Title: Hawk's Nest; or, The Last of the Cahoonshees
Author: James M. Allerton
Release date: June 19, 2018 [eBook #57358]
Credits: Produced by The Online Distributed Proofreading Team at
http://www.pgdp.net (This file was produced from images
generously made available by The Internet Archive/American
Transcriber’s Note: A large number of spelling and printing errors have been corrected without further note. There are still some discrepancies in the spelling of personal and place names, and the text for the most part doesn’t use speech marks.
Entered according to Act of Congress in
the year 1892, by
JAMES M. ALLERTON,
in the office of the Librarian of Congress
at Washington, D. C.
CHAPTER I.—A Bird’s Eye View of the Delaware and Neversink Valleys from Hawk’s Nest Mountains.
CHAPTER II.—The Water Spout.
CHAPTER III.—Tom and Drake at the Lifting Rocks.
CHAPTER IV.—The Bear and Panther.
CHAPTER V.—Parting of Mother and Child.
CHAPTER VII.—The House of Death.
CHAPTER VIII.—Cahoonshee on the Origin of Man.
CHAPTER IX.—The Teacher and Pupil.
CHAPTER X.—Asleep on her Mother’s Grave—Going Fishing—True until Death.
CHAPTER XI.—The Second Lesson—Completing his Education—Found new Friends—The Mutiny—Death of Sambo.
CHAPTER XII.—Moccasin tracks in the sand—Cahoonshee at the Climbing Tree—The Battle of the Neversink—Drake’s fearful leap—The virtue of the Grape Vine.
CHAPTER XIII.—The Dead Shot—The Bee Tree—Amy a Prisoner in the hands of the Indians.
CHAPTER XIV.—Restored to reason—Cora, the Rough Diamond—A Temperance Lecture—Found two Grand-Fathers.
CHAPTER XV.—Death of Admiral Powers—Five years in a Mad House—Appointed a Lieutenant—Return to America.
CHAPTER XVI.—The bee hunters—Drake and Rolla on the trail—Call of the tree toad—Answer of the blue-jay.
CHAPTER XVII.—The storm—Buried in the river—Old Shell to the rescue—Which is which and what is what?
CHAPTER XVIII.—The hunt—The fatal shot.
CHAPTER XIX.—Mutual mistakes—The lost child found—Cahoonshee’s last will.
CHAPTER XX.—Farewell to earth—Cahoonshee on the future—Death of Cahoonshee—Married on her mother’s grave.
CHAPTER XXI.—Cora receives her reward.
CHAPTER XXII.—Death of Thomas Quick, Sr., and the threat of his son Tom.
CHAPTER XXIII.—Tom kept his vow and had his revenge.
CHAPTER XXIV.—Killing a buck with seven skins—The biter bitten—Throwing a young Indian down the rocks—Hiding guns in hollow trees.
CHAPTER XXV.—The whiskey scene—Six Indians roasted.
CHAPTER XXVI.—Capture, escape and death of Tom—Honored by a monument.
A Bird’s Eye View of the Delaware and Neversink Valleys From Hawk’s Nest Mountain.
It is contrast that makes the beautiful. What a monotonous world this would be if it was one entire level plane. It is the variegated colors that makes the landscape beautiful and harmonious. In fact it is upon contrasts that we build all of our notions of the beautiful. Yet the same object seen by different persons, from the same standpoint, creates different impressions. Some admire the Alpine mountains and deep blue sky of Italy, and the towering majesty of Mont Blanc. Here, with them, all creation is centered, and there is nothing beautiful that is not connected with Italian skies, hills or landscapes.
Others view Vesuvius, and admire the smoke and fire as it is thrown heavenward. Others immure themselves within the walls of cities like New York or London, and satiate their eyes with brick and mortar, and their ears with a jargon of sounds. Others admire a more extended scenery, or rather a scenery where nature is represented in all its variegated colors; where river and rivulet are blended into one; where the cascade and cataract drop their moisture into the depth below; where the fauna and flora are equally distributed; where the mountain ascends thousands of feet, in contrast with the plain below. In a word, where nature’s great architect has faithfully executed the fore-ordained design.
But where can this perfection be found? Where is this Eden?
I have gazed upon all the cities of the world: From Mont Blanc I have viewed Italy and Switzerland; From Pike’s Peak I have viewed the Pacific and the western slope; I have stood over the thundering and majestic Niagara and viewed the spray going heavenward. All these views are grand and sublime, yet they lack contrast between great and small things that are calculated to make nature beautiful in all its parts and satisfy the mind, eye and ear at a single glance.
Yet there is one such spot on earth; one beautiful place where all these things are combined; one pinnacle of the mountain top, where the eye can take in all these beauties at a single glance.
It is that pinnacle that rises hundreds of feet above the level and embraces within its view the beautiful valley of the Delaware.
It is Hawk’s Nest Mountain. Here the Shawangunk range rises hundreds of feet above the Delaware river, and the beholder imagines himself transported to the skies. These heights are perpendicular, or rather they project over the river, and in its side are deep furrows, crevices and caverns. And in these crevices and caverns, the hawks and eagles build their nests and rear their young without fear of being molested by man.
A few feet from the Hawk’s Nest are the Lifting Rocks. In looking upon these, you gaze upon one of the wonders of the world. Here are three large rocks, but a few hundred feet apart, weighing from 30 to 100 tons, elevated above the ground about five feet and resting on three stone pillars. These pillars are equal distance apart—as much so as if they had been placed there on geometrical principles.
Where did these huge rocks come from? When were they placed there, and by what power were they raised and placed on these triangular pillars?
Geologists say that they were brought from a great distance by the ice during the glacier period, and that their setting on these pillars of stone is one of the freaks of nature beyond the comprehension of man.
Standing at Hawk’s Nest and looking southeast, we behold “High Point,” the most elevated land in the State of New Jersey, it being the highest point in the Shawangunk range. Northeast of us the Appalachian mountains rise to the horizon as far as the eye can reach.
Turning to the southwest, “Pilot Knob” comes into view, towering hundreds of feet above the surrounding hills. To the northwest rises the Carbon mountains that furnish us with coal. And above all towers Mount Arrat, where it rains or snows every day during the year.
This direction also brings into view the rocky fortress where Tom Quick, the Indian Slayer, dug his cave and lay in ambush to wreak vengeance on his deadly foe. Northwesterly rise the “Fish Cabin” mountains, through whose rocks the water has cut a channel hundreds of feet in depth, and falls in the Delaware below. At Handsome Eddy and Shohola, the rocks rise in majesty above the river, and just beyond is the fatal battleground of the battle of the “Minisink.” At the north the country is dotted by the thrifty farmer with his cattle grazing on a thousand hills.
About five miles east from Hawk’s Nest rises the Shawangunk mountain, and at its base flows the lovely and placid Neversink (Mahackamack) river.
The Neversink valley runs northeast and southwest whilst the Delaware Valley runs northwest and southeast. The waters of the Delaware and Neversink unite about five miles from Hawk’s Nest, at a point called “Tri-States Rock,” this being a place that a person can stand in three states at the same time—New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Two miles above Hawk’s Nest, the waters of the Mongaup empty into the Delaware river. One-and-a-half miles east of Hawk’s Nest, the rapid Shinglekill plunges into the Delaware river. The fountain-head of this stream is a Big Pond, a small lake, about three miles from Huguenot. The waters of the Steneykill and Little Pond unite with the Shinglekill. The Sparrowbush unites with the Delaware about three miles from Hawk’s Nest. Below Hawk’s Nest Rock is Hawk’s Nest road, a lovely and romantic drive, from which can be seen the beautiful views I have described. Hundreds of feet below this road runs the Delaware and Hudson canal. As our vision extends across the canal and river to the Pennsylvania shore, we see the iron horse, puffing and blowing, as if to escape from the power of man. As we watch it in its course, it dashes across the iron bridge at Saw Mill Rift and enters the state of New York. At the angle of the Neversink and Delaware rivers, nestling between the mountains, lays the beautiful city of Port Jervis, with its factories, churches and monuments. On the west rises the lofty spires of Mount William and Point Peter, and opposite in the sister State of Pennsylvania is located the beautiful village of Matamoras, the rival town of Milford, whilst a little to the south is located the pretty village of Tri-States. About five miles northeast from Port Jervis, on the line of the canal, near the banks of the Neversink, is the old Peanpack (Huguenot) settlement. Thus I have described the Delaware Valley as seen by a bird’s eye view in July 1891.
But it is not of this time I write. Our tale of love and suffering dates back two hundred years ago; when the red man of the forest held sway, and contended for every inch of ground that the white man attempted to appropriate; when the war whoop, instead of the steam whistle, was heard.
The Water Spout.
On a cold rainy day in the month of September, 1689, two emigrant wagons, each drawn by a pair of oxen, was seen passing along the old Kingston trail, on the east side of the Neversink, toward Peanpack. The day was far advanced, and the night was threatening. The women, children and furniture were concealed within a covered wagon. The drivers, with a hickory gad in their hands, were beside the oxen. And thus, over stump, log and stone, they trudged along. An opening is made in the cover, and a sweet, pretty face peeps out. Lewis, ain’t we most to Peanpack? I’m cold, tired and hungry, and Amy is quite sick. Get along, said Lewis, at the same time bringing the gad down on the oxen. Yes, replied he, we will soon be there, and if the pesky red-skins will let us alone we will have a good night’s rest. This was Lewis Powers with his wife and child en route for the far west in search of a home. Amy, their daughter, was a bright little girl, five years old. His wife was a model of a wife and mother, twenty-two years old, whilst Lewis was twenty-six, a strong, robust and healthy man. The next wagon contained William Wallace, wife and boy. Just as the sun was hiding itself behind the western hills, the party reached the Peanpack ford. This was passed safely, and, passing up the banks a few rods they encamped for the night. The wagon was unpacked, and out came a young Newfoundland dog and two white cats. A fire was built and in a short time the party sat down to supper. The party had left Connecticut eleven days before and had now reached within three days journey of their future home. Wallace’s boy’s name was Walter and he was six years old. The next morning they broke camp and the next night camped on the west side of the Mongaup. The next day brought them to Beaver Brook, and just after sunset of the third day they arrived on the banks of the Callicoon, or East Branch of the Fishkill (Delaware.) They selected a spot on the south side of the stream and went to work in earnest to clear a farm. Wallace located about half a mile up stream above Powers. In the course of a few days each of them had built a small, but comfortable log house. A confiding friendship was soon established between Walter and Amy, and the dog, Rolla, grew to be large and sagacious. Wallace’s house stood but a few rods below a large beaver dam that flowed over several hundred acres. They brought with them a large quantity of ammunition and traps. Otter and beaver were plenty in the streams and before the arrival of spring the two men had dried several hundred dollars worth of furs which they sold to the traders that went up and down the river in flat boats.
Thus, year after year passed. Nothing occurred to disturb the harmony of the settlers. Now and then a straggling Indian called, but never molested them. They were contented and prosperous. Amy was now ten and Walter twelve years old. The mothers of the children had taught them to read and write. Several acres of land had been cleared on each farm and log barns built. But now a misfortune that entirely changes the destiny of these families overtakes them. An unusual drouth had occurred. Little or no rain had fallen during the months of June and July. The heat was intense and almost unbearable.
Powers was dressing a deer that he had just shot in the river. Amy and Rolla were playing at the door and Mary was writing a letter to her Connecticut friends to send by the next trading party, when an unlooked-for clap of thunder broke upon them. Instantly a dark cloud is seen in the west. It was so dark and thick that it almost shut out the light of the sun. Then came a gust of wind which increased in its fury every moment. This was followed by a heavy rain. It fell in such torrents that in less than an hour the river began to rise and overflow the banks. Just then Walter Wallace came running in and said:
Father wants you to come and help him. There has been a water spout. The beaver dam is going out, and we will all be washed away.
Before Walter had finished his story, Powers was on his way to assist his neighbor. On arriving there, he was convinced that nothing could save them. The storm was raging in all its fury. Trees were torn up by their roots, and the air was filled with branches.
Save your wife and child, cried out Powers; get them on the raft. Wallace’s wife and Powers sprang to the raft. Wallace cried out to his son: Go into the house and get my gun. Walter sprang into the house and took down the gun. The crash came. The entire beaver dam had given away and the water and logs passed between him and the raft. Walter sprang on a fallen tree and escaped to high ground. Turning, he saw that the raft, with his father, mother and Powers had broken loose and was swiftly passing down the stream, surrounded by trees and logs. In a few moments the house shared the same fate. Thus, in an hour, what they had toiled for years to build up, was, in a moment, washed away.
Mary Powers, as soon as her husband left, went to the river bank. She was convinced from the appearance of the water spout that her own home would soon be washed away. The water was now running around the house and retreat to the higher ground was cut off. With the sagacity of a mother, she ordered Amy on the raft that was tied to a sapling on the river bank but a few feet from the door, and then hurriedly throwing a blanket over her shoulders, stepped on the raft. Rolla whined and barked, jumping out of the house and then in again, as if in search of something he did not like to leave behind. The white cat appeared and Rolla took her in his mouth and with a bound leaped on the raft. At that moment Wallace and his wife passed her.
Where is Powers? cried the anxious wife and mother. The incessant slash of the water prevented her from hearing, but Wallace’s finger pointed to the water.
Drowned! she cried. Amy, you have no father.
For over an hour the sapling held the raft, when a gigantic tree that had been washed from the banks, struck it, and they were hurled into the foam of that mad stream. One, and only one saw them start. Walter Wallace had reached a point of land opposite Power’s house, but could get no nearer. A few moments after the raft broke loose the house followed. As young as Walter was, he took in the situation, and realized the fact that he was not only an orphan, but that Amy and Mary must meet a watery grave. No boat could live in that wild stream. He had but one thing to console him—the dog and cat might swim ashore and find him. Then he gave vent to his pent up feelings and cried until he fell asleep, where we will leave him for the present.
Tom and Drake at the Lifting Rocks.
I now take my readers to Hawk’s Nest. There sets, or rather lay, two young men, not yet out of their teens, under one of the Lifting Rocks. The wind blew a gale from the northwest and the rain fell in torrents. They were dressed in hunter style. Both were strong and vigorous. One had a rifle laying by his side and the other an Indian bow and arrows. Under the rock lay a deer that they had killed just before the storm commenced. They seemed to be very much attached to each other, but it was plain to be seen that they were not brothers. Both had grown to the stature of men. The elder, whose name was Charles Drake, weighed about one hundred and fifty pounds, with light eyes and hair. The other was called Tom Quick. He was of dark features, black hair and brown eyes. And as they lay under the rock waiting for the rain to cease, they engaged in the following conversation:
I say, Tom, how do you think these large rocks got on the top of these large stones?
I don’t know! replied Drake. I have often thought about that a great many times. I suppose the Great Spirit placed them there. If the Great Spirit piled up these mountains and dug out the great rivers, He could easily lift one of these rocks.
Oh! replied Tom, that is a very easy way of building rocks, rivers and mountains, to say the Great Spirit done it; but who made the Great Spirit you are always talking about? Who has ever seen or heard him?
I can’t answer that, replied Drake; I only know what my squaw mother told me; that the Great Spirit made all these things, and the Indian thinks he sees the Great Spirit in the lofty mountain, foaming streams and rustling leaves. He thinks he hears Him in the whistling wind, the roaring cataract and the belching thunder. He thinks he feels Him here, (laying his hand on his heart.) He believes that when he dies he will meet this Great Spirit in the happy hunting grounds, never to part again. But Tom, what does your own good mother tell you about these things?
Tom seemed to awake from a dream. He had listened attentively to what his companion had said, and it seemed to have awakened new ideas in his mind.
My mother, replied Tom, talks about these things in a different way. She hates the Indian and the Indian’s Great Spirit. She says God done all these wonderful things, and she reads to us from an old leather book, held together by iron straps; that God made the mountains and rivers; the trees and flowers; the birds and the fish; the thunder and the lightning; and last of all he made man; and that if we are good, when we die we will go to God and live with him forever.
Did your mother or any of you ever see God? asked Drake.
No, replied Tom, mother says God is a Spirit and can’t be seen, but is in everything and is everywhere; that he is now looking at us and hears what we say.
It was now Drake’s turn to be astonished. The white man’s God saw all that was said and done: He even heard what he and Tom was talking about. Throwing himself on the other side, he remained silent for a few moments, and then said:
Tom, I guess there ain’t much difference between the white man’s God and the Indian’s Great Spirit. Neither of them have been seen, but both of them have done all these wonderous works. It looks to me that they are the same certain something that we don’t know—can’t know much about until we arrive at the Great Hunting Grounds.
Thus, these untutored youths speculated upon what has racked the brains of philosophers of all ages, and with about the same results.
I say, Tom, do you think that the Great God, or Great Spirit, (I don’t think it makes much difference which you call them,) works as we do? That he has hands, feet, eyes and ears? That he smooths these rocks as we do the stones that we grind corn with? That it was in this way he made the Bottle Rocks that stick up in the Neversink river?
I don’t know, replied Tom, scratching his head as if in search of an idea. I only know what the missionary says about it. He says the Bottle Rocks were once large, ragged rocks that broke loose from the mountain and fell into a pool of water, and for ages were whirled about until they were made into the shape of a bottle. But on the Steneykill there are two other funny made stones—large white ones—as large as the rock we lie under—in the shape of a heart. They are just alike, yet they are hundreds of feet apart. The missionary says they were once in one stone and were frozen in the ice. That when the warm weather came, the ice brought them down here. That the ice struck a mountain of stone and split the rock into two parts and dropped one half and carried the other half a little further and then dropped that.
Who and what is this missionary that knows so much? asked Drake.
Oh, said Tom, he is a man; only a man, and looks just as we do.
Oh! I am glad of that, replied Drake; I thought he might be the God your mother’s book tells about.
Drake, you often speak about your squaw mother. Where is your real mother?
That I don’t know, replied Drake. I have no recollections of any mother, except the old Indian woman that I lived with, until your father captured me on the Mongaup. From my earliest recollection, I remained in the Indian camp until the time I came to your house, and since that time, your mother has been my mother. From what I could learn whilst I was among the Indians, my father and mother lived on a big boat that had big guns that made a noise as loud as thunder, and would carry a thousand Indian canoes on deck. And it was whilst father and mother were on shore that the Indians stole me and carried me off, for the purpose of getting big money. And this was about all they would tell me. The first that I can remember, we lived in a big rock house (cave.) It is not a great way from the place the Indians call Stockbridge. It was with the Stockbridge Indians I lived. My old Indian mother used me as well as other Indian children were used. When they went on their war or hunting expeditions, the women and children were generally left at home. Our living was wild game and Indian corn. Every year, a party was formed to go on a hunt for beaver and otter, for the purpose of getting their furs to sell to the traders, for which they got in return beads, knives, tomahawks and fire-water. It was on one of these hunting expeditions after otter, at the head-waters of the Mongaup, that your father captured me.
I have said that usually, my Indian mother used me well. But there were times when she was cruel. When she got mad she was furious, and would come at me with all vengeance, with knife, club, or anything she could get hold of. Then I would run in the woods to get away from her, and sometimes stay three or four days.
It was on one of these occasions that your father found me and brought me to your house, and you know the rest.
Did the Indians make that black spot on your breast? asked Tom.
I don’t know, replied Drake. It has always been there. The Indians called it big canoe. Look, Tom, and see what it looks like, said Drake, at the same time baring his bosom.
Why Drake, that is an anchor! said Tom; and sure enough, there is a big canoe; yes, and there are letters on it, like the ones in mother’s old bible. There is C. D. on the top, and E. N. on the bottom. That wan’t made by the Indians, Drake, maybe your father put that there. It don’t look like Indian work; they paint themselves, but that rubs off, but this don’t rub off. Water won’t wash it out.
No, replied Drake, the more I wash it, the plainer it gets. It seems to be under the skin.
What did they call you when you were among the Indians? asked Tom.
“Swift Foot,” replied Drake.
And why did father name you Drake, when he brought you to our house?
He said that, or something like that was my name; that it was painted on my breast.
I see, replied Tom. “C. D.,” that means Charles Drake.
The sun was now down. The wind whistled and the rain fell in torrents. The hawks had hid themselves within the caverns of the rocks. The beasts of prey had sought refuge from the storm, and the boys concluded to remain under the rock until morning.
Thus, they slept in unconscious bliss, when suddenly they were aroused by an unearthly noise that pierced them to their hearts. Such shrieks were calculated to arouse the slumbering dead. Tom caught his rifle, and Drake his bow and arrows. The storm had cleared; the rain had ceased, and the sun was just rising over the Shawangunk Mountains. The shrieks continued.
What does this mean? cried Drake, are the Indians upon us? and is this their war-whoop?
No, replied Tom, it is the hawks. They are out in full force.
I should think so, replied Drake. They are so thick that they darken the sun. See them dive down. They think that they see the carcass of a deer in the river, and want to pick its bones for breakfast, but something scares them back.
Tom, by this time, was at the top of the pinnacle where he could see miles up and down the river. The banks were full and the whole river was strewn with logs, trees and drift-wood. The hawks continued to dive down towards the water, then suddenly rising and screaming.
I see! I see! cried Tom. See there, Drake; there is a raft just going through the Cellar Hole! Yes, by Jove! there it goes, and there is something on it!
That is so, rejoined Drake. It is a bear.
Yes, it is a bear, but what is that it is standing over? It is a woman. I see her dress.
It must be a tame bear, rejoined Drake. See it lick the woman’s hand.
Stop! said Tom, I see two women there, a big and little one, and the little one lays across the big one. There is something else there—a cat or rabbit; yes, and the bear is a dog.
These, said Drake, are some of the up-the-river-folks, that have been washed away, and got on the raft for safety. I guess they are all dead but the dog. But we must try and save them. If there is any life in them, it will be drowned out in going through the rift below the Island.
Then they sprang down the rocks like two antelopes. Reaching the river, Tom was about to plunge in.
Stop! cried his companion. Nothing but a duck or its mate can live in that water; I am the mate of the duck; I am the Drake that will venture!
And suiting the action to the word, plunged in. For a moment he disappeared in the surging foam, and then rose to the surface. The river was so thick with drift-wood that it was with difficulty he could stem the current.
At last he reaches the raft.
The cat mews—the dog whines, but the women remain as silent as the grave.
By superhuman efforts, Drake lands the raft at the head of the Island, at the mouth of the Shinglekill. Tom had run along the bank, swam the Bennykill, and was at Drake’s side when the raft landed.
Are they dead? exclaimed a rough, stentorian voice that could be heard above the slash of the water, emanating from a person now for the first time introduced to our readers.
I guess so father, they don’t move, replied Tom.
The old man jumped into the canoe and bent his head over the prostrate form of the child. After listening for a moment, he snatched her in his arms and said:
Her heart beats; as long as that beats, there is life, and as long as there is life, there is hope. Take her to the house, Drake, and tell Betsy to put her to bed and cover her with bear skins.
Drake caught her in his arms and waded across the Bennykill, and gently laid her in bed and covered her with skins.
The old man now made an examination of the mother, during which time Rolla kept whining. He would jump up to her and bark—as much as to say “Look up Mary, you are in the hands of friends.” But no signs of life appeared. Tapping the dog on the head, the old man said:
Faithful animal, more faithful than some that claim to have souls; not only to death, but faithful after. Yes, dog, you may bark—you have a right to bark, but you can’t bark her back, she has gone to the Indians’ fair Hunting Ground. But we must respect the dead. Here, Tom, help place her in the canoe, we will take her ashore and give her Christian burial.
Tom raised her up, and as he did so, large quantities of water came from her mouth. The dog barked and sprang towards her.
That is a good sign, said the old man, the dog has discovered life. Brute, as he is, yet instinct tells him more than the wisest men know.
Look! cried Tom excitedly. Her eyes quiver and her lips move. Bend yourself to the paddle, Tom! Pull for your life! Pull! We may save her yet!
The shore was soon reached, and the lifeless body of the mother was laid by the side of her child.
The Bear and Panther.
We left Walter Wallace asleep on the banks of the Callicoon. How long he would have slept, we cannot say, had it not been for an unlooked-for event. The day was just dawning. The silver streak of morning had lit up the eastern sky, when Walter, in a half-waking, and half-dozing condition, thought he felt Rolla by his side. He placed his paw on him and partially turned him over. Then he run his nose along and smelled his body. Then came a fierce growl. This brought Walter to his feet. A sight met his eye calculated to strike terror to the heart of an old hunter.
At his feet stood two young cubs, while at a distance of about twenty feet, perched on the limb of a large tree, was a large sized panther, and at the root of the tree, stood a large black bear, the mother of the cubs at his feet, looking intently at the panther. As Walter raised, the bear turned one quick glance at him, but instantly turned her eye on the panther. Walter did not know what to do. It was the panther that he was afraid of. He had been told that a bear would not molest a person unless they attempted to injure her cubs. It was evident that the bear was watching the actions of the panther, and caring but little for him. He therefore concluded to make friends with the bear by patting her cubs. Gently stooping down, he fondled the cubs. They seemed to have no fear of him, and played about him like two kittens. Now and then, the bear would cast a wistful eye at him, as much as to say “protect my young.” Just then the panther gave a spring and landed on the limb of the tree under which Walter and the cubs lay. The bear instantly jumped to the spot, but paid little or no attention to him.
It now occurred to Walter that he had his father’s gun with him.
Casting his eye to the ground he saw it. He immediately raised it to his shoulder, and taking steady aim across a small sapling, aiming directly between the panther’s eyes, fired. The panther fell. No sooner had it touched the ground, than the bear grasped it, and in an instant, its bowels were torn from its body.
