1(1)r

Saratoga;

A
Tale of the Revolution

In Two Volumes.

“I know that we have all an innate love of our country, and that the greatest
men have been sensible to its attractions; but I know also that it is only
little minds which cannot shake off these fetters.”
Petrarch.

Vol. II.

Boston:
Published by Cummings, Hilliard & Co.
Printed by Hilliard and Metcalf.
18241824.

1(1)v 1(2)r

Chapter I.

“’Twas strange, ’twas passing strange.” Shakspeare.

The following day proved stormy, and the little party
at Major Courtland’s were obliged to relinquish the hope
of seeing Colonel Grahame in the evening. Abundant
as their own resources were, there was not one of them
who did not regret the disappointment, though none
evinced more chagrin than Captain O’Carroll. His
feelings, always ardent, were seldom either disguised or
restrained; and, still in the hope of seeing the Colonel,
he went perpetually to the windows or the door to
watch the clouds, and see if there was any prospect of
fair weather.

Towards evening the sky began to brighten with the
hues of the setting sun, the wind subsided, the rain
ceased; and, cheered by the certainty of a fine evening,
he left the piazza, where he had been walking for the
last half hour, to communicate the intelligence to those
who remained within the house. When he re-entered
the parlor, Major Courtland was alone, and extended
on the sofa, indulging the twilight reverie, which long
habit had rendered dear and delightful to him.

“The evening will be fair, sir, and we may expect
the Colonel,”
said O’Carroll.

The Major, absorbed in meditation, made no reply;
and the Captain, after repeating his observation with the
same ill success, and adventuring several others which
were alike unheeded, inquired in a somewhat impatient
tone, if the ladies were in Captain Talbot’s room.
O’Carroll’s accent certainly aroused the Major, for he 1(2)v 4
depressed his eyes from the ceiling, where they had
been watching the fitful quivering of the fire light, and
fixed them on the Captain’s face, with a vacant look
of wonder and inquiry, which sufficiently evinced his
ignorance of all that had been said.

“He has not heard a word that I have pronounced,”
muttered the impatient O’Carroll; “one might as well
talk to that chair!”
and he flung out of the room, and
in the pet of the moment, drew the door after him with
a violence which jarred the whole house. A loud laugh,
which echoed from the parlor, announced that the
Major’s reverie was completely banished by the noise,
and recalled to the Captain’s lips the smile of good
humor which his native impetuosity had for a minute
chased from them.

When he entered Captain Talbot’s room, he found
him sitting in an easy chair before the fire, and Catherine
and Amelia occupying seats on each side of him.

“The weather is clearing, Miss Courtland,” he said,
breaking at once upon their conversation, “and I hope
the Colonel will perform his promise.”

Talbot and Amelia looked towards the window with
a sort of careless indifference, which seemed to say,
they were happy enough without any addition to the
party. But Catherine’s countenance lighted up with
pleasure, and she rose and walked to the window, at
which O’Carroll had stationed himself.

“See,” he said, “it is quite bright in the west, and
there is some one coming up the avenue this moment.
It is Grahame himself,”
he added, as the horseman
drew near, and assured that he was not mistaken, he
quitted the room to receive him. Catherine, however,
saw immediately that it was not the Colonel, and the
uncertain twilight prevented her recognizing his servant;
but in a few minutes O’Carroll entered with a note, containing
Grahame’s apology, and pleading as his excuse
for not visiting them that evening, a sudden engagement
which he was under the necessity of fulfilling.

“And this is my reward,” said O’Carroll, as he gave
the note into Catherine’s hand, “for having endured 1(3)r 5
the vapors of the atmosphere with more patience to-day
than I ever did in my life.”

“We are all sharers in your disappointment,” said
Catherine; “but though deprived of Colonel Grahame’s
society, there are still enough of us here to make the
evening pass pleasantly away. I have promised Captain
Talbot
to spend part of it at least with him.”

“I have no fears that time will not pass swiftly and
pleasantly enough in such society as I enjoy here,”
said
O’Carroll; “but Colonel Grahame has so recently risen,
as it were, from the dead, and we have as yet seen so
little of him, that I had permitted myself to anticipate
unusual pleasure from his promised visit to-night.
However, we can do very well without him, at least till
to-morrow; so, if you will excuse me, I will just walk
half a mile for the sake of exercise, and be back again
directly.”

“I would accompany you if it were not quite so
damp,”
said Catherine. “The evening is mild and
delightful for the season, and I feel peculiarly inclined
to enjoy it after the close confinement of the day.”

“It is not so damp as you imagine,” said O’Carroll,
“and the walking will be perfectly good in the forest
path. Cannot you wrap up warm, and go?”

“Do not think of it, Miss Courtland!” exclaimed
Talbot. “It must be exceedingly wet after this rain,
and you will endanger your health by exposing yourself
on such an evening. Were it any one but Captain
O’Carroll
, who urged you to do so rash a thing, I
should be inclined to charge him with thoughtless
imprudence.”

“Thank you, Talbot,” said O’Carroll. “It would,
indeed, be preposterous to attribute such a crime to me!
and as I am convinced your motives in detaining Miss
Courtland
, are entirely disinterested, I will not stop to
investigate them. So adieu till my return.”

The heightened color of Talbot’s cheek showed that
he well understood the meaning smile which accompanied
the pointed words of his friend; but he attempted
no reply; indeed he had not time to do so if he wished; 1* 1(3)v 6
for O’Carroll instantly left the room, and sallied forth
upon his walk.

He passed through the garden, and emerged from it
upon the forest path, which was in all seasons the favorite
resort of Catherine Courtland and her guests. It had
grown nearly dark, and the moon, which was struggling
with the broken clouds that so frequently deform the
sky after a storm, shed only a partial and uncertain light
over the scene; now for a moment silvering the tops of
the tall forest trees, and shining brightly on every object,
then again vanishing in clouds which cast over all a shade
darker and more dreary, as it seemed, for the momentary
brilliancy which had preceded it. As O’Carroll walked
slowly forward, his arms folded, and his eyes cast upward,
watching the rapid transitions and fantastic forms
of the clouds—their edges beautifully silvered with the
beams of the moon, over whose orb they gracefully
rolled their fleecy volumes, he sunk into a train of sad
and tender musing, which led him onwards, heedless of
the distance he had gone, and forgetful of the promise
he had given shortly to return.

His mind was not framed for sadness; and even in
moments of the heaviest affliction, its natural gaiety
would often burst athwart the gloom; and though none
felt more exquisitely or was capable of keener suffering,
it was not by the outward appearance that the world
could judge of his internal sensations. Even the most
reckless and mirthful have their moments of depression,
and the hour, the solitude, the aspect of the heavens, all
united to awaken painful reminiscences, which carried
O’Carroll back to other days, and tortured him with regrets,
which reason in vain had urged him to stifle as
unmanly and degrading.

The first time he saw Marion Spencer, she had pointed
his attention to the clouds, which exhibited the same
restless and beautiful variety, as now. He recalled her
very attitude as she stood with him at the window of
her father’s parlor, one hand resting on the sash, and
the other pointing to the heavens, to which her eyes
were raised, with a look so lovely, so full of admiration 1(4)r 7
and delight, that O’Carroll well remembered with what
rapture he had gazed upon those soft blue eyes, and how
much more beautiful he had thought them than even the
bright sky to which they were directed. He dwelt upon
the sweet simplicity, the artless confidence which rivetted
the love her beauty had inspired, and upon those hours
of endearing intercourse which had yielded him so many
touching proofs of her attachment, and unveiled to him
so many traits of an ingenuous and exalted mind. As
these reflections agitated him, he almost persuaded himself,
that his own conduct had justly alienated the affection
of Marion; and that the coldness and neglect which
jealousy had instigated, was the true cause why Mr.
Spencer
had denied his daughter to a man, who, without
alleging any reason, could treat her with such unwarrantable
caprice.

From these and similar meditations which had occupied
more than an hour, O’Carroll was suddenly startled
by the low murmur of voices. He stopped, made an
effort to rally his subdued spirits, and looked earnestly
around him. The moon, which now rode high in the
heavens, leaving far below the grovelling clouds, that
for a while had struggled to eclipse her splendor, enabled
O’Carroll to discern the two persons whose conversation
had disturbed his reverie.

They stood at the distance of a few yards beneath
the spreading branches of a pine, and appeared so deeply
engrossed as not to notice his approach, which had, indeed,
been so slow and gentle as scarcely to depress the
moss upon which he trod. Screened by the trunk of a
large tree, O’Carroll stopped a moment to observe the
persons of the speakers. There was something in the
outline of the tallest figure which reminded him of
Grahame, and he was almost confirmed in this suspicion
on perceiving a moment after that he wore the military
hat and plume of an American officer. Surprised out
of all precaution, the Captain stepped involuntarily forward
to ascertain by a nearer view whether his conjecture
was erroneous, when in his haste he struck
against the straggling branch of a dead alder bush, which 1(4)v 8
snapping instantly off, occasioned a noise that drew the
attention of the strangers towards him. The officer,
for such O’Carroll supposed him, immediately said a
few low words to his companion, and then walked
hastily away in an opposite direction; while the other
with a slow and stately step advanced to meet the Captain.
Surprised at these gestures, O’Carroll awaited
him in silence, scarcely knowing what to expect; but
resolved, if there was danger, to defend himself like a
man. Such thoughts, however, were instantly dispelled
when he heard the mild and mellow tones of Ohmeina’s
voice, accosting him in the peculiar phraseology which
he was wont to use:

“Friend,” he said, “what seekest thou at this hour
and in this solitary place? If thou art a wanderer I will
direct thee right; but if thou comest hither on an evil
errand, remember that the pure eye of the Great Being
is upon thee, and repent of thy sin, before thou hast
committed it.”

“I am only a wanderer, friend Ohmeina,” answered
O’Carroll. “If I wished to rob or murder, I should
seek for richer booty than is to be found in this dark
forest. But I am sorry that your quick eye could not
discern the friend of your friend from the evil doer, for
whom you have mistaken me.”

“I knew not that thou didst ever walk here,” returned
Ohmeina, in evident surprise; and at this dark hour
I know not why thou shouldst seek the gloomy shade of
the forest.”

“And why not,” asked O’Carrroll, “as well as you;
and there was another with you, Ohmeina. Why then
are you surprised to see me here?”

“He came on errands of mercy,” said the Chief,
with a slow and emphatic accent; “and the forest is
my home; where I was born; where my young days
were passed. And with the leave of the great and good
Being, my age shall decline among its green shades,
and there shall death find me, waiting to welcome his
approach.”

1(5)r 9

“But who was that, Ohmeina, from whom you just
now parted?”
inquired O’Carroll, “and who came
hither, as you say, upon errands of mercy.”

“Ask me not,” replied Ohmeina; “it matters not
thee to know. Thou didst break upon our privacy, and
though I will believe thou didst it without knowledge,
thou wilt have too much honor to extort from me what
I am forbidden to communicate.”

O’Carroll’s curiosity was greatly excited by the mystery
which the Indian’s words threw over a circumstance,
which, had he not believed Colonel Grahame to be interested
in it, would not have drawn from him a single
remark or inquiry. After a few moments of perplexed
silence, he said,

“If you are forbidden, Ohmeina, to tell me the name
of your companion, still may you not without any breach
of confidence, inform me to whom he pays visits of
mercy in a place which appears to me wholly uninhabited?”

“He who loves to do good to all mankind,” said the
Chief, “may find even in the desert objects on which
to shed the dews of his benevolence.”

“And do you dwell here, Ohmeina?” asked the
Captain.

“Sometimes I do,” returned the Indian, “and sometimes
I dwell in the camp. But I have told thee, that
the forest was my home. I love the rustling of its
withered leaves and the waving of its naked branches,
far more than the noise of yonder armed host. They
are dearer to me than were the sounds of battle, when,
in the days of my power, and the Mohawks were many,
I led them forth in terrible array against the enemies of
our nation. Our march was like the rushing wind, and
our foes fell before us like the trees of the forest which
its might hurls to the earth.”

The Chief seemed inspired by the remembrance of
former days, and he spoke with an eloquence of gesture
and expression that excited the admiration of O’Carroll,
and rendered him for a moment forgetful of the mystery
which had so greatly perplexed him, and which he 1(5)v 10
wished so much to hear explained. Before he could
renew his inquiries, the Indian again addressed him:

“Brother farewell; I must leave thee. Go thy way,
and seek not to follow my footsteps.”

“Such a design is far from my thoughts,” said
O’Carroll; “I shall not attempt to discover a secret,
which you are bound to keep; and I honor your fidelity
too much, to wish you to betray it. Farewell; there
may be mystery, but never falsehood in a heart like
thine!”

The Indian laid his folded hands upon his breast,
and bent his head towards the earth, then, without
uttering a word, turned and walked slowly away.
O’Carroll stood for a few moments, watching his retreating
figure, and when it was no longer distinguishable,
he pursued his homeward way, occupied with far
different thoughts from those which had engrossed
him during the former part of his walk.

The bitter, yet pleasing remembrance of Marion
Spencer
, was dispelled by the immediate interest of
the scene which had just passed. Perplexed by the
appearance of mystery which involved it, he forgot
every selfish interest, in his anxiety to account for what
was, in reality, inexplicable to him. He felt assured,
the person he had seen with Ohmeina, was no other
than Colonel Grahame; and as this conviction obtained
possession of his mind, he busied himself in imagining
the cause, which could induce him to break a previous
and positive engagement, for the purpose of
meeting the Indian, in that solitary spot, and at an
hour so lonely. But all his conjectures were vain, and
served only to involve him more deeply in uncertainty;
and fearing that his protracted absence might occasion
alarm, he cast away reflection, and walked forward
with a speed which quickly brought him to the garden
gate. He met Ronald coming through it, to search
for him, and was surprised to learn that it was quite late,
and that the family were uneasy at his long absence.

Without delay, he hastened to the house. Major
Courtland
met him at the parlor door, and exclaimed,
the moment he saw him,

1(6)r 11

“Well, thank Heaven, here you are at last, O’Carroll.
But where, in the name of wonder, have you been all
the evening. You keep us forever in a ferment with
your Irish vagaries, and inconsistencies. Kate has
been moping here, this two hours, assured some accident
had befallen you; since you left her with a promise
of returning directly; and Amelia has gone disconsolate
to bed.”

“A flattering mode of expressing her concern, truly,”
said O’Carroll laughing. “But I owe you many
apologies, Miss Courtland, for breaking my promise to
you, though I know I shall have your pardon and the
Major’s also, when I relate the cause of my detention.”

“You have mine already,” said Catherine; “it was
yours the moment I saw you return in safety.”

“But you have not mine, young man,” said the Major,
“till I learn what wild goose chase you have been
upon now.”

“A most singular one certainly, Major,” said the
Captain.

“What, any more mysterious music,” asked the
Major. “A second edition of the squaw adventure,
O’Carroll?”

“Something quite as surprising,” said the Captain.

“Upon my word, O’Carroll,” returned the Major,
laughing, “you must positively give us the American
Nights’ Entertainment:
the legends of Arabia will become
tame and unedifying, compared with your miraculous
marvels.”

“‘A plain unvarnished tale I will deliver,’” said
O’Carroll, “and you shall give what credit you please
to the narration. Only let me request you, Major, to
reserve your sarcasm, till I have ended.”

“Well, begin, Captain,” said the Major, “and I will
hear you with the gravity of a Turk, let the story be
ever so ridiculous.”

“You will be disappointed, if you expect any thing
marvellous,”
said O’Carroll, “The incident, however,
is rather a singular one, and seems to throw a
mystery around our friend Grahame, which shades the 1(6)v 12
brightness of the character we have so ardently admired.”

Catherine betrayed the emotion caused by this intelligence,
by half rising from her seat, and hastily sinking
into it again, while first a deep blush, and then an
ashy paleness, succeeded each other on her features.
The Major also seemed disturbed.

“Grahame!” he exclaimed; “surely you have seen
nothing that can tend to sully his immaculate reputation.”

“No indeed, sir,” returned O’Carroll; “I only said,
that perfect openness of character, which we have so
much praised and admired, seemed by this adventure
to be shrouded in a veil of mystery. But it may all
be fairly interpreted yet; at all events, I will give you
the circumstances, and you may assist me to construe
them.”

He then briefly narrated the incidents of his walk,
and the conversation, which had passed between himself
and Ohmeina. He described the person of the
stranger, who, on his appearance, had parted from the
Indian, and declared his firm belief that it was and
could be no other than Colonel Grahame himself.

Major Courtland and his daughter listened to O’Carroll,
without once attempting to interrupt him, and
when he ended, the Major, with folded arms, and eyes
fixed upon the carpet, walked twice or thrice across
the room, absorbed in deep reflection.

Catherine too, remained silent, but she raised a timid
glance to her father’s face, as if she sought to read
there, what was passing in his breast. After another
turn through the apartment, he suddenly stopped and
said to O’Carroll,

“This is a strange and inexplicable affair, Captain
if you are positive it was Colonel Grahame, whom you
saw.”

“I will not venture my oath upon it,” said O’Carroll;
“but uniting every circumstance, the tall figure,
the military dress, the reluctance of Ohmeina to answer 2(1)r 13
my inquiries, I think I cannot be mistaken in believing
it was the Colonel.”

“Ohmeina may love mystery as well as his friend
Minoya,”
said Catherine, anxious to rescue Grahame
from suspicion; “and there are many tall men, besides
Colonel Grahame; and scarce one, at this warlike
period, who is not made several inches higher, by the
military cap and plume.”

“True, Miss Courtland,” said O’Carroll; “but you
will grant there are few, very few, who, even in the
uncertainty of moonlight, could be easily mistaken for
Colonel Grahame. That dignity of air, that unrivalled
grace of figure and of motion, which are peculiarly
his, render him at once distinguishable. I know not
another, who possesses them in such perfection.”

“This is but a trifling proof, O’Carroll, and would
not be admitted in a court of law,”
said the Major;
“even with me it weighs nothing, since your luxuriant
imagination might readily invest some clownish boor
with the grace and elegance of our friend Grahame.
But your relation has recalled to my remembrance
another circumstance, which tends to corroborate your
suspicions. I was struck yesterday by the Colonel’s
embarrassment, when I inquired with whom Minoya
resided; and with his indirect refusal to name the
family, although I requested it of him. There is certainly
some mystery about this young man; Heaven
grant, he may have no dishonorable entanglement to
render him unworthy of our esteem.”

“Impossible, father!” exclaimed Catherine, with involuntary
warmth; “you, who have ever been so unwilling
to suspect the goodness of others, are over hasty
in condemning Colonel Grahame.

“I am far from suspecting him of any deliberate
baseness, my dear,”
said the Major; “but I confess I
am not a little perplexed by the circumstances under
discussion. That with the plea of an indispensable
engagement, he should break his promise to us, and
then be seen lurking with Ohmeina on the borders of
the forest, seems to me so strange, so unlike all that Vol. II. 2 2(1)v 14
we have hitherto seen of his character, that I cannot
suppress my astonishment.”

“But granting it was he, whom Captain O’Carroll
saw,”
said Catherine, “the Indian said he was on a
visit of mercy; some friend, perhaps, required his presence;
or some suffering individual, dependent on his
kindness, and for whom he thought proper to sacrifice
a visit of pleasure to one of sympathy and consolation.”

“Your charity is abundant and ingenious, Kate,”
said her father, smiling; and I hope his own explanation
may be as satisfactory. I am the last man who
would triumph in the downfall of Colonel Grahame;
and even should he not prove himself all that I have,
and still do think him, I must continue to look back
with pleasure to the hours enlivened by his society,
and to remember, with grateful emotion, that it was his
hand, which twice arrested the blow, which was ready
to fall upon the defenceless head of an enemy and a
captive. But he will be here to-morrow, and a few
inquiries may then terminate our doubts.”

“I think,” said O’Carroll, “we had better be silent
on the subject, unless it is first introduced by the Colonel
himself. We would not wish to pry into actions,
which he may have strong motives for concealing.
And since he will doubtless learn from Ohmeina, that
it was I who interrupted his conversation, he will, I am
persuaded, explain the occurrence, if it can be explained
satisfactorily and with honor.”

“You are right,” said the Major. “I would not be
guilty of the meanness of extorting a secret, which its
possessor is reluctant to divulge. But he must be conscious
that he has exposed himself to supicion, and I
think he will be solicitous to banish the doubts he has
awakened.”

“He cannot honorably reveal the secret of another,”
said Catherine; “of course, his silence on the subject,
should not be imputed to him as a crime. But it is
very late, father; and since we are not likely to settle
this matter at all to our satisfaction, I will bid you good 2(2)r 15
night, and leave you to discuss it, till morning, if you
please.”

She left them, and retired to her own apartment,
not to sleep, but to reflect upon the occurrence and
conversation of the evening.

But without any guide to the real truth, and without
any definite hint to assist her conjectures, they were of
course vague and remote from probability; till wearied
by the hopeless effort to elucidate the mystery, which
seemed gathering around the hitherto candid and ingenuous
Grahame, she yielded to the refreshing influence
of sleep, which seldom fails to banish sorrow and
anxiety from the pillow of the innocent and young.
Her dreams were soothing and delightful, and she
would gladly have indulged them longer, but the bright
beams of the morning sun, darting through the curtains
of her bed, at length dispelled the illusions of the
night, and recalled to her remembrance the incidents
of the preceding evening.

Impressed with the belief that Colonel Grahame
would pay them an early visit, she immediately arose,
and awaking her cousin, they shortly left their apartment,
and entered the breakfast room together, where
they found the Major and O’Carroll waiting their appearance.

After breakfast, the gentlemen paid a short visit to
Captain Talbot, who was fast convalescing, and then
ordering their horses, went out to ride; the Major, as
he left the house, bidding Catherine detain Colonel
Grahame
to dinner, should he make his appearance
before they returned.

Catherine readily promised compliance with her
father’s desire; indeed she was not herself aware, with
what impatience she anticipated Grahame’s arrival, till
Amelia made her sensible of it by inquiring what she
saw so very interesting from the window, towards
which her eyes were continually turned. Catherine
blushed, and made some confused remark upon the
brilliancy of the morning, which was so delightful after
a day of clouds and rain. She then, to elude her 2(2)v 16
cousin’s scrutiny, proposed a visit to Captain Talbot,
and they repaired together to his apartment.

But Catherine was too restless to remain long stationary,
and pleading some trifling excuse, she soon returned
to the parlor, leaving Amelia reading to Talbot;
a task, which the young man would have transferred
to her cousin. But, in truth, Catherine began to observe
the pleasure which her presence gave him;
several little incidents of the preceding day had revealed
to her the state of his feelings. She had marked,
with pain, the flushing of his cheek, and the lighting
up of his whole countenance, when she addressed, or
even when she approached him; and had, more than
once, been startled by an expression of his sentiments
too pointed to be misunderstood.

Feeling herself unable to return his affection, she
forbore to encourage it, and resolved, by every possible
means, consistent with delicacy and generosity, to
check its progress, and spare him the pain of a final
rejection. She determined to visit him less frequently,
and never alone, and to confer on Amelia the task,
which she knew was far from disagreeable to her, of
soothing and entertaining the invalid. But her father,
who saw and highly approved Captain Talbot’s sentiments,
was constantly making some excuse for sending
her to him; and on the preceding evening, had insisted
that she should remain with her cousin in his
apartment.

Captain Talbot’s attachment to Catherine, had commenced
during the former part of their acquaintance,
and he had made Colonel Dunbar (the particular
friend of his father) the confidant of his passion and his
hopes. From his brother-in-law, Major Courtland had
learned the state of the Captain’s affections; and delighted
with the prospect of a union so advantageous
for his daughter, he had, previously to his departure for
the north, encouraged the young man’s visits, and now
augured the most happy result to his wishes, from the
circumstance of his becoming a member of his family
circle.

2(3)r 17

It was noon before the Major and O’Carroll returned
from their ride, and they expressed no little surprise,
when informed that Colonel Grahame had not yet
made his appearance. Catherine had employed herself
about a hundred different things, and thrown them
all successively aside, till vexed with herself, that she
was capable of feeling so deeply the disappointment of
Grahame’s continued absence, she took up the book
which she had just laid down, and resolved to think
only of its contents. But she had read several pages,
without comprehending a word that they contained,
and was beginning to reperuse them, when her father
and O’Carroll entered the parlor.

“What, alone, Kate!” said the Major, with some
surprise. “Pray, where is your cousin?”

“With Captain Talbot, sir,” replied Catherine, closing
her book as she spoke.

“With Captain Talbot!” he repeated. “Did they
wish for a tete-a-tete, or is your’s a voluntary banishment?”

“It is voluntary, father,” replied Catherine. “To
confess the truth, Amelia was reading an old romance
which I had no mind to hear again, and so I stole away
to amuse myself here.”

A look of displeasure for a moment shaded the Major’s
countenance, but it quickly vanished when O’Carroll
said,

“And so, Miss Courtland, Hugh tells me the Colonel
has not been here this morning.”

“No,” said Catherine, “but it is not impossible we
may yet see him before night.”

“It is not probable,” said the Major; “and I confess
his continued absence looks rather suspicious.”

O’Carroll shrugged his shoulders as he said, “Perhaps
we may find him in the forest again.”

“Are you going to search,” inquired the Major,
observing the Captain move towards the door.

“No,” he said; “I have not a particular fancy for
the gibbet, and shall not, of course, act the part of a spy.
I am going to the stable, Major, for Ronald tells me 2* 2(3)v 18
what I was so careless as not to observe, that Juno’s
hind foot is sadly cut by the ice.”

“It was almost sharp enough to cut through horn,
when we went out,”
said the Major. “But I have
some little skill in farriery, and will go look at it with
you.”

They left the room together, and Catherine resumed
her book. She was glad to be again alone; for she was
reluctant to hear Grahame censured; and perplexed by
the vague and incessant surmises of her father and the
Captain.

Chapter II.

“From her calm eye Beamed a dark majesty, that well beseemed A Chieftain’s daughter; though her willing hand Slighted no labor, which their customs rude Imposed on woman.” Traits of the Aborigines of America.

The remainder of that day passed away without
bringing Colonel Grahame; the following evening arrived,
and still he continued absent; when, as the circle
had drawn around the blazing hearth, and were discussing
with renewed interest, the singularity of his protracted
absence, the parlor door opened, and the subject of their
conversation unexpectedly entered.

The Major and O’Carroll both rose to receive him;
and they both at the same moment bent on him a scrutinizing
glance, as if they sought to read his very soul.
But his countenance was calm and bright; and returning
their salutation with his accustomed ease, he walked
towards the ladies, and after the usual compliments,
expressed his regret, that peculiar circumstances should
for several days past have compelled him to forego the 2(4)r 19

pleasure of their society; a pleasure, he added, looking
expressively at Catherine, of which it was not necessary
to be deprived in order to make him feel its true value.

This was said without the least embarrassment, and
with an air of calm self-possession which seemed to set
suspicion at defiance.

Catherine was rather confused by an address so
pointed, and which she had so little reason to expect,
and she did not immediately reply. Her father observed
it, and wishing to afford her time to recover, said to the
Colonel,

“I did not suppose, that in this season of inaction
the duties of the camp could be so very pressing as to
detain you from us thus long.”

“We are not quartered in the warmth and luxurious
plenty of a city,”
replied Grahame; “and I assure you,
sir, our comfortless situation renders our duties both
arduous and many. Though I did not in this instance
intend to plead professional duty as my excuse.”

“Ah, I understand you, Colonel,” said the Major,
hoping by a little innocent finesse to arrive at the truth
of the affair. “No need of confession, my dear sir,” he
added, smiling; “love and glory are inseparable, you
know; at least in the heart of a young soldier.”

Grahame colored and bit his lip, but instantly replied
with an air of gravity, “My engagement, sir, was of a
less pleasing nature than you imagine. But you know
my feelings too well to require the assurance that nothing
less than an absolute duty could have prevented my
appearance here yesterday; a pleasure which I prize
too highly to resign for any trifling cause.”

“The disappointment could not have been more
grievous to you than it was to us,”
said O’Carroll,
exchanging a significant glance with the Major. “All
our resources failed us,”
he continued, “and Miss
Courtland’s
plants were nearly demolished by our frequent
visits to the window, in the vain hope of espying
your courser’s feet advancing hitherward.”

“I am to thank you then, Captain, for shaking the
roses from my favorite bush,”
said Catherine. “I 2(4)v 20
reproved Juba for it, and after all the poor fellow is innocent
of the transgression. The next time Colonel
Grahame
finds it convenient to disappoint us of several
visits, I will take good care to have a free passage made
for you to the windows.”

“Do not trouble yourself to do that,” said O’Carroll;
“for I will promise the next time to move by them with
as much caution as you do yourself; though, if I mistake
not, Miss Dunbar charged you with brushing them too
quickly this morning, when we heard a horse coming
up the avenue; and after all it was only my knave,
Ronald.”

Catherine blushed deeply, but when she met Grahame’s
eye fixed earnestly upon her, vexed as she was
with the mischief-loving O’Carroll, she made an effort
to shake off her embarassment, and said gaily,

“Yes, I often shake them in my haste as roughly as
the rude breezes of the north.”

“Nay, like the ‘sweet south, stealing and giving
odour,’”
exclaimed O’Carroll; “mine was the blustering
touch of Boreas, scattering their sweets, and blasting
the fair promise of their opening blossoms.”

“But you left enough to form a very fine nosegay,”
said the Major, “for I saw Amelia laden with pinks,
and roses, and geraniums, crossing the hall this morning;
and when I afterwards visited Talbot, I found him
decked out like a favored Zephyrus with the gifts of
another Flora.”

“Catherine was the Flora, uncle,” said Amelia
eagerly, but with a varying complexion; “for it was she
who sent the flowers to Captain Talbot, and it was for
her sake that he wore them.”

“It was for their own sake that he wore them, cousin,”
returned Cathaerine, not in the least disconcerted, though
aware that both her father and the Colonel were intently
observing her. “Or perhaps,” she added gaily, “it
was in compliment to the nymph from whom he received
the fragrant offering, that he cherished them with so
much care.”

2(5)r 21

Amelia affected not to hear her, and continued caressing
the dog, without making any reply.

“And I am falsely accused after all,” said O’Carroll,
“since the roses met with a gentler fate than that of
being shaken rudely from their stems. Pray, Miss
Courtland
, are your bushes often rifled for a similar
purpose?”

“Always when I can gratify a friend with their sweets,”
returned Catherine. “Captain Talbot is passionately
fond of flowers, and I am happy that my blooming
shrubs have enabled me to gratify his taste. I have
even cropped my finest blossoms for him, since I saw
that they contributed to his enjoyment, without regretting
for a moment the short lived beauty of the flowers,
whose gradual unfolding I had watched with such
solicitude.”

“Captain Talbot is an enviable man,” said O’Carroll,
“to be the object of such delicate and kind attentions.”

“There can be no attentions too kind or too assiduous,
which tend to cheer the languor and depression of illness,”
returned Catherine. “I have always been so
happy as to enjoy uninterrupted health, and to me the
confinement and monotony of a sick room appear so
wearisome, that I am desirous to do every thing which
may promote cheerfulness and animate the spirits of the
patient. Even the fragrance and beauty of a flower may
incline to pleasant thoughts; and I dare say you have
yourself found it so, Captain O’Carroll.”

“You are a good girl, Kate, and the best nurse in the
world, as I can testify from long experience,”
exclaimed
the Major. “And I am glad, my dear, your weeds are
like to serve so good a purpose, for they have become
quite useless to you, now that you no longer want an
occasional bouquet to complete your gala dress. Fighting
is the fashion of the day, my girl, and balls and
parties have grown quite obsolete.

“You are mistaken, Major,” said O’Carroll, “they
do little else than dance and feast in the city, as Talbot
informs me. There are scores of bright eyes, and no
lack of gallants in the garrison; and they have gaiety 2(5)v 22
and revelling in abundance; for the officers and their
ladies, who are exiled from the pleasures of St. James’,
are resolved to hold a court as gay, if not as splendid,
on the banks of the Delaware.”

“And the more shame for them,” muttered the Major
in O’Carroll’s ear.

“Speak it out, Major,” cried the Captain; “Colonel
Grahame
will not question our loyalty because we censure
the inaction of our party. Shame to them, I say,
for consuming that time in mirth and revelry which
should be devoted to vigorous resolves and efficient
action.”

“One would suppose,” said Catherine, “the unexpected
attack upon Trenton an event too memorable to
be soon forgotten. An ill-timed security changed their
fortune when it was far more prosperous than at present.”

“They are too wise in their own conceit,” said the
Major, “to be warned by experience, and they will go
on eating and drinking, revelling and making merry, till
the enemy are at their gates, and their leaders are
dragged from their beds, as Prescott was at Newport
by the rebel Barton.”

“They despise us too much,” said Grahame, “to
cherish any fears of that kind; and in possession of our
capital, they feel assured that a single effort, made whenever
they please, will crush us, and give them the sway
of the whole country.”

“They have thought so before,” said Catherine;
“they have talked, too, of sending a few regiments to
crush the rebellion; but as yet, with all their force, they
have not been able to subdue the spirit or the power of
American freemen. We are descended from Britain,
father, and we inherit too large a portion of her pride
and noble independence, tamely to submit to slavery.”

“And who that now heard you, Kate,” said the Major,
“would believe you to be the daughter of a British officer,
who had shed his dearest blood in defence of the
land which gave him birth? Who would not smile to
hear you pride yourself in your descent from that country 2(6)r 23
which you have voluntarily renounced, and to whose
righteous cause you daily wish defeat.”

“Father, I have noble examples to uphold me in
speaking as I do,”
said Catherine. “Do you not recollect
the anecdote which we heard some time since, of
the gallant Duke of Buckingham, who, when informed
of the battle of Lexington, thanked God that there were
yet some veins in the world which beat high with British
blood! And I forget the name of the other nobleman,
who, on being required to take up arms against America,
returned his sword to his sovereign, saying, he had received
it to maintain the cause of justice, not that of
oppression! Shall I then be thought ungrateful to my
paternal soil, because I do not pray for her success when
her nobles, her counsellors, her most active and able
defenders refuse to aid her in an unjust quarrel?”

“You may repeat the foolish sayings of factious nobles
and discontented whigs, Kate,”
said her father, “but
they will not affect the opinions which I have signed
with my blood, and am willing, were I permitted, to seal
with my death. You are incorrigibly obstinate, even
against reason, nature, and education. But enjoy your
sentiments while you may; I am persuaded Heaven
will never suffer the cause of rebellion to triumph over
the lawful supremacy of a just and merciful monarch.”

“Since this subject is under discussion,” said Colonel
Grahame
, “I will intreat permission to say a few words
in support of the fair and eloquent champion who so
nobly advocates the cause of my suffering country.”

“Oh, in good truth, Colonel,” said the Major, “she
stands quite firm enough without any foreign aid. I
shall yet see the day when this spirit of whiggism that
possesses her, will be expelled by the force of reason
and experience.”

“The great Earl of Chatham, Major Courtland, has
pronounced it a glorious spirit,”
said Grahame, smiling,
“and declared it impossible to conquer three millions of
people who are animated by it.”

“This love of rebellion, then, if whiggism is not a
proper term,”
said the Major.

2(6)v 24

“And another of your countrymen, Major, the Earl
of Abingdon
,”
said Grahame, “asserts that we are not
guilty of rebellion, but have been justly provoked to resistance
by the wanton insults of despotic power.”

“A turbulent fellow,” exclaimed the Major, “who
will say any thing to thwart the ministry! There are a
thousand such, who sow dissention and stir up strife for
the sake of bringing themselves into notice. I tell you,
Colonel, the right cause will at last prevail.”

“I believe it firmly, Major,” returned Grahame;
“and it is this hope which supports us under sufferings
and difficulties greater than ever a nation struggled with
before. It is this, joined to the consciousness that we
fight for our homes, our property, our privileges as a
people, our rights as individuals, which nerves our arms
and encourages our hearts; which enables our poor,
half-naked, shivering, houseless, hungry soldiers, to
endure with unshaken constancy the rigors and hardships,
from which men less confident in the justice of
their cause would shrink with horror and affright.”

“Men excited by a popular enthusiasm,” replied the
Major, “will dare any thing, and endure every thing,
for the accomplishment of their object.”

“That enthusiasm must be well grounded,” returned
Grahame, “which survives the complicated miseries
which abound in the bleak camp at Valley Forge. I
am persuaded, Major Courtland, you would be deeply
touched with that pure and fervent patriotism which
submits without complaint, nay, even with cheerfulness,
to the severest personal privations. And you would
reverence and admire the illustrious man, who, at the
call of his country, has quitted the refinements and
elegancies of polished life, and, superior to every weakness,
unmoved by the voice of faction, the suggestions
of envy, or the whispers of malice, moves steadily on
his course, guiding the stately vessel entrusted to his
care, slowly, but surely, towards the haven of prosperity
and peace.”

“There are shoals and breakers in abundance to be
passed before this desired haven is attained,”
said Captain 3(1)r 25
O’Carroll
, who, half shaded by a large screen, rereclined
at ease upon the sofa; where for the last half
hour he had amused himself in watching the several
countenances of the speakers. The rapid and eloquent
variations of Catherine’s, the alternate humor and chagrin
visible on that of the Major, and the bright and lofty expression
of Grahame’s fine features, softening with
pleasure, when Catherine spoke, and kindling with the
proud feeling of conscious rectitude, when he advocated
the cause of his country, and alluded to the venerated
leader of her armies and her counsels, had each in turn
attracted the regard and contributed to the amusement
of O’Carroll.

Catherine turned towards him with a smile of arch
humor, when she heard his voice issue from behind the
screen, and said gravely,

“‘Is Saul also among the prophets?’”

“It is even so,” he answered; “shall I prophecy to
thee concerning the things whereof thou hast spoken.”

“No, Captain; you are one of those who prophecy
false dreams out of the deceit of their own hearts,”
she
answered. “But, speaking of prophecy, you remind
me of a prediction quite apropos to the subject we have
been discussing, and which has become a popular superstition
in England.”

“Do not repeat that foolish tale of the jewel, Kate,
unless you would be thought more credulous than the
veriest gossip in the land,”
said the Major.

“I repeat it as a singular incident, father, not as affecting
my own imagination,”
said Catherine; “though
many a powerful mind has viewed it as ominous of
some national disaster. Perhaps you may have heard
of the circumstance to which I allude, Colonel Grahame.
After the coronation of the present king, he lifted the
diadem from his brow, when the most splendid jewel it
contained, fell to the ground, inspiring the monarch and
all his court with the most melancholy presentiments.”

“I recollect hearing of the incident,” said Grahame;
“and I am not surprised that it should be recalled at
the present crisis, with feelings of superstitious awe.”

Vol. II. 3 3(1)v 26

“No wonder, indeed,” said the Major, with an ironical
smile; “and those good whigs who dare to speak
their minds, liken the splendid jewel to this precious
land; and its separation from the crown, say they, is
the symbol of that which is to wrest America from her
sovereign. It is amusing to see how the spirit of party
influences the minds of men, and induces them to bestow
importance upon the most trivial and natural occurrences
which can be made to bear, however remotely,
upon the object of their wishes. This fatal jewel, you
must know, Colonel Grahame, was overlooked by the
careless artist who examined the regalia previous to the
coronation; for it had not been used during several of
the preceding reigns, and was of course out of repair.”

“Well, father,” said Catherine, laughing, “your
explanation I must needs think renders the circumstance
still more striking, since, if the jewel represents America,
we may liken our good king to the incautious artist, who
neglected to secure the precious gem, which rivalled all
the others in brilliancy and value.”

“But it will be reset firmer than ever,” said O’Carroll,
“and sparkle for many a long year on the royal
brow of good king George, and on that of his son, and
his son’s son after him, if is shall so please Heaven.”

“Yes, doubtless, if it shall so please Heaven, Captain,”
said Catherine; “you know my father often laughs at
your qualifying ‘ifs’, but I think one of them not at all
amiss now.”

An unusual bustle in the hall interrupted the conversation.
Grahame at once comprehended the cause, and
said hastily,

“It must be my Indian friends; I have been unpardonably
negligent in not informing you of their intended
visit this evening; but present enjoyment had banished
all other recollections from my mind. If it is not perfectly
agreeable to see them, however, I will appoint
some other time for their visit.”

“Oh, let us see them now,” exclaimed they all, and
Colonel Grahame immediately advanced to the door,
followed by Catherine and O’Carroll.

3(2)r 27

Ohmeina and his female companion were standing in
the middle of the hall, surrounded by the servants, who,
full of curiosity and wonder, were examining their dress,
and plying them with questions, half of which were utterly
incomprehensible to the comparatively untutored
Minoya, who looked towards Ohmeina with an air of
reverence, while, with grave and courteous civility, he
endeavoured to satisfy the numerous inquiries of the
loquacious domestics. They drew back when Colonel
Grahame
appeared, and Ohmeina, leading his companion
by the hand, advanced from the group, and moved with
a firm step and stately air, towards his friend.

He was attired in all the splendor of his savage
costume; and Minoya’s dress, formed of the delicate
skin of the young fawn, glittered with ornaments of silver
and beads of various colored glass. Her moccasins
were wrought with porcupine quills, intermixed with
small sparkling beads, and her slender ancles and finely
formed arms were encircled with bracelets. Her long
black hair hung nearly to the ground, and was ornamented
with a wreath of holly, whose dark polished
leaves contrasted prettily with the crimson berries which
she has tastefully arranged among them. Imitating the
gesture of her companion, she laid her hand upon her
breast, and bent her head with reverence to the Colonel.

“You are welcome, Ohmeina,” he said, motioning
them to enter the room; “and you, my kind Minoya;
I am happy to show my friends one, whom I love as a
sister, and who showed me so many kindnesses, when
I was incapable of assisting myself.”

As the Colonel spoke, she raised her piercing dark
eyes, for the first time, from the ground, and fixed
them upon him, with an expression, which lighted up
her whole countenance with grateful pleasure. He
returned her smile, with one as bright as her own, and
taking her hand, led her first to Catherine, and then
to the other individuals that composed the group.
Every one present was struck with her uncommon
beauty. The delicacy of her figure, the native grace
of her motions, the dignity and sweetness of her countenance, 3(2)v 28
drew forth many remarks, and excited the
admiration of all. When she had returned the salutations
of those to whom Grahame presented her, she
approached Catherine, by whom she seemed to be
peculiarly attracted, and gazed fixedly upon her.

Catherine smiled, and took her dark hand within
her own, whose delicate whiteness seemed almost dazzling,
when contrasted with the olive hue of the Indian’s.

“We owe you many thanks, generous Minoya, for
your kindness to our friend,”
said Catherine. “I fear
there are not many females of my nation, who, in similar
circumstances, would have dared to act so nobly.”

“He slew those, who killed my husband, my child,”
she said; “and the Great Being knows Minoya would
die to save his life.”
She stopped abruptly, and rubbing
her fingers upon Catherine’s hand, which she still
held, said to Grahame, with an air of childish delight,
“How pretty! how soft! and white as the snows!”
Grahame smiled, but ventured not to touch the beautiful
hand, held up for him to admire, while Catherine
said,

“It has never loosed the fetters of the captive, Minoya,
nor saved the life of a friend; therefore, it is not
worthy of your praise; but if you like those rings you
shall have one, to wear for my sake.”

She drew a ring of trifling value from her finger, as
she spoke, and placed it upon Minoya’s, who received
the gift with a smile of pleasure, and examined it
with evident delight. In return she took one of bone,
curiously cut, from her own finger, and gave it to
Catherine. At the same time, she looked at Amelia,
with an expression which seemed to say, she wished
also to give her some token of remembrance. After a
moment’s hesitation, she unfastened a bracelet from
her arm, and put it round Amelia’s, who, much as she
admired the beauty of the Indian, could not avoid
shuddering at the touch of her dark hand. She however
smiled, and joined Catherine in praising the 3(3)r 29
trinket, which she took care to repay with one of more
value.

Captain O’Carroll, who had been conversing with
Ohmeina and the Major, now joined the circle around
Minoya. She smiled, when he approached, and said
to him,

“Didst thou like the song, which I sung to thee in
the forest?”

“Yes, but I should have liked it better,” he replied,
“had I seen the pretty lips which sung it. But cannot
you give us another song, or do you choose always
to sing in secret.”

“I sing at all times,” she replied, “but best, in the
forest, when no eye looks upon me.”

“But you will sing now, Minoya,” said Grahame,
“if my friends desire to hear you?”

“Son of the lightning,” she replied, “do I not always,
as thou sayest! May Minoya die when she disobeys
thee.”

Colonel Grahame called Ohmeina to join in the
song, and he would have taken the chair which O’Carroll
placed for him, but Minoya, who seemed averse to
so awkward a seat, sunk upon the carpet in a posture
more easy and natural to her, and Ohmeina, from complaisance,
placed himself by her side.

They then began, first in a subdued tone, which
rose gradually higher and stronger, to chant one of
their national songs. The sweet and thrilling tones of
Minoya’s voice, now mingling with the mellow cadence
of Ohmeina’s, and now heard alone; swelling high and
clear, then sinking into silence, produced a species of
wild and enchanting melody, as singular as it was new.

“Our music is tame and lifeless compared to this,”
whispered Catherine.

Grahame smiled, and assured her the charm would
not survive the novelty; since it was far too monotonous
long to please the ear of taste.

When the song was concluded, the Indians received
the thanks and praises of the company. Major Courtland,3* 3(3)v 30
in particular, was so highly pleased, that he said
to O’Carroll,

“I pardon your superstition, Captain, and do not
much wonder, that you should ascribe sounds, of so
much power and sweetness, to some dainty spirit of the
air, some ‘delicate Ariel,’ sent to do the bidding of a
second Prospero.”

Grahame, observing Minoya to look with much curiosity
at Catherine’s harpsichord, requested her to gratify
them with a tune. She complied, and O’Carroll
accompanied her with the flute. While she played,
the Indians, but particularly Minoya, seemed lost in a
trance of astonishment. She watched Catherine’s fingers,
as they glanced rapidly over the keys of the instrument;
but appeared more delighted by the noise,
and the strange manner in which it was produced, than
with the concord of sweet sounds, made by the skill of
the musician; for in the middle of a very beautiful
tune, she advanced her fingers cautiously, and laughed
aloud when the keys responded to their pressure.
Catherine permitted her to handle the instrument, till
she was weary, and when at length, she turned from it,
and observed a flageolet, which Amelia was carelessly
balancing upon her hand, her features brightened, as if
she had encountered the gaze of a familiar friend; and
taking it timidly from Miss Dunbar, she placed it to
her lips, and played part of a popular tune with perfect
readiness and propriety.

Every one look surprised excepting Grahame,
who turned over the leaves of a music book in evident
embarrassment.

“Who taught her, and where has she learned this?”
was echoed by all present.

“The fair lily plays so,” said Minoya; then looking
at the flageolet, she added, addressing Grahame,
“Brother, didst thou bring this hither?”

The Colonel colored highly, and spoke to her in
Mohawk, with an air of extreme displeasure. The
poor Indian seemed awed by his manner, for she replied
timidly in the same language and folding her 3(4)r 31
hands upon her breast, stood in silence before the
Colonel. His features instantly relaxed, and he again
addressed her, in a tone of mildness, which restored to
her countenance its wonted cheerfulness and animation,
and she began to finger the keys of the harpsichord,
as if nothing had occurred to interrupt her attention.

But Colonel Grahame did not so readily regain his
self-possession; he continued to turn over the leaves of
the music book, with a rapidity, which showed that he
was unconscious of doing so. The Major and O’Carroll
observed him with deep attention, and exchanged between
themselves many significant glances. Catherine,
too, remarked his embarrassment, and though she
would have given worlds to learn the mystery of the
“fair lily,” who was the cause of this extreme emotion,
and to hear the interpretation of those few words
of Mohawk, which had produced an effect so powerful,
she strove to appear unobservant of Grahame’s discomposure,
and in order to divert her father’s attention,
carried Minoya towards him, and began to amuse her
with the exhibition of some fine pictures. The remainder
of the party soon gathered around them, and
Catherine was pleased to observe that Grahame was as
conversable and animated as usual.

Refreshments were shortly after produced, of which
when the Indians had partaken, they prepared to take
their leave. In the course of the evening, Minoya had
several times heard Catherine admire the holly wreath,
which she wore; and before she departed, she disengaged
it from her own jetty locks and placed it, with a
smile, upon the brow of Catherine. She seemed, indeed,
to have taken a particular fancy to the young
mistress of the mansion, who, she declared to the Colonel,
was more beautiful than the famous Queen Monohootaba,
whom six mighty sachems wished to have for
a wife, though she had chosen the Chief, who brought
her the scalp of her father’s murderer.

“A hint Colonel,” said O’Carroll, when this was
repeated to him, “that you might have aspired to the
hand of this dusky Venus, who has enchanted us to 3(4)v 32
night, without the aid of a magic cestus, had you taken
the precaution to preserve the scalps of those bloodhounds,
that you sent howling to the shades, at the
burning of Ohmeina’s city.”

“Perhaps the circumstance of my killing Kamaset,
may give me favor in her eyes,”
returned the Colonel.

“You seem to possess that already,” said the Major;
“for she regards you as a superior being, though I suspect
you have a powerful rival in Ohmeina, to whose
grave countenance her eyes make frequent visits, and
return with their bright beams so softened and subdued,
that it is impossible not to comprehend their meaning.”

“A close observer, upon my honor, Major,” said
O’Carroll; “I thought myself quick in discoveries of
this tender kind, but must confess my dulness in this
instance. In the first place, I never so much as dreamed
of soft emotions arising in such olive-colored hearts;
and in the next, I know not by what signs to detect
them, where there are no eloquent blushes, no sweet
mutations of countenance, to indicate the feelings of the
soul.”

“What language is half so intelligible, so forcible,
so eloquent, as that of the eye!”
exclaimed the Major.
“You pretend to be a physiognomist, O’Carroll, an
observer of passions and emotions; yet complain of a
dark complexion, though animated by eyes whose every
glance is full of meaning and intelligence.”

“The eyes might be living diamonds, for aught I
know,”
said O’Carroll; “but the darkness of the setting
robbed them of their lustre.”

“You allow my favorite no beauty then,” said Grahame.

“Yes, much,” returned O’Carroll; “she has a form
of exquisite proportions, a natural grace and artlessness,
which are charming; and really fine features,
though her unlucky complexion prevents the beams of
intellect and feeling from being easily discerned; at
least, by one, unaccustomed to the Egyptian darkness
of her skin.”

3(5)r 33

“What beautiful hair she has,” exclaimed Amelia;
“so long, and soft; and black as the raven’s wing!”

“Yes,” said O’Carroll, “I should have admired its
black and glossy hue; but I unfortunately recollected
having heard, that these ladies of the forest, instead of
the perfumed oils used by our fair dames, anoint their
locks with the unction of the bear and woodchuck, and
I fancied Minoya’s was polished with this savory preparation.
The holly wreath and crimson berries did
mingle prettily with her raven tresses, I allow; but I
appeal to the company, if even this simple ornament
does not acquire new beauty by encircling a brow of
ivory, and shading a countenance, whose every emotion
is discernible through the delicate transparency of
the complexion.”

“You have wrought yourself quite into heroics,
Captain O’Carroll,”
said Catherine; and a deep blush
gave convincing proof of the mutability of her complexion,
while she lifted the holly wreath from her
brows, and placing it playfully upon his, said,

“Let us see how it becomes you; it is but fair that
we should take our turn in criticising.”

“Oh, my countenance is more immovable than the
marble features of that bust yonder,”
he said, snatching
off the wreath, and throwing it from him. “I never
even blushed in all my life, and never expect to.”

“And more’s the pity,” O’Carroll; “for I am sure
you have had ample cause to blush, many a time,”
said
Major Courtland.

“Never; never but once, upon my honor,” replied
the Captain. “And that once, Major, was when Burgoyne
surrendered; and then I believe, we all blushed,
at least we had reason to.”

The Major, who was slowly traversing the room,
just then came across the wreath, which the Captain
had flung upon the floor, and he expressed his displeasure
at O’Carroll’s allusion, by tossing it from him with
his foot, to the place, where Colonel Grahame stood.
O’Carroll smiled at the uniform irritability of the Major
upon this subject, while Grahame without appearing 3(5)v 34
to notice it, took up the wreath, observing as he
did so,

“This has been too highly honored to be treated
thus.”
O’Carroll and the Major were again engaged
in playful badinage, and as Catherine and Grahame
examined the wreath, and admired the glossy leaves,
he said, in a low and expressive tone,

“Their bright unchanging verdure, which continues
fresh and beautiful through all the seasons, seems to me
a lovely emblem of that pure and exalted sentiment
which unites so many happy hearts, and glows fairer
and brighter amidst the changes and adversities of life.”

He placed it gently on her head as he spoke; and
O’Carroll at that moment approaching, he bade them
good evening, and quitted the house before Catherine
had recovered from the surprise and confusion which
this little incident had caused her.

Chapter III.

“The love of a delicate female is always shy and reserved. Even
when fortunate, she scarcely breathes it to herself; but when otherwise,
she buries it in the recesses of her bosom, and there lets it cower
and brood among the ruins of her peace.”
Irving.

During the following week the visits of Colonel
Grahame
were daily repeated, and his manner was so
gay and unembarrassed, that the Major and O’Carroll
began to think their suspicions groundless, and to suppose
the trifling circumstances which had excited them
might all be satisfactorily explained, did not the Colonel
consider them too unimportant to claim a moment’s
notice.

Catherine, indeed, often recalled his confusion on the
evening of Minoya’s visit, and the more she thought of
it, the stronger became her conviction, that there was 3(6)r 35
mystery connected with it; though she rejected with
disdain, the idea that Grahame’s probity or honor could
be in the slightest degree involved. Gradually, however,
she ceased to dwell upon it; for Grahame, when with
them, seemed too happy to have any embarrassments,
and his looks, his manner, his pointed attentions to herself,
spoke a language so dear and flattering to her heart,
that, in the absorbing interest of her newly awakened
emotions, she had no leisure for suspicion or conjecture.
Even the watchful jealousy of Captain Talbot, who,
though still an invalid, had joined the family circle,
ceased to give her pain. She sought to persuade herself
that his frequent depression of spirits was attributable
to bodily indisposition, and that the gentle assiduity
of his manner towards her was nothing more than the
grateful impulse of a heart alive to the obligation of
kindness. Unwilling as she was to admit the truth,
there were moments, however, when it irresistibly
flashed upon her, and caused her the most exquisite
suffering. But she felt conscious that she had never by
word or look intentionally encouraged his passion, and
she strove to treat him with that uniform and ingenuous
kindness which she thought must tacitly convince him
that her sentiments were those of friendship only, and
could never be converted into feelings of a warmer
nature.

But we are never so easily deceived as by our hopes;
and Talbot, though continually racked with doubt and
jealousy, loved too fondly to despair. The smiles of
Catherine, and the endearing familiarity of her manners,
produced an effect far different from that which she
designed; instead of convincing him of the hopelessness
of his passion, they served to encourage his hope
and increase the warmth of his affection.

