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Title: With Force and Arms - A Tale of Love and Salem Witchcraft
Author: Garis, Howard Roger
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                          Transcriber’s Note:

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                          WITH FORCE AND ARMS

                           A TALE OF LOVE AND
                           SALEM WITCHCRAFT.


                            HOWARD R. GARIS.


                               NEW YORK:
                    J.S. OGILVIE PUBLISHING COMPANY,
                            57 ROSE STREET,
                    11 Paternoster Building, London.


          Copyright, 1908, by J.S. Ogilvie Publishing Company.

                          All Rights Reserved.

                     Copyrighted in Great Britain.




The showman, crying his attractions, lifted up his voice at the flap of
his tent. So, at this, the entrance to that which is within, those who
stop to read may gain a hint of what is beyond. Only a little, though,
to whet your appetite and make you wish for more, it is to be hoped.

So, then, this is a tale of love, of witchcraft, and of fighting. A tale
of a brave man, and as brave a maid. Herein may be found the doings of
witch-finders, Puritans and Indians. Also there is set down the struggle
of two men for the love of a woman, and it may be learned who won. You
may read of the lifting of the great rock, of the killing of the
serpent, of the battle at the fort, of the trial of death, and the
bursting of the mighty press. This much and more, until the tale is at
an end.

The author hopes you, reader, and the many of you who make up the
public, will like the story. He has tried to make it interesting. If it
serves to help you pass a pleasant hour or two, the writer will have
accomplished his purpose.

So, then, having had patience thus far, you may enter, and read.

                                                              H. R. G.


                              CHAPTER I.
  The Governor’s Commission                                         9

                              CHAPTER II.
  Of the Scarlet Snow                                              20

                             CHAPTER III.
  The Trial                                                        32

                              CHAPTER IV.
  How I Cast the Knife                                             41

                              CHAPTER V.
  Of the Stone by the Brook                                        51

                              CHAPTER VI.
  Lucille                                                          63

                             CHAPTER VII.
  Of the Horseman on the Beach                                     72

                             CHAPTER VIII.
  The Battle at the Fort                                           82

                              CHAPTER IX.
  How the French Took Pemaquid                                     96

                              CHAPTER X.
  The Man at the Inn                                              111

                              CHAPTER XI.
  A Man and His Wife                                              123

                             CHAPTER XII.
  The Time of Peril                                               130

                             CHAPTER XIII.
  In Salem Gaol                                                   140

                             CHAPTER XIV.
  A Sentence of Death                                             150

                              CHAPTER XV.
  Peine Forte et Dure                                             161

                             CHAPTER XVI.
  How We Broke Gaol                                               172

                             CHAPTER XVII.
  The News Nanette Brought Me                                     183

                            CHAPTER XVIII.
  How the Eagle Sailed                                            192

                             CHAPTER XIX.
  How I Found Lucille                                             204

                              CHAPTER XX.
  A Watch in the Night                                            216

                             CHAPTER XXI.
  Of the Voyage of Lucille                                        227

                             CHAPTER XXII.
  A Duel on the Sands                                             240

                            CHAPTER XXIII.
  Shadows in the Night                                            256

                             CHAPTER XXIV.
  How Simon Kept His Oath                                         267

                             CHAPTER XXV.
  In the Name of the King                                         282

                             CHAPTER XXVI.
  The Last Fight                                                  294

                            CHAPTER XXVII.
  Simon                                                           306

                            CHAPTER XXVIII.
  The End of Captain Amherst                                      316

                             CHAPTER XXIX.
  An Order from the King                                          328

                             CHAPTER XXX.
  Love, Honor and Obey                                            338


                          WITH FORCE AND ARMS.


                               CHAPTER I.
                       THE GOVERNOR’S COMMISSION.

As I left the presence of His Excellency I encountered, in the doorway,
a man who was entering with every appearance of haste. We came against
each other full tilt. For the moment the shock threw us apart.

“Zounds! But you are a clumsy fellow!” he exclaimed, limping toward me,
the expression of pain on his face showing that I must have hurt him.
“Could you not look whither you were going? You stepped on my foot like
a very horse,” and the words came testily.

He scowled as he prepared to pass by me.

My hand was on my sword, for he was most insulting.

“Sir!” I exclaimed, “for the pain I have caused you I am regretful. As
for ‘clumsy fellows,’ look to yourself, sir!”

My weapon was out on the instant. He was not a second behind me. The
steel blades crossed with a clash.

“What is this, sirs?” cried Sir William Phips, Massachusetts’s Governor,
whose room I had just left. He hastened toward us.

“What mean you two, with your swords out in the Council Chamber, like a
pair of swashbucklers over a card game? Put them up at once, you Captain
Amherst; and you, also, Sir George. You are both at fault. This must go
no further; do you hear? If it does, you may reckon with me on the
quarter deck.”

My opponent and I were startled. Somewhat abashed, he whom the Governor
called Sir George, sheathed his weapon, I following his action.

I looked at the man. He was tall and well built. His clothing was of
good quality, with fine lace and ruffles; his sword a trusty blade, set
in a hilt, studded with red stones. On his face there was a haughty
look, yet withal, a trace of sadness. He gazed sharply at me, seeming
about to put a question, but the Governor was beckoning him, and he
passed me without a word, scowling darkly, into the chamber of His
Excellency. Then I went out.

There came a time, afterward, when I wished with all my heart, that our
swords had come into use, that day; a time when I would have given much
to have seen him dead before me. But there was another way.

I felt within my jacket to see if my papers were safe, for on them, now,
depended my good fortune. I had come to Boston town without friends, and
almost on a forlorn hope, for England was no longer a safe place for me,
with a relentless enemy following close on my heels at every step. My
mission had succeeded better than I had dared to hope, and I was leaving
now, carrying with me a captain’s commission, duly signed and sealed by
His Excellency. I also had a letter of introduction to one, Samuel
Willis, a tavern keeper at Salem.

Of the things which had come to pass before I found myself in Boston
town, in the year of grace 1692, I will relate none for the present. At
any rate here I was, Captain Edward Amherst, in age not yet a score and
a half, in stature say a bit over six feet; in weight--but there, you
will doubtless have more than enough of me ere I have finished.

Sufficient to say that I was a soldier by trade, and one of fortune, by
necessity, and that I sought service in their Majesties’ American
Colonies. I had left London eight weeks ago, bearing letters to Governor
Phips, from old comrades in arms, some of whom had sailed the seas with
him. Arriving in Boston I had put up at the inn, and had sought an
audience with His Excellency, which interview was just over, with the
ending I have described.

When I was ushered into the presence of Sir William I explained in few
words why I came, and what I wanted. He extended his hand for my
letters, and, when he had them, he gave me no more heed for a time, but
read the missives. I watched his face as he scanned the pages, the while
he kept up a running fire of comments.

“Ha! Tyler Anderson,” he said, “I know him well. He has a steady hand,
and can use a cutlass famously. Sir Arthur Kent, too; a sly rascal with
the women. Bob Frenchard; he never could get enough of fighting. John
Powell; little Nat Edwards, also. Why, man, you might have all Boston as
far as I am concerned, with these letters. You are very welcome,
Captain. Now what can I do for you?”

“Much,” I answered, surprised and pleased at his welcome; and then I
told him what I desired; a soldier’s chance to mend his fortunes.

“How would a Captain’s commission, on this side of the water, suit you?”
he asked, when I had finished. “You tell me that was your rank before.”

“I would desire nothing better,” I said warmly.

“It is yours, then,” was the reply, and he drew out a parchment,
partially covered with writing.

“You probably have heard of the activity of the French and Indian enemy
on our borders,” said the Governor, while he prepared a quill. “We are
about to proceed against them. You have come at a time when certain
currents are like to drift you just where you want to go; into the thick
of the fight.” Then he opened his ink horn.

I listened for a while to the scratching of his quill. It was some time
before he had finished, and, looking up he handed a folded parchment
across the table to me.

“There is your commission, Captain,” he said, rising. “As for your
instructions, they are, in brief, these. You are to ride to Salem town,
and enlist a company of one hundred men. Drill them well, against the
time when we shall unite, and smite the French Philistine and his Indian
allies, with fire and with sword. We will rake them fore and aft. An
expedition against Canada is timed for this season next year. I hope it
will be more successful than the one I led two years ago, for indeed
that was a grievous failure, though, of a truth, it was against heavy

I had heard of the manner in which Frontenac had scattered Phips and the
English fleet sent against him, but I held my peace; for failure is no
happy subject with any man. Sir William told me in few words that
Admiral Sir Francis Wheeler was expected to arrive in March, with his
fleet from the Caribbee Islands. Governor Phips had undertaken to raise
small companies of men throughout the Colony, to act with the Admiral on
his arrival. This much he told me, then, bidding me a pleasant farewell,
and wishing me success, he took up his quill again, to indicate that the
audience was at an end.

My encounter with the man in the doorway passed from my mind, as I
descended the steps of the Town Hall, and trudged along the street, to
where I had stabled my mare Kit. With busy thoughts of what might be
before me I led Kit out of the door, leaped into the saddle, and was off
at a round trot, in the direction a lad pointed out as leading to Salem.

Of a truth, I was away now to seek my fortune in this new land, and, I
hoped, with the promise of as many adventures as ever befell a knight of
old. So, over hill and across dale I rode, soon leaving behind the
pleasant town and the outlying farm lands. I had not gone many miles ere
the snow, which had been threatening since morning, began to fall from
the dull, leaden sky, piling up on the white covering of previous
storms. The flakes sifted down, lazily at first, but soon began to
gather more thickly as the wind rose, so I urged the mare on by spur and
voice, determined to reach Salem by night, if I could. Now the snow came
down ever quicker and faster. It swirled and swished, and blew in
drifts, until I was fain to stop, look about me and see where I was. I
pulled the mare up as I reached the top of a little hill, and peered
through the clouds of cutting flakes for some sight of the road, which,
it was evident, I had lost some time ago. Kit would have turned tail to
the wind, but I pressed my knees against her sides, and held her to the
blast. There was little hope in going back, perhaps less in proceeding.

But I decided to continue in the hope of coming to some shelter, and I
patted the mare on the neck to set her going again. She lurched forward
into a drift so deep that it well nigh covered my knees as I sat in the
saddle, and my boots were filled with snow through their wide, gaping

“Steady, girl!” I shouted, for, indeed, less voice could scarce have
been heard. We were fairly lost now, and for the last hour had been
wandering back and forth across country, I knew not how far from the
road. I did not see a single landmark in the stretch of whiteness, my
only hope having been that I might keep the right way. Kit began to
back, seeking to rid herself of the cutting wind, and I had hard work to
force her to stand. Should I turn to the left, to the right, or keep
straight on? The wind seemed to blow less fiercely from the south, so I
swung Kit about in that direction, pulled her to the left, and urged her

She responded nobly, and reared, rather than stepped out of the snow
bank. Her fore feet struck solid ground, and then, feeling the hard road
beneath her hoofs, she pulled herself forward. We had struck the right
path at last, and, after hours of fierce weather-beating, like a ship at
sea, lost in a storm, we were fairly homeward bound, on the way to Salem

I rode on more quickly now, settling my hat firmer on my head, and
pressing the leather lining against my benumbed ears. My collar scarce
kept the snow and wind from my neck, and every half mile or so I was
obliged to drop the reins and, after feeling that my sword had not
dropped off in some snow drift, knock my hands together to bring their
fingers some little warmth.

Verily, I thought that the road would never lead me to the friendly
tavern of Master Samuel Willis, who, as I had heard in Boston, provided
refreshment for man and beast. And surely no two stood more in need of
it than Kit and myself that cold February day.

A fiercer squall and gust of wind than any that had proceeded, fairly
brought the mare to a stand. I lifted my hat a bit, held my interlocked
fingers before my eyes, and peered ahead. Dimly, like a speck of black
on a white sheet, that a dame might spread on the grass to bleach, I saw
in front a house.

“May that be the tavern,” I quoth, and, with a heart that smote me a
trifle, for she had traveled far and well that day, I dug the spurs into
Kit’s flanks. She leaped through the drifts, and, at length, when she
could make no more progress, I found myself before the snow-heaped steps
of Salem Inn.

The wind, shunted off by a corner of the building, beat less fiercely at
this point, and the roar was somewhat subdued. I drew my sword, for I
could not reach the door knocker from where I sat on Kit’s back, and
with the hilt gave several blows on the oak.

“Who’s without?” came a woman’s voice from within.

“A friend; Captain Edward Amherst,” I cried. “Open in the King’s name,
if for no other reason.”

Now ere I had ceased speaking the heavy door swung inward, revealing
such a warmth and such a snug, homelike appearance, and, withal, letting
out such savory odors, that poor Kit whinnied in anticipation of what
might be her share of the feed. As for myself, I threw one leg over the
saddle, leaped to the ground, strode to the door, and went inside. I
shouted to a stout serving man, snugly ensconced in the chimney corner,
to look after the mare, and then I approached the blazing fire.

“The Lord defend us! Goliath and the Philistines are upon us!” cried out
Mistress Willis, for she it was who had opened the door.

I turned toward her. Now, of a truth, I am not overly large. But, with a
stout leather jacket on, my sword by my side, and heavy boots on my
legs, I did look big to the good dame’s eyes. Yet I stood not so much
over six feet, when in my woolen hose, and, in girth, full many a
comrade, of times past, whose body rests beneath the bogs of Sedgemoor,
in Somersetshire, was larger. Yet, in all modesty do I say it, there
were none who were of greater strength in shoulders or arms, and that,
with a wiry and supple wrist, stood me in good stead at sword play.

“Neither Goliath nor a Philistine am I,” was my answer, while I let the
genial warmth get nearer to my bones as I cast hat and jacket into a
corner, “but an Essex man by birth and breed. But, mark you, Mistress,”
I went on, “if I do not get a mug of ale, and a bit of roast beef soon,
I will be nothing at all, for I lost my road early this morn, and no
bite nor sup has passed my lips since. Thus I am half starved. So bustle

“Aye, ‘bustle about’ it is,” answered she, repeating my words, though in
no great anger. “Bustle about is all I’ve done since sunrise. What with
Willis away all day, attending on Dr. Clarke; with the snow, and only
one serving man, I have scarce time to----”

“Peace,” said I, for I never loved a woman’s tongue when it ran in that
strain, “peace, and bring the ale and beef. You may talk afterward if
you like. I can listen better then.”

Mistress Willis looked at me a minute, as if she would reply, but she
came to another conclusion, ceased her clatter, and bustled about to
such good advantage that she soon had on the table a plate of smoking
hot beef, and some cakes of yellow corn meal, with pats of golden
butter. There was also a stone mug of good ale. I gulped down a big
drink of it, and, when the flavor of it had mellowed me, and the warmth
gone clear down to my toes, I did drink again, this time to the health
of Mistress Willis. For, though I like not a woman’s tongue when they
talk over much, I know the value of being in their good graces. And so I
ate and drank, and ate again, until I felt the cold leave me, and the
memory of the biting wind and driving snow of an hour before was
forgotten. I leaned back in my chair, and looked all about me, while the
fire in the big chimney place flickered and spluttered; the hickory logs
smelling like sweet nuts, and cracking with the heat, as a teamster
snaps his whip on a frosty morning.

I let my eyes take in the room, with the oak beams overhead, blackened
by smoke, the heavy tables and chairs, and the clean sanded floor. It
was getting on toward night now, and the wind had died out. I was alone
in the room, but I could hear Mistress Willis walking about in the
apartment overhead, and giving some orders to the servant. I rose from
my chair somewhat wearied, wishing that the inn keeper would return, so
that I might meet him, and seek my bed. I walked to the window, noting
that the moon had risen, and that the snow had ceased. As I looked
through the casement I started, and doubted whether my eyes beheld
aright, for I saw a sight of more than passing strangeness, and one
that, for a time, struck terror to my heart.

The snow, which had been as white as a fleecy cloud, was now as red as
blood beneath the silver moon!

At the same time I saw, coming toward the inn, at top speed, three men
who ran on, never once halting to glance behind them.

                              CHAPTER II.
                          OF THE SCARLET SNOW.

There was a clatter on the stairs as Mistress Willis came down, her face
white as the snow had been. She saw the red mantle from an upper window,
and came to stand beside me, with fright in her eyes.

Together we watched the three figures, her breath coming like that of
one who had run far, her heart thumping against her ribs. For myself,
the first start over, I recalled that once before I had seen snow like
that. Learned men said small Arctic plants in floating clouds, or tiny
insects, had dyed the white flakes crimson. Yet in the town of Salem,
that night, that a red shadow of doom portended, was the dread in every

Nearer and nearer came the three men. Their boots cast up the snow,
blood red on top and white beneath, so that their path was marked like a
pale streak of dawn athwart a morning sky. They reached the inn door,
and burst into the room scarce stopping to raise the latch. The shorter
of the three, whom I took to be Master Willis, by reason of his
good-natured face, from which even fear had not chased all the jollity,
cried out:

“Oh, Lord, deliver us! ’Tis the snow of blood, and the witches of the
air have sent it upon us. Of a truth they be demons of darkness; those
who will be on trial to-morrow,” and he fell to murmuring a psalm tune
in a high pitched, quavering voice, crowding the while into the chimney
corner, where he could not see the red snow.

Now I was sore puzzled by all that had happened, although I set but
small store by the crimson flakes. The talk of demons of darkness, and
witches of the air, came with an odd sound to my ears. The more so as I
had heard that these New Englanders were a plain, practical people, much
given to prayers and pious works. To hear Master Willis prate of
mysterious beings, then, made me wonder what had come to pass. The three
men, and the wife of Willis, were huddled together now, one of them
occasionally glancing with awestruck eyes out of the window.

“There is one comfort, though,” muttered the inn keeper, “the witches
will be no more after to-morrow, as their trial is set for then, and
there will be a short shrift, when once the honorable judges have passed

“’Tis none too soon,” put in Mistress Willis. “Had the doers of
witchcraft been hung or burned to-day, this evil would not have fallen
upon us. Who knows what else may follow. These are troubled times,” and
she glanced uneasily out of the window again.

I had been forgotten in the sudden terror, and I stood in the far corner
of the room, waiting until I might have some attention. Seeing that I
was like to stay there some time without notice, so firmly had the fear
laid hold of the company, I stepped from my place, and, as I saw the inn
keeper’s eyes turn toward me, I spoke:

“Master Willis,” I began, but I had scarce uttered the words than the
mistress screamed, and the three men turned, as if to flee from the
room. Verily, I believe they took me for a witch. Had not the logs in
the fireplace blazed up then, showing who I was, there is no telling
what might have happened.

Mistress Willis gave a sigh of relief while the tavern owner and his
companions stared at me.

“Lackaday! I had clear forgotten you,” said the matron. “’Tis some one
to see you, Samuel Willis.”

“Me?” repeated her husband.

“Captain Edward Amherst, at your service,” said I, bowing slightly. “I
bear a commission from His Excellency Sir William Phips, and I was
bidden to seek this inn, and to make it my headquarters for a time. I
also have a letter from Sir William for you, Master Willis.”

“Ha! ’Tis a strange time to get a letter,” ejaculated mine host, taking
the missive I held out. “And I can scarce break the seal from the
trembling of my hand over this visitation of wrath that has come upon

However, he managed, after several attempts, to crack the wax. Then,
candles having been brought, he read what Sir William had addressed to

“You are very welcome, Captain,” said Willis, “though you come, indeed,
at a grievous time. Sin, woe and misery are abroad in the land. We are
threatened by the French and the Indians from without, and by horrid
witchcraft within. ’Tis enough to make an honest man believe the end of
the world is nigh. But, of a truth, you are welcome. We have been
expecting that some military authority would be sent to Salem, to make
ready for an aggressive movement.

“Rumor has already been busy,” he went on, “talking of the blow we are
to strike at the enemies of the Crown in the American Colonies. How we
are to swoop down, by land and by sea, on the French in Canada. I see by
this that you are authorized to raise an hundred good men at arms in
Salem town.”

“If it be possible,” I said.

“I believe it will be no hard task to get them,” responded Willis. “What
think you, Dr. Clarke, or you, Master Hobbs? Though you are more versed
in physic, doctor, and you in wheelwright lore, Master Hobbs, than in
feats of arms. As for me, I can point a fowling piece, or a rifle, with
no trembling hand, and at sword play I used not to count myself the
worst of our militia,” and the inn keeper drew himself up proudly, and
made one or two passes at an imaginary foe.

“Now that you know my errand, enough is spoken of it for the time,” I
said. “Tell me, what bodes this talk of evils abroad in the land; of
spirits and witchcraft? The red snow I count not for much, having seen
the same happening in the north of France once on a time. ’Tis but
passing; a mist of tiny Arctic plants, a flight of forest insects, even
a glint of red sun through a hidden cloud may cause it.”

“Nay,” came in deep tones from Dr. Clarke. “Talk not lightly, young man,
of that which you wot little. Know you, that this day I have been called
in to minister to Elizabeth Parris, and Abigaile Williams, the daughter
and niece, respectively, of our good Dominie, Samuel Parris. Verily the
children be possessed by witches of the air, for their actions were most
strange. They bore no marks, yet they continually cried out that witches
ever thrust pins in their flesh. And Mistress Parris told me how pins
were cast up from the children’s throats, though I saw not the
instruments of torture, they having been removed before my arrival.
Sometimes the children were at peace, and, on a sudden they would cry
out that the witches were at them again though at no time were the
spirits visible to me.”

“How did you then learn who the witches were?” I asked in some

“’Twas easily done,” replied the physician, “for in their fits the
children cried out the names of those who were tormenting them. They
spoke of Tituba, an Indian servant in the same house with them, and of
one, Marie de Guilfort, a maid, living not far off. These two, they
said, had appeared to them, and thrust pins and needles into their

“And what was done with the two thus accused?” said I.

“What would you have?” interposed Willis. “The law of our Colony
prescribes death for all who, whether male or female, practice

“Even so,” went on Dr. Clarke. “These two, having been named as witches,
and Mistress Parris, affirming on oath, for the children, the witches
were seized by the constables, and now lie in Salem gaol. To-morrow is
the trial day in the Oyer and Terminer Court. And, if further proof was
needed that the two were witches, this scarlet snow is more than

“That will pass,” I said, yet I wondered, with a strange feeling in my
heart, what evils might portend. Little did I guess what perilous times
were ahead; when no man’s nor no woman’s life was safe. When the false
fear of witchcraft stalked abroad in the land like a horrid spectre,
slaying, burning, hanging and crushing.

“See!” cried Hobbs, the wheelwright, pointing to the window.

The red glow outside was fading away, and the moon shone peacefully on
the fast whitening snow. Slowly the angry red died out, seeming to sink
down into the earth, and with it went some of the fears of those in the

“’Tis wonderful! Never before did my eyes behold such a feat of
witchcraft,” said the inn keeper.

Then, as we watched, the scarlet covering disappeared entirely, leaving
the scene as peaceful as the day had been stormy. It was close on to
nine o’clock now, and Dr. Clarke and the wheelwright began to make plans
for going home.

“I suppose, Hobbs, that you do not mind going around by the mill with
me?” suggested the physician. “’Tis at best a lonesome place, and,
though I have no fears, still one man may be no proof against witches.
What say you, Hobbs?”

“If I go by the mill with you,” protested the wheelwright, “I will have
to pass alone over the bridge whereon, only to-day, Tituba was taken.
Nay, Dr. Clarke, I’ll go by the back road to my home, if it please you.”

“But, Hobbs,” urged the man of physic, “the road over the bridge is
bathed in moonlight, besides----”

“Enough, I’ll not go,” replied the other. “Was it not near the mill that
the other witch was observed to be plucking flowers last summer? Who
knows but she has cast a spell over the place?”

Verily the two would never have screwed up courage to go home, had not
Willis urged that he was about to close his tavern. So they were forced
to make a start.

I peered out of the window to see which ways they took. Dr. Clarke
continued in his endeavor to convince Hobbs that the road by the mill
was the best, but the wheelwright was stubborn. Suddenly he turned and
ran across the snow toward his home. Left there alone in the night, the
physician faced about also, and, glancing behind him, as if he feared to
see the Devil, he sped on toward the mill.

I was tired and sleepy after my ride, so, with a word to Willis I lost
no time seeking my chamber; one of the few that the tavern boasted of.
My head was filled with plans for leading men once more to battle. For I
loved the strife of war, the clash of steel on steel, the smell of
powder, and the shouts of foes and comrades. Well, I was soon to have my
fill of it, though I dreamed not that I would have to fight with such
foes as presently beset me.

The sun was shining when I arose in the morning, to dash cold water on
my face and hands from an ice-ribbed basin in the corner, for the night
had been cold, and there was no heat in the room. Yet when I emerged I
found the sunlit air warm, and it seemed as if Nature had forgotten her
fierce, boisterous mood of yesterday. Willis greeted me as I came from
the stable, whither I had gone to see that Kit had had her full measure
of corn.

“’Tis little you can do to-day,” he said, “for this cursed witchcraft
has so laid hold of men that talk of war and fighting will scarce
interest them now, even though the battle be against their mortal foes,
the French and Indians.

“A magistrate and a jury will try the two witches to-day at the court
house. Since you have nothing better to do come there with me. ’Twill be
a sight, I warrant, you have never seen before. Nor have I, though
stories of how, in days gone by, witches were tried in Boston have come
down to me from my father.”

“Who are the two called witches?” I asked, when breakfast, for which I
had a great relish, was finished. While I fastened on my sword,
preparing to follow the inn keeper, he answered me.

“One, the elder woman,” he said, “is Tituba, an Indian slave, and there
is little doubt that she is a witch. I make no bones but she is familiar
with Satan, for I dare not look her in the eyes, yet I count myself
afraid of little on this earth. The other, were she not a witch, I could
well be sorry for, as she is beautiful to look upon; a girl almost. Yet
it but proves how the evil one can use even beauty to gain his ends.
Marie de Guilfort is the name of the young witch. She is a French
Huguenot, who, with her cousin, Lucille de Guilfort, and the latter’s
father, M. Louis de Guilfort, came to Salem some five years back. The
old man died, not being able to withstand the rigors of our winters, and
the two girls have since lived alone, with an old servant to see after
their wants. Both of them are more than passing fair to look upon. Is it
not a pity that in such a body, in one so young and lovely, there should
be a soul sold to Satan?”

“You saw the purchase made, then?” I asked with some spirit, for I did
not like the positive tone of Willis.

“What purchase?”

“Of the soul of the one you call Marie de Guilfort?”

“No man did,” he answered, half angrily. “Yet it cannot be doubted. For
did not the child say that Marie tormented her with pins? And how could
these be thrust, Marie not being present, unless the Devil helped her?”

I shrugged my shoulders, for I thought it was little use to argue with a
mind that laid stress on such points.

“Will the child’s testimony, and that of the mother, be enough to
convict the girl of witchcraft?” I went on, rather curious to know how
they managed such affairs in New England.

“There will be other witnesses,” said Willis, “and enough to bring the
matter to a close.” We were at the court house steps now, and I ceased
my talk to observe what was going on.

The crowd was there before us. They pushed and swayed about the narrow
doorway, moving first this way and then that. It was a strange
assemblage. None in it was laughing. There was no jesting, no calling
from one to another. Instead there was a calm quietness about it, a set,
serious look on the faces that partook of a sense of a duty to be
performed--one that could not be shirked. Into the room, with its high
ceiling and dark oaken beams overhead, the people swarmed, making but
little confusion. After some crowding and quiet jostling, Master Willis
and I managed to obtain seats near the door. We had scarcely gotten into
them before the tavern keeper, peering up, whispered:

“There goes Stephen Sewall, the clerk. Note how proudly he bears his ink
horn and quills. He seems to know not any one now, though only yesterday
he begged me to trust him for a glass of ale, and I did so. There come
the jurors,” added Willis, “and, see! The prisoners! The witches!”

“I see them not,” I said looking all about. There were a few women
present, but none of these seemed to be in custody.

“Farther to the left,” said Willis, “mark where Constable George Locker,
and his companion, Jonathan Putnam sit?”

“Aye, I see.”

“Note the two women next to them?”


“They be the witches. Lord prevent that they cast their eyes this way!”
and back the inn keeper shrank into his seat.

One of the prisoners was a young girl, as fair as one could wish. The
other was an Indian woman, as dark as the brown bark of a pine tree. The
maid sat with downcast eyes, and deadly terror written in every line of
her shrinking form. The eyes of the Indian roved about, looking boldly
at the people, as if she bid defiance to her enemies.

I noted that across from me a woman, or rather a maiden, sat with her
head bowed on the rough bench in front of her. A cloak concealed most of
her figure, and the hood of the garment was drawn up over her head. From
this covering a dark ringlet of hair had escaped, and rested lightly on
her white cheek. Her little hand, with the pink nails showing against
the white flesh, grasped the edge of the seat tightly.

I nudged Master Willis, and asked in a low tone who she was. He did not
hear me, for just then the court criers entered, calling loudly for
silence. There was a pause, and then, slowly, and with becoming dignity,
the dark gowned judges made their appearance.

“Their Honors, Judges John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin,” said Willis.
“The trial will begin directly now.”

                              CHAPTER III.
                               THE TRIAL.

The cries of “Silence” by the constables were some time in being of
effect, so anxious were the people without to get in. The efforts of
those inside to secure places of vantage was also the cause of some
confusion and noise, but, at length, order was obtained. The learned
looking judges, with their wigs and gowns, whispered to each other, and
then to the clerk. There was some passing of papers back and forth among
them, and then Clark Sewall, clearing his voice importantly, read from a
parchment he held:

“Indictment of Tituba, the Indian, and of Marie de Guilfort. The jurors
for our Sovereign Lord and Lady, King William and Queen Mary, do present
that you, Tituba, the Indian, and Marie de Guilfort, in the county of
Essex, upon the 26th day of February, in the fourth year of the reign of
our Sovereign Lieges, rulers, by the grace of God, over England,
Ireland, Scotland and France, King and Queen, defenders of the faith;
divers other days and times, as well as before and after, certain
detestable arts called witchcraft and sorceries, wickedly and
feloniously, hath used, preached, exercised, at and within the township
of Salem aforesaid, in and upon and against Elizabeth Parris and
Abigaile Williams. By which said wicked arts the said children are hurt
and tortured, afflicted, pined, consumed, wasted and tormented. And also
for sundry acts of witchcraft, by the said Tituba and Marie committed
and done before and since that time, against the peace of our Sovereign
Lord and Lady, their Crown and dignity, and against the forms of
statutes in that case made and provided.”

All this the clerk read, scarce pausing for breath, and, when he had
finished, a sound like a great sigh went up from the people.

“Terrible! Oh, most terrible!” whispered Willis.

“Out upon you,” I exclaimed. “’Tis naught but a lot of high sounding law
terms. Master Sewall has a pretty trick of rolling them off his tongue.”

I glanced at the prisoners, who had been led to chairs on the high
platform near the judges’ desks. She, who was called Marie, looked
straight over the heads of the crowd, right down to where I sat. Her
eyes roved on past me to the shrinking form of the maiden at my right.
The latter raised her head, her eyes dim with tears.

While I watched her lips moved, as if in prayer, and she stretched out
her arms to the beautiful girl on the stand.

“Who is the maid at our right?” I asked of Willis.

“’Tis Lucille, the cousin of Marie,” he answered.

Just then Lucille turned her head, and her eyes met mine. Full half a
minute we gazed at each other, and though I know not the import of the
message that came from her eyes, it was like one that would make me do
her bidding, even though death stood in the way.

The indictment having been read the witnesses against the accused were
called. The mother of Elizabeth mounted the stand, and began giving her
testimony in a dull, monotonous tone.

She told how the two children were of a sudden stricken into fits one
day, which illness Dr. Clarke was not able to allay. Then the children
cried out that some one was thrusting pins in them. Dr. Jacobs related
how he had been called in, and, finding no evident cause for the
ailments, had concluded, with Dr. Clarke, that the girls were possessed
by witches. How the learned men arrived at this conclusion they said

Then came strange testimony. Dr. Jacobs told how he had cautioned
Mistress Parris to hang the children’s blankets near the fireplace at
night, burning whatever fell therefrom. A great toad dropped out, the
woman said, and a boy caught the reptile up with the tongs, and threw it
in the fire. It exploded with a noise like gun powder, and the next day
Tituba was found to be burned on the left cheek, which made it plain
that she had changed herself into a toad for the purpose of tormenting
the children. What further proof was wanting? If there was it would seem
to have been furnished by the girls themselves.

They were brought into court, trembling and shrinking back. And then,
suddenly, with mine own eyes, I saw them fall down in strange fits, the
like of which I had never seen before. They cried that pins and knives
were being stuck into them by Marie and Tituba. Though how that could be
I fathomed not, for the hapless women never moved from their seats. But
a murmer went around, and the judges, nodding their heads, looked grave.

Next Farmer John Sloan related how he was removing his hay from the
meadow, using three carts.

“And, your Honors,” he said, “when I passed Tituba’s house one of the
wheels touched her gate post, and she muttered an evil spell against me.
After that the cart was overturned, though the road was without ruts.
Coming from the field on the next trip the cart did somehow fasten
itself between two gate posts, so that they had to be cut away ere the
cart could be drawn through. Yet neither the wheels nor the sides nor
any part of the cart did touch the posts.”

“’Tis enough,” broke in Judge Corwin. “Do you question the prisoners,
Judge Hathorne. Let not the day of judgment be stayed. A great evil is
upon the land, and must be purged away.”

Judge Hathorne asked Tituba what evil spirit she had familiarity with,
and whether she had ever seen the Devil.

Then of a sudden she rose in her chair. She let her eyes rove over the
room, while the whole assemblage, judges, jurors, and all save myself,
cowered in their seats.

“Aye,” she shrieked, “aye, I have seen him. He came to me in his chariot
of fire, and bade me serve him. I dared not say him nay. Also have I
seen two rats, a red one and a white one. And they did command that I
pinch the children. Aye, the rats did carry me to them like a spirit of
the air, and I pinched them and thrust sharp pins in them. Aye, the
Devil! the Devil! the Devil!”

And then the creature ceased, and shrank back in her chair, crooning
away in her own tongue. The judges on their benches shuddered, and many
near me whispered:

“She is a witch, indeed.”

Next their honors turned toward Marie, and a sound like a great deep cry
came from the maiden near me. I half started from my seat, and had a
mind to draw my sword, to do what I could to rescue the beautiful girl
who seemed to me to be as innocent as the flowers. But even as I rose,
scowling looks met me at every side. Some of the constables hastened in
my direction, and Master Willis, with a quick motion, drew me back into
my seat. Clearly the town folks were witch-mad, and would brook no
interference with their doings. I listened to what the judge was saying.

“Are you a witch?” he asked of Marie. But she did not reply.

“Answer,” commanded the clerk. “Tell his Honor if you be a witch.”

Then in a voice that, though it was weak from fear, yet which seemed
like the tinkle of a silver bell, sad and sweet, came the reply:

“I am no witch indeed. You who have known me since I have lived among
you know me for but a harmless maid.”

“True enough; she was kind to me when my child was sick unto death,”
said a woman near me. But the terror of the scarlet snow of the night
before had seized on the minds of all, so that they could not see the

“Confess, and ye die not,” said Judge Hathorne. He leaned over toward
Marie, a trace of pity on his face. But Marie only looked down at her
cousin, whose lips were moving in silent prayer. “Will ye not confess,
and save your soul?” persisted the judge, in some anger at the manner in
which the fair prisoner ignored him.

“I can speak in the presence of God, safely, as I may look to give
account another day,” said Marie, “that I am as innocent of witchcraft
as the babe unborn.”

There was a murmur in the crowd, but it was quickly hushed. The Indian
woman was swaying back and forth in her chair, mumbling away, and now
and then breaking out into a wild melody. Some near me said she was
singing her death song as is the custom of that race.

The judges motioned the jury to retire, and, while they were out I sat
looking at Lucille. Her body was shaking with sobs. Marie, on the
contrary, did nothing but sit and stare away into vacancy, with wide,
unseeing eyes, like a beautiful statue.

It seemed but a short time ere the jury was back again. Once more the
constables proclaimed silence. The jurors took their seats. There were
the usual questions and answers, and then the leader said:

“We find Tituba, the Indian, and Marie de Guilfort guilty of

“And the sentence of this court is that you both be taken hence and
hanged by the necks until ye both are dead, and may God have mercy on
your souls,” came from the judge.

The fatal words scarce were uttered when Lucille rose from her seat. Her
face was the color of the white snow outside. She reeled, and would have
fallen, had I not sprang toward her, catching her in my arms, and
carrying her to the fresh air without. I held her, hardly knowing what
to do with the lovely burden, until some women, who had hastened from
the court room came up and relieved me. Then like one in a dream I made
my way to the tavern. I was aware of a multitude following the prisoners
to the gaol, crowding about the unfortunates, as if rejoicing at their
distress. Then I left the assemblage behind, and went into the inn,
where I drank deep of the ale to try and drive from my mind the memory
of what I had observed.

’Twas but a few hours since I had reached Salem, yet I had seen strange
sights. I had been near to death, I had been witness to the scarlet
snow, and I had heard the words of doom pronounced. Truly events moved
with no little speed in this new land.

The day passed, and I did not leave the inn. The darkness fell. There
came a confused murmer from the centre of the town. Some men passed the
tavern, running in the direction of the little hill, whence I had first
found the right path, in my journey of the night before. They were
hastening to the place of execution. I went to bed with a heavy heart.
And I dreamed strange dreams of horrid witches.

I rose as soon as it was light, but, early as I was, the inn keeper was
before me. He told me the two prisoners had been hung that night, and,
though I desired greatly to question him concerning Lucille de Guilfort,
I forebore. However, he spoke of her soon, telling me that she had been
with her cousin to the last. The gaolers had to drag them apart, when
they led Marie to the scaffold. After the execution Lucille had gone to
her home in great distress, attended by some women folks, who vainly
tried to console her. It made my blood boil to think of the matter, and,
when my hand fell to my sword hilt, I felt that I would ask no better
work than to lay about among some of these witch-finders.

But there was other work ahead of me. I must soon begin to plan for the
raising of my men, as desired by Sir William.

                              CHAPTER IV.
                         HOW I CAST THE KNIFE.

I soon began to take up the threads of the life in Salem, since it was
like that I would be there for some time to come. Now that I look back
over it I am constrained to say that in no place had I ever found men
and women who made of life so serious a business. Yet, with all, there
was much to admire in them. The witch craze appeared to have passed,
though it left scars behind, and sad remembrances for some.

I made the acquaintance of many who came to the inn, and learned much of
the new land and its people. I resolved, as soon as the weather should
grow milder, to look about and see what sort of soldier material I might
expect among the recruits. I must also learn something of the country
roundabout, as well as of the red men of the forest who inhabited it.
Every day I sallied from the inn, and took long walks. The weather was
growing mild now, and the snow was melting from off the hills and

There was some hunting to be had, and I often went out with a fowling
piece, and came back with a brace of partridge or squirrels, that made
dainty dishes, when Mistress Willis had broiled them over a blazing wood
fire, or fried them in sweet butter to a delicate brown crisp.

Sometimes as I walked, or hunted or fished, there would come to me a
memory of Lucille de Guilfort, as I had seen her that day in the court
room. I had caught but few glimpses of her since, and then she had
passed me by with a bow, and a little smile, albeit a sad one. Though to
me she seemed the most lovely maid I had ever seen, I was to her,
apparently, no more than any one else of the Colony. She bowed to
Willis, as she did to me.

At times I would sit idly on a woodland bank, my gun across my knees,
the squirrels playing, unharmed, and not afraid, in the trees above me.
I pictured to myself Lucille. Her eyes were brown; her hair a deep
blue-black, as a fine steel rifle barrel might be shaded. Her face was
like--but what it was like, ’tis beyond me to describe. There was love
in it, and her lips seemed made to kiss. Her voice was low and clear,
like a bell, and made one long, when he had once heard her speak to hear
her again.

But it was little use to dwell on such thoughts, I concluded, for,
though I would have liked to see her every day, there was but one in
seven when I might do so of a certainty. That was on Sunday, when she,
with all the other colonists went up to the little meeting house, on the
hill. There good Dominie Parris held forth, at no uncertain length on
the trials and troubles of this world, and on the necessity of saving
the soul from the Devil and the wrath to come. To my shame be it,
perhaps, but I am afraid I paid but little heed to the minister, for,
from my bench I could catch a glimpse of Lucille, and, sometimes, see
her face when she turned about. Full many a Sunday I sat thus, greatly
cramped in my body, for my legs ill fitted the small benches, though I
felt repaid if she but turned her head once.

The dominie would read page after page of the scriptures, and then
expound them at length, while, beneath the pulpit sat the clerk, turning
the hour glass, when the sands had run from the top to the bottom. And,
most often, it was two full turnings ere the sermon was finished.
Another time it might be three, while, on one weary day (I was
preciously sleepy too) I recall that the clerk turned the glass four
times before the lastly was reached. Yet I sat through it all without a
murmur, for such things a man will do sometimes, when he is not quite
himself, because of a maid.

Once Cotton Mather, a great preacher from Boston, came to Salem, and his
text was witchcraft. He warned his hearers to be on their guard against
witches, who, he said, were abroad in the land. He referred to the
scarlet snow, and to the two executions that had taken place in our
Salem Colony. He also related such facts about witches, as had come to
his knowledge, he said. He spoke so strongly of the powers of the
witches, that the whole congregation almost was in great terror. Some
timid folks double barred their doors that night, lest the witches
should get in. This must have been a precaution of little use, for, if I
had heard aright the witches did not stop at solid stone walls, to say
nothing of oak doors. Oh, how foolish it all was, though it did not seem
so then to many.

So the days went on. I had learned much of the Colony affairs, and made
the acquaintance of the principal men. I had seen enough to know that a
goodly company could be raised in Salem, and I dispatched a messenger to
Sir William with that information.

But as to the throwing of the knife and what followed. I was idly
strolling through the forest one day when I came to a place where two
paths diverged. The left led on down past the common and to the grist
mill, while the other went deeper into the woods. With scarce a thought
I turned to the right, and walked on into the forest.

The last vestige of snow had gone save from the hill tops, and the air
was warm with sunlight. The birds were beginning to fly northward, and,
as I walked, a flock of crows passed over head, cawing to each other.
There was but little of winter left, and that was fast disappearing.

On and on I traveled, paying small heed to my steps until I found myself
in a sort of glen, the sides of which rose steeply on either side, while
the trees, locking their branches above, made it twilight at noonday. I
came to a halt and looked about me.

Glancing along one side of the ravine I observed naught save the dull
brown of the shrubs and trees, some of which showed a little green as a
forerunner of spring. Then my eyes took in the other side of the glen. I
started in sudden fright, for what I saw made me weak-kneed, it was so

There stood Lucille, with her back against a tree, her soft gray dress
contrasting with the deep brown of the bark. She was not looking at me,
and I saw that her gaze was directed to a spot on the ground in front of
her. Following her glance I saw with terror that the spot was of mottled
yellow, brown and white. And then I knew it was not a spot, but a great
snake, coiled, and ready to spring.

Its head waved sideways, with a slow, sinuous motion, and the forked
tongue ever darted in and out, like a weaver’s shuttle. Lucille, I saw,
dared not move. One hand was pressed to her heart, while the other
clasped some flowers she had been to the woods to gather; and the
blossoms were slowly falling from her nerveless fingers to the ground.

At first I did not know what to do. Move farther I dared not, lest I
should startle the reptile, and cause it to strike the fatal blow, that,
for some reason, it was delaying.

Had I a musket I might have shot the snake from where I stood, and I
thought with regret of the fowling piece I had left at the inn. I had my
sword, but it was folly to think of stealing upon the reptile, and
trying to kill it with that. Nor was there much chance that any one
would pass that way with a gun in time to be of service; for it was
getting late, and the glen was seldom visited.

Perhaps it was a few seconds that I stood watching Lucille and the
snake, but it seemed an hour. I could see her slender figure beginning
to sway, under the baneful influence of the serpent, and I knew that I
must act quickly. I half drew my sword in desperation, and then I put it
back. For I knew that ere I could cross half the space between Lucille
and myself, the snake would strike.

Now, among the Indians that frequently visited Salem, it was one of
their feats to throw or cast the knife. They would poise a dagger or
scalping blade on the palm of the hand, holding it in place with the
thumb. Then they would raise the hand, palm upward. With a sudden
movement, strong and swift, they would hurl the weapon from them,
casting it unerringly each time. I have seen them bury it to the hilt in
a buttonball tree, and in the body of a man, granting that it touched a
vital spot, the knife would let life quickly out.

I had practiced this trick until, while not as good at it as the
Indians, I had some skill. So, when I put my sword back, I thought of
the knife, and I resolved to chance on throwing it at the snake. It was
but a chance, for I knew that if the reptile was startled it would
strike quickly, and I recognized the species as one whose bite was quick
death. But I gripped the knife, and drew it from the sheath.

Slowly I raised the blade above my head. The spotted brown body was
drawn back, now, and, as Lucille saw that the serpent was about to
spring, a convulsive tremor shook her body. It must be now or never, I
thought, and I breathed a prayer that the knife might be speeded on its

Then straight and swift I threw, the keen weapon leaving my hand like a
shaft of light. On, on it flew, whirling about in the air, but making no
sound. As an arrow from the bow it struck the reptile behind its ugly
head, and, such was the force of the flying knife, that the steel edge
cut through the snake’s neck, and pinned it to the earth, while the
spotted body threshed about like a flail among the dried leaves.