During the encounter between the panther and the bear, the bear kept up a continual growl. But as soon as the panther was dead, the bear was as cool as if nothing had happened. Walking quietly up to her cubs, she took one of them in her mouth, and carried it to the panther, then she returned and got the other. Young as the cubs were, they seemed to understand what their mother meant, and immediately commenced to lap the panther’s blood. The old bear then approached Walter, and smelled him all over, and then returned to her cubs, and in a few minutes walked off, and was seen no more by Walter. Still, he was at a loss what to do or where to go, and for the first time realized that he was hungry.
The sun was now far up in the eastern sky, and he concluded that he would take that direction as that would take him to Peenpack. Reloading his gun, he threw it across his shoulder and started for higher ground in an easterly direction.
He had proceeded but a short distance, when he heard a voice say in plain English:
“North! North! A little further north!”
This both pleased and frightened him, and jumping upon a large log, and looking in the direction from which the sounds proceeded, to his astonishment, he saw a man standing behind something that had three legs, waving his hands. Looking in the direction that the hand indicated, he saw another man holding a flag. On the top of these legs was something that glittered in the sun like gold. The man that stood behind it would look down at it, and then at the flag. In looking a little further back, he saw ten or twelve men, some of them on horses, some with axes and some drawing a long, light chain. He was amazed at the sight, not knowing whether to hide or run. He heard a slight noise behind him, and turning around, stood face to face to some kind of a being. He knew not what it was. It looked just like a man, only it was jet black, curly hair and pearly-white teeth. He thought it must be the devil that his mother had told him about, but he failed to see the forked tail. In his fright he sprang from the log and ran towards the white man.
Indian! Indian! cried the devil behind him.
Instantly the whole party was in commotion, and the men on the horses raised their guns.
Who? Where? What is it? cried the man at the three legged object.
Here, Massa, here! cried the black, at the same time seizing Walter by the coat.
This soon brought the whole party to the spot where the negro held Walter. Webb saw at once that his supposed enemy was but the stripling of a boy, and a white boy at that.
Who is it with you? pleasantly asked Webb.
No one; Walter replied in a mild and mannerly way.
No one? said Webb, that can’t be, boy, you are fifty miles from any habitation, you are a stool pigeon for the Indians!
Stool pigeon, sir? I don’t know what stool pigeon is, I have not seen any Indians.
Are you alone?
Where is your father?
I haven’t got any; he was drowned yesterday in the Callicoon.
Webb at once became interested in the boy, and said:
Sit down, and tell us all about your father and mother, and how they came to get drowned.
Walter began where his recollections commenced, and gave a history of his family; where they came from; their living on the Callicoon; the water-spout; the breaking of the beaver dam; his parents being hurled into the mad, wild Callicoon, and closed his narrative with the description of his encounter with the bear and panther.
Webb, though of a rough exterior, had a kind and sympathizing heart.
I believe you, boy, I believe every word you say, and promise you a protector until a better one is provided. When did you have anything to eat last?
Nothing, sir, since yesterday morning.
Here Sambo, (addressing the black,) said Webb, get this boy something to eat.
That I will, in right quick time, too, replied the black. If dat dere little kid eat as fast as he run, he git on de outside of a bear in no time. Golly, Massa, he jump twenty—thirty—forty feet in no time. He took me for de debble. O golly! golly! I wonder if I look like his satanic majesty? I suppose so; ha! ha! ha! Well, come dis way, buck; I’ll stuff dat skin of yours so full dat it bust; Golly, no dinner, no supper, no breakfast. I kinder guess dat his belly feels kinder lank.
Stop that jargon, said Webb. The boy can’t live on nigger talk. Take him to the kitchen.
Yes, Massa, I’ll take him to the kitchen, in right quick time, and show him to de cook. Come along buck.
That ain’t his name, said Webb. Call him Walter.
Come along den Water dis way. Dis darkey stuff your skin like a Christmas turkey. Come den, quick, quick come.
Sambo lead the way, and Walter followed. After going about a mile, they came to a small flat in a hollow, near which was a spring of cool water.
Near the spring was a large log house. Sambo conducted Walter into the house, and spread before him venison and corn bread, which he devoured with an appetite. Then they returned to the surveying party.
Now, said Webb, can you find the way back to where you shot the panther?
Oh yes, replied the boy. It is just down the hill there, can’t you hear the water roar?
The whole party now started, and in a few minutes was at the scene of the encounter. There laid the panther, the largest of his species.
Webb set the men at work to take off his hide, while he and Walter went to see the destruction caused by the water-spout the day before. Not a vestige of either house was to be seen. The beaver dam was dry, the cleared land was washed and gone down the stream. A cat, and a cat only, was left to tell the tale.
On a tree, standing on a small island formed by the washout of the day before, lay a large white cat. The sight of this cat brought to Walter recollections of the great loss he had sustained, and the tears rolled down his cheeks.
Was that your cat? remarked Webb.
Yes, sobbingly replied Walter. That is my Amy. Kit! kit! kit! Come here.
The cat heard and recognized the voice, and a moment later, was in Walter’s arms. He fondled her and talked to her in such a way that Webb was convinced that there was something besides the cat that affected him.
Never mind, my boy, you may take the cat with you to the camp and keep it for a playmate. I suppose that this was the only thing you had to love in your wilderness home?
No, replied Walter. I had another playmate that I loved, and the cat is named after her. Yes, Amy Powers was just as pretty, good and kind as this kitten.
And then he sobbed as if his heart was broke.
I think, said Webb, that as young as you are, that Cupid has shot an arrow that has lodged where you will never get rid of it.
Cupid? said Walter, I don’t know what Cupid is.
I mean, remarked Webb, that you have fallen in love with the namesake of your cat; and if she was as loving, gentle and confiding as the kitten you hold in your arms, you are not to be blamed.
It is a great deal to have the kitten, she will always keep my memory fresh for Amy.
Never mind, boy; you will grow older, and will find some other girl that you will love, and forget Amy.
Forget Amy? he replied; No, Mr.——, I don’t know your name. You don’t know me. No, I never will, I never can forget my Amy. And I here and now swear, in the presence of my God and my desolate home, never to forget her! I further swear never to love another!
Good, bold and generous boy, exclaimed Webb. You know nothing of the world, and but little of yourself.
I know myself well enough to know that I shall never forget my first and only love.
(See Note A in Appendix)
Parting of Mother and Child.
We now return to Quick’s cabin, on the Shinglekill. His residence was on the banks of the Delaware, at, or near Milford and the cabin on the Shinglekill was temporally used during the trapping season. The Senior Quick was a Hollander, and had settled at Milford while the country was a howling wilderness. He had three brothers, and from them has sprung the numerous Quick families in the Delaware Valley, and he was the father of Tom Quick, one of the heroes of our tale.
This cabin in which they carried Amy and her mother, was a log structure, in the midst of a Butternut grove. The outside of the house was nearly covered by the skins of wild beasts, hung there to dry. Suspended on poles and trees, were skulls of bears, panthers, deer and other animals, in which the birds built their nests and reared their young. Up the bank, and between the house and the Hawk’s Nest, was a cleared field, on which they raised corn.
Entering the house, we are struck at the order and decorum everywhere seen. The chimney is in one end of the house, and consists of a layer of red sand stone placed against the logs. There are no jambs to the chimney, and the smoke escapes through an opening in the roof. Hanging in crotches, on the side of the building, are three smoothly polished guns. In one corner of the room stands a number of bows and arrows. Overhead, tied to the rafters, hang numerous traps, and all about the house hang bags containing dried berries, herbs, etc. On a small table lies the family bible, bound with iron straps. On one side of the chimney is a closet containing the dishes and cooking utensils. On the back side of the room are four bunks in which to sleep. The end of the room, opposite the fire-place, is partitioned off, and furnished with a bed made of skins and furs.
It was in this room the mother and child were laid.
Heat some stones, said the elder Quick. And you boys go to rubbing them. We must start the blood.
Betsy soon had a number of warm stones wrapped in furs in the bed, while the boys applied themselves vigorously to rubbing their bodies.
The child soon gave evidence of restored animation. Breathing became perceptible. The muscles contracted, and her eyes partly opened. Then came a convulsion which shook her whole frame. Water and froth ran from her mouth.
That will do boys, said the old man. Let her lay quiet now. She will soon be herself again.
Rolla had been an anxious spectator of the scene we have described. Standing with his fore-feet on the foot of the bed looking intently into Amy’s face, he gave three suppressed barks.
The child is safe, exclaimed the old man.
Just then Rolla gave a mournful whine.
But, continued the old man, the mother will never see the sun set again. The dog, by some intuitive knowledge, sees life for the child, but death for the mother.
Then came a moment of suspense. The house was as silent as the grave, and all present stood gazing on the marble forms before them. A flush came into Amy’s face. Her eyes open.
And again all was silent.
She speaks, said Betsy, and her first thought is of her mother.
And her second of her dog, said Tom.
She now began to moan and talk, but not in a way that could be understood. At length her words were connected, but it was evident that she was delirious.
Oh! Walt. Do come and save your little Amy—River—big raft—pa-pa—drowned—hold her Rolla, hold her!
Thus she continued to rave for a few minutes, and then fell into a sweet, natural sleep.
In about half an hour her eyes opened, and she raised up and gazed about her in astonishment.
Where is mother? Where am I? Where is Rolla?
Rolla heard her, and bounded on the bed. Amy threw her arms about his neck.
Good Rolla! she exclaimed; Save mother—pull her out of the water—drag her on the raft!
Drake put out his hand, as if in the act of pulling the dog away.
No, no, boy, let the dog alone. That is nature’s own medicine. That is more soothing than a canoe-load of the white man’s pills. The girl requires quiet. Let the dog caress her.
This was said by a new comer, in a sweet and sympathizing voice, by an old man by the name of Wilson, (Cahoonshee,) of whom I shall speak hereafter.
In the meantime, all the arts known to the white man or Indian were resorted to, to revive the mother. They had, in a measure, restored circulation, but the breathing was accomplished with difficulty, and she showed no signs of consciousness. And thus the day passed in suspense.
The sun had just hid itself behind the western hills, as Amy aroused, and raised herself up in the bed. Rolla gave three soft, pleasant barks, and leaped on the bed and off again, and ran out of the house, and in again, jumping onto, and barking at every one, seemingly to express his joy at Amy’s recovery.
Where am I? she said, looking around the room.
Among friends, replied Wilson.
Where is mother?
Here, child, but unable to speak.
And Rolla; where is he?
Rolla, hearing his name pronounced, answered in person, giving a bark of joy, bounded on the bed.
Amy now seemed to be herself again, but it was thought best not to question her until she had fully recovered her strength. She was taken out in the shade of the butternuts, where we will leave her and Rolla for the present.
During this time the mother lay in a semi-conscious condition. At times she showed signs of reason, but was too weak to speak. The muscles of her mouth moved, but only a groan was heard.
Thus the night passed and the gray mist of morning is appearing. She opened her eyes and made a motion with her hand. In an instant Wilson was at her side.
What do you want good woman? Who do you want to see?
Instantly the whole household, including Amy and Rolla, surrounded the bed. The mother looked first at one, then at the other, and then cast her eyes heavenward, and dropped back on her pillow.
Blind! said Wilson.
Oh mother, dear mother, look at Amy! the child cried.
Now the mother shows signs of returning strength and was again raised up in bed, and as before, apparently looked to see those she could hear but could not see. There was no light in her eyes. She makes an attempt to speak, but her words are unintelligible. She tries again:
Here, dear mother; here I am.
Kiss me, kiss me Amy.
She took hold of Amy’s hand and tried to speak again.
What is it mother? What do you want to say?
Before the words were finished, Rolla sprang to the bed and placed his fore-feet on her bosom.
See, mother, Rolla is here; said Amy.
A whine, accompanied by a mild bark escaped from the dog. The mother understood by that, that the dog was there. Then taking Rolla by the fore-paw, she, with a great effort laid it in Amy’s hand. Casting her sightless eyes toward heaven, she remained motionless for a few moments, evidently in prayer. A tremor came over her. A struggle ensued.
Nearly gone, said Wilson.
Her eyes open again. Now they can see and have the expression of intelligence. A silence ensues. She speaks:
Amy—Rolla—and drops on her pillow dead.
Rolla seemed to understand his mistress’s last wish and kissed the child that held its paw.
I will now briefly relate the history of the man that was so abruptly introduced to our readers a few pages back, and who was an interested spectator at the death scene we have described.
Cahoonshee was reputed to be seven feet in height, with a large powerful frame. At a glance it was plainly to be seen that he was the true type of the Indian. High forehead, extended cheek bones, and a quick, twinkling eye. At the time we introduce him, he has passed his three-score-and-ten years. His hair is as white as snow; his voice low; his words few, and to the point. He belonged to a small tribe of the Delawares called Cahoonshees. When a small boy he was captured and taken to England. While there, he was painted in true Indian style, decked out with feathers in the most fantastic way, and carried around the country to be gazed at. This was repulsive to Cahoonshee, but for a long time he could not help himself. At length it was resolved to educate him for an interpreter and missionary. Cahoonshee proved to be an apt pupil, and in the end a good scholar. In a few years he mastered the English language and acquired a fair knowledge of the arts and sciences of that day. Then he returned to his native land, with the understanding on his part and on the part of the English that he was to remain in their employ and act as their agent and interpreter; and probably Cahoonshee intended to abide by this understanding when he left London.
They landed at Manhattan in the evening, and it was difficult for the Captain of the Reindeer to persuade him to wait until next morning before he started for the rivers and mountains of his childhood. Before the sun had risen the next morning, he was landed at Weehawken, and started on foot to climb the Palisades. Reaching the summit, he cast his eye back at the deep waters of the Hudson, and mentally resolved never to cross it again. As the earth was becoming enshrouded in the mantle of night on the second day, he struck the waters of the Delaware. During his journey from the Hudson to the Delaware, he was made to feel sad. The ravages of Christianity was to be seen at every step. The Indian wigwam had disappeared, and the white man’s house had taken its place. The white man had appropriated the land, and the Indian had gone—where? Echo answers where!
He stood on the bank of the river in silent meditation, living over again the days of his boyhood. When he hunted in these mountains, and fished in these streams, when his quick ear caught the sound of the canoe paddle. Looking in the direction of the sound, he saw a canoe swiftly approaching, containing but a single individual.
The canoe was close to the shore where Cahoonshee stood. He was at a loss whether to hide or make himself known. He judged that the canoe contained a white man, but the evening had so far advanced that a gloom passed over the waters.
Friend! said Cahoonshee in the Delaware tongue.
The man in the canoe dropped his paddle and seized his gun, then, looking toward the shore, saw a tall, athletic man, unarmed, with the palm of his hand extended. The man in the canoe, seeing this sign of amity, advanced to the shore, and saw that the stranger was an Indian in white man’s dress.
Delaware? exclaimed Quick in English.
Yes, replied Cahoonshee in the same language. Delaware in search of his old home and friends in the mountains.
My brother speaks like a white man, but looks like an Indian; said Quick.
I am no white man, I am an Indian, all Indian. Not a drop of white man’s blood runs in my veins. I am Cahoonshee.
Cahoonshee! exclaimed Quick. They were once a powerful and a brave tribe, but the last of them have passed away. Their lodges have rotted down; their fields are covered with thorns and briars, and their braves have gone to the spirit-land; not one of them is left; the echo of their voices are no longer heard on the Steynekill.
Does my brother know that country? asked Cahoonshee; Do you know the Steynekill? Do you know the silver lakes and the beaver dams?
Yes, I know them all. I have traveled over the mountains, trapped in the rivers and fished in the brooks. But there are no Cahoonshees there now.
Where did they go to?
The last of their braves were scalped by the Salamanques years ago, replied Quick.
At this disclosure, Cahoonshee drew his hand across his eyes and remained motionless. It was evident that he was struggling with his feelings. He swung to and fro, like a tree in a gale.
Did my brother have kin with the Cahoonshees? asked Quick.
Yes, all my kin. Father, mother, brother, sister—I am alone, not even a brother. Better that I had been there and died with them.
No, brother, you wrong the Great Spirit, who does all things well. But you have a brother, we are all brothers. Come, Cahoonshee, go with me to my house, and to-morrow I will go with you to the grave of your fathers.
Cahoonshee stepped into the canoe, and in a few minutes landed at Milford, the home of Quick. Cahoonshee partook of the white man’s hospitality with grace and ease, after which, he related his history from early boyhood, his capture, and subsequent voyage to England, his being made a show of there, his education, and return home. Quick was interested in his history, but what most interested him, was the education and manly appearance of his Indian guest.
After Cahoonshee had finished his story, he placed his hand to the side of his face, and seemed to be absorbed in some deep study from which Quick could not arouse him.
Will my brother go to bed? asked Quick.
No, replied Cahoonshee, white man sleep, Indian think.
At first Quick thought there might be some Indian deviltry behind all this apparent friendship.
Indian sleep, white man guard the fire, replied Quick.
Cahoonshee seemed to be stung by this mistrust.
Yes, Indian go to bed, but Indian no sleep. Indian think of the Cahoonshees. Indian never see one of his blood. Then casting his eyes heavenward, said:
White man lead. Indian follow.
Quick raised a ladder that led to the room above and was followed up by Cahoonshee.
There brother, is a bed of furs caught on the Steynekill. There you can sleep and dream.
At the dawn of day, Cahoonshee and Quick were on the trail that leads to Peenpack.
Where do you wish to go first? asked Quick.
To the graves of my fathers, replied Cahoonshee.
That is at the sand hill, on the east side of the Neversink, near the Kingston trail. (See Appendix.)
From this time until they reached the sand hill, not a word was spoken. The Tri-States rock was passed, and the Neversink Valley opened up before them, while to the right rose the Shawangunk mountains. Cahoonshee wanted to go to the sand hills by a route that no Indian would see him.
There are the graves of the last of the Cahoonshees, said Quick, pointing.
Cahoonshee was silent and meditative. Before him was to be seen the graves of his fathers. The river had washed the banks, and skulls and skeletons were bleaching in the sun. Cahoonshee picked up one of the skulls, and peered into the cavities, from whence once emanated the fire of intelligence, and was the dome of thought. His frame shook, his eye moistened.
Enough! he said. Let us go.
The travelers pursued their way along the Neversink until they reached Basheskill, where they encamped for the night. Scarcely a word passed between Cahoonshee and Quick. Cahoonshee appeared to be in a deep study, the meaning of which, the white man could not fathom. The next morning they crossed the river and wound their way along the Neversink for several miles, when Cahoonshee suddenly exclaimed:
Beaver Dam! His eyes for the first time had fallen on a spot that reminded him of the days of his boyhood. It seemed to warm the blood in his veins and awaken long slumbering emotions that could no longer be suppressed.
Here, he exclaimed, is where I last saw my kindred; here is where my mother last smiled on me; here is where my father patted me on the head and said: “Be a good brave, and when I am gone to the Spirit World, govern the Cahoonshees wisely.” Let us go.
Then they struck northwesterly across Handy Hill to the head waters of the Steynekill and encamped for the night. The next night brought them to Mongaup Falls, and from there they went to Bushkill Falls. Then they crossed the ridge, and struck the Steynekill near the Heart Rock. This was the original camping ground of the Cahoonshees. Here Cahoonshee recognized his old home, and pointed out places that were of interest to him in his boyish days. From there they went to Hawk’s Nest, and then to the Quick cabin on the Shinglekill. After supper, while sitting in the room, lighted by the blaze of a pine knot, Cahoonshee became more communicative.
When does my brother return to Manhattan? asked Quick.
Never, replied Cahoonshee. White man expects me there, white man wants Indian to help white man cheat Indian, white man great and powerful, he take Indian’s land, and tell Indian to go west. Yes, Indian will be driven west, until the great Pacific swallows them up, Indian become extinct, white man own all, Indian die, white man live forever. No! No! Cahoonshee take no part in this. English educate me, English make me wise, yet English care nothing for Indian. English have a God, Indian, the Great Spirit. English God help white man rob Indian. English send missionary to convert Indian, Missionary in the cabin, fire-water in the hold. White man no practice what they preach. Indian true to the Great Spirit. White man all self. White man wise, Indian superstitious, Indian believe in great medicine man, white man in money. No, Cahoonshee will never return to Manhattan. Cahoonshee remain here until the Great Spirit calls him home. Cahoonshee return to the scenes of his childhood on the Steynekill and live alone until his dust unites with that of his kindred. Think not, white man, that I am an enemy of your race. No, I am their friend. I bow to the will of the Almighty. The education I received from the white man, made me more wise, yet more miserable. I see that the Indian must go down, while on their ruins the whites will raise a mighty nation. But between us, brother, there must be no enmity. Let us smoke the pipe of peace, and let this be the pledge between us: As long as the grass grows on these hills, or the waters runs in these rivers.
The House of Death.
We will now return to the house of death, on the banks of the Shinglekill. There lay the marble form of Mary Powers, the mother of Amy. She was lovely in life; in death, a model for an artist. Her countenance would indicate that she died in a peaceful state of mind, and perfectly resigned to the fate that had overtaken her. At the head of the bed stood Amy, crying as if her heart would break. At her side, stood her faithful dog, lapping her hand and rubbing his head against her seemingly trying to console her for the loss she had sustained in the death of her mother. Tom and Drake were interested spectators. This was the first natural death that either of them had ever witnessed. The senior Quick stood in the door, with his back to the corpse, apparently much affected. Cahoonshee stood at the foot of the bed, looking at the face of the dead. Betsy gently led Amy out of doors, and taking a seat under the butternuts, attempted to console her.
Don’t cry child, it is God that has called your mother home, and He has promised to be a Father to the fatherless.
But I have no mother now, said Amy.
Yes, dear child, I will be your mother, and Tom and Drake shall be your brothers.
Let the girl vent her feelings, said Cahoonshee, who unperceived had approached. Let her mourn her loss. Let her learn from this how uncertain all things are.
God did it, said Betsy. He does all things well. He did it for the good of this child.
That may be, replied Cahoonshee. Your old Bible says so. It speaks in thunder tones, that God works in a mysterious way his wonders to perform. But the girl cannot understand that. She can’t understand why in a day she is deprived of both her parents, and cast among strangers in this wilderness world. Blame her you must not—console her you cannot. Older and wiser heads cannot reconcile these things. But we must prepare to bury her. We can give the mother a christian burial, and then take care of her orphan child.
A grave was dug on a rise of ground on top of the river bank. The body was wrapped in furs, and this little group of mourners walked to the house prepared for all living. Cahoonshee and the Senior Quick led the way; Tom and Drake followed, bearing the corpse on a roughly constructed litter; then came Amy, Betsy walking on one side of her and Rolla on the other. The grave is reached, the body is lowered and covered with green boughs, and Tom and Drake are about to perform the last offices to the dead, when Rolla raised his head, looked intently, whined, and sprang toward a tree. Instantly all eyes are turned in that direction.
Walt! Walt! passionately exclaimed Amy, there is my Walt! Come Walt! Come and see Amy! Father dead—mother dead—none left but Walt and Rolla. Come kitty—kitty, come to Amy!
There in a tree sat the white cat that had been seen on the raft, but owing to the excitement of the occasion, had been forgotten. Hearing her name called, she slowly came down the tree.
Thus, another was added to the list of mourners. The grave was filled, the mound erected, when Cahoonshee said:
This is nature’s decree. “Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.” Let us return to the house. And setting the example he walked away.
But Amy refused to go. Throwing herself on her mother’s grave, she cried:
Oh! my own dear mother, I cannot, I will not leave you! Oh! let me die here; let me lay by your side. Who will love and look after me now?
Rolla looked up into her face—the cat mewed and nestled more closely to her bosom.
Leave her to her own thoughts, and that of her friends, said Cahoonshee looking back.
But Drake lingered. The scene put him in mind that he too once had a mother. That he too had been torn from her. That he too, by circumstances over which he had no control, had been thrown among strangers. And, as he saw the tears flow down Amy’s cheeks, moisture came in his own eyes.
Come Amy, come with me. I will be your brother and friend.
Amy raised her eyes to those of her friend and said:
Brother, you are good to think of me—you are good to promise to look after me. But who can look after me like my own dear mother that is now buried out of my sight?
Yes, replied Drake, I trust she is in the heaven that Cahoonshee and Betsy talks about. But I don’t know much about such things. I never had any mother to tell me about God and heaven.
But Drake, you had a mother, and if she was a good mother, she would have told you all about the bible and God. My mother used to read to me how God made the world in six days, and everything there was in it. That people lived in a big garden, and were very good and happy. Then they got to doing naughty things, and God made it rain very hard and the people were drowned, all except one family, and they escaped in the ark. I suppose that it was just such a big rain that came on the Callicoon and drowned father and mother. But they wan’t bad, and I don’t see what he wanted to drown them for.
This was a subject that Drake knew but little about, and he could think of nothing to say that would be consoling to the girl. But at last he said;
Cahoonshee, the big Indian, will tell you all about those things. He knows. He has crossed the water in a big canoe. He studies books. Let us go to the house and talk with him.
Cahoonshee on the Origin of Man.
At the close of Chapter VI, we left Quick and Cahoonshee conversing by the light of a pine knot fire at Quick’s cabin on the Shinglekill. Here they smoked the pipe of peace, and pledged to each other eternal friendship. During the night it was arranged that the next morning they would go to the Heart Rock, on the Steynekill, and erect a cabin for Cahoonshee. The cabin was built a few rods from the Steneykill brook, near a spring. At this place Cahoonshee spent part of his time, and the balance at Quick’s. Thus, a mutual friendship was established between the white man and Indian that lasted through life.
