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The fair lady of Halifax; or, Colmey's six hundred

Date: 1920 | Identifier: PS2649.P355 F2X 1920
The fair lady of Halifax; or, Colmey's six hundred, by Ronleigh de Conval [pseud.] Raleigh, N. C. : Edwards & Broughton Printing Co., 1920. xvi, 408 p. ill. 24 cm. more...
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The FAIR LADY
of HALIFAX
Ronleigh de Conval


[Illustration:


Fluer-de-Lis vignette]






[Illustration:

NORTH CAROLINIANA COLLECTION B.W.C. ROBERTS
Bookplate]














[Illustration:

The Fair Lady of Halifax
]









THE FAIR LADY OF HALIFAX
OR
COLMEY'S SIX HUNDRED



BY
RONLEIGH DE CONVAL



RALEIGH, N. C.
Edwards & Broughton Printing Co.
1920



Copyright 1920 By John Alfred Pollock





Dedicated TO MY MOTHER









PREFACE

  • “The Blessed Gods—
  • Purge all infection from our air whilst you
  • Do climate here.”

We stand in awe as we contemplate, the Trinity, i.e., earth, fire, and water; and their essentiality for the maintenance of the subtle infinities, i.e., life, light, and liberty. What brain so broad, that can compass the majesty of the imperialistic intellection of the human mind? The air and the sky seem a part of ourselves. What gauge is there that can measure the depthless desires of the human heart? What medicament can soothe the heart's unrest? What plummet line can safely sound the wondrous caverns of our existence, and unfold intelligently unto us our manifest, our deathless destiny? Is it not enough to know that there is a high Wisdom that will direct, an all-seeing Eye that will not sleep, and a Love that never faileth? No individual, much less a nation, can idly evaluate the preciousness of time, can wisely spend in wantonness the youth, the manhood, the virility, that should be conserved for the support of the nobler energies, i.e., of venturous valor, national possessions, of farsighted diplomacy, of cherishing, encouraging, and perfecting every effort to make for the betterment of humanity. It is the fate of man to be harried by war and rumors of war. The Cavalier's motto, “Dangers and death to the Devil,” was accepted by many as the best rule to be governed by, as carnage and battles seem to be never ending. Is this world merely a workshop for the lowly? Is it for some, a secret chamber to web wiles to ensnare the innocent? And to the multitude is it for them to be regimented in a great battlefield, to them a





featureless future, to the conqyuering commander a sinecure, a palace, often a royal scepter? Men, idealists, philanthropists, cry out againt warring of the nations, but whence srength but by struggle. What braces the nerves, hardens the threws of the virile embattled hosts, but the danger and the blows of conflict? Resistance is life. England has been for centuries the world's batleground, if it is a secluded water-bound island. The iking, the Dane, the Frank, the Angles, and the Romans have desired to possess he white-cld isle called Albion. The climate, fairly fine, had at times its foggy, its muggy weather, yet it seemed to woo them to remain. Haughty Boadicea had become so weakened by the continuous combats, she could no longer by her brave example cheet the hearts of her people. The Ivenci, Hengist the Hardy, and the peerless Alfred clashed and fough their adversaries successfully and then died, mourned over and loved until now. Then warlike John spoke mortal defiance "from the mouth of England" to the Archbishop of Rome and then fought to a finish embattled France. Plantagenet and Tudor arose to heights and then passed away, leaving a broad stain of blood behind them. Fascinating Elizabeth, after a fancfare of drums proclaiming the wreck of the Spanish Armada, is next sen weeping over her lover Essex. And then came to strut upon the stage base-hearted little King James. Born afrit ( to vent his spote and spleen upon betters) he vented his spite, and spleen, willingly instructed by cunning Cecil and envious Coke. The martial, the romantic Sir Walter Raleight aroused their envy, and was by their machinations victimized: God rest his knightly soul. The condemned man has been by an admiring would immortalized, his royal murderer lies under the curses of the many. Queen Anne, of blessed memory, a good sovereign, a loving mother, and a kind friend, came to the throne, acted her part, and is now sleeping the sleep that knows no waking, with her seventeen children resting beside her. May your body rest sweetly,





good lady, among your loving subjects, and your divine spirit find ready entrance into the land of the pure and holy. Now came the Elector of Hanover to sit and stare with his wide-open German eyes at a people he did not understand, a people that could not understand him. It is well that expediency and toleration are Anglo-Saxon vitues, for the thick-lipped Elector, now with trepidation, sat upon great Henry's throne. King George was seated and crowned the Sovereign of Britain. His Majesty was frightened and almost frantic over wars, intrigues, and rumors of wars that might affect his kingdom. He mortally feared the Stuart heris and their popularity. He enter into alliances that might benefit himself and help himself to keep his Germanic possessions. He was dull and phlegmatic, and the Whigs, and the Pope, and the name of Cromwell harassed his very innermost soul. He dreaded the French fleet, he hated the Irish, for vexing him, and for Scotland he had spies, troops, paid infromers, and golden baits, for her money-loving lairds. His Parliament was ready to hang and behead, war and burn, when theythought it was necessary to overawe and subjugate outspoken subjects who dared to think for themselves. As heart man is aristocratic, and believes in heraldry and castes. in mind he hold to democracy, equality, and fraternity.

the battle of the Boyne had broken the warlike spirit of the subjects of the beautifule isle; but Bannockburn was something else to consider. Lord Frobes's idea had been approved by Earl Llay, and by Walpole accepted; but the weight advice had met with royal disapproval. England had come to acknowledge in Cabinet that the Scots were unconquerable. Now some way must be found to get the fiery, wild Highlanders to see the ned of observing union of the to countries. Forts and highways, and troops of Scottish extraction had to be riased, paid for, and established. The Lowlander, being either a Saxon or a Norman, naturally was anxious for peace and uity to exist unremittingly





between the two peoples (of England and Scotland); and he knew that commerce, civilization, and progress went hand in hand together.

The violent agitation of religious beliefs and ceremonies was so intense that dissensions and rebellions were of frequent occurrence in, and also out of, the confines of Great Britain. The Preacher of Bedford Jail's writings (John Bunyan), the thunders of John Knox, the spirit of Cromwell, were stirring the masses; and the erected gallows at Edinburgh, the murderous acts of the Tower, had an intimidating recollection with all the people. England's safety lay largely in the fact that she was body and soul conservative. An Englishman hates a change, he loves his prince and willingly follows precedent. The nobility and money barons dreaded rebellion. Therefore, the House of Hanover was staunchly supported by power and wealth. The colonies of Britain—Virginia, South Carolina, and North Carolina—felt the throbbings from far across the waters. The Sage of “Burnhill Fields” was read by the educated, and the “tales of the Covenanters” were told and drunk in by greedy ears. Holland and England, both tired of war, had patched up a peace, and Fontenoy and Minden witnessed heavy losses by the British; yet their steady courage, their unflinching obedience to the Duke of Cumberland's orders had preserved their army intact, and made all opponents respect the endurance and valor of the sturdy soldiers of the British Empery.

The often wars on the Continent had given experience to the growing Empire that now was recognized as one of the world's coming powers. Men who had had experience in foreign wars, and had seen the severe punishment inflicted on the people of Ireland and Scotland, were ready to hear that somewhere on the earth's fair surface there was a place where man was not watched, weighed and slaughtered at the mandate of those in power. The wonderful resources and inviting climate of the land for away westward was believed





to be an asylum for the persecuted and downtrodden of all nations, was heralded to all the world. The surging sea was no barrier to men anxious to escape the undue surveillance of police and inferiors. Romance and ambition were beckoning stars. The adventurous spirits braved the briny deep and complacently made their homes in the bosky, cool retreats of the virgin forests, beside the broad, beautiful streams, where the evening air was laden with the smell of grape and laurel. The climate was temperate, the soil fruitful, and night and day they were to feel free and untrammeled amidst Nature's rough repose. The people of that day were not contemplative, yet they were resourceful.

“O tempora, O mores.” It was in a day when Wahmtakes held sway; it was when one was elected to the Commons, he could not resign his seat if the duties were onerous and burdensome, and only through a Crown appointment could he escape from the thraldom of his legislative office. A.D. 1704 was the day of Abigail Masham; Blenheim had been fought and won.

Among the several who crossed the waters seeking fame and fortune in Carolina were Baron De Graffenried, Lawson, Mitchell, Moseley, and Pollock. These men were to be identified with the early fortune and misfortune of their new and sparsely settled homes, washed by the waters of the Albemarle, the Neuse, and the Trent. De Graffenried was a man of high birth in Switzerland and of an adventurous disposition; Mitchell, a Switzer, was a man of ability and means; and Lawson, a Scotch-English, was a civil engineer and a historian par excellence. Moseley was assertive, talented, and ambitious for riches and office; and Pollock, from Renfrewshire, was highly educated, courtly and wealthy, and had served in the military service of Flanders and France. The times were seasons of unrest, dangers, and irritations.

De Graffenried became disgusted, sold out and departed; Mitchell held on and proved himself a stout soldier at





Barnwell; Lawson was captured by the savages and barbarously burned; and Moseley and Pollock became accepted leaders; men of markedly opposite characters, with different viewpoints, and who became, as a matter of course, endless political enemies. Both men had an innate aptitude for politics and finance.

The many governors that had been appointed rulers in Carolina had received different treatment. Gales and Swann, men of sterling worth, served faithfully the Colony, ever trusty and capable. Some of the people were treated fairly, some roughly, and some respectfully. The world seemed to be in an upstir and all bindings seemed to be unhasped. Imperial Rome had but a poor beginning, and at one time was in bad shape. The free sans-souci life of the Red Man of the wilds of Carolina had reflex influence on the white settlers. Virginia called Carolina with much concern the “Rogues’ Harbor,” and the Carolinians laughingly retorted, “O Ye White Slave Pen!” The men from over the sea intuitively recognized the solemn fact that the Indians racially were a menace. Men grew up without knowing priests, schoolmasters, or sergeants-at-law. There were no tenants. Later on, to have protection at law a person had to be a Churchman. Church and State go hand in hand. Man was made to believe. The Quakers early had a footing in the settlement, and their voice, their independence of speech, drollness of dress, their peculiar religious belief, their church creed was felt; by some accepted, by some derided. There were a few blacksmiths, carpenters, and cobblers. With Virginia to her north, South Carolina to her south, and a wilderness on her west; with no accepted seaport of importance, knowing that she was nominally at the mercy of her two wealthier dominant neighbors, Carolina still felt within herself an innate strength and bravely and hopefully trusted to the future. Medicine expectante.





The fights at Forts Barnwell and Nohoroco won Carolina for the white race. Even the great Thomas Jefferson, when approached, hesitated as to acknowledging North Carolina the rights of a colony. He was anxious as to Virginia's possibilities being interfered with. “Will North Carolina pinch Virginia?” was his thought. South Carolina had her Charleston, Virginia had her Norfolk, and both states quietly determined to hold their vantage ground. (See notes.) North Carolina was too weak then to hack her way to the Nansemond.

What! Out of miles upon miles of sea front God had not provided an acceptable harbor? Bah! North Carolina, being one of the greatest states ever formed by Divine Wisdom, can afford to wait and win; and win she will! The lofty white oak of Carolina will surely overtop every tree north and south of her in due time. When some highly inspired engineer places his finger on Cape Lookout, then comes freedom! then comes a world-wide harbor! “North Carolina is an empire in embryo,” was said by one of her greatest sons. New Hanover, Edgecombe, and Onslow were precincts up to 1733; now look at them.

Many of the people had come across the dangerous deep deeply impressed with their fathers’ ideals. The truth of facts and of wealth were their passion and pride, and solvency an irrefutable basic state principle; and every man's house his castle.

If this story was found among some old Cullendale papers, it is but at best a haphazard romance of Carolina, founded on fact, fiction, and tradition that the “sheeted dead” may live and have a being and move among us once again: Selah! Believing that all men love to read of those who went before, met danger and obstructions, and overcame all that then confronted them, this simple tale is respectfully submitted for their rejection or acceptance.

Ronleigh De Conval.

January 8, 1917.









CONTENTS

CHAPTERPAGE
I.The Indians of Carolina3
II.Glasgow8
III.The Prince Royal Stables15
IV.Colmey's Musings20
V.The Great Outlaw of the Highlands24
VI.The So-Called Pretender, Charles Edward34
VII.The English and Scotch Armies38
VIII.The Battle of Culloden43
IX.The Moor of Drummossie52
X.The Defeat and Retreat from Culloden58
XI.The Council at Balgray62
XII.The Meeting of Friends69
XIII.The Meeting of the Chiefs at Fort Nohoroco or Nahucky74
XIV.The Water Find and Provisions of Nahucky Fort81
XV.The Advance to Meet Moore90
XVI.Coucil of War99
XVII.The Old Pamlico Stockade103
XVIII.At Edenton Council107
XIX.Tall Feather113
XX.Black Wolf's Night Attack122
XXI.Colonel Moore's Attack on the Indians129
XXII.The Woman in the Tunnel134
XXIII.After the Battle Was Over137
XXIV.Peace141
XXV.Wilmington to Edenton143
XXVI.Laurel Ridge149
XXVII.Bazzell's Story of His Capture158
XXVIII.Bazzell's Second Story171
XXIX.The Dividing Line175
XXX.Colmey Place181
XXXI.The Race190
XXXII.Upstairs at Colmey Place197
XXXIII.The Gypsy Camp202
XXXIV.The Order of The Royal Cedar217
XXXV.Sword Tourney222





CHAPTERPAGE
XXXVI.Colmey's Departure from Halifax230
XXXVII.The Pasturage of the Tides234
XXXVIII.Lola Banbury at Montfort239
XXXIX.Miss Banbury's Return and Marriage243
XL.Uncle Joshua's Wedding247
XLI.The Coming Revolution255
XLII.Fulbert Manor260
XLIII.Moore's Bridge Battle267
XLIV.Camp Johnstone, Lake Catharine273
XLV.Leonati's Crossing (or Adkins)278
XLVI.A Hornets’ Nest on Flag283
XLVII.The Halifax Fight288
XLVIII.The Horse at the Well294
XLIX.Remo and Merlin305
L.White Poplars311
LI.A Hasty Return to Halifax314
LII.In Mrs. Montfort's Room323
LIII.Tete-a-Tete335
LIV.Bolling and Burton340
LV.Home Again344
LVI.Belfield Camp349
LVII.The Stony Creek Charge353
LVIII.Hicksford360
LIX.Colmey's Six Hundred368
LX.Uncle Mac372
LXI.Roanoke Camp377
LXII.Jean Colmey and May Montfort382
LXIII.The Rout of the Tories387
LXIV.Colonel Colmey's Tent392
LXV.Departure of Battalion for the Coast-lands397
Notes405
Balgray406
True Story of the Tuscarora Indians407
The Distingue of the Three Squadrons408





THE FAIR LADY OF HALIFAX









THE FAIR LADY OF HALIFAX

I THE INDIANS OF CAROLINA
  • “If I demand,
  • What rub or what impediment there is,
  • Why that the naked poor mangled Peace
  • Should not in this best garden of the World
  • Put on her lovely visage.” . . .

It would be a grievous mistake for one to think that the white settlers of Carolina had a thriftless, cowardly race to do and deal with during the momentous Seventeenth Century from 1680 to 1780. The Indian is by nature an aristocrat. He is loyal to his chief and his tribe, and he will have his crest, be it bear, buffalo, or beaver. His cunning, his courage, his pertinacity would bespeak for him of Jewish extraction. (See notes.) But he is beardless and longhaired, and no hoarder of precious metals. Tall, well-formed, and ambitious, he delights in the chase and in war. In the presence of strangers stoical, their women at night lead in the dance, and their aged advisers sit in the shadows. The Algonquins and Iroquois are considered among the foremost of Indian tribes, and many tribes in North Carolina are descended from them. The Tuscaroras were of the immortal stock of the Iroquois, and had for years mixed and married with Senecas, Mohawks, Oneidas, supposed to have migrated to Carolina in the Sixteenth Century. The Montreal massacre was well known





to every warrior of the Carolina tribes, whose people had occupied the tidal section beyond the memory of man. When aroused they were a warlike people, and they held in contempt cowardice, pain, and stealing from their own tribe. The Tuscarora Indian in dignity and loyalty was not surpassed by any race of men. He met his white brother at first and for years inoffensively. He came from a race whose eloquence and gesture had ever had the admiration of every European that ever came in contact with them. In courage, in submission to his leader, in bearing pain and exposure, who had ever surpassed the Tuscarora? The citizens of the subterranean cities, the mound-builders, had to give way to the Red Man. The Five Nations were united for mutual protection. The Northern Indians of the Iroquois found meat and shelter with the Tuscaroras. The old men of these Five Nations visited and advised each tribe when danger was threatening, from the Penobscot to Pamlico. The Five Great Nations and the Tuscaroras were recognized as the highest type of Indian excellence. Their roaming bands from Canada to Carolina met and held their own with high achievement until the white race entered the list of combatants. The Tuscarora united power and policy, and he was the Roman of the Stone Age. He felt his superiority, he fought for sovereignty. He knew, if pressed too hard, his wild cry would be heard by his blood-kin, the Senecas and the Hurons, across the continent. From the bosky dells of the Mohawk to the shimmering sounds near the sea he stripped himself for the fray and proudly war-whooped “Here! I dare do what man dares.” His pride, his ready capacity to meet emergencies, made him a formidable foe. Those mentioned tribes kept open their trails from Lake Champlain to Lake Mattamuskeet.

East Carolina has ever been a land of romance and adventure, and if the writer in a poor way can revitalize the brave people now no more—King Blount and Hancock,





King Taylor and others; reanimate their sleeping forms acceptably, he will feel amply rewarded for his labor.

Some of these Indians were painters; and to their eloquence as orators, with no schoolmaster to train them, are compared Pericles and Demosthenes, the most famous orators the world ever listened to. From general or corporal, from president to ploughboy, these red men of the forest claimed close attention and thrilled and amazed the white race.

Logan, Redjacket, Brant and Grangula, Cornplanter and King Blount are as orators and warriors classed amongst men, standing out in bold relief, and splendid specimens of manhood. Their stonework, the spear and ax, the tomahawk and arrow, the mortar and digging tools, their knowledge of subterranean cities, marked them men who had come in deadly contact with the cave-dwellers and mound-builders, and came off victorious. (See notes.) They had heard all their lives of their tribe's victorious advance. They understood tidology, they recognized the balm, the sweetening qualities of the North Wind. Without star or compass, without light or leader, the law of direction was so deeply planted in their make-up that they found their way, reached the port they were looking for with an ease, a certainty that astonished the white race. Did they have a “sixth sense”?

Their women excelled in basketry work, in bead and feather fashionings. Their necklaces and wampums were decked with elks’ teeth, boar tusks, and shells of rare beauty and price. Their paintings of buffalo and white wolf robes have been the envy of the Caucasians.

A celebrated writer has written that the time will come when the institutions, the policy, eloquence, and achievements of this remarkable people will be the themes of study for the youth of our schools of learning.

“Who is the American Indian? Who was the Yucatan?” Their convocations led one of our Jesuit historians to liken





them to the Roman Senate in session. A veteran General (Dodge), after an extensive experience in wars, says that the Indian is the finest natural soldier the world had ever seen. The sachems are as emperors; their chiefs, their kings. The crossing of swords between Colonists and British was without romance and mystery. Not so with the Indian. (Colonial Records, Vol. I, 978, 979.) He is modest in council and obedient to his chief, never swears, keeps his promise, and is decent in behavior.

They are passing; but as they pass let us ask, Did the Germanic hordes, Anglo-Saxon and others, leave behind them a more glorious manly record? Did they equal the Indian in fine eloquence? Did they surpass him in indomitable courage? Who was Attila, thundering at the gates of Rome? Was he governed by written laws? Nay! The lion once lived in classic Greece and measured his length across the plains of Palestine. The white race is superhuman—white blood is divine, and Jehovah lands them safely into the bays of books and Bibles—upon heights impregnable!

The Indian withstood the shock—the stress of the storms of adversity, uncomplainingly, but he could not withstand Destiny. He persistently held to his racial personality. He despised written laws, book religion, and a settled habitation. He was to remain enmeshed in the forest lore of his fathers. He had no desire to unravel the nice technicalities of civilization, or submit willingly to the formalities of lame-legged law. Like unto the Goths and Huns, his sunlight has set in darkness—once powerful—now vanquished. The expulsion of the best braves from the Neuse and the Chowan to the vales of the Mohawk and the Little Montreal was effected in 1715, and they there became an integral portion of the confederacy, constituting the Sixth Nation. Then and there the Tuscarora faced his irrevocable doom. He saw before him his future beclouded with many tragedies; yet manfully, tirelessly, he lined up





majestically with an unruffled brow and an unconquerable spirit. Adieu! Fondly adieu! His frail cypress canoe is being pushed into the unremembered sea. Deep sorrow surrounds him. He lifts his head and looks westward. Then calmly—column like—with upward view, his dark eye is fixed hopefully on the happy blue-vaulted gateway. Dusky—fearless—forlorn brother—all hail! Farewell!





II GLASGOW

  • “Upon a great adventure he was bound:
  • Which all earthly things he most did crave,
  • To prove his puissance in battle brave.”

—Spenser.

In his room in the old city of Glasgow sat a young man reading Cornelius Nepos’ writings of the Excellent Commanders. There he was told that Epaminondas was taught music; that among other fine qualities he reckoned his mastery of the flute, and that he danced handsomely. He read that that which was honorable with the Roman, was considered scandalous with the Greek: for instance, a Roman thought it well to take his wife to a feast; the Greek considered it rude, and that only the woman's apartment was the place for her except in a feast with relatives; that Cimon the Great married his half-sister, after the usages of his forefathers, while in Rome it was considered criminal. So he pondered. He asked himself, What is man? Is he but a creature of environment—of usage? He was impressed with the fact that the Old Bible was faithful in holding up to view man's excellencies and his many shortcomings. In a word, he felt impressed with the truth that a charitable view should be taken of the laws and ways of our neighbors, and silently wondered how Honorius’ beautiful sister could consent to marry the hated leader of the Goths.

In the midst of his reveries his roommate came in: “Colmey, shall we go to the meet?” “Will Rutledge be one of our number, Capehart?” These three young men were Americans, were attending school in the famous academies of the city built upon the confines of the river Clyde.





At the meet the hawkers were ready. They were advised to at once go for the quarry.

The beautiful birds were of interest to the students. One was a white with black neck and tips; the other was a blue ash with her throat a rich buff. Their spread of wing was three and one-half feet. When loosed and the prey is small they attack at once; but if large of beak and combative, then the falcon is cunning. She soars above and below, and makes turns and wheels with great dexterity, awaiting a favorable moment for her to strike. She brings the game down slowly and in circles, and lands the prey as near as she can to where her keeper is standing; knowing that her reward is sure to be a well-prepared dainty meal. It requires patience, it takes time, to train a falcon properly. The male is seldom ever in favoritism. He is more lazy—not so fierce as the female. As in all trades and callings, envy and jealousy are soon manifest. These falconers, like politicians, openly and plainly discredited each other's birds. “Allen, you know your bird is a tercel.” “Liar, mine is a Bautere.” “Nothing but a falconet, Ronald, or by St. Andrew may I be hung on Christmas day!” “You half-fed son of a street sweeper, mine is a ‘noble’ and strikes from above the quarry.”

Nearing a small tarn, a pair of moor hawks could be plainly seen, and their blue backs and white rumps made a handsome air picture. But the falconers were quarreling and their falcons wanted to be crabbing. So earnestly were they berating each other that the hawks disappeared in the hillside trees before the students could get to see them. Further on the hawkers espied a pair of kestrels, the gray-and-black dressed male and his mate in reddish brown. They were lazily sailing fairly high, watching for fish and mice.

“There, you pair of picklocks, do you hear? Set your birds astir.” The roughness of the students made the hawkers hush their wrangling. The falcons were thrown





off, the bewits having been carefully removed by each master. Both hawkers gave a hearty, cheery “halloo” to their unhooded birds. The hawkers gazed anxiously and silently upward, watching the circling and quick diving of their falcons. Each kestrel became frightened, seeing the falcons loosened, and took an opposite direction. Each went upward and upward, giving out shrill, fierce cries as they realized their danger. Every feather was put to its best to hasten their flight and escape from their pursuers. The falcons, at first enjoying their freedom, kept in wake of the flying-for-life kestrels; but, seeing their quarry holding good wings and with intention to get away from them, they increased their speed and wonderfully overtook the frightened flyers. They circled around and about, and then both with a shrill cry attacked almost simultaneously each its quarry. The kestrels fought off as best they could, but knew they were doomed. Both falcons, in a daring stroke, fastened beak and talons in the less powerful kestrels and came circling down from midair to the heather-covered earth. The hawkers ran rapidly to their birds to unfasten the deep grip. Each hawker claimed victory for his bird, that his bird was “faster,” “made more circles,” “made more dives,” and “struck the prey more promptly.” As they were about to come to blows the students interfered, and giving each hawker the “siller” he expected, all became merry and hilarious.

On their way back to the city they met a party of gentlemen and ladies, grooms and equerries, who were out for a “coursing.” The Earl Crawford is a great nobleman. The graceful highly-bred greyhounds were safe in their leashes, and the noble looks of the men, the gaiety and archness of the ladies, added zest and charm to the scene. The hawkers bowed down almost to the ground — nobility was passing.

“Capeheart, did you notice the kestrels? How the male in his pride, coated in his superior colors, and the female





in her sober brown, how they wind-hovered until the falcons were uncovered?”

“Colmey, I never knew before that the female was so much fiercer in pursuit than the male. I understand the male is seldom trained for attack or for quarry. The boasts and the braggadocio of those knaves were amusing indeed, and to save me I could not tell which falcon struck first.”

“Capeheart, the sport would have been finer if herons had been the birds for the hawkers’ competition, but the laws are so severe they fear a keeper might come upon them.”

“Colmey, those ladies were grand and beautiful, and the equipages almost dazzled my eyes. Coursing for a hare! Quite a different sport from the hunt of a young, lusty grice or a full-antlered, bounding buck. At Cowdrey Park, from an up-window, Queen Elizabeth witnessed sixteen bucks pulled down by full-blooded, well-trained greyhounds of the county of Sussex. For hundreds of years the owning of a greyhound was proof of gentility—when knights met in tourney—when chivalry was in full flower—when love and loyalty filled camp and grove.”

The cavalcade was soon lost behind the trees crowning the well-kept highway. Returning to his room and looking at his packed trunks, Colmey felt a deep-seated aversion to pulling up and leaving his classmates forever. He wanted to remain; yet when the hallowing feeling of home came uppermost he cheerfully continued to make ready to go.

A human body is young but once, and the warmth of friendship of our earlier days is not cooled by reason, or by suspicion. Colmey saw about him people of high culture, he associated with students whose family traditions were part and portion of the kingdom's assets. He knew he was to return where the very great mass of people were untrained, unschooled, and whose education only woodland lore. Here he hears the great cathedral chimes; there was no church in North Carolina until 1710, not one! No





schoolhouses, no public buildings whatever worthy mentioning. Here was law and order, great residences, great bridges, strong castles. Across the sea were magnificent sounds, rolling rivers, trackless forests, and in them the Red Men, full of love of slaughter and cruelty, and whose hatred was as sleepless as the stars. It was a part of their very nature to be cunning, stealthy, and they were revengeful and tireless; they were to be dreaded and eternally watched. The young man had been taught by his parents to love America and to make it his home; for the wilderness would be reclaimed in due time, and that law and order would become the foundations of a great nation now in its infancy.

“I shall return to America, then I shall meet the Red Man face to face; and there the hornets raise their young. There are no hornets, no Indians, in Scotland. I notice the highways here under the brand of the ‘Broad Arrow’ are supervised and constantly kept in repair, as in the days of the Roman occupancy. I notice the beech trees over here are much taller than in America, more highly prized. One can hardly conceive or accept the immense importance these quick-grown rich people attached to themselves, who have the manipulation of the tobacco trade of North Carolina and Virginia. They take on readily the low parts of the upper class. They assume high airs, have fine vehicles, and their accoutrements small of the yellow and black weed from far beyond the trackless sea. To the poor they are offensive and to the rich subservient.”

Trawling of herrings for pleasure was considered by some as beyond the pale of the British laws. Herring fishing acts were passed in Britain to protect this, one of the most valuable assets of food known to the British people. Smokehouses were numerous in the “Land of Cakes.” Infumation had become a science. Holland was surpassed by Scotland in the magnitude of catch and cure. The catchers and the curers were quite a different set of people.





Amsterdam was thought to be built on herring bones. The herrings are cured under inspection of officers of the law, and women find profitable employment during the seine season.

Colmey was of an inquisitive turn of mind, and he had gone to the trouble of visiting and noting the ways of the Scots in this particular, as he remembered seeing on the Chowan great hauls made of fish when the season was in full. Colmey studied the laws and habits of the Hebrew, the Greek, and the Roman people intently. He knew they were the three greatest people of all mankind, and that David, Pericles, and Cæsar stood among men supreme. Knowing his destiny was to be across the great sea deeps; knowing he must face life with its pleasures and perils; knowing that a purpose, an object every man must have to accomplish a high and noble place in his nation's history, he was anxious to be a skilled military and civil engineer, and a man of prominence in his community. He sat in his room, thinking that the world was out of harmony. He had been away from home for years attending school. Every day brought startling news of change in the ministry. Great Britain was in an upheaval; the King of France was backing the Stuart family to assert their rights, while the Hanover House was intrenching itself as best it could with the English nobility and the Scotch Argyles and Loudouns. The Highlanders, it was reported, were in favor of the exiled family of Stuart, and every precaution was taken to keep down any friction of opposing factions. Everybody, from some unknown cause, was expecting a great happening to occur soon.

Capeheart came in, feeling good, and said: “Colmey, let's ride over to Dumbarton Castle, the once citadel of the Romans, once capital of the Vale of the Clyde. It is only about fourteen miles from here.”

“What direction is it?”





“It is northwest. They say Wallace's two-handed sword hangs in the hall.”

“Order our horses at once.”

They passed the rampart and were allowed to enter the old historic and picturesque castle, situated upon a rugged rock several hundred feet high and nearly surrounded by water. Blackfaced sheep were seen feeding, and shaggy Highland cattle added to the scene. Several rowboats and a three-master were riding water near by. An old Scot was importuned for a Scottish song, and the old piper piped and then sang “Dumbarton's drums beat bonnie, O!”

He looked for a compensation.

“Capeheart, out with your dernier.”

“Why did not Rutledge come?”

“Rutledge is with Mr. MacMurty.”

“Capeheart, why does Rutledge keep so much with that horsetrader?”

“Rutledge goes to get the fresh, breezy news from the western Highlands—straight news from the Moot Hill.”*

“Yes, he will get to smelling like an ostler and have notions in his head treasonable to the Crown.”

[note]



III THE PRINCE ROYAL STABLES

  • Groom: “Hail, royal prince!
  • I was a poor groom of thy stable king,
  • When thou wert King.
  • O how it yearned my heart when I beheld,
  • In London's streets on coronation day
  • When Bolingbroke rode on roan Barbary,
  • That horse that thou so often bestrode,
  • That horse I so carefully dressed.”—King Richard.

“Mr. Colmey, have you found a horse to suit you? I have four very fine ones. Three are of standard colors and one a royal roan. They are all bluebloods, sir, and each a shining beauty.”

“What is your price?”

“For either I will take ninety pounds.”

“Your figure is a little montant, but all the same I will look at them.”

“Will you come this way, please?”

Colmey and MacMurty went down the street to the “Prince Royal,” a very old establishment for breeding, raising and selling horses. It was a large stone building two stories high, with cellar and paddock, and the horse stairway was easy to ascend and covered with leather cuttings. In time gone by Prince Henry (Bluff Hal) had purchased hunters for his stud from this stable, and the walkway was clearly marked out, the place he stood, the stalls of the horses he had selected. All was shown with pardonable Scottish pride. The cobblestones had been removed where His Grace had stood, and select stobs, well-balsamed, were driven down, and by brass nails driven in the wood to





exactly designate the spot upon which His Highness stood, thus honoring the enclosure by his royal presence and standing.

“Now, good Robin, bring out Gray Friar. See how dappled he is, how deep-chested, and he is copper-bottom, sir, and pretty enough for a prince. His dam is Doncaster Filly, and he traces back to Pasha, that was imported from Spain by His Majesty, King John. The King had established a stud at Bristol Castle on the Avon of this breed, and he rode his royal hunts in Kingwood forest of this same strain of horses, when weary of London and his princely duties, sir.”

“Have you his papers, Mr. MacMurty?”

“Papers? He needs no papers, sir.”

“This gray may prove troublesome; he is somewhat bangle-eared. See, he is hollow in flank, and here, Mr. McMurty, see, he is pinned at his elbows.”

“Andy, there! Lead out Lord Angus. This is the horse to suit one so dainty as yourself. He is, you see, a royal blue roan, clean-limbed, without a blemish, sir, and is purple of purple, satin finished, clear back to the Turk.”

“Well, for sure he is decidedly pretty. See, his left hind foot is white to the coronet, thus adding beauty to his makeup of black points. But I notice that he is nervous; he nips, he switches right much. Mr. McMurty, neither gray nor roan is to my liking.”

“Stay, please, don't go. Robin, there! Bring to me Merlin. Now, by Saint Andrew, here is a horse to please; and, sir, he is as black as a crow's wing.”

A goodly-sized coal black was led up.

“This, Mr. Colmey, is a bonny-eyed lad, tough as a wythe-rod. He is direct from the Darby Arabian, and his dam is the Black Maid of Leith.”

“Mr. Mac, have you the horse's papers?”

“Yes, sir, and handy to handle.”

“I will give you eighty pounds for him.”





“Grammercy, no! Such a sacrifice, oh, no! Just see his round hoofs, his short joints, his broad buttocks. Ninety pounds and no less. Please, sir, don't walk away; just one moment. Mr. Colmey, hear me for a moment, sir. This four-year-old is a bold fencer and swimmer, as a walker he can easily make over his fourth mile, and as a racer it takes the wind to outspeed him. Mark me, my mother is an Irish biddy if he fails to stand head of his class.”

The black had an open, gentle look, his face shadowed by a long, thin forelock. He stood fully fifteen hands high, motionless and observant. There was but one white marking on him, and that was between his eyes. He was not gelded and stood proudly unshorn of his masculine virility.

“Here, Andy, race him up and down the paddock. Whoa there! Now face him.”

Merlin's arched neck, his high-set, thick, wavy tail, his round hoofs bespoke purple breeding.

“Now, Mr. Colmey, did you notice his proud step? See his straight gambrel, and the perfect bight of his knee. Oh, sir! he's no garron. He's a dyne. Now, Mr. Colmey, will you?”

“No, I will not give ninety pounds.”

“Well, we will split the difference; now will you, sir?”

“Yes, bring the papers down to my merchant's, and I will pay you there.”

Colmey went up to Merlin, pushed aside his wavy mane and stroked his long forelock, patted his glossy, sinewy neck and passed his hand over the bearded muzzle. He leaned and breathed into his nostrils, and, starting away, the horse whinnied to him. He turned, put his arms around the black's neck and said: “Well, Merlin, until death we are comrades.”

On Colmey's return, Capehart informed him a servant had brought a package for him from Mr. MacMurty.





“I reckon, Colmey, it's wine. It smells winey to me. I will examine it and see what it is. Half-dozen Strobogia wines and one-fourth dozen Ramsey's old rye! Well, ain't we in it for a fact?”

“Capehart, it is all yours, for you know I don't allow myself any indulgence so far from home. I don't need a ‘sean rachie’ to tell the traditions of that Strobogie.”

“I'll sample it for you, old friend.”

Colmey went to the shipping offices to make inquiries as to dates of outgoing vessels.

“By Saint Margaret, this is a fatness of things! Colmey is a twenty-karat gold piece. I am tired and weary and in need of a rest cap, and here goes.”

Colmey, passing down the street, was made to observe on the doorway of a nobleman an “Achievement,” as ’tis termed and written, thus stating the gentleman's death, his standing, and his armorial bearings. If it happened to be a lady of high rank, her family tree and her husband's were both placed conspicuously on this notice of demise. The escutcheon at the gates of death, and the banner flying over the castle while living, are symbols of the power and wealth of the family, and relatives and friends, servants and hirelings, are ready to uphold and defend these privileges. Birth and wealth are almost slavishly reverenced by the British people. A legal and social bar exists authoritatively between the high-bred and the lowly-born, and is carefully recognized by the upper class masterfully and by the lower submissively.

In peace these nobles and gentry are expected to guide with advice and example the destinies of the Empire. In war they are looked to to make display proper to uphold Britain's greatness, and they are generally leaders in camp and in the fight. Whether on land or sea, the nobility is confidently expected to brave the worst and to stand stoutly and valiantly in the breach.





The young nobleman is taught at home and at school that he must stand ready to uphold the family honor—to be ready to do and die for King and Country.

  • “What infinite heart's ease
  • Must kings neglect that private men enjoy!”

And yet ceremony is the paved pathway that leads from the jungle to the walled city, from the log cabin to the highly polished doors of the palace—like unto dress which differentiates the barbarian from the man of civilization; like unto manners which bespeak the rustic from the diplomat.





IV COLMEY'S MUSINGS

  • “O Ceremony, show me but thy worth!
  • What is thy soul of adoration?
  • Art thou aught else but place, degree and form,
  • Creating fear and awe in other men?”

Having left orders at the Royal for a pair of horses and driver to come for him at the “White Swan” at twelve, to the minute a pretty turnout and iron grays drove up. Passing out of town, sick at heart, disgusted with life, Colmey was delighted to feel the country breezes fan his brow, to gaze upon the country hillside, to hear the calls, the banterings of the good-hearted country folks as they cultivated and dressed their several acreages. Just ahead of him was the country-seat of one of the lords of Renfrewshire. This home, deeply embowered amidst green trees and shrubbery, and nice driveways leading up to it, filled a space in Nature to be greatly admired. Nearing the great pile of stone and mortar, Colmey could see that Death the leveler had visited recently that lordly home.

“Driver, hold up.” The wiry grays were pulled to the left side. The family flag was lowered, emblem ever of power, pride and wealth. The building had an air of deep depression, the door gloomily creped. Servants in livery came and went with letters and offerings of condolence. Far down the avenue could be seen tenantry slowly coming. They came to give inaudible reverence at the great gates to the sacred dead. White peacocks were seen sanding themselves and gentle deer stood at gaze at the leafy brooklet.





Colmey thought, as he gazed at the imposing structure, that there in that lofty mansion are manners taught and rigidly observed. There is where the upper class, the educated, the refined, the vastly rich, meet in drawing-rooms, free from common clowns, free from the pariah caste, those knowing no better than to be often rude, whose ideas and ideals are seen and upheld boisterously in the hotel lobby and on the common green. The sun was on the decline, unprevailing woe had reached its downward course.

“These high-mannered folk have three potential objects to live, to strive for: to be loyal to the king; to, in season and out of season, strengthen their own caste—in court, in camp, and in common, and to enjoy Britain's wide domain by land and sea. Even the stars are different in their brilliancy, even the Cyclades of the Ægean Sea has its Lyra and Milos, there is a natural tendency even among birds and fishes to have distinctive differences.”

In Britain hereditary rights and privileges, naval and military achievements, the accomplishments of diplomats, the profound jurists, the great landed proprietors, the skilled mechanical geniuses, each and every one find in Britain a seat, a place awarded above the common herd. A coat-of-arms has ever been recognized as a distinction between prince and peasant, the family flag flying over the castle is looked upon by the loyal tenantry as part and parcel of their county and themselves. Barony was at one time the highest form of tenure. Today was placed the coat-of-arms, the quarterings, the achievements of the family, to be distantly examined by the eyes of the curious multitude that were right and left near the great iron gates.

Colmey's driver was American born, and he knew in his country there were no noble magnates, no lords of manor and sword to whom they paid homage. The steep and thorny way to greatness he was unacquainted with.





“Mr. Colmey, may I ask, why is there so much inequality over here in Britain?”

“Stevens, I am proud to be an American; but can you tell me why the nobby selects her nest for breeding in West India keys? Does this tedious ceremony impress you any?”

“Mr. Colmey, it does, and more so than I am willing to confess.”

Clubs and staves. Yes, years gone, when Britons were barely dressed and badly housed, differences were recognized between the islanders; and now, when they have their sword and lance, their grapeshot and shrapnel, they unconsciously cling to their several grades of nobility.

“I beseech you pardon me, Mr. Colmey, but it strikes me as if you were impressed so much that the pale flag of sudden hurt surprise is plainly seen on your face. Sir, it is no sauciness of spirit that makes me plain of speech; I thought maybe they might be some of your people. Pardon me, Mr. Colmey, but sir, do big, high houses and big lands create big thoughts?”

Colmey fell into deep meditation.

“Driver, now for the Swan.” The trim, neat mares, with heads turned for home, took on speed quickly. He mused: “Why fret, why snarl at measures and manners of any country? A man, like unto a country, is made to pass through fire and water to be enlightened and strengthened. It seems to me Britons without peerage would experience a qualm, a loneliness like unto a hamlet that had been visited by a big show and next day woke up to find the lion, elephant and monkey gone. They look upon the titled gentry and their belongings as a very fine flower garden in a waste place, as a high hill on a level plain, as a dulcet song sweetly heard among the rougher sounds. And who does not prefer to ride in a carriage to a cart? Who so dull that does not love to listen to the deep-toned Lenten bells? If they prefer, why not let them enjoy the scarlet





tanagers as they sport themselves among the brown, homely sparrows.” And he mused, “Yes, the rulings of Jehovah are past finding out. The bear has his honey-bee tree, the pig has his hidden truffle. If great wealth comes by connivance, by over-reaching, by untiring labor, yet as a rule then health flees apace. For a fact, it takes centuries to grow a leisure class, with trained servants, a settled income and adjusted economies. After all, which has the best of it—the Marquis of Beadalbane, who rides one hundred miles straight on his own lands to the seaside, and then for the Alps to spend his summer, restless and dissatisfied; or the poor bluegown beggar, dependent on the bounty of the King, who steps unheeded, unenvied, from Glasgow to Kew? If large estates are inherited, also are inherited envy of neighbors, strife for primacy of place, and Slander's tongue to embitter their occupancy. So, after all, life is short, all have to be left behind at the grave. The laborer of today, if unnoticed, he eats with a sharp appetite and sleeps restfully, troubled with no ambitious dreams, being peaceable, simply serviceable, not heroic, he lives and dies in darkness. No one envies his lowly estate, yet every one would have his strength of arm, his peace of mind. So, after all, it is about even, it is well, and may ‘Fair hope hinder life's decay.’ ”





V THE GREAT OUTLAW OF THE HIGHLANDS

  • “I wish your horses swift and sure of foot.
  • Farewell.” —Macbeth

Rob Roy in his early years became aware that there was a great, bustling world towards the Cheviot Hills. He had noticed that when his people came from the lowlands, lowing cattle and bleating lambs had come with them, guarded and herded. He heard of the smugglers and their adventures, and he yearned to get away, be anything, do anything, to better his back, his stomach, and his surroundings. His old mother would try to console him by telling of the goodness of Jehovah, as she had been taught by the itinerant preachers, and reminded him that with little intelligence and but little effort he could gather and enjoy the thousands of salmon and herrings ready to be netted, and the grapes, the chestnuts, the beehives in the ash woods, the beer from the sap of the birch tree on the Findhorn, and bringing down with gun up in the mountains the wild cattle; in the lowlands, the pheasant and red grouse, all providentially provided for the maintenance of the poor.

“And you know the Roman highways of the Iter and their road through the valley of Luthen Water to the Norman Dikes is easy and safe. And remember, Rob, my boy, the command that came to blessed Saint Peter, ‘Arise, slay and eat.’ ”

As Rob grew in size he also grew in strength, in courage, in daring; that, as soldier leader or cattle thief, he was a man among men, loved and feared by some, dreaded by all. Montrose had forcibly taken Craigstone, but Rob came





back annually and levied toll upon his Lordship's cattle and barley. Rob ruled with a strong arm, and, toward women and the weak, with a gentle heart and hand.

If the Saxon delighted in the battle-ballad of Byrhnot's Fall, the Highlander never tired of singing the praises of Helen and Rob Roy, and rallying to their clan war cry—“Ard Coille!”

  • “Hear me more plainly.
  • I have in equal balance justly weighed
  • What wrongs our arms may do, what wrongs we suffer,
  • And find our grief heavier than our offenses.”

Colmey had always determined to visit Rob Roy's once abode before returning to the Colony. His stone habitation up in the Highlands had become of world-wide notoriety, of never-ending interest. Outlaw, cateran, free-booter, he had made a name known far and wide, and a peculiar magnetism was and is and ever will be associated with his raids and encounters.

“Here, Mr. Colmey, I have a smart fellow that knows every by-path from here to Rob's cottage. Here, Callie Craft.” A young Scot, dark and wiry, came, and Colmey bargained with him for his services. They were to start early for the Highlands. Talking with Callie the next day as they journeyed, he learned that he feared the “Evil Eye,” and that his heart was with “Charlie from over the water,” and that Callie wore constantly a twig of the Rowan tree.

The exploits of Rob Roy had filled Colmey's imagination so full, his many escapes from English officers, the love the mountaineers bore for him, was such a fascinating tale, that Colmey was enthused over the project of his visitation. As he made his way passing to, he met an old Scotch beadle, sniffing his mull out of his metal box kept in his vest pocket, and he came upon some stock beekeepers with their carts,





coming from the heatherbloom districts of the moorlands, and Highland boys on the bogs of the lowlands either could not or would not speak a word of Sasse (English). At Loch Katrine he met suddenly Banty Nicol Ogilvy, a Highland seer, jerky in movements. “Hear me, young man, why should Capetian shed blood for Hanover or Stuart? A Saxon should beware of the Highlands; remember the Lilies.”

Colmey hurriedly moved along. He pushed his way up in the hills of Lairie Thiward and viewed the mountain scenery so beautiful between Glen Royal and Ben Nevis. He recollected how in the days gone by Montrose, the brave-hearted, crossed in snow and winter these mountains, like unto Hannibal crossing the Alps. Having at last reached Rob's abode, he was surprised at its roughness and smallness.

Rob knew his lodging place was liable to be razed to the ground by his powerful enemies. He went to work and, assisted by his shrewish mate, Helen, had thatched the roof with care, leaving an opening in the middle for the soot and smoke to escape. The doorway was strong and low-pitched, and chickens were found in the house as in the days of Helen the Shrew. The whole interior was sooty and the rafters and rough boards inside were smoked a yellowish black. There were two recesses in the walls of the house. The walls were quite thick. These recesses were bed bunks, and a smoked board or boards made the recess somewhat private. The different Highland clans use rafters in the building of their houses or huts that differentiated each clan from the others.

As Colmey stood around the pile of firestones where Rob and his wife, Helen, sat for many a month, where the mid-night cattle raids were secretly planned, or when a reprisal was to be inflicted upon a hateful rival, and when it was best for Rob to hide for a wee time until the manhunt was





over. It was true Helen MacGregor by nature was to be dreaded, and more terrible than Rob himself.

The little house was built behind a large knoll that concealed it from the valley-like glen below. Just across the glen stand up mountains high and grand, partly heather-covered. Here the stunted oak and wide-spreading hazel bushes screened it from observation. Helen MacGregor selected the spot when Rob was on one of his Lowland forays and cattle-stealings.

The daring bravery of Rob Roy drew to him the daring and adventurous, and his men fought or would not fight as Rob decided. The old freebooter or “cateran,” as his enemies called him, took watchful care of his park of cattle just a little below his small house. In the day he had them driven down in the back glen and watered and browsed until about duskdown, and then they were impounded. The old outlaw's powerful influence over three or four hundred fighting Highlanders made the great men fear him, and they offered inducements to him to take sides in war with them and settle on their holdings. The MacGregor arch was plainly seen. It is said by the Highland peasant, whose ideas are very rude as to habitation and dress, that Rob Roy when dying begged his wife, Helen, to go away from him for a while to let him get straight with his God; that she had had him “at outs with all men,” and now in his dying hour would have him “at outs with his God.” Helen, poor woman, was soured, and often justly so, with all the world, for the world had been unmerciful to her bairns and her husband and toward herself. It made a she-bear of her. But Helen MacGregor was a remarkable woman for beauty, for size, for judgment, and for faithfulness unto her unfaithful Rob Roy. If she was a shrew, she was also a devoted mother and an unstained wife.

The Duke of Argyle gave Rob this asylum he was now





occupying, and it was understood by the Duke and Rob that water and wood, grazing for his cows, deer from the mountain, and salmon from the brook should always be allowed him and his. There was so much dissension, outcries and vows, public and private, of toasts made throughout Scotland “to the king over the water,” that King George encouraged his friends to divide the Highlanders as much as possible in their devotion to the “Pretender,” and seal them to the House of Hanover. King George feared Prince Charlie.

Colmey left this rude habitation with a feeling of awe, as the wild glen in beauty opened up before him and the dashing cascades went dancing down into the valley below. Except for the water-noise the stillness of the mountain was painful. One cannot restrain great admiration for the courage and loyalty that rough Rob Roy displayed in more than a hundred desperate encounters. Colmey stopped outside for a few moments to try to stamp upon his memory forever this place awesome to him.

There, sitting upon his haunches near the door, was a good-sized shepherd dog, black on his back and his tail, and white and yellow under his breast and body. His name was Joe Benny, and they told of his marvelous canine intelligence. This breed of dogs attended Rob Roy in his lowland depredations. This dog's ancestors knew the cattle when they were pastured up in the Highlands, and they never failed to keep together Rob's bunch of black cattle to a heifer. When night came a watchman was always placed to see over the cattle, and he was directed to watch the stars, particularly the seven stars of the Dipper. Cattle are quickly responsive to atmospheric changes. The stars are celestial barometers. The watchman was directed to notice the first signs of “rolling” in the cattle. When they commenced getting up and walking around Rob was awakened; he at once seized a bagpipe, called Joe Benny, and





Rob piped, the watchman hallooed, and the dog ran around the cattle and barked. They soon lay down and contentedly munched their cuds.

Colmey stood and looked at the mountains as they arose before him in might and magnificence round about Rob Roy's lowly habitation. He looked down into the deep dells, his eyes followed the flowing streams, and he wondered, “Can all this continue as it is?” He felt that God and Nature would continue, but naught else. He could but say to himself, “Ah! the world, the times, the fashions, come and change, whether man will or will not. For the ‘Black Watch’ is forming, English gold coins are circulating, the neighing of the white horse of Hanover is reverberating throughout the caves and glens of the Highlands. . . . There is a touch in the air that makes the kilt-clad wearer feel that his doom is near, but he sees it not yet, not yet!” The silent, seldom frequented paths once trod by Rob Roy and his clan will be remembered only in song and story, told as a tale in the night as the Lowlander in his castle feels that his cattle are now secure from the bold Highland cateran.

Shall Rob Roy's deeds be forgotten? Can it be possible that mankind will fail to feel a hearthrob when the details of his daring adventures are pictured? How the Lowlander, for whom Rob had an antipathy, felt secure in his possessions because the strong arm of military necessity had settled him there, and Rob felt that anything England did in Scotland was subversion of Scotland's inalienable rights; and he plundered, yes, Rob plundered, because he felt that he had the native right to plunder. Shall the wild wail of Helen MacGregor cease to be a subject of motherhood's solicitude; fail to elicit a warm current of feminine feeling, as she is recognized striving courageously for her offspring, battling with royal authority for their freedom,





and dying a poor, helpless woman, broken hearted over the reverses of her clan and her country and her restless, depredatory husband?

There is a law that governs every event. Going from Rob's little house of stone, Colmey could but ask himself, “What is man, or the son of man? He springeth up like a flower and is cut down, and the place that knew him once shall know him no more forever. How few reach the full maturity and majesty of manhood! Man is thrown out upon the shores of a sinsick world without a tangible rudder or compass. He is to beat or creep his way as best he can through a labyrinth of trials. Often his direction is a conscience blurred at nativity. He is expected to meet and cope with unknown and unsounded surroundings. No material lighthouse to guide his bark; nobody to warm him of danger, seen and unseen! How often the heart cries for seasonable help, how often his trembling body in the nighttime begs for a discontinuance of his sufferings! But no, the destiny of a race is upon him. He resists, he prays, he dies! His shortcomings are at last forgiven, and shortly he, too, is forgotten.” “After life's fitful fever, he sleeps well.”

Wherever the English tongue is spoken Rob Roy's fame is and will be perennial. Near the old house is Rob's grave, simple, yet famous. His fretful yet devoted Helen sleeps by him. The scenery is grave in grandeur round about these lowly grave spots.

Colmey lifted his hat to their memory and retraced his steps by the pass. Reaching the pass of Drumchoter, the gillie's face was lighted up with hate and wished-for vengeance. “Here, Mr. Colmey, is where they fought, the Highlanders and the hated Saxons.”

“Why was it, Callie?”

“Oh, sir! They robbed us of our lands and our people took back some by taking their chattels—all belongs to Scotland.”





The pass strikes one with its beauty and its wildness. Lofty eminences answer the soul of the glens and the valleys seem to ardently respond with exclamations of gladness and admiration.

“By Saint Kattan, here, sir, my people held the English and the Saxon back, and many lay unburied for aye.”

“I suppose, Callie, they held the pass and drove away their pursuers?”

“Nay! We went back that night, but the next day they were gone.”

Drumchoter Pass lies within the confines of Inverness and Perthshire. The sunlight coming from the left, struck down in the valley, and there was a bright speck reflected. “What is it?” came into Colmey's mind. He dismounted and, creeping along, pulled on the silver ring, and a sword and scabbard and a steel webbed belt came from under the rubbish, and the skeleton of a man lay there. Colmey was saddened, yet supremely delighted. He exclaimed, “Here years ago fell a gallant knight!” Pulling the sword from its case, there engraved upon it were the words “De Erlon.” The gillie's eyes flashed fire; he coveted the prize, for in the hilt was imbedded a large topaz. Callie knew that sword had been drawn against his people. Colmey gave the gillie a guinea and thanked him for noticing Merlin, but Callie Craft was no longer his friend. They passed downward and onward to the great glen. Colmey prized the sword, and he felt if ever in the future it was needed it would prove true.

Mr. MacMurty had privately told Colmey that Callie would be all right going, but sulky coming back. It is true the Highlander is loath to leave his glens and his peaks; he gets the homesickness in him as he plods back to the Lowlands. Colmey watched sidewise his guide and saw he gradually became morose and dispirited as they entered Perthshire. The Highlander, being a Pict, intuitively disliked and distrusted a Saxon. There had been a





heavy rainfall and the streams were up. Coming to a wide valley space, they found that the rivulet had become a river. The streams in Scotland flow more rapidly than they do in England or Wales. Driftwood, eddies and foam were to be seen, making the current more to be dreaded. Remembering Mr. MacMurty's boast on Merlin, that he feared neither targe, tarn nor torrent, that come what would he could depend on his noble horse, he secured his sword and holsters and other appendages and rode up to the stream. Callie lagged behind. Four Highlanders and two women, bareheaded, were there waiting for it to become fordable. Each Highlander had on a Glengarry bonnet. Colmey noticed that the four at the stream and Callie were in close converse, and he felt that something awry was meant toward himself.

The stream was wide and the flood foaming and rapid. An old woman came near him and said, “Saxon laddie, unless you want to sleep under the latha toun fravich (under the heather bush), make for the other side. Gees ort! gees ort!”

“Thank you, good mother.” Colmey gave Merlin the word and, when breasting the flood, the four Highlanders came running and calling to him, “Ride out, the stream will drown ye!” Callie Craft remained behind. Merlin boldly entered the current, swimming high and as easily as a Newfoundland dog to the opposite shore. Colmey thanked his stars he was out of danger's zone. Occurrences of robbing and murder were of common report beyond the Glen-Mere, and forts and military roads had become a necessity and were being built by the Government.

Meeting a gentleman from Lanark, he was informed “that by the great road Glasgow is about thirty miles away.” It was three hours before sunset. Colmey knew Merlin would land him before dark. Riding up to the “Prince Royal” about deep dusk, he met Mr. MacMurty, who at once asked for Callie. “A roughish Cromartie





gillie and will cavil over a penny. He's a half-blooded MacGregor of the baser sort. Well, how did the bonnie beast?”

“Mr. MacMurty, the very best that was ever foaled.”

“Here, Andy, you and Robin rub him down.”

Colmey went to each and slipped a half-crown in their hands. He then sought for his tavern and his thoughts were ranging across the deep blue sea.





VI THE SO-CALLED PRETENDER, CHARLES EDWARD

  • “O for a Muse of fire that would ascend
  • The highest Heaven of Invention;
  • A kingdom for a stage, princes to act.”

—King Henry V.

In the Prince Charles Edward, Nature stood on the vergeland of perfect manhood. He would have been reckoned a base-spirited fellow to have refused the invitation to come and make issue to recover the throne of his fathers, to retrive the fallen fortunes of the House of Stuart. His griefs were great: his father beheaded, his family exiled. It must have been at first a species of intense exaltation when his ship was in full sail and all eyes aboard looking toward Scotland; but when, on the boisterous seas, nearing the summit of his venture, his very soul must have been greatly troubled. To regain a kingdom is no little effort to make; for in its weighty space are hills and quagmires, dangerous to climb and treacherous to pass over. He implicitly pinned his faith to the western Highlands and ardently hoped to make friends below the Grampians. He knew he must get strength beside that which would be given him so loyally by the rugged, reckless sons of the philibeg and plaid. And who in friendly conference must he take? Will the officers be fullfaced at the appointed time? And did God intend to smile upon his dangerous appeal to arms? He remembered anxiously Boisdale's advice on the Dontelle, and then regained his good humor by recalling the following of his ship to Moidart by a large eagle.

After Colmey's return from visiting Rob Roy's cave, he





rode over Ben Lawers, he visited Edinburgh, where Montrose and Argyle were hanged. He rode down from Stirling and once more viewed Bannockburn. His father's failing health and everybody expecting the coming of the Prince from beyond the sea! He wished he was out of it and back home, sitting by the side of his beloved parent. Being young, the spirit of adventure was rife and ripe within him. There was a romance about the coming of the Prince that excited the warm imagination of Colmey. The young respect the old, but they hold with their age; their youthful enthusiasm makes them avoid the sedate.

It went with the Scotch that Prince Charlie would not eat wheat nor drink brandy because that was English; but barley brew, Scotch rye and oatmeal, a plaid, a tartan and a sporan, he drank and ate and wore with grace royal before the kings and principalities of Europe Scotland's charactery. It appealed to Scotland. The word went forth from Saint Hilda to the Mull, “Give us for our King a Scotchman.”

“Colmey, did you know that the Prince had landed at Moidart with only seven attendants, and that now Scotland crowns him King? Think of it—from Caithness to Perth he is proclaimed Scotland's rightful ruler!”

“Stay! Rutledge, stay! It is but a loss of time and breath. If I were not a cripple as you see, I would join you in striking one stroke for good old Scotia. Just one word more, damn the greedy English!”

“You are right, Capehart; Colmey is too tame. He counts the cost of every enterprise. Thank God! the Prince now bears royal sway.”

“You crazy loons! In Christ's name, what have we to do with this outburst of Highland violence? Is not the House of Hanover in power? Is the King dead? Capehart, you are swayed from your better judgment by the would-be rashness of Rutledge. I candidly think England and Scotland should be united; it is best. We are Americans,





and I say in soberness, hands off. I tell you Scotland is not ready, not prepared to fight; it is a waste of men most inexcusably.”

“Capehart, no specious reasoning can reach his fast-closed ears. Shall Scotland bleed, kneel supinely to usurpatory England? I tell you, Colmey, there are forty thousand Scotchmen that will the English isle defy.”

Colmey arose and walked out and down to the great wharf, and watched the hurrying to and fro of the coming and going crowds; some their faces wreathed in smiles, and other brows anxious and contracted. The tide of youth was running high in Colmey; the desire for an exploitage of his courage and the strength of his young manhood was clamoring within. He felt the utter folly of going up, with sackbuts and broadswords against the death guns that could be made at home and of European making. He knew the Bank of England was strong everywhere—strong; and that English ships were bringing the sinews of war back home, bars of gold and silver from every known people under the sun.

He knew that temporary successes might be attained, but England was made of a material so dense, so ironlike, that resistance to her sovereignty only whetted her temper, increased her determination to overcome all obstacles; or that years of blood and carnage would follow. He saw there was to be a fight and soon; that his dearest associates were intensely enlisted in the cause, that enthusiasm was a divine exhileration; but he faced the fact that system, tenacity, ready money and princely rewards all combined would surely end in mastery. The Scotch cried out against the “London Rogues,” and the English sneered back at “You Red-shanked Caterans.” With a sigh, Colmey acquainted Capehart with his decision that he would be ready to go by early twilight.

“Prince Charlie from over the sea” was tall, strikingly handsome, and dearly beloved by the Highlanders. He





was of great strength, and in all the games of racing, boxing, lifting and wrestling he was without a superior; his manners persuasive and tolerant of discourtesy; his face fair, his hair dark and wavy, but his chin was small and pointed; his lower jaw was weak, indecisive. With a mild eye, a musical voice, and kind hearted, could he contend successfully with the bulldog fighter—the Duke of Cumberland—Prince William?

The Duke of Cumberland was a born soldier; not a genius, but he was a fighter and of large experience. He ruled and directed through fear. His troops knew he would hang and quarter them with no qualms of conscience. He realized his opponent was a prince of the royal house of Stuart, the legitimate heir to the throne. To fail was the downfall of his father's house, his banishment.

Through land-spies, bribed with English gold, the Duke was informed of the Prince's night march, the wrangling of the clans, and their famished condition. He determined to push forward and fight. The English feared and obeyed, and they fight best under the royal eye and the sound of the royal voice. He had been assured that the McDonalds were in open revolt.

“Capehart, I fear that this affair is to be a Carchus and Proxenus, a la passage at arms. The capable, the stern, pitted against the capable and the over kindhearted. There can be but one result: the iron wheel crushes the pearl. Capehart, war demands success; the crushing of the adversary. At heart, when maddened, men are but animals, bent on blood and death. Who delights in the recital of a pork or a mule dealer's transactions? No, but Cæsar, Eumenus, claims our applause, our heart's interest.”





VII THE ENGLISH AND SCOTCH ARMIES

“Mars hovers over them with his dusky shield.”—Iliad.

Capehart was on crutches, Rutledge was with MacMurty. Rutledge came in and said, “I tell you, Colmey, the Prince is come, and Scotland is ablaze and the Highlands on fire.”

“Well, Rutledge, the times are contentious, and men seem to have gone mad, but what have we to do with it? We are Americans.”

Rutledge left the room abruptly and went back to talk with MacMurty, that Capehart could not go and Colmey wouldn't. “Mr. Mac, I am ready and willing to strike a blow for Scotland, union or no union.”

The Lowlanders were loyal, and wanted to observe the union between England and Scotland, for many of their ancestors fought at Hastings with William of Normandy and had been granted large holdings.

Rutledge came back excited. “Colmey, Scotland had not approved of nor consented to that farce. Only a few of the leaders, and they were well paid for arranging and consenting and forcing this union on Scotland.”

“Well, Rutledge, don't you know this will fill Scotland with trouble, with war and bloodshed? England is prepared and poor Scotland will be doomed, and the Prince will become a Hermit Crab.”

“Bosh! To the devil with so much caution!”

The three young Americans were sitting in Colmey's room. They were strong limbed and warm hearted; Capehart the oldest, and Colmey the youngest. Capehart had suffered a very severe ankle strain and was confined to the house.





The Duke of Cumberland, the son of King George, had concentrated his forces in Aberdeenshire, and the River Spey was considered the danger line between the opposing armies. Lord Murray, commanding the Scottish army, lay on the opposite side of the river and scouting and picketing was now regularly practiced by both the English and the Scotch. England had system, Scotland had enthusiasm.

Rutledge came in from the streets and announced, “Colmey, the Scots are retreating before the English, and everybody is condemning the Duke of Perth for not disputing their passage across the river. Lord Murray is reported at the River Nairn. I understand war means fight, not retreat.”

“Well, I hear the River Spey is very low, Rutledge, for this season of the year, and is easily fordable at several places. His army being so much smaller, I reckon he thought it wise to fall back behind the Findhorn or the Nairn.”

Wild rumors filled the land. English barbarities were daily reported and magnified. The young of both sexes were in a state of intense excitement. England had again invaded Scotland. The Prince was passing his time in apparent ease at Inverness, making himself popular with the Highlanders by wearing a tartan and plaid, and anxiously waiting for reinforcements to come to his help from Rosshire, Cromartie, the McLeods, and other clans.

When the Prince heard of the retreat of his forces on the 12th, he hurried on the 14th to meet and encourage them by promising to lead them soon to battle and to victory. Lord Murray claimed inferiority of forces, . . . that the Duke of Cumberland greatly outnumbered him with old trained troops, . . . and that the River Spey was running very low. The “trained bands” and “Lorn Guards” of Glasgow were called out, sentinels placed at the River Clyde, at Tronsgate and other important entrances





of the city, to keep the authorities well advised, as Glasgow was loyal to the reigning family.

Rutledge was in daily conversation with MacMurty. MacMurty was an ardent admirer of the Stuart family, and Rutledge was led away with his recitals of the wrongs done to dear old “Rooky,” land of brown heath and shaggy wood. MacMurty was superstitious and intensely loyal to his clan. He believed that Jehovah had divinely called Prince Charlie to come over and make Scotland free again.

On April 12th the English army was marching north-ward; Inverness, the capital of the Highlands, was their destination. The Duke of Cumberland used every precaution to keep his army from surprise, and he allowed bread, cheese, beef and brandy to his troops daily. The Highland army was destitute of even common food. England took care to feed well, arm well, and fight well. Scotland was all burning for the conflict, with enthusiasm, but no food to sustain her army.

Rutledge had bought of MacMurty his roan horse, and had entered into alliance with the hot Scot to secretly reach the Highland army. Capehart fired away at England for being so overbearing, and at last Colmey consented to join Rutledge and MacMurty and hasten at nightfall for Inverness. On the night of the 12th the three secretly departed. MacMurty knew every road leading to the western Highlands. On the evening of the 13th the drums could be heard by them and night found them at Inverness. The Highland army came up from the Nairn to Culloden, bivouacked among the sloping hills. The Prince, young, impatient, was sanguine of success. He thought of Prestonpans, of Falkirk, of Bannockburn. He would not listen to words of wisdom. He thought he saw empty the King's chair. Murray begged to retreat into Rosshire and wait for Cromartie; that “the army was too tired, too hungry, and too sleepy to fight well.” But no, His Majesty meant to fight, no more retreating. Drummossie Moor, as advised





by O'Sullivan, was selected for the battle ground for an empire. The beat of drums, the piping of the bagpipes could not drown thoughts in Colmey of his father's disapprobation of his course. His people were all loyal to the House of Hanover. But he was young, full of courage, full of hope, and he wanted to strike a blow for dear old Scotland.

