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Title: Ridgeway: An Historical Romance of the Fenian Invasion of Canada
Author: Dubh, Scian
Language: English
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RIDGEWAY

AN HISTORICAL ROMANCE OF THE FENIAN INVASION OF CANADA


By Scian Dubh


“On our side is virtue and Erin; On theirs’ is the Saxon and
guilt.”--MOORE.


1868


[Transcriber’s Note: The nonstandard spellings of the original have been
retained in this etext.]



INTRODUCTION.


In the dark, English crucible of seven hundred years of famine, fire and
sword, the children of Ireland have been tested to an intensity unknown
to the annals of any other people. From the days of the second Henry
down to those of the last of the Georges, every device that human
ingenuity could encompass or the most diabolical spirit entertain, was
brought to bear upon them, not only with a view to insuring their speedy
degradation, but with the further design of accomplishing ultimately the
utter extinction of their race. Yet notwithstanding that
confiscation, exile and death, have been their bitter portion for
ages--notwithstanding that their altars, their literature and their flag
have been trampled in the dust, beneath the iron heel of the invader,
the pure, crimson ore of their nationality and patriotism still flashes
and scintillates before the world; while the fierce heart of “Brien of
the Cow Tax,” bounding in each and every of them as of yore, yearns
for yet another Clontarf, when hoarse with the pent-up vengeance of
centuries, they shall burst like unlaired tigers upon their ancient,
and implacable enemy, and, with one, long, wild cry, hurl her bloody and
broken from their shores forever.

Had England been simply actuated by a chivalrous spirit of conquest,
alone, or moved by a desire to blend the sister islands into one
harmonious whole, even then her descent upon Ireland could not be
justified in any degree whatever. Ireland had been her _Alma Mater_.
According to the venerable Bode and others, her noble and second rank
flocked thither in the seventh century, where they were “hospitably
received and educated, and furnished with books _without fee or
reward_.” Even at the present moment, the Irish or Celtic tongue is
the only key to her remote antiquities and ancient nomenclature. The
distinguished Lhuyd, in his Archaelogia Britannica, and the celebrated
Leibnitz himself, place this latter beyond any possible shadow of doubt.
Scarcely a ruined fane or classic pile of any remote date within her
borders but is identified with the name of some eminent Irish missionary
long since passed away. What would Oxford have been without Joannes
Erigena, or Cambridge, deprived of the celebrated Irish monk that stood
by the first stone laid in its foundation? The fact is every impartial
writer, from the “father of English history” down to the present
day, admits, that in the early ages, when darkness brooded over the
surrounding nations, Ireland, learned, philanthropic and chivalrous,
blazed a very conflagration on the ocean, and stretched forth her
jewelled and generous hand to poor, benighted England, and fostered, in
addition, the intellectual infancy of Germany, France and Switzerland,
as well as the early civilization of regions more remote still. Then it
was that the milk and honey of her ancient tongue and lore flowed out
from her in rivers to wash the stains from the soul and brow of the
stolid and unintellectual Saxon. Then it was, that her very zone gave
way in her eagerness to pluck his Pagan life from gloom, and wed her day
unto his night. But what of all this now?--The sin that is “worse than
witchcraft” is upon him! His hands are stained with innocent blood!
He has spurned his benefactress with the foot of Nero, “removed her
candlestick”, and left her in hunger, cold and darkness upon her own
hearthstone.

Had not Ireland, at the time of the invasion, been cut up through the
fierce pride and petty jealousies of her rulers, the English could
never have effected a permanent footing upon her shores. Contemptible in
numbers, shipping and appointments, the concentrated opposition of even
a few petty chiefs could have scattered them to the winds, or sent them
“howling to their gods”. But, wanting in that homogeneity without which
a nation must always remain powerless, the invasion of the territory
of one individual ruler was often regarded as a matter of no very grave
importance to those who were not his immediate subjects; so that from
this cause, as well as from, the unhappy dissentions which harrassed the
country at the period, the new colony found the means of establishing
themselves upon the eastern borders of the island, and of possessing
themselves of some of the walled towns, which they subsequently turned
to such good account in fortifying themselves against surprise and
baffling the pursuit of the natives, when worsted in the open field.

Whether the subtle influences of a common nationality moved Pope Adrian
the Fourth--who was an Englishman named Nicholas Breakspear,--to issue
the famous Bull granting Ireland to his fellow countryman, Henry the
Second of England, or whether, as it has been alleged, no such Bull was
ever issued, and that the one still extant is a forgery, it matters but
little now. The Pope’s claims extended to the spiritual jurisdiction of
Ireland only; and even had he granted the Bull in question, and assumed
the right of conveying the whole island to the English king, the
transfer was obtained under false pretenses for, from the very wording
of the document itself, it is palpable that Henry led the Sovereign
Pontiff, to believe that Ireland was sunk in the grossest ignorance and
superstition, and that, in making a descent upon it, he had only the
glory and honor of the Church in view. So terrible a distortion of the
facts of the case on his part, necessarily rendered all action based
upon his statement morally invalid at least; and thus it is, that even
those who have confidence in the genuineness of this Bull, regard it as
utterly worthless, and at not all admissable into any pleadings which
ingenious English politicians may choose to advance on the subject.

So inveterate the hostility that manifested itself on the part of the
Irish towards the invader from the moment that his foul and sacrilegious
foot first desecrated their soil, a reign of terror was at once
inaugurated in the vicinage of his camp or stronghold, by those
chieftains with whom he came into more immediate contact, and upon whose
territories he more directly impinged. In the track of both peoples,
“death follows like a squire.” Neither truce nor oath was kept by the
English; while their fiery adversaries, necessarily stung to frenzy
at the presence of yet another invader in their midst, made sudden
reprisals in a manner so unexpected and daring, that the laws of the
hour like those of Draco, were literally written in blood. While the
dash and chivalry of the Irish prevented them from adopting the stealthy
dagger of the assassin, and prompted them rather, to bold and open deeds
of death, the enactments of “The Pale” as the English patch or district
was termed, were absolutely of a character the most demonical. According
to their provisions, the murder of an Irish man or woman was no offence
whatever; while the slaughter of a native who had made submission to the
Pale, was visited with a slight fine only--not for the crime _per se_,
but for the murderer’s having deprived the king of a servant. From this
it can be easily perceived, that a cowardly system of warfare obtained
on the part of the English, which, were it not for the quick eye and
fierce agility of the inhabitants, would soon have resulted in their
total annihilation.

This foul and dastardly system of assassination was but simply a leading
expression of the bastard nationality of the invader. Not one, single
drop of proud, pure blood coursed through his veins. His degraded
country had been in turn the mistress of the Roman, the Saxon, the Dane
and the Norman, and he was the hybrid offspring of her incontinence.
Consequently, he had neither a history nor a past of his own, calculated
to prompt even one exalted aspiration. He was a mongrel of the most
inveterate character, and was therefore, and inevitably, treacherous,
cowardly; and cunning. Not so the brave sons of the land he so ardently
coveted. Ere the mighty gnomon of “The Great Pyramid” had thrown its
gigantic shadow o’er the red dial of the desert, they had filled the
long gallery of a glorious past with an array of portraits, the most
superb presented by antiquity. Before the Vocal Memnon poured forth
his hidden melody at sunrise, or “The City of a Hundred Gates” had sent
forth her chariots to battle, they had a local habitation and a name,
and had stamped their impress upon many a shore. No people in existence,
to-day, can look back to an origin more remote or clearly traceable
through a countless lapse of ages than the Irish: and hence it was,
that at the period of the Anglo-Norman descent upon their borders, the
chivalry of a stupendous past was upon them: and having its traditions
and its glories to maintain and emulate, and being, besides, inspired
by the pure and unadulterated crimson tide that had flowed in one
uninterrupted stream through their fiery veins for the space of
two thousand years previously, they shrank from the treacherous and
dastardly system of assassination introduced by the ignoble and cowardly
Saxon, and struck only to the dread music of their own war cry.

Still, although in detail hostile to the invader, no great, united
effort appears to have been made to rout him out root and branch, until
he had become so powerful as to make any attack upon him a matter of the
most serious moment, and had, in addition, enlarged his borders through
sundry reinforcements from his own shores. The few more purely Norman
leaders that were inspired with some desire at least for a more
honorable mode of warfare, were utterly powerless among the overwhelming
throng of their followers who had been long brutalized on the other side
of the channel. In this connection the proud, revengeful and chivalrous
natives were had at a sad disadvantage; for then, as to-day, they were
characterized by a spirit of knight-errantry, which disdained to take an
enemy unawares.

As an evidence that Henry had the spiritual welfare only of the people
of Ireland at heart, and that the building up of the Church there
was his sole object, no sooner did he land in that country, than he
parcelled out the entire island among ten Englishmen--Earl Strongbow,
Robert Fitzstephens, Miles de Cogan, Philip Bruce, Sir Hugh de Lacy, Sir
John de Courcy, William Burk Fitz Andelm, Sir Thomas de Clare, Otho de
Grandison and Robert le Poer. At one sweep, in so far as a royal grant
could go, he confiscated every foot of land from Cape Clear to the
Giant’s Causeway, denied the right of the inhabitants to a single square
yard of their native soil, and made the whole country a present to
the persons just named. Perhaps history does not record another such
outrageous and infamous act, and one so antagonistic to every principle
of right and justice. Had there been a preceding series of expensive
and bloody wars between both countries, in which Ireland, after years of
fruitless resistance, fell at last beneath the yoke of the conqueror,
it could be readily understood, that the victor would seek to indemnify
himself for his losses, on terms the most exacting and relentless if you
will; but in the case under consideration, no animosity existed between
the two nations until the ruler of one, without even a shadow of
provocation on the part of the inhabitants of the other, made a
deliberate descent upon them, and ignoring the benefits conferred
gratuitously by them, previously, on his own ungrateful land, subjected
them to every barbarity and wrong known to the history of crime.

For upwards of four hundred years of the English occupation--that is,
from the landing of Strongbow down to the period of James the First,
there was no legal redress for the plunder or murder of an Irishman, by
any of the invaders, or for the violation of his wife or daughter. The
laws of the Pale, enacted under the sanction of the King and the people
of England, subsidized, in effect, a horde of ruthless assassins and
robbers, with a view to striking terror to the hearts of the natives,
and driving them into a recognition of the right of the usurper to rule
over them, and dispose as he saw fit of their property and persons. This
right, however, was never conceded in even the most remote degree; for,
notwithstanding that the colony of foreign spears and battle-axes waxed
stronger daily, the Irish element, disunited though it was, fought it
constantly. True, that an occasional lull characterized the tempest as
it swept and eddied through each successive generation; but never did
Ireland assume the yoke of the oppressor voluntarily, or bow, for even a
single moment, in meek submission to his unauthorized sway.

It would require volumes to recount a tithe of the frightful atrocities
practiced by the invaders upon the rightful and unoffending owners of
the soil during the long period just referred to, and especially towards
its close, when that lewd monster, Elizabeth, disgraced her sex and the
age. No language can describe adequately the various diabolical modes
of extermination practiced against all those who refused to bow the knee
and kiss the English rod. No code of laws ever enacted in even the most
barbarous age of the world, could compare in fiendish cruelty with the
early penal enactments of the Pale--so forcibly supplemented in after
years by the perjured “Dutch boor” and the inhuman Georges. The foul
fiend himself could not have devised laws more diabolical in their
character or destructive in their application. So close were their
meshes and sweeping their folds, that the possibility of escape was
obviously out of the question; as their victim was met and entangled
at every turn, until at last the fatal blow descended, and the unequal
contest was ended. But more infamous and unjustifiable still, when “the
foul invader” found himself occasionally unable to cope successfully
with his brave and chivalrous antagonists, he had recourse to a darker
and deeper treachery than even that which characterized the stealthy
and unexpected stroke of his midnight dagger. He adopted the guise of
friendship; and professing to forget the past, lured into his power
with festive blandishments the chiefs of many a noble following, whom he
dared not meet in open fight, but who, at a given signal, and while the
brimming goblet circled through the feast, were suddenly set upon and
foully murdered ere they could draw a dagger or leap to their feet. In
corroboration of this assertion, we have only to refer to Mullaghmast,
where a deed of this description was perpetrated; and of a character so
cruel and dastardly, that the names of those concerned in the inhuman
plot are now desecrated by every individual raised above the brute, or
inspired with the hope of heaven.

Nor was there any mode of propitiating the satanic spirit which seemed
to actuate the English against their opponents, from the first moment
that they set their foot upon Irish soil; for, when, in the lapse
of years, a portion of the inhabitants in the vicinity of the Pale,
professed their readiness to conform to the manners, laws and customs of
the invader, their overtures were rejected, and they were still held at
the point of the sword, as “the Irish enemy,” and denied the protection
of the laws that they were ready to obey. In short, every move of the
English, established beyond any possibility of doubt, that their sole
object was the utter and complete extirpation of the natives, and the
subsequent establishment upon their conquered shores of a dynasty from
which every drop of pure, Celtic blood should be excluded forever.

But that day never arrived, and with God’s help never shall. However she
might have suffered or failed through an occasional traitor, Ireland,
as a whole, fought against English usurpation from the moment that she
became aware of its ultimate aims, and felt its growing power within
her borders. There was, besides, in the two races, those opposites of
character--those natural antagonisms which repelled each other with
a force and vehemence not to be neutralized or unified by any process
within the reach of even the most humane or astute ruler. They were too
different peoples, with habits of thought, moral perceptions, and ideas
of chivalry at total variance with each other as entertained by them
individually. The great bulk of the English colony was composed of
unprincipled freebooters and degraded Saxon serfs; the Conqueror having,
a century previously, turned the masses of the English into swine-herds,
banished their language from court, and reduced them to a condition of
the most abject slavery. Hence their stolid brutality, the low plane of
their intelligence, and their systematic murders. But, how different
the condition of the Irish in this respect. Far ages previous, both
learning, refinement, and the chivalrous use of arms, pervaded their
shores. Evidences of the truth of this assertion lie scattered around
us in every direction. Girald Barry--the English Cambrensis, William
Camden, Archbishop Usher, Vallancey, Lord Lyttleton, and a host of
others, all bear witness to the profound learning and noble chivalry
of the Irish from the earliest periods; while the various educational
institutions throughout the continent, founded shortly after the
introduction of Christianity into Ireland, establish, upon a basis the
most immovable, the truth of an assertion made by one of the authors
just mentioned, namely, that “most of the lights that illumined those
times of thick darkness proceeded out of Ireland”. As may be presumed,
then, a people so refined and chivalrous--so sensitive to all that was
noble and elevated--a people who, as in the case of Alfred, had educated
the very kings of the invaders, as well as plucked their subjects
from Paganism, were averse to meeting the usurper on his own plane of
warfare, and that consequently, the very pride and dignity of their arms
walled in, as it were, the tyrant from any of those cold-blooded and
dastardly atrocities which so disfigured his own career.

Notwithstanding that, after four hundred and twenty years of outlawry
the most cruel and unrelenting, the Irish were, (12th James I. 1614.) at
last, admitted within the pale of English law, and recognized nominally
as subjects at least, so long had they been subjected to the grinding
heel of oppression, and the baneful influences of continuous warfare,
and so long, also, had the usurper been accustomed to treat them as
enemies, that this recognition of their claims upon humanity availed
them but very little. Under the new regime, their freedom was merely
technical only; for now the terrible ban of the Reformation, intensified
by the cruel spirit evinced throughout the whole of Elizabeth’s infamous
reign, was upon them, and their persecution, which had so long been
regarded as a matter of course, experienced but little diminution
through the attempted toleration of her weak and pedantic successor.
Still, frightful and unprecedented as was the ordeal through which
they had passed, they preserved their nationality, and clung to their
traditions, hoping one day to rid themselves of their oppressors, as
they had already done in the case of the Danes; and in this way has the
case stood between both parties up to the present hour.

Although long previous to the Reformation, the atrocities practiced
upon Catholic Ireland by Catholic England were of a character the most
revolting, and although the murderous hand of the invader was never
stayed by the knowledge or conviction, that both parties professed
a common creed and knelt at a common altar, yet the intensity of the
sufferings of the Irish, or what may be termed their studious, refined,
and systematic persecution, began with the _civilisation_ of Elizabeth.
The new creed of the three preceding reigns had not, up to that period,
acquired sufficient strength to exert its deadliest influence against
the ancient faith of the people, or to be introduced as a new agency of
oppression in the case of Ireland; but now, no sooner had the “Virgin
Queen” ascended the throne, than the heart of the tigress leaped within
her; and, breaking loose from every restraint, human and divine, she
at once pounced upon the unfortunate Irish, and sought to bury her
merciless fangs, with one deadly and final crash, in their already
bleeding and lacerated vitals. The coarse, cruel fibre of an apostate
and libertine father, and the impure blood of a lewd mother, had done
their work in her case. From the first to the last moment of her reign,
she combined the courtesan with the assassin. She was the murderer of
Essex, said to have been her own son and paramour; and was, at the same
time, the mistress of more than one noble besides Leicester. According
to her own countryman, Cobbett, she spilled more blood during her
occupancy of the throne, than any other single agency in the world for
a commensurate period; while her treatment of Ireland, under the “humane
guidance” and advice of such cruel wretches as Spenser, was neither
more nor less than absolutely satanic. For fifteen long years she never
ceased to subject that unhappy land to famine, fire and sword. Every
device that her hellish nature or that of her agents could concoct for
the total extirpation of the people, was put into the most relentless
requisition by her. Under the guise of the most sincere friendship,
her deputies, times without number, betrayed many of the leaders of the
Irish into accepting their hospitality, and then foully set upon them
and murdered them while they sat unsuspecting guests at their festive
board. And yet, notwithstanding her penal laws, her blood-thirsty
soldiery, and all her revolting persecutions, the Irish were more than
a match for her in the open field, and ultimately embittered the
closing years of her life. From the first moment of the invasion, the
O’Neills--Kings and Princes of Aileach, Kings of Ulster and Princes
of Tir-Eogain--as well as other chiefs and leaders, fought the Pale
incessantly: and now, after a lapse of nearly four hundred years, again
evinced to the world, that Ireland was still unconquered, and regarded
England as a tyrant and usurper. And yet the opposition of those chiefs
and rulers to the hirelings and paid assassins of this infamous woman
and her corrupt associates, was of a character the most chivalrous.
Unaccustomed to cowardly deeds of blood, these proud warriors preferred
to meet the enemy face to face, and decide the issues of the hour in
fair, open fight. They could not entertain the Saxon idea of disposing
of an adversary by the stealthy knife of the professional murderer; and
hence it was that their pride and chivalry had ever been taken advantage
of: the invaders being convinced that no reprisals of a character
sufficiently dastardly or atrocious to meet their own depredations,
would be indulged in by their chivalrous opponents. In evidence of the
spirit that actuated both parting individually in this connection, we
may refer to the massacre of Mullaghmast, on the one hand, where the
English, under professions of the purest friendship, lured many of the
Irish chiefs and nobles to a conference or council, and then suddenly
pouncing on them, murdered every single soul of them in cold blood;
while, on the other hand, we may contrast with this cowardly act--which
is but one of a series of the same sort--the noble and generous conduct
of Tir-Oen, at the battle of the Yellow Ford, in 1598, where, after
defeating the Queen’s troops with terrible slaughter, taking all their
artillery and baggage, as well as twelve thousand pieces of gold, the
remainder of the shattered army was totally at his mercy, when he might
have put every soul that composed it to death. Unlike the cowardly
invader, the field once won, he sheathed his sword, and ordered the
remnant of the enemy to be spared, as they were unable to fight longer,
and commanded that they should be conducted in safety to the Pale. In
these two instances we have a thorough insight into the character of the
invader and the invaded: so that not another word need be said upon this
part of the subject.

And in this manner have the O’Neills and the Irish fought the English
up to the present hour. Circumstances have, we know, from time to time,
caused a lull in the tempest of arms, but the moment opportunity served
the smouldering fires burst forth anew. Not a single day of pure and
happy sunshine has ever obtained between England and Ireland, since the
flag of the former first flew over the latter. Throughout every single
hour of seven hundred long years, Ireland has been secretly plotting or
openly fighting against England. Not one solitary reign, from Henry II
down to Victoria I, but has been marked with Irish dissatisfaction of
English rule. Either in the aggregate or in detail, the Irish people
have, throughout that long period, been constantly asserting their right
to independence, and their unalterable antipathy to the presence of a
foreign power upon their shores. And the same spirit that fought the
Henrys, Elizabeth, William and the Georges, is alive still, and lighting
their descendants to-day; 1688, 1798, 1848, and 1868 are all episodes of
the same history; and the volume now must soon be closed. Humanity and
civilisation, common justice and the laws of nations, demand that
a people who have battled against tyranny and usurpation for seven
successive centuries, and who have still preserved intact their
identity, their traditions and their altars, shall be no longer
subjected to the brute force and infamous exactions of a freebooter who
has so long played false to every principle of honor, and who has been
the highwayman of powers and principalities for countless generations.

The record of England in relation to Ireland, is one of the most
atrocious known to the history of mankind. It is fraught with the
blackest ingratitude, the vilest injustice, and the direst oppression.
Notwithstanding that Ireland first gave her an alphabet, and taught
her how to spell her name--notwithstanding that Irish missionaries
had nurtured her early educational institutions and reclaimed her from
Paganism, she misrepresented their religion and their learning in high
places, stole in upon them while they slept, and turning upon them like
the frozen snake in the fable, robbed them of their independence, and
loaded them with chains. Every year of her accursed dominion upon their
shores has been marked with some new and overwhelming oppression. She
has spit upon their creed, broken their altars, hunted them down with
blood-hounds, robbed them of their estates, exiled them penniless
to foreign shores, banned their language, murdered their offspring,
destroyed their trade and commerce, ruined their manufactures, plundered
their exchequer, robbed them of their flag, deprived them of their civil
rights, and left them, houseless wanderers, a prey to hunger, cold and
rags, upon their own soil. Of all this she stands convicted before the
world; and for all this she must alone, so sure as there is a God
above her. Ireland still lives, and so do her wrongs. The O’Neills and
thousands of brave scions of the past, are still with her, while the
rank and file of her sons are as bitterly opposed to English usurpation
to-day as they were seven hundred years ago. Besides, at the present
hour, the approaches to their final triumph are made luminous with the
generous countenance of free America, and the glorious conviction that
heaven bends benignly over them; and thus it is that they now stand
shoulder to shoulder in eager anticipation of the coming hour, when
their banners shall yet once more be flung to the winds, as, with a
cry that rends the very earth, they dash down upon their deadly and
relentless foe, and smite her hip and thigh as of yore; dealing her the
last fatal blow that forever seals her infamous doom.

In the order of Providence, a great corrective, or reactionary
principle, attends the misdoings of nations, that, sooner or later,
exerts itself in restoring the equilibrium of justice, and avenging the
infringement of any of those laws, human or divine, constituted for the
welfare and guidance of our race. Whether on the part of governments or
individuals, no act of palpable cruelty or barbarity, has ever escaped
the censure and reprobation of all good and true peoples since the world
became civilized; so that in this connection, the oppressed or injured
party has always had the countenance and sympathy of humanity, at least.
True, that an effective expression of this sympathy may have often been
chilled or embarrassed in individual cases by political considerations
or unworthy interests; but then the tendency to illustrate it was
there, and in this sense alone, it has often exerted a benign influence.
Hungary, Greece, Poland, &c., have all, in turn, had the sympathy of
mankind; and so have had the oppressed colonies and people of Great
Britain. The cruel treatment, treachery and fraud practiced in the
name of justice and religion upon the Sepoys of India, by England, have
awakened the deepest commiseration in the bosom of all good and true
governments, and aroused, at the same time, the strongest indignation
even on the part of nations not over-scrupulous of chains themselves. In
like manner, the condition of Ireland has, from time to time, commanded
the attention of the world; and, through the cruel expatriation of her
children, made itself felt more widely perhaps than that of any other
nation. When England perjured herself for the hundredth time, and
violated the Treaty of Limerick, she exiled to France a host of our
countrymen, who afterwards met her at Fontenoy, as the Irish Brigade,
and trailed her bloody and broken in the dust. The wrongs of the past
were with them. The cruelties of the Henrys, the murders of Elizabeth,
the confiscations of Cromwell, and the perfidy of William, so nerved
their arm at the period, that their charge upon the English is mentioned
as one of the most memorable and destructive on record. But if they had
more than sufficient grounds for dealing a death blow to the power of
the tyrant then, how must this debt of vengeance have accumulated since;
when, to the wrongs already enumerated are to be added the atrocities of
the Georges, as well as those of their worthy descendant--that traitress
to humanity, whose hands have been just imbrued in the innocent blood of
Allen, O’Brien and Larkin, and who now holds in thrall, within the gloom
of her noisome dungeons, some of the noblest spirits that have ever
breathed the vital air in this or any age of the world? How, we say,
must this debt of vengeance have been heaped up since; and may we
not, under its terrible pressure, the next time that we have a fair
opportunity of meeting the enemy face to face, anticipate a repetition
of that glorious charge in every individual descent we make upon her
ranks, until we shall have ground her into pulp, and avenged the blood
of our martyrs, which has for ages been crying aloud from the ground,
“how long, Oh! Lord?”

We have said that the misdoings of nations are, in the order of
Providence, attended with a corrective or reactionary principle, which,
sooner or later, exerts itself in restoring the equilibrium of justice;
and in no case has this been made more apparent than in that of Ireland.
When under the frightful pressure of famine, murder and robbery, her
children fled her shores, and sought refuge in the open arms of free
America, the tyrant who had caused their exile, never fancied, for a
moment, that she was laying the foundation stone of her own ultimate
destruction, and gradually forming an Irish Brigade on this continent,
which should, one day, with a terrible rebound, repay all the
cruelties and wrongs to which she had subjected them from generation to
generation. She little fancied, that in each individual Irishman that
she had driven from his native shores to seek an asylum beyond the seas,
she had sent forth an agent of her own destruction, that would colonize,
in common with his exiled brethren, the whole world with a sense of
her infamy, and build up, on this free continent, an opposition so
tremendous to her interests in every connection, that it should command
the attention of every civilized people under the sun, and shake her
institutions and existence to their very centre. As is invariable
in such cases, she administered the antidote with the poison; and
transformed the victims of her wrongs and cruelties into enemies and
soldiers; and now that, in the aggregate, they assume the proportions of
a powerful and antagonistic nation outside her borders, they only await
the hour when they shall descend upon her to the hoarse music of
their ancient war cry, and, on the banks of the Shannon, and by the
Blackwater, smite her hip and thigh, as of old; but this time without
generously escorting her broken and disabled ranks to the borders of
the Pale, or permitting them, in the hour of defeat, to recruit their
exhausted forces, so that the fight may become more equal.

From the landing of Strongbow, in 1171, at Port Largi, then on
subsequently called also the Harbor of the Sun, near Waterford, down to
the sacking and burning of Magdala, the capital of King Theodoras,
in the present year of grace 1808, the history of English rule and
conquests has been one of bloodshed, perjury and crime. Look where you
may, and you encounter continuous atrocities similar to the massacres of
Elizabeth and Cromwell, or the blowing of the Sepoys of India from the
mouth of the cannon of the invader. Well may the ensign of England wear
an encrimsoned hue; for, from time immemorial, it has been stooped in
the blood of the nations: and that too, without her people having ever
fought a proud or decisive battle single-handed. Her fame, in this
connection, rests solely upon the influence of her gold and the power
of foreign bayonets. Scotland and Ireland have been the main stay of her
armies; her native element, _per se_, affecting their composition in
but a secondary degree. The muster rolls of the Peninsula, and the
supplementary field of Waterloo, have attested this assertion to the
fullest. The fact is, her laurels, for the most part, have been gathered
by Irish hands. Taking advantage of the proud daring and chivalry of
our people, in connection with the poverty and oppression which she had
wrought among them, she shook her gold in their half-starved faces,
as she does to-day, and lured them into her service whenever she had
a point to attain in the field. Through this channel, and through it
alone, the fame of her arms became established; the true aspirations of
her own sons seldom exceeding the exalted limits of a bread riot, or
the sudden exploits incident to some poaching expedition. As a general
thing, the English are traders and diplomats, rather than soldiers.
Their character for bravery has been won through the lavish use of their
subsidizing gold, rather than through any innate warlike propensities
on their part. They have never fought for a myth, or an abstract,
chivalrous idea; but always for some bread and beef object, however
apparently unconnected with the project said to be had in view. In the
exemplification of their Christian missionary spirit, too, this feature
of their character is abundantly set forth. Wherever they have succeeded
in introducing the Gospel among the heathen, they have subsequently
inserted the wedge of civil discord, to be followed on their part by the
sword of conquest. No more forcible illustration of this can be found
than that presented by India, and other of their dependencies that we
could name. In Ireland, also, the same spirit has been evinced;
but under different circumstances. She was already civilized and
Christianized when the invader first landed upon her shores; but in no
way was he enabled to totally overthrow her independence, except through
the instrumentality of the brand of religious discord, which, for
upwards of two hundred years, he had kept flaming at the foundations
of her nationality. It was the hostility bitterly fomented between the
Protestants and the Catholics of Ireland, from 1782 to the year 1800,
that led to the so-called Union, and from this latter period left her,
to the present hour, at the mercy of one of the most relentless and
unprincipled despotisms that has ever disfigured the annals of the human
race.

Edmund Burk was right when he declared in his place in Parliament, if
we remember correctly, that the Penal Laws enacted by England against
Ireland, were characterized by an ingenuity the most fiendish on record,
and an attempt to oppress, degrade and demoralize a people, without a
parallel in the history of even the most barbarious ages. Within the
recollection of persons now living, nine-tenths of the population were
held in a condition of the most abject slavery, and treated as aliens
and enemies at their own doors. Add to this the fact, that, previous to
the granting of Emancipation, scarce a generation had passed away since
their priests were murdered at the altar, or hunted down with dogs, like
wild beasts; their goods and chattels seized upon by any emissary of
the government, and at a nominal valuation appropriated to his own use;
their creed and language denounced and outlawed; their children deprived
of the light of learning under a penalty the most fearful; and, wherever
the tyrant had the power, their lands confiscated and handed over to
their oppressors. The wonder has long been, that, under such a terrible
regime, Ireland had not sunk into the most hopeless barbarism, or that
England had not absorbed her, until, as Lord Byron once observed on the
subject, they had become one and indivisible, as “the shark with his
prey.” No more desperate attempt has ever been made to blot out a
nation, and none has ever failed more signally; for, notwithstanding
this dreadful cannonade of ages, backed up with the final and murderous
assault of the Reformation and the Georges, Ireland, to-day, is more
powerful and united than she has ever been since the sceptre of the Dane
was broken upon her historic shores. This fact is sustained by evidences
teeming upon us from every point of the compass. A great and mysterious
embodiment of her influence, and a vague and oppressive sense of
her unseen presence, hang ominously over all the councils of her
task-masters, and build up strange dynasties in the disturbed slumbers
of even royalty itself. Nor bolt nor bar can shut out the low mutterings
of her approaching thunder, or exclude her ubiquitous hand from tracing,
in letters of blood, the impending doom of her infamous oppressor upon
the wall. Heaven has decreed it; and thus it is, that, in more than
one quarter of the globe the exiled children of her matchless hills and
vales have multiplied into a positive power, that, inflamed with the
memories of her undeserved sufferings, shall, one day, be precipitated
upon her enemies with the most destructive and overwhelming effect, and
humble them forever in the dust.

To avert this blow has now become a desideratum so great with England,
that all her cunning and genius are brought to bear upon the subject.
So long as Ireland was dependent solely upon her own resources, and the
spirit of revolution confined strictly within her borders, England
felt herself competent to avert the evil day, for an indefinite period,
through the instrumentality of the rope and the bayonet; but now that
beyond the seas, the terrible war cloud of Fenianism fills the whole
west, surcharged with vengeance and the great, broad lightnings of
American freedom, she reels to her very centre, and begins to loosen her
hold, claw by claw, upon her victim, in the hope that her lacerated
and bleeding prey may be satisfied with a partial release from its
sufferings, and still permit her to hold it in her modified clutch. Here
she shall fail, however; for the people of Ireland know her too well
to permit her to breathe the same atmosphere with them, or preserve the
slightest footing on their soil. They know her to have been a traitor, a
perjurer, a robber and an assassin, throughout the whole of her infamous
career. Besides remembering her at Mullaghmaston and Limerick, they
had a taste of her quality in 1782, when, under the pressure of the
Protestant bayonets of the famous “Volunteers,” she, by a solemn act of
her King, Lords and Commons, in Parliament assembled, swept Poyning’s
despotic Law from her Statute Books, and relinquished FOREVER all right
and title to interfere in the local affairs of Ireland, only to perjure
herself subsequently, by creating rotten boroughs and dispensing titles
and millions of gold, for the purpose of controlling those very same
affairs, not only more effectually than ever, but with the further view
of diverting all the resources of the country out of their legitimate
channels into her own hands, so that she should be at once the tyrant,
and the purse and conscience keeper of our race. They remember all this,
we say, and now they are about to call upon her for an account of her
stewardship, and make her foot the bill, and that, too, to the very last
farthing.

Of course, we are aware that much of the elevated mind and strength
which invigorate the Irish element on this continent, in this
connection, is to be attributed, unquestionably, to the sublime lessons
of the great American people, and the generous sympathy they evince
invariably in regard to nations deprived of the blessings of freedom.
Time was, we are aware, when the children of Ireland had no such exalted
idea of human liberty as they possess to-day, and when they would have
hailed the return of kingcraft to their shores, on the restitution
of their independence, with every demonstration of pleasure; but that
period has passed away, and forever. Having once tasted the blessings,
and imbibed the idea of American institutions, they have now cast aside
every sentiment of barbarism in this relation, and stepped out on the
broad platform of justice and common sense; ignoring the mere accident
of birth, and paying homage only to those attributes and characteristics
which, in themselves, tend to the elevation of the human family, and
which are not confined to any peculiar class or people.

When it becomes understood, that ever since the introduction of
printing, and the consequent diffusion of book and newspaper literature
throughout Europe, the history and people of Ireland have been subjected
by the invader to every description of the grossest misrepresentation,
it will create no small degree of surprise, that the country
has survived the assault, or that she presents to-day a compact
individuality, that commands the sympathy and respect of most of the
nations of the earth. Heaven, itself, must have inspired the vigor,
truth and heroism which, through a lapse of seven hundred years, have
battled for the right against the most fearful odds, and that now arms
her, on both sides of the Atlantic, with the mighty resolve which cannot
fail to result in her final redemption from the chains of the oppressor.
Her vitality in this connection has scarcely a parallel in the history
of the past; from the fact, that she has been subjected to a twofold
persecution--that of semi-barbarism, and that of civilization also.
The atrocities of the hybrid freebooters that invaded her shores in the
twelfth century, were not more revolting than those which characterized
her rulers six hundred years subsequently, when they were engaged
in founding educational institutions, and printing whole cargoes of
ten-penny Bibles, for the purpose of pandering to the whims of the age,
and doing honor to the spirit of the royal Pacha who moulded his
creed to his lusts, and left his rottenness a loathsome legacy to his
successors. Yes, the wonder is, that she has survived all this, and,
instead of falling into the vortex prepared for her, now stands with her
uplifted arm, awaiting the propitious moment, when she can deal a final
and irresistible blow to the ingrate that, in days of yore, she had
warmed into intellectual life on her own hearthstone.

If there had been anything in the climate, soil, people or geographical
position of Ireland, to operate against her prosperity as a nation,
or calculated to retard her progress in any connection whatever, there
might be some misgivings in relation to the causes of her poverty and
degradation; but as the most reliable political economists, and
even those unfriendly to the Irish name and race, admit that no such
drawbacks exist, we look, of course, to the system of government to
which the country has been so long subjected, as the source of all the
evils that have so cruelly and pertinaciously beset it. McCollough,
Wakefield, Foster, and other English writers, bear the highest testimony
to the richness of its soil, the salubrity of its air, and its other
great natural advantages. Its harbors, bays, lakes and rivers are among
the finest in the world, while its neglected mineral wealth is presumed
to be all but inexhaustible. In addition to this, it is stated by
Dr. Forbes--one of the Court physicians, who had made a tour of the
kingdom--that the inhabitants are of a character the most industrious,
and bear up under the oppressive system which weighs upon them in a
manner the most heroic. It is to opinions from such sources as these we
point, with every degree of confidence, as they cannot be charged with
being prejudiced in our favor; and were we inclined to be more diffuse
upon the subject, we might quote author after author, and all of English
proclivities too, who bear evidence to the suggestive character of the
elements of material wealth which we possess in every relation, and
which, through the disastrous policy pursued towards us from generation
to generation, have been paralyzed and prostituted to an extent that
almost defies comprehension.

Why did England violate a solemn pledge, given in 1782, to the effect,
that she relinquished all claim to interfere in the management of the
local affairs of Ireland, and conceded to the people of that country the
undoubted and inalienable right of conducting their own internal
affairs upon any basis they thought proper? After having experienced the
beneficial results of this policy upon the sister kingdom for a space
of eighteen years, why did she revoke the act establishing it, and
force the hated Union upon a people, a majority of whom were not free to
express an opinion upon the subject, or to resist a measure thrust upon
them through perjury, intimidation, bribery and fraud? The reason has
long been quite obvious to the world--the manufacturing interests and
the trade and commerce of Ireland have ever been and must ever remain
antagonistic to those of England. This fact has always influenced the
legislation of the latter country, and brought it to bear heavily and
unjustly upon almost every Irish project that has been undertaken for
the last three hundred years. When any particular Irish manufacture
was found to interfere with the interests of a similar one in England,
instantly devices were set on foot by the enemy to crush it, or so
embarrass it that its destruction could not fail to follow. It was
banned and taxed out of the market until it died. In this way, the silk,
glass and woolen manufactures of the country were destroyed; the latter
having so injured the English manufacturers in the time of William the
Third, that they presented a memorial to this dignified and affectionate
son-in-law of James, praying that the manufacture in Ireland might be
suppressed, as it was interfering with the success of the woolen trade
in England; which prayer the king entertained favorably, and promised
to grant. In this way, from the earliest days of the invasion, the
interests of Ireland have been trodden under the feet of the oppressor;
while, in a religious point of view, her people have been held for
generations in the most frightful bondage, and constrained to contribute
to the maintenance of a Church which nineteen-twentieths of them
believed to be heretical, and which had been thrust upon them in
violation of every right, human and divine.

Now, however, it is brightening up on the verge of the horizon, and,
like chickens, England’s untold acts of infamy and oppression, in
regard to Ireland, are coming home to roost. In every city and hamlet,
throughout the great Republic of the United States, and in every town
and village in Ireland, as well as throughout the rural districts, there
exists a regiment or detachment of the vast army of the Irish Republic.
No matter how invisible the force may be at any particular point, yet
there it exists, awaiting the signal to pounce upon the enemy, and
avenge the wrongs of ages; each member of it feeling, within his heart
of hearts, that those injuries have reached him individually, and that,
without the opportunity of wiping them out, even at the expense of the
last drop of his heart’s blood, the conquest, when achieved, would be
almost worthless in his eyes. It is with this element that England, at
the present juncture, has to deal at home and abroad; and now that the
avalanche, after rolling down the steep of seven successive centuries,
has accumulated in magnitude and force most tremendously, and
sufficiently to overcome every obstacle that happens to lie in its
path, ere long we shall find it leaping in thunder upon the plain, and
overwhelming those who so long mocked at its approach, and who now so
vainly attempt to stay its resistless course.



RIDGEWAY

AN HISTORICAL ROMANCE OF THE FENIAN INVASION OF CANADA.



CHAPTER I.


On a gloomy evening in the early part of May, 1866, and while astute
politicians were struck with the formidable aspect of Fenianism in both
hemispheres, a solitary soldier, in the muddy, red jacket of a private
in the English army, might be seen hastily wending his way across a
bridge which led from one of the most important strongholds in Canada,
to a town of considerable pretensions, that lay directly opposite, and
to which he was now bending his steps. Although the weather, from the
season of the year, might be presumed to be somewhat genial, yet it
was raw and gusty; and as the pedestrian was without an overcoat, the
uncomfortable and antagonistic shrug of his shoulders, as the chill,
fitful blast swept past him, was quite discernible to any eye that
happened to catch his figure at the period. Soon, however, he left
the bridge and river behind him, and, stepping on terra firma, turned
hastily down one of the unpretending streets of the town, and entered a
restaurant, out of the drinking saloon of which, several narrow passages
led to small convivial apartments, or rather compartments, in which the
landlord, or “mine host” professed to work culinary miracles, of every
possible shade, in the interest of his patrons. The establishment,
although not the most fashionable in the place, was still regarded
as respectable, and was, consequently, the frequent resort of many
well-to-do tradesmen, and others, who, after the cares of the day had
been laid by, generally repaired thither to slake their thirst with a
flowing tankard, or indulge in “a stew,” a quiet game of billiards or
a cigar, as the case might be. From the description of the various
pictures which adorned or decorated the bar-room, the nationality of the
proprietor was easily discerned. Just over a goodly and shining away of
handsome mirrors that, inside the counter, reflected a maze of graceful
bottles, cut glass and various ornaments appropriate to the profession,
hung a large map of Ireland, very beautifully gotten up: while on either
side of it, a neat, gilt frame, enclosing a most excellent likeness of
Daniel O’Connell and Robert Emmet, respectively, harmonized in every
relation with the map itself. Around the walls of the room, and
throughout the whole establishment, kindred prints and paintings were
somewhat profusely scattered; presenting unmistakable evidences, that
the proprietor hailed from the Emerald Isle, and had no inclination,
whatever, to disguise the fact from either his customers or the world.

At the period that the soldier entered the premises, there were some
half dozen persons seated in the bar; each discussing his favorite
beverage or enjoying his peculiar “weed.” Among these there was one
individual, however, whose appearance was singularly striking, and who
was taking part in the general conversation with an easy flippancy
and keenness of observation that showed he was a person of no ordinary
information or experience. There was something about him, nevertheless,
that, notwithstanding all his efforts to be attractive, was strangely
repellent. His small, grey eyes, thin, blue lips and hooked nose, gave
an expression to his countenance which was far from prepossessing; while
his soft, low, purring chuckle of a laugh, whenever he made a point
in his favor through some facile observation that interfered with the
deductions of those around him, evoked the idea, that he was some huge,
human mouser that was congratulating himself on having disposed of some
unfortunate and unsuspecting canary. He was, withal, shapely, and had
an air of refinement about him, the most decided, and, quite beyond the
ordinary run of saloon habitues. His complexion though somewhat dark and
out of keeping with the color of his eyes, was yet pure; while his teeth
were remarkably white and brilliant, and apparently as sharp as lancets.
In height he was about five feet ten inches; and in age, somewhere in
the vicinity of thirty. He was dressed in plain gray clothes; and,
from all one might gather from his external appearance, was a person in
comfortable circumstances. He was unknown not only to “mine host,” but
to every one present; having, as he informed them in the ordinary flow
of conversation, but just arrived in town, where he had business to
transact which might detain him for a few days, or possibly longer. This
information had been volunteered before the arrival of the soldier;
so that when the latter had taken his seat, he was literally a greater
stranger as to the name or intentions of the hook-nosed gentleman than
any one present--the former having been communicated to the landlord
as Philip Greaves, and the latter, as already intimated, quite freely
disclosed during the natural flow of the conversation in which he had
taken and still took part.

Perhaps there were no two beings on earth so dissimilar in every
relation, as were he and the red coat who now ensconsed himself in one
of the chairs, and accepted the invitation to take a friendly glass with
the stranger. He, humble as the rank he bore in the service, was a young
man of most prepossessing appearance and excellent address. His figure,
although slight, was beautifully symmetrical and finely knit. In stature
he was about five feet eleven inches, and was apparently as agile as a
leopard. The whole volume of his heart was laid open in his broad, manly
brow and clear dark eyes; and his laughter rang out now and then, at
the brilliant wit or searching sarcasm of his neighbor, in such pure and
joyous tones, as to be infectious even amongst those who were paying
but little attention to what had provoked it. He could not have numbered
more than twenty-five or twenty-six summers; and it was almost painful,
in the presence of such manly beauty and so light a heart, to dwell
on the fact, that the possessor of both, was in absolute slavery, how
carelessly soever he wore his shackles. While both these individuals
differed the one from the other to the extent already mentioned, the
proprietor of the saloon, in turn, presented an appearance as dissimilar
to that of either of his customers as did that of the one to the other.
He was a man of herculean proportions, and blessed with as commonplace
features as you could find in a day’s walk. Every fibre of his frame
bespoke the most gigantic strength, while his full, round face glowed
with the most refreshing health, and presented at the same time as
stolid an expression as could well be imagined in connection with his
vocation. Still, there was something in his keen, gray eye and about his
mouth, that bid you beware of taking the book by the cover; while an odd
word of the conversation that now and then reached his ear, called up a
strange expression of intelligence which swept across his features
with the speed of light, and then left them as quiescent and apparently
unintellectual as before. This individual whom we shall name Thomas
O’Brien, or Big Tom, as his friends were wont to call him, although
never regarded as being over brilliant, there were those who averred
that he not only possessed a fund of good, common sense, but who
stated further, that he was a man of great influence not only among the
soldiers in the fort, but among many of his countrymen both in town and
out of it. Tom spoke very slowly and always in an oracular manner; nor
were his movements behind his bar of a very demonstrative character;
as no press of custom, whatever, seemed to possess the power of
accelerating his motions or inducing him to exceed the steady formula
that he appeared to have adopted in relation to serving his customers;
still he possessed the jewel of honesty and urbanity as an offset to
all this; and, like most large men, was, on the whole, of a kind and
excellent temper. When seen standing by the river or in any elevated
position, he conveyed the idea of a sort of human lighthouse, or a
chimney on fire, so fiercely red was the tremendous shock of hair that
covered his towering head. He was still a young man, and, like the
soldier, unmarried; although the heart of the latter had gone forth and
was in the safe keeping of a charming young cousin of “mine host,” who
had emigrated to America some time previously, and who now resided with
her friends in the city of Buffalo. Tom had preceded his relatives by
some years, and had sojourned, up to the period of their landing, in
the United States also; but taking a sudden notion, as it would seem,
he pulled up his stakes, and, like other adventurers, settled down,
apparently haphazard, in the town in which he now lived; and where he
had already been upwards of two years; having bought out the “Sign of
the Harp,” as we shall call it, with all its appointments, from another
Son of the Sod, who had made up his mind to go West.

Before the soldier, whom we shall name Nicholas, or Nick Barry, had
finished his glass, Greaves entered into conversation with him in
relation to the strength of the fort, and the nationality of the
regiment that garrisoned it; observing, at the same time, that, of
course, as usual, a fair sprinkling from the Emerald Isle was to be
found among them.

“Yes,” said Barry, “go where you may throughout the empire, and whenever
you meet a red coat you will be right in four cases out of six in
putting it down as belonging to an Irishman; that is, provided its
precise color and texture are like mine; but you would not be so safe
in applying the same rule wherever you chanced to encounter the clear,
bright flash of the genuine scarlet.”

“And why?” returned Greaves, with an inquiring air which seemed to
be quite at sea upon the subject; although up to that moment, his
conversation was such as to lead one to infer that he could scarcely be
in the dark upon a subject so generally understood.

“Because,” said Nick, “the Irish are only fit to do the fighting; and
that’s always done, you know, by the rank and file.”

This reply, although not over satisfactory to the interrogator, seemed
to afford infinite amusement to Big Tom, who, with a perfect sledge
hammer of a laugh, exclaimed when Barry had finished:

“Well done Nick, and the divil a betther could it be said if I said it
myself.”

This unusual and lively demonstration on the part of O’Brien, seemed
to attract the notice of Greaves, who, with the utmost good humor,
observed, while glancing in the direction of the bar:

“From Ireland, too, I’ll bet my head!”

“Seven miles out of it,” returned Tom with a slight twinkle of his eye,
“and, of coorse, a gintleman so larned as you will be able to tell where
that is.”

“Well, for the life of me,” observed Greaves, “I cannot divine what you
are at, with your ‘seven miles out,’ but as I’m an Englishman, I suppose
that accounts for it.”

“He means by what he has said,” interrupted Barry, “that he is from
Connaught, which, for some reason or other, is regarded as seven miles
out of Ireland.”

“For some raison or other did you say,” returned Tom. “Faith and its
raison enough there is for that same; for it was to Connaught that
Cromwell and the rest of the blaggards banished or confined the Irish
hayros that gave the Sassenach such throuble in oulden times, and that’s
the raison, you know, that the sayin, ‘to h--l or Connaught,’ first
got a futtin in the world, and that Connaught is regarded as bein seven
miles out, by the people who know the ins and outs of it.”

This was delivered in a quiet, oracular manner from which there was
no appeal; so the conversation continued to flow in a kindred
channel--Barry observing that the regiments then stationed in Canada
were largely _adulterated_, as he humorously termed it, with the Irish
element, which, during such times of commotion, was considered by
England safer abroad than at home.

“How is that?” said Greaves, casting a searching glance towards the
speaker. “I should fancy that the British soldier was safe, and true to
the crown whether at home or abroad; although I am free to confess, that
the Irish, as a nation, have much to complain of.”

“And how can you separate the man from the nation; and if a people are
oppressed and wronged as a whole, are they not oppressed and wronged
individually?” replied O’Brien.

“The inference is reasonable,” returned the other; “but as England seems
sensible that something ought to be done for the amelioration of the
condition of Ireland no doubt the two nations will soon settle down in
the bonds of amity and love, and, in a better state of things, forget
all their bickerings and heartburnings.”

“There was a payriod,” retorted Tom, “when England could have done
somethin to appase Ireland, but that payriod is past and gone forever!
Durin the airly days of O’Connell, the repale of the Union and the
abolition of the Church Establishment would have worked merricles. These
measures would have done away with absenteeism, an unjust and gallin
taxation, and would have given Ireland the conthrol, in some degree at
laste, of her own local affairs. If the Act of 1782 previntin England
from intherfarin in any degree in those affairs was revived, it would
have given the Irish a chance to build up their manufactures and recruit
their ruined thrade and commerce. It would have recalled the landlord to
his estates, from forrin parts, and re-inthroduced a native parliament
that understood the wants and wishes of the people, and that was
intherested in carryin them out, and givin the masses an opportunity of
developin their resources and turnin their soil to account, that is
acre for acre more fertile than that of England, to-day. It would have
gathered home from the four winds of the earth the scatthered wealth
that has followed the absentee to distant lands and made Dublin and Cork
and every city in the counthry alive with min and wimmin, that were able
to pathronise Irish manufactures, aye, and pay for them too. All this it
would have done and a thousand times more; but as I have already said,
the chance has been thrown away by England, never to be recovered by
her durin _secula seculorum_; for now the light of American freedom
has fallen upon Ireland, and, pointed out what ought to be her thrue
standin, and the insufficiency of what she once would have been
satisfied with. In the broad effulgence of its glory, the people of
Ireland now persave that so if long as they attached any importance to
the mere accident of birth, or bent the knee to hereditary monarchy,
they were but walking in the valley and shadow of death. The great moral
spectacle of American freedom built upon the broad and imperishable
basis of the voluntary and intelligent consint of a whole people, has so
upset their household gods and desthroyed the prestige of kingcraft
in their eyes, that they now look forward to the total overthrow of
monarchical institutions in their midst, and the establishment, on their
shores, of a Republic in every particular the counterpart of that which
now commands the admiration of the world, across the lines there, and
which is gradually sappin the foundation of British rule on this side of
the lakes, as well as litherally swallowin us up unknownst to ourselves.
This is how the case stands now; so that we can aisily persave, that
England has lost the power and opportunity of conciliatin the Irish
race; bekase they have no longer a feelin or sintiment in common with
her.”

These observations, which were made with a degree of ease and eloquence
regarded as totally foreign to Tom, actually electrified his hearers,
and drew a compliment from Greaves; while Barry, who knew a good deal
of him, was so astonished at his sudden and earnest volubility, he could
not resist the temptation of assuring him that he was an honor to
his country, if not to humanity at large. The other three or four
individuals present joined in the sentiment, so that, for the time
being, O’Brien was no ordinary personage in their minds, while a quiet
wink from one to the other seemed to place it beyond a shadow of doubt,
that, in their estimation, Big Tom knew more than he ever got credit
for.

