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

Download this book: [ ASCII ]

Look for this book on Amazon


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

Title: Virginia Dare: A Romance of the Sixteenth Century
Author: Shackleford, E. A. B.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Virginia Dare: A Romance of the Sixteenth Century" ***

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



(This file was produced from images generously made


[Illustration: “HE TURNED JUST IN TIME TO ESCAPE AN ARROW.”

                                                            _Page 184._]



  VIRGINIA DARE

  A Romance of the Sixteenth Century

  BY

  E. A. B. S.,

  AUTHOR OF “CECIL’S STORY OF THE DOVE,” “STORIES OF
  EASTER-TIDE,” ETC.


  NEW YORK:
  THOMAS WHITTAKER
  2 AND 3 BIBLE HOUSE
  1892



  COPYRIGHT, 1892,
  BY THOMAS WHITTAKER.



  GRATEFULLY DEDICATED TO OUR RECTOR
  AND FRIEND,

  Reverend Joseph Carey, D.D.,

  OF

  SARATOGA SPRINGS.



PREFACE.


The author would like to remind the readers of the romance of Virginia
Dare, that if they go back in memory to their schooldays, and the
details of their American history, they will remember that Governor
White sailed for England from Roanoke on the 28th of August, 1587,
leaving behind him his daughter, and her child who had been born ten
days before; that he was unable to return immediately, owing to war
with Spain, and when after the lapse of the three years he did return,
he found the island of Roanoke deserted, and a palisade built, as if
there had been a fight with the Indians. He found no cross, as he
had directed them to put one if they were in trouble, over the name
of the place to which they had removed. But he found on one tree the
first three letters of the word “Croatoan,” and on another the entire
word. They attempted to find Croatoan, but, losing their anchors, were
obliged to drift away and give up the search.



CHAPTER I.



VIRGINIA DARE:

_A ROMANCE OF THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY._



CHAPTER I.

  “I cannot feel
  That all is well when darkening clouds conceal
    The shining sun;
  But then I know
  God lives and loves; and say, since it is so,
    Thy will be done.”

                                  E. B. BROWNING.


“We’ve got a bright lookout, if this day is the foreteller of what
our nation is to be in this new land;” and the speaker threw down his
hunting-knife with a satirical laugh.

“Well, Jake, we cannot expect anything brighter if we’ve sense and
courage enough to look before us. Ten days more and the ships will be
gone; then what is there to prevent these savages from murdering us
all? Our colony will have a short day, and may be wiped out before
it is half over. This land belongs to the redskins; and when our men
and the governors fly over the water, and won’t take us, it is simply
saying, ‘Poor things, someone’s got to stay, or the London Company
won’t like it: be brave, and die like Englishmen for us.’”

“What dost thou say, Hopeful Kent? Ah! thou talkest like a brave
Englishman; surely, shouldst thou die as thou livest, thy countrymen
would have naught to be proud of in thee.” Both men looked ashamed as
the speaker advanced from the wood, and looked straight at them with
his great searching eyes, from under a broad-brimmed flat hat, such as
was worn by the clergy after the Reformation.

He looked almost sternly at the two men as he asked, “Dost thou try to
better things by hard work? Dost thou try to help thy governor, whom
thy Lord has put over thee? For shame, Jake Barnes! Didst thou work
more, and growl less, thou would’st do better. Thou scarcely livest
up to thy blessed calling in thy name, Hopeful Kent! How great is the
mercy of thy God that he smiteth thee not!”

Jake Barnes shuffled away, muttering something to himself about
“preaching parsons;” but the other man asked, “Don’t you think, Master
Bradford, it is rather bad luck that the day the first white baby opens
its eyes in this new land should be wild and rough? I always look, sir,
on the bright side when my judgment lets me, but I think it’s a bad
sign.”

“Dost thou? See, Hopeful,” cried the old man, “even now the sun has
broken through. God be praised! Be there such things as thou speakest
of,--chance, signs, and luck,--I wot not of them. But, even so, the day
shall dawn dull and hard for us, as we have seen; but when the blessed
evensong calleth, it shall be bright as yonder sky for our people, and
the next day shall dawn and set with peace and plenty for them, through
God’s great mercy.”

“A pity the first child was not a boy: we all think that, sir, don’t
you?”

“Ah, Hopeful, the dear Lord knoweth best! This sweet lamb of his
fold, born in this heathen land, mayhap she was sent a woman that her
constancy may keep her faith bright, though her way be a hard one. God
bless her!”

“Why should a woman be more constant than a man, sir? I think we men
make the world what it is, and it seems to me rather bad that this
child is a girl. We want fighting, not constancy, now. She’ll need as
much care and food as if she were going to fell a dozen Indians when
she’s grown. There’s been but little work done to-day, the men are all
so excited, and all over a bit of a girl.”

“There’s not a man among us that knoweth the worth of a strong arm that
the good Lord giveth unto his soldiers, better than I; but I have not
the time to be talking to-day of the work of the blessed women in the
world. It was the holy Father’s will; praised be his name! Let us bow
down in thanksgiving that he hath sent unto us one of his little ones;
for where they go they carry his blessing. As thou art pained by the
slackness among the men about the work, I’ll keep thee no longer, thou
may’st go to thy tasks; mayhap they will follow thy example.”

“Please, Master Bradford, Mistress Wilkins sends her regards, and would
have me say that she would be wanting to speak with you.” The speaker
was a child of ten or twelve, who courtesied as she gave her message.
She was a strange-looking little figure, with her tightly plaited
yellow hair drawn back from a very brown forehead. Her pale-blue eyes
were a strange contrast to her skin, which was almost copper color from
exposure. She wore a plain dark frock, with a kerchief neatly crossed
on her breast.

The clergyman took the child’s hand, saying, “I will come at once,
Patience, child; art thou going back to Mistress Wilkins now?”

“Please, I will be there almost with Master Bradford, if I may first
gather some of those posies to put on the cradle. Mistress Wilkins says
I may rock it,” said the child, looking up into the gray eyes that
were smiling kindly down on her. They seemed to encourage her; for she
added, clasping her hands, and fairly beaming with delight, “The baby
is the most beautiful one, sir, you ever saw. I love it, oh, so much!
They want to ask you about its name, and when it would please you to
give it, sir.”

“Ah, yes, I suppose the governor wills it to be done before we sail;
sure, it must be, but I had not thought of it. He is right: I am too
old for this life here; my memory is failing me. I shall go back to
England and thank the blessed Lord for letting so unworthy a servant do
so great a work as to receive for him two precious souls belonging to
so strange a time and people,--the red savage Manteo last week; and the
wee baby, the first one in a new and heathen land, this week, no doubt.”

The old man had nodded his consent to the child, and walked on with
bowed head, thinking aloud. The child sprang at once into a little
thicket where wild vines and flowers grew in abundance, and gathered
her arms full. She certainly made an odd picture; her droll little
figure in that wild, unbroken country, as she stood on the branch of a
fallen tree, one arm full of flowers and trailing vines, while she was
trying with the other how far she could throw a flat stone and make
it skip over the water. As it skipped once, twice, three times, then
sank, making great circles on the smooth surface, she laughed merrily,
and springing from branch to branch she ran on, jumping over every
obstacle, at the same time chanting:--

  “Be thou, O God, exalted high;
  And as thy glory fills the sky,
  So let it be on earth displayed,
  Till thou art here, as there, obeyed.”

It was Friday that Patience summoned Master Bradford to Mrs. Dare’s
hut, where only a few hours before the baby had opened its blue eyes
and caused excitement in the little colony. Even Master Bradford felt
a strange thrill of pleasure as Mistress Wilkins put the tiny creature
into his arms, saying, “Give the child your blessing, sir: I felt it
were not safe to let her be longer without at least the blessing of a
priest.”

As he took the little one, there was an uneasy look in his honest face.
Master Bradford would not have suited some Churchmen of the present
day; and yet we all look back with pride as well as pleasure to the
fact that among the first colonists in this country there was a priest
of our Church, and the first time that praise and worship sounded in
our language from this great continent, it was in the words of our own
beautiful liturgy; and thus, from Master Bradford’s service in the rude
Roanoke chapel, to the days of Captain John Smith, when good Mr. Hunt
and Mr. Whittaker fought the strengthening Puritan element, no service
had ever been offered but that of our own dear Church.

He replied, “She is the first precious lamb the Lord has trusted to
this fold. ’Tis true the blessing of any of God’s children is but
a form of prayer to him and can do no harm.” He held many of the
Puritan views that were then beginning to take root in England. It was
only natural, then, that he should hesitate to comply with Mistress
Wilkins’s request. But he took the child tenderly, as it was laid in
his arms; and as he held it and looked into its little face, so fresh
from heaven, all prejudice slipped away, and he satisfied even Mistress
Wilkins.

The tall figure of Governor White, and his assistant Ananias Dare,
entered the room as Master Bradford began, “May our ever-loving
Shepherd watch over this little lamb in this wilderness, and lead her
safely through it to the heavenly fold at last. And may the blessing of
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit ever be with her.”

It was Sunday morning, the tenth after Trinity, in the year of our Lord
1587, the 18th of August, a typical day for that time of the year,
sunny and warm, with a soft haze over everything, as if the world were
resting, or rather, on this particular day, in this particular place,
the world looked as if it had never waked up at all. One could not
believe that those lovely flowers and ferns had ever been covered with
ice and snow, or that those mighty forest trees had been shaken in
fierce storms till their very roots trembled in the earth. That still
peaceful sheet of water, sparkling in the morning sunlight, seemed
unable to lash itself into great waves, or to dash great ships into
fragments.

On this little island this quiet Sunday, there was a strange sight to
be seen as the drum-beat called the people to service in the little
log chapel; and an odd-looking lot they were. First came two Puritan
maidens, walking demurely together; then an English gentleman, whose
clothes looked shabby, as did he himself; then a little company from
the shore, where some canoes showed that they had just landed. Among
them was a tall figure with straight black hair hanging around his
shoulders: he wore a topknot of feathers, a bright blanket, an English
ruff about his neck, which had been given him while he was in England;
for this was Manteo, the chief who had been made a Christian only the
Sunday before in this same little chapel. He had a fine figure, tall
and graceful. With him came a little group of his own braves: they went
straight up the hill towards the low building. Then came some slouching
sailors, who looked as if they did not often go to the chapel,
and were a little uncomfortable now. Then there were some men in
smock-frocks. Then behind a whole family, just as you might have seen
at home in England, going to any church. They were evidently people of
the middle class. The father had undoubtedly been a miller before he
left home, if one might judge from his funny springing step and broad
miller’s thumb. He looked very proud and happy as he walked along
by his sturdy wife. Before them were their four children, a little
rosy boy and a big girl, hand in hand, and the twins, yellow-haired
English lassies. A strange mixture they all were; a little piece of
civilization in the heart of a great wilderness; commonplace English
people, living and worshipping in the primeval forest of the new land.



CHAPTER II.



CHAPTER II.

  “Yet in sharp hours of trial
    The mighty seal must needs be prov’d:
  Dread spirits wait in stern espial:--
    But name thou still the Name belov’d.”

                                    KEBLE.


There stood Master Bradford in gown and bands, his kindly face upturned
as he led the prayers and psalms. He had finished reading the lesson
from St. John’s Gospel, when a little company entered the chapel and
came straight up the aisle; first Governor White’s tall figure, then
Mistress Wilkins, carrying the baby, closely followed by its father,
who looked proud and happy.

Indian and white man alike arose as Master Bradford began the familiar
and beautiful words of our baptismal service; and when he put the holy
water on the wee brow and said, “Virginia, I baptize thee,” a murmur
of satisfaction ran through the little congregation. Never was queen
baptized with more ceremony, or in the presence of a more loving or
devoted congregation, than this little grandchild of Governor White,
who had received the name of the new country in which she was the
first Christian baby born. It was because of her baptism that on this
tenth Sunday after Trinity every one in the little Roanoke colony but
the child’s own mother crowded into and around the roughly made log
building that served for a church or chapel.

That first house of God in our land, which now, three hundred years
later, abounds in splendid churches and cathedrals, was, I fancy, as
precious to him who values our gifts by our love, and counts worth by
sacrifice, as the gorgeous temples of our day. He did not despise the
roughly made house in which the Holy Presence was first celebrated;
that log room where there was moss for a carpet, a great bowlder
for the altar, lichen and cup-moss for hangings, the font, a spring
trickling through the stones; where for decorations the sweetbrier and
wild creeper had forced their way between the logs, and clung to the
barky walls, and where the little birds often flew in for their morning
hymn of praise, and the forest trees raised their arms protectingly
over the holy spot, forming, as it were, a lofty cathedral arch. To
those loving Eyes watching from above, that humble square building,
made by the loving hands of those first settlers as a token of their
love and gratitude for bringing them safely through the mighty waters
to so pleasant a port, that first chapel, I am sure, was as beautiful
as are many of our richly carved and polished temples of stone.

As the service ended, the little congregation gathered outside the
governor’s hut; inside, some of the principal men were talking to him,
also Manteo, the Indian chief. Governor White was standing in the inner
room by the bed; he was holding the baby in his arms, and speaking very
earnestly. A voice from the bed cried, “O father, father dear, you will
not leave me! do not, do not.”

“Yes, Eleanor,” was the reply; “God calls me back to England. I only
waited to see your baby; with her you will find it less lonely, dear,
and you are always brave.” And, as Ananias Dare came in and bent over
the bed, Governor White walked out to the group of men waiting in the
outer room. He closed the door behind him as he said, “Well, my men, I
think this is a good time and place for me to tell you the plans we are
to carry out.”

And then, stepping to the door, that those standing outside might
hear what he said, he continued, “This is our plan: I shall sail for
England as soon as we can make everything ready. Some of the men will
go with me, the others remain here till our return. I do not mean in
this particular place, but in this wonderful new country. I do not
think it would be wise to remain on this island; any of the tribes
which wish to drive you away have the advantage, being able to approach
you on every side in their canoes. You are to leave Roanoke and go to
the mainland, and settle in a spot not held by any particular tribe.
Wanchese is no longer friendly; partly, I believe, because he thinks
that at one time this island belonged to his tribe. However this may
be, I am assured that it would be better for you to be on the mainland
for many reasons, and that it would be wise for you to have nothing
to do with Wanchese. When you leave Roanoke, carve on a tree that
overhangs the little bay the name of the place you have removed to; if
in danger or distress, carve over the name a cross. I have drawn up the
laws that are to govern you, and which will be in my room ready for you
to sign to-morrow. I will leave behind me ninety-one men, the seventeen
women, and eight children, and these laws are to govern them.”

As the governor saw the dissatisfied faces, he continued, “I shall
return as soon as it is possible: I am sure you cannot doubt that. Am
I not leaving you good security, my daughter and her child, this dear
little one?”

He laid his hand on the swinging cradle in which he had put the baby;
and then, raising the other hand and looking up, he said in a clear,
distinct, and reverent way, “Before you all, my friends, and before my
God, I swear I will be faithful to you. I will do to you as I hope and
pray I may be done by. I shall remember you, as I want you to remember
my laws and wishes, for which we shall have to answer in the day of the
great Judgment.”

The men outside shuffled off, while those inside who belonged to the
council talked long with the governor. Manteo listened, and admired the
white chief’s power and wisdom.

The next day the men, though they had made many threats, one by one
signed the laws that were to govern the colony.

Then there came days of busy preparation for the return of the ships
to England, and the comfort of those to be left behind. Another baby
face appeared, and the happy family of children now numbered five. Mr.
Harvey proudly brought his baby to Master Bradford to receive its
name,--Elizabeth.

Then came the dreadful day when the ships weighed anchor and passed out
of sight, lost forever to those who watched their departure.

When Governor White’s return to England was talked of, the colonists
dreaded the time of his leaving; they shrank from even thinking of it,
and yet they did not begin to know what his departure meant to them. A
handful of people in a great land among savages.

Mrs. Dare grew strong very slowly; had it not been for her baby, it
is doubtful whether she ever would have rallied after parting with
her father and husband; but that tiny face was a precious treasure,
not only to the mother who watched it so lovingly, but also to every
one in that little colony. There were few men, even, who did not look
in at the door of the little hut some time in the course of every day
“to take a look at the baby.” She would allow herself to be picked up
by any one, at any time, without a murmur; in fact, the only time she
had ever really cried, and then she did it with all her might, was
while the governor’s ships were weighing anchor and slowly moving out
of sight. Mistress Wilkins said the child was troubled with colic,
but there were others who shook their heads and talked about omens and
children’s wonderful power of foreseeing dangers or calamities while
they were too young to talk, save with angels or spirits. But, be the
case what it may, the fact remains that Virginia was an exceptionally
good baby, did not cry at all till she was ten days old, and never
again to amount to anything. This is perhaps why baby Elizabeth Harvey
was not more loved; she was from the first a delicate child, and had
more than her share of baby ailments and pains, and she was always
crying, or just ready to begin at the slightest provocation. Some
people were unkind enough to say that her mother deserved to have such
a child, for calling her after the queen; that she would have just such
a temper when she was grown up; while Virginia would be placid, sweet,
and sunny, like the land of her name and birth.

Virginia was nearly five weeks old when the first change came into
her baby life; in fact, this change was destined to affect the whole
colony.



CHAPTER III.



CHAPTER III.

  “Lay hands unto this work with all thy wit,
  Yet pray that God may speed and profit it.”

                             ROBERT SALTERNE.


It was the very last of September; the day had been a perfect one,
just the faintest touch of autumn in the air and on the trees. The sun
had gone down in a sea of glory, and the peaceful hour of twilight was
hushing everything to rest. The sentinel was pacing to and fro. It was
Jake Barnes’s turn that night, and he did not like the work at all; in
fact, it was hard to find anything in the way of work that he did like.

As he came to a sudden halt by an old tree that overhung the water
he muttered, “It’s lots of good I’d do if the redskins should come!
I suppose they’d like me to kill ’em all. A nice lot of cowards the
fellows here are; why don’t they go and fight them savages, and let us
take their lands to pay us for coming away across the water; frighten
them, let ’em see we mean business. If we don’t, they’ll finish us
all. I wouldn’t make friends with any of ’em; carrying them around the
world as if they were white Christians; and just because they call one
a chief, he must be treated like a king. I hope some day I’ll have the
pleasure of putting my sword through that red shining-faced Manteo.”

He stopped suddenly, for a slight sound on the bank below caught his
ear. He stepped quickly behind the tree, so that if there were an arrow
coming it could not possibly touch his precious body. As none came, he
gathered all his courage and called out, “Who goes there?”

Immediately a soft voice answered, “Don’t fire, Master Barnes! It’s
only me, Patience.”

“What are you doing there? You deserve to be shot,” was the gruff reply.

“Oh, please don’t!” cried Patience. “I was only watching the stars
come out to look in their looking-glass. Do you know, Master Barnes,
that the sea is the looking-glass for the sun and moon and all the
little stars? To-night the moon-mother has stayed at home, but she has
sent some clouds to take care of her star-children, and as soon as they
look at themselves for a little while, their nurses, the clouds, carry
them away home. Pretty soon they’ll be all gone, and then the sky will
be lonely.”