Cahoonshee keenly felt the degradation of his people. The education he had received in Europe had swept from his mind the Indian superstitions that were cherished and practiced by his fathers. He believed that all European nations were combined to drive the Indian from the forest and appropriate the land to themselves. Yet he held to the religion of his fathers, really seeing no difference between the white man’s God and the Indian’s Great Spirit. He believed in a first cause. This cause began to operate at the beginning of time. That time began when matter began to move. He believed that this first cause was an intelligent cause. He ignored nothingness—or rather claimed that there was no such thing as nothing. He rejected the common term of Spirit, and advocated that a Spirit was an actual entity, although as invisible as air or gas. That this Spirit, this entity was substance, although it could neither be seen, heard or felt. That this entity possessed certain attributes, among which were power, plan and design.
The reader will perceive that such a man, with such a mind, having the exalted views of Cahoonshee, would not feel at home with either white man or Indian. He was ahead of the age, and saw in the dim future the extinction of his race. His tribe was already extinct except himself. He believed that the merciless white would continue to drive the powerless Indian west, until the bones of his race would bleach on the western slope, and be washed by the Pacific.
It was for these reasons that he wished to return to the scenes of his childhood, and spend the rest of his days in comparative solitude.
Yet he had one idea, and that idea was to acquire and impart knowledge. But the world was not prepared to listen to such depth of thought.
He resolved at death to leave one pupil behind. That pupil should be a white man. That man should be Charles Drake. That he had succeeded, in a measure, is evident from the conversation Drake and Tom had at the Lifting Rocks, as narrated in Chapter III. His mode of instruction was in the true Indian style.
A few evenings after Cahoonshee had taken up his quarters in his cabin on the Steynekill, he and Drake were sitting together, when the moon began to light up the eastern sky. Drake watched it intently until the full moon arose above the horizon.
Cahoonshee, he said, you say that the sun is a burning mass, a liquid flame, and that it is the heat from this mass that warms the earth. Is that beautiful moon also a mass of fire?
It is supposed not, replied Cahoonshee. We derive but little heat from the moon. It has cooled off, and it is only the reflection of the sun on that planet that makes it appear so bright to us.
You say that it has cooled off. What do you mean by that? Was it once like the sun, a blaze of fire?
Of course, Drake, no one has ever been to the moon to make a personal inspection. Yet the wise men of the east think they have good reasons for believing that the moon, and this earth, and all the planets and stars we see in the heavens, were once a burning mass of fire, that the moon has cooled off, and is now a cold, uninhabited world.
You do not mean to say that this earth on which we live was, at one time a seething mass of fire?
I do not mean to assert that, I simply say, that by investigation, I am led to believe that such was the case.
Cahoonshee, where do you say that man came from? and what was the reason for the great difference between the white man and the Indian?
Ah, Drake, you have opened a subject that is but little understood, and one that I am not capable of satisfactorily answering. Yet, I will give you my views.
Betsy’s bible gives an account of the creation of man. That God made him from the dust of the earth, and in His own image. But you should understand that this is the white man’s bible, and in it the Indians are called heathens. But the Indian’s bible is much older, and plainer to be read.
It is Nature’s book.
The rocks, rivers and mountains are its chapters. Beasts, birds and reptiles are its verses, and the Great Spirit is its author. And within this book will be found all that does or ever did exist. The constituent parts are the mineral, animal and vegetable kingdoms of the world. Each has within itself a principle of organic life, but of itself cannot produce either animal or vegetable life, but a combination of these elements, by a chemical process, known only to nature, produces something unlike either the constituent parts. Thus the principle the germ of all animal and vegetable life is contained in the natural world, and it only requires that these different properties should be combined in order to work out the natural result.
It is done by the same power and upon the same principles that draws the apple to the ground, and balances the planet in its orbit.
Thus, the origin of all animals and vegetables are to be found in earth, air and water, and by a combination of these properties, under favorable circumstances, nature’s desired result is accomplished.
Therefore, nature produces from nature just what nature requires.
Thus we find that at this day, seed, dug thousands of feet beneath the earth, sprout, grow and bring forth fruit and vegetation unlike any that have grown before. While buried in the bowels of the earth, there was no opportunity for developement, no opportunity for chemical combination. But when brought in contact with the rays of the sun, the soil of the earth and the gases of the air, the life principle within the seed springs forth, and it becomes a beautiful flower or an animal—perhaps a man. It is either vegetable or animal. Sometimes both.
Man sprang to the earth in every quarter of the globe where nature had prepared the way and furnished substance on which he could live. Thus, men in different countries and continents were different in structure, color and language. Thus I account for the white, brown and black races.
The white man finds his God and religion in the bible. The Indian finds the Great Spirit in nature. The Indian saw the wonderful works of nature going on before his eyes. He saw the sun in the heavens, and wondered from whence came the fuel. He saw the vaulted heavens dotted with stars, and wondered what held them in their places. He heard the thunder and saw the lightning flash, and asked from whence came this power. He saw his fellow struck with death, and asked, “is this the last of man?”
He sought a solution of these problems by studying the nature of that power that could perform such great and mighty works. And having came to the conclusion, by a course of reasoning, that this power emanated from a source above and beyond nature, he began to worship that power, and conceived that this certain something possessed certain attributes, among which was power, plan and design. That if there was a design, then there must have been a designer. This designer the Indian called the Great Spirit.
Thus, the Indian was a religious animal. And here the worship of the Great Unknown and Unseen commenced. And inasmuch as this unknown power was intangible and could not be seen, the Indians worshiped representative Gods. Some worshiped the sun, some the moon, and some the monsters of the deep. The Indians worshiped the God of the valley, the mountains, the rocks and rills, the rivers and springs.
Thus I have tried to answer your question. At another time I will still further unfold this mystery.
The Teacher and Pupil.
We now return to Walter Wallace, who we left on the banks of the Callicoon in company with Surveyor Webb and party. Webb soon discovered that Walter was a boy of more than ordinary intelligence, and that his education had not been neglected. He could read and write, and had made some advancement in arithmetic.
They returned to camp about noon and eat a hearty dinner to which Walter did ample justice, although he had eaten a late breakfast.
Webb had been pondering in his mind upon the propriety of asking Walter to become one of his party, and retain him, if possible, until the survey of the Minisink country was completed. To that end he said to Walter:
Are you willing to remain with me and learn to survey?
I am willing to do anything I can, the boy replied, but I have not got learning enough to read the figures on that thing.
But you can learn, said Webb.
I can try, replied Walter.
That is all that is required. You must try and be accurate. There is no such thing as good enough. Everything must be done accurate.
I will try my best, said Walter.
That is all that is required, and to-night I will give you the first lesson.
After supper, Webb and Walter went to the top of the hill. The compass was properly adjusted on the tri-pod.
Now, said Webb, I want you to level the instrument. That is very important. Unless the compass is exactly level, the needle will not balance.
Walter took hold of one of the sights and attempted to level the instrument, but failed.
Take hold of both of the sights, boy, one with your right and the other with your left hand. Use force enough to bring the bubbles in the centre of the glasses forward. Then do the same with the cross level.
I see, said Walter. This glass levels it one way and the other glass the other way, and when the bubbles are in the centre of both glasses, the compass is level. Let me try it again.
He did so, and the compass was level.
Bravo! exclaimed Webb. You have mastered one of the most difficult parts of the adjustment of the compass. Now take hold of that screw on the under side with your thumb and finger, and turn it around until the needle moves.
He did so, but excitedly stepped back as if he had seen some apparition.
Don’t be frightened, boy, it will not hurt you.
It is alive! It moves! exclaimed Walter excitedly.
You are half right boy. It moves but there is no life there.
What makes it move? See! It goes first one way and then the other.
True, but it will soon stop, said Webb.
But what makes it move? Black iron can’t move itself. Is there wheels in there that moves it like father’s clock?
No. It moves by the same force that exists in nature, which is but little understood. We know the fact that it does move, and that is about all we know about it.
But it is boxed up tight. The hand can’t touch it, or the wind blow it. But something makes it go. What makes it go?
That is a mystery I cannot fully explain myself, but as you progress, you will learn as much about it as I know myself, and I trust much more. There are a great many things in nature that are beyond the comprehension of man, that time and study will generally explain.
But it has stopped. It is now perfectly still. What stopped it? Father used to say that if a body was put in motion, it would never stop unless it came in contact with some other body. But nothing has come in contact with it.
You are slightly mistaken in that. There is a slight friction on the centre pin. Yet that did not stop the needle. The fact is, the same invisible power that started it, stopped it. But I will explain more about it when you have learned its uses. You will see that on one end is a small copper wire wound around it. That is to balance the needle on the centre pin, and denotes that it is the south end of the needle. The other end always points to the north.
How can you know that? asked the boy.
Because it always points directly, or nearly directly towards the north star. If the needle gets out of order it will not point to the star. Now turn the compass so that the needle will be directly back of the letter N.
Walter did so.
I can’t see any star there. Now I see hundreds of them. Which one is the north star?
It is a small, twinkling star. It will appear and then disappear. Did your father ever show you the big dipper, or great bear?
Oh, I know the big dipper, but I never saw the great bear.
They are both one, boy. The two lower stars are called pointers. Look to where they point to, and tell me what you see?
I see the small, twinkling star you spoke of. I will never forget that. I suppose that the pointers on the dipper always point the same way, and that I can find the star by looking at the pointers?
You are partly right. You can always find the star by following up the pointers, but the dipper changes. It is now south-west of the star. In two months it will be directly under it. Thus it continues to revolve around the star, but the pointers always point towards the star.
To adjust the compass and take the sights are simple and easy, and I think you will learn to do it in a few days as well as I can. But you have got to study the books and learn how to calculate the area and angles. Now we will return to camp, and in the morning you can set the compass on a line North, forty-five degrees West.
Walter retired, but slept but little that night. He was highly elated at the prospect of learning to survey, had many misgivings as to whether he would succeed. But if study and perseverance had any virtue, he was bound to succeed.
As soon as it was light in the morning he was up and out with his compass. It was some time before he could adjust the compass to his satisfaction, but at last he accomplished it. He next liberated the needle, by means of the thumb screw.
The moment the needle began to move, he became excited. The idea of a dead piece of iron moving itself was something above his comprehension. He thought it must be moved by some supernatural power. Why, he thought to himself, did not Mr. Webb tell me where the force comes from? He talked as if neither himself or anybody else knew the cause! He next set the compass as he thought North, 45° West, but the sights pointed East of North, and he was pondering over this, when Webb arrived.
Good morning, Walter, I see that you are up and at it early. You have the compass very correctly adjusted. What course do you say it points? I told you North, 45° West. Is that it?
That is what the figures say, yet it points to the Northeast instead of Northwest.
You have fallen into a very common error. Now look and you will see that the letters E and N are reversed on the compass consequently when you wish to run N. W., the North end of the needle must be between the letters N. and W., and to run N. E., between E. and N. Now set the compass on the figures 45, between N. and W., and you will have the course we are running.
As if by instinct, the boy set the compass on the course indicated.
Well done, said Webb. Now let us get our breakfast, and then you can take charge of the compass.
Breakfast was eaten, and the whole party went to the place where they quit work the day before. By the direction of Webb, Walter set the compass over the centre stake, with the needle pointing N., 45° West.
Well done, boy! Now you see sights on both ends of the compass, with large holes. Between them are fine slots. Now you must look through both of these sights at the flag ahead, and when you can bring the two sights and the flag in range, you are right.
Walter motioned the flag to the point he thought in range, and said:
There! I guess that is right!
You must not guess; you must know, replied Webb. Let me look. You have made another common error. You have sighted through the large holes. Try again and look through the slots.
Walter looked again and saw that the flag was twenty feet out of line.
Go South! he cried. Now, Mr. Webb, I know that I am right.
Asleep on Her Mother’s Grave—Going a Fishing—True Until Death.
We left Amy and Drake with their pets at the mother’s grave. To force Amy from the spot that contained her mother, was calculated to deprive her of her reason. Thus, Drake remained a silent listener to her grief. She refused to return to the house, or be comforted, and cried herself to sleep on her mother’s grave with the cat in her arms and Rolla by her side.
Drake sympathized with her. He said to himself: Would I have loved my mother so intently, had I been permitted to live with and love her? But I have no recollections of ever seeing her. When I was a babe I was stolen from her. If she loved her babe as Amy loved her mother, how terrible must have been her feelings when she learned that I had been stolen. Undoubtedly she thinks that I am dead. I had a father—perhaps brothers and sisters. I wonder if they would be glad to see me! I know my mother would. They tell me a mother’s love for her child never dies. My father sailed a ship then—perhaps he does now. If I should go where these ships sail, I might find him. If he made that figure on my breast, he would know me.
Thus Drake reasoned over the matter, and came to the conclusion to go in search of his parents.
Yes, he said to himself, in searching for them, I may find Amy’s friends.
Presently a shadow passed him, and looking up, saw Cahoonshee approaching.
Sleeping, he exclaimed, and as unconscious as the mother that sleeps beneath her. Perhaps she would be better off if she was as cold and lifeless as her mother. But such is not nature’s decree. She is saved for some purpose, for what, we know not. None of us can fathom the ways of the Great Spirit. We have buried the mother. Now let us take care of the child. Take her in your arms, Drake, and take her to the cabin.
Drake took her up as tenderly as a mother would her babe and carried her to the house. Rolla and the cat followed, mute and silent.
Amy was so overcome by her grief that she did not awake, and Drake laid her and her cat Walt on the bed.
Poor girl, said Betsy, she can’t give her mother up. But she must have something to eat. She has not eaten anything since her mother died.
Don’t wake her up, said Cahoonshee, let her have her cry and sleep out, and in the morning she will be more reconciled.
That night the parties talked over what they would do with Amy, and came to the conclusion to keep her in the Quick family until they could hear from her friends. That when they went on their farm at Milford, they would take Amy with them, that there she would have some opportunity to attend school, and mingle in society with those of her own sex.
When the family arose in the morning, Amy was up and gone. Instinct led Drake to her mother’s grave, where he found Amy and Rolla.
Amy was sad, but composed, and was engaged in decorating the grave with flowers gathered from the mountain side.
Good morning, Amy, I see you still mourn the loss of your mother.
Yes, she replied, mother did all she could for me while living. Now that she is dead, I will visit her and her grave. I shall keep the flowers fresh and the grass green on her grave as long as I can. Won’t you help me Drake?
Certainly, he replied. What can I do for you?
You can help me build a wall around the grave. Down where mother came from, they build a wall around the graves, and set a stone with the name on it. I want to do so by mama’s grave, and Rolla and I will come to see it every day.
Yes, replied Drake, Tom and I will build the wall, and Cahoonshee will set the stone. Come sister, go to the house with me. It is breakfast time. After breakfast, Tom and I will build the wall.
Amy was reluctant to leave the place that contained all that was dear to her. Drake unconsciously put his arm around her.
Come Amy, you still have friends. There are those that love you.
At breakfast, little or nothing was said. Amy ate a hearty breakfast, and seemed to be reconciled to her lot.
She was then informed of the conclusion that had been arrived at night before—that she was to live with them until her friends could be found—that they would return to their farm at Milford in a few days, and that she was to go with them.
Amy scarcely knew what to do or say. She did not want to leave her mother’s grave so soon. She wished to be where she could make it daily visits and keep the grass green.
I would rather stay here with you, she said. You have been very good to me and mother. Let me stay here and keep house for the boys, at the same time glancing at Drake.
The boys go with us, replied the elder Quick.
Then I will go, but I want the wall built around the grave before I go.
That shall be done to-day, said Drake. Come and tell me how you want it built.
May I call you brother? said Amy.
Yes, he replied, and I shall be proud to have such a brave sister, and involuntarily he placed his arm around Amy’s waist, and they walked to the grave in silence.
Tom followed, and a wall was soon laid around the ground that enclosed the sacred dead, and in a few days Cahoonshee erected a stone on which was inscribed “Here lies Mary, the mother of Amy Powers.”
In a few days they went to live on the Milford farm. But Tom was seldom at home. He did not like school or books. He seemed to like the company of the Indians better than he did his father’s home, and hunted and fished with them until he acquired their language and habits.
Not so with Drake. He employed every opportunity to acquire knowledge and improve his mind, and would listen for hours to Cahoonshee, as he recited history, science and tradition.
Amy was now just blooming into womanhood, being nearly sixteen years old, with a tall and commanding figure, with auburn hair and dark blue eyes, cheeks the color of a peach-blossom. Her hair hanging in ringlets over her shoulders, her eyes sparkled, and were a fair index to her mind. Lively, and like the most of her sex—talkative.
They remained on the farm during the summer season, and at the cabin on the Shinglekill during the trapping season.
A few days after they had moved on the Milford farm, Amy and Drake, at the edge of evening, went fishing in the Delaware river. Up to this time, nothing had been said to Amy about her home or former friends. Drake had long wished to hear her story, but out of delicacy had refrained from questioning her. Amy often spoke of the loss she had sustained in the death of her mother, but went no further. She seemingly wished to conceal from the world her parentage.
The water was bubbling at their feet. The wind whistled through the branches of the trees. The birds sang. The squirrels chattered, but Drake and Amy remained silent.
Now and then they would exchange glances toward each other, as much as to say:
“Why don’t you speak?”
Some time before this, Drake had resolved to go in search of his parents, but now he felt it his duty to stay and protect this orphan child.
Duty, is that all? don’t I love her? he said to himself in an undertone, but loud enough to be heard by Amy.
Love who? Who do you love? she remarked with a blush.
Drake blushed, but could think of nothing to say to cover his confusion.
Amy placed her arm about his neck, seized his hand, and gazed intently into his eyes.
You love somebody. I know you do. Do you feel just as I do.
Do you love some one? asked Drake.
Yes, she replied, laying her hand on his breast. Yes, brother, I do love, I did love, I ever shall love, and bursting into tears, she cried like a child, and it was several minutes before she could control her feelings to finish the sentence.
Drake could not understand this. At first he thought that she had reference to him. But the language “I do love, I did love, I ever shall love,” indicated, that young as she was, she had not escaped cupid’s dart.
Calm yourself, Amy, perhaps I can assist you. Is it Tom that you love? and are you crying because he would rather be with the Indians than with you?
No brother, I like Tom, but I don’t love him.
What difference is there between liking and loving? asked Drake.
Oh, I don’t know, brother, but it seems to me that I feel different toward Walter than I do toward Tom and you or any one else. I don’t know what makes me. I only know that I do.
Who is Walter? and where does he live? asked Drake.
He was Walter Wallace, and lived by us on the Callicoon.
But where is he now?
I don’t know—probably dead. Yet something tells me that he is alive and that I shall see him again.
When did you see him last? Drake inquired.
I saw him last standing on the bank of the Callicoon, but he could not get to us. Mother and I and the cat were on the raft, and the river was running between us. He acted as if he was trying to tell us something, but the water made such a noise we could not hear him.
He probably thinks you were drowned, replied Drake.
He may think so, but he don’t know it, and as long as he don’t know, he will wait and look for me. He was a brave, bold, good boy. He loved me, and I loved him, and we were to be married. Oh, brother, I think I can see him now, standing on the bank of the river, and looking at me. But Drake, you said to yourself, (but I heard it,) that you “loved her.” Now tell me all about it as plainly as I have told you. We are brother and sister. Neither of us have a mother or relative that we know of.
Drake remained silent.
Have I offended you? Have I asked too much? If so forgive me.
I have nothing to forgive. I have no one to love in the sense you put it. I will be content in liking—not loving.
What do you mean, brother? I don’t understand you. Your words imply more than you say. You can trust Amy.
Yes, dear girl, I can, and do trust you. When I said “I love her,” I meant you. I did not intend it for your ears. I was thinking whether I did not feel different toward you than I would toward a sister. I am glad that you told me you loved Walter Wallace. Now we understand each other. I will still like you. I will still be your brother and friend, and, if possible, I will find your lost lover.
Good and generous boy! exclaimed Amy, throwing her arms around his neck and kissing him passionately. I hope you don’t love me as I do Walter. If you do, how miserable you must feel—how unhappy you must be. How I would feel to meet Walter and he should tell me that he liked me but did not love me—that he loved another. But that can’t be. He loves me. I know it? I feel it here! (placing her hand upon her heart.)
Amy, said Drake, you are a good generous girl. Few of your sex would have been so honest. I have promised to find your lover if possible. I intend in a short time to go in search of my own parents, and I will then inquire for your friends. But so far you have said nothing to me about your parents that would assist me in finding them. Are you willing to give me a history of them as far as you know?
Yes, as far as I know, but I don’t know much about them. I have heard that my grand-father lived in England, and was very rich. That father married mother against his wish. That he gave father his choice to leave and abandon mother, or leave his house. Father refused, and was disinherited. Then father and mother came to this country and settled in Connecticut, not far from Manhattan, until they moved to Callicoon, and that is all I know about it.
That will help me, replied Drake. Now that we understand each other and ourselves, let us return to the house. And placing his arm around her, they returned in silence.
Before this interview, Drake had regarded Amy as a friendless orphan, and felt an interest in her welfare. Although he called her sister, and was addressed by her as brother, he was ignorant of the ties that usually exist between brother and sister. He never enjoyed the society of brother or sister, father or mother, and it was this that led him to remark “don’t I love her.” But now his eyes were open. Now he could understand what love was, “pure and unalloyed.” Now he could understand what had prompted his feelings toward Amy. His feelings were not of pure friendship for the orphan child he had promised to protect. He had a selfish motive. Her frank sincerity and child-like simplicity had raised her in his estimation. He saw in the girl, a noble, generous, woman, wife and mother. Yet he realized that she loved Walter Wallace, and be he dead or alive, she would never love another. She would only like him as a brother, and with that he must be content.
But I have promised to be her friend, and her friend I will be.
It cost Drake an effort to come to this conclusion, and it showed that he was a high-minded, generous man, and could appreciate Amy’s love for Walter, by his own love for Amy.
Noble Girl. Worthy of the love of Walter Wallace or any other man.
The Second Lesson—Completing His Education—Found New Friends—The Mutiny—Death of Sambo.
That is bold language boy. You say you “know that you are right.” There are but a few things in this world that we positively know. We are likely to be deceived in many ways. Sometimes the eye is imperfect, and the mind clouded. Sometimes our eager desire to accomplish an object, aided by our imagination, leads us astray. Now look and see if you can see the white spot on the flag staff?
No, I can’t see the white spot, but I can see the red.
Yet you knew that you were right.
Walter was confused.
I think that I am right.
Do you know that you are right?
His confusion increased.
Now place the staff so that you can see both the white and red, then you will be right. You are now looking at a bunch of red leaves.
Walter felt chagrined. The flag was moved about five feet and then he could see it from top to bottom.
You are right now, replied Webb.
But how did you know it wasn’t right? You stood behind the compass, but did not look through it.
I knew it by that tall pine tree on top of yonder hill. I discovered a mile back that the tree was exactly in line, and if you will look back, you will see a dead hemlock tree, with the bark off. By noticing objects both ahead and behind, you can detect the least variation.
Walter comprehended the explanation.
If I understand you, the needle must set on the figures 45°, W., and looking forward through the slots, the eye must strike the staff and pine tree, and looking back, the hemlock tree must be in line exactly.
Right boy. Now move on to the flag and take a new sight.
The compass was set at the next station by Walter, with great care. Before him, he could see the staff and pine tree, and behind he could see the dead hemlock.
Well done, boy! exclaimed Webb. You have mastered your first lesson. You can take charge of the instrument now for the season. We shall run this course for the next month, then we will go into winter quarters, and you can go into the books, and by spring, you can take charge of the survey.
Walter’s eyes glistened with satisfaction, both for the praise and promises of his employer. From this time to the close of the season, Walter took charge of the work, and gave entire satisfaction to his employer.
About the first of November, they went on board a flat-boat and floated down the Delaware. Amy, Walter’s cat, accompanied them. They arrived at Philadelphia on the fifth day, and immediately proceeded to the residence of Mr. Webb, where Walter was well received and kindly treated, and at once commenced his school days, and earnestly studied mathematics, geometry and trigonometry. He threw his whole soul into his studies, and worked night and day to solve the difficult problems. Although he was in a city of fashion, he could not be induced to enter society. His books and Amy were his only companions.
Thus, the winter passed. In the spring he returned to the Minisink country to survey.
Thus, four years passed—surveying in the summer, and studying at school in the winter. During this time he had not only mastered surveying and civil engineering, but had acquired a knowledge of navigation that rendered him capable of sailing a ship around the world.
Having now arrived at the age of twenty-one, he was his own master, and more than that, he was master of himself.
He was now to choose what should be his future course. One great incentive of his life was to find Amy or her friends. He knew that her grand-father lived in England. He wished to go there, but how to accomplish it, he did not know. Like a dutiful child, he asked his old friend and preceptor, Charles Webb.
Would you like a position on a ship? he asked.
Yes, he replied, if it was one in the line of promotion.
Leave that to me, replied Webb. I will see that you are promoted in the start. You understand navigation as well as any Captain in the English Navy, and in a few months you can learn to work a ship. After that all will be easy. I have a particular friend that is in port now, Captain Davis, of His Majesty’s Ship, “Reindeer.” I think he would like you. His wife generally sails with him. His only child was stolen from him twenty years ago by the Indians, while they were on shore at Kingston, on the Hudson.
I will follow your advice, said Walter.
Then no time must be lost, as I do not know what moment the ship may sail. I will request him to call on me this evening, and he hastily wrote the following note:
“Will Captain Davis honor his old friend by calling this evening. Charles Webb.”
There! Take that and go down to the dock. There you will find a boat in charge of an officer. Hand him this letter, and he will deliver it to the Captain, who is on board the Reindeer, anchored in the stream.
As Walter approached the river, he saw a ship lying at anchor. A curious feeling came over him. The tall masts, the white sails, the ports in the sides with bristling cannon projecting.
Is that to be my future home? he thought to himself. Am I to plough the briny deep? Will that bear me to the grand-father of my Amy?