When the conversation again began to flow freely, the gentleman, with
the hooked nose, turned it imperceptibly upon Fenianism, and the rumored
intention of the Organization, in the United States, to make a descent
upon Canada at no distant day. At this point, O’Brien put in a word
or two, to the effect, that he was not so sure of the propriety of the
Brotherhood invading the Province, as its inhabitants were not in any
way answerable for the wrongs which had been inflicted by England upon
Ireland. Here Barry observed, that although he was not competent to
speak on the matter, and had no desire to endorse or countenance such an
invasion, he regarded a Fenian attack upon Canada fully as justifiable
as an assault of the same character upon England, or any other portion
of her majesty’s dominions. The empire, he contended, was a unit and
no part of it could be assailed, that did not possess, in relation to
Ireland, just as inoffensive people as the Canadians were. Fenianism,
he presumed, did not pretend to make war upon individuals, but upon a
government, in any or all of its ramifications, that was alleged to be
oppressive and an enemy to civil and religious freedom; and so long as
any people chose to endorse the acts of such a government by defending
them, and adhering to the flag under which they were said to have been
committed, so long were they amenable to the party who assumed to be
aggrieved in the premises, as aiders and abettors of the offence.

This position was so reasonable and so logical that there was but little
room for dispute upon the subject. And hence the absurdity of certain
squeamish gentlemen who, before and since the invasion of 1866, have
denounced a descent upon Canada as not so justifiable as an attack upon
the more central parts of the empire, from the assumed fact, that the
Canadians are in no way chargeable with the wrongs inflicted by the
British Government upon Ireland. Such an argument to a military man, or
astute politician, would be the very height of absurdity. The outworks
are always stormed and taken before the citadel falls; nor are those
who occupy or defend them regarded with any personal ill feeling by
the assailing party, and are only enemies in so far as they choose to
espouse the cause and defend, at the point of the sword, the acts and
existence of a government held to be corrupt and oppressive. From the
difference in population and other circumstances, there are a greater
number of inoffensive persons in England, in relation to Irish
grievances, than there are in Canada; so that, adopting the very style
of argument used by those gingerly or subsidized cavillers, there are
more causes for justifying a descent, at any time, upon the latter
than upon the former country. The truth is, the masses or people of any
country are, for the most part, inoffensive on the whole, and are merely
wielded by governments with a view to maintaining a power for good or
evil, having in many cases themselves no very clear idea of the grounds
upon which the field may have been taken; and laying down their arms
at a moment’s notice, without being concerned as to the expediency
or justice of a cessation of hostilities. In truth, even amid armies
thundering down upon each other at the word of command, there are
necessarily thousands of unoffending persons who entertain not a single
feeling of animosity against their opponents individually, and who are
but simply the exponents of an idea that their rulers deem necessary to
maintain at the point of the bayonet; although they themselves may not
sympathize with it to any extent whatever. So that it is apparent, that
the invasion of Canada was never undertaken with a view to despoiling or
injuring the people _per se_ of that country; but for the simple purpose
of making a descent upon a point of the British empire most accessible
to the arms of the Republic of Ireland on this continent, in the hope
of establishing a basis that would enable Irish Nationalists to operate
successfully against a government that had for seven hundred years
subjected their country, name and race, to every injustice and
persecution known to the history of crime. Such are the contingencies
of war, that the innocent are dragged into the vortex by the guilty,
and that those who choose to adopt a flag and are found armed in its
defence, are constructively the enemies of the invaders, and according
to the usages of all nations amenable in the field for the conduct of
their rulers. Whatever may be said to the contrary, then, by English
sympathizers or weak-kneed patriots, so long as Canada is a portion of
the British empire, so long is she a legitimate point of attack for the
enemies of that empire, and no description of special pleading can make
it otherwise. And here we would advise the people of the New Dominion to
look into this matter and weigh the consequences of being influenced
by any seeming or real hostile attitude to the government of the United
States, or the mighty hosts which are now gathering in battle array in
the cause of Irish freedom. England is fallen! Her power and prestige
are gone forever! The star of Irish liberty has already emerged from the
clouds that have so long lain piled up along the horizon of the land of
the enslaved Celt, and no power on earth can obscure its growing
Lustre, until it blazes forth in the full meridian, splendor of Irish
nationality and independence! Let our neighbors, therefore, we say, not
be betrayed into raising a puny arm against the tremendous force
that cannot fail to be exerted ere long in this connection, or their
redemption from the British yoke and their consequent absorption by the
great American Commonwealth may be reddened with more blood than the
circumstances of the case really require.

When Barry had finished his few observations on this topic, Greaves,
in further pursuance of the subject, and with the apparent view of
gathering the tone of Canadian opinion upon it, observed, that if all
the Irish population of the Provinces were as true to the sentiment of
the independence of their country, as O’Brien and his military friend,
there might be some reason for apprehending that the intended invasion
of the Canadas by the Fenian organization of the United States, would
tend to more alarming results to England than were anticipated by the
friends of that country; remarking, in addition, that the Irish element
must be very large in her majesty’s Canadian possessions, if one might
judge from the recent St. Patrick’s Day demonstration throughout them,
and the various St. Patrick’s Societies to be found scattered from one
end of the colony to the other; all of which were, no doubt, more or
less tinged with opinions and aspirations similar to those held by the
two individuals who had just spoken.

“Oh, yes,” rejoined Big Tom, “there are St. Patrick Societies in
abundance, but let me inform you, that instead of bein national
associations, as they purport to be, they are the very sthrongholds of
England in this country, and, with scarce an exception, the deadliest
opponents to the very indepindence that we have benn jist spakin about.
For the most part, they are filled chock full of a pack of miserable
toadies to the governmint, which manages to gather into them a pack of
rottin, ladin Irishmin who can make speeches, dhrink ‘the day and all
who honor it,’ sing ‘God save the Queen,’ and talk English blatherskite
about the glory of the impire, the army and navy, and everythin else in
the world save and except the wrongs of poor, ould Ireland, and the way
to redhress them. Why, sir, barrin a word dhropped here and there, you’d
think it was in an Orange Lodge you were, if you happened to step in on
one of those societies while engaged in celebrating, as they call it,
the anniversary of their pathron Saint; for it’s nothin you’d hear but
‘Rule Britannia,’ ‘The Red, White and Blue,’ and kindhered sintiments,
and if a chap did happen to give ‘The harp that wanst,’ why, its the
sweet, soft air they’d be admirin, and the poethry of Tom Moore, rather
than the low wail for vingeance that was smothered in the heart of the
song itself. What could you expect from sich a St Patrick’s Society as
that of Toronto, with a gintleman at its head with the freedom of an
English city in his breeches pocket, and a desire to emulate English
statesmen and English institutions in his heart! Look, also, at the able
and larned Irishman who stands at the head of the University of that
same methropolis of the West, and whose eloquence so mystifies his
faithlessness to Ireland as to confuse you, and almost lade you captive,
until, on cooler deliberation, you find that his response to ‘the toast
of the evenin,’ is naither more nor less than a superb burst of oratory,
robed in green and goold, but with a heart as purely English as that
which throbbed within the breast of the renegade Wellington or the late
wily Lord Palmerston. Oh, no! the St. Patrick Societies of America, and
of every other portion of the globe, are simply whited sepulchres, or
false beacons erected or fosthered by the English governmint to mislade
the unsuspectin portions of our race from the allagiance due to their
own counthry, by studiously inculcatin sintimints and ideas favorable
to English supremacy, which can be paraded before the world as the thrue
expression of the Irish people, in relation to the red that governs
them, and their willinness to remain as they are, part and parcel of the
impire. Sich min as the two I have jist mintioned do more to perpetuate
the thraldom of our country than the most unfrindly and subtle statesman
that exists on the other side of the Atlantic to-day; bekase they are
powerful inemies, by their example in our own camp, and bekase there are
those amongst us who are aisily led, and who consequintly fall a victim
to their influence and example.”

“Sure, we all know, that the Scotch thricksther at the head of the
govermint here, could do but little if it was not for such people
as Ogle R., George. L., Darcy and ‘the docther,’ as he is called in
Toronto; and thus it is, that although the three Toronto gintlemen that
I now name, are, I honestly believe, deservedly respected and esteemed
in every other relation of life, they belong body and sowl to the
English sintimint of the counthry; and if the most favorable opportunity
was offered them to-morrow, would never raise a helpin hand to place the
green above the red. But, as this is dhry work, and as I have not had
sich a bout at it since I opened here, come, one and all, and let us
wet our whistles, for I see you have jist made spy-glasses of your
tumblers.”



CHAPTER II.


Although delivered in a style somewhat uncouth, there was a great deal
of truth and native eloquence about these observations of O’Brien. There
is no doubt but the St. Patrick Societies of this continent, and perhaps
of the world, are characterized, in no ordinary degree, by the spirit
and design to which he alluded. In so far as those belonging to the
British empire are concerned, he was right, almost without an exception;
for it must be admitted, that these societies are, for the most part,
filled with pseudo patriots, who discard all revolutionary theories, and
are of the opinion, that the independence of their country, if they
ever cast a glance in that direction, ought to be achieved in the most
lady-like manner, and with “white kids.” Look, for instance, at some of
the members of these associations and kindred bodies in New York and
in various other parts of the Union, and analyze the spirit which finds
expression in their observance of the anniversary of Ireland’s tutelar
Saint. From the moment that the cloth is removed, until the last of the
company gyrates out of the room to his carriage, we have nothing but
a war of eloquence between rival politicians who are candidates for
municipal or other lucrative honors, or a subtle bid for Irish support
through some adroit manoeuvre, by which an adversary is, for the time
being, thrown into the shade. To be sure, Mr. Richard This or Mr. John
That, may occasionally give us a taste of his research and learning,
in a re-hash from the “Annals of the Four Masters,” or from some of the
leading periodicals of the day; and we may, in addition, be treated
to an _original_ poem touching Ireland from some of the various
up-hill-workers of the Muses, with whom the great mercantile centre
abounds; but as to anything practical relative to the amelioration of
the wretched condition of the country in whose name they assemble upon
such occasions, that is simply out of the question; all parties, as a
general thing, satisfying themselves with a hacknied and stereotyped
enumeration of her wrongs, and the usual bland denunciations of her
oppressors.

And here we give an illustration of St. Patrick Societies under their
most patriotic aspect; for the power of speech which characterizes, this
great Commonwealth, and our total immunity from English persecution,
enable the spirit which actuates these societies, beneath the skull and
cross bones of St. George, to be a little more patriotic here, in its
language at least, than it dares to be in any portion of the dominions
of England. Still, its positive antagonism to Irish independence, under
the British flag, is scarcely more reprehensible than its negative
influence in the same direction under the Stars and Stripes; so that
Ireland, suffering at their hands alike, might with every degree of
justice place them in the same category.

After all, it is the masses that free a nation, and thank God for it.
A leader may in vain look for a host to follow him, but a host never in
vain for a leader, and hence the defection of a few prominent men from
the great, Irish national idea which now so moves this continent, and
commands the attention of the world, amounts to but little save sorrow
at the stigma it casts upon our race. The rank and file of our people
are true to the spirit that fired the O’Neill’s and the Geraldines of
old; and this being the case, the freedom of Ireland is secured beyond
any possible contingency--England is brought to bay at home and abroad.
The mighty embodiments of Irish power and patriotism, yclept Fenianism,
stalks forth through the empire with an uplifted glaive in its hand, and
no one can say how soon or where the swift stroke of destruction shall
fall. Its presence fills with gloomy alarm every nook and corner of
the land, and paralyzes all the energies of the oppressor. Through its
overwhelming influence, the most cherished institutions of the usurper
are being overthrown, and the crown and mace all but converted into
baubles. It has destroyed the power and prestige of a hereditary
aristocracy, and thrown, in a measure, the whole government of the land
into the hands of Commoners. The privileged classes, no longer oracular,
recede before it, and a great democratic idea occupies the ground upon
which they stood--in short, illuminated and impelled by the glorious
spirit and impulses which moved the immortal founders of this grand
Republic of the West, it has gone forth to avenge and to conquer, and
to build up upon the shores of the Old World such a grateful monument
to the genius of American freedom, as shall, from its lofty summit,
pour its radiance over the darkest valleys of Central Europe, until the
frozen grasp of despotism yields to its magic touch and the chains
shall fall from the bleeding limbs of millions, who on emerging from the
valley and shadow of death into the pure sunlight of liberty, shall sing
paeans in honor of the great American people who first taught humanity
to the nations of the earth.

When all present had done justice to O’Brien’s proffered “treat,” and
when Greaves seemed to be moved to a friendly view of Irish nationality,
in a gap in some desultory conversation that happened to occur casually,
this latter worthy asked whether he could be accommodated with a room at
“The Harp,” while he remained in town, as he was a stranger in a great
measure, and having accidentally, as he said, made the acquaintance
of one he believed to be an agreeable landlord. Tom replied in the
affirmative; for, in connection with the saloon business, he kept a
few boarders and had, besides, ample accommodation for more than one
occasional guest. Soon then, Greaves, who was to send the following
morning to the railroad station for his luggage, picked up a small
traveling bag by his side, asked to be shown to his room, as he
professed to be somewhat tired, and bidding the company “good night,”
 while shaking hands with Barry, disappeared with Tom down the long
passage which led to his sleeping apartment on the floor above.

When O’Brien returned to the bar, half a dozen more of his usual
customers had dropped in to exchange a kindly word with him, and taste
his newest “on tap.” Before reaching the counter, however, and just as
he was passing Barry, he whispered something in the ear of the latter,
which seemed to arrest his attention, and to which he appeared to answer
with a significant nod and peculiar expression of countenance. Barry
being off duty, and having received permission to remain in town all
night, paid no regard to the nine o’clock drums and fifes audible from
the garrison; and although quite an abstemious young fellow, he made
himself sufficiently social with the new comers, most of whom were
acquaintances. The remainder of the evening was passed in the usual
bar-room style; although the conversation for the most part, turned upon
the wrongs of Ireland and the mode of redressing them. Now that Greaves
had retired, there appeared to be less restraint upon the few who had
been a witness of the observations he had made upon the subject, for
they one and all seemed to flow into the common channel of sympathy, so
largely occupied by O’Brien in this connection. In addition, one of them
ventured to remark, that although Greaves pretended to be an Englishman,
he was evidently no such thing; for on more than one occasion, he gave
utterance to expressions that were not only purely Irish, but tinged
with a genuine Irish accent and native peculiarity, that no mere
accident could account for, and which was, without doubt, the genuine
thing itself peeping out at the elbows of a foreign dress. This idea
seemed to find favor with O’Brien, although Barry was not impressed
with its correctness, from the fact, no doubt, of his constant
intercommunication with the English and Irish element that was so
jumbled up in his company.

As it became later, the party began to drop off, until about twelve
o’clock, up went the shutters and round went the heavy key in the
bar-room door--all having disappeared at the latter period, save Barry
and one of his most intimate friends who seemed loath to leave, and
inclined to take another glass. No sooner then, were the doors and
windows securely fastened, and the gas extinguished, than both these
parties accompanied by Tom with a bed-room lamp in his hand, proceeded
to a small and comfortable apartment which was sacred to the foot of
every individual who was not a tried friend of O’Brien. Here all three
seated themselves beside a comfortable coal fire that burned brightly in
the grate: when Tom, on extinguishing the lamp, after having lit the jet
of gas that hung in the centre of the room, exclaimed:--

“Nick, my name’s not Tom O’Brien, or we have got the divil
up-stairs!--but what he’s up to it’s hard to say: although I thought it
was jist as well to let him take up his quarthers here, seem that I’ll
be able to keep an eye on him--now that the times are becomin sarious.”

“Certainly,” replied Barry, “his appearance is far from prepossessing,
but you know, Tom, it’s not always safe to judge a man by this
criterion.”

“That’s thrue,” returned the other, “but didn’t you hear the fella how
he wanted to sift you about the Irish sintiment of the garrison, as well
as lade us out upon the feelins of the Irish in gineral throughout the
Province?”

“I did, of course,” answered Nick, “but really thought that the
gentleman, being a stranger, was simply asking for information’s sake
only, and had no ulterior object in view.”

“I agree with you, O’Brien,” interrupted the third party, who was named
Burk, and who had been in the saloon during the period Greaves was
present, “there can be nothing good in so cunning a face; but what is
the real news to-night, and have you heard from New York or Buffalo?”

“I have harde from both places,” returned Tom, “and everythin looks
well; but how are things here, and are you all prepared to assist the
invading army when they cross the lines; and what number of men can we
fairly count upon?”

“It has, I believe, been ascertained beyond a shadow of doubt,” replied
Burk, “that there are upwards of one hundred thousand men throughout the
Provinces who would at once rush to arms if they found the flag of the
Irish Republic firmly planted at any one point within our borders; while
it is known or believed, that more than twice that number would follow
in their wake, if Toronto was once in the hands of the invaders. In
fact, Toronto and Montreal once taken, the day is ours, for we should
have the French almost to a man, no matter what Monsieur George Etienne
or Master John Alexander may say to the contrary. Canada is evidently
tired of British rule, and is only kept from kicking over the traces
by a pack of government officials who hold the purse strings, and a
subsidized press that destroys the homogeneity of the people, by making
them doubt each other, and impressing every man disaffected to the
Crown, with the idea that every other individual Colonist, or nearly
so, is opposed to him. In this way, the sentiment of independence
which underlies the nine tenths of our population is obstructed and
embarrassed, and one man prompted to look with distrust upon another,
although both may entertain precisely the same sentiments in relation
to the desirability of throwing off the British yoke. As to how the army
stands, Nick here can tell you more about that than I can.”

“The army,” said Barry, “is just as you might expect it to be. The Irish
who compose it in part, are, as you know, not British soldiers from
choice, but from necessity. They had no resource between starvation and
a red coat; so that their oath of allegiance to the English Crown may be
said to have been exacted from them under pain of death. For ages, their
country had been devastated and plundered by the power that now holds
them in special thrall, and the means of existence wrested from them
through the inhuman exactions of a tyrannical government. Their name and
race had been banned, their humble homesteads razed to the ground, and
their families scattered, naked and hungry, throughout the length and
breadth of the land, or exiled to foreign shores. The stranger had
stolen in on their hearthstone, robbed them of their lands, goods and
chattles, usurped their powers of local legislation, and then closed
every door to preferment against them, leaving them without a hope or a
crust for the future, on their own shores. Under this horrible pressure,
thousands of them necessarily gave way and fell victims to those gaunt
recruiting sergeants of the government--Hunger and Rags. Unable to earn
wherewithal to keep body and soul together at their own doors, or within
their own borders, and perceiving that the commerce, the manufactures
and all the native resource of their country were crushed to the
earth, beneath the relentless heel of the oppressor, they fell into
the pit-fall dug for them by an accursed perjurer and traitor, and,
in obedience to the first law of nature, assumed her livery, and swore
allegiance to her flag. But think you that either God or man attaches
the slightest importance to an oath exacted under such circumstances?
Here am I, Nick Barry, now in the service of the usurper, and driven
into it with tears in my eyes and rebellion in my heart, and do you
suppose that I regard my oath as other than an additional incentive to
plot the downfall of the infamous tyrant and robber who hounded me
into swallowing it, and who, to-day, keeps the girl I love out of her
mother’s property, that, on a mere technicality, was laid hold of, and
thrown into chancery, by a villainous and traitorous relative, long in
the secret service of the government at home, when he found the poor,
young thing an orphan, and without a wealthy friend in the world to
back her, and that too, upon a claim that hadn’t a leg to stand upon, as
everybody knew? My soldier-life, and his continued absence in England,
prevented my meeting the villain before he died; but as he has left the
suit to his son, who, I learn, is no better than he was himself, and is
also a great hanger on about the Castle of Dublin, I am in hopes of one
day or other meeting this same gentleman, who purports to represent the
old villain in this case, when, no matter how the chancery suit may go,
I shall hold him to a severe reckoning for the injustice and
hardships to which she has been so long subjected through their joint
instrumentality. But why should she complain any more than Tom there,
whose father’s side of the house, once powerful and wealthy, in the
west of Ireland, have been all but beggared through the same infamous
government, and their accursed agents, who had plundered them of every
acre they possessed, and exiled the bravest and best of them to these
distant shores?”

These few observations were made with an earnestness and vehemence that
showed how fierce and hostile the blood that boiled in the veins of
the speaker. Nor was there any appeal from the inexorable logic of
his remarks. From the inhuman manner in which England has, for
seven centuries preyed upon the vitals of Ireland, and plundered and
expatriated her children, the latter are morally absolved from all
allegiance or fidelity to her, no matter what the circumstances of
their plighted faith. No man should be bound by oaths or obligations,
to maintain the supremacy or defend the interests of a tyrant, exacted
under an inhuman pressure or in the presence of such an alternative
as the poor Irish recruit is subject to, namely, that of enlisting or
starving. How can any Irish soldier, possessed of a single spark of
pride or patriotism, and wearing the queen of England’s livery to-day,
be other than the deadly enemy of the representative of a people who
have laid his country waste, murdered his kindred and left him and
millions of his race without a roof to cover them on their own native
shores? How can he gaze with any degree of enthusiasm or pleasure upon
the blood-stained rag that waved over Mullaghmast, that was perjured at
Limerick, and that endorsed with its baleful glare all the demoniacal
atrocities of the Penal Laws? “Resistance to tyrants is obedience to
God”--therefore the children of Ireland who have been so long trodden in
the dust under the feet of an usurper, are but obeying the dictates of
heaven and of humanity, when, by every means within the boundaries of
civilization, they endeavor to encompass not only their own redemption
from the bonds of the oppressor, but the total destruction of his power
in every connection. Ireland owes no allegiance to England. For seven
hundred years she has been crying out against the colony of foreign
bayonets that have kept her in bondage and reduced her to beggary. For
one single hour, throughout the whole of that long period, she has
never voluntarily accepted the condition of her thraldom, or bowed
submissively beneath the British yoke. She therefore cannot be regarded
in the light of a conquered nation, but must be looked upon as still
engaged in the deadly and mortal contest, whose first field was fought
long years ago, between the Anglo-Norman freebooters and the Fenians
of Cuan-na-Groith, or the Harbor of the Sun, when Strongbow, at the
instance of the second Henry, made an unprovoked descent upon her
shores.

“Yes,” replied Tom, when Barry had finished, “both I and mine have felt
the cruel fangs of the despoiler; but, sure, where is the use of singlin
out ourselves, when the whole of the thrue native Irish--which manes the
nineteenth twintieths of the kingdoms-are jist as badly off. The quarrel
is not yours nor mine, nor the grievances naither. Both belong to every
man, woman and child possessed of a pure dhrop of Irish blood in their
veins; for all have suffered alike, as far as that is consarned. And,
now, all that has to be done on the head of it, is jist to wait the nick
of time that we are all expectin, and then, with one well directed and
united blow, dash the tyrant to the ground on this side of the Atlantic,
and thrust to Providence, the sympathy of the great American people and
our own sthrong arms and hearts for the rest.”

“Quebec and the fort beyond there,” observed Burk, “may give us some
trouble; but further than this, from what has been ascertained of the
Province generally, there is little to be apprehended. The intimate
business relations and the intermarriages between the Canadians and the
people of the United States, will exercise a most powerful influence
in the case, while the manner in which both the English and Canadian
Governments fomented the recent civil war on the other side of the
lines, cannot fail to have embittered the American people against the
British Flag, wherever it is to be found. The treacherous attack of
England upon the existance of the Republic, in subsidizing the South
with arms and money, and in destroying, as she did for a considerable
period, the American carrying trade, through the instrumentality of
pirates built and fitted out in her own ship-yards and docks, will now
afford the American government an opportunity of paying her off in kind,
through permitting Fenianism to pursue its course without interruption,
until the Provinces become part and parcel of the Union, when they
have served as a basis of operation for the purpose of fitting out
expeditions against the arch enemy of Ireland and of human freedom, and
contributed to the final redemption of that oppressed country from the
bonds in which it has so long lain. Surely, what is sauce for the goose
is sauce for the gander; and if England, through the House of Commons,
cheered the Alabama when her destructive qualities were described before
that body by Mr. Laird, and, after having built the pirate, sent her out
to make war upon the North when it was in sore trouble--surely, I say,
America will not be over anxious to throw obstructions in the way of any
party who may take in hand the chastisement of such an infamous power,
no matter what the grounds of the quarrel. But when it comes to be
understood that for the last ninety years, and up to a very recent
period, England has been the deadly defamer and the secret or avowed
enemy of America and American institutions--when it comes to be
understood, that the statesmen, the business men and the wives and
daughters of the citizens of the American Commonwealth, ever since the
immortal Washington won the day for the oppressed of the whole world,
have been subjected to the sneers and jibes of the English aristocracy
and press, and held up to the ridicule of despotic Europe--when this
comes to be understood, I repeat, in connection with the fact, that
the cause of Ireland is the cause of human liberty and of republican
institutions, there will be but little fear of America stepping out of
her way to uphold the skull and cross-bones of St. George, either on
this or on the other side of the Atlantic ocean, or, in fact, in any
portion of the globe.”

“Nor will the clear-sighted children of the Republic be cajoled into a
friendly attitude towards this blood-thirsty dastard, because that, in
the feebleness and fear that have now overtaken her, she essays to gloze
over the infamous acts of which she stands convicted before the nations,
and assumes an air of friendship towards them. Had the Union fallen,
through her infernal machinations, not a city throughout her dominions
but would have blazed with joyful illuminations at the result; while her
government would again introduce the impressments of 1812. Even when the
slightest reverse was suffered by the arms of the North, the news was
heralded throughout the whole of England with tokens of the most intense
satisfaction; while both her people and statesmen took a fiendish
delight in referring to the Commonwealth as “the late United States!”
 All this, I say, will influence, and ought to influence, America in
favor of the independence of Ireland, and prevent the American people
from regarding the present pusillanimous blandishments of John Bull as
other than simply the result of cowardice, and an attempt to propitiate
a great power that had survived his infernal machinations, and now looms
up a just and mighty avenger before him. So long then, as England is
permitted to hold Ireland, that is battling for her rights, in chains,
or to taint permanently the pure atmosphere of this free continent,
so long will the Stars and Stripes shine with subdued lustre, and the
memory of the immortal heroes of ‘76 be but half honored, by those who
are pledged to defend it to the death in the sight of both God and man.”

“As to Quebec and the other garrisons down this way,” observed Barry,
“when Hamilton and Toronto are in the hands of the Army of the Irish
Republic, they will be easily managed. None of the strongholds are proof
against Irish sympathizers, in their vicinity. This I know to be true.
Every genuine Irishman within easy hailing distance of the garrison at
Quebec, has more than one tried friend within its walls; and so of the
other strongholds along the St. Lawrence and lakes. But supposing, for
argument’s sake, that any of those forts should take it into its head
to stand a siege, where would it be when invested with such an army
as Fenianism can now put into the field, composed of thousands upon
thousands of veterans who are still grim with blood and smoke from the
terrible fields of the South? What, too, would your militia do, with
their holiday legs and maiden swords, against the men who fought at Cold
Harbor, Gettysburg or Bull Run? Why the one-fourth of the force which it
is said Fenianism has at its command, would sweep Canada like a tornado
from Sanwich to Gaspe, and be recruited every yard of the road, besides;
while the instant one signal victory was won by them, the government of
the United States would at once acknowledge them as belligerants. This,
I believe, is the true state of the case; and if the Fenian organization
across the lines, and here amongst us, possess honest, brave and
competent leaders, the overthrow of England in the Provinces cannot fail
to be achieved; for, after all, she has no secure footing in the hearts
of the masses, and enjoys nothing but a mere official existence here,
under the protection of her guns, and through the instrumentality of a
corrupt government and a hireling press. But as it is getting well up
in the small hours, and as I feel I need some rest, I think I’ll take
another tumbler, if you only join me, and then turn in.”



CHAPTER III.


When young Barry spoke of the girl of his love, he referred to Kate
McCarthy, now in her twentieth year, and certainly one of the most
beautiful Irish girls that had emigrated to America for many a long day.
Kate and he had been schoolfellows and neighbors from their infancy,
and, as they grew up, were regarded as a sort of “matter of course
match,” from the fact, that they were always together, and apparently
cut out for each other. They were both natives of the county Leitrim,
and born on the banks of the Shannon, in the sweet little town of
Drumsna. It was by the beautiful waters of this noble river that they
first felt that impassioned glow that colors all the after life of man
or woman, and which is as different from the feelings that characterize
early boy or girlhood, as the noon-day solar blaze is from the cold and
placid beams of the pale new moon. There is one point at which the
true passion of love, in all great hearts, leaps into fierce and
instantaneous existence. There may be many imperceptible approaches
to it in some cases, we know, but out of these it is possible to turn
aside. When the hour arrives, however, in a single moment the storming
party, under one wild impulse, unknown before, mounts the ramparts of
the heart, and, after a moment’s sweet confusion, the garrison falls and
is surrendered forever into the hands of the enemy. And thus it was with
our hero and heroine. Although they had long been the dearest of friends
and constant companions--although they had long felt that the happiness
of the one was necessary to that of the other, the great secret of their
existence was never fully revealed to them, until they felt they were
about to be separated from each other for an indefinite period; Kate
to accompany her only relatives to America and poor Barry to enter the
British army, under a pressure of poverty too dreadful to relate. As
already intimated, the prospects of both had been blighted through
oppression and villainy, brought to bear upon them by distant relatives,
who were the infamous agents of a still more infamous government. The
case of Nick, although sore enough in its way, was not so heartrending
as that of Kate. He was of a sex fitted to wrestle with the storms
of life, but she, proud and brave as she was, occupied a different
position. Fortunately for both, however, through the instrumentality
of a small pittance set aside by the Courts in her case, and a kind
relation in that of Barry, their education was far above their
pecuniary pretensions, so that at the age of twenty Kate was really an
accomplished and refined girl, while her lover, at that of twenty-five,
was a dashing young fellow, with a well stored mind and quite as capable
of acquitting himself agreeably in society as any man, no matter
what his rank, in the regiment to which he belonged. It was, then, in
consequence of his education that he was looked up to by his comrades;
although neglected and studiously kept in the back grounds by some of
the officers of his company, who, viewing his attainments through
the medium of their English spectacles, closed the door of preferment
against him, and never suffered a single stripe to appear on his jacket.
With as good blood in his veins as the best of them, and with a sense of
the wrongs inflicted upon his country by the government whose abettors
they were, he could never bring himself to stoop to the fawning and
servility through which the lower grades of rank are attainable, only
in the service; and thus, it was that, from first to last, he was
viewed with an eye of suspicion by his superiors, who regarded him as
an incorrigible young Irishman, who, notwithstanding that he wore
the uniform of a British soldier, had no love for the service or the
interests it represented.

Barry entered the army under the most terrific pressure only. He found
that Kate and her friends were destined for America, and being himself,
at the period, totally destitute of funds and without the means of
realizing them speedily, in a moment of desperation he enlisted in a
regiment that was under sailing orders for that country, in the hope of
being stationed somewhere near the being he loved, and of being able, at
least, to keep up a constant and unbroken correspondence with her until
fortune should turn the wheel in his favor. And so he enlisted and
parted from Kate and her friends, to follow her in a short period across
the Atlantic, and renew his vows of love and affection upon another
shore.

The ship that had borne her away from his view had been scarcely two
days at sea, when the deadly intelligence reached his ear that the
sailing orders of his regiment had been countermanded, and that instead
of proceeding to Quebec, it was to sail for Malta, where it was likely
to remain for perhaps a couple of years. This dreadful news almost
annihilated him. He had made a sacrifice to no purpose, and was now
bound hand and foot beyond the hope of redemption. Before Kate and he
parted, he had agreed to write her to Quebec, in care of a friend, if
anything should occur that might postpone the sailing of his regiment,
or that portion of it that was for foreign service; and now the dreadful
opportunity arrived, when he found himself called upon to convey to
her the intelligence, that not only was the sailing of the regiment
postponed, but its destination altered. In due course the fatal
disclosure reached her, and almost deprived her of life and reason. In
the space of one brief hour she passed through the agony of years.
The being she loved, in the burning ardor of his young soul, had
hastily--thoughtlessly sacrificed his freedom; and all for her! It
had been a sufficient dagger to her soul to see him attired in the
blood-stained uniform of the enemies of her country, yet she knew that
he had been driven by the most inexorable circumstances to assume the
hated garb. But now he was overtaken with twofold desolation--he was
a slave, and beyond the reach of one kind word of solace from her, for
whom he had sacrificed all, save and except that which might be borne to
him, through the ordinary channels, across the trackless deep.

Racked as she was with those torturing reflections, and while the first
wild burst of grief was yet rolling down her cheeks, she determined to
begin her lone, young widowhood by instantly writing to him and bidding
him hope. In this epistle, all the nobility of her true heart and nature
blazed forth so transcendently, and with such fierce, womanly fervor,
that the moment it reached the hands of the young soldier the light was
re-kindled within him, and he at once set about procuring his discharge,
or rather realizing the means of effecting his release from the bonds
into which he had allowed his pure ‘though ungovernable passion to
betray him. His education, as already observed, was most excellent, and
now, when off duty, he turned it to good account, and slowly but surely
began to add daily to what trifle he was able to save from his paltry
pay, in the hope of yet commanding a sufficient sum to purchase his
freedom and enable him, ultimately, to sail for America. In this way,
and during the two years he was stationed at Malta, he spent his spare
moments, being throughout that whole period particularly fortunate in
keeping up what was life to him, an unbroken correspondence with his
beloved.

At the expiration of three years, having been quartered, on his return
from the Mediterranean, for the last one, in England, at length came the
welcome and startling intelligence, that the regiment, now indeed, was
to proceed forthwith to Canada, where it would be likely to remain for
a considerable period. In a delirium of joy he communicated the happy
intelligence to his love, and had just time to receive a hurried epistle
in reply, in which the very arms of the true-hearted and beautiful Kate
seemed thrown open to receive him. For some months previously, however,
she had been informing him, from time to time, of a very disagreeable
position in which she had been placed, through the persistent attentions
paid her by an Irish gentleman named Lauder, who, by some means or
other, had so ingratiated himself with her relatives, as to win them
over to urge his suit; and who was reputed to be a person of means.
These hints, however disagreeable, were always accompanied by a renewal
of the vows they had long since plighted on the banks of the Shannon,
and the fervent assurance that no one living or yet to live should ever
lead Kate McCarthy a bride to the altar, save her own Nicholas Barry.

When Kate and her relatives arrived at Quebec, they remained in that
city but a short period, as they had friends at Toronto, as well as
near Fort Erie and at Buffalo, in the State of New York, whom they
were desirous of visiting, and near whom they had determined to settle
permanently. Unfortunately for Barry, the more intimate guardians
or relatives of Kate had become unfriendly to his suit ever since he
entered the army; impressed, as they had become, with that Irish idea,
that the red coat of a private soldier in the British service was the
most disreputable that could be worn. In this light, therefore, they
encouraged the advances of Lauder, in the hope that absence would so
weaken the first love of Kate, as to induce her to yield ultimately to
her new suitor. But they little new the girl with whom they had to deal;
for when Lauder, under their sanction, made a formal declaration of his
passion to her, she quenched his hopes, as she supposed, forever, by
informing him that both her heart and her hand were previously engaged,
and that were they even at her disposal, she should be quite unable
to bestow them upon any gentleman for whom she did not and could not
entertain a single particle of true love, although he might have secured
her esteem. This rejection, however, did not, as she supposed it would,
preclude the possibility of any further advances from such a quarter,
for Lauder, nothing daunted, kept up the siege when and wherever he
could, without giving absolute offense; so cunningly and intangibly did
he still pursue the object set before him. At last, nevertheless, so
constant were his visits at the house, and so permanent a footing was he
getting in the estimation of her friends, that, after having resided at
Toronto upwards of two years, she left it at the instance of one of the
family, who, on their first arrival in America, had settled in Buffalo,
to which city she proceeded, and in which she now took up her residence.

While in Toronto the thought struck her that she might be able to turn
whatever abilities she had to account, in the hope of being able to
accumulate sufficient funds to aid our young hero in purchasing his
discharge, fearing, as she did, that his own opportunities, in this
relation, would be greatly restricted. So with her needle, and through
the instrumentality of a small private school, she ultimately found
herself mistress of the required amount, and was about to forward it
to Nicholas, at the very period when she received intelligence of his
regiment being ordered to America. She therefore thought it better
to wait until they met, as she had made up her mind to set out, when
apprised of his arrival, for any place in which he might happen to be
quartered, and there plan for their future and his freedom.

In due time Barry reached Quebec, and from thence was ordered, with his
company, to the town in which we first encountered him. Here he was soon
joined by the true-hearted Kate, who remained for a few days with her
cousins, Big Tom and his sister. During this period it was decided that
Nicholas should purchase his discharge when he found that there was any
prospect of the regiment being called home. The reasons for his not
at once availing himself of the freedom he knew he could obtain at any
moment, need not now be referred to more minutely; and as Kate left him
to return to Buffalo, just four months previous to the opening of our
story, after having made more than one pilgrimage from the United States
to spend a few days with her cousins as she averred, it was settled upon
finally, that he should quit the service in the ensuing summer, when
they should become man and wife, as well as residents of the great
Republic of the United States of America.

The intimacy, then, between Big Tom and Nick, is now accounted for in
a satisfactory manner; and thus it was, that whenever the young soldier
got leave to spend a night out of the Fort, he invariably took up his
quarters at the sign of the Harp, where he not only knew he was welcome
on his own account, but was sure to find company that was agreeable to
him, and sympathized with all his aspirations in relation to his poor,
down-trodden country.

Kate McCarthy, as we have already said, was in her twentieth year at
the time we were first introduced to O’Brien and his customers, and
certainly, as previously intimated, a more lovely woman could scarcely
be found in a day’s walk. Her face and figure were absolute mirages of
beauty, while, if there could be such a thing as black sunbeams, her
eyes and hair would have illustrated them to intensity. She was above
the medium height, with a slightly olive complexion that harmonized
superbly with the glorious orbs through which the pure light of her soul
poured forth a mellow blaze, and the dark, heavy tresses that fell in
shining masses upon her pearly shoulders. Nothing, too, could surpass
the intensified loveliness of her soft, rounded arms, and exquisitely
shaped hands and feet, while her delicious mouth and beautifully
chiseled nose and ears were really mysteries of loveliness so rare, that
few could entertain the idea that she who possessed them could have laid
her whole heart at the feet of a common soldier, and that, too, when it
was in her power to turn such charms to high account in the every day
market of society. But she knew Nicholas Barry and the nobility of his
nature, and was aware, in addition, that had he not, like herself, been
the victim of foul play and of a government that fostered crime in its
adherents, he would never have been constrained to swear allegiance to
the flag he both hated and despised, or have been obliged to exchange
the garb of the son of a true Irish gentleman for that which had so
lowered him, in the eyes of her relatives at least. But rich or poor,
in scarlet or homespun, he was all the same to her; and now that he was
almost at her side, and master, in a measure, of his own fate, she only
looked forward to the period when she should have a legal right to his
protection, and to call him by that name which, beyond all others is the
one that lies nearest a woman’s heart.

The relative and his wife with whom Kate lived in Buffalo, were, in
reality, noble and true-hearted people. They had known Nicholas from his
childhood, and had always loved him for his manliness and bold struggles
to gain some position at home in which he might be able to realize a
sufficiency to maintain both himself and the girl of his love, before he
led her to the altar. They had witnessed his repeated failures when he
applied for any vacant situation where his education could be turned to
account, and felt for his dire disappointment upon many an occasion
when he was denied even a subordinate office in connection with the
management of the large property that had once belonged to his family.
With pain and anger they saw his praiseworthy exertions baffled at every
turn, and, unlike the rest of their relations, discovered more of his
self-sacrificing spirit still, in the desperate step he took for the
purpose of joining his betrothed upon a foreign shore--a step which they
would have gladly prevented, had their own slender means been sufficient
to have transported him with them to their new home. Moved by this
spirit of kindness and esteem, these worthy people were the very
main-stay of Kate in the hour of her sorest trial, and now that Barry
was near her once more, they entered heart and hand into all her
projects, and were delighted to know that his discharge should be
purchased before his regiment was ordered to leave the colony.

It must not be presumed, however, that Kate, since her arrival in
America, had permitted herself to be a burden, in even the slightest
degree, upon any of her friends or relations. Far from it; from the
moment that they became settled at Toronto, up to the hour of Nicholas’
arrival in the colony, she not only supported herself through her
industry and perseverence, but contributed, in a degree, to
the maintenance of some of them also. Of course, in view of the
all-absorbing object she had before her, regarding her lover, she could
not be expected to do much in this latter relation; yet she did what
she could, and so satisfied her pride and her conscience. Sometimes the
recollection of the long and weary chancery suit would obtrude itself
upon her, but only to provoke a hopeless and languid smile, prompted
by the conviction that her enemy, whom she had never seen, and who had
recently succeeded to the claims of his father--Philip Darcy, now but
a few months dead--had too much influence with the government and its
legal minions, to permit her to indulge in the slightest hope, that,
were the case decided tomorrow, it could be otherwise than against her.
Consequently, it mattered but little to her whether she was worsted
by Philip the elder or Philip the younger; so, in this way, she
now invariably disposed of the unpleasant matter. Yet, she felt,
notwithstanding, deeply and bitterly upon the subject: and knew that she
was the victim of a most diabolical plot; but she did not permit this
to interfere with her daily avocations, or induce her to sit down in
apathetic sorrow, and repine over a fate that no effort of hers could
influence in any degree whatever.

Still, as may be readily supposed, both from her education and a
knowledge of her own personal wrongs, and those which had for centuries
been inflicted upon the unhappy land of her birth, she was no friend or
admirer of the government or people who had wrought her so much ruin in
this connection. On this head she was most inexorable, and felt that
it was the duty of every true Irishman and Irishwomen in existence, to
conspire, as best they could, against a power which had plunged their
race and country into such frightful ruin; and she believed, firmly,
that, in so far as her native land was concerned, its children were
justified in using any means by which they could rid themselves of
a tyrant and usurper, who, in violation of every law, both human and
divine, subjected them to sword and flame for ages.

It will be perceived, then, that both Kate McCarthy and Nicholas were
influenced by the same just and deadly spirit against England; and that
neither thought it otherwise than meritorious, to hurl that tyrant
to the dust, at any time and under any circumstances. The iron had
penetrated their souls; and now that rumors were afloat touching the
intention of the great organization of Fenianism, which overspread
the American Union, to make a descent upon the Canadas, with a view
to destroying the power of England upon this continent, and ultimately
rescuing Ireland from the grasp of the oppressor, Kate’s eye was lit,
from time to time, with the most patriotic fervor; while the world
could, at any moment, discover the true nature of the fame that burned
within her soul, from the emerald sheen of the silken band which
invariably bound up her raven hair, and encircled her snowy throat.

Once or twice she happened to encounter Lauder in Buffalo, so as to
recognize him without the possibility of mistake; while on several
occasions, she could not divest herself of the idea that he had just
passed her in disguise; although she could not imagine what prompted him
to such secrecy, when she never noticed him since she had left Toronto,
or recognized him on the two occasions when she chanced to meet him in
the public street. Yet, a strange presentiment seemed to impress her
that he had not, after all her plainness with him, abandoned the idea
of obtaining her hand, notwithstanding the repugnance she had always
evinced towards him. Now, however, that Nicholas was almost within hail
of her, and that her friends, in Buffalo at least, were true to her
in every relation, she felt secure from whatever machinations her
imagination conjured up; and, therefore, whenever the subject suddenly
obtruded itself upon her thoughtful moments, she dismissed it as
summarily; reassured by the conviction that she was totally beyond the
reach of any schemes that might have been concocted in relation to her
or her future.

For the purpose, however, of setting the matter at rest forever, she
was resolved that her lover should leave the service now as early as
possible; and, stimulated by this desire, on returning to her residence,
one evening towards the middle of April of the year in which we first
encountered him on the bridge leading from the Fort, she addressed a
letter to Nicholas, urging him to leave the army as soon as practicable,
assigning as a reason the presence of Lauder in Buffalo, whom she had,
as she felt assured, again encountered or rather discovered in the
vicinity of her residence, and adding a further reason, based upon the
rumor, that the Army of the Irish Republic would soon move upon Canada,
and that his regiment could not fail to be called out to oppose it--a
circumstance that would, as she well knew, be the cause of more actual
pain to him, than anything that could possibly occur in the discharge of
what was termed his duty.

This letter Barry received the second day after it was written; and on
consulting with O’Brien, at once set about procuring his discharge; but
as the Colonel of his regiment had gone to the Lower Provinces, from
which he was not to return for a week or two, the matter was left in
abeyance until he should again arrive in town. In due course, however,
he did return, and the necessary application being made, no objection
was offered to granting the discharge, as Barry’s conduct had always
been most unexceptionable since he entered the service.

In this way matters stood, then, on the night on which we found Big
Tom in secret conclave with his two friends, Nick and Burk, in his own
little sanctum; Nick having got leave to stay out until morning, as the
officer in command informed him, it was probably the last request he
should have the power of granting him.



CHAPTER IV.


An organization so wide-spread and so numerous as that of the Fenian
Brotherhood, it was not to expected that all its members, without an
exception, were good men and true; yet so rarely were traitors found
among its ranks, that no patriotic confraternity of its magnitude had
ever, in ancient or modern times, presented so pure a record in this
relation. When we take into consideration the fact that, the insidious
and subsidizing gold of England was brought to bear upon the frightful
poverty of the masses that composed the organization in Ireland, as well
as the temptations to treason held out by the government, through their
agents in the Republic of the United States of America, the wonder is
that there were not more Corydons and Masseys to do the work of the
usurper, and betray the cause to which they had sworn fealty. However,
there were traitors sufficient at work to cause great damage in
individual cases, and send many a brave fellow into the gloomy depths
of a British dungeon. Nearly all the injury in this connection, however,
appears to have been done at home, as treason of this character was
totally powerless under any foreign flag--or at least not so capable
of direct mischief. From the first moment of the inception of the
organization, the British and the Canadian governments had their paid
spies in and outside the American press, who kept the authorities well
informed as to all the particulars that transpired within the range of
their observation or through other channels; but these disclosures were
necessarily meagre and, in many cases, totally unreliable; from the
circumstance that those disreputable parties, for the purpose of
magnifying their importance, and securing further the patronage of their
employers, colored and distorted facts so terribly, that scarce a
line from their pens or a sentence from their lips was worthy even
the slightest credence. Still, from time to time, some little rumor
struggled to the surface, which pointed to treachery somewhere; and
thus it was that the authorities of the organization were often
placed awkwardly in relation to the idle though dangerous gossip which
occasionally singled out this individual or that, as the party who had
betrayed his trust. In the various cities along the American frontier,
there was from time to time a good deal of this gossip--a circumstance
that might have been quite easily accounted for; seeing that the
inhabitants of some of these places were in what might be termed hourly
intercommunication with the people of Canada; giving, in some cases,
rise to suspicions, which were in the main without any foundation. This
distrust, although affecting the stability or growing prosperity of the
Brotherhood in scarcely any degree, had yet the effect of strengthening
the hands of British sympathizers in the Union, and inducing them
to resolve themselves into little coteries or societies--such as was
hurriedly formed not long since under the influence and guidance of
Mr. H----, of Buffalo, for the ostensible purpose of aiding destitute
Canadians, but with the real design of keeping an eye upon Fenianism,
and disclosing, as far as the members could divine, all its intentions,
hopes and prospects, to the British government. Occasionally an
emissary, direct from Great Britain, in the guise of a lecturer or
tourist, visited these associations and received their report, which, as
far as was practicable, he verified by personal observation, and
through whatever reliable channels, he believed to be open to him. These
emissaries have been supplemented by others of a somewhat different
character, but all bearing upon the interests of England. In this latter
case, however, it has been the direct unfriendly relations between the
American government and that of Great Britain, which had stimulated the
pilgrimages of certain individuals of this class to the shores of the
great Republic. England perceiving that she had Fenianism to deal with
on the one hand, and American hostility, regarding her infamous course
during the late war, on the other, in her cowardly fears for the
consequences, backed up her anti-Fenian agents, by sending out such
persons as Mr. Charles Dickens and Mr. Henry Vincent, to prove to the
citizens of the Commonwealth how friendly the sentiments that England
had always entertained for them, and how disasterous a thing it would be
to both peoples, should a war, under any circumstances, be permitted to
take place between them. Both these gentlemen, and others, distinguished
and popular in their respective literary shades, went forth preaching
peace and good will between the Saxons on the one side of the Atlantic
and their so-called American cousins on the other. With an audacity
the most barefaced and unaccountable, upon every possible occasion,
opportune or otherwise, they wore the olive branch at their button-hole,
and described in periods the most eloquent, the identity of blood and
interests which characterized both nations, and which it were heinous
to ignore. Notwithstanding that for ninety long years their infamous
government had been indulging in the most heartless sneers, insults and
injustice towards the press, the people and the executive of the United
States--notwithstanding that during the late war every reverse of the
arms of the Republic was hailed with heartfelt joy by the English party,
both at home and in Canada, and that pirates were built and fitted out
under the very eyes of the British Cabinet, and with the secret sanction
of that corrupt horde, to make war upon American commerce and destroy
the Union in the hour of its extremity--notwithstanding all this, we
say, and maugre the kindred circumstance of subsidizing the South with
money and arms so as to prolong the fratracidal conflict until both
parties lay bloody and broken at the feet of English despotism, these
able and smooth-tongued gentry had the accursed assurance to stand up in
most of the principal cities of the Democracy, and assert broadly, that
England was the true and tried friend of republican institutions and of
the people who sustained them on the free continent of America. Under
the liberal laws which accord freedom of speech to every man who touches
the shores of the Republic, these men had, we know, a right to express,
publicly or otherwise, their sentiments in this connection, how
treacherous and untenable soever; but what we could never fathom, was
the daring of any journal professing to be true to the interests of
freedom or those of the Union, in endorsing those sentiments and setting
them forth to the world as truthful and worthy the acceptance of every
genuine American, no matter what his creed or party. An attempt so
monstrous to stullify all past experience and ignore all history has
never been made in any relation whatever; and the wonder is, that,
few as they are, so many Americans have been led astray by it. To any
individual, of even the most ordinary penetration, it must be obvious,
that the present cringing and treacherous attitude assumed by England
towards the American people, is but the mask of a foul and dangerous
spirit, snatched up in a moment of mortal fear to be worn only until
some opportune moment arrives when it can be thrown aside with safety,
revealing the old, familiar, demoniacal scowl which lurked unaltered
beneath its smiling exterior. America, to be true to herself, must
beware of such false lights, of the press as these. They are for
the most part subsidized by English gold, or so imbuded with English
sentiment, that the interests of the Union are quite a secondary
consideration with them. In evidence of the truth of this assertion, we
have only to dwell upon the apathy with which these journalists regard
the building up of a dangerous despotism upon our borders, in the very
teeth of American traditions and sentiments, and in opposition to the
feelings of the masses whom it effects more immediately, and who were
not permitted by their tyrants to express a single opinion at the polls
on so grave a subject as the total disruption or remodeling of the
constitution under which they lived. Look at the expression of Nova
Scotia on this head, and see how it reflects upon the course pursued
by the great American people in relation to the confederation of the
adjoining Provinces. Not long since the inhabitants of that section of
the New Dominion set forth, in a memorial to the British government,
that this same confederation was forced upon the people of the Canadas,
through falsehood, bribery and the vilest fraud. And, yet, free and
generous America, who assumes to be the day-star of freedom on this
continent, and to the world, permitted this despotic measure to be
enforced at her own threshold, and in relation to a people, thousands
upon thousands of whom sympathized with her interests and institutions,
and looked forward with longing eyes to the hour when the Stars and
Stripes should float from every flag-staff and tower throughout the
whole of the English possessions in the New World. Surely the missionary
spirit of the Republic has not been best illustrated in this instance;
nor can we discover now, how it is, that the authorities of the Union
sit quietly playing at thumbs, while the Parliament of the Dominion
is voting millions for the defenses of the new despotism, and framing
projects that are intended to result in a line of impregnable forts
from Sandwich to Gaspe, and at every point where it is possible for
an invader to set foot upon their shores. Wait until false, foul and
treacherous England can sit beneath the shadow of the guns of her infant
monarchy, on the Canadian frontier, and then see if she does not begin
to show her cloven foot anew. Let her once get a permanent foothold
among the newly projected fortresses along the St. Lawrence and the
Lakes, with Quebec as their key, and the peace and prosperity of
America, as well as the stability of republican institutions, cannot be
counted as secure, for a single day, from petty annoyance, or perhaps
inroads of a more formidable character. This idea may, we know, be
scouted by those who have a well grounded faith in the destiny of the
American people and the power they undoubtedly possess in a naval and
military point of view; but, after all, a gun is a gun and a garrison
a garrison; and to allow an implacable and formidable enemy to possess
herself of either, within range of our fire-sides, when we can prevent
it, is what we should call courting the presence of a bombshell on our
borders, that may at any moment be thrown into our midst.

