The Project Gutenberg eBook of Cameron of Lochiel

This ebook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this ebook or online at If you are not located in the United States, you will have to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this eBook.

Title: Cameron of Lochiel

Author: Philippe Aubert de Gaspé

Illustrator: H. C. Edwards

Translator: Sir Charles G. D. Roberts

Release date: September 27, 2016 [eBook #53154]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Jana Palkova and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at (This file was
produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive)


Works of Charles G. D. Roberts

The Prisoner of Mademoiselle
The Watchers of the Trails
The Kindred of the Wild
The Heart of the Ancient Wood
Earth Enigmas
Barbara Ladd
The Forge in the Forrest
A Sister to Evangeline
By the Marshes of Minas
A History of Canada
The Book of the Rose
New York Nocturnes
The Book of the Native
In Divers Tones (Out of print)
Songs of the Common Days (Out of print)

Cameron of Lochiel

(Translated from the French of Philippe Aubert de Gaspé)

New England Building
Boston, Mass.

Cameron of Lochiel.

(See page 68.)




With a frontispiece by


Copyright, 1890
By D. Appleton and Company
Copyright, 1905
By L. C. Page & Company


This leisurely and loose-knit romance of de Gaspé's, which he called "Les Anciens Canadiens," has for hero one who was not a Canadian, but a Scotch exile sojourning in Canada. It is on the creation of this character, consistently developed and convincingly presented, that the book must mainly base its claim to be called a work of fiction, rather than a volume of memoirs and folklore. I have ventured, therefore, at the suggestion of my publishers, to take a liberty with the author's title, and name the story after this young Scotch exile, "Cameron of Lochiel." I am the more willing to take this liberty because I feel that de Gaspé has not hitherto been granted the place he is entitled to in the ranks of Canadian fictionists. Considered purely as a romance, it seems to me that the sincerity, simplicity, and originality of this work quite outweigh its sprawling looseness of structure, and make it one of the unique ornaments of the composite literature which we are building up in Canada. If by so changing its title as to emphasize the fictional character of the work I can the better call attention to the worth of de Gaspé's achievement, I feel that I am justified, even in the face of such anticipatory protest as may seem to be implied in the author's too modest introduction.

When all this has been said, however, the fact remains that it was not its many merits as a romance that induced me to translate this work, but the riches of Canadian tradition, folk-lore, and perished customs embalmed in the clear amber of its narrative, coupled with my own anxiety to contribute, in however humble a way, to the increase of understanding and confidence between the two great branches of the Canadian people. It is a beautiful and gracious life, that of old French Canada, as depicted in de Gaspé's lucent pages,—a life of high ideals, and family devotion, and chivalry, and courage. This is an atmosphere it is wholesome to breathe. These are people it is excellent to know; and the whole influence of the story makes for trust and a good understanding.

C. G. D. R.

Fredericton, N. B., May, 1905.



In Canada there is settling into shape a nation of two races; there is springing into existence, at the same time, a literature in two languages. In the matter of strength and stamina there is no overwhelming disparity between the two races. The two languages are admittedly those to which belong the supreme literary achievements of the modern world. In this dual character of the Canadian people and the Canadian literature there is afforded a series of problems which the future will be taxed to solve. To make any intelligent forecast as to the solution is hardly possible without a fair comprehension of the two races as they appear at the point of contact. We, of English speech, turn naturally to French-Canadian literature for knowledge of the French-Canadian people. The romance before us, while intended for those who read to be entertained, and by no means weighted down with didactic purpose, succeeds in throwing, by its faithful depictions of life and sentiment among the early French Canadians, a strong side-light upon the motives and aspirations of the race.

In spite of the disclaimer with which the author begins, the romance of Les Anciens Canadiens is a classic. From the literary point of view it is markedly the best historical romance so far produced in French Canada. It gathers up and preserves in lasting formiv the songs and legends, the characteristic customs, the phases of thought and feeling, the very local and personal aroma of a rapidly changing civilization. Much of what de Gaspé has so vividly painted from his boyish reminiscences had faded out of the life upon which his alert eyes rested in old age. The origin of the romance, as given by his biographer, the Abbé Casgrain, is as follows:

When, in 1861, that patriotic French-Canadian publication the Soirées Canadiennes was established, its inaugurators adopted as their motto the words: "Let us make haste to write down the stories and traditions of the people, before they are forgotten." M. de Gaspé was struck with the idea; and seeing that the writers who were setting themselves the laudable task were all young men, he took the words as a summons to his old age, and so the book came to be written.

Patriotism, devotion to the French-Canadian nationality, a just pride of race, and a loving memory for his people's romantic and heroic past—these are the dominant chords which are struck throughout the story. Of special significance, therefore, are the words which are put in the mouth of the old seigneur as he bids his son a last farewell. The father has been almost ruined by the conquest. The son has left the French army and taken the oath of allegiance to the English crown. "Serve thy new sovereign," says the dying soldier, "as faithfully as I have served the King of France; and may God bless thee, my dear son!"

In the present day, when nationalism in Quebec appears rather given to extravagant dreams, it would be well for the distant observer to view the French Canadians through the faithful medium which de Gaspé's work affords him. Under constitutional forms of government it is inevitable that a vigorous and homogeneousv minority, whose language and institutions are more or less threatened by the mere preponderance of the dominant race, should seem at times overvehement in its self-assertion. A closer knowledge leads us to conclude that perhaps the extreme of Quebec nationalism is but the froth on the surface of a not unworthy determination to keep intact the speech and institutions of French Canada. However this may be, it is certain that the point of contact between the two races in Canada is at the present day as rich a field for the romancer as de Gaspé found it at the close of the old régime.

According to the Histoire de la littérature Canadienne of Edmond Lareau, Philippe Aubert de Gaspé was born in Quebec on the 30th of October, 1786. He died in 1871. He belonged to a noble French-Canadian family. At the manor of St. Jean-Port-Joli, of which he was seigneur, he passed a large part of his life; and there he laid the chief scenes of his great romance. He was educated at the seminary of Quebec, and then studied law in the city, under Sewell, afterward chief-justice. Only for a few years, however, did he devote himself to his profession—one from which so many a poet and man of letters has broken loose. He accepted the position of sheriff of Quebec, and afterward came misfortunes which Lareau passes over with sympathetic haste. His lavish generosity to his friends and the financial embarrassments into which he fell, his four years' confinement in the debtors' prison, his sufferings of soul and body, all doubtless contributed to the poignant coloring with which he has painted the misfortunes of M. d'Egmont, le bon gentilhomme. On his release from prison he retired to his estate of St. Jean-Port-Joli, but not to the solitude and benevolent melancholy of D'Egmont. The romancer was of too sunny a disposition, he was too genuine and tolerant a lover of his kind, to runvi much risk of becoming a recluse. A keynote to his nature may be found in the bright Bonsoir la compagnie with which, in the words of an old French-Canadian song, he closed his literary labors at the age of seventy-nine, when the last page of the Mémoires was completed.

The story we have translated, under the title of The Canadians of Old, was published in 1862. It is accompanied in the original by a mass of curious information, in the shape of notes and addenda, such as would hardly interest the general reader. They will more than repay, however, the attention of any one who wishes to study the French-Canadian people as they were in their early days. The story itself has the air of being the product of a happy leisure. The style is quaint and unhurried, with no fear of the printer's devil before its eyes. The stream of the narrative, while swift enough and direct enough at need, is taught to digress into fascinating cross-channels of highly colored local tradition, or to linger felicitously in eddies of feast and song.

The work begun in Les Anciens Canadiens De Gaspé carried to completion in his second and last composition, the Mémoires, published in 1866. As the former work is a vivid epitome of life at the seigneuries and among the habitants of those days, so the latter reproduces and fixes for us the picturesque effects of life in the city of Quebec itself in the generation or two succeeding the conquest—a period during which the French-Canadian noblesse yet maintained, about the person of the English governor, something of the remembered splendor of the old vice-regal court.

C. G. D. R.

Windsor, Nova Scotia, 1890.


  Foreword ix
I. D'Haberville and Cameron of Lochiel 19
II. A Night with the Sorcerers 31
III. La Corriveau 45
IV. The Breaking up of the Ice 56
V. A Supper at the House of a French-Canadian Seigneur 76
VI. D'Haberville Manor House 99
VII. The May-Feast 115
VIII. The Feast of St. Jean-Baptiste 124
IX. The Good Gentleman 137
X. Madame D'Haberville's Story 154
XI. The Burning of the South Shore 167
XII. A Night Among the Savages 180
XIII. The Plains of Abraham 198
XIV. The Shipwreck of the Auguste 213
XV. Lochiel and Blanche 228
XVI. The Family Hearth 254
XVII. Conclusion 269



As my story lays no claim to classicism, either in style or structure, this foreword may as well be made to play the part of a preface. My acquaintances will, doubtless, open their eyes on seeing me thus enter, at the age of seventy-six, on the perilous paths of authorship. Possibly I owe them an explanation. Although tired of reading all these years with so little profit either to myself or others, I yet dreaded to pass the Rubicon. A matter small enough in itself in the end decided me.

One of my friends, a man of parts, whom I met last year in St Louis Street, in our good city of Quebec, grasped me warmly by the hand and exclaimed:

"Awfully glad to see you! Do you know, my dear fellow, I have talked this morning with no fewer than eleven people, not one of them with half an idea in his noddle!" And he wrung my arm almost out of joint.

"Really," said I, "you are very complimentary; for I perceive by the warmth of your greeting that I am the exception, the man you—"

"Oh, yes, indeed," he cried, without letting me finishx my sentence, "those are the only sensible words I have heard this morning." And he crossed the street to speak to some one, probably his addle-pate number twelve, who was seeking to attract his attention.

"The devil!" thought I to myself, "if what I just said is in any way brilliant, it would seem easy enough to shine. Though I have never yet been suspected of it, I must be rather a clever fellow."

Much elated with this discovery, and congratulating myself that I had more brains than the unhappy eleven of whom my friend had spoken, I hurry to my library, I furnish myself, perhaps all too appropriately, with a ream of the paper called "foolscap," and I set myself to work.

I write for my own amusement, at the risk of wearying the reader who may have the patience to go through this volume. But, as Nature has made me compassionate, I will give this dear reader a little good advice. He had better throw away the unlucky book without taking the trouble to criticise it, which would be making it much too important, and would be, moreover, but wasted labor for the serious critic; for, unlike that old Archbishop of Granada, so touchy on the subject of his sermons, of whom Gil Blas has told us, I am, for my part, blessed with an easy humor, and, instead of retorting to my critic, "I wish you good luck and very much better taste," I will frankly admit that my book has a thousand faults, of most of which I have a lively consciousness.

As for the unfriendly critic, his work will be all in vain, debarred as he will be from the privilege of dragging me into a controversy. Let me say beforehand that I grieve to deprive him of his gentle diversion, and to clip his claws so soon. I am old and indolently content, like Figaro of merry memory. Moreover, I have not enough self-conceit to engage in any defense ofxi my literary productions. To record some incidents of a well-loved past, to chronicle some memories of a youth long flown—this is my whole ambition.

Many of the anecdotes, doubtless, will appear insignificant and childish to some readers. Let these lay the blame upon certain of our best men-of-letters, who besought me to leave out nothing which could illustrate the manners and customs of the early Canadians. "That which will appear insignificant and childish to the eyes of strangers," they urged, "in the records of a septuagenarian, born but twenty-eight years after the conquest of New France, will yet not fail to interest true Canadians."

This production of mine shall be neither very dull nor surpassingly brilliant. An author should assuredly have too much self-respect to make his appeal exclusively to the commonplace; and if I should make the work too fine, it would be appreciated by none but the beaux esprits. Under a constitutional government, a candidate must concern himself rather with the number than the quality of his votes.

This work will be Canadian through and through. It is hard for an old fellow of seventy to change his ancient coat for garb of modern pattern.

I must have also plenty of elbow-room. As for rule and precept—which, by the way, I am well enough acquainted with—I can not submit myself to them in a work like this. Let the purists, the past masters in the art of literature, shocked at my mistakes, dub my book romance, memoir, annals, miscellany, hotch-potch. It is all the same to me.

Having accomplished my preface, let me make a serious beginning with the following pretty bit of verse, hitherto unpublished, and doubtless now much surprised to find itself in such unworthy company:


QUEBEC, 1757.

An eagle city on her heights austere,
Taker of tribute from the chainless flood,
She watches wave above her in the clear
The whiteness of her banner purged with blood.
Near her grim citadel the blinding sheen
Of her cathedral spire triumphant soars,
Rocked by the Angelus, whose peal serene
Beats over Beaupré and the Lévis shores.
Tossed in his light craft on the dancing wave,
A stranger where he once victorious trod,
The passing Iroquois, fierce-eyed and grave,
Frowns on the flag of France, the cross of God.

Let him who knows this Quebec of ours betake himself, in body or in spirit, to the market of the Upper Town, and consider the changes which the region has undergone since the year of grace 1757, whereat my story opens. There was then the same cathedral, minus its modern tower, which seems to implore the charitable either to raise it to its proper height or to decapitate its lofty and scornful sister.

The Jesuits' College, at a later date transformed into a barrack, looked much the same as it does to-day; but what has become of the church which stood of old in the place of the present halls? Where is the grove of venerable trees behind the building, which adorned the grounds, now so bare, of this edifice sacred to the education of Canadian youth? Time and the axe, alas! have worked their will. In place of the merry sports, the mirthful sallies of the students, the sober steps of the professors, the high philosophic discourse, we hear now the clatter of arms, the coarse jest of the guard.

Instead of the market of the present day, some low-built butchers' stalls, perhaps seven or eight in number, occupied a little plot between the cathedral and thexiii college. Between these stalls and the college prattled a brook, which, after descending St. Louis Street and dividing Fabrique, traversed Couillard and the hospital garden, on its way to the river St. Charles. Our fathers were bucolic in their tastes!

It is the end of April. The brook is overflowing; children are amusing themselves by detaching from its edges cakes of ice, which, shrinking as they go, overleap all barriers, and lose themselves at last in the mighty tide of the St. Lawrence. A poet, who finds "sermons in stones, books in the running brooks," dreaming over the scene, and marking the descent of the ice-cakes, their pausings, their rebuffs, might have compared them to those ambitious men who, after a restless life, come with little wealth or fame to the end of their career, and are swallowed up in eternity.

The houses neighboring the market-place are, for the most part, of but one story, unlike our modern structures, which tower aloft as if dreading another deluge.

It is noon. The Angelus rings out from the cathedral belfry. All the city chimes proclaim the greeting of the angel to the Virgin, who is the Canadian's patron saint. The loitering habitants, whose calashes surround the stalls, take off their caps and devoutly murmur the Angelus. All worshiping alike, there is none to deride the pious custom.

Some of our nineteenth-century Christians seem ashamed to perform before others an act of worship; which is proof, to say the least, of a shrinking or cowardly spirit. The followers of Mohammed, who have the courage of their convictions wherever they may chance to be, will seven times daily make their prayers to Allah under the eyes of the more timid Christians.

The students of the Jesuits' College, noisy enoughxiv on ordinary occasions, move to-day in a serious silence from the church wherein they have been praying. What causes this unusual seriousness? They are on the eve of separation from two beloved fellow-students. The younger of the two, who, being more of their age, was wont to share more often in their boyish sports, was the protector of the feeble against the strong, the impartial arbitrator in all their petty disagreements.

The great door of the college opens, and two young men in traveling dress join the group of their fellow-students. Two leathern portmanteaus, five feet long, adorned with rings, chains, and padlocks which would seem strong enough for the mooring of a ship, lie at their feet. The younger of the two, slight and delicate-looking, is perhaps eighteen years old. His dark complexion, great black eyes, alert and keen, his abruptness of gesture, proclaim his French blood. His name is Jules D'Haberville. His father is one of the seigneurs, captain of a company in the colonial marine.

His companion, who is older by two or three years, is much taller and more robust of frame. His fine blue eyes, his chestnut hair, his blonde and ruddy complexion with a few scattered freckles on face and hands, his slightly aggressive chin—all these reveal a foreign origin. This is Archibald Cameron of Lochiel, commonly known as Archie of Lochiel, a young Scotch Highlander who has been studying at the Jesuits' College in Quebec. How is it that he, a stranger, finds himself in this remote French colony? We will let the sequel show.

The young men are both notably good looking. They are clad alike with hooded overcoat, scarlet leggings edged with green ribbon, blue woolen knitted garters, a broad belt of vivid colors embroidered with glass beads, deer-hide moccasins tied in Iroquois fashion, thexv insteps embroidered with porcupine-quills, and, finally, caps of beaver-skin fastened over the ears by means of a red silk handkerchief knotted under the chin.

The younger betrays a feverish eagerness, and keeps glancing along Buade Street.

"You are in a hurry to leave us, Jules," said one of his friends, reproachfully.

"No," replied D'Haberville, "oh, no, indeed, my dear De Laronde, I assure you; but, since this parting must take place, I wish it over. It unnerves me; and it is natural that I should be in a hurry to get back home again."

"That is right," said De Laronde; "and, moreover, since you are a Canadian, we hope to see you again before very long."

"But with you the case is different, my dear Archie," said another. "I fear this parting will be forever, if you return to your own country."

"Promise us that you will come back," cried all the students.

During this conversation Jules darts off like an arrow to meet two men, each with an oar on his right shoulder, who are hastening along by the cathedral. One of them wears the costume of the habitants—capote of black homespun, gray woolen cap, gray leggings and garters, belt of many colors, and heavy cowhide larrigans tied in the manner of the Iroquois. The dress of the other is more like that of our young travelers, although much less costly. The first, tall and rough-mannered, is a ferryman of Point Lévis. The second, shorter, but of athletic build, is a follower of Captain D'Haberville, Jules's father. In times of war, a soldier; in peace, he occupies the place of a favored servant. He is the captain's foster-brother and of the same age. He is the right hand of the family. He has rocked Jules in hisxvi arms, singing him the gay catches of our up-river boatmen.

"Dear José, how are you? How have you left them all at home?" cried Jules, flinging his arms about him.

"All well enough, thank God," replied Jose; "they send you all kinds o' love, and are in a great way to see you. But how you have grown in the last few months! Lord! Master Jules, but it is good to set eyes on you again."

In spite of the familiar affection lavished upon José by the whole D'Haberville family, he never forgot to be scrupulously respectful.

Jules overwhelms him with eager inquiries. He asks about the servants, about the neighbors, and about the old dog whom, when in his thirty-sixth lesson, he had christened Niger to display his proficiency in Latin. He has forgiven even the greedy cat who, the year before, had gobbled up a young pet nightingale which he had intended to take to college with him. In the first heat of his wrath, it is true, he had hunted the assassin with a club, under tables, chairs, and beds, and finally on to the roof itself, which the guilty animal had sought as an impregnable refuge. Now, however, he has forgiven the creature's misdeeds and makes tender inquiry after its health.

"Hello there!" grumbles the ferryman, who takes very little interest in the above scenes, "when you have done slobbering and chattering about the cat and dog, perhaps you'll make a move. The tide won't wait for nobody."

In spite of the impatience and ill-humor of the ferryman, it took long to say farewell. Their instructors embraced them affectionately.

"You are to be soldiers, both of you", said the principal. "In daily peril of your life upon the battle-field,xvii you must keep God ever before you. It may be the will of Heaven that you fall. Be ready, therefore, at all times, that you may go before the judgment-seat with a clear conscience. Take this for your battle-cry—'God, the King, and Fatherland!'"

"Farewell!" exclaimed Archie—"you who have opened your hearts to the stranger. Farewell, kind friends, who have striven to make the poor exile forget that he belonged to an alien race. Farewell, perhaps forever."

"This parting would be hard indeed for me," said Jules, deeply moved, "had I not the hope that my regiment will soon be ordered to Canada." Then, turning to his instructors, he said:

"I have tried your patience sorely, gentlemen, but you know that my heart has always been better than my head; I beg that you will forgive the one for the sake of the other.—As for you, my fellow-students," he continued, with a lightness that was somewhat forced, "you must admit that, if I have tormented you sadly with my nonsense during the last ten years, I have at least succeeded in sometimes making you laugh."

Seizing Archie by the arm, he hurried him off in order to conceal his emotion.

We may leave our travelers now to cross the St. Lawrence, and rejoin them a little later at Point Lévis.

The Author.





Give me, oh! give me back the days
When I—I too—was young,
And felt, as they now feel, each coming hour,
New consciousness of power....

The fields, the grove, the air was haunted,
And all that age has disenchanted....

Give me, oh! give youth's passions unconfined,
The rush of joy that felt almost like pain.


Archibald Cameron of Lochiel, son of a Highland chief who had wedded a daughter of France, was but four years old when he lost his mother. Brought up by his father, who was, in the language of the Scriptures, a valiant hunter in the sight of God, ever since ten years old he had followed him in the chase of the roebuck and other wild beasts, scaling the highest mountains, swimming the icy torrents, making his couch on the wet sod with no covering but his plaid, no roof but the vault of heaven. Under such a Spartan training the boy came to find his chief delight in this wild and wandering life.

When Archie was but twelve years old, in the year 1745, his father joined the standard of that unhappy young prince who, after the old romantic fashion, threw himself into the arms of his Scottish countrymen, and20 called upon them to win him back a crown which the bloody field of Culloden forced him to renounce forever.

In the early days of this disastrous struggle, courage was triumphant over numbers and discipline, and their mountains re-echoed to their outmost isles the songs of victory. The enthusiasm was at its height. The victory seemed already won. But short-lived was their triumph. After achievements of most magnificent heroism they were forced to bow their necks to defeat. Lochiel shared the fate of the many brave whose blood reddened the heather on Culloden.

An uncle of Archie's, who had also followed the standard and fortunes of the unhappy prince, had the good fortune, after the disaster of Culloden, to save his head from the scaffold. Through a thousand perils, over a thousand obstacles, he made good his flight to France with his orphan nephew. The old gentleman, ruined in fortune and under sentence of banishment, was having a hard struggle to support himself and his charge, when a Jesuit, an uncle of the boy on his mother's side, undertook a share of the burden. Archie was sent to the Jesuits' College in Quebec. Having completed a thorough course in mathematics, he is leaving college when the reader makes his acquaintance.

Archibald Cameron of Lochiel, whom the harsh hand of misfortune had brought to an early maturity, knew not at first what to make of a boy noisy, troublesome and mocking, who seemed the despair alike of masters and students. To be sure, the boy had not all the fun on his own side. Out of twenty canings and impositions bestowed upon his class, Jules D'Haberville was sure to pocket at least nineteen for his share.

It must be acknowledged, also, that the older pupils, driven to the end of their patience, bestowed upon him sometimes more knocks than nuts; but you would have21 thought the youngster regarded all this as an encouragement, so ready was he to resume his tricks. We may add that Jules, without being vindictive, never wholly overlooked an injury. In one way or another he always made matters even. His satire, his home thrusts, which could bring a flush to the face of even the most self-possessed, served his purpose very effectually with the masters or with those larger students whom he could not otherwise reach.

He had adopted it as his guiding principle, that he would never acknowledge himself beaten; and it was necessary, therefore, for his opponents, when weary of war, to make him proposals of peace.

The reader will doubtless conclude that the boy was cordially disliked; on the contrary, every one was fond of him; he was the pet of the college. The truth is, Jules had such a heart as pulses all too rarely in the breast of man. To say that he was generous to a fault, that he was ever ready to defend the absent, to sacrifice himself in order to conceal the faults of others, would not give an adequate description of his character. The following incident will reveal him more effectively: When he was about twelve years old, a senior student got out of patience and kicked him; with no intention, however, of hurting him much. It was contrary to Jules's code of honor to carry complaints to the masters. He contented himself with replying to his assailant: "You are too thick-headed, you big brute, for me to waste any sarcasm on you. You would not understand it. One must pierce your hide in some other way; but be patient, you will lose nothing by waiting!"

After rejecting certain more or less ingenious schemes of vengeance, Jules resolved to catch his enemy asleep and shave his eyebrows—a punishment which would be easy to inflict, as Dubuc, the youth who had kicked22 him, was a mighty heavy sleeper. This plan had the further advantage of touching him on a most sensitive point, for he was a handsome fellow and a good deal of a dandy.

Jules had just decided on this revenge, when he heard Dubuc say to one of his friends, who had rallied him on looking gloomy:

"Indeed, I have good reason to be, for I expect my father to-morrow. I have got into debt with the shop-keepers, hoping that my mother would come to Quebec ahead of him, and would relieve me without his knowing anything about it. Father is close-fisted and violent. He will probably strike me in the first heat of his anger; and I don't know where to hide my head. I have a mind to run away until the storm is over."

"Oh," said Jules, "why don't you let me help you out of the scrape?"

"The devil you say!" exclaimed Dubuc, shaking his head.

"Why," said Jules, "do you think that on account of a kick, more or less, I would leave a fellow-student in a scrape and exposed to the violence of his amiable papa? To be sure, you almost broke my back, but that is another affair, which we will settle later. How much cash do you want?"

"My dear fellow," answered Dubuc, "that would be abusing your kindness. I need a large sum, and I know you are not in funds just now; for you emptied your purse to help that poor woman whose husband was killed the other day."

"A pretty story," said Jules. "As if one could not always find money to save a friend from the wrath of a father who is going to break his neck! How much do you want?"

"Fifty francs!"


"You shall have them this evening," said the boy.

Jules, an only son, belonging to a rich family, indulged by everybody, had his pockets always full of money. Father and mother, uncles and aunts, godfathers and godmothers, they all kept loudly proclaiming that boys should not have too much money to spend. At the same time they outdid each other in surreptitiously supplying his purse!

Dubuc, however, had spoken truly; the boy's purse was empty for the moment. Fifty francs was, moreover, quite a sum in those days. The King of France was paying his red allies only fifty francs for an English scalp. His Britannic Majesty, richer or more generous, was paying a hundred for the scalp of a Frenchman!

Jules did not care to apply to his uncles and his aunts, the only relations he had in the city. His first thought was to borrow fifty francs by pawning his gold watch, which was worth at least twenty-five louis. Revolving the matter, however, he bethought himself of a certain old woman, a servant of the house, whom his father had dowered at her marriage, and to whom he had afterward advanced enough money to set her up in business. The business had prospered in her hands. She was a widow, rich and childless.

There were difficulties to surmount, however. The old dame was rather avaricious and crusty; and on the occasion of Jules's last visit they had not parted on the best terms possible. She had even chased him into the street with a broomstick. The boy had done nothing more, however, than play her a little trick. He had given her pet spaniel a dose of snuff, and when the old lady ran to the help of her dog, who was conducting himself like a lunatic, he had emptied the rest of the snuff-box into a dandelion salad which she was carefully picking over for her supper.


"Hold on, mother," he cried, as he ran away, "there is a good seasoning for you."

Jules saw that it was very necessary to make his peace with the good dame, and hence these preliminaries. He threw his arms about her neck on entering, in spite of the old woman's attempt to shield herself from these too ardent demonstrations, after the way he had affronted her.

"See, my dear Madeleine," he cried, "I am come to pardon thine offenses as thou must pardon all who have offended against thee. Everybody says thou art stingy and revengeful, but that is no business of mine. Thou wilt get quit of it by roasting a little while in another world. I wash my hands of it entirely."

Madeleine hardly knew whether to laugh or be angry at this fantastic preamble; but, as she was fond of the boy, for all his tricks, she took the wiser course and smiled good-naturedly.

"Now that we are in a better humor," continued Jules, "let us proceed to business. I have been a little foolish and have got into debt, and I dread to trouble my good father about it. In fact, I want fifty francs to settle the unfortunate business. Can you lend me that much?"

"Indeed, now, Master D'Haberville," answered the old dame, "if that were all I had in the world, I would give it all to save your father any trouble. I owe so much to your father."

"Tut!" said Jules, "if you talk of those ha'pennies, there's an end of business. But listen, my good Madeleine, since I might break my neck when I least expect it, or still more probably when climbing on the roof or among the city bells, I must give you a bit of writing for security. I hope, however, to pay you back in a month at latest."


At this Madeleine was seriously offended. She refused the note, and counted him out the money. Jules almost choked her with his embrace, sprang through the window into the street and hurried back to the college.

At recess time that evening Dubuc was freed from all anxiety on the score of his amiable papa.

"But remember," said D'Haberville, "I still owe you for that kick."

"Hold on, dear boy," exclaimed Dubuc, with feeling. "I wish you would settle that right now. Break my head or my back with the poker, only let us settle it. To think that, after all you have done for me, you are still bearing me a grudge, would be nothing less than torture."

"A fine idea that," exclaimed the boy, "to think that I bear any one a grudge because I am in his debt in regard to a little exchange of compliments! So that is how you take it, eh? Shake, then, and let us think no more about it. You may brag of being the only one to scratch me without my having drawn his blood in return."

With these words he sprang upon the young man's shoulders like a monkey, pulled out a few hairs to satisfy his conscience, and scampered off to join the merry group which was waiting for him.

Archibald of Lochiel, matured by bitter experiences, and on that account more self-contained and more reserved than other boys of his age, on his first coming to college hardly knew whether to smile or be angry at the frolics of the little imp who seemed to have taken him for his special butt, and who hardly left him any peace. He could not be expected to divine that this was Jules's manner of showing his affection for those he loved the most. One day, driven to the end of his forbearance, Archie said to him:


"Do you know, you would try the patience of a saint! Verily I don't know what to do with you."

"But you have a way out of your difficulties," answered Jules. "My skin itches; give me a good hiding, and I'll leave you in peace. That will be easy enough for you, you young Hercules."

Lochiel, indeed, accustomed from his infancy to the trying sports of the young Highlanders, was at fourteen marvelously strong for his years.

"Do you think," exclaimed Archie, "that I am such a coward as to strike a boy younger and weaker than myself?"

"Oh, no," said Jules; "I see we agree on that score—never a knock for a little fellow. What suits me is a good tussle with a fellow of my own age, or even a little older; then shake hands and think no more about it. By the way," continued Jules, "you know that comical dog De Chavigny? He is older than I am, but so weak and miserable that I have never had the heart to punch him, although he has played me such a trick as even St. Francis himself would hardly pardon. Just think of him running to me all out of breath and exclaiming: 'I've just snatched an egg from that greedy Letourneau, who had stolen it out of the refectory. Here, hide it; he's after me!'

"'Where do you want me to hide it?' said I.

"'Oh, in your hat,' he answered; 'he'll never think of looking for it there.'

"As for me, I was fool enough to do it. I ought to have mistrusted him.

"In a moment Letourneau came up and jammed my cap down over my eyes. The accursed egg nearly blinded me, and I swear did not smell like a rose-garden! It was an addled egg found by Chavigny in a nest which the hen had probably abandoned a27 month before. I got out of that mess with the loss of a cap, a vest, and other garments. Well, after the first of my fury was over, I could not help laughing; and if I bear him any grudge at all, it is for having got ahead of me with so neat a trick. I should love to get it off on Derome, who keeps his hair so charmingly powdered. As for Letourneau, since he was too stupid to have invented the trick myself, I contented myself with saying to him, 'Blessed are they of little wit'; and he professed himself proud of the compliment, being glad enough, after all, to get off so cheaply.

"And now, my dear Archie," continued Jules, "let us come to terms. I am a kindly potentate, and my conditions shall be most easy. To please you, I undertake, on the word of a gentleman, to diminish by one third those tricks of mine which you lack the good taste to appreciate. Come, now, you ought to be satisfied with that if you are not utterly unreasonable, for you see, my dear boy, I love you. I would not have made peace with any one else on such advantageous terms."

Lochiel could not help laughing as he shook the irrepressible lad. It was from this conversation that the friendship between the two boys took its beginning—on Archie's part with a truly Scottish restraint, on the side of Jules with the passionate warmth of which the French heart is capable.

A few weeks later, about a month before the vacation, which began then on the 15th of August, Jules seized his friend's arm and whispered:

"Come into my room. I have just had a letter from father which concerns you."

"Concerns me!" exclaimed the other in astonishment.

"Why are you surprised?" retorted D'Haberville.28 "Do you think you are not of sufficient importance for any one to concern himself about you? Why, all New France is talking about the handsome Scotchman. The mammas, fearing your influence on the inflammable hearts of their daughters, talk seriously of petitioning our principal never to let you appear in public except with a veil on, like the women of the East."

"Come, stop your fooling, and let me go on with my reading."

"But I am very much in earnest," said Jules. And, dragging his friend along with him, he read him part of a letter from his father, which ran as follows:

"What you tell me about your young friend, Master de Lochiel, interests me very much. I grant your request with the greatest pleasure. Give him my compliments, and beg him to come and spend his next vacation with us, and all his vacations so long as he is attending college. If he does not consider this invitation sufficiently formal, I will write to him myself. His father sleeps upon a glorious field. Soldiers are brothers everywhere; so should their sons be likewise. Let him come to our own hearth-stone, and our hearts shall open to him as to one of our own blood."

Archie was so affected by the warmth of this invitation that for some moments he could not answer.

"Come, my haughty Scotlander, will you do us the honor?" said his friend. "Or must my father send, on a special embassy, his chief butler, José Dubé, with the bagpipes slung on his back in the form of a St. Andrew's cross—as is the custom, I believe, among your Highland chiefs—to present you his invitation with all due formality?"

"As, fortunately, I am no longer in my Highlands," said Archie, laughing, "we can dispense with these formalities. I shall write at once to Captain D'Haberville, and thank him with my whole heart for his noble generosity to the exiled orphan."


"Then, let us speak reasonably for once," said Jules, "if only for the novelty of the thing. You think me very light, silly, and scatter-brained. I acknowledge that there is a little of all that in me, which does not prevent me from being in earnest more often than you think. I have long been seeking a friend, a true and high-hearted friend. I have watched you very closely, and I find you all I could wish. Lochiel, will you be my friend?"

"Without a moment's question, my dear boy," answered Archie, "for I have always felt strongly attracted toward you."

"Well, then," cried Jules, grasping his hand warmly, "it is for life and death with us Lochiel!"

Thus, between a boy of twelve and a boy of fourteen, was ratified a friendship which in the sequel will be exposed to the crudest tests.

"Here's a letter from mother," said Jules, "in which there is a word for you":

"I hope your friend, Master de Lochiel, will do us the pleasure of accepting your father's invitation. We are all eager to meet him. His room is ready, alongside of your own. In the box which José will hand you there is a parcel for him which he would grieve me greatly by refusing. In sending it I am thinking of the mother he has lost."

The box contained equal shares for the two boys of cakes, sweetmeats, jams, and other dainties.

The friendship between the two boys grew stronger day by day. They became inseparable. Their college-mates dubbed them variously Damon and Pythias, Orestes and Pylades, Nisus and Euryalus. At last they called them the brothers.

All the time Lochiel was at college he spent his vacations with the D'Habervilles, who made no difference between the two boys unless to lavish the more marked attentions upon the young Scotchman who had30 become as it were a son of the house. It was most natural, then, that Archie, before sailing for Europe, should accompany Jules on his farewell visit to his father's house.

The friendship between the two young men, as we have already said, is destined to be put to the bitterest trial, when that code of honor which has been substituted by civilization for the truest sentiments of the human heart, shall come to teach them the obligations of men who are fighting under hostile flags. But why anticipate the dark future? Have they not enjoyed during almost ten years of college life the passing griefs, the little jealousies, the eager pleasures, the differences and ardent reconciliations which characterize a boyish friendship?



Angels and ministers of grace, defend us!
Be thou a spirit of health, or goblin damned,
Bring with thee airs from heaven, or blasts from hell.


Ecoute comme les bois crient. Les hiboux fuient épouvantés.... Entends-tu ces voix dans les hauteurs, dans le lointain, ou près de nous?... Eh! oui! la montagne retentit, dans toute sa longueur, d'un furieux chant magique.


Lest bogles catch him unawares....

Where ghaits and howlets nightly cry....

When out the hellish legion sallied.


As soon as our young travelers, crossing the St. Lawrence opposite Quebec, have reached Point Lévis, José makes haste to harness a splendid Norman horse into one of those low sledges which furnish the only means of transport at this season, when the roads are only covered here and there with snow or ice, and when overflowing streams intercept the way at intervals. When they come to one of these obstacles José unharnesses the horse, all three mount, and the brook is speedily forded. It is true that Jules, who clasps José around the waist, tries every now and then to throw him off, at the risk of partaking with him the luxury of a bath at a little above zero. He might as well have tried to throw Cape Tourmente into the St. Lawrence. José, who, in spite of his32 comparatively small stature, is as strong as an elephant, laughs in his sleeve and pretends not to notice it. The brook forded, José goes back for the sledge, reharnesses the horse, climbs into the sledge with the baggage in front of him lest he should get it wet, and speedily overtakes his fellow-travelers, who have not halted a moment in their march.

Thanks to Jules, the conversation never flags during the journey. Archie does nothing but laugh over the witticisms that Jules perpetrates at his expense. He has long given up attempting any retort.

"We must hurry," exclaimed D'Haberville; "it is thirty-six miles from here to St. Thomas. My uncle De Beaumont takes supper at seven. If we get there too late, we shall probably make a poor meal. The good things will be all gobbled up. You know the proverb, tarde venientibus ossa."

"Scotch hospitality is proverbial," exclaimed Archie. "With us the welcome is the same day or night. That is the cook's business."

"Verily," said Jules, "I believe it as if I saw it with my own eyes; were it otherwise it would show a plentiful lack of skill or good-will on the part of your peticoated cooks. It is delightfully primitive, that Scotch cookery of yours. With a few handfuls of oatmeal sodden in cold water—since you have neither wood nor coal in your country—you can make an excellent soup at little cost and with no great expenditure of culinary science, and feast your guests as well in the night as in the daytime. It is quite true that, when some distinguished personage seeks your hospitality—which often happens, since Scotland is loaded down with enough coats-of-arms to crush a camel—it is true I say, that you set before him, in addition to your oatmeal soup, the head, feet, or nice, juicy tail of a sheep,33 with salt for sauce; the other parts of the animal never seem to grow in Scotland."

Lochiel contented himself with glancing at Jules over his shoulder and repeating:

"'Quis talia fando Myrmidonum, Dolopumve'—"

"What's that?" exclaimed Jules, in assumed indignation; "you call me a Myrmidon, a Dolopian—me, the philosopher! And, moreover, my worthy pedant, you abuse me in Latin—you who so murder the accent with your Caledonian tongue that Virgil must squirm in his grave! You call me a Myrmidon—me, the geometrician of my class! You remember that the Professor of Mathematics predicted that I should be another Vauban—"

"Yes, indeed," interrupted Archie, "in recognition of your famous perpendicular line, which leaned so much to the left that all the class trembled lest it should fall and crush its base; seeing which, our professor sought to console you by predicting that your services would be required in case of the reconstruction of the Tower of Pisa."

Jules struck a tragic attitude and cried:

"'Tu t'en souviens, Cinna! et veux m'assassiner.'

"You are going to stab me upon the king's highway, beside this mighty St. Lawrence, untouched by all the beauty of nature which surrounds us—untouched by yon lovely cascade of Montmorency, which the habitants call 'The Cow,' a title very much the reverse of poetic, but which, nevertheless, expresses well enough the exquisite whiteness of the stream which leaps from its bosom like the rich and foaming flow from the milch-cow's udder. You are going to stab me right in sight of34 the Isle of Orleans, which, as we go on, conceals from our view the lovely waterfall which I have so poetically described! Heartless wretch! will nothing make you relent—not even the sight of poor José here, who is touched by all this wisdom and eloquence in one so young, as Fénelon would have said could he have written my adventures?"

"Do you know," interrupted Archie, "you are at least as remarkable in poetry as you are in geometry?"

"Who can doubt it?" answered Jules. "No matter, my perpendicular made you all laugh and myself most of all. You know, however, that that was only another trick of that scamp De Chavigny, who had stolen my exercise and rolled up another in place of it, which I handed in to the teacher. You all pretended not to believe me, since you were but too glad to see the trickster tricked."

José, who ordinarily took little part in the young men's conversation, and who, moreover, had been unable to understand what they had just been talking about, now began to mutter under his breath:

"What a queer kind of a country that, where the sheep have only heads, feet, and tails, and not even a handful of a body! But, after all, it is none of my business; the men who are the masters will fix things to suit themselves; but I can't help thinking of the poor horses!"

José, who was a regular jockey, had a most tender consideration for these noble beasts. Then, turning to Archie, he touched his cap and said:

"Saving your presence, sir, if the gentry themselves eat all the oats in your country, which is because they have nothing better to eat, I suppose, what do the poor horses do? They require to be well fed if they do much hard work."


The young men burst out laughing. José, a little abashed by their ridicule, exclaimed:

"Excuse me if I have said anything foolish. One may make mistakes without being drunk, just like Master Jules there, who was telling you that the habitants call Montmorency Falls 'The Cow' because their foam is white as milk. Now, I have a suspicion that it is because they bellow like a cow in certain winds. At least that is what the old bodies say when they get chattering."

"Don't be angry, old boy," answered Jules, "you are probably quite right. We were laughing because you thought there were horses in Scotland. The animal is unknown in that country."

"What! no horses, sir? What do the folks do when they want to travel?"

"When I say no horses," answered D'Haberville, "you must not understand me too literally. They have an animal resembling our horses, but not much taller than my big dog Niger. It lives in the mountains, wild as our caribous, and not altogether unlike them. When a Highlander wants to travel, he sounds his bagpipe; all the villagers gather together and he unfolds to them his project. Then they scatter through the woods, or rather through the heather, and after a day or two of toil and tribulation they succeed, occasionally, in capturing one of these charming beasts; then, after another day or two, if the brute is not too obstinate, and if the Highlander has enough patience, he sets out on his journey, and sometimes even succeeds in coming to the end of it."

"Well, I must say," retorted Lochiel, "you are a pretty one to be making fun of my Highlanders! You have good right to be proud of this princely turn-out of your own! It will be hard for posterity to believe that36 the high and mighty lord of D'Haberville sends for his son and heir in a sort of dung-cart without wheels! Doubtless he will send some outriders on ahead of us, in order that nothing shall be lacking in our triumphal approach to the manor of St. Jean Port Joli!"

"Well done, Lochiel! you are saved, brother mine," cried Jules. "A very neat home thrust. Claws for claws, as one of your Scottish saints exclaimed one day, when he was having a scrimmage with the devil."

José, during this discussion, was scratching his head disconsolately. Like Caleb Balderstone, in The Bride of Lammermoor, he was very sensitive on all subjects touching his master's honor.

"What a wretched fool I am!" he cried in a piteous voice. "It is all my fault. The seigneur has four carryalls in his coach-house, of which two are brand new and varnished up like fiddles, so that I used one for a looking-glass last Sunday. So, then, when the seigneur said to me yesterday morning, 'Get ready, José, for you must go to Quebec to fetch my son and his friend Mr. de Lochiel; see that you take a proper carriage'—I, like a fool, said to myself that when the roads were so bad the only thing to take was a sled like this! Oh, yes, I'm in for a good scolding! I shall get off cheap if I have to do without my brandy for a month! At three drinks a day," added José, "that will make a loss of ninety good drinks, without counting extras. But it's all the same to me; I'll take my punishment like a man."

The young men were greatly amused at José's ingenious lying for the honor of his master.

"Now," said Archie, "since you seem to have emptied your budget of all the absurdities that a hair-brained French head can contain, try and speak seriously, and37 tell me why the Isle of Orleans is called the Isle of the Sorcerers."

"For the very simple reason," answered Jules, "that a great many sorcerers live there."

"There you begin again with your nonsense," said Lochiel.

"I am in earnest," said Jules. "These Scotch are unbearably conceited. They can't acknowledge any excellence in other nations. Do you think, my dear fellow, that Scotland has the monopoly of witches and wizards? I would beg you to know that we too have our sorcerers; and that two hours ago, between Point Lévis and Beaumont, I might as easily as not have introduced you to a very respectable sorceress. I would have you know, moreover, that on the estate of my illustrious father you shall see a witch of the most remarkable skill. The difference is, my dear boy, that in Scotland you burn them, while here we treat them in a manner fitting their power and social influence. Ask José if I am not telling the truth?"

José did not fail to confirm all he said. In his eyes the witches of Beaumont and St. Jean Port Joli were genuine and mighty sorceresses.

"But to speak seriously," continued Jules, "since you would make a reasonable man of me, nolens volens, as my sixth-form master used to say when he gave me a dose of the strap, I believe the fable takes its rise from the fact that the habitants on the north and south shores of the river, seeing the islanders on dark nights go out fishing with torches, mistake their lights for will-o'-the-wisps. Then, you know that our country folk regard the will-o'-the-wisps as witches, or as evil spirits who endeavor to lure the wandering wretch to his death. They even profess to hear them laugh when the deluded traveler falls into the quagmire. The truth is, that there38 is an inflammable gas continually escaping from our bogs and swampy places, from which to the hobgoblins and sorcerers is but a single step."

"Impossible," said Archie; "your logic is at fault, as the professor so often had to tell you. You see the inhabitants of the north and south shores themselves go fishing with torches, whence, according to your reasoning, the islanders should have called them sorcerers; which is not the case."

While Jules was shaking his head, with no answer ready, José took up the word.

"If you would let me speak, gentlemen, I might explain your difficulty by telling you what happened to my late father who is now dead."

"Oh, by all means, tell us that; tell us what happened to your late father who is now dead," cried Jules, with a marked emphasis on the last four words.

"Yes, my dear José, do us the favor of telling us about it," added Lochiel.

"I can't half tell the story," answered José, "for, you see, I have neither the fine accent nor the splendid voice of my lamented parent. When he used to tell us what happened to him in his vigil, our bodies would shake so, as if with ague, as would do you good to see. But I'll do my best to satisfy you:

"It happened one day that my late father, who is now dead, had left the city for home somewhat late. He had even diverted himself a little, so to speak, with his acquaintances in Point Lévis. Like an honest man, he loved his drop; and on his journeys he always carried a flask of brandy in his dogfish-skin satchel. They say the liquor is the milk for old men."

"Lac dulce," interjected Archie, sententiously.

"Begging your pardon, Mr. Archie," answered José, with some warmth, "it was neither sweet water (de l'eau39 douce) nor lake-water (eau de lac), but very good, unadulterated brandy which my late father, now dead, was carrying in his satchel."

"Capital, upon my word!" cried Jules. "It serves you right for your perpetual Latin quotations!"

"I beg your pardon, José," said Lochiel, very seriously. "I intended not the shadow of disrespect to your late father."

"You are excused, sir," said José, entirely mollified. "It happened that it was quite dark when my father at last got under way. His friends did their best to keep him all night, telling him that he would have to pass, all by himself, the iron cage wherein La Corriveau did penance for having killed her husband.

"You saw it yourselves, gentlemen, when leaving Point Lévis at one o'clock. She was quiet then in her cage, the wicked creature, with her eyeless skull. But never you trust to her being blind. She is a cunning one, you had better believe! If she can't see in the daytime, she knows well enough how to find her way to torment poor folks at night. Well, as for my late father, who was as brave as his captain's sword, he told his friends that he didn't care—that he didn't owe La Corriveau a farthing—with a heap more reasons which I can not remember now. He put the whip to his horse, a fine brute that could travel like the wind, and was gone in a second.

"As he was passing the skeleton, he thought he heard a noise, a sort of wailing; but, as a heavy southwest wind was blowing, he made up his mind it was only the gale whistling through the bones of the corpse. It gave him a kind of a start, nevertheless, and he took a good pull at the flask to brace himself up. All things considered, however, as he said to himself, Christians should be ready to help each other; perhaps the poor creature was wanting40 his prayers. He took off his cap and devoutly recited a de profundis for her benefit, thinking that, if it didn't do her any good, it could at least do her no harm, and that he himself would be the better for it. Well, then he kept on as fast as he could; but, for all that, he heard a queer sound behind him—tic-tac, tic-tac, like a piece of iron striking on the stones. He thought it was the tire of his wheel, or some piece of the wagon, that had come unfastened. He got out to see, but found everything snug. He touched the horse to make up for lost time, but after a little he heard again that tic-tac, tic-tac, on the stones. Being brave, he didn't pay much attention.

"When he got to the high ground of St. Michel, which we passed a little way back, he grew very drowsy. 'After all,' said my late father, 'a man is not a dog! let us take a little nap; we'll both be the better for it, my horse and I.' Well, he unharnessed his horse, tied his legs so he would not wander too far, and said: 'There, my pet, there's good grass, and you can hear the brook yonder. Good-night.'

"As my late father crawled himself into the wagon to keep out of the dew, it struck him to wonder what time it was. After studying the 'Three Kings' to the south'ard and the 'Wagon' to the north'ard, he made up his mind it must be midnight. 'It is time,' said he, 'for honest men to be in bed.'

