many other inferior
prisoners, and several pieces of cannon; the Canadian
edition of this historical talk is inscribed, with
sentiments of high public and personal esteem, by his
faithful and obedient servant,

The Author.



PREFACE.

Windsor Castle, October 29, 1832.

DEAR SIR,--I have received your letter of the 27th instant,
and beg to reply that there cannot be the least objection
to your sending a copy of your work, with the autograph
addition; and that if you will send it to me, I will
present it to His Majesty.

I do not presume you wish to apply for permission to
dedicate the work to His Majesty, which is not usually
given for work of fiction.

I remain, Dear Sir, your faithful Servant,

(Signed,) H. TAYLOR

Lieut. RICHARDSON, &c. &c. &c.
H. P. 92nd Regt.



BRIGHTON, December 18, 1832.

DEAR Sir,--I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your letter
of the 14th instant, and of the copy of your work,
WACOUSTA, for the King, which I have had the honor of
presenting to His Majesty, who received it very graciously.

I remain, Dear Sir, your faithful Servant,

(Signed,) H. TAYLOR

Lieut. RICHARDSON, &c. &c. &c.
H. P. 92nd Regt.



WINDSOR CASTLE, August 7, 1833.

DEAR SIR,--I have to acknowledge your letter of the 1st
instant, together with its enclosure, and beg to express
the deep gratification I have felt in the perusal of that
chapter of your new work which treats of the policy of
employing the Indians in any future war we may have with
the United States. Should you be desirous of dedicating
it to His Majesty I can foresee no difficulty.

Permit me to avail myself of this opportunity of assuring
you of the deep interest with which your WACOUSTA has
been read by the whole Court.

I remain, Dear Sir, your faithful Servant,

(Signed,) H. TAYLOR.

Lieut. RICHARDSON, &c. &c. &c.
H. P. 92nd Regt.



WINDSOR CASTLE, August 12, 1833.

DEAR SIR,--I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your letter
of the 9th, and to acquaint you that His Majesty acquiesces
in your wish to be permitted to dedicate your new work
to him.

I remain, Dear Sir, your faithful Servant,

(Signed,) H. TAYLOR.

Lieut. RICHARDSON, &c, &c. &c.
H. P. 92nd Regt.



By the above letters, two material points are established.
The first is that, although works of fiction are not
usually dedicated to the Sovereign, an exception was made
in favour of the following tale, which is now for the
first time submitted to the public, and which, from its
historical character, was deemed of sufficient importance
not to be confounded with mere works of fiction. The
exception was grounded on a chapter of the book, which
the seeker after incident alone will dismiss hastily,
but over which the more serious reader may be induced to
pause.

The second, and not least important, point disposed of,
is one which the manner in which the principal American
characters have been disposed of, renders in some degree
imperative.

The Author has no hesitation in stating, that had it not
been for the very strong interest taken in their appearance,
by a portion of the American public in the first instance,
these volumes never would have been submitted to the
press of this country. Hence, to a corresponding feeling
might, under other circumstances, have been ascribed the
favorable light under which the American character has
been portrayed. From the dates of the above letters from
the principal Aid-de-Camp and Private Secretary to His
late Majesty, it will, however, be seen, that the work
was written in England, and therefore before there could
have existed the slightest inducement to any undue
partiality.

That this is the case, the Author has reason to rejoice;
since in eschewing the ungenerous desire of most English
writers on America, to convey a debasing impression of
her people, and seeking, on the contrary, to do justice
to their character, as far as the limited field afforded
by a work, pre-eminently of fiction, will admit, no
interested motive can be ascribed to him. Should these
pages prove a means of dissipating the slightest portion
of that irritation which has--and naturally--been
engendered in every American heart, by the perverted and
prejudiced statements of disappointed tourists, whose
acerbity of stricture, not even a recollection of much
hospitality could repress; and of renewing that healthy
tone of feeling which it has been endeavoured to show
had existed during the earlier years of the present
century, the Author will indeed feel that he has not
written in vain.

One observation in regard to the tale itself. There is
a necessary anachronism in the book, of too palpable a
nature not to be detected at a glance by the reader. It
will. however, be perceived, that such anachronism does
not in any way interfere with historical fact, while it
has at the same time facilitated the introduction of
events, which were necessary to the action of the story,
and which have been brought on the scene before that
which constitutes the anachronism, as indispensable
precursors to it. We will not here mar the reader's
interest in the story, by anticipating, but allow him to
discover and judge of the propriety of the transposition
himself.

Tecumseh, moreover, is introduced somewhat earlier than
the strict record of facts will justify; but as his
presence does not interfere with the general accuracy of
the detail, we trust the matter of fact reader, who
cannot, at least, be both to make early acquaintance with
this interesting Chieftain, will not refuse us the exercise
of our privilege as a novelist, in disposing of characters,
in the manner most pleasing to the eye.

We cannot conclude without apology for the imperfect
Scotch, which we have (to use a homely phrase,) put into
the mouth of one of our characters, our apology for which
is that we were unaware of the error, until the work had
been so far printed as not to admit of our remedying it.
We are consoled, however, by the reflection that we have
given the person in question so much of the national
character that he can well afford to lose something in
a minor particular.

THE AUTHOR.



THE CANADIAN BROTHERS;
   OR,
THE PROPHECY FULFILLED.



CHAPTER I.

At the northern extremity of the small town which bears
its name, situated at the head of Lake Erie, stands, or
rather stood--for the fortifications then existing were
subsequently destroyed--the small fortress of Amherstburg.

It was the summer of 1812. Intelligence had been some
days received at that post, of the declaration of war by
the United States, the great aim and object of which was
the conquest, and incorporation with her own extensive
territories, of provinces on which she had long cast an
eye of political jealousy, and now assailed at a moment
when England (fighting the battles of the, even to this
moment, recreant and unredeemed Peninsula,) could ill
spare a solitary regiment to the rescue of her threatened,
and but indifferently defended transatlantic possessions.

Few places in America, or in the world, could, at the
period embraced by our narrative, have offered more
delightful associations than that which we have selected
for an opening scene. Amherstburg was at that time one
of the loveliest spots that ever issued from the will of
a beneficent and gorgeous nature, and were the
world-disgusted wanderer to have selected a home in which
to lose all memory of artificial and conventional forms,
his choice would assuredly have fallen here. And
insensible, indeed, to the beautiful realities of the
sweet wild solitude that reigned around, must that man
have been, who could have gazed unmoved, from the lofty
banks of the Erie, on the placid lake beneath his feet,
mirroring the bright starred heavens on its unbroken
surface, or throwing into full and soft relief the snow
white sail, and dark hull of some stately war-ship,
becalmed in the offing, and only waiting the rising of
the capricious breeze, to waft her onward on her THEN
peaceful mission of dispatch. Lost indeed to all perception
of the natural must he have been, who could have listened,
without a feeling of voluptuous melancholy, to the
plaintive notes of the whip-poor-will, breaking on the
silence of night, and harmonising with the general
stillness of the scene. How often have we ourselves, in
joyous boyhood, lingered amid these beautiful haunts,
drinking in the fascinating song of this strange night-bird,
and revelling in a feeling we were too young to analyze,
yet cherished deeply--yea, frequently, even to this hour,
do we in our dreams revisit scenes no parallel to which
has met our view, even in the course of a life passed in
many climes; and on awaking, our first emotion is regret
that the illusion is no more.

Such was Amherstburg, and its immediate vicinity, during
the early years of the present century, and up to the
period at which our story commences. Not, be it understood,
that even THEN the scenery itself had lost one particle
of its loveliness, or failed in aught to awaken and fix
the same tender interest. The same placidity of earth,
and sky, and lake remained, but the whip-poor-will, driven
from his customary abode by the noisy hum of warlike
preparation, was no longer heard, and the minds of the
inhabitants, hitherto disposed, by the quiet pursuits of
their uneventful lives, to feel pleasure in its song,
had eye nor ear for aught beyond what tended to the
preservation of their threatened homes.

Let us, however, introduce the reader more immediately
to the scene. Close in his rear, as he stands on the
elevated bank of the magnificent river of Detroit, and
about a mile from its point of junction with Lake Erie,
is the fort of Amherstburg, its defences consisting
chiefly of stockade works, flanked, at its several angles,
by strong bastions, and covered by a demi lune of five
guns, so placed as to command every approach by water.
Distant about three hundred yards on his right is a large,
oblong square building, resembling in appearance the red
low roofed blockhouses peering above the outward defences
of the fort. Surrounding this, and extending to the skirt
of the thinned forest, the original boundary of which is
marked by an infinitude of dingy half blackened stumps,
are to be seen numerous huts or wigwams of the Indians,
from the fires before which arises a smoke that contributes,
with the slight haze of the atmosphere, to envelope the
tops of the tall trees in a veil of blue vapour, rendering
them almost invisible. Between these wigwams and the
extreme verge of the thickly wooded banks, which sweeping
in bold curvature for an extent of many miles, brings
into view the eastern extremity of Turkey Island, situated
midway between Amherstburg and Detroit, are to be seen,
containing the accumulated Indian dead of many years,
tumuli, rudely executed it is true, but picturesquely
decorated with such adornments as it is the custom of
these simple mannered people to bestow on the last
sanctuaries of their departed friends. Some three or four
miles, and across the water, (for here it is that the
river acquires her fullest majesty of expansion,) is to
be seen the American Island of Gros Isle, which, at the
period of which we write, bore few traces of cultivation
--scarcely a habitation being visible throughout its
extent--various necks of land, however, shoot out abruptly,
and independently of the channel running between it and
the American main shore, form small bays or harbours in
which boats may always find shelter and concealment.

Thus far the view to the right of the spectator, whom we
assume to be facing the river. Immediately opposite to
the covering demi lune, and in front of the fort, appears,
at a distance of less than half a mile, a blockhouse and
battery, crowning the western extremity of the Island of
Bois Blanc, which, one mile in length and lashed at its
opposite extremity by the waters of Lake Erie, at this
precise point, receives into her capacious bosom the vast
tribute of the noble river connecting her with the higher
lakes. Between this island and the Canadian shore lies
the only navigable channel for ships of heavy tonnage,
for although the waters of the Detroit are of vast depth
every where above the island, they are near their point
of junction with the lake, and, in what is called the
American channel, so interrupted by shallows and sandbars,
that no craft larger than those of a description termed
"Durham boats" can effect the passage--on the other hand
the channel dividing the island from the Canadian shore
is at once deep and rapid, and capable of receiving
vessels of the largest size. The importance of such a
passage is obvious; but although a state of war necessarily
prevented aid from armed vessels to such forts of the
Americans as lay to the westward of the lake, it by no
means effectually cut off their supplies through the
medium of the Durham boats already alluded to. In order
to intercept those, a most vigilant watch was kept by
the light gun boats despatched into the lesser channel
for that purpose.

A blockhouse and battery crowned also the eastern extremity
of the island, and both, provided with a flag staff for
the purpose of communication by signal with the fort,
were far from being wanting in picturesque effect. A
subaltern's command of infantry, and a bombardier's of
artillery, were the only troops stationed there, and
these were there rather to look out for, and report the
approach of whatever American boats might be seen stealing
along their own channel, than with any view to the serious
defence of a post already sufficiently commanded by the
adjacent fortress. In every other direction the island
was thickly wooded--not a house--not a hut arose to
diversify the wild beauty of the scene. Frequently, it
is true, along the margin of its sands might be seen a
succession of Indian wigwams, and the dusky and sinewy
forms of men gliding round their fires, as they danced
to the monotonous sound of the war dance; but these
migratory people, seldom continuing long in the same
spot, the island was again and again left to its solitude.

Strongly contrasted with this, would the spectator, whom
we still suppose standing on the bank where we first
placed him, find the view on his left. There would he
behold a neat small town, composed entirely of wooden
houses variously and not inelegantly painted; and receding
gradually from the river's edge to the slowly disappearing
forest, on which its latest rude edifice reposed. Between
the town and the fort, was to be seen a dockyard of no
despicable dimensions, in which the hum of human voices
mingled with the sound of active labour--there too might
be seen, in the deep harbour of the narrow channel that
separated the town from the island we have just described,
some half-dozen gallant vessels bearing the colours of
England, breasting with their dark prows the rapid current
that strained their creaking cables in every strand, and
seemingly impatient of the curb that checked them from
gliding impetuously into the broad lake, which some few
hundred yards below, appeared to court them to her bosom.
But although in these might be heard the bustle of warlike
preparation, the chief attention would be observed to be
directed towards a large half finished vessel, on which
numerous workmen of all descriptions were busily employed,
evidently with a view of preparing for immediate service.

Beyond the town again might be obtained a view of the
high and cultivated banks, sweeping in gentle curve until
they at length terminated in a low and sandy spot, called
from the name of its proprietor, Elliott's Point. This
stretched itself toward the eastern extremity of the
island, so as to leave the outlet to the lake barely wide
enough for a single vessel to pass at a time, and that
not without skilful pilotage and much caution.

Assuming our reader to be now as fully familiar with the
scene as ourselves, let him next, in imagination, people
it, as on the occasion we have chosen for his introduction.
It was a warm, sunny, day in the early part of July. The
town itself was as quiet as if the glaive of war reposed
in its sheath, and the inhabitants pursued their wonted
avocations with the air of men who had nothing in common
with the active interest which evidently dominated the
more military portions of the scene. It was clear that
among these latter some cause for excitement existed,
fat, independently of the unceasing bustle within the
dock yard--a bustle which however had but one undivided
object-the completion and equipment of the large vessel
then on the stacks--the immediate neighbourhood of the
fort presented evidence of some more than ordinary
interest. The encampment of the Indians, on the verge
of the forest, had given forth the great body of their
warriors, and these clad in their gayest apparel, covered
with feathers and leggings of bright colours, decorated
with small tinkling bells that came not inharmoniously
on the ear, as they kept tone to the measured walk of
their proud wearers, were principally assembled around
and in front of the large building we have described as
being without, yet adjacent to, the fort. These warriors
might have been about a thousand in number, and amused
themselves variously--(the younger at least)--with
leaping--wrestling--ball playing-and the foot race--in
all which exercises they are unrivalled. The elders bore
no part in these amusements, but stood, or sat cross
legged, on the edge of the bank, smoking their pipes,
and expressing their approbation of the prowess or
dexterity of the victors in the games, by guttural, yet
rapidly uttered exclamations. Mingled with these were
some six or seven individuals, whose glittering costume
of scarlet announced them for officers of the garrison,
and elsewhere dispersed, some along the banks and crowding
the battery in front of the fort, or immediately around
the building, yet quite apart from their officers, were
a numerous body of the inferior soldiery.

But although these distinct parties were assembled, to
all appearance, with a view, the one to perform in, the
other to witness, the active sports we have enumerated,
a close observer of the movements of all would hare
perceived there was something more important in
contemplation, to the enactment of which these exercises
were but a prelude. Both officers, and men, and even the
participators in the sports, turned their gaze frequently
up the Detroit, as if they expected some important
approach. The broad reach of the wide river, affording
an undisturbed view, as we have stated, for a distance
of some nine or ten miles, where commenced the near
extremity of Turkey Island, presented nothing, however,
as yet, to their gate, and repeatedly were the telescopes
of the officers raised only to fall in disappointment
from the eye. At length a number of small dark specks
were seen studding the tranquil bosom of the river, as
they emerged rapidly, one after the other, from the cover
of the island. The communication was made, by him who
first discovered them, to his companions. The elder
Indians who sat near the spot on which the officers stood,
were made acquainted with what even their own sharp sight
could not distinguish unaided by the glass. One sprang
to his feet, raised the telescope to his eye, and with
an exclamation of wonder at the strange properties of
the instrument, confirmed to his followers the truth of
the statement. The elders, principally chiefs, spoke in
various tongues to their respective warriors. The sports
were abandoned, and all crowded to the bank with anxiety
and interest depicted in their attitudes and demeanor.

Meanwhile, the dark specks upon the water increased
momentarily in size. Presently they could be distinguished
for canoes, which, rapidly impelled, and aided in their
course by the swift current, were not long in developing
themselves to the naked eye. These canoes, about fifty
in number, were of bark, and of so light a description,
that a man of ordinary strength might, without undergoing
serious fatigue, carry one for miles. The warriors who
now propelled them, were naked in all save their leggings
and waist cloths, their bodies and faces begrimed with
paint: and as they drew neater, fifteen was observed to
be the complement of each. They sat by twos on the narrow
thwarts; and, with their faces to the prow, dipped their
paddles simultaneously into the stream, with a regularity
of movement not to be surpassed by the most experienced
boat's crew of Europe. In the stern of each sat a chief
guiding his bark, with the same unpretending but skilful
and efficient paddle, and behind him, drooping in the
breezeless air, and trailing in the silvery tide, was to
be seen a long pendant, bearing the red cross of England.

It was a novel and beautiful sight to behold that imposing
fleet of canoes, apparently so frail in texture that the
dropping of a pebble between the skeleton ribs might be
deemed sufficient to perforate and sink them, yet withal
so ingeniously contrived as to bear safely not only the
warriors who formed their crews, hut also their arms of
all descriptions, and such light equipment of raiment
and necessaries as were indispensable to men who had to
voyage long and far in pursuit of the goal they were now
rapidly attaining. The Indians already encamped near the
fort, were warriors of nations long rendered familiar by
personal intercourse, not only with the inhabitants of
the district, but with the troops themselves; and these,
from frequent association with the whites, had lost much
of that fierceness which is so characteristic of the
North American Indian in his ruder state. Among these,
with the more intelligent Hurons, were the remnants of
those very tribes of Shawanees and Delawares whom we have
recorded to have borne, half a century ago, so prominent
a share in the confederacy against England, but who,
after the termination of that disastrous war, had so far
abandoned their wild hostility, as to have settled in
various points of contiguity to the forts to which they,
periodically, repaired to receive those presents which
a judicious policy so profusely bestowed.

The reinforcement just arriving was composed principally
of warriors who had never yet pressed a soil wherein
civilization had extended her influence--men who had
never hitherto beheld the face of a white, unless it were
that of the Canadian trader, who, at stated periods,
penetrated fearlessly into their wilds for purposes of
traffic, and who to the bronzed cheek that exposure had
rendered nearly as swarthy as their own, united not only
the language but so wholly the dress--or rather the
undress of those he visited, that he might easily have
been confounded with one of their own dark blooded race.
So remote, indeed, were the regions in which some of
these warriors had been sought, that they were strangers
to the existence of more than one of their tribes, and
upon these they gazed with a surprise only inferior to
what they manifested, when, for the first time, they
marked the accoutrements of the British soldier, and
turned with secret, but unacknowledged awe and admiration
upon the frowning fort and stately shipping, bristling
with cannon, and vomiting forth sheets of flame as they
approached the shore. In these might have been studied
the natural dignity of man. Firm of step--proud of
mien--haughty yet penetrating of look, each leader offered
in his own person a model to the sculptor, which he might
vainly seek elsewhere. Free and unfettered in every limb,
they moved in the majesty of nature, and with an air of
dark reserve, passed, on landing, through the admiring
crowd.

There was one of the number, however, and his canoe was
decorated with a richer and a larger flag, whose costume
was that of the more civilized Indians, and who in
nobleness of deportment, even surpassed those we have
last named. This was Tecumseh. He was not of the race
of either of the parties who now accompanied him, but of
one of the nations, many of whose warriors were assembled
on the bank awaiting his arrival. As the head chief of
the Indians, his authority was acknowledged by all, even
to the remotest of these wild but interesting people,
and the result of the exercise of his all-powerful
influence had been the gathering together of those
warriors, whom he had personally hastened to collect from
the extreme west, passing in his course, and with impunity,
the several American posts that lay in their way. In
order more fully to comprehend the motives and character
of this remarkable man, it may not be impertinent to
recur summarily to events that took place prior to the
declaration of war by the United States against England.

It being a well established--and even by themselves
uncontradicted--fact, we can have no hesitation in stating
(what we trust no American will conceive to be stated in
illiberality of spirit, since such feeling we utterly
disclaim) that the government of the United States, bent
on the final acquisition of all the more proximate
possessions of the Indians, had for many consecutive
years, waged a war of extermination against these
unfortunate people, and more especially those residing
on the Wabash, to which the eye of interest or preference,
or both, had directed a jealous attention. For a series
of years the aggression had been prosecuted with fearful
issue to the Indians, when, at length, one of those daring
spirits, that appear like meteors, few and far between,
in the horizon of glory and intelligence, suddenly started
up in the person of Tecumseh, who, possessed of a genius,
as splendid in conception, as it was bold in execution,
long continued to baffle the plans and defeat the measures
of his most experienced enemies. Whether the warrior owed
his original influence, or rather the opportunity for
development of his extraordinary talents, both diplomatic
and warlike, to the fact of his being the brother of the
Prophet--a similar, and rather mean looking person, whom
a deep reading of the prejudices of his followers had
bound to him in an enthusiasm of superstitious credence
--whether, we repeat, Tecumseh owed his elevation to this
circumstance in part, or wholly to his own merit, it is
difficult to determine with certainty, but it is matter
of history, that plausible and powerful as the Prophet
had rendered himself, his more open and generous brother,
while despising in his heart the mummeries practised by
his wily relative, was not long in supplanting him in
the affections, as he rapidly superseded him in authority
and influence, over his people--All looked up to him as
the defender and saviour of their race, and so well did
he merit the confidence reposed in him, that it was not
long after his first appearance as a leader in the
war-path, that the Americans were made sensible, by
repeated defeat, of the formidable character of the chief
who had thrown himself into the breach of his nation's
tottering fortunes, resolved rather to perish on the spot
on which he stood, than to retire one foot from the home
of their forefathers. What self-ennobling actions the
warrior performed, and what talent he displayed during
that warfare, the page of American history must tell.
With the spirit to struggle against, and the subsequent
good fortune to worst the Americans in many conflicts,
these latter, although beaten, have not been wanting in
generosity to admire their formidable enemy while living,
neither have they failed to venerate his memory when
dead. If they have helped to bind the laurel around his
living brow, they have not been the less willing to weave
the cypress that encircles his memory.

In almost every encounter with them, Tecumseh was more
or less successful; but, like the conqueror of other
days, he might have exclaimed, "another such victory and
I am lost." Weakened in a constant succession of
engagements, the Indians, and the Shawnees in particular,
now presented but a skeleton of their former selves,
while the Americans, on the contrary, with an
indefatigability that would have done credit to a better
cause, kept pouring in fresh forces to the frontier,
until, in the end, opposition to their purpose seemed
almost hopeless. It is doubtful, however, what would have
been the final result of a contest against a warrior of
such acknowledged ability and resource as Tecumseh, had
it not unfortunately happened that the Americans, taking
advantage of the performance of some of those mummeries
by which the Prophet still sought to uphold his fast
declining power, managed to surprise the Shawanee encampment
in the dead of night, when, favoured by circumstances,
they committed fearful havoc, nearly annihilating their
enemies.

Finding every effort to preserve his situation on the
Wabash unavailing, Tecumseh, accompanied by the remnant
of his followers, fell back on the Ohio, Miami, and
Detroit, where his first object was to enter into a
treaty, offensive and defensive, with the formidable
nations of the Delawares, Hurons, etc. An alliance with
the English, then momentarily apprehending a rupture with
the United States, was, moreover renewed, and then with
the hope strong at his heart of combating his enemies
once more, with success, he had with exulting spirit and
bounding step, set out to win to the common interest,
the more distant tribes of the Sioux, Minouminies,
Winnebagoes, Kickapoos, etc., of whom he had secured the
services of the warriors just arrived.

It was amidst the blaze of an united salvo from the demi
lune crowning the bank, and from the shipping, that the
noble chieftain, accompanied by the leaders of those wild
tribes, leaped lightly, yet proudly to the beach; and
having ascended the steep bank by a flight of rude steps
cut out of the earth, finally stood amid the party of
officers waiting to receive them. It would not a little
have surprised a Bond street exquisite of that day to
have witnessed the cordiality with which the dark hand
of the savage was successively pressed in the fairer
palms of the English officers, neither would his
astonishment have been abated, on remarking the proud
dignity of carriage maintained by the former, in this
exchange of courtesy, as though, while he joined heart
to hand wherever the latter fell, he seemed rather to
bestow than to receive a condescension.

Had none of those officers ever previously beheld him,
the fame of his heroic deeds had gone sufficiently before
the warrior to have insured him their warmest greeting
and approbation, and none could mistake a form that, even
amid those who were a password for native majesty, stood
alone in its bearing: but Tecumseh was a stranger to few.
Since his defeat on the Wabash he had been much at
Amherstburg, where he had rendered himself conspicuous
by one or two animated and highly eloquent speeches,
having for their object the consolidation of a treaty,
in which the Indian interests were subsequently bound in
close union with those of England; and, up to the moment
of his recent expedition, had cultivated the most perfect
understanding with the English chiefs.

It might, however, be seen that even while pleasure and
satisfaction at a reunion with those he in torn esteemed,
flashed from his dark and eager eye, there was still
lurking about his manner that secret jealousy of
distinction, which is so characteristic of the haughty
Indian. After the first warm salutations had passed, he
became sensible of the absence of the English chief; but
this was expressed rather by a certain outswelling of
his chest, and the searching glance of his restless eye,
than by any words that fell from his lips. Presently,
he whom he sought, and whose person had hitherto been
concealed by the battery on the hank, was seen advancing
towards him, accompanied by his personal staff. In a
moment the shade passed away from the brow of the warrior,
and warmly grasping and pressing, for the second time,
the hand of a youth--one of the group of junior officers
among whom he yet stood, and who had manifested even more
than his companions the unbounded pleasure he took in
the chieftain's re-appearance--he moved forward, with an
ardour of manner that was with difficulty restrained by
his sense of dignity, to give them the meeting.

The first of the advancing party was a tall, martial
looking man, wearing the dress and insignia of a general
officer. His rather florid countenance was eminently
fine, if not handsome, offering, in its more Roman than
Grecian contour, a model of quiet, manly beauty; while
the eye, beaming with intelligence and candour, gave, in
the occasional flashes which it emitted, indication of
a mind of no common order. There was, notwithstanding,
a benevolence of expression about it that blended (in a
manner to excite attention) with a dignity of deportment,
as much the result of habitual self command, as of the
proud eminence of distinction on which he stood. The
sedative character of middle age, added to long acquired
military habits, had given a certain rigidity to his fine
form, that might have made him appear to a first observer
even older than he was, but the placidity of a countenance
beaming good will and affability, speedily removed the
impression, and, if the portly figure added to his years,
the unfurrowed countenance took from them in equal
proportion.

At his side, hanging on his arm and habited in naval
uniform, appeared one who, from his familiarity of address
with the General, not less than by certain appropriate
badges of distinction, might be known as the commander
of the little fleet then lying in the harbour. Shorter
in person than his companion, his frame made up in activity
what it wanted in height, and there was that easy freedom
in his movements which so usually distinguishes the
carriage of the sailor, and which now offered a remarkable
contrast to that rigidity we have stated to have attached
(quite unaffectedly) to the military commander. His eyes,
of a much darker hue, sparkled with a livelier intelligence,
and although his complexion was also highly florid, if
was softened down by the general vivacity of expression
that pervaded his frank and smiling countenance. The
features, regular and still youthful, wore a bland and
pleasing character; while neither, in look, nor bearing,
nor word could there be traced any of that haughty reserve
usually ascribed to the "lords of the sea." There needed
no other herald to proclaim him for one who had already
seen honorable service, than the mutilated stump of what
had once been an arm: yet in this there was no boastful
display, as of one who deemed he had a right to tread
more proudly because he had chanced to suffer, where all
had been equally exposed, in the performance of a common
duty. The empty sleeve, unostentatiously fastened by a
loop from the wrist to a button of the lappel was suffered
to fall at his side, and by no one was the deficiency
less remarked than by himself.

The greeting between Tecumseh and these officers, was
such as might be expected from warriors bound to each
other by mutual esteem. Each held the other in the highest
honor, but it was particularly remarked that while the
Indian Chieftain looked up to the General with the respect
he felt to be due to him, not merely as the dignified
representative of his "Great Father," but as one of a
heart and actions claiming his highest personal admiration,
his address to his companion, whom he now beheld for the
first time, was warmer, and more energetic; and as he
repeatedly glanced at the armless sleeve, he uttered one
of those quick ejaculatory exclamations, peculiar to his
race, and indicating, in this instance, the fullest extent
of approbation. The secret bond of sympathy which chained
his interest to the Commodore, might have owed its being
to another cause. In the countenance of the latter there
was much of that eagerness of expression, and in the eye
that vivacious fire, that flashed, even in repose, from
his own swarthier and more speaking features; and this
assimilation of character might have been the means of
producing that preference for, and devotedness to, the
cause of the naval commander, that subsequently developed
itself in the chieftain. In a word, the General seemed
to claim the admiration and the respect of the Indian--
the Commodore, his admiration and friendship.

The greeting between these generous leaders was brief.
When the first salutations had been interchanged, it was
intimated to Tecumseh, through the medium of an interpreter,
then in attendance on the General, that a war-council
had been ordered, for the purpose of taking into
consideration the best means of defeating the designs of
the Americans, who, with a view to offensive operations,
had, in the interval of the warrior's absence, pushed on
a considerable force to the frontier. The council,
however, had been delayed, in order that it might have
the benefit of his opinions, and of his experience in
the peculiar warfare which was about to be commenced.

Tecumseh acknowledged his sense of the communication with
the bold frankness of the inartificial son of nature,
scorning to conceal his just self-estimate beneath a veil
of affected modesty. He knew his own worth, and while he
over-valued not one iota of that worth, so did he not
affect to disclaim a consciousness of the fact--that
within his swarthy chest and active brain there beat a
heart and lived a judgment, as prompt to conceive and
execute as those of the proudest he that ever swayed the
destinies of a warlike people. Replying to the
complimentary invitation of the General, he unhesitatingly
said he had done well to await his (Tecumseh's) arrival,
before he determined on his course of action, and that
he should now have the full benefit of his opinions and
advice.

If the chief had been forcibly prepossessed in favour of
the naval commander, the latter had not been less
interested. Since his recent arrival, to assume the
direction of the fleet, Commodore Barclay had had
opportunities of seeing such of the chiefs as were then
assembled at Amherstburg; but great as had been his
admiration of several of these, he had been given to
understand they fell far short, in every moral and physical
advantage, of what their renowned leader would be found
to possess, when, on his return from the expedition in
which he was engaged, fitting opportunity should be had
of bringing them in personal proximity. This admission
was now made in the fullest sense, and as the warrior
moved away to give the greeting to the several chiefs,
and conduct them to the council hall, the gallant sailor
could not refrain from expressing, in the warmest terms
to General Brock, as they moved slowly forward with the
same intention, the enthusiastic admiration excited in
him by the person, the manner, and the bearing, of the
noble Tecumseh.

Again the cannon from the battery and the shipping pealed
forth their thunder. It was the signal for the commencement
of the council, and the scene at that moment was one of
the most picturesque that can well be imagined. The sky
was cloudless, and the river, no longer ruffled by the
now motionless barks of the recently arrived Indians,
yet obeying the action of the tide, offered, as it glided
onward to the lake, the image of a flood of quick-silver;
while, in the distance, that lake itself, smooth as a
mirror, spread far and wide. Close under the bank yet
lingered the canoes, emptied only of their helmsmen (the
chiefs of the several tribes,) while, with strange tongues
and wilder gestures, the warriors of these, as they rested
on their paddles, greeted the loud report of the cannon--
now watching with eager eye the flashes from the vessel's
sides, and now upturning their gaze, and following with
wild surprise, the deepening volumes of smoke that passed
immediately over their heads, from the guns of the battery,
hidden from their view by the elevated and overhanging
bank. Blended with each discharge arose the wild yell,
which they, in such a moment of novel excitement, felt
it impossible to control, and this, answered from the
Indians above and borne in echo almost to the American
shore, had in it something indescribably startling. On
the bank itself the effect was singularly picturesque.
Here were to be seen the bright uniforms of the British
officers, at the head of whom was the tall and martial
figure of General Brock, furthermore conspicuous from
the full and drooping feather that fell gracefully over
his military hat, mingled with the wilder and more fanciful
head dresses of the chiefs. Behind these again, and
sauntering at a pace that showed them to have no share
in the deliberative assembly, whither those we have just
named were now proceeding amid the roar of artillery,
yet mixed together in nearly as great dissimilarity of
garb, were to be seen numbers of the inferior warriors
and of the soldiery, while, in various directions, the
games recently abandoned by the adult Indians, were now
resumed by mere boys. The whole picture was one of strong
animation, contrasting as it did with the quiet of the
little post on the Island, where some twelve or fifteen
men, composing the strength of the detachment, were now
sitting or standing on the battery, crowned, as well as
the fort and shipping, and in compliment to the newly
arrived Indians, with the colours of England.

Such was the scene, varied only as the numerous actors
in it varied their movements, when the event occurred,
with which we commence our next chapter.



CHAPTER II.

Several hours had passed away in the interesting discussion
of their war plans, and the council was nearly concluded,
when suddenly the attention both of the officers and
chiefs was arrested by the report of a single cannon.
From the direction of the sound, it was evident the shot
had been fired from the battery placed on the southern
or lakeward extremity of the Island of Bois Blanc, and
as the circumstance was unusual enough to indicate the
existence of some approaching cause for excitement,
several of the younger of both, who, from their youth,
had been prevented from taking any active share in the
deliberations of the day, stole, successively and
unobservedly, through the large folding doors of the
building, which, owing to the great heat of the weather,
bad been left open. After traversing about fifty yards
of sward, intersecting the high road, which, running
parallel with the river, separated the council hall from
the elevated bank, the officers found, collected in groups
on the extreme verge of this latter and anxiously watching
certain movements in the battery opposite to them, most
of the troops and inferior Indians they had left loitering
there at the commencement of the council. Those movements
were hasty, and as of men preparing to repeat the shot,
the report of which had reached them from, the opposite
extremity of the Island. Presently the forms, hitherto
intermingled, became separate and stationary--an arm of
one was next extended--then was seen to rise a flash of
light, and then a volume of dense smoke, amid which the
loud report found its sullen way, bellowing like thunder
through some blackening cloud, while, from the peculiar
nature of the sound, it was recognized, by the experienced
in those matters, to have proceeded from a shotted gun.

The war in Canada had its beginning in the manner thus
described. They were the first shots fired in that
struggle, and although at an object little calculated to
inspire ranch alarm, still, as the first indications of
an active hostility, they were proportionably exciting
to those whose lot it was thus to "break ground," for
operations on a larger scale.

Although many an eager chief had found it difficult to
repress the strong feeling of mingled curiosity and
excitement, that half raised him from the floor on which
he sat, the first shot had been heard without the effect
of actually disturbing the assembly from its fair propriety;
but no sooner had the second report, accompanied as it
was by the wild yell of their followers without, reached
their ears, than, wholly losing sight of the dignity
attached to their position as councillors, they sprang
wildly up, and seizing the weapons that lay at their
side, rushed confusedly forth, leaving Tecumseh, and two
or three only of the more aged chiefs, behind them. The
debate thus interrupted, the council was adjourned, and
soon afterwards General Brock, accompanied by his staff,
and conversing, through his interpreter, with the Shawanee
chieftain as they walked, approached the groups still
crowded along the bank of the river.

Meanwhile, after the discharge of the last gun, the
battery on the Island had been quitted by the officer in
command, who, descending to the beach, preceded by two
of his men, stepped into a light skiff that lay chained
to the gnarled root of a tree overhanging the current,
and close under the battery. A few sturdy strokes of the
oars soon brought the boat into the centre of the stream,
when the stout, broad built, figure, and carbuncled face
of an officer in the uniform of the ---- regiment, were
successively recognised, as he stood upright in the stem.

"What the deuce brings Tom Raymond to us in such a hurry?
I thought the order of the General was that he should on
no account leave his post, unless summoned by signal,"
observed one of the group of younger officers who had
first quitted the council hall, and who now waited with
interest for the landing of their companion.

"What brings him here, can you ask?" replied one at the
side of the questioner, and with a solemnity of tone and
manner that caused the whole of the group to torn their
eyes upon him, as he mournfully shook his head.

"Aye, WHAT brings him here?" repeated more than one voice,
while all closed inquiringly around for information.

"Why, the thing is as clear as the carbuncles on his own
face--the boat to be sure. "And the truism was perpetrated
with the same provokingly ludicrous, yet evidently forced,
gravity of tone and manner.

"Execrable, Middlemore--will you never give over that
vile habit of punning?"

"Detestable," said another.

"Ridiculous," repeated a third.

"Pshaw, the worst you ever uttered, "exclaimed a fourth,
and each, as he thus expressed himself, turned away with
a movement of impatience.

"That animal, Raymond, grows like a very porpoise,"
remarked a young captain, who prided himself much on the
excessive smallness of his waist. "Methinks that, like
the ground hogs that abound on his Island, he must fatten
on hickory nuts. Only see how the man melts in the noon-day
sun. But as you say, Villiers, what can bring him here
without an order from the General? And then the gun last
fired. Ha! I have it. He has discovered a Yankee boat
stealing along through the other channel."

"No doubt there is CRAFT of some description IN THE WIND,"
pursued the incorrigible Middlemore, with the same affected
unconsciousness; "and that may account for poor Raymond
being BLOWN here."

"Ha! severe, are you," returned Captain Molineux, the
Officer who had commented so freely upon the appearance
of the fat Lieutenant in the boat." But your pun, infamous
as it would be at the best, is utterly without point now,
for there has not been a breath of wind stirring during
the whole morning."

"Pun, did you say?" exclaimed Middlemore, with well affected
surprise at the charge." My dear fellow, I meant no pun."

Further remark was checked by an impatience to learn the
cause of Lieutenant Raymond's abrupt appearance, and the
officers approached the principal group. The former had
now reached the shore, and, shuffling up the bank as fast
as his own corpulency and the abruptness of the ascent
would permit, hastened to the General, who stood at some
little distance awaiting the expected communication of
the messenger.

"Well, Mr. Raymond, what is it--what have you discovered
from your post?" demanded the General, who, with those
around him, found difficulty in repressing a smile at
the heated appearance of the fat subaltern, the loud
puffing of whose lungs had been audible before he himself
drew near enough to address the chief--"something important,
I should imagine, if we may judge from the haste with
which you appear to have travelled over the short distance
that separates us?"

"Something very important, indeed, General," answered
the officer, touching his undress cap, and speaking
huskily from exertion; "there is a large bark, sir, filled
with men, stealing along shore in the American channel,
and I can see nothing of the gun boat that should be
stationed there. A shot was fired from the eastern battery,
in the hope of bringing her to, but, as the guns mounted
there are only carronades, the ball fell short, and the
suspicious looking boat crept still closer to the shore--
I ordered a shot from my battery to be tried, but without
success, for, although within range, the boat hugs the
land so closely that it is impossible to distinguish her
hull with the naked eye."

"The gun boat not to be seen, Mr. Raymond?" exclaimed
the General; "how is this, and who is the officer in
command of her?"

"One," quickly rejoined the Commodore, to whom the last
query was addressed; "whom I had selected for that duty
for the very vigilance and desire for service attributed
to him by my predecessor--of course I have not been long
enough here, to have much personal knowledge of him
myself."

"His name?" asked the General.

"Lieutenant Grantham."

"Grantham?" repeated the General, with a movement of
surprise; "It is indeed strange that HE should forego
such an opportunity."

"Still more strange," remarked the Commodore, "that the
boat he commands should have disappeared altogether. Can
there be any question of his fidelity? the Granthams are
Canadians, I understand."

The General smiled, while the young officer who had been
noticed so particularly by Tecumseh on his landing,
colored deeply.

"If," said the former, "the mere circumstance of their
having received existence amid these wilds can make them
Canadians, they certainly are Canadians; but if the blood
of a proud race can make them Britons, such they are. Be
they which they may however, I would stake my life on
the fidelity of the Granthams--still, the cause of this
young officer's absence must be inquired into, and no
doubt it will be satisfactorily explained. Meanwhile,
let a second gunboat be detached in pursuit."

The Commodore having given the necessary instructions to
a young midshipman, who attended him in the capacity of
an aid-de-camp, and the general having dismissed Lieutenant
Raymond back to his post on the island, these officers
detached themselves from the, crowd, and, while awaiting
the execution of the order, engaged in earnest conversation.

"By Jove, the Commodore is quite right in his observation,"
remarked the young and affected looking officer, who had
been to profuse in his witticisms on the corpulency of
Lieutenant Raymond; "the General may say what he will in
their favour, but this is the result of entrusting so
important a command to a Canadian."

"What do you mean, sir?" hastily demanded one even younger
than himself--it was the youth already named, whose
uniform attested him to be a brother officer of the
speaker. He had been absent for a few minutes, and only
now rejoined his companions, in time to hear the remark
which had just been uttered.

"What do you mean, Captain Molineux?" he continued, his
dark eye flashing indignation, and his downy cheek
crimsoning with warmth. "Why this remark before me, sir,
and wherefore this reflection on the Canadians?"

"Why really, Mr. Grantham," somewhat sententiously drawled
the captain; "I do not altogether understand your right
to question in this tone--nor am I accountable for any
observations I may make. Let me tell you, moreover--"
this was said with the advising air of a superior in
rank--"that it will neither be wise not prudent in you,
having been received into a British regiment, to become
the Don Quixotte of your countrymen."

"RECEIVED into a British regiment, sir! do you then
imagine that I, more than yourself, should feel this to
be a distinction," haughtily returned the indignant youth.
"But, gentlemen, your pardon," checking himself and
glancing at the rest of the group, who were silent
witnesses of the scene; "I confess I do feel the distinction
of being admitted into so gallant a corps--this in a way,
however, that must be common to us all. Again I ask,
Captain Molineux," turning to that officer, "the tendency
of the observation you have publicly made in regard to
my brother."

"Your question, Mr. Grantham, might, with as much propriety,
be addressed to any other person in the full enjoyment
of his senses, whom you see here, since it is the general
topic of conversation; but, as you seem to require an
answer from me particularly, you shall have it. My remark
referred to the absence of the officer in charge of the
gun boat, from the station allotted to him, at a moment
when an ARMED vessel of the enemy is in sight. Is this
the fact, or is it not?"

"By which remark," returned the other, "you would imply
that officer is either guilty of gross neglect or--"

"I draw no inferences, Mr. Grantham, but, even if I did,
I should be more borne out by circumstances than you
imagine."

"It is plain you would insinuate that my brother shuns
the enemy, Captain Molineux--You shall answer to me for
this insult, sir."

"As you please, Mr. Grantham, but on one condition only."

"Name it, sir, name it," said the younger officer quickly.

"That it is satisfactorily proved your brother has NOT
shunned the enemy."

Bitter feelings swelled the heart of the enthusiastic
Grantham, as, unconsciously touching the hilt of his
sword, he replied: "If your hope of avoidance rest on
this, sir, it will be found to hang upon a very thread
indeed."

The attention of the group where this unpleasant scene
had occurred, and indeed of all parties, was now diverted
by the sudden appearance of the American boat, as, shooting
past the head of the Island, which had hitherto concealed
her from the view of the assembled crowds, her spars and
white sails became visible in the far distance. A slight
and favorable breeze, blowing off the shore which she
still closely hugged, had now apparently sprung up, and,
spreading all her canvass, she was evidently making every
effort to get beyond the reach of the battery, (whither
Lieutenant Raymond had returned) under whose range she
was unavoidably impelled by the very wind that favored
her advance. Owing to some temporary difficulty, the gun
boat, just ordered by the Commodore to follow in pursuit,
was longer than suited the emergency in getting under
way, and when she had succeeded in so doing, nearly half
an hour elapsed, before, owing to the utter absence of
wind (which was partial and wholly confined to the opposite
shore) as well as the rapidity of the current, she could
be brought by the aid of her long and cumbrous sweeps to
clear the head of the Island. The American, now discovered
to be full of troops, had by this time succeeded in
getting out of the range of a fire, which although well
directed had proved harmless, and, using every exertion
of oar and sail, bade fair, favored as she was by the
breeze which reached not the canvass of her enemy, to
effect her escape.

