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

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


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

Title: The Canadian Brothers; Or, The Prophecy Fulfilled: A Tale of the Late American War — Complete
Author: Richardson, Major (John)
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Canadian Brothers; Or, The Prophecy Fulfilled: A Tale of the Late American War — Complete" ***

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



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.



VOLUME 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.



VOLUME II.



THE CANADIAN BROTHERS;
   OR,
THE PROPHECY FULFILLED.

CHAPTER I.

A few days after the adventure detailed in our last
chapter, the American party, consisting of Major and Miss
Montgomerie, and the daughters of the Governor, with
their attendants, embarked in the schooner, to the command
of which Gerald had been promoted. The destination of
the whole was the American port of Buffalo, situate at
the further extremity of the lake, nearly opposite to
the fort of Erie; and thither our hero, perfectly recovered
from the effect of his accident, received instructions
to repair without loss of time, land his charge, and
immediately rejoin the flotilla at Amherstburg.

However pleasing the first, the latter part of the order
was by no means so strictly in consonance with the views
and feelings of the new commander, as might have been
expected from a young and enterprising spirit; but he
justified his absence of zeal to himself, in the fact
that there was no positive service to perform; no duty
in which he could have an opportunity of signalizing
himself, or rendering a benefit to his country.

If, however, the limited period allotted for the execution
of his duty, was a source of much disappointment to
Gerald, such was not the effect produced by it on his
brother, to whom it gave promise of a speedy, termination
of an attachment, which he had all along regarded with
disapprobation, and a concern amounting almost to dread.
We have seen that Henry Grantham, on the occasion of his
brother's disaster at the pic-nic, had been wound up into
an enthusiasm of gratitude, which had nearly weaned him
from his original aversion; but this feeling had not
outlived the day on which the occurrence took place. Nay,
on the very next morning, he had had a long private
conversation with Gerald, in regard to Miss Montgomerie,
which, ending as it did, in a partial coolness, had tended
to make him dislike the person who had caused it still
more. It was, therefore, not without secret delight that
he overheard the order for the instant return of the
schooner, which, although conveyed by the Commodore in
the mildest manner, was yet so firm and decided as to
admit neither of doubt nor dispute. While the dangerous
American continued a resident at Detroit, there was every
reason to fear that the attachment of his infatuated
brother, fed by opportunity, would lead him to the
commission of some irrevocable act of imprudence; whereas,
on the contrary, when she had departed, there was every
probability that continued absence, added to the stirring
incidents of war, which might be expected shortly to
ensue, would prove effectual in restoring the tone of
Gerald's mind. There was, consequently, much to please
him in the order for departure. Miss Montgomerie once
landed within the American lines, and his brother returned
to his duty, the anxious soldier had no doubt that the
feelings of the latter would resume their wonted channel,
and that, in his desire to render himself worthy of glory,
to whom he had been originally devoted, he would forget,
at least after a season, all that was connected with
love.

It was a beautiful autumnal morning, when the schooner
weighed anchor from Detroit. Several of the officers of
the garrison had accompanied the ladies on board, and
having made fast their sailing boat to the stem, loitered
on deck with the intention of descending the river a few
miles, and then beating up against the current. The whole
party were thus assembled, conversing together and watching
the movements of the sailors, when a boat, in which were
several armed men encircling a huge raw-boned individual,
habited in the fashion of an American backwoodsman,
approached the vessel. This was no other than the traitor
Desborough, who, it will be recollected, was detained
and confined in prison at the surrender of Detroit. He
had been put upon his trial for the murder of Major
Grantham, but had been acquitted through want of evidence
to convict, his own original admission being negatived
by a subsequent declaration that he had only made it
through a spirit of bravado and revenge. Still, as the
charges of desertion and treason had been substantiated
against him, he was, by order of the Commandant of
Amherstburg, destined for Fort Erie, in the schooner
conveying the American party to Buffalo, with a view to
his being sent on to the Lower Province, there to be
disposed of as the General Commanding in Chief should
deem fit.

The mien of the settler, as he now stepped over the
vessel's side, partook of the mingled cunning and ferocity
by which he had formerly been distinguished. While
preparations were being made for his reception and security
below deck, he bent Ms sinister, yet bold, glance on each
of the little group in succession, as if he would have
read in their countenances the probable fate that awaited
himself. The last who fell under his scrutiny was Miss
Montgomerie, on whom his eye had scarcely rested, when
the insolent indifference of his manner seemed to give
place at once to a new feeling. There was intelligence
enough in the glance of both to show that an insensible
interest had been created, and yet neither gave the
slightest indication, by word, of what was passing in
the mind.

"Well, Mister Jeremiah Desborough," said, Middlemore,
first breaking the silence, and, in the taunting mode of
address he usually adopted towards the settler, "I reckon
as how you'll shoot no wild ducks this season, on the
Sandusky river--not likely to be much troubled with your
small bores now."

The Yankee gazed at him a moment in silence, evidently
ransacking his brain for something sufficiently insolent
to offer in return. At length, he drew his hat slouchingly
over one side of his head, folded his arms across his
chest, and squirting a torrent of tobacco juice from his
capacious jaws, exclaimed in his drawling voice:

"I guess, Mister Officer, as how you're mighty cute upon
a fallen man--but tarnation seize me, if I don't expect
you'll find some one cuter still afore long. The sogers
all say," he continued with a low, cunning laugh, "as
how you're a bit of a wit, and fond of a play upon words
like. If so, I'll jist try you a little at your own game,
and tell you that I had a thousand to one rather be
troubled with my small bores than with such a confounded
great bore as you are; and now, you may pit that down as
something good, in your pun book when you please, and ax
me no more questions."

Long and fitful was the laughter which burst from Villiers
and Molineux, at this bitter retort upon their companion,
which they vowed should be repeated at the mess table of
either garrison, whenever he again attempted one of his
execrables.

Desborough took courage at the license conveyed by this
pleasantry, and pursued, winking familiarly to Captain
Molineux, while he, at the same time, nodded to Middlemore,

"Mighty little time, I calculate, had he to think of
aggravatin', when I gripped him down at Hartley's pint,
that day. If it hadn't been for that old heathen scoundrel
Gattrie, my poor boy Phil, as the Injuns killed, and me,
I reckon, would have sent him and young Grantham to crack
their puns upon the fishes of the lake. How scared they
were, sure-LY."

"Silence, fellow!" thundered Gerald Grantham, who now
came up from the hold, whither he had been to examine
the fastenings prepared for his prisoner. "How dare you
open your lips here?"--then pointing towards the steps
he had just quitted--"descend, sir!"

Never did human countenance exhibit marks of greater rage
than Desborough's at that moment. His eyes seemed about
to start from their sockets--the large veins of his neck
and brow swelled almost to bursting, and while his lips
were compressed with violence, his nervous fingers played,
as with convulsive anxiety to clutch themselves around
the throat of the officer; every thing, in short, marked
the effort it cost him to restrain himself within such
bounds as his natural cunning and prudence dictated.
Still, he neither spoke nor moved.

"Descend, sir, instantly!" repeated Gerald, "or, by
Heaven, I will have you thrown in without further ceremony
--descend this moment!"

The settler advanced, placed one foot upon the ladder,
then turned his eye steadfastly upon the officer. Every
one present shuddered to behold its expression--it was
that of fierce, inextinguishable hatred.

"By hell, you will pay me one day or t'other for this,
I reckon," he uttered, in a hoarse and fearful whisper--
"every dog has his day--it will be Jeremiah Desborough's
turn next."

"What! do you presume to threaten, villain?" vociferated
Gerald, now excited beyond all bounds: "here men, gag me
this fellow--tie him neck and heels, and throw him into
the hold, as you would a bag of ballast."

Several men, with Sambo at their head, advanced for the
purpose of executing the command of their officer, when
the eldest daughter of the Governor, who had witnessed
the whole scene, suddenly approached the latter, and
interceded warmly for a repeal of the punishment. Miss
Montgomerie, also, who had been a silent observer, glanced
significantly towards the settler. What her look implied,
no one was quick enough to detect; but its effect on the
Yankee was evident--for, without uttering another syllable,
or waiting to be again directed, he moved slowly and
sullenly down the steps that led to his place of
confinement.

Whatever the impressions produced upon the minds of the
several spectators by this incident, they were not
expressed. No comment was made, nor was further allusion
had to the settler. Other topics of conversation were
introduced, and it was not until the officers, having
bid them a final and cordial adieu, had again taken to
their boats, on their way back to Detroit, that the ladies
quitted the deck for the cabin which had been prepared
for them.

The short voyage down the lake was performed without
incident. From the moment of the departure of the officers,
an air of dulness and abstraction, originating, in a
great degree, in the unpleasantness of separation--
anticipated and past--pervaded the little party. Sensitive
and amiable as were the daughters of the American Governor,
it was not to be supposed that they parted without regret
from men in whose society they had recently passed so
many agreeable hours, and for two of whom they had
insensibly formed preferences. Not, however, that that
parting was to be considered final, for both Molineux
and Villiers had promised to avail themselves of the
first days of peace, to procure leave of absence, and
revisit them in their native country. The feeling of
disappointment acknowledged by the sisters, was much more
perceptible in Gerald Grantham and Miss Montgomerie, both
of whom became more thoughtful and abstracted, as the
period of separation drew nearer.

It was about ten o'clock on the evening immediately
preceding that on which they expected to gain their
destination, that, as Gerald leaned ruminating over the
side of the schooner, then going at the slow rate of two
knots an hour, he fancied be heard voices, in a subdued
tone, ascending apparently from the quarter of the vessel
in which Desborough was confined. He listened attentively
for a few moments, but even the slight gurgling of the
water, as it was thrown from the prow, prevented further
recognition. Deeming it possible that the sounds might
not proceed from the place of confinement of the settler,
but from the cabin which it adjoined, and with which it
communicated, he was for a short time undecided whether
or not he should disturb the party already retired to
rest, by descending and passing into the room occupied
by his prisoner. Anxiety to satisfy himself that the
latter was secure determined him, and he had already
planted a foot on the companion-ladder, when his further
descent was arrested by Miss Montgomerie, who appeared
emerging from the opening, bonneted and cloaked, as with
a view of continuing on deck.

"What! you, dearest Matilda?" he asked, delightedly--"I
thought you had long since retired to rest."

"To rest, Gerald!--can you, then, imagine mine is a soul
to slumber, when I know that tomorrow we part--perhaps
for ever?"

"No, by Heaven! not for ever," energetically returned
the sailor, seizing and carrying the white hand that
pressed his own, to his lips--"be but faithful to me, my
own Matilda--love me but with one half the ardor with
which my soul glows for you, and the moment duty can be
sacrificed to affection, you may expect again to see me."

"Duty!" repeated the American, with something like reproach
in her tone--"must the happiness of her you profess so
ardently to love, be sacrificed to a mere cold sense of
duty? But you are right--you have YOUR duty to perform,
and I have MINE. Tomorrow we separate, and for ever."

"No, Matilda--not for ever, unless, indeed, such be your
determination. YOU may find the task to forget an easy
one--_I_ never can. Hope--heart--life--happiness--all
are centered in you. Were it not that honour demands my
service to my country, I would fly with you tomorrow,
delighted to encounter every difficulty fortune might
oppose, if, by successfully combating these, I should
establish a deeper claim on your affection. Oh, Matilda!"
continued the impassioned youth, "never did I feel more
than at this moment, how devotedly I could be your slave
for ever."

At the commencement of this conversation, Miss Montgomerie
had gently led her lover towards the outer gangway of
the vessel, over which they both now leaned. As Gerald
made the last passionate avowal of his tenderness, a ray
of triumphant expression, clearly visible in the light
of the setting moon, passed over the features of the
American.

"Gerald," she implored earnestly--"oh, repeat me that
avowal. Again tell me that you will be the devoted of
your Matilda, in ALL things--Gerald, swear most solemnly
to me that you will--my every hope of happiness depends
upon it."

How could he refuse, to such pleader, the repetition of
his spontaneous vow? Already were his lips opened to
swear, before high Heaven, that, in all things earthly,
he would obey her will, when he was interrupted by a well
known voice, hastily exclaiming:

"Who a debbel dat dare?"

 Scarcely had these words been uttered, when they were
followed apparently by a blow, then a bound, and then
the falling of a human body upon the deck. Gently
disengaging his companion, who had clung to him with an
air of alarm, Gerald turned to discover the cause of the
interruption. To his surprise, he beheld Sambo, whose
post of duty was at the helm, lying extended on the deck,
while, at the same moment, a sudden plunge was heard, as
of a heavy body falling overboard. The first impulse of
the officer was to seize the helm, with a view to right
the vessel, already swerving from her course; the second,
to awaken the crew, who were buried in sleep on the
forecastle. These, with the habitual promptitude of their
nature, speedily obeyed his call, and a light being
brought, Gerald, confiding the helm to one of his best
men, proceeded to examine the condition of Sambo.

It was evident that the aged negro had been stunned, but
whether seriously injured, it was impossible to decide.
No external wound was visible, and yet his breathing was
that of one who had received some severe bodily harm. In
a few minutes, however, he recovered his recollection,
and the words he uttered, as he gazed wildly around, and
addressed his master, were sufficient to explain the
whole affair:

"Damn him debbel, Massa Geral, he get safe off, him
billain."

"Ha, Desborough! it is then so? Quick, put the helm about
--two of the lightest and most active into my canoe, and
follow in pursuit. The fellow is making for the shore,
no doubt. Now then, my lads," as two of the crew sprang
into the canoe that had been instantly lowered, "fifty
dollars between you, recollect, if you bring him back."

Although there needed no greater spur to exertion, than
a desire both to please their officer, and to acquit
themselves of a duty, the sum offered was not without
its due weight. In an instant, the canoe was seen scudding
along the surface of the water, towards the shore, and,
at intervals, as the anxious Gerald listened, he fancied
he could distinguish the exertions of the fugitive swimmer
from those made by the paddles of his pursuers. For a
time all was silent, when, at length, a deriding laugh
came over the surface of the lake, that too plainly told,
the settler had reached the shore, and was beyond all
chance of capture. In the bitterness of his disappointment,
and heedless of the pleasure his change of purpose had
procured him, Gerald could not help cursing his folly,
in having suffered himself to be diverted from his original
intention of descending to the prisoner's place of
confinement. Had this been done, all might have been
well. He had now no doubt that the voices had proceeded
from thence, and he was resolved, as soon as the absent
men came on board, to institute a strict inquiry into
the affair.

No sooner, therefore, had the canoe returned, than all
hands were summoned and questioned, under a threat of
severe punishment, to whoever should be found prevaricating
as to the manner of the prisoner's escape. Each positively
denied having in any way violated the order which enjoined
that no communication should take place between the
prisoner and the crew, to whom indeed all access was
denied, with the exception of Sambo, entrusted with the
duty of carrying the former his meals. The denial of the
men was so straight forward and clear, that Gerald knew
not what to believe, and yet it was evident that the
sounds he had heard, proceeded from human voices. Determined
to satisfy himself, his first care was to descend between
the decks, preceded by his boatswain, with a lantern. At
the sternmost extremity of the little vessel there was
a small room, used for stores, but which, empty on this
trip, had been converted into a cell for Desborough. This
was usually entered from the cabin; but in order to avoid
inconvenience to the ladies, a door had been effected in
the bulk heads, the key of which was kept by Sambo. On
inspection, this door was found hermetically closed, so
that it became evident, if the key had not been purloined
from its keeper, the escape of Desborough must have been
accomplished through the cabin. Moreover, there was no
opening of any description to be found, through which a
knife might be passed to enable him to sever the bonds
which confined his feet. Close to the partition, were
swung the hammocks of two men, who had been somewhat
dilatory in obeying the summons on deck, and between whom
it was not impossible the conversation, which Gerald had
detected, had been carried on. On re-ascending, he again
questioned these men, but they most solemnly assured him
they had not spoken either together or to others, within
the last two hours, having fallen fast asleep on being
relieved from their watch. Search was now made in the
pockets of Sambo, whose injury had been found to be a
violent blow given on the back of the head, and whose
recovery from stupefaction was yet imperfect. The key
being found, all suspicion of participation was removed
from the crew, who could have only communicated from
their own quarter of the vessel, and they were accordingly
dismissed; one half, comprising the first watch, to their
hammocks, the remainder to their original station on the
forecastle. The next care of the young Commander was to
inspect the cabin, and institute a strict scrutiny as to
the manner in which the escape had been effected. The
door that opened into the prison, stood between the
companion ladder and the recess occupied by the daughters
of the Governor. To his surprise, Gerald found it locked,
and the key that usually remained in a niche near the
door, removed. On turning to search for it, he also
noticed, for the first time, that the lamp, suspended
from a beam in the centre of the cabin, had been
extinguished. Struck by these remarkable circumstances,
a suspicion, which he would have given much not to have
entertained, forced itself upon his mind. As a first
measure, and that there might be no doubt whatever on
the subject, he broke open the door. Of course it was
untenanted. Upon a small table lay the remains of the
settler's last meal, but neither knife nor fork, both
which articles had been interdicted, were to be found.
At the foot of the chair on which he had evidently been
seated for the purpose of freeing himself, lay the heavy
cords that had bound his ankles. These had been severed
in two places, and, as was discovered on close examination,
by the application of some sharp and delicate cutting
instrument. No where, however, was this visible. It was
evident to Gerald that assistance had been afforded from
some one within the cabin, and who that some one was, he
scarcely doubted. With this impression fully formed, he
re-entered from the prison, and standing near the curtained
berth occupied by the daughters of the Governor, questioned
as to whether they were aware that his prisoner Desborough
had escaped. Both expressed surprise in so natural a
manner, that Gerald knew not what to think; but when they
added that they had not heard the slightest noise--nor
had spoken themselves, nor heard others speak, professing
moreover ignorance that the lamp even had been extinguished,
he felt suspicion converted into certainty.

It was impossible, he conceived, that a door, which stood
only two paces from the bed, could be locked and unlocked
without their hearing it--neither was it probable that
Desborough would have thought of thus needlessly securing
the place of his late detention. Such an idea might occur
to the aider, but not to the fugitive himself, to whom
every moment must be of the highest importance. Who then
could have assisted him? Not Major Montgomerie, for he
slept in the after part of the cabin--not Miss Montgomerie,
for she was upon deck--moreover, had not one of those,
he had so much reason to suspect, interceded for the
fellow only on the preceding day.

Such was the reasoning of Gerald, as he passed rapidly
in review the several probabilities--but, although annoyed
beyond measure at the escape of the villain, and incapable
of believing other than that the daughters of the Governor
had connived at it, his was too gallant a nature to make
such a charge, even by implication, against them. He was
aware of the strong spirit of nationality existing every
where among citizens of the United States, and he had no
doubt, that in liberating their countryman, they had
acted under an erroneous impression of duty. Although
extremely angry, he made no comment whatever on the
subject, but contenting himself with wishing his charge
a less than usually cordial good night, left them to
their repose, and once more quitted the cabin.

During the whole of this examination, Miss Montgomerie
had continued on deck. Gerald found her leaning over the
gangway, at which he had left her, gazing intently on
the water, through which the schooner was now gliding at
an increased rate. From the moment of his being compelled
to quit her side, to inquire into the cause of Sambo's
exclamation and rapidly succeeding fall, he had not had
an opportunity of again approaching her. Feeling that
some apology was due, he hastened to make one; but, vexed
and irritated as he was at the escape of the settler,
his disappointment imparted to his manner a degree of
restraint, and there was less of ardor in his address
than he had latterly been in the habit of exhibiting.
Miss Montgomerie remarked it, and sighed.

"I have been reflecting," she said, "on the little
dependance that is to be placed upon the most flattering
illusions of human existence--and here are you come to
afford me a painful and veritable illustration of my
theory."

"How, dearest Matilda! what mean you?" asked the officer,
again warmed into tenderness by the presence of the
fascinating being.

"Can you ask, Gerald?" and her voice assumed a tone of
melancholy reproach--"recal but your manner--your language
--your devotedness of soul, not an hour since--compare
these with your present coldness, and then wonder that
I should have reason for regret."

"Nay, Matilda, that coldness arose not from any change
in my feelings towards yourself--I was piqued, disappointed,
even angry, at the extraordinary escape of my prisoner,
and could not sufficiently play the hypocrite to disguise
my annoyance."

"Yet, what had I to do with the man's escape, that his
offence should be visited upon me?" she demanded, quickly.

"Can you not find some excuse for my vexation, knowing,
as you do that the wretch was a vile assassin--a man
whose hands have been imbrued in the blood of my own
father?"

"Was he not acquitted of the charge?"

"He was--but only from lack of evidence to convict; yet,
although acquitted by the law, not surer is fate than
that he is an assassin."

"You hold assassins in great horror," remarked the
American, thoughtfully--"you are right--it is but natural."

"In horror, said, you?--aye, in such loathing, that
language can supply no term to express it."

"And yet, you once attempted an assassination yourself.
Nay, do not start, and look the image of astonishment.
Have you not told me that you fired into the hut, on the
night of your mysterious adventure? What right had you,
if we argue the question on its real merit, to attempt
the life of a being who had never injured you?"

"What right, Matilda?--every right, human and divine.
I sought but to save a victim from the hands of a midnight
murderer.

"And, to effect this, scrupled not to become a midnight
murderer yourself!

"And is it thus you interpret my conduct, Matilda?"--
the voice of Gerald spoke bitter reproach--"can you
compare the act of that man with mine, and hold me no
more blameless than him?"

"Nay, I did not say I blamed you," she returned, gaily--
"but the fact is, you had left me so long to ruminate
here alone, that I have fallen into a mood argumentative,
or philosophical--whichsoever you may be pleased to term
it--and I am willing to maintain my position, that you
might, by possibility, have been more guilty than the
culprit at whom you aimed, had your shot destroyed him."

The light tone in which Matilda spoke dispelled the
seriousness which had begun to shadow the brow of the
young Commander--"And pray how do you make this good?"
he asked.

"Suppose for instance, the slumberer you preserved had
been a being of crime, through whom the hopes, the
happiness, the peace of mind, and above all, the fair
fame of the other been cruelly and irrevocably blasted.
Let us imagine that he had destroyed some dear friend or
relative of him with whose vengeance you beheld him
threatened."

"Could that be--."

"Or," interrupted the American, in the same careless tone
"that he had betrayed a wife."

"Such a man--"

"Or, what is worse, infinitely worse, sought to put the
finishing stroke to his villainy, by affixing to the name
and conduct of his victim every ignominy and disgrace
which can attach to insulted humanity."

"Matilda," eagerly exclaimed the youth, advancing close
to her, and gazing into her dark eyes; "you are drawing
a picture."

"No Gerald," she replied calmly, "I am merely supposing
a case. Could you find no excuse for a man acting under
a sense of so much injury?--would you still call him an
assassin, if, with such provocation, he sought to destroy
the hated life of one who had thus injured him?"

Gerald paused, apparently bewildered.

"Tell me, dearest Gerald," and her fair and beautiful
hand caught and pressed his--"would you still bestow upon
one so injured the degrading epithet of assassin?"

"Assassin!--most undoubtedly I would. But why this
question, Matilda?"

The features of the American assumed a changed expression;
she dropped the hand she bad taken the instant before,
and said, disappointedly:

"I find, then, my philosophy is totally at fault."

"Wherein, Matilda?" anxiously asked Gerald.

"In this, that I have not been able to make you a convert
to my opinions."

"And these are--?" again questioned Gerald, his every
pulse throbbing with intense emotion.

"Not to pronounce too harshly on the conduct of others,
seeing that we ourselves may stand in much need of lenity
of judgment. There might have existed motives for the
action of him whom you designate as an assassin, quite
as powerful as those which led to YOUR interference, and
quite as easily justified to himself."

"But, dearest Matilda--"

"Nay, I have done--I close at once my argument and my
philosophy. The humour is past, and I shall no longer
attempt to make the worse appear the better cause. I dare
say you thought me in earnest," she added, with slight
sarcasm, "but a philosophical disquisition between two
lovers on the eve of parting for ever, was too novel and
piquant a seduction to be resisted."

That "parting for ever" was sufficient to drive all
philosophy utterly away from our hero.

"For ever, did you say, Matilda?--no, not for ever; yet,
how coldly do you allude to a separation, which, although
I trust it will be only temporary, is to me a source of
the deepest vexation. You did not manifest this indifference
in the early part of our conversation this evening."

"And if there be a change," emphatically yet tenderly
returned the beautiful American; "am _I_ the only one
changed. Is your manner NOW what it was THEN. Do you
already forget at WHAT a moment that conversation was
interrupted?"

Gerald did not forget; and again, as they leaned over
the vessel's side, his arm was passed around the waist
of his companion.

The hour, the scene, the very rippling of the water--
all contributed to lend a character of excitement to the
feelings of the youth. Filled with tenderness and admiration
for the fascinating being who reposed thus confidingly
on his shoulder, he scarcely dared to move, lest in so
doing he should destroy the fabric of his happiness.

"First watch there, hilloa! rouse up, and be d--d to you,
it's two o'clock."

Both Gerald and Matilda, although long and silently
watching the progress of the vessel, had forgotten there
was any such being as a steersman to direct her.

"Good Heaven, can it be so late?" whispered the American,
gliding from her lover; "if my uncle be awake, he will
certainly chide me for my imprudence. Good night, dear
Gerald," and drawing her cloak more closely around her
shoulders, she quickly crossed the deck, and descended
to the cabin.

"What the devil's this?" said the relieving steersman,
as, rubbing his heavy eyes with one hand, he stooped and
raised with the other something from the deck against
which he had kicked, in his advance to take the helm;
"why, I'm blest if it arn't the apron off old Sally here.
Have you been fingering Sall's apron, Bill?"

"Not I, faith," growled the party addressed, I've enough
to do to steer the craft without thinking o' meddling
with Sall's apron at this time o' night."

"I should like to know who it is that has hexposed the
old gal to the night hair in this here manner," still
muttered the other, holding up the object in question to
his closer scrutiny; "it was only this morning I gave
her a pair of bran new apron strings, and helped to dress
her myself. If she doesn't hang fire after this, I'm a
Dutchman that's all."

"What signifies jawing, Tom Fluke. I suppose she got
unkivered in the scurry after the Yankee; but bear a
hand, and kiver her, unless you wish a fellow to stay
here all night."

Old Sal, our readers must know, was no other than the
long twenty-four pounder, formerly belonging to Gerald's
gun-boat, which, now removed to his new command, lay a
mid ships, and mounted on a pivot, constituted the whole
battery of the schooner. The apron was the leaden covering
protecting the touch-hole, which, having unaccountably
fallen off, had encountered the heavy foot of Tom Fluke,
in his advance along the deck.

The apron was at length replaced. Tom Fluke took the
helm, and his companion departed, as he said, to have a
comfortable snooze.

Gerald, who had been an amused listener of the preceding
dialogue, soon followed, first inquiring into the condition
of his faithful Sambo, who, on examination, was found to
have been stunned by the violence of the blow he had
received. This, Gerald doubted not, had been given with
the view of better facilitating Desborough's escape, by
throwing the schooner out of her course, and occasioning
a consequent confusion among the crew, which might have
the effect of distracting their attention, for a time,
from himself.



CHAPTER II.

The following evening, an armed schooner was lying at
anchor in the roadstead of Buffalo, at the southern
extremity of Lake Erie, and within a mile of the American
shore. It was past midnight--and although the lake was
calm and unbroken as the face of a mirror, a dense fog
had arisen which prevented objects at the head of the
vessel from being seen from the stern. Two men only were
visible upon the after deck; the one lay reclining upon
an arm chest, muffled up in a dread-nought pea jacket,
the other paced up and down hurriedly, and with an air
of deep pre-occupation. At intervals he would stop and
lean over the gang-way, apparently endeavouring to pierce
through the fog and catch a glimpse of the adjacent shore,
and, on these occasions, a profound sigh would burst from
his chest. Then again he would resume his rapid walk,
with the air of one who has resolved to conquer a weakness,
and substitute determination in its stead. Altogether
his manner was that of a man ill at ease from his own
thoughts.

"Sambo," he at length exclaimed, addressing the man in
the pea jacket for the first time, "I shall retire to my
cabin, but fail not to call me an hour before day-break.
Our friends being all landed, there can be nothing further
to detain us here, we will therefore make the best of
our way back to Amherstburg in the morning,"

"Yes, Massa Geral," returned the negro, yawning and half
raising his brawny form from his rude couch with one
hand, while he rubbed his heavy eyes with the knuckles
of the other.

"How is your head tonight?" inquired the officer in a
kind tone.

"Berry well, Massa Geral--but berry sleepy."

"Then sleep, Sambo; but do not fail to awaken me in time:
we shall weigh anchor the very first thing in the morning,
provided the fog does not continue. By the bye, you
superintended the landing of the baggage--was every thing
sent ashore?"

"All, Massa Geral, I see him all pack in e wagon, for e
Bubbalo town--all, except dis here I find in Miss Mungummery
cabin under e pillow."

As he spoke, the negro quitted his half recumbent position,
and drew from his breast a small clasped pocket book, on
a steel entablature adorning the cover of which, were
the initials of the young lady just named.

"How is it Sambo, that you had not sooner spoken of this?
The pocket book contains papers that may be of importance;
and yet there is now no means of forwarding it, unless
I delay the schooner."

"I only find him hab an hour ago, Massa Geral, when I go
to make e beds and put e cabin to rights," said the old
man, in a tone that showed he felt, and was pained by
the reproof of his young master. "Dis here too," producing
a small ivory handled penknife, "I find same time in e
Gubbanor's dater's bed."

Gerald extended his hand to receive it. "A penknife in
the bed of the Governor's daughters!" he repeated with
surprise. Ruminating a moment he added to himself, "By
heaven, it must be so--it is then as I expected. Would
that I had had this proof of their participation before
they quitted the schooner. Very well, Sambo, no blame
can attach to you--go to sleep, my good fellow, but not
beyond the time I have given you."

"Tankee, Massa Geral, "and drawing the collar of his pea
jacket close under his ears, the negro again extended
himself at his length upon the arm chest.

The first idea of the young Commander on descending to
the cabin, was to examine the blade of the penknife.
Passing it over his finger, he perceived that the edge
had that particular bluntness which would have been
produced by cutting through a rope, and on closer
examination he found it full of numerous fine notches,
apparently the result of the resistance it had met with.
His next care was to examine the severed portions of the
rope itself, and in these he could observe, by the
reflection of the lamp, near which he held them minute
particles of steel, which left no doubt in his mind that
this had been the instrument by which the separation of
Desborough's bonds had been effected. We will not venture
to assert what were the actual feelings of the officer,
on making this discovery; but it may be supposed, that,
added to the great annoyance he felt at the escape of
the settler, his esteem for those who had so positively
denied all knowledge of, or participation in, the evasion
was sensibly diminished; and yet it was not without pain
that he came to a conclusion of the unworthiness of those
whom he had known from boyhood, and loved no less than
he had known.

In the fulness of his indignation at their duplicity, he
now came to the resolution of staying the departure the
schooner, yet a few hours, that he might have an opportunity
of going ashore himself, presenting this undoubted evidence
of their guilt, and taxing them boldly with the purpose
to which it had been appropriated. Perhaps there was
another secret motive which induced this determination,
and that was, the opportunity it would afford him of
again seeing his beloved Matilda, and delivering her
pocket book with his own hand.

This resolution taken, without deeming it necessary to
countermand his order to Sambo, he placed the knife in
a pocket in the breast of his uniform, where he had
already deposited the souvenir; and having retired to
his own cabin, was about to undress himself, when he
fancied he could distinguish, through one of the stern
windows of the schooner, sounds similar to those of
muffled oars. While he yet listened breathlessly to
satisfy himself whether he had not been deceived, a dark
form came hurriedly, yet noiselessly, down the steps of
the cabin. Gerald turned, and discovered Sambo, who now
perfectly awake, indicated by his manner, he was the
bearer of some alarming intelligence. His report confirmed
the suspicion already entertained by himself, and at that
moment he fancied he heard the same subdued sounds but
multiplied in several distinct points. A vague sense of
danger came over the mind of the officer, and although
his crew consisted of a mere handful of men, he at once
resolved to defend himself to the last, against whatever
force might be led to the attack. While Sambo hastened
to arouse the men, he girded his cutlass and pistols
around his loins, and taking down two huge blunderbusses
from a beam in the ceiling of the cabin, loaded them
heavily with musket balls. Thus armed he sprang once more
upon deck.

The alarm was soon given, and the preparation became
general, but neither among the watch, who slumbered in
the forecastle, nor those who had turned into their
hammocks, was there the slightest indication of confusion.
These latter "tumbled up," with no other addition to the
shirts in which they had left their cots, then their
trousers, a light state of costume to which those who
were "boxed up" in their pea jackets and great coats on
the forecastle, soon reduced themselves also--not but
that the fog admitted of much warmer raiment, but that
their activity might be unimpeded--handkerchiefed heads
and tucked up sleeves, with the habiliments which we have
named, being the most approved fighting dress in the
navy.

Meanwhile, although nothing could be distinguished through
the fog, the sounds which had originally attracted the
notice of the officer and his trusty servant, increased,
despite of the caution evidently used, to such a degree
as to be now audible to all on board. What most excited
the astonishment of the crew, and the suspicion of Gerald,
was the exactness of the course taken by the advancing
boats, in which not the slightest deviation was perceptible.
It was evident that they were guided by some one who had
well studied the distance and bearing of the schooner
from the shore, and as it was impossible to hope that
even the fog would afford them concealment from the
approaching enemy, all that was left them, was to make
the best defence they could. One other alternative
remained, it is true, and this was to cut their cable
and allow themselves to drop down silently out of the
course by which the boats were advancing, but as this
step involved the possibility of running ashore on the
American coast, when the same danger of captivity would
await them, Gerald, after an instant's consideration,
rejected the idea, prefering the worthier and more
chivalrous dependence on his own and crew's exertions.

From the moment of the general arming, the long gun,
which we have already shown to constitute the sole defence
of the schooner, was brought nearer to the inshore
gang-way, and mounted on its elevated pivot, with its
formidable muzzle overtopping and projecting above the
low bulwarks, could in an instant be brought to bear on
whatever point it might be found advisable to vomit forth
its mass of wrath, consisting of grape, cannister, and
chain shot. On this gun indeed, the general expectation
much depended, for the crew, composed of sixteen men
only, exclusive of petty officers, could hope to make
hut a poor resistance, despite of all the resolution they
might bring into the contest, against a squadron of well
armed boats, unless some very considerable diminution in
the numbers and efforts of these latter should be made
by "old Sally," before they actually came to close
quarters. The weakness of the crew was in a great degree
attributable to the schooner having been employed as a
cartel; a fact which must moreover explain the want of
caution, on this occasion, on the part of Gerald, whose
reputation for vigilance, in all matters of duty, was
universally acknowledged. It had not occurred to him
that the instant he landed his prisoners his vessel ceased
to be a cartel, and therefore a fit subject for the
enterprize of his enemies, or the probability is, that
in the hour in which he had landed them he would again
have weighed anchor, and made the best of his way back
to Amherstburg.

"Stand by your gun, men--steady," whispered the officer,
as the noise of many oars immediately abreast, and at a
distance of not more than twenty yards, announced that
the main effort of their enemies was about to be made in
that quarter. "Depress a little--there you have her--now
into them--fire."

Fiz-z-z-z, and a small pyramid of light rose from the
breech of the gun, which sufficed, during the moment it
lasted, to discover three boats filled with armed men,
advancing immediately opposite, while two others could
be seen diverging, apparently one towards the quarter,
the other towards the bows of the devoted little vessel.
The crew bent their gaze eagerly over her side, to witness
the havoc they expected to ensue among their enemies. To
their surprise and mortification there was no report.
The advancing boats gave three deriding cheers.

"D--n my eyes, if I didn't say she would miss fire, from
having her breech unkivered last night," shouted the man
who held the match, and who was no other than Tom Fluke.
"Quick, here, give us a picker."

A picker was handed to him by one, who also held the
powder horn for priming.

"Its no use," he pursued, throwing away the wire, and
springing to the deck. "She's a spike in the touch-hole,
and the devil himself wouldn't get it out now."

"A spike!--what mean you?" eagerly demanded Gerald.

"It's too true, Mr. Grantham," said the boatswain, who
had flown to examine the touch-hole, "there is a great
piece of steel in it, and for all the world like a woman's
bodkin, or some such sort of thing."

"Ah! it all comes o' that wench that was here on deck
last night," muttered the helmsman, who had succeeded
Sambo on duty the preceding night. "I thought I see her
fiddlin' about the gun, when the chase was made after
the Yankee, although I didn't think to say nothing about
it, when you axed Tom Fluke about Sal's apron."

Whatever conjecture might have arisen with others, there
was no time to think of, much less to discuss it--the
boats were already within a few yards of the vessel.

"Steady, men--silence," commanded Gerald in a low tone:
"Since Sal has failed us, we must depend upon ourselves.
Down beneath the bulwarks, and move not one of you until
they begin to board--then let each man single his enemy
and fire; the cutlass must do the rest."

The order was obeyed. Each moment brought the crisis of
action nearer: the rowers had discontinued their oars,
but the bows of the several boats could be heard obeying
the impetus already given them, and dividing the water
close to the vessel.

"Now then, Sambo," whispered the officer. At that moment
a torch was raised high over the head of the negro and
his master. Its rays fell upon the first of the three
boats, the crews of which were seen standing up with arms
outstretched to grapple with the schooner. Another instant
and they would have touched. The negro dropped his light.

Gerald pulled the trigger of his blunderbuss, aimed into
the very centre of the boat. Shrieks, curses and plashings,
as of bodies falling in the water succeeded; and in the
confusion occasioned by the murderous fire, the first
boat evidently fell off.

"Again, Sambo," whispered the officer. A second time the
torch streamed suddenly in air, and the contents of the
yet undischarged blunderbuss spread confusion, dismay
and death, into the second boat.

"Old Sal herself couldn't have done better: pity he hadn't
a hundred of them," growled Tom Fluke, who although
concealed behind the bulwarks, had availed himself of a
crevice near him, to watch the effect produced by the
formidable weapons.

There was a momentary indecision among the enemy, after
the second destructive fire; it was but momentary. Again
they advanced, and closing with the vessel, evinced a
determination of purpose, that left little doubt as to
the result. A few sprang into the chains and rigging,
while others sought to enter by her bows, but the main
effort seemed to be made at her gangway, at which Gerald
had stationed himself with ten of his best men, the rest
being detached to make the best defence they could,
against those who sought to enter in the manner above
described.

Notwithstanding the great disparity of numbers, the little
crew of the schooner had for some time a considerable
advantage over their enemies. At the first onset of these
latter, their pistols had been discharged, but in so
random a manner as to have done no injury--whereas the
assailed, scrupulously obeying the order of their Commander,
fired not a shot until they found themselves face to face
with an enemy; the consequence of which was, that every
pistol ball killed an American, or otherwise placed him
HORS DE COMBAT. Still, in despite of their loss, the
latter were more than adequate to the capture, unless a
miracle should interpose to prevent it, and exasperated
as they were by the fall of their comrades, their efforts
became at each moment more resolute and successful. A
deadly contest had been maintained in the gangway, from
which, however, Gerald was compelled to retire, although
bravely supported by his handful of followers. Step by
step he had retreated, until at length he found his back
against the main-mast, and his enemies pressing him on
every side. Five of his men lay dead in the space between
the gangway and the position he now occupied, and Sambo,
who had not quitted his side for an instant, was also
senseless at his feet, felled by a tremendous blow from
a cutlass upon the head. Hit force now consisted merely
of the five men remaining of his own party, and three of
those who had been detached, who, all that were left
alive, had been compelled to fall back upon their commander.
How long he would have continued the hopeless and desperate
struggle, in this manner is doubtful, had not a fresh
enemy appeared in his rear. These were the crews of two
other boats, who, having boarded without difficulty, now
came up to the assistance of their comrades. So completely
taken by surprise was Gerald in this quarter, that the
first intimation he had of his danger was, in the violent
seizure of his sword arm from behind, and a general rush
upon, and disarming of the remainder of his followers.
On turning to behold his enemy, he saw with concern the
triumphant face of Desborough.

"Every dog has his day, I guess," huskily chuckled the
settler, as by the glare of several torches which had
been suddenly lighted, he was now seen casting looks of
savage vengeance, and holding his formidable knife
threateningly over the head of the officer whom he had
grappled. "I reckon as how I told you it would be Jeremiah
Desborough's turn next."

"Silence fellow, loose your hold," shouted one whose
authoritative voice and manner, announced him for an
officer, apparently the leader of the boarding party.

Awed by the tone in which he was addressed, the settler
quitted his grasp, and retired muttering into the crowd
behind him.

"I regret much, sir," pursued the American Commander
seriously, and turning to Gerald, "that your obstinate
defence--should have been carried to the length it has.
We were given to understand, that ours would not be an
easy conquest--yet, little deemed it would have been
purchased with the lives of nearly half our force. Still,
even while we deplore our loss, have we hearts to estimate
the valour of our foe. I cannot give you freedom, since
the gift is not at my disposal; but at least I may spare
you the pain of surrendering a blade you have so nobly
wielded. Retain your sword, sir."

Gerald's was not a nature to remain untouched by such an
act of chivalrous courtesy, and he expressed in brief,
but pointed terms, his sense of the compliment.

A dozen of the boarders, under the command of a midshipman,
now received orders to remain, and bring the prize into
Buffalo as soon as day light would permit, and with these
were left the killed and wounded of both parties, the
latter receiving such attention as the rude experience
of their comrades enabled them to afford. Five minutes
afterwards Gerald, who had exchanged his trusty cutlass,
for the sword he had been so flatteringly permitted to
retain, found himself in the leading boat of the little
return squadron, and seated at the side of his generous
captor. It may be easily imagined what his mortification
was at this unexpected reverse, and how bitterly he
regretted not having weighed anchor the moment his
prisoners had been landed. Regret however, was now
unavailing, and dismissing this consideration for a while,
he reverted to the strange circumstance of the spiking
of his gun, and the mocking cheers, which had burst from
the lips of his enemies, on the attempt to discharge it.
This reflection drew from him a remark to his companion.

"I think you said," he observed, "that you had been
informed, the conquest of the schooner would not be an
easy one. Would it be seeking too much to know who was
your informant?"

The American officer shook his head. I fear I am not at
liberty exactly to name--but thus much I may venture to
state, that the person who has so rightly estimated your
gallantry, is one not wholly unknown to you.

"This is ambiguous. One question more, were you prepared
to expect the failure of the schooner's principal means
of defence--her long gun?"

"If you recollect the cheer that burst from my fellows,
at the moment when the harmless flash was seen ascending,
you will require no further elucidation on that head,"
replied the American evasively.

This was sufficient for Gerald. He folded his arms, sank
his head upon his chest, and continued to muse deeply.
Soon afterwards the boat touched the beach, where many
of the citizens were assembled to hear tidings of the
enterprize, and congratulate the captors. Thence he was
conducted to the neat little inn, which was the only
place of public accommodation the small town, or rather
village of Buffalo, at that period afforded.



CHAPTER III.