He had time to study the Prince, and thought he was grand, handsome and brave, but he feared he was no leader to meet the stern Duke of Cumberland. The day before, they stopped over at Lochabar, and MacMurty looked after the horses. Colmey and Rutledge had been attracted by an unusually sweet voice singing “Farewell to Lochabar,” and Colmey respectfully begged the Scotch lass to sing over the sweet refrain. Sauntering down the narrow street, they entered a small, well-kept shop, and Rutledge asked for a plaid. The keen-eyed, reddish-haired Scot informed them that he only had three kinds now on hand, “MacGregor, MacLeod, and Frazier.” The MacGregor is a very attractive tartan, black and red, streaks of white and dark shadings; the red Frazier, a popular pattern, was very interesting, but when the shopman showed the MacLeod brown, dark brown, red-striped and a golden yellow background, Rutledge took a MacLeod and paid four pounds for it, a wrap included.

“Colmey, which?”

“Neither, I want a Stuart.”

The Scot saw that Colmey was not suited; he asked him to “please step this way.” In a neat room he discovered to Colmey a “Chisolm” and a “Ferguson.”

“Your price?”

“Either, seven pounds, sir.”

Both were beautiful. The “Ferguson” was what pleased him.

“Young gentleman, I see that you prefer this one; it is





the better, it is two pounds heavier and two inches longer. This lining is an Italian waterproof green, this plaid is reversible.”

The “Ferguson,” with boar-head shield and Lock Voil to remember, took his fancy. “It is a wonderful combination of fast colors, of black, brown, red, green, and faint white markings.” He put it on the scales and measured it with tape to be certain. He bought it for six pounds, and also a soft, flexible leather cover.

“Colmey, my tawny plaid beats your reversible one.”

“Well, I am satisfied with my green.”

The song of “Farewell to Lochabar” sank deep down into Colmey's heart.

Out of an abundance of caution, MacMurty made bargains for some oatmeal cakes and kippered herrings and two gallons for each horse of mixed barley and oats to carry along to Inverness.

The Duke of Cumberland had issued severe manifestoes against any and all rebellious subjects, that hanging and beheading would be meted out to any and all rebel leaders without quarter, and if a man left his ranks without permission he should be shot on the spot. A price was laid upon the Prince's (or Pretender's, as he was called) head, and great rewards promised for his apprehension. The English army was a machine, invincible and unterrified. The army had confidence in the Duke, the Duke was proud of the army.





VIII THE BATTLE OF CULLODEN

  • “Whereby I see that Time's the King of Men,
  • He is both their parent, and he is their grave,
  • And gives them what he will, not what they crave.”

Culloden was not the largest and bloodiest of battles, but it was a decisive one. Prince Charles Edward was the idol of the Scotch Highlanders, and in his combat with Lord Cope and others he won, driving the English rather ingloriously. But at Culloden it was Prince against Prince. Both armies knew that royal commanders were on the field, and expected of them courage and endurance, and that victory now was all important; in fact, if Prince Charlie won, then down went Prince William!

For miles men could be seen getting ready for the fight, and willingly. The English came on slowly but steadily. They seemed to treat the Scotch with contempt, as they had their Prince, the Duke of Cumberland, and his veterans of Flanders with them.

Prince Charlie cheered his men as he rode along with them.

The Prince of Stuart was laughingly called the “Pretender,” and his men “shepherd boys.” Ridicule is powerful when well handled. The constant retreating of the Scots very greatly disconcerted them. They were impulsive and anxious to fight. The English, more quiet, were enthused at their easy march and no resistance, and that the enemy would not stand and give battle. The English cried aloud that “the caterans fear to meet Englishmen.”

The night march was on.





Lord Murray was jealous and hated the Irish officer O'Sullivan, and O'Sullivan openly treated him with discourtesy. The Prince upheld O'Sullivan. The march was carried on with spirit and animation by Lord Elcho's Horse Guards, and Lord Murray was confident of surprising the enemy's camps; but the rear kept hanging back. The Prince and O'Sullivan seemed to think they had plenty of time to catch up.

A night attack must be well planned, secretly carried out, and the troops must become elated with the hope of successful achievement. Afterwards they are willing to follow their particular officer, believing they will be victorious; but with a miscarriage of all the well-laid plans, the men will then lose all confidence and become mutinous. Troops love a hard fighter, but he must be successful.

The English had absolute confidence in the Duke (Prince William) and obeyed his orders promptly.

Colmey and Rutledge felt that something was wrong with the rear. Lord Murray sat his horse in silence. In the distance there was a great light shining up in the heavens. The column had again halted for the rear to come up. The men commenced grumbling, it was getting toward day. Many lay down, worn out. The mountain air was sharp and biting, rain was threatening.

“Lord Murray, the English are awake and waiting for us.”

“Yes, Elcho, and I am going to order a retreat.”

Where was the Prince? Where was the Duke of Perth? The army fell back and by daylight they were again at Culloden.

“Colmey, I am cold to my very marrow and hungry to kill. My appetite bites like a tampan.”

“Well, we are back from the wildgoose chase. Now, Rutledge, if the great Jehovah would providentially, as of old, send down food for us all, how thankful I should be.”

“Now, here, Colmey, no more of that. Damn me, if I





believe in Hebrew or Egyptian traditions. We are not in Palestine. Do you believe that manna and quail story?”

“Yes, I do.”

“Colmey, I tell you, my friend, I reckon all men at times cry out to the Eternal, but He answereth not. They get no touch of divinity. How about John the Baptist and the locusts? Do you believe such stuff as that, Colmey?”

“Rutledge, I warn you, beware of sacrilege.”

“You are truly welcome to your belief, Colmey. And I say unto you, I had rather trust to the old overseer on my father's farm near Charleston, for a good dinner of beef and pig, than to expect my stomach to be filled by reading the finespun stories of the Bible.”

“Look out there! there comes the Prince!” At the mention of father and home Colmey became serious and sad. A great cry and a loud cry for bread went up as His Highness rode by. The order to “break ranks,” “feed up,” was as sweet music to the ears of the tired and hungry troopers. Rutledge set to work and, by advancing ready coin, he procured food for their horses and for themselves. Over a mile northward men were lying down here and there, worn out. The commissariat was a flat failure. The Prince had given orders for rations to be ready, but there were none. His royal bodyguards were without supplies.

Colmey unrolled his “Ferguson” and wrapping it around him lay down to sleep, not far from his black stallion, rain or no rain. Rutledge went to look for a liver-warmer. Finding a secreted anker, he took a most generous swill of the smoky-tasting but blood-warming Glenlivet. Buying a quart to tie to his pommel, he found some beef sausage and a cheese, which he bought for supper and for tomorrow.

The Prince Charles Edward could be seen discussing with his superior officers the expediency of retreat or to stand and fight. Lord Murray, capable and brave, advocated an immediate retreat—“that the men are in no condition





to fight, Cromartie has not come up, and falling back is our best expedient.” The Prince said he thought it best to “take position and leave to the arbitrament of the sword the fate of Scotland and his future place in history, . . . that the clans were displeased with the delay, and the MacDonalds almost in open mutiny. General O'Sullivan agreed with the Prince that, “Let's make Culloden another Preston-pans.” The Scotch leaders were serious, non-committal.

The Duke of Cumberland was harassed with doubt and fear lest the Scotch would fall back into the fastnesses of Rosshire. He knew his army was heavier, numerically superior, and that his artillery and his horse were of the very best in the kingdom. He had Argyle and other Scotch allies, and they could advise him as to the ground and best point of attack. The Duke knew that the Prince was depending upon the fierceness, the impetuosity, of his clans; and he was relying upon the steadiness, the give-and-take of his English.

His Royal Highness, Prince Charles Edward, having determined on the line of final action, and having endeavored to pacify Lord Murray, mounted his horse and rode in front of his men. He was smiling, he bowed right and left, his face radiant with hope and courage. “My friends, strike for your homes! Strike for Scotland! You routed them at Falkirk! Yes, you did!” The clansmen, ever faithful, cheered enthusiastically, “Our rightful uncrowned King!” He viewed the fateful Drummossie Moor upon which he had cast the die for sovereignty, death or exile. He sat his cream-colored steed, Modena, like horse and man were one.

In a mile of his frontage British regiments, batteries and squadrons were forming. Today was to be historical. A fight for a kingdom! The hour had come when a sulphurous smell was to penetrate every hollow and every cavern





for miles; when hill, and glen, and dale were to be crimson with the flow from the gaping wounds of the Stuart, and dolefully resonant with the groans of the dying Hanoverians. Looking northward eagerly for Cromartie's assistance, he exclaimed, “If he would come! Would God would put a helpful talaria to every marching heel!”

Rutledge returned and shook Colmey. “Colmey, for mercy's sake get awake! You have gone to sleep beside your horse. The bugles are calling; our people are enranking, and the damnable English van are in our very frontage.”

“Hello! By heaven, you are right! See their magnificent artillery coming bravely into action. Now, when those tampions are removed, and those lanyards are pulled, and they belch forth their murderous grapeshot, God shield us, I pray!”

“Colmey, you mistake. The English squadrons are our dread. Such mounts! Such men! By Saint David, I wish we were all lovicated. I tell you if our men were to break they would be ridden down pellmell.”

“Yes, Rutledge, but what will make them break? It will be that artillery, I feel certain.”

Prince William, the Duke, came riding proudly his milkwhite charger with his hat in his hand, and told the infantry to “give them your bayonets”; to the artillerists he said, “Men, let your guns be heard by the King in London.” An Englishman is delighted to have royalty speak to him.

“Now, by the Black Rood of Scotland, let us pray that—Rutledge, if His Royal Highness intends to give battle today, and my opinion is worth a straw, now, right now, is the psychological moment to vigorously attack the half-formed masses confronting us, or quickly retreat.”

“Don't you think the Prince knows best?”

An awful silence prevailed amidst the Scottish hosts. There was a hush for a few moments. And now a smoke





is seen, and now—boom! boom!—the women and children and the far-away cattle on the mountain sides were frightened at the sound.

After the army had been gotten into position, Prince Charles rode along their ranks, cheerfully bowing right and left. It pained him to his heart to see his faithful adherents look so jaded and careworn. “Let us remember, friends, Falkirk and Preston-pans; don't forget Osterbourne. You drove them back at Fontenoy. Now, my men, let's drive the red-coated rogues out of Scotland. Bounce the London counter-jumping knaves with your pikes! Give them your broadswords, and God grant we may all rejoice tonight that Scotland is free! Tell Lord Murray to go forward and shout aloud, ‘Bannockburn!’ ”

The English arose from having their stomachs well filled with good bread, beef, barley, and rum. The Duke was up early. He was inured to the ways of war. He commanded the allied armies at Fontenoy, and although he lost, he fought so bravely that he was complimented by royalties and presented by Coburg with a magnificent white horse, Alaric. He breakfasted and called for the Earl of Albemarle, Lord Ancrum, and Lord Howard, to talk over the coming fight. He feared the Prince would retreat into the deep recesses of the Highlands. After each had given his views, and the Earl assured him the Scotch Royals would prove true, the Duke of Cumberland ordered brandy. “Gentlemen, fill your beakers full. Here's to Old England and bonnie Scotia, one and inseparable!” They all drank.

“Now, has any one seen Mister Charlie today? The Man from over the Sea!” The boom of cannon told news of the coming death struggle.

“Ha! the red-shanked gillies have opened the ball sure enough.” The Duke was seen riding with Colonel Bedford among the artillery. The English guns now opened and carried destruction into the Scottish ranks.





“Bedford, give them hell! Harass these ragged cragherders. Give them a cannonade every second and play shinnie with their red shanks with grapeshot. Lord Ancrum, lead your dragoons lively against those mounted shepherd boys. For Christ's sake, don't spare pushing your cold steel. This damnable rebellion shall be crushed. Ho, there! Bring me another horse. Saddle Alaric! God give us a bloody day or a fruitful victory.”

Saint George was flying over the English and Saint Andrew over the Highlanders, and the cross of Christ out of sight and out of mind. The drumbeats were answered by the wild music of the bagpipes. The musketry and artillery had joined in fearful roars. The Prince's cream charger fell—shot; his body-servant shot; and many of his men were wounded by the English cannoneer marksmen. The Scotch answered as best they could, but poor guns, poor powder, gave but poor results. Scotland was bleeding, England advancing.

Prince Charlie felt a sinking at heart he never felt before. Heretofore his men were in good spirits and fair plight; he knew today they were reversed, and the MacDonalds stubborn. He knew all was at stake and that Lord Murray was enraged.

As Colmey sat his horse, enranked with Lord Elcho's Guards, and surveyed the front, his heart sank in him. Here England and Scotland stood face to face. England calm and calculative, Scotland honest and impulsive; England duly prepared and armed, Scotland unprepared and poorly equipped; England a unit, well fed and rested, Scotland divided, hungry and sleepy. The two great royal houses of Stuart and Hanover faced each other with bitter, deadly hatred. A deep ravine separated their Royal Highnesses. Galled by the English cannon, the Highlanders clamored to be led forward. The McIntosh clan would not wait, but rushed headlong for the cannon; and they were killed almost to a man. The fight now commenced,





gradually became general. Cobham led forward his dragoons. The right and center of the Scots closed in with the English in a desperate struggle.

“Rutledge, as sure as the morning star shone this morning—witnessing our disgraceful fall back—Prince Charlie is a lost man. The shrill neigh of the white horse of Hanover had crossed the North Channel, and will be heard here today with deadening power.”

“Why, Colmey, why? He can get all right in time to thrash these redcoats. This bitter air, the approach of the English, led on by their drunken German Duke, has nipped rudely your North Carolina valiancy.”

“Here, Rutledge, I am in no humor for badgering. Let me remind you, my sword is as keen as the hangar on your hip. Your South Carolina arm, sir, shall not reach further than my North Carolina armed hand on this eventful day.”

“Bravo! bravo! Colmey. Now, let's give the English hell—drive them, pellmell, back to their trenches on the Nairne.”

“What, Rutledge, for the Prince to meet an army larger than his own, more and heavier cannon, superior arms, a disciplined cavalry, and the men compelled to obey their officers, hungry or not hungry? Bah! You'll see.”

MacMurty was with the Fitzjames Horse, and they rode on to Inverness to get refreshments. The MacDonald clan, a brave and proud people, were almost in open mutiny. The Prince exerted himself to satisfy and soothe their wounded pride. They had been refused their right. Everybody seemed to be worn out; the Prince had no videtty out, and the roads were left open. His Grace was not aware that the English army was gathering in his near front, and O'Sullivan had fallen asleep near by an old farmhouse.

When Culloden was reached after the fatal night march, Lord Elcho used his every power to get food for his command and the horses, but failed. Colmey and Rutledge bribed the commissary sergeant to bring them extra oats





and barley for their horses, and by paying in gold they secured some bread and beef intended for the Fitzjames men, the favorites of the Prince.

“Rutledge, old boy, if the good Lord will let us see dear old Glasgow again I shall on bended knee thank Him. This is a bad kettle of fish.”

“Colmey, damn it, don't be so cast down. We will whip them sure as hell.”

What surprised Colmey was the absence of all discipline. Prince Charlie feared to restrain the Highlanders; he had to humor them. Colmey looked at the Prince as he sat his horse, a present from Lord Huntley, and passed judgment upon his mentality and military acumen. Colmey came to the conclusion that the Prince was brave, right royal and knightly; but he was wanting in the sterner qualities that make up the great military leader. In a word, he was no William the Conqueror, and no Cromwell the Unbeatable.





IX THE MOOR OF DRUMMOSSIE

  • “After him came spurring hard
  • A gentleman almost forspent with speed,
  • That stopped by me to breathe his bloodied horse.
  • I did demand what news from Shrewsbury;
  • He told me rebellion had had bad luck.”

—Henry IV.

The Prince Charles Edward took position on an eminence overlooking Drummossie Moor. As he sat his cream-colored charger surveying the field, he was a picture for an artist, confident of victory. Fitzjames's Horse formed around about him, and His Highness watched with some anxiety the Kingston Light Horse, urged on by Lord Bury (of the Duke's army) in person, and saw them now and then dashing into the Highland skirmishers and getting away without much punishment. On looking on the whole face of the ground, Colmey calmly remarked, “This is no place to fight a battle with Highlanders.”

“Why, Colmey, why?”

“Because it is too level. The English horse can easily maneuver under fire, and the cannon, of which they have a surplus, can do deadly execution. The hills and deep valleys are where the Prince should fight his fight.”

MacMurty, ever thoughtful, gave out if they were beaten “for all to rally in South Park at Culloden.” That he would “be there ready to guide to Glasgow.” MacMurty, of cool address, had attached himself to the Fitzjames Horse that attended the Prince, being known and recognized by an officer of that command. From the hilltop both armies were plainly in sight. About one hundred





and fifty of the Argyllshire clan could be seen forming the van of the English army, for they knew every foot of the ground, supported by the Kingston Horse. The main body of Argyle's men were left to guard the baggage and protect the rear. The armies were about one mile apart. The Duke felt the grave responsibility of his position—his father's throne was at stake. He pleaded with his men to use the bayonet.

Snow and frost are nothing new in the Highlands in April. To add to the discomfort of the Highlanders a heavy sleet set in, with a cold, sharp wind blowing into the faces of the Scotch; and although poorly clad, tired and hungry, they faced resolutely the battle front of the advancing English. In a few moments, and now a smoke is seen—Boom! Boom! The dreadful roar alarmed the grazing herds far up on the mountains. Boom! Boom! The carnival of death has begun. The blood of thousands runs hot. Battery replies and defies battery. The cold, drizzling rain is forgotten; the demon of human nature is aroused. Steeds are neighing, and the red-coats and blue-bonnets are on bloody battle bent. At one o'clock a messenger rides by in haste bearing orders to Lord Murray to attack at once. Murray hesitated. He looked at his half-starved, poorly armed men with a sinking heart. The day was to be a calamity for his people. An officer came spurring from the Prince to “Go forward at once!” Murray gave the order. His horse fell beneath him as he was riding, cheering his men.

A heavy smoke was spreading southward and the gun-powder odor helped to enrage the contending hosts. The English were advancing, their left hid by the smoke, and soon an enfilade fire would be opened on the Highland right. The painful sublimity of the scene was broken by the pipers. They piped, they danced, regardless of shot and shell. England was advancing stoutly and with cheers. Scotland hesitated, dazed but defiant.





“Rutledge, ere time for the shepherd to blow his rude reed and safely sheepfold his silly flock, we will be a beaten people.”

“Stop, nightcrow, your croakings! The Prince did beat them at Falkirk, and today we'll whip them as sure as hell. Hurrah for old Scotland! Rah! for Charlie from over the sea!”

Colmey smiled at his friend's enthusiasm.

The skirmishers had fallen back on the battle line. The English cannon were now doing serious hurt. Men, horses and batteries were falling, and their infantry were masters of the park walls of Culloden. The Highlanders were breaking—retreating.

Prince Charlie—did he think of King Charles, his parent, when he was flying from Worcester; of his sooted face and green, greasy pants at Boscobel; his close-cut hair, thus trying to hide his kingship? How frail is man! Today a king, tomorrow a beggar. As he was hiding in Lewis Caws’ at the cave of Ellagol did visions of the royal oak in which his father was hidden, shivering from cold and pinched by hunger—a former king, now a wanderer—ever come up before him? “Man springeth up as a flower and is cut down. He passes as a cloud and is not.” Places of honor are places of danger. English and Scotch now madly fought each other, with every advantage for England.

Colmey, Rutledge and MacMurty were thrown together in the hurly-burly retreat. The Prince was everywhere, encouraging his men. The English Light Horse, exultant, were pressing the Highlanders sharply. Rutledge was beset by two troopers and Colmey hastened to his help. Rutledge fought off one of his opponents, and Colmey dashed at the other, who proved to be Ross Maxwell. They were driven back, and the tide of the Highlanders hurried on to Milburn. Inverness was a mile away. The English committed cruelties that England should ever be ashamed





of—casting down and bayoneting the surrendered and the wounded Highlanders. The beloved Prince, who but a few hours ago was the hero of the hour, was now forlorn—an outcast, a fugitive. The Scotch army was in a disastrous retreat, seeking safety in the Rosshire mountains.

“Mr. Colmey, all is lost. The Prince with tears bade us farewell. He is speeding for Glengarry, and my poor heart is grieving for His Royal Highness.”

“Yes, yes, Mr. MacMurty. Let's away for the lowlands at once, for, as Colmey has said, we are lost if we are overtaken.”

MacMurty was level-headed. He took up the march for Badenoch. In going to Inverness they had passed through Lochabar and rested several hours. But now they hurried, leaving Lochabar to their right. MacMurty knew every path. Dangerous defiles were passed one at a time. His mother was a Menzie, and as they passed Menzie Castle lights were burning dimly. MacMurty at daybreak called at a house nestling in the mountainside and soon an aged woman appeared. He told her who he was, and she promptly invited them to dismount and come in for food and shelter. The Menzie colors, white and red, were boldly displayed. The purple martins were noisily flying about a lofty gourd pole. Cows stood ready for the milking, and the black cock was crowing in the heather for his gray-frocked hens.

MacMurty told his kinswoman that the Highland army was badly beaten and Prince Charlie in hopeless flight. That the King's highway from Inverness to Aberdeen was lost to the Scotch. Silver was left on the table to compensate the old, courageous dame for her trouble. At dusk they mounted and continued their flight for the lowlands. Now Breadalbane, now Montieth; they stopped for a rest at Loch Lomond, and now Lennox. As they neared Clydesdale they pushed their horses, Merlin in the long lead. Passing near Duchray Castle, they felt that home was not





far distant. As they neared the limits of Glasgow they slowed up and avoided the most public streets, fearing the “train bands.” At daybreak they pulled up in front of the Prince Royal Stables. The gray was exhausted, the roan was about done for, but Colmey's coal-black had his head up and was good yet for many a mile. MacMurty was a tough fellow. He at once got water and commenced washing the gray's legs and body to remove all signs of travel. Rutledge fell down asleep. Colmey followed MacMurty's example, and rapidly removed all traces of clay from the black. The horses were fed on Jutland oats and Highland clover.

“Now, Mr. Colmey, you and your friend come up in the stable loft and take your much-needed rest.”

When Andy and Robin came they were sent away, one to Edinburgh for corn and the other to Greenoch for horses. MacMurty feared they might peer about and find Colmey and Rutledge in the upper loft room and take notice of the gray as he lay stretched out in his stall asleep. Late in the afternoon MacMurty brought dinner and woke up the young men. After eating heartily they got ready, and at nightfall they went quietly out to get to their boarding house. Capehart had put out word that they had gone fishing in Nithdale.

Rumors were all aflame. “The Scotch have worsted the English at Culloden” and “Inverness and Aberdeen were besieged,” that “the Highland army has gained a great victory” and “Prince William is in a beastly retreat.” “Prince Charlie was the man of the hour.” Glasgow, being a lowland town, was still loyal to the House of Hanover and boldly denied such reports.

Passing up the street they met Banty Nicol Ogilvy. Banty saluted most deferentially and hoarsely said, “I warned you.” When within and seated Rutledge, ever ready to badger his companion, seriously remarked:





“Who was that queer blue-bonnet and what was it he said? He bowed lowly to you. Who in the devil are you, Colmey, anyhow?”

“Just now, Rutledge, I feel like I am nobody.”

“Say, old boy, this rash adventure of yours up in the Highlands, this long-haired, deepset-eyed friend of yours here in the lowlands may yet have the Duke of Cumberland to have you to kiss the Duke of Exeter's daughter, eh?”

“Dread prophet, may I ask, how will be reckoned your seditious offenses against the all-powerful House of Hanover? Do you hope for them to be kindly condoned by His Grace, the bloody-minded Duke of Cumberland?”

“God forbid! I had rather face and feel the Alpine flames, as was once ordered by Clement the Fourth.”

“As for me, Colmey, I despise the all-rich, the all-powerful nobility.”

“Rutledge, you are too fierce, too rash, in your opposition. We must bow to the powers in lawful authority. The only regret that can come to a man is when he has acted his part badly. Down resting underneath the shades of your palmettos, all this will come back to you as a sweet dream, your first effort to enroll your name among the brave, the adventurous.”

“Hush! what noise is that? By the Holy Rood, ’tis a company of English soldiers marching by. Colmey, this servile fearfulness burdens me most heavily.”





X THE DEFEAT AND THE RETREAT FROM CULLODEN

  • “O God, that one might read the Book of Fate
  • And see the revolution of the times!
  • O, if this was seen,
  • The happiest youth would shut the book and sit him down and die.”

Colmey was a wiser but a much sadder youth than ever before. In Lord Elcho's charge he crossed swords with young Blair that he had met before at Blair Castle, and in the mixup in the retreat he was fired at pointblank by Ross Maxwell, a person he had often seen at the “Shaws.” They both recognized him. He felt intuitively that sooner or later his people would be informed that he was out with “Prince Charlie from over the sea.” Now, how to get away? Every port was guarded, everybody suspected. From Bute to Dundee, from Glasgow to Solway, spies and guards everywhere. His anxiety was wearing. He was to go home the middle of May, and it was now the first of June. He dreaded to meet his father, he feared expatriation; but being young, he was full of hope and courage. Colmey heard with horror of the hanging and quartering of Townley, Dawson, and many more. The trials of the Earls of Kilmarnock, Balmerino, and many others ended in their beheadment. The families and estates were confiscated, and the enemies of the House of Hanover were hunted down; the Highlanders jailed and fined severely. The English horse patrolled from the Grampian Hills to the rough shores of Strath Naveron. Colmey sighed to get away from the land of the Red Lion and the Unicorn.





Great war vessels lay at Aberdeen, Greenoch, and the Firth of Lorn, and Nairn and Damoche had been garrisoned, and with supplies. Colmey paced his room in anxiety of mind. He felt that Blair or Maxwell would get word to his people of meeting him in battle in the charge and retreat of the Highland army. He exclaimed, “Oh, that I can reach my own native land! I must change my name to Jean. America forever for me!” Every officer he met he feared arrest and imprisonment. “I am now forever Jean Colmey. I was an arrant fool to let myself be dragged off my base by Rutledge.”

“Capehart, see your friend, Mr. Granberry, and ask him if he will take a large trunk along with him to Edenton. I am afraid to take it in my name.”

“Get ready, Colmey, what you wish sent. He will father the baggage with pleasure.” Mr. Granberry had been over to England and came by Glasgow to see Capehart, and to inquire into the tobacco business that was in a flourishing condition and mostly owned by Virginians and native Scots. Mr. Granberry told Colmey that his father, when last seen by him, was in feeble condition, and invited him to go home with him on the next vessel, but Colmey feared arrest.

“Capehart, go and inquire when the Queen Margaret sails for Wilmington, North Carolina. I must go home, and Rutledge is going. Nobody suspects you. We want passage for ourselves and horses.”

Colmey had received a letter from his father. He had received, also, a few days before, from an unsigned party, a letter full of sympathy for his youthful shortsightedness, a pair of silver spurs and a purse of gold. A ship was drawn with the prow westward. The letter was signed “Good-bye.” Colmey guessed at once who it was from. He exclaimed angrily. “I was betrayed either by Blair or Maxwell!”

June had come and the land was filled with the fragrance





of thousands of flowers. Capehart came in and reported that he had secured passage and asked for particulars.

“Go, Capehart, and register Jean Colmey and horse.”

“What! Jean?”

“Yes, Jean.”

“Does Rutledge make any change?”

“I don't know.”

His father's letter was, to wit, undated:

My dear Son:

This leaves me very infirm in health. Come as early as you can. I deeply regret the course you have pursued. It seems that I have in vain tried to impress upon you the value of manners, reverence for those in authority, and respect for those less fortunate than yourself; that the heart is impulsive, the brain fertile, and the hands, feet and tongue are ready instruments. They must all be guided and ruled by a calm, not a heated, judgment. Being so young, I humbly pray it was but the ebullition of courageous but unadvised youth. If I should be called away, see my friend, Mr. Banbury. With heart and hands full of love for you, my long-absent son, I am, as ever, devotedly Your Father.

Colmey in bitter grief called out, “O my father! God knows I meant no wrong.” A sadness came into his heart that remained there until his dying day.

“Good morning, Mr. Mac., come in.”

“Mr. Colmey, had you not sabred that villainous red-coat near Milburne, I would be now dead on the heather side of Inverness. As I hear you are to soon leave for home, let me give you from my wife a remembrance of me and Culloden.” MacMurty gave Colmey a solid gold bangle; he said he had found it in the oak woods of Lanark. (See notes.) The cups at the end were enlarged, shaped like a pointed egg. It was old and heavy and chased.

“Well, sir, I will give this to the to-be Mrs. Colmey, and we will name it the ‘MacMurty Jewel.’ Thank you, sir, thank you.”

Strange but true, the gold treasure of long ago from Ireland,





Rome and Asia was sometimes found in the derries of Scotland, hidden by hands long since cold and nerveless in death.

Capehart directed the embarking to Wilmington of the horses, and when darkness had settled over the city Colmey and Rutledge went aboard the Queen Margaret and were assigned to their cabins. Crowds came and went the gangway, bidding friends good-bye and putting aboard the baggage. Guards were there, but the close watchfulness had been suspended by an indifference. Just a semblance of inquiry was now exercised.

At 4 a.m. eight bells were struck and the goodly ship weighed anchor and down the Clyde she sailed, an object of beauty and inanimate grace. Full day was on, and passing the Kingtyre, Colmey could see the South MacDonalds, in their bonnets and kilts, and hear the bagpipes as they were playing lustily “The Cock of the North.”

A last long look at Lake Ryan, and his eyes became misty, his bosom heaved; to him it was farewell forever to Scotland. Without a delay, the sea lay broadly and smoothly, and the Queen Margaret in due time entered the Cape Fear safely.





XI THE COUNCIL AT BALGRAY

  • “Agamemnon,
  • Thou great commander and bone of Greece,
  • Heart of our numbers.”

The grand halls, old and time-worn, scattered here and there in Great Britain, bear testimony of the wide-open hospitality of the Anglo-Saxon lords of the many secure nested isles. The leaders were found there for centuries. A people to succeed must have an eye to supreme facts; a nation to live, expand and thrive, must have the sense to recognize industry and economy as national assets. No people can get along without a leader, one to stand at the front and, if need be, defend the breach. Great men are the treasurers of the wealth of their people.

The meeting at Balgray was one of momentous importance. The question was, are the white settlers to live, to remain as a people in Carolina? A cruel war had been going on between the white and red races for years, and the red man had so far been able to circumvent, withstand the attacks of the whites. Governor Eden was dead, the Colony was left without a chief. Every eye turned to Balgray. It was there Colonel Cary opened his guns, landed his men, and assailed the home of Colonel Pollock. They were met promptly and driven back to their ship. (See records.)

The white settlements were few and far apart. Gloom had come to many and dread had come to all. The American Indian loves war and blood, pillage and rapine. A leader was needed most pressingly. A council was called at Balgray, and Thomas Pollock, a man of large experience and wealth, was unanimously proffered the





commandancy-in-chief. He respectfully declined, and advised Baron de Graffenried, and suggested an adjournment until after supper. The most vital question to settle, and settle at once, was, who was the man to take control of the affairs of North Carolina, who could advise the Colony, who could secure the sinews of war? After supper, as per adjournment, Mr. Gales was to report as to success in seeking men and means from Virginia. It was an hour of supreme peril.

The council met as per agreement to hear Mr. Gales's report as to success in obtaining men and means of Virginia. The chairman said: “Gentlemen, please be seated. Our ambassador brings but poor comfort from the north.”

Gales: Governor Spotswood was entertaining, but he could not restrain himself from making me feel that my Colony was a suppliant to a greater. These are his demands, and to the letter they must be complied with. He made me feel that there was distance considerable between a Colony enjoying the protection of the Crown itself, and a province under the neglect of Colonial Proprietors. He was quite chesty. (See Colonial Records, vol. II, pp. 6 and 7.)

Pollock: Gentlemen, we must not forget that the Governor is looking at conditions from his standpoint, not ours. He has been so long used to seeing all the roads of profit and power leading to his State that his attitude was somewhat expected. For a season we must forbear.

Boyd: Colonel Pollock, do you advise complying with this big-wig's demand? I am sick of seeing North Carolina eating humble pie.

Gales: It seems to me the serious predicament in which we find ourselves demands our most deliberate thought and most cautious action.

Pollock: I, for one, am unwilling to comply with such overbearing terms, but it can be but best not to outright





displease Governor Spotswood. We are in a sorry plight and he knows it.

Chervin: I think ’tis best not to be too outspoken, but leave open the subject for future consideration. I am against such arbitrary demands and, Mr. Chairman, we look to you to find a way out of this difficulty. Our troubles seem interminable.

Pollock: Last night, in reading over the stipulations, I was warmly annoyed at its Serbonian appearance; but today I feel hopeful, and I am fully persuaded in my mind that we can and will meet the situation squarely. We will find a way out of it, and we must do our own milling in the future; quit paying toll to Virginia.

Gales: I would to God that could be done. It would teach Governor Spottswood a requisite lesson. It makes my blood rage to treat us as if we were biddable beggars.

Pollock: Gentlemen, let's keep cool. The quiddities of the Governor we must allow for. I must admit I want to cast defiance into his teeth, but discretion will sway us. We must bestir ourselves; arouse the martial spirit of our people; advance money needed now; and fight it out on our own lines.

In the council sat the brave and learned Gales; there sat bold Boyd, outspoken and fearless; on the left Chervin, a man wise and thoughtful; Reed, sagacious and intensely patriotic; and Knight, well versed in the ways of committees and useful in every emergency—all intent to labor for the upbuilding of the best interest of North Carolina.

Leaning back in his chair, the chairman laughingly remarked: “Fortune is frowning upon us, gentlemen, just now, and our ancient quarrel over the boundary line and the Meherrin Indians is too well remembered by His Excellency for him not to desire to drive a good bargain and make me subordinate myself a little. Let us hope we will triumphantly emerge from this imbroglio. I contended that the Nansemond River should be the line.”





Boyd: Gentlemen of the council, I make motion that Mr. Gales be voted our sincere thanks for his invaluable services; and further, that we commit our fortunes into the hands of our chairman, making him commander-in-chief of the forces of the Province, and pray that he may bring to a speedy close this barbarous war.

To all of which the entire council said “Amen!”

The chairman thanked them for their confidence, but advised that a younger man be selected; that Baron de Graffenried or any of the late Governor Eden's Cabinet might be selected; to any he would give his undivided support. “I most earnestly ask you to make some one else chief.” Motion was made that unlimited powers be given to the commander-in-chief, to all of which the council agreed unanimously. (See Colonial Records.)

The chairman answered: “Gentlemen, if you will not excuse me, I will accept and do my best. You will please take under consideration resolutions of condolence to Mrs. Eden. Make yourselves at home, gentlemen, and excuse me for a short season.”

Boyd: Was it at Fontenoy, in France, or at Minden that his brother was killed in the assault? I understand that he was given the silk at Glasgow Law School and has been offered a barony.

The chairman threw his short coat around himself, walked out in the dark and anxiously debated the situation. “What am I to do? I must see King Blount myself and win him with money and promises. I must strike Governor Spottswood on the lines of state interest and state safety, and earnestly appeal to Governor Craven's magnanimity. Spottswood must be made to strengthen his lines for his State's protection. Spottswood loves Virginia, and I admire it in him, and I must in some way induce him immediately to take active measures in heading off on his northern line any inroads from bands of northern Indians that will find their way down here to assist the Tuscaroras and Cores.





I will send Jones first to purchase duffels, etc., and let him tell of the rumors that the Contentneas will meet with the Mohawks and Senecas from the north, and after the Tuscaroras, Pungoes and Cores have scalped North Carolina, they will combine and attack Virginia from the south. In due time I will send Gales back to see if the demands might not be moderated, and he will repeat the rumors and tell of the horrors that may be expected of the Indians when they annihilate the whites of North Carolina. Spottswood is on the lookout and is a little nervous, and it will force him to strengthen his armament on the boundary line and make him exercise caution in keeping back any more northern Indians from coming through Virginia to North Carolina. Spottswood looks upon a strong, active neighbor with suspicion and jealousy, and ungenerously withholds needed help in our present crucial distress. Bah! Such terms! I will never agree to them. It would dishonor us. Come what may, I will such offers refuse. I must not forget Virginia is wise, for self only.” (See Colonial Records.)

The lights in the cabins cast a light far out on the waters of the Chowan, and the chewing of the “cuds” and “lows” from the cattle with well-filled paunches were the only noises perceptible to the ear as he walked to and fro. The Albemarle, in the distance, lighted up by the effulgence of the moon, looked as a broad band of silver.

“All Nature is at ease, except my anxious heart and throbbing brain. This is a responsibility I never coveted. Yet this grave undertaking I must not shun. I fear my friends will expect too much, and my enemies will cant and decry my every honest effort, and Moseley will be apt to show his cloven foot.”

“Is that you, master?”

“Yes, Judah. Are you looking for me?”

“Yes, sir. I heard you were going away early, and I wanted to get your orders.”





“Have Argyle saddled and your horse ready about cockcrow in the morning. Wake me early, Judah.”

“Yes, sir. What clothes shall I lay out.”

“My leather clothes and baurick, top boots and heavy cape, and don't forget your arms. I pray God that future generations will enjoy peacefully this dear land that now smells of blood and powder.”

Colonel Pollock had orders issued for all able-bodied men to assemble at New Bern. He ordered two of his best vessels to New Bern and instituted a depot of supplies for the troops coming from South Carolina. Wagons and conveyances were impressed, and drivers, whenever the necessity of the occasion demanded it. Certificates were ordered to be given so that after the war was over the people should be paid for their substance.

If great forgetfulness of duty to country was in the air to poison the minds of the dazed settlers, he upon whose shoulders the destiny of the colony was resting deemed it best to withstand the present defamatory charges with patient equanimity. He knew to swerve now from the path of duty was destruction to the white race; the bloody arms of the merciless Indians were uplifted. The good people of the colony knew that the present unpleasant burdens had to be accepted, and as to the right and wrong of impressments, the seizing of every means to meet the emergency, was to be left to the fair judgment of the future.

The plea was sent out, supplicatory for help. South Carolina sent men, money and sympathy. Virginia sent arbitrary demands, which North Carolina flatly refused to consider. The danger was very great. North Carolina became suddenly envisioned, fell back trustfully on the sagacity of her aged commander-in-chief, invoked the innate valor of her sons, the heroic encouragement of her daughters. The silver was put in the crucible and came out stamped with the image of Mars!

Colonel Pollock gave orders for the erection of a strong





fort and stockade, an infirmary and a commissary building to be at once set up at New Bern, near the banks of the Neuse River. Boats and teams for transportation of supplies were to be secured for the army. Impressment would be resorted to if necessary; for the life and property of the Colony were in dire jeopardy. He issued to the people the following spirited address:

President Pollock's Appeal

Gentlemen, Friends and Neighbors:

Our all is now at stake, our country, our wives, our children, our estates, and all that is dear to us. Let us therefore bear with patience some hardships—let us strive against all difficulties.

Gentlemen, let us look to God, and implore His assistance and direction. Let us lay aside all animosity, differences, and dissensions amongst ourselves. Shun such that endeavor to raise mutinies. I take God for my witness, that I have not been wanting in my true endeavors for the country's good. The peace and prosperity whereof shall be the chief and only aim of him who is, in all sincerity, gentlemen,

Your Obt. Servant,

Thomas Pollock,

Major-Gen. & Comd.-Chief of N. C.

Balgray: Near Edenton, N. C.

(Vol. I, p. 879. Oct. 3, 1712.)





XII THE MEETING OF FRIENDS

  • “To where yon taper cheers the vale
  • With hospitable ray.”

—Goldsmith.

The herding instinct permeates the entire animal kingdom. In every age, in every clime, an innate magnetism has an active, a real being, and encompassed in a bright mind; and that mind, backed by lustrous pacts of golden coinage, always will have a magnetic drawing quality—a power about irresistible.

The presence, the conversation of a man of fine talents, are naturally attractive and edifying, and when wealth, culture, and an enhanced power of persuasion are also added thereto, it makes him more substantial—more powerful.

In colonial times, visits by friends and neighbors were expected, solicited, and keenly enjoyed. In that day and time men and their wives had the happy faculty of knowing how to enjoy life and how to acceptably impart their cheer and good humor to others.

“Squire Gales, this is our first meeting since we met last at Edenton.”

“Yes, sir, you are correct. Did you notice that Colonel Pollock and Mr. Moseley came to town about the same time? Did you notice that they avoid each other?”

“No, I did not. I saw only Mr. Moseley. Don't you think he is much stouter in these later years?”

“Yes, and he is heavier in purse and wider in lands. Moseley, in a word, has got together a good deal of property.”

“His sorrels, Tobey and Smoker, were sweaty and damp.





Seeing Mr. Moseley alight, I could but notice his large, round head and strong, square jaw. Isn't it strange that he is so unconcerned over our troubles? I like him personally, and his brusque manners, his keen sense of humor make him popular with many of the people.”

“Yes, and add, friend Boyd, his plain clothes and a rough-and-tumble way he has in argument. I shall never forget our exile in Virginia. It was bitter to me.” (See Colonial Records.)

“Your stay for months, I know, was ill brooked, but he meant the blow for Colonel Pollock; he knew Pollock would not submit to such a forceful change.”

“He meant—yes, it was that he and Carey and that crowd could overpower all opposition and have their way. Their greed and haste led them into a grievous pit.” (See Colonial Records.)

“It is said in their bitter quarrel that Moseley fiercely called Pollock a ‘d—nd haughty Scot,’ and Pollock elevated his black eyebrows and quietly remarked, ‘Ah! the greedy Picaroon.’ In heaven's name, what could have prompted Moseley to break into the Secretary's Office of State and rashly take by force government papers? What a blunder!”

“Friend Boyd, he is talented and ambitious, but he sadly lacks symmetry of judgment. He is popular—all wranglers have followers—but I don't believe the people desire to have him given full power over the Colony.”

“Do you know what brought Pollock to Edenton on that occasion? He looked harassed, and his bow was polite, but more formal than friendly.”

“He came over to see the doctor about Governor Eden's illness. Friend Boyd, the Governor's death, I fear, will convulse this Colony and bloody tyranny will boldly lift its head unless a man of nerve is elected and empowered to uphold and enforce law. It is to be mob violence or law.”

“I fear the worst is to come. The sight of an Indian





quickens my apprehension. Let's walk down to the stables and look over the horses. Mr. Gales, these giant yellow poplars seem to be the preferred tree of Balgray.”

“My dear sir, look over there—what locusts!”

“How do you do, Uncle Manewell? Well, shake hands.”

“Am mighty well, boss.”

Over every stable door was the name of the horse that occupied it—blacks and chestnuts everywhere.

“See here, Squire, here are the gems, these silver-maned chestnuts, Aberdeen and Airly, dark and dappled.

“Uncle Manewell, this is a stunning beauty, Rosalind.”

“Yaas, boss, she's mistus’ saddle mare, sir.”

“What kind of team do you keep over there, Uncle Manewell?”

“Yaassir, de farm stables; yaassir, over thar de duns, buckskins and sorrels; yaassir, for to stand up to hot weather and rough uses. Old man ’Cipio is in de charge, sir, of de farm stables.”

“The manor stables are more select, are they?”

“Yaas, boss, de blacks and de chestnuts for quality folks, sir.”

Mr. Boyd dropped some silver into Uncle Manewell's hand and told him that this visit had been pleasant, and bade him good-bye.

“Look, boss, yonder comes master in his boat; and my boys, Jack and Frank, is ’er pulling de oars, sir; yaassir.”

In a handsome goodly sized water craft could be seen Colonel Pollock and his two close friends, Squire Johnstone and Captain Hecklefield.

At the landing on each side were very large scaly-bark hickory trees, whose lofty branches and deep green leaves make this tree one of the most noticeable and attractive trees of the valley lands of North Carolina.

The old-time bronze door-knocker in shape of a wild boar was on the front door, and when within, the servant in waiting, if a gentleman, the guest was ushered into the





library room, which was on the right of the hallway. The library floor was covered with a Mortlake carpet of bergamot yellow and deep sage green. Eden and de Graffenried, Barnwell and Moore, Gales and Glover here the destinies of Carolina determined; here the experience and the enterprise of the Colony were descanted on and tested. In this room, on top of a large black walnut bookcase, was a unicorn, a basket of lilies of the valley, and a costly musette.

Queen Anne's portrait in oil adorned the walls, and a herd of black cattle of Scotland in crayon, standing at gaze, gave a pastoral beauty to the collection. The curtains were of a soft sea-green, and the chairs and the couch were of French walnut and leather trimmed. Maps and globes were in easy reach, and the large suspended lamp of oil, easily lighted, gave forth a delicate perfume of crushed patchouly leaves. The windows were rather small and high-pitched, and the flower garden near at hand gave the room when the windows were up a fragrance of rose, lilacs, and geranium. A sword lay across the mantelpiece in leather case, and on it was marked “Fontenoy.” Polished andirons held up oak and maple wood, and the warmth was felt to the uttermost part of the room. A large black walnut center table had papers, inkstand, and goose-quill pens ready for the master's using. Two Belgian tapestries attracted attention, “A Ship at Anchor at Antwerp” and “The Crusader's Return.” Bentinck, Chaucer, Glammell's Military Engineering, Egmont's Campaigns, all well-kept volumes, were lying upon a side table.

The library reflected an atmosphere of cheer and welcome. There was a sense of order, an air of refinement, pervading every room and hallway. Lying at full length near the staircase was a bluish greyhound with a silver collar around his neck, lying upon an Oriental rug—sleeping, and yet awake.

One important Indian rendezvous, which was well known, was at Conaho Creek and another at Cashie River. These





meeting places—“mudnest wasps,” as they were called by the settlers—were stockaded. High revels and future depredations against the whites were here planned, and in due time were savagely executed. The murderous chiefs, King Hancock, Great Peter, and Black Wolf, here sat and ate their venison and puffed their pipes. It was a war of races.

The duty of two faithful white-headed servants was to keep a night watch over the household at Balgray. They went around the premises with old blunderbusses, to be fired off if necessary to give warning of danger. About twelve miles from Balgray, towards Pamlico River, the Indians had a rendezvous where many braves were accustomed to meet. Being known far and wide that at Balgray eternal vigilance was exercised, that a sustained watch, steady and eternal, was had, it had a salutary and protective influence on the entire settlement. In the daytime these aged watchmen slept when they pleased to, and at night they went on duty to guard the sleeping inmates from the wily foe. Venus and Natoose, house servants, were ordered to have bread and wine for them in the south entry.

A great Dane dog named Lido followed Uncle Mingo for a while, and then Uncle Joe. Her size, her strength and fierceness were the admiration and the talk of the dusky inhabitants of Balgray. Her annual litter of puppies—half greyhounds—were sought for eagerly, as they proved when grown to be serviceable watchdogs. The low growl of the pioneer's dependable dog made him instantly seize his gun, ready to fight—made his wife catch up her infant to her throbbing breast.

The daily dangers, the nights of horror our fathers and mothers, the first settlers of the Chowan, the Neuse, and the Trent suffered, cannot at this distance be so gratefully estimated as it should be; but it is sweet to remember they endured and they won! and this precious sacred heritage must be kept preserved by us at every hazard.





XIII THE MEETING OF THE CHIEFS AT FORT NOHOROCO, OR NAHUCKY

  • “Truly the souls of men are full of dread;
  • Ye cannot reason almost with a man
  • That looks not heavily and full of fear.”

—King Richard III.

The red man of America is a man full of adventure and courage, by nature a born warrior. The great fight in Craven at Barnwell, the bloody bouts in Lenoir (Dobbs) were to be crowned by a standup fight for weeks in the fertile lands of (Glasgow) Greene. The Indians were well aware of the harassing fact that their hunting grounds were being invaded, trespassed upon. They must fight. Their leaders advised to strike at once before the white man became stronger in numbers. Runners had been sent to the north, to the west, and to the south to advise them of their purpose.

A carefully constructed fort was to be erected at once, which would be their headquarters. Large quantities of corn, beans, rice, bacon, fish, deer meat, acorns, walnuts, and mussels, soon to be stored. A large rangey pen was built to hold cattle and hogs for their use when needed. They reckoned on help from the great Five Nations of the north—they were blood kin. They thought they had plenty of time. The Chowans watched for a chance to send men, the Meherrins promised guns and corn. They feared to again contend openly with Colonel Pollock and waited to see how the war went. The Nottaways and Pamunkeys of Virginia were alive to the necessity of bathing their tomahawks in blood to save their several fisheries and their





wild game preserves. The Santees of South Carolina were sending braves. In fact, hatred deep and dire filled the red man's breast against the white settlers throughout the Southland. They were determined to wipe from Carolina the hated paleface. They felt sure of doing it. Why not? The whites were tired of war, the Quakers clamored for peace, prominent citizens were viciously opposed to Governor Eden and his Cabinet. Yellow fever was abroad, crops had been a failure, and the settler was disheartened. The shrill war-whoop was heard from Contentnea to Bath. The whites felt cowed, the day dark. Whose call would they listen to? Whose spirit was strong enough to arouse the people to continue to fight for home, life and children? The birlaws of the whites were understood.

Blue Fox, from the Nottaways, a great medicine man, told them the Great Spirit had spoken, that they would conquer, that the white man must go. Black Eagle and Mad Calf laughed, hooted and ridiculed the idea of the whites offering but little resistance. Only White Cloud advised peace. The young warriors thought he was an old mossy fossil, and he knew they were fools. King Blount was watched, but he had promised support. King Hancock was coming to their aid, and provisions and cattle were being brought in daily from the homes of murdered settlers. Smooth-bore muskets were secured from Virginia traders, the sacred pipe was being smoked, and men had been set apart for making deadly arrows. Messengers came in from the Mattamuskeets, the Pungoes, and the Hatteras tribes that they would lend a helping hand.

They had selected a high, wide place, away from the large trees, after many days of deliberation. The water supply had been an all-important item with them, yet they thought best to be well away from the creek; they considered if they were defeated they could get away best and that reinforcements could get to them better away from the water. But water must be had.





When the Indians lost out the prophet said the moon was hanging wrong and that the screech-owls forbade any advance. Their medicine men promised that by the new moon the war-cry of the Tuscaroras would turn the white man's blood to water. Some Cherokees came in and brought encouraging news that King Hancock was coming with many braves. From New York to South Carolina the feeling between the whites and the reds was becoming more bitter, more deadly. Every white settler, every red man, was convincd by the light of events transpiring around about them that they were nearing a final battle for the possession of the broad lands of East Carolina. The child of the forest was numerically stronger, but the white settler was by Destiny destined to be victor.

The Tuscaroras, of the blood of the Iroquois, near kin to the great Five Nations of the north, mustered over twelve hundred braves—brave and determined—they challenged Destiny. When the runners came in and reported that South Carolina had sent assistance of one hundred whites and four hundred Indians, and that Long Knife was to head the attack on the fort, and that Colonel Pollock had been unanimously elected president and commander-in-chief of the North Carolina forces, and had been given unlimited control, they at once realized that a serious problem confronted them. It resolved itself into the fact that they had to fight.

A renegade white man came in and told them that a large stockade had been ordered to be built by the whites on the banks of the Neuse near by New Bern; that a cattle corral was under construction; that provisions and ammunition were being hurried to this great fort of the whites; that a large flat and many small boats were under way, and men were daily caulking and pitching them. Negroes were pressed to be flat-men.

Orders were read from the commander-in-chief, in his hearing, to Captain Bryan that he must advance his lines,





that the patrols must be encouraged to fight Indians any and everywhere when met.

Two splendid schooners had cast anchor near the side of the fort to carry ammunition and provisions up the river when the advance was ordered. Doctor Guion was busy getting medicines and necessary surgical supplies.

Different tribes have different preferences for their camp grounds. The women, as a rule, select the spot, and oftentimes two women fight over a specially good place. The men never interfere with the womenfolks’ disputes. Some prefer a thicket, some an open camp near timber, while others must pitch their tepee on top of a hill. A hunting party chooses ground quite dissimilar from a band of warriors on a march against the enemy. “Squaw-men” are despised by the men and by the women. An Indian suspects every stranger, but with the chief's permission one is safe until he gets a mile or so away, and then a brave will scalp a paleface with whom he was friendly an hour ago. The Par-fleshe trunks hold all the dried meat, and a kettle and a water pail is about all the women want to cook in. The women as a rule manage the pack ponies and the dogs when traveling.

The Indians have fast days somewhat like the Hebrews. They have no regular hours for eating, and when the pot is lifted and becomes cool all the lodge eats to their fill, one meal a day. A hungry buck usually hides away easily seven pounds of buffalo or deer meat. The young women rope themselves carefully before going alone in the woods, to protect themselves from the rude advances of the bucks. The Indian has no sheriff, no jail, no school, no penitentiary.

The tepee, when firmly set, cannot be blown down. In winter a fire is built in the center; the smoke escapes through the top opening. All the family sleep in one wigwam. The wick-up is a makeshift, a sleeping place on hunts or marching. No matter how tired, no matter how





pressing the necessities of advance or retreat, the Indian never sleeps in the open. If but one blanket, he will put it over a frame-work and sleep under it. If asked why, the Indian at once replies, “No good to sleep out.” A wick-up is much like a dog-kennel, and about as large. If he can get in it he can sleep in it. (See notes.)

Boys and girls keep apart after six years old, and girls marry at eleven or twelve, and the women who mother nearly all boys are courted by many. They know nothing of right and wrong, only as the old men settle things for them. The tribe of braves that demand of their squaws a higher, better life, the demand is acquiesced in; but those who let the women abandon themselves as they please become low, coarse and without ambition for a cleaner, chaster existence. As the male raises the standard, so the female measures up to it.

The Tuscaroras and Cores were warlike tribes of Iroquois. The Algonquin dialect could be heard with the Mattamuskeet and Hatteras tribes. The old men ruled in the councils, and the young men carried out what the seniors considered the best to do. The young men and women are not allowed in important meetings.

Indian women are supposed to have but four senses, the Caucasian five, and the Gypsy six. Such is man's estimate of the gentler sex, the so-called weaker, kinder vessels.

The Indian has not studied the sciences and the arts, yet he needs no midnight sun to light up his pathway if compelled to travel in the darkness; and, knowing no Scriptures as the white man understands it, he bows and prays to the Great Spirit, and meets death without fear or tremor.

The meeting of the restless Tuscaroras was of vital interest. Where shall the fort be? Where shall we get our water, the vital fluid, and a fort built where they would have that advantage.

The long-headed, the wise leaders of the lodge were in session. One issue was up and would not down, “What





shall we do to uproot and destroy the growth and power of the paleface?” King Blount was distrusted by the white race, feared and dreaded by the Indians; he was courted for his popularity and for the weight and number of his braves.

There were about fifty tribes of Indians in North Carolina. The Cores, the Pamlicoes, the Cotechneys, the Mattamuskeets, the Chowans, the Pungoes and Hatteras Indians were all in full accord and determined on rapine and war. At the conclave there came braves from the Five Nations to advise and carry back northward the final decisions of the braves of the south. The council took under consideration the proposition of Black Wolf, of Chaon Neck, to go away from the river creek and build a fort. King Hancock supported Black Wolf, that the whites had superior water craft, and if they had to escape that it would be easier away from the watercourse, that the woods would be their safest shelter.

King Taylor, or Enugunere, stood for a stand by the flowing waters, that a water famine would be impossible, but subway wells might go dry, and he pooh-poohed the idea of having to fly. Green Turtle, or Colserasea, well advanced in years and a great medicine man, shook his bells, looked wroth and grave. He spoke: “The red man does best in the forest. I fear forts, but it is of far-reaching importance to get away from the water's edge. I stand up and pledge my life that Full Moon can find us water plentifully. He can infallibly locate an underground current, a supply perennial. The palefaces have little and big boats, little and big guns, and it is far best to be where we can fight to where we can fly. I can see the clouds full of chariots and the young moon is full of blood.”

After much discussion, late into the night, it was decided to set aside men to select a site, and for Full Moon to find the water supply. Green Turtle, the wisest and the bravest, advised to detail two hundred men to go to the place decided





upon for the fort and be under the orders of Full Moon. In ten days a tunnel would be sunk, water found, and the fort going forward to completion. Needle Eye positively agreed with Green Turtle, and agreed to the necessity of immediate action, that in ten days the tunnel would be complete, and split trees uphold the upper crust of earth, that rooms on the side of the tunnel be excavated for provisions, for prisoners, and for the wounded.

The sages of the Five Nations gave as their opinion that Black Wolf and Green Turtle had the situation properly in view.





XIV THE WATER FIND AND PROVISIONS OF NAHUCKY FORT

  • “The hour's now come,
  • The very minute bids thee ope thine ear;
  • Obey and be attentive.”

This gift of finding water is, as the gift of song, of calculation, acuteness of vision and smell, tenacity of memory, strength of arm and Cæsarean mastery. It consisted of intensity of interest, bringing into abnormal activity the relativity of the senses; the condensing of the attention so as to take up and correctly estimate and correlate the water-find murmurs. The conductivity of sound-noises produced by certain conditions become audible from the bowels of the earth to the earth's surface. Full Moon was wonderfully gifted with the sense of hearing, and he was always first to hear the timid step of the doe or the soft tread of the prowling panther.

It was determined that the fort was to be strongly built and that the white race was to be exterminated. Now for victualizing, getting stores in for a siege, if it came to be a necessity. The fort was to be their base of supplies and their refuge when hard pressed by the enemy.

Full Moon was a taciturn red man, straight, active, small-eyed and beardless, and he had the air of one full of restlessness. He was no brave; he feared death and avoided danger; but was looked upon as one gifted by the Great Spirit. At a signal from Green Turtle he drew away from the crowd. He was much excited. He commenced to crawl over the space designated, and then flattened himself with ear to the ground, and moved here and there slowly,





watching intently his divining rod. He was seen to wrap his head completely up and flatten himself out. He quickly arose and declared with great agitation of manner that there was a strong flow of water about twenty feet below. He trembled, his heart was in his work, his nerves were all afire. He then drove a stake and carefully marked the route of the tunnel with his rod. The water-find was at the roots of an immense red oak tree, and he said that the oak drew moisture from that flow.

The Indians went earnestly to work, and in seven days the tunnel was completed and the water flow was found to be steady, full and free, on a gravel bed, and the temperature was cold. Full Moon was made to feel his importance by grunts, pats and “how-hows,” and like unto Copernicus and Galileo, he was gifted beyond his fellows. In acuteness of hearing, in locating subterranean currents, no man of the tribe compared with him. The Roman could point with pride to his viaduct and the Indian stoically stood by his tunnel. The forked hazel was so charged with his intensity of feeling that it responded and exactly located the hidden stream as if a divine agency was directing it. Augustus, wrapped about with his trabea, was not more envied than Full Moon and his divining rod.

Scientists say that electricity exists between the clouds and the concealed stream of water, and that an invisible current is continually passing. Hence, a person heavily charged with electricity comes between active, positive, and negative forces. The power will drop the point of the divining rod, thus indicating the point where the stream is. (See notes.)

Now the fort was the cog, and the fighting chief was to be set aside for occupancy and defense, and Chocnek (Black Wolf) was selected. The Indian knew that a hungry man was a dissatisfied man, and that bread and water had to be furnished to satisfy the best inclined of their





tribes. Full Moon had furnished water, now barrels of acorns and bushels of chestnuts and corn and rice in abundance must be provided.

In every nationality of men, from Joseph unto this day, there are men endowed especially to meet this particular necessity. Stores of bone-pointed arrows, powder and ball purchased from Virginia traders, were with due care housed in the deep dugout cavern leading down to the clear water current. In thirty days a formidable double stockade was built, rooms made in the tunnel for storage, and victuals in large quantities. For a hundred miles up the Neuse provisions had been secured, and the white settlers had not only been robbed, but murdered and women ravished and brought to the fort as hostages and made servants and cooks.

Terror for many miles up and down the Trent and Contentnea had been struck in the hearts of the white settlers, and many hurriedly moved nearer to Edenton for better protection. No quarter was given; none asked. Several thousands of Indians with white renegades between Virginia and South Carolina had to be watched, fought, and over-reached.

Their fort was roughly constructed, bastions and rideaus properly located, and the two hundred and fifty braves under Green Turtle had done their work well. Trees for a hundred yards had been felled all around the fort. The three trees left in the fort were sweet gum, cedar and red oak, and they were utilized as towers.

The cause of the white man looked lost. The obstacles for him to overcome were formidable. Not only Indians were implacable in their hate and relentless in their slaughter, there were also dissensions in the Colony among the whites that seemed to be insurmountable.

A great feast was to be held at the fort, plans to be made for the future, and for the early extermination of the white





race in Carolina. The northern tribes from New York were to send assistance, for each tribe visited at will the sections from the Connecticut to the Trent. The Pamunkeys had promised to aid. The Chowans were to secretly lend a helping hand, and the Meherrins had agreed as soon as practicable to take arms and commence the slaughter of the settlers in Bertie and surrounding territory. In the midst of their jubilee a scout came in and gave the news that Governor Hyde had died and that the palefaces were badly cast down over his death, and for a moment only stayed action to select a new leader. Every Indian rejoiced that the handsome cousin of Queen Anne (Governor Hyde) had fallen by order of the Great Spirit, that now was the auspicious time for the extermination of the whites. Bands under the bravest braves were ordered to go forward to the work at once. Soon fire and smoke could be seen ascending where the settler had lived, and there could be heard the cry of women with bowels ripped open, murdered and maltreated, and the infants’ brains were dashed out; stock driven off toward the fort, and disaster and destruction reigned unchecked. The white man's fortune was truly at low ebb. The fourth year of war was now to be met.

Green Turtle, Yamoissee of South Carolina, and Blue Fox of Virginia, with Full Moon and Black Wolf, were left to look after the fort, and a dozen braves came in every night from different sections to report to Green Turtle and Black Wolf.

News came at last that the whites had elected as their leader Colonel Pollock, or, as the Indians called him, “Rock Heart,” and that he and Colonel Moore, called “Long Knife,” from South Carolina, were moving forward on the fort. Instantly runners were sent out in every direction to give information to the several bands to take warning and to fall back slowly toward the fort and watch developments.





Spotted Crow reported that King Blount had been seen with Rock Heart. At once it was made known to every camp fire that King Blount was to be watched. A Santee runner came in and informed Yamoissee that Colonel Moore and his men were past Wilmington to unite with the North Carolina forces. The Indians could confront them with many braves, tried and true. Blue Fox, the medicine man of Virginia, bewailed the fact that the Roanokes had not come. Yamoissee, the medicine man of South Carolina, still had hopes of help from the Santees. The Tuscaroras, represented by Green Turtle, held finally to it that the Meherrins and Chowans would in time secretly send assistance.

Long Knife and his men and Rock Heart and his men were steadily moving toward the fort. The Indian chiefs saw plainly that when the palefaces united their several forces they would present a very serious problem before the council of the chiefs for consideration. The white leaders the Indians knew well. They had positive knowledge that they were largely dependent upon “friendly” allies. Although badly needed, a force had to be left along the long line from north of Edenton to south of New Bern to defend the women and children from rambling bands.

Sharp fighting was beginning to take place miles away east and south of the fort. The scouts from both sides now touched, and combats happened more or less daily. The zip of the rifle ball, the twang of the bow and the whiz of the deadly arrow were felt and heard by the advancing whites. Spotted Crow, the wily, had been sent to stir up the Mattamuskeets, Pungoes and Pamlicoes, the Hatteras, and then visit the Chowans. The Indians recognized the significance of the cry, “Fire and sword!” They knew that they had given the whites the tomahawk and fire for the last three years, late and early, to old and young. The dreaded Rock Heart and Long Knife they knew to be watchful,





uncompromising and resourceful commanders. They expected the fiercest attack from the east, for the white settlers in the east and their families had suffered most at their hands, and they were fighting for their homes, their wives, and their children.

Green Turtle, Black Wolf, Big Bear and Crow Foot held a private consultation under the great red oak. Green Turtle advised that all the braves be led at once against Long Knife, and his defeat would be certain by attacking him suddenly, by flank and rear, before Rock Heart could hear of it and get his men up. Black Wolf asked, Why not attack Rock Heart? he was much nearer the fort. Green Turtle replied that that was quite a different proposition; that if Rock Heart was hard pressed he could rally in the strong fort that he had built; that he had sentries everywhere, and he had out in his front a well officered force, and his main body slept in the stockade at night; that it was impossible to surprise him; that the cannon on the schooners would help to beat them off; that Rock Heart was only waiting for Long Knife to get clear, and then he would advance and their forces would unite, and that all would be lost if they remained in the fort and surrendered.

Black Wolf hotly denied Green Turtle. He said: “We are in a strong fort, plenty to eat, and a large force of braves to do battle. Spotted Crow will stir up our friends, the whites are sick over the long war, and Rock Heart has grown old. Long Knife is far from his base, and everything is in our favor. We must fight it out right here. No leave—we must win here or die here. Our fort is full of fighters.”

Black Wolf held that it would be largely Indians against Indians; that the whites were few; that the trusty men had to be left to guard the scarcely, sparsely settled section from the marauding northern Indians under Yellow Jacket, and that Wild Dog and his half breeds were stealing and





burning and were carrying off women from Chocowinity to Wilkinson's Point; that the Quakers kept up dissensions; that Virginia would not send a man on this side of the dividing line, and all knew that Long Knife's men were leaving him, going back home, and that over two hundred braves under Flying Squirrel had come to the help of the Tuscaroras. Green Turtle stood his ground firmly. He replied: “I have seen five and seventy winters. My war belt shows as many scalps as Black Wolf's. Black Wolf's judgment is bad. He is a great brave only. I tell you to drive back Long Knife. He has no fort, he is in the open, his men are foreigners. That is our only safety. I shall die with my people. I am as much brave as Black Wolf. I pray that the Great Spirit will direct Spotted Crow, and that a strong fighting band of Chowans and Pamlicoes will come to us, or strike the eastern palefaces in the rear.”

Full Moon and Little Robin overheard this heated discussion, and they, believing in the foresightedness of Green Turtle, the next night slipped out of the fort and made their way to the settlement of the Meherrin Indians. They were flying from the two forces coming, one under an old man that was sleepless, and one under a younger man that was tireless.