Lucille sank down at the foot of the tree as I bounded forward, certain
now that my cast had been successful. It was the work of but an instant
to lift her out of the way of the flying body of the snake, for I feared
that it might, even yet, strike out blindly, but none the less fatally.
Lucille rested in my arms, her senses having left her for the moment,
and I carried her to a spring near by, where I revived her with the cold
water. She opened her eyes a little.

“You are safe now,” I said. She smiled faintly, then shuddered, and
closed her eyes again. Presently she gazed up at me, and whispered:

“Oh, it was horrible! I shall never forget it!”

I calmed her as well as I could, and she soon recovered her composure.
She declared that she was well enough to walk home, but I protested, and
begged that she would allow me to get a cart from a near-by farmer.

“Oh, no,” she answered, “I could not stay another minute in these woods
now. Let me go with you. I can walk, indeed I can; see,” and she stepped
out bravely enough, but was forced to stop from trembling and weakness.

Then I insisted that she lean on my arm, which, after some hesitation,
she consented to do.

“I was after some arbutus,” she said as we walked along, “and it only
grows in the glen. I had plucked some when, just as I reached for a
beautiful cluster, I saw the snake coiled before me. And then it seemed
as if I could not move. My eyes grew heavy, and there was no life in me.
It began to get dark, and then, and then--all at once I saw a flash of
light, I heard the hiss of the reptile, and it grew all black, and I
fell. The next I knew you were bending over me.”

“I thank God,” I said, “that I chanced by here to-day.”

“Aye, ’twas a most fortunate chance,” she answered.

“Mayhap it was more than chance--my fate,” I said softly, and she did
not reply.

When I had seen her safely to her gateway I bade her good night. She
held out her hand to me.

“I cannot thank you enough just yet,” she said. “’Tis the second time
that you have been by when I have needed a friend.”

“I would it were ever so, madame,” I made answer, bowing. She stood idly
plucking at the arbutus.

“Come some day and see me,” she said, which I might take as an answer to
my words. “That is, when you can find time from your military duties,
which, I fear, must be exacting to you.”

“If they were a thousand times more so, yet would I come,” I responded.
She looked down at the flowers which she still held in her hand. Then,
on the impulse of the moment she gave me a spray. I have it yet, faded
and brown. For forty years it has been ever near me, and I would not
part with it and its memories of the past for all that life holds.

“I shall be glad to see you,” spoke Lucille, after a pause, “though,
perhaps, ’tis a slight welcome I can give in return for the service you
have rendered me. Yet it will be from my heart.”

“None could be better,” I said. “I will come.” I could make no other
answer. I wanted to be by myself and think of it all. For most strangely
had this maid come into my life, and she had awakened strange feelings
within me. Something much like love had found me off guard, for a

                               CHAPTER V.
                       OF THE STONE BY THE BROOK.

I sat up late in the tavern that night, and to calm my thoughts I drew
up some notices that I intended to post throughout the town, inviting
recruits to join my little army. I judged that this would be a good
time, since it could not be said when we would make the first venture
against Canada, without waiting for the fleet. The weather was growing
more and more mild every day now, and flowers and shrubs were beginning
to show blossoms. The trees were in full leaf, when, one pleasant day,
having after much labor written on several papers what I wanted to say I
left the inn to put them up in conspicuous places.

They called upon all good men and true, who so might desire, to enlist
under Captain Edward Amherst, to fight the French and the Indians. It
was also noted that some skirmishes might take place before the arrival
of Sir Francis with his men. The notices, which were posted on the door
of the church among other places, also set forth that applicants would
be examined at Salem inn.

Never had a day seemed so pleasant. Birds were singing away trilling the
first few notes of mating songs. The trees waved their branches in the
wind as it sighed through them. I felt in my veins the blood beginning
to tingle, as the sap in the trees swells out the buds.

I finished my task, the while breathing in deep of the balmy air. I
wanted something, I knew not what. To be acting, fighting, leading my
men on. I wanted to walk, to run, to leap, to--in short, I suppose, to
give way to that energy which health brings to every man.

I went on with little thought of where I was going until turning near
where the old elm stands, down near the dead oak, I found myself in
front of the house where Lucille dwelt. It was the first time I had been
so near it since the night I brought her home from the glen. I was about
to pass on, though I wanted to stop, but scarce dared to. As I dawdled
past the gate, in two minds whether or no I should make bold and knock,
I saw her in the garden.

It was too late to draw back now, had I wished to, for she had heard my
step, and, looking up, she smiled.

“Good day, Captain,” she said.

“Good day to you, Mistress Lucille,” I made reply, and then there was
silence between us, while I stood there as awkwardly as a school boy,
though she was as cool as only a maid can be who knows that it is for
the man to make the next advance. Not that she was altogether at her
ease, for, by looking closely, I saw a faint tinge of red mounting
upward in her cheeks.

“You see,” I began, “I come--I hardly expected your words the other
day--I----” and, then, in desperation, lest I might turn and run in the
very face of the enemy, I straightened up, drew my good sword and
saluted her as I would my gracious Queen.

“You have commanded me and I am here,” I said.

Lucille raised her eyes.

“And it needed a command then, Captain?” she questioned.

“Not so, not so,” I hastened to exclaim, seeing that I had made an
error. “A word, a wish, a look, from you, madame, were enough,” I
replied in some confusion, almost wishing that I was back in Salem inn.

Once more silence crept between us, while, hardly knowing what I did, I
opened the gate and walked in to stand beside her. I judge we must have
been thus for near a minute ere she burst out laughing, and I, perforce,
joined her mirth. That was an end to solemn silence then.

“Here,” she cried gaily, “if you will not talk you must work,” and she
thrust a spade into my hand.

Then, at her bidding, I fell to with a will and dug where she pointed
out. My sword clinked against the garden tool, and I hoped that none of
my future soldiers would pass by to see in what manner of warfare I was
engaged. When she thought I had dug enough she permitted me to stop, and
right glad I was to do so.

“Now sit on the bench beneath the apple tree, while I plant these
tulips,” was her second command.

I did as she bade me.

“Now talk,” she ordered.

“What shall I say?” I asked.

“Oh, anything, everything. The buds, the flowers, the sun, the Indians,
the battles you have fought, the war we are to engage in. Why,” merrily,
“there is no end.”

Then indeed I talked. Of what, I know not, save that ever I saw her
sweet face before me, and her eyes looking to mine, until I would fain
have stayed there in that garden forever.

’Twas strange how all my bashfulness had vanished, not that usually I am
such a fool with the women. So we conversed of many things until of a
sudden I noted that the sun was going down behind the hills. I jumped up
from the bench where we had been sitting.

“I quite forgot it,” I exclaimed.

“What?” asked Lucille.

“My dinner,” I answered, aware of a gone and lonesome feeling below my
belt. “I was to go back to the tavern for it, but, I--I--came this way,

“You missed your dinner talking to me,” finished Lucille solemnly.
“Welladay, Captain, I am indeed flattered. But there, you shall not say
that I am a hard commander. Come in and sup with me. ’Tis true, I cannot
make amends for the companionship to be found at the inn, nor can I
boast of such cookery as can Mistress Willis. Yet if you will but deign
to grace my humble board ’twill be of my best store that I will set
before you,” and she dropped a bow to me that had much of sauciness in
it, and stood waiting for my answer.

I protested that I could not trouble her, that I had no appetite, that I
must be at Salem inn to meet any recruits that might come this first

“Very well then, Captain,” she said, with a stately bend of her head.
“Since you prefer the inn to my poor roof so be it.”

’Twas then that I hastened to make a different meaning to my words, and
I pleaded that I might even have a crust in her dooryard. That she would
but suffer me to sit on the threshold, and see her eat. (My, but how the
hunger gripped me then). Verily I was afraid she would take me at my
last words. But at length with a merry laugh, she bade me enter the
house, and, while I sat and watched the lengthening shadows, Lucille and
the woman servant set the meal.

I forget what it was that I ate. Certain I am that I talked and looked
at Lucile, more than I used my knife and fork, for I remember that when
I reached the inn later I had to rout up Willis, and dine again on cold
meat. But, though the memory of the meal passes, I can see Lucille yet,
as she sat opposite me then. And of the topics we conversed on, though
they be in the dim, shadowy past, yet the sound of her voice is in my
ears still.

That night when I went on my way to the tavern, I found myself humming a
love song I had heard in England years ago.

The next day several men and youths appeared at the inn to enlist. I put
their names down, and arranged for them to get arms, which would be sent
from Boston. While the recruits were not much to boast of in looks they
lacked not in spirit, which, after all, is the need of a soldier. Like
some comrades with whom I have fought they seemed to go at fighting as
they did at their religion, so that psalm tunes, rather than drinking
songs and jests were heard among my men.

It was not long before enough had enrolled themselves at the inn, and
then I began to drill them. I appointed as my lieutenants Giles Cory, a
very muscular, though small man, and Richard Nicols, who had some
notions of warfare. We marched the men back and forth on the common in
front of the tavern, putting them through the exercise of arms. Soon
they began to have quite a martial air and bearing, handling their
muskets, matches and flints with skill.

Messages came from Sir William now and then, bidding me hasten my
preparations. I had a goodly store of powder and ball. Flints, matches
and guns we had enough of, and, also, two small cannon, with the
necessary ordnance stores, which had been sent from Boston.

After dint of much practice I had my men in what I considered fair
shape, and I took considerable pride in them. Sturdy fellows they were,
most of them, stern of face, yet energetic, with a few daring spirits
among them.

’Twas on a May day, when the air was exceedingly pleasant, that I
strolled over the meadows, toward the little brook that flowed through
the fields. Then, coming to the top of a little hill I saw, on the green
slope, a squad of my soldiers. They were playing at games of strength,
and, seeing me, stopped.

“Better this than idling at the tavern,” I said. “Keep at it, men, and
let us see who has the strongest arms.”

“’Twas Lieutenant Cory, Captain,” spoke up Nicols. “He has put us all to
shame so far. Look you,” and Nicols pointed to a heavy musket. “Giles
did but grasp the end of the six-foot barrel in his hand, and yet he
raised the gun out straight, and held it there at arm’s length without a

I reached for the gun, and did the feat with little effort. It was an
old trick, and one I had often done before while loitering about camp.
But the crowd gaped, and, as for Cory, he seemed little pleased that a
stranger in the town should have equalled his test of strength.

“What else?” I asked, smiling.

Nicols pointed to a barrel of cider that was on the grass.

“A trader brought it in his canoe a while ago,” he said, “and called on
two of us to help him lift it from the boat. But Cory, with no other
aid, raised it by the edges, and, holding it close against his breast,
walked up the hill with it. Never have I seen a man do such a thing

Now I was glad to see that my company was to be of men of this stamp,
not slow to use their strength. For, when by the closeness of the fight,
sword and musket are of little use, a strong arm is very needful, and
stands one in good stead, as I well knew.

As a lad I had been fond of feats of muscle. But I had had no time to
devote to it since coming to Salem. For with the gathering of my
company, the writing of letters to Sir William, and the reading of his
in reply, most of my hours had been taken up. Now, it seemed, here was a
time when I might, without seeming to boast, show my men that their
Captain was no weakling. So I glanced about that I might propose some
new test; for to lift the barrel of cider, or the gun, I did not count
as sufficient.

It chanced that on top of the hill that gently led down to the brook
there rested a boulder. It was of good size, and, in weight perhaps 400
pounds, and it was bedded in the earth. To raise it, and cast it from
one might be no little task, even for one who boasted of strong arms.
Therefore, seeing no other test that would answer, I pointed out the
rock to Cory.

“Can you lift and heave it?” I asked. “You are of goodly girth, and the
stone is not of such great weight.”

Saying nothing Cory walked slowly up the hill, and I saw that he had
cast aside his jacket and shirt, and stood naked to the waist. I
marvelled as I looked at his arms and chest. The muscles were in
bunches, and stood out like hanks of wool on a distaff. Then, as he
clenched his hands and opened them, to feel if his sinews were limber,
the muscles played beneath his skin, as ripples do over the face of a
pool, when the wind ruffles its surface. Still the stone was heavy, and
if he lifted it and cast it he well might be counted a strong man.

Cory reached the rock, and stood over it a minute. He looked on all
sides, seeking a fair hold, and, when he had perceived two small
projections near the ground, where a man’s fingers might catch, he
spread his legs, and stood astride the rock.

“I make no boast,” he said, looking at me, “and if mortal man may lift
the weight, then I will move this stone from its bed. Though, doubtless,
it has not been disturbed for a hundred years.”

He shuffled his feet, seeking a firm and level stand, and then, with an
intaking of the breath, he grasped the rock, and put forth all his
strength into a mighty lift. His sinews and muscles stood out under the
skin, and were like to burst through, but the stone budged not. Once
again did Cory lift and strain, but no avail. He straightened up.

“’Tis like that no man can move the rock, Captain,” he cried. “Perchance
it is buried a foot or more in the earth. Yet, if it is to be lifted
from its bed I will do it,” he added. Once more he took hold.

This time his back fairly arched with the terrible strain, and the
muscles in it made it as rough as a ploughed field. But, though he
tugged, and pulled, until the water dropped from his brow, he moved not
the rock.

“Enough,” I said. “It will surely prove too much for either of us. I
must choose something more easy. Yet I will have one trial,” I remarked.

Now, then, I placed myself astride of the great stone, as Cory had done,
and I grasped the two projections. I pulled upward once not with all my
strength, for I wanted to try the weight. Then, of a truth, I feared I
had set myself too great a task, for the rock seemed as immovable as the
earth itself. But once again I lifted upward, and this time I strained
every muscle I could bring into play. Still the boulder remained in its

I thought toward the end of my last effort, that I felt the least
movement, and this gave me hope that, if I kept on pulling, I might tear
the rock out. Slowly I pulled upward again, straightening my bent body,
as the stone gave, ever so little, in its ancient bed. It was now or
never. I pulled and pulled, until, verily, I feared that my arms would
come from the sockets.

There was a buzzing in my ears, and, above it, I heard the crowd of men,
murmuring in astonishment. Up and up I lifted, until, with a great
heave, I had fairly torn the boulder from the earth. Summoning all my
efforts until I thought my head would burst from the strain I poised the
stone above me. It shadowed me from the sun, and was like to crush me
with its weight. I could scarce see beyond it, because of the bulk. Then
with a last remaining bit of power, I hurled the stone from me, down the
hill side, toward the brook. I had lifted the great rock.

As the stone left my hands the murmur of admiration changed to one of
horror. Brushing the mist from my eyes I saw, at the bottom of the
slope, Lucille right in the path of the bounding stone. She was walking
along the brook, and had not seen me throw the rock. A shout from the
men, for I was too dazed to cry out, caused her to look up. She came to
a sudden halt.

On the great rock went, by leaps and bounds, from hillock to hillock,
and she was in its course, unable, from very fear, to move out of the
way. The stone was now scarce a fathom’s distance from her. In the next
instant it must strike and crush her, and none of us could do aught to
prevent it.

When we had all turned our heads away, that we might not see her killed,
and my heart seemed like to burst through my breast, we heard a great
noise. It was a roar and a rattle.

The flying rock had struck another, deep bedded in the side of the hill,
and the impact of the blow had burst both into thousands of fragments.
With a sound like a cannon shot, these had scattered all about Lucille,
but not one had struck her. She stood trembling with fright, in the
midst of the broken stone, while, scarce knowing what I did, I hastened
down the hill to her. She was walking slowly away when I reached her.

“You were near to death,” I said, much unnerved, for, somehow, her life
had grown very dear to me.

“The Lord is good,” she replied. “Now, Captain, take me home, for I am
afraid yet.”

As we left the wondering crowd behind, I heard one say to another:

“’Twas a mighty lift, and none like it was ever before seen in the

Also I heard Cory remark, though not without respect:

“Our sturdy Captain, who lifts great rocks easily, can be held by light
chains, it seems. Even a maid’s word.”

And I felt that he spoke the truth, for I knew that I loved Lucille, as
I had never loved before.

                              CHAPTER VI.

I count it not strange, nor to my discredit, that I had, and so soon and
easily perhaps, fallen prisoner to Lucille. It was small time I had ever
had for love, because my past life had been spent in strife of one kind
or another. I was at great pains, sometimes, to escape death, and my
thoughts, in recent years, had been in the way of how to strike the
hardest blow, and how to take the lightest.

So, it need not be wondered at that, when I had looked a few times into
Lucille’s eyes, I did what any other soldier, or man, would have done. I
came to love her. It had grown on me, like the buds on the trees, or the
flowers on the vines. Yet I had spoken no words of love to her.

Our conversation, when we met, was on topics far removed from the
feelings that swayed me. The weather, a reference to the affairs of the
Colony, to the war soon to begin, of the Indians, of that day in the
woods when I cast the knife, and of that well-nigh fatal heaving of the

Sometimes she spoke of herself, and of the sunny land she left to come
to America. That subject was one to set her cheeks aglow, and make her
eyes to sparkle. She told me of France, where she had been so happy as a
girl, and I told her of some parts of it that I had visited. Of her
reasons for coming to this bleak shore she said nothing, seeming to
hesitate as we touched on that. All she told me was, that one day her
father packed up such of his belongings as could be transported, sold
the rest, and, with her cousin Marie and herself, had come to

There had been many trials, the worst of all being when M. de Guilfort
became ill, because of the rigors of the winter, and passed away. Once,
when I told Lucille that her tongue found little difficulty with the
English words, she blushed and seemed confused. Then, with downcast
eyes, she said an Englishman had lodged with her father, in Paris, and
had been her instructor. Whereat I wondered at her confusion, and,
though I scented some mystery, I said nothing, being content to wait
until it was made clear.

But I thought it strange that any man with English blood in his veins,
should teach this French maid to say, “I love, you love, we love,” and
yet let it end there. But, of a surety, I was glad that he had.

And so it came that I loved Lucille more and more every day. Sometimes,
when I looked into her eyes, I forgot the errand that brought me to
Salem, and I would have willingly cast my commission to the winds, for
the privilege of being near her always. So it is when a man loves, not
alone with wisdom. And as time went by my love grew.

From moody to gay, and back again to deep despair had my spirit moved,
until, at length, I resolved to put all to the proof, and learn whether
I had any cause to hope. So, one pleasant afternoon I put on what best
garments I had, furbished my sword up, at great labor of muscle, and
walked to Lucille’s house. With a hand that strangely trembled, yet with
which I could, at any other time, have found the smallest nick in the
wall with my sword point, I lifted the heavy iron knocker on the door
and let it fall. It made a resounding racket, almost like thunder, I
thought. The serving woman let me into the front room, and I sat in the
window recess. I was just beginning to wish I had put the matter off
until another time, when Lucille entered.

“Hast cast any more rocks, Captain?” she asked, smiling.

“Lackaday, no!” I cried, in sudden terror at the thought of one throw I
had made, not far back.

“I ought to fear you,” she said, “for you are a very Goliath,” and she
took a seat near the fireplace. Though it was not cold without, a little
blaze was going and it cast queer shadows, which played about the room
and on Lucille’s hair.

“My strength was like to serve me a sorry trick,” I ventured. “Had e’en
a fragment of the rock struck you I should have cast myself into the

“Do not say that,” she responded, “it would have been no fault of yours.
I should not have passed that way. I saw the men at their games, and
might have known that there was danger for an onlooker.”

I made no answer, for I had none ready. I did but gaze and gaze at her,
until my heart was like to thump its way through my stout jacket. Of a
sudden she looked up, wondering, perhaps, at the silence, and then,
seeing my eyes fixed on her she dropped her lids while the color came
into her cheeks like the blush of morn on the petals of a rose. I could
bear it no longer. Starting to my feet, my sword clattered against the
casement. Lucille caught her breath, and seemed to shrink away from me.

“Lucille,” I said.

She did not answer.

“Lucille,” I cried again, and the name went from my lips huskily, for my
throat was parched and dry.

“Lucille,” I spoke for the third time.

“Yes, Captain Amherst,” she made reply.

“Lucille,” I cried, and then, with an effort, such as even the lifting
of the great rock had not cost me, I blurted out, like a schoolboy:

“I love you, Lucille, better than I have ever loved before. Better than
life itself.”

It was out now. I crossed the room, and, standing before her, I held out
my hands, pouring out my story in warm words of love. I cannot recall
now, nor could I a half hour afterward, what I said. Only I know that as
I spoke of my passion, Lucille seemed in a fright, at first. And her
face, that had been flushed, grew pale, and her fingers plucking at her
gown, trembled. Then, when my rush of words had somewhat subsided, I
approached nearer and nearer to her, until I could hear her breath, and
see her bosom rise and fall. I stretched out my arms, and, not waiting
to see if she said yea or nay, I clasped her to me, my warm kisses
falling on her lips, her cheeks, her hands.

I could only repeat over and over again that one phrase, “I love you;”
until, fearful that she might weary of that strain, I paused.

She struggled from my encircling arms, then stood like a sweet flower,
that the wind had tossed about. Yet never before had she looked so
lovely to me.

“Have you no answer for me?” I asked.

She did not reply.

“Can you but love me a little?” I inquired softly, anxious now, indeed,
as a man whose fate hung trembling in the balance. Then the answer came
back, oh, so softly and sweetly:


The darkness fell gently, until the ruddy fire shone out with casts of
grim shadows over the room. I sat beside Lucille, and my heart was big
with thoughts of love. The darkness was light to me now.

We talked of what the future might hold for us. Of how, when I had
returned with honors, from the Canadian expedition, we would wed, and
make our home in this new land. For a time we forgot the terrible
tragedy that had brought us together, though it was like a little cloud
in the otherwise bright sky.

The sweetness of her presence was all I thought of then, as I sat beside
Lucille. I had never known before what it was to love truly. Many fair
women had smiled at me and I had laughed in return, for I knew that it
would end there. But now----

More and more dark it grew. Suddenly came a sound of galloping hoofs on
the road without. Ere we had time to wonder who it might be, for few
rode so furiously in that time, unless some danger portended, there was
a knock loud and long at the door. Lucille and I had risen from our
seats in alarm. The servant hastened to the portal with a candle, and we
heard, as the oak swung back, the voice of a man:

“Is Captain Amherst within?” the messenger asked.

“He is,” I answered, walking to the entrance.

“Your pardon for this interruption,” began the man, “but I came in
haste, with a letter for you from His Excellency, Sir William Phips,”
and the horseman handed me a sealed missive.

Wonderingly I broke the red wax. In the dim light I read:

“CAPTAIN:--The Indian devils are pressing hard and close on our borders.
Settlers from outlying hamlets have brought word that they gather in
numbers on the North. It is said that de Vilebon, at St. Johns, is
urging the red men on, furnishing them food and munitions of war. Could
he be driven from his stronghold (mayhap no easy task) much good would
be done the Colony. Proceed with your company, in all dispatch. Kill,
burn and capture.

“Given under our hand and seal, the seal of His Majesty, the King.

                                                   SIR WILLIAM PHIPS.”

Here was likely to be a sudden end to my love making, I thought. I
turned to Lucille, who had followed me to the door. She had shrunk back
into the corner, and in her eyes I could see a strange look of horror
and fright, such as I had never seen before.

From Lucille I looked to the horseman. He stood at the very door, one
hand holding the bridle. With the other he stroked his moustache, and
his eyes never left the face of Lucille. By the light of the candle,
glowing out into the darkness, I could see a mocking smile on his lips.

“Lucille!” I cried.

The horseman never heeded my exclamation, nor did he change his gaze.

“Sir!” I remarked, with a step toward him, my hand on my sword, “who,
and what are you, that you dare to come----”

I might as well have been a thousand miles away, for all the heed he
paid to me.

“I have found you, then,” he said to Lucille, with a sneer on his face
and in his tones. She shrank back farther and farther into the darkness.

I half drew my sword out, determined to punish his insolence speedily,
but, with never a look at me, making a low, sweeping bow, that included
both of us, he leaped into the saddle, and was away down the road in the
darkness at a terrific pace.

“Who was he?” I demanded, turning to Lucille. She put her hands before
her eyes, as if to shut out some sight that was hateful to her.

“He was--he was----” she began, her voice trembling. “Oh, Edward, mind
him not. I thought he was some one I had left behind me forever. But I
must have been mistaken. The candle light played me tricks.”

“But his words? What of them? What meant he?” I persisted.

“I heard nothing that he said,” she replied, as if in surprise, “but
what of your message?”


Then, though I would have pursued my inquiries further, I was recalled,
by her words, to the missive I held. Briefly as I could, I told her of
its import. It meant, I said, that I should have to leave Salem very
soon; in a day or two.

“It will be hard to go from you, sweetheart, when I have only just found
you,” I whispered. I kissed her, and then, after a little, I went away,
her caresses warm on my lips; the echoes of her voice sweet in my ears.

Out under the stars I thought of the horseman. Then, with a start, I
recalled who he was. I had met him in the room of Governor Phips, in
Boston, some months before. He was the man with the jeweled hilted
sword, with whom I had so nearly fought, in the doorway, where we came
together in no gentle fashion. Clearly there was some mystery here.

                              CHAPTER VII.
                     OF THE HORSEMAN ON THE BEACH.

There was little sleep for me that night. I had been expecting a message
from the Governor, and so had my men in fair shape for a quick movement.
Two days’ preparations, now, would put us in readiness for the

It was nearly morning when, having dispatched several messengers on
horses to call in my company from their various homes, I lay down to
rest. It seemed that I had been on the bed but a half minute, ere the
sun came shining in through the window, and awakened me.

We had at Salem two sloops that would hold seventy men each. Of stores
and munition of war there was a plenty. But guns had to be overhauled,
and ammunition safely packed for transportation. My first care was to
see that the boats were laden. Corn meal and flour, salted meats and
fish, provisions of various kinds, and barrels of cider, were slung
aboard by the crews, and stored in the holds.

In squads of two and three my men began coming in. I detailed my
lieutenants to look after the muskets, as they were stacked in the
company room at the inn. All the spare guns that would serve, were put
on the sloops. Rests for the heavier and old-fashioned weapons, that
were fired by means of a slow match, were provided, as well as spare
matches. Bags of extra flints were also taken. The casks of powder, and
pouches of bullets, were placed out of danger of fire in the magazines
of the sloops. Throughout all Salem, that day, little was done or talked
of save what pertained to the coming fight.

The children stood about the streets, forgetting to go to school and
were not rebuked. With Cory and Nicols, I hurried here and there. Now,
seeing to it that none but serviceable arms were taken, and again,
looking to the muster rolls, or replying to the many questions that
every one wanted answered.

The air was filled with martial sounds. Two boys, barely out of their
teens, came up to me, as I was trying the locks of a musket. They
saluted gravely.

“Please, Captain,” said the taller one, “put our names down, and give us
each a gun.”

“What! To go to the wars?” I asked.

“Yes, sir,” the younger replied. “The Indians killed our mother, and we
want to kill some of them.”

“Not now,” I said kindly. “When you are a little older you may both go.”

They turned away, sorely disappointed. Indeed the spirit of battle
seemed born in the children of this land, and they nursed it with their
mother’s milk. There was much need of it, though.

About noon, two long teams of oxen were seen winding along the road from
Boston. They drew heavy wagons, on which were two good sized cannon, in
addition to the small ones we had. There was also a sufficient supply of
ammunition, and I was very glad of this increase to our power.

Though it cost us no little labor to get these guns aboard, we finally
accomplished it, and they were placed, one in the bow of each sloop,
where they could do the most good.

When all this had been done, and it was well into the afternoon, I had a
chance to sit down and map out my plans. Another letter, with more
explicit instructions, had come to me from the Governor by the hands of
a second messenger. In the meantime I had learned somewhat of the man de
Vilebon, with whom I was to engage, shortly.

Soon after he came to Canada he saw the fierce fighting qualities of the
red men, and, with much cunning, he made treaties with them, persuading
them to become his allies. He promised them that the hated English would
soon be driven from the land, the homes they had builded being allowed
as plunder for the Indians. It was by such talk as this, and the manner
in which he consorted in the daily lives and practices of the savages,
that de Vilebon had won to his side many influential chiefs and their

One way the French took to incite the Indians was to pay for the scalps
of the English settlers. There was a scale of prices, so much for a
man’s, so much for a woman’s and less yet for the children’s. There were
other reasons why the Indians preferred to fight with the French and
against the English. The French almost lived with the savages, adopting
their mode of dress, painting their faces with the brilliant pigments,
and wearing the feathered head pieces.

Then, too, the Indians, contrasting us with the French, thought of them
as brave warriors, who loved swordplay, and fighting, while we English,
’twas deemed, cared for nothing but raising the crops, which was, with
the red men the work of their squaws.

So, I found to my sorrow, ere long, that the Indians loved the French
and were glad to battle against us.

Among the settlers, now, there was much fear of a sudden night attack
from the forest. Madockewando, Moxus and Egeremet, fierce Indian chiefs,
whose names were but other words for carnage, treachery and horrid
massacres, were with de Vilebon, we heard.

To these chiefs and their followers, the French had furnished not only
guns, swords, powder and bullets, but even food, so that the savages had
naught to do save fight, which they were ever ready for. De Vilebon had
established himself at St. Johns, in Nova Scotia, where a fort of no
mean strength had been thrown up. Approach by either land or sea was not
easy, I learned from scouts.

Sir William wrote that few men defended the place now, though troops
were expected in the fall. Could we but be successful against this fort,
capturing de Vilebon, the spirit of the Colonists would be much
strengthened, and a blow would be dealt the French forces that would
teach them and their Indian allies a severe lesson.

My plan for the expedition was to sail to within a few miles of St.
Johns, and land most of my force. Then the two sloops and their crews
could sail boldly up to the town, and while menacing it from the sea by
the boats, I could lead my men to the rear of the fort. I counted on the
sea attack, if the cannon were rapidly fired, to create such a diversion
as to detract attention from the rear, and while the enemy was engaged
against the sloops, I could fall upon the fort with my force and storm
it. So my plans were laid, and I called my lieutenants and made them
acquainted with the way matters stood.

Two days, busy ones in truth, were spent in getting ready. I had seen
little of Lucille in that time, though I much more desired to be near
her than at the task with which I was engaged. But night, as well as
day, was filled with work. At length, when I thought all was in
readiness, and I had looked to my own arms, and had a new edge put on my
sword, I went out one evening across the meadows to her.

She was waiting for me.

“You have only come to say good bye, I fear,” she said.

“Only for a time, dear heart,” I answered.

“Oh, Edward, if you should not return,” she whispered, softly.

“Would you care, then, so much?”

“Does the flower care when the sun goes down? Does it not droop at the
close of day, and does it not smile when the light comes again? Do you
know how I feel?”

“I hope so, dear heart.”

“Then ask not if I care. If you should not come back to me----”

The rest of the sentence was unfinished, for I had her in my arms, and
her lips could not speak for the kisses I pressed on them.

Long did we talk of what might be held locked in the future, and yet the
time I was there seemed woefully short. But I knew that I must go now,
for we had prepared for an early start--Lucille promised to be near when
the boat should sail, and with that I must be content.

“And now God keep you, dear,” she said bravely, though there were traces
of tears in her eyes.

“And God keep you,” I said.

Neither of us knew how soon we would be in need of His care. I pressed a
last good night kiss on her lips, and then, with the look of her dear
eyes in mine, I went away.

With the rising of the sun all was activity about Salem inn. Many
details remained to be looked after. The men, few of whom had before
been with such a large expedition, were much excited.

There was a clattering of swords and muskets; good byes were being
called out on every side; and some careful men were doing up extra pairs
of socks that their good dames had provided.

“What canst thou do with that weapon, friend John Post?” called one man
to another who carried an exceeding heavy and clumsy musket.

“Shoot an Indian or a Frencher for a surety,” answered John.

“Then thou’lt have to get a squad to help ye load and fire it. For if ye
don’t the Indians would eat you up before you could put match to the

“Never mind, never mind,” responded he with the ancient weapon. “The gun
did damage to the enemies of His Gracious Majesty, when thou wert hiding
behind thy mother’s skirt. ’Tis a good arm, and will serve now as well
as thou!”

A laugh showed that the would-be jester had not hit the mark, and John
Post marched on, well pleased with his little skirmish.

There were other wordy tilts between the men. Some, having nothing
better to do for the time, engaged in leaping, running and wrestling, so
that the inn yard looked like a fair ground. At length I ordered the
drum beat and the men fell in, after some confusion.

About one hundred in all had responded to the summons, and I formed them
into two commands, giving Cory one and letting Nicols lead the other. I
would have a general command over both, and had made arrangements to
sail on board the larger of the two sloops. Truly it was a goodly sight
that morning, to see the little Colonial Army marching out, each man
with his musket well cleaned, and with his bundle of matches, or his
pouch of flints and ammunition slung by a thong on one side. Stout and
able-bodied men they were, too, much given to prayer. Yet they need be
none the less well thought of for that. For I had heard of their earlier
battles against the Indians, and I knew that a well rounded psalm tune
stayed not the sword arm, nor weakened the trigger finger. And, as they
stepped out to march from the inn yard to the sloops, Master Willis, who
stood on the steps, did lift his voice up in prayer, and after that the
deep tones of men singing was heard.

Of the God of Israel they sang, pleading that they might be led on to
battle against the enemy, as were their fore-fathers of old, in the days
of King David.

The sloops were soon filled. I walked to one side and met Lucille. Our
parting was brief, for wind and tide served, and we must shortly lift
anchor. The last words were spoken, and then, with a final embrace, I
left her. I boarded the vessel and the sails were run up. They filled,
and we began to gather headway. I stood in the stern, whence I could
take a last look at the little town and the people on the shores. Amid
the crowd I saw Lucille. She was looking earnestly after us, and when I
waved my helmet in a good bye her hand signaled an answer. We were
fairly off to the wars at last.

Suddenly, coming along the road at a furious gallop, I saw a single
horseman. He waved over his head a paper. Even at the distance I knew
him for the same man I had seen in the Governor’s room the day I
received my commission, and for the messenger who had come from Sir
William a few nights before. But it was too late to turn back now. The
horseman spurred on to the beach and waved the paper frantically. It
might be some message from Sir William, but, if it was important, a boat
could be sent to overtake us. I snatched up a ship’s glass and turned it
toward the shore.

“In the King’s name!” cried the horseman, leaping violently from the

“But I am away in the King’s name,” I called back.

Then, while I was watching through the glass, I saw the horseman turn
about. Lucille had advanced from the crowd and stood, shading her eyes,
to see the last of us.

As the man caught sight of her, I could see a cruel smile curl the
corners of his mouth. Lucille suddenly shrank back, as she had that
night when she saw the messenger in the hallway of her home, and she
seemed frozen with fear, like unto the day the snake of the glen was in
her path.

My heart misgave me, and I was half minded to turn back. Would that I
had been of a whole mind! For, had I been, I would have leaped into the
sea and gone to her. But I knew not, until afterward, who I left behind
me there on the sea sands. Of the deadly enemy he was; who caused me to
strike many a fierce blow for Lucille and for myself ere I conquered.
And the warfare was not alone that of the sword.

And so I stood, watching the shore fade away, seeing the crowd grow
smaller, while, as long as I could, I held the glass to my eyes, to
catch the last glimpse of Lucille.

Then, with no very cheerful heart, I set to work to get matters arranged
in soldierly fashion.

                             CHAPTER VIII.
                        THE BATTLE AT THE FORT.

Thus we sailed away. Little of account marked our voyage and, at the end
of the tenth day, we sighted the headland of St. Johns. In the meantime
I had made no change in my plans, which were to make a feigned attack on
the fort by means of the sloops, and, while it was going on, to bring my
main force up and storm the rear.

Now that our journey’s end was at hand, we prepared for what was before
us. The arms were removed from the chests they had been stored in.
Ammunition was broken out, and all useless stuff put away below decks.
In a short time we anchored in a little bay to the south of St. Johns,
where the sloops might remain a day or two unobserved. From there I
would lead my men for the detour. It was dusk when we had landed.

We camped that night on the shore. In the morning, when the sun shone
slanting through the branches of the trees, we pressed on. Our march was
through the virgin forest. Now we had to cut our way through dense
underbrush, scaring from their nests the woodland fowl. Sometimes the
sneaking figure of a wolf would be seen, protesting with a howl against
the invasion of his home. Once a great bear, again a startled deer,
crashed through the brush as we approached.

At night we lighted fires, to keep away the wild beasts, which we heard
howling on all sides of us. And thus we pushed on until the third night
when we camped in sight of the French watch-fires.

Then we ate a cold supper, nor did I permit any talk or laughter. In
deep silence we made all in readiness for the attack in the morning.
Guns that had been wet in fording streams were looked to, and the caked
powder picked from the pans. Spare flints were placed in pouches, as
were the bullets, while powder horns were freshly filled.

With the mournful hoot of the owls in my ears, I fell asleep. I awoke
with the first streak of dawn. The sentinels were called in, the last
word given, and we were ready for the attack. If Cory, in charge of the
sloops, was on hand, all would be well. We marched to the edge of the
forest, and just beyond us was the fort. It was with a heart that
throbbed with some little excitement that I arranged my men in files,
and gave the order:


Out into the open we ran, and I called to the men to separate, that they
might thereby offer a smaller mark to the enemy.

Looking toward the stronghold of the French, I saw, in the gray dawn,
the sentinels on the ramparts. They looked down on us in wonder and then
they shouted a warning and fired their muskets at us. The drum inside
the fort beat the long roll of the call to arms. We were not to take
them all unawares.

As we ran on, stooping to gain what little natural cover there was,
dodging from side to side, I heard the dull boom and the roar of the
sloops’ cannon, which told me that Cory was on hand.

The fort was now but a few hundred yards away, and I saw that it was a
place of considerable strength. It was two stories in height, built of
solid logs. The upper story overhung the lower, so that when the enemy
came beneath the projection he could be attacked from above.

Outside of the fort was a stout palisade, made of young hickory trees
bound closely together, after the Indian fashion. The fort could be seen
above the palisade, as the stronghold stood on a little knoll. I could
see that the mouths of six cannon were thrust toward us, and they seemed
like to speak no gentle message.

We were clearly about to meet more than a match for our little force,
yet I believe that never a one halted or wished to turn back. If we were
to die, we would die fighting.

On we rushed. Within the fort all was activity now. The roll of the drum
continued, and the flashes and reports on the side farthest from us told
me that the fire from our sloops had drawn some answer from the grim

I had hoped that the force at St. Johns was a small one, and that, by
reason of the attack in front, I might get near enough the rear to carry
the works. But a few minutes sufficed to show how little we had counted
on the French and Indian fighting abilities. For no sooner had the
cannon on our sloops and in the fort begun a noisy duel than a double
score of men poured out from the lower part of the blockhouse and ran
down the little hill to the stockade.

We were now within good musket range, and I called to the men to halt.
Then I gave the order to fire. Our band, which had, though advancing at
good speed, long been in readiness for this, let fly, aiming over the
top of the palisade. It was a little too great a distance to do much
damage, yet a few of the bullets that had a trifle more of powder behind
them than others had, found a mark. I saw two of the French fall and
roll down the hill, while a third was wounded and had to turn back. An
answering volley from the fort did some scath among us and three men
fell, one shot through the leg, and the others through the body so badly
that there was small hope for them.

Among the men that now swarmed out from the fort like bees from a hive,
I discerned the half-naked and painted bodies of savage Indians. They
whooped horribly, and sprang up and down in the air, whirling about.
They brandished their tomahawks around their heads, and some foolish
ones threw them over the stockade, thinking, I suppose, that the weapons
might strike us.

The smoke from the muskets now hid the scene from view, but when the
wind had blown it aside I saw, by the white cloud that hung over the
sea, that the sloops were doing their best. Yet I knew they could hope
to inflict no damage, and the French were likely to find this out
shortly. That the battle would go against us now seemed probable, but I
knew our only hope was to fight on, even though the odds were heavy. I
urged my men to reload quickly. Powder horns poured their black contents
down the musket barrels. Then followed the bullet, in its greased
leather covering, and, with a clang of the rammer on top of all, the
load was in. The clicking of the powder pans as they were sprung open,
and hammers raised, mingled with the hissing, spluttering sound of the
slow matches.

Once more we fired, but this time most of our bullets rattled harmlessly
against the stockade. The volley that answered us laid low two more of
our men. Clearly this was but a losing fight, and so I resolved that a
charge, an attempt to storm the palisades, must be made. Could we but
gain entrance there, a hand to hand conflict might carry the day for us.
Otherwise we could but stand and be shot at, doing little harm in

I passed the word to the men, and again they loaded their weapons. I
counted to have them rush as soon as they had discharged their pieces,
as then the smoke would hang over us and afford a sort of cover.

“Fire!” I cried, and the bullets flew onward.

Yells from within the stockade told that some had been hit, probably
through the loops. Immediately I ordered all my men to drop flat on
their faces. As I expected, the volley from the fort that replied passed
harmlessly over our heads.

“Now for it!” I cried.

“Forward, in the name of the King, and for the honor of Salem!” was the
answer from the men.

I was leading the advance, and in less than a minute it seemed to me, we
were at the stockade. The men strove to climb over, but were fiercely
beaten back by the French and Indians. Guns were used as clubs now, for
there had been no time to reload on either side. Man after man of my
little force was hurled backward from the top of the stockade, some
suffering grievously. It was cut and slash and thrust with me, without
stopping to take breath. I was on top of the hickory fence, supporting
myself by a small foothold on a larger tree than some of the others.
Those below me, inside the stockade, thrust at me, but I gave back as
good as they sent, and my sword turned red.

A big Indian, hideous in paint, leaped to the top and struck at my head
with his keen little axe. I dodged the blow, and the weapon buried
itself to the middle in a sapling. Then, while he vainly tried to pull
his tomahawk out, I raised my sword and brought it down on his naked
head, shearing through his scalp lock and nigh cutting him to the chin.
He fell back, ugly enough in his death agony, and his hand clutched the
axe so strongly that it came out from where the wood clipped it.

Now there was a sudden rally to this part of the stockade. I had time to
see that soldiers were pouring from around the front, or seaward, side
of the fort, before I leaped back to the ground. This told me more
plainly than a message that the sloops no longer sufficed to hold the
enemy’s attention. The whole force of the fort would now engage us. I
hastily retreated my men, until we had put ourselves beyond musket shot.
Then we halted to take account of the damage we had received, and to
plan how we might save ourselves from utter annihilation; for it would
not be long ere we should have to battle against fearful and heavy odds.

Three of our men had been laid low at the first volley from the fort,
and two at the second. Then, in the assault on the stockade, several had
received sword thrusts, which must eventually cause their deaths. A few
suffered minor hurts, and four were killed outright, so that, in all we
had been deprived of eleven men. I looked toward the fort. There seemed
to be some movement inside, and presently the great gate swung open.
Half a dozen naked savages came out uttering their war cry. Then, while
my heart turned faint with horror, I watched the Indians approach the
bodies of our dead that were just without the palisade. There was a
gleam of steel flashing in the sunlight above their earth-pillowed
heads, then the bloody scalp trophy was snatched from them; from some
ere the breath of life had departed. One poor fellow, Peter Rankin (he
had been next to me when we stormed the stockade), had received a cut in
the breast from one of the tomahawks. He yet breathed when his hideous
tormentors stooped over him. As we looked on in anguish we saw Rankin
rise to a sitting position. The Indian never paused. His knife described
a quick circle, and the blood red scalp was torn off. Then the savage,
mercifully, though he did not intend it so, thrust his knife into poor
Rankin’s heart, and a groan went up from my men.

But in the midst of it a rifle cracked. The Indian threw up his hands,
one holding Rankin’s scalp, and, with a screech, pitched forward, dead.
I looked around. Samuel Hopkins, the best marksman in the Colony, had,
with his gun, crept forward in the grass when he saw the Indians come
out. He it was who had taken swift vengeance on Rankin’s slayer. The
groan of the men was turned into a wild cheer, and the other Indians
fled in confusion to the protection of the stockade, slamming the gate
behind them.

“There is one devil the less,” said Hopkins as he came back among us,
and several of his comrades silently pressed his hand.

But it was high time that we looked to ourselves. The hill about the
fort was black with the French and Indians now. We were outnumbered four
to one, and it would be useless to continue the fight longer. How to
escape was now the question. I had an idea that they would not advance,
and attack us for a little while yet, as our strength was not fully
known. They would naturally suppose that we had some reserve, and
probably would not charge us until they saw what this amounted to. If we
could get to the coast, board the sloops and sail away all might yet be
well; save for those we had lost. Bitterly as I hated to return to the
Colony without having accomplished our object, I knew that it was the
best we could attempt. Perchance we could not even succeed in this.

After a hurried consultation we concluded that our only hope was in
fleeing along the north side of the fort. On that face it was the least
heavily cannoned. Also there was a little gully, which, if we could
enter, might afford some protection from the fire. Once in this, though
we had to pass a hail of lead, we could gain the shore and signal the
sloops. It was, at best, but a dangerous and hazardous undertaking, yet
we must act on that or some other quickly if we ever hoped to see Salem
again. It was with anxious spirits then that my men began to load their
guns again for what might be our last struggle. I had them leave behind
such of their accouterments as could be dispensed with, to enable them
to travel light. With a rapidly beating heart, though it pulsated not
with fear, I gave the word.