Without dwelling further on this particular point, however, we may
observe, that through some of the channels already referred to, the
English government became aware, in 1865, that it was the intention of
the Irish Nationalists in the United States to make a descent, at no
distant day, upon Canada, and seize it as a basis of operations, with
a view to carrying out their projects for the redemption of Ireland. In
connexion with this information, they found, also, that the troops in
Canada were largely interspersed with Irishmen, and it was consequently
deemed necessary to send a secret agent to the Provinces to look into
the case and report upon it, or rather upon the sentiment of the Irish
element in the colony, whether in or out of the army, in relation to
Fenianism. This they thought could be best accomplished through the
instrumentality of a tried emissary of their own, as even from the
Provincial Cabinet conflicting accounts were arriving constantly in
relation to the all-important subject. In furtherance of this view, the
Castle of Dublin was, of course, applied to, and a creature selected
to do the work, who was not himself fully aware that his position was
recognized by the imperial Cabinet so decidedly, but simply fancied
himself in the capacity of a sort of trusty policeman, appointed by one
of the Castle authorities, who was anxious to know for himself how the
case stood on the other side of the Atlantic. This agent was one of the
cleverest of his class, and possessed of the most consummate cunning,
and a spirit of reckless daring but seldom evinced by members of his
tribe. Already he had rendered substantial service to the Viceroy and to
England, as an inveterate spy, and a scoundrel who had, on more than one
occasion, distinguished himself in the witness box. In addition to his
investigations in Canada, he was instructed to extend the line of his
observations to the United States also, and to move from point to point,
as his own judgment might dictate in the premises. He was, of course,
furnished with ample means to carry out successfully the project
intrusted to him; and although but little faith could be placed in his
integrity, so far as the disposal of the funds put in his hands were
concerned, yet, by an opportune circumstance, connected with his own
personal interest, and overriding any sum that was entrusted to him,
the Castle was enabled to hold him in check, no matter how he might be
tempted, or where he chanced to move. With his activity and fidelity
thus insured, this miserable wretch, who went in Dublin by the name
of Philip the Spy, was despatched on his mission, and, in due coarse
arriving at Quebec, set about it in his usual cautious and conning
manner. He visited the Citadel as a stranger, under the ordinary pass
from the Town Major, and soon made himself agreeable in the dark, low
canteen among the soldiers. Whenever he thought he discovered a young
and inexperienced Irishman among the rank and file, he was unusually
pleasant and communicative. With such a companion he always moved about
the garrison, descanting upon its force and power, and imperceptibly
stealing into his good graces, until he found some opportunity of
making an apparently accidental enquiry touching the information he was
desirous of obtaining. In this way he became possessed of the knowledge
that even Quebec held within its impregnable walls many a man who was
far from being the true friend of England, and who, as he surmised,
waited the opportunity of not only deserting her flag, but betraying
her stronghold into the hands of her enemies. In this state of things
he could not but discover the truthfulness of the beautiful line of
the poet, “_Coelum non animum mutant qui trans mare currunt_,” for he
perceived that the mighty waters of the great Atlantic were insufficient
to wash out the blood stains from the skirts of England in relation
to Ireland, or to remove the deep hatred of the exiled children of the
latter, towards a tyrannical power that had held them in bitter thrall
so unjustly and so long.

Satisfied of this, and of the additional fact, that the garrison was
invulnerable from the river side only, and that much of the artillery
that manned the citadel was all but worthless, on the pretense of being
a friend to the cause of Irish freedom and a deadly enemy to England,
he learned that not only were there many Fenian sympathizers within the
walls of the garrison, but that the city outside was literally alive
with similar friends, some of whom were to be found among the French
population, who had never forgotten England’s treatment of the First
Napoleon, or her conquest of Canada in the days of Wolf These he knew
himself were sore points with the Lower Canadians, and likely to bear
bitter fruit in relation to English interests in America, one day or
other. He perceived also that these facts, taken in connection with the
unfriendly feeling which England had engendered in the United States,
through the Alabama piracies and secret subsidies to the South during
the war that had just closed, would, tend to both foster and embolden
Fenianism, until it grew almost into an institution in the New World, or
became, at least, a leading idea with no inconsiderable portion of both
the Canadian and American people. He knew that every civilized nation
on the face of the earth, save England herself, sympathized with the
lamentable condition of the country to which he himself was a traitor;
and such being the case, he felt how easy it would be on the part of
these sympathizers, to find a means of justifying almost any measure
that might be adopted against the usurper, by the organization at home
and abroad. He saw and felt all this, and thus it became him to be
doubly cautious, as he could not but understand, that were his mission
divined by those whom he was now hourly betraying into positions of
death or danger, it would go hard with him indeed. In fact, the idea
struck him, that England, with all her boasting, was but little better
than a camp in America; and that, as in Ireland, she was surrounded here
also, by a hostile although a less demonstrative population.

And, certainly, a truer deduction than this has never been drawn from
any premises whatever. The nine tenths of the loyalty of Canada towards
the British Crown, is superficial and terribly unreliable. Subtract the
official and the Orange element from the masses, and they would drift at
once into the arms of the United States. The events of 1837 prove that
a strong undercurrent of American feeling exists in the colony, and
various subsequent disclosures prove that it is even now only restrained
by circumstances. When we find Canadian representatives on the floor of
the House of Assembly, threatening England with an appeal to Washington
in a certain connection, and when we see Americans filling some of the
highest offices in the Dominion, and sitting at the Council Table with
the representatives of royalty, we may be sure that the interests of
Great Britain are not in safe keeping in such an atmosphere, and that
such persons can always be brought to see how necessary it is to the
_material_ welfare of the inhabitants of the Canadas that they should
become part and parcel of the free and prosperous Republic of the
United States. They cannot fail to see, that in their present dependent
position,--lying, as they are, in the grasp of an English aristocrat,
unacquainted with their wants and wishes, and who sympathizes only with
the Crown, their trade, their commerce, and their internal resources
must suffer to a frightful extent. So long as they are outside the pale
of the Union and under the British flag, so long will a mighty war cloud
hang upon their borders, that is liable to roll in upon them at any
moment. The fact is fixed and unalterable, that the people of Ireland
have secured for all time a permanent footing on this continent, where
their numbers, wealth and influence have become irresistible, touching
any project that they may entertain within the limits of the American
Constitution. We say the American Constitution, for to this they have
sworn fealty, and its maintenance is to them a matter of the first
importance--a matter of life and death; from the fact, that it is to
its generous provisions and the liberal spirit of its framers and their
descendents, as well as to the kind sympathy of the American people in
general, that they now owe their all. Were it not for the noble stand
against tyranny taken by the heroes of 1765, and the subsequent glorious
career of the country they had freed from the grasp of the English
tyrant, Ireland should be still laden with chains the most hopeless;
but, now that free America has influenced her to higher aspirations than
she had ever felt previously in relation to human liberty and just and
enlightened government, it is probable that she shall become the first
fruits of American institutions on the despotic side of the Atlantic,
and raise her bright republican head, in the midst of the hoary
tyrannies of Europe, a glorious monument to the genius of American
liberty and power, as well as to the memory of the immortal heroes of
the war of Independence, who first taught manhood to the nations, and
hurled to the dust, beneath their feet, the foul and blood-stained
braggart who had sought to build up her despotic rule upon their virgin
shores. In no way can America so justify the purity and sincerity of
her soul in relation to her institutions, as by hurling them against the
despotisms of the old world, and diffusing amongst its peoples,
wherever she can with any degree of propriety, the blessings they are so
eminently calculated to impart. And no point stands more invitingly open
at the present moment for an experiment so indispensable to the true
prestige of her power and greatness, than Ireland. Self-evident as the
fact is, that that country has for generations been kept in slavery
at the point of the bayonet, and plundered and starved by an accursed
despot and her own deadly enemy, too, she can with the greatest
possible ease move in the direction of breaking those galling bonds, and
wreathing the poor, fleshless limbs, so long lacerated by them, with the
flowery links which so bind her own glorious children in one harmonious
and invincible whole. So long as Ireland lies groaning beneath the heel
of the usurper, so long shall America have failed in her mission, and
her duty towards God and man. She cannot be truly great, and sit down
beneath her own vine and fig tree, listlessly enjoying the blessings of
liberty, peace and plenty, while her kindred and friends lie in chains
on the opposite side of the Atlantic, or while the infamous flag of the
despot who oppresses them, and who but recently sought to stab her
to the heart, floats in triumph on her very borders. Both heaven and
humanity demand something more at her hands; and if actuated by no
higher motive than that of mere self-preservation, or of providing
against a rainy day, we would advise her, in view of the powerful
armaments and the ingrained antagonisms which characterize Europe in
every direction, to assist in establishing one friendly power at least
on the shores of the Old World, which, in the hour of need, would make
common cause with her in the interests of freedom, justice and truth.
This, and the fact of the attempt now being made by England to build
up an armed despotism in the New Dominion of Canada, are, in our humble
opinion, matters of the deepest moment to the great American people;
while we are equally convinced, that, should they neglect to avail
themselves of their right to interpose wherever human suffering of the
most heart-rending character obtains under the sway of a tyrant, or
where the peace and security of a whole continent is threatened, by
portentous and aggressive undertakings on its confines, the day
will arrive, and that speedily, when they will be afforded a bitter
opportunity of regretting their criminal apathy and neglect, without the
power of atoning for either.



CHAPTER V.


Although Kate had, as we have already stated, encountered Lauder on more
than one occasion in Buffalo, without any very uneasy feeling as to his
unpleasant proximity, yet she was not totally devoid of suspicion that
she was, in some way or other, the cause of his presence in that city.
True, she had rejected his heart and hand in the most decided manner;
but then there was something about the man so obtrusive and yet so
cunning, that at times she could have wished herself totally beyond
has reach or hopes, as the wife of the noble young fellow she loved so
ardently. When in Toronto, she had been sorely tried by the insidious
attacks and insinuations of her persecutor, bearing upon the character
and vocation of Nicholas, regarding which he appeared to be exceedingly
well informed. He spoke of the uniform faithlessness of soldiers in
general--their wretched mode of life and morals, together with the
stigma that invariably attached to the wife of any individual who wore
a private’s coat in the service. In addition, he seemed to be conversant
with the pecuniary embarrassments of Kate, as well as with the
circumstances of the chancery suit, and, as he averred, the settled
opinion at home, that it would be soon decided, and, without any
possible doubt, in favor of the son of Philip Darcy. All this was
heart-rending in the extreme to the poor girl; but yet her faith never
faltered for a single moment in the truth and fidelity of her lover; and
what cared she for aught else in the world, so long as he was left her
without spot or blemish. Observing the foothold that Lauder had in
the house and estimation of her relatives, she did not feel herself
at liberty to treat him with all the contempt and severity that he
deserved; so that she was too often, for appearances sake and out of
respect for the feelings of those under whose roof she was, constrained
not to notice in anger much that had escaped his lips regarding
Nicholas, or, rather, the possible character which he had turned out to
be under the baneful influence of a soldier’s life. When, however, she
accepted the hospitality and kindness of that portion of the family who
had taken up their residence in Buffalo, and who were the staunchest
friends of young Barry, she, at once, cut the acquaintance of her
rejected suitor, and, as already observed, passed him once or twice in
the street without deigning to notice him.

This probed Lauder to the quick, and aroused all the fiend within him;
and now that Barry had reached Canada, he determined to work in some way
the ruin of either the one or the other, in order to make their union
impossible, were even the most revolting crime necessary to that end.
While dwelling on this subject, every vestige of humanity disappeared
from the heart and face of the wretch who would encompass such ruin, and
that, too, in the case of two individuals who had never injured him in
thought, word or act. He was slighted and rejected by the only woman on
earth that he cared to marry, and he would be avenged at even the
risk of his life. He would dog her footsteps were she to move to the
uttermost ends of the earth, until an opportunity to put his infernal
plans in operation arrived; and as he had abundance of means at his
command, he would enlist in his service those who would not hesitate to
sell their souls for gold. Moved by this diabolical impulse, he followed
her to Buffalo, and there made the acquaintance of two unmitigated
villains who kept a low gambling house in one of the vilest streets in
the city, and who were capable of any atrocity known to the annals of
crime. These two vagabonds were already refugees from Canadian justice,
having been concerned in one of the bank robberies so frequent in the
Provinces, and had an accomplice of their own stamp on the Canadian
frontier, not far from their present den, to whom they were in the habit
of secretly forwarding goods stolen on the American side, to be
kept until the excitement regarding the robbery had subsided, and an
opportunity presented itself for disposing of them in some part of the
Province where detection would be impossible. Under the cover of night
one or the other of these wretches frequently stole across the lines
and visited this locality, where he remained concealed until a fitting
period occurred for returning to his old haunt.

Of this stamp were the two persons whom Lauder now took into his
confidence and employment in relation to the abduction of Kate McCarthy
from her friends, and her transportation into Canada to some place of
secrecy and of safety, until he should be able to force her into an
alliance with him, or failing in this, make such a disposition of her
as should, at least, place an eternal barrier between her and Nicholas.
Among their friends and acquaintances these two villains were known as
“black Jack” and the “Kid,”--the former as forbidding a specimen of the
human race as ever breathed the vital air. He was low and thick set,
with a neck like a bull, and a frame of prodigious strength.. His nose
was broad and flat, his month large, his ears of immense size, his
forehead low and retreating, while the breadth between his ears at the
back of his head was inconceivable.

His companion in crime, the Kid, in so far as external appearance was
concerned, was his intensified antipodes. He was slightly formed and
of rather prepossessing appearance; and were it not for a sinister
expression of his full watery, grey eyes, remarkable when excited by
anger, and some coarse and sensual lines about his mouth, perceptible
upon all occasions, he might pass unnoticed among the thousands that
crowded daily the locality in which he lived. He was the general, Jack
the army--he plotted, Jack executed; and thus it was, that, through his
consummate cunning, they had both been enabled to avoid justice so
long. They ostensibly kept a sort of drinking saloon, from which they
professed to banish all disreputable characters, and which, through the
clear-headedness of the one, and the awe in which the great personal
strength of the other was held, was unusually free from the disreputable
rows and scenes that generally characterize such places.

If the Kid and Black Jack differed from each other in personal
appearance, they were nearly if not quite as much opposed to each other
in dress. Jack’s attire was of the very coarsest description, and
always slovenly in appearance. No matter what the season of the year,
he invariably wore a dark blue flannel shirt, a short, heavy over-coat,
with huge, deep pockets, thick, iron-shod boots, coarse, loose trousers,
and a huge, greasy, slouched, hat, of black felt, invariably pulled
over his eyes when out through the city. The only difference as to the
disposition of his attire, touching winter and summer, was, that during
the former season he always served his customers with his slouched hat
and jacket on, while throughout the warmest part of the latter, he
was invariably to be found behind his dark, dingy bar, with his shirt
sleeves tucked up and his collar unbuttoned and thrown open, displaying
a pair of huge, swarthy arms, covered with coarse, black hair, and
a broad and massive chest, presenting a similar aspect, and which
exhibited all the characteristics, in this connection, of the most
savage denizens of the forest. Such, then, were the personal appearance
and the character of the two men whom Lauder now visited by stealth from
time to time, but always in a disguise which defied detection, and which
was made up with the most consummate skill.

Unconscious of all the danger that surrounded her, Kate still kept the
even tenor of her way, happy in the prospect of soon becoming the wife
of the man she loved; while Barry, on the other hand, felt but little
apprehension as to any fears that she had expressed in relation to the
proximity of Lander; believing, as he did, that she was totally beyond
his reach or power, and that his presence in Buffalo was occasioned by
some business not in any degree connected with her. What, he argued, had
she to fear from any man whom she despised, and from whose society she
had deliberately and pointedly estranged herself? The days of feudal
abductions had passed away, and if in this practical age a woman refused
to become the wife of any man, she had a perfect right so to do, and
there the matter ended. Besides, was she not beneath the roof of her own
relatives, who loved her with the sincerest warmth, and who were able to
protect her until she could claim the shelter of his own breast, as he
stood by her side the husband of her heart. All this went to reassure
him, so that when he sat down to reply to the letter which urged him to
procure his discharge at once, he wrote in the most cheering and happy
manner, bidding her to be of good heart, that she was safe from the
importunities and machinations of any individual who sought to gain her
affections; but intimating, at the same time, that he should at once, or
as soon as practicable, leave the army and as quickly as possible join
her on the other side of the great lakes.

In the love that exists between two true Irish hearts that have been
pledged to each other, deliberately and solemnly on the threshold of man
and womanhood, there is often something so confiding, so unreasoning
and so unselfish, as to put one in good humor with humanity. There is
no country on earth in which the love of gain intermixes with the
affections of the heart to so small an extent as in Ireland. In this
relation we, from time to time, witness in the Green Isle such genuine
and grateful glimpses of the better phases of human nature, that, no
matter to what subsequent inconvenience and embarrassments they may
tend, they, for the time being, at least, charm us into a recognition
of something that is, after all, beautiful and truthful in our souls.
Except where the inexorable tyranny of birth creeps in, our matrimonial
alliances are, for the most part, purged of the cool calculation of
Scotland, or the bread and beef considerations of the English. This may
be censurable in us, and doubtless it is; but, still, the charge
lies more against our heads than our hearts. It is a fact the most
indisputable, that in England most of the marriages in high or low life
are those of _convenance_, while in Ireland the contrary is the case.
Even the poorest Irish girl in the land gives her hand only, where she
can bestow her heart; nor, as a general thing, can any amount of wealth
induce her to ignore her pride or affections in this connection; while,
should her love be given to even the simplest peasant that ever stood by
her milking pail, she is totally beyond the reach of temptation. On the
part of both there is an out-going of souls in this direction that
may be said to be peculiar to Ireland. Completely outside all physical
accidents and circumstances, there is a commingling of spirit which
ratifies a compact for all time, and lives in the future as well as the
present. Stretching beyond the hoar, such souls are not dependent upon
mere personal contact or intercourse for the vitality of the passion
that animates them, for they are ever _en rapport_ with each other,
and clasped breast to breast wherever their individual physical
organizations may be. In this manner they bid defiance to fate and all
materiality; living on, undivided, and secure in the continuence of the
power that binds them to each other. Such individualities become one
spiritually--all their aspirations are identical--all their sentiments
are the same, and so closely do they become united, that you cannot
destroy the one without destroying the other. We know and feel,
beyond any shadow of doubt, that there are beings whose loss or total
annihilation we should be unable to survive, and if doomed to live,
whose place could never be filled in our souls, throughout the endless
ages of eternity. Hence the generous and beautiful, provision of the All
Wise and All Good. To every human heart, that interprets His Laws aright
and conforms to His will, he presents that beautiful counterpart which,
although mysteriously foreign, is yet, so delightfully and essentially,
a part and parcel of our two-fold nature.

In no country in the world, then, does this divine law of natural
affinities prevail more than in Ireland; and in no case had it ever been
more clearly illustrated than in the case of Nicholas Barry and Kate
McCarthy; as each, if so inclined, could have sacrificed the other in
forming a matrimonial alliance respectively, identified with what was
believed, to be undoubted wealth. For the hand of Kate, long before
she left her native land, there had been more than one suitor of means;
while handsome Nick, previous to his entering the army, was an object of
the warmest admiration on the part of many a damsel whose prospects were
of the most flattering description. But all to no purpose; not one of
the wealthy women was Kate McCarthy in the one case, and not a single
well-to-do gentleman was Nick Barry, in the other. So this made all the
difference; and Nick and Kate, without pausing to cast their horoscope,
gave themselves to each other, as already described, by the banks of
the Shannon--a river whose bright murmuring waters have reflected more
beautiful eyes and manly forms than those of any other in Europe, or
perhaps the world. Without a thought for the future at the moment of
which we have already spoken, they plighted their faith for all time
and eternity; and well they kept their vows; although previous to the
arrival of Nicholas in America, they had been upwards of three years
separated from each other-the one leading the life of a soldier in a
sunny clime, and the other, on a far distant shore, hoping for the hour
when they should be once more side by side.

When, however, our hero found himself the plighted lover of the being he
adored, and discovered himself simultaneously separated from her toy
the most cruel, unexpected and perverse fate, he bent, as previously
observed, every energy towards effecting his release from the bonds he
had assumed for her sake. He consequently, instead of wasting his hours
in sullen and useless repining, set actively to work and kept both his
mind and his body in a healthy condition; never losing confidence for a
moment, in his own ability to secure freedom or permitting the hope to
be shaken, that he should ultimately join the woman of his love in the
new world, and there realize an independence for both. And here we may
observe, that this feature in the character of Nicholas was one of the
noblest and most dignified that could possibly distinguish any member of
the race to which we belong. The world has been lost to many a man, from
the fact of his not sitting down to look circumstances fairly in the
face, with a full determination to grapple with them and give them a
tussel for if wherever a good man and true places any reasonable
and legitimate object before him, no matter how dark the clouds that
surround him, in nine cases out often he achieves it. The grave error in
this connection is, that finding our inability to move the great mass
of our difficulties out of our road _en bloc_ and at once, ignoring the
lesson taught by the constant drop that wears the stone, we sit down
overwhelmed, and never set sturdily about trying to remove it piecemeal.
The most profusely illustrated lesson that heaven has yet taught to
man, is that of industry and perseverence. Whether within the fragrant
chambers of the golden hive, or in the kingdoms of the busy ant, or mid
the curious nests that swing from forest boughs, we roam in thought,
we find what perseverence can accomplish, and that too, by steps almost
imperceptible in themselves. It is the individual atoms that build up
the mighty and effective aggregate that overawes all opposition, and
like an avalanche sweeps all resistance before it. The loftiest pyramid
that throws its shadow over the desert to-day, and that dwarfs at its
foot the beholder into the most incomparable insignificance, incapable
of being removed in fragments not larger than a pea, from its present
site to the other side of the globe; and the grandest structure ever
erected by human hands, has been built up from almost imperceptible
beginnings, into the imposing dimensions which so overshadow the admirer
and excite in his bosom feelings of almost superstitious awe. So that
look where we may, throughout the whole range of nature, of science or
of art, we find tee lesson of industry and perseverence inculcated in
the most impressive manner, and in a language that should reach and
influence our spirit struggles to the core.

If less distinct than we have here delineated them, such were the
sentiments and convictions that influenced the actions and conduct of
our hero and heroine when fate had separated them. Moved by the same
impulses, they both set about accomplishing the same end, and in the
same manner. Barry’s pen and Kate’s needle flew at intervals; and the
result, as already intimated, was, that each had accumulated a sum
sufficient to effect this release from the army, and that it now was to
be brought into requisition for the purpose of accomplishing that end.

Had Nicholas been made of that sort of stuff which, with the
greatest possible degree of coolness, lays a friend or relative under
contribution, he might have been able, through its instrumentality, to
realize a sufficient sum to have taken him to America, at the
period that Kate sailed, without having had recourse to the dreadful
alternative of enlisting in the English army; but not being built of
such questionable material, he bowed beneath the heavy yoke, believing,
as he did, that however distasteful and derogatory to his feelings, it
was more honorable and independent to be indebted to himself, even at
so great a sacrifice, for the means of joining his beloved on the other
side of the Atlantic, than to be constrained to traverse its trackless
waste, weighed down with the conviction, that, for the purpose of
accomplishing an object that could at least be honestly attained
otherwise, he had deprived those whom he had left behind of that of
which they themselves stood sorely in need. Besides, he felt satisfied
from what he knew of himself, and the prospects open to even an
industrious soldier on the shores of Canada, he should soon be able to
relieve himself of his bondage, and stand erect once more, freed from
the humiliation of the uniform he wore. But, as already seen, the fates
were against him in the first moments of his military career; and for
the time every fibre of his being was almost crushed beneath the most
frightful tension to which could have been possibly subjected. How
dreadful must have been the appalling intelligence of the countermand of
his regiment to the Mediteranean, when it first fell upon his ear; and
how sufficient was the awful announcement to crush any ordinary mortal.
Yet, with the elasticity which is ever inseparable from a true and noble
spirit, when the first crash of the news bore him almost to the earth,
he steadily began to brace himself against it, and ultimately, though by
slow and painful degrees, straightened himself beneath it, and, although
it was not the less heavy, stood erect under it at last, and bore it
squarely upon his shoulders.

Poor Kate, although brave, too, had at first almost given up hope,
when, a few days after her arrival at Quebec, she learned the fatal
intelligence contained in the letter already referred to; but soon
perceiving, as he did, that nothing was to be achieved by useless
murmuring or hopeless inactivity, she shook herself, as free as her
strength would permit, from the dreadful incubus of the sorrow that
bowed her to the earth, and turned whatever talents she possessed to
good account; working night and day to accomplish the great and only
desire of her heart, and trusting to heaven for the rest. In this way
her constant and unwearied exertions lightened much of the load that
could not have failed under less favorable promptings, to have crushed
her completely, and have, in all human probability, consigned her to a
premature grave.

And thus, we see, that these two brave young spirits had all but
accomplished the wish of their hearts, at the period at which our story
opens, and that they were now but simply awaiting the hour when Nicholas
should be able to exchange the hated red jacket that he wore, for a
dress more in consonance with not only his own feelings, but those of
the being he so faithfully loved.



CHAPTER VI.


Whatever censure may be attached to any portion of the career of the
founders of Fenianism, after the organization had become a recognized
power on both sides of the Atlantic, we cannot divest ourselves of the
settled impression, that the men who were mainly instrumental in calling
it into existence and sustaining its infancy, were actuated by the
purest motives. To be sure, Fenianism can scarcely be said to be the
embodiment of a new idea, or the exponent of new principles; but, then,
there was a masterly grouping of energies and sentiments in connection
with it, which possessed the merit of originality, and which tended so
largely, not only to popularize it, but to give it a foothold on every
Irish national hearthstone. In the selection of the name by which the
organization was to be distinguished, there was a clearness of judgment
as well as a thorough acquaintance with the necessities of the case,
that cannot fail to strike any impartial observer. Had the Brotherhood
been organized under any commonplace appelation, or under any of
the various names that had characterized the previous revolutionary
societies of Ireland, the probability is, it would have long since
fallen into line with those convivial associations, which content
themselves with an annual exposition of the grievances of Ireland, over
the short leg of a turkey, a “bumper of Burgundy,” and that roar of
lip artillery, against the usurper, which dies away in a few maudlin
hiccups, about two o’clock in the morning, to be revived only at the
expiration of another twelve months. Under the burden of any commonplace
name, such, we say, might have been the fate of the organization ere
this; and so we regard the knowledge and genius which obviated the
possibility or rather the probability of failure in this relation, as
entitled to prominent consideration and respect. To the superficial
observer, this may appear of very little moment in connection with
a subject of such magnitude; but let it be understood, that we are
influenced by seeming trifles and the surface of things to an extent far
greater than we ourselves are willing to confess. Notwithstanding the
oft repeated query, “what’s in a name?” there is a great deal in a name.
Let two strangers, Mr. Harold Bloomfield and Mr. John Smith send in
their cards together to an important official, of whom they expect to
get an audience separately, and the chances are nine out of ten in
favor of Mr. Bloomfield’s being granted an interview first. This, we
apprehend, holds good in a thousand kindred instances, and in no way has
the supposition been more clearly verified than in relation to the name
bestowed upon the organization under consideration.

The name “Fenian” is of very remote antiquity, and appears to be most
comprehensive in its signification, and to be peculiarly adapted to
the great confraternity of patriots which now engrosses so much of the
history of passing events. There seems to be nothing sectional in it.
It is national in the broadest sense of the term, and primative and
forcible to intensity. In some annotations to the Annals of the Four
Masters we find that the ancient Fenians were called by the Irish
writers _Fianna Eirionn_ signifying the Fenians of Ireland, and
mentioned under the name of Fene, or Feine, which, according to Dr.
O’Conor, signifies the Phenicians of Ireland, as Feine, according to Dr.
O’Brien, in his dictionary, at the word Fearmiugh, signifies Phenicians;
as they were probably called so from the tradition that Phenicians came
to Ireland in the early ages. They are also called by the Irish writers
_Clann-Ua-Baois-gine_, and so named, according to Keating and others,
from Baoisgine, who was chief commander of these warriors, and ancestor
of the famous hero Fionn, the son of Cumhall; but according to O’Conor,
in his notes to the Four Masters, they were called Baoisgine, as being
descended from the Milesians who came from Basconia, in Spain, now
Biscay, in the country anciently called Cantabria. The Fenian warriors
were a famous military force, forming the standing national militia, and
instituted in Ireland in the early ages, long before the Christian era,
but brought, to the greatest perfection in the reign of the celebrated
Cormac, monarch of Ireland in the third century. None were admitted into
this military body but select men of the greatest activity, strength,
stature, perfect form, and valor, and, when the force was complete, it
consisted of thirty-five _Catha_, that is, battalions or legions, each
battalion containing three thousand men, according to O’Halloran and
various other historians, making twenty-one thousand for each of the
five provinces, or about one hundred thousand fighting men in time of
war for the entire kingdom. The _Ardrigh_, or head king of Ireland,
had, for the time being, chief control over these forces, but they often
resisted his authority. A commander was appointed over every thousand
of these troops, and the entire force was completely armed and admirably
disciplined, and each battalion had their own bands of musicians and
bards to animate them in battle, and celebrate their feats of arms. In
the reign of the monarch Cormac, the celebrated Fionn MacCumhaill,
who was descended from the Heremonian kings of Leinster, was the chief
commander of the Fenian warriors, and his great actions, strength
and valor are celebrated in the Ossianic poems, and various other
productions of the ancient bards; he is called Fingal in MacPherson’s
Poems of Ossian; but it is to be observed that these are not the real
poems of Ossian, but mostly fictions fabricated by Mac Pherson himself,
and containing some passages from the ancient poems. Fionn had his chief
residence and fortress at Almhuim, now either the hill of Allen,
near Kildare, or Ailinn, near old Kilcullen, where a great rath still
remains, which was a residence of the ancient kings of Leinster. The
Fenians were the chief troops of Leinster, and were Milesians of the
race of Heremon; and their renowned commander Fionn, according to the
Four Masters, was slain by the cast of a javelin, or, according to
others, by the shot of an arrow, at a place called _Ath Brea_, on the
river Boyne, A.D. 283, the year before the battle of Gaura, by the
Lugnians of Tara, a tribe who possessed the territory now called the
barony of Lune, near Tara, in Meath; and the place mentioned as Ath
Brea, or the Ford of Brea, was situated somewhere on the Boyne, between
Trim and Navan.

In the reign of king Cairbre Liffeachair, son of the monarch Cormac,
the Fenian forces revolted from the service of Cairbre, and joined the
famous Mogh Corb, King of Munster, of the race of the Dalcassians. After
the death of Fionn Mac Cumhaill, the Fenians were commanded by his son
Oisin or Ossian, the celebrated warrior and bard; and at the time of
the battle of Gaura, Osgar, another famous champion, the son of Oisin,
commanded the Fenian forces. The army of Munster, commanded by Mogh
Corb, a name which signifies the Chief of the Chariot, and by his son
Fear Corb, that is, the man or warrior of the chariot, was composed of
the Clanna Deagha and Dalcassian troops, joined by the Fenians and their
Leinster forces; and it is stated in the Ossianic poems, and in Hanmer’s
Chronicle, from the Book of Howth, that a great body of warriors from
North Britain. Denmark and Norway, came over and fought on the side of
the Fenians at Gaura. The army of the monarch Cairbre was composed
of the men of Heath and Ulster, together with the Clanna Morna, or
Connaught warriors, commanded by Aodh or Hugh, King of Connaught, son of
Garadh, grandson of Moraa of the Damnonian race. The Munster forces, and
Fenians, marched to Meath, where they were met by the combined troops of
the monarch Cairbre, and fought one of the most furious battles recorded
in Irish history, which continued throughout the whole length of a
summer’s day. The greatest valor was displayed by the warriors on each
side, and it is difficult to say which army were victors or vanquished.
The heroic Osgar was slain in single combat by the valiant monarch
Cairbre, but Cairbre himself soon afterwards fell by the hand of
the champion Simon, the son of Ceirb, of the race of the Fotharts of
Leinster. Both armies amounted to about fifty thousand men, the greatest
part of whom were slain; of the Fenian forces, which consisted of twenty
thousand men, it is stated that eighteen thousand fell, and on both
sides, thirty thousand warriors were slain. In the following year,
Hugh, king of Connaught, according to O’Flaherty’s Ogygia, defeated the
Munsters forces in battle at Spaltrach, near the mountain Senchua, in
Muscry, in which he slew Mogh Corb, king of Munster. The tremendous
battle of Gaura is considered to have led to the subsequent fall of
the Irish monarchy, for after the destruction of the Fenian forces, the
Irish kings never were able to muster a national army equal in valor
and discipline to those heroes, either to cope with foreign foes, or to
reduce to subjection the rebellious provincial kings and princes; hence
the monarchy became weak and disorganized, and the ruling powers were
unable to maintain their authority or make a sufficient stand against
the Danish and Anglo-Norman Invaders of after time.

From what is here stated, it must be obvious, that no more appropriate
name than that of “Fenian” could be given to the organization which now
holds the destiny of Ireland in its hands, and which has ramified itself
throughout almost every portion of the habitable globe.

We have already observed that the selection of this name was judicious
in more than one relation. In the first place, it was far removed from
that of any of the well known cognomens which had characterized so
many of the noted revolutionary associations that had already failed
in Ireland, and, in this respect, was strong; being free from any
unpleasant reminiscences; while, from the fact of its import not being
generally known to the masses, it stimulated enquiry on the part of
the curious or weak nationalists which resulted in the most salutary
consequences. The rarity of the name led to newspaper expositions of it,
and moved the inquiring patriot to look into Irish history in relation
to it; and in this manner a knowledge of much of the ancient greatness
of Ireland became the common property of those who were formerly but
slightly acquainted with such lore. The result was, thousands of the
Irish became interested in relation to the past of their race; for, in
connection with this name there was that which was calculated to arouse
the spirit of patriotism within them and lead them on to a further
perusal of the annals of their country.

It is evident, then, that no common appelation could have been fraught
with such beneficial results; as there would have been nothing connected
with it to stimulate enquiry or research. Repealers, Irish National
Leagues, Whiteboys, Rockites, United Irishmen, &c., all had their
day, and carried their meaning upon the surface; so that it was really
necessary to give the new organization some occult, comprehensive and
characteristic name, that would separate it in this aspect from all
the Irish revolutionary bodies that had preceded it, and place it
_en rapport_ with the great past of the nation which was the grand
receptacle of its traditions and source of its pride. Here, then, we
leave this part of the subject, without presuming that we have thrown
much more light upon the matter than has already been recognized by
those who have at all looked into it; for it must, we think, be obvious
to most Irish nationalists, that the energies and sentiments of their
patriotic countrymen, could never have been grouped so successfully
under any of the appelations just named, as they have been under that
of “Fenians”--given, as we have already perceived, to the great national
army of Ireland during the days of her early glory and power, and which
alone represented the nation as a whole.

It is not our province to dwell here upon the infancy of the
Brotherhood on either side of the Atlantic, or to enter into the various
difficulties and unpleasant circumstances to which it has been subjected
by alleged want of true patriotism and economy on the part of some
of its founders. Sufficient to say, that through all such alleged
obstructions it has struggled into the greatest and most powerful
organization that has ever existed in any age of the world, and is,
to-day, the mightiest and most invincible floating power that has ever
influenced the destinies of any people. Its friends are numbered by
millions and its members by hundreds upon hundreds of thousand. To its
ranks belong soldiers, statesmen and orators, men of large pecuniary
means and cultivated minds; cool heads and strong arms, and many guiding
spirits who need but little light save that which shines within them. In
addition, the sympathies of America and of every generous nation on the
face of the earth, are with it; so that it has triumphed in advance, in
a measure; for, backed by such influences, and actuated, as it is, by
impulses so pure and holy, not a solitary doubt can obtain in relation
to its ultimate success. True, that there are those who are thoughtless
or traitorous enough to designate it as antagonistic to religion, and
subversive, of the established order of things; but these, for the most
part, are persons who reason through their pockets or their prejudices,
and who are devoid of any thorough recognition of those great principles
which are applicable to nations as well as to individuals and which are
based upon the just doctrine, that resistence to tyrants is obedience to
God--persons who are so methodical and patient under the sufferings of
_others_, that they would pause to measure the precise length of rope
that, was necessary to reach a drowning man. In the day of Ireland’s
triumph, such people, will cone to confusion; as will those who have
withheld from her, in the period of her sore travail, the pecuniary aid;
which they could have well afforded out of their ample means, with a
view to relieving their kinsmen and suffering fellow countrymen from the
grasp of a tyrant the most inexorable that ever drew breath.

Were the Fenian organization confined entirely to Ireland, and did no
active outside sympathy obtain for that unfortunate country the day of
her redemption might be postponed to an indefinite period. So completely
are all the resources and defences of the land in the hands of the
English, that it would be difficult for the natives to make any
lengthened or effective stand against the usurper. England has her,
navy and her army to operate against any rising of the inhabitants, at
a moment’s warning; while every office in the kingdom, of the slightest
importance or trust, is in the hands of her minions. Again, among some
of the recreant sons of the soil, she has, alas too ample scope for the
use of her accursed gold; and thus it is; that to cope singled handed
with her against such fearful odds, would involve oceans of blood, both
on the field and on the scaffold. When, however, we come to dwell on
the fact, that outside and beyond her control or reach, another body
of Irish, which has been aptly termed a nation within a nation--when
it comes to be understood, we say, that on the shores of free America a
mighty and invincible Brotherhood has been built up, actuated by every
sentiment of hostility which fires the breast of the most implacable of
her enemies to-day, and that has for its aim and end an object in common
with the people of Ireland at her own doors, then we begin to perceive
how harrassed and powerless she must be. Neither her famine, fire
nor sword, can avail her here. Secure beneath the ample folds of the
glorious stars and stripes of the great Republic of America, and fired
with the love of free institutions, and taught in the great principles
of freedom by the liberty loving American people, this mighty band of
exiles, in connection with their children born beneath the folds of the
American flag, are steadily preparing to join fierce issue with her and
test, upon the open field, the prowess she has so often set forth as
superior to that of any other nation. This is what now disables and
paralyses her. Ireland is, for the time being, beneath her heel; but
what of the warlike hosts that loom in the western horizon and may soon
rush down on her like a wolf on the fold, and wedge her in between two
hostile walls? This is the great strength, of Ireland at the present
moment. Her energies are not walled in by the ocean or a British fleet
She is alive and active in other lands, and so powerful outside her own
borders, that there is no such thing as circumscribing her influence or
operations in so far as they relate to her struggles for independence.
It is, then, from America that she is to obtain her most effective aid;
and such being the case, it behooves the Irish nationalists on American
soil to be true and steady to the great purpose in which they are now so
ardently engaged; for so far, fortune has smiled upon them. The American
people sympathize with them and feel that while they are aiding them to
regain the long lost freedom of their country, they are bringing to
the dust the very self-same enemy that sought, by stealth and the most
cowardly means, to overthrow their own Commonwealth, and leave the Union
a hopeless ruin before the world. It is this which now hangs a millstone
about the neck of the British government, and which must ultimately
develope itself in active sympathy with any people who have for their
object the humiliation of the skull and cross-bones of St. George, on
this side of the Atlantic at least.

And so the ball rolls; hourly accumulating force and magnitude, and
destined, at no distant day, to sweep in upon Ireland and hurl the
invader from her shores. No power on earth can stay its onward course.
The freedom of Ireland is the creed of millions. The young lisp it;
strong men repeat it in every clime; and the old of both hemispheres
murmur it in their prayers. In short, it has taken a hold of the Irish
heart wherever a true pulse warms it to-day, and has so incorporated
itself with the hopes and aspirations of the Irish of all lands, that
fate itself must yield to its power and universality. Within the last
few years it has become part and parcel of the education of the Irish
people wherever they are found; whether beneath the burning zone, in
temperate latitudes or at the frozen poles; so that its ultimate success
is beyond any possible contingency; from the fact that there never was a
sentiment so widely spread and so religiously cultivated and cherished,
that failed to accomplish all that it would attain.



CHAPTER VII.


While the children of Ireland were engaged in defending the flag of
the Union during the late civil war, and sealing with their blood their
fidelity to the great Republic, they were, also, acquiring a knowledge
of arms and a warlike hardihood, which tended, on the cessation of
hostilities, to render the Fenian organization more formidable than
it could possibly have become, had peace pervaded the land from the
inception of the Brotherhood to its triumph at Ridgeway. All through
this gigantic struggle the hand of the Irish patriot and exile was
prominently observable. Not a field had been fought from the firing of
the first gun at Fort Sumter to the surrender of Lee’s army, on which
their blood had not flowed in rivers. Look at Murfreesboro, Corinth,
Perrysville, Iuka, Antietam, Chickahomany, Winchester, Fort Donaldson,
Island Ten, Shiloh, Lexington, Bull Run, Carnifex Ferry, the
Rappahannock, the Mississippi, the Cumberland, the Potomac and
Fredericksburg, “where one-half of Meagher’s Brigade are still encamped
_under the sod_,” and we have evidence of the truth of this assertion,
the most ample and complete. Amidst these scenes of terrific
carnage, the warlike genius and matchless personal bravery of many a
distinguished Irishman were eminently conspicuous; while the latent
fires that had previously lain dormant in the breast of others, leaped
forth into a glorious conflagration, that commanded the admiration of
every true soldier and evoked the recognition of the Commonwealth
at large. Amongst this latter class stood pre-eminently forward,
the present President of the Fenian Brotherhood throughout the
world--GENERAL JOHN O’NIELL, a brief sketch of whom we introduce here
for obvious reasons, drawn from authentic records in our possession, as
well as from the current newspaper literature of the day:

“To the Irish reader,” observes a contemporary, well informed upon
this subject, “and especially to that portion of our people, who are
conversant with the past history of their country, and feel a patriotic
pride in its glorious records, as well as a fervent hope for their
renewal in the future--there is no name fraught with memories more
inspiring than that of O’Neill--the princely house of Ulster, the
champions of the Red Hand, who, for centuries, in the struggles of
the nation against the Saxon invader, led the hosts of their people
to victory, and only succumbed at last when poison and treachery, and
chicane had accomplished what force failed to effect; for their valor
was powerless against the dagger of the assassin, as were their honesty
and open-heartedness against the bad faith of England’s perjured tools.
Like many a noble and ancient Irish house, its scions are to-day to be
found scattered through the world, in every walk of life. But though its
banner no longer floats over embattled hosts, there is magic still in
its associations; and when men speak of the O’Neill, the Irish heart
leaps fondly towards the historic name and the proud recollection of the
days when Hugh and Owen stood for the rights of their people and native
land, and dealt the assailants of both those sturdy blows which so well
justified their claim to the blazon of the ‘Red Hand.’

“In our own day, too, the old blood has vindicated its inherent force
and purity, and has found a worthy representative in the subject of our
present sketch--GENERAL JOHN O’NEILL,--whose name, in the future history
of the Irish race, will be as inseparably linked with the struggles of
the present generation for national independence, as are those of
his ancestors with the efforts made by our people in the past against
English tyranny and usurpation. As this noble and patriotic Irishman is
now occupying so much of the public attention, and his political conduct
meeting with that cordial endorsement which is a just tribute to his
bravery and patriotism--whether on the bloody fields of the South,
routing a Morgan, or assuming the command of his colonel, or, with
thirty men repelling the attack of a regiment; or, with his gallant band
of Irish soldiers, chasing the ‘Queen’s Own’ at Ridgeway--a brief
review of his career will not be devoid of interest to all who desire
to preserve a record of those who have deserved well of their country.
Within the limits of such a sketch it would be impossible to do adequate
justice to the character of a man like General O’Neill, and we can only
assume to glance at the many attestations of his bravery and gentlemanly
bearing which should have a public record, as they are from men of high
position, and are of importance in illustrating the estimation in which
he has always been held by his superior and brother officers. No man can
produce a more unsullied one, or one better calculated to confirm his
title to the high position in which his countrymen have placed him.

“General O’Neill was born on the 8th of March, 1834, in the townland of
Drumgallon, parish of Clontibret, county Monaghan, Ireland. At his birth
he was an orphan, his father having died a few weeks previously. The
early part of his existence was spent with his grandparents in his
native place. Bred up in a country, every hill and river and plain of
which was linked in story with the deeds of the mighty men of old, it is
not to be wondered at that the mind of young O’Neill seized with avidity
every incident of the past connected with the condition and history of
his fatherland, or that the bias of his future life was given by his
meditations as he rambled along the slopes of Benburb, or traced the
victorious steps of his ancient sept, through the classic region where
his schoolboy days were passed. That it should be so is only natural;
for he is a kinsman, as well as namesake, of the great Hugh O’Neill who,
with his fearless followers, swept over Ulster and defeated so many of
England’s greatest generals, and brought the heads of some of her pets
to the block. And there is no doubt but that some of her favorites of
to-day shall be made to bite the dust ere the General has done with
them.

“General O’Neill is a man of calm temperament, but a firm will, which,
when excited, however, is stern and inflexible; uniting with this a good
education and gentlemanly address, with a mind bold, independent and
decisive. His person partakes of the character of his mind for if the
one never succumbed in the council, the other never bent in the field.
Few could imagine from his modest exterior the latent, fire and energy
which burn in his bosom. His manner is as unassuming as his mind is
noble; quiet, yet impervious to flattery or laudations, he seems at the
same time to pay due regard to popular opinion, without in the least
permitting it to influence him in the discharge of his duties.

“While he was yet quite young, the family of General O’Neill emigrated
to the United States, and his mother settled at Elizabeth, N.J., where
she still resides. He did not follow them until 1848, when he was
fourteen years of age. Having devoted some time to the completion of his
studies here, he determined to engage in commercial pursuits, and for
some time travelled as agent for some of the leading Catholic publishing
houses. In 1855 he opened a Catholic Book Store in Richmond, Va., and
while residing there became a member of the ‘Emmet Guard,’ then
the leading Irish organization in that section of the country. The
inclination thus manifested for the military profession soon proved to
be the ruling passion in the mind of the young Celt,--checked only by
the repugnance of his family towards the soldier’s life; for, in
1857, he gave up his business and entered the Second Regiment of U.S.
Cavalry--a regiment which has since furnished the most distinguished
officers who have figured on both sides during the late war.

“In the Regular Army, O’Neill rose steadily by his good character,
bravery and aptitude, no less than by his education and invariable
gentlemanly conduct. But though he has since filled positions of high
responsibility, he has often declared that one of the most pleasurable
emotions of his life was experienced when, for some meritorious act, he
received, from his commanding officer, his warrant of Corporal.

“At the outbreak of the war, the regiment with which he was serving
was recalled from California, and on the organization of the army under
McClellan, was attached to the Regular Cavalry Division, which took part
in the principal battles in the campaign of the Peninsula, during
which O’Neill was in command of Gen. Stoneman’s body guard. After the
withdrawal of the army from the Peninsula, he was dispatched to Indiana,
where he was retained for some time as instructor of cavalry, drilling
the officers of the force then being raised for the defence of
that portion of the Union against the incursions of the Confederate
guerillas. He subsequently entered the 5th Indiana Cavalry as Second
Lieutenant, and served with that regiment, during 1863, in the
operations against the Southern leaders in Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana
and Ohio. In these expeditions, which, whether in the nature of scouts,
reconnoisances or advances, generally took the shape of sharp running
fights, Lieut. O’Neill’s skill and daring not only attracted the
attention of his commanding officers, but further enlisted the
enthusiasm of the men, insomuch that, when one of those _sorties_
was ordered, the first question asked was always--‘Is O’Neill to lead
it?’--and if the answer was in the affirmative, no matter how jaded the
men might be, volunteers in any number were ready at once.

“There is no greater instance of personal bravery, or gallantry equal to
any emergency, than that related by Archbishop Purcell, of Cincinnati,
in his account of O’Neill’s encounter with Morgan, the famous guerilla;
and as many of our readers have not read the partial account given in
Mr. Savage’s ‘Fenian Heroes and Martyrs,’ it may prove of interest to
them, as his encounter with Morgan is more generally spoken of than
understood. Archbishop Purcell says:--

‘There is a remarkably brave officer suffering from diarrhoea,
contracted in a three month’s chase after Morgan, now in St. John’s
Hospital, in this city--Lieut. O’Neill, of the 5th Indiana Cavalry. His
mother resides in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Her adventurous boy enlisted
in the regular army at the time of the Mormon excitement in Utah; was
afterwards sent to California; was made Sergeant for distinguished
services on the Potomac; employed on a recruiting tour in Indiana, and
promoted to a Lieutenancy in the famous 5th Indiana cavalry.

‘Respecting his encounter with Hamilton’s rebel force, in May, the
Indianapolis papers spoke of the exploit of Lieut. O’Neill, and a
detachment of his company, as one of the most daring and brilliant
achievements of the war. The Lieutenant has kindly furnished us with
the following interesting account of the part he took in the defeat of
Morgan. The authorities here have recommended him for promotion to the
rank of Major.

‘INCIDENTS OF THE FIGHT WITH MORGAN, AT BUFFINGTON’S ISLAND, ON THE 20TH
OF JULY.

‘On the night of the 19th, about 10 o’clock, Gen. Judah, with his
cavalry and artillery command, left Pomeroy for Buffington. The General
sent First Lieutenant John O’Neill, of the 5th Indiana cavalry, with
fifty men, ahead, with instructions to try and open communications with
the militia, said to be in close proximity to the island. The Lieutenant
was delayed by losing the road during the night, and did not arrive
till about an hour and a half after daylight. He then learned that the
militia had been skirmishing with the enemy during the night, and that
Gen. Judah’s advance had been ambushed, the morning being foggy; and the
General’s Assistant Adjutant General, Capt. Rice, with some twenty-five
or thirty men and a piece of artillery, and Chief of Artillery, Capt.
Henshaw, had been captured and sent to Gen. Morgan’s headquarters on the
river road, some thirty miles ahead of him, on the enemy’s left flank.
The Lieutenant at once resolved to recapture what had been taken; and,
with his Spartan band, kept steadily on. Several parties tried to stop
him; but a volley from the “Sharp’s” carbines of his boys invariably
drove them back. At length he came on Morgan, with two regiments and a
body guard of one hundred men. The Lieutenant halted his men suddenly,
at an angle of the road, within one hundred and fifty paces. He gave the
command “ready,” and intended to have given them a volley; but seeing
some of his own men in front, he did not fire, but commanded “forward,”
 and dashed in amongst them. If he had fired, every shot must have told,
he was so close. Morgan, with his two regiments and body guard, ran
without firing a shot. All our prisoners were released, and about thirty
of the enemy taken. Some were killed and wounded. The Lieutenant pursued
Morgan about two miles clear off the field, and captured three pieces of
artillery, which he carried off with him. This was the last of Morgan on
the field. The Lieutenant cannot tell how many he killed or wounded, as
his fight was a running one, extending over four miles; but the surgeon
in charge of burying the dead and looking after the wounded, reported
that most of both were along the river where O’Neill had been.’