The wisdom of the Indian will some day be recognized more than it is today. He knew that a hungry, thirsty man or beast becomes dissatisfied. Full Moon had found water, and now the stockade and fort had in thirty days become a formidable structure for defense. It was finished. Where did the Indian get his knowledge of fort building? Where did he get his eloquence? Where did he get his gift, the sense of direction? Rooms were built in the stockade tunnel for provisions and all kinds of stores, and a place for the wounded. Here hostages and servants were safely kept, and here a limpid stream flowed abundantly. For a hundred miles up and down the Neuse the wily Indian had stolen, robbed, ravished and murdered the lone white settlers.





Terror for miles up the Trent and to far-away Cape Fear was felt in the straggling homes of the palefaces. Without any warning, men, women and children were butchered, and every usable substance was borne away to fill up the storeroom in their fort, Nohoroco or Nahucky. From the Contentnea to Bertie, from Bertie to Mattamuskeet, the word went, “All things are now ready.”

Small bands were sent out to burn and slay, and the resistance since the fight at Barnwell had been so slight that they were elated with hope and believed that deadly work could be done before any organized resistance could be consolidated and brought to bear against them. They felt perfectly secure. Why not? They had swept the woods with fire and tomahawk; they had their big “pen” filled with hogs and cattle; they had their storerooms packed, and they had leaders of wisdom, bravery and cunning. Black Wolf, Green Turtle, Mad Calf and Hancock, and others that had often fought the white man, and seldom ever been beaten by him. One of the greatest pleasures of their life was now denied them, and that they were restive under. It was being deprived of the society of their women. The Indian woman was a power in camp. She had many beaux. She had inalienable rights, such as the right of changing her husband if he was too overbearing to her; she had the right to do as she pleased when night came and the tom-tom sounded. No work; only song and dance at night. She knew the fury of the white man was not leveled against her. With Indians, as with the Mongolian and the Caucasian, a man feels lonely and ill at ease if deprived of the comfort and presence of woman. The Indians innately observe in thought and act the Salic law, yet the Indian woman exercises an influence both directly and reflexly upon her warrior mate. Her shout of approval was coveted, her laugh of derision dreaded.

Distance by Indians on water is computed by pipes. One pipe is the distance they can paddle in the interval between





the haltings they are allowed to make in order to fill up and smoke. The charms of life to the red man of the forest are courting, boating, trapping, hunting, and smoking. Now all these he is deprived of except his pipe, for the orders are to rally to the stockade, keep himself ready for the coming war-whoop of the braves, and the battle-cry of the whites that will intermingle in the sound of deadly strife.





XV THE ADVANCE TO MEET MOORE

  • “Make all our trumpets speak; give them all breath,
  • Those clamorous harbingers of blood and death.”

The hourly need of war material was paramount; it must be had and had quickly, the urgency was great. The commander-in-chief dispatched to Charleston two of the fastest sailing vessels. He sailed to the West Indies two of his own best schooners, and every trading post, every owner that could contribute to the general good owning military assets was impressed (horses, cattle, hogs, oils, salt fish, duffels, and vehicles). In a short time the several craft returned and brought powder and balls, small arms, medicines, breadstuffs, blankets, and shoes, coffee and sugar, bacon and salt, rum and tobacco. At Bath the vessels rode at anchor, awaiting orders.

The people and the trade knew the man, and the man confidently and successfully appealed to the merchants and the people. Word went far and near into the settlements that provisions and arms had come, that the white man was getting ready for another standup fight with the redskins, killers of women and children. The most exposed settlers were sent for to bring their families to New Bern, that they would be cared for, so the men could join the ranks now forming for battle. The corral was fairly filled with beeves and pigs, and the Neuse gave them needed water. New Bern in infancy was willing to shield and assist the distressed, the hungry white brother.

When all the camp was resting, the guards walking their rounds outside the well-built stockade which surrounded





the large fort, portholed, scouts brought in a strange man representing himself to be one of Colonel Moorew's men, that he had made his way through the coast land with orders to find the North Carolina forces. He was carried before old Captain Oliver, and he gave an account of himself and handed the captain a scrip that he had concealed upon his person. He was given a substantial supper and a bunk to sleep upon.

Two trusty Indians, Old Yellow Hammer and Bent Knee, were ordered to go up the Trent River and find a way toward Wilmington and get with Colonel Moore and “hand him this message.” Two of the Neuse River guards, Joel Croom and Jerry Lawson, were ordered to proceed up the Neuse to Leonati crossing (Atkins), and then take trail for Wilmington, find Colonel Moore, and tell him the meet of the two forces would be at the Neuse crossing, that all was ready.

Forty “friendlies” under Bee Wing were sent across the Neuse to patrol up and down the river, and scouts were out keeping up with every movement of the Indians. The large Indian village at Fort Barnwell (Old Eagle Nest) was deserted except by the very old men, squaws and little children and their many dogs. (See notes.)

The old Indians were dendrologists, expert fishermen, wonderfully conversant with tribal history, the tides and weather forecasts; their manners dignified, their conversation scanty and pointed. The squaws were industrious in the daytime, flirts at night; the children apt bird trappers, turtle catchers, and cunning borrowers when no one was looking at them.

That the several Indian tribes had acquired a new confidence in their future probable conflicts with the white race was unmistakably manifest in their manners and their acts. They reasoned, one tribe with another, “Have we not all in all, squared up against the settlers? We hold our hunting grounds. We have killed as many of them as they have





of us.” They sat around their fires and smoked with grim satisfaction their pipes of wild valerian and hops, mixed with their sun-cured tobacco; and all men, women and children ate, when to be had, ginseng, gotten from the Catawbas.

  • “Be prodigal, the lamp that burns by night
  • Dries up his oil to lend the world his light.”

The Indians knew that although Fort Barnwell (Old Eagle Nest) had been given up, yet their loss had not been great, nor had the punishment threatened been unflinchingly inflicted upon them. They judged that a fearful respect for their tomahawks and night torches had impressed the whites and made the paleface pray for peace at any price. Their dealings with the settlers had quickened their intellects, sharpened their cunning, blunted their trustfulness, and had enkindled in their savage nature a world of deadly hate. They determined to carry on the war, to get away back in the deep woods, so as to draw the white man far from his home and from help. They deemed it wise to cross over and put the Neuse between them and any assistance that might come from South Carolina.

It was true the white men were staggered by the blows they had received, and the endless expense of blood and property that this Indian war was involving them in, but they were not crushed. The women of the Colony bore up bravely under the fearful stress and strain. The large, roomy fort at New Bern was completed and men and big boys commenced coming in by twos and threes. Some evil-minded parties had gone abroad and put out the report that nobody would respond to the Governor's appeal.

Old Captain Oliver shook hands warmly with the newcomers, some in coonskin caps, with powder horns and smooth-bore guns. But best of all, they had come to fight. The drum beat night and morning, the little cannon's loud roar at sunset aroused enthusiasm. Every ear was listening





for the coming of the commander-in-chief, and the fireside talk was when the great Indian fighter, Colonel Moore, would be heard from. Men love to talk of battle, the charge and the rout. The few officers with Captain Oliver tactfully and firmly instructed the men as to their duties, and they were told that the oldest men and youngest boys would be left behind to guard the fort. The hoped-for help was yet to come, the night was yet to turn to day.

And now came from Bath glorious news for the settlers. The vessels had weathered the cape and all were heavily loaded! When getting to Wilmington, Moore took command and marched as rapidly as he could for the Neuse. The commander-in-chief, with a small staff, had quietly ridden into the camp at sundown. The officers were ordered to report to headquarters at early candlelight. All knew a strong hand had come to direct their movements.

“Gentlemen, in parting remember right now, North Carolina faces in her history her first great call. Let us be unshakable in our purpose and in our pursuit.”

The two sloops, the Polly and the Scorpion, and several punts and the “hospital ship,” were riding leisurely the silver sheened Neuse. The little flotilla pleased the men; they enjoyed the idea that now provisions and ammunition were amply provided for the advance; that a rude refuge, but comfortable, was ready, if need be, in which they would be looked after by surgeon and nurse.

Bull hides protected the “hospital's” sides and top. Indians and negroes were detailed to load and unload the boats. A dozen pavises had been rudely finished and put aboard to be used before the gates of the Indian fort at Nohoroco (or Nahucky). Every night a heavy guard on board and in canoes kept watch over the boats. The cannon and the coehorn were put on the Polly and poleaxes were placed by them in handy reach. Lieutenant Winston was in command of all the boats and the ammunition stores.

A growing confidence sprang up among the men that they





were going to win out in the coming fight. Guy Lanneau, the South Carolina ranger, was reexamined at headquarters, and the aged commander determined not to delay the advance, trusting that the two Indians or that Croom and Lawson had reached the South Carolinians. He believed it best to boldly advance, it would enthuse his men and create surprise in the enemy.

The long roll was ordered to beat at sunrise. The men fell in promptly. A staff officer informed them that the advance was to be made to meet Colonel Moore. A shout went up; the fife and drum struck up martially, “Britons, strike home,” “Now for the foe.” The men were all aglow with expectancy. Friendly Indians were ordered well in front, an advance guard followed after, and the main force took up the trail, and the little flotilla followed in protective distance. About fifteen miles from New Bern a halt was ordered for rest and for dinner.

The woodlands were fragrant with crabtree blossoms, the hickory's yellow tassels, the tulip's buddings, the vines of grape with sap was swelling the leaflets. The wild cornel was in half-bloom, and the jessamine was not the least noticeable in flowers and beauty. The piping frog hanging on the treeside gave out shrill notes, and the chatter of the gray squirrel was heard from the high oak trees.

The men felt enthused by Nature, and their blood was aroused thoroughly, for the hunting of a lion is more interesting than the chasing of a hare. The harrowing scenes witnessed by the troops as they marched up the riverside—burnt homes, skeletons of men and women, children barbarously slaughtered lying by the wayside, made the men demons. Small patches left partly cultivated, little corn cribs empty or torn down—everywhere desolation and butchery.

The command took up the march again. About an hour before sunset a patrol reported Indians in front. The





advance guard and flankers pushed forward cautiously, touching the patrols. Some sharp firing was heard in front, all knew a fight was at hand.

Reinforcements went forward and fighting in earnest began. Balls and arrows came with murderous intent from many Indians behind trees. It developed into a running fight with Black Wolf and his band of braves for two or more miles. One mortally wounded was captured, and he informed the “friendlies” that great bands of warriors were gathered near a big fort, about a day's march from Leonati crossing on the north side of the Neuse. He would not tell how many Black Wolf had with him.

Three wounded whites were carried to the floating hospital. Continuing the forward movement, the officers were advised to go among the men and tell them that Colonel Moore was not far away. “Be of good cheer. Our friends so brutally murdered must be avenged. The white women held now by the Indians must be released, must be set at liberty, for they are being held for bestial purposes.”

The commander-in-chief thought it prudent to give orders that when the camp was pitched for the night a small fort must be by the riverside, constructed of felled trees and earth works (if away from the river that it should be on the best site for a rally point if suddenly attacked); the flotilla to be moored near by for protection. The small cannon was removed from the sloop for tomorrow's use. As they marched along wild cattle were met and killed and butchered for the troops, and the men were rewarded who did the slaughtering.

Near noon the following day Mad Calf with his band commenced a stand-and-run fight that made the march move more slowly than expected. The friendly Indians were ordered to flank them, and the whites made the front attack. Then the Indians would scamper, and then stand and fight. The small cannon was ordered to open on them. The roar animated the white men and frightened the red.





Colonel Moore was about five miles away from the river. The river took up the battle sound, and through the woody spaces of the southwest the resounding cry of the big gun was heard, and the word passed, “They are fighting!” Men clinched their teeth, belts were tightened, their blood ran madly and steps were quickened. The far-away boom kept calling to Palmetto to come, hasten to the help of her distressed sister. The Colonel sat his red roan, his fighting blood aroused, his soldier spirit ahungering for the conflict. Coming to the Neuse, the men went into camp, and Colonel Moore had pickets stationed, and with a guide found his way to the North Carolina camp about midnight. The command became aware of it and yelled with intense joy. They felt now that with South Carolina with them, heart to heart, they could and would overthrow the brave warriors opposing them.

No two men differed more than the commander-in-chief and his able lieutenant, Colonel Moore. One was growing old, was very gray; he was calm, clear visioned, and resolute. The younger man was full of military ardor, sanguine, ready to fight on the spot at any odds. Both had implicit confidence in the other. The two states fraternized easily. The Indians “powpowed” and felt the power intellectually and racially of the two white leaders now commanding.

The crossing of the Neuse by both commands was easily effected by the use of the sloops and punts, the big flat and the little canoes. The Indians fairly raced to and fro, and showed marvelous skill in paddling, turning and stopping the boat. The horses were swum over.

A body of “friendlies” and Captain Maule's company had proceeded and examined the front for a good camping ground for the night upon the hills about a mile distant north. The object of the attack was presumably about fourteen miles away, northwest, upon a sandy elevation,





and about a mile from the little river or creek lying on the left of the fort. Constant and heavy skirmishing was confidently anticipated.

Being early springtime, the nights were quite cool, and the days pleasant and lengthening. Every precaution was taken that there should be no waste of men, of ammunition or provisions. The commander-in-chief thought it wise to rest upon the hills north of the Neuse River for two days, that the troops might become used to each other, and that he and Colonel Moore could consult with leisure as to an advance or an attack. Scouts were sent out in every direction and the best route to get at the fort was determined after mature deliberation over the several reports that were brought in.

“Colonel Moore, all of our men are brave and trusty, but I feel quite at ease when Captain Maule is in charge of the advance.”

“Governor, what estimate do you put upon the Indian as a warrior?”

“Candidly, Colonel Moore, with equal training, I should place them with the best soldiers I saw in the service while I was in France.”

“From the scouts we would infer that no considerable stream or elevation is between us and our enemy, Governor?”

“No. God willing, Colonel Moore, let us advance steadily, encamp around about them, and strike them a deadly blow from which they will never recover. Colonel, don't you think it best to trench around them, and build a few small forts on which we could the better rally and repulse a sudden attack?”

“Governor, I have been revolving that idea over, and I deem it prudent and wise.”

The commanding officers found the Indian fort, stockade and redoubt were well laid off and compactly built. It commanded their respect, their serious consideration. The





intrenchments of the whites were at once commenced, the miniature forts, north, south, east and west, were to be pushed forward. The whites had been drawn away from their base, and the ways, woods, and swamps were well known to the Indians and but little known to the settlers.

There was an eternal hope cherished by the Indians that many braves would find a way from the north to come to their assistance by attacking the whites in the near-by and carrying on a bloody crusade on the coastland, thus compelling a division of the white man's forces fronting their fort.

The whites prayed that Governor Spottswood would exercise due vigilance for Virginia's safety, and that Governor Craven they felt confident would firmly hold in check any open movement of the South Carolina Indians; and with God's blessing let the fight between the white and the red man be fought to a finish, and right now let the morning light break or a deep darkness envelop the white man's hopes forever.





XVI COUNCIL OF WAR

  • “Thus far our fortune keeps an upward course,
  • But in the midst of this bright shining day
  • I spy a black threatening cloud.”

It was reasonably expected that as the column of the whites passed in his front Choenek (or Black Wolf) would most likely strike at the exposed left flank. Preparations had been made for that emergency. Colonel Hecklefield had been ordered to hold his North Carolinians well in hand to attack the Indians’ right flank, should the marching column be assailed. As it turned out, both sides acted with circumspection. Only slight skirmishes were participated in as the white troops steadily filed around and about the fort. The left rested east, the right was in full touch with the Contentnea watercourse.

Two hated white leaders were fronting them, Rock Heart and Long Knife. Swamp Dog and Big Bear railed against Black Wolf for allowing the whites to get lodgment so easy in their immediate neighborhood. To vindicate himself, and to show he was not indifferent to the clamor of his competitors, he asked that a council be called to pass upon his conduct. He stated that he mistrusted the indifference manifested by the whites, that consulting with Green Turtle he was alive to the fact that the whites had the potential influence of their commander-in-chief; that they had Long Knife, their dreaded enemy, also with them, and that an ambuscade was expected. He saw nothing but deep-laid wiles, and that he had steered clear of them. He turned the command over to Black Bear, who was very unpopular.





It was annoying to have a body of whites and revengeful Indians quartered south and east of them, but they feared to disapprove the conduct of Black Wolf. Loud mutterings were soon heard; there was a crisis to meet. They needed a hard fighter, and Black Wolf had proven himself to be a hard hater, a dempter, and a hard hitter on every occasion. The east and the north gates were to be doubly strengthened. Black Wolf took command again.

After getting in front of the stronghold and pickets had been placed and scouts sent out, the command was allowed to refresh themselves. The two leading officers made a careful mental survey of the surroundings. They then reconnoitered closely the size and situation of the fort. That night around the camp table, with map, they laid out a plan of attack; certain officers to attack south and east, and others north and west. The signal known by the captains when a general attack was to be made upon all sides was at the firing of the cannon at sunrise. The large and the small cannon were placed upon a hill east. A messenger came with papers, the purport of which was that a large body of a thousand braves, of Chowans, Pungoes, Mattamuskeets and Hatteras Indians, were gathering on the south side of the Pamlico River at an old fort.

“The intent is assumed to be to attack the rear of the whites under the Governor while Black Wolf attacks in front. Rather serious news, gentlemen.” He handed the paper to Colonel Moore. Colonel Moore vehemently exclaimed, “My heavens! We have now all that we can say grace over, and to have a thousand more red devils to meet—whew! Our hands, for a fact, will be full to over-flowing.” Colonel Hecklefield quietly remarked, “We must fight, that's all. The news smells of a graveyard to me.”

“Colonel Moore, you are ever very hopeful, what do you think is best to do?”

“Governor, I just can't think to save me.”





“Colonel Hecklefield, what course would you advise to be pursued?”

“Well, Governor, it is this. Somebody must go and meet them—and beat them.”

“Gentlemen, you will please remain seated.”

The commander-in-chief had a way of going out into the cool woods and communing with his God. He knelt down and supplicated devotedly. While standing in deep thought thinking of the seriousness of the situation, his heart was almost broken with many forebodings. From over the Indian stockade could be heard a hilarious noise, the tomtom was beating and “Yah-yah!” rent the midnight air. The aged listener well knew what it meant. An Indian runner had found his way from the Pamlico into the fort, and had communicated to Black Wolf and his comrades the news that a thousand braves were on their way to help them in the racial test of supremacy in East Carolina.

What was to be done? Was it best to let them come and fight them, or to hurriedly go and meet them, and beat them, as Hecklefield suggested? Was it safe to take men from the front of the Indian fort and go to fight Indians swarming on the banks of the Pamlico? With his face clouded with anxiety, he returned and said, “Gentlemen, it is best for me to go—it is our fight. Colonel Moore is our neighbor and our very dear friend, but it would not be right to ask him to take up this burden.”

Calling to his adjutant, he ordered that Captains Bryan and Kennedy be sent to him without delay, and that Lieutenant Johnstone be ordered to select ten of the best equipped men of the Edenton company to accompany him and two trusty Indians to go along as runners. “Colonel Moore, we have marked out the several positions and advances, and now, trusting to God, at two o'clock we take up the march for Pamlico River.” Silently one hundred and twenty picked men and officers left the sleeping camp behind





them. Colonel Moore had instructions to strike when he thought best, to batter down the east gate with his cannon, and to keep up the firing on the fort and tunnel and blow down the walls if necessary to win.

The two Indians took up the trail eastward and noiselessly the whites followed in their wake.





XVII THE OLD PAMLICO STOCKADE

  • “O War, thou son of hell,
  • Whom the angry heavens make their minister,
  • Even this sight,
  • My heart is turned to stone.”

—Shakespeare.

The darkness of the night, the uncertainty of the adventure, the treacherous foe they had to deal with, the remembrance of their murdered neighbors, all combined were such as to make arise in each man's bosom a deep anxiety for his own personal safety. It was true that as a body they were men inured to worry, to toil, and to dangers; they had been born and reared in a day of continuous hostilities; but then, men are but human.

Colonel Pollock, having had an extensive experience in Carolina as to customs and characters, having held some of the most important offices for years, thus making him acquainted with matters of law, commerce, and war, at several epochal periods which affected the welfare of the people, he could but more readily understand the immense importance of forging ahead and striking down this rearward danger. He knew from past enterprises that a few hours often decided the issue for victory or defeat. It could but be with great satisfaction that he witnessed the alacrity of the captains and their men as they pressed onward to fight the foe. The love of home and loved ones, the burning desire to avenge the butcheries of their neighbors, made them firmly united, ready to come to blows with their bloody-minded enemies. In silence the trail was followed.





In pressing forward to the Indians’ old stockade on the Pamlico a half-breed was met, and he told them just about where the Indians were. Lieutenant Lane and his men were thrown well in front, and Lieutenant Warren was to look out for the flankers. About midnight Lieutenant Lane sent word back that he had forced them to their camp. Very soon a hoot like unto an owl was heard, and then two hoots; and a flood of arrows warned the whites that to approach was to fight. Not knowing their number nor their exact position, the officer in command formed his men into a hollow square and ordered the command to advance slowly and compactly and for the front to keep up a continuous fire. Hundreds of arrows and a few shots kept coming. About daybreak the arrows were fewer. The commanding officer ordered forward skirmishers and they hallooed back, “They are gone! We've got ’em!” All rushed forward. The dead and wounded were left behind. The badly wounded showed no signs of fear. It was with difficulty that the men could be restrained from shooting all of the wounded Indians. Provisions were found of meat, wild turkeys, ducks, and meal. Scouts were sent at once up and down the river bank to see if any Indians were hiding. They had fled with precipitation. The heads of Little Bull, Star Feathers, and Silver Wave were cut off, wrapped up in duffels, and carefully swung across the pony. They were to be thrown over into the fort at Nohoroco to let the Indians recognize the fact that no relief was coming. All except sentinels fell down and slept three hours. Then, after a hearty breakfast, all started with great cheer for the fort. The wounded were placed upon stretchers and men detailed to bear them along.

On their return a Mr. Ava Hinton met them and handed the commander-in-chief a letter, asking him to come at once to Edenton on matters of vital importance, to meet the council that would convene there. He at once turned over





the command to Captain Bryan and hastened to Edenton. On arriving at Edenton and meeting the board, the news filled the entire body with hearty rejoicings. Mr. Boyd remarked, “Governor, you look the worse for wear. Your official duties are telling on you.”

“Yes, sir, you must remember I am past three score, and anxieties and exposure make me not so robust as formerly.”

Mr. Chervin asked if he did not think one more sharp and bloody fight would make the Indians sue for peace.

“Yes, and it is fast coming. Colonel Moore, I think, will strike at the first opportunity after Bryan reaches his camp. He is a daring man and an accomplished officer. I would be glad, gentlemen, for the council to be called at once.”

“Governor, allow me to express our thankfulness that you have been spared, that your old wound has hindered you but little in your marchings and exposures. My divining thoughts assure me of your ultimate success. Great Peter claims he did you the hurt.”

“That happened up on the Cashie River; a wandering band from the Mohawk Valley under Little Beaver induced Great Peter to break loose and join them, and steal and burn, drive off cattle and hogs, force white women to submit to their attentions. In a word, deviltry of the basest sort was practiced by them. Something had to be done promptly and effectively.”

“Governor, these great bands from New York and Connecticut should be compelled to stay within the hunting grounds of Carolina when visiting here; for our white settlers are badly scattered, our fighting men few.”

“Yes, that is to be fondly, prayerfully hoped for; but really our proprietors seem to have deaf ears to our pleadings for better laws, better arms and more ammunition. (See Records.) We must keep prepared to fight off not only these bands spoken of, but the Indians from Virginia come across the border stealthily and harass our people.





Governor Spottswood is appealed to, and as Virginia is under the care of the King proper, she is better armed than we are and more populous, he might do us great good if he would. Now, gentlemen, time presses; call our meeting together and let us try to remedy the complaints. What is first to consider?”

“Governor, you must pardon us, but in all conscience you imperatively need meat and wine and a few hours of solid rest; we can then take up these matters of state.”

“Thank you, gentlemen, in truth I am much jaded. May it please you to show me my room and my bed.”





XVIII AT EDENTON COUNCIL

  • “Be great in act as you have been in thought.
  • Threaten the threatener and outface the brow
  • Of bragging honor.”

—King John.

The assembly of the council early next morning met and found confusion rampant. Present were Messrs. Gales, Boyd, Chervin, and Knight.

“Well, gentlemen, I have come at your urgent solicitation. What is the trouble?”

“The Quakers and their friends, Governor, are badly disquieting the people with their constant harangue that the war must be ended, and that the rights of the people must be respected.”

“Awaiting to see you are two Indians. They wish to be allowed to pass through the lines and hunt and fish down the Pamlico Sound. They say there is great unrest among their people and that the situation in every way is critical.”

“Who's at anchor in the sound?”

“Captain Bell, sir.”

“Go and ask him to come here at once. Bring in those Indians. Their names, interpreter?”

“Tall Pine and Running Waters.”

“What do they want?”

“They want the great whiteface to grant them the privilege of fishing and hunting in Pamlico. Their people have hunted here over hundreds of years; it is their custom and right to fish and hunt.”

“Suppose their request is refused?”





Both Indians’ eyes were fixed on the ground, their faces as stolid as doorposts.

“They say their people will be highly displeased and they fear grave troubles.”

“Come in, Captain Bell; please be seated. Captain, are you very busy?”

“No, Governor.”

“I desire that you get ready and take these two Indians down the Pamlico River near the old fort, take them ashore and let them see their headless friends. You will find near the fort seventy dead braves. Six of their heads I had cut off to be thrown in the Nahucky fort above New Bern (about fifty-seven miles westward). Now tell them, interpreter, ‘If you or your people dare to cross the reservation line I will kill every one of you—men, women, and children—as you will find them killed on the Pamlico.’ Go! Mr. Jones, follow Captain Bell and tell him I will pay all expenses. I think when they see the woods full of dead braves it will cure their warlike heat. Gentlemen, what good do these clamorous people propose for to help our criss-crossed Colony?”

“Governor, they object to paying taxes for the support of the war; they will not go on the firing line, and they denounce you and the impressment, and demand a cessation of hostilities; that Mr. Moseley has openly declared that he intends to file charges against you at the next Sessions.” (See Records.)

“You have observed, gentlemen, that ‘Our Ned’ has a passion for raving. His homebred hate for me, right now, is regrettable. Depend upon it, our people are awakening to the danger of demagoguery; they will see it is foul and faulty. Gentlemen, are we to sit down idly and let the redskins and their allies burn our homes down over our heads, continue to ravish the women and butcher the children as they have been doing for two years? Mr. Jones, the trouble is largely abetted by those who should stand





by the people. Such men love to sit in judgment and denounce those who are in place and power, thus giving encouragement to our enemies. Well, we cannot let up, or all is lost. The war cannot go on without supplies. Gentlemen, it is with you. You have clothed me with great responsibilities. I fully realize it. I have done my best. We must stand firmly by brave Moore and our men and avenge the butcheries of our people. Don't forget, I beg you, that there are thousands of bloodthirsty Indians outside the fort, ready to commence anew their barbaric cruelty.”

The council at once unanimously voted for a vigorous prosecution of the war and unbounded confidence in the commander-in-chief; that all people must respect duly qualified officials or mob law would be interminable. Further, it was the duty of all good citizens to go forward and bear their share of the duties and dangers of the hour; that they had been assured in the council that a decisive battle would soon be fought, and the Indians would be killed or dispersed to a man. (See notes.)

Returning to the library, Colonel Pollock remarked to the council good-humoredly: “Gentlemen, adversity has its uses. Governor Spottswood has boxed our ears with a sharp lesson. He has simply refused us assistance unless we comply with his arbitrary demands. Good God! my hopes are we will not be found so needy again. North Carolina is an empire in embryo. It is a stern fact that we must continuously study and strive to put in motion the forces that do build up a people and a state to power and to wealth. Our sun of hope has not set. Gentlemen, let me bid you all good night and a good rest.”

Now every hour, every day, was all-important to ward off annihilation or to win victory. Colonel Pollock at once made arrangements to meet the powerful King Blount, whose consent he secured to a temporary peace. The commander-in-chief was gifted with a penetrating mind and





persuasive manners. He placed spies on the bloody-minded Hancock and the treacherous King Taylor. He visited in person the most influential Quakers and begged them to come up to the help of the white settlers against the mighty tribes of Tuscaroras, Cores and Pungoes. He sent gifts by friendly Indians to King Peter to keep him from taking up arms. He sent a trusty messenger to his northern merchant to send him at once a large loan of money for the Colony's use, that he would assume all responsibility of payment. In due time the money reached him, and the pressing demands now could be met with ready coin. (See Records.)

“I thank you, gentlemen, for your vote of confidence and support. Send supplies to New Bern. Tell our people Colonel Moore will certainly win. I candidly think we shall not need them, but for fear we might not, send what you can without delay. This is the situation: the fifty tribes of Indians in our State are all watching and waiting the result at Nahucky. The Contentnea and Chowan reservations will be quieted when Tall Pine and Running Waters make their report, at least for a short while. The Meherrins and the Pamunkeys have not forgotten me, and the Santees will be held back by the Governor of South Carolina. Governor Spottswood is keeping a nervous lookout for the safety of Virginia and letting us look out for Carolina as best we can. Our troops are well posted on all sides of the fort, and like greyhounds are straining at the leash, and our scouts are scouring without hindrance the riversides. The Tuscaroras, Cores, Mattamuskeets, the Bear River tribe, Big Jack Saunders, the Nottaways, and the Senecas are in our front. Go among the people and tell them of the overthrow of the Pungoes and Pamlicoes and Hatteras Indians, and that we are on the eve of a glorious victory. King Blount and King Peter have been won over to our side for a season.

“As to the Quakers, we must be patient with them. They are misguided and fanatical. As to Mr. Moseley, he is





by nature captious and irreconcilable. Now, when Colonel Moore has crushed the warlike tribe of the Tuscaroras and their allies, then the Quakers’ cry will be hushed, and Mr. Moseley and the Carey faction will have to hatch up a new cant. My friends, go tell the people we have hopeful officers and our men are full of fight. Gentlemen, we must be greater than our grievances. The Indians have a strong fort, and over three thousand braves and scores of runaways to defend it, but we will win. Promise the people an early victory, a sure and lasting peace. We will soon be coming home a-shouting, the war will be over. Good-bye, I am off for the fort. Go tell our people our trusty riflemen, our cannon will batter down all opposition, or we will blow them up by tunneling.”

Boyd: I do hope, in God's name, the Governor's hopes will be confirmed, and that speedily. “Old Silk Stockings” is generally right.

Gales: He's gone to bide the bent, and his good common sense will guide his valor. The day of the bickering malcontents, I verily believe, is about over.

Chervin: Gentlemen, he is, in my opinion, the roof-tree of our goodly building. We can now safely go before the people and promise them a speedy ending of this cruel, heartrending war.

Getting back to the trail (there was no road), the Governor soon heard the agreeable news that a big fight for the last two days was going steadily on at the Fort Nohoroco (Nahucky). (See notes.)

The roar of the small cannon and the coehorn, the withering fire of small arms, the shouts of the white, the war-whoops of the Indians, filled the air with demoniacal soundings.

The news from a half-breed filled the command with intense delight. Although it was expected that Colonel Moore would eventually conquer and batter down the gates, yet Governor Pollock had seriously considered that if a





reverse should come, at the fort at New Bern he could rally what was left of his forces and fight them again.

It was generally known that all the proper fighting force of the province was in front of the fort, that a small fraction of the white settlers were active rangers to keep watch from Edenton to New Bern. Coming in hearing of the firing of the guns, the command speeded their horses for the front. Intense anxiety was in every heart, the fear of failure was in every breast.

Colonel Moore had circulated among the men that the commander-in-chief was coming with help, that victory was certain. “Fight on! fight on!” was the solgan.





XIX TALL FEATHER

“The almond tree shall flourish and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and the mourners go about the streets.”—Ecclesiastes.

The Indians on the Chowan often heard of the fights and the forays going on on the Trent and the Neuse between the white man and the red. They rejoiced to hear that another great fort had been carefully built and provisioned by the fierce, warlike Tuscaroras, and that the settlers were heart-broken and distracted over the burnings and murders committed by Black Wolf and others. Among the Chowans was an under-chief named Tall Feather. He had a deep-seated racial hatred that was limitless. He delighted in scheming, overreaching, lying; and his grasping, avaricious disposition was well known. By dint of enterprise and intrigue he had gotten himself looked upon as a rising brave. When a stripling he visited the Meherrin Indians, and while he and his brother were there the Meherrins were vigorously attacked by the whites in their stockade. He witnessed the deadly encounter between their leader and Red Eagle, his brother. He remembered the swing of the tomahawk and saw the quick thrust of the sword; he saw his brother fall. He left the Meherrin camp for home, and, whether in the wigwam or on the hunt, he dreamed and cherished revenge, for by nature he was vicious, and with talents directed in channels of violence.

The long-waited-for opportunity had come. The wily, malignant Spotted Crow had arrived. Tall Feather heard with fiendish satisfaction that the whites were worn out with the barbarous continuance of the war.

With much address and deliberation he persuaded a





chosen band of braves to go with him, every one hickory-hearted. One hundred and seventy braves, with White Mantle, Little Bull, and other trusty leaders, were to stealthily slip away. On the Pamlico River Spotted Crow had reported a great gathering of Pamlicoes, Pungoes, and others that were to go to the assistance of Black Wolf, who would be duly apprised of their undertaking. Spotted Crow told of the canoes and provisions that would be at the Indian rendezvous, and that they all would take up the trail on the north side of the Contentnea, and about day-break enter the north gate of Nohoroco.

There was no sleep for Tall Feather. He had walked the silent village. He heard in his excited imagination the conclamation of the Tuscarora braves. While his picked band were peacefully sleeping, in his heart there was a burning lust for blood so great that sleep was banished, that tire of brain and body were unrecognized. His high-pitched ambition was now to be satisfied, and he was resolved to have his candle of life snuffed out in heated combat with his hated foes or be laurel-browed a victor. Entering his tepee, there lay his wife and daughter in repose. He felt soothed, and, lying down by his faithful mate, he fell into a doze, to be awakened by her frightened appeals: “Zuni, Zuni, cease struggling so.”

“O, is that you? O, what a frightful dream! Is your brother here? He was here alive, and again wounded. O, I saw headless men going to and fro; I saw White Mantle and a hundred braves pressed into the Death's boat by the tyrannous ferryman, and they passed over into endless, dateless night. When you aroused me the Red Raven was croaking, and the stars falling about my feet. O, I am so distressed! Go not today, Tall Feather. Stay. Send Spotted Crow, the evil one, away.”

“Zuni, I must go. To remain would be cowardly madness. I would be called squaw-man.”

The Indians, full of cheer, with rifle and bow, boated the





Chowan River into Bertie and marched rapidly and stealthily, and at late evening of the second day had crossed over the upper Pamlico River and had arrived at the old stockade, the rendezvous for the allies’ canoes and provisions. Tall Feather declared publicly his purpose to go up the Contentnea, pass through the deep woods, and hurry to the fort. Then they were to arrive at the north gate and safely enter, to which declaration there were many approving grunts.

The Indian is governed by the sense of direction unerringly, which is a most remarkable fact. He can go forward at night without star or compass to the place sought for like unto migratory birds. The signal first to give notice of their near approach was three owl hoots, and, when quite near, the cry of the fleeting squirrel, Tsi-u-tsi. Spotted Crow had the way marked out in unmistakable Indian fashion. The route would conceal their every movement from the wakeful white settlers and bear them away from the scouring scouts. They rested at the old stockade, ate ravenously, and boasted of their prowess one to another.

Tall Feather advised Spotted Crow and a Core runner to go on ahead to let the Indians in the fort know that they were on the march, and to be of good cheer—help was coming. The Indian by nature is brave and capricious, revengeful and superstitious. Tall Feather, Mad Ox and Little Bull felt elated; White Mantle, silently as one contemplating a fight forcible with fate. Every event so far had contributed to their advancement. The allies in force, provisions abundant, and a plentiful supply of canoes were at hand. Hope buoyed up all, and sure success seemed certain to crown their every movement. The Indians felt much reverence for the old stockade that was undergoing slow decay. Their people they knew had made a stand within its bounds against the whites more times than one. It had now been a crow's-nest by the Pamlico for many seasons.





Tall Feather, top-full of pride, about midnight had sent for the leading braves of the Pamlicoes and the Pungoes to come and talk with him over their proposed venture for the relief of the besieged fort on the morrow. While eating and boasting in boisterous discourse, the hoot of an owl was heard in the distance. Every Indian jumped to his feet and listened. They knew some danger was indicated. Then a loud hoot was heard not far away, every rifle and bow and arrow was caught up, and they, in haste, prepared for battle. Now sharp firing was plainly heard. Loud shouts made by palefaces broke the stillness of the forest; and White Mantle, full of valiancy, called to the braves nearest to him and ran swiftly to the front. The Indian scout came running in with the startling intelligence that a large body of whites was in their immediate front.

The hot, mounting spirit of Tall Feather arose to the occasion. He felt a warrior's joy in the bustle and hustle incident to the coming fight. Into his heart came a stout excitement hitherto unknown, the opportunity of a battle's bloody sport. The war-whoop of his braves was ringing in his ears. There was no time to spare. He at once ordered Mad Ox and Little Bull to the assistance of White Mantle, who was being roughly handled by the close fighting of the whites. Tall Feather confidently trusted his fortunes to the right of his lines, where was posted the hardy and brave Chowans. He courageously rushed in among the allies, cheerily shouting, “Be brave, my friends! Be men!” Shouts came back piercingly from the whites, “Rock Heart, fire and sword!”

The fight waxed hotter and hotter. Every Indian was behind his tree, and arrows and balls were being freely exchanged between the combatants. Tall Feather's heart beat hard and fast at the cry of “Rock Heart.” He remembered his brother's death. He felt his spirit suddenly become chilled. He seemed to see instantly that he was on the verge of a dismal failure at arms, and it was





irreparable. Mad Ox reeled and fell; a rifle shot stilled Little Bull's strong arm, and the princely White Mantle fell fighting, well to the front. The Indians were forced to seek the stockade for shelter. Every Indian fully realized that they were outfired. The suddenness of the assault, the continuous musketry kept up through the entire night, and at intervals there came floating on the wings of the wind the enraged defiant war-cry, “Rock Heart, fire and sword!”

This ensemble of troubles made the red men feel depressed and dazed, and the fierceness displayed by the palefaces was unabated. Their confident demeanor made the Indians conclude beyond a doubt that their absolute annihilation was aimed at by their relentless leader. The Mattamuskeets were the first to admit the futility of their resistance. They refused to listen to Tall Feather and their chiefs and stampeded. The Pungoes took up the panic, and next the Pamlicoes commenced to give way. The wound in his hip had so disabled Tall Feather that he had to be helped from the field. Late after midnight he became painfully aware of the fact that immediate retreat was the only safety left them. Hundreds had already taken to their canoes. All was hurry. The dawn was approaching apace. The day star was high up, and the sound's waters were being fanned by the morning breeze. The mortally wounded, the meat and maize, the tembrels and quirns, were left behind. Pools of blood by the river's edge told the sad tale of some beloved leader's mishap—gory—being borne away by his faithful braves. Soon every canoe was passing down the river to Pamlico Sound, and where they entered the Pamlico near the Croatan, canoes could be seen scattering right and left for their tribal abodes. The Pamlicoes, Pungoes and Mattamuskeets were soon in hiding places, and the Hatterases pulled into Cedar Bay, and the Chowans were still a-fleeing. Tall Feather was deeply mortified over his discomfiture. He





dreaded to meet his people. He had lost many braves and brought back not a scalp of the enemy. What will the meeting be? He scanned anxiously, as they were fleeing, the waters in front, with the fear of capture and decapitation. His braves were bending every effort to run up into the Albemarle. They were making for Harvey's Neck landing. Arriving there, they landed, pulled up their canoes into the underbrush, and leisurely went across the country to their several habitations.

It seemed to Tall Feather that an insect had found lodgment within his ear, and the constant ticking sound was as a death-watch, irritable and noisome to his bewildered brain.

It was soon known that a bloody battle had been fought and lost, and that many of their braves had fallen. Tall Feather went at once to the old chief's tepee and told him frankly of the serious endamagement of his undertaking; that they were unexpectedly attacked by the palefaces, who had received information through spies of their encampment; that they were outnumbered, and the aim of the whites was deadly and unerring; the allies fought stoutly for a while, but, becoming discouraged, they broke and fled; that White Mantle did wonders and fell into the hands of the enemy fighting valiantly until he fell; that his heart bled and broke over White Mantle's mortal hurt. This short recital did not suffice. The relations of White Mantle and others clamored for a more minute detail of the death of so many of their young men that had gone forth with him to war against the palefaces.

The men asked him, “Where are your trophies?” the women, “Where are our loved ones?” The wailing for husbands and sons was so heartrending and continuous that Tall Feather feared for his life. The old men, seeing the necessity of the moment, aligned themselves alongside of Tall Feather, and gave him the protection he so sorely needed. They debated and entreated, one and all, to listen to Tall Feather's report calmly; that they knew he had





done all he could to win victory, that he had come back badly wounded, and his heart was broken over the loss of so many promising braves. Tall Feather was allowed to continue his defense. He faced unflinchingly the surging, howling mass, and told them that the allies had freely furnished provisions and canoes; that all of them to a man felt sure of getting to the fort in time to reinforce the Tuscaroras; but the suddenness of the assault created confusion, and it was impossible to restore confidence. He told them that he would never lead in battle again, that he was lame for life, that White Mantle, Mad Ox, and Little Bull fell early in the fight, trying to stem the panic. The Indians, seeing he was badly wounded, accepted his explanation with “how-hows.”

The old men suggested to commence making preparations at once for the funeral rites that were due the fallen braves, thus diverting attention from the lame leader.

The Indians, from Coteckney to Hatteras, from the Meherrin to the Pamunkey, soon heard of the disaster that had befallen Tall Feather. The men bent their heads and beat their breasts, the women wailed, and the medicine men lay down upon the ground and moaned. That night Launa, the daughter of Tall Feather, the great-granddaughter of Shawana, attired in her beautiful beaded dress and the eagle feathers that had been given her by her lover, White Mantle, then sought the company of her father. She was the favorite of the tribe, and, standing by the campfire, she wildly chanted, “Beyond the purple hills lies the Land of Rest. Darkness has come—from cloud to cloud the blood-wet-winds, shrill and loud, tell me all is lost.” There she stood! Was she the far-off offspring of beautiful Esther? So calm, so highbred, so willing to die! Launa (Beautiful Bosom) went and sat down by her father and leaned her head on his breast. Tall Feather loved her, his only child, passionately. He placed his arms endearingly around her and drew her to him. Noticing that she was not breathing





as usual, he called to her, “Launa, daughter!” As there was no reply, her mother sprang to her side, “Speak to mother, my child!” Tall Feather touched Zuni, his wife's, shoulder, and pointing to the wigwam, said “Go! hurry!” The wretched mother, in great haste, went and spread the white wolf robe and placed a pillow made of cheetal-skin, stuffed with the blue heron's feathers, to rest her head upon.

The father laid her upon the robe, straightened her shapely limbs, and her mother unfastened her long black hair, placing the eagle feathers that White Mantle had given her, and which she so highly prized, within her hand. Zuni lay down at her feet and, pressing the feet of her child to her bosom, groaned in great anguish. Tall Feather stood, his eagle eye seemed to be searching the secrets hidden from the human view. In full length of limb, lifting his hands aloft, he cried out in bitterness of spirit: “My braves are beaten in battle, the paleface walks abroad in our land, my blood has turned to water, White Mantle and Red Eagle sleep, Launa is possessed, the Great Spirit has spoken. I am a broken bowl!” Folding his arms across his front, he stood mute, motionless as a statue of stone. His voice, trumpet-like, went sounding all through the soughing pines, “like the last echo of a great cry.”

The medicine man came. He entered Tall Feather's tepee. He looked grave. Raising his hands and shaking his bells, he told Tall Feather his daughter was beyond human help mentally—that she was “possessed”—that his daughter was brainwrecked.

Launa was a great favorite of the tribe; her beauty, her gracefulness in the light dances, her soft voice, ever heard in the tribe's chantings over the dead, her deferential ways toward the older people, endeared her to one and all. The utmost solicitude was manifested over her condition; gradually she regained her body strength, but her senses were benumbed. She realized that she had undergone a change;





that now she had but one besetting thought, that was to find, be reunited with White Mantle. She took to the sound. Most of her time she paddled to and fro—restlessly, listlessly.

Late one stormy afternoon, far out upon the water, she was seen in her frail canoe making her way toward the old Pamlico stockade—faithful soul, pure spirit of womanhood—pushing as best she could her light bark amidst the lightning and the tempest. Unseen by mortal eye, she went down, and restfully her virgin body lay upon the sandy bottom of the surging Albemarle.





XX BLACK WOLF'S NIGHT ATTACK

  • “The mighty Iove cuts short with just disdain
  • The long, long veins of designing Man;
  • One fate the warrior and the friend shall strike,
  • And Troy's white sands must drink our blood alike.”

—Homer.

The deep, wide ditches, the high, thick rampart, the stockade, the easily constructed citadel of Indian cunning, built up a belief in its defenders of its impregnability. The Indian braves pooh-poohed the idea that the white man, just from his plough, his axe, and his seine, was in numbers enough, although assisted by friendly Indians, to leap their walls, storm and take their fortress. From their loopholes, from the trees, behind the thick shields of buffalo hides studded with stones, they made it dangerous for a paleface to show his shape. The night before, about an hour before day, Colonel Hecklefield was lying awake in his miniature fort fronting the north gate. The distance between the whites and the red men had to be about three hundred yards.

The muffled hoot of an owl over toward the run, then another hoot, aroused his suspicion, and a nearer and clearer hoot made him call up Captain Maule.

“Captain, get up at once. Let's go out and look around.”

“Colonel, what's up?”

And now, near the gate, coming from the run, was the soft call of the flying squirrel heard, “Tsi, tsi.”

“Colonel, what is that? Right there! Hang me, if it ain't an Indian!”

“Where, where, Captain?”





Sly Spotted Crow has slipped by the drowsy “friendly” picket and was now safely within the fort.

“Captain, go and communicate with Colonel Moore. I will put on one of my men and let the ‘friendly’ go to his wickup. No more Indian pickets for me.”

Colonel Moore came and advised double caution; double pickets at night, and the skirmish line to be placed, doubly strengthened, near the north gate, until the Governor and his men were heard from. Every picket was cautioned to be on the alert, and the officer on guard at night was ordered to often visit the picket line all around the fort. Colonel Hecklefield sent for John Lyon, and he was ordered to get as near the Indians’ north gate as he possibly could after nightfall, to get information of any movement that might be made by the enemy, and report what he might hear or discover.

The night after, Black Wolf sat in his quarters smoking and inhaling the smoke of his favorite kinnikinnic to drive out a breast cold which he had recently contracted. Spotted Crow was answering questions put to him by Green Turtle. The aged warrior sat smoking his red-stone pipe, which was filled with knick, a coarse powder of native narcotic plants, intermixed with tobacco. Spotted Crow was feasting on marrowfat and pemmican. Black Wolf was seeking lung relief, and old Green Turtle was seeking heart's ease from the care-drawing fumes of his gray-golden compound. Spotted Crow brought good news; that large reinforcements were on their way; but he advised that the utmost stillness and secrecy should be exercised to lull suspicion.

John Lyon knew his loved one was confined in the Indian fort as a hostage or for baser purposes. Night came, Lyon had crawled noiselessly near to the gate. No sound in the fort; all were sleeping. When the moon had gone down and the peculiar listlessness of midnight had come, a light footstep was heard inside the gate, a face peered over the stockade. Lyon knew it was Mad Calf's.





In a short time another face was darkly seen, minutely examining the ground in front where Lyon lay. The great nose, the large mouth, made known Black Wolf's presence. A low gunt of approval was heard. Lyon, fearing mischief, stole away and reported to his captain.

Patrols were pushed out everywhere; the skirmish line was advised to be on watch, that trouble might break out from some point. The time and hour for Tall Feather, Little Bull, and the other chiefs to be in call distance was thus calculated by Spotted Crow. Mad Calf was instructed to pass out with his force the eastern sally-port, drive into their inclosures the whites, and keep up a constant shower of arrows. Portholes opened fire; tall trees sent down a fury of death-dealing arrows; and it looked as if a furious night attack was in progress.

Black Wolf's force, at the word, anxious to get out and be free, if only for a short time, to enter into an open field fight, his men bounded forward with horrible yells and broke down all opposition. This heavy demonstration was to cover the advance of those expected friends from Pamlico, who, with Mad Calf, would rush in at the west gate. Black Wolf's warwhoop, “Rahk! Rahk!” was heard, leading on his braves.

Captain Maule's company bore the brunt of the attack. The skirmishers found the main line, and all fell back fighting foot by foot, awaiting reinforcements, into their little fort.

Colonel Hecklefield was holding back Mad Calf, and Colonel Moore rushed forward with assistance to the sorely pressed whites and friendlies that were facing Black Wolf's mad, heady rush. The fire felt by Big Bear's men made him give way, and every Indian experienced a fierceness of spirit manifested by the whites, a determination that they could not break down nor shatter.

Runners were sent to advise Mad Calf to get back as best he could. No friends’ warwhoop had been heard, and





Black Wolf felt the necessity of getting his men into the fort as gradually and safely as he could. From within the stockade arrows and bullets continued to come from the Indians. The little forts proved of incalculable value as rally positions. A heavy skirmish line was thrown out, all the wounded were carried to the infirmary, and, after an hour of further suspense, the whites rent the air with defiant rejoicings.

Day came, and the field was searched, but not an Indian, dead or wounded, could be found. Blood here, blood pools there, told the story of the battle. Soon after night-time had settled over both victor and vanquished, Night Bird, one of the Indian Runners from Pamlico, came in and reported to Colonel Moore that Captain Bryan was near by with the picked men, and would readily lend their aid. The camp was in a fever of excitement to hear the news, the result of the Governor's hasty advance to Pamlico.

Unusual silence reigned within the walls of the fort. Black Wolf and his braves intuitively divined that an occurrence of evil import had happened to them, that the Carolinians in their front were directed by a power hitherto unknown in their tribal calculations; that Rock Heart was deliberate, relentless; that Long Knife was impetuous and unswerving in purpose. But Black Wolf, when he surveyed his inclosure, his doubly-strong fort, his many braves, could but exultingly flatter himself that the white race is doomed to destruction.

The sudden, reckless night attack of the Indians had filled Colonel Moore with anxiety, and he sent for Colonel Hecklefield to come to his quarters for counsel.

“Colonel Hecklefield, I am beset with gloom and desired to have you with me to confer over this whirlwind drive at us last night. Black Wolf is a middle-aged, experienced warrior, and this was no night parade of his braves.”

“I agree with you, Colonel Moore, that there must have been some urgent reason for him to come out and strike us.”





“Hecklefield, could it be possible that Black Wolf had become aware of the commander-in-chief's absence? or has he had secret intelligence that the expedition to meet the gathering at the Pamlico had been defeated and that Governor Pollock has met a severe reverse?”

“Heaven forbid! Time will only tell. We must watch and wait.”

“Well, Hecklefield, if we lose out here, all is lost. It behooves us to reconsecrate ourselves, to fight them unto death.”

A scout came with the news that a war party of Catawbas and Cherokees were making their way down east. Captain Maule was sent with men to get news, if any, of the approaching reinforcement of Indians. Long Bow, an old Indian trader, was sent along with Captain Maule, as he was well acquainted with the upper and the lower trails and full of cunning. At early nightfall the loud beating of the tom-toms was heard. Shouts of “Yah! Yah!” were were heard over in the fort. Indian war songs filled the air, to let the palefaces know that the red men had beaten them into their little forts, and all was hope and cheer in their stockade. Colonel Moore knew it was one of Black Wolf's deceptive trickeries.

The night attack of Black Wolf had a twofold effect. On Black Wolf there fell a fear for the future, yet he knew it was best to treat the occurrence lightly with revel and song. He knew from observation and an experience of many years that people as a rule love a good, well-told lie; he had only to consider what was best to do and tell. He further knew that humankind from some unknown reason live in expectancy of some revelation from the Mysterious Controller of Events, and that those who claimed to be in communication with this All-powerful Spirit are the ones who will have these secrets imparted to them; therefore people fear and are easily led by these dual men, priests and medicine diviners.





He sought Green Turtle and unfolded to him his scheme, to have a war dance, to shout defiance, to have their tomtom tell the paleface how badly he was beaten by them in their furious night attack; that if he (Green Turtle) would put on his silver beans, his boar tusks, and his medicine bag and go with him the braves would believe and be comforted.

Black Wolf saw a shudder shake the frame of the aged man who held the secret mysteries. Green Turtle replied: “Black Wolf, the rising sun was red with blood. The Great Spirit made my fathers and me medicine men and prophets. We dare not lie to the Great Spirit nor to our tribe. Do what you think best. I would turn to a squaw if I were to trifle with my calling. I see blood and bones. I see that the scepter has departed from these sand shores, these smiling streams, these deep woods once held firmly by my people! but now all are gone!” He walked away to the north gate with fearsome forebodings.

Soon after reaching the fort, the commander-in-chief, Colonel Moore, and Lieutenant-Colonel Hecklefield surveyed, inspected and reconnoitered the premises most carefully; and thereupon same to the conclusion that the east and north gates were the most important to guard and to storm. Colonel Moore had been ordered, as soon as his plans were matured, to attack at once.

From a deserter, a white renegade of Lone Jack, Colonel Moore was informed of the situation in the fort; that Black Wolf and Mad Calf were in great glee and that water and food were in abundance. He placed the North Carolinians against the north gate, the South Carolinians against the east.

Lieutenant-Colonel Hecklefield had been advised to make all due readiness for battle and have his men keyed up to make the venture. Captains Bryan and Willis were ordered to be ready at a moment's warning to attempt the perilous assault. Captains Maule and Kennedy, with Chief Rainbow's braves (select men from King Blount)





to be ready to promptly support them. Major Innis, an experienced and popular soldier of the Scotch Fencibles, was appointed leader of the assaulting parties. The morale of the officers and men was most excellent; zeal and hope filled every heart.

The bands of friendly Indians, under their several chiefs from South Carolina, were given, with some ceremony, the south and west gates for them to scale and capture. These Indians hated the Tuscaroras and their allies, and were eager for the fight. If victorious, they intended to select bondsmen from the tribes of Tuscaroras, Senecas, Core, Mohawk, and Little Bear; to take the runaway negroes and half-breeds and sell them for indemnity to West India merchantmen.

The constant bustle and combat about the well-walled stronghold had made the wily fox seek a distant burrow-ground, where she could mother her cubs in noiseless safety; and the deer had timidly withdrawn to a far away copsewood where she might calve her kind in restful security. Man, only man, remained to revel and romp, amid the clash and clamor; courageously facing his fate in the daily deadly dangers; ready to laugh in the very throat of death. The pent-up fires of a century of race hatred were now to burst forth in violence, like unto a black thunderstorm suddenly enveloping and obscuring all daylight.

In defiance, this rampart and fortilage of Indian savagery fronting the force of Carolina was to be defended with might and main; the invincible pressure of Christian civilization and the improved armor of the time was to be treated with scorn and contempt by the bold, hardy warriors of King Hancock and Black Wolf.

Tomorrow's early dawn will hear the shouts of the captains and the chiefs; and the roar of the guns will stir anon ancient echoes that have been slumbering for ages upon the sedgy banks of the dark, serpentine Contentnea. The decisive issue—who is to rule and govern in North Carolina—was at hand: is it to be the white or the red man?





XXI COLONEL MOORE'S ATTACK ON THE INDIANS

  • “I dare do all that may become a man,
  • Who dares do more is none.”

—Macbeth.

Captain Bryan and forces, returning to camp, gave a rosy glow that was irrepressible. Every man, white and friendly Indian, gave yelling chorus over the heart-hoped-for news. He gave Colonel Moore full details of the march and the fight, and informed him that the commander-in-chief urged an early attack; that he would come on as soon as he could arrange matters at Edenton. That night the heads of Little Bull, Star Feathers, and Silver Wave were thrown over the stockade by an Indian named Jumper.

The heads were carried to Black Wolf, and hundreds came and gazed upon the faces of these once renowned, once powerful chiefs. They recognized the awful import these bloody-haired skulls imparted to them. It saddened every heart, and it nerved every heart to fight the white man to the last ditch.

A few hundred braves from New York and Virginia had at midnight slipped through the lines, and they brought news that the whites were closing up every gap of escape. Spotted Crow was sent out to find King Hancock and tell him to come with King Peter and strike the whites in the rear, and Black Wolf would attack the front. Green Turtle recognized the full significance of the sightless eyes of Little Bull and the others, once piercing as an eagle's. He knew a crisis was at hand. He resharpened his tomahawk. His finest buckskin dress was ready for him to put





on. They were to be his grave clothes. He ordered every brave to paint his face, neck, and arms red. The old, the manly brave, Green Turtle, smote his breast and wailed aloud: “I see our campfires are out! Our braves lie dead and bleeding!”

Black Wolf, Big Bear, and Mad Calf called the warriors’ attention to the fact that the palefaces were a long way from their homes, from any help; that the men were leaving Long Knife and going back to the settlements; that their fort was strong and the meat, beans, and rice were plentiful; that to win the fight their hunting grounds would be their own again; the palefaces would be driven from the land. “Let's fight, let's be brave, let's be men!”

The south and west sally-ports, or gates, were to be the defensive, the east and the north were to be the offensive. Big Bear and Swamp Dog, with the Tuscaroras, were to be at the east; the Santees, Nottoways, Cores, and Contentneas were to be a strong force at the north; the Senecas, Cherokees, and Oneidas were to care for the west and south. Green Turtle, with Mad Calf, held the north gate. The merciless firing of the whites from tree-top, porthole, trenches and pavises was now continuous. The little cannon and the coehorn were mounted and placed; extra ammunition dealt out, three days’ rations had been cooked, scaling ladders were ready, and every man, white and red, knew the time was at hand to do or die.

Colonel Moore did not doubt but the main intendment of the wily, bloody-minded foe was to fight off, if they could, his assaulting forces, and if the worst came, to break through every impediment, either at the east or north gate, and escape toward Chowan or over the lines into Virginia.

At sunrise the coehorn opened fire on the east and the little cannon boomed away on the north. After an hour's cannonade the men were ordered to go forward, and the ladders were hastily put up against the barricades and men mounted them, only to be cast down by blows from tomahawks





and bludgeons. Axes were hewing down the sides of the barricade, and arrows and balls were poured into the faces of the axmen. The assailants, after struggling and fighting for hours, were repulsed on all sides.

Black Wolf sat aloft in the great red oak. Colonel Moore stood upon a little eminence, watching and weighing the result of the day's engagement. That night he ordered redans to be erected nearer the east and north gates, that the coehorn and cannon might be moved closer to the fort; bridges, roughly made, were to be in readiness to throw across and be pinned down so the men could cross and stand upon, so the ladders better and steadier could be placed against the barricades. Sappers were sent to tunnel under the south gate, that when the pinch came the south gate was to be blown open so a rush in could be made, thereby creating confusion in the minds of the fort's defenders.

The night was pleasantly cool, the men slept on their arms. Colonel Moore had visited his miners and encouraged them, the redans were pushed to completion.

Black Wolf was seated in the top branches of the great red-oak tree, protected by his bullhide shields. He carefully scanned the camp of Colonel Moore and watched without blinking the preparations being made by the whites for the coming assault.

The coarse growl of Big Bear was heard, the sharp, wolfish barking of Swamp Dog, the low bellowing of Mad Calf, aroused the fighting qualities of the braves. Green Turtle stood near the gate, his face painted red, his hand on his tomahawk, his eye on the enemy. Both sides were tired of waiting and watching; the crash had to come—let it come.

The Indians were not careless; they showered arrows on their white adversaries; they quickly shot every exposed head, any and everybody that came in sight. Runners (or orderlies) kept in call of Black Wolf. Every Indian knew





that he had a bloody task before him. Their main men went amongst them and called to them, “Be of courage, courage, be brave!”

The goodly store that Black Wolf had put away for himself, his half-brother, and Green Turtle's private use was brought out and spread for any comers to his quarters. “Marrowfat”—the oil from the buffalo bones—select buffalo meat powdered, pemmican sundried, dried currants, mutaged grapes and chestnuts. Spoons were used of highly polished jet-black buffalo horns, and curiously wrought spoons of the horns of the mountain rams. Many came and ate moderately, calmly, silently.

Mona, the West African monkey, olive green colored, purchased from a Trinidad trader by Clear Water with otter skins, frisked and grinned, relishing the chestnuts and the pemmican. Black Wolf and Green Turtle stood grave, impressive. It was a solemn feast of brothers before the battle. The result was uncertain; but the vital crisis was known to each and every Tuscarora brave, and every white settler knew it was victory or death.

The second day's work was continued firing on every portion of the fort, and the heavy guns battered the east and north gates.

The third day the cannon and coehorn were nearer the fort, and better situated for effective work. The sappers had the south gate mined by noon; the powder horns had all been refilled. At noon again the cannon opened, and for an hour sand, timbers, and Indians were battered. The range had been perfected and every shot was telling on the barricade and fort. Colonel Moore visited the several posts and spoke encouragingly to his men.

A general assault was ordered at two o'clock; the officers vied with each other in gallantry. Bridges, ladders, scalers, were put in motion; the barricades were carried, but the defenders retreated within their fort, fighting hard. A great yell went up from the whites, a great war-whoop





went up from the reds. Without delaying, the fort was ordered to be stormed, the sappers ordered to immediately blow down the south gate. A great noise was heard and the south gate was blown to atoms.

Black Wolf's “Rahk” was now heard, and hundreds of his braves rushed to defend the blown-down wall gate. Over the fallen walls of the fort scrambled Moore's fierce warriors, now inside, now face to face, the white and the red race. The two races rushed headlong on each other in deadly hate and closed in mortal combat.





XXII THE WOMAN IN THE TUNNEL

  • “As the apple tree among the trees of the wood,
  • So is my beloved among men.”

When given her full liberty, when she could gather her senses so that she might master the situation, Miss Irene Ormond, in tears piteously begged to be shown the man of her heart's adoration. Those best acquainted with the facts knew that her lover had fallen in the fight. He out-stripped every one, he was the most daring. Love lent him wings; love braced his brave, loving heart. Being assured that “in the turmoil,” in “the scaling of the palisades,” and that the “Indians were being pursued,” and that when he returned he would claim her his cherished bride, her woman's heart feared prophetically. She said sobbingly, “I heard John's gun. John Lyon is dead or he would be here.”

Poor woman! She had been reserved for Black Wolf, but fate had decreed not so. She went in and came out of the tunnel stainless and untouched. Had the prayers of her sainted mother, whose body was mouldering in the old family graveyard, been recorded in the Golden Book of Grace? Had an angel been sent to encamp around about her? O, how little we know of the inscrutable rulings, the mysteries of Divinity! How He ordains the preservation of His saints!

When fair Irene Ormond came out into the blessed sunlight her faithful heart beat in ecstacy, her face beamed expectancy. Beneath the old mimosa tree at home she had plighted her vows with John Lyon, her old playmate—and





now! The hurrying by of others was no longer noticed by her. The strain was too great. Her sweet spirit's pinions had borne her stainless better self across the river's rim. She had passed to meet her loved one beyond the smiling, sunless sea. Grimy-faced men, with tears trickling down their bearded cheeks, stood over her lifeless body, their rough, unkempt heads uncovered.

The small, pale lips of Irene Ormond were closed. Every portion semblative of a woman was still. Her brother and his friends, Darden, Best, and Hardy, bore her to her old home not far away, and placed her reverently beside her mother. Ah! say what you will—when the geranium's leaf is faded, dead, it still issues a fragrance. Tread upon, bruised, and broken, it still gives out its last fond breath and pervades sweetly the distance. (See notes.)

The tale told hushed every heart. The camp felt a hurt, loss, a twang roughly had been wrung upon the bow. The armed troop felt a throat-gripping. Oh, love! woman's love! Petulant, unreasonable, yet it is unmarketable. Nature sickens at the thought that such a priceless commodity should be purchasable. Never, no never, was woman's deathless love a mere pageantry. Her voice has ever been heavenly music to man, her bosom the pillow to soothe his wearied brain. Was it intended for man to understand woman? No. Does he desire passionately to understand her? Yes. Beyond the ken of the male his mate intuitively hides her most cherished, one might say, her most sacred propensities, because she knows man is compelled to largely believe in brute force, compelled by his very makeup for rough estimates. He lacks in the delicate appreciation of the female's superior divination. Her peculiarities perplex him. Man would declare his purpose and openly avow his intentions; the woman would say, “Wait, watch for your adversary's declaratory move.” And she looks for love, for caresses, and she wishes him to be actively interested in her every whim and every hurt.





Her frailty forces her to seek protection and sustenance, and her desire is to pay all with her unfathomable devotion. And, most queer, she will dominate him if he will tolerate it, and toward him feel a suppressed aversion. There is in every man's bosom a wish to hear of devotion, there is in man a clamorous desire to hear the story of woman's constancy. His very soul listens to hear the footsteps of a confiding, loving heart hastening to the tryst or the tomb of her beloved.

Say what we will, there comes a time in every life when a painless death is much coveted, the snatched away by death of a life loved companion, the tire of meeting the foamy tides of strife, the keen cuttings of bitter rivalries by base competitors. It makes one prefer a silent interment, to be forevermore removed from these implacable dislikes and heart worries; in the grave resting, withdrawn from hates and contumelies, safe within the silent city, at rest!

John Lyon was dead; he died struggling to save Irene, his faithful, his unchangeable Irene. O, fairest flower, how untimely faded! Now rudely enringed about her lifeless body are embattled barbarians and deadly armed friends. The groans of the dying she hears not. In God's own good time they will meet again, reunited, and face to face, heart to heart, sing forever of heaven and love, fairness and faith.

The relatives and pall-bearers walked away, leaving their bodies entombed in the graveyard of her people, there to remain (not their spirits) until that day when the trumpet of Gabriel shall be heard by every ear, both the quick and the dead.

“We see not the bright light, which is in the clouds.”





XXIII AFTER THE BATTLE WAS OVER

  • “And each dumb gun a brave man's monument—yea—
  • Give me the peace of dead men, or of the brave.”

The North Carolinians were delirious with joy. They wept, they hugged each other and shouted themselves hoarse over such a gracious victory. Colonel Moore was slightly wounded in several places. Captain Bryan was tomahawked, but not dead. Colonel Hecklefield, although well advanced in years, fought like a tiger. Lieutenant Wood was killed and Lieutenant Carr fatally shot. The two states seemed to vie with each other which should be the first to mount the palisade. Captain Jones was found badly wounded within the fort. The killed of the whites were decently buried and marked and the wounded were sent to the large flat—the floating hospital.