We started off on the run, as if we intended once more to advance to the
assault. Then, when within good musket fire distance, we suddenly
swerved to the left. It was well that we did so, for there was a shout
from the forces in the fort, and, at the same time a belch of flame and
smoke, followed by the roar of a cannon that had been pointed so as to
cover us, had we kept on our course. The shot with which the gun was
loaded, tore up the earth.

Seeing that this firing did us no harm the men in the fort ran to the
north side to pick us off as we passed. The rifles began to crack, and
the bullets to sing about our ears like angry hornets, but my men held
their fire for closer quarters. Now we were abreast of the northern wall
of the stockade. It took some little time, however, for the enemy to get
to the loop holes, and, by a good providence it happened that the cannon
on that side were not loaded. Running at top speed we pressed on. One
man fell behind me, shot through the head; another stumbled at my right
hand, pitched on his face, and, with a gush of blood from the mouth, was
dead. Three or four were hit but kept on. We had entered the little glen
now, and were somewhat screened from the musket fire. Just ahead I could
discern the sea, and, calling encouragingly to my band, I pressed on.
Ah, if only the sloops were at hand.

“Cory! Cory!” I cried. “Bear off to the right of the fort! Cory to the

Whether he heard me at the time I know not, but a dull boom from one of
the sloop’s cannon told me that some on board were still alive. I
reached the shore and halted to let my command pass me. The fire from
the fort could reach us here, and every minute it was becoming more
deadly. Several men were killed. Little clouds of dry sand, caused by
the striking of the bullets, rose all around us. I glanced to where the
sloops floated. The sails were set and they forged toward us slowly.
There was a chance that we might yet be saved. Panting from their run
the men drew up on the beach. Nearer and nearer came the vessels.

“To the rock, Captain! To the rock!” Cory cried. “We can take you off

Then I saw that on our left hand there was a small headland of rock,
which jutted out into the sea. It went down straight into the depths of
water, and the top part overhung so that a skillful pilot might sail a
small sloop beneath, and receive his passengers from the rock above, if
they would but drop to the deck.

“To the rock, men!” I called, understanding Cory’s plan.

They heard me, but now a new danger presented. The French and Indians
were making ready to unbar the northern gate, and pour out upon us. Even
as I looked I saw the first of them coming from the stockade. I called a
score of the best marksmen, and had them take each a spare loaded rifle
from their comrades. The other men hurried on, and reached the rock.
Cory directed his sloop beneath, and I saw that in a short time the men
could drop to the vessel’s deck. Then the rush of the Indians and the
French began. The air resounded with the yells of the savages.

“Kneel down!” I cried to the score.

They dropped as one man, and the enemy, thinking we were begging
quarter, whooped in derision.

“Fire!” I shouted, and I could see, when the smoke had cleared, that the
enemy had halted in confusion. About half of them had fired in return,
but we had killed eight of them, while only two of our men died. I
looked around, and saw that but a few men remained on the rock. Cory’s
sloop, receiving its load, had passed from beneath. The other vessel
came up quickly to perform the same office.

Casting aside the discharged guns the recruits leaped to their feet, and
ran toward the rock. But the enemy had again rallied, and came on with a
rush. Once more my band knelt down and delivered the last volley at
short range, as they stood on the rock. The sloop was now beneath. One
by one the men, taking advantage of the confusion in the enemy’s ranks,
dropped to the deck.

“Jump, Captain!” called out several.

“I go last,” I answered, drawing my sword.

There was one huge, and fiercely painted, Indian in the lead, having
outstripped his fellows. Only two of my men were left on the rock now.
The Indian halted when a few feet away, and fired point blank at me. I
felt a sudden sting as the bullet went through the flesh of my left arm.
Then, uttering his whoop, the savage cast aside his now useless gun,
and, shaking his uplifted tomahawk, rushed at me.

“Jump, Captain,” called one of my men. “We are all off now.”

The Indian raised his sharp little weapon, and it glittered in the air
above me. While he hesitated only for an instant to concentrate all of
his force into the blow with a quick motion I passed my sword through
his body under his upraised arm.

The savage fell forward, dragging the sword from my grasp. I was in no
mind to lose my bit of steel, so, placing a foot on the Indian’s still
quivering breast, I managed, with some use of force, to draw out the
blade. Then I turned, the bullets singing all about me, and leaped from
the rock, landing square on the sloop’s deck.

There was a shout of disappointed rage behind us, and several shots
pattered in the water around the sloops. Then the friendly breeze and
tide carried us out of harm’s way. We had failed to capture St. Johns,
and the power of de Vilebon was unbroken.

                              CHAPTER IX.
                     HOW THE FRENCH TOOK PEMAQUID.

A stiff breeze soon carried us beyond reach of any shots from the fort.
But we were in sorry plight. The men were weary, some were badly hurt,
and all were in low spirits from the failure of our expedition. A new
danger threatened us now. The sloop I was in had received a cannon ball
near the water line, and, the sea being somewhat rough the water came
in, so that it was necessary to man the pumps.

I sent some of my men to help the skipper at this task. The master of
the craft told me that if the sea got much higher we would founder, and
it was with anxious eyes that I watched the weather all that afternoon.
But when the sun went down beneath the waves, in a glory of gold and
crimson, our hearts were lighter, for we heard the sailors singing, as
they trimmed the canvas:

                         “_Red in the mornin’,
                         Sailors take warnin’.
                         Red sun at night,
                         Is sailor’s delight._”

Then, too, the skipper managed to get a spare sail over the rail, and,
when it was bound with ropes, it somewhat stopped the gaping hole in the
sloop’s side, and the water came in less freely.

Homeward bound. Of the days which followed we had little heart to take
note, for our defeat was bitter upon us. On the tenth day after the
battle at St. Johns, we came opposite Pemaquid.

At this place Governor Phips had begun to build a fort, and he had sent
a small garrison there. The commander signaled to us as we sailed by,
and I ordered the sloops to come to anchor until a boat could put off
from the fort.

I was somewhat surprised to receive from one of the garrison a letter,
addressed to me from Sir William. He told me that, expecting I would
stop at Pemaquid, in the event of success or failure, he had sent the
message there to intercept me. And the import of it was that I was to
take command of the fort, holding it with the men there, and with such
of my own men as would volunteer for the service. We might expect to be
attacked at any time, Sir William said.

Now, though I was heart-weary to be back in Salem it was no part of a
soldier’s duty to complain, so I briefly told my men of the Governor’s
letter. Then I proceeded to find what command I would have.

Of those of my original company only fifty were able to be of service.
But I might not count on all of them, for, of the Salem recruits, only
those who volunteered were to stay. So I mustered them in line, and gave
the word for those who wished to fight no more to step aside. I was not
a little pleased when only eight withdrew from the ranks. With the
garrison already at the fort this gave me a command of one hundred and
fifty men.

A few days sufficed to repair the sloops, and they left for Salem,
bearing a letter from me to Sir William. When the sails were low on the
horizon we turned to getting the fort in shape to withstand an attack.
The work was less laborious than that we had recently been accustomed
to, and we were all glad of the respite. In time we had the place in as
good state as it could be put.

One day, toward evening, as I sat in the gateway of the fort, I saw, out
in the woods, a man approaching. His steps were not rapid, and, at
times, he appeared to stop to gather strength. His actions were so
strange that I sent one of my men out to see who the stranger was. The
two met, and my man, linking his arm in that of the other, began to help
him toward the fort. When they came within hailing distance, Roger
Toothtaker, whom I had sent, called:

“Ho, Captain, ’tis none other than our old comrade, George Burroughs,
who was left for dead at St. Johns.”

“Aye, Captain,” said Burroughs, faintly, “that’s who I am.”

Surprised as I was to see Burroughs, I had him taken to my own
apartments. He recovered a little when I gave him some rum, and I left
him with some of his townsmen, while I went to see that the sentinels
were properly posted. Ere I had finished my rounds I was recalled by an
urgent message from him. He was sitting up when I came to him, and it
seemed to me as if he had not long to live.

“Look to your fort, Captain,” his first words were, “within a week these
woods will be filled with the painted and bedecked imps of Satan, led on
by the French, as cruel as themselves. And the sea beyond will float
three sloops of war bearing the French ensign.”

“How came you to know all this?” I asked, thinking that the man was
perchance delirious.

Then he told. First, how, when he had seemingly been left for dead
before the French fort, he had only been stunned by a spent ball. How he
had escaped the death meted out to the other wounded he did not know,
but it probably was due to the shot fired by Hopkins. Burroughs went on:

“When you had gone in the sloops the Indians discovered me and I was
taken prisoner. Kept within the fort I overheard the plan of the French
to march against Pemaquid and surprise the garrison. Then I resolved to
make my escape, and carry you a warning. Many days I waited for the
chance before it came, but at last, one night I managed to elude the
guard, and found myself without the palisade.”

Here Burroughs became faint, and we had to give some spirits to revive

“I struck for the woods,” he continued after a pause, “keeping as near
to the coast as I dared. Oh, but it was a wearisome journey. After many
days of hardship and starvation I fell in with a band of friendly
Indians. They guided me as near as they went to this place. A day’s
journey back I fell over a cliff in the darkness, and cut my leg so
badly on the sharp rocks that I feared I could not go on. I well nigh
gave up in despair, but I managed to rig up a crutch made from the limb
of a tree, and pressed forward, hoping to be in time. The distance which
should have taken a day was three times that to me, for I could only
hobble along. When I caught sight of the fort through the woods I was
not able to go farther, for I had eaten nothing for three days save
berries. But thank God, I have come in time.”

The man ceased speaking, and fell back on the rude bed so deathly pale
that I thought it was all over with him, brave fellow that he was. After
some time we brought him back to his senses, though he was so weak that
I knew he could not last long. Then I left him, bidding the men to see
to his needs. Away from the room, with its smoky candles, and its
suggestion of death in poor Burroughs’ face, out under the stars, I
paused to think over what I had heard.

If we were to be stormed from land and sea at once, there was little
time to prepare for it. We must act promptly, and, with that end in
view, I called the garrison together by beat of drum and told the men
what I had heard from Burroughs. I said that it must be a considerable
force that could successfully attack the fort, and, although our
position was not of the best from a soldier’s standpoint, it would not
do for us to give up without a fierce fight. And a fierce battle it was
likely to be, for Burroughs had said that at least two hundred Indians,
led by Baron de St. Castine from Penobscot, would be accompanied by the
French force under Iberville. The latter would attack us from the sea,
while the Indians would assault the land side.

It showed the spirit of my men, when, after I had told them all this
they gave three hearty English cheers and dispersed. It made my heart
feel much lighter. For a little while longer I walked up and down in the
open. The scent of the woods came to me, and with it the varied noises
of the beasts and birds therein. I looked up to the stars and whispered
the name of Lucille. When would I see her again. Perchance never if the
French and Indians overwhelmed us. Then I was likely with my comrades to
find a grave in these same woods, and be forgotten by all. But I did not
let these gloomy thoughts hang over me long. I had my sword by my side,
the battle was yet to be fought, and I was too old a soldier to give up
the fight before a blow had been struck. So with this change in my ideas
I sought my bed.

In the morning I was told that poor Burroughs had died during the night.
He had not been in his senses, and ever murmured of the terrible journey
he had taken to warn us. He died, the men said, shouting:

“Here they come, boys, the Frenchers and the Indians. Now strike for
Salem and the King!”

Burroughs’ death had been looked for, yet it dampened my spirits a bit.
However, I felt better after breakfast. I reflected that bridges need
not to be crossed until they lie before one, also that to borrow trouble
is to have a bad creditor. So I hurried about, here and there in the
fort, to see wherein our weakness lay.

I made several changes. I had all the inflammable material stored in a
safe place, and strengthened the magazine by binding logs on the more
exposed part. Then having seen to it that the cannon were all in good
order, with a supply of powder and balls at hand, I began drilling the
men. They practiced at gunnery, for we had plenty of powder, and it was
as well to let any sulking Indian scout know that we were prepared. One
of the last thing I did was to write a letter, embodying all my
adventures, and address it to Lucille. I arranged that if I was killed
it should be forwarded to her. Then there was little to do but wait for
the foe. It was not a long delay.

Scouts who had been sent out came back on the eve of the sixth day after
Burroughs’ death. They reported that they had seen the fires of the
Indians, who evidently were using but little of their usual
cautiousness. It was some relief to know that action was at hand, for
nothing so saps a man’s courage as to sit in idleness and wait for the

We had taken every possible precaution. I doubled the sentinels, and the
cannon were ready loaded. And the next night, when the watch was
changing, the Indians came. There were a few shots fired aimlessly, and
then followed the war cry. It rose and fell on the night air, echoing
from the hill, and resounding throughout the silent woods. We might
expect the battle in the morning. I ordered two cannon, loaded with
small shot, to sweep the bushes before the fort. Though we probably did
little damage, yet it told them we were awake.

There was little sleep for any of us that night.

Every one was on the alert, for we knew that early dawn would set the
Indians at us. So we sat in the darkness and watched the fires which the
Indians kindled beyond rifle shot.

I watched the stars grow dim, and a gray darkness steal over the
blackness of the night. A cold wind sprang up, and whistled mournfully
through the trees. The owls hooted, and the wolves howled. Then the
gray-black became lighter. All the stars were blotted out now, and there
in the east was a pale streak, which gradually grew larger and larger.
The dawn was come. With it came the frightful yells of the savages, and
the crack of their muskets and rifles. They began the attack on all but
the side of the fort toward the sea, but most of their bullets found
marks only in the solid logs of the palisades. My men replied, yet,
likewise, did little execution. I saw de Castine moving about here and
there among his Indians urging them on, and I called to two of my best
marksmen to try to pick him off. Once a ball chipped a piece from his
sword scabbard, but he only looked toward the fort and bowed in mockery.

The woods seemed alive with the red men, and several, with better rifles
than their fellows, approached near enough to fire through the loops. I
had three men wounded this way, one so badly that he died in a short
time. Another was made blind by log splinters knocked into his eyes by a
bullet. Yet we had not been idle. The cannon were of little use, so
scattered was the foe, but once a knot of them gathered at the left of
the fort, about one of their number who had been hit. It was a chance
that one of our gunners did not miss, and a charge of small shot from
the cannon was sent hissing into their midst. When the smoke lifted five
dark forms stretched out on the ground showed what execution had been
done. After this the savages remained quiet for a time. It was now noon,
so I ordered a hasty meal served to the company. We were interrupted in
the eating by a loud cry from one of the sentinels in the fort.

“A sail!” he shouted. “Hasten, Captain; there are ships approaching!”

I ran to the lookout, and there, approaching under a stiff breeze, were
to be seen two sloops; and the decks were crowded with armed men. I
could see, also, that on board were several cannon and mortars. Now,
indeed, was our fight like to be most desperate.

I ordered the cannon facing the sea to be run out of the ports. Then,
bidding Cory to look to defending the land side, I waited for the sloops
to come within range. Within a half hour they had stood in nearer to
shore, and we let fly at them. A few splinters knocked from the bow was
all the damage we did to one. But the other fared less well, for one of
our shots slivered the main mast near the deck. A cheer went up from our
company. In reply the sloops fired two broadsides, and badly smashed one
corner of the fort, besides injuring four men, and killing one. The
vessels now drew around a point, and out of range. We could see them
preparing to land the men and the cannon. I made no doubt that Iberville
was there in charge of the force.

It was not long before two of the mortars were in position to fire at
us, some of the balls falling very near our magazine, and I was fearful
lest that be set on fire and explode. The battle now began in earnest.
The Indians seeing that the French had arrived, renewed their attack, so
that we were between two fires. It was rattle and bang on all sides of
us, and above all rose the fierce yells of the Indians. But our men
stuck well to their work.

I had to divide my forces, and this left both sides of the fort rather
poorly defended. Several times we were most desperately put to prevent
the Indians from swarming over the palisades. They sent several blazing
arrows on top of the fort, but the logs were green and would not burn
readily. All the afternoon we fought, only managing to hold our own, and
when night came, our situation was most precarious.

The French continued to blaze away at us with the cannon, and we could
see that they were landing more guns, so that the morrow promised to be
full of peril for my little garrison. I dared not make a sally, for my
force was too small, and yet we were little in shape to withstand a
siege. As the darkness grew deeper, the rattle of the muskets and the
boom of the cannon, and the thud of the balls on the wooden walls of the
fort ceased. Desperate and weary, the men sought food and rest.

As for me, I was gloomy enough. I saw no hope but to fight on to the
last. Many had been hurt; several killed. Help might come from Boston,
but it would scarce reach us in time now. I turned over various
expedients in my mind, and had dismissed them all, when a sentinel
called out:

“A white flag, Captain!”

I looked out through a loop, and saw an Indian on the clearing in front
of the fort. He had a stick, to which a white rag was tied. Approaching
without the least sign of fear, he knocked at the gate and entered
boldly when I bade a man let him in.

In his hand, besides the flag of truce, the Indian carried a letter. It
was from Castine, addressed to me.

I was told that unless the fort surrendered at break of day, it would be
stormed. We could not hope to hold out, Castine wrote; and, after a
resistance, he feared the Indians could not be restrained from
practicing their cruel tortures. A speedy capitulation was advised.

I tore the letter into fragments, and scattered them to the wind.

“Go,” I said to the Indian messenger. “Tell your leader that I refuse.
We will fight to the last.”

“Hu,” muttered the red man, and he went out into the night that was

He could no more than have delivered my answer when a sentinel, from the
seaward side of the fort, hastened to me with the news that there was
considerable activity among our foes, and that several guns were being
landed from the ships, and being brought to bear on the fort.

“Let them do their worst,” I cried, as cheerfully as I could to the men
who were near me. “We will beat them yet. Will we not?”

Now, indeed, I expected that a hearty cheer would be my answer. Instead,
there was only silence. I looked at the men.

“Are you Englishmen?” I asked, scornfully. “Are you going to give up
before the battle is over?”

“Aye, we be Englishmen,” muttered a sailor. “We be true Englishmen, but
of what is the use to fight all of France, and the Indians, too? We are
but ninety men now, and perchance, if we yield we may get safe conduct
to Boston or Salem town.”

I would have pierced the fellow with my sword had he not leaped back.
Then I looked at him. I knew him simply as Simon, one of the sailors.
Yet, as I gazed at him more keenly, I recognized him as a man who had
followed my adversary, Sir George, into the Governor’s room, in Boston,
the day I had received my commission. I recalled, also, that Simon had
ever seemed to be near me; when we voyaged in the sloops, and when we
stormed the fort at St. Johns. He was like a man appointed to watch over
me, for no good purpose. And he had gained some hold over my men, for,
when I looked from him to them, to see if his words found echo in their
hearts, there was no one who said nay.

“You are all cowards,” I cried, but there was no answer.

Then, when I could command my voice, I asked whether it was the wish of
the garrison to surrender, and, with almost one accord, they said it
was. It was a bitter cup to drink of.

I slept not at all that night, and, several times, I was half minded to
rush out, all alone, and fight, single handed, until I was slain. But
life was sweet, and, shameful as it was, I resolved to give up the fort.
I had none to defend it, and we might be treated as prisoners of war, to
be exchanged, in due season. There was nothing else to do, so, with
sorrow in my heart, I ordered the white flag run up, as the sun rose.
Then came Castine and Iberville, the leaders, who had been waiting for
the signal.

To Iberville I handed my sword. I could not but gaze with longing eyes
on the bit of steel that had served me so well. Now I was like never to
see it nor feel it in my hand again.

But Iberville, noting my wistful glance, after he had held the weapon in
his hand a moment, poising it as one who well knew its worth, said:

“’Tis a pretty blade.”

“Aye,” I answered, bitterly. “It has found sheath in many an English
foe, both French and Indian.”

His face, that had held a smile, went dark in a second. I expected
nothing less than he would lunge at me. But he seemed to recover
himself, though with an effort, and said, graciously:

“Perchance it may again.”

And he handed me back the sword.

I was too surprised to give him thanks. Soon we were deep in the details
of the surrender. It was arranged that I was to march out at the head of
my men, and we went on board the French vessels, as prisoners. We were
to sail for Boston, to be exchanged for some French hostages held
captive there.

It was not long before we left Pemaquid in the distance, a French
garrison being in charge. The voyage was without incident, and, one day
in July, I walked ashore at Boston town, with my command. Sending word
to Governor Phips that I would call on him the next day, I made a hasty
meal, secured a horse, and was soon on the road to Salem and to Lucille.

I could but contrast that ride with a similar one I had taken some
months back, when the snow was drifted deep over the path. Much had
happened since then. I had fought and loved, and fought, and still was
loving. And the love was of more strength than all the battles.

I spurred the horse on, while over and over in my heart I sang but one
song, and the name of it was Lucille.

                               CHAPTER X.
                          THE MAN AT THE INN.

At length the friendly tavern of Master Willis came into view. When I
had reached it, weary and travel-stained, I dismounted, calling for a
stable lad to see to the horse. I would but stop, I thought, to get a
change of raiment, snatch a hasty bite, and hurry on to greet Lucile.

“Have the dead returned?” quoth Willis, joyfully, as I strode into the
big room.

“Nay; ’tis myself in the flesh,” I answered, “as you may know, when I
tell you that I am most woefully hungry. Some meat and drink, I pray
you, for I must away soon again.”

The tavern keeper bestirred himself to much advantage, and it was not
long ere there was plenty on the round table. I drew up a chair, and,
while I lingered somewhat over the food, I had time to look about the
familiar apartment.

In one corner I noticed a man seated. His legs were stretched out in
lazy comfort, one foot crossed over the other, while, with a riding whip
in his hand, he switched at his boots. He seemed not to notice me, so
that I had a chance to take a good look at him. Then I knew him for the
same man who had ridden down to the beach, the day the sloops sailed;
the mysterious messenger of the night, the man with whom I had nearly
come to sword strokes in the Governor’s room. I own I was startled, for
I could not help feeling that something portended of no happy omen.

Once he caught me looking at him, but he said nothing until I had
finished. Then he rose, lifted his hat from his head, and snapped his
whip so that it cracked like a pistol shot.

“Good day to you, Captain Amherst,” he said. “May I have the honor of a
few words?”

As he finished he smiled, and, though I could not tell why, I hated him
for it.

“As many as you wish,” I answered, “but I am pressed for time now. Will
not another occasion do? I----”

“Some other time might serve,” he interrupted, “but I am on the King’s
business, and you know that ever presses us men of the sword.”

Not very graciously I led the way to my former apartment, from which I
had been absent so long. Wearily I sat down, pointing to another chair,
opposite, for my visitor. He took it, doubled the riding whip in his
hands, and, with a slight bow to me, said:

“I have been waiting for your return, Captain Amherst,” and he seemed to
hesitate over the name. “I have waited ever since you sailed against St.

“Then you had a wearisome delay,” I responded, little heeding my own
words, for I was in haste to be away. “One, I fear, not much to your
profit or pleasure.”

“I did not look for profit,” was his reply. Then he spoke slowly, and
with a mocking, sneering tone. “But it was pleasant enough, tarrying
here--with Lucille!”

I sprang to my feet and half drew my sword, for there was more than
insult in his words; there was a threat.

“Lucille!” I cried, leaning forward and peering into his handsome,
sneering face.

“Aye, Lucille,” he answered coolly, and he never glanced at me, but
played with the buckle of his sword belt.

“We had many happy hours together,” he went on; “she and I, while I was
waiting for you.”

“Damn you!” I shouted; “what means this! Know you that----”

“Aye, I know,” was his response, and then he looked me full in the face.
He seemed to drop his jaunty, careless air, as, at midnight, a dancer
casts aside his mask. “I know,” he repeated slowly. “I know you, and I
know Lucille.”

My sword was out in an instant, and, with its point, I menaced his
heart. But, with a coolness that I could not help admiring, he never
moved, nor did he seem at all alarmed.

“Draw, sir!” I cried out. “Draw, in the devil’s name, or I’ll run you
through where you stand! The Governor is not here now to stay our hands.
Who are you, crossing my path so often?”

“There is time enough to draw my sword when I have finished,” he
replied, never taking his eyes from my face. “So if you will but put up
your weapon, perchance there may be no need to take it from the scabbard
again, Sir Francis Dane!”

If he had struck me I could not have been more startled than at the
sound of that name. My knees grew weak from very fear, and I sank back
into my chair, while my sword which I had held outstretched, clattered
to the oak floor.

That my secret had been laid bare, after so many years, when I supposed
it safely buried across the sea, shook me as a tempest might a sapling.

“Have I touched you with the point?” asked the stranger, as he cut the
air with the little whip.

“Yes! A thousand times, yes!” I cried, and I leaped at him, and would
have run him through on the instant with my sword, which I recovered
from the floor, had he not nimbly sprang behind the bed.

There he stood, his face working with emotion, his eyes glaring, and his
hand clasped so tightly on his sword hilt that his knuckles went white
with the strain. I lunged at him again and again, fiercely, blindly,
almost, until, in very shame at thrusting at one who had no weapon out,
I stopped and stood breathless, like one who had run far.

“Why do you stand there, silent?” I panted. “Are you a man, or----?”

“Perchance a witch,” he replied, with an air of easy assurance. “I hear
there be many hereabouts. Indeed, no later than yesterday three were
hanged on the hill yonder.”

I started, in sudden fear, for his words brought back to my mind the
witch trial, some months past.

For a space there was silence in the chamber, and I could hear our
breaths, as we stood gazing at each other. Then he spoke.

“Well, what is it to be?” he asked. “Peace or war?”

“War!” I cried. “War to the end, now that you know what you do!”

“Very good, then,” was his answer. “But, perchance you will hearken to
me for a little. Proclaim an armistice, as it were?”

I nodded, as one in a dream, for I seemed to be asleep, watching all
these things transpire, but taking no part in them.

“What would you say,” he went on, “if I told you that I held a warrant
from His Most Gracious Majesty, King William, for the apprehension of
one Sir Francis Dane, or, as he is known now, Captain Edward Amherst?
The charge being high treason.”

“What would I say? Why, that you lied most damnably.”

“Have a care!” he whispered, rather than spoke, and his hand fell to his
sword hilt with a quick motion. “Have a care! I have suffered much from
you. Do not tempt me too far.”

“I am no traitor,” I said proudly, “for I have but now returned from the
defense of Pemaquid, which, though it fell was only given up in the face
of heavy odds, and because the garrison would not stand by me. I am no
traitor. Ask the men who tramped the woods and sailed the sloops with

“Then this must be in error,” was his sudden exclamation. He threw a
parchment to me across the bed, behind which he still was, and, while I
unrolled it he came out, and sat in the chair again. I recognized the
royal arms of England.

“Read,” he said. And then he settled back in his chair most comfortably,
as one disposed to listen to some pleasant tale.

I read. True enough it was a warrant for Sir Francis Dane, formerly of
the army of “that arch-traitor” Duke Monmouth. All the way through I
read the scroll, my heart growing heavier as I proceeded.

“Does it suffice?” he asked.

“Aye,” I answered, moodily.

I turned toward him.

“It is enough,” I went on, pacing back and forth. “But, look you, sir, I
know not your name. Not that it matters greatly.”

“I am Sir George Keith, at your service, and at that of His Majesty,” he
said, smiling and bowing low.

“Well, then, Sir George Keith, what is to prevent me from destroying
this warrant? From casting it into the fire, thus----?”

With a quick movement I tossed the parchment into the blazing pile of
logs on the hearth, Willis having kindled them, though there was little
need of warmth.

The sheepskin burned in a sudden puff of flame, but Sir George never
turned his head to see what became of it.

“It was but a copy,” he said.

“Then what is to prevent me from killing you?” was my next question.

“Would one tainted with treason, add to his crimes and attack the King’s
messenger? Or if he dared, that same bearer of the royal warrant might
have somewhat to say touching on the killing. I am no schoolboy to be
frightened by words!”

I knew he spoke the truth, and I sat down again.

“Perchance,” went on Sir George, “I may weary you with the tale, but I
will relate it, and if I tire you I pray your pardon.”

Then while the shadows grew long outside, and the darkness settled
deeper and deeper over the earth, I listened as one not fully awake, who
hears a voice afar off.

“There is little need,” said Sir George, “of telling that which you know
better than I do. How you were of the personal guard of Monmouth, and
how, when the last battle went against him you fell into the hands of
King James’ men, that day on Sedgemoor field. Of your trial before his
Worshipful Honor, Judge Jeffreys, and his merciful sentence that you be
sold as a slave, instead of being hanged, as you, and all that army of
ragamuffins deserved, I need not speak. You recall how Lord Cordwaine
begged that you might be given to him so he could sell you into slavery.
You managed to escape from prison, none knew how, before Lord Cordwaine
had secured you, and you fled.

“The noble lord reported his loss to His Majesty, and, being in great
favor then, the King granted a royal warrant for you, that, wherever you
could be found, you might be brought back to England as a traitor, to be
dealt with as Lord Cordwaine might elect. That was seven years ago.

“Of your wanderings in that time I have heard a little. How, having sold
your sword to prince after prince in Europe, you finally came to
America, and offered your services to His Excellency, Sir William Phips,
under the name of Captain Amherst. I have had a long search for you.

“Do not think that I followed you over seas all these years merely to
gratify the revenge, or satisfy the whim of Lord Cordwaine. He might rot
in hell for all I cared,” and Sir George, with a vicious snarl to the
words, doubled his riding whip until it snapped in twain.

“No,” he proceeded, “I sought you for myself; for my own ends.”

I looked at him, trying to fathom whither he might be drifting. He had
no more of the careless air, and his tone had changed to a low, intense
and rapid one.

“Can you call to mind,” he asked, “when the last charge was made at the
ditch that proved so disastrous to Monmouth’s forces?”

“Yes,” I said, my memory going back to the fierce struggle between
farmers and religious fanatics on one side, and trained soldiers on the

“Do you remember how, when a dark haired lad, aye he was but a boy,
opposed you as you urged your horse on?”

“Yes,” I answered, as one awaking from a sleep.

“Then,” came from Sir George suddenly, “call to mind also how you cut
him down with a single stroke, though you might have disarmed and spared
him, for he could not have prevailed against you. His life’s blood dyed
the marsh, and he was trampled under foot, a shapeless mass. Do you
recall that?” The words were hurled at me with every look of hate.

“It was in a fair fight,” I said, somewhat sorry for the lad. “I had to
save myself. It was give and take, no quarter asked or granted; no time
to parry.”

“I saw the blow. I marked who gave it,” went on Sir George. “Had not my
horse fallen under me then you would ne’er have dealt another. A sudden
surge in the battle carried me from you, but I knew I could remember
your face, your form; and I vowed----,” a strong emotion seized the
man,--“I vowed your death when once more we should stand face to face.
Now after many years that time has come. For--for----”

He seemed to choke with the words.

“Was he----?” I began softly.

“He was my only brother,” he replied, “and his death broke my mother’s
heart, and sent my father to an early grave.”

“’Twas the fortune of war,” I answered, but I had no heart to mock his

After a pause he went on.

“When the prisoners were taken,” he said, “I sought among them for you.
One day, to my joy, I saw you penned in with others like the cattle you
were. I hastened to the King to beg one boon: that you might be given or
sold to me. But Lord Cordwaine, curse him, was before me, and he had
chosen you among others that the King gave him. His Majesty dared not,
for reasons of policy, offend Lord Cordwaine, by making the change.

“I begged and pleaded with the lord that he would give you to me, but he
was short of purse, and had made a bargain to sell you as a slave. I had
not money enough or I would have been the buyer.

“Then came your sale to the slave dealer, and your escape from prison,
before Lord Cordwaine had delivered you to the purchaser. He secured a
royal warrant for your arrest, wherever you might be found, on the
charge of high treason. Fearful that you might escape my vengeance I
besought Lord Cordwaine to let me serve the document. Glad that he was
not to be out of pocket by the arrangement he consented. Since then I
have followed you from place to place, always arriving just as you had
gone. I lost track of you when you sailed for this land, but now I can
reap my reward.”

I know not what prevented me from springing at him then and ending it
all. I wish I had. Perhaps it was his devil’s coolness, or his mastery
over my feelings that held me to my chair. He proceeded after a pause,
not heeding that I had risen as he began again.

“When King James fled,” he went on, “I managed to acquire some influence
at the court of William and Mary. The warrant was renewed, though Lord
Cordwaine, to my joy, died in the meantime, and I knew I could have you
all to myself when I found you. So I continued my search, and now I have
found you--and Lucille.”

“What of Lucille?” I cried. “Would you drive me mad by harping on her
name, as if you had a right to use it? Speak, man. What are you to her,
or what is she to you? There is some mystery here, of which I have had
enough. Now out with it, or, warrant or no warrant, I’ll run you through
as I would a dog.”

“What of Lucille?” repeating my words in a sneering tone. Then changing
suddenly: “This of Lucille. That I love her better than life. Aye, I
love her more than I hate you, and God knows that hate is as wide and as
deep as the sea. I love her; I love her, and she loves me! For Lucille
de Guilfort is my wife!”

                              CHAPTER XI.
                          A MAN AND HIS WIFE.

I was like a man who saw death before him when I heard his words.
Lucille his wife, when but a few short months ago she had promised to be
mine. She had let me woo and win her, knowing that she had no
right--that I had no right!

“Oh God!” I cried; and then I stopped, for I did not know what I might
pray for; her death, or his or my own. Yet with it all I loved her; more
than ever.

A great grief or a great joy stuns for the moment. So it was with me. My
heart’s dearest idol was shattered; crumbled into dust, and, instead of
pain, there was a numbness and a feeling that I had never known before.
I raised my hand to my head as if I would brush away cobwebs from my

“Lucille,” I began, in so strange a tone that I started at the word, and
the silence seemed broken by my tone as by a thunder clap.

“Lady Keith,” corrected Sir George, smiling.

There came to me a faint hope like a star dimly seen amid a storm sky.
Perchance he had forfeited the right to call her wife. What else could
mean her shrinking from him, her fear when they had met, and I had been
near to see? Oh, if it could but be true! My eyes saw clearer, and my
hand became firmer.

“I have no privilege to ask,” I began, yet I hoped for an answer, “but I
had been led to believe otherwise of--of--Lu--of Lady Keith.”

“Aye, I suppose so,” was his answer, in a biting tone. “I am in little
mood for the telling, yet I will relate how it came to pass; for there
have been strange goings on since Mistress Lucille became Lady Keith.”

Then as we two stood there, each with deadly hatred of the other in his
heart, he began:

“I met Lucille and fell in love with her some five years ago. I first
saw her in Paris, where I had gone in quest of you. There I lingered
unable, because of the witchery of her eyes, to leave. We met often, for
I contrived to prevail on her father to let me give her lessons in
English. And you may guess I lost no opportunity of giving her lessons
in love at the same time. Well, my suit prospered, and in a year we were
wed, both as happy as lovers proverbially are.

“Then one day, ’twas a small matter, to be sure, but there was a story
that some court lady had been found in my bed chamber. Only a trifle,
for she had been there to gain my friendship in a matter concerning some
titled personage, and called rather early, that was all. But Lucille
heard of it, and, as I could not deny that the lady was there, why, my
wife assumed that I had tired of her charms. She flew into a great
passion, and when I had imagined she would pout a bit, and seem
offended, she was most grievously angered. Hast ever seen her in a
temper?” he asked suddenly.

“No,” I said sharply. “Go on.”

“Oh, but she has one, for all her fair face,” he sneered.

It was all I could do to keep the point of my sword from his throat.

“Proceed,” I choked out.

“Well, this small matter to me proved a large one for Lady Keith. And
her father, it seems, took it to heart also. They were of noble blood,
the de Guilforts, almost as good as the Keiths,” and he stroked his
moustache with an air of pride.

“Where was I? Oh, yes. Well, Mistress Keith was in a great temper. She
defied me to my face; told me I had dishonored her. You know how women
are. To be brief, M. de Guilfort, with my wife and her cousin, suddenly
left Paris, when I had been called to London on a false report that you
had come back. When I returned to Paris, expecting to find all the
affair blown over, and a pair of loving arms and ruby lips to welcome
me, I found a vacant house; a cold hearth.

“I did my best to trace them but failed. Then, like a man without hope,
hating yet loving, loving yet hating, I went to the wars, and finally
came to America. And here, thanks to the fates I have found both my
enemy and my love.”

“Is that all?” I asked, for I wished to hear the end before I killed

“No,” he said bitterly, “not all. When I became attached to the army of
the Massachusetts Colony, the first act of Governor Phips was to send me
with a message to you here. I little guessed who I should find Captain
Edward Amherst to be, much less did I hope to meet with Lucille in Salem

“When I galloped to her house that night, not finding you at the inn, I
saw, in the dim light, she whom I had been seeking so long. I had no
eyes for you then beyond a glance. But when I had ridden away, not
desiring to press matters at once, your face came before me, and I knew
I had found one other I had been in search of. I shouted aloud for joy.

“I hastened to Boston, where I had left the royal warrant, and I
returned with all speed. You had already sailed with the two sloops,
though I tried to hail you from the shore to which I galloped. However,
I thought that you would return, and, when I looked and saw Lucille, I
hardly cared whether you came back or not.”

“Is that all?” I asked again, softly. For I saw, of a truth now, that
one of us was like to die; and I did not think it would be me.

“Not quite all,” he said.

He paused to cast a hasty look at me, then he went on.

“While waiting for you I had time to renew my acquaintance with my dear
wife,” he said mockingly.

“And--and have you persuaded her that you are a true and loyal husband?”
I asked, hesitating bitterly over the words.

“Nay, curses on it,” he cried. “Why, man, ’twould be laughable, but that
I am more in love with her than ever. Fancy a man in love with his wife
a second time, yet not allowed to greet her, to call upon her, save in
the presence of a serving maid, not to take her hand, to kiss----”

I started forward, with what intent I know not, for the memory of those
kisses I had pressed on Lucille’s lips came back to me. I felt that one
of us, for the sake of the honor of Lucille, must die.

“Then your second suit is not favored, as was the first?” I inquired.

“Nay,” he replied bitterly. “Why, ’tis town gossip now that she loves
you, for no one is aware that she is my wife yet. A pretty tale, is it
not? How the French maid fell in love with the Captain that casts great
rocks as though they were but pebbles.”

“You lie, damn you!” I cried. “She did love me, perhaps. But it was
before she knew she had no right.”

“No right?”

“My life upon it, she did not know, Sir George. She either believed you
dead, or knew that she was no more bound to you than to the veriest

Yet, though I spoke the words boldly, there was both pain and fear in my
heart. When a man begins to doubt a woman there is no middle way. But I
could not, with honor, do less than defend the name of one I had
loved--nay, of one I loved still.

“Oh, a truce to fine words,” was the reply. “All women are alike; off
with the old, on with the new. Since she has found you she has no use
for me. I might as well talk of my love to the trees or to the rocks as
to Lucille, my own wife, since you have kissed her.”

I started.

“Ha! That was but a chance shot, yet it struck,” he cried; and he
laughed, though it echoed more like a wail than a sound of merriment.

“But I love her,” he went on. “Oh, God, how I love her! I love her so
much that I will, for the sake of it, be cheated of my revenge. With you
away I could have hope. But now----”

Outside the wind blew in mournful gusts, for a storm was brewing.

“Hark you, Sir Francis Dane,” he continued. “I will not call you by that
name, though, for you have forfeited it. Listen, Captain Amherst; if you
will but consent to leave the Colony, leave Lucille, and go away, I, in
turn, will forget my brother’s death, my vengeance, and you. The royal
warrant shall be destroyed, and you may walk the earth a free man,
fearing not any one. Only go. Leave Lucille to me. I can win back her
love. See, I will write now a full and free pardon for you, and will
transmit it to the King. Will you go?”

It was dark by this time, and the flickering flames, dying amid the
ashes, like a hopeless love, faintly illuminated the apartment, as we
stood facing each other.

It was strange, when, for the moment I stopped to think of it. Here was
a man pleading with another for what was his right. Pleading to be
allowed to woo his own wife. Begging that I would give up my love and go
away so that his suit might be unhampered. Verily I had never heard of
such a thing before, though I knew that love was a strange master. Sir
George was asking of me with words what I might expect to be required by
the sword. Yet, though I had no right to the love of Lucille, his wife,
he did not draw, even as I moved back, and stood on guard.

Whereat I marveled, for he was not a man to accept lightly the dishonor
I had put upon him.

                              CHAPTER XII.
                           THE TIME OF PERIL.

Of what use to stay in Salem now, that my love had come to such a sorry
end? Yet I did not like that he should triumph over me, nor would I
purchase my freedom at the price he offered.

To stay? To go?

“I will remain here,” I said, after a moment’s pause. He made a gesture
that showed his displeasure. “But mistake me not, Sir George, Mistress
Keith shall see no more of me. I stay, not on her account, but my own.
Now, enough of womenkind. With you it seems I have a score to settle

Sir George nodded his head.

“You have made threats,” I went on. “You feel aggrieved; you consider me
your enemy, and I, no less, you mine. The Danes are not accustomed to
shun danger; to permit old scores to be unsatisfied; to leave an enemy
behind them. Therefore I stay, Sir George.”

He made as if he would go, but I stood before him. He was looking beyond
me with a curious glint in his eyes, and, though I was directly in his
path, he did not seem to notice me.

“Draw, sir,” I commanded, gently. “Let us see who of us shall go or
stay; who of us shall die? There have been enough of threats. Draw, sir;
I pray you.”

Still he looked beyond me as if at some vision behind the oak walls,
until stung by his indifference I came so close up against him that his
arm touched mine.

“Will you not fight?” I cried, peering into his eyes that refused to see

He said not a word, but ever continued to gaze away.

“Come,” I sneered, “will you do me the honor to cross swords?”

“Not with a traitor,” was his sudden answer.

“Nor I with a coward,” I exclaimed. I snatched up the broken whip and
struck him full in the face with it. The blow raised a red weal from his
eye to his chin.

I have seen wild beasts aroused, and raging Indians mad with the lust of
murder, yet I never saw such a look as came into the face of that man
when I struck him. Verily I shrank back somewhat, and my sword went up
on guard. But with a fierce mastery of the passion that must have been
tearing at his very heart, Sir George moistened his lips with his
tongue, and hoarsely whispered:

“Are you mad? No man ever yet struck me and lived after it. But the
sword of a gentleman and a soldier is too good for such as you, traitor
that you are. I will not sully my steel with your blood. Think not,
though, that you will escape me. Die you shall, but in such manner as no
man died before;” and, ere I could stop him he had rushed from the room,
and I was alone.

There was half a thought in my mind to follow him, but I did not care to
engage with him on the open highway, and I knew I would meet with him
again. That he meditated some evil to me I was sure. What it might be I
could not say.

Well, I would be off now to see Lucille after my long absence. I stopped
with a jolt, as suddenly as does a trooper whose horse balks at a hedge.

“Ha!” I cried, gaily. “Nay, Lucille no more, but Lady Keith. What a fool
I’ve been to let her see that I loved her. What a fool any man is to
love a woman. What fools men are, anyhow, at all times.

“Bah! Lucille! And she took my kisses.

“What ho! Well, ’tis many a stolen kiss a soldier has, and mine had been
purloined favors, though I knew it not. Why, then, should I give her up?
She loved me, even her husband admitted that. And why had not I, whom
she loved, a better right, to her than he whom she loved not? With some
there would have been but one answer to this. A clash of steel, and,
right or wrong, he who loved and won, would have her whom he fought for.
Why not I? What if she was his wife?

“Should love recognize limitations of earthly honor? Why not cast honor
as men saw it to the winds? With Sir George out of the way I would have
naught to fear from his warrant, and his wife--bah! the words went
bitter in my mouth--his wife could then be mine. I had no doubt that in
a combat with him I could be the victor. We had quarreled, I had struck
him. If he was a man he must fight after that. Then a meeting early in
the morning, a clash of swords, a lunge, a feint, a trick I knew well,
having had it from a master of the art, and that would be the end. The
end of all save my happiness with Lucille.


I spoke the word aloud. I had not sunk so low as that. It would be sad
indeed if love gave such license. There was but one way out of the
matter. If I stayed in Salem I must fight Sir George, and all would say
that I had slain him that I might take his wife.

Love would be sweet, with Lucille to share it with me, but not love with
dishonor. Therefore I must go.

Heigh-ho! This, then, was an end to all my dreams. Nothing left to
battle for save life, and that was scarce worth the struggle. I tried to
banish the memory of Lucille from me, but I could not. Her whisper that
she loved me sounded in my ears loud above the din of the fights I had
passed through. One right I had still. To love her in secret, to know
that she loved me, and, knowing that, to let it be the end.

It was night now. There came a knock on my door, and Willis entered.

“What, not gone?” he asked. “Why, I thought you were in haste to be

“So I was,” I answered, with a short laugh, “but I have changed my mind
now. Much haste oft means a slow journey. I’ll stay here with you. Let
us have some wine up, Master Willis. ’Tis so long since I have tasted
any that my throat has forgot the flavor. Bring plenty, for when a man
has been to the wars there is need of some cheer on his return, even
though he comes conquered instead of a conqueror.”

He brought the wine, and we drank together, I not so much that I wanted
the drink, but companionship.

“How goes the witchcraft here, Willis?” I asked. “I heard ’twas broke
out again, as I came through Boston.”

“Hush,” he said, glancing around as though he feared some one would hear
me. “Verily it is most horrible. The townspeople have gone mad, it
seems. Scarce a day goes by that some poor woman or man is not accused
of being in league with the devil, or banded with witches to work evil
spells. The Colony groans under the terrors, for nearly half a score of
people have been put to death after being convicted of witchcraft.