Concern sat on every brow, and was variously expressed--
loud yells marking the fierce disappointment of the
Indians, and undisguised murmurs that of the more
disciplined troops. Coupled with this feeling, among
the officers at least, naturally arose the recollection
of him to whose apparent neglect this escape of the enemy
was to be attributed, until at length the conduct of
Lieutenant Grantham was canvassed generally, and with a
freedom little inferior to that which, falling from the
lips of Captain Molineux, had so pained his sensitive
brother; with this difference, however, that, in this
instance they were the candidly expressed opinions of
men arraigning the conduct of one of their fellows
apparently guilty of a gross dereliction from duty, and
not, as in the former they had seemed to be, with any
ungenerous allusion to his fidelity.

Warmly, and therefore audibly, commented on as was the
unaccountable absence of the officer, by individuals of
almost every rank, it was impossible that many of those
observations could escape the attention of the excited
Henry Grantham. Mortified beyond measure at the fact,
yet unable, as be had done before, to stand forth the
champion of his brother's honor, where all (with a very
few exceptions, among whom he had the consolation to find
the General) were united in opinion against him, his
situation was most painful. Not that he entertained the
remotest doubt of his brother bearing himself harmlessly
through the ordeal, but that his generous, yet haughty
spirit, could ill endure the thought of any human being
daring to cherish, much less to cast the slightest
aspersion on his blood.

Finding it vain to oppose himself to the torrent of openly
expressed opinion, the mortified youth withdrew to a
distance, and, hastening among the rude tumuli we have
described, as being scattered about the edge of the bank,
stood watching, with folded arms and heaving chest, the
gradually receding bark of the enemy. Alternately, as he
thus gazed, his dark eye now flashed with the indignation
of wounded pride, now dilated with the exulting
consciousness of cooling triumph. The assurance was strong
within him, not only that his brother would soon make
his appearance before the assembled groups who had had
the cruelty to impugn his conduct, but that he would do
so under circumstances calculated to change their warm
censure into even more vehement applause. Fully impressed
with the integrity of his absent relative, the impetuous
and generous hearted youth paused not to reflect that
circumstances were such as to justify the belief--or at
least, the doubt--that had been expressed, even by the
most impartial of those who had condemned him. It seemed
to him that others ought to have known and judged him as
he himself did, and he took a secret delight in dwelling
on the self-reproach which (measuring the feelings of
others by the standard of his own,) he conceived would
attach to them, when it should be found how erroneous
had been the estimate formed of his character.

While he thus gazed, with eyes intently bent upon the
river, and manifesting even a deeper interest as the
fleeing bark drew momentarily nearer to one particular
point in the distance, the young officer heard footsteps
approaching him. Hastily dashing away a tear which had
been called up by a variety of emotions, he tamed and
beheld the Chieftain Tecumseh, and with him one, who, in
the full uniform of the British Staff, united, in his
tall and portly figure, the martial bearing of the soldier
to the more polished graces of the habitual courtier.

"Henry, my noble boy," exclaimed the latter, as he pressed
the hand of the youth, "you must not yield to these
feelings. I have marked your impatience at the observations
caused by Gerald's strange absence, but I have brought
you one who is too partial to you both, to join in the
condemnation. I have explained every thing to him, and
he it was who, remarking you to be alone and suspecting
the cause, first proposed coming to rouse you from your
reverie."

Affectionately answering the grasp of his noble looking
uncle, (such was the consanguinity of the parties,) Henry
Grantham turned at the same time his eloquent eye upon
that of the chieftain, and, in a few brief but expressive
sentences, conveyed, in the language of the Warrior,
(with which the brothers were partially conversant), the
gratification he experienced in his unchanged confidence
in the absent officer.

As he concluded, with a warmth of manner that delighted
him to whom he addressed himself, their hands met for
the third time that day. Tecumseh at length replied, by
pointing significantly to the canoes which still lay
floating on the river, unemptied of their warriors,
staling at the same time, that had not his confidence in
his young friend been unbounded, he would long since have
dispatched those canoes in pursuit; but he was unwilling
the officer should lose any of the credit that must attach
to the capture. "I know," he concluded, "where he is
lying like the red skin in ambush for his enemy. Be
patient, and we shall soon see him."

Before Henry Grantham could find time to inquire if the
place of ambush was not the same to which his own hopes,
induced by his perfect knowledge of localities, had,
throughout, pointed as the spot most likely to conceal
the hitherto invisible gun boat, his attention, and that
of his immediate companion, was drawn to a scene that
carried a glow of exaltation to the bosoms of them all.

The American boat, long since out of range of the battery,
and scudding with a speed that mocked the useless exertion
of those on board of the second gun boat, who could with
difficulty impel her through the powerful eddy, formed
by the Island, had been gradually edging from her own
shore into the centre of the stream. This movement,
however, had the effect of rendering her more
distinguishable to the eye, breasting, as she did, the
rapid stream, than while hugging the land, even when much
nearer, she had been confounded with the dark outline of
brushwood which connected the forest with the shore. She
had now arrived opposite a neck of land beyond which ran
a narrow, deep creek, the existence of which was known
only to few, and here it chanced that in the exultation
of escape, (for they were not slow to perceive the
difficulties opposed to the progress of their pursuer,)
they gave a cheer that was echoed back from either shore,
hoisting at the same moment the American colours. Scarcely,
however, had this cheer been uttered, when a second and
more animating, was heard from a different point, and
presently, dashing into the river, and apparently issuing
from the very heart of the wood, was to be seen the gun
boat which had been the subject of so much conversation,
every stitch of her white canvass bellying from the masts,
and her dark prow buried in a wreath of foam created by
her own speed. As she neared the American, a column of
smoke, followed a second or two later, by a dull report,
rose from her bows, enveloping her a moment from the
view, and when next visible she was rapidly gaining on
the chase. The yells of the Indians, and the hurrahs of
the soldiers gave an indescribable animation to the scene.

This was, indeed, a moment of proud triumph to the heart
of Henry Grantham. He saw his brother not only freed from
every ungenerous imputation, but placed in a situation
to win to himself the first laurels that were to be
plucked in the approaching strife. The "Canadian" as he
imagined he had been superciliously termed, would be the
first to reap for Britain's sons the fruits of a war in
which those latter were not only the most prominent
actors, but also the most interested. Already in the
enthusiasm of his imagination, he pictured to himself
the honor and promotion, which bestowed upon his gallant
brother, would be reflected upon himself, and, in the
deep excitement of his feelings he could not avoid saying
aloud, heedless of the presence of his uncle:

"Now, Captain Molineux, your own difficulty is removed--my
brother has revenged himself. With me you will have an
account to settle on my own score."

"What do you mean, Henry?" seriously inquired Colonel
D'Egville; "surely you have not been imprudent enough to
engage in a quarrel with one of your brother officers."

Henry briefly recounted the conversation which had taken
place between Captain Molineux and himself.

"Far be it from my intention to check the nice sense of
honor which should be inherent in the breast of every
soldier," returned his uncle impressively, "but you are
too sensitive, Henry; Captain Molineux, who is, moreover,
a very young man, may not have expressed himself in the
most guarded manner, but he only repeated what I have
been compelled to hear myself--and from persons not only
older, but much higher in rank. Take my advice, therefore,
and let the matter rest where it is; Gerald, you see, has
given the most practical denial to any observations which
have been uttered of a nature derogatory to his honor."

"True," quickly returned the youth, with a flushing cheek,
"Gerald is sufficiently avenged, but you forget the taunt
he uttered against Canadians."

"And if he did utter such taunt, why acknowledge it as
such," calmly rejoined Colonel D'Egville, "are you ashamed
of the name? I too am a Canadian, but so far from
endeavoring to repudiate my country, I feel pride in
having received my being in a land where every thing
attests the sublimity and magnificence of nature. Look
around you, my nephew, and ask yourself what there in
the wild grandeur of these scenes to disown? But ha!" as
he cast his eyes upon the water; "I fear Gerald will lose
his prize after all--that cunning Yankee is giving him
the Indian double."

During the foregoing short conversation, an important
change had been effected in the position of the adverse
boats. The shot fired, apparently with the view of
bringing the enemy to, had produced no favorable result;
but no sooner had the gun boat come abreast with the
chase, than the latter, suddenly clewing up her sails,
put her helm about, and plying every oar with an exertion
proportioned to the emergency, made rapidly for the coast
she had recently left. The intention of the crew was,
evidently to abandon the unarmed boat, and to seek safety
in the woods. Urged by the rapidity of her own course,
the gun boat had shot considerably ahead, and when at
length she also was put about, the breeze blew so
immediately in her teeth that it was found impossible to
regain the advantage which had been lost. Meanwhile, the
American continued her flight, making directly for the
land, with a rapidity that promised fair to baffle every
exertion on the part of her pursuer. The moment was one
of intense interest to the crowd of spectators who lined
the bank. At each instant it was expected the fire of
the gun boat would open upon the fugitives; but although
this was obviously the course to be adopted, it being
apparent a single shot was sufficient to sink her, not
a flash was visible--not a report was heard. Presently,
however, while the disappointment of the spectators from
the bank was rising into murmurs, a skiff filled with
men was seen to pull from the gun boat in the direction
taken by the chase, which was speedily hidden from view
by the point of land from which the latter had previously
been observed to issue. Behind this, her pursuer, also
disappeared, and after the lapse of a few minutes pistol
and musket shots were distinguished, although they came
but faintly on the ear. These gradually became more
frequent and less distinct, until suddenly there was a
profound pause--then three cheers were faintly heard--and
all again was still.



CHAPTER III.

A full half hour had succeeded to these sounds of conflict,
and yet nothing could be seen of the contending boats.
Doubt and anxiety now took place of the confidence that
had hitherto animated the bosoms of the spectators, and
even Henry Grantham--his heart throbbing painfully with
emotions induced by suspense--knew not what inference to
draw from the fact of his brother's protracted absence.
Could it be that the American, defended as she was by a
force of armed men, had succeeded, not only in defeating
the aim of her pursuer, but also in capturing her? Such
a result was not impossible. The enemy against whom they
had to contend yielded to none in bravery; and as the
small bark which had quitted the gun boat was not one
third of the size of that which they pursued, it followed
of necessity, that the assailants must be infinitely
weaker in numbers than the assailed. Still no signal of
alarm was made by the gun boat, which continued to lie
to, apparently in expectation of the return of the detached
portion of her crew. Grantham knew enough of his brother's
character to feel satisfied that he was in the absent
boat, and yet it was impossible to suppose that one so
imbued with the spirit of generous enterprise should hare
succumbed to his enemy, after a contest of so short
duration, as, from the number of shots heard, this had
appeared to be. That it was terminated, there could be
no doubt. The cheers, which had been followed by an
universal silence, had given evidence of this fact; yet
why, in that case, if his brother had been victorious,
was he not already on his return? Appearances, on the
other hand, seemed to induce an impression of his defeat.
The obvious course of the enemy, if successful, was to
abandon their craft, cut off from escape by the gun boat
without, and to make the best of their way through the
woods, to their place of destination--the American fort
of Detroit,--and, as neither party was visible, it was
to be feared this object had been accomplished.

The minds of all were more or less influenced by these
doubts, bat that of Henry Grantham was especially disturbed.
From the first appearance of the gun boat, his spirits
had resumed their usual tone, for he had looked upon the
fleeing bark as the certain prize of his brother, whose
conquest was to afford the flattest denial to the
insinuation that had been breathed against him. Moreover,
his youthful pride bad exulted in the reflection that
the first halo of victory would play around the brow of
one for whom he could have made every personal sacrifice;
and now, to have those fair anticipations clouded at the
very moment when he was expecting their fullest
accomplishment, was almost unendurable. He felt, also,
that, although his resolution was thus made to stand
prominently forth, the prudence of his brother would
assuredly be called in question, for having given chase
with so inferior a force, when a single gun fired into
his enemy must have sunk her. In the impatience of his
feelings, the excited young soldier could not refrain
from adding his own censure of the imprudence, exclaiming
as he played hit foot nervously upon the ground: "Why
the devil did he not fire and sink her, instead of
following in that nutshell?"

While he was yet giving utterance to his disappointment,
a hasty exclamation met his ear, from the chieftain at
his side, who, placing one hand on the shoulder of the
officer with a familiar and meaning grasp, pointed, with
the forefinger of the other, in the direction in which
the boats had disappeared. Before Grantham's eye could
follow, an exulting yell from the distant masses of
Indians announced an advantage that was soon made obvious
to all. The small dark boat of the pursuing party was
now seen issuing from behind the point, and pulling slowly
towards the gun boat. In due course of a minute or two
afterwards appeared the American, evidently following in
the wake of the former, and attached by a tow line to
her stem. The yell pealed forth by the Indians, when the
second boat came in view, was deafening in the extreme;
and every thing became commotion along the bank, while
the little fleet of canoes, which still lay resting on
the beach, put off one after the other to the scene of
action.

Meanwhile, both objects had gained the side of the gun
boat, which, favored by a partial shifting of the wind,
now pursued her course down the river with expanded sails.
Attached to her stern, and following at quarter cable
distance, was to be seen her prize, from which the
prisoners had been removed, while above the American flag
was hoisted, in all the pride of a first conquest, the
Union-Jack of England.

Informed of the success which had crowned the enterprise
of their officer, the crews of the several vessels in
the harbour swelled the crowd assembled on the bank near
the fort, to which point curiosity and a feeling of
interest had moreover brought many of the town's people,
so that the scene finally became one of great animation.

The gun boat had now arrived opposite the fort, when the
small bark, which had recently been used in pursuit, was
again drawn up to the quarter. Into this, to the surprise
of all, was first lowered a female, hitherto unobserved;
next followed an officer in the blue uniform of the United
States regular army; then another individual, whose garb
announced him as being of the militia, and whose rank as
an officer was only distinguishable from the cockade
surmounting his round hat, and an ornamented dagger thrust
into a red morocco belt encircling his waist. After these
came the light and elegant form of one, habited in the
undress of a British naval officer, who, with one arm
supported by a black silk handkerchief, evidently taken
from his throat, and suspended from his neck, and with
the other grasping the tiller of the rudder, stood upright
in the boat, which, urged by six stout rowers, now flew
at his command towards the landing place, above which
lingered, surrounded by several officers of either service,
General Brock and Commodore Barclay.

"Well, Commodore, what think you of your Lieutenant now!"
observed the former to his friend; "the young Canadian,
you must admit, has nobly redeemed my pledge. On the
score of his fidelity there could exist no doubt, and as
for his courage, you see," pointing to the young man's
arm," his conquest has not been bloodless to himself, at
least."

"With all my soul do I disclaim the wrong I have done
him," was the emphatic and generous rejoinder." He is,
indeed, a spirited youth; and well worthy of the favorable
report which led me to entrust him with the command--
moreover he has an easy grace of carriage which pleased
and interested me in his favor, when first I saw him.
Even now, observe how courteously he bends himself to
the ear of his female prisoner, as if to encourage her
with words of assurance, that she may sustain the presence
and yells of these clamorous beings."

The boat had now reached the beach, but the difficulty
of effecting a passage, through the bands of wild Indians
that crowded, yelling, in every direction, to take a
nearer view of the prisoners, would, perhaps, have proved
insurmountable, had it not been for the interference of
one who alone possessed the secret of restraining their
lawlessness. Tecumseh had descended to the beach, eager
to be the first to congratulate his young friend. He
pressed the hand promptly extended to receive his, and
then, at a single word, made those give way whose presence
impeded the landing of the party.

Pursuing their way up the rude steps by which Lieutenant
Raymond had previously descended, the little band of
prisoners soon stood in the presence of the group assembled
to receive them. On alighting from the boat, the youthful
captor had been seen to make the tender of his uninjured
arm to the lady, who, however, had rejected it, with a
movement, seemingly of indignant surprise, clinging in the
same moment to her more elderly companion. A titter among
the younger officers, at Gerald Grantham's expense, had
followed this somewhat rode rejection of his proffered aim.

The young sailor was the first to gain the summit of the
bank. Respectfully touching his hat, and pointing to the
captives, who followed a few paces as in his rear:

"General--Commodore," he observed, his cheek flashing
with a consciousness of the gratifying position in which
he stood, "I have the honor to present to you the first
fruits of our good fortune. We hare taken thirty soldiers
of the American regular regiment, now in garrison at
Detroit, besides the boat's crew. This gentleman," pointing
to the elder officer, "is the commander of the party,
and the lady I believe is--"

"Certainly a non-combatant on this occasion," interrupted
the General, raising his plumed hat, and bowing to the
party alluded to; "Gentlemen," he pursued, addressing
the two officers," I am sorry we do not meet exactly on
the terms to which we hare so long been accustomed; but,
although the fortune of war has made you rather unwilling
guests in the present instance, the rites of hospitality
shall not be the less observed. But, Mr. Grantham, you
have forgotten to introduce these officers by name."

"I plead guilty, General, but the truth is I have neglected
to make the inquiry myself."

"Major Montgomerie, sir of the United States infantry,"
interposed the elderly officer, completely set at his
ease by the affable and attentive manner of the British
leader. "This young lady is my niece."

Again the general slightly, but courteously, bowed. "I
will not, Major Montgomerie, pay you the ill timed
compliment of expressing pleasure in seeing you on an
occasion like the present, since we must unquestionably
consider you a prisoner of war; but if the young lady
your niece, has any desire to continue her journey to
Detroit, I shall feel pleasure in forwarding her thither
under a flag of truce."

"I thank you much, General, for this mark of your
attention," returned the American;" but I think I may
venture to answer for my niece, that she will prefer
remaining with me."

"Not so, sir;" said a voice deep but femininely soft.
"General," she continued, throwing aside her veil, which
had hitherto concealed features pale even to wanness,"
I have the strongest--the most urgent reasons--for the
prosecution of my journey, and gladly do I accept your
offer."

The earnest manner of her address struck every hearer
with surprise, contrasting as it did, with the unchanging
coldness of her look; but the matter was a source of
serious concern to her uncle. He regarded her with an
air of astonishment, not unmixed with displeasure.

"How is this, Matilda," he asked; "after having travelled
thus far into the heart of this disturbed district would
you now leave me?"

"Major Montgomerie," she pursued, somewhat impatiently,
"we are in the presence of strangers, to whom this
discussion must be uninteresting--My mind is fully made
up, and I avail myself of the British General's offer."

"Certainly, certainly," observed that officer, somewhat
disconcerted by the scene; "and I can do it the more
readily, as it is my intention to send an instant summons
to the garrison of Detroit. Miss Montgomerie will, however,
do well to consider before she decides. If the summons
be not obeyed, another week will see our columns marching
to the assault, and she must be prepared for all the
horrors of such an extremity, aided, as I am compelled
to be, (and he glanced at the groups of Indians who were
standing around, but at some distance, looking silently
yet eagerly at the prisoners,) by these wild and
ungovernable warriors. Should she, on the contrary, decide
on remaining here with her uncle, she will be perfectly
safe."

"General," emphatically returned Miss Montgomerie, "were
I certain that the columns to which you allude would not
be repulsed whenever they may venture upon that assault,
and were I as certain of perishing beneath the tomahawk
and scalping knife of these savages"--and she looked
fearlessly towards them--"still would my determination
remain the same."

As she concluded a hectic spot rose to either cheek,
lingered there a moment, and then left it colorless as
before.

"Be it so, Miss Montgomerie, my word is pledged, and you
shall go--Grantham, I had intended sending one of my
personal staff with the summons, but, on reflection, you
shall be the bearer. As the captor of the lady, to you
should be awarded the charge of delivering her over to
her friends."

"Friends!" involuntarily repeated the fair American, her
cheek becoming even paler than before, and her lips
compressed in a way to indicate some deep and painful
emotion. Again she dropped her veil.

No other notice was taken of the interruption than what
the surprised manner of Major Montgomerie manifested,
and the General proceeded:

"I would ask you, Major Montgomerie, to become my guest,
while you remain with us, but fear that, as a bachelor,
I have but indifferent accomodation to offer to your
niece."

"If Miss Montgomerie will accept it," said Colonel
D'Egville, interposing, "I shall be most happy to afford
her the accomodation of a home until she finally departs
for the opposite coast. If the attention of a family of
daughters," he continued, more immediately addressing
himself to the young lady, "can render your temporary
sojourn among us less tedious, you have but to command
them."

So friendly an offer could not well be refused. Miss
Montgomerie inclined her head in acquiescence, and Colonel
D'Egville drew her arm within his own.

"It were unkind," remarked the General good humouredly,
"to separate Major Montgomerie altogether from his niece.
Either the young lady must partake of our rude fare, or
we shall consider ourselves included in your dinner party."

"You could not confer on me a greater pleasure, General--
and indeed I was about to solicit it. Commodore Barclay,
may I hope that so short and unceremonious an invitation
will be excused by the circumstances? Good--I shall expect
you. But there is yet another to be included among our
guests. Gerald, you will not fail to conduct this
gentleman, whose name I have not yet had the pleasure of
hearing"--and he looked at the latter, as if he expected
him to announce himself.

"I fear sir," observed the young officer pointedly, "that
your dinner party would be little honored by such an
addition. Although he wears the uniform of an American
officer, this person is wholly unworthy of a seat at your
table."

"Every eye was turned with an expression of deep
astonishment on the speaker, and thence upon the form of
the hitherto scarcely noticed militia officer; who, with
his head sunk sullenly upon his chest, and an eye now
and then raised stealthily to surrounding objects, made
no attempt to refute, or even to express surprise at,
the singular accusation of his captor.

"This is strong language to apply to a captive enemy,
and that enemy, apparently, an officer," gravely remarked
the General: "yet I cannot believe Mr. Grantham to be
wholly without grounds for his assertion."

Before Grantham could reply, a voice in the crowd exclaimed,
as if the utterer had been thrown off his guard, "what,
Phil!"

On the mention of this name, the American looked suddenly
up from the earth on which bit gaze had been rivetted,
and cast a rapid glance around him.

"Nay, nay, my young friend, do not, as I see you are,
feel hurt at my observation," resumed the General extending
his hand to Gerald Grantham; "I confess I did at one
moment imagine that you had been rash in your assertion,
but from what has this instant occurred, it is evident
your prisoner is known to others as well as to yourself--
No doubt we shall have every thing explained in due season.
By the bye, of what nature is your wound? Slight I should
say, from the indifference with which you treat it.

"Slight, General--far slighter," he continued, coloring,
"than the wound that was sought to be affixed to my fair
name in absence."

All looked at the speaker, and at each other with surprise,
for, as yet, there could have been no communication to
him of the doubts which had been entertained.

"Who is it of you all, gentlemen," pursued the young man,
with the same composedness of voice and manner, and
turning particularly to the officers of the ---- Regiment,
who were grouped around their Chief; "Who is it, I ask,
on whom has devolved the enviable duty of reporting me
as capable of violating my faith as a subject, and my
honor as an officer?"

There was no reply, although the same looks of surprise
were interchanged; but, as he continued to glance his
eye around the circle, it encountered, either by accident
or design, that of Captain Molineux, on whose rather
confused countenance the gaze of Henry Grantham was at
that moment bent with an expression of much meaning.

"No one answers," continued the youth; "then the sting
has been harmless. But I crave your pardon, General--I
am claiming an exemption from censure which may not be
conceded by all. Commodore, how shall I dispose of my
prisoners?"

"Not so, Mr. Grantham; you have sufficiently established
your right to repose, and I have already issued the
necessary instructions. Yet, while you have nobly acquitted
yourself of YOUR duty, let me also perform mine. Gentlemen,"
he continued, addressing the large circle of officers,
"I was the first to comment on Mr. Grantham's supposed
neglect of duty, and to cast a doubt on his fidelity.
That I was wrong I admit, but right I trust will be my
reparation, and whatever momentary pain he may experience
in knowing that he has been thus unjustly judged, it will
I am sure be more than compensated for, when he hears
that by General Brock himself his defence was undertaken,
even to the pledging of his own honor--Mr. Grantham,"
concluded the gallant officer, "how you have obtained
your knowledge of the conversation that passed here,
during your absence, is a mystery I will not now pause
to inquire into, but I would fain apologize for the wrong
I have done. Have I your pardon?"

At the commencement of this address, the visible heaving
of his full chest, the curling of his proud lip, and the
burning flush of his dark cheek, betrayed the mortification
Gerald felt, in having been placed in a position to be
judged thus unjustly; but, as the Commodore proceeded,
this feeling gradually passed away, and when the warm
defence of his conduct, by the General, was alluded to,
closed as the information was with a request for pardon,
his temporary annoyance was banished, and he experienced
only the generous triumph of one who is conscious of
having won his way, through calumny and slander, to the
well merited approbation of all right minded men.

"Come, come," interposed the General, more touched than
he was willing to appear by the expressive manner in
which the only hand of the Commodore now grasped that of
his Lieutenant, and perceiving that the latter was about
to reply; "We will defer all further explanation until
a later period. But, before we depart, this person must
be disposed of--Major Montgomerie, excuse my asking if
you will be personally responsible for your fellow
prisoner?"

"Certainly not," returned the Major quickly, and with
something like alarm at the required responsibility;
"that is to say, he does not belong to the United States
regular service, and I know nothing of him. Indeed, I
never saw him before last night, when he joined me with
a verbal message from Detroit."

Hitherto the individual spoken of had preserved an unbroken
silence, keeping, as we have already shown, his gaze
rivetted on the ground, except at intervals when he seemed
to look around,--with an eye of suspicion, as if to
measure the distance that separated him from the groups
of Indians in the background. The disclaimer of the Major
had, however, the effect of restoring to him the use of
his tongue. Casting his uncertain eye on the gentlemanly
person of the latter he exclaimed, in a tone of insufferable
vulgarity;

"I'll tell you what it is, Mister Major--you may think
yourself a devilish fine feller, but I guess as how an
officer of the Michigan Militia is just as good and as
spry as any blue coat in the United States rig'lars; so
there's that (snapping his fingers) for pretendin' not
to know me."

An ill suppressed titter pervaded the group of British
officers--the General alone preserving his serieux.

"May I ask your name?" he demanded.

"I guess, Giniril, it's Paul, Emilius, Theophilus, Arnoldi;
Ensign in the United States Michigan Militia," was answered
with a volubility strongly in contrast with the preceding
silence of the speaker.

"Then, Mr. Arnoldi, as an officer in the American Militia,
you shall enjoy your liberty on parole. I need not, I
presume, sir, point out to you the breach of private
honor and national faith consequent on any violation of
that parole."

"I guess not, Giniril, for, I take it, the word of a
Michigan Militia officer is as good as that of any United
States rig'lar, as ever stepped in shoe leather."

Another very pardonable disposition, on the part of the
younger officers to indulge in mirth, was interrupted by
the General, desiring a young aid-de-camp to procure the
necessary billet and accomodation for Ensign Arnoldi.

These two individuals having moved away in search of the
required lodging, the General, with his staff and prisoner
guests, withdrew towards the fort. Their departure was
the signal for the breaking up of the groups; and all
dispersed to their several homes, and in pursuit of their
various duties. The recently arrived Indians were
distributed throughout the encampment, already occupied
as we have described, and the prisoners taken in the
morning were provided with suitable accommodation.

As Colonel D'Egville was about to enter the gate of the
fort, with his fair charge leaning on his arm, Gerald
Grantham approached the party, with the intention of
addressing the General in regard to the prisoner Arnoldi;
but finding him engaged in close conversation with Major
Montgomerie, he lingered, as if awaiting a fitting
opportunity to open the subject.

While he yet loitered the eye of Miss Montgomerie met
his. What it expressed we will not venture to describe,
but its effect upon the young officer was profound. The
moment before, discouraged by her apparent reserve, he
had stood coldly by, but now startled into animation, he
bent upon her an earnest and corresponding look; then
with a wild tumult at his heart, which he neither sought
to stifle nor to analyze, and wholly forgetting what had
brought him to the spot, he turned and joined his brother,
who, at a short distance, stood awaiting his return.



CHAPTER IV.

At the garrison mess table that evening the occurrences
of the day naturally formed a chief topic of conversation;
and a variety of conjectures, more or less probable,
regarding the American lady, were hazarded by the officers,
to some of whom she had become an object of curiosity,
as she had to others of interest. This conversation,
necessarily 'parenthesed' with much extraneous matter,
in the nature of rapid demands for solids and liquids,
during the interesting period devoted to the process of
mastication, finally assumed a more regular character
when the cloth had been removed, and the attendants
retired.

"If a am at all a joodge of pheesogs, and a flatter meself
a am," said a raw-boned Scotch Captain of Grenadiers,
measuring six feet two in his stockings, "yon geerl has
a bit of the deevil in her ee, therefor, me lads, tak
heed that nane o' ye lose yer heerts to her."

"Why not, Cranstoun?" asked a young officer.

"Becoose, Veelliers, she seems to have art enoof, and,
to gi' the witch her due, beauty enoof to make a mon play
the rule, an' she tak it into her heed.

"By George, you are right, Cranstoun," said a remarkably
bow-legged, shoulder-of-mutton-fisted, Ensign, whose
sharp face, glowing as a harvest moon, made one feel
absolutely hot in his presence--a sensation that was by
no means diminished by his nasal tone and confident
manner; "I have no fancy for your pale faced people who,
even while their eyes are flashing anger upon all around,
show you a cheek as cold and as pale as a turnip--they're
alway so cursed deep. Don't you think so Granville, old
fellow?

"Too deep for you I dare say, Mr. Langley," observed the
officer last named, (a Captain of Light Infantry) with
a slight degree of sarcasm, for he liked not the vulgar
familiarity of the recently-joined Ensign's address;
"however, be that as it may, I will wager a score of
flour barrels, or even pork barrels, if you prefer them,
that you cannot show me a finer girl. Were I a marrying
man," he continued addressing his companions generally,
"I do not know a woman I would sooner choose to share my
barrack room with me."

"Bravo! bravo! propose to her Granville propose! propose!"
shouted two or three young and joyous voices, amid the
loud clapping of hands; "but what do you mean by offering
Langley so singular a bet?"

"Ask himself," replied Captain Granville drily, "he knows
the value of these things, if you do not. Besides we live
in a country where most dealings are in produce. But,"
he continued, adverting to the first remark, and without
seeming to notice the flush upon the red face of Ensign
Langley, which momentarily increased until it finally
assumed a purple hue--"What the devil should I do with
a wife. Nay, even if I felt so inclined, I saw her give
Gerald Grantham a look that would carry disappointment
to the hopes of any other man--What say you, Henry,"
addressing his subaltern. "How would you like her for
a sister-in-law?"

"Not at all," was the grave reply.

"Apropos," continued Captain Granville, who filled the
president's chair--"we ought to have toasted your brother's
gallant exploit--Gentlemen, fill your glasses--all full?--
Then I will give you the health of Lieutenant Grantham
of the squadron."

The toast was responded to by all but Captain Molineux--
His glass had been filled and raised, but its contents
remained untasted.

The omission was too marked not to be noticed by more
than one of the party, Henry Grantham, whose eye had been
fixed upon Captain Molineux at the time, of course detected
the slight--He sat for some minutes conversing with an
unusual and evidently forced animation, then, excusing
his early departure under the plea of an engagement with
his brother, rose and quitted the mess room.

"What ha' ye doon wi' the oogly loot ye took chairge of,
De Courcy?" inquired Captain Cranstoun, interrupting the
short and meaning pause which had succeeded to Grantham's
departure.

"Why, I calculate Captain," returned the lively aid-de-
camp, imitating the nasal drawl and language which had
called up so much mirth, even in presence of the General--
"I calculate as how I have introduced Ensign Paul, Emilius,
Theophilus, Arnoldi, of the United States Michigan Militia,
into pretty considerable snug quarters--I have billeted
him at the inn, in which he had scarcely set foot, when
his first demand was for a glass of "gin sling," wherewith
to moisten his partick'lar damn'd hot, baked clay."

"What a vulgar and uncouth animal," observed St. Clair,
a Captain of Engineers--"I am not at all surprised at
Major Montgomerie's disinclination to acknowledge him as
a personal acquaintance."

"It is to be hoped," said De Courcy, "we shall not
encounter many such during the approaching struggle, for,
since we have been driven into this war, it will be a
satisfaction to find ourselves opposed to an enemy rather
more chivalrous than this specimen seems to promise."

"Nay, nay, De Courcy," remarked Captain Granville, "you
must not judge of the American officers of the line by
the standard of their backwoodsmen; as, for example,
Major Montgomerie and the person just alluded to. Last
winter," he continued, "there was a continued interchange
of hospitality between the two posts, and, had you been
here to participate in them, you would have admitted
that, among the officers of Detroit, there were many very
superior men indeed."

"Pleasant ball that last they gave," said Lieutenant
Villiers with a malicious laugh, and fixing his eyes on
the Captain of Grenadiers.

"The deevil tak' the ball," impatiently retorted Cranstoun,
who did not seem to relish the allusion; "doont talk
aboot it noo, mon."

"What was it, Villiers? do pray tell us. Something good,
I am sure from Cranstoun's manner," eagerly asked the
aid-de-camp, his curiosity excited by the general titter
that followed the remark.

"Shall I tell him, Cranstoun?" asked Villiers in the same
bantering tone.

"Hoot mon, doon't bother me," petulantly returned the
other, as thrusting his long legs under the table, and
turning his back upon the questioner he joined, or affected
to join, in a conversation that was passing, in a low
tone, at his end of the room.

"I must premise," began Villiers, addressing himself to
the attentively listening De Courcy, "that such is the
mania for dancing in this country, scarcely any obstacle
is sufficient to deter a Canadian lady, particularly a
French Canadian, from indulging in her favorite amusement.
It is, therefore, by no means unusual to see women drawn
in sleighs over drifting masses of ice, with chasms
occasionally occurring of from fifteen to twenty feet;
and that at a moment when, driven by wind and current,
the huge fragments are impelled over each other with a
roar that can only be likened to continuous thunder,
forming, in various directions, lofty peaks from which
the sun's rays are reflected in a thousand fantastic
shades and shapes. On these occasions the sleighs, or
carioles, are drawn, not as otherwise customary, by the
fast trotting little horses of the country, but by expert
natives whose mode of transport is as follows: A strong
rope is fastened to the extremity of the shafts, and into
this the French Canadian, buried to the chin in his
blanket coat, and provided with a long pole terminating
in an iron hook, harnesses himself, by first drawing the
loop of the cord over the back of his neck, and then
passing it under his arms--In this manner does he traverse
the floating ice, stepping from mass to mass with a
rapidity that affords no time for the detached fragment
to sink under the weight with which it is temporarily
laden--As the iron-shod runners obey the slightest
impulsion, the draught is light; and the only fatigue
encountered is in the act of bringing the detached bodies
together. Wherever an opening intervenes, the Canadian
throws forward his pole, and, securing the pointed hook
in some projection of the floating ice, drags it towards
that on the extreme verge of which he stands. In like
manner he passes on to the next, when the same operation
remains to be performed, until the passage is finally
effected. Sometimes it happens that a chasm of more than
ordinary extent occurs, in which case the pole is
unavailable, and then his only alternative is to wait
patiently until some distant mass, moving in a direction
to fill up the interstice, arrives within his reach. In
the meanwhile the ice on which he stands sinks slowly
and gradually, until sometimes it quite disappears beneath
the surface of the water."

"And the women, all this time?" demanded De Courcy, with
something of the nervousness, which might be attributed
to such a situation.

"Sit as quietly and as unconcernedly, wrapped in their
furs, as if they were merely taking their customary drive
on terra firma," continued Villiers, "nay, I am persuaded
that if they ever entertain an anxiety on those occasions,
it is either least the absence of one of these formidable
masses should compel them to abandon an enterprize, the
bare idea of entering upon which would give an European
woman an attack of nerves, or that the delayed aid should
be a means of depriving them of one half minute of their
anticipated pleasure."

"Why," interrupted Middlemore, despite of a dozen ohs
and ahs--"why, I say, is Villiers like a man of domestic
habits? Do you give it up? Because he is fond of dwelling
on his own premises."

"Middlemore, when will you renounce that vile habit of
punning?" said De Courcy with an earnestness of adjuration
that excited a general laugh at his end of the table--
"Come, Villiers, never mind his nonsense, for your
premises, although a little long, are not without deep
interest--but what has all this to do with our good
friend above?"

"You shall hear. After a succession of balls last winter,
to which the ladies on either shore were invariably
invited, the concluding one was given by the officers in
garrison at Detroit. This was at the very close of the
season, and it chanced that, on the preceding night, the
river had broken up, so that the roar and fracas of
crashing ice, might have been likened, during forty eight
hours afterwards, to some terrible disorganization of
nature. Nothing daunted, however, by the circumstance,
many of the Canadian ladies made the usual preparations,
and amongst others the Miss D'Egvilles."

Here Villiers paused a moment, and with a significant
"hem," sought to arouse the attention of the Grenadier;
but Cranstoun, insensible to the appeal, and perhaps
unwilling to listen to a story that occasioned so much
mirth whenever it was repeated continued with his back
immovably turned towards the speaker.

"All very well," pursued Villiers:--"but we know the
adage--'none so deaf as those who will not hear'--I have
said," again turning to De Courcy, while those who were
near, listened not without interest to the story, familiar
even as it was to them all, "that the Miss D'Egvilles
were of the party--At that time our friend was doing the
amiable to the lively Julia, although we never could
persuade him to confess his penchant; and, on this
occasion, he had attached himself to their immediate
sleigh. Provided, like the Canadians, with poles terminated
by an iron hook at one end and a spike at the other, we
made our way after their fashion, but in quicker time
than they possibly could, harnessed as they were in the
sledges. With the aid of these poles, we cleared, with
facility, chasms of from ten to twelve feet, and, alighting
on our moccasined feet, seldom incurred much risk of
losing our hold--Our ball dresses were taken in charge
by the ladies, so that our chief care was the safe passage
of our own persons. We all arrived without accident, and
passed a delightful evening, the American officers exerting
themselves to give the coup d'eclat to the last ball of
the season."

"Yes," interrupted the incorrigible Middlemore, as he
cracked a hickory nut, "and the balls reserved for us
this season will also carry with them the coup de grass."

"The night," pursued Villiers, no one noticing the
interruption save by an impatient 'pish,' "gave every
indication of a speedy break up. The ice yet floated
along in disjoined masses, but with even greater rapidity
than on the preceding day. Two alternatives remained--
either to attempt the crossing before further obstacle
should be interposed, or to remain in Detroit until the
river had been so far cleared of the ice as to admit of
a passage in canoes. With our leaping poles, we were not
so much at a loss, but the fear entertained was principally
for the safety of the sleighs. Nothing dismayed, however,
by the dangerous appearance of the river, the ladies,
after due deliberation, courageously resolved on returning
without delay, and we accordingly set out on our somewhat
hazardous expedition.

"Notwithstanding it was, as I have already remarked, the
close of winter, the cold was intense, and we were warmly
clad. I do not know if you have ever seen Cranstoun's
huge bear skin coat, (an affirmative nod was given by De
Courcy,) well: in this formidable covering had he encased
himself, so that when he quitted the town, surmounted as
his head was moreover with a fur cap, he presented more
of the appearance of a dancing bear than of a human
creature. In this guise he attached himself to the sleigh
of the D'Egvilles, which, in crossing, happened to be
the farthest down the river, of the group."

"What a domn'd loong time ye are teelling that stoopid
stoory Veelliers," at length noticed Cranstoun, wheeling
round and regarding the narrator with a look of ill
assumed indifference, "a coold a toold it mysel in half
the time."

"I am afraid you would not tell it so faithfully" replied
Lieutenant Villiers, amid the loud laugh which was now
raised at Cranstoun's expense. "You see it is so good a
thing I like to make the most of it."

Here Cranstoun again turned his back upon the party, and
Villiers pursued,

"The main body of the expedition had got nearly half way
across the river, when suddenly our ears were assailed
by moanings, resembling those of some wild beast, mingled
with incessant and ungovernable laughter. Checking our
course, and turning to behold the cause, we observed,
about a hundred yards below us, the sledge of the
D'Egvilles, from which the almost convulsive laughter
proceeded, and at a considerable distance beyond this
again, an object the true character of which we were some
time in discovering.

"It appeared, on subsequent explanation, that Cranstoun,
who had been whispering soft nothings in the ear of Julia
D'Egville, (here the Captain was observed to prick his
ear without materially altering his position) hem!
Cranstoun, I say, it appeared had also taken it into his
head to give her a specimen of his agility, by an attempt
to clear a space between two masses of ice of somewhat
too great a breadth for a heavy grenadier, buttoned up
to the chin in a ponderous bear skin coat. He succeeded
in gaining the opposite piece of ice, but had no sooner
reached it, than he fell, entangled in such a manner in
his covering that he found it impossible to extricate
himself. To add to his disaster, the force of his fall
broke off, from the main body, the section of ice on
which he rested. Borne down by the current, in spite of
his vain struggles to free himself, he was unable even
to call for aid, his fingers moreover being so benumbed
with cold that he found it impossible to unbutton the
straps which confined his month. In this emergency he
could only utter the strange and unintelligible moan
which had reached our ears, and which, mingled with the
bursts of laughter from Julia D'Egville, formed a most
incongruous melange.

"The best of the adventure remains, however, to be told.
Numbers of the peasantry from either shore, provided with
poles, guns, and ropes, were now to be seen rushing
towards the half congealed Cranstoun, fully imagining--nay
exclaiming--that it was a wild bear, which, in an attempt
to cross the river, had had its retreat cut off, and was
now, from insensibility, rendered harmless. Disputes even
arose in the distance as to whom the prize should belong,
each pursuer claiming to have seen it first. Nay, more
than one gun had been levelled with a view of terminating
all doubt by lodging a bullet in the carcase, when,
fortunately for the subject in dispute, this proposal
was overruled by the majority, who were more anxious to
capture than to slay the supposed bear. Meanwhile the
Canadian, harnessed to the sleigh of the D'Egvilles,
roared out with all his lungs for the two parties to
hasten to the assistance of the drowning British officer.
In the confusion produced by their own voices, however,
they did not appear to hear or understand him; yet all
pursued the aim they had in view. Cranstoun's body was
so doubled up that it was impossible for any one, who
had not witnessed the accident, to imagine it any thing
in nature but a bear; and this impression, the strange
moaning he continued to make, tended to confirm.

"The party of Canadians, favored by the nature of their
floating ice-bridges, were the first to come up to him.
A desperate effort of his cramped muscles had enabled
Cranstoun to extend one of his legs, at the moment when
they were about to throw a noose round his neck, and this
was the first intimation the astonished peasantry had of
their supposed prize being a human being, instead of the
fat bear they bad expected. Poor Cranstoun was of course
liberated from his 'durance vile,' but so chilled from
long immersion, that he could not stand without assistance,
and it was not until one of their companions had approached
with a sleigh that he could be removed. He kept his bed
three days, as much I believe from vexation as illness,
and has never worn his unlucky bear skin since; neither
has he forgiven Julia D'Egville the laugh she enjoyed at
his expense. Cranstoun," he concluded, "you may turn
now, the story is told."

But Cranstoun, apparently heedless of the laugh that
followed this--as indeed it did every--narration of the
anecdote, was not to be shaken from his equanimity. He
continued silent and unmoved, as if he had not heard a
word of the conclusion.

"Poor Cranstoun," exclaimed the joyous De Courcy, in a
strain of provoking banter, "what an unfortunate leap
that was of yours; and how delighted you must have felt
when you again stepped on terra firma."

"I don't wonder at his leap being unfortunate," observed
Middlemore, all eyes fixed upon him in expectation of
what was to follow, "for Julia D'Egville can affirm that,
while paying his court to her, he had not chosen a leap
year."