At the termination of the memorable war of the revolution
--that war which, on the one hand, severed, and for
ever, the ties that bound the Colonies in interest and
affection with the parent land, and, on the other, seemed
as by way of indemnification, to have rivetted the Canadas
in closer love to their adopted Mother--hundreds of
families who had remained staunch in their allegiance,
quitted the republican soil, to which they had been
unwillingly transferred, and hastened to close on one
side of the vast chain of waters, that separated the
descendants of France from the descendants of England,
the evening of an existence, whose morning and noon had
been passed on the other. Among the number of these was
Major Grantham, who, at the close of the revolution, had
espoused a daughter, (the only remaining child,) of
Frederick and Madeline De Haldimar, whose many vicissitudes
of suffering, prior to their marriage, have been fully
detailed in Wacousta. When, at that period, the different
garrisons on the frontier were given up to the American
troops, the several British regiments crossed over into
Canada, and, after a short term of service in that country,
were successively relieved by fresh corps from England.
One of the earliest recalled of these, was the regiment
of Colonel Frederick De Haldimar. Local interests, however,
attaching his son-in-law to Upper Canada, the latter had,
on the reduction of his corps, (a provincial regiment,
well known throughout the war of the revolution, for its
strength, activity, and good service,) finally fixed
himself at Amherstburgh. In the neighbourhood of this
post he had acquired extensive possessions, and, almost
from the first formation of the settlement, exchanged
the duties of a military, for those of a scarcely less
active magisterial, life. Austere in manner, severe in
his administration of justice, Major Grantham might have
been considered a harsh man, had not these qualities been
tempered by his well known benevolence to the poor, and
his staunch, yet, unostentatious, support of the deserving
and the well intentioned. And, as his life was a continuous
illustration of the principles he inculcated, no one
could be unjust enough to ascribe to intolerance or
oppression, the rigour with which he exacted obedience,
to those laws which he so well obeyed himself. It was
remarked, moreover, that, while his general bearing to
those who sought to place themselves in the scale of
arrogant superiority, was proud and unconciliating, his
demeanour to his inferiors, was ever that of one sensible
that condescension may soothe and gratify the humble
spirit, without its exercise at all detracting from the
independence of him who offers it. But we cannot better
sum up his general excellence, and the high estimation
in which he was held in the town of his adoption, than
by stating that, at the period of his demise, there was
not to be seen one tearless eye among the congregated
poor, who with religious respect, flocked to tender the
last duties of humanity to the remains of their benefactor
and friend.

In the domestic relations of life, Major Grantham was no
less exemplary, although perhaps his rigid notions of
right, had obtained for him more of the respect than of
the love of those who came within their influence, and
yet no mean portion of both. Tenderly attached to his
wife, whom he had lost when Gerald was yet in his twelfth
year, he had not ceased to deplore her loss; and this
perhaps had contributed to nourish a reservedness of
disposition, which, without at all aiming at, or purposing,
such effect, insensibly tended to the production of a
corresponding reserve on the part of his children, that
increased with their years. Indeed, on their mother, all
the tenderness of their young hearts had been, lavished,
and, when they suddenly saw themselves deprived of her
who loved, and had been loved by them, with doting
fondness, they felt as if a void had been left in their
affections, which, the less tender evidences of paternal
love, were but insufficient wholly to supply. Still,
(although not to the same extent,) did they love their
father also; and what was wanted in intensity of feeling,
was more than made up by the deep, the exalted respect,
they entertained for his principles and conduct. It was
with pride they beheld him, not merely the deservedly
idolized of the low, but the respected of the high--the
example of one class, and the revered of another; one
whose high position in the social scale, had been attained,
less by his striking exterior advantages, than the inward
worth that governed every action of his life, and whose
moral character, as completely sans tache as his fulfilment
of the social duties was proverbially sans reproche,
could not fail, in a certain degree, to reflect the
respect it commanded upon themselves.

As we have before observed, however, all the fervor of
their affection had been centered in their mother, and
that was indeed a melancholy night in which the youths
had been summoned to watch the passing away of her gentle
spirit for ever from their love. Isabella De Haldimar
had, from her earliest infancy, been remarkable for her
quiet and contemplative character; and, bred amid scenes
that brought at every retrospect, recollections of some
acted horror, it is not surprising that the bias given
by nature, should have been developed and strengthened
by the events that had surrounded her. Not dissimilar in
disposition, as she was not unlike in form, to her mother,
she was by that mother carefully endowed with those
gentler attributes of goodness, which, taking root within
a soil so eminently disposed to their reception, could
not fail to render her in after life a model of excellence,
both as a mother and a wife. Notwithstanding, however,
this moulding of her pliant, and well directed mind,
there was about her a melancholy, which while it gave
promise of the devoted affection of the mother, offered
but little prospect of cheerfulness, in an union with
one, who, reserved himself, could not be expected to
temper that melancholy, by the introduction of a gaiety
that was not natural to him. And yet it was for this very
melancholy, tender and fascinating in her, that Major
Grantham had sought the hand of Isabella De Haldimar;
and it was for the very austerity and reserve of his
general manner, more than from the manly beauty of his
tall dark person, that he too, had become the object of
her secret choice, long before he had proposed for her.
Keenly alive to the happiness of her daughter, Mrs. De
Haldimar had feared that such union was ill assorted,
for, as she called to mind the manner and character of
her unfortunate uncle, it seemed to her there were points
of resemblance between him and the proposed husband of
her child, which augured ill for the future quiet of
Isabella; but, when she consulted her on the subject,
and found that every feeling of her heart, that was not
claimed by her fond and indulgent parents, was given to
Major Grantham, she no longer hesitated, and the marriage
took place. Contrary to the expectation, and much to
the delight of Mrs. De Haldimar, the first year of the
union proved one of complete and unalloyed happiness,
and she saw with pleasure, that if Major Grantham did
not descend to those little empressemens which mark the
doting lover, he was never deficient in those manlier,
and more respectful attentions, that by a woman of the
mild and reflecting disposition of Isabella, were so
likely to be appreciated. More than the first year,
however, it was not permitted Mrs. De Haldimar to witness
her daughter's happiness. Her husband's regiment having
been ordered home; but, in the past, she had a sufficient
guarantee for the future, and, when she parted from
Isabella, it was under the full conviction, that she had
confided her to a man in every way sensible of her worth,
and desirous of making her happy.

So far the event justified her expectation. The austerity
which Major Grantham carried with him into public life,
was, if not wholly laid aside, at least considerably
softened, in the presence of his wife, and when, later,
the births of two sons crowned their union, there was
nothing left her to desire, which it was in the power of
circumstances to bestow. But Mrs. De Haldimar had not
taken into account the effect likely to be produced by
a separation from herself--the final severing, as it
were, of every tie of blood. Of the four children who
had composed the family of Colonel Frederick De Haldimar,
the two oldest, (officers in his own corps,) had perished
in the war; the fourth, a daughter, had died young, of
a decline; and the loss of the former especially, who
had grown up with her from childhood to youth, was deeply
felt by the sensitive Isabella. With the dreadful scenes
perpetrated at Detroit--scenes in which their family
had been the principal sufferers--the boys had been
familiarized by the old soldiers of their father's
regiment, who often took them to the several points most
worthy of remark, from the incidents connected with them;
and, pointing out the spots on which their uncle Charles
and their aunt Clara had fallen victims to the terrible
hatred of Wacousta, for their grandfather, detailed the
horrors of those days with a rude fidelity of coloring,
that brought dismay and indignation to the hearts of
their wondering and youthful auditors. On these occasions,
Isabella became the depository of all that they had
gleaned. To her they confided, under the same pledge of
secrecy which had been exacted from themselves, every
circumstance of horror connected with those days; nor
were they satisfied until they had shewn her those scenes
with which so many dreadful recollections were associated.
On one naturally of a melancholy temperament, these oft
recurring visits could not fail to produce a deep effect;
and insensibly that gloom of disposition, which might
have yielded to the influence of years and circumstances,
was more and more confirmed by the darkness of the imagery
on which it reposed. Had she been permitted to disclose
to her kind mother all that she had heard and known on
the subject, the reciprocation of their sympathies might
have relieved her heart, and partially dissipated the
phantasms that her knowledge of those events had conjured
up; but this her brothers had positively prohibited,
alleging, as powerful reasons, not merely that the men
who had confided in their promise, would be severely
taken to task by their father, but also that it could
only tend to grieve their mother unnecessarily, and to
re-open wounds that were nearly closed.

Thus was the melancholy of Isabella fed by the very
silence in which she was compelled to indulge. Often was
her pillow wetted with tears, as she passed in review
the several fearful incidents connected with the tale in
which her brothers had so deeply interested her, and she
would have given worlds at those moments, had they been
hers to bestow, to recal to life and animation, the
beloved but unfortunate uncle and aunt, to whose fate,
her brothers assured her, even their veteran friends
never alluded without sorrow. Often, too, did she dwell
on the share her own fond mother had borne in those
transactions, and the anguish which must have pierced
her heart, when first apprized of the loss of her, whom,
she had even THEN loved with all a mother's love. Nay,
more than once, while gazing on the face of the former,
her inmost soul given up to the recollection of all she
had endured, first at Michilimackinac, and afterwards
at Detroit, had she unconsciously suffered the tears to
course down her cheeks without an effort to restrain
them. Ignorant of the cause, Mrs. De Haldimar only ascribed
this emotion to the natural melancholy of her daughter's
character, and then she would gently chide her, and seek,
by a variety of means, to divert her thoughts into some
lively channel; but she had little success in the attempt
to eradicate reflections already rooted in so congenial
a soil.

Her sister died very young, and she scarcely felt her
loss; but, when, subsequently, the vicissitudes of a
military life had deprived her for ever of her beloved
brothers, her melancholy increased. It was, however, the
silent, tearless melancholy, that knows not the paroxysm
of outrageous grief. The quiet resignation of her character
formed an obstacle to the inroads of all vivacious sorrow;
yet was her health not the less effectually undermined
by the slow action of her innate feeling, unfortunately
too much fostered by outward influences. By her marriage
and the birth of her sons, whom she loved with all a
mother's fondness, her mental malady had been materially
diminished, and indeed, in a great degree superseded,
but, unhappily previous to these events, it had seriously
affected her constitution, and produced a morbid
susceptibility of mind and person, that exposed her to
be overwhelmed by the occurrence of any of those afflictions
which, otherwise, she might, with ordinary fortitude,
have endured. When, therefore, intelligence from England
announced that her parents had both perished in a hurricane
on their route to the West Indies, whither the regiment
of Colonel De Haldimar had been ordered, the shock was
too great for her, mentally and personally enfeebled as
she had been, to sustain, and she sank gradually under
this final infliction of Providence.

Major Grantham beheld with dismay the effect of this blow
upon his beloved wife. Fell consumption had now marked
her for his own, and so rapid was the progress of the
disease acting on a temperament already too much
pre-disposed to its influence, that, in despite of all
human preventives, the sensitive Isabella, before six
months had elapsed, was summoned to a better world.

And never did human being meet the summons with more
perfect resignation to the Divine will. The death-bed
scene between that tender mother and her sorrowing family,
was one which might have edified even the most pious.
Gerald, as we have already said, was in his twelfth year
at the period of this afflicting event--his brother Henry,
one year younger; both were summoned from school on the
morning of her death--both knew that their fond mother
was ill--but so far were they from imagining the scene
about to be offered to their young observation, that when
they reached home it was with the joyous feeling of boys,
exulting in a momentary liberation from scholastic
restraint, and eagerly turning into holiday, that which
they little deemed would so soon become a day of mourning.
How rapidly was the deceitful illusion dispelled, when,
on entering the sick chamber of their adored parent, they
beheld what every surrounding circumstance told them was
not the mere bed of sickness, but the bed of death.
Propped on pillows that supported her feeble head--her
beautiful black hair streaming across her pallid, placid
brow, and her countenance wearing a holy and religious
calm, Mrs. Grantham presented an image of resignation,
so perfect, so superhuman, that the disposition to a
violent ebullition of grief, which at first manifested
itself in the youths, gave place to a certain mysterious
awe, that chained them almost spell-bound at the foot of
her bed. A strict observer of the ordinances of her
religion, she had had every preparation made for her
reception of the sacrament, the administering of which
was only deferred until the arrival of her children.
This duty being now performed, with the imposing solemnity
befitting the occasion, the venerable clergyman, who had
known and loved her from her infancy, imprinted a last
kiss upon her brow, and left the apartment deeply affected.
Then, indeed, for the first time, was a loose given to
the grief that pervaded every bosom, even to the lowest
of the domestics, who had been summoned to receive her
parting blessing. Close to the bed-side, each pressing
one of her emaciated hands to his lips, knelt her
heart-broken sons, weeping bitterly, while, from the
chest of a tall negro, apparently an old and attached
servant, burst forth at intervals convulsive sobs. Even
the austere Major Grantham, seated at some little distance
from the bed, contemplating the serene features of his
dying wife, could not restrain the tears that forced
themselves forth, and trickled through his fingers, as
he half sought to conceal his emotion from his servants.
In the midst of the profound sorrow which environed her,
Mrs. Grantham alone was unappalled by her approaching
end: she spoke calmly and collectedly, gently chiding
some and encouraging others; giving advice, and conveying
orders, as if she was merely about to undertake a short
customary journey instead of that long, and untravelled
one, whence there is neither communication nor return.
To her unhappy sons she gave it in tender injunction to
recompense their father by their love for the loss he
was about to sustain in herself; and to her servants she
enjoined to be at once dutiful to their master and
affectionate to her children. Having made her peace with
God, and disposed, of herself, her consideration, was
now exclusively for others--and, during the hour which
intervened between the departure of the clergyman and
her death, the whole tenor of her thoughts was directed
to the alleviation of the sorrow which she felt would
succeed the flight of her spirit from earth. As she grew
fainter, she motioned to her husband to come near her--He
did so, and, with a smile of rapt serenity that bespoke
the conviction strong at her heart, she said in a low
tone, as she clasped his warm hand within her own, already
stiffening with the chill of death: "Grieve not, I entreat
you, for recollect that, although we part, it is not for
ever. Oh, no! my father, my mother, my brothers, and you
my husband, and beloved children, we shall all meet
again." Exhausted with the energy she had thrown into
these last words, she sank back upon the pillow, from
which she had partially raised her head. After a short
pause, she glanced her eye on a portrait that hung on
the opposite wall. It represented an officer habited in
the full uniform of her father's regiment. She next
looked at the negro, who, amid his unchecked sorrow, had
been an attentive observer of her every action, and
pointed expressively first to her kneeling children, and
then to the portrait. The black seemed to understand her
meaning; for he made a sign of acquiescence. She then
extended her hand to him, which he kissed, and bedewed
with his tears, and retreated sobbing to his position
near the foot of the bed. Two minutes afterwards, Mrs.
Grantham had breathed her last, but so insensibly that,
although every eye was fixed upon her, no one could tell
the precise moment at which she had ceased to exist.

We will pass over the deep grief which preyed upon the
hearts of the unfortunate brothers, for weeks after they
had been compelled to acknowledge the stern truth that
they were indeed motherless. Those who have, at that
tender age, known what it is to lose an affectionate
mother, and under circumstances at all similar to those
just described, will be at no loss to comprehend the
utter desolation of their bruised spirits: to those who
have not sustained this most grievous of human afflictions,
it would be a waste of time to detail what cannot possibly
be understood, save through the soul-withering ordeal of
alike experience.

If, in early youth, however, the impressions of sorrow
are more lively, so is the return to hope more rapid.
Time, and the elasticity of spirit common to their years,
gradually dissipated the cloud of melancholy that had
rested on the hearts of the Canadian Brothers; and,
although they never ceased to lament their mother with
that tenderness and respect which her many virtues, and
love for them especially, demanded, still did their
thoughts gradually take the bias to which a variety of
outward and important circumstances afterwards directed
them. It was soon after this event, that the first seeds
of disunion began to spring up between England and the
United States, the inevitable results of which, it was
anticipated, would be the involving of Canada in the
struggle; and, notwithstanding the explosion did not take
place for several years afterwards, preparations were
made on either shore, to an extent that kept the spirit
of enterprise constantly on the alert.

Inheriting the martial spirit of their family, the
inclinations of the young Granthams led them to the
service; and, as their father could have no reasonable
objection to oppose to a choice which promised hot merely
to secure his sons in an eligible profession, but to
render them in some degree of benefit to their country,
he consented to their views. Gerald's preference leading
him to the navy, he was placed on that establishment as
a midshipman; while Henry, several years later, obtained,
through the influence of their father's old friend General
Brock, an Ensigncy in the ---- Regiment then quartered
at Amherstburg.

Meanwhile, Major Grantham, whose reserve appeared to have
increased since the death of his wife, seemed to seek,
in the active discharge of his magisterial duties, a
relief from the recollection of the loss he had sustained;
and it was about this period that, in consequence of many
of the American settlers in Canada, having, in anticipation
of a rupture between the two countries, secretly withdrawn
themselves to the opposite shore, his exaction of the
duties of British subjects from those who remained, became
more vigorous than ever.

We have already shewn Desborough to have been the most
unruly and disorderly of the worthless set; and as no
opportunity was omitted of compelling him to renew his
oath of allegiance, (while his general conduct was strictly
watched,) the hatred of the man for the stern magistrate
was daily matured, until at length it grew into an
inextinguishable desire for revenge.

The chief, and almost only recreation, in which Major
Grantham indulged, was that of fowling. An excellent shot
himself, he had been in some degree the instructor of
his sons; and, although, owing to the wooded nature of
the country, the facilities afforded to the enjoyment of
his favorite pursuit in the orthodox manner of a true
English sportsman, were few, still, as game was every
where abundant, he had continued to turn to account the
advantages that were actually offered. Both Gerald and
Henry had been his earlier companions in the sport, but,
of late years and especially since the death of their
mother, he had been in the habit of going out alone.

It was one morning in that season of the year when the
migratory pigeons pursue their course towards what are
termed the "burnt woods," on which they feed, and in such
numbers as to cover the surface of the heavens, as with
a dense and darkening cloud, that Major Grantham sallied
forth at early dawn, with his favorite dog and gun, and,
as was his custom, towards Hartley's point. Disdaining,
as unworthy of his skill, the myriads of pigeons that
every where presented themselves, he passed from the
skirt of the forest towards an extensive swamp, in the
rear of Hartley's, which, abounding in golden plover and
snipe, usually afforded him a plentiful supply. On this
occasion he was singularly successful, and, having bagged
as many birds as he could conveniently carry, was in the
act of ramming down his last charge, when the report of
a shot came unexpectedly from the forest. In the next
instant he was sensible he was wounded, and, placing his
hand to his back, felt it wet with blood. As there was
at the moment several large wild ducks within a few yards
of the spot where he stood, and between himself and the
person who had fired, he at once concluded that he had
been the victim of an accident, and, feeling the necessity
of assistance, he called loudly on the unseen sportsman,
to come forward to his aid; but, although his demand was
several times repeated, no answer was returned, and no
one appeared. With some difficulty he contrived, after
disembarrassing himself of his game-bag, to reach the
farm at Hartley's, where every assistance was afforded
him, and, a waggon having been procured, he was conducted
to his home, when, on examination, the wound was pronounced
to be mortal.

On the third day from this event, Major Grantham breathed
his last, bequeathing the guardianship of his sons to
Colonel D'Egville, who had married his sister. At this
epoch, Gerald was absent with his vessel on a cruise,
but Henry received his parting blessing upon both,
accompanied by a solemn injunction, that they should
never be guilty of any act which could sully the memory,
either of their mother or himself. This Henry promised,
in the same of both, most religiously to observe; and,
when Gerald returned, and to his utter dismay beheld the
lifeless form of the parent, whom he had quitted only a
few days before in all the vigour of health, he not only
renewed the pledge given by his brother, but with the
vivacity of character habitual to him, called down the
vengeance of Heaven upon his head, should he ever be
found to swerve from those principles of virtue and honor,
which had been so sedulously inculcated on him.

Meanwhile, there was nothing to throw even the faintest
light on the actual cause of Major Grantham's death. On
the first probing and dressing of the wound, the murderous
lead had been extracted, and, as it was discovered to be
a rifle ball it was taken for granted that some Indian,
engaged in the chase, had, in the eagerness of pursuit,
missed an intermediate object at which he had taken aim,
and lodged the ball accidentally in the body of the
unfortunate gentleman; and that, terrified at the discovery
of the mischief he had done, and perhaps apprehending
punishment, he had hastily fled from the spot, to avoid
detection. This opinion, unanimously entertained by the
townspeople, was shared by the brothers, who knowing the
unbounded love and respect of all for their parent, dreamt
not for one moment that his death could have been the
result of premeditation. It was left for Desborough to
avow, at a later period, that he had been the murderer;
and with what startling effect on him, to whom the
admission was exultingly made, we have already seen.

When Desborough was subsequently tried, there was no
other evidence by which to establish his guilt, than the
admission alluded to, and this he declared, in his defence,
he had only made with a view to annoy Mr. Grantham, to
whom he owed a grudge for persecuting him so closely on
the occasion of his flight with his son; and, although,
on reference to the period, it was found that Major
Grantham had received the wound which occasioned his
death two days after Desborough had been ordered, on pain
of instant expulsion from the country, to renew his oaths,
and perform service with the militia of the district,
still, as this fact admitted only of a presumptive
interpretation the charge could not be sufficiently
brought home to him, and he was, however reluctantly,
acquitted. The rifles which, it will be remembered, were
seized by Henry Grantham on the occasion of his detection
of the settler in an act of treason, were still in his
possession, and, as they were of a remarkably small
calibre, the conviction would have taken place, had the
ball which killed Major Grantham been forthcoming, and
found to fit either of the bores. Unfortunately, however,
it so happened that it had not been preserved, so that
an essential link in the chain of circumstances had been
irrecoverably lost. When the question was mooted by the
court, before whom he was tried, the countenance of the
settler was discovered to fall, and there was a restlessness
about him, totally at variance with the almost insolent
calm he had preserved throughout; but when it appeared
that, from the impression previously entertained of the
manner of the death, it had not been thought necessary
to preserve the ball, he again resumed his confidence,
and listened to the remainder of the proceedings unmoved.

We have seen him subsequently escaping from the confinement
to which he had been subjected, with a view to trial for
another offence, and, later still, unshackled and exultingly
brandishing his knife over the head of one of the objects
of his bitterest hatred, on the deck of the very vessel
in which he had so recently been a prisoner.



CHAPTER IV.

Autumn had passed away, and winter, the stern invigorating
winter of Canada, had already covered the earth with
enduring snows, and the waters with bridges of seemingly
eternal ice, and yet no effort had been made by the
Americans to repossess themselves of the country they
had so recently lost. The several garrisons of Detroit
and Amherstburgh, reposing under the laurels they had so
easily won, made holiday of their conquest; and, secure
in the distance that separated them from the more populous
districts of the Union, seemed to have taken it for
granted that they had played their final part in the
active operations of the war, and would be suffered to
remain in undisturbed possession. But the storm was
already brewing in the far distance which, advancing
progressively like the waves of the coming tempest, was
destined first to shake them in their security, and
finally to overwhelm them in its vortex. With the natural
enterprize of their character, the Americans had no sooner
ascertained the fall of Detroit, than means, slow but
certain, were taken for the recovery of a post, with
which, their national glory was in no slight degree
identified. The country whence they drew their resources
for the occasion, were the new states of Ohio and Kentucky,
and one who had previously travelled through those immense
tracts of forests, where the dwelling of the backwoodsman
is met with at long intervals, would have marvelled at
the zeal and promptitude with which these adventurous
people, abandoning their homes, and disregarding their
personal interests, flocked to the several rallying
points. Armed and accoutred at their own expence, with
the unerring rifle that provided them with game, and the
faithful hatchet that had brought down the dark forest
into ready subjection, their claim upon the public was
for the mere sustenance they required on service. It is
true that this partial independence of the Government
whom they served rather in the character of volunteers,
than of conscripts, was in a great measure fatal to their
discipline; but in the peculiar warfare of the country,
absence of discipline was rather an advantage than a
demerit, since when checked, or thrown into confusion,
they looked not for a remedy in the resumption of order,
but in the exercise each of his own individual exertions,
facilitated as he was by his general knowledge of
localities, and his confidence in his own personal
resources.

But, although new armies were speedily organized--if
organized, may be termed those who brought with them into
the contest much courage and devotedness, yet, little
discipline, the Americans, in this instance, proceeded
with a caution that proved their respect for the British
garrison, strongly supported as it was by a numerous
force of Indians. Within two months after the capitulation
of Detroit, a considerable army, Ohioans and Kentuckians,
with some regular Infantry, had been pushed forward as
with a view to feel their way; but these having been
checked by the sudden appearance of a detachment from
Amherstburgh, had limited their advance to the Miami
River, on the banks of which, and on the ruins of one of
the old English forts of Pontiac's days, they had
constructed new fortifications, and otherwise strongly
entrenched themselves. It was a mistake, however, to
imagine that the enemy would be content with establishing
himself here. The new fort merely served as a nucleus
for the concentration of such resources of men and warlike
equipment, as were necessary to the subjection, firstly
of Detroit, and afterwards of Amherstburgh. Deprived of
the means of transport, the shallow bed of the Miami
aiding them but little, it was a matter of no mean
difficulty with the Americans to convey through several
hundred miles of forest, the heavy guns they required
for battering, and as it was only at intervals this could
be effected; the most patient endurance and unrelaxing
perseverance being necessary to the end. From the inactivity
of this force, or rather the confinement of its operations
to objects of defence, the English garrison had calculated
on undisturbed security, at least throughout the winter,
if not for a longer period; but although it was not until
this latter season was far advanced, that the enemy broke
up from his entrenchments on the Miami, and pushed himself
forward for the attainment of his final view, the error
of imputing inactivity to him was discovered at a moment
when it was least expected.

It was during a public ball given at Amherstburgh on the
18th of January 1813, that the first intelligence was
brought of the advance of a strong American force, whose
object it was supposed was to push rapidly on to Detroit,
leaving Amherstburgh behind to be disposed of later. The
officer who brought this intelligence was the fat Lieutenant
Raymond, who commanding an outpost at the distance of
some leagues had been surprised, and after a resistance
very creditable under the circumstances, driven in by
the American advanced guard with a loss of nearly half
his command.

Thus, "parva componere magnis," was the same consternation
produced in the ball-room at Amherstburg, that, at a
later period, occurred in a similar place of amusement
at Brussels, and although not followed by the same
momentous public results, producing the same host of
flattering fears and anxieties in the bosoms of the female
votaries of Terpsichore. We believe, however, that there
existed some dissimilarity in the several modes of
communication--the Duke of Wellington receiving his with
some appearance of regard, on the part of the communicator,
for the nerves of the ladies, while to Colonel St. Julian,
commanding at Amherstburg, and engaged at the moment at
the whist table, the news was imparted in stentorian
tones, which were audible to every one in the adjoining
ball-room.

But even if his voice had not been heard, the appearance
of Lieutenant Raymond would have justified the apprehension
of any reasonable person, for, in the importance of the
moment, he had not deemed it necessary to make any change
in the dress in which he had been surprised and driven
back. Let the reader figure to himself a remarkably fat,
ruddy faced man, of middle age, dressed in a pair of
tightly fitting dread-nought trowsers, and a shell jacket,
that had once been scarlet, but now, from use and exposure,
rather resembled the colour of brickdust; boots from
which all polish had been taken by the grease employed
to render them snow-proof; a brace of pistols thrust into
the black waist belt that encircled his huge circumference,
and from which depended a sword, whose steel scabbard
shewed the rust of the rudest bivouac. Let him, moreover,
figure to himself that ruddy carbuncled face, and nearly
as ruddy brow, suffused with perspiration, although in
a desperately cold winter's night, and the unwashed hands,
and mouth, and lips black from the frequent biting of
the ends of cartridges, while ever and anon the puffed
cheeks, in the effort to procure air and relieve the
panting chest, recal the idea of a Bacchus, after one of
his most lengthened orgies--let him figure all this, and
if he will add short, curling, wiry, damp hair, surmounting
a head as round as a turnip, a snubby, red, retrousse
nose, and light gray eyes; he will have a tolerable idea
of the startling figure that thus abruptly made its
appearance in the person of Lieutenant Raymond, first
among the dancers, and bustlingly thence into the adjoining
card room.

At the moment of his entrance, every eye had been turned
upon this strange apparition, while an almost instinctive
sense of the cause of his presence pervaded every breast.
Indeed it was impossible to behold him arrayed in the
bivouac garb in which we have described him, contrasted
as it was with the elegant ball dresses of his brother
officers, and not attribute his presence to some
extraordinary motive; and as almost every one in the room
was aware of his having been absent on detachment, his
mission had been half divined even before he had opened
his lips to Colonel St. Julian, for whom, on entering,
he had hurriedly inquired.

But when the latter officer was seen soon afterwards to
rise from and leave the card table, and, after communicating
hurriedly with the several heads of Departments, quit
altogether the scene of festivity, there could be no
longer a doubt; and, as in all cases of the sort, the
danger was magnified, as it flew from lip to lip, even
as the tiny snow ball becometh a mountain by the accession
it receives in its rolling course. Suddenly the dance
was discontinued, and indeed in time, for the lingers of
the non-combatant musicians, sharing in the general
nervousness, had already given notice, by numerous
falsettos, of their inability to proceed much longer.
Bonnets, cloaks, muffs, tippets, shawls, snow shoes, and
all the paraphernalia of female winter equipment peculiar
to the country, were brought unceremoniously in, and
thrown en masse upon the deserted benches of the ball
room. Then was there a scramble among the fair dancers,
who, having secured their respective property, quitted
the house, not however, without a secret fear on the part
of many, that the first object they should encounter, on
sallying forth, would be a corps of American sharp-shooters.
To the confusion within was added, the clamour without,
arising from swearing drivers, neighing horses, jingling
bells, and jostling sledges. Finally the only remaining
ladies of the party were the D'Egvilles, whose sledge
had not yet arrived, and with these lingered Captain
Molineux, Middlemore, and Henry Grantham, all of whom,
having obtained leave of absence for the occasion, had
accompanied them from Detroit. The two former, who had
just terminated one of the old fashioned cotillons, then
peculiar to the Canadas, stood leaning over the chairs
of their partners, indulging in no very charitable comments
on the unfortunate Raymond, to whose "ugly" presence at
that unseasonable hour they ascribed a host of most
important momentary evils; as, for example, the early
breaking up of the pleasantest ball of the season, the
loss of an excellent anticipated supper that had been
prepared for a later hour, and, although last not least,
the necessity it imposed upon them of an immediate return,
that bitter cold night, to Detroit. Near the blazing wood
fire, at their side, stood Henry Grantham, and Captain
St. Clair of the Engineers. The former with his thoughts
evidently far away from the passing scene, the latter
joining in the criticisms on Raymond.

"I always said," observed Molineux, shrugging his shoulders,
"that he resembled one of the ground hogs of his old
command of Bois Blanc, more than any thing human; and
hang me if he does not tonight look like a hog in armour."

"There certainly is something of the ARMAdilla about
him," said Middlemore; "if we may judge from the formidable
weapons he brought into the room."

"And, notwithstanding his alert retreat, few officers
can have made such HEAD against, and shewn such FACE to
the enemy," added St. Clair.

"True," retorted Middlemore, "there were certainly some
extraordinary FEATURES in the affair."

"If," remarked Molineux, "he faced the enemy, I am certain
he must have kept the boldest at bay; but if he shewed
them his back, as from his heated appearance I strongly
suspect that he did, he must have afforded the Yankee
riflemen as much fun as if they had been in pursuit of
a fat old raccoon."

"Shall I ask him that he may answer for himself?" inquired
Henry Grantham, whose attention had been aroused by the
ironical remarks of his companions.

"By no means," replied Middlemore, "we have ANSER enough
in his mere look."

"Ha! ha! ha!" roared Molineux and St. Clair in concert.

"Nay, nay," interposed Julia D'Egville, who had listened
impatiently to the comments passed upon the unfortunate
and unconscious officer, "this keen exercise of your
powers on poor Mr. Raymond is hardly fair. Recollect
(turning to Middlemore,) it is not given to all to possess
the refinement of wit, nor, (addressing St. Clair) the
advantages of personal attraction, therefore is it more
incumbent on those, to whom such gifts are given, to be
merciful unto the wanting in both." This was uttered with
marked expression.

"Brava, my most excellent and spirited partner," whispered
Molineux, secretly delighted that the lash of the reprover
had not immediately embraced him in its circuit.

"Thank you, my good, kind hearted, considerate cousin,"
looked Henry Grantham.

"Oh, the devil," muttered Middlemore to St. Clair, "we
shall have her next exclaiming, in the words of Monk
Lewis' Bleeding Nun,

  'Raymond, Raymond, I am thine
  'Raymond, Raymond, them art mine.'"

St. Clair shrugged his shoulders, bit his lip, threw up
his large blue eyes, shewed his white teeth, slightly
reddened, and looked altogether exceedingly at a loss
whether to feel complimented or reproved.

"But here comes Mr. Raymond, to fight his own battles,"
continued Miss D'Egville with vivacity.

"Hush," whispered Molineux.

"Honor among thieves," added Middlemore, in the same low
tone.

"Egad," said Raymond, wiping the yet lingering dews from
his red forehead, as he advanced from the card room where
he had been detained, talking over his adventure with
one or two of the anxious townspeople; "I have, within
the last twenty four hours, had so much running and
fighting for my country, that strength is scarcely left
me to fight my own battles. But what is it, Miss D'Egville?"
as he saluted Julia and her sister, "what battle am I to
fight now--some fresh quizzing of these wags, I suppose--
ah, Middlemore, how do you do; Molineux, St. Clair, Henry
Grantham, how do you all do?"

"Ah, Raymond, my dear fellow, how do you do?" greeted
Captain Molineux, with the air of one who really rejoices
in the reappearance of a long absent friend.

"Raymond, I am delighted to see you," exclaimed St.
Clair.

"Your bivouac has done you good," joined Middlemore,
following the example of the others, and extending his
hand, "I never saw you looking to greater advantage."

"Pretty well, pretty well thank you," returned the good
humoured, but not too acute subaltern, as he passed his
hand over his Falstaffian stomach; "only a little fatigued
with the last six hours, retreating. Egad! I began to
think I never should get away, the fellows pursued us so
hotly."

"And hotly you fled, it would appear," returned Middlemore.

"I dare be sworn, there was not a six foot Kentuckian of
the whole American army active enough to come within a
mile of him," added Molineux.

"And yet, considering the speed he made, he seems to have
lost but little of his flesh," said St. Clair.

"Of course," chuckled Middlemore, "these long fellows
come from Troy county in Ohio."

"Egad, I don't know; why do you ask?"

"Because you know it is not for the men of TROY to reduce
the men of GREASE--hence your escape."

"Are the enemy then so near, Mr. Raymond?" inquired Julia
D'Egville, anxious to turn the conversation.

"I should think not very far, Miss D'Egville, since, as
you see they have not given me time to change my dress."

At that moment the noise of horses' bells were heard
without; and they were soon distinguished to be those of
Colonel D'Egville's berlin.

A few moments afterwards, that officer entered the room
now wholly deserted save by the little coterie near the
fire place. Like Lieutenant Raymond's, his dress was more
suited to the bivouac than the ball room, and his
countenance otherwise bore traces of fatigue.

His daughters flew to meet him. The officers also grouped
around, desirous to hear what tidings he brought of the
enemy, to corroborate the statement of Raymond. To the
great mortification of the latter, it was now found that
he and his little detachment had had all the running to
themselves, and that while they fancied the whole of the
American army to be close at their heels, the latter had
been so kept in check by the force of Indians, under
Colonel D'Egville in person, as to be compelled to retire
upon the point whence the original attack had been made.
They had not followed the broken English outpost more
than a mile, and yet, so convinced of close pursuit had
been the latter, that for the space of six leagues they
had scarce relaxed in their retreat. The information now
brought by Colonel D'Egville, was that the Americans had
not advanced a single foot beyond the outpost in question,
but on the contrary had commenced constructing a stockade,
and throwing up entrenchments. He added, moreover, that
he had just dispatched an express to Sandwich, to General
Proctor, (who had, since the departure of General Brock,
succeeded to the command of the district,) communicating
the intelligence, and suggesting the propriety of an
attack before they could advance farther, and favor any
movement on the part of the inhabitants of Detroit. As
this counter-movement on our part would require every
man that could be spared from the latter fortress, Colonel
D'Egville seemed to think that before the officers could
reach it, its garrison would be already on the way to
join the expedition, which would doubtless be ordered to
move from Amherstburg; and as the same impression appeared
to exist in the mind of Colonel St. Julian, whom he had
only just parted from to proceed in search of his daughters,
the latter had taken it upon himself to determine that
they should remain where they were until the answer,
communicating the final decision of General Proctor,
should arrive.

If the young officers were delighted at the idea of
escaping the horror of an eighteen miles drive, on one
of the bitterest nights of the season, supperless, and
at the moment of issuing from a comfortable hall room,
their annoyance at (what they termed) the pusillanimity
of Raymond, who had come thus unnecessarily in, to the
utter annihilation of their evening's amusement, was in
equal proportion. For this, on their way home, they
revenged themselves by every sort of persiflage their
humour could adapt to the occasion, until in the end,
they completely succeeded in destroying the good humor
of Raymond, who eventually quitted them under feelings
of mortified pride, which excited all the generous sympathy
of the younger Grantham, while it created in his breast
a sentiment of almost wrath against his inconsiderate
companions. Even these latter were at length sensible
that they had gone too far, and, as their better feelings
returned, they sought to assure the offended object of
their pleasantry that what they had uttered was merely
in jest; but finding he received these disclaimers in
moody silence, they renewed their attack, nor discontinued
it until they separated for their mutual quarters for
the night.

Poor Raymond was, it will be perceived, one of those
unfortunates termed "butts," which are to be met with in
almost all societies, and but too often in a regiment.
Conscious of his great corpulence, and its disadvantages
to him as a soldier, he not only made every allowance
for the sallies of his lively and more favored brother
officers, but often good-naturedly joined in the laugh
against himself--all the badinage uttered against his
personal appearance, he had, on this occasion, borne with
the most perfect temper; but when, presuming on his
forbearance, they proceeded to reflect on the hurried,
and, under all circumstances, justifiable manner of his
retreat, after having sustained an unequal conflict
against an overpowering enemy for upwards of two hours,
his honest heart was wounded to the core; and, although
he uttered not one word, the unkindness sank deeply into
his memory.

The following dawn broke in, decked with all the sad and
sober gray, peculiar to a Canadian sky in the depth of
winter, and, with the first rising of the almost rayless
sun, commenced numerous warlike preparations that gave
promise to the inhabitants of some approaching crisis.
The event justified their expectation, the suggestion of
Colonel D'Egville had been adopted, and the same express,
which carried to General Proctor the information of the
advance of the enemy, and, the expulsion of Lieutenant
Raymond from his post, was pushed on to Detroit, with an
order for every man who could be spared from that fortress,
to be marched, without a moment's delay, to Amherstburg.
At noon the detachment had arrived, and, the General
making his appearance soon after, the expedition, composed
of the strength of the two garrisons, with a few light
guns, and a considerable body of Indians, under the Chief
Roundhead, were pushed rapidly across the lake, and the
same night occupied the only road by which the enemy
could advance.

It was a picturesque sight, to those who lingered on the
banks of the Detroit, to watch the movement of that mass
of guns, ammunition cars, sledges, &c. preceding the
regular march of the troops, as the whole crossed the
firm yet rumbling ice, at the head of the now deserted
Island of Bois-Blanc. Nor was this at all lessened in
effect by the wild and irregular movements of the Indians,
who advancing by twos and threes, but more often singly,
and bounding nimbly, yet tortuously, along the vast white
field with which the outline of their swarthy forms
contrasted, called up, at the outset, the idea of a legion
of devils.

But there was more than the mere indulgence of curiosity
in the contemplation of this scene, so highly characteristic
of the country. On the result of the efforts of those
now scarcely discernable atoms, depended the fate, not
merely of the town and garrison of Amherstburgh, but of
the whole adjoining country. If successful, then would
the repose of the anxious inhabitants once more be secured,
and the horrors of invasion again averted from their
soil; but if on the contrary, they should be defeated,
then must every hope be extinguished, and the so recently
conquered completely change sides with their conquerors.
Such were the thoughts that filled the breasts of many
of the townspeople of Amherstburg, and considering that
in the present instance they had much to lose, nothing
to gain, they may fairly enough be pardoned for having
entertained some little nervousness as to the result.

It was during one of the coldest mornings of January,
that this little army bivouacked on the banks of a small
rivulet, distant, little more than a league from the
position which had been taken up by the Americans. So
unexpected and rapid had been the advance of the expedition,
that not the slightest suspicion appeared to have been
entertained by the Americans even of its departure; and
from information, brought at a late hour by the Indian
scouts, who had been dispatched at nightfall to observe
their motions, it was gathered that, so far from
apprehending or being prepared for an attack, all was
quiet in their camp, in which the customary night fires
were then burning. Thus favored by the false security of
their enemies, the British force, after partaking of
their rude, but substantial meal, and preparing their
arms, laid themselves down to rest in their accoutrements
and greatcoats; their heads reclining on whatever elevation,
however small, presented itself, and their feet half
buried in the embers of the fires they had with difficulty
kindled on the frozen ground, from which the snow had
been removed--all, sanguine of success, and all, more or
less endeavouring to snatch, even amid the nipping frost
to which their upper persons were exposed, a few hours
of sleep prior to the final advance, which was to take
place an hour before dawn.

In the midst of the general desolateness of aspect which
encompassed all, there were few privations, endured by
the men, that were not equally shared by their officers.
A solitary and deserted log hut, was the only thing in
the shape of a human habitation to be seen within the
bivouac, and this had been secured as the head quarters
of the General and his staff--all besides had no other
canopy than the clear starry heavens, or, here and there,
the leafless and unsheltering branches of some forest
tree, and yet, around one large and blazing fire, which
continued to be fed at intervals by masses of half decayed
wood, that, divested of their snow, lay simmering and
dying before it, was frequently to be heard the joyous
yet suppressed laugh, and piquant sally, as of men whose
spirits no temporary hardship or concern for the eventful
future could effectually depress. These issued from the
immediate bivouac of the officers, who, seated squatted
around their fire after the manner of the Indians, instead
of courting a sleep which the intense cold rendered as
difficult of attainment, as unrefreshing when attained,
rather sought solace in humorous conversation, while the
animal warmth was kept alive by frequent puffings from
that campaigners' first resource the cigar, seasoned by
short and occasional libations from the well filled
canteen. Most of them wore over their regimentals, the
grey great coat then peculiar to the service, and had
made these in the highest possible degree available by
fur trimmings on the cuffs and collar, which latter was
tightly buttoned round the chin, while their heads were
protected by furred caps, made like those of the men, of
the raccoon skin. To this uniformity of costume, there
was, as far as regarded the outward clothing, one exception
in the person of Captain Cranstoun, who had wisely inducted
himself in the bear skin coat so frequently quizzed by
his companions, and in which he now sat as undisturbed
by the cold, so sensibly felt by his associates, as
unmoved by the criticisms they passed on its grotesque
appearance, and unprovoked by the recurrence to the
history of his former ludicrous adventure. Finding that
Cranstoun was inaccessible, they again, with the waywardness
of their years and humour, adverted to the retreat of
Raymond, to whom Molineux, Middlemore, and St. Clair
--the latter a volunteer in the expedition--attributed
the unpardonable fact of the breaking up of a most
delightful party, and the deprivation of a capital supper.
Such was the conversation--such were the serious complaints
of men, who, before another sun should rise, might see
cause to upbraid themselves, and bitterly, for the levity
in which they were so inconsiderately indulging.