Barnes walked on, and had forgotten the child. Passing the same spot
a few minutes later, he started at the sound of a soft voice saying,
“Master Barnes!” Patience stood beside him; the hand she had laid on
his sleeve shook, and her upturned face was very white, while she said
in a voice that trembled with fear, “There is a canoe coming over from
the land, and there’s an Indian in it, I think.”

“Where, child? Are you sure?”

“Oh, yes,” she replied; “and I was so frightened I hurried to find you.”

“I’ll make short work of him if he’s alone, I will,” Barnes muttered.
“One of Manteo’s fine braves, I hope. I wish it were the old fellow
himself, I’d soon put a ball through his royal crown, and not feel bad
about it either;” and he laughed to himself. Then, turning to Patience,
he said, “Where is he coming ashore?”

“He was pointing towards the little bay, Master Barnes; but,” she
added, “if he’s one of Manteo’s Indians, we ought not to hurt him,
ought we?”

“You go to bed, child, and mind you say nothing of this; it’s my duty
to shoot any one that’s lurking around in a suspicious way; I ought to
have shot you. I’ll have to do it now, if you don’t hurry to bed and go
to sleep. Off with you! I guess your Indian was all a fancy.”

Patience waited for nothing more: she almost flew toward the little
group of cabins, until she was hidden from Barnes by the woods. Then,
with an anxious look behind, to see he was not following her, she stood
still. Barnes had no idea of following her; he watched her out of
sight, descended the bank to a rock from which he could command a good
view of the little bay, and sat down, ready to fire.

Meanwhile, Patience stood in the old forest alone. As her feet had been
flying over the ground, her mind had been flying too. In less than half
the time it takes to write it, she thought over what Barnes had said
about killing one of Manteo’s men; she also remembered what she had
heard Mrs. Dare say one day, after Manteo had been in to see the baby
Virginia, “Manteo is a faithful friend to us. If the Indians ever give
us trouble he will stand by us to the very end.” Perhaps this was one
of his men; perhaps he was bringing a message from Manteo; perhaps it
might be Manteo himself. Some one must save him.

Before she could reach the huts to call any one, the canoe would reach
the bay; she was the one to save him. But what if Master Barnes should
see her and shoot her! For one moment the thought frightened her, and
she crouched down on the ground. Another, and the brave resolution was
made. She must save the man in the canoe. Once more she was flying
through the dark forest.

Well for the baby Virginia, and for all in that little colony, that her
steps were light and quick, and her heart was brave.

Patience reached the clearing on the ridge of the bank; on she moved
stealthily, one slip and she would be in that dark, cruel water. Well
for her work that the clouds had hidden all the stars. She came to the
group of rocks standing out in the water; at the same moment she heard
the soft splash of the paddle. One quick spring and she reached the
first slippery stone. Could she stand firmly enough to jump to the next
rock? If not, within a few seconds the canoe would have passed beyond
her reach. The paddle sounded nearer; how her head whirled; what a
giddy spring! But it was done.

“Chief Manteo!”

The paddle stopped; she repeated her words; the canoe came closer. “Who
are you?” she asked.

The Indian took her hand and felt it, as if to try to understand who
or what she was, then he replied in broken English, “Ranteo comes from
Manteo to the white chief. Why is the white child here alone on the
rocks?”

“I came here to save you, for you must not go into the little bay.
Master Barnes will not know who you are. He says it is his duty to
shoot every one that is about at this hour.”

The Indian muttered something in his own tongue that was hardly
complimentary to the whites. While Patience was trying to get up her
courage to make the difficult spring back toward the land, the canoe
had been concealed under some bushes, for Ranteo did not feel quite
sure the whites were to be trusted; if so, why should this child come
to warn him? He thought of all this as he drew his canoe up on land and
hid it. He was standing, holding his hand out to Patience before she
had gained courage enough to move. She took his hand and tried to jump,
but the fright that had lent her strength was over now, and she was
trembling and unsteady. Ranteo drew her to the rock on which he stood,
then, raising her to his shoulder, stepped across to the land. He did
not put her down, but turned into the unbroken forest by a path or
trail which his Indian eye had traced.



CHAPTER IV.



CHAPTER IV.

  “Little by little, sure and slow,
  We fashion our future, of bliss or woe,
    As the present passes away.
  Our feet are climbing the stairway bright,
  Or gliding downward into the night,
    Little by little, day by day.”


In less than ten minutes they were passing the first log hut; how quiet
everything was! Most of the settlers were sleeping as sweetly as they
might have done in their own villages in dear old England. There was
not much doubt which of the huts was occupied by the Harvey family,
for the baby Elizabeth was crying as usual. No one seemed to trouble
himself in the least about the wee creature that sent forth constantly
so pitiful a little cry, that it said more plainly than volumes could
have done, how weary and hard she found this world.

She, the youngest creature, was the first to break the peace of that
quiet little Roanoke village, the first Christian people in this
heathen land. But the happy hours of peace in their rude little homes
were over; for in less than an hour every one’s heart echoed the sad
cry of that tiny baby: there were torches lighted here and there, and
little knots of men talking in anxious whispers, as if they feared
being overheard, even by the wind and trees; women standing together
outside their doors, with frightened children clinging to them. Every
one was thoroughly awake now. In one group stood Anthony Gage, an
elderly man who seemed to have authority, for the others were looking
at him and listening. He had been made a leader rather by circumstances
than by birth; and he looked frightened and bewildered now, as the
torch cast a lurid, flickering light over his handsome face.

“I think,” he was saying, “as long as Manteo is a powerful chief, we
had better go back with Ranteo; we will be as safe there as anywhere.
It was certainly good of him to offer us shelter, for it will mean war
with Wanchese for him. What say you, men?”

Hopeful Kent was in the group, and spoke up at once:--

“I fear we shall then be making slaves of ourselves. Manteo can do what
he likes with us when we are in his camp. Mayhap he has made all this
story up to get possession of us.”

The first speaker shook his head. “No,” he said, “Manteo is our friend;
an Indian is not treacherous to his friends. I have feared, ever since
Governor White left us, that we should have trouble with Wanchese; for
if an Indian is not one’s friend, he is his bitter enemy. I wish we
could have removed our village at once. The delay was unavoidable, as
you all know.”

Gage had one of those weak natures, to which it is almost impossible to
form a positive and quick decision. As he paced up and down at a short
distance from the others, the group was joined by several persons,
among whom was Barnes, more put out than he chose to acknowledge at the
turn things had taken. He had had no opportunity to fire on the Indian
as he had planned, and then, worst of all, a redskin had got the best
of him. Altogether, he was in a much worse humor than usual, if that
were possible.

Why did such unwholesome, unprincipled men come away from their own
land, where the laws could hold them in check?

Barnes was saying in a strong, fierce way, “I tell you what it is,
lads, it’s each man for himself. We haven’t any one over us. I, for
one, sha’n’t put my red scalp in the keeping of any Indian. I’d be for
taking the one that has come here and quartering him, and sending a
piece to his fine painted chief, and the rest to Wanchese. It’ll make
peace with him quicker than anything else we can do.”

The tall governor, Gage, had been absent hardly five minutes from the
group, when he returned, still undecided, to find the aspect of things
totally changed.

He began mildly, “I think, my dear fellows, we had better get our
things together, and start at daybreak. Ranteo will wait, I have no
doubt.”

A growl rather than a murmur ran through the little group; then Barnes
spoke out:--

“We’re not going, sir, one step with that rascal. He can wait till we
scalp him; it’s all he deserves; stealing in among us like a thief in
the night. We are going to be men, and fight for our homes, our women,
and children; aren’t we, lads?”

“Ay, ay,” was the reply. But one strong voice, from a man scarcely more
than a lad, who had just come up, said, “Do you call yourselves men?
It is cowards I should call you if you would touch one who has come
among us to save us from ruin, and who trusts us. For shame, fellows!
If you touch him, it must be over my dead body.”

“I shouldn’t mind that at all,” said Barnes dryly, drawing out his
hunting-knife.

George Howe, for such was the name of the speaker, was no coward; but
he realized that this was not the time for a quarrel among themselves,
when trouble and death threatened from outside. So he only said, “Put
up your knife, Barnes; if we kill each other, there will be one man
less, if not two, to guard the women and children. I am sure you would
be sorry to see this brave fellow killed. If Wanchese should come, and
you find all he tells us is true, Governor White would be very angry if
we should hurt an Indian without good cause.”

“I care much about his anger, or what he wishes,” grumbled Barnes;
while Hopeful Kent muttered, “I’m mighty sure the governor will never
be bothered with our doings; there will be none left to tell him. We’ll
all be in Kingdom Come long before he or any one else comes back. It’s
a lot any of them trouble themselves about us.” Once more Howe tried to
thwart the evil councils of the lawless men among whom he stood.

“Let’s put it to vote what we shall do,” Barnes said, coming up to the
group, after he had interviewed a number of the men, who still stood in
little knots talking anxiously. Howe and the present governor, Gage,
were standing together a little apart. Howe had made a suggestion, and
had almost succeeded in persuading his companion to adopt it, when
Barnes cried out in triumphant tones, “Let’s put it to vote, we are
free men.”

“If you let them,” muttered Howe, “it will be the ruin of us all, sir;
something, it must be the Evil One, I think, gives Barnes a strange
power over the men. Don’t put it to vote, sir, I beg; make them feel
your authority.”

“No doubt you are right, Howe,” replied Gage, as he stepped nearer to
Barnes and said, “Barnes, you have the interest of us all at heart,
and while I feel it is right to observe caution, in this case we have
no choice but to trust Manteo. Were we alone we might run risks, which
we have no right to do with the women and children depending on us. I
know you will trust my decision, which I am sorry to say differs from
your opinion.” He stopped, for Barnes had turned and walked away. He
only went a few steps, however; then turning with a gleam of triumph in
his eyes, as he saw the disturbed look he had caused in the face of
the man whom he ought to have obeyed, he cried furiously, “Don’t be too
sure of your good judgment; we came to this country free men, and as
a free man I am going to act now. I am not going to Croatoan. You may
if you choose. Who’ll fight the savages, and win lands and homes with
me? or run away like a baby to its mother when the first sound of fight
comes.”

Nearly all the men had gathered round, seeing their leader standing in
a weak, undecided way, looking helplessly and distractedly at Barnes,
whose strong, magnetic face they all felt; and they cried, almost with
one voice, “I, Barnes, I! I am no coward.” “I am an English lad,” or
“Here’s your man, Barnes.” Seeing that he held the men, he stepped
before the tall figure of Anthony Gage, who had authority and power
at that moment had he only had the strength to exert it, and began,
“If we are agreed to stay here and fight like men, the first thing we
can do to prove the strength of our resolution is to act upon it; to
put to death this lying Indian who has come among us to be a spy, to
make trouble, to get possession of us and our women and children, to
torture us, to put us to death. Do you not say with me that he should
be punished, to show those red dogs we mean real work, and no more
fooling? What do you say, fellows?”

Only a few voices replied; even they assented feebly. Howe walked away
in disgust. Barnes, feeling a little uncertain as to the wisdom of
his last suggestion, determined to excite his followers a little more
before Ranteo should be spoken of again. So he continued, “The red
villains will be on our track by morning, as soon as they find their
comrade doesn’t come back, so we must get to work and build a palisade.
If they once get hold of us they will show no mercy, though some of you
are foolish enough to be afraid of hurting this precious copper-colored
heathen. I confess I am not womanish enough for that.”

More than a score of voices cried out, “Nor I, nor I.” “They are an
ungodly lot.” “Clear them off the face of the earth; it’s a Christian
man’s duty.” Gage stood with bowed head, the very personification
of disgust, yet with not moral courage enough to right the wrong he
was so horrified at. He had tried to be a good man, and yet please
his fellow-men among whom he was thrown; strange to say, an aim
which is seldom realized, even when a whole life is given to its
accomplishment. The most truly popular lives are apart from, and
without thought of, self; lived for one’s fellow-men, with a brighter
and more perfect mainspring than mere humanitarianism. Such lives
become more than good, and without either knowing or realizing it, the
busy, flippant world stops in its rush to admire, if not to bow down in
adoration.

When Howe left the little company, he walked carelessly away, but only
while in sight did he go with slow steps and bowed head. Once out of
sight, and sure he was not watched, he ran as fast as he could under
the shadow of the trees. Going behind each hut, he looked inquiringly
at the inmates, but he reached the very end before he felt satisfied.

It was indeed a pretty sight he saw there; the rude room with its few
articles of rough furniture, and a few little decorations which gave
the place a refined, home-like air; at one side swung a cradle, in
which lay the baby Virginia. By the cradle stood the beautiful young
mother, looking proudly and lovingly down on her child. The rush torch
which she held threw a bright light on the little creature, on the
mother herself, and on a tall figure that knelt by, watching the child
with almost reverent awe, only venturing to touch the tiny hand with
the tip of his long finger. The baby watched him with her pretty blue
eyes, cooing as the long feathers waved back and forth as he moved his
head.

“The child comes from the Great Spirit,” the Indian said.

Mrs. Dare replied quietly, “Truly, Ranteo, the Great Spirit sent her.
She is his, but he has given her to us for a while. You will be her
friend always, won’t you? If anything should happen to me, I tremble to
think what would become of my baby.”

Ranteo did not speak, but he took the baby’s wee hand and laid it
against his forehead, then pressed it to his lips, and made a vow which
he never forgot. Nor did he forget those words, “She is His.”

Howe had been weighing several plans in his mind. At last he was
resolved, and stepped in, saying, “Ranteo, come with me.”

“Ranteo’s work will be to carry the white lady and the Great Spirit’s
baby to Manteo’s wigwam,” was the reply.

“Thank you, Ranteo, we will be very glad to have you, both baby and
I,” Mrs. Dare said in her sweet way; but glancing at Howe’s face she
stopped suddenly and asked, “What is wrong, do tell me.”

“I might as well,” replied Howe. “Barnes has made himself governor, and
decrees that all Indians shall die, and the white men shall not go to
Croatoan.”

Mrs. Dare clasped her hands in horror, but the Indian showed no sign of
surprise or fear, and Howe continued, “There is no time to lose; come,
Ranteo, and don’t lay up all these shameful things against our whole
race.”

Without a word, Ranteo took from his belt the small soft skin of a
white rabbit, and laid it on the cradle, then followed Howe. Long
before Barnes and his men had finished their discussion, Ranteo had
slipped off in the stillness of the night, wondering in a stupid sort
of a way why white men were so unlike each other, that a child had
risked her life to save him from being shot when carrying a warning of
danger and an offer of hospitality, and that after delivering both,
his life was still so unsafe that he had to be smuggled away quietly.
As his canoe glided quietly over the dark water, he was glad the
pale-faces were far behind, but he wished that sweet, blue-eyed papoose
had a red skin.

After seeing Ranteo’s canoe safely out of sight, Howe turned back
toward the line of moving torches, which showed where the huts were.
As he saw them moving he decided the council must be over, and work
of some kind begun. “God only knows what those villains will be up to
next. Barnes hates me. It will be better for him not to know that I had
anything to do with Ranteo’s escape. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind taking
me in his place, and I shall be needed by the women and children. It’s
little consideration they’ll have while that brute is self-imposed
governor of the colony,” he said as he hurried on.

Mrs. Dare was holding the baby, and she looked up as he entered. “Did
he get off, Howe?” she asked.

“Yes; he’s far across the water by this time, and the villains are just
beginning to look for him. I fancy I see the torches coming this way,”
he replied.

“Thank God,” she said; “it would have been a disgrace to our people.
Oh, if my father were only here! What is to become of us all?”

“You will hear soon enough,” was the reply. “Here comes our gallant
new governor; it is best to be ignorant about Ranteo.”



CHAPTER V.



CHAPTER V.

  “Oh, the little birds sang east, and the little birds sang west,
                  And I said in an underbreath,
                  All our life is mixed with death
                  And who knoweth which is best?”

                                                         BROWNING.


Howe had hardly finished speaking when the light of another torch
flashed through the doorway, and with it appeared Barnes’s ugly face,
with his red hair standing straight up, literally on end, as it always
was, giving him the appearance of being in a chronic state of fright;
but unless his own hideous nature frightened him, which I am afraid he
had not grace enough to see as it really was, his appearance must have
been merely a reflection of the contorted, misshapen soul within.

Eleanor Dare was one of a fine old English family who nearly all had
served their country with their swords, on land or sea. She had all the
elements of a soldier; was a brave, noble woman. Her figure, which was
slight and graceful, to Barnes looked strangely tall and commanding as
she rose and came to meet him, still holding her baby.

“What do you want? and who are you that you make yourself a ruler?”

Though Barnes boasted of fearing neither God nor man, there was
something very cowardly in his nature: it made him shrink back now
before the eyes of this brave woman, who dared to stand alone and
accuse him of what he had done.

“You have not heard the truth, madam,” he said, almost civilly: “some
one has been telling you lies; it is the men who have said what we
shall do.”

In a gentler tone she said, “If that is really the case, I will
apologize. Without doubt you have sent some little gift to Manteo as a
token of our gratitude?”

“Sent! why we hoped to find the messenger here. We were just about to
prepare a gift for the chief. The men think it better not to go to
Croatoan; we are going to make all quite safe here. But,” he added,
“the Indian is not here, is he?”

“Here? oh, no. Mistress Wilkins is sleeping in the back, and Howe was
talking to me here. Was it Ranteo who brought the message?”

And Barnes, seeing her great blue eyes, and knowing little of a
woman’s power to act a part perfectly when something great is involved,
never guessed she was deceiving him, as he replied, “Yes, it was
Ranteo, I think.”

“Did you tell him to wait, that you wanted to send a present to
Manteo?” she asked.

“No; I didn’t think of it,” Barnes muttered as he turned away. When he
had reached his men, who stood a little way off, he continued, “I am
afraid if I had told him what the present was to be, he wouldn’t have
been any more anxious to wait. But I’ll tell you what it is, fellows,
they haven’t seen him, they don’t know anything about him. Folks can’t
fool me. The red scoundrel must have heard something we said, and
skipped; like enough he’ll bring his whole tribe back here to scalp us
all by morning.”

It was well for the little stars that their cloud nurses carried them
off to bed early; for I am sure they would have felt very sad had
they watched the changes fast appearing in the quiet little village
of Roanoke, through the long hours of that September night. The night
heron saw it all, and sent forth its mournful wail of sorrow. But at
last there was a lurid line of red along the eastern horizon, the dark
sky was shot with streaks of crimson, and the day broke softly. The
sun peeped down on the English colony, and found it wholly different
from the place she had left twelve hours before. The row of log huts
stood empty and deserted, many of them had lost their roofs or sides,
wherever there were strong logs they had been removed; there were
no signs of waking life about the place; everything was desolate. A
few things were strewn around, showing the haste of the departure.
At the lower end of the island some trees were hewn down, and just
beyond rose a palisade made of large timbers; behind it, all the
settlers were gathered in a confused crowd. The children were crying
or fretful; the women worn out and weary; most of the men thoroughly
out of temper, many of them swearing against Manteo for having, as they
said, disturbed their peaceful lives, or against Queen Elizabeth for
having sent them away to die alone, like the children of Israel in the
wilderness.