While all were as usual abusing the far strained pun, a
note was brought in by the head waiter and handed to the
punster. The officer read it attentively, and then, with
an air of seriousness which in him was remarkable, tossed
it across the table to Captain Molineux, who, since the
departure of Henry Grantham, had been sitting with his
arms folded, apparently buried in profound thought, and
taking no part either in the conversation or the laughter
which accompanied it. A faint smile passed over his
features, as, after having read, he returned, it with an
assentient nod to Middlemore. Shortly afterwards, availing
himself of the opportunity afforded by the introduction
of some fresh topic of conversation, he quitted his seat,
and whispering something in the ear of Villiers, left
the mess room. Soon after, the latter officer disappeared
from the table, and in a few moments his example was
followed by Middlemore.



CHAPTER V.

The dinner party at Colonel D'Egville's was composed in
a manner to inspire an English exclusive with irrepressible
honor. At the suggestion of General Brock, Tecumseh had
been invited, and, with him, three other celebrated Indian
chiefs, whom we beg to introduce to our readers under
their familiar names--Split-log--Round-head--and Walk-
in-the-water--all of the formidable nation of the Hurons.
In his capacity of superintendant of Indian affairs,
Colonel D'Egville had been much in the habit of entertaining
the superior chiefs, who, with a tact peculiar to men of
their sedate and serious character, if they displayed
few of the graces of European polish, at least gave no
manifestation of an innate vulgarity. As it may not be
uninteresting to the reader to have a slight sketch of
the warriors, we will attempt the portraiture.

The chief Split-log, who indeed should rather have been
named Split-ear, as we shall presently show, was afflicted
with an aldermanic rotundity of person, by no means common
among his race, and was one, who from his love of ease
and naturally indolent disposition, seemed more fitted
to take his seat in the council than to lead his warriors
to battle. Yet was he not, in reality, the inactive
character be appeared, and more than once, subsequently,
he was engaged in expeditions of a predatory nature,
carrying off the customary spoils. We cannot import a
better idea of the head of the warrior, than by stating,
that we never recal that of the gigantic Memnon, in the
British Museum, without being forcibly reminded of
Split-log's. The Indian, however, was notorious for a
peculiarity which the Egyptian had not. So enormous a
head, seeming to require a corresponding portion of the
several organs, nature had, in her great bounty, provided
him with a nose, which, if it equalled not that of
Smellfungus in length, might, in height and breadth, have
laughed it utterly to scorn. Neither, was it a single,
but a double nose--two excrescences, equalling in bulk
a moderate sized lemon, and of the spongy nature of a
mushroom, bulging out, and lending an expression of owlish
wisdom to his otherwise heavy features. As on that of
the Memnon, not a vestige of a hair was to be seen on
the head of Split-log. His lips were, moreover, of the
same unsightly thickness, while the elephantine ear had
been slit in such a manner, that the pliant cartilage,
yielding to the weight of several ounces of lead which
had for years adorned it, now lay stretched, and coquetting
with the brawny shoulder on which it reposed. Such was
the Huron, or Wyandot Chief, whose cognomen of Split-log
had, in all probability, been derived from his facility
in "suiting the action to the word;" for, in addition to
his gigantic nose, he possessed a fist, which in size
and strength might have disputed the palm with Maximilian
himself: although his practice had chiefly been confined
to knocking down his drunken wives, instead of oxen.

The second Chief, Round-head, who, by the way, was the
principal in reputation after Tecumseh, we find the more
difficulty in describing from the fact of his having had
few or none of those peculiarities which we have, happily
for our powers of description, been enabled to seize hold
of in Split-log. His name we believe to have been derived
from that indispensable portion of his frame. His eye
was quick, even penetrating, and his stem brow denoted
intelligence and decision of character. His straight,
coal black, hair, cut square over the forehead, fell long
and thickly over his face and shoulders. This, surmounted
by a round slouched hat, ornamented with an eagle's
feather, which he ordinarily wore and had not even now
dispensed with, added to a blue capote or hunting frock,
produced a tout ensemble, which cannot be more happily
rendered than by a comparison with one of his puritanical
sly-eyed namesakes of the English Revolution.

Whether our third hero, Walk-in-the-water, derived his
name from any aquatic achievement which could possibly
give a claim to its adoption, we have no means of
ascertaining; but certain it is that in his features he
bore a striking resemblance to the portraits of Oliver
Cromwell. The same small, keen, searching eye--the same
iron inflexibility of feature, together with the long
black hair escaping from beneath the slouched hat, (for
Walk-in-the-water, as well as Round-head, was characterized
by an unconscious imitation of the Roundheads of the
revolution)--all contributed to render the resemblance
as perfect, as perfection of resemblance can be obtained
where the physical, and not the moral, man, forms the
ground of contrast.

Far above these in nobleness of person, as well as in
brilliancy of intellect, was the graceful Tecumseh. Unlike
his companions, whose dress was exceedingly plain, he
wore his jerkin or hunting coat, of the most beautifully
soft and pliant deer skin, on which were visible a variety
of tasteful devices exquisitely embroidered with the
stained quills of the porcupine. A shirt of dazzling
whiteness was carefully drawn over his expansive chest,
and in his equally white shawl-turban was placed an
ostrich feather, the prized gift of the lady of the
mansion. On all occasions of festivity, and latterly in
the field, he was wont thus to decorate himself; and
never did the noble warrior appear to greater advantage
than when habited in this costume. The contrast it offered
to his swarthy cheek and mobile features, animated as
they were by the frequent flashing of his eagle eye,
seldom failed to excite admiration in the bosoms of all
who saw him.

The half hour that elapsed between the arrival of the
several guests and the announcement of dinner, was passed
under the influence of feelings almost as various in kind
as the party itself. Messieurs Split-log, Round-head,
and Walk-in-the-water, fascinated by the eagles on the
buttons of Major Montgomerie's uniform, appeared to regard
that officer, as if they saw no just cause or impediment
why certain weapons dangling at their sides should not
be made to perform, and that without delay, an incision
in the cranium of their proprietor. True, there was a
difficulty. The veteran Major was partially bald, and
wanted the top knot or scalping tuft, which to a true
warrior was indispensable; not that we mean to insinuate
that either of these chiefs would so far have forgotten
the position in which that gentleman stood, as to have
been tempted into any practical demonstration of their
hostility: but there was a restlessness about the eye
of each that, much like the instinct of the cat, which
regards with natural avidity the bird that is suffered
to go at large within his reach, without daring openly
to attack it, betrayed the internal effort it cost them
to lose sight of the enemy in the prisoner and friend of
their superintendent. The Major, on the other hand,
although satisfied he was under the roof of hospitality,
did not at first appear altogether at his ease, but,
while he conversed with the English officers, turned ever
and anon an eye of distrust on the movements of his
swarthy fellow guests. On the arrival of Tecumseh, who,
detained until a late hour by the arrangements he had
been making for the encampment and supplies of his new
force, was the last to make his appearance, the Major's
doubts passed entirely away. It was impossible to be in
the presence of this chieftain, and fail, even without
any other index to his soul than what the candour of his
expression afforded, to entertain all the security that
man may repose on man. He had in him, it is true, too
much of the sincerity of nature to make any thing like
a friendly advance to one of a people to whom he owed
all the misfortunes of his race, and for whom he had
avowed an inextinguishable hostility of heart and purpose;
but, unless when this night with strict propriety be
exercised, the spirit of his vengeance extended not; and
not only would he have scorned to harm a fallen foe, but
his arm would have been the first uplifted in his defence.

Notwithstanding the glance of intelligence which Captain
Granville had remarked, and which we had previously stated
to have been directed by Miss Montgomerie to her captor
a few hours before, there was nothing in her manner daring
dinner to convey the semblance of a prepossession. True,
that in the tumultuous glow of gratified vanity and
dawning love, Gerald Grantham had executed a toilet into
which, with a view to the improvement of the advantage
he imagined himself to have gained, all the justifiable
coquetry of personal embellishment had been thrown; but
neither the handsome blue uniform with its glittering
epaulette, nor the beautiful hair on which more than
usual pains had been bestowed, nor the sparkling of his
dark eye, nor the expression of a cheek, rendered doubly
animated by excitement, nor the interestingly displayed
arm en echarpe--none of these attractions, we repeat,
seemed to claim even a partial notice from her they were
intended to captivate. Cold, colourless, passionless,
Miss Montgomerie met him with the calmness of an absolute
stranger; and when, with the recollection of the
indescribable look she had bestowed upon him glowing at
his heart, Gerald again sought in her eyes some trace of
the expression that had stirred every vein into transport,
he found there indifference the most complete. How great
his mortification was we will not venture to describe,
but the arch and occasional raillery of his lively cousin,
Julia D'Egville, seemed to denote most plainly that the
conqueror and the conquered had exchanged positions.

Nor was this surprising; Miss Montgomerie's travelling
habit had been discarded for the more decorative ornaments
of a dinner toilet, in which, however, the most marked
simplicity was preserved. A plain white muslin dress gave
full developement to a person, which was of a perfection
that no dress could have disguised. It was the bust of
a Venus, united to a form, to create which would have
taxed the imaginative powers of a Praxiteles--a form so
faultlessly moulded that every movement presented some
new and unpremeditated grace. What added to the surpassing
richness of her beauty was her hair, which, black, glossy,
and of eastern luxuriance, and seemingly disdaining the
girlishness of curls, reposed in broad Grecian bands,
across a brow, the intellectual expression of which they
contributed to form. Yet, never did woman exhibit in her
person and face, more opposite extremes of beauty. If
the one was strikingly characteristic of warmth, the
other was no less indicative of coldness. Fair, even to
paleness, were her cheek and forehead, which wore an
appearance of almost marble immobility, save when, in
moments of oft recurring abstraction, a slight but marked
contraction of the brow betrayed the existence of a
feeling, indefinable indeed by the observer, but certainly
unallied to softness. Still was she beautiful--coldly,
classically, beautiful--eminently calculated to inspire
passion, but seemingly incapable of feeling it.

The coldness of Miss Montgomerie's manner was no less
remarkable. Her whole demeanour was one of abstraction.
It seemed as if heedless, not only of ceremony, but of
courtesy, her thoughts and feelings were far from the
board of whose hospitality she was partaking. Indeed,
the very few remarks she made during dinner referred to
the period of departure of the boat, in which she was to
be conveyed to Detroit, and on this subject she displayed
an earnestness, which, even Grantham thought, might have
been suppressed in the presence of his uncle's family.
Perhaps he felt piqued at her readiness to leave him.

Under these circumstances, the dinner was not, as might
be expected, particularly gay. There was an 'embarras'
among all, which even the circulating wine did not wholly
remove. Major Montgomerie was nearly as silent as his
niece. Mrs. D'Egville, although evincing all the kindness
of her really benevolent nature--a task in which she was
assisted by her amiable daughters, still felt that the
reserve of her guest insensibly produced a corresponding
effect upon herself, while Colonel D'Egville, gay,
polished, and attentive, as he usually was, could not
wholly overcome an apprehension that the introduction of
the Indian Chiefs had given offence to both uncle and
niece. Still, it was impossible to have acted otherwise.
Independently of his strong personal attachment to
Tecumseh, considerations involving the safety of the
Province, threatened as it was, strongly demanded that
the leading Chiefs should be treated with the respect
due to their station; and moreover, while General Brock,
and Commodore Barclay were present, there could be no
ground for an impression that slight was intended. Both
these officers saw the difficulty under which their host
laboured, and sought by every gentlemanly attention, to
remove whatever unpleasantness might lurk in the feelings
of his American guests.

The dessert brought with it but little addition to the
animation of the party, and it was a relief to all, when,
after a toast proposed by the General, to the "Ladies of
America," Mrs. D'Egville made the usual signal for
withdrawing.

As soon as they had departed, followed a moment or two
afterwards by Tecumseh and Gerald Grantham, Messieurs
Split-log, Round-head, and Walk-in-the-Water, deliberately
taking their pipe-bowl tomahawks from their belts,
proceeded to fill them with kinni-kinnick, a mixture of
Virginia tobacco, and odoriferous herbs, than which no
perfume can be more fragrant. Amid the clouds of smoke
puffed from these at the lower end of the table, where
had been placed a supply of whiskey, their favorite
liquor--did Colonel D'Egville and his more civilized
guests quaff their claret; more gratified than annoyed
by the savoury atmosphere wreathing around them, while,
taking advantage of the early departure of the abstemious
Tecumseh, they discussed the merits of that Chief, and
the policy of employing the Indians as allies, as will
be seen in the following chapter:--



CHAPTER VI.

"What a truly noble looking being," observed Major
Montgomerie, as he followed with his eye the receding
form of the athletic but graceful Tecumseh. "Do you know,
Colonel D'Egville, I could almost forgive your nephew
his success of this morning, in consideration of the
pleasure he has procured me in this meeting."

Colonel D'Egville looked the gratification he felt at
the avowal. "I am delighted, Major Montgomerie, to hear
you say so. My only fear was that, in making those
Chieftains my guests, at the same moment with yourself
and niece, I might have unconsciously appeared to slight,
where slight was certainly not intended. You must be
aware, however, of the rank held by them among their
respective nations, and of their consequent claim upon
the attention of one to whom the Indian interests have
been delegated."

"My dear sir," interrupted the Major, eager to disclaim,
"I trust you have not mistaken me so far, as to have
imputed a reserve of speech and manner during dinner, to
which I cannot but plead guilty, to a fastidiousness
which, situated as I am, (and he bowed to the General,
and Commodore,) would have been wholly misplaced. My
distraction, pardonable perhaps under all the
circumstances, was produced entirely by a recurrence to
certain inconveniences which I felt might arise to me
from my imprisonment. The captive bird," he pursued,
while a smile for the first time animated his very fine
countenance, "will pine within its cage, however gilded
the wires which compose it. In every sense, my
experience of to-day only leads me to the expression of
a hope, that all whom the chances of war may throw into
a similar position, may meet with a similar reception."

"Since," observed the General, "your private affairs are
of the importance you express, Major Montgomerie, you
shall depart with your niece. Perhaps I am rather exceeding
my powers in this respect, but, however this may be, I
shall take the responsibility on myself. You will hold
yourself pledged, of course, to take no part against us
in the forthcoming struggle, until you have been regularly
exchanged for whatever officer of your own rank, may
happen to fall into the hands of your countrymen. I shall
dispatch an express to the Commander-in-Chief, to intimate
this fact, requesting at the same time, that your name
may be put down in the first list for exchange."

Major Montgomerie warmly thanked the General for his kind
offer, of which he said he should be glad to avail himself,
as he did not like the idea of his niece proceeding
without him to Detroit, where she was an entire stranger.
This, he admitted, determined as she had appeared to be,
was one of the unpleasant subjects of his reflection
during dinner.

With a view of turning the conversation, and anxious
moreover, to obtain every information on the subject,
the General now inquired in what estimation Tecumseh was
generally held in the United States.

"Among the more intelligent classes of our citizens, in
the highest possible," was the reply; "but by those who
are not so capable of judging, and who only see, in the
indomitable courage and elevated talents of the patriot
hero, the stubborn inflexibility of the mere savage, he
is looked upon far less flatteringly. By all, however,
is he admitted to be formidable without parallel, in the
history of Indian warfare. His deeds are familiar to all,
and his name is much such a bugbear to American childhood,
as Marlborough's was in France, and Napoleon's is in
England. It is a source of much regret to our Government
never to have been enabled to conciliate this extraordinary
man."

"What more feasible," remarked the General, but with a
tone and manner that could not possibly give offence;
"had not the difficulty been of its own creation? Treaty
after treaty, you most admit, Major, had been made and
violated under various pretexts, while the real motive
--the aggrandizement of territories already embracing a
vast portion of their early possessions--was carefully
sought to be concealed from these unfortunate people.
How was it to be expected then that a man, whom the
necessities of his country had raised up to itself in
the twofold character of statesman and warrior--one gifted
with a power of analyzing motives which has never been
surpassed in savage life--how, I ask, was it to be expected
that he, with all these injuries of aggression staring
him in the face, should have been won over by a show of
conciliation, which long experience, independently of
his matured judgment, must have assured him was only held
forth to hoodwink, until fitting opportunity should be
found for again throwing off the mask."

"To the charge of violating treaties," returned Major
Montgomerie, who took the opposite argument in perfectly
good part, "I fear, General, our Government must to a
certain extent plead guilty--much, however, remains to
be said in excuse. In the first place, it must be borne
in mind that the territory of the United States, unlike
the kingdoms of Europe, has no fixed or settled boundary
whereby to determine its own relative bearing. True it
is, that we have the Canadas on one portion of our
frontier, but this being a fixed line of demarcation,
there can exist no question as to a mutual knowledge of
the territorial claims of both countries. Unlike that of
the old world, however, our population is rapidly
progressing, and where are we to find an outlet for tax
surplus of that population unless, unwilling as we are
to come into collision with our mere civilised neighbours,
we can push them forward into the interior. In almost
all the contracts entered into by our Government with
the Indians, large sums have been given for the lands
ceded by the latter. This was at once, of course, a tacit
and mutual revocation of any antecedent arrangements,
and if instances have occurred wherein the sacredness of
treaty has been violated, it has only been where the
Indians have refused to part with their lands for the
proffered consideration and when those lands have been
absolutely indispensable to our agricultural purposes.
Then indeed has it been found necessary to resort to
force. That this principle of "might being the better
right," may be condemned in limine it is true, but how
otherwise, with a superabundant population, can we
possibly act?"

"A superabundance of territory, I grant you, but surely
not of population," remarked the Commodore; "were the
citizens of the United States condensed into the space
allotted to Europeans, you might safely dispense with
half the Union at this moment."

"And what advantages should we then derive from the
possession of nearly a whole continent to ourselves?"

"Every advantage that may be reaped consistently with
common justice. What would be thought in Europe, if, for
instance to illustrate a point, and assuming these two
countries to be in a state of profound peace, Spain, on
the principle of might, should push her surplus population
into Portugal, compelling the latter kingdom to retire
back on herself, and crowd her own subjects into the few
provinces that might yet be left to them."

"I cannot admit the justice of your remark, Commodore,"
returned Major Montgomerie, gradually warming into
animation; "Both are civilized powers, holding the same
rank and filling nearly the same scale among the nations
of Europe. Moreover, there does not exist the same
difference in the natural man. The uneducated negro is,
from infancy and long custom, doomed to slavery, wherefore
should the copper coloured Indian be more free? But my
argument points not at their subjection. I would merely
show that, incapable of benefitting by the advantages of
the soil they inherit, they should learn to yield it with
a good grace to those who can. Their wants are few, and
interminable woods yet remain to them, in which their
hunting pursuits may be indulged without a fear of
interruption."

"That it will be long," observed the General, "before,
in so vast a continent, they will be without a final
resting place, I readily admit; but the hardship consists
in this--that they are driven from particular positions
to which their early associations lend a preference. What
was it that stirred into a flame, the fierce hostility
of Tecumseh but the determination evinced by your Government
to wrest, from the hands of his tribe, their last remaining
favorite haunts on the Wabash?"

"This cannot be denied, but it was utterly impossible we
could forego the possession of countries bordering so
immediately on our settlements. Had we pushed our
colonization further, leaving the tribes of the Wabash
in intermediate occupation, we ran the risk of having
oar settlers cut off in detail, at the slightest assumed
provocation. Nay, pretexts would have been sought for
the purpose, and the result of this would have been the
very war into which we were unavoidably led. The only
difference was, that, instead of taking up arms to avenge
our slaughtered kinsmen, we anticipated the period that
must sooner or later have arrived, by ridding ourselves
of the presence of those from whose hostility we had
every thing to apprehend."

"The expediency of these measures," said the General,
"no one, Major, can of course doubt; the only question
at issue is their justice, and in making this remark it
must be obvious there is no particular allusion to the
United States, further than that country serves to
illustrate a general principle. I am merely arguing
against the right of a strong power to wrest from a weaker
what may be essential to its own interest, without
reference to the comfort, or wishes, or convenience of
the latter."

"In such light assuredly do I take it," observed Major
Montgomerie, bowing his sense of the disclaimer. "But to
prove to you, General, that we are only following in the
course pursued by every other people of the world, let
us, without going back to the days of barbarism, when
the several kingdoms of Europe were overrun by the
strongest, and when your own country in particular became
in turn the prey of Saxons, Danes, Normans, &c. merely
glance our eyes upon those provinces which have been
subjugated by more civilized Europe. Look at South America
for instance, and then say what we have done that has
not been far exceeded by the Spaniards, in that portion
of the hemisphere--and yet, with this vast difference in
the balance, that there the European drove before him
and mercilessly destroyed an unoffending race, while we,
on the contrary, have had fierce hostility and treachery
every where opposed to our progress. The Spaniards,
moreover, offered no equivalent for the country subdued;
now we have ever done so, and only where that equivalent
has been rejected, have we found ourselves compelled to
resort to force. Look again at the islands of the West
Indies, the chief of which are conquests by England.
Where are the people to whom Providence had originally
assigned those countries, until the European, in his
thirst for aggrandizement, on that very principle of
might which you condemn, tore them violently away. Gone,
extirpated, until scarce a vestige of their existence
remains, even as it must he, in the course of time, with
the Indians of these wilds--perhaps not in this century
or the next, but soon or late assuredly. These two
people--the South Americans and Caribs--I particularly
instance, for the very reason that they offer the most
striking parallel with the immediate subject under
discussion. But shall I go further than this, gentlemen,
and maintain that we, the United States, are only following
in the course originally pointed out to us by England."

"I should be glad to hear your argument," said the
Commodore, drawing his chair closer to the table.

"And I," added the General, "consider the position too
novel not to feel interested in the manner in which it
will be maintained."

"I will not exactly say," observed Colonel D'Egville,
smiling one of his blandest smiles, and few men understood
the winning art better than himself, "that Major Montgomerie
has the happy talent of making the worse appear the better
cause; but, certainly I never remember to have heard that
cause more ably advocated."

"More subtly perhaps you would say, Colonel; but seriously,
I speak from conviction alone. It is true, as a citizen
of the United States, and therefore one interested in
the fair fame of its public acts, that conviction may
partake in some degree of partial influences; still it
is sincere. But to my argument. What I would maintain
is, as I have before stated, that in all we hare done,
we have only followed the example of England. For instance,
when the colonization of the Eastern and Southern States
of the Union took place, that is to say when our common
ancestors first settled in this country, how was their
object effected? Why, by driving from their possessions
near the sea, in order to make room for themselves, those
very nations whom we are accused of a desire to exterminate,
as if out of a mere spirit of wantonness. Did either
Dutch or English then hesitate as to what course THEY
should pursue, or suffer any qualms of conscience to
interfere with their Colonial plans? No; as a measure of
policy--as a means of security--they sought to conciliate
the Indians, but not the less determined were they to
attain their end. Who, then, among Englishmen, would have
thought of blaming their fellow countrymen, when the
object in view was the aggrandizement of the national
power, and the furtherance of individual interests? While
the Colonists continued tributary to England they could
do no wrong; they inclined no censure. Each succeding
year saw them, with a spirit of enterprize that was THEN
deemed worthy of commendation, pushing their advantages,
and extending their possessions to the utter exclusion,
and at the expense of the original possessors of the
soil. For this they incurred no blame: but mark the
change. No sooner had the war of the revolution terminated
in our emancipation from the leading strings of childhood;
no sooner had we taken rank among the acknowledged nations
of the world; no sooner had we, in a word, started into
existence as an original people, than the course we had
undeviatingly pursued in infancy, and from which we did
not dream of swerving in manhood, became a subject for
unqualified censure. What had been considered laudable
enterprize in the English Colonist, became unpardonable
ambition in the American Republican, and acts affecting
the national prosperity, that carried with them the
approbation of society and good government during our
nonage, were stigmatized as odious and grasping, the
moment we had attained our majority."

"Most ably and eloquently argued, Major," interrupted
the General, "and I fear with rather more truth than we
Englishmen are quite willing to acknowledge: still, it
must be admitted, that what in the first instance was a
necessity, partook no longer of that character at a later
period. In order to colonize the country originally, it
was necessary to select such portions as were, by their
proximity to the sea, indispensable to the perfection of
the plan. If the English Colonists drove the Indians into
the interior, it was only for a period. They had still
vast tracts to traverse, which have since, figuratively
speaking, been reduced to a mere span: and their very
sense of the difference of the motive--that is to say,
of the difference between him who merely seeks whereon
to erect his dwelling, and him who is anxious to usurp
to himself the possession of almost illimitable territory
--cannot be better expressed than by the different degrees
of enmity manifested against the two several people. When
did the fierceness of Indian hatred blaze forth against
the English Colonists, who were limited in their views,
as it has since against the subjects of the United States,
who, since the revolution, have more than tripled their
territorial acquisitions."

"Nay, General," replied the American, his lip partially
curling with a smile, indicating consciousness of triumphant
argument; "I shall defeat you on your own ground, and
that by going back to a period anterior to the revolution
--to the very period you describe as being characterized
by less intense hostility to your own Government."

"What, for instance, have we seen in modern times to
equal the famous Indian league which, under the direction
of the celebrated Pontiac, a Chieftain only surpassed by
Tecumseh, consigned so many of the European posts to
destruction, along this very line of district, about the
middle of the last century. It has been held up as a
reproach to us, that we have principally subjected
ourselves to the rancorous enmity of the Indians, in
consequence of having wrested from them their favorite
and beautiful hunting grounds, (Kentucky in particular,)
to which their early associations had linked them. But
to this I answer, that in Pontiac's time, this country
was still their own, as well as Ohio, Louisiana, Indiana,
&c. and yet the war of fierce extermination was not the
less waged against the English; not because these latter
had appropriated their principal haunts, but because they
had driven them from their original possessions, near
the sea. The hatred of the Indians has ever been the same
towards those who first secured a footing on their
continent, and, although we are a distinct people in the
eyes of the civilized world, still we are the same in
those of the natives, who see in us, not the emancipated
American, but merely the descendant of the original
Colonist. That their hostility has progressed in proportion
with our extension of territory, I cannot altogether
admit, for although our infant settlements have in a
great degree suffered from occasional irruptions of the
savages, when men, women and children, have alike been
devoted to the murderous tomahawk, in no way have our
fortresses been systematically assailed, as during the
time of Pontiac."

"For this," interrupted the General, "there are two
obvious reasons. In the first instance, your fortresses
are less isolated than ours were at that period, and,
secondly, no such intelligent being as the Chieftain you
have named, had started up among the Indian nations until
now. What Tecumseh may not effect in course of time,
should he not perish in the straggle for his country's
liberty, ought to be a matter of serious consideration
with your Government."

"Of his great talent, and dauntless determination, they
are fully aware," replied the Major, "but, as I have
already said, nothing short, not merely of giving up all
claim to future advantages, but of restoring the country
wrested from him on the Wabash, can ever win him from
his hostility; and this is a sacrifice the Government
will never consent to make."

At this point of the argument, Messieurs Split-log,
Round-head, and Walk-in-the-Water, having finished their
kinni-kinnick, and imbibed a due quantum of whiskey:
possibly, moreover, not much entertained by the conversation
that was carried on in a language neither of them understood
but imperfectly, rose to take their leave. They successively
shook hands with the British leaders, then advancing last
to Major Montgomerie, with a guttural "ugh," so accentuated
as to express good will and satisfaction, tendered their
dark palms to that officer also, muttering as they did
so something about "good Chemocomon." They then with
becoming dignity withdrew, followed by Colonel D'Egville,
who had risen to conduct them to the door.

The conversation, thus temporarily interrupted, was
resumed on that officer's return.

"Admitting the truth of your position, Major Montgomerie,"
remarked the Commodore, "that the Government of the United
States is justified, both by expediency and example, in
the course it has pursued, it will not at least be denied,
that Tecumseh is, on the very same principle, borne out
in the hatred and spirit of hostility, evinced by him
towards the oppressors of his country."

"Granted," returned the Major, "but this point has no
reference to my argument, which tends to maintain, that
in all we have done, we have been justified by necessity
and example."

"The fact is, however, that this condition of things is
one unavoidably growing out of the clashing of adverse
interests--the Indians being anxious to check, we to
extend our dominion and power as a people; and the causes
existing now, were in being nearly a century ago, and
will, in all probability, continue until all vestige of
Indian existence shall have passed utterly away. When
the French were in the occupancy of the Canadas, having
nothing to gain from them, they cultivated the alliance
and friendship of the several nations, and by fostering,
their fierce hostility against the English Colonists,
rendered them subservient to their views. To-day the
English stand precisely where the French did. Having
little to expect from the Indians, but assistance in a
case of need, they behold, and have for years beheld,
with any thing but indifference, the struggle continued
by the United States, which was commenced by themselves.
I hope I shall not be understood as expressing my own
opinion, when I add, that, in the United States, the same
covert influence is attributed to the Commanders of the
British fortresses that was imputed to the French. Indeed,
it is a general belief, among the lower classes
particularly, that, in all the wars undertaken against
the American out-posts and settlements, the Indians have
been instigated to the outrage by liberal distributions
of money, and presents from the British Government."

"It will hardly be necessary to deny the justice of such
an imputation to Major Montgomerie," remarked the General,
with a smile; "especially after having disavowed the
opinion as his own. The charge is too absurd for serious
contradiction--yet, we are not altogether ignorant that
such an impression has gone abroad."

"Few of the more enlightened of our citizens give into
the belief" said the Major; "still it will give me especial
pleasure to have it in my power to contradict the assertion
from the lips of General Brock himself."

"That we have entered into a treaty of alliance with the
Indians," observed Colonel D'Egville, "is most certainly
true; but it is an alliance wholly defensive. I must
further observe that in whatever light the policy of the
Government of the United States, in its relations with
the Indians, may be privately viewed, we are, under all
circumstances, the last people in the world who should
condemn it as injurious to our public interests, since
it has been productive of results affecting the very
existence of these provinces. Had the American Government
studied conciliation, rather than extension of territory,
it is difficult to say to what side the great body of
the Indians would, in the impending struggle, have leaned.
The possibility of some such event as the present had
not only been foreseen, but anticipated. It has long been
obvious to us that the spirit of acquisition manifested
by the United States, would not confine itself to its
customary channels; but on the contrary, that, not
contented with the appropriation of the hunting grounds
of the Indians, it would finally extend its views to
Canada. Such a crisis has long been provided against.
Presents, to a large amount, have certainly been distributed
among the Indians, and not only this, but every courtesy,
consistent at once with our dignity and our interest,
has been shown to them. You have seen, for instance,"
continued he with a smile, "my three friends, who have
just left the room; they are not exactly the happiest
specimens of Indian grace, but they have great weight in
the council, and are the leading men in the alliance to
which you hare alluded, although not wholly for the same
purpose. In the wars of Pontiac--and these are still
fresh in the recollection of certain members of my own
family--the English Commanders, with one or two exceptions,
brought those disasters upon themselves. Forgetting that
the Indians were a proud people, whom to neglect was to
stir into hatred, they treated them, with indifference,
if not with contempt; and dearly did they pay the penalty
of their fault. As we all know, they, with one only
exception, were destroyed. In their fall expired the
hostility they themselves had provoked, and time had
wholly obliterated the sense of injustice from the minds
of the several nations. Were we then with these fearful
examples, yet fresh in our recollection, to fall into a
similar error? No; a course of conciliation was adopted,
and has been pursued for years; and now do we reap the
fruit of what, after all, is but an act of the most
justifiable policy. In my capacity of superintendant of
Indian affairs, Major Montgomerie, even more than at a
Canadian brought up among them, I have had opportunities
of studying the characters of the heads of the several
nations. The most bitter enmity animates the bosoms of
all against the Government and people of the United
States, from whom, according to their own showing, they
have to record injury upon injury; whereas from us they
have received but benefits. I repeat, this is at once
politic and just. What could Canada have hoped to accomplish
in the approaching struggle, had the conduct of the
American Government been such as to have neutralized the
interest we had excited in, and for ourselves? She must
have succumbed; and my firm impression is, that, at
whatever epoch of her existence the United States may
extend the hand of conquest over these provinces, with
the Indian tribes that are now leagued with us crowding
to her own standard, not all the armies England may choose
to send to their defence will be able to prevent it."

"Filling the situation you now occupy, Colonel, there
can be no doubt you are in every way enabled to arrive
at a full knowledge of Indian feelings and Indian interests;
and we have but too much reason to fear that the strong
hatred to the United States, you describe as existing on
the part of their several leaders, has had a tendency to
unite them more cordially to the British cause. But your
course of observation suggests to another question. Why
is it that, with the knowledge possessed by the British
Government of the cruel nature of Indian warfare, it can
consent to enlist them as allies? To prevent their taking
up arms against the Canadas may be well, but in my opinion
(and it is one very generally entertained through the
United States,) the influence of the British authorities
should have been confined to neutralizing their services."

"Nay, Major Montgomerie," observed the General, "it would
indeed be exacting too much to require that we should
offer ourselves unresisting victims to the ambitious
designs (forgive the expression) of your Government; and
what but self immolation would it be to abstain from the
only means by which we can hope to save these threatened
Provinces? Colonel D'Egville has just said that, with
the Indians opposed to us, Canada would fall. I go farther,
and aver that, without the aid of the Indians, circumstanced
as England now is, Canada must be lost to us. It is a
painful alternative I admit, for that a war, which is
not carried on with the conventional courtesies of
civilized belligerent nations, is little suited to our
taste, you will do us the justice to believe; but by whom
have we been forced into the dilemma? Had we been guilty
of rousing the Indian spirit against you, with a view to
selfish advantage; or had we in any may connived at the
destruction of your settlements, from either dread or
jealousy of your too close proximity, then should we have
deserved all the odium of such conduct. But this we
unequivocally deny. Had we even, presuming on the assistance
to be derived from them, been the first to engage the
Indians in this war, and sent them forth to lay waste
your possessions, we might have submitted to well merited
censure; but what is our real position? Without any fair
pretext, and simply in furtherance of its ambitious views,
the Government of the United States declares war against
England, and, with, an eagerness that sufficiently
discloses its true object, marches its rapidly organized
armies as rapidly to our weakly defended frontier. It is
scarcely a week since an express reached this post,
bringing the announcement that hostilities had been
declared and as a proof that these must have been long
in contemplation, even the very day previous to its
arrival, a numerous army marched past on their way to
Detroit. The sound of their drums was the first intimation
we had of their approach, and our surprise was only
equalled by our utter ignorance of the motive, until the
arrival of the express at once explained the enigma.
[Footnote: Fact.] In such a case, I maintain, we stand
justified before God and man in availing ourselves of
every means of defence."

"I cannot acknowledge," replied the American, "that the
war undertaken by our Government, is without sufficient
pretext, or in a mere spirit of conquest. You forget that
an insult was offered to our national flag."

"You of course allude," said the Commodore, "to the affair
of the Little Belt, but I cannot help participating in
the opinion expressed by General Brock. The right of
search, on the part of our vessels, has been too universally
admitted for the American Government to have resisted it
to the extent they have, had they not in this circumstance
found, or fancied they found, a pretext favorable to
their ulterior and more important views. My own firm
impression is, that had England not all her troops engaged
at this moment in the Peninsula, this war never would
have been declared. The opportunity, however, has been
found too tempting, while there are only some half dozen
regular Regiments distributed throughout both provinces;
but the result will prove how far well or ill affected
the Canadians are to the British Crown. Now is the season
arrived to test their allegiance."

"I know not how far the United States Government may have
taken in their calculation a chance of disaffection,"
remarked the General with a smile; "but I think I know
the Canadians, and may venture to assert they will remain
staunch. Every where do they appear to manifest the utmost
enthusiasm."
[Footnote: This certainly was the feeling in 1812.]

"I am only delighted, General, that they have thus an
opportunity of being put to the proof," remarked Colonel
D'Egville. "If they should be found wanting, then do I
much mistake my countrymen. To return, however, to the
subject of the employment of the Indians, which you,
Major Montgomerie, appear to condemn. I would ask you,
if you are aware of the great exertions made by your
Government, to induce them to take an active part in this
very war. If not, I can acquaint you that several of the
chiefs, now here, have been strongly urged to declare
against us; and, not very long since, an important council
was held among the several tribes, wherein some few, who
had been won over by large bribes, had the temerity to
discuss the propriety of deserting the British cause, in
consideration of advantages which were promised them by
the United States. These of course were overruled by the
majority, who expressed the utmost indignation at the
proposal, but the attempt to secure their active services
was not the less made. We certainly have every reason to
congratulate ourselves on its failure."

"This certainly partakes of the argumentum ad hominem,"
said the Major, good humouredly; "I do confess, I am
aware, that since the idea of war against England was
first entertained, great efforts have been made to attach
the Indians to our interests; and in all probability had
any other man than Tecumseh presided over their destinies,
our Government would have been successful. I however,
for one, am no advocate for their employment on either
side, for it must be admitted they are a terrible and a
cruel enemy, sparing neither age nor sex."

"Again, Major," returned the General, "do we shield
ourselves under our former plea--that, as an assailed
party, we have a right to avail ourselves of whatever
means of defence are within our reach. One of two
things--either we must retain the Indians, who are bound
to us in one common interest, or we must, by discarding
them, quietly surrender the Canadas to your armies. Few
will be Quixotic enough to hesitate as to which of the
alternatives we should adopt. If the people of the United
States condemn us for employing the Indians, they are
wrong. They should rather censure their own Government,
either for declaring a war which subjects its inhabitants
to these evils, or for having so long pursued a course
of aggression towards the former, as to have precluded
the means of securing their neutrality. But there is
another powerful consideration which should have its due
weight, I will not say in justifying our conduct, (that
needs no justification,) but in quieting your apprehensions.
As I have before remarked, had we been the first to enter
on this war, sending forth into your settlements a ruthless
enemy to lay waste and massacre wherever they passed, no
time could have washed away the recollection of the
atrocity; but we take our stand on high ground. We war
not on your possessions; we merely await you on the
defensive, and it must be borne in mind that, if these
very people whose employment you deprecate are not let
loose upon the Canadas in a career of unchecked spoliation,
it is only because your Government has failed in the
attempt to blind them to a sense of their numerous wrongs."

"No reasoning can be more candid, General," returned
Major Montgomerie; "and far be it from me wholly to deny
the justice of your observation. My own private impressions
tend less to impugn your policy than to deplore the
necessity for the services of such an ally: for, however,
it may be sought on the part of the British Government,
(and I certainly do differ from the majority of my
countrymen in this instance, by believing it WILL impose
every possible check to unnecessary cruelty,) however,
I repeat, it may be sought to confine the Indians to
defensive operations, their predatory habits will but
too often lead them to the outskirts of our defenceless
settlements, and then who shall restrain them from imbruing
their hands in the blood of the young and the adult--the
resisting and the helpless."

"If we should be accused of neglecting the means of
preventing unnecessary cruelty," observed Colonel D'Egville,
"the people of the United States will do us infinite
wrong. This very circumstance has been foreseen and
provided against. Without the power to prevent the Indians
from entering upon these expeditions, we have at least
done all that experience and a thorough knowledge of
their character admits, to restrain their vengeance, by
the promise of head money. It has been made generally
known to them that every prisoner that is brought in and
delivered up, shall entitle the captor to a certain sum.
This promise, I have no doubt, will have the effect, not
only of saving the lives of those who are attacked in
their settlements, but also of checking any disposition
to unnecessary outrage in the hour of conflict."

"The idea is one certainly reflecting credit on the
humanity of the British authorities," returned Major
Montgomerie; "but I confess I doubt its efficacy. We all
know the nature of an Indian too well to hope that in
the career of his vengeance, or the full flush of victory,
he will waive his war trophy in consideration of a few
dollars. The scalp he may bring, but seldom a living head
with it."

"It is, I fear, the horrid estimation in which the scalp
is held, that too frequently whets the blades of these
people," observed the Commodore. "Were it not considered
a trophy, more lives would be spared; but an Indian, from
all I can understand, takes greater pride in exhibiting
the scalp of a slain enemy, than a knight of ancient
times did in displaying in his helmet, the glove that
had been bestowed on him as a mark of favor by his
lady-love."

"After all," said the General, "necessary as it is to
discourage it by every possible mark of our disapprobation,
I do not (entre nous) see, in the mere act of scalping,
half the horrors usually attached to the practice. The
motive must be considered. It is not the mere desire to
inflict wanton torture, that influences the warrior, but
an anxiety to possess himself of that which gives
indisputable evidence of his courage and success in war.
The prejudice of Europeans is strong against the custom
however, and we look upon it in a light very different,
I am sure, from that in which it is viewed by the Indians
themselves. The burnings of prisoners, which were practised
many years ago, no longer continue; and the infliction
of the torture has passed away, so that, after all, Indian
cruelty does not exceed that which is practised even at
this day in Europe, and by a nation bearing high rank
among the Catholic powers of Europe. I have numerous
letters, recently received from officers of my acquaintance
now serving in Spain, all of which agree in stating that
the mutilations perpetrated by the Guerilla bands, on
the bodies of such of the unfortunate French detachments
as they succeed in overpowering, far exceed any thing
imputed to the Indians of America; and, as several of
these letters an from individuals who joined the Peninsular
Array from this country, in which they had passed many
years, the statement may be relied on as coming from men
who have had men than hearsay knowledge of both parties."

"Whatever the abhorrence in which scalping may be held
by the people of the northern and eastern states," observed
Colonel D'Egville, "it is notorious that the example of
the Indians is followed by those of the western. The
backwoodsman of the new States, and the Kentuckians
particularly, almost invariably scalp the Indians they
have slain in battle. Am I not right, Major Montgomerie?"

"Perfectly, Colonel--but then the Kentuckians," he added
smiling, "are you know in some degree a separate race.
They are scarcely looked upon as appertaining to the
great American family. Half horse, half alligator, as
they are pleased to term themselves, their roving mode
of life and wild pursuits, are little removed from those
of the native Indian, who scarcely inspires more curiosity
among the civilized portion of the Union, than a genuine
Kentuckian."

"Yet, if we may credit the accounts of our Indian spies,"
remarked the General, "the army to which I have alluded,
as having marched forward to Detroit, is composed chiefly
of those backwoodsmen."

"In which case," observed the Commodore, "it will only
be savage pitted against savage after all, therefore,
the exchange of a few scalps can prove but an indifferent
source of national umbrage. Not, however, be it understood,
that I advocate the practice."

Here a tall, fine looking black, wearing the livery of
Colonel D'Egville, entering to announce that coffee was
waiting for them in an adjoining room--the party rose
and retired to the ladies.



CHAPTER VII.