“Neighbors have denounced and testified against neighbors; fathers
against sons, and daughters against their mothers.”

“Why, ’tis worse than I dreamed,” I said.

“Aye, it is bad enough,” responded Willis, glancing behind his chair, as
if he expected to see a witch perched on the bed post.

“There are strange tales told,” he went on, “of how witch meetings are
held on the common, and those who have been witness to them say they see
the forms of their acquaintances riding athwart broomsticks or fence
rails in the air.

“Let but a cow be taken sick, and straightway ’tis said that the animal
is bewitched. Then the owner goes before the judges and swears some poor
dame has cast an evil spell on the beast. The woman is taken and put in
gaol, and little enough as the evidence is sometimes, she is condemned
and hanged. Oh, I promise that you will see horrors enough if you stay
here long.

“Why, no further back than six days one man was accused because he was
so strong that the witch-crazed people said he must have had help from
Satan to lift the weights he did. He was taken, tried and executed.”

“I am like to suffer then,” I said, laughing. “Do you recall the big
stone by the brook?”

“Heaven forbid,” said Willis. “But do not laugh, Captain. It is no small
matter when half the townsfolk are crazed, and the other half ready to
follow where the first lead. Surely you must have noticed how distraught
the people were as you came along.”

“Nay,” I answered, “I was thinking of other matters. But I remarked that
the few friends I passed in the road seemed not to know me. But what
does it signify?”

“Much,” proceeded Willis. “Much in very truth. No man’s life nor liberty
is safe now. It is a perilous time. Why, Salem gaol to-night holds two
score poor wretches, whose only fault is some one has said they are

“And more. The Governor has sent a special court with judges and
constables and soldiers to attend to the trials. They are fearsome
ordeals, too. It is ordained that if the accused one will confess that
he is a witch that one may go free, for, it is said, that being a witch,
by confession in the presence of a minister, the spirit of Satan is
abashed, and leaves the body. But many will not confess, maintaining,
even on the scaffold that they are innocent, and all such have been put
to death. So many have been executed that there is fear in many hearts.

“Some are tried by water. They are thrown into the mill pond, and if
they sink they are free from the accusation of witchcraft. Little good
it does the poor souls though, for they never live to know that they are
innocent. A true witch will float, ’tis said, and all such are killed.”

“Do you speak the truth?” I asked, for I could scarce believe what I

“As I live,” answered Willis. “It is a time for every man to look to
himself, especially if he has an enemy. Many of the witch trials, I
believe, are but vents for the enmity which cannot be satisfied in other
ways. A few of the accusers, however, seem in earnest, claiming that
their maladies and troubles are spells of their enemies, and the
afflicted ones call out the names in great agony.”

“Bah! Willis,” I said. “You are chicken-hearted from staying too much at

“Wait and see,” replied the inn keeper. Then he left me.

I did not want to go to bed yet; there was no sleep in me; so I resolved
to walk out to let some of my busy thoughts fly away, if they would. The
moon was up, a big round silver disk, larger than the head of a cider
barrel. It cast long shadows across the road and fields.

As I tramped on toward, I knew not where, nor cared, I found my steps
leading, unconsciously, to the home of the woman I loved.

I half turned back. No. I would go on. Not to see her. Not to clasp her
in my arms, as I had hoped to do. Never that again. I would but pass by
on the other side. It was to be my farewell.

There was a light burning in the house when I came up to it. I fancied I
could see through the window in the glare of the candle Lucille. Yes,
there she was. Like a thief in the night I crept nearer until I could
discern her face. Her head was resting on her hands; she seemed waiting
for some one. I prayed it might be me, yet she must wait in vain.

Nearer I went. She turned, and gazed out into the night, straight at me.
But I slipped into the shadow of an oak tree, that by no chance she
might see me. She was more beautiful than ever. Oh, why had she not told
me all that was in the past, before she let me love her.

The wind rustled through the trees, sighing like a lost soul, a most
mournful sound. I stretched up my hands to the sky; I reached them out
to the woman I loved. Both were beyond me.

Once more I looked at her. She had risen from her seat. She stooped over
the candle, so that the glare showed me her fair face, the ringlets of
her hair, the soft curve of her throat, all her loveliness.

“Lucille!” I cried, but the word was tossed back to me by the wind.

“Lucille!” I whispered, but a moonbeam stole her name away.

“Lucille!” She snuffed the candle, and it went out in a blur of
darkness, so that the night swallowed her up, and I was left alone.

Then with the bitter heart of a man who has no sweetness left in life I
came away.

As I took the road to the inn I thought that once or twice along the
path, half hidden by the trees, a form followed me. I stopped, and
looked intently at the black shadow.

An owl hooted mournfully, a frog croaked in a near-by pool, and a
cricket chirped pleasantly from the grass.

“’Twas the owl,” I said, and I passed on.

Again I heard a dry twig snap as if some heavy animal or a man had
stepped on it. This time, as I halted to looked about I heard not far
off the howl of a lone wolf.

“It was the wolf,” I muttered, “after a stray sheep,” and I walked on,
for the night was chill, and I was not warmly clad.

I had reached the inn, and hurried to my room. Then I looked from the
window, and I saw passing across the fields the figure of a man.

“Ho,” I whispered, “it was no wolf then.”

But I looked again and saw that the man was Sir George Keith.

“Aye, it was a wolf,” I said.

                             CHAPTER XIII.
                             IN SALEM GAOL.

I dreamed that night I was back in Pemaquid, with the cannon pounding
away at the fort, bringing the stout timbers down about my ears. I
fought the fight over again, and suddenly awoke in the gray dawn of the
morning to hear a thundering summons at my door.

“Hello!” I cried, springing from bed, and seizing my sword. My eyes were
heavy with sleep, and I thought the Indians were upon us.

The knock came once more, and it did not sound so loud to me when I had
shaken off some of the slumber.

“Who’s there?” I called again.

“’Tis I, John Putnam, constable of Salem town under His Most Gracious
Majesty, the King,” was the reply.

A nameless dread, a chill, seized me, though I knew not the reason for
it. As the constable’s words died away I detected the sound of moving
feet beyond the oak door that separated us. I thought at once that Sir
George had sent the royal warrant for treason to be executed upon me.

“Wait,” I cried, wishing to gain a little time. Then for an instant I
reasoned with myself. What should I do? Give battle now, trusting to
break through the ranks of those the constable had brought with him,
and, if successful, flee? Or tarry and see the affair through? I did not
like to run for it on the first appearance of danger. Perhaps after all
I could find a way of escape. So in the next instant I had made up my
mind to take my arrest quietly.

I had an idea that the fighting I had done in behalf of the Colony would
stand me in good stead, and serve to gain me a pardon from the court.

Once more the summons came.

“We’ll not wait much longer,” was the warning from without.

“Then enter,” I called, flinging open the door. I stood face to face
with a half score of men, all armed, who well nigh filled the little
hall. John Putnam, the constable, was at their head.

“Your errand?” I inquired, shortly, thinking I knew it as well as he.

“I have a warrant, a royal warrant, for your body,” began the constable

“I know it full well,” was my answer.

I noticed that the bodyguard, accompanying Master Putnam, looked one at
the other at this. A burly red-haired farmer, who clasped his flint-lock
as he would a club, whispered to the man next him:

“Mark you that, neighbor Passden? There is Satan’s work. He hath
informed the Captain in advance of our coming, and of the royal warrant,
which our worthy constable has not even yet removed from his jacket
pocket. Saw you ever the like?”

“Hush! Not so loud,” murmured the one addressed. “Aye, ’tis fearfully
marvelous. But speak not of it, or he may cast a spell of the evil on
us,” and the two shrank away.

I heard the whispers, but knew not what it all meant. I looked at the
constable, seeking an explanation.

“I hold a warrant,” he went on, “against you, Captain Edward Amherst,
charging you with certain detestable arts called witchcraft.”

“What!” I cried. “Have you lost your senses, Master Putnam?”

“Nay, hear me out,” he protested, drawing a parchment with a red seal
dangling therefrom, out of his pocket. The men closed up around me.

“You are charged,” the constable continued, slanting the document, so as
to catch the light of the rising sun from an east window full upon it,
“charged with practicing witchcraft, and sorceries, wickedly and
feloniously, upon and against Deliverance Hobbs, Benjamin Proctor and
John Bly. All of whom last night made depositions of the facts before
our gracious and most worthy Honor, Justice Hathorne. And I hereby
arrest you, Captain Amherst, on this warrant. You will be arraigned for
trial this day at the court of Oyer and Terminer, to be holden here by
Justices Hathorne and Corwin. You are, therefore, my prisoner.”

The constable folded the warrant together, and I noticed, when too late,
that he had been gradually edging himself nearer to me. Suddenly he
sprang at me, and threw his arms around mine, pinning my hands to my
sides. I had been stunned by the quick change from what I had been
expecting to that which I never dreamed of. But when I felt the hands of
the constable upon me, his arms about my body, my resolve to submit
quietly flew to the wind, and I nerved myself for the coming struggle.

I spread my arms apart, and easily forced off the hold of the constable.
Then I turned quickly and picked Master Putnam up as if he had been but
a small barrel of cider. I cast him out of the door, so that he fell
against the crowd of men, and some of them were knocked down, none too
gently, I fear, by his flight through the air.

Then I drew my sword from the scabbard, and stood ready to defend
myself, but they were a trifle wary now about advancing. For perhaps a
minute I stood thus, holding them at bay with the point of my weapon.

But one man unobserved had crawled into the room behind me. Of a sudden
I felt something fall over my head and slip down about my arms. It was a
rope noose, and it was quickly pulled taut, so that my hands were
fastened to my sides. I was helpless in an instant, with no chance to
use my sword.

“At him now, neighbors!” cried a big farmer, casting his flint-lock to
the floor. “The Lord of Hosts is on our side, and He will enable us to
prevail, and overcome the mighty disciple of Satan.”

“Aye, at him now, at him now! Kill the witch!” cried others.

On came the crowd with a rush, seeing that I was fast bound and
helpless. However, with a kick from each foot in turn I disabled two of
the constable’s guard as they sought to fall upon me, but the others
were too many to cope with, and they forced me down by sheer weight and
numbers. More ropes were brought and soon I was tied as neatly as a fowl
trussed for roasting.

Without a word they carried me away in that sorry fashion, Constable
Putnam limping along in the rear of the procession, for it appeared he
had been somewhat hurt when he went out of the door so quickly.

I was taken to Salem gaol, and when it was reached, the iron studded
door swung open, and I was thrust among two score others, suspected of
witchcraft, who were waiting trial. A groan went up as I was added to
their company. The door banged shut, hiding from view the pleasant sun,
which was just rising, and drowning the songs of the birds.

My captors placed me on the floor with no gentle hands, and went away.
Some of the prisoners, however, lifted me up on a bench, so that I was
more comfortable in body, though not so much so in mind.

It needed but a little thought to tell me how the matters that had
lately transpired had come about. I knew that Sir George at the present
time did not dare to urge the old charge of treason against me because
of my present loyalty to the King and the Colony. He was afraid to
fight, I believed, and, desiring revenge for my blow, and at the same
time to see me removed from where I might meet Lucille, he had hit upon
this plan to have me killed as a witch. And his plot was like to work

I recalled what Willis had told me of the state of people’s minds in
regard to those suspected of witchcraft. I could realize what it meant
now. Though had I not seen some of the things I did I would not have
believed them.

I saw men and women in that gaol, who had been among the best liked of
the townspeople. Colonists of wealth, delicate mothers and men of
culture were there, herded together like sheep, and treated like common
felons. It was enough to make me cry out for shame for my countrymen,
who could be so deluded and deceived. I forgot my own plight to see so
many waiting to be sacrificed, for what afterward proved to be a most
terrible error. Aye, it was many years ere the black memory of Salem
witchcraft of 1692 was forgotten.

Among the prisoners was Martha Cory, mother of my former Lieutenant. She
cried when she saw me, and asked for tidings of her son. To my sorrow I
could not give them, as Cory had been separated from me when we
surrendered at Pemaquid, and I had not seen him since, though I told his
mother I trusted he was safely exchanged.

George Reed was also a prisoner. He was a brother of one of my recruits
who had fallen at the battle of St. Johns, and when I told the brother
in gaol his sorrows were added to. Dorcas Goode was there, and Sarah
Osborn, and Mary Warren; women whose sons or brothers had marched with
me to the war. Some did not return, and if they but knew they might
count themselves well off. Those were dark days, indeed, in Salem town.

Presently I called to the jailer, and, upon my promise that I would not
try to escape, he loosened my bonds so I could walk and move about with
some freedom. Now I was not minded to be executed as a witch, and I
wanted all my strength, and nimbleness of limb, for whatever struggle
there might be ahead. Greatly did I desire to be within sword’s length
of Sir George Keith for a little while, and I resolved that I would give
him but one chance to draw his weapon.

I went about among the prisoners, and soon engaged one of the guards in
talk. From him, and from what I could piece out in my own mind, I
learned how my arrest had been brought about. Sir George, after his
meeting with me, had gone to the home of Justice Hathorne, and had sworn
to a complaint as to my witch powers. It was easy to find others as
witnesses to whom ordinary events by reason of the excitement in the
Colony, had become much changed in meaning. So that in simple happenings
such as the loss of a cow or a sheep, the witchcraft of some neighbor
was discernible. Sir George had learned of Benjamin Proctor and John
Bly, who each had lost a cow from some disease. He had suggested that I
might be the witch who had worked evil spells upon the animals.

The two farmers, worrying over the loss of their cows, had eagerly
seized on the explanation that I was the evil spirit responsible. Sir
George had told how my strength was as the power of three men, though my
body was not overly large. He had told of the great rock I had lifted
after the mightiest man in the Colony had failed to budge it, and thus
the charges against me had grown out of nothing.

The two farmers and Deliverance Hobbs, who was an old woman, scarce
knowing what she said, were sure I was a person in league with the
devil. So they had prayed the judge, through Sir George Keith, that I
might be apprehended and brought to trial.

Sir George had induced the constable to arrest me at dawn, saying I
could be more easily taken if suddenly aroused from sleep. So, too, he
had urged that I might be given a speedy trial, that the witchcraft in
the land might be crushed out with a heavy hand, and the powers of evil
made the less. He had talked with much cunning to the authorities, and
he being, as they knew, in favor with the King and Governor, they had
done all he wished.

Thus I was in Salem gaol, with little chance of leaving it, save at the
trial, and then, perchance, it would be but a short shrift to the

It was noon. The sun shone overhead and beat down on the prison, but to
us inside, only the reflection of the golden beams came in through the
iron barred window. Steps were heard coming toward the door, and, as it
swung open the guards thrust some platters of food in to us. Some cakes
of corn meal, with a bit of mutton, was all there was. Scarce sufficient
for half that were there. When the jailer handed me my portion he
muttered beneath his breath:

“Of what use to feed witches, when, if they so desired, Satan himself
would bring them hell-broth through the very walls of this gaol.”

“Say you so?” I replied, laughing bitterly. “Say you so? Then why do we
not have Satan bear us hence through these same walls if so be we are
witches. One is as easy as the other.”

“I had not thought of that,” he said, shrinking back, “the guard without
must be doubled, and Dominie Parris shall offer fervent prayers that ye
all may be safely held here.”

During the meal I talked with some of my companions and learned that
they had been cast into prison on the most flimsy pretexts. One old
woman, because she had passed through a field where sheep were feeding.
She touched some of the lambs with her hand. The next day some of the
sheep were dead, and Elizabeth Paddock was accused of bewitching them.
Another woman was taken because, when she had baked some dumplings an
apple was found whole inside of them, and it was said that Satan must
have aided her. Still another lad, whose mother had been hanged as a
witch, was in gaol. Grief and terror had made him out of his mind, and
he continually called out that he had turned into a witch, and saw his
mother riding through the air on a cloud of geese feathers. Salem gaol
was a most fearsome place those days.

After the rude meal, the constable, accompanied by his former bodyguard,
came to bring me to the court house. It was with no very cheerful heart
I made ready to go with him, for I could nearly guess how the trial
would end with Sir George to urge on the witnesses. Still I could but
take my chance, as I had many times before, and I trusted to my good
fortune to bring me safely through.

A man can die but once, and I wondered vaguely, as I stepped out,
whether Lucille would care if I died.

                              CHAPTER XIV.
                          A SENTENCE OF DEATH.

When, after a walk through the town, during which our progress was
delayed by a curious throng of people who stared at me as if I had been
a wild animal, we came to the court house, there was another gaping
crowd at the door.

“Make way! Make way!” cried Constable Putnam. “Make way, good people,
for the representative of His Most Gracious Majesty.”

Another time his pompous air and his words might have called forth jibes
and ridicule from the thoughtless, but now, such was the time and the
occasion, and so deep in every heart was the fear of witchcraft, that
not a soul smiled.

The assemblage opened up in a living lane, and through it we passed into
the court room. It was filled to overflowing, as it had been on another
occasion, which I well remembered. I looked about me, noting little
change since I had sat there as a spectator a few months back. And yet
what a change there had been.

The same judges were on the bench, their Honors, John Hathorne and
Jonathan Corwin, while Master Stephen Sewall was there to act as clerk;
to take down with quill scratchings, whatever words should fall from my

On the left of the judges sat the jury. All were men of grave mien, some
of whom I knew well. They looked at me as I was brought in, and some
whispered among themselves.

Then as I glanced hurriedly over the room I saw many of my old comrades.
A few turned their heads away as if they feared I would cast the blight
of the evil eye on them. Others looked more kindly at me. One man gazed
fixedly into my face, and I was at a loss for a moment to recall who he
was. Then after I had thought a bit I knew him for my former lieutenant,
Giles Cory. He had grown a beard, and looked travel stained, as if he
had just finished a journey around the world. I longed to ask of him
what his adventures had been since we last saw each other in Pemaquid,
and I wondered if he knew that his old mother was in gaol as a witch.

As I looked at him some one whispered in his ear. It was evidently the
news of his mother, for I saw Cory’s face pale, and he hastened from the
room. Poor lad, he little knew then, nor did I, how soon he was to stand
where I stood, and to suffer a terrible death that I came nigh to.

I marked on many faces looks of ill ease and fright, for no man knew
whether he was safe from accusation.

I looked for Lucille, though I knew no reason why she should be present.
Thinking she might be hidden by some pillar, or by those in front, I
stood up and gazed about me. At the time I was half minded to jump down
among those who, with drawn swords and ready flint-locks, guarded me,
and make a fight of it then and there. But my slightest move was
watched, and the men closed up around me so that I saw nothing but death
should I make the attempt. Then I resumed my seat.

A moment later I observed, half hidden by one of the large upright
beams, the devil’s face of my enemy. I caught but a passing glance, but
even in that I saw him smile in triumph at me. His hand sought his sword
hilt caressingly, and I thought of the day when my weapon was at his
throat cursing the impulse that had halted me from driving it home.

While I watched Sir George I saw a man come up behind him and whisper
something. I marked the fellow and noted that he was the sailor who had
been in the Governor’s ante-chamber, the same one who had been the first
to cry out that we must give up Pemaquid. Now, when he came before me in
my hour of trial, I began to believe him my evil genius. I was sure he
was in the service of Sir George, and had followed me to the war merely
to keep track of me for his master.

Sir George turned so that I could see his face as Simon, the sailor,
spoke to him. And the eyes of my lord grew small, like the half closed
orbs of a tiger about to spring, and he started, as if surprised, at the
news his henchman brought him. Then the two hurried from the court room,
leaving me to wonder what game was afoot now. Something that boded no
good, I wagered, and I longed to be free that I might have a hand.

But I must needs look to myself now, for the judges were ready to
proceed, and the clerk was reading the charges against me. These were
wordy with legal terms, whereby I was accused of witchcraft by
Deliverance Hobbs, John Bly and Benjamin Proctor. When the reading was
finished Judge Hathorne inquired of me whether I was ready to confess.

“What, your honor?” I asked. “Confess to this most foul lie? Not so. Set
me before my accusers and I will answer them.”

Now, had I been wise, I would have admitted that I was a witch, when,
perchance, I would have gotten off with no more than some stripes, and
being driven from the town. But I stood on my honor, as you shall see
with what results.

“Have your way, then,” replied the judge, shrugging his shoulders, as
though, like Pilate, he washed his hands of all guilt of my blood.

Then came John Bly to the stand. He was a farmer, whose son had gone
with me to the war.

“Swear the witness,” said the judge, and Clerk Sewall did so.

“May it please your worships,” began John, “I did buy a pig of Master
Edward Bishop some two months ago. As I was leading it to sell yesterday
I passed Captain Amherst in the road nigh to the tavern of Samuel

“Did I aught to you?” I asked from where I sat. “Did I more than bid you
a good day and ask after your dame?”

“Aye, that was all you did,” answered Bly, “but I recalled afterward
that you did cast a longing look at my pig.”

“’Twas because I had not yet eaten that day,” I said, smiling a bit at
the remembrance, “and your porker was a fine fat one. I wished for a bit
of bacon from it.”

“Yea, he looked at the pig,” proceeded the witness, “and when I got the
animal a little farther on it took strange fits. It leaped into the air,
squealing most dreadful, and knocked its head against the fence. So I
was sure it was bewitched, for never did pig of mine behave so before.”

“What say you to that?” asked Judge Corwin.

“Naught,” I made reply, “save that the animal had some distemper.”

Then Benjamin Proctor took the stand. He eagerly related that when I had
first come to Salem there had been the terrifying scarlet snow, which,
though two women witches had doubtless caused it, might have had some of
my handiwork in also, as I was the only stranger to arrive in town that

Next he related how I had such great strength that I could do feats no
other man could attempt. I had taken a gun, Proctor said, with a
seven-foot barrel, of so great weight that strong men could not with
both hands hold it out steadily. Yet he had seen me make nothing of
taking the weapon up and, by grasping it near the lock, hold it out as
easily as a man would a pistol, discharging it at a mark.

Again, he said, he had seen me take a heavy fowling piece with a
five-foot barrel, and lift it in the following marvelous manner. I
thrust my forefinger down the muzzle and held the piece out at arm’s
length. Other strong men had only been able to hold this gun out in the
usual way, Proctor said, yet I supported the entire weight on one

Master Proctor told how I had lifted a barrel of molasses high above my
head, something no other man of those parts could do. Lastly he related,
with much detail, how he and others had seen me cast the stone by the
brook that May day. I had plucked the rock from its bed as though it was
but a gun flint, he said, and had heaved it from me so that it rolled
down the hill, striking another bowlder. The stone I cast had broken
into a thousand pieces, some narrowly missing a maid of the Colony, one
Lucille de Guilfort. I had been near to causing her death, Proctor said,
which must have come speedily, amid the flying rock fragments, had I not
been a witch, and made the stones to fall harmless all about the maid.

The judges asked me if I had anything to say against these charges.

“They are true in the main,” I replied. “More than this. If your honors
will but send for the guns I will repeat the feats that caused so much
wonder here before your eyes. To show you that though they are not easy
to accomplish, yet I can do them with the strength God has given me.
What witchcraft is there in that? As for the great stone by the brook,
so far from lifting it with ease, it took all my powers, and, had it
weighed a pound more I must have failed. The maid escaped harm, and I
thank God for it, though it was through no power of mine.”

Then came Deliverance Hobbs. Her tale was strange enough. She had seen,
she testified, a man, with my face, but with a monkey’s body, a dog’s
feet and a peacock’s tail, riding in the air on a fence board, as she
gathered up her wood one night. She said she knew it could not be me,
for she had seen me sail with my company in the sloops a few days
before. A day or so after she had seen me in the air a grievous sickness
had fallen upon her daughter, she continued, and the child had cried out
that a witch tormented her, thrusting pins and needles into her flesh.
When they asked her to name the spirit, the girl had spoken my name.

This ended the testimony. The judges urged me again to confess that I
was in league with Satan and the powers of darkness. That the devil was
my master, and that I had promised to serve him for worldly gain. If I
admitted this with a penitent heart, I might go free, they said. For it
was a well established fact, according to Judge Hathorne, that, if a
witch confessed, the evil spirits no longer tormented such a one, nor
could he work harm to others.

But I refused to charge myself with such a crime, even to save my life.
I told them all so, and said there were no witches, except those of a
disordered mind.

It was dark now. Fantastic shadows filled the room, and a sound, like a
great sigh, went up from the lips of the people. Then, at the orders of
the judge, came tip-staves, with lighted candles, which only served to
dispel the gloom in a few places, making the remainder more dark.

The jury filed out, and, though it seemed a year, they were back again,

“Guilty,” said the foreman. I could hear those of the assemblage catch
their breaths as one man.

Then the judges put on their black caps, while Justice Hathorne said:

“And the sentence of this court is that you be taken hence, and hanged
by the neck until you are dead, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

I had expected it, yet it gave me a cold chill to hear the solemn words.

They led me away, through the surging crowd, out of the dim lighted
court room, back to the gaol I had left not long ago. The other
prisoners crowded about me, eager to learn the outcome of the trial, and
to ascertain what chance they stood. I was too heart-sick to talk much,
and merely told them that I had been convicted, and was sentenced to

Then I cast myself into a corner, to wait, for--I scarce knew what. But
I reflected that he who gives up hope has little left, and, that though
I had submitted quietly, so far, that was no reason why I should do so
further. If they were minded to kill me, I thought, they could doubtless
accomplish their purpose, but I resolved that I would make some suffer
before I died. I would not go empty handed across to the other shore.

I had strength, beyond the power of most men, and I would use it when
the time came. If I only had some one beside myself to fight for. If I
only had the right to battle for Lucille, then I felt that I could do
wonders. But my heart was not in it.

I determined, if no better chance offered, that I would go even to the
scaffold, quietly. Then, when I stood bound, waiting for the drop to
fall, I doubted not I could burst my bonds, seize a sword from a guard,
and leap among the people. Then I could at least die fighting.

For I resolved I would not be swung off, like a pirate at the yardarm,
if I was able to prevent it.

Several days passed. I partook heartily of the coarse food provided, for
I knew I would need all of my strength to carry out my design. I
endeavored to learn the date of my execution, but could not. All my
questioning of the guards was turned aside.

It was rumored that the regular gallows was deemed too frail for a man
of my strength, so they had gone to the work of making another machine.
What kind it was I learned later. Existence in the gaol had come to be
such a hell to me now, that I prayed the day of death might arrive

One morning, just a week after my arrest, I awoke with a start. Some one
in the prison was singing, I could not catch all of the words, but the
song was an old psalm tune, of the Lord, and of Isaac and of Jacob. I
sat up on the narrow bench. Most of those poor wretches about me were
still sleeping; breathing heavily. There was just the faintest gleam of
daylight, as I could see through the high barred window. As I sat there
a moment the sun rose, and the beams turned the iron bars above my head,
into gleaming yellow gold.

There was the tramp of feet outside. The day of my death had dawned.

I stretched my arms upward, and I could feel the muscles firm and hard.
I might have torn the iron bars loose, but I waited.

“Let them come,” I said softly.

                              CHAPTER XV.
                          PEINE FORTE ET DURE.

The heavy oaken door swung on its rusty iron hinges with many a squeak.
I stood up, half dazzled by the sudden inrush of light. This time it was
the Sheriff and his constables to greet me, together with a half score
of guards to block the way. Ere I could make a move, had I desired to, I
was overwhelmed by the men who crowded about me, while two of them
quickly passed a rope around my chest, binding my arms fast to my sides.
As I stood thus, the Sheriff drew from his jacket a document with its
dangling seal. Was I never to have an end of parchment, I thought.

“Whereas, you, Captain Edward Amherst”--he began.

“Enough,” I interrupted. “It suffices that I must die. Let it be, if it
must, I pray, without having to listen to more words. I’m not afraid,
though it is a mean end for one who has served his King and his country
ever faithfully. If I could but stand before you--aye, before you
all--with my good sword in hand, I would have a different answer for
you. Nor would I deem the odds too great. Such a death, borne down by
weight of numbers, might be counted an honor by a soldier. But a
dangling rope, in the hands of country bumpkins----”

“Ha, a rope,” repeated the Sheriff. “You have not heard, then?”

“What!” I cried. “Has the Judge allowed me to be shot?”

“Nay; not that, Master Captain,” answered the Sheriff. “You will see in
good time, though. Meanwhile the law must take its course, and I am
constrained, by it, to read this death warrant.”

“Have I not had enough of warrants of late?” I asked, but he paid no
heed to me, and proceeded to read the dull legal terms.

Meanwhile many thoughts filled my mind. If I was not to be hanged,
perhaps the awful torture of being burned at the stake awaited me. If
so, I must make new plans, and act quickly.

All the while the Sheriff was reading from the parchment. He stumbled
over the law terms, and the Latin vexed him sorely. Then he came to the
decree that I must die “peine forte et dure,” and, as I had small stock
of Latin, I wondered what I was to meet with.

At length there was an end to the reading. The guards advanced. I saw,
among them, several who had served under me, yet never a one gave me a
glance that was not tempered with fear or distrust. Some of them began
to pull the rope tight about my arms, and this act quickened me to take
some steps for escape.

So I pretended that the cords cut into my flesh, and my sudden start, as
if in pain, caused them to cease their efforts, leaving me a little room
to move my muscles, which was what I wanted. When I had the chance I
strained at the ropes, and I felt them stretch a trifle. I knew then,
that the matter of bursting my bonds was a thing somewhat within my

But that was the smallest part of the problem. I was a long way from
freedom yet.

On that morning it seemed as if the sun had never shone so brightly, nor
had the sky been so blue, nor the birds so sweetly tuneful. I do not
know why I noticed such things, for it was not usual to me. Perhaps the
shadow of death made the brightness of life seem greater.

They started off at a brisk pace, with me in the centre of the throng,
and one man holding the ropes that passed about my arms. As we reached
the foot of Witch Hill I looked up the slope, expecting to see the grim
gallows crowning the summit. Then I recalled the Sheriff’s words that
none was to be provided. A murmur swelled upward from the crowd, and the
people pushed this way and that, trying to get a view of me, as I have
seen country boys do at a London fair.

We came, at last, to the place set for the execution. The crowd parted,
and moved back, at the orders of the Sheriff, forming a living circle.
Then, for the first time, I saw the machine of death.

For a time I could not fathom its nature. It was of wood, the uprights
and cross pieces being of heavy oaken beams. There were four posts, or
uprights, and, on these appeared to slide, like the wooden covering on
the hay ricks in the fields, a flat bed of hewn boards, as large,
perhaps, as the top of the table at the inn. Out of this bed extended a
long pole, threaded round and round with a screw thread. This screw
passed through one of the cross pieces above. A long handle, extending
either way through the spiral post, out beyond the machine, completed
the instrument.

Like a flash in the pan, the truth came upon me.

I was to be crushed to death!

Tied up like a bundle of faggots, and placed on the bed-plate, the
boards above me, urged down by the screw turned by the long handle,
would force out my life, as is the breath from a newly fledged bird, in
the hand of a school boy. No wonder the Sheriff held his peace, when I
asked if I was not to hang. A more horrible death could scarce be
devised, for the torture of the Indians hardly passed it. Yet an
Englishman planned it; an Englishman was to suffer by it. Well had Sir
George said I would pay for the blow I gave him.

Oh! But I longed for a few minutes, with a sword in my hand, to spend
with my lord.

It was time for the next move, now that I, the chief personage in what
was about to happen, had arrived. The tumult, of which there had been
much, had grown less. Partly because the Sheriff had moved most of the
crowd back, and partly because all desired to see and hear what would
come next.

My mind had become dazed. Where now was my plan of escape? Before I knew
what was going on, two stout men advanced, and, by walking in a circle,
they turned the cross bar, which worked the screw, and so raised the
movable bed-plate. This made a space, so that my body could be put in
the press. The great affair creaked and groaned, as if in mortal agony,
and I could not help shuddering, as I thought of what little chance I
would have beneath the oak beams.

Then I started. It was but a faint hope that came to me, yet it was a
chance to escape death. It was a desperate move, but then I was in dire

At a signal from the Sheriff, half a dozen men sprang forward and seized
me. They lifted me clear from the ground, and carried me like a child to
the machine. Then they stretched out my legs, and thrust them beneath
the bed-plate. Under went my body next, verily, as if I had been but a
bag of apples in the cider press.

I was pushed along over the rough planks, and then something happened.
The Sheriff, to better see that all was carried out according to his
wishes, had come close to me. He even placed his hand on my shoulder, to
help thrust me in.

As he did so my boot top caught his sword hilt, half drawing the steel
from the scabbard, as my body went forward. The keen edge of the weapon
was uppermost, and, as I was pulled and hauled to the centre of the bed,
the rope which bound my arms was drawn over the sword’s sharp blade. The
steel bit deep into the hemp, but not all the way through by a good way.
However, as I felt the rope being cut, I knew that, by using only my
ordinary strength, I could burst my bonds. I swelled my muscles only a
little, and with that I felt the cords give a trifle.

All was now in readiness. I might, then, have burst the rope, slipped
from the press, and tried to cut a way thorough the crowd. But I saw
there were many men armed, and they looked as if anxious to see me die,
so I resolved to try what I could do by another means.

The Sheriff stepped back, all unaware of the good office his sword had
done for me. At a sign from him, two men, stronger than those who had
been at the cross-bar, emerged from the crowd, and took their places to
twist down on the big screw. They stripped off their upper garments, and
I saw the play of their muscles beneath the skin, like little waves on a

My eyes could not take in all of the scene, of which I was the centre,
but I caught a glimpse of Sir George moving about. Once he looked full
at me, twirling his moustache with one hand, while the other rested on
his sword hilt. Seeing me watching him, he came a little nearer and
called out softly in French:

“What think you now, Monsieur Captain? Wilt wed Lucille?” And his voice
was mocking.

“Come, my lord,” I answered, banteringly, “accept her love from me. I
know you have none for yourself.”

His face turned black, and there came a gleam into his eyes.

“Give her my truest love, I pray you; when you find her,” I added, as a
sort of afterthought.

“Find her? What mean you?” he asked eagerly. “Know you whither she----?”

Then he stopped, biting his lips in confusion, for he feared he had
betrayed himself. My heart gave a bound at that, for, though I knew
naught of Lucille, my words having been spoken by chance, yet it seemed
she had gone away.

If she had, it meant that she cared little for her wifely duties, and
that Sir George had not succeeded in winning back her affection, if,
indeed, he had ever had it.

But even that was like to avail me little now, unless I could escape.

A great stillness came over the crowd. Scarce a sound was heard, and
even the notes of the birds seemed hushed. I waited, breathless, almost.
Then, from out of the centre of silence, came a voice.

“Turn!” cried the Sheriff.

“Turn!” echoed Sir George.

Then the heavy planks above me, forced down by the movement of the
screw, began descending. Slowly, as do bearers at the bier of death, the
men walked around and around, pushing, with their breasts, against the

Nearer and nearer came the weight that was soon to crush me. I must act
with speed now. I would give them time to make one more turn, I thought.
There. It was made.

Now the time had come!

I commended my soul to God, as did Samson in the days of old, when he
pulled the great pillars of the temple from their base. I strained at my
rope bonds. The half cut cords held for a moment, and they bit into my
flesh when I pulled on them, weak as I had deemed them. Again I put my
strength into my muscles, until the blood seemed like to spurt from my
finger tips.

Suddenly the bonds gave, bursting with a sound like a pistol with a
little load in it, and my arms were free. There was a great shout from
the multitude.

“The strength of Goliath is in him!” cried an old man in the front rank.
“Satan is beside him, witch that he is, giving him the great power.”


The men at the ends of the bar had not stopped. The planks were coming
nearer to my chest. I raised my hands and grasped the edges of the
descending platform of wood above me. I drew up my knees, so that they,
also, touched the planks.

I was now in the position of one lying on his back, holding up a weight
that rested on his uplifted hands and bended knees. The men turning,
noting my movements, had paused a moment, but, at a word from the
Sheriff, they pushed the harder.

Down came the planks, farther, but more slowly. Then I did that which I
count as the greatest feat of strength I ever did.

I pressed upward with my arms, and as the wood above me still came down,
I could feel it nip my knees. The bones in my legs were of solid stuff,
and I knew they could stand much pressure. The course of the descending
platform was now stayed, and the men at the heavy press tugged and
pushed at the cross-bar, without avail, for nearly a minute.

“Push harder!” cried Sir George, stepping out from the crowd. “Are you
babes, to let him prevail against you? Have you no strength?”

Thus urged, the sturdy men braced their feet in the earth, and bore hard
against the bar. I summoned what I thought must be all my energy, and
pressed upward with my arms against the boards. I could hear a small
cracking sound, as when a tree in the forest feels the axes that have
eaten into its heart, and it begins to sway earthward. The men at the
bar were joined by others, and they pushed with all their might, but
could not stir the screw.

I shut my eyes, breathed the name of Lucille--aye, though I had no
right--and then, with an effort that brought beads of water to my brow,
I pushed upward--upward--upward.

Never before nor since had I known such power as I possessed then. The
veins on my arms were like to burst, and stood out under the skin as do
welts on a lashed horse. My muscles seemed as if they would tear from
their fastenings. My hands had no feeling; my knees were numb. Round
went my head dizzily, and it was as if the world was dropping away from
beneath me. All about was blackness, and I could not see the weight that
was crushing me.

I heard the shouts of the Sheriff and Sir George, urging the men at the
bar to turn, and the men strove mightily. The cross piece trembled with
their efforts.

I had scarce another bit of strength left, but still I would not let
them get the mastery, and I kept pushing upward. The darkness left me,
in its place a great light seeming to shine.

“Lord of Hosts,” I prayed, “let me be the victor.”

I felt the solid planks give. They cracked and splintered, a little at
first, as when a wedge first cleaves an entrance. I could not breathe.
But, with fiercely beating heart, I heard the sound of rending wood, and
it mingled in my ears with the roar of the blood surging through my
head. My knees seemed crushed. My arms like two stone pillars.

Then, while all the crowd looked on in wonder, I did that, which, though
I boast not of, no other man in the Colony could have done and lived

I broke the ponderous planks across the middle, as a boy might splinter
a shingle across his knee.

Right through they cracked, where the big wooden screw was set in, and
so heavy was the strain I had put upon them, the pieces flew high in the

A great peace came over me, and I sank back on the rough wooden bed. I
knew naught, save that I heard a loud shout go up, and many murmurs were
heard on all sides.

Suddenly it was dark again, and my ears were filled with the noise of
the sea dashing on the rocks. But above that I heard the people cry:

“He has broken the press with his witch strength! Saw ever man the

                              CHAPTER XVI.
                           HOW WE BROKE GAOL.

When I had come to myself I was back again in gaol with those I had
left, when I went forth, as they thought to death. Some news of how I
had broken the press came in with me, and there was much wonder.

As for myself I was, for a while, as helpless as a new born babe,
because my strength had all gone from me. It was days before I
recovered, and never since have I been able to lift as heavy weights as
before that supreme test.

I began to think a little of the plight I was in now. I had supposed,
when they saw that I was able to break the machine with which they hoped
to torture me to death, they would release me. But I had reckoned little
with whom I had to deal. Sir George was not yet satisfied. Now I might
expect to again go up to death, this time with little chance to escape.

I talked with some of the prisoners on the matter, and they said there
were points of law which might be used in my behalf. The death sentence,
which was not completed, could no longer hold good, it was said, so
that, shortly, I would go forth a free man. For I had gone through the
manner of death prescribed, and had lived. Now it was written, so I was
told, that a man might not be put in jeopardy of his life twice by the

I was bitter in heart, those days, I called myself many times a fool,
when I thought how I might have killed Sir George, when I had the
chance, and, by this time, be far away with Lucille. If I had known that
I could trust her. But the feeling that she would cast me aside, as she
seemed to have done in the case of her husband, halted me. I was torn
between many impulses.

The witch trials went on, for the accusations multiplied. At length
Salem gaol held no less than four-score men and women, who had either
been found guilty of witchcraft or who waited to be tried on the foul
charges. Besides those in prison, there were double that number under
suspicion. Not only in Salem, but in Andover, Gloucester, Ipswich and
the neighboring towns. The infection had spread until the whole country
was like a vast pesthouse, and the land was red with the blood of the

Nineteen had been hanged in Salem, and two were burned at the stake. One
man, swung from the gallows, was an aged clergyman. One day my former
lieutenant, Giles Cory, was arrested as a witch, and cast into gaol with
me. Only a few days before his aged mother had been hanged, and he was
in sore distress. We two condoled with each other, until one morning,
when I missed him.

“Where is Cory?” I asked the guard.

“Dead,” was the brief reply.

I learned that he had been crushed to death in the same machine that I
had broken. The witch-finders had repaired it, making it very stout, for
rumors had got about of Cory’s strength. Remembering my bursting of the
ropes they bound the hapless man so that it would have taken a score of
men, as strong as I, to have broken the bonds. In that manner my
lieutenant met his death. Not that he did not struggle, beneath the
cruel press. A guard, who watched him die, said Cory tore loose one
muscle from his arm, as the planks came down.

Matters had come to such a pass now, that none of us was safe from
death. So far from abating the witch fever had laid hold of the
townsfolk more violently, so that they even meditated setting fire to
the gaol, to burn us like rats in a trap. When this news, told with
brutal pleasure by the guards, came to us, myself and some of the bolder
ones, resolved to sit tamely by no longer. We would break gaol.

The prison we were in was not unlike a blockhouse save that the loops,
or windows, were high up, out of reach of one standing on the floor.
There was but one entrance, and that was closed by a heavy door, hung on
massive iron hinges and studded with big nails. We knew that only an axe
could open a way through that. Outside of this door was an apartment,
two stories in height, where the jailer stayed. The guard was also
quartered there.

The gaol room was divided into two parts by a thin partition, the men
being on one side, and the women on the other, with a door of
communication between. There were always several men on guard in the
jailer’s room, and they were fully armed.

When we had talked over the situation we could but admit it was no small
matter to escape. One plan after another we considered and, in turn,
rejected, for, though we hungered for liberty, we did not wish to fail
in the attempt and die by the musket or the sword.

We decided that force, without some preparation beforehand, was not to
be thought of, and it was voted strategy must serve our ends. So we
sharpened what little wits we had left, and, at length, seemed to have
hit on a plan which had its advantages.

It was talked over, laid aside, and, as none better presented, we all
agreed to it. That is, all but the women. We did not take them into our
counsels, though we had in mind to release them with ourselves.

The fifth night, after the full of the moon, was fixed on for the
breaking of gaol. Anxious were the days and nights that intervened.

It began to rain on the evening appointed, shortly after the last meal
had been served. It was dismal within and not less gloomy without, but
we welcomed that, for it would mean that few persons would be prowling
about. There would also be complete darkness, and we needed that.

Now, when we had been given our suppers, I put by some of my bread and a
cup of water. When night had fallen I mixed this into paste, and Elias
Jenkins smeared it over my face, in accordance with our plan. I looked
as though I had on a death’s mask.

When this was done and it was near to midnight, at which hour the guard
was to change, I went into a corner of the room, farthest removed from
the door and huddled up like a man in great distress of body. Only I
left my face visible, so that the light from the single candle in the
apartment fell upon my dough-covered countenance.

As the guard passed the door, one of the prisoners gave a knock.

“What now?” inquired the guard, thrusting his face up against an opening
in the door, covered by iron bars.

“It is Captain Amherst,” spoke up John Lowden, feigning to be in great
fright. “He is as pale as death, and mutters strangely. We fear he is
like to expire in our midst.”

The trick worked. The guard peered over toward where I was lying, while
the candle above me flickered on the paste on my face. Despite the need
of maintaining the character I had assumed, I felt the dough cracking in
a dozen places, as I tried hard not to laugh. It was solemn enough, but,
somehow, I wanted to burst out in a roar, as I thought of how I must

My appearance evidently disarmed the suspicion of the guard, for, with
an exclamation of surprise, he threw open the door, and advanced a
little way into the room, holding his tin-pierced lantern high above his

Yet he did not lose all caution, being alone. He kept hold of the edge
of the door, ready to close it at a moment’s notice. But the few steps
he came in served the purpose. Lowden, who had stepped to one side,
silently and suddenly sprang for the guard, and grasped him by the
throat. The cry the wretch would have given utterance to, was choked in
his teeth, and was only a gurgle.

The next instant I was up, and at his side. He seemed to lose his
courage, when my pale face was near to his. Lowden gave place to me, and
I crooked my fingers about the guard’s neck. He struggled so I was
afraid he would get loose and make a noise that would have brought them
all about us. So I was forced to grip the man rather tighter than I

He did not cease his efforts to free himself, and, being fearful that
our plan would miscarry by reason of his continued struggle, I put forth
a little too much muscle. I bent his head back, with great force,--there
was a sudden ceasing of the guard’s resistance. I heard the bones and
sinews snap. Then I knew I had broken his neck. He fell in a limp mass
at my feet. I was somewhat sorry, though he would have served me the
same, and it was a fair war. However, there was no time for regret.

“Quick, now!” I shouted. Lowden had swung the door open, and the
prisoners, men and women, crowded into the outer room.

The noise of the rush had alarmed the relief squad of guards on the
second floor, and they ran down. Though most of them were stupid with
sleep, some had their flint-locks, and these, without a moment’s
hesitation, fired into our midst. Three fell dead, one a woman, and
several were sorely hurt.