“The above, from Archbishop Purcell, is an unquestionable testimony of
the daring and audacity of the subject of this sketch in the field. The
_National Journal_, in giving an account of the same battle, says:

‘Lieutenant O’Neill, of the 5th Indiana Cavalry, now appeared by
another road, with but fifty men, and charged two different regiments so
desperately that they broke and left our captured guns, officers and men
in our possession.’

“The _Louisville Journal_, after relating an instance of O’Neill’s
personal bravery, says:

‘Lieutenant O’Neill is the same who, about two weeks ago, while out with
Col. Graham, on the Tennessee side of Cumberland, with twenty men as an
advanced guard, came up with Hamilton, having two hundred men drawn
up in line--charged and ran him thirteen miles, and with his own hand,
while ahead of his men, killed five--two of them with the sabre.’

“To go into detail, and give a minute account of the many instances
of gallantry, pluck and determination displayed by the subject of our
sketch, would be beyond the scope of our present purpose, as they, at
the same time, would only tend to multiply instances, without lending
any additional proof. But we cannot, as it directly bears on his
letter of resignation, with accompanying letters of endorsement from
distinguished Generals, pass over that singular and noble proof of
unexampled bravery--his assuming the command of his Colonel Butler, when
the latter showed signs of cowardice.

“The affair took place at Walker’s Ford, on Clinch River, in East
Tennessee, where the division to which O’Neill’s regiment was attached
was stationed, to dispute the passage of the Southern troops, which in
large force occupied the adjacent country. O’Neill had only a few days
before rejoined his command, after the illness incurred in his chase
after Morgan, and was at breakfast when the alarm was given that the
enemy had surprised the advanced guard, and were attacking in force.
Springing on his horse, he rallied the company of picked men he
commanded, and for a long time held the advancing forces of the enemy
in check, to give time for others to form line of battle. But the enemy
were rapidly getting in rear of the Union troops, and O’Neill fell back
on the main body of his regiment, just in time to hear his Colonel cry
out, ‘Oh, God! all is lost! save yourselves, men, the best way you can.
Nothing is left us but retreat!’ ‘Not by a long sight!’ shouted O’Neill,
as, sword in hand, he dashed in front of the mob of soldiers, upon whom
panic and the example of their commander were rapidly doing the work of
disorganization. ‘Men,’ continued he, turning to them, ‘all of you who
mean to _fight_, fall in with me.’ The effect was almost miraculous.
About one hundred and fifty of the fugitives rallied, and with these
he drove back the advancing columns of the enemy, saved the day, and,
though severely wounded in the action, remained master of the field.

“Of this attack, a correspondent of the Indianapolis _Daily Journal_, of
January, 1864, says:

‘The rebels, finding we were retreating, determined to drive us into
the river. About three hundred mounted men came over the hills, charging
Company “A,” 65th Indiana, and three companies of the 5th, commanded by
Col. Butler and Capt. Hodge. Our boys began to waver. The Colonel tried
to rally them to no effect, when O’Neill rode up and took command.
Taking a Henry rifle from one of the 65th boys, he commenced firing,
at the same time yelling at the men to charge them, which they did.
For about five minutes it was the most frightful scene I have ever
witnessed. Out of the three hundred Confederates, only about _twenty_
went back mounted, the balance being killed, wounded, and dismounted. A
rebel officer, afterwards taken, admitted the loss of twenty killed
and forty wounded in the charge. This so effectually checked them, and
convinced them that a charge would not pay, that we very easily held our
ground until the wagons and guns had crossed the river. But our brave
Lieutenant, O’Neill, received a wound in the thigh while we were making
our last stand. He rode out all day, never seeking shelter, cheering his
men. When other officers had given up all as lost, he replied, “Not by
a long sight.” He met with a hearty response from the men. We afterwards
learned that we were fighting three brigades, among them the “Texan
Rangers.”’

“There is no nobler instance of daring or pluck, or of presence of mind,
or decisiveness of character, equal to any crisis, than this. But what
is the sequel? The Colonel, narrow minded as he was cowardly, was piqued
at young O’Neill’s gallantry in repelling the attack, which at once
stamped himself with cowardice, and lowered him, as a consequence,
in the estimation of his brother officers. After the battle he sent a
report of the officers and non-commissioned officers whom he recommended
for promotion, _omitting the name of O’Neill_. This was a direct insult
to the man who displayed the most bravery, and had saved them from
a watery grave, a fiery death, or, worse than all, an ignominious
surrender. It at once aroused all that was stern in his nature--to have
such a coward offer him an insult. He went to the Colonel, and demanded
if it was true that he had sent the names of certain officers to the
Governor for promotion, and noncommissioned officers for commissions
over him, and omitted his name altogether. The Colonel replied in the
affirmative. ‘Then,’ said O’Neill, ‘I shall never serve another day in
your regiment.’

“We give these particulars in detail, as well as his resignation,
not only on account of its boldness, but as some people try to put a
different construction on the fact of his sending in his resignation at
that time. Conformably with his determination, he went to his quarters,
where, after a fortnight, he prepared his resignation, and sent it to
headquarters. In the interim, the Colonel sent one day to know if he
would drill the regiment. O’Neill sent back to know if it was an order
or a request; on being assured it was the latter, he complied. He was
expecting to be arrested every day; but the Colonel was too much of a
coward, as he was afraid the consequences would be rather unpleasant.
After a few weeks, his resignation was sent to headquarters, with
letters of disapproval--but endorsing his complaints, and testifying to
his bravery and efficiency--from Gens. Sturges and Stoneman. Comments
on these letters would be superfluous, as they speak forcibly for
themselves.

  “CAMP NEAR PARIS, KENTUCKY, April 7th, 1864.

  “Sir: I have the honor herewith to tender my resignation as First
  Lieutenant of Company ‘I,’ 5th Cavalry, 90th Regiment Indiana
  Volunteers, on account of promotions in the regiment, which have
  placed men over me whom I cannot consistently serve under. Some of
  them, Captains, have been Sergeants in the same regiment since I
  have been First Lieutenant; and while I have a high regard for these
  officers personally, I can never allow myself to be commanded by
  them in the field.

  “I served in the regular army nearly four years, in Utah,
  California, and on the Peninsula: as private, Corporal, Sergeant,
  and acting-Sergeant-Major, and have been in the regiment, as
  Lieutenant, sixteen months.

  “The enclosed copies of letters from Generals Hodson, Judah and
  Stoneman, with others from the present Colonel of my regiment, and
  the former, Colonel Graham, recommending me to Governor Morton, for
  the position of field-officer in one of the regiments being
  organized in Indiana, will show that I am not undeserving of
  promotion in my own regiment, and that I have some cause to be
  dissatisfied with not receiving it, and with having officers placed
  over me whom, in point of military knowledge and experience, I
  cannot regard as my superiors.

  “I certify, on honor, that I am not indebted to the United States
  on any account whatever, and that I am not responsible for any
  government property, except what I am prepared to turn over to the
  proper officer on the acceptance of my resignation, and that I was
  last paid by Major Haggerty to include the twenty-ninth of February,
  1864.

  “Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

  “JOHN O’NEILL, First Lieut., Co. ‘I,’ 5th Ind. Cav.

“Rather a bold epistle this! He tells his commander squarely he will
not serve under officers whom he considers his inferiors in military
knowledge. We shall now give the accompanying letters to which he
refers, from Generals Sturges, Judah and Stoneman, which furnish
unquestionable proof of his ability and military capacity. These
letters, from men of fine military experience, are very high references
of O’Neill’s ability. The following is that from Major-General
Stoneman:--

  “HEADQUARTERS 23D ARMY CORPS, March 8th, 1864.

  “I knew Lieut. O’Neill well on the Peninsula, and as a brave and
  worthy officer, in whose judgment and capacity I had the greatest
  confidence. I hope he will receive the promotion to which his merits
  entitle him, that of a field-officer in a colored regiment.

  “GEORGE STONEMAN, Major-Gen., Com’g. Corps.

“That from General Judah is equally as commendatory. If the one refers
to his bravery on the Peninsula, the other testifies equally to his
daring during the war:--

  “HEADQUARTERS SECOND DIVISION, 23D ARMY CORPS,
  In camp near Mossy Creek, Tenn., March 7th, 1864.

  “It gives me pleasure to state that, from personal observation, I
  deem Lieut. John O’Neill, of the 5th Indiana Cavalry, one of the most
  _gallant_ and _efficient_ officers it has been my duty to command.
  His daring and services have been conspicuous, and I trust he may
  receive what he has so ably merited--his promotion.

  “H.M. JUDAH, Brig.-Gen., Com’g. Division.

“The following endorsement, written on the resignation by General
Sturges, when forwarded to the headquarters, shows that if merit,
military and personal, could meet with its reward, Lieut. O’Neill should
get speedy promotion:--

  “HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY CORPS,
  PARIS, KY., April 7th, 1864.

  “Disapproved and respectfully forwarded.

  “This is an excellent officer--too valuable, indeed, to be lost to
  the service. He was severely wounded near Tazewell, under Colonel
  Graham, last December, and is estimated as one of the best officers
  of my command. This is not the only resignation which has been
  offered on account of the promotions of inferiors having been made
  in the 5th Indiana Cavalry over the heads of superiors, based upon
  political or other considerations, and altogether regardless of
  merit. By this system junior and meritorious officers find
  themselves cut off from all hope of advancement, and compelled to
  serve subordinate to others for whose qualifications they can
  entertain no respect.

  “While, therefore, I disapprove his resignation for the public
  good, I would respectfully urge that some policy be initiated
  or recommended by which officers can see the way open for their
  advancement according to merit.

  “Respectfully,

  “L.D. STURGES, Brig.-Gen. Com’g.

“The following was the reply from Headquarters:--

  “HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO,
  KNOXVILLE, TENN., April 16, 1864

  “Respectfully returned from this Headquarters, Cavalry Corps, to
  Lieut. John O’Neill, 5th Indiana Cavalry.

  “There appears to be no remedy for the evil referred to by General
  Sturges.

  “By command of

  “MAJOR GEN. SCHOFIELD.

  “R. MOORE, Ass’t. Adj’t. Gen.

“Such attestations of the bravery, military skill and high moral
character of General O’Neill, coming from his companions in arms, from
the public press, and from Generals of experience and high position,
form a record of which any man might be proud. Comment on them is
unnecessary, as they speak forcibly for themselves. Of his noble
spirit, decisiveness in the hour of danger, ability, pure character, and
gentlemanly bearing, we have produced overwhelming testimony; but as he
is now before the public in so very prominent a manner, it is necessary
that the people should know minutely his every act and the nature of the
man under whose leadership the Irish Nationalists in America are about
to renew the good old fight for loved Erin’s disenthralment. No matter
whether on the field or in the drawing-room, his calmness of deportment
and gentlemanly bearing are the same. The simplest child he would no
more offend than the most powerful man. Uniting with such gentleness and
heroic bravery, precise military knowledge, and a pure patriotism, may
not Irishmen hope that in him they have found the man who is destined to
lead them on to victory and liberty. In whatever sphere he moves, he is
universally endeared to all; for

  ‘In him is the heart of a woman, combined
   With a heroic life and a governing mind.’

“In the movement on Canada, in 1866, Gen. O’Neill sacrificed a business
which, in a few years, would have made him a wealthy man. But he did so
without hesitation; for he loved his country, and had pledged his life
to her service. With the contingent raised by him in Tennessee, he
proceeded to Buffalo, where, finding himself the senior officer, he
assumed command of the troops there assembled, and, in obedience to the
orders he had received, crossed the Niagara river, at the head of six
hundred men, on the night of the 31st of May, and raised the Green Flag
once more on the soil of the enemy. On the following evening, receiving
information that the British forces were marching against him to the
number of five thousand, in two distinct columns, he resolved to fight
them in detail, and by a rapid march got between them. On the morning
of the 2d of June, at Ridgeway, he struck them under Booker; and, though
the enemy out-numbered his force _four to one_, routed them signally.
Falling back on his original position at Fort Erie, he there learned
that the United States Government had stopped the movement at other
points, and arrested its leaders. Under the circumstances, nothing more
could be done, at that time; and he was reluctantly obliged to re-cross
the Niagara, and surrender to the United States forces. That he only
did so under the pressure of necessity, is attested by his offer to the
Committee in Buffalo to hold his ground, as his own report of the battle
of Ridgeway attests, in which he simply says:

‘But if a movement was going on elsewhere, I was perfectly willing to
make the Old Fort a slaughter pen, which I knew it would be the next day
if I remained; _for I would never have surrendered!_’

“At the Cleveland Convention of the Fenian Brotherhood, in September,
1867, General O’Neill was elected a Senator of that body; and having
been chosen Vice President on the resignation of that office by James
Gibbons, Esq., he succeeded President W.R. Roberts, on the resignation
of that gentleman, Dec. 31, 1867.

“We have thus briefly sketched the principal incidents of General
O’Neill’s career, and, in conclusion, may venture to say that a more
stainless, or meritorious, could scarcely be presented to the public.
His whole history incontrovertibly illustrates as noble, determined and
daring a character as ever led a brave but enslaved people to victory.

“We could supplement this with various other official documents and
accounts, serving, if such were possible, to illustrate still further
the proud daring and exalted spirit of this worthy son of an illustrious
past; but shall, at this particular point of our story, content
ourselves with what has just been said. We might, were we so inclined,
introduce, also, various other Irish names that shone forth with
unrivalled splendor during the late war, and point to the thousands
upon thousands of Irish rank and file that, on numerous fields, piled up
ramparts of dead around the glorious flag of the Union; but such would
not serve our purpose here, as we are restricted in relation to the task
before us; and as the fact of the exploits and the bravery of hosts
of our loyal countrymen are known to the government and people of this
Republic. Sufficient to say, however, that amongst all those of our race
who fought and bled in defence of the North, and the integrity of the
Commonwealth, there was not to be found one individual who evinced more
profound judgment than he in handling the forces at his command, or
more cool daring, or instances of personal bravery, as well as that
tremendous and overwhelming dash, which gained for Ney the proud
appellation, ‘the bravest of the brave?’ and placed the Marshals of
France amongst the foremost in history.

“From out of this fierce civil contest, then, it is obvious from all
that we have just said, that Fenianism, in its military aspect, received
the largest and most important accessions. At the close of the conflict,
thousands upon thousands of veterans joined its standard; and thus, in
an incredibly short period, its warlike character became intensified,
until, at last, the organization on the American continent loomed up
before England with an aspect so threatening and a purpose so apparent,
that she instantly set about putting her house in order, and began
to glance in the direction of making some cunning, though paltry,
concessions to Ireland.

“If, however, the military circles of the Brotherhood were distinguished
by the accession of many brave and patriotic soldiers, at the juncture
already referred to, the organization, in its civil aspect, was not
less fortunate or noticeable. Led triumphantly through some of the most
difficult phases of its existence, by such self-sacrificing and noble
patriots as Colonel W.R. Roberts, of New York, its late President, and
James Gibbons, Esq., of Philadelphia, its present Vice President--than
whom two more disinterested and sterling Sons of the Sod do not
exist--its basis enlarged and strengthened, we say, by such men as
these, and the able and truehearted Senators that surrounded them, the
Brotherhood, at the close of the war, was in a condition sufficiently
exalted to attract to its centre many of the ablest soldiers who had
fought on the side of the Union, and who, with their numerous and
respective followings, were ready to evince their love of liberty and
republican institutions further, by resuming their swords and striking
home for the freedom of poor, down-trodden Ireland, against a tyrant the
most infamous that has ever existed, and to whom America owes a debt
of vengeance, that, under any circumstances, cannot fail to be one day
repaid with tenfold interest.

“And so this grand confraternity of patriots prospered and became the
greatest and most powerful that has ever appeared upon the theatre of
human existence. To be sure, in a body so numerous and all but ramified
throughout every portion of the habitable globe, there have been some
unworthy members, who fell before the love of gain, or British gold;
but, then, and with pride we say it, taking the gigantic proportions of
the organization into consideration, and the temptations to sin which
have been so constantly placed before it by that blood-thirsty assassin,
England, it stands, by comparison, pre-eminently pure above any other
similar revolutionary body that has ever obtained in either hemisphere,
or in any age of the world. Up to the present hour, under the protection
and guidance of a Divine providence, it has surmounted every difficulty
that has beset it. It has outlived whatever of treason or mismanagement
obtained in its own bosom; it has survived the cruel calumnies and
falsehoods of a traitorous and subsidized press, and the machinations of
that dangerous English element that sometimes steals into high places,
and which has so often interfered with the true interests of America
within her own borders, as well as touching her foreign relations. These
and many either untoward influences it has surmounted; until, now, it
stands upon a pedestal beyond the reach of danger; not only from
its great inherent strength and virtue, but from its all but
incomprehensible ubiquity, and positive existence in every land and
clime. How futile, then, the efforts of its enemies to crush it either
by ungenerous legislation, or through the propagation of falsehood.
Fenianism is a power founded upon the immutable principles of truth and
justice; and is, therefore, indestructible. Consequently, until it has
achieved the grand and holy objects that it has set before it, it must
win its way to triumph, step by step, if needs be no matter what the
magnitude or the number of the difficulties that beset it.”



CHAPTER VIII.


Early as Barry was up on the morning following his introduction to the
reader, he found Tom and Greaves in the bar-room, discussing one of
O’Brien’s favorite decoctions, which was averred to possess the virtue
of giving a “fillip” to the lagging appetite, and attuning it to the
healthiest possible breakfast pitch. Nicholas, although not addicted
to early potations, was prevailed upon to join the party. During, the
friendly conversation which accompanied this faithless libation to the
Goddess of Health, Greaves observed that while he did not feel himself
at liberty to speak freely in the mixed company of the preceding
evening, notwithstanding what might have been termed his unfriendly
insinuations in relation to Ireland, he was himself a true friend of
Irish freedom; and, on all befitting occasions, an humble champion of
her total and unequivocal independence of England. Here he produced a
letter, from a secret pocket in the lining of his vest, which he handed
to Tom for hasty perusal; remarking, at the same time, that he well knew
to whom he was submitting it. A hurried glance at the contents induced
O’Brien to open his eyes wider than they had been opened for some time,
and to regard his companion with an almost bewildered stare!

“Sure enough, it’s his handwritin, and it’s as thrue as the sun,”
 ejaculated Tom, as he folded up the letter and returned it to the owner,
“and it’s a different opinion both Nick and myself had of you last
night, although sorry I am for it now; and there’s my hand for you.”

“What’s up now?” retorted Barry, well knowing that O’Brien would never
have offered his hand to Greaves, unless there were good reasons for it.

“Nothin’ more,” returned Tom, “beyond that we had formed a wrong opinion
of our frind here, last night; for, instead of his bein’ what I was
half inclined to take him for, he cannot fail to be other than the right
stamp, or he never could have that letther in his pocket.”

“That’s enough for me, Tom,” replied Barry, extending his hand to
Greaves, “for whoever you endorse is sure to pass muster, in this place,
at least.”

The conversation here became low and confidential; being interrupted
only by an occasional customer who dropped in to take his “morning;”
 until, at last, breakfast was announced, and the soldier and Greaves,
taking the hint, were soon snugly seated side by side in the little
parlor of the preceding night, at a neat and comfortable table, smoking
with some of the good things which so constantly characterized The
Harp. O’Brien, from his other avocations, was unable to join them at
the moment; so they both conversed freely on the topic that had just
commanded their attention in the bar, and which referred to neither more
nor less than the intended invasion of Canada by the army of the Irish
Republic, then said to be preparing for a descent upon the Provinces,
in the neighboring Union. Nicholas was unable to give any definite
information upon the matter; as the authorities of the organization in
the United States were very reticent regarding it, and Greaves himself
appeared but little better informed. Barry, however, expressed the
opinion that, if any man in Canada had thorough information on the
point, it was Tom; although he himself had no very tangible grounds for
making the observation, notwithstanding the strength of his surmises.

“Do you not belong to the organization yourself, and if you do,
ought you not to be in possession of some facts on this all-important
movement?” rejoined Greaves, “and if you are not a member, surely you
are sufficiently true to Ireland to have been informed, to some extent
at least, in regard to it, by your friend O’Brien, who is, I learn, a
Centre here.”

“Well, strange as it may appear,” returned the other, “I don’t belong to
the Brotherhood, not having, yet had an opportunity to join it; and
as for Tom, whatever my suspicions may be, I really am unable to say
positively that he is in any degree connected with the organization;
although I am sensible that his sympathies, like my own, lie in that
direction.”

“How is your regiment situated on this point,” remarked Greaves,
leisurely breaking an egg and commencing to chip the shell.

“A good many of my way of thinking,” replied the other; “but, as you
know, it is necessary to be cautious, as not only is the commanding
officer a tartar, but most of the swords and sashes are of the same
kidney. The fact of the case is, however, several of our fellows have
deserted, and no doubt will join the organization in the States, and
render good service to the cause there, in a military point of view.”

“Why don’t you follow their example and do something for your poor,
down-trodden country,” said Philip in reply, “seeing that now is the
time she needs the service of all her children?”

“There is no necessity for my deserting,” rejoined Barry, “for I have
already applied for my discharge, which I expect to receive this
very day; so that ere the sun sets, in all probability, I shall be a
freeman.”

Greaves became silent here for a few moments, as if revolving something
in his mind, when, lifting his head again, he resumed the conversation
by asking:

“Are strangers permitted to visit the Fort? If so, I should be very glad
to take a peep at it this morning, as I shall have a few boars to spare
before I can do any business, or rather before the parties I have come
to see will be prepared to meet me.”

“Why, not as a general thing, just now,” returned Nicholas, “but I think
you may be able to gain admittance if you are accompanied by me, who
will, of course, vouch to the sentry for you.”

“Then if you allow me,” said Greaves, “I shall avail myself of your kind
invitation, and cross the bridge with you after we have breakfasted, for
I can well imagine that during a period when such rumors are afloat, the
Commandant as rather chary of permitting strangers to enter his gates.”

In this strain the conversation flowed until breakfast was ended, when
the friends proposed to sally forth from the Harp, and wend their way to
the point already mentioned. As Barry was leaving the bar-room, however,
Tom whispered something in his ear, which appeared to puzzle him for a
moment, but returning a keen glance of recognition, both he and Greaves
passed out into the cool, fresh morning-air, and began slowly wending
their way to the Fort.

There being as yet no special order about the admission of strangers,
Greaves, with Nicholas by his side, passed the sentry without question,
and proceeded to the canteen, which, early as it was, showed some signs
of life. Here Barry introduced his new acquaintance to many of his
comrades; but in such common place terms, as to attract no attention
whatever on the part of any person. Being for parade, however, he was
obliged to leave his friend in other keeping, for a short period, and so
hastened to the barrack-room to prepare himself for his morning duties.
During the interval of his absence, Greaves stepped out of the canteen,
alone, and learning that the Colonel was speaking to some of the
officers near the parade ground, made his way towards where the group
was standing, and crossing the path of the Colonel as he was walking
towards his quarters, accosted him in a manner which soon arrested the
progress and attention of that officer, and brought him to a dead halt.
The conversation was brief and rapid, while a slip of paper thrust into
the hands of the Colonel, by Greaves, seemed to place both on a strange
footing of recognition. So brief was the interview, that it was not
observed by any individual in the garrison; and so quickly did Greaves
return to the canteen, that his absence was scarcely noticed. Here Barry
found him as he had left him, making himself agreeable to the soldiers;
being more than liberal in paying for all they drank. As the bugle
sounded for parade, he bid our young hero “good bye for the present,”
 and leaving the Fort, proceeded to retrace his steps towards the town,
or city, as it may be called.

When he arrived here, instead of returning to The Harp, he bent his
steps in another direction, and entered a hotel that was in every
relation the very antipodes of the establishment in which he had passed
the night. Here, in every direction, were to be found the traces of an
English spirit and blind adhesion to wretched and exploded traditions.
In the office hung the portrait of the cruel Queen of England, and that
of her defunct consort, whose injustice and pedantry were so snubbed
by the illustrious Humboldt. Here, too, were to be seen the likeness
of the--iron-hearted, it should have been--Duke, presenting a birth-day
present, or something of the sort, to a moonfaced yonker that sat fair
and plump upon the knee of its royal mother. In another corner was to be
found a representation of the Prince of Wales, for whose head and
face the engraver had done infinitely more than nature; while directly
opposite stood, in a dark, heavy frame, the one-armed hero of the Nile,
who owed so much of his fame to poor Emma Harte--the unfortunate Lady
Hamilton, who, after having conferred the most serious benefits upon
England, was permitted to starve, with her daughter, in a garret
somewhere in or near Calais; while some of the spurious offspring of
orange and ballet girls filled many of the highest offices in the land
she had so often served.

In this establishment the subject of Fenianism was discussed as a
leading topic, in a manner quite different from the style in which it
was treated at the Harp. Here no voice was raised in its favor--no word
of justification advanced in its behalf. Still, although its importance
was ignored ostensibly, there were a nervousness and misgiving about
some of those who conversed upon it, which showed that they were ill at
ease. There seemed, in addition, to be some vague sense of insecurity
preying upon them, which could only have originated in their want of
confidence in themselves, or in some person or persons to whom were
entrusted the gravest interests of the Province. This was the more
obvious, from the fact, that, from time to time, mysterious and
half-whispered enquiries were made, in reference to one particular
individual, whose state of health or mind seemed at the moment to
engross no ordinary share of the attention of the numerous guests that
filled the bar or office, for the apartment was used as both.

Greaves listened with open ears to all that transpired, and, after
inspecting the hotel register, took up a morning paper and seated
himself in an arm-chair at his side. While engaged, as he feigned to
be, in perusing the news, although actually endeavoring to catch every
whisper that floated around him, he gathered, that, for the week or
ten days proceeding, one of the most important functionaries in the
Province, who, although a clever man, was sorely addicted to fits of
intemperence, was now, while the country was convulsed with gloomy
forebodings, regarding Fenianism, again passing through one of his
prolonged and fearful drinking bouts, and totally unfit to pay even the
slightest attention to the momentous business of his office. Already, it
was averred, numerous dispatches, of the most vital moment, were lying
unopened upon his table, where they were scattered, wet and stained with
wine and debauch, some of them having, as it was urged, been obviously
disfigured, in part, for the purpose, perhaps, of lighting cigars;
while, pale, wretched and half insane, the miserable creature to whom
they were addressed, reclined on a sofa by their side, jabbering to
a few bloated boon companions, obscene jests and amusing anecdotes,
through which the fire of his own native wit sometimes shot brilliantly,
though but for a single moment. This, we say. Greaves gathered from the
conversation around him, and as in one or two cases he perceived, on the
part of the speakers, scarcely any desire to preserve a tone of secrecy
on the subject, he felt pretty much assured, that the case was a bad
one indeed, and that the individual who could so far forget his own
interests for the sake of the bottle, and who could be tolerated in any
position of high trust in the State, while addicted to vices of such
a character, not to mention others, thought by the Hamilton _Quarterly
Review_ to be of a graver nature were that possible, must be sustained
by the influence of persons terribly deluded, or creatures vile in their
degree in turn, and who, like himself, were regardless of the trust
reposed in them by the people. And yet, as Greaves afterwards learned,
this same man came to Canada a poor, bare-footed, Scotch lad, with a
father whose only fortune was an old fiddle, and that inexorable but
praiseworthy characteristic of his country--a determination to collect
the bawbees at whatever shrine first presented itself on the shores of
the New World. Be this as it may, the daily press of the Province has
since verified the correctness of the whispers heard by Greaves,
and made public the accusation, that this individual, so recently
distinguished by a mark of royal favor, for three weeks previous to the
invasion of Canada, was so lost in a whirlpool of the most deplorable
intemperance, as to be utterly incapable of opening or attending to the
important dispatches which lay scattered and unheeded upon his bedroom
table.

When Greaves returned to The Harp, he found O’Brien in a state of great
excitement. A soldier, as it appeared, had just arrived from the Fort,
with the information that the Colonel, on second consideration, did not
find it justifiable to apply for Barry’s discharge, at a moment when
the country was threatened with danger; and that, as the regiment
should soon be ordered home, as he was assured, he had determined not to
recommend any discharges until it had reached England. This intelligence
had been conveyed to Nicholas by the Colonel in person, after parade,
and in a manner which precluded the slightest hope of its being reversed
by any succeeding alteration of opinion on the part of the individual
who communicated it. A thunderbolt, had it fallen at the feet of the
young soldier, could not have startled or paralyzed him more. He was
actually struck dumb by it Here was the chalice dashed from his lips
at last. He turned away in despair; but as he was for duty, he was
constrained to smother the tumultuous feelings within his breast. When
alone, however, and pacing his lonely round with his musket on his
shoulder, he had time to measure, with sufficient calmness and accuracy,
the length, breadth and depth of the great misfortunes that had befallen
him. There was but one course left open to him. He had sought to
purchase his discharge and leave the service, without the taint of
desertion attaching to his name amongst any of his comrades, although he
felt that he was not morally bound to remain in the service of England,
for a single moment longer than it served his own private ends.
Desertion, then, was the only course left open to him, and he was
determined to follow it, upon the first fitting opportunity. Another
reason why he would rather have been discharged in the ordinary manner
from the service: if he once deserted he should never again, with any
degree of security, visit any portion of the British dominions; and
as Canada lay so close beside the United States, he would gladly have
avoided the inconvenience of being shut out from it, as O’Brien and more
than one of his friends resided there. However, there was now no help
for it; to England he should never return, and so he disposed of the
matter in his own bosom. When relieved of duty, then, and with his
purpose fixed firmly in his heart, he once again visited The Harp,
where he found Tom and Greaves lamenting over the intelligence of his
misfortune, and to whom, in a moment of anxiety and excitement, he
disclosed his determination to quit the service, and gain the shores
of the neighboring Republic the first favorable moment that presented
itself. Tom appeared somewhat agitated if not alarmed; at so serious
a disclosure, made with such apparent unconcern; and it was only when
Barry remembered the hint of the morning, which O’Brien gave him as he
was about proceeding to the garrison, that he, himself, felt that he had
perhaps been too incautious and precipitate before a person who, after
all, was but a stranger to him, although apparently a kindly one. The
cat being out of the bag, however, there was now no help for it; and
as Greaves seemed to enter warmly into the project, and even offered to
share his purse with Nicholas, if there was any necessity for it, the
matter was allowed to rest as it was, and suspicion of Greaves, if any
remained in the breast of either the soldier or Tom, was driven into the
background, and constrained to remain in abeyance for the time being.

When Barry again returned to his quarters, he freely discussed his
disappointment among his comrades, and declared his determination to
lay the matter before the Commander-in-Chief, averring, with great
earnestness, that he had always done his duty, and that he was not
accountable for the state of the country, and should not be called upon
to suffer for a condition of things outside and beyond his control, and
which he was in no manner instrumental in bringing about. His argument
seemed plausible enough, but then what, at any time, his argument, when
it ran counter to the desires or intentions of his commanding officer?
Therefore, the matter, after having been subjected to due discussion,
was allowed to fall asleep in the usual stereotyped style; although as
may be supposed, there were one or two breasts, at least, that were kept
alive and active by it. Nicholas, believing that any intelligence of his
embarrassment on the subject would but perplex and pain Kate, determined
not to write to her regarding it, but to be the first to bear her the
news himself. As already observed, she had written to him to procure
his discharge at the earliest possible moment, and now to learn that
his freedom was jeopardized for an indefinite period, involving, in
addition, his return to England first, would be a renewal of her old
agony. This he was determined to spare her; so, to those of his company
in whom he could confide, and who were themselves ripe for any project
that would tend to their total disseverment from the flag they so
detested, he cautiously communicated his intentions, finding, in return,
that more than one of them were on the eve of trying their fortune in
the same manner. Soon, then, a sturdy little band had determined to
leave the Fort, whatever night Barry should pitch upon; premising, of
course, that it should be some one on which he would be on duty, and at
a favorable point.

This much arranged, Greaves and Tom were made acquainted with the whole
particulars of the plot; the former entering, to all appearance, heart
and soul into it, and furthering it in every manner within the limits
of his power. In fact, Greaves was actually behaving in a manner which
staggered some suspicions still entertained by Tom, notwithstanding the
letter to which reference has already been made, for he agreed to assist
in forwarding the escape of one of Nicholas’ company that had deserted
sometime previously, and was still concealed in the outskirts of the
town, in a place known to Barry only, and where he was hemmed in by
detectives from his regiment that were continually traversing the city
in colored clothes, or stationed as look-outs at certain points in its
vicinity. Barry was most anxious that this poor fellow should not be
left behind, and as Greaves promised to procure a disguise for him and
have him conveyed secretly to Tom’s on the night that the project of
leaving the Fort was to be put into execution, Barry, at the request of
Greaves, penned a note, which he hastily sealed with a love device well
known to the deserter, and which he had himself received at the hands of
the beautiful girl of his heart. The note ran thus:--

  “Place the fullest confidence in the bearer. Follow his directions
  implicitly. Your fate hangs in the balance. He will lead you to
  where we shall meet. In great haste, &c.,

  “NICHOLAS BARRY.”

This note he handed to Greaves, who immediately consigned it to his
pocket-book, and set forth, as he alleged, to reconoitre the hiding
place of the soldier, and make such arrangements in his behalf as the
necessities of the case required.

As the brief missive just quoted was written in O’Brien’s, and in the
presence of Tom himself, when Greaves left the premises, the host with
some uneasiness observed:--

“I don’t know how it is, Nick, but somehow or other I cannot divest
myself of sartain lurkin suspicions which I have of that man; although
there is not a single Irish Nationalist in the city that would not offer
him his hand and a glass afther seein the letther that I saw. However,
you will remimber that the first night he came I didn’t warm to him,
as I tould you, notwithstandin that I had to give up the next mornin.
Still, and withal he appears to be actin fair, although I can’t make out
exactly what he’s about here. Any way, in for a pinny in for a pound,
so we must make the best of it; but, if I find that he is playin
foul--well, God Almighty help him, and that’s all I’ll say. However,
three nights from this will tell the whole story, and if you all make
good your escape, you may take my word for it, I’ll make a clane breast
of it to him and ask his pardon into the bargain. I think with you that
it was wise not to write to Kate about your throuble and disappointment,
or apprise her of your intintion, as it would only agonize the poor
craytshure; but should you be foiled and taken, what a dreadful thing
it would be for her to hear instead of the intelligence of your freedom,
that you were in the depths of a dungeon from which you might have no
manes of escape for years!”

Barry absolutely shuddered at the possibility of such a _denouement_ to
the scheme that now absorbed his whole mind and soul. Although sensible
of the risk he ran, he never paused to regard the peculiar features of
the case as presented by his friend; but now that they loomed up before
him in such bold and fearful relief, he almost shrank from pushing
farther the dangerous project he had undertaken. Yet, there was no other
channel through which he could hope to become speedily the husband of
the woman he loved; while, if he abandoned it, he might probably be
separated from her forever, as he felt convinced, that should an ocean
roll once more between them, she would not long survive the calamity. In
a moment, then, the faintness of his heart had passed away, and in
its stead came the firm resolve to prosecute his design to the death;
feeling that imprisonment for any term of years on the shores trodden
by the being he adored, was preferable to freedom, such as it was, in a
land cut off from her by the trackless desert of the great deep.

Re-assured once more, then, he continued cautiously the preparations
for his departure, attending to his duties with his usual assiduity, and
still murmuring at the decision of the Colonel. Neither he nor Tom,
of course, ever approached the hiding place of the refugee already
mentioned, although they managed to hear from him occasionally, and
to keep his spirits up. Had either, by day or night, ventured near
his retreat, they could scarcely have escaped notice--the one from his
soldier’s uniform and the other from his remarkable height and personal
appearance; they were, therefore, with all their misgivings, relieved of
their embarrassment in this relation, by the generous offer of Greaves,
who, as it seemed, had abundance of means at his command to further any
project that he might think proper to undertake relative to the escape
of the deserter, or those who had now determined to join him.

In this way, then, matters stood on the very evening which was to close
in the night selected by the intending fugitives, to put their designs
into execution. Everything was ready, and as the clock struck twelve and
the streets of the city were partially deserted, a cab rumbled up to
the door of The Harp, and Greaves and a stranger, muffled to the eyes,
stepping from it, entered the establishment and passed through the bar
into Tom’s little parlor. Greaves had kept his faith--the stranger was
the deserter!



CHAPTER IX.


As might be presumed, from what we have already said regarding Kate
McCarthy, from the moment she took up her abode with her relatives at
Buffalo, she resumed her industrious habits, and set to work, in real
earnest, to add something to whatever young Barry had realized from his
own abilities and steady conduct on both sides of the Atlantic; for,
since his arrival in Canada, he had plied his pen amongst his comrades,
and in other quarters, copying papers and instructing the children of
the soldiers where he was stationed. She consequently soon found her
little store increased, and her time fully occupied. In music and the
earlier branches of English, she had several young pupils; while
for some of the fancy millinery stores of the city, she occasionally
employed her needle on some of those delicate and exquisite ornaments of
female dress which are at once so expensive and attractive. Her labors
were, of course, cheered through constant intercourse by letter with
Barry; and so the time rolled on up to the very point when Nicholas
first applied for his discharge. It may be considered strange, that
Barry had not left the service on his first arrival in Canada; but,
then, let it be understood, that neither he nor Kate had yet acquired
sufficient means with which to begin the world; while both were steadily
accumulating a little, slowly but safely; and when, besides, he felt
assured, that having the means at his command, he could, at any moment,
procure his discharge. We have already said, that owing to his proud
and unyielding nature, he was not a favorite with his officers, and that
such being the case, he never ‘rose above the ranks; but, then, after
all, the most of his superiors had, at times, recourse to his pen and
excellent education in various matters connected with the regiment,
requiting him for his services handsomely enough; but still at enmity
with his Irish blood, and what they feared was, his anti-British
tendencies. Such inducements as these, although accompanied with
drawbacks, moved him to remain in the service for a longer period than
he should have done under other circumstances, and reconciled his lover
to an absence which she believed could be terminated at any moment. And
so time sped with her, until the eve of the very day, on the night of
which Barry and his comrades were to leave the Fort, when returning
towards her home in the direction of Black Bock, from the city, just
as it began to get dusk, she was met by an over-dressed stranger, who
accosting her in a most respectful manner, begged to know if she could
direct him to the residence of Miss Kate McCarthy.

After recovering her surprise, and casting a searching glance at her
interrogator, she replied, that she was, herself, Miss McCarthy, and
begged to know what was his business with her. The man appeared to
hesitate, as if not crediting her assertion, and proceeded to say, that
he had a message for Miss McCarthy, but that he was led to believe that
that lady was a much older person than the one whom he now addressed.

“Possibly,” returned Kate, “there is some other lady of my name here;
but if such be the case, I am totally unaware of it. However,” she
continued, “as I expect no message from any person of my acquaintance,
doubtless I am not the person you seek,” and bowing slightly to the
stranger, she turned to pursue her way in the direction of her home.

“I beg your pardon for attempting to delay you,” rejoined the stranger,
“but after all, you may be the lady I seek. If you are,” he went on to
say, “you will be apt to recognize this token;” holding something in his
hand, which he now thrust out towards her.

In an instant, her whole manner altered, her cheeks flushed, and a
strange light burned in her eyes, as she exclaimed hurriedly, and while
greatly agitated:

“Yes, I am the person; let us walk towards the house. It is but a short
distance from where we stand.”

In a few moments, they were both engaged in the most earnest
conversation, and evidently entering into some stipulation that was to
be carried out without delay. On nearing her residence, however, the
stranger expressed his opinion, that it were better that he should
return to the city at once, and make some arrangements in connection
with the subject of their conversation, whatever that was; enforcing
upon her, in the meantime, the most profound secrecy, and the strange
necessity, above all things, of not informing any of her friends or
relations of the project upon which they had decided.

“Twelve o’clock, at the Lower Ferry, then!” observed the stranger, as he
turned his face towards the city.

“Twelve o’clock!” she returned. “No fear! I shall be awaiting you!”

When she entered the house, with a view to concealing her emotions and
making some secret preparations for the accomplishment of the sudden
project foreshadowed by the words of the stranger, she hastily gained
her chamber. When alone, she gazed confused yet enraptured on the
unexpected talisman that had been given her, and which she still held
firmly in her grasp. Soon, however, becoming more calm, she set about
making such arrangements for her midnight tryst as she conceived
necessary; upon the completion of which, she penned a few lines to her
kind relatives, begging them to make no inquiries after her, as she was
safe; although, for reasons afterwards to be explained, she was obliged
to leave their roof by stealth, and for the moment in utter darkness as
to her destination. She assured them, nevertheless, that although her
conduct was for the present suspicious and inexplicable, she was free
from any taint of wrong, and was only obeying a voice that would soon
justify to the fullest, and before them personally, the step she was
now about to take. This note was left upon her bed-room table, where she
knew it would be discovered; so, after declining to join the family at
tea, on the plea of slight indisposition, she filled a traveling satchel
with what necessaries she thought she might require for the few days she
presumed she should be absent, and extinguishing her lamp at the hour
she usually retired to rest, awaited, alone and in silence, for the
clock to strike eleven; at which time she knew the family would have all
sought their couch and be sunk in slumber.

From her chamber window she perceived that the lights soon began to
disappear from the casements of the few dwellings that were in the
immediate vicinity of her habitation, and that the quiet of repose
was stealing over the neighborhood. Busied with her own thoughts,
and anxious for the future, the time for her departure drew nigh more
rapidly than she had anticipated; so, when the last stroke of eleven had
died away through the house, she, having previously attired herself
for her journey, and secured, about her person, whatever money she
possessed, took up her satchel, and cautiously descending the stairs,
soon emerged out into the gloomy night, hastily bending her footsteps
towards the place of rendezvouz.

Here, besides encountering the individual already introduced to the
reader, who was waiting for her, she having had to travel a considerable
distance, and it being now close on midnight, she found a second party
stationed by the side of a good sized boat, into which all three stepped
upon her arrival; the two strangers seizing the oars and striking boldly
out for the Canadian side of the river. Although rapid the current at
the point of their crossing, so admirably did they manage their craft
and lustily did they pull, they did not deviate much from the light on
the opposite shore, which seemed to gleam from some cottage window, and
which they took as a beacon and guide to their course. In the space
of about half an hour, they landed at the point they expected to make,
where they found a team waiting, with a lantern so ingeniously fixed in
the wagon as to be discernible from the American side of the river only;
this being the light by which the two boatmen had steered.

As they all stepped ashore, Kate had a full opportunity of scrutinizing
the appearance of the second stranger, who aided her in crossing the
river. He was a short, thick-set, heavy man, of a most forbidding
aspect, with a huge mouth and a broad, flat nose, without a bridge. He
wore a blue flannel shirt and a heavy, short over-coat and slouched hat,
and was, taking him all and all, about as villainous a looking specimen
of humanity as one could well meet in a day’s walk. Nor was the driver
of the wagon into which she now was lifted, a very decided improvement
in this relation. He, also, was a most suspicions looking fellow,
although civil enough in his way. Kate felt relieved, however, when her
earliest acquaintance of the evening took his seat beside her, and
when she perceived the man with the blue shirt re-entering the boat and
pushing off for the American shore once again.

The driver now having adjusted himself in his place in front of Kate
and her polite companion, the whip was laid to the horses, and the party
moved briskly along the bank of the river, until they struck into a road
which evidently led into the interior of the country. This road they
pursued at a slow pace until the first gray streaks of dawn were visible
in the eastern horizon; Kate’s companion, from time to time, making
such commonplace observations as the necessity of the case required; she
supposing that the presence of the driver prevented him from offering
her any farther explanation on the subject of her singular adventure.
Just as surrounding objects were becoming more distinct, they pulled up
before an isolated building, in what appeared to be a country place, and
in which, early as it was, there was some person already astir, as was
evident from the light which shone from one of the windows.

Here they all alighted and were received at the door of the dwelling by
a middle aged woman, with a strip of red silk bound round her head and
drawn down over one of her eyes. She was dressed in a plain but neat
manner, and exhibited sufficient traits of feminine beauty to recommend
her to either sex. The driver was evidently her husband, and no very
affectionate one either, if the coarse, cold manner in which he received
her welcome could be taken as any indication on this head. However, as
Kate was cold and weary, she gladly accepted an invitation to alight and
enter the building, where she found a large fire blazing and crackling
upon the hearth, in an apartment that was used as a dining-room and
kitchen; although the house was a large one and clearly contained many
apartments. When seated by the fire, and while the driver was seeing to
his horses, her companion, who also seated himself by the warm
blaze, informed her that, for the present, she was at the end of her
journey--that the driver, his wife and a grown up niece or daughter,
were the only inhabitants of the house, and that the place was selected
as her retreat for the time being, for reasons that would doubtless be
explained to her in due time. Although surprised and mystified at all
she had already experienced, she, of course, had not one word to say in
opposition to the disposition that had been made of her; for had she
not in her bosom the guarantee that all was right; so, professing her
willingness to remain in her temporary abode until the period for her
release arrived, and promising to be as patient as possible, under the
circumstances, she begged the woman of the house to show her to her
room, as she needed a few hours rest, to which request her hostess
readily acceded, having first, though in vain, endeavored to prevail
upon her to take some refreshments after her journey.

The room to which Kate was shown was far from a despicable one, and
possessed many articles of furniture infinitely superior to those in the
department she had first entered. The floor was carpeted, and the chairs
and tables of quite a superior quality; the bed, also, seemed invitingly
clean and comfortable, while some excellent books were to be found in a
small, neat case, standing in one corner of the apartment. On the table
there burned a handsome lamp, and a fire blazed cheerfully in a small,
open stove, as though her arrival had been expected and well cared for.
When her hostess left her, she examined her chamber door and windows,
and found the latter quite secure, while in the lock of the former was
a key, one turn of which would cut her off completely from any intrusion
whatever. Seating herself beside her lamp, she reviewed rapidly the
events of the night, and finding no solution for them, she slowly
undressed, and consigning herself to the care of heaven, was soon lost
in a calm and refreshing slumber, from which she did not awake until the
sun had nearly attained his meridian glory.

When she opened her eyes and collected her scattered senses, she hastily
arose, and dressing herself, rang a small bell that lay on her table,
and which her hostess desired she should use when she required any
attendance. Immediately a gentle tap was heard at her chamber door,
upon opening which, a young girl, about sixteen years of age, presented
herself with a pitcher of fresh water, begging to know, as she placed it
on the wash-stand, at what period she should bring up breakfast; setting
about opening the windows as she spoke, and otherwise busying herself in
arranging the room. There was something in the appearance of this young
creature, that at once enlisted the sympathy and kindly feelings of
Kate. Her features were strangely handsome and prepossessing, and her
form of the very finest proportions. Her hands, although rough with hard
work, were, nevertheless, small and delicately shaped, while her feet,
notwithstanding that they were encased in a pair of over-large slippers,
were obviously very beautiful. She was tall for her age, and apparently
better educated than her seeming condition in life might warrant. But
what was most peculiar about her, was an air of sadness, that seemed
native to her expressive countenance, and which pervaded her smiles
even, with a strange, subduing power, that nearly allied them to gentle
tears. Her voice, too, was singularly sweet, low and melodious; while
her whole demeanor was so tinged with what might be termed some lone,
hidden sorrow, that Kate felt drawn towards her in a manner the most
unaccountable. In answer to a query put to her, she said she was not, as
was generally supposed, the daughter of the owners of the establishment,
but their niece, as she believed; and that she had now been residing
in the locality for over five years. That her uncle did a great deal of
teaming, and was often from home; and that, in his absence, she and her
aunt took care of a small patch of ground that lay at the back of the
house. She was almost glad, she said, that the lady had come to stay
sometime with them, and hoped that she would allow her to often sit by
her and read during the times her uncle would be away; as it might tend
to beguile many a weary hour; that is, provided the lady would have to
remain any length of time with them.

There was something in all this which seemed to move Kate strangely. The
expression “almost glad” sounded curiously in her ears, and awakened
in her feelings of a no very pleasurable character. However, she
determined, upon so slight an acquaintance, not to push her inquiries
further just then; and by way of forming a friendly compact with her
attendant, assured her, that so long as she remained in the house, she
should always be happy to have her as a companion whenever she could be
spared from her domestic duties; and further, that it would afford her
the greatest possible pleasure to sit and listen to her, whenever she
could find a moment’s time to either read for her or while away a few
minutes in friendly conversation. This condescension seemed to light up
the face of the interesting young creature with a flush of gratitude
the most ardent; and with a lighter step than that with which she had
entered the chamber, she tripped away, for the purpose of bringing up
the breakfast to which she had already referred.

When Martha, as Kate’s new acquaintance was called, again entered the
apartment, she was accompanied by her aunt, who was dressed just as she
had been the night before, with the exception that the strip of red
silk had been replaced by a purple band of the same material. As the
breakfast, which was excellent for a country place, was being placed
upon the table, Kate perceived that one side of the woman’s face was
discolored, and being moved to make some inquiries regarding the cause,
was informed, that while breaking up some kindling wood, a splinter
had accidentally struck her face. This went to satisfy her, of course,
although she thought the large, black patch which fell down along the
cheek was singularly dark and wide to be traceable to the small splinter
that the woman asserted to be the cause of it. A strange look from
Martha, too, aroused a suspicion that the origin of the disfigurement
was not that named; so here the matter rested for the present.

During her repast, she learned from Martha, who remained with her, that
the name of the people of the house was Wilson; that they were English,
and that the person who had arrived in company with her uncle, who was
also English, was called Stephen Smith; but where he resided she was
unable to say. This she knew, however, that he made occasional visits to
the family, and was sometimes accompanied by a very ill-looking man, who
remained a day or two, after having left some boxes or cases in charge
of her uncle, who subsequently disposed of them in some manner unknown
to her.

“But,” she continued, “I don’t like these men. They always come in the
night, and go away in the night, and are ever whispering; you must not,
however,” she went on to say, “mention this to either my aunt or my
uncle; for, if they should know I had said so much, they would doubtless
be very angry with me.”

“Oh!” returned Kate, “you may rely upon it, that whatever you may choose
to say in relation to the men in question, or anything else, shall
remain in my bosom; for to betray any confidence of the kind, would, in
my eyes, be criminal in the last degree.”

“What brought you here, then!--what brought you here!” ejaculated
Martha, in an anxious, nervous tone. “There must be something
wrong!--some treachery, or I am sure a lady so good and pure as you seem
to be, would never cross this threshold.”

Kate, becoming instantly alarmed, broke off suddenly in her repast, and
begged the young girl, for Heaven’s sake, to be more explicit.

“I really don’t know what more to say than I have already said,” replied
the girl; “but, as I feel drawn towards you by some invisible power,
short as our acquaintance has been, I will say, that I fear my uncle’s
associates are lawless men, and believe that my aunt knows it, and
regrets it, too. But a few nights ago, when Smith came here to make
arrangements about your arrival, as I suppose, I heard high words
between my relatives after his departure, and, the next morning, found
my aunt’s face just as you have seen it. But we dare not say much in
opposition to any proposition that my uncle might choose to make in any
connection, so violent and brutal is his temper at times. For my own
part, however,” she proceeded, “so soon as I can escape from such
thraldom and associations, I shall try and make my own way in the world;
for my impression is, my uncle has some idea of a union between me and
the detestable creature, Smith, who accompanied you here last night, and
who, after an hour’s rest, was again driven off by my uncle, doubtless
to whatever point he came from.”

This intelligence, as may be supposed, caused poor Kate the greatest
possible anxiety; but what had she to fear so long as she took the
talisman for her guide? Here there could be no mistake, anyway; for had
she not it in her bosom, and was it not from _him_? Still, that there
was something perfectly mysterious about the whole affair, she was quite
ready to admit; but as she had received the strictest injunctions from
Smith not to permit herself to be seen for the present in the vicinity
of the place, or outside the dwelling, she determined to obey one to
whom no small power in her case had unquestionably been delegated by her
lover.