There was one, however, who watched with silent,
but deep solicitude, the progress of Talbot’s love; and,
though suffering, as only a heart which loves without
hope can suffer—endured with that fortitude, which in
the hour of trial the gentle sex are often found to possess,
the anguish of unrequited affection, and submitted 3(6)v 36
without a murmur, to the disappointment of her fondest
hopes.

The hereditary estates of Colonel Dunbar and Sir
William Talbot
were contiguous, and the strictest intimacy
had always subsisted between the two families.
During the years of childhood, their children had been
inseparable companions, and the affection which seemed
so strongly to unite them, had induced their parents to
wish that in maturer life a voluntary choice might unite
the young people in a dearer and more intimate connexion.
Though they prudently resolved not to mention
such a hope, lest it might influence inclinations
which they desired to leave wholly unbiassed on a subject
so momentous; yet it was often the theme of conversation
between Lady Talbot and Mrs. Dunbar, even
in presence of the little Amelia, whom they deemed too
young to comprehend the meaning of their words.

But young as she was, she had sense enough to understand
far too much, and to repeat it to her nurse, who
never afterwards suffered her to forget it; but, till she
came to years of discretion, used it as a threat; and
whenever the poor child committed an offence, would declare
master Talbot should be told of it, and he would not
choose a young lady who was so froward and self-willed.
Amelia, thus early taught to consider Talbot an object of
the first consequence and importance, felt proud of the
childish attachment which was so natural, and learned,
as she increased in years, to anticipate his returns from
school with a fluttering impatience and anxiety; while
the knowledge that they were designed by their parents
for each other, gave an awkward embarrassment to her
air, and divested her youthful face and figure of those
touching graces which are so lovely and attractive.

Talbot was surprised at the blushes, the silence, and
restrained manners of his once gay and playful companion,
and as her reserve rather increased than diminished,
he began to think her quite plain and uninteresting,
and wondered that he could have loved her so much,
and thought her so pretty, before he went to school.

4(1)r 37

In the mean time years rolled on, and when his college
education was complete, Talbot left England for
the continent. Before his return, Amelia had bloomed
into lovely womanhood. With her parents she visited
the capital, and mingled with the gay, the fashionable,
and the elegant; but still her heart turned fondly to the
beloved companion of her childhood, and she sighed
for the moment which should restore him to her, and in
their native shades they should renew those happy hours
to which she looked back with emotions of fond regret.

At length he arrived at Talbot Hall, handsome,
accomplished, and polished by his intercourse with the
world. But, at the first sound of his voice, the timid
girl trembled, and returned his graceful and cordial salutation
with so much awkward confusion, that the young
man, chilled and surprised by her manner, was compelled
to think himself an object of peculiar dislike to
her. This suspicion daily received fresh confirmation;
and feeling it unpleasant to be almost constantly in the
society of one who seldom addressed him, and who
shrunk blushing from the most common acts of civility,
he soon quitted his friends, and repaired to Ireland on a
visit to his uncle. Shortly after this period, he embraced
the military profession, and his visits to his
parents became of necessity brief and unfrequent. Of
course, Amelia saw comparatively little of him till they
met in America, to which country her father’s regiment
was ordered soon after the commencement of the war,
and whither that of Talbot’s followed in about six months.

Unable to divest herself of the embarrassment which
his presence created, she again met him with the same
appearance of coldness; and the contrast between her
restrained manners, and the frank, spirited, and graceful
countenance of her cousin, produced an irresistible effect.
Amelia observed it with exquisite pain. She saw
the delight with which he gazed upon the animated
features of Catherine, the pleasure which he felt in conversing
with her, and the absorbing interest which seemed
to bind him as with a spell of enchantment, whenever
she touchned the keys of her harpsichord, and accompaniedVol. II. 4 4(1)v 38
it by a voice of uncommon power and sweetness.
She would have given worlds for one particle of her
cousin’s self-command; but she struggled in vain to acquire
it; and at length convinced that she had no longer
a hope of gaining the heart, which unhappily she had been
taught to prize too highly, and stung by the consciousness
that she had become an object of indifference to
the being most dear to her on earth, she no longer made
an effort to appear animated; and whenever it was
possible to form an excuse for doing so, absented herself
from his society.

It was not till Captain Talbot became a member of
the family, after the affair of the skirmish, that Amelia
had acquired sufficient self-possession to appear with
any composure in his presence. She perceived that
Catherine did not return his preference, that her heart
was devoted to another; but she felt that she attracted
no portion of his regard, and this settled conviction imparted
a calm seriousness to her manner, far more interesting
than the perpetual blushes, averted eyes, and
faltering voice which had before rendered her so unattractive.

Catherine loved her cousin too much not to perceive
with regret, the state of her affections. She would not,
however, permit herself to view the case as a hopeless
one; and sensible that none could intimately know
without loving Amelia, she took every opportunity to
display to Talbot’s observation, the goodness of her
heart and the beauty of her mind, in the hope that his
affections, when weaned from herself, might rest themselves
upon her cousin. Amelia never mentioned her
unhappy love, and Catherine delicately forbore the most
remote allusion to it; but Amelia felt that it was known
to her cousin, and she often blushed to find herself always
appointed to administer to the amusement or the
comfort of the invalid, sensible of the motive which assigned
her so pleasing an employment, and too happy
in performing the task to be able to decline it.

On her own account, as well as on her cousin’s,
Catherine selected her to perform every kind and gentle 4(2)r 39
office during the Captain’s illness, and uniformly absented
herself from his apartment as much as was consistent
with the hospitality of a hostess. The morning
nosegay was presented by Amelia, her voice was the
first that inquired after him on rising, and the last that
saluted him before he retired. It was she who administered
his medicines, who presided at his solitary repasts,
who read to amuse him, and who, in short, was
ever hovering near to cheer and sooth his hours of
solitude and suffering.

Talbot often felt a pang of disappointment and regret
when he looked round, expecting to see Catherine’s
bright face, and met only the pensive glance of Amelia;
but he always checked this feeling, lest its expression,
even on his countenance, should wound the gentle girl,
who was so assiduous in promoting his comfort. He
could not but be grateful for her kind attention, and he
began to feel the sentiments of early friendship revive in
his heart. He thought her much prettier than she had
appeared to him before his illness, and sometimes fancied
that she had caught a few of her cousin’s graces. Once,
too, when he ventured to speak of her father, and alluded
to the happy days of their childhood, he thought
her almost lovely, as her eyes filled with tears, and she
looked upon him with a smile of tender pleasure.

Major Courtland was chagrined to observe, that his
daughter left so many gentle offices to another which
she should have performed herself. He was perplexed
to account for the indifference with which she received
the admiring homage of a man so entirely worthy of her
regard, and so formed by nature to captivate the most
fastidious heart. But unskilled in the caprices of the
gentle sex, he resolved to wait yet longer before he
questioned her on the subject; assured that Talbot
would make proposals before he quitted the house, to
which, even with Catherine’s lofty feelings on marriages
of convenience and affection, he thought she could make
no reasonable objection. But the Major’s sanguine
hopes were soon chilled, and he trembled lest they
were destined to be utterly destroyed.

4(2)v 40

He began to view with suspicion and alarm the devoted
attentions paid by Colonel Grahame to his daughter,
and with extreme chagrin, he read in her expressive
countenance the pleasure with which they inspired her;
a pleasure which he could never perceive that she derived
from those of Captain Talbot. With the anxiety
of parental affection, he closely observed her till not a
doubt existed in his mind of the hopelessness of Talbot’s
suit, and the decided preference which she gave to Grahame.
Disappointed in his fondest hopes, he was uncertain
how to act. He was too generous to treat with
coolness the man to whom he owed so many obligations,
whose virtues and talents bestowed on him a nobility,
which exalted him far above the adventitious circumstances
of rank and wealth, merely because he possessed
a heart susceptible to the power of those attractive
charms which made him the proudest and the happiest
of fathers.

And yet to renounce the hope of a union with one
possessed of rank, and wealth, and influence, the son of
a baronet, with a peer’s coronet in reversion, and give his
daughter to a plain unpretending republican, a rebel too,
whose sword was red with the best blood of Britain,—
it was intolerable, and his aristocratic pride could not
endure the thought. Yet he dreaded to thwart the
wishes of his child; to chase away those smiles which
were his delight, and shade the brightness of that open
brow which had never yet been saddened by sorrow or
disappointment.

He hoped her prepossession was not so firmly fixed as to
resist his wishes; at all events it would be time enough to
speak with her upon the subject, when one, or both of the
rival lovers should have made known their pretensions.

Catherine in the mean time, unconscious of what was
passing in her father’s mind, saw every object through
the enchanted medium of her own feelings, and fancied
every heart as light and gay as her own; though, perhaps,
if she had analyzed the nature of its motions, she
would have found cause for more serious reflection than
she was now disposed to indulge.

4(3)r 41

She welcomed the approach of Grahame with eyes
full of pleasure; the hours which he passed with her flew
on wings of down; and if ever the radiance of her countenance
became for a moment saddened, it was when
his parting footsteps died away upon her listening ear,
and she sighed from the consciousness that so many
long hours must intervene before they again met.

One evening, the usual hour of his appearance had
passed by, and Catherine, more disappointed than she
chose to acknowledge, refused to join the card table,
round which the rest of the circle were assembling;
and taking a book she seated herself at her work table,
in a corner of the apartment, remote from observation
or inquiry. But its pages were lifeless and uninteresting,
and soon throwing it aside, she rose and, almost
unconsciously, walked towards the window. O’Carroll
observed her, and read the secret of her abstraction.
With that spirit of mischief, which he loved so well to
indulge, he gaily exclaimed,

“Do you find the flowers peculiarly fragrant to
night, Miss Courtland; I observe you are attracted towards
them more frequently than usual.”

“Do mind the game, O’Carroll,” said the Major in
a petulant tone; “how do we stand now?”

“Six to their one,” returned the Captain, arranging
the counters; “we shall win the stake Major.”

“Yes and quickly too, if Talbot plays at that rate,”
said the Major; “why man, you have trumped over your
partner twice, and now have followed your adversary’s
lead.”

Talbot bit his lip, and Amelia suppressed a rising
sigh, while Catherine, painfully conscious that she was
the cause of his false play, returned to her seat, and
took up her netting. But the silk broke, and when she
had joined it, it became knotted and entangled; and
throwing it by, she resorted to her harpsichord for
amusement. This, however, was out of tune, at least
she fancied so, and as a last resource, she took up the
flageolet, which she touched with much skill and
sweetness. She had once played the tune, which Mi 4* 4(3)v 42
noya,
on the evening of her visit, had imperfectly performed,
and was again repeating it, when Colonel Grahame
suddenly entered.

He first saluted her, then after paying his compliments
to those around the card table, took his seat beside
her, and requested her to favor him with the beautiful
air, which his entrance had interrupted. She
hesitated, for she imagined he had not recognized it,
and feared it might awaken those emotions, which had
agitated him, when Minoya played it, But he pressed
her with so much earnestness, that she could not avoid
compliance, and she had no cause to regret it, since
her fears were not verified. Grahame listened with
breathless attention, and without discovering any other
emotion than that of extreme pleasure.

“It is a favorite air of mine,” he said, when she
had finished, “and though I have often heard it played
by skillful lips, it never before sounded half so sweetly
as now.”

Low as was the tone, in which he spoke, his words
did not escape the ear of the ever watchful O’Carroll,
who thinking it a good opportunity to unravel the mystery
connected with Minoya’s knowledge of the instrument,
said with affected carelessness,

“That is the tune, I think Colonel, which your
Indian friend plays; a rare accomplishment for a
savage, truly!”

Grahame looked rather disturbed, but replied directly.

“You forget that she is nearly civilized, Captain;
and, perhaps, are not aware that these Indians imitate,
with wonderful facility, whatever pleases their fancy,
and are readily taught the arts and even the accomplishment
of life.”

And did you, Colonel, or Ohmeina, teach her to
play upon the flageolet, with so much sweetness,”
asked
O’Carroll, with an air of nonchalance.

“I really thought her performance quite miserable
and imperfect,”
said Grahame.

4(4)r 43

“Did you so;” returned O’Carroll. “Then I suppose
she had no instructer but Ohmeina, who having
taught her to pipe upon a reed, she found it no difficult
matter to blow through the hole of a flageolet.”

Grahame made no reply, evidently to the disappointment
of O’Carroll, who by some farther observations,
attempted to renew the subject. But the Colonel
disregarded his remarks, or answered them, with
a brevity and coldness, which showed him displeased
with the inquisition of O’Carroll, and resolved not to
gratify his curiosity.

Catherine, urged by Grahame, again touched the
keys of her harpsichord, and found them more attuned
to harmony, than she had fancied them, before his entrance.
He joined his voice with hers, in many of his
favorite airs, and, in the intervals of music, their conversation,
their attention, their thoughts even, were
devoted so exclusively to each other, that they seemed
unconscious of the presence of any other persons.

O’Carroll had gradually become so deeply interested
in the game, as to confine his attention entirely to it;
but the Major remarked, with pain, the abstraction and
uneasiness of Captain Talbot, and but too well informed
of the cause, he felt excessively vexed by the mutual
enjoyment, which Grahame and Catherine appeared
to derive from their uninterrupted tete-a-tete.

Supposing themselves quite disregarded by the card
party, they felt no longer the necessity of that disguise,
and reserve, which involuntarily restrained them, when
Catherine imagined that Talbot’s jealous eye was
upon her, and Grahame, that O’Carroll was watching
every word and look, which might furnish him food
for raillery, or a subject for grave remark and animadversion.
Their conversation was losing its desultory
character, and becoming serious and deeply interesting,
when it was suddenly interrupted by the abrupt entrance
of Ohmeina, whom Hugh ushered without ceremony
into the parlor.

With his usual profound gravity, but somewhat less
than his accustomed moderation, the Indian saluted the 4(4)v 44
company, and then advancing to the Colonel, commenced
speaking in the Mohawk tongue, with an earnest
and rapid utterance. Grahame’s attention was
instantly rivetted, and an expression of concern and
anxiety marked his features, as Ohmeina continued
speaking. When he ceased, the Colonel answered
him briefly, and then prepared to take his leave, observing
only, that he regretted being compelled to quit
his friends at so early an hour. He then bade them
good night and departed.

It was however, much later than he imagined, and
as the last game at cards was just concluded, they
agreed to break up the table. For the last hour, no
one excepting O’Carroll had enjoyed the amusement,
and his inclination for playing longer, was now entirely
superseded by his intense desire to know the purport
of Ohmeina’s message, which had at once changed the
animated expression of Grahame’s countenance, and
called him so abruptly from them. He hazarded a
thousand wild conjectures, which he was suffered to
express without interruption. The Major however,
who in uncommonly ill humor was rapidly traversing
the apartment, at last exclaimed, with an air of bitterness,

“For a man of truth, honor, and courage, this redoubtable
Grahame is shrouded in a great deal of mystery!
I confess I do not like it at all; I feel my confidence
very much weakened by the night walks, the
broken hints, cloudy looks, and above all, by the gibberish
of this barbarous Mohawk, which sounds like
the very language of treachery and darkness.”

Catherine, persuaded that whatever mystery might
appear to surround Grahame, he was too virtuous and
too honorable to be concerned in any unworthy transaction,
and that the suspicions of her father, were of
course unjust, felt hurt by the harshness with which
he had expressed himself, and raising her eyes calmly
to his darkeneing brow, she said,

“Perhaps, sir, the circumstances, which appear mysterious
in Colonel Grahame’s conduct, are such as it 4(5)r 45
would be improper for him to explain to us. They may
affect the interests of his country. In any event we
have no grounds for supposing them of a personal nature;
and being prisoners of war, cannot expect to be
admitted to share the secrets of the American camp.”

“It is a strange kind of military discipline,” replied
the Major, with an ironical smile, “which sends an
officer half a dozen miles, on a cold night, to talk with
a half civilized Indian, in a dark forest, when one
would think he might say all that was necessary,
especially if it concerns the public good, in his own
tent. It is stranger still, this playing of flageolets, this
concealing of names, this coloring and hesitation! No,
Kate; all the arguments in the world will fail to persuade
me there is not something wrong in this business;
and much as I owe to Grahame, and greatly as I have,
and still do admire his talents and his courage, I must
harbor my suspicions, till I find more cause than I am
like to have at present, for their dismission. Trust
me, this nonpareil of ours has a touch of frail mortality,
as well as the rest of us.”

Catherine leaned her head upon her hand, and remained
silent; for she saw, by her father’s countenance
and manner, that he was in no mood for pleasant
argument, and she was aware that her defence of
Grahame would only serve to increase his irritation.

O’Carroll, wary and observing, easily penetrated the
cause of Major Courtland’s ill humor; he had marked
its progress, from the moment of Grahame’s entrance;
and observed it to increase, with every glance he cast
towards the harpsichord, till it reach its climax, as the
color heightened on Talbot’s cheek, and the smiles became
brighter on those of the Colonel and his daughter.

It was indeed, galling to the Major’s pride, that
Catherine should prefer the attentions of a rebel officer
to those of a brave and loyal soldier; but that she
should view this rebel with complacency, while he labored
under suspicions which involved his character
in mystery, and neglect the affection of a virtuous and
honorable man, filled him with displeasure and anxiety. 4(5)v 46
The sudden entrance of Ohmeina, and the departure
of the Colonel, without assigning any explicit reason,
completed his chagrin.

O’Carroll, finding the gloom of the party quite uncongenial
with his feelings, took up his hat, and as the
evening was clear and bright, sallied forth upon a walk.
Talbot spiritless, and depressed by doubt and jealousy,
soon after retired; and Catherine was left alone with
her father and Amelia. The latter had ample food for
sad reflection; and imagining, from her uncle’s seriousness,
that he might wish to converse alone with Catherine,
she glided from the room unheeded by her cousin,
who in a pensive attitude, which she was seldom seen
to assume, pursued her meditations, for some time, in
uninterrupted silence.

Major Courtland, with quick and hasty steps, which
evinced the discomposure of his mind, pursued his
walk through the apartment. He several times looked
earnestly at his daughter, as if desirous to address her;
then turned away, with an air of hesitation, and again
almost in the act of speaking, approached her.

The neglected fire was nearly extinguished, and the
remaining brands were mouldering into ashes, when
Catherine, reminded by the chilly air of the apartment,
that the hour must be unusually late, rose from her
seat to retire. Major Courtland understood her intention,
and feeling that the opportunity must not be lost,
his anxiety to converse with her, conquered the repugnance
which he he had felt to give her pain. The
irritation of his mind had subsided; but the anxious
feelings of the father were more keenly alive than ever;
and as his daughter bade him good night and turned
to quit the room, he gently took her hand, and leading
her back to the sofa seated himself beside her.

“Indulge me a few moments longer with your society,
my dear Catherine,”
he said. “It is late, I
know, and the time which we might have spent in confidential
intercourse has been consumed in sad and
silent meditation.”

4(6)r 47

“Silent, but not sad, my dear father,” said Catherine,
somewhat startled by the seriousness of his manner.
“Why should it have been sad? we have nothing
to make us unhappy.”

“I have many anxious thoughts to make me so, my
dear girl,”
said her father. “But since the enlargement
of our family circle we know too little of each
other; that delightful intercourse, which was once so
dear to us both, seems quite suspended, and I sometimes
fear that other objects have stolen from me
those affections, which have been the balm and solace
of my life.”

“My dearest father,” exclaimed Catherine, “what
objects can ever supplant you in my affections? none
surely; to you I owe my first earthly duties, and happy
in your love, what else have I to wish for?”

“Nay my child,” returned the Major; “I am not so
unreasonable, so irrational, as to expect that I shall always
be the first and only object of your tenderness. I
have neither the right nor the inclination to require this
of you. I ask, I wish only to retain that filial confidence
and affection, which have made me the happiest
of fathers. I know that nearer and more tender claims
must one day, be made upon your heart; and I would
have it so. I would wish to see my Catherine filling
those sacred offices, and performing those endearing
duties, which her mother fulfilled with such undeviating
rectitude and fidelity. I would wish to see her form
the happiness of a virtuous and honorable man; and it
would gladden my heart to know, that when her natural
guardian shall be called to forsake her, he may
leave her in the arms of one, who will cherish her in
his bosom, and be to her a father, guardian and friend.”

“My dear father,” said Catherine, affected by the
earnestness of his manner, and unable to determine for
what purpose he thus addressed her; “why do you
speak to me so seriously upon this subject? It is one,
upon which I have scarcely yet thought; upon which,
at present, I have no occasion to think.”

4(6)v 48

“It is for that very reason, my love, because you
have not yet thought of it,”
said the Major, “that I
now venture to press it upon your notice. I fear, my
dear girl, you are sadly ignorant of your own heart,
and I wish to awaken you to an examination of it; I
wish, if possible, to learn from your own lips that my
fears are premature and groundless.”

“Father, I do not comprehend you,” replied Catherine.
“I find nothing in my heart which threatens its
peace or ought to alarm your fears; nothing that I would
not willingly have you know, as you have known all my
thoughts and emotions since I was capable of repeating
them to you.”

“And is there nothing in the eloquent language of
Colonel Grahame’s countenance, nothing in the unequivocal
tenderness and devotion of his manner, which
ought to alarm you?”
asked her father. “Can you see
him, and not be conscious of the love which he makes
no effort to conceal! and can you tacitly permit and
encourage this love without asking your heart, who is
this, to whom I am yielding my earliest affections, and
to whose trust I am committing my dearest hopes of
happiness? Catherine, I have watched with the deepest
anxiety the dawning and the progress of this fatal passion;
and as a friend, as a father solicitous for the welfare
of the object dearest to him in life, I think it my
duty to warn you of your danger; and to entreat you to
deliberate before you resolve to sacrifice the peace of
your future days to the impulse of a youthful, but ill-
judged affection.”

Catherine did not immediately reply; she bent her
head upon her bosom, and burning blushes crimsoned
her face. The veil which had so long hidden her heart,
was suddenly rent away, and she was overwhelmed by
the secret it revealed. Still unwilling to believe the
emotions which she felt for Grahame were of the nature
which her father apprehended, she sought to attribute
them to a less tender cause, and rapidly recalled every
instance of his kindness which demanded a grateful
return, and the peculiar harmony of their sentiments on 5(1)r 49
many, and certainly on one important subject, which
chiefly led her to delight in his society. With the
sophistry of a heart which tenderly loves, yet fears to
acknowledge even to itself that it does so, Catherine
having thus explained to herself the nature of her sentiments
for Grahame, looked up, and replied, in a calm
voice,

“Why, my dear father, because you see me take pleasure
in the society of a rational and well informed man,
should you suspect me of cherishing for him any sentiments
more tender than those of friendship and esteem?
We owe Colonel Grahame much, and you have ever
taught me to esteem the brave, the virtuous, and good.
Our opinions, it is true, are similar, and of course we
feel a pleasure in conversing with each other, which
cannot exist where there is great diversity of sentiment
and feeling. The ardor of his character, which prompts
him to express himself enthusiastically on trifling points,
may have led you into error; and the courteousness of
his manners, which form so striking a contrast to the formality
and reserve of Captain Talbot and the reckless
gaiety of O’Carroll, may have induced you to imagine
them peculiar and devoted.”

The Major looked at her a moment in silence, and
firmly and calmly as she had spoken, her eye sunk beneath
his steady gaze, and a transient blush flitted over
her cheek. He observed it, and the confidence which
the earnestness and apparent candor of her words had
inspired, was weakened by these symptoms of embarrassment.
He knew the purity and ingenuousness of
her mind too well to suspect her of intending to deceive
him; but he sighed from the painful conviction that she
was deeply, he feared fatally, deceiving herself.

“God grant that it may be as you say,” he replied;
“for I would not willingly have it otherwise. Grahame
may be the very soul of honor, and worthy even to possess
the treasure of your love; but there is a mystery
around him which does not please me, and which no
man of delicate feelings would suffer to remain in the Vol. II. 5 5(1)v 50
view of friends, were it in his power honorably to dispel
it.”

“I cannot think it charitable or generous, my dear
father,”
said Catherine, “to condemn an individual for
one trifling circumstance, which, though incomprehensible
to us, might perhaps be fairly explained, were he
at liberty to speak of it: an individual too, whose conduct
in every other point of view is unexceptionable,
and whose character we well know stands high among
his countrymen and intimate friends.”

“We do not know enough of the matter to argue
upon it,”
said the Major, coldly; “and therefore we
will discuss it no farther, but leave the mystery for time
and circumstances to develope. I had several things to
speak with you about; but I hear O’Carroll in the hall,
and we must defer our conversation to another opportunity.
Retire now, my love; you are weary, and the
Captain will excuse you.”

He kissed her tenderly, and, glad to escape from the
gaiety of O’Carroll, which she never felt less inclined
to encounter, she hastily quitted the room. She met
the Captain as she retreated, but without stopping to
speak to her, he hastily entered the parlor, and closed
the door after him with violence. Catherine, however,
disregarded the peculiarity of his manner, and, absorbed
by agitating reflections, passed on to her own apartment.

Chapter IV.

“Be thy intents wicked or charitable, Thou comest in such a questionable shape, That I will speak to thee.” Shakspeare.

When O’Carroll left the house, after the departure
of Colonel Grahame, he designed only to stroll for a 5(2)r 51
short time around the garden; but the uncommon beauty
of the evening induced him to extend his walk, and almost
before he was aware of having passed the gate, he
found himself pacing the familiar path which skirted the
borders of the forest. Ruminating on the perplexity
of Grahame’s conduct, and frequently casting his eye
forward, as if he again expected to descry him, again
holding a mysterious conference beneath the spreading
branches of some stately tree, O’Carroll walked slowly
on, and had attained a considerable distance from the
garden, when suddenly the sound of footsteps reached
him from behind, and he turned quickly round to ascertain
who, besides himself, was traversing that solitary
path.

The moon was just rising, and by her partial light he
discovered, at a few yards’ distance, a figure closely
wrapped in a large cloak, moving slowly along the path.
The idea of Grahame or Ohmeina instantly occurred
to him; but a second glance at the person informed him
he was shorter and stouter than either of them; and he
would of course have then supposed him some idle
stroller, who, like himself, had come forth to enjoy the
beauty of the evening; but the very uncommon manner
in which his face and figure were concealed, the former
by a broad brimmed hat slouched completely over it,
and the latter by the folds of an ample cloak, awakened
his surprise and curiosity. He was struck, too, by finding
himself an object of regard to the stranger, who,
when he stopped, stopped also, and when he went on,
followed him at the same measured distance, without
attempting a nearer approach.

O’Carroll was surprised, but felt no fear; for he wore
a dirk, with which he knew he could defend himself
against the attack of one person. Aware, however, that
he might have comrades in the forest, waiting to join
him at a given signal, the Captain, though at first resolved
to address the man, and demand the cause of his
following him, judged it most prudent to return within
view of the house before he questioned him, that in case
of assault, he might if necessary summon assistance. In 5(2)v 52
order to effect this purpose, he must either turn directly
upon the stranger and pass him in the narrow path, or
avoid him by taking a circuitous course, which struck
him as wearing an air of cowardice, from which his
native courage revolted.

He therefore turned boldly round, and advancing with
a firm and lofty step towards his strange pursuer, was
just in the act of passing him, when the man turned also
and walked in silence by his side. O’Carroll’s blood
was instantly on fire; for it was now sufficiently evident
that he was an object of pursuit to this person; and
enraged to find his private walks designedly invaded,
and his footsteps followed by the impertinent curiosity
of an insolent stranger, he turned fiercely towards him,
exclaiming in an imperative tone,

“Who are you, sir? and how dare you follow me
with such persevering insolence?”

“The path is free to us both,” replied the man doggedly;
“and I shall walk in it so long as it pleasures
me to do so.

“But not by my side,” exclaimed O’Carroll, still
more inflamed by his reply; “at least, if you value your
safety; for I have a weapon here which has chastised
the insolence of many a villain before now, and I will
try its temper upon yet another, unless you quickly go
your own ways, and leave me free of your impertinence.”

“Methinks a man who wears his sword only by
sufferance, should not be over zealous to boast of its
courage,”
retorted the stranger, with a sarcastic sneer;
“since, too, he is forbidden to draw it from the scabbard,
where his victors have decreed that it shall rest,
it is like to do him little service in case of need.”

“I am not forbidden to draw it upon insolent villains
like you,”
exclaimed the enraged O’Carroll, and as he
spoke he drew the dirk from his belt and turned its glittering
point with a threatening gesture towards the breast
of the stranger.

But without shrinking from the weapon, he exclaimed
in the same tone of cool and provoking irony,

5(3)r 53

“Strike, Captain O’Carroll! Since you can no longer
aid the cause of your insulted country, plunge your steel
in the breast of her defenders, and prove that you can
as readily forget her love and renounce her interests as
you have forgotten the love, the remembrance even, of
one who lived but for you, and would have given up
her life to save you!”

O’Carroll’s arm fell nerveless by his side, and with
a look of unutterable astonishment he bent his flashing
eye upon the speaker; but the cloak, the slouching hat,
the folds of the handkerchief, which was bound around
the lower part of his face, and the deep shade of the
trees, beneath which they walked, effectually concealed
every lineament of his countenance and figure. O’Carroll
was distracted with doubt; and unable to endure
the suspense which agonized him, he exclaimed in an
impassioned voice,

“In the name of Heaven, tell me to whom you allude.”

“Is then the name of the gentle Marion, quite forgotten?”
returned the man with a tone in which reproach
and sarcasm were strangely blended.

“And who are you,” asked O’Carroll, almost doubting
if he heard aright, or if he were not under the influence
of a dream. “How have you become possessed
of the history of my life, and for what purpose have you
sought me in a manner so singular?”

The man answered only by a laugh, which for a moment
chilled the blood of O’Carroll; but the next
instant it rushed to his heart with more than usual impetuosity.
Inflamed with jealousy and suspicion, he
exclaimed,

“Reveal yourself instantly, or stand upon your defence.”

He turned towards the stranger as he spoke, who
retreated a few steps, and thrusting his hand hastily
beneath his cloak, replied,

“I am not defenceless, Captain O’Carroll, and though
I have no wish to injure you, I shall make deadly resistance
if assaulted. Put up your weapon, and let there
be no blood shed in our path to-night.”

5* 5(3)v 54

“Tell me your name, then,” said O’Carroll; “by
what means you obtained a knowledge of my name and
person, and why it is that you follow me. Above all,
tell me what you know of Marion Spencer, and why
you reproach me with forgetting one whom I have, alas!
too faithfully remembered.”

“And yet,” said the stranger, “you suffer another
to rob you of her love, and while you strive to forget
her, permit him to win the treasure which you once
thought beyond all price.”

“I think so still,” said O’Carroll, in a tone of anguish;
“but she is lost to me forever; I treated her unkindly,
and she fled from me to the arms of another.”

“I could tell you more on this subject than you seem
to know,”
said the man in a low voice; “but it is an
ill service to breed a quarrel between friends, and so
the matter had best rest here.”

“No, it shall not rest here,” exclaimed O’Carroll,
his feelings greatly excited by the stranger’s words;
“you have crept into my confidence, and now you
shall not quit me till you have told me the meaning of
your insinuations.”

“I did not seek your confidence,” said the man,
“nor did I even speak to you till you first addressed
me. I have seen you here many a night before; I have
never crossed your path or sought to attract your notice.”

“And why have you done so now?” asked O’Carroll,
irritated by the mixture of cunning malignity and irony
which marked the manner of the stranger. “I know
not why you should dog my steps and provoke me to
address you, unless you had some design to anwer by
it. All you have said was not worth so much trouble,
and I should have served you rightly at first had I
knocked off that slouching hat with the hilt of my
weapon, and humbled your insolence with its sharp
point.”

As if apprehensive that such was now the Captain’s
design, the man drew back, and instinctively raised his
hand to press his hat still more securely on his head;
but at the same time he said with great asperity,

5(4)r 55

“I have told you, Captain O’Carroll, that I had no
wish to injure you; and I still farther inform you, that
I would have warned you against one, who has more
power to injure you than I have; but you have chosen
to reward my good intentions with unprovoked threats,
and now I will leave you to reap the fruits of your injustice.”

“I may have been unnecessarily harsh,” said O’Carroll;
“but why did you provoke me to it by your mystery,
your broken hints, and the suspicious manner in
which you sought an interview with me? I did but
act on the defensive, which from appearances I judged
prudent. I will only add, if you have really any thing
important to communicate, and if your motives are indeed
as benevolent and disinterested as you pretend,
you will not suffer my unjust anger, or your own resentment
to hinder the performance of a duty.”

“We have wasted too much time in vain words already,”
said the stranger, in a tone which expressed
the continuance of his displeasure; “besides you might
not like my words, and so it is best to part without exchanging
any more.”

“Stop, I entreat you,” exclaimed O’Carroll, as the
stranger turned to leave him; “you spoke of Marion
Spencer
, and you will quit me, without explaining your
ambiguous allusion to her! Without informing me, if
indeed you know it, what has been her fate, and where
she now exists?”

“She is in safe keeping, depend upon it,” said the
man, with a diabolical laugh. “But Captain, if we
ever meet again, I recommend you to be more civil, if
you wish to learn any thing of her. I am not to be
bullied by your threats or cajoled by your flattery; and
if ever I shall communicate what, but for your insults,
I had proposed to tell you this night, it will be to obtain
revenge on one who has injured me, and not to
benefit you, to whom I owe no favor. So, good night,
go home and dream of the pretty Marion, and the next
time you choose this path, leave some of your Hibernian
inflammability behind you.”

5(4)v 56

He darted away as he finished speaking, and disappeared
among the thick trees of the forest. Vexed
and disappointed, O’Carroll stood for a few minutes
gazing after him, but feeling how vain would be the attempt
to follow him, he turned to retrace his steps
home. Just as he did so, a horseman passed rapidly
along a narrow lane, which led from the highway
through fields and valleys, to the skirts of the forest,
where it joined the foot path at the point, near which
O’Carroll now stood. By the clear light of the moon,
which shone full upon the figure of the horseman, he
found no difficulty in recognising Colonel Grahame.

But the Captain was in no mood to speculate upon
his appearance, at that time, and in that place; and
without attempting to make himself perceived, he pursued
his way home, and entered the house, just as the
conference between Major Courtland and his daughter
was terminating. He found the Major in no very conversable
mood; though he seemed somewhat aroused
by the singularity of O’Carroll’s recital, he did not give
that entire heed to it, which it seemed to demand. In
truth he had discovered his young friend to have such a
passion for adventure, that he forced every incident
however trifling to assume the form of one.

He however did not suppose the circumstances,
which the Captain now related, to be inventions of his
own; but he allowed much for the exuberance of his
imagination, and thought it probable, that in due time
they would all be explained away, with as little difficulty,
as the song of the syren Indian, which had caused
them so many weeks of doubt and conjecture.

Though O’Carroll excused the unusual coldness and
abstraction of the Major, because, having remarked his
vexation in the former part of the evening, he attributed
it to the right cause, he could not but feel surprised
that his singular recital did not arouse him to an expression
of greater interest; but since it failed, he was
glad when a pause in the conversation afforded him an
opportunity of retiring. Weary with the Major’s pensive
mood, which did not at all harmonize with his own 5(5)r 57
state of excitement, he bade him good night, and crossed
the hall to Talbot’s apartment, resolving, late as it
was, to seek his sympathy and counsel.

Contrary to his expectations, he found the Captain
still up. A brisk fire was burning on the hearth, and
several open letters, with writing materials, were spread
upon a table which stood before it.

“Do I interrupt you?” asked O’Carroll, holding the
lock of the door still in his hand, and glancing doubtfully
towards the table.

“No, I am glad to see you; I have done nothing,
can do nothing to-night,”
said Talbot, as he shuffled
the letters together, and threw them into his writing
desk. Then placing a chair for O’Carroll, and drawing
his own towards the fire, he continued, “But to
what cause am I obliged for this late visit?”

“You shall hear with all speed,” returned O’Carroll,
“and I will be everlastingly obliged, if you can
assist me to unravel the mystery, or even to enlighten
it by a single ray of probability.”

He then circumstantially related the occurrence of
the evening, and Captain Talbot heard him with much
deeper interest and surprise, than had been manifested
by the Major, though he professed himself equally unable
to offer any rational conjecture on the subject.
The intimate knowledge, which the man had evinced,
both of O’Carroll and of Miss Spencer, seemed to them
altogether unaccountable. He had spoken, too, of some
one, who had the power and wish to injure O’Carroll,
and had declared himself to be actuated solely by a
desire of vengeance.

The more they considered these and every other
circumstance of the interview, the more they were perplexed.

“I cannot enlighten you at all, on this incomprehensible
subject,”
said Talbot at length, weary of discussing
it; “and can only advise you to say little
about it, and continue to frequent the path well armed;
for it is impossible to say what are the fellow’s designs;
when you see him again, perhaps you may be able to 5(5)v 58
obtain some more certain information, provided he has
any to give.”

“And if he has not,” said O’Carroll, “I will do
something more than brandish my weapon round his
head; the villain shall find it has a point, and a sharp
one too.”

“Nay,” said Talbot, “I caution you to profit by his
advice, and leave your ‘Hibernian imnflammability’ at
home, if you would hope to gain any thing from him.”

“Trust me, Captain,” said O’Carroll, “I will be as
wary as you please, so long as I find my caution like
to avail me; but if the villain is playing this trick for
his own sport, he shall bitterly rue the hour when he
first crossed my path.”

“I fear indeed,” answered Talbot, “that you will
do some rash thing. But recollect, that it will be
much wiser, by prudence and moderation to learn the
designs of this man, than to destroy all hope of ever
knowing what possibly may be of importance to you,
by a foolish and ill-timed quarrel. For it seems the
fellow is as combustible as yourself, and has no mind
to brook contempt or rebuke.”

“True, he went off like a skyrocket, at last,” said
O’Carroll; “but I have learned his metal, and promise
you to be more cautious in the next interview. But I
forgot to tell you, Talbot, that I saw Grahame, just
after this knave left me.”

Talbot started, as if electrized by the name. It
re-awoke those jealous emotions, which, during the past
conversation, had been transiently lulled; and before
he could reply, O’Carroll, without observing his emotion,
continued,

“I know not why Grahame haunts the precincts of
this forest so continually; but am inclined to think some
object of powerful interest allures him thither.”

“Perhaps,” said Talbot, and the romantic supposition
seemed to sooth his feelings,—“perhaps he has
some fair and gentle nymph concealed in its obscure
recesses. These rebel officers, with all their stern republicanism,
are not entirely free from courtly vices. 5(6)r 59
Some of them, as I have heard, are dashing gallants,
as adventurous in love as in arms.”

“Some of them may be,” returned O’Carroll; “but
Grahame is not one of these. In despite of all the
mystery which surrounds him, I would pledge my life,
upon his honor. I believe it stainless as his courage,
and I must have ‘confirmation strong,As proofs of Holy writ,’
before I yield to the suspicions, which Major Courtland
is so ready to encourage.”

“But you are often in and around the forest,” said
Talbot; “it is in fact, your daily resort; and have you
never discovered the place of Minoya’s abode? That
I should think might lead to some developement of the
affair.”

“Never,” said O’Carroll, “and if the Indians dwell
in the forest, they must be sheltered, I think, by a wigwam
of their own savage construction. And yet I assure
you, I should half suspect Grahame of some tender,
though no dishonorable entanglement, had I not
strong reason for believing his heart devoted to our
fair friend Catherine.”

“He love Miss Courtland!” exclaimed Talbot, coloring
with resentment; for though he had long been
fearful of the fact, he could not endure that another
should suspect it, and even venture to speak of it to
him,—which seemed, too, like a confirmation of what
he would fain have persuaded himself was a jealous
imagining of his own heart.

“Yes,” returned O’Carroll; “who that observes his
manner towards her,—who that witnessed the scene of
this evening, can doubt it? I would not wound you,
Talbot, by this assertion, but from motives of the purest
friendship. Knowing as I do, your sentiments of
Miss Courtland, I should esteem myself inexcusable,
did I not caution you against the indulgence of a passion,
which, I greatly fear, will prove only a source of
regret and unhappiness to you.”

5(6)v 60

“Your caution comes too late,” returned Talbot;
“for I confess to you my affections are no longer under
my own control. Perhaps I have reason to despair
of success with Miss Courtland; yet I am by no
means sanguine in the belief, that Colonel Grahame
will prove a favored rival. The high-spirited daughter
of the loyal and aristocratic Major Courtland, will never
stoop to ally herself with the nameless rebel, whose
sword has been turned against her father’s breast, and
is still crimsoned with the blood of her countrymen
and friends.”

“But you forget,” said O’Carroll, “that this nameless
rebel has saved her father’s life, soothed his hours
of suffering, and softened the shame of his defeat.
These are not services to be lightly regarded by such a
heart as Catherine Courtland’s. Besides, she views
him not as a rebel and a traitor, but as the brave defender
of an oppressed country, roused to resistance
by repeated injuries, and boldly and nobly struggling
for the enjoyment of those rights, which an arbitrary
monarch would wrest from them. She glories in the
spirit which animates this factious people, and is never
so animated, as when defending their principles and
conduct. I know not, indeed, if her patriotism is sufficiently
ardent, to resist the attractions of wealth, high
birth, and a conspicuous station; and if not, you certainly
stand the best chance to win the prize.”

“I would not,” said Talbot, “be indebted to my
situation, or, indeed, to any outward circumstance, for
the attainment of my wishes. But she is superior to
every sordid consideration, and I feel assured, that to
him only who shall be so happy as to win her love,
her heart and hand will be unconditionally given.”

“Catherine, to be sure, is a phenix among women,”
said O’Carroll; “but as it was in the days of Avon’s
tuneful bard, so it still remains, and we most of us
know from experience that, ‘Dumb jewels often in their silent kind,More than quick words, do move a woman’s mind.’”

6(1)r 61

“And so do you really think,” asked Talbot, awaking
from a momentary reverie, “that I ought to renounce,
as futile, the hope which I have so long and
fondly cherished.”

“I did not say that,” returned O’Carroll; “I would
only have you aware of Colonel Grahame’s passion,
and of those peculiar circumstances, which conspire
with his personal and mental attractions, to make him
a formidable rival.”

“I cannot,—will not believe it, till Miss Courtland’s
own lips declare it to me,”
exclaimed Talbot. “I see
nothing so resistless in this man, whom you seem to
consider too formidable for opposition; and if the high-
bred and elegant Miss Courtland is capable of renouncing
country and friends for the rebel Grahame, an act
so derogatory and unnatural will do much to blunt the
edge of my love, or, at least, to lessen the pain of its
disappointments.”

“But I have heard you speak highly of these
rebels,”
said O’Carroll; “and it is not long since
Catherine was praising your freedom from prejudice,
and exalting you above many others, for the generous
liberality of your sentiments.”

“A lover is a very camelion, as you well know,” returned
Talbot. “His feelings take their hue from
those of his mistress, and I was in duty bound to speak
with moderation of a people, whose praises were always
on her lips, though I will not do myself the injustice
to say, my only motive was to gain her favor.
I detest that spirit of recrimination, which is so common;
and I have been scarcely less disgusted, than
Miss Courtland herself, at the violence of Colonel
Dunbar
and other officers, who were in the habit of
visiting here, and who made the causes of the war
their whole theme of conversation, embellished, I assure
you, with all the bitterness and rancour which
party spirit could suggest.”

“Let us say what we will of the Americans,” returned
O’Carroll, “it is in vain to deny them courage and
constancy; and though I would not have the words pass Vol. II. 6 6(1)v 62
through the keyhole of that door, I just whisper in your
ear, that I begin to think their cause not quite so bad as
we have heretofore considered it.”

“Oh, it is shameful, unjustifiable, unnatural,” exclaimed
Talbot. “And none but a native of your rebellious
country, O’Carroll, would pretend to excuse it.”

“Many a staunch heart, and many a bold English
tongue has eloquently pleaded in its behalf,”
returned
O’Carroll. “But this is foreign to our subject, and we
will leave the argument till another time. I wish now
to inquire what course you intend to pursue with respect
to Miss Courtland?”

“To what do you advise me?” asked Talbot.

“Oh, I could not manage my own love affairs with
any discretion,”
said O’Carroll, with forced indifference;
“and of course I cannot pretend to offer any advice on
yours. But I tell you candidly, because I think it my
duty, that I believe Grahame loves Miss Courtland passionately,
and—and I—”

“Well,” interrupted Talbot quickly, “why do you
hesitate, and how am I to understand that threatening
‘and’?”

O’Carroll smiled, and answered in the words of his
favorite bard, “And to be plain,I think there is not half a kiss to choose,Who loves another best.”

“I will learn if you are right, though at the expense
of all my hopes,”
exclaimed Talbot, rising, and traversing
the apartment in extreme agitation.

“And what method will you take,” inquired O’Carroll,
“to ascertain the extent and proportion of affection
which the Colonel and Miss Courtland cherish for each
other?”

“I care nothing for him or for his passion,” replied
Talbot; “I wish only to learn if my hopes are to be
blighted in the bud, or if they may expand in the sunshine
of my lovely Catherine’s smiles. I can bear this
suspense no longer; and to-morrow I will request the 6(2)r 63
Major’s permission to learn my fate from the lips of his
daughter.”

“Do not be hasty, Talbot,” said O’Carroll; “if she
loves Grahame you will be rejected; so reflect well before
you subject yourself to this mortification.”

“If I am to be rejected, the sooner the better,” answered
Talbot; “but a secret hope whispers me that I
may prove successful.”

“You rely upon Major Courtland’s favor, and are
encouraged by the partiality which he evinces for you,”

said O’Carroll. “But, my dear fellow, it is a false support.
Catherine will accept no one repugnant to her
own wishes even to oblige her father; nor do I believe
that he would lay any restraint upon her inclinations,
however they might be at variance with his own.”

“Nor would I, Captain O’Carroll, consent to wed
her upon such terms,”
replied Talbot haughtily. “I
would force no woman to the altar, nor accept a heart
which was not voluntarily bestowed. If she is, indeed,
so infatuated as to love this rebel officer, the pain of resigning
her will lose its poignancy; and in time I may
learn to think of her with less regret than I have often
felt when I saw her rise to quit me during my illness.”

“You are the very man to be rejected,” exclaimed
O’Carroll. “Few can so readily find a balm not only
for mortified affection but for mortified pride; that deepest,
deadliest of wounds, which festers and gangrenes
with time, and so often arms the hand of its victim with
the weapon of self-destruction.”

“I shall not resort to such a desperate measure,” said
Talbot, “though you may well suppose my pride, brave
it out as I may, will be sorely touched;—to be rivalled
by this man; a leader of rebellion, a mover of sedition;
one, who, however brave, is resisting a cause which every
true English heart should honor and espouse, and who,
for that single reason, if there were no other, should be
to the high-minded daughter of a stern and devoted
loyalist, an object of suspicion and indifference, if not
of utter aversion.”

6(2)v 64

“Your passion makes you unjust,” said O’Carroll.
“Colonel Grahame is a man whom friend and foe must
both admire, and when this little rivalship is past, you
will acknowledge, Talbot, that so rare a union of graces,
virtues, and talents, are seldom or never to be met with.
No woman need blush to find herself won by him, and
no man can despise a rival so resistless.

“I have no particular fancy to be rivalled by any one,
far less by a rebel,”
returned Talbot. “He has subdued
me in arms, and I would not yield to him in love.
But to-morrow will decide. ‘Hope is a lover’s staff,’
and this night at least it will support me.”

Major Courtland at this instant crossed the hall on his
way to his own apartment; and hearing voices in Talbot’s
room, he rightly conjectured that O’Carroll was
still there. Stopping a moment at the door, he said
through the keyhole,

“It is past midnight, Captain, and Talbot will have all
Macbeth’s witches dancing round him, if you do not
cut short your tale of wonder.”

“It was ended long ago, Major, and we have discussed
half the affairs of the nation since then,”
said
O’Carroll, throwing open the door as he spoke. The
Major, however, declined entering; and advising the
young men to retire to bed, passed on to his apartment.
O’Carroll shortly after bade his friend good night, and
left him to follow the Major’s advice.

Chapter V.

“O, ’tis the curse in love, and still approved, When women cannot love where they’re beloved.” Shakspeare.

The resolution which Captain Talbot had so firmly
expressed on the preceding evening of declaring his 6(3)r 65
passion to Miss Courtland, was somewhat unsettled by
the representations of O’Carroll, and finally overthrown
by a night of cool reflection. He had long witnessed
with pain the devoted attentions of Colonel Grahame,
though he had sought to persuade himself that the smiling
complacency with which they were received by
Catherine was only the natural expression of courteous
and kindly feelings. O’Carroll had now dispelled his
wilful blindness, and compelled him, however reluctantly,
to admit the conviction, that her manner was
marked by more tenderness and bashful reserve, than
consorted with the rationality of mere friendship. Should
he then offer himself and be rejected, as from these circumstances
it seemed most probable he would be, his
situation would be exceedingly embarrassing, not only
to himself but also to Miss Courtland.

Colonel Grahame had once mentioned to him the
willingness of the American General, provided also that
General How consented, to exchange him for Captain
P――
, then a prisoner in Philadelphia. But Talbot
had no wish to remove from the society of Miss Courtland,
and was willing to remain a prisoner till the opening
of the spring campaign again called him to the field.
He of course heard Grahame’s proposition with so much
indifference that it was at once evident he had no wish
to accede to it; and the Colonel, accordingly, had never
mentioned it since. Under existing circumstances, Talbot
again recalled this overture, and wishing to secure
the means of retreat in case his fair one should repulse
him, he one day spoke of it to the Colonel. Grahame,
however, informed him that Captain P―― had been
exchanged a few days before; but that if he wished to
return to Philadelphia, the General would doubtless permit
him to go on his parole till an exchange could be
effected. Talbot thanked him, and resolved, in accepting
or refusing the offer, to be guided by the issue of
his suit.

But circumstances shortly revived his hopes, and led
him to fancy that he had misconstrued Grahame’s attention
to Miss Courtland. The Colonel’s visits were less 6* 6(3)v 66
frequent, and much shorter than formerly; his manners
seemed constrained, his air abstracted, and often sad.
Catherine, too, saw and felt this change; and it completely
drew aside the veil which screened her heart,
and which her father’s anxious hand had only partially
withdrawn. But she had too much maidenly pride, too
much delicacy and dignity of mind, not to conceal from
every eye, but chiefly from that of Grahame, the pain
which the change in his manners caused her. She was
in truth deeply mortified to feel herself so much wounded
by it; and resolving not to yield to emotions of which
she was ashamed, she struggled for cheerfulness, and so
successfully preserved it, that no one would have suspected
her of cherishing deep and silent regrets. Towards
Grahame she exhibited less of that winning and
delightful frankness which had heretofore marked her
manners; but her reserve was tinctured with a softness
which touched him deeply, and which was prompted
by a secret conviction that his estrangement was the
result of some melancholy necessity, which it was kinder
to sooth with pity than to aggravate with unjust censure.

Captain Talbot, with eyes of a jealous rival, observed
all that passed before him, and willing to judge
as unfavorably as possible of Grahame, unhesitatingly
pronounced him trifling, inconstant, and capricious.
Assured, too, by the unchanged vivacity of Catherine’s
manner, that she was indifferent to the Colonel’s conduct
or motives, Talbot felt encouraged to open his suit;
and one morning, finding the Major alone in his library,
he avowed to him his love and his hopes; and with the
fervid eloquence of true affection, entreated him to sanction
them.

The Major did not attempt to conceal the pleasure
which Captain Talbot’s proposals gave him; and he
promised to do and say every thing which might ensure
his success with Catherine. Still he had many doubts,
fearing as he did, that her heart was fixed upon another;
but he said nothing to damp the ardor of the young
man’s hopes, nor was he himself aware how much he 6(4)r 67
relied on the devotedness of her filial affection, for the
accomplishment of his wishes.

Talbot waited only for the Major’s approbation of his
suit, when, agitated by contending hopes and fears, he
sought Miss Courtland, to learn from her lips the sentence
of his fate.

She heard him without surprise; for she had long
been prepared for the unwelcome declaration; and the
fabric of Talbot’s fondly raised hopes was at once destroyed
by her firm and decided rejection. Yet the
gentleness of her manner, and the sweetness with which
she assured him of sincere regard, robbed the sentence of
half its bitterness; and though hurt, mortified, and disappointed,
he left her without one feeling of resentment,
and animated, if possible, by still higher sentiments of
admiration and esteem.

As he retired, Major Courtland met him in the hall,
and immediately read in his agitated countenance the
unfortunate issue of his suit. The Major had no reason
to hope otherwise; but still he had cherished sanguine
wishes; and now the sudden disappointment was keener
than he was prepared to meet composedly. Yielding to
the feelings which it inspired, he seized Talbot’s hand,
exclaiming with vehemence.

“Do I read your looks aright, Talbot? has she disappointed
us.”

“I have no right to be disappointed,” returned the
Captain, with an assumed composure; but I confess
myself deeply, fatally so.”

“Ungrateful girl, thus to blast my fondest expectations,”
exclaimed the Major; “but I will reason with
her, and yet convince her of her folly.”

He was moving towards the parlor door, when Talbot
stopped him.

“Do not speak harshly to her,” he said; “do not
even censure her; she has acted from principle, and I
only am blamable in having presumed on the friendship
which she expressed for me.”

“Pshaw!” exclaimed the Major pettishly; “I am
too old to understand this disinterested love; tell me, if 6(4)v 68
you will yet have the girl, and it shall be my task to
remove all difficulties out of the way.”

“You cannot remove them, Major,” returned Talbot;
“for you cannot inspire her with affection for me; and
passionately as I love her, I would not accept her without.”

“I know no reason why she may not be made to love
you,”
said the Major; “if there is any, I desire to be
informed of it, and will quickly decide if it is so utterly
insuperable. I would not force her inclinations; neither
would I on an affair of so much consequence to her future
welfare, yield to a foolish and imaginary whim;
and heaven knows her silly sex are full of vain fancies
which ought to be purged away by the wisdom of ours.
Though Kate is as free from them as most women, she
is sometimes misguided as well as others. But we will
soon see if that is the case now.”

He left the Captain as he concluded, and proceeded
towards the parlor; while Talbot, hoping nothing, wishing
nothing, even from his interference,—for he was too
true and noble a lover to accept the person without the
affections of his mistress,—pursued his way to his own
apartment, anxious only lest the Major in his zeal might
wound the feelings of Catherine, and induce her to
think it was through his intercession that she was thus
assailed.

Catherine was standing on the same spot and in the
very attitude as when Talbot left her; but her father’s
entrance disturbed her reverie; and returning to her
seat, she silently resumed her work. The Major took
several turns through the apartment, then threw himself
into a seat beside her; and undetermined in what manner
to open his conversation, began carelessly to turn
over the contents of her work basket.

Absorbed by her own reflections Catherine scarcely
observed him, till he took up a slip of paper, and after
closely examining the writing which it contained, abruptly
asked,

“Whose scribbling is this Kate? and what is the
meaning of it?”

6(5)r 69

Catherine looked up, and colored slightly, as she
replied,

“It is the translation of an Indian song, father.”

“And have you learned enough of the barbarous
dialect of the savages,”
asked the Major, “to render it
into such good English, and such fine poetry too?”

“I know nothing of it, father,” said Catherine; “at
least nothing except a few common words, which I
have heard the Indians use occasionally.”