During the whole of the march, Raymond had evinced a
seriousness of demeanor by no means common to him, and,
although he had made one of the party in the general
bivouac, he had scarcely opened his lips, except to reply
to the most direct questions. The renewed attack, at
first, drew from him no comment, although it was evident
he felt greatly pained; but when he had finished smoking
his cigar, he raised himself, not without difficulty,
from the ground, (a circumstance, which, by the way,
provoked a fresh burst of humour from the young men,)
and began, with a seriousness of manner, that, being
unusual, not a little surprised them: "Gentlemen, you
have long been pleased to select me as your butt."

"Of course," hastily interrupted Molineux, hazarding his
pun, "we naturally select you for what you most resemble."

"Captain Molineux--gentlemen!" resumed Raymond with
greater emphasis.

"He is getting warm on the subject," observed Middlemore.
"Have a care Molineux, that the butt does not CHURN until
in the end it becomes the BUTTER."

"Ha! ha! ha!" vociferated St. Clair, "good, excellent,
the best you ever made, Middlemore."

"Gentlemen," persevered Raymond, in a tone, and with a
gesture, of impatience, "this trifling will be deeply
regretted by you all tomorrow; I repeat," he pursued,
when he found he had at length succeeded in procuring
silence, "you have long been pleased to select me as your
butt, and while this was confined to my personal appearance,
painful as I have sometimes found your humour, I could
still endure it; but when I perceive those whom I have
looked upon as friends and brothers, casting imputations
upon my courage, I may be excused for feeling offended.
You have succeeded in wounding my heart, and some of you
will regret the hour when you did so. Another perhaps,
would adopt a different course, but I am not disposed to
return evil for evil. I wish to believe, that in all your
taunts upon this subject, you have merely indulged your
bantering humour--but not the less have you pained an
honest heart. Tomorrow will prove that you have grievously
wronged me, and I am mistaken, if you will not deeply
regret it."

"Noonsense, noonsense, Raymoond, ma deer fallow; do na'
heed the queeps of the hair-breened deevils. Ye see a
neever tak any nootice o' them, but joost leet them ha'
their way."

But Raymond stayed not--he hurried away across the snow
towards a distant fire, which lighted the ruder bivouac
of the adjutant and quarter master, and was there seen
to seat himself, with the air of one who has composed
himself for the night.

"What a silly fellow, to take the thing so seriously,"
said Molineux, half vexed at himself, half moved by the
reproachful tone of Raymond's address.

"For God's sake, Grantham, call him back. Tell him we
are ready to make any--every atonement for our offence,"
urged St. Clair.

"And I will promise never to utter another pun at his
expense as long as I live," added Middlemore.

But before Henry Grantham, who had been a pained and
silent witness of the scene, and who had already risen
with a view to follow the wounded Raymond, could take a
single step on his mission of peace, the low roll of the
drum, summoning to fall in, warned them that the hour of
action had already arrived, and each, quitting his fire,
hastened to the more immediate and pressing duties of
assembling his men, and carefully examining into the
state of their appointments.

In ten minutes from the beating of the reveille--
considerably shorn of its wonted proportions, as the
occasion demanded--the bivouac had been abandoned, and
the little army again upon their march. What remained to
be traversed of the space that separated them from the
enemy, was an alternation of plain and open forest, but
so completely in juxtaposition, that the head of the
column had time to clear one wood and enter a second
before its rear could disengage itself from the first.
The effect of this, by the dim and peculiar light reflected
from the snow across which they moved, was picturesque
in the extreme, nor was the interest diminished by the
utter silence that had pervaded every part of the little
army, the measured tramp of whose march, mingled with
the hollow and unavoidable rumbling of the light guns,
being the only sounds to be heard amid that mass of living
matter. The Indians, with the exception of a party of
scouts, had been the last to quit their rude encampment,
and as they now, in their eagerness to get to the front,
glided stealthily by in the deep snows on either side of
the more beaten track by which the troops advanced, and
so utterly without sound in their foot-fall, that they
might rather have been compared to spirits of the wilds,
than to human beings.

The regiment having been told off into divisions, it so
happened that Raymond and Henry Grantham, although
belonging to different companies, now found themselves
near each other. The latter had been most anxious to
approach his really good hearted companion, with a view
to soothe his wounded feelings, and to convey, in the
fullest and most convincing terms, the utter disclaimer
of his inconsiderate brother officers, to reflect seriously
on his conduct in the recent retreat--or, indeed, to
intend their observations for any thing beyond a mere
pleasantry. As, however, the strictest order had been
commanded to be observed in the march, and Raymond and
he happened to be at opposite extremities of the division,
this had been for some time impracticable. A temporary
halt having occurred, just as the head of the column
came, within sight of the enemy's fires, Grantham quitted
his station on the flank, and hastened to the head of
his division, where he found Raymond with his arms folded
across his chest, and apparently absorbed in deep thought.
He tapped him lightly on the shoulder, and inquired in
a tone of much kindness the subject of his musing.

Touched by the manner in which he was addressed, Raymond
dropped his arms, and grasping the hand of the youth,
observed in his usual voice; "Ah, is it you Henry--Egad,
my dear boy, I was just thinking of you--and how very
kind you have always been; never quizzing me as those
thoughtless fellows have done--and certainly never
insinuating any thing against my courage--that was too
bad Henry, too bad, I could have forgiven anything but
that."

"Nay, nay, Raymond," answered his companion, soothingly;
"believe me, neither Molineux, nor Middlemore, nor St.
Clair, meant anything beyond a jest. I can assure you
they did not, for when you quitted us they asked me to
go in search of you, but the assembly then commencing to
beat, I was compelled to hasten to my company, nor have
I had an opportunity of seeing you until now."

"Very well, Henry, I forgive them, for it is not in my
nature to keep anger long; but tell them that they should
not wantonly wound the feelings of an unoffending comrade.
As I told them, they may regret their unkindness to me
before another sun has set. If so, I wish them no other
punishment."

"What mean you, my dear Raymond?"

"Egad! I scarcely know myself, but something tells me
very forcibly my hour is come."

"Nonsense, this is but the effect of the depression,
produced by fatigue and over excitement, added to the
recent annoyance of your feelings."

"Whatever it proceed from, I had made up my mind to it
before we set out. Henry, my kind good Henry, I have
neither friend nor relative on earth--no one to inherit
the little property I possess. In the event of my falling,
you will find the key of my desk in the breast pocket of
my coat. A paper in that desk appoints you my executor.
Will you accept the trust?"

"Most sacredly, Raymond, will I fulfil every instruction
it contains; should I myself survive; but I cannot, will
not, bring myself to anticipate your fall."

"Move on, move on," passed quickly in a whisper from
front to rear of the column."

"God bless you, Henry" exclaimed Raymond, again pressing
the hand of the youth--"remember the key."

"We shall talk of that to night," was the light reply.
"Meanwhile, dear Raymond, God bless you," and again
Grantham fell back to his place in the rear of the
division.

Five minutes later, and the troops were silently drawn
up in front of the enemy. A long line of fires marked
the extent of the encampment, from which, even then, the
"all's well" of the sentinels could be occasionally heard.
Except these, all profoundly slept, nor was there anything
to indicate they had the slightest suspicion of an enemy
being within twenty miles of them--not a picket had been
thrown out, not an outpost established. It was evident
the Americans were yet young in the art of self defence.

"What glorious bayonet work we shall have presently,"
whispered Villiers to Cranstoun, as they were brought
together by their stations at the adjacent extremities
of their respective division. "Only mark how the fellows
sleep."

"The deevil a beet," responded Cranstoun, "a joost noo
heerd Coolonel St Julian propoose and even enseest upoon
it. But the Geeneral seems to theenk that coold steel
and a coold froosty morning do not asseemelate togeether."

"What! does he not mean to attack them with the bayonet,
when two minutes would suffice to bring us into the very
heart of the encampment, and that before they could well
have time to arm themselves?"

"Hoot mon" coolly pursued the Grenadier, with something
very like satire in his expression. "Would ye ha' the
Geeneral so uncheevalrous as to poonce upoon a set of
poor unarmed and unprepared creeturs. Depeend upon it he
would na sleep coomfortably on his peelow, after having
put coold steel into the geezzard of each of yon sleeping
loons."

"The devil take his consideration," muttered Villiers;
"but you are right, for see, there go the guns to the
front--hark there is a shot; the sentinels have discovered
us at last; and now the sluggards are starting from before
their fires, and hastening to snatch their arms.

"True enoof, Veelliers, and pleenty o' brooken heeds they
will gi' us soon, in retoorn for sparing their goots.
There oopen too those stooped leetle three poonders. Tha
might joost as weel be used for brass warming pons, to tak
the cheel off the damp beeds some of us will be pressing
preesently."

Whist, whist, whist, flew three balls successively between
their heads. "Ha, here they begin to talk to us in earnest,
and now to our duty."

The next moment all was roar, and bustle, and confusion,
and death.

We will not stop to inquire why the British General,
Proctor, lost an advantage which had made itself apparent
to the meanest soldier of his army, by opening a
desultory and aimless fire of his light guns upon an
enemy to whom he thus afforded every possible opportunity
for preparation and defence; when, like Colonel, (now Sir
John) Harvey, not long subsequently at Stoney Creek, he
might have annihilated that enemy with the bayonet, and
with little comparative loss to himself. We will merely
observe that having failed to do so, nothing but the
determination and courage of his troops brought him
through the difficulties he himself had created, and to
the final attainment of the general order, complimenting
him on the highly judicious arrangements he had made on
the occasion; although, (as Cranstoun had predicted) not
before a damp bed had been pressed for the last time by
more than one of those who had so gallantly followed--or,
more strictly, preceded him.

The sun was in the meridian; all sounds of combat had
ceased, and such of the American Army as had survived
the total defeat, were to be seen disarmed and guarded,
wending their way sullenly in the direction by which the
victors had advanced in the morning. From the field, in
which the troops had commenced the action, numerous
sledges were seen departing, laden with the dead--the
wounded having previously been sent off. One of these
sledges remained stationary at some distance within the
line, where the ravages of death were marked by pools of
blood upon the snow, and at this point were grouped
several individuals, assembled round a body which was
about to be conveyed away.

"By Heavens, I would give the world never to have said
an unkind word to him," observed one, whose arm, suspended
from a sling, attested he had not come scatheless out of
the action. It was St. Clair, whose great ambition it
had always been to have his name borne among the list of
wounded--provided there were no broken bones in the
question.

"As brave as he was honest hearted," added a second, "you
say Grantham, that he forgave us all our nonsense."

"He did, Molineux. He declared he could not bear resentment
against you long. But still, I fear, he could not so
easily forget. He observed to me, jestingly, just before
deploying into line, that he felt his time was come, but
there can be no doubt, from what we all witnessed, that
he was determined from the outset to court his death."

Captain Molineux turned away, apparently much affected
--Middlemore spoke not, but it was evident he also was
deeply pained. Each seemed to feel that he had been in
some degree accessory to the catastrophe, but the past
could not be recalled. The body, covered with blood,
exuding from several wounds, was now placed with that of
Ensign Langley, (who had also fallen, and lay at a little
distance beyond), on the sledge which was drawn off to
join several others just departed, and the lingering
officers hastened to overtake their several companies.

When the action was at the hottest, one of the small guns
in front (all of which had been fearfully exposed), was
left without a single artilleryman. Availing themselves
of this circumstance, the enemy, who were unprovided with
artillery of any description, made a movement as if to
possess themselves of, and turn it against the attacking
force, then closing rapidly to dispute the possession of
the breast work which covered their riflemen. Colonel
St. Julian, who had continued to ride along the line with
as much coolness as if he had been assisting at a field
day, and who was literally covered with wounds, having
received no less than five balls, in various parts of
his body, seeing this movement, called out for volunteers
to rescue the gun from its perilous situation. Scarcely
had the words passed his lips when an individual moved
forward from the line, in the direction indicated.--It
was Lieutenant Raymond--Exposed to the fire, both of
friends and foes, the unfortunate officer advanced calmly
and unconcernedly, in the presence of the whole line,
and before the Americans, (kept in check by a hot and
incessant musketry), could succeed in even crossing their
defences, had seized the gun by the drag rope, and
withdrawn it under cover of the English fire. But this
gallant act of self-devotedness was not without its
terrible price. Pierced by many balls, which the American
rifleman had immediately directed at him, he fell dying
within ten feet of the British line, brandishing his
sword and faintly shouting a "huzza," that was answered
by his companions with the fierce spirit of men stung to
new exertion, and determined to avenge his fall.

Thus perished the fat, the plain, the carbuncled, but
really gallant-hearted Raymond--whose intrinsic worth
was never estimated until he had ceased to exist. His
fall, and all connected therewith, forms a sort of episode
in our story, yet is it one not altogether without its
moral. A private monument, on which was inscribed all
that may soothe and flatter after death, was erected to
his memory by those very officers whose persiflage,
attacking in this instance even his honor as a soldier,
had driven him to seek the fate he found. Of this there
could he no question--for, brave as he unquestionably
was, Raymond would not have acted as if courting death
throughout, had he not fully made up his mind either to
gain great distinction or to die under the eyes of those
who had, he conceived, so greatly injured him. It is but
justice to add that, for three days from his death--
Middlemore did not utter a single pun--neither did St.
Clair, or Molineux, indulge in a satirical observation.



CHAPTER V.

The spring of 1813 had passed nearly away, yet without
producing any renewed effort on the part of the Americans.
From information obtained from the Indian scouts, it
however appeared that, far from being discouraged by
their recent disaster, they had moved forward a third
Army to the Miami, where they had strongly entrenched
themselves, until hitting opportunity should be found to
renew their attempt to recover the lost district. It was
also ascertained that, with a perseverance and industry
peculiar to themselves, they had been occupied throughout
the rigorous winter, in preparing a fleet of sufficient
force to compete with that of the British; and that,
abandoning the plan hitherto pursued by his predecessors,
the American leader of this third army of invasion,
purposed transporting his troops across the lake, instead
of running the risk of being harrassed and cut up in an
advance by land. To effect this, it was of course necessary
to have the command of the lake, and there were all the
sinews of exertion called into full exercise, to obtain
the desired ascendancy.

To defeat this intention, became now the chief object of
the British General. With the close of winter had ceased
the hunting pursuits of the warriors, so that each day
brought with it a considerable accession to the strength
of this wild people, vast numbers of whom had betaken
themselves to their hunting grounds, shortly after the
capture of Detroit. The chiefs of these several nations
were now summoned to a Council, in the course of which
it was decided that a formidable expedition, accompanied
by a heavy train of battering artillery, should embark
in batteaux, with a view to the reduction of the American
post established on the Miami;--a nucleus, around which
was fast gathering a spirit of activity that threatened
danger, if not annihilation, to the English influence in
the North Western districts. In the event of the
accomplishment of this design, Detroit and Amherstburg
would necessarily be released from all apprehension,
since, even admitting the Americans could acquire a
superiority of naval force on the lake, such superiority
could only be essentially injurious to us, as a means of
affording transport to, and covering the operations of
an invading army. If, however, that already on the Miami
could be defeated, and their fortress razed, it was not
probable that a fourth could be equipped and pushed
forward, with a view to offensive operations, in sufficient
time to accomplish any thing decisive before the winter
should set in. Tecumseh, who had just returned from
collecting new bodies of warriors, warmly approved the
project, and undertook to bring two thousand men into
the field, as his quota of the expedition, the departure
of which was decided for the seventh day from the Council.

Meanwhile, no exertions were wanting to place the little
fleet in a state of efficiency. During the winter, the
vessel described in our opening chapter of this tale, as
that on the completion of which numerous workmen were
intently engaged, had, after the fall of Detroit, and
the consequent capture of whatever barks the Americans
possessed, been utterly neglected; but now that it was
known the enemy were secretly and rapidly preparing an
overpowering force at the opposite extremity of the lake,
the toils of the preceding summer were renewed, and every
where, throughout the dock-yard, the same stirring industry
was perceptible. By all were these movements regarded
with an interest proportioned to the important consequences
at stake, but by none more than by Commodore Barclay
himself, whose watchful eye marked the progress, and
whose experience and judgment directed the organization
of the whole. The difficulties he had to contend with
were great, for not only were the artificers, employed
in the construction of the ship, men of limited knowledge
in their art, but even those who manned her, when completed,
were without the nautical experience and practice
indispensable to success; yet these disadvantages was he
prepared to overlook in the cheerfulness and ardor with
which each lent himself to exertion, and sought to supply
deficiency with zeal. The feelings of the gallant officer
in this position--on the one hand, sensible that to him
was confided the task of upholding the supremacy of his
country's flag, and on the other, compelled to confess
the inadequacy of the means placed at his disposal for
this object--may be easily understood. That his men were
brave he knew, but mere bravery would not suffice in a
contest where the skill of the seamen, not less than
brute courage, must be called into requisition. He had
reason to know that his enemy would not merely bring
stout hearts into the conflict, but active hands--men
whose lives had been passed on the restless waters of
ocean, and whose training had been perfected in the battle
and the tempest, while nine tenths of his own crews had
never planted foot beyond the limit of the lake on which
the merits and resources of both would be so shortly
tested. But "aut agere aut mori," was his motto, and of
the appropriateness of this his actions have formed the
most striking illustration.

The day on which the Council relative to the proposed
expedition to the Miami was held, was characterized by
one of those sudden outbursts of elemental war, so common
to the Canadas in early summer--and, which, in awful
grandeur of desolation, are frequently scarcely interior
to the hurricanes of the tropics. The morning had been
oppressively sultry, and there was that general and heavy
lethargy of nature that usually precedes a violent
reaction. About noon, a small dark speck was visible in
the hitherto cloudless horizon, and this presently grew
in size until the whole western sky was one dense mass
of threatening black, which eventually spread itself over
the entire surface of the heavens, leaving not a hand's
breadth any where visible. Presently, amid the sultry
stillness that prevailed, there came a slight breeze over
the face of the waters, and then, as if some vast battering
train had suddenly opened its hundred mouths of terror,
vomiting forth showers of grape and other missiles, came
astounding thunder-claps, and forked lightnings, and
rain, and hail, and whistling wind--all in such terrible
union, yet such fearful disorder, that man, the last to
take warning, or feel awed by the anger of the common
parent, Nature, bent his head in lowliness and silence
to her voice, and awaited tremblingly the passing away
of her wrath.

Henry Grantham, whose turn of duty had again brought him
to Amherstburg, was in the mess-room of the garrison when
the storm was at the fiercest. Notwithstanding the
excitement of the Council scene, at which he had been
present, he had experienced an unusual depression throughout
the day, originating partly in the languid state of the
atmosphere, but infinitely more in the anxiety under
which he labored in regard to his brother, of whom no
other intelligence had been received, since his departure
with his prisoners for Buffalo, than what vague rumour,
coupled with the fact of the continued absence of the
schooner, afforded. That the vessel had been captured by
the enemy there could be no doubt; but, knowing as he
did, the gallant spirit of Gerald, there was reason to
imagine that he had not yielded to his enemies, before
every means of resistance had been exhausted: and, if
so, what might not have been the effect of his obstinacy
(if such a term could be applied to unshaken intrepidity,)
on men exasperated by opposition, and eager for revenge.
In the outset he had admitted his gentle cousin Gertrude
to his confidence, as one most suited, by her docility,
to soothe without appearing to remark on his alarm, but
when, little suspecting the true motive of her agitation,
he saw her evince an emotion surpassing his own, and
admitting and giving way to fears beyond any he would
openly avow, he grew impatient and disappointed, and
preferring rather to hear the tocsin of alarm sounded
from his own heart than from the lips of another, he
suddenly, and much to the surprise of the affectionate
girl, discontinued all allusion to the subject. But
Henry's anxiety was not the less poignant from being
confined within his own breast, and although it gratified
him to find that flattering mention was frequently made
of his brother at the mess-table, coupled with regret
for his absence, it was reserved for his hours of privacy
and abstraction to dwell upon the fears which daily became
more harrassing and perplexing.

On the present occasion, even while his brother officers
had thought nor ear but for the terrible tempest that
raged without, and at one moment threatened to bury them
beneath the trembling roof, the mind of Henry was full
of his absent brother, whom, more than ever, he now seemed
to regret, from the association of the howling tempest
with the wild element on which he had last beheld him;
and so complete at length had become the ascendancy of
his melancholy, that when the storm had been in some
degree stilled, and the rain abated, he look an early
leave of his companions, with a view to indulge in privacy
the gloomy feelings by which be felt himself oppressed.

In passing through the gate of the Fort, on his way into
the town, his attention was arrested by several groups
of persons, consisting of soldiers, Indians, and
inhabitants, who, notwithstanding the inclemency of the
hour, were gathered on the high bank in front of the
demi-lune battery, eagerly bending their gaze upon the
riser. Half curious to know what could have attracted
them in such weather from shelter, Henry advanced and
mingled in the crowd, which gave way at his approach.
Although the fury of the tempest had spent itself, there
was still wind enough to render it a matter of necessary
precaution that the bystanders should secure a firm
footing on the bank, while the water, violently agitated
and covered with foam, resembled rather a pigmy sea than
an inland river--so unusual and so vast were its waves.
The current, moreover, increased in strength by the sudden
swelling of the waters, dashed furiously down, giving
its direction to the leaping billows that rode impatiently
upon its surface; and at the point of intersection by
the island of Bois Blanc, formed so violent an eddy within
twenty feet of the land, as to produce the effect of a
whirlpool, while again, between the island and the Canadian
shore, the current, always rapid and of great force, flew
boiling down its channel, and with a violence almost
quadrupled.

Amid this uproar of the usually placid river, there was
but one bark found bold enough to venture upon her angered
bosom, and this, although but an epitome of those that
have subdued the world of waters, and chained them in
subservience to the will of man, now danced gallantly,
almost terrifically, from billow to billow, and, with
the feathery lightness of her peculiar class, seemed
borne onward, less by the leaping waves themselves than
by the white and driving spray that fringed their summits.
This bark--a canoe evidently of the smallest description
--had been watched in its progress, from afar, by the
groups assembled on the bank, who had gathered at each
other's call, to witness and marvel at the gallant daring
of those who had committed it to the boiling element.
Two persons composed her crew--the one, seated in the
stern, and carefully guiding the bark so as to enable
her to breast the threatening waves, which, in quick
succession, rose as if to accomplish her overthrow--the
other, standing at her bows, the outline of his upper
figure designed against the snow-white sail, and, with
his arms folded across his chest, apparently gazing
without fear on the danger which surrounded him. It was
evident, from their manner of conducting the bark, that
the adventurers were not Indians, and yet there was
nothing to indicate to what class of the white family
they belonged. Both were closely wrapped in short, dark
coloured pea coats, and their heads were surmounted with
glazed hats--a species of costume that more than any
thing else, proved their familiarity with the element
whose brawling they appeared to brave with an indifference
bordering on madness.

Such was the position of the parties, at the moment when
Henry Grantham gained the bank. Hitherto the canoe, in
the broad reach that divided the island from the American
mainland, had had merely the turbulence of the short
heavy waves, and a comparatively modified current, to
contend against. Overwhelming even as these difficulties
would have proved to men less gifted with the power of
opposing and vanquishing them, they were but light in
comparison with what remained to be overcome. The canoe
was now fast gaining the head of the island, and pursuing
a direct course for the whirlpool already described. The
only means of avoiding this was by closely hugging the
shore, between which and the violent eddy without, the
water, broken in its impetuosity by the covering head
land, presented a more even and less agitated surface.
This head land once doubled, the safety of the adventurers
was ensured, since, although the tremendous current which
swept through the inner channel must have borne them
considerably downwards, still the canoe would have
accomplished the transit below the town in perfect safety.
The fact of this opportunity being neglected, led at once
to the inference that the adventurers were total strangers,
and distinct voices were now raised by those on the bank,
to warn them of their danger--but whether it was that
they heard not, or understood not, the warning was
unnoticed. Once indeed it seemed as if he who so ably
conducted the course of the bark, had comprehended and
would have followed the suggestion so earnestly given,
for his tiny sail was seen to flutter for the first time
in the wind, as with the intention to alter his course.
But an impatient gesture from his companion in the bow,
who was seen to turn suddenly round, and utter something,
(which was however inaudible to those onshore,) again
brought the head of the fragile vessel to her original
course, and onward she went leaping and bounding, apparently
with the design to clear the whirlpool at a higher point
of the river. Nothing short of a miracle could now possibly
enable them to escape being drawn into the boiling vortex,
and, during the moments that succeeded, every heart beat
high with fearful expectation as to the result. At length
the canoe came with a sudden plunge into the very centre
of the current, which, all the skill of the steersman
was insufficient to enable him to clear. Her bow yawed,
her little sail fluttered--and away she flew, broadside
foremost, down the stream with as little power of resistance
as a feather or a straw. Scarcely had the eye time to
follow her in this peculiar descent, when she was in the
very heart of the raging eddy. For a moment she reeled
like a top, then rolled two or three times over, and
finally disappeared altogether. Various expressions of
horror broke from the several groups of whites and Indians,
all of whom had anticipated the catastrophe without the
power of actively interposing. Beyond the advice that
was given, not a word was uttered, but every eye continued
fixed on the whirlpool, as though momentarily expecting
to see something issue from its bosom. After the lapse
of a minute, a dark object suddenly presented itself some
twenty yards below, between the island and the town. It
was the canoe which, bottom upwards, and deprived of its
little mast and sail, had again risen to the surface,
and was floating rapidly down with the current. Presently
afterwards two heads were seen nearly at the point where
the canoe had again emerged. They were the unfortunate
adventurers, one of whom appeared to be supporting his
companion with one arm, whilst with the other he dashed
away the waters that bore them impetuously along. The
hats of both had fallen off, and as he who exerted himself
so strenuously, rose once or twice in the vigour of his
efforts above the element with which he contended, he
seemed to present the grisly, woolly hair, and the sable
countenance of an aged negro. A vague surmise of the
truth now flashed upon the mind, of the excited officer,
but when, presently afterwards, he saw the powerful form
once more raised, and in a voice that made itself distinctly
heard above the howling of the wind, exclaim: "Help a
dare," there was no longer a doubt, and he rushed towards
the dock yard, to gain which the exertions of the negro
were now directed.

On reaching it, he found both Gerald and his faithful
attendant just touching the shore. Aroused by the cry
for help which Sambo had pealed forth, several of the
workmen had quitted the shelter of the block houses in
which they were lodged, and hastened to the rescue of
him whom they immediately afterwards saw struggling
furiously to free himself and companion from the violent
current. Stepping to the extremity on some loose timber
which lay secured to the shore, yet floating in the
river--they threw out poles, one of which Sambo seized
like an enraged mastiff in his teeth, and still supporting
the body, and repelling the water with his disengaged
arm, in this manner succeeded in gaining the land. The
crews of the little fleet, which lay armed a hundred
yards lower down, had also witnessed the rapid descent
of two apparently drowning men, and ropes had every where
been thrown out from the vessels. As for lowering a boat
it was out of the question, for no boat could have resisted
the violence of the current, even for some hours after
the storm had wholly ceased.

It may be easily conceived with what mingled emotions
the generous Henry, whose anxiety had been so long excited
in regard to his brother's fate, now beheld that brother
suddenly restored to him. Filled with an affection, that
was rendered the more intense by the very fact of the
danger from which he had just seen him rescued, he,
regardless of those around, and in defiance of his wet
and dripping clothes, sprang eagerly to his embrace, but
Gerald received him with a cold--almost averted air.
Suffering, rather than sharing, this mark of his fraternal
love, he turned the instant afterwards to his servant,
and in a tone of querulousness, said--"Sambo, give me
more wine."

Inexpressibly shocked, and not knowing what to make of
this conduct, Henry bent his glance upon the negro. The
old man shook his head mournfully, and even with the
dripping spray that continued to fall from his woollen
locks upon his cheeks, tears might be seen to mingle. A
dreadful misgiving came over the mind of the youth, and
he felt his very hair rise thrillingly, as he for a moment
admitted the horrible possibility, that the shock produced
by his recent accident had affected his brother's intellect.
Sambo replied to his master's demand, by saying "there
was no wine--the canoe and its contents had been utterly
lost."

All this passed during the first few moments of their
landing. The necessity for an immediate change of apparel
was obvious, and Gerald and his servant were led into
the nearest block house, where each of the honest fellows
occupying it was eager in producing whatever his rude
wardrobe afforded. The brothers then made the best of
their way, followed by the negro, to their own abode in
the town.

The evening being damp and chilly, a fire was kindled in
the apartment in which Gerald dined--the same in which
both had witnessed the dying moments of their mother,
and Henry those of their father. It had been chosen by
the former, in the height of her malady, for its
cheerfulness, and she had continued in it until the hour
of her decease; while Major Grantham had selected it for
his chamber of death, for the very reason, that it had
been that of his regretted wife. Henry, having already
dined, sat at the opposite extremity of the table, watching
his brother whose features he had so longed to behold
once more; yet, not without a deep and bitter feeling of
grief that those features should have undergone so complete
a change in their expression towards himself. Gerald had
thrown off the temporary and ill fitting vestments
exchanged for his own wet clothing, and now that he
appeared once more in his customary garb, an extraordinary
alteration was perceptible in his whole appearance.
Instead of the blooming cheek, and rounded and elegant
form, for which he had always been remarkable, he now
offered to the eye of his anxious brother an emaciated
figure, and a countenance pale even unto wanness--while
evidence of much care, and inward suffering, might be
traced in the stern contraction of his hitherto open
brow. There was also a dryness in his speech that startled
and perplexed even more than the change in his person.
The latter might be the effect of imprisonment, and its
anxiety and privation, coupled with the exhaustion arising
from his recent accident, but how was the first to be
accounted for, and wherefore was he, after so long a
separation, and under such circumstances, thus
uncommunicative and unaffectionate? All these reflections
occurred to the mind of the sensitive Henry, as he sat
watching, and occasionally addressing a remark to, his
taciturn brother, until he became fairly bewildered in
his efforts to find a clue to his conduct. The horrible
dread which had first suggested itself, of the partial
overthrow of intellect, had passed away, but to this had
succeeded a discovery, attended by quite as much concern
--although creating less positive alarm. He had seen,
with inexpressible pain, that Gerald ate but little,
seeming rather to loathe his food, while on the other
hand, he had recourse more frequently to wine, drinking
off bumpers with greedy avidity, until, yielding at length
to the excess of his potations, he fell fast asleep in
the arm chair he had drawn to the fire, overcome by the
mingled influence of wine, fatigue, and drowsiness.

Bitter were the feelings of Henry Grantham, as thus he
gazed upon his sleeping brother. Fain would he have
persuaded himself, that the effect he now witnessed was
an isolated instance, and occurring only under the peculiar
circumstances of the moment. It was impossible to recal
the manner in which he had demanded "wine," from their
faithful old servant and friend, and not feel satisfied,
that the tone proclaimed him one who had been in the
frequent habit of repeating that demand, as the prepared,
yet painful manner of the black, indicated a sense of
having been too frequently called upon to administer to
it. Alas, thought the heart-stricken Henry, can it really
be, that he whom I have cherished in my heart of hearts,
with more than brother's love has thus fallen? Has Gerald,
formerly as remarkable for sobriety, as for every honorable
principle, acquired even during the months I have so
wretchedly mourned his absence, the fearful propensities
of the drunkard. The bare idea overpowered him, and with
difficulty restraining his tears, he rose from his seat,
and paced the room for some time, in a state of
indescribable agitation. Then again he stopped, and when
he looked in the sleeping face of his unconscious brother,
he was more than ever struck by the strange change which
had been wrought in his appearance. Finding that Gerald
still slept profoundly, he took the resolution of instantly
questioning Sambo, as to all that had befallen them during
their absence, and ascertaining, if possible, to what
circumstance the mystery which perplexed him was
attributable. Opening and reclosing the door with caution,
he hastened to the room, which, owing to his years and
long and faithful services, had been set apart for the
accommodation of the old man when on shore. Here he found
Sambo, who had dispatched his substantial meal, busily
occupied in drying his master's wet dress, before a large
blazing wood fire--and laying out, with, the same view,
certain papers, the contents of a pocket book, which had
been completely saturated with water. A ray of satisfaction
lighted the dark, but intelligent face of the negro,
which the instant before, had worn an expression of
suffering, as the young officer, pressing his hand with
warmth, thanked him deeply and fervently, for the noble,
almost superhuman exertions he had made that day, to
preserve his brother's life.

"Oh Massa Henry," was all the poor creature could say in
reply, as he retained the pressure with an emphasis that
spoke his profound attachment to both. Then leaning his
white head upon his hand against the chimney, and bursting
into tears; "berry much change, he poor broder Geral, he
not a same at all."

Here was a sad opening indeed to the subject. The heart
of the youth sank within him, yet feeling the necessity
of knowing all connected with his brother's unhappiness,
he succeeded in drawing the old man into conversation,
and finally into a narration of all their adventures, as
far, at least, as he had personal knowledge, from the
moment of their leaving Detroit in the preceding autumn.

When, after the expiration of an hour, he returned to
the drawing room, Gerald was awake, and so far restored
by the effect of his sound sleep, as to be, not only more
communicative, but more cordial towards his brother. He
even reverted to past scenes, and spoke of the mutual
frolics of their youth, with a cheerfulness bordering on
levity; but this pained Henry the more, for he saw in it
but the fruit of a forced excitement--as melancholy in
adoption as pernicious in effect--and his own heart
repugned all participation in so unnatural a gaiety,
although, he enforced himself to share it to the outward
eye. Fatigue at length compelled Gerald to court the
quiet of his pillow, and, overcome as his senses were
with wine, he slept profoundly until morning.



CHAPTER VI.

When they met at breakfast, Henry was more than ever
struck and afflicted by the alteration in his brother's
person and manner. All traces of the last night's excitement
had disappeared with its cause, and pale, haggard, and
embarrassed, he seemed but the shadow of his former self,
while the melancholy of his countenance had in it something
wild and even fierce. As at their first meeting, his
language was dry and reserved, and he seemed rather
impatient of conversation, as though it interfered with
the indulgence of some secret and all absorbing reflection,
while, to Henry's affectionate questioning of his adventures
since they first parted, he replied in the vague
unsatisfactory manner of one who seeks to shun the subject
altogether. At another moment, this apparent prostration
of the physical man might have been ascribed to his long
immersion of the preceding day, and the efforts that were
necessary to rescue him from a watery grave; but, from
the account Sambo had given him, Henry had but too much
reason to fear that the disease of body and mind which
had so completely encompassed his unfortunate brother,
not only had its being in a different cause, but might
be dated from an earlier period. Although burning with
desire to share that confidence which it grieved him to
the soul to find thus unkindly withheld, he made no effort
to remove the cloak of reserve in which his brother had
invested himself. That day they both dined at the garrison
mess, and Henry saw, with additional pain, that the warm
felicitation of his brother officers on his return, were
received by Gerald with the same reserve and indifference
which had characterized his meeting with him, while he
evinced the same disinclination to enter upon the solicited
history of his captivity, as well as the causes which
led to his bold venture, and consequent narrow escape,
of the preceding day. Finding him thus uncommunicative,
and not comprehending the change in his manner, they
rallied him; and, as the bottle circulated, he seemed
more and more disposed to meet their raillery with a
cheerfulness and good humour that brought even the color
into his sunken cheeks; but when, finally, some of them
proceeded to ask him, in their taunting manner, what he
had done with his old flame and fascinating prisoner,
Miss Montgomerie, a deadly paleness overspread his
countenance, and he lost in the moment, all power of
disguising his feelings. His emotion was too sudden, and
too palpable not to be observed by those who had unwillingly
called it forth, and they at once, with considerate tact,
changed the conversation. Hereupon Gerald again made an
effort to rally, but no one returned to the subject.
Piqued at this conduct, he had more frequent recourse to
the bottle, and laughed and talked in a manner that proved
him to be laboring under the influence of extraordinary
excitement. When he took leave of his brother to retire
to rest, he was silent, peevish, dissatisfied--almost
angry.

Henry passed a night of extreme disquiet. It was evident
from what had occurred at the mess-table, in relation to
the beautiful American, that to her was to be ascribed
the wretchedness to which Gerald had become a victim,
and he resolved, on the following morning, to waive all
false delicacy, and, throwing himself upon his affection,
to solicit his confidence, and offer whatever counsel he
conceived would best tend to promote his peace of mind.

At breakfast the conversation turned on the intended
movement, which was to take place within three days, and,
on this subject, Gerald evinced a vivacity that warmed
into eagerness. He had risen early that morning, with a
view to obtain the permission of the Commodore to make
one of the detachment of sailors who were to accompany
the expedition, and, having succeeded in obtaining the
command of one of the two gun-boats which were destined
to ascend the Miami, and form part of the battering force,
seemed highly pleased. This apparent return to himself
might have led his brother into the belief that his
feelings had indeed undergone a reaction, had he not,
unfortunately, but too much reason to know that the
momentary gaiety was the result of the very melancholy
which consumed him. However, it gave him a more favorable
opportunity to open the subject next his heart, and, as
a preparatory step, he dexterously contrived to turn the
conversation into the channel most suited to his purpose.

The only ill effect arising from Gerald's recent immersion
was a sense of pain in that part of his arm which had
been bitten by the rattle snake, on the day of the pic-nic
to Hog Island, and it chanced that this morning especially
it had a good deal annoyed him, evincing some slight
predisposition to inflammation. To subdue this, Henry
applied, with his own hand, a liniment which had been
recommended, and took occasion, when he had finished, to
remark on the devotedness and fearlessness Miss Montgomerie
had manifested in coming so opportunely to his rescue--
in all probability, thereby preserving his life.

At the sound of this name Gerald, started, and evinced
the same impatience of the subject he had manifested on
the preceding day. Henry keenly remarked his emotion,
and Gerald was sensible that he did.

Both sat for some minutes gazing at each other in expressive
silence, the one as if waiting to hear, the other as if
conscious that he was expected to afford some explanation
of the cause of so marked an emotion. At length Gerald
said, and in a tone of deep and touching despondency,
"Henry, I fear you find me very unamiable and much altered;
but indeed I am very unhappy."

Here was touched the first chord of their sympathies.
Henry's already on the elan, flew to meet this demonstration
of returning confidence, and he replied in a voice broken
by the overflowing of his full heart.

"Oh, my beloved brother, changed must you indeed be, when
even the admission that you are unhappy, inspires me with
a thankfulness such as I now feel. Gerald, I entreat, I
implore, you by the love we have borne each other from
infancy to disguise nothing from me. Tell me what it is
that weighs so heavily at your heart. Repose implicit
confidence in me, your brother, and let me assist and
advise you in your extremity, as my poor ability will
permit. Tell me Gerald, wherefore are you thus altered--
what dreadful disappointment has thus turned the milk of
your nature into gall?"

Gerald gazed at him a moment intently. He was much
affected, and a sudden and unbidden tear stole down his
pallid cheek. "If YOU have found the milk of my nature
turned into gall, then indeed am I even more wretched
than I thought myself. But, Henry, you ask me what I
cannot yield--my confidence--and, even were it so, the
yielding would advantage neither. I am unhappy, as I have
said, but the cause of that unhappiness must ever remain
buried here," and he pointed to his chest. This was said
kindly, yet determinedly.

"Enough, Gerald," and his brother spoke in tones of deep
reproach, "since you persist in withholding your confidence,
I will no longer urge it; but you cannot wonder that I
who love but you alone on earth, should sorrow as one
without hope, at beholding you subject to a grief so
overwhelming as to have driven you to seek refuge from
it, in an unhallowed grave."

"I do not understand you--what mean you?" quickly
interrupted Gerald, raising his head from the hand which
supported it upon the breakfast table, while he colored
faintly.

"You cannot well be ignorant of my meaning," pursued
Henry in the same tone, "if you but recur to the
circumstances attending your arrival here."

"I am still in the dark," continued Gerald, with some
degree of impatience.

"Because you know not that I am acquainted with all that
took place on the melancholy occasion. Gerald," he pursued,
"forgive the apparent harshness of what I am about to
observe--but was it generous--was it kind in you to incur
the risk you did, when you must have known that your
death would have entailed upon me an eternal grief? Was
it worthy of yourself, moreover, to make the devoted
follower of your fortunes, a sharer in the danger you so
eagerly and wantonly courted!"

"Nay, my good brother," and Gerald made an attempt at
levity, "you are indeed an unsparing monitor; but suppose
I should offer in reply, that a spirit of enterprize was
upon me on the occasion to which you allude, and that,
fired by a desire to astonish you all with a bold feat,
I had resolved to do what no other had done before me,
yet without apprehending the serious consequences which
ensued--or even assuming the danger to have been so
great."

"All this, Gerald, you might, yet would not say; because,
in saying it, would have to charge yourself with a gross
insincerity, and although you do not deem me worthy to
share your confidence, I still have pleasure in knowing
that my affection will not be repaid with deceit--however
plausible the motives for its adoption may appear--by
the substitution in short, of that which is not for that
which is."

"A gross insincerity?" repeated Gerald, again slightly
coloring.

"Yes, my brother--I say it not in anger, nor in reproach.--
but a gross insincerity it would certainly be. Alas,
Gerald, your motives are but too well known to me. The
danger you incurred was incurred wilfully, wantonly, and
with a view to your own destruction."

Gerald started. The color had again fled from his sunken
cheek, and he was ashy pale; "And HOW knew you this," he
asked with a trembling voice.

"Even, Gerald, as I know that you have been driven to
seek in wine that upbearing against the secret grief
which consumes you, which should be found alone in the
fortitude of a strong mind, and the consciousness of an
untainted honor. Oh, Gerald, had these been your supporters,
you never would have steeped your reason so far in
forgetfulness, as to have dared what you did on that
eventful day. Good Heaven! how little did I ever expect
to see the brother of my love degenerated so far as to
border on the character of the drunkard and the suicide."

The quick, but sunken eyes of the sailor flashed fire;
and he pressed his lips, and clenched his teeth together
as one strongly attempting to restrain his indignation.
It was but a momentary flashing of the chafed and bruised
spirit.

"You probe me deeply, Henry," he said calmly, and in a
voice of much melancholy. "These are severe expressions
for a brother to use--but you are right--I did seek
oblivion of my wretchedness in that whirlpool, as the
only means of destroying the worm that feeds incessantly
upon my heart; but Providence has willed it otherwise--
and, moreover, I had not taken the danger of my faithful
servant into the account. Had Sambo not saved me, I must
have perished, for I made not the slightest effort to
preserve myself. However it matters but little, the mere
manner of one's death," he pursued with increased
despondency. "It is easy for you, Henry, whose mind is
at peace with itself and the world, to preach fortitude
and resignation, but, felt you the burning flame which
scorches my vitals, you would acknowledge the wide, wide
difference between theory and practice."

Henry rose deeply agitated--he went to the door and
secured the bolt, then returning, knelt at his brother's
feet. Gerald had one hand covering his eyes from which,
however, the tears forced themselves through his closed
fingers. The other was seized and warmly pressed in his
brother's grasp.