"Suddenly, however, it seemed to him as if Isle d'Orléans was on fire. He sprang over the ditch, leaned on the fence, opened his eyes wide, and stared with all his might. He saw at last that the flames were dancing up and down the shore, as if all the will-o'-the-wisps, all the damned souls of Canada, were gathered there to hold the witches' sabbath. He stared so hard that his eyes which had grown a little dim grew very clear again, and he41 saw a curious sight; you would have said they were a kind of men, a queer breed altogether. They had a head big as a peck measure, topped off with a pointed cap a yard long; then they had arms, legs, feet, and hands armed with long claws, but no body to speak of. Their crotch, begging your pardon, gentlemen, was split right up to their ears. They had scarcely anything in the way of flesh; they were kind of all bone, like skeletons. Every one of these pretty fellows had his upper lip split like a rabbit's, and through the split stuck out a rhinoceros tusk a foot long, like you see, Mr. Archie, in your book of unnatural history. As for the nose, it was nothing more nor less, begging your pardon, than a long pig's snout, which they would rub first on one side and then on the other of their great tusk, perhaps to sharpen it. I almost forgot to say that they had a long tail, twice as long as a cow's, which they used, I suppose, to keep off the flies.

"The funniest thing of all was that there were but three eyes to every couple of imps. Those that had but one eye, in the middle of the forehead, like those Cyclopes that your uncle, who is a learned man, Mr. Jules, used to read to us about out of that big book of his, all Latin, like the priest's prayer-book, which he called his Virgil—those that had but one eye held each by the claw two novices with the proper number of eyes. Out of all these eyes spurted the flames which lit up Isle d'Orléans like broad day. The novices seemed very respectful to their companions, who were, as one might say, half blind; they bowed down to them, they fawned upon them, they fluttered their arms and legs, just like good Christians dancing the minuet.

"The eyes of my late father were fairly starting out of his head. It was worse and worse when they began to jump and dance without moving from their places, and42 to chant in a voice as hoarse as that of a choking cow, this song:

"Hoary Frisker, Goblin gay,
Long-nosed Neighbor, come away!
Come my Grumbler in the mud,
Brother Frog of tainted blood!
Come, and on this juicy Christian
Let us feast it while we may!"

"'Ah! the accursed heathens,' exclaimed my late father, 'an honest man can not be sure of his property for a moment! Not satisfied with having stolen my favorite song, which I always keep to wind up with at weddings and feasts, just see how they've played the devil with it! One would hardly recognize it. It is Christians instead of good wine that they are going to treat themselves to, the scoundrels!'

"Then the imps went on with their hellish song, glaring at my late father, and curling their long snouts around their great rhinoceros tusks:

"Come, my tricksy Traveler's Guide,
Devil's Minion true and tried.
Come, my Sucking-Pig, my Simple,
Brother Wart and Brother Pimple;
Here's a fat and juicy Frenchman
To be pickled, to be fried!"

"'All that I can say to you just now, my darlings,' cried my late father, 'is that if you get no more fat to eat than what I'm going to bring you on my lean carcass you'll hardly need to skim your broth.'

"The goblins, however, seemed to be expecting something, for they kept turning their heads every moment. My late father looked in the same direction. What was that he saw on the hill-side? A mighty devil, built like the rest, but as long as the steeple St. Michel,43 which we passed awhile back. Instead of the pointed bonnet, he wore a three-horned hat, topped with a big thorn bush in place of a feather. He had but one eye, blackguard that he was, but that was as good as a dozen. He was doubtless the drum-major of the regiment, for he held in his hand a saucepan twice as big as our maple-sugar kettles, which hold twenty gallons, and in the other hand a bell-clapper, which no doubt the dog of a heretic had stolen from some church before its consecration. He pounded on his saucepan, and all the scoundrels began to laugh, to jump, to flutter, nodding to my late father as if inviting him to come and amuse himself with them.

"'You'll wait a long time, my lambs,' thought my late father to himself, his teeth chattering in his head as if he had the shaking fever—'you will wait a long time, my gentle lambs. I'm not in any hurry to quit the good Lord's earth to live with the goblins!'

"Suddenly the tall devil began to sing a hellish round, accompanying himself on the saucepan, which he beat furiously, and all the goblins darted away like lightning—so fast, indeed, that it took them less than a minute to go all the way around the island. My poor late father was so stupefied by the hubbub that he could not remember more than three verses of the song, which ran like this:

"Here's the spot that suits us well
When it gets too hot in hell—
Here we go all round,
Hands all round,
Here we go all round.

"Come along and stir your sticks,
You jolly dogs of heretics—

44 Here we go all round,
Hands all round,
Here we go all round.

"Room for all, there's room for all
That skim or wriggle, bounce or crawl—
Here we go all round,
Hands all round,
Here we go all round."

"My late father was in a cold sweat; he had not yet, however, come to the worst of it."

Here José paused. "But I am dying for a smoke, and, with your permission, gentlemen, I'll light my pipe."

"Quite right, my dear José," answered D'Haberville. "For my own part, I am dying for something else. My stomach declares that this is dinner-hour at college. Let's have a bite to eat."

Jules enjoyed the privilege of aristocratic descent—he had always a magnificent appetite. This was specially excusable to-day, seeing that he had dined at noon, and had had an immense deal of exercise since.



Sganarelle.—Seigneur commandeur, mon maitre, Don Juan, vous demande si vous voulez lui faire l'honneur de venir souper avec lui.

Le même.—La statue m'a fait signe.

Le Festin de Pierre.

What? the ghosts are growing ruder,
How they beard me....

To-night—why this is Goblin Hall,
Spirits and specters all in all.


José, after having unbridled the horse and given him what he called a mouthful of hay, made haste to open a box which he had ingeniously arranged on the sled to serve, as needs might be, both for seat and larder. He brought out a great napkin in which were wrapped up two roast chickens, a tongue, a ham, a little flask of brandy, a good big bottle of wine. He was going to retire when Jules said to him:

"Come along and take a bite with us, José."

"Yes, indeed, come and sit here by me," said Archie.

"Oh, gentlemen," said José, "I know my place too well—"

"Come now, no affectations," said Jules. "We are here like three soldiers in camp; will you be so good as to come, you obstinate fellow?"

"Since you say so, gentlemen, I must obey my officers," answered Jules.


The two young men seated themselves on the box which served them also for a table. José took his place very comfortably on a bundle of hay, and all three began to eat and drink with a hearty appetite.

Archie, naturally abstemious, had soon finished his meal. Having nothing better to do, he began to philosophize. In his lighter moods he loved to propound paradoxes for the pleasure of the argument.

"Do you know, brother mine, what it was that interested me most in my friend's story?"

"No," exclaimed Jules, attacking another drumstick; "and what's more, for the next quarter of an hour I don't care. The hungry stomach has no ears."

"Oh, that's no matter," said Archie. "It was those devils, goblins, spirits, or whatever you choose to call them, with only one eye; I wish that the fashion could be adopted among men; there would be fewer hypocrites, fewer rogues, and therefore fewer dupes. Assuredly, it is some consolation to see that virtue is held in honor even among hobgoblins. Did you notice with what respect those one-eyed fellows were treated by the other imps?"

"That may be," said Jules, "but what does it prove?"

"It proves," answered Lochiel, "that the one-eyed fellows deserved the special attentions that were paid them; they are the haute noblesse among hobgoblins. Above all they are not hypocrites."

"Nonsense," said Jules, "I begin to be afraid your brain is softening."

"Oh, no, I'm not so crazy as you think," answered Archie. "Just watch a hypocrite with somebody he wants to deceive. With what humility he keeps one eye half shut while the other watches the effect of his words. If he had but one eye he would lose this immense ad47vantage, and would have to give up his rôle of hypocrite which he finds so profitable. There, you see, is one vice the less. My Cyclops of a hobgoblin has probably many other vices, but he is certainly no hypocrite; whence the respect to which he is treated by a class of beings stained with all the vices in the category."

"Here's your health, my Scottish philosopher," exclaimed Jules, tossing off a glass of wine. "Hanged if I understand a word of your reasoning though."

"But it's clear as day," answered Archie. "The heavy and indigestible stuff with which you are loading down your stomach must be clogging your brains. If you ate nothing but oatmeal, as we Highlanders do, your ideas would be a good deal clearer."

"That oatmeal seems to stick in your throat, my friend," said Jules; "it ought to be easy enough to digest, however, even without the help of sauce."

"Here's another example," said Archie. "A rogue who wishes to cheat an honest man in any kind of a transaction always keeps one eye winking or half shut, while the other watches to see whether he is gaining or losing in the trade. One eye is plotting while the other watches. That is a vast advantage for the rogue. His antagonist, on the other hand, seeing one eye clear, frank, and honest, can not suspect what is going on behind the eye which blinks, and plots, and calculates, while its fellow keeps as impenetrable as fate. Now let us reverse the matter," continued Archie. "Let us suppose the same rogue in the same circumstances, but blind of one eye. The honest man watching his face may often read in his eye his inmost thoughts; for my Cyclops, being himself suspicious, is constrained to keep his one eye wide open."

"Rather," laughed Jules, "if he doesn't want to break his neck."


"Granted," replied Lochiel, "but still more for the purpose of reading the soul of him he wants to deceive. He finds it necessary, moreover, to give his eye an expression of candor and good-fellowship in order to divert suspicion—which must absorb a portion of his wits. Then, since there are few men who can follow, without the help of both their eyes, two different trains of thought at the same time, our rogue finds that he has lost half of his advantage. He renounces his wicked calling, and society is the richer by one more honest man."

"My poor Archie," murmured Jules, "I see that we have exchanged rôles; that I am now the Scotch philosopher, as I so courteously entitle you, while you are the crazy Frenchman, as you irreverently term me. For, don't you see, my new Prometheus, that this one-eyed race of men, endowed with all the virtues which you intend to substitute, might very readily blink, if that is an infallible recipe for deception, and for the purpose of taking observations just open their eye from time to time."

"Oh, you French, you frivolous French, you deluded French, no wonder the English catch you on the hip in diplomacy!"

"It would seem to me," interrupted Jules, "that the Scotch ought to know something by this time about English diplomacy!"

Archie's face saddened and grew pale; his friend had touched a sore spot. Jules perceived this at once and said:

"Forgive me, dear fellow, if I have hurt you. I know the subject is one that calls up painful memories. I spoke, as usual, without thinking. One often thoughtlessly wounds those one best loves by a retort which one may think very witty. But come, let us drink to a49 merry life! Go on with your remarkable reasoning; that will be pleasanter for both of us."

"The cloud has passed over, and I resume my argument," said Lochiel, repressing his emotion. "Don't you see that my rascal could not shut his eye for an instant without the risk of his prey escaping him? Do you remember the squirrel that we saved last year from that great snake, at the foot of the old maple-tree in your father's park; remember how the snake kept its glowing eyes fixed upon the poor little creature in order to fascinate it; how the squirrel kept springing from branch to branch with piteous cries, unable to remove its gaze for an instant from that of the hideous reptile? When we made it look away it was saved. Do you remember how joyous it was after the death of its enemy? Well, my friend, let our rogue shut his eye and his prey escapes him."

"Verily," said Jules, "you are a mighty dialectician. I shouldn't wonder if you would some day eclipse, if you don't do it already, such prattlers as Socrates, Zeno, Montaigne, and other philosophers of that ilk. The only danger is lest your logic should some day land you in the moon."

"You think you can make fun of me," said Archie. "Very well, but only let some pedant, with his pen behind his ear, undertake to refute my thesis seriously, and a hundred scribblers in battle array will take sides for and against, and floods of ink will flow. The world has been deluged with blood itself in defense of theories about as reasonable as mine. Why such a thing has often been enough to make a man famous."

"Meanwhile," answered Jules, "your argument will serve as one of those after-pieces with which Sancho Panza used to put Don Quixote to sleep. As for me, I greatly prefer the story of our friend José."


"You are easily pleased, sir," said the latter, who had been taking a nap during the scientific discussion.

"Let us listen," said Archie; "Conticuêre omnes, intentique ora tenebant."

"Conticuêre ... you irrepressible pedant," cried D'Haberville.

"It's not one of the priest's stories," put in José briskly; "but it is as true as if he had told it from the pulpit; for my late father never lied."

"We believe you, my dear José," said Lochiel. "But now please go on with your delightful narrative."

"Well," said José, "it happened that my late father, brave as he was, was in such a devil of a funk that the sweat was hanging from the end of his nose like a head of oats. There he was, the dear man, with his eyes bigger than his head, never daring to budge. Presently he thought he heard behind him the 'tic tac,' 'tic tac,' which he had already heard several times on the journey; but he had too much to occupy his attention in front of him to pay much heed to what might pass behind. Suddenly, when he was least expecting it, he felt two great bony hands, like the claws of a bear, grip him by the shoulders. He turned around horrified, and found himself face to face with La Corriveau, who was climbing on his back. She had thrust her hands through the bars of her cage and succeeded in clutching him; but the cage was heavy, and at every leap she fell back again to the ground with a hoarse cry, without losing her hold, however, on the shoulders of my late father, who bent under the burden. If he had not held tight to the fence with both hands, he would have been crushed under the weight. My poor late father was so overwhelmed with horror that one might have heard the sweat that rolled off his forehead dropping down on the fence like grains of duck-shot.


"'My dear Francis,' said La Corriveau, 'do me the pleasure of taking me to dance with my friends of Isle d'Orléans?'

"'Oh, you devil's wench!' cried my late father. That was the only oath the good man ever used, and that only when very much tried."

"The deuce!" exclaimed Jules, "it seems to me that the occasion was a very suitable one. For my own part, I should have been swearing like a heathen."

"And I," said Archie, "like an Englishman."

"Isn't that much the same thing," answered D'Haberville.

"You are wrong, my dear Jules. I must acknowledge that the heathen acquit themselves very well; but the English? Oh, my! Le Roux who, soon as he got out of college, made a point of reading all the bad books he could get hold of, told us, if you remember, that that blackguard of a Voltaire, as my uncle the Jesuit used to call him, had declared in a book of his, treating of what happened in France in the reign of Charles VII, when that prince was hunting the islanders out of his kingdom—Le Roux told us that Voltaire had put it on record that 'every Englishman swears.' Well, my boy, those events took place about the year 1445—let us say, three hundred years ago. Judge, then, what dreadful oaths that ill-tempered nation must have invented in the course of three centuries!"

"I surrender," said Jules. "But go on, my dear José."

"'Devil's wench!' exclaimed my late father, 'is that your gratitude for my de profundis and all my other prayers? You'd drag me into the orgie, would you? I was thinking you must have been in for at least three or four thousand years of purgatory for your pranks; and you had only killed two husbands—which was a mere52 nothing. So having always a tender heart for everything, I felt sorry for you, and said to myself we must give you a helping hand. And this is the way you thank me, that you want to straddle my shoulders and ride me to hell like a heretic!'

"'My dear Francis,' said La Corriveau, 'take me over to dance with my dear friends;' and she knocked her head against that of my late father till her skull rattled like a dry bladder filled with pebbles.

"'You may be sure,' said my late father, 'You hellish wench of Judas Iscariot, I'm not going to be your jackass to carry you over to dance with those pretty darlings!'

"'My dear Francis,' answered the witch, 'I can not cross the St. Lawrence, which is a consecrated stream, except with the help of a Christian.'

"'Get over as best you can, you devilish gallows bird,' said my late father. 'Get over as best you can; every one to his own business. Oh, yes, a likely thing that I'll carry you over to dance with your dear friends; but that will be a devil of a journey you have come, the Lord knows how, dragging that fine cage of yours, which must have torn up all the stones on the king's highway! A nice row there'll be when the inspector passes this way one of these days and finds the road in such a condition! And then, who but the poor habitant will have to suffer for your frolics, getting fined for not having kept the road properly!'

"The drum-major suddenly stopped beating on his great sauce-pan. All the goblins halted and gave three yells, three frightful whoops, like the Indians give when they have danced that war-dance with which they always begin their bloody expeditions. The island was shaken to its foundation, the wolves, the bears, all the other wild beasts, and the demons of the northern mountains53 took up the cry, and the echoes repeated it till it was lost in the forests of the far-off Saguenay.

"My poor, late father thought that the end of the world had come, and the Day of Judgment.

"The tall devil with the sauce-pan struck three blows; and a silence most profound succeeded the hellish hubbub. He stretched out his arm toward my late father, and cried with a voice of thunder: 'Will you make haste, you lazy dog? will you make haste, you cur of a Christian, and ferry our friend across? We have only fourteen thousand four hundred times more to prance around the island before cock-crow. Are you going to make her lose the best of the fun?'

"'Go to the devil, where you all belong,' answered my late father, losing all patience.

"'Come, my dear Francis,' said La Corriveau, 'be a little more obliging. You are acting like a child about a mere trifle. Moreover, see how the time is flying. Come, now, one little effort!'

"'No, no, my wench of Satan,' said my late father. 'Would to Heaven you still had on the fine collar which the hangman put around your neck two years ago. You wouldn't have so clear a wind-pipe.'

"During this dialogue the goblins on the island resumed their chorus:

"'Here we go all round,
Hands all round,
Here we go all round.'"

"'My dear Francis,' said the witch, 'if your body and bones won't carry me over, I'm going to strangle you. I will straddle your soul and ride over to the festival.' With these words, she seized him by the throat and strangled him."

"What," exclaimed the young men, "she strangled your poor, late father, now dead?"


"When I said strangled, it was very little better than that," answered José, "for the dear man lost his consciousness."

"When he came to himself he heard a little bird, which cried Qué-tu? (Who art thou?)

"'Oh, ho!' said my late father, 'it's plain I'm not in hell, since I hear the dear Lord's birds!' He opened first one eye, then the other, and saw that it was broad daylight. The sun was shining right in his face; the little bird, perched on a neighboring branch, kept crying qué-tu?'

"'My dear child,' said my late father, 'it is not very easy to answer your question, for I'm not very certain this morning just who I am. Only yesterday I believed myself to be a brave, honest, and God-fearing man; but I have had such an experience this night that I can hardly be sure that it is I, Francis Dubé, here present in body and soul. Then the dear man began to sing:

'Here we go all round,
Hands all round,
Here we go all round.'

"In fact, he was half bewitched. At last, however, he perceived that he was lying full length in a ditch where, happily, there was more mud than water; but for that my poor, late father, who now sleeps with the saints, surrounded by all his relations and friends, and fortified by all the holy sacraments, would have died without absolution, like a monkey in his old tree, begging your pardon for the comparison, young gentlemen. When he had got his face clear from the mud of the ditch, in which he was stuck fast as in a vise, the first thing he saw was his flask on the bank above him. At this he plucked up his courage and stretched out his hand to take a drink. But no such luck! The flask was empty! The witch had drained every drop."


"My dear José," said Lochiel, "I think I am about as brave as the next one. Nevertheless, if such an adventure had happened to me, never again would I have traveled alone at night."

"Nor I either," said D'Haberville.

"To tell you the truth, gentlemen," said José, "since you are so discriminating, I will confess that my late father, who before this adventure would not have turned a hair in the graveyard at midnight, was never afterward so bold; he dared not even go alone after sunset to do his chores in the stable."

"And very sensible he was; but finish your story," said Jules.

"It is finished," said José. "My late father harnessed his horse, who appeared, poor brute, to have noticed nothing unusual, and made his way home fast as possible. It was not till a fortnight later that he told us his adventure."

"What do you say to all that, my self-satisfied skeptic who would refuse to Canada the luxury of witches and wizards?" inquired D'Haberville.

"I say," answered Archie, "that our Highland witches are mere infants compared with those of New France, and, what's more, if ever I get back to my Scottish hills, I'm going to imprison all our hobgoblins in bottles, as Le Sage did with his wooden-legged devil, Asmodeus."

"Hum-m-m!" said José. "It would serve them just right, accursed blackguards; but where would you get bottles big enough? There'd be the difficulty."



On entendit du côté de la mer un bruit epouvantable, comme si des torrents d'eau, mêlés à des tonnerres, eussent roulé du haut des montagnes; tout le monde s'écria: voilà l'ouragan.

Bernardin de Saint-Pierre.

Though aged, he was so iron of limb
Few of your youths could cope with him.


Que j'aille à son secours, s'écria-t-il, ou que je meure.

Bernardin de Saint-Pierre.

Les vents et les vagues sont toujours du côté du plus habile nageur.


The travelers merrily continued their journey. The day drew to a close, and they kept on for a time by starlight. At length the moon rose and shone far over the still bosom of the Saint Lawrence. At the sight of her, Jules broke out into rhapsodies, and cried:

"I feel myself inspired, not by the waters of Hippocrene, which I have never tasted and which, I trust, I never shall taste, but by the kindly juice of Bacchus, dearer than all the fountains in the world, not even excepting the limpid wave of Parnassus. Hail to thee, fair moon! Hail to thee, thou silvern lamp, that lightest the steps of two men free as the children of our mighty forests, two men but now escaped from the shackles of college! How many times, O moon, as thy pale rays pierced to my lonely couch, how many times have I57 longed to break my bonds and mingle with the joyous throngs at balls and routs, while a harsh and inexorable decree condemned me to a sleep which I abhorred! Ah, how many times, O moon, have I sighed to traverse, mounted upon thy crescent at the risk of breaking my neck, the regions thou wast illuminating in thy stately course, even though it should take me to another hemisphere! Ah, how many times—"

"Ah, how many times in thy life hast thou talked nonsense!" exclaimed Archie. "But, since frenzy is infectious, listen now to a true poet, and abase thyself, proud spirit. O moon, thou of the threefold essence, thou whom the poets of old invoked as Artemis the Huntress, how sweet it must be to thee to forsake the dark realms of Pluto, and not less the forests wherein, with thy baying pack, thou raisest a din enough to deafen all the demons of Canada! How sweet it must be to thee, O moon, to journey now in tranquil dominance, in stupendous silence, the ethereal spaces of heaven! Repent of thy work, I beseech thee! Restore the light of reason to this poor afflicted one, my dearest friend, who—"

"O Phoebe, patron of fools," interrupted Jules, "not for my friend have I any prayer to make thee. Thou art all guiltless of his infirmity, for the mischief was done—"

"I say, gentlemen," exclaimed José, "when you are done your conversation with my lady moon—I don't know how you find so much to say to her—would it please you to notice what a noise they are making in St. Thomas yonder?"

All listened intently. It was the church bell pealing wildly.

"It is the Angelus," exclaimed Jules D'Haberville.

"Oh, yes," exclaimed José, "the Angelus at eight o'clock in the evening."


"Then it's a fire," said Archie.

"But we don't see any flames," answered José. "Whatever it is let's make haste. There is something unusual going on yonder."

Driving as fast as they could, half an hour later they entered the village of St. Thomas. All was silence. The village appeared deserted. Only the dogs, shut up in some of the houses, were barking madly. But for the noise of the curs they might have thought themselves transported into that city which we read of in the Arabian Nights whose inhabitants had all been turned into marble.

Our travelers were on the point of entering the church, the bell of which was still ringing, when they noticed a light and heard shouts from the bank by the rapids near the manor house. Thither they made their way at full speed.

It would take the pen of a Cooper or a Chateaubriand to paint the scene that met their eyes on the bank of South River.

Captain Marcheterre, an old sailor of powerful frame, was returning to the village toward dusk at a brisk pace, when he heard out on the river a noise like some heavy body falling into the water, and immediately afterward the groans and cries of some one appealing for help. It was a rash habitant named Dumais, who, thinking the ice yet sufficiently firm, had ventured upon it with his team, about a dozen rods southwest of the town. The ice had split up so suddenly that his team vanished in the current. The unhappy Dumais, a man of great activity, had just succeeded in springing from the sled to a stronger piece of ice, but the violence of the effort had proved disastrous; catching his foot in a crevice, he had snapped his leg at the ankle like a bit of glass.

Marcheterre, who knew the dangerous condition of59 the ice, which was split in many places, shouted to him not to stir, and that he was going to bring him help. He ran at once to the sexton, telling him to ring the alarm while he was routing out the nearest neighbors. In a moment, all was bustle and confusion. Men ran hither and thither without accomplishing anything. Women and children began to cry. Dogs began to howl, sounding every note of the canine gamut; so that the captain, whose experience pointed him out as the one to direct the rescue, had great difficulty in making himself heard.

However, under the directions of Marcheterre, some ran for ropes and boards while others stripped the fences and wood-piles of their cedar and birch bark to make torches. The scene grew more and more animated, and by the light of fifty torches shedding abroad their fitful glare the crowd spread along the river bank to the spot pointed out by the old sailor.

Dumais waited patiently enough for the coming of help. As soon as he could make himself heard he implored them to hurry, for he was beginning to hear under the ice low grumbling sounds which seemed to come from far off toward the river's mouth.

"There's not a moment to lose, my friends," exclaimed the old captain, "for that is a sign the ice is going to break up."

Men less experienced than he wished immediately to thrust out upon the ice their planks and boards without waiting to tie them together; but this he forbade, for the ice was already full of cracks, and moreover the ice cake which supported Dumais was isolated, having on the one side the shattered surface where the horse had been engulfed, and on the other a large air-hole which cut off all approach. Marcheterre, who knew that the breaking up was not only inevitable, but to be expected at any60 moment, was unwilling to risk the life of so many people without taking every precaution that his experience could dictate.

Some thereupon with hatchets began to notch the planks and boards; some tied them together end to end; some, with the captain at their head, dragged them out on the ice, while others were pushing from the bank. This improvised bridge was not more than fifty feet from the bank when the old sailor cried: "Now, boys, let some strong active fellows follow me at a distance of ten feet from one another, and let the rest keep pushing as before!"

Marcheterre was closely followed by his son, a young man in the prime of life, who, knowing his father's boldness, kept within reach in order to help him in case of need, for lugubrious mutterings, the ominous forerunners of a mighty cataclysm, were making themselves heard beneath the ice. But every one was at his post and every one doing his utmost; those who broke through, dragged themselves out by means of the floating bridge, and, once more on the solid ice, resumed their efforts with renewed zeal. Two or three minutes more and Dumais would be saved.

The two Marcheterres, the father ahead, were within about a hundred feet of the wretched victim of his own imprudence, when a subterranean thunder, such as precedes a strong shock of earthquake, seemed to run the whole length of South River. This subterranean sound was at once followed by an explosion like the discharge of a great piece of artillery. Then rose a terrible cry. "The ice is going! the ice is going! save yourselves!" screamed the crowd on shore.

Indeed the ice cakes were shivering on all sides under the pressure of the flood, which was already invading the banks. Then followed dreadful confusion. The ice61 cakes turned completely over, climbed upon each other with a frightful grinding noise, piled themselves to a great height, then sank suddenly and disappeared beneath the waves. The planks and boards were tossed about like cockle-shells in an ocean gale. The ropes and chains threatened every moment to give away.

The spectators, horror-stricken at the sight of their kinsfolk exposed to almost certain destruction, kept crying: "Save yourselves! save yourselves!" It would have been indeed tempting Providence to continue any longer the rash and unequal struggle with the flood.

Marcheterre, however, who seemed rather inspired than daunted by the appalling spectacle, ceased not to shout: "Forward boys! forward, for God's sake!"

This old sea-lion, ever cool and unmoved when on the deck of his reeling ship and directing a manœuvre on whose success the lives of all depended, was just as calm in the face of a peril which froze the boldest hearts. Turning round, he perceived that, with the exception of his son and Joncas, one of his sailors, the rest had all sought safety in a headlong flight. "Oh, you cowards, you cowards!" he cried.

He was interrupted by his son, who, seeing him rushing to certain death, seized him and threw him down on a plank, where he held him some moments in spite of the old man's mighty struggles. Then followed a terrible conflict between father and son. It was filial love against that sublime self-abnegation, the love of humanity.

The old man, by a tremendous effort, succeeded in throwing himself off the plank, and he and his son rolled on to the ice, where the struggle was continued fiercely. At this crisis, Joncas, leaping from plank to plank, from board to board, came to the young man's assistance.

The spectators, who from the shore lost nothing of62 the heart-rending scene, in spite of the water already pursuing them, made haste to draw in the ropes, and the united efforts of a hundred brawny arms were successful in rescuing the three heroes. Scarcely, indeed, had they reached a place of safety, when the great sheet of ice, which had hitherto remained stationary in spite of the furious attacks of the enemy assailing it on all sides, groaning, and with a slow majesty of movement, began its descent toward the falls.

All eyes were straightway fixed upon Dumais. He was a brave man. Many a time had he proved his courage upon the enemies of his country. He had even faced the most hideous of deaths, when, bound to a post, he was on the point of being burned alive by the Iroquois, which he would have been but for the timely aid of his friends the Melicites. Now he was sitting on his precarious refuge calm and unmoved as a statue of death. He made some signs toward the shore, which the spectators understood as a last farewell to his friends. Then, folding his arms, or occasionally lifting them toward heaven, he appeared to forget all earthly ties and to prepare himself for passing the dread limits which divide man from the eternal.

Once safely ashore, the captain displayed no more of his anger. Regaining his customary coolness he gave his orders calmly and precisely.

"Let us take our floating bridge," said he, "and follow yonder sheet of ice down river."

"What is the use?" cried some who appeared to have had experience. "The poor fellow is beyond the reach of help."

"There's one chance yet, one little chance of saving him," said the old sailor, giving ear to certain sounds which he heard far off to the southward, "and we must be ready for it. The ice is on the point of breaking up63 in the St. Nicholas, which, as you know, is very rapid. The violence of the flood at that point is likely to crowd the ice of South River over against our shore; and what's more, we shall have no reason to reproach ourselves."

It fell out as Captain Marcheterre predicted. In a moment or two there was a mighty report like a peal of thunder; and the St. Nicholas, bursting madly from its fetters, hurled itself upon the flank of the vast procession of ice floes which, having hitherto encountered no obstacle, were pursuing their triumphant way to the St. Lawrence. It seemed for a moment that the fierce and swift attack, the sudden thrust, was going to pile the greater part of the ice cakes upon the other shore as the captain hoped. The change it wrought was but momentary, for the channel getting choked there was an abrupt halt, and the ice cakes, piling one upon another, took the shape of a lofty rampart. Checked by this obstacle, the waves spread far beyond both shores and flooded the greater part of the village. This sudden deluge, driving the spectators from the banks, destroyed the last hope of poor Dumais.

The struggle was long and obstinate between the angry element and the obstacle which barred its course; but at length the great lake, ceaselessly fed by the main river and the tributaries, rose to the top of the dam, whose foundations it was at the same time eating away from beneath. The barrier, unable to resist the stupendous weight, burst with a roar that shook both banks. As South River widens suddenly below its junction with the St. Nicholas, the unchained mass darted down stream like an arrow, and its course was unimpeded to the cataract.

Dumais had resigned himself to his fate. Calm amid the tumult, his hands crossed upon his breast, his eyes lifted heavenward, he seemed absorbed in contemplation.


The spectators crowded toward the cataract to see the end of the tragedy. Numbers, roused by the alarm bell, had gathered on the other shore and had supplied themselves with torches by stripping off the bark from the cedar rails. The dreadful scene was lighted as if for a festival.

One could see in the distance the long, imposing structure of the manor house, to the southwest of the river. It was built on the top of a knoll overlooking the basin and ran parallel to the falls. About a hundred feet from the manor house rose the roof of a saw mill, the sluice of which was connected with the fall itself. Two hundred feet from the mill, upon the crest of the fall, were sharply outlined the remnants of a little island upon which, for ages, the spring floods had spent their fury. Shorn of its former size—for it had once been a peninsula—the islet was not now more than twelve feet square.

Of all the trees that had once adorned the spot there remained but a single cedar. This veteran, which for so many years had braved the fury of the equinoxes and the ice floods of South River, had half given way before the relentless assaults. Its crown hung sadly over the abyss in which it threatened soon to disappear. Several hundred feet from this islet stood a grist mill, to the northwest of the fall.

Owing to a curve in the shore, the tremendous mass of ice which, drawn by the fall, was darting down the river with frightful speed, crowded all into the channel between the islet and the flour mill, the sluice of which was demolished in a moment. Then the ice cakes, piling themselves against the timbers to the height of the roof, ended by crushing the mill itself as if it had been a house of cards. The ice having taken this direction, the channel between the saw mill and the island was comparatively free.


The crowd kept running along the bank and watching with horrified interest the man whom nothing short of a miracle could save from a hideous death. Indeed, up to within about thirty feet of the island, Dumais was being carried farther and farther from his only hope of rescue, when an enormous ice cake, dashing down with furious speed, struck one corner of the piece on which he was sitting, and diverted it violently from its course. It wheeled upon the little island and came in contact with the ancient cedar, the only barrier between Dumais and the abyss. The tree groaned under the shock; its top broke off and vanished in the foam. Relieved of this weight, the old tree recovered itself suddenly, and made ready for one more struggle against the enemies it had so often conquered.

Dumais, thrown forward by the unexpected shock, clasped the trunk of the cedar convulsively with both arms. Supporting himself on one leg, he clung there desperately while the ice swayed and cracked and threatened every instant to drag him from his frail support.

Nothing was lacking to the lurid and dreadful scene. The hurrying torches on the shores threw a grim light on the ghastly features and staring eyes of the poor wretch thus hanging by a hair above the gulf of death. Unquestionably Dumais was brave, but in this position of unspeakable horror he lost his self-control.

Marcheterre and his friends, however, still cherished a hope of saving him.

Descrying on the shore near the saw mill two great pieces of squared timber, they dragged these to a rock which projected into the river about two hundred feet above the fall; to each of these timbers they attached a cable and launched them forth, in hopes that the current would carry them upon the island. Vain attempt! They could not thrust them far enough out into the66 stream, and the timbers, anchored, as it were, by the weight of the chains, kept swaying mid way between shore and island.

It seemed impossible to add to the awful sublimity of the picture, but on the shore was being enacted a most impressive scene. It was religion preparing the Christian to appear before the dread tribunal; it was religion supporting him to endure the final agony.

The parish priest, who had been at a sick bed, was now upon the scene. He was a tall old man of ninety. The burden of years had not availed to bend this modern Nestor, who had baptized and married all his parishioners, and had buried three generations of them. His long hair, white as snow and tossed by the night wind, made him look like a prophet of old. He stood erect on the shore, his hands stretched out to the miserable Dumais. He loved him; he had christened him; he had prepared him for that significant rite of the Catholic Church which seems suddenly to touch a child's nature with something of the angelic. He loved him also as the husband of an orphan girl whom the old priest had brought up. He loved him for the sake of his two little ones, who were the joy of his old age. Standing there on the shore, like the Angel of Pity, he not only administered the consolations of his sacred office, but spoke to him tender words of love. He promised him that the seigneur would never let his family come to want. Finally, seeing the tree yield more and more before every shock, he cried in a loud voice, broken with sobs: "My son, make me the 'Act of Contrition' and I will give you absolution." A moment later, in a voice that rang clear above the roaring of the flood and of the cataract, the old priest pronounced these words: "My son, in the name of God the Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, his Son, by whose authority I speak, in the67 name of the Holy Ghost, your sins are forgiven you. Amen." And all the people sobbed, "Amen."

Then Nature reasserted herself, and the old man's voice was choked with tears. Again he regained his self-control, and cried: "Kneel, brethren, while I say the prayers for the dying."

Once more the old priest's voice soared above the tumult, as he cried:

"Blessed soul, we dismiss you from the body in the name of God the Father Almighty who created you, in the name of Jesus Christ who suffered for you, in the name of the Holy Ghost in whom you were regenerate and born again, in the name of the angels and the archangels, in the name of the thrones and the dominions, in the name of the cherubim and seraphim, in the name of the patriarchs and prophets, in the name of the blessed monks and nuns and all the saints of God. The peace of God be with you this day, and your dwelling forever in Sion; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen." And all the people wailed "Amen."

A death-like silence fell upon the scene, when suddenly shrieks were heard in the rear of the crowd, and a woman in disordered garments, her hair streaming out behind her, carrying a child in her arms and dragging another at her side, pushed her way wildly to the river's edge. It was the wife of Dumais.

Dwelling about a mile and a half from the village, she had heard the alarm bell; but being alone with her children, whom she could not leave, she had resigned herself as best she could till her husband should return and tell her the cause of the excitement.

The woman, when she saw her husband thus hanging on the lip of the fall, uttered but one cry, a cry so terrible that it pierced every heart, and sank in a merciful unconsciousness. She was carried to the manor house,68 where every care was lavished upon her by Madame de Beaumont and her family.

As for Dumais, at the sight of his wife and children, a hoarse scream, inarticulate and like the voice of a wounded beast, forced its way from his lips and made all that heard it shudder. Then he appeared to fall into a kind of stupor.

At the very moment when the old priest was administering the absolution our travelers arrived upon the scene. Jules thrust through the crowd and took his place between the priest and his uncle de Beaumont. Archie, on the other hand, pushed forward to the water's edge, folded his arms, took a rapid survey of the situation, and calculated the chances of rescue.

After a moment's thought, he bounded rather than ran toward the group surrounding Marcheterre. He began to strip off his clothes and to give directions at the same time. His words were few and to the point: "Captain, I am like a fish in the water; there is no danger for me, but for the poor fellow yonder, in case I should strike that block of ice too hard and dash it from its place. Stop me about a dozen feet above the island, that I may calculate the distance better and break the shock. Your own judgment will tell you what else to do. Now, for a strong rope, but as light as possible, and a good sailor's knot."

While the old captain was fastening the rope under his arms, he attached another rope to his body, taking the coil in his right hand. Thus equipped, he sprang into the river, where he disappeared for an instant, but when he came to the surface the current bore him rapidly toward the shore. He made the mightiest efforts to gain the island, but without succeeding, seeing which Marcheterre made all haste to draw him back to land before his strength was exhausted. The moment he69 was on shore, he made his way to the jutting rock. The spectators scarcely breathed when they saw Archie plunge into the flood. Every one knew of his giant strength, his exploits as a swimmer during his vacation visits to the manor house of Beaumont. The anxiety of the crowd, therefore, had been intense during the young man's superhuman efforts, and, on seeing his failure, a cry of disappointment went up from every breast.

Jules D'Haberville was all unaware of his friend's heroic undertaking. Of an emotional and sympathetic nature, he could not endure the heart-rending sight that met his view. After one glance of measureless pity, he had fixed his eyes on the ground and refused to raise them. This human being suspended on the verge of the bellowing gulf, this venerable priest administering from afar under the open heaven the sacrament of penance, the anguished prayers, the sublime invocation, all seemed to him a dreadful dream.

Absorbed in these conflicting emotions, Jules D'Haberville had no idea of Archie's efforts to save Dumais. He had heard the lamentations which greeted the first fruitless effort, and had attributed them to some little variation in the spectacle from which he withheld his gaze.

The bond between these two friends was no ordinary tie; it was the love between a David and a Jonathan, "passing the love of woman."

Jules, indeed, spared Archie none of his ridicule, but the privilege of tormenting was one which he would permit no other to share. Unlucky would he be who should affront Lochiel in the presence of the impetuous young Frenchman!

Whence arose this passionate affection? The young men had apparently little in common. Lochiel was somewhat cold in demeanor, while Jules was exuberantly70 demonstrative. They resembled one another, however, in one point of profoundest importance; they were both high-hearted and generous to the last degree.

José, who had been watching Lochiel's every movement, and who well knew the extravagance of Jules's devotion, had slipped behind his young master, and stood ready to restrain, by force, if necessary, this fiery and indomitable spirit.

The anxiety of the spectators became almost unendurable over Archie's second attempt to save Dumais, whom they regarded as utterly beyond hope. The convulsive trembling of the unhappy man showed that his strength was rapidly ebbing. Nothing but the old priest's prayers broke the deathly silence.

As for Lochiel, his failure had but strengthened him in his heroic purpose. He saw clearly that the effort was likely to cost him his life. The rope, his only safety, might well break when charged with a double burden and doubly exposed to the torrent's force. Too skillful a swimmer was he not to realize the peril of endeavoring to rescue one who could in no way help himself.

Preserving his coolness, however, he merely said to Marcheterre:

"We must change our tactics. It is this coil of rope in my right hand which has hampered me from first to last."

Thereupon he enlarged the loop, which he passed over his right shoulder and under his left armpit, in order to leave both arms free. This done, he made a bound like that of a tiger, and, disappearing beneath the waves, which bore him downward at lightning speed, he did not come to the surface until within about a dozen feet of the island, where, according to agreement, Marcheterre checked his course. This movement appeared likely to71 prove fatal, for, losing his balance, he was so turned over that his head remained under the waves while the rest of his body was held horizontally on the surface of the current. Happily his coolness did not desert him in this crisis, so great was his confidence in the old sailor. The latter promptly let out two more coils of rope with a jerky movement, and Lochiel, employing one of those devices which are known to skillful swimmers, drew his heels suddenly up to his hips, thrust them out perpendicularly with all his strength, beat the water violently on one side with his hands, and so regained his balance. Then, thrusting forward his right shoulder to protect his breast from a shock which might be as fatal to himself as to Dumais, he was swept upon the island in a flash.

Dumais, in spite of his apparent stupor, had lost nothing of what was passing. A ray of hope had struggled through his despair at sight of Lochiel's tremendous leap from the summit of the rock. Scarcely had the latter, indeed, reached the edge of the ice, where he clung with one hand while loosening with the other the coil of rope, than Dumais, dropping his hold on the cedar, took such a leap upon his one uninjured leg that he fell into Archie's very arms.

The torrent at once rose upon the ice, which, borne down by the double weight, reared like an angry horse. The towering mass, pushed irresistibly by the torrent, fell upon the cedar, and the old tree, after a vain resistance, sank into the abyss, dragging with it in its fall a large portion of the domain over which it had held sway for centuries.

Mighty was the shout that went up from both banks of South River—a shout of triumph from the more distant spectators, a heart-rending cry of anguish from those nearer the stage whereon this drama of life and72 death was playing itself out. Indeed, all had disappeared, as if the wand of a mighty enchanter had been waved over scene and actors. From bank to bank, in all its breadth, the cataract displayed nothing but a line of gigantic waves falling with a sound of thunder, and a curtain of pale foam waving to the summit of its crest.

Jules D'Haberville had not recognized his friend till the moment when, for the second time, he plunged into the waves. Having often witnessed his exploits as a swimmer, and knowing his tremendous strength, Jules had manifested at first merely a bewildered astonishment; but when he saw his friend disappear beneath the torrent, he uttered such a mad cry as comes from the heart of a mother at sight of the mangled body of an only son. Wild with grief, he was on the point of springing into the river, when he felt himself imprisoned by the iron arms of José.

Prayers, threats, cries of rage and despair, blows and bites—all were utterly wasted on the faithful José.

"There, there, my dear Master Jules," said José, "strike me, bite me, if that's any comfort to you, but, for God's sake, be calm. You'll see your friend again all right enough; you know he dives like a porpoise, and one never knows when he is going to come up again when once he goes under water. Be calm, my dear little Master Jules, you wouldn't want to be the death of poor José, who loves you so, and who has so often carried you in his arms. Your father sent me to bring you from Quebec. I am answerable for you, body and soul, and it won't be my fault if I don't hand you over to him safe and sound. Otherwise, you see, Master Jules, why just a little bullet through old José's head! But, hold on, there's the captain hauling in on the rope with all his might, and you may be sure Master Archie is on the other end of it and lively as ever."


It was as José said; Marcheterre and his companions, in furious haste, were running down the shore and by mighty armfuls dragging in the rope, at the end of which they felt a double burden.

In another moment the weight was dragged ashore. It was all that they could do to set Lochiel free from the convulsive clasp of Dumais, who gave no other sign of life. Archie, on the other hand, when delivered from the embrace which was strangling him, vomited a few mouthfuls of water, breathed hoarsely, and exclaimed:

"He is not dead; it is nothing more than a swoon; he was lively enough a minute ago."

Dumais was carried in all haste to the manor house, where everything that the most loving care could suggest was done for him. At the end of a half-hour some drops of wholesome moisture gathered upon his brow, and a little later he reopened haggard eyes. After staring wildly around the room for a time, he at length fixed his regard upon the old priest. The latter placed his ear to Dumais's lips, and the first words he gathered were: "My wife! My children! Mr. Archie!"

"Be at ease, my dear Dumais," said the old man. "Your wife has recovered from her swoon; but, as she believes you to be dead, I must be careful how I tell her of your deliverance, lest I kill her with joy. As soon as prudent I will bring her to you. Meanwhile, here is Mr. de Lochiel, to whom, through God, you owe your life."

At the sight of his deliverer, whom he had not yet recognized among the attendants who crowded about him, a change came over the sick man. He embraced Archie, he pressed his lips to his cheek, and a flood of tears broke from his eyes.

"How can I ever repay you," said he, "for all you have done for me, for my poor wife, and for my children?"


"By getting well again as soon as possible," answered Lochiel gayly. "The seigneur has sent a messenger post-haste to Quebec to fetch the most skillful surgeon, and another to place relays of horses along the whole route, so that by midday to-morrow, at the latest, your leg will be so well set that within two months you will be able again to carry the musket against your old enemies the Iroquois."

When the old priest entered the room whither they had taken his adopted daughter, the latter was sitting up in bed, holding her youngest child in her arms while the other slept at her feet. Pale as death, cold, and unresponsive to all that was said by Madame de Beaumont and the other women, she kept repeating incessantly: "My husband! my poor husband! I shall not even be allowed to kiss the dead body of my husband, the father of my children!"

When she saw the old priest she stretched out her arms to him and cried: "Is it you, my father, you who have been so kind to me since childhood? Is it you who can have the heart to come and tell me all is over? No, I know your love too well; you can not bring such a message. Speak, I implore you, you whose lips can utter nothing but good!"

"Your husband," said the old man, "will receive Christian burial."

"He is dead, then," cried the unhappy woman; and for the first time she burst into tears.

This was the reaction which the old priest looked for.

"My daughter," said he, "but a moment ago you were praying as a peculiar favor that you might be permitted once more to embrace the body of your husband, and God has heard your petition. Trust in him, for the mighty hand which has plucked your husband out of the75 abyss is able also to give him back to life." The young woman answered with a fresh storm of sobs.

"He is the same all-merciful God," went on the old priest, "who said to Lazarus in the tomb, 'Friend, I say unto you arise!' All hope is not yet lost, for your husband in his present state of suffering—"

The poor woman, who had hitherto listened to her old friend without understanding him, seemed suddenly to awaken as from a horrible nightmare, and clasping her sleeping children in her arms she sprang to the door.

On the meeting between Dumais and his family we will not intrude.

"Now, let us go to supper," said the seigneur to his venerable friend. "We all need it, but more especially this heroic young man," added he, bringing Archie forward.

"Gently, gently, my dear sir," said the old priest. "We have first a more pressing duty to fulfill. We have to thank God, who has so manifested his favor this night."

All present fell on their knees; and the old priest in a short but touching prayer rendered thanks to Him who commands the sea in its fury, who holds His creatures in the hollow of His hand.



Half-cut-down, a pasty costly made,
Where quail and pigeon, lark and leveret, lay
Like fossils of the rock, with golden yolks
Imbedded and injellied.


The table was spread in a low but spacious room, whose furniture, though not luxurious, lacked nothing of what an Englishman calls comfort.

A thick woolen carpet, of Canadian manufacture and of a diamond pattern, covered the greater part of the dining-room floor. The bright woolen curtains, the backs of the mahogany sofa, ottomans, and chairs were embroidered with gigantic birds, such as it would have puzzled the most brilliant ornithologist to classify.

A great sideboard, reaching almost to the ceiling, displayed on its many shelves a service of blue Marseilles china, of a thickness to defy the awkwardness of the servants. Over the lower part of this sideboard, which served the purpose of a cupboard and which might be called the ground floor of the structure, projected a shelf a foot and a half wide, on which stood a sort of tall narrow cabinet, whose drawers, lined with green cloth, held the silver spoons and forks. On this shelf also were some bottles of old wine, together with a77 great silver jar of water, for the use of those who cared to dilute their beverage.

A pile of plates of the finest porcelain, two decanters of white wine, a couple of tarts, a dish of whipped cream, some delicate biscuits, a bowl of sweetmeats, on a little table near the sideboard covered with a white cloth, constituted the dessert. In one corner of the room stood a sort of barrel-shaped fountain of blue and white stone china, with faucet and basin, where the family might rinse their hands.

In an opposite corner a great closet, containing square bottles filled with brandy, absinthe, liqueurs of peach kernel, raspberry, black currant, anise, etc., for daily use, completed the furnishing of the room.

The table was set for eight persons. A silver fork and spoon, wrapped in a napkin, were placed at the left of each plate, and a bottle of light wine at the right. There was not a knife on the table during the serving of the courses; each was already supplied with this useful instrument, which only the Orientals know how to do without. If the knife one affected was a clasp knife, it was carried in the pocket; if a sheath-knife, it was worn suspended from the neck in a case of morocco, of silk, or even of birch-bark artistically wrought by the Indians. The handles were usually of ivory riveted with silver; those for the use of ladies were of mother-of-pearl.

To the right of each plate was a silver cup or goblet. These cups were of different forms and sizes, some being of simple pattern with or without hoops, some with handles, some in the form of a chalice, some worked in relief, and very many lined with gold.