“Governor, I hope your son is not seriously wounded. I saw him and Mad Calf fighting inside the north gate.”

“The doctor assures me he will recover; thank you, Colonel.”

Captain Maule and many other officers suffered from arrow wounds. The victory complete, the thirst for revenge gratified, the men commenced considering what trophies each wanted to carry back home. All felt the war was virtually over. The long years of blood and horror were nearing their end, and the white man was in the saddle. The red man, fleeing through brake and wood, over lake and sound, his power broken forever. The question became common, “When are we to march for home, boys?”

South Carolina will ever be held in highest esteem by





all North Carolinians. The South Carolina allies were treated with great respect, and a thousand “God bless you, boys!” were showered upon them. The commander-in-chief publicly thanked them for North Carolina and gave praise to their brave and timely help.

The Governor and Colonel Moore, although wounded, walked slowly over the well-planned and bravely defended fort. In the center was a very large oak tree. The great tunnel was examined, and in it were found three white women who were hysterical with the knowledge that they were rescued. The wounded Indians had been brought in that they might be out of danger and near water. Colonel Moore knew several, and among them was Swamp Dog, Little Tree, and Mad Calf. They were bleeding from fatal wounds, and were unable to stand. These warriors boldly looked their captors in the face, man to man. A large amount of provisions was found, keen tomahawks everywhere, and thousands of arrows. Green Turtle lay dead near the north gate, and many braves lay near him in death.

“Colonel Moore, could Black Wolf have gotten away without mortal hurt?”

“I can't say. The fighting was so fierce today on both sides that I lost sight of him. He and Uwarrie and Clear Water fought side by side.”

“Colonel, what has become of Captain Maule?”

“Captain Maule and his men were to storm the north gate, and the loss on both sides there was considerable. I can't account for his absence.”

“Colonel Moore, this great far-reaching victory is yours, in deed and in truth.”

“Governor, you are very kind. Tell me who managed to get together these men and the vital supplies? Who advanced money out of his own pocket for the Colony? Who dealt successfully with Virginia and South Carolina? Who neutralized the rancor of the Quakers? Who outwitted faultfinding Moseley? Who, by threat and promise





won over King Blount? Whose valuable gifts stayed King Peter's hand? Whose name checked the turbulent Meherrins? Who so timely struck on the Pamlico River those under Tall Feather? And, in God's name, who has striven with might and main against heart-sickening difficulties to rally and save the white race? Let me place honor where honor is due.” (See notes.)

“As soon as I reach home I shall acquaint your Governor Craven with the news of your glorious victory, and how nobly all of your men, Indians and all, fought to win the fight. Now, Colonel, go and get aboard the schooner for New Bern, and from there we will sail for Balgray in a few days. Come home with me and take a needed rest.

“I thankfully accept your kind offer.”

The white soldiers were satisfied, and all marched merrily for New Bern. The friendly Indians of both sections were allowed to take from the fort whatever they preferred, and among other things, they took and carried away many hostile braves and sold them into slavery.

The North Carolinians gave unmeasured applause to Colonel Moore and the officers and men under him. “All Carolina will sound your praises!” Great rejoicing filled the camp and field. Everywhere you could hear, “We fought the fight and have won! Now for home, for wife and baby. We've cut the tap-root! Rah! boys, rah!”

Everybody had been made aware that there were white captives in the fort—women—and that they were in a tunnel that had been dug to a stream to obtain an underground flow of water for the stockade. A search was ordered.

The whites, according to returns, lost heavily in officers and men, and the friendly Indians’ losses were considerably more numerically. Black Wolf's loss of men was great, and it is unknown to this day what became of this bold fighter. Whether he died fighting at the east gate and was unrecognized in the heap of the slain, or that he escaped





and passed his last days in the lovely Mohawk Valley amongst his kinsmen, the warlike Iroquois.

The dead attested the bravery of those who had gathered to defend the fort. It was about four acres in size, and every tree and shrub had been cut down within three hundred yards of it. Green Turtle and Black Wolf, Mad Calf and Big Bear had to give up the fort, but they put up a fight for their people unsurpassed in the annals of colonial history. Their dead lay in heaps. The white man won, but won through blood! These children of the woodlands, these red warriors of the forest, untutored in arts, unlearned in history, yet they faced up with arrow and tomahawk against powder and ball, cannon and sword. No trombone, pibroch, or bugle to arouse their martial ardor. They fell back on their manhood, their native courage, and contended for their hunting grounds, until bruised, bleeding, and beaten, they were forced to pass underneath the yoke of racial victorious supremacy. Where did such people come from? They must be one of the lost tribes of Israel. They had no colleges endowed! no, not a schoolhouse, no sky-kissing tabernacle, no sheriff, no jails. No, but they were warriors bold and true; they loved their tribe, worshiped the Great Spirit, and were free and died freemen!





XXIV PEACE

“For lo! the winter is past, the voice of the turtle dove is heard in our land.”

After the men had been disbanded they returned to their homes by twos and threes, and the people as a whole felt speechless when assured by a short proclamation that the war was over. Bonfires were built everywhere, meat roasts and bounteous feastings were celebrated in both Edenton and New Bern.

The women in joyful acclaim sang “Roland the Brave.”

A rainbow arched the Colony sky. No longer cruel suspense filled every heart and home. The barbed arrow was laid to rest, and now the blood-curdling war whoop was to be only remembered as a hideous dream. Now the struggling passions could be calmed in the sweet measures of tranquillity.

Edenton's best and bravest, Edenton's purest and fairest, the chivalry, the yeomanry of Craven gathered. Prayers of thankfulness, songs of praise from grateful hearts ascended to the Great White Throne of Mercy. In the gathering of the citizens addresses were made expressing abiding confidence in the courage and sagacity of the commander-in-chief and extolling the valor and steadiness of the officers and the men. Every man who had served his time faithfully was made to feel that he was held in the highest esteem by his admiring countrymen.

Delegates were requested to go invite the commander-in-chief to come and sit with them, and with them enjoy the great happiness of the occasion. A new sun of rose and gold painted the eastern horizon. At Balgray they





were warmly received; he begged to be excused, that the state of his health forced him to remain at home and rest for a few weeks; that the kind notice taken of his command filled his heart with profound delight. The visitors delicately apprised him of their feelings; that now the ship of state, freighted with the fortunes of the Anglo-Saxon race, had ridden triumphantly the waves of tumult and carnage, and anchored safely in the harbor of Peace.

Every one knew that stronger foundations had been laid for Carolina, that the midnight watchings were at an end, that every bush held not a haunted shadow; that civilization and savagery had met on the fatal field of Nohoroco; that the shoutings of the captains were now hushed, the mettlesome fife was resting now beside the spinning wheel.

The Tuscaroras were killed, captured or driven northward to join the Five Nations. Night had turned to a glorious, beauteous morning. Every house was open and table fare free to every soldier. The wounded were cared for, the dead revered and grieved after. The women of the land, overjoyed, anxiously assisted to care for the hurt ones, and sympathized with those who had lost loved ones. A long, sweet breath was taken. Peace, sweet Peace, had come again!

The burned home places could be revisited, the bones of the butchered could be gathered and decently buried by those who had loved them while living. The hoot of the owl was not now to cause suspicion that maybe Lone Jack's braves were coming, or cruel King Hancock was scheming against their lives, their property, their liberty—but no—but lo! White-winged Peace was mirrored in the wavelets of the eastern waters, and that this infant province would be reared by God's blessing, cemented by the sweat and blood of her sons, enhaloed by the tears and prayers of her daughters, into an empire of grandeur, to be loved and to be feared.

Peace, precious peace, Selah!





XXV WILMINGTON TO EDENTON

  • “Here neither bush nor shrub
  • To bear off any weather,
  • Another storm a’ brewing,
  • I hear it sing in the wind.”

The Isabelle McNaughton had been afloat above waterline for ten days and was now being stored with merchantable articles. Her cabin had the lake and clan colors, black and red, and the trailing azalea. Colmey had secured passage for self and horse, and had for his cabin companion one Mr. Banbury of Edenton, about his age.

The vessel passed out of the Cape Fear for Edenton at eight-twenty in the morning, clear wind south and smooth sea. Captain Islay spoke to Mr. Colmey pleasantly: “The weather while in port was stokey, but now we will have sea air charged with ozone, that will clear our lungs up satisfactorily.”

The Livingston, bound for New York, was loaded with naval stores and was passing in calling distance. The Isabelle made her way so easily that she seemed a part and parcel of the crystal sea. Nicely framed was to be seen the McNaughton colors; there a castle by the waterside, and there the tartan of the clan, black and red and brown, to enhance the scenic effect. An English coehorn, captured, was resting above the well-executed oil painting. Colmey, seeing it, felt happy to think he was far away from Culloden, where the tartans and the philibeg and the wild strains of the bagpipe would be heard by him no more forever.





The Fryingpan, dangerous and treacherous, was to be looked after, and a man from the main-chains had been ordered aloft to keep watch from the ratlings. Colmey was almost overpowered with sleepiness. The night before he was up late seeing safely stored for future shipping his surface-gage, his compass, box of compass chains, books, etc. The Isabelle was now making seven knots an hour. As he was resting beside the gunwale the sea terns were making graceful dives and blinking curlews were dipping and diving a la abandon. They seemed to have no fear of the wide expanse of water, nor for a moment distrusted their strength of wing to bear them safely to the sand hills, should necessity or desire demand it. A school of dolphins and dolphinets frolicked about the vessel in their delight, being almost as beautifully marked as colored sea-breams. Some raced by the starboard and others by the lee, and chased one another in the enjoyment of the brightness of the day and the beauty of the deep. Others seemed to feed upon something in the eddying waters, appetizingly a watery condiment supplied by an unseen hand.

Colmey felt the waste space grow upon him in mystery and majesty. The blue vault mirrored in sheeny waves was to him a study, and it had a scenic attraction all its own, illimitable and indescribable; outrivaling by far the white cattle of Scotland at Chillingham Castle grazing on the green hillsides. He asked himself, “Why should man grow old, why do the muscles lose their suppleness, their chemical tone; eyesight its acuteness, and purpose its tenacity? The stars, the firmament, the earth, the broad, deep sea, are each and all severally eternally young.” He reasoned that they were governed by natural laws only; but man, Godlike man, was triply endowed. He was directed and controlled triply by laws.

The captain and the crew of the Isabelle, from bowlines to topgallant, from pennant to spanker boom, seemed to be





in harmony with the wind and the weather, and all silently rejoiced at the home-course speed the ship was easily making. Colmey silently considered that earth and sea and all therein was made for man's profit and pleasure.

“Once a sailor before the mast, always a sailor.” Of all the vocations of men the sailor's is the most dangerous and the lowest rated. They are by nature at birth endowed with, or the sea kindly gives them, a subtle sense, incomprehensible to a landsman, by which they can quite accurately determine the condition of the tides by which they are surrounded. The swinging hammock to one of these rovers is as a cradle to a child that is rocked by the ever-watchful mother. The mighty rolling ocean soothes his composite nature and absorbs his thoughts; and being tossed from side to side makes him feel a sweet restfulness akin to the glebeman when he stretches himself upon his board bed after a strenuous day of toil—usage is all.

He fell asleep and dreamed a horrible dream, and was awakened by the lurching of the vessel and a nautical clamor between boatswain and marines. On getting fully awake he became aware that a southwester was rapidly coming up. He went at once to see if Merlin was well fastened, and that his bridle and saddle were in place. A fear seized upon Colmey as he had never experienced before. A long, streaky cloud like a mare's tail hung in the southwest, and from blue to gray, and from gray to black, the clouds gathered. He murmured, “I am now unnerved. I feel well nigh sea-swallowed.”

As he witnessed the waves now breaking over the taffrail without hindrance, “Oh, God!” he said, “if we were all only safe in the harbor, instead of on the wild, angry sea.” Colmey sought an opportunity to speak to the captain, and he found him and his boatswain, Nichol, in conference on the foredeck of the now plunging three-master.

“Mr. Colmey, to read of a storm at sea, sitting safely under one's own protective rooftree, is quite a different





affair when one is out, the heavens high above and water deep, fathoms uncalculable, beneath.”

“Yes, Mr. Banbury, to be far out upon the wind-whipped waves, no land in sight, is a proposition the contemplation of which affords no solid enjoyment.”

The captain and his officer were anxiously eyeing an ominious cloud coming up from the southwest. The captain betrayed a painful concern, the officer an uncontrollable alarm.

“Nichol, are you versed in chaomancy?”

“Captain, unless I mistake the signs, that fellow means a two-fold vexation, and it is not far ahead of us.”

The reply the captain made was, “See to the safety of the ship, and go at once; things look gloomy.”

The cloud had grown larger, the sea waves dashed over the combings, the low alarming rumble of thunder was heard in the distance, and the bosom of the deep seemed darkly troubled and betokened a heavy sea and fearsome wind. The officer called his men in a tone of authority, but also of perplexity. The vessel was made to haul off, the sails were close reefed, the hatches, catholes and yards were belayed, and every precaution taken for the safety of men and ship. Now could be seen long-winged stormy petrels flying with cries to windward, evil portent to the soul of superstitious seamen.

The wind came on at a terrific pace and struck the Isabelle hard amidships on the windward side. The whole world seemed at once to have turned to water, and all powers were delegated to the furious gale. All hands were called from the forecastle, and every sailor was at attention, but they found it difficult to keep from being swept overboard into the boiling sea.

“Tammy, good heart, not a bit do I like yonder mackerel sky.”

“Neither do I, Davey; our lives are not worth a bodie, and afore morning I am a-thinking we will be bait for Johnny Grin'el.”





All passengers were ordered to cabins. Wind and foam beat mercilessly upon the helpless Isabelle, and she had commenced showing signs of distress and disintegration.

“Tammy Minch, I fear dear poor Davey Aprice will never see agin the Cambrian Hills.”

“Your hand, Davey. A billock more and we are lost. Farewell to you, messmate, and to fair Greenoch for aye.”

The Isabelle was now moving down wind with fearful velocity. “Port helm!” “Aye, aye, sir!” “Make for Bogue Inlet!” Every heart answered the command; the vessel made the inlet.

“Hard put for shore,” and she made straight for Swansboro. Colmey, being in earshot, heard the boatswain say to the captain, “I fear me, sir, some of us will sniff sand before dog-watch.”

“Well, Nichol, I would fain die between dry sheets, but, by St. Peter! we have known many a good fellow who has had for his winding-wrap a green, briny wave, and his head pillowed on sea sand seeds.”

Mr. Banbury came up and said, “Mr. Colmey, the Isabelle is in irons, and the captain has given up for lost. Please help strap us.” After Colmey had securely strapped Banbury and Nichol to a short mast, he made haste to examine the bridle and saddle of Merlin. He carefully looked to the girths, he secured his coat and hat and boots to the cantel of his saddle, fixed on his sherry vallies to the pommel, and made ready for the worst. The waves rolled frightfully high, and the air smelt of sulphur and the wind hissed and laughed at feeble humanity's fears. In front of the little hamlet could be seen people watching the storm-tossed ship. Loud cracking noises were heard at intervals as if the vessel was breaking asunder, and the timbers of the keel were parting. The waters churned up deep seaweed and black tang. All felt intuitively that the end was at hand. Every face filled with intolerable suspense as





the Isabelle trembled from bow to stern. The captain shouted stridently, “Take care of yourselves who can. All's lost.”

Mainsail was gone, flying jib and braces and stays gone, and now the spanker boom and rudder were gone. Colmey mounted Merlin and headed him direct for the shore, and as the ship seemed to stand still tremblingly for a few moments, he gave Merlin the spur, and man and horse were hurled into the deep. The ship had commenced settling, cries and curses could be heard, the captain stood upon the quarter-deck. The great black horse knew that his life and his master's life were now with him. He rode the waves as best he could, he rose from the deep troughs of the sea gallantly and battled with the storm. The people watched agonizedly the strong efforts of the noble animal, now riding the waves, now lost to sight, but he came nearer and nearer. A great shout and cheer from the shoremen seemed to arouse Merlin to a tremendous output of his strength, and now a great white-crested wave hurled horse and rider well upon the sandy beach.

The ship had split asunder and sunk. Colmey was saved. Almost drowned by the stormy water, he was so strangled and exhausted that darkness seemed to envelop him; and when he came to realize the full significance of it, a dead faint came upon him, and he fell from his horse into the arms of the strangers. Poor Merlin, panting, and with bulging sides, showed a preference for his master by drawing near him.

The mad waves kept lashing the shores of the hamlet by the sea. Kind hands tendered kindness to the young stranger and the sea-wet beast. When the saddle and bridle and trappings were removed from Merlin, and he had been rubbed thoroughly dry, he at once lay down in the soft sand and his heavy breathing told the sympathizing throng that he was restfully sleeping a deep, heavy sleep.





XXVI LAUREL RIDGE

  • “The air . . . nimbly and sweetly recommends itself
  • Upon our gentle senses.
  • The temple hunting Martlet doth approve and
  • Hath made his pendant bed.”

On Colmey's coming to himself after his miraculous escape from the watery grave he found sitting by him a man about seventy years old. He had an honest, open look, and one felt safe in his presence from injury or insult.

“Well, young man, I am glad to see you arouse.”

“Yes, sir. Thank you. May I ask who you are and where I am?” He was told all and that Merlin was cared for.

“Young man, who are you?”

“I am Colmey of Edenton.”

“What! what!” The gentleman left the room and soon returned with his wife. “Leah, don't he favor to a line our lost boy?”

“He is my lost son over again. O young man, let me kiss your high white brow to ease my longing heart.”

“Leah, shall we tell him of his father's death?”

“No, not yet.”

Colmey was pressed to go with Mr. Bazzell to his home, as it was on the way to Chowan. They arrived late in the afternoon. The house was on a slight ridge which was about seven acres in length and one in breadth, and amidst virgin trees of laurel, bay, hickory and dogwood. It was several miles south of Queen's Creek and in sight of New River. The dwelling was quaint, protective, and in its





shape and building safety was the first consideration. Portholes were on every side, windows small and high from the ground. It was a kind of fort to live in and fight from. Arrows and arrow-heads could be seen, some left in the rough boards, shot there many years ago. There were no nails in the building. The arrow-heads reminded Colmey of his grandfather's old home, where arrows were imbedded and ball rifts could be seen.

Civilization and savagery were contending for mastery; law and order were battling with the lawless and those who upheld and encouraged lawlessness for their own selfish ends. He missed the peculiar hum he was used to at Glasgow, the clouds of sails on the Clyde and the many-colored tartans passing up and down the street daily. Great heaps of shells on the riverside at Laurel Ridge indicated that it was once an Indian camping ground. Trails ran south to the Santee and north to the Pamunkey River.

Mr. Bazzell bought furs and hides and shipped them to New Bern, and had amassed a good deal of money for those days. “Swink” had been the word for years, but now “Rest” as the days for him and his wife were drawing nigh for the taking of their rest eternal. He had cleared about one hundred and twenty acres and had Indian and negro slaves. Everything was rustic but strong and fitting. The immensity of forest and glade impressed Colmey favorably, and he felt a desire to go forward and possess the beautiful land seen everywhere. Mr. Bazzell, having no offspring, proffered to give Colmey what he had if he would come back and live with him and his wife while they lived. Walking out in the woodland, Colmey was delighted with the sweet redolence of grape, jessamine flowers, sweet-gum odors, and the pines and the beech trees gave forth a smell strengthening, invigorating and inviting. This primeval forest had in it a gloom and yet a grandeur.

The green, growing grasses made Colmey think how the Scotch Highlander worked so hard and so patiently to save





it, and the Switzer clinging by his iron clamps to the mountainside to save his scanty hay crop, and here in wild profusion, right under your feet, was the lushy green carpet stretched out for miles. A plenteous repast awaited him, and, retiring early, his sleep was deep, heavy and refreshing; and arising he felt again his native activity and went forth rejoicing in his strength. He told them, “You rob me of words to express my thanks. I find it impossible to appreciate your kindness to me. I am a stranger to you, and time might make you regret your royal offer. I must go to my father.”

“Be as we are. Stay with us.”

“I feel humbled by your decided favoritism, and I will say this: after visiting my people I will come back to see you again.”

Hoarsely the old gentleman said, “Good-bye, boy, come back to me.”

As there were parties passing, going horseback to New Bern, Colmey joined them and crossed the ferry there for Edenton. How his heart beat for gladness when he saw the swelling Albemarle. If there were two places on earth that he fondly loved they were Black Rock and Cullendale, just across the way. As he rode for Edenton he considered, “What am I to do? I am twenty, and what am I to engage in for future sustenance, and for the upbuilding of the family? I can't afford to sit down idly and let others pass me in the race for wealth and power. Is it best for me sooner or later to return to Scotland? Our family is a younger branch, and we will have to carve out for ourselves anew. No, it is best to remain here. It is a new country with tremendous possibilities.” Looking over the rolling, rippling waves of the Albemarle, his thoughts went back to the kind-hearted old gentleman who seemed to love him with a paternal love.

“What! Do you tell me my father is dead and buried?” A letter left him read thus:





My dear Son:

I trust this will find you in good health. I write to say, God bless you and good-bye. You will see my friend, ——, and he will deliver to you certain moneys and notes collectible. I deemed it prudent to frustrate now any action that might be taken against you. God bless my boy, I pray! You know the old home was mysteriously burned when the family was away, and your mother's tombstone was stolen by some hard-hearted vandal. Son, son, envy is cruel and the hawk longs to beak the eagle. Wherever you go, my boy, carry the high ideals, the traditions of your family with you, and may God's richest blessings attend you.

Affectionately,

Your Father.

He feared to keep the letter so very precious to him. Pimica fides, mutato-nomine, made him burn it.

When Jean Colmey rode out of the grounds of Cullendale, on the very passing of the gate he said: “Farewell to the past. In the present I shall live, and in the future I shall trust. I shall return to the deep woods of Laurel Ridge.” Jean Colmey was frightened; “regicide” rang in his ears. Culloden had marred his life.

The good people were enraptured to have their boy back, as they called him. “You know our boy was tall, blue-eyed and very dark-haired—look, Leah, how strikingly alike. We had heard of your father's death, but we could not tell you.”

“Well, I have come to stay with you. You shall be father and mother to me.”

They at once had all their land, all their servants, cattle and barns made over to Jean Colmey, reserving a life interest. Colmey's father's letter gave him warning to hide himself for a season; that isolation and loneliness would be safer, better, than the risk of a dungeon and scaffold; that rewards had been offered for the arrest and apprehension of any man that had drawn sword for “Prince Charlie from over the sea.”

“Remo, come.” Brimful of hope and self-reliance, he





bore the staggering blow, the loss of his only parent, sorrowfully, resignedly. He accepted his fate and trusted confidently in the future.

Everything settled down peaceably and amicably. In those days a dozen slaves were quite a large possession, and young Colmey, in estimating his estate, found himself “well off,” as it is termed. His father left him a goodly heritage, and now his kind friends made him master of more.

“Remo.”

“Sir?”

“How do you like our new surroundings?”

“Master, all looks well to me. The chicken and de fish is mighty good to me.”

“Do you think you will like this place?”

“Yes, sir. Wherever you and Merlin is, I likes.”

“Ambrose (an under-carpenter) I want you to go to work and help build a box stall for Merlin, sixteen by twenty feet, you hear?”

“Yes, sir, and I will see it is strong and rainproof.”

“Remo, while you are here, for a while, try to be at peace with all, don't talk much.”

It was soon noised about that the heir of Laurel Ridge had come, and that the fortunes of the farm were now left to him. “He has brought negroes and highly improved stock with him, besides money.” “They say he was educated up to Apogee.” “Yes, I hope his head will not be turned.” “They say he is a downright pretty fellow.” “I know old Mrs. Bradley will hang out a cap or two for her daughters.”

Colmey easily fell into the ways of the household, and the community. He was modest and polite, asked but few questions, answered many. His adopted parents were very anxious for him to attend divine services with them, and churches were few and far between in those primitive days. The first church in North Carolina was in 17—.





He assented to their proposition, and the gentleman and his wife on one horse (postilion for her) and Colmey on Merlin, made their way to the House of God situated by the sea. Alighting at the horse-block, Remo took charge of the horses, and the good people went into the meeting-house, as it was called. Colmey did not go up near the pulpit, but sat a few seats from the door. He looked around him and thought of Glasgow and Edinburgh, of London and Londonderry. He immediately brushed from his memory those famous cities and reverently listened to the preaching of the gospel from St. John, fourteenth chapter, “Let not your heart be troubled.”

Of course, after the services, he was made acquainted with the people of the neighborhood, and he bowed so profoundly that the hearts of all the older people went out to the young and almost friendless stranger. Old Starkey kindly remarked, “There is ginger in that young fellow, and he seems to be of a peaceable nature.” Getting back home, they asked him how he liked the preacher and the sermon, and he naively said, “My father tried early to impress me with the necessity of attending the House of God, that you came in contact with the best people of the community and it was a duty due to good citizenship.” From then to the last of his life he paid due respect to the Lord's Day. Never officious, no church leader, only an attendant. He never entertained for a moment Rob Roy's rule—Take who have the power, and hold who can.

Oftentimes he would sit by the babbling brookside at Laurel Ridge and hear again the great bands of music on the river Clyde, the gallop of the horses in Hyde Park, and see grazing the beautiful cattle on the luxuriant grass lands of Surrey Castle; but he forced himself to close the Book of the Past. He said to Mr. Bazzell: “I am here, and I am here to stay. Let me take all the care and responsibility of the farm. I will keep all accounts, the receipts and the expenditures, and you look over them at any time and see





if they are kept correctly.” The farm hands soon found out that the master was kind and thoughtful, and firm and just, in his relations to them. They soon learned to trust him and be guided by him. Order and plenty were established and his word became law. The neighborhood found him neighborly in disposition, and that he was an educated and resourceful man. On his return from New Bern, after being a year on the farm, he brought back with him a nicely painted large sign, and had it placed on the front of the largest barn, the old name of the farm, Laurel Ridge. It gave a locality, a stability to the premises. The old people smiled, the farm hands applauded.

“I tell you, husband, you made no mistake. He is our boy, and I love him ever so dearly, I do. These two years have proved it.”

“Leah, I am going to dig up that pot of silver and gold and give it to him.”

“Why be in a hurry, Enoch?”

“Because I am getting past seventy-nine years old, and for fear the summons might be sudden.”

“Well, husband, you are right. I hadn't thought of it.”

“My boy, stay after dinner for a few minutes.”

“Yes, you just sit down for a few minutes. He will come back.”

“I hope you know without my saying so, that I will remain all the afternoon if it will afford you any comfort.”

Tears flowed down the aged cheeks of the good old mother as she heard the footsteps of her husband crossing the porchway floor. Young Colmey felt a peculiar sensation in his throat.

“My boy, I fear the time may be very near for us to pass away. I have dug up this hidden treasure, and we both give it to you to have forever.”

Colmey bowed over the table and spoke convulsively, “O my adopted parents! You are too kind to an orphan stranger.” He arose and affectionately embraced both.





When the autumn sun had painted the woods, and the leaves began to fall, in the old church grounds near the river, Enoch Bazzell and his good wife, Leah, both servants of God, were laid away to rest. There was about twenty-four hours apart in their deaths. They lived happily together in this life and were loved and honored by all who knew them. “Servants of the Saviour! Peace to your saintly souls.”

Thirty days after the burial Colmey placed his overseer in charge and made ready to leave with Remo for Bertie and Halifax to spend a while with his relations. To remain another day, it seemed to him, would cause him to die. “Bring around Merlin, and, Remo, hereafter you keep for your saddle horse the brown gelding, Dundee. Good-bye, Mr. Fennell, I will be home in a few weeks. Any supplies needed, go to Ferrand's. My address will be ——.”

Colmey greatly preferred to go by water to Edenton, but he was mortally afraid of deep, broad waters. His nearly fatal experience at Swansboro had frightened his very soul.

Passing through Craven County, he stopped over to examine Fort Barnwell. He found arrows here and there, and here a tomahawk offered for sale which he purchased, which had been used by Black Bear. An old man told him that here was the big tree the Indians came out to and surrendered, and here was where General Barnwell and his braves made a dash to the door of the fort. “Right about here where General Barnwell and Colonel Pollock had some sharp words.” “What was the trouble?” “It seems that General Barnwell made some disparaging remarks about the assistance the North Carolina troops rendered in the fight, and Colonel Pollock interposed a respectful remonstrance.”

“What did he say?”

“Of course, General Barnwell was brave and efficient and deserves our most hearty and lasting gratitude; but being





wounded and worried, he naturally desired to claim for South Carolina rather too much, and being taken up in his remarks, he became quite warm over the subject. He saw what his men did mostly—and they did bravely, superbly—but Pollock claimed that North Carolina was there and doing her full duty.”

“I hope they parted friendly.”

“Oh, yes; each man held his own, but was willing for the other to have his opinion.” (See notes.)

The home of Wallace and Bruce was now to him a faded vision, a reverie. He often said to himself, “Come weal or woe, I am an American.” It seemed to him that the good and the great should come to Eastern Carolina, as it was a land of wine and of oil; of sea breezes, and of wild game and fertile fields.

Strolling through St. Paul's churchyard, head uncovered, for a short time, he then took boat for Bertie. In riding up through Halifax by the homes of the Zollicoffers, Branches, Jones, Alstons, Daniels, Clarks, Williams, and Ballards, he thought of the “Holy Hair of the Virgin.” He found the land dry and level, the forests mostly small oaks and large pines, and cedar and dogwood interspersed; and the people a la Grande, hospitable, courtly and well educated. He looked about him and exclaimed, “From Halifax to Bogue Sound—it is the wonderland of the world—unsurpassable!”





XXVII BAZZELL'S STORY OF HIS CAPTURE

  • “Of all the wonders that I have heard,
  • It seems most strange that men should fear:
  • Seeing that death, a necessary end,
  • Will come when it will come.”

—Cœsar.

Mr. Bazzell, like all men growing old, loved to review the past and tell the thrilling stories of his early life.

My parents were very industrious, and they often went together out in the near-by cleared grounds, and I was left at the house. When I was about ten years old, in the summer time, my father and mother, both very fond of fishing with pole and line, went down to the water, pushed off, and went fishing along the side of the river. Time went with them fast, and they gradually luffed off further than they intended from home.

Without a moment's warning a dozen or more Indians came up to the house and asked by signs for my parents. Innocently I made them understand as best I could that they were away, fishing. They at once took everything that was cooked, bacon and mullet roes, and took me along with them. I was made to understand that they would tomahawk me if I cried out, and as for escape for me, it was impossible, being but a little child and badly frightened. Toward night I became very tired and commenced crying. First one and then another stalwart Indian would swing me upon his back. I could not eat I was so heartsick, and one of the party, a man getting advanced in life, took a great fancy to me and called me his boy. I found





out shortly that I was called Little Deer and my would-be father was called Lame Deer.

The country we were going through was charming. I knew by the rising of the sun that we were going north; and the kindness of Lame Deer made my young heart more hopeful and resigned. The trail they followed with wonderful accuracy, they never for a moment seemed to be at sea as to which way to go, and where was best to camp. A notch on this big tree or on that one, on the right or on the left, seemed to them important, and a small log in the tree was at once noticed, and information was given by its being placed in a certain position. Wood lore was to them a heredity. Being pretty well supplied with victuals, they kept well away from all settlers’ dwellings, and they knew exactly by chops on the trail where to turn out to avoid settlements. We, after three days, came to a large, wide water, and canoes were there and two painted Indians, and much Indian talking was indulged in. I soon fell asleep, and when awakened we were at the woods. The giants of the wood stood in solemn harmony, and here and there great mosses were hanging. Again we commenced another march. In two days the barking of Indian dogs made known to us that we were nearing an Indian village. I had never seen so many Indians before; I was badly scared at the approach of Indian boys. They howled and danced and acted in a diabolical way to me. I drew up near to Lame Deer and he kept me by his side.

Lame Deer had a wife and one daughter under eight years of age. He had lost his son in one of the Indian feuds and I was taken into his family to supply his place. The good old Indian mother was pleased with me, and her daughter, Zuwassee, came up to me as if I had never been away from the lodge. I sat down and cried, thinking of my mother and father. The old squaw exerted herself to appease me and to get me to eat deer meat and potatoes. Hundreds of Indians, grown and young, came to look at





me. How I wanted to kill them! In about a month I felt more reconciled. Zuwassee and I had become the best of friends, and the Indian boys got better towards me and soon I became as one of them. Indian boys do nothing but hunt birds, trap rabbits, and practice arrow-shooting. We would go off all day and hunt and frolic, and they were never troubled about getting home. The women lay down all work when night came and “fixed up,” and stood in front of their lodges. The women are great coquettes, the younger ones particularly, and all the men are beaux.

When the tom-tom beats all rush for the dance. It is a mistake to think the Indians are miserable and have no fun or frolic. Every night, nearly, there is a great gathering, and tom-toms and dancing, courting and flirting, is all the go with them. They keep up the night songs, patting feet, clapping of hands, until about one or two o'clock unless the weather is too inclement.

The medicine man is the great power amongst Indians. The king or chief stands in dread of him. He is prophet, priest, and physician; his word is law in the lodges. He foretells the future, and he brings good or bad, as it pleases him (so they believe).

By the time I became sixteen or thereabouts I had had fights innumerable. I had been on thieving expeditions, and I became a warrior by test and by endurance. I noticed that when the tribe went out against the whites I was never allowed to go. Thinking I would better my condition and standing with the tribe, Zuwassee and I were married. We stood before the medicine man, shook hands, and hid both our heads under the same blanket—then we were married. I became quite popular. The braves commenced wanting Little Deer to lead them on their ramblings and dashes for cattle and spoils. Zuwassee was a very loving bride and made much of me. Lame Deer and his squaw were delighted beyond measure when we were made one for life, or as long as Zuwassee did not see any other





brave she loved better than me. A woman can run away with another Indian, and if she can get to his lodge she is safe, and so is he. That is their unwritten law. If her husband gets tired of her, or she of him, they can easily seek other companions and be friendly afterwards. As long as the wife is in her husband's lodge she belongs to him, body and soul. If he has two or more wives, and they fall out and fight, he does not interfere. He thinks it is only a woman's hairpulling. It is very hard for some Indian braves to get a wife, for a wife in daytime works hard, and her lord does the hunting, fishing, and fighting. A brave who has to cook is looked upon as a squaw. Some are not acceptable to any of the squaws and are left to live and die alone, while others are magnetizing and can get more wives than they know what to do with. It is hard to understand, but it is true. The young Indian women at twelve or fourteen are at their best as to looks and agility, and they are great flirts. The men pride on their boys, the women on their girls, as the girls help them to work; and when the girl is sold and married the mother can claim a part of the purchase money. The women are more virtuous than the men, and they (the women) gather wild celery, berries, wild cashaws, rice, potatoes, and willingly do all the work of the village.

The Indian by nature is secretive, cruel and thieving, and no education will ever change that nature. He is religious; he believes in the Great Spirit with fervency, but he has no morality. What he can get by boldness, by scheming or murdering, he looks upon as lawfully his, excepting relations with his own tribe. The men are lazy, the women industrious, and they are as happy as any other people under the sun. They cook but once a day.

In two years of married life I was the father of two boys, White Crow and Little River. These boys were the idols of their grandparents, especially the older, White Crow. I became gradually aware that there was a “white” Indian





in camp, as he was called, Lone Jack, or Big Saunders. This man had married the chief's sister and was influential in the tribe. He had several children, and was trusted in all their warfare against the whites or Indians. He was a goodly sized man with gray eyes and small head. He dressed and acted just exactly like the Indians did. He seemed to intensely dislike the white race, and was always ready to go on scouts, round-ups, or pilferings against his own race as quickly as against any tribe they were at enmity with. He was naturally brave and a natural-born rover. He seemed to be in the prime of manhood. He asked me once if I had any wish to go back to my own people. The question startled me. I answered that I was already with my people, that I knew no other. He seemed to be well pleased with my ready reply. But as I grew older I longed more to see my own mother and my own father; but I would not own it, even to myself. I was afraid I would show it in my face.

There was an Indian by name Big Buffalo who was the father of Red Eagle and Tall Feather. He had married the chief's sister, for he had ponies, slaves, and cattle. He was very cunning, but he was no brave; he would not go on the war-path.

One day two braves from a distance came to our town and were closeted with the chief. I told Sewanda, Zuwassee's mother, of it, and she seemed greatly excited. She made off for Lame Deer, and in about an hour they came back together, and Lame Deer seemed to be in deep meditation, but said nothing. Zuwassee, womanlike, had her curiosity aroused and know she would. That night all the old Indians were called in council and the young braves were excluded. Indians, as a rule, do not conclude to do anything hastily. Lame Deer came to the wigwam late at night and Sewanda tried hard to get out of him what was going on to detain him so late. But Lame Deer grunted and said nothing. All of us slept in the same wigwam.





Next day and next night council fires were kept burning. Zuwassee, by art or trick, learned that it was the Meherrins’ messengers, and that they had come to ask aid of the Tuscaroras, that the whites were advancing, and that they would be glad to borrow a hundred braves; that they would be called their own, and the whites would not know any better. The council decided to grant their request. I felt that now was my time to escape, to get on the list, to be one of the one hundred to go.

I saw in close conversation next morning the chief and Lone Jack. I put Zuwassee after Lone Jack, fearing him, dreading what he might advise as to myself. I told her I feared Lone Jack wanted to do me harm, and to try to find out through his squaw what he thought of me. Dear Zuwassee, I remember her with love and gratitude. She found that Lone Jack had been consulted as to my going, as the braves clamored for me to go with them. Lone Jack was wary, and said I was young and could wait, but that I was brave and a good fighter. The medicine man came and he was wroth because they did not await his return. He prophesied that it would not be well to do as the Meherrins desired. But the promise had been made, and the braves were being selected. I again fell back on my faithful squaw and told her if I didn't go and fight it would break my heart.

Zuwassee, “the light of the morning,” dear fond soul, woman-like, believed the man she devotedly loved. She cautiously talked with the braves, told them that I “wanted to go and fight,” that I “hated the white settlers,” and that I “thought they, the whites, ought to be driven out.” I was enrolled with the one hundred, and the day appointed for our departure came around. How my heart hurt me when I looked into the eyes of Zuwassee!

The Meherrins had raided on the whites above and below Edenton, had crossed and threatened and maltreated the





white settlers along the Neuse, and made their way back to their camping grounds with all their plunder—cattle, horses, etc. Two settlers had been killed, several white women ravished, and the unprotected settlements were thrown into fear and confusion. Cries for help and vengeance went up to headquarters. Colonel Thomas Pollock, who was considered the most experienced soldier in the Colony, was authorized to raise a competent force to pursue and punish them. He called for volunteers, and soon over a hundred riflemen rallied around him. He took three hundred friendly Indians along, foes to the Meherrins, as scouts and runners. The Meherrins heard of his preparations as they were returning, and sent to the Tuscaroras and the Cores for help as soon as they reached their chief town. The Indians asked protection, also, of the Virginia authorities, claiming that they were in Virginia territory. When all was ready and pack horses to bear ammunition and supplies had been provided, and a healthy, hopeful spirit was fully up in them, Colonel Pollock led them forward as rapidly as he could with due safety to an advancing column, against the cunning, treacherous foe.

Zuwassee kissed me passionately. She clung to me (sweet dear heart of my early life) and lisped, “Little Deer come back to see Wassee, Little River and White Crow.” O, how I wanted to tell Zuwassee all! but I dared not.

We camped that night about deep dusk. Indians don't like to travel at night, but they are perfectly gifted as to which course to take by their marvelous sense of direction. An Indian never gets lost; an Indian alone is never afraid. All went to putting up a wick-up (for Indians never sleep out in the open) where each one was to rest. I was second in command. Little Pony, Big Saunders's son, was one of the young braves. Black Raven was our leader. When we got with the Meherrins we found their camping ground was all in a bustle of preparation for defense. The Core





Indians came in, one hundred strong. When the whites would come up, Gray Hawk said that he would take a hundred braves, and he thought he could with them fight the colonists away. The braves were given to him, and Little Pony was anxious to be one of them, and he was taken along.

The Indian messengers returned from Virginia and reported that Carolina would not dare to come over the line and pester the Meherrins—that Virginia would see to it. (See Colonial Records.) All this was comforting news and had a tendency to put the Indians somewhat off their guard; but trusty scouts came in and told Black Raven to get ready.

I was in an agony of suspense. A renegade white man came into the camp and told that a big company of whites were coming. My heart throbbed with joy profound. The Indians commenced to make ready to fight a good, hard battle. The Meherrins’ medicine man went about encouraging the braves, “that the Great Spirit would help them, and that the squaws would dance and sing their praises.” The next day we heard firing some distance in our front. Soon three Indians brought Gray Hawk in, badly shot, and gave an account that was not reassuring in the least to those drawn up and posted in trees and behind trees, prepared to fight. They also reported several Indians killed, and that the whites and the “friendlies” were coming right on. Black Raven was placed in command, and in consulting with Gray Hawk he was told to make peace if he could with the whites, that his heart had turned to a woman's. Soon all the Indians came running into camp and said the whites were not far off. Black Raven sent a truce to meet the whites, and asked time to talk with the great white brother. A place between the lines was designated by the two peace messengers, and pointed to the spot where the whites were to stop; but the leader of the whites advanced right on and sent the messengers back to tell Black Raven to surrender at once or he would kill and burn every Indian and every





wigwam, male and female. Gray Hawk was appealed to again, and he advised them to make terms as best they could.

The Indians have two chiefs, one old and one young; one a leader in battle, and the other chief adviser in camp. Old Drift Cloud was a camp chief. Among all nations there are three classes of men: one class naturally are born fighters, another class will fight if compelled to, and the third class are those who will by hook or crook keep themselves well away from blood and suffering. Nature finds uses for the several kinds.

Black Raven placed his men behind trees and in trees, and took every precaution he could, and prepared for a hard fight if nothing else was left them to do. The women and children and old men were placed in the safest places, and all awaited the coming of the palefaces. The pack horses of the attacking column were hurried on to the front and men were served plentifully with ammunition. Colonel Pollock went amongst the men and told them it was sink or swim, that if they did not conquer it would be impossible to escape the Indians’ murderous tomahawks.

The medicine man went through the lines of the Meherrin braves and encouraged them. Black Raven reasoned that it was not a war of his own tribe and that he should follow the advice and accede to the wishes of Gray Hawk and surrender.

Colonel Pollock came, halted his men, and demanded that thirty hostages be allowed to be held by him of the tribe, or that he would kill and burn the town. I asked Black Raven to let me try to persuade the white chief to moderate his demands, that I could talk English to him. He agreed to my proposal, and I told Red Eagle and Little Pony that Black Raven had ordered me to go and parley, at which they beat their breasts and wanted war. Little Pony was wiser and more cautious than Red Eagle. Red Eagle asked me if I had a woman's heart like Black Raven.





I told him to watch me and see. I could hardly wait for time to go, for fear Black Raven would order me not to go; but go I would if I had to break and run to the whites.

Red Eagle was proud and rash, not handsome but well shaped, except a short neck. He was insufferably arrogant and domineering. Little Pony was cautious and patient, and cunning as his mother (Wild Pigeon), and had Lone Jack's courage to fall back on. Red Eagle beat his breast and demanded to be led forward, and charged Black Raven with having a woman's heart. Little Pony was called little because he was not so tall, but he was expected to become a wise leader of his people.

Colonel Pollock came in front of his men with sword in hand and demanded the hostages and submission of the tribe. Red Eagle, enraged and reckless, rushed at the Colonel with his tomahawk, and struck at his head but missed. The Colonel's sword was quickly run through Red Eagle's body and he fell dead without a groan. All the whites commenced firing, but it was instantly stopped by the Colonel rushing amidst the men, ordering them to desist and listen to him; that they “must not shoot those who would surrender for the rash acts of one of their number.” I went at once and made known that I was a white man, and softly told the Colonel that I was stolen when a boy and that I wanted to get back to my people, and that the Indians would deliver the hostages, and for him to demand of them Little Deer (my name). The one volley from the whites, the death of Red Eagle and many braves, struck terror in the hearts of the bravest. One or two of the Tuscaroras left the village, with Black Raven, after the hostages, including myself, were put under guard. The infuriated Tuscaroras, with Little Pony to lead, sent into the ranks of the whites a cloud of arrows from ambush. In an instant a yell broke from the whites and they poured a volley into the ambush, and a mad rush was made for the Indians and the lodges. A guard was stationed over the





hostages with strict orders for their protection. Twenty men were ordered forward to drive out the ambushed Indians and to pursue them. At last order was again established. Four Indians were killed and fifteen wounded, and all of them were now willing to submit.

Black Raven asked the Great White Chief to go with him to visit Gray Hawk. Black Raven exclaimed that they were sorry and would deliver up all plunder, and the thirty hostages to be kept six months for the good behavior of the tribe of the Meherrins. They promised before the medicine man and Gray Hawk to never raid the whites again. Little Pony and the band were making their way back to their own tribe, to carry bad news to their chief and the medicine man. I asked Black Raven privately to tell Zuwassee that I was alive but that I was a hostage. I sent back to her my Indian headdress, my eagle feathers, and my leggings of buckskin to be given to my son, White Crow.

The horses and cattle and plunder were received and ordered returned to the white settlers. The hostages were kept in the middle of the trusty riflemen. Nine whites had been slightly wounded by ball and six whites arrow struck, but not badly hurt. As the Meherrins were completely awed, confounded at the turn of events, we all felt that marching back to New Bern would be easy and without accident.

I afterwards heard that Virginia authorities wrote in a few days that great offense to the officials of His Majesty's Colony had been given, that it was an invasion of Virginia soil, that the Indians were murdered and robbed without any offense to Carolina, and that Colonel Pollock and his men should be made to suffer, or Virginia would be compelled to believe that he was upheld by Carolina. (See Records.)

In the return to camp of the braves sent out by the Tuscaroras, four had been killed and two wounded. There was great turmoil over the news. Red Eagle was mourned





over much because he was nephew to the chief. His mother, Wild Pigeon, went into the woods and mourned and wailed over the loss of her eldest, and only after three days, by dint of force and persuasion, was she induced to return to the village. Lone Jack was silent. Little Pony was a hero, and told her he aimed at the white chief, Rock Heart, and how the arrow went through the paleface's soft gray hat. Black Raven returned with three of the Meherrins, with Red Eagle's body on a roughly made stretcher. He was buried with great solemnity, and his tomahawk with him.

Black Raven had to go before the council and make explanation as to Red Eagle's death. The doctor or medicine man called all the village together, and with his face painted red and jingling bells around his body, he told them had he been consulted Red Eagle and the others would be alive and all unhurt; that the Great Spirit was mad and they must propitiate with deer meat and furs, and then he would go to his lodge and pray off the great scandal that had come upon the Tuscaroras.

We were all rejoiced to meet Captain Hecklefield and his riflemen, for if we had gotten a reverse it was intended to fall back on those who were coming up with the pack horses and fight our way back to New Bern. On getting back to our white settlement with twenty-nine Meherrin Indians as hostages, with the news of several Indians killed and many wounded, of bringing back the plunder, and none of our men killed and only six wounded, the people, men, women and children, went wild. Everybody wanted me to go home with them and tell my story.

The command were thanked and commended for their swift advance and the punishment meted out to the blood-thirsty savages. The Colonel, as soon as we got back, went around and shook hands with every man and complimented all of them and cordially asked all to make him a visit and stay long when they came. He bade me good-bye





and sent his compliments to my parents and hoped I would prove a useful and helpful citizen. He mounted his horse, a surefooted chestnut, and with several gentlemen, bowing and lifting his hat, rode away for New Bern. We broke ranks on the south side of the Neuse, and with cheers made off for our homes.

My mother and father were delirious with joy when I reached home. They did not know me at first, but when I said, “Mother, don't you know your boy?” with a scream she ran to me. I could see great changes in the farm, also great changes in my parents. Strange it may sound, but for several days my heart was sadly troubled, thinking of dear, good Zuwassee.





XXVIII BAZZELL'S SECOND STORY

  • “So pass mankind: one generation meets
  • Its destined period, and a new succeeds.”

Sitting around the fireside, Mr. Bazzell was always glad to speak of his younger days.

My son, did you ever hear all about the great fight at Barnwell, as it is now called? We called it Big Eagle's Nest. You know the Indians had got mighty jealous of the white people. Northern Indians and Indians from up west had come down to help stir up bad blood, and had promised to help out the Tuscarora and Core Indians, and the Mattamuskeets were also to lend a helping hand if they would rise up and exterminate the whites. In those days bands of Indians from great distances came through the country to the seashore, and no one took much notice of it. They came to fish, catch oysters, kill wild turkeys, gather grapes, hunt wild deer, etc. They said they wanted to kill the wolves and great bears; but robbing and stealing was their object and delight, and everybody was uneasy and kept watch. I noticed that they kept getting bolder in their depredations. Bands from South Carolina, and the Pamunkey and Chickahominy Indians of Virginia, the Wyandottes and Wabingos from New York, roamed all through the lower part of the State, particularly in the autumn and winter time, as it was more pleasant than it was up west or north. They stole horses and cattle, carried off oftentimes our women, and the white people and what negroes we had were constantly in jeopardy. One day about dusk I heard one of my fattening hogs squeal, and I thought certain it





was a bear that had him. I ran with my dog to scare him away, when an arrow came “see-wee” through my hat. I ran back to get my gun, but my wife held me and would not let me go. Next morning I went out early, and not far away was the skin of the hog and many tracks could be seen on the ground. I thought it was a band from South Carolina going down on a visit to the Pungoes. There were horses’ tracks and ponies for pack teams. I had been robbed before many times, but that was the first time I was ever shot at. Somehow I felt hot through and through. Going further, I found a fine heifer killed and skinned, one I was rearing for a milk cow. I found many of my fences down.

I noticed not far from the house a curious marking on the side of a big oak. I thought of the time of the month. It was the 10th of June. It was never there before. What did it mean? I was afraid to tell my wife, but you know women have a way of thinking not like a man's, and I knew it might mean death, burning up my property, etc., so I told her. We both went out to the tree. She looked at it carefully and said it meant deviltry of the worst kind, that she thought in three weeks or three months there would be a terrible time to be met. We then went where the heifer was butchered, and it showed plainly that very many were along. We followed the trail down to the old spring, and there they camped for the night. Clearing up grounds and the ditching have done away with the spring.

My wife carefully noted everything. There was the camp-fire of burnt logs, and bones from the cooking. I noticed that she picked up a wisp of hair, golden hair, long and silky. She found a patch of fine goods secured by a splinter to a limb blown off the tree. It looked as if some one had rested by that old limb all night; the limb that had blown off in a storm. Walking round about, she went back to that limb and, lifting it up, under it was:





Be ready, in God's name! Tell the settlers that the Indians are going to kill all the white people along the coast in the next three moons. I am stolen and cruelly treated.

Carrie Yeomans.

“Now, Enoch, let's go right to getting ready; get word to the settlers, and go to making slugs and bullets. If it is three weeks it means June. If it is three moons, and I think that is what it means.”

We had no child, and my wife was quick on foot and long-winded; and we just went to thinking what was best to do. I placed that arrow away for future use, as every tribe had a way of fashioning their arrows. Instead of being mad, as I was at first, I became scared and confused. I felt fainty. I did not let my wife know my feelings, but just sat down and thought it all over. One thing certain, the white people must act in concert, the Governor must be made aware of the danger, and every advantage of time be taken, and then act and act intelligently. I felt better. After I thought it over and by getting together, we could have a chance for our lives. I hastened to Swansboro. Soon orders came to meet at Jacksonville with rifle, ball and powder. The women were in tears. The old men cheered us on, even the dogs became parties to the general excitement. Getting ready to go, we placed everything in the hands of old Cyrus, and told him not to go anywhere until our return.

We left Jacksonville for New Bern, keeping a sharp lookout for Indians day and night. Captain Spicer thought it best to send and get a friendly Indian to go with us, and we had him to go well in front with two select men not far behind him. The Trent Minute Men and the Neuse Riflemen joined us. At night we put out pickets and also camp guards. Next day we took up the march for New Bern. We found New Bern in an upstir. The horrid massacres on the Roanoke and Chowan we now heard in full and details of Mr. ——, wife and children, tomahawked.





In some places the women were ravished and nailed to the floor with large, sharp stakes driven through them. Heads were hung up in trees, and bodies were split open and fastened across saplings. (See notes.)

The 11th of September was exactly three moons from the time the marks on the tree were made. One hundred and twelve white men and women and many little children were murdered and burned in three days time. The Governor of South Carolina responded as soon as he could, and promised to send six hundred militia and three hundred warriors from the friendly tribes under the command of Colonel Barnwell. Now, North Carolina had to arrange to raise money and provisions had to be gathered at New Bern to feed the army, and a world of anxiety and trouble was in the land.

The Indians, with surprising sagacity, went to work and constructed three strong forts at Barnwell, or Big Eagle's Nest. One, the largest, was for their warriors, one for their women and children, and one for prisoners, each admirably connected. A small stream divided the two smaller forts; the largest fort had a subterranean flow, within the heavy stockade. (See Six Nations.) The runaway negroes joined the Indians and they were as cruel as the most cruel redskins.

Traces can be seen to this day of the forts, particularly the largest one. For fierceness, for valor, for endurance, there has never been a tribe that surpassed the Tuscaroras. The young bucks of the age of fourteen and sixteen years old fought as stoutly as the older braves. They did not have the cunning, the experience; but they were fierce and longed to have the young Indian women to praise them, call them “much brave, heap brave.”





XXIX THE DIVIDING LINE

“Mr. Colmey, did you get acquainted with the poet Thompson of the ‘Seasons’ while in Scotland?”

“Yes, sir, and also Mr. Ramsey of the ‘Gentle Shepherd.’ I also, Mr. Bolling, met a gentleman of North Carolina there, a Doctor Robert Williams. I was delighted to see some one from my homeland.”

“Mr. Colmey, I suppose you have read at your leisure Colonel William Byrd's booklet on the Dividing Line?”

“Well, Carrie, I will answer that question for Mr. Colmey.”

“Well, well, I must express my surprise and pleasure, May, for you to wake up, and to see you wish so ardently to ventilate your knowledge. Let's hear, May, what you thought of it. We expect to gain instruction as well as entertainment.”

“Carrie, I could but laugh at Colonel Byrd's would-be pertness.”

“Was he pert, May, in saying that the borderers who claimed to be Carolinians positively objected to being made Virginians by the survey?”

“No, not that, because that was a self-evident objection; for all North Carolinians have such a deep, abiding love for Carolina that time nor distance can quench that love; and they are not willing to be considered only just what they are and what they prefer; they are not slow to announce it.”

“Was it pert, May, because he said North Carolinians were made mad to be called Virginians or if you tried to tax them?”





“Yes, that's it, Carrie. Colonel Byrd had become annoyed at the Carolinians all along the Dividing Line because they unhesitatingly objected to having their homes in Virginia; and he, in a moment of displeasure, paid unintentionally to them a lasting and a glowing tribute.”

“Really, May, you are quite eloquent on the subject.”

“Your badinage is not the least offensive, but very amusing to me, Carrie. Carolinians are a little slow to speak their minds; but I am here to tell you they are unwilling to be surveyed out of Carolina and over the line into Virginia. It is amusing to me, Carrie, to hear you descant upon the advantages coming to our Colony by being under the necessity of making Norfolk or Suffolk our commercial center.”

“Well, you can but admit that Colonel Byrd was a fine writer, and just simply dotted down what seemed to him an irrelevancy, for you know, May, no state has so much pride as old Virginia, and we are willing to a man for you to use our ports for your shipping.”

“We sanction you for your loyalty.”

“May, my dear, they took a logical view of the fact, and thought that if they had to submit to an unpleasant occurrence it was but nice to put a good face on the matter, and accept the inevitable with becoming grace.”

“Well, Carrie, I am so glad to be informed that the borderers in those days living on North Carolina's side of the Dividing Line were so gracious and so logical.” (See Wheeler's History.)

“Virginia's loss and Carolina's gain, eh, May?”

“Just notice, Carrie, mark well: the good Colonel Byrd did not even intimate that the Virginians objected in the least to being by survey made into Carolinians. Carrie, they thought maybe it was Virginia's loss only numerically, but their individual gain territorially. How about the toll gates?” (See Records.)

“May, I can't for the life of me see why you talk as you





do, when you can but recollect when visiting me we visited Richmond and Lynchburg, and nearly every pound of tobacco made in North Carolina was brought to Virginia markets to be made merchantable; how as to that kind of territory?”

“Yes, Carrie, too true, and I have heard that one of our far-sighted men contended that the Nansemond should be the Dividing Line. Yes, which territory made the bright tobacco?

“Virginia, being under royal protection and patronage, your State grasped and held tenaciously every vestige, every inch of vantage ground, and unkindly put a burden-some embargo on Carolina's tobacco. You did not observe the Golden Rule.”

“May, we were discussing facts, not religion. We must have laws and churches and schools, and we have perfected arrangements to accommodate your State as to commerce. And, May, you know when in 1711 the Tuscarora Indians were about to eat you all up, Virginia voted one thousand pounds to help you.”

“Very true, and we had but little to thank you for in that critical instance, for, dear, you demanded a mortgage on our Colony, so unjust and extravagant that we respectfully declined your unsisterly proposition. You sent not a man and you spent not a dollar. Oh, yes, indeed, you voted!”

“But, May, how did you get along without Virginia?” (See notes.)

“How? Our noble southerly sister, South Carolina, bravely met the issue and loaned four thousand pounds and sent a fine body of men to help us in our direst extremity. And, Carrie, let me say, we sent men soon after to help South Carolina, and we are willing to forget and are ready to help Virginia without demanding a monstrous mortgage.”





“But, May, dear, don't forget our schools have educated your people and our factories helped you to get your produce to market.”

“And if you did we paid you well for the kindness; and right here I enter my protest in toto against North Carolina being beholden to any of the colonies. Your embargo is oppressive. In a word, I say from the depths of my soul, North Carolina for North Carolinians! As to agriculture, commerce, education, and arms; Viva Carolina! Viva Supremacy!”

“May, my dear, I fear that—”

“Miss May, under your favor, let me reply to your last remark. Carolina is so coast bound, she has such dangerous capes, no seaports of proper depths, that it is impossible for North Carolina to keep from seeking outside shipping facilities. I think Mr. Colmey will bear me out in this argument.”

“I thank you, sir, for asking me to express my opinion on this subject, near and dear to my heart. First, Mr. Bolling, I desire to record myself most unreservedly in accepting and upholding the sentiments expressed by Miss Montfort. I register myself at this moment her humble admirer and devoted supporter, her knight. Mr. Bolling, your argument is good only in part. We admit Virginia, New York, and South Carolina have been naturally more blessed in seaports than we; those states have commercial advantages seemingly far superior to us; but I am one of those who believe that Deity sometimes places formidable obstacles to arouse the latent qualities of acquisition and persistency and commercial skill in His people.

“Now, sir, when we consider that the lands of North Carolina are more fertile than those of Virginia and South Carolina, that our sounds are deeper, wider, and far more numerous, our mountains higher, that our rivers are as numerous for transportation, our lakes are from East Lake to Toxaway, we can but believe it will be but a short space





of time before the innate conquering capacities of our people will be aroused by this particular problem. Then the Frying Pan Shoals near Wilmington and the dreaded Hatteras will be made to be subservient to the Colony's needs. Then will be cut out an outlet safe and speedy near Cape Lookout and Cape Fear. Ocracoke will be harnessed and be compelled to do part in dispatching the commerce of our eastern section. I remember how anxiously I inquired of the Scotia experts, in detail, while examing the wonderful outlet made by Scotland out of the River Clyde; for the stupendous barriers were being one by one annually overcome. Yea, Scotland liked Liverpool, but Scotland loved Glasgow. I don't believe that there is anything of material nature but that the genius of man can fashion and fuse to his own liking and profit. Therefore, what has been done can be done.”

May Montfort gave Colmey a look he never forgot to his dying day.

“Come, Carrie, let's away and make a marmalade for these intellectual casuists.”

“May, are you going wild—beside yourself?”

“No, Carrie; come, let's away.”

“I do hope, Mr. Colmey, that the kindly spirit of the sisters will be maintained and Carolina will go slow in making any changes commercially or educationally; for Virginia appreciates Carolina's patronage.”

“Yes, Mr. Bolling, but every cow ought to lick her own calf, to use an everyday expression. We must free ourselves from these shackles. I verily believe the so-called ‘strip of land between the states’ will blossom as the rose and flow with milk and honey. Yes, sir, the present deficiency of the Colony one day, I firmly believe, will be remedied. Why not? There will arise a sharp demand for an outlet from North Carolina waters, and that demand will put in motion an influence that will create resources and multiply possibilities and intensify energies. A few





scattered efforts cannot accomplish much, but when concentration of brain, will, and heart desire is combined by thousands the results are far-reaching and will be obtained. Dissensions, discordant views, may for a while stem the tide, but ultimately the streams will run into one torrent. And then all, feeling the impulse of new feeling, will become anxious to help push along a statewide necessity, and then do a deed at which the nation will wonder, and future generations happily rejoice over. I prophesy that the day is coming when the will power of Carolina will find a man that will make a world harbor at Beaufort or Cape Lookout.”

“Mr. Colmey, my best wishes are for Carolina, but, sir, this would be a stupendous enterprise.”

“I thank you, Mr. Bolling, for your expressions of good will. Let me say, please, that sand bar and treacherous deeps will not hold Carolina back. She will mount with eagle wings to heights now unknown; her destiny, Mr. Bolling, is to be great, her empire is assured.”





XXX COLMEY PLACE

“If the ancient conception of social relations was less human, less broad, than our own, it nevertheless had a certain grandeur lacking in ours.”

“Mr. Colmey, I am delighted to see that you and my Cousin Tom take to each other so friendly. I see, Mr. Colmey, you have an outspoken admiration for ‘Our Fair Lady of Halifax.’ Tom is of most excellent parentage and well educated. Mr. Colmey, have you noticed the play of his eyes? His eyes date back to Pocahontas.”

“What! am I to understand that he is a descendant of that Princess?”

“Yes, sir, and the family is quite proud of King Powhatan's history. Mr. Colmey, don't you think any one would be?”

“Well, really, Miss Culpepper, I am not prepared to assent or dissent to your proposition. This, Miss Culpepper, I do know, that Mr. Bolling is a very handsome man, and that he is intelligent and entertaining.”

“Mr. Colmey, isn't his horsemanship superb? He is as erect and active as a man can be. Mr. Colmey, he outplayed all of us at last tennis. May Montfort, why don't you talk some? You seem mum and glum—what's the matter?”

“I hope to see you later.” And Colmey bowed and departed.

“May, I can't see much in that young sprig to rave over; can you?”

“No.”





“Don't you think he is as absent-minded as can be?”

“I don't know.”

“Well, May, do you like to be in Mr. Stilt's company as much as you do in Tom's and Frank's?”

“What is the difference, Carrie?”

“Difference, fiddlesticks! Is there no difference between chalk and cheese?”

“Chalk and cheese have different properties and uses.”

“Confound your play on words. I am truly glad I can feel and have preference. I certainly am. May, are you losing your mind? You can't lose your heart; you have none to lose.”

“I know the way downstairs, Carrie.”

“Oh, well! I see you wish to be alone, and as you suggest, I will find my way downstairs.”

“Stay, Carrie, stay.”

Carrie had her fan, her constant companion, and Madame de Lamina prized hers more highly not a whit, than did Carrie. Downstairs, Carrie Culpepper went, half angry and half inquisitive as to May's peculiar moods and tenses for the last few weeks. Mr. Thompson was walking in the grove, and on seeing Miss Culpepper on the piazza, he came and they walked out and sat by the wayside on a rustic bench much used and partly shaded by a large myrtle. In a short time Colmey rode by on his gray filly, and so absorbed was he in his thoughts that he paid no attention to them.

“Mr. Thompson, what kind of a young man is Mr. Colmey? I think he treated May just a while ago downright shabbily.”

“What! Colmey acted shabbily?”

“Well, I think so. May asked him if this was not a fine afternoon to go horseback riding, that it might do her headache good. He abruptly said, ‘I think not,’ and walked off after bowing.”





“Why, Colmey, I thought, was studiously polite to ladies.”

“Yes, he is to me, puctiliously polite, but he is not so to May. I felt hurt and annoyed for May, and here rides by the idiot as if in a dream.”

They returned to the house, and May was standing leaning against one of the large fluted columns.

“May, Mr. Thompson and Tom think it would be a charming afternoon for a horseback ride, and suppose we all go. What say you?”

“A carriage drive, Carrie, would be better.”

“Order around the carriage, if that suits you, and let's go and speak to Mrs. Colmey.”

When May went up for her wraps Miss Culpepper suggested that Mr. Thompson ride horseback as knight attendant, and, looking wisely at him, said: “I shall take Cousin Tom with us in the carriage. You understand?”

“Yes. I'll be ready in time.”

Mr. Bolling was called, and he assisted the ladies and took his seat by May; Miss Culpepper preferring a front seat. After an hour's drive the carriage was ordered to stop at the old wayside spring, nearly a mile from the house, and they all alighted to get a cool drink. Mr. Colmey reined up this time at the side of Mr. Thompson, and proffered to hold his horse that he might join the ladies at the spring. Miss Culpepper had the silver cup, and was kindly handing around the water, and all had drunk but May. She asked for the cup and, letting it for a moment remain in the clear, bright spring, she dipped it full and went to Mr. Colmey and offered the water to him. Miss Culpepper could not refrain an exclamation, “You May!”

Colmey took the cup slowly and dived into her steady, lakelike eyes, and what he read there inflamed his face, and bowing low he softly said, “I thank you from the very





bottom of my soul.” A paleness spread over Bolling's broad, well-formed forehead, and a grip in his jaw showed he felt offended.

“May, I must say I can't understand you.”

“Maybe you can, and maybe you can't.”

“May Montfort, I would not have given Mr. Colmey any water, after he had acted ugly towards me to have saved his life.”

“He is here, Carrie, a comparative stranger, and putting fire coals on one's head for offending is sometimes a good way to punish the offender.”

“That is Scripture, May, but it is not me.”

“Well, giving a cup of water in His name, we are promised to be rewarded.”

“Moral Scripture, but it does not fit the case.”

In a moment or so Mr. Thompson came up, and May said, “Let's all run home.”

“Why, Miss Montfort! I thought you had a terrible headache, and running would make it much worse.”