"Gerald," he said in the most emphatic manner, "by the
love you ever bore to our sainted parents, in whose
chamber of death I now appeal to your better feelings--
by the friendship that has united our hearts from youth
to manhood--by all and every tie of affection, let me
implore you once more to confide this dreadful grief to
me, that I may share it with you, and counsel you for
your good. Oh, my brother, on my bended knees, do I
solicit your confidence. Believe me no mean curiosity
prompts my prayer. I would soothe, console, assist
you--aye, even to the very sacrifice of life."

The feelings of the sailor were evidently touched, yet
he tittered not a word. His hand still covered his face,
and the tears seemed to flow even faster than before.

"Gerald," pursued his brother with bitterness; "I see
with pain, that I have not your confidence, and I
desist--yet answer me one question. From the faithful
Sambo, as you must perceive, I have learnt all connected
with your absence, and from him I have gained that, during
your captivity, you were much with Miss Montgomerie, (he
pronounced the name with an involuntary shuddering), all
I ask, therefore, is whether your wretchedness proceeds
from the rejection of your suit, or from any levity or
inconstancy you may have found in her?"

Gerald raised his head from his supporting hand, and
turned upon his brother a look, in which mortified pride
predominated over an infinitude of conflicting emotions.

"Rejected, Henry, MY suit rejected--oh, no! In supposing
my grief to originate with her, you are correct, but
imagine not it is because my suit is rejected--certainly
not."

"Then," exclaimed Henry with generous emphasis, while he
pressed the thin hand which he held more closely between
his own, "Why not marry her?"

Gerald started.

"Yes, marry her," continued Henry; "marry her and be at
peace. Oh! Gerald, you know not what sad agency I attached
to that insidious American from the first moment of her
landing on this shore--you know not how much I have
disliked, and still dislike her--but what are these
considerations when my brother's happiness is at stake
--Gerald, marry her--and be happy."

"Impossible," returned the sailor in a feeble voice, and
again his head sank upon the open palm of his hand.

"Do you no longer love her then?" eagerly questioned the
astonished youth.

Once more Gerald raised his head, and fixed his large,
dim, eyes full upon those of his brother. "To madness!"
he said, in a voice, and with a look that made Henry
shudder. There was a moment of painful pause. The latter
at length ventured to observe.

"You speak in riddles, Gerald. If you love this Miss
Montgomerie to madness, and are, as you seem to intimate
loved by her in return, why not, as I have urged, marry
her?"

"Because," replied the sailor, turning paler than before,
and almost gasping for breath, "there is a condition
attached to the possession of her hand."

"And that is?" pursued Henry inquiringly, after another
long and painful pause.

"My secret," and Gerald pointed significantly to his
breast.

"True," returned Henry, slightly coloring; "I had
forgotten--but what condition, Gerald, (and here he spoke
as if piqued at the abrupt manner in which his brother
had concluded his half confidence), what condition, I
ask, may a woman entitled to our respect, as well as to
our love, propose, which should be held of more account
than that severest of offences against the Divine will--
self murder--nay, look not thus surprised, for have you
not admitted that you had guiltily attempted to throw
away your life--to commit suicide in short--rather than
comply with an earthly condition?"

"What if in this," returned Gerald, with a smile of
bitterness, "I have preferred the lesser guilt to the
greater?"

"I can understand no condition, my brother, a woman worthy
of your esteem could impose, which should one moment
weigh in the same scale against the inexpiable crime of
self destruction. But, really, all this mystery so startles
and confounds me, that I know not what to think--what
inference to draw."

"Henry," observed the sailor, with some show of impatience
--"considering your promise not to urge it further, it
seems to me you push the matter to an extremity."

The youth made no reply, but, raising himself from his
knees, moved towards the door, which he again unbolted.
He then walked to the window at the further end of the
apartment.

Gerald saw that he was deeply pained; and impatient, and
angry with himself, he also rose and paced the room with
hurried steps. At length he stopped, and putting one hand
upon the shoulder of his brother, who stood gazing vacantly
from the window, pointed with the other towards that part
of the apartment in which both their parents had breathed
their last.

"Henry, my kind, good, Henry," he said, with a voice
faltering with emotion, "do you recollect the morning,
when, on our return from school, we found our young
holiday joy changed into heart-breaking and mourning by
the sight of our dying mother?"

"Remember it, Gerald! aye, even as though it had been
yesterday. Oh, my brother, little did I think at the
moment, when, with hands closely clasped together, we
sank, overcome with grief, upon our bended knees, to
receive that mother's blessing, a day would ever arrive
when the joy or sorrow of the one, should form no portion
of the joy or sorrow of the other."

"It was there," pursued Gerald, and without noticing the
interruption, "that we solemnly pledged ourselves to do
the will and bidding of our father in all things."

"Even so, Gerald, I remember it well."

"And it was there," continued the sailor, with the emphasis
of strong emotion, "that, during my unfortunate absence
from the death bed of our yet surviving parent, you gave
a pledge for BOTH, that no action of our lives should
reflect dishonor on his unsullied name."

"I did. Both in your name and in my own, I gave the
pledge, well knowing that, in that, I merely anticipated
your desire."

"Most assuredly--what then would be your sensations were
you to know that I had violated that sacred obligation?"

"Deep, poignant, ceaseless, regret, that my once noble
and high spirited brother, should have been so lost to
respect for his father's memory, and to himself." This
was uttered, not without deep agitation.

"You are right, Henry," added Gerald mournfully;
"better--far better--is it to die, than live on in the
consciousness of having forfeited all claim to esteem."

The young soldier started as if a viper had stung him.
"Gerald," he said eagerly, "you have not dishonored
yourself. Oh no--tell me, my brother, that you have not."

"No," was the cold, repulsive answer, "although my peace
of mind is fled," he pursued, rather more mildly, "my
honor, thank heaven, remains as pure as when you first
pledged yourself for its preservation."

"Thanks, my brother, for that. But can it really be
possible, that the mysterious condition attached to Miss
Montgomerie's love, involves the loss of honor?"

Gerald made no answer.

"And can YOU really be weak enough to entertain a passion
for a woman, who would make the dishonoring of the fair
fame of him she professes to love, the fearful price at
which her affection is to be purchased?"

Gerald seemed to wince at the word "weak," which was
rather emphatically pronounced, and looked displeased at
the concluding part of the sentence.

"I said not that the condition attached to her LOVE," he
remarked, with the piqued expression of a wounded vanity;
"her affection is mine, I know, beyond her own power of
control--the condition, relates not to her heart, but to
her hand."

"Alas, my poor infatuated brother. Blinding indeed must
be. the delusions of passion, when a nature so sensitive
and so honorable shrinks not from such a connexion. My
only surprise is, that, with such a perversion of judgment,
you have returned at all."

"No more of this Henry. It is not in man to control his
destiny, and mine appears to be to love with a fervor
that must bear me, ere long, to my grave. Of this, however,
be assured--that, whatever my weakness, or infatuation,
as you may be pleased to call it, THAT passion shall
never be gratified at the expense of my honor. Deeply--
madly as I doat upon her image, Miss Montgomerie and I
have met for the last time."

Overcome by the emotion with which he had thus expressed
himself, Gerald could not restrain a few burning tears
that forced their way down his hollow cheeks. Henry caught
eagerly at this indication of returning softness, and
again essayed, in reference to the concluding declaration
of his brother, to urge upon him the unworthiness of her
who had thus cast her deadly spell upon his happiness.
But Gerald could ill endure the slightest allusion to
the subject.

"Henry," he said, "I have already told you that Miss
Montgomerie and I have parted forever; but not the less
devotedly do I love her. If, therefore, you would not
further wring a heart already half broken with affliction,
oblige me by never making the slightest mention of her
name in my presence--or ever adverting again to our
conversation of this morning. I am sure Henry, you will
not deny me this."

Henry offered no other reply than by throwing himself
into the arms that were extended to receive him. The
embrace of the brothers was long and fervent, and, although
there was perhaps more of pain than pleasure, in their
mutual sense of the causes which had led to it in the
present instance--still was it productive of a luxury
the most heartfelt. It seemed to both as if the spirits
of their departed parents hovered over, and blessed them
in this indication of their returning affection, hallowing,
with their invisible presence, a scene connected with
the last admonitions from their dying lips. When they
had thus given vent to their feelings, although the sense
of unhappiness continued undiminished, their hearts
experienced a sensible relief; and when they separated
for the morning, in pursuit of their respective avocations,
it was with a subdued manner on the part of Gerald, and
a vague hope with Henry, that his brother's disease would
eventually yield to various influences, and that other
and happier days were yet in store for both.



CHAPTER VII.

Meanwhile the preparations for the departure of the
expedition for the Miami were rapidly completing. To the
majority of the regular force of the two garrisons were
added several companies of militia, and a considerable
body of Indians, under Tecumseh--the two former portions
of the force being destined to advance by water, the
latter by land. The spring had been unusually early,
and the whole of April remarkably warm; on some occasions
sultry to oppressiveness--as for instance on the morning
of the tempest. They were now in the first days of the
last week of that month, and every where a quick and
luxuriant vegetation had succeeded to the stubborn
barrenness and monotony of winter. Not a vestige of that
dense mass of ice which, three months previously, had
borne them over lake and river, was now to be seen. The
sun danced joyously and sportively on the golden wave,
and where recently towered the rugged surface of the tiny
iceberg, the still, calm, unbroken level of the mirroring
lake was only visible. On the beach, just below the town,
and on a line with the little fleet, that lay at anchor
between the island and the main, were drawn up numerous
batteaux, ready for the reception of the troops, while
on the decks of two gun boats, that were moored a few
yards without them, were to be seen the battering train
and entrenching tools intended to accompany the expedition.
Opposite to each bateau was kindled a fire, around which
were grouped the voyageurs composing the crew, some
dividing their salt pork or salt fish upon their bread,
with a greasy clasped knife, and quenching the thirst
excited by this with occasional libations from tin cans,
containing a mixture of water and the poisonous distillation
of the country, miscalled whiskey. In other directions,
those who had dined sat puffing the smoke from their
dingy pipes, while again, they who had sufficiently
luxuriated on the weed, might be seen sleeping, after
the manner of the Indians, with their heads resting on
the first rude pillow that offered itself, and their feet
close upon the embers of the fire on which they had
prepared their meal. The indolence of inactivity was more
or less upon all, but it was the indolence consequent on
previous exertion, and a want of further employment. The
whole scene was characteristic of the peculiar manners
of the French Canadian boatmen.

Since the morning of the long and partial explanation
between the brothers, no further allusion had been made
to the forbidden subject. Henry saw, with unfeigned
satisfaction, that Gerald not only abstained from the
false excitement to which he had hitherto had recourse,
but that he apparently sought to rally against his
dejection. It is true that whenever he chanced to surprise
him alone, he observed him pale, thoughtful, and full of
care, but, as he invariably endeavored to hide the feeling
at his approach, he argued favorably even from the effort.
Early on the day previous to that of the sailing of the
expedition, Gerald asked leave for a visit of a few hours
to Detroit, urging a desire to see the family of his
uncle, who still remained quartered at that post, and
whom he had not met since his return from captivity.
This had been readily granted by the Commodore, in whom
the change in the health and spirits of his young favorite
had excited both surprise and concern, and who, anxious
for his restoration, was ready to promote whatever might
conduce to his comfort. He had even gone so far as to
hint the propriety of his relinquishing his intention of
accompanying the expedition, (which was likely to be
attended with much privation and exposure to those engaged
in it,) and suffering another officer to be substituted
to his command, while he remained at home to recruit his
health. But Gerald heard the well meant proposal with
ill disguised impatience, and he replied, with a burning
cheek, that if his absence for a day could not be allowed
without inconvenience to the service, he was ready to
submit; but, as far as regarded his making one of the
expedition, nothing short of a positive command should
compel him to remain behind. Finding him thus obstinate,
the Commodore good humouredly called him a silly, wilful,
fellow, and bade him have his own way; however he felt
confident that, if he accompanied the Miami expedition
in his then state of health, he never would return from it.

Gerald admitted it was probable enough he should not,
but, although he deeply felt the kindness of his Commander's
motive in wishing him to remain, he was not the less
determined, since the matter was left to his own choice,
to go where his duty led him. Then, promising to be back
long before the hour fixed for sailing the ensuing day,
he warmly pressed the cordially extended hand, and soon
afterwards, accompanied by Sambo, whose skill as a rider
was in no way inferior to his dexterity as a steersman,
mounted a favorite horse, and was soon far on his road
to Detroit.

Towards midnight of that day, two men were observed by
the American tanner, to enter by the gate that led into
the grounds of the cottage, and, after lingering for a
few moments, near the graves to which tradition had
attached so much of the marvellous, to disappear round
the angle of the building into the court behind. Curiosity
induced him to follow and watch their movements, and,
although he could not refrain from turning his head at
least a dozen times, as if expecting at each moment to
encounter some dread inhabitant of the tomb, he at length
contrived to place himself in the very position in which
Gerald had formerly been a witness of the attempt at
assassination. From the same window now flashed a strong
light upon the court below, and by this the features of
the officer and his servant were distinctly revealed to
the astonished tanner, who, ignorant of their return,
and scarcely knowing whether he gazed upon the living or
the dead, would have fled, had he not, as he afterwards
confessed, been rooted by fear, and a species of
fascination, to the spot. The appearance and actions of
the parties indeed seemed to justify, not only the
delusion, but the alarm of the worthy citizen. Both Gerald
and Sambo were disguised in large dark cloaks, and as
the light fell upon the thin person and pale, attenuated,
sunken countenance of the former, he could scarcely
persuade himself this was the living man, who a few months
before, rich in beauty and in health, had questioned him
of the very spot in which he now, under such strange
circumstances, beheld him. Nor was the appearance of the
negro more assuring. Filled with the terror that ever
inspired him on approaching this scene at past horrors,
his usually dark cheek wore the dingy paleness
characteristic of death in one of his colour, while every
muscle, stiff, set, contracted by superstitious fear,
seemed to have lost all power of relaxation. The solemnity
moreover of the manner of both, was in strict keeping
with their personal appearance, so that it can scarcely
be wondered that in a mind not the strongest nor the most
free from a belief in the supernatural, a due quantum of
awe and alarm should have been instilled. Fear, however,
had not wholly subdued curiosity, and even while trembling
to such a degree that he could scarcely keep his teeth
from chattering, the tanner followed with eager eye the
movements of those he knew not whether to look upon as
ghosts or living beings. The room was exactly in the
state in which we last described it, with this difference
merely, that the table, on which, the lamp and books had
been placed now lay overturned, as if in the course of
some violent scuffle, and its contents distributed over
the floor. The bed still remained, in the same corner,
unmade, and its covering tossed. It was evident no one
had entered the apartment since the night of the attempted
assassination.

The first act of Gerald, who bore the light, followed
closely by Sambo, was to motion the latter to raise the
fallen table. When this was done be placed his lamp upon
it, and sinking upon the foot of the bed, and covering
his eyes with his hands, seemed for some moments utterly
absorbed in bitter recollections. The negro, meanwhile,
an apparent stranger to the scene, cast his eyes around
him with the shrinking caution of one who finds himself
in a position of danger, and fears to encounter some
terrific sight, then, as if the effort was beyond his
power, he drew the collar of his cloak over his face,
and shuffling to get as near as possible to the bed as
though in the act he came more immediately under the
protection of him who sat upon it, awaited, in an attitude
of statue-like immobility, the awakening of his master
from his reverie.

Gerald at length withdrew his hands from his pallid face,
on which the glare of the lamp rested forcibly, and, with
a wild look and low, but imperative, voice, bade the old
negro seat himself beside him still lower on the bed.

"Sambo," he inquired abruptly--" how old were you when
the Indian massacre took place near this spot. You were
then, I think I have heard it stated, the servant of Sir
Everard Valletort?"

The old negro looked aghast. It was long since direct
allusion had been made to his unfortunate master or the
events of that period. Questioned in such a spot, and at
such an hour, he could not repress the feeling of terror
conjured up by the allusion. Scarcely daring to exceed
a whisper, he answered.

"Oh Massa Geral, for Hebben's sake no talkee dat. It
berry long time ago, and break poor nigger heart to tink
ob it--"

"But I insist on knowing," returned Gerald loudly and
peremptorily; "were you old enough to recollect the curse
that poor heart-broken woman, Ellen Halloway, uttered on
all our race, and if so what was it?"

"No, Massa Geral, I no sabby dat. Sambo den only piccaninny
and Sir Ebbered make him top in e fort--oh berry bad times
dat, Massa Geral. Poor Frank Hallabay e shot fust, because
e let he grand fadder out ob e fort, and den ebery ting
go bad--berry bad indeed."

"But the curse of Ellen Halloway, Sambo--you must have
heard of it surely--even if you were not present at the
utterance. Did she not," he continued, finding that the
other replied not: "Did she not pray that the blood of
my great grand father's children might be spilt on the
very spot that had been moistened with that of her ill
fated husband--and, that if any of the race should survive,
it might be only with a view to their perishing in some
unnatural and horrible manner. Was not this the case?"

"Oh yes, Massa Geral, berry bad tongue Ellen, affir he
lose he husband--but, poor ting, he half mad and no sabby
what he say. He time to start for he gun boat, Massa
Geral."

The part Sambo had sustained in this short dialogue was
a forced one. He had answered almost mechanically, and
not altogether without embarrassment, the few queries
that were put to him. Nay, so far was he governed by
surrounding local influences, that the anguish he would,
under other circumstances, have experienced, at this
raking up of recollections he so sedulously avoided, was
lost in terror, produced by his near and midnight
propinquity to the fatal theatre of death. His only idea
now was to leave the spot as quickly as he could.

Gerald had again covered his face with his hands, and
appeared to be laboring under strong agitation of mind.
At length he started abruptly up, and seizing the light,
held it forward, stooping over the bed, as if gazing
fixedly on some object within.

"No," he said with vehemence, "it shall never be. That
part of the malediction, at least, shall NOT be
accomplished. For once shall the curse of the innocent
be unheeded."

The strange action and words of the excited officer, by
no means contributed to allay the nervousness of the
brave but superstitious negro. He had approached as near
as he could to Gerald, without actually touching him;
but when he remarked his abrupt movement, and heard the
sudden outburst of feeling which accompanied it, he half
fancied he was apostrophizing some spirit visible only
to himself, and shocked and terrified at this idea, he
turned away his head.

Sambo's alarm was not to terminate here. Scarcely had he
bent his glance upon the window when he beheld two glaring
eyes, magnified by his fear into thrice their natural
size, fixed intently on that part of the room in which
they stood. He attempted to cry out, but the sound was
stifled in his throat, and he sank upon his knees, holding
up his hands in an attitude of prayer--his teeth chattering,
and his eyes fascinated by those which had produced in
him this paroxysm of terror. Presently he thought he saw
a mouth open, and a row of large and ragged teeth display
themselves in a grin of derision. With a desperate effort
he broke the spell that seemed to enchain every faculty,
and called piteously and imploringly on the name of
Gerald. The officer, who had continued gazing on the
untenanted bed in deep abstraction, and seeming
forgetfulness of all surrounding objects, turned hastily
round, and was much concerned to observe the terrified
expression of the old man's countenance.--Following the
direction of his fixed gaze, he looked towards the window
for a solution of the cause. At that moment a noise was
heard without, as of a falling body. Gerald sprang towards
the window, and hastily lifting it, thrust the lamp
through; but nothing was visible, neither was there sound
of footsteps to be heard.

Before daybreak on the following morning, the poor old
negro, whom no living danger could daunt, had given but
too alarming evidence that his reason was utterly alienated.
His ravings were wild and fearful, and nothing could
remove from his mind that the face he had beheld was that
of the once terrible Wacousta--the same face which had
presented itself, under such extraordinary circumstances,
at the window of the Canadian's hut, on the night of the
departure of his master, Sir Everard Valletort, and
Captain De Haldimar, for Michilimackinac in 1763. Nay,
so rooted was this belief, that, with the fervor of that
zeal which had governed his whole life and conduct towards
each succeeding generation of the family, he prayed and
obtained, during a momentary gleam of reason, the promise
of the much shocked Gerald, that he would never again
set foot within the precincts of those fatal grounds.

Inexpressibly grieved as Gerald was at this sad and
unexpected termination to his adventure, he had no time
to linger near his unfortunate servant. The expedition
was to set out in a few hours, and he had too completely
bent his mind upon accompanying it to incur the slightest
chance of a disappointment. Leaving the faithful and
unfortunate creature to the care of his uncle's family,
by every member of whom he was scarcely less loved than
by himself, he took the ferry to the opposite shore within
an hour after day break, and made such speed that, when
Henry came down to breakfast he found, to his surprise,
his brother already there.

During his ride, Gerald had had leisure to reflect on
the events of the preceding night, and bitterly did he
regret having yielded to a curiosity which had cost the
unfortunate Sambo so much. He judged correctly that they
had been followed in their nocturnal excursion, and that
it was the face of some prying visitant which Sambo's
superstitious dread had transformed into a hideous vision
of the past. He recalled the insuperable aversion the
old man had ever entertained to approach of even make
mention of the spot, and greatly did he blame himself
for having persisted in offering a violence to his nature,
the extent of which had been made so fearfully obvious.
It brought no consolation to him to reflect that the spot
itself contained nought that should have produced so
alarming an effect on a mind properly constituted. He
felt that, knowing his weakness as he did, he ought not
to have trifled with it, and could not deny to himself,
that in enforcing his attendance, (with a view to obtain
information on several points connected with the past),
he had been indirectly the destroyer of his reason. There
had been a season when the unhappy sailor would have felt
a sorrow even deeper than he did, but Gerald was indeed
an altered being--too much rapt in himself to give heed
to others.

The painful nature of his reflections, added to the
fatigue he had undergone, had given to his countenance
a more than usually haggard expression. Henry remarked
it and inquired the cause, when his brother, in a few
brief sentences, explained all that had occurred during
his absence. Full of affection as he was for the old man,
and utterly unprepared for such a communication, Henry
could not avoid expressing deep vexation that his brother,
aware as he was of the peculiar weakness of their aged
friend, should have been inconsiderate enough to have
drawn him thither. Gerald felt the reproof to be just,
and for that very reason grew piqued under it. Shocked
as he was at the condition of Sambo, Henry was even more
distressed at witnessing the apparent apathy of his
brother for the fate of one, who had not merely saved
his life on a recent occasion, but had evinced a
devotedness--a love for him--in every circumstance of
life, which seldom had had their parallel in the annals
of human servitude. It was in vain that he endeavored
to follow the example of Gerald, who, having seated
himself at the breakfast table, was silently appeasing
an appetite such as he had not exhibited since his return.
Incapable of swallowing his food, Henry paced up and down
the room, violently agitated and sick at heart. It seemed
to him as if Sambo had been a sort of connecting link
between themselves and the departed parents; and now that
he was suddenly and fearfully afflicted, he thought he
could see in the vista of futurity a long train of evils
that threw their shadows before, and portended the
consummation of some unknown, unseen affliction; having
its origin in the incomprehensible alienation of his
brother's heart from the things of his early love.

While he was yet indulging in these painful thoughts,
the firing of a gun from the harbour--the signal for the
embarkation of the troops--brought both Gerald and himself
to a sense of other considerations. The latter was the
first to quit the house. "Henry," he said with much
emotion, "God bless you. It is possible that, as our
service lies in different lines, we shall see but little
of each other during this expedition--Of one thing
however be assured--that although I am an unhappy man I
am any thing but dead to feeling--Henry," he continued
pressing his hand with warmth, "think not unkindly
hereafter of your poor brother Gerald." A long embrace,
in which each, although in silence, seemed to blend heart
with heart, ensued, and both greatly relieved, as they
always were after this generous expansion of their
feelings, separated forthwith whither their respective
duties summoned them.



CHAPTER VIII.

Seldom has there been witnessed a more romantic or
picturesque sight than that presented by an expedition
of batteaux moving across one of the Canadian lakes,
during a season of profound calm. The uniform and steady
pull of the crew, directed in their time by the wild
chaunt of the steersman, with whom they ever and anon
join in fall chorus--the measured plash of the oars into
the calm surface of the water--the joyous laugh and rude,
but witty, jest of the more youthful and buoyant of the
soldiery, from whom, at such moments, although in presence
of their officers, the trammels of restraint are partially
removed--all these, added to the inspiriting sight of
their gay scarlet uniforms, and the dancing of the sunbeams
upon their polished arms, have a tendency to call up
impressions of a wild interest, tempered only by the
recollection that many of those who move gaily on, as if
to a festival--bright in hope as though the season of
existence were to last for ever, may never more set eye
upon the scenes they are fast quitting, with the joyousness
produced by the natural thirst of the human heart for
adventure, and a love of change.

On the second day of its departure, from Amherstburg,
the expedition, preceded by the gun boats, entered the
narrow river of the Miami, and, the woods on either shore
being scoured by the Indians, gained without opposition
the point of debarkation. Batteries having, under great
difficulties, been erected on the right bank, immediately
opposite to, and about six hundred yards from the American
fort, which had been recently and hurriedly constructed,
a heavy and destructive fire was, on the morning of the
third day, opened from them, supported by the gun boats,
one of which, commanded by Gerald Grantham, had advanced
so close to the enemy's position as to have diverted upon
herself the fire which would else have been directed to
the demolition of a British battery, hastily thrown up
on the left bank. The daring manifested by the gallant
sailor was subject of surprise and admiration at once to
friends and foes, and yet, although his boat lay moored
within musket shot of the defences, he sustained but
trifling loss. The very recklessness and boldness of his
advance had been the means of his preservation, for, as
almost all the shots from the battery flew over him, it
was evident he owed his safety to the difficulty the
Americans, found in depressing their guns sufficiently
to bear advantageously upon the boat, which, if anchored
fifty yards beyond, they might have blown out of the
water.

The limits of our story will not admit of a further detail
of the operations of this siege. Suffice it that,
notwithstanding the entire defeat and capture of a strong
corps of the enemy, who were advancing to relieve the
place, in the course of which a handful of British troops
rendered themselves as conspicuous for valour, as the
noble Tecumseh did for valour and clemency united, the
siege, (a second time attempted,) was, after a final but
fruitless attempt to decoy the enemy from his defences,
abandoned as hopeless, and the expedition re-embarked
and directed against Fort Sandusky, a post of the Americans,
situate on the river of that name, and running also into
Lake Erie.

Here, once more, was the British Artillery landed, while,
under a heavy fire from the fort, the troops advanced
within range, to take possession of an eminence whereon
it was intended to erect the batteries. Two days were
passed in incessant cannonading, but, as at the Miami,
without making the slightest impression on the green
wood, that opened to receive each ball and closed unshaken
the moment afterwards. Finding all idea of a practicable
breach hopeless, it was at length resolved that an attempt
at assault should be made, and, with this view, the troops
were, on the afternoon of the second day, ordered to hold
themselves in immediate readiness.

In consequence of the shallowness of the river, it had
been found necessary to moor the gun boats at a point
considerably below, and out of sight of the fort. Gerald
Grantham had obtained permission to leave his command,
and take charge of one of the batteries, which, however,
he relinquished on the day of the assault, having
successfully petitioned to be suffered to join the attack
as a volunteer. In the dress of a grenadier soldier,
disabled during the siege, he now joined the party of
animated officers, who, delighted at the prospect of
being brought once more in close contact with their
enemies, after so many wearying days of inaction, were
seated at a rude but plentiful repast in Captain Cranstoun's
tent, and indulging in remarks which, although often
uttered without aim or ill-nature, are as often but too
bitter subject of after self-reproach to those who have
uttered them. Of those who had originally set out on the
expedition, the only officer of the ---- Regiment absent
was Henry Grantham, who, having been slightly wounded at
the Miami, had, much against his inclination, been ordered
back to Amherstburgh, in charge of the sick and wounded
of the detachment, and this so suddenly, that he had not
had an opportunity of taking leave of his brother.

"Ha! Gerald, my fine fellow," exclaimed Captain Molineux,
as the youth now joined their circle, "so you have clapped
on the true harness at last. I always said that your
figure became a red jacket a devilish deal better than
a blue. But what new freak is this? Had you not a close
enough berth to Jonathan in the Miami, without running
the risk of a broken head with us today in his trenches?"

"No such luck is there in store for my juniors, I fancy,"
replied Grantham, swallowing off a goblet of wine, which
had been presented to him--"but if I do fall, it will be
in good company. Although the American seems to lie
quietly enough within his defences, there is that about
him which promises us rather a hot reception.".

"So much the better," said Villiers; "there will be broken
heads for some of us--who do you think we have booked for
a place to the other world?"

Gerald made no answer, but his look and manner implied
that he understood himself to be the party thus favored.

"Not so," returned Villiers, "we can't afford to spare
you yet besides the death of a blue jacket can in no way
benefit us. What's the use of 'a bloody war and a sickly
season,' that standard toast at every West India mess,
if the juniors are to go off and not the seniors--
Cranstoun's the man we've booked."

"Captain Cranstoun, I have the honor of wishing you a
safe passage, and speedy promotion in Heaven," said
Middlemore, draining off his glass. "Devilish good port
this of yours. By the bye, as you have a better port in
view, you cannot do better than assign over what is left
of this to me."

"Thonk ye, Mr. Meeddlemore," retorted Cranstoun drily,
yet good humouredly; "yeet as ye're to be attoched to my
deveesion y'ell perhops roon jeest the same reesk, and
as it may be that y'ell not want more wine than we've
taken the day, any moore than mysel', a pleedge ye, in
retoorn, a safe possage to Heeven, when a troost ye will
be joodged for better qualities than ye poossess as a
poonster."

"What," asked Gerald, with an unfeigned surprise, when
the laugh against Middlemore had subsided; "and is it
really in his own wine that you have all thus been
courteously pledging Captain Cranstoun's death?"

"Even so," said Middlemore, rallying and returning to
the attack, "he invited us all to lunch in his tent, and
how could we better repay him for opening his hampers,
than by returning his SPIRIT SCOT-FREE and UNHAMPERED to
Heaven,"

"Oh, oh, oh," ejaculated St. Clair, stopping his ears
and throwing up his eyes; "surely, Middlemore, if you
are not shot this day, it must be that you were born to
be hanged--no man can perpetrate so horrible a pun, and
expect to live."

"I'm hanged if I am then," returned the other; "but,
talking of being shot--is a there another shot in the
locker, Cranstoun--another bottle of port?"

"The shot that is reserved for you, will bring you
acquainted with another locker than Cranstoun's I suspect,"
said Villiers; "one Mr. David Jones' locker--hit there eh?"

The low roll of a muffled drum, suddenly recalled the
party from their trifling to considerations of a graver
interest. It was the signal for forming the columns of
attack. In a moment the tone--the air of ribaldry was
exchanged for a seriousness that befitted the occasion,
and it seemed as if a momentary reproach passed over the
minds of those who had most amused themselves at the
expense of Cranstoun, for each, as he quitted the tent,
gave his extended hand to his host, who pressed it in a
manner to show all was forgiven.

The English batteries had been constructed on the skirt
of the wood surrounding the fort, from which latter they
were separated by a meadow covered with long grass, about
six hundred yards across at the narrowest point. Behind
these the columns of attack, three in number, were now
rapidly and silently formed. To that commanded by Captain
Cranstoun, on the extreme left, and intended to assault
the fort at the strongest point, Gerald Grantham had
attached himself, in the simple dress, as we have observed,
of a private soldier, and armed with a common musket. In
passing, with the former officer, to take his position
in front of the column, he was struck by the utter want
of means for executing, with success, the duty assigned
to the several divisions. Each column was provided with
a certain number of axemen, selected to act as pioneers;
but not one of the necessary implements was in a condition
to be used; neither had a single fascine or ladder been
provided, although it was well known a deep ditch remained
to be passed before the axes, inefficient as they were,
could be brought into use.

"Sooch," said Captain Cranstoun, with a sneer of much
bitterness, and pointing to the blunted and useless
implements, "are the peetiful theengs on which hong the
lives of our brave fallows. Nae doot the next dispotches
will say a great deal aboot the eexcellent arrangements
for attock; but if ye do not fall, Geerald, a hope ye'll
make a proper repreesentation of the affair. As ye belong
to the other seervice, there's leetle fear the Geeneral
can hurt your promotion for jeest speaking the truth. A
Geeneral indeed! who'll say Fortune is not bleind to make
a Geeneral of sooch as he?"

It was not an usual thing for Cranstoun to express himself
thus in regard to his superiors; but he was really vexed
at the idea of the sacrifice of human life that must
attend this wantonness of neglect, and imbecility of
arrangement. He had, moreover, taken wine enough, not in
any way to intoxicate, but sufficient to thaw his habitual
caution and reserve. Fearless as his sword, he cared
not for his own life; but, although a strict officer, he
was ever attentive to the interests of his men, who, in
their turn, admired him for his cool, unflinching courage,
and would have dared any thing, under the direction of
their Captain.

It was evident that the contempt of the sailor for the
capacity of the leader, to whom it was well known, all
the minute arrangements were submitted, was not one whit
inferior to what was entertained by the brave and honest
Cranstoun. He, however, merely answered, as they both
assumed their places in front, and with the air of one
utterly indifferent to these disadvantages.

"No matter, Cranstoun, the greater the obstacles we have
to contend against, the more glorious will he our victory.
Where you lead, however, we shall not be long in following."

"Hem! since it is to be a game of follow-my-leader," said
Middlemore, who now joined them, "I must not be far
behind. A month's pay with either of you I reach the
stockade first."

"Doone, Meeddlemore, doone," eagerly replied Cranstoun,
and they joined hands in confirmation of the bet.

This conversation had taken place during the intervals
occupied by the movements of the right and centre columns
along the skirt of the wood, to equidistant points in
the half circle embraced in the plan of attack. A single
blast of the bugle now announced that the furthermost
had reached its place of destination, when suddenly a
gun--the first fired since noon from the English batteries
--gave the signal for which all were now prepared.

In the next minute the heads of the several columns
debouched from the wood, and, the whole advancing in
double quick time, with their arms at the trail, moved
across the meadow in the several directions assigned
them. The space to be traversed by Captain Cranstoun's
division was considerably the shortest of the three; but,
on the other hand, he was opposed to that part of the
enemy's defences where there was the least cover afforded
to an assailing force. Meanwhile there was an utter repose
in the fort; which for some moments induced the belief
that the Americans were preparing to surrender their
trust without a struggle, and loud yells from the Indians,
who, from their cover in the rear, watched the progress
of the troops with admiration and surprise, were pealed
forth as if in encouragement to the latter to proceed.
But the American Commander had planned his defence with
skill. No sooner had the several columns got within half
musket shot, than a tremendous fire of musketry and rifles
was opened upon them from two distinct faces of the
stockade. Captain Cranstoun's division, being the nearest,
was the first attacked, and suffered considerably without
attempting to return a shot. At the first discharge, the
two leading sergeants, and many of the men, were knocked
down; but neither Cranstoun, nor Middlemore, nor Grantham,
were touched.

"Foorward men, foorward," shouted the former, brandishing
his sword, and dashing down a deep ravine, that separated
them from the trenches.

"On, my gallant fellows, on!--the left column for ever,"
cried Middlemore, imitating the example of his Captain,
and, in his eagerness to reach the ditch first, leaving
his men to follow as they could.

Few of these, however, needed the injunction. Although
galled by the severe fire of the enemy, they followed
their leaders down the ravine with a steadiness worthy
of a better result; then, climbing up the opposite ascent,
under a shower of bullets, yet without pulling a trigger
themselves, made for the ditch their officer had already
gained.

Cranstoun, still continuing in advance, was the first
who arrived on the brink. For a moment he paused, as if
uncertain what course to pursue, then, seeing Middlemore
close behind him, he leaped in, and striking a blow of
his sabre upon the stockade, called loudly upon the axemen
to follow. While he was yet shouting, a ball from a
loop-hole, not three feet above his head, entered his
brain, and he fell dead across the trench.

"Ha! well have you won your wager, my noble Captain!"
exclaimed Middlemore, putting his hand to his chest, and
staggering from the effect of a shot he had that instant
received. "You are indeed the BETTER man," (he continued
excited beyond his usual calm by the circumstances in
which he found himself placed, yet unable to resist his
dominating propensity, even at such a moment,) "and
deserve the palm of honor this day. Forward, men, forward:
--axemen do your duty. Down with the stockade, my lads,
and give them a bellyfull of steel."

Scarcely had he spoken, when a second discharge from the
same wall-piece that had killed Cranstoun passed through
his throat. "Forward," he again but more faintly shouted,
with the gurgling tone of suffocation peculiar to a wound
in that region, then, falling headlong into the ditch,
was in the next instant trodden under by the advance of
the column who rushed forward, though fruitlessly, to
avenge the deaths of their officers.

All was now confusion, noise, and carnage. Obeying the
command of their leader, the axemen had sprung into the
ditch, and, with efforts nerved by desperation, applied
themselves vigorously to the task allotted them. But as
well might they have attempted to raze the foundation of
the globe itself. Incapable from their bluntness of making
the slightest impression on the obstinate wood, the iron
at each stroke rebounded off, leaving to the eye no
vestige of where it had rested. Filled with disappointment
and rage, the brave and unfortunate fellows dashed the
useless metal to the earth, and endeavored to escape from
the ditch back into the ravine, where, at least, there
was a prospect of supplying themselves with more serviceable
weapons from among their slain comrades; but the ditch
was deep and slimy and the difficulty of ascent great.
Before they could accomplish it, the Americans opened a
fire from a bastion, the guns of which, loaded with slugs
and musket balls, raked the trench from end to end, and
swept away all that came within its range. This was the
first check given to the division of the unfortunate
Cranstoun. Many of the leading sections had leaped,
regardless of all obstacles, into the trench, with a view
of avenging their slaughtered officers; but these, like
the axemen, had been carried away by the discharges from
the bastion and the incessant fire poured upon them from
the loop-holes of the stockade. Despairing of success,
without fascines to fill up the ditch, or a ladder to
scale the picketing that afforded cover to their enemies,
there was no alternative but to remain and be cut down
to a man, where they stood, or to retire into the brushwood
that lined the ravine. The latter was finally adopted;
but not before one third of the column had paid the
penalty of their own daring, and what the brave Cranstoun
had sneeringly termed the "General's excellent
arrangements," with their lives. The firing at this time
had now almost wholly ceased between the enemy and the
columns on the right and centre, neither of which had
penetrated beyond the ravine, and at a late hour in the
evening the whole were drawn off.

Meanwhile, steady at his post at the head of the division,
Gerald Grantham had continued to act with the men as
though he had been one of themselves. During the whole
course of the advance, he neither joined in the cheers
of the officers, nor uttered word of encouragement to
those who followed. But in his manner there was remarked
a quietness of determination, a sullen disregard of
danger, that seemed to denote some deeper rooted purpose
than the mere desire of personal distinction. His ambition
appeared to consist, not in being the first to reach or
scale the fort, but in placing himself wherever the balls
of the enemy flew thickest. There was no enthusiasm in
his mien, no excitement in his eye; neither had his step
the buoyancy that marks the young heart wedded to valorous
achievement, but was, on the contrary, heavy, measured,
yet firm. His whole manner and actions, in short, as
reported to his brother on the return of the expedition
by those who had been near him throughout the affair,
was that of a man who courts not victory but death.
Planted on the brow of the ditch, at the moment when
Middlemore fell, he had deliberately discharged his musket
into the loop-hole whence the shot had been fired; but
although, as he seemed to expect, the next instant brought
several barrels to bear upon himself, not one of these
had taken effect. A moment after and he was in the ditch,
followed by some twenty or thirty of the leading men of
the column, and advancing towards the bastion, then
preparing to vomit forth its fire upon the devoted axemen.
Even here, Fate, or Destiny, or whatever power it be that
wills the nature of the end of man, turned aside the
death with which he already seemed to grapple. At the
very moment when the flash rose from the havoc-dealing
gun, he chanced to stumble over the dead body of a soldier,
and fell flat upon his face. Scarcely had he touched the
ground when he was again upon his feet; but even in that
short space of time he alone, of those who had entered
the ditch, had been left unscathed. Before him came
bellying along the damp trench, the dense smoke from the
fatal bastion, as it were a funeral shroud for its victims;
and behind him were to be seen the mangled and distorted
forms of his companions, some dead, others writhing in
acute agony, and filling the air with shrieks, and groans,
and prayers for water wherewith to soothe their burning
lips, that mingled fearfully, yet characteristically,
with the unsubdued roar of small arms.

It was now, for the first time, that Gerald evinced any
thing like excitement, but it was the excitement of bitter
disappointment. He saw those to whom the preservation of
life would have been a blessing, cut down and slaughtered;
while he, whose object it was to lay it down for ever,
was, by some strange fatality, wholly exempt.

The reflections that passed with lightning quickness
through his mind, only served to stimulate his determination
the more. Scarcely had the smoke which had hitherto kept
him concealed from the battery, passed beyond him, when,
rushing forward, and shouting--"To the bastion, men--to
the bastion!" he planted himself in front of the gun,
and not three yards from its muzzle. Prevented by the
dense smoke that choked up the trench, from ascertaining
the extent of execution produced by their discharge, the
American artillerymen, who had again loaded, were once
more on the alert and preparing to repeat it. Already
was the match in the act of descending, which would have
blown the unfortunate Gerald to atoms, when suddenly an
officer, whose uniform bespoke him to be of some rank,
and to whose quick eye it was apparent the rash assailant
was utterly unsupported, sprang upon the bastion, and,
dashing the fuze from the hand of the gunner, commanded
that a small sally-port, which opened into the trench a
few yards beyond the point where he stood, should be
opened, and the brave soldier taken prisoner without
harm. So prompt was the execution of this order, that,
before Gerald could succeed in clambering up the ditch
which, with the instinctive dread of captivity, he
attempted, he was seized by half a dozen long legged
backwoodsmen, and, by these, borne hurriedly back through
the sally-port which was again closed.



CHAPTER IX.

Defeated at every point and with great loss, the British
columns had retired into the bed of the ravine, where,
shielded from the fire of the Americans, they lay several
hours shivering with cold and ankle deep in mud and water;
yet consoling themselves with the hope that the renewal
of the assault, under cover of the coming darkness, would
he attended with a happier issue. But the gallant General,
who appeared in the outset to have intended they should
make picks of their bayonets, and scaling-ladders of each
others bodies, now that a mound sufficient for the latter
purpose could be raised of the slain, had altered his
mind, and alarmed, and mayhap conscience stricken at the
profuse and unnecessary sacrifice of human life which
had resulted from the first wanton attack, adopted the
resolution of withdrawing his troops. This was at length
finally effected, and without further loss.

Fully impressed with the belief that the assailants would
not be permitted to forego the advantage they still
possessed in their near contiguity to the works, without
another attempt at escalade, the Americans had continued
calmly at their posts; with what confidence in the nature
of their defences, and what positive freedom from danger,
may be inferred from the fact of their having lost but
one man throughout the whole affair, and that one killed
immediately through the loop-hole by the shot that avenged
the death of poor Middlemore. When at a late hour they
found that the columns were again in movement, they could
scarcely persuade themselves they were not changing their
points of attack. A very few minutes however sufficed to
show their error, for in the indistinct light of a new
moon, the British troops were to be seen ascending the
opposite face of the ravine and in full retreat. Too well
satisfied with the successful nature of their defence,
the Americans made no attempt to follow, but contented
themselves with pouring in a parting volley, which however
the obscurity rendered ineffectual. Soon afterwards the
sally-port was again opened, and such of the unfortunates
as yet lingered alive in the trenches were brought in,
and every attention the place could afford paid to their
necessities.