The day wore on as it had first dawned, clear and bright, but with a
decided chill in the air, which by night threatened almost a frost.
The women and children who were exposed felt it keenly; and the little
ones joined Elizabeth Harvey’s sad wail, all but Virginia, who lay
peacefully looking up at the blue sky and the fleecy clouds; her great
blue eyes seemed to understand what all the confusion meant, and she
uttered not a murmur.

When darkness crept over the land once more, bringing with it a
penetrating coldness, the men threw themselves on the ground with
whatever covering they could find, and went to sleep. Many of the
children cried themselves to sleep, and most of the tired women soon
followed them. Only in one corner a little group was still awake; on
the ground where the bushes formed a rude shelter lay Mrs. Harvey.
She had been about very little since the baby came. The exertion and
excitement of the move had proved too much for her. Mistress Wilkins
was caring for her as best she could, without the aid of medicine, or
even comforts, while Mrs. Dare tried to soothe poor little Elizabeth.
Harvey sat by, looking sadly at his wife, and with each weary breath
she drew his heart grew more heavy, and a greater sense of desolation
crept over him. The watchers watched on in silence; all was still save
the cry of the heron or the screech of the owl in the forest, when a
low whistle sounded from the northern end of the palisade, followed
by a flash of light from a torch which was held one moment high in
the air. This was to be Howe’s signal of danger, for he was stationed
that night. Harvey sprang to his feet and began waking the sleeping
men. Barnes had only half opened his eyes, when a hideous war-cry
sounded through the forest. In an instant every man was on his feet,
with his hand on his rifle, ready for the fight. Then came the arrows
thick and fast; from the inside of the palisade the guns boomed, or
a sword clashed against the Indian who tried to mount the palisade.
The redman’s war-whoop sounded on every side, now and then a flash
of lightning, for a storm was gathering, showed the hideous paint on
their copper-colored faces. The noise woke the birds from their sleep,
and drawing their little heads from under their wings they sent forth
doleful cries to add to the horror of the scene. Even the leaves seemed
to sigh with grief at the awful sight.

Patience had crouched close to Mrs. Dare, and was helping her to soothe
the babies, when she asked, “If the Indians get us all, what will they
do with us?”

Mrs. Dare held her baby more tightly as she replied, “Patience, even
if they are savages, they are under the power of our God whom they do
not know, and he can take care of us if the Indians do break through
the palisade; they can do nothing without his knowing it. You and I
cannot fight, dear, but we can pray.”

Patience sat a few moments silent before she spoke again. “Do you
know,” she said, “I don’t feel afraid, that is, very much afraid, for
the stars have just come through the clouds; though there are only
two or three, they are watching us, and they are so sorry; they are
blinking very hard to keep their tears back. See how they blink and
twinkle. I know they are angels’ eyes.”

A sudden wild yell in the forest sent terror to every heart. The men
had all they could do to keep back Wanchese and his braves. Several of
the settlers had been already wounded, and one killed. They could not
hold out much longer against their present enemy, and if help had come
to Wanchese they were surely lost. Only one moment did this thought
depress them, for the instant the savages heard the cry, they sent up
one fierce and wild answer, and turned to meet the new foe, now rushing
upon them, headed by Manteo.

Then the Englishmen fired a fresh volley, helping Manteo to drive
Wanchese rapidly back to the shore. The fight was over for the time,
just as morning dawned. Ranteo, with three other Indians, all in
paint and war toggery, were standing without the palisade. Howe went
to see what they wanted. All expected only a command to surrender, and
become Manteo’s prisoners. But no, Ranteo only handed Howe a soft,
well-cured deerskin, saying, “Manteo sends Ranteo to take the skin to
the Blue-eyes, and will the Blue-eyes and the beautiful lady go with
Ranteo to Manteo’s wigwam?”

He would not come inside the palisade, and Howe was not very anxious to
have him, as he felt he could not trust Barnes. But he took the skin
and message to Mrs. Dare.

As she listened, her eyes filled with tears, and she said, “How noble
and good of Manteo! But I will not leave the others. Can we not all go
now? Surely this dreadful night is enough.”

Howe shook his head. “Those Indian bodies outside craze the men.
Nothing will satisfy them now. Many of them would go through anything
in the world to shoot an Indian again. But go with your baby; you will
be safer there than here,” he said.

“No,” she replied firmly; “I will stay with my people to the last.
Thank him for me, Howe, and tell him what I say.”

Howe gave the message, and Ranteo went away disappointed.

Hopeful Kent took very good care to keep in as safe a place as possible
during the fight, yet he had an arrow wound in his left arm. Mrs. Dare
had bathed it, and was binding it up for him, when Patience ran up
and said, “Mistress Wilkins wanted her in a hurry, please.” She went
quickly to the elder-bush which sheltered the place where Mrs. Harvey
lay. She had roused enough to take her poor baby. Mistress Wilkins was
bending over her; just as Eleanor Dare came up, she opened her eyes and
looked around as if to find some one. Then her lips moved, and they
could just hear her say, “Martin!” He heard her, and was by her side in
a second. But the lips had closed forever.

The baby stirred and began its mournful wail, as Eleanor lifted it
gently out of the mother’s arms, where it would never lie again. The
morning sun sent down a long golden ray, which forced its way through
the trees, and lighted the pale face that was at rest forever. The
whole forest, birds and animals, seemed to wake to life together, and
began their hymn of praise and thanksgiving just as Mistress Wilkins
crossed the hands on the still breast, saying, “Grant her eternal
rest, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon her!”

Mrs. Harvey’s death was one more horror added to that awful night. All
seemed too much stunned by what they had been through, to be shocked,
or even much surprised, at anything. Howe helped poor Martin Harvey to
make a rude coffin, in which they laid the body of Elizabeth’s mother.
Patience gathered vines and flowers, and laid them about the peaceful
face. At sunset the deposed Governor Gage read the service, and they
carried the coffin away. The twins, poor little things, cried bitterly,
as did the little rosy boy, and the big girl, who tried hard to take
her mother’s place to the other three. And the poor baby, Elizabeth,
wailed more sadly than ever.

Another night crept on, and the summer seemed to have come back for a
little while. Though it was warm, not one star came out, and Patience
was afraid. Once more the dreadful yell, once more the forest was alive
with Wanchese’s men. Fierce and wild was the fight between the red and
the white men. Here and there the palisade began to yield; a blazing
arrow had set more than one place on fire. Cries and yells again made
the night hideous. The owls and herons once more joined in with their
weird, screeching cry.

Mrs. Dare sat holding the two babies, the women and children were
huddled about her, when Howe called her away out of their hearing.

“An hour more and the palisade must fall, you must not be here then.
You had better go to Manteo quickly.”

“How can we?” she asked simply.

“I have a plan,” he said. “It is dangerous, but it is more dangerous
for you to stay here; every moment makes the place less safe.”



CHAPTER VI.



CHAPTER VI.

  “Many are pains of life, I need not stay to count them; there is no
  one but hath felt some of them, though unequally they fall.”--UGO
  BASSI’S SERMON.


Scarcely ten minutes had passed before the group of women and children
stood by a little opening which Howe had made in the palisade, through
which they were to escape into the forest. Howe stepped out first. Why
should the leaves rustle so? He fancied he heard a noise near. An arrow
might pierce him in a second, or one of those frightful yells might
announce their discovery.

But no arrow came, and one by one the little procession filed out
behind him into the dark forest. It was by no means easy work to keep
on. The underbrush crackled and scratched the children’s hands and feet
until they cried and had to be hushed. Only the baby Elizabeth would
not be silenced, though Mrs. Dare did all she could to soothe her.

“They will certainly hear her and find us. We’ll be all scalped if you
carry her any farther,” said one of the women.

But Mrs. Dare’s answer silenced her. “If either of the children is
making noise enough to endanger you all, we ought not to remain
together. I will keep behind till you are all safe.”

Mistress Wilkins was just behind, carrying little Martin Harvey. He
was a stout child, really too heavy a load for the poor old woman, yet
she had energy enough left to turn savagely on the first speaker. “You
ought to be a heathen savage with a red skin,” she said, “to talk of
leaving a poor motherless baby alone in the woods for the wild beasts.
I wonder the Lord don’t send some of them out to tear you to pieces.
You are no Christian woman.”

On, on they went, groping their way through the darkness, often
stumbling, sometimes falling, but keeping on bravely, carrying the
children, and helping the more frightened ones. Suddenly they came to a
clearing, and before them stretched the great ocean. They all gathered
close together under the old trees that shaded even the very edge of
the bank. Then Howe told them he must leave them while he went to bring
the boats. Most of the women began to cry, saying they surely would be
killed without a man to protect them, until Eleanor Dare said, in her
quiet, decided way, “Go, Howe, we are quite safe here among the trees
and bushes. The great danger will be when we are on the water.”

“You had better not talk, or even move; and be sure you do not answer
any call, or speak to any one, until the signal of a low whistle is
given,” Howe said warningly, as he disappeared into the forest.

It seemed a century since he left them; it was in fact only about
thirty minutes before they heard his whistle, and he appeared carrying
an end of one of the boats. Harvey was carrying the other end, and
behind them came two men carrying another. Hopeful Kent was one, and he
was grumbling about the weight.

The boats were soon launched, the women were getting in, Howe was
lifting in the little ones, when suddenly Hopeful Kent sprang into the
nearest boat and pushed it from the shore. “What are you doing?” cried
a dozen voices. He only pushed the harder, muttering, “I hear the red
scoundrels coming.” He was mistaken, however: no one came, but they
could not persuade him to come back. He said he had as big a load as
he was going to row, and was soon out of sight.

“I dare not put another one in,” Harvey said to Howe, as the small
boat dipped to the water’s edge. Mrs. Dare, who had refused to get
in till all were settled, still stood holding the two babies, and by
her Patience and Mistress Wilkins. Howe looked at them helplessly
for a moment, then suddenly exclaimed, “I have an idea, Harvey! you
and Thompson see this boat safely to Croatoan. Tell them Mrs. Dare
is coming, and that it will be all right. If we do not come, you had
better come back and take the rest of the men. I am going to try to
steal two of the canoes, if I am seen and caught, they will have to
wait for you; be sure you come back.” The two men clasped hands for a
moment, and the boat slipped silently over the still water. Howe told
Mrs. Dare his plan; leaving his hat, shoes, and whatever else he did
not need, he scrambled along the bank just over the water. Very soon
he could see the palisade, and the torch-light showed the Indians’
ugly faces. He remembered Governor White’s directions about the name
of the place they should remove to, and as he reached the edge of the
little bay, he drew himself up to a tree, and taking out his knife
began to carve the word CRO-ATO-AN; but only three letters were done
when he noticed a commotion among the Indians, and fearing to be seen,
he slipped down into the water. It was strange that the Indians had
left the canoes unguarded, but they looked upon the pale-faces as a
stupid race, and they felt so sure that they were all enclosed behind
the palisade, they had left only one man to watch the boats. He was
more interested in the fight than in his duty, and hearing the unusual
commotion which was caused by a small portion of the palisade giving
way, he had gone up the bank to see how things were going on, thus
leaving the canoes unguarded, ready for Howe to take his choice. Howe
swam across the little bay; reaching a small tree, he drew himself up
by it, and lying flat on the ground pulled one of the light canoes
towards him, and pushed it into the water without a sound. Then came
the thought, if all the canoes were in the water their owners could
not possibly pursue save by land. It required only strength and
caution, both of which Howe possessed. Steadily he drew down first
one and then another, till all but one canoe, and the two largest and
lightest, which he had decided to take for Mrs. Dare, were floating
away silently on the smooth water; then he carefully brought to the
water his chosen two; the other lay among dry leaves on the bank, and
he decided not to run the risk of its rustling betraying him. Fastening
the two together, he stepped into one, and let the tide carry him far
out before he used the paddle; no one had seen him, or heard a sound.
The Indians always believed and declared that their canoes had been
floated away by the water spirit, who was angry with them, but spared
their medicine-man’s canoe, which was the one that lay among the
leaves. Howe was pretty well worn out when he reached the sheltered
spot where the anxious watchers waited for him. He told them of his
adventure, and that he felt very sure the palisade could hold out only
a little while longer, and that he was too worn out to paddle them to
Croatoan, but if they would wait only a few minutes more, he would go
to the palisade and send some one to them.

“And you, Howe,” Mrs. Dare asked, “what will become of you?”

“The men will soon need a place to hide or retreat to, then I will
bring them here. Thompson and Harvey will come back for us.” He had
hardly finished speaking before he was gone, and they sat quietly
waiting.

Who would come, and when? The moments rolled on like hours. The night
wind sighed in the pines till it seemed like a human moan. A great cry
suddenly pierced the stillness; it was from the Indians, and yet it was
not their war-whoop, rather a mournful cry. It sounded again and again,
and then died away.

“Either they have discovered the canoes are gone, or they have broken
down the palisade; you can rarely tell whether they are sorry or glad,”
Mrs. Dare said.

“If it is their canoes,” said Mistress Wilkins, “they will come along
the shore for them, and we shall surely be found.”

“Let us still hope and pray,” Mrs. Dare said feebly.

“Hark!” whispered Patience, “I am sure I hear some one coming.” The
twigs were cracking and the underbrush breaking. It was not Howe’s
decided step either. No, nor was it Howe’s voice that said, “Mrs.
Dare, your father left me in his place, to guide and govern his people.
As none of them wish me to do either at present, I am sure he would say
my duty was with you. Howe says we must go off at once.”

She thanked him as he helped Mistress Wilkins and Patience into one
canoe, and herself and the two babies into the other.

“The tide runs directly to Croatoan, so we can float most of the way
without paddling,” Gage said, as the canoes, fastened together, floated
quietly away from the shore into the stillness and darkness of night.

Howe, after leaving the little party on the shore, went back to the
palisade; he found the men fighting like true Englishmen, but he
managed to explain to Gage the condition of the women; and then, after
seeing him safely off, he went to work with a will: every one was
needed.

The palisade was fast giving away, several large holes were plainly to
be seen; the Indians were fighting with all the power of their wild,
savage nature. If they once got through the palisade, every white man
must die; then he thought of the women and children, and wondered
if Manteo would receive them kindly, or if he would resent Ranteo’s
treatment. As he fought and tried to encourage the men, his thoughts
ran on quickly. He thought of the future, and Governor White’s return;
who would tell him where to find what was left of the little colony?
surely the three letters on the tree over the little bay would not. He
slipped down from his place, having just thrown over his adversary whom
he was fighting with hand to hand. Opening his pocket-knife, he found a
large tree that would be easily seen, stripped the bark off about five
feet from the ground, and on the smooth surface he carved in clear,
old English characters, CROATOAN. He had just finished the “n,” when
a sudden pain made him lose his hold on the branch. He tried to raise
himself to put the cross over the word, as the governor had said to
do if in danger or distress, but he could not move. He could only lie
there listening to the cries and war-whoops, and now and then a groan
from a dying or wounded man. Above all, he could hear the sad call of
the night heron; he could see that the Indians had broken away the
palisade and were rushing in. How many seconds before they would find
him, he wondered. The vision of a gray stone church across the sea came
before him, where he had learned from his very babyhood the truths and
lessons which had made him a blessing and a credit to his country, and
enabled him to lie there now facing death without a fear. He thought of
the dear old face of his rector, remembered his last words at parting,
and the promise of his prayers. “Such prayers must be heard on high,”
he muttered. “I have forgotten many of his holy teachings, but the dear
Lord will be merciful and forgiving. He will, he will.”

An Indian was coming very near; but what was that cry? It came from the
Indians that were outside the palisade. Those who had forced their way
in seemed to be retreating. He longed to ask, but there was no one near
enough. Presently all became still, except for the low, sad wail that
came from the outside. The white men were evidently astonished, but
were taking advantage of the lull to patch up the palisade.

Presently a man came near, and asked, “Who are you?” Howe answered,
asking at the same time, “What has stopped the fight?”

“That’s more than we can tell,” was the reply. “It’s something on the
shore, though; something makes them think their gods are angry, for
they have stopped fighting, and are offering gifts and dancing dances
to one of their spirits. It is a good thing for us, anyway.”

“Put any of the Indians that have been wounded or killed outside, then
come back to me,” said Howe, “and I will tell you something.”

After half an hour the man came back, and three others with him.

“Are you hurt?” he asked.

“Yes,” said Howe, “it’s an arrow just above my shoulder, I think, but
it is broken off.”

The men could feel the end of the arrow, and with great difficulty, and
causing him much pain, they drew it out.

“How are our men?” he asked, as soon as he could speak.

“It’s hard to tell exactly, but they’re mostly all wounded more or
less, and there are thirteen killed,” was the answer.

“We must not stay here: we cannot tell what those savages will do next;
but first, we must hide Governor White’s boxes,” said Howe.

There was a little silence, then one of the men said, “We might as well
tell you the worst, you have got to come to it. We’re all sorry, but it
can’t be helped. There wasn’t one among ’em like my old woman, ’Ilda,
though the ’eathen dogs have done away with every woman and child we
’ad.”

Howe almost laughed as he replied, “I was the heathen dog. I helped
them to go to Croatoan, where we must go as soon as possible. That’s
what happened to the Indians in the middle of fighting; they must have
suddenly discovered that their canoes were gone, and, I dare say,
thought some of their gods had spirited them away.”

“Thank ’eaven, thank ’eaven!” cried the first speaker, falling on his
knees. “Thank ’eaven for my ’Ilda!”

They saw that Howe was exhausted, and left him resting on the ground
while they went to work. An hour later Governor White’s trunks were
buried, and all the little treasures they could carry were packed in
bundles, and all was made ready to leave Roanoke.

Howe and Barnes were both too seriously wounded to walk; they were laid
on rude biers and carried. The dead men had been buried; others, who
were only slightly wounded, walked, though in more or less pain. The
way through the forest was a rough one, but their courage kept them
up. At last the bank was reached, and in a sheltered hiding-place they
found Thomson and Harvey waiting with the largest boat; the other, they
said, had not reached Croatoan when they left. They had also several
of the floating canoes, which they had captured on their way back. As
day dawned, they found all that remained of the English colony on the
shores of Croatoan, waiting to see how the chief Manteo would treat
them.



CHAPTER VII.



CHAPTER VII.

  “She had eyes of sunniest English blue;
    She had tresses of golden hair;
  Her cheeks were tipped with the hawthorn’s hue;
    Her name, Virginia Dare.”


Manteo, true to the faith he professed, forgave and forgot, or rather
he never spoke of his warning, or Ranteo’s strange visit to Roanoke;
when he understood that the white tribe were in trouble, and had fled
to him for protection, he solemnly held out his hand to Mrs. Dare, then
handed her a long pipe, seeming to take it for granted that she filled
her father’s place. She went bravely at it for a few minutes in sight
of all Manteo’s warriors, who watched her with a strange awe; then he
took the pipe from her and led her to a wigwam, where she was to stay
while the refugees were provided for by the Indians.

The autumn days slipped by, and the winter came. It was a mild winter,
even for that part of the country; and as it broke, and the first mild,
balmy spring days came, the settlers began to watch for the governor’s
return. Day after day they looked, but the mild spring melted into the
heat of summer, and yet he did not come.