Our readers doubtless bear in mind the spot called
Elliott's Point, at the western extremity of Lake Erie,
to which we have already introduced him. At a considerable
distance beyond that again, (its intermediate shores
washed by the silver waves of the Erie,) stretches a
second, called also, from the name of its proprietor,
Hartley's Point. Between these two necks, are three or
four farms; one of which and adjoining Hartley's, was,
at the period of which we treat, occupied by an individual
of whom, unfortunately for the interests of Canada, too
many of the species had been suffered to take root within
her soil. For many years previous to the war, adventurers
from the United States, chiefly men of desperate fortunes,
and even more desperate characters, had, through a mistaken
policy, been suffered to occupy the more valuable portion
of the country. Upper Canada, in particular, was infested
by these people, all of whom, even while taking the
customary oath of allegiance to the crown, brought with
them, and openly professed, all the partialities of
American citizens. By the Canadians and their descendants,
French and English, they were evidently looked upon with
an eye of distrust, for, independently of the fact of
their having been suffered to appropriate, during pleasure,
many valuable tracts of land, they had experienced no
inconsiderable partiality on the part of the Government.
Those who believe in the possibility of attaching a
renegade to the soil of his adoption and converting him
into a serviceable defender of that soil in a moment of
need, commit a great error in politics. The shrewd
Canadians knew them better. They complained with bitterness,
that at the first appearance of a war, they would hold
their oaths of fealty as naught, or that if they did
remain, it would only be with a view to embarrass the
province with their presence, and secretly to serve the
cause of their native country. The event proved that they
knew their men. Scarcely had the American declaration
of war gone forth, when numbers of these people, availing
themselves of their near contiguity, abandoned their
homes, and embarking in boats all their disposable
property, easily succeeded, under cover of the night, in
gaining the opposite coast. Not satisfied however with
their double treason, they, in the true spirit of the
dog in the manger, seemed resolved others should not
enjoy that which was no longer available to themselves,
and the dawn that succeeded the night of their departure,
more than once broke on scenes of spoliation of their
several possessions, which it required one to know these
desperate people well, to credit as being the work of
their own hands. Melancholy as it was, however, to
reflect that the spirit of conciliation had been thus
repaid, the country had reason to rejoice in their flight;
for, having thus declared themselves, there was nothing
now, beyond their open hostility, to apprehend. Not so
with the few who remained. Alike distrusted with those
who had taken a more decided part, it was impossible to
bring any charge home to them, on which to found a plea
for compelling them to quit the country, in imitation of
the example of their fellows. They had taken the oaths
of allegiance to England--and, although ninety-nine had
deliberately violated these, there was no legal cause
for driving forth the hundredth, who still kept the "word
of promise to the ear," however he might break it to the
hope. Not that, on this account, the hundredth was held
to be one whit more honourable or loyal. It was felt and
known, as though it had been written in characters of
fire upon his brow, that if he did not follow in the
steps of his predecessors, it was because his interests,
not his inclination, induced his pursuing an apparently
opposite course. It is true, those who remained were few
in number; but scattered, as they were, over various
isolated parts of the country, this only rendered them
greater objects of suspicion. If the enemy became apprised
of any of our movements, for the successful termination
of which it was necessary they should be kept in ignorance,
it was at once taken for granted their information had
been derived from the traitors Canada had so long nourished
in her bosom; and as several of them were in the practice
of absenting themselves for days in their boats, under
the plea of duck-shooting, or some other equally plausible
pretence, nothing was more easy of accomplishment. Under
these circumstances of doubt, the general secession of
the Yankees, as they were termed, which had first been
regarded as a calamity, was now looked upon as a blessing;
and if regret eventually lingered in the minds even of
those who had been most forward to promote their
introduction into the country, it arose, not because the
many had departed, but because the few remained. That
they were traitors, all believed; but, although narrowly
watched, in no one instance could their treason be traced,
much less established. In the course of time however they
committed themselves in some one way or other, and then
of necessity their only resource was to flee, as their
companions had fled before them, until ultimately few of
their number were left. If Canada has reason to feel
happy in the late war, inasmuch as that war offered a
means of proving her devoted attachment to the Mother
Country, she has no less reason to rejoice in it, as
having been the indirect means of purging her unrepublican
soil of a set of hollow hearted persons, who occupied
the place and enjoyed all the advantages of loyal men.
Should she, failing to profit by the experience of the
past, again tolerate the introduction of citizens of the
United States into her flourishing provinces, when there
are so many deserving families anxious to emigrate to
her from the Mother Country; then will she merit all the
evils which can attach, in a state of warfare, to a people
diametrically opposed in their interests, their principles,
their habits, and their attachments.

An individual of this description had his residence near
Hartley's Point. Unlike those however whose dwellings
rose at a distance, few and far between, hemmed in by
the fruits of prosperous agriculture, he appeared to have
paid But little attention to the cultivation of a soil,
which in every part was of exceeding fertility. A rude
log hut, situated in a clearing of the forest, the
imperfect work of lazy labour, was his only habitation,
and here he had for years resided without its being known
how he contrived to procure the necessary means of
subsistence; yet, in defiance of the apparent absence of
all resources, it was subject of general remark, that he
not only never wanted money, but had been enabled to
bestow something like an education on a son, who had, at
the epoch opened by our narrative, been absent from him
upwards of five years. From his frequent voyages, and
the direction his canoe was seen to take, it was inferred
by his immediate neighbours, that he dealt in contraband,
procuring various articles on the American coast, which,
he subsequently disposed of in the small town of
Amherstburgh (one of the principal English posts) among
certain subjects domiciliated there, who were suspected
of no very scrupulous desire to benefit the revenue of
the country they called their own. So well and so wisely,
however, did he cover his operations, that he had always
contrived to elude detection--and, although suspicion
attached to his conduct, in no instance had he openly
committed himself. The man himself, tall, stout and of
a forbidding look, was of a fearless and resolute character,
and if he resorted to cunning, it was because cunning
alone could serve his purpose in a country, the laws of
which were not openly to be defied.

For a series of years after his arrival, he had contrived
to evade taking the customary oaths of allegiance; but
this, eventually awakening the suspicions of the magistracy,
brought him more immediately under their surveillance,
when, year after year, he was compelled to a renewal of
the oath, for the imposition of which, it was thought,
he owed more than one of those magistrates a grudge. On
the breaking out of the war, he still remained in
undisturbed possession of his rude dwelling, watched as
well as circumstances would permit, it is true, but not
so narrowly as to be traced in his various nocturnal
excursions by water. Nothing could be conceived more
uncouth in manner and appearance than this man--nothing
more villainous than the expression of his eye. No one
knew from what particular point of the United States he
had come, and whether Yankee or Kentuckian, it would have
puzzled one of that race of beings, so proverbial for
acumen--a Philadelphia lawyer--to have determined; for
so completely did he unite the boasting language of the
latter with the wary caution and sly cunning of the
former, that he appeared a compound of both. The general
opinion, however, seemed rather, to incline in favor of
the presumption that he was less Kentuckian than Yankee.

The day following that of the capture of the American
detachment was just beginning to dawn, as two individuals
appeared on the skirt of the rude clearing in which the
hut of the man we have just described, had been erected.
The persons of both these, wrapt in blue military cloaks,
reposed upon the dark foliage in a manner to enable them
to observe, without being themselves seen, all that passed
within the clearing, from the log hut to the sand of the
lake shore. There had been an indication by one of these
of a design to step forth from his concealment into the
clearing, and advance boldly toward the house; but this
had been checked by his companion, who, laying his hand
upon his shoulder, arrested the movement, pointing out
at the same time, the leisurely but cautious advance of
two men from the hut towards the shore, on which lay a
canoe half drawn up on the sands. Each, on issuing from
the hut, had deposited a rifle against the rude exterior
of the dwelling, the better to enable them to convey a
light mast, sail, paddles, several blankets, and a common
corn-bag, apparently containing provisions, with which
they proceeded towards the canoe.

"So," said the taller of the first party, in a whisper,
"there is that d----d rascal Desborough setting out on
one of his contraband excursions. He seems to have a long
absence in view, if we may judge from the contents of
his provision sack."

"Hist," rejoined his companion, "there is more here than
meets the eye. In the first instance, remove the pistols
from the case, and be prepared to afford me assistance,
should I require it."

"What the devil are you going to do, and what do you
mean?" asked the first speaker, following however the
hint that had been given him, and removing a pair of
duelling pistols from their mahogany case.

While he was in the act of doing this, his companion had,
without replying, quitted his side, and cautiously and
noiselessly advanced to the hut. In the course of a few
minutes he again appeared at the point whence he had
started, grasping in either hand the rifles so recently
deposited there.

"Well, what is the meaning of this feat? you do not
intend, Yankee fashion, to exchange a long shot with poor
Molineux, I hope--if so, my dear fellow, I cry off, for
upon my honor, I cannot engage in any thing that is not
strictly orthodox."

He, thus addressed, could scarcely restrain a laugh at
the serious tone in which his companion expressed himself,
as if he verily believed he had that object in view.

"Would you not like," he asked, "to be in some degree
instrumental in banishing wholly from the country, a man
whom we all suspect of treason, but are compelled to
tolerate from inability to prove his guilt--this same
notorious Desborough?"

"Now that you no longer speak and act in parables, I can
understand you. Of course I should, but what proof of
his treason are we to discover in the mere fact of his
departing on what he may choose to call a hunting excursion?
even admitting he is speculating in the contraband, THAT
cannot banish him; and if it could, we could never descend
to become informers."

"Nothing of the kind is required of us--his treason will
soon unfold itself, and that in a manner to demand, as
an imperative duty, that we secure the traitor. For this
have I removed the rifles which may, in a moment of
desperation, be turned at backwoodsman's odds against
our pistols. Let us steal gently towards the beach, and
then you shall satisfy yourself; but I had nearly
forgotten--suppose the other party should arrive?",

"Then they must in their turn wait for us. They have
already exceeded their time ten minutes."

"Look," exclaimed his companion, as he slightly grasped
the shoulder on which his hand had rested, "he is returning
for the rifles."

Only one of the two men now retrod his steps from the
beach towards the hut, but with a more hurried action
than before. As he passed where the friends still
lingered, he gave a start of surprise, apparently produced
by the absence of the rifles. A moment's reflection
seeming to satisfy him it was possible his memory had
failed him, and that they had been left within the
building, he hurried forward to assure himself. After
a few moments of apparently ineffectual search, he again
made his appearance, making the circuit of the hut to
discover his lost weapons, but in vain; when, in the
fierceness of his anger, he cried aloud, with a bitterness
that gave earnest of sincerity.

"By Gosh, I wish I had the curst British rascal who played
me this trick, on t'other shore--if I wouldn't tuck my
knife into his b----y gizzard, then is my name not Jeremiah
Desborough. What the h--l's to be done now?"

Taking advantage of his entrance into the hut, the two
individuals, first described, had stolen cautiously under
cover of the forest, until they arrived at its termination,
within about twenty yards of the shore, where however
there was no outward or visible sign of the individual
who had been Desborough's companion. In the bows of the
canoe were piled the blankets, and in the centre was
deposited the provision bag that had formed a portion of
their mutual load. The mast had not been hoisted, but
lay extended along the hull, its sail loosened and
partially covering the before mentioned article of
freightage. The bow half of the canoe pressed the beach,
the other lay sunk in the water, apparently in the manner
in which it had first approached the land.

Still uttering curses, but in a more subdued tone, against
"the fellor who had stolen his small bores," the angry
Desborough retraced his steps to the canoe. More than
once he looked back to see if he could discover any traces
of the purloiner, until at length his countenance seemed
to assume an expression of deeper cause for concern, than
even the loss of his weapons.

"Ha, I expect some d----d spy has been on the look out--
if so, I must cut and run I calculate purty soon."

This apprehension was expressed as he arrived opposite
the point where the forest terminated. A slight rustling
among the underwood reduced that apprehension to certainty.
He grasped the handle of his huge knife that was thrust
into the girdle around his loins, and rivetting his gaze
on the point whence the sound had proceeded, retreated
in that attitude. Another and more distinct crush of
underwood, and he stood still with surprise, on finding
himself face to face with two officers of the garrison.

"We have alarmed you, Desborough," said the younger, as
they both advanced leisurely to the beach. "Do you
apprehend danger from our presence?"

A keen searching glance flashed from the ferocious eye
of the Yankee. It was but momentary. Quitting his firm
grasp of the knife, he suffered his limbs to relax their
tension, and aiming at carelessness, observed, with a
smile, that was tenfold more hideous from its being
forced:

"Well now, I guess, who would have expected to see two
officers so fur away from the fort at this early hour of
the mornin'."

"Ah," said the taller of the two, availing himself of
the first opening to a pun which had been afforded, "we
are merely out on a SHOOTING excursion."

Desborough gazed doubtingly on the speaker--"Strange sort
of a dress that for shootin' I guess--them cloaks most
be a great tanglement in the bushes."

"They serve to keep our ARMS warm," continued Middlemore,
perpetrating another of his execrables.

"To keep your arms warm! well sure-LY, if that arn't
droll. It may be some use to keep the primins dry, I
reckon; but I can't see the good of keepin' the fowlin'
pieces warm. Have you met any game yet, officers. I expect
as how I can pint you out a purty spry place for pattridges
and sich like."

"Thank you, my good fellow; but we have appointed to meet
our GAME here."

The dry manner in which this was observed had a visible
effect on the settler. He glanced an eye of suspicion
around, to see if others than the two officers were in
view, and it was not without effort that he assumed an
air of unconcern, as he replied:

"Well I expect I have been many a long year a hunter, as
well as other things, and yet, dang me if I ever calculated
the game would come to me. It always costs me a purty
good chase in the woods."

"How the fellow beats about the bush, to find what game
we are driving at," observed Middlemore, in an under
tone, to his companion.

"Let the Yankee alone for that," returned he, whom our
readers have doubtless recognized for Henry Grantham; "I
will match his cunning against your punning any day."

"The truth is, he is FISHING to discover our motive for
being here, and to find out if we are in any way connected
with the disappearance of his rifles."

During this conversation APART, the Yankee had carelessly
approached his canoe, and was affecting to make some
alteration in the disposition of the sail. The officers,
the younger especially, keeping a sharp look out upon
his movements, followed at some little distance, until
they, at length, stood on the extreme verge of the sands.
Their near approach seemed to render Desborough impatient:

"I expect, officers," he said, with a hastiness that, at
any other moment, would have called down immediate reproof,
if not chastisement, "you will only be losin' time here
for nothin'--About a mile beyond Hartley's there'll be
plenty of pattridges at this hour, and I am jist goin'
to start myself for a little shootin' in the Sandusky
river."

"Then, I presume," said Grantham, with a smile, "you are
well provided with silver bullets, Desborough--for, in
the hurry of departure, you seem likely to forget the
only medium through which leaden ones can be made available:
not a rifle or a shot-gun do I see."

The Yankee fixed his eye for a moment, with a penetrating
expression, on the youth, as if he would have sought a
meaning deeper than the words implied. His reading seemed
to satisfy him that all was right.

"What," he observed, with a leer, half cunning half
insolent, "if I have hid my rifle near the Sandusky swamp,
the last time I hunted there."

"In that case," observed the laughing Middlemore, to whom
the opportunity was irresistible, "you are going out on
a WILD GOOSE CHASE, indeed. Your prospects of a good
hunt, as you call it, cannot be said to be SURE AS A GUN,
for in regard to the latter, you may depend some one has
discovered and RIFLED it before this."

"You seem to have laid in a store of provisions for this
trip, Desborough," remarked Henry Grantham; "how long do
you purpose being absent?"

"I guess three or four days," was the sullen reply.

"Three or four days! why your bag contains," and the
officer partly raised a corner of the sail, "provisions
for a week, or, at least, for TWO for half that period."

The manner in which the TWO was emphasised did not escape
the attention of the settler. He was visibly disconcerted,
nor was he at all reassured when the younger officer
proceeded:

"By the bye, Desborough, we saw you leave the hut with
a companion--what has become of him?"

The Yankee, who had now recovered his self-possession,
met the question without the slightest show of hesitation:

"I expect you mean, young man," he said, with insufferable
insolence, "a help as I had from Hartley's farm, to assist
gittin' down the things. He took home along shore when
I went back to the hut for the small bores."

"Oh ho, sir! the rifles ate not then concealed near the
Sandusky swamp, I find."

For once, the wily settler felt his cunning had over-reached
itself. In the first fury of his subdued rage, he muttered
something amounting to a desire that he could produce
them at that moment, as he would well know where to lodge
the bullets--but, recovering himself, he said aloud:

"The rale fact is, I've a long gun hid, as I said, near
the swamp, but my small bore I always carry with me--only
think, jist as I and Hartley's help left the hut, I pit
my rifle against the outside wall, not being able to
carry it down with the other things, and when I went back
a minute or two ater, drot me if some tarnation rascal
hadn't stole it."

"And if you had the British rascal on t'other shore, you
wouldn't be long in tucking a knife into his gizzard,
would you?" asked Middlemore, in a nearly verbatim
repetition of the horrid oath originally uttered by
Desborough, "I see nothing to warrant our interfering
with him," he continued in an under tone to his companion.

Not a little surprised to hear his words repeated, the
Yankee lost somewhat of his confidence as he replied,
"well now sure-LY, you officers didn't think nothin' o'
that--I expect I was in a mighty rage to find my small
bore gone, and I did curse a little hearty, to be sure."

"The small bore multiplied in your absence," observed
Grantham; "when I looked at the hut there were two."

"Then maybe you can tell who was the particular d----d
rascal that stole them," said the settler eagerly.

Middlemore laughed heartily at his companion, who observed:

"The particular d----d rascal who removed, not stole them
thence, stands before you."

Again the Yankee looked disconcerted. After a moment's
hesitation, he continued, with a forced grin, that gave
an atrocious expression to his whole countenance:

"Well now, you officers are playing a purty considerable
spry trick--it's a good lark, I calculate--but you know,
as the saying is, enough's as good as a feast. Do tell
me, Mr. Grantham," and his discordant voice became more
offensive in its effort at a tone of entreaty, "do tell
me where you've hid my small bore--you little think," he
concluded, with an emphasis then unnoticed by the officers,
but subsequently remembered to have been perfectly
ferocious, "what reason I have to vally it."

"We never descend to larks of the kind," coolly observed
Grantham; "but as you say you value your rifle, it shall
be restored to you on one condition."

"And what may that be?" asked the settler, somewhat
startled at the serious manner of the officer.

"That you show us what your canoe is freighted with.
Here in the bows I mean."

"Why," rejoined the Yankee quickly, but as if without
design, intercepting the officers' nearer approach, "that
bag, I calculate, contains my provisions, and these here
blankets that you see, peepin' like from under the sail,
are what I makes my bed of while out huntin'."

"And are you quite certain there is nothing under those
blankets?--nay do not protest--you cannot answer for what
may have occurred while your back was turned, on your
way to the hut for the rifle."

"By hell," exclaimed the settler, blusteringly, "were
any man to tell me, Jeremiah Desborough, there was any
thin' beside them blankets in the canoe, I would lick
him into a jelly, even though he could whip his own weight
in wild cats."

"So is it? Now then, Jeremiah Desborough, although I have
never yet tried to whip my own weight in wild cats, I
tell you there is something more than those blankets;
and what is more, I insist upon seeing what that something
is."

The settler stood confounded. His eye rolled rapidly from
one to the other of the officers at the boldness and
determination of this language. Singly, he could hare
crushed Henry Grantham in his gripe, even as one of the
bears of the forest, near the outskirt of which they
stood; but there were two, and while attacking the one,
he was sure of being assailed by the other; nay, what
was worse, the neighborhood might be alarmed. Moreover,
although they had kept their cloaks carefully wrapped
around their persons, there could be little doubt that
both officers were armed, not, as they had originally
given him to understand, with fowling pieces, but with
(at the present close quarters at least) far more efficient
weapons--pistols. He was relieved from his embarrassment
by Middlemore exclaiming:

"Nay, do not press the poor devil, Grantham; I dare say
the story of his hunting is all a hum, and that the fact
is, he is merely going to earn an honest penny in one of
his free commercial speculations--a little contraband,"
pointing with his finger to the bows, "is it not
Desborough?"

"Why now, officer," said the Yankee, rapidly assuming a
dogged air, as if ashamed of the discovery that had been
so acutely made, "I expect you won't hurt a poor fellor
for doin' a little in this way. Drot me, these are hard
times, and this here war jist beginnin', quite pits one
to one's shifts."

"This might do, Desborough, were your present freight an
arrival instead of a departure, but we all know that
contraband is imported, not exported."

"Mighty cute you are, I guess," replied the settler,
warily, with something like the savage grin of the wild
cat, to which he had so recently alluded; "but I expect
it would be none so strange to have packed up a few dried
hog skins to stow away the goods I am goin' for."

"I should like to try the effect of a bullet among the
skins," said Grantham, leisurely drawing forth and cocking
a pistol, after having whispered something in the ear of
his companion.

"Nay, officer," said Desborough, now for the first time
manifesting serious alarm--"you sure-LY don't mean to
bore a hole through them innocent skins?"

"True," said Middlemore, imitating, "if he fires, the
hole will be something more than SKIN deep I reckon--these
pistols, to my knowledge, send a bullet through a two
inch plank at twenty paces."

As Middlemore thus expressed himself, both he and Grantham
saw, or fancied they saw, the blankets slightly agitated.

"Good place for HIDE that," said the former, addressing
his pun to the Yankee, on whom however it was totally
lost, "show us those said skins, my good fellow, and if
we find they are not filled with any thing it would be
treason in a professed British subject to export thus
clandestinely, we promise that you shall depart without
further hindrance."

"Indeed, officer," muttered the settler, sullenly and
doggedly, "I shan't do no sich thing. Yon don't belong
to the custom-house I reckon, and so I wish you a good
day, for I have a considerable long course to run, and
must be movin'." Then, seizing the paddles that were
lying on the sand, he prepared to shove the canoe from
the beach.

"Not at least before I have sent a bullet, to ascertain
the true quality of your skins," said Grantham, levelling
his pistol.

"Sure-LY," said Desborough, as he turned and drew himself
to the full height of his bony and muscular figure, while
his eye measured the officer from head to foot, with a
look of concentrated but suppressed fury, "you wouldn't
dare to do this--you wouldn't dare to fire into my canoe--
besides, consider," he said, in a tone somewhat deprecating,
"your bullet may go through her, and you would hardly do
a fellor the injury to make him lose the chance of a good
cargo."

"Then why provoke such a disaster, by refusing to show
us what is beneath those blankets?"

"Because it's my pleasure to do so," fiercely retorted
the other, "and I won't show them to no man."

"Then is it my pleasure to fire," said Grantham. "The
injury be on your own head, Desborough--one--two--."

At that moment the sail was violently agitated--something
struggling for freedom, cast the blankets on one side,
and presently the figure of a man stood upright in the
bows of the canoe, and gazed around him with an air of
stupid astonishment.

"What," exclaimed Middlemore, retreating back a pace or
two, in unfeigned surprise; "has that pistol started up,
like the ghost in Hamlet, Ensign Paul, Emilius, Theophilus,
Arnoldi, of the United States Michigan Militia--a prisoner
on his parole of honor? and yet attempting a clandestine
departure from the country--how is this?"

"Not this merely," exclaimed Grantham, "but a traitor to
his country, and a deserter from our service. This fellow,"
he pursued, in answer to an inquiring look of his companion,
"is a scoundrel, who deserted three years since from the
regiment you relieved--I recognized him yesterday on his
landing, as my brother Gerald, who proposed making his
report to the General this morning, had done before. Let
us secure both, Middlemore, for, thank Heaven we have
been enabled to detect the traitor at last, in that which
will excuse his final expulsion from the soil, even if
no worse befall him. I have only tampered with him thus
long to render his conviction more complete."

"Secure me! secure Jeremiah Desborough?" exclaimed the
settler, with rage manifest in the clenching of his teeth
and the tension of every muscle of his iron frame, "and
that for jist tryin' to save a countryman--well, we'll
see who'll have the best of it."

Before Grantham could anticipate the movement, the active
and powerful Desborough had closed with him in a manner
to prevent his making use of his pistol, had he even so
desired. In the next instant it was wrested from him,
and thrown far from the spot on which he struggled with
his adversary, but at fearful odds, against himself.
Henry Grantham, although well and actively made, was of
slight proportion, and yet in boyhood. Desborough, on
the contrary, was in the full force of a vigorous manhood.
A struggle, hand to hand, between two combatants so
disproportioned, could not, consequently, be long doubtful
as to its issue. No sooner had the formidable Yankee
closed with his enemy, than, pressing the knuckles of
his iron hand which met round the body of the officer,
with violence against his spine, he threw him backwards
with force upon the sands. Grasping his victim with one
hand as he lay upon him, he seemed, as Grantham afterwards
declared, to be groping for his knife with the other.
The settler was evidently anxious to despatch one enemy,
in order that he might fly to the assistance of his son,
for it was he whom Middlemore, with a powerful effort,
had dragged from the canoe to the beach. While his right
hand was still groping for the knife--an object which
the powerful resistance of the yet unsubdued, though
prostrate, officer rendered somewhat difficult of attainment
--the report of a pistol was heard, fired evidently by
one of the other combatants. Immediately the settler
looked up to see who was the triumphant party. Neither
had fallen, and Middlemore, if any thing, had the advantage
of his enemy; but to his infinite dismay, Desborough
beheld a horseman, evidently attracted by the report of
the pistol, urging his course with the rapidity of
lightning, along the firm sands, and advancing with cries
and vehement gesticulations to the rescue.

Springing with the quickness of thought from his victim,
the settler was in the next moment at the side of
Middlemore. Seizing him from behind by the arm within
his nervous grasp, he pressed the latter with such
prodigious force as to cause him to relinquish, by a
convulsive movement, the firm hold he had hitherto kept
of his adversary.

"In, boy, to the canoe for your life," he exclaimed
hurriedly, as following up his advantage, he spun the
officer round, and sent him tottering to the spot were
Grantham lay, still stupified and half throttled. The
next instant saw him heaving the canoe from the shore,
with all the exertion called for by his desperate situation.
And all this was done so rapidly, in so much less time
than it will take our readers to trace it, that before
the horseman, so opportunely arriving, had reached the
spot, the canoe, with its inmates, had pushed from the
shore.

Without pausing to consider the rashness and apparent
impracticability of his undertaking, the strange horseman,
checking his rein, and burying the rowels of his spurs
deep into the flanks of his steed, sent him bounding and
plunging into the lake, in pursuit of the fugitives.

He himself evinced every symptom of one in a state of
intoxication. Brandishing a stout cudgel over his head,
and pealing forth shouts of defiance, he rolled from side
to side on his spirited charger, like some labouring bark
careening to the violence of the winds, but ever, like
that bark, regaining an equilibrium that was never
thoroughly lost. Shallow as the lake was at this point
for a considerable distance, it was long before the noble
animal lost its footing, and thus had its rider been
enabled to arrive within a few paces of the canoe, at
the very moment when the increasing depth of the water,
in compelling the horse to the less expeditions process
of swimming, gave a proportionate advantage to the pursued.
No sooner, however, did the Centaur-like rider find that
he was losing ground, than, again darting his spurs into
the flanks of his charger, he made every effort to reach
the canoe, Maddened by the pain, the snorting beast half
rose upon the calm element, like some monster of the
deep, and, making two or three desperate plunges with
his fore feet, succeeded in reaching the stern. Then
commenced a short but extraordinary conflict. Bearing up
his horse as he swam, with the bridle in his teeth, the
bold rider threw his left hand upon the stern of the
vessel, and brandishing his cudgel in the right, seemed
to provoke both parties to the combat. Desborough, who
had risen from the stern at his approach, stood upright
in the centre, his companion still paddling at the bows;
and between these two a singular contest now ensued.
Armed with the formidable knife which he had about his
person, the settler made the most desperate and infuriated
efforts to reach his assailant; but in so masterly a
manner did his adversary use his simple weapon, that
every attempt was foiled, and more than once did the hard
iron-wood descend upon his shoulders, in a manner to be
heard from the shore. Once or twice the settler stooped
to evade some falling blow, and, rushing forward, sought
to sever the hand which still retained its hold of the
stern; but, with an activity remarkable in so old a man
as his assailant, for he was upwards of sixty years of
age, the hand was removed--and the settler, defeated in
his object, was amply repaid for his attempt, by a severe
collision of his bones with the cudgel. At length,
apparently enjoined by his companion, the younger removed
his paddle, and, standing up also in the canoe, aimed a
blow with its knobbed handle at the head of the horse,
at a moment when his rider was fully engaged with
Desborough. The quick-sighted old man saw the action,
and, as the paddle descended, an upward stroke from his
own heavy weapon sent it flying in fragments in the air,
while a rapid and returning blow fell upon the head of
the paddler, and prostrated him at length in the canoe.
The opportunity afforded by this diversion, momentary as
it was, was not lost upon Desborough. The horseman, who,
in his impatience to avenge the injury offered to the
animal, which seemed to form a part of himself, had
utterly forgotten the peril of his hand; and before he
could return from the double blow that had been so
skilfully wielded, to his first enemy, the knife of the
latter had penetrated his hand, which, thus rendered
powerless now relinquished its grasp. Desborough, whose
object--desperate character as he usually was--seemed
now rather to fly than to fight, availed himself of this
advantage to hasten to the bows of the canoe, where,
striding across the body of his insensible companion,
he, with a few vigorous strokes of the remaining paddle,
urged the lagging bark rapidly a-head. In no way intimidated
by his disaster, the courageous old man, again brandishing
his cudgel, and vociferating taunts of defiance, would
have continued the pursuit, but panting as he was, not
only with the exertion he had made, but under the weight
of his impatient rider, in an element in which he was
supported merely by his own buoyancy, the strength and
spirit of the animal began now perceptibly to fail him,
and he turned, despite of every effort to prevent him,
towards the shore. It was fortunate for the former that
there were no arms in the canoe, or neither he nor the
horse would, in all probability, have returned alive;
such was the opinion, at least, pronounced by those who
were witnesses of the strange scene, and who remarked
the infuriated but impotent gestures of Desborough, as
the old man, having once more gotten his steed into depth,
slowly pursued his course towards the shore, but with
the same wild brandishing of his enormous cudgel, and
the same rocking from side to side, until his body was
often at right angles with that of his jaded but sure-footed
beast. As he is, however, a character meriting rather
more than the casual notice we have bestowed, we shall
take the opportunity while he is hastening to the
discomfited officers on the beach, more particularly to
describe him.



CHAPTER VIII.

Nearly midway between Elliott's and Hartley's points,
both of which are remarkable for the low and sandy nature
of the soil, the land, rising gradually towards the
centre, assumes a more healthy and arable aspect; and,
on its highest elevation, stood a snug, well cultivated,
property, called, at the period of which we write,
Gattrie's farm. From this height, crowned on its extreme
summit by a neat and commodious farm-house, the far
reaching sands, forming the points above named, are
distinctly visible. Immediately in the rear, and commencing
beyond the orchard which surrounded the house, stretched
forestward, and to a considerable distance, a tract of
rich and cultivated soil, separated into strips by zig-zag
enclosures, and offering to the eye of the traveller, in
appropriate season, the several species of American
produce, such as Indian corn, buck wheat, &c. with here
and there a few patches of indifferent tobacco. Thus
far of the property, a more minute description of which
is unimportant. The proprietors of this neat little place
were a father and son, to the latter of whom was consigned,
for reasons which will appear presently, the sole management
of the farm. Of him we will merely say, that, at the
period of which we treat, he was a fine, strapping, dark
curly-haired, white-teethed, red-lipped, broad-shouldered,
and altogether comely and gentle tempered youth, of about
twenty, who had, although unconsciously, monopolized the
affections of almost every well favoured maiden of his
class, for miles around him--advantages of nature, from
which had resulted a union with one of the prettiest of
the fair competitors for connubial happiness.

The father we may not dismiss so hastily. He was--but,
before attempting the portraiture of his character, we
will, to the best of our ability, sketch his person.

Let the reader fancy an old man of about sixty, possessed
of that comfortable amplitude of person which is the
result rather of a mind at peace with itself, and
undisturbed by worldly care, than of any marked indulgence
in indolent habits. Let him next invest this comfortable
person in a sort of Oxford gray, coarse capote, or frock,
of capacious size, tied closely round the waist with one
of those parti-colored worsted sashes, we have, on a
former occasion described as peculiar to the bourgeois
settlers of the country. Next, suffering his eye to
descend on and admire the rotund and fleshy thigh, let
it drop gradually to the stout and muscular legs, which
he must invest in a pair of closely fitting leathern
trowsers, the wide-seamed edges of which are slit into
innumerable small strips, much after the fashion of the
American Indian. When he has completed the survey of the
lower extremities, to which he must not fail to subjoin
a foot of proportionate dimensions, tightly moccasined,
and, moreover, furnished with a pair of old English
hunting spurs, the reader must then examine the head with
which this heavy piece of animated machinery is surmounted.
From beneath a coarse felt hat, garnished with an inch-wide
band or ribbon, let him imagine he sees the yet vigorous
grey hair, descending over a forehead not altogether
wanting in a certain dignity of expression, and terminating
in a beetling brow, silvered also with the frost of years,
and shadowing a sharp, grey, intelligent eye, the vivacity
of whose expression denotes its possessor to be far in
advance, in spirit, even of his still active and powerful
frame. With these must be connected a snub nose--a double
chin, adorned with grisly honors, which are borne, like
the fleece of the lamb, only occasionally to the shears
of the shearer--and a small, and not unhandsome, mouth,
at certain periods pursed into an expression of irresistible
humour, but more frequently expressing a sense of lofty
independence. The grisly neck, little more or less bared,
as the season may demand--a kerchief loosely tied around
the collar of a checked shirt--and a knotted cudgel in
his hand,--and we think our sketch of Sampson Gattrie is
complete.

Nor must the reader picture to himself this combination
of animal properties, either standing, or lying, or
walking, or sitting; but in a measure glued, Centaur-like,
to the back of a noble stallion, vigorous, active, and
of a dark chesnut color, with silver mane and tail. In
the course of many years that Sampson had resided in the
neighbourhood, no one could remember to have seen him
stand, or lie, or walk, or sit, while away from his home,
unless absolutely compelled. Both horse and rider seemed
as though they could not exist while separated, and yet
Silvertail (thus was the stallion named) was not more
remarkable in sleekness of coat, soundness of carcase,
and fleetness of pace, than his rider was in the
characteristics of corpulency and joviality.

Sampson Gattrie had passed the greater part of his younger
days in America. He had borne arms in the revolution,
and was one of those faithful loyalists, who, preferring
rather to abandon a soil which, after all, was one of
adoption, than the flag under which they had been nurtured,
had, at the termination of that contest, passed over into
Canada. Having served in one of those irregular corps,
several of which had been employed with the Indians,
during the revolutionary contest, he had acquired much
of the language of these latter, and to this knowledge
was indebted for the situation of interpreter which he
had for years enjoyed. Unhappily for himself, however,
the salary attached to the office was sufficient to keep
him in independence, and, to the idleness consequent on
this, (for the duties of an interpreter were only
occasional,) might have been attributed the rapid growth
of a vice--an addiction to liquor--which unchecked
indulgence had now ripened into positive disease.

Great was the terror that Sampson was wont to excite in
the good people of Amherstburg. With Silvertail at his
speed, he would gallop into the town, brandishing his
cudgel, and reeling from side to side, exhibiting at one
moment the joyous character of a Silenus, at another, as
we have already shown--that of an inebriated Centaur.
Occasionally he would make his appearance, holding his
sides convulsed with laughter, as he reeled and tottered
in every direction, but without ever losing his equilibrium.
At other times he would utter a loud shout, and, brandishing
his cudgel, dart at full speed along the streets, as if
he purposed singly to carry the town by (what Middlemore
often facetiously called) a coup de main. At these moments
were to be seen mothers rushing into the street to look
for, and hurry away, their loitering offspring, while
even adults were glad to hasten their movements, in order
to escape collision with the formidable Sampson; not that
either apprehended the slightest act of personal violence
from the old man, for he was harmless of evil as a child,
but because they feared the polished hoofs of Silvertail,
which shone amid the clouds of dust they raised as he
passed, like rings of burnished silver. Even the very
Indians, with whom the streets were at this period
habitually crowded, were glad to hug the sides of the
houses, while Sampson passed; and they who, on other
occasions, would have deemed it in the highest degree
derogatory to their dignity to have stepped aside at the
approach of danger, or to have relaxed a muscle of their
stern countenances, would then open a passage with a
rapidity which in them was remarkable, and burst into
loud laughter as they fled from side to side to make way
for Sampson. Sometimes, on these occasions, the latter
would suddenly check Silvertail, while in full career,
and, in a voice that could be beard from almost every
quarter of the little town, harangue them for half an
hour together in their own language, and with an air of
authority that was ludicrous to those who witnessed
it--and must have been witnessed to be conceived.
Occasionally a guttural "ugh" would be responded in mock
approval of the speech, but more frequently a laugh, on
the part of the more youthful of his red auditors, was
the only notice taken. His lecture concluded, Sampson
would again brandish his cudgel, and vociferate another
shout; then betaking himself to the nearest store, he
would urge Silvertail upon the footway, and with a tap
of his rude cudgel against the door, summon whoever was
within, to appear with a glass of his favorite beverage.
And this would he repeat, until he had drained what he
called his stirrup cup, at every shop in the place where
the poisonous liquor was vended.

Were such a character to make his appearance in the Mother
Country, endangering, to all perception, the lives of
the Sovereign's liege subjects, he would, if in London,
be hunted to death like a wild beast, by at least one
half of the Metropolitan police; and, if in a provincial
town, would be beset by a posse of constables. No one,
however--not even the solitary constable of Amherstburg,
ever ventured to interfere with Sampson Gattrie, who was
in some degree a privileged character. Nay, strange as
it may appear, notwithstanding his confirmed habit of
inebriety, the old man stood high in the neighborhood,
not only with simple but with gentle, for there were
seasons when he evinced himself "a rational being," and
there was a dignity of manner about him, which, added to
his then quietude of demeanour, insensibly interested in
his favor, those even who were most forward to condemn
the vice to which he was invariably addicted. Not, be it
understood, that in naming seasons of rationality, we
mean seasons of positive abstemiousness; nor can this
well be, seeing that Sampson never passed a day of strict
sobriety during the last twenty years of his life. But,
it might be said, that his three divisions of day--morning,
noon and night--were characterized by three corresponding
divisions of drunkenness--namely, drunk, drunker, and
most drunk. It was, therefore, in the first stage of this
graduated scale, that Sampson appeared in his most amiable
and winning, because his least uproarious, mood. His
libations commenced at early morn, and his inebriety
became progressive to the close of the day. To one who
could ride home at night, as he invariably did, after
some twelve hours of hard and continued drinking, without
rolling from his horse, it would not be difficult to
enact the sober man in its earlier stages. As his
intoxication was relative to himself, so was his sobriety
in regard to others--and although, at mid-day, he might
have swallowed sufficient to have caused another man to
bite the dust, he looked and spoke, and acted, as if he
had been a model of temperance. If he passed a lady in
the street, or saw her at her window, Sampson Gattrie's
hat was instantly removed from his venerable head, and
his body inclined forward over his saddle-bow, with all
the easy grace of a well-born gentleman, and one accustomed
from infancy to pay deference to woman; nay, this at an
hour when he had imbibed enough of his favorite liquor
to have rendered most men insensible even to their
presence. These habits of courtesy, extended moreover to
the officers of the Garrison, and such others among the
civilians as Sampson felt to be worthy of his notice.
His tones of salutation, at these moments, were soft,
his manner respectful, even graceful; and while there
was nothing of the abashedness of the inferior, there
was also no offensive familiarity, in the occasional
conversations held by him with the different individuals,
or groups, who surrounded and accosted him.

Such was Sampson Gattrie, in the first stage of his
inebriety, no outward sign of which was visible. In the
second, his perception became more obscured, his voice
less distinct, his tones less gentle and insinuating,
and occasionally the cudgel would rise in rapid flourish,
while now and then a load halloo would burst from lungs,
which the oceans of whiskey they had imbibed had not yet,
apparently, much affected. These were infallible indices
of the more feverish stage, of which the gallopings of
Silvertail--the vociferations of his master--the increased
flourishing of the cudgel--the supposed danger of
children--and the consequent alarm of mothers, together
with the harangues to the Indian auditory, were the almost
daily results.

There was one individual, however, in the town of
Amherstburgh, of whom, despite his natural wilfulness of
character, Sampson Gattrie stood much in awe, and that
to such degree, that if he chanced to encounter him in
his mad progress, his presence had the effect of immediately
quieting him. This gentleman was the father of the
Granthams, who, although then filling a civil situation,
had formerly been a field officer in the corps in which
Sampson had served; and who had carried with him into
private life, those qualities of stern excellence for
which he had been remarkable as a soldier--qualities
which had won to him the respect and affection, not only
of the little community over which, in the capacity of
its chief magistrate, he had presided, but also of the
inhabitants of the country generally for many miles
around. Temperate to an extreme himself, Major Grantham
held the vice of drunkenness in deserved abhorrence, and
so far from sharing the general toleration extended to
the old man, whose originality (harmless as he ever was
in his intoxication) often proved a motive for
encouragement; he never failed, on encountering him, to
bestow his censure in a manner that had an immediate and
obvious effect on the culprit. If Sampson, from one end
of the street, beheld Major Grantham approaching at the
other, he was wont to turn abruptly away; but if perchance
the magistrate came so unexpectedly upon him as to preclude
the possibility of retreat, he appeared as one suddenly
sobered, and would rein in his horse, fully prepared for
the stern lecture which he was well aware would ensue.

It afforded no slight amusement to the townspeople, and
particularly the young urchins, who usually looked up to
Sampson with awe, to be witnesses of one of those
rencontres. In a moment the shouting--galloping--rampaging
cudgel-wielder was to be seen changed, as if by some
magic power, into a being of almost child-like obedience,
while he listened attentively and deferentially to the
lecture of Major Grantham, whom he both feared and loved.
On these occasions, he would hang his head upon his
chest--confess his error--and promise solemnly to amend
his course of life, although it must be needless to add
that never was that promise heeded. Not unfrequently,
after these lectures, when Major Grantham had left him,
Sampson would turn his horse, and, with his arms still
folded across his chest, suffer Silvertail to pursue his
homeward course, while he himself, silent and thoughtful,
and looking like a culprit taken in the fact, sat steadily
in his saddle, without however venturing to turn his eye
either to the right or to the left, as he passed through
the crowd, who, with faces strongly expressive of mirth,
marked their sense of the change which had been produced
in the old interpreter. Those who had seen him thus, for
the first time, might have supposed that a reformation
in one so apparently touched would have ensued; but long
experience had taught that, although a twinge of conscience,
or more probably fear of, and respect for, the magistrate,
might induce a momentary humiliation, all traces of cause
and effect would have vanished with the coming dawn.

To the sterling public virtues he boasted, Sampson Gattrie
united that of loyalty in no common degree. A more staunch
adherent to the British Crown existed nowhere in the
sovereign's dominions; and, such was his devotedness to
"King George," that, albeit he could not in all probability
have made the sacrifice of his love for whiskey, he would
willingly have suffered his left arm to be severed from
his body, had such proof of his attachment to the throne
been required. Proportioned to his love for every thing
British, arose, as a natural consequence, his dislike
for every thing anti-British; and especially for those,
who, under the guise of allegiance, had conducted themselves
in away to become objects of suspicion to the authorities.
A near neighbour of Desborough, he had watched him as
narrowly as his long indulged habits of intoxication
would permit, and he had been the means of conveying to
Major Grantham much of the information which had induced
that uncompromising magistrate to seek the expulsion of
the dangerous settler--an object which, however, had been
defeated by the perjury of the unprincipled individual,
in taking the customary oaths of allegiance. Since the
death of Major Grantham, for whom, notwithstanding his
numerous lectures, he had ever entertained that reverential
esteem which is ever the result of the ascendancy of the
powerful and virtuous mind over the weak, and not absolutely
vicious; and for whose sons he felt almost a father's
affection, old Gattrie had but indifferently troubled
himself about Desborough, who was fully aware of what he
had previously done to detect and expose him, and
consequently repaid with usury--an hostility of feeling
which, however, had never been brought to any practical
issue.

As a matter of course, Sampson was of the number of
anxious persons collected on the bank of the river, on
the morning of the capture of the American gun boat; but,
as he was only then emerging from his first stage of
intoxication, (which we have already shown to be tantamount
to perfect sobriety in any other person) there had been
no time for a display of those uproarious qualities which
characterized the last, and which, once let loose, scarcely
even the presence of the General could have restrained.
With an acuteness, however, which is often to be remarked
in habitual drunkards at moments when their intellect is
unclouded by the confusedness to which they are more
commonly subject, the hawk's eye of the old man had
detected several particulars which had escaped the general
attention, and of which he had, at a later period of the
day, retained sufficient recollection, to connect with
an accidental yet important discovery.

At the moment when the prisoners were landed, he had
remarked Desborough, who had uttered the hasty exclamation
already recorded, stealing cautiously through the
surrounding crowd, and apparently endeavouring to arrest
the attention of the younger of the American officers.
An occasional pressing of the spur into the flank of
Silvertail, enabled him to turn as the settler turned,
and thus to keep him constantly in view; until, at length,
as the latter approached the group of which General Brock
and Commodore Barclay formed the centre, he observed him
distinctly to make a sign of intelligence to the Militia
Officer, whose eye he at length attracted, and who now
bestowed upon him a glance of hasty and furtive recognition.
Curiosity induced Sampson to move Silvertail a little
more in advance, in order to be enabled to obtain a better
view of the prisoners; but the latter, turning away his
head at the moment, although apparently without design,
baffled his penetration. Still he had a confused and
indistinct idea that the person was not wholly unknown
to him.