The next instant the guards were down under our feet as we rushed
onward. Some of the prisoners, who never hoped to see the outside of the
gaol again, save on their way to the scaffold, were fairly mad with joy,
and, in their hatred of the guards, they stamped on their upturned faces
as they ran over them. Thus, as I learned afterward, several of those
who had watched over us died.

There was yet the outer door between us and liberty. Several of those in
the van tried to burst it open. All the while the guards were shouting
like mad behind us, while the prisoners, who had lost their heads, cried
and screamed; the shrill voices of the women voicing high above the
others. Again and again half a dozen men threw themselves against the
door, but, in their excitement, they wasted their energies.

The portal resisted, though it shook under the strain.

“Ho, Captain!” several called. “Here is where your strength is like to
serve us.”

I pushed my way through the crowd, and tried my shoulder against the
door. It was of considerable thickness, though not as heavy as the
other. Once, twice and thrice, I hurled my body against the barrier. It
held. Once more I made the attempt, and, this time, when I thought I
would have brought down the very wall, I cracked the wood down the
middle, and the door was there no more, though I bruised my shoulder
greatly by the effort.

Others of the guard had secured their weapons by this time, and they
fired once more into the helpless crowd. There were shrieks of mortal
hurts from those in the rear, and curses from those in front.

“The women first,” I cried, blocking the splintered opening through the
door, with my body. “Not a man passes until all the women are by.”

At that the men opened up a living lane, and the women, save three who
were killed, ran screaming out.

“Now, men!” I cried, and I stood aside, until the last one was out. Four
guards, each swinging his musket as a club, came at me. I caught up a
sword from the jailer’s table, and disabled the nearest guard. Then I
leaped out through the splintered portal, and was in the midst of the
crowd of those who, only a few minutes before, had little hope of life.

On they fled, free, leaving behind, like a bad dream, the gaol room,
with its witch memories. Men and women cried aloud in their joy. Once
more they could look up and know that the sky was above them, even
though from it came drops of rain, pitiless, yet seeming like tears of a
great rejoicing. They held out their hands, and even opened their
mouths, that the cool rain might refresh them. I looked about me, long
enough to see that all who could had escaped, and then I turned to my
own affairs.

I buckled the belt of the sword I had caught up about me. Something
familiar about the hilt of the weapon drew my attention. Then, as I
examined it as well as I could in the darkness, I found, with pleasure,
that it was my own good steel, that had been taken from me. Now I was
ready to meet the whole world, but, first of all, I wanted to stand
before one man, and that one was Sir George Keith.

I washed the paste of bread from my face. I gave a look toward the gaol,
which was now some distance behind. From the direction came a confused
murmur of sounds. I was free; but whither should I go?

I was like a ship without a compass. Salem was no longer a safe place
for me. Lucille, whom I had hoped to wed, was the wife of another. My
arrest as a witch was an end to any military preferment in the Colony.
My life seemed to have come to an end, now.

I had hastened on, thus musing, until I found myself near to the inn of
Master Willis. The rain came down softly, and the only creature stirring
in the neighborhood seemed to be me. None of the prisoners had come that

Hark! What was that?

The echo of my footsteps died away. Then, from the stable, back of the
inn, came the whinny of a horse.

“Kit!” I exclaimed. I had almost forgotten my faithful little mare,
which Willis had kept for me ever since I first came to Salem. There was
one true friend at least.

Myself, my sword, my horse. What more could a soldier wish? Love? I had
that too, it seemed, though it was not all mine. Strange, when I was
loving Lucille, I never thought another might love her too. I never
thought she might have loved another. She seemed all mine. ’Twas a hard
nut to crack. If only there had been no marriage between Lucille and Sir
George. But straightway I had wished that I wished it away; for what it
meant to her.

Kit whinnied again. It was like a message to me. I must leave Salem, to
go I knew nor cared not where. First of all to get Kit out. I walked
around to the stable door and, with a stone, easily broke the lock. Kit
knew me as soon as I stepped inside. I stroked her glossy neck, patted
her moist nose, and, running my hands down her legs, knew that she was
in good shape, and fit for a hard, fast ride.

I found the saddle and bridle, put them on, and led her out into the
road. Then I leaped upon her back, shook the reins, and we were off.

“Good bye, Lucille,” I whispered, to the rain and darkness.

And then, though I had said good bye to love, I felt a lighter heart
than I had known for many a long day.

Kit’s muscles moved like steel bands, as she went galloping along the
road to Boston, for thither had I guided her unconsciously. The sweet
smell of the newly watered earth came up to my nostrils, and I breathed
long and deep of the fresh night air. Kit’s hoofs beat a soft slushing
tattoo on the muddy road.

The rain fell gently.

“Good bye, Lucille,” I whispered. A raindrop fell upon my lips, and it
seemed as if she had kissed me in the night.

                             CHAPTER XVII.
                      THE NEWS NANETTE BROUGHT ME.

Through the night I rode, until the darkness began to pale, and the dawn
was heralded. Now and then, when the labored breathing of Kit told me
the pace was too heavy for her, I pulled up a bit. We passed by silent
cottages scattered over the country, here one alone, there several near

I galloped until morning was fairly upon the land. Then I drew rein at a
white farmhouse, where I dismounted to get a bite to eat, and feed Kit.
The farmer looked at my mud-soiled clothes, at the mare’s rough coat,
and said:

“You’ve ridden far and hard, the night, neighbor.”

“Aye,” I answered, “there was some need of it.”

“Perchance some one pursued you?” he ventured.

“No one but myself,” I said.

With that he questioned no more, though he looked curiously at me, but
led the way into the house, where his wife was preparing breakfast. I
managed to make a hearty meal, and then I saw that Kit had her grain,
after which I rubbed her down. When I would have paid for the fodder and
my victuals the farmer would have none of my money, but bade me go on in
good luck, for which I thanked him.

I was soon on the road again. It was better going now, though the roads
were still heavy from the rain. Before another hour had passed I found
myself in Boston town.

People turned to stare at me, as I clattered through the streets,
wondering, I suppose, why I was abroad in such a rig so early. I headed
for a modest tavern I knew of. There, I thought, I would make some plan
for my future conduct. For I had set my mind upon leaving New England. I
had been through enough there, for one time.

I soon found the place I sought, and went in. The landlord knew me, and
gave me a little room by myself, the while he brought some good ale. I
drank a bit, feeling much refreshed, and then turned my mind to what I
had better do. I had heard of the Virginia colony, and that it was a
place where there was much of life and entertainment. There I might
follow my soldier trade with honor, fearing no witch trial, nor the
warrant held by Sir George.

In Virginia I could forget, and leave behind, many bitter memories--and
many sweet ones.

There I could forget Lucille.

Forget her?


Not forget her. I never could do that. I might find other thoughts to
take her place--for a time.

Bah! What a fool I was. A fool twice. A fool for loving her, a fool for
giving her up so easily--giving up another man’s wife, forsooth, when I
knew that she loved me at that. Of a truth, if Dicky Hall ever heard of
this he would laugh me to scorn.

Well, let them laugh. The honor of the Danes could stand a little
merriment, and it was the honor of the Danes I was upholding, though I
lost my love for the honor.

“Well, here’s to the death of love, and the honor of my name,” I said,
softly, draining my last glass.

“Now for Virginia!”

As I set the mug down the sound of voices in the main room came to my
ears. One was that of the landlord, the other a woman’s, and it was
strangely familiar. She spoke part in French, with as much English as
she could.

“Now, now,” said the inn keeper, “don’t ye come botherin’ again,
mistress. I know nothin’ of Lucy nor Nancy either, though for that
matter every sailor who lands here has that name on his lips, one way or

“Not Lucy, m’sieur, not Lucy,” spoke the woman’s voice. “’Tis Lucille I
been look for.”

I started at the name.

“Nor Lucille, either,” said the tavern keeper, testily.

“But,” persisted the woman, “I have been tell zat she taked a bateau
near zis tavern, m’sieur.”

“Well, mayhap she did, lass; lots of folk do, but I have not seen her,”
and the landlord started away.

“You have no seen her, m’sieur? She was so much beautiful, my mistress,
Lucille. Now she been lost to me,” and there came a trace of tears into
the voice.

Where had I heard it before? The name--but then Lucille was a common
enough name. Yet my heart beat a little more quickly. I went to where I
could look in the room to see the woman. The landlord was on his way
out, and the face of his visitor was toward me.

It was Nanette, Lucille’s servant!

She saw me, and her face lighted up.

“Oh, m’sieur Captain!” she exclaimed, fairly running toward me, and
lapsing into rapid French. “You have found her then? Oh, I thought she
was lost.”

“Who?” I asked, coldly.

“Why, Lucille. Mistress de Guilfort; your--your--surely, Captain,

“You mean Mistress Keith, the wife of Sir George Keith,” I interrupted,
and was about to go away.

At the name of Sir George, Nanette gave a start.

“Is he here?” she cried, excitedly.

“Aye. Here or somewhere with his wife, I make no doubt,” I said.

“His wife, m’sieur?”

“Aye. His wife.”


“What?” I cried.

“Never!” repeated Nanette.

“Oh, the villain,” she went on. “Has he told you that lie?”

“Then it is not true?” I asked, trembling lest the answer would shatter
newly raised hopes.

“No more than that I am his wife, Captain!” came the quick reply, and I
could have hugged Nanette.

Here was a sudden and joyful change in my plans. There need be no
Virginia now. Yet there was much to learn, and, it seemed, also, to find

The tavern keeper was staring at us curiously, so I motioned Nanette to
come into the room I had, and, closing the door, I bade her tell me all
she knew. First I repeated, briefly, how I had met Sir George; though I
said nothing of the Royal warrant.

Then Nanette related how she had long been in the service of the de
Guilfort family. Some years before, while in Paris, Sir George Keith had
met Lucille, fallen in love with her, and they were engaged to wed. Then
came the disclosure of how lightly Sir George held the honor of his
promised wife. He had an affair with a notorious woman, and it was the
talk of the court, in the circle of which the de Guilforts moved. Stung
and ashamed at the effront, Lucille had quarreled with my lord, and,
with bitter words, the troth was broken. Then, smarting under the tongue
of gossip, M. de Guilfort, with his daughter and niece, had set sail for
the new land, and Nanette accompanied them.

“Then Lucille is not his wife?” I asked again, hardly able to believe
the good news.

“Never! Never! Never!” cried Nanette, with such earnestness that she
could scarce cease her “nevers.”

“But does she not love him?” I inquired, tortured by a new doubt.

“Voila!” burst out Nanette, with a shrug of her shoulders. “You must
know if she loves you, Captain, and that should be an answer enough for
any man.”

“It is,” I said, and I was as happy as I had been sad.

“But where is Mistress de Guilfort, now?” asked Nanette.

“Where?” I exclaimed. “How should I know? I have not seen her since the
day I sailed against St. Johns. You may have heard how, on the night of
my return from Pemaquid, I was taken for a witch. I met Sir George that
day, and learned from him that my promised wife was his wedded one.”

“Which was a lie,” broke in Nanette.

“Aye, so it seems.”

“Then you have not seen her in Boston?” went on Nanette.

“In Boston? Here? Why, how should I, having only just arrived? But what
would bring her here?”

“Listen,” began the woman, speaking rapidly. “She heard of your arrival
in Salem, and thought you would have come to her at once.”

“So I would, but for what Sir George told me,” I answered.

“She sat long that night, expecting you,” said Nanette.

I choked back an exclamation. Lucille had been waiting for me when I
looked in on her through the window, and whispered a good bye.

“The next morning,” Nanette continued, “word came of your arrest. My
mistress, knowing full well, from a bitter experience, the temper of the
witch-crazed people and that of the courts, wasted no time. She felt,
she said, that reason would not prevail, and that you would be
condemned, and so she resolved to go to Boston, and try to secure a
pardon for you, from His Excellency, Governor Phips. This would be of
more service than all the proofs of law, in freeing you from the
sentence. She found a farmer who was going from Salem to Boston that

“So precious was the time,” proceeded Nanette, “that my mistress would
not even delay to go to the gaol and see you. She sent a letter,

“Where is it?” I asked, eagerly.

“I left it with the keeper for you.”

“And he never gave it to me. But go on. There is much mystery. Go on.
Talk faster, Nanette.”

“Patience, m’sieur. Well, Mistress de Guilfort, in great distress of
mind for you, started for Boston. She said she would return the next

“Did she?”

“Nay. That afternoon you were tried, and the sentence of death passed. I
was in sore heart at home, watching for the return of my mistress.
Toward night a messenger on horseback rode to the door and inquired for
her. Before I thought I told him she had gone to Boston. As he turned
away I caught a glimpse of the messenger’s face. It was Sir George
Keith. I knew him at once, though I had not seen him in five years.

“‘So my pretty Lucille has flown from me,’ he said, and I knew for the
first time that he had previously found her out in Salem, which
accounted for her strange terror at a certain time.”

“Go on!” I almost shouted. “I begin to see the end.”

“That is all,” said Nanette, stopping suddenly.

“All?” I cried, blankly. “Where is Mistress de Guilfort?”

“That is what I am half wild about, Captain. I have not seen her since
that day, three weeks ago, when she started for this place, after the
pardon for you.

“Yesterday I could stand the pain of waiting in idleness no longer, and
I came here.”

“Gone three weeks,” I murmured.

“Aye, and with that crafty villain, Sir George Keith, on her track,” and
Nanette’s eyes filled with tears.

“You have not found a trace of her, then, Nanette?”

“Not a sign, Captain, since the day she rode off in the farmer’s cart,
waving her hand good bye to me.”

Now I have had many hard knots, in life, to untie. I had been put to
much thought, at times, how to best approach an enemy, or how to escape
from one. But this was something I could not fathom. I have no mind for
book matters, nor am I handy with the pen. Yet there were certain points
with which I might make a start, as I have seen learned professors do,
when they draw strange squares and circles.

The first point was that Lucille had left Salem for Boston. The next
point, it would seem, should be to find if she arrived.

Nanette was watching me. When I had made what I might call a start to
solve the riddle of Lucille’s long absence, my face cleared a bit.
Nanette saw it, and cried:

“Then you can find her, Captain?”

“If any one can, I will,” I replied, and I felt the hope that comes from
making a beginning at a hard matter.

“But now, Nanette, you must go back to Salem,” I said.

“Oh, let me help you find her,” she implored.

“No. There is much to be done. I may have to ride far, by day and by
night. You could do no good. Go back, and, when I have found her, you
may come with us.”

“Then you will find her, Captain?”

“I will,” I said.

                             CHAPTER XVIII.
                         HOW THE EAGLE SAILED.

Now it is an easy matter to say a thing will be done, but it is hard,
sometimes, to carry out. However, I was so happy, when I felt I had not
loved in vain, that I thought it would be but a little quest to find
Lucille. She had, ’twas likely, found friends with whom she was
stopping, and I only had to search them out. First I must see if she had
been to the Governor for a pardon. And, when I called to mind this act
of hers, I was ashamed of the thoughts I had had concerning my dear one.

So, having arranged to send Nanette back to Salem, I turned my steps
toward the Governor’s, to make inquiries; for His Excellency had,
doubtless, seen Lucille.

I was in little fear of arrest, on the charge of treason, for which Sir
George held the Royal warrant, as I judged I could prevail on Sir
William Phips to let so old a matter rest.

As I walked up the broad steps, having left Kit in the roadway, I was
met at the door by a very proud-looking serving man.

“We want no beggars here,” he said, and I remembered, with a start, my
disordered and mud-stained clothes. I was not at all nice in appearance;
a veritable beggar on horseback, and wearing a sword at my side; a
strange sight, doubtless.

“I am no beggar,” I said, roughly, for I was in no mood for trifling.
“Stand aside,” I went on, placing my hand on my sword, “for I must see
Sir William.”

“Then you must get wings,” answered the man, smiling, and becoming more
respectful, “for the Governor sailed for London yesterday.”

Here was something I had not counted on.

“Is there no one here who knows aught of his affairs?” I asked. “I must
make some inquiries concerning a certain person.”

The servant said I might see the Governor’s private clerk, and he
ushered me into a room where a middle-aged man sat writing. To him I
related how I had come to Boston seeking a maid, Lucille de Guilfort,
who was my promised wife, and who, I said, I feared had met with some
harm, or was detained, since she had not been heard of in three weeks.
She would have called on the Governor on a private matter, I remarked,
but I did not say what it was, for even in Boston some folks were

The Governor’s man listened carefully, and asked me to describe Lucille
to him. When I had done so, he said:

“I recall, now, that about three weeks ago, such a maid came here, and
was closeted with His Excellency for about an hour. I remember, because
that day, I had upset the hour glass, and also on that day----”

“Yes, yes,” I interrupted, “tell me of that again, what of the maid?”

“I was coming to her,” he said, reproachfully. “Well, as I have said,
she was with the Governor for an hour. There were tear traces on her
cheeks when she went in, but a smile on her lips when she came out. I
remember because I heard a bird----”

“Never mind the bird,” I hastened to say. “She was smiling----”

“Yes, but why do you break in on me? I was telling of the smile. She was
all happiness, and in her hand she had a paper, sealed with the great
seal of the Colony, and with the Governor’s own signet. Then, as she was
going down the steps, having thrust the document into her bodice, she
was met by a man.”

“By a man?” I shouted. “What manner of man?”

“Why, he was a man. I remember he was a man because----”

“Aye, aye, because he was a man,” I cried, all on fire. “Never mind how
you recall it, but tell me, quickly, as if you had but another minute to
live, what manner of man he was.”

“Why, you are in great haste,” said the clerk, “you leave me no

“Never mind your thoughts,” I said, “tell me who was the man?”

“Why, none other than Sir George Keith,” he answered, gazing with mild
wonder at me. “I remember it was because I knew him well, having often
seen him at the Governor’s house.”

“What then?” I asked, trying to be calm, though I stormed within.

“Oh, I looked no further, as I had many papers to prepare,” replied the
clerk. “The last I saw was the maid going up the street with Sir

“Did she go willingly?”

“Aye, I thought so. Though now I call to mind that Sir George appeared
to talk earnestly to her, pointing this way and that, ere she turned and
went with him. Is there any more I can tell you?”

“No,” I said. “I thank you most kindly. I have heard too--too much
already. Forgive my hasty words, I pray.”

Then I went out to Kit.

She rubbed her nose against my shoulder as I made ready to leap into the
saddle. I wondered if she understood, and if it was the sympathy she
could not speak, for it seemed she wanted to tell me she was still true.

Here was more than I had bargained for. Lucille was gone with Sir
George, and there could be but one meaning to that. He had met her,
having followed her from Salem, and had renewed his advances to her.
With light words he had been sorry for the past, had won her
forgiveness, and had awakened her old love for him.

Surely this was an end to it all now.

Though I had believed her his wife before, I felt I had her love. Now he
had both her love and herself, and I had naught save bitter
memories--and my love.

I cursed that, and tried to separate it from me--to cast it aside, but I
could not. I knew, no matter what she did, no matter where she was, no
matter were she now in his arms, with his kisses on her lips, that I
loved her. For, when a man loves, he loves not always with wisdom.

I did not think of her as false to me. I believed she had fled with him
after trying to elude his temptation. For it would appear she started
from Salem loving me, and I hugged that cold comfort to my heart.

Despair, hope, then despair again had been my feelings that day. Now
came a new one, revenge. If I could not have Lucille I would have her
lover, and I laughed aloud as I thought how pleasant it would be to have
him at my sword point.

I saw him shifting back from my attack. I saw the terror in his eyes, I
saw his futile effort to parry my fierce thrust, I heard Lucille cry
out, and then--and then I felt my keen weapon sheath itself in his

Down he fell at my feet a shapeless mass, his red, warm lips, that she
had kissed, growing cold and white.

And I laughed aloud.

A sorry uncanny mirth it must have been, for it made Kit prick up her
ears and break into a trot.

Now I thought I would live but for one end--to kill Sir George. But to
do that I must find him. I have ever believed that good wine is, in
moderation, a safe friend. Over a glass or two I knew I could better
think of what I might do next, for I had resolved to follow Sir
George--and Lucille.

I went to the tavern I had left a little while before, and, while
sipping my wine, I fell to thinking of a remark Nanette had made while
there, of how she had heard that her mistress had taken a boat near the
tavern. In the excitement of what she told me after that I had forgotten
to ask the servant what she meant by it, and where she had heard the

While thus musing and grumbling at my stupidity I heard two men talking
in the room next to mine. The voices rose in anger now and then, and
seemed to be in dispute over the division of some money. At length one
of the men cried out:

“The boat was more mine than yours. You were as anxious to sell to Sir
George as was I, and I made the better trade. For I knew he must have
the craft at any price, as it would not do to let the little lady wet
her feet.”

Sir George! A boat! A lady! Had I stumbled on what I wanted; the trail
of my enemy?

I listened with all attention, but I learned no more. Shortly after that
I heard the men leaving, and I contrived to go out at the same time, and
caught a glimpse of them.

They appeared to be sailors, both roughly dressed, while one was taller
than the other. I left my mare at the inn, and followed the men, not
letting them see me, though. They separated after going a little way,
and I kept after the taller one. In my eagerness I came too close to
him. He turned, saw me following, and quickened his pace. But I went
faster also, and, when he was at the edge of the town, I was close at
his heels. He turned suddenly, picked up a heavy stick and snarled at

“Who are you and what do you want, following me? If it’s to rob----”

“I am not a highwayman,” I said. “I only want a word or two with you.”

“Suppose I have no words for you?”

“Then I’ll find a way to make you.”

“Bold talk,” he sneered.

“I am a bold man,” I answered.

I saw his eyes shifting, first on one side of me and then on the other,
as he sought a path of escape, but I stood in the way.

“Go your journey, and let me go mine,” he said, “for I’m no pleasant
person to provoke, mate.”

“Until I have done with you, our journey is together,” I remarked. “You
may go when you have answered some of my questions.” Then assuming to
know more than I did, I asked:

“Where did Sir George Keith and the woman sail to in your boat?”

The sailor started back as if I had struck him, and his face grew white
with fear.

“Damn you!” he cried, raising his club.

I had drawn my sword, and with it I knocked the clumsy weapon from his
hand. Before he could pick up another I had him by the shoulder, and my
steel was at his throat.

“Will you answer now?” I asked gently.

“I suppose I must,” he said sullenly.

“Unless you would rather lie here dead,” I responded.

“Well, then, here is all I know,” was his answer, given with no very
good grace. “It was this way. Some three weeks back my mate and I were
in our boat at the end of the wharf. The Eagle was the name of the
craft. We were mending a torn sail, me and my mate, when along comes a
fine gentleman, Sir George Keith, no less, as we afterward learned. He
had his sword dangling at his side, and was mincing his steps in the
mud. He hailed us and wanted to know what we’d hire out the Eagle for?”

“‘How long?’ I says. ‘A year and a day,’ says he, and he looked at me,
and smiled in a queer sort of a way. By that I knew he was bound on a
voyage he couldn’t see the end of.

“‘Oh, it’s to buy the boat you want,’ says I, smelling a bargain, and he
nodded his head. Well, I asked him fifty pounds, and he gave it over
with never a word. I asked him when he wanted the craft, and he says in
an hour’s time. So me and my mate took ashore what baggage we had and
went to the tavern, where we were lately, to drink to the success of our
bargain. A little while after we seen a sailor with a cock eye come down
to the wharf, and he begun to load provisions into the Eagle.”

I stopped the progress of the tale.

“Was the sailor one with a scar on the left cheek, and a blur or cock of
the right eye?” I asked.

“He was that,” answered the former owner of the Eagle.

“My old acquaintance, Simon the sailor, who urged the men to force me to
surrender Pemaquid,” I whispered to myself. Verily he was becoming my
evil genius.

“Being curious,” resumed the Eagle’s captain, “me and my mate hid where
we could watch the boat. At dusk we saw Sir George come down to the
wharf and he was leading by the hand a woman or maid, close wrapped in a
gray cloak.”

I could not repress a start.

“Well, what then?” I asked.

“Sir George says, he says, ‘Is all ready, Simon?’ ‘Yes, my lord,’ says
the cock-eyed sailor, and then he hoisted the jib, while Sir George and
the lady went down in the cabin.”

“Together?” I asked.

“Surely, and why not?” replied the man. “It was getting dark, and there
was a chill wind.”

“Well, what then?”

“Why, the wind freshened and the Eagle stood out down the bay. That is
the last I have seen of her or Sir George either.”

“But her destination, man,” I cried. “Surely you must have heard some
name mentioned. Some town on the coast to which they were bound.”

The sailor shook his head. Then, as if something had suddenly occurred
to him, he said:

“I recall now that when Sir George with the maid joined the cock-eyed
sailor, my lord addressed some words to his man, but all I could catch
was ‘Elizabeth.’ I took it to be the woman’s name, and paid no heed.
After the boat had sailed me and my mate talked the whole matter over,
and we liked its looks so little, we agreed to say nothing to nobody
about it.”

“Elizabeth, Elizabeth,” I murmured, as the sailor, seeing I had turned
aside from him, slunk away. “’Tis a woman’s name, sure enough, but I
have heard it somewhere in the Colonies, too. I have a small notion
there is a town called that.”

I made a quick pace back to the centre of the town, and by inquiries
along the wharves learned there was a settlement in New Jersey that went
by the name of Elizabeth town. It was near to New York, they told me,
down on the Jersey coast, but somewhat inland.

“That is the place,” I said to myself.

How was I to get there? I wanted no companion, and I could not manage a
boat alone. Clearly I must make the trip on horseback, and a long
journey it would be. I felt there was no time to be lost. It was now
growing dark, and I could not start until morning. I went back to the
tavern, where I had left Kit, engaged a bed for myself, and then set
about making ready for my trip. I got a flask of brandy and a good
blanket. Next I laid out a good part of what little ready money I had on
a serviceable flint-lock, a horn of powder, a pouch of bullets and some
spare flints.

The blanket I strapped back of my saddle, and the flask of brandy I put
in the bags, together with some dry biscuits and a piece of bacon. I ate
my supper and went to bed. I had a long journey before me. As the crow
flew it was quite 200 miles, but with the turnings I must make ’twould
be a good 300. My plan was to ride along the coast all the way, for I
thought that contrary winds might compel Sir George to lay to, at least
for a time, and I might come up to him then.

I knew he dared not stand far out from the shore in so small a craft,
because of storms. Likewise he would be obliged to come in to replenish
his stock of fresh water, for he could not carry a large supply. So I
was in hopes I could get some trace of the voyagers by picking my way
along the coast.

There would be hard riding by day and by night. Cold and hunger,
doubtless, and wind and rain. Danger of attacks by Indians and wild
animals. Yet I felt that I could persevere through it all for the sake
of a sweet revenge. Would love, I wondered, serve to urge me on through
such a journey as awaited me.

I awoke with the rising of the sun, made a hurried meal, and, leading
Kit from the stable, vaulted into the saddle. The orb was well above the
horizon, and the air was clear and cool when I looked back on the town I
was leaving, thought of its bitter and sweet memories, and bade a glad
good bye to Massachusetts and her witches.

                              CHAPTER XIX.
                          HOW I FOUND LUCILLE.

Weary was my journey. There were rivers to ford, deep forests to
traverse, and often only Indian paths to make my way along. I passed
through towns and villages, eating and sleeping wherever I could. Once
in the night I saw the watch fires of an Indian camp, and I hid deeper
in the woods. The next morning the red men passed, not a rifle shot from
me, yet they did not discover my presence.

Day followed day, and night came after night, and still I rode on.

In a small town near the coast one day I heard that the Eagle had tied
up at the wharf there, about two weeks past. This gave me hope that I
was on the right path, and I pushed on anxiously. But to all my
inquiries thereafter I learned nothing further.

Kit began to grow tired those days, for, though I spared her all I
could, the way was hard. Through the wilderness and along the sea we
journeyed, Kit and I, searching, ever searching for that which might,
when found, only bring bitterness to my heart.

My eyes grew tired with the sight of so much land and water, yet I could
not give up. My body was weary with the long way. My heart was sad; aye,
sad with love and hate.

I passed over a river called the Hudson, being ferried across it, Kit
and I. Just below, the ferryman told me, was the village of New York.
When I was on the west bank of the stream, I could see from the top of
the bluff that the town was one of goodly size, larger than many
villages in England.

I left New York behind, and plunged once more into the wilderness. Now,
I was told, I was but three days’ ride from Elizabeth, as the roads
went, and how my heart beat as I heard that news.

It had been a raw, blustering day, when, as the sun was beginning to
sink down in the west, in a gloomy looking watery haze, I turned Kit’s
head toward the sea that stretched in a vast expanse off to the left. I
would scan the coast once more, I thought, ere I camped out for the

I had little hope of sighting the Eagle now, for, by this time, the
voyagers must be far ahead of me. Yet I felt I should let slip by no
chance of coming upon them. So it happened, as the day was slowly dying
I drew rein on top of a little hill, whence I had a good view of the

I gazed out over the broad extent of water. The heaving billows looked
like small waves from my perch, but the dull boom and roar that filled
the air told me there was power in the green water that thundered down
on the sands. Twice I looked along the line of the horizon for the sight
of a sail, and I saw none. From the shore to the uttermost edge, where
the plane of waters seemed to come to a sudden stop, I gazed and saw not
a speck.

Wait, though. What was that out there to the left?

Nothing but a lonely gull, flitting from wave crest to wave crest. I
watched it in idleness, expecting every moment to see it dart down and
arise with a fish. But the gull seemed content to float on the waves. It
rose and fell with the heaving of the waters, becoming larger as it
approached until I thought verily it must be the king of all gulls.

Then I rubbed my eyes and looked again. A last glint of the setting sun
fell upon the object. I shaded my eyes and strained my sight.

Of a sudden I saw it was not a gull. It was a boat!

Was it the Eagle?

The wind freshened, and the little craft crept nearer the shore. It
seemed to make slow progress, and floated sluggishly in the water.

Now I was able to see more clearly. I noted that the sail was ragged and
torn, also that from the mast head floated a bit of cloth like a piece
torn from a woman’s dress. A signal of distress!

With anxious, beating heart I waited for the boat to draw nearer. It
was, perchance, a vain hope, but I could not help thinking the craft
contained those I sought. And if it should!

I looked to my gun and saw that my sword was loose in the scabbard, for
I would have two to contend with, Sir George and Simon.

Closer came the boat until I could distinguish three figures aboard, and
one was a woman, as I could see by her dress. She stood for a moment in
front of the companionway leading to the cabin, and then she vanished
down it. The other figures were those of two men. They appeared to be
much excited about something, moving here and there on the deck, and I
was at a loss to account for their actions. Now they would be amidships,
and then suddenly run to the side when they would empty a bucket of
water overboard.

As soon as I saw that I knew the boat was leaking, and that they were
baling to keep her afloat. That was why they had headed in shore, for no
other cause would have made them approach such a dangerous coast.

The craft was now so near that I could plainly see one man baling while
the other ran to the tiller, which was lashed, and cast off the ropes.
Then he headed the boat up the coast, searching for a favorable place to
put in. He saw none, after holding on that course for a time, and so
came about and sailed down. Long and anxiously did he scan the shore and
the line of breakers. So occupied was he that he did not seem to see me,
though I was in bold relief against the western sky.

Twice did the helmsman beat up and down for a quarter of a mile each
way. But all along was heavy surf, while at some places black and jagged
rocks just showed their ugly heads above the water that washed over

The second man had ceased baling now, and came to the aid of the
steersman, who had evidently decided to make a landing in the best place
he could. The man who had been at the tiller ran to the bow, leaped on
the rail, and peered ahead, while his companion kept her prow to the
waves. I gave one look at the man in the bow. I trembled lest I should
be mistaken. No, it was he.

There, like a carved figurehead on a ship stood my enemy! Sir George
Keith! My journey was ended.

I could have shouted in gladness, was I not fearful that the sea might
snatch him from me ere I had my revenge. For the time I forgot the
danger that encompassed Lucille. My hate had overwhelmed my love.

I dismounted and led Kit back into some low bushes that grew on top of
the hill. Then I went forward quickly to watch the progress of the boat.

Sir George was again at the helm. He had made up his mind where to land.
And it was near time. The little craft was settling low in the water.

On she came, lifting her bow to the waves, and then dipping deep into
the froth of green liquid that hissed on either side. Nearer and nearer.
They were almost in now. And then, while I stood there, watching like a
sentinel guarding the land, I saw that which gripped my heart as if an
icy hand had grasped it.

Directly in the course of the Eagle, and so close to her now that
avoidance was impossible, was a pinnacle of rock. I had not seen it
before, nor had Sir George, for he steered for it as if by card and

“’Ware the rock!” I cried, and he heard me.

He looked up, and by the shout he gave, I knew he recognized me. He was
like one who sees a spirit. He lost his hold of the helm and ran to the
stern. But the boat did not fall off. Instead she came on like a race
horse straight for the rock. The waves lifted her high up, water logged
though she was, until she showed part of her keel. Then, and I closed my
eyes, the waters dashed the frail vessel down on that point of stone, as
a man is impaled on a spear. The rock struck right through her bottom.

The crash that followed found echo in my own heart, and the wild shouts
of Sir George and Simon mingled with the screams of Lucille coming clear
over the thunder of the surf.

It was no time to stand idle. It was a steep path to the beach, but I
got down somehow. The boat was still spitted on the rock, but the waters
were dashing over it, threatening every moment to break it in pieces and
toss the occupants into the sea.

I had kept hold of my flint-lock, but now I laid it down on the sand, at
the same time casting off my sword belt. As I discarded my jacket and
boots, the boat gave a lurch to one side, and I heard Lucille scream. I
took one look, so I might know in which direction to swim, and I saw the
sailor Simon as he leaped overboard and struck out for the beach. Then I
plunged into the surf.

I waded out as far as I had my depth, and I saw Simon’s head bobbing up
and down. I marked Sir George tearing away at some of the deck boards,
which had split, and I guessed he was trying to form a raft. Lucille,
for I saw her face clearly now, was clinging to the mast, her dark hair
blowing about her face, while the salt spray dashed over her until she
was drenched.

I had found Lucille, but in what a sorry plight. She was mine no more.
My enemy had won her. All I might have was revenge on him; a poor

Sir George gave one glance in my direction, and then worked with great
haste to tear up the planks. Perhaps he feared my vengeance would strike
him in the waters, though I had other plans. Mayhap he grudged me any
share in the rescue of Lucille, which both of us were striving for now.
Noting all this in one brief glance I found the water above my head now,
so I plunged forward, and was soon swimming amid the breakers.

It was hard work, indeed, to buffet those waves, and to avoid being cast
against the rocks which abounded. How I did it, and came out scathless,
I cannot tell. I know I managed to get near enough to the stern of the
boat to grasp the rudder chains and pull myself aboard.

Slowly, for I was weary, I got over the rail, and found myself on the
sloping deck, that every now and again was washed by the waves. Before
the mast Sir George was lashing the planks he had torn up into the form
of a rude raft.

“Greeting,” I said to him.

He started, as a man might, who hears a voice from the grave.

Then I went a little way farther until I stood before Lucille.

“Edward! Oh, my God! Edward!” she screamed, and then she fell in a
senseless heap at the foot of the mast.

I sprang toward her, as did Sir George, dropping the planks. We were at
her side together.

“Curse you!” he cried. “Have you come back from death to take her from
me again?”

“Even from death,” I said. “Even from death, my lord. I come, not to
claim her, but to kill you. For she was mine by every right of heaven
and earth, and you took her from me.”

“I loved her first,” he almost shouted the words. “And she is mine now
by the rights of man; that of possession. Make the most of that, you

“You shall answer for your words later,” I said.

So we stood thus, perchance while a man might have counted a score
slowly. Around us was the waste of waters. Under our feet the quivering
Eagle, that was like to go to pieces every second. Between us, as pale
as death, was Lucille, the cause of both of us being there. Perhaps she
was dead, and our bitter words were spoken in vain.

The seas were calm for a little time while thus we stood, or we must
have all been washed into the waves.

Then I saw the hand of Sir George steal to his sword. I clapped mine to
my side only to meet with nothing. He smiled.

A wave lifted the Eagle, and after it had passed the craft settled down
more deeply in the water. We both started.

“There is no time for you and I to settle our hate and quarrel now,” I
remarked. “We will need all our strength if we would save her.”

“Yes, yes,” he assented eagerly.

So together we labored, he and I; as deadly enemies as ever two men
could be, striving in harmony to save the life of a woman, who,
hitherto, had brought us both little more than hate. And yet we loved
her, both of us. I, perforce, because I could do no less.

First we placed her where the waves could reach her as little as
possible, for she was still as one dead. I passed a rope around the
mast, and fastened one end about Lucille’s waist. And my hands trembled
strangely as I touched her cold hand.

Quivers of the boat warned us that she would hold together but a brief
spell now, and we worked with feverish haste, neither speaking a word.

At length the few boards we could tear loose were bound together, and on
them we must make the attempt to get Lucille to shore.

I paused to look at her, and the love grew in my heart. I gazed up and
found Sir George at my side. He, too, looked down on her. Then we two
glanced at each other, and the love in our eyes turned to hate.

“Quick!” I said. “There is no time to wait.”

We had arranged the raft so that one of us could swim ahead and drag it
by a rope, while the other could swim behind and push. A box lashed to
the centre made a support for Lucille. We placed her on the planks, her
shoulders against the box, so that her head would be above the waves.
Then we made ready for our battle with the sea.

Sir George unbuckled his sword, and lashed it to the raft.

“I will go ahead,” said Sir George haughtily.

“No, I,” was my answer.

“Damn you!” he cried. “You want to steal her from me and leave me here.”

“Nay,” I said gently, “look you. Whatever may be our differences we will
settle them later, as men should with the sword. Now, however, there is
work to be done. I know the shore better than do you, having seen it
from above. Therefore I will take the lead. It will not be for long.
Perchance I may be swallowed up in the waters. Then our quarrel will be

With that he agreed, though I could see the distrust in his eyes.

Slowly we shoved the raft with its precious burden off into the water,
avoiding the rock on which the Eagle was impaled. Then fastening the
rope about my shoulders I struck out for the shore. Sir George leaped in
after me and swam behind, pushing the frail structure. It was a perilous

For a time it seemed that we would never succeed. But we strained with
every muscle, and, gradually drew near shore. Then we had to beware of
the dreadful undertow, which was strong at this point. With a few more
strokes I let down my feet, and felt bottom. Then I waded up the beach,
and pulled the raft high up out of reach of the waves.

Before I could get to Lucille Sir George was at her side, and with eager
hands he began to unloosen the ropes that bound her.

“Is she living?” I asked, yet feeling a strange indifference while I
waited for the answer. What mattered it to me if she did live?

“She breathes,” he said, and I noted a little trembling of the white
lids that veiled her eyes.

“There are some spirits in my flask in the saddle bags,” I remarked,
motioning to where I had tethered Kit.

“Will you get the flask?” he asked, “unless, mayhap, you fear to leave
her alone with me while you go. Though she was long enough with me in
the Eagle.”

The words were not out of his mouth ere I stood beside him, and my hands
were at his throat.

“Recall that last,” I said, “or I will give you no chance to stand
before me with sword in hand. Recall your words, my lord.”

“I do,” he snarled, and he fell to rubbing his neck when I let go. As I
turned to get the brandy a man came running down the sands. It was

“There is no need for either of us to go,” remarked Sir George. “Simon
will get the flask if you tell him where it is.”

I directed the sailor where to come upon Kit, and then fell to chafing
Lucille’s hands, as did Sir George, and this we were at when Simon
returned, neither of us speaking a word, though deep in our hearts were
many things that might have found utterance.

                              CHAPTER XX.
                         A WATCH IN THE NIGHT.

I was able to get a little of the brandy between Lucille’s lips, and she
revived somewhat, opening her eyes. She caught sight of Sir George, and
then she seemed to sleep again. When she awoke a second time and saw me
standing near her, fright struggled with surprise in her look, so that I
could not see whether she realized where she was.

She murmured that she was cold. I called to Simon and had him get my
tinder box from my coat. With the flint and steel I kindled the burnt
linen to a glow, and soon was blowing to a flame some dry sticks. Then
Sir George, Simon and I set about gathering driftwood, verily like three
school boys at a bonfire, until we had a goodly pile on the sand,
sending out a genial warmth. It was a welcome heat, for we were chilled
by the water, and Lucille was trembling as one with ague. We carried her
to the blaze, and I wrapped my dry jacket about her, so that with the
comfort of the fire, some color returned to her cheeks.

“Where am I?” she asked, passing her hand over her brow.

“With me,” said Sir George, quickly.

“God forbid,” spoke Lucille in an instant, and those few words gave me

Sir George motioned to Simon, who ran to the raft, bringing back with
him his master’s sword. Seeing that the wind lay in that direction, I
hastened to where I had cast my blade. It was gone, as was my gun. I
knew then that Simon must have hidden them when he came ashore. Lucille
was watching us.

She rose from her reclining position, and, seeing Sir George armed, and
me without a sword, she ran between us.

“Hold!” she cried. “Add not murder to your other crimes, my lord.”

“Murder,” he exclaimed; “it would not be murder to slay in fair combat.
It is but the execution of justice on a traitor.”

“Traitor?” spoke Lucille, questioningly, while her head was lifted
proudly in the air, and her voice rang with scorn. “Who is the traitor,
when he stands face to face with you, my lord, chief of all traitors.
For you were traitor to a defenseless woman. Captain Amherst is no
traitor, but a true and honorable gentleman, and--and--I love him!”

Then, being a woman, Lucille’s spirit gave way, and she wept bitterly. I
turned my head aside, for sometimes a woman’s tears are sorrowful to
look upon. However, she soon regained her composure.

A sudden silence fell upon us all. When Lucille had said “I love him,” I
looked at Sir George, and he at me. Now such had been the turn of events
of late, that I knew not what to think.

Had Lucille planned to sail with her former lover? Was she true to me,
or a fickle jade, blown this way and that, like many women? These things
I much desired to hear the truth of. But yet she had said of me, “I love

“Madame,” I said, and at the formal word Lucille glanced, half
frightened at me, “strange events have come to pass between us since
last we met. You were my promised wife when I sailed against St. Johns.
I returned to be cast into prison on a foul charge, but not before one
had met me with the words that you were his wife, and that I had no
right to your love, nor you to mine.”

“His wife?” began Lucille, and Sir George smiled at the trick he had

“Oh, of the falsity of that I soon learned,” I went on, “for I met
Nanette in Boston. But no sooner do I learn you are not wedded to Sir
George Keith than I hear that you have sailed with him. Perchance you
have since thought better of your troth to me, and are, even now, his

“His wife? Never!” cried Lucille.

“No,” said Sir George slowly, “not my wife, but----”

I would have leaped at him, unarmed though I was, and though he held his
sword so that I must have run upon it, had not Lucille grasped my arm.

“Not--not--oh, my God, not his----” I could not finish for Lucille’s
hand was over my mouth.

The next instant I had my answer. For she placed her arms about my neck,
and before him, before the man I believed she had cast me aside for, she
kissed me full on the lips, and spoke my name.


“Lucille!” I cried. “Lucille!” And the love in my heart surged up as do
the waters at flood tide. “Then God has given you back to me, after all.
Speak, love, are you mine, all mine; or has he any claim on you?” and I
passed my arm about her, and looked at Sir George, as he stood there,
sword in hand.

“Edward,” said Lucille, and she clung to me as a frightened bird might
nestle, “most grievous has been my plight, and cruelly has Sir George
Keith treated a defenseless maid, yet I will do him this justice. Though
ever did he protest his love in burning words, almost to insult, yet, as
I stand before you both, he gave me no dishonor. And for this I thank
him, that I am restored to you, my love, true as when he lured me away.
So that while he remains not entirely guiltless, the great shame is not
upon him.”

“I thank you, madame,” spoke Sir George, bowing low, his hand on his
sword, “most graciously do I thank you,” and his words became bitter,
while his face grew cold and stern. “My poor love for you, poor in that
’tis all I have, is but my plea for that which I have done. I pray your
forgiveness, though, perchance, I do not merit it. I would do again all
that I have done, aye, a thousand times, if I stood but one chance of
success, of even winning one loving word from you, madame.

“But you have spurned my love, as is your right, though once it was not

Lucille shrank closer to me at that, and the words pierced me with a
jealous anger. He saw his advantage and went on:

“Once you thought it no great task to smile with me. My words did not
turn you from me then. That was----”

“Oh, my lord, I pray you to cease,” implored Lucille and Sir George
became silent.

“Your pardon, madame,” he continued, after a moment’s pause, “enough of
that, then. But though I have lost your love, I cannot, as I am a
gentleman and a soldier, let the matter rest there. My enemy shall not
thus easily steal you from me. I have two quarrels with him now from
divers causes. Of the one he knows well. Of the other--well, I am ever
willing to draw swords for a fair face,” and he bowed with mock

“I would be weak, indeed,” he added, “did I give you up now after what I
have gone through, and say to him, ‘welcome. Take my love from me. Take
also your life which, of right, belongs to the King and to me, and go in
peace!’ Nay, I have blood in my veins, not water.

“Three several times have I stood before you, Sir Francis Dane,” and he
turned to address me. I marked that Lucille started at the name he gave
me. “Three times you dared me to draw sword. Each time I held my hand,
though my blade was ready. But I waited, for even bitter as my hate was,
I had laid plans that might remove you from my path without need of open
action on my part. I failed, you best know how and why. But think not
that you will escape me, for the score is too heavy to forget now.”