Hopeful Kent and his boat-load that left Roanoke in such a hurry that
night had never been seen or even heard of; they had either been
drowned, or captured by Wanchese’s men. Autumn again began to paint
the trees yellow and red, yet no sign of a sail; the men were growing
discontented, and gave up watching for the ships they would never see,
and went more ardently at their grumbling.

One night, nearly fifteen months after Governor White and his fleet
had left the shore of Virginia, the men’s discontent, which had
been smouldering like a choked fire, burst into a blaze of defiant
rebellion, and on that same night they slipped away in the darkness.
Sixty of the men whom Manteo had sheltered and cared for more than a
year went to Wanchese. Barnes was the leader in this, as in the former
troubles; but he did not tell the men all he meant to do; he knew them
too well to expect them to agree to anything so base as this plan. In
truth, he meant to betray Manteo. Wanchese listened to his proposal
with disdain and distrust, then he cried, “Such a dog shall not live!”
and with a blow of his tomahawk Barnes fell dead. Many of the men were
killed, others were branded and kept as slaves.

Life was more quiet and peaceful after the discontented were gone. Of
course there were sad hearts among the women and children for a while,
for some had lost husbands and fathers. The weaker ones broke down
utterly with the life of exposure and hardship. More than one grave had
been made; the Indians looking on in awe and wonder at the Christian
burial. Mrs. Dare had learned many Indian words, and in a quiet way
she had done much for the neglected women and children, for there were
such among those poor savages, as there are to-day in our own civilized
towns and villages; and in that way she won not only their hearts, but
the hearts of the men also. There is no surer way in the world to a
man’s heart than through his children.

All this time the baby Virginia grew. The soft down on her round head
had changed to a halo of golden curls. Her eyes had grown large and
deep like the sea; sometimes a sparkling, laughing blue, and sometimes
almost a gray when a cloud of sorrow crept across her little horizon.
She was not afraid of anything, and nothing seemed to harm her. The
cold rain or the hot sun never made her ill; she seemed to open like a
flower, gaining strength and beauty from all that nature gave. One day
when swinging in her willow cradle under the blue sky, laughing and
playing with her toes, as children do, the old woman or mother of the
tribe, bent and wrinkled, browned and weather-beaten, came slowly up
the hill with several of the squaws. Patience sat on the ground holding
the baby Elizabeth, who, as soon as she saw the old squaw, gave a wild
cry of fear, and buried her face on Patience’s shoulder, moaning and
sobbing. The old woman shook her head, and passed on to the willow
cradle. Little Virginia looked up at the ugly old face for some time,
as if she were studying it. Then she stretched out her tiny white hands
with a pretty baby laugh. The squaw bent over the cradle; Virginia
cooed and smoothed the brown, wrinkled cheek; a murmur of delight
passed through the group of Indian women. Mrs. Dare, who had come to
the door of the wigwam, lifted the baby from its cradle, and tried to
put her in the old Indian’s arms; but she drew back, clasping her hands
and muttering as she looked up towards the sky. The other squaws acted
in the same way. Ranteo, who had just come up, explained to Mrs. Dare
that his people had never seen a papoose with blue eyes before, and
they would not touch it, for they thought it must be a spirit. From
that day Virginia received presents of all kinds, from the skin of a
bison to the wing of an eagle. Her baby clothes were worn out long ago,
and she lay wrapped in skins, like any papoose.

She was a little more than a year and a half old when Howe went with
Gage to see if there was any sign of Governor White’s fleet. They never
came back. Life went on quietly at Croatoan. The men went to their
hunt, or, in their gaudy paint and war toggery, went to fight. The
women beat out their vessels, or wove baskets, and dried skins. The
children played at their sham wars, or went on their imaginary hunts,
or sang their songs full of myths and mysteries.

The summer that Virginia was three years old, she was playing under
the willow-trees outside the wigwam with little Elizabeth, whom she
had nicknamed Beth, and whom she was truly fond of; the only one in
the world who loved the fretful, delicate child with a love that was
not mingled with pity. They were playing quietly together, when a
squaw, holding a little boy by the hand, came near and stood watching
them. Beth at once stopped playing and began to cry, while Virginia
smiled at the little boy, who was several years her senior, and held
out her hand, saying, “Will you come play?” He came to her, but stood
more like a soldier on duty than a child ready for play. The two
looked curiously at each other for several moments. The boy, pointing
to Virginia’s great blue eyes and then to the blue bird he held in
his hand, exclaimed, “Owaissa! Owaissa!” then he laid the bird on her
golden curls; and when, after a long play, he went away, the squaw who
had charge of him urged him to take the bird back, for it was the most
loved of all his toys. He shook his head and angrily refused. He was
Iosco, Manteo’s son; and after that he came often to the willow-tree
and played with Owaissa, as he called her. As she grew older and was
able to play with Iosco and the other Indian children, she was known
among them only as Owaissa.

Virginia was nearly six when Mrs. Dare began to give up all hopes of
seeing the English ships that were to bring her husband and father.
The hard, rough life of exposure had made great changes in the young
and beautiful woman who had sailed from England a happy bride only a
little more than seven years before. She looked twenty years older;
her wavy brown hair was gray; her complexion was burnt and sallow. She
lived only for her little daughter, and what good she could do among
the poor heathen, who fairly worshipped her. She had taught Virginia
to read. When six years old, the child knew all the old familiar Bible
stories, and she could sing many of the old hymns and and psalms. Thus
the education of the first American-born child slowly progressed.

The squaw who waited on Iosco, whose name was Adwa, was very fond of
both children: her own, she said, had all gone to the Happy Hunting
Ground. She would tell them stories by the hour, while the three
children sat listening breathlessly, for Virginia always insisted
upon bringing Beth in for whatever was going on. As the squaw sat and
parched the corn, she would tell them of Mondamin, and how the young
Indian fasted and prayed for no selfish purpose, but for the profit of
his people; and how he wrestled with and conquered Mondamin, because of
his prayer to the Great Spirit. Or as they sat by the water she would
tell them how the Puk-Wudjie fed the great fish, or how they killed
Kwasind. Or they would watch the clouds clear away after a storm, and
Adwa would tell them how the little flowers that died on earth bloomed
again in the rainbow. As they sat in the growing darkness, watching the
little fire-flies, she taught them the Indian children’s good-night
song:--

  “Fire-fly, fire-fly, bright little thing,
  Light me to bed, and my song I will sing!
  Give me your light as you fly o’er my head,
  That I may merrily go to my bed.
  Give me your light, o’er the grass as you creep,
  That I may joyfully go to my sleep.
  Come, little fire-fly, come, little beast,
  Come, and I’ll make you to-morrow a feast.
  Come, little candle, that flies as I sing,
  Bright little fairy-bug, night’s little king.
  Come, and I’ll dance as you guide me along,
  Come, and I’ll pay you, my bug, with a song!”

Beth could not learn the song; in fact, she had learned very little of
the Indian language, while Virginia spoke it quite as well as English.
In return for Adwa’s tales of Indian lore, Virginia would often tell
the Bible stories she loved so well, old fables, or wonderful fairy
tales; she even taught Iosco her favorite hymn. In this way the first
six years of her life were passed, and her intellect and imagination
were developed. In the same proportion she gained strength and vigor
from the active games of the Indian children. She could climb a tree
as nimbly as a squirrel, keep up with any child of her own size in the
race, scramble down a steep cliff, or run over a narrow bridge formed
only of a branch, as if she were in truth an Owaissa. Her life was
light-hearted and sunny: no cloud of sorrow had yet obscured its baby
brightness. But a dark cloud was fast gathering. Even when the cloud
had broken away, the sun would never again be as bright as it had been
before.



CHAPTER VIII.



CHAPTER VIII.

  “O the long and dreary winter!
  O the cold and cruel winter!
  Ever thicker, thicker, thicker
  Froze the ice on lake and river,
  Ever deeper, deeper, deeper
  Fell the snow o’er all the landscape.”

                             LONGFELLOW.


The winter after Virginia was seven years old was one which could never
be forgotten by those who lived through it. The snow fell thick and
fast for days together. Then came a cold wind, which blew until the
streams were frozen like iron, and the great snow mounds became as
mountains of shining metal. The wind sang dirges among the leafless
trees; the hunters went out day after day, and returned empty-handed;
the forest seemed deserted by all living things. The children cried for
food, and not getting it, sickened and died. The women made fires and
offered gifts to the Great Spirit of the Hunt. Manteo and his Christian
people offered prayers daily. But all appeared to be of no avail.

Mrs. Dare was lying on her tussan of skins, and Virginia kneeling by
her, with her arms tightly round her mother’s neck. They were talking
as they often did together. Virginia was saying, “But, mamma, why does
God send trouble and sorrow and pain to us if he really loves us?”

“It is just because he does love us, darling, that he sends us sorrow
to lead us to love him,” was the gentle reply.

“But, mamma, dearest, you love God, yet he sends you so much pain. And
you have not enough to eat, either. It cannot be to make you love him,”
said Virginia.

“Yes, my darling; we may love him all our lives, and yet not give him
all the love we owe him. He never sends a pain or sorrow that is not
for our good, though we cannot always know why it is. When you were a
very little girl, almost a baby, and your gums were so sore, it was
because I loved you and wanted to save you from pain that I lanced the
sore place and gave you great pain just for a moment. You could not
understand why then, even if I had explained it to you, but you never
doubted my love. You knew I would not hurt you unnecessarily. We must
trust God in the same way, dear, for he loves us even more than I love
you.”

“O mamma! you make me good; when I am with you I can do anything. I
don’t even mind being hungry;” and Virginia’s great blue eyes were full
of tears as she looked into her mother’s face.

“Darling, you must learn to be good without me; we may not always be
together, you know.”

Mrs. Dare spoke with so much feeling that Virginia started and looked
pained. But before she could speak, the skin that hung in front of the
doorway was drawn aside, and Manteo came in. He sat down, with bowed
head, and without speaking a word. Virginia, who had learned to love
him, sat quietly at first. She knew he must be in very great trouble
over the sufferings of his people, and her loving heart was full of
sympathy.

At last she crept softly to him, and laid her curly head on his brown
hand. Her eyes told more than words could express. With a great effort
he raised his head.

“The Great Spirit, the mighty Werowance, has forgotten us, or he is
angry. The people die, and there is no food. Manteo’s own child Iosco
has the curse. There is no food to give him; he must die.”

“No!” cried Virginia, “God will not let Iosco die. Have you asked him
for food for Iosco, Werowance Manteo? I know he will save him.”

“All night,” replied Manteo, “under the stars on the cold snow did
Manteo talk with God. But he would not hear him.”

Mrs. Dare had risen. Manteo could not fail to notice how frail and ill
she looked, as she came toward him. She drew the skin that lay over the
couch around her as she said, “Manteo, take me to Iosco!”

He sprang up, a gleam of hope in his dark eyes. “Will the lady go to
Iosco?” he cried. “Will she ask the Great Spirit to save the boy’s
life? Her god will hear her voice, though it be soft as a morning
breeze in the budding time.”

They passed out into the biting wind, the tall chief bowed with grief,
the delicate English lady, and the sweet child with golden hair, and
walked over the frozen snow to Manteo’s wigwam. Mrs. Dare bent over
Iosco as he lay on a tussan of balsam on the floor of the wigwam,
restless with fever. She stroked the dark hair back from the flushed
forehead, and then turning to Virginia, said in English, “Go and
ask Mistress Wilkins to give you the red herbs, and bring them to me
quickly, dear.”

Virginia flew over the snow, and returned with the herbs in a small
iron pot that had been brought from Roanoke, before the squaws
crouching around the wigwam thought she had time even to reach Mistress
Wilkins. Mrs. Dare stirred up the fire which was smouldering on the
floor of the wigwam, prepared the herbs carefully, and boiled them in
the iron pot. Poor Iosco lay gasping, delirious, and exhausted. Manteo
thought he was dying, and caught Mrs. Dare’s hand almost fiercely as he
cried, “Ask the Great Spirit! Oh, ask him quickly!”

She knelt down quietly by the poor boy, Virginia knelt too, and all
followed their example. There had been regular hours for prayer before
Howe and Gage had been lost; since then, all were welcome who cared to
come to Mrs. Dare’s wigwam for devotions. She felt keenly a woman’s
dislike to put herself conspicuously before the world, even though it
were a little heathen world; but she had taught them a great deal in
a quiet way. They felt she was their friend; they knew and loved her.
And now with her simple words of prayer every heart in that rude cabin
was lifted to the great Father above. Mrs. Dare gave Iosco the herb-tea
that had been simmering over the fire. The hot draught and her gentle
ministration soothed the poor boy, and he fell into a quiet sleep.
Manteo still knelt on the floor. When he saw his boy sleeping sweetly,
he exclaimed, “The Father is great and good, but he is angry with the
redman, and will not hear his voice. Only the voices of the Blue-eyes
reach his camp.”

“Oh, no!” said Mrs. Dare earnestly. “Oh, no, Werowance Manteo! The
great Father loves us all, and he hears your prayers as soon as you
speak. Ask him now to guide you, and go to the forest and hunt, for
Iosco must have something to strengthen him when he awakes.”

“Will the white lady speak to the Great Spirit for Manteo while he goes
and hunts?” he asked.

“I will, indeed,” she replied. And Manteo silently took his bow and
arrows and left the wigwam.

For hours Iosco slept peacefully. At sunset his father returned, to the
great joy and delight of every one, bringing with him the flesh of a
young bear. Mrs. Dare prepared a dainty dish, and told Virginia to give
Iosco a little when he first awakened, and to come and tell her how he
was; that she was going back to her own wigwam for a while. Virginia
was a very sensible little woman for only seven years old. She was
born with the rare and blessed gift of a true nurse; and though there
were five squaws in the wigwam, they let her sit close to the patient,
feeling that she had a sort of supernatural power. They were afraid
when her mother went away; but, as Iosco grew no worse, they decided
Virginia must have the same power with the Great Spirit. When at last
Iosco stirred and opened his eyes, one of them handed Virginia the
food, that her hand might put it to his lips. He smiled at her as he
took a little of the food, and then he went to sleep again. She slipped
away to tell her mother the good news that Iosco was certainly better.
Virginia stepped out of the wigwam into the cold night air. How the
wind howled! The silver moonlight lay on everything, making the world
in its white winding-sheet ghastly enough. The cold desolation seemed
to freeze Virginia’s heart. She shuddered as she ran on. Here was
Beth coming to meet her. “Dear Beth, how good you are to come! Iosco
is better. But what’s the matter?” she asked, as Beth drew her toward
the light that shone from the wigwam. Mistress Wilkins was there, and
two old squaws, she saw as she reached the doorway. And her mother,
where was she? A cry broke from Virginia as she saw her lying white and
motionless on the bed. She threw herself on her knees, and laying her
head on her mother’s breast she cried again and again, “Mamma, dearest
mamma! Oh, speak to me just once, your own little girl. Open your eyes,
please! Do look at me, oh, please, mamma.”

But the still, calm face lay against the black robe, in that peace
which sorrow or pain alike are powerless to disturb.

A hemorrhage had come on just after she had left Iosco. She never spoke
again, but lay with folded hands till the angel of death closed her
eyes forever. Virginia was alone.



CHAPTER IX.



CHAPTER IX.

  “To cure heartache is godfather Time’s business, and even he is not
  invariably successful.”--J. H. EWING.


When great sorrow comes to us in youth, we feel it must affect
and change the whole world; but when we have lived longer in this
changeable world, we take it for granted that the whirl of life will go
on as usual, only we ourselves drop out for a little while, to fight
with our heartache alone, and to conquer it, with God’s help, ere we
take up the busy thread of our life again with placid faces, just as
if our thread and shuttle were as bright and beautiful as before; and
perhaps when all our work looks gray to us, we are weaving the most
perfect and beautiful pattern.

Poor little Virginia had never thought of life without her mother,
until that conversation which Manteo had interrupted; and then her
mind was so full of Iosco’s sickness that she did not think of her
mother’s words again until that dreadful moment came when she called
and called, and no answer came from those still lips, and she knew
that her mother would never hold her in her arms again and kiss her.
Everything went on just as before, except that the frost soon changed
to a thaw, game became more plentiful, and the suffering less. But
not so Virginia’s sorrow: it was so deep and intense for a while,
Mistress Wilkins thought it would wear her young life out. Beth was
her great comfort through this lonely time: she was one to love, one
who really needed her, and the two children truly loved each other.
Iosco grew quite strong after a time: he never forgot what Mrs. Dare
had done for him, and that it was in saving his life she had hastened
her own death. He had always been fond of Virginia, and now his love
was mingled with gratitude. There was hardly an hour of the day he did
not bring some little offering for “Owaissa,” or tell her stories, or
sing songs to her. Time softens the greatest and sharpest sorrow. Let
us thank God for it: we should die were it not so. Though Virginia’s
heart was nearly broken by her mother’s death, and she wished that she
too might die, she did not die, but took her life up bravely after a
while; helping those among whom she lived and whom she really loved;
gathering flowers and forest treasures in the summer; watching the
birds build their nests, and the trees put on their pretty dresses in
budding-time; helping in the work, and playing merry games through
roasting-ear time; in the fall of the leaf gathering acorns and
nuts, and in winter sitting with others around the wigwam fires of
cedar-wood, and listening to the stories which the old men told.

So the years passed by, and Owaissa grew from a child to a girl. She
was tall and slender; her eyes had a more thoughtful expression than
when she was a child, but in other ways she was unchanged. She grew up
a perfectly natural girl, full of the poetry and romance of the wild
people of the forest. Iosco was still her devoted friend: she looked
upon him as a brother. They wandered through the forest together,
gathering flowers or acorns or sweet grasses. Sometimes they sat
down and rested on the banks of a little stream, and told each other
stories. Iosco’s were of the wild Indian lore. He told her of Odjibwa
and the Red Swan, of Hiawatha and his Minnehaha. One day they sat on
the bank of a little stream which rushed on, making a tiny waterfall
just below, which sang to them; so Iosco thought, as he sat there with
Owaissa, while overhead the pines waved their lofty branches, and the
soft breezes whispered love-songs among them. Wild-flowers and delicate
mosses nestled about their feet. All around, laurel blossoms made the
forest beautiful and the air fragrant. Birds were flying to and fro,
and from a near tree a whip-poor-will was singing to its mate, as if
it were telling its love. Iosco was watching Virginia. She looked more
like an angel than ever, as she sat with her golden hair falling in
masses over her mantle of doe-skins, her slender hands clasped while
she listened to the water and the birds.

Her eyes of deepest blue were looking thoughtfully far away. Iosco was
fond of Virginia, very fond; but he never thought of her as he did of
the Indian maidens. The moments he spent with her were the happiest
in his life. When they walked hand in hand, a strange thrill passed
through him. He would have died for her willingly, had there been any
need. His quick eye saw now that she was sad as she sat listening; and
he drew closer to her as he asked, “Where do Owaissa’s thoughts go,
that they send such sorrow out of her eyes?”