A servant, placing on a side-table the customary appetizers, namely, brandy for the men and sweet cordials for the women, came to announce that the supper was78 served. Eight persons sat down at the table—the Seigneur de Beaumont and his wife; their sister, Madame Descarrières; the old priest; Captain Marcheterre and his son Henri; and lastly Archie and Jules. The lady of the house gave the place of honor at her right to the priest, and the next place, at her left, to the old captain. The menu opened with an excellent soup (soup was then de rigueur for dinner and supper alike), followed by a cold pasty, called the Easter pasty, which, on account of its immense proportions, was served on a great tray covered with a napkin. This pasty, which would have aroused the envy of Brillat-Savarin, consisted of one turkey, two chickens, two partridges, two pigeons, the backs and thighs of two rabbits, all larded with slices of fat pork. The balls of force-meat on which rested, as on a thick, soft bed, these gastronomic riches, were made of two hams of that animal which the Jew despises, but which the Christian treats with more regard. Large onions scattered here and there and a liberal seasoning of the finest spices completed the appetizing marvel. But a very important point was the cooking, which was beset with difficulty; for should the gigantic structure be allowed to break, it would lose at least fifty per cent of its flavor. To guard against so lamentable a catastrophe, the lower crust, coming at least three inches up the sides, was not less than an inch thick. This crust itself, saturated with the juices of all the good things inside, was one of the best parts of this unique dish.

Chickens and partridges roasted in slices of pork, pigs feet à la Sainte-Ménéhould, a hare stew, very different from that with which the Spanish landlord regaled the unhappy Gil Blas—these were among the other dishes which the seigneur set before his friends.

For a time there was silence with great appetites; but when dessert was reached, the old sailor, who had been79 eating like a hungry wolf and drinking proportionately, and all the time managing to keep his eyes on Archie, was the first to break the silence.

"It would seem, young man," said he facetiously, "that you are not much afraid of a cold in your head. It would seem, also, that you don't really need to breathe the air of heaven, and that, like your cousins the beaver and otter, you only put your nose out of water every half-hour, for form sake, and to see what's going on in the upper world. You are a good deal like a salmon—when one gives him line he knows how to profit by it. It's my opinion, however, that gudgeons like you are not found in every brook."

"It was only your presence of mind, captain," said Archie, "your admirable judgment in letting out the exact quantity of rope, that prevented me smashing my head or my stomach on the ice; and but for you, poor Dumais, instead of being warm in bed would now be rolling under the St. Lawrence ice."

"A nice joke," cried Marcheterre; "to hear him talk as if I had done the thing! It was very necessary to give you line when I saw that you threatened to stand on your head, which would have been a very uncomfortable position in those waves. I wish to the d—Beg pardon, your reverence, I was just going to swear; it is a habit with us sailors."

"Nonsense," laughed the old priest, "you have been accustomed to it so long, you old sinner, that one more or less hardly matters; your record is full, and you no longer keep count of them."

"When the tally-board is quite full, reverend father," said Marcheterre, "you shall just pass the plane over it, as you have done so often before, and we'll run up another score. Moreover, I am sure not to escape you, for you know so well when and where to hook me and80 drag me into a blessed harbor with the rest of the sinners."

"You are too severe, sir," said Jules. "How could you wish to deprive our dear captain of the comfort of swearing a little, if only against his darky cook, who burns his fricassees as black as his own phiz?"

"You hair-brained young scoundrel," cried the captain with a comical assumption of anger, "do you dare talk to me so after the trick you played me?"

"I!" said Jules innocently, "I played you a trick? I am incapable of it, dear captain. You are slandering me cruelly."

"Just listen to the young saint!" said Marcheterre. "I slandering him! No matter, let us drop the subject for a moment. 'Lay to' for a bit, boy; I shall know how to find you again soon. I was going to say," continued the captain, "when his reverence tumbled my unfortunate exclamation to the bottom of the hold and shut the hatch down on it, that if out of curiosity, Mr. Archie, you had gone down to the foot of the fall, then, like your confrère the salmon, you would probably have shown us the trick of swimming up it again."

The spirit of mirth now ruled the conversation, and in repartee and witticism the company found relief from the intense emotions to which they had been subjected.

"Fill your glasses! Attention, everybody," cried the Seigneur de Beaumont. "I am going to propose a health which will, I am very sure, be received with acclamation."

"It is very easy for you to talk," said the old priest, whom they had honored especially by giving him a goblet richly carved, but holding nearly double what those of the other guests could contain. "I am over ninety, and I have no longer the hard head of a twenty-five year old."


"Come, my old friend," said the seigneur, "you will not have far to go, for you must sleep here to-night. Moreover, if your legs should become unsteady, it will pass for the weakness of old age, and no one will be shocked."

"You forget, seigneur," said the priest, laughing, "that I have accepted your kind invitation to help take care of poor Dumais to-night. I intend to sit up with him. If I take too much wine, what use do you think I could be to the poor fellow?"

"Indeed, you shall go to bed," said the seigneur. "The master of the house decrees it. We will rouse you in case of need. Have no anxiety as to Dumais and his wife; their friend Mrs. Couture is with them. I am even sending home, after they have supped, a lot of their gossips and cronies, who wanted to be in the way all night and use up the fresh air which the sick man is so much in need of. We will all be up if necessary."

"You argue so well," answered the priest, "that I must even do as you say," and he poured a fair quantity of wine into his formidable cup.

Then the Seigneur de Beaumont said to Archie, with solemn emphasis: "What you have done is beyond all praise. I know not which is most admirable, the splendid spirit of self-sacrifice which moved you to risk your life for that of a stranger, or the courage and coolness which enabled you to succeed. You possess all the qualities most requisite to the career you are to follow. A soldier myself, I prophesy great success for you. Let us drink to the health of Mr. de Lochiel!"

The toast was drunk with ardent enthusiasm.

In returning thanks, Archie said modestly:

"I am bewildered by so much praise for so simple a performance. I was probably the only one present who82 knew how to swim; for any one else would have done as I did. It is claimed that your Indian women throw their infants into the water and let them make the best of their way to shore; this teaches them to swim very early. I am tempted to believe that our mothers in the Scottish Highlands follow the same excellent custom. As long as I can remember I have been a swimmer."

"At your fooling again, Mr. Archie," said the captain. "As for me, I have been a sailor these fifty years, and I have never yet learned how to swim. Not that I have never fallen into the water, but I have always had the good luck to catch hold of something. Failing that, I always kept my feet going, as cats and dogs do. Sooner or later some one always hauled me out; and here I am.

"That reminds me of a little adventure which happened to me when I was a sailor. My ship was anchored by the banks of the Mississippi. It might have been about nine o'clock in the evening, after one of those suffocating days which one can experience only in the tropics. I had made my bed up in the bows of my ship, in order to enjoy the evening breezes. But for the mosquitoes, the sand flies, the black flies, and the infernal noise of the alligators, which had gathered, I think, from the utmost limits of the Father of Streams to give me a good serenading, a monarch of the East might have envied me my bed. I am not naturally timid, but I have an unconquerable horror of all kinds of reptiles, whether they crawl on land or wriggle in the water."

"Captain, you have a refined and aristocratic taste which does you much honor," said Jules.

"Do you dare to speak to me again, you disreputable," cried Marcheterre, shaking his great fist at him. I was about forgetting you, but your turn will come very soon. Meanwhile, I go on with my story. I was feeling83 very safe and comfortable on my mat, whence I could hear the hungry monsters snapping their jaws. I derided them, saying: 'You would be delighted, my lambs, to make a meal off my carcass, but there's one little difficulty in the way of it; though you should have to fast all your lives through like hermits I would never be the one to break your fasting, for my conscience is too tender.'

"I don't know exactly how the thing happened, but I ended by falling asleep, and when I awoke I was in the midst of these jolly companions. You could never imagine the horror that seized me, in spite of my customary coolness. I did not lose my presence of mind, however. While under water I remembered that there was a rope hanging from the bowsprit. As I came to the surface I had the good fortune to catch it. I was as active as a monkey in those days; but I did not escape without leaving as a keepsake in the throat of a very barbarous alligator one of my boots and a valued portion of the calf of my leg.

"Now for your turn, you imp," continued the captain, turning to Jules. "I must get even with you, sooner or later, for the trick you played me. On my return from Martinique last year, I met monsieur one morning in Quebec Lower Town as he was on the point of crossing the river to return home for his vacation. After a perfect squall of embraces, from which I escaped with difficulty by sheering off to larboard, I commissioned him to tell my family of my arrival, and to say that I could not be at St. Thomas for several days. What did this young saint do? He went to my house at eight o'clock in the evening, shouting, like all possessed: 'Oh, joy! oh, rapture! Three cheers and a tiger!'

"'My husband has come!' exclaimed Madame Marcheterre. 'Father has come!' cried my two daughters.


"'Certainly,' said he; 'what else could I be making all this fuss about?'

"Then he kissed my good wife—there was no great difficulty in that. He wanted to kiss the girls, too, but they boxed his ears and sheered off with all sails set. What does your reverence think of this for a beginning, to say nothing of what followed?"

"Ah, Mr. Jules," cried the old priest, "these are nice things I am hearing about you. Queer conduct this for a pupil of the Jesuit fathers."

"You see, Mr. Abbé," said Jules, "that all that was only a bit of fun to enable me to share the happiness of that estimable family. I knew too well the ferocious virtue, immovable as the Cape of Storms, of these daughters of the sea. I well knew that they would box my ears soundly and sheer off with all sails set."

"I begin to believe that you are telling the truth, after all," said the old priest, "and that there were no evil designs on your part. I know my Jules pretty thoroughly."

"Worse and more of it," said the captain. "Take his part, do; that's all he was wanting. But we'll see what you think when you hear the rest. When my young gentleman had finished his larking, he said to my wife: 'The captain told me to say he would be here to-morrow evening, in the neighborhood of ten o'clock, and that, as his business had prospered exceedingly (which, indeed, was all true), he wished that his friends should celebrate his good luck with him. He wished that there should be a ball and supper going on at his house when he arrived, which would be just as the guests were sitting down to table. Make ready, therefore, for this celebration, to which he has invited myself and my brother de Lochiel. This puts me out a little,' added the young hypocrite, 'for I am in a great hurry to get85 home, but for you ladies there is nothing that I would not do.'

"'My husband does not consider that he is giving me too little time,' said Madame Marcheterre. 'We have no market here. My cook is very old to undertake so much in one day. The case is desperate, but to please him we must accomplish the impossible.'

"'Perhaps I can be of some use to you,' said the hypocrite, pretending to sympathize with her. 'I will undertake with pleasure to send out the invitations.'

"'My dear Jules,' said my wife, 'that would be the greatest help. You know our society. I give you carte blanche.'

"My wife ran all over the parish to get provisions for the feast. She and the girls spent the greater part of the night helping the old cook make pastries, whipped creams, blanc-mange, biscuits, and a lot of sweet stuff that I wouldn't give for one steak of fresh codfish, such as one gets on the Banks of Newfoundland. Mr. Jules, for his part, did things up in style. That night he sent out two messengers, one to the northeast, the other to the southwest, carrying invitations; so that by six o'clock the next evening, thanks to his good management, my house was full of guests, who were whirling around like so many gulls, while I was anchored in Quebec, and poor madame, in spite of a frightful cold, was doing the honors of the house with the best grace possible. What do you think, gentlemen, of a trick like that; and what have you to say in your defense, you wolf in sheep's clothing?"

"I wished," said Jules, "that everybody should share beforehand in the joy of the family over the good fortune of so dear and so generous a friend. Also, if you could have seen the regret and general consternation when, toward eleven o'clock, it was found necessary to86 sit down at table without waiting for you any longer, you would certainly have been moved to tears. The morrow, you will remember, was a fast day. As for your wife, she seems to be without the smallest idea of gratitude. Observing, a little before eleven, that she was in no hurry to bring on the supper, and that she was beginning to be anxious about her dear husband, I whispered a word in her ear, and for thanks she broke her fan over my back."

Everybody, the captain himself included, burst out laughing.

"How is it you never told us of this before, Marcheterre?" said the Seigneur de Beaumont.

"It was hardly necessary," said the captain, "to publish it to the world that we had been tricked by this young rascal. Moreover, it would have been no particular satisfaction to us to inform you that you owed the entertainment to the munificence of Mr. Jules D'Haberville; we preferred to have the credit of it ourselves. I only tell it to you to-day because it is too good to keep any longer."

"It seems to me, Mr. Diver," continued Marcheterre, addressing Archie, "that, in spite of your reserved and philosophical demeanor, you were an accomplice of Master Jules."

"I give you my word," replied Lochiel, "that I knew nothing of it whatever. Not till the next day did Jules take me into his confidence, whereupon I gave him a good scolding."

"You could hardly say much," said Jules, "after the rate at which you kicked round your great Scotch legs with great peril to the more civilized shins of your neighbors. You have doubtless forgotten that, since you were not content with French cotillons, such as are accepted among all civilized people, to please you we had87 to have Scotch reels. The music for these our fiddler picked up by ear in an instant. It was a very simple matter; he merely had to scrape his strings till they screeched as if a lot of cats were shut up in a bag and some one were pulling their tails."

"Oh, you are a bad lot," said the captain; "but won't you come and take supper with us to-morrow, you and your friend, and make your peace with the family?"

"That's the way to talk, now!" said Jules.

"Listen to the irrepressible," retorted Marcheterre.

As it was now very late, the party broke up, after drinking the health of the old sailor and his son and pronouncing the eulogies they deserved for the part they had played that night.

The young men had to stay some days at St. Thomas. The flood continued. The roads were deluged. The nearest bridge, even supposing it had escaped the general disaster, was some leagues southwest of the village, and the rain came down in torrents. They were obliged to wait till the river should be clear of ice, so as to cross in a boat below the falls. They divided their time between the seigneur's family, their other friends, and poor Dumais, whom the seigneur would not permit to be moved. The sick man entertained them with stories of his fights against the English and their savage allies, and with accounts of the manners and customs of the aborigines.

"Although I am a native of St. Thomas," said Dumais one day, "I was brought up in the parish of Sorel. When I was ten years old and my brother nine, while we were in the woods one day picking raspberries a party of Iroquois surprised and captured us. After a long march, we came to the place where their canoe was hidden among the brambles by the water's edge; and they took88 us to one of the islands of the St. Lawrence. My father and his three brothers, armed to the teeth, set out to rescue us. They were only four against ten; but I may say without boasting that my father and my uncles were not exactly the kind of men to be trifled with. They were tall, broad-chested fellows, with their shoulders well set back.

"It might have been about ten o'clock in the evening. My brother and I, surrounded by our captors, were seated in a little clearing in the midst of thick woods, when we heard my father's voice shouting to us: 'Lie flat down on your stomachs.' I immediately seized my little brother around the neck and flattened him down to the ground with me. The Iroquois were hardly on their feet when four well-aimed shots rang out and four of the band fell squirming like eels. The rest of the vermin, not wishing, I suppose, to fire at hazard against the invisible enemies to whom they were serving as targets, started for the shelter of the trees; but our rescuers gave them no time. Falling upon them with the butts of their muskets, they beat down three at the first charge, and the others saved themselves by flight. Our mother almost died of joy when we were given back to her arms."

In return, Lochiel told the poor fellow about the combats of the Scottish Highlanders, their manners and customs, and the semi-fabulous exploits of his hero, the great Wallace; while Jules amused him with the story of his practical jokes, or with such bits of history as he might appreciate.

When the young men were bidding Dumais farewell, the latter said to Archie with tears in his eyes:

"It is probable, sir, that I shall never see you again, but be sure that I will carry you ever in my heart, and will pray for you, I and my family, every day of our89 lives. It is painful for me to think that even should you return to New France, a poor man like me would have no means of displaying his gratitude."

"Who knows," said Lochiel, "perhaps you will do more for me than I have done for you."

Was the Highlander gifted with that second sight of which his fellow-countrymen are wont to boast? Let us judge from the sequel.

On the 30th day of April, at ten o'clock in the morning, with weather magnificent but roads altogether execrable, our travelers bade farewell to their friends at St. Thomas. They had yet six leagues to go before arriving at St. Jean-Port-Joli, and the whole distance they had to travel afoot, cursing at the rain which had removed the last traces of ice and snow. In traversing the road across the plain of Cape St. Ignace it was even worse. They sank to their knees, and their horse was mired to the belly and had to be dug out. Jules, the most impatient of the three, kept grumbling:

"If I had had anything to do with the weather we would never have had this devil of a rain which has turned all the roads into bogholes."

Perceiving that José shook his head whenever he heard this remark, he asked him what he meant.

"Oh, Master Jules," said José, "I am only a poor ignorant fellow, but I can't help thinking that if you had charge of the weather we shouldn't be much better off. Take the case of what happened to Davy Larouche."

"When we get across this cursed boghole," said Jules, "you shall tell us the story of Davy Larouche. Oh, that I had the legs of a heron, like this haughty Scotchman who strides before us whistling a pibroch just fit for these roads."

"What would you give," said Archie, "to exchange90 your diminutive French legs for those of the haughty Highlander?"

"Keep your legs," retorted Jules, "for when you have to run away from the enemy."

Once well across the meadow, the young men asked José for his story.

"I must tell you," said the latter, "that a fellow named Davy Larouche once lived in the parish of St. Roch. He was a good enough provider, neither very rich nor very poor. I used to think that the dear fellow was not quite sharp enough, which prevented him making great headway in the world.

"It happened that one morning Davy got up earlier than usual, put through his chores in the stable, returned to the house, fixed his whiskers as if it were Sunday, and got himself up in his best clothes.

"'Where are you going, my good man?' asked his wife. 'What a swell you are! Are you going to see the girls?'

"You must understand that this was a joke of hers; she knew that her husband was bashful with women, and not at all inclined to run after them. As for La Thèque herself, she was the most facetious little body on the whole south side, inheriting it from her old Uncle Bernuchon Castonguay. She often used to say, pointing to her husband, 'You see that great fool yonder?' Certainly not a very polite way to speak of her husband. 'Well, he would never have had the pluck to ask me in marriage, though I was the prettiest girl in the parish, if I had not met him more than half-way. Yet, how his eyes used to shine whenever he saw me! I took pity on him, because he wasn't making much progress. To be sure, I was even more anxious about it than he; he had four good acres of land to his name, while I had nothing but this fair body of mine.'


"She was lying a little to be sure, the puss," added José. "She had a cow, a yearling bull, six sheep, her spinning-wheel, a box so full of clothes that you had to kneel on it to shut it, and in the box fifty silver francs.

"'I took pity on him one evening,' said she, 'when he called at our house and sat in the corner without even daring to speak to me. "I know you are in love with me, you great simpleton," said I. "Go and speak to my father, who is waiting for you in the next room, and you can get the banns published next Sunday." Moreover, since he sat there without budging and as red as a turkey-cock, I took him by the shoulders and pushed him into the other room. My father opened a closet and brought out a flask of brandy to encourage him. Well, in spite of all these hints, he had to get three drinks into his body before he found his tongue.'

"Well, as I was saying," continued José, "La Thèque said to her husband: 'Are you going to see the girls, my man? Look out for yourself! If you get off any pranks I will let you into the soup.'

"'You know very well I'm not,' said Larouche laughingly, and flicking her on the back with his whip. 'Here we are at the end of March, my grain is all thrashed out, and I'm going to carry my tithes to the priest.'

"'That's right, my man,' said his wife, who was a good Christian; 'we must render back to God a share of what he has just given us.'

"Larouche then threw his sacks upon the sled, lit his pipe with a hot coal, sprang aboard, and set off in high spirits.

"As he was passing a bit of woods he met a traveler, who approached by a side path.

"This stranger was a tall, handsome man of about thirty. Long fair hair fell about his shoulders, his blue eyes were as sweet as an angel's, and his countenance92 wore a sort of tender sadness. His dress was a long blue robe tied at the waist. Larouche said he had never seen any one so beautiful as this stranger, and that the loveliest woman was ugly in comparison.

"'Peace be with you, my brother,' said the traveler.

"'I thank you for your good wishes,' answered Davy; 'a good word burns nobody's mouth. But that is something I don't particularly need. I am at peace, thank God, with everybody. I have an excellent wife, good children, we get on well together, all my neighbors love me. I have nothing to desire in the way of peace.'

"'I congratulate you,' said the traveler. 'Your sled is well loaded; where are you going this morning?'

"'It is my tithes which I am taking to the priest.'

"'It would seem, then,' said the stranger, 'that you have had a good harvest, reckoning one measure of tithes to every twenty-six measures of clean grain.'

"'Good enough, I confess; but if I had had the weather just to my fancy it would have been something very much better.'

"'You think so,' said the traveler.

"'No manner of doubt of it,' answered Davy.

"'Very well,' said the stranger; 'now you shall have just what weather you wish, and much good may it do you.'

"Having spoken thus, he disappeared around the foot of a little hill.

"'That's queer now,' thought Davy. 'I know very well that there are wicked people who go about the world putting spells on men, women, children, or animals. Take the case of the woman, Lestin Coulombe, who, on the very day of her wedding, made fun of a certain beggar who squinted in his left eye. She had good cause to regret it, poor thing; for he said to her angrily: "Take care, young woman, that your own children93 don't turn out cross-eyed." She trembled, poor creature, for every child she brought into the world, and not without good cause; for the fourteenth, when looked at closely, showed a blemish on its right eye.'"

"It seems to me," said Jules, "that Madame Lestin must have had a mighty dread of cross-eyed children if she could not be content to present her dear husband with one even after twenty years of married life. Evidently she was a thoughtful and easy-going woman, who took her time about whatever she was going to do."

José shook his head with a dubious air and continued:

"'Well,' thought Larouche to himself, 'though bad folk go about the country putting spells on people, I have never heard of saints wandering around Canada to work miracles. After all, it is no business of mine. I won't say a word about it, and we'll see next spring.'

"About that time the next year Davy, very much ashamed of himself, got up secretly, long before daylight, to take his tithes to the priest. He had no need of horse or sleigh. He carried the whole thing in his handkerchief.

"As the sun was rising he once more met the stranger, who said to him:

"'Peace be with you, my brother!'

"'Never was wish more appropriate,' answered Larouche, 'for I believe the devil himself has got into my house, and is kicking up his pranks there day and night. My wife scolds me to death from morn till eve, my children sulk when they are not doing worse, and all my neighbors are set against me.'

"'I am very sorry to hear it,' said the traveler, 'but what are you carrying in that little parcel?'

"'My tithes,' answered Larouche, with an air of chagrin.


"'It seems to me, however,' said the stranger, 'that you have been having just the weather you asked for.'

"'I acknowledge it,' said Davy. 'When I asked for sunshine, I had it; when I wanted rain, wind, calm weather, I got them; yet nothing has succeeded with me. The sun burned up the grain, the rain caused it to rot, the wind beat it down, the calm brought the night frosts. My neighbors are all bitter against me; they regard me as a sorcerer, who has brought a curse on their harvests. My wife began by distrusting me, and has ended by heaping me with reproaches. In a word, it is enough to drive one crazy.'

"'Which proves to you, my brother,' said the traveler, 'that your wish was a foolish one; that one must always trust to the providence of God, who knows what is good for man better than man can know it for himself. Put your trust in him, and you will not have to endure the humiliation of having to carry your tithes in a handkerchief.'

"With these words, the stranger again disappeared around the hill.

"Larouche took the hint, and thenceforth acknowledged God's providence, without wishing to meddle with the weather."

As José brought his tale to an end, Archie said: "I like exceedingly the simplicity of this legend. It has a lofty moral, and at the same time it displays the vivid faith of the habitants of New France. Shame on the heartless philosopher who would deprive them of that whence they derive so many a consolation in the trials of life!

"It must be confessed," continued Archie later, when they were at a little distance from the sleigh, "that our friend José has always an appropriate story ready; but do you believe that his father really told him that95 marvelous dream that was dreamed on the hillsides of St. Michel?"

"I perceive," said Jules, "that you do not yet know José's talents; he is an inexhaustible raconteur. The neighbors gather in our kitchen on the long winter evenings, and José spins them a story which often goes on for weeks. When he feels his imagination beginning to flag he breaks off, and says: 'I'm getting tired; I'll tell you the rest another day.'

"José is also a much more highly esteemed poet than my learned uncle the chevalier, who prides himself on his skill in verse. He never fails to sacrifice to the Muses either on flesh days or on New Year's Day. If you were at my father's house at such times, you would see messengers arrive from all parts of the parish in quest of José's compositions."

"But he does not know how to write," said Archie.

"No more do his audience know how to read," replied Jules. "This is how they work it. They send to the poet a good chanter (chanteux), as they call him, who has a prodigious memory; and, presto! inside of half an hour said chanter has the whole poem in his head. For any sorrowful occasion José is asked to compose a lament; and if it be an occasion of mirth he is certain to be in demand. That reminds me of what happened to a poor devil of a lover who had taken his sweetheart to a ball without being invited. Although unexpected, they were received with politeness, but the young man was so awkward as to trip the daughter of the house while dancing, which raised a shout of laughter from all the company. The young girl's father, being a rough fellow and very angry at the accident, took poor José Blais by the shoulders and put him out of the house. Then he made all manner of excuses to the poor girl whose lover had been so unceremoniously dismissed,96 and would not permit her to leave. On hearing of this, our friend José yonder was seized with an inspiration, and improvised the following naïve bit of verse:

"A party after vespers at the house of old Boulé;
But the lads that couldn't dance were asked to stay away:
Mon ton ton de ritaine, mon ton ton de rité.
"The lads that couldn't dance were asked to stay away,
But his heart was set on going, was the heart of José Blai:
Mon ton ton, etc.
His heart was set on going, was the heart of José Blai.
'Get done your chores,' said his mistress, 'and I will not say you
Mon ton ton, etc.
"'Get done your chores,' said his mistress, 'and I will not say you
So he hurried out to the barn to give the cows their hay:
Mon ton ton, etc.
"He hurried out to the barn to give the cows their hay.
He rapped Rougett' on the nose, and on the ribs Barré:
Mon ton ton, etc.
"He rapped Rougett' on the nose, and on the ribs Barré,
And then rubbed down the horses in the quickest kind of way:
Mon ton ton, etc.
"He rubbed down the horses in the quickest kind of way;
Then dressed him in his vest of red and coat of blue and gray:
Mon ton ton, etc.
"He dressed him in his vest of red and coat of blue and gray,
And black cravat, and shoes for which he had to pay:
Mon ton ton, etc.
"His black cravat, and shoes for which he had to pay;
And he took his dear Lizett', so proud of his display:
Mon ton ton, etc.
"He took his dear Lizett', so proud of his display;
But they kicked him out to learn to dance, and call another day:
Mon ton ton, etc.
"They kicked him out to learn to dance, and call another day;
But they kept his dear Lizett', his pretty fiancée:
Mon ton ton de ritaine, mon ton ton de rité."

"Why, it is a charming little idyl!" cried Archie, laughing. "What a pity José had not an education! Canada would possess one poet the more."

"But to return to the experiences of his late father," said Jules, "I believe that the old drunkard, after having dared La Corriveau (a thing which the habitants consider very foolhardy, as the dead are sure to avenge themselves, sooner or later)—I believe the old drunkard fell asleep in the ditch just opposite Isle d'Orléans, where the habitants traveling by night always think they see witches; I believe also that he suffered a terrible nightmare, during which he thought himself attacked by the goblins of the island on the one hand and by La Corriveau on the other. José's vivid imagination has supplied the rest, for you see how he turns everything to account—the pictures in your natural history, for instance, and the Cyclopes in my uncle's illustrated Virgil, of which his dear late father had doubtless never heard a word. Poor José! How sorry I am for the way I abused him the other day. I knew nothing of it until the day following, for I had entirely lost my senses on seeing you disappear in the flood. I begged his pardon very humbly, and he answered: 'What! are you still thinking about that trifle? Why, I look back upon it with pleasure now all the racket is over. It made me even feel young again, reminding me of your furies when you were a youngster—when you would scratch and bite like a little wild cat, and when I would carry you off in my arms to save you from the punishment of your parents. How you used to cry! And then, when your anger was over, you would bring me your playthings to console me."


"Faithful José! what unswerving attachment to our family through every trial! Men with hearts as dry as tinder often look with scorn on such people as José, though possessed of none of their virtues. A noble heart is the best gift of God to man."

As our travelers drew near the manor house of St. Jean-Port-Joli, whose roof they could see under the starlight, the conversation of Jules D'Haberville, ordinarily so frivolous and mocking, grew more and more thoughtful and sincere.



Je bénis le soleil, je bénis la lune et les astres qui étoilent le ciel. Je bénis aussi les petits oiseaux qui gazouillent dans l'air.

Henri Heine.

D'haberville Manor House was situated at the foot of a bluff which covered about nine acres of the seigniory, on the south side of the highway. This bluff was about a hundred feet high and very picturesque. Its summit was clothed with pines and firs, whose perpetual green formed a cheerful contrast with the desolation of the winter landscape. Jules D'Haberville used to compare these trees, triumphing on their height and flaunting their fadeless green in the face of the harshest seasons, to the mighty ones of the earth whose strength and happiness are beyond the reach of vicissitude, however much the poor may shiver at their feet.

One might well believe that the brush of a Claude Lorraine had exercised itself in adorning the flanks and base of this hill, so endless was the variety of the trees which had gathered thither from all the neighboring woodlands. Elm, maple, birch, and beech, red thorn, cherry, ash, and cedar, sumach, and all the other native trees which are the glory of our forests, combined to throw a cloak of all imaginable greens over the rugged outlines of the bluff.

A wood of ancient maples covered the space between100 the foot of the bluff and the highway, which was bordered with hedges of hazel and cinnamon rose.

The first object to attract the eye on approaching the manor house was a brook, which, falling through the trees in a succession of foamy cascades down the southwest slope of the hill, mingled its clear current with that of a fountain which burst forth some distance below. After winding and loitering through a breadth of meadow country, the wedded streams slipped reluctantly into the St. Lawrence.

The spring, bubbling from the very heart of the hill into a basin cut from the living rock, preserves its icy coolness, its crystal purity, through the fiercest heats of summer. It was inclosed in those days in a little white-washed pavilion, thick shaded by a group of ancient trees. The seats arranged within and without this cool retreat, the cone-shaped drinking-cups of birch bark hanging on the wall, served as so many invitations from the nymph of the fount to wayfarers oppressed by the dog-star.

Fresh as of old, to this day the hill-top keeps its crown of emerald, the slope preserves its varied verdure; but of the ancient grove there remain but five gnarled maples. These trees, decaying little by little beneath the touch of time, like the closing years of the master of the domain, appear almost like a visible and ceaseless prophecy that his life will fade out with that of the last veteran of the grove. When the last log shall have been consumed in warming the old man's frozen limbs, its ashes will mingle with his own—a grim admonition, like that of the priest on Ash Wednesday: "Memento, homo, quia pulvis es, ut in pulverem reverteris."

The manor house, situated between the river St. Lawrence and the bluff, was divided from the water only by the highway, the grove, and a spacious yard. It was101 a one-storied structure with high gables, about a hundred feet long, with two wings of fifty feet. A bake-house, built into the northeast corner of the kitchen, served also the purpose of a laundry. A small attachment, adjoining the great drawing-room on the southwest, gave symmetry to the proportions of this piece of early Canadian architecture.

Two other small buildings at the southeast served, the one for a dairy, the other for a second wash-house. This wash-house stood over a well, which was connected by a long trough with the kitchen of the main building. Coach-houses, barns, stables, five small sheds (three of them standing in the grove), a kitchen garden to the southwest of the manor house, two orchards on the north and northeast, respectively—all these went to make up the establishment of one of the old French Canadian seigneurs. The habitants called the establishment "le village D'Haberville."

Sitting on the crest of the bluff, it mattered little in what direction one allowed his gaze to wander. Immediately below the little village, dazzlingly white, appeared to spring from the green bosom of the meadows. On all sides a panorama of splendid magnificence unrolled itself. There was the sovereign of streams, already seven leagues in width, confined on the north by the ancient barrier of Laurentians, whose feet it washes, and whose peopled slopes are in view from Cape Tourmente to Malbaie; yonder, to the west, Ile aux Oies and Ile aux Grues; right in front, the Piliers Islands, one of which is as arid as the Ægean rock of Circe, the other always green, like the Ogygian paradise of Calypso; northward, the reefs and shoals of the Loups-Marins, so dear to Canadian hunters; and, lastly, the hamlets of l'Islet and St. Jean-Port-Joli, crowned with their gleaming spires.

It was nearly nine in the evening when the young102 men arrived on the slope overlooking the manor. At the first glimpse of the scene which recalled the happiest days of his existence, Jules paused and exclaimed:

"Never have I approached this home of my ancestors without being deeply impressed. Let them boast as they will the scenes of beauty or sublimity which abound in our fair Canada, among them all there is but one for me, this spot where I was born, where I passed my childhood under such tender cherishing! I used to think the days too short for my childish sports. I rose at dawn, I dressed in haste, my thirst for my enjoyments was feverish and unfailing.

"I love everything about us. I love the moon which you see climbing over the wooded crest of the bluff; nowhere else does she appear to me so beautiful. I love yonder brook which used to turn my little water mills. I love the fountain which refreshed me in the August heats.

"Yonder my mother used to sit," continued Jules, pointing out a mossy rock in the shadow of two great beeches. "Thither I used to bring her in my little silver cup the ice-cool water from the spring. Ah! how often this tender mother, watching by my pillow, or awakened suddenly by my cries, brought me that same cup filled with sweet milk! And to think that I must leave all this—perhaps forever! O mother, mother!"

Jules burst into tears.

Lochiel, much moved, grasped his friend's hand and answered:

"You will come back again, my brother. You will come back, bringing glory and good fortune to your family."

"Thank you, dear old boy," said Jules, "but let us hurry on. The greetings of my parents will soon scatter this little cloud."


Archie, who had never before visited the country in spring-time, wished to know the meaning of those white objects which he saw at the dusky foot of every maple.

"Those are the three-cornered spouts," said Jules, "which catch the sap for making sugar. The sugar-maker cuts a notch in the tree and right beneath it he drives in one of these affairs."

"One might almost say," replied Archie, "that these trees were vast water-pipes, with their funnels ready to supply a crowded city."

He was interrupted by the barking of a great dog, which came running to meet them.

"Niger! Niger!" shouted Jules. At the sound of the well-loved voice the dog paused, then ran up and snuffed at his master to assure himself of his identity. He returned Jules's caresses with a howling half joyous, half plaintive, which expressed his love as well as words could have done.

"Ah, poor Niger," said Jules, "I understand your language perfectly. It is half a reproach to me for having stayed away from you so long, and it is half delight at seeing me again, with forgiveness of my neglect. Poor Niger, when I come again after my long, long journey, you will not even have the happiness that was granted to the faithful hound of Ulysses, of dying at your master's feet."

The reader is doubtless ready by this time to make the acquaintance of the D'Haberville family. Let me introduce them according to their rank in the domestic hierarchy:

The Seigneur D'Haberville was scarcely forty-five years old, but the toils of war had so told on his constitution that he looked a good ten years older. His duties as captain in the Colonial Marine kept him constantly under arms. The ceaseless forest warfare, with no shelter,104 according to the stern Canadian custom, except the vault of heaven, the expeditions of reconnoissance or surprise against the Iroquois or against the English settlements, carried on during the severest weather, produced their speedy effect on the strongest frames.

Captain D'Haberville might fairly have been called handsome. A little below the medium height, his regular features, his vivid complexion, his great black eyes which softened at will but whose intensity when aroused few men could face, the simple elegance of his manners, all combined to give him an air of extreme distinction. A severe critic might perhaps have found fault with the great length and thickness of his black eyebrows.

As to character, the Seigneur D'Haberville was possessed of all those qualities which distinguished the early Canadians of noble birth. It is true, on the other hand, that he might fairly have been charged with vindictiveness. An injury, real or supposed, he found it hard to forgive.

Madame D'Haberville, a devout and gentle woman of thirty-six, was endowed with that mature beauty which men often prefer to the freshness of youth. Blonde and of medium height, her countenance was of an angelic sweetness. Her sole object seemed to be the happiness of those about her. The habitants, in their simple way, used to call her "the perfect lady."

Mademoiselle Blanche D'Haberville, younger than her brother Jules, was the image of her mother, but of a somewhat graver temperament. Wise beyond her years, she had a great influence over her brother, whose outbursts she often checked with one imploring glance. While apparently absorbed in her own thoughts, the girl was capable, on occasion, of acting with energy and effect.

Madame Louise de Beaumont, younger sister of105 Madame D'Haberville, had lived with her ever since her marriage. Though rich and independent, she was altogether devoted to her sister's family. Sharing their happiness, she was equally ready to share, should need arise, the utmost that adversity could bring upon them.

Lieutenant Raoul D'Haberville, or rather the Chevalier D'Haberville, whom everybody called Uncle Raoul, was a younger brother of the captain by two years. He looked fully ten years his senior. A little man was Uncle Raoul, almost as broad as he was long, and walking with the assistance of a stick; he would have been remarkably ugly even if the small-pox could have been induced to spare his countenance. It is hard to say how he came by his nickname. One may say of a man, he has a paternal air, he is un petit père; but one accuses nobody of having an avuncular appearance. For all that, Lieutenant D'Haberville was everybody's uncle. Even his soldiers, unknown to him, used to call him Uncle Raoul. In like manner, to compare great things with small, Napoleon was to the grumblers merely "the little corporal."

Uncle Raoul was the littérateur of the D'Haberville family, and, therefore, something of a pedant, like almost all men who live in daily contact with people less learned than themselves. Uncle Raoul was the best fellow in the world when he had his own way; but he had one little defect. He held the profound conviction that he was always right, which made him very bad tempered with any who might dare to differ with him.

Uncle Raoul prided himself on his knowledge of Latin, fragments of which language he was wont to launch freely at the heads of cultured and ignorant alike. Endless were his discussions with the curé over some line of Horace, Ovid, or Virgil, who were his favorite authors. The curé, who was of a mild and peaceable106 humor, almost always grew weary of the contest and gave way before his fiery opponent. But Uncle Raoul also prided himself on being a profound theologian, which was the cause of much embarrassment to the poor curé. The latter was deeply concerned for the soul of his friend, who had been in his youth a rather risky subject, and whom he had had great difficulty in leading into better courses. He found it necessary, however, sometimes to give way on points not absolutely essential to the safety of Uncle Raoul's soul. When points were attacked which he durst not yield he was wont to call in the aid of Blanche, whom her uncle idolized.

"Dear uncle," she would say to him with a caress, "are you not already learned enough without encroaching on the field of our good pastor? You are victorious on all the other points under discussion," she would add, with a sly glance at the curé; "be generous, then, and suffer yourself to be convinced on those points which are the especial province of God's ministers."

Thereupon, as Uncle Raoul argued simply for the pleasure of argument, a peace would be concluded between the disputants.

Uncle Raoul was by no means the least important personage at D'Haberville manor. Since his retirement from the army, the captain, whom military service kept much away from home, left the management of affairs entirely in his hands. His occupations were very numerous. He kept account of the receipts and expenditures of the family; he collected the rents of the seigniory; he managed the farm; he betook himself every Sunday, rain or shine, to mass to receive the Easter water in the seigneur's absence; and, among other minor duties which devolved upon him, he presented for baptism all the first-born children of the tenants of the107 estate—an honor which belonged to his elder brother, but of which the latter had freed himself in favor of Raoul.

A little incident may be cited to show Uncle Raoul's importance. Let us imagine ourselves in the month of November, when the seigneurial rents fall due. Uncle Raoul, with a long quill pen behind his ear, sits in a great armchair as on a throne. Beside him is a table covered with green cloth, and on this table rests his sword. As the tenant appears, he assumes an expression of severity, which does not greatly alarm the debtor, for the Seigneur D'Haberville is an indulgent landlord, and his tenants pay when they please.

But Uncle Raoul is more deeply concerned for the form than for the substance; the appearance of power pleases him even as power itself. He will have everything done with due ceremony.

"How do you do, my—my—lieutenant?" says the censitaire, accustomed to call him uncle behind his back.

"Very well. And thyself? What wilt thou?" replies Uncle Raoul, with an air of great importance.

"I have come to pay the rent, my—my lieutenant; but the times are so hard that I have no money," says Jean Baptiste, ducking his head penitently.

"Nescio vos!" exclaims Uncle Raoul in a sonorous voice; "reddite quæ sunt Cæsaris Cæsari."

"That's fine what you say, my—my captain, so fine that I can't understand it at all," murmurs the censitaire.

"It's Latin, blockhead!" exclaims Uncle Raoul, "and this Latin means, pay your lawful rents to the Seigneur D'Haberville, on pain of being taken before the King's courts and of being condemned in first and second instance to pay all expense, damages, claims, and costs."


"It would go hard with me," murmurs the censitaire.

"Heavens, you may well say so!" exclaims Uncle Raoul, raising his eyes to the ceiling.

"I know very well my—my seigneur, that your Latin threatens me with all these punishments; but I had the misfortune to lose my filly of last spring."

"What, you rascal! On account of having lost a wretched brute of six months old you wish to evade the seigneurial claims, which have been established by your sovereign on a foundation as enduring as yonder mountains. Quos ego ...!"

"I believe," murmurs the habitant to himself, "that he is speaking Indian to frighten me."

Then he adds aloud: "You see, my filly, according to what all the best judges declared, would have been in four years' time the best trotter on all the south shore, and worth a hundred francs if a penny."

"Oh, to the devil with you!" replied Uncle Raoul. "Go and tell Lisette to give you a good drink of brandy, to console you for the loss of your filly. These scoundrels," adds Uncle Raoul, "drink more of our brandy than their rents will ever pay for."

The habitant, going into the kitchen, remarks to Lisette with a chuckle: "I've had a bad job with Uncle Raoul; he even threatened to haul me up before the courts."

As Uncle Raoul was very devout after his fashion, he failed not to tell his beads and read his primer daily. In singular contrast with this devotion, however, his leisure moments were occupied in cursing, with an edifying fervor, his enemies the English, who had broken a leg for him at the capture of Louisburg. It was this accident which had compelled him to relinquish the life of a soldier.

When the young men arrived before the manor-house,109 they were astonished at the sight that met their eyes. Not only were all the rooms lit up, but also some of the out-buildings. There was an unaccustomed stir, a strange hurrying to and fro. As the whole yard was illuminated by the blaze of lights, they could distinguish six men armed with guns and axes and seated on a log.

"I perceive," remarked Archie, "that the lord of the manor has called out his guard to give us a fitting reception, just as I predicted."

José, who did not understand this sort of chaffing, shifted his pipe from one corner of his mouth to the other, muttered something between his teeth, and began to smoke fiercely.

"I can not tell why my father's guards, as you do them the honor to call them, are under arms," answered Jules, laughing, "unless it is that they are expecting an attack from our friends the Iroquois. But, come on, we'll soon solve the problem."

As they entered the yard the six men rose simultaneously and came forward to welcome their young master and his friend.

"What, you here!" exclaimed Jules, grasping their hands cordially; "you, Father Chouinard! you, Julien! and Alexis Dubé, and Father Tontaine, and François Maurice, the incorrigible! Why, I thought the parish would have taken advantage of my absence to rise as one man and chuck you into the St. Lawrence, as a proper punishment for the infernal tricks you play on peaceable people."

"Our young seigneur," said Maurice, "always has his joke ready; but, if they were to drown all those who put other folk into a rage, I know some one who would have got his deserts long ago."

"You think so!" said Jules, laughing. "Perhaps110 that all comes from the bad milk on which I was nursed. Remember that it was at the breast of your own dear mother I was nourished. But, to change the subject, what in the mischief are you all doing here at this hour? Are you gaping at the stars and moon?"

"There are twelve of us," said Father Chouinard. "We are taking turns in guarding the May-pole which we are going to present to your honored father to-morrow. Six are in the house, having a good time, while we are taking the first watch."

"I should have thought that the May-pole might safely have been left to guard itself," said Jules. "I don't think there is anybody crazy enough to get out of his warm bed for the pleasure of breaking his back in dragging away this venerable timber, at least while there are May-poles on all sides to be had for the cutting."

"You are off there, young master," answered Chouinard. "You see there are always some folks jealous because they have not been invited to the May-feast. It was only last year some scoundrels who had been invited to stay at home had the audacity to saw up, during the night, the May-pole which the folks of Ste. Anne were going to present to Captain Besse. Think of the poor peoples' feelings when they gathered in the morning and saw that their fine tree was nothing more nor less than so much firewood!"

Jules burst out laughing at a trick which he could so well appreciate.

"Laugh as much as you like," said Father Tontaine, "but t'ain't hardly Christian to put up tricks like that. You understand," he added seriously, "we don't think no such trick is going to be played on our good master; but there be always some rascals everywhere, so we're taking our precautions."

"I am a poor man," interposed Alexis Dubé, "but111 not for all I own would I see such an insult put on our captain."

The others spoke to the same effect, but Jules was already in the arms of his family, while the worthy habitants went on muttering their imprecations against the imaginary, though improbable, wretches who would have the hardihood to cut up the good fir log which they were going to present to their seigneur on the morrow. It may be suspected that the liberal cups and ample supper of May-day eve, together with the sure anticipation of a toothsome breakfast, were not without their effect on the zeal of the honest habitants.

"Come," said Jules to his friend after supper, "let us go and see the preparations for the May-day feast. As neither of us has had the advantage of being present at those famous nuptials of the opulent Gamache, which so ravished the heart of Sancho Panza, the present occasion may give us some faint idea of that entertainment."

In the kitchen all was bustle and confusion. The laughing shrill voices of the women were mixed with those of the six men off guard, who were occupied in drinking, smoking, and chaffing. Three servants, armed each with a frying-pan, were making, or, to use the common expression, "turning" pancakes over the fire in an ample fireplace, whose flames threw ruddy lights and shadows, à la Rembrandt, over the merry faces thronging the great kitchen. Some of the neighbor women, armed with dish and spoon and seated at a long table, kept dropping into the frying-pans, as fast as they were emptied, the liquid paste of which the pancakes were made; while others sprinkled them with maple sugar as they were piled upon the plates. A great kettle, half full of boiling lard, received the doughnuts which two cooks kept incessantly dropping in and ladling out.


The faithful José, the right hand of the establishment, seemed to be everywhere at once on these solemn occasions.

Seated at the end of a table, coat thrown off, sleeves of his shirt rolled up to the elbows, his inseparable knife in hand, he was hacking fiercely at a great loaf of maple-sugar and at the same time urging on two servants who were engaged at the same task. The next moment he was running for fine flour and eggs, as the pancake paste got low in the bowls; nor did he forget to visit the refreshment table from time to time to assure himself that nothing was lacking, or to take a drink with his friends.

Jules and Archie passed from the kitchen to the bake-house, where the cooks were taking out of the oven a batch of pies, shaped like half-moons and about fourteen inches long; while quarters of veal and mutton, spare-ribs, and cutlets of fresh pork, ranged around in pans, waited to take their places in the oven. Their last visit was to the wash-house where, in a ten-gallon caldron, bubbled a stew of pork and mutton for the special delectation of the old folks whose jaws had grown feeble.

"Why!" exclaimed Archie, "it is a veritable feast of Sardanapalus—a feast to last six months!"

"But you have only seen a part of it," said Jules. "The dessert is yet ahead of us. I had imagined, however, that you knew more about the customs of our habitants. If at the end of the feast the table were not as well supplied as at the beginning, the host would be accused of stinginess. Whenever a dish even threatens to become empty, you will see the servants hasten to replace it."

"I am the more surprised at that," said Archie, "because your habitants are generally economical, even to113 the point of meanness. How do you reconcile this with the great waste which must take place after a feast?"

"Our habitants, scattered wide apart over all New France, and consequently deprived of markets during spring, summer, and autumn, live then on nothing but salt meat, bread, and milk, and, except in the infrequent case of a wedding, they rarely give a feast at either of those seasons. In winter, on the other hand, there is a lavish abundance of fresh meats of all kinds; there is a universal feasting, and hospitality is carried to an extreme from Christmas time to Lent; there is a perpetual interchange of visits. Four or five carrioles, containing a dozen people, drive up; the horses are unhitched, the visitors take off their wraps, the table is set, and in an hour or so it is loaded down with smoking dishes."

"Your habitants must possess Aladdin's lamp!" exclaimed Archie.

"You must understand," said Jules, "that if the habitants' wives had to make such preparations as are necessary in higher circles, their hospitality would be much restricted or even put a stop to, for few of them are able to keep a servant. As it is, however, their social diversions are little more trouble to them than to their husbands. Their method is very simple. From time to time, in their leisure moments, they cook three or four batches of various kinds of meat, which in our climate keeps without difficulty; when visitors come, all they have to do is to warm up these dishes in their ovens, which at this season of the year are kept hot enough to roast an ox. The habitants abhor cold meat. It is good to see our Canadian women, so gay at all times, making ready these hasty banquets—to see them tripping about, lilting a bit of a song, or mixing in the general chatter, and dancing backward and forward between the table and the stove. Josephte sits down114 among her guests, but jumps up to wait upon them twenty times during the meal. She keeps up her singing and her chaffing, and makes everybody as merry as herself.

"You will, doubtless, imagine that these warmed-up dishes lose a good deal of their flavor; but habit is second nature, and our habitants do not find fault. Moreover, as their taste is more wholesome and natural than ours, I imagine that these dinners, washed down with a few glasses of brandy, leave them little cause to envy us. But we shall return to this subject later on; let us now rejoin my father and mother, who are probably getting impatient at our absence. I merely wanted to initiate you a little beforehand in the customs of our habitants, whom you have never before observed in their winter life."

Everybody sat up late that night at D'Haberville Manor. There was so much to talk about. It was not till the small hours that the good-nights were said; and soon the watchers of the May-pole were the only ones left awake in the manor house of St. Jean-Port-Joli.