“Mr. Bolling, the drive has driven away my headache. Now, Carrie, for a skip,” and down the lane sped the two women as gracefully as deer. After running a couple of hundred yards they slowed up, and Miss Culpepper remarked: “May, I fear the gentlemen will not be pleased with our running off from them. Let's wait for them to come up.”

Soon they were joined by Bolling and Thompson. “Mr. Thompson, what has become of your horse?”

“Knowing that I was anxious to be with you, Colmey told me to go with you, that he would lead my horse home for me. He took a near path for home and went off in a gallop.”

“Mr. Colmey is interesting simply on account of his strangeness; nothing more. You can but like him, for he holds your horse for you, and then, stable-boy-like, he leads him home.” Miss Culpepper could not keep her temper down.





“Well, Miss Carrie, I must say this for my absent friend: he is every inch a gentleman and stands on his own boot heels.”

Miss Culpepper made a mock courtesy and said, “Oh, Mr. Thompson, so chivalric!”

The next morning after breakfast the ladies were strolling in the grove and the gentlemen were inspecting their horses.

As Colmey and Thompson were coming up from the stables Thompson remarked, “Colmey, I can tell you Miss Culpepper is no lowly pimpernel, no! She is an exquisite exotic.”

“Tulip or orchid?”

“Now here, Colmey, be careful.”

“Thompson, a man is not far from the madhouse that is too free in expressing his opinion as to the beauty or the want thereof in a handsome woman.”

“Why so, Colmey.”

“Well, you don't know who she may marry, and when married, if told what was said, and it is not what she thinks is due her comeliness, she becomes once and for all that man's steady, relentless enemy.”

“You think that I may marry Miss Culpepper, eh? What say you, Colmey?” Colmey walked away. “The devil take him. His repression of expression exasperates one. When he wishes to be taciturn, confound him, he can be as silent and solemn as a monastery.”

Next morning, on getting with Miss Culpepper, Mr. Thompson felt ill at ease, not knowing what might be in her mind toward him. Thompson had lain awake nearly all night revolving in his mind what course to pursue next day towards Miss Carrie, should she demand by word or look for him to take back his words as to Colmey. What was he to do? He was determined to stand by his friend, come what might.

“Mr. Thompson, I pondered over last night our few





words about Mr. Colmey, and I feel that I should apologize to you. I lost control of myself and was too hasty in my denunciation.”

“Now, Miss Culpepper, please don't say anything more. I accept, and thankfully so. My friendship made me a little over-zealous.”

“I must say I admire your manliness in taking a reasonable stand for your friend.”

“Your words lift a great burden off my heart.”

It was nearing sunset. Off in the deep woods Bolling was chaffing: “I must leave here before I lose my head. Women must be riddles, and only his Satanic Majesty can read them aright. Now, there is my cousin; she is as beautiful as a dream, a woman well educated, splendid physique, and of remarkable intelligence. There is Thompson, almost homely, rather undersized, and more marked for making money than anything else; he is nothing to compare with Al Branch, except in cold cash. And there is Miss Montfort, fair and rosy, size incomparable, and disposition almost divine, and there stands the muddle to me. Before Colmey came on the scene I felt sure of my ground. She was ever good-humored, ready to join in all diversions, and the life and stay of the party. My hair is blacker than Colmey's, my eye is as dark as his is blue, we are about the same height, he is fair-complexioned and I am dark, and yet something tells me that my earnest solicitation for her every comfort does not equal the uppish, self-willed ways of Colmey. Are women freaks of nature? Are they responsible beings?”

“I do hope Frank will take his valet along with him to hold his horse or go on errands.”

“Oh, Carrie! Don't be so harrassed over the inevitable. If he is short in manners toward you, it is to be deplored, not condemned. The maker of the broken wheel is the only one that can mend the deficiency.”





“Yes, I do innately yearn to bridle his tongue and to tourniquet his languid smile of incredulity.”

“Oh, Carrie! Please don't so worry yourself over trifles. Neither your praise or censure will make him waver an iota in his undertakings.”

“Yes, that's it. My displeasure or likes affect him but little. He is self-centered. I have always had a caustic distaste for your doughty cavalier of Scottish extraction. May, did you notice his extra-fine waistcoat, his Irish linen handkerchief?”

“A truce, a truce to your invective. You force me to compare the effect upon one of the beatific exhortations on the Mount and the Yiddish harangue around the walls of sacred Moriah. One soothes and comforts the spirit, and the other bruises the ear that hears it. Carrie, remember, mercy is promised to those who are merciful. As to his clothes, they seem to have come from a first-class craftsman.”

“You May, but a moment ago a little leveret, now levenfire. You peach-pink perfection, you shall have your own sweet way, old girl; only, May, do leave off this pot-planting, this flower business of yours. Kitchen-midden study would be more profitable.”

“Well, Carrie, salve lucre never appealed to me. Dear, we are not at Adverick Castle, where there are motionless tarns and pools and artificial pillars. No, but we are at the old Colmey Place, where the air smells sweet and the flowers love to bloom.”

“Yes, true; very true. But, May, say, off with the old love and on with the new. Get out of the Valley of Amar, cease to be defiatory. In a word, May, get married. You hear? For it grieves me to think of the loneliness, the dreariness that is sure to visit you in the coming years of your maidenhood. May, marry Tom.”

“Marry him yourself.” May walked away.





“I love May, and she shall marry a man that will adore her.” She stood and thought. “Yes, I will fix this, and at once.” Every movement of Colmey was weighed and watched, and next to impossible it was for May to get out of her sight.

After supper Colmey went as usual and sat down on the front porch near the parlor window. Carrie called her cousin from the library and walked with him near the window where Colmey was sitting, and said fairly aloud: “Tom, I am delighted! May Montfort has told me all, that she had loved you for years, and now you would soon be—”

Bolling tried to deny it, but Carrie would not let him speak out, and taking his arm remarked loudly: “Well, Cousin Tom, I am glad it is—,” was all Colmey heard as they passed over to the library room.

Carrie did not hear the suppressed and agonizing groan that escaped Colmey. Bolling, in the library, said: “Cousin Carrie, it is not so. Wish it was. I'm not engaged to Miss Montfort.”

All were getting ready for the race. May noticed the next morning that Colmey was pale, respectful, and distant. She asked him on the porch, “Mr. Colmey, I hope you are not ill?” Carrie came up and jocosely remarked: “No, no; Mr. Colmey is only apprehensive about the race. Now come, May, let's get ready for it; come.”

Mrs. Colmey called, “Jean, come here.”

“Aunt, it is beautiful.”

“I wish for you to have this picture, it is an exquisite one; you notice, the lace and drapery show perfectly and artistically.”

“Who is it by, aunt?”

“By Deveret the elder.”

“Well, dear aunt, I thank you, and when I look upon this pastoral scene I will ever think of you.”

“Jean, are you unwell? Has anything gone wrong?”





That night May Montfort sat fingering the old, well preserved harpsichord while Carrie and Bolling were singing with much heartiness, “Glenlogie.”

  • “Three score o’ nobles rode the king's ha’—
  • But bonnie Glenlogie, the flower of them a’,
  • Wi’ his milk-white steed and his bonnie black e'e—
  • Glenlogie, dear mither, Glenlogie for me.”

Squire Colmey alone stood beneath the lofty blue cedar; in every room the lights burned brightly. His thoughts went back to his brother George: how they had climbed the tall trees for foxgrapes, how they had trapped partridges, and with bow and arrow brought down robin redbreast. His eyes became moistened. Family ties—seemingly a sum of indifference—are really the potentialities of life, they form the sacred pulsations of the soul.

He retraced his steps, slowly entered his bedroom, meeting his wife, whose face was all smiles. “Does ‘Glenlogie’ bring up to you fond memories, dear? Does the song remind you of the last time we walked through the castle grounds, those shady avenues, and the drive down the white cartway? Tell me, shall we together, ever again smell in dewy freshness the heather bloom? See, my husband, my hair has turned so very gray.”

“Sweet wife, this I know, this for certain, living or dying, heaven grant, I pray, that we be not parted from each other but a day; for as we grow older, my sweet wife, you grow to me dearer, lovelier.”





XXXI THE RACE

  • “I will mount myself upon a courser, whose delightful steps
  • Shall make the gazer joy to see him tread.”

The day before the race ’Squire Colmey's overseer took hands with him and went over the race road, removed every obstacle and trimmed up every overhanging limb. He had put up a small stand, six feet by fourteen. From above the stand a pole was run up with a ring on it, and on a tree opposite and at proper height another ring was placed. From these rings there could be suspended across the track a wide red ribbon. Uncle Tyrus, the blacksmith, had the horses over to his shop to examine their hoofs and smooth all projecting nail heads.

The overseer had given in the stableyard orders for the race horses to have a full supper, but a light breakfast. Remo, being of a very suspicious turn of mind, told Tasker, “You go and wait on Marse Jean till morning.” He secretly crept into Merlin's stall. He caressed the horse and murmured, “I'm here, old boy. I don't know what de Virginia nigger may do to you ’fo mornin’.”

The gentlemen at the appointed time gaily rode up to the stand for instructions. The ladies had preceded them and awaited the coming of the knights. “Here, Cousin Tom, are my colors—the winning colors—the gold and blue.”

“And here, Mr. Colmey, is my airlette, the crimson and the white, and the moss rose for good luck. I know that I have not misplaced my confidence.” Both of the gentlemen bowed profoundly and rode for the track. As they





rode down to the start post, Bolling critically surveyed Colmey's horse. Colmey rode carelessly and noticed no one, no horse, no distance.

“Mr. Colmey, have you any preference as to the side?”

“No, sir.”

“Well, as my mare seems to do best on the left, I will ride here.”

“I see, Mr. Bolling, that the red flag is up.”

“Good! And now if my bonnie beast can show her silk fetlocks to your horse, I shall be thankful and a little proud.”

“You want your gray to wear the flowers, do you?”

“Yes, I do, and downright badly.”

The horn sounded, “make ready,” then twice the air was filled with a cheery, “Come on.” Bolling gave his mare a good start and rode grandly. The horse hung to her side until near the stand, and then seemed to give way, and the mare ran over a length ahead and nimbly passed under the ribbon.

“My money, May, my money! Pay up.” The ladies had put up three shillings apiece. “I feel, May, that it is hardly fair for me to take your coin, but as we are to visit the gypsy camp, it will help me along. Now, how about three more shillings against your black? I dare you.”

“I won't take a dare from you, win or lose.”

“There, child, I need some silver for the old gypsy queen, and this is an easy way to win it. May, dear, I wish I might have been allowed to dust your colors. Really, Mr. Colmey seemed inhumanly indifferent to the fact that he was perforce to look at Lady Gray's heels.”

“Sometimes, Carrie, our indifference is assumed to cover our interior anxiety. You know there are two more heats, and the tide can turn. Let's wait and see.”

“I just can't help it, but that stolid don't-care look of Jean Colmey's nettles me through and through.”





“I saw nothing in his face that should put you in such a framfil. Of course, he may feel much hurt over being out-raced.”

“Yes, ’tis just this, May: the lady is too fast for the horse.” The second heat was on and Carrie was hilarious. May was composed, but at heart she felt ill at ease.

“Miss Culpepper, you may be correct in your estimation of horses, and I would be glad to agree with you, but my opinion is that Colmey held back his horse, and was testing Bolling, for he sat straight up, and was pulling his mount.”

“Oh, now, Mr. Thompson, don't you let your friendship bias your good judgment. The lady came under the ribbon well in the lead, and looks fresh, and listen, Mr. Thompson, the cry is, ‘Three to one on the gray!’ ”

“You may be right, but I am certain I saw a mischievous smile lurking in Colmey's mobile face. This time the hurdles are to be placed, and Colmey is a proud fellow, and I think this time we will see that he forces his horse squarely to the front. My judgment is, you had better not bet odds against the black. I think the gray's legs are too small.”

The horn blew. The cry went up, “Here they come!” Both horses started well—ear to ear and knee to knee. The hurdles were taken, the racing was glorious. Neck to neck, they flew for the ribbon. May cried out, “The crimson, the crimson leads!” Colmey came under the ribbon a full length ahead. He was leaning slightly forward, and firmly held two-thirds of the rein, and his horse was pulling at the bit.

“Shades of Cæsar! Cousin, why did you play along the track? Men do act so provokingly at times. Yes, victory in your grasp, and you let the lady saunter.”

As the gentlemen went up to the judge for place and last orders, Mr. Thompson remarked under his breath, “Miss Culpepper, your cousin was serious. My judgment is that Colmey's horse has not been given bridle and speed.”





“Mr. Thompson, our estimates of the situation are widely variant, sir.”

May Montfort was intently searching Colmey's face.

“Well, gentlemen, it is now one-one. This heat will decide the day.” The hurdles were ordered higher. “Now, gentlemen, to your posts!”

Reaching the starting point, and being allowed ten minutes for rest, both men dismounted. Merlin inched up to Gretchen and lovingly nosed her neck. The gray backed her ears, tossed her head, and bit the air as if she was much displeased with his impertinence. Bolling ordered his man to “rub her legs.” Colmey handed Merlin to Remo, and told him to “walk him.” The horn sounded, “Get ready!” and now a loud and clear, “Come on!”

Bolling mounted nervously. The thought of those miserably high hurdles disquieted him. Gretchen seemed anxious to put on airs and display her nimbleness. Merlin stood sidewise and evidenced his admiration for the frisky beauty by a low, soft whinny. Colmey mounted, reined his horse roughly, and at the drop touched spur gently to his flank. Both of the animals took the first hurdle with ease, but the second bothered the mare to make. When she got over she took up her task gamely and raced for her life. The stallion was now three lengths ahead. Colmey saw before him May Montfort's anxious face. He bent down and cried out, “Merlin, Merlin!” He savagely dug his spurs into his horse's side and sat down in his saddle steady. The horse fairly leaped into the air, never before had his master acted so cruelly to him, but now the object and not the horse was uppermost in mind. If the black lagged a little that he might keep with the pretty gray, he was abruptly made to know that his master demanded of him his very best.

May and Carrie were standing, now leaning forward. The cry, “Get out of the way there! They come, they come!” May triumphantly shouted, “The crimson, the





crimson!” The horse seemed to lie down on the earth, his ears forward as if he heard the call of his plain-racing sires. His great leaps ate up distance, and his tail hung behind him like a black banner unfurled. “Merlin!” and the cruel rowels cut again his bleeding sides. The mare had kept her place, but to lookers-on she seemed to stand stone still. Every eye was now on the great horse that came on. Nostrils wide and with phenomenal speed, he swept past the stand like a mighty eagle in full flight. Colmey sat him, his head and body bent low, reins loose and spurs bloody. Bolling rode up and gracefully lifted his hat and said, “Badly, but fairly beaten.”

“Not so, Cousin Tom. Those useless and bungling hurdles did the work for the gray.”

Poor Carrie! Her thin lips were set, and her eyes full of wrath. Mad, yes mad, and full of fight to her very fingers’ ends. Colmey checked his horse about one-quarter of a mile away and came riding back, slowly and modestly. Bolling bowed and at once called out, “Mr. Colmey, my congratulations, sir. You have a wonderful horse.”

Colmey lifted his hat and bowed a graceful courtesy. The ladies came from the stand and cordially complimented the gentlemen. May went to Bolling and said, “Your beautiful animal dislikes the barriers.” Going up to Colmey she said softly, “Well, well done! Nothing could have been done more handsomely.” She extended her trembling hand, Colmey bent forward and lifted it to his lips. His eyes dived down into her eyes, she felt and knew he loved her. “Mr. Colmey, let me place the colors in this locket, and I ask of you to keep the two in remembrance of this occasion.”

Carrie, ever on the watch-tower, cried out: “Oho! Look, Cousin Tom, how red May is. Tell, May, what did he say? O, you bower-bird!”

The crowd that had ranged themselves by the roadway now pushed in, praising the horses and scanning the men.





“Friend Biggs, that fellow from over the Border Line rode mighty well.”

“He sure did, but our man done him up from heel to toe.”

“Biggs, I feel sorry for the gray mare. She did run so fine, so very game.”

“Savage, I told you the horse had too much bone leg for her.”

Merlin had the wreath of flowers placed around his neck by May Montfort amidst the plaudits of the assembled neighbors. Merlin, proud, victorious Merlin, pawed the earth, champed his bit in lusty pride. He seemed to desire to tell Lady Gray Gretchen that it was presumptuous folly on her part to put to test his masculine sovereignty as to time, endurance, and space.

It had been as a sweet June day to all except steady fighting Carrie. In the mansion all were merry, making ready for the dinner hour. Down in the stables the horses were being rubbed down under the great shed and trouble was brewing. Tasker, one of Colmey's servants, was a young negro, full of fun and frolic. He could not abstain from badgering Bolling's man. Under the large shed where the horses could be tied out adjoining the stalls, the following conversation took place:

“Crow Chapman, crow. Remo, don’ you wish you knowed of a horse over in Virginny dat could run jest a little?”

“Task, I'se done tole you dat I was tired of your cock-crowing, and I is.”

“Keep you mouf shet. Nobody's talkin’ to you, Compton.”

The excitement and passion engendered in the white folks in the morning hours had now been taken up by the fellows of color at high noon.

“I know you wuz. I begged Marse Tom to ride Red Guy, but he wouldn't do hit.”





“Spose he had? Spose he had rid Yellow Sal? What's the difference?”

“Task, you and Compton stop your fussin’.” Remo, thoughtful and agreeable, was wait-man and head of the others.

“I'm not fussin’. I'm truthin’.”

“You'se a dogeatin’ liar. You—”

In a second of time Tasker and Compton were mixing up, slugging each other fiercely. Both young, both spoiling for a fisticuff, it was a set-to worth seeing. Remo remarked to Sym, as the fight was going on, “Ole Task's got all he can tote.” Sym became alarmed for his cousin and caught up a hatchet and called out, “Kill him, Task. Damn him, kill him. If you don't, I will.” Remo hollered, “Stop, Sym! Don't hit him. Marse Jean will whip hell out of all of us if he hears of this fuss. Stop!”

Sym restrained himself, but he deftly tripped Compton. and as he fell, Tasker covered him. “He's agougin me! He's agougin me!” sang out Compton. Remo jumped and pulled Tasker off, and handed him to Sym. “Now, both of you niggers go and draw water for dem horses.” Sym led Tasker away, and Compton bawled out, “An yes, I'm goin’ straight and tell Marse Tom, and we'll dig out from these durn diggins—three on one. Afore God, I never saw such a set of niggers!”

“No, you won't, neither,” and Remo seized him as he started for his master. “You look ahere, Compton, behave yourself, for damn me, if you go an open your mouf about this fracas, I will maul the stuffin’ outen you. Dis is plain talk, an’ I'm not afoolin’. Hit's over now; drap it, for Marse Jean will blame me, sure. Tasker thinks himself mighty smart and is de one allus raisin’ a row.”

“I think I'se been treated scandalous, I do.”

In a concilatory tone, Remo asked Compton, “Can I help you with the gray? She certainly is mighty fine, and I think purty, too.”





XXXII UPSTAIRS AT COLMEY PLACE

  • “There wildwoods grow and rivers flow,
  • And monie a hill's between;
  • But day and night my fancy's flight,
  • Is ever wi’ my Jean.”

“Say, May—or, as it is in the Montfort Bible, Sarah Elizabeth—no woman's neck is prettier than yours in shape, length, and color since the days of Mother Eve.”

“Praise is much more endurable than censure.”

“And hear me, ye saints, such curls, graceful curls, upon your neck, May—it foretells your future; you are to be a widow or you are to marry a widower.”

“The future is to be unfolded. Rife are the changes of life. I had rather be grieved after than left to grieve over.”

“You silly goose, you impatient one with such twaddle. Is there but one gander? Bah! By my troth, I would prove loyal to my lord; but, by the saintly tutor of King Alfred, if the dread fowler should bring him low, I would not think it obligatory on me to ever after go about quacking, ‘Where's my Jacob!’ O, no!”

“Carrie, you may be right, but I believe a happy marriage is a gift from heaven, and the golden earnest of my soul is to wait trustfully and submissively in all things to His guidance.”

“Silly, don't you know you have a part to do? Do you catch mackerel without bait, hook or net?”

“It is not necessary to be phrenetic, Carrie. Let's have no disputation. If you prefer the brook-willow, soft and





pliable, and I prefer the water beech, hard and resistible, it is all well and good. If you would choose a well-broken pony and I a good-sized, spirited horse, whose strength I would not question to carry me through, why, it is simply satisfying our several fancies. I do hope if I am ever blest with a husband that he will show up capable to govern and direct—every inch a man. His judgment as to diplomacy and finance I should bow to and not question. Of course, I should guide the house and suggest what I thought was best to do, when asked.”

“What! bow to and not question? No cock a’ hoop for me. You would be his slave, would you? What! I am not sensible enough to grasp the fullness of a proposition? Gramercy! then I ought not to be wife or mother. I tell you, May, my nature is to be queen bee.”

“To me, Carrie, an unenviable position to occupy: drones and neuters all around you. I had rather take much cock a’ hoop than be forced to stomach such royal feeding.”

“Don't you know, May, he would look upon you as a Polly in a cage?”

“Don't you know, Carrie, your nature leads you to believe that opposition, not love, rules the camp and the grove?”

“You booby! See, this is the way I shall play with my fan, thus hide behind the ostrich fluff, to smile at Frank or bow to Dandy Nash. Watch me, dear. May, by the way, did I tell you about seeing Rachel Ellington? I tell you, dearie, money is the passe-partout. From my childhood I have craved riches, power.”

“What about Rachel? She was a sweet-faced girl to me.”

“Yes, and a plenty of gumption in her noddle. You recollect her uncle paid her school expenses at Richmond. She would stay head of our class. She would often cast a look of pity on me because she could out-spell, out-read, out-compose me. I wanted to wring her long neck. I passed her near Petersburg. She was afoot, neatly but





poorly attired. I was well dressed, driver and carriage. Our station was well marked and I did so enjoy it; ah there!”

“You spoke kindly to Rachel when you passed her?”

“Indeed, I did not. She made me feel her mental superiority at school, and I in my equipage made her feel my wealth on the road. What is the use of having power, possessing much of the goods of life, if you can't make some one feel it? The kinship of the species, yes, like unto the common crow and the peregrin falcon. Don't you know the bishop enjoys his bigness over the rector? No ranging with the humble and the lowly for me. May, there is no discretion but some hurt experienced in trying to make an impression, in running against an iron post, but ah! hear me: to swell by a party formerly known, who overtopped you in a way, is the making of a dual impression. In fact, for one it is acute annoyance, and on one's self it is the essence of elation. Why not?”

“Poor Rachel! I feel sorry for her; she was ambitious and very quick to learn. I really liked her.”

“You like her? Oh, no! If she was to come up to me and ask me if I did not remember her, I would tell her I did not.”

“Oh, Carrie! that would be telling a ——, that you had forgotten—”

“I am a stranger to such maudlin sentiment. By my faith, I would have you tell me, most learned lady, is there in the decalogue ‘Thou shalt not lie?’ for, for a truth, to have lots of enjoyment one must perforce tell many little ones.”

“I heartily detest a falsehood. I have no patience with shifty speeches. If from the thunder over Mount Sinai there came not directly ‘thou shalt not,’ from bloody Calvary came that liars will be shut out with dogs and other abominations, from entrance within the pearly gates. And, Carrie, it may be that there should be different standards





of morals and law for government of state, community and individual, and I dare say there may come out of evil some good; but I hold that the old beaten track of fairness is the safer to walk in. The daily duel between duty and double dealing can have ultimately but one stoppage—sinister failure. You know the vile silently pays homage to the right-minded, and it should be considered more necessitous for women for their personal safety to keep the rudder true, for one false step leads to another. Themistocles won the wall, but oh, what a sad ending!”

“For pity's sake, enough!” Carrie went and put her arm around May. “You Rhesus, you, let us, my dearest, inhale the passing aroma, gather and vase the velvet-leaved flowers while blooming. Surely we are not expected to cut new roads, build risky bridges, and basin the sides of waterways. We are to come along after the danger and the work is over, with music and songs of praise. So now, Bulbul, come, let's dress for dinner and then play lawn tennis. Ho! for my racket. The mistress court of love and beauty. Let's sing, dear. Away with cankering care, what care I for tomorrow?”

May commenced laying out her dress and linens for dinner, and after then for ball and base lines.

“May, leave off wearing that mantilla; wear your silk pelerine, you hear? Listen, May! I would give a portion of my patrimony as certain as my true name is Alice Beaumont Culpepper, if those two beaux of mine would come over and visit us. To Frank I would blow warm today, the same day I would be blowing cold to Dandy. I would keep them guessing, I would.”

“If Mr. Colmey did not keep so close, and you could get him to be with you, you might add him to the number of your captures.”

“Oh, no, May, you are wide of the mark. Such seedling as you are, that will never grow to be a full-grown tree, would catch his fancy sooner than myself. Unless I misjudge





him, he is too sensitized with self-love to give matrimony a serious consideration; the thought would be as pelty wool to his nostrils. May, his extancy is so insufferable; ain't it so?”

“Unless my woman's eye deceives me, Carrie, Jean Colmey is a true man, the soul of—”

“Ah! there's the little maid. What is it, Malvina?”

“My mistress wishes both of you to please come to the library: these are the messages.”

“Whew! Good, by granny! Tom Bolling, Frank, Thompson, and Dandy Nash will call at seven-thirty this evening. Now for some real fun, ha!”

“Now, Miss Alice Beaumont Culpepper, don't be foul weather; but, dear Carrie, act fairly toward them and yourself.”

“Bless me, I can play my cards best without conference with you. You do best giving alms to the poor and reading the Psalmist to the blind. Now let's see. Fine! fine! One doe fleet of foot, two bucks ardent and jealous. Now for tales of love my moonlight! ha! Oh, what a sensible woman was she, ‘Fair Jane of Kent,’ who, without cant or quibble, took on her fourth husband joyfully.”

Colmey Place was all aglow with much preparation. Guests had been invited, orders had been issued to leave off nothing that would make the stay of the Squire's nephew a joy, a relaxation. A Colmey had come under the rooftree of his uncle, from a long stay over the water; a favorite brother's son had entered the doorway of Colmey Place. Every servant soon felt that a young master was sleeping in the mansion. A sweet hum, like unto a summer beehive, was faintly heard everywhere. We love our own, even when they are derelicts; and, when worthy, we almost worship.





XXXIII THE GYPSY CAMP

  • “The web of one's life is of a mingled yarn,
  • Good and ill together.”

“May, let's run away and visit the gypsy camp. Won't you, May? Say yes.”

“What's the use? I don't believe in such.”

“Show me thy hand, for traced therein is character. Do thy soul's dearest secrets plain appear to the weird sisters?”

“You don't well tell me what the lines in my hand are for. What do these markings on my wrist indicate?”

“Is it unchancy, May, unchancy?”

“Carrie, I fear it is wrong. The gypsy is an outcast. They believe in Arabic Romany only. We are advised in the Holy Writ to beware of magicians and sorcerers.”

“Well, how came they here? How is it we are here? Holy Writ, fiddlesticks! I tell you, May, life is a mystery, and in the unfolding of it I have a right to get at it if I can. Why not?”

“Why not ask me why the wolf is here? I can but think it is safest to remain well away from such nomadic people.”

“Didn't the Holy Child of Mary talk with the Evil One on the mount? Didn't Michael, the angel, strive with Satan over the body of Moses on Nebo? Don't day and night, good and ill, keep up a continuous warfare? May, we are but poor, human beings, pilgrims in a strange land, and we owe it to ourselves to find out all we can here and hereafter.”

“Oh, Carrie, how dare you question Providence? His ways are past finding out. There is no mistaking the fact





that God makes no mistakes. But, look here, I boldly say, The Lord, when He calls His people to confront the Prince of Darkness, gives them power to overcome evil.”

“Now, here, May, I believe in the Trinity, I read my prayer-book nightly, and I need no preachment from you. You are a little tainted with heresy, anyhow, and inclined to make excuses for Paul Palmer.”

“Yes, I do believe in the pristine, the apostolic sense of the truths; yes, preached in the simplicity of the despised Nazarene's teachings.”

“But here, May, I like the surplice, the long-gowned priest; but we are getting away from the gypsy camp. Let the men wrangle over religion, St. Peter, and the keys. I am just dying to have my fortune told; anyhow, the palm of my hand deciphered.”

“Well, Carrie, to please you I will go; but I cannot think it is best to countenance wandering despisers of law and order. I am fully aware that the right to live is a sacred right; that gypsies have as much right to live and have a being as I have; but I will not give in that nimble and sinister tricks should be recompensed.”

The day at last came. It was crisp and bright. Old Herod struck out at a great gate and the freshness of the morning air was invigorating and inspiring.

“Oh, May, we are going to the land where they eat only doves and frolicsome kids. You know that breeds hot brains, filling the body with merriment and the atmosphere with revelry and joyfulness.”

“Yes, Carrie, where the eel is held sacred, the crest is a catamount, and the motto is ‘Carpe diem.’ Being in love and having an ardent lover, I know you will enjoy a good gypsy meeting.”

Old Herod was making good time and he had miles behind him. “May, while over at Derwenter, visiting Aunt Maria Peyton, she gave me some most valuable points to be practiced when one gets married. She told me a husband





must be studiously observed as to his temper and habits, so as to be able to apply the necessary measures to manage him.”

“Manage your husband, Carrie?”

“Yes, it is the ambition of my life.”

“Would it not be best to leave off the consideration of government concerning husband and wife?”

“If you, May, would leave off your electionary and study more the moods and fancies of people in general, and men in particular, you would be wiser, if not so spirituelle. Aunt Maria declared that a wife must keep his mentality thrilled by an apparent eagerness for knowledge, and the physical man whetted up and amused at times by a sudden coyness; in a word, if he is all calm, she is to be all charm, all whim. Ah! May, take my word, you chickabiddy, a little well-played petulancy now and then perplexes the man and sets him to thinking what he has done to bring on this perturbed state of affairs. Now, this perplexity is the quintessence, the very spice of a woman's life. Yes, I think it is best to put forth every effort to keep ourselves in power—why not?—that Nature has given us, knowing that we are ‘the weaker vessel.’ Aunt Maria said most seriously that a wife must be fresh and crisp; that sameness sooner or later would be the interment of their marital contract. So you see, May, we would have to be up and doing to make his ‘summer honey breath’ hold out.”

“Love, as I understand, Carrie, is divine; it is the God-given elixir of our earthly existence.”

“Love divine? Yes, when it is mutually reciprocated by holy beings. Our love is human, and by admixture has become base and much gross. In a word, at best it is but an alloy.”

“What, would you have me believe that the impress of Deity upon our faces and features, the divine spark, the soul touch of immortality, can become tarnished, lose its beauty and purity by coming in contact with mundane





associations? Nay, Carrie, I tell you the pearl among the pebbles, that which was given pure, will return to the Divine Giver pure. Carrie, as this question of marriage is but as a fancy with some, a religion with others, let's drop it and take up our objective visitation. Carrie, sure yonder are the camps of the gypsies.”

“Suppose, now, May, the old gypsy queen tells me an ugly, bad fortune, I know I shall always hate myself for allowing you to entice me to come out here, for you know I really despise the rambling rogues.”

“What! Carrie—”

“ ’Tis no time for laughing, May Montfort.”

Black glossy-haired women, bareheaded children, foreign-featured men, were seen here and there, and their tents with faded covers added novelty to the scene.

“May, look! There is an old ram cozening a young ewe.”

“I don't suppose the old sybil here will be in a cave like the Sybil of Cumae; and, Carrie, if she asks that we descend with her I shall refuse flatly.”

“May, hush! Why do you play on my nerves so?”

“Well, Carrie, here we are. You were dying to come, now no use being queasy. I had rather trust my fortune to the waters of good old St. Kryne's well than this mouthy, motley rabble.”

“Which of the four trees would you hug hardest for good luck—the withy, or the ash, or—? Sh!” A girl of dreamy dark eyes commenced singing, jocundly, clear, and sweet as a woodland oriole:

  • “There runs a shoat down yonder hill
  • As fast as e'er he can;
  • And as he runs he crieth still,
  • Come, catch me, gypsy man.”

“Carrie, how do you like the sentiment of the song? Just do listen at that chattering jaybird; he has the crows





charmed with his saucy antics. See those children handing him swamp-sparrows to gorge down. Oh, you bluejay, you nest robber, your harsh cry fills the groves and woods with alarm. If the eagle is the aristocrat of the air, if the peacock is of the barnyard, then the bluejay is of the greenwood tree. How human-like! He quarrels, he steals, he murders, wears fine clothes, and prides himself a prince.”

“May, are you going crazy? We are not crow-keepers. Please find the door porter to this fearsome place. I wish we were away.”

A few of the men were watching the training of a fine Dalmatian dog. The older women were bending over their cookeries, and onion, meat and sauerkraut odors filled the air.

“May, hurry; call some man of the place.”

“Carrie, do brace up. Do take on a more heroic mood.”

In a coppice by the roadside, oblivious of the presence of May and Carrie, were standing two gypsies, a man and a woman, in earnest converse. “Julio, you are not to go.” The young woman seemed to be bubbling over with admiration for her older companion. Her liquid black eyes looked love. His face looked weary, irresolute. The picnickers of the wood are free from world-worry, for what is without remedy is for them without their regard. The men are all lovers, the women coquettes. A queen rules the camp and sets the pace. The men wear boots, red jackets, and yellow pants to the knee. They wrestle, horserace, and play quoits. It is quite noticeable that there was a joyous disregard of the many proprieties of life.

The men are of medium height, finely formed. The young women are budding brunette beauties. The older women have a don't-care gaze at you, and were patching and mending wearing apparel. There are three kinds of men seen, seemingly: a corps-de-grade, a select bunch of horsetraders and tricksters, and, lastly, middle-aged cunning men—the poachers. These last are looked to to get





meal and meat for the camp. These men wear sage-green clothes, and are considered the brains of the body politic. Bold and cautious, their going and coming is never questioned. “Smooth runs the water when the brook is deep.” The gypsy camp was in a clump of trees near running water. Their belongings were stretched up and down the creek for a half-mile. When the queen pitches her tent, they all settle not far away.

The gypsy is peculiar, of unknown origin. Some think he and the Indians are component parts of the Lost Tribes of Israel. He thinks a woman has a more penetrating mind than a man; that by nature she is more shrewd and less scrupulous than man, and is not, as he is, sidetracked by petty ambitions. She goes to the point ruthlessly, insistently, and is quicker to awaken to game or danger. The gypsy is governed by a woman. She knows she never quarters a thought, but keeps it whole until the object is encompassed. She is his ideal of expediency, and is gifted with an intuition to select a council to deliberate with her on questions of vital importance, and weigh the amount of wisdom needed to give body to the final resolve. She is not inactive, although fond of novelty; she is changeable. A natural born wanderer, never still, never satisfied. Yet, with all these deflections, she has about her a bewitchment utterly irresistible to the more rugged male. Venus and Mercury are their mythological gods. Sunday is as Monday, a day passing to be enjoyed, never to be regretted.

A red-and-yellow dressed gypsy was in calling distance. “Here, sir! Can you direct us to the tent of Queen Mardinia?”

“Does the fair lady come to see our Queen to have her fortune read?”

“Yes. Speak to her for us.”

The man was not tall, but trimly made, and his black, foxy eyes seemed to read one through and through He gave a low, mellow whistle, and at a large tent's door, near





the Queen's, appeared a young woman. She disappeared quickly in the larger tent.

“May, hadn't you better drive behind some of these tents? Passers-by might see Old Herod and know him, and make unfavorable comments.”

“No, he stands here. If it is so common for us to be here, let's be gone at once.”

“Alack-a-day! If you are as hasty in getting married as you are in snapping me up, I wager heavily you'll not be an old maid.”

“This way, fair ladies, our good Queen.”

The old Queen had a double tent with a walkway between. Three green-covered stools were placed in the passageway. The tent was rather old, of red and yellow stripes, pitched beneath a wild cornel. In front of the tent were her dornock curtains, worn and unclean. A half dozen dirty, dark-skinned gypsy boys came and stood near them and asked questions boldly. The old Queen turned and angrily said, “Begone!” and they went scurrying away in gleeful grin.

“These people are not Sybarites,” May musingly considered, “but they are surely Eutopians. Their social happiness seems to them to be complete, and, although of a roaming species of human citizenship, they could not be marked down as vagaries, for they have fixed, unwritten laws, the breaking of which brands the offender so possessed from camp and council forever and a day. Discipline and diplomacy are supposed to be wanting in these people, yet they manage to exist, seldom under arrest, and have continuously a bon homme life.”

May spoke: “We have come—”

“Come for what? From Orderness to Ettrick's Forest I passed and bade Queen Caroline beware.”

“We have come, Sybil Queen, to ask you to read the fortune of this young lady, and I will cross your hand with much silver.”





“Cross my hand? I see, I see you are to marry a stranger. You will live near deep waters. I see you will live a long life. I see, I see you will mother many children, and your husband will have lands and money. I see, I see—I'm done.” Mardinia started away, and Carrie, reassured by the good fortune promised her, rallied from her fears and asked the Queen, “Stay, Queen, and tell my friend her fortune. Here is gold.”

The old Queen looked May full in the face: “What for are you here? You hate our Romany. Listen and take warning. I see trouble for you, blood and wars, heartaches for you. Your choice will sort with the blood of those whose bones rest in St. Denis, safely sepulchred. The web has been broken, but it will mend again. The beaches will not be mastless. I see you will marry the man and will live down by the deep, blue sea. I see—I see—hold fast; I'm done.” She turned to May, extended her hand, and thus addressed her: “All women are sisters. Why, then, rail on the downtrodden gypsy? He knows life at its worst is but a vain shadow, and a hundred years is but as a watch in the night. Every path leads to the grave. Listen: the gypsy has no standing armies, he prefers peace and pursues it. He has no lordly monument to mark his last resting place, his dead sleep beneath the evergreen holly tree. If he makes no grain, neither does he distill. Who ever saw a drunken gypsy? His mode of life needs no stimulant. Like unto those who strain for a higher trend and must be sustained by subtle accessories, he accepts the fruits as prepared by Nature. Romany's children pant for the fresh air of dewy mornings; they pass their lives in green woods, sleep on the grassy heights, and drink water from the springs of the valley. Who was Melchisedek, tell me?”

The old Queen wrapped her robe about her thin, sinewy body and walked slowly away, and was last seen passing down into the deep shaded woods.





Carrie was one of those kind of people that never give up an idea nor cease to continue an argument, apparently full of self-confidence, and certainly full of curiosity. She dreaded for it to be known that she had purposely visited the gypsy camp, beside the darkly shaded pools of the winding Quanky. Having implicit confidence in May, she felt certain that she would never willingly make it known. Carrie was immensely delighted as to her future prospects as foretold by the old gypsy Queen. She believed what was prefigured of her, but strove honestly to disbelieve what was presaged to May. It was true there was an innate satisfaction in the knowledge that her prospects were more goodly than May's. She really wished May's future had not been so interwoven with anxiety and troubles. Carrie loved May sincerely, but she loved herself and her heart desires much more dearly than she did her friend's.

“May, we are antipodal on general principles. According to you, all men are rogues. The cunning attorney reveals to the greedy guardian the silent channels of gain; the physician sleeps and lets his patient die; Peter stoutly denied his Master, and was afterwards made a Pope; the wealthy merchant forgets to give good measure to the poverty-stricken widow—but lo! when the gypsy lags in moral duties, the pillory for him, and he is branded as an outcast.”

“Oh, Carrie, I fear you too willingly misrepresent the multitudinous callings of men. The fiat went forth from Deity that ‘six days shalt thou labor.’ I admit the gypsies seem to be controlled by a mystic, mysterious power that is unaccountable. If one of their offspring is taken, I am told, in babyhood and carefully reared by Christian people, as age comes on the child becomes restless under the restraint of civilization, and will away to the wildwood. It is said they were made wanderers because they refused to administer to the necessities of the Virgin Mary, but not





vagabonds. If Peter, the impulsive, did deny, he also wept and died on the cross for his Lord; and lawyers have always stood for freedom; the healing art—storm and sunshine—have been always as angels of mercy. Point to me an almshouse or a college built by a gypsy. Tell me when a country needs men for defense, that you see a gypsy armored.”

“I tell you, May Montfort, if the gypsy is no ploughman, if he is a rover, he bows to the rising of the sun and smiles, ‘All hail to the shades of night!’ If he bakes his beans and wears buckram for a covering, if he leads no armies nor keeps a ledger to accurate his profits and loss, he is the living example of taking life easy, showing, evidencing to the world the needlessness of a madhouse. Who ever saw a lunatic gypsy? Who ever owned a gypsy slave? He leads a normal existence, his life is a romance. If he is no potentate, he is no beggar at your heels, and his skill in divination has been the amusement of royalty. He is no underworld sweater. He is a child of the green wood; he eats, sleeps and wakes with Nature. His wants are few, and he feels that that much is due him—it is God-given. Did Abraham and Jacob follow the town bell? The gypsy had his religion, but no bead roll. He prays beside the silent streams, he sings with the forest songster, his conscience is his king, the world his playground, and cultured mankind his persecutors. He builds no jails; they are only filled with the wails of woe of the friendless. He passes through the world as a stranger and an outcast, having no friends, no home, and no country.”

“Now, Carrie, good! Let me admire your enthusiasm, if my judgment opposes your logic. You are welcome to your knight of the black roan. His dreamy fancies, his romantic ecstacies, his castle of Spain unfits him to be interested in sordid facts. Don't worry, dear, to think of his beans seasoned with somebody's fat pig. I can see no beauties in bands of roving vagabonds. For me, the old





ship of state. Give me the church bell that called my parents to song and prayer, the sweet-sounding old dinner horn calling the laborers from the fields to a table of plenty and to spare; and, dearer than heart can tell, the old mansion house where my fathers planned and played, married and loved, died and were buried. And we are here to take our stand, do our part. There swings the old oaken bucket, there stands my mother's flowering pomegranate. Education, Carrie, is the guide-star; good citizenship is the bedrock upon which is founded the destinies of the human race, and the cultured mind holds in hand the Scriptures, the rectory of civilization. I tell you, Carrie, the lands would become a waste, the sea would be without ships, if the gypsy man reigned and reigned supremely.”

“I was not aware, May, that the Colony of Carolina was reputed to be over-careful of its citizenship. Did you ever read the Westover Manuscripts? Colonel Byrd lucidly tells how the runaways from our Colony found a welcome ‘over the line,’ and rested in peace and security in your dense thickets and upon the banks of your crooked creeks. I am certainly pleased to hear that there is an awakening to propriety if not necessity of scanning more closely would-be settlers.”

“It is so refreshing, Carrie, to hear you berate my people for harboring your runaways. If we allow breathing space to them, the fact remains that they were born and bred Virginians. If an enemy's dog comes for shelter in a storm he is not driven away. And, Carrie dear, did you never see a crow trooping with pigeons? It remains a fact that he is a roguish crow, and is treated as such by the gentler company.”

“I see nothing to laugh at, May. I take it, you are not so witty.”

“I just can't help it, Carrie. Fair child of Eve, forgive me for acting ugly.”

“May, if I didn't love you so unreasonably, I would become





so incensed that I would break with you, for you do make at times such particular demands upon my sense of decorum; but let it pass; let's back to the gypsies. These people appeal to my very soul. They may be outcasts. I know their lives, like their vehicles, are disorderly; but, so help me, I have an almost overpowering desire to become one of them. I want to sit by their fires, listen to the romance of crag and castle heard only in their songs; sing in the hush of the evening time, in the early seductive hours of twilight, under the old birchen tree, where the fire outdoors burns merrily. Oh, May, did you notice those fish brought in by those snappy young fellows? One had all perch and pikes, the other chubs and catfish.”

“Yes, and did you notice those two old men come in so shyly? Each had a bag, and on each bag was blood.”

“It is past all strangeness to me that you find your eyes on suspicious and evil intents, May.”

“Those two men, Carrie, had a tired look. I have heard that gypsies go miles away from camp to borrow a fat lamb, or lift a strong heifer.”

“The old Queen's prophecy. What's your tongue, May, against one and all of the children of Romany? May, listen: when we get back tell we went to visit friends. My dear, I fear your telltale face. You have not learned to hide a frown in a smile. I will be so glad, May, if you will go to your room at once, and I will report you as having an annoying headache. May, do you hear?”

May Montfort was paying no attention to Carrie's querelous remarks. Her thoughts were on Jean Colmey. She asked herself, “Why does he avoid me?”

“May, what are you thinking about? By your looks your thoughts must be as black as a vespers pageant.”

Tom Bolling met them at the gate. “Good morning; let me assist you. The bay blows.”

“Yes, Cousin Tom, you know Herod is getting old, and May speeded him just a little the last mile.”





“I reckon you had a pleasant outing. I have bantered Mr. Colmey for a canter, but he pleaded business.”

Jean Colmey was on the porch, but when he saw them coming he disappeared. Upstairs in their room Carrie naively remarked, “Wouldn't you have thought, May, that misogamist would have come and helped for sweet decency's sake?”

“If you mean Mr. Colmey, if it is his preference to remain away, I do not see why we should care.”

“Oh, no one cares, I am sure! no, indeed, he is but a lozel fellow of no mark.”

It was a heart-hurt to May; it was a secret pleasure to Carrie, for she suspected his secret. May asked herself, “Did the old gypsy make a mistake? Is my love to be buried in a grave of sorrow?” A stillness settled on her face.

“May, are you ready? It is high time we were showing our shapes in the parlor. Now, here, girl, brighten up, brighten up; you seem to be out of harmony with your surroundings”; and she bent a searching look on May's immobile face. “Come, May, our hostess will expect us to look our best, as she has much company.”

There in the parlor they stood. May was like a moss rose of blush color and perfect form. Her dress of silk was of an apple-leaf green, and Alencon lace, with V-shaped neck, and fell about her well-proportioned person gracefully. A necklace of whole pearls with emerald center gave additional charm to her classic full-long neck. On her left hand she wore a finger ring of gold and pearls. Her small ear-rings were gold and emeralds. An engraved bracelet of medium size encircled her left arm. Her green satin slippers had each a butterfly bow of enameled gold of buckle shape, which added seemly beauty to utility. May's soft, golden hair was the praise of her friends, and a comb of gold and pearls for back hair completed her enrichment. Her forehead, low and broad, and her eyebrows





well defined and semicircled. May felt fast-sure of her position, as all women do who are beauteous and bright; and relying on her tactfulness, she modestly surveyed her surroundings and deftly played the amiable to her many warm admirers.

Carrie outmeasured May in height, yet when they walked May seemed the taller. Carrie's neck was short and well rounded, her nose was slightly retrousse; May's strictly Grecian. Carrie was all piquancy; May was all receptivity. Carrie Culpepper was a woman to attract the notice of men. She was permissibly compared to the night-blooming cereus. Her creamy cheek was flushed, and her hair of black silk was done up elaborately. For a moment she claimed your sensuous preference. Carrie was richly attired. Her dress was of old gold satin, with gold embroidered lace, square-cut. Her slippers of white silk, silk lined. Her adornment of jewels was of her birth-stone—amethyst and gold. Her necklace was of fine gold wrought, and a precious pendant of amethyst. Her hair, wavy and fascinating, was ornamented with a rich shell comb with rounded gold points; her barette was like May's, a plain gold bar. Her well-moulded arms wore each a heavy bracelet of gold with bangles. Both hands were well ringed, and her midnight eyes looking from under her high veiled lids were piercing and commanding. Carrie's voice was well trained, and most of the time it was persuasive; yet, the least combated, it was assertive, showing she did not brook opposition with patience.

There is always a latent rivalry existing between women, even the best of friends. Carrie felt that she must make an effort to hold her own, whenever May was present, and the knowledge made her, for she was feminine and fond of power, earnestly consider.

Seeing May standing calm, selfpossessed, encircled by many admirers, accepting homage, Carrie felt tiffed, and it was with difficulty she could control her feelings. May Montfort





was a Persian peach, white, red, and luscious; Carrie Culpepper was like a Flemish beauty pear—rare, ripe and mellow. May was an unclouded spring morning; Carrie was like the summer night stars in resplendency shining. One was beautiful, the other was grand!

Carrie Culpepper stood like a Stanley crane, graceful, handsome, when still; May Montfort more like a royal Australian swan, handsomest upon the rippling waves in motion. Carrie's bouquet was of orchids, May's bouquet was of white roses. Oh, woman, what a mystery, metaphoric—half human, half divine—what evocative power by her possessed! Denominated a shadow of substance, yet what mysterious power she wields for weal or woe. At her knee the child learns to link the past with the present, and look bravely to the future. From her look, tragedies or charities follow, and her tears or her smiles arm man for war or make him sit satisfied in the parlors of peace. Oh, woman! Coy, capricious creature, whether in ferny dell or on field of battle; whether on palace couch luxurious or the stormy deep, man's last-first thought is of the woman he loves.

Is this “afterthought” of Jehovah but a human barometer, either to adorn and record masculine puissant eminence, or to regretfully register his moral and mental decadence? Does woman ascend or descend the scale of excellency as man's whims demand of her?—failure to be an initiative—want of rugged adherence to right and human progress forces her to rely upon natural incentive to action, man; and sooner or later she awakens to a sense of her dependency. Is there no God to direct? What meant Diety when He declared she was to be a helpmeet? She can never be man's equal; no. She must be his superior in the Odic subtle force of life, to help carry out man's prospective plans. She becomes his inferior when she enters the arena to compete for positions and properties. As his helpmeet, woman is a necessity, as the mother of his offspring, she becomes holy.





XXXIV THE ORDER OF THE ROYAL CEDAR

  • “Sir, we are gentlemen,
  • That within our hearts nor outward eyes,
  • Envy the great, nor do the low despise.”

—Pericles.

Colmey Place was full of gayety; all hearts happy and expectant. How glorious is youth! Now no deep-lined creases upon the brow. Great anticipation fills the souls of the young people. Every day is hoped to bring newer joys, greater revelations. The high spirits of budding manhood demanded jousts, trials of strength, comparisons of agility.

Young womanhood, so apparently passive, with keen eye and measuring judgment, is actively alive to the fact that a future companion is one of the all-requiring demands that their nature desires to find and secure. There is a panting desire for power and pleasure running riotously through the veins of the young, in whom hope is so predominant. Success, premiership is to be their final reward.

Persia presents her Laws, Egypt her Needle, Greece her Pantheon, Judea her rock-ribbed Moriah, Rome her Seven Hills, and England her Westminster Abbey, all asking eternal remembrance. It is a heart-call for praise, immediate, the Celtic bard sang to the accompaniment of his harp the heroic deeds of prince and chief, fanning the flame in the young to “go and do, that songs may be sung of you.”

Countries and states, empires and principalities, must take up the multiple burdens and demands of the ever growing public wants, and that commonwealth, that kingdom,





failing to fight for supremacy, will ignobly, surely, gradually, pass into nonentity. Twenty thousand hardy warriors landed at Hastings. There Norman and Saxon strove unto death; they founded the House of Lords, they founded Imperial England! Harold was dead, William enthroned.

In the parlor when a moment of silence came, May stepped out into the middle of the floor and asked audience.

May Montfort was a woman of resource. She knew that Mrs. Colmey expected her to assist in amusing the guests. After thinking it over, she determined upon a knighthood sensation. May had a way of loftiness of look and carriage, free from offense. Courtesying, she said: “Ladies and gentlemen, hear me for my cause. I come not to bury, but to make alive the Knighthood of the Royal Cedar.” She was standing in the center of the parlor, the lights were burning brightly, and all felt giddy and gay. “Come, Carrie, as we must have something to do, help me to institute the Order of the Knighthood of the Royal Cedar.”

May Montfort, when she so willed, was of a commanding nature, and was always easily hearkened to, and one felt she was a power at rest.

“Boswell, advise my friends, and please give attention. It is hereby ordained that there shall be two degrees of the Royal Cedar, seniors and juniors. All offices shall be filled by seniors. The uniform must be dark-green cloth, short double-breasted frock coat, and pantaloons; hat of chief is to have a green feather, cassocks of all members to be red, belts russet and wide, hats and knee boots and gauntlets of russet, and short sword with green tassels and leather holdings of green. Capes of three-quarters circle of dark green may be worn when on duty, russet lining. A camp can be had of five men and to be held under a cedar tree. The object is to cultivate a close brotherhood, to foster a greater love of our State and its history, to willingly hasten





to the protection of the weak, especially of women. England has her St. George and Royal Garter Order, Scotland her St. Andrew and Golden Thistle, and North Carolina her St. Benedict and her Royal Cedar. A lady's slipper on a cedar bough with berries is to be the badge, and the banneret is to be of the colors of green, red, and green (a saltier). There are two degrees, red and green. All brass buttons must have the badge thereon. ‘A La Bonne Heure’ is to be the motto. Do I hear any objections?”

“I hereby offer a motion that only native born white males of North Carolina from 19 to 41 shall be active members; all ages can be honorary; that no atheist, no mixed-blood, no criminal, drunkard, no deformed shall be eligible; that at all times and all occasions, at every opportunity, the vital interests of North Carolina shall be persistently advocated and firmly stood for; that the talismanic word shall be fondly cherished, supremely. All camps to be opened with prayer and shall be ruled by the chief. That at the City of Raleigh, N. C., shall be held annually the State Encampment. If not, they stand approved.”

There was much clapping of hands and a subdued, “Hurrah for the Order of the Royal Cedar!”

“O May, where did you get the idea?”

“May, come this way, please. What do you mean by masquerading like you do? You so surprise me, acting as you have this evening. Cedars remind me of a cemetery, and a slipper I dislike as a venomous red spider. It is a symbol of woman's dependency.”

“Carrie, it is well to think of death, we must meet it; and as to the slipper, a symbol of weakness? Really, our weakness is our strength. Dear, don't worry. Nature sooner or later rightens everything, so now for a song. What's your preference, Carrie?”

“Let us, May, have more sense and less song.”

“Carrie, try to be good and helpful. Now listen.”





“Ladies and gentlemen, we have established the Order of the Royal Cedar, and now we will make a knight.” May had resolved to indicate to Colmey her esteem and confidence.

“As Mr. Colmey has publicly professed that he would be pleased to be a member of the Order, so now, sir, kneel and solemnly pledge that ‘I will cultivate under all circumstances courage and fortitude, and that I will fear God and serve the State, love the brotherhood, and be willing and ready to assist and defend the defenseless—especially womanhood.’ Answer, ‘I do so promise same, upon my most sacred honor.’ ”

She turned to one side, slipped off her green slipper, and said, “Know ye, Jean Colmey, and all present, that you are hereby made a knight of the Order of the Royal Cedar.” She gave three taps on his left shoulder with the slipper and said, “Arise, Sir Knight, empowered to go forth in the defense of the right.”

May at once went up the stairs to her room to adjust her footwear. The evening was spent merrily, and the next to be knighted was the theme conjectural. The next morning as May entered the parlor Colmey advanced to meet her, and in a voice rather excited said, “Miss Montfort, I feel compelled to speak to you. I—” May quickly walked out of the room as Carrie Culpepper entered. The gift of penetration had been largely given to Carrie. May's rapid retreat and Colmey's flushed face caused her to ask herself: “What does this mean? May is afflicted with a dubitative disposition. I suspect a declaration of love—that would be disastrous to my plans.”

“Ah, Mr. Thompson, I am glad to take a turn with you on the portico, and for you to tell me what you think of the new order that was instituted last night with much ceremony. I reckon you will be an early applicant for admission—a follower of the green and red banneret—you being an ardent North Carolinian.”





“Well, Miss Carrie, it is a tree North Carolinians ardently admire for its royal appearance, its scented fibre; and for beauty of wood and for durability of texture, no tree surpasses the cedar; and from the Balsam Mountains to the green-blue waves of the salty sea it is deeply enrooted in the soil and the affection of the people of North Carolina.”

  • “The Cedar,
  • Whose arms gave shelter to the princely eagle,
  • Under whose shade the ramping lion slept.”





XXXV SWORD TOURNEY

  • “But now, how, my love—why is your cheek so pale?
  • The course of true love ne'er did run smooth.”

Colmey, disgusted with himself, hating life, wondering why he was born, had been with his uncle and aunt and told them of his going home in the early morning. He had retired at nine o'clock and had given orders to Remo. Rolling from side to side on his bed, his last thoughts had been of May and Tom Bolling. Coming down to breakfast, he was pale and dejected. To him life was not worth living. Carrie, with her face smooth and placid, said to May under her breath: “May, Mr. Colmey looks like he has his hackles up. I do verily believe he is scared, and is preparing to run off for fear of Mr. Burton.”

“Well, Carrie, don't worry, your Cousin Tom is here. He can meet and measure swords with Mr. Burton, can't he?”

“Yes, but to tell the truth, I don't believe Tom knows much about this fencing business, and there's danger in it.”

“Well, Carrie, somebody must meet Henry Burton, and my judgment is, a live man had best be selected to stand before him, for he is brave and strong.”

“What does the fool mean, May? What does he want to do, anyhow?”

“Bolling came up smiling and said, “We are to have some sword sparring, Cousin, and it will be interesting.”

“Cousin Tom, who is to meet Mr. Burton? You ought not to be the man.”

“I offered to meet him, but Rutledge and the others





thought the best man we had was Mr. Colmey. We all think Mr. Colmey is what we need.”

“Does Mr. Colmey know of this, Cousin Tom?”

“No. He has, I hear, made preparations to return home today. This accident will annoy him.”

“Accident, bosh! He will be scared to death over it; he certainly will when he is approached.”

“Cousin, you pain me to speak so lightly of a gentleman whom I hold in high esteem.”

“How will Mr. Rutledge do, Cousin Tom? He is powerfully made.”

“Mr. Rutledge is a gentleman and a fine fellow, but the truth is just here: men cast aside differences when they meet a hard proposition. The pinch makes us turn to Mr. Colmey.”

“Carrie, why bother and palaver over Mr. Colmey? There is Mr. Thompson, an all around man; why not ask him to cross swords with Mr. Burton?”

“May, are you crazy? When did Frank learn how to do fencing? The whole thing is a mess—speak low, Squire Colmey might hear—and let fortune favor the brave.”

May sat with a white face She knew all this trouble was about her. Burton was jealous and enraged, and, mad-bull-like, he wanted to gore some one. Down in her heart she was glad for Colmey to meet Burton. She had pinned her faith on Colmey, and her humble prayer went up for the knightly fellow from the east. Burton was handsome, rich and bigoted, as she looked at it—wanted all his way. “Now as to Mr. Bolling, he is most excellent and he wears well. But, tush! he is no match for Henry Burton, and Carrie secretly admires Mr. Burton for his strength, agility, and riches; but she is fast bound to Frank Thompson. Because Mr. Burton can lift aside a gig as he would a parasol, leap over a fence like jumping a rope, that don't make him master in everything. No! We shall see.”

Henry Burton at Princeton excelled in sword exercises,





and all stood attention to Burton. Then he had confidence in himself, and that is a valuable asset in the make-up of a man.

Rutledge, being deputized to see Colmey, went to his room to talk it over

“Rutledge, I have started for home; have made arrangements for going this morning; have bid my uncle and aunt a partial adieu.”

“Well, Jean, it is up to you, old boy. I have delivered the message.”

“Why not Bolling? Burton means Bolling—he is not after me.”

“Am I to tell them you decline to meet Burton? What am I to do?”

“Damn the whole business! Rutledge, pardon me. You go and tell them I will meet the devil himself if my friends say meet him.”

“Jean, I am with you, and my opinion is that you are the man to meet Burton.”

Rutledge went to the library and told those in waiting—Carrie and May were present—the result of his conference with Colmey. “Mr. Colmey begged hard to be excused (“May, don't you know I told you so?”), that he was to go for home today, that matters of importance had arisen demanding his presence; but if you gentlemen required of him to meet the Old Boy himself, he would place his all to please his friends.” All clapped their hands, and Bolling called out, “Hats off to Mr. Colmey.”

Mr. Martin placed the challenge, to wit: “For the entertainment of the ladies of Colmey Place, I, Henry Burton, respectfully ask a friendly bout with any gentleman—dress-swords preferred.”

Ten o'clock in the morning was the time set, the place was underneath the widespreading boughs of the old Spanish tree in the midst of Colmey Grove.

Colmey's aunt was badly shaken up, his uncle imperturbable, when told of the coming bout. Burton meant to





force Bolling to show his mettle. He was intensely jealous of the dark, stately Virginian. When he found out that the men of the house had decided to put Colmey on, Burton wished the affair could be dropped. Toward Colmey he had the most kindly feeling, and Burton recoiled from meeting with the Squire's nephew. Their families had always been on terms of amity and sympathy, and he disliked to do anything that might offend his old friend, the Squire.

“Here, Jean; Mr. Martin and Mr. Rutledge have called on me, and asked permission of me for the meet between you and Henry Burton. Give me your interpretation.”

“Well, Uncle, what was I to do? I saw no way out of it; the whole thing is this: Burton is after Tom Bolling.”

“Yes, I understand. Jean, I hear he is a smart fencer, and well trained with short swords. He is heavier than you, and my advice is, worry him, parry, and then pink him.”

At the appointed hour the principals were at their places. Burton in white shirt, black pants, black belt, and short boots; Colmey, in white shirt and pants, buff belt and boots; both hatless. Martin and Rutledge had the swords. They were looking carefully after the interest of their respective friends.

Sue Jones and Grace Norfleet had ridden over to see the ladies and were present at the sword tourney. Carrie went over to greet Miss Jones and Miss Norfleet, and, ever full of curiosity, she was anxious to know their feelings toward the pitted swordsmen. Carrie somehow had gotten it into her head that Colmey was more to be dreaded with May Montfort than any one else, and she could not refrain from wishing him bad luck, for that particular reason. “I am so glad you both came over so opportunely to look on a piece of semi-barbarity, to me.”

“Miss Culpepper, I must confess I am greatly interested. It is an accomplishment that develops gracefulness and





activity. I think it is so manly to be able to fence and fight your man to a finish.”

“Miss Jones, you are enthusiastic. Well, anyhow, as we three are here alone, my heart is with the Halifax knight.”

“And mine with the knight of Colmey.” Carrie looked surprised and disappointed.

The principals were placed and “saluted.” Their swords were handed to them, the “engagement” was now recognized. Burton, stout and handsome, Portuguese in complexion, strong, sinewy of arm, he was perfectly confident and evidenced that he was at ease and at peace with the world. Colmey came last. He was pale and looked bored—strikingly so was marked on his fair, chiseled face. At the word “Guard,” both took quickly a defensive attitude. Burton was at once aggressive, the presence of the ladies fired him up. He at once pushed Colmey, “feeling his blade,” and then a “low carte.” Carrie was jubilant, May nervous.

Flashes of fire were seen as Colmey fenced and backed. Burton became convinced that his antagonist was over-cautious and it encouraged him to continue his “direct blows.” He hoped to catch Colmey “uncovered.” Colmey was wary—he had tested the skill and the temper of his adversary, he felt he was the better man. Being sure of his “double,” he let Burton lunge and swing, parrying with his “prime” and “tapping” Burton's sword sharply as they “disengaged.” Burton at once realized that Colmey was playing with him; his eyes scintillated, he quickly made a “flareconnade.” Colmey met it with a “quinte.” Burton lost his temper. He boldly rushed Colmey, making a “tierce guard.” Colmey used his favorite help, a “sept,” and rapped Burton on his right shoulder.

Burton, now enraged, pushed his left and had Colmey backing and parrying. The steel of the swords rang out clearly and musically. Colmey turned and sharply met Burton with his “seconde,” and then, in a twinkling of an





eye, he used “crossing.” He caught Burton's sword blow with the “forte of his blade” and deftly wrenched it out of Burton's grasp and tossed it over near by his uncle.

“Call off!” cried out Martin and Rutledge. Colmey at once pointed his sword to the ground and stood motionless. Burton, raising his right hand, went up to Colmey, shook hands, and said to him, “I am satisfied.” One of the women in her heart said, “Thank God, oh my hero!” and another said, “The devil take him!” Colmey looked to May Montfort as a godlike human being, to Carrie he appeared as a platonic scion, eternally and everlastingly coming between her and her hopes. Bolling shook hands with both men, praised both, and “was so glad to witness such a fine exhibition of the manly art.” Rutledge went up to Colmey and from his heart declared that Old Professor de Personne was here today. “Rah for Glasgow! Damn it, Jean, I knew you would do him.”

Next to May Montfort there was one heart present throbbing, that had been anxious over the affair, and that was Squire Colmey. Say what we will, when our blood-kin is at stake we stand up and take our bearings. Here was his nephew; he had been raised abroad, and he knew he was well shaped, was bright minded, and thought he had been duly trained to take good care of himself; but he didn't know—now he knew—Jean was a Colmey, tender and true. He wished to embrace his nephew; but no, he was aware that would not be in good form. Mrs. Colmey cried hysterically.

The sword tournament was all the talk of the house, that Mr. Burton had done the acceptable thing. Carrie claimed, “He just wanted to make it lively for Mr. Colmey; that was all.” May Montfort, from thence and forevermore, almost worshiped Jean Colmey; he was her all in all for life. May knew she must keep eyes, mouth, and head mum. She knew Carrie was distrustful, Bolling watchful, and Grace Norfleet suspicious. She found Colmey's eyes





resting upon her full of sadness. She bowed and burnt with blushes. Thompson was almost dying to shout for Colmey, but he was afraid of a black eye and a sharp tongue. Martin, undersized but well made, twisted his flowing moustache and remarked, “Rutledge, by the Holy Mass, Burton failed to get the man he wanted and had to swallow some bitter medicine.”

“Yes, he did, and how queer human nature is! Bolling honestly believed Burton was after Colmey.”

Grace Norfleet asked May, when alone, if she could ever forget Mr. Colmey's sad and impassioned look. “May Montfort, that man loves you, girl; he appears to me like a god dropped down out of the firmament. O my, if I had such a beau!”

“Dear Grace, Mr. Colmey is a dear friend of mine, and so is Mr. Burton. We must not overlook the fact that Mr. Burton bore himself admirably well.”

“Yes, May, that is all nice in you to say so; but that comely Colmey was the observed of all observing eyes today.”

Next morning Lois came to May and courtesied and said, “My missus wishes to see you in her room, please.”

“Miss May, I have a note for you, and I hope it may agree with your feelings sufficiently for you to accept this souvenir of Jean.”

“O how beautiful! how unique! and I notice it has engraved on one side the Colmey crest. It is a rare piece of old gold and has a history. Just as soon as I can speak to mother I will see and thank Mr. Colmey.”

“Jean was suddenly called home and was in the saddle before daybreak.”