When the prisoners had been disposed of, and the crowd
dispersed, Sampson continued to linger near the council
house, exchanging greetings with the newly arrived Chiefs,
and drinking from whatever whiskey bottle was offered to
him, until he at length gave rapid indication of arriving
at his third or grand climacteric. Then were to be heard
the loud shoutings of his voice, and the clattering of
Silvertail's hoofs, as horse and rider flew like lightning
past the fort into the town, where a more than usual
quantity of the favorite liquid was quaffed at the several
stores, in commemoration, as he said, of the victory of
his noble boy, Gerald Grantham, and to the success of
the British arms generally throughout the war.

Among the faults of Sampson Gattrie, was certainly not
that of neglecting the noble animal to whom long habit
had deeply attached him. Silvertail was equally a favorite
with the son, who had more than once ridden him in the
occasional races that took place upon the hard sands of
the lake shore, and in which he had borne every thing
away. As Sampson was ever conscious and collected about
this hour, care was duly taken by him that his horse
should be fed, without the trouble to himself of
dismounting. Even as Gattrie sat in his saddle, Silvertail
was in the daily practice of munching his corn out of a
small trough that stood in the yard of the inn where he
usually stopped, while his rider conversed with whoever
chanced to be near him--the head of his cudgel resting
on his ample thigh, and a glass of his favorite whiskey
in his other and unoccupied hand.

Now it chanced, that on this particular day, Sampson had
neglected to pay his customary visit to the inn, an
omission which was owing rather to the hurry and excitement
occasioned by the stirring events of the morning, than
to any wilful neglect of his steed. Nor was it until some
hours after dark that, seized with a sudden fit of
caressing Silvertail, whose glossy neck he patted, until
the tears of warm affection started to his eyes, he
bethought him of the omission of which he had been guilty.
Scarcely was the thought conceived, before Silvertail
was again at full career, and on his way to the inn. The
gate stood open, and, as Sampson entered, he saw two
individuals retire, as if to escape observation, within
a shed adjoining the stable. Drunk as he was, a vague
consciousness of the truth, connected as it was with his
earlier observation, flashed across the old man's mind,
and when, in answer to his loud hallooing, a factotum,
on whom devolved all the numerous offices of the inn,
from waiter down to ostler, made his appearance, Sampson
added to his loudly expressed demand for Silvertail's
corn, a whispered injunction to return with a light.
During the absence of the man he commenced trolling a
verse of "Old King Cole," a favorite ballad with him,
and with the indifference of one who believes himself to
be alone. Presently the light appeared, and, as the bearer
approached, its rays fell on the forms of two men, retired
into the furthest extremity of the shed and crouching to
the earth as if in concealment, whom Sampson recognized
at a glance. He however took no notice of the circumstance
to the ostler, or even gave the slightest indication, by
look or movement, of what he had seen.

When the man had watered Silvertail, and put his corn in
the trough, he returned to the house, and Sampson, with
his arms folded across his chest, as his horse crunched
his food, listened attentively to catch whatever
conversation might ensue between the loiterers. Not a
word however was uttered, and soon after he saw them
emerge from their concealment--step cautiously behind
him--cross the yard towards the gate by which he had
entered--and then disappear altogether. During this
movement the old man had kept himself perfectly still,
so that there could be no suspicion that he had, in any
way, observed them. Nay, he even spoke once or twice
coaxingly to Silvertail, as if conscious only of the
presence of that animal, and in short conducted himself
in a manner well worthy of the cunning of a drunken man.
The reflections to which this incident gave rise, had
the effect of calling up a desperate fit of loyalty,
which he only awaited the termination of Silvertail's
hasty meal to put into immediate activity. Another shout
to the ostler, a second glass swallowed, the reckoning
paid, Silvertail bitted, and away went Sampson once more
at his speed, through the now deserted town, the road
out of which to his own place, skirted partly the banks
of the river, and partly those of the lake.

After galloping about a mile, the old man found the feet
of Silvertail burying themselves momentarily deeper in
the sands which form the road near Elliott's Point.
Unwilling to distress him more than was necessary, he
pulled him up to a walk, and, throwing the reins upon
his neck, folded his arms as usual, rolling from side to
side at every moment, and audibly musing, in the thick
husky voice that was common to him in inebriety.

"Yes, by Jove, I am as true and loyal a subject as any
in the service of King George, God bless him, (here he
bowed his head involuntarily and with respect) and though,
as that poor dear old Grantham used to say, I do drink
a little, (hiccup) still there's no great harm in that.
It keeps a man alive. I am the boy, at all events, to
scent a rogue. That was Desborough and his son I saw just
now, and the rascals, he! he! he! the rascals thought,
I suppose, I was too drunk, (hiccup) too drunk to twig
them. We shall tell them another tale before the night
is over. D--n such skulking scoundrels, I say. Whoa!
Silvertail, whoa! what do yea see there, my boy, eh?"

Silvertail only replied by the sharp pricking of his
ears, and a side movement, which seemed to indicate a
desire to keep as much aloof as possible from a cluster
of walnut trees which, interspersed with wild grape-vines,
may be seen to this hour, resting in gloomy relief on
the white deep sands that extend considerably in that
direction.

"Never mind, my boy, we shall be at home presently,"
pursued Sampson, patting the neck of his unquiet companion.
"But no, I had forgotten; we must give chase to these
(hiccup) to these rascals. Now there's that son Bill of
mine fast asleep, I suppose, in the arms of his little
wife. They do nothing but lie in bed, while their poor
old father is obliged to be up at all hours, devising
plans for the good of the King's service, God bless him!
But I shall soon (hiccup)!--Whoa Silvertail! whoa I say.
D--n you, you brute, do you mean to throw me?"

The restlessness of Silvertail, despite of his rider's
caresses had been visibly increasing as they approached
the dark cluster of walnuts. Arrived opposite to this,
his ears and tail erect, he had evinced even more than
restlessness--alarm: and something, that did not meet
the eye of his rider, caused him to take a sideward spring
of several feet. It was this action that, nearly unseating
Sampson, had drawn from him the impatient exclamation
just recorded.

At length the thicket was passed, and Silvertail, recovered
from his alarm, moved forward once more on the bound, in
obedience to the well known whistle of his master.

"Good speed have they made," again mused Sampson, as he
approached his home; "if indeed, as I suspect, it be them
who are hiding in yonder thicket. Silvertail could not
have been more than ten minutes finishing his (hiccup)
his corn, and the sands had but little time to warm
beneath his hoofs when he did start. These Yankees are
swift footed fellows, as I have had good (hiccup) good
experience, in the old war, when I could run a little
myself after the best of them. But here we are at last.
Whoa, Silvertail, whoa! and now to turn out Bill from
his little wife. Bill, I say, hilloa! hilloa! Bill,
hilloa!"

Long habit, which had taught the old man's truly excellent
and exemplary son the utter hopelessness of his disease,
had also familiarized him with these nightly interruptions
to his slumbers. A light was speedily seen to flash across
the chamber in which he slept, and presently the principal
door of the lower building was unbarred, and unmurmuring,
and uncomplaining, the half dressed young man stood in
the presence of his father. Placing the light on the
threshold, he prepared to assist him as usual to dismount,
but Sampson, contrary to custom, rejected for a time
every offer of the kind. His rapid gallop through the
night air, added to the more than ordinary quantity of
whiskey he had that day swallowed, was now producing its
effect, and, while every feature of his countenance
manifested the extreme of animal stupidity, his apprehension
wandered and his voice became almost inarticulate. Without
the power to acquaint his son with the purpose he had in
view, and of which he himself now entertained but a very
indistinct recollection, he yet strove, impelled as he
was by his confusedness of intention to retain his seat,
but was eventually unhorsed and handed over to the care
of his pretty daughter in law, whose office it was to
dispose of him for the night, while her husband rubbed
down, fed, and otherwise attended to Silvertail.

A few hours of sound sleep restored Sampson to his voice
and his recollection, when his desire to follow the two
individuals he had seen in the yard of the inn the
preceding night, and whom he felt persuaded he must have
passed on the road, was more than ever powerfully revived.
And yet, was it not highly probable that the favorable
opportunity had been lost, and that, taking advantage of
the night, they were already departed from the country,
if such (and he doubted it not) was their intention.
"What a cursed fool," he muttered to himself, "to let a
thimbleful of liquor upset me on such an occasion; but,
at all events, here goes for another trial. With the
impatient, over-indulged Sampson, to determine on a course
of action, was to carry it into effect."

"Hilloa! Bill, I say Bill my boy," he shouted from the
chamber next to that in which his son slept. "Hilloa!
Bill, come here directly."

Bill answered not, but sounds were heard in his room as
of one stepping out of bed, and presently the noise of
flint and steel announced that a light was being struck.
In a few minutes, the rather jaded-looking youth appeared
at the bedside of his parent.

"Bill, my dear boy," said Sampson, in a more subdued
voice, "did you see any body pass last night after I came
home? Try and recollect yourself; did you see two men on
the road?"

"I did, father; just as I had locked the stable door,
and was coming in for the night, I saw two men passing
down the road. But why do you ask!"

"Did you speak to them--could you recognize them," asked
Sampson, without stating his motive for the question.

"I wished them good night, and one of them gruffly bade
me good night too; but I could not make out who they
were, though one did for a moment strike me to be
Desborough, and both were tallish sort of men."

"You're a lad of penetration, Bill; now saddle me Silvertail
as fast as you can."

"Saddle Silvertail! surely father, you are not going out
yet: it's not day-light."

"Saddle me Silvertail, Bill," repeated the old man with
the air of one whose mandate was not to be questioned.
"But where the devil are you going, sir," he added
impatiently.

"Why to saddle Silvertail, to be sure," said the youth,
who was just closing the door for that purpose.

"What, and leave me a miserable old man to get up without
a light. Oh fie, Bill. I thought you loved your poor old
father better than to neglect him so--there, that will
do: now send in Lucy to dress me."

The light was kindled, Bill went in and spoke to his
wife, then descended to the stable. A gentle tap at the
door of the old interpreter, and Lucy entered in her
pretty night dress, and, half asleep, half awake, but
without a shadow of discontent in her look, proceeded to
assist him in drawing on his stockings, &c. Sampson's
toilet was soon completed, and Silvertail being announced
as "all ready," he, without communicating a word of his
purpose, issued forth from his home, just as the day was
beginning to dawn.

Although the reflective powers of Gattrie had been in
some measure restored by sleep, it is by no means to be
assumed he was yet thoroughly sober. Uncertain in regard
to the movements of those who had so strongly excited
his loyal hostility, (and, mayhap, at the moment his
curiosity,) it occurred to him that if Desborough had
not already baffled his pursuit, a knowledge of the
movements and intentions of that individual, might be
better obtained from an observation of what was passing
on the beach in front of his hut. The object of this
reconnoissance was, therefore, only to see if the canoe
of the settler was still on the shore, and with this
object he suffered Silvertail to take the road along the
sands, while he himself, with his arms folded and his
head sunk on his chest, fell into a reverie with which
was connected the manner and the means of securing the
disloyal Desborough, should it happen that he had not
yet departed. The accidental discharge of Middlemore's
pistol, at the very moment when Silvertail had doubled
a point that kept the scene of contention from his view,
caused him to raise his eyes, and then the whole truth
flashed suddenly upon him. We have already seen how
gallantly he advanced to them, and how madly, and, in a
manner peculiarly his own, he sought to arrest the traitor
Desborough in his flight.

"Sorry I couldn't force the scoundrel back, gentlemen,"
said Sampson, as he now approached the discomfited
officers. "Not much hurt, I hope," pointing with his
own maimed and bleeding hand to the leg of Middlemore,
which that officer, seated on the sand, was preparing to
bind with a silk handkerchief. "Ah, a mere flesh wound.
I see. Henry, Henry Grantham, my poor dear boy, what
still alive after the desperate clutching of that fellow
at your throat? But now that we have routed the enemy--
must be off--drenched to the skin. No liquor on the
stomach to keep out the cold. and if I once get an ague
fit, its all over with poor old Sampson. Must gallop
home, and, while his little wife wraps a bandage round
my hand, shall send down Bill with a litter. Good morning,
Mr. Middlemore, good bye Henry, my boy." And then,
without giving time to either to reply, the old man
applied his spurs once more to the flanks of Silvertail,
who, with drooping mane and tail, resembled a half drowned
rat; and again hallooing defiance to Desborough, who lay
to at a distance, apparently watching the movements of
his enemies, he retraced his way along the sands at full
gallop, and was speedily out of sight.

Scarcely had Gattrie disappeared, when two other
individuals, evidently officers, and cloaked precisely
like the party he had just quitted, issued from the wood
near the hut upon the clearing, and thence upon the
sands--their countenances naturally expressing all the
surprise that might he supposed to arise from the picture
now offered to their view.

"What in the name of Heaven is the meaning of all this?"
asked one of the new comers, as both now rapidly advanced
to the spot where Middlemore was yet employed in coolly
binding up his leg, while Henry Grantham, who had just
risen, was gasping with almost ludicrous efforts to regain
his respiration.

"You must ask the meaning of our friend here," answered
Middlemore, with the low chuckling good-natured laugh
that was habitual to him, while he proceeded with his
bandaging. "All I know is, that I came out as a second,
and here have I been made a first--a principal, which,
by the way, is contrary to all my principle."

"Do be serious for once, Middlemore. How did you get
wounded, and who are those scoundrels who have just
quitted you? anxiously inquired Captain Molineux, for it
was he, and Lieutenant Villiers, who, (the party already
stated to have been expected,) had at length arrived.

"Two desperate fellows in their way, I can assure you,"
replied Middlemore, more amused than annoyed at the
adventure. "Ensign Paul, Emilius, Theophilus, Arnoldi,
is, I calculate, a pretty considerable strong active sort
of fellow; and, to judge by Henry Grantham's half strangled
look, his companion lacks not the same qualities. Why,
in the name of all that is precious would you persist in
poking your nose into the rascal's skins, Grantham? The
ruffians had nearly made dried skins of ours."

"Ha! is that the scoundrel who calls himself Arnoldi,"
asked Captain Molineux? "I have heard," and he glanced
at Henry Grantham as he spoke, "a long story of his
villainy from his captor within this very hour."

"Which is your apology, I suppose," said Middlemore, "for
having so far exceeded your apPOINTment, gentlemen."

"It certainly is," said Lieutenant Villiers, "but the
fault was not ours. We chanced to fall in with Gerald
Grantham, and on our way here, and that he detained us,
should be a matter of congratulation to us all."

"Congratulation!" exclaimed Middlemore, dropping his
bandage, and lifting his eyes with an expression of
indescribable humour, "Am I then to think it matter of
congratulation that, as an innocent second, I should have
had a cursed piece of lead stuck in my flesh to spoil my
next winter's dancing. And Grantham is to think it matter
of congratulation that, instead of putting a bullet
through you, Molineux, (as I intend he shall when I hare
finished dressing this confounded leg, if his nerves are
not too much shaken,) he should have felt the gripe of
that monster Desborough around his throat, until his eyes
seem ready to start from their sockets, and all this
because you did not choose to be in time. Upon my word,
I do not know that it is quite meet that we should meet
you. What say you, Grantham?"

"I hope," said Captain Molineux with a smile, "your
principal will think as you do, for should he decline
the meeting, nothing will afford more satisfaction to
myself."

Both Grantham and Middlemore looked their utter surprise
at the language thus used by Captain Molineux, but neither
of them spoke.

"If an apology the most ample for my observation of
yesterday," continued that officer, "an apology founded
on my perfect conviction of error, (that conviction
produced by certain recent explanations with your brother,)
can satisfy you, Mr. Grantham, most sincerely do I make
it. If, however, you hold me to my pledge, here am I of
course to redeem it. I may as well observe to you in the
presence of our friends, (and Villiers can corroborate
my statement,) that my original intention on leaving your
brother, was to receive your fire and then tender my
apology, but, under the circumstances in which both you
and Middlemore are placed at this moment, the idea would
be altogether absurd. Again I tender my apology, which
it will be a satisfaction to me to repeat this day at
the mess table, where I yesterday refused to drink your
brother's health. All I can add is that when you have
heard the motives for my conduct, and learnt to what
extent I have been deceived, you will readily admit that
I acted not altogether from caprice."

"Your apology I accept, Captain Molineux," said Grantham,
coming forward and unhesitatingly offering his hand.
"If you have seen my brother, I am satisfied. Let there
be no further question on the subject."

"So then I am to be the only bulleted man on this occasion,"
interrupted Middlemore, with ludicrous pathos--"the only
poor devil who is to be made to remember Hartley's point
for ever. But no matter. I am not the first instance of
a second being shot, through the awkward bungling of his
principal, and certainly Grantham you were in every sense
the principal in this affair, for had you taken my advice
you would have let the fellows go to the devil their own
way."

"What! knowing, as I did, that the traitor Desborough
had concealed in his canoe a prisoner on parole--nay,
worse, a deserter from our service--with a view of
conveying him out of the country?"

"How did you know it?"

"Because I at once recognized him, through the disguise
in which he left the hut, for what he was. That discovery
made, there remained but one course to pursue."

"Ah! and COURSE work you made of it, with a vengeance,"
said Middlemore, "first started him up like a fox from
his cover, got the mark of his teeth, and then suffered
him to escape."

"Is there no chance of following--no means of overtaking
them?" said Captain Molineux--"No, by Heaven," as he
glanced his eye from right to left, "not a single canoe
to be seen any where along the shore."

"Following!" echoed Middlemore; "faith the scoundrels
would desire nothing better: if two of us had such
indifferent play with them on terra firma, you may rely
upon it that double the number would have no better chance
in one of these rickety canoes. See there how the rascals
lie to within half musket shot, apparently hailing us."

Middlemore was right. Desborough had risen in the stern
of the canoe, and now, stretched to his full height,
called leisurely, through his closed hands, on the name
of Henry Grantham. When he observed the attention of that
officer had, in common with that of his companions, been
arrested, he proceeded at the full extent of his lungs.

"I reckon, young man, as how I shall pay you out for
this, and drot my skin, if I once twists my fingers round
your neck again, if any thing on this side hell shall
make me quit it, afore you squeaks your last squeak.
You've druv me from my home, and I'll have your curst
blood for it yet. I'll sarve you, as I sarved your old
father--You got my small bore, I expect, and if its any
good to you to know that one of its nineties to the pound,
sent the old rascal to the devil--why then you have it
from Jeremiah Desborough's own lips, and be d----d to
you."

And, with this horrible admission, the settler again
seated himself in the stem of his canoe, and making good
use of his paddle soon scudded away until his little
vessel appeared but as a speck on the lake.

Henry Grantham was petrified with astonishment and dismay
at a declaration, the full elucidation of which we must,
reserve for a future opportunity. The daring confession
rang in his ears long after the voice had ceased, and it
was not until a light vehicle had been brought for
Middlemore from Sampson's farm, that he could be induced
to quit the shore, where he still lingered, as if in
expectation of the return of the avowed MURDERER OF HIS
FATHER.



CHAPTER IX.

At the especial invitation of Captain Molineux, Gerald
Grantham dined at the garrison mess, on the evening of
the day when the circumstances, detailed in our last
chapter, took place. During dinner the extraordinary
adventure of the morning formed the chief topic of
conversation, for it had become one of general interest,
not only throughout the military circles, but in the town
of Amherstburg itself, in which the father of the Granthams
had been held in an esteem amounting almost to veneration.
Horrible as had been the announcement made by the dejected
and discomfited settler to him who now, for the first
time, learnt that his parent had fallen a victim to
ruffian vindictiveness, too many years had elapsed since
that event, to produce more than the ordinary emotion
which might be supposed to be awakened by a knowledge
rather of the manner than the fact of his death. Whatever
therefore might have been the pain inflicted on the hearts
of the brothers, by this cruel re-opening of a partially
closed wound, there was no other evidence of suffering
than the suddenly compressed lip and glistening eye,
whenever allusion was made to the villain with whom each
felt he had a fearful account to settle. Much indeed of
the interest of the hour was derived from the animated
account, given by Gerald, of the circumstances which had
led to his lying in ambuscade for the American on the
preceding day; and as his narrative embraces not only
the reasons for Captain Molineux's strange conduct, but
other hitherto unexplained facts, we cannot do better
than follow him in his detail.

"I think it must have been about half past eleven o'clock,
on the night preceding the capture," commenced Gerald,
"that, as my gun boat was at anchor close under the
American shore, at rather more than half a mile below
the farther extremity of Bois Blanc, my faithful old
Sambo silently approached me, while I lay wrapped in my
watch cloak on deck, calculating the chances of falling
in with some spirited bark of the enemy which would afford
me an opportunity of proving the mettle of my crew.

"'Massa Geral,' he said in a mysterious whisper, for old
age and long services in my family have given him privileges
which I have neither the power nor the inclination to
check--'Massa Geral,' pulling me by the collar--'I dam
ib he no go sleep when him ought to hab all him eyes
about him--him pretty fellow to keep watch when Yankee
pass him in e channel.'

"'A Yankee pass me in the channel!'" I would have exclaimed
aloud, starting to my feet with surprise, but Sambo, with
ready thought, put his hand upon my mouth, in time to
prevent more than the first word from being uttered.

"'Hush! dam him, Massa Geral, ib you make a noise you no
catch him.'

"'What do you mean then--what have you seen?'" I asked
in the same low whisper, the policy of which his action
had enjoined on me.

"'Lookee dare, Massa Geral, lookee dare?'

"Following the direction in which he pointed, I now saw,
but very indistinctly, a canoe in which was a solitary
individual stealing across the lake to the impulsion of
an apparently muffled paddle; for her course,
notwithstanding the stillness of the night, was utterly
noiseless. The moon, which is in her first quarter, had
long since disappeared, yet the heavens, although not
particularly bright, ware sufficiently dotted with stars
to enable me, with the aid of a night telescope, to
discover that the figure, which guided the cautiously
moving bark, had nothing Indian in its outline. The crew
of the gun boat (the watch only excepted) had long since
turned in; and even the latter lay reposing on the
forecastle, the sentinels only keeping the ordinary look
out. So closely moreover did we lay in shore, that but
for the caution of the paddler, it might have been assumed
she was too nearly identified with the dark forest against
which her hull and spars reposed, to be visible. Curious
to ascertain her object, I watched the canoe in silence,
as, whether accidentally or with design, I know not, she
made the half circuit of the gun boat and then bore away
in a direct line for the Canadian shore. A suspicion of
the truth now flashed across my mind, and I resolved
without delay to satisfy myself. My first care was to
hasten to the forecastle, and enjoin on the sentinels,
who I feared might see and hail the stranger, the strictest
silence. Then desiring Sambo to prepare the light boat
which, I dare say, most of you have remarked to form a
part of my Lilliputian command, I proceeded to arm myself
with cutlass and pistols. Thus equipped I sprang lightly
in, and having again caught sight of the chase, on which
I had moreover directed one of the sentinels to keep a
steady eye as long as she was in sight, desired Sambo to
steer as noiselessly as possible in pursuit. For some
time we kept the stranger in view, but whether, owing to
his superior paddling or lighter weight, we eventually
lost sight of him. The suspicion which had at first
induced my following, however, served also as a clue to
the direction I should take. I was aware that the scoundrel
Desborough was an object of distrust--I knew that the
strictness of my father, during his magistracy, in
compelling him to choose between taking the oaths of
allegiance, and quitting the country, had inspired him
with deep hatred to himself and disaffection to the
Government; and I felt that if the spirit of his vengeance
had not earlier developed itself, it was solely because
the opportunity and the power had hitherto been wanting;
but that now, when hostilities between his natural and
adopted countries had been declared, there would be ample
room for the exercise of his treason. It was the strong
assurance I felt that he was the solitary voyager on the
face of the waters, which induced me to pursue him, for
I had a presentiment that, could I but track him in his
course, I should discover some proof of his guilt, which
would suffice to rid us for ever of the presence of so
dangerous a subject. The adventure was moreover one that
pleased me, although perhaps I was not strictly justified
in fitting my gun boat, especially as in the urgency of
the moment, I had not even thought of leaving orders with
my boatswain, in the event of any thing unexpected
occurring during my absence. The sentinels alone were
aware of my departure.

"The course we pursued was in the direction of Hartley's
point, and so correct had been the steering and paddling
of the keen-sighted negro, that when we made the beach,
we found ourselves immediately opposite to Desborough's
hut.

"'How is this, Sambo?' I asked in a low tone, as our
canoe grated on the sand within a few paces of several
others that lay where I expected to find but one--'are
all these Desborough's?"

"'No, Massa Geral--'less him teal him toders, Desborough
only got one--dis a public landin' place.'

"'Can you tell which is his?' I inquired.

"'To be sure--dis a one,' and he pointed to one nearly
twice the dimensions of its fellows.

"'Has it been lately used, Sambo--can you tell?"

"'I soon find out, Massa Geral.'

"His device was the most simple and natural in the world,
and yet I confess it was one which I never should have
dreamt of. Stooping on the sands, he passed his hand
under the bottom of the canoe, and then whispered.

"'Him not touch a water to-night Massa Geral--him dry as
a chip.'

"Here I was at fault. I began to apprehend that I had
been baffled in my pursuit, and deceived in my supposition.
I knew that Desborough had had for years, one large canoe
only in his possession, and it was evident that this had
not been used during the night. I was about to order
Sambo to shove off again, when it suddenly occurred to
me that, instead of returning from a visit, the suspected
settler might have received a visiter, and I accordingly
desired my fides achates to submit the remainder of the
canoes to the same inspection.

"After having passed his hand ineffectually over several,
he at length announced, as he stooped over one which I
recognized, from a peculiar elevation of the bow and
stern, to be the same we had passed.

"'Dis a one all drippin' wet, Massa Geral. May I nebber
see a Hebben ib he not a same we follow.'

"A low tapping against the door of the hut, which although
evidently intended to be subdued, was now, in the silence
of night, distinctly audible; while our whispers, on the
contrary, mingled as they were with the crisping sound
of the waves rippling on the sands were, at that distance,
undistinguishable. It was evident that I had erred in
my original conjecture. Had it been Desborough himself,
living alone as he did, he would not have knocked for
admission where there was no one to afford it, but would
have quietly let himself in. It could then be no other
than a visiter--perhaps a spy from the enemy--and the
same to whom we had given chase.

"From the moment that the tapping commenced, Sambo and
I stood motionless on the shore, and without trusting
our voices again, even to a whisper. In a little time we
heard the door open, and the low voice of Desborough in
conversation with another. Presently the door was shut,
and soon afterwards, through an imperfectly closed shutter
on the only floor of the hut, we could perceive a streak
of light reflected on the clearing in front, as if from
a candle or lamp, that was stationary,

"'I tink him dam rascal dat man, Massa Geral;' at length
ventured my companion. "I 'member long time ago,' and he
sighed, "'when Sambo no bigger nor dat paddle, one berry
much like him. But, Massa Geral,' Missis always tell me
nebber talk o' dat.'

"'A villain he is, I believe, Sambo, but let us advance
cautiously and discover what he is about.'

"We now stole along the skirt of the forest, until we
managed to approach the window, through which the light
was still thrown in one long, fixed, but solitary ray.
It was however impossible to see who were within, for
although the voices of men were distinguishable, their
forms were so placed as not to be visible through the
partial opening.

"The conversation had evidently been some moments commenced.
The first words I heard uttered, were by Desborough.

"'A Commissary boat, and filled with bags of goold eagles,
and a fiftieth part ourn, if we get her clean slick
through to Detroit. Well, drot me, if that aint worth
the trial. Why didn't they try it by land, boy?'

"'I reckon, father, that cock wouldn't fight. The Injuns
are outlyin' every where to cut off our mails, and the
ready is too much wanted to be thrown away. No, no: the
river work's the safest I take it, for there they little
expect it to come.'

"The voice of the last speaker, excited in me a strong
desire to see the face of Desborough's visiter. Unable,
where I stood, to catch the slightest view of either, I
fancied that I might be more successful in rear of the
hut. I therefore moved forward, followed by Sambo, but
not so cautiously as to prevent my feet from crushing a
fragment of decayed wood, that lay in my path.

"A bustle within, and the sudden opening of the door
announced that the noise had been overheard. I held up
my finger impressively to Sambo, and we both remained
motionless.

"'Who the hell's there?' shouted Desborough, and the
voice rang like the blast of a speaking trumpet along
the skirt of the forest.

"'Some raccoon looking out for Hartley's chickens, I
expect,' said his companion, after a short pause. 'There's
nothin' human I reckon, to be seen movin' at this hour
of the night.'

"'Who the hell's there?' repeated Desborough--still no
answer.

"Again the door was closed, and under cover of the slight
noise made by the settler in doing this, and resuming
his seat, Sambo and I accomplished the circuit of the
hut. Here we had an unobstructed view of the persons of
both. A small store room or pantry communicated with that
in which they were sitting at a table, on which was a
large flagon, we knew to contain whiskey, and a couple
of japanned drinking cups, from which, ever and anon,
they "wetted their whistles," as they termed it, and
whetted their discourse. As they sat each with his back
to the inner wall, or more correctly, the logs of the
hut, and facing the door communicating with the store
room left wide open, and in a direct line with the back
window at which we had taken our stand, we could distinctly
trace every movement of their features, while, thrown
into the shade by the gloom with which we were enveloped
we ran no risk of detection ourselves. It is almost
unnecessary to observe, after what has occurred this
morning, that the companion of Desborough was no other
than the soi-disant Ensign Paul, Emelius, Theophilus,
Arnoldi; or, more properly, the scoundrel son of a yet
more scoundrel father. He wore the dress in which you
yesterday beheld him, but beneath a Canadian blanket
coat, which, when I first saw him in the hut, was buttoned
up to the chin, so closely as to conceal every thing
American about the dress.

"'Well now I reckon we must lay our heads to do this
job;' said the son as he tossed off a portion of the
liquid he had poured into his can. 'There's only that
one gun boat I expect in t'other channel.'

"'Only one Phil, do you know who commands it?'

"'One of them curst Granthams, to be sure. I say, old
boy,' and his eye lighted up significantly, as he pointed
to the opposite wall, 'I see you've got the small bore
still.'

"A knowing wink marked the father's sense of the allusion.
'The devil's in it,' he rejoined, 'if we can't come over
that smooth faced chap, some how or other. Did you see
any thin' of him as you come along?'

"'I reckon I did. Pretty chick he is to employ for a look
out--why I paddled two or three times round his gun boat,
as it lay 'gin the shore, without so much as a single
livin' soul being on deck to see me.'

"It is proverbial," continued Grantham, "that listeners
never hear any good of themselves. I paid the common
penalty. But if I continued calm, my companion did not.
Partly incensed at what had related to me--but more
infuriated at the declaration made by the son, that he
had paddled several times round the gun boat, without a
soul being on deck to see him, he drew near to me, his
white teeth displaying themselves in the gloom, as he
whispered, but in a tone that betrayed extreme irritation.

"'What a dam Yankee liar rascal, Massa Geral. He nebber
go round: I see him come a down a ribber long afore he
see a boat at all.'

"'Hush Sambo--hush not a word,' I returned in the same
low whisper. "The villains are at some treason, and if
we stir, we shall lose all chance of discovering it."

"'Me no peak Massa Geral; but dam him lyin' teef,' he
continued to mutter, 'I wish I had him board a gun boat.'

"'A dozen fellors well armed, might take the d----d
British craft,' observed Desborough. 'How many men may
there be aboard the Commissary.'

"'About forty, I reckon, under some d----d old rig'lar
Major. I've got a letter for him here to desire him to
come on, if so be as we gets the craft out of the way.'

"'Drot me if I know a better way than to jump slick aboard
her,' returned Desborough musingly; 'forty genuine
Kaintucks ought to swallow her up, crew and all.'

"'I guess they would,' returned his companion, 'but they
are not Kaintucks, but only rig'lars; and then agin if
they are discovered one spry cannon shot might sink her;
and if the eagles go to the bottom, we shall lose our
fiftieth. You don't reckon that."

"'What the hell's to be done then,' exclaimed Desborough,
resorting to his favorite oath when in doubt.

"'My plan's already cut and dried by a wiser head nor
yours nor mine, as you shall larn; but first let a fellor
wet his whistle.' Here they both drained off another
portion of the poison that stood before them.

"Not to tire you," pursued Grantham, "with a repetition
of the oaths and vulgar and interjectional chucklings
that passed between the well assorted pair, during the
disclosure of the younger, I will briefly state that it
was one of the most stupid that could have been conceived,
and reflected but little credit on the stratagetic powers
of whoever originated it.

"The younger scoundrel, who since his desertion from our
service, claims to be a naturalized citizen of the United
States (his name of Desborough being changed for that of
Arnoldi, and his rank of full private for that of Ensign
of Militia,) had been selected from his knowledge of the
Canadian shore, and his connexion with the disaffected
settler, as a proper person to entrust with a stratagem,
having for its object the safe convoy of a boat, filled
with specie, of which the American garrison it appears
stands much in need. The renegade had been instructed to
see his father, to whom he was to promise, a fiftieth of
the value of the freight, provided he should by any means
contrive to draw the gun boat from her station. The most
plausible plan suggested, was that he should intimate to
me, that a prize of value was lying between Turkey Island
and our own shore, which it required but my sudden
appearance to ensure, without even striking a blow. Here
a number of armed boats were to be stationed in concealment,
in order to take me at a disadvantage, and even if I
avoided being captured, the great aim would be accomplished
--namely, that of getting me out of the way, until the
important boat should have cleared the channel, running
between Bois Blanc and the American shore, and secreted
herself in one of the several deep creeks which empty
themselves into the river. Here she was to have remained
until I had returned to my station, when her passage
upward might be pursued, if not without observation, at
least without risk. As Desborough was known to be suspected
by us, it was further suggested that he should appear to
have been influenced in the information conveyed to me,
not by any motives of patriotism, which would have been
in the highest degree misplaced, but by the mere principle
of self interest. He was to require of me a pledge that,
out of the proceeds of the proposed capture, a twentieth
share should be his, or, if I would not undertake to
guarantee this from the Government or my own authority,
that I should promise my own eventual share should be
divided with him. This stratagem successful, the younger
Desborough was to repair to the boat which had been lying
concealed for the last day or two, a few miles below me,
with an order for her to make the best of her way during
the night if possible. If failing on the other hand, she
was to return to the port whence she had sailed, until
a more fitting opportunity should present itself.

"This," continued Grantham, after a slight pause, during
which the bottle was again circulated, "was delightful
intelligence. Distrustful as I was of Desborough, I could
not have been deceived by this device, even had I not
thus fortunately become acquainted with the whole of the
design: but now that I knew my man, and could see my
way, I at once resolved to appear the dupe they purposed
to make me. Specie too, for the payment of the garrison!
This was no contemptible prize with which to commence my
career. Besides the boat was well manned, and although
without cannon, still in point of military equipment
quite able to cope with my crew, which did not exceed
thirty men.

"With your knowledge of Desborough's character it will
not surprise you to learn, although I confess I boiled
with indignation at the moment to hear, that the object
of the scoundrels was, with a view to the gratification
of their own private vengeance, not merely to raise a
doubt of my fidelity, but to prefer against me a direct
charge of treason. Thus in their vulgar language they
argued. If misled by their representations, I quitted my
station on the channel, and fell into the ambuscade
prepared for me near Turkey Island, I raised a suspicion
of the cause of my absence, which might be confirmed by
an anonymous communication; and if, on the other hand,
I escaped that ambuscade, the suspicion would be even
stronger, as care would be taken to announce to the
English garrison, the fact of my having been bribed to
leave the channel free for the passage of a boat, filled
with money and necessaries for Detroit. My return to my
post immediately afterwards, would confirm the assertion;
and so perfectly had they, in their wise conceit, arranged
their plans, that a paper was prepared by the son and
handed to his father, for the purpose of being dropped
in the way of one of the officers; the purport of which
was an accusation against me, of holding a secret
understanding with the enemy, in proof whereof it was
stated that at an important moment, I should be found
absent from my post--I think I am correct, Captain
Molineux."

"'Perfectly,' returned that officer--'such indeed were
the contents of the paper which I picked up in my rounds
about day light yesterday morning, and which I have only
again to express my regret that I should have allowed to
make on me even a momentary impression. Indeed, Grantham,
I am sure you will do me the justice to believe, that
until we actually saw the American boat passing, while
you were no where to be seen, I never for one moment
doubted its being, what it has proved to be--the falsest
and most atrocious of calumnies."

"Your after doubt was but natural," replied the sailor,
"although I confess I could not help wincing under the
thought of its being entertained. I knew that, on my
return, I should be enabled to explain every thing, but
yet felt nettled that even my short absence should, as
I knew it must, give rise to any strictures on my conduct.
It was that soreness of feeling which induced my impatient
allusion to the subject, even after my good fortune of
yesterday, for I at once detected that the slanderous
paper had been received and commented on; and from the
peculiar glance, I saw Henry direct to you, I was at no
loss to discover into whose hands it had fallen. But to
resume.

"Their plan of action being finally settled, the traitors
began to give indication of separating--the one to hasten
and announce to the American boat the removal of all
impediment to her passage upwards--the other to my gun
boat, in order to play off the falsehood devised for the
success of their stratagem.

"'Here's damnation to the curst race of Granthams,' said
the son, as raising his tall and lanky body, he lifted
the rude goblet to his lips.

"'Amen,' responded the father, rising also and drinking
to the pledge, 'and what's more, here's to the goold
eagles that'll repay us for our job. And now Phil, let's
be movin'.'

"The heavy tread of their feet within the hut as they
moved to and fro, to collect the several articles belonging
to the equipment of Desborough's canoe, promising fair
to cover the sound of our footsteps, I now whispered to
Sambo, and we hastily made good our retreat to the point
where we had left our skiff. In a few minutes, we were
again on the lake, paddling swiftly but cautiously towards
my gun boat. I had instructed the sentinels not to hail
me on my return, therefore when I gained the deck, it
was without challenge or observation of any kind, which
could denote to those from whom I had so recently parted,
that any one had been absent,

"Again I had thrown myself upon the deck, and was ruminating
on the singular events of the evening, associating the
rich prize, which I now already looked upon as my own,
with the rascality of those who, imagining me to be their
dupe, were so soon to become mine; and moreover meditating
such measures as I fancied most likely to secure a result
so opposite to that which they anticipated, when the loud
quick sharp hail of the sentinels announced that a craft
of some kind was approaching.

"'Want to see the officer,' shouted a voice which I knew
to be Desborough's. "Somethin' very partick'lar to tell
him, I guess."

"Permission having been granted, the canoe came rapidly
up to the side, and in the next minute, the tall heavy
form of the settler stood distinctly defined against the
lake, as he stepped on the gun-wale of the boat.

"It must be needless here to repeat the information of
which he was the bearer," pursued Grantham. Its purport
was, in every sense, what I had so recently overheard in
the hut.

"'And how am I to know that this tale of yours is correct,'
I demanded when he had concluded, yet in a tone that
seemed to admit, I was as much his dupe as he could
reasonably desire. 'You are aware Desborough, that your
character for loyalty does not stand very high, and this
may prove but a trick to get me out of the way. What good
motive can you give for my believing you.'

"'The best I calculate as can be,' he unhesitatingly
answered, 'and that is my own interest. I don't make no
boast of my loyalty, as you say, to be sure, Mr. Grantham,
but I've an eye like a hawk for the rhino, and I han't
giv' you this piece of news without expectin' a promise
that I shall git a purty considerable sum in eagles, if
so be as you succeeds in wallopin' the prize.'

"'Walloping--what do you call walloping, man?'

"'What do I call wallopin'? why licking her slick and
clean out, and gettin' hold of the dust to be sure.'

"I could have knocked the scoundrel to the deck, for the
familiarity of the grin which accompanied this reply,
and as for Sambo, I had more than once to look him
peremptorily into patience.

"I knew from what had passed between father and son,
that, until the former had communicated with, and impressed
a conviction of the accuracy of his report, upon me,
nothing was to be attempted by the boat, the capture of
which was now, for a variety of reasons, an object of
weighty consideration. Whatever violence I did to myself
therefore, in abstaining from a castigation of the traitor,
I felt that I could not hope for success, unless, by
appearing implicitly to believe all he had stated, I thus
set suspicion at rest.

"'A more satisfactory motive for your information you
could not have given me Desborough,' I at length replied,
with a sarcasm which was however lost upon him, 'and I
certainly do you the justice to believe that to the self
interest you have avowed, we shall be indebted for the
capture of the prize in question. She lies, you say,
between Turkey Island and our own shores.'

"'I guess as how she does,' replied the settler, with an
eagerness that betrayed his conviction that the bait had
taken; 'but Mr. Grantham,'--and I could detect a lurking
sneer, 'I expect at least that when you have lick'd the
prize you will make my loyalty stand a little higher than
it seems to be at this moment, for I guess, puttin' the
dollars out of the question, it's a right loyal act I am
guilty of now.'

"'You may rely upon it, Desborough, you shall have all
the credit you deserve for your conduct on the occasion--
that it shall be faithfully reported on my return, you
may take for granted.' Here I summoned all hands up to
weigh anchor and make sail for Turkey Island. 'Now then,
Desborough, unless you wish to be a sharer in our
enterprize, the sooner you leave us the better, for we
shall be off immediately.'

"'In obedience to my order, all hands were speedily upon
deck, and busied in earnest preparation. In pleasing
assurance that I was as completely his dupe as could be
desired, the villain had now the audacity to demand from
me a written promise that, in consideration of the
information given, five hundred dollars should be paid
to him on the disposal of the prize. This demand (aware
as he was--or rather as he purposed--that I was to play
the part of the captured instead of that of the captor),
was intended to lull me into even greater reliance on
his veracity. I had difficulty in restraining my
indignation, for I felt that the fellow was laughing at
me in his sleeve; however the reflection that, in less
than twenty-four hours, the tables would be turned upon
him, operated as a check upon my feelings, and I said
with a hurried voice and air:

"'Impossible, Desborough, I have no time now to give the
paper, for as you perceive we are getting under way--I
however, repeat to you my promise, that if your claims
are not attended to elsewhere, you shall have my share
of the profits, if I take this prize within the next
eight and forty hours within the boundary of Turkey
Island--Will that content you?'

"'I expect as how it must,' returned the secretly delighted,
yet seemingly disappointed settler, as he now prepared
to recross the gun-wale into his canoe; 'but I guess,
Mr. Grantham, you might at least advance a fellor a little
money out of hand, on the strength of the prize. Jist
say twenty dollars.'

"'No, Desborough, not one. 'When the Turkey Island prize
is mine, then if the Government refuse to confirm your
claims, we will share equally; but, as I said before, I
must first capture her, before I consent to part with a
shilling.'

"'Well then, I guess I must wait,' and the scoundrel
confidently believing that he had gulled me to his heart's
content, stepped heavily into his canoe, which he directed
along the lake shore, while we with filling sails, glided
up the channel and speedily lost him from our view.'

"A perfect adventure upon my word," interrupted De Courcy.

"What a bold and deliberate scoundrel," added Captain
Granville. "I confess, Grantham, I cannot but admire the
coolness and self-possession you evinced on this occasion.
Had I been there in your stead, I should have tied the
rascal up, given him a dozen or two on the spot, and then
tumbled him head foremost into the lake."

"Oh yes, but then you have such a short way of doing
things, Captain Granville," remarked Ensign Langley, in
a tone rather less marked by confidence than that of the
preceding day, and, on this occasion, not omitting to
prefix the rank of him whom he addressed, and his
acquaintance with whom had been slight.

"I admit, Mr. Langley, I have a very short and unceremonious
way of treating vulgar people, who are my antipathy,"
returned Captain Granville, in his usual dry manner.

"Had Geerald doon this he would ha' maired his feenal
treomph over the veellain," observed Cranstoun. "Na, na,
Granville, our friend here has acted like a prudent mon,
as well as a gaillant officer. Geerald, the boottle stands
with you."

"To say nothing of his desire to secure the prize money,"
gaily remarked the young sailor, as he helped himself to
wine.