“Iosco,” she said, “mamma would tell me if she were here, that I ought
to be thankful for all God has given me. I often fancy when I sit alone
that I can hear her telling me just as she used to, that it is one’s
duty not only to be contented, but to be cheerful and happy. I think I
am usually, don’t you, Iosco?”

He nodded as he replied, “Owaissa is like a bird, her eyes are so
bright, her laugh is so merry.”

“I try to be,” she went on, “and I am very happy indeed. Every one is
so kind to me; but sometimes I can’t help wishing very much that I
could see some of my own people. I should like to know if my father is
alive, and if he sometimes thinks of me. He went away when I was only
ten days old: I know he could not forget his baby.”

They sat silently for a few minutes, then Virginia looked up into
Iosco’s face. “You know,” she said softly, “sometimes I feel sure my
father will come for me and take me away.”

Had she felt Iosco’s hand, she would have been astonished at its icy
coldness, and would have wondered what made him clinch his fingers
as if he were in pain. From that day a wild dread of the white man’s
return haunted Iosco. An Indian never shows his emotion, so he only
said quietly, “Did I ever tell Owaissa the story of Battao? It is a
beautiful one from the far north, a captive of my father’s told it to
me.”

“No: you never told it to me. I should like to hear it,” Virginia said,
with a little sigh.

Iosco would have made an ideal picture as he sat there. His black hair
was thrown back from a high forehead, beneath which two dark eyes
looked out, which were remarkable for their depth and truth. He had a
straight, well-cut nose, and a mouth almost severe, so firm and decided
was its expression. When he smiled, one forgot the stern look, for a
sweet, gentle expression transformed the face. It was a classical face,
and its owner had a deep sense and appreciation of the poetry of life.
Certainly they made a study for an artist,--the fair girl with her
golden hair, and the graceful figure of the Indian, as he told her the
quaint old Indian legend.

“Many, many moons back, in the sunny north, over towards the setting
sun, lived a mighty Werowance whom they called Tyee. His lands stretch
all along the beautiful sound, where fine wampum is found. This Tyee
had a daughter. The name of the beautiful maid was Battao. Every one,
even those far away, knew of the rich wampum and the fine furs that
would belong to the man who should take Battao for his wife. Her father
said she should go to no man whom she did not love, and he kept firmly
to this, though chiefs of great tribes came to win her, and many from
every part sought her. Battao would look at none of them.

“One day a brave warrior came, tall and handsome. Battao looked at him,
trusted his brave eyes, and loved him. As they floated over the smooth
waters in Battao’s swift canoe, they came to a beautiful island, where
they sat on the shore and talked. And many days when the sun had gone
half-way on its journey, and done its day’s baking, so that the air was
as that which comes from the fire, Battao and her maidens would cross
to the beautiful island, and there her lover would tell them strange
stories. As they listened, the maidens sifted the soft sea-sand through
their fingers, and as it fell upon the shore it formed the shape of
whatever Battao’s lover was saying; there it hardened, and yet may be
found, and it brings the favor of all the gods to any one who finds one
of the forms and wears it in his wampum belt.”

“Oh, I should like to see some of the shapes, Iosco, wouldn’t you?”
asked Virginia.

“Yes,” he said, “I should; and I should like to go to that land, it is
so sunny, our captive said.”

“It could not be more lovely than it is here,” Virginia replied; “but
please go on and tell me what became of Battao.”

Iosco was happy for the present; at least he had made Owaissa forget
the white tribe, and the canoes with pinions like wings, that she had
said she was sure would come. So he went on gladly:--

“One day, when Battao, with her lover in her canoe, and all her maids
in their canoes, were going back from the beautiful island, as they
came to the deep part of the water, Battao’s lover said some words to
her in a strange language that the maiden could not understand, then
sprang into the water. Battao did not cry out, she only looked down
where her lover had disappeared; so did her maidens. But he did not
rise, nor could they see anything of him, and they went home to their
people. When they told the strange story, all the people said Battao’s
lover had drowned himself, and other men began to come every hour. But
Battao would not look at them or their presents, saying that her lover
was not dead, that he said before he jumped into the water he would
come back in twelve days. None of her people believed Battao; and her
maids went into the wood, wailing and mourning for her loss. But every
day when the sun was half-way on its journey, she would call her maids
from the wood and lead them down to the water. Then they would paddle
their canoes to the place where Battao’s lover had disappeared, and she
would look down into the water, in which she could see the clouds, the
sun, and even the trees and mountains, all looking at themselves. She
saw not the brave and handsome lover until the twelfth day came. And
then, while she looked down, he sprang up out of the shining water into
Battao’s canoe.”

“Oh, how happy she must have been!” cried Virginia.

“Yes, very happy,” continued Iosco, “and all of Battao’s people; for
her lover brought many presents with him, rare and wonderful flowers
that grow in the sea, and large pearls. For Battao he brought beautiful
coral. Then there was a great happiness among all the people; for
Battao and her lover were married. As they paddled out in their canoe
one day soon after, Battao asked her lover where he went to down in
the water. He told her his people lived there, and he wanted her to go
and see his tribe, where they hunted whales and seals, and gathered
pearls and coral and beautiful shells, such as she had never seen.
She took his hand, and together they sprang into the shining water.
All the maidens, seeing the water swallow Battao up, gave a great cry
that shook the whole forest. But she called out to them that she would
come back to see her father. All her people mourned for her, and said
some evil spirit must have taken her, and she must now be a fish in
the water. But on the twelfth day she came to her people and to her
father’s wigwam, and told great and wonderful stories of the things she
had seen. And she brought beautiful presents to her father, and to all
her people. When she would go back, her father bowed down and grieved
so that he would have died, but that she put her hand on his breast and
promised him that while he lived his daughter would be with him six
moons every year. And so she was; the rest of the time she was with
her husband in the big sea-water. But she still remembered and loved
her people, and warns them of storms, even to this day, our captive
said. She is seen over the place where she and her lover went down, and
she looks tall and misty. No one dares come near her, for something
dreadful has happened to all who have ever tried; before every dreadful
storm she comes, and the people call the island to which she and her
maidens went to listen to the lover’s wonderful stories, the island of
Battao.”

They sat silently for a few moments, when Iosco had finished the story;
then Virginia asked, “Do you think, Iosco, that all can tell whether
they will love each other when they look at each other for the first
time?”

There was a strange look in Iosco’s eyes, as he answered, “Iosco can
tell little about such things, Owaissa; some people surely could.”

After another pause, Virginia said, “Your stories are so beautiful,
Iosco, and I love them; but they make me wish that I knew more of the
stories of my people; there must be many that I have never heard, and
even some of those my mother told me I have forgotten. I ought to have
remembered them, and then I could tell you them, and teach you more
about our God. I speak of him only to you, Iosco, for I know so little;
I cannot even remember for myself; and when I try to talk to Mistress
Wilkins about him, she shakes her head and says, ‘Oh! he has forgotten
us. If he loved us he would take us from this place; don’t speak to me
about him, child, this is not his land. He cannot hear us when we speak
to him. There is no priest or altar to hallow the land.’ But, Iosco,
when I am alone in the forest sometimes, and all is still, I can almost
hear him speaking to me, and I feel and know that he is close to me,
and I want so much to know him. I can only kneel down and say as mamma
used, ‘Dear Lord,’ and I know he hears me. Beth or Patience or any of
the others does not know as much as I: they have forgotten, or were
never taught as I was, and you know I could not ask any of the men.
Patience says they are the very worst that came over from England. I
wish you knew, Iosco.”

He did not reply; and they sat quietly together, only the song of
the little birds above, and the sound of the falling water broke the
perfect stillness.



CHAPTER X.



CHAPTER X.

  “There are moments in life of real sorrow, when we judge things by
  a higher standard, and care vastly little what people say.”--J. H.
  EWING.

        “And the forests dark and lonely,
  Moved through all their depths of darkness,
  Sighed, ‘Farewell.’”

                                  LONGFELLOW.


Manteo was a wise and brave chief, as well as a good and thoughtful
one, and was much loved by his people. The dozen Englishmen who yet
remained as the remnant of the Roanoke settlers could not understand
the reverence with which the savages treated their leader. His word was
law. His decisions were just, without regard to whom he was judging.

One autumn the twelve white men sat at their work of hollowing wooden
bowls. As they worked, they talked about their future, and the prospect
of seeing England again, which all confessed was very small.

“I tell you,” said one, who looked strangely like Jack Barnes, and was,
in fact, his brother, “I tell you what it is, fellows, we’ll never see
England if we wait for those lazy cowards to come over for us. We must
go over ourselves if we are ever to get there.”

The men all laughed; and one, Bill Smith, said, “Why don’t you tell us
to swim over the big pond? We’re nothing but slaves here, anyway, and
I’m sick of it. Having to obey a red savage, an old heathen dog!”

A third one, who really had the best face in the crowd, replied, “I
tell ye, lads, it’s a bad business, and that’s true enough. But ye’re
not bettering it by muttering about it. Manteo is not a bad one, and ye
forget he is not a heathen; was he not christened by Master Bradford?”

“That’s all quite as you say; but it takes more’n a few drops of
water to make his ugly, copper-colored skin clean, and a heap more to
make him a Christian, I’m thinking. I tell you, Gray, you’re easily
taken in,” Barnes said, laughing. “I tell you what it is, lads,” he
continued, “if we’re ever to go to England, we must take the bull by
the horns in the shape of Manteo, and get rid of him. These red fellows
will not know what to do if he’s gone, and we can make ’em obey us. And
we’ll set ’em to work at building a craft to carry us home.”

As the men sat at work, their evil imaginations and plans were making
mischief faster than their hands were making bowls. At the same time,
not a great distance off, Virginia sat under the old willow-tree,
working at the rude spinning that Mistress Wilkins had taught her. The
day was beautiful, and she felt a strange sense of joy even in living.
The world all about was so beautiful; as she spun, she sang, first one
of the wild Indian songs, then an old English hymn that she remembered,
though imperfectly. She sang and worked, as the sun played with her
yellow hair and turned it into gold.

Her thoughts went far across the water. That great longing for her
mother, then for her father, crept into her heart. Her hands rested
idly. She must look out on the water. What if those great canoes should
be coming in sight even now! There seemed to be an odd stillness,
as if something were going to happen. She wandered along a little
wood-path to a hill, beyond which she could see the clear water. There
was the great blue sea, sparkling and dancing in the sunlight. Iosco
had chanced to see the slight figure climbing the hill; he now stood
watching her as the breeze played with her golden hair, and the clear
blue sky formed a background. He knew what she was looking for, and he
was pained. Could she never be happy with his people in their simple
lives? How could he expect it? But what was wrong? The color suddenly
died out of Owaissa’s cheeks; she clasped her hands as if in pain, and
sprang forward, out of his sight.

Hurrying up the hill, Iosco could see nothing but Virginia’s waving
hair. She turned her head, and even far away as he was, he could see
that her face was as white as the dove’s down in her mantle. Iosco
caught only one glimpse of it, then she was out of sight. He was an
Indian; one sight was enough. He knew Owaissa was in trouble, and
bending his body slightly, he went swiftly across the little knoll.
Surely it must be the canoes with the pinions, that he so much dreaded.
There was the sea, clear and blue, no sight of anything good or bad on
it; but a strange and awful sight was before him, one which he never
forgot.

There was Manteo’s tall figure tied to a tree like any mean captive. By
him stood Barnes and two or three of the roughest white men. A little
way off stood Gray and one or two others, who seemed dissatisfied and
distressed at what was happening. In front, flushed with anger and
indignation, was Virginia. She was speaking, he could hear her, more
like an eagle defending her young, than a dove: “Shame on you, Barnes!
Shame on you! Shame on you all, to touch the man who has saved our
lives, and cared for us all these years! You are worse than the savages
you despise. We have been safe, going in and out among them, and you
dare to harm their chief. I’m ashamed to be one of you people!”

It would have taken a good deal to shame Barnes. He only muttered, “You
are nothing better than a heathen savage yourself.”

She turned fiercely towards him. Iosco could see her eyes flashing as
she replied, “You make me ashamed of the white people who are left
here. As you say, I am no better than these Indians, who are Christians
indeed. They have given us food and shelter all these years, and what
do we give them? No better? I wish I were half as brave, half as noble,
as some of them are. You are not worthy to touch the old man whom you
have bound. One cry would bring ten times your number of Manteo’s men,
who would kill you all, should they see their chief in danger.” And she
added, her eyes gleaming with excitement, “I will give the cry, if
Manteo will not. And if one man is found here he will be killed, as he
deserves.”

Barnes drew a knife from his belt as he came towards her, saying, “If
you dare open your mouth, I will soon silence you. Try me!”

A slight rustle, a swift movement, and Iosco stood before Barnes, who
shrank before the tall figure, and every white man fled. Virginia
sprang to Manteo. With Iosco’s knife she cut the cords that bound him
to the tree. She kissed his hand where the cord had torn the flesh.
The old chief was moved by her gentle, caressing care, and showed more
feeling than when he was threatened with death. She knelt there by
the old man, trying to show her love. Iosco stood at a distance, with
folded arms, looking far away. He was thinking, surely this would make
Owaissa forget the canoes with wings, when a sudden cry made him turn.
It was Virginia; she sprang up as if to shield Manteo, who tottered a
moment, then fell heavily to the ground.

“An arrow, Iosco, an arrow!” she cried, as she knelt by the prostrate
form. Iosco bent down, his expression unchanged, save for a strange
look in his dark eyes. He heard his father heave a deep sigh, then all
was still.

Manteo was dead. The arrow had pierced his heart; but where had it
come from? Iosco sprang up, the savage thirst for vengeance throbbing
through his veins. With his hand on his tomahawk, one moment he stood
looking down on his dead father, by whom Virginia knelt, her face rigid
with horror. Looking up, she saw Iosco so changed she hardly knew him.
He was staring at her, though he did not see her. She thought his anger
and vengeance were turned on her. The scene of horror had changed her
from a merry girl to a woman. The voice in which she spoke was deep and
clear.

“Iosco,” she said, “kill me if you will. I would die a hundred times
over if I could bring back the life of the great and good Werowance who
saved us. God will reward him. I know he will; and he will punish us.
Nothing you can do to me will be hard or cruel. I will die any death
you choose.”

Iosco turned quickly away. He had forgotten Virginia until she spoke;
he was absorbed in the dreadful thought of his father’s death, and the
idea that he had been killed by men whom he had not only saved, but had
treated with every kindness. His only comfort lay in the thought of
vengeance. But Virginia’s words brought back his better self. He could
not look at her, and turned away to hide his grief. There came before
him the memory of Mrs. Dare sitting under the willow-tree, while he,
Virginia, and the other children listened to her telling a story. He
thought he could hear her saying, “Those very men whom he came to save,
whom he loved and lived for, nailed him to the tree, pierced his dear
hands and feet, and while they were doing it, they mocked and spit at
him, and called him vile names. He was greater than any chief you ever
saw or heard of. But he did not get angry. He was only so sad. Even
in the moment of greatest pain, he looked up to his Father, the Great
Spirit, and said, ‘Forgive them, for they know not what they do.’”

Iosco felt he could have forgiven anything done to himself. But was it
right to think of forgiving his father’s murderers?

The answer seemed to come in Mrs. Dare’s words again: “The dear Jesus
could have killed every one of those men, and come down from off the
cross; but he would not, for he loved us so much he was willing to bear
all, to teach us how we could forgive each other. He not only forgave
them, but asked his Father to forgive them also.”

The breeze, the morning sunlight, the little birds, and the dancing
waves, all seemed to be saying over and over to him, “The dear Jesus
could have killed every one of those men; but he loved us all so much
he was willing to bear all that to teach us how we could forgive each
other.” Was it, then, such a great thing to be able to forgive? He
knew he could have every one of those pale-faces killed; every one
would expect it. He never for one moment included Virginia when he
thought of the white people. To him she was a being all by herself. As
he turned, he saw her kneeling by the dead body, her hands clasped,
her face upturned. It was white as marble. She must be speaking to
the Great Spirit. Those treacherous hands could strike her from where
they had struck his father. For the first time Iosco saw they were in
danger, and he sent forth a great cry into the forest, which he knew
would bring his people. Virginia knew what it meant. She rose and stood
waiting.



CHAPTER XI.



CHAPTER XI.

                “Tis sweet to stammer one letter
  Of the Eternal language--on earth it is called Forgiveness.”

                                                   LONGFELLOW.


Oh, that dreadful day! The howls and cries of the men, women, and
children, as they came in reply to Iosco’s call, and saw their chief,
their father, lying dead! They also saw Virginia, motionless, as if she
had been carved out of stone, standing over the dead. He had been their
faithful Werowance. They stood aghast, unable even to fancy who could
have done the dreadful deed. The medicine-man said solemnly:--

“The great Werowance rested under the arbor of wild vines that shade
the wigwam, and as he lay on the mat in the heat of the mid-day sun, a
pale-face stood before the Werowance, saying he had somewhat to speak,
but must speak it with naught but pale-faces to hear, for it was a
secret or charm of their tribe. Werowance was true, and trusted him: he
went into the heat and sun, following the pale-face. No man has seen
him till now, when he clings to the earth. Why came not the pale-faces
at the call of the Werowance?”

A mighty shout rose from the people as they moved around the body, and
around Iosco, who stood with folded arms and faced the scene. Then the
tumult ceased. The oldest of the company came forward; taking Iosco’s
hand, he put it first to his head and then to his heart, and so gave
his oath of allegiance to the new chief. The others did likewise, till
all the men had pledged themselves. Then they stood in silence to hear
what he would say.

Iosco was a true Indian: he would have scorned to show deep feeling in
his face or manner. He said, very quietly and calmly, “Carry my father
to the wigwam.”

They moved quickly to obey him. An old Indian put Manteo’s pipe in his
hand that it might be ready for him on his way to the Happy Hunting
Ground. A young brave who had hated Virginia always, because as a child
she had shown a preference for Iosco, now seized her arm to drag her
away. But a strong voice made him stop.

“Stay, take thy hands off!” Then leaning forward, Iosco said, “No
Indian man shall touch a whiteskin save a man of full size.”

Virginia noted his strangely altered face. Oh, he must be very, very
angry, she thought! Surely he would never speak to her again. But he
was coming towards her. He took her hand and led her away.

The sun dipped low in the west, sending a crimson glow through the
forest; the birds chirped their good-nights to each other as they swung
on the branches of the great trees. Perfect peace seemed to rest on
everything. Iosco stood on the bank of the lake; on its smooth surface
the glory of the sky was clearly reflected. A slight noise made him
turn. Virginia stood by him, her face upturned, her beautiful eyes
fixed on him wistfully.

“O Iosco!” she cried, coming nearer, “forgive me for disturbing you;
but, dear Iosco, I am so sorry, so very sorry for you, and so ashamed
of my people. I must tell you only this once, that our people at home
would thank you if they could only know what you have done. We deserve
to be killed. If the big canoes ever come over, full of white men like
my father and grandfather, who, I am sure, must have been as good and
brave as Manteo,--whom they loved, you know,--if they ever come, Iosco,
tell them what he did for us, and please ask them for my father, and
show him where my grave is, and my mother’s also.”