Le premier jour de Mai,
J'm'en fus planter un mai,
A la porte à ma mie.

Ancienne Chanson.

It was scarcely five o'clock in the morning when Jules, who slept like a cat, shouted to Lochiel in the next room that it was high time they were up; but as the latter would make no response, Jules took the surest way of arousing him by getting up himself. Arming himself with a towel dipped in cold water, he entered his friend's bedroom and squeezed the icy fluid in his face. In spite of his aquatic inclinations, Archie found this attention very little to his taste; he snatched the towel, rolled it into a ball, and hurled it at Jules's head. Then he turned over and was preparing to go to sleep again, when Jules snatched off all the bed-clothes. It looked as if the fortress, in this extremity, had nothing to do but surrender at discretion; but the garrison, in the person of Lochiel, was more numerous than the besieging force in the person of Jules, and, shaking the latter fiercely, he asked if sleeping was forbidden at D'Haberville Manor. He was even proceeding to hurl the besieger from the ramparts when Jules, struggling in his adversary's mighty arms, begged him to listen a116 moment before inflicting such a disgrace upon a future soldier of France.

"What have you to say for yourself, you wretched boy?" exclaimed Archie, now thoroughly awake. Is it not enough for you that all day long you give me no peace, but even in the night you must come and torment me?"

"I am grieved, indeed," said Jules, "at having interrupted your slumbers; but as our folk have to set up another May-pole at the place of Bélanger of the Cross, a good mile and a half from here, they intend to present my father with his at six o'clock; and if you don't want to lose any of the ceremony it is time for you to dress. I declare, I thought everybody was like myself, wrapped up in everything that can bring us more in touch with our habitants. I do not know anything that moves me more than this sympathy between my father and his tenants, between our family and these brave lads; moreover, as my adopted brother, you will have your part to play in the approaching spectacle."

As soon as the young men had finished dressing, they passed from their room to one which looked out on the yard, where a lively scene met their view. There were at least a hundred habitants scattered about in groups. With their long guns, their powder-horns suspended from the neck, their tomahawks stuck in the girdle, their inseparable axes, they looked less like peaceful tillers of the soil than a band of desperadoes ready for a foray.

Lochiel was much amused by the spectacle, and wished to go out and join the groups, but Jules vetoed his proposal, saying that it would be contrary to etiquette. He explained that the family were all supposed to be unaware of what was going on outside, no matter how great the noise and excitement. Some were decorating117 the May-pole, others were digging the hole in which it was to be planted, while yet others were sharpening long stakes to be used in bracing it firmly. As for the May-pole itself, it was of the utmost simplicity. It consisted of a tall fir tree, with its branches cut off and peeled to within two or three feet of the top. Here a tuft of greenery, about three feet long, was permitted to remain, and dignified with the title of "the bouquet." This "bouquet" was ornamental enough so long as it kept green, but when withered by the heat of summer its appearance became anything but cheerful. A rod six feet long, painted red, surmounted with a green weather cock and adorned with a large red ball, was thrust between the branches of "the bouquet" and nailed to the tree, which completed the decoration of the May-pole. It is necessary to add that strong wooden pegs, driven into the trunk at regular intervals, facilitated the climbing of the May-pole, and served also as points of support for the props by aid of which it was raised into position.

The firing of a gun before the main entrance announced that every thing was ready. Immediately on this signal the seigneur and his family gathered in the drawing-room to receive the deputation which would follow immediately after the report. The seigneur occupied a great arm-chair, with Lady D'Haberville seated at his right and his son Jules at his left. Uncle Raoul, erect and leaning upon his sword, stood immediately behind this first group, between Blanche and Madame de Beaumont who were seated. Archie stood at Blanche's left. They were scarcely in position when two old men, introduced by José, the major-domo, approached Seigneur D'Haberville, saluted him with that courteous air which was natural to the early Canadians and begged his permission to plant a May-pole before his threshold. This permission granted, the deputation withdrew and118 acquainted the crowd with their success. Everybody then knelt down and prayed for protection throughout the day. In about fifteen minutes the May-pole rose over the crowd with a slow, majestic motion, and its green top looked down upon all the buildings surrounding it. A few minutes more and it was firmly planted.

A second gunshot announced a new deputation, and the same two old men, carrying their guns, escorted in two of the leading habitants. One of the habitants carried a little greenish goblet, two inches high, on a plate of faïence, while the other bore a bottle of brandy. Introduced by the indispensable José, they begged the seigneur to come and receive the May-pole which he had so graciously consented to accept. Upon the seigneur's response, one of the old men added:

"Would our seigneur be pleased to 'wet' the Maypole before he blackens it?" With these words he handed the seigneur a gun and a glass of brandy.

"We will 'wet' it together, my friends," said M. D'Haberville, making a sign to José, who at once hastened forward with a tray containing four glasses of the same cordial fluid. Then the seigneur rose, touched glasses with the four delegates, swallowed at a draught their brandy, which he pronounced excellent, took up the gun and started for the door, followed by all that were in the room.

As soon as he appeared on the threshold a young man clambered up the May-pole with the nimbleness of a squirrel, gave three twirls to the weather-cock, and shouted: "Long live the King! Long live the Seigneur D'Haberville!" And the crowd yelled after him with all the vigor of their lungs: "Long live the King! Long live the Seigneur D'Haberville!" Meanwhile the young man had clambered down again, cutting off with his tomahawk as he descended all the pegs of the May-pole.


Thereupon the seigneur proceeded to blacken the May-pole by firing at it a blank charge from his musket. The other members of the family followed his example in the order of their rank, the ladies firing as well as the men.

Then followed a rattling feu-de-joie, which lasted a good half-hour. One might have fancied the manor house was besieged by a hostile army. The May-pole, so white before, seemed suddenly to have been painted black, so zealous were all to do it honor. Indeed, the more powder one could burn on this occasion, the greater the compliment to him for whom the May-pole was erected.

As every pleasure comes to an end, M. D'Haberville seized a moment when the firing appeared to slacken a little to invite the crowd in to breakfast. There was another rattling discharge by way of temporary farewell to the May-pole, some splinters of which were now scattered about the ground beneath, and every one moved silently into the house.

The seigneur, the ladies, and a dozen of the oldest among the leading habitants, were seated at a table in the seigneurial dining-room. This table was set with the plain dishes, wines, and coffee which constituted a Canadian breakfast among the upper classes; there was added also to gratify the guests some excellent brandy, and some sugar-cakes in lieu of bread.

It was no offense to the other guests to be excluded from this table; they were proud, on the contrary, of the compliment paid to their more venerable relations and friends.

The second table in the adjoining room, where Uncle Raoul presided, was supplied as would have been that of a rich habitant on a similar occasion. Besides the superfluity of viands already enumerated, each guest120 found beside his plate the inevitable sugar-cake, a cruller, a tart about five inches in diameter and more rich in paste than in jam, and an unlimited supply of brandy. There were also some bottles of wine on the table, to which nobody paid the least attention; to use their own energetic expression, it did not "scratch the throat enough." The wine was placed there chiefly for the women, who were occupied in serving the breakfast, and who would take their places at the table after the men's departure. Josephte would take a glass or two of wine without much pressing after she had had her accustomed appetizer.

Over the third table, spread in the mighty kitchen, presided Jules, with Archie to assist him. This was the table for the young men, and it was supplied like that of Uncle Raoul. While there was gayety enough at the first two tables, there was at the same time a certain decorum observed; but at the third, especially toward the end of the repast, which lasted far on into the morning, there was such a perpetual applause that one could hardly hear himself speak.

The reader is much deceived if he imagines that the May-pole was all this time enjoying repose. Almost every moment one or other of the guests would get up, run out and fire his gun at the May-pole, and return to his place at the table after this act of courtesy.

At the beginning of dessert the seigneur, accompanied by the ladies, visited the second and third tables, where they were rapturously received. A friendly word was on his lips for every one. He drank the health of his tenants, and his tenants drank to himself and his family, to the accompaniment of the reports of twenty muskets, which were blazing away outside.

This ceremony at an end, the seigneur returned to121 his own table, where he was induced to sing a little song, in the chorus of which all joined.

"Oh, here's to the hero,
The hero, the hero;
Oh, here's to the hero
That taught men to dine!
When joy is at zero,
At zero, at zero;
When joy is at zero,
What solace like wine!

Chorus. Till he's drunk, or quite near it,
No soldier will shrink,
But cry shame on the spirit
Too craven to drink.

"When we taste the rare liquor,
Rare liquor, rare liquor;
When we taste the rare liquor
That tickles our throats,
Our hearts they beat quicker,
Beat quicker, beat quicker;
Our hearts they beat quicker,
Which clearly denotes

Chorus. That till drunk, or quite near it,
No soldier should shrink,
But cry shame on the spirit
Too craven to drink."

Scarcely was this song ended when the sonorous voice of Uncle Raoul arose:

"Oh, I am a drinker, I,
For I'm built that way;
Let every man stick to his taste,
Each dog have his day!
The drinker he frights dull care
To flight with a song—
He serves the jolliest god,
And he serves him long!

Chorus. Oh, I am a drinker, I, etc.122

"Let José go fighting and put
The Dutchman to rout,
But I'll win my laurels at home
In the drinking-bout!

Chorus. Oh, I am a drinker, I, etc."

"Your turn now, young master!" cried the third table. "Our elders have set us the proper example to follow."

"With all my heart," replied Jules; and he sang the following verses:

"God Bacchus, throned upon a cask,
Hath bid me love the bell-mouthed flask;
Hath bid me vow these lips of mine
Shall own no drink but wine!

Chorus. But wine, boys, but wine!
We'll drain, we'll drain the bottles dry,
And swear the drink divine!

"Nor emperor nor king may know
The joys that from our bumpers flow—
The mirth that makes the dullest shine—
Who owns no drink but wine!

Chorus. But wine, boys, but wine! etc.

"Let wives go knit and sweethearts spin,
We've wine to drown our troubles in.
We'll sing the praises of the vine,
And own no drink but wine!

Chorus. But wine, boys, but wine! etc."

The example once set by the hosts, everybody made haste to follow it, and song succeeded song with ever-increasing fervor. Then Father Chouinard, a retired veteran of the French army after two songs which won great applause, suggested that it was time to withdraw. He thanked the seigneur for his hospitality, and proposed123 to drink his health once again—a proposition which was received with loud enthusiasm.

After this the joyous throng took its departure singing, with the accompaniment of musket-shots, whose echoes, thrown back by the bluff, appeared to linger reluctantly behind them.



Every parish used to keep holiday on the feast of its patron saint. The feast of St. John the Baptist, the patron of the parish of St. Jean-Port-Joli, falling in the most delightful season of the year, never failed to attract a host of pilgrims, even from the remotest parishes. The habitant, kept very busy with his farm-work, was ready by this time for a little rest, and the fine weather was an invitation to the road. In every family grand preparations were made for this important occasion. Within doors there was great cleaning up; the whitewash brush went everywhere; the floors were scrubbed and strewed with pine-needles; the fatted calf was killed, and the shopkeepers drove a thriving trade in drinks. Thus by the twenty-third day of June, the eve of the feast, every house was thronged with pilgrims from the manor and the presbytery down.

The seigneur used to present the consecrated bread; while the collection at the high mass was taken up by two young gentlemen and two young ladies, friends of the seigneur, invited down from Quebec long beforehand. For the consecrated bread and for the little cakes (cousins) which accompanied it there was no small need in that multitude which thronged not only the church, but the surrounding yard. All the doors of the church stood wide open, that everybody might have his share in the service.


It was an understood thing that the seigneur and his friends should dine that day at the presbytery, and that the curé and his friends should take supper at the manor house. Very many of the habitants, too far away from home to go and come between mass and vespers, took lunch in the little wood of cedars, pines, and firs which covered the valley between the church and the St. Lawrence. Nothing can be imagined more picturesque and bright than the groups scattered over the mossy green, and gathered merrily around their snowy tablecloths. The curé and his guests never failed to visit the picnickers and exchange a few words with the men.

On all sides rose rude booths, after the fashion of wigwams, covered with branches of maple and spruce, wherein refreshments were sold. In a monotonous voice, with strong emphasis on the first and last words, the proprietors kept crying incessantly, "Good beer for sale here!" And all the papas and the amorous gallants, coaxed up for the occasion, would fumble dubiously in the depths of their wallets for the wherewith to treat youngster or sweetheart.

The habitants had preserved an impressive ceremony handed down from their Norman ancestors. This ceremony consisted of a huge bonfire at sunset of the eve of St. Jean-Baptiste. An octagonal pyramid, about ten feet high, was constructed before the main entrance of the church. Covered with branches of fir interwoven amid the strips of cedar which formed its surface, this structure was eminently ornamental. The curé, accompanied by his assistants, marched out and recited certain prayers belonging to the occasion; then, after having blessed the structure, he set a torch to the little piles of straw arranged at the eight corners of the pyramid. Straightway the whole pile burst crackling into flame, amid the shouts and gun-firing of the crowd which126 remained in attendance till the pyramid was burned to ashes.

At this joyous ceremony, Blanche D'Haberville did not fail to assist, in company with Jules, Lochiel, and Uncle Raoul. A malicious critic, observing Uncle Raoul as he stood leaning on his sword a little in advance of the throng, might have been reminded of the late lamented Vulcan of game-legged memory, so lurid and grotesque an effect was cast upon his figure; which by no means prevented Uncle Raoul from considering himself the most important personage present.

Uncle Raoul had a very good and sufficient reason for taking part in the bonfire. It was the day of the salmon sale. Every habitant who stretched a net came to sell his first salmon at the church door for the benefit of the souls in purgatory; in other words, with the money obtained for the fish he would pay for a mass to be said for the souls about which he was most concerned. The auctioneer announcing the object of the sale, all strove to outbid each other. Nothing could be more touching than this closeness of communion between friends and relations beyond the grave, this anxious concern extending even to the invisible world. Our brethren of other creeds shed, indeed, as we do, the bitterest of tears over the tomb which covers away their dearest, but there they cease their solicitude and their devotion.

When I was a child my mother taught me to conclude all my prayers with this appeal: "Receive, O Lord, soon into thy blessed paradise the souls of my grandfather and grandmother." My prayers were then for kinsfolk few in number and unknown to me. Now, alas, in my old age, how many names would have to pass my lips were I to enumerate in my prayers all the loved ones who have left me!


It was some time after dark when Uncle Raoul, Blanche, Jules, and Archie quitted the presbytery where they had taken supper. Uncle Raoul, who had a smattering of astronomy, explained to his niece, as they drove along, the mysteries of the starry vault, marvels of which, for all the efforts of their professor in astronomy, our young men knew but little.

The young men were in high spirits, and, excited by the splendor of the night in mid-forest, they laid aside their decorum and began a host of antics, in spite of the frowns of Blanche, who dreaded lest they should displease her uncle.

The road followed the banks of the St. Lawrence. It was bordered by thick woods, with here and there a clearing through which was commanded a perfect view of the giant stream. Coming to one of these clearings, where they could sweep the whole river from Cape Tourmente to Malbaie, Archie was unable to repress a cry of surprise, and, turning to Uncle Raoul, he said:

"You, sir who explain so well the marvels of the heaven, might I beg you to lower your gaze to earth a moment and tell me the meaning of all those lights which are flashing along the north shore as far as eye can see? Verily, I begin to believe José's story. Canada appears to be that land of goblins, imps, and witches of which my nurse used to tell me amid my Scottish hills."

"Ah," said Uncle Raoul, "let us stop here a moment. That is the people of the north shore sending messages to their friends and relations on this side, according to their custom on the eve of St. Jean-Baptiste. They need neither pen nor ink for their communications. Let us begin at Eboulements: Eleven adults have died in that parish since autumn, three of them in one house, that of my friend Dufour. The128 family must have been visited by small-pox or some malignant fever, for those Dufours are vigorous and all in the prime of life. The Tremblays are well, which I am glad to perceive; they are worthy people. At Bonneau's somebody is sick, probably the grandmother, who is getting well on in years. There is a child dead at Bélair's house. I fear it is their only child, as theirs is a young household."

Thus Uncle Raoul ran on for some time gathering news of his friends at Eboulements, at Isle aux Coudres, and at Petite-Rivière.

"I understand without having the key," said Lochiel. "Those are certain prearranged signals which are exchanged between the dwellers on the opposite shores in order to communicate matters of personal interest."

"Yes," answered Uncle Raoul; "and if we were on the north shore we should observe similar signals on this side. If a fire burns long and steadily, that is good news; if it sinks gradually, that is a sign of sickness; if it is extinguished suddenly, that means death; if it is so extinguished more than once, that signifies so many deaths. For a grown person, a strong blaze; for a child, a feeble one. The means of intercourse being scanty enough even in summer, and entirely cut off during winter, the habitants, made ingenious by necessity, have invented this simple expedient.

"The same signals," continued Uncle Raoul, "are understood by all the sailors, who use them in time of wreck to convey information of their distress. Only last year five of our best huntsmen would have starved to death but for this on the shoals of the Loups-Marins. Toward the middle of March there was a sudden change in the weather. The ice went out all at once and the ducks, geese, and brant made their appearance in astonishing numbers. Five of our hunters, well supplied129 with provisions—for the weather is treacherous in Canada—set out at once for the Loups-Marins; but the birds were so numerous that they left their provisions in the canoe (which they tied carelessly in front of their hut), and ran to take their places in the ditch which they had to get scooped out before the return of the tide. This ditch, you must know, is a trough dug in the mud to a depth of three or four feet, wherein the hunter lies in wait for his game, which are very wary, the geese and brant particularly. It is a wretchedly uncomfortable kind of hunting, for you have to crouch in these holes, with your dog, often for seven or eight hours at a stretch. You have no lack of occupation to kill time, however, for you have to keep bailing out the muddy water which threatens to drown you.

"All was in proper shape, and our hunters were expecting with the rising tide an ample reward for their pains, when suddenly there came up a frightful storm. The sleet was driven by the wind in such dense clouds that the birds could not be seen six feet away. Our hunters, having waited patiently until flood tide, which drove them from their posts, returned to their hut, where a dreadful surprise awaited them; their canoe had been carried away by the storm, and there remained, to feed five men, only one loaf of bread and one bottle of brandy, which they had taken into the hut on their arrival, that they might indulge in a snack before getting to work. They went to bed without supper, for the snow-storm might last three days, and, being about three leagues from either shore, it would be impossible, in such weather, for their signals of distress to be seen. But their calculations fell far short of the fact. A second winter had set in. The cold became very severe, the snow continued falling for eight days, and the river was once more filled with ice as in January.


Then they began to make their signals, which could be seen from both shores; but it was impossible to go to their aid. The signals of distress were followed by those of death. The fire was lighted every evening and immediately extinguished. When three of the party were reported dead, some habitants, at the imminent risk of their lives, did all that could be expected of the bravest men; but in vain, for the river was so thick with ice cakes that the canoes were carried up and down with the ebb and flow of the tide, and could not get near the scene of the disaster. It was not until the seventeenth day that they were rescued by a canoe from Isle aux Coudres. When the rescuing party arrived they heard no sound in the hut, and feared they were too late. The sufferers were still alive, however, and after a few weeks of care were quite themselves again; but they had learned a lesson they were not likely to forget, and the next time they go hunting on the Loups-Marins they will haul their canoe up out of reach of high tide."

At last Uncle Raoul came to an end, just as anybody else would.

"Dear uncle," said Blanche, "do you not know a song appropriate to so delicious a night as this, and so enchanting a scene?"

"Hear! hear!" exclaimed the young men, "a song from Uncle Raoul!"

This was assailing the chevalier on his weak point. He was a singer, and very proud of it. Without further pressing he began, in a splendid tenor voice, the following song, which he sang with peculiar feeling as a brave hunter adorned with his scars. While acknowledging that his verses took many a liberty with the rules of rhyme, he declared that these defects were redeemed by the vividness and originality of the composition.



As I was walking, somewhat late,
A-through a lonely wood and great,
Hunting partridge, snipe, and cock,
And careless of the clock,
I raised my gun to drop a bird,
When in the bushes something stirred;
I heard a cry—and saw the game
That love alone can tame.

I saw a fair one all alone,
Lamenting on a mossy stone,
Her hair about so fair a face
As lightened that dark place.
I called my dog to heel, and there
I fired my gun into the air.
So loud with fear the lady cried,
I hastened to her side.

I said to her, I said, "Sweet heart,
Be comforted, whoe'er thou art.
I am a valiant cavalier,
Have thou of me no fear.
Beholding thee, my lovely one,
Thus left lamenting and alone,
I fain would be thy knight-at-arms,
And shield thee from alarms."

"Oh, succor me, fair sir," she saith,
"My heart with fear was nigh to death.
I am benighted and astray,
Oh, show me, sir, my way!
Oh, show me, gentle sir, the road,
For Mary's sake, to mine abode.
My heart, fair sir, but for your grace,
Had died in this dark place."

"Now, lady, give thy hand to me.
Not far the way—not far with thee.
Right glad am I to do thee pleasure,
And I have the leisure.

But might I crave before we part,132
Oh, lady dear, oh, fair sweet heart—
Might I dare to beg the bliss
Of one small kiss?"

Saith she, "I can not say thee nay;
Thy service can I ne'er repay.
Take one, or even two, or three,
If so it pleaseth thee.
More gallant sir was never seen;
Much honored have my kisses been."
(This was the last I heard of her)
"And now farewell, kind sir."

"The devil," said Jules, "I perceive, dear sir, that you did not waste any time. I will wager, now, that you have been a terrible gallant in your younger days, and can count your victims by the score. It is so, eh, uncle mine? Do tell us some of your conquests."

"Ugly, my dear boy," replied Uncle Raoul, with a gratified air, "ugly I certainly am, but very agreeable to the ladies."

Jules was going on in the same vein, but seeing the way his sister was frowning at him, he bit his lips to keep from laughing, and repeated the last four lines:

"'More gallant sir was never seen;
Much honored have my kisses been'
(This was the last I heard of her)
'And now farewell, kind sir.'"

The young men continued the singing till they reached a clearing, where they saw a fire in the woods a little way from the road.

"That is the witch of the manor," said Uncle Raoul.

"I have always forgotten to ask why she was called the witch of the manor," said Archie.

"Because she has established herself in this wood, which formerly belonged to the D'Haberville estate,"133 said Uncle Raoul. "My brother exchanged it for a part of his present domain, in order to get nearer his mill at Trois Saumons."

"Let us go and see poor old Marie," said Blanche. "When I was a child she used to bring me the first spring flowers and the first strawberries of the season."

Uncle Raoul made some objections on account of the lateness of the hour, but he could refuse Blanche nothing, and presently the horses were hitched on the edge of the wood and our party were on their way to the witch's abode.

The dwelling of old Marie by no means resembled that of the Cumæan sybil, or of any other sorceress, ancient or modern. It was a sort of patchwork hut, built of logs and unquarried stones, and carpeted within with many colored mosses. The roof was cone-shaped and covered with birch-bark and spruce branches.

Old Marie was seated on a log at the door of her hut, cooking something in a frying-pan over a fire which was surrounded with stones to keep it from spreading. She paid no attention to her visitors, but maintained a conversation with some invisible being behind her. She kept waving first one hand and then the other behind her back, as if attempting to drive away this being, and the burden of her utterance was: "Avaunt, avaunt! it is you that bring the English here to eat up the French!"

"Oh, ho, my prophetess of evil," exclaimed Uncle Raoul, "when you get done talking to the devil, would you be kind enough to tell me what you mean by that threat?"

"Come, Marie," interposed Jules, "tell us if you really think you are talking to the devil? You can fool the habitants, but you must know that we put no faith in such delusions."


"Avaunt! Avaunt!" continued the witch with the same gestures, "you that are bringing the English to eat up the French."

"I am going to speak to her," said Blanche; "she loves me, and I am sure she will answer me."

Approaching the old woman, she laid her hand on her shoulder and said gently:

"Do you not know me, my good Marie? Do you not recognize la petite seigneuresse, as you used to call me?"

The old woman interrupted her monologue and looked tenderly at the girl. A tear even gathered in her eyes, but could not overflow, so few such were there in her burning brain.

"Why, dear Marie, do you lead this wild and vagabond life?" exclaimed Blanche. "Why do you live in the woods, you who are the wife of a rich habitant, the mother of a numerous family? Your poor children, brought up by strangers, are crying for their dear mother. Mamma and I were looking for you at your house after the feast. We were talking to your husband who loves you. How unhappy you must be!"

The poor woman sprang upon her seat and her eyes shot flames, as she cried, pale with anger:

"Who is it dare speak of my misfortunes? Is it the fair young girl, the darling of her parents, who will never be wife and mother? Is it the rich and noble lady, brought up in silk and fine linen, who will soon, like me, have but a hut to shelter her? Woe! Woe! Woe!"

She was about to retire into the forest, but seeing Jules much moved, she cried again:

"Is it Jules D'Haberville who is so concerned at my wretchedness? Is it, indeed, Jules D'Haberville, bravest of the brave, whose bleeding body I see them dragging over the Plains of Abraham? Is it, indeed, his blood135 that crimsons the last glorious field of my country? Woe! Woe! Woe!"

"This poor woman moves my heart strangely," said Lochiel, as she was disappearing in the thicket.

The creature heard him. She returned once more, folded her arms, turned upon him a gaze of calm bitterness, and said:

"Keep your pity for yourself, Archibald de Lochiel. The family fool has no need of your pity! Keep your pity for yourself and for your friends! Keep it for yourself on that day when, forced to execute a cruel order, you shall tear with your nails that breast that hides a noble and generous heart! Keep it for your friends, Archibald de Lochiel, on that day when you shall set the torch to their peaceful dwellings, that day when the old and feeble, the women and the children, shall flee before you as sheep before the wolf! Keep your pity! You will need it all when you carry in your arms the bleeding body of him you call your brother! I have but one grief at this hour, Archibald de Lochiel, it is that I have no curse to utter against you. Woe! Woe! Woe!" And she disappeared into the forest.

"May I be choked by an Englishman," said Uncle Raoul, "if poor silly Marie has not shown herself tonight a sorceress of the approved type, the type which has been celebrated by poets ancient and modern. I wonder what mad weed she has been rubbing against, she who is always so polite and gentle with us."

All agreed that they had never heard anything like it before. The rest of the drive was passed in silence; for, though attaching no credence to the witch's words, they could not at once throw off their ominous influence.

On their arrival at the manor house, however, where they found a number of friends awaiting them, this little cloud was soon scattered.


The joyous laughter of the party could be heard even to the highway, and the echoes of the bluff were kept busy repeating the refrain:

"Ramenez vos moutons, bergère,
Belle bergère, vos moutons."

The dancers had broken one of the chains of their dance, and were running everywhere, one behind the other, around the vast court-yard. They surrounded the chevalier's carriage, the chain reunited, and they began dancing round and round, crying to Mademoiselle D'Haberville, "Descend, fair shepherdess."

Blanche sprang lightly out of the carriage. The leader of the dance at once whisked her off, and began to sing:

"Hail to the fairest in the land!
(Hail to the fairest in the land!)
"Now I take you by the hand.
(Now I take you by the hand.)
I lead you here, I lead you there;
Bring back your sheep, O shepherdess fair.
Bring back your sheep and with care them keep,
Shepherdess fair, bring back your sheep.
Bring back, bring back, bring back with care,
Bring back your sheep, O shepherdess fair!"

After making several more rounds, with the chevalier's carriage in the middle, and all the time singing:

"Ramenez, ramenez, ramenez donc,
Belle bergère, vos moutons."

They at length broke up the chain, and all danced merrily into the house.

Uncle Raoul, at last set at liberty by the inexorable dancers, descended as he could from the carriage and hastened to join the party at the supper-table.



Tout homme qui, à quarante ans, n'est pas misanthrope, n'a jamais aimé les hommes.—Champfort.

J'ai été prodigieusement fier jusqu'à quarente-cinq ans: mais le malheur m'a bien courbé et m'a rendu aussi humble que j'étais fier. Ah! c'est une grande école que le malheur! j'ai appris à me courber et à m'humilier sous la main de Dieu.—Chenedollé.

The two months which Jules had to spend with his family before his departure for Europe had come to an end, and the vessel in which he had taken passage was to sail in two or three days. Lochiel was at Quebec, making preparations for a voyage which could hardly take less than two months. Abundant provisions were necessary, and Seigneur D'Haberville had intrusted this point to the young Scotchman's care, while Jules's mother and sister were loading down the young men's valises with all the comforts and dainties they could think of. As the time drew near for a separation which might be forever, Jules was drawn closer and closer to his family, whom he could hardly bear to leave even for a moment. One day, however, he remarked:

"As you know, I promised 'the good gentleman' that I would go and stay a night with him before my departure. I will be back to-morrow morning in time to breakfast with you."

With these words, he picked up his gun and started138 for the woods, in order to take a short cut and have a little hunting by the way.

M. d'Egmont, whom everybody called "the good gentleman," dwelt in a cottage on the Trois Saumons River, about three quarters of a league from the manor house. With him there lived a faithful follower who had shared alike his good and his evil fortunes. André Francœur was of the same age as his master, and was also his foster-brother. Having been the playfellow of his childhood, and the trusted friend rather than the valet of his riper years, André Francœur had found it as natural to follow D'Egmont's fortunes in adversity as in prosperity.

D'Egmont and his servant were living on the interest of a small capital which they had in common. One might even say that the savings of the valet were even greater than those of the master. Was it consistent with D'Egmont's honor to be thus, in a way, dependent on his own servant? Many will answer no; but "the good gentleman" argued otherwise.

"When I was rich I spent my wealth for my friends, and how have my friends rewarded me? André, alone, has shown himself grateful and noble-hearted. In no way, therefore, do I lower myself by associating my fortune with his, as I would have done with one of my own station had one been found as noble as my valet."

When Jules arrived, the good gentleman was busy weeding a bed of lettuce in his garden. Entirely absorbed, he did not see his young friend, who overheard the following soliloquy:

"Poor little insect! I have wounded you, and lo! all the other ants, just now your friends, are falling upon you to devour you. These tiny creatures are as cruel as men. I am going to rescue you; and as for you, my139 good ants, thanks for the lesson; I have now a better opinion of my kind."

"Poor fellow!" thought Jules, "with a heart so tender, how he must have suffered!"

Withdrawing noiselessly, he entered by the garden gate.

M. d'Egmont uttered an exclamation of delight on seeing his young friend, whom he loved as a son. Although, during the thirty years that he had lived on Captain D'Haberville's estate, he had constantly refused to take up his abode at the manor house, he yet was a frequent visitor there, often remaining a week at a time when there were no strangers present. Without actually shunning society, he had suffered too much in his relations with men of his own class to be able to mingle cordially in their enjoyments.

Although poor, M. d'Egmont was able to do a great deal of good. He comforted the afflicted; he visited the sick, whom he healed with herbs whose virtues were revealed to him by his knowledge of botany; and if his alms-giving was not lavish, it was accompanied by such sympathy and tact that it was none the less appreciated by the poor, who had come to know him by no other title than that of le bon gentilhomme.

When D'Egmont and his young friend entered the house, André set before them a dish of fine trout and a plate of broiled pigeons, garnished with chives.

"It is a frugal supper, indeed," said D'Egmont, "I caught the trout myself in yonder brook, about an hour ago, and André bagged the doves this morning at sunrise, in yonder dead tree, half a gunshot from the cottage. You see that, without being a seigneur, I have a fish-pond and dove-cote on my estate. Now for a salad of lettuce with cream, a bowl of raspberries, a bottle of wine—and there is your supper, friend Jules."


"And never fish-pond and dove-cote supplied better meal to a hungry hunter," exclaimed Jules.

The meal was a cheerful one, for M. d'Egmont seemed to have recovered something of the gayety of his youth. His conversation was no less instructive than amusing; for, although he had mingled much with men in his early days, he had found in study a refuge from his unhappiness.

"How do you like this wine?" said he to Jules, who was eating like a hungry wolf, and had already quaffed several bumpers.

"It is capital, upon my word."

"You are a connoisseur, my friend," went on M. d'Egmont. "If it is true that wine and men improve with age, that wine must indeed be excellent; and as for me, I must be approaching perfection, for I am very nearly ninety."

"Thus it is," said Jules, "that they call you 'the good gentleman.'"

"The Athenians, my son, sent Aristides into exile, and at the same time called him the Just. But let us drop men and speak of wine. For my own part, I drink it rarely. As with many other useless luxuries, I have learned to do without it, and yet I enjoy perfect health. This wine is older than you are; its age, for a man, would not be much, but for wine it is something. Your father sent me a basket of it the day you were born. In his happiness he made gifts to all his friends. I have kept it with great care, and I only bring it out on such rare occasions as this. Here is a health to you, my dear boy. Success to all your undertakings; and when you come back to New France, promise that you will come and sup here with me, and drink a last bottle of this wine, which I will keep for you. You look astonished. You think it likely that when you return I shall have141 long since paid that debt which is paid even by the most recalcitrant debtor. You are mistaken, my son; a man like me does not die. But come, we have finished supper, let us go and sit sub tegmine fagi, which may be interpreted to mean, under that splendid walnut-tree whose branches are reflected in the river."

The night was magnificent. The ripple of running water was the only sound that broke the moonlit stillness. M. d'Egmont was silent for some moments, and Jules, not caring to disturb his reverie, began tracing hieroglyphics with his finger in the sand.

"I have greatly desired," said "the good gentleman," "to have a talk with you before your departure, before you go out into the world. I know that we can profit little by the experience of others, but that each must purchase his own. No matter, I shall at least have the consolation of having opened my heart to you, a heart which should have been dried up long since, but which yet beats as warmly as when I led the joyous troops of my companions more than half a century ago. Just now you looked at me with surprise when I said that a man like me does not die; you thought I spoke in metaphor, but I was sincere at the moment. So often on my knees have I begged for death that I have ended by almost doubting Death's existence. The heathen have made of him a divinity, doubtless that they might call him to their aid in time of heavy sorrow. If it is as physiology teaches us, and our sufferings depend upon the sensitiveness of our nerves, then have I suffered what would have killed fifty strong men." M. d'Egmont was silent once more, and Jules flung some pebbles into the river.

"See," resumed the old man, "this stream which flows so quietly at our feet. Within an hour it mingles with the troubled waters of the St. Lawrence, and in a142 few days it will be writhing under the scourge of the Atlantic storms. Behold therein an image of our life! Thy days hitherto have been like the current of this stream; but soon you will be tossed on the great river of life, and will be carried into the ocean of men, whose waves rage ceaselessly. I have watched you from child-hood up; I have studied your character minutely, and that is what has caused me to seek this conversation. Between your character and mine I have found the closest resemblance. Like you, I was born kind-hearted, sympathetic, generous to a fault. How has it come that these virtues, which should have secured me happiness, have rather been the cause of all my ills? How comes it, my son, that these qualities, so applauded among men, have risen against me as my most implacable enemies and beaten me to the dust? I can not but think that I deserved a kindlier fate. Born, like you, of rich and loving parents, I was free to follow my every inclination. Like you, I sought nothing so much as the love of those about me. Like you, in my childhood I would not willingly injure the most insignificant of God's creatures, and to the beggar child I gave the very clothes I wore. Needless to add that, again like you, my hand was ever open to all my comrades, so that I was said to have 'nothing of my own.' It is curious to consider that, at the hands of my playfellows, I never tasted ingratitude. Is ingratitude the attribute only of the full-grown man? Or is it a snare which this human nature casts about the feet of generous childhood, the better to despoil the prey when grown to be a richer prize! But, no; it is impossible that youth could be so depraved.

"And you, Jules," continued the old man after this semi-soliloquy, "have you yet experienced the ingratitude of those you have befriended, the ingratitude which pierces the heart like a blade of steel?"


"Never," said the young man.

"It is self-interest, then, bitter fruit of civilization, which causes ingratitude; the more a man needs, the more ungrateful he becomes. This reminds me of a little story. About twenty years ago a poor savage of the Huron tribe came to me in a pitiable state. It was spring. He had made a long and painful march, he had swum the icy streams when overheated, and as a result he was seized with a violent attack of pleurisy, accompanied by inflammation of the lungs. I judged that only a copious bleeding could save him, and I made shift to bleed him with my penknife. In a word, with care and simple remedies, I effected a cure; but his convalescence was slow, and he stayed with me more than two months. In a little while André and I could talk to him in his own tongue. He told me that he was a great warrior and hunter, but that fire-water had been his ruin. His thanks were as brief as his farewells:

"'My heart is too full for many words,' said he; 'the Huron warrior knows not how to weep like a woman. I thank you, my brothers,' And he vanished in the forest.

"I had entirely forgotten my Indian, when about four years later he arrived at my door, accompanied by another savage. I could scarcely recognize him. He was splendidly clad, and everything about him bespoke the great hunter and the mighty warrior. In one corner of my room he and his companion laid down two bundles of merchandise of great value—the richest furs, moccasins splendidly embroidered with porcupine quills, and exquisite pieces of work in birch bark, such as the Indians alone know how to make. I congratulated him upon the happy turn his affairs had taken.

"'Listen to me, my brother,' said he. 'I owe you much, and I am come to pay my debt. You saved my144 life, for you know good medicine. You have done more, for you know the words which reach the heart; dog of a drunkard as I was, I am become once more a man as I was created by the Great Spirit. You were rich when you lived beyond the great water. This wigwam is too small for you; build one large enough to hold your great heart. All these goods belong to you,' The gratitude of this child of the forest brought tears to my eyes; for in all my long life I had found but two men who could be grateful—the faithful André, my foster-brother, and this poor Indian, who, seeing that I was going to accept nothing but a pair of deer-hide moccasins, struck three fingers rapidly across his mouth with a shrill cry of 'houa,' and took himself off at top speed with his companion. Never after could I find a trace of him. Our good curé undertook the sale of the goods, the product of which, with interest, was lately distributed among his tribe."

The good gentleman sighed, reflected a moment, then resumed his speech:

"I am now going to tell you, my dear Jules, of the most happy and most wretched periods of my life. Five years of happiness! Five years of misery! O God! for one single day of the joy of my youth, the joy as keen as pain, which could make me forget all that I have suffered! Oh, for one of those happy days when I believed in human friendship, when I knew not the ingratitude of men!

"When I had completed my studies, all careers were open to me. That of arms seemed most suitable, but I hated to shed blood. I obtained a place of trust under the government. For me such a place was ruin. I had a great fortune of my own, my office was a lucrative one, and I scattered by handfuls the gold which I despised.


"I do not accuse others in order to palliate my own follies. But one thing is sure, I had more than enough for all my own expenses, though not for those of my friends and my friends' friends, who rushed upon me like hungry wolves. I bear them no grudge; they but acted according to their nature. As for me, my hand was never shut. Not only my purse, but my signature was at everybody's disposal. There was my greatest mistake; for I may say in all sincerity that ninety-nine times out of a hundred, in my times of greatest embarrassment, I had to meet their liabilities with my own cash in order to save my credit. A great English poet has said:

"Neither a borrower nor a lender be,
For borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry,
And loan oft loses both itself and friend.

"Give, my dear boy, with both hands; but be chary of your signature.

"My private affairs were so mingled with those of my office that it was long before I discovered how deeply I was involved. The revelation came upon me like a thunderbolt. Not only was I ruined, but I was on the verge of a serious defalcation. At last I said to myself, 'what matters the loss of the gold, so long as I pay my debts? I am young, and not afraid to work, and I shall always have enough. Moreover, my friends owe me considerable sums. When they see my difficulties, not only will they hasten to give back what they owe, but they will do for me as I have so often done for them.' What a fool I was to judge others by myself! For me, I would have moved heaven and earth to save a friend from ruin. How innocent and credulous I was! They had good reason, the wretches, to laugh at me.

"I took account of what was owed me and of the value of my property, and then perceived that with these affairs settled up there would remain but a small146 balance, which I could cover with the help of my relations. The load rolled off my heart. How little I knew of men! I told my debtors, in confidence, how I was situated. I found them strangely cold. Several to whom I had lent without written acknowledgment had even forgotten that they owed me anything. Those whose notes I held, declared it was ungenerous of me to take them unawares. The greater number, who had had business at my office, claimed boldly that I was in debt to them. I did, indeed, owe them a trifle, while they owed me considerable sums. I asked them for a settlement, but they put me off with promises; and meanwhile undermined my credit by whispering it about that I was on the verge of ruin. They even turned me into ridicule as a spendthrift fool. One wag of a fellow, whom but eighteen months before I had saved not only from ruin but from disgrace (his secret shall die with me), was hugely witty at my expense. His pleasantries had a great success among my old friends. Such measureless ingratitude as this completely crushed me. One only, and he a mere acquaintance, hearing that I was in difficulties, hastened to me with these words:

"'We have had some little transactions together; I think you will find here the correct balance in your favor. Please look up the matter in your books and see if I am right.'

"He is dead long since. Honor to his memory, and may the blessings of an old man descend upon his children!

"The inevitable day was close at hand, and even had I had the heart to make further struggle nothing could save me. My friends and enemies alike were intriguing for the spoils. I lowered my head before the storm and resigned.

"I will not sadden you with the story of all I suffered;147 suffice to say that, fallen into the claws of pitiless creditors, I drank the cup of bitterness to the dregs. Apart from the ingratitude of my friends, I was not the sort of man to grieve greatly over my mere personal misfortunes. Even within the walls of the Bastille my gayety would not have deserted me; I might have danced to the grim music of the grating of my bolts. But my family! my family! Oh, the gnawing remorse which harasses the day, which haunts the long sleepless night, which suffers you neither forgetfulness nor rest, which wrenches the nerves of one's heart as with pincers of steel!

"I believe, my boy, that with a few exceptions every man who can do so pays his debts; the torments he endures at the sight of his creditor would constrain him to this, even without the terrors of the law. Glance through the ancient and modern codes, and you will be struck with the barbarous egotism which has dictated them all alike. Can one imagine, indeed, any punishment more humiliating than that of a debtor kept face to face with his creditor, who is often a skinflint to whom he must cringe with fearful deference? Can anything be more degrading than to be obliged to keep dodging a creditor?

"It has always struck me that civilization warps men's judgment, and makes them inferior to primitive races in mere common sense and simple equity. Let me give you an amusing instance. Some years ago, in New York, an Iroquois was gazing intently at a great, forbidding structure. Its lofty walls and iron-bound windows interested him profoundly. It was a prison. A magistrate came up.

"'Will the pale face tell his brother what this great wigwam is for?' asked the Indian. The citizen swelled out his chest and answered with an air of importance:


"'It is there we shut up the red-skins who refuse to pay the furs which they owe our merchants.'

"The Iroquois examined the structure with ever-increasing interest, walked around it, and asked to see the inside of this marvelous wigwam. The magistrate, who was himself a merchant, was glad to grant his request, in the hope of inspiring with wholesome dread the other savages, to whom this one would not fail to recount the effective and ingenious methods employed by the pale faces to make the red-skins pay their debts.

"The Iroquois went over the whole building with the minutest care, descended into the dungeons, tried the depth of the wells, listened attentively to the smallest sounds, and at last burst out laughing.

"'Why,' exclaimed he, 'no Indian could catch any beaver here.'

"In five minutes the Indian had found the solution of a problem which civilized man has not had the common sense to solve in centuries of study. This simple and unlearned man, unable to comprehend such folly on the part of a civilized race, had naturally concluded that the prison had subterranean canals communicating with streams and lakes where beaver were abundant, and that the savages were shut up therein in order to facilitate their hunting of the precious animals, and the more prompt satisfaction of their creditors' claims. These walls and iron gratings seemed to him intended for the guarding of the treasure within.

"You understand, Jules, that I am speaking to you now on behalf of the creditor, who gets all the sympathy and pity, and not on behalf of the debtor who, with his dread and suspicion ever before his eyes, gnaws his pillow in despair after watering it with his tears.

"I was young, only thirty-three years of age. I had ability, energy, and a sturdy faith in myself. I said to149 my creditors, take all I have but leave me free, and I will devote every energy to meeting your claims. If you imprison me you wrong yourselves. Simple as was this reasoning, it was incomprehensible to civilized man. My Iroquois would have understood it well enough. He would have said: 'My brother can take no beaver if the pale face ties his hands.' My creditors, however, took no account of such simple logic as this, and have held the sword of Damocles over my head for thirty years, the limit allowed them by the laws of France."

"What adorable stupidity!" cried Jules.

"One of them, however," continued M. d'Egmont, "with a delightful ingenuity of torture, obtained a warrant for my arrest, and with a refinement of cruelty worthy of Caligula himself, did not put it in execution till eighteen months later. Picture me for those eighteen months, surrounded by my family, who had to see me trembling at every noise, shuddering at the sight of every stranger who might prove to be the bearer of the order for my imprisonment.

"So unbearable was my suspense that twice I sought out my creditor and besought him to execute his warrant without delay. At last he did so, at his leisure. I could have thanked him on my knees. From behind my bars I could defy the malice of men.

"During the first month of his captivity the prisoner experiences a feverish restlessness, a need of continual movement. He is like a caged lion. After this time of trial, this feverish disquiet, I attained in my cell the calm of one who after being tossed violently by a storm at sea, feels no longer anything more than the throb of the subsiding waves; for apart from the innumerable humiliations of imprisonment, apart from my grief for my family, I was certainly less wretched. I believed that I had drunk the last drop of gall from the cup150 which man holds to his brother's fevered lips. I was reckoning without the hand of God, which was being made heavy for the insensate fool who had wrought his own misfortune. Two of my children, at two different periods, fell so dangerously ill that the doctors gave them up and daily announced to me that the end was near. It was then I felt the weight of my chains. It was then I learned to cry, like the mother of Christ, 'Approach and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow.' I was separated from my children only by the breadth of a street. During the long night watches I could perceive the stir about their couch, the lights moving from one room to another; and I trembled every moment lest the stillness should fall which would proclaim them no longer in need of a mother's care. I blush to confess that I was sometimes tempted to dash my life out against the bars.

"Meanwhile my persecutor knew as well as I what was passing in my family. But pity is fled from the breast of man to take refuge in brute beasts that have no understanding. The lamb bleats sadly when one of his companions is slaughtered, the ox bellows with rage and pain when he smells the blood of his kind, the horse snorts sharply and utters his doleful and piercing cry at the sight of his fellow struggling in the final agony, the dog howls with grief when his master is sick; but with whisperings and gossip and furtive pleasantry man follows his brother to the grave.

"Lift up your head in your pride, lord of creation! You have the right to do so. Lift your haughty head to heaven, O man whose heart is as cold as the gold you grasp at day and night! Heap your slanders with both hands on the man of eager heart, of ardent passions, of blood burning like fire, who has fallen in his youth! Hold high your head, proud Pharisee, and say,151 'As for me, I have never fallen!'" "The good gentleman" pressed his hands to his heart, kept silent for some minutes, and at length resumed:

"Pardon me, my son, that, carried away by the memory of my sufferings, I have spoken the whole bitterness of my heart. It was but seven days after the coming of his friends when the great Arabian poet Job, the singer of so many sorrows, broke out with this heart-rending cry, 'Pereat dies in quâ natus sum!' As for me, these fifty years have I buried my lamentations in my heart, and you will pardon me if I have spoken now with bitterness, if I have calumniated mankind.

"As I had long ago given up to my creditors all that I possessed, and had sold my real estate and personal property for their benefit, after four years' imprisonment I petitioned the King for my release. The Government was of the opinion that I had suffered enough, but there remained one great difficulty—when a debtor has given up everything, does anything yet remain? The question was a knotty one. Nevertheless, after long debate, it was decided in the negative, and very politely they showed me the door.

"My future was broken, like my heart, and I had nothing to do but vegetate without profit to myself or others. But observe the fatality that pursued me. When making my surrender to my creditors I begged them to leave me a certain property of very small immediate value, which I foresaw that I might turn to good account. I promised that whatever I could make out of it should go to wiping out the debt. They laughed me in the face; and very naturally, for there was a beaver to catch. Well, Jules, this same property, which brought hardly enough to cover costs of sale, sold ten years later for a sum which would have covered all my debts and more.


"Europe was now too populous for me, and I embarked with my faithful André for New France. I chose out this peaceful dwelling place, where I might have lived happily could I have drunk the waters of Lethe. The ancients, our superiors in point of imagination, knew the needs of the human heart when they created that stream. Long tainted with the errors of the sixteenth century, I used once to cry in my pride, 'O men, if I have shared your vices, I have found few among you endowed with even one of my virtues.' But religion has taught me to know myself better, and I have humbled myself beneath God's hand, convinced at length that I could claim but little credit for merely following the inclinations of my nature.

"You are the only one, Jules, to whom I have hinted the story of my life, suppressing the cruelest episodes because I know the tenderness of your heart. My end is attained; let us now go and finish the evening with my faithful André, who will keenly appreciate this attention on the eve of your departure."

When they re-entered the house André was making up a bed on a sofa, a piece of furniture which was the result of the combined skill of master and man. This sofa, of which they were both very proud, had one leg shorter than the others, but this little inconvenience was remedied with the aid of a chip.

"This sofa," said "the good gentleman," with an air of pride, "has cost André and me more elaborate calculations than Perrault required for the construction of the Louvre; but we accomplished it at last to our satisfaction. One leg, to be sure, presents arms to all comers. But what work is perfect? You must have remembered, my André, that this camp-bed was to be a soldiers' couch."