During the day Martha and Kate were frequently together--the poor young
girl disclosing her history scrap by scrap, until at last Kate learned
that she was in reality an orphan; that both her parents died when she
was yet quite young; that her aunt, who was possessed of an excellent
education, had been twice married--once to her own mother’s brother, and
subsequently to the man whom she now called uncle; that her own parents
had been Irish, and that on their death, her real uncle became her
guardian and true friend until his death; when, on this second,
unfortunate marriage, the affairs of the family becoming hopelessly
embarrassed, she and her relatives embarked for America, taking up their
abode first in Toronto, and subsequently in the place where they now
resided. In addition, she stated that her opportunities of education
had been good, and that, somehow or other, since she had crossed the
Atlantic, she managed to keep a few choice books about her, and avail
herself of the assistance of her aunt, whenever they could, in the
absence of her uncle, devote an hour to study or the perusal of some new
work.

The small clearing, on the verge of which the house occupied by the
Wilsons stood, was surrounded with woods, and no other habitation was
to be found in its immediate vicinity. From the morose disposition and
suspicious character of the proprietor himself, but few of the neighbors
were on visiting terms with the family; so that they might be said
to lead a completely sequestered life. From time to time only, an
occasional visit was paid him by some one who stood in need of the
services of his team; and thus his standing in the neighborhood was that
of a suspected or banned man--the general impression being, that he
was neither more nor less than a dangerous and daring smuggler, who was
constantly engaged in the interests of unprincipled merchants on both
sides of the lines. This idea obtained footing from the circumstance
that he had been observed returning late one night from the frontier
with his wagon laden down with suspicious looking boxes and bales;
and from the further fact, that his absences from home were frequently
lengthy and mysterious--no one knowing the precise nature of his
business, or the points to which his journeys were made so often.

The clearing, itself, was under good cultivation, the spring crops
giving fine promise of an abundant harvest. A short distance from the
house flowed a beautiful brook, whose murmurs occasionally reached the
ears of the inmates; while the thickening foliage of the surrounding
groves, as they might be termed, gave shelter to various birds, amongst
which might now be heard, at early morn and throughout the day, the
clear, round notes of the robin.

“The robin!”--what on earth has, we should like to know, bewitched
ornithologists to designate the great, coarse, tuneless bird, that
visits us in the earliest dawn of spring, in this far off America, “the
robin?” Neither in throat nor plumage is it even a thirty-first cousin
of the sweet, timid, little, brown bunch of melody that haunts the
hawthorn hedges of Ireland and the sister island, when they are in
bloom, or seeks a crumb at the open casement, when winter ruffles all
its russet plumes, and sets his chill, white seal on all its stores; We
have been often struck with the great dissimilarity between these two
namesakes of the feathered kingdom; for never on these transatlantic
shores have we heard what might be termed a domestic bird sing a song
so sweet as that poured beneath our window in the soft blue haze of an
Irish summer evening, by the genuine robin-red-breast, as he sang the
daylight down the west, through a sky flushed and flecked with azure,
crimson and gold, to such extreme intensity, that the poet or painter
might, at the moment, half indulge in the idea, that the sun had fallen
into curious ruins upon the verge of the horizon. Oh! the silver thread
of such a song, as it flashed and scintillated from that trembling
throat! Never shall we forget it, or the land in which it first wound
itself around our heart.

But this, we know, is inclined to be sentimental; and as we now have
to do with stern realities, we shall resume the chain of our story
by saying, that after her first day’s residence with the Wilsons, and
finding that the uncle of Martha had no intelligence for her on his
return home on the evening or night succeeding the one of her arrival,
she expressed her great anxiety to Martha, who now devoted every moment
she could spare from her other duties, to the pleasing task of rendering
her solitude as agreeable as possible.

On the morning of the second day after her arrival she ventured to
ask Wilson if he had any idea of when she was to be relieved from her
embarrassing position. In reply to her interrogatory he assured her,
that he was quite unable to give her any information on the subject, but
was led to believe that she should not be long a prisoner, as he termed
it. All he could say in relation to the matter was, that some person,
with whose name even he was unacquainted, had secured, through a third
party, his services as her host, and engaged the apartment she occupied,
and attendance, etc. In addition to this, he observed, carelessly, that
he was responsible for her safety until the arrival of those who
had delegated to him the right to watch over her and shield her from
observation until the proper moment arrived.

To all this Kate made no reply; the thought having just struck her, that
Nicholas had perhaps learned of some intended design upon her by Lauder,
and that he took this method of transporting her to some point
unknown to that person, until he himself could offer her his full and
unembarrassed protection. Yet she wondered why it was that he had left
her in such dreadful uncertainty, and did not write her explicitly
upon the subject Again, she was perplexed at the idea that he was in no
position to learn anything of the plots or plans of her rejected suitor,
if he entertained any; so that, upon the whole, she was in no very
comfortable state of mind when she rejoined Martha whom she had left in
her chamber, and whom she now induced to make up a bed upon a sofa and
consent to sleep in her apartment during her stay.

Martha, on her part, moved by this token of friendship, and while
sitting up late on the very night of the conversation with Wilson,
became mysteriously nervous and, through various vague hints and
insinuations, so far alarmed Kate at last, that the poor girl implored
her new acquaintance to tell her frankly if she knew anything that bore
upon her ease, or the reasons for her being so singularly circumstanced.

To this solicitation Martha made no direct reply; but rising cautiously,
she stepped lightly towards the chamber door, and opening it softly
put out her head into the passage and listened for a few moments. Then
gently closing the door, she again noiselessly retraced her steps,
and drawing her seat close beside that of Kate, began thus, in a low,
trembling voice, in which fear and agitation were distinctly traceable:

“Oh! Miss McCarthy, horrible as the disclosure is, I believe that,
instead of a smuggler, which my aunt and I long supposed him to be, my
uncle is a robber, or leagued with robbers! This, for the first-time,
came to our knowledge last night, after his return from wherever he had
been. We had been always accustomed to his bringing here, during the
night, mysterious packages; but as he informed us that they were goods
for merchants who, as he asserted, resided at some distance, we took him
at his word, and when he removed the goods again were, of course, under
the firm impression that he carried them to their owners. However, as
I have observed, on returning last night, when my aunt and I were
assisting him to remove a heavy case from his wagon, while carrying it
into the stable to place it under the hay beneath which he invariably
concealed such things, my aunt and I perceived that, this time, it was
a large trunk that he had brought, and that the lock had given way,
disclosing gleams within it, as though it contained some bright objects.
He did not notice the circumstance of the fastening having failed, and
we did not call his attention to the fact; but permitted him to shake
the hay over it as usual. Subsequently, however, my aunt and I referred
to the matter, when she, taking advantage of my uncle’s sound slumbers,
he having retired to rest before her, went out again and, re-lighting
the stable lantern, removed the covering from the lid of the great
trunk, and raising it, perceived that it contained many valuable
articles of silver and dress; but all evidently old, and huddled
together in a manner the most confused. This almost paralysed the poor
woman, and as I subsequently inspected the package, on her retiring for
the night, I arrived at the conclusion which she had, as she informed
me, herself previously adopted; namely, that the goods were stolen, and
that Smith was in some way mixed up with the robbery.”

Now, indeed, Kate felt her situation alarming in the truest sense of
the term, and sat looking at her companion in speechless horror and
amazement. Mystery upon mystery it was; but as the dangers that appeared
to surround her, though gloomy, were indistinct, she once more had
recourse to her panacea of the token, and seeking her couch with a
fervent prayer on her lip, was soon, like her young friend on the sofa,
lost in uneasy slumbers.



CHAPTER X.


It was on the night of Sunday the 27th of May, 1866, that Barry and his
comrades were to attempt their escape from the Fort; and, as already
seen, it was on the same night that the deserter was conveyed in a cab
to The Harp, by Greaves. Two o’clock in the morning was the time decided
upon, and a rendezvous having been appointed, our hero, who was on
guard, saw, without challenging them, six figures steal by him into
the darkness and immediately disappear. No sooner had the last of them
vanished, than he placed his musket bolt upright in his sentry box,
and the next moment was lost also in the gloom, and in the direction in
which the figures had melted from his vision. Soon he reached the side
of the river, where he found Tom with a boat, beside which stood his
six companions. On recognizing him, they all leaped into the boat, and,
although the moon was in the heavens, sheltered by the dark overhanging
clouds that fortunately filled the sky, they dropped down the river, and
landing Tom at a point previously decided upon, they all wrung his hand
in silence, and once more put forth into the gloom, heading their craft
towards the American shore, under the guidance of a pilot who knew every
island and turn in the channel, and who joined them at the spot where
O’Brien bid them farewell. With muffled oars and in the most profound
silence, they moved along until they arrived at a turn in the channel,
where they were instructed to bend to their work by the stranger who
held the tiller; when, taking heart from their good fortune, for so far,
they made their willing craft almost leap out of the water, as they gave
a long pull, a strong pull, and a pull altogether.

As day was beginning to shape the world around them, they found
themselves nearing the American shore, and now perceiving themselves
beyond the reach of danger and out of the jurisdiction of the flag they
had so long and so cordially detested, they rested on their oars, and
giving three hearty cheers for the land they were fast approaching,
again set to with a will, and soon found themselves beneath the Stars
and Stripes of the glorious Republic before which all the nations of the
earth now bow, however reluctantly. On leaping ashore, they discovered
a short distance from the water a small village to which, on securing
their boat, they all posted; and having gained a neat little tavern, the
shutters of which were just being opened, they explained their situation
to the proprietor, and ordered breakfast, determined to rest themselves
for a period, and deliberate upon their future movements, although the
destination of Barry had, of course, long been decided upon.

On hearing that they were deserters from the British army, and that,
without an exception, they were all Irishmen, who had come to the United
States with a view to aiding in any project that had for its object the
humiliation of England, and the freedom of Ireland, the landlord, who
was a six-footer from Tipperary--one of the Cummingses--gave “a yell
out of him” that brought his wife and children in _deshabille_ to the
bar-room door, proceeded by a boy of all work, who evidently shared
their alarm and surprise to the fullest extent; but when, instead of a
bar-room disturbance, they perceived the master of the premises shaking
hands over and over again with the new arrivals, and bidding them
welcome to the land of the free, they soon disappeared from the hall
and regained their chambers, from which they had been so unceremoniously
summoned. Cummings was literally in his glory, and instantly had his
counter be-littered with glasses, bottles and decanters; while, with
genuine hospitality, he made the fugitives partake more than once of
some one of the beverages that he had placed before them. Ere long
a smoking, hot breakfast was in readiness for them, prepared by the
mistress of the house,--herself a comely Irishwoman, with a set of teeth
that you’d almost let bite you, they were so white and sunny, and a
handsome, fair face, with a _cead mille failte_ in every line and dimple
of it. Already the poor adventurers began to feel the exhilarating
effects of freedom, and, as soon as they had satisfied their appetites,
each set about changing his soldier’s coat for a rough, plain one,
which had been provided by O’Brien and his friends, and which they found
awaiting them when they first entered the boat.

As Barry, who was regarded as chief of the little party, avowed his
intention of pushing on direct for Buffalo, the others, who had no fixed
point in view, determined to join him; so, when they had taken a few
hours repose, they parted from their kind host and hostess, who would
not permit them to pay a single shilling for anything they had drank or
eaten since they entered the friendly hostel. During the time they were
waiting at the railway station, they heard various rumors as to the
intended invasion of the Province they had but just left; and from
numerous significant hints which they had received, they were fully
convinced that some important movement was on foot, which would soon
develope itself in bolder outline. On entering the cars that were to
take them west, they found the subject of Fenianism freely discussed,
and in many cases with a friendliness that showed there was, in some
instances at least, a feeling hostile to England among the American
people. As they pursued their journey and received other accessions
to their numbers as travellers, they found that this aversion was both
widely spread and deeply rooted, so that by the time they reached their
destination, they were fully satisfied that the people of America, and
those of the adjoining English Colony, could never become true friends
so long as the latter adheared to the standard of Great Britain, or
remained part and parcel of the British empire. The antagonism of
institutions, the infamous conduct of England during the late civil war,
and the fixed impression of every true American, that the Canadas
belong of right to the great people who now rule the continent, made it
strikingly apparant that England had but a precarious foot-hold upon the
shores of the New World.

On the arrival of the train at Black Rock, Barry, who had been
previously informed as to the precise locality in which the relatives of
Kate were to be found, stepped off the cars, informing his comrades
that he would join them in the city during the day. With but little
difficulty he found the dwelling of his friends, and entering it, was
received with open arms, and was instantly asked as to where he left
Kate. For a moment he did not comprehend the question, but when by
degrees he heard the fearful disclosure, that she had secretly left the
house, by night, about a week previously, he fell into a chair, almost
fainting, while the greatest consternation seized all those about him.
Slowly, and with their hearts sinking within them, they recounted the
circumstance of the note that had been written and left for them on
her bedroom table, and the fact of her having taken some of her wearing
apparel with her, but as to where she had gone, or with whom, they
were in the most profound darkness. No one had called at the house,--no
previous intimation had been given them by her as to her intentions;
and, in so far as they were concerned, all was darkness. Lauder, they
knew, had been in the vicinity of the Rock, but then, of course, he
could have had no hand in the strange transaction, as her detestation
of him precluded, as they thought, the possibility of his exercising the
slightest influence over any of her actions. However, she was gone, and
now, as it appeared, was the victim of some horrible plot or mistake
beyond the reach of any elucidation, for the present at least.

Never was a strong man so bowed to the dust as the poor young fellow who
now found all his hopes so rudely and unexpectedly dashed to the earth.
With a face pale as death he shook throughout every limb in a manner
fearful to behold. In vain he looked from one face to another for some
explanation of the dreadful calamity that had befallen him--all was
dark and blank and silent around him. Even conjecture was paralysed, so
completely was the disappearance of his betrothed enveloped in mystery.
As a preliminary step, to gain even the feeblest information of her,
he did not know how, or when or where to move. Could he get even
the slightest glimpse of any link in the chain, he could set about
unravelling the tangled and gloomy skein; but as it was, he was as
helpless as a child. Secure in her fidelity, however, and trusting to
Providence, crushed as he was, his young heart, after the first blow,
began to rise within him, and collecting himself, he set about making
such enquiries in the neighborhood as he thought were likely to throw
some light upon the subject. In this he was warmly aided by the alarmed
wife of his friend, who learned that on the very evening of the night of
her disappearance, after having given her last music lesson in the
house of one of her pupils, she was seen in company with a man, who
was recognized as no very respectable character, by one of the hands
employed in the rolling mills, who happened to catch a glimpse of them
in conversation as he was returning from his work. The name of this
latter individual having been ascertained, Barry at once visited the
mills and heard, to his consternation, that the suspicious person seen
in company with Kate on the evening referred to, was neither more nor
less than the Kid, previously introduced to the reader, as one of the
keepers of the low gambling house already mentioned, where we first met
him and his partner of the blue shirt, alluded to also as a burglar and
robber.

This much ascertained, Nicholas prevailed upon the workman to accompany
him to the den in question, into which they accidentally dropped as it
were. The person they sought was, as usual, about the premises; but from
him Barry could gain no information whatever, beyond the circumstance,
that he did remember, about a week ago, accosting a lady near Black
Bock, having taken the liberty of enquiring of her, whether a certain
person whom he was anxious to find resided in the neighborhood.

“I know that’s a lie,” said the workman, when he and Nicholas had gained
the street once more, “for as I happened to come upon them just as they
were separating, I heard the lady say, before she perceived me, and as I
was turning a corner of the road, ‘I’ll not fail to be there,’ or words
to that effect.”

To Nicholas this was more perplexing than ever; although he now arrived
at the conclusion, that Kate was the victim of some infamous and
deep-laid plot, and that Lauder was at the bottom of it. But here again
he was embarrassed by the circumstance, that he had never, so far as he
knew, seen her rejected suitor, nor was he known to any of his friends
at the Rock; from the fact that they had left Toronto before his arrival
there, and that, notwithstanding his visits to Buffalo, he had never
crossed their path. All, then, that Nicholas had to stand upon was the
circumstance that she had actually been seen in conversation with the
Kid, and that that worthy had evidently misrepresented the tenor of that
conversation, whatever it might have been.

The next day after his arrival, Barry, with a heart sore and dark
enough, went in search of his comrades, informing such of them as he
thought proper to admit to his confidence, of the dreadful condition of
his affairs and mind. While sympathising with him sincerely, however,
and offering him all the assistance in their power, they seemed absorbed
with some new subject of importance which appeared to engross no
ordinary share of their attention. Since their arrival, they had learned
that it was a fact and beyond all doubt, that the Fenians were gathering
along the frontier for the purpose of making a descent upon Canada and
securing a foothold upon its shores, with a view to making it the
basis of operations against England in their attempt to secure the
independence of Ireland. One and all they had determined to join the
expedition as volunteers, and Nicholas, who entertained a lurking
suspicion that Kate had crossed the American frontier under some
mysterious impulse or influence, half made up his mind to make one of
the invading army also. This suspicion was based upon the fact of Kate’s
having no friends or relatives in the States, save those at the Rock,
while she had several in Canada in the direction of which she might
have been attracted by letters or representations now a mystery to him.
However, he felt assured that, under any circumstance, she was not to be
found in Buffalo or its vicinity; so, moved by both love and patriotism,
before the evening had set in, he came to the conclusion to join his
comrades in the approaching struggle.

This resolution once taken, he made instant application to some of the
Fenian authorities of the city, stating the circumstance of his recent
arrival, and quickly found himself surrounded by a host of friends who
were ready to share their last mouthful or dollar with him. During this
juncture, the Irish spirit of Buffalo, strongly impregnated with the
generous national sentiment of America, was discernible upon every side.
The groups of patriots quietly at first arriving from almost every
point of the compass, were received with open arms and the sincerest
hospitality by those who had an interest in the cause of freedom and the
humiliation of the tyrant England. There were, of course, a few British
sympathisers among the people and press who, ignoring their allegiance
to the Union, or the principles for which the heroes of the Revolution
laid down their lives, threw their voice and influence into the scale on
the side of England, but they were in a hopeless minority; as the great
heart of the nation beat steadily in the interests of liberty, and
inspired its sons with all the confidence necessary to the most complete
success.

To decide, with Barry, was to act. Consequently, now that he had made
up his mind to join the expedition, he at once acquainted his friends
at the Rock, and gave them such information and instructions relative to
Kate as he thought desirable; intimating to them, at the same time, that
he was of the fixed impression that she had, by some means or other,
been lured into Canada; although a telegram, in reply to one dispatched
to Toronto, informed his friends that she had not visited that city
since she left it. Upon further inquiry, however, regarding the Kid,
he learned that that respectable personage, together with his worthy
coadjutor, Black Jack, were in the habit of paying frequent visits to
Canada on the sly; it being thought that they were employed by persons
who were engaged in smuggling. This information he gained while
walking near the breakwater with a new acquaintance well versed in city
notorieties, and who, at the moment, happened to espy a boat known to
belong to the doubtful firm of Jack and the Kid, lying drawn up on the
shore.

This craft, of course, engaged the attention of our hero, as belonging,
in part, to the individual who seemed to be mixed up in some mysterious
manner with the fate of his beloved. Consequently, he stepped over to it
and casting a glance of scrutiny at the interior, saw something sparkle
among a little sand, that had accumulated at the bottom near one of the
stretchers. Picking it up, he found that it was a handsome button that
had apparently dropped from the dress of some lady. This he examined
with the most intense eagerness; when the thought struck him that it
was very like some buttons that belonged to a dress occasionally worn by
Kate. Of this, however, he was not sufficiently certain; so, thrusting
it into his pocket, he turned away, more perplexed than ever with the
mystery that surrounded him. Hurrying to the Rock with the waif as
soon as he could, he submitted it to his friends, when it was at once
recognized as being similar to a set of buttons worn by Kate, and which
belonged to a dress that, it was believed, she wore on the night of her
disappearance. Corroborative as this evidence was, it availed him but
little for the time being; although it strengthened his resolve to move
with the army of invasion; being convinced that his betrothed had, by
some foul means, been spirited across the borders, and all through the
machinations of her rejected suitor, Lauder.

And now how he cursed the procrastination that had kept him from
applying for his discharge long since, when he might have procured it
without any difficulty, and have placed her he loved beyond the power
of any villain. Again, he was no longer free to search for her in the
Province; for he was under the ban of military law there, and, unless
supported by a sufficient number of bayonets, could not stem the torrent
that should soon overwhelm him if he re-entered the territories of the
Queen and was discovered. Yet, even death were preferable to the state
of mind in which he now found himself; he therefore at once set to work
to prepare himself for the coming contest, in the hope that when once
across the borders, if even amid the din of war, he might gain some clue
to the fate of all that he now cared to live for.

As may be supposed, the service of such men as Nicholas and his comrades
were, at a moment so critical, accepted with alacrity by the military
authorities of the Fenian organization of the city. Amongst the various
sterling patriots in power here, both he and his comrades were instantly
taken by the hand and placed in positions where their knowledge of arms
could be made most serviceable to the grand cause in which they had
resolved to embark. They were all Irish, and of that stamp that never
loses color, how fierce soever the scorching fires to which they might
be subjected. Under a special provision, and at Barry’s request,
they were attached to the same company; while he, from his evident
superiority in education and address, as well as from his thorough
knowledge of drill and military tactics, was presented, upon joining
the organization, with a captain’s commission. In the hurry and bustle
attending the note of preparation, he found some slight relief from
the great and overshadowing trouble that darkened all around him; and
finding how necessary it was to keep both mind and body employed, if he
was to retain either health or energy to aid him in any of the important
projects that now loomed before him, he gave no place to useless
repinings, but busily engaged with the necessities of his new avocation,
found the hours slipping by which intervened between the period when
he swore the true fealty of his soul to the flag of his love, and
that which was to see him a hostile invader upon the shores he had so
recently left.

As the men steadily poured into the city for a short period before the
invasion, and filled the streets and suburbs in groups of various sizes,
it became a matter of general conversation and surprise that, in bodies
so peculiarly situated, and under such seemingly slight restraint, many
of them being far distant from their homes, not a single individual
was to be found who suffered in the slightest degree from even the
appearance of intoxication. Look where you might, there was nothing but
the utmost sobriety and good behaviour. Although the men were, for the
most part, young, and many of them just from the bloodiest fields of the
South, there hung about them an air of serious decorum that argued
well for the mission in which they were about to engage. In addition,
notwithstanding that, in some cases, they were badly housed and
provisioned, a murmur never escaped their lips; nor could the most
bitter of their enemies point to a single act where the law was violated
by any of them, or show that even to the value of one mouthful of bread
had been appropriated to their use without being paid for honestly, or
given to them freely by those who felt for their position. This is so
well known that, even at the period at which we write, upwards of two
years after the occurrence of these scenes, not a solitary fact has come
to light reflecting in any degree upon the honesty, sobriety and good
conduct of these noble patriots, many of whom had left home penniless,
to wage war against a power that had almost every resource at its
command, and which they knew they should meet under circumstances that
could not fail to be disadvantageous to them.

And here we may observe, history does not record a more daring or
chivalrous project than that entertained by the brave fellows who made
the night of Thursday the 31st of May, 1866, memorable in the annals of
this continent, as well as in those of Ireland. Although laboring under
embarrassments from the most fearful mistakes and criminal neglect of an
individual to whom the grand project of the redemption of Ireland
from the yoke of the oppressor was, in its strictly military aspect,
entrusted in this country--although badly provisioned, uniformed
and equipped--although perplexed with mysterious, contradictory and
imperfect orders, and although, at the very moment of their destiny,
left without the leader whom they were led to expect should command
them, they never lost heart for a moment; feeling that heaven would
raise up amongst them a chief not only competent to meet the emergency
of the moment, but one in whom they should be able to place the fullest
and most enthusiastic confidence.

And heaven did not disappoint their noble and confiding aspirations;
for, when all looked dark and dreary to the more uneasy of their
numbers, the gallant O’Neill, crowned with the laurels which he had
so nobly won during the war that had then just closed, and true to the
genius of his ancient name and house, stepped in upon the stage, and
grasping the drooping standard of the Irish Republic, held it aloft;
and, fired with the spirit of the “Red Hand” of yore, raised the war-cry
of his race, before which many a Saxon tyrant and slave had trembled in
the days long past.



CHAPTER XI.


When Philip Greaves received the note from Barry, to the deserter who
was secreted in the suburbs of the city, he proceeded, towards evening,
to the point where the soldier lay concealed, and to which he had been
directed with unerring accuracy. On reaching the house in which the
fugitive was said to be hidden, he found but an old woman, who seemed
neither alarmed nor surprised at his arrival. Upon whispering a word
in her ear, however, a look of intelligence stole into her eyes, and
putting on her bonnet and cloak, in the deep dusk, she motioned him to
follow her, having closed and locked to door behind her. After leading
him but a short distance, among a number of small though clean huts,
she gained one in which the family were seated at their plain evening
repast. As they entered the dwelling, he perceived that there was one
vacant seat at the table, from which some person had evidently arisen
hastily and disappeared from the apartment In the course of a few
moments, however, and on the head of the family having been called
aside by the old woman, Philip was greeted with a hearty welcome, and
instantly led into a little back room, where he found the person whom
he sought, gazing about him with a distrustful if not an alarmed air.
To this individual he showed Barry’s note, which he had previously
abstracted from the envelope, requesting him, as he perused it, to
return it to him again, as he wished to destroy it himself, lest, by
accident, it should fall into other hands, and as he desired to say to
Nicholas that he was personally cognizant of the fact of its being put
out of the way. To this request the deserter readily acceded, as he
would have to any other of a reasonable character, so delighted was he
to receive the assurance that the hour of his deliverance drew nigh.
Here, then, were the particulars of the plan of his escape settled upon.
He was to remain still concealed, until Greaves called for him with
a cab, but was to hold himself ready to quit his hiding place at a
moment’s notice.

These preliminaries being arranged, Philip left the house and speedily
proceeded to a neighboring hotel, where he procured a private room, and,
calling for pen, ink and paper, at once addressed himself to writing
a letter. Various were the rubbings of hands and sinister smiles which
punctuated this epistle, until at last, on its being finished, he
carefully folded it, and taking from his pocket-book a sealed envelope,
one end of which had been previously opened with great care, and the
superscription completely removed by a cunning process, he took from
another compartment of his book a small note and introduced it into the
envelope, adroitly closing the apperture with a little mucilage, so as
to completely conceal the incision that had been made, and obliterate
every evidence of the envelope’s having been tampered with. This done,
he slowly, and with apparent great caution as to the conformation of the
letters, directed it, and when he found the ink to be completely dried,
enclosed the whole in the letter that he had just written; placing it,
in turn, in a larger envelope which he hastily directed to some party,
from whom he apparently cared but little to conceal his hand-writing.
This accomplished, he called for some brandy, and after paying liberally
for it and the use of the room, directed his steps towards a stationer’s
shop where he purchased a postage stamp which he attached to his letter.
Here, also, he heard the subject of the threatened invasion of the
Province discussed in all its bearings and probable results; and here,
too, the bitter murmurs of discontent regarding the criminal conduct of
the individual to whom the whole interests of the country were entrusted
by the people and the Crown, and who was said to have been already for
weeks in a condition of mind and body absolutely loathsome. Not wishing,
however, to delay the mailing of his letter, he soon found himself
wending his way to the Post-office, where, with his own hand, he
consigned the missive to the care of her Majesty the Queen, by putting
it in the apperture that opened into the letter-box from the street--the
office being already closed. On this, he retraced his steps towards
The Harp, where he so managed to thrust himself in among the struggling
suspicions of O’Brien, as to almost gain the full confidence of that
generous patriot and banish the last doubt from his breast.

“Well,” said Tom, when he found a fitting opportunity, “how did you find
the poor fellow?”

“Willing enough to leave the Province,” whispered Philip, “if he could
only manage to get away; but I think that will be easily arranged now,
as the storm about his desertion has blown over.”.

“On the night after that of to-morrow, then,” returned Tom, “they will
make the attimpt; and as I can get a man to help them who knows every
turn and crank of the river, I have hopes of their success; besides it
will be Nick’s night for guard, and there’s somethin in that, you know;
as they can get out at the point where he stands, without much throuble
to themselves or anyone else. However,” he observed farther, “I hope no
one will let the cat out of the bag, as it would be a cryin sin to
have the poor fellows ‘nabbed’ at the very moment when they fancied
themselves about to brathe the purest air that ever floated benathe the
canopy of heaven.”

“There’s no fear of that,” replied Greaves, “for you and I only know of
their intentions; although I feel that you are not exactly at home with
me yet, for all your friendly conduct and information; but recollect,
that I’ll perform my part of the contract, and it is for you and them to
do the rest.”

This speech made Tom feel a little awkward; and he was about to make a
suitable reply, when he was happily relieved by some parties who dropped
in, to command the attention he so willingly accorded at the moment.

That Greaves puzzled and perplexed him there could be no doubt; but at
no period could that individual elicit from him any information, if
he possessed such, in relation to Fenianism. He, of course, knew that
Philip learned from Barry that there were many soldiers in the Fort who
sympathised warmly with Ireland; but this was as far as he was informed
in the matter. It was obvious, however, that for some reason or other,
he was anxious to fathom the depths of the actual Organization, if such
existed in or about the city; but in every attempt he was foiled; for,
notwithstanding his most subtle attacks, he was met at each turn by a
spirit of reticence which baffled all his ingenuity and led him to the
conclusion that, after all, there were perhaps but slight grounds for
believing that the Brotherhood had any very extensive footing in the
colony.

Tom sometimes reasoned, that his solicitude on this head was prompted by
patriotic motives; and then, again, the idea used to creep in upon him
that he sought this information for sinister purposes; and thus the
worthy host, trembling in the balance between the two impressions,
kicked the beam on the side of prudence, and if he knew anything of
the movements and intentions of the Organization, kept it to himself;
although the letter in the possession of Greaves might, were he less
cautious, have drawn from him some serious information; for Tom O’Brien
was, at that moment, the Centre of a Fenian Circle, with three hundred
armed men at his command, ready to join the invaders the instant they
entered the Province and planted their standard near him upon British
soil. This being the case, he was well aware of the intentions of the
Brotherhood in the United States; and thus it was, that when he found
Barry could not procure his discharge before the invaders were upon
them, he instantly endorsed the project of his desertion; well knowing
that, should he fail to escape before the hour of the movement arrived,
he should be called to take the field against his countrymen and against
Ireland; and, perhaps, under circumstances that might preclude the
possibility of his acting otherwise than as their enemy. Nor did he
relax in his watchfulness and caution when Greaves even brought the
deserter to The Harp in redemption of his word, or, more remarkable
still, when he learned, on the morning succeeding the night of their
escape from the Fort, that seven soldiers of the Regiment had bid
their commanding officer an unexpected and unceremonious adieu; and
notwithstanding that the garrison was all but alive with sentries and
guards patroling every avenue which led from it, made good their escape
to the American shore, where they were now beyond the reach of the
Canadian or Imperial authorities.

No sooner had Philip ascertained that the party had made good their
escape, than he himself prepared to bid good-bye to The Harp. O’Brien
was not at all surprised at this sudden resolution, as Greaves had
professed to be daily transacting business; which he asserted might
be brought to a close at any moment. And so he had been transacting
business; for he might have been seen occasionally entering, by stealth,
a certain dwelling in the outskirts of the city where Fenianism and all
Irish Nationalists had their deadliest enemy; but, as already intimated,
this enemy had been rendered powerless by the wine cup for some time
past, so that if there had been any matter of importance to transact
between them, it would have been useless to have even approached it.
Still Philip called and called, but to no purpose; so finding that
he had pressing matters in another direction to claim his immediate
attention, he left the mystified functionary in disgust, casting
a glance at the numerous unopened dispatches on his table, and
congratulating Canada on the possession of such a creditable and
efficient, leading officer.

Shaking hands with Tom, then, after having honestly liquidated his bill,
our mysterious friend soon found himself on board a train bound direct
for Toronto, where he arrived in due course, amid hosts of rumors, and
military movements which were being accomplished in that reckless and
inefficient haste, that went to prove a screw loose somewhere. Here he
found himself on the evening of the 29th, and being obliged to remain
in the city all the next day, he started the following morning for the
West, when he learned, while journeying onwards, that the Fenian forces
were massed at Buffalo and along the American frontier, and that a
descent upon Fort Erie was sure to take place within a very few hours.
Although he had intended to reach his destination before night, he
was delayed at the various stations, by rumors which tended to make it
important for the train not to proceed in haste, it having been alleged,
more than once, that the Fenian army was already in the Province, and
burning and destroying all before it, In turn, however, each of these
rumors was contradicted; and so the cars proceeded until another was
encountered. In this way the morning of the first of June overtook
him before he had yet reached the point for which he was bound. Now,
however, he ascertained that the Province was, without any manner of
doubt, invaded by the army of the Irish Republic, and that even then the
“Sunburst” was flying over the village of Fort Erie.

This intelligence seemed to confound him, and to have exceeded anything
that he could have anticipated. He hod fancied that, notwithstanding all
the rumors he had heard within the last few months, there was no real
intention on the part of the Irish Nationalists of the United States to
actually invade the Province; and believed the reports of their
having congregated upon the American frontier as either unfounded or
tremendously exaggerated. Now, nevertheless, they were within a very
few miles of him, and might be upon him and the neighborhood he was
approaching, at any moment.

There was something in this latter conviction that appeared to move him
greatly as he stepped off the train at Port Colborne, where he found the
inhabitants in a state of the direst alarm. Being a stranger, and unable
or unwilling to account very clearly for his sudden presence here, and
at a juncture when suspicion was so rife and every new comer subjected
to the closest scrutiny, he was put under surveillance and not permitted
to leave the village, as he was about to do, until he had explained his
business to the authorities. Chafing with disappointment and anger, he
was taken into custody and confined in one of the rooms of his
hotel, until a magistrate could be found to look into his case. Here,
notwithstanding his protestations and willingness to prove that he was a
loyal British subject and one of importance too, he was detained nearly
the whole day; tormented by the uncomfortable misgiving that perhaps,
after all his generalship, Nicholas Barry might again be in the Province
and at a point, too, where he should be able to frustrate all the plans
he had laid so deeply and executed for so far with the utmost secrecy
and success. At last, however, a magistrate was found and a private
investigation of his case granted. The examination was brief; for
scarcely had that functionary been closeted five minutes with him,
before he was set at liberty and again stepped forth a free man.

So utterly helpless were the people of the section of the country in
which he now was, that they must have fallen before any considerable
force of the invaders, had such entered the Province. The greatest
distrust obtained among themselves; there being a strong body of Irish
and Irish sympathisers in their midst, who scarcely cared to hide their
sentiments. And although there was an element in the little town that
was truly loyal to the Crown, yet it is still a matter of doubt as to
its having been in the ascendant, in so far as numbers were concerned.
True, that if the census of the place had been taken at the moment, and
the tendencies of every man registered according to a public statement,
extracted from his own lips, England should have carried the day by an
overwhelming majority, as, on the same basis, she should at this present
hour throughout the whole of the New Dominion. But had one glimpse of a
victorious Irish army been caught in the distance, the case would have
been widely different, indeed; and those who were constrained, through
the force of circumstances, to fall into line with the paid, official
squad who ruled the roast for the time being, would soon hoist their
true colors and step out beneath the folds of that glorious banner of
green and gold before which, with all her boasting armaments, the
tyrant power of England now trembles to its very base. And so it will be
throughout the Colony at large, whenever the Irish Nationalists, or any
other people inimical to England, enter it with a view to tearing down
the skull and cross-bones of St. George, and ultimately replacing it
with the proud and invincible banner of the United States of America.
Not a single doubt obtains in well informed quarters on this head; so
that the tyrant England cannot fail to be swept ultimately from this
continent, never to lift her dishonored head upon its free, historic
shores again.

And what wonder that the thinking portion of the people of Canada--men
who have its material prosperity and its happiness at heart--should
long for a union with this Republic, with which their interests are so
intimately identified, and upon which they are almost solely dependant
for a market and that good will that is not only necessary to their
peace, but to their very existence? Shut out from the ocean, that great
highway of nations, for six months of the year, they are, almost daily,
at the mercy of the United States for any description of commercial
intercourse, or exchange of thought, in relation to the material
condition of the continent or their own probable future. Lying a frozen
strip against the North pole, with all their available lands settled, if
we are to credit the assertions made by their own statesmen, were this
great Republic to close its doors against them, they should be obviously
cut off, in a measure, from all civilization, and dwarfed both mentally
and physically into the most contemptible dimensions. As it is, they are
depending upon America for every refining and practical influence that
warms their partial life, or gives any value whatever to their social
status. American literature, tastes, habits, inventions and even foibles
color all their internal intercourse; although the fact does not seem
apparent to those who are interested in perpetuating British rule
amongst them, and is denied by others from motives of envy or vanity.
Add to this the circumstance that their government is the most wretched
that could possibly be found among a people professing to be free.
Scarce a single department of it but is stained with fraud of the
vilest description to the very lips, and neither more nor less than an
instrument of public plunder in the hands of corrupt officials. Even
while we write, and for years back, a charge lies in the department of
the Minister of Finance, against the present Premier of the Dominion,
accusing that unscrupulous individual of conspiring with a whisky
dealer, _while he himself was First Minister of the Crown_, to defraud
the revenue--a charge made by the present Assistant Commissioner of
Customs and Excise, whom this same Premier has been obliged to retain
in office to the present hour, with a view to saving himself from
disclosures calculated to drive him from office in disgrace. So dreadful
have been the circumstances of this case, that when an offer was made
subsequently, through the public press, to produce bank, official and
mercantile evidence that the government functionary who preferred this
frightful accusation was dishonest and incompetent, and that he had
purloined public documents and destroyed them with a view to concealing
his crimes, still this Premier dared not summon him to trial, although,
times without number, he gave assurances, as did the then Inspector
General, that the culprit should be brought before the proper tribunal,
and justice done in the premises. But why need we complain, when Canada
takes the matter so coolly; for will it be believed, that these two
worthies--both the accused and the accuser--both disfigured by the most
damning accusations, are still in the pay of the Canadian people, and
have been so ever since the circumstances of their official character
were laid through the daily press before the world. Not a single move
has yet been made in the direction of justice, nor an inquiry instituted
as to the truth or falsehood of these frightful charges. The Premier
still carries the filthy load upon his shoulders, while his subordinate,
of the stolen bank receipts and false report, laughs in his sleeve at
the rod that he holds over his naked shoulders.

Nor is this more than an individual case amongst others of a similar
class. What of the tens of thousands of the people’s money given,
without the sanction of Parliament, to the Grand Trunk Railway in the
interest of English stockholders; and the postal subsidies handed over
to the same line, in excess of the tender made by the Managing Director
for the carrying of her Majesty’s mails? Was not the government liberal
with the hard earnings of their poor dupes throughout the land, when
they virtually informed the authorities of the Grand Trunk that they
were altogether too modest in their estimates, and that the country
ought not to take advantage of such nice young men, but give them more
than they asked for performing the service mentioned? Glorious! wasn’t
it? We might also allude to the manner in which Sir John A. taxed
the struggling industry of the Province, millions to build up his pet
Parliament Houses at the back of God speed--buildings that almost rival
those of England--and refer also to the delightful manner in which the
Crown Lands were dealt with by another member of this happy family:
citing the case of the Wallace Mine Claim, in which the Commissioner
managed to dispose, at a mere nominal figure, of a portion of the public
domain by private sale among a few of his friends, including a gentleman
presumed to be his own agent, and that, too, in the face of a law which
made it imperative upon the government to advertise all lands in the
_Canada Gazette_ before they were put upon the market. For appearance
sake, the lands were advertised in the _Gazette_; but when a purchaser
dropped in to make inquiries, it leaked out that they had been all
disposed of previously. In this way the business of the people has been
conducted for years; and what is the result? To-day they are without
immigration, trade or commerce--to-day there is no public confidence
existing in any portion of the Dominion; for the government seem to
grasp the purse-strings with one hand while they hold a drawn sword in
the other. There is no security to be found in any corner of the State;
and no projects, formed for the future of its people. To be sure,
certain parties prate and jabber about the Volunteer Service and
national defenses; but what have they to defend? If their frontier were
bristling to-morrow with forts and bayonets, all they could hope to
accomplish would be the shutting out of American liberty and national
prosperity from the people. This must be self-evident to any individual
who is at all conversant with the true nature of the case, or cognizant
of the fact, that there cannot possibly be any hope for Canada so long
as she holds herself aloof from the great social and political compact
of this Union, upon the pulses of which, in her present helpless and
isolated position, she will always have to dance attendance and pay the
piper besides. Either the sunlight or the shadow of the Republic must
fall on her without intermission. If she choose the former, well and
good; let her cut herself free of the despotic tyrant that now holds
her in cunning thrall, and step into the broad effulgence of American
freedom, or if she will it, until circumstances of themselves
precipitate her into the arms of the Commonwealth with less grace than
she might otherwise have fallen into them, let her feel the blighting
influence of the cold clouds that cannot fail to envelope her and
paralyze all her energies in the interim. There is no need of mincing
the matter--Canada beneath the skull and cross-bones of St. George, must
ever remain a poor, puny starveling; while under the proud and ample
folds of the glorious flag of this mighty Republic, she should at once
become great, powerful and prosperous, as yet another star added to the
refulgent galaxy that now rides high amid the noontide of nations.



CHAPTER XII.


One grand evidence of the deep rooted sentiment that actuates Fenianism
in the great Irish American heart, is to be found in the fact, that at
the time of the Pittsburgh Convention, the Organization was in debt,
and that within the brief space intervening between that period and the
invasion of Canada, the Brotherhood armed and equipped thousands upon
thousands of their number, and still had not expended the last dollar
in their treasury. This is, of itself, a most significant fact, and one
that goes far to exalt the Irish element on this continent in the eyes
of both soldiers, citizens and statesmen. The abiding faith of our
people in the justice of their cause, and the fixed conviction that it
shall one day triumph, enable them to deal with reverses and opposition
in a manner at once intelligent, dignified and philosophic. They know
that repeated failures have been the crucible in which the holiest and
the most successful projects have been tried in all ages; and, like that
of the spider of Bruce, the heart never fails within them. Amongst them,
too, were found upon the eve of their descent upon the Province, as
well as long previous to it, men of undoubted patriotism, genius and
chivalry. And at no point was this more obvious than at Buffalo. We say,
more obvious, for we know that scarce a city, town or village in the
State, and far and wide outside it, but contained just us good men and
true as were possessed by Buffalo; but we refer to it thus particularly,
as it is more immediately connected with our tale. We could mention many
names as sterling in every relation as those we now introduce; but none,
we apprehend, more intimately blended with the actual descent of the
brave O’Neill upon Canada, save the handful of heroes who joined him
in that proud and daring expedition; and none which, in the hour of
the sorest need of the Organization, sacrificed more for the sake of
Ireland.

When the moment was considered ripe for the movement, then, the eyes of
the Fenian authorities were turned towards Buffalo, and other points
on the frontier lying close upon the Canadian borders. In this city,
Francis B. Gallagher, Esq., and five or six others were regarded as
marked personages towards which a peculiar portion of the movement
should gravitate before finally crossing the lines. These gentlemen,
from their independent circumstances, excellent social standing and
undoubted patriotism, were regarded as pillars of strength upon which
the expedition might properly lean for a moment, and adjust itself
before attempting to cross the Rubicon and enter the country of the
enemy. There were more, also, in this city, who evinced a spirit of the
truest love of Ireland upon that occasion, as upon all previous once,
and who assisted in forwarding the grand objects of the organization
to the utmost stretch of their abilities, but as their names are too
numerous to mention here, and as they had their counterpart, as they
have to-day, in various localities throughout the Union, we shall merely
note the circumstance of their existence. As to the Brotherhood in
its military aspect here, no portion of the State or Union was better
represented in this connection, or more competent to distinguish itself
upon the field. Its civil relations, also, were equally creditable; Mr.
Gallagher, as the period for action approached, becoming active, anxious
and restless; devoting his time assiduously to the affairs of the
Brotherhood, and constantly communicating with headquarters on some
point of importance. And thus affairs stood when the first draft of
men arrived in the city under Senator Bannon, of Louisville, Ky., and
Senator Fitzgerald, of Cincinnati, and when the movement on Canada might
be said to have fairly commenced.

Soon, however, it began to be discovered that, although Buffalo, and
other places, were alive to their duty and ready to contribute their
quota to the expedition, there was a screw loose somewhere; and on the
evening of the thirty-first of May, it was ascertained that, although
numbers of volunteers had arrived from various points, through the
unfortunate neglect or incapacity of the then Secretary of War, there
was no one to command them. This was a dreadful state of affairs indeed,
and one which admits of no palliation. It was expected that General
Lynch, or some other distinguished officer, would take charge of the
expedition from this point; but that gallant and experienced soldier,
owing to the receipt of incorrect orders, did not arrive in time to
assume the command. Up to this point, and for some time previously,
matters had been conducted in a manner so careless by the War
Department, that the mere casual observer might reasonably presume some
parties connected with it courted failure. Arms and ammunition had been
despatched to the frontier without due precaution, and to parties to
whom they ought not have been transmitted, for various reasons. Again,
the massing of forces at the various points of debarkation was neither
compact nor simultaneous,--a circumstance which occasioned so much
delay, that the American government could not possibly close their eyes
to the fact of the invasion, without compromising themselves before
the world. Had one simultaneous and compact movement characterized the
expedition, the American authorities would never have interfered with
it; but when it was rubbed under their nose for days, through the
blundering or criminality of those who undertook to direct it from the
War Department, what was to have been expected other than is now known
to have occurred?

In addition to this, no transport had been actually secured for the
troops that had arrived at Buffalo, and the dilemma was intensified
to the extremest pitch. What ship-owner, in the face of such bungling,
would run the risk of placing any of his vessels at the disposal of a
party so uncomfortably situated? That was a question which presented
itself at the last moment, and which was more easily put than answered.

When all was dark and uncertain, however, and when the heart of many
began to fail, in stepped the gallant O’Neill upon the platform,
offering to command the expedition. He had arrived previously from
Nashville, Tenn., with his contingent, and felt how dreadful the
position in which the project was placed. A council of war was held,
at which Captain Hynes was present; and as this latter gentleman had
delegated authority from Gen. Sweeney, Colonel O’Neill--now General--was
at once placed in command. So far so good; but how were the troops to
get across the river? The interrogatory, as already observed, was a
perplexing one; but it was instantly solved by Mr. Gallagher and one or
two other gentlemen, who voluntarily, and at the imminent risk of every
dollar they possessed, pledged all they were worth in the world, and
procured the necessary means for crossing the river, and landing the
first instalment of the army of the Irish Republic upon British soil.

The number of men assembled at Buffalo on the night already mentioned
was about eight hundred,--being detachments from the following
regiments:--13th Infantry, Colonel John O’Neill; 17th Infantry, Colonel
Owen Stan; 18th Infantry, Lieutenant Colonel Grace; 7th Infantry,
Colonel John Hoy, and two companies from Indiana, under Captain
Haggerty; but the number of men that could be gotten together when the
expedition crossed did not exceed six hundred.

An authentic report of this brief but glorious campaign will be found at
the close of this work. We introduce it as historical information, from
a most unerring source. The subject, it will be perceived, is treated
in the most impartial and unimpassioned manner; dealing simply in dry
details, and in that curt, soldier-like matter of fact style, which aims
at nothing like effect, and seeks only to recount circumstances as they
occurred, and that, too, in the briefest possible manner.

Scarcely had the last boat, with the invading expedition, pushed off
from the American shore, on the night of the 31st of May, already
mentioned, when another craft, pulled by two men, its only occupants,
followed in the wake of the receding troops, dropping a little further
down the river, as it neared the Canadian side. From their dress and
appearance, the rowers might have been recognized by many a Buffalonian,
as Black Jack and the Kid, who were evidently bent upon dogging the
invaders, and, while keeping at a safe distance, dealing in such plunder
on their outskirts as might swell their own villainous coffers, while
the criminality should attach to the Fenians. This course was prompted
on their part by a sort of blind, bull-dog adherence to everything
English, and a hope of picking up in the red trail of the campaign such
valuables as would increase their already large though ill-gotten store.

On reaching the Canadian shore, both these worthies, who had but a few
nights previously conveyed Kate across the Niagara, set out for the
village of Fort Erie, which lay about four miles up the river, and which
they did not wish to approach directly from the American side, but creep
towards in the rear of the moving mass.

Under no circumstances does the human wolf exhibit itself to such
monstrous intensity as under those of war. Not the wolf in the uniform
of the soldier, for, let him be as blood-thirsty as he may, he buys, on
the field, to some extent at least, the right to be savage. The current
coin in which he deals is human gore; and in this relation he freely
exchanges with his antagonist the circulating medium, and gives or
takes, as the necessities of the moment may demand. He stands a nine-pin
on the great bowling-alley of the field, and takes his chance of being
knocked down in common with his opponent, who occupies a precisely
similar position. He offers life for life; and, lamentable as the
doctrine may be, he seems licensed to plunder, and, if needs be, kill.
Here, of course, we speak of the mere hireling, who has no higher object
before him than that of simple gain--who is actuated solely by a sordid
love of gold--whose soul and body are as purchasable as a pound of beef
in the shambles, and who is moved by the wretched pulses of mammon only.
Such an one, although low in the scale of humanity, and unworthy
of being mentioned in the same breath with the glorious patriot who
unsheathes his sword for Father-land, Liberty and Heaven, is an angel
of light compared with the lynx-eyed, dastardly prowler, who, when the
heart of his quarry has been stilled by some other hand, gropes, gloved
with clotted sore, among the mangled remains for the booty he never
earned; or who, when the thunder of the field, or the onward course of
a victorious army lays waste the fair land, takes advantage of the dread
and confusion of the inhabitants, and gorges himself with plunder, as
though he were a victor to whom should belong the spoils. Such wreckers
of the dead are the ghouls of our race; and never had they more faithful
representatives than the two villains who, in due course, mingled with
the invaders in the village, anxious to commence their depredations
before even a single shot was fired.

Barry, as already intimated, joined the expedition, and was now numbered
among the invaders. Of course he perceived that with such a mere handful
of men, nothing could be effected in the Province; but, then, he
never supposed for a moment, that they were other than the simple
advance-guard of a numerous following close upon their rear. In
addition, it was anticipated that the landing of troops upon the
Canadian shore would be effected simultaneously along the frontier at
different points. This was the settled conviction of O’Neill, and of his
officers also, as the scheme formed a leading feature of the
programme of the campaign. But here the fates were against them; for
transportation, as we are led to believe, was not secured effectively
at any point save Buffalo. In fact, this city appears to have acquitted
itself with regard to the invasion, in a manner that reflects the
highest credit upon the Fenian authorities of the district; for even
when the expedition, on finding that the American Government had
interfered with the transport of reinforcements, had considered it
prudent to return, the means of reaching the American shore were placed
at its command by the patriotic gentlemen already alluded to; while,
farther still, when the United States authorities were seizing the arms
of the Brotherhood in every direction, Buffalo, through the admirable
management of these persons, contrived to keep its quota intact.

During the morning of the landing, Nicholas happened to get a glimpse
of the Kid and big dark companion in the village; and the circumstance
awoke strong hopes in his bosom in relation to gaining some intelligence
of Kate. From all he had heard, and from having found the trinket in
their boat, he felt convinced that either one or the other of these
scoundrels knew something of her. He, therefore, kept track of them
until a fitting opportunity, when he accosted the Kid, as a sort of
half acquaintance, and, by way of attempting to surprise him into a
confession of some knowledge of Kate, produced the silver chased button
already referred to, and asked him if he knew the name of the lady that
had recently dropped it in his boat. For a moment the villain, who was,
of course, none other than the Stephen Smith that was in the habit
of visiting the Wilsons, seemed taken aback; but instantly recovering
himself, replied, that his boat was so often hired by fishing parties,
it would be difficult to tell the name of the lady from whose dress it
might have dropped--that was, “provided it had dropped from a lady’s
dress, at all.”