Her voice faltered, but she still stood looking steadily at him; there
was nothing weak or sentimental about her; she was a brave girl, and
meant what she said, every word of it. She knew the wickedness of the
deed which her people had been guilty of, not only murdering without
cause, but murdering the one who had sheltered and defended them. She
took it for granted that Iosco was very angry. She thought it must make
him feel enraged even to look at her. But when he turned and looked
into her eyes, she saw no vengeance in his face. He took her hand and
pressed it to his lips and to his heart. The color rose to her white
cheeks, and her eyes filled with tears, which rolled down over her
flushed face, and fell upon Iosco’s hand. She let him draw her closer,
and as she looked up she could not understand the expression in his
dark eyes: it frightened her, yet there was nothing angry or fierce,
there was a new, strange tenderness.

He said simply, “Owaissa, Owaissa!” as they stood there together. The
sun sank out of sight and the rosy glow was gone. The still water of
the lake showed only the reflection of the moon, and the two figures,
one tall and dark, with rich mantle and wampum belt, the other, fair
and slender, with a robe of woven turkey feathers lined with down from
the breast of the wood-dove. They stood close together under the clear
heavens, as they had often done ever since they could remember; but it
was so different. What made the strange difference, neither quite knew.
At last Virginia stole softly away.

The birds had gone to bed, and the moon was high in the sky, sending
down a soft silver light over the great forest land. It looked at the
little lake with its smooth water on which the two figures had been
reflected at sunset. Now it showed only one. He stood alone with folded
arms and bowed head. For a long time he had stood there, even while the
shadows cast by the moon were lengthening. Then he walked quickly up
and down the bank. The tiny waves lapped his moccasins, but he heeded
them not. At last, as if worn out with his solitary struggle, he threw
himself on the ground, and lay so still, he looked more like a dead
than a living form. There alone, with only the screech of the owl in
the forest, or the call of the heron to break the stillness, in the
dim light of the moon, alone with nature, Iosco was struggling with
himself. He seemed to be two beings; one, the better self which Mrs.
Dare’s teachings had awakened, which saw and dimly realized the light
and glory of the living Saviour; the other being, an Indian, with all
the passion and vengeance naturally found in the descendant of a long
line of fierce and warlike chiefs, whose creed was, two eyes for one
eye, and always revenge, though it be waited for a long time, even from
generation to generation. This being seemed to urge relentlessly: “They
have slain your father; make them pay for every drop of his blood with
a scalp!” The better self said over and over again, “He loved us all so
much, he was willing to bear all this to teach us how to forgive each
other. The dear Lord could have killed every one of those bad men.” The
first voice, almost in reply, seemed to say, “If you get rid of all the
other pale-faces, you can keep Owaissa always. You can easily conceal
one, while a number would be discovered if the great canoes should come
looking for them. If you do not have these men killed, your braves will
do it. It is not safe for them here. Even as a tiger steals her prey
they will be seized.” And yet, in the darkness two great blue eyes
seemed to look wistfully at him. He could hear the dear girl’s voice,
sweet and soft as the voice of a bird, saying, “God must be very angry
with us. I know he will punish us, and he will reward Manteo.” Was
God really going to punish and judge? he wondered. The voice of the
better self seemed to be saying, “If you could not keep them here, you
could perhaps send them away somewhere else.” Ah, yes! there was the
great Werowance Powhatan, in whose friendship and esteem his father
had stood very high. He might be glad to have some more workers in his
tribe. These white people had introduced many things among his people,
Iosco knew; a wonderful manner of spinning, and various other things.
The captives, for such they now were, must be out of the way before
morning, and no one must know where they had gone. How could he get
them off unseen?

He rose. The struggle was over: the better self had conquered; but the
fight had been a hard one. As he walked through the forest he mused.
Should he tell Owaissa, or let her discover that they were gone in the
morning? He never thought of including her in the party that were to
go; and yet, why not? If it were unsafe for the other whites, might it
not be unsafe for her? Would she not want to go with her people? She
belonged to them.

He passed through the little village; all were sleeping; even the night
itself seemed awed by the dreadful deed of the day. There lay the great
Werowance Manteo. On the ground by the bier Virginia had thrown herself.

As he looked at her, she stirred, sighed, and muttered something. He
caught his own name, the rest was indistinct.

“The Owaissa is like unto the angels she used to say were guarding our
Werowance!” It was Ranteo’s voice. He was on watch, fortunately for
Iosco’s plan.

“Ranteo knew my father when he was made a Christian; Mrs. Dare has told
me about it. When the white man put the water on the Werowance’s head,
Ranteo was by his side. It was in the moon before the great canoes went
over the water with all the white hearts, who left the pale-faces with
black hearts behind,” Iosco said.

“To kill us,” the old Indian muttered.

Iosco continued, “Christians forgive those who do them harm, so I
am going to do what a Christian would; I am going to let all the
pale-faces go away, and not harm them. The son of Manteo the Christian
will be Christian too. Will Ranteo help him?”

Ranteo looked more surprised than if the skies had fallen. Then he
walked over, and stood looking at Virginia for some time; coming back
he said, “In that dark night long ago, when the child crouched on the
rock to save Ranteo, as a dove might try to save an eagle, the pale
lady spoke, and Ranteo promised to be the friend to her child,” he
said, pointing to Virginia, “and he will keep that promise now.”

“Thinks Ranteo that Owaissa must go too?” Iosco asked. The old man
shook his head. “It is not safe for a dove to be with hungry foxes. The
white dove must go,” he said.

An hour later a little group stood on the bank of the James River,
known then as the Powhatan flu, on which they were to fly to safety.
Iosco was to go with them till daybreak, when he was to return, and
send Ranteo to guide them the rest of the way to Powhatan, on the
Youghianund flu. They were to conceal themselves during the day. The
moon was far on its way, but it smiled on them as they glided swiftly
over the smooth water.



CHAPTER XII.



CHAPTER XII.

  “I hold him great who for love’s sake
    Can give with earnest, generous will;
  But he who takes for love’s sweet sake,
    I think I hold more generous still.”

                                 PROCTOR.


News came from Ranteo, just as Iosco was starting on his return to
Croatoan, that the whole tribe had risen up against him for helping his
father’s murderers to escape, and they would not have him for their
chief. This was the doing of the medicine-men, who had lost much of
their former power since Manteo’s visit to England, for he had given up
many of the old superstitions. Ranteo strongly urged Iosco to go on to
Powhatan, and if he were received kindly, to stay there for a while; if
his people needed him, Ranteo would let him know. He felt certain they
would soon want him, for Meninosia, Manteo’s brother, who was now to
be chief, was hard and cruel. So it came about that Iosco reached the
camp of the great Powhatan on the Youghianund flu at Werowocomoca, in
company with the miserable remnant of the English Roanoke Colony. It
was at dusk when he made known who he was, and they were admitted into
the camp, and told that the great Werowance would see the son of the
brave warrior, Manteo, when the sun next stood over the tall pine-tree.
The next day was rainy, so the medicine-men said the sun was not there,
as they could not see it, and Iosco was obliged to wait till the
following day, when the sun came out bright and clear, and the whole
world seemed shining with unusual lustre. The fugitives would know
their fate soon. At noon Iosco would be summoned to the great Werowance.

The sun had just come above the horizon as Virginia stepped out of the
wigwam, the birds were singing their morning hymn, the little squirrels
were scampering to and fro getting food for their young; a few of the
women were beginning to work at skins, others were preparing food. They
looked curiously at Virginia as she passed them, but did not speak, for
she looked sad, and they were sorry for her. She must be the wife of
the young chief, they thought. But where did he find a squaw with eyes
like the sky, and hair like the sun? She passed under the shadow of the
great pines alone. All the world seemed to be in families, or at least
to belong to some one, while she was all alone. She had never known a
relation but her mother. Oh, for that mother! why could she not have
gone with her?

Virginia had lived long enough among the Indians to learn to restrain
any display of feeling. And yet the thought of her mother in that sad,
lonely hour was too much. She did not cry out, or even sob, as another
English girl would have done. She only sank down at the foot of the
great pine, covering her face. A little moan of “mother,” seemed to
shake her whole frame. Then she lay there so motionless that the little
birds flew about her and never noticed her. Hundreds of miles across
the water her thoughts travelled to her father. What could he be like,
and where must he be? Would he ever come for his poor child? Oh, how
she longed for him, that father whom she had never seen! Must she die
alone here? And if she should die, would she go to her mother? She
hardly knew the great God to whom her mother had gone. Would he know
her? Or was it really as Mistress Wilkins had said, that he would not
listen to the prayers of his children in a heathen land? Did it not
really belong to him? Then she fancied she was sitting on her mother’s
lap, and listening to the wonderful story of the creation, and her
mother saying, “After sin had come, God’s sorrow was so great that he
promised to send a Redeemer, which would be his own dear Son, and he
would come to save us all.” If he was, then, such a loving Father, he
could not forget one of his children, and if he made the whole world,
it must all belong to him. All these people must belong to him too, and
they did not even know him. Perhaps she had been sent to teach them.
Why hadn’t her mother been spared a little longer to teach her? Oh, for
some one to tell her over again what she had heard from her mother when
she was too young to remember or understand it!

An earnest prayer for guidance rose to her lips. There were no special
words, only the cry of the child to the Father whom she felt was
listening. She had clasped her hands, and was looking up so earnestly
that she did not see the bushes drawn aside and a young Indian maid, a
mere child of nine or ten, step out and then draw back and look at her
curiously. Hearing a sound among the leaves, Virginia turned, and saw
the child also looking up to see what was there to gaze at so earnestly.

She was a strangely beautiful little figure as she stood there, one
foot raised as if to step forward, but resting still on the root of a
great tree that rose some distance out of the ground. She wore a robe
or mantle of fur, for it was only May, and the Indians are never in a
hurry to change their few articles of clothing; besides, it had been
the gift of her brother, whom she had loved dearly. The mantle was
loosely girded, and fell low on her shoulders, over which masses of
dark hair fell in dusky profusion. Her dark eyes were full of wonder at
seeing Virginia, and at her strange position. Both looked at each other
for a moment, wondering who the other could be. Then the Indian child
sprang forward like a young deer, and threw herself on the ground by
Virginia, and looked tenderly in her face, her great eyes full of pity,
as she held out a garland of red flowers which she had been holding.

Virginia took it with a smile; but the child snatched it back, and
bound it about Virginia’s head. Then she drew back, pointed to the wavy
golden hair and blue eyes with a strange look of awe, and clasped her
hands, and bowed very low. Virginia caught one of the brown hands. She
said laughingly, “I am not a goddess or a spirit, I am only a girl.
Who are you?”

The child did not now draw her hand away. She said in a pretty way,
putting her head on one side, “It is Cleopatra, the daughter of
Werowance Powhatan, the sister of Nantiquas, the bravest, strongest
Indian who ever shot an arrow.” As she spoke, a bird-call sounded
through the forest. She answered it almost exactly. There was a
crackling and breaking among the bushes, and a young warrior stood
before them.

“Does not the fairest little maid go to the Great Father, when all are
gathered to see the mighty wonder which is like a linnet with a finch’s
bill, the captive from Croatoan, with eyes from the sky and”-- But
seeing Virginia, he stopped.

The sunlight peeping through the trees fell on Virginia’s hair till it
shone like gold. They stood looking at each other for several moments.
Then the Indian maid took Virginia’s hand and pressed it to her breast.
Nantiquas at once did likewise, and then said, “The one with eyes from
the sky belongs to the Spirit. Means it evil or good to the camp of the
mighty Powhatan? He is a brave Werowance.” And he took his sister’s
hand as she stood beside him.

“I do not belong to any spirit,” Virginia said, smiling; “I came with
the white people whom Iosco, the son of Manteo, is seeking shelter for,
and my forest name is Owaissa.”

“Owaissa looks more like her namesake than like the white tribe whom
the great Werowance is now to hear of,” replied Nantiquas.

“Is the sun at the top of the tall pine? Oh, I must go to Iosco; where
is he, can you tell me?” Virginia asked, almost passing them in her
eagerness.

“Nantiquas will take the Owaissa maid to the wigwam of the Werowance
Powhatan; the brave Iosco sits before the door.” As he spoke, he turned
and led the way, and the maidens followed him. Virginia could not help
noticing how tall and handsome he was, his long black hair pushed back
from his high forehead. He wore a skin girded about his waist with a
belt of wampum. Over his shoulder hung a quiver of arrows, and on his
left arm he carried a bow. In his belt he wore a tomahawk, and across
his forehead was bound the skin of a green serpent, its bright eyes
gleaming over his left temple. From his right ear to his waist was
fastened a long string of pearls.

A strange sight was the wigwam or bower in which Powhatan held his
court. He sat on a couch, which looked not unlike one of our modern
bedsteads. It was made of fine wood, rudely carved with strange
devices. He wore a robe of raccoon-skin, with a belt of the rarest
wampum. His powerful arms were decorated with metal bracelets. The
ground around him was strewn with dried sweet grasses and crushed
pine-needles that made the air fragrant. At his head and feet sat two
beautiful maidens. A hundred bowmen formed, as it were, the wall or
outside of the court-chamber. In front of them were a hundred women
with bare necks and arms, which were dyed with paccoon and decorated
with white coral. Beside the great Werowance sat a beautiful girl about
twelve or fourteen. (She looked like Cleopatra, and was, in fact,
her sister Pocahontas, known to her people as Mataoka.) She gazed
wonderingly at Virginia as Nantiquas and Cleopatra led her in, and
she took her place among the wives and daughters that sat at the head
of Powhatan’s couch, on the right side of which, on mats, were seated
the priests, or medicine-men, singing a queer dirge, keeping time to
the melody with their grotesquely painted bodies. The curious song
continued while Iosco entered. He was in the dress of a prince, wearing
a white skin girded with his father’s rare and beautiful wampum belt,
in which was supposed to rest a great charm. On his feet he wore
moccasins made of skins and beautifully wrought with queer patterns.
Across his forehead were bound some rare and beautiful feathers, which
rose high above his tall figure and nodded gracefully as he moved. He
was attended only by one of his braves and three of the whites, who
were dressed as Indians, and carried the presents he had brought from
Croatoan, which they had now laid before him. An odd medley enough
they were--a coil of deer sinews, a small belt of wampum, a string of
noughmass, and last, but not least in the eyes of the chief, an old
rusty English sword.

The chief did not deign to notice the things till the sword was put
down, then he extended his great hand, and picked it up with a gleam
of delight in his small, dark eyes as he held it. He took from his
mouth his long pipe, passed it to Iosco, who smoked for some moments
in silence. Then Powhatan nodded to Iosco, who returned the pipe and
began his tale, not as if he were making a petition, but as if he
were chanting or reciting a story. He told first of Manteo’s going to
England, then of the white men coming to Croatoan; of the years that
had passed since, when they had lived in peace together; then of his
father’s death, and the anger of his people, and his wish to remain or
leave the two dozen pale-faces that were yet alive at Werowocomoca. He
spoke of their skill in many things not known to the Indian people.

He told it in a sing-song drawl, as if he did not care in the least.
But when the medicine-men began to mutter, “They are ghosts; have none
of them; they kill,” Powhatan looked at the three white attendants, who
certainly were weird looking, with their yellow, grisly faces, their
colorless eyes, and white skins, and shook his head unfavorably.

Iosco looked anxiously over at Virginia. It was evident she was his
chief anxiety; but she, mistaking his look, thought he wanted her, and
sprang to him, saying, “Must we go, and where?”

Powhatan half raised himself to look at her, as she clung to the
tall figure, fixing upon him her great blue eyes, her wavy golden
hair falling loosely about her. Even the medicine-men stopped their
muttering, and the beautiful princess Mataoka bent over her father and
whispered something in his ear. He could not but admire her beauty,
old savage as he was, and he nodded to his daughter, who led Virginia
away to her own wigwam. Then he ordered food to be brought to Iosco,
which was his way of showing his welcome. And Iosco knew that he and
his party were safe for the present.



CHAPTER XIII.



CHAPTER XIII.

  “She was lost in a country new and strange,
    With lakes and with mountains high,
  With forests wide, where the redmen range,
    And shores where the sea-birds fly.”


Fair and lovely was that sunny Virginia country. No wonder the ships
went back to England with fairy tales. No wonder that, in spite of
mishaps and disasters, there were always more of the quiet English folk
ready to sail for the new world of romance and beauty.

The early spring melted into summer; the trees were festooned with wild
vines; the forest was alive with flowers and birds. It was an ideal
day in June, and the whole world seemed glad and happy. Virginia and
the lovely princesses, Mataoka and Cleopatra, had gathered their arms
full of flowers and berries. Virginia was twining them into garlands,
as they sat by a little stream down which a canoe was gliding swiftly.
It stopped near them, and Nantiquas, who was paddling, drew it upon the
bank and sat down near Virginia, listening to her merry chatter with
his sisters, till they sprang up to run after a butterfly.

He had been silent. Then he spoke eagerly, “Owaissa cannot tell what
Nantiquas saw when he watched the big sea-water from the great salt
oak.”

“What did you see, Nantiquas? Please tell me,” Virginia asked, dropping
her flowers with a strangely anxious expression, which made Nantiquas
feel that she knew, or imagined, what he had to tell her.

He replied quite indifferently, “As the waves from Witch’s reef came to
Nantiquas, there came with the waves a great canoe with wings. So close
to Nantiquas it came, that the pale-faces shone as they put their irons
in the sea. Even as they went down from the big canoe and dropped into
a little one, the waves brought another big canoe, as one bird finding
a carcass attracts many birds.”

As he finished speaking, the color rose to Virginia’s cheeks, then died
away, leaving them deadly pale. Her hands were clasped. One moment she
raised her eyes, her lips moved. Then she turned to the young Indian
with a look that he never forgot, and said, “Nantiquas, in one of
those must be my father; may I go and see them?”

“Owaissa could never walk so far. Nantiquas would take her, but the
canoe is too small.”

Nantiquas felt sure if her father were among the pale-faces he had
seen, he would surely come and take her away, and this thought was
not pleasant to him. So he did not mean to help her. But a feeling of
jealousy rose in his heart when Virginia said, “Iosco will help me, I
must go and find him, and tell him; I know he will be glad.”

As she sprang up to go away, Nantiquas caught her hand. “Will Owaissa
let Nantiquas go for her to the camp of the pale tribe and find her
father?”

“Oh, how good you are!” she cried, her cheeks glowing, and her eyes
sparkling. “But the white men will never know what you want. You cannot
talk their language, and they may think you mean them harm.” Such a
sad, disappointed look came into her face that Nantiquas, seeing it,
would have risked death a hundred times for her.

He drew himself up proudly, as he answered, “The son of Powhatan is
not a fawn. He will go. Owaissa will tell him the words, and he shall
say them to the white chief in the chief’s own tongue.”

“Do you think you could?” she said, looking up wistfully into his face.
“Could you say ‘White’?”

He repeated it after her, “White.”

“That is it!” she cried, catching his hand in her delight. “That was
my grandfather’s name. He was a great man, a chief I think. Now, my
father’s name was Dare, and something else that was long and hard to
say. But Dare will do; can you say it?”

“Dare,” repeated Nantiquas, still holding the little hand that had been
put in his.