Sir George moved toward me, and I thought at first he meant to attack
me, for I had no sword. I put Lucille behind me, and then he seemed to
see I had no weapon. Simon said something to his master in a low tone.
Sir George turned angrily, and, in another instant the sailor was
running across the sands. Presently he returned, bearing my sword and
gun, which he handed me without a word of explanation.

“I pray your pardon,” said Sir George, “I saw not that your sword was
gone. Now that you have it, let us to work to see who shall kill the
other,” and he laughed such a cold, heartless, mirthless laugh that
Lucille shuddered.

“Bah,” he went on, “what does it matter, after all. But come, ’tis cold
standing idle after a bath in the sea, and I would be gone.”

He laughed again, perchance at the notion of going anywhere on the
watery, sandy waste.

“Ha! Ha! Gone. Yes, I would be away, far away from here, had not the
Eagle proved such a sorry craft.”

He swung his sword about him in a circle so that the point enscribed a
little furrow in the sand.

Lucille looked on with horror in her eyes.

“Have no fear, love,” I said. “It will soon be over.”

“But how?” she asked.

“God knows,” I said.

“On guard!” cried Sir George.

But now a difficulty arose. The sun had gone down, though we had not
observed it, and it rapidly became dusk. So that when we would have
walked off a little way, out of sight of Lucille, to place ourselves, it
was too dark for sword play. Sir George remarked it.

“Why, it is night,” he said, “and there is need of light for what we
have before us. However, to-morrow will be another day. There is little
likelihood that our quarrel will cool in the darkness.”

“Not on my side, my lord,” I answered, bowing.

“Enough, then. We will wait till sunrise. I will go with Simon to
another part of the beach. We will meet again in the morning, and may
the best sword win.”

“Say rather, may the right win,” was my reply, but he only laughed.

“Well, then,” he went on, “good-night, madame, and you also, Sir
Francis, though ’tis more like to be a bad one for all of us and for
you, madame. I would we had some small shelter, or some food for you,
but the poor Eagle’s wings are broken.”

We looked to where the boat had been, but it was gone.

“Stay,” I said, remembering my saddle bags. “There is no need of hunger,
at least, if Simon will go and bring what is on Kit’s back. We had
better eat while we have the chance.”

I told the sailor what to fetch, adding some instructions about tying
the mare more securely.

Presently Simon returned, and we threw more wood on the fire. Then I
gave Sir George and his man some of the biscuits and bacon, which I had
purchased at my last stopping place. The meat we roasted before the
blaze on sharpened sticks, eating it smoking hot. I prepared some for
Lucille, giving them to her on a clean washed piece of drift-wood, that
served for a platter.

Surely no stranger band ever gathered about a camp fire on that lonely
Atlantic coast. Had any one seen us eating together he would have said
that we were ship-wrecked, but, for all that, merry adventurers, so well
did the outward semblance conceal the bitter passions within. For there
was in our hearts love, hate, fear, distrust, anger and envy, yet none
of us betrayed by so much as a word while we were eating that there was
aught but friendliness among us. Thus had so little a thing as hunger
made us forget strong passions for a time.

The fire crackled, the waves beat upon the sands with thunderous noise,
and we four sat there. How many and how varied were the thoughts in each
of our minds.

For myself I rejoiced that I had found Lucille again, and found her with
my love in her heart. Of the duel to take place on the morrow I gave
little heed. For I had confidence in my sword and arm, though, as it
afterward proved, I needed all my skill. Then I went back over my
wanderings and my adventures since I had first ridden to Salem.

Of the others’ thoughts I could but guess. I fancied Sir George was very
bitter of heart, and that he had great hate for me, though as to the
rightful cause for it I differed from him. Lucille, rather than the
death of his brother, was his reason now for wishing to kill me.

When I recall all that happened to us both, knowing of the great passion
which swayed him, as a blast does a sturdy tree, I can, in some measure,
put myself in his place and know that he was sorely tempted. For he,
too, loved Lucille.

And of the thoughts of Lucille. She must have much hidden away in her
heart, but what cared I so long as she loved me. I looked at her while
the fire light played its shadows over her features. How thin and worn
she had become since I saw her last. What must she have gone through. I
was in impatience to hear from her all that had to do with her voyage on
the Eagle.

As for Simon he seemed to be eating more than he was thinking.

So we sat thus silent, while the moon came peeping up from beneath the
sea, silvering the dancing waves. Lucille drew my coat closer about her,
for it was chilly, and she sighed, mayhap at what had gone before,
perchance at what was yet to come; for who knows a woman’s thoughts?

It was growing late when I rose from my position by the fire. Sir George
and Simon followed my example, and I helped Lucille to her feet. She was
so weak that I put my arm about her waist to support her. Sir George
turned away as if to view the moon, and I knew it was because it burned
his heart to see me with her. But I was glad that it was so, for he had
caused me much suffering, and this was some balm for it.

I picked up my flint-lock, and made as if to move off, Lucille and I up
the beach. I had noticed an overhanging rock a quarter of a mile off,
that I thought would serve as some protection from the night dew. Sir
George, followed by Simon, walked off in the opposite direction. When
they had gone a little way Sir George halted and retraced his steps.

“A word, Sir Francis,” he called to me.

I left Lucille and went back.

“There will be need of but little ceremony about our affair in the
morning,” he said coldly. “Yet that no doubt may linger in your mind I
will say that Simon is oath-bound to me not to raise a hand in the
matter, no matter how it may go. You need fear no treachery, for he will
keep his distance. So, if you kill me, Simon, though he is ever ready to
stand between me and death, will not renew the quarrel. To this I have
sworn him.

“If you should fall in the combat I will see that you have such burial
as the place affords. Which courtesy I make bold to ask of you on my
part. Is it agreed?”

“Yes, my lord,” I replied.

To talk thus of death.

“And that is all, I believe,” said Sir George, turning away. “I will
meet you here at sunrise. And--and perhaps it would be as well not to
awaken her. You understand?”

“Perfectly, my lord.”

“Then good-night, Sir Francis.”

“Good-night, my lord.”

We parted, and thus began the vigil of the night.

                              CHAPTER XXI.
                       OF THE VOYAGE OF LUCILLE.

Beneath the rock I had selected as our shelter for the night I kindled a
fire, and the wind, taking the smoke away, made the place comfortable.
The heat served to dry our garments and warmed our chilled blood.
Lucille clung to me, trembling with the recollection of all she had
passed through, and I held her in my arms and bade her be of better
cheer, for the worst was now past.

“You had a long voyage,” I said, for I did not know how to begin so that
she might tell me of the cruise of the Eagle.

“And a terrible one,” she answered, with a shudder. “Oh, Edward, my
love, I thought never to see you again, and I wished myself dead a
hundred times. There was naught but fear and misery in my heart, but
now--now--I am so very happy. Yet not altogether happy, Edward.”

“And why?” I asked.

“Because I think of the morrow.”

“So you fear for me, my sweet?”

“Much, Edward, for he is a terrible man.”

“So am I, when I fight for love,” was my reply.

Then there was silence for a time, and she seemed to be thinking of

“Why did he call you Sir Francis, Edward?” she asked, presently.

“Because, dear, it is my name,” I said.

“Why, I thought----” she began, but I was not ready to tell her all yet.

“To-morrow will do for my story,” I interposed. “The night is short, let
me hear about yourself.”

“There may be no to-morrow,” whispered Lucille.

“It is as God wills,” I said, simply, and I kissed her.

Then she told me of the voyage with Sir George.

“When I found that you were in Salem gaol, charged with witchcraft,” she
began, “I recalled how few had come out of there alive, after such an
accusation. I knew, as you did not, since you had been absent, how
fierce was the hue and cry after witches, or those poor wretches so
called. I knew how perilous was the time in Salem town. So I made up my
mind that I must get you out, as you could not help yourself. I thought
of the Governor, Sir William Phips, believing that he was my only hope.
To see him, get a full and free pardon for you, was my only desire.”

I could feel her hand, that I held beneath my coat, press mine. I
answered the pressure, and drew Lucille near to me. She went on:

“So, knowing there was little time to lose, I made a bargain with Master
Richard Johnson, who lived on the road back of me, to take me to Boston
in his big cart, as he was going there that day with some barrels of
cider. Not even stopping to tell you good bye, so full was I of my
project, I put on my best gown--’tis a sad sight now, though”--and
Lucille sighed and looked down at her dress, all wet and torn--“pinned a
ribbon in my hair, and was off to see His Excellency. We were two days
on the road, because the cart broke.

“Well, I found him at home, and, after some parley with his servant, who
said his master was busy with noble lords from London, I was admitted to
the presence of Sir William.

“I curtsied as best I knew, and looked about, half tempted to run out
again, for the room was filled with men. Oh, but they stared so at me;
verily, I thought none of them had scarce before seen a maid in her best

Well I knew why they looked, I thought, for fairer face than Lucille’s
there was not in Boston, or Salem--aye, in all of London.

“But,” she continued, “I did manage to stammer out what I had come for,
and when His Excellency had gathered the import of my words, he became
kindly at once and came near to me, while he left the noble lords, if
such they were, to talk among themselves. I heard one of them say
‘Zounds! But would she not make some of our London beauties stare.’ So I
looked him full in the face, and replied:

“‘There be many others in Salem town, if it please you, sir,’ whereat
they all laughed, save His Excellency, and he smiled at me. Then,
Edward, I pleaded for your life.”

“What did you say, sweet?” I asked.

“I begged that I might not be sent away without a pardon,” went on
Lucille. “And, to show it was deserved, I told Sir William of the deeds
you had done. How strong you were to cast the great stone, and how they
said you were a witch because you had done that. Then I reminded him of
St. Johns and Pemaquid, for I had heard somewhat of what took place
there. I urged upon him that you were a good soldier, and a true one,
serving His Gracious Majesty most faithful.

“Then, when I could think of no more to say, I told His Excellency
that--that I loved you better than any one else in the whole world, and
that he must pardon you for me,” and Lucille leaned over and hid her
face on my shoulder.

“All that for me,” I whispered. “I was not worth it.”

“Oh, but you are,” said Lucille, looking up quickly, “or I should never
have been brave enough to do all I did.”

“What said His Excellency, when you pleaded so well for me?” I asked.

“Why,” continued Lucille, “he smiled, and wanted to know who it was I
had come to save. ‘Captain Edward Amherst,’ I replied, and then all the
men in the room, who had been talking about the custom-house, burst into
shouts of laughter.

“One of them said: ‘Not the traitor Sir George is after, is it, Your
Excellency?’ ‘The same,’ was the Governor’s answer.

“That angered me, to hear them call you a traitor, though I did not
realize who Sir George was then,” went on Lucille. “I stamped my foot,
forgetting that I was in the presence of the Governor, and cried out:
‘Captain Amherst is no traitor, but a true and honorable gentleman, and
a brave soldier, which is more than can be said of many.’ The men turned
aside at that, and Sir William led me to another room.

“There he told me he would grant a pardon from the charge of witchcraft,
which he did not believe in, but he added that there were graver matters
hanging over your head. I was so overjoyed at hearing him say he would
give the pardon that I only heard him murmur something about fearing it
would be of little service. He called his secretary to bring his quill,
ink-horn and sand box. When he had them he indited a full and free
pardon for Captain Amherst, from the charge of witchcraft, sealing it
with his own hand.

“He bowed me out of the chamber, while all the men stared so again that
my cheeks were burning. But I was out of the house at last, and so
anxious to get back to you and have you released from Salem gaol, that I
could scarce walk fast enough. As I was going down the steps I was
startled by seeing a man in front of me. I looked up in fright, and
there was one I least desired to meet--Sir George Keith.”

Lucille glanced at me.

“I should have told you about him before,” she continued, “only I wanted
to wait----”

“I know,” was my reply; “Nanette told me something of him, and I know
more, of my own experience.”

“He stood before me,” went on Lucille, “and, when I would have passed by
him, never giving heed to him, he bowed, and said if I would deign to
hear him he would deliver a message from you. I did not know that he was
your enemy, as well as mine, or I would not have listened to him. But I
was so anxious to do all I could for you that I never stopped to think
that Sir George Keith would scarce do his rival a courtesy. So I bade
him say on quickly, and told him I never would listen to him on my

“Then he told me you had broken gaol early that morning, and were hiding
in the woods to avoid capture. He said you had besought him, as a
comrade in arms, to get him aid, and particularly to send word to me, so
I might come to you.

“‘There is no cause for Captain Amherst to hide,’ I said, ‘for I have a
pardon for him. He need fear no gaol.’ Sir George said it was not the
witchcraft that was hanging over you now, but a charge of treason. That
made me greatly frightened, and I suppose he saw it and knew he could
tell me any lie and have it believed. He said, if I would consent to let
him guide me to you, he could provide a way of escape for us both.

“I was afraid of him, but he spoke so gently, and was so courteous,
never even referring to the hateful past, that I consented. Oh, how
little I knew what was before me,” and Lucille shivered, not alone from
the night wind. I knew now why Sir George had left the court room so
suddenly the day of my trial. It was to get trace of Lucille.

“He said,” she continued, after a pause, “that it would not be safe for
us to go directly to your hiding place, as we might be followed. There
was a small boat, down at the wharf, he added, sailed by an honest man,
and, if I would but trust myself in it, we could move along the shore
until we had picked you up. Such, Sir George said, was the plan you had

“Though I wavered a bit, being friendless and alone in Boston town, in
the end I yielded, and suffered him to lead the way to the boat. It was
the Eagle, and Simon was the whole crew. When Sir George came to the end
of the wharf with me, he said to Simon:

“‘This is the lady you are to take to her lover.’

“‘Aye, aye, sir,’ answered Simon, and he touched his hat, and held the
steps steady for me to descend. Ah me, it was many a day ere I went up
those same steps again.

“At a signal from Sir George Simon cast off, and we were sailing
smoothly down the bay, while I was all impatience until I should see
you, as my heart misgave me. And I longed to show you the pardon I had,
that you might know why I had not remained near you in Salem. See, here
it is now.”

Lucille took from her bosom a paper, all crumpled and stained and wet
from the sea water. By the dim light of the fire I saw that it was the
pardon she had obtained. I kissed it, for it was my first love letter
from Lucille, verily a strange one. I would have kept it, but she said
she would hold it until we reached some safe place, as it might yet be

“We sailed on,” related Lucille, “until it grew dark, and then, in
fright, I called from the cabin to know when we would land and find you.
‘Presently,’ answered Sir George, and I waited, with small patience.
Simon lighted a lantern, so that its beams fell upon Sir George, as he
stood at the helm. ‘Is it not true, my lord?’ I called to him.
‘Presently,’ he said again, and he smiled. In that smile I saw the trick
he had played.

“I stood before him then, and, though I feared him, I demanded that he
instantly set me ashore. At that he only smiled once more, and called to
Simon to make sail.

“‘Put me ashore, my lord, as you are a gentleman and a soldier,’ I
pleaded. ‘I had rather be alone in the woods than here with you.’ ‘You
shall go ashore in good season,’ he said. I begged and pleaded with him,
until his smiles became frowns. Seeing that it was useless to beg him to
release me, I cried out that I would throw myself into the sea. I ran to
the rail, but Simon sprang after me and dragged me back. Sir George gave
the tiller over to him, and, standing before me, said:

“‘Lucille, I pray you to forgive me for what I have done, but I cannot
let you go, now that I have found you again. Captain Amherst has not
escaped; he does not wait for you, hiding in the woods. Ere this ’tis
likely that he is no longer alive. But I am alive, I am here, and,
Lucille, I love you. I have waited and searched for you many years,’ he
went on, ‘and now I will not let you go. As there is a God above us I
mean you no wrong. But I love you, oh, how I love you!’”

I must have shown the feeling in my heart as Lucille repeated the words
of Sir George.

“Heed not his words, Edward,” she said; “they were only words to me. He
said we would sail far away from New England, to the New Jersey Colony,
where he had friends. ‘There,’ he said, ‘you will have learned to care
for me. And, if you do not, we will go down into the depths of the sea
together, for, if I cannot have you in life I will have you in death.’

“Oh, how I was frightened, my love, but I thought of you, and how brave
you were, and that gave me courage. I told Sir George I would never love
him, in life nor death, and I said I would not even die with him, so
much did I hate him. I said I would appeal for help to the first person
I met when I reached shore. Whereat he laughed and said it would be many
days ere we touched land. Then he begged me to enter the cabin, which
had been fitted up with some degree of comfort, saying that he would not
intrude himself upon me. More to escape him than because I was weary, I
went down, and bolted the door.”

Then Lucille told me of the long voyage that followed. Sir George was
like a madman with one idea in his head. He never sailed near shore,
save when supplies were needed, and then Simon rowed to the beach in a
small boat. The two men were most gentle to her, and once, when Simon
had grumbled at taking the meals to her in the cabin, Sir George felled
him to the deck with a blow. After that the sailor had little to say.
Sir George and his man steered the craft by turns, and the master
stopped at no task, however mean, performing all, as did the man. To
such will love or its counterfeit go.

On they sailed, and never once did Lucille, by any chance, get near
enough a passing vessel, or within distance of shore, so as to make a
cry heard.

When it was necessary to approach a town harbor to anchor from a storm,
she was locked in the cabin. Thus she spent one month, longing night and
day to be free, until the roses faded from her cheeks, and the love
light from her eyes. Ever did Sir George protest his affection for her,
begging that she would but give him a little hope. But never, even by a
turn of the head, did she admit that she heard him, for, after the first
few days when she demanded that he set her free, she held her peace and
spoke no words to him.

This was the tale Lucille related to me, as we sat under the ledge of
rock by the waters I had saved her from. And, as the story grew, I
longed for the morrow, that I might fight for her honor and my own. I
put some driftwood on the fire, and it blazed up.

Of the storm, which blew the craft out to sea until the voyagers thought
it would never return, Lucille told. Then provisions ran low, and for
three days Sir George had nothing but a small crust of bread, and Simon
had as little, because they put all aside for her. And this she never
knew till after they had reached the vicinity of a town again, when by
the ravenous hunger of Sir George and his man, she saw they had been
near death.

It seemed strange to me that this man could endure so much for love,
could battle so to win it, and yet could not master himself. Of a truth,
he was one who might have been great, had not his life been turned in
the wrong direction.

The last storm which blew had started the seams of the Eagle, and this
had compelled Sir George to put in shore sooner than he intended, for he
was near to his journey’s end.

The remainder of the tale I knew, having seen the sinking of the Eagle.

“And now tell me of yourself, Edward,” commanded Lucille. “Tell me how
you escaped from Salem gaol, and how you happened to be here, so far
away, just as I was about to give myself up for lost. You must have had
a wearisome search for me.”

“I forget the weariness of it, now,” I whispered, “for I have found
you,” and I held her close to me.

“Mayhap, only to lose me again,” replied she, with a touch of sadness in
her voice.

“Not if there is still strength in my arm or temper in my sword,” I
answered, cheerfully, for I am not one easily downcast, when I have a
fight before me.

“Oh, the terrible morrow, I wish it would never come,” Lucille

“Have no fear,” I assured her. Then I told her of myself. How I with
others had broken from Salem gaol after I had been near to death in the
great press. I told of my journey, though I did not relate all my
feelings when I knew she had sailed with Sir George, as I thought.

The night wore on. Our fire grew dim, and I bade Lucille sleep, for I
did not want her to be awake when I must go out to meet my enemy. But
she said she could not slumber, and thus we sat in each other’s arms
until a greater blackness gave warning that the dawn was at hand.

It was cold and gray and still, save for the noise of the waves. Then
the grayness became lighter in color.

The stars that had been bright grew dim. Slowly the morning light came,
a pale rosy flush in the eastern sky. Then the edge of the sun peeped up
from beneath the waves.

I looked at Lucille. She was fast asleep on my arm. I placed her gently
against the rock, my coat for a pillow. It was time to go now. I
wondered if I would return, or would it be Sir George, who would be
there when she awoke.

I leaned over and kissed her lightly on the half parted lips. Once,
twice, three times.

She stirred, and murmured my name.

“Good bye, Lucille,” I whispered. “Good bye, my dear love, good bye.”

Then I went out to meet my foe.

                             CHAPTER XXII.
                          A DUEL ON THE SANDS.

My legs and arms were stiff from long sitting, and with the cold. When I
was out on the sands, away from Lucille, I ran up and down the beach to
start my blood. I beat my arms about my body to limber them, and rubbed
my hands and wrists. Then when I was glowing from the exercise, I dashed
the sea water over my face and neck until I tingled all over. On I
hurried now to the place of meeting. I could see Sir George walking
slowly along the beach, and I marked that Simon was left behind, near to
where they had kindled their watch-fire the night before. As I went
along I looked out on the sea, which had turned to a rosy golden color
under the rays of the sun. The waves glistened and sparkled before they
broke in foam and bubbles on the shelving beach, hissing as they rushed
up the incline, and then, chasing each other back into the ocean again,
they dragged with them bits of sea weed, little stones and tiny pieces
of tinted shells. I walked just on the edge of the wet sand, for it was
easier going there, being firm from the beating of the waves, and I saw
that Sir George coming toward me did likewise.

Now I had fought many duels, but never such a deliberately planned one
as this was. Usually it was when my blood and that of my companion was
hot. It was a blow, a curse, a rush to a secluded spot where we could
indulge in a bit of sword play and not be interrupted, and in a little
while a body with a sword thrust, lying on the sward. The slayer being
hurried off to a wine house with his friends. At most times, too, there
had been seconds, and a few onlookers, though, when occasion forbade
them, we made shift to do without.

There was the time I had met de Gloise, back of the chapel that stands
on the left of the road, as you leave the northern road from Paris. We
had no attendants then, but were able to accomplish some pretty sword
strokes. He gave me a thrust in the shoulder, while, by some chance, my
weapon went into his throat, and he never sang any more of those funny
French songs.

And there was Gandes, who was accounted an excellent blade. He and I had
it out, early one morning. ’Twas about whether he or I could drink the
most red wine, if I recall the cause of the quarrel, for I was rather
wild those days.

Neither of us was sober enough to do more than a slouchy bit of work
with the weapons, for we had spent the night together at the Owl and
Peacock, before we quarreled, as to which was the wiser bird of the
twain painted above the inn door. We went out into the yard, where only
the stable boys were rubbing their sleepy eyes, and crossed swords. Poor
Gandes. I thrust him through the body, though, sober, I would not have
harmed him so much, as he was my best friend. He gave me a hasty cut in
the side which made me stiff for many a day.

Then there was the time when I trod on a stranger’s toes, in Munich, he
being, at the time, about to call on a lady. He called me a clumsy lout,
and I replied with hot words. So we had it out there in the moonlight,
behind a church. He was a most delightful man with a sword, and it was a
real honor to engage him, for he had several passes that quite puzzled
me for a time. But I managed to reach under his guard, and give him a
wound in the arm pit, which must have prevented him from holding a blade
for some time. On his side, he came near to catching me unawares, and,
the result was a lunge, that, had it been six inches lower, must have
ended my fighting days. As it was, I bear the scar on my left cheek yet.

Thus I mused as I walked along to meet Sir George. I knew this would be
no boys’ affair, and I resolved to attempt none of those niceties of the
fence, of which I am capable. For I was not in the mind to take chances
on my life now, since it had become precious to me from yester eve, when
I found my love again. I would let slip no chance, though, to kill my
foe, as only his death could wipe out the insult to Lucille.

We had now come so near that we could greet each other. I saluted with
my sword, and Sir George returned the compliment gravely. The next
instant we were both looking over the ground, whereon we were to engage.

The place we had selected the night before, was on a sort of sandy
knoll, and the height of it above the surrounding beach prevented the
waves from washing up on it, save when the tide was full. The ground
there seemed to be dry and rather shifting, offering no secure

“It is a little better in this direction,” said Sir George, indicating a
shallow hollow place in the sand behind him.

I agreed with him, for there the waters of the tides had washed up on
the sand, packing it firmly down.

This place, however, lay a little farther toward the sea, and made it
necessary for us, if we would fight there, to stand, at times, with our
ankles in the wet. It seemed to be the nearest place that suited, and
was, in truth, a choice spot for a bit of sword play.

We threw off our upper garments. Our weapons were out of the scabbards
as one, and we advanced until we stood facing each other. Sir George
turned his gaze for an instant toward the rising sun on his left. Then
he looked me in the eyes.

“Guard,” he said, quickly.

“On guard,” said I.

Our swords crossed a second later, and the battle between us was on.

For the first time I noticed how pale Sir George was. There were dark
rings under his eyes, and his face bore marks of his passion and his
recent sufferings, physical and mental. But it was no time for such
observations as these. His steel clicked viciously on mine, and I knew,
by the pressure and the way he lunged, that he was trying to make short
work of it.

The clash of our blades, both good ones, mingled with the roar of the
surf. It was thrust and parry, parry and thrust, the keen pointed
weapons gliding along their lengths like serpents. We circled about one
another, each watching, with jealous eyes, for a false move, a misstep.
Three times did he thrust at my heart, thinking to catch me off guard,
but, each time, my blade was there before his, and the sword slipped off
with a hiss as of hot iron.

I tried many a stroke and thrust that I had found of service heretofore,
but ever did I find his wrist ready, and he turned aside my point once
when I could have sworn that I would have ended it. He laughed at me.

He thrust at my throat, and, when I would have parried it, he shifted
his point, on a sudden, toward my heart. It was an old trick, and I knew
how to meet it. When I had turned his blade away by a simple shift of my
weapon, I laughed back at him, and responded with so quick a lunge that
I pricked him in the shoulder, thus getting the honor of first blood.
And I laughed again, as he frowned.

But mortal arms and wrists could not stand the strain much longer, and
we were both panting, while the sweat stood in beads on our brows.
Through it all our eyes never for an instant left each other’s gaze.

Again and again I thrust, until I had his wrist weary turning them
aside. Ever I sought to reach one spot, not that I hoped to wound him
there, but I had a trick I wished to work. His lips opened, that he
might breathe more freely, and I saw his chin quiver, while a drop of
sweat, that had come out on his forehead, rolled down on his cheek. I
knew the tide was on the point of turning now, and the struggle that had
been an even one, was a jot in my favor. I had forced him to the

He saw the gleam of triumph in my eye, and, as if to assure me and
himself that he was as fresh as ever, he smiled and tossed back his

We had circled about each other so often, neither giving a step, that
there was a little ridge of sand made by our feet, enclosing a spot that
bore no mark. Slowly, so slowly that to an onlooker it could not have
been said when it happened, Sir George began to step back. It was but a
slight shifting of the feet, a settling of the body on the right leg
that did it, until, when another minute or two had passed he was without
the ring, and I stood in the centre.

The one sweat drop had been followed by others, and he was breathing
with an effort. His face became paler, nor was his sword as quick to
respond to the parry. I pressed him hard, with the result that I touched
him in the arm twice. I felt, rather than saw, that I had him now at an

Ha! Another inch and I would have ended it then. But I had not given him
credit for the knowledge of that trick. He met my lunge, and turned it
off to such account that he nipped me in the neck; only a slight wound,
however. The sight of my blood seemed to enrage him, for he came at me
fiercely, and I was forced for a moment to adopt a defense.

Then, slowly but surely, I made him give ground again. I could see the
fear and dread come into his eyes, as I had seen it in other eyes

“How long is it to last?” he muttered, foolishly using his breath in
words. Yet, in his agony, and it was agony when he saw death in front of
him, he smiled. And it seemed like the same smile I had seen, when he
stood urging on the men, as I was beneath the great press.

I did not answer, but pushed my sword point more and more near to his
heart. Twice I tried to reach over his guard, but each time he had been
too quick for me, and my thrusts went high in the air. As I recovered my
balance a curious thing happened.

A wave, bigger than any that had come before, broke upon the beach and
rushed toward us in a mass of foam and water. In an instant we were
lunging at one another knee deep in the sea. As the water flowed down
the incline again it swept the sand from beneath our feet, and we had
hard work to stand upright. But even that did not stop him from making a
fierce thrust at my throat so that I had to be on the alert to force his
point away.

The next instant came a woman’s scream. We both turned, forgetting for
the time that our very lives depended on the watch we kept of the other.

Lucille was on the beach, running toward us!

My heart gave a throb, and I half turned myself about. The next moment I
realized my folly, and was facing my enemy again. But that one moment
was almost too long.

I had without thinking lowered the point of my weapon and given Sir
George the very opening he wanted.

Like a snake his steel slipped half its length over mine, and the point
was toward my heart. For the life of me I could not help the gasp that
my breath gave. In my desperation I tried a parry that de Sceaul had
once taught me. I dared not hope it would be effective, for I was too
late with it.

His sword drew sparks from mine as it rasped along the length; the point
was before my eyes.

With a last fearful lunge toward him I managed to force his weapon up,
with my own pointing heavenward, and only just in time, for the point
tore a furrow through the skin of my forehead.

And then there was a sudden snap, and a sound of ringing steel. I saw in
the hand of Sir George only the hilt of his sword. In his eyes was a
look of wonder, and his head was thrown back, in the effort to see what
had become of his blade.

Next, ere either of us had time to move, the broken sword, whole from
the point to where it joined the hilt, and which had been tossed high in
the air by the force of my upward parry, and the spring of the broken
steel, came down like an Indian arrow, point first.

And it struck him in the throat, just where there is the hollow,
scooped-out place, in the breast bone. It went in nigh a foot, and stuck
up, a fearful thing to behold, while, for half the length that protruded
the spurting blood dyed it red.

Sir George stood for an instant without a movement. Then he began
swaying and struggling not to fall, as does a tree, part cut through. He
tried to speak, through the blood that rushed to his lips. Then he
staggered, and came down on his knees.

He was close to death, and, strange chance, not so much by my hand as by
his own. For a second I stood and looked at him, while he endeavored to
regain his feet, but he only pitched forward, and lay prone upon the
sand, crimson with his blood.

At the same moment a wave came up, covering him from sight, and nearly
washing me from where I was. Lucille, with a cry of horror at what she
had seen, ran toward us. As the water receded it undermined the sand
where I stood, so that I was hard put to retain my place. Then I saw
that Sir George was like to be carried out to sea. He dug his hands
frantically into the yielding beach, but his nails only tore deep
furrows in the earth. His eyes sought mine.

I would not let a dog thus die. So I leaped out after him, catching him
about the waist, and, after a struggle against the action of the
undertow, that seemed bound to get us both, I managed to half drag, half
carry him up the slope, out of reach of the water.

Then, as I stooped over, and drew the sword blade from his throat, to
have a rush of blood follow, I looked up, and there stood Lucille.

“Are you wounded, Edward?” she asked, her voice trembling.

“Only a scratch,” I replied.

“And--and--Sir George?” she faltered.

“’Tis a grievous hurt,” I said, and with that Sir George, whose eyes had
been closed, since I carried him out of the water, opened them.

“You have won,” he said, quietly, and he turned so that he might not
look at either Lucille or me.

“Oh, Edward, Edward,” sobbed Lucille. Then I led her away.

Simon, who had been absent all this time, came racing up the sandy
stretch now. He cast himself down beside the body of his master,
caressing him, and kissing his cold face.

“Water,” gasped Sir George.

Before Simon could rise I ran to the spring near the rock and hurried
back with my cap full of the liquid. As I neared the place where the
dying man lay, I saw something white, like a piece of parchment, in
Simon’s hand, and the sailor hurriedly thrust it into his pocket.

Sir George drank eagerly, and Simon and I bathed his face.

The sun was fully up now, flooding us all in the golden light. The tide
came farther on the sands, the gulls flitted out over the waves, and, in
the woods back of us the birds were singing. It hardly seemed as if a
few minutes ago that two men were battling there for each other’s lives,
and that now one was dying.

I walked slowly away, as I thought Sir George might not like me near him
in his last moments. But he raised his hand, and beckoned to me to
approach. When I had leaned over him, for he could only whisper, I heard
him say, between his gasps:

“Well--I have lost--but the stake--the stake was worth playing for. Had
I my life to live over again, the chance to--to once more live and
love--and--fight, I would not change one jot. I had deep laid plans, yet
they failed. You were in my path, and, when I thought I had made an end
for you--you came back to torment me, to rob me of my love.”

“Not to rob you,” I protested. “It was a fair fight, and she had a right
to choose. ’Twas you who sought to rob me.”

“Well, it is all over now,” he rejoined. “We have been good foes, and
you were a brave man. I honor you for it.”

“Nay, as for the honor of the sword, ’tis yours as much as mine,” I
said. “Better blade have I never met, and I have crossed with many.”

He smiled, a little smile of contempt. A man who is done with this world
can afford to laugh at the power of steel.

“Let it pass,” he continued, speaking with greater ease now that he was
near the end. “Let it pass. And now seeing that I have not much longer
in the land, truly a most pleasant land, in spite of all that is said
against it, dare I make bold to ask a favor?”

“I will serve you, if I may,” I answered.

“Oh, it is only a small matter,” he rejoined. “’Tis this. When I am
laid--laid away, let Simon accompany you to Elizabeth town. He has a
mission for me there that I will not be able to accomplish.

“Oh, my God!” he exclaimed suddenly, and his face told of the suffering
he felt.

I started to raise him up, that he might rest more easily.

“It is nothing,” he said. “Dying is a little harder than I thought,” and
he actually smiled at me.

“Might I speak to--to her?” he asked, as a child would plead.

I started after Lucille, and found her weeping behind the knoll where we
had appointed to fight.

“Come,” was all I said.

She followed me without a word, and, when we neared the place where Sir
George was dying, I would have hung back, letting her go to him alone.

However, he motioned me to approach with her, and so it was that we
stood, Lucille and Simon and I, at his side.

“Madame,” he said, “will you forgive me for all I have done? For the
trick I played on you?”

“Yes, my lord,” answered Lucille. “Though it was a grievous wrong, yet,
since you are near to death I do forgive you, freely and fully.”

“I thank you,” he said, simply.

“And you, sir?” looking at me.

“I, too, can afford to forgive and forget,” I replied, as I took
Lucille’s hand.

“It is enough,” were his next words. Then a tremor seemed to pass over
him. I turned Lucille away that she might not see the end.

“Good bye--Lucille,” whispered, rather than spoke, Sir George.

“Good bye, my lord,” came falteringly from Lucille’s lips, and she burst
into tears, with her head on my shoulder. I led her away.

When I turned to look at him I saw that the end was come. He had turned
over on his face, and his head was resting on his folded arms, while a
choking sob shook his body. He was weeping in death, this man who had
dared so much for love, and lost.

Simon, who had knelt down by his master, leaned over him. He appeared to
be listening. Then he arose, raised his hands to heaven and gave a great

Thus died Sir George Keith, a brave man, a bold man, and--well, he is
dead. May he rest in peace.

And we covered him up with the sand, Simon and I; with the sand whereon
he had fought his last fight.

I was anxious, now, to be away from the place, and to get Lucille to
some shelter. We lighted a fire, and roasted some of the bacon, making a
scanty meal, and, ere the sun was mid-day high, we were ready to start.

“Come,” I said, cheerfully, “our path lies before us, and if we hasten
we may reach Elizabeth town by night.”

“Any place away from this,” sighed Lucille. “I shall have unpleasant
memories of it for many a day.”

We managed to scramble to the top of the cliff, and found the place
where Kit was tethered. The mare was most glad to see me, and whinnied
with delight, as I rubbed her nose. My saddle made a poor shift for
Lucille, but I padded it with my coat, making the best seat I could.
Then, with a last look at the beach, whereon so much had passed, I
called to Kit, Simon and I stepped out, and we laid our course to the

The way was rough and soon we had left the wood and were traveling over
a marsh that required us to be careful where we stepped. Our progress
was slow, but I hoped, if we could not reach Elizabeth, that we could
get to a farm house, where we might spend the night. Simon walked on
ahead, while I kept at Lucille’s side. We found much to talk of, for
love furnishes many topics.

The sun went lower in the west, yet we had not come upon sight of a
dwelling. It was lonesome and dreary enough, and Lucille looked at me
once or twice, with fear in her eyes.

“We will soon be there,” I said, though I did not believe so, for I
feared we had mistaken the road.

As it grew dusk we came to the edge of the marsh and entered the woods
again. Still there was no sign of house or hut. I gave up then,
convinced that we were off the trail, and must spend another night in
the open. It was not a pleasant prospect, but there was no help for it.

There was a sound in the underbrush, and a trapper came out. I was right
glad to see him. After a little conversation I asked him the way to
Elizabeth town, and he told me that we had come past it, that it was
nearly a day’s journey to the northwest. I had circled around it in my
wandering, and Sir George had sailed past it. Truly it was strange that
we should have ever met.

“Well,” I said as happily as I could, when the trapper had crashed away,
“we must do the best we can. It is only one day lost.”

I found a place where four trees grew together almost in the form of a
square. Simon and I cut down cedar boughs, and made a rude roof between
the trunks. Then we enclosed the sides, spread more branches and leaves
on the ground, and had a forest bower, full of many cracks and chinks,
but some shelter from the wind and dew.

Simon lighted a fire with my tinder box, and we cooked almost our last
piece of bacon. We finished the meal in silence. I wrapped Lucille in my
coat when she went inside the shelter we had made. She called a
good-night to both of us.

Then Simon and I sat down beside the glowing embers for another night
watch. We did not speak. The woods were deeply quiet, save for the hoot
of an owl or the howl of a wolf.

                             CHAPTER XXIII.
                         SHADOWS IN THE NIGHT.

The hours grew as we sat by the fire, and, presently, I noticed that
Simon’s head was fallen forward, and he slept. I had hard work to fight
off the slumber, as I had not closed my eyes for two nights, and was
weary with my journey. I knew I dared not sleep, for, though I did not
fear Simon, nor hardly an attack from the wolves, while the fire burned,
yet there was a feeling of vague uneasiness with me, a dread that some
nameless thing was abroad in the forest, and I could not shake it off.

Simon stirred uneasily, and then I heard a faint, far-off sound, as of
some one walking cautiously through the underbrush. Could it be Indians?
Our fire was not brilliant now, but, fearful that even its faint glow
would betray us, I scooped up a handful of earth, and dashed it on the
embers, extinguishing them.

Nearer and nearer came the sound until it was almost upon us. I reached
over and touched Simon, who awoke with a start. Then he heard the sound
and looked about in alarm. I took up my flint-lock and gave Simon one of
the two pistols I had, at the same time motioning him to make no noise.

“Indians,” he whispered, and I nodded.

The next moment we saw through an opening between the trees not fifty
feet away dim shadows in the night; a line of figures which we made out
to be the red men of the woods. One behind the other they marched,
silent, almost, as spirits, save for a little rustle of the leaves as
they brushed by them.

Each warrior had a gun, and they wore their war feathers. I counted six
score ere the last one passed and I knew there would be no peace in the
land for a time.

It was the beginning of the Indian uprising of which I had heard when
near New York, and, with that savage band abroad our lives were scarce
worth a flint.

Simon and I cowered in silence until we saw no more shadows, and then we
breathed, it seemed for the first time since the Indians had come into
view. The sailor spoke no word, but he handed the pistol back to me,
like a man who was glad he had had no use for it.

With the savages on the war path it was little chance that Elizabeth
would escape an attack.

Should we then push on there? I tried to think of a better plan, but
there seemed none. We would be as much exposed to attack in retracing
our steps, as in going on. If we could reach the town the block house
might afford us protection until help came. Once in Elizabeth, too,
Simon and I could aid the settlers in defending the place from the
Indian attack. There was nothing to do but go on as soon as it was

That it might be a race for life toward the end, seemed certain, as we
could not travel without leaving a trail that even an Indian boy might

I waited impatiently for the daylight, and it came so slowly that I was
minded to wake Lucille, and start ere the dawn. But I feared to get on
the wrong path, and so I waited, counting the minutes until the first
flush in the east.

No sooner had it tinged the sky than I roused Simon, who had fallen
asleep again, and bade him get Kit in readiness. I entered the bower and
kissed Lucille, whereat she awoke with a start.

“Are we home, Edward?” she asked.

“Almost,” I said, cheerfully.

I dared light no fire, for fear of the tale the smoke would tell, so we
ate the remainder of our bacon cold, with the dry biscuit, washing the
poor meal down with water from a near-by brook. Then observing all the
caution we could we took up our journey again.

There seemed to be a better path now, though it was far from easy
traveling. When we had occasion to speak it was in whispers. I watched
with jealous eyes every bush and tree, starting at each sound, while
Lucille on Kit’s back was pale with fear.

The morning had turned to noon. Our only meal was water, drunk from oak
leaves, that I fashioned to form a cup. The spirits I saved, for there
was no telling when I could get more. Most anxiously did we strain our
eyes for the sight of a house. Yet we went fully two miles after our
halt at noon, ere we found one. It was Simon who first saw it. He
pointed between the trees and said:


“What is it?” asked Lucille.

“A place where some one lives, I hope,” was my reply. We increased our
pace. As we came nearer the house I thought that it was strangely still
and quiet about the spot. Kit, too, pricked up her ears, and sniffed as
if she did not like the air. It was a time to be cautious and so I led
the mare with Lucille behind a clump of trees. Bidding Simon take one of
the pistols, and stay there on guard, I went forward. I looked on every
side of me.

Though it was a farm house there seemed to be no evidence of life. There
were no cows in the meadow that stretched out in back, and not even a
dog ran out to bark. The chickens and ducks appeared to have flown away.
I saw that the barn door was open.

It was a strange house with no one on guard at such a time. I proceeded
more slowly until I reached the kitchen door, which was unlatched. A
woman’s dress on the floor caught my eye. Thinking now that all was
right, and that I would find the family within I crossed the threshold,
giving a knock to announce my coming.

Then such a sight of horror as met my gaze!

On the floor were the dead bodies of a man, a woman and two little
girls. Their heads were away from me, but when my eyes had become
accustomed to the dimness of the room, I saw that each one had been
scalped. It needed no writing on the wall to tell that Indians had been
there, and recently. With fear-blanched face I ran back to where I had
left Lucille and Simon. The latter saw the cause of my return in my
manner, but Lucille asked:

“Were the people there, Edward?”

“No,” I said, “they had gone out.”

I knew now that our only hope lay in pushing on with all speed, and
without stopping to explain further I led Kit out into the road, which
was fairly good.

“We must hasten, Simon,” I said, and under my breath I told him what I
had seen.

Kit trotted off, and Simon and I had to run to keep up with her. Lucille
inquired, with fright showing in her eyes, why we had so suddenly left
the vicinity of the farm. I told her I had learned at the house that by
hastening on we could reach Elizabeth ere dark, and I was anxious to do

Already it was getting dusk. We passed by farm houses at short distances
apart now, so I knew the town must be near. There was no sign of life in
any of the dwellings, however, and in fancy I saw within them such a
scene as I had first come upon. At other places there were household
articles scattered about, which showed how the families must have fled
at the first alarm of the Indians.

Copper kettles, warming-pans, a spinning wheel, now and then a chest of
linen, strewn along the road, told how the colonists had packed whatever
of their possessions they could in a cart and hurried off to the block
house, to be safe from attack. What they did not take with them the
Indians carried off or burned.

I glanced on all sides of us. It was so dark that I could scarce see,
though I made out the village a short distance ahead. The log block
house stood on top of a little hill, and a fire burned on one corner of
the roof, a signal to refugees.

My eye had no sooner caught sight of this, and I turned to tell Lucille
that our journey was at an end, than Simon gave a cry. He pointed behind
us, terror in his face.

I looked, and there, on the brow of the hill we had just descended were
the figures of a score of Indians!

They were a quarter of a mile behind us, and we were half a mile from
the fort.

I gave Kit a blow across the flank with my sword scabbard. She sprang
forward. At the same time Simon and I broke into a run. A yell from the
savages told us we had been observed, and that they were in hot pursuit.

They were afoot, and I knew that Lucille was safe from them, for Kit
would carry her to the block.

“Ride on ahead,” I called to her. “Simon and I will hold them in play
until you are safe, Lucille. Ride on for your life!”

“I will not leave you, Edward,” she called back, and she tried to pull
the mare up.

“On, Kit, on!” I shouted.

The mare heard and started at a sharp gallop.

Lucille clung to her seat, and waved her hand back at me.

Though Simon and I had made good speed the Indians were now within
range. They shot a flight of arrows, and several, who had muskets,
discharged them. They did not hit either of us, and Lucille was now out
of danger. Not so, however, Simon and I. On came the savages, running
with great speed, and uttering their war cries.

There were three fleeter of foot than the others, and they were in the
lead. I saw if we were to gain the block house we must dispose of these
or halt them for a time. Bidding Simon halt we drew up short in the
road. I told him to fire at the one on the left with his pistol, while I
took the one on the right with the flint lock.

Two quick shots rang out in the darkness. Simon only wounded his man,
but I had better luck, and the ball went through his body, so that he
fell doubled up in a heap, and then was still.

The enraged yells of his companions told us he was dead. The whole party
stopped short and that gave us the chance we wanted. At top speed we
resumed the race to the fort. Lucille was almost there now, and we could
see the gate cautiously opened to let her in.

“Quick, Simon,” I called, for the Indians were after us again, and we
could not hope with but a single charge in a pistol to halt them.