André, though not quite relishing this pleasantry,153 which jarred a little on his vanity, nevertheless could not help laughing.

Late in the evening M. d'Egmont handed Jules a little silver candlestick exquisitely wrought.

"There, my dear boy, is all that my creditors have left me of my ancient fortune. They intended it, I suppose, to solace my sleepless nights. Good-night, dear boy; one sleeps well at your age; and when, after my prayers beneath the vault of that great temple which is forever declaring the glory of God, I once more come under my roof, you will be deep in your slumbers."



Saepè malum hoc nobis, si mens non læva fuisset,
De cœlo tactas memini praedicere quercus.


All was silence and gloom at D'Haberville Manor; the very servants went about their work with a spiritless air, far unlike their usual gayety. Madame D'Haberville choked back her tears that she might not add to her husband's grief, and Blanche, for her mother's sake, did her weeping in secret; for in three days the vessel was to set sail. Captain D'Haberville had bidden his two friends, the priest and M. d'Egmont, to meet Jules and Archie at a farewell dinner. At this meal every one strove to be cheerful, but the attempt was a conspicuous failure. The priest, wisely concluding that a sober conversation would be better than the sorrowful silence into which the party was continually dropping, introduced a subject which was beginning to press on all thoughtful minds.

"Do you know, gentlemen," said he, "that a storm is gathering dark on the horizon of New France. The English are making tremendous preparations, and everything seems to indicate an early attack."

"And then?" exclaimed Uncle Raoul.

"Then, whatever you like, my dear chevalier," answered the curé; "but it must be acknowledged that155 we have hardly forces enough at our command to long resist our powerful neighbors."

"My dear abbé," exclaimed Uncle Raoul, "I think that in your reading this morning you must have stumbled on a chapter of the lamentations of Jeremiah."

"I might turn your weapon against yourself," retorted the priest, "by reminding you that those prophecies were fulfilled."

"No matter," almost shouted Uncle Raoul, clinching his teeth. "The English, indeed! The English take Canada! By heaven, I would undertake to defend Quebec with my crutch. You forget, it seems, that we have always beaten the English; that we have beaten them against all odds—five to one—ten to one—sometimes twenty to one! The English, indeed!"

"Concedo," said the curé; "I am ready to grant all you claim, and more too if you like. But mark this. We grow weaker and weaker with every victory, while the enemy, thanks to the foresight of England, rises with new strength from each defeat; meanwhile, France leaves us to our own resources."

"Which shows," exclaimed Captain D'Haberville, "the faith our King reposes in our courage."

"Meanwhile," interposed M. d'Egmont, "he sends us so few soldiers that the colony grows weaker day by day."

"Give us but plenty of powder and lead," answered the captain, "and a hundred of my militia will do more in such a war as that which is coming upon us—a war of reconnoitrings, ambuscades, and surprises—than would five hundred of the best soldiers of France. I speak from experience. For all that, however, we stand in great need of help from the mother country. Would that a few of those battalions which our beloved monarch156 pours into the north of Europe to fight the battles of Austria, might be devoted to the defense of the colony."

"You might rather wish," said "the good gentleman," "that Louis XV had left Maria Theresa to fight it out with Prussia, and had paid a little more attention to New France."

"It is perhaps hardly becoming in a young man like me," said Lochiel, "to mix myself up in your arguments; but, to make up for my lack of experience, I will call history to my aid. Beware of the English, beware of a government ever alive to the interests of its colonies, which it identifies with the interests of the empire; beware of a nation which has the tenacity of the bull-dog. If the conquest of Canada is necessary to her she will never swerve from her purpose or count the sacrifice. Witness my unhappy country."

"Bah!" cried Uncle Raoul, "the Scotch, indeed!"

Lochiel began to laugh.

"Gently, my dear Uncle Raoul," said "the good gentleman"; "and, to make use of your favorite maxim when you are collecting the rents, let us render unto Cæsar that which is Cæsar's. I have studied the history of Scotland, and I can assure you that neither in valor nor in patriotism need the Scotch yield place to any other nation, ancient or modern."

"Oh, you see, I only wanted to tease this other nephew of mine," exclaimed Uncle Raoul, swelling his chest; "for we know a little history ourselves, thank God. No one knows better than Archie my esteem for his fellow-countrymen, and my admiration for their dashing courage."

"Yes, dear uncle, and I thank you for it," said Archie, grasping him by the hand; "but distrust the English157 profoundly. Beware of their perseverance, and remember the Delenda est Carthago of the Romans."

"So much the better," said Jules. "I will be grateful to their perseverance if it brings me back to Canada with my regiment. May I do my first fighting against them here, on this soil of Canada, which I love and which holds all that is dearest to me! You shall come with me, my brother, and shall take revenge in this new world for all that you have suffered in your own country."

"With all my heart," cried Archie, grasping the handle of his knife as if it were the terrible claymore of the Camerons. "I will serve as a volunteer in your company, if I can not get a commission as an officer; and the simple soldier will be as proud of your exploits as if he had a hand in them himself."

The young men warmed into excitement at the thought of heroic deeds; the great black eyes of Jules shot fire, and the old warlike ardor of the race suddenly flamed out in him. This spirit was infectious, and from all lips came the cry of Vive le Roi! From the eyes of mother, sister, and aunt, in spite of all their efforts to restrain them, there escaped a few tears silently.

The conversation became eager. Campaigns were planned, the English were beaten by sea and land, and Canada was set upon a pinnacle of splendor and prosperity.

"Fill up your glasses," cried Captain D'Haberville, pouring himself out a bumper. "I am going to propose a health which everybody will drink with applause: 'Success to our arms; and may the glorious flag of the fleur-de-lys float forever over every fortress of New France!'"

Just as they were raising the glasses to their lips a terrific report was heard. It was like a stupendous158 clap of thunder, or as if some huge body had fallen upon the manor house, which shook to its very foundations. Every one rushed out of doors. The sun was shining with all the brilliance of a perfect day in July. They scaled the roof, but there was no sign anywhere that the house had been struck. Every one was stupefied with awe, the seigneur himself appearing particularly impressed. "Can it be," he exclaimed, "that this phenomenon presages the fall of my house!"

In vain did M. d'Egmont, the priest, and Uncle Raoul endeavor to refer the phenomenon to ordinary causes; they could not remove the painful impression it had left. The glasses were left unemptied in the dining-room, and the little company passed into the drawing-room to take their coffee.

What took place afterward only confirmed the D'Haberville family in their superstitious fears. Who knows, after all, whether such omens, to which the ancient world lent implicit belief, may not indeed be warnings from heaven when some great evil threatens us? If, indeed, we must reject all that our feeble reason comprehends not, we should speedily become Pyrrhonists, utter skeptics, like Molière's Marphorius. Who knows? But one might write a whole chapter on this "who knows."

The weather, which had been so fine all day, began to cloud up toward six o'clock in the evening. By seven the rain fell in torrents; the thunder seemed to shatter the vault of heaven, and a great mass of rock, struck by a thunder-bolt, fell from the bluff with terrific noise and obliterated the highway.

Captain D'Haberville, who had carried on an immense deal of forest warfare along with his Indian allies, had become tinctured with many of their superstitions; and when the disasters of 1759 fell upon him, he was159 convinced that they had been foretold to him two years before.

Jules, seated at supper between his mother and sister and holding their hands in his, shared in their depression. In order to turn their thoughts into another channel, he asked his mother to tell one of those stories with which she used to amuse his childhood.

"It would give me," said he, "yet another memory of the tenderest of mothers to take with me to Europe."

"I can refuse my boy nothing," said Madame D'Haberville; and she began the following story:

"A mother had an only child, a little girl, fair as a lily, whose great blue eyes wandered from her mother to heaven and back from heaven to her mother, only to fix themselves on heaven at last. How proud and happy was this loving mother when every one praised the beauty of her child! Her cheeks like the rose just blown, her tresses fair and soft as the beaten flax and falling over her shoulders in gracious waves! Immeasurably happy was this good mother.

"At last she lost the child she idolized; and, like Rachel, she would not be comforted. She passed her days in the cemetery embracing the little grave. Mad with grief, she kept calling to the child with ceaseless pleadings:

"'My darling! my darling! listen to your mother, who is come to carry you to your own bed, where you shall sleep so warmly! Oh, how cold you must be under the wet sod!'

"She kept her ear close to the earth, as if she expected a response. She trembled at every slightest noise, and sobbed to discover that it was but the murmur of the weeping willow moved by the breeze. The passers-by used to say: 'This grass, so incessantly watered by her weeping, should be always green; but her tears are so160 bitter that they wither it, even like the fierce sun of midday after a heavy shower.'

"She wept beside a brook where the little one had been accustomed to play with pebbles, and in whose pure stream she had so often washed the little feet. The passers-by used to say:

"'This mother sheds so many tears that she swells the current of the stream!'

"She nursed her grief in every room wherein the little one had played. She opened the trunk in which she kept religiously all the child's belongings—its clothes, its playthings, the little gold-lined cup of silver from which she had last given it to drink. Passionately she kissed the little shoes, and her sobs would have melted a heart of steel.

"She went continually to the village church to pray, to implore God to work one miracle in her behalf, and give her back her child. And the voice of God seemed to answer her:

"'Like David you shall go to her, but she shall not return to you.'

"Then she would cry:

"'When, Lord, when shall such joy be mine?'

"She threw herself down before the image of the blessed Virgin, our Lady of Sorrows; and it seemed to her that the eyes of the Madonna rested upon her sadly, and that she read in them these words:

"'Endure with patience, even as I have done, O daughter of Eve, till the day when your mourning shall be turned into gladness.'

"And the unhappy mother cried anew:

"'But when, when will that blessed day come, O Mother of God?'

"One day the wretched mother, having prayed with more than her usual fervor, having shed, if possible,161 more tears than was her wont, fell asleep in the church, exhausted with her grief. The sexton shut the doors without noticing her. It must have been about midnight when she awoke. A ray of moonlight illuminating the altar revealed to her that she was yet in the church. Far from being terrified, she rather rejoiced at her situation, if such a thing as joy could be said to find any place in her sad heart.

"'Now,' said she, 'I can pray alone with God, alone with the Blessed Virgin, alone with myself!'

"Just as she was going to kneel down a low sound made her raise her head.

"She saw an old man, who, entering by one of the side doors of the sacristy, made his way to the altar with a lighted taper in his hand. She saw with astonishment that it was the former sexton, dead twenty years before. She felt no fear at the sight, for every sentiment of her breast had been swallowed up in grief. The specter climbed the altar steps, lighted the candles, and made the customary preparations for the celebration of a requiem mass. When he turned she saw that his eyes were fixed and expressionless, like those of a statue. He re-entered the sacristy, but reappeared almost at once, followed this time by a venerable priest bearing a chalice and clothed in full vestments. His great eyes, wide open, were filled with sadness; his movements were like those of an automaton. She recognized the old priest, twenty years dead, who had baptized her and given her her first communion. Far from being terrified by this marvel, the poor mother, wrapped up in her sorrow, concluded that her old friend had been touched by her despair, and had broken the bonds of the sepulchre for her sake.

"All was somber, grim, and silent in this mass thus celebrated and ministered by the dead. The candles162 cast a feeble light like that of a dying lamp. At the moment when the bell of the 'Sanctus,' striking with a dull sound, as when a bone is broken by the grave-digger in some old cemetery, announced the descent of Christ upon the altar, the door of the sacristy opened anew and admitted a procession of little children, marching two and two, who traversed the choir and filed into the space to the right of the altar. These children, the oldest of whom had had scarce six years of life upon earth, wore crowns of immortelles and carried in their hands, some of them baskets of flowers, some of them little vases of perfume, others cups of gold and silver filled with a transparent liquid. They stepped lightly, and a celestial rapture shone upon their faces. One only, a little girl at the end of the procession, appeared to follow the others painfully, loaded down as she was with two great jars which she could hardly drag. Her little feet, reddening under the pressure, were lifted heavily, and her crown of immortelles seemed withered. The poor mother strove to reach out her arms, to utter a cry of joy on recognizing her own little one, but she found that she could neither move nor speak. She watched all the children file past her into the place to the left of the altar, and she recognized several who had but lately died. When her own child, bending under her burden, passed before her, she noticed that at every step the two jars besprinkled the floor with the water that filled them to the brim. When the little one's eyes met those of her mother, she saw in their depths a mingling of sadness, tenderness, and reproach. The poor woman strove to clasp her in her arms, but sight and consciousness alike fled from her. When she recovered from her swoon the church was empty.

"In a monastery about a league from the village, dwelt a monk who was renowned for his sanctity.


"This old man never left his cell, save to listen with sympathy to the bitter confessions of sinners, or to succor the afflicted. To the first he said:

"'I know the corruptness of man's nature, so be not cast down; come to me with confidence and courage every time you fall, and my arms shall ever be open to lift you up again.'

"To the second he said: 'Since God, who is so good, lays this burden upon you now, he is reserving you for infinite joys hereafter.'

"To all he said: 'If I should confess to you the story of my life, you would be astonished to behold in me a man who has been the sport of unbridled passion, and my misfortunes would melt you to tears.'

"The poor mother threw herself sobbing at his feet, and told him the marvelous thing she had seen. The compassionate old man, who had sounded the depths of the human heart, beheld here a favorable opportunity to set bounds to this excessive anguish.

"'My dear child,' said he, 'our overwrought imagination often cheats us with illusions which must be relegated to the realms of dream. Nevertheless, the Church teaches us that such marvels can really take place. It is not for us in our ignorance to set limit to the power of God. It is not for us to question the decrees of Him who took the worlds into his hand and launched them into space. I accept, then, the vision, and I will explain it to you. This priest, coming from the tomb to say a mass, doubtless obtained God's permission to fulfill part of his sacred ministry which he had left undone; and the sexton, by forgetfulness or negligence, was probably the cause of his omission. The children crowned with immortelles are those who died with their baptismal grace unimpaired. They who carried baskets of flowers or vases of perfume are those whose mothers164 gave them up to God with holy resignation, comforted by the thought that they were exchanging this world of pain for the celestial country and the ineffable light about the throne. In the little cups of gold and silver were the tears of mothers who, though torn by the anguish of their loss yet taught themselves to cry: "The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."'

"On her knees the poor mother drank in the old man's words. As Martha exclaimed at the feet of Christ, 'Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know that even now, whatever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee,' even so the poor mother cried in her ardent faith, 'If thou hadst been with me, my father, my little one would not have died; but I know that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.'

"The good monk reflected a moment and prayed God for wisdom. It was a sentence of life or of death that he was about to pronounce upon this mother who appeared inconsolable. He was about to strike a blow which should either restore her to reason or break her heart forever. He took her hands in his withered and trembling clasp, and said gently:

"'You loved, then, this child whom you have lost?'

"'Loved her? My God, what a question!' And she threw herself moaning at his feet. Then, raising herself suddenly, she grasped the skirt of his cassock and besought him through her sobs: 'You are a saint, my father; oh, give me back my child—my darling!'

"'Yes,' said the monk, 'you loved your little one. Doubtless you would have done much to spare her even the lightest grief?'

"'Anything, everything, my father!' exclaimed the165 poor woman; 'I would have been rolled on the hot coals to spare her a little burn.'

"'I believe you,' said the monk; 'and doubtless you love her yet?'

"'Do I love her? Merciful Heaven!' cried the wretched mother, springing to her feet as if bitten by a serpent; 'I see, priest, that you know little of a mother's love if you imagine death can efface it.' And trembling from head to foot, she burst again into a torrent of tears.

"'Begone, woman,' said the old man, forcing himself to speak with sternness; 'begone, woman, who hast come to impose upon me; begone, woman, who liest to God and to his priest. Thou hast seen thy little one staggering under the burden of thy tears, which she gathers drop by drop, and thou tellest me that thou lovest her! She is near thee now, toiling at her task; and thou sayest that thou lovest her! Begone, woman, for thou liest to God and to his minister!'

"The eyes of the poor woman were opened as if she were awaking from a frightful dream. She confessed that her grief had been insensate, and she besought the pardon of God.

"'Go in peace,' said the old man; 'resign yourself to God's will, and the peace of God will be shed upon your soul.'

"Some days after, she told the good monk that her little one, radiant with joy and carrying a basket of flowers, had appeared to her in a dream and thanked her for having ceased from her tears. The good woman, who was rich in this world's goods, devoted the rest of days and her substance to charity. To the children of the poor she gave most loving attention, and adopted several of them. When she died they wrote upon her tomb, 'Here lies the mother of the orphans.'"


All were deeply moved by Madame D'Haberville's story, and some were even in tears. Jules embraced his mother, and left the room to hide his emotion.

"O God," he cried, "guard this life of mine! for if evil should befall me, my loving mother would be as inconsolable as the mother in the story she has just told us."

A day or two later Jules and Archie were tossing upon the Atlantic; and at the end of two months, after a prosperous voyage, they reached the shores of France.



They came upon us in the night,
And brake my bower and slew my knight:
My servant a' for life did flee
And left us in the extremitie.

They slew my knight, to me so dear;
They slew my knight, and drove his gear;
The moon may set, the sun may rise,
But a deadly sleep has closed his eyes.


The trees were once more clothed in their wonted green after the passing of a northern winter. The woods and fields were enameled in a thousand colors, and the birds were raising their cheerful voices to greet the spring of the year 1759. All Nature smiled; only man seemed sorrowful and cast down; and the laborer no more lifted his gay song, and the greater portion of the lands lay fallow for lack of hands to till them. A cloud hung over all New France, for the mother country, a veritable step-mother, had abandoned her Canadian children. Left to its own resources, the Government had called to arms every able-bodied man to defend the colony against the invasion that menaced it. The English had made vast preparations. Their fleet, consisting of twenty ships of the line, ten frigates, and eighteen smaller vessels, accompanied by a number of transports, and carrying eighteen thousand men, was ascending the168 St. Lawrence under the command of General Wolfe; while two land armies, yet more numerous, were moving to effect a junction under the very walls of Quebec.

The whole adult population of Canada capable of bearing arms had responded with ardor to their country's appeal; and there remained at home none but the old and feeble, the women and the children. To resist an army more numerous than the entire population of New France the Canadians had little but the memory of past exploits, and of their glorious victory at Carillon in the preceding year. Of what avail their proved courage against an enemy so overpowering and sworn to their defeat?

You have long been misunderstood, my brethren of old Canada! Most cruelly have you been slandered. Honor to them who have lifted your memory from the dust! Honor, a hundred times honor, to our fellow-countryman, M. Garneau, who has rent the veil that covered your exploits! Shame to us who, instead of searching the ancient and glorious annals of our race, were content to bow before the reproach that we were a conquered people! Shame to us who were almost ashamed to call ourselves Canadians! Dreading to confess ourselves ignorant of the history of Assyrians, Medes, and Persians, that of our own country remained a sealed book to us.

Within the last few years there has come a glorious reaction. Every one sets his hand to the work and the Canadian can now say with Francis I, "All is lost save honor." I am far from believing, however, that all is lost. The cession of Canada was, perhaps, a blessing in disguise; for the horrors of '93 failed to touch this fortunate colony which was protected by the flag of Britain. We have gathered new laurels, fighting beneath the banner of England; and twice has the colony been saved to169 England by the courage of her new subjects. In Parliament, at the bar, upon the field of battle, everywhere in his small sphere, the French Canadian has proved himself inferior to none. For a century have you struggled, O my countrymen, to preserve your nationality, and you behold it yet intact. The future perhaps holds for you another century of effort and struggle to guard it. Take heart and stand together, fellow-countrymen.

Two detachments of the English army were disembarked at Rivière Ouelle, at the beginning of June, '79. Some of the habitants of the parish, concealed in the skirts of the wood, received them with a sharp fire and killed several men. The commander, exasperated at this loss, resolved to take signal vengeance. The two detachments ascended the river and encamped toward evening beside a brook which empties in Bay Ste. Anne, southwest of where the college now stands. On the following morning the commander ordered one of the companies to get ready to march, and summoning the lieutenant gave him the following orders:

"Every house you come across belonging to these dogs of Frenchmen, set fire to it. I will follow you a little later."

"But," said the young officer, who was a Scotchman, "must I burn the dwellings of those who offer no resistance? They say there is no one left in these houses except old men, women, and children."

"I think, sir," replied Major Montgomery, "that my orders are quite clear. You will set fire to every house belonging to these dogs of Frenchmen. I had forgotten your weakness for our enemies."

The young man bit his lips till they bled, and marched his men away. The reader has, doubtless, recognized in this young man none other than Archie de Lochiel, who, having made his peace with the British170 Government, had recovered possession of his estates and had obtained a lieutenancy in a regiment which he had himself recruited among the Highlanders of his own clan. Archie marched off groaning and muttering all the curses he could think of in English, Gaelic, and French. At the first house where he stopped a young woman flung herself weeping at his feet, crying piteously:

"Good sir, do not kill my poor old father. Do not shorten his days. He has but a little while to live."

A little boy eleven or twelve years old grasped him about the knees and exclaimed:

"Mister Englishman, do not kill grandpapa! If you only knew how good he is!"

"Do not fear," said Archie, entering the house, "I have no orders to kill old men, women, and children. They doubtless supposed," he added bitterly, "that I should meet none such on my route."

Stretched on a bed of pain lay a decrepit old man.

"I have been a soldier all my life, monsieur," said he. "I do not fear death, with whom I have been often face to face, but, in the name of God, spare my daughter and her child!"

"They shall not be injured," replied Archie, with tears in his eyes; "but if you are a soldier, you know that a soldier has to obey orders. I am ordered to burn all the buildings on my line of march, and I have to obey. Whither shall we move you, father? Listen," he added, speaking close in the old man's ear. "Your grandson appears active and intelligent. Let him get a horse and hasten to warn your fellow-countrymen that I have to burn down all the houses on my road. They will, perhaps, have time to save the most valuable of their belongings."

"You are a good and brave young man!" cried the171 old man. "If you were a Catholic I would give you my blessing; but thank you a thousand times, thank you!"

"I am a Catholic," said Lochiel.

The old man raised himself with difficulty, lifted his eyes toward heaven, spread his hands over Archie's bended head, and cried: "May God bless you for this act of humanity! In the day of heavy affliction, when you implore the pity of Heaven, may God take count of your compassion toward your enemies and give ear to your prayers! Say to him then with confidence in the sorest trials, 'I have the blessing of a dying old man, my enemy.'"

The old man in his bed was hastily carried by the soldiers to an adjoining wood, and when he resumed his march Lochiel had the satisfaction of seeing the little boy mounted on a swift horse and devouring the miles beneath him. Archie breathed more freely at the sight.

The work of destruction went on; but from time to time, whenever he reached the top of a hill, Archie had the satisfaction of seeing old men, women, and children, loaded down with their possessions, taking refuge in the neighboring woods. If he wept for their misfortunes, he rejoiced in his heart that he had done everything in his power to mitigate them.

All the houses of a portion of Rivière Ouelle, and of the parishes of Ste. Anne and St. Roch, along the edge of the St. Lawrence, were by this time in ashes, yet there came no order to cease from the work of destruction. From time to time, on the contrary, Lochiel saw the division of his superior officer, following in his rear, come to a halt on a piece of rising ground, doubtless for the purpose of permitting Major Montgomery to gloat over the results of his barbarous order.

The first house of St. Jean-Port-Joli was that of a rich habitant, a sergeant in Captain D'Haberville's company.172 Frequently during his vacations had Archie lunched at this house with Jules and his sister. With what a pang he recalled the eager hospitality of these people. On their arrival, Mother Dupont and her daughters used to run to the dairy, the barn, the garden, for eggs, butter, cream, parsley, and chervil, to make them pancakes and herb omelettes. Father Dupont and his sons would hasten to put up the horses and give them a generous measure of oats. While Mother Dupont was preparing the meal, the young people would make a hasty toilet. Then they would get up a dance, and skip merrily to the notes of the violin which screeched beneath the old sergeant's bow. In spite of the remonstrances of Blanche, Jules would turn everything upside down and tease everybody to death. He would snatch the frying-pan from the hands of Mother Dupont, throw his arm around her waist, and compel her, in spite of her struggles, to dance with him; and these good people would shout with laughter till one would think they could never get too much of the racket. All these things Lochiel went over in the bitterness of his soul, and a cold sweat broke out on his brow as he ordered the burning of this hospitable home.

Almost all the houses in the first concession of St. Jean-Port-Joli were by this time in ruins, yet there came no order to desist. About sunset, however, coming to the little river Port Joli, a few arpents from the D'Haberville place, Lochiel took it upon himself to halt his company. He climbed the hillside, and there, in sight of the manor, he waited; he waited like a criminal upon the scaffold, hoping against hope that a reprieve may come at the last moment. His heart was big with tender memories as he gazed upon the dwelling where for ten years the exiled orphan had been received as a child of the house. Sorrowfully he looked down on the silent173 village which had been so full of life when last he saw it. Some pigeons fluttering over the buildings and from time to time alighting on the roofs appeared to be the only living creatures about the manor. Sighing, he repeated the words of Ossian:

"'Selma, thy halls are silent. There is no sound in the woods of Morven. The wave tumbles alone in the coast. The silent beam of the sun is on the field.'

"Oh! Oui! Mes amis!" cried Lochiel, in the language that he loved, "vos salons sont maintenant, hélas! deserts et silencieux! There is no sound upon this hill which so lately was echoing your bright voices. I hear only the ripples lapping upon the sand. One pale ray from the setting sun is all that lights your meadows.

"What shall I do, kind Heaven, if the rage of the brute who commands me is not yet sated? Should I refuse to obey him? Then am I dishonored. A soldier can not in time of war refuse to carry out the orders of his commander. This brute could have me shot upon the spot, and the shield of the Camerons would be forever tarnished. Who would trouble himself to see that justice was done to the memory of the soldier who chose death rather than the stain of ingratitude? On the contrary, that which was with me but an emotion of grateful remembrance, would certainly be imputed to me for treason by this creature who hounds me with his devilish malice."

The harsh voice of Major Montgomery put an end to these reflections.

"What are you doing here?" he growled.

"I have left my men by the edge of the river, and was proposing to encamp there after our long march."

"It is not late," answered the major, "and you know the country better than I. You will easily find for your174 encampment another place than that which I have just chosen for myself."

"I will march at once," said Archie. "There is another river about a mile from here where we can camp for the night."

"Very well," said Montgomery, in an insolent voice; "and as you have but a few more houses to burn in this district, your men will soon be able to rest."

"It is true," said Lochiel, "for there remain but five more dwellings. Two of these, however, the group of buildings which you see yonder and a mill on the stream where I am going to camp, belong to the Seigneur D'Haberville, the man who during my exile took me in and treated me as a son. For God's sake, Major Montgomery, give the order yourself for their destruction!"

"I never should have believed," replied the major, "that a British officer would have dared to utter treason."

"You forget, sir," said Archie, restraining himself with difficulty, "that I was then a mere child. But once more I implore you, in the name of all you hold most dear, give the order yourself, and do not force upon me the dishonor of setting the torch to the home of them who in my days of adversity heaped me with benefits."

"I understand," replied the major, with a sneer, "you wish to keep a way open to return to the favor of your friends when occasion shall arise."

At this insulting sarcasm Archie was tempted for an instant to draw his claymore and cry:

"If you are not as cowardly as you are insolent, defend yourself, Major Montgomery!"

Happily, reason came to his aid. Instead of grasping his sword, his hand directed itself mechanically toward his breast, which he tore fiercely. Then he remembered the words of the witch:


"Keep your pity for yourself, Archibald de Lochiel, when, forced to execute a barbarous order, your nails shall tear that breast which covers, nevertheless, a noble heart."

"She was indeed taught of hell, that woman," thought he, "when she uttered that prophecy to a Cameron of Lochiel."

With malicious pleasure Montgomery watched for a moment the strife of passions which tortured the young man's heart. He gloated over his despair. Then, persuaded that Archie would refuse to obey, he turned his back upon him. Lochiel, perceiving his treacherous design, hastened to rejoin his men, and a half-hour later the buildings were in flames. Archie paused beside the fountain where in happier days he had so often refreshed himself with his friends; and from that spot his lynx-like eyes discerned Montgomery, who had returned to the hill-top, and there with folded arms stood feasting on the cruel scene.

Foaming with rage at the sight of his enemy, Archie cried:

"You have a good memory, Montgomery. You have not forgotten the time when my ancestor beat your grandfather with the flat of his saber in an Edinburgh tavern. But I, also, have a good memory. I shall not always wear this uniform that now ties my hands, and sooner or later I will redouble the dose upon your own shoulders, for you would be too much of a coward to meet me in fair fight. A beast like you can not possess even the one virtue of courage. Curse be you and all your race! When you come to die may you be less fortunate than those whose dwellings you have desolated to-day, and may you have no place to lay your head! May all the pangs of hell—"

Then, ashamed of the impotence of his rage, he moved away with a groan.


The mill upon the Trois-Saumons River was soon but a heap of cinders, and the burning of Captain D'Haberville's property in Quebec, which took place during the siege, was all that was needed to complete his ruin.

After taking the necessary precautions for the safety of his company, Archie directed his steps to the desolated manor. There, seated on the summit of the bluff, he gazed in the silence of anguish on the smoking ruins at his feet. It must have been about nine o'clock. The night was dark, and few stars revealed themselves in the sky. Presently, however, he made out a living creature wandering among the ruins. It was old Niger, who lifted his head toward the bluff and began howling piteously. Archie thought the faithful animal was reproaching him with his ingratitude, and bitter tears scalded his cheeks.

"Behold," said he, "the fruits of what we call the code of honor of civilized nations! Are these the fruits of Christianity, that religion of compassion which teaches us to love even our enemies? If my commander were one of these savage chiefs, whom we treat as barbarians, and I had said to him: 'Spare this house, for it belongs to my friends. I was a wanderer and a fugitive, and they took me in and gave me a father and a brother,' the Indian chief would have answered: 'It is well; spare your friends; it is only the viper that stings the bosom that has warmed it.'

"I have always lived in the hope," went on Lochiel, "of one day rejoining my Canadian friends, whom I love to-day more than ever, if that were possible. No reconciliation would have been required. It was natural I should seek to regain my patrimony, so nearly dissipated by the confiscations of the British Government. There remained to me no career but the army, the only one worthy of a Cameron. I had recovered my father's177 sword, which one of my friends had bought back from among the spoils of Culloden. Bearing this blade, which had never known a stain, I dreamed of a glorious career. I was grieved, indeed, when I learned that my regiment was to be sent against New France; but a soldier could not resign in time of war without disgrace. My friends would have understood that. But what hope now for the ingrate who has ravaged the hearth of his benefactors! Jules D'Haberville, whom I once called my brother, his gentle and saintly mother, who took me to her heart, the fair girl whom I called my sister to hide a deeper feeling—these will, perhaps, hear my justification and end by forgiving me. But Captain D'Haberville, who loves with all his heart, but who never forgives an injury, can it be imagined that he will permit his family to utter my name, unless to curse it?

"But I am a coward and a fool," continued Archie, grinding his teeth, "I should have declared before my men my reasons for refusing to obey, and, though Montgomery had had me shot upon the spot, there would have been found loyal spirits to approve my refusal and to right my memory. I have been a coward and a fool, for in case the major, instead of having me shot, had tried me before a court-martial, even while pronouncing my death sentence they would have appreciated my motives. I would have been eloquent in the defense of my honor, and of that noblest of human sentiments, gratitude. Oh, my friends, would that you could see my remorse! Coward, ten thousand times coward!—"

A voice near him repeated the words "Coward, ten thousand times coward!" He thought at first it was the echo from the bluff. He raised his head and perceived the witch of the manor standing erect on a projecting rock. She stretched out her hands over the ruins, and cried: "Woe! woe! woe!" Then she descended178 like lightning, by a steep and dangerous path, and wandered to and fro among the ruins, crying: "Desolation! desolation! desolation!" At length she raised her arm with a gesture of menace, pointed to the summit of the bluff, and cried in a loud voice: "Woe to you, Archibald de Lochiel!"

The old dog howled long and plaintively, then silence fell upon the scene.

Archie's head sank upon his breast. The next moment four savages sprang upon him, hurled him to the ground, and bound his hands. These were four warriors of the Abénaquis, who had been spying upon the movements of the English ever since their landing at Rivière Ouelle. Relying upon his tremendous strength, Archie made desperate efforts to break his bonds. The tough moose-hide which enwound his wrists in triple coils stretched mightily, but resisted all his efforts. Seeing this, Archie resigned himself to his fate, and followed his captors quietly into the forest. His vigorous Scottish legs spared him further ill treatment. Bitter were the reflections of the captive during the rapid southward march through the forest, wherein he had so often hunted with his brother D'Haberville. Heedless of the fierce delight of the Indians, whose eyes flashed at the sight of his despair, he exclaimed:

"You have conquered, Montgomery; my curses recoil upon my own head. You will proclaim that I have deserted to the enemy, that I am a traitor as you long suspected. You will rejoice indeed, for I have lost all, even honor." And like Job, he cursed the day that he was born.

After two hours' rapid marching they arrived at the foot of the mountain which overlooks Trois Saumons Lake, on which water Archie concluded that they would find an encampment of the Abénaquis. Coming to the179 edge of the lake, one of his captors uttered three times the cry of the osprey; and the seven echoes of the mountain repeated, each three times, the piercing and strident call of the great swan of Lower Canada. At any other time Lochiel would have thrilled with admiration at the sight of this beautiful water outspread beneath the starlight, enringed with mountains and seeded with green-crowned islets. It was the same lake to which, for ten happy years, he had made hunting and fishing excursions with his friends. It was the same lake which he had swum at its widest part to prove his prowess. But to-night all Nature appeared as dead as the heart within him. From one of the islets came a birch canoe, paddled by a man in Indian garb, but wearing a cap of fox-skin. The new comer held a long conversation with the four savages, but Archie was ignorant of the Abénaquis tongue, and could make out nothing of what they said. Two of the Indians thereupon started off to the southwest; but Archie was put into the canoe and taken to the islet.



What tragic tears bedew the eye!
What deaths we suffer ere we die!
Our broken friendships we deplore,
And loves of youth that are no more.


All, all on earth is shadow, all beyond
Is substance; the reverse is folly's creed.
How solid all where change shall be no more!

Young's Night Thoughts.

Having cursed his enemy and the day of his birth, Lochiel had gradually come to a more Christian frame of mind, as he lay bound to a tree and all hope banished from his heart. He knew that the savages scarcely ever spared their captives, and that a slow and hideous death was in store for him. Recovering his natural force of mind, he hardly took care to pray for his deliverance; but he implored of Heaven forgiveness for his sins and strength to bear the tortures that were before him. Of what account, thought he, the judgment of men when the dream of life is over? And he bowed himself beneath the hand of God.

The three warriors were seated around within a dozen feet of Lochiel, smoking in silence. The Indians are naturally reserved, regarding light conversation as only suitable to women and children. One of them, however, by name Talamousse, speaking to the man of the island, made inquiry:


"Will my brother wait long here for the warriors from the Portage?"

"Three days," answered the latter, lifting up three fingers. "Grand-Loutre and Talamousse will depart to-morrow with the prisoner. The Frenchman will rejoin them at the encampment of Captain Launière."

"It is well," said Grand-Loutre, extending his hand toward the south. "We are going to take the prisoner to the camp at Petit-Marigotte, where we will wait three days for my brother and the warriors from the Portage, and then go to the camp of Captain Launière."

For the first time Lochiel perceived that the voice of the man with the fox-skin cap was not like that of the other two men, although he spoke their language fluently. Hitherto he had suffered in silence the torments of a burning thirst. It was a veritable torture of Tantalus, with the crystal lake waters lapping at his feet, but, under the impression that the man might be a Frenchman, he made bold to say:

"If there is a Christian among you, for God's sake let him give me a drink."

"What does the dog want?" said Grand-Loutre to his companion.

The man addressed made no answer for some moments. His whole body trembled, his face became pale as death, a cold sweat bathed his forehead; then, controlling himself sternly, he answered in his natural voice:

"The prisoner asks for a drink."

"Tell the dog of an Englishman," said Talamousse, "that he shall be burned to-morrow; and that if he is very thirsty he shall have boiling water to drink."

"I am going to tell him," replied the Canadian presently, "that my brothers permit me to give their captive a little water."


"Let my brother do as he will," said Talamousse; "the pale faces have hearts like young girls."

The Canadian curled a piece of birch bark into the form of a cup, filled it with fresh water, and handed it to the prisoner, saying:

"Who are you, sir? In the name of God who are you? Your voice is like that of a man who is very dear to me."

"I am Archibald Cameron, of Lochiel," came the answer, "once the friend of your countrymen; now their enemy, and well deserving the fate which is in store for him."

"Mr. Archie," replied Dumais, for he it was, "although you had slain my brother, although it should be necessary for me to cut down these two red rascals with my tomahawk, in an hour you shall be free. I shall try persuasion before resorting to violent measures. Now silence."

Dumais resumed his place with the Indians, and after a time he remarked:

"The prisoner thanks the red-skins for promising him the death of a man; he says that the song of the pale face will be that of a warrior."

"Houa!" said Grand-Loutre, "the Englishman will screech like an owl when he sees the fires of our wigwams." And he went on smoking and casting glances of contempt upon Lochiel.

"The Englishman," said Talamousse, "speaks like a man while the stake is yet far off. The Englishman is a coward who could not suffer thirst. He has begged his enemies for a drink like a baby crying for its mother." And the Indian spit upon the ground contemptuously.

Dumais opened a wallet, took out some provisions, and offered a portion to the savages, who refused to eat.183 Then he stepped into the woods, and after a short search brought out a bottle of brandy. He took a drink and began to eat. The eyes of one of the Indians dwelt longingly on the bottle.

"Talamousse is not hungry, my brother," said he, "but he is very thirsty. He has made a long march to-day and he is very tired. The fire-water is good to rest one's legs."

Dumais passed him the bottle. The Indian seized it with a trembling hand and gulped down a good half of the contents.

"Ah, but that's good," said he, handing back the bottle; and presently his piercing eyes grew glazed, and a vacant look began to creep into his face.

"Dumais does not offer any to his brother Grand-Loutre," said the Canadian; "he knows that he does not drink fire-water."

"The Great Spirit loves Grand-Loutre," said the latter, "and made him throw up the only mouthful of fire-water he ever drank. The Great Spirit made him so sick that he thought he was going to visit the country of souls. Grand-Loutre is very thankful, for the fire-water takes away man's wisdom."

"It is good fire-water," said Talamousse after a moment's silence, stretching out his hand toward the bottle, which Dumais removed from his reach. "Give me one more drink, my brother, I beg you."

"No," said Dumais, "not now; by and by, perhaps." And he put the bottle back into his knapsack.

"The Great Spirit also loves the Canadian," resumed Dumais after a pause; "he appeared to him last night in a dream."

"What did he say to my brother?" asked the Indians.


"The Great Spirit told him to buy back the prisoner," answered Dumais.

"My brother lies like a Frenchman," replied Grand-Loutre. "He lies like all the pale faces. The red-skins do not lie to them."

"The French never lie when they speak of the Great Spirit," said the Canadian; and, opening his knapsack, he took a small sip of brandy.

"Give me, my brother, give me one little drink," said Talamousse, stretching out his hand.

"If Talamousse will sell me his share of the prisoner," said Dumais, "he shall have another drink."

"Give me all the fire-water," said Talamousse, "and take my share of the English dog."

"No," said Dumais, "one more drink and that will be all;" and he made a movement to put away the bottle.

"Give it to me, then, and take my share of him."

He seized the bottle in both hands, took a long pull at the precious fluid, and then fell asleep on the grass.

"There's one of them fixed," thought Dumais.

Grand-Loutre had been watching all this with an air of defiance, but had kept on smoking indifferently.

"Now will my brother sell me his share of the prisoner?" asked Dumais.

"What do you want of him?" replied the savage.

"To sell him to Captain D'Haberville, who will have him hung for burning his house. The prisoner will endure like a warrior the tortures of the stake, but at sight of the rope he will weep like a girl."

"My brother lies again," replied Grand-Loutre. "All the English that we have burned cried out like cowards, and not one of them sang his death-song like a man. They would have thanked us to hang them. It is only185 the red warrior who prefers the stake to the disgrace of being hung like a dog."

"Let my brother heed my words," said Dumais. "The prisoner is not an Englishman, but a Scotchman, and the Scotch are the savages of the English. Let my brother observe the prisoner's clothing, and see how like it is to that of a savage warrior."

"That is true," said Grand-Loutre. "He does not smother himself in clothes like the other soldiers whom the Great Ononthio sends across the water. But what has that to do with it?"

"Why," replied the Canadian, "a Scotch warrior would rather be burned than be hung. Like the red-skins of Canada, he considers that one hangs only dogs, and that if he were to go to the country of souls with the rope about his neck the savage warriors would refuse to hunt with him."

"My brother lies again," said the Indian, shaking his head incredulously. "The Scotch savages are nevertheless pale faces, and they can not have the courage to endure pain like a red-skin." And he went on smoking thoughtfully.

"Let my brother hearken, and he will see that I speak the truth," said Dumais.

"Speak, thy brother gives ear."

"The English and the Scotch," continued the Canadian, "dwell in a great island beyond the great water. The English dwell on the plains, while the Scotch inhabit the mountains. The English are as many as the grains of sand about the shores of this lake, while the Scotch are but as the sands of this little island. Yet the Scotch have withstood the English in war for as many moons as there are leaves on this great maple. The English are rich, the Scotch poor. When the Scotch beat the English, they return to their mountains186 laden with booty; when the English beat the Scotch, they get nothing. The profit is all on one side."

"If the English are so numerous," said Grand-Loutre, "why do they not pursue their enemies into the mountains and kill every man of them? They could not escape, since, as my brother says, they live on the same island."

"Houa!" cried Dumais, after the fashion of the savages, "I will show my brother why. The Scotch mountains are so high that if an army of young Englishmen were to ascend them but half way, they would be an army of graybeards before they got down again."

"The French are always tomfools," said the Indian. "They can't do anything but talk nonsense. Soon they will put on petticoats and go and sit with our squaws, and amuse them with their funny stories. They never talk seriously like men."

"My brother ought to understand," said Dumais, "that what I said was merely to impress upon him the remarkable height of the Scottish mountains."

"Let my brother continue. Grand-Loutre hears and understands," said the Indian, accustomed to this figurative style of speech.

"The Scotch legs are as strong as those of a moose and active as those of a roebuck," continued Dumais.

"True," said the Indian, "if they are all like the prisoner here, who, in spite of his bonds, kept right on my heels all the way. He has the legs of an Indian."

"The English," said Dumais, "are large and strong, but they have soft legs and huge bellies. When they pursue their more active enemies into the mountains the Scotchmen lie in ambush and kill them by the score. The war seemed as if it would last forever. When the English took prisoners they used to burn many of them; but these would sing their death-song187 at the stake and heap insult on their torturers by telling them that they had drunk out of the skulls of their ancestors."

"Houa!" cried Grand-Loutre, "they are men these Scotch."

"The Scotch had a great chief named Wallace, a mighty warrior. When he set out for war the earth trembled under his feet. He was as tall as yonder fir-tree and as strong as an army. An accursed wretch betrayed him for money, he was taken prisoner and sentenced to be hung. At this news a cry of rage and grief went up from all the mountains of Scotland. All the warriors painted their faces black, a great council was held, and ten chiefs bearing the pipe of peace set out for England. They were conducted into a great wigwam, the council fire was lighted, and for a long time every one spoke in silence. At length an old chief took up the word, and said: 'My brother, the earth has drunk enough of the blood of these two great nations, and we wish to bury the hatchet. Give us back Wallace and we will remain hostages in his place. You shall put us to death if ever again he lifts the tomahawk against you.' With these words he handed the pipe of peace to the Great Ononthio of the English, who waved it aside, saying sternly, 'Within three days Wallace shall be hung.' 'Listen my brother,' said the great Scotch chief, 'if Wallace must die let him die the death of a warrior. Hanging is a death for dogs.' And again he presented the pipe of peace, and Ononthio refused it. The deputies withdrew and consulted together. On their return the great chief said: 'Let my brother hearken favorably to my last words. Let him fix eleven stakes to burn Wallace and these ten warriors, who will be proud to share his fate and will thank their brother for his clemency.' Once more he offered188 the pipe of peace, and once more Ononthio rejected it."

"Houa!" cried Grand-Loutre, "those were noble and generous words. But my brother has not told me how the Scotch are now friends with the English and fighting against the French."

"With rage in their hearts, the deputies returned to their mountains. At their death-cries, which they uttered at the gate of every town and village to announce the fate of Wallace, every one rushed to arms; and the war between the two nations continued for as many moons as there are grains of sand here in my hand," said Dumais, picking up a handful. "The Scotch were generally beaten by their swarming enemies, and their rivers ran with blood, but they knew not how to yield. The war would have been going on still but for a traitor who warned the English that nine Scotch chiefs, having gathered in a cavern to drink fire-water, had fallen to sleep there like our brother Talamousse."

"The red-skins," said Grand-Loutre, "are never traitors to their own people. They deceive their enemies, but never their friends. Will my brother tell me how it comes that there are traitors among the pale faces?"

Dumais, a little puzzled to answer this question, went on as if he had not heard it.

"The nine chiefs were taken to a great city and condemned to be hung within a month. On this sad news fires were lighted on all the hills of Scotland to summon a grand council of all the warriors. The wise men spoke fine words for three days and three nights, but came to no conclusion. Then they consulted the spirits, and a great medicine-man declared that the Manitou was angry with his children, and that they must bury the hatchet forever. Twenty warriors with blackened faces189 betook themselves to the chief town of the English, and before the gates they uttered a death-cry for every captive chief. A great council was held, and Ononthio granted peace on condition that they should give hostages, that they should deliver up their strongholds, that the two nations should henceforth be as one, and that the English and Scotch warriors should fight shoulder to shoulder against the enemies of the great Ononthio. A feast was made which lasted three days and three nights, and at which so much brandy was drunk that the women took away all the tomahawks. Had they not done so the war would have broken out anew. The English were so rejoiced that they promised to send the Scotch all the heads, feet, and tails of the sheep which they should kill in the future."

"The English must be generous, indeed," said the Indian.

"My brother must see by this," continued Dumais, "that a Scotch warrior would rather be burned than hung, and he will sell me his share of the prisoner. Let my brother fix his price, and Dumais will not count the cost."

"Grand-Loutre will not sell his share of the prisoner," said the Indian. "He has promised Taoutsi and Katakoui to hand him over to-morrow at Petit-Marigotte, and he will keep his word. The council will be assembled, and Grand-Loutre will speak to the young men. If the young men consent not to burn him, it will then be time to hand him over to D'Haberville."

"My brother knows Dumais," said the Canadian. "He knows that he is rich and a man of his word. Dumais will pay for the prisoner six times as much as Ononthio pays the Indians for every one of his enemies' scalps."

"Grand-Loutre knows," said the Indian, "that his190 brother speaks the truth, but he will not sell his share of the prisoner."

The eyes of the Canadian shot flame, and instinctively he grasped his hatchet; but, suddenly changing his mind, he assumed an indifferent air, and knocked the ashes out of the bowl of his tomahawk, which served the Canadians as well as the savages for tobacco-pipe when on the march. Although the first hostile movement of the Canadian had not escaped the keen eye of his companion, the latter went on smoking tranquilly.

The words of Dumais had revived the spark of hope in Archie's heart. In spite of his bitter remorse, he was too young to bid farewell without regret to all that made life dear. Could he, the last of his race, willingly suffer the shield of the Camerons to go to the tomb with a stain? Could he endure to die, leaving the D'Habervilles to think that they had cherished a viper in their bosom? He thought of the despair of Jules, the curses of the implacable captain, the silent grief of the good woman who used to call him her son, the sorrow of the fair girl whom he had hoped one day to call by a tenderer name than that of sister. Archie was, indeed, young to die; and with the renewal of hope in his heart, he again clung desperately to life.

He had followed with ever-increasing anxiety the scene that was passing before him. He endeavored to comprehend it by watching the faces of the speakers. Dark as was the night, he had lost nothing of the hate and scorn which were flashed upon him from the cruel eyes of the savages. Knowing the ferocity of the Indians when under the influence of alcohol, it was not without surprise he saw Dumais passing them the bottle; but when he saw one refuse to drink and the other stretched in drunken stupor on the sand, he understood the Canadian's tactics. When he heard the name of191 Wallace, he remembered that during Dumais's illness he had often entertained him with fabulous stories about his favorite hero, but he was puzzled to guess the Canadian's purpose in talking about the deeds of a Scottish warrior. If he had understood the latter part of Dumais's story, he would have recalled the chaffing of Jules in regard to the pretended delicacies of his countrymen. When he saw the angry gleam in the Canadian's eyes, when he saw him grasp his tomahawk, he was on the point of crying not to strike. His generous soul foresaw the dangers to which his friend would be exposed if he should kill an Indian belonging to a tribe allied with the French.