“Indeed!” said her father, “and whose translation
may this be?”

A blush of the most vivid crimson overspread her
face, as she replied,

“Colonel Grahame translated the song for me, father,
because he thought it very pretty in the original, and
heard me express my wish to know the words, when
the Indians sung it.”

“Colonel Grahame is very obliging! exceedingly
kind indeed!”
exclaimed the Major, in a sarcastic
tone; and throwing the paper from him, with a smile
of disdain, he rose and walked rapidly to the window;
but almost instantly returning, he stopped before Catherine,
and fixing his eyes steadfastly upon her, said with
a significant accent,

“Catherine, I met Captain Talbot just now in the
hall!”

She understood her father’s meaning, but uncertain
in what manner to reply, she remained for a moment
silent, and he continued,

“And I was hurt to find that the dearest hopes of
a heart so worthy of all love and confidence, should
be thus early blighted by the hand, which I most anxiously
wished should cherish and mature them.”

“Father, it could not be, consistently with my own
wishes and inclinations,”
replied Catherine; “and emboldened
by the indulgence which you have always
shown me, I ventured in this instance to consult them.
I knew that even Captain Talbot’s happiness was far
less dear to you than that of your only child.”

6(5)v 70

“It is, indeed, so dear to me,” returned the Major,
“that I would gladly see it secured by a union so desirable.”

“In a worldly point of view it doubtless is desirable,”
returned Catherine; “but my dear father knows from
experience that the most pure and permanent felicity
results from a union of mind, heart, and sentiment.”

“I do not conceive it indispensable to happiness,”
said the Major, to be always of one mind, or to love
with the foolish passion of romance.”

“Neither do I,” said Catherine; “but there should
at least be a feeling of preference to sanction a connexion
so solemn. I despise those cold and selfish
hearts which can deliberately enter into the most sacred
and endearing of all relations from motives of low and
sordid policy alone.”

“And so do I,” returned the Major, “when such
are the only motives; but in this world of calculation
interest must not be wholly disregarded; where, too,
there is every qualification, both personal and mental,
to command admiration and esteem, the disordered suggestions
of a capricious fancy, ought never to sway the
calm and candid decision of a rational mind.”

“You are certainly right, my dear father,” said Catherine;
“there is no case of the kind in which mere
fancy ought to govern our decision; but there are some
in which, unaccountable as it may seem, the perverse
heart feels it impossible to return the love of an amiable
object, even though gifted with every quality which is
lovely and desirable.”

“I know of but one,” said the Major, “and that, if
I understood you right in our last conference, is not
yours. A prepossessed heart may be indifferent to all
save the object of its affections; but I can imagine no
reason but mere womanly caprice, why one which is
free and disengaged, should unhesitatingly reject a man
of birth and education,—a man, in short, like Captain
Talbot
.”

Catherine made no reply; but sensible that her father
was keenly observing her, she bent her head over her 6(6)r 71
work, though she could not hide the blushes which dyed
both neck and brow with crimson. The Major was by
no means pleased with this embarrassed silence; and
resolving to hear from her own lips the cause of Talbot’s
rejection, he again addressed her:

“You assign no reason, Catherine, for your aversion
to Captain Talbot; and as I have never before known
you to act without a sufficient motive, I am constrained
to believe there is one which, for the first time in your
life, you think proper to conceal from me.”

Catherine raised her eyes to her father’s face; but
they instantly sank beneath his piercing glance; and
though oppressed by the most painful and embarrassing
emotions, she conquered them by a powerful effort, and
replied in a playful tone,

“I have told you, dear father, there were some perverse
feelings for which we cannot account even to ourselves;
and it may be the influence of these, or perhaps
my want of taste and discernment, which renders me
insensible to the attractions of Captain Talbot.”

“Do you speak with your accustomed candor, Catherine?”
asked her father, with a look which again covered
her ingenuous face with blushes; though with
admirable self-possession she maintained her playfulness
of manner, as she replied,

“Dear father, does my rejection of Captain Talbot
seem to you so very strange, that you must persist in
doubting the only reason in my power to give?”

“You have given me none,” returned her father;
“for I will not dignify with the name of reason the
caprice by which you do not deny yourself to have
been actuated. And, I confess, it does seem passing
strange to me, that a man of Captain Talbot’s pretensions
and attractions should fail of success in his addresses
to a lady whose affections were not preoccupied.
Will you have the goodness to inform me what you find
in him so very objectionable?”

“There is nothing in Captain Talbot to which the
most fastidious would object,”
said Catherine; “the
woman who is won by him will fill a happy and enviable 6(6)v 72
station; and had I a sister or a friend who was dear
to me, I could not wish her a happier destiny than that
of loving and being loved by such a heart as Talbot’s.”

“And yet,” said her father, “you voluntarily, and
without cause decline this happiness. Catherine, I cannot
understand this inconsistency of word and action.”

“It is no inconsistency, father,” returned Catherine,
“I said it would be a happiness for the woman who
loved him.”

“But not for you?” said her father; “am I to understand
you so, Kate?”

Catherine looked up with a timid smile and answered
in these beautiful words of Shakspeare.

“I cannot love him. Yet I suppose him virtuous, know him noble, Of great estate, of fresh and stainless youth, In voices well divulged, free, learned, and valiant, And in dimension, and the shape of nature, A gracious person; but yet I cannot love him, He might have took his answer long ago.”

“He might, perhaps, have took his answer long
ago,”
said Major Courtland, who, with an air of ill concealed
impatience, had listened to the quotation; “but
I greatly doubt if its import would have been what it
now is. Circumstances alter cases, Catherine.”

“They do, sir,” she replied; “but I assure you, with
sincerity, that I have never known the time when I
would have accepted Captain Talbot’s addresses; nor
would I do him the injustice to accept them, with my
present feelings. He is worthy of the warmest and most
exclusive attachment, which, whenever I form such a
connexion, I wish to bestow on the object of my
choice.”

“I do not wish to force your inclinations, Catherine,”
said her father; “but I confess it would greatly increase
my happiness to see you united to so deserving
a man, as Captain Talbot. I will say nothing of the advantages
attending such a union, though they are by no
means trifling, nor ought they to be disregarded; nor
would they be disregarded, did you not labor under 7(1)r 73
some strange delusion. A few weeks ago, I should
have been at no loss, in detecting the real cause of your
indifference; but that, I think, cannot exist now; for
the affection of a trly delicate woman will not, ought
not to survive the caprice, coldness, neglect even, of a
declared lover; and from one, who has only intimated
his attachment by insinuating attentions, and ambiguous
hints, such conduct is contemptuous and insulting; and
must at once destroy the very root of affection.”

“My sentiments towards Captain Talbot, sir,” replied
Catherine, with an air of mild, but firm dignity, “are
not the effect of delusion, nor are they in the least degree
influenced by those which I may entertain for any
other person. I regard him as a friend, I admire him
as a man, but I cannot feel for him that interest and affection
which alone could warrant my receiving his addresses.”

“I hate this prating about mutual affection and disinterested
love,”
said the Major, in a tone of chagrin;
“it is only worthy of the babbling tongue of a novel
reading school girl; and I thought you, Kate, superior
to such nonsense.”

“If it is nonsense, father,” she replied, “to decline
the addresses of a man to whom one is perfectly indifferent,
and to wish that a connexion for life should be
cemented by pure and well founded affection, then I
acknowledge myself not at all superior to the charge, nor
in the least degree anxious to become so.”

“But there is still another charge,” said the Major,
“which were I to make explicitly and directly, your ingenuity
would not assist you to evade, nor your conscience
permit you to deny. But I know your candor,
Catherine, and I will not extort from you the confession,
which I fear your love of truth would compel you
to make, were I inclined to urge my investigation. My
suspicions, however, may be unfounded, and I will only
ask you to convince me that they are so, by taking into
consideration the subject of Talbot’s attachment, and
returning me, if possible, a favorable answer at the termination
of a week or ten days from this period.”

7 7(1)v 74

“My dear father,” returned Catherine, “I would do
any thing that you desire, consistent with right principles;
but to take into consideration a subject, on which
I have finally and unalterably decided, would be to rekindle
hopes which I have once extinguished, and must
again with seeming wantonness destroy.”

“Perhaps, my dear,” said her father, “longer reflection
may induce you to cherish and encourage them,
and convince you, that you have too hastily resolved to
blight the germs of Talbot’s opening affection.”

Catherine shook her head. “Do not urge me on
this subject, dear father, nor make me, from a wish to
oblige you, unjust to Captain Talbot. I am convinced
that time and reflection will but confirm my decision;
it were therefore useless as well as ungenerous, to keep
alive those expectations which I can never conscientiously
fulfil.”

“Then you have resolved to disappoint the hopes I
have so fondly cherished,”
exclaimed her father, in a
tone of displeasure; “and from a foolish whim, or what
is still worse, from a more foolish partiality for a capricious
rebel, you persist in declining an alliance, which
combines every advantage that the most fastidious fancy
could desire.”

“Father, you were not wont to judge me so harshly,”
said Catherine, with a blush of offended pride and delicacy;
“if ever I differed from you in sentiment or opinion,
your love found for me a ready excuse, and led you
to believe I was uninfluenced by trifling or improper
motives. But now you are hasty in condemning me;
and though I have offered a reason for my rejection of
Captain Talbot, you persist in imputing it to a cause,
which you have no grounds for suspecting.”

“Assure me, Catherine,” said the Major, “that your
preference of Colonel Grahame has not induced your
rejection of Captain Talbot, and I will say no more
upon the subject.”

“I do assure you, sir,” she answered, “as I have
before, that no prepossession whatever has in the least
degree affected or influenced my conduct towards Captain 7(2)r 75
Talbot
. I thought, father, you knew me too well
to suppose I would, unsought, yield up my affections to
any one. I have been taught to control them, and
pride, were there no stronger motive, would forbid my
bestowing them unasked.”

“I confess, my dear girl,” said the Major, “I have
no reason to doubt your prudence or your delicacy;
but affection renders me anxious, and perhaps suspicious.
This Grahame, too, is the very man to be dreaded;
he has all the fascinations which most easily captivate
the unguarded heart of woman; and he is the last
person, on almost every account, to whom I would see
my daughter united. I never see him of late, without
cursing the northern campaign and all its train of disasters.”

“I regret,” returned Catherine, “that even the solicitude
of parental love should render you unjust to a
man, who once stood so high in your estimation, and
who certainly demands not only our gratitude for his
services, but our esteem and admiration for the many
virtues which brighten and exalt his character.”

“I would not be unjust to him,” returned the Major;
“I know there is much to praise and admire in his
character; but there are some things in his conduct
which awaken suspicion and distrust. I could, however,
forgive these, because ignorant of their motives; but I
cannot overlook the seeming caprice, which has induced
him of late, to absent himself from the society of
friends whom he professed to esteem; and more than
all, I cannot pardon the ungenerous assurance, with
which, when he fancied he had gained your affections,
he shook off the courteous gallantry of a timid wooer,
and assumed the air of one who thought the prize he
had won not worth possession.”

“My dear father,” exclaimed Catherine, deeply hurt
and offended by his cruel injustice; “you color the
picture with your own prejudices; I can discern nothing
like arrogance or presumption in Colonel Grahame’s
manner; and though it may have become more pensive
and reserved, the change is to be ascribed to necessity, 7(2)v 76
to principle, to prudence, to any thing, sooner than
to the motives which you have imputed to him, and by
which, even were there any ground for such motives, I
believe him incapable of being actuated.”

The Major was about to reply with unusual severity,
as the bitter smile which curled his lip indicated, when
the subject of their conversation suddenly entered the
parlor. Catherine, conscious that her father was observing
her, strove in vain to appear gay and unembarrassed,
while the Major, too much excited, immediately to
recover his wonted cheerfulness, received the Colonel
with an air of formality and restraint, which however
did not surprise him, as he had of late been often treated
by him with coldness and reserve.

The Major, unable to control his feelings which had
been irritated by the conversation with his daughter,
and unwilling to display them before Grahame, after a
few cursory observations, pleaded as an excuse, the necessity
of finishing some letters, and quitted the room.

A short and embarrassing silence prevailed, for a few
minutes after he left them; but Grahame seemed anxious
to interrupt it, and said,

“The departure of Captain Talbot will make quite
a breach in your domestic circle, Miss Courtland.”

The abruptness of the remark startled her; but without
comprehending what Grahame meant by Captain
Talbot’s
departure, she thought only of the declaration
which he had that morning made, and fearing the Colonel
alluded to something connected with it, she blushed
deeply and said in confusion,

“I know nothing, I have heard nothing of it.”

Surprised by her blushes and her disorder, and aware
of Talbot’s attachment to her, Grahame was almost
ready to believe that it was mutual; and agonizing as
the suspicion was, he regretted, should such be the case,
having occasioned her a moment’s pain, and immediately
said,

“His departure, however, will not deprive you of his
society, since he is on parole and will doubtless visit
you frequently.”

7(3)r 77

The truth now flashed upon Catherine, and with a
look and tone which banished every suspicion of her
love for Talbot from Grahame’s breast, she asked,

“Is Captain Talbot then really resolved to leave us
so suddenly, and before we had received the least intimation
of his design?”

“I met him at the bottom of the avenue,” said the
Colonel, “and he requested me to obtain permission
for him to return to Philadelphia on his parole, till a
final exchange could be effected.”

“In our present limited society,” returned Catherine,
“the absence of every individual is felt, and Captain
Talbot
has been so long with us, that we shall miss him
greatly. He will be an irreparable loss to my father,
who is extremely attached to him, and so he would be
to his intimate friend, O’Carroll, had he not such a perpetual
fund of amusement and happiness in his own
gay and versatile mind, that no deprivation can long
sadden his enjoyments.”

“He possesses an enviable temperament indeed,”
said Grahame, “and, I should think, would be missed
from the domestic circle even more than Captain Talbot.”

“Much more,” said Catherine; “and I assure you,
Colonel Grahame, I look forward to the approach of
spring, with sensations far different from those, with
which I have ever before welcomed that delightful season.
It will deprive us of Captain O’Carroll, and
break up the little circle, in which I have this winter
enjoyed so much happiness.”

“It has been, indeed, a magic circle,” returned Grahame,
“within whose charming bounds, I would gladly,
had my country been at peace, have centered all
my thoughts, my wishes, my fondest and most cherished
hopes of happiness.”

Catherine neither raised her eyes, nor attempted to
reply; there was something in the impassioned tone of
Grahame’s voice, which agitated and subdued her; and
before she could recover from its influences he again
spoke,

7* 7(3)v 78

“But no earthly pleasure is unalloyed,” Miss Courtland;
“and he who is conscious of the purity and rectitude
of his motives, cannot behold himself an object
of suspicion to those, whom he regards only with reverence
and esteem, without emotions of the most exquisite
pain.”

“Colonel Grahame,” exclaimed Catherine, anxious
to excuse her father’s conduct, “my father cannot be
ungrateful nor unjust! Will you allow nothing for the
wounded pride of a (till now) victorious soldier, who
feels the chains of his captivity, gently as your generosity
has fastened them around him, insupportably galling?
Since the disgraces, fatigues, and disappointments
of the northern campaign, my father’s health and
spirits have been broken and unequal; he is at times
utterly changed; and I find it difficult to recognise in his
altered character and feelings the candid and indulgent
parent, who has been to me father, mother, friend, and
more than supplied the place of all.”

“He could not have a more eloquent tongue to plead
in his defence,”
said Grahame. “But I have not presumed
to censure your father, Miss Courtland; though
wounded by his coldness, it is not, perhaps, wholly unmerited.
I had flattered myself, however, that Major
Courtland’s
knowledge of my character, and the friendship
with which he honored me, would have led him
to judge less harshly of my conduct and, though in
many instances it may appear mysterious, to do me the
justice of believing that my motives are upright and
honorable. To you, Miss Courtland, who with so much
gentleness have pardoned all my seeming caprice, and
whose society and friendship have caused this dreary
winter of hardship and suffering to glide away on wings
of enchantment, I owe a thousand thanks; and to you,
I declare, there are circumstances which have governed,
and still continue to govern my conduct; cruel
circumstances, since they involve it in mystery which
renders me an object of suspicion to my friends, and
forbids the expression of feelings on which my happiness
depends.”

7(4)r 79

“Colonel Grahame,” said Catherine, “you ought
not to suppose from the little caprices which have of
late marked the manners of my father, that his opinion
of you is changed; his mind has been engrossed and
agitated by a subject of peculiar interest, and when the
excitement occasioned by it is past, I doubt not you will
find him the same social and unreserved friend as you
found him on your first acquaintance.”

“You know not how little you promise in saying so,”
returned Grahame, smiling; and willing to change the
subject. “You know not how many prejudices I had
to subdue, how much pride to soften, before your father
would admit me to his friendship, before he could reconcile
the idea of courage, honor, or generosity, with the
character of a rebel and an American.”

“I know his pride well,” returned Catherine, smiling;
“and how deeply it was wounded by the defeat at Saratoga.
I know, too, with what disapprobation he views
the struggles of this country to shake off the yoke of
British power; but I believe that he respects the national
character of the Americans, and admires the boldness
and independence of their spirit.”

“And how came it,” asked Grahame, “that, with a
father so loyal and aristocratic, you should have honored
us by espousing our cause.”

“Many circumstances induced me to do so,” returned
Catherine; “and though, till my father took up arms,
the subject was seldom mentioned, I thought much of it
in secret; and when called upon for an opinion, felt too
much confidence in the justice of my sentiments to wish
to conceal them, even had I not despised the meanness
of disavowing my opinions from a fear of their proving
unpopular.”

“You are superior to all disguise and artifice,” exclaimed
Grahame with fervor; “and the noble independence
with which you express sentiments so worthy of
a free and virtuous mind, adds dignity to the cause you
so eloquently advocate. Had you espoused the opposite
cause, Miss Courtland, I should have feared your
persuasive influence. I know many ladies who are 7(4)v 80
nobly patriotic, sacrificing every wish to the good of
their country, and actively seeking, by a system of benevolent
self-denial, to supply the necessities of the
suffering soldiers, who are laying down their lives in
order to secure to them and to their children the privilege
of sitting unmolested under their own vine and fig
tree. But I know none, Miss Courtland, who, circumstanced
as you are, would have discerned justice from
oppression; or, even if they had, would have preserved
their opinions pure and immutable;—not one who would
have openly resisted the persuasions of parental love,
the arguments of friendship, the lessons of education;
and with virtuous courage have dared, like you, to contend
for the right against a torrent of opposition, which
would have borne down one less nobly firm and independent.”

“Do not make me vain of my patriotism, Colonel
Grahame
, by this excess of praise,”
said Catherine,
blushing as she spoke. “My father early taught me to
renounce my opinions only when convinced of their
fallacy; and the feelings which inspired them must grow
cold, and the links which bind me to this land be broken,
before that moment of conviction shall arrive.”

“Heaven forbid that it should ever arrive!” ejaculated
Grahame, passionately. “May every succeeding
year draw closer the links which bind you to a land
honored by your love, and proud to number you among
her daughters!”

He rose as he finished speaking, and walked hastily
towards the window, evidently struggling to subdue the
most powerful emotions. In truth the secret of his
heart was trembling on his lips, and it was only by the
most violent effort of self-command, that he could restrain
himself from pouring the story of his love into the ear of
the blushing Catherine. But one moment of reflection
completed his triumph. He would have scorned himself
had he been capable, under circumstances which
involved him in mystery and suspicion, of suing for the
love of an innocent and beautiful woman; but he felt
more deeply than ever the cruel perplexity of a situation 7(5)r 81
which compelled him to appear guilty when he was
but too generous and too honorable for his own peace;
and indifferent when his whole heart was most tenderly
and devotedly attached to one, who, he had every reason
to believe, sincerely reciprocated his passion. Calm,
but sad, he turned from the window; and taking up his
hat, with a sigh which Catherine responded, he approached
her to take his leave.

“You will not go,” she said, aroused from her painful
reverie by observing his design, “without first seeing
my father.”

“Your father avoids me,” he replied, “and why
should I force myself upon him?”

“No, he does not designedly avoid you,” said Catherine;
“remain and dine with us, and prove yourself,
as I am sure you are, superior to caprice, and you will
find my father unchanged, and worthy of your friendship.”

“I would do this and more at your request,” said
Grahame; “but I have a positive engagement, and
must be gone.”

“Go, then, if it must be so,” said Catherine; “but
do not desert us for a trifling cause.”

“I will not, I cannot,” said Grahame; “I will even
consent, for your sake, to endure the glance of suspicion
and distrust. Farewell, continue to me your regard,
and whatever opinions may be expressed to my prejudice,
condemn me not unheard.”

He pressed her hand for a moment between his own,
and then precipitately quitted the apartment. Catherine
remained immovable till the last sound of his horse’s
feet had died away in the distance; then turned with a
sigh, to her seat.

As she did so, a folded billet lying on the carpet
caught her attention, and on taking it up, she perceived
that it was directed in a delicate female hand to Colonel
Grahame
. Her heart beat quick as she examined it;
the seal had been broken, but the impression of a rose
and the motto, “L’ amour et constance,” was still perfectly
visible. Much as she would have given to know 7(5)v 82
the contents of this supicious billet, her inviolable honor
and delicacy forbade her even harboring the thought of
opening it. She was still gazing upon it with an interest
and emotions which precluded every other idea, when the
door opened, and before she was aware of his entrance,
O’Carroll was looking over her shoulder.

Chapter VI.

“This noble passion, Child of integrity, hath from my soul Wiped the black scruples, reconciled my thoughts To thy good truth and honor.” Shakspeare.

Since the night of O’Carroll’s encounter with the
stranger in the forest path, he had been unable to think
or converse with interest upon any other topic. The
vague hints given by the man relative to Marion Spencer,
the first and only object of his love, had startled
and astonished him. Hopes which he had long sought
to crush, and feelings of affection which he had vainly
struggled to subdue, were rekindled, and glowed more
vividly than ever. Regularly as the evening returned,
he resorted to the scene of his interview with the stranger,
in the hope of again meeting him. But he was
as regularly disappointed, and only the excess of his
affection for Marion, and his anxious desire to learn
something more definite concerning her, would have
induced him to persevere in his nocturnal walks. Great
part of the day, too, was not unfrequently spent in this
manner, but with equally bad success.

He had just returned from one of these vexatious perambulations,
when he surprised Catherine, as mentioned
at the close of the preceding chapter, examining the
note which Colonel Grahame had accidentally dropped. 7(6)r 83
O’Carroll had felt more than commonly disappointed
that morning in not meeting the stranger; and as he
slowly retraced his homeward steps, he deeply and
bitterly experienced that sickness of the heart, which
long deferred hope so frequently occasions. But his
constitutional gaiety never long deserted him, and completely
as he had been depressed the moment before, it
instantly prevailed, when, on entering the parlor, he
observed the entire abstraction of Catherine, and the
absorbing interest with which she was examining the
folded billet. He had seen Grahame ride from the house;
and conjecturing that both the billet and her absence of
mind were connected with his visit, O’Carroll gently
approached her, exclaiming in a tone of humorous satire,
as he glanced archly over her shoulder, “Never durst poet touch a pen to write,Until his ink were tempered with love’s sighs.”
Catherine blushed, and by an involuntary gesture,
crushed the billet in her hand, but O’Carroll’s eye had
already glanced at the superscription; and impelled by
an irresistible feeling, he took it hastily from her. Catherine,
astonished by the rudeness of the act, turned to
reprove him, but was prevented by the excessive emotion
visible in his flushed and agitated countenance; and
before she could speak to inquire its cause, he tore open
the note with the gesture of a maniac.

Shocked and surprised at the intention indicated by
this procedure, she eagerly caught his arm, exclaiming,

“Captain O’Carroll, what are you about to do.”

He looked wildly at her, and resisting her efforts to
possess herself again of the billet, demanded in an
agitated voice,

“How, in the name of Heaven, came you by this?”

“It was dropped by Colonel Grahame, and I found
it on the carpet,”
said Catherine. “Why are you thus
disturbed? and why do you retain this note? I entreat
you will return it to me directly.”

“Not till I have first learned from its contents if I am
the dupe of a designing villain,”
returned O’Carroll.

7(6)v 84

“What is it you mean?” asked Catherine, surprised
less by the ambiguity of his words than by the fierceness
and extreme agitation of his manner. He held the note
towards her, and pointing to the superscription,

“That,” he said, “is Marion Spencer’s writing; and
that,”
turning up the seal, “was my gift to her in the
early days of our acquaintance.”

“It is impossible the writing should be her’s, Captain
O’Carroll
, though the resemblance may be striking,”

said Catherine; “and it is no singular circumstance to
find two seals alike.”

“But I will know if it is the same or another,” replied
O’Carroll, and he was again about to peruse the
note, when Catherine, who could not endure this open
violation of what was just and honorable, interposed
more warmly than before:

“I cannot permit it, Captain O’Carroll,” she said;
“the note at present belongs to me, and I am responsible
for its safe keeping. I know nothing of its contents; they
may be trifling, or they may be of the first importance;
but of that we have no right to inform ourselves.”

“And do you then require,” asked O’Carroll, impatiently,
“that I should remain in this agony of doubt
and suspense, when a single glance may terminate them?
I cannot comply with your unreasonable demand; and
though conscious that I am about to commit an unjustifiable
act, I will atone for it by acknowledging to Grahame
my transgression.”

Catherine saw that all farther remonstrance was vain,
and she remained silent, though without striving to conceal
her displeasure, while O’Carroll opened the note,
and read the following words, apparently written in the
agitation of haste and affliction.

“‘Why do you stay from us so long? Three days are
past, and we have not seen you. Your society has become
indispensable to us; it has long been our only
solace; and soon, I shudder to think how soon you will
be my only friend in this land of enemies and strangers.
My father is very ill to-day, and begs you will come to
him this evening; he has much to say, much which he 8(1)r 85
would confide to your friendship. He calls me. Farewell,
and may God bless you.
M.’”

This short billet bore no date of time or place, and
the letter M was its only signature. But it was thus that
Marion was wont to sign her letters; the handwriting,
too, was her’s; the unreserved and artless expressions
were all her own; and O’Carroll no longer entertained
a doubt of her being the author of this billet. He then
recalled every circumstance of mystery which attended
Grahame; the unguarded expressions of Minoya; and
the unintelligible hints given him by the stranger; and
uniting all, deduced the belief that Grahame was the
friend, so emphatically mentioned by the man, who
wished to injure him by robbing him of Marion Spencer’s
affections; though in what manner he had become
known to her, O’Carroll vainly puzzled himself to
imagine.

Transported with rage and jealousy, he tossed the
billet from him, and stamped upon it with the fury of a
madman; while Catherine, in utter astonishment gazed
silently at him, almost ready to believe he was suddenly
bereft of reason. Seemingly unconscious of her presence,
he traversed the room in uncontrolled agitation,
sometimes uttering vehement ejaculations, and then
speaking in a low and unintelligible tone, till Catherine,
alarmed by his conduct, ventured to inquire the cause
of his extreme emotion.

He recovered himself, at the sound of her voice, and
replied with tolerable firmness,

“I have found out this Grahame, Miss Courtland;
this lofty, pure, and honorable man as we have thought
him, is a canting villain, ‘a goodly apple with a rotten
heart;’
and to answer his own ends, he could play the
devil with the dearest friend he has.”

“Do the contents of that note,” asked Catherine
gravely, “authorize you to make this bold assertion?”

“If, as I believe,” returned O’Carroll, “the note is
from Marion Spencer, they do. It conjures him to
come to her, I know not where, with an earnest tendernessVol. II. 8 8(1)v 86
which only love could dictate, and which would
never have been his, unless he had assiduously sought
to win it.”

“Is her signature at the bottom of the note?” asked
Catherine.

“The initial of her name is there,” said O’Carroll;
“but I am convinced by the writing, the expressions,
the seal, that gift of love, that my suspicions are just.”

“And supposing they are,” said Catherine, with
great firmness of voice and manner; “Colonel Grahame
is undoubtedly ignorant of your affection for Miss
Spencer
, and of course, could not be aware that in seeking
to win her, he was becoming a rival to you.”

“He knew it well,” returned O’Carroll quickly; “a
thousand and a thousand times, I have repeated to him
the name of Marion Spencer; I have told him the story
of my love, and I little thought, when with affected sympathy,
he thought to soothe my regrets, that he was secretly
triumphing over me, and anticipating the moment,
when the object to me so dear and so lamented,
should become his own.”

“This female cannot be Miss Spencer,” said Catherine.
“I am confident that Colonel Grahame is incapable
of acting unworthily, and I entreat you, Captain
O’Carroll
, to suspend your censure, till from his own
lips you hear an acknowledgement of his guilt.”

Had the Captain been in a condition to view things
calmly and rationally, he would have admired the heroic
generosity of Catherine. Though deeply wounded by
the idea of Grahame’s attachment to another, she was
uninfluenced by resentment and refused to condemn
him, still inflexibly believing that his honor and his integrity
were stainless. But O’Carroll was maddened
with jealousy; and assured that Grahame had injured
him, he was zealous to censure and condemn his conduct.

“I am positive, Miss Courtland,” he said, “that the
author of this billet is, and can be no other than Miss
Spencer
. Grahame has basely supplanted me in her
affections; and, fearful of my vengeance, has sought to 8(2)r 87
hide from me the place of her abode. But he shall
find that I brook insult from no man, nor shall my situation
as a prisoner of war, protect him from the chastisement
he merits.”

“What is it you mean?” exclaimed Catherine, alarmed
by this insinuation; “surely you will not proceed
to the rash extremity of a challenge, Captain O’Carroll.”

“Colonel Grahame must satisfactorily explain his
conduct,”
returned O’Carroll, “which, however, I believe
impossible; or fire at a mark with me at any
place he may choose to select for the purpose.”

Catherine’s alarm was dispelled by a momentary reflection
on Grahame’s character, and she smiled contemptuously,
as she replied,

“I am exceedingly mistaken in Colonel Grahame, if
he is not too brave a man to throw away his own life,
or destroy that of another in a foolish combat, unjustifiable
by the laws of God, and unworthy of a rational
and christian man.”

“Your opinions and mine are at variance on this subject,
Miss Courtland,”
returned O’Carroll, coldly; “I
shall not however, be slow in making mine known to
Colonel Grahame, if he refuses me a satisfactory explanation.”

The entrance of Amelia terminated the conversation,
and Catherine did not regret it, since the excitation of
O’Carroll rendered the topic under discussion additionally
unpleasant, and increased the sadness, which, notwithstanding
her confidence in Grahame’s truth and
honor, the incident of the note had created. But she
felt that the trials of the day were not yet ended, when,
at the dinner table she encountered the continued gloom
of her father, and observed the dejection of Captain
Talbot
, which like a contagious disease, shortly infected
the before serene and cheerful spirits of her cousin.
O’Carroll, too, absorbed by his own painful reflections,
was silent and abstracted, and the absence of his enlivening
gaiety deepened the gloom of the party. Catherine
had never before partaken of so unsocial a meal 8(2)v 88
in her father’s house; and she gladly seized the earliest
moment, after the removal of the cloth, to withdraw
from the circle, whose invincible gloom no efforts of
hers could brighten.

O’Carroll also, unfitted for society, shortly left Talbot
and the Major, to sip their wine together, while he
resorted to his customary haunt on the borders of the
forest. His restless mind was supplied with food for
suspicion and conjecture, and he was more than usually
eager in the desire of meeting the stranger. With folded
arms and measured steps, he slowly traversed the
oft frequented path, startled by the rustling of every
withered leaf; and in the ardor of expectation, repeatedly
mistaking the waving of some distant evergreen,
for the figure of the mysterious stranger, enveloped in
the fold of his ample cloak.

But the evening stole away without bringing him;
and O’Carroll, as he had often done before, reluctantly resigned
the hope which revived with every succeeding day.
No longer on the watch for the stranger’s appearance,
he yielded to a train of absorbing meditation, and mechanically
followed the windings of the path, heedless
of external objects, and almost forgetful of the wish
which had drawn him to the place. He had reached
the termination of the path, and was turning to retrace
his steps, when the sound of footsteps disturbed his
reverie, and his heart bounded with sudden expectation,
as he raised his head and perceived a person approaching
rapidly towards him. Assured that he was at last,
about to meet the object he had so long and anxiously
sought, O’Carroll advanced confidently to meet him;
and though the man made an effort to pass on without
speaking, the Captain placed himself so as to obstruct
the passage, and exclaimed in a tone of triumph,

“You do not escape me thus; I have watched for
you till the very ground is worn with my footsteps, and
now you shall not quit me before you have answered
my demands.”

“You mistake me for some one else, Captain O’Carroll,”
returned the person, in a voice which O’Carroll 8(3)r 89
instantly recognized as that of Colonel Grahame; and
the eagerness of hope and curiosity was superseded by
the mingled feelings of resentment, jealousy, and suspicion,
not untinctured by chagrin, at the mistake which
had led him to accost the Colonel in a manner so ambiguous
and abrupt. Resentment, however, prevailed
over every other emotion, and he replied sarcastically,

“I had, indeed, no expectation of meeting Colonel
Grahame
at this hour in a place so remote from his
quarters. The attraction must be powerful which allures
him so frequently to this sequestered spot.”

“And what, may I ask,” returned Grahame, gaily,
“is the attraction which draws you hither, O’Carroll?
If you intend to penetrate my motives, it is but fair that
I in return should inquire into yours.”

“You have less right,” said O’Carroll, haughtily, “to
inquire into mine, than I have to demand that yours
should be explained to me.”

“I do not comprehend what gives either of us a superiority
of right in this case,”
returned Grahame, surprised
by the Captain’s manner; “nor,” he added,
“can I conceive that we have the least authority to inquire
into the motives of each other’s conduct; our acquaintance
I should hope, Captain O’Carroll, has been
too long and intimate to justify doubt or suspicion in
either mind, of their perfect purity and honor.”

“Circumstances may sometimes justify doubt, where
perfect confidence has before subsisted,”
returned
O’Carroll.

“You are in a cynical mood to-night, Captain,” said
Grahame, astonished by his angry insinuations; “I confess
I am equally at a loss to understand the meaning of
your words, and to account for the unprovoked severity
with which you have thought proper to assail me.”

“To you,” returned O’Carroll, in a sarcastic tone,
“who have just been basking in the light of bright eyes,
and listening to the soft accents of beauty, every other
countenance must seem dark, and the accents of every
other tongue harsh and discordant.”

8* 8(3)v 90

“How am I to understand you, sir?” asked Grahame,
with rising indignation.

“As you please, or rather as you must, for it is difficult
to misinterpret truth,”
returned O’Carroll, with affected
coldness.

“I am unwilling to believe you a spy upon my
actions, Captain O’Carroll,”
said the Colonel. “It is
an office, which I should despise my dearest friend for
assuming, under any pretence however plausible.”

“And I, sir,” said O’Carroll, bursting into wrath,
“should scorn the man, as much as you could do, who
was capable of acting such a part. I have disdained to
watch your motions Colonel Grahame, though by so
doing, I might long since have known all that accident
has now revealed to me. I have defended you against
the suspicions of others, and I have believed the mystery,
in which you chose to shroud many of your actions,
enforced by necessity, and not by that system of deceit
and perfidy, which have destroyed my hopes, and
wounded me to the very soul.”

“I forgive your suspicions, and your injurious accusations,
Captain O’Carroll,”
answered Grahame, “because
I am persuaded you labor under some gross mistake.
I have never consciously injured you, by thought,
word, or deed; and I fear, I greatly fear the friendship
which you professed, and which I was happy to believe
sincere, must be built on a sandy foundation, since it
so readily yields to the breath of slander, and the poisonous
suggestions of jealousy and suspicion.”

“The friendship which I cherished for you,” returned
O’Carroll, “was alike fervent and sincere; but the
closest bonds will be sundered by distrust, and though I
could have pardoned you for rivalling me, I cannot forget
that you strove to do it secretly, as if you thought
me unworthy of the confidence which true friendship
ever seeks to bestow, and which I have never in any
instance withholden from you.”

“All that you say,” returned Grahame, “involves
me in still deeper uncertainty. I have never either felt
or expressed distrust of your honor or integrity; neither 8(4)r 91
have I ever withholden from you my confidence on
affairs in which you were interested, I did not imagine
you had any wish to be informed of my personal concerns,
and those of a public nature, I did not feel authorized
to communicate.”

“I care not for public affairs,” said O’Carroll, with
increased impatience; “I am weary of war, of intrigues,
of this contention for power and dominion; nor
do I seek to know your personal concerns excepting
when, as now, they involve my interest and honor.”

“Explain to me how, and in what manner they involve
them,”
returned Grahame, “and if I have unconsciously
injured you (for it is impossible you should
seriously suspect me of a premeditated design to do so),
I assure you I will not refuse to make any atonement,
which, as an honorable and just man, you shall deem requisite
and proper.”

“Oh what a goodly outside falsehood hath,”
muttered O’Carroll, in an under tone; then, as if resolved
to come at once to the point, he said aloud in a
determined tone,

“Assure me, Colonel Grahame, that you have not
studied to deceive me; that you have not purposely
concealed from me your knowledge of one whom you
knew I was anxious to discover, and this, in order to
promote your own wishes, to the utter annihilation of
all my long and fondly cherished hopes. Assure me
that you have not done this, and I will humbly confess
my fault, in having doubted you; but acknowledge, and
your life or mine must be sacrificed to the offended laws
of honor.”

Grahame smiled contemptuously, and it was well, perhaps,
for the continuance of O’Carroll’s self-possession,
that the darkness prevented him from reading the expression
of the Colonel’s countenance, who however
instantly replied,

“I can most truly assure you, Captain O’Carroll, that
I have never sought to deceive you; neither have I 8(4)v 92
sought to coneal from your knowledge any individual
in whom I believe you to be interested.”

“Perhaps,” said O’Carroll, in an agitated voice, “you
have not yet discovered the loss of a billet which you
this morning dropped at Major Courtland’s. It is this
which has occasioned my present inquiries. The handwriting,
the seal were familiar to me; and impelled by the
most powerful emotions, I ventured to read its contents.
The act was unjustifiable, and I now make the only
atonement in my power, that of imploring your pardon.
I resisted the entreaties of Miss Courtland, and stifled
the dictates of honor and of conscience; but I could
not withstand the impulse of jealous love. Censure me,
if you will, I care not; and now that I have made my
confession, withhold not yours, nor do your conscience
farther violence by seeking to deny your interest in this
soft beauty, who, with such tender chiding upbraids you
for an absence of three long days.”

Grahame did not hear O’Carroll’s avowal unmoved;
but he was ever master of his passions, and he calmly
replied,

“I certainly feel myself exculpated by this flagrant
violation on your part, Captain O’Carroll, of one of the
first and most imperious laws of honor, from every obligation
to remove your unfounded suspicion, or to answer
your unreasonable demands.”

“And you cannot, dare not disavow your interest in
this lady,”
exclaimed O’Carroll impetuously.

“I dare disavow nothing adverse to truth,” returned
Grahame; “nor do I wish to deny that I am deeply
interested in her, as a lovely and unfortunate woman.”

“Truly humane motives,” exclaimed O’Carroll, with
a sarcastic smile; “and of course,” he added, “you
neither wish nor expect to be united to her by any nearer
ties than those of common sympathy.”

“Captain O’Carroll,” said Grahame, with haughty
displeasure, “I can no longer submit to this inquisitorial
examination, which I have only permitted at all from
the hope of removing your idle jealousies. But I perceive
them to become every moment more irrational; 8(5)r 93
and when you have informed me why you are so deeply
solicitous about this lady, and so incensed at my intercourse
with her, I shall take the liberty to wish you good
night, and proceed on the course which you so unpropitiously
interrupted.”

“You insult me by requesting such information,”
exclaimed O’Carroll; “you, who have so often heard
me speak of Marion Spencer, and who know so well the
deep and painful interest I take in all that relates to her!
Grahame, you have been the repository of my treasured
secret; into your bosom I have poured the story of my
love, and of my griefs, and it is thus that you repay my
confidence, thus that you stab me, with deliberate baseness,
to the soul!”

“I do not, cannot comprehend you,” exclaimed Grahame
in unfeigned astonishment; “I know not of what
you accuse me, or why you distrust me; nor can I conceive
what connexion you imagine to exist between
Miss Spencer and the lady of whom we were previously
speaking.”

“And do you still persist in denying them to be the
same?”
exclaimed O’Carroll, in a voice of unrestrained
passion.

“I do,” returned Grahame; “and I know not on
what you ground your strange suspicion; which I declare
to you is false and wholly unfounded.”

“I cannot, cannot believe it,” said O’Carroll; proofs
so strong I feel it impossible to doubt.”

“Do as you please, Captain O’Carroll,” said Grahame,
coldly. “I once more solemnly assure you, that
the lady of whom we have been speaking is altogether
a different being from Miss Spencer. And now farewell;
the friendship of one whom you are so ready to
distrust, is not worth preserving.”

He walked on, but O’Carroll hastily followed him;
“Stay,” he cried, “do not forsake me in this unhappy
moment; tell me again that Marion Spencer is unknown
to you; and yet it cannot be—that writing, the artless
expressions, so like those which charmed away my heart;
the seal, so exactly resembling that which was my earliest 8(5)v 94
gift of love; all, all conspire to prove the truth of my
suspicions.”

“Calm yourself, O’Carroll,” said the Colonel, pitying
his distress, “let me persuade you to renounce these
jealous fears; I do assure you again and again, that I
know nothing of Miss Spencer; and if I did, I should
wish only for the power to bestow her, were she worthy,
on him who so faithfully loves her.”

O’Carroll could no longer resist the noble and generous
candor of Grahame, and seizing his hand with
wonted cordiality, he exclaimed,

“Grahame, it is impossible even for jealous love to
doubt you longer; pardon my unjust violence; I would
dare to ask forgiveness only of one as calm, as rational,
as superior to false accusation as yourself.”

“I freely forgive you, O’Carroll,” returned Grahame,
“because I am convinced, that, had you not been led
astray by an inflamed imagination, your cooler reason
would not have permitted you to suspect my friendship
or my honor. But pardon me if I intrude one word of
advice; when next you find passion likely to gain the
ascendency, seek to restrain its ebullitions, rather than
wound a friend whom you had never cause to suspect,
by expending them on him.”

“Pardon me, Grahame,” exclaimed the impetuous
and sensitive O’Carroll; “you cannot be more deeply
wounded by my injustice, than I am by the reflection,
that I have for a moment wronged the honor and integrity,
which from my very soul I believe without a
stain. I am ever headstrong and wilful; and though
warned to hear you before I uttered my condemnation,
I met you with angry and reproachful words.”

“And to whom,” asked Grahame, his heart palpitating
with hope, “am I indebted for even this word in
my defence?”

“To whom should it be but Catherine Courtland?”
said O’Carroll; “the defender of the injured, and the
protector of the oppressed. You owe her much, Colonel
Grahame
; she pleaded most eloquently in your behalf,
and declared with generous confidence that you 8(6)r 95
were incapable of being influenced by unworthy motives.”

Grahame’s heart bounded with unmixed delight, at
this flattering proof of Catherine’s unshaken confidence
in the midst of all the doubts and suspicions cherished
by those around her. After a moment passed in the
silent indulgence of his grateful and pleasurable emotions,
he said to O’Carroll,

“I owe Miss Courtland more than I dare attempt to
express, and were there more minds as candid and as
generous as hers, our purest motives would not be
liable to censure, nor our most praiseworthy actions be
misconstrued and condemned. I will only request you,
Captain O’Carroll, when next you doubt me, to remember
the injunction of my lovely and virtuous advocate;
inform me with the candor of friendship why you distrust
me; and if I cannot honorably exculpate my conduct,
I will acknowledge myself a fair object for your
utmost resentment.”

“And will you also,” asked O’Carroll, “forget and
forgive the outrage of which I was guilty, in perusing
what should have been regarded by me as sacred?”

“All, every thing,” returned Grahame, “if you will
exercise the candor which I request, and not act like a
madman, as you have done to-night.”

“My fiery temperament is uncontrollable,” returned
O’Carroll; “but it can never again become inflamed
by doubts of you. You have endured my passionate
violence and injustice with a calm and noble forbearance
which none but you would have exercised. Had I always
been guided by a mind as generous and as firm, I
should perhaps have learned to discipline my own, and
subdue my passions more effectually than I now do.”

“Your candor in acknowledging a fault more than
cancels the offence,”
said Grahame; “and even had
you injured me deeply, I should feel it impossible not
to love a mind where I find so much to admire and
esteem. But I hope in time, my dear O’Carroll, to see
every weed eradicated, and flowers worthy of so rich
a soil, blooming in fragrance and perennial beauty.”

8(6)v 96

“Do not hope too much,” said O’Carroll; “I have
been always transgressing and repenting from the day
of my birth, and fear I shall do the same till that of my
death. But the experience of this night will teach me
to be less premature, if not less furious in my resentments.
I should have a hearty penance to perform were
Father Antony here; but as the good priest, fortunately
for his comfort as well as mine, is ignorant of my offence,
I shall make the stings of conscience suffice without
the infliction of any other penalty. But will you
take the note, that source of all this bitterness, or shall I
consign it to the flames, were many a stirrer up of strife
and sedition has before suffered, and with less show of
justice too?”

“I will take it,” said Grahame; then added hesitatingly,
“I trust no eye beside your own has glanced
over its contents?”

“None, I declare to you,” returned O’Carroll.
“Happening abruptly to enter the parlor, I surprised
Miss Courtland with it in her hand. She found it on
the carpet just after your departure, and was so intently
examining the seal that I stood beside her before she
noticed my entrance. Struck by the handwriting of
the superscription, I took it rudely from Miss Courtland,
without even asking her permission, and it was in
vain that she endeavored to regain possession of it, or
even to prevent my perusal of its contents. I cannot
tell you with what eloquence she urged her entreaties,
nor with what horror she regarded my resolute violation
of all that was just and honorable. But I will not detain
you longer; I trust I have freed Miss Courtland from
any share of censure, and now farewell.”

“She can never do any thing deserving of censure,”
returned Grahame; “and from me it is impossible she
should ever incur it.”

He took the note as he spoke; and bidding O’Carroll
good night, turned into the lane, near the head of which
they had been standing, and disappeared. A few moments
after, the Captain heard him speak to his servant,
and immediately the trampling of horses convinced him 9(1)r 97
that William had been waiting all this time for his master.
O’Carroll then turned to pursue his way home.

The appearance of the heavens informed him that the
evening was already far advanced; and anxious to reach
the house, he walked for some minutes with a step of unusual
rapidity. But a crowd of busy thoughts thronged
his mind, and unconsciously his speed slackened, he
sunk into meditation, and with folded arms, eyes raised
to the starlight heavens, and feet which scarcely seemed
to move, he pursued his way along the narrow path.
Once or twice he fancied he heard footsteps behind him,
but he could see no one; and vexed with himself for
his idle imaginings, he uttered an exclamation of impatience,
and resuming his rapid progress, soon reached
the garden gate, through which he was about to pass,
when a thrilling laugh from behind curdled his blood
with its horrible expression, and he turned quickly round
to detect the person, who, he was now certain, had been
for some time following him. He could, however, only
discern through the gloom, the indistinct outline of a
figure, whose height seemed to him about the same as
was that of the stranger, whom he had so often hoped
in vain to meet.

Recollecting what he had before lost by the haughty
fierceness of his demeanour, O’Carroll resolved, should
this be the stranger, and, from his laugh of mingled scorn
and insult, he thought it could be no other, to conduct
himself with more caution and civility. Quelling, therefore,
his rising warmth, he said in courteous accent,

“Friend, do you wish any thing of me.”

“I wish any thing of you?” returned the man in a
disdainful tone; “I have no favors to ask of Captain
O’Carroll
; but there are some which it is in my power
to confer, if he is not too much the tool of Colonel
Grahame
to receive them.”

“I am the tool of no man, fellow,” retorted O’Carroll,
angrily, and quite forgetful of his prudent resolves;
“nor will I submit to your insolence; let the consequences
be what they may, you shall receive the chastisement
you merit.”

Vol. II. 9 9(1)v 98

“I find your fiery humor not much cooled by the
nocturnal rambles you have taken in this frosty atmosphere
since last we met,”
said the man, sarcastically.
“But the bait took well, which the rebel Colonel made
you swallow just now,”
he added, with another laugh,
as he stalked past the irritated Captain, and seemed designing
to walk on and leave him.

O’Carroll saw that the interview which he had so
long desired, was on the point of terminating as abruptly
and unsatisfactorily as the former one; and cursing his
impetuosity, he caught the folds of his cloak as he passed,
exclaiming in a milder and more persuasive tone,

“You must not quit me till you have explained the
meaning of the hints with which you perplexed me in
our last rencontre.”

The man withdrew his cloak from the grasp of O’Carroll,
and moving rapidly away, said, as he retreated,

“Ask the brave and ‘honorable’ Colonel; he can tell you
more than I know, and he will bear with your insolence,
because—but no matter why; I will tell you that another
time.”

He disappeared when he had finished speaking, and
O’Carroll, vexed by the disappointment, and by the
tantalizing conduct of the man, remained for a few moments
irresolute upon the spot. But at length resolving
to think lightly of the affair, and consider the man a
lunatic, for such he was seriously inclined to believe
him, O’Carroll passed on through the garden to the
house. When he entered the parlor, Major Courtland
and Talbot were engaged at chess; Amelia was at work,
and Catherine sat unoccupied upon the sofa. He placed
himself beside her, and in a low voice related the occurrences
of the evening. She listened with interest and
emotion, happy to find her confidence in Grahame was
not misplaced. She unhesitatingly pronounced the insinuations
of the stranger false and malicious, and was
gratified to find that they had not succeeded in reawakening
O’Carroll’s jealous prejudices. The man had avowed
himself actuated by a wish for revenge, and it seemed
apparent from his language, that Colonel Grahame was
the object of his malice.

9(2)r 99

Chapter VII.

“My love is thine to teach; teach it but how, And thou shalt see how apt it is to learn, Any hard lesson that may do thee good.” Shakspeare.

Captain Talbot returned to Philadelphia on his
parole a few days after the mortifying circumstance of
his rejection. But when the first pang of wounded pride
and affection was over, he began bitterly to repent the
precipitation with which he had quitted the house of Major
Courtland
, and to sigh for the heartfelt and rational
enjoyment of the society which he had voluntarily resigned.
Though the distance was considerable from
Philadelphia, he resolved to avail him of the privilege
which was granted him, frequently to visit his friends;
and as time softened the poignancy of his regrets, he
became again almost an inmate of Major Courtland’s
family, often spending several days in succession at the
house, and whenever he rode, uniformly turning his
horse’s head in that direction.

In the frank and unreserved manners of Catherine, he
found neither food for passion, nor rational ground for
hope, and compelled to admit the conviction of her
perfect indifference, he learned slowly and painfully to
relinquish the wishes which he had so long fondly cherished.
When he sought her love, it was almost with the
assurance that it would be denied him, and the secret
preparation which his mind had undergone, perhaps
enabled him to meet the blow which finally destroyed
his hopes, and with more firmness than he could otherwise
have done. Catherine observed with pleasure his gradually
returning cheerfulness, and endeavoured to sooth
the wound she had unwillingly inflicted, by the kindness
of her manner and the tacit expression of those
friendly and affectionate feelings which she sincerely 9(2)v 100
cherished towards him, and which was the only recompense
she could offer for the disappointment she had
caused him. She wished much that the constant and
timid affection of Amelia might at last be reciprocated;
for she thought her peculiarly calculated to form the
happiness of a heart like Talbot’s. In order to promote
this desirable object, Catherine strove to draw forth the
treasures of her cousin’s mind, and to place her always
in the most advantageous point of view to Talbot’s observation.
She often sought to engage them in conversation
of local interest, which, by reviving early
recollections, might also tend to revive that affection
which the young man had once cherished for the playmate
of his childish years. Catherine was delighted to
observe that her efforts were not fruitless; since Talbot
certainly conversed with Amelia more frequently, and
apparently with more interest than formerly; while she,
grateful for her cousin’s kind wishes, and more deeply
conscious, after every interview, how entirely her happiness
depended upon Talbot, made a successful effort to
throw off that awkward reserve which had so long
clouded and embarrassed the native loveliness of her
mind and person.

Talbot was as yet insensible to her charms. The
image of Catherine had been too fondly cherished to be
soon supplanted by another, and her graces and virtues
furnished the dearest theme of his discourse with Amelia.
From any other lips Amelia would have listened
to these praises with delight; but she could not know
that the heart dearest to her in life was fondly devoted
to another, without a pang of exquisite suffering. She
had, however, learned to exercise some of Catherine’s
self-command, and she not only listened to Talbot’s
enthusiastic praises without betraying her secret emotion,
but even joined in them, and that with a sincerity
and warmth which proceeded from a strong conviction
of their justice.

After a time, even Talbot wearied of this theme.
Convinced of Catherine’s affection for another, and of
her coldness towards himself, and flattered by the pleasure 9(3)r 101
with which Amelia received his slightest attentions,
he began to devote them more exclusively to her. In
his visits he often found her alone, and he was always
welcomed by her with a smile and a blush. In these
solitary interviews the recollections of their childhood
and of their mutual friends, furnished subjects of conversation
as fruitful as those which Catherine’s perfections
had formerly supplied, and which, from Talbot’s
lips, were far dearer and more flattering to Amelia’s
heart. With sad and tender pleasure she listened to
him when he spoke of her parents, and dwelt on the
reminiscences of their childhood; that season of unmixed
happiness to which she looked back with emotions
of fond regret. She was equally surprised and delighted
by the interest with which he recalled a thousand
circumstances faithfully cherished in her memory; but
which she had too much reason for believing were long
since faded from his; and tears of pleasurable emotion
filled her eyes when she heard him declare those days
of innocent enjoyment to have been the happiest of his
life.

Amelia felt, however, that happy, exquisitely happy
as they had been to her, she would willingly exchange
whole years of such felicity for one short hour like that
she now enjoyed. And though she often said to herself,
“I have no reason to suppose his feelings changed,
because he devotes to me the time which it would be
no longer right or proper to bestow on my cousin;”
yet
she found it impossible to crush the hope which was
springing in her heart, and which diffused over her
countenance and person, an air of brightness and animation
which they had not worn since first saddened by
the depressing consciousness of her unhappy passion.

To Talbot she seemed a new creature; and charmed
by the magical transformation of which he was, as yet, so
far from suspecting himself to be the cause, he delighted
to speak of scenes and events in which they had been
mutually interested, and to watch, as he did so, the rapid
variations of her voice and complexion. A slight resemblance,
which, at such moments he fancied he could 9* 9(3)v 102
trace in her countenance to her cousin, rendered the
scrutiny still more fascinating; and strange as it may
seem, he began in process of time to persuade himself
that the softness and excessive delicacy of Amelia were
almost as charming as the spirit and independence which
he so much admired in Catherine, chastened as they
were, by all that is lovely and attractive in the female
character.

There are few minds, and we doubt if there are any
among the “lordly sex,” so constant and devoted as
to cherish a passion after it has become entirely hopeless;
and whatever our readers may think and say to
the contrary, we, at least, profess ourselves of Rosalind’s
opinion, “that men have died and worms have eat them,
but not for love.”
At all events, Captain Talbot, ardently
as he loved, and bitterly as he had mourned the
destruction of his dearest hopes, soon found, that even
passion, strong and devoted as his own, could not long
subsist without its natural aliment.