"Eh, true, the preeze mooney, and a very neecessary
consederetion too, Geerald; and one that may weel joostify
your prudence in the affair. I did na' theenk o' that at
fairst."

"But come, Grantham," interrupted Captain Granville, "you
have not informed us of what happened after the departure
of the settler."

"The remainder is soon told," continued Gerald. "On
parting from Desborough I continued my course directly
up the channel, with a view of gaining a point, where
unseen myself, I could observe the movements of the
American boat, which from all I had heard, I fully expected
would attempt the passage in the course of the following
day. My perfect knowledge of the country suggested to
me, as the safest and most secure hiding place, the creek
whence you saw me issue at a moment when it was supposed
the American had altogether escaped. The chief object of
the enemy was evidently to get me out of the channel.
That free, it was of minor importance whether I fell into
the ambuscade or not, so that the important boat could
effect the passage unobserved, or at least in safety. If
my gun boat should be seen returning unharmed from Turkey
Island, the American was to run into the first creek
along the shore, which she had orders to hug until I had
passed and not until I had again resumed my station in
the channel, was she to renew her course upwards to
Detroit which post it was assumed she would then gain
without difficulty."

"It was scarcely yet day," continued Grantham, "when I
reached and ran into the creek of which I have just
spoken, and which, owing to the narrowness of the stream
and consequent difficulty of waring, I was obliged to
enter stem foremost. That no time might be lost in getting
her out at the proper moment, I, instead of dropping her
anchor, made the gun boat fast to a tree; and, desiring
the men, with the exception of the watch, to take their
rest as usual, lay quietly awaiting the advance of the
enemy."

The gun fired from the lower battery on the island, was
the first intimation we had of the approach of the prize
which I had given my gallant fellows to understand was
in reserve for us; and presently afterwards Sambo, whom
I had dispatched on the look out, appeared on the bank,
stating that a large boat, which had been fired at
ineffectually, was making the greatest exertions to clear
the channel. A second shot discharged from a nearer point,
soon after announced that the boat had gained the head
of the Island, and might therefore be shortly expected,
in the impatience of my curiosity I sprang to the shore,
took the telescope out of the hands of Sambo, and hastened
to climb the tree from which he had so recently descended.
I now distinctly saw the boat, as, availing herself of
the rising and partial breeze, she steered more into the
centre of the stream; and I thought I could observe marks
of confusion and impatience among the groups in front of
the fort, whom I had justly imagined to have been assembled
there to witness the arrival of the canoes, we had seen
descending the river, long before the first gun was fired.

"The opportunity of achieving a daring enterprize, in
the presence of those assembled groups," pursued Grantham
with a slight blush, "was, I thought, one so little likely
to occur again, that I felt I could not do better than
turn it to the best account; and with this view my original
intention had been to man my small boat with the picked
men of my crew, and attempt the American by boarding.
Two circumstances, however, induced me to change my plan.
The first was that the enemy, no longer hugging the shore,
had every chance of throwing me out by the sudden and
unexpected use of her canvass, and the second (here Gerald
slightly colored, while more than one emphatic hem! passed
round the table,) that I had, with my telescope, discerned
there was a lady in the boat. Under these circumstances,
I repeat, I altered my mode of attack, and proposed rather
to sink my laurels than to lose my prize. ("Hem! your
prizes I suppose you mean," interrupted De Courcy,) "and
adopted what I thought would be a surer expedient--that
of firing over her. This demonstration, I imagined might
have the effect of bringing her to, and causing her to
surrender without effusion of blood. You were ail witnesses
however of the unexpected manner in which, owing to the
sadden falling off of the wind, I was compelled to have
recourse to the boat at last."

"But the chase, and the firing after you doubled the
point?" inquired Captain Granville. "We saw nothing of
this."

"The American, plying his oars with vigour, gave us
exercise enough," answered the young sailor, "and had
made considerable way up the creek, before we came up
with him. An attempt was then made to escape us by running
ashore, and abandoning the boat, but it was too late.
Our bow was almost touching his stern, and in the
desperation of the moment, the American troops discharged
their muskets, but with so uncertain an aim, in consequence
of their being closely crowded upon each other, that only
three of my men were wounded by their fire. Before they
could load again we were enabled to grapple with them
hand to hand. A few of my men had discharged their pistols,
in answer to the American volley, before I had time to
interfere to prevent them; but the majority, having
reserved theirs, we had now immeasurably the advantage.
Removing the bayonets from their muskets, which at such
close quarters were useless, they continued their contest
a short time with these, but the cutlass soon overpowered
them, and they surrendered."

"And the Major, Grantham; did he behave well on the
occasion?"

"Gallantly. It was the Major that cut down the only man
I had dangerously wounded in the affair, and he would
have struck another fatally, had I not disarmed him.
While in the act of doing so, I was treacherously shot
(in the arm only, fortunately,) by the younger scoundrel
Desborough, who in turn I saved from Sambo's vengeance,
in order that he might receive a more fitting punishment.
And now, gentlemen, you have the whole history."

"Yes, as far as regards the men portion," said De Courcy,
with a malicious smile; "but what became of the lady all
this time, my conquering hero? Did you find her playing
a very active part in the skirmish?"

"Active, no;" replied Gerald, slightly coloring, as he
remarked all eyes directed to him at this demand, "but
passively courageous she was to a degree I could not have
supposed possible in woman. She sat calm and collected
amid the din of conflict, as if she had been accustomed
to the thing all her life, nor once moved from the seat
which she occupied in the stern, except to make an effort
to prevent me from disarming her uncle. I confess that
her coolness astonished me, while it excited my warmest
admiration.

"A hope it may be noothing beyoond admeeration," observed
the Captain of Grenadiers, "a tell ye as a freend, Geerald,
a do not like this accoont ye gi' of her coonduct. A
wooman who could show no ageetation in sooch a scene,
must have either a domn'd coold, or a domn'd block hairt,
and there's but leetle claim to admeeration there."

"Upon my word, Captain Cranstoun," and the handsome
features of Gerald crimsoned with a feeling not unmixed
with serious displeasure, "I do not quite understand
you--you appear to assume something between Miss Montgomerie
and myself, that should not be imputed to either--and
certainly, not thus publicly."

"Hoot toot mon, there's no use in making a secret of the
maitter," returned the positive grenadier. "The soobject
was discoosed after dinner yeesterday, and there was
noobody preesent who didn't agree that if you had won
her hairt you had geevin your own in exchange."

"God forbid," said Henry Grantham with unusual gravity
of manner, while he looked affectionately on the changing
and far from satisfied countenance of his conscious
brother, "for I repeat, with Captain Cranstoun, I like
her not. Why, I know not; still I like her not, and I
shall be glad, Gerald, when you have consigned her to
the place of her destination."

"Pooh! pooh! nonsense;" interrupted Captain Granville,
"Never mind, Gerald," he pursued good humouredly "she is
a splendid girl, and one that you need not be ashamed to
own as a conquest. By heaven, she has a bust and hips to
warm the bosom of an anchorite, and depend upon it, all
that Cranstoun has said arises only from pique that he
is not the object preferred. These black eyes of hers
have set his ice blood on the boil, and he would willingly
exchange places with you, at I honestly confess I should."

Vexed as Gerald certainly felt at the familiar tone the
conversation was now assuming in regard to Miss Montgomerie,
and although satisfied that mere pleasantry was intended,
it was not without a sensation of relief he found it
interrupted by the entrance of the several non-commissioned
officers with their order books. Soon after the party
broke up.



CHAPTER X.

Before noon on the following day, the boat that was to
convey Major Montgomerie and his niece to the American
shore, pulled up to the landing place in front of the
fort. The weather, as on the preceding day, was fine,
and the river exhibited the same placidity of surface.
Numerous bodies of Indians were collected on the banks,
pointing to, and remarking on the singularity of the
white flag which hung drooping at the stern of the boat.
Presently the prisoners were seen advancing to the bank,
accompanied by General Brock, Commodore Barclay, and the
principal officers of the garrison. Major Montgomerie
appeared pleased at the prospect of the liberty that
awaited him, while the countenance of his niece, on the
contrary, presented an expression of deep thought, although
it was afterwards remarked by Granville and Villiers--
both close observers of her demeanour that as her eye
occasionally glanced in the direction of Detroit, it
lighted up with an animation strongly in contrast with
the general calm and abstractedness of her manner. All
being now ready, Gerald Grantham, who had received his
final instructions from the General, offered his arm to
Miss Montgomerie, who, to all outward appearance, took
it mechanically and unconsciously, although, in the
animated look which the young sailor turned upon her in
the next instant, there was evidence the contact had
thrilled electrically to his heart. After exchanging a
cordial pressure of the hand with his gallant entertainers,
and reiterating to the General his thanks for the especial
favor conferred upon him, the venerable Major followed
them to the boat. His departure was the signal for much
commotion among the Indians. Hitherto they had had no
idea of what was in contemplation; but when they saw them
enter and take their seats in the boat, they raised one
of those terrific shouts which have so often struck terror
and dismay, and brandishing their weapons seemed ready
to testify their disapprobation by something more than
words. It was however momentary--a commanding voice made
itself heard, even amid the din of their loud yell, and,
when silence had been obtained, a few animated sentences,
uttered in a tone of deep authority, caused the tumult
at once to subside. The voice was that of Tecumseh, and
there were few among his race who, brave and indomitable
as they were, could find courage to thwart his will.
Meanwhile the boat, impelled by eight active seamen,
urged its way through the silvery current, and in less
than an hour from its departure had disappeared.

Two hours had elapsed--the General and superior officers
had retired; and the Indians, few by few had repaired to
their several encampments, except a party of young
warriors, who, wrapped in their blankets and mantles,
lay indolently extended on the grass, smoking their pipes,
or producing wild sounds from their melancholy flutes.
Not far from these, sat, with their legs overhanging the
edge of the steep bank, a group of the junior officers
of the garrison, who, with that indifference which
characterized their years, were occupied in casting
pebbles into the river, and watching the bubbles that
arose to the surface. Among the number was Henry Grantham,
and, at a short distance from him, sat the old but athletic
negro, Sambo, who, not having been required to accompany
Gerald, to whom he was especially attached, had continued
to linger on the bank long after his anxious eye had lost
sight of the boat in which the latter had departed. While
thus engaged, a new direction was given to the interest
of all parties, by a peculiar cry, which reached them
from a distance over the water, apparently from beyond
the near extremity of the Island of Bois Blanc. To the
officers the sound was unintelligible, for it was the
first of the kind they had ever heard, but the young
Indians appeared fully to understand its import. Starting
from their lethargy, they sprang abruptly to their feet,
and giving a sharp answering yell, stamped upon the green
turf, and snuffed the hot air, with distended nostrils,
like so many wild horses let loose upon the desert. Nor
was the excitement confined to these, for, all along the
line of encampment, the same wild notes were echoed, and
forms came bounding again to the front, until the bank
was once more peopled with savages.

"What was the meaning of that cry, Sambo, and whence came
it?" asked Henry Grantham, who, as well as his companions,
had strained their eyes in every direction, but in vain,
to discover its cause.

"Dat a calp cry, Massa Henry--see he dere a canoe not
bigger nor a hick'ry nut," and he pointed with his finger
to what in fact had the appearance of being little larger;
"I wish," he pursued with bitterness, "dey bring him calp
of dem billians Desborough--Dam him lying tief to hell."

"Bravo!" exclaimed De Courcy, who, in common with his
companions, recollecting Gerald's story of the preceding
day, was at no loss to understand why the latter epithet
had been so emphatically bestowed; "I see (winking to
Henry Grantham) you have not yet forgiven his paddling
round the gun boat the other night, while you and the
rest of the crew were asleep, eh, Sambo?

"So help me hebben, Obbicer, he no sail around a gun
boat, he dam a Yankee. He come along a lake like a dam
tief in e night and I tell a Massa Geral--and Massa Geral
and me chase him all ober e water--I not a sleep Massa
Courcy;" pursued the old man with pique; "I nebber
sleep,--Massa Geral, nebber sleep."

"The devil ye don't" observed De Courcy quaintly, "then
the Lord deliver ME from gun boat service, I say."

"Amen" responded Villiers.

"Why," asked Middlemore, "do Gerald Grantham and old
Frumpy here remind one of a certain Irish festival? Do
you give it up? Because they are AWAKE--"

The abuse heaped on the pre-eminently vile attempt was
unmeasured--Sambo conceived it a personal affront to
himself, and he said, with an air of mortification and
wounded dignity, not unmixed with anger!

"Sambo poor black nigger--obbicer berry white man, but
him heart all ob a color. He no Frumpy--Massa Geral no
like an Irish bestibal. I wonder he no tick up for a
broder, Massa Henry." His agitation here was extreme.

"Nonsense Sambo--don't you see we are only jesting with
you," said the youth, in the kindest tone, for he perceived
that the faithful creature was striving hard to check
the rising tear--"there is not an officer here who does
not respect you for your long attachment to my family,
and none would willingly give you pain--neither should
you suppose they would say anything offensive in regard
to my brother Gerald."

Pacified by this assurance, which was moreover, corroborated
by several of his companions, really annoyed at having
pained the old man, Sambo sank once more into respectful
silence, still however continuing to occupy the same
spot. During this colloquy the cry had been several
times repeated, and as often replied to from the shore;
and now a canoe was distinctly visible, urging its way
to the beach. The warriors it contained were a scouting
party, six in number--four paddling the light bark, and
one at the helm, while the sixth who appeared, to be the
leader, stood upright in the bow, waving from the long
pole to which it was attached a human scalp. A few minutes
and the whole had landed, and were encircled on the bank
by their eager and inquiring comrades. Their story was
soon told. They had encountered two Americans at some
distance on the opposite shore, who were evidently making
the best of their way through the forest to Detroit. They
called upon them to deliver themselves up, but the only
answer was an attempt at flight. The Indians fired, and
one fell dead, pierced by many balls. The other, however,
who happened to be considerably in advance, threw all
his energy into his muscular frame, and being untouched
by the discharge that had slain his companion, succeeded
in gaining a dense underwood, through which he finally
effected his escape. The scouts continued their pursuit
for upwards of an hour, but finding it fruitless, returned
to the place where they had left their canoe, having
first secured the scalp and spoils of the fallen man."

"Dam him, debbel," exclaimed Sambo, who as well as the
officers, had approached the party detailing their exploit,
and had fixed his dark eye on the dangling trophy. "May
I nebber see a hebben ib he not a calp of a younger
Desborough. I know him lying tief by he hair--he all
yaller like a sogers breast plate--curse him rascal (and
his white and even teeth, were exhibited in the grin that
accompanied the remark,) he nebber no more say he sail
round Massa Geral gun boat, and Massa Geral and Sambo
sleep."

"By Jove he is right," said De Courcy. "I recollect
remarking the colour of the fellow's hair yesterday when
on calling for a glass of "gin sling," at the inn to
which I had conducted him, he threw his slouched hat
unceremoniously on the table, and rubbed the fingers of
both hands through his carrotty locks, until they actually
appeared to stand like those of the Gorgon perfectly on
end."

"And were there other proof wanting," said Villiers, "we
have it here in the spoil his slayers are exhibiting to
their companions. There are the identical powder horn,
bullet pouch, and waist belt, which he wore when he landed
on this very spot."

"And I," said Middlemore, "will swear by the crooked buck
horn handle of that huge knife, or dagger; for in our
struggle on the sands yesterday morning, his blanket coat
came open, and discovered the weapon on which I kept a
sharp eye, during the whole time. Had he but managed to
plant that monster (and he affected to shudder,) under
my middle ribs, then would it hare been ail over with
poor Middlemore."

"There cannot be a doubt," remarked Henry Grantham.
"With Sambo and De Courcy, I well recollect the hair,
and I also particularly noticed the handle of his dagger,
which, as you perceive, has a remarkable twist in it."

All doubt was put to rest by Sambo, who, having spoken
with its possessor for a moment, now returned, bearing
the knife, at the extremity of the handle of which, was
engraved on a silver shield the letters P. E. T. A. Ens.
M. M.

"Paul, Emilius, Theophilus, Arnoldi, Ensign Michigan
Militia," pursued Grantham reading. "This then is
conclusive, and we have to congratulate ourselves that
one at least of two of the vilest scoundrels this country
ever harboured, has at length met the fate he merited."

"Fate him merit, Massa Henry," muttered the aged and
privileged negro, with something like anger in his tones,
as he returned the knife to the Indian; "he dam 'serter
from a king! No, no, he nebber deserb a die like dis. He
ought to hab a rope roun him neck and die him lying teef
like a dog."

"I guess however our friend Jeremiah has got clean slick
off," said Villiers, imitating the tone and language of
that individual, "and he, I take it, is by far the more
formidable of the two. I expect that, before he dies, he
will give one of us a long shot yet, in revenge for the
fall of young hopeful."

"Traitorous and revengeful scoundrel," aspirated Henry
Grantham, as the recollection of the manner of his father's
death came over his mind. "It is, at least, some consolation
to think his villainy has in part met its reward. I
confess I think in the death of young Desborough, less
even because a dangerous enemy has been removed, than
because in his fall the heart of the father will be racked
in its only assailable point. I trust I am not naturally
cruel, yet do I hope the image of his slain partner in
infamy may ever after revisit his memory, and remind him
of his crime."

An exclamation from the Indians now drew the attention
of the officers to a boat that came in sight, in the
direction in which that of Gerald Grantham had long since
disappeared, and as she drew nearer, a white flag, floating
in the stem became gradually distinguishable. Expressions
of surprise passed among the officers, by whom various
motives were assigned as the cause of the return of the
flag of truce, for that it was their own boat no one
doubted, especially, as, on approaching sufficiently
near, the blue uniform of the officer who steered the
boat was visible to the naked eye. On a yet nearer
approach, however, it was perceived that the individual
in question wore not the uniform of the British Navy,
but that of an officer of the American line, the same
precisely, indeed, as that of Major Montgomerie. It was
further remarked that there was no lady in the boat, and
that, independently of the crew, there was besides the
officer already named, merely one individual, dressed in
the non-commissioned uniform, who seemed to serve as his
orderly. Full evidence being now had that this was a
flag sent from the American Fort, which had, in all
probability, missed Gerald by descending one channel of
the river formed by Turkey Island, while the latter had
ascended by the other, the aid-de-camp, De Courcy hastened
to acquaint General Brock with the circumstance, and to
receive his orders. By the time the American reached the
landing place, the youth had returned, accompanying a
superior officer of the staff. Both descended the flight
of steps leading to the river, when, having saluted the
officer, after a moment or two of conversation, they
proceeded to blindfold him. This precaution having been
taken, the American was then handed over the gun-wale of
the boat, and assisted up the flight of steps by the two
British officers on whose arms he leaned. As they passed
through the crowd, on their way to the Fort, the ears of
the stranger were assailed by loud yells from the bands
of Indians, who, with looks of intense curiosity and
interest, gazed on the passing, and to them in some degree
inexplicable, scene. Startling as was the fierce cry,
the officer pursued his course without moving a muscle
of his fine and manly form, beyond what was necessary to
the action in which he was engaged. It was a position
which demanded all his collectedness and courage, and he
seemed as though he had previously made up his mind not
to be deficient in either. Perhaps it was well that he
had been temporarily deprived of sight, for could he have
remarked the numerous tomahawks that were raised towards
him, in pantomimic representation of what they would have
done had they been permitted, the view would in no way
have assisted his self-possession. The entrance to the
fort once gained by the little party, the clamour began
to subside, and the Indians, by whom they had been
followed, returned to the bank of the river to satisfy
their curiosity with a view of those who had been left
in the boat, to which, as a security against all possible
outrage, a sergeant's command had meanwhile been despatched.

It was in the drawing room of Colonel D'Egville, that
the General, surrounded by his chief officers, awaited
the arrival of the flag of truce. Into this the American
Colonel, for such was his rank, after traversing the area
of the fort that lay between, was now ushered, and, the
bandage being removed, his eye encountered several to
whom he was personally known, and with these such
salutations as became the occasion were exchanged.

"The flag you bear, sir," commenced the General, after
a few moments of pause succeeding these greetings, "relates
I presume, to the prisoners so recently fallen into our
hands."

"By no means, General," returned the American, "this is
the first intimation I have had of such fact--my mission
is of a wholly different nature. I am deputed by the
officer commanding the forces of the United States, to
summon the garrison of Amherstburg, with all its naval
dependencies, to surrender within ten days from this
period."

The General smiled. "A similar purpose seems to have
actuated us both," he observed. "A shorter limit have I
prescribed to the officer by whom I have, this very day,
sent a flag to General Hull; I have caused it to be
intimated, that, failing to comply with my summons, he
may on the ensuing Sabbath expect to see the standard of
England floating over the walls of his citadel. This,
Colonel, you may moreover repeat as my answer to your
mission."

The American bowed. "Such then, General, is your final
determination?"

"Not more certain is it that the next Sabbath will dawn,
than that the force I have the honor to command will
attempt the assault upon that day."

"What, within three days? You would seem to hold us
cheaply, General," said the American piquedly, "that you
do not even leave us in doubt as to the moment of your
intended attack."

"And if I would, it were useless," was the reply, "since
what I do attempt shall be attempted openly. In the broad
face of day will I lead my troops to the trenches. By
this time, however, your chief must know my determination--
where, may I ask, did you pass my flag?"

"I met with none, General, and yet my boat kept as nearly
in the middle of the stream as possible."

"Then must ye have passed each other on the opposite
sides of Turkey Island. The officer in charge was moreover
accompanied by two of the prisoners to whom I have alluded
--one a field officer in your own regiment."

"May I ask who?" interrupted the American quickly, and
slightly coloring.

"Major Montgomerie."

"So I suspected. Was the other officer of my regiment?"

"The other," said the General, "bears no commission, and
is simply a volunteer in the expedition--one in short,
whose earnest wish to reach Detroit, was the principal
motive for my offering the Major his liberty on parole."

"And may I ask the name of this individual, so unimportant
in rank, and yet so filled with ardor in the cause, as to
be thus anxious to gain the theatre of war?"

"One probably not unknown to you, Colonel, as the niece
of your brother officer--Miss Montgomerie."

"Miss Montgomerie here!" faltered the American, rising
and paling as he spoke, while he mechanically placed on
the table a glass of wine he had the instant before raised
to his lips--"surely it cannot be."

There was much to excite interest, not only in the changed
tone but in the altered features of the American, as he
thus involuntarily gave expression to his surprise. The
younger officers winked at each other, and smiled their
conviction of une affaire de coeur--while the seniors
were no less ready to infer that they now had arrived at
the true secret of the impatience of Miss Montgomerie to
reach the place of her destination. To the penetrating
eye of the General, however, there was an expression of
pain on the countenance of the officer, which accorded
ill with the feeling one might be supposed to entertain,
who had been unexpectedly brought nearer to an object of
attachment, and he kindly sought to relieve his evident
embarrassment by remarking:

"I can readily comprehend your surprise, Colonel. One
would scarcely have supposed that a female could have
had courage to brave the dangers attendant on an expedition
of this kind, in an open boat--but Miss Montgomerie, I
confess, appears to me to be one whom no danger could
daunt, and whose resoluteness of purpose, once directed,
no secondary agency could divert from its original aim."

Before the officer, having partially regained his composure,
could reply, Colonel D'Egville, who had absented himself
during the latter part of the conversation, returned and
addressing the former in terms that proved their
acquaintance to have been of previous date, invited him
to partake of some refreshment, which had been prepared
for him in an adjoining apartment. This the American at
first faintly declined, on the plea of delay having been
prohibited by his chief; but, on the General jocosely
remarking that, sharing their hospitality on the present
occasion would be no barrier to breaking a lance a week
hence, he assented; and, following Colonel D'Egville,
passed through a short corridor into a smaller apartment
where a copious but hurried refreshment had been prepared.

The entry of the officer was greeted by the presence of
three ladies--Mrs. D'Egville and her daughters--all of
whom received him with the frank cordiality that bespoke
intimacy, while, on the countenance of one of the latter,
might be detected evidences of an interest that had its
foundation in something more than the mere esteem which
dictated the conduct of her mother and sister. If Julia
D'Egville was in reality the laughing, light hearted,
creature represented in the mess room conversation of
the officers of the garrison, it would have been difficult
for a stranger to have recognized her in the somewhat
serious girl who now added her greetings to theirs, but
in a manner slightly tinctured with embarrassment.

The American, who seemed not to notice it, directed his
conversation, as he partook of the refreshment, principally
to Mrs. D'Egville, to whom he spoke of various ladies at
Detroit, friends of both, who were deep deplorers of the
war and the non-communication which it occasioned; alluded
to the many delightful parties that had taken place, yet
were now interrupted; and to the many warm friendships
which had been formed, yet might by this event be severed
for ever. He concluded by presenting a note front a very
intimate friend of the family, to which, he said, he had
been requested to take back a written answer.

A feeling of deep gratification pervaded the benevolent
countenance of Mrs D'Egville, as, on perusal, she found
that it contained the offer of an asylum for herself and
daughters in case Amherstburg should be carried by storm,
as, considering the American great superiority of force,
was thought likely, in the event of the British General
refusing to surrender.

"Excellent, kind hearted friend!" she exclaimed when she
had finished--"this indeed does merit an answer. Need of
assistance, however, there is none, since my noble friend,
the General, has pledged himself to anticipate any attempt
to make our soil the theatre of war--still, does it give
me pleasure to be enabled to reciprocate her offer, by
promising, in my turn, an asylum against all chances of
outrage on the part of the wild Indians, attached to our
cause"--and she left the room.

No sooner did the American find himself alone with the
sisters, for Colonel D'Egville had previously retired to
the General, than discarding all reserve, and throwing
himself on his knees at the feet of her who sat next him,
he exclaimed, in accents of the most touching pathos:

"Julia, dearest Julia! for this alone am I here. I
volunteered to be the bearer of the summons to the British
General, in the hope that some kind chance would give
you to my view, and now that fortune, propitious beyond
my utmost expectations, affords me the happiness of
speaking to you whom I had feared never to behold more,
oh, tell me that, whatever be the result of this unhappy
war, you will not forget me. For me, I shall ever cherish
you in my heart's core."

The glow which mantled over the cheek of the agitated
girl, plainly told that this passionate appeal was made
to no unwilling ear. Still she spoke not.

"Dearest Julia, answer me--the moments of my stay are
few, and at each instant we are liable to interruption.
In one word, therefore, may I hope? In less than a week,
many who have long been friends will meet as enemies.
Let me then at least have the consolation to know from
your lips, that whatever be the event, that dearest of
all gifts--your regard--is unchangeably mine."

"I do promise, Ernest," faltered the trembling girl.
"My heart is yours and yours forever--but do not
unnecessarily expose yourself," and her head sank
confidingly on the shoulder of her lover.

"Thank you, dearest," and the encircling arm of the
impassioned officer drew her form closer to his beating
heart. Gertrude, you are witness of her vow, and before
you, under more auspicious circumstances, will I claim
its fulfilment. Oh Julia, Julia, this indeed does
recompense me for many a long hour of anxiety and doubt."

"And hers too have been hours of anxiety and doubt," said
the gentle Gertrude. "Ever since the war has been spoken
of as certain, Julia has been no longer the gay girl she
was. Her dejection has been subject of remark with all,
and such is her dislike to any allusion to the past, that
she never even rallies Captain Cranstoun on his bear-skin
adventure of last winter on the ice."

"Ah," interrupted the American, "never shall I forget
the evening that preceded that adventure. It was then,
dearest Julia, that I ventured to express the feeling
with which you had inspired me. It was then I had first
the delight of hearing from your lips that I need not
entirely despair. I often, often, think of that night."

"Of course you have not yet received my note, Ernest.
Perhaps you will deem it inconsiderate in me to have
written, but I could not resist the desire to afford you
what I conceived would be a gratification, by communicating
intelligence of ourselves."

"Note! what note! and by whom conveyed?"

"Have you not heard," enquired Gertrude, warming into
animation, "that the General has sent a flag this morning
to Detroit, and, under its protection, two prisoners
captured by my gallant cousin, who is the officer that
conducts them."

"And to that cousin you have confided the letter?"
interrupted the Colonel, somewhat eagerly.

"No, not my cousin," said Julia, "but to one I conceived
better suited to the trust. You must know that my father,
with his usual hospitality, insisted on Major Montgomerie
and his niece, the parties in question, taking up their
abode with us during the short time they remained."

"And to Miss Montgomerie you gave your letter," hurriedly
exclaimed the Colonel, starting to his feet, and exhibiting
a countenance of extreme paleness."

"Good heaven, Ernest! what is the matter? Surely you do
not think me guilty of imprudence in this affair. I was
anxious to write to you,--I imagined you would be glad
to hear from me, and thought that the niece of one of
your officers would be the most suitable medium of
communication. I therefore confessed to her my secret,
and requested her to take charge the letter."

"Oh, Julia, you have been indeed imprudent. But what said
she--how looked she when you confided to her our secret?"

"She made no other remark than to ask how long our
attachment had existed, adding that she had once known
something of you herself; and her look and voice were
calm, and her cheek underwent no variation from the
settled paleness observable there since her arrival."

"And in what manner did she receive her trust?" again
eagerly demanded the Colonel.

"With a solemn assurance that it should be delivered to
you with her own hand--then, and then only, did a faint
smile animate her still but beautiful features. Yet why
all these questions, Ernest? Or can it really be? Tell
me," and the voice of the young girl became imperative,
"has Miss Montgomerie any claim upon your hand--she
admitted to have known you?"

"On my honor, none;" impressively returned the Colonel.

"Oh, what a weight you have removed from my heart, Ernest,
but wherefore your alarm, and wherein consists my
imprudence?"

"In this only, dearest Julia, that I had much rather
another than she had been admitted into your confidence.
But as you have acted for the best, I cannot blame you.
Still I doubt not," and the tones of the American were
low and desponding, "that, as she has promised, she will
find means to deliver your note into my own hands--the
seal is--?"

"A fancy one--Andromache disarming Hector."

"Rise, for Heaven's sake rise," interrupted Gertrude;
"here comes mamma."

One fond pressure of her graceful form, and the Colonel
had resumed his seat. In the next moment Mrs. D'Egville
entered, by one door, and immediately afterwards her
husband by another. The former handed her note, and during
the remarks which accompanied its delivery, gave the
little party (for Gertrude was scarcely less agitated
than her sister) time to recover from their embarassment.
Some casual conversation then ensued, when the American,
despite of Mrs. D'Egville's declaration that he could
not have touched a single thing during her absence,
expressed his anxiety to depart. The same testimonies
of friendly greeting, which had marked his entrance, were
exchanged, and preceded by his kind host. The Colonel
once more gained the apartment where the General still
lingered, awaiting his reappearance.

Nothing remaining to be added to the answer already given
to the summons, the American, after exchanging salutations
with such of the English Officers as were personally
known to him, again submitted himself to the operation
of blindfolding; after which he was reconducted to the
beach, where his boat's crew, who had in their turn been
supplied with refreshments, were ready to receive him.
As on his arrival, the loud yellings of the Indians
accompanied his departure but as these had been found to
be harmless, they were even less heeded than before.
Within two hours, despite of the strong current, the boat
had disappeared altogether from the view.

Late in that day, the barge of Gerald Grantham returned
from Detroit. Ushered into the presence of the General,
the young sailor communicated the delivery of his charge
into the hands of the American Chief, who had returned
his personal acknowledgments for the courtesy. His answer
to the summons, however, was that having a force fully
adequate to the purpose, he was prepared to defend the
fort to the last extremity, and waiving his own original
plan of attack, would await the British General on the
defensive, when to the God of Battles should be left the
decision of the contest. To a question on the subject,
the young officer added that he had seen nothing of the
American flag of truce, either in going or returning.

That night orders were issued to the heads of the different
departments, immediately to prepare materiel for a short
siege; and, an assault at the termination of the third
day. By both troops and Indians, this intelligence was
received with pleasure; for all, sanguine as they were
under such a leader, looked confidently to the speedy
conquest of a post which was one of the highest importance
on that frontier.



CHAPTER XI.

Conformably with the orders of the British General, the
siege of the American fortress was commenced on the day
following that of the mutual exchange of flags. The
elevated ground above the village of Sandwich, immediately
opposite to the enemy's fort, was chosen for the erection
of three batteries, from which a well sustained and well
directed fire was kept up for several successive days,
yet without effecting any practicable breach in their
defences. One of these batteries, manned principally by
sailors, was under the direction of Gerald Grantham,
whose look out duty had been in a great degree rendered
unnecessary, by the advance of the English flotilla up
the river, and who had consequently been appointed to
this more active service.

During the whole of Saturday, the 15th of August, the
British guns had continued to play upon the fort, vomiting
shot and shell as from an exhaustless and angry volcano--
and several of the latter falling short, the town which
was of wood had been more than once set on fire. As,
however, it was by no means the intention of the General
to do injury to the inhabitants, no obstacle was opposed
to the attempts of the enemy to get it under, and the
flames were as often and as speedily extinguished. An
advanced hour of night at length put an end to the firing,
and the artillery men and seamen, extended on their great
coats and pea jackets, in their several embrasures,
snatched from fatigue that repose which their unceasing
exertions of the many previous hours had rendered at once
a luxury and a want.

The battery commanded by Gerald Grantham, was the central
and most prominent of the three, and it had been remarked
by all--and especially by the troops stationed in the
rear in support of the guns--that his firing during the
day, had been the most efficient, many of his shot going
point blank into the hostile fortress, and (as could be
distinctly seen with the telescope) occasioning evident
confusion.

The several officers commanding batteries were now met
in that of the young sailor, and habited in a garb
befitting the rude duty at which they had presided, were
earnestly engaged in discussing the contents of their
haversacks, moistened by occasional drafts of rum and
water from their wooden canteens, and seasoned with
frequent reference to the events of the past day, and
anticipations of what the morrow would bring forth. A
lantern so closed as to prevent all possibility of contact
with the powder that lay strewed about, was placed in
the centre of the circle, and the dim reflexion from this
upon the unwashed hands and faces of the party, begrimed
as they were with powder and perspiration, contributed
to give an air of wildness to the whole scene, that found
its origin in the peculiar circumstances of the moment.
Nor was the picture at all lessened in ferocity of effect,
by the figure of Sambo in the back ground, who, dividing
his time between the performances of such offices as his
young master demanded, in the coarse of the frugal meal
of the party, and a most assiduous application of his
own white and shining teeth to a huge piece of venison
ham, might, without effort, have called up the image of
some lawless, yet obedient slave, attending on and sharing
in the orgies of a company of buccaneers.

At length the meal was ended, and each was preparing to
depart, with a view to snatch an hour or two of rest in
his own battery, when the pricked ear and forward thrown
head of the old negro, accompanied by a quick, "Husha,
Massa Geral," stilled them all into attitudes of expectancy.
Presently the sound of muffled oars was heard, and then
the harsh grating as of a boat's keel upon the sands.

In the next minute the officers were at their posts; but
before they could succeed in awakening their jaded men,
who seemed to sleep the sleep of death, the sentinel at
the first battery had received, in answer to his hurried
challenge, the proper countersign, and, as on closer
inspection it was found that there was only one boat, he
knew it must be their own, and the alarm which had seized
them for the security of their trust passed away.

They were not long kept in suspense. One individual alone
had ascended from the beach, and now stood among them,
habited in a dread-nought jacket and trousers and round
hat. His salutation to each was cordial, and he expressed
in warm terms the approbation he felt at the indefatigable
and efficient manner in which the duty assigned to each
had been conducted.

"Well, gentlemen," continued the Commodore, (for it was
he), "you have done famously today--and in most masterly
style did you silence those batteries, which the enemy,
to divert your fire from the fort, had erected on the
opposite bank. Much has been done, but more remains.
Tomorrow you must work double tides. At daylight you must
re-open with showers of shot and shell, for it is, during
the confusion caused by your fire, that the General
intends crossing his troops and advancing to the assault.
But this is not all--we have some suspicion the enemy
may attempt your batteries this very night, with a view
of either spiking the guns, if they cannot maintain the
position; or of turning them, if they can, on our advancing
columns. Now all the troops destined for the assault,
are assembled ready to effect their landing at day-break,
and none can be spared unless the emergency be palpable.
What I seek is a volunteer to watch the movements of the
enemy during the remainder of the night--one (and he
looked at Grantham) whose knowledge of the country will
enable him to approach the opposite coast unseen, and
whose expedition will enable us to have due warning of
any hostile attempt."

"I shall be most happy, sir, to undertake the task, if
you consider me worthy of it," said Grantham, "but--"

"But what?" interrupted the Commodore hastily.

"My only difficulty, sir, is the means. Had I my light
canoe here, with Sambo for my helmsman, I would seek
their secret even on their own shores."

"Bravo, my gallant fellow," returned the Commodore, again
cordially shaking the hand of his Lieutenant. "This I
expected of you, and have come prepared. I have had the
precaution to bring your canoe and paddles with me--you
will find them below in my boat."

"Then is every difficulty at an end," exclaimed the young
sailor joyously. "And our dress, sir?"

"No disguise whatever, in case of accidents--we must not
have you run the risk of being hanged for a spy."

Gerald Grantham having secured his cutlass and pistols,
now descended with the Commodore to the beach, whither
Sambo (similarly armed) had already preceded him. Under
the active and vigorous hands of the latter, the canoe
had already been removed from the boat, and now rested
on the sands ready to be shoved off. The final instructions
of the Commodore to his officer, as to the manner of
communicating intelligence of any movement on the part
of the Americans, having been given, the latter glided
noiselessly from the shore into the stream, while the
boat, resuming the direction by which it had approached,
was impelled down the river with as little noise as
possible, and hugging the shore for greater secrecy, was
soon lost both to the eye and to the ear.

It was with a caution rendered necessary by the presence
of the vessels in the harbour, that Gerald Grantham and
his faithful companion, having gained the middle of the
river, now sought to approach nearer to the shore. The
night, although not absolutely gloomy, was yet sufficiently
obscure to aid their enterprize; and notwithstanding they
could distinctly hear the tread of the American sentinels,
as they paced the deck of their flotilla, such was the
stillness of Sambo's practised paddle, that the little
canoe glided past them unheard, and, stealing along the
shore, was enabled to gain the farther extremity of the
town, where however, despite of the most scrupulous
inspection, not the slightest evidence of a collective
movement was to be observed. Recollecting that most of
the American boats used for the transport of their Army
from the Canadian shore, (which they had occupied for
some time,) were drawn up on the beach at the opposite
end of the town, and deeming that if any attempt on the
batteries was in contemplation, the troops ordered for
that duty would naturally embark at a point whence,
crossing the river considerably above the object of their
expedition, they might drift down with the current, and
effect a landing without noise, he determined to direct
his course between the merchantmen and vessels of war,
and pursue his way to the opposite end of the town. The
enterprise, it is true, was bold, and not by any means,
without hazard; but Grantham's was a spirit that delighted
in excitement, and moreover he trusted much to the skill
of his pilot, the darkness of the night, and the seeming
repose of the enemy. Even if seen, it was by no means
certain he should be taken, for his light skiff could
worm its way where another dared not follow, and as for
any shot that might be sent in pursuit of them, its aim
would, in the obscurity of the night, be extremely
uncertain.

Devoted as the old negro was to Gerald's will, it was
but to acquaint him with his intention to ensure a
compliance; although, in this case, it must be admitted
a reluctant one. Cautiously and silently, therefore,
they moved between the line of vessels, keeping as close
as they could to the merchantmen, in which there was
apparently no guard, so that under the shadow of the
hulls of these they might escape all observation from
the more watchful vessels of war without. They had
cleared all but one, when the head of the canoe suddenly
came foul of the hawser of the latter, and was by the
checked motion brought round, with her broadside completely
under her stern, in the cabin windows of which, much to
the annoyance of our adventurer, a light was plainly
visible. Rising as gently as he could to clear the bow
of the light skiff, he found his head on a level with
the windows, and as his eye naturally fell on all within,
his attention was arrested sufficiently to cause a sign
from him to Sambo to remain still. The cabin was spacious,
and filled every where with female forms, who were lying
in various attitudes of repose, while the whole character
of the arrangements were such as to induce his belief,
that the vessel had been appropriated to the reception
of the families of the principal inhabitants of the place,
and this with a view of their being more secure from
outrage from the Indians on the ensuing day. In the
midst of the profound repose in which, forgetful of the
dangers of the morrow, all appeared to be wrapped, there
was one striking exception. At a small table in the centre
of the cabin, sat a figure enveloped in a long and ample
dark cloak, and covered with a slouched hat. There was
nothing to indicate sex in the figure, which might have
been taken either for a woman, or for a youth. It was
clear, however, that it wanted in its contour the
proportions of manhood. At the moment when Gerald's
attention was first arrested, the figure was occupied in
reading a letter, which she afterwards sealed with black.
The heart of the sailor beat violently, he knew not
wherefore, but before he could explain his feelings even
to himself, he saw the figure deposit the letter, and
remove, apparently from the bosom of its dress, a miniature
on which it gazed intently for upwards of a minute. The
back being turned towards the windows he could trace no
expression on the countenance, but in the manner there
was none of that emotion, which usually accompanies the
contemplation of the features of a beloved object.
Depositing the picture in the folds of its cloak, the
figure rose, and with a caution indicating desire not to
disturb those who slumbered around, moved through the
straggling forms that lay at its feet, and ascending the
stairs, finally disappeared from the cabin.

Somewhat startled, the young officer hesitated as to what
course he should pursue, for it was evident that if the
figure, whoever it might prove, should come to the stem
of the vessel, he and his companion must be discovered.
For a moment he continued motionless, but with ear and
eye keenly on the alert. At length he fancied he heard
footsteps, as of one treading the loose plank that led
from the vessel's side to the wharf. He pushed the canoe
lightly along, so as to enable him to get clear of her
stem, when glancing his eye in that direction, he saw
the figure, still in the same dress, quit the plank it
had been traversing, and move rapidly along the wharf
towards the centre of the town.

Ruminating on the singularity of what he had observed,
our adventurer now pursued his course up the river; but
still without discovering any evidence of hostile
preparation. On the contrary, a deep silence appeared to
pervade every part of the town, the repose of which was
the more remarkable, as it was generally known, that the
attack on the fort was to be made on the following day.
Arrived opposite the point where the town terminated,
Grantham could distinctly count some twenty or thirty
large boats drawn up on the beach, while in the fields
beyond, the drowsy guard evidently stationed there for
their protection, and visible by the dying embers of
their watch-fire, denoted any thing but the activity
which should have governed an enterprize of the nature
apprehended. Satisfied that the information conveyed to
his superiors was incorrect, the young officer dismissed
from his mind all further anxiety on the subject; yet,
impelled by recollections well befitting the hour and
the circumstances, he could not avoid lingering near a
spot, which, tradition had invested with much to excite
the imagination and feeling. It was familiar to his
memory, (for he had frequently heard it in boyhood,) that
some dreadful tragedy had, in former days, been perpetrated
near this bridge; and he had reason to believe that some
of the actors in it, were those whose blood flowed in
his own young veins. The extreme pain it seemed to give
his parents, however, whenever allusion was made to the
subject, had ever repressed inquiry, and all his knowledge
of these events, was confined to what he had been enabled
to glean from the aged Canadians. That Sambo, who was a
very old servant of the family, had more than hear-say
acquaintance with the circumstances, he was almost certain;
for he had frequently remarked, when after having had
his imagination excited by the oft told tale, he felt
desirous of visiting the spot, the negro obedient in all
things else, ever found some excuse to avoid accompanying
him, nor, within his own recollection, had he once
approached the scene. Certain vague allusions, of late
date, by the old man, had moreover, confirmed him in his
impression, and he now called forcibly to mind an
observation made by his faithful attendant on the night
of their pursuit of the younger Desborough, which,
evidently referred to that period. Even on the present
occasion, he had been struck by the urgency with which
he contended for a return to their own shore, without
pursuing their course to the extreme end of the town;
nor was his unwillingness to approach the bridge overcome,
until Gerald told him it was the positive order of the
Commodore, that they should embrace the whole of the
American lines in their inspection, and even THEN, it
was with a relaxed vigour of arm, that he obeyed the
instruction to proceed.