An advanced hour of the night brought most of the American
officers together in their rude mess-room, where the
occurrences of the day were discussed with an enthusiasm
of satisfaction natural to the occasion. Each congratulated
each on the unexpected success, but commendation was more
than usually loud in favor of their leader, to whose
coolness and judgment, in reserving his fire until the
approach of the enemy within pistol shot, was to be
attributed the severe loss and consequent check they had
sustained.

Next became the topic of eulogium the gallantry of those
who had been worsted in all but their honor, and all
spoke with admiration of the devotedness of the two
unfortunate officers who had perished in the trenches--
a subject which, in turn, led to a recollection of the
brave soldier who had survived the sweeping discharge
from the bastion, and who had been so opportunely saved
from destruction by the Commandant himself.

"Captain Jackson," said that officer, addressing one of
the few who wore the regular uniform of the United States'
army, "I should like much to converse with this man, in
whom I confess, as in some degree the preserver of his
life, I feel an interest. Moreover, as the only uninjured
among our prisoners, he is the one most calculated to
give us information in regard to the actual force of
those whom we have this day had the good fortune to
defeat, as well as of the ultimate destination of the
British General. Notes of both these important particulars,
if I can possibly obtain them, I wish to make in a despatch
of which I intend you to be the bearer."

The Aid-de-Camp, for in that capacity was he attached to
the person of Colonel Forrester, immediately quitted the
room, and presently afterwards returned ushering in the
prisoner.

Although Gerald was dressed, as we have said, in the
uniform of the private grenadier, there was that about
him which, in defiance of a person covered from head to
foot with the slimy mud of the trenches, and a mouth
black as ink with powder from the cartridges he had
bitten, at once betrayed him for something more than he
appeared.

There was a pause for some moments after he entered. At
length Colonel Forrester inquired, in a voice strongly
marked by surprise:--

"May I ask, sir, what rank you hold in the British army?"

"But that I have unfortunately suffered more from your
mud than your fire," replied Gerald coolly, and with
undisguised bitterness of manner, "the question would at
once be answered by a reference my uniform."

"I understand you, sir; you would have me to infer you
are what your dress, and your dress alone, denotes--a
private soldier?"

Gerald made no answer.

"Your name, soldier?"

"My name!"

"Yes; your name. One possessed of the gallantry we
witnessed this day cannot be altogether without a name."

The pale cheek of Gerald was slightly tinged. With all
his grief, he still was man. The indirect praise lingered
a moment at his heart, then passed off with the slight
blush that as momentarily dyed his cheek.

"My name, sir, is a humble one, and little worthy to be
classed with those who have this day written theirs in
the page of honor with their heart's blood. I am called
Gerald Grantham."

"Gerald Grantham!" repeated the Commandant, musingly, as
though endeavoring to bring back the recollection of such
a name.

The prisoner looked at him stedfastly in return, yet
without speaking.

"Is there another of your name in the British squadron?"
continued Colonel Forrester, fixing his eye full upon
his prisoner.

"There are many in the British squadron whose names are
unknown to me," replied Gerald, evasively, and faintly
coloring.

"Nay," said Colonel Forrester, "that subterfuge more than
any thing betrays you. Though not answered, I am satisfied.
How we are to account for seeing a gallant sailor attacking
us in our trenches, in the humble garb of a private soldier,
and so out of his own element, I cannot understand; but
the name of Gerald Grantham, coupled with your manner and
appearance, assures us we are making personal acquaintance
with one to whose deeds we are not strangers. Gentlemen,"
addressing his officers, "this is the Lieutenant Grantham,
whose vessel was captured last autumn at Buffalo, and of
whose gallant defence, my cousin, Captain Edward Forrester,
has spoken so highly. Lieutenant Grantham," he pursued,
advancing, and offering his hand, "when I had the happiness
to save your life this day, by dashing aside the fuze that
would have been the agent in your destruction, I saw in
you but the brave and humble soldier, whom it were disgrace
not to have spared for so much noble daring. Judge how
great must be my satisfaction to know that I have been the
means of preserving, to his family and country, one whose
name stands so high even in the consideration of his
enemies."

Poor Gerald! how bitter and conflicting must have been
his feelings at that moment. On the one side, touched by
the highest evidences of esteem a brave and generous
enemy could proffer--on the other, annoyed beyond expression
at the recollection of an interposition which had thwarted
him in his fondest, dearest hope--that of losing, at the
cannon's mouth, the life he loathed. What had been done
in mercy and noble forbearance, was to him the direst
punishment that could be inflicted:--yet how was it
possible to deny gratitude for the motive which had
impelled his preservation, or fail in acknowledgment of
the appreciation in which he thus found himself personally
held.

"It would be idle, Colonel Forrester," he said, taking
the proffered hand, "after the manner in which you have
expressed yourself, to deny that I am the officer to whom
you allude. I feel deeply these marks of your regard,
although I cannot but consider any little merit that may
attach to me very much overrated by them. My appearance
in this dress, perhaps requires some explanation.
Presented by the shallowness of the river from co-operating
with the army in my gun-boat, and tired of doing nothing,
I had solicited and obtained permission to become one of
the storming party in the quality of volunteer, which of
necessity induced the garb in which you now behold me.
You know the rest."

"And yet, Colonel," said a surly-looking backwoodsman,
who sat with one hand thrust into the bosom of a hunting
frock, and the other playing with the richly ornamented
hilt of a dagger, while a round hat, surmounted by a huge
cockade, was perched knowingly over his left ear, covering,
or rather shadowing, little more than one fourth of his
head--"I reckon as how this here sort of thing comes
within the spy act. Here's a commissioned officer of
King George, taken not only in our lines, but in our very
trenches in the disguise of a private soger. What say
you, Captain Buckhorn?" turning to one somewhat younger
and less uncouth, who sat nest him habited in a similar
manner. "Don't you think it comes within the spy act?"

Captain Buckhorn, however, not choosing to hazard an
opinion on the subject, merely shrugged his shoulders,
puffed his cigar, and looked at the Colonel as if he
expected him to decide the question.

"As I am a true Tennessee man, bred and born, Major
Killdeer," said the Aid-de-Camp Jackson, "I can't see
how that can lie. To come within the spy act, a man must
be in plain clothes, or in the uniform of his enemy. Now,
Liftenant Grantham, I take it, comes in the British
uniform, and what signifies a whistle if he wears gold
lace or cotton tape, provided it be stuck upon a scarlet
coat, and that in the broad face of day, with arms in
his hand,--aye, and a devil of a desperation to make good
use of them too"--he added, with a good naturedly malicious
leer of the eye towards the subject of his defence.

"At all events, in my conceit, it's an attempt to undervally
himself," pursued the tenacious Kentuckian Major. "Suppose
his name warn't known as it is, he'd have passed for a
private soger, and would have been exchanged for one,
without our being any the wiser; whereby the United
States' service, I calculate, would have lost an officer
in the balance of account."

"Although there cannot be the slightest difficulty,"
observed Colonel Forrester, "in determining on the doubt
first started by you, Major Killdeer, I confess, that
what you have now suggested involves a question of some
delicacy. In the spirit, although not altogether in the
letter, of your suggestion, I agree; so much so, Mr.
Grantham," he added, turning to Gerald, "that in violence
to the inclination I should otherwise have felt to send
you back to your lines, on parole of honor, I shall be
compelled to detain you until the pleasure of my government
be known as to the actual rank in which you are to be
looked upon. I should say that, taken in arms as a
combatant without rank, we have no right to know you as
any thing else; but as I may be in error, I am sure you
will see how utterly impossible it is for me to take any
such responsibility upon myself, especially after the
difficulty you have just heard started."

Gerald, who had listened to this discussion with some
astonishment, was not sorry to find the manner of its
termination. In the outset he had not been without alarm
that the hero of one hour might be looked upon and hanged
as the spy of the next; and tired as he was of life, much
as he longed to lay it down, his neck had too invincible
a repugnance to any thing like contact with a cord to
render him ambitious of closing his existence in that
way. He was not at all sorry, therefore, when he found
the surly looking Major Killdeer wholly unsupported in
his sweeping estimate of what he called the "spy act."
The gentlemanly manner of Colonel Forrester, forming as
it did so decided a contrast with the unpolished--even
rude frankness of his second in command, was not without
soothing influence upon his mind, and to his last
observation he replied, as he really felt, that any change
in his views as to his disposal could in no way effect
him, since it was a matter of total indifference whether
he returned to Amherstburg, or was detained where he was.
In neither case could he actively rejoin the service
until duly exchanged, and this was the only object embraced
in any desire he might entertain of the kind.

"Still," added the Colonel, "although I may not suffer
you to return yet into Canada, I can see no objection to
according you the privilege of parole of honor, without
at all involving the after question of whether you are
to be considered as the soldier or the officer. From this
moment therefore, Mr. Grantham, you will consider yourself
a prisoner at large within the fort--or, should you prefer
journeying into the interior, to sharing the privations
and the dullness inseparable from our isolated position,
you are at liberty to accompany Captain Jackson, my
Aid-de-Camp, who will leave this within thirty-six hours,
charged with dispatches for the Governor of Kentucky."

Gerald had already acknowledged to himself that, if any
thing could add to his wretchedness, it would he a
compulsory residence in a place not only destitute itself
of all excitement, but calling up, at every hour, the
images of his brave companions in danger--men whom he
had known when the sun of his young hopes shone unclouded,
and whom he had survived but to be made sensible of the
curse of exemption from a similar fate; still, with that
instinctive delicacy of a mind whose natural refinement
not even a heavy weight of grief could wholly deaden, he
felt some hesitation in giving expression to a wish, the
compliance with which would, necessarily, separate him
from one who had so courteously treated him, and whom he
feared to wound by an appearance of indifference.

"I think, Mr. Grantham," pursued Colonel Forrester,
remarking his hesitation, "I can understand what is
passing in your mind. However I beg you will suffer no
mere considerations of courtesy to interfere with your
inclination. I can promise you will find this place most
dismally dull, especially to one who has no positive duty
to perform in it. If I may venture to recommend, therefore,
you will accompany Captain Jackson. The ride will afford
you more subject for diversion than any thing we can
furnish here."

Thus happily assisted in his decision. Gerald said,
"since, Sir, you leave it optional with me, I think I
shall avail myself of your kind offer and accompany
Captain Jackson. It is not a very cheering sight," he
pursued, anxious to assign a satisfactory reason for his
choice, "to have constantly before one's eyes the scene
of so signal a discomfiture as that which our arms have
experienced this day."

"And yet," said Colonel Forrester, "despite of that
discomfiture, there was nothing in the conduct of those
engaged that should call a blush into the cheek of the
most fastidious stickler for national glory. There is
not an officer here present," he continued, "who is not
prepared to attest with myself, that your column in
particular behaved like heroes. By the way, I could wish
to know, (but you will use your own discretion in answering
or declining the question, recollect,) what was the actual
strength of your attacking force?"

"I can really see no objection to a candid answer to your
question, Colonel," returned Gerald, after a moment's
consideration. "Each division was, I believe, for I cannot
state with certainty, little more than two hundred strong,
making in all, perhaps, from six hundred to six hundred
and fifty men. In return, may I ask, the number of those
who so effectually repulsed us?"

"Why I guess only one hundred and fifty, and most all my
volunteers," somewhat exultingly exclaimed Major Killdeer.

"Only one hundred and fifty men!" repeated Gerald, unable
to disguise his vexation and astonishment.

"That ere's a poser for him," said the Major, turning
and addressing Captain Buckhorn in an undertone, who
replied to him with a wink from his nearest eye.

"Even so, Mr. Grantham," replied the Colonel. "One hundred
and fifty men of all arms, save artillery, composed my
force at the moment when your columns crossed the plain.
To-night we muster one hundred and forty nine."

"Good Heaven!" exclaimed Gerald warming into excitement,
with vexation and pique, "what a disgraceful affair."

"Disgraceful, yes--but only in as far as regards those
who planned, and provided (or rather ought to have
provided) the means of attack. I can assure you, Mr.
Grantham, that although prepared to defend my post to
the last, when I saw your columns first emerge from the
wood, I did not expect, with my small force, to have been
enabled to hold the place one hour; for who could have
supposed that even a school boy, had such been placed at
the head of an army, would have sent forward a storming
party, without either fascines to fill a trench, or
ladders to ascend from it when filled. Had these been
provided, there can be no doubt of the issue, for, to
repulse the attempt at escalade in one quarter, I must
have concentrated the whole of my little force--and
thereby afforded an unopposed entrance to the other
columns--or even granting my garrison to have been
sufficient to keep two of your divisions in check, there
still remained a third to turn the scale of success
against us."

"I can understand the satisfaction with which you discovered
this wretched bungling on the part of our leaders," remarked
Gerald with vexation.

"No sooner had I detected the deficiency," pursued Colonel
Forrester, "than I knew the day would be my own, since
the obstacles opposed to your attempt would admit of my
spreading my men over the whole line embraced within the
attack. The result, you see has justified my expectation.
But enough of this. After the fatigues of the day you
must require both food and rest. Captain Jackson, I leave
it to you to do the honors of hospitality towards Mr.
Grantham, who will so shortly become your fellow traveller,
and if, when he has performed the ablutions he seems so
much to require, my wardrobe can furnish any thing your
own cannot supply to transform him into a backwoodsman,
(in which garb I would strongly advise him to travel,)
I beg it may be put under contribution without ceremony."

So saying, Colonel Forrester departed to the rude log
hut that served him for his head quarters, first enjoining
his uncouth second to keep a sufficient number of men on
the alert, and take such other precautions as were
necessary to guard against surprise--an event, however,
of which little apprehension was entertained, now that
the British troops appeared to have been wholly withdrawn.

Sick, wearied, and unhappy, Gerald was but too willing
to escape to the solitude of retirement, to refuse the
offer which Captain Jackson made of his own bed, it being
his intention to sit up all night in the mess room, ready
to communicate instantly with the Colonel in the event
of any alarm. Declining the pressing invitation of the
officers to join in the repast they were about to make
for the first time since the morning, and more particularly
that of Captain Buckhorn, who strongly urged him to "bring
himself to an anchor and try a little of the Wabash," he
took a polite but hasty leave of them all, and was soon
installed for the night in the Aid-de-Camp's dormitory.

It would be idle to say that Gerald never closed his eyes
that night--still more idle would it be to attempt a
description of all that passed through a mind whose extent
of wretchedness may be inferred from his several desperate,
although unsuccessful, efforts at the utter annihilation
of all thought. When he met Colonel Forrester and his
officers in the mess room at breakfast, he was dressed,
as had been recommended, in the hunting frock and belt
of a backwoodsman; and in this, his gentlemanly figure
looked to such advantage as to excite general attention
--so much so indeed, that Major Killdeer was more than
once detected in eying his own heavy and uncouth person,
as if to ascertain if the points of excellence were
peculiar to the dress or to the man. Sick and dispirited
as he was, Gerald felt the necessity of an attempt to
rally, and however the moralist may condemn the principle,
there is no doubt that he was considerably aided in his
effort by one or two glasses of bitters which Captain
Buckhorn strongly recommended as being of his wife's
making, and well calculated to put some colour into a
man's face--an advantage in which, he truly remarked,
Grantham was singularly deficient.

Accurate intelligence having been obtained from a party
of scouts, who had been dispatched early in the morning
to track their course, that the British General with his
troops and Indians had finally departed, preparations
were made about midday for the interment of the fallen.
Two large graves were accordingly dug on the outer brow
of the ravine, and into these the bodies of the fallen
soldiers were deposited with all the honors of war. A
smaller grave, within the fort, and near the spot where
they so nobly fell, was considerately allotted to Cranstoun
and Middlemore. There was a composedness on the brow of
the former that likened him, even in death, to the living
man; while, about the good-humoured mouth of poor
Middlemore, played the same sort of self satisfied smile
that had always been observable there, when about to
deliver himself of a sally. Gerald, who had imposed upon
himself the painful duty of attending to their last
committal to earth, could not help fancying that Middlemore
must have breathed his last with an inaudible pun upon
his lips--an idea that inexpressibly affected him. Weighed
down with sorrow as was his own soul, he had yet a tear
for the occasion--not that his brave comrades were dead,
but that they had died with so much to attach them to
life--while he whose hope was in death alone had been
chained, as by a curse, to an existence compared with
which death was the first of human blessings.

On the following morning, after an early breakfast, he
and Captain Jackson quitted the fort--Colonel Forrester,
(who had appeared to remark that the brusque manner of
his Aid-de-Camp was not altogether understood by his
charge,) taking occasion at parting to assure the latter
that, with all his eccentricity he was a kind hearted
man, whom he had selected to be near him more for his
personal courage, zeal, and general liberality of feeling,
than for any qualifications of intellect he possessed.

The means provided for their transport into the interior
were well assimilated to the dreariness of the country
through which they passed. Two common pack horses, lean,
galled by the saddle, and callous from long acquaintance
with the admonitory influence both of whip and spur, had
been selected by Captain Jackson as the best within the
fort, and, as a first evidence of the liberality ascribed
to him by his Commander, the fastest of these (if a choice
there was) he selected for his own use. Neither were the
trappings out of keeping with the steeds they decked.
Moth eaten saddles, almost black with age, beneath which
were spread pieces of dirty blanket to prevent further
excoriation of the already bared and reeking back--bridles,
the original thickness of which had been doubled by the
incrustation of mould and dirt that pertinaciously adhered
to them--stirrups and bits, with their accompanying
buckles (the absence of curb chains being supplied by
pieces of rope) covered with the rust of half a century
--all afforded evidence of the wretchedness of resource
peculiar to a back settlement population. Over the hard
saddles, however, had been strapped the blankets which,
when the travellers were fortunate enough to meet with
a hut at the close of their day's ride, or, as was more
frequently the case, when compelled to bivouac in the
forest before the fire kindled by the industry of the
hardy Aid-de-Camp, served them as their only couch of
rest, while the small leather valise tied to the pummel
of the saddle, and containing their scanty wardrobe, was
made to do the duty of the absent pillow. The blanket
Gerald found to be the greatest advantage of his grotesque
equipment--so much so indeed, that when compelled, by
the heavy rains which took place shortly after their
departure, to make it serve after the fashion of a
backwoodsman as a covering for his loins and shoulders,
he was obliged to own that his miseries, great as they
were, were yet susceptible of increase.

Notwithstanding Captain Jackson had taken what, he
considered to be, the best of the two Rosinantes for
himself, Gerald had no reason to deny the character for
kind-heartedness given of him by Colonel Forrester.
Frequently, when winding through some dense forest, or
moving over some extensive plain where nothing beyond
themselves told of the existence of man, his companion
would endeavour to divert him from the abstraction and
melancholy in which he was usually plunged, and, ascribing
his despondency to an unreal cause, seek to arouse him
by the consolatory assurance that he was not the first
man who had been taken prisoner--adding, that there was
no use in snivelling, as "what was done couldn't be
undone, and no great harm neither, as there was some as
pretty gals in Kaintuck as could be picked out in a day's
ride; and that to a good looking young fellow like himself,
with nothing to do but to make love to them, THAT ought
to be no mean consideration, enabling him, as it would,
to while away the tedium of captivity." At other times
he would launch forth into some wild rhapsody, the
invention of the moment, or seek to entertain his companion
with startling anecdotes connected with his encounters
with the Indians on the Wabash, (where he had formerly
served,) in the course of which much of the marvellous,
to call it by the most indulgent term, was necessarily
mixed up--not perhaps that he was quite sensible of this
himself, but because he possessed a constitutional
proneness to exaggeration that rendered him even more
credulous of the good things he uttered than those to
whom he detailed them.

But Gerald heard without being amused, and, although he
felt thankful for the intention, was distressed that his
abstraction should be the subject of notice, and his
despondency the object of care. To avoid this he frequently
suffered Jackson to take the lead, and following some
distance in the rear with his arms folded and the reins
loose upon his horse's neck, often ran the risk of having
his own neck broken by the frequent stumbling of the
unsure-footed beast. But the Captain as often returned
to the charge, for, in addition to a sincere desire to
rally his companion, he began at length to find it
exceedingly irksome to travel with one who neither spoke
himself nor appeared to enjoy speech in another; and when
he had amused himself with whistling, singing, hallooing,
and cutting a thousand antics with his arms, until he
was heartily tired of each of these several diversions,
he would rein in his horse to suffer Gerald to come up,
and, after a conciliating offer of his rum flask,
accompanied by a slice of hung beef that lined the wallet
depending from his shoulder, (neither of which were often
refused,) enter upon some new and strange exploit, of
which he was as usual the hero. Efforced in a degree to
make some return for the bribe offered to his patience,
Gerald would lend--all he could--his ear to the tale;
but long before the completion he would give such evidence
of his distraction as utterly to disconcert the narrator,
and cause him finally to have recourse to one of the
interludes above described.

In this manner they had journeyed some days, when the
rains suddenly commenced with a violence, and continued
with a pertinacity, that might have worn out the
cheerfulness of much less impatient spirits than those
of our travellers, who, without any other protection than
what was afforded by the blanket tightly girt round the
loins, and fastened over the shoulder, in front of the
chest, presented an appearance quite as wild as the waste
they traversed. It was in vain, that in order to promote
a more rapid circulation, they essayed to urge their
jaded beasts out of the jog-trot in which they had set
out. Accustomed to this from the time when they first
emerged from colthood into horsehood, the aged steeds,
like many aged senators of their day, were determined
enemies to any thing like innovation on the long established
customs of their caste; and although, unlike the said
senators, they were made to bear all the burdens of the
state, still did they not suffer themselves to be driven
out of the sluggish habits in which sluggish animals, of
every description, seem to feel themselves privileged to
indulge. Whip and spur therefore were alike applied in
vain, as to any accelerated motion in themselves; but
with this advantage at least to their riders, that, while
the latter toiled vigorously for an increase of vital
warmth, through the instrumentality of their con-complying
hacks, they found it where they least seemed to look for
it--in the mingled anger and activity which kept them
at the fruitless task.

It was at the close of one of those long days of wearying
travel throughout a vast and unsheltered plain, (where
only here and there rose an occasional cluster of trees,
like oases in the desert,) that, drenched to the skin
with the steady rain which, commencing with the dawn,
had continued without a moment's intermission, they
arrived at a small log-hut, situate on the skirt of a
forest forming one of the boundaries of the vast savannah
they had traversed. Such was the unpromising appearance
of this apology for a human dwelling that, under any
other circumstances, even the "not very d----d particular"
Jackson, as the Aid-de-Camp often termed himself, would
have passed it by without stopping; but after a long
day's ride, and suffering from the greatest evils to
which a traveller can well be subjected--cold, wet, and
hunger--even so wretched a resting-place as this was not
to be despised; and accordingly a determination was formed
to stop there for the night. On riding up to the door,
it was opened to their knock, when a tall man--apparently
its only occupant, came forth--and, after surveying the
travellers a moment with a suspicious eye, inquired "what
the stranngers wanted?"

"Why, I guess," said Jackson, "it doesn't need much
conjuration to tell that. Food and lodging for ourselves,
to be sure; and a wisp of hay and tether for our horses.
--Hospitality in short; and that's what no true Tennessee
man, bred and born, ever refused yet. No, not even to an
enemy, such a night as this."

"Then you must go further in search of it," replied the
woodsman, surlily, "I don't keep no tavern, and ha'nt
got no accommodation; and what's more, I reckon, I'm no
Tennessee man."

"But any accommodation will do, friend. If you hav'nt
got beds, we'll sit up all night, and warm our toes at
the fire, and spin long yarns, as they tell in the Eastern
sea-ports. Anything but turn a fellow out such a night
as this."

"But I say, strannger," returned the man, fiercely and
determinedly, "I a'nt got no room any how, and you shan't
bide here."

"Oh, ho! my old cock, that's the ticket, is it? but you'll
see whether an old stager, like me, is to be turned out
of any man's house such a night as this. I hav'nt served
two campaigns against the Ingins and the British for
nothing; and here I rest for the night."

So saying, the determined Jackson coolly dismounted from
his horse, and unbuckling the girth, proceeded to deposit
the saddle, with the valise attached to it, within the
hut the door of which still stood open.

The woodsman, perceiving his object, made a movement, as
if to bar the passage; but Jackson, with great activity,
seized him by the wrist of the left hand, and, all powerful
as the ruffian was, sent him dancing some few yards in
front of the threshold before he was aware of his intention,
or could resist the peculiar knack with which it was
accomplished. The Aid-de-Camp, meanwhile, had deposited
his saddle in a corner near the fire, and on his return
to the door, met the inhospitable woodsman advancing as
if to court a personal encounter.

"Now, I'll tell you what it is, friend," he said calmly,
throwing hack at the same time the blanket that concealed
his uniform, and--what was more imposing--a brace of
large pistols stuck in his belt. "you'd better have no
nonsense with me, I promise you, or--" and he tapped with
the fore finger of his right hand upon the butt of one
of them, with an expression that could not be misunderstood.

The woodsman seemed little awed by this demonstration.
He was evidently one on whom it might have been dangerous
for one man, however well armed, to have forced his
presence, so far away from every other human habitation;
and it is probable that his forbearance then arose from
the feet of their being two opposed to him, for he glanced
rapidly from one to the other, nor was it until he seemed
to have mentally decided that the odds of two to one were
somewhat unequal, that he at length withdrew himself out
of the door-way, as if in passive assent to the stay he
could not well prevent.

"Just so, my old cock," continued Jackson, finding that
he had gained his point, "and when you speak of this
again, don't forget to say it was a true Tennessee man,
bred and born, that gave you a lesson in what no American
ever wanted--hospitality to a stranger. Suppose you begin
and make yourself useful, by tethering and foddering old
spare bones."

"I reckon as how you've hands as well as me," rejoined
the surly woodsman, "and every man knows the ways of his
own beast best. As for fodder, they'll find it on the
skirt of the wood, and where natur' planted it."

Gerald meanwhile, finding victory declare itself in favor
of his companion, had followed his example and entered
the hut with his saddle. As he again quitted it, a sudden
flash of light from the fire, which Jackson was then in
the act of stirring, fell upon the countenance of the
woodsman who stood without, his arms folded and his brow
scowling, as if planning some revenge for the humiliation
to which he had been subjected. In the indistinct dusk
of the evening Grantham had not been able to remark more
than the outline of the figure; but the voice struck him
as one not unknown to him, although somewhat harsher in
its tones than that which his faint recollection of the
past supplied. The glance he had now obtained, momentary
as it was, put every doubt to rest. What his feelings
were in recognizing in the woodsman the traitor settler
of the Canadas, Jeremiah Desborough, we leave to our
readers to infer.



CHAPTER X.

There was a time when to have met his father's enemy
thus, would have been to have called into activity all
the dormant fierceness of Gerald's nature; but since they
had last parted, a new channel had been opened to his
feelings, and the deep and mysterious grief in which we
have seen him shrouded, had been of so absorbing and
selfish a nature, as to leave him little consideration
for sorrows not his own. The rash impetuosity of his
former character, which had often led him to act even
before he thought, and to resent an injury before it
could well be said to have been offered, had moreover
given place to a self-command, the fruit of the reflective
habits and desire of concealment which had made him
latterly almost a stranger to himself.

Whatever his motives for outwardly avoiding all recognition
of the settler, certain it is that, so far from this, he
sought sedulously to conceal his own identity, by drawing
the slouched hat, which formed a portion of his new
equipment, lower over his eyes. Left to do the duties of
the rude hostelry, Captain Jackson and he now quitted
the hut, and leading their jaded, smoking, steeds a few
rods off to the verge of the plain they had so recently
traversed, prepared to dispose of them for the night,
Gerald had by this time become too experienced in the
mode of travelling through an American wilderness, not
to understand that he who expects to find a companion in
his horse in the morning, must duly secure him with the
tether at night. Following, therefore, the example of
the Aid-de-Camp, he applied himself, amid the still
pelting rain, to the not very cleanly task of binding
round the fetlock joints of his steed several yards of
untanned hide strips, with which they were severally
provided for the purpose. Each gave his steed a parting
slap on the buttock with the hard bridle, Jackson
exclaiming, "go ye luxurious beasts, ye have a whole
prairie of wet grass to revel in for the night," and then
left them to make the best of their dainty food.

While returning, Grantham took occasion to observe, that
he had reason to think he knew the surly and inhospitable
woodsman, by whom however he was not desirous of being
recognized, and therefore begged as a favor that Captain
Jackson would not, in the course of the night, mention
his name, or even allude to him in any way that could
lead to an inference that he was any other than he seemed,
a companion and brother officer of his own; promising,
in conclusion, to give him, in the course of the next
day's journey, some little history of the man which would
fully explain his motives. With this request Jackson
unhesitatingly promised compliance, adding, good humouredly,
that he was not sorry to pledge himself to any thing that
would thaw his companion's tongue into sociability, and
render himself, for the first time since their departure,
a listener. Before entering the hut Gerald further observed
in a whisper, that the better to escape recognition, he
would, as much as possible, avoid joining in any
conversation which might ensue, and therefore hoped his
companion would not think it rude if he suffered him to
bear the tax. Jackson again promised to keep the attention
of the woodsman directed as much as possible to himself,
observing, that he thought Gerald had already, to his
cost, discovered he was not one easily tired out by
conversation, should their host be that way inclined.

On opening the door of the cabin, they found that the
woodsman, or more properly the settler as we shall again
term him, making a virtue of necessity, had somewhat
cheered its interior. A number of fine logs, sufficient
to last throughout the night had been heaped upon the
hearth, and these, crackling and fizzing, and emitting
sparks in all the burly of a hickory wood-fire, gave
promise of a night of comparative comfort. Ensconced in
the farther corner of the chimney, the settler had already
taken his seat, and, regardless of the entrance of the
strangers, (with his elbows resting on his knees, and
his face buried in his large palms), kept his eyes fixed
upon the fire, as if with a sullen determination neither
to speak nor suffer himself to be questioned. But the
Aid-de-Camp was by no means disposed to humour him in
his fancy. The idea of passing some eight or ten consecutive
hours in company with two fellow beings, without calling
into full play the bump of loquacity, with which nature
had largely endowed him, was, in his view, little better
than the evil from which his perseverance had just enabled
him to escape. Making himself perfectly at home, he
unbuckled the wet blanket from his loins, and spreading
it, with that of Gerald, to dry upon the rude floor before
the fire, drew forward a heavy uncouth looking table,
(which, with two or three equally unpolished chairs,
formed the whole of the furniture), and deposited thereon
the wallet or haversack in which remained a portion of
provision. He then secured the last vacant chair, and
taking up a position on the right of the table which lay
between himself and Gerald, let it fall upon the dry clay
hearth, with a violence that caused the settler to quit
his attitude of abstraction for one of anger and surprise.

"Sorry to disturb you, friend," he said; "but these chairs
of yours are so curst heavy, there's no handling them
decently; specially with cold fingers."

"Beggars, I reckon, have no right to be choosers," returned
the settler; "the chairs is quite good enough for me--and
no one axed you to sit on em."

"I'll tell you what it is, old cock," continued the
Aid-de-Camp, edging his seat closer, and giving his host
a smart friendly slap upon the thigh, "this dull life of
yours don't much improve your temper. Why, as I am a true
Tennessee man, bred and born, I never set eyes upon such
a crab apple in all my life--you'd turn a whole dairy of
the sweetest milk that ever came from prairie grass sour
in less than no time. I take it, you must be crossed in
love old boy, eh?"

"Crossed in hell," returned the settler, savagely. "I
reckon as how it don't consarn you whether I look sour
or sweet--what you want is a night's lodgin', and you've
got it, so don't trouble me no more."

"Very sorry, but I shall," said Jackson, secretly
congratulating himself that, now he had got the tongue
of his host in motion, he had a fair chance of keeping
it so. "I must trouble you for some bread, and whatever
else your larder may afford. I'll pay you honestly for
it, friend."

"I should guess," said the settler, his stern features
brightening for the first time into a smile of irony,
"as how a man who had served a campaign agin the Ingins
and another agin the British, might contrive to do without
sich a luxury as bread. You'll find no bread here I
reckon."

"What, not even a bit of corn bread! Try, my old cock,
and rummage up a crust or two, for hung beef is devilish
tight work for the teeth, without a little bread of some
sort for a relish."

"If you'd ha' used your eyes you'd ha' seen nothin' like
a corn patch for twenty mile round about this. Bread
never entered this hut since I been here. I don't eat
it."

"More's the pity," replied Jackson, with infinite drollery;
but though you may not like it yourself, your friends may."

"I HAVE no friends--I WISH to have no friends," was the
sullen reply.

"More's the pity still," pursued the Aid-de-Camp, "but what
do you live on then, old cock, if you don't eat bread?"

"Human flesh. Take that as a relish to your hung beef."

Scarcely had the strange confession escaped the settler's
lips, when Jackson, active as a deer, was at the farther
end of the hut, one hand holding the heavy chair as a
shield before him, the other placed upon the butt of one
of his pistols. The settler at the same moment quitted
his seat, and stretching his tall and muscular form to
its utmost height, burst into a laugh that sounded more
like that of some wild beast than a human being. The
involuntary terror produced in his guest was evidently
a source of exultation to him, and he seemed gratified
to think he had at length discovered the means of making
himself looked upon with something like fear.

On entering the hut, Gerald had taken his seat at the
opposite corner of the fire, yet in such a manner as to
admit of his features being shaded by the projection of
the chimney. The customs of the wilderness moreover
rendering it neither offensive, nor even worthy of remark,
that he should retain his hat, he had, as in the first
instance, drawn it as much over his eyes as he conceived
suited to his purpose of concealment, without exciting
a suspicion of his design; and, as the alteration in his
dress was calculated to deceive into a belief of his
being an American, he had been enabled to observe the
settler without much fear of recognition in return. A
great change had taken place in the manner of Desborough.
Ferocious he still was, but it was a ferocity, wholly
unmixed with the cunning of his former years, that he
now exhibited. He had evidently suffered much, and there
was a stamp of thought on the heavy countenance that
Gerald had never remarked there before. There was also
this anomaly in the man, that while ten years appeared
to have been added to his age--his strength was increased
in the same proportion--a change that made itself evident
by the attitude in which he stood.

"Why now I take it you must be jesting" at length exclaimed
the Aid-de-Camp doubtingly, dropping at the same time
the chair upon the floor, yet keeping it before him as
though not quite safe in the presence of this self-confessed
anthropophagos; "you surely don't mean to say you kill
and pickle every unfortunate traveller that comes by
here. If so I most apprehend you in the name of the United
States Government."

"I rather calculate not Mister," sneered the settler.
"Besides I don't eat the United States subjects;
consequently they've no claim to interfere."

"Who the devil do you eat then," asked Jackson, gathering
courage with his curiosity, and advancing a pace or two
nearer the fire, "or is it all a hum?"

The settler approached the fire, stooped a little, and
applying his shoulder to the top of the opening, thrust
his right hand and arm up the chimney.

"I reckon that's no hum," he said, producing and throwing
upon the table a piece of dark dry flesh, that resembled
in appearance the upper part of a human arm. "If you're
fond of a relish," he pursued with a fierce laugh; "you'll
find that mighty well suited to the palate--quite as
sweet as a bit of smok'd venison."

"Why you don't really mean to say that's part of a man?"
demanded Jackson, advancing cautiously to the table, and
turning over the shrivelled mass with the point of his
dagger. "Why, I declare, its just the color of my dried
beef."

"But I do though--and what's more, of my own killin' and
dryin'. Purty naturist you must be not to see that's off
an Ingin's arm."

"Oh an Ingin's only, is it?" returned the Aid-de-Camp,
whose apprehension began rapidly to subside, now that he
had obtained the conviction that it was not the flesh of
a white man. "Well, I'm sure! who'd have thought it. I
take it, old cock, you've been in the wars as well as
myself."

"A little or so I reckon, and I expect to be in them agin
shortly--as soon as my stock of food's out. I've only a
thigh bone to pick after this, and then I'm off. But why
don't you take your seat at the fire. There's nothin' so
out of the way in the sight of a naked arm, is there? I
reckon if you're a soger, you must have seen many a one
lopped off in the wars."

"Yes, friend," said Jackson, altering the position of
the table and placing it between the settler and himself;
"a good many lopped off, as you say, and in a devil of
a stew, but not exactly eaten. However be so good as to
return this to the chimney, and when I've eaten something
from my bag I'll listen to what you have to say about
it."

"Jist so, and go without my own supper I suppose, to
please you. But tarnation, while you're eatin' a bit of
your hung beef I'll try a snack of mine."

So saying he deliberately took from the table the dried
arm he had previously flung there, and, removing a large
clasp knife from a pocket beneath his coarse hunting
frock, proceeded to help himself to several thin slices,
corresponding precisely in appearance with those which
the Aid-de-Camp divided in the same manner.

Jackson had managed to swallow three or four pieces of
his favorite hung beef with all the avidity of an appetite,
rendered keen by the absence of every other stimulant
than hunger; but no sooner did he perceive his host
fastening with a degree of fury on his unnatural food,
than, sick and full of loathing, his stomach rejected
further aliment, and he was compelled to desist. During
all this time Grantham, who, although he had assumed the
manner and attitude of a sleeping man, was a watchful
observer of all that passed, neither moved nor uttered
a syllable, except on one occasion to put away from him
the food Jackson had offered.

"Sorry to see your ride has given you so poor an appetite,"
said the settler, with a look expressive of the savage
delight he felt in annoying his visitor. "I reckon that's
rather unsavory stuff you've got there, that you can't
eat it without bread. I say young man"--addressing
Grantham, "can't you find no appetite neither, that you
sit there snorin', as if you never meant to wake agin."

Gerald's head sunk lower on his chest, and his affectation
of slumber became more profound.

"Try a drop of this," said Jackson, offering his canteen,
after having drank himself, and with a view to distract
attention from his companion. "You seem to have no liquor
in the house, and I take it you require something hot as
h-ll, and strong as d--n----n, after that ogre like repast
of yours."

The settler seized the can, and raised it to his lips.
It contained some of the fiery whiskey we have already
described as the common beverage in most parts of America.
This, all powerful as it was, he drained off as though
it had been water, and with the greedy avidity of one
who finds himself suddenly restored to the possession of
a favorite and long absent drink.

"Hollo, my friend," exclaimed the angry Aid-de-Camp, who
had watched the rapid disappearance of his "travellers
best companion," as he quaintly enough termed it, down
the capacious gullet of the settler--and snatching at
the same moment the nearly emptied canteen from his hands.
"I take it, that's not handsome. As I'm a true Tennessee
man, bred and born, it aint at all hospitable to empty
off a pint of raw liquor at a spell, and have not so much
as a glass of methiglin to offer in return. What the hell
do you suppose we're to do tomorrow for drink, during a
curst long ride through the wood, and not a house of call
till nightfall along the road."

The settler drew a breath long and heavy in proportion
to the draught he had swallowed, and when his lungs had
again recovered their play, answered blusteringly, in a
voice that betokened incipient intoxication.

"Roar me up a saplin' Mister, but you're mighty stingy
of the Wabash. I reckon as how I made you a free offer
of my food, and it war'nt no fault of mine if you did'nt
choose to take it. It would only have been relish for
relish after all--and that's what I call fair swap."

"Well, no matter," said Jackson soothingly; "what's done
can't be undone, therefore I take it its no use argufying
--however, my old cock, when next you got the neck of
a canteen of mine, twixt your lips, I hope it may do the
cockles of your heart good; that's all. But lets hear
how you came by them pieces of nigger's flesh, and how
it is you've taken it into your head to turn squatter
here. You seem," glancing around, "to have no sleeping
room to spare, and one may as well sit up and chat as
have one's bones bruised to squash on the hard boards."

"It's a sad tale," said the settler gruffly and with a
darkening brow, "and brings bitter thoughts with it; but
as the liquor has cheered me up a bit, I don't much mind
if I do tell you how I skivered the varmint. Indeed," he
pursued savagely, "that always gives me a pleasure to
think of, for I owed them a desperate grudge--the bloody
red skins and imps of hell. I was on my way to Detroit,
to see the spot once more where my poor boy Phil lay
rottin', and one dark night (for I only ventured to move
at night,) I came slick upon two Ingins as was lying fast
asleep before their fire in a deep ravine. The one nearest
to me had his face unkivered, and I knew the varmint for
the tall dark Delaweer chief as made one of the party
after poor Phil and me, a sight that made me thirst for
the blood of the heathens as a child for mother's milk.
Well, how do you suppose I managed them. I calculate
you'd never guess. Why, I stole as quiet as a fox until
I got jist atween them, and then holdin' a cocked pistol
to each breast, I called out in a thunderin' voice that
made the woods ring agin Kit-chimocomon, which you know,
as you've been in the wars, signifies long knife or
Yankee. You'd a laugh'd fit to split your sides I guess,
to see the stupid stare of the devils, as startin' out
of their sleep, they saw a pistol within three inches of
each of'em. 'Ugh,' says they, as if they did'nt know well
whether to take it as a joke or not. 'Yes, 'ugh' and be
damn'd to you,' say's I: you may go and 'ugh' in hell
next--and with that snap went the triggers, and into
their curst carcasses went the balls. The one I killed
outright but t'other the Delaweer chief, was by a sudden
shift only slightly wounded, and he sprung on his feet
and out with his knife. But I had a knife too, and all
a disappinted father's rage to boot, so at it we' went
closin' and strikin' with our knives like two fierce
fiends of the forest. It was noble sport sure-LY. At last
the Delaweer fell over the bleedin' body of his warrior
and I top of him. As he fell the knife dropt from his
hand and he could'nt reach it no how, while I still
gripped mine fast. 'Ugh,' he muttered agin, as if askin'
to know what I meant to do next. 'Ugh,' and be damn'd to
you once more, say's I--and the pint of my long knife
was soon buried in his black heart. Then, when I see them
both dead I eat my own meal at their fire, for I was
tarnation hungry, and while I was eatin' a thought came
across me that it would be good fun to make smoked meat
of the varmint, so when I had tucked it in purty
considerably, what with hominy and dried bear's meat,
moistened with a little Wabash I found in the Delaweer
chief's canteen, I set to and regularly quartered them.
The trunks I left behind, but the limbs I packed up in
the blankets that had been used to kiver them, I reckon;
and with them slung across my shoulders, like a saddle
bag across a horse, I made tracks through the swamps and
the prairies for this here hut, which I know'd no livin'
soul had been nigh for many a long year. And now," he
concluded with a low drunken laugh, "you've the history
of the dried meat. There isn't much left but when all is
gone I'm off to the wars, for I can't find no peace I
reckon without my poor boy Phil." He paused a moment,
and then, as if suddenly influenced by some painful
recollection, he struck his hand with startling violence
upon the table, and, while every feature of his iron
countenance seemed worked up to a pitch of intensity,
added with fearful calmness, "May God's curse light upon
me if I don't have my revenge of them Granthams yet:--yes"
he continued with increased excitement of voice and
manner, while he kicked one of the blazing hickory logs
in the chimney with all the savageness of drunken rage,
causing a multitude of sparks to spit forth as from the
anvil of a smith,--"jist so would I kick them both to
hell for having murdered my poor boy."