Instead, however, of declining, it seemed only to have
changed its object; and perhaps the vanity which Captain
Talbot
shared in common with his fellow-men, assisted
in promoting this revolution. Left often for hours
alone in Amelia’s society, with no other object to engross
his attention, he could not long remain insensible to the
pleasure which his presence gave her; he could not
misconstrue the blush with which she welcomed him,
nor the look of sadness with which she received his
farewell. At first he rejected with indignation the suspicions
which those appearances awakened, or if ever
he for a moment found himself recalling them without
despleasure, he forcibly banished them from his mind,
and reproached himself for the violation of that faith
which he had secretly resolved, for Catherine’s sake,
never to bestow on any other woman. Sometimes he
reproved his presumptuous vanity for supposing that
Miss Dunbar would voluntarily and unsought have bestowed
on him her affections; but every succeeding
visit forced upon him the conviction he was so reluctant
to admit; and, compelled him to see that he was tenderly 9(4)r 103
beloved, he censured himself with all the bitterness
which a generous mind might be supposed to feel
on knowing that it had wilfully wounded the peace and
disregarded the love of an amiable and virtuous woman.

He recalled the wishes of their parents, the kindness
which Colonel Dunbar had shewn him in this land of
strangers, and the happy intimacy which had ever united
the two families. The longer he dwelt upon these circumstances
the deeper and more tender became his interest
in the orphan daughter of his best and earliest
friends.

Ardently as the parents of Captain Talbot had wished
to see him united to Amelia Dunbar, they had prudently
concealed from him their wishes;—chiefly anxious for
his happiness, and unwilling to influence him in an affair
of so much importance. During his long absence on the
continent, Amelia had been to them as a daughter, and her
sweetness, her candor, her amiable and affectionate disposition,
together with the light in which they permitted
themselves to view her, as the future wife of their son,
had endeared her to them as much as if she had been
their only child. But the indifference with which, when
they again met, Talbot appeared to regard her, filled
them with disappointment and regret, and obliged them
to relinquish all hopes of the wished for alliance.

Soon after Talbot’s arrival in America he saw and
loved Catherine Courtland; and feeling how much his
happiness depended upon her, he wrote to his parents,
acquainting them with this passion, and requesting their
permission to address her. They granted it without
delay, though Lady Talbot in a letter to her son, could
not refrain from expressing the wish that it had been
consistent with his happiness to have given them Amelia
Dunbar
for a daughter, instead of a stranger, who could
feel in them no interest. Talbot thought little of this
passage at the time of its reception; but no sooner had
Amelia ceased to be an object of indifference to him
than he recurred to it and to some expressions in a letter
of more recent date, which signified the same wish in a
still more explicit manner. To one in particular, received 9(4)v 104
after the news of Colonel Dunbar’s death had
reached England, he now turned, and read the following
sentence with extreme emotion.

“Tell my dear Amelia, we feel for her the affection
and solicitude of parents, and so long as Heaven sees fit
to spare my life, she shall never want a mother’s care
and love. Bid her haste to us; our arms are open to
receive her; and her, who has so often comforted us in
affliction, it shall now be our delight to sooth and make
happy. We do not reproach you, Talbot, for the choice
which you have made; our only wish is that it may promote
your happiness. But had Amelia Dunbar been
the chosen object of your love, it would have realized
our fondest wishes and given assurance of your own
felicity.”

Talbot sighed, as, for the third time, he finished reading
the passage, and slowly folding the letter, he exclaimed,

“And I have never even told her of my mother’s love
and sympathy! selfish and unfeeling that I am, in the
midst of my own pursuits, I have been unmindful of her
sorrows, and withheld from her those expressions of
kindness and affection, which would have been as balm
to her wounded heart!”

Thrusting the letter into his pocket, he ordered his
horse and immediately set off for Major Courtland’s.
He arrived some time before the dinner hour, and was
agreeably surprised to find Amelia alone in the parlor.
Several letters were lying on her lap, and as she rose
with haste and embarrassment to receive him, they fell
upon the floor. As Captain Talbot stooped to take
them up, he recognized the handwriting of Colonel Dunbar,
and looking earnestly at Amelia, perceived by the
traces of recent emotion visible in her countenance, that
she had been agitated by the perusal of her father’s letters.
This conviction softened his feelings still more
towards her, and he said in a tone of gentle reproach,

“I wish I had arrived an hour earlier, Amelia; or, at
least, before these sad letters were opened.”

9(5)r 105

“They are often opened, Captain Talbot,” she replied;
“I almost daily read in them the expressions of
my dear father’s affection. My uncle,”
she added,
“has gone to dine with a friend a few miles distant, and
Catherine has ridden out on horseback with Captain
O’Carroll
. She was unwilling to leave me alone, but I
prevailed on her to go; and I have been so much engrossed
by my melancholy occupation as quite to disregard
the lapse of time.”

“Melancholy indeed!” repeated Talbot, “far too
melancholy to occupy so many of your solitary hours.”

“All my occupations and pleasures, Captain Talbot,
must in future be tinged with the sadness of the past,”

she replied; “nor would I exchange the pensive satisfaction,
which I derive from these sweet remembrances
of my dear father’s affection, for the gayest delights
which the world has to bestow.”

“I can easily conceive,” said Talbot, “the gratification
which they must yield to a mind of sensibility,
like yours; but to encourage the constant recurrence
of gloomy images, and suffer the mind to dwell with
perpetual regret, on the memory of departed friends,
renders it indifferent to society, and inspired it with disgust
for the most innocent and rational enjoyments of
life.”

“These letters can never produce an effect like that,”
said Amelia; “but while I feel, that I have many things
still to attach me to the world, I feel also, that the dearest
ties which bound me to it, are forever severed; and
that to me, its gaieties and its pleasures must be henceforth
empty and unattractive.”

“But new ties,” said Talbot, “dearer, far dearer,
even than those of parental love, may fasten you again
to earth; nor shall a mother’s love be wanting to perfect
your happiness; for even now it invites you to her
arms, with a tenderness, which I am sure you cannot
doubt.”

He drew forth his mother’s letter, as he spoke, though
Amelia, agitated by his words, scarcely dared to raise 9(5)v 106
her eyes; and without waiting for her to reply, he continued:

“I received this, at a time when my mind was too
much engrossed and excited, to attend a moment to its
contents; and aware that my mother wrote to you at
the same period, I thought less of communicating this
testimony of her sympathy and affection, than I should
otherwise have done. But in reperusing it this morning,
I could not resist the wish of bringing it to you,
that you might see with what tenderness she loves you,
with what solicitude she thinks of your welfare, and
with what earnestness she expresses her desire to supply
the place of your own lamented mother.”

Lady Talbot had expressed all this, and more than
this in her truly maternal letter to Amelia, who could
not now, however, hear it repeated from the lips of her
son without the most powerful emotion; and unable to
speak, and not daring to look at Talbot, she received
the letter in silence from his hand. That part of the
sentence, which related to his choice of a wife was fortunately
on the opposite page, and while Amelia read
the passage to which he pointed, he watched with interest
the expressive variations of her countenance. Feeling
deeply the forlornness of her orphan state, she was
exquisitely alive to every act and expression of kindness;
but those of so much tenderness, from a friend
who from her earliest infancy had been to her a second
mother, deeply touched her grateful and affectionate
heart; and before she had read half the sentence the
letters swam before her, and tears, which she found it
impossible to restrain, fell fast upon the paper.

Talbot, shocked and distressed, bent eagerly towards
her.

“My dear Amelia!” was his tender and involuntary
expression, “these words have awakened some painful
reminiscence, and I have done wrong in requesting
you to read them.”

“These are tears of grateful pleasure and affection,
Talbot,”
she replied, hastily brushing them away.
“Your mother’s kindness effects me beyond expression; 9(6)r 107
it has been unremitted from my infancy, and she
still brightens with it this hour of sorrow and bereavement.
I love my uncle; and my cousin has been to
me the kindest and tenderest of friends; but still I cannot
forget that I am in a land of strangers, and my heart
yearns for the friends of my childhood! I long to embrace
them, to revisit the scenes of my birth, to tread
again those haunts, hallowed by the remembrance of my
parents; where every object will speak to me of them,
and sooth me with the recollection of earlier and happier
days.”

“And you will go then?” said Talbot; “you will accept
my mother’s invitation, and be to her a daughter,
far more worthy of her love, far more capable of contributing
to her happiness, than ever her absent son has
been.”

“You are not aware, perhaps,” said Amelia, “that
your father is my guardian, and the wish which he expresses
for my return, my inclination prompts me to interpret
as a command.”

“I am certain, however,” said Talbot, “it was not
his intention to impose a command; but only to express
a wish, which might tend to promote your happiness.”

“I know it well,” returned Amelia; “but even
were the wish less agreeable to me than it is, I would
comply with it, because I both respect and love Sir
William
, and because I know my father would desire
me to submit entirely to his direction. I shall ever remember,
with what solemnity he consigned me to the
care and affection of your parents, in case of his own
and my mother’s death. Her health rendered even the
hope of her return delusive; and as if inspired with a
presentiment of his own melancholy fate, he wrote his
will and appointed my guardian; and as the ship in
which we embarked, receded from the beloved shores of
our country, I shall never forget the look of fond and
mournful regret, with which he continued to regard
them, till darkness veiled them from our view.”

“Many a brave heart then took its last farewell of 9(6)v 108
England,”
said Talbot, “and many more which now
beat warm and high, shall moulder far from the green
shores to which they vainly hope to return.”

“May Heaven interpose to heal this unhappy quarrel,”
said Amelia, “before any more victims have perished
in its cause. All the good which may result from
it, cannot atone for the hopes which it has blighted, the
thousand ties of affection, which it has relentlessly torn
asunder.”

“It is sad indeed,” exclaimed Talbot, “to reflect on
private sorrows in a time like this. It softens the sternest
heart, unnerves the most vigorous arm, and sinks
the hero to a man. I confess I am sickened with the
miseries of war; were our efforts effective, I would
think only of the public good and force myself to disregard
the anguish of domestic life; but three years
have already passed in a vain and bloody struggle, and
still we are not one step nearer to the object of our
wishes. I believe when this war with America is ended,
I shall throw up my commission, return to Talbot
Hall
, talk politics, and read newspapers with my father;
nurse exotics with my mother, and read, converse, walk,
and ride with Amelia, as I was wont to do when she was
my fair and gentle little playmate, and I a rude boy who
had not yet learned the value of the happiness I enjoyed.”

A blush of delight stole over Amelia’s countenance,
as she listened to this playful sketch, so like the picture
which her own hopes had colored and dwelt upon for
years; but she replied only by a sigh and a smile of silent
eloquence.

Talbot did not love Amelia, with the passion and ardor
which had characterized his affection for her cousin;
but he was far from regarding her with indifference, and
the consciousness of her attachment to him, together
with the interest inspired by her peculiar situation, gave
a tenderness to his sentiments for her, of which they
might otherwise have been destitute. It was impossible
for him not to perceive the influence which he possessed
over her happiness, and the bright blush, the 10(1)r 109
smile, the half suppressed sigh, with which she replied
to his description of the manner in which he would
spend his time at Talbot Hall, seemed, with so much
endearing and innocent artlessness, to express her affection
and delight, that Talbot felt it unmanly and ungenerous
to trifle with a heart so guileless, by delaying a
declaration which he had determined to make, and
which, since there was no obstacle in the way, could
not be made too soon.

He was meditating in what manner to open the subject,
when the trampling of horses announced the return
of Catherine and O’Carroll; and Talbot was not
much pleased, when Amelia asked if it was not Colonel
Grahame
, who accompanied them. Notwithstanding
his generosity of feeling and of sentiment, Talbot had
never been able to forgive Grahame for having rivalled
him in the affections of Catherine. His pride had received
an incurable wound, and with a countenance
which expressed his chagrin at this interruption, he turned
towards the window, to ascertain if the officer, who
rode beside Catherine, was the Colonel.

O’Carroll rode a little in the rear, amusing himself
with a large Newfoundland dog, which ran beside his
horse, jumping, when incited by his whip, quite up to
the saddle and performing around him all sorts of grotesque
and amusing gambols.

Grahame and Catherine preceded him, and as they
rode side by side up the avenue, seemed deeply engrossed
by interesting conversation. In defiance of
pique and prejudice, Talbot could not but admire the
fine figure of the Colonel, now exhibited to the utmost
advantage, as well as the exceeding ease and grace, with
which he restrained the fiery motions of the high-spirited
animal on which he was mounted. They reached
the house in a few moments, and though Talbot hastened
to the door to assist Catherine in alighting, she gave
her hand to Grahame, just as he reached her, and sprang
lightly from her saddle. Vexed at this trifling incident,
he coldly returned the Colonel’s courteous salutation,
and followed Catherine in silence to the parlor. Her Vol. II. 10 10(1)v 110
brilliant complexion was heightened by the air and exercise
of the morning; her fine eyes sparkled with
gaiety and happiness, and her whole countenance and
figure seemed invested with additional loveliness and
grace. Talbot, though he was resolved to think Amelia
as interesting, if not as beautiful as her cousin, paid involuntary
homage to the charms of Catherine, by a gaze
of such fixed and unequivocal admiration, that it deepened
the flowing roses on her cheeks; but it faded
those, which the happiness of the past hour had expanded
on Amelia’s. The uneasiness with which Catherine
endured his scrutiny, recalled him to recollection;
and with an air of suddenly assumed indifference, he began
to caress the dog which had followed O’Carroll to
the parlor.

“This is an acquaintance of your’s, Amelia,” said
Catherine, kindly desirous to dispel the embarrassment,
which still appeared through Talbot’s affected carelessness;
stroking the shaggy head of the huge dog, as she
spoke.

“Of mine, cousin?” returned Amelia; “I do not recollect
ever to have seen the animal before.”

“But you probably recollect the day,” said Catherine,
“when I climbed the rock in the forest, to gather
mosses, and you were so alarmed by the Indian and his
dog; and this very respectable animal is the identical
quadruped, who then intruded upon us so unceremoniously.”

“And doubtless intended only to bark his apology
for doing so, Miss Dunbar,”
said O’Carroll, “and
which you, in terror, mistook for an uncivil challenge of
defiance.”

“I assure you,” said Amelia, “whatever might have
been his intention, the shaggy creature approached me
with no very conciliatory aspect, but with glaring eyes,
and jaws so formidably distended, that I was anxious
only to escape from him.”

“You must pardon him, Miss Dunbar,” said Grahame;
“he is quite unused to the society of ladies, and
only now admitted by courtesy, which indeed he has 10(2)r 111
hardly deserved this morning; for though usually
gentle and well disposed, he thought proper to bark at
Miss Courtland’s horse, which so irritated the impetuous
animal, that her skill and presence of mind alone
enabled her to preserve her seat.”

“He only curvetted a little,” said Catherine, “and
to that I am accustomed; and indeed, Colonel Grahame,
I think the dog was incited to bark at us by a
boy whom I saw playing with him, the moment before,
and who ran away over the fields, when you appeared.”

“I believe I must take the animal again under my
own guidance,”
said Grahame; “he has been of late,
so much with the Indian Ohmeina, that I find him often
in mischief; though he is, in reality, one of the most
noble and sagacious of his species. Come hither, Victor,
and let Miss Dunbar see that you are as mild in
peace, as she thought you terrible in war.”

The dog obeyed the voice of his master, and breaking
from Captain Talbot’s caresses, approached the
Colonel, wagging his tail with pleasure. Resting his
paws upon his master’s knee, he raised his eyes full
of grateful affection to his face, as if waiting to know
his wishes. Amelia admired the intelligence of his
countenance, and Grahame made him exhibit various
feats of sagacity, which she and Catherine repaid with
caresses, surprised and delighted by the wonderful instinct,
which seemed to partake the dignity of reason
and reflection.

“He should wear a collar,” said O’Carroll; “some
one may allure him away, and he is too valuable an
animal to lose.”

“I should, indeed, regret to lose him,” said Grahame,
“but unless compelled, he would follow no one far from
me. It has been several times attempted, and he has
traced me thirty or forty miles, through towns, villages,
across rivers, and over mountains, till he found me.
When he first came into my possession, about six years
since, he wore a collar, which he soon outgrew, and I
have never yet replaced it. But I think when this season
of warfare is ended, should Victor and I survive 10(2)v 112
to enjoy the tranquillity of home, I shall honor his old
age with a collar, on which, in letters of brass, I can
cause his virtues to be engraved and emblazoned as
they merit.”

“But what is this glittering among his shaggy hair?”
asked O’Carroll, who had been for some minutes patting
the head and broad shoulders of the animal; “it
seems a decoration fitter for a lady’s lap dog, than for
the neck of such a wolf-like quadruped as this.”

As he spoke, he drew from the dog’s throat a slender
chain of gold, which had several times encircled it; and
till revealed by O’Carroll’s scrutiny, had been completely
hidden beneath the creature’s thick and shaggy hair.

“Some lady’s favor, I think,” exclaimed Talbot, enjoying
the Colonel’s perplexity; “it there not a perfumed
billet-doux attached to the bauble, O’Carroll?”

“It would, in truth, be an ingenious method of conveying
one,”
said Grahame, with an air which at once
checked the satire of Talbot; “but as I am not often
honored with such tokens, I fear you will search for one
in vain.”

“Pardon me, sir,” said Talbot, with a look of chagrin,
“no one would suspect you of any clandestine intercourse;
and I doubt not even the miracle of the
chain can be accounted for in a very rational and common-place
way.”

“You are right, sir,” returned Grahame; “the dog
is almost the constant companion of the Indian Minoya,
who has a particular fancy for decorating him with her
own ornaments, which I have often found before, hidden
beneath his hair.”

“Yes, here is a string of small beads, which I dare
swear are some of her own manufacture,”
said O’Carroll,
who had been searching Victor’s neck for other
trinkets, while the dog, with his head resting on the sofa
patiently permitted the investigation, as if it was one to
which he was daily accustomed.

“They bear rather more resemblance to the usual
fashion of savage ornaments,”
said Talbot, “than this 10(3)r 113
chain of fine gold, which I should never suspect to be
the workmanship of American Indians.”

“It was probably given to Minoya,” said Catherine,
vexed by the unusual asperity of Talbot, and anxious
for her own sake, to believe that no hand fairer than the
Indian’s had twined this trinket around the neck of
Grahame’s dog. “She has many baubles,” added Catherine,
“which you have seen me wear, and which you
might wonder to see adorning her person.”

Catherine blushed, as she met the eyes of Grahame
fixed upon her, with a grateful and admiring expression,
and she was not sorry that a summons to dinner
just then, terminated the conversation. Grahame took
possession of the chain, which O’Carroll yielded under
the conviction that it could only belong to the lady,
whose writing he had mistaken for that of Miss Spencer.
The topic was not again renewed, and Talbot, conscious
that from motives of pique and jealousy, he had displayed
a degree of acrimony quite unbecoming, exerted
himself to atone for it, by the affability of his manner
towards Grahame; who without noticing the change,
treated him with the same easy and wellbred politeness
which uniformly marked his demeanour. Cheerfulness
and vivacity prevailed, all seemed happy and disposed
to gaiety, and the dinner hour passed pleasantly, and
but too swiftly away.

10* 10(3)v 114

Chapter VIII.

“Devotion, patience, courage, fortitude, I have no relish of them; but abound In the division of each several crime, Acting it many ways. Nay, had I power, I should Pour the sweet milk of concord into hell, Uproar the universal peace, confound All unity on earth.” Shakspeare.

Since the evening of Captain O’Carroll’s conversation
with Colonel Grahame, he had notwithstanding the
malicious insinuations of the stranger, compelled himself
to dismiss every suspicion; and ashamed of his injustice,
he conducted himself towards the Colonel with
even more cordial and friendly interest than before. He
still thought, with some surprise, of the writing which
had so exactly resembled that of Marion Spencer; and
felt a desire to see the lady, with whom Grahame held
so secret and mysterious an intercourse. Fearful, however,
of being thought a spy upon his actions, and
averse to another unsatisfactory encounter with the singular
being, who, he began to suspect, was actuated by motives
of the worst kind, he almost deserted his favorite
walk on the confines of the forest, except occasionally,
when he accompanied the ladies in a morning excursion.

In the mean time, several weeks passed rapidly away,
and Talbot was the declared lover of the happy Amelia.
Major Courtland, compelled to renounce the hope of
his union with Catherine, could not refuse to sanction
his addresses to Amelia, though he scarcely, till then,
knew the depth of his disappointment, or the confidence
with which he had presumed on Catherine’s final compliance
with his wishes.

Happy in the fulfilment of her cousin’s hopes, and
assured that so calm and rational an affection would
produce permanent and increasing happiness, Catherine 10(4)r 115
persuaded herself that her father could not long continue
to regret the disappointment, which had proved
so fortunate for Amelia. Convinced also, that her own
hopes were destined to be destroyed, she sought to
wean them from the object, on whom, before she was
herself aware, she had been startled to find them deeply
fixed. Her father’s health too, which seemed to be
declining, increased her uneasiness and alarm; and anxious
to atone for the regret which she had caused him,
as well as desirous to try the effect which change of air
and scene might produce upon his constitution, she
listened without opposition to his proposal of returning
to England. Nay, she even urged his going, conscious
that her wishes only had detained him for so long a time
in America, and desirous to express her gratitude for
his indulgence, by a cheerful compliance with his inclinations.

Although Major Courtland had been, for so many
years an inhabitant of the New World, he still retained
the hereditary estates, which had descended to him
through many generations, and for which he cherished
a veneration and respect, so great that even the idea of
their becoming the property of a stranger, seemed to
him almost sacrilegious. They yielded him a handsome
revenue, which was annually transmitted by his
agent; and though the wish, that his remains should
rest beside the wife whom he had early lost, and still
lamented, continued firm, he was desirous to spend
some years amidst the scenes and friends of his youth,
and take of them a last farewell before he left them, to
return no more. He hoped also, there to form for
Catherine, a connexion suitable to her birth, and which
should effectually weaken the partialities, and sever the
ties, which now bound her so strongly to America.
The attentions of Colonel Grahame, however, which
he had once viewed with such jealous disapprobation,
he began to consider, as the mere ebullitions of gallantry,
such as a gay young soldier is ever wont to render
to a beautiful and disengaged woman; else why had he
made no serious proposals, when so many opportunities 10(4)v 116
had occurred in which he might have declared himself?

Catherine saw by her father’s reviving cordiality to
Grahame, that his suspicions were no longer awake;
but she herself was conscious that the Colonel loved
her passionately; and this certainty filled her heart with
a calm and delicious pleasure, even while assured that
her love was destined to prove unfortunate. She saw
that Grahame was unhappy; from his own lips she had
received the intimation, that cruel circumstances forbade
the attainment of his wishes, though he had not revealed
those circumstances, and had even said that he
was not at liberty to do it. But so pure and disinterested
was her love, that she preferred his honor to her
own happiness, and unless the barrier which separated
them could be removed, consistently with that perfect
uprightness which she so much admired, she was content
to have it remain; and to hide in the recesses of
her own heart, the passion with which he had inspired
her.

Thus passed away the winter. The middle of --03March
arrived, and the heralds of returning spring reminded
Catherine, that the circle, which during the short cessation
of hostilities, she had drawn around her, must soon
be broken and dispersed. The reflection gave her
pain, and the symptoms of reviving nature, which she
had ever before hailed with rapturous delight, she now
contemplated with sensations of melancholy regret.

Not so O’Carroll. Though happy in his present situation,
and sincerely attached to every member of the
little society, with which for several months he had
been so intimately connected; yet he longed to retread
his native shores; and with the unrepressed enthusiasm
of his character, he watched the slow progress of vegetation,
and numbered the days and weeks, which must
probably elapse before the green fields of Erin would
again expand to his delighted eyes. He had applied,
through the mediation of Colonel Grahame, for permission
to return home in the spring, without rejoining the
captured army, which was still waiting at Cambridge, 10(5)r 117
for further orders; though many of the officers had already
left it, and sailed for England. O’Carroll was
desirous that Major Courtland should take passage in
the same vessel with himself, and as he expected to sail
from New York, he was continually urging him to make
preparations for his departure, and repair to that city,
in order to be in readiness for the first opportunity.
The Major, however, as yet scarcely decided in his
own mind, gave him no positive promise, and O’Carroll
sometimes amused, but oftener vexed, by his vacillation,
frequently left him, with a determination never
again to renew his entreaties.

One evening when he had been unusually importunate,
and the Major unusually perverse, O’Carroll flung
from him in a pet, and renewing his often formed, and
often broken resolution, walked slowly to the garden,
where from a slight eminence, he stood for some time
watching the declining sun, which was sinking to rest,
with the soft and mild splendor of a vernal evening.
As its last rays sunk below the horizon, he turned to
quit the spot; but the fragrant breeze was so delicious,
the sky so bright and cloudless, that he felt a wish to
extend his walk; and opening the small gate, at the extremity
of the garden, he struck into the path which
had been the scene of so many adventures, and which
he had not visited in an evening, since his explanation
with Grahame.

The face of nature was rapidly changing from its late
desolate and barren appearance. In many sheltered
spots, the earth had assumed a hue of the brightest
green, and among the forest trees, there were some already
putting forth their tender foliage. The dark tassels
of the elm, and the scarlet flowers of the maple were
peculiarly conspicuous; and the willow and the alder
were fringed with the long catkins, which burst forth
under the earliest influences of spring. O’Carroll viewed
with rapture, these lovely harbingers, of reviving nature,
and as he walked gaily forward, he thought,
Before these trees which are now bursting into beauty,
shall be again despoiled of their verdure, I shall have 10(5)v 118
greeted the shores of Ireland, and wandered, with those
most dear to me, amidst the groves of my paternal
land.

Love of country was one of the strongest passions in
O’Carroll’s breast, and it seemed to have acquired additional
strength and ardor, by the long period of absence
which had separated him from the land of his nativity.
With eager impatience, he longed for the moment,
when his foot should again press its beloved soil,
though during his solitary walk the vivacity of his feelings
became gradually saddened by the images which
forced themselves upon him. He imagined how much
more exquisite would have been his feelings, how much
sweeter his anticipations, were Marion waiting to receive
and welcome him; indulging his regrets, till
they blunted every pleasurable emotion, and made him
for the time completely wretched. At length, however,
ashamed to find himself so entirely subdued, he aroused
his dormant energy, and shaking off the weakness
which oppressed him, exclaimed aloud,

“I will not think of her! I will not indulge remembrances
which palsy every faculty of my soul!”

“Think you that manly resolution will hold good,
till the moon wanes again?”
said a voice, which it was
impossible for O’Carroll to mistake; and turning hastily
around, he perceived the unwelcome stranger standing
directly in the path. Surprised and vexed (for, suspecting
the wickedness of his motives, he felt no wish
again to encounter him), O’Carroll drew back and said,
in a tone of haughty displeasure,

“Am I forever to be intruded upon thus, sir? I had
hoped that my long absence from this place, on purpose
to avoid you, might have taught you that your presence
is unwelcome. When I resort here, it is to enjoy my
own meditations free from the interruption of any one.”

“Are they so very pleasant, Captain O’Carroll?”
asked the man with a sneer, “that you are loath to have
them interrupted!”

“It matters nothing to you,” exclaimed O’Carroll,
whether they are pleasant or otherwise; they shall not 10(6)r119
be disturbed by your insolence; so quit me directly, or
inform me why it is that you thus haunt my path!”

“Perhaps I may not choose to do either,” replied
the man in a tone of cool defiance, which irritated
O’Carroll beyond endurance; and he exclaimed,

“But you shall be allowed no choice; and unless
you do one or the other, and that quickly too, I will
give you the chastisement with which I have so long
menaced you. I am armed, and bid you beware how
you tempt my anger.”

“And I am not defenceless,” said the man, and partially
unclosing his cloak, he revealed a dirk and pair of
pistols. “These have done me good service before
now,”
he added; “and though I did not design to use
them at present, I shall not be slow to do so if my safety
demands it.”

“Your safety will be best ensured by quitting my
presence with due speed, and leaving me to pursue my
walk alone,”
said O’Carroll, contemptuously.

“As I have no apprehensions for my safety,” returned
the man, “I shall indulge myself with your society a
little longer; perhaps we may be of some service to
each other before we separate.”

O’Carroll was completely at a loss in what manner to
conduct himself. He was unwilling to proceed to violence
with the fellow; and yet he found it extremely
difficult to brook his sarcastic and deliberate insolence.
After a moment’s hesitation, he adopted the prudent
resolution of acting for once with moderation; and
turning to the man, he said,

“It is impossible that we can ever be of the least service
to each other; and since, for what reason I know
not, you persist in following me, I shall return home,
and take precautions which shall effectually prevent my
being annoyed with you in future.”

“Had you been less violent at first,” returned the
man, “you might have learned all I have to say. But
though no injury was offered, you chose as on former
occasions, rather to menace than conciliate me.”

10(6)v 120

“And why do you provoke me to do so by your
conduct?”
asked O’Carroll, “and by refusing to communicate
that which you say it concerns me to know.”

“I refused because you demanded it of me in a tone
of authority, which I disdained to obey,”
returned the
man.

“Then if it is proper to be known,” said O’Carroll,
“if it at all concerns me or my friends, I ask you, as I
would ask one whom I knew to be the very soul of
honor and of justice, to reveal it to me, that I may
regulate my conduct accordingly.”

“But if I do,” said the man, “that smooth-tongued
Grahame will cozen you into the belief, that all I have
said is false and unworthy of credit.”

“He will cozen me into no belief inconsistent with
truth and honor,”
said O’Carroll; “but what interest
has he in this communication? and why is it that you
seek to excite suspicion in my mind against him.”

“And have you no cause to suspect him?” asked the
man; “no cause to couple treachery, falsehood, and
dishonor with his name?”

“None, none in the world;” replied O’Carroll,
quickly.

“Foolish, credulous man!” exclaimed the stranger,
with a laugh of scorn and derision. “You saw the
writing of Marion Spencer; you knew it well; yet
when you brought your accusation to this arch hypocrite,
you suffered yourself to be imposed on by his
specious pretences, and soothed by the flattery with
which he sought to beguile you. Awed by his show of
injured honor and offended dignity, you believed his
artful inventions, and became the dupe of the traitorous
rebel, who laughs at your credulity, and triumphs in the
success of his villainy.”

O’Carroll trembled with rage and jealousy; and in
a voice choked with passion, he exclaimed,

“And was it Marion Spencer’s writing? Tell me but
that, and let me haste to seek the vengeance which
alone can wash away the remembrance of my injury.”

11(1)r 121

“What! and will you take life?” exclaimed the man,
in an accent of affected horror.

“Life!” returned O’Carroll; “yes, twenty lives!
what else can atone for this deep, this deadly injury?
Fool, dupe that I was, to believe the pretexts of this
designing villain.”

“You a fool and a dupe!” said the man, with pretended
surprise; “not many weeks have passed, I
think, since you threatened to chastise me for saying
so; though had you believed me then, it might have
been of some service to you before now.”

“Fellow!” exclaimed O’Carroll, no longer master of
himself, “how dare you provoke me in this manner?
you seem bent to torture and perplex me; but by
Heaven, I will endure it no longer. Tell me where to
find Marion Spencer, or doff that cloak of darkness, and
let me satisfy myself that the devil’s cloven foot is not
hidden beneath it.”

“Have a care, Captain O’Carroll,” said the man,
retreating a few steps, and laying his hand upon his
pistol. “Remember, I am not to be forced into any
confession or discovery. Touch me only with an intention
of violence, and Grahame, in despite of all you
can say or do, shall win your mistress, and triumph
over you in love, as he has before done in arms.”

“You imagine me in your power,” said O’Carroll;
“and if I am so, you shall use it as I direct, or else return
to the smoky dominions, from whence in very truth
I believe you came, and leave me to dispose of Grahame
and his mistress without your assistance. But off
with this cloak at all events, that I may identify your person
as well as I am able by the light of that dim moon.”

He laid hold of the man’s cloak, as he spoke, who,
finding it impossible to shake off the Captain’s nervous
grasp, held the garment closely round him with one
hand, and seizing his pistol with the other, said, while
with a determined air he pointed it at O’Carroll’s heart,

“Captain O’Carroll, I show more mercy than you
deserve, when I promise you your life on condition that
you release your hold, and make no farther attempt to Vol. II.1111(1)v122
discover my person; otherwise the contents of my
weapon are lodged this moment in your breast.”

“Pshaw, what care I for your idle menace,” said
O’Carroll, pushing the pistol contemptuously aside, and
quitting his hold of the man’s garment. “You cannot
daunt me by your threats,”
he added, “and I am a
fool to be moved by your taunts. So keep your person
and your life alike sacred, and do with them whatever
pleases you, after you have directed me where to find
Miss Spencer.”

“You are wise to tempt me no farther,” said the
man; “and as time presses, I will comply with your
desire on two conditions only.”

“Name them,” said O’Carroll.

“In the first place,” said the man, “you shall restrain
your feelings, and whatever you may see or hear to excite
them in the spot whither I may lead you, you shall
promise to maintain a perfect silence and make no attempt
to discover yourself.”

“I readily promise this,” said O’Carroll.

“And in the second place,” continued the man,
“you shall swear to challenge Grahame for the treachery
and base duplicity of his conduct.”

“You had no need to require of me this promise,”
said O’Carroll; “nor any reason to suppose I would
remain passive under insult. May I never again rank
among honorable men, if I suffer myself to partake of
any enjoyment which life can offer, before I have
avenged this deadly injury.”

“When proofs were hardly less strong than you will
now find them,”
said the man, “you were persuaded
to believe that all was fair and honorable, and voluntarily
became the victim of that cursed rebel’s deep and
damnable intrigues.”

O’Carroll was always easily wrought upon; but this
was a subject which touched him to the very quick, and
the stranger with cunning and malicious ingenuity had
so excited his jealousy and rage, that his inflammable
blood was already boiling in his veins; and in the accent,
and with the gesture of a madman, he exclaimed,

11(2)r 123

“For the love of Heaven, end my suspense, or I will
quit you and learn of Grahame, whether it is he or you
who are deceiving me.”

“Follow me in silence,” said the man, “and remember
your promise. Whatever you may see or hear, subdue
your emotions, and place a seal upon your lips.”

He wrapped his cloak closely about him, as he finished
speaking, and began to move with quick but noiseless
steps along the narrow path, followed by O’Carroll, in
whose mind every emotion of doubt and surprise was
lost in the tumult of jealousy, resentment, and anticipated
vengeance. They kept the path for nearly a
mile, when it seemed suddenly lost in a thicket which
crowned an eminence, from whose summit O’Carroll
had often admired the surrounding scenery. Beyond
it, however, his walks had never extended; for supposing
the path to terminate in this place, he had never
explored it farther. He now, however, perceived that it
was not discontinued, but only much narrower, and less
distinctly marked; besides, being choked with withered
leaves, its windings were imperceptible to the inexperienced
eye of a stranger. His guide seemed familiar
with all its intricacies, and still in unbroken silence he
threaded the mazes of the thicket till he attained the
opposite edge of the hill, when the path descended precipitously
into a deep valley, where it was impossible to
distinguish any object except the tops of the trees waving
in the faint moonlight, while the sighing of the wind
among their leafless branches, and the loud brawling of
a swollen rivulet were the only sounds which disturbed
the gloomy silence of the place.

O’Carroll was too much excited to think of danger,
or he would have hesitated to follow the mysterious
stranger into a spot of such profound solitude, and so
remote as it appeared from any human habitation. But
he thought only of Grahame’s perfidy, of Marion’s love,
of his own foolish credulity; and burning with the desire
of vengeance, he boldly followed his guide down
the steep and rocky path thoughtless of danger, and impatient 11(2)v 124
only to meet the false friend, who with such deliberate
baseness had wounded and betrayed him.

The shallow brook was easily crossed on a rude bridge
of moss and stones; and after walking for a short space
among the tall trees which grew thickly in the little valley,
they emerged upon an open space, open compared
to the thicket through which they had just passed, and
O’Carroll was partially awakened from his absorbing
meditations by the glimmer of a light, which apparently
proceeded from a dwelling at no great distance. His
guide directed his steps towards it, and O’Carroll observed
that he moved with extreme caution as they
approached a low house scarcely distinguishable in the
uncertain light from the grey rock against which it stood.
All around was profoundly quiet; the very trees which
sheltered it, seemed sleeping in the moonlight, and the
brook which glided past it murmured with a low and
gentle sound as if fearful of disturbing the perfect stillness
of the scene. The house itself was of the meanest
kind, and very old and ruinous. It was screened from
observation by a group of forest trees, which, when
clothed in their summer drapery, must have completely
buried it in their deep shade. Behind it rose a craggy
rock covered with dwarf cedars and other diminutive
shrubs, among which a few tall trees towered here and
there, like giants above the pigmy race by which they
were surrounded.

As O’Carroll followed his guide past the small window
of the dwelling, his attention was caught by a group of
figures which appeared within, and he would have stopped
to identify the persons who composed it, but the
man, observing his design, caught his arm and drew
him forcibly along, at the same time making a motion
which indicated his fear of discovery. The Captain
yielded to the will of his conductor; and after passing
the house he led him to the foot of the rock, at some
distance beyond it. The man instantly began to ascend,
and directed O’Carroll to do the same. After climbing
to some height the stranger turned towards the house
and walked in a horizontal direction, holding by the 11(3)r 125
shrubs, and moving with ease, and even with rapidity,
along the uneven surface of the rock till he came to a
point considerably above the dwelling. He then began to
descend, and soon reached a kind of natural platform on a
level with the roof of the cottage, below which appeared
a window, through whose small diamond-shaped panes
emanated the same light which had streamed from that
on the opposite side.

The man pointed to it, and stooping down, looked
for some time through the window; then drawing back,
motioned O’Carroll to go forward and satisfy his curiosity.
The Captain, who with some difficulty had followed
his singular conductor along the intricate and
rocky way, was waiting with extreme impatience, to
examine the interior of the dwelling, which they had
approached with such extreme caution. More than
once, he had been on the point of breaking from the
authority, which his guide exercised with no little arrogance;
but he reflected, that an open breach at this
crisis might disappoint the object he had come hither
to attain; and subduing his anger and impatience, he
remained silent and passive till the moment, when the
man at length directed him to look through the window
of the cottage.

His heart beat quick and high at the moment, when
he was about to terminate the suspense, which had been
prolonged till it amounted to positive agony; and in
order to see to better advantage, he threw himself upon
his knees and stooped forward, eager, yet trembling to
draw aside the curtain, which still concealed from him
the certainty and extent of his injuries. The deep and
solemn voice of the stranger, which had not before been
audible since the commencement of their walk, now
sounded with a warning tone, as it repeated in his ear,
the words, “Remember and beware.” O’Carroll made
no reply; he had already caught a view of the group
within the dwelling, and the excess of his emotion palsied
every mental and corporeal energy, and in a kind
of amazed stupor, he remained silently gazing through
the narrow window.

11* 11(3)v 126

The scene which presented itself, was indeed one of
peculiar interest; and the first object which met his view,
confirmed the truth of the stranger’s insinuations.

On a low bed in one corner of the apartment, was
extended a figure, in whose emaciated and deathlike
countenance, O’Carroll recognised the features of the
once gay and handsome Mr. Spencer. A grave and melancholy
female, somewhat advanced in life, was chafing
his hands and temples; while Grahame bent over him,
wiped the cold dews from his forehead, and seemed to
whisper words of consolation in his ear; for the eyes
of the sufferer were often raised, with a look of transient
brightness to his face, from whence they strayed,
with an expression of fond and melancholy tenderness,
to a female figure which knelt beside him, her face
buried in her hands and her whole frame convulsed
with the most powerful emotion. One glance at this
slight and delicate froorm, was sufficient to identify it
with the image which O’Carroll’s affection had consecrated
and enshrined within his inmost heart; and
though the features, whose loveliness was fondly remembered
were now hidden from his passionate gaze,
there were still visible unnumbered charms, over which
his eyes wandered with eager and unsated delight.
The white and beautifully rounded arms on which her
head reposed could be only Marion’s, and the bright
hair, which, escaped from all restraint, now fell in rich
and graceful profusion over her neck and shoulders,
was the same which he had so often admired, a single
tress of which he still preserved with as fond and zealous
care, as that with which a devotee would cherish a
relic of his patron saint.

O’Carroll could not again behold the woman he so
passionately loved, even under circumstances of the most
suspicious nature, without yielding up his whole soul
to the influence of those delicious emotions awakened
by her presence. But the spell was of short duration.
Mr. Spencer stretched his feeble hand towards his
daughter, and seemed to address her; for she raised
her tearful countenance towards him, and its expression 11(4)r 127
of grief and melancholy pierced O’Carroll’s heart with
anguish; though the pang which her sorrow caused him
was trivial, in comparison to that which agonized him,
when he saw Grahame fall on his knee beside her, and
press her passive hand in his, while Mr. Spencer looked
upon them with a smile; and observing by the motion
of his lips that he was addressing them, O’Carroll
felt assured he was pronouncing his blessing on their
union. Marion leaned upon the shoulder of Grahame,
and wept; and when her father finished speaking, and
sunk back exhausted on his pillow, instead of rising to
assist him, she remained motionless on Grahame’s arm.
He turned towards her, and as he raised her in his
arms, O’Carroll perceived that she had fainted. Her
marble features, closed eyes, and long dishevelled hair,
gave to her so deathlike an appearance that O’Carroll,
though he had endured in silence the tortures of jealous
love, could not sustain the horrible idea suggested
by her pale and inanimate form. His fortitude forsook
him; and with a sudden bound he started on his feet.
The violence of the act precipitated a loose stone from
the rocky platform, which rolling down the side of the
rock, struck the wall of the cottage with a force so great
that O’Carroll thought it must inevitably occasion their
discovery. But the instant in which the stone commenced
its downward progress, the man, who had hitherto
remained inactive beside O’Carroll, caught his arm
and muttering a deep oath, drew him precipitately back
to where a thick growth of cedars offered them a place
of concealment. In the midst of their harsh and prickly
branches, the man crouched like one accustomed to
conceal himself at a moment’s warning, and whispered
O’Carroll to do the same; who, however, found more
difficulty in accommodating himself to so uncomfortable
a situation. He wished also to know if the noise had
occasioned any disturbance in the cottage, and he persisted
in retaining an upright posture, which enabled
him to keep his eye fixed upon the small casement,
from which he had so hastily retreated. In a few moments
he perceived it cautiously open, and first the face 11(4)v 128
of Ohmeina, then that of Grahame appeared; but they
were shortly withdrawn and the window closed again;
and as every thing appeared quiet during an interval of
fifteen minutes in which they remained in their place of
concealment, the man at O’Carroll’s earnest entreaty,
permitted him to return to the window, on condition
that he would observe more circumspection.

He again resumed his recumbent posture, and nerved
himself to behold Marion in the arms of Grahame, without
emotion. But he was spared this anguish, Grahame
was no longer there, and Marion, pale and sad,
was sitting beside her father, holding his hand in hers,
and watching his countenance which was now settled
into tranquil sleep. The woman whom he had before
seen performing the office of nurse sat opposite to her,
and Minoya, squatting on a mat before the fire, was
stirring the contents of a small kettle, into which Ohmeina
occasionally threw a root or an herb, which he
selected from various bundles that covered a table beside
which he sat. Silence seemed to prevail throughout
the apartment; but Marion was the only individual
who long attracted the observation of O’Carroll. With
melancholy tenderness he contemplated the dejection of
her lovely countenance, and its pale beauty touched him
more sensibly than even the glow of health and happiness,
which formerly animated it, had done. He gazed
till his soul was melted with sorrow and affection, and
he longed to pass the slight barrier which divided them,
and ask her why she had forsaken him, and where, in
this moment of affliction, she could hope to find the
sympathy of a heart more fond and true, than his? But
he remembered the promise he had given to the stranger,
and under the circumstances of that night, he was
constrained to abide by it. Yet he would have remained
till morning watching the gestures and countenance
of Marion, had not his companion whispered him to
rise and come away.

“It is folly to remain here longer,” said he, as they
turned to quit the place; “you find that I have not deceived
you, and you have now but one course to pursue. 11(5)r 129
Grahame is a villain, and you have only to lodge
a brace of bullets in his heart, and take Marion for your
pains, if indeed, you think her worth the trouble of taking.”

“But how came she here,” asked O’Carroll, “in
this miserable abode; her father dying, and herself
without a friend?”

“I have not time to explain any thing to you, to-
night,”
said the man; “it is late, and when I have conducted
you to the path, we must separate. Another
time, perhaps to-morrorw night, should we chance to
meet, I will explain to you all the mystery.”

“To-morrow night!” repeated O’Carroll, “I know
not where I shall then be; before that hour arrives
Grahame or I shall have terminated our earthly career;
so if you have any thing to communicate delay it not,
till a period which never may arrive.”

“These rebels are not famous marksmen,” said the
man; “and I have a presentiment, that you will escape
without the singing of a hair; only load well, and take
good aim; keep a steady hand, and a straight eye, and
the villain shall never cock another pistol at you, or any
other man.”

O’Carroll involuntarily shuddered; and for some
minutes walked on in gloomy silence; then again reverting
to the subject of Marion’s situation, he asked,

“But will you not inform me, to what circumstance
Miss Spencer’s present situation is owing, and how she
came to be under the immediate protection of Colonel
Grahame
?”

“He took her under his protection, to be sure,” replied
the man, with a sarcastic sneer; “it can be no
very difficult task to decoy a dying man, and a credulous
girl, with fair promises; and Grahame, devil as he
is, has the tongue of an angel, as you well know, when
he chooses to appear like one.”

“Curse his hypocrisy!” muttered O’Carroll, and
again sunk into silence, which was not interrupted till
they regained the path, when the man stopped and
said,

11(5)v 130

“I have performed my promise, Captain O’Carroll;
remember yours; and if Grahame accepts your challenge,
inform me of it by writing; name the time, and
place of meeting, and deposit your note in the hollow
trunk of this oak tree, where I will look for it to-morrow.
Do you grant my request?”

“Tell me first, why you make one so singular?” asked
O’Carroll.

“It matters not,” he replied; “I have awakened
you from the delusion in which you were slumbering,
and you owe me, at least, this trifling favor. Grant it,
or I may do you more injury, than I have yet done
service.”

“I care nothing for your threats,” said O’Carroll;
“but as I have no objection to your knowing as much
of the affair as you please, I will humor your fancy,
and deposit the note where you direct.”

“Farewell, then; and success attend you,” said the
stranger; and turning away, he disappeared in the
thicket. Glad to be rid of so disagreeable a companion,
O’Carroll walked on, with the light and rapid step
of one who feels that he is suddenly relieved of a burden,
which had long been cumbersome and oppressive.

11(6)r 131

Chapter IX.

“Your words have took such pains, as if they labored To bring manslaughter into form, set quarrelling Upon the head of valor; which, indeed, Is valor misbegot, and came into the world, When sects and factions were but newly born; He’s truly valiant that can wisely suffer The worst that man can breathe; and make his wrongs His outsides; wear them, like his raiment, carelessly; And ne’er prefer his injuries to his heart, To bring it into danger.” Shakspeare.

As O’Carroll approached the house, a horseman rode
from it, whom he instantly recognised as Colonel Grahame;
and with every hostile passion excited against
him, his first impulse was to follow, and upbraid him for
his perfidy. He accordingly, took several hasty strides
down the avenue; but he was soon outstripped by the
fleetness of Grahame’s steed; and finding the attempt
to overtake him vain, he returned, vexed and disappointed,
towards the house. Before he reached it, however,
he met William, who having stopped to adjust his
girths, was now hastening to overtake his master. O’Carroll,
in no very gentle tone, commanded him to stop;
and though the man obeyed, he ventured to say, the
Colonel had directed him, on no account to linger behind.

“Do as I bid you,” exclaimed O’Carroll, in an imperious
tone, “and I will excuse you to your master.”

He then left him, and hastening to own room, wrote
a brief challenge to the Colonel, which he gave to William,
with an injunction to deliver it speedily and carefully
to his master; and was re-crossing the hall on his
way to the parlor, when he met Catherine, repairing to
her father, who for several days, had been confined by
indisposition to his apartment.

11(6)v 132

“You have had a long walk to-night, Captain O’Carroll,”
said Catherine, stopping abruptly when she saw
him; “there have been many inquiries after you, and
Captain Talbot is quite vexed at your penchant for
solitary rambles.”

“Is Talbot here?” said O’Carroll, quickly; “how
fortunate,”
he added, and was turning towards the parlor,
when Catherine, struck by the disorder of his looks
and manner, hastily exclaimed,

“What has befallen you, O’Carroll? all, I am sure,
is not well.”

“All will be well to-morrow, Catherine,” returned
O’Carroll, wildly.

“What is it you mean?” said Catherine, with increased
uneasiness; “and with whom have you quarrelled
to-night?”

“With no one to-night,” he replied, in a calmer accent;
“but to-morrow I have a deadly account to settle.
Catherine, Grahame is a villain, unworthy of your regard,
and destitute of every virtue which we have foolishly
ascribed to him.”

Catherine grew pale, and remained silent for a moment;
but regaining her habitual self-possession, she
was about to speak, when Talbot, hearing voices in the
hall, came out to learn if the Captain had returned. The
gay salutation which trembled on his lips, was checked
by the first glance at O’Carroll’s inflamed and agitated
countenance; and before he could inquire the cause of
his excitement, O’Carroll, extending his hand, said, in
a hurried tone,

“I was never more rejoiced to see you, Talbot, in
my life; I have a favor to ask, which I know you will
not deny me.”

“Certainly not, if it is in my power to grant it,” said
Talbot.

“Come then with me to my apartment,” said O’Carroll,
“and we will take time to discuss the affair. And
you will excuse me, Miss Courtland,”
he added, turning
to Catherine, “for declining any further explanation
at present, though I beg you will feel no uneasiness 12(1)r 133
on account of the inadvertent intimation, which in a
moment of ungovernable feeling I was so foolish as to
give.”

“I shall certainly not suffer it to distress me,” said
Catherine, calmly. “I have too much confidence in
the excellence of Colonel Grahame’s principles, to fear
that he will throw away his own life, or deliberately take
that of another in a manner so foolish and unjustifiable,
let the provocation be what it may. As a sincere and
candid friend, Captain O’Carroll, I entreat you to reflect
calmly and dispassionately before you take the
rash step which you meditate. You have once acknowledged
yourself unjust towards Grahame; and whatever
incident may have transpired to reawaken your doubts,
it would, at least, be the wisest course to let them be confirmed
before you proceed to accusation and revenge.”

“Miss Courtland, I have had occular demonstration
of their truth,”
said O’Carroll. “I have seen Marion
Spencer
; seen her in the arms of Grahame, and do you
wish me tamely to brook this indignity?”

Catherine felt the color forsake her cheek; but she
resolutely controlled her emotion, as she replied in a
voice, which, though at first tremulous, became steady
as she proceeded,

“There is,—there must be some mistake, Captain
O’Carroll
; Grahame, I am persuaded, would not intentionally
injure you. But supposing him to be so base,
and to have injured you so deeply as you imagine, would
you not endure it like a man of principle and courage?
Forgive, as you would be forgiven, is a precept which
should govern every heart; and the arm of the duellist
would be often rendered nerveless did he suffer its
truth and importance to influence him in the moment
of angry excitement.”

“With your sex,” said O’Carroll, “endurance is a
virtue, and you shudder at the daring which induces us
to risk life in the defence of honor. But I cannot see
mine insulted without seeking to avenge it in the mode
prescribed by men of spirit and of courage.”

Vol. II. 12 12(1)v 134

“If in our sex endurance is a virtue, it is a still nobler
one in yours,”
returned Catherine; “since it argues a
more exalted degree of fortitude, than with open violence
to resent and revenge an injury. There is nothing noble
in yielding to the impulse of passion; it is infinitely beneath
the courage and the dignity of reasoning, intelligent,
christianized man.”

“We cannot feel or think alike on the subject of
duelling, Miss Courtland,”
said O’Carroll; “at least,
not till you have received injuries as deep and deadly
as those which I will and must revenge. Grahame is a
poltroon, as well as a hypocrite, if he refuses to grant
me the satisfaction I demand.”

“I have only to request,” said Catherine, “that the
affair may not at present be mentioned to my father,
who is too much indisposed to be safely agitated by it.
And since you are inaccessible to my arguments, I have
only to hope those of Captain Talbot may prove more
successful.”

Major Courtland’s bell rung at this moment, and
Catherine, apprehending he was not so well, hastily
quitted the gentlemen, and went to her father’s apartment.

O’Carroll then led the way to his own room; and
Talbot, who had been revolving in his mind how he
might prevent the disagreeable affair which threatened
to interrupt the harmony of their society, was about to
speak, when the Captain, who read his thoughts in his
countenance, suddenly prevented him by exclaiming,

“You need not assail me with arguments, Talbot; I
assure you they will not weigh a straw with me; for I
am resolved, and the eloquence of an angel could not dissuade
me from my purpose. Besides, it is too late; the
challenge is given, and if accepted, I cannot in honor
retract.”

“But what, in the name of wonder,” asked Talbot,
“is the cause of this sudden frenzy? where have you
been? whom have you seen? and what did you mean
by saying that you had seen Marion Spencer in the
arms of Grahame?”

12(2)r 135

“I spoke only the truth,” returned O’Carroll; and
agitated by the remembrance of the scene which he had
witnessed in the cottage, he walked for a few minutes in
silence through the apartment. Then reseating himself,
he detailed with enforced composure all the occurrences
of the evening. Talbot listened with interest and surprise.
He could form no conjecture relative to the cause
of Mr. Spencer’s present situation. Neither could he,
notwithstanding his petty jealousy of Grahame, believe
him capable of such consummate art and baseness, as so
completely and deliberately to deceive them. The mysterious
person who had conducted O’Carroll to the cottage,
evidently with the design of inciting him against
Grahame, seemed to Talbot a malicious instigator of
mischief, who purposed to make the Captain an instrument
of his revenge.

“And when, and where,” asked Talbot, after communicating
these thoughts to O’Carroll, “have you appointed
the place of meeting?”

“At seven, to-morrow morning,” returned O’Carroll,
“in the little valley below the mulberry grove. Grahame
will bring his second, and a surgeon who must
serve for both in case of need; and I have to request
that you will accompany me.”

“Certainly,” said Talbot; “though I sincerely hope
the quarrel may yet be settled without bloodshed.”

“How is that possible?” exclaimed O’Carroll. “Do
you suppose any concessions which Grahame can make,
will satisfy me, or atone for the injuries and insults which
he has heaped upon me.”

“I think there may be some misunderstanding, which
a denouement would elucidate,”
said Talbot. “You are
well aware that I have no reason to plead the cause
of Grahame; but I will not suffer wounded pride to
make me unjust; and though I have sometimes suspected
him of a little amour with the fair owner of the
gold chain which you ravished from poor Victor’s neck;
yet I acknowledge that the Colonel’s uniform conduct
and the pure and noble sentiments which he habitually,
and with apparent sincerity, expresses, have induced me 12(2)v 136
to believe that the entanglement, if such there is, must
be one of necessity rather than dishonor.”