Determined to sound him, as to his knowledge of the fact,
Grantham stole gently from the bow to the stern of the
canoe, and he was about to question him, when the other,
grasping his arm with an expressive touch, pointed to a
dark object moving across the road. Gerald turned his
head, and beheld the same figure that had so recently
quitted the cabin of the merchantman. Following its
movements, he saw it noiselessly enter into the grounds
of a cottage, opposite an old tannery, where it totally
disappeared.

A new direction was now given to the curiosity of the
sailor. Expressing in a whisper to Sambo, his determination
to follow, he desired him to make for the shore, near
the tannery, beneath the shadow of which he might be
secure, while he himself advanced, and traced the movements
of the mysterious wanderer.

"Oh Massa Geral," urged the old man in the same whisper--his
teeth chattering with fear--"for Hebben' sake e no go
ashore. All dis a place berry bad, and dat no a livin'
ting what e see yonder. Do Massa Geral take poor nigger
word, and not so dere affer e ghost."

"Nay, Sambo, it is no ghost, but flesh and blood, for I
saw it in the brig we were foul of just now, however be
under no alarm. Armed as, I am, I have nothing to fear
from one individual, and if I am seen and pursued in my
turn, it is but to spring in again, and before any one
can put off in chase we shall have nearly reached the
opposite shore--You shall remain in the canoe it--you
please, but I most certainly will see where that figure
went."

"Berry well, Massa Geral," and the old man spoke piquedly,
although partly re-assured by the assurance that it was
no ghost. "If e no take e poor nigger wice e do as e
like; but I no top in e canoe while e go and have him
troat cut, or carry off by a debbil--I dam if e go--I go
too."

This energetic rejoinder being conclusive, and in no wise
opposed by his master, the old man made for the shore as
desired. Both having disembarked, a cautious examination
was first made of the premises, which tending to satisfy
them that all within slumbered, the canoe was secreted
under the shadow of the cottage, the adventurers crossed
the road in the direction taken by the figure--Sambo
following close in the rear of his master, and looking
occasionally behind him, not with the air of one who
fears a mortal enemy, but of one rather who shrinks from
collision with a spirit of another world.

The front grounds of the cottage were separated from the
high road by a fence of open pallisades, in the centre
of which was a small gate of the same description. It
was evidently through this latter that the figure had
disappeared, and as its entrance had been effected without
effort. Gerald came to the conclusion, on finding the
latter yield to his touch, that this was the abode of
the midnight wanderer. Perhaps some young American
officer, whom intrigue or frolic had led forth in disguise
on an excursion from which he was now returned. His
curiosity was therefore on the point of yielding to the
prudence which dictated an immediate relinquishment of
the adventure, when he felt his right arm suddenly seized
in the convulsed and trembling grasp of his attendant.
Turning to ascertain the cause, he beheld as distinctly
as the gloom of the night would permit, the features of
the old man worked into an expression of horror, while
trembling in every joint, he pointed to the mound of
earth at the far extremity of the garden, which was known
to contain the ashes of those from whom his imagination
had been so suddenly diverted by the reappearance of the
figure. This, owing to the position in which he stood,
had hitherto escaped the notice of the officer, whose
surprise may be imagined, when, looking in the direction
pointed out to him, he beheld the same muffled figure,
reposing its head apparently in an attitude of profound
sorrow, against one of the white tomb stones that rose
perpendicularly from the graves.

That Sambo feared nothing which emanated not from the
world of spirits, Grantham well knew. It therefore became
his first care to dismiss from the mind of the poor fellow
the superstitious alarm that had taken possession of
every faculty. From their proximity to the party, this
could only be done by energetic signs, the progress of
which was however interrupted by their mutual attention
being diverted by a change in the position of the figure,
which, throwing itself at its length upon the grave, for
a moment or two sobbed audibly Presently afterwards it
rose abruptly, and wrapping its disguise more closely
around it, quitted the mound and disappeared in the rear
of the house.

The emotion of the figure, in giving evidence of its
materiality, had, more than all the signs of his master,
contributed to allay the agitation of the old negro. When
therefore Gerald, urged by his irrepressible curiosity,
in a whisper declared his intention to penetrate to the
rear of the house, he was enabled to answer.

"For Gorramity's sake, Massa Geral, nebber go dare. Dis
a place all berry bad for e family. Poor Sambo hair white
now but when he black like a quirrel he see all a dis a
people kill--" (and he pointed to the mound) "oh, berry
much blood spill here, Massa Geral. It make a poor nigger
heart sick to link of it."

Gerald grasped the shoulder of the old man. "Sambo," he
whispered, in the same low, but in a determined tone, "I
have long thought you acquainted with the history of this
place, although you have eluded my desire for information
on the subject. After the admission you have now made,
however, I expect you will tell me all and every thing
connected with it. Not now--for I am resolved to see who
that singular being is, who apparently, like myself,
feels an interest in these mouldering bones. As you
perceive it is no ghost, but flesh and blood like ourselves,
stay here if you will, until I return; but something more
must I see of this mystery before I quit the spot."

Without waiting for reply, he gently pushed the unlatched
gate before him. It opened without noise, and quitting
the pathway he moved along the green sward in the direction
in which the figure had disappeared. Love for his master,
even more than the superstitious awe he felt on being
left alone, in that memorable spot, at so late an hour,
put an end to the indecision of the old man. Entering
and cautiously closing the gate, he followed in the
footsteps of his master, and both in the next minute were
opposite to the mound where the figure had first been
observed.

As he was about to quit the grass, and enter upon the
gravelled walk that led to the rear of the cottage, he
fancied he distinguished a sound within, similar to that
of a door cautiously opening. Pausing again to listen,
he saw a light strongly reflected from an upper window,
upon what had the appearance of a court yard in the rear,
and in that light the dark shadow of a human form. This
he at once recognized, from its peculiar costume to be
the mysterious person who had so strongly excited his
curiosity. For a moment or two all was obscurity, when
again, but from a more distant window, the same light
and figure were again reflected. Presently the figure
disappeared, but the light still remained. Impelled by
an uncontrollable desire to behold the features, and
ascertain, if possible, the object of this strange
wanderer, the young sailor cast his eye rapidly in search
of the means of raising himself to a level with the
window, when, much to his satisfaction, he remarked
immediately beneath, a large water butt which was fully
adequate to the purpose, and near this a rude wooden
stool which would enable him to gain a footing on its
edge, without exertion, or noise. It is true there was
every reason to believe that what he had seen was, an
officer belonging to the guard stationed in the adjoining
held, who had his temporary residence in this building,
and was now, after the prosecution of some love adventure
returning home; but Gerald could not reconcile this with
the strong emotion he had manifested near the tomb, and
the startling secrecy with which, even when he had entered,
he moved along his own apartments. These contradictions
were stimulants to the gratification of his own curiosity,
or interest, or whatever it might be; and although he
could not conceal from himself that he incurred no
inconsiderable risk from observation, by the party itself,
the desire to see into the interior of the apartment and
learn something further, rose paramount to all consideration
for his personal safety. His first care now was to
disencumber himself of his shoes and cutlass, which he
gave in charge to Sambo, with directions to the latter
to remain stationary on the sward, keeping a good look-out
to guard against surprise. As by this arrangement his
master would be kept in tolerable proximity, the old
negro, whose repugnance to be left alone in that melancholy
spot was invincible, offered no longer an objection, and
Gerald, bracing more tightly round his loins, the belt
which contained his pistols, proceeded cautiously to
secure the stool, by the aid of which he speedily found
his feet resting on the edge of the water butt, and his
face level with the window. This, owing to the activity
of his professional habits, he had been enabled to
accomplish without perceptible noise.

The scene that met the fixed gaze of the adventurous
officer, was one to startle and excite in no ordinary
degree. The room into which he looked was square, with
deep recesses on the side where he lingered, formed by
the projection of a chimney in which, however, owing to
the sultry season of the year, no traces of recent fire
were visible. In the space between the chimney and wall,
forming the innermost recess, was placed a rude uncurtained
bed, and on this lay extended, and delineated beneath
the covering, a human form, the upper extremities of
which was hidden from view by the projecting chimney.
The whole attitude of repose of this latter indicated
the unconciousness of profound slumber. On a small table
near the foot, were placed several books and papers, and
an extinguished candle. Leaning over the bed and holding
a small lamp which had evidently been brought and lighted
since its entrance, stood the mysterious figure on whom
the interest of Gerald had been so strongly excited. It
seemed to be gazing intently on the features of the
sleeper, and more than once, by the convulsed movements
of its form, betrayed intense agitation. Once it made a
motion as if to awaken the person on whom it gazed, but
suddenly changing its purpose, drew from its dress a
letter which Gerald recognized to be that so recently
prepared in the cabin of the brig. Presently both letter
and lamp were deposited on the bed, and in one upraised
hand of the figure gleamed the blade of a knife or dagger,
while the left grasped and shook, with an evident view
to arouse, the sleeper. An exclamation of horror,
accompanied by a violent struggle of its limbs, proclaimed
reviving consciousness in the latter. A low wild laugh
burst in scorn from the lips of the figure, and the
strongly nerved arm was already descending to strike its
assassin blow, when suddenly the pistol, which Gerald
had almost unconsciously cocked and raised to the window,
was discharged with a loud explosion. The awakened
slumberer was now seen to spring from the bed to the
floor, and in the action the lamp was overturned and
extinguished; but all struggle appeared to have ceased.

Bewildered beyond measure in his reflection, yet secure
in the conviction that he had by this desperate step
saved the life of a human being from the dagger of the
assassin, the only object of Gerald now was to secure
himself from the consequences. Springing from his position
he was soon at the side of the startled Sambo, who had
witnessed his last act with inconceivable dismay. Already
were the guard in the adjoining field, alarmed by the
report of the pistol, hurrying toward the house, when
they reached the little gate, and some even appeared to
be making for their boats on the beach. With these motives
to exertion, neither Gerald nor the old negro were likely
to be deficient in activity. Bending low as they crossed
the road, they managed unperceived to reach that part of
the tannery where their canoe had been secreted, and
Sambo having hastily launched it, they made directly for
the opposite shore, unharmed by some fifteen or twenty
shots that were fired at them by the guard, and drifting
down with the current, reached, about an hour before
dawn, the battery from which they had started.



CHAPTER XII.

At day-break on the rooming of Sunday, the 16th of August,
the fire from the batteries was resumed, and with a fury
that must have satisfied the Americans, even had they
been ignorant of the purpose, it was intended to cover
some ulterior plan of operation on the part of the British
General. Their own object appeared rather to make
preparation of defence against the threatened assault,
than to return a cannonade, which, having attained its
true range, excessively annoyed and occasioned them much
loss. Meanwhile every precaution had been taken to secure
the safe transport of the army. The flotilla, considerably
superior at the outset of the war, to that of the Americans,
had worked up the river during the night, and anchored
in the middle lay with their broadsides ready to open
upon any force that might appear to oppose the landing
of the troops, while numerous scows, for the transport
of a light brigade of horse artillery, and all the boats
and batteaux that could be collected, added to those of
the fleet, lay covering the sands, ready to receive their
destined burdens. At length the embarkation was completed,
and the signal having been given, the several divisions
of boats moved off in the order prescribed to them. Never
did a more picturesque scene present itself to the human
eye, than during the half hour occupied in the transit
of this little army. The sun was just rising gloriously
and unclouded, as the first division of boats pushed from
the shore, and every object within the British and American
line of operation, tended to the production of an effect,
that was little in unison with the anticipated issue of
the whole. Not a breeze ruffled the fair face of the
placid Detroit, through which the heavily laden boats
now made their slow, but certain way, and a spectator
who, in utter ignorance of events, might hare been suddenly
placed on the Canadian hank, would have been led to
imagine, that a fete, not a battle, was intended.
Immediately above the village of Sandwich, and in full
view of the American Fort, lay the English flotilla at
anchor, their white sails half clewed up, their masts
decked with gay pendants, and their taffrails with,
ensigns that lay drooping over their sterns into the
water, as if too indolent to bear up against the coming
sultriness of the day. Below these, glittering in bright
scarlet, that glowed not unpleasingly on the silvery
stream, the sun's rays dancing on their polished muskets
and accoutrements, glided like gay actors in an approaching
pageant, the columns destined for the assault, while
further down, and distributed far and wide over the
expanse of water, were to be seen a multitude of canoes,
filled with Indian warriors, whose war costume could not,
in the distance, be distinguished from that of the dance;
the whole contributing, with the air of quietude on both
shores, and absence of all opposition on the American
especially, to inspire feelings of joyousness and pleasure,
rather than the melancholy consequent on a knowledge of
the final destination of the whole. Nor would the incessant
thunder of the cannon in the distance, have in any way
diminished this impression; for as the volumes of smoke,
vomited from the opposing batteries, met and wreathed
themselves together in the centre of the stream, leaving
at intervals the gay colours of England and America,
brightly displayed to the view, the impression, to a
spectator, would have been that of one who witnesses the
exchange of military honors between two brave and friendly
powers, preparing the one to confer, the other to receive
all the becoming courtesies of a chivalrous hospitality.
If any thing were wanting to complete the illusion, the
sound of the early mass bell, summoning to the worship
of that God whom no pageantry of man may dispossess of
homage, would amply crown and heighten the effect of the
whole, while the chaunting of the hymn of adoration,
would appear a part of the worship of the Deity, and of
the pageantry itself.

Vying, each with the other, who should first gain the
land, the exertions of the several rowers increased, as
the distance to be traversed diminished, so that many
arrived simultaneously at the beach. Forming in close
column of sections as they landed, the regular troops
occupied the road, their right flank resting on the river,
while a strong body of Indians under Round-head, Split-log,
and Walk-in-the-Water, scouring the open country beyond,
completely guarded their left from surprise. Among the
first to reach the shore, was the gallant General, the
planner of the enterprise, who, with his personal staff,
crossed the river in the barge of the Commodore, steered
by that officer himself. During the short period that
the columns were delayed for the landing of the artillery,
necessarily slower in their movements, a short conference
among the leaders, to whom were added Tecumseh and Colonel
D'Egville, as to their final operations, took place.
Never did the noble Indian appear to greater advantage
than on this occasion. A neat hunting dress, of smoked
deer skin, handsomely ornamented, covered his fine and
athletic person, while the swarthiness of his cheek and
dazzling lustre of his eye, were admirably set off, not
only by the snow white linen which hung loose and open
about his throat, but by a full turban, in which waved
a splendid white Ostrich feather, the much prized gift,
as we have already observed, of Mrs. D'Egville. Firmly
seated, on his long tailed gray charger, which he managed
with a dexterity uncommon to his race, his warrior and
commanding air, might have called up the image of a
Tamerlane, or a Genghis Khan, were it not known, that to
the more savage qualities of these, he united others that
would lend lustre to the most civilized Potentates. There
was, however, that ardor of expression in his eye which
rumor had ascribed to him, whenever an appeal to arms
against the deadly foe of his country was about to be
made, that could not fail to endear him to the soldier
hearts of time who stood around, and to inspire them with
a veneration and esteem, not even surpassed by what they
entertained for their own immediate leader, who in his
turn, animated by the inspiriting scene, and confident
in his own powers, presented an appearance so anticipatory
of coining success, that the least sanguine could not
fail to be encouraged by it.

It had been arranged that on the landing of the troops,
the flotilla should again weigh anchor, and approach as
near as possible to the American Fort, with a view, in
conjunction with the batteries, to a cross-fire that
would cover the approach of the assaulting columns. The
Indians, meanwhile, were to disperse themselves throughout
the skirt of the forest, and, headed by the Chiefs already
named, to advance under whatever they might find in the
shape of hedges, clumps of trees, or fields, sufficiently
near to maintain a heavy fire from their rifles on such
force as might appear on the ramparts to oppose the
assault--a task in which they were to be assisted by the
brigade of light guns charged with shrapnell and grape.
Tecumseh himself, accompanied by Colonel D'Egville, was
with the majority of his warriors, to gain the rear of
the town, there to act at circumstances might require.
To this, as an inferior post, the Chieftain had at first
strongly objected, but when it was represented to him
that the enemy, with a view to turn the English flank on
the forest side, would probably detach in that direction
a strong force, which he would have the exclusive merit
of encountering, he finally assented; urged to it, as he
was, moreover, by the consideration that his pretence
would be effectual in repressing any attempt at massacre,
or outrage, of the helpless inhabitants, by his wild and
excited bands.

The guns being at length disembarked and limbered, every
thing was now in readiness for the advance. The horses
of the General and his staff, had crossed in the scows
appropriated to the artillery, and his favorite charger,
being now brought up by his groom, the former mounted
with an activity and vigour, not surpassed even by the
youngest of his aides-de-camp, while his fine and martial
form, towered above those around him, in a manner to
excite admiration in all who beheld him. Giving his brief
instructions to his second in command, he now grasped
and shook the hand of his dark brother in aims, who,
patting spurs to his horse, dashed off with Colonel
D'Egville into the open country on the left, in the
direction taken by his warriors, while the General and
his staff, boldly, and without escort, pursued their way
along the high road at a brisk trot. The Commodore in
his torn, sprang once more into his barge, which, impelled
by stout hearts, and willing hands, was soon seen to gain
the side of the principal vessel of the little squadron,
which, rapidly getting under weigh, had already loosened
its sails to catch the light, yet favorable breeze, now
beginning to curl the surface of the river.

The little army composing this adventurous expedition,
consisted of about five hundred men of the regular troops,
forming the garrison of Amherstburgh, to which had been
added about three hundred well organized militia, from
the central district--volunteers on the occasion, and
habited in a manner to give them the appearance of troops
of the line--in all, however, there were not more than
eight hundred men, exclusive of Indians; yet, these were
advancing, confident of success, against a fortress
defended with five and thirty pieces of cannon, and
garrisoned by upwards of two thousand men. A stronger
illustration of what the directing powers of a master
mind may accomplish, over those under its control, was
probably never afforded more than on this occasion. One
would have imagined, from the reckless laugh and ready
repartee, which marked the early part of the march, that
they expected to possess themselves of the Fort merely
by the will of their General, and without suffering any
of those contingencies which are the unfailing results
of such enterprizes. In short, it seemed as if they
thought that whatever be directed, they could perform,
no matter what the difficulty; and such was their exuberance
of spirits, that it was not without effort, that their
officers, making all due allowance for the occasion,
could keep them within those bounds required by discipline,
and by the occasion.

During all this time, the cannon from our batteries, but
faintly answered by the Americans, had continued to
thunder without intermission, and as the columns drew
nearer, each succeeding discharge came upon the ear with
increased and more exciting loudness. Hitherto the view
had been obstructed by the numerous farm houses and other
buildings, that skirted the windings of the road, but
when at length the column emerged into more open ground,
the whole scene burst splendidly and imposingly upon the
sight. Within half a mile, and to the left, rose the
American ramparts, surmounted by the national flag,
suspended from a staff planted on the identical spot
which had been the scene of the fearful exploit of Wacousta
in former days. Bristling with cannon, they seemed now
to threaten with extermination those who should have the
temerity to approach them, and the men, awed into silence,
regarded them with a certain air of respects. Close under
the town were anchored the American vessels of war, which,
however, having taken no part in returning the bombardment,
had been left unmolested across the river, and in full
view of all, was to be seen the high ground where the
batteries had been erected and, visible at such intervals
as the continuous clouds of smoke and flashes of fire
would permit, the Union Jack of England floating above
the whole; while in the river and immediately opposite
to the point the columns had now reached, the English
flotilla, which had kept pace with their movements, were
already taking up a position to commence their raking
fire. What more than all, however, attracted the general
attention, was the appearance of two or three heavy guns,
crowning the ascent of the sloping road by which they
had advanced, and now, at the distance of not quite half
a mile, defending the entrance to the town. If the British
force had felt surprise at the non-resistance to their
landing, that surprise was increased to astonishment on
finding that not one of these guns, which might hare
raked the entire column, destroying numbers in the choked
up road, opened upon them: Had the Americans done as they
might, many a British soldier would have there found his
grave; but Providence had decreed that a day so fair and
beautiful, commencing in the homage of human hearts to
the source of all good, should not be sullied by the
further shedding of human blood.

It was on reaching this point of the road, that the little
army, obedient to the command of the General, who from
a farm house on the left, was then examining the American
defences, filed off past the house into a large field,
preparatory to forming into column to attack. Scarcely,
however, had the General descended to the field to make
his dispositions, when it was observed that the batteries
had suddenly discontinued their fire, and on looking to
ascertain the cause, a white flag was seen waving on the
eminence where the heavy guns just alluded to had been
placed. While all were yielding to their surprise at this
unexpected circumstance, De Courcy, who by the direction
of his General, had remained reconnoitring with his
telescopes at the top of the house, announced that an
officer, bearing a smaller white flag, was then descending
the road, with an evident view to a parley.

"Ah! is it even so?" exclaimed the General, with vivacity,
as if to himself. "Quick, my horse! I must go to meet
him. He has seen that we have stout hearts--but he must
not perceive the weakness of our numbers. Captain Stanley--
De Courcy--mount--St. Julian (turning to his second in
command) finish what I have begun--let the columns be
got ready in the order I have directed. We may have need
of them yet."

So saying he once more sprang into his saddle, and
accompanied by his young aides-de-camp, galloped past the
line of admiring troops, who involuntarily cheered him as
he passed; and quitting the field hastened to leach the
flag, before the bearer could approach sufficiently near
to make any correct observation respecting his force.

Nearly twenty minutes of anxious suspense had succeeded
the departure of the officer, when De Courcy again made
his appearance at full speed.

"Hurrah! hurrah !" he shouted, as he approached a large
group of his more immediate companions, who were canvassing
the probable termination of this pacific demonstration
on the part of the enemy--"the Fort is our own," (then
turning to the second in command,) "Colonel St. Julian,
it is the General's desire that the men pile their arms
on the ground they occupy, and refresh themselves with
whatever their haver sacks contain."

"How is this, De Courcy." "Surely the Americans do not
capitulate"--"Is it to be child's play after all." "Dom
it mon who would ha' thoat it poossible? "were among the
various remarks made to the young aid-de-camp, on his
return from the delivery of the last order.

"Heaven only knows how, Granville," said the vivacious
officer, in reply to the first querist; "but certainly
it is something very like it, for the General, accompanied
by Stanley, has entered the town under the flag. However
before we discuss the subject further, I vote that we
enter the farm house and discuss wherewith to satisfy
our own appetites--I saw a devilish pretty girl just
now--one who seemed to have no sort of objection to a
handsome scarlet uniform whatever her predilection for
a blue with red facings may formerly have been. She looked
so good naturedly on Stanley and myself, that we should
have ogled her into a breakfast ere this, had not the
General sworn he would not break his fast until he had
planted the colours of England on yon fortress, or failed
in the attempt. Of course we, as young heroes, could not
think of eating after that. But come along-Nay Cranstoun,
do not look as if you were afraid to budge an inch without
an order in writing--I have it in suggestion from Colonel
St. Julian, that we go in and do the best we can.

"Hoot De Courcy, yer' speerits are so floostersome one
would be inclined to theenk ye were not at all soorry to
see the white cloot flying on yonder hill--"

"Bravo Cranstoun," said Villiers somewhat maliciously;
"hard hit there De Courcy, eh!"

"Not so HARD HIT either as he might have been had he
ventured into yonder trenches," said Middlemore.

"If Cranstoun means that I prefer entering the place with
a whole head rather than a BARE skin, I honestly confess
that such is my peculiar taste," answered De Courcy,
significantly smiling.

"Nay, nay De Courcy, you are too severe on poor Cranstoun,"
said Captain Granville with provoking sympathy--"that
unfortunate bear skin affair should not be revived again,
and so immediately in the theatre near which it occurred.

"Particularly when we consider from what DIFFICULT-TIE
he was released" said Middlemore, who even under the
cannon's mouth could not have forborne his inveterate
habit.

"It is the sight of the old place that has stirred up
his bile," remarked Captain Molineux. "Usually good
tempered as he is, he would not have taken offence at De
Courcy's unmeaning remark at any other moment."

"A very nice adventure that--I frequently think of it,"
said Villiers, adding his mite to the persiflage all
appeared determined to bestow upon the touchy grenadier.

"Yes, quite AN ICE adventure," chimed in Middlemore, with
the low chuckling laugh that betrayed his consciousness
of having something not wholly intolerable.

But Cranstoun, now that his ludicrous disaster had been
brought up, was not to be shaken from the imperturbability
he ever adopted when it became a topic of conversation
among his companions. Drawing his lengthy legs after him
with slow and solemn precision, he continued to whistle
a Scotch air, in utter seeming abstraction from all
around, and in his attempt to appear independent and
perfectly at his ease, nearly ran down the pretty girl
alluded to by De Courcy, who stood in the door way
curtseying graciously, and welcoming each of the British
officers, as they passed into the house.

"Bread, eggs, milk, fruit, cider, and whatever the remains
of yesterday's meal afforded, were successively brought
forward by the dark eyed daughter of the farmer, who, as
De Courcy had remarked, seemed by no means indisposed
towards the gay looking invaders of her home. There was
a recklessness about the carriage of most of these, and
even a foppery about some, that was likely to be any
thing but displeasing to a young girl, who, French Canadian
by birth, although living under the Government of the
United States, possessed all the natural vivacity of
character peculiar to the original stock. Notwithstanding
the pertinacity with which her aged father lingered in
the room, the handsome and elegant De Courcy contrived
more than once to address her in an under tone, and elicit
a blush that greatly heightened the brilliant expression
of her large black eyes, and Villiers subsequently declared
that he had remarked the air of joyousness and triumph
that pervaded her features on the young aid-de-camp
promising to return to the farm as soon as the place had
been entered, and leisure afforded him.

"But the particulars of the flag, De Courcy," said Captain
Granville, as he devoured a hard boiled turkey egg, which
in quantity fully made up for what it wanted in quality.
"When you have finished flirting with that unfortunate
girl, come and seat yourself quietly, and tell us what
passed between the General and the--officer who bore it.
Why, I thought you had a devil of an appetite just now?"

"Ah, true," returned the young man, taking his seat at
the rude naked table which bore their meal. "I had quite
forgotten my appetite-mais ca viendra en mangent, n'est-ce
pas?" and he looked at the young girl.

"Plait-il, monsieur?"

"Tais toi ma fille--ce n'est pas a toi qu'on parle,"
gruffly remarked her father.

"The old boy is becoming savage at your attentions,"
remarked Villiers, "you will get the girl into a scrape."

"Bah," ejaculated De Courcy, "Well but of the General.
Who think you was the bearer of the flag. No other than
that fine looking fellow, Colonel--what's his name, who
came to us the other day."

"Indeed, singular enough--what said the General to him,
on meeting?" asked Henry Grantham.

"'Well, Colonel,' said he smiling, 'you see I have kept
my word. This is the day on which I promised that we
should meet again.'

"What answer did he make?" demanded Villiers.

"'True, General, and most happily have you chosen. But
one day sooner and we should have dared your utmost in
our strong-hold: Today,' and he spoke in a tone of deep
mortification, 'we have not resolution left to make a
show even in vindication of our honor. In a word, I am
here to conduct you to those who will offer terms derogatory
at once to our national character, and insulting to our
personal courage.'

"The General," pursued De Courcy, "respecting the
humiliated manner of the American, again bowed, but said
nothing--After a moment of pause, the latter stated that
the Governor and Commander of the fortress were waiting
to receive and confer with him as to the terms of
capitulation. Whether the General had calculated upon
this want of nerve in his antagonist, I know not, but on
the communication of the intelligence I remarked a slight
curl upon his lip, that seemed to express the triumph of
one whose ruse had taken. This might or might not be,
however, for as you are all aware, I pretend to very
little observation except (and he turned his eye upon
the daughter of their host,) where there is a pretty girl
in the case. All I know is, that, attended by Stanley,
he has accompanied the flag into the town, and that,
having no immediate occasion for my valuable services,
he sent me back to give to Colonel St. Julian the order
you have heard.

"How vary extraordinary, to soorrender the ceetadel
without firing a shoat," said Cranstoun, who ever ready
to fight as to eat, seemed rather disappointed at the
issue, if one might judge from the lengthened visage with
which he listened to these tidings.

"Singular enough," added Captain Granville. "Did the
Colonel hint at any cause for this sudden change of
purpose, De Courcy."

"Oh, by the way, yes, I had forgotten. He stated with a
sneer of contempt, that he believed the nerves of the
Governor had been shaken by the reports conveyed to him
of the destructive nature of the fire from the batteries,
the centre of which especially had so completely got the
range that every shot from it came into the fortress with
fearful effect. One point blank in particular, had entered
the gate which was open, and killed and wounded four
officers of rank, who were seated at breakfast in one of
their barrack rooms, while a second had carried off no
less than three surgeons."

"Well done, Gerald," exclaimed Captain Granville, delighted
at the reflection, that he had been so mainly instrumental
in determining the surrender of the Fort."

"Cleverly done, indeed," said Villiers, "that is pinking
off the pill-boxes with a vengeance--an Indian rifle
could not do better."

"It is by breeking the heeds of her coontrymen, A suppoose,
he hopes to gain the feevor of his meestriss," drawled
out Cranstoun. "A do na theenk she is joost the one to
forgeeve that."

The deep roll of the drum summoning to fall in, drew them
eagerly to their respective divisions. Captain Stanley,
the senior aid-de-camp was just returned with an order
for the Several columns to advance and take up their
ground close under the ramparts of the Fort.

It was an interesting and a novel sight, to see the
comparatively insignificant British columns, flanked by
the half dozen light guns which constituted their whole
artillery, advance across the field, and occupy the plain
or common surrounding the Fort, while the Americans on
the ramparts appeared to regard with indignation and
surprise, the mere handful of men to whom they were about
to be surrendered. Such a phenomenon in modern warfare
as that of a weak besieging force bearding a stronger in
their hold, might well excite astonishment; and to an
army, thrice as numerous as its captors, occupying a
fortress well provided with cannon, as in this instance,
must have been especially galling. More than one of the
officers, as he looked down from his loftier and more
advantageous position, showed by the scowl that lingered
on his brow, how willingly he would have applied the
match to the nearest gun whose proximity to his enemies
promised annihilation to their ranks. But the white flag
still waved in the distance, affording perfect security
to those who had confided in their honor, and although
liberty and prosperity, and glory were the sacrifice,
that honor might not be tarnished.

At length the terms of capitulation being finally adjusted,
De Courcy, who, with his brother aid-de-camp, had long
since rejoined the General, came up with instructions
for a guard to enter and take possession preparatory to
the Americans marching out. Detachments from the flank
companies, under the command of Captain Granville, with
whom were Middlemore and Henry Grantham, were selected
for the duty, and these now moved forward, with drums
beating and colours flying, towards the drawbridge then
lowering to admit them.

The area of the fort in no way enlarged, and but slightly
changed in appearance, since certain of our readers first
made acquaintance with it, was filled with troops, and
otherwise exhibited all the confusion incident to
preparations for an immediate evacuation. These
preparations, however were made with a savageness of mien
by the irregulars, and a sullen silence by all, that
attested how little their inclination had been consulted
in the decision of their Chief. Many an oath was muttered,
and many a fierce glance was cast by the half civilized
back-woodsmen, upon the little detachment as it pursued
its way, not without difficulty, through the dense masses
that seemed rather to oppose than aid their advance to
the occupancy of the several posts assigned them.

One voice, deepest and most bitter in its half suppressed
execration, came familiarly on the ear of Henry Grantham,
who brought up the rear of the detachment. He turned
quickly in search of the speaker, but, although he felt
persuaded it was Desborough who had spoken, coupling his
own name even with his curses, the ruffian was no where
to be seen. Satisfied that he must be within the Fort,
and determined if possible, to secure the murderer who
had, moreover, the double crime of treason and desertion,
to be added to his list of offences, the young officer
moved to the head of the detachment when halted, and
communicated what he heard to Captain Granville. Entering
at once into the views of his subaltern, and anxious to
make an example of the traitor, yet unwilling to act
wholly on his own responsibility, Captain Granville
dispatched an orderly to Colonel St. Julian to receive
his instructions. The man soon returned with a message
to say that Desborough was by all means to be detained,
and secured, until the General, who was still absent,
should determine on his final-disposal.

Meanwhile the sentinels at the several posts having been
relieved, and every thing ready for their departure, the
American army, leaving their arms piled in the area,
commenced their evacuation of the Fort, the artillery
and troops of the line taking the lead. Scarcely had
these defiled across the draw-bridge into the road that
conducted to a large esplanade in front, to which their
baggage had previously been transported, when--amid a
roar of artillery from the opposite batteries, the
flotilla, and ramparts themselves--the flag of America
was lowered, and that of England raised in its stead. In
the enthusiasm of the moment, the men on the rampart
employed on duty gave three cheers, which were answered
by the columns without, who only waited until the last
of the Garrison should have crossed the drawbridge, before
they entered themselves. Watchfully alive to the order
that had been received, Captain Granville and Henry
Grantham lingered near the gate, regarding, yet with an
air of carelessness, every countenance among the irregular
troops as they issued forth. Hitherto their search had
been ineffectual, and to their great surprise, although
the last: few files of the prisoners were now in the act
of passing them, there was not the slightest trace of
Desborough. It was well known that the fort had no other
outlet, and any man attempting to escape over the ramparts,
must have been seen and taken either by the troops or by
the Indians, who in the far distance completely surrounded
them. Captain Granville intimated the possibility of
Henry Grantham having been deceived in the voice, but
the latter as pertinaciously declared he could not be
mistaken, for, independently of his former knowledge of
the man, his tones had so peculiarly struck him on the
day when he made boastful confession of his father's
murder, that no time could efface them from his memory.
This short discussion terminated just as the last few
files were passing. Immediately in the rear of these were
the litters, on which were borne such of the wounded as
could be removed from the hospital without danger. These
were some thirty in number, and it seemed to both officers
as somewhat singular, that the faces of all were, in
defiance of the heat of the day, covered with the sheets
that had been spread over each litter. For a moment the
suspicion occurred Jo Grantham, that Desborough might be
of the number; but when he reflected on the impossibility
that any of the wounded men could be the same whose voice
had sounded so recently in the full vigour of health in
his ear, he abandoned the idea. Most of the wounded, as
they passed, indicated by low and feeble moaning, the
inconvenience they experienced from the motion to which
they were subjected, and more or less expressed by the
contortions of their limbs, the extent of their sufferings.
An exception to this very natural conduct was remarked
by Grantham, in the person of one occupying nearly a
central position in the line, who was carried with
difficulty by the litter-men. He lay perfectly at his
length, and without any exhibition whatever of that
impatient movement which escaped his companions. On the
watchful eye of Grantham, this conduct was not lost. He
had felt a strong inclination from the first, to uncover
the faces of the wounded men in succession, and had only
been restrained from so doing by the presence of the
American medical officer who accompanied them, whom he
feared to offend by an interference with his charge.
Struck as he was however by the remarkable conduct of
the individual alluded to, and the apparently much greater
effort with which he was carried, he could not resist
the temptation which urged him to know more.

"Stay," he exclaimed to the bearers of the litter, as
they were in the act of passing. The men stopped. "This
man, if not dead, is evidently either dying or fainting
--give him air."

While speaking he had advanced a step or two, and now
extending his right hand endeavoured gently to pull down
the sheet from the head of the invalid, but the attempt
was vain. Two strong and nervous arms were suddenly
raised and entwined in the linen, in a manner to resist
all his efforts.

Grantham glanced an expressive look at Captain Granville.
The latter nodded his head in a manner to show he was
understood, then desiring the litter-men to step out of
the line and deposit their burden, he said to the medical
officer with the sarcasm that so often tinged his address.

"I believe, sir, your charge embraces only the wounded
of the garrison. This dead man can only be an incumbrance
to you, and it shall be my care that his body is properly
disposed of."

The officer coloured and looked confused. "Really, sir,
you must be mistaken."

But Captain Granville cut short his remonstrance, by an
order to the file of men in his rear, who each seizing
on the covering of the litter, dragged it forcibly off,
discovering in the act the robust and healthy form of
Desborough.

"You may passion, continued the officer to the remainder
of the party. This fellow, at once a murderer and a
traitor, is my prisoner."

"I know him only as an American, sir," was the reply.
"He has taken the oaths of allegiance within the last
week, and as such is an acknowledged subject of the
American States."

"I have no time to enter into explanation, neither am I
competent to discuss this question, sir. For what I have
done, I have the instructions of my superior. If you have
complaint to make it most be to your own Chief. To mine
alone am I responsible. Let the scoundrel be well secured,"
he pursued, as the last of the litters at length defiled,
and addressing the men to whom Desborough had been given
in charge.

"Ha!" exclaimed Middlemore, who had all this time been
absent on the duties connected with his guard, and now
approached the scene of this little action for the first
time; "what! do I see my friend Jeremiah Desborough-the
prince of traitors, and the most vigorous of
wrestlers--verily my poor bones ache at the sight of you.
How came you to be caught in this trap, my old boy, better
have been out duck-shooting with the small bores I reckon?"

But Desborough was in no humour to endure this mirth.
Finding himself discovered, he had risen heavily from
the litter to his feet, and now moved doggedly towards
the guard house, where the men had orders to confine him.
His look still wore the character of ferocity, which
years had stamped there, but with this was mixed an
expression that denoted more of the cowering villain,
whom a sudden reverse of fortune may intimidate, than
the dauntless adventurer to whom enterprizes of hazard
are at once a stimulus and a necessity. In short, he was
entirely crest fallen.

"Come and see the effect of Gerald's excellent fire,"
said Middlemore, when Desborough had disappeared within
the guard room. "No wonder the American General was
frightened into SIR-RENDER, hem! I will show you the room
pointed out to toe by the subaltern whom I relieved, as
that in which the four field officers and three surgeons
were killed."

Preceded by their companion, Captain Granville and Grantham
entered the piazza, leading to the officers' rooms,
several of which were completely pierced with twenty-four
pound shot, known at once as coming from the centre
battery, which alone mounted guns of that calibre. After
surveying the interior a few moments, they passed into
a small passage communicating with the room in question.
On opening the door, all were painfully struck by the
sight which presented itself. Numerous shot holes were
visible every where throughout, while the walls at the
inner extremity of the apartment, were completely bespotted
with blood and brains, scarcely yet dry any where, and
in several places dripping to the floor. At one corner
of the room and on a mattress. lay the form of a wounded
man, whom the blue uniform and silver epaulettes, that
filled a chair near the head, attested for an American
officer of rank. At the foot of the bed, dressed in black,
her long hair floating wildly over her shoulders, and
with a hand embracing one of those of the sufferer, sat
a female, apparently wholly absorbed in the contemplation
of the scene before her. The noise made by the officers
on entering had not caused the slightest change in her
position, nor was it until she heard the foot-fall of
Captain Granville, as he advanced for the purpose of
offering his services, that she turned to behold who were
the intruders. The sight of the British uniform appeared
to startle her, for she immediately sprang to her feet,
as if alarmed at their presence. It was impossible they
could mistake those features, and that face. It was Miss
Montgomerie. He who lay at her feet, was her venerable
uncle. He was one of the field officers who had fallen
a victim to Gerald's fire, and the same ball which had
destroyed his companions, had carried away his thigh,
near the hip bone. The surgeons had given him over, and
he had requested to be permitted to die where he lay.
His wish had been attended to, but in the bustle of
evacuation, it had been forgotten to acquaint the officers
commanding the British guard that he was there. The last
agonies of death had not yet passed away, but there seemed
little probability that he could survive another hour.

Perceiving the desperate situation of the respectable
officer, Captain Granville staid not to question on a
subject that spoke so plainly for itself. Hastening back
into the piazza with his subalterns, he reached the area
just as the remaining troops, intended for the occupation
of the Fort, were crossing the drawbridge, headed by
Colonel St. Julian. To this officer he communicated the
situation of the sufferer, when an order was given for
the instant attendance of the head of the medical staff.
After a careful examination, and dressing of the wound,
the latter pronounced the case not altogether desperate.
A great deal of blood had been lost, and extreme weakness
had been the consequence, but still the Surgeon was not
without hope that his life might yet be preserved,
although, of course, he would be a cripple for the
remainder of his days.

It might have been assumed, that the hope yet held out
of preservation of life on any terms, would have been
hailed with some manifestation of grateful emotion, on
the part of Miss Montgomerie; but it was remarked and
commented on, by those who were present, that this
unexpectedly favorable report, so far from being received
with gratitude and delight, seemed to cast a deeper gloom
over the spirit of this extraordinary girl. The contrast
was inexplicable. She had tended him at the moment when
he was supposed to be dying, with all the anxious solicitude
of a fond child, and now that there was a prospect of
his recovery, there was a sadness in her manner, that
told too plainly the discomfort of her heart."

"In veerity an unaccoontable geerl," said Cranstoun, as
he sipped his wine that day after dinner in the mess room
at Detroit. "A always seed she was the cheeld of the
deevil."

"Child of the devil in soul, if you will," observed
Granville, "but a true woman--a beautiful, a superb woman
in person at least, did she appear this morning, when we
first entered that room--did she not Henry?"

"Beautiful indeed," was the reply--"yet, I confess, she
more awed than pleased me. I could not avoid, even amid
that melancholy scene, comparing her to a beautiful
casket, which, on opening is found to contain not a gem
of price, but a subtle poison, contact with which is
fatal; or to a fair looking fruit which, when divided,
proves to be rotten at the core."

"Allegorical, by all that is good, bad, and indifferent."
exclaimed Villiers. "How devilish severe you are Henry,
upon the pale Venus. It is hardly fair in you thus to
rate Gerald's intended."

"Gerald's intended! God forbid."

This was uttered with an energy that startled his
companions. Perceiving that the subject gave him pain,
they discontinued allusion to the lady in question,
further than to inquire how she was to be disposed of,
and whether she was to remain in attendance on her uncle.

In answer, they were informed, that as the Major could
not be removed, orders had been given by the General,
for every due care to be taken of him where he now lay,
while Miss Montgomerie, yielding to solicitation, had
been induced to retire into the family of the American
General in the town, there to remain until it should be
found convenient to have the whole party conveyed to the
next American post on the frontier.



CHAPTER XIII.

It is impossible to review the whole tenor of General
Brock's conduct, on the occasion more immediately before
our notice, and fail to be struck by the energy and
decision of character which must have prompted so bold
an enterprise. To understand fully the importance of the
operation it will be necessary to take a partial survey
of the position of affairs anterior to this period. When
the announcement of the American declaration of war first
reached the Michigan frontier, the garrisons of Amherstburg
and Detroit were nearly equal in strength, neither of
them exceeding five hundred men; but the scale was soon
made to preponderate immeasurably in favor of the latter,
by the sudden arrival of a force of upwards of two thousand
men. General Hull, who was in command of that army
immediately crossed over into Canada, occupying the
village of Sandwich as his head quarters, and pouring
his wild Kentuckians over the face of the country which
they speedily laid under contribution. Instead, however,
of marching without delay upon Amherstburg, as ill defended
as it was weakly garrisoned, he contented himself with
pushing forward skirmishers, who amused themselves during
the day, against an advanced post of regulars, militia
and Indians, stationed for the defence of an important
pass, and retired invariably on the approach of night.
This pass, the Canard bridge--and the key to Amherstburg
--was, at this period, the theatre of several hot and
exciting affairs. In this manner passed the whole of the
month of July.

Meanwhile, intelligence having been conveyed to General
Brock, then in command of the centre division of the
army, of the danger with which Amherstburg was threatened.
He immediately embarked what remained of the Regiment
occupying that post, with from one hundred and fifty to
two hundred choice Militia, in boats he had caused to be
collected for the purpose, and, coasting along the lake,
made such despatch that he arrived at Amherstburg only
a few days after General Hull, in his turn apprized of
the advance of this reinforcement, had recrossed the
river, and with the majority of his force, taken refuge
within the fortifications of Detroit. Thus was that
portion of Upper Canada, which by Proclamation of the
American General, had already been incorporated with,
and become a portion of the United States, restored to
its original possessors.