“Now, Nantiquas,” she continued, “my real name, the one they would
know me by, is not Owaissa. Iosco gave me that name when I was a little
girl, because my eyes made him think of the Owaissa. It is my forest
name, mamma used to say. But my name with my own people is Virginia;
after the land I was born in, mamma used to say; but I don’t understand
how that can be, for I was born on the island of Roanoke. I was too
young to think about it, or ask mamma how it was, before she went
away. It is a hard word--Virginia, but do you think you can say it,
Nantiquas?”

Indians have a superstition that any one knowing the secret of the
private name of a maid can work charms and witchery about her. So to
Nantiquas it was a solemn, if not a sacred thing to repeat the word
Virginia. But he did it quite correctly, and she clasped her hands with
joy. “Say it all over once more, please,” she urged. And he repeated
clearly, “White, Dare, Virginia; does Nantiquas say it as Owaissa does?”

“Oh, yes,” she said enthusiastically. “When will you go, Nantiquas?”

“Nantiquas will go even as the canoe waits by the water. Does Owaissa
wish it?”

“Oh, will you? And come back quickly with my father, won’t you? I won’t
tell Iosco anything about it, and we’ll surprise him when you come.”

Nantiquas pushed the canoe out from among the willows, and stepped in.
As Virginia stood watching him, more like a beautiful spirit than ever,
he thought, he saw her take up a sharp shell that she had used to cut
the flowers that were too stout to break, and drawing her curls over
her face, she cut one off with the shell and handed it to him, saying,
“If you should forget the words, Nantiquas, or my father could not
understand, or they would not believe you, you can show them this. They
will know it did not come from an Indian maid, and they will be willing
to come back with you, I know.”

He took the silky yellow curl almost reverently. Catching her hand that
had held the curl, he pressed it to his heart, then paddled down the
stream into the Youghianund flu, and was soon out of sight. Nantiquas
was not the only one who had seen the ships.

As Virginia went through the forest singing, her heart was very light
and happy. She soon met Cleopatra and Mataoka, who put their arms about
her. Cleopatra said softly, “Does Owaissa know that a great canoe is
in the flu full of white men, and another one on the water of the
Che-sa-peack?”

“Yes, dear Cleopatra, I know it, and it must be my father has come for
me at last. I can hardly wait for him to come. But he will be here
soon, I know.”

“Owaissa will not go and leave us, oh, no, no! Owaissa will never leave
us,” and Cleopatra threw her arms about Virginia, and laid her head on
her breast, her beautiful eyes full of love.

Virginia kissed her brown cheek as she answered, “If the great
Werowance Powhatan should come for his pretty little Cleopatra, would
she not go with him? She would go, but she would not forget her friends
that she had left behind, or cease to love them just the same, and send
them presents to show her love. What will my dear little Cleopatra have
from sunny England?”

But the little Indian girl only clung closer, saying, “Cleopatra wants
only Owaissa, and no present. Her love is in Owaissa’s bosom, not in
toys.”

The whole camp was in a state of excitement over the strange news of
the ships in the river. It was twenty years since Governor White had
left Roanoke, and no Englishman had come since their sad fate. When the
Governor returned to look for his colony, his ships had been in sight a
few days from Powhatan’s shores. But these present intruders, as many
of the Indians called the pale-faces, evidently intended staying, for
upon landing they began preparations at once for a camp, so the report
ran.

Virginia listened in breathless silence to an old Indian who was
telling all he had seen of the arrival of the English fleet; for it
was, in fact, the colony which had embarked in their ships on the 19th
of December, 1606, from Blackwall, near London, and had been for more
than five months on their voyage, commanded by Captain Newport.

The old Indian sat smoking on his mat, resting after his long hunt, and
hasty return to tell the news, which he was now doing for the third or
fourth time, to the crowd of excited listeners. The men sat or stood,
smoking, the women worked the skins on the ground, while one or two
ground mondawmin, or Indian corn, in basins made of hollowed stones.
These worked at a little distance, lest their noise might disturb their
lords and masters, and were content with what fragments they could
gather of the story that was being told.

“The eyes of Ramapo see far on the great sea-water, white wings as of
a mighty sea bird. The wings come near, and he sees the pale-faces’
canoe. Ramapo goes into the great tree; he sees the white man come to
the land. He sees the canoes without wings pulled up. He sees, after
the sun passes a bit, the pale-faces all stand under the trees, and
one, the medicine-man, talks out of a book. They all kneel, then stand,
some do look at the clouds, and some do hide their faces, that even the
sun may not see them. Ramapo says, they talk to the Spirit that is in
the clouds; and then he comes away.”

“They were talking to God, Ramapo,” cried Virginia, her great eyes full
of tears, “the Spirit that lives in heaven, but loves and watches over
us. It is he that has brought them to find me; I know it is. My father
must be one of them. Did you see a man that looked like me, Ramapo?”

“Ramapo was too far to see the eyes, but surely he saw none with such
hair, though many of the pale-faces seem ashamed of their skin, and
wear much hair on their chin and cheeks to cover up the whiteness,” was
the old Indian’s reply.

In their excitement they had not noticed the gathering clouds till the
rumbling thunder made them see the storm which was just breaking over
them. The awful stillness that often comes before a tempest seemed
suddenly to enfold the forest. Not even a leaf rustled. The stillness
could be felt but not described, and this little group of wild people,
always in sympathy with the moods of the forest, stood as if listening,
when suddenly the chanting or crying of the medicine-men was heard,
and in the stillness the strange weird noise sounded clearly and
distinctly. “The pale man, the murder man, he will kill, but the mighty
Powhatan will lay him low. Away with the white faces out of the land,
out of Powhatan’s hunting-grounds, out of his sight, out of his sight!
As the rabbit and the deer shall we hunt them, their hair shall we
scalp.”

Six of Powhatan’s best bowmen came quickly forward, and without a word
seized one of the lads who had come from Croatoan with Iosco and the
other whites. They came to Virginia, and took her by the arm to lead
her away, but Cleopatra sprang up suddenly and forced herself between
them, and as she threw her arms around Virginia she cried, “Go away!
who said to touch Owaissa? Nantiquas shall punish who comes near her.”

One of the men replied, “Werowance Powhatan says, ‘Bind every
pale-face, and bring each one for the evil of him they call Barnes.’”

“I am not afraid to go to your father, the Werowance Powhatan,”
Virginia said calmly. “I will go with you.” They led her away, and she
found herself before the great chief with Beth, Patience, Gray, and
Barnes, and all the other whites who had come from Croatoan. Barnes
stood tightly bound, while in front of him lay the body of an Indian
whom he had killed. They had disagreed about something; and Barnes,
having just heard about the ships from England, felt he was soon to be
released, and ceased to be cautious. In a passion he had knocked the
Indian down. As he fell, his head hit a stone, and he died immediately.
Barnes had been at once dragged before the chief.

The storm broke in its fury. The prisoners had been taken to wigwams
where they were well guarded. Death had been the sentence for all
alike, on the morrow at break of day. Virginia was kneeling, Cleopatra
clinging closely to her, wishing for Nantiquas, whom she felt sure
could help them. The wind shrieked and roared outside, and the thunder
rolled. Where was Iosco? Why did he not come?



CHAPTER XIV.



CHAPTER XIV.

  “Every human heart is human,
  That in even savage bosom
  There are longings, yearnings, strivings,
  For the good they comprehend not,
  That the feeble hands and helpless,
  Groping blindly in the darkness,
  Touch God’s right hand in that darkness,
  And are lifted up and strengthened.”

                                LONGFELLOW.


Where was Iosco? He had followed Owaissa in the afternoon, to tell
her the news of the English ships. He went through the forest trail
that led to the little stream just in time to see her, Owaissa,
holding Nantiquas’s hand, and looking eagerly into his face. All the
passion of his Indian nature was roused into a hatred and jealousy of
Nantiquas. He turned quickly away, before he had been noticed, and
walked far into the woods. Was it for this that he had given up his
people, his home, his inheritance? For a people who cared nothing for
him. Strangely enough he found his love for the pale-faces was really
founded on his love for one member of the race. He had never dared to
hope that Owaissa would love him; she was a being too beautiful, too
pure, for man to woo. Though he would never have thought of asking her
to be his wife, he could not see any one else win her love. He felt
that he had the first right to her. Had not he been like a brother to
her, always? And he knew well that Owaissa had treated him always as a
brother. He could kill Nantiquas, and then he would see. But Powhatan
would no longer give them shelter. What did that matter? He would have
vengeance. Iosco had thrown himself on the ground, and as he lay there,
the great stillness and peace of the forest crept into his heart, and
he seemed to hear Mrs. Dare’s voice saying, “The dear Jesus would
rather suffer all than save himself from one pain, that he might teach
us the great lesson of forgiveness.” “The dear Jesus,” the very words
brought with them a certain peace and rest. Forgive! Could he forgive
Nantiquas for taking from him what he cared most for? And yet that holy
Jesus forgave. A crash of thunder seemed to shake the whole forest,
and the darkness crept around him, like the darkness which clouded his
soul that was groping for light. Could he still live for love? For
life could not be without love. Could he live for the love of that
great chief, that holy Jesus? Did he want his love? How could he give
his service, his life if need be? Oh, for some one to teach him as Mrs.
Dare had done when he was a little child!

The storm beat fiercely against him as he rose and forced his way
through the tangle of the forest. But a peace he could not describe had
crept into his heart. He must be near Owaissa. To-morrow that white
father might come and carry her away. He loved her, and would be near
her while he might. He was tramping on, crushing everything before him
like the strong man Kwasina, when a voice called to him softly. He
listened. It said, “Nantiquas, is it you?”

He knew the voice. It was Cleopatra’s, and it sounded full of trouble.
“Is Cleopatra in sorrow?” he asked, going in the direction of the sound.

“O Nantiquas,” she said, not recognizing the voice, “O Nantiquas,
Owaissa is in great trouble. She is to die when the day comes, with all
the pale-faces; for Barnes, the red white man, did take the life of
Nanogh, and our father says all the whites shall die.”

She knew it was not Nantiquas’s hand that clasped hers, and she drew
back half afraid, till she heard Iosco’s familiar voice.

“Owaissa is in trouble, to die! The great Werowance Powhatan would
never take her life, even now as the white man is coming.”

Then Cleopatra told Iosco the whole story; how, while Ramapo was
telling what he had seen of the white men, the medicine-men’s chant
came to them; of the dreadful sentence, and how she had only now left
Owaissa to watch for Nantiquas, who had gone away in his canoe in the
afternoon, and had not come back. “If he would only come back,” she
said, “I am sure he could do something.”

Iosco said, “Cleopatra must stay no longer, lest her sad tears and
the rain be too much, and she die. Could she not speak to the great
Werowance, and ask the life of Owaissa? He must grant what his sweet
daughter wishes.” Cleopatra stood up, and Iosco led her. But she said
sadly, “The great Powhatan is very angry. He would never spare a
captive for a child’s wish, Iosco.”

Suddenly Iosco loosened and drew off his large, rich wampum belt.
“Will Cleopatra take this with her petition? It is the charmed belt of
Manteo, my father. I prize it, but know the mighty Powhatan’s eye often
rests on it. He will grant the prayer of Cleopatra, if she carries the
charmed belt of the far-journeyed Werowance Manteo.”

She took the wampum from Iosco, and having reached her wigwam they
parted, she to sleep on her tussan of stretched skins, and Iosco to
find the wigwam where Owaissa slept. He would lie, but not sleep, on
the wet ground outside.

The morning dawned, dull and rainy. The loving Cleopatra held the
wampum belt and watched for her father to eat his food. Virginia,
too, had wakened early. She thought herself deserted by Iosco, and to
her surprise that thought brought more pain than the thought of her
probable death, which would undoubtedly be a torturing, painful one.
She little knew that Iosco had been watching by her all the night, and
was even now looking sadly at her through the openings in the logs,
of which the wigwam was made. He marvelled how she could kneel so
calmly, her sad face more beautiful than anything he had ever seen. If
Cleopatra were not successful, she would soon be led to death. He would
die first, before she should suffer. But she should not be disturbed
by him in these solemn hours.

A joyous cry made Virginia look up; Iosco, too, from his post could
see the lithe figure of Cleopatra as she bounded into the wigwam and
threw her arms about Virginia, crying, “The beautiful Owaissa shall not
die this day! The good Powhatan says that she shall fly all day and
make his little daughter merry; she shall be merry at his great feast
to-day, and before night comes Nantiquas will come. He will save the
sweet Owaissa.”

Virginia rose, still holding the little girl in her arms, and said, “I
will try to make my dear Cleopatra happy to-day, even if it be my last
one she shall be merry. If Nantiquas does not come, and if he has not
the power you think he has, when does Werowance say I shall die?”

Cleopatra covered her face with her brown hands to hide her tears, but
she could not keep back the sobs, as she replied, “Cleopatra’s father,
the Werowance Powhatan, says the pretty Owaissa shall fly to-day with
his child, and not die until the sun goes down and the moon comes out
and the sun shines again, but when it hangs on the great pine, the
Owaissa and six of her tribe, who shall live till then, shall die
before Powhatan.”

Iosco could see Owaissa comforting the child. He heard her say, “There
are other things more cruel than death, Cleopatra, when one’s heart
dies. But we will love each other to the end, whenever it may be.”

He saw her kiss the child, who clung to her, and heard her say, “We
will remember that God knows our trouble. If he will that I should
live, he can save me even from a great Werowance like Powhatan. And if
not, he will help me to be brave.”

Iosco stood quietly with unmoved face, showing nothing of the struggle
and pain in his heart.

That day there was a dreadful massacre of nearly all the whites. They
were slain before Powhatan and his courtiers. As they were led out,
Beth Harvey caught Virginia’s arm as she passed the wigwam where
Virginia stood, trying to say something encouraging to each one as they
passed. “Come, oh, come with me, Virginia!” she cried, “stay with me
to the end.” It was the old childhood name, and poor Beth’s face was
so full of agony that Virginia could not have refused her anything, so
she took her hand and went with her, and stayed with her, and kept
her courage up as she had done all through her life. She stood bravely
by Beth, never flinching at the dreadful sights. She did not know that
Nantiquas and Iosco stood looking at her with wonder and admiration, as
she held poor Beth’s trembling hand, and bent all her energy to keep
the little spark of courage bright.

“Dear Beth, you will be brave. It will only be a moment of pain, and
then you will be beyond all pain, with your mother and with mine. But
O Beth, you will know all that we have longed to know about the dear
Saviour who died for us.”

       *       *       *       *       *

All was over. Beth no longer needed human aid. A slight figure, with
halo of golden curls, tottered and fell. But before it touched the
earth, it was caught and carried away. Under the great pine, Virginia
lay motionless, while two Indian princes bent over her, doing all in
their power to bring back a sign of life, and a child knelt by, crying.

Life came back; the weary brain began slowly to awake. The great blue
eyes opened. She tried to smile; but that awful scene came before
her,--Barnes, Gray, Smith, even Beth, all that she had called her
people, lying dead about her. She closed her eyes; but soon she opened
them again, and found that she was lying on the low rush tussan in
the wigwam. Nantiquas was standing, looking down at her. At first she
thought he was her father, and stretched her hand out to him; he caught
it, and knelt down by her.

“Is it you, Nantiquas?” she said. “I forgot that you had come back.”

He bent low over her as he said, “Nantiquas is here: the Puk-weedjie
hurried him back to save the life of the sweet Owaissa.”

“Save me from what? Oh, I forgot. But how can you save me? Will
Powhatan listen to you, Nantiquas?”

She said it half dreamily, as if she didn’t care.

Iosco had been lying close outside, and heard her last words, and
Nantiquas’s reply, which made him clinch his hands:--

“Powhatan will not hurt Nantiquas’s wife. To save Owaissa, she will be
Nantiquas’s wife, and love him.”

The voice was clear and decided, that answered:--

“O Nantiquas, you are so good to want to save me, but I could not be
saved that way; I could never be your wife, Nantiquas. I would do
anything else in the world that I could for you.”

After a long silence, Nantiquas replied, “Then Owaissa will sooner die
than be the wife of Nantiquas? He cannot save her.”

“No, Nantiquas,” she said firmly and clearly; “no; I can never be your
wife.”

He said not a word, but passed out of the wigwam into the twilight.
Cleopatra tried to coax Virginia to eat. Iosco lay concealed at the
back of the wigwam, and wondered why Owaissa had refused Nantiquas,
till the darkness crept up and the moon rose, and the stars came out to
keep their mother moon company. The hours slipped by, those last hours,
as it seemed, of Owaissa’s life. Iosco asked himself over and over
again, should he go to her or not?



CHAPTER XV.



CHAPTER XV.

  “No answer comes through the ceaseless whirl
    Of the hurrying ages tossed,
  And the New World’s first little English girl
    Is still a little girl lost.”

                                   E. H. NASON.


It was nearly the middle hour, when the darkness is thickest, that a
low voice said, at the entrance of the wigwam, “Will Owaissa come? Be
quick, and move like a young fawn, without noise!”

It was a very low call for Iosco to hear, but it reached him. In a
moment he stood before the wigwam by Nantiquas, who only said, “We
shall carry Owaissa, and Iosco must go with her. Will he go?”

The reply was prompt:--

“He will go anywhere that Owaissa will be safe; but where will that be?”

“Ask nothing now. Can you carry her?”

Iosco lifted Owaissa tenderly, as if she had been a baby, and the three
passed into the darkness and silence of the forest night.

Nantiquas led them first behind the wigwam, where there were bushes and
undergrowth to hide them. Then he turned into a trail unknown to Iosco.
On, on, they went. Not a word was said. Owaissa felt that Iosco was
carrying her, and she cared for nothing else. Iosco knew that he had
his darling close to his heart, and that she had refused life at the
price of being the wife of the bravest prince of the mightiest tribe.

Suddenly Nantiquas stopped, and said:--

“Ramapo stands yonder by the fallen willow; he loves Owaissa, and will
let her pass. Iosco shall say he carries Owaissa to the great Werowance
Eyonols on the Chanock flu. Say that she goes to hide at Ritanoe, in
the mines of Mattasin. We meet beyond.”

Iosco went on as Nantiquas said, and met Ramapo, who let him pass. But
no sooner had he done it than his loyal heart repented, and he called
to Iosco to return. But Iosco only ran on the more quickly. He was
wondering what he should do to protect Owaissa, when he heard Nantiquas
say, “Turn under the lindens to the right, quickly!” And he turned just
in time to escape an arrow that Ramapo had sent after him.

Nantiquas led on in a different direction. The trail was very narrow
and rough. Yet Iosco wished they might go on all night, that he might
hold his prize so close.