The Canadian was silent for some time. He refilled his pipe, began to smoke, and at length said quietly:

"When Grand-Loutre, with his father, his wife, and his two sons, fell sick of the small-pox over by South River, Dumais sought them out. At the risk of bringing the disease upon himself and family, he carried them to his own wigwam, where he nursed them for three moons. It was not the fault of Dumais if the old man and the two boys died; Dumais had them buried like Christians, and the Black Robe has prayed to the Great Spirit for their souls."

"If Dumais," replied the Indian, "if Dumais and his wife and his children had fallen sick in the forest, Grand-Loutre would have carried them to his wigwam, would have fished for them and would have hunted for them, would have bought them the fire-water which is the Frenchman's medicine, and would have said, 'Eat and drink my brothers, and recover your strength.' Grand-Loutre and his squaw would have watched day and night by the couch of their French friends; and never would Grand-Loutre have said, 'Remember that I192 fed you and took care of you and bought fire-water for you with my furs.' Let my brother take the prisoner," continued the Indian, drawing himself up proudly; "the red-skin is no longer in debt to the pale face!" And he calmly resumed his smoking.

"Listen, my brother," said the Canadian, "and pardon Dumais that he has hidden the truth. He knew not thy great heart. Now he is going to speak in the presence of the Great Spirit himself, in whose presence he dare not lie."

"That is true," said the Indian, "let my brother speak."

"When Grand-Loutre was sick two years ago," continued the Canadian, "Dumais told him about his adventure when the ice went out that spring at the Falls of St. Thomas, and how he was saved by a young Scotchman who had arrived that very evening at the house of the Seigneur de Beaumont."

"My brother has told me," said the Indian, "and he has shown me the little island suspended over the abyss, whereon he awaited death. Grand-Loutre knew the place and the old cedar to which my brother clung."

"Very well!" replied Dumais, rising and taking off his cap, "thy brother swears in the presence of the Great Spirit that the prisoner is none other than the young Scotchman who saved his life!"

The Indian gave a great cry which went echoing wildly round the lake. He sprang to his feet, drew his knife, and rushed upon the captive. Lochiel thought his hour had come and commended his soul to God. What was his surprise when the savage cut his bonds, grasped his hands with every mark of delight, and pushed him into the arms of his friend. Dumais pressed Archie to his breast, then sank upon his knees and cried:


"I have prayed to thee, O God, to extend the right arm of your protection over this noble and generous man. My wife and my children have never ceased to make the same prayer. I thank thee, O God, that thou hast granted me even more than I had dared to ask. I thank thee, O God, for I should have committed a crime to save his life, and should have gone to my grave a murderer."

"Now," said Lochiel, after endeavoring to thank his rescuer, "let us get off as quickly as possible, my dear Dumais; for if my absence from camp is perceived I am ruined utterly. I will explain as we go."

Just as they were setting foot in the canoe the cry of the osprey was heard three times from the lake shore opposite the island. "It is the young men from Marigotte coming to look for you, my brother," said Grand-Loutre, turning to Lochiel. "Taoutsi and Katakoui must have met some of them, and told them they had an English prisoner on the island; but they will shout a long time without awakening Talamousse, and as to Grand-Loutre, he is going to sleep till the Canadian gets back. Bon voyage, my brothers." As Archie and his companion directed their course toward the north they heard for a long time the cries of the osprey, which were uttered at short intervals by the Indians on the south shore.

"I fear," said Archie, "that the young Abénaquis warriors, foiled in their amiable intent, will make a bad quarter of an hour for our friends on the island."

"It is true," replied his companion, "that we are depriving them of a very great pleasure. They find the time long at Marigotte, and to-morrow might have been passed very pleasantly in roasting a prisoner."

Lochiel shuddered in spite of himself.

"As for the two canaouas (red rascals) we have left, do not trouble yourself for them, they will know how to194 get out of the scrape. The Indian is the most independent being imaginable, and renders account to nobody for his actions unless it suits him. Moreover, the worst that could happen to them in the present instance would be, using their own expression, to cover the half of the prisoner with beaver skins or their equivalent—in other words, to pay their share in him to Taoutsi and Katakoui. It is more probable, however, that Grand-Loutre, who is a kind of a wag among them, would choose rather to raise a laugh at the expense of his two disappointed comrades, for he is never without resource. He will say, perhaps, that Talamousse and he had a perfect right to dispose of their half of the prisoner; that the half which they had set free had run away with the other half; that they had better hurry after him, for the prisoner was loaded with their share of himself and therefore could not travel very fast; with other waggery that would be hugely relished by the Indians. It is more probable, however, that he will speak to them of my adventure at the falls of St. Thomas, which the Abénaquis know about, and will tell them that it was to your devotion I owed my life. Then, as the Indians never forget a good turn, they will cry, 'Our brothers have done well to set free the savior of our friend the pale face!'"

Lochiel wished to enter into full details in order to excuse himself in the eyes of Dumais for his cruel conduct on the day preceding; but the latter stopped him.

"A man like you, sir," said the Canadian, "need make me no explanation. I could hardly suspect a heart so noble and so self-forgetful of failing at all in the sentiments of humanity and gratitude. I am a soldier, and I know all the duties imposed upon one by military discipline. I have assisted at hideous performances on the part of our barbarous allies, which in my position as sergeant I might have been able to prevent195 had not my hands been tied by the orders of my superiors. It is a hard calling for sympathetic hearts, this profession of ours.

"I have been witness of a spectacle," continued Dumais, "which makes me shudder now when I think of it. I have seen these barbarians burn an English woman. She was a young woman of great beauty. I still see her tied to the stake, where they tortured her for eight mortal hours. I still see her in the midst of her butchers, clothed, like our first mother, in nothing but her long, fair hair. I shall hear forever her heart-rending cry of 'My God! my God!' We did all we could to buy her back, but in vain; for her father, her husband, and her brothers, in defending her with the courage of despair, had killed many of the savages, and among them two of their chiefs. We were but fifteen Canadians, against at least two hundred Indians. I was young then, and I wept like a child. Ducros, who was nicknamed the Terror, foamed with rage and cried to Francœur: 'What! sergeant, shall we, who are men and Frenchmen, let them burn a poor woman before our eyes? Give the order, sergeant, and I will split the skulls of ten of these red hounds before they have time to defend themselves.' And he would have done it, for he was a mighty man—was the Terror—and quick as a fish. Black Bear, one of their greatest warriors, approached us with a sneer. Ducros sprang toward him with his tomahawk uplifted, crying: 'Take your hatchet, coward, and you shall see that you have no woman to deal with!' The Indian shrugged his shoulders with an air of pity, and said slowly; 'The pale face is childish; he would kill his friend to defend the squaw of a dog of an Englishman, his enemy.' The sergeant put an end to the argument by ordering Ducros back into the ranks. He was a brave and generous heart, this sergeant, as his name196 attested. With tears in his eyes, he said to us: 'It would be useless for me to disobey my orders; we would all be massacred without doing the poor woman any good. What would be the consequence? The great tribe of the Abénaquis would forsake its alliance with the French, would join our enemies, and our own women and children would share the fate of this unhappy English woman. Their blood would be upon my head.' Well, Mr. Archie, for six months after this hideous scene I used to start from my sleep bathed in sweat, with those heart-rending cries of 'My God! My God!' shrieking in my ears. They wondered at my coolness when the ice was bearing me down to the falls of St. Thomas. Here is the explanation of it. Through the tumult and uproar I was hearing the screams of the unhappy English woman, and I believed that Heaven was punishing me, as I deserved, for not having succored her. For, you see, Mr. Archie, that man often makes laws which God is very far from sanctioning."

"True, indeed," said Archie, sighing.

During the rest of their journey the two friends talked about the D'Habervilles. Archie learned that the ladies and Uncle Raoul, on the appearance of the English fleet in the St. Lawrence, had taken refuge within the walls of Quebec. Captain D'Haberville and Jules were in camp at Beaupré, with their respective regiments.

Fearing lest Archie should fall in with some of the Abénaquis spies who were hanging on the skirts of the English, he escorted Archie all the way to his encampment. Archie's parting words were as follows:

"You have paid me life for life, my friend; but, for my part, I shall never forget what I owe you. How strangely our lives have come together, Dumais! Two years ago I came all the way from Quebec to South197 River just in time to snatch you from the abyss. Yesterday, having but just landed from a voyage across the ocean, I am made prisoner; and you find yourself waiting on a little island in Trois-Saumons Lake to save my honor and my life. The hand of God is in it. Farewell, dear friend. However adventurous the soldier's career, I cling to the hope that Fate will bring us again together, and that I may give your children further cause to bless my memory."

When the sun arose, the Highlanders remarked the strange pallor of their young chief. They concluded that, dreading a surprise, he had passed the night in wandering about the camp. After a light meal, Archie gave the order to burn the house beside the mill. He had scarcely resumed the march when a messenger came from Montgomery, ordering him to cease from the work of destruction.

"It is time!" cried Archie, gnawing his sword-hilt.



Il est des occasions dans la guerre où le plus brave doit fuir.


Vae victis! says the wisdom of the nations. Woe to the conquered!—not only because of the ruin which follows defeat, but because the vanquished are always in the wrong. They suffer materially, they suffer in their wounded self-love, they suffer in their reputation as soldiers. Let them have fought one against twenty, let them have performed prodigies of heroism, they are nevertheless and always the vanquished. Even their fellow-countrymen forgive them hardly. History records but their defeat. Here and there they get a word of approval from some writer of their race; but the praise is almost always mixed with reproach. Pen and compass in hand, we fight the battle over again. We teach the generals, whose bodies rest on the well-fought field, how they might have managed affairs much better. Seated in a well-stuffed arm-chair, we proudly demonstrate the skillful manœuvres by which they might have snatched the victory; and bitterly we reproach them with their defeat. They have deserved a more generous treatment. A great general, who has equaled in our own day the exploits of Alexander and of Cæsar, has said: "Who is he that has never made a mistake in battle?" Vae victis!


It was the 13th day of September, 1759, a day accursed in the annals of France. The English army, under General Wolfe, after having eluded the vigilance of the French sentinels and surprised the pickets under cover of the darkness, were discovered at daybreak on the Plains of Abraham, where they were beginning to entrench themselves. Montcalm was either carried away by his chivalrous courage, or he concluded that the work of entrenchment had to be at once interrupted; for he attacked the English with only a portion of his troops, and was defeated, as he might have foreseen, by the overwhelming numbers of the enemy. On this memorable battle field both generals laid down their lives—Wolfe bestowing upon his country a colony half as large as Europe, Montcalm losing to France a vast territory which the King and his improvident ministers knew not how to appreciate.

Woe to the vanquished! Had Montcalm been victorious he would have been lauded to the skies, instead of being heaped with reproaches for not awaiting the re-enforcements which would have come from De Vaudreuil and De Bougainville. We would have praised his tactics in hurling himself upon the enemy before the latter had had time to establish himself. We would have said that a hundred men behind cover were equal to a thousand in the open. We would never have imputed to General Montcalm any jealous and unworthy motives. His shining laurels, gained on so many glorious fields, would have shielded him from any such suspicions.

Vae victis! After the fatal battle of the 13th the city of Quebec was little more than a heap of ruins. Not even the fortifications furnished shelter, for a portion of the ramparts had been shattered to fragments. The magazines were empty of ammunition, and the gunners,200 rather to conceal their distress than with any hope of injuring the enemy, answered the English batteries only with an occasional cannon-shot. There were no provisions left. Yet they bring the charge of cowardice against the brave garrison which endured so much and defended itself so valiantly. If the governor, a new Nostradamus, had known that the Chevalier de Lévis was bringing succor to the city, and, instead of capitulating, had awaited the arrival of the French troops, it is certain that the garrison would have been lavishly applauded for its courage. To be sure the garrison showed itself most pusillanimous in giving up a city which it was no longer able to defend! To be sure it should rather have put its trust in the humanity of an enemy who had already carried fire and sword through all the peaceful villages, and should have refused to consider the lives of the citizens, the honor of their wives and daughters, exposed to all the horrors of a capture by assault! Assuredly this unhappy garrison was very pusillanimous! Woe to the vanquished!

After the capitulation the English left nothing undone to secure themselves in the possession of a place so important. The walls were rebuilt, new fortifications added, and the batteries immensely strengthened. It was conceivable that the besiegers might become the besieged. This foresight was justified, for in the following spring General Lévis took the offensive with an army of eight thousand men, made up of regulars and militia in about equal numbers.

At eight o'clock in the morning, April 28, 1760, the English army was drawn up in order of battle on the same field where it had moved to victory seven months before. General Murray, with this army of six thousand men and twenty guns, held a very strong position, while the French army, a little more numerous, but supported201 by only two guns, occupied the heights of St. Foy. The French were wearied with their painful march over the marshes of La Suède, but they burned to wipe out the memory of their defeat. The hate of centuries stirred the bosoms of both armies. The courage of both was beyond question, and fifteen thousand of the best troops in the world only awaited the word of their commanders to spring at each other's throats.

Jules D'Haberville, who had distinguished himself in the first battle on the Plains of Abraham, was with a detachment commanded by Captain d'Aiguebelle. By order of General de Lévis, this detachment had at first abandoned Dumont's mill under the attack of a much superior force. Jules was severely wounded by the explosion of a shell, which had shattered his left arm, but he refused to go to the rear. Presently the general concluded that the mill was a position of supreme importance, and, when he gave the order to recapture it, Jules led his company to the charge, carrying his arm in a sling.

Almost all Murray's artillery was directed to the maintenance of this position. The French grenadiers charged on the run. The bullets and grape decimated their ranks, but they closed up as accurately as if they were on parade. The mill was taken and retaken several times during this memorable struggle. Jules D'Haberville, "the little grenadier," as the soldiers called him, had hurled himself, sword in hand, into the very midst of the enemy, who yielded ground for a moment; but scarcely had the French established themselves, when the English returned to the attack in overwhelming numbers, and took the position after a most bloody struggle.

The French grenadiers, thrown for a moment into disorder, reformed at a little distance under a scathing202 fire; then, charging for the third time, they carried the position at the point of the bayonet, and held it.

One would have thought, during this last charge, that the love of life was extinct in the soul of Jules, who, his heart torn by what he thought the treason of his friend, and by the total ruin of his family, appeared to seek death as a blessing. As soon as the order for that third charge was given he sprang forward like a tiger with the cry of, "À moi grenadiers!" and hurled himself single handed upon the English. When the French found themselves masters of the position they drew Jules from under a heap of dead and wounded. Seeing that he was yet alive, two grenadiers carried him to a little brook near the mill, where he soon returned to consciousness. It was rather loss of blood than the severity of his hurt that had caused the swoon. A blow from a saber had split his helmet and gashed his head without fracturing the skull. Jules wished to return to the fight, but one of the grenadiers said to him:

"Not for a little while, my officer. You have had enough for the present, and the sun beats like the devil out there, which is very dangerous for a wound on the head. We are going to leave you in the shade of these trees." D'Haberville, too weak to oppose them further, soon found himself lying among a number of the wounded, who had had strength enough to drag themselves into the grove. Every one knows its result, this second battle of the Plains of Abraham. The victory was dear bought by the French and the Canadians, who suffered no less severely than their enemies. It was a useless bloodshed. New France, abandoned by the mother country, was ceded to England by the careless Louis three years after the battle.

Lochiel had cleared himself nobly of the suspicions which his foe, Montgomery, had sought to fix upon203 him. His wide knowledge, his zeal in the study of his profession, his skill in all military exercises, his sobriety, his vigilance when in guard of a post, all these had put him high in esteem. His dashing courage tempered with prudence in the attack on the French lines at Montmorency and on the field of the first Battle of the Plains had been noticed by General Murray, who commended him publicly.

On the defeat of the English army at this second battle, Lochiel, after tremendous fighting at the head of his Highlanders, was the last to yield a position which he had defended inch by inch. Instead of following the throng of fugitives toward Quebec, he noticed that Dumont's Mill was now evacuated by the French, who were pursuing their enemies with great slaughter. To conceal his route from the enemy, Archie led his men between the mill and the adjoining wood. Just then he heard some one calling his name; and turning, he saw an officer, his arm in a sling, his uniform in tatters, his head wrapped in a bloody cloth, staggering to meet him sword in hand.

"What are you doing, brave Cameron of Lochiel?" cried the unknown. "The mill has been evacuated by our brave soldiers, and is no longer defended by women and children and feeble old men. Return, valorous Cameron, and crown your exploits by burning it down."

It was impossible to mistake the mocking voice of Jules D'Haberville, although his face was unrecognizable for blood and powder.

On hearing these insulting words, Archie felt nothing but tenderest loving pity for the friend of his youth. His heart beat as if to break; a sob labored from his bosom, and again he seemed to hear the witch of the manor crying ominously: "Keep your pity for yourself, Archibald de Lochiel. You will have need of it all on that day204 when you shall carry in your arms the bleeding body of him you now call your brother!"

Forgetting the critical position in which he was keeping his men, Archie halted his company and went forward to meet Jules. For one moment all the young Frenchman's love for his adopted brother seemed to revive, but, restraining himself sternly, he cried in a bitter voice:

"Defend yourself, M. de Lochiel; you, who love easy triumphs, defend yourself, traitor!"

At this new insult, Archie folded his arms and answered, in a tone of tender reproach:

"Thou, too, my brother Jules, even thou, too, hast thou condemned me unheard?"

At these words a nervous shock seemed to paralyze the little remaining strength of poor Jules. The sword dropped from his hand and he fell forward on his face. Archie sent one of his men to the brook for water, and, without thinking of the danger to which he exposed himself, took his friend in his arms and carried him to the edge of the woods, where some of the wounded Canadians, touched at the sight of an Englishman bestowing so much care on their young officer, made no move to injure him, although they had reloaded their guns at the approach of his men. Archie examined his friend's wounds, and saw that he had fainted from loss of blood. A little cold water in his face soon brought him back to consciousness. He opened his eyes and looked at Archie, but made no attempt to speak. The latter clasped his hand, which seemed to return a gentle pressure.

"Farewell, Jules," said Archie. "Farewell, my brother. Harsh duty forces me to leave you; but we shall meet again, in better days." And he turned back sorrowfully to his troop.


"Now, my boys," said Lochiel, after throwing a rapid glance over the plain and listening to the confused noises of the distant flight, "now, my boys, no false delicacy, for the battle is hopelessly lost. We must now display the agility of our Highland legs, if we want to take a hand in future battles. Forward now, and do not lose sight of me."

Taking advantage of every inequality of the ground, lending heedful ear to the shouts of the French, who were endeavoring to crowd the English into the St. Charles, Lochiel led his men into Quebec without further loss. This valiant company had already suffered enough. Half its men had been left on the field of battle, and of its officers Lochiel was the sole survivor.

All honor to vanquished heroism! Honor to the English dead, whose bodies were buried in confusion with those of their enemies on the twenty-eighth day of April, 1760! Honor to the soldiers of France, over whose bodies grows green, with every succeeding spring, the turf of the Plains of Abraham! When the last trump shall sound, and these foes shall rise from their last sleep side by side, will they have forgotten their ancient hate, or will they spring once more at each other's throats?

Honor to the vanquished brave! Among the soldiers whose names are bright on the pages of history there is but one who, on the morrow of a glorious triumph, uncovered his head before his captives and cried, "All honor to the vanquished brave!" He knew that his words would last forever, graven on the heart of France. Great soldiers there are many; but niggard Nature takes centuries to frame a hero.

The field of battle after the victory presented a ghastly sight. Men and horses, the wounded and the dead, were frozen into the mire of blood and water, and206 could be extricated only with pain and difficulty. The wounded of both nations were treated by the Chevalier de Lévis with the same tender care. Most of them were carried to the Convent of the Hospital Nuns. The convent and all its outbuildings were crowded. All the linen, all the clothing of the inmates was torn up for bandages, and the good nuns had nothing left for themselves but the clothes they were wearing upon the day of battle.

Taking refuge after his defeat behind the ramparts of Quebec, General Murray made a vigorous resistance. As they had but twenty guns with which to arm their siege-batteries, the French could do little more than blockade the city and wait for the re-enforcements which never came. The English general requested permission to send an officer three times a week to visit his wounded in the hospital. This request was readily granted by the humane De Lévis. Lochiel knew that his friend must be lying in the hospital, but he could get no news of him. Although consumed with anxiety, he dreaded to put himself in a false position by inquiries too minute. It might have been considered natural that he would wish to visit his wounded countrymen, but with true Scotch caution he let none of his anxiety appear. It was not till the tenth day after the battle, when his regular turn came, that he found himself approaching the hospital under the escort of a French officer.

"I wonder," said Lochiel, "if you would consider it an indiscretion on my part were I to ask for a private interview with the lady superior?"

"I see no indiscretion in it," answered the Frenchman," but I fear I would be exceeding my orders were I to permit it. I am ordered to lead you to your countrymen and nothing more."

"I am sorry," said the Scotchman indifferently. "It207 is a little disappointing to me; but let us speak no more of it."

The French officer was silent some minutes; he thought to himself that the Scotchman, speaking French like a Parisian, had probably made the acquaintance of some Canadian families shut up in Quebec; that he was perhaps charged with some message from the relations or friends of the superior, and that it would be cruel to refuse his request. Presently he said:

"As I am persuaded that neither you nor the lady superior can be forming any designs against our batteries, I think that perhaps, after all, I might grant your request without exceeding my duty."

Lochiel, who had been staking all his hopes of a reconciliation with the D'Habervilles upon this interview, could scarcely conceal his joy; but he answered quietly:

"Thank you, monsieur, for your courtesy to myself and the good lady. Your batteries, protected by French valor, might feel reasonably secure even if we were conspiring against them."

The corridors of the hospital which he had to traverse before reaching the parlor of the superior were literally thronged with the wounded; but Archie, seeing none of his own men, hastened on. After ringing the bell, he walked restlessly up and down the room. It was the same room in which he and Jules had had so many a dainty lunch in their happy school days; for the good superior was Jules's aunt.

The superior received him with cold politeness, and said:

"I am very sorry to have kept you waiting, sir; please take a seat."

"I fear," said Archie, "that madam does not recognize me."


"A thousand pardons," replied the superior. "You are Mr. Archibald Cameron of Lochiel."

"Once you called me Archie," said the young man.

"The times are changed, sir," replied the nun, "and many things have happened since those days."

Sighing deeply, Lochiel echoed her words:

"The times are indeed changed, and many things have happened since those days. But at least, madam, tell me how is my brother, Jules D'Haberville?"

"He whom you once called your brother, sir, is now, I hope, out of danger."

"Thank God!" answered Lochiel, "now all hope is not utterly dead in my heart! If I were speaking to an ordinary person there would be nothing more for me to do but thank you for your condescension and retire; but I have the honor to address the sister of a brave soldier, the inheritor of a name made illustrious by many heroic deeds; and if madam will permit, if she will forget for a moment the ties which bind me to her family, if she will judge impartially between me and that family, then I might dare attempt, with some hope of success, to justify myself before her."

"Speak, M. de Lochiel," replied the superior, "and I will listen, not as a D'Haberville but as a stranger. It is my duty as a Christian to hear impartially anything that might palliate your barbarous and heartless conduct toward a family that loved you so well."

The sudden flush which covered the young man's face was followed by a pallor so ghastly that the superior thought he was about to faint. He grasped the grating between them with both hands, and leaned his head against it for some moments; then, mastering his emotion, he told his story as the reader already knows it.

Archie went into the most minute details, down to his misgivings when his regiment was ordered to leave209 for Canada, down to the hereditary hatred of the Montgomerys for the Camerons; and he accused himself of cowardice in not having sacrificed even his honor to the gratitude he owed the D'Habervilles. From the utterance of Montgomery's barbarous order he omitted not the smallest incident. He described the anguish of his despair, his curses, and his vows of vengeance against Montgomery. In painting the emotions which had tortured his soul, Lochiel had small need to add anything in the way of justification. What argument could be more eloquent than the plain story of his despair! Lochiel's judge was one well fitted to understand him, for she it was who in her youth had one day said to her brother Captain D'Haberville: "My brother, you have not the means to worthily sustain the dignity of our house, except with the help of my share of the patrimony. To-morrow I enter a convent. Here is the deed wherein I renounce all claim in your favor."

The good woman had heard Archie's story with ever-increasing emotion. She stretched out her clasped hands to him as he described his anguished imprecations against Montgomery. The tears flowed down her cheeks as he described his remorse and his resignation while, bound to the tree, he awaited a hideous death.

"My dear Archie," exclaimed the holy woman.

"Oh! thank you, thank you a thousand times for those words," cried Lochiel, clasping his hands.

"My dear Archie," exclaimed the superior, "I absolve you with all my heart. You have but done your painful duty in obeying your orders. By any other course you would have destroyed yourself irretrievably without preventing the ruin of our family. Yes, I forgive you freely, but I hope that you will now pardon your enemy."

"He who was my enemy, madam, has gone to solicit210 pardon from him who will judge us all. He was one of the first to fly from the field of battle which proved so disastrous to our arms. A bullet stretched him upon the ice, wounded to the death. He had not even a stone on which to rest his head. A tomahawk ended his sufferings, and his scalp hangs now at the belt of an Abénaquis warrior. May God pardon him, as I do, with all my heart!"

A divine light beamed softly in the eyes of the nun. Born as revengeful as her brother the seigneur, her religion of love and charity had made her as all charitable as itself. After a moment of rapt meditation, she said:

"With Jules, I doubt not, you will find reconciliation easy. He has been at death's door. During his delirium your name was forever on his lips, sometimes with the fiercest reproaches, but more often with words of love and tenderest endearment. One must know my nephew well, must know the sublime self-abnegation of which his soul is capable, in order to comprehend his love for you. Many a time has he said to me: 'If it were necessary for me to-morrow to sacrifice my life for Archie, I would die with a smile on my lips, for I should be giving him the only worthy proof of my love.' Such love, in a heart so noble as his, is not soon or easily extinguished. He will rejoice to hear your justification from my lips, and you may be sure that I will spare no effort to reunite you. Since recovering from his delirium he has never mentioned your name; and as he is yet too weak to discuss a subject that would excite so much emotion, I must wait till he gets stronger. I shall hope to have good news for you at our next interview. Meanwhile, farewell till I see you again!"

"Pray for me, madam, for I have great need of it," exclaimed Archie.

"That is what I do daily," answered the nun. "They211 say, perhaps wrongly, that people of the world, and young officers particularly, have more need of prayer than we; but as for you, Archie, you must have greatly changed if you are not one of those who have least need of it," she added, smiling affectionately. "Farewell once more, and God bless you, my son!"

The superior succeeded in satisfying Jules with Archie's explanation. About a fortnight after Archie's first visit, Jules was awaiting him, filled with a nervous anxiety to prove to him that all the old love was yet warm in his heart. It was understood that there should be no allusion to certain events, too painful for either to dwell upon.

Archie was ushered into a little chamber which Jules, as nephew of the lady superior, was occupying in preference to certain officers of higher rank. Jules stretched out his arms and made a vain effort to rise from his armchair. Archie threw himself upon his neck, and for a time neither spoke.

D'Haberville, after controlling his emotion with an effort, was the first to break silence:

"The moments are precious, my dear Archie, and we must endeavor, if possible, to lift the veil which hangs over our future. We are no longer children; we are soldiers fighting under glorious banners, brothers in love but enemies upon the field of battle. I have grown ten years older during my sickness. I am no longer the broken-hearted young fool who rushed upon the enemy's battalions seeking death. No, my dear brother, let us live rather to see better days. Those were your last words when you handed over my bleeding body to the care of my grenadiers.

"You know as well as I the precarious condition of this colony; all depends upon a mere throw of the dice. If France leaves us to our own resources, as it212 seems but too probable she will do, and if your Government, attaching so grand an importance to the conquest of Canada, send you re-enforcments in the spring, we must raise the siege of Quebec and leave the country to you. In the opposite contingency we recapture Quebec and keep the colony. Now, my dear Archie, I want to know what you will do in the one case or the other."

"In either case," said Lochiel, "as long as the war lasts I can not honorably resign my commission. But when peace comes, I propose to sell the poor remnant of my Highland estate and come and establish myself on this side of the water. My deepest affections are here. I love Canada, I love the simple and upright manners of your good habitants; and after a quiet but busy life, I would rest my head beneath the same sod with you, my brother."

"My position is very different from yours," answered Jules. "You are the master of your actions; I am the slave of circumstance. If we lose Canada, it is probable that most of the Canadian nobility will move to France, where they will find protection and friends. If my family is of this number I can not leave the army. In the contrary case I shall return after some years of service, to live and die with my own people; and, like you, to sleep at last in the land I love so well. Everything leads me to hope, my brother, that after a storm-tossed youth we shall come to see happier days."

The two friends parted after a long and loving talk, the last they were to have while the colony remained New France. When the reader meets them again after some years, the country will have changed both name and masters.



The predictions of the witch of the manor were accomplished. After the surrender of Quebec, the rich D'Habervilles had been but too glad to accept the hospitality of M. d'Egmont's cabin, whose remoteness had saved it from the flames. "The good gentleman" and Uncle Raoul, with the faithful André, had gone at once to work and raised the narrow attic, so as to leave the ground floor to the use of the ladies. To cheer the latter, the men affected a gayety which they were far from feeling; and their songs were often heard, mingled with the rapid strokes of the axe, the grating of the saw, the sharp whistling of the plane. By dint of toil and perseverance, they succeeded in sheltering themselves tolerably from the severity of the season; and had it not been for the anxiety which they suffered in regard to Captain D'Haberville and Jules, the winter would have passed pleasantly enough in their solitude.

Their most difficult problem was that of provisions, for a veritable famine held sway in all the country-side. The little grain which the habitants had harvested was for the most part eaten boiled, in default of mill to grind it. The sole remaining resource lay in fishing and hunting, but M. d'Egmont and his servant were rather old to indulge in such exercises during the severe weather. Uncle Raoul, lame as he was, took charge of the214 commissariat. He set snares to catch rabbits and partridges, and his fair niece helped him. Blanche made herself a sort of hunting costume; and simply ravishing she looked in her half-savage garb, her petticoat of blue cloth falling half-way below the knee, her scarlet gaiters, her deer-hide moccasins worked with beads and porcupine quills in vivid colors. Lovely, indeed, she looked as she returned to the house on her little snow-shoes, her face delicately flushed, her hands laden with her spoils. During the famine the habitants frequented Trois Saumons Lake in great numbers; they had beaten a hard road over the snow, which enabled Uncle Raoul to visit the lake on a sledge drawn by a huge dog. He always returned with an ample provision of trout and partridge. On such fare they got through the long winter. In the spring a veritable manna of wild pigeons came to the salvation of the colony; they were so innumerable that they could be knocked down with a stick.

When Captain D'Haberville returned to his seigneurie he was utterly ruined, having saved nothing but the family plate. He did not care to come down on his impoverished tenants for their arrearages of rent, but rather hastened to their aid by rebuilding his mill on the Trois Saumons River. In this mill he lived several years with his family, till able to build a new manor house.

A poor lodging, truly—three narrow chambers in a mill—for a family once so wealthy as the D'Habervilles! But they bore their misfortunes cheerfully. Only Captain D'Haberville, toiling with tireless energy, seemed unable to reconcile himself to his losses. His grief gnawed at his heart, and for six years there was never a smile upon his lips. It was not till the manor was rebuilt and the household restored to a certain degree of comfort and prosperity that he regained his native cheerfulness.


It was the 22d of February, 1762, and about nine o'clock in the evening, when an ill-clad stranger entered the mill and begged shelter for the night. As was his custom when not occupied in work, Captain D'Haberville was seated in a corner of the room, his head hanging dejectedly on his breast. The voice of the stranger made him tremble without knowing why. It was some moments before he could answer, but at last he said:

"You are welcome, my friend; you shall have supper and breakfast here, and my miller will give you a bed for the night."

"Thank you," said the stranger, "but I am very tired; give me a glass of brandy."

M. D'Haberville was not disposed to bestow upon a vagabond stranger even one drink of the meager supply of brandy, which he was keeping in case of absolute necessity. He answered that he had none.

"If thou didst know me, D'Haberville," replied the stranger, "thou wouldst certainly not refuse me a drink of brandy, though it were the last drop in thy house."

The first feeling of the captain was one of wrath on hearing himself addressed so familiarly by one who appeared to be a tramp; but there was something in the hoarse voice of the unknown which made him tremble anew, and he checked himself. At this moment Blanche appeared with a light, and every one was stupefied at the appearance of this man, a veritable living specter, who stood with folded arms and gazed upon them sadly. So deathlike was his pallor that one would have thought a vampire had sucked all the blood from his veins. His bones threatened to pierce his skin, which was yellow like that of a mummy; and his dim and sunken eyes were vacant—without speculation, like those of the ghost of Banquo. Everybody was astonished that such a corpse could walk.


After one moment of hesitation, Captain D'Haberville threw himself into the stranger's arms, crying:

"You here, my dear Saint-Luc! The sight of my bitterest enemy could not cause me such dismay. Speak; and tell us that all our relations and friends who took passage in the Auguste are buried in the sea, and that you, the one survivor, are come to bring us the sad tidings!"

The silence of M. Saint-Luc de Lacorne, the grief stamped upon his countenance, confirmed Captain D'Haberville's worst fears.

"Accursed be the tyrant," cried the captain, "who in the bitterness of his hate against the French sent so many good men to their death in an old ship utterly unseaworthy!"

"Instead of cursing your enemies," said M. de Saint-Luc in a hoarse voice, "thank God that you and your family got leave to remain in the colony two years longer. And now, a glass of brandy and a little soup. I have been so nearly starved that my stomach refuses solid food. Let me also take a little rest before telling you a story which will call forth many tears."

In the neighborhood of half an hour, for this man of iron needed but little rest to recover his strength, M. de Saint-Luc began as follows:

"In spite of the English governor's impatience to banish from New France those who had so valiantly defended her, the authorities had placed at our disposal only two ships, which were found utterly insufficient for the great number of French and Canadians who were waiting to sail. I pointed this out to General Murray, and proposed to buy one at my own expense. This he would not hear, but two days later he placed at our disposal the ship Auguste, hastily commissioned for the purpose. By a payment of five hundred Spanish piasters,217 I obtained from the English captain the exclusive use of his cabin for myself and family.

"I then pointed out to General Murray the danger to which we should be exposed at this stormy season with a captain not familiar with the St. Lawrence. I offered to hire and pay for a pilot myself. His answer was, that we would have the same chance as the rest; but he ended by sending a little vessel to pilot us clear of the river.

"We were all in deep dejection, a prey to the gloomiest forebodings, when we raised anchor on the 15th of October last. Many of us, forced to sell our properties at a ruinous sacrifice, had but a future of poverty to look forward to in the mother country. Speeding at first before a favorable wind, with swelling hearts we saw the cherished and familiar scenes fade out behind us and fall below the horizon.

"I will not detail the many perils we underwent before the great calamity out of which but myself and six others escaped alive. On the 16th we came within an ace of shipwreck on the Isle aux Coudres, after the loss of our main anchor.

"On the 4th of November we were struck by a terrific gale, which lasted two days, and which we weathered with difficulty. On the 7th a fire broke out three times in the cook's galley, and was extinguished only after a desperate struggle. I shall not endeavor to paint the scenes on shipboard while it seemed likely we should be burned in the open sea.

"On the 11th we escaped as by a miracle from being dashed to pieces on a rock off Isle Royale.

"From the 13th to the 15th we were driven blindly before a hurricane, not knowing where we were. As many of us as could do so were obliged to fill the places of the crew, who were so exhausted with their218 incessant labors that they had taken refuge in their hammocks, from which neither bribes, threats, nor blows could drive them. Our foremast was gone, our tattered sails could no longer be either hoisted or furled, and, as a last resort, the mate proposed that we should run the ship ashore. It was a desperate expedient. The fatal moment arrived. The captain and mate looked at me despairingly, clasping their hands. I understood but too well the silent speech of these men inured to peril. We made for land to starboard, where we saw the mouth of a little river which might perhaps prove navigable. I explained our situation to all the passengers, concealing nothing. Then what entreaties and what vows to the Almighty! But, alas! in vain the vows, and of no avail the prayers!

"Who can paint the madness of the waves? Our masts seemed to touch the sky and then vanish in the deep. A frightful shock announced that the ship had grounded. We cut away the masts and cordage to lighten her, but the waves rolled her on her side. We were stranded about five hundred feet from shore, in a little sandy bay at the mouth of the river in which we had hoped to find refuge. As the ship was now leaking at every joint, the passengers rushed upon deck; and some even, thinking themselves within reach of safety, threw themselves into the sea and perished miserably.

"At this moment Madame de Tillac appeared on deck, holding her little one in her arms, her long hair and her garments streaming about her in confusion. She was the picture of hopeless anguish. She fell on her knees. Then, perceiving me, she cried in a piercing voice: 'My dear friend, must we die like this?'

"I was running to her aid, when a giant wave thundered down upon the deck and swept her into the sea."

"My poor friend," sobbed Madame D'Haberville;219 "companion of my childhood, my foster-sister, nourished at the same breast with me? They tried to persuade me that it was merely my overwrought imagination that made me see you in my sleep, that 17th of November! I saw you weeping on the deck of the Auguste, your baby in your arms; and I saw you swept into the waves. I was not deceived, my sister! You came to bid me farewell before vanishing to heaven with the angel that nestled in your bosom!"

After a pause, M. de Lacorne went on:

"Crew and passengers were lashed to the shrouds, to escape the waves which dashed ceaselessly over the doomed ship, every moment carrying away new victims. The ship carried but two small boats, one of which was already crushed into splinters. The remaining one, a mere cockle-shell, was launched, and a servant named Étienne threw himself into it, followed by the captain and two or three others. I did not perceive this till one of my children, whom I held in my arms, while the other was tied to my belt, cried eagerly: 'Save us now, father; the boat is going away!' I seized the rope fiercely. At this moment a terrific wave struck us, and hurled me headlong into the boat. The same wave which saved my life swept away my children."

At this point the narrator's voice failed him, and his listeners sobbed aloud. Regaining his self-control, he continued:

"Although under the lee of the ship, the boat was almost swamped by another wave; and the next hurled us landward. In what seemed but a few seconds, in that awful and stupefying tumult, we found ourselves dashed upon the sand. Above the uproar we heard the heart-rending shrieks of those who remained upon the ship.

"Of the seven men thus miraculously thrown upon220 the unknown shore, I was the only one capable of action. I had just seen my brother and my little ones snatched away, and I strove to keep down my agony of soul by striving for the safety of my fellow-sufferers. I succeeded, after a time, in bringing the captain back to consciousness. The others were numbed with cold, for an icy rain was falling in torrents. Not wishing to lose sight of the ship, I handed them my flint and steel and powder-horn, telling them to light a fire at the edge of the wood. In this they failed signally; scarcely had they strength enough to come and tell me of their failure, so weak were they and numbed with cold. After many attempts, I succeeded in making a fire just in time to save their lives. Then I returned to the beach, hoping to save some poor creatures who might be washed ashore. I remained there from three in the afternoon till six o'clock in the evening, when the ship went to pieces. Never, never shall I forget the sight of the dead bodies stretched upon the sand, more than a hundred in number, many of them with legs or arms broken, their faces battered out of all recognition.

"Half stupefied by the calamity, we passed a sleepless and silent night, and on the morning of the 16th we betook ourselves again to the fatal shore. We passed the day in bestowing upon the dead such sad last rites as were possible to such poor wretches as we.

"On the morrow we left this desert and inhospitable coast, and directed our course into the interior. The winter had set in in all its severity. We marched through snow up to our knees. Sometimes we came to deep and rapid rivers, which forced us to make long détours. My companions were so enfeebled by fatigue and famine that sometimes I had to retrace my steps more than once to get their bundles, which they had been compelled to drop. Their courage was utterly221 broken; and sometimes I had to stop and make them rude moccasins to cover their bleeding feet.

"Thus we dragged ourselves on, or rather I dragged them in tow, for neither courage nor strength once failed me till at length, on the 4th of December, we met two Indians. Imagine if you can the delirious joy of my companions, who for the last few days had been looking forward to death itself as a welcome release from their sufferings! These Indians did not recognize me at first, so much was I changed by what I had gone through, and by the long beard which had covered my face. Once I did their tribe a great service; and you know that these natives never forget a benefit. They welcomed me with delight. We were saved. Then I learned that we were on the island of Cape Breton, about thirty leagues from Louisbourg.

"I made haste to leave my companions at the first Acadian settlement, where I knew they would be nursed back to health. I was eager to return to Quebec, that I might be the first to inform General Murray of our shipwreck. I need not detail to you the incidents of the journey. Suffice to say that with the greatest peril I crossed from Cape Breton to the main-land in a birch canoe, through the sweeping ice cakes; and that I have covered now about five hundred leagues on my snow-shoes. I have had to change my guides very frequently, for after eight days' marching with me, Indian and Acadian alike find themselves utterly used up."

After this story, the family passed the greater part of the night in bewailing the fate of their friends and kinsfolk, the victims of a barbarous decree.

M. de Saint-Luc allowed himself but a few hours rest, so eager was he to present himself before Murray at Quebec as a living protest against the vindictive cruelty which had sent to their death so many brave222 soldiers, so many unoffending women and little ones. It had been thought that Murray's unreasoning bitterness was due to the fact that he could not forget his defeat of the previous year.

"Do you know, D'Haberville," said M. de Saint-Luc at breakfast, "who was the friend so strong with Murray as to obtain you your two years' respite? Do you know to whom you owe to-day the life which you would probably have lost in our shipwreck?"

"No," said Captain D'Haberville. "I have no idea what friend we can have so powerful. But whoever he is, never shall I forget the debt of gratitude I owe him."

"Well, my friend, it is the young Scotchman Archibald de Lochiel to whom you owe this eternal gratitude."

"I have commanded," almost shouted Captain D'Haberville, "that the name of this viper, whom I warmed in my bosom, should never be pronounced in my presence." And the captain's great black eyes shot fire.

"I dare flatter myself," said M. de Saint-Luc, "that this command hardly extends to me. I am your friend from childhood, your brother in arms, and I know all the obligations which bind us mutually. I know that you will not say to me, as you said to your sister, the superior, when she sought to plead the cause of this innocent young man: 'Enough, my sister. You are a holy woman, bound to forgive your enemies, even those who have been guilty of the blackest ingratitude against you. But as for me, you know that I never forgive an injury. That is my nature. If it be a sin, God has not given me strength to conquer it. Enough, my sister; and never again pronounce his name in my presence, or all intercourse between us shall cease.' No, my dear friend," continued Saint-Luc, "you will not make me this answer; and you will hear what I have to say."


M. D'Haberville knew too well the requirements of hospitality to impose silence upon his friend under his own roof. His thick eyebrows gathered in a heavy frown, he half closed his eyes as if to veil his thoughts, and resigned himself to listen with the air of a criminal to whose satisfaction the judge is endeavoring to prove that he deserves his sentence.

M. de Saint-Luc detailed Archie's conduct from the beginning, and his struggle with his implacable foe Montgomery. He spoke energetically of the soldier's obligation to obey the commands of his superior, however unjust. He drew a touching picture of the young man's despair, and added:

"As soon as Lochiel learned that you and yours were ordered to embark at once for Europe, he requested an audience with the general, which was granted.

"'Captain de Lochiel,' said Murray, handing him the brevet of his new rank, 'I was going to look for you. Having witnessed your exploits on the glorious field of 1759, I hastened to ask for your promotion; and I may add that your subsequent conduct has proved you worthy of the favor of His Majesty's Government, and of my utmost efforts on your behalf.'

"'I am most glad, sir,' answered Lochiel, 'that your recommendation has obtained me a reward far beyond anything my poor services could entitle me to expect; and I beg you will accept my grateful thanks for the favor, which emboldens me to ask yet one more. General, it is a great, an inestimable favor which I would ask of you.'

"'Speak, captain,' said Murray, 'for I would do much to gratify you.'

"'If it were myself that was concerned,' said Archie, 'I should have nothing further to desire. It is for others I would speak. The D'Haberville family, ruined,224 like so many others, by our conquest, has been ordered by Your Excellency to depart at once for France. They have found it impossible to sell, even at the greatest sacrifice, the small remnants of their once considerable fortune. Grant them, I implore you, two years in which to set their affairs in order. Your Excellency is aware how much I owe to this family, which loaded me with kindness during my ten years' sojourn in the colony. It was I who, obeying the orders of my superior officer, completed their ruin by burning their manor and mill at St. Jean-Port-Joli. For the love of Heaven, general, grant them two years, and you will lift a terrible burden from my soul!'

"'Captain de Lochiel,' said Murray severely, 'I am surprised to hear you interceding for the D'Habervilles, who have shown themselves our most implacable enemies.'

"'It is but just to them, general,' answered Archie, 'to recognize that they have fought bravely to defend their country, even as we have done to conquer it. It is with some confidence I address myself to a brave soldier, on behalf of truly valiant enemies.'

"Lochiel had touched the wrong cord, for Murray was brooding over his defeat of the preceding year, and, further, he was hardly susceptible to anything like chivalry of sentiment. He answered icily:

"'Impossible, sir! I can not recall my order. The D'Habervilles must go.'

"'In that case, will Your Excellency be so kind as to accept my resignation?' said Archie.

"'What, sir!' exclaimed the general, paling with anger.

"'Will Your Excellency,' repeated Archie coldly, 'be so good as to accept my resignation, and permit me to serve as a common soldier? They who will seek to225 point the finger at me as the monster of ingratitude, who, after being loaded with benefits by a family to whom he came a stranger, achieved the final ruin of that family without working any alleviation of their lot—they who would hold me up to scorn for this will find it harder to discover me when buried in the ranks than when I am at the head of men who have no such stain upon them.' Once more he offered his commission to the general.

"The latter became first red and then pale, turned upon his heel, bit his lips, passed his hand across his forehead, muttered something like a 'G—d d—n!' between his teeth, and remained for a moment plunged in thought. Then he calmed himself suddenly, put out his hand, and said:

"'I appreciate your sentiments, Captain de Lochiel. Our sovereign must not be deprived of the services which you can render him as one of his officers, you who are ready to sacrifice your future for a debt of gratitude. Your friends shall remain.'

"'A thousand thanks!' cried Archie. 'You may count on my devotion henceforth, though I be required to march alone to the cannon's mouth to prove it. A mountain of remorse lay on my heart. Now I feel as light as one of our mountain roebucks!'"

Of all the passions that sway men's wills, jealousy and revenge are perhaps the hardest to control. Captain D'Haberville, after having listened with a frown, said merely:

"I perceive that the services of M. de Lochiel have met with due appreciation. As for me, I was unaware that I was so indebted to him." And he turned the conversation into another channel.

M. de Saint-Luc glanced at the other members of the family, who had listened with eyes cast down,226 not daring to discuss the subject. Rising from the table, he added:

"This respite, D'Haberville, is a most fortunate thing; for you may rest assured that within two years you will find yourself free to go or come as you will. The English governor incurred too heavy a responsibility when he doomed to death so many persons of prominence—persons allied to the most illustrious families, not only on the Continent, but in England as well. He will seek to conciliate the Canadians in order to ward off the consequences of this dreadful catastrophe. Now, farewell, my friends; and remember they are weak souls who let themselves be beaten down by misfortune. One great consolation we have in considering that we did all that could be expected of the bravest, and that, if our country could have been preserved, our arms and our courage would have preserved it."

The night was far advanced when M. de Saint-Luc reached Quebec and presented himself at the Château St.-Louis, where he was at first refused admission. But he was so determined, declaring that his tidings were of the most immediate importance, that at length an aide consented to awaken the governor, who had been some hours in bed. Murray at first failed to recognize M. de Saint-Luc, and asked him angrily how he dared disturb him at such an hour, or what tidings he could bring of such pressing importance.

"An affair which you will assuredly consider worthy of some attention, sir, for I am Captain de Saint-Luc, and my presence here will tell you the rest."

General Murray turned as pale as death. Presently he called for refreshments, and, treating Saint-Luc with the most profound consideration, he inquired of him the fullest particulars of the wreck. He was no longer the same man who had carelessly consigned so many brave227 officers to their doom just because the sight of their uniforms displeased him.

What M. de Saint-Luc had foreseen presently came to pass. Thenceforward Governor Murray, conscience-stricken by the loss of the Auguste, became very lenient toward the Canadians, and those who wished to remain in the colony were given liberty to do so. M. de Saint-Luc, in particular, whose possible revelations he may have dreaded, became the special object of his favor, and found nothing to complain of in the governor's attitude. He set his tremendous energies to the work of repairing his fortunes, and his efforts were crowned with well-merited success.



After seven long years of severe privation, content and even happiness came back to the D'Habervilles. It is true that the great manor house had been replaced by a somewhat humble dwelling; but it was a palace compared to the mill they had just left. The D'Habervilles had, moreover, suffered less than many others in the same position. Loved and respected by their tenants, they had suffered none of those humiliations which the vulgar often inflict upon their betters in distress. The D'Habervilles had never forgotten that it is the privilege of the upper classes to treat their inferiors with respect. They were besieged with offers of service. When it was decided to rebuild the manor, the whole parish volunteered its assistance to help along the work. Every man labored with as much zeal as if it were his own house he was building. With the delicate tact of the Frenchman, they never entered, except as invited guests, the poor chambers which the family had set apart in the mill. If they had been affectionate toward their seigneur in his prosperity, when the iron hand of adversity was laid upon him they became his devoted disciples.