Although the thrust was adroitly parried, Nicholas, who was on the _qui
vive_, noticed his momentary confusion, and determined to keep his eye
upon him, in the hope that something might soon turn up that would throw
the villain more completely into his power, and enable him to extract
from him the intelligence which he still felt satisfied was in his
possession. With this end in view, he set one of his comrades, who had
escaped from the Fort with him, to watch with the utmost caution
and secrecy every manoeuvre of the wretch and his companion; fully
satisfied, as he was, that both the rascals were determined to follow in
the wake of the army, for purposes already mentioned.

The conduct of the Invaders at Fort Erie was of such general excellence,
that the inhabitants of that place speak of them, up to the
present hour, in terms of such admiration as to excite the
jealous animadversions of many of the Canadian people themselves.
Notwithstanding that the village and its vicinity lay helplessly at
their disposal, and was, for the moment, theirs by right of conquest,
they entered it rather in the character of guests than in that of
masters. Although the usages of war placed all that it contained at
their feet, they never appropriated to their use even one solitary loaf
of bread or glass of ale without having first paid for it. As to their
generosity and chivalry in this connection, let us quote from the work
of Major George T. Denison, Jun’r, commanding “the Governor General’s
Body Guard,” Upper Canada; author of “Manual and Outpost Duties,”
 “Observations on the best Defensive Force for Canada, &c.”--an officer
who took part in the campaign against the Fenians, and who cannot be
charged with partiality to the invaders. In this work, published in
June, 1866, by Rollo & Adam, Toronto, and entitled “The Fenian Raid on
Fort Erie, with an account of the Battle of Ridgeway,” the author,
page 62, observes, first, as to the disastrous result of the collision
between both armies, to the Canadians:--

“The loss of this fight was the loss of the whole expedition. The two
Commanding Officers were wandering about the country, the main body of
the men captured or lying wounded about the village; the Captain of the
Artillery struck down with the loss of a leg, and the Tug almost denuded
of men, and the few left so hampered with a lot of useless prisoners, as
to be unable to undertake anything.”

And again, after having complimented the invaders on some instances of
personal bravery, he remarks, page 69:

“Before closing this chapter, I must mention that, from all accounts,
the Fenians, except in so far as they were wrong in invading a peaceful
country, in carrying on an unjustifiable war, behaved remarkably well
to the inhabitants. I spent three weeks in Fort Erie, and conversed with
dozens of the people of the place, and was astonished at the universal
testimony borne by them to their unvarying good conduct. They have been
called plunderers, robbers and marauders; yet, no matter how unwilling
we may be to admit it, the positive fact remains, that THEY STOLE BUT
FEW VALUABLES; THAT THEY DESTROYED, COMPARATIVELY SPEAKING, LITTLE OR
NOTHING, AND THAT THEY COMMITTED NO OUTRAGES UPON THE INHABITANTS, BUT
TREATED EVERYONE WITH UNVARYING COURTESY. On taking a number of the
Welland Battery and the Naval Company prisoners, THEY TREATED THEM
WITH THE GREATEST KINDNESS, putting the officers under their parole
and RETURNING TO THEM THEIR SIDE ARMS; taking them down to the wharf on
their departure, and releasing them, bidding them adieu with EXPRESSIONS
OF GOOD WILL.”

“Another incident,” he goes on to say, same page, “occurred, worth
mentioning: A number of them went to a widow lady’s house, near Fort
Erie, and asked her for something to eat. They were about going into the
kitchen to sit down, and she told them she would not let them in,--they
laughingly replied, ‘very well, ma’am, we’ll do here very well, it is a
very nice yard;’ and accordingly they sat down on the grass and ate the
bread and butter and milk she gave them. Another squad in the same
way took breakfast there. In the evening a man came, ragged and tired,
looking for something to eat. Seeing a loaf of bread on the table he
took it up. The lady said: ‘That is the last loaf I have.’ The man
looked at her and said slowly: ‘Is that the last loaf of bread that you
have? then I’ll not take it,’ and laid it on the window-sill. Seeing
this, she asked him to take half. After pressing it upon him, he at
length took a portion of it. This story is undoubtly true, as I obtained
it from the lady herself, with whom I am intimately acquainted.”

“It perhaps,” he continues in the next paragraph, page 70, “does
not come with a good grace from a Canadian to give any credit to the
Fenians, who, without any ground of complaint against us, invade our
country and cause the loss of valuable lives among us; but as a truthful
narrator of facts, I must give them credit on the only ground on which
they can claim it.”

This is honest and soldierly on the part of Major Denison; but should
these pages chance to meet his eye, he will find his theory untenable in
relation to the immunity of Canada from the consequences of any acts for
which England may seemingly be responsible only. The war of 1812 was
not a war against Canada, but against Great Britain, and yet Canada was
invaded by the Americans and made the principal theatre of the
conflict. How multifarious soever, or widely scattered its colonies or
dependencies, every nation is a unit, and consequently amenable as well
in detail as in the aggregate, for any offence committed against public
justice or humanity. When you quarrel with a man, you don’t quarrel in
particular with his eye, his foot, or his nose, although you may punish
him as a whole by inflicting injury upon all or any of these organs; and
thus it is in the case under consideration; the New Dominion is the foot
or the eye or the nose of John Bull, and as such, any enemy of England
is justifiable in maiming him in any or all of these parts. This is
the hard logic of the point; and if Canada wishes to escape its
consequences, she must demonstrate to the Irish people, or to any other
who may be at enmity with England, that she is neither part nor parcel
of the British Empire. How ridiculous the plea set up by Canada, that
because she was not forsooth an active individual agent of gross tyranny
and injustice towards Ireland, she ought to be exempt from any of the
consequences arising to the real culprit in the case. The same argument
might be urged with as much reason, by half the population of England
herself, who are just as innocent in this respect as the people of
Canada; they having never been consciously concerned in any oppression
of Ireland, either individually or collectively. But they are the
friends, allies and abettors of the government which has perpetrated
such crimes in relation to Ireland,--nay, more, they create and sustain
the agencies through which these wrongs are committed; and in this
they are joined heart, hand and soul, by the people of Canada or the
representatives of that people. Canada, then, having sworn allegiance to
the Crown of Great Britain, is constructively, as well as virtually,
as much an enemy of Ireland as England is. The Firm, comprising Great
Britain and all its colonies and dependencies throughout the world, is
known as John Bull & Co., and the distinctive sign of the house, in all
its ramifications, is the Union Jack or some adaptation of the red
cross of St. George to local predilections. As in ordinary mercantile
transactions, a debt incurred by any branch of the establishment
involves the responsibility of the whole, and can be levied for
in London or Hokitika. This is the true state of the case, and any
individual who would advance a doctrine contrary to it, is either a
simpleton or a knave.

Black Jack and his companion were astonished to find such order reign in
the midst of an invading army, and to perceive that the inhabitants
of the village were not subjected to instant plunder, if not fire and
sword, by the troops now in possession of the place. They had come over
in the hope of being able to make some bold strokes in the wake of the
soldiery, and the confusion that they had fancied should obtain among
the people; but finding that they were foiled in this direction, they
cast their eyes about them to see what was best to be done under the
circumstances.

“I’ll be blowed,” growled Jack, as they both rambled in the outskirts
of the village the morning of their arrival, “if this ain’t a go. Honly
fancy, Kid, vot a set of spoonies these ‘ere fellows har, not to be goin
it like the Hinglish in Hindia, or in the Peninsoola under the Duke. I
‘eard a fellow as vos there say, that they used to steal hoff at night
and ‘av hodd sport and leave none to tell the tale in the mornin.
Glorious, vosn’t it? And then ven they gathered hup the svag, they
made it hall right vith the sentries and sometimes vith the hofficers
themselves.”

“Jack, I’ll never make anything of you,” returned the Kid; “your
language is so vulgar, and your address altogether so ungentlemanlike,
that you at once peach on yourself; for anybody, with even half an eye,
that either sees you or hears you speak, would take you for the villain
you unquestionably are.”

“Oh! bless’ee, but you’re a sveet cove,” rejoined Jack, “and no vun
vould suppose for a moment that you cut Sal Gordon’s throat, the night
you coaxed her hoff to marry her, just because you took a fancy to a
couple of five-pun notes she had in her trash-bag that she refused to
give hup afore the knot vos tied.”

“Come, come,” winced the Kid, “no more of that, but let us see if we
can’t do a little business here, or, at least, before we return, which
I venture to say we shall manage if we keep in the wake of these fellows
without arousing the suspicions of any of them.”

“Yes, yes!” said Jack, “but vot hif ve should run foul of the henemy and
be taken hup as belongin to these ‘ere chaps, hif so be they’re beaten,
as I hope they vill?”

“I tell you what, there’s but one chap among them all that’ll keep
his eye on us,” replied the Kid, “and that’s the fellow who thought to
surprise me into a confession, by suddenly producing a button that, I
apprehend, dropped off the dress of the lady that we, recently ran over
here for our new employer. I have found out his name, and learned that
he was engaged to be married to this same beauty, who is now safely
caged at Wilson’s, where she’ll soon be apt to learn that she’s in about
as nice a fix as ever she was in during her life. But,” he continued, “I
don’t know what to make of that Martha. All I can do or say, whenever I
happen to be at the house, has no other effect than that of apparently
making her more and more opposed to her uncle’s wishes, until I am
convinced shell never be mine, willingly at least. And after all, I love
the girl well enough; although I feel I should kill her before she was
mine a month.”

Thus baffled and circumscribed, these two scoundrels prowled about the
village until near ten o’clock, when the troops moved down the river
about four miles, and went into camp at Newbiggin’s farm. At this period
the gallant O’Neill was in great uncertainty. Here he was in an enemy’s
country with but a handful of men, and in utter darkness as to what was
going on at other points. Already, at Buffalo, he had a taste of the
manner in which the War Department had conducted the expedition to
that point; and was, of course, afraid that the inefficiency of that
department would make itself apparent in more relations than one. In
the ability, activity and devotion of President Roberts, Vice-President
Gibbons and the Senate, he had the fullest confidence; but Col. Roberts
did not take it upon himself to dictate to a department that was in
charge of what was believed to be an old and experienced military
officer, and one on whose judgment and practical skill he placed the
fullest reliance. The position was a desperate one; but O’Neill was
determined to maintain his ground on British soil, until satisfied that
failure had obtained elsewhere, and that there was no probability of his
being reinforced. He had long burned for an opportunity of meeting the
enemies of the land of his birth in open fight; and now, although all
around looked dark and uncertain, he was determined to join issue with
any force that was brought against him. His men for the most part, too,
shared this sentiment. True, that a few cowardly hounds had deserted his
standard almost as soon as it had been unfurled on the enemy’s
shore; but then these were of that miserable breed that always attach
themselves to expeditions of this sort without measuring their motives
or the strength of their principles. However, be this as it may, they
have forever forfeited their claims to the name of Irishmen, if such
they were; while the very recollection will be painful to many, that so
dastardly and worthless a crew tainted, even for a single moment, the
pure atmosphere in which such men breathed as the following, not to
speak of the noble rank and file whose names we are unable, for obvious
reasons, to give here, and who, like them, led by the gallant O’NEILL,
immortalized themselves on the field of Ridgeway:

_OFFICERS OF THE I.R.A., PRESENT AT RIDGEWAY_.

  Lieutenant RUDOLPH FITZPATRICK, Aid-de-Camp to O’NEILL.

  Colonel OWEN STARR, commanding Kentucky troops.
  Lieutenant Colonel JOHN SPAULDING, Louisville, Kentucky troops.
  Captain TIMOTHY O’LEARY, Louisville, Kentucky troops.
  Captain JOHN GEARY, Lexington, Kentucky troops.
  Lieutenant PATK J. TYRRELL. Louisville, Kentucky troops.
  Lieutenant MICH’L BOLAND, Louisville, Kentucky troops.

  Colonel JOHN HOY, Buffalo, commanding 7th Regiment I.R.A.
  Lieutenant Colonel MICH’L BAILEY, Buffalo, 7th Regiment I.R.A.
  Captain JOHN M. FOGARTY, Buffalo.
  Captain WM. B. SMITH, Buffalo.
  Lieutenant EDW’D LONERGAN, Buffalo.

  Colonel JOHN GRACE, Cincinnati; commanding Ohio troops.
  Captain SAM SULLIVAN, Cincinnati. Ohio troops.
  Lieutenant JOHN J. GEOGHAN, Cincinnati. Ohio troops.

  Captain ---- BUCKLEY, Cleveland, Ohio troops.
  Lieutenant TIMOTHY LAVAN, Cleveland, Ohio.

  Captain ---- McDONALD, Pulaski, Tennessee.

  Captain LAWRENCE SHIELDS, Nashville, commanding Tennessee troops.
  Captain PHILIP MUNDY, Chattanooga, Tenn.
  Lieutenant JAMES J. ROACH, Nashville, Tenn.
  Lieutenant JOHN MAGUIRE, Nashville, Tenn.

  Captain MICH’L CONLON, Memphis, Tennessee.

  Captain ---- HAGGERTY, Indianapolis, Indiana.

  Major JOHN C. CANTY, Fort Erie, C.W.

We trust that we have not omitted here the name of any officer present
at Ridgeway. If it should ever appear that we have done so, it will be a
source of great pain to us, although we can plead in apology that every
effort was made on our part to procure a complete list.

Seeing that there was not much to be made out of Fort Erie, the two
comrades, Black Jack and the Kid, moved cautiously in the rear of the
troops as they fell down the river; their intention being to remain
concealed in the vicinity of any point at which an engagement might take
place, and then trust to chance for an opportunity of rifling the dead
or picking up whatever spoils happened to drop in their way. While
deliberating upon this creditable resolve, about noon, as they had made
a detour and pushed ahead of the troops, who were going into camp, their
attention was arrested by the noise of some vehicle coming up a side
road across which they were wending their way. In the course of a few
moments they discovered that it was the wagon of Wilson, driven by that
worthy, in the direction of the village of Waterloo; he evidently not
having, as yet, heard of the Province being invaded. Immediately a
conference took place between the three friends, when it was agreed that
Wilson’s wagon should be concealed in a wooded hollow close by, and that
it should be made the receptacle of whatever plunder might be
secured during the struggle that they all felt must soon take place.
Consequently, the team was turned aside, and, after being unhitched, was
secured in a close clump of trees, that was not likely to be visited by
any persons in the vicinity; and more particularly so, when the country
was now being alarmed throughout, and people were securing themselves in
their habitations.

After this being arranged, and the horses fed and watered, the party
again sallied forth towards the main road, with a view to getting
as near as was safe to the camp of the invaders, and gleaning some
information as to their future movements. They had been hovering about
in this way for some time, when they came to a point where two roads
met, and where they perceived two wagons in which were a number of
people, all standing and reconoitering something, in alarm or surprise,
through a field-glass, which they were passing from one to the other.
At a glance the trio saw that these persons were Canadians; and, fearing
nothing, they made instantly towards them, and as though in ignorance of
what had taken place, made inquiries as to what they were inspecting.

While engaged in conversation upon this point, and learning that those
in the wagons were observing a body of armed men who were moving at some
distance from them, but whom they could not identify as either friends
or foes, the whole party perceived an officer riding towards them with
the greatest apparent coolness and confidence. On coming up, he informed
them that the body of men in the distance were some volunteers who were
not very well acquainted with the roads about there, and that he would
feel obliged if they would just drive down and give the commanding
officer whatever information was in their power upon the subject of the
best route to be taken to a certain point, naming it. To this request
they all gladly acceded, the Kid and Jack not daring to say a word, and
not one of them suspecting anything from the peculiar uniform of the
officer; from the fact that they were not aware the hat indicated that
he did not belong to any Canadian force; believing, as they did, that
the uniforms of the volunteers were of various descriptions. When,
however, they arrived at the point where the men were stationed, they
quickly found out their mistake, and, to their utter consternation, were
all made prisoners, Wilson and his two companions included. The body
that made this capture was a reconnoitering force commanded by Col. John
Hoy; and no sooner was it made, than the prisoners and the two wagons
were at once forwarded under an escort to O’Neill’s camp, where, on the
Kid and Black Jack being recognized as belonging to Buffalo, they were
released at once; the others being held for a short period with a view
to gaining some information from them, relative to the movements or
whereabouts of the enemy, of which, as it subsequently turned out, they
knew nothing whatever.

This introduction to the camp was considered fortunate by the Kid and
his comrade, who now, on being acknowledged by some of the men who knew
nothing of their real character, seemed anxious to remain under the
protection of the Irish flag until, as they stated, they could effect
their escape across the river; as they now averred that, should they
attempt to regain Buffalo alone, they could not fail to fall into the
hands of the Canadian forces, who, it was rumored, were gathering on
every side of the Fenian army, with the design of surrounding it and
cutting off its retreat. This all seemed natural and reasonable enough;
and more particularly as the two villains asserted that they were on
their way to Chippewa on business of importance, but should now get back
to their home as soon as practicable; they not having had any idea that
the invasion was about to take place; and having crossed to the Canadian
side early the evening before; that finding they could not get any one
to recross the river with them, as things stood, they thought it better
to keep in the wake of the army until they had reached some point where
they could effect a crossing; not wishing to entrust themselves to the
people of Fort Erie, after the troops had evacuated that place, as they
felt certain that the inhabitants regarded them as Fenians, and would
treat them as such if an opportunity was afforded them to do so.

During the day nothing of interest transpired, until towards evening,
when Barry, with two of his old comrades and four others of his company,
who were thoroughly acquainted with the locality, were despatched
from the camp, as were similar squads in other directions, to make
reconnoissances of the enemy, if they were anywhere near the main body
of the army. After proceeding cautiously for a couple of miles, and
pausing, from time to time, to reconnoitre, on gaining the verge of a
small piece of wooded land, they suddenly found themselves almost face
to face with ten or twelve armed soldiers, in British uniform, who
seemed to be an outpost lying in wait among some pine shrubs, on the
opposite side of a narrow ravine. Fortunately for our hero, he was
the first to discover the red coats, upon whom the sun was pouring its
declining rays, revealing them to the green coats, while at the same
time it dazzled and obscured their vision, from the fact that the
light flashed full in their faces, while it fell on the backs of their
advancing adversaries. A few hundred yards towards the upper end of the
ravine, there was a small patch of wood, through which Barry instantly
determined to move towards the point occupied by the enemy; hoping to
be able to surprise them before they were aware of his proximity. This
manoeuvre was accomplished rapidly, and with the utmost caution; but as
an open space yet intervened between him and them, when he had gained
the verge of the grove, he determined to remain under cover, with a view
to ascertaining the strength of the force he might have to cope with;
not knowing but it was larger than it seemed to be from the opposite
side of the glen.

Here, however, he had scarcely halted when he was discovered by the
enemy, who took alarm; but, after a moment’s pause, during which a good
deal of coolness was observed amongst their ranks, they deliberately
poured a volley into the grove where he and his little band stood under
shelter, although discernible among the trees. No sooner had the music
of the bullets ceased, and as a full view was had of the force of the
enemy, than the Fenians dashed across the open space already mentioned,
and charged in a spirited manner, although received by the foe with
the utmost intrepidity, and an evident intention to work some mischief
before they retired from the spot. Barry, however, instructed his little
band not to fire until within a few yards of their antagonists, who were
now coolly reloading; so, before the redcoats were again prepared to
give another volley, one simultaneous crash of the Fenian rifles threw
them into momentary confusion; and, the next instant, both parties were
closely engaged in a life and death struggle.

The fire of the Fenians had made sad havoc amongst the small force,
which was now cut down to the proportions of that of their own; still
those that remained never swerved an inch, but joined with their
adversaries, hip and thigh. There was but one volley fired on
either side; and, now that the shrubbery was so thick and withal so
inconveniently high, both parties had recourse to their side arms to
decide the day. Hand to hand, and desperately they fought, without much
indication of the mortal strife, save the low groan of the dying and the
thick breathing of those who struggled upon the green sward among the
roots of the young pines that so thickly studded the place. Already had
Barry silenced forever the pulses of more than one of his antagonists,
when their leader, a powerful man of about thirty-five, made a sudden
bound towards him, after having in turn brought his own assailant to
the ground, and instantly both their swords were crossed, as they stood,
alone, in an open space of a few feet square, while the deadly conflict
still half silently raged around them among the three or four who now
survived to battle for their respective flags.

Barry, although but a private soldier when in the British service, was
regarded as one of the best swordsmen in his regiment. In fact, he was
that sort of person who took delight in excelling in every military
exercise, so that his task-masters should have no grounds for wounding
his feelings or his pride in any matter connected with the discipline
of a soldier. So skillful was he in this connection, that the moment
he caught sight of the manner in which his enemy grasped his weapon,
he looked for but one issue touching the encounter, and that was, the
probable destruction of both. He felt that he had an antagonist before
him worthy the occasion, and braced himself for the work with all the
energy of his being. Swift as lightning, both weapons flashed in the
sunlight, and the next instant lay pressing uneasily against each other
in mid-air; forming a shifting and glittering arch of death, beneath
which either its crimson or emerald pillar was soon to fall in
ensanguined ruins. Not a word was spoken on either side; each believing
that his hour or that of the other had come! The conflict in the
surrounding shrubbery had already almost ceased. Brief as the period
was, the remaining few of the enemy were vanquished and soon had fled,
pursued by a victorious two or three, being scarcely themselves more
than that number, having suffered severely, although they fought with
great bravery. It was the seven hundred years of hate and the red blood
of Ireland, that decided the conquest for so far in favor of the green;
and now, face to face, with lips compressed and glaring eye, stood the
two representatives of the individual antagonisms, which had been pitted
against each other for ages, and which never can breathe in peace the
same vital air. As if understanding, thoroughly, the power, agility and
skill of his antagonist, the opponent of Barry, who was an Englishman by
birth, and had been in the British service, never sought for a moment to
gain any advantage of the ground. In this relation, he seemed satisfied
to fight his adversary on equal terms; being well aware that a single
move might be fatal, inasmuch as it could not fail to distract his
attention to some extent from his watchful enemy. The sward sloped
down rapidly to the ravine; so that he who occupied the most elevated
position would have his adversary at an advantage; but, although this
conviction was impressed upon the minds of both, neither seemed anxious
to avail himself of it; and thus they stood upon equal terms, in every
way antagonists worthy of each other. In height, the Englishman had it
somewhat in his favor; but, then, not above an inch or so; while Barry,
in agility and compactness, seemed to be vastly his superior. And such
they were, when the first thrust and parry told that the work had begun.
This was immediately succeeded by a furious clashing, that evidenced a
rising tempest of anger in the breast of either, or both, and which gave
promise of being speedily followed by some fatal stroke that was sure to
terminate the encounter. During this ominous flurry, Barry stood on
the defensive, coolly eyeing his brave adversary, and watching for the
unguarded moment when he could either kill or disarm him; but this was
not so easily found, as the Englishman was every inch a soldier and a
superb swordsman; and Barry knew it well.

Notwithstanding the violence of the attack, so adroitly was it met,
and so firmly was it withstood, that our hero never gave way a hair’s
breadth of ground, or suffered a single scratch; and now only, in
reality, the murderous conflict commenced. The Englishman perceiving
that our hero was not to be moved or thrown off his guard for an
instant, became more fully satisfied that he had a dangerous antagonist
to deal with, and so commenced to be himself more cautions and guarded.
Seeing that mere personal strength availed him but little, he fell
back on his admirable swordsmanship and fought with coolness the most
undaunted. Barry now, in turn, became the assailant, and pressing his
antagonist with great skill and courage, gave him a slight flesh wound,
followed rapidly by another in the sword arm, from which the blood began
to flow copiously. Perceiving that the conflict must be decided at once,
as he should soon become faint from loss of blood, once more the red
coat became the assailing party; but this time, as he was pressing our
hero, but somewhat more feebly than before, his foot caught beneath
the tough, fibrous roots of one of the pine shrubs by which they were
surrounded, and the next instant he was thrown headlong towards Barry,
while his sword flew out of his hand far beyond his reach.

The fight was over; and fortunate it was for the prostrate soldier that
it was brought to so singular a determination; for, from the manner
in which he was bleeding, if from nothing else, the day was sure to be
decided in Barry’s favor. Regaining his feet, as soon as possible, he
looked aghast for a moment, as if expecting his death blow; but found
his antagonist not only presenting him his sword, but begging him not to
continue the conflict, as from his wound he was in no situation to keep
it up longer with any show of success.

“By my faith,” he replied in return, “I believe, under any
circumstances, the fates were against me; so, understanding what is due
to a brave man, keep my sword and find me some water, as I begin to feel
a little shakey about the knees.”

Just at the foot of the slope, and but a few yards distant, there was a
brook, to which our hero now led his prisoner, and where, after bathing
his temples and bandaging his wound with a handkerchief, he left him for
a moment to look after those who might need his aid more urgently, hard
by. He found, after all, that but one of his party was killed, although
two others, who managed to creep in amongst the shrubbery, were severely
wounded. Not knowing how the contest was going, and seeing themselves
completely _hors de combat_, they waited in silence the result, fearing
to call out, lest the enemy might be upon them and despatch them. The
red coats suffered most severely; six of their number having been killed
outright. Strange to say, however, that there appeared to have been none
of them simply wounded; for, although groans were heard to proceed from
the point where they lay, they must have been uttered in their death
agonies, so mortal was the damage dealt them.

When this much was ascertained, Barry was deliberating as to what had
become of the remaining three of his party, when they returned to the
scene of conflict, weary with a fruitless chase. These men instantly
took up their comrades and bore them down to the brook, where they
were refreshed with a cooling draught. Barry, finding that it would be
dangerous for them to remain to bury the dead, as the noise of their
rifles might have attracted the attention of some other body of the
enemy that might possibly be somewhere in the vicinity of the ravine,
determined to retrace his steps at once. His two wounded companions,
like his prisoner, were able to walk slowly towards the camp; so,
collecting the enemy’s dead into one place, and covering them with
branches of evergreens, they took up the body of their fallen comrade
and, placing it on a litter hastily formed of boughs gathered on the
spot, slowly wended their way with it towards the point occupied by
the main body of the army--Barry and his prisoner moving in the same
direction, some distance in the rear.



CHAPTER XIII.


In the morning that Greaves visited the Fort in Canada, garrisoned by
Barry’s regiment, it will be remembered that he had a brief interview
with the Colonel. Momentary as it was, however, it was sufficient to
prevent Barry from getting his discharge; for the Colonel was then and
there apprised that our hero sought to leave the army for the purpose
only of joining the anticipated Fenian invasion, giving it the
advantage of his military skill, and aiding it with his knowledge of the
fortifications that the invaders might attempt to posses themselves of.
On being persuaded, through a glance at a certain document placed in
his hands, that Greaves was to be trusted, he at once decided as to the
course that he himself ought to pursue, and the reader has already seen
the result. Strange as it may appear for the present, it was Greaves’
object to induce Barry to desert, and thereby shut himself out from ever
revisiting the British dominions again. He felt that it would be better,
too, that he should not be taken while in the act of deserting; as his
punishment could be but light, owing to the circumstance, that he had
endeavored, though in vain, to obtain his discharge honorably; so he
determined to aid his escape from the Fort, and secure his outlawry
beyond any possibility of mistake. Why he was prompted to an act so
gratuitous and so apparently undeserved, remains for future explanation;
but, at present, all we have to do with is the simple fact, that owing
to his mysterious machinations, our young hero was driven to the step he
had taken.

It is, we perceive, a fact, that O’Brien was correct in his first
estimate of Greaves; as that smooth-tongued traitor was the notorious
spy in the pay of the English government, sent out to Canada with a view
to learning the particulars of the power and intentions of Fenianism in
the Provinces, as well as in the adjoining Republic. In this connection,
he had such papers in his possession as recommended him to the Canadian
Minister who gave him, on his arrival in the city where we first
encountered him, such assistance and direction as his maudlin state of
mind could afford. He recommended him to the confidence of many persons
in the upper part of the Province, where he had been staying for some
time previous to his appearance at The Harp. Among these was the Hon. J.
R-----, of Toronto--a Patrick’s Day Son of the Sod, who has often nailed
Ireland to the cross for place and power; and who regards every body
as his “dear friend” who can help him up the ladder--a man with no more
human flesh about his bones or heart within him, than is possessed by
the veriest skeleton that has ever served the purposes of a college of
surgeons, after having reposed for a whole generation in the silence of
the grave. Oh! how we long for the day when we shall meet such miserable
Judases face to face, and spit upon them before the nations; and how
willing we are to admit that we should rather tomorrow shake the manly
hand of the English Joe Sheard of Toronto, open enemy and all as he is,
than touch the vile, clammy paw of such repulsive creatures as compose
the snake-like breed of which this same paltry and sordid trimmer is a
true representative. Of course, Greaves and he understood each other at
once--they were both traitors alike; only that the former was lavish of
money in attaining his nefarious ends, while the latter would crawl to
whatever goal he had in view, through any description of filth provided
it would obviate the necessity of relaxing his gripe upon his ill-gotten
gain. It is to such men as he, that Ireland owes all her misfortunes,
and that the people of Canada owe the curse of the great embarrassments
that now sorely beset them. For so far, not a single Irishman who has
ever been prominently identified with the Government of Canada, if
we are at all able to judge, has possessed a spark of honest or true
patriotism. From first to last, every man Jack of them has fleeced the
poor Canucks unmercifully, and played the toady to England in the most
fulsome and sickening manner. Even the best of them were rotten to the
core, and but mere adventurers. Look at the case of the “Hyena,” as he
was called in his prime. One day we find him out at the elbows peddling
samples of wine around the Province, and the next, wallowing in wealth
through his Point Levi and other gouges at the expense of the people;
until, at last, he became sufficiently corrupt for England to send him
to take charge of her interests in one of her dependencies: where, as
it is asserted, he, from time to time, is carried from boating parties,
etc., to his palatial residence dead drunk, in open daylight. But
why spend a single breath in referring to such miserable specimens of
humanity? The world knows what they are; and Canada ought to have some
slight acquaintance with them: as they built her into the worthless
Grand Trunk at a ruinous figure, and, like her present, leading,
political juggler, Sir John A., fleeced her in every direction that a
collop could be cut out of her.

It was amongst such tricksters, English, Irish and Scotch, that Greaves,
for the most part, moved secretly from the moment of his arrival in the
Province up to the date at which we find him at Port Colborne. He was,
however, surprised to learn that men so high in power, and that had been
so high in power, really knew so little of the great impending movement
which overshadowed the Provinces and bid fair to wrest them from the
hands of England. But few papers in Upper Canada appeared to know
anything of what was really going on in this relation, besides the
_Globe_, of Toronto. Nearly all the others, like the leader of the
government and his satellites, seemed to be at sea upon the subject.
This fact Greaves took care to mention in the dispatches which he sent
home to Ireland, from time to time; giving it as his opinion, that the
Prime Minister of Canada was a dangerous man to entrust with any large
interests, civil or military.

How the spy had become possessed of the letter or paper which so
staggered O’Brien, is easily accounted for. One of the Organization in
Ireland, named Greaves, who had been purchased by the government while
on a mission of trust, and who had sworn his way into the Brotherhood
with a view to making merchandise of it, gave up his credentials for a
certain sum; and thus it was that they had fallen into the hands of
the Castle of Dublin and subsequently into those of the spy. Cunning as
O’Brien was, the spy read his connection with the Organization through
exhibiting this document to him on the morning succeeding the night of
our first introduction to The Harp; for he perceived, at once, that were
O’Brien not, is some way, identified with the Brotherhood, he would have
been unable to recognize the meaning of certain expressions contained in
the paper, which, as already observed, seemed to impress him so suddenly
and so forcibly.

Now, however, that the Provinces were actually invaded, Greaves, as we
shall yet continue to call him, found that his mission had suddenly been
brought to a close. As the cat was out of the bag, however, he instantly
turned his undivided attention to some private matters of his own, and
which, after all, was the only thing that induced him to move so rapidly
west, after the escape of Barry and his comrades from the Fort. But with
all his deeply laid schemes, he began to feel a strange presentiment
that he had overreached himself, and that, notwithstanding the
supposition that he had shut out our hero from Canada for all time to
come, it was more than likely he was in the Province again, and that,
too, as an invader, and but a very short distance from the village in
which he now found himself. This surmise maddened him, for reasons to be
disclosed in due course; and, as if urged by some unseen power, he
was determined to make his way towards the camp of the invaders; well
knowing that had Barry joined it, he would vouch for his friendliness;
while, had he not re-entered the Province, he himself could make his way
among the Brotherhood as a friend, by the same means that he had stepped
into the good graces, or rather escaped the detection, of O’Brien.

Early on the morning of the second of June, then, he set out from Port
Colborne, with a force under the command of Lieut. Col. Booker, anxious
to witness, and if necessary, take part in the first encounter between
the invaders and the Provincial troops. How did he know--perhaps a
chance bullet fired by himself might find its billet in the heart of
Barry, had the latter joined the Fenians; and if it did, then all would
be right, and his triumph secured. Still he had his misgivings as to
the success of the Canadians, notwithstanding their reputed superior
numbers, and the presence of the regulars to strengthen and inspirit the
volunteers. He saw that all was uncertainty and confusion. Col. Peacock,
of the 16th regulars, chief in command of the united forces, was at
“sixes and sevens” with the commanding officer of the volunteers, while
General Napier, commanding the regular troops in the whole of Upper
Canada, was so perplexed with rumors of invasion at various points, as
to be absolutely lost in a maze of bewilderment, and utterly incapable
of meeting the crisis in a soldierly and intelligent manner.

Thus the confusion ran amongst the Canadians, when Col. Booker, on the
morning just alluded to, set out with his command from Port Colborne,
to attack the Irish Republican forces, encamped at Newbiggin’s Farm, and
with the further intention of forming a junction with the regulars under
Col. Peacock, coming from Chippewa--the invaders being absolutely hemmed
in on all sides; as a steamer with a field battery occupied the river in
their rear, with a view to cutting off their retreat, when they were, as
it was expected they should be, defeated by the large number of forces
that were being steadily brought down upon them.

Arriving at the village of Ridgeway, the troops left the cars and
proceeded cautiously in the direction of Stevensville, at or near which
point they hoped to form the junction with Col. Peacock, who was on his
way from Chippewa, where he had bivouacked the night before. The village
of Ridgeway is on the line of the Grand Trunk Railway, which connects
it with Port Colborne on Lake Erie on the one side, and Fort Erie on
the same lake, at the mouth of the Niagara River, on the other. It is
situated about eleven miles from the former place, and something like
eight from the latter; leaving the extreme points distant from each
other about nineteen miles. At this little place, then, Lieut. Col.
Booker found himself, in command of a force which has been variously
estimated at from twelve to eighteen hundred men, composed of the crack
volunteers of the country, and, as a general thing, commanded by brave
and experienced officers. It has, however, been asserted by some that
there were not more than one thousand British engaged at Ridgeway; but
we fear that this is under the mark, and are inclined to believe, that,
at an honest computation, their force amounted to between thirteen
and fourteen hundred. This we give on what we consider to be reliable
authority, and can, at once, presume that the division under Col. Booker
stood something more than three to one against the invaders, as the
handful under the gallant O’Neill did not exceed four hundred on the
actual field of Ridgeway.

Stevensville lies in the direction of Chippewa, on a wagon road
branching off at right angles from the Grand Trunk at Ridgeway village,
and here it was that Col. Peacock ordered Col. Booker to meet him, with
the men under his command, with the design of forming a junction and
attacking O’Neill with a combined force of volunteers and regulars
amounting to between two and three thousand men. This junction O’Neill
was determined to defeat, and did defeat it;--but let us not anticipate.

When Greaves stepped from the cars at Ridgeway, the first man he
encountered was the Kid; and, strange as it may appear, a sign of
recognition passed between them instantaneously. In a few moments they
managed to extricate themselves from the crowds that thronged the place,
and move off to an unfrequented spot, where they could converse unheard
and unobserved. Here they were soon engaged on a subject which seemed
to excite Greaves to the highest pitch, and elicit from him sundry
ejaculations of surprise mixed with anger. Becoming cooler, however, he
led his companion into a spot even more sequestered, and then fell into
a low and earnest conversation with him, in which the name of Barry
might be heard pronounced with a deadly, hissing vehemence, indicative
of the most frightful passion and hate. All this time the Kid remained
quite calm, answering the interrogatories of his employer, for such
Greaves appeared to be, until, at last, the plot or contract, whatever
it was, was completed, and the parties had again bent their steps to the
railway station by different paths.

Had the gallant O’Neill two thousand men at his command on the morning
of the 2d of June, 1866, with the certainty of reinforcements, _Canada
would, ere this, have been part and parcel of the United States, and
Ireland an independent Republic_, modeled after that of the American
Union. No officer was better calculated to accomplish the overthrow
of British power in the Dominion, than he. A thorough and practiced
soldier--a man of great personal courage and daring, and above all,
a genuine Celt, fired with the hereditary hatred of England so
characteristic of his name and race, he was in himself a host. With two
thousand men, composed of such stuff as he commanded at Ridgeway, he
could have swept the road before him to Toronto; for there can be no
doubt that his numbers would have been largely augmented on the way by
Irish Nationalists and American sympathisers, who then, as now, pine for
annexation. In addition, when it became once known, that a victorious
army of the Republic of Ireland was marching on Toronto, a demonstration
favorable to the invaders would have been made in that city, or
such indications of friendship evinced by the Irish portion of the
inhabitants, as would paralyze the energies of all those within its
borders who were determined to stand by the flag of the tyrant. This, we
are certain, would have been the real result of a march upon that city;
for, all that thousands upon thousands of the people of Canada, who are
now muzzled by the government, require at any moment to range them on
the side of Ireland, is the assurance of success on the part of any
invader, whether Irish or American, who makes a descent upon their
shores. What a dreadful calamity, then, it was, that the War Department
of the Irish Republic had fallen into such careless or incompetent
hands, and that some man was not at its head who could have managed
to have thrown upon Canadian soil, at Fort Erie and one or two other
points, a force to act separately or in conjunction with sufficient
effect to completely paralyse all opposition in Western Canada, among an
already excited and incongruous host, who could have been easily swept
before a compact handful of troops fired by a spirit so lofty and a
resolve so unconquerable as that which actuated the brave little band of
patriots who have made the 2d day of June, 1866, famous in the annals of
the Irish race on this continent and on the other side of the Atlantic.

Let it be thoroughly understood, that although the fortress of Quebec
is considered the Gibraltar of this continent, it is in the midst of
an Irish and French population absolutely hostile to British rule. The
French, like the children of Ireland, never were and never can be loyal
to England; and there are but few men in Lower Canada to-day, who would
not rather see the American flag floating over Cape Diamond at the
present moment, than the blood-stained standard which proclaims it in
the grasp of a tyrant. From this we infer, that had Toronto, Kingston
and Montreal fallen into the hands of the invaders, Quebec could not
fail to soon follow; and then for the fitting out of Irish Republican
privateers that would requite all the depredations of the Alabama
ten-fold, and cripple the commerce of England, as she had destroyed that
of the United States during the last war. General O’Neill had all this
in his eye, and was ready to push the case to the mouth of the St.
Lawrence, and there commence active operations against the merchant
service of the common enemy of both Ireland and America; sweeping it
from the high seas, and striking the tyrant in her Counting House, as
one of her most vulnerable points. There could have been no difficulty
in managing all this, had a sufficient force been thrown into the
Province at the time already mentioned; nor can it be attended with much
difficulty at any moment, provided the right men are placed at the head
of the Fenian War Department. Canada is doomed, whomsoever her conqueror
may be; so the sooner her people experience the change which is sure
to overtake her, the sooner shall she be restored to internal peace,
prosperity and security; from all of which she is now excluded, and
must remain so, as long as she continues part and parcel of the British
Empire.

As by this time, the invading army had been in the Province for a
portion of two days and two nights, the country generally was pretty
well excited; but particularly in and about the section where the
invaders had taken up their position, as well as along the line of Col.
Peacock’s march. Still there did not appear any very marked disposition
on the part of the actual settlers in these quarters to take a decided
part in stemming the invasion. It appears to us, that it was simply the
government that moved through agencies, in this connection, which
could not well disregard or resist their commands, rather than any
antagonistic, out-spoken sentiment of the people, that had developed
itself into active hostility against the Fenian forces. Be this as it
may, the numbers hastily brought against the invaders were large in
comparison with their own rank and file; and had they been actuated by a
spirit similar to that which made a host of each individual Fenian, the
fortunes of the day could not have failed to have been otherwise than
they subsequently turned out to be. Again, let it be understood, that
the majority of the little band who withstood the tempest shock at
Ridgeway, were fresh from the fields of the South and used to the song
of the bullet and the roar of artillery, as the great bulk of the army
of the Irish Republic in America is to-day; while even the British
regulars who were marching on Ridgeway were, with all their pretensions,
but feather-bed soldiers who were totally out of practice of the real
field, and had for many a day exhibited their pluck and discipline at
general reviews or sham battles only. This we hold to weigh heavily on
the side of the Irish National forces, and to decide in their favor, in
advance, in any fight with treble their number of such an enemy--that
is, we are of the fixed impression, that any hundred picked men from the
force now under the gallant O’Neill, will beat, in open fight, any
three hundred of the British army brought against them, all things being
equal, with the exception of numbers. And why?--simply because in
one case the belligerents would be fighting for the traditions and
independence of the land of their love, while in the other they would,
as a general, thing, be fighting for about six-pence a day.

As soon as Colonel Booker and his command took the road towards
Stevensville, Greaves, who was as daring as a man could be, and who
was besides well acquainted with military tactics, procured a rifle, a
soldiers jacket, cap and accoutrements, and started forth in the wake
of the volunteers, with the rear guard of which he soon came up. The
accoutrements he wore belonged to one of the volunteers who, like many
of the men under Colonel Peacock, took suddenly ill as they approached
the Fenian lines, and fell out of the ranks. Fortunately for the spy, he
found in this guard the very comrade of the man who was left behind at
the village, and having received permission from the officer in charge,
fell into the ranks with him and held on his way, as though he were an
ordinary member of the force.

On the other hand, the Kid, on parting with Greaves, took his way in
the direction in which he knew the invaders were slowly and cautiously
moving, in order to get between Booker and Peacock, and defeat one
command before it could form a juncture with the other. On approaching
their lines, the steady tramp of which he could hear, he fell rapidly in
the rear, where, true to their instincts, he found Black Jack and Wilson
following in the team of the latter at a respectable distance, and
anxiously waiting for the first volley that should give intimation that
an engagement had commenced.

“By ----,” exclaimed Wilson, as his acquaintance jumped into the wagon,
“this is coming to rather close quarters.”

“If so be,” replied Jack, “as there vos henny har tillery in the vay, it
might urt the missuses jam pots, seein as ‘ow we can’t be much hover a
mile from them, from this ‘ere place.”

“Scarcely that,” returned the Kid, “and what’s more, from the course
the Fenians are taking, they must soon be into it against three or four
times their number, and serve them right; but what luck have you had
during the night?” he continued, turning to Jack, “although I suspect
there was not much chance in the direction in which you spent it.”

“Call this a hinvasion?” retorted Jack, “vy these coves ‘av only a
come hover to show their good breedin and spend their money amongst the
Canadians, instead of doin the decent thing like as ow it vos done in
Hindia and the Peninsoola, veh the real harmy cut, burned and plundered
hall afore ‘em, ‘and carried hoff, from old and young, bags of the most
precious svag. This is disgustin. Honly fancy the fellows a behavin as
if they vos on knight herranty of the hancient times, instead of givin
a cove a chance of to do a little business among the walluables of Fort
Erie, or hany hother place in the wicinity. I tell ‘ee what, Kid, I’m
sorry as vee hever comed hover--that I be; and I vish I vos veil back
again behind my hown counter.”

“Don’t be down-hearted,” replied the Kid, “for there will be fun
somewhere soon, when these invaders will have to fall back on Fort Erie,
where there may be a muss, or else the Canadians will have to retreat
towards the village I have but recently left, so that in either case
there may yet be a chance to throw something into the bottom of the
wagon, and then in our turn fall back on friend Wilson’s, here.”

In this way the conversation was continued, while the horses moved
slowly along the road taken by the invaders, and at such a distance
from the rear of the force, as not to be visible to any of the soldiers;
until, just as the three companions we’re passing through a patch of
woods about a quarter of a mile from the rear guard of the invaders,
they were suddenly startled by the report of firearms in the direction
of the troops, just ahead of them. This report was followed by another,
and yet another, and now by one continuous volley. The famous battle of
Ridgeway had commenced!



CHAPTER XIV.


Kate McCarthy, after having heard the disclosure of Martha, regarding
the character of her uncle, and the dangerous and nefarious practices
in which he and Smith, or the Kid, were engaged, arrived, by degrees, at
the conclusion, that she was the victim of some horrible and mysterious
plot, in which Nicholas, too, was involved unconsciously. This idea
having taken full possession of her, she immediately communicated it to
her friend, who also seemed to share her apprehension. Of course, she
had no means of accounting for the existence of the talisman upon which,
at the time she received it, she could have staked her life; but, now,
it was too plain, that even about this there was something strange and
unsatisfactory; because, from her frequent inspection of it, although
it had evidently come from the hand of Nicholas, it appeared to have
not been so clearly intended for her, as she could have desired. Yet
for whom else could it have been designed? This was the question; and
it necessarily remained unanswered, while the conviction still obtained,
that, notwithstanding there was enough in the mysterious token to
justify the course she had taken, she was nevertheless in most dangerous
toils, with the existence of which her lover was totally unacquainted.

This once settled in her mind, her first impulse was to flee the house
immediately; but, on second consideration, she felt it were better to
await results, as she was certain that Martha was her true friend, and
believed that no actual violence would be offered to her while
under Wilson’s roof. Were she to effect her escape she had neither
acquaintance nor guide to direct her steps, and was totally uninformed
as to the character and people of the locality in which she found
herself. Again, Wilson had no doubt, placed eyes upon her that would
arrest her footsteps, or so embarrass her that she should again fall
into the hands from which she sought to escape. The region around her,
as she now learned, was addicted to smuggling, and so marked was this
truth, that a house of entertainment in the neighborhood was called the
Smuggler’s Home; where, it was said, bold and reckless men were to be
found constantly. There was one thing, however, she was determined upon,
and that was to procure, if possible, some weapon of defence in case any
attempt were made to further jeopardize her person or liberty; and in
this she was promptly aided by her young friend.

She had now been nearly a week from home, and yet not an additional word
or line had arrived from her lover. It was fortunate, however, that in
her present perilous condition she had one in whom she could confide,
and whom she knew sympathised with her. This was a solace to her, as it
enabled her from time to time, to ease her burdened heart of the heavy
load that pressed upon it, and converse upon the probable designs of
those into whose toils she hod been betrayed. Smith, she was well aware,
knew all the circumstances of her case; but he was in the employment of
her persecutor or persecutors, and nothing, she was certain, was to be
gleaned from him. However, as he had some design on the hand of Martha,
the thought struck her that if opportunity served, her young friend
might be able to extract from him even a hint as to the real state of
her case; and this idea she at once communicated to her. Martha, on her
part, expressed herself willing to befriend her to the utmost of her
power; but still evinced a repugnance to be under any obligation to
Smith, or enter into relations with him that could aim at anything like
confidence between them. Yet she confessed herself ready to sacrifice
her feelings as far as she could properly do so, for the purpose of
fathoming the plot that surrounded her companion; but, then, where was
Smith to begin with; and when was it probable that he should again
make his appearance in that locality? These were points more easily
entertained than disposed of; and thus matters stood when circumstances
threw in their way the very individual they both desired to see.

When the Kid, Jack and Wilson were liberated on the evening of the
day on which they had been captured with others, and sent into the
headquarters of Gen. O’Neill, it was decided that the first named of
these worthies should proceed at once to Wilson’s, and apprise the
family of the presence of a hostile army, and the necessity of keeping
close and barricading the house in case the tide of war should roll
in that direction. The habitation, as already mentioned, stood in an
isolated spot surrounded with woods, and the proprietor was of the
impression, that it would escape notice or molestation; from the fact
that the Fenians seemed to eschew everything that savored, in even
the slightest degree, of the destruction of private property or of
gratuitous pillage. Besides, he perceived that for the purpose of
meeting some of the necessities of the invaders, a few horses had been
already impressed into their service, and felt, consequently, that were
his discovered on the road leading to his home, they could not fail to
share the same fate. He therefore, as just intimated, begged the Kid to
make the best of his way to Limestone Ridge, beside which his domicile
stood. To this request the Kid willingly acceded, as it would afford him
another opportunity of seeing Martha; so, when evening was about to set
in, he commenced his journey.

Earlier in the day, the brave Captain O’Donohue, of the 18th, white out
on a foraging party towards Chippewa, came up with some outposts of the
enemy, who, noticing his dauntless bearing, and the steady, onward tramp
of his handful of men, fled at his approach without firing a single
shot.

When passing out of the camp to the main road, the Kid learned that the
whole force was to move off at about ten o’clock in the direction
of Chippewa; it being the intention of the commander, as previously
observed, to get between the body of regulars about proceeding from that
point, and that of the volunteers, to move forward, and form a junction
with them, from Port Colborne; intending to attack and defeat the one
before the other came up. At this time O’Neill’s troops did not, as
is confidently asserted, number as many as five hundred men; while the
force of the enemy surrounding him on every side, was estimated at an
aggregate of some thousands. This he well knew, but he had invaded the
territories of the ancient and implacable antagonist of his country and
his name, and he was determined to make another Thermopylae of any pass
in which he happened to meet the foe, no matter how overwhelming their
numbers.

This intelligence impressed the Kid with the idea that a battle might
possibly take place somewhere in the vicinity of Stevensville or
Ridgeway; as he knew that the leader of the Irish Republican Army, or
forlorn hope, as so small a body of men might be termed, would attempt
to intercept a junction of the enemy somewhere near one or the other
of these points, as both lay on the line between Chippewa and Port
Colborne, taking the Sodom Road and the Grand Trunk Railway as the
surest and speediest route between both these latter places. So pushing
forward, with speed that never slackened, just at the period that
O’Neill was about to break camp, under the pretence of attacking
Chippewa, Mr. Stephen Smith arrived at Wilson’s door, and after a polite
double knock was admitted by the mistress of that suspicious dwelling.

Martha was soon apprised of his arrival, and while her companion
trembled throughout every limb with anxiety for the fate of the
important enquiries which she had kindly consented to make, she hastily
left the apartment where both had been long seated, conversing upon
their future and the chances of escape from such a den. On perceiving
the Kid, although her very soul revolted against the touch of his
cold, clammy hand, she seemed to welcome him with more than ordinary
cordiality. She was, of course, both surprised and alarmed at the
intelligence of the invasion, and the proximity of the two armies; for,
as yet, not a whisper of it had reached her, so secluded the place. He
spoke of the necessity of putting the house in a state of defence, so as
to be ready to meet any contingency; although, as he himself averred, he
did not apprehend the slightest danger so long as the inmates remained
within their doors, in case the din of battle was heard in the vicinity.
As it was, however, the windows were well secured, and the heavy, oaken
front-door was capable of being rendered all but invulnerable by a huge
iron bar that could be speedily thrown across it into two deep grooves
in the posts.

All this having been seen to, some trifling inquiry was made as to their
lodger, when Mrs. Wilson, understanding previously the intention of
Martha, and sympathizing with the case of poor Kate, left the apartment,
as if on some ordinary household affair. Martha now set about gaining
the information she sought; but with all her art, could only ascertain
from her suitor, that Kate was in the power of an individual who, for
some reason unknown to him, had betrayed her into Canada, and consigned
her, for a time at least, to the place where she was now domiciled.

“And were you a party to the abduction of this innocent creature?”
 exclaimed Martha, the blood mounting to her cheeks in real anger and
disgust.

“Oh! it was all in the way of business,” replied the other, “and
perceiving that it would result in the most pleasant companionship for
one I so admire, I had the less scruples in furthering the design of a
good employer.”