Poor Simon was almost done for with the run. His breath came in gasps. I
caught him by the arm, and was helping him along. The nearest Indian was
not a rod away. With head down, panting from the exertion and almost
ready to give up I half led, half dragged Simon on.

Then, and it was a welcome sight, the heavy log gate of the block house
swung open. A score of armed men in close formation emerged. I could see
the matches of some of the muskets burning. The Indians saw them, too.
With a final yell of rage and defiance they abandoned the chase, turned
back, and were soon lost to sight in the darkness, which had now fallen.

Simon and I reached the gate, the men opening to let us pass inside.
One, who wore a sword, and who seemed to be in command, said:

“You were only just in time, sir. Had the maid not ridden up when she
did and warned us of your approach we might not have made the sally, for
we were deep in council, planning how best this uprising of the savages
can be met.”

“I give you thanks,” I said, noting that Lucille had dismounted, and was
with some of the women.

“Few are needed,” rejoined the man who had first spoken, “seeing that
you are two men, one with a goodly weapon; for we have need of fighters
now. As for your companion I note that he carries a pistol with the
powder pan empty. We will give him a musket that he may do his share in
the defense. The smaller weapons carry only a little way. I am in
command here,” he went on. “Perhaps you may have heard of me?”

“I have not the honor,” I said, “having but just arrived from a
distance, and indeed coming here by a mere chance.”

“Well, then,” went on the commander of the little fort, “I am Captain
Philip Carteret, brother to His Excellency, Sir George Carteret,
Governor of the Jersey Province.

“My brother sailed for London a month ago,” went on the Captain,
“leaving me in charge of the Colony. Much have I found to do, settling
the disputes among the people, and now with this uprising of the
savages, there is like to be more work. But you have a soldierly bearing
and, I doubt not, will be glad of a chance to fire a gun at the red

“That I will,” was my answer. “You guessed right when you spoke of my
bearing. I am Captain Edward Amherst, late of Salem town, in
Massachusetts, whence I led a company against St. Johns. This is Simon
Rogers, a sailor who has business of his own here, and is only a fellow
traveler with me, though we have fought together. The maid who rode up
on the mare is my promised wife, whom I have brought here that we may

The introductions being over Captain Carteret led the way into the
block, and the door was carefully secured. Pine torches gave a ruddy,
smoky light to the scene, which was of great confusion.

Men were here and there, some looking to see that their weapons were
loaded, others mending a broken stock or whetting up rusty sword blades.
Women were huddled in corners, some weeping, some gazing on with
frightened eyes, and some trying to comfort crying children. All about
were scattered household goods, through the piles of which soldiers made
their way to the various parts of the block house. I had hardly time to
take this all in and see that Lucille was being cared for by some of the
calmer women, when a messenger bade me to supper with Captain Carteret.
Right glad I was of the invitation, too.

The Captain’s voice told me to enter when I had knocked at the door the
messenger indicated. On the rough table was a smoking hot meal. Of all
the confused assemblage the cook, it seemed, had kept his head. I did
full justice to the roast deer’s flesh, and the fish with the yellow
corn bread that went with it. When the edge had gone from my appetite
the Captain told me of the situation. A friendly savage had brought word
of the Indian uprising two days ago. Messengers were sent to as many of
the outlying farm houses as possible, and the people made all haste to
the fort.

“Can you stand a siege?” I asked, wishing to know for Lucille’s sake,
how matters stood.

“The place is stout enough,” said the Captain, “and we have men in
sufficient numbers, with a goodly supply of powder and ball. But the
provisions are a point of worry to me. There was not time enough to lay
in a full larder, and, with all the women and children to feed beside
the men at arms, I fear it will go hard if we are cooped up here for any
time. But we will do the best we can.”

“How many men have you?”

“There are four score fit for fighting,” was the Captain’s answer.

At the close of the meal I made my excuses and went to find Lucille. She
met me at the entrance of the women’s apartment, having come out to
learn where I was. I told her how strong the fort was, how we had plenty
of men to defend it with, and enough of ammunition for all the Indians
in Jersey. She had recovered somewhat from her recent fatigue, and
looked more beautiful than ever, with her hair tossed about, and the
roses in her cheeks.

The women, she said, had been most kind to her.

“It is a comfort to speak to some one in petticoats again,” she said.
“Just think, I have been over a month, and could not even learn if my
skirt hung properly.”

“A most woeful lack,” I said mockingly. For there was no immediate
danger now, and we could afford to jest.

“Truly a great deprivation,” said Lucille, laughing.

I left her after a time, kissing her good-night, and bidding her be of
cheer. Then I went back to Captain Carteret, to consult with him about
the defense of the block.

                             CHAPTER XXIV.
                        HOW SIMON KEPT HIS OATH.

Summed up our situation was this. We had a few more than four score men
with which to stand against an attack of ten times that number of
Indians. And, as we would need to detail some men to put out fires,
started by blazing arrows, it would reduce our fighting force to about
eighty men.

Fortunately we had plenty of arms, powder was in abundance, and we had
lead enough to make all the balls we could fire. There were a number of
women, Captain Carteret said, who could mould bullets, and some who were
able to load muskets.

The block house was a strong and well built place consisting of an upper
and lower story, well pierced with loops, and comfortable quarters for
men and women. All about the place was a stout palisade of tough green
timber. We did not fear that the block nor the palisade could be set on
fire from the ground, but, as the roof slabs were dry from the sun,
there was some danger that an arrow, carrying a flaming bunch of tow,
might start a blaze over our heads.

However, there was a little place, like a watch tower, on the southeast
angle of the fort, and we reckoned that if we placed two men there they
could quench any fire which started on the roof.

These matters having been talked of, Captain Carteret tallied the men.
He gave me charge of two squads to look after the north and west sides
of the block, while he took care of the others. Ammunition was dealt
out, instructions given and a watch set, for though we did not expect a
night attack it was as well to be prepared. Then I went to the room
where the men not on duty were to sleep, and lay down on a rude couch.

It seemed that I had been slumbering but a little while, during which I
thought I was back in Salem gaol, ere there came a thundering summons at
the door, and I leaped up to find it almost dawn. Once more came the
knock, then the warning:

“The Indians! The Indians! Hurry!”

I needed no second telling. It was the message I had been waiting for,
and it meant there was sharp work ahead.

I drew on my boots, buttoned my coat about me, and, wondering how
Lucille had fared, grabbed up my sword and gun, to hasten where I might
find Captain Carteret.

I met him in the main room, where all was confusion. Men were getting in
each other’s way, some were looking for their garments, and many for
their weapons, so that little speed in preparation resulted. Had the
enemy been more alert they would have had us at a disadvantage. But the
red men were wary about rushing the palisades when they knew, as they
must, what force was behind them.

Captain Carteret was busy answering a dozen questions at once. His
lieutenants were issuing guns to those who had neglected to secure them
the night before. Powder horns were being filled from casks of the black
mixture, bullet moulds were gotten ready, and some women were melting
lead, while a number were dishing up the breakfast. It was a cold gray
dawn, hardly light enough to see by.

“Hot work,” was the Captain’s greeting to me, as he waved half a dozen
men with inquiries aside, to drain a mug of ale. “The scouts came in an
hour ago with the news that the skulking devils were moving about in all
their war paint, getting ready for an attack. The most of them are well
armed too, having as good muskets as we have. Well, ’tis as I often
remark, those in authority will never seem to learn that they are
putting weapons into the hands of devils, when they supply guns and
ammunition to the Indians.”

“How many are there?” I asked.

“About four hundred out there now as near as could be made out. There
are some of the Assumpinks, a few Roanokes, plenty of Mingoes, a score
of Andastakas and the rest Nashaimes and Shackamaxons. They will not be
here for an hour yet, since an Indian loves not to fight on an empty
stomach, when he can sound his war whoop on a full one.”

“The devils know they have us cooped up here where we cannot get away,”
I remarked.

“Aye, that they do, Captain,” agreed the acting Governor. “And, if we do
not stand them off until help arrives from Newark, it will go hard with
us who are alive after the place is taken.”

Something like order now began to make itself felt. Breakfasts were
hastily eaten, and the men sent to which ever side of the palisade they
were to defend. The muskets were all loaded, pails of water set handy
and boys were appointed to carry the discharged guns from the men to the
women, bringing back loaded ones in their place. Oh, how I wished for a
cannon or two on top of the block. Captain Carteret and I were about to
leave the main room, and go to our stations, when there came a knock at
the door. Simon entered as the Captain called out “come in.”

The sailor looked at the commander, but did not appear to see me. He
seemed to be excited about something, and was fumbling in his jacket

“I have business with you, Captain Carteret,” he said.

I started to leave.

“It concerns you also, Captain Amherst,” went on the sailor, so I
remained wondering what was to come. Doubtless a request concerning his
position in the block.

But Simon pulled from his inner pocket a folded parchment, which, by
certain stains of sea water on it, I knew must have been on board the
Eagle, probably a document that Sir George Keith carried, and had
desired Simon to deliver for him, when he found himself unable.

“When I have told what I have to tell,” began Simon, “and so fulfilled
my oath, I pray that there may be holden no enmity against me. For I
only do what I am bound to do.”

“Say on,” came from Captain Carteret. “If you are in no fault none will
bear you ill will. Be brief, for time presses.”

I stood there, wondering how Simon’s oath could have aught to do with

“Well, then,” went on Simon, “I am, or was a servant to Sir George
Keith, who lately died.”

“What, Sir George Keith, of Lincolnshire?” interrupted Captain Carteret,
“was he in these parts?”

“He--he was,” said Simon, with such a hesitation over the words that the
commander cried out:

“Do you mean that he is dead?”

Simon nodded.

“Dead,” the sailor continued, “and lying beneath the sands, unless, as
is no doubt the case, the waves have ere this washed his body out to

The Captain looked at Simon curiously and then at me.

“Before my lord died,” resumed Simon, “he called to me, and with almost
his last words swore me that I would do as he bade me, so that he might
be revenged on the man who had slain him.”

I started at this, for I began to see which way the wind blew.

“Having given my oath,” went on Simon, “I left my master, after he had
been foully slain----”

“’Tis a lie!” I cried, white with anger. “Sir George was killed in a
fair combat, and he would have made an end of me had not his sword

In great wonder Captain Carteret held up his hand to end our dispute,
and Simon resumed.

“He gave me a message,” he said, like a child who repeats a lesson well
learned, “and it was of this import. ‘Say to Sir George Carteret, or to
his representative, that a traitor walks abroad in the land. I pray you
to see to it that he is taken and sent to England to answer for the
crime against His Majesty. As you are my friend fail not.’ And I took an
oath that I would do this, which I have done. Before he died Sir George
Keith gave me a parchment to give to the Governor, when I should find
him, as I have now, or one who stands for him. Therefore I have kept my

“And the document, the parchment,” said Carteret hastily, “where is it,
man? What is it all about, now that you have done talking?”

“This is the document,” said the sailor, and he gave a water stained
parchment to the commander.

Now there was silence in the apartment, while a man might have counted a

“Warrant, royal warrant,” read the Captain, bringing his eyes close to
the writing, while I listened, my heart almost ceasing to beat. Had I
fought so hard only to lose all at the end?

“Hum, what is this? ‘Warrant from His Majesty----’”

The reading was not finished, for it was interrupted by such a chorus of
savage yells sounding hideously from without, that it seemed the Indians
must be at the very door. At the same time we heard our men shout a
defiant reply, and then began shooting apparently on all sides at once.

“Quick!” cried the Captain, “to your men, Amherst. The imps have begun
the attack. This matter can wait,” and he thrust the warrant into his
pocket. “Join the defense,” to Simon. “I will see you again. Hurry now.”

Out ran Carteret, while I followed at his heels. There were many
emotions in my heart. As I passed the women’s quarters I saw Lucille
standing in the doorway. I blew a kiss to her from my finger tips as I
had no time to stop.

“Keep up a good spirit,” I shouted.

She waved her hand in reply, and I went to the fight with a happier
mind. A minute later I was among my men at the palisade, cautioning them
not to waste powder and ball.

That there was need of all our defenders I saw as soon as I peered
through a loop. For though not a foe was in sight save now and then when
one stepped from behind a tree or stone to deliver a shot, yet the puffs
of smoke all about us told me the scouts had not correctly rated the
strength of the enemy. They numbered nearer to twenty score than to
eight. The war party must have been joined by another band in the night.

Never had I heard such a din before. It seemed like one long endless
screech that rose and fell as might a weird song of death.

The savages would remain concealed while loading their guns. Then they
would peer out unexpectedly from behind some tree stump or stone, fire,
and drop back again before our men had time to take aim. It was like
shooting at quail.

This kind of firing kept up for some time with little advantage to our
side. We had four men badly hurt by bullets that came in the loops, or
by splinters knocked from the logs. And, as far as I could see, we had
not killed a single Indian. I ordered my men to cease firing, as it was
but a waste of good powder and ball, and the women were weary reloading
the guns. I noted that Carteret’s men had likewise held their fire.

“We will try an old trick and see how it works,” I remarked to my squad.
“It may be we can teach these red men something of the arts of war.”

I told off twenty of the best shots, and stationed them at the farther
ends of the sides of the palisade where I was in charge, leaving the
middle undefended. I gave four men two long sticks each, and had them
place hats and caps on the ends. These men I bade lie down on the
ground, about the centre of the palisade.

The score with the guns I had stationed at the upper loops, where they
stood on a little ledge of wood, built there for that purpose. Each man
had two loaded guns with him. The rest of my defenders I grouped near
the loops where the men with the caps on the sticks were. I told them,
when I gave the word, to fire as quickly as they could, but not to be
particular whether they aimed or not, as long as they kept up a steady
fusillade. All was now arranged to my satisfaction.

“Ready!” I called.

Up went the long sticks with the hats on the ends, and, at the same time
the guns of the men near them rattled out with flame and smoke. To the
Indians it must have looked just as I intended it should, as if we were
desperate and were attempting a sally under the protection of the fire
of a few of the men. The sight of the dozen caps at the top of the
palisade must have looked like the heads of men trying to climb over.

As there was no firing from the two ends of the stockade where I had
stationed the score of men, the Indians were deceived into believing
that part deserted. Those savages opposite the loops there at once
leaped out from behind their cover to take part in the fight they looked
for in front of the middle of the palisade, as soon as our soldiers
should have climbed over.

They uttered yells and whoops, and half the caps were riddled with
bullets. But half a hundred red skins were in the open now in front of
my marksmen.

“Let them have it all together!” I cried. “In the name of the King and
Elizabeth! Fire!”

There was a burst of fire and a hail of lead into the half naked ranks,
and the screeches that followed told us we had done some scath. Ere they
had time to recover from their surprise my men let them have the
contents of the second guns right in their midst.

When the smoke blew away we counted twenty-three dead bodies, while
several more were desperately wounded. We had struck them a hard blow
with no loss to ourselves, and they retreated to cover again.

“Ha, that was well done; most excellently done,” I heard a voice behind
me say.

I turned about.

“Traitor, or no traitor, that was as prettily planned and executed as I
could do myself,” and Carteret stood beside me.

“I am no traitor,” I said sternly, but, when I would have said more he
stopped me.

“They have learned a lesson that will serve them for some time,” the
Captain went on. “But, Amherst, grave matters press on the two sides I
command. I have lost three men killed, and the rest seem afraid to
fight, saying there is some mischief in the air. I think the devils are
massing to rush the place. At least there is something afoot, for they
have not fired a shot for the last five minutes. That is why I came

I went with the Captain to the south side and looked from a loop. There
was not an Indian in sight, nor were there any of the wicked puffs of
smoke to tell where they hid. It was puzzling.

“Have you noticed any suspicious movement?” I asked.

“None,” he said, “save that one of my men remarked not long since that
he never knew before how many stumps there were in the open space
between the block and the forest.”

“Stumps?” I said, and then I looked out again.

“Aye, stumps,” said Carteret. “For myself I cannot call to mind when
there were so many there, but, perchance I never noticed it closely.”

I saw what it meant now.

“They are stumps that have put forth green shoots since morn,” I said.
“And, mark you how those same stumps seem to have legs?”

“Green sprouts? Legs?” repeated the Captain, like a man sorely puzzled.

“Yes,” I said, “look.” Then I showed him that, though the body of the
stump was black and dead, yet on the top were bright green little twigs.

Carteret rubbed his eyes to see better.

“Note,” I went on, “that large stump with knobs on it, which give it the
appearance of a man’s face.”

“I see it,” he replied.

“There was a stone beside it three minutes ago,” I proceeded, “but it is
gone now.”

“Did the stone move?” he asked.

“Or the stump,” I suggested, and then he knew what I meant.

Every stump, and there were three score, hid an Indian. As the red men
slowly wiggled along after the manner of snakes, they pushed the dead
wood ahead of them to deceive us and protect themselves. It was a clever
ruse, but we must consider how to beat it. We could not hope to hit the
savages while they were so well protected. I said so, and the Captain
agreed with me. Then I called to mind his remark about traitors.

“It is perhaps ill for one accused of treason to advise what to do,” I
said stiffly.

“Tut, tut, man, I have not judged you yet,” he spoke quickly. “Every man
is innocent until he is proved guilty. To me you are what you seem, a
brave soldier. That is enough for us now.”

I liked him better after that, and told him a plan I had formed. It
would need to be put into operation quickly, as the stumps were
approaching nearer.

It was the plan of the Indians to get as near to the stockade as
possible under cover of the stumps, and then to make a rush. Then the
block would be turned to a shambles, for we could not cope with the
overwhelming numbers that would clamber in, once all our force was
engaged on one side. The only way I saw to defeat the enemy was to fire
as many volleys as we could just as they charged on us, throwing them
into a panic as quickly as possible, and breaking up their ranks.

I thought, as did the Captain, that we could safely draw most of the men
to the south side of the stockade, leaving a few on the other sides to
keep up a slow fire, so that the Indians would not see that we had
discovered their ruse. Carteret agreed that this was the best to be

Accordingly most of the force was summoned quietly to the south face,
and all the available muskets were collected, so that there was three
for each man. The guns were all loaded, one being held ready to fire
when the word was given, the other two being on the ground back of each
defender. I had the women loaders come as near to the men as was safe,
so that they could be on hand to charge the first gun as soon as it was
fired, and the second one taken up. They could do the same with the
second gun, and, as they were quick fingered, we would be able to fire
five volleys so rapidly that I did not believe the line of Indians would
be able to travel more than half way to the palisade from the place
where they emerged from behind the stumps. Then having sent two more men
to the little watch tower to pick off the Indians who might get to the
top of the stockade I reckoned that we were all prepared.

It was a pity, I thought, that the block was not built with bastions, so
that we could deliver a cross fire. But I nearly secured this effect by
having the men cut the loops slanting so that the gun barrels could be
pointed in to the left and right from either side.

Closer and closer came the stumps. We could see now that the twigs of
green extended back beyond the logs, trailing on the ground. Beneath
this green bower was the Indian. On they came slowly, like emerald
serpents, with huge black heads. Of a sudden I noted that the forward
movement had ceased. There were undulations of the trailing twigs.

“Make ready!” I shouted. “Here they come!”

And on they came with a rush. Whooping, yelling and screaming like so
many imps of darkness, nigh a hundred of them, and each one with a gun
or tomahawk. The dead stumps had come to life.

“Fire!” shouted the Captain and I in the same breath.

The volley that answered laid many of the savages low. Backward each man
threw his discharged piece, to have it snatched up by the waiting women,
who braved death in their own defense. Up were caught the second guns.

“Fire!” I called again.

Once more the muskets spat out death. A score of red men toppled over on
their faces, their dying yells sounding high above the din. The useless
guns were tossed aside, and the third musket thrust through the loops.

The bullets of the attackers rattled on the logs of the palisade as hail
in winter. Several of our men were killed because the loops were so

The triple rain of lead had cut a wide swath in the Indians’ ranks, but
they never seemed to heed, and came on as fiercely as at first. They
were so near now that when the men tried to draw back the discharged
guns from the loops some of the enemy seized them by the barrels and
tried to pull them through the slits.

By this time the women had the first lot of muskets reloaded. It was
almost our last hope.

“Fire!” I called again, drawing my sword, in anticipation of a rush of
savages over the palisade.

The fourth volley pealed out. As the smoke rolled away I saw a few
hideous faces, surrounded with feathers, thrust over the top of the
logs. The men in the tower fired, and they dropped back.

Four more of our men fell away from the loops; three dead, the other
sorely wounded. The remainder of the defenders seized the muskets they
had fired the second time, which would have made the fifth round. If it
went out, and did not stay the assault, then it was all over with us.

But it did.

I peered out and saw the Indians on a dead run for the forest. They had
enough of the white man’s leaden medicine. And they did not stop to take
their dead with them, in such great haste were they. But they could
scarce have done so, had they desired, for the dead far outnumbered the
living. Our volleys had mowed them down as a reaper does the ripe grain.

For a time we were safe, but at great cost, for we had lost ten men, and
there was much sorrow in the block.

                              CHAPTER XXV.
                        IN THE NAME OF THE KING.

Captain Carteret and I clasped hands when we saw that the enemy had been
repelled for the time. They hardly would renew the fight for a few
hours, I thought, and we would have a chance to rest and get something
to eat, for it was now afternoon, and we all knew that breakfast had
been a long way back. So leaving a sentinel on guard at each face of the
palisade, we sent the other men away. Carteret and I went to his

As the door opened I saw Simon standing in the centre of the room.

“Have you been here since the fighting began?” asked the Captain of him.

“I have,” answered Simon. “My life was not my own to lose it by a stray
bullet. When my oath is fulfilled I will fight.”

“There was need of every man,” replied Carteret sternly, “oaths or no
oaths. I like not cowards, even though they come with warrants from the

Simon made no response.

“Now, as concerns this matter,” continued the commander, “which we had
to break off when the battle began. Sir George Keith, and a braver man
there never lived, was my boyhood friend, Amherst, and I am much grieved
to learn that he is no more. I would have served him living, and, if I
can I will do so dead. It seems, Amherst, you are interested in the
affair, the nature of which is not clear to me. Let us see what is in
the royal warrant,” and he drew the parchment from his pocket.

“What is it about, Simon, for I am no hand at the law.”

Thereupon Simon related the tale, as he had it from his master, I
suppose, of how I had fought on the side of Duke Monmouth, and had been
adjudged a traitor, but had escaped ere I could be sold to slavery. As
Simon progressed I saw the Captain’s face grow grave and stern, for, it
seemed, he was a great friend at court, and all his people had been
against Monmouth. Therefore he had little liking for a rebel like
myself, and one who was accused of treason.

“What have you to say?” asked Carteret, when Simon had finished.

“Much,” I replied, and I began to think.

Truly I seemed to be in sore straits. If there was but some way out of
it with honor, most gladly would I have welcomed it. For I could not let
myself be taken now, and separated from Lucille, just when I had found
her again. If I was sent back to England under arrest as a traitor
(though I never admitted I was one, for I had no mind to betray my own
country) I might count on a long imprisonment, if not death, and I would
never see my love more. Then I hoped that a plan of escape might come to
me, and so, after all, foil Simon.

“The matter need not be decided now,” I said as though I had my case all
prepared, but only waited convenience to try it. “There is no occasion
for haste, as I promise I will not run out among the red devils howling
for our scalps. Let it rest.”

“Suppose you are killed?” suggested Simon. “What then becomes of the

“Why, you may keep it, Simon,” I said. “There is no law that will reach
the dead.”

“But I am under oath to a dead man to see the warrant properly served on
a live man,” expostulated the sailor, “and you are the person

“’Tis a serious matter,” spoke up the Captain, “and one, the like of
which I never knew before. To be strictly within the law I must arrest
you, though you need not hand over your sword, nor suffer imprisonment.
For we need your counsel and stout arm in the defense of the block. The
Indians have only tasted blood, and want more. Our stubborn defense has
roused them to a pitch of fury, and they will soon be swarming about our
ears again.”

“Then I am to consider myself a prisoner,” I said, as calmly as I could;
for I did not like Captain Carteret’s easy compliance with Simon’s

“A prisoner, if you please,” replied the Captain. “The other details may
wait until the more pressing matter of the Indian attack is settled.
After that we may have no need of captors or prisoners, either.”

“’Tis very likely,” I said grimly, “seeing that we have but seventy
fighting men left to stand against more than seven hundred.”

But I was not as easy as I pretended about the matter of the royal
warrant. I knew it would not dared be ignored by Carteret, and Simon
would see to it that the Captain did not fail to execute it.

“Yes, it is necessary that you be considered under arrest,” went on the
commander, “though never did a jailer serve a warrant with less liking
for the task. For, mark you, Amherst, I had a liking for you as soon as
you and the sweet maid came in, and the affection has grown when I see
how well you can fight,” and all the while he was turning the document
over and over in his hand, as if he had hold of an unpleasant object. He
looked on both sides of the parchment, but made no move to open it and
learn the contents. Simon was watching both of us with a pleased light
in his eyes.

“Since then you are under arrest,” proceeded the Captain, “I believe it
is in accord with the law that I read the warrant to you. I am not very
well versed in legal lore, but, mayhap, I can make some small shift at

Thereupon Carteret, assuming a dignified air, that was in strange
keeping with his powder-grimed face, and his battle-torn clothing,
opened the warrant. He read over the first few lines to himself, and
then burst out with:

“Providence preserve us! But this is more than passing wonderful and
strange! Can it be that I read aright?”

And while Simon watched him eagerly, and I with fear at what was to
come, the Captain read what was written, skipping half a dozen words,
every now and then.

“‘Warrant--hum--for one Captain Edward Amherst--hum--did on divers
occasions--hum--practice the said detestable arts, wickedly and
feloniously and traitorously, upon and against--hum--the deponents John
Bly, Deliverance Hobbs and Benjamin Proctor.’ What is this? ‘Wherefore,
that is to say, the said--in manner following--hum--is hereby charged
with witchcraft.’

“Witchcraft!” he fairly shouted at the end. “Witchcraft? Has that vile
malady come among us?”

“Witchcraft?” faltered Simon, his face white with fear.

“Witchcraft?” I cried out, wondering what would happen next.

“Witchcraft? Who talks of witchcraft?” asked a sweet voice behind us,
and we turned to behold Lucille, who had come in unobserved.

“Aye, witchcraft,” replied Captain Carteret, the first to recover from
the surprise. “’Tis little, madame, that you can have to do with this
crime, which makes the bravest and boldest to shudder in fear. For the
evil repute of it and the terror it has wrought, has spread to Elizabeth
town, even from Salem.”

“Perchance I may have more to do with it than at first appears,” said
Lucille. Then I happened to remember something of a certain document she

“Let us consider,” went on Carteret, moving a little away from me, and
taking care not to look me in the eye. “Simon, you had this warrant, and
when you gave it to me I supposed it was for treason against His Most
Gracious Majesty, as you stated. ’Tis so endorsed on the outside. How
came you by it?”

“From Sir George Keith,” answered Simon, “as he lay dying on the sands,

“Nay, not slain,” I interrupted sternly, “speak the truth. Not slain,
but killed in a fair fight, though it was not my sword that dealt the
fatal blow.”

“When he lay dying,” went on Simon, correcting himself, but, otherwise,
not heeding me, “he called me, his bond servant, to him, and made me
swear an oath that I would take the warrant, and following Captain
Amherst, command the first King’s representative I met, to serve it.
This I did, for Sir George obtained permission from Captain Amherst,
that I might accompany him to this place.”

“Said he what the warrant was for?” asked Carteret.

“Only that it was for treason,” responded Simon. “I marked that he
pulled two documents from his pocket, looked at them both, and giving me
one, replaced the other in his breast. Then he died, and we buried him
in the sands.”

I knew then what had occurred. Sir George had made an error. He
possessed the original warrant of treason against me, and also the one
for witchcraft that he had been at pains to secure in Salem. The two
documents were together, and, knowing that the charge of being a witch
had failed, he sought, even though he knew he would be dead, to have me
apprehended on the other. But he had given the wrong warrant to Simon.
So that now the only document I feared was buried with the dead. Ere
this the sea had probably washed away all trace of the grave, and,
mayhap, the silent occupant.

I was a free man!

Sir George had overreached himself, and set me at liberty, when he meant
to send me to prison.

“Know you aught of this witchcraft?” asked the Captain of Simon, never
looking at me.

“I heard somewhat of it,” was the sailor’s answer. “There was talk, when
I left Salem, that Captain Amherst and others had done many grievous
wrongs to innocent persons. I heard something, too, of a warrant for
him, but I was not there at the time, being away on business for my
lord. Doubtless Captain Amherst fled ere the warrant could be served.
But ’tis strange, though,” went on Simon, “that Sir George should speak
of a charge of high treason against the King, and give me only a warrant
for witchcraft.”

“His mind may have played him false,” suggested Carteret. “This often
occurs to those about to die.”

“Perchance,” said Simon, gloomily.

But I knew what had happened.

“No matter,” came from Carteret, “the wording of the warrant is of small
consequence. Witchcraft being a crime, may well be considered treason
against His Majesty, and that is what Sir George meant, I suppose. So,
albeit I am little versed in the manner of apprehending spirits, yet I
must do my duty, for I am the Governor now, and the representative of
the King. ’Tis ill to judge a man ere he is tried, and you may prove no
witch, Captain Amherst, but an honest gentleman, and a soldier.
Therefore assuming that you are such, yet I want your promise, or,
seeing that it savors of war now, your parole, that you will not

“Escape?” I inquired. “Escape? Where to? How?” for I was not yet ready
to tell certain things.

“You must promise that you will not try to get away by any means such as
witches use; the riding of broom sticks, of fence rails, or on the back
of a black cat (though I do not believe we have one in the place) since
I have heard all these means mentioned as being of service to witches
when they wish to escape through the air.”

“I promise,” I replied, as gravely as I could.

“And also promise that you will work no harm to any in the block house
by the black art,” went on Carteret. “Though it might serve, could you
practice some devil’s trick on those red servants of His Majesty of the
lower regions, who howl without. Say, Captain,” he continued, eagerly,
and looking at me for the first time since he had read the warrant,
“would it not be within your province and power to summon a horde of
witches and have them torment the Indians? That would be fine. The
savages would be filled with fear and trembling and the terror of death,
and leave us alone.

“Could you not work some such black art as that,” he went on earnestly.
“’Twould be a noble use for your powers, and might even serve to absolve
you when it comes to trial. What say you?”

“Why do you speak like a child?” I answered with some anger. “Enough of
this. I give the promises you want readily, because there is no need to
make them. I have no more power as a witch than have you or Simon

“The Lord forbid!” exclaimed Carteret, with fervor. And he shrank back
as if to escape contact with me.

“Then you cannot ride a fence rail?” he asked when he had studied over
the matter a while longer.

“Nay,” I said, mockingly, for I was weary of the farce.

“Nor a broom stick?”


“Nor a black cat?”

“Peace! Peace!” I cried; “this is worse than to fight the Indians.”

“And you can work no magic on them, then?” persisted Carteret.

“Not so much as would cause a papoose to cry out.”

I thought the commander looked disappointed, forgetting his fear of my
witch powers in his desire to see them worked on the savages.

“Well, you may consider that you are on parole,” he went on after a

“And you will see, will you not, Captain Carteret, that he is sent back
to Governor Phips?” asked Simon. “For that was the last wish of Sir

“Tut, tut, Simon,” said Carteret, “the matter is out of your hands now,
though you did your part, and kept your oath as you should. Captain
Amherst is my prisoner on parole, and I will consider what further to
do, when we have more time, and a greater security in which to discuss

“But I have somewhat to say now, if it please you, Captain Carteret,” I
broke in, at the same time stepping forward. Lucille kept near me. “It
will not be much.”


“Since it seems that Simon has this warrant against me,” I began, “I
will tell you that in Salem town, whence I came I was arrested as a
witch about a month back.”

Carteret started as though to leave the room.

“Bah!” I cried, “are you afraid of that man? Why, you would have laughed
had you been there to have heard the tales of witchcraft related as
evidence in court.”

And then I told Carteret all that had happened, save only about the
first warrant Sir George had, which was for treason, sure enough, though
I did not hold it so.

“You seem to have suffered much, you and Mistress Lucille,” said the
commander, when I had finished, “and your tale savors of the truth. But
as I am only acting as Governor, and the representative of the King in
the absence of my brother, I must move cautiously in the matter. If I
did not serve the royal warrant, even though it be for witchcraft, which
you say does not exist, I may be held to strict account. So though I am
loath to so do I must hold you as a prisoner under the aforesaid

Lucille had been listening to all that was said. At the last words of
Carteret she took a step forward, and drew from the bosom of her dress a
sea-stained document, the import of which I knew. She held it out to

“What? More warrants?” he asked, smiling a little.

“Read,” said Lucille.

He unfolded the parchment.

“‘Royal’--hum--there is a blot here,” he read, “‘royal,’ oh yes,
‘pardon,’ that is it. ‘Royal pardon given by His Excellency, Sir William
Phips, Governor of Massachusetts, to one Captain Edward Amherst, of
Salem town, who is accused of the crime of witchcraft.’ Why--why----”

“Aye, ‘why, why,’” mimicked Lucille. “What now of prisoners and

Carteret stared at the pardon in his hand.

“Why, this nullifies the warrant,” he said slowly, “if it be a true

“True?” exclaimed Lucille. “You will find it true enough. I saw it
written. Read to the end.”

Captain Carteret read:

“‘Witness our hand and seal, in the name of His Majesty the King.’”

Then while we stood silent, there arose a terrible cry outside. It was
followed by musket shots, and then we heard the Indian war whoop.

                             CHAPTER XXVI.
                            THE LAST FIGHT.

“Another attack!” exclaimed Carteret. “Quick, Amherst, or they’ll be
swarming about our ears. Take charge of your men again. It is our last

“And my parole?” I asked, coldly.

“Is not required. You are not on parole. You are free.”

Out dashed Carteret, tossing the pardon to Lucille.

“It will be a battle to the death,” he called back.

Simon, who looked the picture of disappointed rage, hurried from the
room. I had only time to embrace and kiss Lucille, to tell her to keep
up a brave heart, and then I rushed out to take my place among my men.

The din was terrific. Added to the yells of the savages, and the gun
shots, were the cries of defiance from those within the stockade who had
rallied to the fight, discharging their muskets as fast as they could
load. So quickly had the attack of the Indians been met, due to the
vigilance of the sentinels, that only a few of the red men gained the
top of the palisades. These had been shot down, and the van of the
storming force had been obliged to retreat, but they fired from behind
rocks and trees, some of the bullets wounding our soldiers.

I reached the stockade at a point where there were none of my men, just
as one savage, his scalp lock gay with feathers, gained the top of the
posts, and with reckless bravery leaped down inside. No sooner had he
recovered his footing than he dashed straight at me. I was so surprised
at the suddenness of his appearance and action, that I stood still for a

The Indian raised his arm, there was a flash of light, and his tomahawk
grazed my temple, cutting the skin slightly. Then the fellow sprang at
me. But my sword was out, and ere he reached me I had run him through
the body. So he never threw any more tomahawks.

The attack on the fort was becoming more fierce every second. I was
startled to see that the sun had gone down, and that it would be dark in
a little while. This was borne upon me when I saw the ruddy reflection
of a fire which the Indians had kindled in front of the block. It shone
on the logs, but cast into shadow the savages who were behind it. Thus
they could see whatever went on in the place, while we were blinded by
the glare, and could not observe them.

Our only hope lay in keeping up a rapid fire, so that they might not get
near enough to charge. And this hope was bound to become futile soon.
Indeed our position was most trying. I was encouraging my men all I
could, firing a musket every time I saw so much as a finger of the enemy
exposed, and all the while trying to devise some plan to beat off the
foe when Captain Carteret sent a messenger to bid me come to him.
Telling the men to be as sparing of the powder as they could, and to
never leave the loops for an instant, I went to the commander.

I found him loading and firing away at a great rate. He took me to one

“I’ve been noticing some sort of a movement among the Indians at the
rear of the place,” he said. “I fear they are up to some trick. It looks
as if they were carrying brush and branches of trees about.”

“That means but one thing,” I said.


“They are going to smoke and burn us out. Going to try us by fire as
well as by bullets.”

“To the tower,” he rejoined, “we can see what they are doing from

It was as I had said. Already the savages had piled up a big heap of
brush within a short distance of the north wall of the palisade.

“Well,” said Carteret grimly, “I guess they mean to get at us after

“It looks so,” said I.

“Have you any plan?” inquired the Captain.

“Have you?” I asked, but he made no reply.

The sight of one of our men rolling out a keg of powder, from which to
distribute a supply, gave me an idea.

“How much powder have we?” I asked of Carteret.

“Three kegs,” he answered. “Two of a hundred and fifty pounds’ weight
each, and one smaller.”

“It might serve,” I said, half to myself.

“What?” asked my companion.

Then I told him a plan I had. We went down from the tower.

“Bring the powder here,” I said, “the two large barrels,” and it was
fetched by four men, two carrying a keg between them. At my direction
they also got some strong rope. I called Carteret out of hearing of the

“What I am going to do has some danger in it,” I said, “and, seeing that
I may not return, I charge you to care for--for Mistress Lucille,
after--well--after I am dead.”

“She shall be to me as my own daughter,” he exclaimed, grasping my hand

“This is what I will do,” I said. “The Indians are so busy carrying
brush now that they are giving little heed to aught else, even to each
other. I believe I can go out among them under cover of the dark, escape
detection, and help them at their work.”

“What serves that?”

“Much, I hope,” was my reply. “I did not tell you all of the plan
before. My brush will be of good barrel staves, and within those same
staves will be powder. I will hide the two barrels in the brush-heap,
which I can easily do in the confusion, light the slow matches fastened
to them, come back to the block--if I can--then wait for what happens.”

“What will happen?”

“If all goes as I hope,” I said, “the Indians will be gathered about the
brush heap setting it on fire. Then will come my explosion.”

“Good!” exclaimed Carteret. “That ought to serve our purpose. If it only
kills enough of the devils the rest will be so frightened that they will
not remain long in the neighborhood of Elizabeth. But can you unaided
carry those two barrels over the palisade?”

“I have done heavier things,” I answered, thinking of the Salem press.

“It is a risk,” remarked the Captain. “Once among them it will go hard
with you if their lynx eyes spy you out.”

“Which is just what I do not intend them to do,” I said. “There is a
dead Indian within the stockade. I will put on his feathers, adopt his
style of dress, and play at being a savage.”

“’Tis somewhat foolhardy,” commented Carteret, “but you are a brave man,
and we have need of such now.”

“Any man would be brave, if he fought for what I do,” was the reply.

“Then go,” responded the commander, “and may the Lord go with you.”

So I made my preparations.

It was a matter of a few minutes to strip from the dead Indian his
feathered head-dress with which I managed to decorate myself so that, in
the dark, I might pass for a red man. I took off my jacket and trousers,
slipping on the breeches of the savage, and, when thus attired I rubbed
the upper part of my body, my face and hands, with damp powder, so that
my white skin might not betray me.

During this time the firing was not so brisk, either within or without,
for our men were saving their powder, and the Indians were busy heaping
up brush. The pile was now as large as a house, being within a few feet
of the stockade. It was between us and the foe, so we had little chance
to fire at them on that side of the block.

It was fairly dark now, but we saw the savages snatching up brands from
the fire they had kindled in front and running with them to the large

Carteret helped me make my last arrangements. I selected a place to get
over the stockade, that seemed to be somewhat screened from observation.
The powder kegs were tied to a rope. I scaled the logs, got on top,
hauled the barrels up, and let them down on the outside. Then I
scrambled down. For the first time I was a little afraid. Not so much
for what might happen to me, as for those I had left behind--for
Lucille. It was no small risk, too, this taking of nearly all the powder
from the fort. But it seemed the best we could do.

At the foot of the stockade I fastened the kegs over my shoulders with
the rope, one keg behind and the other in front. Up to this time I had
been hidden by the black shadow of the stockade, but now I was to emerge
into the open, when the deception I was practicing might be evident. The
barrels on my back and breast bulged out like some deformity; no light
load, either. I gathered up some brush, arranged it over the kegs as
well as I could and stepped boldly out.

Before I had gone far, I picked up a large branch that some Indian had
dropped. This served as a screen for me, as I held it over my shoulder,
and stooped as I plodded on. I must have borne some resemblance to the
dusky, brush-laden figures all about me, for several savages passed
close by me, and gave no sign that I was not one of them.

I nearly dropped my load, when, as I was near the pile, a tall Indian,
who seemed to be a chief, addressed some words to me. I recalled that
there were red men from several different tribes mingled together, so I
merely grunted in my throat, which sounds, I hoped, he would take for an
answer in his tongue. He appeared to do so, for he passed on, leaving me
alone, though in a cold sweat from the danger.

I was now in the midst of the Indians. They were all about me, hurrying
to and fro, getting in each others’ way, all the while adding to the
size of the pile of brush and wood. I crouched lower and lower, as I
neared the common centre, seeming to stoop under the weight of my
burden. The middle of the outer circle of the stack was where I wanted
to put the powder, that its force might be extended over a large space.
As I neared the spot I noted but one Indian near me. He had a small
tree-top, which he cast on the heap. As he turned away to get more fuel,
I managed to get rid of the kegs of powder. I rolled them under the edge
of the brush, working quickly and in silence. The fuses, which were made
of a number of slow matches fastened together, I trailed out on the
ground as far as they would go.

A loud call in the Indian tongue was now given. It was taken up, being
repeated from mouth to mouth, with different inflections. Soon I saw
what seemed like fireflies moving about in the darkness. But they were
human insects, and the lights they bore were brands to ignite the huge
pile of brush, which was so large that it needed to be set ablaze in
many places at once.

I lighted the fuse, the flash of my tinder-box being unnoticed amid so
many lights. There were no less than two hundred savages in a circle
about the heap, many busy setting it on fire. From the forest all around
more Indians were hastening to be ready for the rush, when the flames
had burned a way for them. I saw the spark of the fuse spluttering along
the ground, eating its way to the powder. It would burn for two minutes.
Then I ran for the stockade. As I did so I went, full-tilt, into a
half-naked savage.

He held a torch, the light of which must have showed him I was not of
his people. He opened his mouth to yell an alarm, but I knocked the
brand from his hand; then, while he stood still in surprise, I struck
him in the face with my fist. He staggered back, but before he could
recover, I was at the foot of the palisade. I heard him yell, as I
grasped the rope I had left dangling, but there was so much shouting and
crying out, that his was unnoticed. As I went up, hand over hand, I saw
that the pile was on fire in many places.

Down I jumped inside the stockade. Carteret met me.

“What success?” he asked quickly.

“All is well so far,” I said.

“Edward!” exclaimed a voice.

I turned, to see Lucille standing behind the Captain. I caught her in my

“To the block!” I cried. “The explosion will occur in half a minute.”

Lucille clung in fright to me.

“Are all the men back away from the north wall?” I called to Carteret.

“Yes,” he shouted back.

“What is it, Edward?” sobbed Lucille.

“It is life or death,” I answered, as I ran with her into the block

The savages were yelling in chorus, like ten thousand devils now. The
flames were beginning to take hold of the dry brush, which was crackling
and snapping as if hungry to get at us. Inside the little fort were
huddled all that was left of the defenders, men, women and children. I
set Lucille down, but kept my arm about her. The fuses should have
burned to the end by this time. We could hear ourselves breathing while
we waited. Carteret turned to speak to me.

The next instant there was a glare that lighted up the sky, turning the
space between the palisade and the block from darkness into a noon-day

Then a crash so loud, so terrifying, so awful, that the very earth and
sky seemed rent asunder as by a hundred thunderbolts. The solid ground
rocked; a very cradle in the hand of a giant. A great wind blew, howling
through the openings in the logs.

The sound deafened us. The blast swayed us as if a hurricane had swooped
down from the sky. Men caught their breath. Women screamed. Children
wailed as in fright at some unseen spirit of the night.

We heard the north wall of the stockade give a rending crack, succeeded
by a mighty crash. Then it fell outward, where the pile of brush had

As for the block it pitched and seemed to toss--a frail ship on the
billows of the earth.

To the terrible noise and glare succeeded silence and darkness as of the
tomb. Slowly our sight and hearing came back.

Carteret and I staggered from the block and looked to where the north
wall had been. It was not there. In its place was a chasm, so deep that
it would have hidden the fort. Its sides were lined with blazing brands
from the scattered brush-heap. By the light of these, and by the glimmer
of the stars, we observed scores upon scores of silent dark forms in the
big hole, or near it on the earth. Toward the edge of the forest we saw
crouching forms hurrying off to bury themselves deeper in the woods,
away from the terror behind them.

We were saved!

The savages not killed had fled away, but of all that band scarce a
quarter lived to tell the tale.

A great cheer went up from the crowd within the block, when it was seen
what had occurred. Men cast their muskets aside, embraced their wives
and kissed their little ones.

“May the Lord bless you,” said Carteret to me, “it was you who saved

“Aye! Aye! A cheer for Captain Amherst!” cried several men. They gave
it, crowding about, trying to clasp me by the hand.

“It was nothing--nothing,” I protested, “any one of you would have done
the same, had you the chance.”

But they would not have it so, and, at length, weary of the praise, I
slipped away, to resume my own civilized dress.

The women busied themselves getting a late supper, which was eaten with
thankful hearts. After it was over, Lucille made me tell her all that
had taken place.

“And who carried out the powder?” she asked when I had finished.

“That was a small matter,” I said. “Having a little strength, more,
perhaps, than some of the others, I did it,” was my answer.