Bang! went a gun, and a cloud of smoke issued from the ship’s side. A moment after, a boat left the ship, and was rowed towards the shore. Walter watched it with interest. When it came in full view, he saw that four sailors pulled at the oars, dressed in blue uniform. In the stern sat two men clad in the uniform of English Naval officers, the elder of which was smoking a cigar. It occurred to him that it was to one of these men that he was to hand the letter. As soon as the boat landed, the two officers stepped on the wharf, and the boat pulled out in the stream. Walter advanced, raising his cap:—
Gentlemen, can you inform me what officer commands the boat that has just set you two gentlemen on shore?
The two looked at each other as if in doubt, when the younger replied:
This gentleman is Captain.
Not so fast, replied Davis. I am Captain of the ship—you are Captain of this boat. What can we do for you young man?
Mr. Webb requested me to hand this letter to the officer having charge of the boat, at the same time presenting the letter.
The younger of the two took it.
Here, Captain, this is for you.
The Captain read it.
Are you acquainted with Mr. Webb young man?
Yes, he replied, in a sweet, mild voice. I have been in his employ for several years.
How is that? asked the Captain. I have made his house my home for several years, but I never saw you there.
That was because you were in port during the warm season. At that time I was in the wilderness surveying for Mr. Webb.
The Captain looked at the young man in astonishment.
What is your name?
Is Mr. Webb at home? Being answered in the affirmative, he said to the officer at his side:
Send a boat for me to-morrow at eight. Remember we weigh anchor at ebb.
The officer raised his hat to his superior and walked away. Then at a given signal the boat returned to the shore and the officer stepped on board.
The Captain stood and looked at his ship as it gently rocked in the swell of the river.
A beauty! A beauty! Handsomer than the Reindeer it is named after. Do you return to Webb’s? asked the Captain, addressing Walter.
Then we will walk along together.
Walter felt awkward. Here he was walking along side of a large, handsome man, dressed in the rich, glittering uniform of the British Navy. He was recognized by the passers-by—at least he was saluted by their raising their hats.
But little had been said in their walk from the river to Webb’s. Arriving there, Walter entered and seated the Captain in the parlor, while he went to notify Webb.
Ah, boy, back so soon? I did not think that you would meet the boat until after the firing of the sun-down gun.
Walter explained how he met the boat as it landed—the delivery of the letter—that one of the gentlemen that came on the boat had accompanied him home, and was now in the parlor waiting.
Did you learn his name?
No, but I learned he was the Captain of the ship.
That is Captain Davis himself. To him I expect to trust my ward. You remain here until I call you.
Then Webb went to the parlor.
Good day Captain, ahead of time, but always welcome.
No, I am just in time. I had to come now or never—at least not until my return from England.
England! exclaimed Webb, I thought you were going into winter quarters.
So I supposed, but this morning I received orders to sail to-morrow.
Then I have no time to accomplish the object I had in view in sending for you.
State your object, and if possible, I will help you accomplish it.
I sent for you in relation to the young man you have often heard me speak of, that I found in the Minisink wilderness.
Is that the young man that handed me the letter?
The fellow that killed the panther, and fell in love with the cat?
Precisely. Only the cat is the namesake or representative of the girl he fell in love with.
Oh, I remember it all, replied Davis. In what way can I assist either you or him?
I wish to procure a situation for him on your ship.
In what capacity?
I will leave that to you.
Of course that will depend on his qualifications. He could not have learned any of the duties of a seaman in the wilderness you found him.
Not all the duties, Captain, certainly not. Yet there are many things that are indispensable to a seaman that has been learned on land—yes even in the howling wilderness. But we will call him. You can examine him and then decide.
Walter was waiting on the stoop, when he was addressed by Sambo.
Massa Walt—Massa Webb want you in de parlor. Too bad Walt—too bad. They are going to take you off in big ship. Sambo never see Walt any more. Walt get drowned. Walt never come back to see Sambo or cat any more.
I shall take the cat with me, replied Walter.
Dey won’t let you do dat. Mighty ’ticular on ship. Dey kill Amy and throw her overboard in the sea, an’ if Massa say boo, dey whip him wid a cat ob nine tails, put irons on his feet and stow him down in de hole wid de rats.
Have no fears, Sambo, if I go, the cat will go with me. That is a condition the Captain must agree to before I put my foot on board.
Oh, Massa, promises like pie crust—“made to be broken.” What Massa do when three hundred miles to sea, two or three hundred to do what de Captain says—Walt overboard—one man less, dat is all. Walt not missed—ship sail on. Captain don’t like you now—say you come out of de woods—don’t know anything. Stay on shore, Massa—stay wid Sambo an’ de cat. Captain tink you big baby—he say you kill panther and love cat.
Walter started for the parlor in an uneasy state of mind. As simple as Sambo was, he had succeeded in raising doubts in his mind, as to the propriety of his going to sea.
Captain Davis, I have the pleasure of introducing to you Walter Wallace, the boy I have told you so much about.
I am happy to meet and form your acquaintance, young man, and it will not be my fault if we do not become fast friends.
Walter took his hand timidly and said:
I trust such may be the case.
I learn from Mr. Webb that you would like to ship on board the Reindeer.
Mr. Webb has so advised me.
What position would you prefer?
Any that I am capable of filling, was his prompt reply.
Have you any knowledge of vessels?
None, except what I have learned from the books.
Put the questions to the boy directly, suggested Webb.
That would do if I was examining him for Sailing Master, replied the Captain, but it is not expected that the young man has studied or knows anything about navigation.
I am willing to be examined on that point, rejoined Walter.
The Captain was surprised at the cool confidence of the boy, but proceeded with his examination. He soon found that theoretically, the young man was perfect. He also learned that book learning was not to be despised, for Walter was not only master of the principles of navigation, but could locate almost all the continents, seas and shoals of the world. He could name the different parts of a ship, and the rigging employed in sailing it.
That will do for the present, young man. You can retire, and I will talk over the matter with Mr. Webb.
Walter left the room.
Mr. Webb, this young man is a prodigy. When, how and where did he acquire this knowledge? I never understood that you were a navigator.
But you forget, Captain, that I am a surveyor and civil engineer, and that before I could trust him to do my work, I had to know that he understood the principles, and from surveying to navigation, there is but one step, and that step he has taken.
But, rejoined Captain Davis, in surveying through the woods, no great accuracy is required, but at sea, accuracy is required. It is essential to the safety of the ship. And in case we are driven from our course by the wind or currents, we must determine our exact latitude and longitude, otherwise we are lost. And this youngster makes this calculation to a fraction.
The boy’s precision, said Webb, is owing to his early education. I taught him, that in surveying, there was no such thing as “good enough,” that all his work must be done exactly right. In a word, he must know that he was right. At sea, circumstances over which you have no control, may drive you from your course. Not so on land. An error there is carelessness, and often the entire work has to be done over again. But at sea, you take your bearings and start anew. And it was for these reasons that I impressed on the young man’s mind the necessity of accuracy.
And the result shows that you have succeeded, replied the Captain. Webb, I really like the boy, and would like to give him a berth on board of the Reindeer suitable to his attainments, but you know how it is in the English Navy. My officers would be struck with horror, to be introduced to this back woods-man as one of their equals.
That, the young man does not require. Neither would he accept the berth, replied Webb. What he wants is a place that is in the line of promotion, and work his way up. Give him that chance, and he will succeed.
There is just where the difficulty lies, replied Davis. The son of some Count, Countess, Lord or Admiral, having neither brains or attainments, can pass the Board of Admiralty on the strength of their name, while the man of worth is rejected as incompetent. I cannot place him before the mast among that rough element. Neither will I give him a berth among the marines. I like the boy, and would prefer his society in the cabin. Why I take such a liking to him, I do not know, unless it is that he puts me in mind of my own baby boy that was stolen from me years ago.
Is he alive?
Possibly yes—probably no. How I would reverence the man that had received, reared and educated him as you have done by this child of the forest. Webb, cannot I adopt him as my son? Cannot I take him in the place of my own long lost boy? Cannot I be a father to him, as I trust someone has been to my child? Then I can protect him, and save him from insult and harm. Yes, that is my plan. I will take him on board as my guest, if not as my son, and trust the future for the consequences. Call Mr. Wallace in.
Not so fast Captain, said Webb. If you take the boy, you must take his incumbrances with him.
Incumbrances? What do you mean?
I mean that he has got a cat that he won’t leave behind—a namesake of a little girl that he loved in the mountains.
That is all easy, replied the Captain, my wife has three or four in the cabin now, and she finds much enjoyment in petting them. One more won’t sink the ship.
Walter stepped into the room with the cat in his arms.
Well, young man, said the Captain, we have settled your case. You and your cat are to go on board with me, and you are to be the guests of myself and wife until I can find a proper place for you. How does that suit you?
You are very kind, Captain to make that offer, but it does not suit me. I would prefer to be somebody, and have something to do.
I understand your motives, young man, and promise that in a short time you shall be somebody, as you call it.
That is all right, rejoined Webb. Captain Davis will be a father to you, and when we meet again, I hope to address you as Lieutenant Wallace.
How would you like to change your name from Wallace to Davis? inquired Davis.
For what purpose? asked Walter.
That you may appear as my son, and command the respect of all on board.
That would be deception, Captain.
The Captain felt chagrined. He had not learned the real character of the boy in which he had taken such an interest. He saw at a flash that Walter did not understand his meaning. He meant the offer as a feeler, to see if Walter would consent to his adoption and take his name. He scarcely knew how to extricate himself from the difficulty he had placed himself in by proposing to Walter to change his name. The words “That would be deception, Captain,” still rang in his ears, and raised the boy in his estimation.
Webb noticed the Captain’s embarrassment and went to his relief.
Walter, I think you had better accept the Captain’s proposition.
Which one of them? he asked excitedly. To go on board of the ship, or change my name?
To go on board the ship as the guest of Captain Davis and wife. Say no more about the name or position at present Let time determine that.
Father, said Walter addressing Webb, I rely on you in this matter. You command and I’ll obey.
I command nothing. I merely advise. You are your own master now, and have a right to choose for yourself. Things have changed since we met on the Callicoon. Then you was a stripling of a boy, without home, parents or shelter. But now you are a man, noble, generous and good. Go with Captain Davis, and be to him what you have been to me—a noble, generous son.
Father! exclaimed Walter passionately, am I to you what your words imply?
Yes, and more. I feel as if you were bone of my bone, and blood of my blood. You are the only child I ever knew—the only one that ever called me father.
Tears trickled down Walter’s cheeks, and throwing his arms around Webb’s neck exclaimed:
Yes, father—more than a father, what I am, what I shall be, I owe to you. How can I leave you?
Captain Davis had been an interested spectator of the scene of love and affection that passed between Walter and Webb. The word father had fallen with significance on his ear. Never had he been addressed by that endearing name, and he now felt that he would give his ship and commission to change places with Webb—to have those manly arms embrace his neck, and hear the endearing word father addressed to him. Rising, he took Walter by the hand:—
Have no fears, young man, love and serve me as you have my friend Webb, and what a father can or should do for a son, I will do for you—even to the command of the Reindeer. Be ready to-morrow at two, when myself and wife will call for you.
So soon, Captain?
Yes, that is our orders. We sail at ebb to-morrow.
When Captain Davis had left, Walter approached Webb and said:
This is sudden—unexpected, a very sudden change in my affairs.
No more sudden than the killing of the panther—the water spout, and falling into my hands.
A lucky fall for me, father.
But now you will fall into good hands. Captain Davis is a gentleman, and already feels interested in you, as if you were his own child, and would like to have you take his name.
That can never be. My name is Walter Wallace, and ever shall be.
But you must be getting ready to depart. Sambo will assist you in packing and removing your trunk to the vessel.
Sambo had been an attentive listener to what had passed between the parties, and looked upon the whole matter with distrust.
Will Massa Webb excuse Sambo? ejaculated the negro.
Walter looked at him in surprise. He had always been a faithful, loyal servant, and seemed to be dearly attached to Walter.
Certainly, Sambo, if you can give a good reason, said Webb.
Give reason? Yes, Sambo give the goodest of reasons. Ship sail to-morrow—to-morrow hangman’s day, to-morrow Friday. Bad day—bad luck—wind blow—ship sink—Massa Walt get drowned—sharks eat him up—Sambo see young Massa no more. Here the faithful black broke down, and cried like a child.
Sambo is not to be blamed for his fears. He believed that Friday was an unlucky day. Nor was his superstitious belief uncommon. Sailors, as a rule, regarded it as a day to be dreaded, and nothing but the most rigid discipline would compel them to weigh anchor and leave port on Friday.
Never mind, said Walter, we have been friends too long to quarrel now. I will pack my own things.
You’ll see, Massa, you’ll see, and bursting into tears, left the room.
That night was a busy and anxious one for Walter. On the morrow he was to leave his home and friends, and trust himself among strangers, and the treacherous waters of the Atlantic. The valley of the Hudson, and the grandeur of the Delaware were to be hid from his view.
His thoughts were on the Callicoon, and the lovely girl that passed from his sight on the raft. He wished to behold the place once more before he left his native shore.
Oh, Amy—my baby—boy and manly love—shall I ever see you more? Did the rolling, rocking, surging waves of the mad Callicoon cast you on some friendly shore? Have you, like me, found a protector? Are you, like me, hoping, praying, trusting, that your Walt is alive, and that some day we shall meet again? Noble, generous girl. It would be treason against nature and the laws of love to doubt you. Yes dear Amy, you live. I feel it. Something tells me—I know not what—that you love and pray for me. May God grant my prayer, that your prayer may be answered, that we may be in fact, as we are in heart, “twain one flesh.”
Thus did Walter pass his last night on shore, communing with his thoughts about that which occupied his whole soul.
Promptly at the time appointed, Captain Davis and wife called.
This is Mrs. Davis, my wife, and this is Mr Wallace, the young man that is to accompany us.
Mrs. Davis extended her hand and said:
I am happy to meet you, Mr. Wallace. I have heard the Captain speak so much of you, that I fell in love before I saw you.
I am afraid that I shall make the Captain jealous before the voyage is over.
No danger of that, humorously replied the Captain, at least the love would be all on one side. Walter’s heart is steeled against feminine charms and womanly affection. If I am rightly informed, his affections are bestowed on a female cat.
Walter’s eyes flashed fire. Davis discovered his mistake, and added:
But I am also informed that the cat is a keepsake or namesake of his boyish love. Well, well. I suppose I used to have some such feelings toward you, when I was a boy.
Where is this wonderful cat? asked Mrs. Davis.
Here, said Sambo, dropping the cat at her feet. Dis ’ere, be Miss Ame.
Beautiful! lovely! charming! exclaimed Mrs. Davis.
Now, Mrs. Davis, exclaimed the Captain, don’t you fall in love with that cat: If you do there will be war in the cabin.
And I will be the victor, if there is anything in numbers. I have two or three now.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
That is the signal for all on board, exclaimed Davis authoritatively. Now, Mr. Webb, please walk with me. Walter will accompany my wife, and you, Sambo, escort the cat.
The parties started for the wharf in the order indicated.
As the party left the door, Mrs. Davis took Walter’s arm. This was embarrassing for him, as he had always held himself aloof of their company, and what little he had seen of them in society had not favorably impressed him. In fact, his Ideal of woman was centered on one he had not seen for years and perhaps he would never see again.
Mrs. Davis attributed his silence to the fact that he was leaving his home and the scenes of his childhood to go, he knew not where, and for the purpose of awakening him, said:
Mr. Wallace, you must not feel so sad at this parting. I am sure that you will be pleased with the ocean voyage, and before we return, you will have an opportunity to see most of the cities of the world.
That will be interesting, he replied, yet to leave home and friends, to go forth, I know not where, or scarcely who I go with, is calculated to make me despondent.
But you do know who you go with. You go with Captain Davis and wife. In them you will find true friends. I know that I shall love you. Had I retained my own sweet babe that was stolen from me years ago, he would be like you, a man. Walter, will you take the place of that boy? Will you love me? Will you call me mother?
Lady, you neither know yourself nor me. There is a gulf between us. You belong to the rich, powerful and educated. I belong to the poor. You came from London, I from the woods. Tell me, Madam, where there is—where there can be anything in common between us?
Everything, Walter, everything. My boy was stolen by the Indians, and if he lives, like you, he must be deprived of civilized society. Like you, he once had a mother to love and caress him. Like you, he has no mother now. Like you he must depend on strangers. Like you, he may have a deep seated love in his heart for some person that once existed, but now exists only in his hopes or imagination. What a consolation it would be to know that he still lives—that some good, noble woman was acting toward him the part of a mother. And as I would wish others to do by my boy, so do I wish to do by you.
Walter was affected by this pleading. He was convinced that Mrs. Davis knew his history, and his deep, undying love for Amy. He faltered for a moment only:
Mother, as you wish it, so it shall be.
Bless you, boy, bless you. Now I shall have a child to love, and shall be loved in return. Oh, Walter, how happy we shall be when we get out on the broad, blue Atlantic, as there is a young lady going with us—the niece of the Lord of the Admiralty.
The parties were now approaching the wharf. In the stream lay the Reindeer, gently rocking at anchor, bedecked with flags.
It was generally known that the ship sailed that day, and the inhabitants of Philadelphia were generally out to see her depart. As they approached, they saw that the wharf was lined with people, and that some of them were engaged in a deadly struggle. The marines were trying to drive on board a number of sailors that were crazed with rum. Oaths, and imprecations were to be heard above the splashing water. The sailors refused to leave port on Friday. Ordinarily their superstition would cause them to demur. But now, being maddened by rum, they revolted to a man, and acted like blood-thirsty demons.
Captain Davis was unarmed, but he saw that something must be done quickly, or the mutineers would clear the wharf and become masters of the situation.
His Second Lieutenant was trying, in vain, to reason with the men, but they threatened and derided him.
Captain Davis threw himself among them, and in a stentorian voice cried:
Silence! men! Silence!
We will silence you! said a burly, brutal, drunken sailor drawing his knife from the sheath and sprang at the Captain, who was neither armed or prepared to defend himself.
The knife was raised and, about to strike him to the heart, when Walter sprang forward, and with one well directed blow under the assassin’s ear, knocked him off the dock, and his body splashed in the water.
Bloody land lubber! exclaimed half-a-dozen voices, as they all rushed upon him.
Single handed he would have been more than a match for any bully on board of the Reindeer. But to contend with a dozen armed monsters, whose every faculty was crazed with rum, rendered his case hopeless. Still he struck right and left, and with each blow a man fell.
Take that! cried one of the drunken demons, aiming his knife to reach his heart.
Up to this time, Sambo had been a silent spectator. But now, seeing his young master in serious danger, he threw himself between them, receiving the blow in his breast that was intended for his master.
I told you so, Massa Walt, I told you so! and fell dead at his feet.
This added fuel to the flames. Two of the remaining sailors grappled with him.
Charge! men! Charge! came from a person not before seen.
One of Walter’s antagonists fell, but the other held him by the throat. Now came the tug of war. The result depended on the strength of muscle. The fight goes on. They get nearer the dock, both exerting themselves to throw the other overboard. They both fell, and for a moment are buried in the briny deep. When they came to the surface, Walter had the sailor by the throat, holding him off at arm’s length. His face was black, and his tongue protruded. Walter withdrew his hand, and the sailor sank.
At this moment a boat appeared as if by magic, and Walter was drawn on board in an unconscious condition.
Thank you, Lieutenant, thank you! exclaimed Captain Davis. But for your timely arrival we should have all been murdered.
Not at all, Captain. I but did a sailor’s duty. I both saw and heard what was going on, and ordered a file of marines to your rescue.
Well planned and skillfully executed, said Davis. Now iron these mutineers, and place them in the cage until they can be lawfully disposed of.
Order being restored, embarkation commenced. Mrs. Davis sat in the stern, holding Walter’s head in her lap, while the Captain stood near the centre, with the cat Amy in his arms.
Arriving on board, the Captain ordered a council of his officers to see what was their opinion about leaving port that night, and to learn, if possible, whether this had been a preconcerted mutiny, or whether it was caused by drinking too much rum.
The First Lieutenant said he would vouch for every man on board. The mutineers, he said, are safely ironed, and the rest of the men are loyal.
Weigh anchor! said the Captain to his subordinate. To hesitate on these drunken threats would be tantamount to surrendering my command.
In less time than it takes to write it, the anchor is weighed, the sails spread, and the Reindeer moves majestically toward the broad Atlantic.
A gentle breeze drove the Reindeer through the rippled water, and just as the sun was setting behind the western hills, Captain Davis had the satisfaction of knowing that his ship was safely out to sea.
Yet the Captain felt uneasy. The conduct of the men on shore raised some suspicion in his mind that trouble was brewing. In his officers he had perfect confidence.
The night was clear, with just wind enough to fill the sails, and the Captain and his First Lieutenant were sitting on the quarter-deck, discussing the events of the day.
By the way, Captain, who was that tall, noble-looking young man, that faced the whole company of cut-throats, and laid them out right and left, as a boy would so many marbles?
That is Walter Wallace, the foster child of my friend Charles Webb.
Wallace—that is a familiar name to me. Do you know what branch of the Wallace family he descended from?
No. Neither do I think he knows himself. Webb found him an orphan, alone, in the woods, and adopted him in his family. They lived at a place called Callicoon, not far from the Delaware river. The river overflowed the banks and drowned all but him.
Powers, for such was the Lieutenant’s name, manifested some feeling at this revelation, and exclaimed:
Is it possible?
Is what possible? asked the Captain.
Is it possible that I have found my sister’s child?
Sister’s child? exclaimed Davis. How could a sister of yours be living in such a wilderness?
By following the dictation of her conscience, and the man she loved, replied the Lieutenant. The story is short and quickly told. A brother and sister married a brother and sister. William Wallace married my sister, Amelia Powers, and Thomas Powers, my brother, married Mary Wallace. For this act they were driven from their home, crossed the Atlantic, and settled in Connecticut. From there they moved west to a place called Callicoon. I received several letters from them for several years, and then all correspondence stopped. I then employed some of the men that trade in furs to make inquiries about them. They reported that both families had resided on the Callicoon, but were all dead, having been washed away and drowned by a water spout at the head of the stream. The last that we heard of them, Wallace had a son named Walter, and Powers a daughter named Amy.
You are right, Lieutenant, you must be right. The noble soul that now lies in my cabin unconscious, is your nephew, your sister’s son.
Then let us hasten to him.
No; not at present. The Surgeon has commanded the strictest silence.
Let me see him, Captain, if it is but for a single moment. Let me see my wronged sister’s son.
Not for worlds, Lieutenant, not for worlds. That one moment might be fatal. That one moment might destroy our anticipations of the future. He is in good hands. My wife and your sister Cora are at his side administering to his wants.
How came he to be of your party? asked the Lieutenant.
At the request of Mr. Webb, who reared and educated him.
His education must be limited.
No, replied the Captain, not limited, but extended. No man on this ship is his superior—few his equal.
This will be new and awkward business for the ladies, different from nursing cats—By the way Captain, I see that you have added another to the list. The one you brought on board appears to have passed her three-score-and-ten. Its coat is as white as snow.
That cat, replied the Captain, has a history, and bears the name of your brother’s daughter, Amy, and Walter would fight for that cat as he would for the one she is named after, and I had to consent that the cat should come on board before he would agree to become my guest.
Perhaps that is the boy’s weakness—that in his younger days, he fell in love with the namesake of this cat.
There is no perhaps about it. It is a fact. Webb informed me, that when he and Walter were viewing the scene of the destruction of his home, the cat came to him, and that then and there Walter raised his hand to heaven, and swore in the presence of his God and his desolate home, that he would never love other than Amy Powers.
And does that love still burn? asked the Lieutenant.
Yes, replied the Captain, and it is for that reason that he sails with us. He is in search of Amy or her friends. And he has found the latter. God grant that he may be as successful in finding the former. Now you must excuse me, as I must go and look after my charge.
Moccasin Tracks in the Sand—Cahoonshee at the Climbing Tree—Indian Craft and White Man’s Cunning. Cahoonshee at the Stake—Quick to the Rescue.
We left Amy and Drake at the house of the elder Quick, on the banks of the river at Milford. They now understood themselves and each other. By degrees Amy’s sadness wore away, and she became lively and cheerful. When an opportunity offered, she went with Drake on hunting and fishing excursions, and learned to use the rifle with the dexterity of an old hunter. Like most of her sex, she was fond of dress, and chose the most gaudy colors for her attire.
The trapping season had now arrived, and the parties went back to the Shinglekill.
Cahoonshee and Quick had not met for several months.
I fear, said Cahoonshee, that there will be trouble between our neighbors, the Delawares, and the Salamanques.
Why? asked Quick.
I saw on the banks of the Mongaup, to-day, the print of a moccasin that plainly told me what tribe they belonged to.
Sly dogs, those Salamanques. They wiped out the Cahoonshees, replied Quick.
And we must assist the Delawares to wipe them out now.
Find out what they intend to do, and then act accordingly. I think their advance lie concealed in the bowl. (A hollow on the Pennsylvania side of the river opposite Mongaup.)
Follow me, and we will soon know.
The parties threw their guns over their shoulders, and started for the Hawk Nest.
Seating themselves on the pinnacle, Cahoonshee pointed up the river.
Does my brother see that tall pine standing on the edge of the rocks, with dead limbs in the top? A few feet from the top of that tree is the bowl. In that bowl lie concealed the destroyers of my race. Brother, do you see the smothered smoke that arises from their Council fires? I must hear their plans.
Yes, and lose your life in the adventure, said Quick.
Possibly yes—probably no. But they must be circumvented. Follow me.
They both started down the rocks, and reaching the river, stepped into a canoe, and paddled for the Climbing Tree. (See Appendix.)
It was now dark. Quick paddled the canoe through the still waters of Long Track, through Butler’s Falls, and entered Mongaup Eddy, and continued until they were opposite the Climbing Tree.