“A speech worthy of Catherine Courtland’s candor,”
said O’Carroll, with a petulant air; “though I do not
understand what you mean by an entanglement of necessity!
I can conceive of no necessity which should
compel Grahame to conceal from me all knowledge of
Marion Spencer’s existence and abode, and induce him
with such barefaced falsehood, to deny the proofs which
accident threw into my hands, of his clandestine intercourse
and connexion with her.”

“Appearances are certainly against him,” said Talbot;
“but we can decide more correctly when he has
answered your challenge. In the mean time, do you
intend to write to Marion, or take any measures with
regard to her?”

“I intend to see her, Talbot,” said O’Carroll, “and
I wish you to accompany me to the cottage before the
hour appointed for the meeting shall arrive.”

“But should we not wait till we receive Grahame’s
answer before we leave home?”
asked Talbot.

“I will order Ronald to stay till it arrives,” said
O’Carroll; “and if we set out at an early hour we shall
be back, and on the spot at the specified time. I will
myself awaken you, and hope we may get off without
disturbing Major Courtland and the ladies, for whose
sakes I wish the affair might terminate more happily
than I fear it will. Good night, Talbot; it is late, and
you require sleep. I have some letters to write, that
will occupy me most of the night, and which I shall
entrust to your care. I have also some slight favors to
request of you, which I will mention in writing; and
now, my dear fellow, again good night.”

“I have no wish to sleep,” returned Talbot; “the
morning will soon dawn, and the hours till then are best
passed together.”

“No, I cannot consent to it,” said O’Carroll; you
will find me an unentertaining companion, and we shall
have time enough during our walk to say all that we
wish.”

12(3)r 137

Talbot yielded with reluctance, and retired to his own
apartment; but his mind was too much occupied by
the adventures of O’Carroll, and the too probable events
of the morrow, to permit the enjoyment of sleep. Anxious
for the safety of his friend and the comfort of Major
Courtland
and his family, he could not but indulge the
hope, that Grahame would offer such an explanation as
should reconcile all differences before the affair had
proceeded to extremity. But if the Colonel was unable
to do that, and proved himself as culpable as he
appeared, much as Talbot dreaded the event for O’Carroll,
he felt that he could not by a single word seek to
dissuade him from his purpose of fighting.

He, in common with most military men, had imbibed
erroneous opinions of honor, and imagined that every
petty quarrel must be settled by the sword; an absurd
relic of Gothic barbarism, which, to the disgrace of
christianized man, still continues to be countenanced
and practised in the most refined and polished nations;
though, it is believed, by individuals only, who, if not
destitute, are at least regardless of religious principle
and moral feeling. But even among military men there
are those who possess a courage far nobler than this
rash and brutal daring; a courage which enables them
to control the violence and irregularity of anger, and
informs them, that, difficult as the task may be, it is
easier and safer to forbear and even forgive, than themselves
to rush, or madly to send an offending brother
with every malignant passion active in his heart, into
the presence of an insulted God.

The dawn had scarcely appeared when Talbot rose
from his sleepless couch, and proceeded gently to O’Carroll’s
apartment. He knocked cautiously, and the door
was opened by the Captain, whose pale countenance
and disordered dress, evinced that he had not even attempted
to seek repose. His pistols were lying on the
table, among papers and letters, which he was now in
the act of sealing. He finished hastily, and throwing
them with the loose papers into his writing desk, gave
the key to Talbot, with a request, that, should the combat12* 12(3)v 138
prove fatal to him, he would burn all the contents
of the desk, excepting the letters, which he wished him
to deliver according to their directions. He then adjusted
his dress, placed the pistols in his belt, and proposed
to Talbot that they should commence their walk.

It was yet very early; but, desirous to go and return
as soon as possible, they thought no time was to be lost,
and quitted the house as silently as possible. They had
crossed the piazza, and were turning to enter the garden,
when the appearance of Grahame’s servant arrested their
progress. He delivered a letter to O’Carroll, and without
speaking, rode instantly away. The Captain hastily
broke the seal; but at the first glance of its contents,
he changed color, and his complexion continued rapidly
to vary till he had finished reading.

“Cursed hypocrite!” he exclaimed, as he threw the
letter into Talbot’s hand. “The false villain dares refuse
my challenge, and insults me still farther by an
absurd affectation of ignorance. But he shall learn the
cause of my resentment in terms too explicit to be misunderstood,
and shall give me the satisfaction I demand
in defiance of his pretended abhorrence of a custom
which has received the sanction of honorable men, in all
ages of the world.”

O’Carroll in a frenzy of passion, walked rapidly to
and fro, while Talbot, not daring to expostulate with
him in the first moments of his new excitement, only
propsed that they should retire into the garden, where
they would be safe from observation.

They accordingly resorted thither; and while O’Carroll,
with hasty and agitated steps, continued to traverse
a gloomy alley, Talbot threw himself upon a seat in
the summer-house, and read with no little surprise, the
letter which had occasioned so much disturbance in his
friend. Its contents were as follows,

“‘To Phillip O’Carroll, Esq. Captain in H. B. M.
―― regiment of foot,
Sir,
I cannot express to you the surprise, with which I
read your brief and hasty note received last evening, by 12(4)r 139
my servant. I know not how I have been so unfortunate
as again to provoke your resentment, neither can I
imagine, on what grounds you accuse me of artifice and
dissimulation; nor is my curiosity greatly excited to
learn. The recent explanation which has passed between
us, I had hoped, might forbid a recurrence of
suspicions on your part, that I am capable of deceiving
or betraying the confidence of my friends.
I have quietly pursued the tenor of my way, without
interfering in your interests, and I feel myself free
from all responsibility to one, who wilfully misconstrues
my conduct, and views all my words and actions with
the jaundiced eye of jealousy.
You must permit me, Captain O’Carroll, to decline
your challenge. If I have injured you, I am ready to
make any reparation consistent with my principles; but
I cannot fight you. I am no duellist; and though you
may esteem it a vulgar prejudice, I felicitate myself,
that I was early taught to regard the practice with deep
and utter abhorrence. Neither your wrongs nor mine,
would be redressed by the death of the offender; and
from my soul I pity the madman, who, in a moment of
ungovernable passion, destroys the life of an unfortunate
fellow-creature, and plants in his own heart a thorn of
poignant regret, which shall pierce him with anguish,
through the remainder of a wretched life!
I girded on my sword to serve my country; and I
will not tarnish the weapon dedicated to her cause, nor
sully the honor of a soldier by engaging in a private
broil. I would speak of the friendship which has united
us, but for the mortifying conviction, that your feelings
were but the evanescent impressions of the moment,
which have ever yielded to the jealous suggestions
of a disordered mind, and made me the constant
sport of your passion; the object of continual accusation
and invective. But I freely forgive your injustice,
and fervently hope that time and experience may bestow
on you that stability of character and feeling,
which is alone wanting to render you happy, and give
security to the permanence of your friendships.
12(4)v 140 Wishing you all happiness, sir, and a friend worthy
and able to retain your confidence and affection, permit
me still to subscribe myself your sincere and obliged
friend,
Charles Grahame.’”

The tone of feeling which pervaded this letter, and
the unaffected candor and dignity with which it was expressed,
inspired Talbot with the belief of Grahame’s
perfect integrity; and he ventured to impart his opinion
to O’Carroll. But he would not admit the possibility
of the Colonel’s innocence; and anxious to be off, before
the family had arisen, he urged Talbot to hasten
from the garden and proceed with him to the cottage.

“I will stake my life,” he said, “that Grahame is
there, or his servant would not have been out thus
early; and if he persists in refusing me a fair and honorable
combat, I will fight him in despite of himself.”

Talbot hazarded no reply, and they passed in silence
through the gate. Their walk was without incident;
and both absorbed in unpleasant meditation, they seldom
in the course of it, addressed each other. They
crossed the brook, and passing through the little damp
valley, where the path bore the appearance of being frequently
trodden, advanced with extreme caution towards
the cottage, which, notwithstanding his recent
visit, O’Carroll would have had some difficulty in finding,
but for the blue smoke which curled in the clear air
of the morning above the tall forest trees, which embosomed
the humble dwelling.

Leaving Talbot concealed in a group of firs, O’Carroll
advanced to reconnoitre, and endeavor to judge from appearances
in what manner it was best to make himself
known to Marion. But he could decide from nothing
that he saw around the cottage. No creature was visible,
and the deep unbroken silence of the place led him
to suppose that the inmates of the dwelling were still
buried in sleep. Emboldened by this idea, O’Carroll
stepped forward to take a nearer view, when suddenly
the door was opened, and the Indian Ohmeina came 12(5)r 141
out and walked rapidly away, passing so near O’Carroll
who concealed himself behind the trunk of a large tree,
that he could easily have grasped his garments. He
had scarcely disappeared from view, when the cottage
door again flew open, and O’Carroll’s blood boiled in
his veins, as he beheld Colonel Grahame, with Marion
Spencer
leaning on his arm, come out and walk towards
a little path which ran along the foot of the rock.

She seemed to rest upon him with an air of confidence
and affection, and O’Carroll thought her neither
inattentive nor indifferent to his words, while he stooped
towards her and seemed to address her with tenderness.

Regardless of the alarm which his sudden appearance
might occasion Marion, and of the inhumanity of
disturbing her, in a moment of affliction; regardless of
every thing, in fact, save the suggestions of rage and
jealousy, O’Carroll rushed from the place of his concealment,
and advanced precipitately to the path along
which they were walking. His countenance was inflamed
with passion, and springing directly before Grahame,
without daring to glance at Marion, he exclaimed
in a voice, nearly inarticulate with rage,

“Wretch, cowardly and base! is this your boasted
honor? this the courage and the principle, which
prompted you to refuse a fair and manly challenge;
but does not prevent your stooping to the meanest arts
of deception and hypocrisy.”

He was proceeding with the same violence of gesture
and expression, when a shriek from Marion interrupted
him; and but for the supporting arm of Grahame, she
would have fallen to the ground. He turned to O’Carroll
as he raised her, and said, with a look and an accent
of severe reproach,

“Selfish and unfeeling man! to pursue me with your
invectives, even to the abode of wretchedness and
death! Leave me! depart from this place, nor violate
with your ungovernable passions, this miserable asylum
of the afflicted and unfortunate.”

12(5)v 142

“I will not depart,” exclaimed O’Carroll; “neither
your threats nor your reproaches have power to drive
me away: wherever you go, there I am resolved to
follow you.”

“To what purpose, sir, is this declaration made?”

demanded Grahame haughtily; “for it is impossible
that you can intend to adhere to it.”

“I shall most resolutely adhere to it,” returned O’Carroll;
“nor will I quit you till you give me the satisfaction
I demand.”

“As a gentleman, as a soldier, as a man of honor and
truth, I forbid your following me,”
said Grahame.—
“Since you persist in your absurd demand, remain
here, and when I have conveyed this lady to the house,
I will return to you.”

“In consideration of the lady’s situation,” said O’Carroll,
“I yield to your request, though if your return be
long delayed, I may be induced to violate my promise,
and come to assist you in the pleasant task of recovering
your fair charge.”

Grahame regarded him a moment in stern displeasure;
then raising the still insensible Marion in his arms,
walked hastily towards the house. O’Carroll, too angry
even for the momentary admission of tender feelings,
and almost persuaded that she had intentionally deserted
and deceived him, looked upon her lifeless form in
gloomy silence, ashamed even to betray an emotion of
compassion towards her in the presence of him, who,
he thought, was secretly triumphing in his wretchedness.
But the instant Grahame turned to leave him, the relentings
of love melted his heart, and in an agony of
tender sorrow, he stood gazing after her, when Talbot,
who, in his place of concealment, had overhead the
conversation and witnessed the scene, abruptly joined
him.

“I fear you have been hasty” said he: “there must
be some misunderstanding; for Grahame’s countenance
and manner assure me there is no intentional deception.”

12(6)r 143

“And are you too, imposed upon by the fair seeming
of this man?”
asked O’Carroll impatiently. “Did
no other proof condemn him, the sudden swoon of Miss
Spencer
is a sufficient evidence of guilt.”

“It may be of her’s” returned Talbot, “and not necessarily
involve the truth of Grahame. But the mystery
of the affair baffles all conjecture, and I confess I
cannot rationally account for a single circumstance.”

“I see no mystery,” said O’Carroll; “I have only
been the dupe of a villain, and these good weapons
shall repay the injury.”

“But Grahame will not fight,” said Talbot; “and I
know not any other mode of revenge which you can
adopt, unless you pay him in his own coin, and win
back Marion, with as much art and secrecy as you imagine
he has used to deceive you.”

“I scorn to imitate so base an example,” said O’Carroll;
“and as for Marion, Talbot—passionately as I
love her, I would not wish her to be mine, if she has,
indeed, been guilty of the perfidy which I suspect.”

“If you suspect her of falsehood,” said Talbot, “how
is it that you cherish such deep resentment against the
object, who has superseded you in her affection? A
perfidious woman is not worthy a sigh of regret.”

“It is not because he has won her, but because he
has done so by unfair means, that I am irritated against
him,”
said O’Carroll. “If he had candidly acknowledged
his designs and his love, I should have wished
him happiness, and have seen with calmness, the possession
of Marion transferred to him. But to be made
the dupe of his hypocrisy, the object of his derision, it
is insufferable. With all your equanimity, Talbot, you
would not endure it better than myself.”

“Perhaps not,” said Talbot. “though I should not
envy him the possession of a woman, who had already
forsaken two lovers, and could be so readily won by
a third.”

“I will not believe that she has done so,” said O’Carroll;
“her father, I am persuaded, had much to do in
forcing her from me; and also in bestowing her on that 12(6)v 144
villain Dalkeith, if indeed it be true that she did accept
his addresses. We know nothing of her present circaumstances,
nor what powerful motive may induce her
to yield to Grahame’s wishes. I ever thought her greatest
fault, a want of stability and firmness. She is so
gentle and affectionate, that she is ever guided by
others, and is ready to renounce her own happiness, if
by so doing she can increase that of her friends.”

“It is an amiable disposition,” returned Talbot;
“but I should wish a little spirit and decision mingled
with these soft virtues. And really, O’Carroll, I think
even you would weary of perpetual smiles and sweetness,
and long for a dash of agreeable acid to vary the
insipidity of your wedded life.”

“Perhaps so,” said O’Carroll, coldly; “but I think
I am like to have sufficient acid before I enter the pale
of matrimony, to prevent my wishing for it afterward.
Though, if indeed Marion Spencer, with all her innocence
and purity, has proved herself a vain and fickle
coquette, may heaven forbid, that I should ever more
garner my happiness in the storehouse of a woman’s
frail affections.”

“Grahame is approaching us,” said Talbot; “shall
I retire, or remain to witness your interview?”

“Remain, by all means,” said O’Carroll; “perhaps
I may find service for you, though methinks he steps
less haughtily than usual, as if he dreaded to encounter
the face of his accuser.”

13(1)r 145

Chapter X.

“There is no terror, Cassius, in your threats; For I am armed so strong in honesty, That they pass by me, as the idle wind, Which I respect not.” Shakspeare.

Grahame, however, did not walk with less decision
than usual; though O’Carroll, resolved to believe him
guilty, was willing to fancy its consciousness evinced,
in every gesture and expression. He advanced with a
firm and lofty step; and after saluting Talbot, said, with
a serious and authoritative air,

“What inquiries do you wish to make of me, Captain
O’Carroll
? and why is it, that you persecute and insult
me with your resentment and unjust suspicions?”

“Tell me, in the first place,” said O’Carroll, fiercely,
“why you have hidden the lady, with whom you were
just now walking, in this miserable place, apart from all
observation and inquity?”

“It seems she has not been hidden from your’s,” returned
Grahame, “though her sex and her misfortunes
ought to have protected her from insult.”

“Insult!” repeated O’Carroll; “and who, sir, has
presumed to insult her?”

“You, sir,” returned Grahame; “by intruding upon
her retirement, and alarming her with the violence of
your gestures and expressions. Was it manly, was it
honorable, Captain O’Carroll, to seek me at such a moment
for the avowed purpose of a quarrel; and to violate
the gentleness and delicacy of the female character
by the most bitter and intemperate language?”

“Why, then, did you force me to it, by refusing the
honorable satisfaction I demanded?”
exclaimed O’Carroll;
“and, with a cowardice which I did not expect
from you, decline the fair challenge that I gave?”

Vol. II. 13 13(1)v 146

“It would have been greater cowardice in me to accept
it,”
returned Grahame; “since it would have
proved me too much afraid of popular opinion to support
the principles I profess. I do not fear the name of
coward, Captain O’Carroll, conscious, as I am, that I
have not merited it. I have never shrunk from my duty,
and while my country requires a defender, my sword
shall not rest in its scabbard. But it shall not be unsheathed
in a private quarrel; the weapon which has
aided the cause of liberty, shall never be stained with
the blood of the duellist.”

“One who is so averse to make reparation for an injury,”
returned O’Carroll, “should be cautious not to
offend. He should be circumspect in word and deed;
invade the rights of no man; and hold sacred the claims
of friendship.”

“And how, sir,” asked Grahame, “have I violated
these obligations? How have I injured you, and thus
bitterly excited your resentment?”

“Is the lady, whom I saw with you, under your protection?”
asked O’Carroll, without replying directly to
hi s question.

“She is,” returned Grahame; “but before I reply
to any farther inquiries, I must be informed by what
authority and for what purpose you make them?”

“I must first make one more,” said O’Carroll, “and
that a direct one. Do you, or do you not expect to
marry that lady.”

“And you, sir,” said Grahame, “must tell me by
what authority you, scrutinize my actions and pretend
to usurp an inquisitorial influence over me? I may then,
perhaps, if satisfied of the justice and purity of your
motives, consent to answer your inquiries; but at present,
I feel neither disposed nor obliged to render you an
account of my conduct or designs.”

“I have not the slightest wish,” said O’Carroll, “to
inquire into your conduct, or to scrutinize your motives,
excepting so far as they have a reference to the lady in
question.”

13(2)r 147

“I know not whence this interest in one with whom
you have no connexion arises,”
said Grahame. “In
one, who I am sure, would feel only surprise to be told,
that he who intruded with such unmanly violence upon
her retirement, was interesting himself by the most
minute and unauthorized inquiries concerning her welfare.”

“You have no occasion to add insult to injury, sir,”
exclaimed the exasperated O’Carroll! “But whatever
may be the nature of her feelings towards me, I doubt
not I am indebted to you for them; though still my wish
for her happiness is too sincere to be destroyed by
prejudice or injustice; and I again demand of you, if
your views towards this lady are honorable, or if she too
is destined to become the dupe of your pretended sympathy
and compassion?”

“Your language is incomprehensible to me, Captain
O’Carroll
,”
returned Grahame, coloring with indignation;
“nor can I imagine from what part of my conduct
you feel yourself authorized to imply an accusation so
unjust to my principles, and so degrading tomy character.
A libertine and a duellist are equally abhorrent to
me; and while I profess to hate the vices of the one, I
might with justice be accused of cowardice and insincerity,
were I to practice those of the other. I admire
the purity and delicacy of the female character too
much to degrade it; and he who can deliberately betray
the love or abuse the confidence reposed in him,
even by the simplest individual of this dependent sex, is
unworthy the regard of any, and destitute of every noble
and truly virtuous feeling.”

Talbot, who had remained a silent, but not an inattentive
auditor, could not but admire the glow of virtuous
feeling which lighted up the fine countenance of Grahame,
as he pronounced these words. Every moment
he felt the more strongly inclined to censure the impetuosity
of O’Carroll, and the more firmly persuaded that
the dignified forbearance and self-possession with which
Grahame endured his insulting accusations, could only
be the result of conscious integrity, which rendered him 13(2)v 148
superior to the taunts of angry suspicion and injustice.
But no such conviction entered the mind of O’Carroll.
He had wrought himself into a paroxysm of jealous rage,
which the calmness of Grahame seemed rather to increase
than moderate; and still in the same tone of
haughty defiance, he replied,

“I have learned from experience the true value of
professions, sir; and have found that the most hollow
and deceitful are usually garnished with choice words
and fine phrases. But the only inference which I can
draw from yours, is, that the ‘honorable’ protection you
are now affording to the lady in question, is to terminate
in matrimony; and, if so, methinks I can discern some
slight inconsistency of conduct unworthy of one who
places his standard of honor so high. For this lady,
doubtless, your intention will be most happy; but is
there not another, Colonel Grahame, whose hopes may
all be blasted by it, whose affections you have sought to
win, and now cast from you like a worthless weed!”

“Of what folly, vice, and crime, do you not think
me capable, sir?”
asked Grahame. “You have accused
me of those which are most foul and despicable; and
though with a forbearance which you did not deserve, I
have endeavoured to convince you of my integrity, you
still persist in imputations alike unjust and unprovoked.”

“Are they unjust, Colonel Grahame?” said O’Carroll;
“and have you not sought to win the affections of
Miss Courtland? If she bestowed them voluntarily, you
should have preserved the humane consistency of your
character by informing her of this fair innamorata, who
was to prove so formidable an obstacle to her budding
hopes.”

Grahame’s eye kindled with anger as he replied,

“I have endured the insults and indignities with
which you have been pleased to assail me, Captain
O’Carroll
, because I saw that every faculty of your mind
was enslaved by passion, and I deemed it beneath the
dignity of a rational being to feel or express anger at
the idle fantasies of a madman. But, sir, not even a
madman shall mention the name of Miss Courtland with 13(3)r 149
disrespect in my presence; and if she is again made
the theme of your sarcastic remark, I shall quit you instantly
without further conversation.”

“If I uttered any sarcastic remark, sir,” returned
O’Carroll, “it was intended to apply to you, and not to
Miss Courtland, who is an object of my most profound
respect, and whose happiness is so greatly desired by
me, that I have reproached you perhaps at an unseasonable
moment, for trifling with her affections when your
own were plighted to another.”

“You might with justice reproach me had I been
guilty of such baseness,”
said Grahame. “I would not
wantonly trifle with the affections of any one; and I
must be low indeed in your estimation, or you would
not suppose me capable of sporting with the feelings
of a mind so pure, so exalted, so free from every taint
of vanity or weakness. And now, sir, will you be so
good as to inform me, for which of the crimes that you
have been pleased to lay to my charge, you thought fit
to honor me with the fierce challenege which I received
last evening?”

“You have no cause to inquire of me,” returned
O’Carroll, “since your own conscience must inform
you that no man of spirit would brook the falsehood and
duplicity which you have practised upon me; and I
again declare to you, that if you persist in refusing to
fight, you have neither the honor of a gentleman, nor
the courage of a soldier.”

“I would not choose to be judged by the criterion of
a duellist,”
returned Grahame, “though I prefer rather
to incur your unjust and uncandid imputation, than seek
to avoid it by the violation of tried and established principles.
But still, Captain O’Carroll, I declare myself
ignorant of the grounds of your resentment. You accuse
me of falsehood and duplicity; but you adduce no proofs
in support of your charge; nor have you mentioned the
circumstances in which I have thought it expedient to
employ such unworthy agency.”

“And do you wish me to detail the minutiæ of your
iunjurious conduct, in order to convince you that I am 13* 13(3)v 150
not ignorant of it?”
exclaimed O’Carroll, indignantly.
“You know that you have stolen into the affections of
the woman dearest to me in life; and that you have
artfully hidden from me all knowledge of her, that you
might with more security promote your own designs!
And is there no duplicity, no treachery in this?”

“There would be both duplicity and meanness in it,
had I done so,”
returned Grahame. “But still, I persist
in declaring that such has not been my conduct, and
that I know not to whom you allude. Your charge is
incomprehensible to me; for though it seems to intimate
a knowledge of the lady with whom you saw me
walking, I cannot conceive of your possessing this
knowledge; or, if indeed you do, it is and ever has
been unknown to me.”

O’Carroll was about to reply with violence, when
Talbot, no longer doubting the existence of a mistake,
which gave rise to the difficulty, hastily interposed.

“Captain O’Carroll,” he said, “be less passionate,
or you will deeply regret it. There is some mistake
with regard to the lady in question, which you had better
seek to explain, or, at least, hear explained before
you utter any further accusation.”

“What mistake can possibly exist?” exclaimed
O’Carroll; “Colonel Grahame has long been acquainted
with my passion for Miss Spencer, and has repeatedly
heard me express a wish to learn the place of her present
abode. And yet it is known to him; he visits her
at all hours; obtains her affections; and even now
she fainted in his arms at sight of the lover she had
injured.”

Doubt and astonishment filled the mind and marked
the countenance of Grahame; but, after a momentary
pause, he said,

“The lady whom you call Miss Spencer, Captain
O’Carroll
, was never known to me by that name. But
if the one which she wears is assumed, and she is in
reality the lost object of your affections, all mystery is
explained; and the cause of your resentment becomes
at once intelligible.”

13(4)r 151

“The lady whom I saw with you in this path,” returned
O’Carroll, “was certainly no other than Miss
Spencer
, whom I imagined you knew as such, and
sought purposely to conceal from my knowledge. An
artifice, of which, base as it appears, I was compelled
by circumstances to believe you guilty.”

“You knew me far too well, Captain O’Carroll, to
judge of me so harshly,”
returned Grahame. “This
lady has ever been known to me only as Miss Stanley;
and the incidents which threw her father and herself
under my protection were of such a nature as to render
secrecy concerning them an act alike of honor and humanity.”

Talbot looked at O’Carroll with an expression which
seemed to say, “You find you have been too precipitate;”
but the Captain’s suspicions were not yet banished,
and although entirely ignorant of the causes which
had placed Miss Spencer under the protection of Grahame,
he thought it impossible, that, dependent as she
seemed to be upon him, he could long have remained
uninformed of her real name, or of the events which had
formerly connected her with himself. With a brow still
clouded, though less threatening, he turned to Grahame,
saying,

“And is it possible that you have never known her
true name, nor ever, during your intercourse with her,
heard her mention mine, or allude to the circumstances
of my connexion with her?”

“Your name, Captain O’Carroll, I have never heard
her mention; nor did I imagine that she knew of your
existence,”
said Grahame. “I have sometimes, it is
true, suspected her name was an assumed one; but
the peculiar delicacy of their situation prevented my
intimating such a suspicion. I can say no more, sir, to
convince you of the purity of my conduct and intentions.
If you still persist in doubting, you are at liberty to appeal
to Miss Spencer, if such be her name; and she
will corroborate the truth of all I have asserted.”

“I am compelled to believe you, Colonel Grahame,”
returned O’Carroll; “and though your information had 13(4)v 152
been still more strange and incredible, this voluntary
overture, for an interview with Miss Spencer, would forbid
me longer to doubt you. I wish to see her only as
a friend, nor would I put my feeble claims in competition
with yours.”

“I have no claims upon Miss Spencer, Sir,” said
Grahame, “I am interested in her, as a lovely and unfortunate
woman; as one whose happiness, both my
own inclinations and the dictates of humanity prompt
me to promote. But I shall oppose no obstacle to your
wishes, provided Miss Spencer does not fear to entrust
her welfare with one, whose suspicions are so readily
excited, and who so willingly yields the reins of reason
to the mad guidance of passion.”

O’Carroll’s susceptible heart could not withstand the
manly and generous frankness of Grahame, and while a
glow of shame and repentance crimsoned his ingenuous
features, he held his hand towards the Colonel, and
said,

“I do not deserve your forgiveness, Colonel Grahame;
I acknowledge that I have justly forfeited your
friendship, and am unworthy of the candor and forbearance,
which you have exercised towards me. I will
not say it shall be the last time I offend, because that is
a resolution which I am perpetually breaking; but I
will say, that nothing shall ever again induce me to
doubt the honor which I believe is unimpeachable.”

“I freely forgive you, O’Carroll” said the Colonel,
cordially receiving his offered hand. “But in justice
to yourself, I entreat you will strive to be less apt to
take offence, and slower to suspect the friendship which
never has betrayed you.”

“I will; I promise it solemnly;” said O’Carroll;
“but you know not what a host of evidence arose to
prove you guilty; nor with what devilish art I was assailed,
by that incarnate fiend who haunts the forest,
and who, by all arguments which he could invent,
sought to convince me of your guilt, and instigate me to
revenge the injury.”

13(5)r 153

“You ought to have known the man before you listened
to his evil counsel,”
said Grahame. “You had
surely slight cause for confidence in one, who refused
to disclose his person, and avowed himself actuated exclusively
by motives of hatred and revenge.”

“I had indeed, no right to repose the least faith in
him,”
returned O’Carroll; “and I did not, when I listened
to the cool suggestions of reason. But his taunts
and insinuations awakened my jealousy, and inflamed
my anger. He was so familiar with the history, and
spoke with such certainty of Miss Spencer, that I vainly
attempted to disregard him, and I yielded myself
wholly to his guidance.”

“But how were you assured,” asked Grahame, “that
this man was not deceiving you? Had you any reason
to place a firmer reliance on his word, than on mine?”

“No; certainly not,” returned O’Carroll; “but what
he said corresponded so well with certain observations
of my own, that I found myself giving involuntary credence
to his suggestions; though I refused implicitly to
believe them till he gave me ocular demonstration,
which I could no longer doubt.”

“When, and how did you receive this demonstration?”
inquired Grahame, in surprise.

“I blush,” returned O’Carroll, “to speak of the unworthy
subterfuge, to which I was last night driven by
the frenzy of jealous passion. But you, Colonel Grahame,
who have forgiven so much, may, perhaps, also
pardon this last breach of honor, to which I was urged
by the vehemence of feelings never under proper control.”

He then recounted all that had passed between himself
and the stranger on the preceding evening. He
made no comments as he proceeded in his narrative;
but the extreme emotion with which he spoke of Miss
Spencer
, evinced such depth of feeling, and devotion of
attachment, that it touched the compassion of Grahame,
and pleaded O’Carroll’s apology for an act, which the
Colonel’s high sense of honor would have forbidden his
committing, under any circumstances whatever.

13(5)v 154

“Appearances were certainly against me,” he said,
as O’Carroll finished his relation; “but they are often
deceptive, and were peculiarly so in this instance. I
have certainly never known the lady, whom you call
Miss Spencer, under any other name that that of Stanley.
Her father entered the American service about
two years since, as a volunteer; and the bravery which
he displayed, soon after, in an engagement with the enemy,
procured him a Captain’s commission. His courage
and talents as an officer, would have insured him
rapid promotion, but for the suggestions of a personal
enemy, who maliciously excited a suspicion of his
being false to the American cause, and actually in the
employment of the British. A supposition so absurd,
considering the zeal and active courage which he had
manifested in our service, was yet credited by many,
and he was placed under arrest. He however contrived
to escape, and accident threw him into my power;
but convinced of his innocence, I refused to betray him;
and taking advantage of a current report, that he had
embarked for Ireland, I hastened his departure to this
retired spot, where he has since remained under my immediate
protection; and till now, safe from all observation
or inquiry. But we have not time at present,
Captain O’Carroll, to enter into particulars. If you
please, I will meet you at Major Courtland’s this evening,
and give you the whole detail of my connexion
with Mr. Spencer and his daughter. Or perhaps, you
may choose to learn the history of Marion from herself;
and I have neither authority nor inclination to oppose
the interview, if it is her pleasure to grant it.”

O’Carroll’s countenance glowed with hope and pleasure;
but doubt and anxiety clouded its bright expression,
as he inquired if Mr. Spencer was still living.

“He is,” returned Grahame, “and may, I think, survive
several days; though when I left him last evening,
I scarcely expected to find him alive this morning. It
is the nature of his fatal disorder constantly to assume
new forms, which beguile him, and disappoint even
the observation and experience of his friends. Thus 13(6)r 155
poor Marion is continually agitated by vain hopes and
agonizing fears. Though persuaded, that her father
cannot recover, she will not familiarize herself to the
idea of his death, and when it shall take place, I dread
the effect it may produce upon her health and mind.”

O’Carroll sighed, and remained silent; and Colonel
Grahame
, after a momentary pause, continued:

“Finding Mr. Spencer greatly revived this morning,
but Marion dejected and in tears, I prevailed on her to
resign her place by her father’s bedside, to the attendant,
and led her from the melancholy apartment of disease
and death, hoping that the cheerful view of nature,
and the freshness of the morning air might invigorate
and refresh her. I was striving to console and animate
her, when your appearance, Captain O’Carroll, interrupted
my efforts; though I have slight cause to hope
that they would have proved successful. Independently
of the grief which her father’s illness occasions, and
the dejection arising from her unfortunate situation, she
cherishes a hidden sorrow, a secret germ of bitterness,
which all my solicitude has been unable to discover or
destroy. The secret is now revealed to me, and may
you, Captain O’Carroll, be the means of restoring peace
and happiness to this innocent and unfortunate creature.
I will go to her, and I think,”
he added, with a smile,
“I shall not be long in obtaining her consent to see
you.”

He quitted him as he concluded, and walked hastily
towards the cottage. O’Carroll overwhelmed with emotion,
stood gazing after him with eyes full of gratitude
and admiration. Talbot marked their expression, and
said with a smile,

“We shall not distrust him again, O’Carroll.”

“I shall be a villain if I do,” returned the Captain,
with vehemence; then taking his friend’s arm, he walked
slowly along the path, his eyes rivetted upon the door
of the cottage, and his heart full of hope and expectation.

Mr. Spencer was sleeping when Grahame re-entered
the house; and the nurse was sitting alone beside him. 13(6)v 156
Marion was in a little apartment which belonged exclusively
to her; thither Colonel Grahame, aware that
it was no time for the observance of punctilious ceremony,
immediately directed his steps.

He knocked gently at the door, and, Marion’s soft
low voice bidding him come in, he raised the latch and
entered. She was sitting in an attitude of pensive meditation,
her head resting on her hand, her face paler than
marble, and her long eyelashes still wet with tears. She
did not look up, and for a moment Grahame observed
her in silence; but when he essayed to speak, she started
from her seat; a deep blush suffused her countenance,
and she said, in an embarrassed tone,

“Is it you Colonel Grahame? I thought it had been
Minoya!”

“Am I less welcome than Minoya, Marion?”
asked Grahame, gently. “You know” he added, “I
have been admitted to this little apartment before, and
I come now to inquire if you are quite recovered, for I
would not go till I see you as well as usual.”

“Thank you,” she replied, in a hurried tone; “I am
well, quite well; so go, do not let me be the cause of
detaining you.”

But Grahame saw that she could with difficulty restrain
her tears; and deeply compassionating her feelings,
he took her hand, and leading her gently to a seat,
placed himself beside her. Marion seemed struggling
for composure, and Grahame during the momentary silence
which prevailed, was revolving in what manner to
speak upon the delicate subject of O’Carroll’s visit. At
length, he ventured to say,

“I have been conversing with a friend of yours, Miss
Stanley
, who expresses great solicitude for your happiness,
and an earnest desire to see you. I come to intercede
for him, and he waits only to receive that permission,
which he authorized me to say, would make him
the happiest and most grateful of men.”

Marion made an effort to reply, but her voice failed;
and bursting into tears, she covered her face with her
hand, and remained silent. Grahame was distressed 14(1)r 157
by this extreme emotion, and anxious to sooth her feelings,
he said with affectionate solicitude,

“My dear Marion, I cannot see you thus unhappy,
without excessive pain. I am far from urging you to
see Captain O’Carroll, if it is repugnant to your
wishes.”

“And was it indeed, Captain O’Carroll, whom I
saw?”
asked Marion, raising her tearful eyes, with a
look of earnest inquiry, to his face.

“It was indeed he,” returned Grahame. “Why,
did you doubt it, Marion?”

“I thought it a delusion,” she replied; “I knew not
how he could be here, and in connexion with you.”

“And did you hear him address me?” asked Grahame,
fearful that the harshness of his salutation might
have been remarked by her.

“I heard nothing,” returned Marion; “I saw him,
whom I never expected to see more, and I fainted. Since
you left me, I have been striving to remember what has
past; but it seemed to me nothing but a dream.”

“It was not a dream, Marion, but a reality; and may
it prove to you a most delightful one. O’Carroll will
explain to you all that seems surprising; and since you
do not forbid me to conduct him hither, I shall interpret
your silence as assent.”

She blushed and trembled; but she vainly strove to
speak, and Grahame, happy that a gleam of light was at
length dawning through the darkness which had gathered
early around her youth, quitted the cottage, and
conducted the impatient O’Carroll to the door of her
apartment.

Then remounting his horse, which had been patiently
waiting for his master, in a sunny nook of the rocks,
he rode slowly from the place. Talbot walked by his
side, and they conversed as they went, upon the singular
and interesting events of the morning.

Vol. II. 14
14(1)v 158

Chapter XI.

“He could not speak, he could but hang Enraptured on her look; And sighs that from his bosom sprang, They proved that joy may have a pang As hard as grief’s to brook.” Miss Milford.

In a tumult of hope and eager expectation, O’Carroll
approached the residence of Marion Spencer. When
he found himself alone in her presence; when he gazed
upon her youthful figure, drooping like a delicate flower,
beneath the withering touch of early sorrow; when
he remarked the paleness of that lovely countenance,
which he had last seen glowing with health and happiness,
he forgot the painful regrets which had so long
embittered his existence. The past, with all its corroding
disappointments, seemed like the troubled dream
of a night, and he remembered only the love which he
had bore her; and was conscious only of the joy of again
beholding, and being permitted to address her. As she
sat pale, silent, and motionless before him, his emotions
spurned control. He saw the woman he adored, depressed
by sorrow and misfortune, and with impassioned
tenderness he rushed towards her; he fell on his
knees before her, and pressed her passive hand to his
lips and heart, with all the fervor of devoted love. They
neither of them spoke, but Marion’s tears flowed apace,
and the sight was like oil thrown upon the fire, to
O’Carroll’s feelings. Marion observed it, and made a
slight effort to withdraw her hand from his; but aroused
by this gesture, O’Carroll held it still closer to his
heart, exclaiming, in a tone of mingled tenderness and
reproach,

“Marion, my beloved Marion! do not deny me this
happiness, purchased by months and years of suffering!”

The thrilling accents of her lover’s voice, subdued
the slight remains of fortitude which Marion possessed; 14(2)r 159
and sinking into the seat from which she had partly risen,
she wept without an effort to restrain her tears. O’Carroll,
touched by her emotion, forcibly commanded his
own, and said, in a calmer accent,

“I have distressed you, Marion! forgive me; look
upon me; nor turn away, as if I were an object to be
dreaded.”

“Forgive you, Captain O’Carroll!” exclaimed Marion,
in a low and tremulous voice, and raising her eyes
for a moment to his face. “What have I to forgive? I,
who expected only reproaches, yet am greeted with such
affectionate and undeserved kindness!”

“I came not to reproach you, Marion,” said O’Carroll.
“I came to speak to you, or of you, only with
gentleness and affection. Tell me only that I am still
dear to you, and the past is all forgotten, and the happy
future rises in unclouded brightness before me.”

“You cannot, ought not to say so,” returned Marion,
“till every circumstance which rendered me culpable
in your eyes is explained; nor can I, till then, expect to
be restored to that place in your esteem which I once
occupied.”

“In my love and my esteem you ever have and ever
will occupy the highest place, dear Marion,”
returned
O’Carroll. “My heart tells me, that parental authority,
and not your own inclination, prompted you to desert
me; and my fondest wishes will be realized, if I can
again persuade my lovely Marion to accept the heart
which once she did not think unworthy of her, and to
bless me with the promise of that love which alone can
constitute my happiness.”

“You know not what you desire,” returned Marion;
“nor with whom you would connect yourself. You
know not that we are disgraced, exiled, proscribed;
without a home, without friends, without a country!
destitute, afflicted, and oppressed; compelled even to
conceal that name which was once our pride; and dependent
on the humanity of strangers for the daily comforts
of life. It is with one thus portionless, obscure, 14(2)v 160
and wretched, that you, the heir of proud and wealthy
relatives, seek for an alliance?”

“It is with beauty, innocence, and virtue, that I seek
to ally myself,”
returned O’Carroll, in a tone of feeling
which evinced how deeply he was touched by Marion’s
melancholy picture. “Of this, dear Marion, I am assured,
that, though fortune may have made you her sport,
and given you to drink her cup of bitterness, it cannot
be ascribed to any crime, to any failing even, of yours;
and were I a rich and sovereign prince, instead of a
poor soldier of fortune, dependent on the will of a testy
relative, who may, at last, cut me off with a shilling, I
would rather marry Marion Spencer than be the husband
of the fairest, and the wealthiest heiress in the
three kingdoms.”

Marion smiled sadly, and sighed, as she answered,

“I can but be grateful for this generous and constant
affection, O’Carroll; and you, who know my heart, may
imagine its anguish, when I tell you I am forbidden to
return your love; and that, perhaps, I am doing wrong
only to see you.”

“Is then your father’s aversion to me unconquerable?”
asked O’Carroll, pale with anger and emotion; “and
will he sacrifice his daughter’s happiness to an unjust
and cruel prejudice?”

“You do him injustice, O’Carroll,” returned Marion.
“My father wishes my happiness, and he would gladly
atone to you for his former unkindnesses. But there
are other claims and deeper obligations which his grateful
heart is anxious to repay. There is one, to whom
we owe every thing; one who has shielded us from insult
and ignominy, even at the risk of his own safety;
one who has assiduously administered to our comfort,
and cheered with his benevolent kindness the gloom of
our melancholy solitude; one who has been to my
father all that the most devoted son could be; and to
me—what do I not owe him? more, far more than I
can ever hope to repay.”

“Marion!” exlaimed O’Carroll, passionately, “do
not madden me by insinuations. Yet tell me, tell me at 14(3)r 161
once if Grahame has deceived me; if he possesses your
affections, and if your father sanctions his addresses?”

Marion blushed deeply as she replied,

“My father certainly wishes the connexion; but I
know not if he has ever conversed with Colonel Grahame
on the subject. I know but this; he assured me
that I was beloved by Colonel Grahame, and he wrung
from me the promise to become his, should he desire it.”

“And you promised, Marion,” said O’Carroll; “cruel
girl! at the expence of my peace, of all my dearest
hopes, you promised to become another’s!”

“I thought then that I was never more to see you,
O’Carroll”
she replied; “but had you been present,
what could I have done? Ought I not to sacrifice even
my happiness to the wishes of my father’s benefactor and
my own?”

“No, you ought not, and you shall not!” exclaimed
O’Carroll, with impassioned tenderness. “I cannot resign
you, and I conjure you by all our past affection; by
the vows which we have made; by our future hopes; by
honor, duty, love; by every thing most dear and sacred,—
to renounce this resolution, if you would not make me
utterly and hopelessly wretched.”

“You do wrong to move me thus,” said Marion, in a
tone of gentle reproach. “By awakening remembrances
which I have struggled to forget, you render still harder
the performance of the duties, which, if required, I must
fulfil. I repeat to you, O’Carroll, that I owe every thing
to Colonel Grahame’s friendship and humanity; and
could you prize a heart insensible to the most binding
obligations, or accept a hand purchased at the price of
every grateful and generous feeling?”

O’Carroll traversed the apartment for a few moments
in silence, and then with a more composed air, replied,

“If Colonel Grahame does indeed love you, Marion,
and wish for a connexion with you, he is the most generous
of men; since knowing my affection for you, he
proposed this interview, and even wished me success in
the renewal of my suit. Dear Marion, I am persuaded
your father’s hopes have induced him to believe that 14* 14(3)v 162
Grahame loves you; for besides the cordiality with
which he wished me success, I have every reason to
believe that his heart is entirely devoted to one, who, I
am sure, does not regard him with indifference.”

Marion’s countenance brightened with a portion of its
former gaiety and happiness as she listened to this welcome
suggestion; and the delighted O’Carroll gazed
with rapture on the dimpling cheeks and laughing blue
eyes of his fondly beloved Marion, such as he had
known them in the first days of his love.

“Yes, dear Marion,” said O’Carroll, after a few brief
moments, in which both were too happy and too full of
emotion to break the silence,—“we may hope, at last,
to taste that cup of felicity which has been so often
held to our lips, and cruelly snatched from them before
we had power to sip. You, at least, deserve a richer
recompense than I have power to give; you, who have
endured so much, and with such patient sweetness; you,
who with more than manly courage had resolved to
sacrifice your fondly cherished hopes and dearest affections,
on the the altar of gratitude and filial duty.”

“The world, O’Carroll, would not allow me any
merit for such a sacrifice,”
said Marion; “nay, the
world would not even permit it to be termed a sacrifice;
but would rather stigmatize, and condemn as absurd
and romantic, the conduct of a friendless girl, who
for the sake of a hopeless and ill-fated passion, should
slight the affection of a noble heart, and decline the
honorable protection which would shield her from poverty
and insult.”

“But you, Marion,” said O’Carroll, with fervor,
“are superior to the cold sneers of a selfish world; you
are not guided by its maxims, nor do you fear its taunts;
and though you would conceal the generosity of your
conduct under the veil of worldly policy and prudence,
it is easy to pierce through its folds, and detect the pure,
disinterested motives which alone actuated you. Marion,
the heart which has once truly loved, can never
yield to the influence of selfish passions while one ray
of hope continues to animate it.”

14(4)r 163

“But I was scarcely conscious of cherishing a hope
that we might meet again,”
said Marion; “indeed, I
hardly dared desire it, after quitting you so abruptly;
which, I feared, even your affection, sincere as I thought
it to be, could never pardon. To the anguish of separation
was added the humiliating conviction, that I must
appear weak, trifling, and inconstant in your eyes; and
that, ignorant of the motives which actuated me, you
would despise and remember me only with contempt.
You cannot conceive how miserable this reflection made
me. In renouncing you, I acted according to the dictates
of conscience; and I could have learned in time
to resign myself to the loss of your affection, had I
been permitted to explain my conduct, and reconcile
you to what I then considered an act of religious duty.
Though wounded by the coldness which marked your
manners towards the close of our intercourse, I could
not persuade myself to believe your affections entirely
alienated from me; and violently to break those bonds
which had so tenderly united us, and fly without a farewell
word, leaving you to believe me the false and fickle
creature that I seemed, was a trial hard to be endured,—
worse even than the pang of separation, or the bitterness
of disappointed hopes and blasted expectations.”

“Dearest Marion,” said O’Carroll, in an accent of
tenderness, “I only am censurable; and I deserve all
that I have suffered. I, who cruelly wounded your
gentle heart by my coldness and unkind caprice, was
unworthy of your love or your consideration. Yet I
have mourned for you unceasingly; but never, no, never
accused you. For months I sought after you, anxious
to atone for my offence, and prevail on you to fulfil
your promise to be mine. My endeavours were vain;
and though I left Ireland with a wounded heart, still the
consolatory hope that I might one day find you free and
willing to renew the intercourse of happier hours, has
never utterly forsaken me; but has continued to soften
the regrets of the past, and to shed a ray of light over
the uncertain prospects of the future. And now, dear
Marion, inform me of the events which have faded this 14(4)v 164
lovely cheek, and saddened the gaiety of those laughing
eyes, which once sparkled with happiness; or, if they
shone through tears, they were tears only of tenderness
and joy.”

“The bitter drops of sorrow only, have suffused them
since we parted, O’Carroll,”
she replied. “But you
shall know all that has befallen us; only you must judge
my father gently; if he has erred, it was through the
excess of his affection for me; and I think a heart as
kind as yours will forgive the anxiety of a father for the
welfare of his only child, although you may yourself
have suffered by its indulgence.”

“I am far from feeling enmity towards your father,
Marion,”
answered O’Carroll. “For your sake I can
endure and suffer every thing in silence; and, blessed
with your love, regard with indifference the contempt
or malice of the world.”

Marion made no reply, but remained feor a few moments
with downcast eyes, apparently absorbed by
meditation; then, as if fearful of losing the resolution
necessary to the recital which she was about to give,
she commenced abruptly, and without farther preface,
the narrative of those events which had conspired to
reduce her to her present situation. It was often interrupted
by O’Carroll, with ejaculations of anger or abhorrence,
and with expressions of tender endearment
and consolation. His knowledge of Mr. Spencer’s early
history, and of many circumstances with which our
readers are unacquainted, induce us, in order to make
them familiar with what Marion did not think it necessary
to repeat, as well as to avoid the frequent interruptions
of the lovers, to present in our own circumstantial
detail, the history of events tending to explain many
things which now appear mysterious in our narrative.

We shall, however, reserve this detail to form the
subject of a future chapter; and leaving Captain O’Carroll
and his recovered Marion to the indulgence of their
hopes, their affections, and their fears, we will return
for a short time to Miss Courtland, and describe the
scenes in which she is at present interested.

14(5)r 165

Chapter XII.

“How many cowards, whose hearts are all as false As stairs of sand, wear yet upon their chins The beards of Hercules and frowning Mars; Who inward searched, have livers white as milk! And these assume but valor’s excrement, To render them undoubted.” Shakspeare.

When Catherine on the preceding evening quitted
O’Carroll to repair to her father’s apartment, firm as she
was in the conviction that Colonel Grahame would refuse
the Captain’s challenge, she felt unusually agitated
by the circumstances which O’Carroll had mentioned
as the cause of his anger. She could not prevail on
herself to doubt the honor of Grahame; yet she was
perplexed by the mystery of his conduct, and she
dreaded lest the ungovernable feelings of O’Carroll
should urge him, in case Grahame denied the satisfaction
which he demanded, to revenge himself in some
way equally violent and fatal.

Major Courtland, notwithstanding his rigid notions of
military honor, was a decided enemy to duelling; and
though his principles had never been put to the actual
test, he had several times successfully interposed to prevent
the commission of the crime by others; and whenever
a proper occasion offered, he argued strenuously
against so barbarous and sanguinary a practice. Catherine
well knew his feelings on the subject, and she
thought of entreating him to use his influence in calming
the strong passions of O’Carroll; but she feared to
agitate him by the relation of what had past, and perhaps
effectually disturb that repose which it was essential
for him to enjoy.

She therefore, at a late hour, left him by his positive
injunction, to the care of Hugh, and retired to her own
apartment. Notwithstanding the anxiety of her mind,
she could not long resist the gentle influence of sleep 14(5)v 166
though her dreams were disturbed, and in imagination
she still saw the angry countenance and heard the passionate
voice of O’Carroll. She started up the moment
she awoke, and hastened from her apartment in the
hope of obtaining a short interview with O’Carroll before
he should have time to take any decisive step.
But she was distressed and disappointed to learn from
Hugh, who had received his intelligence from Ronald,
that the challenge had been sent and the meeting was
to take place at seven. He informed her also, that
Captain Talbot and O’Carroll had gone out very early
together, with what design he knew not, though Ronald
had heard them speak of walking to a cottage somewhere
in the neighbourhood. Catherine instantly conjectured
that they had gone to claim an interview with
Miss Spencer, whom O’Carroll mentioned having seen,
though in the agitation of the moment, she had never
inquired where.

Desirous, she scarcely knew why, to speak with
O’Carroll; and apprehensive that he would not return
to the house before the hour appointed for the meeting,
Catherine wrapped her cloak around her, and walked
through the garden to the forest path, where she
thought it possible she might chance to encounter him.
She had proceeded to a considerable distance without
meeting him or any other person, and was about to return,
hopeless of accomplishing her wish, when a slight
rustling of the withered leaves startled her, and she turned
quickly round in the expectation of beholding O’Carroll.
But a very different object met her view. Close
beside the path she saw a man busily engaged in exploring
the hollow trunk of a decayed oak, and so absorbed
by his employment that her approach had been
unheeded by him. Her first impulse was hastily to retreat;
but attracted by something in his person that
seemed familiar to her, and assured that he did not perceive
her, she stopped for a moment to observe him.
She thought he must be the mysterious stranger who
had so often assailed O’Carroll, and a powerful emotion
of interest and curiosity mingled with her feeling of recognition. 14(6)r 167
His features were concealed from her, as
he bent his head quite into the aperture of the tree; but
the cloak which usually enveloped his person, was now
thrown carelessly over one arm, for the convenience of
leaving the other at libery and free from its encumbering
folds. He was habited in the demure garb of a
Quaker.

Catherine was naturally fearless; but after a hasty
glance at the person of this desperate man, she recollected
her lonely situation; and alarmed at the danger
of being seen by him, was turning to fly, when he suddenly
raised his head, and recognised the well remembered
features of Mr. Forrester, whom she had
often seen while resident in the family of Richard Hope.
Wonder and astonishment arrested her retreating footsteps;
and with an involuntary expression of surprise,
she audibly pronounced his name. He started, and appeared
extremely disconcerted; his bronzed features were
instantly suffused with crimson; and impelled by an instinctive
wish for concealment, he drew his cloak
around him and slouched his broad-brimmed hat over
his face, from which while searching the hollow tree he
had so far pushed it, as to leave his countenance exposed.
But almost immediately pushing it back again,
he said, in a tone which seemed to invite compassion.

“Yes, Miss Courtland, you behold in me that injured
and unhappy man; an exile from my country, yet
persecuted and insulted by the people, on whose kindness
I had thrown myself for shelter and protection.”

Catherine deeply regretted her inprudence in having
so long lingered near this suspicious person as to attract
his notice; and she cast an anxious glance around her
to learn if there was any one near, whom, in case of
need, she might summon to protect her from insult. But
no living creature was visible; and relying on her fleetness
of foot for safety, and resolving to preserve the
same goodly distance, which now separated them, she
rallied her courage to support a conversation which
seemed inevitable, and to which she was the more reconciled,
as, believing she beheld the man who had 14(6)v 168
haunted O’Carroll, she hoped to gain some intelligence
respecting the motives of his conduct.

Accordingly, with a firmness of voice and manner
which evinced unusual power of self-command, she replied
to his observation,

“You, perhaps forget, when you complain of this
people, Mr. Forrester, that you plotted to betray them,
and sought to injure them deeply and permanently, by
communicating intelligence to the enemy.

“And is it not allowable, Miss Courtland; is it not
even incumbent on us to serve our country by every
lawful means?”
he asked, surprised and somewhat
awed by the dignified composure of her manner.

“Most certainly,” she replied; “provided that you
are guided by a pure and worthy motive. But you
spoke of being an exile; and there are few banished
men, Mr. Forrester, who are so patriotic as to betray
the land of their adoption, for the purpose of serving
that, which has cast them from her bosom.”

Forrester smiled scornfully, as he replied,

“You are right; nor will I affect a disinterestedness
which I am far from feeling. Besides; if I wished it,
I could not conceal from you my motives, since, if I
mistake not, you know them but too well already. That
proverb-loving, scripture-quoting Quaker, has doubtless
told you all, and more than all; but I care not; and I
freely confess to you, that not affection for my own
country, to which I know no obligation, but hatred to
this land of knaves and fools, induced me to inform
against them and to wish for their ruin, careless of what
might befal those, who were silly enough to cross the
Atlantic for the sake of fighting the dastardly rebels.
But this is a matter of no moment at present. I have
other thoughts to engage me now; and first of all, I
wish to ask, if you know whether Captain O’Carroll
has gone abroad this morning?”

“He has,” returned Catherine; and then added
quickly, “but why do you inquire? Is Captain O’Carroll
well known to you? and are you the person, who
has so often met him in this place?”