"Why, surely, Liftenant Grantham, he can't meant you?"
abruptly questioned the Aid-de-Camp, drawing back his
chair and resting the palms of his hands upon his knees,
while he fixed his eye keenly and inquiringly upon Gerald.

But Gerald had no time to answer him--Scarcely had the
name escaped the lips of the incautious Jackson, when a
yell of exultation from the settler drew him quickly to
his feet, and in the next moment he felt one hand of his
enemy grappling at his throat, while the fingers of the
other were rapidly insinuating themselves into the hair
that shadowed one of his temples, with the evident
intention to "gouge" him. Weak and emaciated as he was,
Gerald was soon made sensible of the disproportion of
physical strength thus suddenly brought into the struggle,
and as the savage laugh of the settler, as his fingers
wound themselves closer and closer within the clustering
hair, proclaimed his advantage, he felt that his only
chance of saving the threatened eye was by having recourse
to some sudden and desperate attempt to free himself from
the gripe of his opponent. Summoning all his strength
into one vigorous effort, he rushed forward upon his
enemy with such force, raising himself at the same time
in a manner to throw the whole weight of his person upon
him, that the latter reeled backwards several paces
without the power of resistance, and falling over the
table towards which he had been intentionally propelled,
sank with a heavy crash to the floor, still however
retaining his firm hold of his enemy and dragging him
after him.

Half throttled, maddened with pain, and even more bitterly
stung by a sense of the humiliating position in which he
found himself, the feelings of Gerald became uncontrolable,
until his anxiety to inflict a mortal injury upon his
enemy became in the end as intense as that of the settler.
In their fall the table had been overturned, and with it
the knife which Desborough had used with his horrid
repast. As the light from the blazing fire fell upon the
blade, it had once caught the unassailed eye of the
officer, and was the next moment clutched in his grasp.
He raised it with a determination, inspired by the agony
he endured, at once to liberate himself and to avenge
his father's murder, but the idea that there was something
assassin-like in the act as suddenly arrested him, and
ere he had time to obey a fresh impulse of his agony,
the knife was forcibly stricken from his hand. A laugh
of triumph burst from the lips of the half intoxicated
Desborough, but it was scarcely uttered before it was
succeeded by a yell of pain, and the hand that had
contrived to entwine itself, with resistless force and
terrible intent, in the waving hair of the youth, fell
suddenly from its grasp, enabling its victim at length
to free himself altogether and start once more to his
feet.

Little more than a minute had been passed in the enactment
of this strange scene. The collision, the overthrow, the
upraising of the knife had followed each other in such
rapid succession that, until the last desperate intention
of Gerald was formed, the Aid-de-Camp had not had time
to interpose himself in any way between the enraged
combatants. His first action had been to strike away
the murderous knife with the heavy butt of one of his
pistols, the other to plant such a blow upon the "gouging"
hand of the settler from the same butt, as effectually
to compel him to relinquish his ferocious clutch. In both
objects, as we have seen, he fully succeeded.

But although his right hand had been utterly disabled by
the blow from Jackson's pistol, the fury of Desborough,
fed as it was by the fumes of the liquor he had swallowed,
was too great to render him heedful of aught but the
gratification of his vengeance. Rolling rapidly over to
the point where the knife had fallen he secured it in
his left hand, and then, leaping nimbly to his feet,
gathered himself into a spring upon his unarmed but
watchful enemy. But before the bound could be taken, the
active Aid-de-Camp, covering Gerald with his body and
presenting a cocked pistol, had again thwarted him in
his intention.

"I say now, old cock, you'd much better be quiet I guess,
for them sort of tantrums won't suit me. If this here
Liftenant killed your son why he'll answer for it later,
but I can't let you murder my prisoner in that flumgustious
manner. I'm responsible for him to the United States
Government, therefore just drop that knife clean and
slick upon the floor, and let's have no more of this
nonsense for the night."

But even the cocked pistol had not power to restrain the
fierce--almost brutal--rage of the settler, whose growing
intoxication added fuel to the fire which the presence
of his enemy had kindled in his heart. Heedless of the
determined air and threatening posture of the Aid-de-Camp,
he made a bound forward, uttering a sound that resembled
the roar of a wild beast rather than the cry of a human
being, and struck over Jackson's shoulder at the chest
of the officer. Gerald, whose watchful eye marked the
danger, had however time to step back and avoid the blow.
In the next moment the Aid-de-Camp, overborne by the
violence of the collision, fell heavily backwards upon
the rude floor, and in his fall the pistol went off
lodging the ball in the sinewy calf of Desborough's leg.
Stung with acute animal pain, the whole rage of the latter
was now diverted from Gerald to the Aid-de-Camp, on whom
(assuming the wound to have been intentional) he threw
himself with the fury of a tiger, grappling as he closed
with him at his throat. But the sailor in his turn now
came to the rescue of his companion, and the scene for
some time, as the whole party struggled together upon
the floor in the broad red glare of the wood fire, was
one of fearful and desperate character. At length after
an immense effort, and amid the most horrid imprecations
of vengeance upon them, the officers succeeded in disarming
and tying the hands of the settler behind his back, after
which dragging him to a distant corner of the hut, they
secured him firmly to one of the open and mis-shapen logs
which composed its frame. This done, Jackson divided the
little that had been left of his "Wabash" with his charge,
and then stretching himself at his length, with his feet
to the fire, and his saddle for a pillow, soon fell
profoundly asleep.

Too much agitated by the scene which had just passed,
Gerald, although following the example of his companion,
in stretching himself before the cheerful fire, was in
no condition to enjoy repose. Indeed, whatever his
inclination, the attempt would have been vain, for so
dreadful were the denunciations of Desborough throughout
the night, that sleep had no room to enter even into his
thoughts. Deep and appalling were the curses and threats
of vengeance which the enraged settler uttered upon all
who bore the name of Grantham; and with these were mingled
lamentations for his son, scarcely less revolting in
their import than the curses themselves. Nor was the
turbulence of the enraged man confined to mere excitement
of language. His large and muscular form struggled in
every direction, to free himself from the cords that
secured him to the logs, and finding these too firmly
bound to admit of the accomplishment of his end, he kicked
his brawny feet against the floor with all the fury and
impatience of a spirit, quickened into a livelier sense
of restraint by the stimulus of intoxication. At length,
exhausted by the efforts he had made, his struggles and
his imprecations became gradually less frequent and less
vigorous, until finally towards dawn they ceased altogether,
and his deep and heavy breathing announced that he slept.

Accustomed to rise with the dawn, the Aid-de-Camp was
not long after its appearance, in shaking off the slumber
in which he had so profoundly indulged. The first object
that met his eye as he raised himself up in a sitting
posture from his rude bed, was Gerald stooping over the
sleeping Desborough, one hand reposing upon his chest,
the other holding the knife already alluded to, while
every feature of his face was kindled into loathing and
abhorrence of his prostrate and sleeping enemy. Startled
by the expression he read there, and with the occurrences
of the past night rushing forcibly upon his memory, the
Aid-de-Camp called quickly out, "Hold, Liftenant Grantham.
Well, as I'm a true Tennessee man, bred and born, may I
be most especially d----d, if I'd a thought you'd do so
foul a deed. What! assassinate a sleeping drunken man?"

"Assassinate! Captain Jackson," repeated Gerald, raising
himself to his full height, while a crimson flush of
indignation succeeded to the deadly paleness which had
overspread his cheek.

"Yes, assassinate," returned the Aid-de-Camp, fixing his
eye upon that of his prisoner, yet without perceiving
that it quailed under his penetrating glance. "It's an
ugly word, I reckon, for you to hear, as it is for me to
speak; but your quarrel last night--your fix just now--
that knife,--Liftenant Grantham," and he pointed to the
blade which still remained in the grasp of the accused.
"Surely these things speak for themselves, and though
the fellow has swallowed off all my Wabash, and be d----d
to him, (making a fruitless attempt to extract a few
drops from his canteen,) still I shouldn't like to see
him murdered in that sort of way."

"I cannot blame you, Captain Jackson," said Gerald calmly,
his features resuming their pallid hue. "These appearances,
I grant, might justify the suspicion, horrible as it is,
in one who had known more of me than yourself; but was
assassination even a virtue, worlds would not tempt me
to assassinate that man--wretch though he be--or even to
slay him in fair and open combat."

"Then, I calculate, one night has made a pretty considerable
change in your feelings, Liftenant," retorted the Aid-de-
Camp. "You were both ready enough to go at it last night,
when I knocked the knife out of your fist, and broke the
knuckles of his gouging hand."

"I confess," said Gerald, again coloring, "that excessive
pain made me wild, and I should have been tempted to have
had recourse to any means to thwart him in his diabolical
purpose. As you have said, however, the past night has
effected a change in my feelings towards the man, and
death from my hand, under any circumstances, is the last
thing he has now to apprehend." Gerald sank his head upon
his chest, and sighed bitterly.

"Well," said Jackson, "all this is queer enough; but what
were you doing standing over the man just now with that
knife, if it was not to harm him? And as for your
countenance, it scowled so savage and passionate, I was
almost afraid to look at it myself."

"My motive for the action I must beg you to excuse my
entering upon," replied Gerald. "Of this, however, be
assured, Captain Jackson, that I had no intention to
injure yon sleeping villain. On the word of an officer
and a gentleman, and by the kindness you have shown me
on all occasions since our journey commenced, do I solemnly
assure you this is the fact."

"And on the word of an officer, and a true Tennessee man,
bred and born, I am bound to believe you," returned the
American, much affected. "A man that could fight so
wickedly in the field would never find heart, I reckon,
to stick an enemy in the dark. No, Liftenant Grantham,
you were not born to be an assassin. And now let's be
starting--the day has already broke."

"And yet," returned Gerald, with a smile of bitter
melancholy, as they hurried towards the spot where they
had left their horses, "if any man ever had reason to
act so as to merit the imputation of being such, I have.
In that savage woodsman, Captain Jackson, you have beheld
the murderer--the self acknowledged murderer of my father."

"God bless my soul!" cried Jackson, dropping the saddle
which he carried, and standing still with very amazement.
"A pretty fix I've got into, to be sure. Here's one man
accuses another of murdering his son, and t'other, by
way of quits, accuses him, in his turn, of murdering his
father. Why, which am I to believe?"

"Which you please, Captain Jackson," said the sailor
coolly, yet painedly; and he moved forward in pursuit of
his horse.

"Nay, Liftenant Grantham," said the Aid-de-Camp, who had
again resumed his burden, and was speedily at the side
of his companion, "don't be offended. I've no doubt the
thing's as you say, but you must make allowance for my
ideas, never too much of the brightest, being conglomerated,
after a fashion, by what I have seen and heard, since we
let loose our horses last night upon this prairie."

"I am not offended, only hurt," replied Gerald, shaking
the hand that was cordially tendered to him; "hurt that
you should doubt my word, or attach any thing to the
assertion of that man beyond the mere ravings of a savage
and diseased spirit. Justice to myself demands that I
should explain every thing in detail."

"Now that's what I call all right and proper," returned
the Aid-de-Camp, "and should be done both for your sake
and mine; but we will leave it till we get once more upon
the road and in sight of a tavern, for its dry work
talking and listening without even so much as a gum
tickler of the Wabash to moisten one's clay."

They found their horses not far from the spot where they
had been left on the preceding night, and these being
speedily untethered and saddled, the travellers again
pursued their route towards the capital of the State in
which they found themselves. As they passed the hut,
which had been the scene of so much excitement to both,
the voice of Desborough whom they had left fast asleep,
was heard venting curses and imprecations upon them both,
for having left him there to starve, bound and incapable
of aiding himself. Wretch as the settler was, Gerald
could not reconcile to himself the thought of his being
left to perish thus miserably, and he entreated the
Aid-de-Camp to enter and divide the cords. But Jackson
declared this to be impolitic, urging as a powerful reason
for declining, the probability of his having fire arms
in the hut, with which (if released,) he might follow
and overtake them in their route, and sacrifice one or
the other to his vengeance--an object which it would be
easy to accomplish without his ever being detected.
However, that the villain might have sustenance until
some chance traveller should come later to his assistance,
or he could manage to get rid of his bonds himself (which
he might do in time) he consented to place within his
reach all the dried meat that had been left of his Indian
foes, together with a pail of water--the latter by way
of punishment for having swilled away at his Wabash in
the ungracious manner he had.

While Jackson was busied in this office of questionable
charity, the rage and disappointment of the settler
surpassed what it had hitherto been. Each vein of his
dark brow rose distinctly and swelling from its surface,
and he kicked and stamped with a fury that proclaimed
the bitter tempest raging in his soul. When the Aid-de-Camp
had again mounted, his shrieks and execrations became
piercing, and for many minutes after they had entered
into the heart of the forest in which the hut was situated,
the shrill sounds continued to ring upon their ears in
accents so fearful, that each felt a sensible relief when
they were heard no more.

On the evening of the third day after this event, Jackson
and our hero, between whom a long explanation on the
subject of the settler had taken place, alighted at the
door of the principal inn in Frankfort, the capital of
Kentucky, which was their ultimate destination. To mine
host Gerald was introduced by his escort with the formality
usual on such occasions in America, and with the earnest
recommendation to that most respectable personage that,
as his own friend, as well as that of Colonel Forrester,
every indulgence should be shown to the prisoner, that
was not inconsistent with his position.



CHAPTER XI.

Few situations in life are less enviable than that of
the isolated prisoner of war. Far from the home of his
affections, and compelled by the absence of all other
companionship, to mix with those who, in manners, feelings,
and national characteristics, form, as it were, a race
apart from himself, his recollections, already sufficiently
embittered by the depressing sense of captivity, are
hourly awakened by some rude contrast wounding to his
sensibilities, and even though no source of graver
irritation should exist, a thousand petty annoyances,
incident to the position, are magnified by chagrin from
mole-hills into mountains. Such, however, would be the
effect produced on one only, who, thrown by the accident
of war into the situation of a captive, should have no
grief more profound, no sorrow deeper seated than what
arose from the being severed from old, and associated
with new and undesired ties; one to whom life was full
of the fairest buds of promise, and whose impatience of
the present was only a burning desire to enter upon the
future. Not so with Gerald Grantham. Time, place,
circumstance, condition, were alike the same--alike
indifferent to him. In the recollections of the scenes
he had so lately quitted, and in which his fairer and
unruffled boyhood had been passed, he took no pleasure,
while the future was so enshrouded in gloom that he shrank
from its very contemplation. So far from trying to wring
consolation from circumstances, his object was to stupify
recollection to the uttermost. He would fain have shut
out both the past and the future, contenting himself as
he might with the present, but the thing was impossible.
The worm had eaten into his heart, and its gnawings were
too painful, not poignantly to remind him of the manner
in which it had been engendered.

Upwards of a fortnight had elapsed since his arrival,
and yet, although Captain Jackson, prior to his return
to Sandusky, had personally introduced him to many highly
respectable families in Frankfort, he uniformly abstained
from cultivating their acquaintance, until at length he
was, naturally enough, pronounced to be a most disagreeable
specimen of a British officer. Even with the inmates of
the hotel, many of whom were officers of his own age,
and with whom he constantly sat down to the ordinary, he
avoided every thing approaching to intimacy--satisfying
himself merely with discharging his share of the commonest
courtesies of life. They thought it pride--it was but an
effect--an irremediable effect of the utter sinking of
his sad and broken spirit. The only distraction in which
he eventually took pleasure, or sought to indulge, was
rambling through the wild passes of the chain of wooded
hills, which almost encircles the Kentuckian capital,
and extends for a considerable distance in a westerly
direction. The dense gloom of these narrow vallies he
had remarked on his entrance by the same route, and
feeling them more in unison with his sick mind than the
hum and bustle of a city, which offered nothing in common
with his sympathies, he now frequently passed a great
portion of the day in threading their mazes--returning
however, at a certain hour to his hotel, conformably with
the terms of his parole.

On one occasion, tempted by the mellow beauty of the
season (it was now the beginning of October) he had
strayed so far, and through passes so unknown to him,
that when the fast advancing evening warned him of the
necessity of returning, he found he had utterly lost his
way. Abstracted as he usually was, he had yet reflection
enough to understand that his parole of honor required
he should be at his hotel at an hour, which it would put
his speed to the proof to accomplish. Despairing of
finding his way by the circuitous route he had originally
taken, and the proper clue to which he had moreover lost,
he determined, familiar as he was with the general bearings
of the capital, to effect his return in a direct line
across the chain of hills already alluded to. The deepening
shadows of the wild scene, as he proposed to ascend that
immediately before him, told that the sun had sunk beneath
the horizon, and when he gained its summit, the last
faint corruscations of light were passing rapidly away
in the west. Still, by the indistinct twilight he could
perceive that at his feet lay a small valley, completely
hemmed in by the circular ridge on which he stood. This
traversed, it was but to ascend the opposite section of
the ridge, and his destination would be gained. Unlike
the narrow rocky passes, which divided the hills in every
other direction, in which he had previously wandered,
this valley was covered with a luxuriant verdure, and
upon this the feet of Gerald moved inaudibly even to
himself. As he advanced more into the centre of the little
plain, he thought he could perceive, at its extremity on
the right, the dark outline of a building--apparently a
dwelling house--and while he yet hesitated, whether he
should approach it and inquire his most direct way to
the town, a light suddenly appeared at that point of the
valley for which he was already making. A few minutes
sufficed to bring him to the spot whence the light had
issued. It was a small circular building, possibly intended
for a summer-house, but more resembling a temple in its
construction, and so closely bordering upon the forest
ridge, by a portion of the foliage by which it had
previously been concealed, as to be almost confounded
with it. It was furnished with a single window, the same
through which the light now issued, and this narrow,
elongated, and studded with iron bars, was so placed as
to prevent one even taller than our hero from gazing into
the interior, without the aid of some elevation. But
Gerald, independently of his anxiety to reach the town
in time to prevent comment upon his absence, had no desire
to occupy himself with subjects foreign to his object.
Curiosity was a feeling dead within his bosom, and he
was preparing, without once staying his course, to ascend
the ridge at the side of the temple, when he fancied he
heard a suppressed groan, as of one suffering from intense
agony--Not the groan, but the peculiar tone in which it
was uttered, arrested his attention, and excited a vague
yet stirring interest in his breast. On approaching closer
to the temple, he found that at its immediate basement
the earth had been thrown up into a sort of mound, which
so elevated the footing as to admit of his reaching the
bars of the window with his hands. Active as we have
elsewhere shown him to be, he was not long in obtaining
a full view of the interior, when a scene met his eye
which rivetted him, as well it might, in utter astonishment.
Upon the rude uncarpeted floor knelt a female, who, with
clasped and uplifted hands, had her eyes fixed upon a
portrait that hung suspended from the opposite wall--her
figure, clad in a loose robe of black, developing by its
attitude a contour of such rich and symmetrical proportion
as might be difficult for the imagination to embody.
And who was the being upon whom his each excited sense
now lingered with an admiration little short of idolatry?
One whom, a moment before, he believed to be still far
distant, whom he had only a few months previously fled
from, as from a pestilence, and whom he had solemnly
sworn never to behold again, yet whom he continued to
love with a passion that defied every effort of his
judgment to subdue, making his life a wilderness--Matilda
Montgomerie--And if her beauty had THEN had such surpassing
influence over his soul, what was not its effect when he
beheld her NOW, every grace of womanhood exhibited in a
manner to excite admiration the most intense!

It would he vain to describe all that passed through the
mind of Gerald Grantham, while he thus gazed upon her
whose beauty was the rock on which his happiness had been
wrecked. His first impulse had been to fly, but the
fascination which rivetted him to the window deprived
him of all power until eventually, of all the host of
feelings that had crowded tumultuously upon his heart,
passion alone remained triumphant. Unable longer to
control his impatience, he was on the point of quitting
his station, for the purpose of knocking and obtaining
admission by a door which he saw opposite to him, when
a sudden change in the attitude of Matilda arrested the
movement.

She had risen, and with her long and dark hair floating
over her white shoulders, now advanced towards the
portrait, on which her gaze had hitherto been so repeatedly
turned. This was so placed that Gerald had not previously
an opportunity of remarking more than the indistinct
outline, which proved it to represent a human figure;
but as she for a moment raised the light with one hand,
while with the other she covered it with a veil which
had been drawn aside, he distinctly saw that it was the
portrait of an officer dressed in the American uniform;
and it even occurred to him that he had before seen the
face, although, in his then excited state he could not
recollect where. Even had he been inclined to tax his
memory, the effort would have been impracticable, for
another direction was now given to his interest.

On the left, and close under the window, stood a rude
sofa and ruder table, the only pieces of furniture which
Gerald could observe within the temple. Upon the former
Matilda now reclined herself, and placing the candle upon
the table at her side, proceeded to unfold and peruse a
letter which she had previously taken from her pocket
book. The same unconsciousness of observation inducing
the same unstudiedness of action, the whole disposition
of the form bore a character of voluptuousness, which
the presumed isolation of her who thus exhibited herself,
a model of living grace, alone could justify. But although
the form was full of the eloquence of passion, one had
but to turn to the pale and severe face, to find there
was no corresponding expression in the heart. As
heretofore, the brow of the American wore a cast of
thought--only deeper, more decided--and even while her
dark eyes flashed fire, as if in disappointment and anger
at sundry passages in the letter over which she lingered,
not once did the slightest color tinge her cheek, or the
gloom dissipate itself from that cold brow. Emotion she
felt, for this her heaving bosom and occasionally compressed
lip betokened. Yet never was contrast more marked than
that between the person and the face of Matilda Montgomerie,
as Gerald Grantham then beheld her.

On one who had seen her thus for the first time, the
cold, calm countenance of the singular girl, would have
acted as a chastener to the emotions called up by the
glowing expression of her faultless form, but although
there was now a character of severity on her features,
which must have checked and chilled the ardent admiration
produced by that form on a mere stranger, Gerald but too
well remembered occasions when the harmony of both had
been complete, and when the countenance, rich in all
those fascinations, which, even in her hours of utmost
collectedness, never ceased to attach to the person, had
beamed upon him in a manner to stir his very soul into
madness. There were other and later recollections too,
that forced themselves upon his memory; but these, even
though they recalled scenes in which the voluptuous beauty
of Matilda shone paramount, were as blots upon the fair
picture of the past, and he fain would have banished them
from his mind for ever.

The letter on which the American was now engaged, Grantham
had recognized, from its fold and seal, to be one he had
written prior to parting with her, as he had supposed,
for ever. While he was yet dwelling on this singularity,
Matilda threw the letter upon the table at her side, and
leaning her head upon her hand, seemed as if musing deeply
upon its contents. The contraction of her brow became
deeper, and there was a convulsed pressure of her lips
as of one forming some determination, requiring at once
strong moral and physical energy to accomplish. A cold
shudder crept through the reins of Gerald, for too well
did he fancy he could divine what was passing in the soul
of that strange yet fascinating woman. For a moment a
feeling of almost loathing came over his heart, but when,
in the next moment, he saw her rise from the sofa,
revealing the most inimitable grace, he burned with
impatience to throw himself reckless of consequences at
her feet, and to confess his idolatry.

After pacing to and fro for some moments, her dark and
kindling eye alone betraying the excitement which her
colorless cheek denied, Matilda again took up the light,
and having once more approached the portrait, was in the
act of raising the veil, when a slight noise made by
Gerald, who in his anxiety to obtain a better view of
her, had made a change in his position, arrested her ear;
and she turned and fixed her eye upon the window, not
with the disturbed manner of a person who fears observation,
but with the threatening air of one who would punish an
intrusion.

Holding the light above her head, she advanced firmly
across the room, and stopping beneath the window, fixed
her eye steadily and unshrinkingly upon it. The mind of
Gerald had become a chaos of conflicting and opposing
feelings. Only an instant before and he would have
coveted recognition, now his anxiety was to avoid it;
but cramped in his attitude, and clinging as he was
compelled, with his face close to the bars, his only
means of doing so was by quitting his position altogether.
He therefore loosened his hold, and dropped himself on
the mound of earth from which he had contrived to ascend,
but not so noiselessly, in the unbroken stillness of the
night, as to escape the keen ear of the American. In
the next moment Gerald heard a door open, and a well
known voice demand, in tones which betrayed neither alarm
nor indecision.

"Who is there?"

The question was repeated in echo from the surrounding
woods, and then died away in distance.

"Who of my people," again demanded Matilda, "has dared
to follow me here in defiance of my orders?"

Another echo of indistinct sounds, and all again was
still.

"Whoever you are, speak," resumed the courageous girl.
"Nay," she pursued more decidedly, as having moved a pace
or two from the door, she observed a human form standing
motionless beneath the window. "Think not to escape me.
Come hither slave that I may know you. This curiosity
shall cost you dear."

The blood of Gerald insensibly chilled at the harsh tone
in which these words were uttered, and had he followed
a first impulse he would at once have retired from the
influence of a command, which under all the circumstances,
occurred to him as being of prophetic import. But he had
gazed on the witching beauty of the syren, until judgment
and reason had yielded the rein to passion, and filled
with an ungovernable desire to behold and touch that form
once more--even although he should the next moment tear
himself from it for ever--he approached and stood at the
entrance of the temple, the threshold of which Matilda
had again ascended.

No exclamation of surprise escaped the lips of the ever-
collected American; and yet, for the first time that
night, her cheek was suffused with a deep glow, the effect
of which was to give to her whole style of beauty a
character of radiancy.

"Gerald Grantham!"

"Yes, Matilda," exclaimed the youth, madly heedless of
the past, while he rivetted his gaze upon her dazzling
loveliness with such strong excitement of expression as
to cause her own to sink beneath it, "your own Gerald--
your slave kneels before you," and he threw himself at
her feet.

"And what punishment does not that slave merit?" she
asked, in a tone so different from that in which she had
addressed her supposed domestic, that Gerald could scarcely
believe it to be the same. "What reparation can he make
for having caused so much misery to one who loved and
cherished him so well. Oh! Gerald, what days, what nights
of misery, have I not passed since you so unkindly left
me." As she uttered the last sentence, she bent herself
over the still kneeling form of her lover, while her long
dark hair, falling forward, completely enveloped him in
its luxuriant and waving folds.

"You will be mine, Matilda," at length murmured the youth,
as he sat at her side on the sofa, to which on rising he
had conducted her.

"Yours, only yours," returned the American, while she
bent her face upon his shoulder. "But you know the terms
of our union."

Had a viper stung him, Gerald could not have recoiled
with more dismay and horror from her embrace. Again the
features of Matilda became colorless, and her brow assumed
an expression of care and severity.

"Then, if not to fulfil that compact, wherefore are you
here?" and the question was put half querulously, half
contemptuously.

"Chance, Destiny, Fate,--call it what you will," cried
Gerald, obeying the stronger impulse of his feelings,
and clasping her once more to his beating heart. "Oh!
Matilda, if you knew how the idea of that fearful condition
has haunted me in my thoughts by day, and my dreams by
night, you would only wonder that at this moment I retain
my senses, filled as my soul is with maddening--with
inextinguishable love for you."

"And do you really entertain for me that deep, that
excessive passion you have just expressed," at length
observed Matilda, after some moments of silence, and with
renewed tenderness of voice and manner, "and yet refuse
the means by which you may secure me to you for ever?"

"Matilda," said Gerald, with vehemence, "my passion for
you is one which no effort of my reason can control; but
let me not deceive you--it is NOW one of the senses."

An expression of triumph, not wholly unmingled with scorn,
animated the features of Matilda. It was succeeded by one
of ineffable tenderness.

"We will talk of this no more tonight, Gerald, but tomorrow
evening, at the same hour, be here: then our mutual hopes,
and fears, and doubts shall be then realized or
disappointed, as the event may show. Tomorrow will
determine if, as I cannot but believe, Destiny has sent
you to me at this important hour. It is very singular,"
she added, as if to herself, her features again becoming
deadly pale--"very singular, indeed!"

"What is singular, Matilda?" asked Gerald.

"You shall know all tomorrow," she replied; "but mind,"
and her dark eye rested on his with an expression of much
tenderness, "that you come prepared to yield me all I ask."

Gerald promised that he would, and Matilda, expressing
a desire to hear what had so unexpectedly restored him
to her presence, he entered into a detail of all that
had befallen him from the moment of their separation.
She appeared to be much touched by the relation, and, in
return, gave him a history of what she too had felt and
suffered. She, moreover, informed him that Major Montgomerie
had died of his wound shortly after their parting, and
that she had now been nearly two months returned to her
uncle's estate at Frankfort, where she lived wholly
secluded from society, and with a domestic establishment
consisting of slaves. These short explanations having
been entered into, they parted--Matilda to enter her
dwelling, (the same Gerald had remarked in outline,) in
which numerous lights were now visible, and her lover to
make the best of his way to the town.



CHAPTER XII.

Morning dawned, and yet no sleep had visited the eyes of
Gerald Grantham. The image of Matilda floated in his
mind, and, to the recollection of her beauty, he clung
with an aching eagerness of delight that attested the
extent of its influence over his imagination. Had there
been nothing to tarnish that glorious picture of womanly
perfection, the feelings it called up would have been
too exquisite for endurance; but alas! with the faultless
image, came also recollections, against which it required
all the force of that beauty to maintain itself. One
ineffaceable spot was upon the soul of that fascinating
being; and though, like the spots on the sun's disk, it
was hidden in the effulgence which surrounded it, still
he could not conceal from himself that it DID exist, to
deface the symmetry of the whole. It was his knowledge
of that fearful blemish that had driven him to seek in
drunkenness, and subsequently in death, a release from
the agonizing tortures of his mind. Virtue and a high
sense of honor had triumphed so far, as not merely to
leave his own soul spotless, but to enable him to fly
from her who would have polluted it with crime; yet,
although respect and love--the pure sentiments by which
he had originally been influenced--had passed away, the
hour of their departure had been that of the increased
domination of passion, and far from her whose beauty was
ever present to his mind, his imagination had drawn and
lingered on such pictures, that assured as he was they
could never be realized, he finally resolved to court
death wherever it might present itself.

Restored thus unexpectedly to the presence of her who
had been the unceasing subject of his thoughts, and under
circumstances so well calculated to inflame his imagination,
it cannot appear wonderful that Gerald should have looked
forward to his approaching interview with emotions of
the intensest kind. How fated, too, seemed the reunion.
He had quitted Matilda with the firm determination never
to behold her more, yet, by the very act of courting that
death which would fully have accomplished his purpose,
he had placed himself in the position he most wished to
avoid. Presuming that Major Montgomerie, who had never
alluded to Frankfort as his home, was still with his
niece a resident in the distant State in which he had
left them--he had gladly heard Colonel Forrester name
the Kentucky capital as the place of his destination;
for, deep and maddening as was his passion for Matilda,
no earthly considerations could have induced him voluntarily
to have sought her. Even since his arrival in Frankfort,
it had been a source of consolation to him to feel that
he was far removed from her who could have made him forget
that, although the heart may wither and die, while
self-esteem and an approving conscience remain to us,
the soul shares not in the same decay--confesses not the
same sting. Could he even have divined that in the temple
to which his curiosity had led him, he should have beheld
the being on whose image he doted, even while he shunned
it, he would have avoided her as a pestilence.

The result of this terrible struggle of his feelings was
a determination to see her once more--to yield up his
whole soul to the intoxication of her presence, and then,
provided she should still refuse to unite her fate to
his, unhampered by the terrible condition of past days,
to tear himself from her for ever.

Strong in this resolution, Gerald, to whom the hours bad
appeared as days since his rising, and who quitted
Frankfort about his usual time, and, in order to avoid
observation, took the same retired and circuitous route
by which he had reached the valley the preceding evening.
As he descended into the plain, the light from the window
of the temple was again perceptible--In a few minutes he
was in the room.

"Gerald--my own Gerald," exclaimed Matilda, as carefully
closing the door after her lover, she threw herself into
his embrace. Alas, weak man! Like the baseless fabric of
a dream, disappeared all the lately formed resolutions
of the youth.

"Yes! Matilda, your own Gerald. Come what will henceforth,
I am yours."

A pause of some moments ensued, during which each felt
the beating of the other's heart.

"Will you swear it, Gerald?" at length whispered Matilda.

"I will--I do swear it."

There was a sudden kindling of the dark eye of the
American, and an outswelling of the full bust, that seemed
to betoken exultation in the power of her beauty; but
this was quickly repressed, and sinking on the sofa at
the side of her lover, her whole countenance was radiant
with the extraordinary expression Gerald had, for the
first time, witnessed while she lingered on the arm of
his uncle, Colonel D'Egville.

"Gerald," she said tenderly, "confirm the oath which is
to unite us heart and soul, in one eternal Destiny. Swear
upon this sacred volume, that your hand shall avenge the
wrongs of your Matilda--of your wife. Ha! your wife,
think of that," she added with sudden energy.

Gerald caught the book eagerly to his lips. "I swear it,
Matilda--he shall die."

But scarcely had he sworn, when a creeping chill passed
through his frame. His features lost all their animation,
and throwing away the book on which the impious oath had
been taken, he turned away his face from Matilda, and
sinking his head upon his chest, groaned and wept bitterly.

"What! already Gerald, do you repent? Nay, tell me not
that one thus infirm of purpose, can be strong of passion.
You love me not, else would the wrongs of her you love
arm you with the fiercest spirit of vengeance against
him who has so deeply injured her. But, if you repent,
it is but to absolve you from your oath, and then the
deed must be my own."

The American spoke in tones in which reproach,
expostulation, and wounded affection, were artfully and
touchingly blended, and as she concluded, she too dropped
her head upon her chest and sighed.

"Nay, Matilda, you do me wrong. It is one thing to swerve
from the guilty purpose to which your too seductive beauty
has won my soul, another to mourn as man should mourn,
the hour when virtue, honor, religion, all the nobler
principles in which my youth has been nurtured, have
proved too weak to stem the tide of guilty passion. You
say I love you not!" and he laughed bitterly. "What
greater proof would you require than the oath I have just
taken?"

"It's fulfilment," said Matilda, impressively.

"It shall be fulfilled," he returned quickly, "but at
least deny me not the privilege of cursing the hour when
crime of so atrocious a dye could be made so familiar to
my soul."

"Crime is a word too indiscriminately bestowed," said
Matilda, after a momentary pause. "What the weak in mind
class with crime, the strong term virtue."

"Virtue! what, to spill the blood of a man who has never
injured me; to become a hired assassin, the price of
whose guilt is the hand of her who instigates to the
deed? If this be virtue, I am indeed virtuous."

"Never injured you!" returned the American, while she
bent her dark eyes reproachfully upon those of the unhappy
Gerald. "Has he not injured ME; injured beyond all power
of reparation, her who is to be the partner of your life?"

"Nay, Matilda," and Gerald again passionately caught and
enfolded her to his heart, "that image alone were sufficient
to mould me to your will, even although I had not before
resolved. And yet," he pursued, after a, short pause,
"how base, how terrible to slay an unsuspecting enemy.
Would we could meet in single combat--and why not? Yes
it can--it shall be so. Fool that I was not to think, of
it before. Matilda, my own love, rejoice with me, for
there is a means by which your honor may be avenged, and
my own soul unstained by guilt. I wilt seek this man,
and fasten a quarrel upon him. What say you, Matilda--
speak to me, tell me that you consent." Gerald gasped
with agony.

"Never, Gerald," she returned, with startling
impressiveness, while the color, which during the warm
embrace of her lover had returned to it once more, fled
from her cheek. "To challenge him would be but to ensure
your own doom, for few in the army of the United States
equal him in the use of the pistol or the small sword;
and, even were it otherwise," she concluded, her eye
kindling into a fierce expression, "were he the veriest
novice in the exercise of both, my vengeance would be
incomplete, did he not go down to his grave with all his
sins on his head. No, no, Gerald, in the fulness of the
pride of existence must he perish. He must not dream of
death until he feels the blow that is aimed at his heart."

The agitation of Matilda was profound beyond any thing
she had ever yet exhibited. Her words were uttered in
tones that betrayed a fixed and unbroken purpose of the
soul, and when she had finished, she threw her face upon
the bosom of her lover, and ground her teeth together
with a force that showed the effect produced upon her
imagination, by the very picture of the death she had
drawn.

A pause of some moments ensued. Gerald was visibly
disconcerted, and the arm which encircled the waist of
the revengeful woman dropped, as if in disappointment,
at his side.

"How strange and inconsistent are the prejudices of man,"
resumed Matilda, half mournfully, half in sarcasm; "here
is a warrior--a spiller of human life by profession; his
sword has been often dyed in the heart blood of his fellow
man, and set he shudders at the thought of adding one
murder more to the many already committed. What child-like
weakness!"

"Murder! Matilda; call you it murder to overcome the
enemies of one's country in fair and honorable combat,
and in the field of glory?"

"Call YOU it what you will--disguise it under whatever
cloak you may--it is no less murder. Nay, the worst of
murders, for you but do the duty of the hireling slayer.
In cold blood, and for a stipend, do you put an end to
the fair existence of him who never injured you in thought
or deed, and whom, under other circumstances, you would
perhaps have taken to your heart in friendship."

"This is true, but the difference of the motive, Matilda?
The one approved of heaven and of man, the other alike
condemned of both."

"Approved of man, if you will; but that they have the
sanction of heaven, I deny. Worldly policy and social
interests alone have drawn the distinction, making the
one a crime, the other a virtue; but tell me not that an
all wise and just God sanctions or approves the slaying
of his creatures because they perish, not singly at the
will of one men, but in thousands and tens of thousands
at the will of another. What is there more sacred in the
brawls of Kings and Potentates, that the blood they cause
to be shed in torrents for some paltry breach of etiquette,
should sit more lightly on their souls than the few
solitary drops, spilt by the hand of revenge, on that of
him whose existence is writhing under a sense of acutest
injury?"

The energy with which she expressed herself, communicated
a corresponding excitement to the whole manner and person
of Matilda. Her eye sparkled and dilated, and the visible
heaving of her bosom told how strongly her own feelings
entered into the principles she had advocated. Never
did her personal beauty shine forth more triumphantly or
seducingly than at the moment when her lips were giving
utterance to sentiments from which the heart recoiled.

"Oh Matilda," sighed Gerald, "with what subtlety of
argument do you seek to familiarize my soul with crime.
But the attempt is vain. Although my hand is pledged to
do your will, my heart must ever mourn its guilt."

"Foolish Gerald," said Matilda; "why should that seem
guilt to you, a man, which to me, a woman, is but justice;
but that unlike me you have never entered into the calm
consideration of the subject. Yes," she pursued with
greater energy, "what you call subtlety of argument is
but force of conviction. For two long years have I dwelt
upon the deed, reasoning, and comparing, until at length
each latent prejudice has been expelled, and to avenge
my harrowing wrongs appeared a duty as distinctly marked
as any one contained in the decalogue. You saw me once,
Gerald, when my hand shrank not from what you term the
assassin's blow, and had you not interfered then, the
deed would not now remain to be accomplished."

"Oh, why did I interfere? why did my evil Genius conduct
me to such a scene. Then had I lived at least in ignorance
of the fearful act."

"Nay, Gerald, let it rather be matter of exultation with
you that you did. Prejudiced as you are, this hand (and
she extended an arm so exquisitely formed that one would
scarce even have submitted it to the winds of Heaven)
might not seem half so fair, had it once been dyed in
human blood. Besides who so proper to avenge a woman's
wrongs upon her destroyer, as the lover and the husband
to whom she has plighted her faith for ever? No, no, it
is much better as it is; and fate seems to have decreed
that it should be so, else why the interruption by yourself
on that memorable occasion, and why, after all your pains
to avoid me, this our final union, at a moment when the
wretch is about to return to his native home, inflated
with pride and little dreaming of the fate that awaits
him--Surely, Gerald, you will admit there is something
more than mere chance in this?"

"About to return," repeated Grantham shuddering. "When,
Matilda?"

"Within a week at the latest--perhaps within three days.
Some unimportant advantage which he has gained on the
frontier, has been magnified by his generous fellow
citizens into a deed of heroism, and, from information
conveyed to me, by a trusty and confidential servant, I
find he has obtained leave of absence, to attend a public
entertainment to be given in Frankfort, on which occasion
a magnificent sword, is to be presented to him. Never,
Gerald," continued Matilda her voice dropping into a
whisper, while a ghastly smile passed over and convulsed
her lips, "never shall he live to draw that sword. The
night of his triumph is that which I have fixed for mine."

"An unimportant advantage upon the frontier," asked Gerald
eagerly and breathlessly. "To what frontier, Matilda, do
you allude?"

"The Niagara," was the reply.

"Are you quite sure of this?"

"So sure that I have long known he was there," returned
Matilda.

Gerald breathed more freely--but again he questioned:

"Matilda, when first I saw you last night, you were gazing
intently upon yon portrait, (he pointed to that part of
the temple where the picture hung suspended.) and it
struck me that I had an indistinct recollection of the
features."

"Nothing more probable," returned the American,
answering his searching look with one of equal firmness. You
cannot altogether have forgotten Major Montgomerie."

"Nay, the face struck me not as his. May I look at it?"

"Assuredly. Satisfy yourself."

Gerald quitted the sofa, took up the light, and traversing
the room raised the gauze curtain that covered the painting.
It was indeed the portrait of the deceased Major, habited
in full uniform.

"How strange," he mused, "that so vague an impression
should have been conveyed to my mind last night, when
now I recal without difficulty those well remembered
features." Gerald sighed as he recollected under what
different circumstances he had first beheld that face,
and dropping the curtain once more, crossed the room and
flung himself at the side of Matilda.

"For whom did you take it, if not for Major Montgomerie?"
asked the American after a pause, and again her full dark
eye was bent on his.

"Nay I scarcely know myself, yet I had thought it had
been the portrait of him I have sworn to destroy."

There was a sudden change of expression in the countenance
of Matilda, but it speedily passed away, and she said with
a faint smile.

"Whether is it more natural to find pleasure in gazing
on the features of those who have loved, or those who
have injured us!"

"Then whose was the miniature on which you so intently
gazed, on that eventful night at Detroit?" asked Gerald.

"That," said Matilda quickly, and paling as she spoke--
"that was HIS--I gazed on it only the more strongly to
detest the original--to confirm the determination I had
formed to destroy him."

"If THEN," returned the youth, "why not NOW--may I not
see that portrait Matilda? May I not acquire some knowledge
of the unhappy man whose blood will so shortly stain my
soul?"

"Impossible," she replied. "The miniature I have since
destroyed. While I thought the original within reach of
my revenge, I could bear to gaze upon it, but no sooner
had I been disappointed in my aim, than it became loathsome
to me as the sight of some venemous reptile, and I
destroyed it." This was said with undisguised bitterness.

Gerald sighed deeply. Again he encircled the waist of
his companion, and one of her fair, soft, velvet hands
was pressed in his.

"Matilda," he observed, "deep indeed must be the wrong
that could prompt the heart of woman to so terrible a
hatred. When we last parted you gave me but an indistinct
and general outline of the injury you had sustained. Tell
me now all--tell me every thing," he continued with
energy, "that can infuse a portion of the hatred which
fills your soul into mine, that my hand may be firmer--
my heart more hardened to the deed.