After walking for several hours, Nantiquas stopped suddenly, and
turned, saying, “The river lies just beyond. By it there is a camp,
which fears not being seen, for the fire burns. The clever Powhatan has
not had time to have his fire burning as bright as a harvest sun, since
we started. If they are his men we shall be taken. First, Nantiquas
would speak to Owaissa. He did journey to the pale-faces’ camp, and
lie watching and listening, but no word that Owaissa spoke came to his
ears. He did see one like a spirit, so white was his face. He lays
his hands together, and puts his knees on the ground, looks up and
speaks, and while he does, Nantiquas seizes and carries him off in the
woods. He has not the strength of a kid, but his eyes are like those
of a young deer, so brown and soft. Nantiquas says to the pale-face,
‘Virginia.’ He nods his head and laughs, as if he knows what that is.
Then Nantiquas says, ‘White,’ and he puts his hands to his face and
laughs more. Nantiquas says, ‘Dare,’ and he puts one hand on the other,
and looks up as if he would say he feared the Indian not. He would
understand no more. So Nantiquas leaves him to go back to his camp.
While Nantiquas listened to the white camp men, he heard many speak
to one, the chief. But they do not say ‘White,’ they say ‘New-port.’
One other is ‘Smi-th,’ and many more such. But none with the words of
Owaissa.”

Owaissa stood by Nantiquas while he spoke. She laid her hand on his
arm as she said, “Then they have forgotten me, my own people. But you,
Nantiquas, you have been so kind, so very good to me. I shall always
love you as I would have loved my brother. I will pray for you always.”

“Is it the prayer that makes Owaissa so brave?” he asked very gently.

“Yes, Nantiquas,” she replied. “It is the Great Spirit who makes us
able to meet death. Some day you will know all about him. I am sure you
will.”

Nantiquas took Virginia’s little hand and pressed it one moment.
Then they stepped forward cautiously toward the river and the light.
So softly did they move, they would surely not have been heard or
discovered but for Virginia, who, as she came nearer the fire, gave a
great cry, and sprang forward. Two figures were lying by the fire on
the ground, and one was a white man.

It was an English voice that replied to Virginia’s cry, “Who comes this
way?”

Virginia had sprung from her two companions, and was standing in the
firelight before they could stop her. She spoke in her own tongue. They
could not tell what she said, but they saw the two figures, who seemed
to be alone by the camp fire, draw close to her.

“Ranteo!” exclaimed Iosco. “It is old Ranteo!” and he went forward.

When the old Indian saw Iosco, he caught his hand, crying, “The people
of Manteo do groan for Iosco. They offer sacrifices every day for his
return. But he comes not. Old Ranteo comes far to find him and fetch
him back. The brave Christian Werowance, Iosco!”

It was Owaissa who answered, turning from the stranger with whom
she had been earnestly talking, “Do they really want Iosco back at
Croatoan? I knew they would, some day. I am so glad, dear Iosco.”

Nantiquas and the stranger to whom Virginia had been speaking looked at
each other in surprise for a moment, then they began talking by signs.
Nantiquas turned to the others, and laughed as he said, “The poor
pale-face could not get to his camp. He was but an arrow’s fling from
it.”

Ranteo laughed too, as he answered, “The poor nemarough wandered like a
lost deer back and forth, and was full of fear. He would speak with me,
but he could not, and for the great Werowance Manteo’s love, who did
good to all such, Ranteo gave the stranger half his fire and half his
food, and would bring him to Iosco.”

Nantiquas interrupted, “The Owaissa is not safe on Powhatan’s land. The
boys and men wait yonder. You must go on. You must go to Croatoan. Is
it not so, Iosco?”

“But how about the Werowance at Ritanoe? Must we not go there,
Nantiquas?” Virginia asked.

Nantiquas laughed. “Owaissa would not have come by this trail had
she been journeying to Ritanoe. Powhatan’s braves have that trail
to-night. Owaissa was on her way to her own people, to the camp of the
pale-faces, but it is safer for her on the way to Croatoan. There she
can join her people without danger from Powhatan.”

A slight noise in the darkness startled them. Iosco drew a deerskin
over the fire and stepped on it till the light was gone. Nantiquas led
the way, and they followed; they had gone only a short distance when
they came to the men and boys, all that was left of the Roanoke colony,
seven souls. Two small skiffs were waiting, a moment more and all was
ready.

Owaissa clasped Nantiquas’s hand. “You have been very good, dear
Nantiquas. You will come to us some day, won’t you?” Her voice
faltered, and she sobbed as she had not done in all the scenes of
pain or danger. “He has been so good; he has saved us all,” she said,
turning to the Englishman, who, raising his hand, gave his blessing to
the young Indian prince.

One more grasp of Owaissa’s hand, then the skiffs were moving down the
Youghianund flu, leaving Nantiquas alone on the shore. The first rays
of the sun glistened on the waving hair in the boat, and on a little
silky curl in the Indian’s brown hand, as he caressed it tenderly. The
mists cleared away, and a faint gleam of color tinged the sky like the
reflection of a rainbow. He saw it, and muttered to himself, as the
skiffs passed out of sight, “Nantiquas will never tell your secret to
the whites, Iosco, lest they carry her off from you.” And then looking
towards the bright bow of color, he added, “True, there are many
flowers do die on earth.”

Powhatan had condemned all the whites to die because he was afraid they
might tell the secrets of his people to the white tribe who had now
settled near his own lands. If they knew all, they would be dangerous
enemies. So Nantiquas had sent word to Iosco not to let any of the
whites attempt to go to Jamestown, for there were spies watching for
them all the way, with orders to capture them. A reward was offered
for every white scalp from Croatoan or Ritanoe, or wherever the seven
whites had escaped to.

The old places were slowly coming nearer and nearer, and the great
throb of happiness that leaps into one’s heart as he is coming home,
filled Virginia’s heart with thankfulness and love.

“O Iosco, I am so glad I did not go right to my own people; I would
never have seen Croatoan again. I am sure there is not another place in
the whole world so beautiful. I love it, every spot of its ground. Are
you glad we are all to be together again for a while?”

“Iosco is glad, oh, yes, very glad. Did Owaissa’s father come in the
big canoes? What tidings brings the white man of her people?” he asked
very earnestly.

Virginia was standing in the end of the skiff, that she might catch the
first glimpse of the dear familiar place. She put her hand on Iosco’s
shoulder to steady herself, and looking sadly down into his dark eyes,
she said, “O Iosco, do you know I have almost forgotten my people’s
language: many things the white man says to me I cannot understand. But
this I do know; he says my grandfather and my father came with the big
canoes to find us, long, long ago, and they found only the empty place
at Roanoke and the word ‘Croatoan;’ but when they would find Croatoan,
the storm caught up their canoes and carried them away. Even now this
Chief Newport is speaking for us, and will be glad when he knows what
you have done, and will give you many things.”

“Will the pale-face take Owaissa to her people soon?” Iosco asked.

“Whenever you send some one with us. We could not go alone; but do not
let us hurry. Let us see you back at the old place, and this white face
can teach your people and all of us about the Great Spirit, the dear
Jesus. Mistress Wilkins said this land needed such as he is to hallow
it--a priest.” Virginia said the last word reverently.

“The pale-face is good. The light of the Great Spirit is in his eyes.
He shall stay as long as he will, and teach the people as Manteo would
have wished; and surely Owaissa will never hurry from the people who
love her,” Iosco replied.

“Do you know, Iosco,” she said with a wistful look, “do you know I
almost dread going to my people now. If I have forgotten even their
language, which I once knew so well, how much less shall I know their
ways and lives, which I have never learned; they will not understand me
and my ways, they will laugh at me. Your people are really my people,
for I know and love them.”

As Iosco sprang from the little boat, upon his own land, he thought
he had never felt so happy before; and when he turned and helped the
Englishman on the shore, giving him a welcome after the manner of his
people, Virginia wondered if the coming back had brought such joy into
his face; she had not seen the pain that the leaving of it must have
caused.

The priest bared his head, and raising his hand blessed the land and
the people; then the little company moved up the hill. There were the
great fields of tobacco with their long leaves shining in the sunlight;
and there were the fields of corn where the women must have lately been
working, but now there was not a sign of woman or child. Virginia was
anxious to see the people; and she hurried on before the others, and
ran swiftly over the grass, which was dotted with daisies. She soon
reached the council house, which was like a great arbor, and hearing
voices she stopped and looked in.

It was, indeed, a weird, almost unearthly sight that met her gaze. In
the centre a great fire burned; around it on the ground a circle was
formed of grains of corn; outside of this a larger circle formed of
meal. Six men, painted red and black, with white circles painted about
their eyes, followed; another, painted like themselves, only a little
more gaudily, wore on his head a sort of crescent made of weasel-skins
stuffed with dried moss, the tails tied together at the top with a knot
of bright feathers, while the skins fell about his face and neck; a
great green snake was coiled around his throat, the tail flapping about
on his back. The creature, who was in fact the chief medicine-man, was
a frightful object, as he danced before the fire uttering unearthly
yells. The people had assembled in the arbor, bringing with them
offerings of every imaginable description for sacrifice.

The purpose of this worship was to entreat the Great Spirit to send
Iosco back: they did not know how to offer the Christian sacrifice,
yet they felt that their prayers must be accompanied by some proof
of their earnestness; so they used the old form of heathen worship,
the only thing they had known till Manteo went to England and came
back a Christian; but even then there had been no one to teach them
its blessed worship. From Manteo and Mrs. Dare they had only gained a
glimmering of its first principles, which they, poor heathen people as
they were, had eagerly grasped. The people inside were so intent on
their worship that they did not notice Virginia, as she stood in the
vine-covered doorway, or the others who soon joined her.

To Martin Atherton, the English priest, as he gazed in at the wild,
weird scene, it seemed like the very entrance of hell, and that hideous
figure, the chief medicine-man, looked not unlike the evil one himself,
as he danced and yelled, followed closely by the others. Then all the
people sent forth a groan, and the chief medicine-man threw many of the
offerings the people had brought into the fire, which caused a great
crackling and spluttering. The groans of the people rose dolefully, and
the wild yell of the medicine-man completed the frightful scene.

When Iosco passed from the little group outside, and stood in the
firelight before his people, they thought he had come out of the fire,
and waited one moment to see if he would vanish into it again. As he
did not, they pressed their hands to their hearts and yelled for joy,
till the very rocks seemed to tremble.

At a sign from Iosco his people were silent. He spoke to them of his
father, and of his Christian faith; of the whites, and how Powhatan
had killed most of them; of the canoes now in the river; of how he
had heard they had wanted him, and he had come. Now did they wish him
to remain? With a great cry they called him their chief, while the
medicine-men strewed corn before him, as a sign that all should be his,
and poor old Adwa, the squaw who had nursed him, ran to the fire, and
would have thrown herself in as a thank-offering had not Iosco caught
her and pointed to Virginia, who still stood in the doorway. She ran
to her, and held the head of soft wavy hair to her breast as tenderly
as any mother would have done.

Martin Atherton looked on in amazement, at the squaws gathered about
Virginia, and showed how tenderly they loved her. He could see that
she loved them, and for each she seemed to have a few kind words. The
children seemed to rain down, more than a dozen having gathered around
her in a minute. As he watched her caress them lovingly, and saw her
pick up one brown little boy, who was scarcely more than a papoose, and
hold him close to her heart, he wondered if she could ever be happy in
a conventional English life, and what the drawing-room would say and
think of this forest maiden.



CHAPTER XVI.



CHAPTER XVI.

  “Life has two ecstatic moments, one when the spirit catches sight of
  truth, the other when it recognizes a kindred spirit. Perhaps it is
  only in the land of truth that spirits can discern each other; as it
  is when they are helping each other on that they may best hope to
  arrive there.”--EDNA LYALL.


It was the first of the Indian seasons, “the fall of the leaf.”
Croatoan was glorious with its colored leaves and late flowers. Weeks
had slipped by since the escape from Werowocomoca. Iosco had been
welcomed by his people; so had Owaissa. The other whites, the best of
the colonists who had gone to Powhatan, and thoroughly frightened by
all that had happened there, were looked upon with suspicion for a
long time. But the new-comer, the pale Englishman, made friends with
all. He was only waiting for an opportunity to return to Jamestown. He
was a priest of the church, who had worn himself out with work among
the miners in England. He was broken in health, and the doctor in
London had ordered a sea-voyage. Just as the colony were starting from
Blackwall, Captain Newport persuaded him to go with them, promising to
bring him back to his work as soon as he was strong again. So he had
gone; but the name of Martin Atherton was not added to the list, though
he went across to the New World. Perhaps he was sent in answer to the
prayers of a maiden.

Through the long months that passed, as the summer slipped away and
the autumn took its place, the prayers of Mrs. Dare, Virginia, and
those few faithful souls, were answered. The poor Indians, who had had
glimmerings of a higher life, through Manteo, their dearly loved chief,
now listened eagerly to the message of the church, as Martin Atherton
told it in a simple, direct way, while they sat in a circle on the
ground about him, sometimes with great reverence kissing the sacred
Book from which the holy teachings came.

Twice a day the sound of prayer and praise went up from the little
congregation. Virginia had taught him the language of the people. He
told her that the father she so much yearned for had not come, and he
taught her about the dear Lord and his church.

Poor Iosco was in trouble again. He had never spoken of his love to
Virginia, and she did all in her power to conceal her love from him. Of
course he did not dream of such a possibility as her caring for him.
But he watched day by day, and counted every moment she spent with
Martin Atherton. Soon he would go to the white people, and then he
supposed Owaissa would go too.

All Saints’ Day dawned clear and bright. It was to be a great day at
Croatoan, but how eventful none of them knew. It was time for the great
service to begin. Virginia’s face was radiant with happiness, her fair
hair falling loosely over her mantle of turkey feathers.

“She might be the Queen of Sheba,” thought Martin Atherton, as he came
a little way behind her. “Her dignity and simplicity are perfect.
Surely no one could doubt the grace of baptism who knows a soul like
that, with its desire for knowledge growing stronger among heathen
surroundings; a life of praise and worship, though she does not know
it. It was she that converted these heathen, not I.”

He watched her as she knelt, then kneeling himself, his heart rose
in earnest thanksgiving for what he had been permitted to do, and a
prayer that his little Indian congregation might ever be guided aright.

The two figures were kneeling when Iosco joined them, followed by a
number of his warriors, among them Ranteo, his honest face fairly
glowing with happiness. He thought of the day when Manteo had been
baptized in the little chapel at Roanoke. Only then he had held an
ignorant reverence for the holy mystery that he was now to receive
himself, with a clear knowledge of its grace and power.

The simple service began, the dear prayers that we all know and love,
a simple hymn, and then the holy baptismal service. First Iosco knelt,
and then a long line of Indians, all kneeling in turn reverently before
the priest, were baptized from a little spring that trickled through
mossy rocks.

It was a strange scene. The chapel formed of a little clearing in the
forest, its walls the forest trees, its roof the arching branches, its
spire a tall poplar-tree reaching towards heaven, its altar a rough
rock. The open book from which the prayers were read lay on the stump
of a tree: the birds joined in the hymns of praise, and the deep sigh
of the wind in the forest was the organ.

The holy sign had been made on each brow, and they were henceforth no
longer heathen, but soldiers of the great King. Martin Atherton stood
before his little congregation and spoke to them. He did not preach on
systematic theology, or discuss the question whether St. Paul’s garment
was his cloak or a vestment; he spoke as a great soul bringing a great
message. He tried to show his hearers the power of the gospel in the
past and in the present. He told it simply, but with an eloquence that
held every one. His clear voice rang through the forest, with the last
words, “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom
of their Father.” A great silence crept over the little congregation
as the preacher raised his hand for the invocation, but not a sound
came. He raised his eyes, and fell backwards without a word. He lay
motionless by the rude altar. Loving hands raised his head and laid it
on Virginia’s knee. For a moment the people gathered silently around
the unconscious form, then drew away, that they might not keep the
reviving air from him, allowing Virginia and Iosco to do what they
could, only following their directions. At last the dark eyes opened
and saw Virginia’s beautiful face filled with sorrow and anxiety.
“Dear child,” he said, as he had often spoken before, “please raise my
head a little more. This may pass, and I may be better soon; don’t be
anxious. If not”--he only smiled and did not finish.

“Oh, you must not die!” Virginia cried; “we need you; so does God’s
work in this sad world.”

“God does not need us, dear child: it is we that need him. You will
always be true and faithful to your holy vows, and when the day comes
for you to go to England and to your people, you will have teachers
sent to these people who are yours by adoption.”

Somehow the thought of going to England added to Virginia’s pain at
that moment, and she drew closer to Iosco as the speaker fell into
a state of unconsciousness. Looking up into Iosco’s face, she read
something new that she had never seen there before. He had longed for
the Christian faith; he had wished for his baptism; he had believed all
that Martin Atherton had taught. The service that morning had changed
him. Those blessed drops “had worked wonder there, earth’s chambers
never knew.” The right of a new birth, the perfect faith of the man
before him, had given Iosco something he could not explain, but he
knew and felt that the dear Lord was very near, and the knowledge of
that perfect love filling his heart, his whole life, brought a peace
which the world could never take away. It made him worthy of human
love, and yet it made him feel it was quite possible to live without
it. When we can say truthfully in our hearts, “Thy will be done,” God
sends us often so great a blessing that it almost frightens us as we
receive it.

The little congregation had moved away. Hours slipped by. Only Virginia
and Iosco watched by their friend, who still lay as if dead, with only
the slight, uneven fluttering of his heart to show that there was yet
life in the worn-out body.

Virginia looked up at Iosco, and speaking softly, said, “If he really
gets better, you ought to send him to his people, that he may see them
before he dies.”

“The blessed priest shall be carried before the sunrise and laid among
his people if he lives. Iosco’s warriors shall keep him from harm by
Powhatan. The Owaissa can then go without fear to her people, and be
happy,” he replied.

“To-morrow, Iosco? So soon? O Iosco”--Virginia faltered. Looking down
suddenly into her upturned face he read her great love. The two
looked into each other’s eyes long and earnestly, and each read the
other’s heart. Iosco knelt, putting his arm around her, and whispered,
“Owaissa, my Owaissa!” He kissed her forehead again and again; and
she laid her head on his breast and clung to him as she said, “I will
never, never go, Iosco. Your people shall be my people. We shall be all
to each other now.”

“My Owaissa will be all to Iosco forever.” When one soul which truly
loves looks deep into another and reads there the answering love he
has longed for, he knows what a great treasure he has better than any
one could tell him; and to both souls comes the sense that they are
no longer separate beings, but one in each other. A golden light has
spread over the world, which, thank God, nothing earthly has the power
to destroy.

Two dark eyes had opened and were watching them. Iosco was the first to
notice that their friend had roused; and, bending over him, he asked if
he wished to be taken to his own people. The holy priest said with a
gentle smile, “There will not be time; I shall die among these people;
they are dear to me.”

At his suggestion, the people were summoned. He was raised and
supported, and performed the last act of ministry on earth.

A Christian wedding was a strange sight to these poor people. It was
over; Owaissa and Iosco sat together, and watched by their friend till
the sun set, when his soul passed in the glory of the golden sky to the
perfect glory and brightness of the people of God.

The story of the life of the first American child has never been
recorded in history; but that life, we know, was not wasted.

Who can tell what a pure, brave life may do? Lived in humble station in
this nineteenth century, or in the wild forest three hundred years ago,
as was VIRGINIA DARE’S!



TRANSCRIBER’S NOTES:


  Italicized text is surrounded by underscores: _italics_.

  Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Virginia Dare: A Romance of the Sixteenth Century" ***

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

We also ask that you:

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

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

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

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



Home