15(1)r 169

“He has told you then, of our nocturnal meetings?”
said Forrester, with a malicious smile; “and who did
he fancy me to be?”

“He could not tell, of course,” returned Catherine;
“but why have you concealed your person, and endeavoured
to excite him against one, to whom he owes
many obligations? knowing too, as you must, if you
have any acquaintance with his character, his impetuous
temperament, which is kindled by the smallest
spark.”

“I know it well, Miss Courtland,” returned Forrester;
“and it but renders him the fitter tool for my purpose.
Cogent reasons have induced me to conceal my
person from his knowledge, at least, till my object is accomplished.
And now, Madam, may I inquire if you
know, for what purpose Captain O’Carroll has gone
out thus early?”

“You are aware to what a fatal deed you have endeavoured
to incite him,”
said the undaunted Catherine, assured
by Forrester’s interested inquiries, that he was
the instigator of the duel; “and the heart must be unfeeling
indeed,”
she added, “which can reflect upon
the probable consequences of such an event, without
regret and horror.”

“The blood be upon my head! I care not, so that I
attain the vengeance I desire,”
he exclaimed, with a
look of ferocity which curdled Catherine’s blood, and
caused her to retreat still farther from the person of her
savage companion. “Miss Courtland,” he added,
without appearing to observe her gesture of abhorrence,
“revenge is not sweeter to the untamed Indian
of the forests, than to the heart of the injured Irishman!
I have panted after it for months, and now that it appears
within my grasp, nothing less than supernatural
power shall prevent the attainment of my wishes.”

“Supernatural power has often thwarted the designs
of the wicked,”
said Catherine, calmly, “and caused
them to revert upon his own head. But who has so
deeply injured you, as to banish from your heart all
sense of moral or religious feeling; and cause you to Vol. II. 15 15(1)v 170
cherish those malignant passions which debase the
mind, and blast the germ of every virtue?”

Forrester looked at her in surprise, and said, after a
momentary pause,

“I know not the woman in existence, who would
dare to speak to me in this retired spot, as you have
done. But dead as you imagine me to every noble
feeling, I am not utterly insensible, since I can yet admire
in others, virtues which I am unable to imitate.
Your courage, firmness, and self-command, are equally
rare and admirable, in one of your sex, beauty, and
youth; and they demand the respect even of the reckless
being, who might have been other than he is, had
he been early taught those precepts, and guided by
those principles, which have given to your mind a tone
of such virtuous elevation. But it is too late to change
my course; I have been buffeted by fortune, till I have
learned to consider all mankind as my enemies; though
it is against those only, who have personally injured me,
that I devise plans of vengeance.”

Catherine regarded her lawless companion with emotions
of mingled horror and compassion; and though both
from nature and education she was fearless, and even
adventurous in her character, she would long since have
endeavoured to escape from his society, had she not
known from the information of Richard Hope, that although
bold and presumptuous in his language, Forrester
was in reality a very gascon, whose threats were idle,
and who while he made a show of resistance ever shunned,
with the cunning of a true coward, the force of a
brave arm, or the virtuous eloquence of a courageous
mind. Seeing also, that he made no effort to advance
a step nearer to her, and secure of a safe and speedy
retreat in case he should grow presuming, she resolved
to hazard a few more questions, in the hope of learning
the cause of his hatred towards Grahame; and still affecting
to believe O’Carroll the principal object of his
dislike, she asked him in a mild but firm tone,

And why, Mr. Forrester, is Captain O’Carroll so obnoxious 15(2)r 171
to you, that you have incited him to endanger
his life, in order to gratify your revenge?”

“He is not particularly obnoxious to me,” returned
Forrester, “though I heartily despise him, for the facility
with which he suffers himself to be governed. It
is Colonel Grahame whom I so heartily detest, Miss
Courtland
; and I have chosen the credulous fool, O’Carroll,
to chastise the rebel’s insolence. You recollect the
affair of the papers, in which I was concerned at Albany,
and which but for the cowardice of Richard
Hope
, would have reached their place of destination in
safety. Their seizure compelled me to a flight, which
brought with it many disagreeable consequences; and
I resolved, should I ever encounter the Indian who took
them from me, to reward him as he merited. The
glimpse I had of him at the time, though hasty, was sufficient
to identify his person, and when by chance, I
one evening met him in the forest I recognised him
immediately. He was walking with Colonel Grahame,
and I followed them unobserved to a cottage, which I
knew to contain the object of Captain O’Carroll’s affections.
The next evening I again met the Indian;
he was alone, and I accosted him; he did not recognise
me till my incautious questions betrayed me, and
he positively refused to answer them; but I seconded
my solicitations with a flask of choice Hollands, which
I chanced to have about my person, and against whose
inticements the savage was not proof. As he warmed,
he became more communicative, and I learned it was
Colonel Grahame, to whom my papers were delivered;
and that had they not been obtained as they were, my
person was to have been seized by his order, and detained
in custody to prevent my future agency in giving
assistance to the British. For this I swore revenge;
but not for this alone. The lady, whom he has secreted
from the world, and made either his mistress or his
wife, has long been the object of my affections, as well
as of Captain O’Carroll’s; and the injury, which he
has done us both, by monopolizing her, ought not to go
unpunished. When I questioned the Indian concerning 15(2)v 172
her, notwithstanding his inebriety, he resolutely refused
to answer my inquiries. Provoked by his audacious
obstinacy, I beat him soundly, though since that
time, I confess I have been wary of him, knowing as
I do, how fierce these heathen dogs are in their vengeance;
and as for the Colonel, he is always armed to
the teeth, and so guarded by men and dogs that it is vain
to think of taking him at unawares.”

“And so you selected Captain O’Carroll to do a deed
upon which you were afraid yourself to adventure?”

exclaimed Catherine, in a tone expressive of indignation
and contempt.

“It was not fear, but policy which suggested this
plan,”
said Forrester; “I had my own ends to accomplish
by it, Miss Courtland.”

“In a word, Mr. Forrester,” said Catherine, indignantly,
“you hope that the quarrel which you have
originated, may prove fatal to both parties, and leave
the lady in your power.”

“I care not to tell you what I hope or design,” returned
Forrester, with a smile of malicious pleasure.
“I must be off to learn how the affair has terminated.
Grahame’s rebel heart, I trust, is by this time well perforated
with bullets; and it will be all the better for me
if O’Carroll chances to get one lodged in the centre of
his own. But good morning, Miss Courtland; betray
me if you choose; it can work me no harm, since my
object is doubtless accomplished; and whether it is
or not, I am about to quit this inhospitable country,
never more to behold it. Farewell, madam; I have
yet enough of the feelings of humanity remaining to
respect and admire the superior lovelines of a mind like
yours, and to wish that Heaven may for once be just,
and bestow happiness where it is so truly merited.”

He bent low, with an air of humble reverence, as he
spoke; and when he finished, was turning to depart,
when his design was prevented by the appearance of
the Indian Ohmeina, who, with a bold and lofty step
advanced directly towards him. His air was determined,
and his eyes sparkled with indignation and contempt, 15(3)r 173
as he bent them fixedly upon the countenance of
Forrester, who, justly dreading the vengeance he merited,
changed color, and looked around with an anxious
glance, uncertain whether to effect a hasty retreat or to
assume the air of impudent defiance, and boldly to face
his incensed antagonist.

Catherine still remained upon the spot, where she had
been conversing with Forrester; and could no longer
doubt his cowardice and guilt, when she witnessed the
terror which blanched his cheek upon the appearance
of the Indian. Expecting every moment to see him fly
into the recesses of the forest, she continued intently to
observe him; but whatever might have been his wish,
he seemed ashamed to execute it, and Ohmeina, who
had by this time approached near him, drew himself up
to his utmost height, and folding his arms with an air of
dignity, remained calmly and silently surveying him.
Forrester’s eyes sunk abashed beneath the steady gaze
of the Indian, as if conscious of his inferiority to this
virtuous son of the desert, and afraid lest he should
penetrate the secrets of that guilty heart, which even its
wretched possessor could not examine without a shudder
of dismay and horror.

At length, Mr. Forrester, no longer able to endure the
torturing scrutiny, raised his pale countenance, and exclaimed,
in an accent of mingled fear and rage,

“Why is it that you stop my path? stand aside, and
suffer me to pass; I am armed; though, unless you
force me to it, I would not soil my weapon, with the
blood of an Indian dog like you.”

Ohmeina grasped the handle of a dirk, which appeared
above a girdle, woven from the sinews of the
deer; and pointing significantly to the quiver of arrows
which was fastened on his shoulder, said,

“I can use this weapon, friend, as well as thou canst;
and those arrows are dipped in deadly poison; they
never flew from my bow in vain; and he whom they
pierced beheld no more the sun, nor the green earth;
nor ever again embraced the objects of his love.”

15* 15(3)v 174

“Why do you seek me with such murderous intents?”
exclaimed Forrester, alarmed by his insinuations; “I
am quietly pursuing my way, and wherefore do you
interrupt it, and address me with such a threatening
aspect? Away! Begone! I can no longer be detained.”

“I have somewhat to say to thee before thou goest,”
returned the Indian. “Rememberest thou the day when
thou didst tempt me to taste that cursed liquor, and
when thou hadst made of me a very brute, knowest thou
not how thou didst revile me and insult me; how thou
didst even strike me, because I would not betray to thee
my brother? Dost thou not remember it?”
A glow of
shame and indignation was visible through the swarthy
complexion of the Indian, as he spoke of his disgrace;
and without giving Forrester time to reply, he continued,

“Thou hast heard of a Mohawk’s revenge; and what
punishment thinkest thou the sachems of my nation
would decree against the white man, who had dared to
insult the warrior Ohmeina? Couldst thou stand at the
stake, and see the slow fires rising around thee, without
a shriek of anguish? Or, couldst thou”

“Nay, name not your horrible tortures,” interrupted
the affrighted Forrester; “I have done nothing to merit
such a fate; if I chastised you, it was because you provoked
me, and I thought you deserved it.”

“It was not for such as thou art to inflict it,” said
Ohmeina; “thou madest me a brute, and thou didst
strike me, because I acted like my fellows. But hear
me, brother; for I can still call thee so, though thou
hast done me wrong; I have learned to be a Christian,
and to forgive my enemies, as I hope to be forgiven by
the great and good Being, who created me; and I freely
forgive thee the evil which thou didst to me. But thou
must go with me to one, who perchance may wish to
speak with thee.”

“And to whom would you lead me?” inquired Forrester.

“Follow me and thou shalt know,” said the Indian;
and with a gesture of authority, he moved forward. But
Mr. Forrester suspecting that he intended to conduct 15(4)r 175
him to some place where Grahame, in case he should
survive the duel, might see and converse with him, remained
stationary, his countenance darkened with displeasure,
and said, in a tone of sullen defiance,

“I am subject to no man’s will; and neither your
threats, nor your weapons shall compel me to follow
you a single step. I have nought to do with your master,”
he added, emboldened by the pacific disposition
which the Indian had evinced; “nor has he a right to
interfere with my concerns. Bid him attend to his own
affairs, and leave me to look after mine; when I crave
his advice, it will be time enough to give it. And as for
you, friend, let me give you one caution,—come no more
in my way, if you would not have this stout cudgel
broken across your shoulders; and you see it is twice
the size of that which I spoiled in the same service on
a former occasion. So fare thee well; and as you love
your life, let not your swarthy countenance again darken
my path.”

He turned quickly away, but had scarcely advanced
two steps, when the Indian darted with inconceivable
rapidity after him, and seized his arm with a grasp which
terror as well as inferiority of muscular strength rendered
it impossible for him to resist.
“Thinkest thou,” exclaimed the Indian, in a terrible
voice, “that Ohmeina is to be daunted by thy threats? he
who has faced death in a thousand forms, and slain with
his own hand the bravest warriors of the Iriquois? And
shall he tremble at the anger of such a thing as thou art?
thou who didst flee from the weak arm of the fallen Indian,
even when, grovelling on the earth, he raised it to
strike thee from him?”

The color which the excitement of the preceding moment
had called into the countenance of Forrester, faded
rapidly into the paleness of mortal fear, and he seemed
incapable of making a single effort for freedom, or pronouncing
a word in opposition to the torrent of Ohmeina’s
invective. But when the Indian ceased, and with
a look of ineffable scorn, endeavoured to force him onward,
Forrester, roused by the exigency of his situation, 15(4)v 176
and by the immediate fear of those consequences which
a discovery of his person and designs must occasion,
felt the necessity of exertion; and vainly struggling to
conceal his emotion, he turned to Ohmeina, and said,
in a voice half fearful and half insolent,

“I command you to loose your hold of me this instant;
I am subject neither to your will nor to that of
your employer; and if you do not quit me directly, I
will try the strength of my club upon your shoulders.”

The Indian made no reply, nor even changed a muscle
of his countenance; but dexterously seizing Forrester’s
club, he placed one end of it beneath his foot, and
bending the other upward with his hand, snapped the
stout cudgel in two, as easily as if it had been only a
withered twig, and threw the pieces as far as he could
into the forest. Forrester’s eyes flashed with inconceivable
fury, and Catherine, who still remained a silent
observer of the scene, recoiled at the demoniac expression
of his countenance. Corporeal fear, even the natural
love of life and safety, seemed lost in the inexpressible
rage of the moment; and with the gesture of an
angry tiger, which the hunters have brought to bay,
he sprung furiously upon the Indian. But the wary
Ohmeina, by a sudden motion, evaded his meditated
blow, while Forrester, full of resentment and mortification,
stood for a moment silent and abashed, ashamed
of his impotent rage, and rebuked by the calm and unmoved
countenance of the dignified Indian.

“Thou canst not escape from my grasp,” said Ohmeina,
regarding with disdain the renewed struggles of
his captive for freedom. “Thou must follow where
thou art led, and if thou art innocent, thou hast nothing
to fear.”

“And by what authority, I again demand,” exclaimed
Forrester, “do you presume to lay violent hands upon
my person?”

“If you art innocent,” again repeated Ohmeina,
“thou wilt not fear to go whither I shall lead thee. But
thy thoughts are wicked; thou hast spoken evil of my 15(5)r 177
brother, and thou wearest deadly weapons, with which
thou dost intend to pierce his heart.”

“They shall pierce thine, vilest of thy vile race?”
exclaimed Forrester, again transported by passion beyond
the bounds of fear and prudence; and he drew
forth a dirk which he had worn concealed in his bosom,
and made a violent thrust at the Indian.

Ohmeina parried it with dexterity; and taking advantage
of his adversary’s discomfiture, he ingeniously
contrived to seize the handle of the weapon, which,
after a short struggle, he succeeded in wresting from
him. Forrester seemed resolved to recover it; and
though the Indian turned the glittering point towards
him, bidding him beware how he adventured upon destruction,
he sprang resolutely forward to grasp the handle
of the dirk, when his foot slipped, and he fell prostrate
on the ground. In seeking to save himself he
caught hold of Ohmeina, and accidently struck the
weapon from his hand, which rather accelerated his fall
and proved the means of unseen misfortune; for the
dirk remained upright against the stump of an elder
bush, and as the unhappy man fell, the sharp point entered
his side, and the blade snapping in the middle,
was left in the wound. The blood gushed forth; and
Catherine, shocked by the fatal termination of the scene,
which she had witnesseed with extreme interest, forgot
every feeling of abhorrence and aversion, in the wish to
administer relief to the sufferer. She was a stranger to
those weak and fastidious fears which would have driven
most females from the spot, or have thrown them into
swoons of hysterical terror; and though gifted with sensibility
as exquisite as the softest and most timid of her
sex, it was not of that morbid kind which exhausts itself
in tears and expressions of sympathy, and deems it sufficient
to pity the sufferer without the pain of stretching
forth an assisting hand to relieve him.

Hers was ever active, ever solicitous to relieve the
wants and soften the distresses of others; and the moment
she saw Mr. Forrester fall, her first impulse was
to fly towards him, and lend what aid was in her power. 15(5)v 178
Ohmeina was bending over him, and had already cut
away his dress so as to disclose a ghastly wound in his
right side, from which the end of the broken weapon
protruded, having entered the body of the unfortunate
man to a depth of several inches.

A faint ejaculation of horror escaped the lips of Catherine,
as she viewed it, when Ohmeina, who had not
before observed her presence, started and looked upon
her with a momentary awe and surprise. Nothwithstanding
his civilization, he still retained a large portion
of the superstition peculiar to the Indian tribes; and
though the deep and reverential awe with which he
turned to gaze upon the lovely figure of Catherine,
faded away when he perceived the vision to be mortal,
a glow of pleased surprise, of admiration and respect,
lighted up his dark countenance, when he beheld her
beautiful face full of kindnsess and compassion, bending
with interest over the bleeding and unfortunate man.

“It is all over,” said Forrester, in a voice of anguish,
as he caught her pitying glance; “leave me, leave me
to die as the fool dieth, and end a life of crime by a
death of misery and despair.”

“No, something may be done,” said Catherine,
earnestly.

“Nothing can be done,” said Forrester; “I feel, I
know it; and what a life have I lived to be cut off at
last without the warning of a moment!”

“God is merciful,” said Catherine, deeply affected
by his sufferings; and is never deaf to the prayer of
the truly penitent.”

“He is just, as well as merciful, and my prayers
would be an abomination to him,”
exclaimed the
wretched man.

“Not if they are offered in sincerity,” returned
Catherine; “his ear is open to all who cry unto him,
and even at the last hour the prayer of the penitent thief
was not rejected, because it was offered in the humility
of a contrite spirit.”

The unhappy man groaned aloud, and threw his arm
across his pale features, distorted with pain, and with the 15(6)r 179
horrible workings of a guilty conscience, whose goadings
in this hour of extremity were sharper than the
sting of serpents, and more agonizing than the keenest
pangs of bodily suffering.

“Can we do nothing for him, Ohmeina?” asked
Catherine, in an anxious voice. The Indian drew from
his deerskin pouch, a small bark box, which contained
a powder of very aromatic flavor, and said, as he held
it towards her,

“If thou hast courage to see me draw forth the steel,
this powder may give him relief. It sometimes heals
the deadliest wounds, and my mother, the wisest among
the women of her tribe, taught me to prepare it from
the healing plants of the forest.”

“I have courage to see any thing which may give the
sufferer ease,”
said Catherine; “do not hesitate, Ohmeina;
and if needful, I am ready to assist you.”

Ohmeina bent down to perform the painful operation,
while Catherine, holding the box which contained the
specific, knelt beside him, waiting to lend her aid in
case it should be requisite. A torrent of blood followed
the course of the steel when the Indian drew it forth;
and as the vital current gushed like a flood upon the
ground, even Catherine’s firm heart became sick, and
the crimson of her cheek faded to a deadly paleness;
but she felt the necessity of exertion, and with recovered
fortitude, she applied her handkerchief to the wound in
order to stop the effusion of blood, which had already
reduced the sufferer to a state of insensibility. The
application of the powder appeared to staunch it in a
degree; but the Indian saw that other remedies must
be used before the wounded man could be removed
with safety; and he said to Catherine,

“Thou art braver than the boldest squaws of our
tribes; there is none, save Minoya, who can equal thee;
and if thou wilt consent to remain beside this bleeding
man, I will go for such things as are necessary, and return
with some one who can help to bear him to a place of
shelter. But if thou fearest”

15(6)v 180

“No, I do not fear, if you will hasten,” said Catherine;
“but should he grow worse, you know I can do
nothing to relieve him, nor is there any whom I can call
to my assistance.”

“He will be no worse,” said Ohmeina; “so sit by
him as thou now dost; and before the shadow of that
rock shall stretch across the path, I will return to thee.”

The sound of voices approaching, prevented the reply
of Catherine, and delayed the instant departure of Ohmeina.
They both bent forward to listen, and the quick
ear of the Indian immediately recognizing the familiar
tones of Colonel Grahame’s voice, he exclaimed, “My
brother comes!”
and bounded from the spot to meet
him, just as he, with Captain Talbot, appeared in sight.

Chapter XIII.

“Which is the villain? Let me see his eyes; That when I see another man like him, I may avoid him.” Shakspeare.

Catherine rose precipitately from the side of the
wounded man, as Grahame and Talbot approached,
while the color which the melancholy scene had chased
from her countenance, rushed tumultuously back, dying
both cheek and brow with the deepest and most vivid
crimson. Profound astonishment was depicted on the
faces of the gentlemen, as they approached the spot,
and beheld the pale and ghastly figure of the lifeless
man extended on the ground, and remarked the disordered
dress and appearance of Catherine, who stood in
silence beside him, blushes mantling on her cheeks, and
the most powerful emotion visible on her countenance.
It seemed, in this moment of mystery and excitement,
as if the love which Captain Talbot had cherished for 16(1)r 181
her, was only transiently smothered, and not extinct in
his heart; for after a minute passed in speechless astonishment,
he sprang towards her, and eagerly clasping
her hands, exclaimed in a voice of impassioned feeling,
which resembled rather the fervor of the ardent O’Carroll,
than the cool and rational language of the philosophic
Talbot,

“For the love of Heaven, my sweetest Catherine,
tell me the meaning of this scene. Why is it that you,
about whom every thing should wear an aspect of joy
and pleasure, are in this lonely spot, surrounded by such
frightful spectacles of death and horror?”

Catherine was embarrassed by the passionate tenderness
of his address; but she wished not to appear to
notice it; and therefore replied with enforced composure,

“I can tell you nothing now, Talbot; I have witnessed
a dreadful scene; but this is not a moment for
explanation.”

Talbot seemed restored to recollection by the calmness
of her voice and manner; and though he colored
slightly, he betrayed no other symptom of embarrassment,
but moved towards the wounded man with the
intention of examining his person. Forrester’s arm still
lay across his face, and Talbot, gently removing it, stood
gazing with a look of perplexed recognition, upon the
pale and deathlike countenance. When he quitted
Catherine, Colonel Grahame, who had been conversing
apart with Ohmeina, approached her. He had gathered
from the Indian a short explanation of the scene, and
learned with emotion, how noble had been the conduct
of Catherine. Taking her passive hand, he pressed it
fervently between his own, and said, in an accent of
irrepressible feeling,

“I am not surprised to learn that you have acted with
such heroic firmness; you, my dear Miss Courtland,
who are superior to all weakness, and ready always
with a voice of pity and a hand of kindness, to relieve
the sufferings of the unfortunate. How resistless is Vol. II. 16 16(1)v 182
beauty when adorned with the unfading flowers of virtue
and benevolence!”

There was less of passion than of deep and heartfelt
tenderness in Grahame’s voice, as he pronounced these
words; and he seemed for several moments absorbed
by feelings which he dared not utter; for he retained
possession of Catherine’s hand, till feeling the awkwardness
of her situation, she made an effort to withdraw it;
when, with a gesture of profound respect, he immediately
relinquished it.

“I have been of little service here this morning,” she
said, after a brief pause; “but painful as the scene has
been to me, I should not regret the chance which led me
to witness it, could I have been the means of preventing
its fatal termination.”

“And do you know this daring stranger,” inquired
Grahame. “Ohmeina has told me a strange story of
his having encountered him on a former occasion, and
of the vengeance which he then denounced against me,
for causing him to be deprived of some treasonable papers,
which he designed for the enemy. The Indian,
it seems, declined informing me of this rencontre at the
time, because it involved his own disgrace, which he
has, however, candidly confessed; and as it is the first
offence of the kind which I ever knew him commit, I
cannot refuse my forgiveness. But, Miss Courtland,
this must certainly be the person who has favored Captain
O’Carroll
with so many nocturnal interviews, and
successfully excited him to doubt my truth and honor.”

“It is the same,” said Catherine; “he confessed it
to me himself.”

She then related the manner in which she had encountered
him, and the substance of the conversation,
which had passed between them. Grahame listened to
her with attention; and when she had finished, he informed
her that no serious evil would result from Forrester’s
malicious plans and insinuations, as he had just
parted from Captain O’Carroll, with whom every difficulty
had been so amicably settled as to give assurance
of continued and undiminished friendship. Catherine’s 16(2)r 183
heart bounded with pleasure at this intelligence, which
inspired her with a hope that the engagments of Colonel
Grahame
were not so binding as she had feared; and
again she ventured to indulge those delicious reveries
which had once yielded her such pure and unalloyed
happiness. Before she could reply to him, however,
Talbot, who, till now, had been scrutinizing the features
of Forrester, advanced towards her, and entreated her to
inform him, if she knew the name of the wounded man,
or had ever seen him before.

“I saw him frequently at Albany,” she replied,
“while resident in the family of the Quaker, Richard
Hope
, and I instantly recognised him, when I met him
by accident this morning. He was known to me at
Albany as Mr. Forrester, a native of Ireland; but of
his connexions and family, I know nothing, as I have
heard Mr. Hope say, he ever preserved an invincible
silence on that subject.”

“He had doubtless cogent reasons for secrecy,” said
Talbot, “since in this night-walking, mischief-making
Forrester, for I heard you tell Colonel Grahame it was
the same who haunted O’Carroll, I have, after close
scrutiny, been able to detect the features, changed indeed,
but still the identical features of that Dalkeith
who was once, Colonel Grahame, the lover of Marion
Spencer
, and the rival of whom you have so often heard
O’Carroll speak.”

“You astonish me,” said Grahame. “Why should
this man, if he loves Miss Spencer, assist to place her
in the power of a rival? Or if he has ceased to love
her, is it probable, from what we know of his character,
that he would voluntarily exert himself to promote the
happiness of others?”

“I know not,” said Talbot, with a perplexed air; “I
believe, however, that he has been playing a deep and
hazardous game, which will perhaps cost him his life;
though, I hope, before he dies, he will have sense and
conscience enough to answer our inquiries, as the slightest
atonement he can make for the trouble he has given 16(2)v 184
us. But here comes the Indian with your servant, prepared
with a litter to remove him.”

Ohmeina had quitted the place soon after the Colonel’s
arrival, to summon his servant, whom he had left,
as was often his custom when he visited the cottage,
at the head of the little lane, in charge of his horse.
Though on this morning he had ridden to the cottage,
he had on his return with Captain Talbot, dismounted
at the head of the lane, and accompanied Talbot along
the path, in order to finish the conversation in which
they were engaged, when the tragic scene in which Forrester
bore so conspicuous a part, burst unexpectedly
upon them. Ohmeina, with the assistance of William,
had formed a rude litter of sticks, which they had covered
with moss and dried leaves; but Grahame was
undecided whither to have him conveyed; and though
Catherine urged his being sent to her father’s, because
she thought he would there be comfortably situated and
properly attended, the Colonel would not listen to her
proposal, unwilling, on every account, to intrude such a
guest upon her.

Their perplexity, however, was shortly terminated by
the revival of the wounded man, to whom Grahame instantly
addressed himself, and after a few kind inquiries
and expressions, requested him to inform them whither
he wished to be conveyed. He seemed agitated by the
appearance of the Colonel, and without making any direct
reply to his last question, he demanded if his wound
was mortal. Grahame looked at Ohmeina for an answer,
who replied in a grave tone,

“There is no hope for thee, thou must die; and may
God pardon all thy sins.”

Forrester groaned aloud, and said, with difficulty and
emotion,

“Then it matters not; carry me to the farm-house
on the left of the forest; you’ll know it by three tall
sycamores, which screen it on the north. I will die
there; there, where――”

He stopped suddenly, exhausted by the effort of
speaking, and overwhelmed by the certainty of the fate 16(3)r 185
which awaited him. All seemed affected by his sufferings;
but not a word was spoken; for they felt how
vain would be the attempt to offer consolation in a moment
of such agonizing excitement. Talbot and the
Colonel assisted in placing him on the litter; and when
they were prepared to move with him, Grahame turned
to bid Catherine good morning; to express his regret
at being obliged to quit her, and to entreat that
she would return immediately home, lest so long an
exposure to the chilly air of the morning should prove
injurious to her health. Trifling as these attentions
were in themselves, there was something so touching
in the voice which uttered them, and an expression of
tenderness, so deep and unequivocal in the looks which
accompanied them, that Catherine’s cheek glowed with
emotion, and her eyes sunk abashed beneath his ardent
gaze. Grahame beheld with delight the confusion of
her countenance: and conscious that he could now
break from the cloud which had so long shadowed him,
and offer to her acceptance a heart, open and free from
suspicion or reproach, he permitted the feelings which
from the most honorable motives he had struggled to
repress, to triumph over doubt and uncertainty, and to
revel in the delightful anticipation of the moment when
his long wished happiness should be complete.

Catherine’s emotions were of the same nature, as
she pursued her way home, accompanied by Talbot,
who during their walk gave her a circumstantial detail
of all that had taken place since the commencement of
the preceding evening. As she listened to the narrative
of Grahame’s noble conduct, her heart swelled with
deeper pride and tenderness, and tears of unmixed
pleasure filled her eyes.

Grahame, in the mean time, anxious to fulfil the
wishes and provide for the comfort of the wounded
man, preceded the litter, which William and Ohmeina
were bearing towards the farm-house. Uncertain exactly
where to look for it, he left them to follow slowly,
and walked forward to discover the three sycamores,
by which Forrester had told him the dwelling was 16* 16(3)v 186
designated. After quitting the forest path he turned
to the left, and followed the windings of a brook
through fields and thickets, till it descended into a deep
hollow, where it settled into a pond of considerable
size. On the margin of this pond, Grahame discerned
the sycamores standing by themselves, and protecting
with their spreading arms an ancient-looking farm-
house, whose decaying walls, and moss-grown roof, were
scarcely distinguishable from the grey trunks and leafless
branches of the the trees which sheltered it.

Grahame felt assured that this must be the house he
sought, and he hastily descended the hill to give notice
to its inmates, of the accident which had befallen the
unfortunate Forrester. As he advanced along the borders
of the pond, he observed a youth, standing beneath
the trees, who with careless indolence was launching
withered leaves and twigs upon the surface of the water,
which he watched with no small delight, till they were
lost in a little whirlpool created by a sudden eddy;
when with unwearying pleasure he sent forth another
fairy fleet, to share the fate of that which had preceded
it. He raised his head, at the sound of footsteps, and
looked rather disconcerted when he perceived Grahame,
as if uncertain whether to retreat or not. But
there was something in the noble demeanour of the Colonel
which inspired respect and confidence; and the
lad, suspending his childish employment, made no effort
to fly after the first glance; but touched his hand to
his worn out hat, and raised it in token of civil salutation.
Grahame returned it with native courteousness,
and without any prelude, inquired who lived in the
farm-house beside them.

“My grandfather and grandmother live there;” replied
the youth, with a stare of stupid astonishment.

“And does no one else live there?” demanded Grahame;
“be not afraid to speak; no harm is designed
you; but I met with a wounded man this morning, who
desired to be conveyed to the farm-house near which
grew three sycamores; and I am anxious to know if I
am right in bringing him to this place?”

16(4)r 187

The litter, at this moment appeared upon the brow
of the hill, and the boy no sooner perceived it, than
pale with affright, he sprang away without replying,
and was in a moment out of sight. Grahame knew not
how to interpret this conduct which seemed the effect
of conscious guilt alone; but he could now take no
measures to pursue or examine him, and assured he
could not be mistaken in the house, he proceeded immediately
towards it.

After knocking several times without success, he entered
a narrow passage; and attracted by the smell of
savory viands, proceeded toward an apartment at its
lower extremity. He gently pushed open the door, and
found himself in a large antiquated kitchen, which however,
received an air of cheerfulness and comfort from
the blaze of a huge fire burning brightly on the hearth.
An aged man and woman were seated before it, at their
morning repast; and they looked hastily up as Grahame
stood before them. The man gazed with a vacant
and unmeaning stare, which indicated that time,
while he destroyed the beauty and vigor of the body,
had also crippled the energy of the mind.

The woman appeared somewhat younger than her
ancient partner; and though well advanced in the vale
of years, her clear blue eye and ruddy complexion indicated
a serene and healthy old age. Her clean checked
apron, and her snowy locks, combed smoothly down,
beneath a cap of unrivalled whiteness, gave to her person
an air of decency and neatness which prepossessed
Grahame in her favor.

Glancing her eye hastily over the noble figure of the
stranger, and perceiving by his dress that he was an
American officer, she rose, and folding her hands across
her breast, curtesied with profound respect.

“Do not let me disturb you, my good woman,” said
Grahame, kindly; “sit down: we may want your assistance
shortly, and I should be loath to request it before
you had concluded your repast.”

“Will you share our poor meal with us, sir?” said
the woman; and brushing the dust from a leather-bottomed 16(4)v 188
chair, she drew it towards the table. “I should
be ashamed to sit,”
she continued, “and see a brave
soldier standing who is fighting for me and mine.”

Grahame smiled and accepted the offered chair, anxious
to gratify the kind-hearted dame, and willing to
partake of the wheaten cakes which smoked upon the
table. His hostess was delighted by this condescension;
her face glowed with pride and pleasure; and
tapping her husband on his shoulder to awaken his attention,
for he had appeared to notice nothing after the
first glance, she said,

“John, this is one of General Washington’s brave
soldiers; and he is not too proud, heaven bless him, to
sit down at our humble board and eat of our scanty
meal. Look up, John, and bid him welcome.”

The old man raised his faded eyes, and stretched forth
his shaking hand, saying with a laugh of inanity, “Glad
you have come, Tom!”
He then relapsed into silence;
but cast from time to time, a vague glance upon
the stranger, whose presence seemed slightly to perplex
him; though he shortly relapsed into his usual
state of torpidity, and appeared insensible to all that
passed around him.

“Poor John was not always thus,” said the wife,
with a sigh; “trouble and age have brought him to this;
and he thinks every one that comes to the house is our
son Tom, who was killed at the battle of Trenton.”

“And have you no son left to supply his place?”
asked Grahame, in a compassionate tone.

“None, who can supply his place,” while tears of
maternal sorrow filled her eyes. “He was the best of
children, and a hope and comfort to us. It was hard
parting, when he left us; but he longed, as he said, to
serve under the standard of the great and good Washington;
and we too, were proud that our son should be
numbered with the brave defenders of liberty; and in
the vain folly of our hearts, we hoped to see him return
covered with glory and honor. But we never saw him
more; and when the tidings of his death reached us,
we should have sunk under our grief, but for the goodness 16(5)r 189
of God, who supported us, and gave us strength,
according to our day.”

Grahame was touched by the piety and tenderness of
the bereaved mother, and kindly taking her hand, he
said,

“Many a fond mother, my good woman, has given
the son of her hopes to the service of her afflicted
country. And if they fall, there is comfort in the
thought that it is in the noblest and best of causes; a
cause, which all good men espouse, and which we
humbly hope is favored by the approbation of our
God.”

“And may he prosper it,” said the woman; “though
to me it has been a source of bitterness and sorrow, I
will yet pray for its success. My child was ripe for
glory, and I do not murmur because it pleased the Lord
to take the life, which he graciously lent.”

“But you are not utterly bereaved?” said Grahame;
“I saw a lad beside the pond, who told me he was
your grandchild.”

“Yes, sir, and the only one we have,” returned the woman,
“and all that is left us of our beloved son. He
is a good boy, and kind to us; and it is a comfort to
me, to see how his poor old grandfather doats upon
him.”

“And have you no one else in your family?” inquired
Grahame, wishing to break his intelligence with
caution, and somewhat surprised that a woman of so
much piety, good sense, and good feeling, should have
any connexion with a man so worthless and depraved
as he conceived this Forrester to be. She seemed disconcerted
by his question, and Colonel Grahame observing
it, said,

“I do not make this inquiry from mere idle curiosity;
I have a stronger motive, of which you shall soon
be informed.”

The woman thus pressed, replied with hesitation,

“We have a lodger, sir, a quiet and peaceable man,
and, I trust, you mean him no harm, by asking after
him.”

16(5)v 190

“Is he a relative or friend of yours?” inquired the
Colonel, apprehensive, should he be so, of shocking her
by tidings of the evil which had befallen him.

“He is no kin to me or my husband,” she replied;
“and I never saw him till about three months ago,
when one morning he came here with my grandson,
whom he met in the fields, and asked me to let him
lodge here a few weeks. He seemed sober and honest;
and we were poor, and in want of the money
which he offered for his board, we agreed to his request,
and he has been as kind and civil a man as I
would wish to live with, eating his meals quietly, and
spending his time, for the most part, abroad. About
three weeks since, he told me he had a wife, who was
with her relations in a distant part of the country; but
that he should bring her here soon; and he hoped I
would accommodate her for a few days, till he was
ready to take her away. But I heard nothing more of
the matter, till last night, when he came home late, in
great spirits, and said his wife was at a farmer’s a few
miles distant, and he should go in the morning, and
bring her back with him. And sure enough, he was
away before the cock crowed, and Jemmy, my grandson,
with him, though the boy came home an hour ago,
without Mr. Walton or the lady. But I fear by your
questions sir, and by Jemmy’s behaviour, that all is not
right; for the lad seemed sullen, and would tell me
nothing that I asked him; but after eating his breakfast
went out, and I have not seen him since.”

“And is Walton the name of your guest?” inquired
Grahame, who had listened attentively to these particulars,
which added confirmation to the villanous
character and designs of this unprincipled instigator of
mischief.

“That is the name by which he told us to call him,”
replied the woman, whose suspicions of her “kind and
civil”
lodger, began to be excited by the reiterated inquiries
of the stranger. Grahame, however, till he had
received still stronger proof, would not insinuate any
thing against his character; but hastened to inform his 16(6)r 191
hostess of the fatal accident which had happened to her
guest.

Dame Evans, for so the good woman was called in
the limited circle of her acquaintance, seemed greatly
shocked by the intelligence; and with a degree of activity
surprising at her advanced age, she rose to prepare
for the reception of the wounded man. Much as she
appeared to feel for his misfortunes (and the kind dame
had a heart as tender as the youngest and fairest of her
sex), yet Grahame could not but smile at the air of
bustling importance which she assumed; and which
seemed to evince that any excitement was pleasing, if
it tended to vary the dull and tiresome monotony of her
retired life.

As she arranged upon an old table a few vials, containing
balsams of her own distillation, expressed from
such herbs as she had learned to believe of sovereign
efficacy, Grahame heard her say, “These may do the
poor soul good; but, wicked or not, I would never have
believed that any harm could come to him in this place.
And from an Indian, too! who would have thought it?
the heathen savages! the best of them are more treacherous
than the evil one himself!”

Grahame smiled at this soliloquy, and was at first inclined
to rescue the character of his favorite Ohmeina
from the dame’s sweeping anathema; though, upon
second thought, he concluded to let the actions of the
Indian plead his own cause; and he knew they would
do it with a force which the most obdurate and determined
prejudice could not resist. He, therefore, passed
on in silence, and went to the door, to look out for the
litter. It was close by; and in the course of a minute
more, the wounded and insensible man was borne by
his careful attendants into the apartment which he had
occupied for several preceding weeks. Dame Evans
had prepared the bed with fresh linen, kindled a brisk
fire in the room, and now with motherly care, she sought
to administer to his relief, and kindly produced from her
scanty store all the little comforts which she had hoarded
against a day of sickness and want.

16(6)v 192

Grahame thought of sending William to the camp for
a surgeon; but he had such perfect confidence in Ohmeina’s
skill, that he felt positive, that were the case his
own, he would willingly trust it; and he resolved, for that
day at least, not to call in other aid. After forcing into
the unwilling dame’s hand a liberal token of her generosity,
he returned to Valley Forge, leaving his servant
and the Indian to take charge of the wounded man; and
directing Ohmeina, in case his own remedies proved ineffectual,
to summon a surgeon without delay.

As soon as his master was gone, William repaired to
Major Courtland’s, pursuant to the previous direction of
Catherine, in order to procure some articles which she
deemed indispensable to the comfort of the sufferer.
Her heart and hand were ever open to relieve distress,
and he returned to the farm-house laden with abundance
of every thing which was proper and comfortable for
the sick, and with an injunction to come to her in case
any articles should be wanted which she had not sent.
But Mr. Forrester was in no condition to enjoy any
thing which earth could offer. During the day he was
exercised with continued and excruciating pain; or, if
for a short interval he was favored with bodily ease, the
anguish of his mind became intolerably keen, and he
was frantic with the fear of death.

Towards evening he suffered less in body, and his
mind was calm, though rather from exhaustion and despair,
than because it was brightened with a hope of future
peace and forgiveness; for he felt with inexpressible
anguish, that the prayers and agonizing tears of a
death-bed repentance could never cancel the iniquity
of a life like his, or inspire him with confidence towards
God.

The day was closing in, when, as he awoke from a
short slumber, and was lying in comparative ease, the
door opened, and Captain O’Carroll stood before him.
The wretched man no sooner beheld him, than he became
still paler than before, and drawing the bedclothes
over his face, exclaimed,

17(1)r 193

“You come, Captain O’Carroll, to reproach me, and
I have deserved all you can say; for I have studied to
injure and deceive you. But were your words sharper
than poisoned arrows, they would not pierce me like the
stings of my upbraiding conscience.”

“I come not to reproach,” said O’Carroll, “but to
pity and console you, Mr. Forrester”

“Call me not by that hateful name,” interrupted the
miserable man, throwing the slight covering from his
face, and looking up with a wild and ghastly stare.
“Call me Dalkeith, Captain O’Carroll! look upon me,
and see if I am not he who has thwarted, vexed, disappointed,
and deceived you! But, sit beside me, and
you shall know all; though my last breath is spent in
telling it, I will not cease till I have confessed every
wrong which I have devised or committed against you.”

“I forgive them all,” said O’Carroll; “and I have
no wish to pain you by such a recital. When you are
better”

“Better!” ejaculated Dalkeith, for Dalkeith indeed
it was; “every moment which passes hurries me nearer
to the grave!”

“And in it there is neither repentance nor hope,”
said O’Carroll; “so let me entreat you to think of them
now, and not spend your last moments in a confession
of injuries which are already forgiven.”

“It is too late,” said Dalkeith, in a tone of desperation;
“speak not to me of an hereafter; my only hope
is, that existence terminates in the tomb. So, hear me,
O’Carroll; my sands are ebbing fast; and the moments
are not to be trifled with.”

O’Carroll was greatly shocked, but before he could
reply, the door was again opened, and Colonel Grahame
entered.

“Oh, you are indeed most welcome,” exclaimed
O’Carroll, in a low and eager tone; “this wretched
man fills me with horror and concern; speak to him,
Grahame, and bid him at this solemn moment to think
only of the eternity which is about to open before him.”

Vol. II. 17 17(1)v 194

“I fear, alas!” said Grahame, sorrowfully, “that he
is too old in vice to be softened by my arguments; but
I will speak to him; perhaps I may move him to penitence,
and even at the last hour, it may not be unavailing.”

The Colonel seated himself beside Dalkeith, and after
the kindest inquiries respecting his situation and feelings,
he proceeded gradually, and with extreme delicacy, to
speak of those sublime hopes and consolations which
smooth the pillow of death, and dispel the darkness of
the tomb. Grahame’s countenance brightened, as he
continued speaking; and the firmness and strength of his
own faith infused into his voice and manner a touching
and inspiring eloquence, which affected all present, and
melted even the obdurate Dalkeith into tears.

Though once or twice he uttered an exclamation of
despair, he was most of the time silent; and when, at
length, Grahame, from the fear of exhausting him, closed
his pathetic exhortation, Dalkeith remained long with
closed eyes and motionless lips; but, finally, arousing
himself, he looked towards Grahame and O’Carroll, and
entreated that they would permit him to relieve his
mind, by disclosing the injuries which he had meditated
against them. Grahame thought best not to deny him;
for he seemed unable to think of any thing else till he
had confessed all the iniquity of his heart. He had,
when young, been educated in the catholic religion;
and though for many years neglected and forgotten, the
rites of that religion now occurred to his remembrance,
and he appeared anxious to perform an act, which, in
the days of early innocence, he had been taught to consider
a sacred and indispensable duty.

After dismissing William and the Indian, Grahame
and O’Carroll seated themselves beside Dalkeith, and
listened with interest to all that concerned themselves,
and to much relating to Mr. Spencer and his daughter,
of which Marion had already informed O’Carroll.

Dalkeith was exceedingly exhausted when he finished;
and having waited till he was revived, Grahame
and O’Carroll left him, in the hope that he might pass a 17(2)r 195
comfortable night. On his return home, O’Carroll found
Catherine impatiently awaiting his arrival, and he communicated
all the conversation and events of the evening.

The next morning when they visited the farm-house,
their feelings were not again tortured by groans of
anguish and expressions of hopeless despair; for the
wretched sufferer had expired during the night, and his
spirit was now in the present of Him who judgeth
every man according to his works.

Chapter XIV.

“For aught that ever I could read, Could ever hear by tale or history, The course of true love never did run smooth.” Shakspeare.

Mr. Spencer, the father of Marion, early inherited,
from a dissipated brother, the broken fortune of his
ancestors. He inherited also their pride, which forbade
him to repair its breaches by industry, and of course
the only method left for him to pursue, was to amend
it by a wealthy marriage. He therefore sought, among
the rich and gay of his acquaintance, for a woman, who,
with the indispensable requisite, should unite such qualities
of the heart and mind, as would contribute to form
the happiness of his domestic life. The search proved
ineffectual; but still it was eagerly pursued till chance
threw him into the society of a young orphan, whose
only possessions were a beautiful person, and an amiable
and accomplished mind.

Passionately fond of beauty, Mr. Spencer was instantly
impressed by her charms; yet he felt the danger of
yielding to their influence, and sought, by absence, to
subdue his imprudent passion. But it served only to
strengthen his affection, and again he returned to her 17(2)v 196
society. Accident soon discovered to him the influence
which he had undesignedly gained over her affections;
and enraptured to find himself an object of deep and
tender interest to the woman he adored. hHe forgot his
poverty, his prudent resolutions; he forgot every thing
but the delicious consciousness of being beloved by
Marion Stanley; and in the delirious extacy of the moment,
he poured forth the impassioned feelings of his
heart, and was made completely happy by the blushing
acknowledgment of Marion’s devoted affections.

In the course of a few weeks, he received her hand
at the altar, and sacrificing even the hereditary pride of
family to his love, he disposed of his paternal estates,
and having disincumbered himself of debt, retired, with
what little property was left him from the wreck, to a
small seat in the county of Ulster, which was all that
he had reserved of his patrimonial inheritance. Here,
with rigid economy, he trusted they should be able to
subsist comfortably on their narrow income; and in this
calm and simple retirement, far from the tumult of the
gay and fashionable world, of whose pleasures he had
tasted even to satiety, he hoped, in the bosom of virtuous
affection, to enjoy the pure and heartfelt delights of
domestic happiness and peace.

Two years glided swiftly away, during which time
Mr. Spencer’s felicity was unalloyed, and as perfect as
he could reasonably desire; but shortly after that period,
it pleased Heaven to deprive him of her, who had
been the source of all his enjoyment, the object of his
devoted tenderness, and the gentle inspirer of every
hope which brightened the uncertain prospects of futurity.
She left an infant daughter, whom the bereaved
husband consigned to the care of a maternal aunt. Sunk
in the deepest despondency, he felt himself unable even
to perform the duties of a parent; and yielding, in the
solitude of his desolate home, to the anguish of unceasing
regret, he willingly consigned to his kind relative the
delightful task of guiding and protecting his infant child.
Buried in a dream of grief, he suffered others to manage
the affairs which he had been wont to look after with a 17(3)r 197
vigilant eye, and of course they soon became disordered
and embarrassed; his tenants neglected to pay their
rents, and his land was running waste for want of proper
attention. It was impossible that he could be ignorant
of the ruin which threatened him; yet he remained obstinately
blind and inactive, till compelled to awaken
from his lethargy, by the numerous demands of creditors,
who had been put off from time to time, till their
patience was exhausted, and they would be trifled with
no longer.

Mr. Spencer, forced by their importunity to examine
his affairs, found that, during the year which he had
suffered to pass in idleness and inaction, debts had accumulated
and expenses had been incurred, of which he
knew nothing; and he found it impossible to defray them
without mortgaging his estate, which, small as it was,
he had wished to bequeath unincumbered to his daughter.
But flattering himself that he might be able to redeem
it for her, or that, if not, she would scarcely need
so trifling a bequest, since she would doubtless be the
heiress of the wealthy relative who had adopted her, he
gave a mortgage to the guardians of a Mr. Dalkeith, a
youth then under age, who was the owner of a fine
estate adjoining.

Having satisfied the demands of his creditors, and
dismissed the dishonest steward, who had so prodigally
squandered and abed his property, he placed his affairs
in the hands of a man whose probity was well
known to him, and whom he could safely trust.

That home, which the endearments of happy love
had made so delightful to him, was now become more
dreary than a desert; and his most anxious wish was
to escape from scenes, where every object reminded
him of joys which were never more to return. He,
therefore, quitted Ireland, and hastening to London,
obtained through the intervention of friends the commission
of an Ensign in the British army; and with the
eagerness of one who seeks to drown the memory of
the past in the novelty and activity of the present, he
entered upon the scenes which opened before him. 17* 17(3)v 198
For twelve years he continued attached to his profession;
during which time he saw some active service
abroad, and rose to the rank of Captain, in a regiment
of foot. He was an excellent officer, and strict in the
performance of his professional duty; but he was the
gayest among his gay companions, and ever ready to
join in their dissipated revels.

At length, however, a declining state of health obliged
him to retire from the service, upon the allowance of
half pay; and with feelings, habits, and a constitution
entirely changed, he again sought the shelter of that retired
home which had been the scene of his earliest and
purest happiness. But time had blunted the acuteness
of his feelings; and the emotions which remembrance
of former days awakened, were quickly subdued, and
he turned with interest to examine the state of his affairs,
and look around for objects of pleasure and enjoyment.
The convivial habits in which he had so long
lived, rendered him averse to retirement, and made him
every where a gay and welcome companion. He received
and returned the visits of the neighbouring gentry;
hunted with the sportsman; feasted with the epicure;
complimented and flattered the ladies; discussed the
affairs of the nation with the politician; talked of crops,
tillage, and improvements with the agriculturalist; and,
in short, he literally “became all things to all men.”

The mortgage upon his estate had been partly paid;
and by the lenity of the mortgagee, the term for the remainder
of the payment was extended several years.
Meanwhile, Mr. Spencer, inferring from the apparent
indifference of Mr. Dalkeith, who had never yet visited
his Irish possessions, that he would give himself no concern
about the mortgage, whether it were ever cleared
or not, thought best to make himself easy also. Indulging,
therefore, the natural indolence of his disposition,
he forgot the past, enjoyed the present, and looked forward
with hope to the brilliant prospects of his daughter,
who, as he and the world confidently expected, was
to be the sole and undisputed heiress of her aunt’s immense
estate.

17(4)r 199

But the world, as well as individuals, is often mistaken.
The old lady died; the will was opened, and the
pitiful legacy of fifty pounds per annum, was all the bequest
which fell to the portion of the young and lovely
Marion! The bulk of the property was given to a crafty
nephew, who had insinuated himself into the good graces
of his credulous aunt; and taking advantage of an imbecile
and broken mind, had persuaded her, that the honor
of her family required that she should give her fortune
to the only individual who inherited her name; and from
whom it must descend to posterity through a line of
beggars, or, dignified and supported as it ought to be,
by the wealth which it was at her option to bequeath.
The old lady could not resist this appeal to her family
pride; the arguments of her selfish nephew prevailed;
and the young and helpless Marion was thrown from
the bosom of affluence and luxury into the arms of a
father, whose declining health rendered it uncertain
whether she would long continue to have a natural protector;
and whose death must leave her exposed to all
the evils of poverty and dependence.

Mr. Spencer was exceedingly incensed by the injustice
of his relative, and his friends could with difficulty
dissuade him from the intention, which in the first moment
of angry disappointment, he adopted, of protesting
against the equity and the legality of the will. It must inevitably
have engaged him in an expensive lawsuit; and
at last terminated against him; for though the old lady
was doubtless incapable of dictating her will at the time
it was made, no positive proof could be adduced of her
incapacity; since the attorney who wrote it, was one of
her nephew’s own creatures, and her only attendant besides
Marion, was an artful woman, who had been bribed
to say what she was bidden.

Convinced, at length, of the futility of his design, Mr.
Spencer
consented to relinquish it; and, though the
disappointment ever after rankled in his heart, he hoped
by an eligible match, to procure for his daughter a fortune
equal to that which she had lost. Marion at this
time was about fifteen; and as lovely and gay as youth, 17(4)v 200
beauty, and innocence could make her. She scarcely
regretted the fortune which her father had expected for
her; but about which, for herself, she had neither care
nor thought. She saw no good it had ever done her aunt;
on the contrary, it had encumbered her with servants,
who were a constant source of perplexity; and on her
death-bed, it had rendered her the dupe of the artful
and designing, who sought her, not to express their
grief and affection, but to extort from her, even in the
last moments of dissolving nature, that wealth, which
through life had made her the object of envy and
hatred.

Marion was delighted with her present mode of life;
so different from what it had been in the gloomy and
monotonous retirement of Calthorpe house, the residence
of her aunt. She was touched by the tender
affection of her father, which strikingly contrasted with
the formal kindness of her stately relative; and she was
delighted to find a human being, into whose bosom
she could pour out all the feelings of her innocent heart,
and on whom she could lavish those endearments, which
from infancy, she had been compelled, for the want of
more sensible objects, to bestow on her dumb favorites.
In her new home, too, though she was surrounded by
less splendor, she found more comfort; and the society
which her father permitted her to enjoy, was so enlivening
and delightful, that her buoyant spirits were in a
state of constant excitement, and she was gayer than
the birds which carrolled around her.

She was the perfect image of her mother; and this
resemblance drew her closer to her father’s heart. She
seemed to have opened a new existence around him,
and he often reproached himself for having lived so long
without the solace and endearments of this darling girl.
She occupied all his thoughts, and he cast his eyes
round upon the circle of his acquaintance, to see if they
could furnish one worthy to become her husband. But
there was none who possessed all the requisites which
he thought desirable; none, at least, whose fortunes
equalled his ambitious hopes; and Marion was yet 17(5)r 201
young enough to wait a few years, in which time, he
had no doubt, her loveliness would attract many admirers.

He sometimes thought of young Dalkeith, with whom
a union would be highly advantageous. But he was
reported to be so immersed in the pleasures of the gay
world, and so inveterately prejudiced against Ireland,
as to make it quite improbable that he would ever even
visit his estate. Its management was solely entrusted to
his steward; and it was whispered that the young man
intended to dispose of it upon the death of his grandfather,
who would not now permit an inch of the family
possessions to go to a stranger.

When Marion reached her sixteenth year, the limited
society which she had heretofore enjoyed, was pleasantly
increased by the arrival of several officers, who were
well known to her father, and who, with their regiment,
were quartered in the immediate neighbourhood. It was
at this period, that Captain O’Carroll, through the mediation
of a brother officer, obtained an introduction to
Miss Spencer. They were mutually impressed at the
first interview; and frank, undisguised, and impassioned,
it was not long before O’Carroll declared his love, and
received from the artless Marion the assurance of a
reciprocal affection.