“Gone! Jean Colmey gone! Oh, why did he?” May reeled, was as white as snow and pulseless. Mrs. Colmey assisted her to sit on the couch and then to lie down and unfasten her dress, bathed her face, placed salts to her nose, and waited.





“Dear Mrs. Colmey, have a conveyance brought around. I must go to my mother.”

In all conditions of life, in all this wide universe, to every human heart, how dear is mother! When the world has turned dark and cold and dreary, mother is ever faithful, sympathetic.

When May Montfort reached home her mother was startled to see her pallor “Dear child, what can be the trouble, tell me?” “Let me rest, mother, right here by you; don't leave me for a little minute I am just a little sick, nothing more.” She placed her hand in her mother's and soon fell into refreshing sleep. On awakening her first thought was of the note. She went into her room, sat down and read it:

Dear Miss May Montfort:

This small gift I wish to give you was given to me in Scotland. It was found in the woody hills of Lanark near Glasgow. I suppose it is centuries old, and may have been worn by the Queen of Sheba. Please accept it and sometimes remember the man who wore your colors and rode to victory in the hotly contested race between the Black and the Gray. I shall ever prize the locket given by you to me and keep enclosed the colors worn on that joyful occasion.

Your approving smile will be ever remembered by

Your obedient servant,

Jean Colmey.





XXXVI COLMEY'S DEPARTURE FROM HALIFAX

  • “For such is Fate, nor canst thou turn its course;
  • Fly if thou wilt to earth's remotest bound.”

—Iliad.

Colmey came out of the shadows of the old tulip tree, and was well nigh crazed with poignant thoughts. Carrie's poisoned arrow rankled festeringly in the very warp of his heart. He felt as fierce as an enraged Bengal bison. At one moment he hated May, he hated the world, he hated himself; the next minute a wave of never-dying love over-powered his senses. Her everyday sound sense, her symmetry of shape, her pureness of purpose entranced him more than her bewildering loveliness.

“My God, is she human? She is the daydawn, the sacred essence of my adoration. Is such love as mine punishable because indivertible? Her sympathy for others, her gentle voice, bind me to her with fetters forged in love's doubly heated furnace. In Christ's name, let the curtain of forgetfulness drop, I pray; let the lights of the past go out! Oh, if I could only die and end it! How fondly I have hoped that my mother's tambour of such estimate might be of daily use; but no, not now. I must seek shelter in the ferny solitudes of Laurel Ridge from the pitiless storm now pelting my maddened brain.

“I must go away from here; I fear my aunt's searching eye. Yes, down among the quivering reeds of the dark blue river, there I will push my canoe, try to forget; record my visit here as a sweet dream to be forgotten, a feverish, sleeping vision of my young manhood. I can remember





the sacred cup of Sangreal and take comfort therefrom.” He went into the house, to his uncle's room, and softly touched the small bronze knocker on the door.

He forced himself to set a smile on his face, he steadied his voice and made his manner thoughtful, important.

“Jean, I can hardly reconcile myself to this hasty action on your part. If you will start so early, I will send the servants and your pair of fillies under Johnson's direction. You see it will take a little while to get their belongings together. Your aunt has already provided for Abigail, and the boy and girl are to be cared for. You know they ought easily to reach Edenton in fourteen hours steady travel, but negroes fear Indians and, like Indians, they have an innate aversion to moving about after nightfall. They will be sure to camp on Cashi River instead of pushing on to Black Rock. I shall order the brig to take them to Laurel Ridge.”

“Uncle, you do too much for me.”

“Is Samson living?”

“O yes, sir, and in fine health.”

“He is Deborah's husband, and his mother was most handy.”

“Jean, is old Aunt Mirandy living?”

“O yes, sir, and stirs about quite actively.”

“I am delighted to hear from her. She is about ninety years old.”

“Now, don't forget to remember me and your aunt, too, kindly to all of them, and if my health will only improve next fall I shall consider myself blessed if allowed to pay you a long visit. Come to see us, dear boy; you remind me forcibly of your father. Here, take your uncle's blessing with you.”

The uncle and nephew embraced and tears were seen to gather in their eyes as they said to one another, “Good-bye, uncle”—“God bless you, Jean.”

By daybreak Colmey was mounted and on his way to





Edenton. After getting a few miles on his way, being young and full of vitality, he commenced sadly singing the old refrain:

  • “The soldier from the war returns,
  • The merchant from the main,
  • But I ha’ parted wi’ my love
  • An’ ne'er to meet again,
  • My dear,
  • An’ ne'er to meet again.”

Remo found it difficult to keep up with his master. Colmey was anxious to get out of the neighborhood before there were travelers abroad. He soon fell to whistling:

  • “O dearer far than seals of power,
  • Or gilded wall or dome,
  • The mossy mound, the spreading bower,
  • Around my sea-girt home.
  • “I hold it true, whate'er befall,
  • I feel it when I sorrow most:
  • ’Tis better to have loved and lost
  • Than never to have loved at all.”

“Yes, loved and lost, how better!”

“She will always stand as a Paros chiseled column of beauty amid the ruins of the temple I had erected in my sanguine daydreams, a sweet, holy recollection. She treated me fair. I can't hang an objection up in the halls of memory against her, but—

“I hate the name of Tom Bolling. I was afraid to trust my temper in his presence, but I feel mean to think so, it is currish. I used to consider all men my friends, but now they are to me but crowing cocks, bubbles only in this troubled summer stream of life. Bah! And I have to go eat the bitter bread of heart discontent until this bootless grief can be comforted by time.

“And what hurts so is that truth forces me to say that





Bolling is a fine, handsome fellow. In fact, she can't do better than marry him. He has always acted the gentleman with me. I could nearly love the fellow—but he loves May.

“I've got her locket and will wear it evermore.”

Remo came riding hotly after his master. He felt seriously aggrieved. Remo was one of those of a saucy kind; he could fall in love with any buxom, forward housemaid that came his way. “Thar goes Marse Jean a-ridin’ as if he wus crazy. He's in one of his mad-pets and specs me to keep up with Merlin. Lucrecy, I could see, was jes ready to give in to me. She suits me. I'm goin’ to have her, if I have to run away and come back for her. Marse Jean has done and ruint my plans.”

Master and man so little understood each other. One heart was struck forever, the other for a season—both spurring their horses, placing miles between them and those tugging at their heart-strings. Merlin bounded forward and faster at the least touch of the silver spur, covering mile after mile with easy speed. The very heavens that morning to master and man were hung with somber colors, and every bird to him was as a croaking raven.





XXXVII THE PASTURAGE OF THE TIDES

  • “The tributes which my other subjects bring
  • Must moulder into dust—but holy men
  • Present me with a portion of the fruits
  • Of penitential services and prayers;
  • A precious and an imperishable gift.”

—Kalisasa.

Who are the holy men proper? I take it they are those who humbly walk in the pathway of life contentedly; those who have a holiness of spirit pervading their lives and who timely hold to having purity and peace established in their homes, whether in cloisters upon the pinnacled Alps, or as messengers of light among the savage tribes; or those who daily risk their lives upon the dangerous deep, securing nutriment for strangers and wringing from the waters sustenance for loved ones remaining in their humble homes upon the wave-washed sand dunes.

To their credit it can be avowed that fishermen and farmers are the feeders of the world. The farmer first feeds himself, and then stands at his barn door and hands out bread to the multitudes. He has a place all his own among the children of men.

Mrs. Banbury was ingenious. She found means by which she could hold Colmey in the house so that he should be in the society of Lola and under her subtle guidance. She knew that lambs, when much together on hillside or grassy lawn, sooner or later become much attached to each other and would plaintively cry when separated for the absent one. She had naturally an inquisitive turn of mind, and it made her observant of times and induced her to be a





good, patient listener when she was self-interested. She discreetly led Colmey to speak of his travels abroad, and she manifested the utmost concern in his narrative. She was a natural-born angler and psychiatrist. Her rod was often seen dipping into the gnarled river spots best known as the finest resorts for silent angling.

“Mr. Colmey, I am so unacquainted with the tides and fisheries, I have quite a longing to know something about each, and I know Lola will be an interested listener of the Pasturage of the Tides.” Mrs. Banbury cared nothing for the ebb and flow or for catching of fishes, but she wanted to hold Colmey.

“Well, to be acquainted with nettings, with hand lines, with trawls and traps, one must go along the waterways and notice the workers as they go forth and come in with the fruits of their labors. You know fishing and angling are quite distinguished from each other by the law of profit—one is a business, the other a pastime.”

“Oh, well, Mr. Colmey, I know the perch and the chub; but as to any other of the finny tribe I am densely ignorant.”

“Mrs. Banbury, I might say the sharks are for Japan, the sturgeon for China, the sea-herring and halibut for Britain, the tunny and turbot for France, and the codfish for New England, while the mullet and trout are prime favorites for the southern section of America. Of course, the carp is a German fish. At Petershead I saw about three hundred boats going out with the wind and some were to never return.”

“Oh, Mr. Colmey, how can you account for the moon being mistress of the tides?—so overwhelming is the thought to me! Tell us something, please.”

“Well, madam, the study of the neap and spring tides, the solar and lunar forces, the yoking of the moon and the earth together by an invisible tie-band, is a study intricate and unsatisfactory.”





“Am I to understand that the earth and the moon are yokefellows, Mr. Colmey?”

“I can but think, madam, that the earth is the great magnet with its buried millions of metals, with caverns miles deep to hold hidden volumes of water, its coal fields and oil wells daily generating tidal impulses of which man is but slightly acquainted. The forced and free oscillation of the sea is to me a great mystery, like unto the dynamical theory of the tides that through the electric forces draw insistently to its shores the tides of the unfathomable deep. The instability, the fluidity of the sea, surpasses my comprehension. Man can but stand awed at Infinity, and the contemplation of the ways and powers of Deity strikes him dumb with fear and admiration.”

“Mr. Colmey, did you ever see a catch of sturgeon or whale? I know it must be a thrilling sight, and then those dear sea-calves following the mother whale and under her motherly care night and day to guard against skipper and shark!”

“I never witnessed a catch of that kind, and you know those big fish are the property of the Crown; the oil is so valuable. Either whale or sturgeon cast ashore is claimed by the Donatory. It always pleased me to see caught the porpoise. As you know, he is as voracious as a sea fox. The porpoise furnishes very valuable oil for delicate machinery, and these thick-skinned beauties pursue the salmon and herring destructively. The laws of Scotland as to salmon are peculiarly protective.”

“Mr. Colmey, it seems to be a painful fact that every living thing on earth, in air or water, has to meet dangerous enemies.”

“Yes, madam; the cruel, cunning spider dreads the deadly sting of the scorpion.”

“Did you see, while away, any of those sea-bedrabbled sisters?”

“Yes, madam. I remember the crying of the fishwives





coming up from the fisheries below Glasgow; once heard, never forgotten. You hear the appeal, ‘Caller herrin’! caller herrin’! Wha'll buy my caller herrin’?’ sounding above the noise of vehicle and the subdued noise of bells. The braw Scottish accents, spoken from vigorous bodies, make the heart stop and listen and arouses within you a peculiar interest in those human bodies, offering for sale the product of food, fishes out of the waters where thousands are wont to labor, those who went out to sea and never have returned. You can hardly meet one of them that has not a sad-marked face and a pathetic life story; for their lives, their husbands’ and lovers’ lives, are fraught with romance and tragedy, and hardly a moon fulls and wanes but that you can hear the wail of despair from mothers and wives over the engulfment of Gowen and Donald, who were both bonny and brave. Sex obsession to them was fortunately unknown. You see them strung out, a square or more, short-petticoated, strong-limbed and sunbrowned; and the burdens borne by them were incredible to me. You see, each woman's creel rests upon her back and holds about a hundredweight of fish, while a basket above it has the choicest, weighing more or less a half a hundred. They pass up the great thoroughfare bareheaded, seemingly oblivious to their attractive appearance. This one fact made me observe them closely and politely ask them questions as to the dangerous vocations of their husbands and as to the oppressions of their burdens. I found that these women made themselves almost beasts of cartage for the maintenance of their numerous offspring. They cheerily went about their business in calling for buyers of their wares, and, although heavily weighted (nigh unto two hundred) and trudging over the rough hills, it was seldom you heard a complaint from any of them. I asked a middleaged woman if she enjoyed her vocation. She sadly smiled and answered, ‘My trade is all well, but the water Kelpie was abroad and my poor man





was lost to me in the last bitter gale.’ There is an eloquence in the speech of these hard laboring women that awakens the most tender emotions. I now hear their anxious, hearty calling. I became so interested in these particolored dressed sturdy Scotchwomen that I hired a boatman to pull me down to their landing to witness the incoming of the men and watch the anxiety expressed in face and voice of the sea-tanned women. Some of the fishers had prosperously returned, their boat nearly buried in the waters by the weight of many ‘good catches,’ and then one came who had been out, a driftage, beat about by the waves, the storm and wind, with hardly ‘a scale’ on board, and the men so exhausted and weary that it was with sore difficulty that their boat could be safely shored. Oh, those goodly women, bare-armed wives, splashed through the eddying waters, and boldly lifting their husbands in their strong arms, bore them bravely to the beach. What cheers went up! How endearing were their tones, how affectionate their embrace! I retraced the way, and unto this day I sweetly remember the coming back of the belated fishermen to their waiting, eager helpmeets. Those women are to me ‘Normandy pippins,’ sundried and for winter use, abiding in constancy, immortal in purpose.”

“Mr. Colmey, I almost envy you that vivid recollection.”

“I hear now their wild song cry:

  • “Wha'll buy my caller herrin’?
  • O, ye may call them vulgar farin’—
  • Wives and mithers maist despairin’.
  • Ca’ them—lives of men.”





XXXVIII LOLA BANBURY AT MONTFORT

  • “O take fast hold, let that light be thy guide,
  • In this small course, which birth draws out to death,
  • Who seeketh heaven, comes of heavenly breath—
  • Then farewell—world. The uttermost I see,
  • Eternal love maintains this life in me.”

—Sidney.

“Miss Montfort, I am on my way to Petersburg to make purchases for my coming nuptials. I would be so glad for you to accompany me. The world looks so lovely just at this time—the trees are so beautiful and green, the waters so sparkling and bright, the blue above me—all, all, to me looks love.”

“Is your marriage to be soon?”

“Just two moons away, then I am to marry Mr. Colmey.”

“Colmey? What Colmey?”

“You don't know him. He is of Laurel Ridge. You see, I nursed him through a protracted illness. Dr. Dillard often told him it was my tender, faithful vigilance that kept him from death.”

“When did all this happen, Miss Banbury?”

“About four months ago he fell suddenly ill at our house. He raved at times, cursed the name of Bolling—there seems to have been a lady in it, some way.”

“Did he mention her name?”

“No, he did not. He cried out in agony that all his hopes were dead.”

“I suppose, Miss Banbury, he is somewhat advanced in age, is he?”

“No, no, he is young, fair and handsome, and what





worries me is he has never told me he loved me. He and mother were discussing Hamlet and speaking of Ophelia. Mother glanced innocently at me and remarked she believed I was as silly as Ophelia if my love was unrequited; and I spoke out boldly to humor mother, that yes, I would do as she did—I would destroy myself.”

“Did Mr. Colmey notice it?”

“Notice it! Oh, my! I can see him now turn deadly pale; he seemed so shocked.”

“I suppose he discussed with your mother Hamlet and Ferdinand's meeting at the grave?”

“No, he begged to be excused and walked out, and went toward the sound. Somehow I fear he was much heart-struck over poor Ophelia's passion.”

Miss Banbury and her father had stopped over at Montfort Manor, as Mr. Montfort was an early and dear friend of Mr. Banbury's. The two young ladies, as a matter of course, became much interested in each other.

After Mr. Banbury and daughter passed on to Petersburg May Montfort felt that her heart would break. In a moment's time, in the few words spoken, she became acquainted with the fact that a life of sadness and solitude was before her, or that she must marry. “I will try to make my home my sanctuary. I have a good will to go home with Miss Banbury. Am I to get used to Fortune's fickleness? I rightfully see I am to imprison my lost happiness in my bursting breast.”

Her mother came in and asked her, “May, who is Miss Banbury to marry?”

“Mr. Colmey, mother.”

“Who? You don't mean the young man who gave you through his aunt the bangle?”

“Yes, ma'am, the same.”

“May, send that bangle back to him. I would not have it to save his life; send it back right away.” May made





no response. She knew that enchanted bangle should never grace the arm of Miss Banbury as a bride—never.

May fell into deep thought. “Poor, dear soul, he does not love her. Grateful toward her for her nursing, and fear that she might do herself some bodily harm, made him take this step so fatal to me. The light has gone out of my life.”

The world's face had in an hour become changed for the worse with May. Walking up and down her room, she said, her white teeth firmly clenched: “That mother of hers hatched up this conquest. For the life of me I cannot see how he became convinced that I was betrothed to Tom Bolling. I love Carrie; but down in my heart I believe she did the trick—her durity has undone me. ’Tis said men are mean, but for traps and intrigues I would lay a wager on women. Many of them have natures more duplex and computable than men ever dreamed of. I can but admire Mrs. Banbury's diplomacy, if I am made to deplore the results. My heart is Jean Colmey's, his heart is mine. I have it! I will not let it go.” That night she dreamed she saw a fair young man, sword in hand, hatless, in buff boots and belt.

She was not at home when the Banburys passed through, returning to Edenton.

Lola Banbury had no particular friends and no enemies. She was classed at school and among her acquaintances was considered indifferent. She seemed to find in herself the company preferable to her. Young men came to see her, but they came but once. Now in her twenty-fourth year her mother took things in her own hands and commenced planning. She awoke Lola to the fact that several of her schoolmates had married well, and that she was a rose left ungathered. If Lola was dull, when fully aroused she was painstaking and steady. Now Mr. Colmey came in sight, took down suddenly sick. Here was the chance of a lifetime. If Miss Banbury was asleep and Mrs. Banbury





heard the doctor's rap with the old brass knocker on the door, she awoke Lola and had her to be all attention to the needs of the sick man. If she had labored long and hard over a dish relishable, it was Lola who had striven to please the sick man. Dr. Dillard thought that Miss Lola was a ministering angel heretofore overlooked.

Lola Banbury was of an old and wealthy family of people, and this fact made her invitable to all receptions. She was asked just to make up the quota, not that she lent any charm to the party or added a gem to the setting. She was fairly fair-faced, light brown hair, hazel eyes, small white teeth, and a good shaped large mouth. Her under jaw betokened determination when aroused. She was rather low, with short neck. Her step was quick and sprightly, and her voice a little gross. Her forehead was high and receding, and hands and feet were aristocratic.

She did not hesitate to show her fondness for Colmey; and her boat, her horse and turnout were ever ready for his pleasure and convenience. She made every endeavor to endear herself to the young man. She had made up her mind to capture him, she loved him in her cold way of loving, and she tugged away patiently to accomplish her purpose. She was naturally proud, but was ready to stoop if by stooping she might conquer.





XXXIX MISS BANBURY'S RETURN AND MARRIAGE

“From fairest creation we desire increase.”

Several of the young men and ladies had gathered at the “Hall” to welcome Miss Lola's return home. Edenton always lived after the manner of the Golden Age. Edenton had attracted the talent and wealth largely of the eastern portion of the State, and the citizens lived in much style and affluence. Hospitality was universal, and good fellowship the rule. The Rev. Mr. Sitgreaves officiated at the marriage of Jean Colmey and Lola Banbury, and much mirth, much rice, much love and good wishes followed them as they left for Laurel Ridge.

Quite a large company accompanied the bridal party, and the bride and friends were a little surprised and greatly pleased at the splendor of the tableware and household paraphernalia. Boat sails, horseback rides, fishing parties, filled up the time and all was merry as a marriage bell.

“Jean, where on earth did you get such china and glass, and such silverware? And, dear Jean, let me claim as my own this handsome hound.”

“All right, Lola—I shall call you Lola. Come here, Sligo; this is your mistress, and you belong to her and no one else.” The hound looked up wistfully into her face and sat down upon his haunches, satisfied.

“Sligo, I go, you go, too.”

Mrs. Colmey had brought her own maid, as was the custom, and soon everything settled down and went along smoothly as the waters of an uneventful lake.

At the table, at the back of her chair, sat Sligo, the tancolored





greyhound most gracefully proportioned. The collar on his neck was a mystery to his mistress. It was a silver collar with markings unknown to her. “Jean, what is that on Sligo's collar—the hound you gave me? That on the seal ring and silverware?” Mrs. Colmey soon became aware that there was a mystery about Sligo and the silverware and Jean's extra large seal ring. In fact, she gravely concluded in her mind that Colmey was a mystery. Womanlike, the mystery amused and harassed her.

The proposed visitation to Frank Thompson's was looked forward to by Mrs. Colmey with much satisfaction. On arriving at Ashmead Farm, a welcome pure, simple, and hearty was extended. “Jean, by George, I am so glad to see you and your wife. Come right in and make yourselves at home.”

“Mr. Colmey, really your coming has filled me with forebodings and with pleasure unalloyed. I feared you might not come, and if you did come, I was afraid I would not deport myself becomingly.” Soon Lola and Carrie were old friends, and Carrie, finding out she had been at the Montforts, was in a flutter to ask about May—how she looked, what she talked about, and did she mention Colmey.

Twelve months from the day of the nuptials Mrs. Colmey was blessed with a fine male heir, George. The maternity of her loyal nature was fully awakened into activity in the care and in the watchings over her extra fine offspring.

“Jean, he certainly favors you.”

“You think so?”

“Jean, don't you think so? Don't you say no.”

“Well, yes, but all babies look very much alike to me. Of course this little man is a notable exception, and I do hope he will favor and be like my father.”

“And why not like my father?”

“Yes, but, Lola, your father is living so you can see him





and enjoy his company, but mine—” Colmey wanted his boy so favored that his father stood preeminently first.

Prosperity smiled upon Colmey. He owned wide acres in cultivation, his servants had increased in numbers, his cattle and swine were numerous; and, all in all, he was called in his section a wealthy and influential citizen, respected most highly for his sterling integrity. Jean Banbury and a daughter, May Belle, had been added by kind Providence to sweeten his marital existence. The terrible hurricane that swept over the coast in 1761 was witness to being what once was Johnstone City was a wreck and left in its wake a cavity of great size and depth, and a new channel established between, were all a silent reminder to the present and future generations of what Nature can do in a night.

The political horizon was getting darker daily. The Minute Men of New Bern had forced Governor Martin to seek shelter in a warship near Wilmington and the Cape Fear men had arisen, led by Ashe and Waddell, and encouraged by the boldness of John Harvey and others; and Great Britain found herself confronted by a question that was only to be settled by years of bloody suffering and sacrifice. American independence was declared! The grim visage of War was seen across the Western World.

Colmey had received a letter from his merchant to come to Wilmington when convenient, as he wished to consult him on a business enterprise. He had been away from home two days. Early in the morning Tasker came and handed him a note from Dr. McMillan, saying: “Come at once, I fear Mrs. Colmey is dying.” He ordered Remo to bring his horse at once and for him and Tasker to come on, but not too hastily. He swung himself into the saddle and, patting his blood bay mare on her neck, he said feelingly, “Drusille, for God's sake, hurry!” In a few hours Colmey rode up to his home. Handing the reins to a servant, he hastily entered his wife's room. She was dead.





The Doctor said influenza. “Oh, my God! The mother of my children—my wife—away from her people.”

Poor Drusille! She had felt the cruel spur dig into her sides. She had heard her master call to her, “Drusille, faster, faster!” When the stable boy led her away to unsaddle and to remove the bridle, the bridle was immovable from her mouth, her eyes rolled, she staggered and fell lifeless at his feet. It seemed to Colmey that the whole world had gone wrong in a day.

“The silver cord was loosened, the golden bowl broken.”





XL UNCLE JOSHUA'S WEDDING

“I like a head well stocked with sense, like thine.”

—La Fontaine.

“Jean, I have been thinking about it, the giving of you some material farm help. I have a woman here with one child, a girl twelve years old, and a son about eighteen years old; and all three are healthy, honest and intelligent. Abigail is a first-class worker at the loom and wheel, a good cutter and fitter. She can manage women well, and would see to the making of clothes for your plantation. Lizzette, her daughter, would make a good housemaid, and Tasker, her son, would be an all-round good manservant. Let's walk down to her quarters.”

“Well, Abigail, have you thought over what we were talking about yesterday?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Jean, I told Abigail that if she didn't like to remain away you would send her safely back.”

“Yes, uncle, I will. And I say right here in her presence that she shall be at liberty to approach me if she wishes to return at any time.”

After Colmey and his uncle had gotten out of sight, Abigail went into her house and commenced getting ready for her departure. She had been told in her childhood by a very old aunty that her last days would be passed by great waters, and now she was to realize it. She also remembered that old Uncle Luke had said that she would be married twice. That night she stole away and went to the grave of Manuel, the father of her children. She knelt down and prayed that in the far-away blue land of Jehovah





that she and Manuel might meet again. On arriving at Laurel Ridge landing, the first one to meet them was rather an aged man by the name of Uncle Joshua. Why was it she was drawn toward him irresistibly? Feeling lonesome among strangers, her heart open and tender, she leaned at once on this man, although he was getting very gray and his face furrowed with wrinkles.

“Well, chile, you and yer childen come to my house; my wife's dead and I am a lone man. Jes cum dis way.”

“Consideration, like an angel, came.”

Early next morning Uncle Joshua was up and raking aside the ashes. To the exposed sandstone, which through the night hours had retained the fire heat, he deftly added his kindling and, with his old bellows, soon made a blaze. He went ahead to cook breakfast cheerfully. He had a youthful spirit in an old body, which brightened the burdens that the verdict of destiny had placed upon him. He never thought of the trials of life. He ate, drank, and slept, caring but little for laying up a competence for fast approaching old age. The all-hurting noon sun he met when compelled to; the storm, the driving rain, he avoided as best he could, caring nothing for downpours; and dank night dews found him in his cabin home making baskets for pastime and profit. Uncle Joshua was what was called on the plantation “a longheaded old fellow.” He had his trout scaled and sliced, he had his rabbit skinned and quartered, and, taking a pound of salted fat pork, he placed all together in his cooking vessel, which was about two-thirds full of water. The boiling pot, suspended from the homely crane, filled the premises with an agreeable odor very appetizing to a hungry stomach. He got his flour unbolted (a rare dish) and his meal, and mixing with water and salt and lard properly, his oven being well heated, he soon had his bread looking brown. The potatoes





had already been roasted in the ashes, his “city coffee” from New Bern was crushed in his oaken mortar, and was soon simmering and breakfast was about ready “on de table for de ladies.” He knew that Abigail and Lizzette were hungry, and he was anxious that they should have their appetite satisfied to the full.

Uncle Joshua knew nothing of that Dogger Bank, that peculiar shoal in the German Ocean, where the deep-sea fish are caught for the epicurean palates of London gentry; but he knew where he could set his net and soon find a silvery mullet and a speckled trout that did afford to the eye an aspect of beauty, to the taste a honey sweetness unsurpassed even in gourmetry. He did not know that it took fifty-eight pieces of different woods to make the finest fiddle, but he did know that the birch tree and the white oak furnished him even splits to make his basketry, which was sought for by even the city people of New Bern. Uncle Joshua was alone—a widower. No footfall's sound had greeted his return homeward for many long months; but now a woman had come. The advent of Abigail was to him as a piece of good fortune, directly from the abodes of felicity. A woman! How sweetly to his ears sounded her voice. Being young, her youthful enthusiasm was pleasing to him who was touching closely three score and ten. Her suppleness riveted his eye, for he knew age was hardening his once responsive muscles. He had not forgotten the days when he and Bilhah often wrestled, jumped and raced with each other, how she followed him to his seine, and brought back for him his catch from his traps—no, but she was gone. She had not passed out of his life—no, but from it. Here was a niece of hers, and greatly resembled her; there was once more a woman in the house.

When Abigail awoke she heard a fire crackling, soon there was pervading the house the odor of meat, onions, and flour. Lizzette lay fast asleep. She felt that she ought to get up and help Uncle Joshua get breakfast.





“Good mornin’, Uncle Joshuy.”

“Howdy do? Hope you slept good?”

“Yes, sir. Let me help.”

“No, sissy, I will get through soon; the rice about done.”

Abigail felt she had a true and trusty friend in this man, and her heart went out toward him. He was lonely, childless; she was lonely and husbandless, and felt the need of a friend. She was only thirty-nine. Abigail was visited, and she visited in the week's time she knew she was allowed to rest and straighten up. As was the case on every plantation, a newcomer was eyed, guyed, envied, and slandered; yet there was an element of hospitality in the better class of slaves, and they opened their hearts and homes to the stranger. Having been married, she knew the secrets of marital craft; she guarded against the snares about her and assumed a cold, stern manner toward the opposite sex, and warmth and fondness for those of her gender. Her instinct told her she needed to fear the tongues of women. Her kinspeople were kind, and by their counsels she appeared to be entirely guided.

Mr. Fennell had received from Edenton a letter directing him to allow the woman a week's rest, and then she might become a char-woman; and at once to commence erecting a house for her and the children. Uncle Sol was carpenter and cartwright.

Samson came and told Abigail the house would be ready in a few days, that he would be glad for her to get away to her own house. Abigail said to herself, “I don't want de house, it ain't for me.”

“I tell yer, Cousin ’Bigail, Uncle Joshua's ole and biggity. He's going to be a lot of trouble afore long.” Abigail was wishing he would go away. She had made up her mind to palaver, to coquette awhile, and she calmly said: “In due time I'm gwine to hitch up with Uncle Joshua, and all these things will be mine.”





Lizzette and Tasker seemed to take the kindhearted old man as a matter of course. Uncle Joshua's became to them like their own home and they acted and felt free and easy in his presence. They smiled at Uncle Joshua, and Uncle Joshua smiled at them.

About ten days after Abigail's getting to Laurel Ridge Mr. Fennell called Uncle Joshua at supper time and told him he must go on the schooner Bonny Kate to New Bern to carry hides, tallow, etc., and bring back supplies. He must start early next morning. “We must make ready for the coming of Mr. Colmey.”

Uncle Joshua, sitting in the firelight of the chatwood he had carefully gathered, told Abigail that people got lost on the big waters, that he might never get back; that he had no children, his wife dead, and he wanted her to have his things and have his house if he never returned. He then showed her how to go up to the “loft,” how to lift the trapdoor and handle the small ladder. He told her he had meat and flour up there, and all his wife's clothes and all his belongings. He then went out and walked around the house to see if any one was eavesdropping, and came back and prized up the hearthstone and lifted up a small leather bag of money of about twenty dollars in silver and about five in coppers. He put his bull-eyed watch in and shut down the stronghold. “I jest wanted yer to know it.”

Next morning Abigail got to thinking seriously about Uncle Joshua. He had virtually given her everything if he was lost. She had never had so much money. The house was well arranged, the outhouse for cooking and washing was well put together, and the spring was near by. She saw he was cleanly and careful, kept wood at the house, brought all the water; in a word, Uncle Joshua was the best all-around man she had ever been associated with. She remembered Manuel. He was a cousin of hers, good-natured, improvident, cared only for today. She felt justified in sitting down and calculating her chances. Women





white as snow and women black as coal are deeper, closer thinkers, calculators, than men think they are.

Uncle Joshua at the appointed time came back and Abigail had provided for him a full, wholesome dinner, Abigail had thought over the matter that might come up for her consideration; she felt that a proposal was in the air, and had made up her mind. Sunday morning Uncle Joshua said “’Bigail, I'm ole and fractious. I'se done and got whar I'se feeble; won't you lib wid me, ’Bigail?” Abigail was keen-eared, but of course she did not hear the remark. “’Bigail, doan't yer hear me?”

“Say on, Uncle Joshua.”

“’Bigail, won't you have me and be mine?”

“Now jest listen to you, Uncle Joshua; you oughter be ’shamed of yerself, talking to me like dat. You knows you ought ter, an’ me a lone widder.”

Uncle Joshua arose. “Good-by, ’Bigail. I'se struck the wrong track.”

“What do yer mean, Uncle Joshua? Sit down; what's your hurry?”

“I'se goin’ away, goin’ to de upper plantation to lib—God knows!”

“What, Uncle Joshua, you ain't ter go? Stay here.”

“Well, will you stay here wid me?”

“O, Uncle Joshua, you do worry me so; you shure does.”

“’Bigail—”

“Hush! not a ’nother word. You's done and heard me. Yer knows how I feel towards you, you do.”

Colmey, after his many adventures, landed back at Laurel Ridge safely Wednesday about dark. Next morning, going down to the stable, Uncle Joshua called to him, “Marse Jean, after I'se made my ’bedience to ye, I wants to ask you to let me marry ’Bigail.”

“What? Is she willing?”

“I'se done put it right up ter her.”

“All right, Uncle Joshua.”





“Marse Jean, I wants a little pig for de ’casion.”

“Yes, yes, you can have one.”

“Marse Jean, I'se ready fer the pig right now.”

“Mr. Fennell, go with Uncle Joshua and help him select a nice pig.”

On getting to the piggery, Uncle Joshua said, “Boss, I wants dat fat spotted shote.”

“Uncle Joshua, he's too big and too fat.”

“No, boss, dat shote is jes de size I wants.”

“Uncle Joshua, you said a little pig.”

“Yes, boss, but I'se done and change my mine.”

Late that evening Uncle Joshua went to the great house and called, “Marse Jean, won't you come to my weddin’?”

“Yes, Uncle Joshua, I will; but don't get too kicksy-wicksy, old fellow.”

“I'se done put de white spread on de bed, and it is done and shuk down, and all is ready, boss, for de ceremony.”

“You have?”

“Nothin’ more ter do now but barbecue de pig and ole Preacher Silas to say de word.”

The shoat had been slaughtered, scalded, haired, and hung upon the gallows. The “lights and chitterlings” had been looked after and the body inside and out had been repeatedly flushed with hot water. Uncle Joshua was delighted. He sidled up to Abigail and said, “’Bigail, honey, when the liver and de lights, wid de pepper and de salt, is done a bilin’, and when we sets down and goes to eatin’—don’ yer know, honey, it will tas’ good?”

“O, Uncle Joshuy, fer the Lord's sake hush yer mouth.”

“Now, ’Bigail, when we'se done and married, and when I'se done kissin’ and bussin’ you, you'll never say Uncle Joshuy again, but you allers say darlin’.”

“Fer de gracious sake, shet yer mouth. I ’spise sech talk, I do.”

Uncle Joshua walked away, chuckling, and said to himself, “I'm going ter ’stonish dat ole gal.”





Abigail was busy ironing her wedding garments. She simpered and said in semi-tones, “De sassy ole rascal. I'll show him; he has a mighty roguish eye. Fer a fact, I really do feel ’er little tickilish. Yes, he said a kissin’ and a bussin’ me. I'm agoin’ to tell him no, I am. He may beg.”

Abigail was happier than she had been in many months. She poked her mouth out to hide a smile and kept on ironing and thinking of Uncle Joshua.





XLI THE COMING REVOLUTION

  • “O God! that one might read the book of fate
  • And see the revolution of the times, how chances mock,
  • And changes fill the cup of alteration.”

Since Shakespeare has fallen asleep the two great masterminds in the English party were John Milton and John Dryden. Milton, even under stress of circumstances and war, held to the lofty and the pure. Dryden, having been raised to look upon the gay cavalier with suspicion, when he awoke to the tremendous possibilities within him and had contracted an unfortunate marriage, let loose all the baser parts of his nature and affected conceits, jeered at religion, and played to the cockpit for money and notoriety.

Milton and Dryden, like all men of sense and sagacity, felt that it was best, all in all, to obey and try to induce others to uphold the authorities legally in power; that if the laws are trodden under foot, life, and property, and the purity of womanhood will be seriously endangered.

The terrible results of the civil war between King Charles and Cromwell had brought about such convulsions that all feared a repetition. All thoughtful men of the age felt intuitively that the world was taking on a change. Now, why these changes come, the Allwise One only knows. They unconsciously recognized the fact that subtle currents were permeating the Empire's social and political fabric. The great masses of people all over Britain were tired of the endless changes, that heady and designing demagogues were craftily leading the people by constant agitations that they might play the role of leaders. The people commenced





to long for the security of property and life, that good laws and courts presided over by fair-minded judges afforded best protection. They wanted more of Milton and less of Dryden. They came to admire the moral beauty of Milton's writings, his fearless contempt for the vulgar mob. Today they are fervent followers of Watt Tyler, the blacksmith; tomorrow, loyal liegemen of King Richard, their lawful sovereign.

Lord Essex died a suicide in 1680, and soon after Russell had his head cut off in front of his father's mansion. Sedition, scheming, and lawlessness had had its day. The Welsh insurgents, the thousands for home rule and for Scotland to be ruled at home by Scotchmen, the Irish ever eager to better themselves, but without a sagacious leader, England in turmoil, war and confusion; and when Cromwell went to sleep to awake no more in 16—, the whole of Britain felt that, although he was a great leader, a martial genius, a sagacious statesman, yet, for all that, England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, with few exceptions, preferred royalty to democracy, and a crown to a plebian ruler. The Briton, surrounded by the nobility, pleased with the exhibitions of wealth, style, and culture of the aristocracy, enthused by the songs and party of the times, the glories of the wars of Henry and Edward, and the remembrance of the irreproachable kingly life of Alfred, had made the British loyal to the Crown against the ebb and flow of any tide of the times.

The death of Cromwell struck a death-knell to republicanism in England and Wales, and the hasty flight of such men as Penn and the Puritans left the people alone, and time to look at the new proposition intelligently. They found on examination that one extreme, popery, did not suit them, and the other extreme, democracy, was to be likewise avoided. In about 1683 Monmouth, the once favorite and leader, took wings and sought an asylum beyond the heaving seas. The desperate spirits that remained





behind kept hid in the most secret parts of the city of London, and spent their time and their hate in laying plots for assassinations against the King and all rulers and all law-abiding people, because they were not of their kidney and their thinking. England wanted freedom, but not brutal license; the Empire demanded liberty, but founded on a constitutional monarchical dynasty.

In America the great majority of the people were loyal to the Crown for nearly a century. Such restless spirits as Hancock and Adams, having heard of the wrong done a century ago, from their childhood; such farsighted men as Jefferson, Macon, Patrick Henry, and Willie Jones, having read the histories of the past of Athens and Rome, were imbued with an elevating fancy of the imagination that in America there might be established a genuine republic far away from monarchy, and surrounded by the tempestuous sides of the Atlantic. Adams and Jefferson dreamed their dreams, and when the culmination was reached and independence declared, Washington and Caswell led the way to victory.

The two provinces had been established, all north of the Santee was called North Carolina. That valuable article of food, rice, that had been brought in a vessel from Madagascar, had become a staple of great value in both provinces, especially South Carolina. When getting to be many slaves, trails gave way to better roads. Negroes and many Indians had been made slaves and kept in subjection to the whites. The North Carolina colony was moving up, but was trammeled by the statesmanship of Virginia. Even Jefferson was opposed to North Carolina's assuming the full stature of colonyhood until he became satisfied that the interests of Virginia would in no wise be affected. Courts of justice were now established in the districts of Edenton, New Bern, Wilmington, Halifax, and Salisbury. Governor Dobbs had died at his seat on Town Creek. Governor William Tryon qualified in 1765 as Commander-in-Chief





of the Province of North Carolina. He was a man of action and foresight, but was too inclined to be over-bearing and oppressive. The Regulators vexed his high spirit, and he summoned Caswell and Ashe to assist him in quelling the spirit of resistance and defiance, that the laws must be upheld and respected. Caswell and Ashe gave their hearty support, and are classed as patriots and good citizens by all good people. There were no abettors of Cary, and Quakers then and there to arouse malice and contention over the laws being upheld when the lives of white men and women were at stake. Husbands and Hunter in 1768 were leaders. King Blount and other Indians were in 1711. One uprising was for fair trial and fair taxation in 1768, the other for the annihilation of the whites in 1711.

The Province was suspicious of rulers. They had fled from other sections to the cool glades of Carolina for freedom of thought and action. Among a people like this, the low demagogue had ready listeners. Like unto the scene in Tacitus. The name of oppressor was so hateful to Carolinians that, being so often without courts and judges or clergymen (see Colonial Records, Vol. I, page 868), they, without intelligently considering the facts in the case, at times flew into a passion and resorted to force to remove an obnoxious governmental official. Further, why North Carolina should present the peculiar spectacle of a large, liberty-loving province, selecting men born and raised outside her boundaries to be her chief and particular representatives at the now approaching momentous sittings of the Continental Congress, was a grosse tete et per desens.

Mark you, this will never happen again in this Commonwealth of brave, high-spirited people.

North Carolina had men of decided talent, of high ideals and lofty aspirations. Why take men born outside of her colonial limits? Her soldiers, her own children, marched and battled at Camden, in South Carolina, Yorktown, in





Virginia, Brandywine, in Pennsylvania, and elsewhere. They fought and suffered, and other states serenely claimed all the military glory. Sooner or later there will come an awakening! What has been done can be done. The Hornets’ Nest and not the Dove will be her State crest. Let North Carolinians be our leaders. There is a gale going from the ocean to the mountains, there is a gale coming from the mountains to the sea—“until the day break and the shadows flee away.” The full cornucopia should be companioned by a well-loaded cannon. There is nothing so strong as truth, nothing so bright as the mind. Yes, the eager eye will see blended—yes, ushered in—a recognition of the phenomenal productivity of the seaboard section, the possibilities of the piedmont infinitum, and the avowed salubrity and the calm grandeur of the mighty mountain ranges of our Carolina. The morning light is breaking, and may “the stone become a great mountain.”





XLII FULBERT MANOR

  • “God is our fortress, in whose conquering name,
  • Let us resolve to scale their flinty bulwarks.”

The health of Mrs. Colmey seemed to be better at Fulbert Manor than at Laurel Ridge, and the removal to the Manor was made to satisfy his wife's wishes.

Colmey sat upon the broad-fronted portico alone, a widower. The cool breath from the river, the beautiful azure sky in the distance, could not quiet his tumultuous feelings. A kaleidoscope of the past came vividly before him. He remembered the varied fortunes of Kong-helle. His very soul quivered with mortal dread when he thought of his miraculous escape from the churning waters off Swansboro. He remembered with silent pleasure the horserace at Halifax with Bolling, and the fair face of May Montfort came up before him, and he wondered if she was living unwon. He thought that long ago she had become the wife of Tom Bolling. He sadly thought of his fond wife, asleep beneath the greenwood trees—the mother of his children. His memory went back to his last visit to “King Arthur's Seat,” on Edinburgh's high hill. And now, looming up in horrid colors, a revolution, a war between brethren. Great Britain demanded loyalty and obedience to her tax measures, and America rebelled and refused. Upon which side shall he draw his sword? He had been taught to shout for king and country! He asked himself, “Dare I forget the traditions of my family?” Shall the sword found at Dumchorter Pass, “De Erlon,” flash in the battle light again? He remembered the bloody rout at





Culloden with a sigh. He recollected Prince Charlie's sad face as he fell back in defeat. He determined to side with his native land, cast his fortune with the American patriots. “If I am to live in America, I must stand for American principles.” He had not been reconciled to the repulse, the heart scare, the body punishment in the retreat and mind anguish before his escape from Scotland. He felt that the old scar sore should be healed by another appeal to the sword. The days of his young manhood came up slowly before him! softly in his ears he heard the birds of Ae-Engus-Everyoung—singing, calling to him, “Come, come, to happy Strathspey. Come and stay!”

Colmey's commission of captaincy forced upon him to seriously consider what to do with his children, his property and a few precious heirlooms left him by his father and his mother. The care and use of some of them by his lost companion, one who ever felt a feeling of force to help him in his purpose and smiled upon him when he was sad; especially his mother's old rock-crystal salts bottle in silver holder, his mother's Bohemian glass perfume bottle, delicately edged with silver bands; yes, and the prized hand mirror so convenient for use, A-Lalique, mounted in gray-colored glass, how passionately precious to him, those his wife held in sacred estimate and safely kept. His children he would place with his friend Thompson, install the Rev. Mr. Lancaster, a good, honest man with a wife (no children) in his home, to look after his effects. Going among his slaves, praising their past faithfulness to his family, and appointing one of their number to be their head and director, he ordered them to pay all due respect, and to assist when asked by the party he would leave in charge of the mansion and the grounds. Then, asking Jehovah's benediction upon his children, he addressed himself to the task his commission required of him.

The sale of a slave was forbidden—never to be departed from—and the slaves were as much a fixture as the river





and the lands were, and an interdependency was felt by master and slave like unto acre to acre that held together comprised the acreage known and named Laurel Ridge.

The Mecklenburg declaration at Charlotte met a ready response at Halifax, Edenton, New Bern, and Wilmington, the echo reaching Williamsburg, Philadelphia, and Boston, and down the lines to Charleston. This ready response of the people to the call to arms made disappear all traces of union between the colonies and Britain. War was declared. Captain Colmey was authorized to raise a company of one hundred men to watch and harass the enemy. His department was from Town Creek to Swansboro. Lord Cornwallis was determined to march to Halifax so he could be in touch with the royal forces in Virginia, and he made preparations for same. Captain Colmey was to hang on his rear, cut off supplies, kill his marauders, and capture ammunition. On the 18th of February, 1776, Captain Colmey was ordered to report to General Caswell, near Moore's Bridge.

“Tasker, you must stay here and look after things while I am away. I would feel safe knowing you were at home.”

“Marse Jean, I longs to go.”

“No, Tasker, I will take Tom or Bristow to do the cooking and cleaning up, and Remo will look after the horses and my accoutrements.”

“Marse Jean, let Tasker go, too. I wouldn't give him for both Tom and Bristow. Marse Jean, I will cook, I will do anything, so I can go, too.”

“No, Tasker, you can't both go.”

“Please, Marse Jean, let Task go, and then I will be so mighty glad to have along my ole pardner.”

“Tasker, get ready, select a horse. Remo at his best is a marplot and forever putting his mouth where it is not wanted and where he has no business.”

“Marse Jean!”

“Shut your mouth, Remo—not another word.” Remo





looked at Tasker as much as to say, “Mum, Tasker! Don't you say a word, he's hot in the collar—sh!”

Colmey walked away. Both of the servants chuckled and then laughed outright. “Fore God, Remo, I tells you a fact, youse got er head on yer shoulders, you shore has.”

“Youse right, Task, for I stands mighty high with Marse Jean. Tom and Bristow, Task, won't do, has no quality about ’em like we have—no. Marse Jean don't know, Task, how ’shamed I'd be of dem niggers.”

“Remo, a common hand han't no business to follow his master to war; he ought ter take de quality wid him.”

“Well, Task, Marse Jean is always right ’cept in dis particular, for Tom and Bristow ain't in line with us, and they can't come de difference—no. You see, Task, Marse Jean didn't think.” Tasker looked at Remo with admiration blended with envy.

Colmey gave a letter to Tasker to carry to the overseer at Laurel Ridge to allow him to have a good horse to ride and carry baggage on him if necessary, as he had determined to take Tasker with him. Now, the overseer had a horse that he would be glad to have gone, and now was his chance. The horse was about ten years old, sound of wind, strong and healthy, but Sir Roger was an old, hardened sinner. He had an inveterate vice, being tricky at slipping his bridle or halter and galloping back to the stables—the curses of the overseer following him as he sped on his way. Many sure-to-break rules had been tried on him to make him give up his objectionable habit; but oh, no! He was a most valuable horse as a saddler and time-maker, but for honest, everyday work on the farm, he just wouldn't.

“I see, Task, you've got back. Goin’ to ride him? That's the overseer's hoss, for I seen him on him.”

“Yes, but you see me on him now.”

“When Marse Jean sees you he'll tell you sumpin’.”

“Tell what?”

“Carry him back, you wall-eyed fool—that's what.”





“Yes, but pard, you sees whose got him now.”

“I thought you had picked out old Dahlia?”

“Yes, but my mind changed, and I took this feller.”

“Well, Tasker, have you made your selection?”

“Yes, sir, Marse Jean.”

“All right, you have made a good selection. I bought him in New Bern. He is a Virginia horse. He is a combination saddler—he won't pull a cart or plough; he takes to water like a spaniel, and was never known to be gun-shy. Mr. Fennell was perfectly willing, was he?”

“Yes, sir, Marse Jean; he's my horse, ain't he.”

“Yes, and take good care of Sir Roger.”

“There, now, Remo, you sees I have got de fine buckskin saddler for mine.”

“That ole horse is like you; he's nothin’.”

“Nigger, youse done jealous a'reddy; but Sir Roger is a better horse than yer cat-hammed ole Dundee.”

“That's a lie, and you knows it.”

“Remo, I likes you mightily, but don't you throw yer sass on me.”

“I'll do it, and whale hell outen you, too.”

“You, Remo!”

“Sir?”

As Tasker led away his horse he mumbled, “I reckon de black rascal will shet his big mouf now; I was ready for him.” Colmey's voice stayed off a rough and tumble fight, for Remo was most unreasonably jealous of any attention his master paid to Tasker. Remo was very proud of his horse, Dundee, a bright bay, and felt that his horse was slandered, to be compared to that “buckskin” just from Laurel Ridge. He thought it quite the thing to do for his master to give him Dundee, but it was a crying outrage to give Tasker Sir Roger. Colmey made it convenient to remain near Remo until he was certain Remo had cooled off, and that he would not follow up Tasker. In two hours they were both as good friends as ever. Tasker's very soul





rejoiced to hear his master speak in that sharp, decisive tone. It meant instant obedience or certain punishment.

“Remo!”

“Sir?”

“I want two extra horses. Merlin may get hurt, and then I would be in need. You go and get me Black Prince and look up another.”

“Marse Jean, take High Bolt. He's the horse you rode last spring to New Bern.”

“Oh, yes, he is a dapple brown, gray muzzle, two hind feet white. Oh, yes, I had forgotten that horse; and, Remo, a brown, as a rule, is a good horse.”

“Yes, sir, he is a saddler—right he is.”

“Remo, go to Laurel Ridge after him, and put Black Prince in the stall next to Merlin. Remo, I want you to let up in your jealousy toward Tasker, or I will have Bristow to go with me in his stead.”

“La, Marse Jean, don't do that, for I do ’spise that nigger Bristow.”

“I want Merlin and Black Prince to get used to each other.”

“Marse Jean, Merlin won't even look at dat horse; but la, me, just lead by his stable Florimel or Katydid, and such capers Merlin cuts up is scandalous.”

Remo had him a new Dundee. Tasker had, after much looking over, selected for his horse Sir Roger, a tawny buckskin, ten years old, compactly built, perfectly gentle, and tough as an Indian pony. The roads were bad, no bridges, rough trails and deep streams to cross, and he was to carry on his broad back extra blankets, soaps, towels, etc., for Marse Jean, and Tasker hid in his belongings things which he did not want Marse Jean to see.

The plantation was all alive to the fact that Remo and Tasker were picked out to go to the war with Marse Jean, and the common hands looked upon them as blessed by the fairies of the air. Tasker would hardly notice the cornfield





hands. The negro, a full-blood, has but little settled revenge, no constancy of purpose, some gratitude, no convictions of morality. The discomforts, physical, mental, or emotional, are treated heroically by the Indian, but the negro wails and laments unconsolably. The Indian is by nature an Erunco, the negro naturally an Esurio; both oblivious to the trammels of civilization, yet in many particulars they are much alike. Both arrogative and religious, both immoral, both children of nature in deed and in truth, both superstitious, both believe in spells, both have a heart hankering after the unreasonable, the impossible. Each places cunning alongside of wisdom, cruelty the same as courage, and wealth with boasting. The Indian, unlike the negro, is proud, stoical, self-reliant, and resistant. He never forgets a favor, he never forgives an injury. He will willingly go to war to drive out his tribe's competitors or enemies, he will sacrifice himself for his offspring, and he will bear up under any amount of suffering to prove that he is worthy to be called and ranked as a brave. The negro lives today, and with his appetite satisfied, childlike and dependent, tomorrow by him is unthought of.





XLIII MOORE'S BRIDGE BATTLE

  • “In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
  • As modest stillness and humility,
  • But when the blast of war blows,
  • Then imitate the action of the tiger.”

General Caswell and some officers were sitting in front of his tent, discussing the late battle. The Moore's Bridge fight had been fought and won by American troops, and what was termed by the British as “testy rebel infantry . . . farmers.” There was great exultation in Caswell's camp, and men were congratulating one another on their bravery and victory. A messenger from headquarters in Virginia rode up and inquired for General Caswell.

“Gentlemen, I am Captain Bolling, with dispatches.”

“Dismount, Captain. Here, orderly! Come, Captain, be seated, please. When you return you can carry glad tidings. The victory was complete, and what filled me with joy was to see our men face up against the British and time's war-proof troops. I hope, Captain Bolling, you left all in good shape.”

“Fairly so, sir, but our people need victories; and from the field I judge you had a stubborn fight.”

“’Twas so, and, Colonel Lillington, did you see Captain Colmey charge their flank so I could assail their tete de pont?”

“Yes, sir, and it was handsomely done; and right behind him giving support was Captain Rutledge of South Carolina.”

“General, I was a little surprised at Colmey's coming out for the Colonies.”





“Well, yes; but the younger men will come if the older remain neutral. The younger are thirsty for adventure; war appeals to young manhood.”

“General, did I hear you mention the names of Rutledge and Colmey? Would it be convenient for me to see them?”

“Yes, Rutledge is here, camping over there with Colmey. Lieutenant, please go over and give my compliments to Captains Rutledge and Colmey and ask them to come and dine with us.”

The meeting of the two friends was most cordial.

“Tom Bolling, my old chum of William and Mary, or I am a Tory. The first time I have seen you since we parted at Petersburg.”

“Bolling, this is my friend, Jean Colmey, and a mate of mine once upon a time at Glasgow.”

“Yes. Once upon a time Captain Colmey and I met at a horse race in Halifax. I hope you recollect that pleasant episode, Captain.”

“Yes, sir, and pleasantly so; very glad to see you.”

“Have you heard lately of Thompson and Cousin Carrie?”

“Yes, sir, and I am glad to report that they are well and doing well.”

“Captain Colmey, our friends in old Halifax are prosperous as ever. I called and took dinner at Montfort, and I can truly say Miss May is wonderfully well preserved and still unmarried.”

Colmey felt a weight pass away from his heart. What! May Montfort unmarried? He asked himself, “I wonder does she ever think of me?”

At dinner General Caswell proved to be a genial host, full of hospitality.

General Caswell sat smiling—carefully dressed. He paid so much attention to his toilet some called him Dandy Dick. With him was sitting Captain DeLacy. His staff was away on errands and to gather intelligence.





“DeLacy, now by the goodly Saint Benedict, the patron saint of our Carolina, our hopes have their full answer. The enemy is beaten, and from seaport to mountain crest our people will be encouraged to strike for liberty. DeLacy, I am anxious for you to meet some of my most promising officers. I will invite three of them to come and dine with us.”

“General, I shall be delighted.”

“Here, orderly, take this message to Captain Colmey's tent. There you will find Captains Rutledge and Bolling.”

“General Caswell, I am anxious to make the acquaintance of any of our officers whose spirits are big with hope and ambition.”

“Here they are. Come in, gentlemen. Let me introduce you to Captain DeLacy of the Maryland line. Gentlemen, welcome.”

Soon a fat, juicy goose and a well-roasted pig were placed upon the table, and the smell of a clam-bake quickened the desire for the approaching feast.

“Now, gentlemen, whet your appetites, for I am glad to relate that I have been so fortunate as to be supplied from a British sutler's wagon with several baskets of old wine of the markings of Maderia, sherry, claret, and port. As to their mellowness, their flavor, I wish you to pass judgment when the seals are broken and the contents tested. Then we shall vote which is king.”

DeLacy: “Gentlemen, with the General's permission, I can truly vouch for the strengthening qualities of this lucky addition to his viands. Without question, it has made our host's empulum tempting beyond compare.

Captain Rutledge: Well, Captain DeLacy, we are not insuriants proper, but being Charleston bred, I promise you, sir, to give hearty attention to the menu.

General Caswell: Now, gentlemen, as we have all done fairly with the goose and cheese, let's chase the pig





with a glass of our favorite fruit of the vineyard. Captain Bolling, sir, your preference?”

“General, the Old Dominion chooses claret; it makes us not forget our duties and our manners.”

“Captain Rutledge, honor us, sir.”

“General Caswell, a South Carolinian loves best Banquet Maderia, with a fruity, nutty flavor.”

“Captain Colmey, favor us, sir.”

“North Carolina, my dear General, is best pleased with old vine-crested ruby-red port. It makes our blood red and our nerves brawny.”

“Now, DeLacy, which for Maryland, the land of Buff and Blue?”

“General, bear with me, gentlemen; the wine of wines is golden sherry; it makes us fair and merry. It is the wine most used by royalty—old sherry.”

“DeLacy, show me. Because His Highness, the Prince of Wales, loves best the Canary Isle's boast and pride, why give our approval to that particular vintage? Nay! My native State I love well, DeLacy, but my love is so great for my adopted commonwealth that, gentlemen and friends, here's to old Port Tawney.” All bowed.

“Gentlemen, now in due season our memory presses us with the fact that these times are flush with achievements. Peace—the tender rose twig, must give way to barken oak, much more qualified to withstand the rough stress of war. Honor and arms are to be our inspirations! I can but feel impressed, though we be confederates in war, that you severally chose wines, representative of your respective states, so widely different in fume and flavor. All's well. Thousands of tables over the civilized world bear these refreshments for merriment and for benefit. Yet I can but feel ’tis best not to dash our wines with strange or stronger beverage until one has passed the hoary limit of wisdom's three score years. Now, gentlemen!”

All arose and warmly thanked their genial host for goose,





clam, and good cheer, and, bowing “good-bye,” they made ready to return early to their posts of duty, as had been assigned to them by the commanding officer.

  • “The spirit of a youth
  • That means to be of note, begins betimes—
  • You that will fight,
  • Follow me close—I'll bring you to it.”

“Colmey, have you seen Mrs. Slocumb? There she stands. She is the pride, the theme of Moore's Bridge Battle, Carolina's heroine!”

“Bolling, let us hear some good news soon from Virginia. We have put a bearing rein upon the Tories about here.”

“Yes, Rutledge, and let's keep hammering the red-coats until not one is left in this country.”

There they sat, three handsome captains of the Continental Army, mounted on horses that would arrest the attention of an officer of the Royal Horse Guards; all about the same age, highly educated, and bent on doing their full duty in upholding the American banner. Colonel Lillington, with ever a smile and a ready wit, and taking a full survey of this trio, jokingly remarked: “Well, young men, here's a ditty for what it is worth, in commemoration of the colors of your respective chargers as I see, so here goes:

  • “ ‘Palmetto's choice is the true-blue roan,
  • Virginia's is the dappled gray,
  • And the coal-black horse is the North State's own;
  • Now let others choose which they man.’

“I hear General Caswell's fife and drum. Young men, au revoir.” And he bowed and saluted as he rode away. They called to him, “Vive le Colonel.”

Bolling started for the headquarters in Virginia, Rutledge departed to rejoin the South Carolina forces, and Colmey was ordered to go and guard the coast near Wilmington,





sending patrols through to Swansboro, and await orders. General Caswell recommended to the authorities the promotion of Captain Colmey to a lieutenant-colonelcy, and for him to raise a battalion.

The battle of Moore's Bridge was of vital importance, to sustain and arouse and consolidate Southern opinion and to break the influence of the lusty Tories. The British, led by McDonald and McLeod, were routed. The defense of the rights of men appealed to the people. Valuable stores of guns, ammunition, horses and wagons, were captured and a strong-box of fifteen thousand pounds sterling. The shrill notes of the pibroch were hushed by the clarion notes of the bugles of the victorious Americans. The American spirit had burst the bonds that bound them to Britain. The Eagle's talons were fastened in the heart strings of the Royal Lion.





XLIV CAMP JOHNSTONE, LAKE CATHARINE

“That General who does not restrain himself, can never restrain his army. Nor can he be strict in judging others who is unwilling for others to be strict in judging him.”—Cicero.

“Now, by the good sword of Sir Walter Raleigh, we have on hand a plenteous shock of arms. Here I am ready to rush to Queen's Creek, where is landed the enemy in some force, a hurry call has come to gallop to Swansboro—that two well-manned brigs with heavy artillery are threatening to land and loot the people—and now, a hot, burning plea for help to drive off the murderous German raiders who have massacred the inmates of the Old Tavern on the sound road, and here another calling for men to rush to Rutherford's Mills, where Craig's Cavalry are riding roughshod over the country.

“Adjutant Grimes, order Captain Wright to go to Rutherford's round-up and drive off Craig's men. Send me Devane. Devane, go and capture and kill those bloody-minded German Hussars. Take Lieutenant Yates with you; he knows every bypath and is a brave, fearless officer. Capehart, you and Hawks follow me. Iredell, take charge of the camp. Bugler, sound the trumpet. Let's away!”

The three different commands went swiftly to avenge their countrymen's wrongs, baring their bosoms to, maybe, balls and swords of death.

In the heady cavalry fight at the mills Captain Wright was badly wounded. Captain Davis, who volunteered to ride with Wright against the fire-and-sword enemy, was slain in a hand-to-hand fight.

At the tavern Devane rode down the enemy with the





Light Horse at his back, the men crying aloud, “No quarter!” In the mixup Lieutenant Yates was killed and five men were severely wounded. Several prisoners captured red-handed were shot in cold blood before Captain Devane could restrain his men. The officer, Devane saved from death, and he was a Prussian, whose horse was killed under him. His name, Vischner of the German Hussars. He was uniformed in gray-green, boots tan, lined with soft green cloth; his silver card case marked “Lieut. Fritz Vischner, Coblenz.” He was jocular, accepted his fate as became a soldier; his bearing, proud and confident. He would not discuss military matters, spoke English, except that the Hussars were Bavarians, Hessians, and Wurtembergers, with Prussian officers.

Three miles beyond the old Sound Tavern* Lieutenant Love and Lieutenant Bond were found—Bond badly wounded. The dead Germans were left for the citizens to bury. Lieutenant McClammy was borne to the old Mulberry House and a surgeon sent for.

Colmey reached Queen's Creek to find the enemy sailing away. He hurried to Swansboro and the brigs were well out on the water. He then hastened to Laurel Ridge, to find it in ashes and the enemy gone. Determining it was best to remain near the sound, he put out pickets, established a patrol, and kept a watchful waiting day and night. Thousands of sweet, sad memories crept into his heart—his memory and day dreams.

While at the Ridge he received orders to return at once, as the enemy was gathering supplies, massing men, and supposedly Lord Cornwallis and Colonel Tarleton were making great preparations to march to Virginia by way of Greensboro or Halifax.

He at once started for the Lake. The neighing of the

[note]



horses in camp at the approach of the returning troopers, the shouts of the Guards and the Cavaliers, made the welkin ring and all hearts glad.

The loss of the several brave officers and men was deplored, their conduct eulogized, and a redetermination was promised by every man in camp to hit hard on every occasion the sanguinary, pillaging enemy.

Camp Johnstone was located amid great oaks, lofty pines and fragrant bay trees, where the salt sea air came up on the wings of the wind to refresh and enliven. It was just between the All Healing Springs and the beautiful lily covered lake. It was an ideal selection for health and for beautiful surroundings; it was a point of advantage for a cavalry battalion operating between Wilmington and Swansboro. The morale of the command was good, and officers, noncommissioned officers, and privates, one and all felt that “we three are one.”

Camp life had become acceptable to the high-spirited young men here gathered for the accomplishment of a mighty National purpose—the Independence of the American Colonies.

The camp duties, sometimes monotonous, became irksome to these hot-blooded Southerners, but they obeyed becomingly, except now and then a born crossgrained one, like unto what often we see in inanimate nature and trees, hard to split, twisted in orchards and in the deep woody river lands.

From the capture of much quartermaster stores from the British at the Moore's Bridge fight, the equipment of the Colmey Guards and the Onslow Bays was easily effected, of saddles, sabers, bridles, spurs, pistols, army blankets, and boots.

In a moment of merriment a draw was taken by the officers of the battalion for names for the respective squadrons. It fell out that the First (the Guards and the Lancers) should be called the Wild Boars, that the Second (the Cape





Fear Light Horse and the Onslow Bays) should be named Wild Cats, and the Third (the Craven Cavaliers and the Carteret Dragoons) should go by the name of the Bears.

The field officers were Lieutenant-Colonel Colmey, Major Iredell, Adjutant Grimes, and the ranking Captain, Capehart. Gilbert De Leon was the Color Sergeant of the Union flag, and Almon Brinson the State battle flag bearer. The officers had, by an unanimous vote, declared for the battalion battle flag, a crimson flag with a hornets’ nest in the center The Colonel ordered that the First Squadron should ride black horses, that the Second should have bays, and that the Third should be on mounts of chestnuts. It was understood that the Guards was to be the charging company, the Cape Fear the flag company, and the Cavaliers was to be the rear guard.

The Medical Department was in charge of Dr. Romney Jones, Captain Surgeon, and the hospital steward was a young Frenchman, who had studied medicine and served in the hospitals of Paris as ward master. Quentin Chambery proved to be a most valuable auxiliary. Unfortunately, Surgeon Jones, while visiting a very sick family near the Old Tavern, was captured by a raiding party of Craig's Cavalry.

It was a systematic fact that the battalion should be paid off every sixty days. Colonel Colmey held it was due the men and that they served more contentedly when paid off regularly. There was not a white, nor a gray, cream, or roan horse allowed in the Battalion. The slogan was, “We are here and ready, Colonel.”

In the early morning hours the bugler sounded “the stable call” and the officers of the day at once took cognizance of the men ordered to rub down their horses.

“Say you, Bob Nixon, don't you hear that stable message to shine the horses like mahogany?”

“Yes, and damn that bugler, he will blow one away from





his breakfast or his cards most indifferently. If I wan't sworn in for the war, I swear I would go home and stay there. I certainly would.”

“You would, hey? It's getting too much like real war for you, is it, Nixon?”

“I'll be there at the last roll call or I'll be dead or disabled, and for all your bluster and big talk, you Alphin Venters, I doubt much to hear you answer ‘present’ then and there.”





XLV LEONATI'S CROSSING (OR ADKIN'S)

  • “Nature craves
  • All dues be rendered to their owners; now
  • What nearer debt in all humanity
  • Than wife to the husband?”

“Adjutant, where is the Colonel? Do you know why this is called Leonati's Crossing?”

“The Colonel is down the river, not far away, with one Mr. Jackson, who says he can show the Battalion a good fordway. I don't know why this Indian name, and it is here report has it the New Bern and Wilmington men met and ferried over in 1712 for the fight at Fort Nahucky.”

“I hear Lieutenant Ballard was sent over early this morning to scout the country.”