"The story of my wrongs must be told in a few words, for
I cannot bear to linger on them," commenced the American,
again turning deadly pale, while her quivering lips and
trembling voice betrayed the excitement of her feelings.
The monster was the choice of my heart--judge how much
so when I tell you that, confiding in HIS honor, and in
the assurance that our union would take place immediately,
surrendered to him MINE. A constant visitor at Major
Montgomerie's, whose brother officer he was, we had ample
opportunities of being together. We were looked upon in
society as affianced lovers, and in fact it was the
warmest wish of Major Montgomerie that we should be
united. A day had even been fixed for the purpose, and
it wanted, but eight and forty hours of the time, when
an occurrence took place which blasted all prospect of
our union for ever.

"I have already told you, I think," resumed Matilda,
"that this little temple had been exclusively erected
for my own use. Here however my false lover had constant
ingress, and being furnished with a key, was in the habit
of introducing himself at hours when, having taken leave
of the family for the evening, he was supposed by Major
Montgomerie and the servants to have retired to his own
home. On the occasion to which I have just alluded, I
had understood from him some business, connected with
our approaching marriage, would detain him in the town
to an hour too advanced to admit of his paying me his
usual visit. Judge my surprise, and indeed my
consternation, when at a late hour of the night I heard
the lock of the door (from which I had removed my own
key) turn, and my lover appear at the entrance."

There was a short pause, and Matilda again proceeded.

"Scarcely had he shown himself when he had again vanished,
closing the door with startling violence. I sprang from
the sofa and flew forth after him, but in vain. He had
already departed, and with a heart sinking under an
insurmountable dread of coming evil, I once more entered
the temple, and throwing myself upon the sofa, gave vent
to my feelings in an agony of tears."

"But why his departure, and whence your consternation?"
asked Gerald, whose curiosity had been deeply excited.

"I was not alone," resumed Matilda, in a deep and solemn
voice. "When he entered I was hanging on the neck of
another."

Gerald gave a half start of dismay, his arm dropped from
the waist of the American, and he breathed heavily and
quickly.

Matilda remarked the movement, and a sickly and half
scornful smile passed over her pale features. "Before we
last parted, Gerald, I told you, not only that I was in
no way connected with Major Montgomerie by blood, but
that I was the child of obscure parents."

"What then?"

"The man on whose neck I hung was my own father."

"It was Desborough!" said the youth, with an air and in
a voice of extreme anguish.

"It was," returned Matilda, her face crimsoning as she
reluctantly acknowledged the parentage. "But how knew
you it?"

"Behold the proof," exclaimed Gerald, with uncontrollable
bitterness, as he drew from his bosom the portrait of a
child which, from its striking resemblance, could be
taken for no other than her to whom he now presented it.

"This is indeed mine," said Matilda, mournfully. "It was
taken for me, as I have since understood, in the very
year when I was laid an orphan and a stranger at the door
of that good man, who calling himself my uncle, has been
to me through life a more than father. Thank God," she
pursued with greater animation, her large dark eyes
upturned, and sparkling through the tears that forced
themselves upwards, "thank, God he at least lives not to
suffer through the acts of his adopted child. Where got
you this, Gerald?" she proceeded, when after a short
struggle she had succeeded in overcoming her emotion.

Gerald, who in his narrative of events, had purposely
omitted all mention of Desborough, now detailed the
occurrence at the hut, and concluded what the reader
already knows, by stating that he had observed and severed
from the settler, as he slept heavily on the floor, the
portrait in question, which, added to the previous
declaration of Matilda as to the obscurity of her birth,
connected with other circumstances on board his gun boat,
on his trip to Buffalo, had left an impression little
short of certainty that he was indeed the father of the
woman whom he so wildly loved.

For some minutes after this explanation there was a
painful silence, which neither seemed anxious to
interrupt--at length Gerald asked.

"But what had a circumstance, so capable of explanation,
to do with the breaking off of your engagement, Matilda,
or, did he, more proud--perhaps I should say less
debased--than myself, shrink from uniting his fate with
the daughter of a murderer?"

"True," said Matilda, musingly; "you have said, I think,
that he slew your father. This thirst for revenge then
would seem hereditary. THAT is the only, because it is
the noblest, inheritance I would owe to such a being."

"But your affair with your lover, Matilda--how terminated
that?" demanded Gerald--with increasing paleness, and in
a faltering tone.

"In his falsehood and my disgrace. Early the next morning
I sent to him, and bade him seek me in the temple at the
usual hour. He came, but it was only to blast my hopes--
to disappoint the passion of the woman who doated upon
him. He accused me of a vile intercourse with a slave,
and almost maddened me with ignoble reproaches. It was
in vain that I swore to him most solemnly, the man he
had seen was my father; a being whom motives of prudence
compelled me to receive in private, even although my
heart abhorred and loathed the relationship between us.
He treated my explanation with deriding contempt, bidding
me either produce that father within twenty-four hours,
or find some easier fool to persuade--that one, wearing
the hue and features of the black could, by human
possibility, be the parent of a white woman. Again I
explained the seeming incongruity, by urging that the
hasty and imperfect view he had taken was of a mask,
imitating the features of a negro, which my father had
brought with him as a disguise, and which he had hastily
resumed on hearing the noise of the key in the door. I
even admitted, as an excuse for seeing him thus
clandestinely, the lowly origin of my father, and the
base occupation he followed of a treacherous spy who,
residing in the Canadas, came, for the mere consideration
of gold, to sell political information to the enemies of
the country that gave him asylum and protection. I added
that his visit to me was to extort money, under a threat
of publishing our consanguinity, and that dread of his
(my lover's) partiality being decreased by the disclosure,
had induced me to throw my arms, in the earnestness of
entreaty upon his neck, and implore his secrecy; promising
to reward him generously for his silence. I moreover
urged him, if he still doubted, to make inquiry of Major
Montgomerie, and ascertain from him whether I was not
indeed the niece of his adoption, and not of his blood.
Finally I humbled myself in the dust and, like a fawning
reptile, clasped his knees in my arms, entreating mercy
and justice. But no," and the voice of Matilda grew
deeper, and her form became more erect; "neither mercy
nor justice dwelt in that hard heart, and he spurned me
rudely from him. Nothing short of the production of him
he persisted in calling my vile paramour, would satisfy
him; but my ignoble parent had received from me the reward
of his secrecy, and he had departed once more to the
Canadas. And thus," pursued Matilda, her voice trembling
with emotion, "was, I made the victim of the most diabolical
suspicion that ever haunted the breast of man."

Gerald was greatly affected. His passion for Matilda
seemed to increase in proportion with his sympathy for
her wrongs, and he clasped her energetically to his heart.

"Finding him resolute in attaching to me the debasing
imputation," pursued the American, "it suddenly flashed
upon my mind, that this was but a pretext to free himself
from his engagement, and that he was glad to accomplish
his object through the first means that offered. Oh,
Gerald, I cannot paint the extraordinary change that came
over my feelings at this thought; much less give, you an
idea of the rapidity with which that change was effected.
One moment before and, although degraded and unjustly
accused, I had loved him with all the ardour of which a
woman's heart is capable: NOW I hated, loathed, detested
him; and had he sunk at my feet, I would have spurned
him from me with indignation and scorn. I could not but
be conscious that the very act of having yielded myself
up to him, had armed my lover with the power to accuse
me of infidelity, and the more I fingered on the want of
generosity such a suspicion implied, the more rooted
became my dislike, the more profound my contempt for him,
who could thus repay so great a proof of confidingness
and affection."

"It was even while I lay grovelling at his feet," pursued
Matilda, after a momentary pause, during which she evinced
intense agitation, "that this sadden change (excited by
this most unheard of injustice) came over my mind--I rose
and stood before him; then asked, in a voice in which no
evidence of passion could be traced, what excuse he meant
to make to Major Montgomerie, for having thus broken off
his engagement. He started at my sudden calmness of
manner, but said that he thought it might be as well for
my sake to name, what I had already stated to him, in
regard to the obscurity of my birth, as a plea for his
seceding from the connexion. I told him that, under all
the circumstances I thought this most advisable, and then
pointing to the door, bade him begone, and never under
any pretext whatever again to insult me with his presence.
When he had departed, I burst into a paroxysm of tears,
but they were tears shed not for the loss of him I now
despised, but of wild sorrow at my unmerited degradation.
That conflict over, the weakness had for ever passed
away, and never since that hour, has tear descended cheek
of mine, associated with the recollection of the villain
who had thus dared to trifle with a heart, the full extent
of whose passions he has yet to learn."

There was a trembling of the whole person of Matilda,
which told how much her feelings had been excited by the
recollection of what she narrated, and Gerald, as he
gazed on her beautiful form, could not but wonder at the
apathy of the man who could thus have heartlessly thrown
if from him for ever.

"Had the injury terminated here," resumed Matilda, "bitter
as my humiliation was my growing dislike for him who had
so ungenerously inflicted it, might have enabled me to
endure it. But, not satisfied with destroying the happiness
of her who had sacrificed all for his sake, my perfidious
lover had yet a blow in reserve for me, compared with
which his antecedent conduct was mercy. Gerald," she
continued, as she pressed his arm with a convulsive grasp,
"will you believe that the monster had the infamy to
confide to one of his most intimate associates, that his
rupture with me was occasioned by his having discovered
me in the arms of a slave--of one of those vile beings
communion with whom my soul in any sense abhorred? How
shall I describe the terrible feeling that came over my
insulted heart at that moment. But no, no--description
were impossible. This associate--this friend of his--
dared, on the very strength of this infamous imputation,
to pollute my ear with his disrespectful passion, and
when, in a transport of contempt and anger, I spurned
him from me, he taunted me with that which I believed
confined to the breast, as it had been engendered only
in the suspicion, of my betrayer. Oh! if it be dreadful
to be falsely accused by those whom we have loved in
intimacy, how much more so it to know that they have not
had even the common humanity to conceal our supposed
weakness from the world. From that moment revenge took
possession of my soul, and I swore that my destroyer
should perish by the hand of her whose innocence and
whose peace he had blasted for ever."

"Shortly after this event," resumed Matilda, "my base
lover was ordered to join his Regiment then, stationed
at Detroit. A year passed away, and during that period,
my mind pondered unceasingly on the means of accomplishing
my purpose of revenge; and so completely did I devote
myself to a cool and unprejudiced examination of the
subject, that what the vulgar crowd term guilt, appeared
to me plain virtue. On the war breaking out, Major
Montgomerie was also ordered to join the Regiment at
Detroit, and thither I entreated him, to suffer me to
accompany him. He consented, for knowing nothing of the
causes which had turned my love into gall, he thought it
not improbable that a meeting with my late lover might
be productive of a removal of his prejudices, and our
consequent reunion. Little did he dream that it was with
a view to plunge a dagger into my destroyer's false heart,
that I evinced so much eagerness to undertake so long,
and so disagreeable a journey."

"Little more remains to be added," pursued Matilda, as
she fixed her dark eyes with a softened expression on
those of Gerald, "since, with the occurrences at Detroit
you are already sufficiently acquainted. Yet there is
one point upon which I would explain myself. When I first
became your prisoner, my mind had been worked up to the
highest pitch of determination, and in my captor I at
first beheld but an evil Genius who had interposed himself
between me and my just revenge, when on the very eve of
its consummation. Hence my petulance and impatience
while in the presence of your noble General."

"And whence that look Matilda, that peculiar glance,
which you bestowed upon me even within the same hour?"

Because in your frank and fearless mien I saw that manly
honor and fidelity, the want of which had undone me;
besides it flashed across my mind that daring, such as
I have witnessed yours in the capture of our boat, might,
if enlisted in my behalf, securely accomplish my revenge.

"Then, if so, why the cold, the mortifying reserve, you
manifested when we met at dinner at my uncle's table?"

"Because I had also recollected that, degraded as I was,
I ought not to seek the love of an honorable man, and
that to win you to my interest would be of no avail, as,
separated by the national quarrel, you could not, by
possibility, be near to aid me in my plans."

"Then," said Gerald reproachfully, "it was merely to make
me an instrument of vengeance that you sought me. Unkind
Matilda!"

"Nay, Gerald,--recollect, that then I had not learnt to
know you as I do now--I will not deny that when first I
saw you, a secret instinct told me you were one whom I
would have deeply loved had I never loved before; but
betrayed and disappointed as I had been, I looked upon
all men with a species of loathing--my kind, good,
excellent, more than father, excepted--and yet, Gerald,
there were moments when I wished even him dead." (Gerald
started)--"yes! dead--because I knew the anguish that
would crush his heart if he should ever learn that the
false brand of the assassin: had been affixed to the brow
of his adopted child." Matilda sighed profoundly, and
then resumed. "Later however, when the absence of its
object had in some degree abated the keenness of my thirst
for revenge, and when more frequent intercourse had made
me acquainted with the generous qualities of your mind,
I loved you Gerald, although I would not avow it, with
a fervor I had never believed myself a second time capable
of entertaining."

Again the countenance of Matilda was radiant with the
expression just alluded to by her lover. Gerald gazed at
her as though his very being hung upon the continuance
of that fascinating influence, and again he clasped her
to his heart.

"Matilda! oh my own betrothed Matilda!" he murmured.

"Yes your own betrothed," repeated the American highly
excited, the wife of your affection and your choice, who
has been held up to calumny and scorn. Think of that,
Gerald; she on whose fond bosom you are to repose your
aching head, she who glories in her beauty only because
it is beauty in your eyes, has been, betrayed, accused
of a vile passion for a slave; yet he--the fiend who has
done this grievous wrong--he who has stamped your wife
with ignominy, and even published her shame-still lives.
Within a week," she resumed, in a voice hoarse from
exertion. "Yes, within a week, Gerald, he will be
here--perhaps to deride and contemn you for the choice
you have made."

"Within a week he dies," exclaimed the youth. "Matilda,
come what will, he dies. Life is death without you, and
with you even crime may sit lightly on my soul. But we
will fly far from the habitations of man. The forest
shall be our home, and when the past recurs to me you
shall smile upon me with that smile--look upon me with
that look, and I will forget it all. Yes" he pursued,
with a fierce excitement snatching up the holy book, and
again carrying it to his lips--"once more I repeat my
oath. He who has thus wronged you, my own Matilda,
dies--dies by the hand of Gerald Grantham--of your
affianced husband."

There was another long embrace, after which the plan of
operations was distinctly explained and decided upon.
They then separated for the night--the infatuated Gerald
with a load of guilt at his heart, no effort of his reason
could remove, returning by the route he had followed on
the preceding evening to his residence in the town.



CHAPTER XIII.

Leaving the lost Gerald for a time to all the horrors of
his position, in which it would be difficult to say
whether remorse or passion (each intensest of its kind)
predominated, let us return to the scene where we first
introduced him to the reader, and take a review of the
Military events passing in that quarter.

After the defeat of the British columns at Sandusky, so
far from any renewed attempt being made to interrupt the
enemy in his strong holds, it became a question whether
the position on the Michigan frontier could be much longer
preserved. To the perseverance and promptitude of the
Americans, in bringing new armies into the field, we have
already had occasion to allude; but there was another
quarter in which their strength had insensibly gathered,
until it eventually assumed an aspect that carried
apprehension to every heart. Since the loss of their
flotilla at Detroit, in the preceding year, the Americans
had commenced with vigour to equip one at Buffalo, which,
in number and weight of metal, was intended to surpass
the naval force on Lake Erie; and so silently and cautiously
had they accomplished this task, that it was scarcely
known at Amherstburg that a squadron was in the course
of preparation, when that squadron (to which had been
added the schooner captured from Gerald Grantham the
preceding autumn) suddenly appeared off the harbour,
defying their enemies to the combat. But the English
vessels were in no condition to cope with so powerful an
enemy, and although many a gallant spirit burned to be
led against those who so evidently taunted them, the
safety of the Garrisons depended too much on the issue,
for that issue to be lightly tempted.

But misfortune was now beginning to overcast the hitherto
fair prospects of the British arms in the Western District
of the Canadas; and what the taunts of an enemy, triumphing
in the consciousness of a superior numerical force, could
not effect, an imperative and miserably provided for
necessity eventually compelled. Maintaining as we did a
large body of wild and reckless warriors, together with
their families, it may be naturally supposed the excesses
of these people were not few; but it would have required
one to have seen, to have believed, the prodigal waste
of which they were often guilty. Acknowledging no other
law than their own will, following no other line of
conduct than that suggested by their own caprice, they
had as little respect for the property of the Canadian
inhabitant as they would have entertained for that of
the American enemy. And hence it resulted, that if an
Indian preferred a piece of fresh, to the salted meat
daily issued from the Commissariat, nothing was more
common than for him to kill the first head of cattle he
found grazing on the skirt of the forest; secure the
small portion he wanted; and leave the remainder to serve
as carrion to the birds of prey of the country. Nay, to
such an extent wax this wanton spoliation carried, that
instances have repeatedly occurred wherein cattle have
been slain and left to putrify in the sun, merely because
a warrior found it the most convenient mode by which to
possess himself of a powder horn. All this was done
openly--in the broad face of day, and in the full cognizance
of the authorities; yet was there no provision made to
meet the difficulties so guilty a waste was certain
eventually to entail. At length the effect began to make
itself apparent, and it was shortly after the first
appearance of the American fleet that the scarcity of
food began to be so severely felt as to compel the English
squadron, at all hazards, to leave the port in search of
supplies.

At this period, the vessel described in the commencement
of our story, as having engaged so much of the interest
and attention of all parties, had just been launched and
rigged. Properly armed she was not, for there were no
guns of the description used on ship board wherewith to
arm her; but now that the occasion became imperative,
all nicety was disregarded In the equipment; and guns
that lately bristled from the ramparts of the fort were
soon to be seen protruding their long and unequal necks
from the ports. She was a gallant ship, notwithstanding
the incongruity of her armament, and had her brave crew
possessed but the experience of those who are nursed on
the salt waves of ocean, might have fought a more fortunate
fight (a better or a braver was impossible) than she did.
But in the whole of the English fleet there could not be
counted three score able or experienced seamen; the
remainder were children of the Canadian Lakes, warm with
the desire to distinguish themselves in the eyes of their
more veteran European companions, but without the knowledge
to make their enthusiasm sufficiently available. The
Americans, on the contrary, were all sons of the ocean.

It was a glorious day in September, the beautiful September
of Canada, when the gallant Commodore Barclay sailed with
his fleet, ostensibly in fulfilment on the mission for
which it was dispatched, but in reality winder the firm
expectation of being provoked to action by his stronger
and better disciplined enemy. To say that he would have
sought that enemy, under the disadvantages beneath which
he knew himself to labor, would be to say that which
would reflect little credit on his judgment; but, although
not in a condition to hold forth the flag of defiance,
where there was an inferiority in all but the skill of
the leader and the personal courage of the men, he was
not one to shun the battle that should be forced upon
him. Still to him it was an anxious moment, because the
fame of other days hung upon an issue over which no
efforts of his own could hold mastery, and as he gazed
at his armless sleeve, he sighed for the presence of
those whose agency had coupled the recollection of past
victory with that mutilated proof of honorable conduct.
He knew, moreover, the magnitude of the stake for which
he was thus compelled to play, and that defeat to him
would be the loss of the whole of the Western District.
While the British ascendancy could be maintained on the
Lake, there was little fear, lined as the forests were
with Indian warriors, that the Americans would push any
considerable force beyond the boundaries they had assigned
themselves at Sandusky and on the Miami; but a victory
once obtained by their fleet, there could be nothing to
oppose the passage of their army in vessels and boats
across the Lake.

Such were the thoughts that filled the mind of the
Commodore (in common with all who calmly reasoned on the
subject) as he crossed the bar that separated him from
his enemy; but neither in look, nor word, nor deed, was
there aught to reveal what was passing in the inward man;
and when later the hostile fleet was signalized as bearing
down upon them, he gave his orders to prepare formation,
in the animated voice of one who finds certain victory
within his reach, and exultingly hastens to secure it.

The events of that day the page of History has already,
recorded in terms alike flattering to the conqueror and
the conquered. Let it suffice that the Americans triumphed.
What the issue would have been, independently of all the
disadvantages under which the English Commodore labored,
had the latter not been borne severely wounded to his
cabin early in the action, it is impossible to say; but
as the final defeat was owing to his two principal vessels
getting foul of each other, without being able to extricate
themselves, it is not unfair to presume that his presence
on deck would have done much to remedy the confusion
produced by the accident.

One incident only connected with this action, and in
which two individuals with whom our readers have made
partial acquaintance, were the principal performers, we
will venture to relate. It will be recollected that at
the dinner table at Colonel D'Egville's on the day of
the capture of Major Montgomerie, and his party, among
the guests were the chiefs Split-log and Walk-in-the-Water,
the former distinguished by a huge bulbous excrescence
miscalled a nose, and exquisitely slit ears that dangled
gracefully upon his shoulders, at every movement of his
Memnon-like head: the latter by his striking resemblance
to the puritans of the days of the Commonwealth. Now it
so happened that Messieurs Split-log and Walk-in-the-water
were filled with an unconquerable desire to distinguish
themselves at sea, as they had often done on terra firma,
and they accordingly proffered their services in the
forth-coming struggle. We hope we shall not be considered
as detracting in the slightest degree from the courage
of these chiefs, when we state that the position chosen
by them on board the Commodore's ship, was one where they
apprehended the least danger to themselves--namely in
the tops; for although an Indian will scorn to shrink
from a rifle bullet or tomahawk, it by no means enters
into his code of bravery that he is to submit himself to
the terrible ordeal of being battered to a jelly by a
huge globe of solid iron. With, an alertness not common
to the habits and corpulence of these celebrated chiefs,
and fully calculating on exemption from danger while they
plied their rifles successfully themselves, they ascended
to the main top long before the action commenced. But
they had counted without their host, for no sooner did
the enemy begin to suffer from their fire, and perceive
the quarter whence it came, when a swivel gun, loaded
with grape, was brought to hear upon the point where they
lay concealed. They had provided themselves with a breast
work against small arms, but no breast work could resist
the shower of iron hail that was directed towards them;
and in proportion as the splinters and shot flew about
their ears, so did their desire to distinguish themselves
oze forth from the palms of Messrs. Split-log and
Walk-in-the-Water; in so much so indeed that, without
waiting to descend the rigging in the usual manner, each
abandoning his rifle, slid down by the first rope on
which he could lay his hands; nor stayed his course until
he found himself squatted, out of all reach of danger in
the lowest hold, and within the huge coils of a cable
where already lay ensconced a black bear, the pet of one
of the sailors. In this comfortable hiding place were
Messrs Split-log and Walk-in-the-Water found, when at
the close of the action they became, in common with those
with whose fortunes they had identified themselves,
prisoners of the Americans.

The action between the adverse fleets had been witnessed
by many of the inhabitants of Amherstburg, and by the
officers of the Garrison who, at the first sounds of
conflict, had ridden along the banks of the lake to be
as near spectators of the event as the distance of the
combatants, and the thick smoke in which they speedily
became enveloped, would allow. High in hope, and strong
in the reliance they placed upon the skill and experience
of the English Commodore, each had looked forward with
confidence to the overthrow of the enemy, even with the
limited means and unequal resources placed at his disposal.
Great therefore was the disappointment of all, when after
the firing, which raged for two hours without intermission,
had finally ceased, they found the English squadron lay
a mere wreck upon the waters, and in the very act of
being towed by their more fortunate enemies into the
harbour they had but recently quitted to engage them.
But on none did the disappointment of that hour sit more
heavily than on Tecumseh. He had watched the whole conflict
with an anxious eye and a swelling heart, for he well
knew what important results to himself and kindred hung
upon the issue; but filled with enthusiastic admiration
as he was of the Naval Captain, he had believed that
personal devotedness and heroism alone were sufficient
to compensate for the absence of advantages he had heard
named, without fully comprehending either their import
or their influence upon the chances of victory. The event
painfully undeceived him, and although his generous heart
warmed with the same love for him whose valour, profitless
even though it proved, was sufficiently attested by the
shattered condition of almost every vessel of his little
Squadron, he read in the downfall of him in whose aid he
had so much confided, the annihilation of the English power
in that remote region of the Canadas, and the consequent
destruction of all his hopes of retrieving his race from
the hated thraldom of American tyranny and American
usurpation. Such was the first feeling of that noble Warrior,
but his was not a soul to despond under the infliction of
even a worse trial than that just recorded, and in proportion
as the danger and difficulty increased, so rose his energy
and his desire to surmount them.

The result of the unlucky contest was, as had been
anticipated, to open a free passage across the lake to
the American armies, whose advance by land had been so
repeatedly and effectually checked on former occasions,
as to leave them little inclination for a renewal of an
attempt in that quarter. Now however that they could
forward a fleet of boats, under cover of the guns of
their Squadron, to the very outworks of Amherstburg, the
difficulty was at once removed; and an overwhelming army
of not less than ten thousand men, were speedily assembled
near Sandusky, with a view to the final invasion of
Amherstburg and consequent recapture of Detroit.

Under these disheartening circumstances--the want of
provisions being daily more and more felt by the troops
and inhabitants--it became necessary to hold a council
of war, to determine upon the course that should be
pursued. Accordingly the whole of the chiefs and officers
of the Garrison met in the hall already described in the
beginning of our narrative, when it was proposed by
General Proctor, at the conclusion of a speech in which
the increasing difficulties and privations of the garrison
were emphatically enumerated, that the fortifications
should be razed to the ground, the dock yards and other
public works destroyed, and the allied forces of English
and Indians make the best of their way by land to join
the centre division of the army on the Niagara frontier.

The indignation of Tecumseh, at what he conceived to be
a base and cowardly abandonment of a position which stout
hearts and willing hands might yet make available against
any force the enemy should push forward for its reduction,
was excessive and appropriately expressed. Filled with
esteem as he was for the character and courage of General
Brock, while a no less sincere admiration of the gallant
but unfortunate Commodore Barclay animated his noble and
generous heart, he could ill disguise his contempt for
the successor of the former. Little familiarized as he
was with the habits of European warfare, it could not
escape the penetrating observation of such a mind, that
the man who now proposed giving up his command without
a struggle in its defence, was the same who, at French
town, had suffered his troops to be cut to pieces, through
mere nervousness to attack with the bayonet; and who,
later at Sandusky, had through grossest neglect and
ignorance, not only lost the means of securing a certain
victory, but occasioned the most shameful waste of human
life; neither had it escaped his observation that on
almost every occasion wherein the hostile armies were
brought in contact, he who called himself a leader was
invariably a follower, and a follower at a most respectful
distance--a mode of heading an army, so differing from
Tecumseh's own view of the duties of a great chief, that
he could not understand by what perversion of the judgment
of his really brave fellows, who were erroneously called
his followers, he had been suffered to continue in his
command so long.

Under this impression of feeling towards the General, it
may readily be supposed that Tecumseh was not sparing of
his censure on the mode of proceeding which had been
suggested by that officer--nay, he even carried his
contempt and indignation so far, as to term him the coward
he believed him to be; and had this merit, that he told,
in plain and unvarnished language, what many of the
English officers most religiously believed also, although
their tongues dared not of course give utterance to the
thought. He threw additional force into his spirited and
exciting speech, by instituting a comparison between him
to whom he addressed himself, and the gallant but
unfortunate officer whose defeat had driven them to the
necessity of debating the unworthy question of flight--a
comparison which tended but to show how high the one had
been raised, how low the other had been sunk, in the
estimation of the truly brave; and concluded by a vivid
expression of his determination to remain with the warriors
and maintain the contest alone.

The animated delivery of the Warrior had communicated to
the lesser chiefs an enthusiasm of approbation that
carried them wholly beyond the bounds of the quiet and
grave demeanor, so usually distinguishing their deliberative
assemblies; and like the wild outburst of a fitful storm,
rose the clamorous yells that told how responsively the
heart of each excited chief beat to that of his great
leader. There was a moment during that wild and tumultuous
expression of the common feeling, when the British officers
looked as if they expected some more serious results of
the General's proposition than the mere utterance of the
dissatisfaction it, had created. But the apprehension
soon passed away, for a sudden and commanding movement
of the proud Tecumseh stayed the tempest his own powerful
eloquence had raised,--and the quiet and order of the
scene were restored, with a promptitude not inferior to
that with which it had been interrupted.

The result of the proceedings of the day, was a compromise
of the views of the two parties; and it was decided, that
although the defences of Amherstburg and Detroit should
be destroyed, and those forts evacuated, a final stand
should be made near the Moravian village, on the banks
of the narrow river Thames, on the line of communication
with the Niagara frontier. If the opportunity permitted,
and the Americans suffered them to remain unmolested,
fortifications were to be constructed on this spot, and
a rallying point for the numerous tribes of dispersed
Indians finally preserved.

A few days later, and the work of destruction was entered
upon and soon completed. The little British Army, scarcely
exceeding eight hundred men of all arms, commenced its
march at night, lighted by the flames of the barracks
which had given them shelter for the last time. As they
passed the fort of Detroit the next day, dense columns
of smoke and flame were to be seen rising high in air,
from the various public edifices, affording a melancholy
evidence of the destruction which usually tracks a
retreating army. Many an American inhabitant looked on
at the work of destruction, as if he would fain have
arrested the progress of an element which at once defaced
the beauty of the town, and promised much trouble and
inconvenience to those whom they knew to be at hand, for
their final deliverance frem the British yoke. But the
Garrison continued stern spectators of the ruin--they
had been compelled to effect, until the flames had attained
a power which rendered their suppression an impossibility;
then and then only, did they quit the scene of
conflagration, and embarking in the boats which had been
kept in readiness for their transport, joined their
comrades, who waited for them on the opposite bank. The
two Garrisons thus united; the whole preceded by a large
body of Indians, were pushed forward to the position
which had been selected on the Thames, and both shores
of the Detroit were left an unresisting conquest to the
Americans.

Meanwhile, these latter had not been slow in profiting
by the important advantages which had crowned their arms
on the lake. On the third day after the retreat of the
British Garrison from Amherstburg, a numerous fleet of
large boats was discovered from the town pushing for
Hartley's point, under cover of the united Squadrons.
Unopposed as these were, their landing was soon effected,
and a few hours later the American stars were to be seen
floating over the still smoking ruins of the British
fortress. Emboldened by the unexpected ease with which
he had rendered himself finally master of a position so
long coveted, the American General at once resolved to
follow and bring his retreating enemy to action if
possible. A force of five thousand men (fifteen hundred
of whom were mounted rifles) was accordingly pushed
forward; and so rapid and indefatigable was the march of
these, that they came up with the retreating columns
before they had succeeded in gaining the village, at
which it was purposed that their final stand should be
made. The anxiety of General Proctor to save the baggage
waggons containing his own personal effects, had been
productive of the most culpable delay, and at the moment
when his little army should have been under cover of
entrenchments, and in a position which offered a variety
of natural defensive advantages, they found themselves
suddenly overtaken by the enemy in the heart of a thick
wood, where, fatigued by the long and tedious march they
had made under circumstances of great privation, they
had scarcely time to form in the irregular manner permitted
by their broken position, before they found themselves
attacked with great spirit, and on all sides by a force
more than quadruple their own. The result may easily be
anticipated. Abandoned by their General, who at the very
first onset, drove his spurs into the flanks of his
charger and fled disgracefully from the scene of action,
followed by the whole of his personal staff, the irregularly
formed line of the little British Army, was but ill
prepared to make effectual resistance to the almost
invisible enemy by whom it was encompassed; and those
whom the rifle had spared, were to be seen, within an
hour from the firing of the first shot, standing conquered
and disarmed, between the closing lines of the victorious
Americans.

But although the English troops (sacrificed as they must
be pronounced to have been, by their incapable leader)
fell thus an easy prey to the overwhelming force brought
against them, so did not their Indian allies, supported
and encouraged as these were by the presence of their
beloved Chieftain. It was with a sparkling eye and a
glowing cheek that, just as the English troops had halted
to give unequal battle to their pursuers, Tecumseh passed
along the line, expressing in animated language the
delight he felt at the forthcoming struggle, and when he
had shaken hands with most of the officers (we fancy we
can feel the generous pressure of his fingers even at
this remote period) he moved into the dense forest where
his faithful bands were lying concealed, with a bounding
step that proved not only how much his heart had been
set upon the cast, but how completely he confided in the
result. And who shall say what that result might not have
been even notwithstanding the discomfiture of the English
had the heroic Chieftain been spared to his devoted
country! But this was not fated to be. Early in the action
he fell by the hand of a distinguished leader of the
enemy, [Footnote: Colonel Johnson, now Vice-President of
the United States.] and his death carried, as it could
not fail to do, the deepest sorrow and dismay into the
hearts of his followers, who although they continued the
action long after his fall, and with a spirit that proved
their desire to avenge the loss of their noble leader,
it was evident, wanted the directing genius of him they
mourned to sustain them in the effort. For several days
after the action did they continue to hang upon the
American rear, as the army again retired with its prisoners
upon Detroit; but each day their attack became feebler
and feebler, announcing that their numbers were fast
dispersing into the trackless region from which they had
been brought, until finally not a shot was to be heard
disturbing the night vigils of the American sentinels.

With the defeat of the British army, and the death of
Tecumseh, perished the last hope of the Indians to sustain
themselves as a people against the inroads of their
oppressors. Dispirited and dismayed, they retired back
upon the hunting grounds which still remained to them,
and there gave way both to the deep grief with which
every heart was overwhelmed at the loss of their truly
great leader, and to the sad anticipations which the
increasing gloom that clouded the horizon of their
prospects naturally induced.



CHAPTER XIV.

The interview so fatal in its results to Gerald's long
formed resolutions of virtuous purpose was followed by
others of the same description, and in the course of
these, Matilda, profiting by her knowledge of the past,
had the address so to rivet the chains which fettered
the senses of her lover, by a well timed, although
apparently unintentional display of the beauty which had
enslaved him, that so far from shrinking from the fulfilment
of the dreadful obligation he had imposed upon himself,
the resolution of the youth became more confirmed as the
period for its enactment drew nigher. There were moments
when, his passion worked up to intensity by the ever-
varying, over-exciting picture of that beauty would have
anticipated the condition on which he was to become
possessed of it for ever, but on these occasions the
American would assume an air of wounded dignity, sometimes
of deep sorrow; and alluding to the manner in which her
former confidence had been repaid, reproach him with a
want of generosity, in seeking to make her past weakness
a pretext for his present advances. Yet even in the very
moment she most denied him, she so contrived that the
restrained fire should burn with tenfold fury within his
heart--rendering him hourly more anxious for her possession,
even as he became hourly less fastidious about the means
of attainment.

At length the day arrived when Gerald--the once high,
generous and noble minded Gerald,--was to steep his soul
in guilt--to imbrue his hands in the life blood of a
fellow creature. The seducer of Matilda had arrived, and
even in the hotel in which Grantham resided, the
entertainment was to be given by his approving fellow
citizens, in commemoration of the heroism which had won
to him golden opinions from every class. It had already
been arranged that the assassination was to take place
on the departure of their victim from the banquet, and
consequently at a moment when, overcome by the fumes of
wine, he would be found incapable of opposing any serious
resistance to their design. The better to facilitate his
close and unperceived approach to the unhappy man, a pair
of cloth shoes had been made for her lover by the white
hands of Matilda, with a sort of hood or capuchin of the
same material, to prevent recognition by any one who
might accidentally pass him on the way to the scene of
the contemplated murder. Much as Gerald objected to it,
Matilda had peremptorily insisted on being present herself,
to witness the execution of the deed, and the same
description of disguise had been prepared for herself.
In this resolution the American, independently of her
desire to fortify the courage of her lover by her presence,
was actuated by another powerful and fearful motive,
which will be seen presently.

The private residence of the officer was situated in a
remote part of the town, and skirting that point of the
circular ridge of hills where the lights in the habitation
of Matilda had attracted the notice of Gerald, on the
first night of his encounter. To one who viewed it from
a distance, it would have seemed that the summit of the
wood-crowned ridge must be crossed before communication
could he held between the two dwellings which lay as it
were back to back, on either side of the formidable
barrier; but on a nearer approach, a fissure in the hill
might be observed, just wide enough to admit of a narrow
horse track or foot path, which wound its sinuous course
from the little valley into the open space that verged
upon the town, on gaining which the residence of the
American officer was to be seen rising at the distance
of twenty yards. It was in this path, which had been
latterly pointed out to him by his guilty companion, that
Gerald was to await the approach of the intended victim,
who on passing his place of concealment, was to be
cautiously followed and stabbed to the heart ere he could
gain his door.

Fallen as was Gerald from his high estate of honor, it
was not without a deep sense of the atrocity of the act
he was about to commit that he prepared for its
accomplishment. It is true that, yielding to the sophistry
of Matilda's arguments, he was sometimes led to imagine
the avenging of her injuries an imperative duty; but such
was his view of the subject only when the spell of her
presence was upon him. When restored to his calmer and
more unbiassed judgment, in the solitude of his own
chamber, conscience resumed her sway, and no plausibility
of pretence could conceal from himself that he was about
to become that vilest of beings--a common murderer. There
were moments even when the dread deed to which he had
pledged himself appeared in such hideous deformity that
he fain would have fled on the instant far from the
influence of her who had incited him to its perpetration,
but when the form of Matilda rose to his mental eye,
remorse, conscience, every latent principle of virtue,
dissolved away, and although he no longer sought to
conceal from himself that what he meditated was crime of
the blackest dye, his determination to secure entire
possession of that beauty, even at the accursed price of
blood, became but the more resolute and confirmed.

The night previous to that fixed for the assassination
was passed by the guilty Gerald in a state of dreadful
excitement. Large drops fell from his forehead in agony,
and when he arose at a late hour, his pale emaciated
features and wavering step betrayed how little the mind
or the body had tasted of repose. Accustomed however, as
he had latterly been, to sustain his sinking spirits by
artificial means, he was not long in having recourse to
his wonted stimulants. He called for brandy to deaden
the acuteness of his feelings, and give strength to his
tottering limbs; and when he had drank freely of this,
he sallied forth into the forest, where he wandered during
the day without other aim or purpose than to hide the
brand of guilt, which he almost felt upon his brow, from
the curious gaze of his fellow men. It was dark when he
returned to the hotel, and as, on his way to his own
private apartment, he passed the low large room chiefly
used as an ordinary, the loud hum of voices which met
his ear, mingled with the drawing of corks and ringing
of glasses, told him that the entertainment provided for
his unconscious victim had already commenced. Moving
hastily on, he gained his own apartment, and summoning
one of the domestics, directed that his own frugal meal
(the first he had tasted that day) should be brought up.
But even for this he had no appetite, and he had recourse
once more to the stimulant for assistance. As the night
drew on he grew more nervous and agitated, yet without
at all wavering in his purpose. At length ten o'clock
struck. It was the hour at which he had promised to issue
forth to join Matilda in the path, there to await the
passage of his victim to his home. He cautiously descended
the staircase, and in the confusion that reigned among
the household, all of whom were too much occupied with
the entertainment within to heed the movements of
individuals, succeeded in gaining the street without
notice. The room in which the dinner was given was on
the ground floor, and looked through numerous low windows
into the street, through which Gerald must necessarily
pass to reach the place of his appointment. Sounds of
loud revelry, mixed with laughter and the strains of
music, now issued from these, attesting that the banquet
was at its height, and the wine fast taking effect on
its several participators.

A momentary feeling of vague curiosity caused the degraded
youth to glance his eye through one of the uncurtained
windows upon the scene within, but scarcely had he caught
an indistinct and confused view of the company, most of
whom glittered in the gay trappings of military uniforms,
when a secret and involuntary dread of distinguishing
from his fellows the man whom he was about to slay, caused
him as instantaneously to turn away. Guilty as he felt
himself to be, he could not bear the thought of beholding
the features of the individual he had sworn to destroy.
As there were crowds of the humbler citizens of the place
collected round the windows to view the revelry within,
neither his appearance nor his action had excited surprise;
nor indeed was it even suspected, habited as he was in
the common garments of the country, that he was other
than a native of the town.

On gaining the narrow pass or lane, he found Matilda
wrapped in her cloak, beneath which she carried the
disguise prepared for both. The moon was in the last
quarter, and as the fleecy clouds passed away from before
it, he could observe that the lips and cheek of the
American were almost livid, although her eyes sparkled
with deep mental excitement. Neither spoke, yet their
breathing was heavy and audible to each. Gerald seated
himself on a projection of the hill, and removing his
shoes, substituted those which his companion had wrought
for him. He then assumed the hood, and dropping his head
between his hands, continued for some minutes in that
attitude, buried in profound abstraction.

At length Matilda approached him. She seated herself at
his side, threw her arms around his neck, called him in
those rich and searching tones which were so peculiarly
her own--her beloved and affianced husband; and bidding
him be firm of purpose, as he valued the lives and
happiness of both, placed in his hand a small dagger,
the handle of which was richly mounted in silver. Gerald
clutched the naked weapon with a convulsive grasp, while
a hoarse low groan escaped him, and again he sank his
head in silence upon his chest.

Nearly an hour had passed in this manner, neither seeking
to disturb the thoughts of the other, nor daring to break
the profound silence that every where prevailed around
them. At length a distant and solitary footstep was
heard, and Matilda sprang to her feet, and with her head
thrown eagerly forward, while one small foot alone
supported the whole weight of her inclined body, gazed
intently out upon the open space, and in the direction
whence the sounds proceeded.

"He comes, Gerald, he comes;" she at length whispered in
a quick tone.

Gerald, who had also risen, and now stood looking over
the shoulder of the American, was not slow in discovering
the tall figure of a man, whose outline, cloaked even as
it was, bespoke the soldier, moving in an oblique direction
towards the building already described.

"It is he, too well do I know him," continued Matilda,
in the same eager yet almost inaudible whisper, "and mark
how inflated with the incense which has been heaped upon
him this night does he appear. His proud step tells of
the ambitious projects of his vile heart. Little does he
imagine that this arm (and she tightly grasped that which
held the fatal dagger) will crush them for ever in the
bud. But hist!"

The officer was now within a few paces of the path, in
the gloom of which the guilty pair found ample concealment,
and as he drew nearer and nearer their very breathing
was stayed to prevent the slightest chance of a discovery
of their presence. Gerald suffered him to pass some yards
beyond the opening, and advanced with long yet cautious
strides across the grass towards his victim. As he moved
thus noiselessly along, he fancied that there was something
in the bearing of the figure that reminded him of one he
had previously known, but he had not time to pause upon
the circumstance, for the officer was already within ten
yards of his own door, and the delay of a single moment
would not only deprive him of the opportunity on which
he had perilled all in this world and in the next, but
expose himself and his companion to the ignominy of
discovery and punishment.

A single foot of ground now intervened between him and
the unhappy officer, whom wine, or abstraction, or both,
had rendered totally unconscious of his danger. Already
was the hand of Gerald raised to strike the fatal blow
--another moment and it would have descended, but even
in the very act he found his arm suddenly arrested.
Turning quickly to see who it was who thus interfered
with his purpose, he beheld Matilda.

"One moment stay," she said in a hurried voice; "poor
were my revenge indeed, were he to perish not knowing
who planned his death;" then in a hoarser tone, in which
could be detected the action of the fiercest passions of
the human mind.--"Slanderer--villain--we meet again."