Marion’s choice was not exactly what her father’s
would have been for her; but Mr. Spencer could make
no reasonable objection to the manly and honorable proposals
of O’Carroll; and he did not refuse to give them
the sanction of his consent; particularly since his precarious
health rendered him anxious to provide a protector
for his daughther, in case he should be taken from
her. But notwithstanding this consideration certainly
induced him to favor the wishes of O’Carroll, it would
not, perhaps, have been of sufficient weight to obtain his
consent, had he not learned from a friend of the Captain,
that he was highly connected; and though without paternal
fortune, was the destined heir of a rich uncle, already
well advanced in years, and who would probably 17(5)v 202
soon leave his possessions to the care and enjoyment of
his nephew.

Both Marion and O’Carroll loved with all the fervor
of a first and youthful attachment. No petty jealousies,
no coy reserves weakened their confidence, or disturbed
the serenity of their enjoyment; and, in a dream of happiness,
the days and weeks passed rapidly away. But
this felicity was destined to receive a fatal interruption.
Intelligence was received that Mr. Dalkeith was expected
to visit his Irish estate; and, from that moment, Mr.
Spencer
began to regret the sanction he had given to
O’Carroll’s addresses, and to meditate in what manner
he might separate the lovers, in case his daughter should
be so fortunate as to attract the regards of young Dalkeith.
He, however, remained silent for the present;
unwilling to destroy the hopes of Marion till assured he
could recompense her by prospects far more brilliant
and alluring.

Dalkeith at length reached Ireland; and on the very
day of his arrival, Mr. Spencer and Marion chanced to
meet him in the course of an evening ramble. A fine
dog that accompanied him, ran barking towards Marion,
who, in order to avoid the animal, sprang upon a high
bank which bounded one side of the narrow lane along
which they were walking. Dalkeith called him off,
rebuked him for his ferocity, and apologized, with wellbred
politeness, for the unprovoked attack. This little
occurrence served as an introduction between the gentlemen;
and Mr. Spencer, anxious for the promotion of
his secret hopes, to cultivate the acquaintance of Dalkeith,
urged him to return home with them. The young
man, struck by the beauty of Marion, unhesitatingly accepted
the invitation, and exerted himself with such
success to please, that both Mr. Spencer and his daughter
were charmed with the easy affability of his manners,
and with the elegance and versatility of his conversational
powers.

Dalkeith really possessed a highly gifted mind, which
a good education had taught him to value and improve;
while a familiar intercourse with the world had given it 17(6)r 203
a polish which nature seldom bestows, and which it is
impossible for study to impart. His personal appearance
was by no means striking. He was tolerably well
made, and rather above the middle height; his complexion
was swarthy, and his features strongly marked,
and expressive. Marion thought their expression bad;
there was, in her opinion, a sinister meaning in his smile,
and something fierce and cruel in the piercing glance of
his jet-black eye; something, which often made her
recoil, and reminded her of the deadly gaze of the
basilisk, to which poets have ascribed so fatal and transforming
a power. Mr. Spencer ridiculed these opinions
of Marion as the foolish prejudices of a child, who shrinks
from the mature countenance of manhood, and loves to
see its own effeminacy reflected in the beardless cheek
and laughing eye of the gay and blooming boy, while
he contended that every thing noble, manly, and dignified
was expressed in the countenance of Dalkeith.

From the evening of his first visit, the young man
became a frequent guest at the house of Mr. Spencer.
He was evidently touched by the charms of Marion;
and even in the presence of her declared lover, he did
not always restrain those attentions which but too plainly
evinced the nature of his feelings. O’Carroll’s jealousy
was excited, and he regarded Dalkeith with an aversion
which he did not attempt to conceal. Dalkeith, however,
was too wary openly to observe it; but revenge
and hatred rankled in his heart, and he resolved, at all
hazards, to wrench the mistress of his affections from
the arms of his contemptuous rival. He had sufficient
penetration to discover what were the secret wishes of
Mr. Spencer; and aware of his embarrassed situation,
he determined to use the power which this circumstance
gave him to his own advantage, and to the destruction of
Captain O’Carroll’s hopes.

He began by cautiously insinuating into Mr. Spencer’s
ear, that there was another heir, who intended to dispute
with O’Carroll the right of succession to his uncle’s
estate, and who, it was believed by many, had the
strongest legal claim. This was quite sufficient to determine 17(6)v 204
Mr. Spencer, though Dalkeith, to complete
the ruin of his rival, whispered many scandalous falsehoods
against his moral character; but all under an injunction
of the strictest secrecy. He then declared his
own affection for Marion, and professed his willingness,
should Mr. Spencer accede to his proposals, to cancel
all his debts, and even to give up the mortgage which
he held upon his estate. Mr. Spencer’s heart dilated
with joy, as he listened to overtures so consonant with
his most sanguine hopes; and he yielded an immediate
and cordial assent. He however represented the necessity
of prudence and caution, in breaking the connexion
with O’Carroll, and bringing Marion to accede
to their wishes. Intent only upon accomplishing this
object, Mr. Spencer’s manners became cold, constrained,
and formally polite to O’Carroll, whose high spirit
could by no means patiently brook this undeserved caprice;
and while he treated Dalkeith, whom he knew to
be the instigator of this change, with a haughty civility,
which evinced his deep dislike of his person and designs,
he assumed towards Mr. Spencer a manner, as
proud and distant as his own, deeming it beneath him
to ask the cause of this sudden coldness. He resolved,
however, to secure the hand of Marion immediately,
with her father’s consent, if that could be obtained; and
if not, to adopt clandestine measures, rather than trust
her longer in the power of those, who, he suspected,
were plotting to divide her from him.

But Mr. Spencer, in answer to his application, coldly
informed him, that he could not yet consent to part with
his daughter, nor did he think her old enough to perform
the responsible duties of a wife and mistress of a
family. O’Carroll, full of resentment, flew to Marion;
and with the passionate energy of love and apprehension,
urged her to revoke her father’s cruel sentence.
But she steadfastly refused him; her father, she said,
had always studied her happiness, and she should henceforth
be completely wretched, if she ventured to act
clandestinely, and in direct opposition to his wishes and
commands.

18(1)r 205

O’Carroll scarcely heard her through, when he burst
forth into a torrent of invectives and reproaches; asserted
that she no longer loved him, and that she concerted
with her father to deceive and disappoint him.
The gentle girl answered only with her tears; she felt
the cruel injustice of her lover’s accusations; but she
knew, that in a cooler moment, he too, would be sensible
of it; and that then the remorse of his own heart
would be sufficiently agonizing, without the remembrance
of her reproaches. O’Carroll, however, viewed
her tears and her silence, as a tacit acknowledgment
of indifference, and he quitted the house, angry with
her, and indignant against himself, for loving one so
fickle and inconstant.

For several days he absented himself from the society
of Marion; and the circumstance was not suffered to
pass unimproved by Mr. Spencer. He descanted upon
it with affected surprise, and declared it to be an evidence
of caprice, and instance of neglect, which argued
little in favor of his excellence as a husband, and was
absolutely unpardonable in a lover. Marion was wounded
by her father’s attempt to injure the man she loved,
in her estimation; but she endured even this with meekness;
and Mr. Spencer, finding that neither sarcasm
nor censure was likely to effect his object, began to assume
an air of depression; to speak of the embarrassed
state of his affairs, and the darkness of his future prospects.
Occasionally, and with apaprent accident, the
generosity of Mr. Dalkeith was praised; something
that he had said or done, was mentioned with so much
feeling and grateful admiration, that Marion began at
length to believe he was in reality the sincere and disinterested
friend that her father represented him. Under
this impression, she endeavoured to subdue the prejudices,
which O’Carroll had instilled into her mind
against him; and unwilling to believe that his attentions
to her were prompted by tender sentiments, since he
knew she was the affianced wife of another, she treated
him with a degree of cordiality which she felt due to
the guest and friend of her father.

Vol. II. 18 18(1)v 206

O’Carroll remarked it, and resolved to send Dalkeith
an immediate challenge; but Talbot, his friend and adviser,
dissuaded him from it, at present; at least, till he
was assured beyond all doubt, of Dalkeith’s designs,
and of the alienation of Marion’s affections. O’Carroll
suffered himself to be prevailed upon; but passionate
and suspicious, he interpreted every thing to Marion’s
disadvantage, and adopted towards her a course of conduct
the least calculated to conciliate and secure her
love. His visits were unfrequent, cold, and silent; and
he seemed to shun every opportunity of conversing, or
being alone with her.

Deeply hurt by this unkind caprice, and conscious
that she gave him no cause for jealousy, she knew not
how to account for it, unless she admitted the truth of
her father’s suggestion, that her lover was weary of the
connexion and waited only for a favorable opportunity
to dissolve it. Her pride, as well as her love was
wounded by this idea; and she resolved to write, and
release him from every obligation to her.

But Mr. Spencer knew too well the strength of
O’Carroll’s affection, and the cause of his seeming caprice,
to permit this step, which, he was aware, would
bring on an immediate explanation, and finally destroy
the hopes, which he trusted soon to see consummated.
He therefore proposed to Marion a journey to Dublin,
which had several times been projected, and delayed
on account of his ill health; but which he now felt able
and desirous to prosecute. From that place, he said,
she could if she chose, write to O’Carroll, and at the
same time avoid the painful embarrassment of a personal
interview. Marion, assured that her father studied
only her happiness, and confiding in his judgment
and experience, suffered herself to be prevailed upon,
and the following morning was fixed for their departure.
Mr. Spencer could not refuse his daughter’s request,
that Captain O’Carroll might be informed of their design;
and he accordingly wrote a few cold lines signifying
their intention, though he took care that the note
should not be sent till the morning, when, even if inclined, 18(2)r 207
O’Carroll would not have time for an interview
before their departure. Marion did not know of this;
and all the evening her heart was full of the hope of
once more seeing her lover; but the evening passed
away without bringing him, and it was not till they were
in the very act of setting out, that his servant came with
a short, formal note addressed to her father, merely
wishing him a pleasant journey, and not so much as
mentioning her name. Marion could not repress the
tears, which gushed from her eyes; she felt as if all the
hopes of her future life were suddenly and cruelly blasted,
and he, who, she fondly thought, would strew her
path with flowers, had cruelly planted in her confiding
heart, a barbed arrow, which no human hand could ever
extract.

The journey was melancholy and unsocial. Marion
could not conquer her sadness, and her father, after a
few unsuccessful efforts to amuse her, suffered her to
indulge it in silence. On their arrival in Dublin, Mr.
Spencer
took lodgings in a pleasant part of the city, and
Marion was pleased to find herslf in possession of retired
apartments, and subject to no interruptions, except
those which she herself wished. She was, however,
greatly surprised on the following day, to learn
that Mr. Dalkeith had arrived in the city, and exceedingly
chagrined, when, after the residence of a week,
she found herself the principal object of his attentions,
and obliged, by the request of her father, to receive his
daily visits. For some time, she submitted without opposition,
to this necessity, particularly as indisposition
had confined her to the house ever since her first arrival;
and Mr. Dalkeith, who read remarkably well,
was at the pains to procure amusing books, and read
them aloud, whenever she felt disposed to hear. But
he gradually became familiar; began to use the language
of passion; and at last explicitly avowed his affection,
and entreated her to accept his suit. Without
a moment’s hesitation, she rejected it; and when he
continued his professions and entreaties, with a vehemence
that shocked and alarmed her, she fled from his 18(2)v 208
presence, and besought her father to excuse her from
receiving his visits, and to silence his importunity by
telling him, it was impossible for her ever to accept his
addresses.

Mr. Spencer, at this avowal, assumed an air of extreme
seriousness; and after a few moments of agitated
silence, informed her he was a ruined man; that the
mortgage upon his estate had expired, and since he was
unable to redeem it, the place must be forfeited to the
mortgagee. Mr. Dalkeith, he said, had generously desired
him to reside upon it as if it were still his own; but
this offer he could not accept; since it would impose upon
him an obligation which he never could repay. He was
already, he added, too deeply indebted to the kindness
of Mr. Dalkeith, though he should not have accepted
so many favors, had he not hoped one day to reward
him with the affections of his child, the only recompense
which his noble friend coveted.

Marion remained silent and in tears; and though her
father had greatly wrought upon her feelings, she could
not prevail upon herself to pronounce a consent, which
would destroy the last feeble hope that still bound her
to O’Carroll. But the theme was daily renewed; Dalkeith
affected great unhappiness, and Mr. Spencer appeared
perfectly miserable. Marion was not formed
for resistance or contention; and she at last yielded a
reluctant consent to her father’s wishes. This object
gained, the next was to dissolve the connexion which
still existed with Captain O’Carroll; for Marion had
not yet found courage to write to him herself, and she
was unwilling to transfer the execution of the task to
her father. But renouncing the last secret and cherished
hope, she no longer opposed his proposition, but
suffered him to write whatever he chose, and only at his
urgent request, added a few lines to confirm what he
had written. As with a trembling hand she signed this
renunciation of all her dearest hopes, she felt as if there
was no longer an object worth living for; and from that
moment she sunk into a state of melancholy abstraction,
from which no efforts could arouse her.

18(3)r 209

Mr. Dalkeith, however, seemed resolved that neither
coldness, indifference, nor absolute aversion, should
weigh aught against the accomplishment of his wishes;
and he was so assiduous in his attentions, so gross in
his flattery, and so urgent with her to hasten the period
of his happiness, that the esteem which she had sought
to cherish for him, was changed into disgust; and she
felt daily more reluctant to unite her fate with a man,
who was in every respect so repugnant to her. She
even thought it a sin, though from motives of filial duty
and affection, to accede to this connexion; and she resolved
to speak again with her father on the subject, and
frankly to confess, how miserable the thought of such
an alliance made her. One evening, when Dalkeith
had gone for a couple of days into the country, she was
sitting alone with her father; and anxious to improve
so good an opportunity, she was on the point of introducing
the subject which weighed heavily on her heart,
when the entrance of a servant with a letter, interrupted
her; and glad, even of this short reprieve, she strove
while her father was reading it, to gain all the resolution
which she felt necessary to support her. But she was
soon drawn from her own sad meditations by the emotion
of her father. His color rapidly varied, his lips
were strongly compressed, and when he had perused
the letter, he threw it from him with an execration of
deep resentment, and rising, traversed the apartment in
excessive agitation.

Marion was alarmed, and ventured to ask the cause
of his disturbance. At the sound of her voice, he turned
towards her, the stern expression of his countenance
softened into tenderness, and clasping her in his arms,
he exclaimed,

“My child, I had thrust you to the brink of a fearful
precipice; but heaven has mercifully interposed to save
you from destruction. Read that letter, and shudder
at the arts of the basest villain that ever disgraced the
name of man.”

He quitted the room abruptly as he finished, and Ma 18* 18(3)v 210
rion
taking up the letter, read with surprise the following
words,

“To Edward Spencer, Esq. Sir, I write to inform you, that you have been grossly
and infamously imposed upon, by as daring a villain as
ever escaped the gibbet; and I sincerely hope this may
reach you, before he has accomplished his wicked designs,
and made you the dupe of his artifice.
I, sir, Sedly Dalkeith, am the true owner of Ellisland,
the estate which adjoins your own; and this man,
who has had the audacity to impose himself upon you
and others, for me, though he bears my name, and is, I
blush to acknowledge it, connected with me by the ties
of consanguinity, is neither trusted nor esteemed by me.
I sent him to my Irish estate, rather to be rid of his
society than for any other motive; though I should have
been more cautious had I supposed him capable of the
unpardonable baseness which he has practised. Availing
himself of the circumstance, that my person was
known to no one at or near Ellisland, he connived with
my agent (who, I find, has been enriching himself at
my expense, and practising upon me, for years, a series
of the basest deceptions), to impose upon all who were
credulous enough, to believe him, in order to receive,
during his residence at Ellisland, the honors of its landlord,
and those other attentions, which, in his own
character, he knew it would be useless to expect.
The strongest inducement, however, which led him
to adopt this conduct, I understand to have arisen from
a violent passion which he conceived, at first sight, for a
daughter of yours, sir, and which he perhaps imagined
would not prove less successful, if urged by one possessed
of wealth, rank, and some influence in society. I sincerely
wish you more happiness, than to see your daughter
wedded to this wretch, who has already a wife and
child that he neglects, and leaves to the bounty of those
who are humane enough to support them.
18(4)r 211 These particulars I have just learned from one of
my tenants, who by some means became possessed of
the secret, and was just and honest enough to hasten
directly to me with information of the proceedings
which threatened to involve you, sir, in wretchedness,
and me in shame and disgrace. The disgust which I before
had to Ireland, is increased by these circumstances,
and they have determined me, the moment I can find a
purchaser, to part with every rood of the inheritance
which has descended to me from my Irish ancestors;
though still I shall be a loser, as this ‘trusty’ cousin of
mine has lined his pouch with my gold, and imposed
even upon my crafty agent, with the tale, that I had
commissioned him to receive my rents, and manage my
property as he chose. I hope yet to chastise him as he
deserves, and I promise him, that, besides my private
reproof, the weighty arm of the law shall take cognizance
of the impostor and embezzler of other people’s
property.
With resect, sir, I remain your humble and obedient
servant,
Sedly Dalkeith.”

Marion was overwhelmed with conflicting emotions, as
she perused this letter; but joy and gratitude predominated;
and she raised her heart in devout thankfulness to
Heaven, for its timely and merciful interposition. But,
as she was in the act of rising from the table at which
she had been sitting, she saw the figure of the base Dalkeith
reflected in the mirror opposite to her. Having
returned unexpectedly from the country, he had entered
the apartment unobserved, and seeing Marion deeply
engaged in perusing a letter, which he suspected was
from O’Carroll, he stole softly behind her, and leaned
over her shoulder to read its contents.

Marion, when she perceived him, started up with an
involuntary shudder of abhorrence; and while the natural
softness and timidity of her character gave place to
the lofty courage of insulted virtue, she looked steadfastly
and sternly upon him, and said, in a firm voice,

18(4)v 212

“False and artful man! why are you here? why do
you come to pollute us with your wicked presence? We
know all;”
and she pointed to the letter; “and you too
have learned the vengeance which is denounced against
you. Go, then, and ask forgiveness of God, before the
offended laws of your country cut short the space which
is yet left you for repentance.”

Her “grave rebukeSevere in youthful beauty, added graceInvincible.”
And as the father of evil shrunk abashed at the reproof
of the virtuous cherub; so the guilty Dalkeith stood
silent, paler than death, and motionless as a statue;
while the soft voice of the injured and gentle Marion,
fell with all the startling force of awful and severe truth
upon his alarmed conscience. Without reply, he turned
from her; stripped of his disguise, and abashed by her
virtuous superiority, he could not longer support even
his insolence, and he passed hastily out, just as Mr.
Spencer
entered through an opposite door. Marion’s
transient energy then forsook her; and sinking into a
chair, she wept without restraint or interruption; for
her father understood her feelings too well to attempt
the hopeless task of soothing them in this first moment
of overwhelming emotion and excitement.

He waited patiently till the first burst of feeling had
subsided, and when she became comparatively calm, he
began to speak of the arrangements which he had made
for their departure. He wished to escape from observation
and inquiry, before the affair obtained publicity.
Deeply mortified by the imposition which had been
practised upon him, and humbled by the consciousness
of his own unworthy conduct, he was ashamed to meet
any of his former friends, or to behold a face that had
ever regarded him with confidence and respect. Reduced,
too, by the loss of his estate to almost absolute
penury, he cared not how profound was the retirement
in which he intended to bury himself; and he now informed
Marion, that he should quit Dublin early in the 18(5)r 213
morning for ――, a small hamlet on the borders of Lake
Killarney
, where, when a boy, he had spent much happy
time, and where, if he could find a habitation that was
comfortable, and suited his limited income, he designed,
for the present at least, to locate himself.

Marion assented with a sigh. She could no longer
entertain a doubt that O’Carroll’s affections were entirely
alienated from her, and all places were alike indifferent
to her; or, if she had any preference, it was
for that where the most profound solitude reigned, and
where, without interruption, she might indulge her regrets,
and cherish the memory of the past. At all
events she was glad to quit the scene of gaiety and
fashion which she found so uncongenial with her present
feelings, and she retired early to rest, in order that
she might be prepared to commence her journey with
the first dawn of light on the following morning.

Chapter XV.

“There’s a divinity that shapes our ends, Rough-hew them how we will.” Shakspeare.

No living creature was stirring in the streets of Dublin,
when, early on the ensuing morning, Mr. Spencer and
his daughter commenced their solitary journey. It was
as melancholy as it was lonely; for they had both suffered
too much by the disappointment of their fondest
hope, to indulge any but sad and gloomy meditations,
which there was nothing in the prospect of the future to
brighten, nor in the remembrance of the past to render
less keen and agonizing. The place towards which they
were journeying, was calculated to deepen and increase
these sombre feelings; for it was secluded from all intercourse 18(5)v 214
with the world, and inhabited only by a few
poor fishermen, whose cabins skirted the margin of the
lake.

Among these humble abodes was one, distinguished
by its superior neatness and convenience, in which
dwelt Patrick M‘Allister, an ancient man, who had formerly
been a servant in the family of Mr. Spencer’s
father. His attachment to his “young master”, as he
still termed Mr. Spencer, remained as ardent and devoted
as ever.

Before his marriage, Mr. Spencer had been accustomed
to pass some weeks in the course of every summer
in this retired spot. The neat dwelling of Patrick,
carefully managed by a widowed daughter, his only
companion,—his pretty garden, sloping to the lake, and
gay with the brightest flowers of the season, evinced,
either that nature had inspired M‘Allister with a love of
neatness and order, superior to that which is commonly
found to mark the character of the Irish peasantry; or
else that the regularity, the comfort, the cleanliness,
which reigned in the household where his youth was
passed, had given him a lesson, which was now carried
into practical effect, and not only made him respectable
in the eyes of his poor neighbours, but contributed
greatly to his own comfort and enjoyment.

Here, under the name of Stanley, Mr. Spencer and
his daughter took up their abode, to the great delight of
their humble friends, who relinquished the best rooms
in the cottage to their sole use, and made it their study,
as far as their limited means would permit, to provide
for the ease and enjoyment of their guests. Marion’s
constitution was invigorated by the pure air and healthful
exercise which she here enjoyed; and though her
mind had lost its wonted tone of gaiety, a soft and
pleasing melancholy soon usurped the place of that deep
and bitter anguish which had preyed upon it during the
first weeks of her abode in this sequestered spot. She
was left much alone; for her father’s temper was rendered
morose and misanthropic by his misfortunes; and
he would often pass whole days in the woods; or, in a 18(6)r 215
small skiff, which he guided himself, he floated on the
calm lake hour after hour, in a state of dreamy abstraction
and indifference. Sometimes he mounted his horse,
and giving him the rein, suffered him to take what course
he chose; nor stopped till compelled by the calls of
hunger, or the languor of excessive weariness; and then,
he was often so far from home, that his absence was
necessarily prolonged to two, and sometimes three days,
before he could again return to it. At first these wanderings
occasioned Marion great uneasiness; but she
soon became accustomed to them; and her solitude was
beguiled by the exercise of such accomplishments as she
was mistress of, and by the perusal of the few books
which she had brought with her from Ulster. Dorothy,
too, the daughter of Patrick, or Dory, as she was called,
by way of abbreviation, contributed as far as was in her
power, to the amusement of her young guest. She repeated
the marvellous legends of her country; gathered
for her the rarest flowers and mosses; and pointed out
to her the pleasantest and most sequestered walks.

Thus passed away nine months; and all the intelligence
which reached the fugitives of what was passing
in the world, was obtained through the medium of a
newspaper, which Patrick’s interest in public events,
(for in his youth he had been quite a politician), induced
him to take.

Its columns were at this period filled with accounts of
of the American rebellion, as it was termed, and with the
animated discussions of parliament on the merits and
demerits of the cause. Mr. Spencer, by reading these
debates, began to feel a deep interest in the subject;
and though, for a time, uncertain which side of the
quarrel to espouse, he was finally decided by the overpowering
eloquence of the great Chatham and his brilliant
compeers.

We will not deny that the jaundiced and disordered
feelings of Mr. Spencer’s mind, urged him to declare in
favor of those who in a distant land were struggling for
liberty and independence; for he had not that instinctive
sense of right and wrong, which leads many superior 18(6)v 216
minds to form a correct judgment, uninfluenced by selfish
considerations. He was always more or less guided
by selfish principles; and though, in this instance, the
arguments of statesmen whom he reverenced and admired,
had certainly impressed him with a conviction,
that the American cause was just and upright, we cannot
assert that he would ever have espoused it, had his
situation been other than it was. But he felt himself
an outcast from society, stripped of his natural inheritance,
and dependent on the bounty of his country for
the scanty pittance which barely furnished him the common
necessaries of life. A new career seemed open to
him in America; there merit was exalted, and those
who distinguished themselves by it, were raised to
offices of power and profit.

He owed nothing to that country, which left him to
languish in poverty and obscurity, the remnant of a life,
whose best years had been spent in her service; and
without longer deliberation he determined to repair to
America, and join the standard of the republican cause.

This resolution was no sooner adopted, than, with the
restlessness of an unhappy mind, he felt impatient to
carry it into execution. Marion made not the least opposition
to her father’s design. There was nothing to
bind her to Ireland; not even the idea that Captain
O’Carroll
still breathed its air, and trod upon its soil;
for she had seen by the paper, three months before,
that his regiment had embarked for America, the land
to which her father wished to go, and where, perhaps,
she might once more behold him.

Patrick M‘Allister died about this time, and Dory
stripped of her last surviving relative, entreated permission
to accompany Marion, for whom she had imbibed
a strong attachment. Mr. Spencer was pleased with
the proposal, and gladly acceded to it; rejoiced to
procure for his daughter an attendant, of whose honesty
he was assured, and to whose care and affection he could
confidently entrust her. Dory therefore disposed of
the little property left her by her father; and all things
being in readiness for their departure, they took passage 19(1)r 217
from Cork, on board a merchant vessel, ostensibly
bound to Holland on a trading voyage; but in reality
destined for America, with a freight of patriots, eager to
take part in the glorious revolution which was agitating
the New World; and on the progress of which, the eyes
of all nations were fixed with wonder and expectation.

Their voyage was short and safe, notwithstanding the
dangers to which at such a time it was necessarily exposed.
They landed at New York towards the close
of May, not quite a year after the memorable battle of
Bunker’s hill; the accounts of which had first kindled
the fire of enthusiasm in Mr. Spencer’s heart, and awakened
his interest in the cause which was so nobly defended.
He still retained the name of Stanley; and
his insinuating manners, the attestations which he produced
of his former rank, in the British army and of his
courage and intrepidity while in the service, together
with the ardor he evinced to engage in the American
cause, procured him a rank corresponding to that which
he had sustained in the royal army. Hope seemed
once again to smile upon his path; and Marion, happy
in beholding her father restored to cheerfulness, and
united again with the world and its pursuits, thought
less of her own sorrows, and began to catch a beam
from his returning gaiety, to brighten the darkness of
her mind. She remained in New York, till the arrival
of both General and Admiral Howe, with large reinforcements
of British troops, that were landed on Long
Island
. An attack upon the city was of course expected;
and all was bustle and preparation, in the
American camp.

The timid Marion, brought up in the most profound
retirement, was filled with alarm at the idea of her father’s
danger in the bloody contest, which was on the eve
of taking place. He saw her uneasiness; and anxious
to remove her from the scene of strife, gladly accepted
the offer of a lady, who was going to Philadelphia, and
and proposed taking Marion with her. Marion felt
reluctant to remove so far from her father; but his entreaties
prevailed; and with Dory, she accompanied Vol. II. 19 19(1)v 218
the lady to Philadelphia, which as yet remained a
place of safety and quiet. Here she might have been
happy; for she received every kindness and attention
in the power of friendship to bestow; but anxiety for
her father’s safety rendered her incapable of comfort or
enjoyment. At length, however, she received a few
lines from him, written in haste, after the battle of Long
Island
. The Americans had been defeated; but he
was safe and unhurt; and Marion’s wonted tranquillity
was restored.

But soon, the rumors which reached her of continual
engagements, of the retreat of the Americans, and the
victorious pursuit of the British, awakened all her fears
and kept her in a state of continual anxiety and alarm.
As the contending parties drew nearer to Philadelphia,
many families, alarmed for their safety, hastened to quit
the city; and among others, was that in which Marion
resided. She resisted their entreaties to accompany
them; every fear of personal danger or inconvenience,
was lost in the hope of again seeing her father; and
she willingly acceded to Dory’s proposal, that they
should take lodgings with a kinswoman of her’s, who
kept a small shop in an obscure street of the city. To
this humble abode they removed; and here they remained,
till the gallant remnant of the Americans was
driven beyond the Delaware; when Marion was repaid
for all her suffering and anxiety, by being again pressed
with tenderness to the bosom of her father. She now
saw him often; though his visits were short, as the situation
of the army demanded the vigilance and activity
of every individual attached to it. But to know that he
was near her, and not at present exposed to danger,
was a source of inexpressible consolation to her.

Colonel Grahame, for whom her father had formed a
particular friendship, was almost the only person whom
she saw in her retirement; and for him she early imbibed
the affection of a sister, and experienced a calm
pleasure in his society, which it was long since she had
derived from that of any other individual.

One day her father came to her with an anxious 19(2)r 219
countenance, and an air of extreme dejection, and informed
her that he had accidentally seen Mr. Dalkeith,
on the preceding day, who instantly recognised him,
and before it was in his power to avoid him, accosted
him, and entered into conversation. Dalkeith reproached
him bitterly for taking away his daughter, at the very
moment when she had given her promise to become
his, and declared half the contents of the letter which
occasioned this flight to be false. In the first place, he
said, it was not true that he had a wife; and though he
confessed he had assumed his cousin’s character, he did
it in perfect jest; and intended on the following day
to have explained to Mr. Spencer. He declared he
had not embezzled any property; that his kinsman had
long been in his debt; and he felt justified in taking his
lawful dues, whenever he could find an opportunity.
He then entreated permission to renew his suit to Marion,
which request Mr. Spencer rejected with disdain;
rebuked him for having so long imposed upon him;
and desired, that henceforth, whenever they should
chance to meet, it might be only as strangers. Dalkeith
parted from him in extreme anger, muttering vengeance
as he went; and Mr. Spencer was alarmed lest
he should discover the place of Marion’s retreat, and
execute his threat by forcing her away with him.

Marion sought to calm her father’s fears, by promising
to seclude herself from all observation; but Mr.
Spencer
remained extremely anxious and uneasy, till
she consented to quit the city, and remove to a solitary
farm-house, which was occupied by an acquaintance
and countrywoman of Dory’s cousin.

Dalkeith, in the mean time, made every attempt to
discover her; but the seclusion of her new abode baffled
all his efforts; and irritated by the disappointment,
he resolved, since Marion had escaped his power, to
make Mr. Spencer suffer for the scorn with which he
had treated him. He wished to effect his immediate
ruin; and in order to it, he ventured to take a daring
and decisive step. He resolved to excite suspicions of
the unfortunate man’s fidelity; and he therefore forged a 19(2)v 220
letter to Mr. Spencer, in which he addressed him in
the character of a British officer; artfully expressed
approbation of the zeal and vigilance with which he had
executed their commissions; hinted slightly at the reward
which was to be the fruit of his fidelity; and concluded
by recommending secrecy and caution. This
was all expressed in so artful and ambiguous a manner,
that though easily comprehended, it still seemed designed
only for the secret understanding of him to
whom it was directed. This fatal letter the base Dalkeith
contrived to drop, where he knew it would shortly
be discovered by those who would take alarm at its
contents. His stratagem succeeded. The letter was
found by a corporal, who disliked Mr. Spencer, because
he had once reproved him for some irregularity; and
only a few days before, had threatened to have him
punished for intoxication. This man carried the letter
directly to a superior officer; suspicion was strongly
awakened, and the unhappy Spencer was placed under
arrest.

He well knew the hand which had brought this evil
upon him; but he was vexed, mortified, and humbled,
that the malicious insinuations of an anonymous letter,
should receive such easy credence, and be suffered to
weigh so heavily against the zeal, the fidelity, the constancy,
with which he had served the republican cause.
All his ambitious schemes were at once overthrown;
all his new formed hopes, forever blasted. He saw
himself an outcast from society; alienated from every
thing which made life sweet and desirable; and condemned
to terminate the career, which he had so auspiciously
commenced, by a death of shame and ignominy.
Disgusted with mankind, and weary of a world,
where he encountered only disappointment and misfortune,
he cared not, for himself, how soon his days
were finished; but for his Marion’s sake, he would yet
consent to live, and avoid, if possible, the miserable fate
which threatened him. Not a hope, however, of an
honorable acquittal was held forth to cheer him. The
evidence was believed to be strong against him. He 19(3)r 221
was a stranger; and though his conduct had appeared
unexceptionable, since he attached himself to the republican
cause, it was impossible to know if he were
really actuated by those principles which he avowed;
or if, as the letter evinced, he was actually in the pay
and employment of the enemy.

Conscious of his innocence and integrity, Mr. Spencer
was indignant at the coldness and suspicion, which
the unsupported insinuations of a stranger excited
against him. Disappointment, anger, and chagrin embittered
every feeling of his heart; his very nature
seemed changed, and he became gloomy, morose, and
misanthropic. He resolved, should he escape even with
honor to himself, to fly from mankind, and spend the
remnant of his unfortunate life remote from every thing
which could remind him of humanity.

Colonel Grahame was almost the only one who believed
him innocent; but he thought his situation desperate,
and he would not delude him with hopes, which
he feared would never be realized. Traitors were
around and amongst them; and the dauntless band,
who were warring against a host for liberty and life,
could not, with safety to their cause, permit an individual
over whom the breath of suspicion had passed,
however slightly, to remain longer among them.

Without detailing the particulars of those events,
which occurred previous to his quitting Ireland, Mr.
Spencer
informed Colonel Grahame of his rencontre
with Dalkeith, mentioning him only as a man, from
whom he had received much injury, and who still continued
to persecute him from motives of revenge; and
declared that he could not entertain a doubt of this
man’s being the author of the innfamous letter, which
had occasioned his present misfortunes.

Grahame, not wishing to pry into Mr. Spencer’s secret
history, and perceiving that he was not inclined to
enter into detail, heard the intelligence respecting Dalkeith,
without any other remark than that the man ought
to be apprehended; as his examination might tend to
exculpate the accused. Mr. Spencer knew not where 19* 19(3)v 222
he was to be found; but he gave a minute description
of his person, and mentioned the name by which he
had known him in Ireland; though he thought it very
possible that he might have adopted another in this
country.

When Colonel Grahame afterwards heard Captain
O’Carroll
speak of a Mr. Dalkeith, as his rival in the
affections of Marion Spencer, it never once occurred to
him, that this lurking villain, who from the basest motives
sought to destroy both the life and character of
Mr. Stanley, could be the same, any more than he supposed
that Marion Spencer, the lost and lamented object
of his friend O’Carroll’s love, was the same as Marion
Stanley
the dejected, exiled, and forlorn girl, who
seemed to feel her very life a burden, and to have
crushed in the bud those cheering hopes and expectations,
which gladden the dawn of youth, and render it
so joyous and delightful.

The Colonel caused strict search to be made after
Dalkeith; but he was no where to be found. Suspecting
his presence might be called for at the trial, since
he was conscious that Mr. Spencer would name him,
as the author of the anonymous letter; and unwilling
to be confronted by the man, who could so easily convict
him of villainy, he quitted the city privately and repaired
to Albany; where he fixed his present residence,
under the assumed name of Forrester. It was
the second time he had changed it since he quitted Ireland;
from which country he had been compelled to
fly, in order to escape the justice of its offended laws.

Immediately on learning that the deception which he
had practised to obtain possession of Miss Spencer’s
hand was discovered, he returned secretly to Ulster, to
consult with his cousin’s agent, on the course which it
was best for them to pursue, as well as to obtain his parrt
of the spoil which they had fleeced from the estate, and
agreed to share together. He found, on his arrival, that
Ellisland was already disposed of, and the agent had
withdrawn from the neighbourhood; but Dalkeith easily
found him, as he was informed of the place to which 19(4)r 223
his “worthy partner” intended to retire, in case of a premature
discovery. In the course of his settlement, however,
with the iniquitous agent, they disagreed upon
some trifling points; high words ensued; and like a
true coward, as he was, Dalkeith struck his companion
a violent blow. It was returned with equal fury, and a
close combat ensued, which terminated in the defeat of
the agent, who no sooner fell bloody and lifeless to the
ground, than Dalkeith made his escape with all the
spoil, leaving his opponent senseless, in which situation
he remained till death terminated his wicked life. Dalkeith,
after skulking from one hiding-place to another
for several weeks, contrived to escape in disguise from
the country; and finally succeeded in getting to America;
where he had resided a number of months previous
to Mr. Spencer’s arrival. He remained in Philadelphia,
apparently a peaceable and well disposed citizen, till his
rencontre with Mr. Spencer; when, as we before observed,
apprehending unpleasant consequences from an
examination of his person and character, and satisfied
that the stratagem of the letter had succeeded, he repaired
with all haste to Albany; where he was residing
at the period of his first introduction to our readers.

Mr. Spencer remained under arrest till the evening of
the attack upon Trenton; and though a few brief days
only had passed away, they seemed to him more tedious
than the lapse of months. He brooded over his injuries
till resentment deepened into hatred; and in the bitterness
of his heart, he cursed mankind, and wished that
instant death might come to end at once his shame and
misery. But then came the remembrance of his poor
deserted Marion; and life seemed still worth preserving
for her sake; yet, if he remained a prisoner, it must be
inevitably forfeited. He looked around him;—were
there no means of escape! and if there were, why should
he not fly? It might, perhaps, be considered an evidence
of guilt; but his heart felt its own innocence; and
why should he regard the opinions of a world which was
full of ingratitutde and caprice? He wished only to fly 19(4)v 224
from it, and in profound solitude to bury his sorrows
and his existence.

As these reflections agitated his mind, the sentinel
cautiously entered his apartment. He was an Irishman,
and had served as a soldier under Mr. Spencer while
in the British army. His honest features were full of
compassion, as he spoke of Mr. Spencer’s former kindness,
and mentioned, with unaffected sorrow, his present
forlorn situation. When he had given brief utterance to
his grateful feelings, he produced a cloak, and entreated
that Mr. Spencer would put it on, and follow him without
delay. He declared there was no hope for him if
he remained; but if he would yield himself to his guidance,
he would conduct him off in safety. The soldier
added, that, though he liked the service of the Americans,
he was willing, for the sake of saving the life of
one who had treated him with such kindness, to return
to that of the king.

It was no time for deliberation; indeed Mr. Spencer’s
previous reflections had determined him; and throwing
the soldier’s cloak over his dress, he followed his generous
conductor in silence. The night was dark and
stormy, and the departure of the troops had occasioned
universal excitement and confusion; so that the flight of
the fugitives was attended with comparatively little difficulty
or danger.

Mr. Spencer expressed a wish to repair to the farm-
house where his daughter lodged; and they accordingly
bent their course in that direction. After a tedious
march of several hours, through intricate by-paths,
slippery with snow and ice, they reached the desired
haven. Its inmates had long been buried in sleep; but
they were soon aroused; and Marion’s joy was excessive,
when she learned that her father was the cause of
this nocturnal disturbance; though it was cruelly damped
by grief and alarm, when the cause of his sudden appearance
was explained to her.

The soldier staid but a moment to refresh himself;
and refusing with honest pride the bounty which Mr. 19(5)r 225
Spencer
pressed upon him, he departed under cover of
the night to gain the British encampments.

The mistress of the farm-house was an Irishwoman;
and though she had married an American, she still retained
a strong affection for her country, and all that
appertained to it. Even the attachments which she had
formed, and the comforts she enjoyed in her adopted
land, had not been able to wean her affections from that
of her birth; and the ’bit shealing, where in her early
days she had slept with the pigs, and lived upon buttermilk
and potatoes, was still spoken of with fond regret;
as if, with all its inconveniences, it was far dearer than
the comparatively commodious dwelling which the thriving
industry of her husband had left at her disposal, together
with the means of comfortable support for herself
and two children. He, with that ardor which at this
period characterized the sturdy yeomanry of America,
had entered into the service of his country, and fallen
in the first engagement which occurred after he had exchanged
the ploughshare for the sword; and it was now
the first desire of his widow to return to her native land,
though she felt, that, in the present state of the times
this wish was impracticable without the sacrifice of all
her little property; and she therefore relinquished it for
the present. She lived in a spot so secluded that the
face of a stranger was seldom seen near her dwelling;
and both from the pleasure of obliging a countrywoman,
and a fondness for society, she was induced, at the request
of Dory’s cousin, to receive Marion and her attendant
into her family. The affection which she shortly
imbibed for the gentle Marion, caused her to rejoice
when Mr. Spencer was added to her household; and
though unacquainted with the circumstances which
drove him to seek the shelter of her house, she knew
that for some reason he was desirous to secrete himself
from the Americans; and she was as solicitous as he
could wish, to conceal him from observation or inquiry.
She endeavoured to persuade him that his present residence
was perfectly secure; that it was not probable he 19(5)v 226
could be sought after there; and even if he was, she
could find means to hide him from his pursuers.

Mr. Spencer would have been persuaded by her arguments
to trust himself beneath her roof; for he seemed
incapable of effort or resistance. A fatal lethargy was
creeping over him, which excited the alarm of Marion,
and aroused in her that latent energy which lay hid beneath
the softness of her character. She represented to
him the danger of remaining so near the American army;
and urged him with all the eloquence of anxious affection,
to seek for safety in a more remote spot, even
though he should be compelled to leave her behind him.
Whither could he go? was his desponding question;
and the woman, touched by their distress, informed
them of a deserted cottage, where, during the first year
of her marriage, she had resided with her husband.
Ruinous as it was, he had disposed of it to a younger
brother, who proposed to repair and inhabit it. But
soon, after the war broke out, he went off, and was
killed; so the place remained exactly as it was, though
it might, perhaps, afford a temporary shelter; and nobody,
she was sure, would think of going near it; for
it was an out-of-the-way place, and his Honor was truly
welcome, if he would condescend to live in it till the
hunt of him was over.

Mr. Spencer, aroused by the arguments of his daughter,
to all the peril of his present situation, consented to
occupy this ruined tenement till the pursuit was ended;
and he could with safety attempt an escape from the
country. Dory, with the assistance of their hostess,
was commissioned to provide such necessaries as were
indispensable to their comfort; and the next evening,
conducted by the son of their landlady, a boy of nine
years, the fugitives were to seek their new abode. It
was five or six miles distant; but the road was retired,
and the little poney that was to draw them in a light
cart, was fleet and sure of foot; so that, with proper
disguises, there was reason to hope they might reach
the place of their destination in safety.

19(6)r 227

The whole of the night on which Mr. Spencer arrived
at the farm house, was consumed in these consultations;
and morning dawned before the final decision
was made. It was then too late to execute their plan
before the return of night should veil their removal from
observation. But that day might produce a discovery!
Marion trembled at the thought; though her father,
without evincing much uneasiness, retired to pass the
hours till night, in a sort of garret, under the eaves of
the house, to which he was conducted by his landlady,
as a place of perfect safety. And, indeed, when Marion
saw the apartment, if such it could be called, her
apprehensions were sensibly lessened.

The only entrance to it was through a small scuttle
door, imperceptible to a common observer, among the
smoky rafters of the kitchen; and the gloomy garret
itself was filled with empty barrels and rubbish of every
description; and enlightened only by a faint ray which
gleamed through a single pane of glass, curtained with
cobwebs, and stained with the undisturbed dust of years.
The ladder by which Mr. Spencer and Marion (for she
would not be separated from her father), ascended to
this dismal attic was removed from sight the moment
they had entered, the scuttle let down and cautiously
secured, while, the better to conceal it from observation,
a goodly row of squashes was suspended from it, intermixed
with seed cucumbers, and garnished with sundry
strings of dried apples; all which hung as quietly as if
this had been their unmolested situation, since they were
first gathered from their stalks.

Her master and young mistress thus snugly disposed
of, Dory enveloped herself in a cloak, hood, and abundance
of other garments, in order to enlarge her gaunt
figure, lest she should be recognised by any individual
who had known her during her short residence in the
city, and trudged off to visit her kinswoman, and purchase
from her small shop such articles as they should
probably require in their sequestered abode. The good
woman of the house was also occupied at home, in preparing
such things as she could best spare for the convenience 19(6)v 228
and accommodation of her unfortunate lodgers;
though Mr. Spencer had refused to accept the smallest
service until she consented to accept a sufficient remuneration
for her kindness.

In the mean time the day passed on without any
alarm; the hour of noon arrived, and the hostess was
about to serve up her frugal dinner, when she was
startled by a loud scream from Marion, and a noise, as
of some one falling, in the little loft above. Hastily replacing
the ladder, she ascended to learn the cause of
the alarm; and by the faint light which gleamed through
the diminutive window, she perceived Mr. Spencer lying
senseless on the floor, the blood gushing from his
mouth, and Marion kneeling beside him, wringing her
hands, and sobbing aloud.

Unable longer to subdue the despair and anguish
occasioned by his desperate situation, Mr. Spencer no
sooner found himself alone with his daughter, than he
yielded to the most passionate emotion; and pacing with
distracted steps, the darkened and confused place, where,
like a guilty wretch, he was lurking to avoid mankind,
he wrought himself into a paroxysm of anguish too bitter
for endurance; his feeble frame could not sustain it; and
in the extremity of mental suffering he burst a blood
vessel, and for a short space forgot his own sorrows in insensibility.

The humane hostess sought to offer consolation to the
afflicted Marion; but her clamorous grief refused to listen
to any thing which sounded like hope or comfort; and
finding that her attempts rather increased the poor girl’s
sorrow, the landlady busied herself in preparing for the
better accommodation of her unfortunate guest. With
the assistance of Dory, who fortunately returned just at
this time, she raised a straw bed through the scuttle,
and having cleared a corner of the loft, placed it upon
a crazy bedstead, which chanced to be stowed away
among other kinds of litter. She then spread it with
clean, but coarse sheets; and gently raising Mr. Spencer
from the floor, they laid him upon the bed. Marion
protested against sending for a physician, which would 20(1)r 229
be the means of betraying them to their enemies; and
as Dory was familiar with her father’s disorder, she professed
herself willing to trust to her skill and experience.
The plan of their removal was, of course, defeated
for the present; but Marion, occupied solely with her
father, almost forgot the fears which had so much
agitated her on his first arrival; and when she thought
of the possibility of a discovery, she thought also, that,
even should it occur, no human being could be unfeeling
enough to disturb him in his present situation. He
gradually recovered strength, though to all but Marion,
the expectation of his return to health seemed idle and
delusive.

Nearly a month passed away in this manner; and
their retreat still remained undisturbed. Dory, who
occasionally visited her kinswoman, learned from her,
that rewards had been offered for the apprehension of
Mr. Stanley, and that the search was for sometime conducted
with great diligence; but proving unsuccessful,
it was thought that he had escaped from the country, and
the pursuit was given over. This intelligence, and the
assurance which Dory received from her coucsin that
there was too much fighting to think of looking after a
run-away prisoner, made both Marion and her father
comparatively easy. Mr. Spencer’s apartment, too,
had been rendered more habitable by the removal of
much that had encumbered it; and the money which
he had brought with him from Ireland, had hitherto,
and would yet for some time continue to supply their
wants, without encroaching on Dory’s little store, which
with warm-hearted generosity she daily pressed upon
them. But Mr. Spencer hoped, before reduced to that
necessity, to be in some situation where he could gain
a support, or at least, where he might without danger,
write to a friend, through whom Marion’s annuity was
to be remitted to him.

As her father recovered strength, Marion, no longer
sustained by the effort which she felt compelled to make
during his extreme illness, seemed to droop in health
and spirits; and fearing that her close confinement was Vol. II. 20 20(1)v 230
injurious, her father often urged her to walk near the
house; for so long a time had elapsed since his escape,
that he apprehended little or nothing from the danger
of discovery. For sometime she resisted his entreaties,
reluctant to quit the apartment whose gloom was so
congenial with her feelings; but at length she was one
evening tempted by the mildness of the atmosphere,
and the brilliancy of a cloudless sunset to walk abroad,
and for the first time since her father’s illness, breathe
the pure air of heaven, and look around upon the fair
face of nature. She had thought that it could never
more yield her pleasure; but there are few pure hearts
how deeply soever depressed by suffering, over which
the loveliness of a serene sky has not a cheering and
reviving influence. Marion felt its power; even in
wintry desolation she thought it beautiful; and yielding
to the sweetly painful remembrances, which it awoke,
she strayed along the silent path heedless of the distance
she had gone, till the sound of horses’ feet disturbed her
reverie; and looking up with a face of terror, she perceived
an American officer attentively regarding her,
as he rode slowly along a straggling road, which she
had unconsciously approached. It was Colonel Grahame,
on his return from visiting a poor soldier, who
had lost his leg in one of the last engagements, and been
permitted to return home in consequence.

Marion’s apprehensions would probably have been
less painful, had she recognised the person of the Colonel;
but in the alarm of the moment, she saw only the
dress of an American officer; was conscious only that
he gazed at her with surprise; and overpowered by
terror for her father’s safety, she sunk senseless on the
ground. Grahame, no longer doubting, what at first he
could not prevail on himself to believe, that he beheld
the daughter of the unfortunate Stanley, leaped from his
horse; and raising her in his arms, gazed for a short
space, in silent compassion, upon her inanimate features.
But there was no time for delay, and he looked anxiously
around to determine whither he should hasten
with his lifeless charge. He had nearly resolved to follow 20(2)r 231
the windings of the narrow path in which he found
her, conceiving it would lead him to some habitation,
when his uncertainty was terminated by the appearance
of a boy, who was in fact the son of Marion’s kind hostess,
and who readily consented to conduct the Colonel
to his mother’s house. Directing the boy to lead his
horse, Grahame raised Marion in his arms, and carried
her for near a mile, till they arrived at the obscure farm
house, where she and her father had fixed their present
abode.

When Mr. Spencer’s escape was first discovered,
Colonel Grahame, convinced by all he had seen and
heard respecting him, of his entire innocence, felt glad
that he had eluded the cruel sentence of military justice,
which would doubtless have been pronounced against
him. He hoped and believed that the vigilant search,
which was making to discover the fugitive would prove
fruitless; and he was happy to find that it was given over,
after an excitement of several weeks; when even the
name of the suspected traitor ceased to be mentioned,
except by a few individuals, who occasionally discussed
the probability of his innocence or guilt. A report,
which was put in circulation among the soldiers by the
contrivance of Dory and her cousin, that Mr. Stanley
had escaped from the country, finally silenced all inquiry;
and at the period when Grahame to his unspeakable
astonishment encountered Marion, her father’s
name was nearly forgotten in the army.

He sincerely regretted that the unhappy man was
thrown by accident beneath his notice, as it seemed to
impose upon him a kind of obligation to make the discovery
known. As yet, however, he had not seen Mr.
Stanley
; he knew not that he was with his daughter;
might not have recognised him; and Grahame, resolving
not to betray them, determined as soon as he had
found a shelter for Marion, to quit her without inquiry,
and without even waiting for her recovery. But he had
scarcely crossed the threshhold of the farm-house, when
Marion revived; she saw and recognised her father’s 20(2)v 232
friend; and sliding from his arms to his feet, she bathed
them with her tears, and besought him not to betray
her father to his enemies. Touched by her distress he
raised her with words of kindness, and a promise to
preserve inviolate the secret of their abode.

The landlady, surprised and alarmed by the scene,
hastened to inform Mr. Spencer, that his daughter had
returned from her walk with an American officer, who
though he seemed to be all kindness, and had promised
not to betray them, might intend far differently. She
therefore entreated him as soon as the officer should depart,
to prepare for his removal to the cottage, which
during his illness had been put in such a state of readiness
as was practicable, for his reception. But Mr.
Spencer
, wholly incapacitated for exertion refused to consult
his safety by a change of residence, and desired
that the officer might be conducted to his room. He
would throw himself upon his mercy, he said, and if he
was inhumane enough to betray a dying man to his
enemies, and render miserable the remainder of his
poor girl’s life, he would not deprive him of the cruel
gratification; but suffer him to enjoy it now, and reap
the bitter fruits of it hereafter.

There was an air of authority in Mr. Spencer’s manner,
which the woman dared not resist; and Colonel
Grahame
was accordingly conducted into the presence of
the unhappy man.

A gleam of pleasure lighted up his haggard features,
and softened the stern expression which he had summoned
to confront a deadly foe, when raising his eyes,
they encountered those of Colonel Grahame fixed, full
of benignity and compassion, upon him. Marion darted
to her father’s arms and exclaimed, with tears of joy,
“Dear father! we are safe!”

Mr. Spencer pressed her to his heart, as he replied,

“Yes, my dear girl, I read an assurance of it in that
noble countenance, which never yet deceived the unfortunate.”

Colonel Grahame was inexpressibly affected. The
tenderness and deep affliction of the lovely Marion, and 20(3)r 233
the wasted form of her father, who in this wretched
apartment, had been so long excluded from the light
and air of heaven, awakened all his sympathy and compassion.
Fervently grasping the feeble hand of the invalid,
he said with emotion,

“Mr. Stanley, you have, indeed, nothing to fear
from me; I believe you innocent; and were it otherwise,
I could not forget that divine precept, which enjoins
mercy before sacrifice. For my right hand, I
would not betray you to danger, and deepen the affliction,
which has already stolen its wonted bloom from
the cheek of this innocent girl.”

A touching scene ensued; but when the first emotions
of sensibility had subsided, Mr. Spencer related
to Grahame the manner of his escape, and the incidents
which had occurred to detain him at the farm-house.
The Colonel represented their present residence as
wholly unsafe, and urged Mr. Spencer without delay
to repair to the cottage which their hostess had named
to them.

Colonel Grahame’s visit infused hope and comfort
into Mr. Spencer’s heart; and Marion, convinced from
his representations, that they would be wrong to remain
any longer at the farm-house, prevailed on her father
to remove to the cottage. In the course of a few days
they were comfortably settled in their new retreat;
where they intended to reside, till circumstances rendered
an escape to some more remote spot practicable.
Colonel Grahame visited them as often as he could
without exciting suspicion; he furnished them with a
thousand little comforts, and cheered their solitude with
his society, till at last he became almost indispensable to
them, and the ingenuous Marion, grateful for his kindness,
expressed for him so much esteem, and anticipated
his visits with so much impatience, that her father
flattered himself her affections had found a new object,
on which to repose themselves. The gentleness of
Grahame’s manner also, and the assiduity with which
he seemed to study her happiness, persuaded Mr.
Spencer
, that the attachment was reciprocal; and pleased20* 20(3)v 234
with the prospects, which such a connexion opened
to his daughter, he suffered himself to look forward
with hope to the period of its accomplishment. His
fatal disorder continued to make slow but certain inroads
upon his constitution; and to deepen by its depressing
influence, the disgust which he felt towards mankind;
with whom, he often declared, he never again wished
to hold communion. He grew in love with his solitude;
and every day increased the aversion with which
he thought of quitting it; till at last convinced, that
health would never more be his, he secretly resolved to
waste away the remnant of life in this seclusion, satisfied
that, when he should be no more, the affection of
Grahame would provide for Marion a home and a protector.