Not a moment did the English Commander lose, in following
up the advantage resulting from this mark of timidity in
his opponent. As soon as he had arrived and ascertained
the true state of affairs, he issued orders for the march
of the whole force to Sandwich, and, having explained in
a council with the Indian Chiefs, the main features of
his plan of attack, proceeded to carry it into instant
execution. His arrival at Amherstburg was about the 13th
of August, so that until the morning of his meditated
attack scarcely three days were occupied in preparations,
including the march to Sandwich, a distance of eighteen
miles.

It is difficult to imagine that the English General could,
in any way have anticipated so easy a conquest. He had
no reason to undervalue the resolution of the enemy, and
yet he appears to have been fully sanguine of the success
of his undertaking. Possibly he counted much on his own
decision and judgment, which, added to the confidence
reposed in him by all ranks and branches of the expedition,
he might have felt fully adequate to the overthrow of
the mere difficulty arising from superiority of numbers.
Whatever his motive, or however founded his expectations
of success, the service he performed was eminent, since
he not merely relieved Amherstburgh, the key of Upper
Canada, from all immediate danger, but at a single blow
annihilated the American power throughout that extensive
frontier. That this bold measure, powerfully contrasted
as it was with his own previous vacillation of purpose,
had greatly tended to intimidate the American General,
and to render him distrustful of his own resources, there
can be little doubt. The destructive fire from the well
served breaching batteries, was moreover instanced as an
influencing cause of the capitulation.

In justice to many American officers of rank, and to the
Garrison generally, it must be admitted that the decision
of their leader, if credence might be given to their
looks and language, was any thing but satisfactory to
them, and it must be confessed that it most have been
mortifying in the extreme to have yielded without a blow
a fortress so well provided with the means of defence.
What the result would have been, had the British columns
mounted to the assault, it is impossible to say. That
they would have done their duty is beyond all question,
but there is no reason to believe the Americans, under
a suitable commander, would have failed in theirs.
Superiority of numbers and position was on the one side:
a daring Chief, an ardent desire of distinction, and the
impossibility of retreat without humiliation, on the
other.

In alluding thus to the capitulation of Detroit, we beg
not to be understood as either reflecting on the American
character, or unduly exalting our own. Question of personal
bravery there was none, since no appeal was made to arms;
but the absence of sanguinary event left in high relief
the daring of the British Commander, whose promptitude
and genius alone secured to him so important yet bloodless
a conquest. Had he evinced the slightest indecision, or
lost a moment in preparing for action, the American
General, already intimidated by the mere report of his
approach (as was evinced by his hasty abandonment of the
Canadian shore) would have had time to rally, and believing
him to be not more enterprizing than his predecessor,
would have recovered from his panic and assumed an
attitude, at once, more worthy of his trust, commensurate
with his means of defence, and in keeping with his former
reputation. The quick apprehension of his opponent,
immediately caught the weakness, while his ready action
grappled intuitively with the advantage it presented.
The batteries, as our narrative has shown, were opened
without delay--the flotilla worked up the river within
sight of the fortress--and the troops and Indians effected
their landing in full view of the enemy. In fact, every
thing was conducted in a manner to show a determination
of the most active and undoubted description. With what
result has been seen.

It was in the evening of the day of surrender, that the
little English squadron, freighted with the prisoners
taken in Detroit, dropped slowly past Amherstburg, into
Lake Erie. By an article in the capitulation, it had
been stipulated, that the irregular troops should be
suffered to return to their homes, under the condition
that they should not again serve during the war, while
those of the line were to be conducted to the Lower
Province, there to remain until duly exchanged. The
appearance as captives of those who had, only a few days
before, been comfortably established on the Sandwich
shore, and had caused the country to feel already some
of the horrors of invasion, naturally enough drew forth
most of the inhabitants to witness the sight; and as the
Sunday stroll of the little population of Amherstburg
led in the direction of Elliott's point, where the lake
began, the banks were soon alive with men, women and
children, clad in holiday apparel, moving quickly, to
keep up with the gliding vessels, and apparently, although
not offensively, exulting in the triumph of that flag
beneath which the dense masses of their enemies were now
departing from their rescued territory.

Among those whom the passing barks had drawn in unusual
numbers to the river's side, were the daughters of Colonel
D'Egville, whose almost daily practice it was to take
the air in that direction, where there was so much of
the sublime beauty of American scenery to arrest the
attention. Something more however than that vague
curiosity, which actuated the mass, seemed to have drawn
the sisters to the bank, and one who had watched them
narrowly, most have observed, that their interest was
not divided among the many barks that glided onward to
the lake, but was almost exclusively attracted by one,
which now lay to, with her light bows breasting the
current like a swan, and apparently waiting either for
a boat which had been dispatched to the shore, or with
an intention to send one. This vessel was filled in every
part with troops, wearing the blue uniform of the American
regular army, while those in advance were freighted with
the irregulars and backwoodsmen.

"Is not this, Julia, the vessel to which the Commodore
promised to promote Gerald, in reward of his gallant
conduct last week?" asked the timid Gertrude, with a
sigh, as they stood stationary for a few moments, watching
the issue of the manoeuvre just alluded to.

"It is, Gertrude," was the answer of one whose fixed eye
and abstracted thought, betokened an interest in the same
vessel, of a nature wholly different from that of her
questioner.

"How very odd, then, he does not come on shore to us.
I am sure he must see us, and it would not take him two
minutes to let us know he is unhurt, and to shake hands
with us. It is very unkind of him I think."

Struck by the peculiar tone in which the last sentence
had been uttered, Julia D'Egville turned her eyes full
upon those of her sister. The latter, could not stand
the inquiring gaze, but sought the ground, while a
conscious blush confirmed the suspicion.

"Dearest Gertrude," she said, as she drew the clasped
arm of her sister more fondly within her own; "I see how
it is; but does he love you in return. Has he ever told
you so, or hinted it. Tell me my dear girl."

"Never," faltered the sensitive Gertrude, and she hung
her head, to conceal the tear that trembled in her eye.

Her sister sighed deeply, and pressed the arm she held
more closely within her own. "My own own sister, for
worlds I would not pain you; but if you would be happy,
you must not yield to this preference for our cousin.
Did you not remark how completely he seemed captivated
by Miss Montgomerie? Depend upon it, his affections are
centered in her."

Gertrude made no reply, but tears trickled down her
cheeks, as they both slowly resumed their walk along the
beach. Presently the splash of oars was heard, and turning
quickly to discover the cause, Julia saw a boat leave
the vessel, at which they had just been looking, and pull
immediately towards them. In the stern stood an officer
in American uniform, whom the eyes of Love were not slow
to distinguish, even in the growing dusk of evening.

"It is Ernest," exclaimed the excited girl, forgetting
for a moment her sister in herself. "I thought he would
not have departed without seeking to see me."

A few strokes of the oars were sufficient to bring the
boat to the shore. The American stepped out, and leaving
the boat to follow the direction of the vessel, now
drifting fast with the current towards the outlet, which
the remainder of the flotilla had already passed, pursued
his course along the sands in earnest conversation with
the sisters, or rather with one of them, for poor Gertrude,
after the first salutation, seemed to have lost all
inclination to speak.

"Fate, dearest Julia," said the officer despondingly,
"has decreed our interview earlier than I had expected.
However, under all circumstances, I may esteem myself
happy, to have seen you at all. I am indebted for this
favor to the officer commanding yonder vessel, in which
our regiment is embarked, for the satisfaction, melancholy
as it is, of being enabled to bid you a temporary farewell."

"Then are we both indebted to one of my own family for
the happiness; for that it is a happiness, Ernest, I can
answer from the depression of my spirits just now, when
I feared you were about to depart without seeing me at
all. The officer in command of your vessel is, or ought
to be, a cousin of our own."

"Indeed!--then is he doubly entitled to my regard. But,
Julia, let the brief time that is given us, be devoted
to the arrangement of plans for the future. I will not
for a moment doubt your faith, after what occurred at
our last interview; but shall I be certain of finding
you here, when later we return to wash away the stain
this day's proceedings have thrown upon our national
honor. Forgive me, if I appear to mix up political
feelings, with private grief, but it cannot be denied,
(and he smiled faintly through the mortification evidently
called up by the recollection,) that to have one's honor
attainted, and to lose one's mistress in the same day,
are heavier taxes on human patience, than it can be
expected a soldier should quietly bear."

"And when I am yours at a later period, I suppose you
will expect me to be as interested in the national honor,
as you are," replied Julia, anxious to rally him on a
subject she felt, could not but be painful to a man of
high feelings, as she fully believed the Colonel to be.
How are we to reconcile such clashing interests? How am
I so far to overcome my natural love for the country
which gave me birth, as to rejoice in its subjugation by
yours; and yet, that seems to be the eventual object at
which you hint. Your plan, if I understand right, is to
return here with an overwhelming army; overrun the
province, and make me your property by fight of conquest,
while all connected with me, by blood, or friendship,
are to be borne into captivity. If we marry, sir, we must
draw lots which of us shall adopt a new country."

"Nay dearest Julia, this pleasantry is unseasonable. I
certainly do intend, provided I am exchanged in time to
return here with the army, which I doubt not will be
instantly dispatched to restore our blighted fame, and
then I shall claim you as my own. Will you then hesitate
to become mine? Even as the daughter forsakes the home
of her father without regret, to pass her days with him
who is to her father, mother, all the charities of life,
in short--so should she forsake her native land, adopting
in preference that to which her husband is attached by
every tie of honor, and of duty. However, let us hope
that ere long, the folly of this war will be seen, and
that the result of such perception, will be a peace
founded on such permanent basis, that each shall be bound,
by an equal tie of regard, to the home of the other."

"Let us hope so," eagerly replied Julia. "But what has
become of our friend, Miss Montgomerie, in all the
confusion of this day. Or am I right in supposing that
she and her uncle, are of the number of those embarked
in my cousin's vessel?"

The name of the interesting American, coupled as it was,
with that of one infinitely more dear to her caused
Gertrude for the first time, to look up in the face of
the officer, in expectation of his reply. She was struck
by the sadden paleness that came over his features again,
as en the former occasion, when allusion was made to her
at his recent visit to Amherstburgh. He saw that his
emotion was remarked, and fought to bide it under an
appearance of unconcern, as he replied:

"Neither Miss Montgomerie nor her uncle are embarked.
The latter, I regret to say, has been one of the few
victims who have fallen."

"What! dead--that excellent kind old man--dead, demanded
the listen, nearly in the same breath?"

"No; not dead--but I fear with little hope of life. He
was desperately wounded soon after day-break this morning,
and when I saw hi half an hour afterwards, he had been
given over by the surgeons."

"Poor old Major," sighed Gertrude; "I felt when he was
here the other day, that I could bare loved him almost
as my owe father. How broken-hearted Miss Montgomerie
must be at his loss."

A sneer of bitterness passed over the fine features of
the American, as he replied with emphasis:

"Nay, dear Gertrude, year sympathies there are but ill
bestowed. Miss Montgomerie's heart will scarcely sustain
the injury you seem to apprehend."

"What mean you Ernest?" demanded Julia, with eagerness.
"How is it that you judge thus harshly of her character.
How, in short, do you pretend to enter into her most
secret feelings, and yet deny all but a general knowledge
of her? What can you possibly knew of her heart?"

"I merely draw my inferences from surmise," replied the
Colonel, after a few moments of pause. "The fact it, I
have the vanity to imagine myself a correct reader of
character, and my reading of Miss Montgomery's has not
been the happiest."

Julia's look betrayed incredulity. "There is evidently
some mystery in all this," she rejoined; "but I will not
seek to discover more than you choose at present to
impart. Later I may hope to possess more of your confidence.
One question more, however, and I have done. Have you
seen her since your return to Detroit, and did she give
you my letter?"

The Colonel made no answer, but produced from his pocket
a note, which Julia at once recognized as her own.

"Then," said Gertrude, "there was not so much danger
after all, in intrusting it. You seemed to be in a sad
way, when you first heard that it had been given to her."

"I would have pledged myself on its safe deliverance,"
added her sister, "for the promise was too solemnly given,
to be broken."

"And solemnly has it been kept, "gravely returned the
American. "But hark, already are they hailing the boat,
and we must part."

The time occupied in conversation, had brought them down
to the extreme point, where the river terminated, and
the lake commenced. Beyond this lay a sand bar, which it
was necessary to clear, before the increasing dusk of
the evening rendered it hazardous. All the other vessels
had already passed it, and were spreading their white
sails before the breeze, which here, unbroken by the
island, impelled them rapidly onward. A few strokes of
the oar, and the boat once more touched the beach. Low
and fervent adieus were exchanged, and the American,
resuming his station in the stern, was soon seen to ascend
the deck, he had so recently quitted. For a short time,
the sisters continued to watch the movements of the
vessel, as she in turn having passed, spread all her
canvass to the wind, until the fast fading twilight
warning them to depart, they retraced their steps along
the sands to the town. Both were silent and pensive; and
while all around them found subject for rejoicing in the
public events of the day, they retired at an early hour
to indulge at leisure in the several painful retrospections
which related more particularly to themselves.



CHAPTER XIV.

If the few weeks preceding the fall of Detroit, had been
characterized by much bustle and excitement, those which
immediately succeeded, were no less remarkable for their
utter inactivity and repose. With the surrender of the
fortress vanished every vestige of hostility in that
remote territory, enabling the sinews of watchfulness to
undergo a relaxation, nor longer requiring the sacrifice
of private interests to the public good. Scarcely had
the American prisoners been despatched to their several
destinations, when General Brock, whose activity and
decision, were subject of universal remark, quitted his
new conquest and again hastened to resume the command on
the Niagara frontier, which he had only left to accomplish
what had been so happily achieved. The Indians, too,
finding their services no longer in immediate demand,
dispersed over the country, or gave themselves up to the
amusement of the chase, ready however to come forward
whenever they should be re-summoned to the conflict;
while the Canadians, who had cheerfully abandoned their
homes to assist in the operations of the war, returned
once more to the cultivation of that soil they had so
recently looked upon as wrested from them for ever.
Throughout the whole line of Detroit, on either shore,
the utmost quietude prevailed; and although many of the
inhabitants of the conquered town, looked with an eye of
national jealousy on the English flag that waved in
security above the Fort, they submitted uncomplainingly
to the change, indulging only in secret, yet without
bitterness, in the hope of a not far distant reaction of
fortune, when their own National Stars should once more
be in the ascendant.

The garrison left at Detroit consisted merely of two
companies-those of Captains Granville and Molineux, which
included among their officers, Middlemore, Villiers and
Henry Grantham. After the first excitement produced in
the minds of the townspeople, by their change of rulers,
had passed away, these young men desirous of society,
sought to renew their intimacy with such of the more
respectable families as they had been in the habit of
associating with prior to hostilities; but although in
most instances they were successful, their reception was
so different from what it had formerly been, (a change
originating not so much in design perhaps as resulting
from a certain irrepressible sense of humiliation, which
gave an air of gene to all their words and actions,) that
they were glad to withdraw themselves altogether within
the rude resources of their own walls. It happened however
about this period that Colonel D'Egville had received a
command to transfer the head of his department from
Amherstburg to Detroit, and, with a view to his own
residence on the spot, the large and commodious mansion
of the late Governor was selected for the abode of his
family. With the daughters of that officer, the D'Egvilles
had long been intimate, and as the former were to continue
under the same roof until their final departure from
Detroit, it was with a mutual satisfaction the friends
found themselves thus closely reunited--Added to this
party were Major Montgomery, (already fast recovering
from the effect of his wound,) and his niece, both of
whom only awaited the entire restoration of the former,
to embark immediately for the nearest American port.

At Colonel D'Egville's, it will therefore be supposed
the officers passed nearly all their leisure hours;
Molineux and Villiers flirting with the fair American
sisters, until they had nearly been held fast by the
chains with which they dallied, and Middlemore uttering
his execrable puns with a coolness of premeditation that
excited the laughter of the fair part of his auditors,
while his companions, on the contrary, expressed their
unmitigated abhorrence in a variety of ways. As for the
somewhat staid Captain Granville, he sought to carry his
homage to the feet of Miss Montgomerie, but the severe
and repellant manner in which she received all his
advances, and the look which almost petrified where it
fell, not only awed him effectually into distance, but
drew down upon him the sarcastic felicitations of his
watchful brother officers. There was one, however, on
whose attentions her disapprobation fell not, and Henry
Grantham, who played the part of an anxious observer,
remarked with pain that HE had been fascinated by her
beauty, in a manner which showed her conquest to be
complete.

The cousins of Gerald Grantham had been in error in
supposing him to be the officer in command of the vessel
on board which the lover of Julia had embarked. His
transfer from the gun boat had taken place, but in
consideration of the fatigue he had undergone during the
three successive days in which he had been employed at
the batteries, the Commodore had directed another officer
to take command of the vessel in question, and charge
himself with the custody of the prisoners on board.
Finding himself at liberty, until the return of the
flotilla from this duty, the first care of Gerald was to
establish himself in lodgings at Detroit, whence he daily
sallied forth to the apartments in the Governor's house,
occupied by the unfortunate Major Montgomerie, in whose
situation he felt an interest so much the more deep and
lively as he knew his confinement to have been in some
degree the work of his own hands. All that attention and
kindness could effect was experienced by the respectable
Major, who, in return found himself growing more and more
attached to his youthful and generous captor. These
constant visits to the uncle naturally brought our hero
more immediately into the society of the niece, but
although he had never been able to banish from his memory
the recollection of one look which she had bestowed upon
him on a former occasion, in almost every interview of
the sort now, she preserved the same cold reserve and
distance which was peculiar to her.

A week had elapsed in this manner, when it chanced that
as they both sat one evening, about dusk, near the couch
of the invalid, the latter, after complaining of extreme
weakness and unusual suffering, expressed his anxiety at
the possibility of his niece being left alone and
unprotected in a strange country.

It was with a beating pulse and a glowing cheek that
Gerald looked up to observe the effect of this observation
on his companion. He was surprised, nay, hurt, to remark
that an expression of almost contemptuous loathing sat
upon her pale but beautiful countenance. He closed his
eyes for a moment in bitterness of disappointment--and
when they again opened and fell upon that countenance,
he scarcely could believe the evidence of his senses.
Every feature had undergone a change. With her face half
turned away, as if to avoid the observation of her uncle,
she now exhibited a cheek flushed with the expression of
passionate excitement, while from her eye beamed that
same unfathomable expression which bad carried intoxication
once before to the inmost soul of the youth. Almost wild
with his feelings, it was with difficulty he restrained
the impulse that would have urged him to her feet; but
even while he hesitated, her countenance had again
undergone a change, and she sat cold and reserved and
colorless as before.

That look sealed, that night, the destiny of Gerald
Grantham. The coldness of the general demeanour of Matilda,
was forgotten in the ardor of character which had escaped
from beneath the evident and habitual disguise; and the
enthusiastic sailor could think of nothing but the witchery
of that look. To his surprise and joy, the following day,
and ever afterwards, he found that the manner of the
American, although reserved as usual with others, had
undergone a complete change towards himself. Whenever he
appeared alone a smile was his welcome, and if others
were present she always contrived to indemnify him for
a coldness he now knew to be assumed, by conveying
unobserved one of those seductive glances the power of
which she seemed so fully to understand.

Such was the state of things when the D'Egvilles arrived.
Exposed to the observations of more than one anxious
friend, it was not likely that a youth of Gerald's open
nature, could be long in concealing his prepossession;
and as Matilda, although usually guarded in her general
manner, was observed sometimes to fix her eyes upon him
with the expression of one immersed in deep and speculative
thought, the suspicion acquired a character of greater
certainty.

To Harry Grantham, who doated upon his brother, this
attachment was a source of infinite disquiet, for, from
the very commencement, Miss Montgomerie had unfavorably
impressed him; why he knew not, yet impelled by a feeling
he was unable to analyze, he deeply lamented that they
had ever become acquainted, infatuated as Gerald appeared
by her attractions. There was another, too, who saw with
regret the attachment of Gerald to his fair prisoner. It
was Gertrude D'Egville, but her uncomplaining voice spoke
not, even to her beloved sister, of the anguish she
endured--she loved her cousin, but he knew it not--and
although she felt that she was fast consuming with the
disappointment that preyed upon her peace, she had obtained
of her sister the promise that the secret should never
reach the ear of its object.

In this manner passed the months of August and September.
October had just commenced, and with it, that beautiful
but brief season which is well known in Canada as the
Indian summer. Anxious to set out on his return to that
home to which his mutilation must confine him for the
future, Major Montgomerie, now sufficiently recovered to
admit of his travelling by water, expressed a desire to
avail himself of the loveliness of the weather, and embark
forthwith on his return.

By the officers whom the hospitality of Colonel D'Egville
almost daily assembled beneath his roof, this announcement
was received with dismay, and especially by Molineux,
and Villiers who had so suffered themselves to be fascinated
by the amiable daughters of General Hull, as to have
found it necessary to hold a consultation (decided however
in the negative.) whether they should, or should not
tempt them to remain, by making an offer of their hands.
It was also observed that these young ladies, who at
first, had been ail anxiety to rejoin their parent,
evinced no particular satisfaction in the intimation of
speedy departure thus given to them. Miss Montgomerie on
the contrary, whose anxiety throughout, to quit Detroit,
had been no less remarkable than her former impatience
to reach it, manifested a pleasure that amounted almost
to exultation: and yet it was observed that by a strange
apparent contradiction, her preference for Gerald from
that moment became more and more divested of disguise.

There are few spots in the world, perhaps, that unite so
many inducements to the formation of those sociable little
reunions which come under the denomination of pic-nics,
as the small islands adorning most of the American rivers.
Owing to the difficulty of procuring summer carriages,
and in some decree to the rudeness of the soil, in the
Upper Province especially, boats are in much more general
use; and excursions on the water, are as common to that
class "whose only toil is pleasure." as cockney trips to
Richmond, or to any other of the thousand and one places
of resort, which have sprung into existence, within twenty
miles of the Metropolis of England. Not confined, however,
to picking daisies for their doxies, as these said cockneys
do, or carving their vulgar names on every magnificent
tree, that spreads its gorgeous arms to afford them the
temporary shelter of a home, the men severally devote
themselves, for a period of the day, to manlier exercises.
The woods, abounding with game, and the rivers with fish
of the most delicate flavor--the address of the hunter
and the fisher, is equally called into action; since upon
their exertions, primarily depend the party for the fish
and fowl portion of their rural dinner. Guns and rods
are, therefore, as indispensable part of the freightage,
as the dried venison and bear hams, huge turkies, pasties,
&c. which together with wines, spirits, and cider ad
libitum, form the mass of alimentary matter; not to forget
the some half dozen old novels, constituting the several
libraries of the females of the party, and collected
together for general amusement on these occasions. Bands,
it is true, they possess not, but they have the music of
their own, and boatmen's voices, and the rippling of the
current over the pebbly shallow, or the impetuous dashing
of some distant waterfall--while on every side the eye
is arrested by images of grandeur, which dispose the
heart to benevolence, towards man, and the soul to
adoration towards the Creator. Here is to be heard,
neither the impertinent coxcombry, of the European self
styled exclusive, nor the unmeaning twaddle of the daughter
of false fashion, spoiled by the example of the said
exclusive, and almost become a dowager in silliness,
before she has attained the first years of womanhood. No
lack-a-daisical voice, the sex of which it is difficult
to distinguish, is attempted to be raised in depreciation
of the party to which it had been esteemed too great an
happiness to be invited, the evening before; nor is the
bride of last week heard boastingly to deplore, the
enormous sums lost within the last week, at the private
gaming table of her dear friend, the Duchess of this, or
the Countess of that. One half of the party address not
the other in doled accents of fashionable friendship, in
one key, and abuse them piteously in another. No sarcastic
allusion seeks to stamp with ridicule, the amusement in
which the utterer is embarked, as if a sense of shame
attached to the idea of being amused, by that which
affords amusement to his associates; nor is the manner
of the actors, that, of people suffering an infliction
rather than participating in a pleasure. The sneer of
contempt--the laugh of derision--is no where to be heard;
neither is the pallid brow, and sunken cheek, the fruit
of late hours and forced excitement to be seen. Content
is in each heart, the flow of health upon each face. All
appear eager to be happy, pleased with each other, and
at ease with themselves. Not that theirs is the enjoyment
of the mere holiday mind, which grasps with undiscerning
avidity, at whatever offers to its gratification, but
that of those, on whom education, acting on innate good
breeding, has imposed a due sense of the courtesies of
life, and on whom fashion has not superseded the kindlier
emotions of nature. These at least WERE traits of
simplicity, peculiar to Upper Canada, at an early period
of its settlement. What they are now, we pretend not to
determine.

Several of these pic-nics had taken place among the party
at Detroit, confined, with one or two exceptions, to the
officers of the garrison, and the family of Colonel
D'Egville, with their American inmates; and it was proposed
by the former, that a final one should be given a few
days prior to the embarkation in Gerald Grantham's new
command, which lay waiting in the river for the purpose.
The Major remaining as hitherto at home, under the
guardianship of the benevolent Mrs. D'Egville, whose
habits of retirement disinclined her to out door amusement.

Hitherto their excursions had been principally directed
to some of the smaller islands, which abound in the river
nearer Amherstburgh, and where game being found in greater
abundance, the skill of the officers had more immediate
opportunity for display; but in this excursion, at the
casual suggestion of Miss Montgomerie, Hog Island was
selected, as the scene of their day's amusement. Thither,
therefore the boat which contained the party now proceeded,
the ladies costumed in a manner to thread the mazes of
the wood, and the gentlemen in equally appropriate gear,
as sportsmen, their guns and fishing rods, being by no
means omitted in the catalogue of orders entrusted to
their servants. In the stern of the boat, the trustworthy
coxswain on this occasion--sat old Sambo, whose skill in
the conduct of a helm, was acknowledged to be little
inferior to his dexterity in the use of a paddle, and
whose authoritative voice, as he issued his commands in
broken English to the boatmen, added in no small degree,
to the exhilaration of the party,

To reach Hog Island, it was necessary to pass by the
tannery and cottage already described, which, latter, it
will be remembered, had been the scene of a singular
adventure to our hero, and his servant on the night of
their reconnoitring the coast, in obedience to the order
of the Commodore. By the extraordinary and almost romantic
incidents of that night, the imagination of Gerald had
been deeply impressed, and on retiring to his rude couch
within the battery he had fully made up his mind to
explore further into the mysterious affair, with as little
delay as possible after the expected fall of the American
fortress. In the hurry, confusion, and excitement, of
that event however, his original intention was forgotten;
or, rather so far delayed, that it was not until the
third or fourth day of his establishment in the town,
that it occurred to him to institute inquiry. He had
accordingly repaired thither, but finding the house
carefully shut up, and totally uninhabited, had contented
himself with questioning the tanner and his family, in
regard to its late inmates, reserving to a future
opportunity the attempt to make himself personally
acquainted with all that it contained. From this man he
learnt, that, the house had once been the property of an
aged Canadian, at whose death (supposed to have been
occasioned by violence,) it had passed into the hands of
an American, who led a roving and adventurous life, being
frequently away for months together, and then returning
with a canoe, but never continuing for more than a night
or two. That latterly it had been wholly deserted by its
owner, in consequence of which it had been taken possession
of, and used as quarters by the officers of the American
guard, stationed at this part of the town, for the
protection of the boats, and as a check upon the incursions
of the Indians. In all this statement, there was every
appearance of truth, but in no part of it did Gerald find
wherewith to elucidate what he himself had witnessed. He
described the costume, and questioned of the mysterious
figure, but the only reply he obtained from the independent
tanner, when he admitted to him that he had been so near
a visitor on that occasion, and had seen what he described,
was an expressed regret that he had not been "wide awake
when any Brittainer ventured to set foot upon his grounds,
otherwise, tarnation seize him with all due respect, if
he wouldn't a stuck an ounce o' lead in the region of
his bread-basket, as quickly as he would tan a hide," a
patriotic sentiment in which it may be supposed our hero
in no way coincided. With the tanners assurance, however,
that no living thing was there at this moment, Gerald
was fain to content himself for the present, fully
resolving to return at another time with Sambo, and effect
a forcible entrance into a place, with which were connected
such striking recollections. He had, however, been too
much interested and occupied elsewhere, to find time to
devote to the purpose.



CHAPTER. XV.

As the boat, which contained the party, pulled by six of
the best oars-men among the soldiers of the Garrison,
and steered, as we have shown, by the dexterous Sambo,
now glided past the spot, the recollections of the
tradition connected with the bridge drew from several of
the party expressions of sympathy and feigned terror, as
their several humours dictated. Remarking that Miss
Montgomerie's attention appeared to be deeply excited by
what she heard, while she gazed earnestly upon the dwelling
in the back ground, Gerald Grantham thought to interest
her yet more, and amuse and startle the rest of the party,
by detailing his extraordinary, and hitherto unrevealed
adventure, on a recent occasion. To this strange tale,
as may naturally be supposed, some of his companions
listened with an air of almost incredulity, nor indeed
would they rest satisfied until Sambo, who kept his eyes
turned steadily away from the shore, and to whom appeal
was frequently made by his master, confirmed his statement
in every particular; and with such marks of revived horror
in his looks, as convinced them, Gerald was not playing
upon their facility of belief. The more incredulous his
brother officers, the more animated had become the sailor
in his description, and, on arriving at that part of his
narrative which detailed the reappearance and reflection
of the mysterious figure in the tipper room, upon the
court below, every one became insensibly fixed in mute
attention. From the moment of his commencing, Miss
Montgomerie had withdrawn her gaze from the land, and
fixing it upon her lover, manifested all the interest he
could desire. Her feelings were evidently touched by what
she heard, for she grew paler as Gerald proceeded, while
her breathing was suspended, as if fearful to lose a
single syllable he uttered. At each more exciting crisis
of the narrative, she betrayed a corresponding intensity
of attention, until at length, when the officer described
his mounting on the water butt, and obtaining a full view
of all within the room, she looked as still and rigid as
if she had been metamorphosed into a statue. This eagerness
of attention, shared as it was, although not to the same
extent perhaps, by the rest of Gerald's auditory, was
only remarkable in Miss Montgomerie, in as much as she
was one of too much mental preoccupation to feel or betray
interest in any thing, and it might have been the risk
encountered by her lover, and the share he had borne in
the mysterious occurrence, that now caused her to lapse
from her wonted inaccessibility to impressions of the
sort. As the climax of the narrative approached, her
interest became deeper, and her absorption more profound.
An involuntary shudder passed over her form, and a slight
contraction of the nerves of her face was perceptible,
when Gerald described to his attentive and shocked
auditory, the raising of the arm of the assassin; and
her emotion at length assumed such a character of
nervousness, that when he exultingly told of the rapid
discharge of his own pistol, as having been the only
means of averting the fate of the doomed, she could not
refrain from rising suddenly in the boat, and putting
her hand to her side, with the shrinking movement of one
who had been suddenly wounded.

While in the act of rising she had drawn the cloak with
which, like the other ladies, she was provided more
closely over her shoulders--Sambo seemed to have caught
some new idea from this action, for furtively touching
Henry Grantham, who sat immediately before him, and on
the right of Miss Montgomerie, he leaned forward and
whispered a few sentences in his ear.

Meanwhile Miss Montgomerie was not a little rallied on
the extreme susceptibility which had led her as it were
to identify herself with the scene. Gerald remarked that
on recovering her presence of mind, she at first looked
as if she fancied herself the subject of sarcasm, and
would have resented the liberty; but finding there was
nothing pointed in the manner of those who addressed her,
finished by joining, yet with some appearance of constraint,
in the laugh against herself.

"I confess," she said coloring, "that the strange incident
which Mr. Grantham has related, and which he has so well
described, has caused me to be guilty of a ridiculous
emotion. I am not usually startled into the expression
of strong feeling, but there was so much to excite and
surprise in his catastrophe that I could not avoid in
some measure identifying myself with the scene."

"Nay, Miss Montgomerie," remarked Julia D'Egville, "there
can be no reason why such emotion should either be
disavowed or termed ridiculous. For my part, I own that
cannot sufficiently express my horror of the wretch who
could thus deliberately attempt the life of another. How
lucky was it Gerald that you arrived at that critical
moment; but have you no idea--not the slightest--of the
person of the assassin or of his intended victim?"

"Not the slightest--the disguise of the person was too
effectual to be penetrated, and the face I had not once
an opportunity of beholding."

"Yet," observed Miss Montgomerie, "from your previous
description of the figure, it is by no means a matter of
certainty that it was not a woman you pursued, instead
of a man--or, was there any thing to betray the vacillation
of purpose which would naturally attend one of our sex
in an enterprize of the kind."

"What! a woman engage in so unnatural a deed," remarked
Henry Grantham--"surely Miss Montgomerie," for he always
spoke rather AT, than TO her "cannot seek to maintain a
supposition so opposed to all probability--neither will
she be so unjust towards herself as to admit the existence
of such monstrous guilt in the heart of another of her
sex."

"Impossible," said Gerald. "Whatever might have been my
impression when I first saw the figure in the merchantman
--that is to say, if I had then a doubt in regard to the
sex, it was entirely removed, when later I beheld the
unfaltering energy with which it entered upon its murderous
purpose. The hand of woman never could have been armed
with such fierce and unflinching determination as was
that hand."

"The emergency of the occasion, it would seem, did not
much interfere with your study of character," again
observed Miss Montgomerie, with a faint smile--"but you
say you fired--was it--with intent to kill the killer?"

"I scarcely know with what intent myself; but if I can
rightly understand my own impulse, it was more with a
view to divert him from his deadly object, than to slay
--and this impression acquires strength from the fact of
my having missed him--I am almost sorry now that I did."

"Perhaps," said Miss Montgomerie, "you might have slain
one worthier than him you sought to save. As one of your
oldest poets sings--'whatever it is right.--"

"What!" exclaimed the younger Grantham with emphasis "Can
Miss Montgomerie then form any idea of the persons who
figured in that scene?"

Most of the party looked at the questioner with surprise.
Gerald frowned, and, for the first time in his life,
entertained a feeling of anger against his brother. In
no way moved or piqued by the demand, Miss Montgomerie
calmly replied.

"I can see no just reason for such inference, Mr. Grantham;
I merely stated a case of possibility, without anything
which can refer to the merit of either of the parties."

Henry Grantham felt that he was rebuked--but although he
could not avoid something like an apologetical explanation
of his remark, he was not the more favorably disposed
towards her who had forced it from him. In this feeling
he was confirmed by the annoyance he felt at having been
visited by the anger of the brother to whom he was so
attached. Arrived at Hog Island, and equipped with their
guns and fishing rods, the gentlemen dispersed in quest
of game, some threading the mazes of the wood in pursuit
of the various birds that frequent the vicinity, the
others seeking these points of the island where the dense
foliage affords a shade to the numerous delicately
flavoured fish, which, luxuriating in the still deep
water, seek relief from the heat of summer. To these
latter sportsmen, the ladies of the party principally
attached themselves, quitting them only at intervals to
collect pebbles on the sands, or to saunter about the
wood, in search of the wild flowers or fruits that abounded
along its skirt, while the servants busied themselves in
erecting the marquee and making preparation for dinner.

Among those who went in pursuit of game were the Granthams,
who, like most Canadians, were not only excellent shots,
but much given to a sport in which they had had considerable
practice in early boyhood. For a short time they had
continued with their, companions, but as the wood became
thicker, and their object consequently more attainable
by dispersion, they took a course parallel with the point
at which the fishers had assembled, while their companions
continued to move in an opposite direction. There was an
unusual reserve in the manner of the brothers as they
now wound through the intricacies of the wood. Each
appeared to feel that the other had given him cause for
displeasure and each--unwilling to introduce the subject
most at his heart--availed himself with avidity rather
of the several opportunities which the starting of the
game afforded for conversation of a general nature. They
had gone on in this manner for some time, and having been
tolerably successful in their sport were meditating their
return to the party on the beach, when the ear of Gerald
was arrested by the drumming of a partridge at a short
distance. Glancing his quick eye in the direction whence
the sound came, he beheld a remarkably fine bird, which
while continuing to beat its wings violently against the
fallen tree on which it was perched, had its neck
outstretched and its gaze intently fixed on some object
below. Tempted by the size and beauty of the bird Gerald
fired and it fell to the earth. He advanced, stooped,
and was in the act of picking it up, when a sharp and
well known rattle was heard to issue from beneath the
log. The warning was sufficient to save him had he
consented even for an instant to forego his prize, but
accustomed to meet with these reptiles on almost every
excursion of the kind, and never having sustained any
injury from them, he persevered in disengaging the
partridge from some briers with which, in falling, it
had got entangled. Before he could again raise himself
an enormous rattlesnake had darted upon him, and stung
with rage perhaps at being deprived of its victim, had
severely bitten him above the left wrist. The instantaneous
pang that darted throughout the whole limb caused Gerald
to utter an exclamation, and dropping the bird, he sank
almost fainting on the log whence his enemy had attacked
him.

The cry of agony reached, Henry Grantham, as he was
carelessly awaiting his brother's return, and at once
forgetting their temporary estrangement, and full of
eager love and apprehension--he flew to ascertain the
nature of the injury. To his surprise and horror he
remarked that, although not a minute had elapsed since
the fangs of the reptile had penetrated into the flesh,
the arm was already considerably inflamed and exhibiting
then a dark and discolored hue. That a remedy was at
hand he knew, but what it was, and how to be applied he
was not aware, the Indians alone being in possession of
the secret. Deeming that Sambo might have some knowledge
of the kind, he now made the woods echo with the sound
of his name, in a manner that could not fail to startle
and alarm the whole of the scattered party. Soon afterwards
the rustling, of forms was heard in various directions,
as they forced themselves through the underwood, and the
first who came in sight was Miss Montgomerie, preceded
by the old negro. The lamentation of the latter was
intense and when on approaching his young master, he
discovered the true nature of his accident and confessed
his ignorance of all remedy, he burst into tears, and
throwing himself upon the earth tore his gray woollen
hair away, regardless of all entreaty on the part of
Gerald to moderate his grief. Miss Montgomerie now came
forward, and never did sounds of melody fall so harmoniously
on the ear, as did her voice on that of the younger
Grantham as she pledged herself to the cure, on their
instant return to the spot where the marquee had been
erected. With this promise she again disappeared, and
several others of the party having now joined them,
Gerald, duly supported, once more slowly retraced his
way to the same point.

"Damn him pattridge" muttered Sambo, who lingered a moment
or two in the rear to harness himself with the apparatus
of which his master had disencumbered his person. "Damn
him pattridge" and he kicked the lifeless bird indignantly
with his foot "you all e cause e dis; what e hell e do
here?"

This tirade however against the partridge did not by any
means prevent the utterer from eventually consigning it
to its proper destination in the game bag as the noblest
specimen of the day's sport, and thus burthened he issued
from the wood, nearly at the same moment with the wounded
Gerald and his friends.

The consternation of all parties on witnessing the disaster
of the sailor, whose arm had already been swollen to a
fearful size, while the wound itself began to assume an
appearance of mortification, was strongly contrasted with
the calm silence of Miss Montgomerie, who was busily
employed in stirring certain herbs which she was boiling
over the fire that had been kindled in the distance for
the preparation of the dinner. The sleeve of the sufferer's
shooting jacket had been ripped to the shoulder by his
brother and as he now sat on a pile of cloaks within the
marquee, the rapid discoloration of the white skin, could
be distinctly traced, marking as it did the progress of
the deadly poison towards the vital portion of the system.
In this trying emergency all eyes were turned with anxiety
on the slightest movement of her who had undertaken the
cure, and none more eagerly than those of Henry Grantham
and Gertrude D'Egville, the latter of whom, gentle even
as she was, could not but acknowledge pang of regret that
to another, and that other a favored rival--should be
the task of alleviating the anguish and preserving the
life of the only man she had ever loved.

At length Miss Montgomerie came forward; and never was
beneficent angel more hailed than did Henry Grantham hail
her, whom scarcely an hour since he had looked upon with
aversion, when with a countenance of unwonted paleness
but confident of success, she advanced towards the opening
of the marquee, to which interest in the sufferer had
drawn even the domestics. All made way for her approach.
Kneeling at the side of Gerald, and depositing the vessel
in which she had mixed her preparation, she took the
wounded arm in her own fair hands with the view, it was
supposed, of holding it while another applied the remedy.
Scarcely however had she secured it in a firm grasp when,
to the surprise and consternation of all around, she
applied her own lips to the wound and continued them
then; in despite of the efforts of Gerald to withdraw
his arm, nor was it until there was already a visible
reduction in the size, and change in the color of the
limb that she removed them. This done she arose and
retired to the skirt of the wood whence she again returned
in less than a minute. Even in the short time that had
elapsed, the arm of the sufferer had experienced an almost
miraculous change. The inflammation had greatly subsided,
while the discoloration had retired to the immediate
vicinity of the wound, which in its turn however had
assumed a more virulent appearance. From this it was
evident that the suction had been the means of recalling,
to the neighbourhood of the injury, such portions of the
poison as had expanded, concentrating all in one mass
immediately beneath its surface, and thereby affording
fuller exposure to the action of the final remedy. This
consisting of certain herbs of a dark colour, and spread
at her direction by the trembling hands of Gertrude, on
her white handkerchief--Miss Montgomerie now proceeded
to apply, covering a considerable portion around the
orifice of the two small wounds, inflicted by the fangs
of the serpent, with the dense mass of the vegetable
preparation. The relief produced by this was effectual,
and in less than an hour, so completely had the poison
been extracted, and the strength of the arm restored,
that Gerald was enabled not merely to resume his shooting
jacket, but to partake, although sparingly, of the meal
which followed.

It may be presumed that the bold action of Miss Montgomerie
passed not without the applause it so highly merited,
yet even while applauding, there were some of the party,
and particularly Henry Grantham, who regarded it with
feelings not wholly untinctured with the unpleasant. Her
countenance and figure, as she stood in the midst of the
forest, preparing the embrocation, so well harmonizing
with the scene and occupation; the avidity with which
she sucked the open wound of the sufferer, and the fearless
manner in which she imbibed that which was considered
death to others; all this, combined with a general
demeanour in which predominated a reserve deeply shaded
with mystery, threw over the actor and the action, an
air of the preternatural, occasioning more of surprise
and awe than prepossession. Such, especially, as we have
said, was the impression momentarily, produced on Henry
Grantham; but when he beheld his brother's eye and cheek
once more beaming with returning strength and health, he
saw in her but the generous preserver of that brother's
life to whom his own boundless debt of gratitude was due.
It was at this moment that, in the course of conversation
on the subject, Captain Molineux inquired of Miss
Montgomerie, what antidote she possessed against the
influence of the poison. Every eye was turned upon her
as she vaguely answered, a smile of peculiar meaning
playing over her lips, that "Captain Molineux must be
satisfied with knowing she bore a charmed life." Then
again it was that the young soldier's feelings underwent
another reaction, and as he caught the words and look
which accompanied them, he scarcely could persuade himself
she was not the almost vampire and sorceress that his
excited imagination had represented.

Not the least deeply interested in the events of the
morning, was the old negro. During their meal, at the
service of which he assisted, his eyes scarcely quitted
her whom be appeared to regard with a mingled feeling of
awe and adoration; nay, such was his abstraction that,
in attempting to place a dish of game on the rude table
at which the party sat, he lodged the whole of the contents
in the lap of Middlemore, a gaucherie that drew from the
latter an exclamation of horror, followed however the
instant afterwards by Sambo's apology.

"I beg a pardon Massa Middlemore," he exclaimed, "I let
him fall e gravey in e lap."

"Then will you by some means contrive to lap it up,"
returned the officer quaintly.

Sambo applied his napkin, and the dinner proceeded without
other occurrence. Owing to an apprehension that the night
air might tend to renew the inflammation of the wounded
arm, the boat was early in readiness for the return of
the party, whose day of pleasure had been in some manner
tamed into a day of mourning, so that long before sun
set, they had again reached their respective homes at
Detroit.


END OF VOLUME I.





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