Startled by the sound of a familiar voice, the officer
turned hastily round, and seeing all his danger at a
single glance, made a movement of his right hand to his
side, as if he would have grasped his sword--but finding
no weapon there he contented himself with throwing his
left arm forward, covered with the ample folds of his
cloak, with a view to the defence of his person.

"Yes, Forrester," continued Matilda, in the same impassioned
voice, "we meet again, and mark you," pulling back the
disguise from Gerald, "'tis no vile slave, no sable
paramour by whose hand you die--villain," she pursued,
her voice trembling with excitement, "my own arm should
have done the deed, but that he whose service I have
purchased with the hand you rejected and despised, once
baulked me of my vengeance when I had deemed it most
secure. But enough! To his heart, Gerald, now that in
the fulness of his wine and his ambition, he may the
deeper feel the sting of death--strike to his heart--
what! do you falter--do you turn coward?"

Gerald neither moved nor spoke; his upraised hand had
sunk at his side, at the first address of Matilda to her
enemy, and the dagger had fallen from his hand upon the
sward, where it might he seen glittering in the rays of
the pale moon. His head was bent upon his chest in abject
shame, and he seemed as one who had suddenly been turned
to stone.

"Gerald, my husband!" urged Matilda, rapidly changing
her tone into that of earnest persuasion, "wherefore do
you hesitate. Am I not your wife, your own wife, and is
not yon monster the wretch who has consigned my fair fame
to obloquy for ever--Gerald!" she added impetuously.

But the spell had lost its power, and Gerald continued
immoveable--apparently fixed to the spot on which he
stood.

"Gerald, Gerald!" repeated the officer, with the air of
one endeavouring to recollect.

At the sound of that voice, Gerald looked up. The moon
was at that moment unobscured by a single cloud, and as
the eyes of the murderer and his intended victim met,
their recognition was mutual and perfect.

"I had never expected to see Lieutenant Grantham figuring
in the character of an assassin," said Colonel Forrester,
in a voice of deep and bitter reproach, "still less to
find his arm raised against the preserver of his life.
This," he continued, as if speaking to himself, "will be
a bitter tale to recount to his family."

"Almighty God! have mercy!" exclaimed Gerald, as overcome
with shame and misery, he threw himself upon the earth
at his full length, his head nearly touching the feet of
the officer. Then clasping his feet--"Oh! Colonel Forrester,
lost, degraded as I am, believe me when I swear that I
knew not against whom my arm was to be directed. Nay,
that you live at this moment is the best evidence of the
truth of what I utter, for I came with a heart made up
to murder. But YOUR blood worlds could not tempt me to
spill."

"I believe you," said the American, feelingly. "Well do
I know the arts of the woman who seems to have lured you
into the depths of crime; yet low as you are fallen,
Lieutenant Grantham--much as you have disgraced your
country and profession, I cannot think you would willingly
have sought the life of him who saved your own. And now
rise, sir, and gain the place of your abode, before
accident bring other eyes than my own to be witnesses of
your shame. We will discourse of this tomorrow. Meanwhile,
be satisfied with my promise, that your attempt shall
remain a secret with myself."

While he spoke, Colonel Forrester made a movement as if
to depart. Aroused by the apprehension of losing her
victim, Matilda, who had hitherto been an impatient
listener, called wildly upon Gerald, who had now risen,
to fulfil his compact; but the youth turned from her with
a movement of disgust, exclaiming with bitterness--"leave
me, woman, leave me!"

Matilda looked after him for an instant with an expression
of intensest scorn, then springing to, and snatching up
the dagger, which lay glittering a few paces from the
spot on which she stood, she advanced silently, but
rapidly, upon her retreating enemy. Colonel Forrester
had gained his threshhold, and had already knocked for
admittance, when he heard the deep voice of Matilda at
his ear, exclaiming in a triumphant tone,

"Think you twice then to escape your doom, traitor?"

Before he could make an attempt to shield himself, the
fatal steel had entered deep into his side. Uttering a
groan, he sank senseless on the steps, whither Gerald,
who had watched the action of his companion, had flown
in the hope of arresting the blow. Confused voices,
mingled with the tramp of feet, were now heard within
the hall. Presently the door opened, and a crowd of
servants, chiefly blacks, appeared with lights. The view
of their bleeding master, added to the disguise of Gerald,
and the expression of triumph visible in the pale
countenance of Matilda, at once revealed the truth. By
some the former was borne to his apartment, while the
greater portion busied themselves in securing the two
latter, who however made not the slightest effort at
resistance, but suffered themselves to be borne, amid
hootings and execrations, from the spot.

The different groups we have described as being gathered
together in front of the hotel, had dispersed with the
breaking up of the party, which Colonel Forrester, in
compliment to those who entertained him, had been one of
the last to quit; so that on passing through the streets
not an idler was found to swell the sable crowd that bore
the wretched prisoners onward to the common prison of
the town. Just as they had arrived at this latter, and
a tall and muscular negro, apparently enjoying some
distinction in his master's household, was about to pull
the bell for admission, a man came running breathlessly
to the spot, and communicated to the negro just mentioned,
a message, in which the name of Colonel Forrester was
distinctly audible to the ear of Gerald. A retrograde
movement was the immediate consequence of this interruption,
and the party, came once more upon the open space they
had so recently quitted. Stupified with the excess of
abjectness in which he had continued plunged, from the
moment of his discovery of the identity of his intended
victim, Gerald had moved unconsciously and recklessly
whithersoever his conductors led; but now that he expected
to be confronted face to face with the dying man, as the
sudden alteration in the movement of the party gave him
reason to apprehend, he felt for the first time that his
position, bitter as it was, might be rendered even worse.
It was a relief to him, therefore, when he found that,
instead of taking the course which led to the residence
of Colonel Forrester, the head of the party, of which
Matilda and himself were the centre, suddenly immerged
into the narrow lane which conducted to the residence of
that unhappy woman. Instead, however, of approaching
this, Gerald remarked that they made immediately for the
fatal temple. When they had reached this, the door was
unlocked by the tall negro above described, who, with a
deference in his manner not less at variance with the
occasion than with the excited conduct of the whole party
on their way to the prison, motioned both his prisoners
to enter. They did so, and the lock having been turned
and the key removed, they silently withdrew.



CHAPTER XV.

Hours passed away without either of the guilty parties
finding courage or inclination to address the other. The
hearts of both were too full for utterance--and yet did
they acknowledge no sympathy in common. Remorse, shame,
fear, regret, simultaneously assailed and weighed down
the mind of Gerald. Triumphant vengeance, unmixed with
any apprehension of self, reigned exclusively in the
bosom of Matilda. The intense passion of the former, like
a mist that is dissipated before the strong rays of the
sun, had yielded before the masculine and practical
display of the energetic hate of its object, while on
the contrary she, whose beauty of person was now to him
a thing without price, acknowledged no other feeling than
contempt for the vacillating character of her associate.
In this only did they agree that each looked upon each
in the light of a being sunk in crime--steeped in
dishonor--and while the love of the one was turned to
almost loathing at the thought, the other merely wondered
how one so feeble of heart had ever been linked to so
determined a purpose.

The only light admitted into the temple was through the
window already described, and this was so feeble as
scarcely to allow of the more distant objects in the room
being seen. Gradually, as the moon sunk beneath the
forest ridge, the gloom increased, until in the end the
darkness became almost profound. At their first entrance
Matilda, enshrouding herself in the folds of her cloak,
had thrown herself upon the sofa; while Gerald continued
to pace up and down the apartment with hurried steps,
and in a state of feeling it would be a vain attempt to
describe. It was now for the first time that, uninfluenced
by passion, the miserable young man had leisure to reflect
on the past, and the chain of fatality which had led to
his present disgraceful position. He recollected the
conversation he had held with his brother on the day
succeeding his escape from the storm; and as the pledge
which had been given in his name to his dying father,
that no action of his life should reflect dishonor on
his family now occurred to him in all its force, he
groaned in agony of spirit, less in apprehension of the
fate that awaited him than in sorrow and in shame that
that pledge should have been violated. By a natural
transition of his feelings, his imagination recurred to
the traditions connected with his family, and the dreadful
curse which had been uttered by one on whom his ancestor
was said to have heaped injury to the very extinction of
reason--and associating as he did Matilda's visit to the
Cottage at Detroit, on the memorable night when he had
unconsciously saved the life of Colonel Forrester, with
the fact of her having previously knelt and prayed upon
the grave that was known to cover the ashes of the unhappy
maniac, Ellen Halloway, he felt a shuddering conviction
that she was in some way connected with that wretched
woman. In the intenseness of his new desire to satisfy
his doubts--a desire which in itself partook of the
character of the fatality by which he was beset--he
overcame the repugnance he had hitherto felt to enter
into conversation with her, and advancing to the couch,
seated himself upon its edge at her side.

"Matilda" he said, after a few moments of silence, "by
all the love you once bore me, I conjure you answer me
one question while yet there is time."

"Fool," returned the American, "I never loved you. A soul
like mine feels passion but once. Hitherto I have played
a part, hut the drama approaches to a close, and disguise
of plot is no longer necessary. Gerald Grantham, you have
been my dupe,--you came a convenient puppet to my hands,
and as such I used you until the snapped wire proclaimed
you no longer serviceable. No further."

Shame, anguish, mortification--all the most humiliating
sensations natural to man, for a moment assailed the
breast of the unfortunate and guilty Grantham, rendering
him insensible even to the greater evil which awaited
him. In the bitterness of his agony he struck his clenched
hand against his forehead, uttering curses upon himself
for his weakness, in one breath, and calling upon his
God, in the next, to pardon him for his crime.

"This is good!" said Matilda. "To see you writhe thus,
under the wound inflicted upon your vanity, is some small
atonement for the base violation of your oath; yet what
question would you ask, the solution of which can so much
import one about to figure on the scaffold for a crime
he has not even had the courage to commit?"

The taunting manner in which the concluding part of the
sentence was conveyed, had the effect of restoring Gerald
in some degree to himself, and he said with considerable
firmness:

"What I would ask is of yourself,--namely, the relationship,
if any, you bear to those who lie within the mound on
which I beheld you kneeling, on the night of your first
attempt on Colonel Forrester's life."

"The very recollection of that ill-timed intrusion would
prevent me from satisfying your curiosity, did not
something whisper to me that, in so doing, I shall add
another pang to those you already experience," returned
the American with bitter sarcasm.

"You are right," said Gerald hurriedly; "my miseries need
but the assurance of your connexion with those mouldering
bones to be indeed complete."

"Then," said Matilda eagerly, and half raising her head,
"your cup of misery may yet admit of increase. My mother
and my father's mother both sleep within that grave."

"How knew you this?" demanded Gerald quickly. "Instinct
could not have guided you to the spot, and by your own
admission you were taken from the place of your home
while yet a mere child."

"Not instinct, but my father Desborough, pointed out the
spot, as he had long previously acquainted me with the
history of my birth."

"One question more--your grandmother's name?"

"Mad Ellen she was called, an English soldier's wife,
who died in giving birth to my father--and now that you
are answered, leave me."

"Almighty Providence," aspirated Gerald, in tones of
inconceivable agony; "it is then as I had feared, and
this woman has Destiny chosen to accomplish my ruin."

He quitted the sofa and paced up and down the room in a
state of mind bordering on distraction. The past crowded
upon his mind in all the confused manner of a dream, and
amid the chaos of contending feelings by which he was
beset, one idea only was distinct--namely, that the
wretched woman before him had been but the agent of Fate
in effecting his destruction. Strange as it may appear,
the idea, so far from increasing the acerbity of his
feelings, had the tendency to soften his heart towards
her. He beheld in her but a being whose actions had been
fated like his own, and although every vestige of passion
had fled--even although her surpassing beauty had lost
its subjugating influence, his heart yearned towards her
as one who, wrecked on the same shore, had some claim to
his sympathy and compassion. All that was now left them
was to make their peace with God, since with man their
final account would be so speedily closed, and with a
view to impress her with a sense of the religious aid
from which alone they could hope for consolation, he
again seated himself at her side on the edge of the sofa.

"Matilda," he said, in a voice in which melancholy and
sternness were blended, "We have been the children of
guilt--the victims of our own evil passions; but God is
merciful, and if our penitence be sincere, we may yet be
forgiven in Heaven, although on earth there is no hope--even
if after this we could wish to live. Matilda, let us pray
together."

There was no answer--neither did the slightest movement
of her form indicate consciousness that she was addressed.
"Matilda," repeated Gerald--still there was no answer.
He placed his hand upon her cheek, and thought the touch
was cold--he caught her hand, it too was cold and but
for the absence of rigidity he would have deemed her
dead.

Scarcely knowing what he did, yet with an indefinable
terror at his heart, he grasped and shook her by the arm,
and again, but with greater vehemence, pronounced her
name.

"Who calls?" she said, in a faint but deep tone, as she
raised her head slowly from the cushion which supported
it. "Ha! I recollect. Tell me," she added more quickly,
"was not the blow well aimed. Marked you how the traitor
fell. Villain, to accuse the woman whose only fault was
loving him too well, with ignominious commerce with a
slave!"

"Wretched woman," exclaimed Gerald with solemn emphasis,
"instead of exulting over the evil we have done, let us
rather make our peace with Heaven, during the few hours
we have yet to live. Matilda Desborough--daughter of a
murderer; thyself a murderess--the scaffold awaits us
both."

"Coward--fool--thou liest," she returned with suddenly
awakened energy. "For one so changeling as thyself the
scaffold were befitting;, but know, if I have had the
heart to do this deed, I have also had the head to provide
against its consequences--see--feel--."

One of her cold hands was extended in search of Gerald's.
They met, and a vial placed in the palm of the latter,
betrayed the secret of her previous lassitude and
insensibility.

Even amid all the horrors which environed him, and called
so largely on attention to his own personal danger, Gerald
was inexpressibly shocked.

"What! poisoned?" he exclaimed.

"Yes--poisoned!" she murmured, and her hand again sank
heavily at her side.

Gerald dashed the vial away from him to the farther end
of the apartment, and taking the cold hand of the unhappy
woman, he continued:

"Matilda--is this the manner in which you prepare yourself
to meet the presence of your God. What! add suicide to
murder?"

But she spoke not--presently the hand he clasped sank
heavily from his touch. Then there was a spasmodic
convulsion of the whole frame. Then there burst a piercing
shriek from her lips, as she half raised herself in agony
from the sofa, and then each limb was set and motionless
in the stern rigidity of death.

While Gerald was yet bending over the body of his
unfortunate companion, shocked, grieved and agitated
beyond all expression, the door of the temple was unlocked,
and a man enveloped in a cloak, and bearing a small dark
lantern, suddenly appeared in the opening. He advanced
towards the spot where Gerald, stupified with the events
of the past night, stood gazing upon the corpse, almost
unconscious of the presence of the intruder.

"A pretty fix you have got into, Liftenant Grantham,"
said the well known voice of Jackson, "and I little
calculated, when I advised you to make love to the Kentucky
gals to raise your spirits, that they would lead you into
such a deuced scrape as this."

"Captain Jackson," said Gerald imploringly; "I am
sufficiently aware of all the enormity of my crime, and
am prepared to expiate it; but in mercy spare the bitterness
of reproach."

"Now as I'm a true Tennessee man, bred and born, I meant
no reproach, and why should I, since you could'nt help
her doing it, (and he pointed to Matilda), yet you know
its sometimes dangerous to be found in bad company. Every
body might'nt believe you so innocent as we do.

"Innocent! Captain Jackson," exclaimed Gerald, losing
sight of all other feelings in unfeigned surprise--"I
cannot say that I quite understand you."

"Why, the meaning's plain enough, I take it. Others might
be apt, I say, to think you had something to do with the
thing as well as she, and therefore its just as well you
should make yourself scarce. The Colonel says he would'nt,
on any account, you shall even be suspected."

"The Colonel says--not suspected," again exclaimed Gerald
with increasing astonishment--then, suddenly recollecting
the situation of the latter--"tell me," he continued,
"is Colonel Forrester in danger--is his life despaired of?"

"Worth a dozen dead men yet, or you would'nt see me taking
the thing so coolly. The dagger certainly let the day
light into him, but though the wound was pretty considerably
deep, the doctors say its not mortal. He thinks it might
have been worse if you had not come up, and partly stopped
her arm when she struck at him."

Gerald was deeply affected by what he had just heard. It
was evident that Colonel Forrester had, with a generosity
to which no gratitude of his own could render adequate
justice, sought to exonerate him from all suspicion of
participation in the guilty design upon his life, and as
he glanced his eye again for a moment upon the lifeless
form of his companion, he was at once sensible that the
only being who could defeat the benevolent object of his
benefactor had now no longer the power to do so.

"She sleeps sound enough now," said Jackson, again pointing
to the ill-fated and motionless girl, "but she'll sleep
sounder still before long, I take it."

"She will never sleep sounder than at this moment, Captain
Jackson," said Gerald, with solemn emphasis.

"Why, you don't mean to say she has cheated the hangman,
Liftenant."

As he spoke, Jackson approached the sofa, and turning
the light full upon the face, saw indeed that she was
dead. Gerald shuddered as the rays from the lamp revealed
for the first time the appalling change which had been
wrought upon that once beautiful countenance. The open
and finely formed brow was deeply knit, and the features
distorted by the acute agony which had wrung the shriek
from her heart at the very moment of dissolution, were
set in a stern expression of despair. The parted lips
were drawn up at the corners in a manner to convey the
idea of the severest internal pain, and there was already
a general discoloration about the mouth, betraying the
subtle influence of the poison which had effected her
death.

Gerald, after the first glance, turned away his head in
horror from the view; but the Aid-de-Camp remained for
some moments calmly regarding the remains of all that
had once been most beautiful in nature.

"She certainly is not like what she was when Colonel
Forrester first knew her," he said, in the abstracted
tone of one talking without reference to any other auditor
than himself; "but this comes of prefering a nigger to
a white man. Such unnatural courses never can prosper,
I take it."

"Captain Jackson," said Gerald, aroused by this remark,
and with great emphasis of tone, while he laid his hand
impressively on the shoulder of the other, "you do her
wrong. Guilty she has been, fearfully guilty, but not in
the sense you would imply."

"How do you know this?" asked the Aid-de-Camp.

"From her own solemn declaration at a moment when deception
could avail her not. Even before she swallowed the fatal
poison, her horror at the imputation, which drove her to
the perpetration of murder, was expressed in terms of
indignant warmth that belong to truth alone."

"If this be so," said Jackson, musingly, "she is indeed
a much injured woman, and deep I know will be the regret
of Colonel Forrester when he hears it, for he himself
has ever believed her guilty. But come, Liftenant Grantham,
we have no time to lose. The day will soon break, and I
expect you must be a considerable way from Frankfort
before sunrise."

I--from Frankfort--before sunrise!" exclaimed Gerald, in
perfect astonishment.

"Why, it's rather short warning to be sure; but the
Colonel thinks you'd better start before the thing gets
wind in the morning; for as so many of the niggers say
you wore a sort of a disguise as well as the poor girl,
he fears the citizens may suspect you of something more
than an intrigue, and insult you desperately."

"Generous, excellent man!" exclaimed Gerald, "how can I
ever repay this most unmerited service?"

"Why, the best way I take it, is to profit by the offer
that is made you of getting back to Canada as fast as
you can."

"But how is this to be done, and will not the very fact
of my flight confirm the suspicion it is intended to
remove?"

"As for the matter of how it is to be done, Liftenant,
I have as slick a horse waiting outside for you as man
ever crossed--one of the fleetest in Colonel Forrester's
stud. Then as for suspicion, he means to set that at
rest, by saying that he has taken upon himself to give
you leave to return on parole to your friends, who wish
to see you on a case of life and death, and now let's be
moving."

Oppressed with the weight of contending feelings, which
this generous conduct had inspired, Gerald waited but to
cast a last look upon the ill-fated Matilda; and then
with a slow step and a heavy heart for ever quitted a
scene fraught with the most exciting and the most painful
occurrences of his life. The first rays of early dawn
beginning to develop themselves as they issued from the
temple, Jackson extinguished his lamp, and leading through
the narrow pass that conducted to the town, made the
circuit of the ridge of hills until they arrived at a
point where a negro (the same who had led the party that
bore Matilda and himself to the temple) was in waiting,
with a horse ready saddled and the arms and accoutrements
of a rifleman.

The equipment of Gerald was soon completed, and with the
shot-bag and powder-horn slung over his shoulder, and
the long rifle in his hand, he soon presented the appearance
of a backwoodsman hastening to the theatre of war.

When he had seated himself in the saddle, Jackson drew
forth a well filled purse, which he said he had been
directed by Colonel Forrester to present him with to
defray the expences of his journey to the frontier.

Deeply affected by this new proof of the favor of the
generous American, Gerald received the purse, saying, as
he confided them to the breast of his hunting frock--

"Captain Jackson, tell Colonel Forrester from me, that
I accept his present merely because in doing so I give
the best evidence of my appreciation of ALL he has done
for me on this trying occasion. In his own heart, however,
he must look for the only reward to which this most noble
of actions justly entitles him."

The frank-hearted Aid-de-Camp promised compliance with
this parting message, and after pointing out the route
it would be necessary to follow, warmly pressed the hand
of his charge in a final grasp, that told how little he
deemed the man before him capable of the foul intention
with which his soul had been so recently sullied.

How often during those hours of mad infatuation, when
his weakened mind had been balancing between the possession
of Matilda at the price of crime, and his abandonment of
her at that of happiness, had the observation of the Aid-
de-Camp, on a former occasion, that he "was never born
to be an assassin," occurred to his mind, suffusing his
cheek with shame and his soul with remorse. Now, too,
that conscious of having fallen in all but the positive
commission of the deed, he saw that the unsuspecting
American regarded him merely as one whom accident or
intrigue had made an unwilling witness of the deadly act
of a desperate woman, his feelings were those of profound
abasement and self disesteem.

There was a moment, when urged by an involuntary impulse,
he would have undeceived Captain Jackson as to his positive
share in the transaction; but pride suddenly interposed
and saved him from the degradation of the confession.
He returned the pressure of the American's hand with
emphasis, and then turning his horse in the direction
which he had been recommended to take, quitted Frankfort
for ever.



CHAPTER XVI.

While the success of the British and American arms had
been alternating (with eventual triumph to the latter)
in the manner we have shown during the campaign of 1813,
on the Western District of Upper Canada, some highly
important operations had taken place in the army of the
centre. Of these our space will admit but of a detail of
one, and we thus travel out of the scene to which we have
hitherto confined our labors, not only because it was
the most dashing affair that occurred during the war,
but because it offers a striking parallel to the enterprise
and daring which destroyed the American power, at the
outset of hostilities, and was productive of similar
results.

Towards the close of May 1813, the Americans, after having
hotly bombarded Fort George on the Niagara frontier, for
two successive days, crossed the river and succeeded in
establishing themselves in that post which was evacuated
as untenable. The British loss on this occasion was
considerable, and General Vincent, who commanded the army
of the centre, retreated with much precipitation towards
Burlington Heights, withdrawing at the same time the
garrison from Fort Erie.

Emboldened by the absence of serious opposition, the
American Generals (Winder and Chandler) pushed forward
a force, exceeding three thousand men, as far as Stoney
Creek, close to the position then occupied by the little
British army, not more than one fifth of this number.
Here they halted for the night, evidently to refresh
their troops for the attack, which was meditated for the
following morning.

The result of such attack, with so overwhelming a force,
upon a small body of men dispirited, by recent discomfiture,
and destitute of supplies or reserves, could scarcely
have been doubtful. Fortunately however for the honor of
the British arms, Colonel Harvey, to whose conduct on
this occasion allusion has been incidentally made in an
early chapter of the present volume, had recently joined
the centre Division from Lower Canada, and to his quick
and comprehensive mind it immediately suggested itself,
that if the attack of the American army should be awaited,
the result, under the circumstances already alluded to,
and in the position occupied by the British force (literally
a Cul-de-Sac) must inevitably be attended by their utter
discomfiture, if not annihilation. On the contrary, he
felt persuaded that, even with the small force at the
disposal of the British General, there was every probability
that a bold and well concerted night attack would have
the effect of restoring to the assailants that confidence
in themselves, which had been weakened by a series of
reverses, while it must necessarily, and in the same
proportion, carry dismay into the ranks of the hitherto
victorious enemy.

It was, we believe--indeed we have reason to know--a
favorite military maxim with Colonel Harvey, and invariably
acted up to whenever opportunity was afforded for its
application, that defensive warfare, when the invading
foe is greatly superior in number, is best carried on by
a succession of bold and active offensive operations.
The result of this theory was, in the instance under
question, an offer to General Vincent to head a night
attack and penetrate into the very heart of the enemy's
encampment, as an only means of extricating the army from
its perilous position, and restoring (if successful) to
the victors that moral confidence which was necessary to
the honor of the army, and the preservation of the country.
Fortunately, we repeat, for the glory of the British
arms, Colonel Harvey's proposal was accepted, although
not without much doubt and indecision on the subject,
and during the night of the 5th June the small band of
heroes, destined to achieve so glorious a result, were
silently get under arms for the disproportionate encounter.
At the head of seven hundred and twenty bayonets Colonel
Harvey dashed in upon his slumbering and unsuspecting
enemy, amounting to more than quadruple his own force,
and well provided with field artillery. So bold and
unexpected was the attack, that the enemy fled, with the
utmost precipitation, to a position called the forty mile
creek, a distance of ten miles, leaving their Generals
and a vast number of prisoners and military stores in
the hands of the victors. Here they fell in with a
reinforcement under General Lewis. So opportune however
had been the blow struck by Colonel Harvey, and such the
panic created by it in the American ranks, that even with
this additional force, they, on the sudden appearance of
the British fleet, with a small body of troops on board,
after sustaining a short cannonade, continued their
retreat to Fort George, leaving their tents standing,
nor halting until they had gained their place of
destination.

Thus, by this judicious and by far the most brilliant
achievement of the war, was the centre District freed
from the triumphant presence of the enemy, as the western
had been, in the preceding year, by the bold and well
timed movement of General Brock upon Detroit, with an
equally inferior force.

The history of the war furnishes no similar enterprizes.
Both were the results of a bold conception, and prompt
and successful execution. Of the two, perhaps Stoney
Creek was the most dashing and decided, since there the
adverse armies actually came into collision.

In October of the same year, [Footnote: The anachronism
referred to in the Preface. The events here described,
occurred in 1812, and not in 1813.] a numerous body of
Americans, principally troops of the line, had been
collected under the orders of General Van Ransaellar,
and advantage was taken of a dark night in October to
push them across the river, with a view to the occupation
of the commanding heights above the village of Queenston.
In this, favored by circumstances, the enemy were eminently
successful.--

They carried the batteries, and at day break the heights
were to be seen covered with their battalions, before
whom were thrown out a considerable body of tirailleurs,
or riflemen. At the first alarm, the little detachment
stationed at Queenston, marched out to dislodge them;
but such was the impatient gallantry of General Brock,
who had succeeded to the command on this line of frontier,
that without waiting for the main body from Fort George
to come up, he threw himself at the head of the flank
companies of the Forty-Ninth, and moving forward in double
quick time, soon came within sight of the enemy.

Among the General's Aides-de-Camps, was Henry Grantham,
who having succeeded in making his escape at the fatal
defeat of the Moravian Village, with a few men of his
company, had in the absence of his Regiment, (then
prisoners of war) and from considerations of personal
esteem, been attached as a supernumerary to his staff.
With him at this moment was the light hearted De Courcy,
and as the young men rode a little in rear of their Chief,
they were so rapt in admiration of his fine form and
noble daring, (as he still kept dashing onward, far in
advance even of the handful of troops who followed eagerly
and rapidly in his rear,) that they utterly forgot the
danger to which he was exposed.

On arriving at the ascent, the General for a moment.
reined in his charger, in order to give time to the rear
to close in, then removing and waving his plumed hat,

"Hurrah, Forty-Ninth!" he exclaimed, in language suited
to those he addressed. "Up these heights lies our road--on
ourselves depends the victory. Not a shot till we gain
the summit--then three cheers for old England--a volley--and
the bayonet must do the rest!"

So saying, he resumed his hat, and wheeling his horse,
once more led his gallant little band up the hill.

But it was not likely that the Americans would suffer
the approach of so determined an enemy without attempting
to check their progress in the most efficient manner.
Distinguished from those around him by his commanding
air, not less than by the military insignia that adorned
him, the person of the General was at once recognized
for one bearing high rank, and as such became an object
of especial attention to the dispersed riflemen. Shot
after shot flew past the undaunted officer, carrying
death into the close ranks that followed noiselessly in
his rear, yet without harming him. At length he was seen
by his Aides-de-Camps, both of whom had kept their eyes
upon him, to reel in his saddle. An instant brought the
young men to his side, De Courcy on his right and Grantham
on his left hand. They looked up into his face. It was
suffused with the hues of death. A moment afterwards and
he fell from his horse, with his head reclining upon the
chest of Henry Grantham. There was a momentary halt in
the advancing column; all were dismayed at the dreadful
event.

De Courcy and Grantham, having abandoned their horses,
now bore their beloved leader to the side of the road,
in order to admit of the unimpeded progress of the men.
Even in his last moments the General had no other thought
but for the duty in which he was engaged.

"Bid them move on, De Courcy," he said in a faint voice,
as he remarked the sudden check which had been given to
the advance by his fall. Then, as if obedient to the
command, they renewed the ascent, each man eyeing him as
he past with a look in which deep sorrow and a desire to
avenge his death were intimately blended. "Forty-Ninth,
I have served with you from boyhood, and if ye would I
die with honor this day--carry those heights."

There was a deep murmur through the ranks of both
companies, that showed how each and all were affected by
this appealing address of the dying officer. At that
moment there arose a loud shout from the hill, as of
triumph at the fall of him they mourned. They answered
it with the fierce expression of men resolved to turn
that shout of triumph into a cry of woe; and excited,
maddened, infuriated, yet with a steadiness of movement
that claimed the admiration even of their enemies, dashed,
heedless of the galling fire of the riflemen, up the steep.

Left alone with the dying General, it became a first
consideration with the young officers to convey him
(provided he could bear removal) to some spot out of
reach of the enemy's fire, where he might breathe his
last moments in peace.

As Henry Grantham glanced his eye towards an old untenanted
building, that lay some fifty yards off the road, and
which he conceived fully adapted to the purpose, he saw
the form of a rifleman partly exposed at a corner of the
building, whose action at the moment was evidently that
of one in the act of loading his piece. The idea that
this skulking enemy might have been the same who had
given the fatal death-wound to his beloved Chief, added
to the conviction that he was preparing to put the coup
de grace to his work, filled him with the deepest desire
of vengeance. As the bodies of several men, picked off
by the tirailleurs, lay along the road, (one at no great
distance from the spot on which he stood,) he hastened
to secure the nearest musket, which, as no shot had yet
been fired by the English, he knew to be loaded.

Leaving De Courcy to support the head of the General,
the young Aid-de-Camp moved with due caution towards the
building; but ere he had gone ten paces, he beheld the
object of his pursuit issue altogether from the cover of
the building, and advance towards him with his rifle at
the trail. More and more convinced that his design was
to obtain a nearer approach, with a view to a more certain
aim, he suddenly halted, and raised the musket to his
shoulder. In vain was a shout to desist uttered by the
advancing man--in vain was his rifle thrown aside as if
in token of the absence of all hostile purpose. The
excited Henry Grantham heeded not the words--saw not the
action. He thought only of the danger of his General,
and of his desire to avenge his fall. He fired--the
rifleman staggered, and putting his hand to his breast--

"My brother! oh, my unhappy brother!" he exclaimed, and
sank senseless to the earth.

Who shall tell the horror of the unfortunate young Aid-de-
Camp, at recognizing in the supposed enemy his long
mourned and much loved Gerald--motion, sense, life, seemed
for the instant annihilated by the astounding consciousness
of the fratricidal act: the musket fell from his hands,
and he who had never known sorrow before, save through
those most closely linked to his warm affections, was
now overwhelmed, crushed by the mountain of despair that
fell upon his heart. It was some moments before he could
so far recover from the stupor into which that dear and
well remembered voice had plunged him, as to perceive
the possibility of the wound not being mortal. The thought
acted like electricity upon each stupified sense, and
palsied limb; and eager with the renewed hope, he bounded
forward to the spot where lay the unfortunate Gerald,
writhing in his agony. He had fallen on his face, but as
Henry approached him, he raised himself with one hand,
and with the other beckoned to his brother to draw near.

"Great God, what have I done!" exclaimed the unhappy
Henry, throwing himself in a paroxysm of despair upon
the body of his bleeding brother. "Gerald, my own beloved
Gerald, is it thus we meet again. Oh! if you would not
kill me, tell me that your wound is not mortal. Assure
me that I am not a fratricide. Oh, Gerald, Gerald! my
brother, tell me that you are not dying."

A faint smile passed over the pale haggard features of
Gerald: he grasped the hand of his brother and pressed
it fervently, saying--

"Henry, the hand of fate is visible in all this, therefore
condemn not yourself for that which was inevitable. I
knew of the attempt of the Americans to possess themselves
of the heights, and I crossed over with them under favor
of this disguise, determined to find death, combatting
at the side of our gallant General. Detaching myself from
the ranks, I but waited the advance of the British column
to remove from my concealment--you know the rest. But
oh, Henry! if you could divine what a relief it is to me
to part with existence, you would not wish the act undone.
This was all I asked: to see you once more--to embrace
you--and to die. Life offered me no hope but this."

Gerald expressed himself with the effort of one laboring
under strong bodily pain; and as he spoke he again sank
exhausted upon the ground.

"This packet," he continued, taking one from the breast
of the hunting frock he wore, and handing it to his
brother, who, silent and full of agony, had again raised
his head from the ground and supported it on his shoulder;
"this packet, Henry, written at various times during the
last fortnight, will explain all that has passed since
we last parted, in the Miami. When I am no more, read
it; and while you mourn over his dishonor, pity the
weakness and the sufferings of the unhappy Gerald."

Henry was nearly frantic, the hot tears fell from his
burning eyes upon the pale emaciated cheek of his
brother--and he groaned in agony.

"Oh, God!" he exclaimed, "how shall I ever survive this
blow--my brother! oh, my brother! tell me that you
forgive me."

"Most willingly; yet what is there to be forgiven? You
took me for an enemy and hence alone your error. It was
fate, Henry. A dreadful doom has long been prophesied to
the last of our race. We are the last--and this is the
consummation. Let it console you however to think that,
though your hand had not slain me another's would. In
the ranks of the enemy I should have found--Henry, my
kind, my affectionate brother--your hand--there--there--
what dreadful faintness at my heart--Matilda, it is my
turn now--Oh, God have mercy, oh--"

While this scene was passing by the road side between
the unfortunate brothers, the main body of the British
force had come up to the spot where the General still
lay expiring in the arms of De Courcy, and surrounded by
the principal of the medical staff. The majority of these
were of the Regiment previously named--veterans who had
known and loved their gallant leader during the whole
course of his spotless career, and more than one rude
hand might be seen dashing the tear that started
involuntarily to the eye. As the colors of the Forty-Ninth
passed before him, the General made an effort to address
some language of encouragement to his old corps, but the
words died away in indistinct murmurs, and waving his
hand in the direction of the heights, he sank back
exhausted with the effort, and resigned his gallant
spirit for ever.

For some minutes after life had departed, Henry Grantham
continued to hang over the body of his ill-fated brother,
with an intenseness of absorption that rendered him
heedless even of the rapid fire of musketry in the advance.
The sound of De Courcy's voice was the first thing that
seemed to call him to consciousness. De Courcy had heard
the cry uttered by the latter, on receiving the fatal
shot, and his imagination had too faithfully portrayed
the painful scene that had ensued. A friend of both
brothers, and particularly attached of late to the younger
from the similar nature of their service, he was
inexpressibly shocked, but still cherishing a hope that
the wound might not be attended with loss of life, he
expected to find his anticipations realized by some
communication from his friend. Finding however that the
one rose not, and remarking that the general demeanour
of the other was that of profound despair, he began at
length to draw the most unfavorable conclusion, and
causing the body of his Commander to be borne under cover
of the building, until proper means of transport could
be found, he hastened to ascertain the full extent of
the tragedy.

The horror and dismay depicted in his friend's countenance
were speedily reflected on his own, when he saw that the
unfortunate Gerald, whose blood had completely saturated
the earth on which he lay, was indeed no more. Language
at such a moment would not only have been superfluous,
but an insult. De Courcy caught and pressed the hand of
his friend in silence. The unfortunate young man pointed
to the dead body of his brother, and burst into tears.
While these were yet flowing in a fulness that promised
to give relief to his oppressed heart, a loud shout from
the British ranks arrested the attention of both. The
sound seemed to have an electric effect on the actions
of Henry Grantham. For the first time he appeared
conscious there was such a thing as a battle being fought.

"De Courcy!" he said starting up, and with sudden animation,
"why do we linger here--the dead," and he pointed first
to the body of the General in the distance--and then to
his brother "the wretched dead claim no service from us
now."

"You are right, Henry, our interest in those beloved
objects has caused us to be mindless of our duty to
ourselves.--See, too, how the flankers have cleared the
brow of the hill for the advance of the main body. Victory
is our own--but alas! how dearly purchased!"

"How dearly purchased, indeed!" responded Henry, in a
tone of such heart-rending agony as caused his friend to
repent the allusion. "De Courcy keep this packet, and
should I fall, let it be sent to my uncle, Colonel
D'Egville."

De Courcy accepted the trust, and the young men mounted
their horses, which a Canadian peasant had held for them
in the mean time, and dashing up the ascent, soon found
themselves where the action was hottest.

Burning with revenge, the flank companies had already
succeeded, despite of a hot and incessant fire, in gaining
the heights, and here for a considerable time they
maintained the struggle unsupported against the whole
force of the enemy. Already their bayonets had cleared
for themselves a passage to the more even ground, and
the Americans, dismayed at the intrepidity of this handful
of assailants, were evidently beginning to waver in their
ranks. A shout of victory, which was answered by the main
body of the English troops, just then gaining the summit
of the hill, completed their disorder. They stood the
charge but for a moment, then broke and fled, pursued by
their excited enemies in every direction. The chief object
of the Americans was to gain the cover of a wood that
lay at a short distance in their rear, but a body of
militia with some Indians having been sent round to occupy
it the moment the landing of the Americans was made known,
they were driven back from this their last refuge upon
the open ground, and with considerable loss.

Thus hemmed in on both sides--the rifles of the militia
and Indians on one hand; the bayonets of the British
force on the other--the Americans had no other alternative
than throw down their arms or perish to the last. Many
surrendered at discretion, and those who resisted were
driven at the point of the bayonet, to the verge of the
terrific precipices which descend abruptly from the
Heights of Queenston. Here their confusion was at the
highest--some threw down their arms and were saved, others
precipitated themselves down the abyss, where their bodies
were afterwards found, crushed and mangled in a manner
to render them scarcely recognizable even as human beings.

It was at the moment when the Americans, driven back by
the fire from the wood, were to be seen flying in despair
towards the frowning precipices of Queenston, that De
Courcy and Grantham, quitting their horses at the brow
of the hill, threw themselves in front of the victorious
and still leading flank companies. Carried away by the
excitement of his feelings, Grantham was considerably in
advance of his companion, and when the Americans, yielding
to the panic which had seized them, flew wildly, madly,
and almost unconscious of the danger, towards the precipice,
he suddenly found himself on the very verge, and amid a
group of irregulars, who arriving at the brink and seeing
the hell that yawned beneath, had turned to seek a less
terrific death at the hands of their pursuers. Despair,
rage, agony, and even terror, were imprinted on the
countenances of these, for they fought under an apparent
consciousness of disadvantage, and utterly as men without
hope.

"Forward! victory!" shouted Henry Grantham, and his sword
was plunged deep into the side of his nearest enemy.
The man fell, and writhing in the last agonies of death,
rolled onward to the precipice, and disappeared for ever
from the view.

The words--the action had excited the attention of a
tall, muscular, ferocious looking rifleman, who, hotly
pursued by a couple of Indians, was crossing the open
ground at his full speed to gain the main body of his
comrades. A ball struck him just as he had arrived within
a few feet of the spot where Henry stood, yet still
leaping onward, he made a desparate blow at the head of
the officer with the butt end of his rifle. A quick
movement disappointed the American of his aim, yet the
blow fell so violently on the shoulder that the stock
snapped suddenly asunder at the small of the butt. Stung
with pain, Henry Grantham turned to behold his enemy.
It was Desborough! The features of the settler expressed
the most savage and vindictive passions, as with the
barrel of the rifle upraised and clenched in both his
iron hands, he was about to repeat his blow. Ere it could
descend Grantham had rushed in upon him, and his sword
still reeking with the blood it had so recently spilt,
was driven to the very hilt in the body of the settler.
The latter uttered a terrific scream in which all the
most infernal of human passions were wildly blended, and
casting aside his rifle, seized the young officer in his
powerful gripe. Then ensued a contest the most strange
and awful; the settler using every endeavour to gain the
edge of the precipice, the other struggling, but in vain,
to free himself from his hold. As if by tacit consent,
both parties discontinued the struggle, and became mere
spectators of the scene.

"Villain!" shouted De Courcy, who saw with dismay the
terrible object of the settler, whose person he had
recognized--"if you would have quarter, release your
hold."

But Desborough, too much given to his revenge to heed
the words of the Aid-de-Camp, continued silently, yet
with advantage, to drag his victim nearer and nearer to
the fatal precipice; and every man in the British ranks
felt his blood to creep as they beheld the unhappy officer
borne, notwithstanding a desperate resistance, at each
moment nigher to the brink.

"For Heaven's sake, advance and seize him" exclaimed the
terrified De Courcy, leaping forward to the rescue.

Acting on the hint, two or three of the most active of
the light infantry rushed from the ranks in the direction
taken by the officer.

Desborough saw the movement, and his exertions to defeat
its object became, considering the loss of blood he had
sustained from his wounds, almost Herculean. He now stood
on the extreme verge of the precipice, where he paused
for a moment as if utterly exhausted with his previous
efforts. De Courcy was now within a few feet of his
unhappy friend, who still struggled ineffectually to free
himself, when the settler, suddenly collecting all his
energy into a final and desparate effort, raised the
unfortunate Grantham from the ground, and with a loud
and exulting laugh, dashed his foot violently against
the edge of the crag, and threw himself backward into
the hideous abyss.

A cry of horror from the lips of De Courcy was answered
by a savage shout of vengeance from the British ranks.
On rushed the line with their glittering bayonets, and
at a pace which scarcely left their enemies time to sue
for, much less obtain quarter--shrieks and groans rent
the atmosphere, and above the horrid din, might be heard
the wild and greeting cry of the vulture and the buzzard,
as the mangled bodies of the Americans rolled from rock
to rock, crashing the autumnal leaves and dried underwood
in their fall, some hanging suspended by their rent
garments to the larger trees encountered in their
course--yet by far the greater number falling into the
bottom of a chasm into which the sunbeam had never yet
penetrated. The picked and whitened bones may be seen,
shining through the deep gloom that envelopes every part
of the abyss, even to this day.

THE END.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Canadian Brothers; Or, The Prophecy Fulfilled: A Tale of the Late American War — Complete" ***

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

We also ask that you:

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

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

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

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



Home