Only they who have known great reverses, who have suffered long and cruelly, can appreciate the blissful content of them who again see better days. Hitherto229 all had respected Captain D'Haberville's grief, and in his presence had scarcely spoken above their breath; but now the natural gayety of the French heart reasserted itself, and all was changed as by enchantment.

The captain laughed and joked as he used to before the war, the ladies sang as they busied themselves about the house, and again the sonorous voice of Uncle Raoul was heard on fine evenings arousing the echoes of the cape. The faithful José was everywhere at once, and tales of the experiences of his "late father, now dead" flowed incessantly from his lips.

One morning toward the end of August, that same year, Captain D'Haberville was returning from the river Port-Joli, his gun on one shoulder and a well-filled game-bag slung over the other, when he saw a small boat put off from a ship which was anchored a little way out. The boat made directly for the D'Habervilles' landing. The captain sat on a rock to wait for it, imagining that it contained some sailors in quest of milk and fresh victuals. As they landed he was hastening forward to meet them, when he saw with surprise that one of them, who was dressed as a gentleman, was handing a packet to one of the sailors and directing him to take it to the manor house. At the sight of Captain D'Haberville this gentleman seemed to change his mind suddenly, for he stepped forward and handed him the packet with these words:

"I have hardly dared hand you this packet myself, Captain D'Haberville, although it contains news at which you will rejoice."

"Why, sir," replied the captain, searching his memory for the name of this person, whose face seemed half familiar, "why should you have hesitated to hand me the packet yourself if chance had not thrown me in your way?"


"Because, sir," said the other, hesitating, "I might have feared that it would be disagreeable to you to receive it at my hands. I know that Captain D'Haberville never forgets either a benefit or an injury."

Captain D'Haberville stared at the stranger; then, frowning heavily, he shut his eyes and was silent for some moments. The stranger, watching him intently, could see that a violent struggle was raging in his breast. Presently Captain D'Haberville recovered his self-possession and said, with scrupulous politeness:

"Let us leave to each man's own conscience the remembrance of past wrongs. You are here, Captain de Lochiel, and as the bearer of letters from my son you are entitled to every welcome on my part. The family will be glad to see you. You will receive at my house—a cordial hospitality." He was going to say bitterly a princely hospitality, but the reproach died upon his lips. The lion was as yet but half appeased.

Archie instinctively put out his hand to grasp that of his old friend; but Captain D'Haberville responded with a visible effort, and his hand lay passive in the young man's clasp.

A sigh burst from Archie's lips, and for a time he seemed uncertain what to do. At length he said sorrowfully:

"Captain D'Haberville can refuse to forgive him whom once he loved and overwhelmed with benefits, but he has too noble a soul to wantonly inflict a punishment too great to be endured. To see again the places which will recall such poignant memories will be trial enough in itself, without meeting there the cold welcome which hospitality extends to the stranger. Farewell, Captain D'Haberville; farewell forever to him whom I once called my father, if he will no longer regard me as a son. I call Heaven to witness that every hour has been231 embittered with remorse since the fatal day when my duty as a soldier under orders forced me to enact a barbarism at which my very soul sickened. I swear to you that a great weight has lain ceaselessly upon my heart, through the hours of excitement on the battle-field, of gayety at ball and festival, not less than through the silence of the long and weary nights. Farewell forever, for I perceive that you have refused to hear from the lips of the good superior the story of my pain and my despair. Farewell for the last time, and, since all intercourse must cease between us, tell me, oh, tell me, I implore you, that some measure of peace and happiness has been restored to your family! Oh, tell me that you are not continually miserable! Nothing remains for me but to pray God on my knees that he will shed his best blessings on a family which I so deeply love! To offer to repair with my own fortune the losses which I caused would be an insult to a D'Haberville."

Though M. D'Haberville had refused to listen to his sister, he had none the less been impressed by the recital of M. de Saint-Luc, and by Archie's devotion in offering to sacrifice his fortune and his future to a sentiment of gratitude. Hence the degree of welcome with which he had received him. Otherwise, it is probable he would have turned his back upon him.

The suggestion of pecuniary compensation made M. D'Haberville start as if he had been touched with a red-hot iron; but this passing emotion was forgotten in the conflict of his feelings. He clasped his breast with both hands, as if he would tear out the bitterness which, in spite of him, clung to his heart. Making Lochiel a sign to remain where he was, he strode rapidly down the shore; then he came back slowly and thoughtfully, and said:

"I have done my utmost, Archie, to banish the last232 of my bitterness; but you know me, and you know it will be a work of time to blot it completely from my remembrance. All that I can say is that my heart forgives you. My sister the superior told me all. I listened to her, after hearing of your good offices in interceding with the governor on my behalf, of which I learned through my friend de Saint-Luc. I concluded that he who was ready to sacrifice rank and fortune for his friends could only have been acting by compulsion in those circumstances to which I now allude for the last time. If you should notice occasionally any coldness in my attitude toward yourself, please pay no attention to it. Let us leave it all to time."

He pressed Lochiel's hand cordially. The lion was appeased.

"As it is probable," said M. D'Haberville, "that the calm is going to continue, send back your sailors after they have had something to eat; and if by chance a favorable wind should arise, my good nag Lubine will carry you to Quebec in six hours—that is, if your business prevents your staying with us so long as we would wish. This will be convenient for you, will it not?"

With these words, he passed his arm under that of Archie and they walked together toward the house.

"Now, Archie," said the captain, "how does it happen that you bring letters and good news from my son?"

"I left Jules in Paris seven weeks ago," answered Archie, "after having stayed a month with him at the house of his uncle M. de Germain, who did not wish me to be separated from my friend during my stay in France; but it will be pleasanter for you to learn all from his own hand, so permit me to say no more."

If it saddened Lochiel to see what one would have called before the conquest the D'Haberville village replaced by three or four poor cottages, nevertheless, he233 had an agreeable surprise in the prosperous appearance of the manor. These buildings, new and freshly white-washed, this garden gay with flowers, these two orchards laden with fine fruit, the harvesters returning from the meadows with fragrant loads of hay—all this tended to dissipate the impression of gloom that had at first almost overwhelmed him. With the exception of a sofa and a dozen arm-chairs of mahogany, and a few other small articles of furniture snatched from the flames, everything was of extreme simplicity within the new dwelling. All the furniture was in plain wood. The walls were guiltless of pictures, as the floors of carpets. The family portraits, which had been the pride of the D'Habervilles, no longer occupied their places in the dining-room; the only ornaments of the new rooms were some fir-boughs standing in the corners and a generous supply of flowers in baskets made by the natives. This absence of costly adornment, however, was not without its charm. One breathed deeply in that atmosphere, wholesome with the fragrance of fir-boughs, flowers, and new wood. There was everywhere a flavor of freshness, which made it hard to regret the absence of more costly appointments.

All the family, having seen M. D'Haberville in the distance accompanied by a stranger, had gathered in the drawing-room to receive him. Not having seen Archie for ten years, nobody but Blanche recognized him. The girl grew pale at the sight of the friend whom she had never thought to see again; but recovering herself promptly, as women will to conceal their strongest feelings, like the other two ladies she made the deep courtesy which she would have bestowed upon a stranger. As for Uncle Raoul, he bowed with chilly politeness. He had little love for the English, and ever since the conquest he had been cursing them with an eloquence not edifying to pious ears.


"May I be roasted by an Iroquois," exclaimed the captain, addressing Archie, "if a single one of us knew you. Come, look at this gentleman; ten years ought not to have blotted him from your memory. As for me, I knew him at once. Speak, Blanche, you being the youngest should have better eyes than the rest."

"I think," said Blanche in a low voice, "that it is M. de Lochiel."

"Yes," said M. D'Haberville, "it is Archie, who has seen Jules very lately in Paris. He brings us letters from him, full of good news. What are you doing, Archie, that you do not embrace your old friends?"

The family, ignorant of the change in the captain's feelings, were only awaiting his consent to give Archie a welcome whose warmth brought tears into his eyes.

The last letter from Jules contained the following passage:

"I have been taking the waters of Baréges for my wounds, and though I am still weak, I am getting well rapidly. The doctors say that I must have rest, and that it will be long before I am able to take the field again. I have obtained an unlimited furlough. Our relative the minister and all my friends counsel me to leave the army and return to Canada, the new country of all my family. They advise me to establish myself there, after taking the oath of allegiance to the English crown; but I will do nothing without consulting you. My brother Archie, who has influential friends in England, has sent me a letter of recommendation from one high in authority to your governor, Sir Guy Carleton, who, they say, shows great consideration for the Canadian nobility. If on your advice I decide to remain in Canada, I shall hope to be of some use to my poor fellow-countrymen. God willing, I shall have the pleasure of embracing you all again toward the end of September235 next. Oh, what happiness, after so long a separation!"

In a postscript Jules added:

"I was forgetting to tell you that I have been presented to the King, who received me most kindly. He even praised me for what he was pleased to call my noble conduct, and made me a Knight of the Grand Cross of the Most Honorable Order of St. Louis. I know not to what pleasantry I owe this favor, which every Frenchman who carried a sword has as much deserved as I. I could name ten officers in my own division who should have been decorated in my place. It is true that I have had the precious advantage of getting carved up like a fool in every battle. Truly it is a pity that there was not an order for fools; then I should have fairly won the distinction which his Most Christian Majesty has just bestowed upon me. I hope, however, that this act will not shut the gates of paradise against him, and that St. Peter will find some other little peccadilloes to object to. Otherwise, I should be greatly concerned."

Lochiel could scarcely keep from laughing at the words "Most Christian Majesty." He could see the mocking smile with which his friend would write the phrase.

"Always the same," exclaimed M. D'Haberville.

"And thinking only of others!" exclaimed the rest, with one voice.

"I will wager my head to a shilling," said Archie, "that he would rather have seen the honor bestowed upon one of his friends."

"What a son!" exclaimed the mother.

"What a brother!" added Blanche.

"You may well say what a brother," exclaimed Archie fervently.


"And what a nephew have I trained up!" cried Uncle Raoul, making passes in the air with his cane, as if it were a saber and he on horseback. "There is a prince who can distinguish merit, and who knows how to reward it. His Majesty of France shows great discernment. He knows that with a hundred officers like Jules he could resume the offensive, overrun Europe with triumphant armies, overleap the Detroit like another William, crush proud Albion, and reconquer the colonies!" Again Uncle Raoul carved the air in every direction with his cane, to the imminent peril of the eyes, noses, and chins of the rest of the company. Then the chevalier looked about him proudly, and, with the aid of his cane, he dragged himself to an arm-chair, to repose after the laurels he had won for the King of France by the help of a hundred officers like his nephew.

The letters from Jules, and Archie's coming, made that day one of feverish delight at D'Haberville Manor; and Archie was pursued with incessant questions about Jules, about their friends in France, about the Faubourg St. Germain, about the court, and about his own adventures. Archie wished then to see the servants. In the kitchen, getting dinner, he found the mulatto woman Lisette, who threw herself upon his neck as she used to do when he came home for his holidays with Jules. Her voice was choked with sobs of delight.

This woman, whom Captain D'Haberville had bought when she was only four years old, had some failings, but she was deeply attached to the family. She stood in awe of no one but the master. Her mistress she regarded as a sort of new comer, whom she obeyed or not according to her whim.

Blanche and her brother were the only ones who could do what they liked with her. Though Jules often237 tormented her sorely, she was always ready to laugh at his tricks and shield him from their consequences.

Tried beyond all patience, M. D'Haberville had long ago given her her freedom; but, to use her own words, "she laughed at his emancipation like that," snapping her fingers, "for she had as good a right as he and his to remain in the house where she had been brought up." If her master, too utterly exasperated, would dismiss her by one door, she would promptly re-enter by the other.

This irrepressible woman was as much affected by the misfortunes of her master as if she had been a daughter of the family; and, strange to say, during all the years when the captain was immersed in bitterness and gloom, she was a model of obedience and submission, and did the work of at least two servants. When she was alone with Blanche she would sometimes throw herself sobbing on her neck, and the brave girl would forget her own griefs in comforting those of the slave. It is necessary to add that when prosperity returned to the family Lisette became as willful as before.

Leaving the kitchen, Lochiel ran to meet José, who came singing up from the garden, laden with fruit and vegetables.

"Excuse me if I give you my left hand," said José; "I left the other behind me on the Plains of Abraham. I bear no grudge, however, against the 'short petticoat' (begging your pardon) who relieved me of it. The thing was done so neatly right at the joint that the surgeon had nothing left to do but bandage up the stump. We came off about quits, nevertheless, the 'short petticoat' and I, for I ran my bayonet through his body. It's just as well after all, however, for what use would my right hand be to me when there is no more fighting? No more war now that the Englishman is master of the land," added José, sighing.


"It seems, my dear José," answered Lochiel, laughing, "that you know pretty well how to do without your right hand as long as the left remains to you."

"Very true," said José. "I can manage when I'm driven to it, as in the scrimmage with the 'short petticoat'; but I confess that it grieves me to be thus crippled. Both hands would have been none too many to serve my master with. The times have been hard, indeed; but, thank God, the worst is over." And tears welled up in the faithful José's eyes.

Lochiel then betook himself to the harvesters, who were busy raking the hay and loading the carts. They were all old acquaintances, who greeted him warmly; for all the family, the captain excepted, had been at pains to exonerate him. The dinner, served with the greatest simplicity, was nevertheless lavish in its abundance, thanks to the game with which shore and forest were swarming at this season. The silver had been reduced to the limits of strict necessity; besides the spoons, forks, and drinking-cups, there remained but a single jug of ancient pattern, graven with the D'Haberville arms, to attest the former opulence of the family. The dessert consisted of the fruits of the season, brought in on maple leaves, in birch-bark cassots and baskets ingeniously woven by the Indians. A little glass of black-currant ratafia before dinner to sharpen the appetite, spruce beer made out of the branches of the tree, and Spanish wine which they drank much tempered with water, these were the only liquors that the hospitality of Seigneur D'Haberville could set before his guest. This did not prevent the meal from being pervaded with kindly gayety; the family seemed to be entering upon a new life. But for his dread of wounding Archie, Captain D'Haberville would not have failed to joke upon239 the absence of champagne, which was replaced by the sparkling spruce beer.

"Now that we are en famille," said the captain, smiling at Archie, "let us talk of the future of my son. As for me, old and worn out before my time with the fatigues of war, I have a good excuse for not serving the new government. It would not be for me, moreover, at my age, to draw the sword against France, whom I have served for more than thirty years. Rather death, a hundred times!"

"And, like Hector the Trojan," interrupted Uncle Raoul, "we can all say:

Si Pergama dextra
Defendi possent, etiam hâc defensa fuissent."

"Never mind Hector the Trojan," exclaimed M. D'Haberville who, not being as learned as his brother, had small taste for his quotations. "Never mind Hector the Trojan, who was not greatly concerned with our family affairs. Let us return to Jules. His health compels him to withdraw from the service, perhaps for a long time, or even permanently. His dearest interests are here where he was born. Canada is his true fatherland. He can not have the same affection for the land of his ancestors. His position, moreover, is very different from mine. What would be cowardice for me, standing on the edge of the tomb, is but an act of duty for him who is but on the threshold of life. Splendidly has he paid his debt to the country of his fathers. He retires honorably from a service which the doctors order him to leave. Now let him consecrate his energy and his abilities to the service of his fellow Canadians. The new governor is already well disposed toward us. He welcomes those of my countrymen who have intercourse with him. He has many times expressed his sympathy for the brave officers240 whom he had met face to face on the battle-field, and whom fate, not their courage, had betrayed. In the gatherings at Chateau St. Louis he shows the same regard for Canadians as for his own countrymen, as much for those of us who have lost all as for those more fortunate who can maintain a dignity suitable to their rank. Under his administration and supported by the strong recommendations which our friend Lochiel has procured for him, Jules has every reason to hope for a high position in the colony. Let him take the oath of allegiance to the English crown; and my last words when I bid him a final farewell shall be: 'Serve your English sovereign with the same zeal, devotion, and loyalty with which I have served the French King, and receive my blessing.'"

Every one was struck by this sudden change of sentiment in the head of the family. They forgot that Adversity is a hard master, who bends the most stubborn heart beneath his grasp of steel. Captain D'Haberville, too proud and too loyal to acknowledge openly that Louis XV had wronged the subjects who had served him with a heroism so devoted, nevertheless, felt keenly the ingratitude of the French court. Although stung to the quick by such treatment, he was ready to shed the last drop of his blood for this voluptuous monarch given over to the whims of his mistresses. But there his devotion ceased. He would have refused for himself the favors of the new government; but he was too just to sacrifice his son's future to a sentiment with so slight a basis.

"Let each one now express his opinion freely," said the captain, smiling, "and let the majority decide." The ladies answered this appeal by throwing themselves into his arms. Uncle Raoul seized his brother's hand, shook it vigorously, and exclaimed:


"Nestor of old could not have spoken more wisely."

"Nor could we have been more delighted," said Archie, "if we had had the advantage of listening to the very words of that most venerable Grecian."

As the tide was full and the river beautifully calm, Archie proposed to Blanche a walk along the lovely shore, which stretches—varied with sandy coves—from the manor to the little Port-Joli River.

"Everything I see," said Archie, as they moved along the river's edge, the level rays of the sunset making a path of red gold from their feet to the far-off mountains, "everything I see is rich with sweet memories. Here, when you were a child, I taught you to play with the shells which I picked up along this shore. In this little bay I taught my brother Jules to swim. There are the same strawberry beds and raspberry thickets whence we plucked the fruit you were so fond of. Here, seated, book in hand, on this little rock, you used to wait the return of Jules and me from hunting, to congratulate us on our success or mock at our empty game-bags. Not a tree, a bush, a shrub, but looks to me like an old and dear acquaintance. Oh, happy childhood, happy youth! Ever rejoicing in the present, forgetful of the past, careless of the future, life rolls along as gently as the current of this pretty stream which we are now crossing. It was then that we were wise, Jules and I, when our highest ambition was to pass our days together here, happy in our work and our hunting."

"Just such a life of monotony and peace," interrupted Blanche, "is that to which our sex is doomed. God in giving man strength and courage set him apart for the loftier destinies. What must be the enthusiasm of a man in the midst of the battle! What sight more sublime than that of the soldier facing death a hundred times in the tumult for all he holds most dear! What242 must be the fierce exultation of the warrior when the bugles sound for victory!"

This noble girl knew of no glory but that of arms. Her father, almost incessantly in the field, came back to the bosom of his family only to rehearse the exploits of his comrades-in-arms; and Blanche, while yet a child, had become steeped with martial ardor.

"There are triumphs all too dearly bought," answered Archie, "when one considers the disasters that have followed in their train, when one remembers the tears of the widow and the orphan, robbed of their dearest! But here we are at the Port-Joli, well named, with its sunny banks gay with wild-rose thickets, its groves of fir and spruce, and its coverts of red willow. What memories cling about this lovely stream! I see again your gentle mother and your good aunt seated here on the grass on a fair evening in August, while we are paddling up-stream, in our little green canoe, to Babin's Islet, keeping time with our paddles as we sing in chorus the refrain of your pretty song:

We're afloat, we're afloat, on the water so blue,
We are bound for our isle of delight.

I hear again the voice of your mother calling repeatedly: 'Go and get Blanche at once, you incorrigibles; it is supper-time, and you know your father expects punctuality at meals.' And Jules would answer, paddling with all his might, 'Do not fear my father's anger. I will take the whole responsibility on my own shoulders. I will make him laugh by telling him that, like His Majesty Louis XIV, he had expected to wait. You know I am a spoiled child in the holidays.'"

"Dear fellow!" said Blanche, "he was sad enough that day when you and I found him hiding in this fir grove, where he had concealed himself to escape the first heat of father's indignation.


"And he had not done anything so very dreadful after all," said Archie, laughing.

"Let us enumerate his crimes," replied Blanche, counting on her fingers. "First, he had disobeyed father's orders by harnessing to the carriage an unruly three-year-old filly which was scarcely to be managed even in a sleigh. Secondly, after a hard tussle with the rash young driver, the filly had taken the bit in her teeth, and as the first proof of her freedom had crushed the unhappy cow belonging to our neighbor Widow Maurice."

"A most happy accident for said widow," interposed Archie, "for your father replaced the old animal with two of the finest heifers in his pastures. I remember the anxiety of the poor woman when she learned that some officious spectator had informed your father of the accident. How does it happen that the people whom Jules tormented most assiduously are just the ones who were most devoted to him? What is the spell by which he compels everybody to love him? Widow Maurice used to have hardly a moment's peace while we were home for the holidays; yet she was always in tears when she came to bid Jules good-by."

"The reason is not far to seek," said Blanche. "It is that all know his kind heart. You know, moreover, by experience, Archie, that those whom he loves best are just the ones that he teases most unremittingly. But let us continue our enumeration of his misdemeanors on that unlucky day! Thirdly, after killing the cow, the ugly brute ran against a fence, broke one of the wheels, and hurled the driver fifteen feet into the meadow beyond; but Jules, who always falls on his feet, like a cat, was in no way the worse for this adventure. Fourthly, and lastly, after smashing the carriage to splinters on the rocks of the Trois Saumons River, the mare ended244 by breaking her own legs on the shore, over in the parish of L'Islet."

"Yes," added Archie, "and I remember how eloquently you pleaded for the culprit, who, in despair at having so deeply offended so good a father, was in danger of proceeding to rash extremities against himself. 'Dear papa,' you said, 'should you not rather thank heaven for having preserved Jules's life? What matters the loss of a cow, a horse, a carriage? You might have seen his bleeding body brought home to you!' 'Come, let us talk no more about it,' was your father's reply. 'Go and look for your rascal of a brother, for I doubt not you and Archie know where he has taken refuge after his nice performances!' "I see yet," continued Archie, "the half-penitent, half-comical air of Jules when he knew the storm had blown over. 'What, my father,' he ended by saying, after listening to some energetic remonstrances, 'would you have preferred to see me dragged to my death, like another Hippolytus, by the horse which your hands had nourished to be the murderer of your son? Would you have chosen to see my ensanguined locks dangling on the brambles?' To which the captain answered: 'Come, let's to supper, since there seems to be a God for such madcaps as you.' 'Now, that's more like the way to talk to a fellow,' was Jules's response. I never could quite understand," continued Archie, "why your father, who is ordinarily so unforgiving, used to forgive and forget so easily any offense of Jules."

"Father knows," said Blanche, "that Jules loves him devotedly, and would endure anything to spare him pain. For all his headlong thoughtlessness, Jules could never offend my father deeply."

"Now that we have called up so many pleasant memories," said Archie, "let us sit down on this hillock245 where we have so often before rested, and let us speak of more serious matters. I have decided to settle in Canada. I have lately sold a property which was left to me by one of my cousins. My fortune, although but moderate in the old country, will be counted large out here, where my happiest days have been spent, and where I propose to live and die among my friends. What do you say, Blanche?"

"Nothing in the world could please us more. Oh, how happy Jules will be, how glad we will all be!"

"Yes, you will all be pleased, doubtless; but my happiness can never be perfect, Blanche, unless you will consent to make it so by giving me your hand. I love—"

The girl sprang to her feet as if an adder had stung her. With trembling lips and pale with anger, she cried:

"You offend me, Captain de Lochiel! You have not considered the cruelty of the offer you are making me! Is it now you make me such a proposal, when the flames that you and yours have lighted in my unhappy country are hardly yet extinguished? Is it now, while the smoke yet rises from our ruined homes, that you offer me the hand of one of our destroyers? There would, indeed, be a bitter irony in lighting the marriage torch at the smoking ashes of my unhappy country! They would say, Captain de Lochiel, that your gold had bought the hand of the poor Canadian girl; and never will a D'Haberville endure such humiliation. O Archie! Archie! I would never have expected it of you, you the friend of my childhood! You know not what you are doing!" And Blanche burst into tears.

Never had the noble Canadian girl appeared so beautiful in Archie's eyes as now, when she rejected with proud disdain the hand of one of her country's conquerors.


"Calm yourself, Blanche," answered Lochiel. "I admire your patriotism. I appreciate the exalted delicacy of your sentiments, however unjust they may be toward the friend of your childhood. Never would a Cameron of Lochiel give offense to any lady, least of all to the sister of Jules D'Haberville, to the daughter of his benefactor. You know, Blanche, that I never act without due reflection. For you to reject with scorn the hand of an Englishman so soon after the conquest would be but natural in a D'Haberville; but as for me, Blanche, you know that I have loved you long—you could not be ignorant of it, in spite of my silence. The penniless young exile would have failed in every honorable sentiment had he declared his love for the daughter of his rich benefactor. Is it because I am rich now, is it because the chance of war has made us victorious in the struggle, is it because fate made of me an unwilling instrument of destruction, is it because of all this that I must bury in my heart one of the noblest emotions of our nature, and acknowledge myself defeated without an effort? No, Blanche, you surely can not think it; you have spoken without reflection; you regret the harsh words which have escaped you. Speak, Blanche, and say that you did not mean it."

"I will be candid with you, Archie," replied Blanche. "I will be as frank as a peasant girl who has studied neither her feelings nor her words—as a country girl who has forgotten the conventionalities of that society from which she has so long been banished—and I will speak with my heart upon my lips. You had all that could captivate a girl of fifteen years—noble birth, wit, beauty, strength, and a generous and lofty heart. What more could be needed to charm an enthusiastic girl? Archie, if the penniless young exile had asked my parents for my hand, and they had granted his request, I247 should have been proud and happy to obey. But, Captain de Lochiel, there is now a gulf between us which I will never cross." And again the girl's voice was choked with sobs.

"But I implore you, my brother Archie," continued she, taking his hand, "do not alter your intention of settling in Canada. Buy property in our neighborhood, so that we can see you continually. And if, in the ordinary course of nature (for you are eight years older than I), I should have the unhappiness to lose you, be sure that you would be mourned as bitterly by your sister Blanche as if she had been your wife. And now it is getting late, Archie, and we must return to the house," she added, pressing his hand affectionately between both of hers.

"You will never be so cruel toward me and toward yourself," cried Archie, "as to persist in this refusal! Yes, toward yourself, Blanche, for the love of a heart like yours does not die out like a common passion; it resists time and all vicissitudes. Jules will plead my cause on his return, and his sister will not refuse him his first request. Oh, tell me that I may hope!"

"Never, Archie, never," said Blanche. "The women of my family, as well as the men, have never failed in their duty—have never shrunk from any sacrifice, however painful. Two of my aunts, while yet very young, said one day to my father: 'You have no more than enough, D'Haberville, to maintain the dignity of the house. Our dowry would make a considerable breach in your means. To-morrow we shall enter a convent, where all is prepared to receive us.' Prayers, threats, the fury of my father—all proved vain; they entered the convent, where they have not wearied of good deeds to this day. As for me, Archie, I have other duties to perform—duties very dear to me. I must sweeten life248 as far as possible for my parents, must help them to forget their misfortunes, must care for them in their old age, and must close their eyes at the last. My brother Jules will marry; I will nurse his children, and share alike his good and evil fortune."

Lochiel and Blanche walked toward the house in silence. The last rays of the setting sun, mirrored in the swelling tide, lent a new charm to the enchanting scene; but to their eyes the loveliness of nature seemed to have suddenly faded out. The next day, toward evening, a favorable wind arose. The vessel which had brought Lochiel weighed anchor at once, and M. D'Haberville instructed José to convey his young friend to Quebec.

During the journey there was no lack of conversation between the two travelers; their subjects were inexhaustible. Toward five o'clock in the morning, however, as they were passing Beaumont, Lochiel said to José:

"I am as sleepy as a marmot. We sat up late yesterday, and I was so feverish that I got no sleep for the rest of the night. Do sing me a song to keep me awake."

He knew the hoarseness and vigor of his companion's voice, and he put great faith in it as an anti-soporific.

"I can not refuse," answered José, who, like many others blessed with a discordant voice, prided himself greatly on his singing. "The more sleepy you are the more risk you run of breaking your head on the rocks, which have never been cleared away since La Corriveau's memorable trip; but I hardly know what to begin with. How would you like a song on the taking of Berg-op-Zoom?"

"Berg-op-Zoom will do," said Archie, "though the English were pretty badly treated there."


"Hem! hem!" coughed José. "Nothing like a little revenge on the enemy that handled us so roughly in '59." And he struck up the following:

"A Te Deum for him who was born the doom (repeat)
Of the stout-walled city of Berg-op-Zoom (repeat).
By'r lady, he wants the best that's going,
Who can do up a siege in a style so knowing."

"How charmingly naïve!" cried Lochiel.

"Is it not, captain?" said José, very proud of his success.

"Indeed, yes, my dear José; but go on. I am in a hurry to hear the end. Do not halt upon so good a road."

"Thank you, captain," said José, touching his cap.

"Like Alexander who lived of old (repeat),
His body is small, but his heart is bold (repeat).
God gave him all Alexander's wit,
And Cæsar's wisdom on top of it!"

"'His body is small but his heart is bold,'" repeated Archie, "is a very happy touch! Where did you pick up this song?"

"A grenadier who was at the siege of Berg-op-Zoom sang it to my late father. He said that it was terribly hot work there, and he carried the marks of it. He had only one eye left, and the skin was torn off his face from his forehead to his jaw-bone; but, as all these damages were on the left side, he still could manage his gun properly on the right. But let us leave him to look out for himself. He is a jolly lad who would dance a jig on his own grave, and I need not concern myself about him. Here's the third and last verse:

"Oh, we combed the hides of the English well (repeat),
A very bad lot, as I've heard tell! (repeat)
They'll shake, by'r lady, till they get home,
For fear of our boys and their curry-comb."


"Delightful, 'pon honor!" cried Lochiel. "These English who were a very bad lot! These soldiers armed with the curry-comb! How exquisitely naïve! Charming!"

"By our lady, though, captain," said José, "they are not always so easy to comb, these English. Like our good horse Lubine here, they are sometimes very bad-humored and ugly to handle if one rubs them too hard. Witness the first battle of the Plains of Abraham!"

"It was the English, was it not, who carried the curry-comb then?" remarked Archie.

For reply, José merely lifted up the stump of his arm, around which he had twisted the leather of his whip.

For a time our travelers journeyed on in silence, and again Archie grew heavy with sleep. Perceiving this, José cried:

"Captain, captain, you're nearly asleep! Take care, or you're going to break your nose, begging your pardon. I think you want another song to wake you up. Shall I sing you the Complaint of Biron?"

"Who was Biron?" inquired Lochiel.

"Uncle Raoul, who is so learned, told me that he was a prince, a great warrior, the relative and friend of our late King Henry IV; which did not prevent the latter from having him executed just as if he was a nobody. When I made my lament upon his death, Uncle Raoul and the captain told me that he had proved a traitor to the king, and forbid me even to sing the complaint in their presence. This struck me as rather droll, but I obeyed them all the same."

"I have never heard of this lament," said Archie; "and as I am not particularly sensitive in regard to the kings of France, I wish you would sing it for me."

Thereupon José struck up, in a voice of thunder, the following lament:


"The king he had been warned by one of his gens d'armes,
(His name it was La Fin, that gave him the alarm,)
'Your Majesty, I pray you, of Prince Biron beware,
For he's plotting wicked deeds, and there's treason in the air.'
"La Fin had hardly spoke when Prince Biron came in,
His cap was in his hand, and he bowed before the king.
Said he: 'Will't please Your Majesty to try your hand at play?
Here's a thousand Spanish doubloons that I have won this day.'
"'If you have them with you, prince,' replied His Majesty,
'If you have them with you, prince, go find the queen, and she
Will play you for the Spanish gold you have not long to see!'
"He had not played two games when the constable came in,
And bowing, cap in hand, right courtly said to him:
'Oh, will you rise up, prince, and come along with me?
This night in the Bastile your bed and board shall be!'
"'Oh, had I but my sword, my weapon bright and keen,
Oh, had I but my saber, my knife of golden sheen,
No constable could capture me that ever I have seen!'
"It might have been a month, or may be two weeks more,
That no friends came to see him or passed his prison door;
At last came judges three, pretending not to know,
And asked of him, 'Fair prince, oh, who has used you so?'
"'Oh, they who used me so had power to put me here;
It was the king and queen, whom I served for many a year;
And now for my reward my death it draweth near!
"'And does the king remember no more the Savoy War?
And has the king forgotten the wounds for him I bore?
And is it my true service now that I must suffer for?
"'And has the king forgotten that if I have to die,
The blood of Biron may to Heaven for vengeance cry?
Or does the king remember I have a brother yet?
But when he sees the king he will not me forget.'"

By this time Lochiel was thoroughly awake. The tremendous voice of José would have awakened the252 sleeping beauty herself from the depths of her hundred years' slumber.

"But you, sir," said José, "you who are nearly as learned as Uncle Raoul, you could perhaps tell me something of this wicked king who so ungratefully put this poor M. Biron to death."

"Kings, my dear José, never forget a personal offense, and, like a great many smaller people who can not overlook the faults of others, no matter how well atoned for, for faithful services, their memory is very short."

"Well, now, but that seems very queer to me, when I was thinking that the good God had given them everything that heart could wish! A short memory! But that is droll."

Smiling at his companion's innocence, Archie replied:

"King Henry IV, however, had an excellent memory, although it failed him in that one instance. He was a good prince and loved his subjects as if they were his own children, and he did all he could to make them happy. It is not surprising that his memory is cherished by all good Frenchmen, even after a lapse of one hundred and fifty years."

"By our lady," exclaimed José, "there's nothing surprising in that, if the subjects have a better memory than their princes! It was cruel of him, however, to hang this poor M. Biron."

"The nobility of France were never hung," said Archie. "That was one of their special privileges. They simply had their heads cut off."

"That was indeed a privilege. It may perhaps hurt more, but it is much more glorious to die by the sword than by the rope," remarked José.

"To return to Henry IV," said Archie; "we must253 not be too severe in our condemnation of him. He lived in a difficult period, a period of civil war. Biron, his kinsman and former friend, turned traitor, and was doubly deserving of his fate."

"Poor M. Biron!" said José; " but he speaks finely in his lament."

"It is not always they who speak the best who have most right on their side," remarked Archie. "There is no one so like an honest man as an eloquent knave."

"All very true, Mr. Archie. We have one poor thief in our district, and as he doesn't know how to defend himself, everybody is continually getting his teeth into him, while his brother, who is a hundred times worse than he, has so smooth a tongue that he passes himself off for a little saint. Meanwhile, yonder is Quebec! But no more the white flag waving over her," added José, sighing.

To hide his emotion, he went searching in all his pockets for his pipe, grumbling to himself and repeating his old refrain:

"Our good folk will come again."

José spent two days in Quebec, and returned loaded with all the presents that Archie thought would find acceptance at D'Haberville Manor. Such rich gifts as he would have sent under other circumstances he dared not send now, for fear of wounding his friends. In bidding José farewell, he said:

"I left my prayer-book at the manor house. Beg Miss Blanche to take care of it till I return. It was a keepsake."



Many a calamity had swept over the land since the day when the relations and friends of Jules had gathered at the manor house to bid him farewell before his departure for France. Among the old men time had made his customary inroads. The enemy had carried fire and sword into the peaceful dwellings of the habitants. The famine numbered its victims by the hundred. The soil had been drenched with the blood of its brave defenders. Wind and sea had conspired against many of those brave officers from whom sword and bullet had turned aside. Nature was satiated with the blood of the children of New France. The future was dark indeed for the upper classes, already ruined by the havoc of the enemy, for those who, in laying by the sword, were compelled to lay by the main support of their families, and for those who foresaw that their descendants, reduced to a lower walk in life, would be compelled to till the soil which their valiant ancestors had made illustrious.

The city of Quebec, which of old had seemed to brave, upon its hill summit, the thunders of the heaviest guns and the assaults of the most daring battalions, the proud city of Quebec, still incumbered with wreckage, raised itself with difficulty out of its ruins. The British flag streamed triumphant from its overbearing citadel,255 and the Canadian who, by force of habit, used to raise his eyes to the height in expectation of seeing the lily banner, would drop them again sadly, repeating with a sigh these touching words, "But our good kin will come again."

The reader will doubtless be gratified to see his old acquaintances, after so many disasters bravely endured, once more gathered together at a little banquet. This was a feast given by M. D'Haberville in honor of his son's return. Even "the good gentleman" himself, though nearing the close of his century, had responded in person to the summons. Captain des Ecors, a comrade of M. D'Haberville, a brave officer who had been brought to ruin by the conquest, formed with his family a congenial addition to the gathering. One of Jules's kinsfolk who perished in the wreck of the Auguste had left him a small legacy, which brought a new comfort to the D'Habervilles, and enabled them to exercise a hospitality from which they had been long and reluctantly debarred.

All the guests were at table, after vainly waiting for the arrival of Lochiel, who was as a rule the most punctual of men.

"Well, my friends," said M. D'Haberville, "what think you now of the omens which so saddened me ten years ago? What is your opinion, Monsieur the Curé, of those mysterious warnings which Heaven appeared to send me?"

"I think," answered the priest, "that every one has had, or imagined himself to have, more or less mysterious warnings, even in the most remote epochs. But, without going too far back, Roman history is rife with prodigies and portents. Occurrences the most insignificant were classed as good or bad omens. The soothsayers consulted the flight of birds, the entrails of the256 sacrificial victims, and what not! Further, they say that no two of these holy and veracious personages could look at each other without laughing."

"And you conclude from this—?" queried M. D'Haberville.

"I conclude," said the priest, "that we need not greatly concern ourselves about such manifestations. Supposing Heaven were pleased, in certain exceptional cases, to give visible signs as to the future, this would but add one more to the already numberless ills of poor humanity. We are by nature superstitious, and we should be kept in a state of feverish apprehension, far worse than the actual evils supposed to be foreshadowed."

"Well," said M D'Haberville, who, like many more, consulted others merely as a matter of form, "my own experience compels me to believe that such omens are very often to be trusted. To me they have never played false. Besides those which you yourselves have witnessed, I could cite you a host of others. For instance, about fifteen years ago I was leading a war party against the Iroquois. My band was made up of Canadians and Huron Indians. We were on the march, when suddenly I felt a sharp pain in my thigh, as if I had been struck by some hard substance. The pang was sharp enough to make me halt a moment. I told my Indians about it. They looked at each other uneasily, consulted the horizon, and breathed deeply, sniffing the air in every direction, like dogs in quest of game. Then, certain that there were no enemies in the neighborhood, they resumed their march. I asked Petit-Étienne, the chief, who appeared uneasy, if he was dreading a surprise. 'Not that I know of,' said he, 'but at our first encounter with the enemy you will be wounded just where you felt the pain.' Of course I laughed at the prediction; but for all that, not two hours later an Iroquois bullet257 went through my thigh at the spot in question, fortunately escaping the bone. No, gentlemen; omens have proved faithful in my own case."

"And what thinks Monsieur the Chevalier?" asked the priest.

"I think," said Uncle Raoul, "that there is good wine on the table, and that it is our pressing duty to attack it."

"An admirable decision!" cried everybody.

"The wine," remarked Jules, "is the most faithful of presages, for it announces happiness and mirth. In proof of it, here is our friend Lochiel coming up the avenue. I am going to meet him."

"You see, my dear Archie," said the captain, greeting him warmly, "you see that we have treated you without ceremony, as a child of the family. We only waited for you half an hour. Knowing your soldierly punctuality, we feared that some unavoidable business had prevented your coming."

"I should have been much grieved if you had treated me otherwise than as a child of the family," answered Archie. "I had planned to be here quite early this morning, but I did not make sufficient allowance for your fine quagmire at Cap St.-Ignace. First of all, my horse got into a bog-hole, whence I extricated him at the cost of the harness, which I had to do without as best I could. Then I broke a wheel of my carriage, whereupon I had to go and seek help at the nearest house, about a mile and a half away. For most of the distance I was wading through mud up to my knees, and when I got there I was half dead with fatigue."

"Ah, my dear Archie," said Jules, the ceaseless mocker, "quantum mutatus ab illo, as Uncle Raoul would have said if I hadn't got ahead of him. Where are your mighty legs, of which you were once so proud in that258 same morass? Have they lost their agility since the 28th of April, 1760? They served you admirably in that retreat, as I predicted they would."

"It is true," replied Lochiel, laughing heartily, "that they did not fail me in the retreat of 1760, as you so considerately call it, but, my dear Jules, you had no reason to complain of your own, short as they are, in the retreat of 1759. One compliment deserves another you know, always with due regard to a soldier's modesty."

"Ah, but you're all astray there, my dear fellow. A scratch which I had received from an English bullet was interfering very seriously with my flight, when a tall grenadier who had somehow taken a fancy to me, threw me over his shoulder with no more ceremony than as if I were his haversack, and, continuing his retreat at full speed, deposited me at length within the walls of Quebec. It was time. In his zeal, the creature had carried me with my head hanging down his rascally back, like a calf on the way to the butcher's, so that I was almost choked by the time he landed me. Would you believe it, the rascal had the audacity some time afterward, to ask me for a pour-boire for himself and his friends, who were so glad to see their little grenadier once more upon his feet; and I was fool enough to treat the crowd. You see, I never could keep up a grudge. But here is your dinner, piping hot, which your friend Lisette has kept in the oven for you. To be sure, you deserve to take your dinner in the kitchen, for the anxiety that you have been causing us; but we'll let that pass. Here is José bringing you an appetizer, according to the custom of all civilized nations. The old fellow is so glad to see you that he is showing his teeth from ear to ear. I assure you that he is not one-handed when he is giving his friends a drink, and still less so when, like his late father, he is taking one himself."


"Our young master," answered José, putting the empty plate under his arm in order to shake Archie's hand, "our young master is always at his jokes; but Mr. Archie knows very well that if there was only one glass of brandy left in the world I should give it to him rather than drink it myself. As for my poor late father, he was a very systematic man; so many drinks a day and not a drop more—always barring weddings and festivals and other special occasions. He knew how to live with propriety, and also how to take his little recreations from time to time, the worthy man! All I can say is, that when he entertained his friends he didn't keep the bottle under the table."

In The Vicar of Wakefield Goldsmith makes the good pastor say:

"I can't say whether we had more wit among us than usual, but I'm certain we had more laughing, which answered the end as well."

The same might be said of the present gathering, over which there reigned that French light-heartedness which seems, alas, to be disappearing in what Homer would call these degenerate days.

"Neighbor," said Captain D'Haberville to Captain des Ecors, "if your little difficulty with General Murray has not spoiled your throat for singing, please set a good example by giving us a song."

"Indeed," said Archie, "I heard that you had great difficulty in escaping the clutches of our bad-tempered general, but I am unacquainted with the particulars."

"When I think of it, my friend," exclaimed Captain des Ecors, "I feel something of a strangling sensation in my throat. I should not complain, however, for in my case the general conducted affairs in due order; instead of hanging me first and trying me afterward, he came to the wise conclusion that the trial had better260 precede the hanging. The fate of the unhappy miller Nadeau, my fellow-prisoner, who was accused of the same crime as myself, and who was not tried until after his execution—the sad fate of this respectable man, whose innocence he heard too late, led him to hesitate before hanging me untried. In my captivity I passed many a bad quarter of an hour. All communication with the outside world was forbidden me. I had no means of learning what fate was in store for me. Every day I asked the sentinel who was walking up and down beneath my window if he had any news for me, and ordinarily I received in answer a cordial 'goddam.' At last a soldier, more accessible and good-humored, who could jabber a scrap of French, replied to my question, 'Vous pendar sept heures le matingul!' I believe this jolly and sympathetic creature put all his knowledge of French into that one phrase, for to every other question I asked I received the same reply—'Vous pendar sept heures le matingul!' It was easy to gather from this that I was to be hung some morning at seven o'clock, but what morning I could not learn. The outlook was anything but cheerful. For three whole days I had seen the body of the unfortunate Nadeau hanging from one of the arms of his wind mill, the plaything of the gale. Every morning I expected that I should be called to take his place on this novel and ingenious gibbet."

"Infamous!" cried Archie. "And the man was innocent!"

"This was proved at the inquest which was held after the execution," replied Captain des Ecors. "I should add that General Murray appeared to repent with bitterness for this murder, which he had committed in his haste. He heaped Nadeau's family with benefits, and adopted his two little orphan daughters, whom he took with him to England. Poor Nadeau!"


All the company echoed the words "Poor Nadeau!"

"Alas!" said Des Ecor philosophically, "if we were to set ourselves lamenting for all who have lost their lives by—But let us change a subject so painful." Then he sang the following song:

"The new Narcissus am I named,
Whom all men most admire;
From water have I been reclaimed,
In wine to drown my fire.
When I behold the rosy hue
That gives my face renown,
Enraptured with the lovely view,
I drink my image down.
"In all the universe is naught
But tribute pays to thee;
Even the winter's ice is brought
For thy benignant glee.
The Earth exerts her anxious care
Thy nurture to assist;
To ripen thee the sun shines fair;
To drink thee I exist."

The songs and choruses succeeded each other rapidly. That contributed by Madame Vincelot wrought up the merriment of the party to a high pitch.

"This festal board, this royal cheer,
They clearly tell
(They clearly tell)
Our host is glad to have us here,
And feast us well
(And feast us well);
For even he permits that we
Make Charivari! Charivari! Charivari!
"Now pour me out a glass, kind host,
Of this good wine (repeat),
I would drink a loving toast—
This wife of thine (repeat),
smilingly permits that we
Make Charivari! Charivari! Charivari!"

To this Madame D'Haberville added the following impromptu stanza:

"If our endeavor to make your cheer
Be not in vain (repeat),
Consider you're the masters here,
And come again (repeat),
And it shall be your care that we
Make Charivari! Charivari! Charivari!"

Then Jules added a verse:

"Without a spice of rivalry
Dan Cupid nods (repeat),
challenge him to cups, and he
'Ll accept the odds (repeat).
Bacchus and he, as well as we,
Make Charivari! Charivari! Charivari!"

At the end of each stanza every one pounded on the table with their hands or rapped on the plates with their forks and spoons, till the din became something indescribable.

Blanche, being asked to sing her favorite song of Blaise and Babette, endeavored to excuse herself and substitute another; but the young ladies insisted, crying: "Let us have Blaise and Babette by all means; the minor is so touching."

"Yes," said Jules, "that is a minor, with its 'My love it is my life'; a minor to touch the tenderest chord in the feminine heart. Quick, let us have the sweet minor, to touch the hearts of these charming young ladies!"

"We'll make you pay for that in blindman's buff," said one of them.


"And in the game of forfeits," said another.

"Look out for yourself, my boy," said Jules, addressing himself, "for in the hands of these young ladies you stand no better chance than a cat without claws would in—hades! No matter. Sing away, my dear sister. Your voice, perhaps, like that of Orpheus, will assuage the fury of your enemies."

"The wretch!" chorused the young ladies, "to compare us—But, never mind, we'll settle with you later. Meanwhile, sing us the song, Blanche, dear."

The latter still hesitated. Then, fearing to attract attention by her refusal, she sang the following song with tears in her voice. It was the cry of a pure love finding utterance, in spite of all her efforts to bury it in her heart:

"For thee, dear heart, these flowers I twine.
My Blaise, accept of thy Babette
The warm rose and the orange-flower,
And jessamine and violet.
Be not thy passion like the bloom,
That shines a day and disappears.
My love is an undying light,
And will not change for time or tears.
"Dear, be not like the butterfly
That knows each blossom in the glades,
And cheapen not thy sighs and vows
Among the laughing village maids.
Such loves are but the transient bloom
That shines a day and disappears.
My love is an undying light,
And will not change for time or tears.
"If I should find my beauty fade,
If I must watch these charms depart,
Dear, see thou but my tenderness—
Oh, look thou only on my heart!
264 Oh, look thou only on my heart!
Remember how the transient bloom
Shines for a day and disappears.
My love is an undying light,
And will not change for time or tears."

Every one was moved by her touching pathos, of which they could not guess the true cause. They attributed it, lamely enough, to her emotion on seeing Jules thus brought back to the bosom of his family. To divert their attention, Jules hastened to say:

"But it's myself that has brought the pretty song with me from France."

"Let us have your pretty song," arose the cry on all sides.

"No," said Jules, "I am keeping it for Mademoiselle Vincelot, to whom I wish to teach it."

Now the young lady in question had for some years been declaring herself very hostile to the idea of marriage; indeed, she had avowed a pronounced preference for celibacy. But Jules knew that a certain widower, not waiting quite so long as decorum required, had overcome the strange repugnance of this tigress of chastity, and had even prevailed upon her to name the day. This declared opponent of marriage was in no hurry to thank Jules, whose malicious waggery she knew too well; but every one cried persistently: "The song! Give us the song, and you can teach it to Elise at your leisure."

"As you will," said Jules. "It is very short, but is not wanting in spice:

"A maiden is a bird
That seems to love the cage,
Enamored of the nest
That nursed her tender age;
But leave the window wide
And, presto! she's outside
And off on eager wing
To mate and sing."


They chaffed Elise a good deal, who, like all prudes, took their pleasantries with rather a bad grace, seeing which, Madame D'Haberville gave the signal, and the company arose and went into the drawing-room. Elise, as she was passing Jules, gave him a pinch that nearly brought the blood.