“Here, Curry, there they are. The guide in the lead and Lieutenant Humphrey and some of the Guards following him. The water comes only to the girths; the Battalion can pass over.”

“Colonel Tarleton's destroying the ferry boats won't hurt us much. I have been ordered to report to headquarters, as some of the men have been complaining.”

“Well, you know the Ordnance, the Commissary, and the Quartermaster's departments must be kept up to the notch.”

“Yes, Adjutant, but when an officer does his best, that is all an angel can do.”

“True; but, Lieutenant Curry, Colonel Colmey will not take any excuses. If an officer cannot fill the measure he will be set aside and a more efficient man put in his stead.”

“Captain Hays informed me that he was spoken to quite





abruptly, that the Colonel told him squarely that the Quartermaster quota had to keep at the maximum, from an ax to an overcoat.”

“Well, Curry, who is the proper man to call an officer but the Colonel?”

“Yes, but difficulties are met often, and we need to be kindly spoken to, not with flashing eyes and a cutting tone of voice.”

“Well, the way out of it, if it is too unpleasant, is to resign.”

“Resign! Who wishes to leave the Battalion? I certainly do not. Lieutenant Doty told me the Colonel was very impatient with him, that he, Doty, should have kept the ovens and cauldrons, etc., cooking rations all night so the men could get breakfast by daybreak; that ‘men to go to the front must be fed, their horses must have corn and hay’; ‘that he and his help could sleep after the morning hours’; that ‘if this ever happens again, I shall deal with every officer connected with the dereliction; I will take no excuses.’ Doty said he was glad to get away and get a good breath.”

“Well, Curry, the Colonel is right. He is not weak-handed when he straightens up for the good of his men.”

“Of course, Adjutant, I shall obey orders; the whole shooting-match of this affair has been brought about by the ‘Cavaliers,’ those everlasting growlers.”

“Well, Curry, if I remember aright, the ‘Cape Fear Cats’ caterwaul as much as the cursed Craven troopers growl.”

“Just as certain as the Welshmen delight to wear leeks on St. David's Day, just so certain do I shrink from counsel with the Colonel this breezy morning.”

“The sooner bad medicine is taken, the sooner forgotten.”

“Well, I shall let the plain truth get me grace. If the ‘Bears’ and the ‘Cats’ had not taken too greedily of the ego of their captains they would not appear to lookers-on so much like a set of Bavians.”





“Let up, Curry, let up. If their tongues are sharp, so are their swords.”

“In my humble judgment they are the lesser of the Batalion, and their proper place should be in a strictly kept apery.”

“Good-bye. Come again, Curry.”

LEGEND

The would-be legend runs this way, that about the year of our Lord, 1657, a band of Tuscaroras was returning a visit to the Congarees of South Carolina. They were to witness a wrestling game between a body of congarees and a strolling band of Delawares. The Delaware Indians were once a powerful tribe, and from Pennsylvania to South Carolina they roamed where and when they pleased.

The Delawares defeated the Congarees, and among them was a handsome brave named Silver Ring, because he wore rings of silver in his ears. This brave fell desperately in love with the beautiful Leonati, or Cooing Dove, the wife of a Tuscaroran who was away from home on a big hunt.

Womanlike, at the first she was privately flattered by the unhidden admiration of this stalwart Delawarean. She prudently withdrew herself from the amorous advances of this strong-limbed wrestler, hoping he would go away and follow her no further; but the uncurbed passion of Silver Ring made him have deaf ears to common caution.

When the Tuscarorans took up their homeward march, Silver Ring and two of his tribe joined the party and became in word and act a part and parcel of the return band. Leonati viewed with alarm the persistent attendance of these Delaware braves. She firmly refused to accept any love tokens from Silver Ring and discountenanced his love looks. This heightened his masculine ardency. She kept near the camp, herself well “roped.” She knew there was





one coming for her in his white birchen canoe, and in it she and her beloved would float slowly down the smooth-stream river, stopping now and then under the overhanging willows; and thence pull away for their happy wigwam home, awaiting thier return in the fern-lined valley of the Contentnea. Leonati kept constantly with her her handy meat knife, and for sure, the hourly expectancy of her husband made her whole frame thrill with so much blissful anticipation that it made her forget the presence, the daily annoyance of her would-be lover. She could hear her husband call her Sweet Cooing Dove. As she sat in his lap she would tell him of her trip and hear of his trapping the otter and slaying the deer on Pamlico's broad, deep, tufted island. Every halloo from the river made her stop eagerly and listen for his dear call, “Leonati! Leonati!”

Is not the heaven part of us, in us, and about us, love? Yes, her husband was coming. Silver Ring, being apprised of this, determined to possess Leonati at all hazards. Fearing the arrival of Fast Dancer, he matured his plans and communicated with his tribal companions that on first opportunity they were to act, and they set upon the time when she went at sunset for her drinking water. Ambushed, waiting as she came, they sprang out and seized her, dragged her violently toward a hidden conoe. Being young, full of nerve, and active, she resolutely resisted, cried aloud for help, and, getting hold of her knife, she stabbed Silver Ring deeply in his neck, and fought for her honor and her liberty with might and main. Enraged at her stubbornness, stung by her stabbing, he struck her dead with his tomahawk.

The Delawares took to their boat, paddled hurriedly for the opposite side, and made their escape in the dense undergrowth of the upper lowlands. As soon as it was known, a dozen braves threw themselves into the river, swam over to capture and avenge the brutal death of their





kinswoman. They scoured the swamps and the hills, but not a trace could they find of the Delaware murderers.

The next evening when the sun was sinking behind the great pine trees of the Let Alones, Fast Dancer came. He jumped from his canoe, ran up the bank of the river and softly, joyfully called, “Leonati, Leonati.” The twelve warriors had returned and reported, “We only found much blood, the boat was much blood. We could not find his grave.”

Fast Dancer, bending over his wife, seeing his loved one's hair—long, black and silky—now red with her blood, drew his hunting knife, bathed it in her precious life current, called to his friends, plunged into the river, hastened up the lowgrounds to overtake the murderers of his faithful wife.

Fast Dancer never returned. He found the Delawares. He furiously attacked them, and he and Silver Ring fell fighting in mortal combat. He died happy, having avenged his wife—his hunting knife was buried in the heart of hell-hated Silver Ring.

Now, this is why this crossing is Leonati's. It was here her dutiful spirit crossed over into the Great Spirit Land of her fathers, where the flowers are fair and fragrant and the trees are ever green.





XLVI A HORNETS’ NEST ON FLAG

  • “Be what you seem;
  • ’Tis man's bold task the generous strife to try,
  • But in the hands of God is victory.”

—Iliad.

A crimson flag with a hornets’ nest in center was floating above Colonel Colmey's tent. Information had come that the British were soon to advance. From headquarters instructions had been received to be on the alert and harass and destroy the enemy as much as possible as he marched through the State for Virginia; that ammunition and supplies should be at once gotten plentifully and have everything ready to retard the advance of the enemy. Drills daily and combats between the companies and squadrons were ordered. The Queen Anne's men, or the “Heavies,” were ordered to practice lying down and loading and crawling to meet the enemy. They were armed with guns called the Queen Anne's.

You may say what you please, yet camp life is and ever will be fascinating to young men. It is getting back to nature. There is in it a savage delight, unaccountable to priests and women. It is a free and easy life, a do and dare-devil existence, a don't-care, a happy-go-lucky life, sitting around the camp fires, or on a far-away picket, or hurrying into the battle line. Away from home, you know the loved ones back there are anxious about you—that the girl you left behind says daily reverent prayers for your health and safety. And your schoolmates, they are measuring themselves with you in action and duty to country. You know your bitterest enemy is wishing to hear of your





being “taken off” in the last engagement your regiment was in. It is a life of romance, of suffering, of endurance, and so often a life of agony and death. You know you are licensed to meet and kill your man. Ah! then the songs by moonlight, when everything is still, when your mind goes back to “the old love days,” and in all of its ups and downs, you do not forget “the fellow at home you hate.” You relish quaint, outlandish stories told by Jones, Barfield and Smithwick. Now you are detailed by a scurvy sergeant to go to a post-stand you despise; now you are sent on a detail as a scout party to find out what the enemy is doing, and where their lines are established; and then letters from home, knowing that you are creating anxiety, that you are cried after, that you are thought of, prayed for. Ah! it is sweet to the young, and the remembrance of it is cherished by the old.

Lying down in camp, Holmes of the Second Squadron, who was cracking peanuts, remarked, “It does seem to me that Colonel Colmey will have his ‘pig squealers’ at his heels in spite of wind and wave.”

“Well, as for me, Bob Nixon, I don't care a cussed d—n about the ‘grunters.’ I do know, though, the cry of a ‘cat’ and the growl of a ‘honey-lover’ is music to his ears when danger is near.”

“Say there, Bloodworth! D—n me, my friend, if those petted Colmey Guards were run over by the Redcoats or run through by Indians, I don't believe I would care a pine straw, I wouldn't.”

“Here, here, Holmes, you are all going too far; they are our comrades, good and true. Guards or Dragoons, Cavaliers or Lancers, we one and all are one and the same.”

“Well, I take it a ‘cat’ or a ‘bear’ is as good as a ‘boar’—how does that suit you, Bloodworth? I despise pets, and I am like a Jew—when you say ‘pig,’ Bob Nixon says ‘bah!’ ”

“Yes, but, Holmes, you and Bob Nixon are allowing your





bad temper to get the upper hand of you. It is silly to hear ‘cats’ and ‘bears’ whine and snap because our Colonel puts more duties on the ‘boars’ than he does on them. As for me, I am truly glad he makes the ‘squealers’ rough it, instead of calling a ‘cat.’ ”

“Cowan, come over here. Here's Bloodworth giving us a regular preachment for cussing out the damn ‘boars.’ ”

“Well, Holmes, I agree with Bloodworth, and raise my hat to the Colonel for pushing out and in the pretty ‘pigs.’ ”

“Sh! Major Iredell is passing.”

As the troopers were sitting and lying around the campfire, half asleep, about eleven o'clock at night, the moon shining in unwonted brilliancy, Cowan called out, “Boys, look out there—the Colonel is sure coming.” Soon Colonel Colmey came. His eyes had a vacancy in them and he sat down right by Holmes. Holmes was excited. Bob Nixon had slipped into his quarters and had whispered for them all to “tell the Colonel that he had been gone on picket duty a week.”

Colonel Colmey sat down on the ground. Holmes begged him to sit on the camp-log. But no, the Colonel sat and looked as one in a dream. One of the Colmey Guards had followed him, and stood by with cheeks wet with tears. Bloodworth sent for Major Iredell to come, and when he came he went up to the Colonel and said, “Colonel, let's go to bed! it's high time, come.”

“All right, Iredell, send me Remo—yes.” The Colonel got up and went directly into Holmes's and Nixon's quarters and abstractedly lay down on a pallet. Nixon deftly slipped off the Colonel's boots and unbuckled his belt and threw a duffel over him. Major Iredell went in and saw that the Colonel was well cared for and, making no remark, he started for his own tent. Bloodworth stepped up and asked him to order the Colmey Guard to return to his quarters, as the Cape Fear men were willing and would watch over and care for their Colonel.













When morning came, Colonel Colmey looked up to find himself in unknown surroundings. Remo was sitting at the door.

“Remo.”

“Sir?”

“Where am I?”

“Marse Jean, youse among the Colmey Horses.”

“Ah! the Second—all right. Where is Captain De Vane?”

“He's gone to Masonboro, sir.”

“Colonel, we are here and anxious to wait on you. You are with the Cape Fear Light Horse.”

“Ah! Holmes, that you?”

“Yes, sir; and, Colonel, stay and eat breakfast with us; please do.”

“Hello, Bloodworth, that you?”

“Yes, Colonel, and we beg the honor of your presence at breakfast with us; as you deigned to lodge with us.”

“All right, just as you say I will do. Now you all must forgive me for intruding myself on you; but I am unfortunate in some respects, I am a somnambulist.”

“Yes, Colonel, we are of Colmey's Battalion and we know our duty to our Colonel.”

“Yes, but you are all too good to me.”

After breakfast the Colonel thanked them for their kindness and slowly walked back to his tent.

“Say, Bloodworth, be my priest; I desire to confess. I feel that I have strayed. I am unworthy to be a Cape Fear Light Horse, I am.”

“Well, Jack, an honest confession is good for the soul. I hereby reinstate you.”

“Bloodworth, I am the same Bob Nixon. Damn me if I'm afraid of God or man. No, Tom, I am no longer a Jew; I'm a Gentile, pure and simple, pig or no pig. You hear?”

“Yes, I understand, Nixon. You both have mercilessly





berated Colonel Colmey and the Guards, when the truth is known the Guards were only watchful over their old Captain, knowing that God had afflicted him in this way, and always a father to them.”

“Come, boys, let's stand together—you hear?”

The Colmey Guards were the first troopers on the field. The camp was well laid off, and water and wood supply had been well considered. Roland Capehart of Edenton came with twenty men and joined the Guards. Soon the Brunswick Lancers came, and then the Onslow Bays, and Cape Fear Light Horse, and the Cavaliers of Craven, and the Carteret Dragoons. The six companies were enrolled and divided into three squadrons.





XLVII THE HALIFAX FIGHT

  • “Let each man do his best and here draw
  • A sword whose temper I intend to stain
  • With the best blood that I can meet withal,
  • In the adventures of this perilous day.”

The outposts of the battalion had been driven in the night before and Lieutenant Bloodworth reported a very heavy force in front. Colmey's orders were to harass, cut off foragers, and do all the damage possible to Lord Cornwallis's column. Colonel Colmey knew six hundred troopers could not withstand the British column, and he called in his men and waited an opportunity to strike. Every day the battalion hung on to the rear of the British, and woe to a loiterer, any squad that could be attacked, killed, or captured. After the crossing of the Neuse at Adkins Ferry, his battalion became so bold and daring that Tarleton ordered his cannon to beat off Colmey. The battalion would dash in, slash, cut and shoot and then race away. Colonel Tarleton had found out it was dangerous to attach Colmey only by force and with a battery.

At the crossing at Black Creek the British cavalry gave a chance for a fight. Colmey sent the Third Squadron, under Hawkes and Saunders, to drive them off.

In the Battalion there was a jealousy between the Cape Fear Light Horse and the Craven Cavaliers. With one voice, by common consent, all good-naturedly accorded to the Guards the first place, as the charging company of the Battalion. The Lancers were the best drilled. The Third was handled with vigor and skill, and the enemy was driven






[Illustration:

The Halifax Fight
]









off pell-mell. Colmey publicly praised the Third and all were ready to “Rah! Rah! for the Bears!”

Lieutenant Bellamy, who had become captain, had been sent with the Brunswick Lancers to be in call if needed by Hawkes. At Franky Chapel (see notes) the British rode roughshod over the neighborhood, destroying property, and, in wantonness, insulted women most grossly. Colmey concluded from the reports of his scouts that it was a good time to move up against the enemy. He sent against them the Second Squadron, Captains DeVane and Ennett. In a gallop with drawn sabers the Second struck the British, rode them down, and sabered right and left. In the fervor of the fight the Second charged almost into Tarleton's headquarters.

Colonel Tarleton ordered the English Grays to drive off the Americans. A small battery of artillery opened hotly on the Second, and they were compelled to fall back and ask for reinforcements. The English cavalry came bravely forward, but halted when they saw help coming up. Colonel Colmey took the First and hastened at a gallop to brace the Second, but the enemy had been so roughly handled by the Second at the Chapel that they held off behind their battery. The Colonel complimented highly the dash of the Seconds. And now it was time to “Hurrah for the Cats.”

The next day Colmey drew well off his Battalion to allow the men and horses some rest. Pickets and a camp watch were on, and every night he changed his camp for fear of Tories discovering to Colonel Tarleton his whereabouts. Further, from citizens he gathered the fact that Lord Cornwallis was in Halifax and was abusing the people. Women had been outraged by his brutal soldiery, and a camp of cavalry was in a woods near the Montfort Manor and a small battery of flying artillery was with it.

That night, in company with a trusty citizen, with Iredell and Capehart, Colmey reconnoitered close up to the Manor,





could see lights burning in the house. He thought of the woman he loved being there in danger, and determined to fight the fight of his life next afternoon. They all hugged the high fence and surveyed as best they could the situation, where best to strike.

Colmey knew it was poor military sense to hope to attack a very superior force successfully. He saw that this outpost was attackable, and he would make his assault near nightfall, so the enemy would not follow him far, for the dusk and the woods, and for fear of an ambuscade.

Late next afternoon Colmey formed his Battalion. He had dismounted sharpshooters and they crept toward the battery. Lieutenant Humphrey was ordered to ride the field, see if any ditches were in front when they charged.

May Montfort was quite uneasy; rumor was that any American sympathizer was to be robbed and houses to be burned. She stood in the broad hall as one in a troubled dream. She had now passed her forty-second year. Her face was thoughtful and the glow of health incarnadined her cheek and lip. There was something about her softly suggestive of a full-blown moss rose. The air about her was perfumed with the fragrance of many geraniums. (See note.) There was a certain amount of anxiety in her look as one who stood in want in the home of wealth, that an unseen cross was upon her—burdensome at times, but yet one she would not have displaced. She inaudably exclaimed, “O that this growing dreariness might be brightened by the golden rays of happiness, or that an uprooting storm might come and dispel these somber shadows.” She had an insistent craving at heart, had hopes crushed, seemingly to her, that would never be revivified. Her panting spirit felt encaged by the gentle proprieties of life, and her every action was guided by the reins of her pure, unselfish womanhood.

No bird, however beautiful, but pines for the caresses of





a mate. Some griefs are medicinable, and the helping portion lies hidden in Time's fruitful basket.

May walked out on the veranda to listen to the noise that grew louder in the south, from guns firing. She thought at once of the rumor that Lord Cornwallis's army was on its way to Virginia, and was expected any day to march through Halifax. Barney ran up excitedly, “Mistis, de Redcoats and our folks is er fitin’!” It was about dusk. In a few moments a battery of light artillery, of two guns, came galloping up. The fences were torn down and the guns were quickly formed across a nearby open field. May was electrified. Her heart jumped violently. Here came a cavalry force in a trot, with drawn sabers, and quickly took position behind the artillery. May saw two dismounted cavalrymen creeping up towards the guns from the south. They stood up and fired at the gunners and then hid themselves. Immediately a horseman came in full speed toward the battery. When two-thirds across the field he seemed to have gathered what information as to the ground he wanted, and wheeled and dashed back to the squadrons now forming.

There was a loud blast of trumpets. The sharpshooters kept firing at the gunners. And now comes the American horse in columns with open spaces, in the rear the reserves. Boot to boot, heads bent, spurs touching the sides of their oncoming horses, the officers in front. It was grand to see! On they came. The very ground shook. “Fire!” The British guns belched canister. Men and horses went down, but on they came, straight for the guns. Before the cannons could reload the British cavalry had engaged the Americans. There was a slashing of sabers right and left, loud shouts, and all in all the men looked like fiends fighting. There was such a mix-up, the commingling of the men, that the cannoneers stood and looked on with lanyard in hand. It was now man to man, horse to horse, saber to saber.





The British discipline and superior arms were being manifested, The Americans were getting worsted. Men were falling, blood was flowing, but the British cavalry held their own. May cried out in agony of spirit, “Father, God! strengthen the arms of my countrymen!” The Americans were weakening. The British cheered lustily when they saw Colonel Tarleton coming in a gallop with reinforcements.

The Americans were in the enemy's lines, but they had been there before. They were hemmed in, and the British stoutly standing their ground. Before the reinforcements reached the battery, out in the deepening dusk, a voice was heard above the rush of caparisoned steeds; above the hoarse swearing of the surging, fighting troopers. Loud and clear it rang out above the din of the battle: “Iredell! Grimes! Charge once more!”

Then the leader led his men again into the thick of the fight. Riderless horses were seen rushing madly near by from the field. And now the darkling shadows had come and hid the combatants from her sight.

The British bugles could be heard sounding the “Recall.” Only now and then could be seen in the inky darkness the flash of the merciless musket. Night had come. The day of death's work was indeed done. What of tomorrow? Silence reigned.

The overseer, Mr. Blaylock, from Mr. Clark's farm, walked about composedly and spoke cheerfully to the “hands,” and the servants of the household soon were at ease by witnessing the ladies’ nonchalance. Three reliable men of the plantation were to remain up, to watch the premises and be ready for accidents. Barney slept in the hallway.

May went to her room in much agitation. She thought of her father. The killed, the wounded, came up before her mental vision. Did they need help? Would Dr. Zollicoffer be pleased to have some old linen for bandages?





But, above all, as the old clock ticked and struck the passing hours, there was a constant ringing in her ears, a constant tingling in her veins: “Iredell! Grimes! Charge once more!” Whose voice was that? There could be but one voice like that. “Mercy guard me! That was Jean Colmey's voice. That voice has been a stranger to my heart for years, that voice that did triumph over my senses and the joy I had, in one short minute in his presence, has outlived devouring time. The frost lies where the flowers have been. It is said, ‘Come not between the dragon and his wrath’; but, oh time! and oh space! the very deeds of love have come before me at the sound of that voice, and I do without reservation commit my very self, my infirmities, my every potency of power to that shrill commanding voice, ‘Iredell! Grimes! Charge once more!’ Oh God! immaculate, supreme, I feel that my heart is a broken vessel, and that Thou hast forsaken me! It is the deal of life to be crucified. If I have loved too madly, too adorably, forgive. Thou art God! If he has married, forgotten me, if his manly eyes are now resting affectionately upon another, I bend and with humble tear beg that he may do well. I kiss the rod and meekly walk beneath it.”

The morning after the cavalry fight the early risen farmers found stray horses in the fields, and on searching the woods, came across dead and wounded men of the Tarleton Legion.





XLVIII THE HORSE AT THE WELL

  • “Love in my bosom, like a bee,
  • Doth suck his sweet;
  • Within mine eyes he makes his nest,
  • His bed amidst my tender breast.”

—Lodge.

May Montfort spent a restless night. Thousands of memories came trooping up and passing in solemn review. Here at her age of life, slightly over forty-two, a battle had raged around her. She saw men in actual combat, slashing and sabering one another; horses reeling from sudden, violent contact; the big-mouthed guns looking like brick kilns at night time, a-burning, the air full of smoke. She saw men fall, their swords grasped hard, and left on the field dead and dying. Horrid, and yet sublime!

Never did she dream she could witness such a heart-rending scene. She would ask herself, “Was I dreaming?” But no, it was no dream. That voice thrilled her very soul. She exclaimed in pain and suspense, “Oh, my God! can it be possible?” Was it his voice? The old clock faithfully struck the daybreak hour. “Milly, you Milly! Get up, light the candle. Now go down after water. Breakfast must be looked after and the wounded may need help. Milly, do wake up and fetch the water! I want to bathe my face and hunt up old linen. Dr. Zollicoffer may come early. Don't you hear me, Milly?”

Day was breaking and the morning balmy, and the ribald crows were cawing over the fields. Milly went down stairs, stumbling as she went, half asleep, and found her way to the well. Mechanically drawing up the water,





wondering what made her mistress make herself so anxious about sick folks. She had not noticed a horse that had come up to the well for water. His low whinny made her jump, and unthoughtedly she emptied the well-bucket of water into the large deep trough. The thirsty animal sucked greedily and partially slacked his thirst, and whinnied for more. Amazed, she poured another bucketful into the trough, and in fright she ran back upstairs to her mistress. “Oh, mistis! oh, mistis!”

“What can be the matter with you, Milly?” May Montfort thought at once that the British had returned and there was to be more trouble.

“Oh, mistis! mistis! The horse at the well, the horse!”

“Horse or horses? How many of them are there, Milly?”

“Oh, my mistis, I saw that horse thirty years ago.”

“Thirty years ago!—you Milly!—you are dreaming. Silly goose, you are hardly that old. Wake up and go bring the water.”

“I can't. I can't go. I am scairt to death—I am. I don't know what to do—I don't.”

Miss Montfort became alarmed at Milly's queer fancies and soothingly questioned her. “Oh, mistis, it is the same horse he rode in the race thirty years ago.”

“Come, Milly, we will go after the water together; come along.” Down the stairs they went, and at the well was a coal-black horse with a white mark in his forehead.

“Mercy guard me! It is his horse.” She ran to the horse, picked up the trailing reins, saw blood over the front of the saddle, one hostler was empty, and the horse showed signs of hunger and tire. “Run and call mother—call up Barney.” She went up to the horse, placed her arms around his neck, and said to him, “Oh, tell me, where is your master?” She wept aloud, leaning against the horse. Passing through the grove came old Uncle Ben, calling to the hands to “Get out to work, the sun is nurly up.”





“Uncle Ben, Uncle Ben, come here.”

“Oh, my mistis, is dat you?”

“Uncle Ben, call all the hands to go everywhere and look for a wounded man that rode this horse. Go, go, and send them out everywhere.”

“Miss May, dar is a man in my house. I done and set up all night wid him. He raved and hollered for Remo.”

Barney came up and asked what was wanted. “Barney, take that horse, unsaddle him, water him and feed him. Give him the best stall on the place, you hear? Uncle Ben, you and Milly come with me; come quick.”

“Mistis, here's rite whar dat horse jumped over the cedar hedge—see here.” Miss Montfort was hastening to Uncle Ben's large and well-built cabin. “Uncle Ben, don't tell me that he is dead.” She stopped at the door and imploringly looked the gray-headed slave in the face. “He's jes about so, I can tell ye.”

Uncle Ben went in ahead and then Milly and Miss Montfort stood irresolute on the outside. The sufferer tossed and cried out hoarsely, “Remo! Remo!” In a moment May was in the room; she pushed aside his thick, damp, gray hair, clotted with blood. “Oh, my Saviour! it is Jean Colmey. Uncle Ben, send Donald for Dr. Zollicoffer to come at once.”

May Montfort was a woman, and with a woman's heart; but when danger had to be faced and a loved one was at stake, her voice became clear, and her hand steady, and her brain enterprising. Here in her hands, at her mercy, lay in unconsciousness the human being in all the world she had prayed to see once more. “Good Lord, you have answered my prayer.” Here the young man of thirty years ago lay in a slave's cabin, cared for as best they knew by her father's servants. She placed her left arm under his head, tenderly and kindly caressed his blood-stained beard. “Jean, you have come at last.”

When Dr. Zollicoffer looked over the case and made





partial examination on the spot, he had to unbutton the Colonel's coat and vest. He found blood on his left side. On further investigation he found a flesh wound from a pistol ball. On further search the Doctor found a lady's large locket suspended by a gold chain from his neck. Examining more minutely, he found the locket had saved his life. The locket had been struck by the ball, and the mark was perfectly indented on his flesh, just over his heart. He bluntly remarked: “Some love fancy of his, eh, Miss Montfort? Some love dream.”

“Miss May, I heard the fight was about a mile below here, and that it was brought on by the Americans attacking the British rear. I must think it was this officer that led the charge from description, and he is severely, if not fatally, wounded. This cut here across his head was done by a saber and at close fighting. This pistol wound through his left thigh will soon heal. Really, with your help, Miss May, I feel confident we can bring the Colonel around. There is no fracture that I can find, there can be no contre-coup from the symptoms. I had to shave his head for cleanliness and to get the dressings properly applied. It is concussion from a stroke or from a fall from his horse.”

The Montfort mansion was a large and roomy building, Colonial style, large hallways and back staircases, situated in a large red-oak grove. There was nothing pretentious about it; it was a plain, strong, well-finished house with large, wide verandas, front and rear. “Squire” Montfort had died several years before, and his widow and daughter and an old housekeeper were the occupants, with an adjoining room for Milly and a side room where Aunt Selina slept within call if needed by her old mistress.

“But, Miss May, you must rest, or the next thing I shall have two instead of one patient.”

“Please become more calm. A chair, a chair, Uncle Benson! Sit down, Miss May.”





When the locket (her locket) was handed to her, and blood clots on it, she became pale and felt as if she would fall.

“Miss May, go get the room arranged.”

May hurried on ahead of the Doctor and the stretchers to make ready the southwest upper room.

“Now I realize that Biblical promise—the weighty import of it—‘Wait, wait on the Lord and He will in due season give thee the desires of thy heart.’ ”

A smile of saddened gratefulness overspread her face, as she carefully wrapped the bloodstained case with the crimson colors enclosed, in a linen handkerchief and placed it in her jewel box.

“Just to think, this souvenir, commemorative of the race, saved, for a time at least, Jean Colmey's precious life.”

“Miss May, the Doctor is waiting in the library room to give you instructions. He says, please come.”

Mrs. Montfort called Barney and directed him to ride over to town and ask Dr. Pasteur to come at once. “Tell of Colonel Colmey's mishap and that Dr. Zollicoffer is here in attendance. Hand him this message.” She informed Dr. Zollicoffer that she had dispatched a messenger for the old family doctor. In about two hours Dr. Pasteur came and alighted from his roomy, well-topped gig. He came slowly up the steps and bore some of his weight upon his gold-headed waddy. He was well preserved for a man of eighty years of age, and somewhat stilty. After paying duteous courtesy to the ladies, he went at once to the wounded man. Shaking hands cordially with Dr. Zollicoffer, “Ah! Claude, this is an ugly business. How is his pulse? Any fever? That's good. Have you shaved his head of every hair near the wound? Good!” The two men seemed to be on the most amicable terms with each other.

“I greatly rejoice to have my very dear preceptor with me.”





“Yes, Claude, I am glad to be with you. I often think of the past when we were daily together. How about this wound in his side?”

“Dr. Pasteur, see here where the ball was deflected, and I can't find it.”

“Yes, yes, you will bring him around all right; but get him upstairs and let him lie north and south.”

“Doctor, won't you come with us?”

“No, my heart is becoming unsteady and I must forego going with you.”

When Dr. Pasteur was ready to leave, Dr. Zollicoffer asked him if he had any further suggestions to make. May was in the next room, hearing all that was said. “Well, Claude, I would advise dressing his wound with my old prescription: wine, oil, and brandy, equal parts. Claude, later on, dust with borax and myrrh quite heavily. Yes, and further, look to your catheter and clysters, and keep a watch for that ball in his side.”

“Would you recommend a large dose of calomel, Dr. Pasteur?”

“Calomel! Zounds, no! He don't need to be weakened.”

“I see you will thump mercury whenever it is recommended.”

“Give senna and manna, or, if need be, mandrake and peach jam.”

“For his restlessness what do you recommend?”

“Cup him if need be and make an infusion of poppy leaves and hops.”

May, in the next room, had written down what the old doctor said, for he had been the medical adviser of the family for forty years. Mrs. Montfort gazed reverently and intently at the white-haired physician. Returning to the room, she handed to Dr. Pasteur a bottle of old Tawney Port wine. “Take this to your delicate wife with my compliments.”

“Thank you, madam; old port is my favorite.”





May handed him a sealed envelope containing two five-pound notes.

“Oh, May, how the face of Dr. Pasteur carries me back to the time when I was young, when life was one long happy holiday! He was at our wedding. He first married Emily Alston, and such a lovely highbred lady she was. The Doctor's second marriage was a fall-down. He married Camille La Casse—the ultimity. I never liked that woman. I felt she was to me an ultramontane. She always dressed as gaudy as a tragopan.”

“Why, mother, the La Casses are a people of large wealth and I have always heard that they were a strong, worthy family.”

“It is quite commendable in you to speak well of your neighbor, but all the same she was not the woman to take the place of Emily Alston. She was not of our set. Oh, no, just a coddy-moddy.”

“Well, mother, you kindly sent with your compliments a bottle of port to his wife.”

“I would be but little happy if I thought her gullet would wash down that fruity wine. I know Dr. Pasteur well, and his palate will gusto that gift.”

“Mother, I have heard that Dr. Pasteur was one of your first suitors. I remember now, when last winter in town shopping, his wife courtesied in a most friendly manner to me, and was profuse in her praise of my black fox furs.”

“Did you expect her to make grimaces at you? Now, tell me quick, I itch to hear, with what grace she made the morning salutation, for I am constrained to believe that it would take a couple of countesses a whole year to teach her how to be trigged.”

“Oh, mother, I can but think the good body makes her husband a kind wife, and that she is without any impure blemishes.”

“You would, daughter, for argument's sake, siderealize





Mrs. Pasteur. I would not intimate that she was a withered flower, nor that she deals in oeillades with beardless boys, but she is loud mouthed, saddle nosed, and evermore mincing virtue. I tell you, girl, had not her smock been well lined with golden ducats her reechy sides would never have pressed the bed once graced by the fair form of Emily Alston.”

“Oh, mother, your words are so foreign to the nobility of your character and your mind, that I am surprised and at a loss to know how to agreeably continue our conversation. Let me ask you, doesn't she make the Doctor an irreproachable companion? Didn't she bring to him by marriage a large dowry?”

“No one charges she makes a disreputable wife, no one denies that by matrimony the Doctor had made his declining years years of comfort and elegant ease; but just the same, silver and gold may adorn, but do not make the gentleman. You forgot to mention that she also brought to the groom a fat body and an uncultured mind and low ideals.”

“Well, mother, ’tis said men are not destined to marry twice wisely, and further, let's change the subject, as we can't see alike. Coming home, if any one thinks of me, I reckon, it is that I have passed my meridian mating period, and that I must be content on thinking of what might have been, and never to enjoy the pleasure of a fender with four feet thereon.”

“Oh, my daughter, don't talk so; you have not passed the limit of eligibility—no, no. There is Squire Burton: he is handsome, of a splendid family, well educated, a man whom everybody holds in high estimate; he is, and has been for years, a devoted suitor.”

“True, very true. I have often on bended knees asked to be shown how I might admire him enough to marry him, but no light of that kind has ever been granted me. My holiest feelings are not enlisted toward him, and my





woman's heart recoils at a profanation of love's sacred temple.”

“May, be reasonable. The dearest boon I would have joy grant me is, to let me see you ringed and wived to Mr. Henry Burton. Don't go.”

The mother looked at her daughter yearnfully, as she walked out of the room. “Poor May! she dislikes to have Mr. Burton's name mentioned to her. I can't understand, to save me, why she rejects all proffers of marriage.”

Musing awhile, Mrs. Montfort, in deep thought said in low tones, “What does this portend, the coming and invasion of our home by the bruised, bleeding body of Colonel Colmey? It is difficult to look in the eye of coming events. One thing sure, it brings a change. This house has been a lonely place for years to me, and it is comforting to know when night falls, and all nature is hushed, that there is a man in the house, even if he is badly wounded; and, for a truth, man fears man, and man only. Even a twelve-year-old boy saucily pushes aside the rulings of a woman.”

Mrs. Montfort got up and went and stood by the east window. She said, meditatively: “Over there in the graveyard sleeps my dear husband and by him my darling boy. I often long to join them on that far-away sunny shore. If May was only cared for, what a weight would be lifted off my hands and heart! I just knew something unusual was going to happen certain this week, for the rooster crowed upon the back porch and I saw the new moon in the old apple tree. Ah, me! how the voice of Dr. Pasteur brought up tender memories and bitter recollections! Yes, I certainly do hope he enjoys the stinted attentions of his snow-goose, his chambermaid of a wife. A LaCasse—ugh! And here I am with my widow's wrappings around me. There was a time—yes.”

Mrs. Montfort commenced pacing up and down her room. “He remembered when I was Miss Nan Weldon—my mother was a Miss Johnstone; and, yes, and did he also





bring to his remembrance when my smile was his delight, when, hid in the inky cloak of night, he would ride by, hoping to see a ray of light from my bedchamber? Ah, those glorious days! Yes, when Gerald Ambler came with his spanking grays to drive me here and there at my nod; when loving Ned Clark, a gentleman to the manner born, stood speechless when I frowned, or smiled with joy when I praised him. Heavens! what changes come unbidden into a woman's life!

“Oh, woman, highly prized! How eagerly sought in your young, blooming womanhood! The freshness, the spicery of youth, how attractive to the male! But when the sorrows of age have furrowed cheek and brow, then his eyes follow your movements no longer. How I once was loved, how once solicited—yes, a very inspiring power! But now I am a wrinkled pear, untempting even to the hungry palate. Oh, woman, with an oath-bound protector!—oh, woman, having bound to you with Love's binding cords of steel, and a dauntless mind and a fearless spirit—in God's name, cherish and love him, for when gone—ah! listen—when living you sit under the wide-spreading warlike beech tree, but when he dies you pass your days beneath the cypress. The strong arm is now lifeless, the loving lips cannot now caress. Yes, when Sidney Montfort lived, who so haughty dared molest or make me afraid? Dear loved one of my youth, how I love to linger over your sweet, sacred memory! Oh, woman! what were you made for, if not to brighten and sweeten the life of man? You were taken from his side to strengthen him, that you might feel that you were a living part and parcel of his flesh. Man was not made for woman, but woman was made for man. All that he has ever asked of you was to be faithful, amiable.

“To marry again is foreign to my nature. What! face Sidney, having been in another's embrace? God forbid! The very marrow in my bones would turn to stink-weed. I loved Emily Alston. She was in the whole volume of the





world peerless and most lovable. For a man to turn to simpler and low things that he may pass the last days of his life in the enjoyment of wine, walnuts, and venison—bah! Nature unerringly prompts him to be, to act the man, that his courage should meet the occasion and his last years be squared with his first. There can be no mistaking the fact that duty has decreed that the subtle influence of woman shall be one of the controlling powers of this mundane sphere. ‘So to the cord the bow is.’

“From my observation, a widow is a sunbeam of a sunken sun, a frazzled feather of a hard hacked helmet, and the gravestone monumentally records the date of her decadence. Her faithful champion lies sleeping beneath. And oh, man! the so-called universal master, you are God's earthly representative. Did He make you to be a limitless lordling? No. Verily, there is a bound even to the boundless sea. He fashioned you in His image, and the world stands subject to your command. Your mission is divine, your estate great. What were you purposed for? Listen: it is to be a defender of the defenceless, the repletion of the downtrodden, and, above all, the guardian, the lover, the believer in the purity of woman.

“What a pity that even in his declining years Dr. Pasteur will stop and listen to the cry of the poor. What calling is so noble, so self-forgetful? But he can't be satisfied, because that LaCasse woman is not worth a miter shell. It was not her red-gray hair that won him; no, nor her mokodo manners, but her many silver rupees. Thank the Lord! I can boast, as Anna of old, I am the wife of only one husband.

“It is the old story of the Cock of the Rock mating with a brown moor hen—bah! Oh, well, such is life. It is regrettable, but surely not tragical. Who calls? Wait there!”





XLIX REMO AND MERLIN

“This temper of mind would exempt a man from an ignorant envy of restless men above him; this would be sailing by some compass, living with some design.”—Addison.

The news went out that there was a horse at Squire Montfort's place that was forty years old. The curious, both white and black, wanted to see that aged horse. “Has you'uns seen that forty-year-ole hoss?” Merlin the Fourth was quick to recover from his tire and gaunt, and his shrill whicker could be heard a mile. He was restless, he seemed to know that his master was somewhere in trouble. May had him brought around and gave him salt at one time, and apples and sugar at another. Merlin soon took to May and would follow her and nozzle her hand and look into her face for more, out of his great dark eyes. She could acknowledge Milly's assertion to be true, that he certainly was the horse or the foal of the horse that raced here nearly thirty years ago.

Remo lost his horse and was only too glad to get away himself. He did not know what had become of the Colonel. He saw him leading his men. He followed, and soon in the fight everything got mixed up. Cries of distress, oaths to surrender, sabers flashing and cutting, maulings right and left, and pistols rapidly firing. Reinforcements coming up timely for the British forced the Battalion back, and some men were left dead, some wounded, and some were captured. Colonel Tarleton inquired of Remo who his master was, and, on being informed that he was Colonel Colmey, Colonel Tarleton remarked, “That damned rebel crossed swords with me at the passing of Neuse River, at Adkins’





landing, and here today he fought like a mad lion. Say, didn't he get hurt by any of my men today in his close devil charge?”

“I does not know, sir.”

Colmey struck the British hard, but got worsted.

Dr. Zollicoffer came late in the afternoon and pleasantly remarked that he had been unavoidably detained. “Miss May, I have had a unique experience today. I was sent for to see a sick person, and going, I found a British officer wounded so badly that he had been left behind. Cornwallis, fearing for his wounded on account of outrages perpetrated by his troops, had publicly hanged a dragoon and sentry to pacify the rebels, as he termed it. I found Captain Leighton with a wound through his chest and right side, and he said that in Colonel Colmey's cutting his way out through their dragoons, the Colonel ran his sword through him, and he struck at the Colonel's head with his saber. He said the doctors had the sword wound washed in brandy and alcohol for fear infection might come. They used turpentine and balsam compresses afterwards; and, wonderful to say, he is going to get well. I asked to see the sword and I privately brought it away with me. Miss May, do you have any idea where the scabbard is to which the sword belongs?”

Of course she knew that the scabbard was in her wardrobe, wrapped up in flannel. “I think I can have it found, Doctor. Please be seated.”

Bringing the scabbard with her, the Doctor slipped the sword back into its old resting place. “Well, this is romance indeed. The Colonel ran the Captain through, and the Captain cleaved the Colonel's head, and they both still live to fight again.” The sword had on it “DeErlon,” plainly marked.

“No, Doctor, we have had enough of fighting.”

The Doctor's keen eyes rested upon her face for a moment,





and he murmured to himself, “Ah! here's more romance. Miss May has met her destiny.”

“Well, Miss May, Cornwallis has crossed Hicks's Ford and is making for Petersburg to join General Phillips and Benedict Arnold. If the Colonel can recover in due season I wouldn't be at all surprised, being so mettlesome, that he will be seen at the head of the Battalion again.”

May Montfort turned deadly pale and the Doctor noticed it, and, being very kind hearted and tactful, he sternly remarked, “I shall advise the Colonel to give up army life—he's done enough. Yes, I think I'll bring him around.”

Alone in her room, after praying fervently for strength and wisdom to sustain her in her vigils, she asked herself: “Am I sorry or am I glad it has all happened? If he will only live and know me. I wonder did he attack the Redcoats, to drive them away from our home? I wonder did he think of me?”

That night about nine o'clock Barney called to his mistress and told her that a man was out on the porch, and that he said he was Colonel Colmey's body-servant. Mrs. Montfort called May to come down. Barney informed her of the waiting man. She at once told Barney to have him come into the lower hallway.

“Who are you?”

“Mistis, I am Remo, my master's body-servant.”

“Who is your master?”

“He is Mr. Colonel Jean Colmey, who was up here about thirty years ago.”

May Montfort's woman's curiosity was aroused; she wanted to find out as much as she modestly could about Jean Colmey's past and present.

“You say he was here about thirty years ago? Were you with him?”

“Yes, mistis.”

“Are his father and mother living?”





“No, mistis.”

“Are his wife and children well?”

“Mistis died many years ago, and he has one boy and one girl living. My master has many slaves and much land.”

May's heart thumped dreadfully; she felt that she could strain his children to her heart and love them like they were her own.

“I know you are tired and hungry, and you need a bowl of wine.”

“I had rather see my master, mistis, please.”

“Certainly. Go up the back stairway. Aunt Selina, get the man a hot supper ready.”

Remo slipped off his muddy boots and crept up after Milly. Going into the room, the Colonel's face was turned toward him. His haggard appearance, his shaved head, the listless look, all made Remo sob. He sat down by him, took his hand in both of his, and sat still. May left them alone and went down to see that a good, substantial supper was prepared for the Colonel's servant. May soon found out that she could leave the Colonel safely with Remo. He had fine judgment in a sick room, noiseless and watchful.

Dr. Pasteur had come, and had gone over the case with Dr. Zollicoffer.

A few days after the wounded man was installed in her home old Aunt Selina asked if “she was to mend the gentleman's close.”

“What is the matter with them?”

“Miss May, dey is torn and ripped, and a hole through his left pant-leg is to be sewed up, you know.”

“Bring them all to me upstairs to my room.”

Never before in her life did she touch so reverently a gentleman's clothes. In fact, it was the first time in her life she felt called upon to do tailoring; but now, happy





moment, blessed pastime, to touch, to hold his clothes. The texture of the goods was very fine, and they had been made to order in Philadelphia.

“Just think, here I sit, mending Jean Colmey's shot-torn clothes. I do wonder if Carrie Culpepper Thompson ever thinks of me?” The blood on his coat had soaked through, and his pants were bloody here and there. His vest was lined with heavy yellow silk, and sewed into the left breast of the coat was “Jean Colmey, Laurel Ridge,” and in his vest pocket and on his pants band was “Jean Colmey, Laurel Ridge.”

His gauntlets were somewhat worn, and she noticed that his belt and boots were made of the best French calfskin. After mending the clothes, after carefully cleaning and ironing them, and all by herself; after laying them on her bed to look over and reexamine, she laid them away in her wardrobe and silently kissed the coat collar before turning away and locking the wardrobe door. “No menial person should have had his clothes to mend and clean. If his dear dead wife could only know how I love to wait upon him, as she cannot! Death's dateless night has left him alone, and fate has now left him with me.”

“Miss May, I'se done found de Colonel's big pistol.” Uncle Ben had been over the fields and woods where the fight occurred, looking for a stray gilt nearing her farrowing, and he picked up a large and a small pistol and two pairs of spurs, one broken sword, and he took off of a dead horse a good saddle and accountrements. The British left four badly wounded horses and the country people took them as trophies. Two of these horses were so badly bitten and pawed that they could get about only very slowly and painfully. When Dr. Zollicoffer saw Captain Leighton again he spoke of these lame cavalry horses. The Captain, in a serious tone, told the Doctor, “Well, it came about in this way; when Colmey's Battalion started back, we had a heavy squadron to interpose to capture or kill





him, and that damned black stallion of his fought his way through our lines, biting and pawing for very life and liberty. We must admit Colmey and his men fought like lions, but for certain he will pull rope if Colonel Tarleton gets hold of him.”

When Dr. Zollicoffer came over again he called Remo and asked that Merlin be brought out for him to examine. He found a sword cut on his head between his ears, a cut deep in his long, thin mane, and one of his front teeth broken. The Doctor cleaned out his wounds, cut off the hair closely, so Remo could use turpentine and tallow mixed. Patting Merlin, he feelingly exclaimed, “What a wonderful horse! And to think he knew the danger of his master.” Merlin seemed to be delighted to have his bravery extolled and his power expatiated upon.

“Doctor, he's ready to do it agin.”

“Well, let us hope that he and his master will never again be so hazardously situated.”

“Doctor, Merlin will shore do his part.” Remo seemed anxious for Merlin to be placed in the full light of approval, to be ranked with Byard's Bay and Sandoval's long, leaping chestnut mare, Motillo.





L WHITE POPLARS

  • “Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting;
  • The soul that rises with us, our life's star,
  • Hath had elsewhere its setting.”

White Poplars was one of those old colony homes in Halifax, where the colonial dame had servants at her beck and call, provisions in abundance, and friends coming in and going out to be waited on and feasted; one of those few places in the world where everything went smoothly and timely, where the exercise of hospitality was a joy indeed. The plantation never seemed to get tired of producing great crops of corn and wheat, of poultry and cattle, pigs and potatoes, all multiplied so muchly that it left one's heart nothing to crave for to satisfy the inner man.

Here, dear Aunt Henrietta Gregory lived, and May Montfort was her favorite niece. Here smiles and laughter reigned, and early morning horseback rides made White Poplars to May an earthly paradise. Here the Harvest Moon was celebrated, here the Yuletide ran long with good cheer, and here whole-souled heartedness never ended.

May, since the coming of Colonel Colmey to the Manor, had removed her sleeping-room to her mother's, downstairs. That night in the sitting-room she spoke of visiting White Poplars.

“I noticed, mother, that Remo was polishing the Colonel's boots today, and I have heard two men walking together, keeping step, upstairs, and I have concluded that Colonel Colmey will be coming downstairs, assisted by his servant, in a day or two. I have placed his uniform, sword, etc.,





here in your room. When he calls for the outfit they are there by your wardrobe. He has been out on the upper portico.”

“Daughter, I have been thinking over the same movement by you to make, and going to your aunt's, I think, is not the least objectionable.”

“Mother, if any one should ask for me, please tell them that I have gone to see auntie, that she is unwell. You understand me.”

“Yes, I hear you. When do you go?”

“I want to carry Milly with me, mother, in the morning; but not a word to her until I am ready to start.”

Mrs. Montford was soon lost in the land of dreams, but May could not sleep. She asked herself, “Am I making another mistake?”

By sunrise she and Milly were in the Quebec Caleche, and Barney followed on old Wallace. Remo, missing Milly, inquired of Aunt Nelly. “Oh, chile, she's gone to de White Poplars wid young mistiss, ’fore youse woke up.”

“Remo, you say Miss Montfort is reported to be visiting at the Poplars?”

“Yes, Marse Jean, and it was all done in a hurry, and what worried me is, Miss May is to be there for a whole week.”

Somehow, Colmey felt intuitively that May had gone to her aunt's because he was getting about. Being very weak, it made him feel depressed to such an extent that he became blind and dizzy. “Remo, quick!” The Colonel fell into a deep faint. Remo fondly placed him upon the bed, unfastened his clothing, and applied cold cloths to his forehead. He slipped downstairs and asked Mrs. Montfort for a strong brandy toddy and quickly returned to the bedside of his master. Mrs. Montfort called Mrs. Tabb and sent her up to ask after the Colonel.

“Ah! Colonel, I thought maybe a little grape might make you feel stronger, having been sick so long.”





“Thank you, madam. I do feel very badly.”

Mrs. Montfort had hastily written a note to May to “Come home at once—Colonel Colmey was not doing so well.”

Old Rye Patch was a flea-bitten gray, but Barney moved him lively. In less than an hour after reading the note, May was in her mother's cook-room with old Aunt Nellie.

“Aunt Nellie, catch a plump pullet from out the coop, and dress the fowl without a drop of blood left in the carcass.” The fowl was secured, feet tied, head hanging downward, and Barney with a sharp knife severed the throat to the neckbone, thus letting escape every drop of blood.

“Now, Aunt Nellie, one of your very best soups. Take your own time, dear old aunty.”

When Remo brought up the savory dish Colmey thought, how kind, how thoughtful these good people were to him, that he must get up and go away, that he was too much trouble and must be gone.

“Marse Jean, I feels a heap better.”

“Well, I am glad to hear it; and, Remo, we must be gone from here, you must go for Uncle Addison and the light vehicle.”

“Marse Jean, Miss May has come.”

“What? when?”

“Erbout two hours ago, sir. Milly told me Miss May made this soup herself, sir.”

“Remo, go and tell Uncle Addison to have all things ready for my returning to my uncle's and have the light carriage and pair of chestnuts to come for me; tell him to have things in shipshape. I feel too weak to try horseback. Have Merlin and your horse and blankets ready and in place.”

After Remo had departed Colmey sighed heavily. “I have been so well treated here, and my heart is here. And this, too, is to pass away.”





LI A HASTY RETURN TO HALIFAX

  • “Vouchsafe to those that have not read the story
  • That I may prompt them.”

Four young men from the coastlands belonging to the Battalion had been furloughed for one month. They made their way back home, parting at the Big Spring. They were to assemble again on the twenty-eighth day to return to their command, supposed to be at Halifax. Gland had his face slashed, Henderson had his arm broken, Giles had been badly wounded in the ankle, and Williams was shot through the shoulder. The report went abroad that the Colmey Battalion were all captured or killed, and that Colonel Colmey was cut all to pieces.

The dreadful rumor spread fast and far. Very many mothers agonizingly prayed for their boys and the fathers cursed and swore that “my boy, I know, fought ’em like hell while the fighting was on.” Mrs. Carrie Culpepper Thompson, quick to hear, heard of this report, and hearing that Lord Cornwallis was making for Petersburg, she became nervous and requested her husband to make preparations for her to go and see her people right away. She made good time, and in the course of a few days she was in Halifax once more. An old servant, Uncle Osborn, was standing at the big gate of Colmey Place, answering questions put to him by a lady in a gig.

“Is your master at home?”

“No, mistis.”

“Is Mrs. Colmey home?”

“No, ma'am.”





“I wish to drive in for a while; will you please open the gate?” Sitting down on the veranda, she asked old Uncle Osborn “where were his folks.”

Tears came into the old man's eyes.

The old slave held his head down and said with a sigh, “Both done and dead, ma'am.”

“What! Colonel Colmey killed? Oh, it can't be so! How wrong I treated him and May! And Cousin Tom was killed near Alexandria. Merciful Father, forgive me. I wish I hadn't.” After resting for an hour and thinking it over, she decided to drive by and see May Montfort, although down in her heart she felt ashamed and guilty to look May in the face.

“May always thought I had done something to drive Colmey hastily away; but I did love her so, and knowing Tom was a good chance, I did wrong and told a downright——.”

Driving up to the grove, old Uncle Ben called Barney, and Milly ran and told her mistress “some lady and gentleman had come.”

“May Montfort, don't you know me?”

“Carrie Culpepper or her ghost! Come in, I am so glad to kiss you and have you with me.”

“May, this is my youngest son, Colmey Thompson. We named him after Frank's best friend, but I have heard awful news about him, that he was killed a few weeks ago near Halifax Courthouse.”

“Well, you must stay with me, Carrie, a few days, or a few weeks, as it is dangerous to go towards Petersburg just at this time.”

“I heard, May, that Colmey's Battalion was all killed or captured. Is it so?”

“No, Carrie. Major Iredell took command, and they made things hot for the Redcoats until they crossed beyond Roanoke River.”





“You don't tell me so! Where did they bury Colonel Colmey, May?”

“Bury Colonel Colmey? He is upstairs, getting better every day.”

“May, you paralyze me with joy. Oh, thank the Lord he is spared and that he is here.”

“Yes, he was shot and sabered severely, and left for dead; but Dr. Zollicoffer's skill, with the blessing of Providence, has brought him around.”

“And add, please, helped and assisted by prayer and faithfulness of May Montfort.” May's face was scarlet.

After supper, sitting in the library, Mrs. Thompson told May her past history, of her children, of the farm, and how she enjoyed being near the beautiful lake and the wonderful Big Spring. “May, you come now and go back home with me; don't say no.”

“How can I leave my aged mother, Carrie? She needs me every day.”

“That's so. Well, maybe some time you can, and do come and stay if you will. May, Colonel Colmey is a widower, and has the most lovely daughter I ever knew. Her name is May Belle, and his boy is fine, too, and he is considered very wealthy.”

May would have been glad to have heard Carrie talk all night, but she felt that Carrie was watching her, and she wanted to get away.

Dr. Zollicoffer came and asked May if she would get him “some clean dressings,” and she gladly left Carrie to her thoughts and past remembrances.

The anxiety of Mrs. Thompson induced her to incur the risk of venturing toward Petersburg to get tidings of her people. May made every effort to persuade her to stay, but, saying, “Good-bye, I'll come by later, May,” she and her son took the Weldon road for Roanoke River and pressed forward for Chesterfield. When her friend had





gone May drew a long breath of relief; she feared Carrie. Carrie had been her bad luck in the past, she had no wish to have a repetition in the future. She had not been upstairs in the sufferer's room, only under restraint, since Carrie came; but now she was free to act without feeling she was watched and weighed.

Close friends of thirty years ago, May could not be so friendly, as the years had come and gone between them. They had grown away from one another, and sadly, lastly, we realize that the friends of our youth have the same name, the same voice, yet, like the springtime flowers in the late afternoon of life, you find them faded and not so fragrant—a change has come. Carrie, at her Chesterfield home, was called the “Chesterfield Beauty,” and May was called “Lady Fair of Halifax” at her country home. At the Colmey's she had whispered her hopes and her little disappointments to the Carrie of days long gone by; but now May was much older, she had been taught by bitter experience to keep her counsel and control her every gesture. There was nothing left between them but love's faded roses. Her suitors had been many, but she was resolved that her hand only went where the heart had already gone. About thirty years ago a light came into her life that neither time nor absence could dim nor destroy.

“Miss May, won't you please come upstairs.” Remo was standing at the head of the stairs waiting for her.

“What is wanted?”

“Miss May, I can't do anything with master.”

May almost jumped into the room, Milly following her. Colonel Colmey was groaning, and in his moans he called his children by name, and seemed trying to realize his condition. May took his hand between hers and said to him softly, “Be still, go to sleep. I will sing for you if you will go to sleep.” Like the wand of a magician, he became quiet and dropped off into a deep sleep.





When Dr. Zollicoffer came, on questioning Remo as to his master's resting, sleeping, etc., Remo narrated what had occurred. The old Doctor's black eyes twinkled. “Ah! you say so, Remo? Well, don't get alarmed. It is a good sign. I will soon have him out.” May heard the Doctor's jubilant remarks to Remo and mentally ejaculated, “The Lord grant it, I pray.”

The laity may think that if a patient is “good pay,” a “high flyer,” “top of the pot,” a doctor never tires of attending him or her; but it is exactly the reverse. After constant attendance for several weeks a doctor gets anxious for his case to get well so he can discharge it. Dr. Zollicoffer had been in practice over twenty years; and night and day, storm and sunshine, unless down in bed sick, and that was seldom, he was alive to his calling. Lying awake the night after his visit to the Colonel, his conversation with Remo came up before him. He got up and made himself a brandy toddy of “Old Nash” and grated nutmeg. “Now I shall sleep; I have a nightcap.” But, oh, no, the Colonel and Remo would not down and out. “Ah! now I have it—fine—that's the thing—fine!” He fell into a heavy slumber and awoke barely in time to dress for breakfast. The Doctor had concluded to use Miss May and her music.

A happy, dreamy feeling had come over May Montfort. Her mother noticed the change, and then Milly, and then the old housekeeper. The old lakelike look of clearness had come back into her eyes, her voice was now full of the old, sweet melody, and her straight, graceful figure was more lithe and gay—willowy. Going into the garden, among the rapidly growing mignonette and pansies, her voice now and then could be heard—full, resonant, confiding.

Why this change? A new life was flowing through her veins; a new rose tint had come again to her velvet cheek;





her soft, rich, golden hair had taken on a more sunshiny brightness, and her step was as of a woman with a purpose. May was standing under the old apple tree, the one from which her mother and father had for thirty years gathered fruit together—it was their favorite apple tree. The old gardener asked her, “Miss May, does yer ’tend to have all de lilies dug up and throwed out of de garden?”

“Oh, no, let them remain.”

“Well, you told me to dig down this yer sweet-shrub bush and throw it out.”

“Oh, no, let that remain, too.”

The old man looked queerly at his young mistress.

When Doctor Zollicoffer left home that morning to take his rounds he took with him a small bell and a long cord. Milly opened the front door for him and preceded him upstairs. “Miss May told me, sir, that if she was needed she would be in the library.”

“Well, Remo, how is it this morning?”

“He sleeps some and he rolls some, sir.”

The Doctor critically examined his patient. He listened to his breathing, felt of his pulse, laid his hand over his heart, ran his hands slowly over his feet. Looking at his watch it ticked 10:30. “I'll try it.”

“I hope you are feeling much better today, Mrs. Montfort.”

“Yes, sir; and bitter enough, Doctor, was the last medicine you sent me.”

Miss May was embroidering a scarf for her mother near by the east window.

“Miss May, I have an idea, and I wish your co-operation. It is this: while you and Mrs. Thompson and others were visiting at the Colmey's, do you remember any of the songs you sang while there?”

“Yes, sir.”





“Would you be kind enough to play and sing one of those old songs again?”

“Well, Doctor, for the last several years I have put aside song and music, but when informed of your idea I might see a way to assist as best I could.”

“Miss May, I think Colonel Colmey is reaching out in the solitude of semi-consciousness for something tangible to seize upon, to spring him, if I may so use a term, back again on his feet mentally. I believe one of the old songs and music of his young manhood is the sine qua non needed.”

May hesitated, said nothing. Mrs. Montfort thought for a minute and remarked, “Daughter, if it would help at all the gentleman's mental condition, I can see no impropriety in your lending aid to the Doctor's idea.”

Did she remember an old song, some of the old music, at the Colmey's? Has she hardly thought of anything since? May Montfort's heart beat tumultuously. Can I sing again one of those songs he once loved to hear? Can I trust myself? “Well, Dr. Zollicoffer, if mother thinks there can be no hurt—if no good is done by my singing—I will do my best to sing.”

“Miss May, I will attach a little bell to your instrument, and when I ring it, please commence, and when I ring it again, please desist.”

The Doctor went up in the sufferer's apartment; he closed all the windows, pulled the curtains close, darkened the room, had two candles lighted, and had Remo to sit at his master's side. The door was left ajar. Dr. Zollicoffer went in the hallway, where he had his bell on a cord, and May went into the parlor with a gloomy countenance and in breathless expectancy. She chose “What Ails This Heart o’ Mine?” the song once sung by Colmey. May thought at the time that he meant it for her, but he suddenly went away and remained away for many a year.





The bell tinkled. She sat down to the instrument, ran her trembling hands over the keys, then gaining confidence, hoping to help one dearer than life to her:

  • “What ails this heart of mine?
  • What ails this watery e'e?
  • What gars me a’ turn pale as death,
  • When I take leave of thee?
  • When thou art far away,
  • Thou't dearer grown to me—”

The bell was suddenly jerked—stop.

“Remo, my pantaloons and my boots.”

“Master, don't get up yet; please lie down until day.” He gazed all around the room. “Why are those candles burning? Remo, I heard a song and music. Where am I Remo?”

The bell tinkled softly again. May was now in complete possession of her voice and she threw her heart and soul into the old song:

  • “When I go out at e'en,
  • Or walk at morning air,
  • The rustling wind will seem to say,
  • I used to meet thee there.
  • Then I'll sit down and cry,
  • And lie beneath the tree,
  • And when a leaf fa's i’ my lap,
  • I'll ca't a word frae thee.”

May heard now such loud voices up in the Colonel's room that she stopped singing and, going out in the hallway, she heard Jean Colmey's voice distinctly: “Remo, that is Miss May Montfort singing; go and see, go on, Remo! Who are you?”

“Ah! Colonel, I am your friend and surgeon, Dr. Zollicoffer.”

“Yes, yes, I recollect now—that heady charge—yes, trying to regain our lines—yes, I was cut across my head





and fell from my horse in the deep, dark woods. Doctor, where am I? Am I at my uncle's?”

“No, sir, you are at the Squire Montfort place. Don't talk any more now.”

“One word more: wasn't that Miss May Montfort's voice?”

“Yes.” The old Doctor went downstairs in glee; he rubbed his hands, he smiled—he was happy. May sat at her embroidery and her mother was watching the pigeons as they dived and swerved in midair.

“Miss May, the day is won gloriously. That song of yours has brought Colonel Colmey back to his former mentality. Miss May, he asked me if that wasn't your voice, that he recognized the song, and if you were near. I told him yes. Ladies, good evening.” The Doctor went out and left mother and daughter in tears.

“May, my daughter, the Lord's hand is in all this.” May placed her arm around her mother's neck. She then went out into the garden and sat down on the little rustic bench in the leafy shade of the old apple tree. She wanted to be alone. She bent her head and prayed in heart-thankfulness. “He is himself again, he recognized the old love song, he asks if I am near. I can't visit his room any more; but he is near me and I am near him.” After supper Remo handed May a note:

Dear Miss May:

You will never know how grateful I am to you for that old Scottish song. It awoke sleeping memories of days long past and gone.

Ever sincerely,

Jean Colmey.

May handed it to her mother.





LII IN MRS. MONTFORT'S ROOM

  • “Beauty is Nature's coin, must not be hoarded,
  • But must be current, and the good thereof
  • Consists in mutual and partaken bliss,
  • Unsavory in th’ enjoyment of itself;
  • If you let slip time, like a neglected rose,
  • It withers on the stock with languish'd head.”

—Milton.

That night all three of the women were in Mrs. Montfort's bedroom and full of talk. “Now, Carrie, you have been maid and matron: is your voice for or against marriage?”

“No single blessedness for me. May should either resolve to cast aside her squeamishness or take the veil.”

“What! Is a woman to be shut up in a nunnery, behind thick walls and grated windows, because she loves her personal freedom, prefers to take nature's fresh air when it so pleases her? Don't you think that I have passed the beistings period?”

“Oh, May! such casuistry well becomes a votary of celibacy, but—”

“Bless you, Carrie! If I was foreordained to be a celibate, I accept my destiny cheerfully.”

“Carrie, you and May listen to me. The primary, the Edenic, edict was for holy wedlock. Celibacy is as the mistletoe seen at festivities—as a passive spectator, but not as an active participant. The murmuring rivulet makes heavenly music, but it is the broad, deep stream that bears the burden of commerce and binds together the humanity of the world.”





“Well, mother, let us hope that I am an apple of winter growth, to be gathered late.”

“Oh, May, you have at your finger-ends right now three exceptionally good chances. Don't throw away your life's opportunities. Don't become a harridan.”

“Carrie, you and mother think I should choose my partner at once and enter the dance; but no, not yet. You are still harping on a husband, Carrie. For conscience's sake, peace! Rein in your flightly steed, Imagination, and tie down close to the post of Reason. As this may be our last sweet commune, let me beg you to care more for the Great Day of future accounts.

“As for me, there is but one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one heart, one love, and only one marital mate. I see the finger of time points to twelve and thirty past. Now, merciful God, rest all Christian souls from every cankering care. I am going to bed. Tomorrow has its duties. Oh, my hair!”

“Let me help you. This silk net is barely large enough to contain comfortable such a full head of rebellious tresses. Oh, my! May, I do believe your stole is finished back and front with Cluny lace. By the Holy Rood, there is about you something enslaving. Ah! such a splenetive as you are—such obduracy; you should be enforced, so that a copy of such loveliness should not be lost to the world.”

“It seems just now, Carrie, that I am to pass my existence in maiden meditation. The one may come in due time and unloose the Gordion knot, and he will find me lilaced and steadfastly hooped in hope. Carrie, let's go to bed; I am getting downright sleepy.”

“May, you sleep too much; you do. Listen, child, we must be ever alert to hold supremacy over the man. Our portcullis must ever be ready at a moment's notice to be lowered. That makes him rant and beg. I tell you, I had rather be Lady Macbeth, whetting my husband on to





win a throne, if but for a day, than to have acted the part of Penelope—undoing her knitting at night, putting off suitors—patiently awaiting the return of her roving warrior lord.”

“Now, girls, it is fairly understood that what is discoursed upon here, to while away the time, is not to be divulged. This consorting with black-hued night suggests to me that I should be priestess, and you two my vestals. Carrie, you lead off. You know there are of womankind three distinct species, and of each many subdivisions.”

“Mrs. Montfort, I take it you are one of the commanding kind; you wish to be the castellane, your scepter by tactful terms. I am a henchman. I wish to be there, I want my hand in the struggle, my voice to be heard if an alliance offensive or defensive is entered into. May is an armor-bearer. She loves to hear in the hallway the masterful speech of a man, see his hat on the rack, listen to his rap of a tramp through the hallway. She is one of those who by her very mold and frame is voted to wear the lilac for her flower.”