Not a word had been spoken. Cahoonshee stepped out of the canoe, and as he did so whispered in his companion’s ear:
Watch, and remain silent! and then disappeared in the impenetrable darkness.
Cahoonshee climbed the tree and came in full view of the Salamanques. They had gathered there in large numbers, and had with them their squaws and papooses. The fire at which the Chiefs sat was within a few feet of where Cahoonshee stood, and he could hear what they said as easily as if he had sat in their midst. It was mid-night when the Council broke up. Cahoonshee returned to the river.
Don’t use a paddle. Let the canoe float. These rocks have ears.
Not a word was spoken. Cahoonshee sat with his head in his hands, thinking of the past and meditating on the future.
Brother, said Cahoonshee, a plot is laid to destroy the Delawares. If the Salamanques succeed, there will not be one left to tell the tale. But it must not be. The white man’s reason and the red man’s cunning must thwart their plans.
And have you a plan?
I have one that will wipe the Salamanques from the face of the earth.
Can I assist you brother?
Yes. Day after to-morrow the blow is to be struck. The Delawares must be notified and prepared, not only to defend themselves, but to annihilate their foes. To-night I will visit the Delawares. To-morrow, you and the boys go to the round, white rock on Mount William. Carry with you all the strings that you can make from bear, deer and eel skins. Prepare a large quantity of pine knots, and I will meet you there at sun-down to-morrow.
Cahoonshee stepped into his canoe and noiselessly drifted down the river, and just as the silver streak of morning began to appear, he landed at the village of the Delawares, at the angle of the Neversink and Delaware rivers.
He immediately proceeded to the wigwam of the Chief. Early as it was, the Chief was up, and sat at the door smoking. Hawk Eye, for such was the Chief’s name, heard a rustling in the bushes, and looking up, saw the towering form of Cahoonshee approaching.
Good morning, brother; I knew that you were coming.
How knew you that? But one knew of my visit here, and he did not know my motive.
Say not so, my brother. The Great Spirit knows all, and He tells Hawk Eye in a dream.
What did the Great Spirit say?
The Great Spirit tell me in a dream that Cahoonshee had a revelation for me, and I arose early to meet you.
It is well. I am here with news, not from Heaven, but from the Salamanques.
May the Great Spirit protect us then. We can die like our fathers! exclaimed Hawk Eye.
Yes, and fight like your fathers, rejoined Cahoonshee.
Hawk Eye cast his eyes to the ground and meditated for a moment and said:
We are feeble and count by the hundred. They are strong and count by the thousand. What the Cahoonshees now are we soon will be.
What mean you, brother?
I mean, replied the Chief, that the Cahoonshees once lived on these lands, hunted through these hills and fished in these streams. Not so now. Their bodies lie in the earth. Their scalps dangle in the lodges of the Salamanques. One, and only one, is left.
Will the Delawares act like squaws and let the Salamanques take their scalps?
If it is the will of the Great Spirit.
It is not the will of the Great Spirit.
Has Cahoonshee a sign?
Yes, and you shall see it.
When, and where? brother.
To-morrow, replied Cahoonshee. When you hear the first war-whoop, look to the north-west, and you will see a ball of fire fall from Heaven and strike the earth, and run from Mount William to the Delaware river. That is the sign. The Great Spirit has decreed it. To-morrow Cahoonshee will have his revenge. To-morrow the Salamanques go on the war-path for the last time. To-morrow the rivers will run with blood. Hear me Hawk Eye! The Salamanques are in every ambush between here and Lackawaxen. They are well prepared with canoes and rafts. At the rise of the moon to-night they will float down the river. Their main force will land at the brook just above you. Their younger braves will pass by and return up the Mahackamack (Neversink) to your rear. Those at the brook will set the woods on fire on the south side of the brook, and as the smoke is seen to rise above the trees, the warriors on the Neversink will rush on your village.
Not one of us can escape, mournfully exclaimed Hawk Eye.
You shall all escape. But the Salamanques shall roast in their own fire.
Cahoonshee wise. Learned from the white man. Tell Hawk Eye what to do?
That is what I am here for. Send the women, children and aged to the Holicot Glen, above Peanpack. Send a part of your forces on the east side of the Neversink, and the rest of them on the west side of the Delaware. When the ball of fire I have spoken of shall roll along from Mount William to the river, then let your braves advance. The Salamanques cannot escape. They will be between two fires, one on their east, and one on their west. Then let your braves advance. They will be between two fires, and your braves in their front.
It shall be as you say, replied Hawk Eye.
’Tis well. Watch for the ball of fire! and Cahoonshee passed out of sight.
At this time the angle of land lying between the Delaware and Neversink rivers on which the City of Port Jervis now stands was one tangled forest, in the centre of which was located the camping grounds of the Delawares. The banks of the river were studded with lofty white pine trees, whose tops reached far toward the Heavens. On the south side of the brook, the majestic willow towered Heavenward, with their branches bending to and taken root in the earth. Through these willows the wild grape vine had twined and laced itself, its creeping branches forming a barrier to man and beast, but fuel for the elements.
The Delawares had moved their effects, women and children to the Holicot Glen, and placed their forces on the opposite side of the two rivers, retaining sufficient numbers at their forsaken village to keep the camp fires blazing through the night.
In the meantime, the Salamanques had marshalled their forces, and when the earth became enshrouded in the mantle of night, they embarked on board of canoes and rafts and silently floated down the river, and before the break of day had safely landed north of the Spring Brook, with their women and children. A part of their warriors went by the way of the Tri-States Rock, then up the Neversink, as they supposed, in the rear of the Delawares.
When Cahoonshee left Hawk Eye, he went immediately to the white rock, at Mount William. There he found Drake, the two Quick and Rolla. They had prepared a large quantity of pine knots, and the preparation for the ball of fire was commenced. The white rock lay on a flat stone, requiring but little effort to move it. Around this stone, pine knots were securely bound, with strings cut from deer and bear skins.
Such was the preparation and situation of the contending parties on the morning of the memorable Battle of the Neversink. The sun rose over the eastern hills in all its glory. The wind blew from the north-west, as if to aid the Salamanques in the work of death. The torch is applied to the thick underbrush at the brook. The smoke rises above the tree tops. The war-whoop is sounded on the Neversink, and the Indian braves rush forward in their anticipated work of slaughter.
I have my revenge! exclaimed Cahoonshee, jumping on the lever that started the rock.
From rock to rock—from cliff to cliff, the fiery mass descended, tearing its way through the wood, brush and trees, throwing off its death dealing fire, and landed in the cool waters of the Delaware. In its trail, flames burst forth that ascended to the tree tops.
The Salamanques were enclosed on two sides by fire, and cut off from retreat by the Neversink and Delaware rivers on the other side. Then a rush is made for the river, but the Delawares have their ambush on the Pennsylvania side, and by a deadly fire, drive them back. Then a rush is made for the Pine Grove, thinking there was safety in climbing to the uppermost boughs. Men, women and children uttering oaths and imprecations, dash forward. Deep into the lurid waves of fire made by the whirl of glowing smoke, they rushed madly on—tearing at each other like wild beasts, and smothering their yells beneath the luminous element.
The poor wretches who were to die sought the darkest spots; and hid behind clumps of stone, stumps and bushes, or crept under torn masses of wild vines, panting with terror and dread, and trying to hold the very breath that threatened to destroy them. The Pine Grove is reached. Madly they climb to the highest bough. The aged warrior ascends with the agility of youth. The mother with her babe lashed to her back, and the youth springing from bough to bough, like squirrels. Thus, they spring from bough to bough, until the trees are loaded down with human freight.
But the fire rolls on. The cracking of brush—the yells of the victims, and the fall of the timber, creates a smothering, rolling, thundering sound. The fire leaps from bush to bush—from tree to tree, until the Pine Grove is reached. Rosin on the trees take fire, and a sheet of flame reaches the upmost bough. The very elements are on fire. One by one they drop into the surging flames below—roasted, blackened, withered corpses.
Their friends on the Neversink fare no better. When the smoke was seen above the tree tops, they advanced, thinking to drive the Delawares back into the fire, or mercilessly dispatch them with the tomahawk. But they found no enemy. And while they were wondering what had become of them, they saw a ball of fire pass like a dart of lightning from heaven to earth, and heard the shrieks of their friends in the midst of it. Then confusion and disorder ensued, and they retreated back to the Neversink.
As they reached the river, they were met by the Delawares, who received them with a deadly fire, which caused many of them to bite the earth.
But the fire was upon them. It was either drown or burn. They choose the former, and rushed for the river. This became their burial place, and their bodies became food for the fishes.
As they poured over the bank, the cool and collected Delawares dispatched them with the tomahawk and scalping knife, and the crystal waters of the Neversink were colored with blood.
The victory was complete. Nearly all that had so silently floated down the river the night before, were now locked in the cold embrace of death, and as the sun set in the western horizon, and the earth became enshrouded in the mantle of night, death reigned in silence.
While the conflagration was going on, and while the flames, like forked arrows were hissing through the branches of the trees, and amid the groans of the wounded, burning and dying, which could be heard above the crackling of the falling wood, the tall, erect form of Cahoonshee appeared in the front ground, on the highest pinnacle of Point Peter, with Rolla standing by his side. Feelings of satisfaction and regret occupied his mind. Satisfaction that the murderers of his fathers were punished. Regret that the white man would seize upon this opportunity to appropriate the land to themselves.
The smoke lifted for a moment, and looking toward Mount William, he saw the forms of five dusky Salamanques crouching in the brush.
It is finished, he said. My time has come. But I will not die by the hands of the Salamanques. I will throw myself from these rocks, and be buried by my friends, the Delawares.
You die by the fagot—not by the fall! exclaimed a voice behind him.
Turning, he saw three tomahawks raised. To advance or retreat was impossible.
I am yours, exclaimed Cahoonshee. Do your pleasure.
It is no pleasure to kill a dog—a coward!
Coward! ejaculated Cahoonshee.
Yes—a faint hearted woman, afraid to meet death like your fathers. You were about to meet death by throwing yourself from the rocks to save being tortured by fire.
Cahoonshee keenly felt the reproach.
I rely on the Great Spirit, he said. If it is His will the fire will not burn.
Did the Great Spirit kindle the fire that roasted my people?
Yes, through my agency he sent fire from the skies and consumed the Salamanques. Do your worst. I have had my revenge. Years ago you destroyed my tribe. Their bodies lay mouldering in yonder hill, and their scalps hang in your lodges. I alone am left. Many suns have I seen rise.
You will see it rise but once more. At sun rise to-morrow, the Skull Rock will be lit up, and Cahoonshee will die a coward at the stake.
Cahoonshee remained silent.
Is the great warrior dumb? asked the Chief.
Yes, when he talks to the Great Spirit. And stooping down, he picked up a piece of slate stone and wrote upon it:
“Prisoner. To be burned at the stake at sun-rise to-morrow at Skull Rock.”
Take this (addressing the dog) to your Master.
The dog seized it and bounded down the rocks.
See, said the Chief, the dog is ashamed of the cowardly spirit of his Master.
Cahoonshee’s hands were then tied behind him, and the march to Skull Rock commenced. Their course was north-west until they reached Mongaup. Then over the ridge to Fish Cabin Brook. Then up the cliff to Skull Rock.
This was the place where for years the Indians had tortured their prisoners by burning them at the stake, and skulls were frequently found on the ground. It was a high pinnacle rising several hundred feet above the water of the Delaware, and the rocks hanging over the river. (See Appendix.)
The Quicks and Drake, as soon as the fire ball started, returned to their cabin on the Shinglekill, and viewed from the distance the fire and smoke that ascended above the battle-field on the Neversink.
The sun had just set when Rolla came bounding in and dropped a stone at Drake’s feet, and then whined as if in distress.
The dog means something, said the elder Quick.
In the meantime Drake had picked up the slate and was trying to decipher the marks on it.
Here is something about the Skull Rock, but that is all I can make out.
That means that Cahoonshee is in trouble—perhaps a prisoner. Dry the stone and you can read it better.
Drake held the stone to the fire, and then read: “Prisoner. To be burned at the stake at sunrise, to-morrow at Skull Rock.”
Our friend is doomed, exclaimed Drake, can we do anything to free him?
That depends on how many Indians there are with him. We saw several hundred go down the river but none have returned. If they go to the rock in force we cannot help him. But they usually take but six or eight on such occasions, and with my knowledge of the ground and the under ground approach, I think we could rescue him.
Let us try, said Tom. I will take my chances. There is an under ground approach to that place, known only to Cahoonshee and myself, said the elder Quick. It will be several hours before sunrise and we have time to get there and make our arrangements. Put new flints in your guns and fill the knapsacks with provisions and ammunition.
It was now late in the evening. The night was clear, with full moon as the parties started on their errand of mercy. They had about six miles to travel to reach their destination. Their course lay along the north bank of the river until they reached the foot of the cliff. Reaching that point, Quick admonished the boys to be careful, as the least misstep would throw them down the rocks. The ascent was almost perpendicular. They climbed up rock after rock by clinging to the roots until they had ascended two thirds of the mountain. Here was a projecting table rock on which had grown a massive birch tree. And, under this was a fissure in the rock that led to the top. The entrance to this fissure was directly behind the birch tree, and was so small that it was difficult for a man to creep through. From this point to the top there was a sudden rise of five or six feet, which was about one hundred feet from the tree where the victim was to be bound. Up through this narrow gulch the party proceeded until the top is reached, the elder Quick taking the lead and Rolla bringing up the rear. Daylight was just appearing, but it would be an hour more before sunrise, and this left them time to perfect their arrangements. This was, that each man should pick out his man and fire at the same time. Then the two Quicks should rush out with their knives and release Cahoonshee, leaving Drake and Rolla free to rush on the enemy. A sharp lookout is kept in the direction that the enemy is expected. At last their gaze was rewarded, nearly a half a mile off five Indians were seen approaching with Cahoonshee in their midst. When within five hundred feet, one of the Indians advanced and minutely examined the ground. Not seeing anything to excite his suspicion, he signaled the rest of the party and they advanced.
Cahoonshee was tied to a tree and wood piled around him, when the chief addressed him:—Thus dies the white man’s friend, once the great Cahoonshee, now a lying dog, a craven coward. Now call on the white man’s God. Now see if he will save you.
Coward I may be, but liar I am not; I told the Delawares the truth and they believed me.
What did you tell Delaware dogs?
I told them of your plan to destroy them. With all your cunning I heard your plans at the climbing tree. You destroyed my Fathers, I helped destroy your Nation. Do your worst, Salamanque; do your worst, you may have my scalp to take to your village in the place of a thousand warriors, now smoking in yonder fire. Cahoonshee has had his revenge. Kindle your fire. Roast me alive. Ha! Ha! Ha!
The exasperated chief ordered the fire kindled. At that instant, Drake gave the imitation of the tree toad, and three guns belched forth, and three dusky Indians bit the earth in death. At the same instant, the two Quicks sprang forward to release Cahoonshee. Rolla went for the fourth Indian and soon had him by the throat. Drake made for the remaining one with his knife. At the discharge of the guns the survivor seized his bow and arrows and drew it on Drake. But Drake was so close to him that the arrow flew over his head. But in so doing, he lost his knife. Then they grappled in deadly combat and struggled toward the precipice that yawned several hundred feet beneath them, each one exerting himself might and main to throw the other over and save himself. The brink is reached, and Drake hurled the Indian off, but his own momentum carried him off, and they both disappeared in the abyss below.
Saved, exclaimed Tom as he sundered the last thong that bound Cahoonshee.
Yes, but at a fearful cost. A young life has gone out to save an old wreck that nature will soon remove.
What mean you, Cahoonshee?
I mean that Drake has gone to the spirits-land. Did you not see him leap from the cliff and follow the Indian in his downward flight?
So sudden had been the charge, and exciting the contest that the Quicks had failed to see the fearful leap that Drake and the Indian had taken, and for the moment were speechless.
There, said Cahoonshee, pointing to the highest point of the cliff, there is where they went down and, now lays a mangled corpse at the bottom. But we must find the body.
Just then Rolla set up a howl that echoed up and down the valley.
That means something, exclaimed Cahoonshee, go and see what the dog is making such a noise about.
Tom crawled to the edge of the precipice and looked over. Some hundred feet down he saw a dark object in a large birch tree.
What do you see, asked the elder Quick.
A man, replied Tom, but whether it is Drake or the Indian I cannot tell.
It is Drake, exclaimed Cahoonshee. The dog would have remained silent if it had been the Indian. Speak, and see if he will answer you.
Just then Drake’s voice was heard deep down the mountain.
Hello, Drake, is that you?
Are you hurt?
No, but I am wedged in the crotch of the tree and can’t get out.
Tom, tell him to remain quiet a few minutes and we will help him out, said Cahoonshee.
Quick and Cahoonshee trimmed up a grape vine and lowered it down to Drake. He tied it around his body and by the united strength of those on the cliff, Drake was hauled to the top.
Bravo boy! Bravo boy! exclaimed Cahoonshee, the great spirit is on your side.
That may be, replied Drake, but if it had not been for you and the grape-vine, I think I should have hung there until the crows had picked my bones.
Say not that, said Cahoonshee, it was God’s plan to save you. He gave instinct to the dog to smell you out. He gave growth and strength to the vine to pull you up. And to us the common instincts of humanity to save you.
But we must be going. We are not beyond danger yet. Let us return to the Shinglekill and make arrangements for the future.
And leave the Indians unburied? said Drake.
Yes, leave them as they would have left us—for the wild beasts to pick their bones. See, the vultures have already scented their carcases.
The parties then wound their way down the rocks to the river, and from there down the north back to the cabin on the Shinglekill. Cahoonshee seemed to be down cast and despondent, sitting alone under the butternut trees, with his body bent forward and his head clasped in his hands. Drake watched him for some time, but was unable to discover his trouble, when the words he heard him speak at the Skull Rock came to his mind—
“We are not out of danger yet!”
What troubles Cahoonshee? Is it the danger you spoke of at the Skull Rock?
Yes, in part. There is still danger of the Salamanques. They will hunt me down. But there is another danger that threatens the lives of all the white people between the Hudson and Delaware Rivers. I cannot tell when the blow will be struck. It may be a month—it may be years. The Indians feel their wrongs deeply. They see the whites increase and the Indians diminish. They know that by falsehood and intrigue they have been deprived of their land. They see from the Hudson on the east, to the Delaware on west, and to Kingston on the north, the white man has taken possession of the land and the Indian is being driven west. Both banks of the Delaware from Milford to the Neversink are now dotted with the white man’s house, and the lodge of the Indian has passed away. The Neversink valley and the Peanpack flats are occupied by Hollanders and French, and their cry is “Indian, go West.” The spirit of the Indian is broken, but their religion remains the same. Revenge is a part of their religion. Revenge they have resolved on, and a terrible revenge it will be. Before many moons have passed a general uprising will take place from the Hudson to the Lakes. Men, women and children will be killed and scalped, their houses and barns burned, their property destroyed, their homes made desolate, and all will be desolation and death. The Indian will have his revenge and go west. The white man will follow. The Indian will turn again, and the ravages of Indian warfare will be repeated.
And thus, for generation after generation, the war of races will go on until the last red man is driven over the western slope and their bones are buried in the Pacific. It is nature’s decree. The Indian must go. The places that know them now, will soon know them no more forever.
To me and my people it will make no difference. They are gone and I must follow them soon. I have but one wish to gratify. Let that wish be gratified, and I can resign myself to the keeping of the great “I Am.”
Here Cahoonshee bowed his head again and remained silent.
What is it you wish to accomplish that seems to be as dear to you as life itself? asked Drake.
I wish to find your parents. That accomplished, I can die with pleasure. Drake, you have now arrived at the age of manhood, and unlike Tom, you have employed your time in improving your mind. There are but few in these colonies who are better qualified than you to enter upon active life. You have been a dutiful son to me, and I have tried to be to you a kind father. In the course of nature we must soon part, I to lay myself down, you to enter upon the active duties of life. I have therefore resolved to go in search of your parents and take you with me. We must prepare at once, and day after to-morrow we must bid good-bye to the Shinglekill and our friends. We will go first to Kingston, and then down the Hudson to Manhattan. At one of these places I think that we will get information that will lead us to find your father.
What reason have you for thinking that my father is to be found there? asked Drake.
The mark on your breast is my guide. Undoubtedly the letters “C. D.” represent your name. But whether it is Drake, Davis or Daniels, I don’t know. The letters “E. N.” I am satisfied stands for English Navy. Therefore, I expect to learn some thing about your father by inquiring on board of the English war-ships.
But you have never said anything about this before.
I had my reason for that, and in time you will appreciate them. To-morrow we must take up the bee tree, and the next day start on our journey.
Drake was at a loss to understand why Cahoonshee had come to such a sudden conclusion. He could readily see why he should fear the Salamanques, but he had not discovered anything to lead him to think that there would be trouble between the whites and the Indians. Yet he placed implicit confidence in what Cahoonshee said, and intended to follow his advice. Yet to leave the Delaware Valley, and above all, to leave Amy, cost him a pang.
That night it was arranged that the next day they would go and take up the bee tree, and then the Quicks and Amy should return to the Milford farm, and Cahoonshee and Drake should start for Kingston.
The Dead Shot—The Bee Tree—Amy a Prisoner in the Hands of the Indians—Drake and Rolla in Pursuit—A View of the Hudson.
That night Drake and Amy had a long and confidential talk. The next morning, the party, accompanied by Rolla, started for the tree, which was standing at the junction of the Steneykill and Shinglekill.
As they approached the banks of the Steneykill, Rolla placed his nose to the ground, barked and ran in the woods. Cahoonshee cast his eyes to the ground.
What track is that? pointing to an indenture in the ground. My eyes begin to fail me.
That is the print of a moccasin, said Drake.
Is it a Salamanque? ejaculated Cahoonshee.
I think not, said Quick. It is a new track to me. It is neither Salamanque or Delaware. Here, Drake, look at it with your young eyes.
Drake got down on his knees and examined it for several minutes. Then rising, called Rolla.
Cahoonshee, said Drake, did you ever see the print of a moccasin worn by a Stockbridge? If my memory serves me right, the print was made by one of the tribe that stole me from my parents. For what purpose are they in these parts?
Cahoonshee then examined the tracks.
It is many years since I have seen a Stockbridge or their tracks, but I think Drake is right. You fell the tree, and Rolla and I will follow the trail and learn their number. You, Quick, go to the top of the bluff and keep a good lookout for the enemy, for such I take them to be. You boys plug the hole and chop the tree down.
Tom climbed the tree, carrying with him a quantity of moss dipped in tar, and plastered it over the hole, thus effectively preventing the bees from coming out. Then returning to the ground, he and Drake went vigorously to work to chop the tree down.
About this time Cahoonshee returned and reported that there were five Indians in the party, and were going towards the Mongaup.
The party now proceeded to smother the bees, by smoking them with brimstone. This was soon accomplished, and several pails were filled with honey, then the party started to return.
As they were crossing the Shinglekill about half a mile from the cabin, Rolla gave three loud barks and jumped towards Drake.
That is the bark the dog always gives when he sees or hears Amy, said Tom.
And here, said Drake, is the moccasin track again. I fear that this forbodes trouble for those we left in the cabin.
Look to the priming in your guns, and be quick. There is no time to lose, said Cahoonshee.
This was a dark and adventurous day for Amy. When the party left in the morning, she began to realize how lonesome she would be without Drake. Although she claimed that Walter Wallace owned her whole heart, and none but him should ever call her wife, yet to part from Drake, even for a short time, gave her pain. She began to doubt her constancy for Walter, and admitted to herself that Drake occupied a small corner of her heart. Yet she was determined to be cheerful, and that the parting between her and Drake should be of an affectionate character. To that end, she put on her blue flannel dress, decked herself with flowers, braided her long, flowing hair, over which she placed her gypsy hat, and took a chair beside Betsy to await their return. She had hardly seated herself, when she heard the squirrels chattering in the butternut trees in front of the cabin.
I am going to shoot one of those squirrels, she said to Betsy.
Oh no, child, don’t hurt them.
I won’t hurt them, aunty, I will kill them so quick that they won’t feel it; and taking her gun, stepped out of doors. There were several squirrels in the tree, but she chose the highest. At the report of the gun, the squirrel’s head dropped to the ground, but the body remained in the tree. She felt proud of the shot, and darted up the tree. When she had nearly reached the top, her attention was drawn to the woods on the north bank, and nearly in line with her mother’s grave. There lay, crouched in the bushes, five Indians in full war dress. She thought that this meant mischief, but how to avert it she did not know. She first determined to load her gun, and shoot the first one that approached her. Then she thought that this would enrage the Indians, and they would kill and scalp both her and Betsy. Then she thought that perhaps they meant no harm, and had come only to get something to eat.
Oh! how I wish Drake and Cahoonshee were here. Perhaps they will carry me off, and who can find me? Drake will if possible. And picking up a piece of charcoal, wrote on the door what she had seen and what she feared, describing the Indians, their dress paint and feathers. She had just finished the writing, when the Indians came in the door. The leader advanced and said:
Pretty squaw—good shot—bring squirrel’s head down—leave body in tree. Make me good squaw—shoot my deer—cook my corn.
Amy, although she understood every word he said, pretended she could not understand him, and made signs to that effect.
Time is precious, said one in the rear. Cahoonshee will soon be upon us.
This convinced Amy that the Indians knew that the men were not at home and might soon return. If she could detain them, perhaps Drake would arrive. She offered them something to eat. This was refused. Then the Indian that first approached her, drew from his belt some deer-skin strings. Amy read her doom. She was to be bound and carried off. As resistance was useless, she came to the conclusion to quietly submit.
She then made gestures that she would go with them without tying, but the wily savages would not permit that, but tying a thong around her neck, ordered her to march.