Let it be understood that this villain had not even the most remote idea
of the pure nature and true character of Martha. Having seen her but a
few times, he subjected her moral worth to the standard of that of her
uncle, and thought, consequently, that the disclosure he now made would
enhance him in her estimation. In this he was mistaken; for, no sooner
had he made her thoroughly cognizant of the fact that he was not an
innocent, but a willing, instrument in the abduction of poor Kate, than
she sprang to her feet, and with a glance the most withering, and full
of unconquerable hate and aversion, without a single other word, left
the apartment and ascended to that of her friend.

No sooner had she disappeared than an expression the most demoniacal
stole over the countenance of Smith. The very devil sat on his brow,
while his eyes turned absolutely green in their sockets. His thin, pale
lips glistened again, as he drew them across his sharp, white teeth,
in an attempt to smile. Looking stealthily about him, while a curious
expression, still more horrible, replaced the one already described, he
hastily drew a long knife from a sheath concealed beneath his vest, and
regarded it for a moment in the light of the lamp before him. He knew
that every hope of obtaining the hand of Martha was lost, and forever;
and now for a terrible revenge.

“They are helpless and alone,” he muttered, slowly rising to his feet.
“There is wealth, too, somewhere here; and should I silence them all, it
will be mine, and their death will be laid at the door of the invaders.
Besides,” he growled, “no suspicion can rest upon me, as I am the known
friend of Wilson and the family. Nobody saw me come--no person shall
see me leave. I shall fire the house after having rifled it; and conceal
whatever I may obtain, in some convenient spot until the affair has
blown over. Jack and Wilson know too much of me: I am tired of them. If
needs be, I shall silence them also. I have rare work before me. Barry
must die; but what shall I profit by killing him if I kill this woman
also? Who cares! The devil is working with me; and now for it! To the
foot of the stairs, then; where, as they descend, they shall fall one by
one without a groan until the rare bird of a prisoner is left alone in
her room. Then for some wild sport and the final blow!”

Having muttered all this to himself, the demon in human shape,
extinguishing the lamp, sprang forward in the direction of the stairs,
to await the first who happened to descend: but scarcely had he assumed
his post of death, before the large oaken door was thrust rudely open
and two strapping young fellows, armed with a revolver and a dirk
each, rushed into the apartment, and alarmed all the party up stairs by
calling aloud for a light, the gleam from the hearth being feeble and
uncertain.

Instantly the knife of Smith was returned to its sheath, while he
stepped forward, saying that he had just accidently extinguished the
lamp in the absence of Mrs. Wilson and Martha, who had run up stairs to
acquaint a lady friend with the intelligence that he had but that moment
brought her from Mr. Wilson, regarding the invasion of the Province and
the proximity, as he had no doubt, of the Fenian and Canadian forces.

“That is just the mission we have come on ourselves,” returned one of
the new comers, “as we were apprised that Mr. Wilson was from home, and
thought that his family would like to know of the dangers that possibly
surrounded them.”

The manly voice of the speaker soon brought Martha and her aunt down
stairs; and the lamp being speedily relighted, the former advanced
towards the speaker and taking his extended hand, with a bright eye and
a flushed cheek, heard all he had to say on the subject which occasioned
his unceremonious visit.

“One of us will stay with you,” he continued, while she thanked him for
his goodness, “until Mr. Wilson arrives; and although he is not over
social in his habits, I am sure he will not misconstrue the anxiety we
feel for the safety of his family.”

“Thank you! thank you, Mr. Evans,” returned Martha; “we shall feel so
grateful for your protection; and as to my uncle, I am satisfied he
cannot be otherwise than obliged to you for this great kindness.”

“You stay then, Harry,” observed the other stranger, “for I shall move
on to Ridgeway, as I want to hear what’s afloat there. There are
troops, I know, at Port Colborne, and they ought to be apprised of
the whereabouts of the enemy, and so should the inhabitants of this
neighborhood. Mr. Graham, the Collector of Fort Erie, has, I am
informed, proceeded with information of the enemy to Port Colborne;
but still there is not yet anything known of their precise location, so
contradictory are the rumors, not only as to where they are encamped,
but in relation to their numbers.”

“I can satisfy you as to both these circumstances,” broke in the Kid,
with a voice as bland as if murder had not visited his heart for an age,
“for I heard this evening that they were encamped about four hundred
strong at Newbiggin’s farm, four or five miles down the river from
Fort Erie; and that they intended to move on towards Chippewa about
ten o’clock; branching off in the direction of Ridgeway, in the hope of
meeting the troops coming from Port Colborne, and defeating them before
they formed a junction with those expected from Chippewa.”

“As my cousin Harry will sit up with the family for the remainder of
the night, then, perhaps you would not mind walking as far as Ridgeway,”
 replied the young fellow who had last spoken, “as we are sure to have
news there; from the fact of the village being on the line of the Grand
Trunk.”

Seeing that his murderous plot was for the time defeated, the Kid made
no objection to this request; feeling that the darkness and the night,
as well as any whirl of excitement or debauch, were more in accordance
with the infernal tone of his spirit, than the conversation of two
beings, Martha and Evans, whom his keen eye at once discovered to be
lovers. So bidding the family good night, and not waiting to partake of
the refreshments offered him after his journey from the Fenian camp,
he sallied forth with his new acquaintance on the road leading to the
village.

“Henry,” said Martha, when the sound of their receding footsteps had
died in the distance, “do you know anything of the man Smith who has
just left us, for you seemed to eye him very intently from the moment
the lamp was relighted until the door closed behind him this moment?
We know now, and have often suspected, him to be a villain; but
circumstances over which we had no control--that is, my aunt and
myself--have thrown us occasionally into the society of the wretch, whom
we both loathe and detest.”

This interrogatory was put in the absence of Mrs. Wilson, who had again
sought the apartment of Kate to tell her all that had just transpired.
It seemed to embarrass the young man for a moment; but recovering
himself, he frankly replied--

“I have seen that man frequently in Buffalo. Not long since, he was
pointed out to me as a most dangerous character who was under the
surveillance of the police; and, as you may be well assured, I was
astounded to find him here and at such an hour.”

“Oh!” returned Martha, “he has been here often, Henry, and what I
now fear is, that my uncle is leagued with him, not only in the most
frightfully dishonest practices, but in the abduction, at the instance
of some other villain, of a good and pure young creature who, a few
nights ago, was brought here by them under the pretense that it was
the wish of her lover that she should accompany them where this wretch
would--a pretense that disguised itself under a veritable token procured
in some way from her betrothed, and evidently used without his sanction
or knowledge.”

“I believe your uncle to be a bad man, Martha,” returned Evans, “but the
fault is not yours; and besides, there is not a single drop of his blood
in your veins. I am convinced, also, that your aunt knows it, and that
it is that which so wastes her away and destroys the whole sunshine of
her life. I have long felt it; and were it not for the dread of paining
you through exposure, I should ere this have directed the attention
of the authorities to some circumstances affecting his character and
honesty, that came under my own notice; for, Martha, dear, but a few
hours since, as I may say, I was an accidental witness of an incident
which more than confirms all the suspicions that have so long rested on
him.”

“I know! I know?” interrupted Martha, while she hid her face in her
hands and wept in bitter agony, “but go on!”

“When,” resumed Evans, “two or three nights ago, believing Wilson to
be from home--for I shall no longer call him your uncle, he being, in
truth, no relation whatever of yours,--I stole up from our place to say
a few words to you and urge you to quit this house and become my wife.
I was astonished to see a light in the stable as I crept by it; and
looking into one of the windows. I perceived this man leaning over a
large case filled with valuables that had evidently been stolen by
him, or by some of his accomplices, who had entrusted them to his safe
keeping until the noise of the robbery had blown over. I saw this, I
saw with my own eyes; and now that you are aware of it, can you longer
remain beneath this roof?”

“It is true! alas! too true,” sobbed Martha, “for I myself saw the very
same case; and then it was, that for the first time, a full sense of
his horrible vocation fell upon me and the poor woman that he calls his
wife. Of course, Henry, I shall quit this place, and forever; but until
this horrible din is over, and the poor creature up stairs placed in
some safe hands, I shall bear my terrible lot as best I can.”

“Rightly spoken, dear Martha,” returned Henry, kissing off her tears,
“and I trust that this lady of whom you speak, will prove herself worthy
your kindness and esteem.”

“No fear of that, dear Henry,” returned the maiden, “my heart tells me
that she is as good as she is beautiful, and I know, not only from her
own lips, but from what has transpired this very night, that she is the
victim of some foul plot yet to be punished and explained.”

“And where has she come from, and what is her name?” rejoined Henry,
evidently becoming interested in the fate of our heroine.

“Her home is in Buffalo,” replied Martha, “and her name is Kate
M’Carthy.”

“By heaven!” exclaimed Evans, leaping to his feet as if the house were
falling, “where is she? where is she? Lead me to her at once!”



CHAPTER XV.


Had General O’Neill not entertained strong hopes he should be
re-inforced, knowing, as he did, that a large body of Fenian troops were
scattered along the American frontier, under the command of brave and
true men, he would have broken camp with a sad heart on the night of
the first. No man in existence was more thoroughly aware than he, that,
‘though brave as lions, the force at his command was altogether too
small to effect anything permanent upon the soil of the enemy. The
most he hoped to achieve, was a footing, until his command had acquired
sufficient strength to enable him to move upon some of the important
towns of the Upper Province. Of the dangers and perils that surrounded
him he was fully aware; but he knew, also, that, now that he had crossed
the Rubicon, how fatal it would be to the prestige of the cause of
Ireland, to retreat again to the American shore without measuring
swords with the foe, no matter what their numbers, and, if needs be,
illustrating, with a handful of men, the spirit resolve and bravery
which, long previously, fostered by the noble Roberts and Gibbons, etc.,
fired the whole Organization on this great continent, and placed the
ultimate independence of Ireland beyond any possible contingency.
O’Neill was just the man to make this impression, and to seize upon
every circumstance calculated to aid him in the attempt. Fresh from the
fields of the South, where his sword and name were a watchword and a
tower of strength when danger was to be met in the gap, he was used to
war in all its phases; while the fierce leaven of his patriotism and the
mighty promptings of his ancient name, now that he had made a descent
upon the enemy of his country and his race, rendered him almost
invincible. Though small his band, he knew that each man who had
accompanied him thus far was a host in himself, and ennobled by a spirit
identical with that which prompted him in the main. And now the hour had
arrived when he should show the enemy and the world that numbers were
as nothing in the sight of the God of battles. Besides, he felt it, as a
mere matter of generalship, incumbent upon him to maintain, if possible,
a foothold or rallying point for whatever reinforcements might follow
him, as well as keep open the line of communication with the shores he
had but just left. In short, critically as he was placed, and regarding
his little host as the vanguard of freedom, he determined to sacrifice
himself and them to a man, if necessary, in maintaining his ground until
thoroughly satisfied of the truth of his fears that President Roberts,
deceived, like the Organization generally, in the capacity of the
Secretary of War, was no longer able to send reinforcements or further
a movement calculated to sweep the Province from Sandwich to Quebec. In
this way matters stood with him on the night that he left his camp at
Newbiggin’s Farm. He was aware that two large bodies of the enemy’s
troops were marching upon him from two opposite points, and that to
permit them to form a junction would be to court utter annihilation. As
before observed, then, he set out at the hour already named, with a view
to getting between them and defeating the one before the other came up.
In his sublime enthusiasm he invested each individual of his command
with the purposes and attributes of a hero, and felt that a body so
constituted, so compact and so easily handled, could be slung with
fearful effect against almost any number of men who had no heart in the
fight, save that which was engendered by an uneasy and uncomfortable
sentiment of badly founded loyalty to the flag of a tyrant, or that
degrading spirit of hireling hostility, which changed its force
and direction, in accordance with the amount of gold offered by the
subsidizing party.

Moved by impulses so noble and disinterested, the whole camp now marched
away in the direction of Chippewa, burning the bridges behind them, to
a point some five or six miles distant, where the reconnoitering party,
under the command of Col. Hoy, had been ordered to wait until the main
body of the troops came up, and to the left of which Gen. O’Neill hoped
to intercept some one of the two hostile forces that were, as he was
perfectly convinced, moving against him from opposite points of the
compass.

In the rear of the moving camp followed Black Jack and Wilson, at a very
respectful distance; they being comfortably seated in the wagon of the
latter, that had been brought cautiously from its hiding place, when the
steady tramp of the rear guard of the army had died away.

“What a pity it is,” said Wilson, as the team crawled slowly along,
“that we have no chance to take the number of a few of those self-same
invaders from behind a tree or log; for I find the English blood
beginning to stir within me.”

“Vot’s to be gained by it,” returned Black Jack, “seein as ‘ow there’s
no use in cuttin a vizzen or scuttlin a nob, unless there’s some svag
at the end on it? For my own part,” he continued, “I’d rather that ve
should try our luck among some of the farmers or gentry about here;
although I’m certain they’re purty vide avake seem as vot’s afoot just
now.”

“Yes! yes!” returned the other, “that’s all well enough in its way; but
as we can’t hope to accomplish much until there’s a fight between the
invaders and the invaded, I should like, if an opportunity turned up,
to thin out a few of those green jackets while we hid the horses hard by
and waited the result of the conflict.”

“Vell! vell!” replied Jack, “there vouldn’t be much ‘arm in tryin our
‘and in that vay, as ven ve got a chance ve might step into the ranks of
the Hinglish and give them a lift; ven, if needs be, ve could slip out
again and take our luck in the trail of the fight, pickin hup votever
might drop in the vay.”

About midnight the troops came up with Col. Hoy’s party, and after
marching a considerable distance and then taking a couple of hours rest,
the whole force made a cautious detour towards the direct line leading
from Ridgeway to Chippewa; O’Neill being satisfied that he had already
intercepted the junction of the British, and should be able to engage
and defeat either one party or the other before they could both unite.

In this way the night was passed; every precaution being taken to guard
against ambush or surprise, until morning became well advanced, and
the invaders, after having emerged from a swamp through which they had
marched, found themselves within three or four miles of Ridgeway.

It was at this point and period that the Kid, after leaving Greaves,
had come up with, or rather encountered, the wagon with Black Jack and
Wilson, who, as usual, kept moving slowly in the rear of the troops and
sniffing, like blood-hounds or vultures, their prey in the distance.

As observed in a previous chapter, the two worthies had scarcely
welcomed their companion or seen him comfortably seated beside them,
before they were all aroused by the report of fire-arms, apparently
ahead of the main body of the troops, which, as near as they could
calculate, was about half a mile in advance. It was at this moment that
the brave Col. Starr, who commanded the advance, got the first glimpse
of the outposts of the enemy, which he at once charged and drove in
like so many sheep; and this was the music heard by Wilson and his
companions. Shortly afterwards, the main body of the enemy, commanded by
Lieut. Col. Booker, from Port Colborne, were discovered, and the battle
was opened by a speedy and judicious disposition of the Fenian forces,
and the hasty throwing up of a rail barricade from behind which some of
the Boys in Green commenced their work of destruction; while others of
them kept the British skirmishers in hand in the woods hard by, and in a
manner the most cool and artistic.

Any person who gets a view of Major Dennison’s map, in the work already
mentioned, representing the disposition of the two antagonistic forces
at Ridgeway, will at once be struck with the overwhelming numbers of
that under the command of Col. Booker, compared with the compactness
and fewness of the troops commanded by General O’Neill. In this chart
we have the whole field studded, on the British side, with Highlanders,
York Rifles, Trinity College Companies, University Rifles, the Queen’s
Own and the 13th Field Battery, etc.; while on the side of the Army of
the Irish Republic, as the diagram shows, we have but a handful of
men, without artillery, and with but very few mounted officers. The
circumstances under which the forces met, were favorable to Col. Booker,
also; for not only had the British the advantage of a great superiority
in numbers, stores and equipments, but they were engaged at their own
doors, in the midst of a passive or friendly element, and with unlimited
supplies and resources at their command; while, on the contrary, the
men under General O’Neill were but poorly equipped, without supplies or
proper ammunition--their bullets having, in some instances, to be
pared on the field with a knife before they fitted the bore of their
rifles--and were in the midst of an enemy’s country, surrounded on
all sides by hostile battalions, and with but a slight hope of being
reinforced before the enemy came down in overwhelming numbers upon them.
This was a critical position, and well calculated to dismay any man less
bold and courageous than O’Neill; but frightful as it was, he saw the
necessity of accepting the situation. He remembered having, on the
battle fields of the South, with but twenty men, defeated two hundred of
a force under Hamilton, and run them in helpless disorder for a
distance of thirteen miles; killing five of them with his own hand. He
remembered, in addition, having, with a command of but fifty, charged,
on the same fields, in defence of the American Union, two different
regiments of the enemy, routed them, and recaptured the officers
and guns of the Republic that had been previously taken by them; and
remembering all this, his heart rose within him, and he felt that with
his little band of Spartans, few as they were in number, he could work
a double miracle when he met the tyrant of his name, his country and his
race face to face. And so he did not stoop to measure the forces that
were surrounding him; well knowing that, if all came to all, and that,
if it were necessary for him to fall back upon the American shore,
he could cut his way through them; as he was inclined to regard their
numbers as but simple encumbrances to themselves; feeling, as he
did, that they could be neither disciplined nor actuated by any proud
impulses such as fired his own troops and his own bosom.

Buoyed with this spirit, and moved by the conviction that the eyes of
the world were upon him, the first glimpse of the enemy was as one of
sunshine to him; and as he looked around him and saw his brave officers
and men towering and immoveable as cliffs in the presence of the angry
deep, the strange fire so noticeable sometimes in his eye, blazed forth
as though his soul went out in flame through each glaring orb; and the
work of death had begun.

The battle of Ridgeway was commenced by skirmishers who were posted
on both sides, among the woods and orchards with which that locality
abounds; and although for some short period but little life was lost on
the part of either the British or the Fenians, the daring of the latter
had evidently confused and, in a degree, paralyzed the former from the
first. In the woods, they gave the Highlanders a dreadful overhauling,
and when pressed by numbers they steadily fell back upon the main body,
with advantage to themselves and with loss to their opponents. When
once aware of their position, and the great odds against them, in the
incredible space of ten minutes, they threw up a breastwork of rails,
from behind which they now began to deal the most deadly havoc amongst
the enemy. The men engaged in more exposed positions, performed absolute
miracles of valor, and charged the foe in the face of the most galling
fire, until they actually touched their bayonets, and then poured in the
murderous volley that shattered their ranks and strewed the field with
their wounded and dying. As we learn from Major Denison, of the British
forces, the Fenian officers were ever in front of their men, cheering
them on to death or victory, and evincing such instances of true bravery
as commanded the admiration of even those against whom they fought.
Individual acts of the most terrible daring were performed by them,
and so generally did the whole of O’Neil’s staff, including his gallant
Aid-de-Camp, Lieut. Rudolph Fitzpatrick, as well as all the officers of
the various companies, participate in the dreadful struggle, that
even to this hour no writer has attempted to give any one of them
pre-eminence over the other. And so of the rank and file, also. Scarce
a single man of them, at one period, but was spattered with the blood
of the enemy; and never did a solitary knot of them give way, for an
instant, before any force that they were ordered to withstand. Wherever
they moved the dead and wounded tumbled before them, until, fatigued
by the frightful heat of the weather, they were, from time to time,
constrained to pause in their dreadful work.

The engagement had continued for about an hour, when the brave Lieut.
Lonergan bit the dust, while a cheer for Ireland struggled through the
death rattle in his throat. He fell, a true hero and patriot, and well
was his death avenged; for no sooner had its intelligence spread through
his company, than its members became absolute tigers, and literally
glutted themselves with blood. Then it was, that the Sun-burst carried
through that hot field, from beginning to end, by Sergeant John Smith,
of the 7th I.R.A., company G, might be seen flying where the enemy was
thickest, surrounded by a struggling band, each of which was a host
himself. Then it was, that the wild cry of “Erin go bragh!” smote on
the ear of the foe like a death knell, paralyzed all their energies,
and froze the warm current in their heart. At that moment a dozen men in
green were worth a regiment of the material he fought against; and thus
it was, that the enemy determined to mass all their forces against
the gallant O’Neill, who stood like a rock amid the dreadful conflict,
giving his orders with as much coolness as if he were dictating a
letter; and, while the bullets whistled about him like hail, applauding
the noble deeds of his men and officers, the next moment to be whirled
into the dreadful _melee_ himself.

With the keen, quick eye of a soldier, O’Neill perceived the intention
of his adversary, who had, now, as he saw clearly, made up his mind to
mass all his force against the Fenian troops and flank them. At this
point the Boys in Green were ordered to fall steadily back and take up
a new position, some distance in the rear of their rail barricade. The
movement was performed in the most masterly manner; while the enemy
continued to extend his wings--both right and left. On perceiving it,
however, he construed it, as it was intended he should, into a retreat,
and paused for a moment to consider what was best to be done. While
deliberating, however, O’Neill, who had in vain been for some time
endeavoring to draw out his centre, perceiving that the moment had
arrived, sounded the charge, and, the next instant, the whole compact
body of the invaders, with himself and his officers at their head,
were thundering down, with the sweep of the Cyclone, upon the weak and
startled centre of the foe, crashing through it like a cavalcade of
thunder bolts, and scattering the whole of the English forces like chaff
before the wind!

In the twinkling of an eye the enemy was flying in every direction
before the victorious army of the Irish Republic! In their ignoble
flight they divested themselves of all the clothing they could decently
spare, and of everything that could tend to impede their progress! The
field was strown with their great coats, knapsacks, rifles, and musical
instruments belonging to their bands. Their dead and dying were left
unheeded, and in every direction lay the unmistakable evidences of
their sudden disaster and hopeless defeat. The compactness and dreadful
resolve of the force slung against them by O’Neill, and the masterly
way in which the bolt was hurled, at once bid defiance to all their
pre-conceived ideas of fighting, or of the wonders that could be
attained by a handful of brave men, commanded by a dauntless and
experienced soldier; so, that their rumored attempt at rallying is
supposed to have originated in a desire on the part of their historian,
to lessen the disgrace of their defeat in the eyes of the people of
Canada; for it is well known, that so hot and heavy was the pursuit,
that they not only had no time to rally, but so intent was each one of
them on effecting his own personal safety, that all discipline was at an
end; until the Fenians, on perceiving that they were not yet reinforced,
felt it advisable, notwithstanding their success, to fall back on Fort
Erie, for the purpose of keeping their line of communication open with
the American shore.

And yet until this disaster had overtaken them, the British troops
fought well, considering the incentives they had to stake their lives on
the field of battle. Nor were the Queen’s Own, who suffered so severely
in this tremendous charge, and who fled so panic-stricken before it,
a whit behind, in courage, some of the companies who appear to have
escaped with less censure from the Canadian public, in relation to the
loss of this important field. The Queen’s Own, as we are creditably
informed, came up well to the mark on more than one occasion; and only
gave way before such a charge as that which carried the day at Fontenoy,
and which was, at the period, absolutely irresistible.

Barry and his comrades of the Canadian Fort fought throughout the whole
morning with the most heroic courage. In several hand to hand encounters
he performed prodigies of valor, and once thought he perceived the Kid
and Black Jack, together with Wilson whom he saw in their company at
Newbiggin’s farm, fighting on the English side. In this he was not
mistaken; for these three worthies, on discovering the superior force
of the British, at once concealed their horses and wagon in a sheltered
hollow hard by the field, and making a detour through the woods on the
verge of which they were passing, joined in the engagement, against the
men who had treated them so well but a few hours previously. This they
accomplished immediately after Col. Starr had driven in the outposts
of the enemy, and when they had ascertained that the English forces
outnumbered the invaders to an extent which, as they supposed, rendered
the success of the latter totally out of the question.

While on one occasion, Nicholas was engaged with a Highlander whom
he was pressing hard, a ball grazed his shoulder, evidently fired
stealthily from behind a neighboring tree. A glance in the direction
revealed the form of the Kid retreating from the spot and seeking
shelter behind another, around which were gathered a few of the enemy
who were paying some attention to a wounded officer. This struck him
as strange; but as he had other work in hand, he permitted his cowardly
assailant to escape for the moment. Later in the day, however, he caught
yet another sight of him, and was satisfied that he had made a second
deadly attempt upon his life. In this way the matter stood touching
this peculiar case, until the total rout of the forces and their retreat
towards Ridgeway village; when Barry, left with a few men to look after
the dead and wounded while the main body pursued the fugitives, had yet
another opportunity of testing the kindly intentions of Smith; for while
he and four or five others were collecting the dead into one particular
spot beneath a huge elm, in the vicinity of a house near which the
greatest carnage had taken place, another ball whizzed by his ear; and
the next moment the door of the building opened and out rushed half a
dozen men, armed to the teeth, and laying one of his party dead at his
feet with the only bullet that had taken effect out of a volley that
had been fired as they rushed forward to overwhelm him in a hand to hand
struggle.

The assailants were now six to five, but Barry soon made the numbers
more equal, and the fight becoming desperate, two of his antagonists
closed with him, who appeared to be men of tremendous activity and great
personal courage. What seemed strangest, however, in the whole of
this sudden attack, was, all the party that rushed from the house were
masked, although he was satisfied that one of them, at least, was the
Kid. The contest had continued for about eight or ten minutes when one
of his assailants was stretched at his feet by an unseen hand; the other
taking immediate flight. He looked around,--a stranger stood by his
side. He was a handsome young man dressed in the plain garb of a farmer.
Anxious to learn how the rest of his comrades fared, while thanking his
new ally for his timely assistance, he glanced in the direction in which
they fought; all save one was wounded but their antagonists lay beside
them dead or dying. Begging the stranger to render him some assistance
in staunching the blood of those who still survived, and removing them
to a shed belonging to the house hard by, he discovered that his fallen
adversary, who lay quite senseless from the blow he had received, now
seemed to be bleeding profusely from some wound inflicted by himself;
although until that moment he had not noticed it. His enemy had fought
with a long, keen dagger after he had discharged his rifle and thrown it
away, while the fugitive used one of the ordinary rifle-bayonets in his
attack. The superb swordsmanship of their intended victim, however, was
more than a match for them, and would, in all probability have triumphed
of itself had not the contest been broken in upon in the manner already
described.

In the course of a very few moments, the sufferers were removed from out
the broiling sun to the shed just mentioned, where they were cared for
as well as circumstances would permit--the stranger passing to and from
the adjoining house with the necessary bandages, water, etc.

While removing the masks of two of the assailing party, who appeared to
be mortally wounded, for the purpose of giving them the draft of water
they had so earnestly though feebly implored, as Barry suspected, one of
them was the Kid. The other was Wilson, whose last midnight journey had
evidently been performed, as he was sinking fast, and that, too, without
having gratified his love of plunder in a single instance connected with
the invasion from which he and his two companions had anticipated so
much. Outside, beneath a huge elm, lay Black Jack stone dead, from a
frightful bayonet wound in his throat. His mask had fallen off in his
death struggles, which must have been frightful, judging from the manner
in which his clothes were covered with dust and the way in which the
earth was kicked up all around him. Never was a more horrible face
turned in such hideous blindness on the sun. His eyes were staring
wide open, and his huge mouth, fringed with blood-stained froth, seemed
stretched in demoniacal laughter at some horrid and unearthly orgy in
which he was about to join. The sight was actually appalling; and Barry
turned away from it in utter loathing to minister to those who were yet
within the reach of human aid.

Although, dangerously wounded, he found that, unlike the same number
of their comrades who lay stretched on the green sward without, his two
companions who had been brought to the earth without being killed, were
not beyond the reach of hope. With their antagonists, however, it was
different; and now that Barry perceived the Kid; or Smith as we shall
now call him, was fast approaching his end, in the great anxiety that
he felt concerning the fate of his beloved, he knelt beside him and
implored him to give him any information that he might possess regarding
her, and so atone, before he crossed the threshold of the grave, for
any wrong that he might have been instrumental in doing her through the
machinations of others.

The dying man raised his heavy eyelids for a moment and ere they dropped
again, managed, as if by one last effort, to point towards the prostrate
form of the principal antagonist of our hero, who still lay insensible a
short distance from him. His chest labored wildly for a few seconds, but
before he could ejaculate a single word, a sudden spirt of blood leaped
from his mouth and he was dead. Wilson had passed away more slowly and
less perceptibly. From the moment he had been removed to the shed he
spoke but once; and that was when he uttered a feeble cry for water. On
beholding the latter dead, the stranger, who had lent such timely aid
to our hero, regarded the silent form with a curious expression of
countenance, and then turned away towards the house. In the meantime,
the man who had for so far lain insensible, began to recover slowly.
Hitherto, his mask which hid but half his face, leaving his mouth and
chin uncovered, had not been removed; but now, as if in some uneasy
dream, his trembling hand tore it mechanically away, revealing, to the
utter astonishment of Barry, the hooked nose and ghastly countenance of
Greaves!



CHAPTER XVI.


Had O’Neill a single troop of cavalry when he broke the British lines at
Ridgeway, the 2d day of June, 1866, would have been the darkest that
had ever occurred in the annals of Canada. He would have literally
annihilated all the forces that were brought against him on that field,
and struck such terror to the heart of the enemy, as to have still
farther paralysed their volunteer service and destroyed the confidence
of the Canadian people in the vaunted invincibility of the arms of
England for many a long day, if not for all time to come. But owing to
circumstances already referred to, he fought under every disadvantage
possible to an invading army. Still, as the case stood, his triumph was
not the less brilliant or decisive. He routed the enemy, horse and foot;
and had he been in a position to dispose of prisoners, he could have
taken a very large number with scarcely any effort; from the fact,
that after the fearful charge that had broken through their lines, they
became completely panic stricken and demoralized. As he pursued the
flying forces towards Ridgeway, what he would have given for a few
mounted riflemen or dragoons; but as a signal and glorious defeat was
more his object than the spilling of blood, he now felt, unsustained as
he was, it would be wise to fall back upon Fort Erie, in the hope that
reinforcements had arrived there, although he was unable to leave even
the smallest handful of a garrison to maintain the foothold he had so
far achieved. Seeing there was nothing further to gain but everything to
lose by remaining longer in a position he could not by any possibility
maintain, in view of the hostile forces that he knew would soon be
pouring down upon him from other quarters, he paused on the verge of the
carnage that he might have wrought still further, and addressed himself
to securing the safety of his little band of heroes and occupying some
position on the frontier from whence he could, if hard set, effect his
transit across the river, or take up a final stand, fighting until the
last man fell in his ranks, if necessary to the success of any landings
that he might learn of as having taken place on the Canadian shore at
other points, or in view of the intention of the authorities at Buffalo
to reinforce him, and enable him to pursue the campaign, so gloriously
opened, with renewed hope and vigor.

The news of the disastrous defeat of the British arms spread like
wild-fire; throwing the inhabitants in the immediate vicinity of
Ridgeway, as well as those of the village itself, into a state of
the most fearful consternation. Houses were barricaded and property
concealed in the full anticipation that the conquerors would act upon
the world-wide maxim, “to the victors belong the spoils.” But, as we
have already seen, it was the government and not the peasantry or people
of the country that O’Neill had come to overthrow. No better evidence
of this could be afforded than that shown by the circumstance, that,
although two infamous and relentless robbers, and their scarcely less
culpable acquaintance and friend, Wilson, had, for two days and two
nights, followed in the wake of his army, not a single opportunity was
afforded them of joining any portion of his command in a stealthy raid
upon the habitations or any of the people, or of taking an advantage of
the confusion and lawlessness which almost invariably surround the camp
of an invader. From first to last, his troops observed with singular
fidelity, his order that the lives and property of the Canadians not
found in arms against him, should be held as most sacred. And in no
instance, although the temptations were various and marked, was this
injunction violated. On this head, Major Denison himself is most
explicit; and when we have the testimony of an enemy upon the subject,
the most exacting incredulity cannot look for more conclusive evidence
in the premises.

As already observed, when the rout and confusion of the English
commenced, they fled in all directions; but their main body set off, at
full speed, for Ridgeway, through which village, and for a mile beyond
it, they were pursued by the Irish forces. As was to be expected, their
wounded and dying strewed the way; while those who were thoroughly
acquainted with the locality made their escape to the shelter of
whatever woods or dwellings were to be found along the line of retreat,
without actually bordering upon it. Amongst these latter were Greaves
and the persons who made such a sudden and deadly attack upon Barry
while engaged in looking after the dead and wounded that were found
convenient to the house already referred to. This habitation ought to
have been well known to one of the party at least; for it was neither
more nor less than the residence of Wilson, in which Kate M’Carthy and
Martha and her aunt had barricaded themselves, in the apartment of the
former, after having secured the outer doors, when they heard the tide
of war rolling towards them. Wilson, understanding how the case stood
with them, when he found he could not gain admission, and being sensible
that they could not hear his voice, hastily effected an entrance by a
window in a sort of out kitchen, attached to the rear of the building,
and soon admitted his companions; re-bolting the door, and running up
stairs to warn the other inmates of the house not to speak or stir, but
remain barricaded as they were, until they heard from him again. This
done, he descended to where his comrades were, and was about to make
some observation, when the Kid instantly drew the attention of Greaves
to the party who were collecting the dead and wounded hard by, among
whom he at once recognized Barry. In the twinkling of an eye, the
countenance of Greaves was lit with an expression the most revolting;
and turning to his companions he exclaimed in a low, hissing voice--

“Now, my countrymen, we can avenge ourselves in part, at least, for
the disasters of the morning. There stand some of the most active and
dangerous of the army of the invader, and it is for us to take signal
vengeance on them, and not permit a single one of them to escape out of
our hands. We must not risk firing upon them at a distance so great;
as should we chance to miss a single shot, they would be sure to slip
beyond our reach. Let us rush out upon them then, with such arms as we
have at our command; and after giving them a volley pounce upon them
knife in hand, for they appear quite unconscious of any impending
danger. Above all things, do not let that officer escape. He is the
most deadly enemy we have had to encounter to-day. Let him, at least, be
despatched without fail, and one thousand dollars shall be distributed
amongst you the moment I find him a corpse before my eyes.”

The Kid, Jack and Wilson understood all this; for the first of the
villains had explained previously to the latter two, that Greaves was
interested to an unaccountable extent, in the death of Barry; and had,
on that very morning, before he left Ridgeway, promised him a round
sum if he managed to despatch him in any way; whether by stealth, or
otherwise. This he attempted, as we have already seen; but hitherto
without the desired effect; so that, now, when his game was within his
reach, and where he felt that he should be the gainer, no matter by whom
our hero was laid low, he immediately fell into this second proposition,
as did all the others who stood around him.

In a few moments, then, Wilson procured the masks already noticed; they
being a portion of his stock in trade, and loading the three rifles they
had at their command, the door was stealthily opened and the assault
made, which had resulted in such disaster to themselves.

When Barry had recovered from the utter surprise occasioned by the
presence of Greaves, and overcome the speechless astonishment into which
it had thrown him, he knelt down beside the wounded man, and began to
examine into the extent of his injuries. At first a few flesh wounds
about the shoulders and arms were all that he could discover; and as
these had bled freely, he fancied that the feeble condition of the
wretch, was attributable simply to a loss of blood; and, now, that
his wounds had been staunched, he believed he should gradually recover
strength, so as to be able to offer some explanation of his presence in
that part of the Province, as well as of the circumstances in which he
now found himself. On a closer examination, however, and just about half
an inch below the nipple of his left breast, the young soldier perceived
a small discolored wound, evidently made with the point of his own
sword during the struggle that had just terminated, and from which not
a single drop of blood had flowed, outwardly at least. Here, without a
doubt, all the danger lay; and as our hero was not versed in injuries,
beyond the reach of external applications, all he could do was to bathe
the bitter, little, blue or discolored orifice--the lips of which seemed
to be pressed together in a vicious sort of manner--in some of the
water that had been previously procured at the adjoining house, when the
wounded men were removed from the open field. During this operation
the eyes of Greaves were steadily fixed upon him, and when he had again
bathed the wound and adjusted the head of the unfortunate sufferer on a
pillow made of some hay found in one corner of the shed, the lips of the
patient became as it were suddenly unsealed, while the light of a larger
intelligence, rushed full into his eyes. At this period the wounded
companions of our hero were comparatively easy, on the temporary couch
made for them by the stranger, just before he disappeared and entered
the dwelling a second time; so that, for the moment, there was not much
to distract his attention from anything that Greaves might vouchsafe to
say, some terrible foreboding having just rushed into his mind, based
upon the dying intimation of Smith, that the man who lay thus helpless
and for aught he knew dying before him, was in some way connected with
the fate of his betrothed.

Scarcely had the conviction seized upon him, when Greaves motioned him
to draw nearer. On eagerly complying with the request, he bent his ear
almost to the lips of the sufferer, who breathed with great difficulty,
and whose voice was scarcely audible, so weak had he become. As though
by some effort of his indomitable will, however, he managed to collect
all his energies into his tongue and throat; and after whispering
through his compressed and pallid lips the single word “listen!” began
slowly as follows:

“I am Edward Philip Darcy. I have lost, for I know that my hour has
come!”

At the mention of the name “Darcy,” Barry sprang to his feet! Before
him lay the son of the man to whose machinations all Kate’s poverty and
hardships were clearly traceable. He it was that was now concerned in
the Chancery suit, the decision of which was to be replete with such
serious results, as he presumed, to Kate. His father had been dead for
some time, and had bequeathed his interest in the case to him! He was
the only person living who could stand in the way of the property it
involved being placed in the hands of its lawful heir; for the claims of
Darcy, whatever they might be, expired with this, his only son, and
the last of his name and race. The consideration was startling in
the extreme; but as our hero saw how necessary it was to command his
feelings, and listen to whatever Greaves, or Darcy, as we shall now
call him, intended to say, he resumed his position and listened, as the
wounded man continued:--

“I worshipped gold and power; and as there was some fear of the suit, of
which you have often heard, being decided against as, on the death of my
father, I stepped into his shoes, as a man who could make himself useful
to the Government, and as one, in these troublous times, pre-eminently
calculated to dip into the secrets of Fenianism at home and abroad, and
apprise the British authorities of its power, aims and objects, as well
as make them acquainted with all its plans and prospects. Although I
now surmise I had really to do with the Privy Council itself, I was
ostensibly employed by an important official connected with the Castle
of Dublin, who, besides paying me liberally for my services, promised to
influence the Court of Chancery in my favor, touching the decision now
pending; provided that, after doing all I could to unearth the leaders
and plans of Fenianism in Ireland, I crossed the Atlantic and commenced
operations upon the Brotherhood in America, of which the Canadian
government seemed unable to say much that was definite, however they
might have apprehended mischief from this quarter. It was known at home,
that but little confidence could be placed in the efficiency and honesty
of a Cabinet that tolerated a shuffling inebriate at its head; so that
from the contradictory official documents reaching the Castle from
Canada, through the Imperial authorities, it was, I suppose, deemed
advisable to send me out to learn something of the true state of the
case. Influenced thus, I set about my work with right good will; and
after doing what I could in Ireland, started for this country, with
Fenian credentials that, I need not inform you, were obtained through
the treason of one of the Organization who had gained admission into
the Brotherhood for the simple purpose of betraying it; but who was not
sufficiently deep in its plans and confidence to damage it mortally.

“But the strongest inducement I had to visit America was the
circumstance of Kate McCarthy’s having emigrated to that country, and a
desire which I had long felt of gaining her affections and, if possible,
making her my wife; for notwithstanding all the promises of the Castle,
I was fearful that the Chancery suit would go against me--a suspicion
heightened by the conviction of my lawyer. I knew, of course, all about
your engagement to her, but being aware of your having entered the army,
and of your having, through an adverse fate, been separated from her by
two seas, I thought that I should be able to estrange her feelings and
love from you, and make her mine before you again saw her face. But here
I had deceived myself. She was not to be moved, and I was repulsed at
every point, until, maddened by repeated failures, I determined to
make her mine by force. Under the name of Edward Lauder, I first was
introduced to her, having managed to trace her from Quebec to Toronto,
after rendering good service to the home government in the former city.
From the first moment she beheld me, she seemed to entertain an aversion
towards me; and when she became aware of my intentions regarding
herself, and heard my repeated insinuations touching the general
faithlessness and bad character of private soldiers on foreign service,
all semblance of cordiality was at an end between us; and soon,
perceiving that her friends favored my suit, she left Toronto and took
up her abode with some relatives in Buffalo.”

Here the wounded man became faint and silent; but Nicholas, anxious to
hear all he had to say, bathed his brow and moistened his lips with
the water which still stood in a large wooden vessel by his side. This
seemed to refresh and revive his spirits; so that he soon continued,
although with increasing difficulty.

“I knew that your regiment was stationed in the city where I first
met you; and the thought struck me, that if I could separate you both
forever, by betraying you into some act that would consign you to
a dungeon or penal servitude for life, or else make away with you
secretly, I should have some hope of accomplishing my designs regarding
her; and, in case the Chancery suit was decided against me, reap the
full advantages of it after all.

“With this scheme deep within me, I followed her to Buffalo, and there
became acquainted with the two men that I saw fall a short time since,
who had engaged with me, for a certain sum, to keep their eyes upon
all her movements whenever I was absent from that city, and obey me in
everything, even to her forcible abduction into Canada, if necessary.
These men I knew to be desperate characters; so when I made this
arrangement with them, and was well assured that they would carry it
out if needs be, I started at once in your direction to see what
opportunities might there present themselves in furtherance of the
design that now seemed to absorb my whole being.

“A man like me, easily found out your city-whereabouts; and, as you are
already aware, shortly after my arrival I formed your acquaintance and
that of O’Brien, whom I previously learned to be a relative of Miss
McCarthy, to whom, since you had been quartered in the Fort, she had
already paid a couple of visits. Soon learning your Fenian tendencies,
and hearing that you had applied for your discharge and expected to
receive it immediately, I determined if possible, to prevent your
becoming a freeman on British soil, and to goad you into desertion;
as it was rumored, that your regiment was soon to be called home, and
knowing that you would never accompany it, even though your discharge
were denied you. My object then was, to do, what I actually did do the
morning I accompanied you to the Fort. While you were getting ready for
parade I managed to exchange a few words with your commanding officer,
showed him my credentials from the Castle, and told him that you sought
your discharge only for the purpose of joining a Fenian army now
about to invade the province; with the further view of placing them in
possession of all you knew of the weak points of the Fort. The theory
worked like a charm,--you were denied your discharge; and now I knew you
would desert. In this, however, I was determined to help you; and, at
the same time, cause your betrothed to be lured in some way into Canada,
and consigned to some safe, out-of-the-way keeping, where no one should
know of her, until I made my appearance as if by accident before her;
and where I knew you would not be likely to seek her, from the fact,
that once you were a deserter you would be out-lawed forever from
British soil.

“You yourself furnished the means of this abduction in a manner the most
innocent. You will recollect the note sealed with a peculiar device,
that you gave me to the deserter concealed in the city in which you were
stationed, telling him to entrust himself wholly, and without question
to whomsoever presented it. This note, after exhibiting it to your
friend, I retained and perceiving that it would answer my purpose, as
it mentioned no names, I enclosed it at once to my agents in Buffalo,
instructing them to present it to Miss McCarthy, and without a moment’s
delay, convey her across the river to some secluded spot, where she was
to be held at all hazards, until further orders from me, or until I
was able to visit her myself. My injunctions were obeyed, and all was
well--you had deserted and Kate McCarthy was in my power!”

At this point of the infamous revelation, Barry writhed in the most
fearful agony, and was on the eve of strangling the villain that lay
helpless before him; but his good angel, rushing to the rescue, restored
him to reason once more; and while great beads of perspiration stood on
his brow, he endeavored to compose himself to hear the terrible recital
to its close.

“But,” continued Darcy, “after all my generalship you are master of
the field, and she cannot fail to become the possessor of the property
justly or otherwise so long estranged from her, although I fear it is
already embarrassed with heavy costs.”

“But where is she now?” exclaimed Barry, as the gasping man finished his
terrible narrative.

“I know not,” whispered the other with an effort. “As I had not an
opportunity of paying the stipulated sum to the men who undertook her
abduction, they kept the place of her concealment secret from me until
I should perform my part of the contract, which I could have done this
day, only for the fate that has overtaken us. There is, however, no
doubt of her being in the Province, and, likely, somewhere in the very
region where we now are.”

“But,” he whispered, with increasing difficulty and spasmodic
interruptions, “I feel as if I were suffocating! Water! Water! Oh! God!”
 And with a bound that almost brought him to his feet, he sprang clean
from the ground on which he lay; and the next moment fell back heavily,
a corpse!

And so perished the four men, who scarce an hour previously were as full
of life and vigor as their hearts were of evil thoughts and designs.
There can be no doubt, that they fell through the instrumentality,
unconscious as it was, of the very individuals whom they had injured;
differing only in their shades of criminality. In other relations,
besides the one to which their fate may be mainly attributed, they were
doubtless guilty to an enormous extent. Black Jack, Smith and Wilson
were unquestionably old offenders; the two former having the heavy scent
of blood about them; while Darcy or the pretended Lauder or Greaves,
whatever his antecedents may have been, showed himself capable of any
atrocity known to the history of crime. The cup of their iniquity
was full; or they had not fallen so signally, thus. How steadily the
avenging angel follows in the footsteps of the wretch who makes war
upon humanity or does continual violence to the divine spark which, in
a greater or less degree, illumes the breast of every human being born
into the world. Throughout the whole of their infamous career, these men
were well apprised of the fact, that they were engaged in open rebellion
against God and Nature, and thus it was, that they were cut off in their
prime, without one sympathetic tear, to soothe their last moments or
hallow their graves.

Such were the meditations of Barry, as he stood over the inanimate frame
of his implacable foe; but soon awaking from his revery, he felt how
dreadful to know that his beloved was, perhaps at that very moment,
suffering in captivity or exposed to dangers consequent upon the
disturbed state of the country at some point, where, now that her
persecutors, who had at least provided for her daily sustenance, were
dead, she might, on this fact becoming known, be subjected to further
injuries, or wrongs that might be irreparable. The thought maddened him;
and he was groaning aloud, in the agony of his spirit, when his ears
were arrested with the returning tumult of O’Neill’s forces, after their
having made the second of June, 1866, memorable in the annals of Canada,
and those of Irish Independence. Gazing steadily for a moment on the
terribly distorted features of his fallen enemy, he turned towards the
wide shed-door to make some arrangements regarding the removal of his
wounded comrades, when his opportune friend again emerged from the
house, and rejoined him as he was stepping across the threshold.

“How fares it with your antagonist, now?” enquired the stranger as he
cast a hurried glance towards the body of Darcy, not knowing that its
spirit had already taken its flight forever.

“Dead!” returned Barry. “They who assailed us but a short time ago are
all gone to their last home, save the man who made his escape on your
arrival and interference, whoever he may be.”

“That’s sharp practice,” rejoined the other; “but in my opinion they
richly deserved what they got, for they fought as murderers and not as
men.”

“Would to heaven,” returned Nicholas, “that one of them at least had
escaped the fearful chastisement inflicted upon him; for his death has
enshrouded in darkness a question which presses heavily upon my heart,
and one that I have no means of solving. But pray, sir,” he continued,
“do you reside in this vicinity, and if you do, perhaps you would be
kind enough to say, whether you have heard, recently, of the arrival of
a strange lady in this locality, who had been lured from her home and
friends under false pretenses; and who is, as I now have every reason to
believe, in questionable hands?”

“May I ask your name?” returned the stranger, without replying to the
question, and eyeing Barry from head to foot, “and may I, in addition,
inquire what is the name of the lady to whom you allude?”

“My name,” replied our hero, “is Nicholas Barry, and the name of the
lady is Miss Kate M’Carthy.”

“Mr. Barry,” hastily observed the stranger, extending his hand, “my name
is Henry Evans, and my kinswoman, Kate M’Carthy, is well and now in safe
keeping.”

At the mention of the name, Evans, and the assurance that his betrothed
was safe and well, the heart of Berry so bounded within him, that after
the blood had poured itself in one mighty torrent through his whole
frame and blazed over his face and brow for a moment, he became as pale
as death, and had not his newly found friend leaped forward and
caught him in his arms, he should have fallen fainting to the ground.
Recovering himself speedily, however, he leaned against the huge
door-post at his side, and, breathing with more regularity, soon became
cool and collected.

Evans could well understand this sudden emotion. His own heart was
just in the vein to sympathize with it; so, in a moment the subtle
freemasonry of kindred spirits was established between them.

Who can explain it? Here was a brave, young fellow, with the heart of
a lion, who had faced death in various shapes but an hour or so
previously--who had within the brief space of two days engaged hand
to hand in the most dreadful encounters with the enemy, without
experiencing the slightest sense of fear, or condescending to yield a
single inch of ground where he had set down his foot--here, we say, we
see him succumb at once, and rendered as helpless as a child at the mere
mention of a woman, and the assurance of her safety, although not by
any means thoroughly satisfied of her being in anything like imminent
danger. We shall not attempt to analyse the subtle and powerful
influences at work in such mysterious cases; but simply content
ourselves with the observation, that men who are susceptible of such
influences, and who strike at once to the first tap of their drum, are
not notorious for any great deficiency when brought face to face with a
more tangible and terrible enemy. And so thought Henry Evans as both he
and Nicholas sallied forth; the former to report to the gallant O’Neill,
and the latter to re-enter the house already so often referred to, where
Barry agreed to join him when he had seen the hero of Ridgeway.



CHAPTER XVII.


As remarked in a preceding chapter, Kate M’Carthy had some distant
relatives in the vicinity of Fort Erie; and, as fortune would have
it, the two strangers who, on the night before the battle of Ridgeway,
interrupted the murderous designs of Smith, belonged to the family with
whom she claimed kindred. One of these, Henry Evans, who had once met
her in Toronto, on hearing from Martha of her presence in Wilson’s house
and the circumstances that surrounded her, instantly requested to be
conducted to her, with a view to reassuring her and offering her the
protection of which he was satisfied she stood so much in need. The
recognition was mutually exciting, and on the part of Kate appreciated
with heartfelt gratitude. Explanations ensued which placed her friend in
possession of all that was, for the present, necessary for him to know;
and it was at once agreed upon, that she should accompany him on the
ensuing morning to the residence of his widowed mother, not far distant,
where she was to remain until Barry or her friends in Buffalo could be
communicated with; as her return to the United States, at a period so
disturbed and critical, was, of course, out of the question. New life
and hope welled up through this arrangement; and the poor girl, who
but a few moments previously believed herself in a position the most
dangerous and difficult, now found herself under the protection of her
own stalwart kinsman.

Martha, also, was delighted that the being she herself so loved had
made a discovery that not only quieted the painful anticipations and
reflections of her new friend, but gave herself an opportunity of
speedily abandoning forever a roof that had now become loathsome to her,
as she had already made up her mind to accompany Kate to the house of
old Mrs. Evans, who, notwithstanding her suspicious associations, loved
her for her own sake, and desired that she should forgo all further
intimacy with her uncle, and become the wife of young Henry. In this way
matters stood until the morning of the second of June--Henry remaining
throughout the night with the alarmed family; there being nothing to
fear in the direction of his own residence, which lay quite out of the
line of the two armies that were now about to close in mortal strife.

The Kid and the cousin of Henry had, as already shown, gone in the
direction of the village, where, on arriving in due course, they found
the inhabitants in a state of the greatest consternation. As in Port
Colborne, here, also, was to be observed that spirit of disaffection
towards the British Crown which led to the hoisting of the American flag
over a public building at the former place, when it was ascertained
that the Province had actually been invaded. As yet, the troops
under Lieutenant Colonel Booker had not arrived, and as there was no
opportunity for Smith to ply his vocation, that worthy, emulating the
course pursued by his companion, rested quietly on his oars, until the
cars arrived with the army that was to contest the field of Ridgeway
with the soldiers of O’Neill.