"Come, my fair one, whose claws are so sharp," exclaimed Jules, "is this such a caress as you destined for your future spouse, this which you are now bestowing on one of your best friends? Happy spouse! May Heaven keep much joy for him at the last!"

After the coffee and the customary pousse-café the company went out into the court-yard to dance country dances and to play fox and geese and my lady's toilet. Nothing could be more picturesque than this latter game, played in the open air in a yard studded with trees. The players took their places each under a tree. One only remained in the open. Each furnished his or her contribution to my lady's toilet—one being her dress, another her necklace, another her ring, and so forth. It was the office of one of the players to direct the game. As soon as he called for one of these articles the one representing this article was obliged at once to leave his post, which was promptly taken possession of by another. Then, as the different articles of my lady's toilet were called for rapidly, a lively interchange of positions was set up between the players, the one left out in the first place striving to capture any post that might be left for an instant vacant. This merry game was continued until my lady considered her toilet complete. Then, on the cry, "My lady wants all her toilet," all the players change places with alacrity, and the one who was left out had to pay a forfeit. It is not to be supposed that this game was conducted without a vast deal of laughter and clamor and ludicrous mishaps.


When the ladies were tired the party went into the house to amuse themselves less vigorously with such games as "does the company please you," or "hide the ring," "shepherdess," or "hide and seek," or "hot cockles," etc. They ended up with a game proposed by Jules, which was ordinarily productive of much laughter.

The early Canadians, though redoubtable warriors on the battle-field, were thorough children in their social gatherings. Being nearly all kinsfolk or friends of long standing, many of their games which in these days might be regarded in the best circles as overfamiliar were robbed of the objectionable element. The stranger would have said that they were a lot of brothers and sisters letting their spirits have free play within the privacy of the family.

It was not without deliberate purpose that Jules, who still felt the pinch Elise had given him, proposed a game by which he hoped to get his revenge. This is the game: A lady seated in an arm-chair begins by choosing some one as her daughter. Her eyes are then blindfolded, and, by merely feeling the faces of the players, who kneel before her one by one, with their heads enveloped in a shawl or scarf, she is required to pick out her daughter. Every time she makes a mistake she has to pay a forfeit. It is often a man or an old woman who kneels before her thus disguised, whence arises many a laughable mistake.

When it came the turn of Elise to take the arm-chair, she did not fail to select Jules for her daughter, with the purpose of tormenting him a little during the inspection. As each person knelt at the feet of the blindfolded lady, all the others sang in chorus:

"Oh, lady, say, is this your daughter?
Oh, lady, say, is this your daughter?


In buckles of gold and rings galore,
The watermen bold are at the oar."

The blindfolded lady responds in the same fashion:

"Oh, yes, it is, it is my daughter, etc."

Or else:

"Oh, no, it is not, it is not my daughter;
Oh, no, it is not, it is not my daughter.
In buckles of gold and rings galore,
The watermen bold are at the oar."

After having inspected several heads, Elise, hearing under the shawl the stifled laughter of Jules, imagined she had grasped her prey. She feels his head. It is not unlike that of Jules. The face, indeed, seems a trifle long, but this rascally Jules has so many tricks for disguising himself! Did he not mystify the company for a whole evening, having been introduced as an old aunt just arrived that very day from France? Under this disguise, did he not have the audacity to kiss all the pretty women in the room, including Elise herself? The wretch! Yes, Jules is capable of anything! Under this impression she pinches an ear. There is a cry of pain and a low growl, followed by a loud barking. She snatches the bandage from her eyes, to find herself confronted with two rows of threatening teeth. It was Niger. Just as at the house of Farmer Dinmont, of whom Scott tell us, all the dogs were named Pepper, so at the D'Haberville mansion all the dogs were called Niger or Nigra, in memory of their ancestor, whom the little Jules had named to show his progress in Latin.

Elise at once snatched off her high-heeled shoe, and made an attack on Jules. The latter held poor Niger as a shield, and ran from room to room, the girl following him hotly amid roars of laughter.

Oh, happy time when lightness of heart made wit268 unnecessary! Oh, happy time when the warmth of welcome made superfluous the luxury which these ruined Canadians were learning to do without! The houses, like the hearts of their owners, seemed able to enlarge themselves to meet every possible demand of hospitality. Sleeping-places were improvised upon the slightest occasion; and when once the ladies were comfortably provided for the sterner sex found no difficulty in shifting for themselves. These men, who had passed half their life in camp during the harshest seasons; who had journeyed four or five leagues on snow-shoes, resting by night in holes which they dug in the snow (as they did when they went to attack the English in Acadia), these men of iron could do without swan's-down coverlets to their couches.

The merry-making paused only for sleep, and was renewed in all its vigor in the morning. As every one then wore powder, the more skillful would undertake the rôle of hairdresser, or even of barber. The subject, arrayed in an ample dressing-gown, seated himself gravely in a chair. The impromptu hairdresser rarely failed to heighten the effect of his achievement, either by tracing with the powder puff an immense pair of whiskers on those who lacked such adornment, or, in the case of those who were already provided, by making one side a great deal longer than the other. The victim frequently was made aware of his plight only by the peals of laughter which greeted him on entering the drawing-room.

The party broke up at the end of three days, in spite of the efforts of M. and Madame D'Haberville to keep them longer. Archie alone, who had promised to spend a month with his old friends, kept his word and remained.



Ainsi passe sur la terre tout ce qui fut bon, vertueux, sensible! Homme, tu n'es qu'un songe rapide, un rêve douloureux; tu n'existes que par le malheur; tu n'es quelque chose que par la tristesse de ton âme et l'eternelle mélancolie de ta pensée!—Chateaubriand.

After the departure of the guests the family fell back into the sweet intimacy of former days. Jules, whom his native air had restored to health, passed the greater part of the day in hunting with Archie. The abundance of game at that season made the pastime very agreeable. They took supper at seven, they went to bed at ten, and the evenings seemed all too short even without the help of cards. Jules, who was ignorant of what had passed between his sister and Archie, could not but be struck with his friend's unusual sadness, of which, however, he failed to guess the cause. To all questions on the subject he received an evasive answer. Finally, imagining that he had found the root of the difficulty, one evening when they were alone together he put the question directly.

"I have noticed, my brother," said he, "the sadness which you endeavor to conceal from us. You are unjust to us, Archie, you do yourself an injustice. You should not brood over the past. In saving the lives which would otherwise have been lost in the shipwreck of the Auguste, you have done my family a service which270 more than compensates for what took place before. It is we now who owe you a debt of gratitude which can never be repaid. It was very natural that, prejudiced by report and for the moment forgetful of your noble heart, even such friends as we, imbittered by our losses, should lend an ear to calumnies against you; but you know that a simple explanation was enough to re-cement our old friendship. If my father bore his grudge for a long time, you know his nature and must make allowance for it. He feels now all his old affection for you. Our losses have been in great part repaired, and we live more tranquilly under the British Government than we did under the rule of France. Our habitants have followed the example of Cincinnatus, as Uncle Raoul would say, and exchanged the musket for the plow-share. They are opening up new land, and in a few years this seigneurie will be in a most prosperous condition. With the help of the little legacy which I lately received, we shall soon be as rich as we were before the conquest. Therefore, my dear Archie, drive away this gloom which is making us all miserable and resume thy former lightheartedness."

Lochiel was silent for some time, and only answered after a painful effort.

"Impossible, my brother. The wound is more recent than you imagine and will bleed all my life, for all my hopes are destroyed. But let us leave the subject; for I have already been wounded in my tenderest and purest emotions, and an unsympathetic word from you would finish me."

"An unsympathetic word from my lips, do you say, Archie? What can you mean by that? The friend whom I have sometimes vexed with my raillery knows very well what my heart is toward him, and that I was always ready to crave his pardon. You shake your271 head sadly! Great heaven, what is the matter? What is there that you can not confide to your brother, the friend of your boyhood? Never have I had anything to conceal from you. My thoughts were as open to you as your own, and I had imagined that you were as frank with me. A curse upon whatever has been able to come between us!"

"Stop, Jules, stop," cried Archie. "However painful my confidences may be to you, I must tell you all rather than let you harbor such a cruel suspicion. I am going to open my heart to you, but on the express condition that you shall hear me uninterruptedly to the end, as an impartial judge. Not till to-morrow will we return to this sore subject. Meanwhile, promise to keep the secret that I am going to confide to you."

"I give you my word," said Jules, grasping his hand.

Thereupon Lochiel recounted minutely the conversation that he had had with Blanche. As soon as he came to an end he lit a candle and withdrew to his own room.

As for Jules, he stormed within himself all night. Having studied women only in the salons of St. Germain, his vigorous common sense could ill appreciate the sublimity that there was in the sacrifice which his sister was imposing upon herself. Such sentiments appeared to him mere romantic and exaggerated nonsense, or the product of an imagination rendered morbid by calamity. With his heart set upon an alliance which would gratify his dearest wishes, he resolved that, with the consent of Archie, he would have a very serious conversation with Blanche, from which he felt confident he would come off victorious. "She loves him," thought he, "and therefore my cause is already gained."

Man, with all his apparent superiority, with all his self-confident vanity, has never yet sounded the depths272 of the feminine heart, that inexhaustible treasure-house of love, devotion, and self-sacrifice. The poets have sung in every key this being who came all beauty from the hands of her Creator; but what is all this physical beauty compared to the spiritual beauty of a noble and high-souled woman? Indeed, who is more miserable than man in the face of adversity, when, poor pygmy, he leans on the fortitude of a woman, who bears the burden uncomplainingly. It is not surprising then that Jules, knowing woman only on the surface, expected an easy triumph over his sister's scruples.

"Come, Blanche," said Jules to his sister, the next day, after dinner, "there's our Scottish Nimrod setting out with his gun to get some birds for our supper. Let's you and I see if we can scale the bluff as nimbly as we used to."

"With all my heart," answered Blanche. "You shall see that my Canadian legs have lost none of their agility."

The brother and sister, assisting themselves by the projecting rocks, and by the shrubs which clung in the crevices of the cliff, speedily scaled the difficult path that led to the summit. After gazing in silence for a time at the magnificent panorama unrolled before them, Jules said to his sister:

"I had an object in bringing you here. I wanted to talk to you on a subject of the greatest importance. You love our friend Archie; you have loved him for a long time; yet for reasons that I can not comprehend, for over-exalted sentiments which warp your judgment, you are imposing upon yourself an unnatural sacrifice and preparing for yourself a future of wretchedness. As for me, if I loved an English girl, and she returned my affection, I would marry her just as readily as if she were one of my own countrywomen."


Blanche's eyes filled with tears. Taking her brother's hand affectionately, she answered:

"If you were to marry an English girl, my dear Jules, I should take her to my heart as a sister; but that which you could do without incurring any reproach, would be cowardice on my part. Nobly have you paid your debt to your country. Your voice has nerved your soldiers through the most terrible conflicts. Twice has your bleeding body been dragged from our battle-fields, and three times have you been wounded in Old World struggles. Yes, my beloved brother, you have fulfilled all your duty to your country, and you can afford to indulge, if you wish, the whim of taking a daughter of England to wife. But I, a weak woman, what have I done for this enslaved and now silent land, this land which has rung so often of old with the triumphant voices of my countrymen? Shall a daughter of the D'Habervilles be the first to set the example of a double yoke to the daughters of Canada? It is natural and even desirable that the French and English in Canada, having now one country and the same laws, should forget their ancient hostility and enter into the most intimate relationships; but I am not the one to set the example. They would say, as I told Archie, that the proud Briton, after having vanquished and ruined the father, had purchased with his gold the poor Canadian girl! Never, never shall it be said!" And the girl wept bitterly on her brother's shoulder.

"No one will know of it," she continued, "and you yourself will never realize the full extent of the sacrifice I am making, but fear not, Jules, I have the strength for it. Proud of the sentiments by which I have been inspired, I shall pass my days serenely in the bosom of my family. Of this be sure," she continued in a voice that thrilled with exaltation, "that she who has loved274 the noble Cameron of Lochiel will never soil her bosom with another earthly love. You made a mistake in selecting this spot, Jules, wherein to talk to me on such a subject—this spot whence I have so often gazed proudly on the mansion of my fathers, which is now replaced by yonder poor dwelling. Let us go down now, and if you love me never mention this painful subject again."

"Noble soul!" cried Jules, and he held her sobbing in his arms.

Archie, having lost all hope of wedding Blanche D'Haberville, set himself to repaying the debt of gratitude which he owed Dumais. The refusal of Blanche changed his first intentions and left him more latitude; for he now resolved upon a life of celibacy. Archie, whom misfortune had brought to an early maturity, had studied men and things with great coolness of judgment; and he had come to the wise conclusion that marriage is rarely a success unless based on mutual love. Unlike most young men, Lochiel was genuinely modest. Though endowed with remarkable beauty, and with all those qualities which go to captivate women, he nevertheless remained always simple and unassuming in his manner. He further believed, with Molière's Toinette, that the pretense of love often bears a very close resemblance to the reality. "When I was poor and in exile," thought he, "I was loved for my own sake; now that I am rich, who knows that another woman would love in me anything but my wealth and my rank, even supposing that I should succeed in banishing from my heart my first and only love." Archie decided then that he would never marry.

The sun was disappearing behind the Laurentian hills, when Lochiel arrived at the farm of Dumais. The order and prosperity which reigned there gave him an agreeable surprise. The good wife, busy in her dairy,275 where a fat servant girl was helping her, came forward to meet him without recognizing him, and invited him to enter the house.

"This is the house of Sergeant Dumais, I believe," said Archie.

"Yes, sir, and I am his wife. My husband should be back presently from the fields with a load of grain. I will send one of the children to hurry him up."

"There is no hurry, madam. I have called to give you news of a certain Mr. Archie de Lochiel, whom you once knew. Perhaps you have forgotten him."

Madame Dumais came nearer. After studying his face intently for some moments, she said:

"There is certainly a resemblance. Doubtless you are one of his kinsfolk. Forget Mr. Archie! He could never think us capable of such ingratitude. Do you not know, then, that he faced almost certain death to save my husband's life, and that we pray to God every day that he will bless our benefactor? Forget Mr. Archie! You grieve me, sir."

Lochiel was much moved. Lifting into his lap the little seven-year-old Louise, Dumais's youngest child, he said to her:

"And you, my little one, do you know Mr. Archie?"

"I have never seen him," said the child, "but we pray for him every day."

"What do you pray?" asked Archie.

"O God, bless Mr. Archie, who saved papa's life, as long as he lives; and, when he dies, take him to your holy paradise."

Lochiel continued to chat with Madame Dumais till the latter heard her husband's voice at the barn. She ran to tell him that there was a stranger in the house with news from Mr. Archie. Dumais was preparing to pitch off his load, but he threw down the fork and276 rushed into the house. It was by this time too dark for him to make out the stranger's face.

"You are indeed welcome," said he, "coming with news from one so dear to us."

"You are—Sergeant Dumais?" inquired Archie.

"You are Mr. Archie!" cried Dumais, clasping him in his arms. "Do you think I could forget the voice that cried to me 'Courage!' when I was hanging on the brink of the abyss—the voice I heard so often in my sickness?"

Toward the end of the evening Archie said:

"My dear Dumais, I am come to ask a great favor."

"A favor!" exclaimed Dumais. "Could I, a poor farmer, be so fortunate as to do you a favor? It would be the happiest day of my life."

"Well, Dumais, it depends upon you to restore me to health. Though I may not look it, I am sick, more sick than you could imagine."

"Indeed," said Dumais, "you are pale, and sadder than of old. Good heaven! What is the matter?"

"Have you ever heard of a malady to which the English are very subject, and which they call the spleen, or blue devils?"

"No," said Dumais. "I have known several of your English who, if I may say it without offense, seemed to have the devil in them; but I had imagined that these devils were of a darker hue."

Archie began to laugh.

"What we, my dear Dumais, call the blue devils is known among you Canadians as 'peine d'esprit.'"

"I understand now," said Dumais, "but what astonishes me is that a man like you, with everything heart could wish, should be amusing himself with blue devils."

"My dear Dumais," replied Archie, "I might answer277 that every one in the world has his sorrows, however fortunate he may seem; but it is enough now to say that the malady is upon me, and that I count upon you to help me to a cure."

"Command me, Mr. Archie; for I am at your service day and night."

"I have tried everything," continued Archie. "I have tried study, I have tried literary work. I am better in the day-time, but my nights are usually sleepless, and when I do sleep, I wake up as miserable as ever. I have concluded that nothing but hard manual labor can cure me. After toiling all day, I imagine that I shall win such a slumber as has long been denied me."

"Very true," said Dumais. "When a man has labored all day with his hands, I defy him to suffer from sleeplessness at night. But how shall I have the pleasure of helping you?"

"I expect you to cure me, my dear Dumais. But listen while I explain my plans. I am now rich, and since Providence has given me riches which I had never expected, I should employ a portion of them in doing good. In this parish and the neighborhood there is an immense deal of land unoccupied, either for sale or to be granted. My plan is to take up a large acreage of such lands, and not only superintend the clearing, but work at it myself. You know that I have good arms; and I will do as much as any of the rest."

"I know it," said Dumais.

"There are many poor fellows," continued Archie, "who will be glad enough to get work at such good wages as I shall give. You understand, Dumais, that I shall have to have some one to help me. Moreover, what would I do in the evening and during bad weather, without a friend to keep me company? It is then that my melancholy would kill me."


"Let us set out to-morrow," cried Dumais, "and visit the best lots, which, for that matter, I already know pretty well."

"Thank you," said Archie, grasping his hand; "but who will take care of your farm in your frequent absences?"

"Don't be anxious on that score, sir. My wife could manage very well alone, even without her brother, an old bachelor, who lives with us. My farm has never suffered much from my absence. I have always preferred the musket to the plow. My wife scolds me occasionally on this subject; but we are none the worse friends for that."

"Do you know," said Archie, "that yonder by the edge of the river, near that maple grove, is the most charming situation for a house. Yours is old. We will build one large enough for us all. I will build it, on condition that I have the right to occupy half of it during my life; and on my death all will belong to you. I have resolved to remain a bachelor."

"Men like you," said Dumais, "are altogether too scarce. It would be wrong to let the breed die out. But I begin to understand that you are thinking less about yourself than about me and my family, and that you are seeking to make us rich."

"Let us speak frankly," answered Archie. "I have no true friends in the world but the D'Haberville family and yours."

"Thank you, sir," said Dumais, "for classing us poor farmers with that illustrious family."

"I only consider the virtues and good qualities of men," answered Lochiel. "To be sure, I love and respect birth and breeding, which does not prevent me from loving and respecting all men who are worthy of such sentiments. I want to give you a fourth part of my fortune."


"Oh, sir!" cried Dumais.

"Listen a moment, my friend," continued Lochiel. "When I told you that I was suffering from what you call 'peine d'esprit,' I was telling the literal truth. I have found the remedy for this trouble. It lies in plenty of hard work and in helping my friends. I am going to give you during my life-time a quarter of my fortune. Look out for yourself, Dumais! I am obstinate, like all Scotchmen. If you trifle with me, instead of a quarter, I am as likely as not to give you a half. But, to speak seriously, my dear Dumais, you would be doing me a very ill turn, indeed, if you should refuse me."

"If this is the case, sir," said Dumais, with tears in his eyes, "I accept your gift."

Let us leave Lochiel busying himself in heaping benefits on Dumais, and let us return to our other friends.

"The good gentleman," now almost a hundred years old, lived but a year after Jules's return. He died surrounded by his friends, having been most lovingly nursed by Blanche and Jules throughout the month of his last illness. A little while before his death he begged Jules to open his bed-room window, and, casting a feeble glance toward the stream which rolled peacefully past his door, he murmured:

"There it is, my friend; there's the walnut tree in whose shadow I told you the story of my misfortunes; it was there I counseled you from my own experience. I die content, for I see that you have profited by my words. When I am gone, take this little candlestick. It will remind you of the vigils it has witnessed and of the advice which I have given you.

"As for you, my dear and faithful André," exclaimed M. d'Egmont, "it grieves me to leave you alone in this280 world where you have shared my sorrows. You have promised me to pass the rest of your days with the D'Habervilles, who will care for your old age tenderly. You know that after your death the poor are to be our heirs."

"My dear master," said Francœur, sobbing, "the poor will not have long to wait for their inheritance."

Having bid farewell to all his friends, "the good gentleman" asked the priest to say the prayers for the dying. Just at the words, "Partez âme Chrétienne, au nom du Dieu tout-puissant qui vous a créé," he breathed his last. Sterne would have said:

"The recording angel of the court of heaven shed a tear upon the follies of his youth, and blotted them out forever." The angels are more compassionate than men, who neither forget nor forgive the faults of others!

André Francœur was struck with paralysis on the day of his master's burial, and survived him but three weeks.

When Jules had said to his sister: "If I loved an English girl and she would have me, I would marry her as readily as one of my own countrywomen," Blanche had been far from suspecting her brother's real intentions. The truth was that Jules, on his voyage across the Atlantic, had made the acquaintance of a young English girl of great beauty. A second Saint-Preux, Jules had given her lessons in something more than French grammar during a passage that lasted two months. He had shown excellent taste. The young girl, in addition to her beauty, possessed the qualities to inspire a true passion.

All obstacles being at length overcome, and the consent of both families obtained, in the following year281 Jules married the fair daughter of Albion, who soon won the hearts of all about her.

Uncle Raoul, always bitter against the English on account of the leg which he had lost in Acadia, but too well bred to fail in the proprieties, used at first to shut himself up whenever he wanted to swear comfortably at the compatriots of his lovely niece; but by the end of a month she had entirely captivated him, whereupon he suddenly suppressed his oaths, to the great benefit of his soul and of the pious ears which he had scandalized.

"That rascal of a Jules," said Uncle Raoul, "showed very good taste in wedding this young English woman. His Holiness the Pope of old was quite right when he said that these young islanders would be angels if only they were Christians; non angli, sed angeli fuissent, si essent Christiani."

It was another thing when the dear uncle, trotting a little nephew on one knee and a little niece on the other, used to sing them the songs of the Canadian voyageurs. How proud he was when their mother used to cry:

"For pity sake, come to my help, dear uncle, for the little demons won't go to sleep without you."

Uncle Raoul had charged himself with the military education of his nephew. Therefore, before he was four years old, this pygmy warrior, armed with a little wooden gun, might be seen making furious attacks against the ample stomach of his instructor, who was obliged to defend with his cane the part assaulted.

"The little scamp," said the chevalier recovering himself, "is going to have the dashing courage of the D'Habervilles, with the persistence and independence of the proud islanders from whom he is descended through his mother."

José had at first shown himself rather cool toward his young mistress, but he ended by becoming warmly282 attached to her. She had speedily found the weak point in his armor of reserve. José, like his late father, dearly loved his glass, which, however, produced very little effect upon his hard head. It was as if one should pour the liquor upon the head of the weather-cock, and expect to confuse the judgment of that venerable but volatile bird. His young mistress was forever offering José a drop of brandy to warm him or a glass of wine to refresh him; till José ended by declaring that if the Englishmen were somewhat uncivil, their countrywomen by no means resembled them in that regard.

With their minds at ease as to the future of their children, M. and Madame D'Haberville lived happily to extreme old age. The captain's last words to his son were:

"Serve your new sovereign as faithfully as I have served the King of France; and may God bless you, my dear son, for the comfort that you have been to me!"

Uncle Raoul, dying three years before his brother, bid farewell to life with but one regret. He would have liked to see his little nephew fairly launched on the career of arms, the only career he considered quite worthy of a D'Haberville. Having perceived, however, that the child made great progress in his studies, he comforted himself with the thought that, if not a soldier, his nephew might turn out a savant like himself and keep the torch of learning lighted in the family.

José, who had a constitution of iron and sinews of steel, who had never had an hour of sickness, regarded death as a sort of hypothetical event. One of his friends said to him one day after his master's death:

"Do you know, José, you must be at least eighty years old, and one would scarcely take you to be fifty."

José leaned upon his hip to show his steadiness,283 blew through his pipe to expel a bit of ashes, fumbled in his pocket with his one remaining hand till he found his tobacco and his flint and steel, and at length replied with great deliberation.

"As you know, I am the foster-brother of our late captain; I was brought up in his house; I have followed him in every campaign that he has made; I have trained his two children; I have begun, do you see, upon a new charge, the care of his grandchildren. Very well, then! As long as a D'Haberville needs my services, I don't propose to leave."

"Do you think, then, that you will live as long as the late Maqueue-salé [Methuselah]?" asked the neighbor.

"Longer still, if need be," replied José.

Then, having taken from his pocket everything which he needed, he filled his pipe, put a bit of lighted tinder on the bowl, and applied himself to smoking while he regarded his friend with the air of a man convinced of the truth of everything which he has said.

José kept his word for a dozen years; but it was in vain that he endeavored to strengthen himself against old age by occupying himself with his usual tasks, despite the remonstrances of his masters, and at last he was forced to keep the house. All the family were anxious about him.

"What is the matter, my dear José?" said Jules.

"Bah! only laziness," replied José, "or perhaps my rheumatics."

But José had never had an attack of that malady. This was only an excuse.

"Give the good old fellow, ma'am, his morning glass, it will revive him," said Archie.

"I am going to bring you a little glass of excellent brandy," said Madame Jules.

"Not just now," replied José, " I always have some284 in my trunk, but this morning it doesn't appeal to me."

They began to be seriously alarmed; this was a bad symptom.

"Then I am going to make you a cup of tea," said Madame Jules, "and you will feel better."

"My English wife," said Jules, "thinks tea a remedy for all ills."

José drank the tea, and declared that it was a fine medicine and that he felt better, but this did not prevent the faithful servant from taking to his bed that very evening never to leave it alive.

When the brave fellow knew that his end was drawing near, he said to Jules, who watched with him through the night:

"I have prayed the good God to prolong my life to your childrens' next holidays, so that I might see them once more before I die, but I shall not have that consolation."

"You shall see them to-morrow, my dear José."

An hour later Lochiel was on the way to Quebec, and on the next evening all those who were the dearest in the world to that faithful and affectionate servant were gathered around his death-bed. After talking with them for some time and bidding them a most tender farewell, he summoned all his strength in order to sit up in bed, and when Jules approached to support him, a burning tear fell on his hand. After this last effort of that strong nature, he who had shared the good and the bad fortune of the D'Habervilles fell back and ceased to breathe.

"Let us pray for the soul of one of the best men that I have known," said Archie, closing his eyes.

Jules and Blanche, in spite of remonstrances, would not resign to any one the task of watching beside their285 old friend during the three days that his body remained at the manor house.

"If one of our family had died," they said, "Jules would not have left him to another's care."

One day when Archie, in the course of one of his frequent visits to the D'Habervilles, was walking with Jules in front of the manor house, he saw approaching on foot an old man, decently clad, carrying a sealskin bag on his shoulders.

"Who is that man?" he asked.

"Ah," said Jules, "that is our friend, M. D——, carrying his office on his back."

"What! His office?" said Archie.

"Certainly. He is an itinerant notary. Every three months he travels through certain districts, drawing up new deeds and finishing up copies of the rough drafts which he always carries with him in order that he may not be taken unawares. He is an excellent and very amiable man, French by birth, and very intelligent. On coming to Canada he began with a small trade in pictures which proved unprofitable, and then, remembering that he had formerly studied for two years with an advocate in France, he boldly presented himself before the judges, and passed an examination, which, if not brilliant, was at least satisfactory enough for his new country, and then returned home in triumph with a notary's commission in his pocket. I assure you that every one gets on well with his deeds, which are drawn with a most scrupulous honesty that supplies the place of the diction, purer but often tarnished by bad faith, of more learned notaries."

"Your nomadic notary," replied Archie, smiling, "arrives opportunely. I have work for him."

In fact, Lochiel, who was already well advanced in the task of clearing which he was so actively engaged286 upon for the benefit of his friend Dumais, made over to him in due form all his real estate, reserving only for himself during his life-time the half of the new and spacious house which he had built.

The visits of Archie to the manor house became more frequent as he advanced in age, and he ended by establishing himself there altogether. Blanche was no longer in his eyes anything more than an adopted sister; and the sweet name of brother, which Blanche had given him, purified the remnant of passion which yet clung to the heart of this noble woman.

The author has become so attached to the chief characters in this veracious history that it costs him a pang to banish them from the scene. He fears also to grieve those of his readers who may share this attachment should he kill them all off with one stroke of the pen. Time will do the fatal work without the author's assistance.

It is eleven o'clock in the evening, toward the end of October. The D'Haberville family are gathered in a little parlor sufficiently illuminated, without the help of the candles, by the flame from an armful of dry cedar chips which are blazing in the great chimney. Lochiel, now nearly sixty years of age, is playing a game of draughts with Blanche. Jules, seated between his wife and daughter, near the fire, is teasing them both without altogether neglecting the players.

Young Archie D'Haberville, only son of Jules and godson of Lochiel, is in a brown study. He is following the fantastic figures which his imagination has created in the flames now dying slowly on the hearth.

"What are you thinking about, my grave philosopher?" said his father.

"I have been watching with intense interest," answered the young man, "a little group of men, women,287 and children who have been walking, dancing, rising, falling, and who have at length all vanished."

The cedar fire had just died out.

"You are the true son of your mother, a godson worthy of your godfather," said Jules D'Haberville, rising to bid good-night.

Like the fantastic figures which young D'Haberville was watching in the flames, my characters, dear reader, have been moving for some time before your eyes, to vanish suddenly, perhaps forever, with him who set them in motion.

Farewell, then, dear reader, before my hand, growing more cold than our Canadian winters, refuses any longer to trace my thoughts.


L. C. Page and Company's
Announcement List
of New Fiction

The Flight of Georgiana

A Romance of the Days of the Young Pretender. By Robert Neilson Stephens, author of "The Bright Face of Danger," "An Enemy to the King," "The Mystery of Murray Davenport," etc.

Library 12mo, cloth decorative, illustrated $1.50

Mr. Stephens's novels all bear the hall-mark of success, for his men are always live, his women are always worthy of their cavaliers, and his adventures are of the sort to stir the most sluggish blood without overstepping the bounds of good taste.

The theme of the new novel is one which will give Mr. Stephens splendid scope for all the powers at his command. The career of "Bonnie Prince Charlie" was full of romance, intrigue, and adventure; his life was a series of episodes to delight the soul of a reader of fiction, and Mr. Stephens is to be congratulated for his selection of such a promising subject.

Mrs. Jim and Mrs. Jimmie

By Stephen Conrad, author of "The Second Mrs. Jim."

Library 12mo, cloth decorative, illustrated $1.50

This new book is in a sense a sequel to "The Second Mrs. Jim," since it gives further glimpses of that delightful step-mother and her philosophy. This time, however, she divides the field with "Mrs. Jimmie," who is quite as attractive in her different way. The book has more plot than the former volume, a little less philosophy perhaps, but just as much wholesome fun. In many ways it is a stronger book, and will therefore take an even firmer hold on the public.

The Story of Red Fox

Told by Charles G. D. Roberts, author of "The Watchers of the Trails," "The Kindred of the Wild," "Barbara Ladd," etc.

Library 12mo, cloth decorative, with fifty illustrations and cover design by Charles Livingston Bull


Mr. Roberts's reputation as a scientifically accurate writer, whose literary skill transforms his animal stories into masterpieces, stands unrivalled in his particular field.

This is his first long animal story, and his romance of Red Fox, from babyhood to patriarchal old age, makes reading more fascinating than any work of fiction. In his hands Red Fox becomes a personality so strong that one entirely forgets he is an animal, and his haps and mishaps grip you as do those of a person.

Mr. Bull, as usual, fits his pictures to the text as hand to glove, and the ensemble becomes a book as near perfection as it is possible to attain.


A Story of the Sea Islands in 1739. By Alice MacGowan and Grace MacGowan Cooke, authors of "The Last Word," etc. With six illustrations by C. D. Williams. Library 12mo, cloth


A new romance, undoubtedly the best work yet done by Miss MacGowan and Mrs. Cooke. The heroine of "Return," Diana Chaters, is the belle of the Colonial city of Charles Town, S. C., in the early eighteenth century, and the hero is a young Virginian of the historical family of Marshall. The youth, beauty, and wealth of the fashionable world, which first form the environment of the romance, are pictured in sharp contrast to the rude and exciting life of the frontier settlements in the Georgia Colony, and the authors have missed no opportunities for telling characterizations. But "Return" is, above all, a love-story.

We quote the opinion of Prof. Charles G. D. Roberts, who has read the advance sheets: "It seems to me a story of quite unusual strength and interest, full of vitality and crowded with telling characters. I greatly like the authors' firm, bold handling of their subject."

Lady Penelope

By Morley Roberts, author of "Rachel Marr," "The Promotion of the Admiral," etc. With nine illustrations by Arthur W. Brown.

Library 12mo, cloth $1.50

Mr. Roberts certainly has versatility, since this book has not a single point of similarity with either "Rachel Marr" or his well-known sea stories. Its setting is the English so-called "upper crust" of the present day. Lady Penelope is quite the most up-to-date young lady imaginable and equally charming. As might be expected from such a heroine, her automobiling plays an important part in the development of the plot. Lady Penelope has a large number of suitors, and her method of choosing her husband is original and provocative of delightful situations and mirthful incidents.

The Winged Helmet

By Harold Steele MacKaye, author of "The Panchronicon," etc. With six illustrations by H. C. Edwards.

Library 12mo, cloth $1.50

When an author has an original theme on which to build his story, ability in construction of unusual situations, skill in novel characterization, and a good literary style, there can be no doubt but that his work is worth reading. "The Winged Helmet" is of this description.

The author gives in this novel a convincing picture of life in the early sixteenth century, and the reader will be delighted with its originality of treatment, freshness of plot, and unexpected climaxes.

A Captain of Men

By E. Anson More.

Library 12mo, cloth, illustrated $1.50

A tale of Tyre and those merchant princes whose discovery of the value of tin brought untold riches into the country and afforded adventures without number to those daring seekers for the mines. Merodach, the Assyrian, Tanith, the daughter of the richest merchant of Tyre, Miriam, her Hebrew slave, and the dwarf Hiram, who was the greatest artist of his day, are a quartette of characters hard to surpass in individuality. It has been said that the powerful order of Free Masons first had its origin in the meetings which were held at Hiram's studio in Tyre, where gathered together the greatest spirits of that age and place.

The Paradise of the Wild Apple

By Richard LeGallienne, author of "Old Love Stories Retold," "The Quest of the Golden Girl," etc.

Library 12mo, cloth decorative $1.50

The theme of Mr. LeGallienne's new romance deals with the instinct of wildness in human nature,—the wander spirit and impatience of tame domesticity, the preference for wild flowers and fruits, and the glee in summer storms and elemental frolics. A wild apple-tree, high up in a rocky meadow, is symbolic of all this, and Mr. LeGallienne works out in a fashion at once imaginative and serious the romance of a young man well placed from the view of worldly goods and estate, who suddenly hungers for the "wild apples" of his youth. The theme has limitless possibilities, and Mr. LeGallienne is artist enough to make adequate use of them.

The Grapple

Library 12mo, cloth decorative $1.50

This story of a strike in the coal mines of Pennsylvania gives both sides of the question,—the Union and its methods, and the non-Union workers and their loyal adherents, with a final typical clash at the end. The question is an absorbing one, and it is handled fearlessly.

For the present at least "The Grapple" will be issued anonymously.

Brothers of Peril

By Theodore Roberts, author of "Hemming the Adventurer."

Library 12mo, cloth decorative, illustrated $1.50

"Brothers of Peril" has an unusual plot, dealing with a now extinct race, the Beothic Indians of the sixteenth century, who were the original inhabitants of Newfoundland when that island was merely a fishing-station for the cod-seeking fleets of the old world.

The story tells of the adventures of a young English cavalier, who, left behind by the fleet, finds another Englishman, with his daughter and servants, who is hiding from the law. A French adventurer and pirate, who is an unwelcome suitor for the daughter, plays an important part. Encounters between the Indians and the small colony of white men on the shore, and perilous adventures at sea with a shipload of pirates led by the French buccaneer, make a story of breathless interest.

The Black Barque

By T. Jenkins Hains, author of "The Wind Jammers," "The Strife of the Sea," etc. With five illustrations by W. Herbert Dunton.

Library 12mo, cloth $1.50

According to a high naval authority who has seen the advance sheets, this is one of the best sea stories ever offered to the public. "The Black Barque" is a story of slavery and piracy upon the high seas about 1815, and is written with a thorough knowledge of deep-water sailing. This, Captain Hains's first long sea story, realistically pictures a series of stirring scenes at the period of the destruction of the exciting but nefarious traffic in slaves, in the form of a narrative by a young American lieutenant, who, by force of circumstances, finds himself the gunner of "The Black Barque."

Cameron of Lochiel

Translated from the French of Philippe Aubert de Gaspé by Prof. Charles G. D. Roberts.

Library 12mo, cloth decorative $1.50

The publishers are gratified to announce a new edition of a book by this famous author, who may be called the Walter Scott of Canada. This interesting and valuable romance is fortunate in having for its translator Professor Roberts, who has caught perfectly the spirit of the original. The French edition first appeared under the title of "Les Anciens Canadiens" in 1862, and was later translated and appeared in an American edition now out of print.

Patriotism, devotion to the French-Canadian nationality, a just pride of race, and a loving memory for his people's romantic and heroic past, are the dominant chords struck by the author throughout the story.

Castel del Monte

By Nathan Gallizier. Illustrated by H. C. Edwards.

Library 12mo, cloth $1.50

A powerful romance of the fall of the Hohenstaufen dynasty in Italy, and the overthrow of Manfred by Charles of Anjou, the champion of Pope Clement IV. The Middle Ages are noted for the weird mysticism and the deep fatalism characteristic of a people believing in signs and portents and the firm hand of fate. Mr. Gallizier has brought out these characteristics in a marked degree.

Slaves of Success

By Elliot Flower, author of "The Spoilsmen," etc. With twenty illustrations by different artists.

Library 12mo, cloth $1.50

Another striking book by Mr. Flower, whose work is already so well known, both through his long stories and his contributions to Collier's, the Saturday Evening Post, etc. Like his first success, "The Spoilsmen," it deals with politics, but in the broader field of state and national instead of municipal. The book has recently appeared in condensed form as a serial in Collier's Magazine, where it attracted wide-spread attention, and the announcement of its appearance in book form will be welcomed by Mr. Flower's rapidly increasing audience. The successful delineation of characters like John Wade, Ben Carroll, Azro Craig, and Allen Sidway throws new strong lights on the inside workings of American business and political "graft."

Silver Bells

By Col. Andrew C. P. Haggard, author of "Hannibal's Daughter," "Louis XIV. in Court and Camp," etc. With cover design and frontispiece by Charles Livingston Bull.

Library 12mo, cloth $1.50

Under the thin veneer of conventionality and custom lurks in many hearts the primeval instinct to throw civilization to the winds and hark back to the ways of the savages in the wilderness, and it often requires but a mental crisis or an emotional upheaval to break through the coating. Geoffrey Digby was such an one, who left home and kindred to seek happiness among the Indians of Canada, in the vast woods which always hold an undefinable mystery and fascination. He gained renown as a mighty hunter, and the tale of his life there, and the romance which awaited him, will be heartily enjoyed by all who like a good love-story with plenty of action not of the "stock" order. "Silver Bells," the Indian girl, is a perfect "child of nature."

Selections from
L. C. Page and Company's
List of Fiction


Captain Ravenshaw; Or, The Maid of Cheapside. (40th thousand.) A romance of Elizabethan London. Illustrations by Howard Pyle and other artists.

Library 12mo, cloth $1.50

Not since the absorbing adventures of D'Artagnan have we had anything so good in the blended vein of romance and comedy. The beggar student, the rich goldsmith, the roisterer and the rake, the fop and the maid, are all here: foremost among them Captain Ravenshaw himself, soldier of fortune and adventurer, who, after escapades of binding interest, finally wins a way to fame and to matrimony.

Philip Winwood. (70th thousand.) A Sketch of the Domestic History of an American Captain in the War of Independence, embracing events that occurred between and during the years 1763 and 1785 in New York and London. Written by his Enemy in War, Herbert Russell, Lieutenant in the Loyalist Forces. Presented anew by Robert Neilson Stephens. Illustrated by E. W. D. Hamilton.

Library 12mo, cloth $1.50

"One of the most stirring and remarkable romances that have been published in a long while, and its episodes, incidents, and actions are as interesting and agreeable as they are vivid and dramatic."—Boston Times.

The Mystery of Murray Davenport. (30th thousand.) By Robert Neilson Stephens, author of "An Enemy to the King," "Philip Winwood," etc.

Library 12mo, cloth, with six full-page illustrations by H. C.
Edwards $1.50

"This is easily the best thing that Mr. Stephens has yet done. Those familiar with his other novels can best judge the measure of this praise, which is generous."—Buffalo News.

"Mr. Stephens won a host of friends through his earlier volumes, but we think he will do still better work in his new field if the present volume is a criterion."—N. Y. Com. Advertiser.

An Enemy to the King. (60th thousand.) From the "Recently Discovered Memoirs of the Sieur de la Tournoire." Illustrated by H. De M. Young.

Library 12mo, cloth $1.50

An historical romance of the sixteenth century, describing the adventures of a young French nobleman at the Court of Henry III., and on the field with Henry of Navarre.

"A stirring tale."—Detroit Free Press.

"A royally strong piece of fiction."—Boston Ideas.

"Interesting from the first to the last page."—Brooklyn Eagle.

"Brilliant as a play; it is equally brilliant as a romantic novel."—Philadelphia Press.

The Continental Dragoon: A Romance of Philipse Manor House in 1778. (43d thousand.) Illustrated by H. C. Edwards.

Library 12mo, cloth $1.50

A stirring romance of the Revolution, the scene being laid in and around the old Philipse Manor House, near Yonkers, which at the time of the story was the central point of the so-called "neutral territory" between the two armies.

The Road to Paris: A Story of Adventure. (25th thousand.) Illustrated by H. C. Edwards.

Library 12mo, cloth $1.50

An historical romance of the 18th century, being an account of the life of an American gentleman adventurer of Jacobite ancestry, whose family early settled in the colony of Pennsylvania.

A Gentleman Player: His Adventures on a Secret Mission for Queen Elizabeth. (38th thousand.) Illustrated by Frank T. Merrill.

Library 12mo, cloth $1.50

"A Gentleman Player" is a romance of the Elizabethan period. It relates the story of a young gentleman who, in the reign of Elizabeth, falls so low in his fortune that he joins Shakespeare's company of players, and becomes a friend and protégé of the great poet.


Barbara Ladd. With four illustrations by Frank Verbeck.

Library 12mo, gilt top $1.50

"From the opening chapter to the final page Mr. Roberts lures us on by his rapt devotion to the changing aspects of Nature and by his keen and sympathetic analysis of human character."—Boston Transcript.

The Kindred of the Wild. A Book of Animal Life. With fifty-one full-page plates and many decorations from drawings by Charles Livingston Bull.

Small quarto, decorative cover $2.00

"Professor Roberts has caught wonderfully the elusive individualities of which he writes. His animal stories are marvels of sympathetic science and literary exactness. Bound with the superb illustrations by Charles Livingston Bull, they make a volume which charms, entertains, and informs."—New York World.

" ... Is in many ways the most brilliant collection of animal stories that has appeared ... well named and well done."—John Burroughs.

The Forge in the Forest. Being the Narrative of the Acadian Ranger, Jean de Mer, Seigneur de Briart, and how he crossed the Black Abbé, and of his Adventures in a Strange Fellowship. Illustrated by Henry Sandham, R.C.A.

Library 12mo, cloth, gilt top $1.50

A romance of the convulsive period of the struggle between the French and English for the possession of North America. The story is one of pure love and heroic adventure, and deals with that fiery fringe of conflict that waved between Nova Scotia and New England. The Expulsion of the Acadians is foreshadowed in these brilliant pages, and the part of the "Black Abbé's" intrigues in precipitating that catastrophe is shown.

The Heart of the Ancient Wood. With six illustrations by James L. Weston.

Library 12mo, decorative cover $1.50

"One of the most fascinating novels of recent days."—Boston Journal.

"A classic twentieth-century romance."—New York Commercial Advertiser.

A Sister to Evangeline. Being the Story of Yvonne de Lamourie, and how she went into Exile with the Villagers of Grand Pré.

Library 12mo, cloth, gilt top, illustrated $1.50

This is a romance of the great expulsion of the Acadians, which Longfellow first immortalized in "Evangeline." Swift action, fresh atmosphere, wholesome purity, deep passion, searching analysis, characterize this strong novel.

By the Marshes of Minas.

Library 12mo, cloth, gilt top, illustrated $1.50

This is a volume of romance, of love and adventure in that picturesque period when Nova Scotia was passing from the French to the English régime. Each tale is independent of the others, but the scenes are similar, and in several of them the evil "Black Abbé," well known from the author's previous novels, again appears with his savages at his heels—but to be thwarted always by woman's wit or soldier's courage.

Earth's Enigmas. A new edition, with the addition of three new stories, and ten illustrations by Charles Livingston Bull.

Library 12mo, cloth, uncut edges $1.50

"Throughout the volume runs that subtle questioning of the cruel, predatory side of nature which suggests the general title of the book. In certain cases it is the picture of savage nature ravening for food—for death to preserve life; in others it is the secret symbolism of woods and waters prophesying of evils and misadventures to come. All this does not mean, however, that Mr. Roberts is either pessimistic or morbid—it is nature in his books after all, wholesome in her cruel moods as in her tender."—The New York Independent.


Hope Loring. Illustrated by Frank T. Merrill.

Library 12mo, cloth, decorative cover $1.50

"Lilian Bell's new novel, 'Hope Loring,' does for the American girl in fiction what Gibson has done for her in art.

"Tall, slender, and athletic, fragile-looking, yet with nerves and sinews of steel under the velvet flesh, frank as a boy and tender and beautiful as a woman, free and independent, yet not bold—such is 'Hope Loring,' by long odds the subtlest study that has yet been made of the American girl."—Dorothy Dix, in the New York American.

Abroad with the Jimmies. With a portrait, in duogravure, of the author.

Library 12mo, cloth, decorative cover $1.50

"A deliciously fresh, graphic book. The writer is so original and unspoiled that her point of view has value."—Mary Hartwell Catherwood.

"Full of ozone, of snap, of ginger, of swing and momentum."—Chicago Evening Post.

" ... Is one of her best and cleverest novels ... filled to the brim with amusing incidents and experiences. This vivacious narrative needs no commendation to the readers of Miss Bell's well-known earlier books."—N. Y. Press.

The Interference of Patricia. With a frontispiece from drawing by Frank T. Merrill.

Small 12mo, cloth, decorative cover $1.00

"There is life and action and brilliancy and dash and cleverness and a keen appreciation of business ways in this story."—Grand Rapids Herald.

"A story full of keen and flashing satire."—Chicago Record-Herald.

A Book of Girls. With a frontispiece.

Small 12mo, cloth, decorative cover $1.00

"The stories are all eventful and have effective humor."—New York Sun.

"Lilian Bell surely understands girls, for she depicts all the variations of girl nature so charmingly."—Chicago Journal.

The above two volumes boxed in special holiday dress, per set, $2.50.

The Red Triangle. Being some further chronicles of Martin Hewitt, investigator. By Arthur Morrison, author of "The Hole in the Wall," "Tales of Mean Streets," etc.

Library 12mo, cloth decorative $1.50

This is a genuine, straightforward detective story of the kind that keeps the reader on the qui vive. Martin Hewitt, investigator, might well have studied his methods from Sherlock Holmes, so searching and successful are they.

"Better than Sherlock Holmes."—New York Tribune.

"The reader who has a grain of fancy or imagination may be defied to lay this book down, once he has begun it, until the last word has been reached."—Philadelphia North American.

"If you like a good detective story you will enjoy this."—Brooklyn Eagle.

"We have found 'The Red Triangle' a book of absorbing interest."—Rochester Herald.

"Will be eagerly read by every one who likes a tale of mystery."—The Scotsman, England.

Prince Hagen. By Upton Sinclair, author of "King Midas," etc.

Library 12mo, cloth decorative $1.50

In this book Mr. Sinclair has written a satire of the first order—one worthy to be compared with Swift's biting tirades against the follies and abuses of mankind.

"A telling satire on politics and society in modern New York."—Philadelphia Public Ledger.

"The book has a living vitality and is a strong depiction of political New York."—Bookseller, Newsdealer, and Stationer.

The Silent Maid. By Frederic W. Pangborn.

Large 16mo, cloth decorative, with a frontispiece by Frank
T. Merrill $1.00

A dainty and delicate legend of the brave days of old, of sprites and pixies, of trolls and gnomes, of ruthless barons and noble knights. "The Silent Maid" herself, with her strange bewitchment and wondrous song, is equalled only by Undine in charm and mystery.

"Seldom does one find a short tale so idyllic in tone and so fanciful in motive. The book shows great delicacy of imagination."—The Criterion.

Transciber's Notes:

Punctuation errors repaired.

Uncommon and inconsistent hyphenation and spelling have been retained; typographical errors have been corrected.

The remaining corrections made are indicated by dotted lines under the corrections. Scroll the mouse over the word and the original text will appear.