“Well, Carrie, why should not the one formed out of the rib of the sleeper, who had been fashioned in the image of God, and who had been given mastery over sea and land, why should not she be loyal, be loving—yea, submissive—to such a being; that is, if such a one to one's liking could be found?”

“Yes, well said—to one's liking. Mrs. Montfort, you would like a full orchestra and let you be the guiding spirit.”

“I would like my husband to play the bow, while I touched the guitar; and poor May, she would delight in her man fingering the silver keys of his ivory flute while she rested her head upon his manly knee. Now, May, is it not so?”

“If married, my husband would be to me as a shining sun by day and my shield by night.”





“Now, girls, let me have a say. We must standardize men by Holy Writ. Take Adam. His perfectness has never been surpassed by man. He foreswore Paradise rather than be bereft of Eve, that paragon of womanliness. Why? She was the kernel and he was the peach? She attracted, she suited him, she intissured his every fiber. She had broken divine law, yet in her precious companionship he had found silent joys the world's entirety could not replace. Take Abraham. Rather than surrender Sarah, he lied because in her he had found his soul and his body's well-fitting complement. Poor David clung to Bathsheba if she had set aside divine and social laws. He made her a queen, and her son a king. Why? Because she filled up in his royal heart, a line of repair, no other woman ever did. And with all reverence, even the Son of God Himself sought comfort at Martha's humble home, soothed His heavily loaded heart by the love, the appealing presence of the sweet-faced Mary, whose delight was to sit at His feet and listen lovingly to the glad tidings of everlasting life. Man loves woman because she attracts—she is his other self, his counterpart.”

“Mrs. Montfort, you should prefer the role of Deborah. I would play Esther, and May would be Ruth, satisfied to be at the feet of her lord. Mrs. Montfort, if May were to see her lord struck down by his antagonist, she would quail, surrender his armor and herself to the conqueror—she certainly would.”

“No, never! I would be only satisfied when I could lap his heart's blood. We so often judge others by ourselves, Carrie.”

“Ha! Oh, what a murderous scintillation is in your eye! Oh, May, how changed your every feature! Fury is in your face.”

“Well, it is growing late. Let contentment come into our hearts and all the turmoils be now forgotten as we bow our heads for His benediction. It would be well for both





of you to remember that from Eve down to the present time, woman is a power only when she exercises her womanly qualities; she is then a potency irresistible.”

“May, please explain to me what you meant when you said you would want the blood of your husband's adversary.”

“Just this: when Hymen's torch was lighted and we stood side by side to plight our holy vows to each other, right then an unseen lamp in the recess of my heart would be furnaced, that would lighten and brighten my pathway with fervent love unto that perfect day. His God would be my God, his good my guidance.”

“May Montfort, your kind of love is a dark, swift whirlwind. It means love's dreams full-fullent, or it will reveal life's reality to be a dismal fiasco.”

“Well, Carrie, so may it be. If I might live and die in a myrtle grove alone with my own sweet love with me, it is all I ask, God knows.”

“Oh, May, child of romance, that is the head, the acme of love. Heaven grant you its realization. Diana's foresters guard you through the deep, tangled wildwood. Oh, May, I took you to be tenderhearted, full of sufferance. What! kill? Your eye had a murderous flash, your voice gutteral like a bear's when robbed of her cubs—you made me shiver.”

“My dear daughter, do go and fetch me a glass of water. Carrie, come to me. You don't understand her. She is as gentle as a June wind when not ruffled; but when enraged her blood turns to iron—sh! Thank you, daughter. Now our meeting stands adjourned.”

“Mother, shall I draw the curtains close?”

“There, dear, see the taper is lighted. To preserve your health be early abed. Take with you, to be happy is to be good. Now for restful curtained slumbers.”

“St. Cecelia guard you, dear Mrs. Montfort, and bring you a celestial rose.”





“May, we are now in our own room. I feel confused when I attempt to unravel your declaration of a tragedy possible. Oh, if by accident we should escape punishment here, one could not pass meeting the Avenging Angel when boated over the river by Charon. The supernal region only to be seen across the great gulf—gramercy, how awful! How is it May?”

“Holy Writ has it emblazoned throughout the sacred pages, that woman was made for man, that she is bone of his bone, flesh of his flesh. I believe it. Therefore, why not strike when your stronger self is struck?”

“Yes, but if he is down and dead, May, that ends his life's program.”

“Nay, my poor, little self, standing humbly in His mighty presence, I should know that He knew that I struck boldly for my other life; and I would beg, through the merits of the Crucified One, to let me rejoin my other self that we might chant His praises together in that land beyond the shining shore, forever and a day.”

“For the life of me, I dare not think of it; so monstrous a trespass I fear would not be forgiven.”

“God judges not as man does. He tries the reins of the heart, its intent, its purpose. It would not be done for a trifling offense, nor to gratify an envious rise of spleen; but for husband, home, and country. He wills it that one should be loin-girded, ready for the hand to confederate with the brain. I should not fear that He would break the bruised reed.”

“Please again, May, excuse me. I am so dazed and stupefied that my senses will not respond.”

“Well, just this: I would play the part of Jael.”

“Ha! you say so? How could you? Oh, you tawny-colored Serval! When caressed, how dulcet your purring; when made mad, you bring into use your fangs and bring into battle your fur-covered briar-hooks.”

“I see nothing so surprisingly horrible in the lunge of a





blade, Carrie, or the drive of a nail, or why one should try to escape from the trespass here or hereafter.”

“May, I fear you have lost some of your mind, you have been alone, an old maid so long. The decalogue says, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ ”

“I agree with you, Carrie. The law is plain, and the punishment is and should be sure. Remember, Carrie, Holy Writ also says, ‘Wives, obey your husbands.’ It says, ‘Man and wife in flesh and in law are one.’ Now the law, ‘Thou shalt not,’ is a general law; the law of obedience. Devotion is a special law; and self-preservation is a law direct. I understand it to mean to conduct yourself according to the conditions that confront you.”

“May, your reasoning has made me quite nervous. I wish I had some lavender tea. May, I dislike sleeping alone, let's bed together.”

“No, I prefer to stretch out, tuck up the sheet, and not disturb nor be disturbed.”

“You dear little humming-bird, you will not be limed. Don't wait to become old pot metal. Stand up here now. You measure five feet five inches in your stockings, your ankle is exactly five and one-half inches. I am five feet seven to the dot. May, you are a veritable manhater. I fear to even mention the name of the son of Dionysius and Aphrodite in your esthetic company. You should continually cherish the oleander. I tell you, dear, there is great fun in making a man stand around—let him back up and then back him off. Teasing is so pleasing to me.”

“Is it so? You talk Chaldean language to me, I am so untutored.”

“Without cant, it is a fact, a man's heart has a hundred strings, ours but one; here lies our vantage ground. Men do not always weigh well the end; temporal politics makes them waver. She need be but advertent, then we come in. The cupbearer becomes director. His diseased opinion





we can physic, looking well to our own exaltation. Suppose he does rule the camp, sail his pinnace over many seas, and is the feasting personage at the tournament; yet for all that the woman's one string is love. And when she deigns to open the castle gates and he enters, crowned emperor, ah! then he tastes the nectar of the gods, there is he blissfully impounded.”

“What, Carrie, is the old market-wife's reckoning—‘That the moon sees many brooks, but the brook sees but one moon’?”

“Fudge! No firefly for me. I must and will be a constellation. I say, a plague on the men; they are predicatory; they are prenately facultied with much abstruse advisement; they are pretenders inveterate. If they be the lofty tree, we are the rosettes, the winsome cloth of gold.”

“Carrie, you make me smile at your mouthings. As for me, I have a measureless admiration for the high spirit of endeavor, and the judicious intellectuality of the male's mind. I can but believe that the trend of masculine thought is an adorable, a hearty loyalty towards womankind. Why not? What can appeal to the very essence of his nature as she who is panoplied in the graces of femininity? Each was made by divine ordinance to have a beautiful interdependency, embodying as a whole strength and beauty, adventure and devotion. Carrie, what say you?”

“To all which I say amen, Selah! But, May, too much eulogy will destroy, not mend. Men by nature are inclined to fly too high; we must keep their wings clipped, or they will soar out of our sight.”

“I thought, Carrie, love's eyes could see through space into eternity.”

“Yes, I can but think ’tis best for us to hold our own; we must at times affect a mannerism foreign to our feelings. Pooping does them good.”

“Can it be so, Carrie? I think to hold we must not





often descant on his infirmities. It is inherent, peculiar to our being, to oppose when pricked. Men love the congenial, the trustful.”

“That is all nice to me, but it is purely speculation. The present has its demands, needs; these are facts. The future rewards are what our sentiments suppose them to be. In a word, those awards are unknown quotients. May, love is a delicate plant, and to be retained it must be watered by praise from the lips, and also from the yellow colored fountain of abundance. Reverses, want, would make love a bondage of which I must respectfully decline; for, May, I tell you penury defaces the divine gift of beauty.”

“I know, Carrie, riches and power should be enjoyable by the human family as a whole, to be prized for personal independence and opportunities for benevolence; but if the harried heart is to suffer thereby, if our eyes must be closed to want, and to little kind deeds silently done, then I must say the wealth bubbling from an honest, kind heart, with but little of earthly goods to go with it, would be to me the dearer, the happier existence. I can but think the consciousness of having done a kind deed was a thought that had its birth in and by the inspiration of an angel. Good Lord, grant no wealth to me, unless allowed to bountifully help the distressed, for it would be to me as frightful as the little red man of the Tuilleries was to Catherine de Medici.”

“May, let's get away from this subject upon which we can never agree. Now, riches are all right, and men are all right, when you can manage both. To me to be compelled, because born a woman, to walk and drink to the line, fills me with righteous indignation. To the moon with such! I can but fairly shake with glee when you can make a grown man mumble the peg—yes, get down and lip and mouth it. To you, poor soul, husband and home and such heavenly awarded dignities and blessings you would, to uphold them, sacrifice your own individuality. Not so with





me. I tell you, if I had to sleep in East Cheap it would be done severely and, by the Holy Rood, he should not dine in Piccadilly.”

“Carrie, is it I, or are you at fault in sub-audition? I am not borne away from the true center of right. I don't for a moment say the man should be considered extraordinary and the woman common. Oh, no! for I can't conceive how a fairminded man could be induced to so far forget his love and his duty to his mate and his family.”

“Ah! May, to be afraid to step one pace too far, or saintly discretion is offended; to have to ask leave of absence for a month, or you stand corrected in the eyes of husband and your neighbors, bah! Such trammels make me rash and spiteful to all my coadjutors. From all such, good Lord deliver us! Every woman has a sure card up her sleeve if she only knew how to play it.”

“But, dear Carrie, we will not chide one another for having view fields so dissimilar. Everything has its orbit, the seasons their usefulness, the eagle the crag, the wren the doorface. Say, Carrie, don't you feel sleepy? I do, and I am going to undress.”

“No, not even half a wink. Let's talk a little longer. Oh, May, your pale, golden hair tumbles like an auric cascade over your milk-white bosom and reaches down to your dimpled knees. I forgot to tell you, May, that I am going home tomorrow. I long to have my pretty chick-chicks around me and Frank to kiss my cheek again. May, if I were to tell you what is uppermost in my mind, it would give you the holy horrors; and I have almost the vertigo.”

“You must be tickled at the prospect of getting back home. I shall miss you—stay longer, Carrie.”

“I just can't. My mouth is just watering for the goody fruit in the midst of the garden at home.”

“I have always greatly desired to look upon North Carolina's Mediterranean and sail upon its limpid waters. But





wanting is not possessing. Carrie, I have dreamed of that wonderful river, of a moonlight float with hair down, with only a fillet—joyously.”

“Just bunch up your clothes and come along. If you will consent, I will write Cousin Tom and he will accompany us.”

“Dear old friend, I thank you, but I can't leave my mother.”

“Hush, May Montfort. When the right man comes along and bites you on your left ear, oh, then you will go, and go willingly.”

“The same old story is it, daily new and never old! Oh, well, not yet. Bah!”

“May, for goodness’ sake, don't refuse Tom's pleas, if he should be fool enough to address you again. I confess that if my husband were to fall asleep I would be goods on the market in three months by the calendar. Yes, after my grief week, after attiring myself in widow's weeds, after my appetite came to me, I should commence looking around, comparing faces.”

“Oh, Carrie, don't talk so. The enwrapped dead should be spoken of more reverently. I am going to read my prayer-book and retire.”

“Why, May, what would be the sense of continuing in tears and lamentations, and he enshrouded in oak and shadowed by a marble shaft? And, say what you will, dear, a woman so fair, a form so divine, a step so elastic as yours, sighs and feels lonesome without a circle and a companion; and, May, you are growing old.”

“What, Carrie! had you rather raise cockles than barley?”

“Anything, May, rather than be at all times all smiles, all goodness. Oh, I hate measly-minded women. Are you asleep? For Santa Maria's sake, let's talk just a few more little minutes. I have something great to acquaint you withal.”





“Well, go ahead and let's to bed. I am one of your measly-minded sisters.”

“Now, by My Lady, no wild-goose ways, no carrier-pigeon pathetics for me. I live in today. Yes, ’tis past midnight. It is the very hour for owlish hobgoblins. Queen Mab is out and about, and I do hope one of the boldest of her witches will ride you this night—clamorously attack the garlanded citadel, and when—”

“Oh, Carrie, do hush; I am so very sleepy.”

“Stop that chattering! You hear, girls? Go to sleep.”

“Good-night, Carrie.”

“Sweet dreams, May.”





LIII TETE-A-TETE

  • “I'll give you Aquitania, and all that is his,
  • And you give him for me,
  • One loving kiss.”

—Love's Labor Lost.

May Montfort was standing at the front steps, in a white grenadine dress, a moss rosebud in her hair. The brightness of her tresses gave a sunny halo to all her features. There she stood in all the ravishing beauty of well-rounded womanhood.

“Oh, Tom, isn't she beautiful? I do believe May is handsomer now than I ever saw her before.”

“Cousin, she is, and enslavingly so to me; but if my eyes do not mislead me, there is a plain gold ring on her finger.”

“What, Tom! a ring? Yonder is Colonel Colmey.”

“Good morning, Miss Montfort. The day and time both deal kindly with you.”

“Come in, Major Bolling; come in, Carrie. Glad to see you.”

“Miss Montfort, I am very much pleased to see that Colonel Colmey is able to sit up on the upper portico. I fail to see very much change in him, only his hair and beard are gray. Dr. Zollicoffer tells me he would have been certainly killed, but that the Colonel was superstitious and wore a charm over his heart, and although the ball went straight, it was deflected by the heavy locket suspended from his neck, and passed through his side.”





“Oh, May, do tell us all about it. May, you do know. See, Tom, how she reddens. Tell us now, like a good girl.”

“Carrie, you fill me with amazement; the idea of Colonel Colmey wearing charms! Yes, mother, I am coming.”

May arose and went to her mother.

“Tom, did you hear any one call May? The deuce! I had rather be a ferret with a litter of kittens than a crochety old maid.”

“Carrie, I was thinking of Burton and Colmey and was paying no attention to calls. I suppose her mother called her or she would not have answered.”

“Bah! Fiddle-dee-dee! May can fool you, but not me. So easily she left us to evade being questioned; just as quick as a didapper, to get out of sight and shot.”

“I will come over after supper. Good-bye.”

“Now, for thought, will she sidetrack me? When I pin her she jumps the fence and says, ‘I am coming, mother; excuse me, Carrie.’ She is from egg to apple profound, but I can untangle as fast as she can tie. I have not forgotten my father's saying, ‘Gentle manners go with gentle blood, but if necessities arise they must be met and overcome.’ Before grace's cup is drunk between us, I will set afloat—”

Major Bolling was back at the Manor soon after dinner, and proposed to have a heart talk with May. Lover-like, he feared to delay; he dreaded to boldly advance.

“Oh, cousin, how kind of you to come early. I doubted you would hear the hornblower wind the work hour.”

“I fear me it would be better for me if I had never had the privilege of visiting this dear old manor. I have fondly hoped Miss May would manifest more interest in my visits; I cannot complain of coolness, but she seems to be environed with quicksands. I cannot trust myself to implead my suit.”

“Tom, I am thinking of returning home. The desire is





growing upon me to go back, yes, where the sweetbrier meadows scent the morning air, to hear again the lowing of the many cattle at eventide, as they come slowly, leisurely homeward.”

Bolling heard May's voice out on the portico and went to look for her.

“There goes Tom, as fine a fellow as ever pulled a boot on. To be sure, he is but little imaginative, out-and-out practical; and why so? He seems with May to be demagnetized. With his shape, his leg, and his fortune he should easily win a marital mate. Pshaw! for shame! That moody Colmey, I fear, holds key to the situation. Wherein is Colmey's sorcery? To me he is a bete noir.”

Carrie went to look for Tom and May.

“Ha! May, as usual, bending over primary nature. Where is Tom?”

“Major Bolling? I thought he was with you.”

“You thought. Alas! poor fellow. It matters but little to you where he is—in Halifax or Kamshatka. By my troth, when I compare Tom Bolling with that half-lunatic, Jean Colmey, I almost go mad.”

“Carrie, what ails you? Neither by actions or words are you justified in making such intimations. My dear, don't wrestle with fate. Ever since he incautiously spoke of ducking stools and bronks you have had your rapier out for him. Dear, there are lonely hearts to cherish as we journey through life.”

“I'd journey him if I could. You forget, May, that you have a chance to marry a man without father or mother, no children, alone and wealthy; one who experiences a depression, a sadness quite unknown to Colonel Colmey, who has children and the memory of a dead wife to cherish; that is to say, if he ever gives the poor soul a thought.”

“Now, Carrie dear, be at home. I need to go and help Mrs. Tabb to get the desserts ready. I'll be back soon.”





“There she goes, a puzzle to me. She has an adaptability, a sureness to do the right thing at the most seasonable moment. Oh, my! she's a rose leaf that seems to me will never be rumpled. Holy wedlock would give a heart balm to her, and she longs for contentment impassionately.”

Carrie looked up and Major Bolling was approaching her. He asked most ardently, “Cousin Carrie, can you tell me of Miss May?”

“May, Tom has been looking for you everywhere; and here you sit, potting flowers. Oh, May, listen to me! Marry the man who adores you.”

“I'd rather not. I prefer to grow geraniums and raise roses, Carrie, or, as you said, visit Florida and study the mounds.”

“Silly woman that you are. Can the flowers rise up and call you blessed? Can they hand you a cup of water when fever wrings your brow? Now, by my troth, you have for yourself a poor-pother trade. Preferable by far, my dear sweet friend, is the cuddlings of a husband and the mothering of boys.”

“Good for you, Carrie, good! Now here's at you. If I have let slip the many innocent joys of wifehood, failed to meet the desires of my friends and to comply with the demands of kin and country, as you have so kindly reckoned, I can in return, not in defense, say that duty and honor have been my guides. Remaining as I am, I have avoided the anxieties of maternity, evaded tasting possibly the gall-drop of filial ingratitude, and maybe escaped the keenest cut of all that could come into a woman's life—slighted love. If I have been nobody's darling, I surely have been no one's pest.”

“Oh, dear May, I humbly beg pardon if—”

“There, there. Come, Carrie, the dining-room bell calls us to come.”

“Be seated, ladies. Mrs. Montfort cannot be with us. Miss May, grace, please.”





After dinner, upstairs alone, Carrie soliloquized: “May has an apparent frankness that disarms me, and the acuteness of her apprehension disconcerts me. She did not used to be this way. Never mind! I will wind her reel yet.” Carrie paced the floor. “Plague take her time, she verily believes she is fooling me. I take it as an insult to my native cunning. I have it! I can't fail; a strapado for me if I do. Gypsy or no gypsy, it shan't be Colmey. Bah! I hear Colonel Colmey's ravings; his fever has returned. I can't help my woman's heart going out in pity towards him. I stand upon queachy ground, but all the same I expect to land Cousin Tom safely. He is a ‘first chop,’ and if he would only lie low and flatter and—”





LIV BOLLING AND BURTON

“Farewell! God only knows when we shall meet again.”

On the porch the next morning sat Carrie, Major Bolling, and Squire Burton. Mrs. Montfort was in the library, feeling happy. Burton's pair of bright bays to a well-trimmed gig were under the tulip tree in charge of his driver. Bolling's gray mare, a beautiful dapple, stood saddled in the shade near the gate, held by his faithful valet. Under the great oak was a high-crested black horse, champing his bit.

“Eh! is Colonel Colmey able to take to horse? I see his black charger and his servant holding him.”

“Really, Major, I don't know; I fear he is not.”

“Squire Burton, I have heard queer stories about that horse, how he fought so furiously when his master was surrounded and how courageously he brought the Colonel through the British lines. He is exactly like the horse I raced against about twenty-five years ago; he has only one white spot on him, and that is between his eyes.”

“Oh, Tom, no doubt the poor beast did do well that dusky evening, but I should judge that it was a season of neck or nothing, and the firing guns excited the horse and made him vicious. As to the men, of course, they just had to fight, and it was simply a do-or-die game. It shows, also, for a fact that Colonel Colmey was overmatched, yes, and driven from the field.”

“Pardon me, I beg you, Mrs. Thompson, but I feel compelled to stand up and say Colonel Colmey made a brave fight. I, for one, feel we are due him and his game battalion our everlasting thanks.”

“Bravo! Burton, give me your hand! I am with you,





man, heart and soul. Colmey fought the fight, and if he was struck down it was an affair-tre-dielle, and he the unit. Captain Leighton and Captain De Courcy of His Majesty's Heavy Dragoons bear Colmey's marks on them to this very hour. By St. George, I wish I could have been right by him. He is a brave, good fellow; yes, he is.”

May's heart bounded with an unknown pleasure—how ecstasied she felt! but she kept her face unmoved. Doctor Zollicoffer rode up on his nutmeg roan and cheerily called out, “How do you all do? Is Colonel Colmey ready?” Colonel Colmey could be heard coming downstairs slowly. He walked into the library where Mrs. Montfort was sitting and said, “I have come to say good-bye.” May stole a hurried glance at Squire Burton and Major Bolling.

“Won't you stay at least a week longer?”

“I thank you, dear Mrs. Montfort. I have been on your charity long enough, and I have come to thank you and Miss May for my life.”

“Oh, don't say that! The doctors did so much more for you than we did.”

“Yes, ma'am, they gave directions, came in and went out; but you and—”

Mrs. Montfort felt overpowered. “Good-bye,” and as she extended her small, shapely hand, Colmey bowed low and kissed it reverently.

“Come, Colonel Colmey.” Mrs. Montfort sat tearless as if she were transfixed, and could not finish the sentence. When Colmey came out on the porch a boisterous neigh, loud and proud, came as a greeting from Merlin. “Colonel, your horse knows you.”

“Yes, sir, we have been close neighbors for several years.” Merlin commenced a vigorous pawing and switching of his tail.

The men arose, the ladies stood. Mrs. Montfort, Carrie, and May could but unconsciously measure the men as they stood facing each other—all about the same height, Squire Burton





the heaviest. He had a general appearance of honesty and a good liver. His manners were pleasant, cultured. Major Bolling, as erect as an Indian, clear, dark eyes and handsome face. Colonel Colmey's poise was perfect, his voice gentle and firm, his demeanor subdued, and complexion pale. Squire Burton won your confidence, Major Bolling your admiration, Colonel Colmey aroused your sympathy and sealed your devotion. He shook hands with the gentlemen, and when he approached Carrie her brow was clouded and in her eye lurked a sour dislike. Colmey reddened in the temples, bowed coldly his adieu, and raising his hat in salute to all, he walked lamely over the graveled walk to the gate. Squire Burton accompanied him, Major Bolling would assist him down the steps. The ladies remained standing. May choked. The lameness of Colmey aroused much sympathy in Burton, and at the gate he said: “Colonel, let me beg to drive you home; you are too lame, too weak, to mount your horse. Here Harley, bring my horses.”

Dr. Zollicoffer called out, “Say, Colmey, just get in the gig and let your servant come with your charger.”

“No, thank you, my carriage is in sight.”

Squire Burton's bright bays made a very attractive team, and his brand-new gig had a looking-glass finish. The driver looked over at Remo, who was in charge of the black horse, and coughed, hemmed, and took on a lofty look. Remo knew what he meant. Negroes take a lively interest in any and all display made by their masters. Burton's driver claimed by look and act that he was outswelling Remo. The two grove men enjoyed the fling between the Burton and Colmey houses. Remo became savagely jealous, he forgot even the existence of Uncle Addison. “That dern nigger thinks he has pinned the basket on Marse Jean, but—”

Like the realization of an ardent longing came whirling up the avenue the champing chestnuts of Colmey Place, with Uncle Addison reins in hand and face all smiles.





The horses heads were tossed in the air, tails spread, and every hair on their satin bodies in the right place. The light, stylish carriage, the soft, round, hand-made harness, the shining silver trimmings, seemed to have been the thought, the design of an artist. An outrider accompanied the carriage, to open gates, examine bridges, try the depth of streams, and to go on ahead and announce the coming of the family equipage. On formal occasions there were two or more.

“I'm nearly dead with joy, Uncle Ad, so glad you has come! Let me lift this chain of Dragon's off of Dolphin's part of the hold-back. Yer silver harness does look so fine!” Remo spoke loud enough for Burton's driver to hear him.

“Yes, Remo, and these colts are mighty pert steppers today. There's Dragon, he ’magines he is smartest; but not so, both about even.”

Remo cleared up his throat and, chuckling, said to Uncle Addison, “Uncle Ad, that Burton nigger thought he had us down shure. Now look how lonesome he ’pears.”

They laughed outright and watched with delight the driver's shifting of his seat and his side looks for the coming of his master.

“Now, gentlemen, let me thank you for your kindly help, and let me put your generosity to the test by suggesting that both of you come home with me. Squire Burton, come, tell your driver to follow.”

Bolling declined, Burton accepted. Both assisted Colmey to get into his vehicle. As the chestnuts took their bits and the carriage whirled away, Remo walked up to Harley and tauntingly remarked, “Thar now!”

Reaching the Place, Squire Burton pleaded business, that he would come soon, and returned to the Montforts, fixed in mind at an early date to once more press his resolve to win May Montfort, and the firmness of his resolution made him forget her past refusals.





LV HOME AGAIN

  • “Against that time, if ever that time come,
  • When I shall see thee frown on my defects,
  • Against that time when thou shalt strangely pass
  • And scarcely greet me,
  • Do I ensconce me here.”

“Thank God! I am under the old Colmey rooftree once again. I am no trouble to my kind neighbors now, and my wounds are healing as well as one could expect. My strength slowly tells me I may hope to be well once more, but there is wanting here a voice, a form.”

Colmey, attended by Remo, paced up and down the back heavy-vined veranda. He felt chilled when he thought of his parents, dead, his uncles and aunts dead, and his devoted wife resting near the surging, the never-at-rest waters, near the sea, dead.

His uncle had left him this place; it was his, yes, his home. But no, never can a house be a home of joy and peace to him, and he alone the only occupant proper, and he a wounded, sad-hearted soldier. “A quarter of a century ago I fled from this place as the gray dawn was breaking; thinking, yes believing, that the Virginia witch was telling the truth, that May was engaged to Bolling, but now—now! Her bright smile haunts me still. Tom Bolling, Burton, I am at a disadvantage—my wounds, my precious children—but for all that sit your saddles steady.”

Squire Burton returned and consoled the porch-sitters by saying, “The Colonel seemed to enjoy the drive and was happy to get back to his uncle's old home”; but that





he feared Colonel Colmey had seen his best days, feared he was an invalid for life.

“Squire Burton, did you discover any mental unbalance in the Colonel's conversation?”

“No, only he is the saddest looking man I ever saw.”

“I have feared the sword-slash, the cleaving of his head, might injure his mental equilibrium; bring about an aberration, you know. Colonel Colmey will never be himself again. That furious cut down to his brain has placed him on the list of incurables.”

“Well, Mrs. Thompson, if it has, it has placed him also among the immortals. I am no soldier, but I love a brave man, and Henry Burton will never fail to do honor to him that falls beneath his country's flag, his face to the foe.”

“No one, Squire Burton, wishes to detract from Colonel Colmey any merit due him; but when a man is skull-cleft one can but suppose the brain is badly jarred, that the gray matter is materially disordered.”

“As for me, I believe the Colonel will recover, and will lead his hardy followers into the thick of the fight again. All honor to the brave, say I!”

“By my hopes of salvation, Tom Bolling, you fill me with soul-kinship.”

Carrie, under her breath, exclaimed, “By Saint Cecelia, how fool-happy Cousin Tom can make himself.”

May Montfort felt a cold chill pass through her very body and entity. Could it be possible that Jean Colmey, her Jean, was liable to “be unbalanced,” an invalid for life, incurable! “Come what will, my love belongs to him.”

The quick eye of Carrie Culpepper Thompson detected the droop in the spirits of May Montfort. She saw a pain, a deep, repressed pain, steal over her classic brow, and fearing for her friend, for she loved May almost madly, she hastily went to her and asked that they go for a glass of fresh water.





Mechanically May arose and went with her, and, when passing through the library, May gave way and swooned into Carrie's arms. Making no outcry, laying her friend down on the carpeted floor, she at once closed the doors toward the hall, ran for water, and dashed it into May's face. She was soon herself again, and looked annoyed, abashed, to realize that Carrie suspected the secret cause of her swooning. No one else saw her, no one else ever heard of it. Carrie was now convinced that May loved Colonel Colmey. She was glad and yet sorry she was to leave at noon. Mrs. Montfort had entertained the two gentlemen, had invited them to remain to dinner, but they had respectfully declined. May and Carrie coming back, Squire Burton at once formally bade her good-bye, and Major Bolling told Carrie he would ride over at one-thirty and go some of the way with her. Carrie was sorry to go, and glad to go. A dead look had come into Carrie's face that told apter than her tongue that her hopes were blighted. She knew she was needed at home. Her love for May made her linger, but now she felt that May would prefer to be alone, because she felt certain that May fully realized that she knew her life's secret. Dinner was over, the gig was at the door. Major Bolling was in waiting.

Carrie passionately clung to May. She sobbed aloud. Kissing Mrs. Montfort good-bye, she put her arm around May's waist and walked to the gate. There was a long, affectionate embrace between the life-long friends. Carrie looked through her tears at her cousin, she bowed to all, and stepping lightly into the gig by her son, her handkerchief pressed to her eyes, she said softly but sadly, “My son, drive on. May Montfort, my life friend, good-bye.” Carrie took a hasty, a loving last look at Montfort Manor. “Adieu, la Voiture.” Carrie Culpepper Thompson was gone.

Having ridden several miles with Carrie, and she seemed so cast down, Bolling thought best to leave her. “Well, I





must part with you, cousin; and when I win May, and win her I will, we'll come down to see you.”

“Yes—when!”

“What do you mean, Carrie? What is in the way? She is a woman, therefore to be wooed.”

“Yes, but they are not always won, Tom.”

“But, Carrie, I feel like a banished man when out of her presence, my sorrow continues until I am near her again.”

“Dear Cousin Tom, I fear your importunity will fall on deaf ears.”

“What! who is in the way so formidably? Your visage speaks defeat to my entreaty.”

Carrie at once rallied; she must protect May at all hazards. “Ah! Squire Burton is wealthy, he is an old suitor, has never married, like unto yourself, and May's mother leans toward the Squire in no uncertain manner.”

“Cousin Carrie, I give you double thanks for your timely information; but in my heart I feared Colmey most, although scarred and wounded, and with children. Now, dear cousin, good-bye, and may it be God's will that when we meet again we will be both happier, less woe-begone.”

Mrs. Montfort mourned over Carrie's going, but May went quietly about her house duties, feeling like an eye had been removed that she had learned to fear. She upbraided herself for swooning, that she found Carrie had dived down into her soul and fished up her secret for her inspection, and such knowledge by another would surely bring about her own mortification. It is human nature to avoid any one we think knows what we wish unknown. May loved Carrie very dearly, but she loved Colmey passionately. She was truly thankful no one else on earth ever suspected she could have an attachment for any one. Now a sweet sunbeam had come into her former darkness. She was married to her resolve to keep unstained her heart's first pure love.

Henry Burton was used to winning his way in life without





strain of mind or measure. Manlike, the opposition that fronted him now in his suit to win as wife May Montfort only stiffened his effort to overcome her intention of remaining outside the boundary of the marriage circle. Her decision of character charmed him, her realism of the several conditions of life, and, above all, the holding of herself aloof from his approaches, increased, invigorated his determination to possess her.

The next afternoon he drove to the mansion, and after some time of everyday talk, he boldly and squarely asked May to become his wife; that as an ardent admirer of hers for years he pleadingly suggested the privilege of being allowed to speak to her mother.

There was a dreamy, semi-satisfied look in May Montfort's eyes that rather irritated than soothed his impatience. Being a woman and unmarried, he could not understand why he could not win her. The propounding to her of his heart's devotion was repugnant. Having but one heart, and that heart pulsating for another, she felt to sit and listen to a proposal of marriage was for her to perpetrate upon her better self a sacrilege, upon her absent loved one a silent deception, deep and condemnatory.

She quietly arose and gently, firmly announced her irrevocable decision: “I appreciate the honor you would confer upon me; but I cannot marry you, Mr. Burton.”





LVI BELFIELD CAMP

  • “He that is truly dedicated to war
  • Hath no self-love.”

Conny Donnell of the Cavaliers was singing heartily, oblivious of his surroundings:

  • “Of all the birds on bush or tree,
  • Commend me to the owl,
  • Since he may best example be
  • To those that cup the trowl.
  • For when the sun hath left the west,
  • He chooses the tree that he loves the best
  • And he whoops out his song and he laughs at—”

“Here, Sergeant, can't you leave off your song of the Mousing Owl long enough to direct me to the tent of the commanding officer of this cavalry troop?”

“So, so, your honor. I am not in the habit of asking friend or stranger what shall please me to sing. Our commanding officer's flag is flying over there, sir—crimson and with a white hornets’ nest in the center.”

“You seem to forget the space between a commissioned and a noncommissioned officer.”

“No, Lieutenant, I do not. I am willing to do my full duty toward one in higher command, and no more.”

“Words are but breath without deeds to follow. You affect a mannerism not in keeping with your stripes.”

“I beg your pardon, Lieutenant, if I have stepped over the limit. I answered your question politely, and I presume to know the difference between a brook trout and a trout-bird.”





“I have neither patience nor time to spare to entertain your half-framed courtesies. I have an important message to deliver, and that you might recognize the propriety of offering to show me the way, as I am unacquainted with these parts.”

“I will be very glad, Lieutenant, to do so,” and Donnell at once stepped forward to lead the way.

“No, I decline your services. You are too late in proffering a pilotage. Ah, ahem!”

“I beg to say, Lieutenant, that your rebuff does not grieve me in the least. Your preference in this instance is surely my pleasure.”

Lieutenant Berkley saluted, walked away and muttered, “The damned mousing owl.”

“Hello, Donnell! What popinjay is that? He seems to be poorly plumed.”

“Plumed or unplumed, he is a stuffy fellow, and reminds me of a darned brush turkey a-gobbling. He is all fuss and feathers.”

“Where is he from and who is he, Don?”

“Oh, he is from Colonel Hastings’ regiment, a fine body of gentlemen, and he has a message to Major Iredell. He asked me roughly if we had no colonel. I told him our Lieutenant-Colonel was dangerously wounded at the sharp fight at Halifax with the Tarleton Legion, and he had to be left behind.”

“Donnell, old boy, rah for Colmey! Oh, ye gods! if he could only come again and ride in front of the Battalion on his great black horse, ready and willing to lead his Carolina troopers to victory!”

“Say, Badger, go slow, or I shall fly my base in a tangent and whoop aloud for our gallant Colonel. In fact, I fear much if the Cavaliers ain't getting as silly over our wounded headman as those Guards, the fellows that eat salmon and never sprats.”

“Well, the truth is truth, and ’tis this: with the exception





of Captain Capehart, who is ever blithe and gay, every lieutenant, sergeant and man of the Colmey Guards have a proud and reserved look in keeping with the mein ever seen in their old Captain. You know, Donnell, their motto is, ‘Dangers and Death to the Devil.’ ”

“Yes, Badger, I have noticed it. I have heard that their old Captain saw service in Scotland under Prince Charlie and came near being tried and hanged.”

“Don, that may have saddened our Colonel for life, for he has something heavy at heart.”

“True as the ebb and the flow of the tides are governed by the moon, so has the Colonel imprinted himself upon his old company in word and act. But, Badger, by Jove! ain't they hefty chargers, right up to the cannon's mouth?

  • “ ‘Chargers! yes. Sword and shield,
  • In bloody field, doth win immortal fame.’ ”

“Badger, this quiet, narrow river makes me sigh for home, for dear old Newby.”

“Yes, yes, Donnell, where the bright blue Neuse rolls and the dark, deep Trent flows.”

“Badger, did you notice Captain Hawks and Captain Devane yesterday when they met? Damn me, if both didn't grow an inch in height as soon as they heard one another's voice. Devane is dashy.”

“That's all true, Don; but our Captain holds his own without a quibble. I tell you these Light Horse fellows are jealous-green of us Cavaliers.”

“By All Saints’ Day, Badger, let me tell you, those Cape Fear folks are dandies. So far they are right up to our choke-strap, they are.”

“Yes, yes, Don, both captains are blue bloods and game cocks, but old Newby is in the lead. Bah!”

Lieutenant Berkeley came to inform Major Iredell that his regiment would be on the grounds in twenty-four hours to relieve the Battalion, and that the Battalion was to remain





in camp for further orders. Colonel Hastings came at the appointed time and Major Iredell paid his compliments in person, accompanied by Captains Capeheart and Hawks. On their return to their quarters the Major expressed himself freely.

“Capehart, I like Colonel Hastings’ appearance and am favorably impressed with his officers and regiment. By St. George! they are a fine body of troopers.

“Major, your language confirms my observation and judgment; and now let's hear from Hawks.”

“I have but little to say, and must acknowledge that down in me I have a lurking desire to whack at those fuss-and-feathers fellows with their jingling spurs.”

“Captain Hawks, I must express my surprise at the acerbity of temper you displayed in your reply to Lieutenant Berkeley. I must disapprove of your hasty conduct. He asked about our flag and quite curiously inquired about the white hornets’ nest of silk, but I did not think it warranted in you to make the remark you did, ‘that North Carolina did not ask others what colors she should fly.’ ”

“Well, Major, I ask your pardon if I committed an offense. You are my superior officer, and I bow to your rulings.”

“Captain, you must be aware that Colonel Colmy would be grieved if he heard of your butt-in answer to Lieutenant Berkeley, and he my guest.”

“May be so, but if I have read aright the face of our sorely hurt commander, there is not a man in this Battalion as quick as he is to assert and maintain the prestige and the privileges of Carolina.”

“Major, under your favtor, please grant me, here is to our beloved leader, Jean Colmey. God bless him! None braver ever drew saber.”

“Good, Capehart, good! Amen! Amen!”





LVII THE STONY CREEK CHARGE

“Once more to the breach, dear friends, once more!”

As Major Bolling rode back into Halifax he avoided going by Colmey Place. Carrie's sad tone of voice, her good-bye wet with tears, embittered his every thought. “I am going over tomorrow and have it out with her. I don't want to live a lifetime out like old Mr. Jesse Baker, wifeless, childless, and friendless. Nobody at home but the old housekeeper, tab cat and tom, and the old watchdog. There is Miss Tylera Alston and Miss Alfreda Branch, both superb women, best of families; why not one of them and settle down? Of the two evils, a family responsibility or to be an old bachelor, I will choose the lesser. I am well off, besides the old homestead. Squire Burton has his father yet, is chairman of the county, commander for the collection of supplies, he can wait on if he pleases to, but as for Thomas Rolfe Bolling he is going to get married.”

His decision put him in a more genial mood, and the world looked to him the brighter. Going after his mail, he was handed a large envelope marked “Official.” On opening it, he found his commission for a lieutenant-colonelcy. Colonel Peyton had resigned. Enclosed was an order for him to report to his regiment in three days. The postmaster remarked there was a similar commission in his office for Colonel Colmey. Bolling, feeling elated, in the best of humor, proffered to bear the official letter to Colmey Place. Riding up, he was met by Colmey at the gate.





“Come in. I am so glad you have kindly come to see me. I have the blues.”

“What is the trouble, Colonel?”

“Why, I dreamed last night that my Battalion was cut to pieces.”

“Ah! see, what do dreams amount to? Ah, Colonel!”

The envelope contained a commission for a full colonelcy, “for gallantry.”

“Well, now, ain't that good news? Now no blues.”

“Well, Colonel Bolling, shake hands and congratulate.”

A trooper rode up. Colmey went out at once and invited him in to rest and sup. “Well, Sergeant Badger, what is the news?”

“Bad, sir. Our company was surprised by the British and Lieutenant Shepard was killed and I wounded, and the balance were captured.”

“How many?”

“Five, sir. We mistook them for Virginians—it was dusk.”

Colmey asked the Sergeant hoarsely, “How many did you kill?”

Next morning after breakfast Colmey asked, “When do you start for your regiment, Colonel Bolling?”

“The day after tomorrow, sir.”

“Then we will go together.”

“I fear, Colonel Colmey, you have not recovered sufficiently.”

“Yes, I feel that I must get back to my Battalion right away.”

On going to Hicksford Colonel Bolling told Colonel Colmey he felt in perfectly splendid health, that he had given up the idea of trying to persuade Miss May to marry him, as she would not consider any proposition as long as her mother lived, if ever; and that he could not get his consent to propose to any one else.





The Battalion went wild over the return of Colmey. They yelled and shouted, “Colmey! Colmey!”

“Well, men, I am so glad to get back and see you all again, but I must say I am worried over the casualties of a few days ago.”

The next day the men commenced whispering, “Something is up, boys, the Colonel looks fretted. He asked Sergeant Dan Sutherland if the Guards had their sabers sharp and strapped.” Lieutenant Owen Green, of the Virginia regiment, was ordered to report to Colonel Colmey for orders. He at once went to the Battalion headquarters. “Lieutenant Green, do you live near here?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Are you familiar with the country between here and Stony Creek?”

“Yes, sir, every foot of it.”

“These are your orders.”

The Lieutenant saluted and went to his tent to read what his duties were. In an hour he was between the lines.

“Iredell, how did the mischief occur? Any one to blame?”

“No, sir, I think not, Colonel. Our men mistook the British for Virginians. It was dark, and the Cavaliers were expecting to be relieved by the Virginia regiment. As soon as it was known, Captain Hawks led the reserves in a charge, drove the enemy away, and reestablished our lines. I sent Manly with the Dragoons to reenforce Hawks.”

“Well, it is an ugly affair, and we must make the British taste our swords before leaving here. Here is my plan. I shall take with me the Guards to use their sabers, and the Cavaliers to use their pistols, for they are the best armed company with hostlers in the Battalion. They are anxious to wipe out their discomfiture and reckon their scores with Colonel Tarleton.”





“Who is going along besides those mentioned?”

“Well, Lieutenant-Colonel Bolling is going, Lieutenant Green will be our pilot. We will go up and cross Stony Creek toward Dinwiddie, and get in their rear. Colonel Hastings promises prompt assistance if needed. Iredell, old fellow, come to me when you hear our guns.”

“Colonel, I will, or die trying.”

The night following was rainy and dark. The Guards and the Cavaliers were ordered to fall in. Colonel Colmey rode along the line and said positively, “Now, there must be absolute silence. By twos, forward march!” Lieutenant Green in front, Colmey and Bolling next, and then the squadron. After a tedious, silently slow march they came in sight of a distant camp-fire. “Halt!” Captain Capehart ordered; a fight was on hand. Just at the first streaks of day Lieutenant Green moved to a near-by ford, crossed over, the squadron following. They were well in the British rear. The Guards were ordered to the front. The buglers were ordered to hold themselves in readiness.

“Lieutenant Green, let me thank you, you have done your part well; and now, Colonel Bolling, with God's fair grace and a due regard to their duty, I hope our Carolina cavalry will give Colonel Tarleton a rude awakening this cloudy, unpropitious morning. All ready! Draw sabers! Captain Hawks, I depend upon you to use your hostlers handsomely. Buglers, sound the charge!” Colonel Colmey cried aloud, “Follow me, my merry men!”

With a yell the men charged. Captain Percy, the officer of the day, riding around his lines, heard Colmey's bugles. He sounded the alarm and prepared to meet the coming danger. Calling up the night watch, he put himself at their head. Captain Percy, mounted upon his chestnut, started for the coming Americans. Colmey and Percy met. The black struck the chestnut squarely and forced him on his haunches. Colmey, rising in his stirrups, cleaved Percy's head almost off his shoulders, and the British officer





fell amidst the charging squadrons. The camp was captured, a battery was taken. Unreleased men mounted their captors’ horses.

“Grimes, get off with the guns and stores quick! Grimes, hurry, for God's sake, hurry off! Get off quick, Grimes, with the guns and wagons for Hicksford—go!”

“Capehart, you and Hawks deploy right and left and hold hard; hold them back, they are coming!”

The bugles of the British reserves were summoning to “boots and saddles,” the long roll was beating, night had turned to day, and brave Iredell had cut his way through and came up, hat off, at a gallop! The squadron cheered madly! Colmey had commenced retreating, the captured men and stores were being moved hastily for Hicksford, and the enemy's horse were bravely advancing. The British were coming, Lieutenant Clinton in the lead. “Iredell, rope the road lower down and station your Queen Anne men. (The Queen Anne men were armed with heavy shotguns.) Capehart, Hawks, come with me; we must hold them back! Come!”

In a moment's time the charging horsemen were fighting face to face, beard to beard, for dear life and victory. The Legion was made to give back. Colmey at once retreated behind the roped road. The officers of the Legion rallied their men quickly, and on came the British. In a mad dash, strikign the ropes, men and horses tumbled. “Give it to ’em,” Major Iredell cried out. The enemy fell back in confusion and men and horses were left dead and wounded.

“Iredell, rope again!” A mile further down the Americans securely roped the road and bushes were cut down and placed hastily. The British came up more cautiously; they had outflankers. “Lieutenant Bloodworth, strike the right with the Lancers.” Colonel Colmey kept up a running fire with the Redcoats right at his heels. Getting in sight of the Virginia regiment, he turned in his saddle and swept the





approach of the British with his powerful field-glass. He saw an interim. The advance was not in supportive distance. He immediately waved a salute to Colonel Hastings and called out, “Iredell, Capehart, come with me! Hawks, deploy right; Devane, oblique to left.” Whirling Merlin to the front, he cried aloud, “Follow me, my merry men!” Colonel Bolling was boot-to-boot with Colmey. The bugles sounded, all charged headlong! The British advance was slashed right and left and driven back on supports.

A sharp cry, “Colonel Colmey, I am badly hurt!” made Colmey hurry to the side of his friend. The bugles sounded shrilly, “Rally! rally!” The British reserves coming up, opened a hot fire, but did not advance. Colonel Bolling was tenderly borne to camp and the surgeon called to attend him immediately. The British were abashed at the recklessness of the Americans.

That night in camp Major Iredell asked Captain Hawks about his shooting Lieutenant Clinton and saving the Colonel's life. “Tell me about it, Hawks.”

“Well, you see, the Colmey Guards, I really believe, would follow the Colonel to the devil, and the Colonel knows it, and it makes him take big risks. When you were ordered to ‘rope the road,’ we charged to give you time to get it ready. The Colonel met the British full square—Captain De Courcy's men. I followed with my company, the Cavaliers. The impetuosity of the attack put the Redcoats on the defensive, and they struck with their swords aimlessly, while our men sabered them right and left. Oh man, it was a sight for Cæsar to see! It was our Black Horse going up against the English Grays.”

Genuine grief was manifested by the entire command over the fall of Colonel Bolling. “Doctor, this awful pain in my back kills me, I am a dead man. Colonel Colmey, come closer. Not knowing what might occur, I made my will two years ago. Let me ask you to bear to Miss May my last message, that I loved her unto death. Ask her to





receive Gray Gretchen as a small token of regard from an old friend, with the hope that she will sometimes think of him.”

Colmey wept over Bolling. His high, damp forehead had been touched by the cold hand of death. Colonel Hastings, with a guard of honor, took his body to his old Chesterfield home and laid it beside his fathers. Thus passed the courtly, the dashing Tom Bolling, and hundreds came to see his last remains laid to rest. The minister at his burial declared: “Say not his work is done. No, no, a brave deed done for one's country never dies. It will incite heroism in the bosoms of others, when told how grandly he lived and how bravely he died.”





LVIII HICKSFORD

  • “I saw him down thrice, and up again fighting;
  • From helmet to spur, all blood was he.”

Hicksford is an old Indian crossing, once Wyanoke; named in remembrance of a bloody-minded chieftain who made his home there after the Wyoming Massacre. His tenting ground was but little away from the crossing, and the place is now called Fernside Farm. It is about nine miles from the dividing line, the border that divides the States of North Carolina and Virginia.

From the Roanoke to the ford the country is rather level and fertile, inhabited by a people of sober habits and much given to hospitality. For a military post, Hicksford and Stony Creek offer about the best camping ground that lies between Southampton and Mecklenburg.

Colonel Hastings had returned from Chesterfield with a sadness lingering in his heart over Colonel Bolling's burial. That night he had “Officers’ Call” sounded. The captains and a few lieutenants responded. “Well, gentlemen, I am anxious to hear if there is any news abroad and to talk with you over the situation.”

“Colonel.”

“Captain Huntley.”

“Colonel, a party came in from near Petersburg and reports the death of Captain Percy. He was highly esteemed by the Legion. The party also said that the British have buried fifteen of their men and that many were badly wounded.”

“Colonel.”

“Captain Spottswood.”





“In talking with Captain Hawks about the fight, he told me that Colonel Colmey had the Guards to charge with saber, and his company, the Cavaliers, were ordered to use their holsters; that in their onrush they saw Captain Percy coming in full gallop to cheer on his men. Colonel Colmey at once dashed ahead to meet him. Hawks said: ‘I shall never forget that meet. Captain Percy's charger came bolt outright against Colonel Colmey's and the impact forced the chestnut upon his haunches, and quickly Colonel Colmey, rising in his stirrups, struck Percy a blow that cleaved his beaver to his ear. His English blood bespattered Colonel Colmey's face. His noble animal went wildly riderless amongst the charging squadrons that rode madly over Percy's helpless body. Oh, what a day! We had it all as we pleased for a short while, and then came the reinforcements. Lieutenant Clinton, with some of the Legion, hurried forward and charged us handsomely. In the beard-to-beard encounter, to save my Colonel I emptied my holster into Clinton's face, thus painting his front vermilion. His good gray bore him back to camp, and I hear he has since died. That morning of bloodly reprisal was worth a century of hum-drum existence.’ I asked Captain Hawks if his command lost many men. He answered: ‘Not many. Captain Capehart, Orderly Speight, Lieutenant Ashe, and a half dozen men were wounded.’ He laughingly pointed to his left wrist and said one of Captain De Courcy's sergeants had left his mark on him. ‘You see, Colonel Colmey swooped down on them with maddening yells, the bugles sounding the charge, and we sabered and shot at will.’ Hawks quite proudly said lastly, ‘Believe me, sir, we made them feel the sting of the hornets, and I swear by St. Paul that, man to man, Colmey's Six Hundred, in open field fight with Colonel Tarleton's Legion, would be awarded the Oaken Garland.’ As Hawks rode off I could but think his coarse praise was enough to give one the sour





brash. By Christ! as I see it, they have only saved themselves from being jeered.”

“Gentlemen, I hold it is not heresy to extol one's command when they have worthily acted, and, Captain Spottswood, it cannot be denied that Colonel Colmey and his men did deadly deed to the enemy in that early morning hand-to-hand engagement.”

“Colonel.”

“Captain Harrison.”

“Colonel, I can't think the British will ever dare to pounce down on us as they did on those ‘Kallina Kavaliers.’ ”

“I do hope, Captain Harrison, that you are a born prophet in this particular. You should recollect our regiment has ten companies, and the Battalion only six; but they have proved themselves seasoned soldiers.”

“Seasoned, bah! Beg pardon, Colonel, but seasoned or not seasoned, the Legion bagged the entire squad on picket; yes, hoof and hair.”

“Well, Harrison, it was after a stiff fight. The British, I hear, had forty men, the Battalion only ten. Surprised, they were, but the squad lost one killed and four wounded, and their Lieutenant Sheppard died sword in hand. Sergeant Badger, although badly wounded, got away and gave timely alarm. It was nothing to their discredit. Captain Hawks drove them back into their lines.”

“Yes, Colonel, they did so; yes, did fairly well; but, Colonel, who in all Christendom can suppress his risibility over the misery that weighs down these folks as is shown as soon as they pass over the Dividing Line?”

“Captain Harrison, you should remember, we are charged with an undue admiration, almost a frenzied ardor, for the Old Dominion.”

“To me, Colonel Hastings, it is refreshing to know that they have gotten across the berme, and may they rest happily among their pine woods and sleepy hollows. The





British may hope to pounce down on us unaware; but, by the clock, they will not find us ‘mousing owls’ but unhooded falcons!”

“Look here, Captain Harrison, as sure as I am Robert Edmonds, I dislike that word pounce. My mother was from old Bertie, of Gilliam stock, and I am yet to believe that the squad of Cavaliers acted badly. I engage you to portraiture an exploit more daring, more fiery, than was the attack on the British camp but a few short hours ago. Give me an instance, sir.”

“Come, gentlemen, cease these baitings. Captain Edmunds, I concur with you in defending an enterprise the results of which have raised the spirits of our people a tenfold. Further, when the Battalion's Colonel heard of the discomfiture, although he was suffering from unhealed wounds, if he did not come as an eagle and strike with beak and talon the enemy a blow so sudden, so staggering, that will make them lament many a day, then I am incapable of estimating a hazardous and a well-advised adventure.”

“All the same, Colonel, we received none of the fruits of the fight. Lieutenant Green piloted them and fought well. I claim we should have had half of the artillery. My stars! weren't those guns beauties? Half should have been left on this side ‘of the line,’ or Virginia should have had them to understand that we did not entreat, but we demanded our share of the spoils. Not even a horse or a Queen Anne's gun! They took all, and further, I politely signified my wishes to one of their officers, and none other than the dashy Captain Devane, who, I am told, has the ear of his Colonel. I meekly—Spottswood, listen—you should have heard my timid pleadings—suggested to him how gracious it would be in Colonel Colmey if he would apportion to our regiment at least half of the guns. Spottswood, my beloved, give ear—you should have seen the doughty





Captain turn so purplish in his face, his eyes rolled red, like Mars when much angered.”

“Oh, Harrison, how could you? Say no more, I beg you! I fear my belt will break from sheer agitation. Mercy, good Harrison, mercy!”

“Gentlemen, it is bad taste to make disparaging remarks about those who have shed their blood bravely on our soil, and for a common cause. The world over has ever held that valor is the chiefest virtue, and most dignifies the haver.”

“Colonel, I must beg pardon for offering further arguments, but right is right, and I think they should have divided the goods.”

“In all fairness, Harrison, tell us what we did? Who captured the guns? How would you word your demand?”

“Well, sir, we went to the brink of a rank fight for them. Lieutenant Green was there, and our Lieutenant-Colonel was killed.”

“Colonel Bolling volunteered to go to be with Colmey. Colonel Colmey asked respectfully for a pilot, and I sent Lieutenant Green. Harrison, did you fire a gun? Did our regiment advance a foot? Did I? Another's laurels are not to be worn by me. Who planned the attack? Colmey struck them hip and thigh, was the spirit that moved one and all, and to him belongs the glory; and he is welcome to it.”

A hearty “That's so!” was roundly said by all except Harrison and Spottswood.

“Well, Colonel, with your permission, I register my objection for what it is worth.”

“Come, gentlemen, let us applaud every notable act, and ourselves embrace every opportunity for getting applause for worthy deeds. In the enemy's camp I vouchsafe that there are many pretty pieces of artillery. Who's to the front?”

“Captain Chambliss, sir.”





“Thank you, Barron.” The Colonel arose. “I will ride the lines tomorrow. Gentlemen, good night.”

The officers saluted and retired.

Sitting around their campfire that night, Lieutenant Morton called out to Lieutenant Drewry: “Say, Drewry, what did you think of the heated controversy between Edmunds and Harrison?”

“Well, Harrison is hotheaded and controversial; quite a good fellow—I like him. Such a contingency as he intimated is not likely to arise over the artillery. My opinion is, it would be a pitted field of brotherly gore, for in the sharp trial of strength of squadrons, it would be long and hard before Colmey's men would cry quittance.”

“Drewry, I had rather not, by Jove, go with the gimp guns to where the hornets’ nest hangeth and the tar-kiln burneth.”

“I think it was commendable in Colonel Colmey to take the same company with him that had been trapped or surprised. I tell you, Morton, that fight has proved to me that the Southern horsemen are a match for Tarleton's Legion.”

“Say, there, Preston, those Carolina folks wish to lay their surprise at our doors.”

“Well, Berkeley, after all, it turned out gloriously. What do our friends charge to us? The gay troopers ride proudly, but of their many horses, ’nary a gray or a roan do you see.”

“Why, while Dr. Claiborne was dressing Sergeant Badger's wounded shoulder, the surgeon asked how it happened. Badger, in pain, blurted out, ‘We mistook the British for the damned Brush Turkeys.’ Dr. Claiborne asked him who he called the Brush Turkeys, and he snappishly replied, ‘the Virginians.’ ”

“Well, Berkley, the brave fellow was in pain and in a bad humor. You know often we say bad things of others.”

“Yes, but, Preston, he said that our regiment was called





so because our men had called his Battalion Mousing Owls, that our regiment laughed at the mishap that was unavoidable.”

“Say what you will, Berk, I am struck with the fact that those troopers are conscious of their own courage and strength, and are willing to grapple with Tarleton's Legion. In truth, they are a proud, dashy set.”

“Press, I tell you, it was all an accident, a momentary grace granted by fortune. I feel that those people have put poison into the cup of our corps. I am glad they have recrossed ‘the mere.’ Those people, somehow, get on my nerves. They are but grivets and they know it; we are the grizzlies. Dare let them say ‘brush turkey’ to me.”

“Berk, don't get too heavy, for conditions may arise that would necessitate their hasty recall. Lord Cornwallis may return southward.”

“That don't relieve the situation now existing. Harrison was right. We suffer outrage. It would be pleasant pastime to me to brush off the ears of that ‘mousing owl’ fellow called Captain Hawks.”

“Berk, Hawks looks to me like a cavalier per se.”

“Damn him! When he rode by our company he looked at us as if we were newly enlisted militia and he great Hannibal.”

“Don't get your gills red. Hawks's ears must be tingling, if there is truth in the old saying.”

“Press, as for those people over the way, I have—”

“Oh, Berkeley, we must not forget that we sat in our saddles and saw that North Carolina cavalry fight the British horse to a standstill.”

“Well, if they did, they were encouraged to make the effort by knowing our regiment was ready to be launched upon the foe. We can—”

“Here, Berkeley, old boy, fill up your pipe, and may a good night's rest and a savory breakfast make us forget our heated censures.”





The waning moon was hanging low and night had put a pinch of rawness in the air. One of the sentinels was singing lowly:

  • “God bless the men
  • That ate the hen
  • And left the bones
  • For Brother Jones—
  • Sing heigho, sing Sally.”

Lieutenant Preston, handsome and brave, sat musingly by the log camp-fire smoking. Lieutenant Berkeley, short and stocky, sat puffing his pipe, watching the purple wreaths of smoke gracefully ascending. Quietude reigned. The waters of the Meherrin, uncontrolled by man, went by, murmuring musically, on through the somber shadows, kissing farewell to the grassy knolls, for the mother sea from whence they came was calling, calling unto them to come home, come and commingle again with the surging waves of the mighty, awetoned, mysterious deep.





LIX COLMEY'S SIX HUNDRED

  • “Too much rest is rust,
  • There's ever cheer in changing.”

The death of the brave Bolling drew Colonels Colmey and Hastings closer together. Hastings admired Colmey's adventurous spirit, his tender solicitude for his friends; and Colmey acknowledged to himself how thankful he felt for the promptitude of Hastings when hard pressed by Colonel Tarleton; and then his hearty friendliness on all occasions endeared the Virginian to the North Carolinian.

Captain Capehart was the rightful diplomat of the Battalion. He was quick to notice, slow to offend, and his unfailing good nature and ready common sense made him acceptable to all. Colonel Colmey was kept in dread that there might possibly arise a friction between himself and Colonel Hastings on account of the actions of Captains Devane and Hawks. These two officers too plainly showed in every look and act that they felt that the North Carolina cavalrymen were made of much sterner stuff than the Virginians. Captain Capehart was directed to respectfully call their attention to their displeasing manners and unseemly remarks. “Capehart, Hawks and Devane go too far. They must bridle their tongues; we must keep intact our community of interest.” Although Colmey was kind and amiable, yet every officer knew that he could be severe and unrelenting if either of them passed over a certain limit set by himself. Lieutenant Humphrey, a favorite, was arrested and put in the guardhouse for ten days for continuing





to pursue the enemy after the bugle sounded “Rally to colors,” at Leawood near the Neuse.

“Captain Hawks, have you seen ‘a Betty’* abroad today?”

“No, Saunders, I have not. Maybe they are having ‘the turkeys’ busy gathering brush for nesting time.”

“Sh! Here comes the Colonel from Major Iredell's, the Cade case, and Deaver, both good soldiers, but awful fussy.”

The officers severally saluted.

“By Jove! Saunders, he has an eye like Mars, to threaten and command. He has the bearing of a soldier.”

“Captain Hawks, under the rose, be provident as I may as to time and policy, somehow I find on every occasion of interest that the Colonel is more powerful than myself; in his presence I feel purposeless, ready to glibly assent to his every suggestion or overture. He overtops me at every turn without seeming effort.”

Captain Hawks made no mention of how Colonel Colmey affected him. He was one of those kind of men that let you tell your heart secrets, while he guarded carefully his own from you. He had a facial frankness that invited your confidence, he drew you out into the open, but he remained enwrapped, walled within.

As soon as Colonel Colmey reached his tent the bugles sounded, “To horse!” The command at once was in commotion.

“By the Holy Cross! Saunders, that's music to my ear more sweet than the conch's call to the weary ploughman at noontime. I am willing to go anywhere to get away from this mousquito-cursed Meherrin.”

When in line, Adjutant Grimes rode along and informed the captains that “We are off to Halifax and there to await orders.”

[note]



“Say, Paisley, you know we ride by twos. I want to talk to you; let's feed our horses at least one time in Lord Cornwallis's trough.”

“Nixon, the very thing; as soon as we get to Halifax we will go for it. It has cut into the stone, ‘Cornwallis's Horse Box.’ ”

A great shout went up, “Boys, we're going home!” Every article of every description was gotten together, rather offensively so, by Adjutant Grimes. People came to see the four beautiful pieces of artillery, and their caissons made the many cheer lustily. Among the horses captured was a blood-red sorrel mare, belonging to Colonel Tarleton. The Battalion unanimously voted that she be presented to Colonel Colmey, and that they name her Lady Tarleton. Gray Gretchen created a great stir. “Here she is, folks! He was on her back fighting when he was killed. They say he said he was glad to die for Virginia and on Virginia soil. Whose is she now? Ain't she pretty?”

When May Montfort was informed of Colonel Bolling's death and that Colmey led the fight, she at once went to her room, closed the door, and knelt down in humble, fervent prayer for one's soul and the safety of the other. Colonel Colmey received instructions to remain at Halifax to await orders; in the meantime to look after Tories and half-breed Indains who had grown active, and punish them if need be. On his arrival at Halifax, Colmey circuitously passed out of sight of the great gathering of people. He went to Colmey Place, sick at heart, with strength much impaired. He paced his room. Heavens! it came near getting me. I was right by Bolling, I heard the mortal hit. Hawks's quick shot saved me from Lieutenant Clinton's rere-de-main. I feel so lonely, so cast down. Oh, my God! Could my mother press me to her heart again! Remo, come and help undress me. I feel as if I shall faint.”

A good night's sleep, a rub-down by Remo, a well-prepared





breakfast, and a walk in the cool, noiseless woods greatly revived him. When Dr. Zollicoffer came over to look for him he was well toned up.

“Well, Colonel, I hear you've been at it again. Damn me, if you are not a lucky one. I hear you got in the British rear and Tarleton is furiously mad, he is. Wan't it such a pity Tom Bolling went under? By the Holy Virgin, he was such a fine fellow! I bet he was a game cock. Oh, war is a serious pastime, a game of blood and ball. From what I hear, Colonel, you are holding hard to the front with your Carolina troopers.”

Major Iredell was requested to convey Colonel Bolling's gift, and Colmey asked that he should give full coloring to Bolling's brave conduct on field of battle, while horse-back on Gray Gretchen.

An immense crowd was at Halifax to meet Colmey's Battalion. Everybody was anxious to see the nineteen Redcoats brought back as prisoners. The British had treated the people far and wide with violence.

The community as a whole inwardly rejoiced when they heard that Cornwallis's men had been rudely handled by the Halifax men. The twelve cavalry horses captured and the wagons, the teams and their harness were closely scrutinized. They were in unrestrained delight when the guns, the stores of pistols, the powder and ball, and the several hundred English army blankets were exposed to their view. Then the ambulance, something, to them, entirely new, full of medical supplies, was a wonderment; and then the field spyglass of Captain Percy was an object of, not only admiration, but surprise.

“Say there, Daniels, ain't this good for the eyes to see?”

“Yes, Geddy, they look good to me, having been won from the British by North Carolina gallantry.”





LX UNCLE MAC

  • “Alas! poor Yorick,
  • I knew him well.”

—Hamlet

Of the many valuable captures made, one was Natty McBrae. He and his belongings were each distinctive. In his early life he with his parents were inmates of a shieling, and later in his early manhood he was a moss trooper. Fearing capture and imprisonment, he enlisted in the Seventy-fourth Argyle Highlanders. He was suspected of being at a Birdale gathering, but no proof forthcoming, he was enrolled. He had been in the army first and last about forty-five years. He started to go out with the Black Watch, but when the day came he failed to put in his appearance. Army life had become a fascination—a home for Uncle Mac. Here his lost hopes, his early disappointments, were buried.

The beautiful red sorrel mare was at once recognized by him. He vowed she was of Barbary breed and a favorite of Colonel Tarleton's. He proved a valuable adjunct to the quartermaster's department, and was reliable in every particular. He was a smithy and a good one. His father was a Highla