Betsy had been a silent and interested spectator of the scene that had passed before her. Amy had informed her in Dutch what she supposed the Indians intended to do with her.
Tell Drake that I am going to Kingston ahead of him, that I have been taken by the Indians—the same tribe that stole him when he was a babe.
Here she was cut short and forced from the house. The Indians gagged and tied Betsy fast to her chair and left her.
Their course was north-west, and Amy resolved to go willingly and escape at the first opportunity. The Indians said but little, but that little she understood perfectly, and soon learned the object of the Indians’ visit to that section. It was not to capture her, but Drake. That a ship was at Kingston, and they wanted Drake to sell to the Captain, that the young brave at her side was a son of the Chief of the tribe, that he saw her when she came out of the house, dressed like a queen, with the gun in her hand. He saw her aim at the squirrel and the head fall. He saw her climb the tree with the agility of a squirrel, and resolved to take her to his tribe and make her his wife—the queen of his lodge.
Amy was satisfied that her friends would pursue and rescue her if possible. She understood the instinct of the dog, and knew that Rolla would find their trail and follow it.
The Indians moved with all possible speed, but Amy was equal to the emergency. They crossed the ridge about half a mile north of Hawk’s Nest, and bent their way towards Mongaup River. It was dark when they reached the River, and here, for the first time, the Indians changed their tactics, and endeavored to hide their trail. Two of the Indians took hold of Amy’s hand, one on each side, and stepped in the cool waters of the Mongaup, and started up stream.
Amy was well acquainted with all the rivers and streams, having accompanied Tom and Drake on their fishing excursions after the speckled trout, in which the river abounded, but the forest was so dense and the night so dark that she could not locate the spot. After wading through the water for about two hours, they turned into a gulch of the mountains through which a small stream flowed, the Indians being particular that every step should be in the water, so as to leave no trail. In their ascent, they were required to climb over falls five and six feet in height. Thus they traveled in total darkness for an hour, when a familiar sound struck Amy’s ear. She heard the roaring water and surging cataract. She knew the sound and could locate the place as easily as she could by daylight. It was Bushkill Falls, a narrow, deep glen, with rocks ascending on both sides several hundred feet high. The Falls are in sections, and drop about two hundred feet. The largest, at the bottom, is forty feet, and drops into a basin below. It is seventy-five feet in diameter, and is alive with trout. To the right of the basin is the much dreaded snake den—the largest ever known. Here, at any time between May and November, the rattler and copperhead are to be found, in May when they go out, and November when they go in, and can be counted by the hundreds. All kinds of snakes burrow together in harmony during the winter. The green snake of twelve inches and the blacksnake of twelve feet lie side by side, locked in the cold embrace of frost.
At the foot of the Falls, and at the margin of the basin, the Indians encamped. The outlet of this basin was by two small streams. By removing a few stones on one side, and making a small dam on the other side, one of the brooks is dried up. The Indians did this and caught a number of large trout. Then they rubbed two ash sticks together and started a fire, and roasted the fish.
Thus, Amy partook of her first meal in captivity. During the eating of the meal, a conversation was carried on between two of the Indians, in which she learned that she was to be carried to a cave on the east side of the Hudson, and detained there until she consented to become his wife. She immediately came to the conclusion that this was the same cave that Drake was imprisoned in when a child. How could she communicate this fact to Drake? She was reclining on her side on a large flat rock. Taking a small stone, she noiselessly wrote on the flat stone:
“Going to the cave from whence you came. Amy.”
Then the march was resumed up the Falls and almost in sight of Cahoonshee’s cabin. Then up the Steneykill and over Handy Hill to the Neversink River.
It is not our intention to describe the route or the incidents that took place on their way to Kingston. Suffice it to say that Amy was treated with respect by the one who expected to make her his wife.
But two incidents occurred worthy of notice on their march. On the day before they reached the Hudson, they were traveling on a trail that appeared to be much used. The Chief was ahead and Amy forty or fifty feet behind him, and the rest of the party were two or three hundred feet behind her, when apparently from the highest tree, the shrill voice of the tree toad was heard. Amy raised her eyes to the tree and thought to herself:
“That is Drake’s imitation of the tree toad. But if it is, I shall hear the blue jay scream.” And without slackening her pace, passed on.
Just after the rest of the column had passed, the familiar sound of the blue jay was heard. By this Amy knew that her friends were near. But how they could extricate her, she could not see, and hoped that Drake would put it off until after she had reached the cave.
They did not travel on the direct trail, but kept west on the ridge, and whenever they came to a stream of water, traveled in that, so as to leave no trail.
In the middle of the afternoon, from the top of a high mountain, the Hudson River came into view, and in the centre lay one of the large ships that Amy had heard Cahoonshee often describe.
Here Amy and her Indian lover were left. The rest went on to the river to steal a canoe or build a raft, on which to cross the river. They soon found a canoe large enough to carry them all over and three of the Indians carried it to the place agreed upon to meet, and the fourth one walked toward Kingston Point.
It was now dark, but full moon, and objects could be plainly seen. He soon reached a large stone house. Approaching cautiously, he discovered a large number of people in and about it. Men in uniform, and ladies dressed in the most costly fashion. The loud, shrill notes of the fiddle sounded upon the air, and nimble feet kept time to the music. He stood screened behind a grape arbor that was loaded down with the precious fruit, when suddenly a female figure appeared. At first, the Indian crouched in terror. The spirit of their captive, Amy stood before him. Could two persons be just alike? He thought not. Yet there was the same form, figure, eyes and hair.
She must have escaped. I’ll retake her, then she will be mine.
He approached her as silent as a cat, threw his blanket over her head, clasped her mouth with his hand and bore her away unobserved and laid her apparently lifeless form in the canoe.
In a few minutes, Amy and her Indian captor arrived and took seats in the canoe and started on their journey across the Hudson, where we must leave them for the present, and return to Walter Wallace.
Restored to Reason—Cora, the Rough Diamond—Saw a Ghost—A Temperance Lecture—Found, Two Grand-Fathers.
We left the hero of our tale lying unconscious in the cabin of the Reindeer, which is now far out to sea. Lieutenant Powers had passed a sleepless night. The history of Walter Wallace, as related by Captain Davis, convinced him that he was his nephew, the son of his long lost sister. He knew not how severely he was injured, but the fact that he was unconscious led him to believe that his injuries were serious, perhaps fatal. He wished to see him, if it was but for a moment, but the Captain had forbid, and his word was law.
But he will be well taken care of, he said to himself. The Captain’s wife and Cora will nurse him carefully. But I fear that Cora will talk and worry him. She is so giddy, self-willed and head strong, and will worry him unintentionally. Then I am afraid she will take a liking to this noble-looking young man. He is just her ideal of a man. I must see her, and inform her of the position she sustains toward him. I must tell her that she is his aunt. Then she will open all her guns on me, and as the gunners say, “go off half cocked.” But it must be done, and in this way I can learn his condition.
He pulled a cord that hung over the table, and the cabin boy appeared.
Hand this note to Miss Cora, placing a letter in the boy’s hand.
In a few moments Cora came rushing in, apparently much excited, exclaiming:—
Oh, Charley! I am so glad you sent for me.
Stop, Miss Cora. On ship-board you must address people by their titles. Say Lieutenant, not Charley.
Well, then Lord Lieutenant.
Cora—Cora, you are too rude. Leave the Lord out, and simply call me Lieutenant.
Well, then brother, I am glad you sent for me. I am sure that I should have busted if I hadn’t got away from there just as I did! Only to think of a woman holding her mouth for twelve hours!
Nonsense, Cora! Nonsense! Come to the point.
That is just where I am coming. I am coming to the point—to the point of explosion. As I said. I have held my mouth for twelve hours. Only think of that. And all that time, I have been generating—holding in—filling up. But now I will let off. Did you ever hear of a woman holding her tongue so long before?
Cora, you are really cruel. I sent for you to learn something about the stranger that is in the cabin.
That is just what I thought, and I will tell you all I know.
That is a good girl, Cora—I am dying to hear about him.
Yes, and I have been dying for twelve hours in his presence, and if you hadn’t sent for me just as you did, I am sure that I should have been dead gone.
But Cora, you are not telling me anything.
How can I? You talk all the while, and I can’t get a word in edgeways.
Ridiculous! Ridiculous! Oh, Cora, stop this ranting. Let the ridiculous go, and tell me what has taken place in the cabin.
Ranting! Well, that is pretty language to come from the first Lieutenant of the Reindeer. Well, may be I do rant. I have got a right to rant. I will rant! I must let off this superabundant amount of gas that has been generating in my brain for the last sixteen hours.
But I tell you it is ridiculous.
Well go on and tell me what is so ridiculous.
That is just what I have been trying to do for half an hour.
But I tell you it is ridiculous.
Well, go on.
I am going on if you will be still and give me a chance.
Then I will be still. I won’t speak again until you get through.
Then you will never speak again, for I never shall get through.
Charles remained silent.
Why don’t you speak? Why don’t you say something? There you sit as stubborn as a mule. I thought you had something to say to me and sent for me for that purpose.
Charles still remained silent.
Well, if it has come to this, that my brother can’t speak to me, I will go. But I tell you it is ridiculous.
Charles still remained silent.
No, I won’t go. I’ll make you speak if I have to stay all day.
Charles lighted a cigar, and resigned himself to a chair.
Well now if that isn’t cool—yes, almost insulting. That is the way you men have to give vent to your pent up feelings. And simply because your sister gives vent to her feelings, you become mulish. But really, Charles, it was the most ridiculous sight I ever saw. There lay the handsomest man I ever saw, (the Lieutenant was all ears,) and the Captain’s wife sat by his side and rubbed his face and cried. Yes, she really cried. The tears ran down her face like an avalanche from the Appenines. And if I stirred, she would point her finger and “Hist! Hist!” The canary bird had to be removed, for fear its breath would annoy the sleeper. But the most ridiculous thing was the kissing. Yes, when she thought I wasn’t looking, she kissed him. Thinks I to myself, if the Captain should catch you at that, there would be mutiny on board. But when the Captain came, she kissed him all the more, and then the Captain kissed her. Now wasn’t that ridiculous? He kissed her because she kissed another man.
But Cora, what is the doctor doing for him?
The most ridiculous thing in the world. He is turning his frame into an apothecary shop and his stomach into a chemical laboratory. Believe me brother, both sides of the cabin are lined with vials, bottles, plasters and rags. He is to take this kind every ten minutes, and that kind every thirty minutes, and so on with the different kinds until we get around, and then it is time to commence with the first again.
I suppose, Cora, that you rendered Mrs. Davis all the assistance you could?
Certainly I did. I held the bowl while the doctor bled him. The doctor said that in all cases of bruises and concussions, blood-letting was necessary. And he did the necessary up for him scientifically, for when he got through, I think he had drawn all the blood out of him.
That was kind in you Cora, and relieved Mrs. Davis from a very unpleasant duty.
Oh, I did more than that. I was time-keeper.
Time-keeper—what do you mean by that?
I mean that I advanced on his stomach by schedule time, and cried “time” like a referee in a prize fight, and Mrs. Davis advanced with the spoon.
Will he live, Cora?
Yes, as long as the medicine holds out. He hasn’t got any time to die now. His mouth is continually opening and shutting, and as long as that continues he is safe.
Does he move or speak?
Yes. Both. He continually moves his eyes, and their gaze is piercing. He looked at me as if he intended to look me through. Those large, beautiful orbs continually followed me, and once he raised his hand and said “Amy.” It was spoken soft and affectionately. I think he took me for some other person. Intelligence, not delirium beamed in his eye, and that eye followed me wherever I went. What does it mean, brother? Who is he? What is he? and where did he come from? What makes the Captain and his wife take such an interest in him?
Were you and Mrs. Davis alone with him all night?
Yes, excepting an old white cat. Oh, Charley, I wish I was a cat.
Oh, no, my sister, you don’t wish any such thing.
Yes I do. I wish I could take that cat’s place.
Now Cora, don’t get visionary again.
There is nothing visionary about it. It was the most real thing that I ever saw. I saw that cat lying on his breast, clasped in his arms.
And for that reason you want to be a cat?
What better reason? I am a woman, and what woman could resist the temptation to be encircled within those manly arms, gaze into those dark, deep orbs, drink in the sweet nectar of love, feel his heart beat in unison with mine, and hear him pronounce those endearing words, “Mine is thine, and thine is mine. Such is love’s most holy sign.”
Why, Cora, you are really romantic.
There is nothing romantic about it. I tell you, I am going to fall in love. No, that don’t express it. I am going to jump in love with him.
What? before you know who or what he is? Perhaps he has been brought up among the Indians.
Oh, pshaw! What difference would that make? You judge others by yourself. You don’t know anything about a woman’s heart. When a woman loves, she loves intently, earnestly, devotedly, and seeks to unite herself to the object of her affection. Yes, I would rather marry an Indian than one of your lisping dudes whose brains compare well with the sap in his cane, and contains about as much sense, without pluck enough to fight a fly. A woman hates timidity, and despises a coward. They prefer a rough man to a timid fool. The rough man, when he kisses you, encircles you in his arms, pressing you to his bosom, and imprints a kiss on your mouth that electrifies the whole system. The dude stands off at arm’s length, and kisses you on the tip of the finger. There is no electricity about that. And when you come across one of those fellows, just make up your mind that that fellow is a fraud, hypocrite or fool—probably a compound of all three.
But Cora, there is a gulf between you and he—an abyss that cannot be bridged.
Then I will jump it. Don’t you know that when a woman loves, all obstacles can be overcome? that prison bars melt like ice in the meridian sun? that love will pick locks and remove prison bolts? that time and distance are annihilated, mountains become mole hills, and oceans mere streams?
But nature has placed an obstacle in the way, Cora, that can’t be removed.
And if it was in your power, you would not consent that it should be removed.
You are his own aunt!
I, that man’s aunt? Well, Lieutenant, that shows that you are visionary. Oh, you are a lunatic—insane—mad! I can’t trust myself here any longer with you. Good day!
Stay, Cora, and I will explain. Sit down by my side, and hear the story of your sister’s wrongs and the young man’s life.
I am all ears, Lieutenant.
The Lieutenant then related Walter’s history in full, not forgetting the fight on the wharf and the way he was injured.
Cora remained silent for a few moments, then said:
Lieutenant, can this be? If so, truth is stranger than fiction But how do you know that his statement is true!
By the best of proof, replied Powers. First, his appearance shows that he is the soul of honor. Secondly, Webb found him on the Callicoon. Thirdly, my agents reported that the families of Powers and Wallace had resided there, and lastly, we know that many years ago, before you were born, your sister married William Wallace, and your brother Thomas married Mary Powers; that each of them had a child. Thomas Powers’s child was named Amy, and William Wallace’s child was named Walter, after his grand-father, Walter Wallace. The cat you saw, and of which you were jealous, belongs to Walter. It was a present to him from Amy, and bears her name.
But where is Amy Powers? asked Cora.
It is supposed that she was drowned. But Walter thinks otherwise, and the object of this voyage was to discover her and his friends.
And discovered them before he got started, replied Cora.
No, you are in error there. He is ignorant of the fact that he has an uncle and aunt on this ship. Now return to the cabin, and as soon as I can get the Captain’s consent, I will be with you.
Cora left, and was soon at the side of her patient. Mrs. Davis motioned her away, saying:
He is much better now, and is nearly himself again.
Amy! said the sick man.
Be quiet, my son, said Mrs. Davis. You have been very sick.
Walter attempted to raise himself.
Where am I? he said. What has taken place?
You are in the cabin of the Reindeer, far out at sea. You got hurt while coming on board.
Then it was all a dream. All of my hopes have been dashed from me, he said.
Captain Davis had been notified that Walter was conscious, and arrived in time to hear his last remark.
Oh, that the dream could have lasted forever. I have been living my life over again. I have seen and conversed with my darling Amy. Again I went to the Callicoon, and again saw that mad stream. I saw the raft, with mother, child and dog rush madly on. I saw them land, and carry their lifeless forms to the shore. I saw the mother buried on the bank, and Amy strew her grave with flowers. I heard her say, “I did, I shall, I ever will love Walter Wallace.” I saw a young man there with a mark on his breast of an anchor and ship. (Captain Davis started.) I saw a great, good, wise Indian. They called him Cahoonshee. (Captain Davis turned pale.) I saw Amy in the hands of the Indians. I awoke. It was a dream, a dream only. I was conscious that I was on board the Reindeer, rolling and rocking on the ocean, and the Captain and his wife watching over me, when suddenly Amy appeared again. I am not asleep now. I am awake. I am conscious of all that passes before me. I know that I see Amy. I extend my hand and say “Amy,” she vanishes. She is gone. The rest of you remain. I see you, why don’t I see her?
It was a delusion, my boy.
No, mother, it was no delusion. It was no dream. She was here—either in body or spirit. She is here now. I feel her influence.
There is a lady on board, but not the Amy you speak of. It is a Miss Powers.
Miss Powers? exclaimed Walter. That is her, Amy Powers, my long lost Amy!
Cora stood in her state room door, and heard all that Walter had said. She recollected the proffered hand, and of his mentioning the name of Amy. She was satisfied that Walter had seen her and taken her for Amy, the love of his boyhood. Her position was embarrassing. Could it be possible that she and Amy looked so much alike that Walter had seen in her the exact counterpart of the image of his Amy? She beckoned the Captain to her and told him of her suspicions and her reasons.
Shall I make myself known to him at once and drive away this delusion? Shall I tell him that I am his aunt and not his Amy?
I think so, replied the Captain. He seems to be perfectly rational, and the sooner he is convinced of his mistake, the better.
I will arrange my toilet and meet him, replied Cora.
There were some things said by Walter that deeply interested the Captain and his wife. The mentioning of the anchor and ship on the breast of the young man he saw in company of the Indian Cahoonshee struck deep into his heart. This was a perfect description of his long lost child. The state room door opens, and in comes Cora dressed in the same attire she wore when she was addressed by Walter. She approached the bed. His eyes caught her. He sprang from the bed, threw his arms around her exclaiming:
Found at last! My long, lost love, Amy. Now I am rewarded for a life of toil and anxiety. Look into my eyes, Amy, and tell me that you never forgot your Walter. Tell me of the sweet hours we passed on the Callicoon. Tell me, oh tell me, can I yet call you mine?
Cora was embarrassed and did not know what to say. She was pleased with the way that Walter addressed his supposed Amy.
Why don’t you speak? Do not let pride, place or circumstances influence you. The time has been so great, perhaps destiny and circumstances have changed your course, but not your affections. I will swear by the Gods that you still love me.
Oh, said Cora, I wish I was your Amy. I wish these caresses were meant for me. I wish that I could honestly continue to be encircled within your manly arms. But no. It cannot be. This affection is meant for another—not for me. I am not Amy, I am your aunt, and here by your side stands your uncle, Lieutenant Charles Powers.
Walter fell back on his bed.
So near, yet so far, he exclaimed. Leave me alone to commune with my own thoughts.
The Lieutenant took his hand and said:
Don’t be cast down, my nephew; It is always the darkest before day. The light in your horizon has begun to appear. It will illuminate your whole soul. Such love cannot go unrewarded. You will yet find your Amy. In the morning you will be stronger, and will then learn the history of your family.
The next morning Walter was so much improved that he went on deck, and then to the room of Lieutenant Powers, where he learned the history of his family, of which the reader is already apprised.
Really Walter, continued the Lieutenant, I am ashamed to relate the cause that led to the estrangement between the Wallace and Powers families. It was very trivial—in fact no cause at all. Your father, William and my brother Thomas were two stripling boys, and each of them owned a game rooster, and each thought his rooster the smartest. A cock fight was agreed upon and the fathers of both sides invited to be present. The day arrives, the families meet to see the sport, and the cocks go at each other with vengeance and soon there is a dead cock in the pit. The owner of the dead cock kicks at the victorious rooster. Then the boys clinch, the old gentlemen get mad and interfere, and the result is eternal enmity between the families so far as the fathers were concerned. Each forbid their children to visit or hold any intercourse with each other. And to this day the two fathers hold to their resentment. Twenty-five years have passed, and during all that time they have not spoken together or allowed their children, so far as they could prevent it. Not so with the children of these mad parents. Your father and Thomas soon became friends again, and often met and played together. Long before this estrangement, your mother and father were friends, and in their juvenile days, pledged to each other their love with their parents’ consent. And the same was the case between my brother Thomas and Amelia Wallace. As they grew up, they refused to break their engagement, and were married. For this they were disinherited and driven from their parental roofs. A few friends assisted them and they embarked for America. You know the rest.
Then the object I had in visiting the old world is accomplished, said Walter. I have no desire to see those that drove their children from home for following the dictates of their conscience and the man or maid of their choice. Place me on board of the first returning ship we meet, and I will return to the scenes of my childhood.
There is no necessity of that. Continue with us. Perhaps you may be the means of a reconciliation between the families. Your grand-father Powers is an old man, firmly set in his own ways. But I trust that the son of his injured daughter, Amelia, may cause him to relent and forgive. He is subject to heart disease, and his death may be expected at any time.
I will go and see my two grand-fathers and then return to America.
A tap is heard on the door, and a midshipman enters.
The Captain wishes to see Mr. Wallace and Lieutenant Powers in the cabin.
Arriving there the Captain said:—
Lieutenant, we have a very important, yet disagreeable duty to perform. You must summon a court martial and try the mutineers. I should have ordered it before, had Mr. Wallace been able to give his testimony. He has now recovered, and we will proceed with the investigation at once.
The Lieutenant left the cabin.
Captain, said Walter, how many men have you to try?
Two. John Frost and Tom Jones. Poor fellows—I pity them.
How long have they been on the ship?
They have sailed with me for years. They entered the Navy when mere boys.
What has been their previous conduct, Captain?
They have always been good, steady men. Always punctual to obey. This is their first offence.
And if convicted, said Walter, what then?
Hang them to the yard-arm, replied the Captain. Mutiny at sea cannot be tolerated. An example must be made of them to deter others.
I admit, Captain, that example is a great educator, but is it not example—the force of the education they have received on board of the ship that got them into this trouble?
No sir! said the Captain excitedly. It was rum! Too much rum!
That is just the point, Captain—too much rum. But who set the example before them? Who educated them to drink rum? Who dealt out to them, twice a day, the deadly drug? And now follows the fearful consequences of example and education. And now you will hang them to the yard-arm for putting into practice the legitimate consequence of their education. You say these men have followed the sea all their days—that they entered the Navy when they were mere boys—that for long years they have served you and your country well—that this is their first offence, and for this offence they must die—must be suspended between the heavens and earth, as an example, to deter others. And now those who set them the example become their executioners.
Perhaps, said the Captain, I do not understand your real meaning, but if I do, you charge the consequences of this mutiny upon me, and through me, indirectly, upon the English Navy, their discipline and laws.
You have comprehended my meaning, Captain, these men are to be deprived of life through the discipline and laws of the English Navy. I mean that the education they have received, prepared—yes, propelled them to commit the crime for which they are to suffer death. You dealt out to them their rations of grog. You taught them to violate the laws of their nature. You created in them an insatiate desire for strong drink. This desire you could restrain while on ship-board, because there was a guard over the tap, and British bayonets held their passions and appetites in subjection. Not so when they were on shore. Then they were at liberty to measure their own grog. Then their educated appetites cried “Rum! More Rum!” Then British gold could furnish what English bayonets could not prevent. Then they became maddened—frenzied—unaccountable beings. Yes, Captain, it was rum! The demon, devil rum that was in them that did it. And now, men, claiming to be the image of the God they worship are to sit in judgement on their own work and strangle other images of the same God. For doing what? For working out the legitimate consequences of their education. Captain, can you take part in this great wrong? Will you deprive a soul of life? a wife of a husband? a child of a father? and society of a member? As for myself, I will not be a witness against these misguided men. Sooner, would I be cast overboard, and trust to providence to reach my native shore than imbrue my hands with their blood.
Young man, said the Captain, where did you learn this fine spun morality?
In the wilderness of America, he replied. Your government send their missionaries there to christianize and civilize the Indians, with a bible in one hand and a whiskey bottle in the other. They deal out to them this liquid hell fire, obscure their reason, excite their passions, and make of them devils incarnate. The Indians retaliate, and kill and burn all within their reach. And then English guns, pointed with English bayonets, enforce English laws, with the intention of exterminating the Indians. With those Indians, Captain, is your lost boy.
How do you know that? excitedly exclaimed Davis.
I saw him in my dream. I saw the anchor and ship on his breast. I saw his protector, Cahoonshee place him in your arms.
But Mr. Wallace, what connection has this with the punishment of the mutineers?
That sailor, replied Walter, is a man, a father. His wife and child are waiting, hoping, praying for his return. Both you and your child are waiting, hoping, praying that you may meet again. As you may do by this man and his child, may God do by you and your child.
This struck Captain Davis to the heart, and if it had been in his power, he would have released the men at once. But duty, stern duty, forbid. Some good excuse must be found, or the trial proceed.
Mr. Wallace, said the Captain, I admit the force of your reasoning as to the cause that produced this difficulty, yet I see no escape. The law is imperative, and these men must stand trial, and if convicted, they must be executed. Show me an honorable way, and I will save them.
There is a way, Captain, a legal way to save the lives of these men.
How? exclaimed the Captain excitedly. I did not know that you were versed in marine law.
Because you have no power to try and execute these men.
What! No power to punish for mutiny at sea?
I do not deny that power, but there has been no mutiny at sea. It was a riot on land. Have you jurisdiction over crimes committed on land?
Really, my boy, that is an idea I had not thought of.