On the arrival of this train, Smith, as we have already perceived,
encountered Darcy, and had a conversation with him, the substance of
which is already known to the reader, as well as his subsequent falling
in with Wilson and Black Jack in the immediate rear of the Fenian
forces. Before the British had proceeded from Ridgeway towards Chippewa,
for the purpose of forming the junction with Colonel Peacock, the cousin
of Evans had returned to Wilson’s with the intelligence that the command
of Booker was about to move along the Sodom Road; upon which he was
begged, by Henry, to start off and inform the widow, his mother, of
the approaching storm, and assure her that he should not take up
arms against the invaders, nor approach the scene of conflict, if the
contending armies joined issue at any point in the neighborhood. These
two young men, although born in Canada, were, yet, the sons of Irishmen,
and felt that it would be criminal in them to raise their hand against
the freedom of the land of their fathers, or in behalf of a government
that had for centuries subjected it to every wrong and insult that could
be heaped upon it. This they felt; and entered into a mutual compact
to remain passive at least, should the tide of the conflict surge their
way--hoping only for the success of the cause of poor, down-trodden
Erin, without feeling themselves impelled to raise an arm in her
defense against a body of men made up in part of their friends and
acquaintances.

This was not genuine patriotism, we know; but, still, under the
circumstances, it had its merits. In addition, it had enough of the real
stuff about it to be capable of being shaped readily, under certain not
unreasonable conditions, into a most useful and active element in the
cause. Where a sentiment is not absolutely hostile, but on the contrary
even imbued with some slight degree of friendliness, it is easily
brought into line with the cause towards which it leans. And thus it
is with a vast body of the people of Canada, who do not take any active
part in the great question that now so agitates the Empire and shakes
the tyrant England to her very foundations. They would like to see
Ireland free; but they do not care to come into collision with the
British authorities on the subject. Could they lend her a helping hand
in secret and without detection, they would extend it cheerfully; but
they have not the nerve or moral courage to give her three cheers in the
market place. To this numerous class, these two young men belonged; and,
singular as it may appear, we count on it for real support in the
final struggle that must take place between us and England upon this
continent, one day or other. We think, also, that in the hands and under
the fostering care of the out-and-out Irish Nationalists of Canada, who
are ready to mount the scaffold at any moment, this friendly element
could be fostered into a great and irresistible power; for we have been
always of the opinion, that nine-tenths of those who have even one,
single drop of Irish blood in their veins, can, by judicious treatment,
be developed into the deadliest enemies of our ancient and implacable
foe. Let these people be educated in the history and the wrongs of
Ireland, as well as the extent to which England is indebted to that
unfortunate country for an that she now is. Let them take the Penal
Laws for a text-book, and the murders and confiscations of Elizabeth,
Cromwell and the Georges, for their “Reading Made Easy,” and no fear
but they will soon fall into the ranks from which they now, alas! keep
aloof. Let them dwell upon the ages of famine, fire and sword to which
we have been subjected by a wretch who in the days of her gross darkness
came begging to our door in her breeches of blue paint and asked us for
an alphabet, while we were yet the day star of European civilization
and Christianity, and then they will be enabled to justify in their own
bosoms any act that would tend to her humiliation, and comprehend fully
how bitter and eternal the enmity between us, and how just, whatever
stroke should seal her doom at our hands.

  Seek music in the wolf’s fierce howl,
    Or pity In his Wood-shot eye,
  When hanger drives him out to prowl
    Beneath a rayless northern sky.

  But seek not that we shall forgive
    The hand that strikes as to the heart,
  And yet in mock’ry bids us live
    To count our stars as they depart.

  We’ve fed the tyrant with our blood,--
    Won all her battles!--built her throne!--
  Established her on land and flood,
    And sought her glory, next our own.

  We raised her from her low estate
    And plucked her pagan soul from hell.
  And led her up to heaven’s own gate,
    Till she for gold, like Judas, fell.

  And when in one long soulless night
    She lay unknown to wealth or fame.
  We gave her empire---riches--light,
    And taught her how to spell her name.

  But, now, ungenerous and unjust,
    Forgetful of our old renown,
  She bows us to the very dust,
    But wears our jewels in her Crown!

This is the sentiment that fires the heart of every true son and
daughter of Ireland; and all that is necessary to its general adoption
on the part of those related to us by even the most distant ties of
country, is the constant promulgation throughout the length and breadth
of the New Dominion, etc., of sound information regarding the past and
present of our native land, and the true history of English legislation
affecting us.

Scarcely had the cousin of Evans disappeared from Wilson’s on his
mission to the house of the widow, when the echoing woods in the
vicinity of the place gave evidence of the meeting of the two hostile
forces. The first discharge of the Fenian rifles, after Col. Starr had
driven in the advance posts of the enemy, brought Kate to her feet, and
kindled in her eye a flame so intense, while her white teeth glistened
through her parted lips, that she seemed the very personification
of female courage and patriotism. As she listened through her open
casement, and caught the distant cheer of her countrymen, the wild
music of which she thoroughly recognized, her bosom rose and fell with
terrible emotion, while her delicate nostrils were distended in a
sort of passionate ecstasy that might be termed the climax of the most
sublime enthusiasm. Once more the Saxon and the Celt had joined in the
death struggle; and she felt as though she herself ought to be in some
way identified then and there with the conflict. Thoroughly appreciating
the mighty issues at stake, she implored heaven, in language the most
fervent, to crown with victory the standard of Ireland, and nerve the
arm of O’Neill in this the hour of his need. And as the moments rolled
by, and the tide of the contest ebbed and flowed upon her ear, her
excitement became so intense, that she begged of Henry to venture out
to some point where, without personal danger to himself, he might learn
something of the actual state of the battle and the prospects of her
gallant countrymen.

More than an hour had elapsed since the action began, when Evans sallied
forth to gratify not only the wishes of his kinswoman, but to satisfy
his own mind as to how affairs stood. He was armed with his revolver
and dirk only; and felt, notwithstanding his former resolve, a strange
inclination to use them on the side of Ireland. A cowardly shot,
however, he could not fire; and as he knew nothing whatever of military
tactics, he at once dismissed from his mind the idea of participating in
the contest. Perceiving that the conflict did not verge towards his own
dwelling, he was determined to keep his eye upon that which he had just
left, and yet venture as near the field where the battle was raging as
a brave man might. Once he retraced his steps to inform Kate that so
far as he could perceive, both armies were holding their own; returning
again to the edge of a patch of wood close by. Here he had remained for
some time endeavoring to form an idea as to the probable issue of the
struggle, and occasionally warned of the perilousness of his position by
the rifle bullets that now and then sang around him, when suddenly
the red cross of St. George was seen to waver, and the next moment the
British lines were broken and scattered like chaff before the gallant
O’Neill and the victorious charge of his brave handful of heroes.

The pulses of Evans beat quick with a sort of strange, wild joy, when he
heard the shout of triumph which burst from the ranks of the Irish, as
they swept like a whirlwind in the wake of their retreating foes, some
of whom stood at bay but to be instantly overthrown by their pursuers. A
desperate encounter between a knot of both forces took place quite near
to where he stood concealed: and here, also, the enemy bit the dust;
although at this precise point, they were not outnumbered. It was here
that Barry and his comrades were ordered to look after the dead and
wounded; the point being convenient to Wilson’s, and discernible from
it, although a clump of trees shut out the house from Evans.

When Wilson saw that the day was lost, as quickly as possible, both he
and his comrades, including Darcy and two or three others of a similar
stamp, who joined them in the field, fled and took shelter in his house,
unperceived by Evans or the victorious Irish. From this dwelling,
as already described, they sallied forth in a murderous assault upon
Nicholas and his party; with what success has been already seen. To
account for Evan’s opportune appearance at the time of Barry’s being
sorely pressed, we have only to observe, that he witnessed the attack
without knowing the point from whence it proceeded, or recognizing the
persons who made it; and only hastened to the scene of action when he
perceived that the assailing party was masked and that Barry was being
overwhelmed by unequal numbers. Having gained the point where the
struggle was being carried on, the butt-end of his revolver placed Barry
on an equal footing with his antagonists; although as already observed,
the young soldier had previously inflicted a mortal wound upon the most
important of his assailants.

Kate and Martha were eye-witnesses from their chamber window of the
whole of this supplementary fight; the former little dreaming, that the
officer attacked by the two ruffianly masks, was the man that was
all the world to her. She perceived, however, that he belonged to the
invading army, and such being the case, she viewed the contest with
breathless anxiety; looking every moment for the fatal stroke that was
to lay him low in the dust forever, until the sudden appearance of
Henry on the spot, decided the day in his favor. The relief that she
experienced was so unutterable that she burst into tears; and when a few
moments subsequently, she learned from the lips of her kinsman himself
that the Irish were every where victorious and the British forces
totally routed and in full retreat upon Ridgeway, the intelligence was
too much for her, and she swooned away into the arms of Martha, while an
expression of ineffable joy overspread her beautiful face.

The death of Wilson was broken to his wife as feelingly as might be by
Henry. For a moment the poor woman was paralysed, and then gave vent to
a flood of tears of a character so strange, that we shall not pause to
analyse it here. Her life had, indeed, been, for so far, a hard one,
with him; and now that she had discovered his real character, she
almost felt grateful to heaven for removing him from the world he was
so dishonoring and the heart that he had already broken. Yet he had been
her husband, and she remembered that she had loved him once; and here
the woman was touched within her. The die was cast, however; and now
it only devolved upon her to see his remains quietly consigned to their
last resting place. She saw him where he lay, kissed his cold lips and
wept afresh for all his long years of cruelty towards her; and then
turned away to her lonely chamber to which the body was removed
subsequently. Martha was horrified only at the slaughter that surrounded
her; and had no place for grief in a bosom where affection for the
husband of her aunt had never existed. All she saw before her was her
beloved Henry, alive and safe after the conflict had ceased between the
contending armies; while her heart thrilled with the purest delight
on learning from her lover, that which she was as yet to keep secret,
namely, that the officer who had been attacked by the two masks opposite
the house, was the betrothed of Kate who had joined the invaders with
the two-fold purpose of striking for the freedom of his native land, and
unraveling, if possible, the mystery of her sudden disappearance from
Buffalo.

When our hero presented himself before the gallant O’Neill, that
distinguished soldier, who was already aware of the services rendered
by Nicholas, complimented him on his bravery and informed him, that he
should now fall back on Fort Erie with his remaining forces; fearing
momently the approach not only of Peacock’s army but that of the
numerous other bodies of men that were being concentrated against him
from more than one quarter. Orders were therefore given to dispose as
hastily as possible of the dead and wounded: some prisoners that were
taken having been already paroled; among whom was the officer taken by
Barry on the preceeding day.

When Kate opened her eyes to consciousness again, she found herself in
arms other than those of Martha; and looking up in a state of startled
amazement encountered the radiant face of Nicholas as he pressed her in
ecstasy to his bosom. A cry of joy escaped her lips, as she clung to him
with an embrace as wild as though she feared some adverse fate should
again separate them; and a second time became unconscious. Soon,
nevertheless, she was revived through restoratives used by Martha; but
yet in a state so confused that she could scarcely bring herself to
believe that all was real that was transpiring around her. By degrees,
however, she became convinced that it was in reality her lover who
enfolded her to his heart; and all was well. In due time, explanations
were given, when it was determined that she should at once return with
him to her friends in Buffalo, under the protection of the victorious
army and in a vehicle that Henry volunteered to furnish for the
occasion, and drive in person. The distance to the frontier was but
short; and as Henry’s cousin had come up from the widow’s to learn the
result of the battle, it was agreed that the one should remain in the
house of death with Martha and her aunt until the return of the other
from Fort Erie; and that, in the interim, he should collect such of the
neighbors as were within reach, and have the body of Wilson and that of
Darcy and the others interred as speedily as possible.

This once decided upon, Barry possessed himself of such papers and
documents as were on the body of Darcy, hoping thereby, to gain some
insight not only into the Chancery case, but into the intentions of the
Government or their plans in relation to Fenianism. To him belonged of
right any information of this character that could be realized from a
dastardly foe who had been vanquished by his sword. But little, however,
was gleaned from this source, beyond the fact gathered from a letter
received by Darcy from his lawyer a short time previously, announcing
that there was no hope of his winning the suit, as some private opinions
expressed by those who composed the Court, went to convey the idea that
the claims of Kate McCarthy were of a character not to be set aside or
ignored even under the pressure of the Castle; and further, that the
opposing counsel, who was a sterling lawyer and a man of influence, was
pressing the matter so, that a decision favorable to his client could
not fail to be given at no distant day.

This was, of course, cheering to our hero, although Darcy, just before
his death, had placed him in possession of the contents of the epistle,
and prepared him for the intelligence it contained. Kate received the
information without evincing any great degree of excitement Her mind had
been so perplexed and agitated for the last few days, that her sudden
good fortune, in a pecuniary sense, seemed lost sight of in the other
events that had already transpired, and her unexpected restoration to
her lover. She was certainly surprised at the fate and the machinations
of the pretended Lauder; and felt relieved by the conviction that the
murderous and unprincipled wretch who had wrought her and Nicholas so
much wrong and hardship, and who had attempted the assassination of her
betrothed, and her own ruin, was no more. This was a great relief to her
overburdened heart; as she now knew, that a man so desperate as he,
were he still alive, might manage, even yet, to work them some further
mischief.

Among the papers belonging to Darcy there was found a small memorandum
book or diary, which, although a riddle to Barry, is worth noting here,
as it contained some entries that may possibly find elucidation outside
the recognition of our hero. One of them was as follows: “Toronto,
April 20th, 1866--Paid to J.G. M---- $20, for information regarding Hib.
Benev. Society.” And again: “April 23d--saw Hon. J. R----; willing to
do all he can, but wants to be paid for it. Mean fellow, whose tenderest
passion is absolutely scrofulous, they say.” The other entries related
to mere travelling expenses, etc., and to some transactions which took
place in Kingston and other points where Darcy had been conducting
his operations in the interest of the English, as well as the Canadian
government In addition to this, there was a draft for a considerable
amount; but as it needed the signature of the deceased, it was regarded
as valueless and permitted to remain in the pocket of the dead man--our
hero, however it fared afterwards, feeling a singular repugnance to
possessing himself of any property of this kind, or retaining a single
shilling of the current funds found upon the corpse. These latter were
subsequently devoted to defraying the burial expenses of the deceased,
as well as those of his companions.

When matters were so far arranged as to permit of the departure of our
hero and heroine, Henry was about to leave the premises with a view
to procuring the vehicle that was to carry them to the frontier, when
Wilson’s team, that was discovered by a neighbor in the place where it
had been concealed, was driven up to the door. This was opportune,
as Evans, on perceiving the horses and knowing that there was a light
carriage under the shed, determined to put them into requisition at
once. Soon, therefore, the three friends were bringing up the rear of
O’Neill’s troops as the latter fell steadily back upon Fort Erie, with
the intention, as before stated, of learning whether landings had been
made at any other point, or whether there were the slightest hopes of
reinforcements crossing the river from Buffalo.

Kate parted from Martha with a warm embrace, and an assurance of lasting
friendship; while on her part, the betrothed of Evans promised to visit
our hero and heroine in Buffalo at no distant day, and there renew the
intimacy that had begun amid such clouds, although now surrounded with
sunshine. On the departure of our little party, then, Barry’s wounded
comrades being previously cared for under the instructions of O’Neill,
the bodies of the four accomplices--Wilson, Darcy, Black Jack and the
Kid--were interred with infinitely more decent observances than their
career in life seemed to warrant. The scruples of Nicholas, however,
regarding Darcy’s draft, were not shared by some of those who disposed
of his remains; as it was taken charge of by an individual who fancied
it might, one day, be turned to account by some person authorised to
receive it. Of the mask who had escaped from the conflict opposite
Wilson’s, we may have occasion to speak in some future volume; although
Evans surmised him simply some villain who had joined Darcy or the Kid
for the purposes of murder or plunder. Be this as it may, the fugitive
had made good his escape, while those with whom he had acted for the
time being, suffered to the extent of their crimes.



CHAPTER XVIII.


It will be remembered that when the brave O’Neill and his handful of
troops fell down the river from Fort Erie on the night of the first of
June, to go into camp at Newbiggin’s Farm, preparations were being made
by the British not only to overpower him with superior numbers but
to cut off his retreat upon the American shore and capture his whole
command. In view of this, troops were being despatched against him from
all points; while the tug Robb, black with artillery and men, came round
from Dunville and patrolled the Niagara River between Fort Erie and
Black Creek, under command of Capt. L. McCallum. This craft was manned
by the Dunville Naval Brigade and the Welland Field Battery, under Capt.
R.S. King, all armed to the teeth with Enfield rifles. On this vessel
there was, we learn, so much mirth when it was found that the Fenians
were cut off from the American shore, that the force aboard it assumed
the air of a sort of military pic-nic party. They laughed at the dilemma
in which they considered the invaders placed; and landed some of their
men at one point on the river to make a pleasant reconnoisance of the
enemy, and give them a warm reception as they came flying back
towards Fort Erie before the victorious Queen’s Own or the University
Rifles--either corps being considered quite sufficient to snuff out the
little band of patriots who dared to beard the British Lion in his den.
The wine and the jest passed gaily round, until so secure were they of
their position and the defeat of the invaders, a landing was effected
At Fort Erie where the skull and cross-bones of St. George once again
floated over the village, and assured the inhabitants that they were
not yet lost to wheezy old England. Lieut. Col. Denis was absolutely in
ecstasies and evinced such instances of personal bravery over his brandy
and water, that no one could have imagined, that, in the space of a
couple of hours or so, he should be found in a hay-loft, shorn of his
fierce moustachois, and endeavoring to imitate the Irish brogue, in the
slouched caubeen and coarse, gray habiliments of some poor, plundered
Son of the Sod. Those who caught a glimpse of the brave commander as he
fled before the dangers that threatened him, report him as presenting
the most ludicrous appearance imaginable, and scarcely worth sending to
his account in a respectable manner. To this disguise alone, we learn,
he owed his escape after the second carnage of the British by the Irish
troops on the memorable day already named, and on their return from
Limestone Ridge.

When O’Neill left Ridgeway, after pursuing the routed English forces
through and beyond the village, he took the Garrison Road and, as
already mentioned, fell back on Fort Erie. Here he came upon the Welland
Field Battery and Dunville Naval Brigade just referred to. Flushed with
the victory of the morning, he was upon them like a whirlwind, and, in
the twinkling of an eye sent them flying to cover in every direction.
His horse being much jaded with the march of the previous night, and the
dreadful fatigues of the battle of the morning, he could scarcely get
him to move a leg when he entered the village; and this circumstance was
near leading to the most fatal results; for, in passing a house in which
a number of the enemy had taken shelter, one of them came to the door,
and seeing the animal going at so slow a pace, took deliberate aim with
a rifle, and fired, in the hope of bringing down his rider. The all but
murderous ball displaced the hair just over the right temple of O’Neill,
lodging in a building opposite; the hero escaping all the dangers of the
day, to the amazement of those who had marked him galloping among the
carnage and bullets of the morning, in what might be termed a constant
hand to hand struggle with death. It is sometimes thus with the men who
show the most daring front in battle, and at the call of duty expose
themselves to dangers the most appalling; while such as are more
cautious often fall in their first encounter with the enemy.

The British forces at Fort Erie, from the very nature of things, had the
Fenians at great advantage on the return of the latter from Ridgeway.
The troops under O’Neill were fatigued and hungry, and after a desperate
battle and a long march, while the English had been resting on their
oars and feasting all day long, or at least for many hours. Still,
with all these advantages in their favor, they were whipped instantly a
second time; many of them being killed and wounded; Captain King of
the Welland Battery losing a leg upon the occasion, and others being
terribly maimed. In addition, some of them were so terror-stricken as to
roll from the bank into the river, and conceal themselves as best they
could, with their heads just over the water, and sheltered by whatever
chanced to float against them or project into the flood. In one case
they fought for a few minutes from behind some cord-wood: but from this
they were soon dislodged by the terrible bayonets of their enemies,
and scattered like sheep in and about the village. It was here that the
brave Colonel Michael Bailey was dangerously wounded by a rifle ball
from a house where the enemy had already hung out a flag of truce. He
was riding at the head of his men when he was tumbled from his horse,
the ball having entered his left breast, damaging the breast bone and
passing out just under his right nipple. The wound was at the time
considered mortal; but the gallant soldier survived it for upwards of a
year. Still it was the occasion of his death ultimately; for, from the
hour that he received it, he drooped gradually into his grave. Only
for the timely interference of O’Neill, the house from which this
treacherous shot was fired, like that from which he himself had nigh
received his death, would have been burned to the ground. He saw, of
course, how cowardly the act, to first hang out a flag of truce and then
follow the white emblem with so diabolical an attack; but he perceived,
also, that if one building chanced to be fired, Fort Erie might be
burned to the ground. He therefore quelled the rising tempest at this
foul play, and with his iron will held the whole command in the hollow
of his hand and made those who composed it trample on their feelings
and curb their just anger for the good of the cause--a noble sentiment
emulated by the brave Dr. Edward Donnelly, of Pittsburgh, who at the
risk of his life and liberty, remained among the wounded of both parties
and assisted by the humane Drs. Blanchard and Trowbridge, of Buffalo,
attended upon the sufferers even after the troops had recrossed the
river, and the British had again taken possession of Fort Erie.

If we except the death of the brave Lonergan and that of half a dozen
other noble fellows, whose names are unfortunately not at our command at
this moment, and take into consideration the capture by the British of
the Christian and chivalrous Father McMahon, who, regardless of his own
personal safety, remained with the dead and dying, after the forces of
O’Neill had recrossed the river, the victory of Ridgeway was completely
unclouded. This patriotic priest and some other friends of Ireland are
now suffering for their love of Fatherland in an English bastile at
Kingston, in the New Dominion; but the thought strikes us, the hour of
their redemption draws nigh. Subsequently, one or two others, including
the gallant Bailey, died from the effects of their wounds upon that
memorable field; but such are the contingencies of war, and such the
fate of some of the truest of our race.

When O’Neill conquered and captured all the British force at Fort Erie,
he at once sent a despatch to Buffalo asking for reinforcements and
stating that if it were necessary to the success of any movement that
might be going on at some other point, he would hold Fort Erie and make
it a slaughter-pen to the last man of his command. General Lynch having
arrived at Buffalo some short time previously, it was decided to send
reinforcements; but on its being found, subsequently, that a sufficient
number to be of real service could not be then sent to the Canada side,
the idea was abandoned and transportation prepared for the victorious
troops to re-cross the river.

When the British entered Fort Erie in the morning, they captured some
Fenian stragglers who were, of course, set free on the arrival of
O’Neill from Ridgeway; and now after being themselves captured in turn
they were released on their parole; O’Neill having no other means of
disposing of them. Nicholas was not engaged in this latter affair; as,
not anticipating it, he had kept in the rear of the army with Kate and
Evans; so that now when he came up, he was both ashamed and mortified
that even an engagement so trifling, when compared with that of the
morning, was fought without his having participated in it. However, the
day was doubly won, and as he explained to his gallant Commander, the
peculiarity of his position, with a smile and a hearty shake of the
hand, he got permission to re-cross the river with his betrothed. This
much accomplished, Henry turned his horses and drove down the bank at a
quick pace, until he arrived at the house of a friend who kept a boat;
and prevailing on him to take our hero and heroine to the American side
a little below the Lower Rock, he made his warm _adieux_, with a promise
soon to visit Buffalo with Martha, where, meeting an express desire from
the lips of Kate, he agreed that they should be made man and wife. And
so the friends parted for the time being--Nicholas and Kate, in the
course of an hour, finding themselves under the Stars and Stripes once
more, and beneath the hospitable roof that had so long sheltered her.

Here to their utter astonishment they found Big Tom who had just arrived
from Canada; he having been obliged to turn over his establishment
hastily to his trusty friend, Burk, and fly the Province; as through
some successful espionage, his connection with the Brotherhood had been
discovered. From a friendly detective who had learned the true state of
the case and the danger that threatened him, he received the hint that
urged him to make his escape, and which doubtless saved him from the
horrors of a dungeon if not from death. His sister was to follow him as
soon as a sale of his establishment could be effected, and then, as
he said himself, “good bye to the tyrant until we meet on the battle
field.” He was astounded at the disclosures regarding the pretended
Greaves, and all but paralysed at the frightful position from which Kate
had so miraculously escaped. When, however, he heard of the glorious
victory of the arms of the Irish Republic at Ridgeway and Fort Erie,
under O’Neill, he forgot everything else and leaped to his feet with a
cheer that shook the house to its very foundation. In the ecstasy of joy
that seized him, he took everybody near him by the hand ten times over,
and added cheer to cheer until it was deemed expedient to recall him to
something like reason. A more genuine display of heartfelt pleasure and
patriotic feeling was never witnessed or experienced by any individual
or indulged in a manner more original or unsophisticated.

“Tell it to me again, Nick! Tell it to me again!” he exclaimed for the
twentieth time; “and did you see them run, and how many of them are
kilt? Have you a soord or a gun or anythin belongin to them? for if you
have I’ll give you tin times the value of it for a keepsake.”

“Oh!” replied Barry, amused at this unusual display on the part of
the sedate and phlegmatic Tom, “there will be no lack of keepsakes in
Buffalo to-morrow; for the field was covered with their coats, arms, and
knapsacks; and some of these, I am sure, will be got for a mere song.”

This seemed to satisfy O’Brien, who soon flowed into conversation
touching all that had transpired regarding Kate and Darcy, as well as in
relation to Nicholas himself. During the narrative, he referred to
the doubts that he had from the first entertained regarding the spy;
although he confessed he was not altogether clear at times upon the
subject.

After the fight at Fort Erie, many of the Fenians, understanding that
they were not to be reinforced and that the enemy was about coming down
on them in force and hemming them in on all sides, made the best of
their way across the river. The great bulk of the command, however,
stood by O’Neill; until about midnight, when a large scow attached to
a steam tug approached the Canadian shore and took the whole of the
remaining forces on board. Laden thus, they steamed out into the middle
of the river, when a 12-pound shot fired across their bows, from the
tug Harrison, belonging to the U.S. Steamer Michigan, brought them
to--doubtless to the extreme delight of Acting Sailing-Master Morris
who seemed anxious enough to fire the gun and make the capture; although
they would at the moment have stuck to a child hearing the authority
of the United States. It is significant, however, that the
over-officiousness of Mr. Morris has not tended much to his advantage as
he no longer belongs to the United States Navy; he having been quite
as unfortunate as a certain District Attorney, who, also, endeavored to
impress the Government as to his undoubted unfriendliness to the cause
of Irish freedom. The lesson may be profitable to Government officials
at some future period; and prevent them from exceeding the simple and
unprejudiced bounds of their duty. Be this as it may, about two o’clock
on the morning of the third of June the scow was brought along side the
Michigan and the officers taken on board that vessel and handed over
to the urbane and gentlemanly Capt. Bryson, its commander, as prisoners
under the authority of the United States; while the men were detained in
the same character aboard the scow.

We are unable to trace to any particular source, the cruelty inflicted
upon these latter noble fellows, in keeping them for days in that open
vessel huddled together, and with the rain for a portion of that period,
descending upon them in torrents. The disgrace of such a proceeding
has been so often denounced, that we dismiss this part of the subject
without further comment. Ultimately, they were all liberated on
their own recognizance, to appear about the middle of the month at
Canaudaigua, to answer for a breach of the Neutrality Laws; and there
the matter ended.

Now, however, the arms and ammunition belonging to the Brotherhood had
been seized at every point except Buffalo. In addition, the volunteers
who poured to the frontier from every side found themselves helpless,
being without weapons or a commissariat: although the brave General
Spear, with but a handful of men, made a descent subsequently upon
the enemy at St. Albans, and put them to a most ignominious flight.
According to General Meade, of the United States Army, between
thirty and forty thousand of these brave fellows were furnished with
transportation back to their homes at the expense of the Government;
while the arms that were seized were subsequently returned to the
authorities of the Organization on certain conditions that have been for
so far complied with.

Thus ended the first invasion of Canada under the gallant O’Neill,
who, on his return from the campaign, was made a General and
Commander-in-chief of the Army of the Irish Republic, and who, in
addition, was subsequently elevated, to the position of President of the
Fenian Organization throughout the world. What his next move may be, we
are unable to say; but this we know, it will be in the right direction
and likely to succeed. He had no doubt been spared on the numerous
battle-fields on which he fought so bravely, for some wise purpose: and
this purpose, we feel, is in connection with the freedom of Ireland. For
the present, then, we bid him and his noble comrades adieu; hoping the
next time we shall have occasion to refer to them, the power of England
may be broken on this continent, and the green flag of old Ireland
floating over the Castle of Dublin. Our hopes of success were never
brighter than they appear to be at this, the moment of our writing.
We have an immense army in preparation for the field, and a noble and
self-sacrificing Senate and band of Organizers that may well command
his confidence and that of every Irish Nationalist in the world. For the
benefit of our readers, we here give the names of the members of both
these bodies, so that they shall be known and cherished throughout
the globe. We might single out from amongst them, that of the able and
patriotic P.J. Meehan, Esq., editor of the _Irish American_, and bold
it up to the admiration of our countrymen everywhere: but where all have
acted so nobly we shall include all as worthy of praise alike; although
we could point out D. O’Sullivan, Esq., Secretary of Civil Affairs, A.L.
Morrison, Esq., of Chicago, and a host of others, as eminently entitled
to our love and admiration; while, were we permitted to do so, we could
illumine our pages with the names of thousands of our fair countrywomen
and their beautiful American sisters who have laid their hands to the
good work with all the passion and nobility of their pure and generous
natures: but we must for the present content ourselves with the
following list and its recent modifications, at the Seventh National
Congress of the Fenian Brotherhood, which assembled at Philadelphia on
Tuesday, November 24th. 1868:

_NAMES OF SENATORS OF THE FENIAN BROTHERHOOD_.

  JAMES GIBBONS, ESQ., Vice President, F.B. 333 Chestnut St., Philadelphia.
  THOMAS LAVAN, ESQ., 13 Superior Street, Cleveland, Ohio.
  T.J. QUINN, ESQ., Albany, N.Y.
  MILES D. SWEENEY, ESQ., San Francisco. Cal.
  JOHN CARLETON, ESQ., Bordentown, N.J.
  F.B. GALLAGHER, ESQ., Buffalo, N.Y.
  P.W. DUNNE, ESQ., Peoria. Ill.
  EDWARD L. CAREY, ESQ., New York City.
  PATRICK J. MEEHAN, ESQ., Hudson City, N.J.
  PETER CUNNINGHAM, ESQ., Utica, N.Y.
  MICHAEL FINNEGAN, ESQ., Houghton, Mich.
  J.C. O’BRIEN, ESQ., Rochester, N.Y.
  WM. FLEMING, ESQ., 16 Congress Street Troy, N.Y.
  HON. J.W. FITZGERALD, Ellen Street, Cincinnati, Ohio.
  PATRICK SWEENEY, ESQ., Newburgh Street, Lawrence, Mass.

_NAMES OF ORGANIZERS OF THE FENIAN BROTHERHOOD_{1}

  JOHN F. FINNERTY, ESQ.
  JAMES BRENNAN, ESQ.
  COLONEL P.F. WALSH.
  MAJOR WM. McWILLIAMS.
  H.M. WILLIAMS, ESQ.
  HENRY LE CARON, ESQ.
  MAJOR TIMOTHY O’LEARY.
  JOSEPH SMOLENSKI, ESQ.
  E.C. LEWIS, ESQ.
  COLONEL WM. CLINGEN.
  FRED. O’DONNELL, ESQ.
  H.M. SULLIVAN, ESQ.

(FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS DISPATCHES)

PHILADELPHIA. NOVEMBER 29, 1868.

“The Seventh National Congress of the Fenian Brotherhood adjourned _sine
die_ at six o’clock this morning, the delegates having sat from three
o’clock P.M., on Saturday, determined to finish their business in one
session. General JOHN O’NEILL was unanimously re-elected President, and
resolutions were adopted, approving his administration of the affairs of
the Brotherhood.

“The following named Senators, nine in number, were elected to fill
vacancies:--

“J.C. O’Brien, Rochester, N.Y.; J.W. Fitzgerald, Cincinnati, Ohio; Major
J. McKinley, Nashville, Tenn.; R. McCloud, Norwich, Conn.; J.E. Downey,
Providence, R.I.; P. Bannon, Louisville, Ky.; W.J. Hynes, Washington,
D.C.; P.J. Meehan, New York; Colonel John O’Neill, Dubuque, Iowa.

“The following named Senators hold over under the Constitutional rule,
having been elected for two years at the Cleveland Congress:--

“James Gibbons, of Philadelphia; Miles D. Sweeney, of San Francisco;
T.J. Quinn, of Albany, N.Y.; E.L. Carey, of New York; P.W. Dunne, of
Peoria, Ill.; Frank B. Gallagher, of Buffalo, N.Y.

“What may be termed the central authority of the Brotherhood, within the
Senate, stands thus, Dec., 1868:

 “PRESIDENT--GENERAL JOHN O’NEILL.
 _Executive Committee_--VICE PRESIDENT GIBBONS, P.J. MEEHAN and E.L. CAREY.
 _Acting Sec. of War_--P.J. MEEHAN.
 _Assistant Treasurer_--JOHN P. BROPHY.
 _Sec. of Civil Affairs_--DAN. O’SULLIVAN, of Auburn.
 _Assistant Secretaries_--FRANK RUNEHAN and RUDOLPH FITZPATRICK.
 _Treasurer_--PATRICK KEENAN.”

As we have referred to the recent Congress at Philadelphia, the
following article from the Philadelphia _Age_ November 27, 1868, will
be interesting to our readers as indicative of the present standing and
prospects of the Brotherhood on this continent:

“One of the great events of Thanksgiving Day, outside of the festivities
of the home circle and the attendance on public worship, was the grand
demonstration by the Irishmen of Philadelphia in honor of the assembling
of the Fenian Congress in this city. This body, which consists of
delegates from all parts of the world, has been holding secret sessions
at the Assembly Buildings during the week, and important results have
been anticipated by the friends of Ireland all over the world.

“The parade was quite a success, and reflected great credit on the
managers. Mr. John Brennan was Chief Marshal, assisted by Frank
McDonald, Marshal First Division; Michael Moane, Second Division; James
Carr, Third Division; John McAtee, Fourth Division; Michael D. Kelly,
Fifth Cavalcade, with the following Aids--John A. Keenan, R.J. Keenan,
Andrew Wynne, Thomas N. Stack, Capt. F. Quinlan.

“The line commenced moving about half-past three o’clock, in the
following order, the military having the right of the line:

“Gen. John O’Neill, President of the Fenian Brotherhood, and the
following Staff--Gen. J. Smolenski, Chief-of-Staff; Col. John W. Byron,
Asst. Adjt.-General; Col. J.J. Donnelly, of Engineers; Major T. O’Leary,
of Ordnance; Major Henry LeCaron, Com. Subsistence; Dr. Donnelly,
Surgeon; Capt. Wm. J. Hynes, Assistant Inspector; Lieut.-Col. Sullivan,
Aide-de-Camp; Lieut.-Col. Atkinson, Aide-de-Camp; Lieut.-Col. John W.
Dunne, Aid-de-Camp; Capt. J. Smolenski, Aide-de-Camp; Capt. J. Driscoll,
Aide-de-Camp.

“There were three regiments of the Irish Republican Army in line; they
numbered fully two thousand men, and were clad in their new uniform. The
three regiments parading were the Eighth, Ninth and Twenty-fourth. The
brigade was commanded by Col. William Clingen, Major Daniel A. Moore,
Asst. Adj’t-Gen.

“The Eighth Regiment was commanded by Col. P.S. Tinah, the Ninth by Col.
J. O’Reilly, and the Twenty-fourth by Col. Michael Kirwan. The military
was followed by numerous civic societies. There were nineteen Circles
of the Fenian Brotherhood and three hundred delegates to the Fenian
Congress, besides the Charles Carroll Beneficial Society and the
Buchanan Beneficial Society. The civic portion of the parade numbered
about five thousand men. The participants wore dark suits and badges,
and pieces of green ribbon tied in the button-holes of their coats.

“In the line of the procession was a handsome chariot drawn by six gray
horses. It was painted green and gold; the platform was covered with
beautiful oilcloth, and on it was placed a large brass bell, supported
on a green framework. This bell was kept tolling over the whole route
of the procession. In the rear of the chariot was a raised platform, on
which sat a beautiful daughter of Erin, dressed as a Goddess of Liberty,
holding a beautiful silk banner. She was seated underneath an arch of
gold stars, set on a field of white satin, and the top of the arch was
covered with holly and evergreen. The rear of the arch and the back of
the chariot were covered by a beautiful anchor of hope, made entirely
of flowers. The horses were decked with red, white and blue plumes and
large silk pennants. The whole arrangement made a very fine display, and
elicited much applause along the route.

“A banner was carried in the line of the civic societies, containing the
following, in gold letters on a field of green satin:

  “Delegates--remember the words of our martyred O’Brien, to unite in
   God’s name, for Ireland and liberty. God save Ireland.

“An outline cross in gold covered the front of the banner.

“Along the route advertised, the sidewalks were lined by expectant
watchers, in some instances three or four abreast. They waited patiently
for nearly three long hours before the head of the line appeared. Green
flags, with yellow harps and the words ‘Erin go Bragh,’ were plentifully
distributed throughout the crowd. The universal color was green; green
ribbons in button-holes, green neckties, green badges, green flags,
green coats, green sashes and green uniforms. The bands played ‘Wearing
of the Green,’ continually. ‘Green grow the Rushes, O,’ ‘The Green above
the Red,’ and ‘Garry-owen’ were the only substitutes.

“There was a great deal of enthusiasm manifested all along the route,
and the procession did not cease marching until the shades of evening
had approached.”

But to resume, once more, the thread of our story:--In due time the
establishment of The Harp was disposed of to advantage, and the sum
realized from it placed in the hands of O’Brien by his sister who
had made her way to Buffalo according to his directions. When matters
quieted down in the vicinity of Ridgeway, Martha paid a visit to her
friend Kate, and was soon followed by Henry with a view to keeping his
word in relation to their marriage which took place on the same evening
and under the same roof with that of Kate and Nicholas. The joint affair
was a grand one; many guests having been invited to the wedding; among
whom were some officers of the I.R.A., and all that survived of Barry’s
comrades. Tom, was in his glory; and as all the military men present had
been at Ridgeway, the _pros_ and _cons_ of that important battle were
discussed in a manner the most lively and entertaining. Then and there,
it was voted, that although the invasion of the Provinces had not at the
moment, resulted in any immediate benefits to the Irish, it had given a
prestige to the arms of Ireland in an individual and national sense, not
realized by that country for ages. Not since the palmy days of our early
chivalry, had British soil been invaded by a hostile Irish army, until
O’Neill broke the ice at Ridgeway; and at no period in the history of
the nation had a mere handful of men performed greater miracles of valor
or been handled with more consummate judgment and daring.

In the course of a few days, Mr. and Mrs. Evans returned to their home
near Ridgeway; and prevailed upon Mrs., now the widow Wilson, to dispose
of the house and property identified with so many unhappy associations,
and near which the young wife could not now be induced to venture. In
the roomy and commodious dwelling of the Evans’ she found a home; and in
the course of time began to wear a more cheerful aspect, and forget,
in a measure, the dreadful ordeal through which she had passed.
Nevertheless, no real sunshine visited her brow, as the shadow that had
fallen on it was too deep and sorrowful for even the peace and quiet now
promised her in the decline of her years.

Six months after their marriage, the Barrys were apprised of their
success regarding the Chancery-suit; but so enormous were the expenses
attending it, that, after all, the benefits accruing from it were
something similar to those experienced by Gulliver after his having
encountered and overcome all the difficulties that could have possibly
beset humanity. Still they were richer through its having been decided
in their favor; and were enabled on the strength of it to purchase
a handsome dwelling near their friends of the Rock, where they still
reside in comfortable if not affluent circumstances. Tom and his sister,
old bachelor and old maid, are once again in business, but this time not
in the restaurant line; and had we not given assumed names throughout
our whole story in so far as he and Barry are concerned, his
establishment might be recognized at any period by those acquainted
with Buffalo and its vicinity, or such as have passed along a certain
well-known thoroughfare to Black Rock. His faith never falters in
relation to the independence of Ireland; and he still keeps up his
connection with the Brotherhood on both sides of the line; often
receiving from Canada lengthy and mysterious epistles written by Burk,
over which he pores, from time to time, with sundry nods, winks and
significant smiles.

Henry and Martha are now occasionally to be seen at the Rock; the former
wearing a green necktie, and the latter as happy as the day is long.
In the arms of both Kate and Martha are now two sweet prattlers--one
christened, John O’Neill Barry, and the other, Martha Ridgeway Evans.
Perhaps in after years they in turn may plight their vows on the banks
of the Niagara, as Kate and Nicholas had done by those of the Shannon.
Kate now and then visits her friends at their residence on the Canadian
side of the lakes; but Nicholas is of the impression, that he is quite
as well off in judiciously remaining at home to look after the affairs
of their establishment. Sometimes, however, he gazes across the river
and wonders how soon again he shall have an opportunity of measuring
swords with the ancient enemy of his race; while Tom has made up his
mind to handle a rifle himself, the next time that O’Neill sounds “to
horse!”

And so ends our story of Ridgeway, with all the difficulties, loves,
hopes and fears connected with it. Throughout the whole of our narrative
we have been faithful to circumstances where the interests of the truth
required that we should be just and impartial. In this connection
we have been guided solely by personal knowledge and the evidence of
respectable eye-witnesses; and by official documents of the campaign,
the veracity of which are beyond any question whatever. Here, then,
we bid our readers good-bye for the present; trusting that we may soon
again renew our acquaintance, and that we have not done injustice to any
party; for, notwithstanding the slight tinge of romance with which our
facts are interwoven, we have, after all, presented nothing for their
perusal at variance with truth, or, we hope, prejudicial to society.

_THE END_.


[1] Although we are under the impression that others of these gentlemen
than those designated belong to the I.R.A. yet we are unable to give
their military rank, from the fact of our not being able, at the time of
our writing, to obtain proper intelligence on the subject.



AUTHENTIC REPORT OF THE INVASION OF CANADA, AND THE BATTLE OF RIDGEWAY,

By the Army of the Irish Republic, under General O’NEILL, June, 1866.

About midnight, on the 31st May, the men commenced moving from Buffalo
to Lower Black Rock, about three miles down the river, and at 3:30 A.M.,
on the 1st of June, all of the men, with the arms and ammunition, were
on board four canal boats, and towed across the Niagara River, to a
point on the Canadian side called Waterloo, and at 4 o’clock A.M.,
the Irish flag was planted on British soil, by Colonel Starr, who had
command of the first two boats.

On landing, O’Neill immediately ordered the telegraph wires leading from
the town to be cut down; and sent a party to destroy the railroad bridge
leading to Port Colborne.

Colonel Starr, in command of the Kentucky and Indiana troops, proceeded
through the town of Fort Erie to the old Fort, some three miles distant
up the river, and occupied it for a short time, hoisting the Irish flag.

O’Neill then waited on the Reeve of Fort Erie, and requested him to see
some of the citizens of the place, and have them furnish rations for the
men, at the same time assuring him that no depredations on the citizens
would be permitted, as he had come to drive out British authority from
the soil, and not for the purpose of pillaging the citizens. The request
for provisions was cheerfully complied with.

About 10 o’clock A.M., he moved into camp on Newbiggin’s Farm, situated
on Frenchman’s Creek, four miles down the river from Fort Erie, where he
remained till 10 o’clock P.M.

During the afternoon, Capt. Donohue, of the 18th, while out in command
of a foraging party, on the road leading to Chippewa, came up with the
enemy’s scouts, who fled at his approach.

Later in the afternoon, Col. Hoy was sent with one hundred men in the
same road. He also came up with some scouts about six miles from camp.
Here he was ordered to halt.

By this time--8 o’clock P.M.--information was received that a large
force of the enemy, said to be five thousand strong, with artillery,
were advancing in two columns; one from the direction of Chippewa, and
the other from Port Colborne; also, that troops from Port Colborne were
to make an attack from the lake side.

Here truth compels me to make an admission that I would fain have kept
from the public. Some of the men who crossed over with us the night
before, managed to leave the command during the day, and recross to
Buffalo, while others remained in houses around Fort Erie. This I record
to their lasting disgrace.

On account of this shameful desertion, and the fact that arms had been
sent out for eight hundred men, O’Neill had to destroy three hundred
stand, to prevent them falling into the bands of the enemy. At this time
he could not depend on more than five hundred men, about one-tenth of
the reputed number of the enemy, which he knew were surrounding him.
Rather a critical position, but he had been sent to accomplish a certain
object, and he was determined to accomplish it.

At 10 o’clock P.M., he broke camp, and marched towards Chippewa, and
at midnight changed direction, and moved on the Limestone Ridge road,
leading toward Ridgeway; halting a few hours on the way to rest the
men;--this for the purpose of meeting the column advancing from Port
Colborne. His object was to get between the two columns, and, if
possible, defeat one of them before the other could come to its
assistance.

At about 7 o’clock A.M., 2d of June, when within three miles of
Ridgeway, Col. Owen Starr in command of the advanced guard, came up with
the advance of the enemy, mounted, and drove them some distance, till he
got within sight of their skirmish line, which extended on both sides of
the road about half a mile. By this time, O’Neill could hear the whistle
of the railroad cars which brought the enemy from Port Colborne. He
immediately advanced his skirmishers, and formed line of battle behind
temporary breastworks made of rails, on a road leading to Fort Erie, and
running parallel with the enemy’s line. The skirmishing was kept up over
half an hour, when, perceiving the enemy flanking him on both aides, and
not being able to draw out their centre, which was partially protected
by thick timber, befell back a few hundred yards, and formed a new
line. The enemy seeing he had only a few men--about four hundred--and
supposing that he had commenced a retreat, advanced rapidly in pursuit.
When they got close enough, he gave them a volley, and then charged
them, driving them nearly three miles, through the town of Ridgeway. In
their hasty retreat they threw away knapsacks, guns, and everything that
was likely to retard their speed, and left some ten or twelve killed
and twenty-five or thirty wounded, with twelve prisoners, in his hands.
Amongst the killed was Lieut. McEachern, and amongst the wounded Lieut.
Ruth, both of the “Queen’s Own.” The pursuit was given up about a mile
beyond Ridgeway.

Although he had met and defeated the enemy, yet his position was still
a very critical one. The reputed strength of the enemy engaged in the
fight was fourteen hundred, composed of the “Queen’s Own,” the 13th
Hamilton Battalion, and other troops. A regiment which had left Fort
Colburne was said to be on the road to reinforce them. He also knew that
the column from Chippewa would hear of the fight, and in all probability
move up in his rear.

Thus situated, and not knowing what was going on elsewhere, he decided
that his best policy was to return to Fort Erie, and ascertain if
crossings had been made at other points, and if so, he was willing to
sacrifice himself and his noble little command, for the sake of leaving
the way open, as he felt satisfied that a large proportion of the
enemy’s forces had been concentrated against him.

He collected a few of his own wounded, and put them in wagons, and
for want of transportation had to leave six others in charge of the
citizens, who promised to look after them and bury the dead of both
sides. He then divided his command, and sent one half, under Col. Starr,
down the railroad, to destroy it and burn the bridges, and with the
other half took the pike road leading to Fort Erie. Col. Starr got to
the old Fort about the same time that he himself did to the village
of Fort Erie, 4 o’clock P.M. He (Starr) left the men there under the
command of Lieut. Col. Spaulding, and joined O’Neill in a skirmish with
a company of the Welland Battery, which had arrived there from Port
Colborne in the morning, and which picked up a few of the men who had
straggled from the command the day before. They had these men prisoners
on board the steamer “Robb.” The skirmish lasted about fifteen minutes,
the enemy firing from the houses. Three or four were killed, and some
eight or ten wounded, on each side.

It was here that Lieut. Col. Bailey was wounded, while gallantly leading
the advance on this side of the town. Here forty-five of the enemy were
taken prisoners, among them Capt. King, who was wounded, (leg since
amputated,) Lieut. McDonald, Royal Navy, and Commander of the steamer
“Robb,” and Lieut. Nemo, Royal Artillery. O’Neill then collected
his men, and posted Lieut. Col. Grace, with one hundred men, on the
outskirts of the town, guarding the road leading to Chippewa, while with
the remainder of the command he proceeded to the old Fort.

About six o’clock A.M., he sent word to Capt. Hynes and his friends
at Buffalo that the enemy could surround him before morning with
five thousand men, fully provided with artillery, and that his little
command, which had by this time considerably decreased, could not
hold out long, but that if a movement was going on elsewhere, he was
perfectly willing to make the Old Fort a slaughter pen, which he knew
it would be the next day if he remained. FOR HE WOULD NEVER HAVE
SURRENDERED.

Many of the men had not a mouthful to eat since Friday morning, and
none of them had eaten anything since the night before, and all after
marching forty miles and fighting two battles, though the last could
only properly be called a skirmish. They were completely worn out with
hunger and fatigue.

On receiving information that no crossing had been effected elsewhere,
he sent word to have transportation furnished immediately; and about
ten o’clock P.M. Capt. Hynes came from Buffalo and informed him that
arrangements had been made to recross the river.

Previous to this time some of the officers and men, realizing the danger
of their position, availed themselves of small boats and recrossed
the river, but the greater portion remained until the transportation
arrived, which was about 12 o’clock on the night of June 2, and about 2
o’clock A.M. on the morning of the 3d, all except a few wounded men were
safely on board a large scow attached to a tug boat which hauled into
American waters. Here they were hailed by the tug Harrison, belonging
to the U.S. steamer Michigan, having on board one 12-pounder pivot gun,
which fired across their bows and threatened to sink them unless they
hauled to and surrendered. With this request they complied; not because
they feared the 12-pounder, or the still more powerful guns of the
Michigan, which lay close by, but because they respected the authority
of the United States, in defence of which many of them had fought and
bled during the late war. They would have as readily surrendered to an
infant bearing the authority of the Union, as to Acting Master Morris
of the tug Harrison, who is himself an Englishman. The number thus
surrendered was three hundred and seventeen men, including officers.

The officers were taken on board the Michigan, and were well treated by
Capt Bryson and the gentlemanly officers of his ship, while the men were
kept on the open scow, which was very filthy, without any accommodation
whatever, and barely large enough for them to turn round in. Part of the
time the rain poured down on them in torrents. I am not certain who is
to blame for this cruel treatment; but whoever the guilty parties are
they should be loathed and despised by all men. The men were kept
on board the scow for four days and then discharged on their own
recognizances to appear at Canandaigna on the 19th of June, to answer
to the charge of having violated the Neutrality Laws. The officers were
admitted to bail. The report generally circulated, and, I might say,
generally believed, that the pickets were left behind, and that they
were captured by the enemy, is entirely false. Every man who remained
with the command, excepting a few wounded, had the same chance of
escaping that O’Neill himself had.

To the extraordinary exertions of our friends of Buffalo, F.B.
Gallagher, Wm. Burk, Hugh Mooney, James Whelan, Capt. James Doyle, John
Conners, Edward Frawley, James J. Crawley, M.T. Lynch, James Cronin, and
Michael Donahue, the command were indebted for being able to escape from
the Canadian side. Col. H.R. Stagg and Capt. McConvey, of Buffalo, were
also very assiduous in doing everything in their power. Col. Stagg had
started from Buffalo with about two hundred and fifty men, to reinforce
O’Neill, but the number was too small to be of any use, and he was
ordered to return. Much praise is due to Drs. Trowbridge and Blanchard,
of Buffalo, and Surgeon Donnelly, of Pittsburg, for their untiring
attendance to the wounded.

All who were with the command acted their parts so nobly that I feel a
little delicacy in making special mention of any, and shall not do so
except in two instances: One is Michael Cochrane, Color Sergeant of
the Indianapolis Company, whose gallantry and daring were conspicuous
throughout the fight at Ridgeway. He was seriously wounded, and fell
into the hands of the enemy. The other is Major John C. Canty, who lived
at Fort Erie. He risked everything he possessed on earth, and acted his
part gallantly in the field.

In the fight at Ridgeway, and the skirmish at Fort Erie, as near as can
be ascertained, the Fenian loss was eight killed and fifteen wounded.
Among the killed was Lieut. E.R. Lonergan, a brave young officer, of
Buffalo. Of the enemy, thirty were killed and one hundred wounded.





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