“Were you not afraid?” she inquired.

“Only that I might not again look into your dear eyes.”

She hid them from me with her hand. I pulled the little palm away,
kissing her on the lips.

So we sat talking until it was late. The block became quiet, for it was
filled with weary men and sorrowful women, who needed rest. We bade each
other good-night, Lucille going to the women’s apartment, while I
started for Captain Carteret’s room, where I was to sleep.

As I walked along the passage, I thought I heard a footstep behind me. I
turned quickly. At the far end of the corridor, where a single candle
threw a fitful gleam, I saw Simon.

He appeared to be gliding along, as if afraid of being seen. He slipped
in an open doorway when he saw me turn.

Was he following me? What did he want?

Carteret was not yet in. I threw myself down on a bench, meaning but to
rest until the Captain arrived. But, so weary was I, that, no sooner had
my head fallen back than I was asleep.

                             CHAPTER XXVII.

There seemed to be much tumult in the block when I awoke. Captain
Carteret was writing at a small table, as I sat up, rubbing my eyes.

“Well, have you slept enough?” he asked.

“I could rest longer,” I said, “but it is not my habit to sleep much
after the sun is first up in the morning.”

“Morning,” he laughed. “Why, man, ’tis long past noon now. I would not
let them disturb you, though many were clamoring for a look at the hero
of the occasion.”

“Enough,” I said. “I had much rather have a breakfast than pose as a
hero, which I am not.”

“Breakfast in the afternoon?”

“Are you jesting?”

“Look at the sun,” was his reply.

I glanced from a window. It was half way down in the west. I had slept
nearly eighteen hours.

“We will soon have supper,” went on the Captain. “Meanwhile I’ll let you
know how matters stand.”

Scouts had been sent out, he said, and, for miles around had found no
trace of Indians, save the dead ones. One wounded savage had been
brought in. With what little English he had, he told how the war party
had fled to the four winds. They had been given a severe lesson, he
said, and one that would put an end to Indian uprisings in New Jersey
for many years.

Men had been set at work burying the bodies. Others were rebuilding the
stockade, and some were detailed to lay to rest our dead.

Many families, who lived near by, had gone back to their homes, to begin
life where they had left off when the Indians came. Wagons laden with
household goods were leaving the fort. Only a few farmhouses had been
burned by the savages.

“I am writing to Governor Phips,” said Carteret, “to tell him you are
here, and send him back the warrant for witchcraft, which is of no use,
since he has pardoned you. That was a marvelous tale you told, of the
days in Salem.”

“Do not recall them,” I begged. “They were days of sorrow and peril.”

“Lieutenant Jenkins is about to sail for Boston in a few days,” went on
the Captain, “and he will take this missive to Sir William Phips. So
that matter is ended.”

“What of Simon?”

“I have not seen him since that time we were all in the room together,”
said Carteret, “but he is doubtless about somewhere. He will probably
want to leave this place now. If you wish I will offer him passage to
Boston with Master Jenkins. He can join his friends there.”

“I think I should like that,” I replied. “For, somehow, I am not at ease
while he is about, particularly as Mistress Lucille is here.”

“Then he goes to Boston, friend Amherst.”

The Captain and I fell to talking of the future. Supper was served ere
we had finished, and we continued over the meal. He asked me if I would
not like to settle in Elizabeth.

“Or there is a little town, called Newark, on the Passaic River,” he
added, “not far from here. That is a pleasant place, I am told. The
Indians, I hear, are most kind and trustworthy, as they were here before
this uprising, trading with the settlers in land and furs, greatly to
the advantage of the town folk. You might like it there.”

“I will make no plans until I have talked with Mistress Lucille,” I

“That reminds me,” exclaimed Carteret. “She sent in three times, while
you were asleep, to have me let her know the instant you were awake. I
forgot all about it.”

I did not stay to eat more, when I heard that. I found Lucille sitting
alone in the doorway of the women’s room, looking at the men repairing
the stockade.

“It seemed as if you were never coming,” she said, when I had greeted
her. “Captain Carteret would not let me see you. But never mind, you are
with me now,” and she blushed at her boldness.

“I wanted to talk to you, Edward, and see if you had made any plans for
the future,” went on Lucille, after a pause. “Have you thought that our
coming here was an accident, and that I can scarce go traveling about
with you as if--as if----”

Her face crimsoned again.

“Aye, we are like strangers in a strange land,” I said bitterly, for now
that the strain of battle was over, I saw the plight in which we were;
myself penniless.

“I have the clothes I stand in,” I added.

“Nothing more?” asked Lucille, softly.

“My sword,” I answered, not looking up, for my mind was busy.

“No more?”

“My horse.”

“No more?”

Her voice went so strange that I looked at her. Her eyes were dim with

“Forgive, me, sweetheart,” I cried, clasping her close to me. “I have
you, and, with you, more than all the world.”

“You were near to forgetting your great wealth,” she said, mockingly,
while she struggled to free herself. “Perchance ’tis of little value,
after all.”

“Nay, sweet,” I replied. “’Tis so great that I wonder at myself for
possessing it.”

“Yet you thought of your sword first.”

“Forgive me.”

“And then your horse.”

“Will you not forgive?”

“And of me last,” she persisted, trying to escape from my arms.

“It was because with them I won you,” I whispered.

“I shall be jealous of your sword.”

“No more,” I cried, drawing it from the scabbard. “’Tis a pretty piece
of steel, but, if it should come between us, see----”

I raised it high in the air, my hands on either end.

“I’ll snap it in twain.”

I brought the weapon half way down, as though I would break it across my

“Nay! Nay! Edward!” she exclaimed, catching my arm. “I did but jest. Put
it up. There is need of a sword in this land.”

I sheathed my blade, sitting down beside Lucille.

“Seriously, now, what is to become of me?” she asked.

“Why,” I answered, as gaily as I could, “since you are mine, you must
follow my poor fortunes, it would seem; that is, if you are willing to
follow one who has but----”

“But his sword,” she broke in, smiling at me.

“Nay, I had not finished. But his love, his sword, his horse, and the
clothes on his back.”

“Except for my love, I am even poorer than that,” confessed Lucille,
“unless I could go back to Salem, and that I will not. There was some
little money that my father left, but it was nearly spent. I have no
sword, no horse, and only this poor sea-stained dress.”

“Yet in it I would rather have you than the most richly robed lady in
all the world,” I cried.

“Come,” I went on, “we are betrothed,” and I took her by the hand. “Let
us go to the good dominie here, ask him to join us in wedlock, then we
may seek our fortune as man and wife.”

“What? Wed in this frock?” Lucille looked at it as if it was all rags,
but indeed it was a pretty dress.

“What matters the gown?” I asked.

“Why, I would be the laughing stock of the Colony if I plighted my troth
in this,” responded Lucille. “We must wait until I can get some new

“From where?”

Then we both laughed, for, between us we had not so much as a shilling,
I having spent my last on my journey. The laugh did us good, and we felt
brighter after it.

While we were talking Captain Carteret passed. He was not going to stop,
but I called to him.

“What now?” he asked.

“We were talking of the future, Lucille and I. We are betrothed, as you
know, Carteret, and I have just urged her to come with me to the

“Surely,” he exclaimed. “That would be fine. We could trim up the block
house, and have a regular wedding feast. Mistress Carteret would be glad
to help, for there has been very little merrymaking, of late, and a
wedding would be the very thing to take the gloom away. When can it be?
Next week, or the week after.”

“Next week!” cried Lucille, with such an accent of horror in her voice
that Carteret and I had to laugh.

“Why, you see, Captain,” I went on, never heeding Lucille’s sly punches
in my ribs, “she says she has no clothes; a woman’s ever ready excuse.
Her gowns were left behind in Salem town. She will not be wed in the
garments which were drenched by the sea. So, I fear, we must wait until
I can raise a few pounds, and then----”

But Lucille, with a reproachful glance at me, ran away, leaving the
Captain and I alone.

“I marvel at you,” said Carteret.


“Talking of raising a few pounds. There is not a man in the Colony,
myself included, who would not be glad to give you----”

I stopped him with a look.

“Tut, tut, man, do not go off half-cocked, I was not going to offer you
charity. But if I can put you in the way to get a position that

“My everlasting thanks are yours,” I interrupted.

“I am about to resign the command of the forces here,” Carteret went on,
“for my brother, the Governor, has some plans afoot, and needs my aid
elsewhere. I have talked with the men, and they all agree that, after I
left, they would have no other captain than yourself. The pay is not
large, for the Colony is young yet, but you and Mistress Lucille could
live in such comfort as there is here, on it. What say you? Will you
take it?”

I could not answer at first. It seemed almost too good to be true. After
all our troubles to find a haven at last, and one that promised so much.

“Carteret,” I began, brokenly, “I cannot thank you enough. I----” but
there was something in my voice that would not let me go on.

“Then do not try,” he said, cheerfully. “I know how you feel. I will
carry your answer to the men. They are waiting for it. The sooner I turn
the command of the Colony over to you, the quicker I can get away. Is it
yes or no?”

“Yes, with all my heart,” I said, giving him my hand, and there was a
lump as big as an egg in my throat.

Carteret turned away, while I hastened to find Lucille and tell her the
good news. She could have her wedding gown now, I told myself.

She was not in the room with the other women. It was getting dusk, and I
hastened through many apartments in search of her. Once or twice I
called her name, but there was no answer. I went out of the block. Near
the door I confronted Simon. His face was so pale that I was startled.

“What is the matter, man? Are you ill?” I asked.

“No,” he answered, huskily. “I am not sick. I was thinking of Sir
George. I am without a master now.”

“I hear you are to leave us, Simon,” I said.

“Yes,” he replied, “Captain Carteret has been kind enough to get me
passage to Boston. Thence I can sail for England, to Sir George’s

“Well, a pleasant voyage,” I called, as I was about to pass on.

“Wait,” he said, thickly.

I turned around.

“Captain Amherst,” he began, “you have much reason to hate me.”

“Oh, that is past and gone,” I responded, as heartily as I could, for I
did not like the man, and indeed, though he only acted for another, he
was a bitter foe.

“Perhaps I should not have done what I did,” he went on, “but Sir George
swore me to an oath.”

“’Tis past,” I said. “You only served your master.”

“Then you forgive me?”

“Aye, surely,” I murmured, impatient to be away and find Lucille.

Simon came toward me, holding out his hand. I marked that it was his
left, but I was too hurried to give it a thought, so I clasped it

His fingers closed over mine with the grip of a vise. He pulled me near
him. His right hand shot out from his jacket, beneath which it was
hidden. In it I caught the glitter of a knife. I saw him raise it above
my head.

There was no time for me to draw my sword. I threw up my left arm to
protect my head. Simon’s hand came down.

There was a pain in my arm, as if a hot iron had seared me. Then I felt
it, ten times as hot, in my side. My ears rang with the roar of waters;
my eyes saw only blackness.

I felt a warm gush of blood; I heard a confused murmur, a woman’s shrill
scream--Lucille’s voice. Then Simon leaned over me, as I was
falling--falling--falling--down into some bottomless pit.

“Traitor and murderer!” he cried. “I have kept my oath!”

It was night.

                            CHAPTER XXVIII.
                      THE END OF CAPTAIN AMHERST.

For weeks and weeks, it seemed to me, I was living over again the scenes
through which I had passed in later years. Now I was charging at the
battle of Sedgemoor, then before Judge Jeffreys, with my comrades. Next
came wanderings, fightings, travelings. In my delirium I went through
the witch press once more, with many a struggle to escape. I fought the
French and Indians; I swam in the sea to save Lucille. I went down in
great caverns of the ocean to bring her back to me, and saw her lying
amid rainbow colored shells, tangled weeds weaving their long green
sinuous lengths into her hair.

I fought the duel with Sir George, feeling his steel pierce my side like
a big knife which was turned ’round and ’round. Horrible red Indians,
with fierce painted faces came to torment me, though I fought them off
time after time. I heard over again the explosion of the powder kegs;
felt the mighty wind swoop down; was rocked to and fro by the blast.

I listened to my voice shouting out, only it did not sound like me, but
as some one else afar off. At intervals I went floating through the air,
a very bird on wings. Then I looked back to see a body that looked like
mine lying on a bed. And the features were changed; the frame that had
been robust was like a boy’s.

Then gradually all these things passed away, so that there was nothing
but darkness and daylight; daylight and darkness. Ever through it all, a
dear dim ghost of one I loved came and went--a woman. When she was near,
whether it was day or night, I was at ease; her cool hand chilled the
fever that burned in my brain. When she was gone it was dark, though it
was day.

Out of all this peace came at length.

One day I opened my eyes seeing aright.

I was in a room which the sun entered to make bright and cheerful. The
beams overhead reflected back the light, a fire on the hearth threw out
a genial warmth, the kettle on the hob hummed and hissed, a great mother
cat, by the chimney place, purred in contentment.

There was a movement in the room. A woman stood over me looking down. I
seemed to know, rather than see, that she was the woman of my

I glanced up at her. Her face was alight with love and tenderness. I
tried to speak--to rise--but the strength, of which I used to boast, had
left me. I could only murmur her name.

“Dear heart,” she whispered. “Thank God, you know me. Oh, Edward, it was
so long--oh! so long--that I stood by you, only to hear you fighting all
your battles over again, with never a sign to show that you knew I was
near. Oh, I am so glad!”

Then, woman like, she burst into tears, which she tried in vain to

“My, my! What’s this?” called a cheery voice. “Come, Mistress Lucille,
have you no better caution than to weep in here. Fie upon you. All hope
is not gone yet.”

A woman in a gray dress with a spotless apron over it, bustled to my

“I am not crying, Madame Carteret,” said Lucille with indignation in her

“’Tis much like it,” said the other.

“Well, then, if I am, it is for joy. Edward--I mean Captain Amherst--is
sensible again. He tried to speak my name, for he knew me when I turned
his pillow.”

“Is it possible?”

Madame Carteret, wife of the Captain, in whose house I was, came over to
look down on me. I smiled; it was all I could do, but that was as good
to me as a hearty laugh, since I had come back from the land of terrible
dreams. The Captain’s wife bustled away. Lucille, drying her eyes,
smiling through her tears, came to stand near me.

“What has happened?” I whispered, but she prevented any more questions
by placing her fingers on my lips. I kissed the rosy tips, whereat she
drew them quickly away. Then I repeated what I had said.

“Hush,” she replied. “You are not to talk. The doctor says you are too

Indeed I was, as I found when I tried to rise, for I fell back like a
babe. Just then Madame Carteret came back with some broth in a bowl. It
tasted so well that I disposed of all of it. She laughed as one well

The last drop gone I sighed from very comfort. Lucille, taking pity on
the anxious look of inquiry I turned on her, related all that had

“I was coming through the corridor in the dark,” she said, “and I saw
Simon strike at you. Oh I was so frightened! I screamed when his knife
glittered. He started, moving his hand just a trifle as he heard me.
Perchance that saved your life, for Doctor Graydon, who has been in long
attendance on you, said that had the point gone an inch higher it would
have touched the heart, and that would have been an end of Captain

I looked the love and devotion at Lucille I could not express in

“Even at that,” she went on, “there was a grievous wound in your arm and
one in your side. For six weeks you have been in that bed, knowing none
of us, and at times so far away from us, that we feared to see you
travel off altogether.”

“But I came back to you,” I said softly.

“Yes, dear; but you must not talk now. I will tell you the rest.

“After he had stabbed you Simon dropped his knife and fled. I ran to
you, but you were as one dead. Captain Carteret and some of the men
carried you into the house. We have nursed you ever since, Madame
Carteret and I.”

I looked at Lucille’s face, noting that she had grown thin and pale, but
yet more beautiful. I pressed her hand to my lips.

“Simon did not escape,” she went on after a pause. “Not long afterward
his body was found in the woods, an Indian arrow through his heart. So
now, dear, horrible as it all was, our enemies are gone. We have only
ourselves left.”

Then while the shadows began to lengthen, the day to die, I fell asleep
again. Not as before, disturbed by unpleasant dreams, but as a tired
child. When I awoke in the morning I felt like a new man. The blood of
health flowed through my veins; I felt the strength coming back to me.
Lucille entered; a streak of sunshine. She smiled at me. I had propped
myself up in bed, and that sign that I was on the mend seemed to give
her pleasure.

“We must have Master Graydon in to see the improvement,” she said. “He
will doubtless change the physic, giving you some herbs that will put
you quickly on the way to recovery.”

“I pray so,” I answered, “for I am full sick of staying here like a

“Are you then so ready to leave us?”

“Only that I may make ready to stay with you forever,” at which Lucille
blushed prettily.

We talked, or rather Lucille did, and I listened, of many things. She
told how she had heard I was to be in command of the military force of
Elizabeth; that I was already considered the Captain. Every day since I
had been wounded some of the men had called to see how I was. As for
Captain Carteret, he had gone to London on business, and would not
return to the Colony until spring.

Matters were progressing well in the town. The Indians had buried the
hatchet, having had enough of fighting, and were at peace with the
settlers. The crops, too, though suffering somewhat from the
depredations of the red men, were plenty, so fertile was the land. The
store-houses and barns were better filled than any year since the Colony
had been in existence, and winter, which was already at hand, would find
the village in good shape.

The repairs to the block house had been finished, the few houses in the
town that had been burned by the Indians were being rebuilt. A band of
settlers had come from Pennsylvania, so that we now numbered some two
hundred men, and nearly half as many women.

It was late in November, the leaves were all off the trees, there had
been little flurries of snow, the winds were mournful, and on every side
one could see that winter was fairly come. I had been able to leave my
bed. One afternoon, when the sun was setting behind a bank of gray
clouds that promised a storm Lucille and I stood at the west window
looking out.

“It is going to snow,” said she, mournfully.

“I love the white flakes,” I said cheerfully.

“They are so cold, so cheerless, so dead, so cruel to the flowers and
birds. Why do you love them?”

“Because they dance down so merrily. Because they cover up the dull
brown earth from us until it blossoms out again. Because,” and I took
her hand, “it was through a snow storm that I went to find my love.”

“Poor reason, Edward.”

“The best of reasons, sweetheart.”

Days came and went, bringing me back health and strength. Slowly I
walked about the house until I came to venturing out into the snow when
the weather was fine. I became acquainted with the towns-folk, a thing I
had not had time to do before. To while away the hours, some of the men
who had fought with me in the block would come in. Then, sitting beside
the blazing logs on the hearth, we would fight the battle all over

Lucille was ever near me, her sweet face always in view, when I looked
up, smiling with the love in her eyes.

The winter snows melted. Green grass and shrubs began to peep up through
the warm earth. The buds on the trees swelled with the sap, bears
crawled from hollow logs, the birds flew northward.

The songsters of early spring flitted about the house as I sat in front
one day watching them gather material for their nests. It reminded me
that I had better see to providing a nest for my song bird. Lucille sat
near me. I had not spoken for a space.

“Are you watching the birds?” she asked.

“Aye. Thinking that I might well be about their trade.”

Lucille did not answer.

“Sweetheart,” I said softly, “’tis little time we have had for love
since I found you the second time, and I would know whether you are of
the same mind that you were. For I love you now; I will love you always,
I love you more and more every day. Tell me: Do you love me yet? Has the
time brought no change?”

How anxiously did I wait for the answer. Now that I was broken in
strength, with not the prospect of attaining distinction in arms that I
once had, sick, enfeebled in body, but not in spirit, could I hope that
she still loved me?

“Tell me,” I whispered softly, “has time wrought no change, Lucille?”

She let the lids fall over her eyes, then with a little tremor, she
looked into my face. Sweetly as the murmur of a south wind in the trees
she said:

“Time has wrought no change.” A pause. “I love you, with all my heart.”

Then, ere she could answer more, I had her in my arms, from which she
struggled to be free, at first, but, when she found I held her close,
she was quiet. I kissed her on the mouth.

“Don’t, Edward,” she cried in sudden terror, “some one is coming.”

I resumed my seat on the bench.

“I have something to tell you,” I said, after a little. “You must not
call me Edward.”

“Oh, then,” with a mock air of admiration, “Captain Amherst, Your
Excellency, I pray your pardon.”

“Nor yet Captain Amherst,” I went on, smiling.

“What then, may it please you, sir?”

“That is it.”



“Sir who or what?”

“Sir Francis Dane,” I replied, with as grand a manner as I could assume,
having a deep cut in my side.

For a moment Lucille glanced at me, then I saw that she feared my mind
was wandering again.

“Come into the house,” she said, soothingly, “’tis too chilling out
here. Come in, and Master Graydon shall prescribe for you. Come,

“Not Edward.”

“Well, then, Sir Francis Dane,” spoken as one might to a peevish child.
“The strain has been too much for you, Ed--Sir Francis. Go and lie down,
until you are recovered.”

I burst into a laugh, whereat Lucille seemed all the more frightened. I
could not cease from laughing as I looked at her.

She took me gently by the arm, and tried to lead me in, but I stooped
over, kissing her.

“Do not be frightened, sweet,” I said. “I am not wandering in my mind. I
have a secret to tell you.”

“Will it frighten me?”

“I hope not.”

Then I told her of the cause for my coming to America, because I wished
to escape those who would imprison me for having fought on the side of
the defeated King Monmouth. I was Sir Francis Dane, I said, but had
taken the name of Captain Edward Amherst, as a measure of safety. When I
had made an end I smiled down on her.

“Then it is good bye to Captain Amherst,” she remarked.

“Aye, ’tis the end of him,” I said.

“I am not sure but that I liked him better than I will Sir Francis
Dane,” went on Lucille. “For the latter is much of a stranger to me.”

“Will you have to begin to love over again?” I asked.

“Nay,” was her only reply, in a low voice.

“Sir Francis, Sir Francis,” she continued, after a moment’s pause. “Hum,
’tis a rather nice name.” Then she seemed to be thinking.

“Why,” she exclaimed, suddenly, “it is a titled name, is it not? You
must be a person of distinction over in England.”

“I was,” I replied, dryly. Sedgemoor had taken all the distinction from
me, depriving me of lands and title.

“Hum, Sir Francis Dane. I wonder if he will care for plain Lucille de
Guilfort,” with a playful air of sadness.

My answer was a kiss.

“I love you, Lucille,” I said fervently, when she had escaped from me.

“Well,” she remarked, plaintively, “I loved you as plain Captain
Amherst, perforce I must do so, since you are now Sir Francis Dane,
accustomed to being obeyed, I presume.”

“To the letter,” I answered, sternly.

“Now that is over,” I went on, “when are we to wed?”

“Not too soon. Wait until spring.”

“That will be in March.”

“Oh! ’Tis too early. There is much to be done. Linen to make up, dresses
to fashion and, indeed, if it were not for the kindness of Madame
Carteret I would have no gown now, but the sorry garment you found me

“That is more precious to me than cloth of gold would be,” I replied.
“The flutter of it, as the Eagle headed for shore, seemed to tell me you
were there. But, since March is too early, it must be the next month,” I
said, firmly.

“Let it be so,” she responded, with a little sigh. “In April then; the
month of tears and sunshine.”

“Let us hope that ours will all be sunshine,” I suggested.

“We have had enough of tears to make it so,” was her reply, as she
smiled brightly.

That matter being settled we had much more to talk of, the day and many
succeeding ones, seeming all too short for us. I was recovering slowly,
and was able to be all about. I took an active charge of the military
matters of the town, for my wound was healing, and I hoped in a short
time that I would be nearly as strong as I was before. I took up my
abode with the innkeeper, for Lucille said it was not seemly that we
should dwell under the same roof longer. She, however, remained with
Madame Carteret, weaving and spinning in preparation for the spring.

It was close to the first of April when news came one day that there was
a ship down the bay, and that Captain Carteret had returned on her. This
was a glad message for me, and I prepared to take a few of the men,
marching down to meet him.

                             CHAPTER XXIX.
                        AN ORDER FROM THE KING.

I was half way on the road to the block house, to see if I could muster
up a guard, with which to go down and meet the Captain, when I spied him
coming along at a quick pace.

“Well-a-day,” he cried, when he had caught sight of me. “This is quite a
change, since I last saw you. Come, man, your hand.

“Why,” he exclaimed, when I had gripped his palm, “you have some of your
strength back again, I see--and feel.”

“A little,” I replied, as I grasped his other hand, in heartiness to
have him back once more.

There were tears in my eyes. I did not try to hide them, for Carteret
had been more than a brother to me; his good wife a very mother to
Lucille. I think he felt my gratitude, for he did not speak, only
returning my hand pressure.

“Well,” he said again, after a little pause, while we walked on together
toward his house, “this is better than being cooped up in the block,
with those devils howling on the outside. Though,” he added, with a
laugh, “we soon made them change their tune.”

He asked me how long I had suffered from the attack of Simon, and what
had become of the sailor. I told him what I had heard.

“I did not like to leave you,” he said, “but the call for me was urgent.
I thought I left you in safe hands, when Mistress Lucille took charge of
the nursing.”

“You did, indeed,” I replied.

“How is she; and how progresses your courtship?”

“Very well, to both questions. Since your kindness in turning this
command over to me I have been assured of a livelihood; quiet, perhaps,
compared to what I hoped for, but a sure one. ’Tis a place befitting a
man who is about to take unto himself a wife.”

“Then you are soon to wed?”

“Within a fortnight. Lucille is busy now, preparing what she is pleased
to term her linen. As for me I have little to get. I trust that from my
wage here I can fit up some small house that will do for a time. I had
hopes of taking her to a place befitting her station, to a fine home.
But poverty is a hard taskmaster.”

“Yet he drives light when love holds the reins.”

“True,” I assented. “We shall not fare so badly, I hope.”

“Then Mistress Lucille is prepared to face poverty with you?”

“She is,” I said, “and seems happy in the prospect.”

The Captain was laughing now. I looked at him to find the cause, but was
at a loss.

“You know I have been to London?” he inquired, after his merriment had
spent itself.

“Aye, so I heard.”

“And to Colchester also.”

“Nay; were you?” I asked, suddenly. That had been the home of the Danes
for centuries.

“To Colchester?”

“Aye. And while there I heard somewhat of you.”

“’Twas likely,” I answered, “seeing that my father, Sir Edward Dane,
owned quite an estate there.”

“It is of that same estate I would speak,” went on Carteret. “I found
out more of your story than you had time to tell me hurriedly ere I
sailed. Your offense against the crown had been nearly forgotten at
court. Learning which, while I was in London, I set certain influences
to work. I am not without friends in the King’s circles, and, between us
we began planning to get back what of your father’s wealth we could,
that you might enjoy it.

“First, and it was a matter of no little difficulty, we had you granted
a full and free pardon for all acts of treason of whatever nature. To
bring this about after the way had been paved, I sought an audience with
His Majesty. I have a little gift of eloquence, so I described to the
King how you blew the heathen into the air. He listened to me more
kindly after that. Being fond of fighting he made me tell him the whole
circumstance, which I flatter myself I did with some credit to you. When
I had finished the King clapped his hand down on his thigh, bursting out

“‘By my sword, Carteret, but I could hardly have planned or executed it
better myself,’ which you may take as a fine compliment, for His Majesty
thinks himself a great soldier.”

“’Twas as much your credit as mine,” I said to the Captain.

“Well, never mind that. The King inquired all about you, also of Sir
George Keith, whose acts I in no way glossed over, though he was my
friend. His Majesty cut me short with: ‘Enough, enough, Carteret.’
Calling for a quill and ink horn, he had signed a pardon ere I knew what
he was about. There it is,” exclaimed Carteret, thrusting a legal
looking paper, covered with red seals, into my hand. I took it, hardly
able to speak a word.

“Once that was done I breathed easier,” continued the Captain. “But His
Majesty did not stop there. He called his secretary, who told the King,
in answer to a question, that your father’s lands had been confiscated
to the crown.

“‘It is needful that we recompense your bold soldier somewhat,’ said His
Majesty to me, when he had whispered for a time with his officers. ‘I
have signed an order on my treasurer for ten thousand pounds, which you
will convey to Sir Francis Dane, with my best wishes.’

“I must have shown some surprise when His Majesty gave you the ‘sir,’
for he said:

“‘I have restored his title to him, Carteret. As for his estates, it is
not likely that he would come back to claim them now, so I have given
you, for him, what they are considered by my treasurer to be worth--ten
thousand pounds. If, when you reach America, you find that he desires

“‘Oh, ’tis enough, Your Majesty,’ I said quickly, lest he might change
his mind.

“Then I bowed myself out, after thanking him most warmly in my name and
your own.

“I lost little time in hastening to the treasury in the palace where the
King’s order was honored. I soon transacted what business I had in
London, set sail again, and, after a pleasant voyage, here I am. As for
the money, it is safe in my strong box at home. I stopped there ere I
went in search of you. Mistress Lucille told me where you had started

“Now, is not that good news?”

I was beyond speaking, though I tried to thank him. I could only hold
out my hand.

“I’ll not grasp it until you promise to remember that it is a hand and
not a sword hilt,” said the Captain, so earnestly, that I laughed ere I
assured him that I would not grip him as hard as I did at first.

Joy lent me such speed as we walked to the house, where I knew I would
find Lucille, that Carteret called on me several times to halt, and to
walk more slowly.

“When you get as old as I am,” he said, “you will be glad to travel less

“Not with such good news as I carry,” was my answer.

“I found him,” cried the Captain, as we entered the room where Lucille
and Madame Carteret were seated.

He went out for a minute. When he returned he had in each hand a stout
sack. It was the money, some of it in gold, that clinked right merrily.
Carteret came over, holding out the bags to me.

I took one, laid it at Lucille’s feet, saying, as I smiled at her:

“With all my worldly goods I thee endow.”

The other sack I held out to Carteret.

“It is yours,” I said, “according to all the laws of arms. Take it.”

“Law or no law, I’ll have none of it,” he answered gruffly, I believe,
to hide his feelings. “Begone with it. Place it with the other beside
Mistress Lucille. Why,” he went on, “I have enough now to do the good
wife and myself as long as we live, and there’s not a soul I care to
leave any wealth to. Put it with the other. You will find a use for all
of it--when you are wed.”

I was forced to obey him, though I felt that he should have had a half
share of what he got for me, but all my argument was in vain.

Lucille and I were left alone in the room. She looked down on the sacks
of gold, then up at me.

“So you are Sir Francis, after all?” she asked.

“It seems so,” was my reply. “How do you like the name?”

“It has a wholesome sound,” she answered, repeating it over and over
again. “But Edward was not so poor a one. It did much for me.”

“So will Sir Francis, sweetheart,” I said.

“However, since the King has given it back to you, I suppose you will
keep it?”

“I will, indeed. It is a proud name, and many brave men and fair women
have been known by it.”

It was getting late when we ceased talking, though we had said scarce
half of what was in our minds.

A week passed. There were but seven days more ere we would be wed. The
block house had been fixed on as the place where the brief ceremony
might fittingly be held. We had decided to make it a merry gathering,
where all who would, might come and be happy.

The weather was now that of a mild early spring. The tender green of the
trees and shrubs, made the land a mass of verdure. Gardens were being
made, farms plowed, sheep let out to pasture, and the colonists all
around were busy. The town was prospering under the hand of Providence.
All that remained to bring to mind the late Indian uprising were the
ruins of a burned dwelling here and there. Back on the hillside was a
sadder recollection; a few rough stones to mark the graves of those who
had fallen in the great battle. To me there remained the scars on my arm
and side, where Simon’s knife had entered, and the furrow of a bullet
across one cheek.

I would that some other pen could set down what is to follow. For,
though I can tell poorly enough, perhaps, concerning battles, sieges and
fighting, with which I am somewhat familiar, it is hard to tell of
scenes of baking, stewing, cooking and sewing, which now seemed to
centre about me. Verily it appeared, that last week, as if I might as
well bid my sword farewell, to take up a bodkin or a ladle in its place,
so little use did I seem to have for the weapon.

Every time I went to Captain Carteret’s house, to have a few minutes
with Lucille, I found her busy with either a stew-pan or a needle. From
a maid, that had been wont to pay some small heed to what I said, she
had come, almost, to hold me in as little importance as any man in the
Colony. She would leave me in a moment, no matter what we were talking
of, if Madame Carteret, or one of the women, called her.

What I did say she either heard not, or forgot as speedily as I had

Such bustling about as there was in the kitchen. I made bold to poke
myself in, once, but quickly drew out again. For in that short space I
nearly received a blow, accidental though it was, with a wooden pestle
on one side of my head, while another woman was within an ace of dousing
me with a jar of molasses she carried.

It seemed that Lucille’s wedding (I dared not call it mine) was the
first one in the Colony in a number of years, and the women folk were so
distracted by the thoughts of it, that they were at their wits’ end.
They made plans by the dozens, as they did cakes, only to unmake them
ere night. Indeed, next to myself, whom nobody consulted, Lucille had as
little to say as if she was but to be an onlooker. I was hard put, at
times, when I was ordered around like a school boy by the women. But
Lucille, who had more of it than I did, took it with good grace, just as
if she had been used to it all her life.

While the women were thus making ready the kitchen and gown part of the
affair, the men, who were pleased to call me Captain, had taken such
command of the block house, that I was hardly welcome there. The main
room I was by no means allowed to enter. It was the largest in the
place, and the door was kept carefully barred to me. There was much
coming and going, bringing in of evergreen boughs, foliage, and small
branches of trees, covered with bright red berries.

Several friendly Indians were seen about the town, bearing bundles, that
I could note, by an occasional glimpse, contained goods of their
workmanship. Stag horns polished until they glistened in the sun, soft
tanned skins of the deer, furry hides of the bear and wild-cat, all
these were carried into the block, and hidden in the room that was
closed to me.

So busy was every one but myself that I wandered about the settlement,
like a man without friends. I had a few matters to look after, though.

With my wealth, so strangely restored to me, I purchased a roomy and
comfortable house, the best in the town, save Carteret’s, which one of
the settlers was anxious to sell. There was a cunning cabinet maker and
carpenter in the village, and I had them alter the dwelling to suit my
ideas. I sent privately to New York for some furnishings, hired a man
and maid servant, and the place began to look like a home, only lacking
a mistress. I laid out a good-sized garden, had the farm plowed and
sowed, and supplied with horses and cows, so that there was a promise of
plenty to eat and drink. On the day before the one set for the ceremony,
I sat down, tired but happy, to spend the last few hours of my life as a
lone man. I was glad that the time was so short.



It was the 26th day of April. The air smelled of balmy spring, a warm
sun was overhead, a gentle breeze stirred the leaves amid which the
birds sang, and the whole earth seemed a happy place. I jumped out of
bed to look over the new suit, which I had, after much time and thought,
managed to get together. It was of dark plum-colored stuff, soft to the
touch, and became me as well as any coat and breeches I ever had. I laid
out a new pair of boots, the pliable leather black and shiny, spread out
my cloak on the bed, and was ready to dress for the wedding. I strapped
my sword on, feeling that I was now in proper trim for the occasion. The
weapon was the same good one which had stood me in such stead all along.
It had received many a hard knock, the scabbard was not as free from
dents as when I had it from the maker, it was rather rusty, too, I
thought, the blade being stained here and there.

I sent to the innkeeper for some rags and rotten stone, that I might
polish the steel up. Master Aleworthy appeared himself with the stuff.
When he saw my fine looks (for I do myself that credit) he would not let
me burnish up the weapon, but insisted on doing it for me. A very proper
attempt he made of it, too, for, when he had finished it shone like a
new shilling.

“Now for breakfast,” he said.

“Not for me,” I replied, “there will be plenty of fodder when this
affair is over.”

“But, Sir Francis, ’twill be a long time to then.”

“Short enough,” was my answer.

I strode out across the fields to the Captain’s house, hoping I might
get a glimpse of Lucille. But if she had been hard to see a week ago,
she was ten times more so now. At every door I tried I was bidden to
take myself off, and call again. Finally, being somewhat vexed, I called
to one saucy hussy:

“Know, madame, that I am to wed to-day. That I am the groom.”

“Aye, I know it,” she responded, as cool as you please. “You will be
sent for when you are wanted.”

With that I had to be content, kicking my heels up and down the garden
path. Noon was the time. It wanted two hours yet.

It seemed a month that I was in the garden. At last some one beckoned to
me, and I was admitted in to see Lucille.

I would have gone up, before them all, to kiss her heartily, but she
held me off with her little hands, while a chorus of protests from all
the women told me I must respect the manner in which she was adorned.
Indeed, she made a handsome appearance. The dress was of soft,
gray-white, shimmering silk, with pieces of lace as long as my gun
barrel all about it, hung on after the manner of the clinging vine that
twines about a tree. The sleeves had it in, I think, also, the neck,
while there was a plenty trailing down the front and lower edge. She
wore a crown of glossy green leaves, a single white flower in her dark

The plan was for the party to go to the block house in carts, half a
score of which, festooned with evergreens, were in waiting. Instead of
letting Lucille and me go on together, which seemed to me to be the most
sensible way, she rode with James Blithly, a great booby of a chap,
while I had to sit in the cart with Mistress Alice Turner, a sweet
enough maid. She was talkative, and I was not so, on the way, I had to
keep answering “yes” and “no” to her questions.

It looked as though all the Colony and the folk from ten miles around
had come to the wedding. There were nearly three hundred people in view
when we neared the place where Dominie Worthington was awaiting us.
There were a number of Indians and their squaws, friendly, all of them,
who had gathered to see how the pale faces took their brides. They
laughed, smiled and greeted me with “How, Cap’n,” while some held out
their pipes, which, as was their custom, I puffed a few whiffs from, to
show that we were at peace, though indeed, the ceremony lacked much of
the solemnity usually associated with it.

The block house at last. The drum beat as Carteret, in my honor, drew
the men up in double file. Lucille and I, with those who were to attend
us, dismounted from the carts, marching between the lines of
soldier-colonists into the main room. Then I was allowed to move up
beside Lucille, while both of us looked about in wonder.

Never had such a bower for the plighting of love been constructed
before. The rough hewn walls had been covered with green boughs, red
berries gleaming amidst the foliage. On the floor the boards were hidden
from view by furs in such quantity that they overlapped. The stag
antlers, fastened here and there, served as hooks, whereon were
suspended bows, arrows, swords, guns, powder-horns, Indian shields,
curious stone hatchets, and many of the red-men’s household implements.
Gay colored baskets added to the color of the scene.

A little wooden altar had been made, but it was almost hidden from view
by trailing, green vines. The men-at-arms filed in, taking their places
on either side of the chamber. Then came the town-folk, and the friendly
Indians, squaws, and even settlers from Newark, so that the place was
well nigh filled.

Dominie Worthington took his place. Lucille and I stood together, with
Alice Turner and James Blithly on either side. Then, ere he began to say
the words that would unite us, Master Worthington lifted up his voice in

Then came the promises, the pledges--“Love, Honor and obey”--“till death
do you part”--solemn yet sweet. “Whom God hath joined together, let not
man put asunder.”

We were man and wife.

Then indeed came happy confusion and laughter. We were overwhelmed,
Lucille and I. But Carteret charged down on us, in the nick of time, to
rescue us from the friendly enemy that swarmed about us. How quick was
the journey back to the Captain’s house, and what a feast was there
spread out for all who wished to come.

So often was the health of Lucille and myself proposed and drunk, that I
lost track of those who did me the honor to touch glasses. There was gay
laughter, songs and talk, merrymaking among the young people, and over
all good-fellowship and much cheer, with Lucille happiest of the women,
and I of the men. It grew night, but hundreds of candles chased the
gloom away.

So it had come about, after many days, with force and with arms I had
won my bride.

We were to go to the home I had prepared. Lucille kissed Madame Carteret
and others of her women friends, while I had my own cart and horses
brought up to the door.

There were farewells by the score, laughter and tears from the women,
cheers from the men. The driver spoke to his team, they leaped forward.
Lucille and I had begun our life’s journey together.

It was not far to the house. The door was opened on a blaze of candles.

“Welcome home, sweetheart,” I said, kissing her.

“Oh, Francis,” she exclaimed, looking about. “It is perfect. How good of
you to do all this for me.”

“Do you like it?”

“It is more than I dreamed.”

A little wind, coming in the windows, flickered the candles. The breeze
seemed to sigh in contentment at our happiness. The servants closed the
door. We were alone--my wife and I.

                                THE END.

                         =“More Ex=Tank Tales”=

                       By CLARENCE LOUIS CULLEN.

                    With Introduction by the Author.

           _12mo, 250 Pages. Cloth Bound. Price, One Dollar._


Some readers will wonder what is meant by “More Ex-Tank Tales.” In
explanation would say that the stories compiled in the book under the
above title appeared in the _New York Sun_ from time to time, and they
have achieved well-merited notoriety. They are sketches about men who
have indulged in spirituous liquors to such an extent as to cause their
comrades to term them “tanks.” Having overcome the desire for
intoxicating beverages (reformed in fact), they take great pleasure, and
give the same to the reader, in recounting some of their adventures.
Following is the =_Table of Contents_=:

TALE THE FIRST.--Wherein Ex-Tank No. 18 Marvelously Winneth Out as ye
    Auctioneer of Antiques.

TALE THE SECOND.--In Which Ex-Tank No. 17 Meeteth Up With ye Renowned
    Singer and Yodler, “Fritz” Emmet, and the Consequences.

TALE THE THIRD.--Wherein Ex-Tank No. 11 Ascertaineth the Advantages of
    Being Mistaken for ye Wearer of the Senatorial Toga.

TALE THE FOURTH.--Which Sheweth Ex-Tank No. 28 as the Natural and
    Successful Enemy of ye Guileful Gold Brick Purveyor.

TALE THE FIFTH--Wherein is Depicted the Woe of Ex-Tank No. 7 Growing Out
    of His Being Mistaken for ye Doppelgaenger.

TALE THE SIXTH.--Wherein Ex-Tank No. 10 Mournfully Portrayeth the
    Difficulties he Encountered in Forsaking ye Golden Pacific Sands.

TALE THE SEVENTH--In Which Ex-Tank No. 23 Sheweth the Possibilities
    Lurking in the Involuntary Handling of ye “Ringer.”

TALE THE EIGHTH--Describeth, Through the Lips of Ex-Tank (Ultlander) No.
    37, the Manifold Woes of Him Who First Butteth into ye Burg of New

TALE THE NINTH.--Wherein Ex-Tank (Hoodoo) No. 13 Hath a Good Word to Say
    of ye Slumbersome Burg, Philadelphia-by-Schuylkill.

TALE THE TENTH--In Which Ex-Tank No. 22 Narrowly Escapeth the Dangers of
    ye Vasty Deep.

TALE THE ELEVENTH.--Wherein Ex-Tank No. 14, by Means of ye Raffling
    Stunt, Returneth to His Home Like Santa Claus.

TALE THE TWELFTH.--Wherein Ex-Tank No. 12 Starts on a Journey from
    Denver to Manhattan Beach.

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Mother at the Races. Mother at a Chicago Hotel. Mother Goes Yachting.
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                      =THE KNIGHTS OF THE CROSS.=

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           Author of “Quo Vadis,” “With Fire and Sword,” Etc.


            Translated Direct from the Polish by BASIL DAHL.


             _1 vol. 12mo. 400 pages. Price, Bound in Paper
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                           Transcriber’s Note

On p. 212, the printer transposed the third and fourth lines of the
paragraph beginning: “So we stood thus....”

As printed:

So we stood thus, perchance while a man might have counted a score
slowly. Around us was the waste of =[to go to pieces every second.
Between us, as pale as death,]= =[waters. Under our feet the quivering
Eagle, that was like]= was Lucille, the cause of both of us being there.
Perhaps she was dead, and our bitter words were spoken in vain.


So we stood thus, perchance while a man might have counted a score
slowly. Around us was the waste of =[waters. Under our feet the
quivering Eagle, that was like]= =[to go to pieces every second. Between
us, as pale as death,]= was Lucille, the cause of both of us being
there. Perhaps she was dead, and our bitter words were spoken in vain.

Errors deemed most likely to be the printer’s have been corrected, and
are noted here. The references are to the page and line in the original.
The following issues should be noted, along with the resolutions.

  30.24    Lord prevent that they cast their eyes this    Replaced.

  55.26    I had to rout up Wil[l]is,                     Added.

  127.26   as though they were [p/b]ut pebbles.           Replaced.

  149.23   and I wondered va[ug/gu]ely                    Transposed.

  154.13   and your po[r]ker was a fine fat one           Added.

  164.21   when I asked if I was not [t]o hang            Added.

  174.17   to burn us like rats in a tra[y/p].            Replaced.

  187.5    “Oh, the vill[ia/ai]n,”                        Transposed.

  188.4    and Nanette ac[c]ompanied them.                Added.

  199.13   “I suppose I must,” he said sullenly[.]        Added.

  199.27   a voyage he couldn’t see the end of[.]         Added.

  231.17   from the charge of wit[c]hcraft                Added.

  257.15   and then we[b / b]reathed, it seemed           Transposed.

  262.11   or halt them for a[ ]time                      Added.

  265.16   Messenger[s] were sent                         Added.

  278.24   into a panic as quickly as possibl[y/e]        Replaced.

  295.25   they might not get near enough to charge[.]    Added.

  301.14   to ignite the hug[h/e] pile of brush           Replaced.

  304.26   “And who car[r]ied out the powder?”            Added.

  316.13   feeling his [s]teel pierce my side             Added.

  333.10   “With all my wor[l]dly goods I thee endow.”    Added.

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