I had, replied Walter. And even if the difficulty had taken place on board of the ship, I don’t think that you could legally try and execute these men. Vattel says that it is only in extreme cases that this summary proceeding can be resorted to. Where you have proof of a deep laid conspiracy to murder the officers and take the ship, you may resort to this summary trial. Unless this danger exists, you must turn the men over to be tried by the laws of the land.
I will consult my officers, replied the Captain.
With your consent, I would like to visit these men, said Walter.
You have my consent, replied the Captain.
The Captain and his First Lieutenant had a long conversation in relation to the court he had ordered convened, and came to the conclusion to defer it for the present.
Walter and Lieutenant Powers went to see the prisoners, and found them at the bottom of the ship, where there was no light or air fit to breathe. A horrid stench pervaded, and the odor of bilge water made the place almost unbearable. They had groped their way through total darkness, aided only by a tallow candle.
These are the men we are in search of, said Powers to Walter.
Yes, here we are, replied Frost. But gentlemen, if you value your lives, leave this place at once. Don’t inhale this poison vapor.
Powers was holding the candle, which gave but an imperfect light and made the men before him look ghastly.
Wallace was dumb with horror, when suddenly a figure in white appeared.
What have we got here? exclaimed Powers.
An angel, said Tom Jones, feeding two of the King’s subjects with the crumbs that fell from the master’s table.
Silence, man! Raising the light toward the figure before him. Speak! Be you man, devil or angel! Speak!
The figure advanced.
I am neither man or angel, but the charge of devil may apply.
What? what are you doing here? said Powers.
Feeding these unfortunate men, and preparing them for the ordeal they have got to go through.
Cora, are you not aware that this is beneath the dignity of your station, and a violation of the laws of the ship?
Lieutenant, are the laws of the ship above the laws of humanity? and God’s laws? that command us to visit those who are in prison, the sick and afflicted? Shame, brother, shame, that anything in the form of a man, or in the image of God should be treated thus—ironed to the floor, and stifled with bad air.
Cora, you must leave here. Mr. Wallace, will you escort her on deck? This interview must close.
When is our trial to come off? asked Tom Jones.
That I can’t say, replied the Lieutenant. But it is improper to talk about it here. When the time comes, you will be notified.
As for me, said Jones, I am ready to be tried, and if convicted, to die. I am alone in the world—without wife, child or chick. There is no one to mourn my loss or suffer by my disgrace. But it is different with my ship-mate, Frost. He has a wife and children that love him dearly, I wish he could be spared. If it is necessary that the law should be vindicated, and an example set to deter others, let them make an example of me, and hang me to the yard-arm, in view of the whole ship’s company. If any one is to blame, I am. This man is innocent. He took no part in the affray. He was shoved to the front by the crowd behind. As for me, I was a leader, an unconscious leader. I was crazed with rum. I came on this ship when a small boy. It was here I took my first drink. It was here I acquired the appetite for strong drink. It was here that I was educated, that to be manly, I must take my rations. On the ship, I kept sober and performed my duty. Here I could get but a limited quantity. On the ship I learned and believed that Friday was an unlucky day, and the ship that left port on that day would meet with bad luck. Never before had the Captain ordered us to sail on that day. Being frenzied with rum at the tavern, where we could get all we wanted, a few of us resolved that we would not go to sea that day. You know the rest better than I do. It was not Tom Jones that revolted, it was the rum that was in him. It was rum in and Tom Jones out. It was the act of a mad man—a demon—a devil, crazed by rum.
Mr. Wallace, let us go. It is sickening here, exclaimed the Lieutenant.
What, said Cora, is sickening? these men or the air you compel them to breathe? This, brother, is murder without the benefit of the clergy. Perhaps you have the right to take these men’s lives, according to law, but you have no right to be inhuman and deprive them of life in this foul and poisonous air.
What would you have me do, Cora? said the Lieutenant.
Take off these irons, take them on deck, and then hang them. For doing what? For obeying the instincts of their nature. For doing what they could not help. And then in order that the job be done scientifically and religiously, you and Captain Davis should be their executioners. You began the work—you learned these men to drink—on you rests the responsibility of their acts. And it is but fitting that you finish the work you began. Turn hangman, Lieutenant, turn hangman.
Cora, exclaimed Powers excitedly, you must stop this ranting. If a man had so far forgot himself as to address an officer as you have done, he would swing at the yard-arm before sun-down.
Then you will have an execution before dark, replied Walter, for I endorse every word she has said.
Mr. Wallace, said the Lieutenant, this thing must stop. You and Cora must leave, and I will see that justice is done these men.
All parties left, and soon after met in the cabin. Captain Davis was walking the floor, and seemed to be absorbed in deep thought. Mrs. Davis met Walter with a smile, and motioned him to take a chair by her side. A moment after, Cora came in, followed by Lieutenant Powers.
Have you seen Frost and Jones? asked Mrs. Davis.
We have, replied Walter.
And what is your wish toward them? asked the Captain.
To give them their liberty, and set them to work. My word for it Captain, there isn’t two more loyal men in the British Navy than Tom Jones and Jack Frost, and they have been sufficiently punished for all the wrong they have done.
Mr. Wallace, there is force in your reasoning. Yet, as Commander of this ship, I must make a full report, and account for the men we left on shore.
That is the key to the whole matter, Captain. Report the case just as it is—that the leaders of the mutiny were killed on the spot, and Jones and Frost were punished by being placed in irons and confined between decks for twenty days and then set to work. This, I think, would be satisfactory, both to the men and the government.
I will lay the matter before my officers, replied the Captain, and be governed in the matter by their judgment.
A council of the ship’s officers was called, and Walter was invited to be present, the result of which was, that Jones and Frost were restored to liberty.
It was soon known on board of the ship that Walter had been instrumental in procuring the release of the men, and for that reason, he became the idol of the crew, and a friendship grew up between them that lasted for life.
During the remainder of the voyage Walter spent most of his time with these men, and from them learned the whole routine of the sailors’ duty in working and sailing a ship.
Walter was an apt scholar, and by time England was reached he was a first-class sailor.
On the evening of the day on which Jones and Frost were released, Walter and Lieutenant Powers had a long conversation in relation to their future action.
In a few days we shall arrive in port, and then you will have an opportunity to see your two grand-fathers. How they will receive you, or whether they will receive you at all is uncertain. They are now both very old men. Your grand-father Wallace, I think, will receive and acknowledge you as his grand-son. He has never effaced from his memory the love he had for your mother, and never neglects an opportunity of inquiring if any intelligence has been received from your father’s family. But your grand-father Powers is very uncertain. I fear that he will refuse to see you, and perhaps insult you, should you appear before him. But Cora and I will do the best we can to effect a reconciliation.
Uncle, said Walter, the object I had in view in visiting the old world is accomplished. I have found the friends of mine and Amy’s family. The causes that drove my parents from their native shore still exists. Parents that could exile their own child would have no conscientious scruples, and would disown and drive from their door the grand-child of their own offspring. I have met an uncle and an aunt. Let that suffice. I have no desire to meet those that think or speak unkindly of my parents. My mother is dead and cannot speak in her own defense. That now becomes my duty—a duty that I will neither court nor shrink from. But woe unto the man that slanders my dead mother. Perhaps I had better not see either of my grand-parents—at least not until they make the request. I hope that our stay in port will be short, as I am anxious to prosecute my search in America for my lost friend.
The voyage is nearly completed. The distant shores of the old world are in view. The Reindeer is proudly entering the mouth of the Thames, and sixty miles more will bring us to our destination.
Walter stood leaning against the taffrail, near the stern, gazing land-ward. While his eyes were taking in objects along shore, his mind was employed in a different direction. His thoughts led him back to the scenes of his childhood. The little farm on the Callicoon—the mad waters of the Beaver Dam—the screeching panther—the motherly bear—the swiftly gliding raft with its human freight—the last agonizing look of Amy.
I am now three thousand miles from home, he said to himself, and for what purpose? To see my old and hard hearted grand-fathers. To be spurned and scorned by them, simply because I am of their blood. They will tell me that I have come there a beggar on their bounty—that I am a son of their disgraced children. No! By heavens they shall not have the opportunity to insult me or the memory of my dead parents. At their request, and at their request only, will I appear before them.
Don’t be too positive of that, exclaimed a voice behind him. Your uncle and aunt have some rights to assert in this matter. You are too despondent. Cast off those gloomy feelings and look forward to sunshine and happiness. Although you have lived in obscurity, you are of noble blood. The grand-son of a Lord on one hand, and of an Admiral on the other, and I shall be proud to introduce you to the best families in England.
Yes—to be reviled and insulted, because I am the son of an out-cast, replied Walter.
No, my boy. To be received, and loved, and owned by all. To take your proper position in society, and your grand-father’s name and position.
Ah, Cora, you don’t know me. You know not that I care not for Lords or Admirals. I care nothing for wealth or titles. I would not exchange one inch of American soil for all Briton, nor my blue eyed Amy for the fairest woman in London.
You think so now, but wait until you have entered society. Wait until you have embarked on the stream of fashion. Wait until the eyes of some London beauty looks long and deep into your dark orbs and say in language that is as silent as the grave, yet as powerful as the thunder that shook Sinai. Wait until you hear one say “Walter, I love you.” Wait until you know yourself, and know that you have your likes and dislikes, and are subjected to the same temptations as other men. Wait until you meet with the woman whose heart beats in unison with your own, who seems to be a part of yourself as she looks in your eyes. One that will cause your soul to silently exclaim: “Mine is thine and thine is mine.”
Stop, Cora! Proceed no further. You have reached the pinnacle of love. You have described my ideal of woman. The eyes you spoke of are beaming on me now. The heart you spoke of presses on my own. They beat together. They beat in unison. They are twain—one flesh. I feel her breath on my brow. I hear her sweet voice whispering in my ear: “Mine is thine, and thine is mine.” By an invisible magnetic influence, we keep up a sweet correspondence. The woman you spoke of is my guardian angel, and as the lofty spires come in view, as the panorama of wealth, beauty and temptation are unfolding, I feel as if I was encircled within her arms and hear her say: “Walter, remember our infantile love, the seed of which was planted on the banks of the Callicoon. Here it grew. Here it germinated. Here the rose unfolded and expanded. Here it was clothed in the garb of immortality, never ending, never dying love.”
Walter, you are really romantic, and your imagination is floating about in space, surrounded by ethereal glory. But where is this object of your affections? Where is this Amy? Does she exist outside of your imagination? Will you ever see her again? And if you do, will she yet cherish the feelings toward you that you have pictured in your imagination?
Cora, before I answer that question, I must ask you one. Have you ever loved?
What a curious question—and what has that to do with your blue eyed Amy on the Callicoon.
Simply this. If you have experienced the pangs or pleasures of love, your heart will answer the question. If you have not, then you are incapable of understanding the reasons why I believe that I shall meet the object of my affections again.
Really, Walter, I don’t think that I ever loved in the sense your words imply. Yet I must confess that I have a longing desire for a companion. Should my ideal of a man seek my hand and heart, and woo me as you do your imaginary Amy, I would love him with my whole heart, and go with him to the end of the world. But such men are scarce. They are not often to be found in high life. Marriage with many is a matter of convenience. With others it is purely mercenary. Society is wrong side up, and in order to carry out the whims of society, women must act the part of hypocrites. To-day I am Cora. I can talk and dress natural. Yes, here there is no impropriety in talking sensible, but to-morrow it will be different. I shall be in London. Then I am no longer Cora. Then I am Miss Powers. Miss Lady Powers. Tied, body and soul by fashion, and expected to smile on every hypocrite and fool that presents himself. Like you, I love America, and my ideal of a man is to be found in the forest. And if ever I do love, it will be a wild man of the forest. When you return, I will return with you. Wherever you go in search of your lost Amy, I will follow, and something seems to tell me that when you find your Amy, I will find my hero.
That night they all met in the cabin, and a spirited conversation was carried on as to their future movements.
To-morrow, said Mrs. Davis, we will receive our friends. To-morrow night we will have a reception ball on board of the ship, and the next day we will be at liberty to go on shore. I anticipate much pleasure in presenting Mr. Wallace to his family and friends, and have some curiosity to see how he will steer his way through the swarm of English butterflies that will be buzzing in his ears when they learn that he is the grand-son of Lord Wallace. I fear that he will feel and appear awkward. Cora and I must give him some lessons.
I will save you that trouble, replied Walter. I have different arrangements, and shall not be here to be laughed at for my awkwardness. I shall spend to-morrow among friends that can appreciate the friendship of a wild man from the woods. I go on shore with Tom Jones and Jack Frost. I prefer them before all others to introduce me to the mysteries and miseries of London life.
Why Walter, that would be unpardonable. Certainly you will not appear on shore in company with common sailors?
Certainly I shall go on shore with the men I have named. You call them common sailors. I call them nature’s noblemen.
Walter, said Mrs. Davis, they will both be drunk before they have been on shore an hour. And then what a sight.
That compels me to give the reason why I go with them. It is to prevent what you fear that causes me to accompany them. And I shall go with them dressed in sailor clothes.
That is ridiculous! exclaimed Mrs. Davis. Captain, you must stop this thing.
Mr. Wallace has my consent and approval of the course he is about to take. If he can go on shore with two old man-of-war’s-men and keep them sober, he is a genius that has never been found before in the English Navy. He has another reason why he does not wish to remain on board to-morrow, for which we must excuse him. Lord Wallace, family and friends will be here, and it will be better that the existence of his grand-son should be pronounced prior to the meeting, for Walter has firmly resolved that he will see neither of his grand-fathers except on their special request. Therefore, let us retire and prepare for the morrow.
During the night the ship sailed within two miles of London and cast anchor, and before the sun had risen, every sail was secured and the ship dressed in gally style. The docks were lined with people, many of whom had been attracted there by idle curiosity. Others expected to meet friends or hear from relatives in America. Others had husbands, sons or lovers on board, and were straining their eyes to see their long absent loved ones.
Walter and his two friends appeared on deck, dressed in full sailor uniform. They were about to get into the yawl to go on shore, when Cora took Walter aside and said:
Will you come on board to-night?
Yes, he replied, if you request it.
I do request it. Be in the Lieutenant’s room at eleven o’clock. Now good bye for the present.
At this instant the ship’s surgeon requested an interview with Cora.
Why, doctor, what is the matter? You look as if you had lost your best friend.
I have lost nothing but a patient. The cat Amy is dead. I feared to break the news to him, and called on you for advice.
Don’t, for the world, tell him now. Take it to a taxidermist and have it stuffed, and I will explain it to him in due time.
The trio entered the boat, and in a few moments were safely landed on the wharf.
A rush is made to reach the sailors, and Tom and Jack are soon in the hands of their friends.
Frost’s wife and daughter nearly smothered him with kisses, and Tom’s friends received him kindly, and immediately invited him to go to a tavern and take something to drink.
Never! replied Tom. I have drunk my last glass of grog. I thank you for your friendship, but if you are true friends, don’t tempt me to drink rum.
Clear the way! Clear the way for Lord Wallace! exclaimed an officer. Make room for Lord Wallace.
Walter heard this name pronounced, and looking up, saw an old gentleman approaching, followed by a long list of friends and servants.
This, he thought to himself, is my grand-father Wallace.
On a nearer view, he saw that he was a man of about eighty years, but hale and hearty.
A boat was in readiness to convey his Lordship on board of the Reindeer. A plank was laid from the dock to the boat, and his Lordship started to walk on board.
He had nearly reached the boat, when the plank slipped from the wharf, and he was precipitated into the river. It was a strong ebb tide, and a few feet would carry him under the vessel. Walter caught the end of a rope and dove. For a moment he disappeared, and Tom and Frost feared that their friend was drowned. The next instant he appeared at the surface holding Lord Wallace by the hair.
Tom and Frost pulled in the rope, and grand-father and grand-son were safely landed. The elder Wallace was apparently dead.
Stand back, men! Stand back! cried Tom at the top of his voice. Roll him on the barrel, Jack.
There men, gently. Roll him gently, said Walter.
The rolling had the desired effect, and in a few moments he was relieved of the water he had taken in, and showed signs of returning consciousness. In a few moments he was able to speak.
To whom am I indebted for my deliverance from a watery grave? he asked.
To this young man, replied Tom pointing to Walter.
Are you one of the crew of the Reindeer?
I have the honor to serve in that capacity to-day my Lord.
The keen eyes of the old man was bent on the youth before him, and something there reminded him of days long passed. He saw in the young man a duplicate of a picture that hung in his gallery. Memory flashed the fact home that more than twenty years before he had driven from his home the exact counterpart of the young man who had so nobly saved his life.
Young man, he said, you have done me one favor. Will you now promise to do me another?
Certainly, my Lord, if it is consistent, replied Walter.
Then accompany me to my house, to the end that we may become better acquainted.
Yes, on one condition—that my mess-mates can accompany me.
Certainly, the whole ship’s crew if you desire.
A conveyance was procured, and in a few moments Walter and his friends were being driven through the streets of London.
This was both new and novel for Walter. He had read something of London fog, London life and London women; but on London noise and London cold he was not posted, especially as to the latter. Both himself and grand-father were wet to the skin in consequence of their late immersion in the Thames, and long before they reached the residence of Lord Wallace they both chattered with the cold. At length the residence is reached and the parties alighted.
Take these gentlemen into the green room, and furnish them with dry clothes and a good fire, said Lord Wallace to his servants.
The servants beckoned them to follow, which they did.
After ascending several winding stairs and traversing intricate halls and gloomy recesses, they were ushered into the green room, where a blazing fire was burning. As soon as the servant retired, Frost approached Walter and said:
Never tell me again that Friday is an unlucky day. I tell you friend Walt, that Friday is your lucky day. It is on Friday that your star is on the meridian.
How so? asked Walter.
It was on Friday we sailed. On Friday we cast anchor on our native shore. On Friday you saved the life of Lord Wallace, and my word for it, it is a lucky day for you. The old man has taken a liking to you, and he will do something handsome for you. He is rich as a jew, without a wife, child or chicken.
Have you ever seen him before?
Yes, many a time. I remember when he drove his son from home because he married Amelia Powers. And when I return from a cruise he asks me what I have seen or heard in America. I believe he never heard from his son.
Did you hear the son’s name?
Oh, yes. His name was William. He and his cousin, Thomas Powers had a quarrel about a cock fight. The old folks interfered and made fools of themselves, and in the end disinherited their children for following the dictates of their own consciences and the man and maid of their choice.
How long Frost would have continued the history it is hard to tell. But at this point a servant announced that Lord Wallace desired their company in the dining room.
The trio followed the servant to the dining room where they found Lord Wallace waiting.
Sit down, gentlemen. A little brandy will do you good. It will drive away coughs, colds and rheumatism which will follow the cold bath we took this morning. Brandy. Pure brandy. Here, Stupid, (addressing the servant,) fill up these glasses with the pure cognac. Now my men, lay to and help yourselves. Don’t feel timid because you are in the house of a Lord. Eat, drink and be merry, for this, my son, was dead, but now is alive. He was lost, but now is found. Hic—hic—Come, Stupid, fill up the glasses—hic—hic.
It was evident that his Lordship had freely imbibed of his beverage, brandy, before he sent for his friends, and it was with difficulty that he could maintain an erect position in his chair.
He commenced again:—
Come, hearties—heave to and get yourselves on the outside of that bottle of brandy. Hic—hic—It’s the pure juice—hic. Here’s to Cap-Cap-Captain Davis and the Reindeer. Why in the devil don’t you drink?
My Lord, you must excuse us, said Walter. We don’t drink. We have pledged ourselves not to touch, taste or handle strong drink. We think the soul more merry and the body more active without it.
Who the devil are you? what the devil are you? where did you come from? Hic—hic. This is a day of surprises. The arrival of the Reindeer was a surprise—my baptism was a surprise—but the climax of all surprises is to find three man-of-war’s men—three Englishmen that refuse brandy. Impossible! Increditable! Unnatural. Come boys, lay to, take a swig with the old man, and suiting the action to the word, downed another glass of brandy.
I say, Stupid, why don’t you make these old tars d-r-i-n-k. Yes-d-r-i-n-k-hic-hic.
The old man dropped his glass and fell back in his chair in a drunken slumber. Walter viewed him intently for a few moments, then said:
Rather a bad example for a grand-father to set before his son.
His son? exclaimed Frost. What do you mean by that? and what did he mean when he said “the dead are alive, the lost is found?”
It means, replied Walter, that I am his grand-son.
What? the son of William Wallace? the one that was driven from home for marrying Amelia Powers?
Exactly so, my friend Frost. But let that remain a secret for the present.
Would you know your father’s picture if you should see it? asked Tom.
Yes, as well as I would my own.
Then you shall see it. Here, Stupid! Where are you?
Stupid stepped into the room.
Show us to your Master’s gallery, said Tom.
In a few minutes the trio stood in the art gallery of the Wallace mansion. One side of the room was filled with statuary, rusty swords and worn out helmets. The other side contained the pictures of the Wallace family for several generations. Walter’s eye fell on that of his father and of his aunt Mary, the mother of Amy. His gaze was long and earnest. In Mary, he saw the form and figure of his long lost Amy.
How could he! How could he! he exclaimed, drive away two such lovely beings from his home? How could he be so unnatural as to violate the laws of his own nature and turn from his home his own flesh and blood? I should think that these walls would have cried out “Father, save mother, save me from this great and unnatural wrong.” Let us go, Frost, let us leave this memorial of the past. Let us visit your happy home, and see the contrast between the poor—happy and contented on the one hand, and the lordly, wealthy and miserable on the other.
Lord Wallace slept and snored and snored and slept, until the fumes of the brandy had passed off. He then was, in a measure himself again. He opened his eyes and looked around, seemingly with the expectation of seeing the three sailors, but he looked in vain. They were gone.
Stupid! he cried. Stupid, you blockhead! Where are the sailors that were here a few moments ago?
They are gone, my Lord.
Gone where? (bringing his cane down on the table with such violence as to set the tumblers dancing.) How dare you suffer them to depart without informing me? Go and get them and bring them back immediately, or I will break every bone in your body.
My Lord, I neither know where they live or where they have gone. After you went to sleep, they went to the gallery. There the young sailor that fished you out became interested in the portrait of your absent son William. I heard him say “father,” and the one by his side he called “aunt Mary.” I heard him say “How could he be so unnatural as to drive two such lovely beings from his home?”
What further did he say?
He said “Let us go,” and they departed.
The old man bent his head on the table, and for some moments remained silent. At last he said to himself:
What does this mean? What is it about this young man that impresses me so? What interest can he have in the pictures in the gallery? What can he know of my son or the causes that sent him to America? This must have a deep meaning. Captain Davis must be able to explain it. I will go to him immediately. Stupid, tell Gehu that I am ready to go on board of the Reindeer.
A gentleman is waiting for you in the library, said Stupid.
Who is he? and what does he want? impatiently asked Wallace.
He is a stranger, my Lord, but here is his card.
The old gentleman took the card and read: “Lieutenant Powers, of the ship Reindeer.”
What! exclaimed Wallace. Charles Powers, the son of my most inveterate enemy—he wishes to see me? Not one of that family has darkened my doors for over twenty years. But I will see him.
Wallace proceeded to the library, trying to revolve in his mind what had brought the Lieutenant to his house. Entering, he found the Lieutenant pacing the floor. Turning, they met, face to face. Each seemed to be at a loss as to who should speak first.
My Lord, said the Lieutenant, you will pardon this intrusion. I have been informed, that by the carelessness of one of our men, you met with a serious accident. I called to inquire about your health.
Yes, Lieutenant, by someone’s carelessness, I was plunged into the river. But by the cool bravery of another of your men I was saved. Not one man in a hundred would have attempted my rescue, and not one man in thousand would have succeeded. But here I am. That is proof that I am not drowned. But the young sailor that so fearlessly risked his life to save me has slipped through my fingers.
I do not comprehend your meaning, my Lord, replied the Lieutenant.
I am not surprised at that, for I do not comprehend it myself. This much I know however. Three of your men accompanied me home. By the time we arrived here, I was chilled through, and in order to start the circulation, I drank brandy freely, and offered them some, but they refused. In order to encourage them, I took an overdose, and soon forgot whether I was in or out of the Thames. When I awoke, they were gone, and I was just starting to board the Reindeer to learn who the young man was. But as he is one of your men, I presume that you can give me the desired information.
Pardon me my Lord, but I am not at liberty to speak for the young man you allude to. All I can say is, that he was a passenger on board of the Reindeer—a guest of Captain Davis and wife. But, my Lord, why so much solicitation about this young man? He simply did his duty as a man and sailor. He exercised the common instincts of humanity, that is all. And now, my Lord, when may Captain Davis expect you on board of the Reindeer?
Immediately, he replied. I was on the point of going when I received your card.
Then my Lord, I will bid you good day, and I trust that you will reach the deck in safety.
Do you return to the ship?
Not at present. I have not seen my father yet. I shall spend the afternoon with him and return on board of the Reindeer in the evening.
The word “father” fell on the ear of the old man with more than ordinary significance. He was a father, yet he had no child. Other homes were made bright and happy. The voices of children and grand-children were to be heard, the infirmities of old age were softened and soothed by the lisping and prattling of the little ones.
But my house is dark, doleful and deserted. Servants and servants only meet and greet me. Oh, my God! he exclaimed audibly, what have I done to be deprived of the comforts that others enjoy? Yes, what have I done—or rather what have I not done? Lieutenant, I am a monster—a demon—an unnatural father. I will smother it no longer. The fair form and figure of that young sailor has caused the scales to fall from my eyes. I wronged my children, but I wronged myself more. They have gone. They are beyond reproach. They have not remorse nor the sting of a guilty conscience. They have gone to a world of bliss, a world of peace and joy. I remain. I remain alone. Not one drop of my blood circulates in the veins of any mortal. Lieutenant, excuse this weakness. Go and administer to the wants of your father. Tell him I forgive him for all real or imaginary wrongs. Yes, tell him I ask his forgiveness, and wish to be forgiven before the dark veil of the future is withdrawn. Tell him that I am a miserable, lonely, unhappy man. Tell him that this day I have seen the ghost of his and my child, dressed in the garb of a common sailor.