Things remained in this state, till Colonel Grahame
was ordered to join General Gates in the North; and
he went to take a melancholy farewell of his secluded
friends, whom his absence left desolate and sad. By
his care, Marion was provided with a flageolet, with
books, implements of drawing, and such other sources
of amusement as might serve to beguile the gloom of
her retirement. These proofs of Grahame’s kindness
deepened the grateful esteem, with which she regarded
him; but did not, as her father fondly imagined, inspire
her with any more tender emotions. On the contrary,
while she beguiled her solitude with such accomplishments
as she possessed, she recalled with fond regret,
those happy days when she had practised them for the
pleasure of O’Carroll, and been rewarded with those
smiles and praises which he was wont to bestow upon
her efforts.

The monotony of their lives was at length interrupted
by the arrival of Ohmeina, who, soon after he became
attached to the person of Colonel Grahame, was sent
by him to learn their situation and supply their wants.
The precarious state of Mr. Spencer’s health filled the
Colonel with apprehension, lest he should suddenly expire,
and leave his helpless daughter friendless and unprotected.
Finding that the Indian was familiar with 20(4)r 235
that part of the country, Grahame despatched him without
delay to execute his errand, and directed him to
the farm-house, from whence he easily found his way
to the abode of Mr. Spencer.

The solicitude with which Marion inquired after the
Colonel, infused into the penetrating Ohmeina the belief
that this fair creature, whom from her extreme delicacy
he named the lily, loved and was beloved by his
white brother; and his reports and observations first
awakened in the Colonel’s breast a fear, lest his attentions
to this forlorn girl might have won for him a
heart, which, even in thought, he had never aspired to
possess. This suspicion, though for a time it occasioned
him uneasiness, was entirely dispelled by a
more intimate acquaintance with Marion; and he felt
happy in the assurance that she regarded him only with
the affection of a sister.

The accounts which Ohmeina brought of Mr. Spencer’s
declining health, caused Grahame, in the course
of the summer again to send the Indian, who made
nothing of the journey, to learn if any change had taken
place. It was at this time, that Ohmeina became acquainted
with the design of Richard Hope, to send secret
despatches to the enemy; and zealous for the success
of the cause which his benefactor had espoused,
the faithful Indian considered it his duty to return with
tidings of the discovery he had made. The information
was important, and Grahame commissioned his
emissary to return and watch the proceedings of the
Quaker, and if possible to obtain the papers from him.
These circumstances delayed Ohmeina’s journey for
that time; and when he afterwards commenced it,
he was as our readers are already informed entrapped
by the treachery of his savage brethren; so that he did
not again visit the abode of Mr. Spencer, till a few
days previous to the Colonel’s arrival at Valley Forge.

When Mr. Forrester or Dalkeith, found himself
stripped of the papers which he had prepared for the
enemy, dreading the vengeance of the Indian, and the
discovery of his person by some one who knew him, 20(4)v 236
should he be seized, he fled from Albany, and repaired
by stolen routes to Philadelphia; where, taking obscure
lodgings and again changing his name, he fixed his residence.
Here he lived securely for several months; when
one day, as he was standing at a shop door, a woman
passed by, whose person he thought he recognised. He
followed her, and obtaining a nearer view, recollected,
during his former residence in the city, to have seen Mr.
Spencer
speaking to her in the street. His suspicions
were aroused; he thought she might be attached to the
service of Marion, and he resolved to follow her.

It was indeed Dory, who had come on some errand
to her cousin’s shop; and was now returning home.
He followed her at a cautious distance, quite to the
cottage. It was dark when he reached it; and as soon
as Dory entered, he approached the window, and felt a
savage joy when he ascertained, by a single glance, that
his conjecture had proved true. He did not attempt to
enter, because he had plans to mature before he discovered
himself. At first he thought of revealing the place
of Mr. Spencer’s retreat, and delivering him up to justice;
but then he feared he might lose Marion; besides,
it was possible he might be taken cognizance of, himself,
and he dared not incur the danger of a close investigation.
Nor was this all; with the malice of a fiend,
he resolved to render as bitter as possible the cup which
he was preparing for his wretched victim; and he knew
the last drop of misery would be added when the arts
of the libertine should have wrenched from his arms the
child of his affection.

On the next evening, Dalkeith returned to the forest,
and a shower of rain beginning to fall, he was looking
round for shelter, when he espied a boy, of whom he
inquired if there was any dwelling near in which he
could find shelter. The lad conducted him to the
habitation of his grand-parents; and pleased with the
stupidity of the old man, and the simplicity of his
spouse, Dalkeith resolved to remain there, if they would
permit him; considering it a convenient distance from
the cottage, and a safe shelter from observation.

20(5)r 237

His request was granted; and from that time he
haunted the forest, and watched for an opportunity to
fulfil his purpose. But he was prevented by fear of the
Indian, whom he encountered on the night succeeding
his arrival; and after intoxicating, treated with abuse,
because, inebriated as he was, he refused to answer his
inquiries. Ohmeina, however, did not endure his insults
passively; he aroused himself to return the blows
that were inflicted on him; and he would doubtless
have left Dalkeith senseless on the ground had not the
coward fled precipitately away. After this, Dalkeith
feared to encounter the Indian, nor did he dare to enter
the cottage, lest he should be surprised by him while
there.

He had now more than one object of hatred and revenge;
since Grahame and the Indian had both injured
him, and both, he resolved, should feel his wrath. It
was soon his fate to meet yet another, scarcely less abhorrent
to him, when, in the course of a moonlight ramble,
he one evening observed Captain O’Carroll walking
arm in arm with Major Courtland. He followed cautiously,
and listened to their conversation; and at this
and other times, when he saw O’Carroll walking with a
friend, he gathered in the same way that information at
which the Captain was afterwards so much surprised.
Finding he could not venture near Marion while so many
real and imaginary obstacles opposed him, Dalkeith resolved
to make O’Carroll an instrument of his designs;
and for this purpose he affected great mystery, and so
successfully wrought upon the Captain’s irritable mind,
as, at length, to obtain the wished-for object, and induce
him to challenge Grahame. Dalkeith now thought himself
sure of success. He had already prepared his hostess
to expect Marion as his wife; and the hour when
the combatants would be engaged at a distance from the
cottage, he designed for the execution of his project.
To effect it without himself incurring danger, he bribed
the lad, under an injunction of the strictest secrecy, to
go with a message to Marion; and this message, to ensure
success, was to be sent in Colonel Grahame’s name, 20(5)v 238
entreating her to repair to a particular spot, where he,
having been wounded in a duel, was waiting to speak
with her. Here Dalkeith was to meet and force her
away with him; and in the general confusion, occasioned
by the duel, in which he hoped both parties
would be wounded or killed, he should have time to
escape with his prize; since, even if she was missed
directly, no one could tell with whom, or whither she
was gone. In order to inform himself of the time and
place appointed for the meeting, that he might regulate
his plan accordingly, he had required from O’Carroll a
promise to deposite a note containing this intelligence,
in the hollow trunk of a particular tree; and after this
note he was searching at the moment when he was first
observed by Miss Courtland on the morning of the expected
meeting.

The lad, according to Dalkeith’s directions, went
cautiously towards the cottage, charged with the important
message. But, as he approached it, he observed
three gentlemen in earnest conversation; and though he
waited till two of them had gone, his design was still
defeated by seeing the third enter and close the door
behind him. The boy waited till he was tired; and
then, fearing to enter while a stranger was within, he
repaired to the appointed place to inform his employer
of the obstacle which prevented the execution of his
commands. The circumstances, however, with which
our readers are already acquainted, put a final period to
Dalkeith’s projects; and the boy, after waiting till long
past the appointed time, returned home, and was expecting
Dalkeith’s appearance, when Colonel Grahame
descended the hill, and accosted him. The lad had
suspected something wrong at first; and the inquiry of
Grahame, with the sight of the litter, convinced him
that his suspicions were not unfounded. Fearing he
had involved himself in difficulty, he obeyed the first
impulse of alarm, and retreated with precipitation;
though he shortly returned, and confessed what part he
had taken in the affair.

20(6)r 239

Chapter XVI.

“A contract and eternal bond of love, Confirmed by mutual joinder of your hands, Attested by the holy close of lips, Strengthened by interchangement of your rings; Sealed in my function by my testimony.” Shakspeare.

The situation in which Colonel Grahame found himself
placed, with regard to Mr. Spencer and his daughter,
seemed to throw them under his immediate protection,
and to claim from him as large a portion of his time and
attention as as he could possibly bestow. After his return
from Saratoga, he felt the claim doubly strong, in consequence
of the rapidly declining health of Mr. Spencer,
and the extreme affliction of Marion; and solicitous to
alleviate their griefs, he spent much of that time which
he would gladly have devoted to the society of Catherine
Courtland
, in the secluded dwelling of the melancholy
fugitives.

Mr. Spencer, sensible that his present misfortunes
had arisen from his own injustice and imprudence, felt an
unconquerable reluctance to speak of the occurrences of
his past life; and even permitted the generous Grahame
to remain ignorant of his real name, and of every incident
of his private history, except such as had fallen
under the Colonel’s immediate knowledge. He seldom,
indeed, spoke of any thing which had passed, or was
now passing in the world, and showed so strong a disinclination
to receive any intelligence of the kind, that
Grahame at length ceased to mention even the public
events of the day. He had once, however, alluded to
Major Courtland’s family, and expressed his opinion
that Marion, without the slightest hazard, might be permitted
to enjoy their society. But Mr. Spencer decidedly
rejected the proposal, and entreated Grahame never 20(6)v 240
to mention it in the presence of Marion, as he could not
consent to her forming any acquaintaunce in her present
situation; and the knowledge of an agreeable family in
the neighbourhood, might render her more unhappy in
her retirement; he also begged that their names might
never be repeated to any individual in existence.

Grahame, unreasonable as he thought these requisitions,
at least the former, could not refuse to gratify an
unfortunate man, who, to all human appearance, had
but a short space to live; and he not only gave his own
promise, but also forbade the Indians, on pain of his displeasure,
to repeat any thing which occurred; or to
speak of the persons with whom they lived; or to let
the place of their residence become known. These injunctions
they promised to obey, though Minoya came
near forgetting them, when, delighted with Miss Courtland’s
flageolet, she played part of a tune which Marion
had taught her, and spoke of the lily, to the extreme
chagrin of Grahame. Painful as he felt it to become
an object of suspicion and distrust to those whom he regarded
with friendship and esteem, yet with strict fidelity
he preserved inviolate the secrecy which Mr. Spencer
had enjoined upon him.

Circumstances were daily occurring to awaken doubt
and conjecture;—the accident of meeting O’Carroll,
when one night, in returning from the cottage, he stopped
to give Ohmeina some instructions; the abruptness
with which he was once called away in consequence of
the sudden and extreme illness of Mr. Spencer; the
discovery of the chain which Minoya had twined around
the dog’s neck, together with a thousand other incidents
which were perpetually occurring, to deepen an appearance
of mystery, not to be explained without betraying
the retreat and history of the unfortunate man, whose
life and safety were in his keeping. Grahame saw with
inexpressible pleasure, that the noble-minded Catherine
refused to participate in the suspicions which had banished
him from the confidence of others. The admiration
with which, on his first acquaintance, he had
regarded her, soon deepened into a fervent and lasting 21(1)r 241
affection, which he would long since have avowed, but
for the cruel circumstances which subjected him to suspicion,
and drew upon him the cold and altered regards
of her father. Grahame felt that he would rather renounce
her love than seek it in such a situation; and
though he did not give nutterance to his sentiments, it
was impossible to control the expression of a countenance
whose silent eloquence could not be misunderstood.

The conference which took place at the cottage between
Marion and Captain O’Carroll, we have already
repeated. It was scarcely terminated when Mr. Spencer
awoke, and inquired for his daughter. Marion,
dreading the effect which her lover’s unexpected appearance
might produce upon her father’s mind, besought
him to depart; and though desirous of an interview,
he could refuse her nothing; and receiving a
promise that he should be summoned when she had
prepared her father to see him, he took a tender and
reluctant leave; and with visions of love and happiness
dancing before his eyes, pursued his way home.

It was past the hour of noon when he reached it; and
he found Talbot and Amelia alone in the parlor; from
the former of whom he learned with surprise the singular
and tragical events of the morning. The possibility
of its being the infamous Dalkeith, who had so relentlessly
haunted and tormented him, had never once intruded
itself into his mind; but the resentment, which
under other circumstances he would have felt against
him, was changed, by the knowledge of his miserable
fate, into compassion. O’Carroll wished to set out instantly
for the farm-house, to which Talbot, who had
inquired the way of William, directed him; but he
learned that Grahame was expected every moment at
Major Courtland’s; and he waited till he could no longer
restrain his impatience, when, as the Colonel did not
come, O’Carroll set out for the farm-house, which he
entered a few minutes before Colonel Grahame’s arrival
at it.

Vol. II. 21 21(1)v 242

The scene which passed there has been related.
When Grahame and O’Carroll quitted the house, the
confessions of Dalkeith and other incidents of the day,
yielded them abundant topics of discourse; and after an
hour passed in explanations, apologies, and concessions,
they parted mutually satisfied with each other, and happy
in their respective prospects.

According to an agreement of the preceding evening,
Grahame and O’Carroll met early at the farm-house;
but finding the unhappy man no more, they repaired together
to the cottage of Mr. Spencer. When they entered,
Minoya was sitting alone in the outer apartment,
plaiting willow baskets, and singing in a low and, as
usual, monotonous tone. In answer to Grahame’s inquiries
respecting Mr. Spencer, she said with a sorrowful
look that he was very bad, and Marion had watched
with him all night. O’Carroll was agitated by the
thought of his Marion’s toil and affliction, and Grahame
begging him to compose himself and remain for a short
time with Minoya, left him and entered the sick man’s
apartment.

He found him much changed since the preceding
day; but his countenance, though deathly, was placid
and serene; and as he extended his hand towards Grahame,
he said with a smile,

“You find me changed my kind friend, but not sadly
so. The spirit I think will soon leave her prison-house,
and I have been seeking to reconcile my Marion to its
departure. Should she not rejoice that my weary pilgrimage
is almost ended; and that through the mediation
of the Redeemer, to the foot of whose cross you
have led me, I have hope of soon entering a region of
unclouded joy?”

“Marion rejoices as we all do,” said Grahame, affectionately
taking the hand of the weeping girl, “in
the brightness of that faith and hope, which shed the
peace and serenity of heaven over the sadness of this
trying hour. But religion, though she sooths our sorrows,
does not forbid their indulgence, and the best disciplined
heart must bleed with anguish, when about to 21(2)r 243
be severed from the dear and cherished objects of its
love.”

“Severed for a short time only,” said Mr. Spencer,
“to be re-united in that world where the heart shall no
more be pained with the agony of separation. So weep
not immoderately, my child; a short time only and
we shall again meet where tears and farewells are unknown.”

Marion was so much affected that Grahame feared
she would faint; and obeying a signal from her father,
he led her gently from the room and consigned her to
the care of O’Carroll, who seemed transported with
happiness when he beheld her. But she was so overwhelmed
with the thought of her father’s approaching
dissolution that she had no room for joy in her heart;
and though she strove to smile upon her impassioned
lover it was through tears, and with a sadness which
told how much the effort cost her.

When Grahame returned to Mr. Spencer, he found
him somewhat disturbed, though he became composed
when the Colonel informed him she was better, and
would soon return to him. After a pause of some minutes
during which, Mr. Spencer seemed striving to collect
himself, he said with effort,

“Colonel Grahame I have still somewhat to say,
which from a reluctance to forfeit any portion of that esteem
with which you have honored me, I have delayed
to communicate till now. But Heaven, I trust, has pardoned
the errors of parental affection, and you are too
just, and too generous not to forgive them also.”

“Do not pain yourself by an exertion to which your
strength is inadequate,”
said Grahame; “nor recall the
images of the past to disturb the tranquillity of the present
moment, I am already informed of every thing.
Marion tells me that you know of her interview with
Captain O’Carroll; and the accident which occasioned
their re-union led to other occurrences, which have developed
not only your history but also the intrigues of
that infamous man, who has been the cause of all your
misfortunes.”

21(2)v 244

Mr. Spencer, in an agitated voice, entreated Grahame
to explain himself, which he did, but briefly, upon
every point connected with the incidents of the preceding
days. Mr. Spencer heard the narration with far
more composure than the Colonel had anticipated;
though he was greatly affected by the account of Dalkeith’s
tragical end, and said, when Grahame finished,
that he could feel no enmity against a man whom the
wrath of heaven had so dreadfully punished; and that for
himself he had now nothing to do in the world but to
obtain O’Carroll’s forgiveness, and bestow on him the
object of his love. Grahame fearing he would exhaust
himself before O’Carroll’s entrance, hastened to inform
him that the Captain was there in the next apartment
with his daughter, and entreated that he might be allowed
to conduct the lovers to his bedside. Mr. Spencer
assented, and Grahame left the room to communicate
his wishes.

In a few moments they all re-entered the sick man’s
apartment, who, as soon as he saw O’Carroll, stretched
forth his hand, exclaiming with emotion,

“My son! that smile of peace assures me all is forgiven.”

“Forgiven, and forgotten,” returned O’Carroll, as
he pressed the hand of Mr. Spencer fervently between
his own.

“I thank you, O’Carroll, and may heaven reward
you as you merit,”
said Mr. Spencer, with a grateful
smile. Then calling Marion, who hung weeping on
the arm of Grahame, towards him, he added,

“I had much to say to you, Captain O’Carroll; but
my strength is well nigh exhausted, and I can only ask
you to receive this orphan girl as the pledge of a father’s
grateful affection. I know you will cherish her
tenderly and make her happier, far happier, than I have
done. Take her as my last and choicest gift; she is
all that I have to bestow.”

“And had you worlds to give they would be valueless
compared to her!”
exclaimed O’Carroll; while instinctively
his arm encircled her, and he ventured to 21(3)r 245
press her with passionate tenderness to his heart. They
sunk upon their knees beside the dying man, who laying
his hand upon his daughter’s head regarded them
for a few moments in silence, while a secret wish seemed
struggling in his breast for utterance. At length,
however, he said with calmness,

“My children, the wish strongly possesses me to see
you united in indissoluble bonds, before I am called to
leave you. The chamber of death is gloomy for a bridal;
but I know it will afford my Marion purer pleasure
to gratify a father’s last request, than she could derive
from all the gaiety and festive mirth that ever graced a
nuptial feast.”

Marion dropped her head upon her father’s hand, and
said in a low and trembling voice,

“Father! dear father, at such an hour!”

“Yes, my love, even at such an hour as this,” returned
Mr. Spencer. “My eyes will soon be closed in
darkness; but I would first give my child to him, who
will henceforth be to her a father, friend, and husband.”

“Consent, dearest Marion,” whispered O’Carroll; it
is your father’s wish, the last perhaps, which you can
gratify; and from his hand I would receive a gift so
precious.”

Tears gushed from Marion’s eyes, as she pressed her
glowing lips to the deathlike cheek of her father, and
whispered in an accent scarcely audible,

“Dearest father, I have no will but yours.”

Mr. Spencer threw his arms around her and held
her in silence to his heart. After a few moments’ mutual
indulgence of their feelings, Mr. Spencer expressed
a wish to have the ceremony performed immediately;
and while O’Carroll strove to sooth and comfort the
desponding Marion, Grahame went out to prepare Dory
and the Indian for the unexpected event; and send to
request the attendance of a clergyman, whose visits at
the Colonel’s request, Mr. Spencer had within the last
few weeks consented to receive.

As he resided at the distance of some miles from the 21* 21(3)v 246
cottage, an hour or more elapsed before his arrival.
During that interval Marion had acquired a tolerable degree
of composure; but it fled the moment the clergyman
entered the room, and it was not till she saw how
much her father was agitated by her emotion, that she
could command herself sufficiently to subdue it. O’Carroll
was a Catholic; but Marion had been educated in
the principles of the established church, and the clergyman
who officiated at her melancholy bridal, was fortunately
of the same persuasion.

During the solemn ceremony Marion seemed almost
unconscious of what was passing. O’Carroll even found
it necessary to support her, lest she should sink upon
the floor. Her responses were scarcely audible, and it
was not till the bridegroom placed upon her finger the
symbol of the union, that she appeared to awaken
from the lethargy that oppressed her. A flood of tears
then gushed from her eyes, and during the remainder
of the service they continued to flow without intermission.
When it was ended, Grahame fervently pressed
O’Carroll’s hand as a mute expression of his good
wishes, and kissed Marion’s tearful cheek in silence;
delicately forbearing to offer his congratulations at a
moment, when he was aware that her heart was full of
sorrow.

O’Carroll, happy in despite of the melancholy circumstances
attending his nuptials, led his weeping bride
to her father, who regarded them both with a smile of
complacency, embraced and blessed them, declaring
that his last wish was now accomplished, and he should
descend to the grave in peace.

And it seemed, indeed, as if he had only waited for this
event; for soon after it was passed he fell into a lethargic
slumber, which continued till evening; he then appeared
to revive a little, though he spoke no more; but
remained till morning with his eyes fixed fondly upon
Marion’s face, and her hand clasped to his heart, when
his struggling spirit was released from its fleshy bondage,
and returned again to him from whom it was received.

21(4)r 247

Marion endured the final shock with greater firmness
than could have been expected, considering the deep
affection which she had cherished for her father, and
the agony with which she had anticipated a final separation.
She loved to think upon the peace of his last
hours; and this recollection together with the soothings
of love, and the consolations of that religion which had
sustained her through so many scenes of suffering, enabled
her still to bear up with a good degree of fortitude
under this bereavement.

Major Courtland gave orders to have the remains of
Mr. Spencer deposited in his own family vault; and
after the affecting ceremony of interment was over,
O’Carroll and his bride quitted the cottage, and took
up their residence at the house of Major Courtland, till
an opportunity should offer for their return to Ireland.
Dory, also, and the Indians followed; and though
O’Carroll proposed to have them married, and to give
them the sole occupancy of the cottage for life, neither
of them evinced the least inclination for this romantic
plan. Ohmeina fond of a wandering life, chose rather
to follow the fortunes of his master, and Minoya had
imbibed so strong an attachment to the gentle Marion,
that she resolutely declared it her design, “to go with
the fair lily across the big waters.”
Marion grateful for
her affection, and for the services which the poor Indian
had rendered her in misfortune, cheerfully encouraged
this determination, particularly as it was agreeable
to O’Carroll, who enjoyed the idea of Minoya’s astonishment
at the wonders she would see, and anticipated
the surprise which would be manifested by the inhabitants
of the old world, when they saw upon their shores
a tawny native of the American forests.

The enjoyment of cheerful and polished society, the
soothings of affection, and the endeavours of all around
her to alleviate her sorrow, produced their desired effect
upon Marion’s health and spirits. Though the past
had been to her a scene of suffering, she was happy in
the consciousness of having performed her duty, and the
recollection of those hours when she had contributed to 21(4)v 248
her father’s comfort, beguiled him into cheerfulness,
and by her artless endeavours caused him for a while to
forget his misfortunes, brought with it a sweet and calm
serenity, which diffused the balm of peace into her
wounded heart. The roses of returning health blushed
faintly on her cheek; and O’Carroll saw with rapture,
smiles of happiness once more wreathing the lips, and
dancing in the soft blue eyes, where sorrow had so long
exerted her blighting influence.

He was the happiest and the tenderest of husbands;
and his character, as Talbot remarked, seemed wholly
changed after the period of his marriage. The melancholy
circumstances attending it had perhaps contributed
to chasten the exuberance of his natural gaiety; and
his irrascible temper seemed to have caught some portion
of the gentleness, meekness, and forbearance which
characterised the lovely woman, to whom he had united
himself. But amid the enjoyments of happy love,
O’Carroll did not forget the claims and obligations of
friendship; he remembered with grateful emotion, the
noble forbearance which Colonel Grahame had exercised
towards him; the generosity with which he had
pardoned his injustice; and the solicitude which he had
expressed for his happiness; above all, he thought with
unutterable gratitude of the care, the protection, the unceasing
kindness which he had bestowed upon his Marion,
during months of the most trying adversity; he
could not feel his own happiness complete, till he saw
that of a friend so noble, and so deservedly dear, placed
upon a basis as permanent and secure as his own.

Marion loved Grahame as tenderly as if he had been
her own brother; and anxious for his happiness, and
aware of his attachment to Miss Courtland, she earnestly
wished that before she quitted the country, she might
see him united to a woman so worthy the affection of
his pure and upright heart. It was often a theme of
discourse between her and her husband; but though
the Colonel was a daily visitor, the affair seemed to approach
no nearer to a crisis, and O’Carroll began to fear 21(5)r 249
that some secret obstacle still hindered the avowal of
his wishes.

Major Courtland was yet confined by a slow nervous
fever to his apartment; and he saw scarcely any one
except his daughter, whose constant attentions seemed
indispensable to his happiness, and whose presence he
constantly required, excepting when, as mistress of the
mansion, it was necessary for her to be with her guests.
The Major still declared his design of returning to
England as soon as his health should be sufficiently
established; and Catherine, aware that his illness was
principally occasioned by disappointment and vexation,
arising from her rejection of Talbot, felt it an incumbent
duty to make no opposition to his wishes.

She could think with calmness of quitting America,
and parting forever from Grahame, while she believed
that an insuperable obstacle divided them, and that duty
as well as delicacy required her to subdue an unfortunate
attachment. But when every shade which had
gathered around him was dispelled, and his character
burst forth still fairer and brighter than before; when
she saw him so happy in his honorable acquittal, and
met his eye beaming with the most unequivocal affection,
and heard his voice soften into tenderness, as he
addressed her, she thought with increased reluctance of
her departure, and sighed in secret over the disappointment
of her cherished hopes.

She was aware that Colonel Grahame sought a private
interview with her; but she avoided it, conscious, that,
should an avowal be made, her father in his present
irritable state of mind and body, would be made more
ill by proposals so averse to his wishes, and would
probably give them an unhesitating and decided rejection.
He seldom spoke of Colonel Grahame; though
when his conduct relative to Mr. Spencer and O’Carroll
was related to him, he had been affected even to tears,
and expressed himself warmly in praise of a character
so noble. But he shortly relapsed into silence; and
though on the following day he admitted the Colonel
to his apartment, and received him with wonted kindness 21(5)v 250
and cordiality, he did not afterwards revert to the
subject; and by some qualifying observations, endeavoured
to apologize for his display of feeling.

Catherine was sometimes tempted to think her father
harsh, and wanting in the affection which he had expressed
for her; but she ever checked such feelings,
persuaded that he sought her happiness; and opposed
her wishes only because he thought his own plans best
calculated to promote it. She knew that the prejudices
of birth had been strengthened by education, and that
his pride could not endure the thought of giving his
only child to a citizen of that country which had risen
in arms against the lawful authority of his king. But as
long as such continued to be his feelings and prejudices,
she felt that there was little hope of his acceding to the
wishes of Grahame.

Chapter XVII.

“Fair Katharine, and most fair! Will you vouchsafe to teach a soldier terms, Such as will enter at a lady’s ear, And plead his love-suit to her gentle heart?” Shakspeare.

Colonel Grahame had early penetrated the sentiments
of Major Courtland; and apprehensive of the
influence which they might have upon the pure and
candid mind of Catherine, he sought the earliest opportunity
after the denouement of Mr. Spencer’s history, to
speak with her upon the subject of his hopes. But she
was so contantly engaged either with her father or her
guests, that he could never obtain a moment’s uninterrupted
conversation with her. Wearied at last with
doubt and uncertainty, he one evening rode towards 21(6)r 251
Major Courtland’s, resolving, if again disappointed, to
request of Catherine the favor of a private interview.

As he approached the house, he discerned some one
walking alone on the piazza, and the keen eye of the
lover was not slow in recognizing, even in the uncertainty
of moonlight, the graceful figure of her whom he
most loved. Hastily dismounting, he threw the bridle
to his servant, and springing up the steps, stood by
Catherine’s side before she had been able to identify
the person of the horseman. Grahame felt that the opportunity
was a golden one, and not to be lost; and
when she motioned to enter the house, he drew her
hand gently through his arm, and said, as he turned
from the door,

“Pardon me, Miss Courtland; the evening if fine,
and if you do not feel the air too cool, I will beg you
to oblige me by remaining here a few moments longer.
I am fortunate to find you alone. There are so many
claims upon you of late that I sometimes fear those
hours of delightful intercourse which I once enjoyed in
your society are never more to return; and I recall
them with such sensations as the weary traveller feels,
when in a burning desert, he looks back to the green
and sunny fields of his native land, and sighs to think
that he shall never see them more.”

“I hope soon to be released from some of the claims
which consume, though not unpleasantly, so large a portion
of my time,”
returned Catherine, with a composure
which she was far from feeling. “My father,” she
added, “is so much better to-day, that I trust his entire
recovery will soon permit me to bestow that undivided
attention upon my friends which has been necessarily
engrossed by him.”

“But then I shall not be here to share it,” said Grahame.
“Already the note of preparation is sounding in
our camp, and soon we shall go forth to die or conquer.
If victory crowns our arms, I shall rejoice as the citizen
of a country which has nobly contended for her rights,
and won them through toil, and suffering, and self denial,
such as men battling for an unrighteous cause could 21(6)v 252
never have sustained. But, as a lonely, unconnected,
solitary individual, I shall have no cause for joy. There
is no eye to watch for my return, no arms that will extend
to welcome me; and should I survive, the widows
and mothers who weep for the objects of their love,
will reproach Heaven, in the anguish of their hearts, for
having destroyed the lives which were dearest to them,
and preserved that which is neither useful nor precious
to any.”

“Why do you speak to me thus?” exclaimed Catherine,
in a trembling voice; “you, from whom I never
before heard the language of dejection or complaint?
why is it that you pain me with this melancholy picture?”

“I would tell you what is now my situation and my
feelings,”
said Grahame; “and I would plead with you,
dearest Catherine, that I may no longer remain this solitary,
isolated being. There is a voice, whose faintest tone
is dearer to me than the murmurs of applauding multitudes,
and a heart for which I would barter the fairest
wreath that ever graced the brow of a conquerer. Let,
then, that voice tell me my hopes are not presumptuous;
and that the heart to which I aspire does not refuse the
request which is prompted by the purest and the most
devoted affection, and it will nerve the soldier’s arm
with new valor, and invest futurity with a charm which
nothing but the happiness of a virtuous attachment can
bestow.”

“It cannot be!” exclaimed Catherine in a low and
tremulous voice. “Why have you made this unfortunate
avowal, which must involve us both in perplexity
and regret?”

“Call it not an unfortunate avowal, dear Catherine,”
returned Grahame; “nor render it so by resolving to
reject it. If I am not an object of indifference to you,
what obstacle prevents our union, or forbids the indulgence
of that affection which we may cherish for each
other?”

“Alas! you know not my father,” said Catherine;
“you know nothing of the strength of his prejudices,
and are not aware how violently he would oppose my 22(1)r 253
union with one who has raised his weapon against the
laws and the sovereign of England.”

“I well know these were your father’s prejudices,”
said Grahame; “but I hoped that observation and experience
had before this banished them from a mind so
candid and enlightened. Yet though he still cherish
them, he will not let them interfere with your happiness;
and when, with the eloquence which love shall teach
me, I entreat him to intrust it to my keeping, a father’s
heart will not resist the prayer. Say, dearest Catherine,
that you permit me, and I will haste to him this moment.”

“No, you must not go to him,” said Catherine,
earnestly; “he is ill, and I dare not suffer you to mention
a subject which I know will agitate him.”

“I will assuredly obey you,” he said. “But I have
endured suspense till it has become intolerable; and I
would learn from you, dear Catherine, if this prohibition
is designed to shut me from the hope which I have
so long cherished, of being at last admitted to a place
in the affections of the only woman whom I have ever
loved, and for whom alone I wish to live.”

Catherine raised her bashful eyes for a moment to
his face, when they sunk beneath the gaze of eager and
passionate expectation with which his were bent upon
her; but superior to all that ungenerous coquetry which
the female heart is fond of exercising in its moments of
power, she replied with that noble and ingenuous candor
which always distinguished her,

“Colonel Grahame, I cannot, nor ought I to conceal
from you my sentiments; they are all in your favor;
and I am not ashamed to acknowledge that I have been
won by the virtues of a mind to whose keeping I am
willing to intrust my future happiness, and where I confidently
repose my affections and my hopes.”

“Heaven bless you for that kind assent, my sweetest
Catherine!”
exclaimed Grahame; “and the heart
which you have honored by your preference, shall study
only to reward and merit the affection which it values
more than life.”

Vol. II. 22 22(1)v 254

He bent towards her, as he spoke, and Catherine felt
herself pressed with gentleness to his heart; that heart
which she had made to throb with rapture, and for which
her own was overflowing with the purest and the fondest
tenderness. Footsteps were at this moment heard approaching,
and the voice of O’Carroll, humming a gay
air, interrupted the tete-a-tete of the lovers. Catherine,
disengaging her arm from Grahame, glided past him,
and entered the house, while the Colonel, vexed at this
untimely interruption, turned coldly to receive the salutation
of his friend.

“I fear I am an unwelcome intruder,” said O’Carroll,
as he gazed for a moment after the retreating form of
Catherine, and then turned to read by the pale moonlight,
the expression of Grahame’s countenance.

“I am always candid with you, O’Carroll,” said the
Colonel; “and I tell you without reserve, that I would
rather have seen you at any other time.”

“And I was a fool to come out just at this unlucky
moment,”
said O’Carroll; “though if Catherine had
not fled so like a frightened deer, I should have retreated
instantly. But I hope, Grahame, I have not been the
unhappy cause of protracting that state of agonizing uncertainty,
when the heart in trembling expectation awaits
an answer to its fond petition?”

“I am happily liberated from that state which you
describe with so much feeling,”
returned Grahame, with
a smile; “and my heart has received the sweet assurance
of my dear Catherine’s affection. So distress
yourself no more, O’Carroll; I forgive your ill-timed
intrusion, and the length of my next interview shall atone
for the briefness of this.”

“Really then,” said O’Carroll, “you have at last
drawn aside the veil which has so long concealed your
heart; and Catherine did not shrink from the display
of all its hopes, nor even from the whispered secret of
its love.”

“She might have shrunk from the suddenness of its
exposure,”
returned Grahame; “but she was too gentle
to reprove it; and emboldened by her sweetness, I 22(2)r 255
urged my suit, and drew from her that dear avowal
which has made me at once the happiest and most
highly favored of men.”

“Weddings multiply upon us apace,” said O’Carroll.
“Talbot has won the consent of his yielding fair one to
become his for better and for worse, next Tuesday week;
and if you will employ me to plead your cause, I will
obtain Kate’s promise to place herself under your jurisdiction
at the same time. Major Courtland is getting
well as fast as he can; so I think he will be able to
dance with us on the happy occasion.”

“I fear he will never be well enough to dance at my
wedding,”
returned Grahame; “since his daughter,
who must of course know his sentiments better than
either of us, fears even to let me speak to him upon the
subject, lest in his present debilitated state, it should
occasion an unfavorable, if not a fatal excitement.”

“What folly, what worse than folly!” exclaimed
O’Carroll, with all his wonted impetuosity. “My Marion’s
story should warn ambitious fathers to beware
how they trifle with the affections of their children; and
with this example, and its melancholy consequences,
yet fresh in his remembrance, can Major Courtland persist
in thwarting the wishes of an only daughter; and
vainly expect to recompense her for the sacrifice of her
dearest hopes by a marriage of heartless splendor, contracted
according to the cold and formal dictates of a
selfish and worldly policy?”

“No, he will not do it,” returned Grahame; “Catherine
will consent to no such contract. She may resign
me to gratify her father’s wishes; but I am persuaded
that even paternal authority will not induce her to marry
one who does not possess her affection. But I love too
fondly to despair; and I think Major Courtland too candid
and conscientious a man to remain long under the
influence of unjust prejudice, and too affectionate a
father to persist in denying the wishes and diappointing
the hopes of his daughter.”

O’Carroll shook his head, with a doubtful air, as he
replied,

22(2)v 256

“Major Courtland, with all his good qualities, and
he has as many and more than most men, is as obstinate
and headstrong as a mastiff; and withal as ambitious
and aspiring as if he had always lived in the atmosphere
of a court. He cannot forgive Catherine for
despising Talbot’s long rent rolls, and the tempting coronet
which hangs in reversion over him; and he is resolved
to take her, as soon as may be, to the other side
of the Atlantic, where fortune and titles are less rare,
and strengthen her claim to hereditary nobility by a marriage
which shall at once cure her unnatural penchant
for the simplicity of republican minds and republican
manners.”

“It is a penchant,” said Grahame, rather haughtily,
“which he will find it no easy task to eradicate from a
pure and unsophisticated mind; and I honor Miss
Courtland
for having imbibed it in opposition to the
corrupt precepts which would have taught her to prefer
the artificial refinements and effeminate luxury of European
manners.”

“It is that pride of family which Englishmen prate
so much about,”
said O’Carroll, “that renders Major
Courtland
anxious respecting the future alliance of
his daughter. You must know he has had one Earl,
two Baronets, two Bishops, a General, and I do not
recollect what else, in his family; and he is desirous
rather to see its original lustre restored than to have it
quenched at once, and irretrievably, by the union of its
last descendant with a plain Mr. or Captain, or even
Colonel ――; a peaceable citizen of the American
Colonies
, or States, as you have termed them in your
rebellious Declaration of Independence; who leads a
quiet and unostentatious life in some corner of the
union; who seeks not to trace his descent farther back
than two generations; and who looks forward to nothing
higher for his son than a seat perhaps in Congress,
where a star never glittered save through the window of
the legislative hall, and a garter was never heard of, except
round the lamb’s-wool stocking of some Yankee
member. And this for a descendant of the Courtlands, 22(3)r 257
and the Stanton’s, and the Calthorpes, and the Lord
knows who! Forbid it pride, decency, family respect!
forbid it every thing that induces a man of birth to cross
the affections of his children, and spoil their tempers
for the sake of making them wretched, in what the world
calls a splendid marriage!”

Grahame could not suppress a smile at the humor of
his friend; but he replied, with a serious air,

“I have no respect for family pride when carried to
an extreme of such ridiculous weakness. But let Major
Courtland
and others despise us, if they will, for the
Roman simplicity of our manners, for the stern and inflexible
purity of our morals, and for the slight value
which we set upon the incidental distinctions of rank,
and the gorgeous trappings of inordinate wealth. It is
our glory, that we are a free, a valiant, and a virtuous
people,—and our pride, that we are descended from
learned and honorable men, who, for ‘conscience sake,’
renounced the delights of polished life, to found in this
western wilderness a mighty nation, where they established
institutions, which, as a rich inheritance, they bequeathed
to their children, who at the peril of life and
property, will maintain and transmit them inviolate to
their posterity.”

“Grahame, I am more than half a patriot already,”
said O’Carroll, moved by the virtuous enthusiasm of
his friend; “so speak to me no more of your pure principles
and your noble resolutions, if you would not have
me branded with the name of traitor. I confess I have
of late sometimes indulged a truant thought, that our
gracious king would have done better quietly to relinquish
his American possessions, than to send us here to
burn and destroy them with fire and sword; yet still I
felt with many others, who doubted the absolute justice
of the cause, that I carried his commission, and was
sworn to loyalty and obedience; so I hushed my conscience,
and without seeking for farther knowledge, said
with honest John Bates, ‘We know enough, if we
know we are the king’s subjects; if his cause be wrong, 212* 22(3)v 258
our obedience to the king wipes the crime of it out
of us.’”

“And you recollect the answer,” returned Grahame;
“‘If the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy
reckoning to make.’”

“No, his turbulent ministers shall make it for him;”
returned O’Carroll; “but let them settle their own affairs
in their own way; we have strangely strayed from
love to politics; and had I before doubted the fervor
and sincerity of your patriotism, I could do it no longer,
since, in the very moment of successful love, you neglect
the charms of your mistress, to eulogize your country.”

“In eulogizing my country, I eulogize my mistress,”
said Grahame; “for she has increased my ardor in its
cause; and by her eloquence strengthened my conviction
of its justice.”

“You will, I think, find in her a congenial spirit,” said
O’Carroll; “and my tongue must have lost some of its
persuasion with the Major if it cannot induce him to
grant your wishes. Empower me to plead your cause,
and I will beset him day and night till it is won.”

“No; I have intrusted you with my secret,” returned
Grahame; “and you must promise me to preserve it
inviolate. I thank you for your good wishes, and your
proffered services, O’Carroll; but the moment Miss
Courtland
grants me permission, I intend to plead my
own cause with her father; and I have so much confidence
in the excellence of his heart, that I even expect
to subdue the prejudices which oppose my hopes, and
to enjoy with his approbation the happiness to which
his lovely daughter permits me to aspire.”

“May you prove a successful suitor,” said O’Carroll;
“but here comes my Marion to look after her truant;”
he added, turning towards her as she came upon the
piazza, accompanied by Talbot and Amelia. She approached
her husband, and passing her hand through his
arm, began playfully to reproach him for stealing from
her; when, perceiving Grahame, she checked herself;
and after saluting him with the frank affection of a sister,
the conversation became general.

22(4)r 259

Grahame, however, remained but a few moments
longer; and anxious to indulge in solitude, the delightful
emotions of his heart, he bade the little group good
evening, and departed without entering the house. Several
days passed on, during which the Colonel’s visits
were frequent; but still Catherine, though she permitted
him to speak to her upon the subject nearest his heart,
continued averse to its being mentioned to her father.
She knew how much it would disturb him; and as he
was now convalescing, she dreaded any excitement
which might occasion a relapse.

O’Carroll, in the mean time, could scarcely restrain
himself from addressing the Major on the subject; only
his promise to Grahame prevented; but though forbidden
to speak openly, he resolved indirectly to aid his
cause. For this purpose he often conversed with Major
Courtland
on the character and misfortunes of Mr.
Spencer
; censured the folly of his ambitious views;
and lamented the misery of which they had been productive.
At other times he praised the character and
conduct of Grahame; his courage, his self-command,
his freedom from all unmanly prejudice or degrading
jealousy; and mentioned numerous instances of his excellence
and virtue. Major Courtland was struck by
O’Carroll’s enthusiastic praises of his friend; and conscious
that Grahame deserved them all, he felt a pang of
self-reproach, when he recollected with what caprice he
had treated this noble young man, with what harshness
he had censured his daughter’s affection for him, and
how foolishly he had resolved to sacrifice her happiness
to that vain ambition which had shortened the life of
Mr. Spencer, and crushed the early hopes of Marion.
As these thoughts agitated him, his former feelings revived
for Grahame; and he half resolved, unasked to
bestow on him his daughter. But still the cherished
weakness which he had nurtured for years, clung to his
heart; and he had not courage to renounce the glittering
dream of wealth and honors, for the assurance of
that permanent and rational happiness, which, as he well
knew, was all that Catherine desired.

22(4)v 260

Full of these reflections, one fine evening, when he
had so far recovered as to walk and ride without restraint,
he bent his steps towards the garden, communing
as he went with his heart, and demanding of it how he
ought to act. As usual, when peculiarly occupied with
thoughts of interest and importance, he turned from the
gravel walks, to seek the spot dear to him, as the last
resting-place of his still fondly remembered wife. The
trees which shaded the marble obelisk, were bursting
into leaf; and the borders of the little stream, that with
low, sweet music glided gently past, were gay with
the earliest blossoms of spring. As Major Courtland
approached the rustic bench, beneath the shade of the
drooping willows, where so many sad yet happy hours
of his widowed life had passed, he observed Catherine
sitting alone, and so wrapt in meditation, that she seemed
unconscious of his approach. Her pensive attitude, and
the soft melancholy which was diffused over her countenance,
increased the striking resemblance which she bore
to her mother; and Major Courtland, touched by the
affecting remembrances thus awakened, stood for some
moments silently gazing upon her, and almost persuaded
that he saw before him the image of his beloved wife.

A deep sigh from her father, disturbed Catherine’s
reverie, and she arose in confusion; while a crimson
blush suffused her features, which alone was sufficient to
inform him what had been the nature of her meditations.
He took her hand, and leading her gently back to the
seat, placed himself beside her, and kissed her tenderly,
as he said,

“You were not wont to fly from me, my love; but if
I am an unwelcome intruder, I will leave you again to
enjoy alone the silence of this sacred retreat.”

“An intruder, dearest father!” she replied; “Oh
you well know your presence is always welcome to me,
and never more so than in this dear spot, the scene of
our sweetest intercourse.”

“It is long, my Catherine,” said her father, “since
that intimate communion which we once enjoyed, and
which seemed to make us all in all to each other, has 22(5)r 261
ceased; and I am sometimes so foolish as to fear, that
since your attentions have been divided by the enlargement
of our family circle, your affections, too, have been
weakened and alienated from me, on whom you are no
longer entirely dependent for society and enjoyment.”

“And have I been so unhappy as to give you cause
for this suspicion?”
asked Catherine, in a tone of
wounded feeling. “My love for you, dear father, can
never be weakened; it increases with every hour of my
life; and whatever claims may be made upon my heart,
none can lessen the affection which binds me so closely
to you, nor render me forgetful of the thousand sacrifices
you have made for me, and the tender care with
which you have cherished me from the hour of my birth
till now.”

“I know it, my dear Catherine,” returned her father,
tenderly embracing her; “I know and feel it deeply;
and my affection shall not make me suspicious. I am
proud of my child, and happy in her love; it has been
the balm and solace of my life; and I wish only to repay
her as she merits, for all the happiness which she
has shed around my path.”

“My dearest recompense is your affection, my beloved
father,”
said Catherine; “continue that to me,
and I am happy.”

“That will ever be yours,” returned her father; “but
a father’s love, dear as it may be, is insufficient to satisfy
the youthful heart; it seeks its happiness in those tender
ties which nature prompts it to form, and which,
selfish as my affection is, I would not wish you to reject.
Yet, my dear girl, I fear lest the enthusiasm of a youthful
mind may lead you into error, and induce you to
yield without due consideration to the romantic tenderness
of a first attachment, which perhaps a longer acquaintance
or a more perfect knowledge of the world
might convince you was insufficient to secure your happiness,
and cause you to repent this rashness and precipitancy
of a choice made in retirement, and under
circumstances which rendered it hazardous and imprudent.
Nay,”
he continued, as she attempted to interrupt 22(5)v 262
him, “suffer me to speak a moment longer. I do
not say you have made this choice; but I warn you
against making it without deep and deliberate reflection.
I tell you candidly, Catherine, it is not one which I can
cordially sanction; though if your happiness depends
upon it, I shall not withhold my consent. If you are
resolved, I cannot hope to tempt you by prospects of
future grandeur, since you have already rejected an alliance
which might have gratified the most aspiring mind;
but I will remind you, that there are those in your own
country whom you may not think unworthy of your
affection, and who would feel themselves honored by a
union with the daughter of a house, which for centuries
has furnished illustrious statesmen and brave soldiers to
serve and defend its sovereign and its native land. And,
thank God, neither a coward’s shame, nor a traitor’s infamy
has ever been known to cast a blot upon the stainless
honor of their escutcheon!”

“Father,” said Catherine, “I am not insensible to
the dignity of my descent; and I will assuredly avoid
an alliance which may reflect disgrace upon it. But, I
trust, the proudest of my ancestors were superior to the
mere distinctions of rank; and you are sensible if they
were not, of the insufficiency of wealth alone, to confer
happiness. Why then should I, whom you have
brought up in a land of simple habits, and suffered to
adopt the sentiments and the manners of the people
amongst whom I have been educated, affect to despise
what I have learned to admire; and forsake a country,
where all my attachments have been formed, and where
all my hopes of happiness are centered, to go among
strangers; and this for the sake only of that vain and illusive
splendor which is valueless and unattractive to me?”

“Catherine,” said her father, gravely, “you can no
longer hide from me the secret of your heart; it is apparent
in all you say; and it unfolds to me the cause
which has rendered futile all my projects, and disappointed
the fondest expectations of my heart.”

“Dearest father,” exclaimed Catherine, “why should
they be disappointed? why, since you seek only my 22(6)r 263
happiness, should you regret that it cannot be promoted
by the fulfilment of those ambitious schemes, which
would plant my pillow with thorns, and strew my path
with the cares and vexations that are ever attendant
upon greatness?”

“And do you not deny your affection for Colonel
Grahame
!”
said the Major, chagrined to find his last
hope frustrated. “You no longer seek to conceal your
love for a stranger and a rebel; and you expect me to
sanction this unnatural passion, which alienates you
from your kindred, and makes you hostile to your king
and country.”

“And if it does not alienate from me my father’s
heart, I shall have no cause for regret,”
said Catherine,
as she threw herself into his arms and hid her
blushing face in his bosom. “Father,” she added, “you
have probed the secret of my heart; a secret which has
long trembled on my lips; but which I have feared to
disturb you by revealing.”

“I should have expected less reserve from my ingenuous
Catherine,”
said her father, scarcely returning
her caress; “and more manly frankness from Colonel
Grahame
, than thus secretly to win and enjoy the affections
of my child, without even seeking the consent of
her father.”

“I only deserve your censure,” said Catherine; “I
dreaded to disturb you while you were ill; and it was
not till to day that I gave him permission to address
you on the subject. I do not seek to conceal from you,
dear father, how deeply my happiness is involved in the
success of his application. Yet, painful as the sacrifice
may be, I will sooner resign my hopes, than see them
fulfilled at the expense of your wishes and enjoyment.
There is nothing that I can conscientiously perform,
which I would not do, at the request of my dear father,
whose whole life has been one continued act of kindness
and indulgence, which it is impossible that I can
ever repay.”

Major Courtland was touched by her tenderness and
filial piety; and he said with emotion, as he embraced her,

22(6)v 264

“My child, none ever deserved a father’s love as you
have done; and few have so richly repaid a father’s
anxious care. It is true, that I desire only your happiness;
and if that is secured, why, indeed, should I regret
the failure of my worldly dreams? That cold marble
speaks to me impressively of their vanity; and at its
foot, I have often resolved to be deluded by them no
longer. Beneath it are buried all my youthful hopes,
and none surely have had sadder conviction than myself,
of the uncertainty and evanescence of all human
expectations and possessions. Be happy, then, my
Catherine, with the object of your choice; whom, throwing
aside the unjust feelings which have so long perverted
my judgment, I believe to possess every requisite,
which can promote and ensure your felicity.”

Catherine overwhelmed by this unexpected kindness,
where she had dreaded only reproach and opposition,
fell weeping on her father’s neck. He pressed her tenderly
to his heart; and never, perhaps, had either experienced
happiness so exquisite, or felt so forcibly
the strength of that affection which bound them to each
other. Major Courtland was renouncing the cherished
hopes of years, and yielding his consent to a union
which he had long determined to oppose. Yet never,
in the moment of his fondest triumph, had he felt his
mind so tranquil and serene, or enjoyed so exquisitely
that peace, which springs from conscious rectitude and
purity of conduct.

Footsteps sounding near them disturbed the silence
they were so highly enjoying; and Catherine started
from her father’s arms, and sought to avert her tearful
face, when through the gathering gloom of twilight, she
discerned her lover approaching. He had been sometime
seeking her through the sheltered walks of the
garden, and expecting to find her alone; but when he
saw her father beside her, and perceived by their attitude
and their emotion, that he had disturbed a scene
of no common interest, he would have retired had not
Major Courtland perceiving his design, caught his hand,
exclaiming,

23(1)r 265

“Grahame, you must not fly me! I know all your
hopes, and I wish to cancel the remembrance of my
past injustice, by enabling you to realize them.”

“I can remember nothing of Major Courtland,” returned
Grahame, “but the kindness and the friendship
which have conferred on me so many obligations, and
yielded me so many hours of unalloyed enjoyment.”

“And I too,” returned the Major, “can remember
with gratitude the manly generosity which has pardoned
my caprice, indulged my paternal anxiety, and respected
the national attachments, which a less temperate
and candid mind would have stigmatized as party
prejudice. Colonel Grahame, you have won from me,
in defiance of selfish feeling, the involuntary homage of
my esteem and admiration; and I would bind you to
me by a tie which death only can disunite.”

“You know, then, of my presumption,” said Grahame,
in a tone of transport; “and you do not forbid
me to indulge the hopes which your lovely daughter has
inspired?”

“Cherish them, Grahame,” returned the Major;
and drawing the trembling Catherine gently forward, he
added, “And receive from a father’s hand this pledge
of his affection and esteem. I give you, what is of far
more value to me than the treasures of the East: cherish
her with tenderness, and may her love shed over
your life the brightness which it has cast upon mine,
and dispel the gathering clouds which in life’s brief
journey so often darken our horizon. And may God
who is over all, protect and bless you both!”

He placed his daughter’s hand in that of her lover,
and hastily retired, to quell in secret and tumult of his
feelings and recover the composure which had been so
much disturbed. The more he thought of the consent
which he had yielded, the more perfect was his satisfaction.
Happy in the prospect of Catherine’s happiness,
and no longer vexed by suspicion and uncertainty, his
health returned, and the cheerfulness of his spirits gave
evidence, that all within was peaceful and serene.

Vol. II. 23 23(1)v 266

Colonel Grahame received the hand of Catherine
on the same evening when Amelia gave hers to Captain
Talbot
. But the Colonel’s situation forbade his
looking forward with certainty to the pleasures of domestic
life; and as the season for active service was approaching,
and he knew not what might be his destiny,
or what sufferings he might be called to endure, he left
his bride in the quiet asylum of her father’s house, till
the return of peace should permit him to enjoy a home
made happy by her presence.

Captain Talbot, who was exchanged shortly after his
marriage, took Amelia with him to Philadelphia; and
during a year she continued, with the ladies of other
officers, to follow the motions of the army; when in
consequence of a severe wound, which unfitted him for
active service, her husband was permitted to return to
England, whither she gladly accompanied him.

Captain O’Carroll with his Marion and Minoya, sailed
for Europe, about three weeks after the marriage of
their friends; where they arrived in safety, and continued
for many years to enjoy a life of uninterrupted
prosperity and happiness.

After four years of successful warfare which terminated
in the establishment of those rights and privileges,
for which the Americans had so valiantly contended,
Colonel Grahame was permitted to enjoy that domestic
felicity, which he had so long anticipated as the reward
of toil, and danger, and suffering; which, in the society
of his lovely wife, he found equal to his fondest expectations.
His family was honorable, his fortune competent;
and in a beautiful part of his native state, he spent
the remainder of his days.

The faithful Ohmeina continued attached to his
household; and till the last moment of a long and happy
life, he evinced the same rectitude of principle and
conduct, and the same devotion to his master, of which
we have given so many instances in the progress of our
history.

Major Courtland after a visit to England, whither he
was oaccompanied by Colonel and Mrs. Grahame, disposed 23(2)r 267
of his Pennsylvanian estate, and went to live with
his beloved Catherine and her husband, who, he often
said, was as dear to him as if he had been his own son.
Soothed by their affection, and by the view of happiness
which he had been the means of promoting, the
evening of life glided serenely and peacefully away.
He became an American in heart; and when garrulous
old age arrived, he loved to gather his blooming grandchildren
around his knees, and tell them of Saratoga,
and the capture of the gallant British, by the brave and
fearless Americans.

The End.

23(2)v