Lieutenant Powers had been an interested listener, and was more than half convinced that Lord Wallace would become reconciled to own and receive his grand-son. He saw that his memory had been awakened and his suspicions aroused by the young man who had saved his life.
I must bid you good day, my Lord, and hurry to my father, realizing that I shall meet you on board of the Reindeer this evening.
Lord Wallace rose from his chair and attempted to extend his hand, but his emotions overcame him. After faltering for several moments, he gave vent to his thoughts.
Lieutenant, excuse me for asking one more question.
Certainly, my Lord.
In your rambles in America, have you learned the truth as to the death of those that your father and myself so wrongfully drove to that wilderness world?
I have heard, my Lord, that they are dead. I had the whole country searched at the time, and the result convinced me that all four perished by drowning.
But they each had a child. Did they perish also?
The Lieutenant was now brought to a point that there was no evading. It had been his intention of breaking the news to his father before acquainting Lord Wallace with the fact that the simple sailor that saved his life was none other than his own grand-son. But to deny or evade the truth, he could not. He replied:
My Lord, we have some reason for believing that their children are alive.
Have you seen them? he asked, while the tears trickled down his cheeks.
Yes, replied the Lieutenant.
This morning. Walter Wallace, your grand-son, left the ship with two other sailors, and the first act that he performed after reaching the shore, was to save his grand-father’s life. It was he that rescued you from a watery grave. It was he that refused your brandy. It was the son of your long lost William.
Thank heaven! the old man replied. I shall have the opportunity in part to atone for my past errors. I discarded my child then. Now I will own, cherish and protect his offspring. But you say nothing of the other child. Where is she? Where is the child of Mary Powers?
My Lord, you must excuse me for not answering that question. When you see your grand-son he will inform you of all.
And when will I see him?
On board of the Reindeer to-night. Until that time you must excuse me. Good day. I go to see my father.
Lord Wallace was alone, and for a long time communed with his own thoughts.
What fools, he thought to himself, we have been. And all over a cock fight. The children exercised more judgement than their parents. They forgave each other, while the Admiral and I have kept alive the old animosity, and made ourselves miserable. But thank God sunlight begins to filter through the dark clouds that so long have separated me from my child. I will take them home to live with me, and hereafter I will have sunlight in my house and joy in my heart.
Death of Admiral Powers—Five Years in a Mad House—Appointed Lieutenant—Return to America.
In one of the most elegant houses, on one of the most fashionable streets in London, sat two persons before a blazing fire. One was a young woman, dressed in the height of fashion, yet scarcely twenty years of age. Her countenance beamed with intelligence, as she closely watched the person that occupied the old arm chair in the opposite corner. It was evident from the appearance of her countenance that something was operating upon her mind of more than ordinary importance, and from which she seemed to shrink. She closely watched the features of her companion as if determined to read his thoughts. This was Miss Powers. The other was Admiral Powers, her father. He had passed his three-score-years-and-ten. He sat in his chair, with a large heavy cane in his right hand. It was hard to determine whether he was awake or asleep. His eyes opened and shut at regular intervals, and his cane kept a continual thump-thump on the floor. Occasionally he would turn his face toward his daughter, and move the muscles, as if about to address her, then suddenly relapse into his former state. If awake, it was evident that he was trying to conquer some emotion. At length he brought his cane down as if to emphasize what he was about to say.
Yes, father, I am here.
Well, tell me something I don’t know! Tell me why Charles don’t come! Ungrateful dog! I suppose he will call on everybody in London before he thinks of his father!
No, father, you do him an injustice. He will come as soon as his business permits.
Cora, you are impertinent. You charge your father with injustice. Have I ever been unjust to one of my children?
I did not mean that father, I meant that you were mistaken. That Charles——
That fiddle-sticks! Remember, girl, that I am never mistaken. That what I know I know, and what I know is law.
I meant father, that Charles would be here, as soon as he accomplishes the business he was sent on by Captain Davis.
Captain Davis has no authority over my son while on land. You forget that I am Admiral here—Lord High Admiral.
I forget nothing, father. But Captain Davis sent Charles on a mission of humanity and as soon as that is accomplished he will be here. An accident happened to Lord Wallace at the wharf this morning.
Accidents are always happening him. I hope this time he got drowned in earnest.
No, father, not drowned, but nearly so. If it had not been for a young man that belongs to the Reindeer, he would have perished.
Curse the young man that saved him. He ought to have let him go and become food for the sharks.
Oh, father, don’t say that.
Yes, I will say that! I say he ought to have been drowned years ago! Didn’t he rob me of a son and daughter?
I presume he would say that you robbed him in the same way.
Presume, eh! What right have you to presume? (bringing down his cane,) I’ll teach you to presume, you hussy! You charge your father with robbing! (thump—thump.)
Oh, no, father, I don’t charge you with anything. I don’t mean anything.
I do. I mean everything, (striking the table with his cane.) You must have been taking lessons from the red-skins in America, and haven’t retained their manners. You are a regular wild-cat—catamount—tiger—rattlesnake!
A servant enters and announces the arrival of Lieutenant Powers.
Send the contemptible dog in! he exclaimed in a rage.
Father, he is your son. Don’t call him a dog.
I shall call him what I please! I will!—I will!
The Lieutenant enters, and with extended hands approaches his father.
My dear father! How do you do?
How do I do? What do you care how I do? It seems that I am the last one you think of. I learn sir, that you passed by me—that you called on Lord Wallace—my most inveterate enemy!
You are mistaken, father, he is not your enemy.
Zounds! boy! You must be drunk or crazy! You would make me believe that he is my friend?
Such is the case, father. He wishes to bury the past. He desires a reconciliation between the families of Powers and Wallace. He wishes, before he closes his eyes in death, to forgive and be forgiven.
That shows that he is a craven coward. Scared at the prospect of hell, of which he had a slight view this morning while under water. That is the cause of this sudden repentance, and will last as long as his clothes are wet. No longer, boy—no longer. Have you no other reason why you believe this repentance genuine?
I have, father, the best of reasons why I believe him sincere. Remorse, on the one hand, and the hope of reward on the other, are the causes that lead him to seek this reconciliation. Remorse for driving his children from his home—Reward in receiving them back.
Receiving who back? exclaimed the Admiral, attempting to rise from his chair.
The Lieutenant continued:——
In owning and receiving in his house and heart the son of your daughter Amelia—the son of his son William—the representative of both families, and is the only one living that has the right to call you grand-father.
Did you learn this on your last cruise to America?
I did—or rather on our return, replied the Lieutenant.
The old Admiral sank back in his chair, closed his eyes, and remained silent for some moments. Occasionally he would strike his cane on the floor and move himself about in his chair. The Lieutenant and Cora watched him with interest. At last he opened his eyes and attempted to speak, but instantly closed then again. It was evident that he was struggling with his feelings, but he said or did nothing to commit himself. A long silence ensued, then rising to his feet, said:
Charles, where is this person you were speaking of? Is it a boy or girl?
It is a boy—or rather man, father, and his name is Walter Wallace.
At the mention of this name, the Admiral turned red in the face.
Walter Wallace! he exclaimed. The name of my despised enemy. But what of my son Thomas?
Dead? replied the Lieutenant.
His wife? gasped the Admiral.
Dead! replied the son.
They had a child named after—after—
Here his feelings controlled his actions. He was about to speak the name of her who had been the companion of his youth—the wife of his bosom—the mother of his children. It carried him back—yes way back to the time he led his Amy to the altar. He remembered the first born of that happy union. He remembered of dancing his little Thomas on his knee, and hearing him speak those soul-inspiring words “Pa-pa.” He remembered of this boy growing to be a man. He remembered of hearing him say “Father, I love Mary Wallace, and for her I will forsake father, mother and country. For her and with her I will go to America.” He remembered of saying, (it still rang in his ears,) “Leave your home! Leave my house! Never intrude your person on my presence again, or darken my door with your shadow.” He remembered Thomas’s last words:
“Father, as you wish, so shall it be. Farewell, father, forever, farewell.”
He remembered that he had learned that Thomas and Mary had a child. They called it——
Oh, my God! he exclaimed. How can I speak that name?
You mean Amy, replied the Lieutenant.
Yes, I mean Amy, my grand-daughter. Is she dead also?
Walter Wallace believes that she lives, and that we shall see her, said Cora.
At the sound of this name the Admiral fairly raved, and bringing his cane down on the table exclaimed:
Curse Walter Wallace! Don’t mention his name again in my house! I was inquiring about my grand-daughter, Amy. What do you know about her.
Nothing, father, but what Walter Wallace has——
Stop! cried the Admiral, raising his cane as if to strike Cora. I forbid the mention of that name in my house!
But father, it is only through him that we can learn of Amy. Father, request him to come here and tell us what he knows about her.
Request—ah—Do you think that I can make my voice heard across the Atlantic in one breath? and that he could step from there here the next?
Father, said Cora, he is already here. It was he that plunged into the river and saved the life of Lord Wallace.
He saved the life of Lord Wallace—ah—curse him! Curse the day he was born! The old man fell back heavily in his chair, his cane dropped to the floor, and his right hand sought the region of his heart.
A return of his old complaint! exclaimed Cora excitedly.
Admiral Powers is carried to his room, and the family physician is soon at his side. He seemed unconscious, yet intelligence beamed in his countenance. His eyes opened and gazed at the different objects in the room. His lips moved as if trying to talk.
Raise me up, he said.
He was raised up. Then by a mighty effort he clasped his hands, closed his eyes and said:
Let me pray.
That was a mental prayer, not heard on earth, but answered in heaven. For nearly an hour he lay in the same attitude, his lips faintly moving.
Thus did Admiral Powers manfully fight his last battle. This battle was between himself, his nature, and his God.
Doctor, said the Lieutenant, we await your directions.
The doctor replied:
I have no medicine that will cure this disorder. I can only direct that you prepare for the change that must soon take place. Your father has but a few days—perhaps hours to live. If he has any requests or bequests to make, now is his time to make them.
Satisfaction smiled in his countenance. Intelligence beamed in his eyes. He spoke:
Doctor, you are right. My malady is beyond your skill. The heart that has beat for over sixty years, has burst. It can beat but a few times more. The valves in the pump have weakened, and soon the ship must go down. I want to float a little longer—just a little longer. For the last hour I have been sailing over the seas of my boyhood, my manhood and the channels of mature age. I can plainly see how, when and where I wrecked all my earthly happiness, and as a guide to all others who are compelled to embark on this sea, I hold up this chart: “Parents, always advise, but never control your children in their choice of their help-mate for life.” It was on this rock I struck, and on this rock lies my wreck, and under this wreck lay my children. May God forgive me.
The pump is working better now. I hope it will not choke again until I get my sails trimmed and my anchor ready to cast. Lieutenant, send for Lord Wallace. Send for his and my grand-son. Tell them it is my dying request. Send for my lawyer, as I have some changes to make in my will. Now, friends, let me rest until they come.
The Lieutenant beckoned Cora aside.
Write a note to Captain Davis. Tell him that the Admiral is dying and requests him to come here. I will see Walter and Lord Wallace.
The Lieutenant went directly to the home of Frost, where he found Walter and Jones. Calling Walter aside, he said:
Your grand-father Powers has but a short time to live and wishes to see you before he expires. Frost will show you the way. Enquire for Cora and wait in the parlor until I come. I go to request the attendance of Lord Wallace.
Will I be welcome? asked Walter.
Yes, responded the Lieutenant, and then left.
On arriving there, he met the party leaving to go on board of the Reindeer. Taking Lord Wallace aside, he explained to him the situation, and requested his immediate attendance.
I will go with you, Lieutenant, but first let me write a note to Captain Davis.
That has already been done, replied the Lieutenant. Captain Davis will be there.
But my grand-son. Where is he?
On his way to witness his grand-father’s death. But let us move on.
On the way they notified the family lawyer that his services were needed at the Admiral’s.
He hung the green bag over his arm, and all three walked to the house of death. Cora met them at the door and conducted them to the parlor, where they found the family physician.
How is your patient, doctor? exclaimed the Lieutenant.
Dead? exclaimed the Lieutenant.
No, not dead, but sleeping quietly. We have nothing to do but wait and watch. If he awakes from this sleep, he may live for some hours—perhaps some days.
Again Cora goes to the door and admits Walter and his two friends.
This way, she said, and conducted them to the library. Then taking Walter by the hand said:
You have arrived in time to see your grand-father alive. Follow me.
She opened the door, and by a wave of the hand ordered the servants to depart.
Thus, child and grand-child were alone with the dying. His face was flushed, yet there were no signs of pain or discontent. Walter’s feelings were deeply aroused. Before him lay the father of his long dead mother. The sight carried him back to the events on the Callicoon, where he had often seen his mother, on bended knee, pouring out her soul to God in behalf of him who was now dying before him. Where he had heard her say:
“Father in Heaven, forgive him; he knows not what he has done!”
Can I do less? Yes, grand-father, I forgive you. For my sake—for my parents’ sake, I forgive you. And while life lasts, I will kiss the lips that have often kissed my mother, and he instinctively bent over the dying man.
Hist! said Cora. He wakes.
The Admiral opened his eyes and attempted to raise up.
Gently, grand-father, gently. Let me help you, said Walter.
Grand-father—who calls me grand-father? exclaimed the dying man.
This, said Cora, is Walter, the son of Amelia, the young man we spoke to you about—the one that saved the life of Lord Wallace.
Then throw open the shutters and let in the light. Come closer, boy—come closer. Let me look into your eyes before the wreck goes down. Yes, I see. There are your mother’s soft, blue eyes, and your father’s manly form. Where is the lawyer?
In the parlor, father, said Cora.
I wish to see him alone.
Jenks, said the Admiral feebly, have you brought my will with you?
I have it here, replied the man of briefs.
Add a codicil by which my children and grand-children share equally. Draw a draft in favor of my grand-son, Walter Wallace, for one thousand pounds.
The draft was presented and signed.
Now get one of those blank commissions and fill it out in the second grade.
It was a great effort for the Admiral to sign it on account of pain.
There, he said as he threw the pen down. That is my last official act. Place the draft and commission in an envelope directed to Captain Davis with directions that it shall not be opened until the morning of the day on which the Reindeer shall start on her next voyage.
It shall be done, said the lawyer.
The Admiral beckoned them all to come near.
My earthly business is completed, he said. Now let me bid my children and friends farewell.
The folding doors opened, and in walked the Lieutenant, followed by Cora, Walter, Lord Wallace and Captain Davis. The Admiral extended his hand and said:
My grand-son, can you forgive the wrong that I have done you and yours?
Yes, grand-father, Walter replied, in the name of, and in behalf of my mother, I forgive you.
Did your mother speak of me? Did she bless or curse me?
She loved and prayed for you.
The old man, still holding Walter by the hand, fell back on his pillow exhausted. In a moment he opened his eyes and extended his other hand.
My Lord, addressing Lord Wallace, I forgive. Am I forgiven?
God be my Judge! exclaimed Lord Wallace. As I hope to be forgiven, so do I forgive you.
Then, said the Admiral, I will perform my last act, and I call upon all present to witness my last words. Here, in the presence of my God and these witnesses, I own and acknowledge the youth I hold by the hand to be my lawful heir—the son of my daughter Amelia. Captain Davis, I resign him to your care. Lay me down. My sails are spread for a distant clime. The rigging is taut. My anchor is hove for the last cruise. Jordan’s waters roll smoothly across the valley of death. Angels are my pilots. They know the course and all the reefs and rocks under the swells. Angels lead me. They are the children that went before me. They clasp my hand and press it to their hearts. Yes, it is they—it is Thomas and Amelia. Cast off, men—cast off! I am homeward bound. My eye is on the Polar Star. My anchor holds—yes it holds——
Here his voice became inaudible, but his lips moved. His voice is heard once more:
Peace, be still! and he fell back on his couch, dead.
The intelligence that Admiral Powers was dead soon spread, and before sun-down the public buildings were draped in mourning and the shipping in the harbor had their flags at half mast.
Lord Wallace called the Lieutenant aside:
The reception on board of the Reindeer to-night, I presume will be deferred.
Yes, replied the Lieutenant. Yet it will be necessary for me to go on board, as Cora informed me that Walter was to meet me there at eleven.
Why not meet at my house and bring Cora with you? By the way, where is my grand-son?
He disappeared at the moment of my father’s death, and has not been seen since.
What caused him to leave so abruptly? Perhaps he thought that the garb of a common sailor was not in keeping with his present station.
I do not think that was the reason, my Lord. I think he was determined not to leave the company of Tom and Jack. He has undertaken the difficult task of keeping them sober while we remain in port. But here comes Captain Davis.
A warm and friendly greeting took place between Captain Davis and Lord Wallace.
I think, said Davis, that the three have gone to Frost’s house. Let us join them.
Then they all started.
What is it, asked Wallace, that has caused this attachment between the sailors and my grand-son? Let us step into this club house where you can relate his history as far as you know it.
The Lieutenant then related Walter’s history, commencing with the happy hours on the Callicoon, and ending with the death scene of his father. During this recital, Lord Wallace became very emotional, and it was with difficulty that he could suppress his feelings. When the mutiny on the wharf was recited, he could not control himself.
Brave boy? he exclaimed. He is a hero well worth the name of Wallace.
The parties then went to the residence of Jack Frost, where they found Walter and his two friends.
Jack had related to his wife and children the part that Walter had taken in his behalf concerning the mutiny, and ended by saying that he and his friend Tom Jones had pledged themselves never again to taste, touch or handle rum.
At the time of the arrival of Captain Davis and party, Frost and his friends were eating dinner. And here Lord Wallace had the opportunity of seeing the fruit of love among the lowly. He could see there joy and contentment that had never entered his house.
He thought to himself:
This is the way my banished children lived in the wilds of America. They loved, and lived on love. Woe unto him that undertakes to thwart that attribute.
This, said Captain Davis is your grand-son, and this is Lord Wallace, your grand-father.
Walter extended his hand, but Lord Wallace faltered.
Can you, he said, take my hand and call me “grand-father,”—I who have so cruelly wronged your parents—who so madly drove them from my house?
But not from your heart, Walter responded.
No—no, boy, throwing his arm about him. They have always occupied a place there. They were forgiven long ago—yet I had nothing to forgive. I, and I only was the one to ask forgiveness.
You were forgiven, and that forgiveness is recorded in heaven, where your children now are. Your children loved and prayed for you.
Bless you, my son—may God bless you. And now, here in the presence of these witnesses, I receive you as my grand-son and heir, the son of Amelia and William Wallace.
Excuse me, said Lieutenant Powers, for this interruption, but the joy of this meeting has caused us to forget our duty to the dead. We must make arrangements for my father’s funeral.
The Navy will attend to that, rejoined Captain Davis. And as the object of the meeting on board of the Reindeer is accomplished by the meeting of grand-father and grand-son at this place, we may as well talk of the future. I have learned that I shall soon be ordered to America. Will your grand-son accompany me?
Certainly not, replied Lord Wallace. He will remain with me and take the position in society that he is entitled to. And the first thing to be done is to go to my tailor’s and dress himself in costume becoming his rank.
Quick glances passed between Captain Davis and his Lieutenant. They knew where Walter’s heart was. They knew that it was in America. They knew that he would rather give up his new found relatives with all their wealth and titles than to abandon his search for Amy. Walter saw the dilemma he was in, and he declared his purpose at once. He said:
My Lord, my life has been one continual struggle, and the object of that struggle has been to find my friends. That has been in part accomplished to-day. But my struggle is not over—my mission is incomplete. I must struggle on until I find my Amy.
At the mention of that name, Lord Wallace turned pale and fell back in his chair.
Amy—Amy, what know you of Amy? Is my secret out? Tell me boy—tell me what you know of Amy? Know you that Amy was your grand-mother’s name? Know you that I drove her mad? Know you, that in driving my children from their homes I drove their mother to her grave? Oh, my God! Oh, my God! I am crushed! Amy, the companion of my youth—the mother of my children—driven out—dead—dead—dead!
And fainting, he fell to the floor.
Surprise was depicted on all countenances but one. Walter now remembered that his grand-mother’s name had never been mentioned, and whether dead or alive he did not know. But from the anguish of his grand-father, he was satisfied that the secret of his grand-mother’s death was purposely kept from him. Had his grand-father added to his other crimes that of murder? Had he killed the grand-mother of his Amy? If so, he would denounce him and leave England at once. Captain Davis and the Lieutenant were speechless. Frost eyed the old man with more than ordinary interest, and Walter did not know what to say. Presently the fainting man revived.
Come here, boy, and sit close by my side. Let me tell you all, and then let me die. The Amy you speak of, was my wife—your grand-mother. She favored the marriage of your father to Amelia Powers. I forbid it, and when I heard that they had defied me and set at nought my counsel, I became outraged and lost my reason. I wrote to your father, forbidding him ever again to darken my door. Fool!—brute I was, but I did it. My wife interfered, and in my rage, I so far forgot myself as to strike her, and order her to leave and follow her disgraced children. Not thinking, knowing or caring for the consequences, I went to my room, and with brandy, drowned my passion and eased my conscience. In the morning my reason returned. I saw my mistake, and at once decided to apologize to my wife and send for my children to return. I sent for my wife, but the answer came back that she could not be found. On examination it was found that her wardrobe, jewels and money were missing. On the table she had left a note:
“Farewell, Walter, farewell until you forgive your children. Farewell. I can sleep more sweetly on the bottom of the Thames than I can on a pillow of down in your castle. Farewell.”
My eyes were now open, and I could see the iniquity of the great wrong I had committed. Remorse choked me. Visions of wife and child haunted me. The demons, devils and damned of hell pursued me. I fled—I knew not where. The next five years was a blank. When memory returned, everything appeared strange. The doors were bolted and the windows barred. I was in a mad house.
On inquiry, I learned that during my confinement, but one person had visited me. But who she was, or where she came from, none could tell. She called once after my reason was restored, and on learning of that fact, said “Thank God!” and left.
I immediately returned to my possessions, and instituted inquiries about my wife and children. I learned that they were all drowned by a flood in America, and that my wife was dead.
Not so fast, old man! ejaculated Frost between the puffs of his pipe. You heard what is not true. Your wife was not dead.
Not dead? exclaimed his Lordship jumping to his feet. Not dead? How know you that?
Now, old man, don’t get excited. Just sit down and let me tell you something you don’t know. But before I start on this cruise I want to be sure that I have got good bottom to anchor on and the right signals to hoist in case of danger, and if you can see and know the signals, I will weigh anchor and sail in. What do you say to that—jerking a piece of canvas from the wall. Can you call that signal by name?
Amy—my long lost Amy! he exclaimed. Tell me—oh tell me does she still live?
Now, old man, I told you I would tell you something you didn’t know, but you must keep quiet. The best ships will drag anchor in a gale. So don’t get up a breeze until we get clear of the headland.
My good man, don’t keep me in suspense. If you know anything of my lost wife, tell at once.
That is just what I am going to do, but you mustn’t hurry me. It’s dangerous to get in a great hurry. Many a ship has been wrecked because some one has got in too great of a hurry. In fact, my Lord, I think that if you hadn’t hurried things so fast this meeting would not have taken place in my house.
Oh, good man, you torture me. Is she alive?
Well, if you will just keep still and give me time to think, I think I shall be able to convince you. But an old salt like me, wants to know that the ship is well-rigged, ballasted and manned before he goes into a skirmish, and I think from that cloud and the fresh breeze that comes from that door, that we shall have a skirmish, if not a general engagement. You know, my Lord, that it is an old saying, that “When Greek meets Greek, then comes the tug of war.” Now I don’t think that Greek is going to meet Greek here, but the way that craft is sailing, I think there will be a collision. Shiver my timbers, old man, but you must have had a jolly time anchored in that mad house for five years. But it may be a relief to know that during that time the craft you deserted was safely anchored here. It is a short yarn and quickly told.
Let me see. I say, wife. It was twenty-five years ago to-night that you heard something fall on the stoop, and on opening the door and looking out, saw a well-dressed woman lying there. And now, old man, I want to say here and now that sailors and their wives have hearts, and as long as there is a cent in the locker or a crust in the cupboard, they will share it with the poor. So you see, Mary saw this lady laying there and she called:
Jack, she called, come and lend a hand to tow this cast-away into port.
And then Mary and I, lubber, lifted with all our might and main until we landed her in the after cabin, and stowed her away in the lower bunk. She appeared to be a well-built, clean-cut craft, about thirty years off the stocks. Her eyes kept continually rolling, but her voice was silent. We supposed that she was a woman of the street—some poor, unfortunate creature, who had no home to go to. My wife said:
I don’t care, Jack, who she is, or what she is. We will take care of her till morning.
She was now lying on her beam ends, and it looked as if she would remain docked for some time. But presently, her sails began to flutter, and in a short time she righted. She requested the privilege of remaining with us for a short time and promised to pay us. She then informed us who she was, and related the causes that drove her from her home, which are about as his Lordship related. She and my wife fell in love with each other, and from that day to this have been fast friends.
This house, at that time, was a rickety old thing. She bought it for us and put it in its present condition. In addition to that, she purchased these costly pictures. Besides, she took charge of the education of my daughter. She was known to the world as Mrs. Winter. When she went abroad she was disguised. It was she that frequently called to see you at mad house. She is still alive, and under this roof. Mary, open the door.
The door leading to the adjoining room opened, and there stood Lady Wallace.
My wife! My long lost Amy! exclaimed Lord Wallace, passionately throwing his arms around her.
We will not attempt to describe the scene that this meeting and reconciliation produced. Suffice it to say that he pressed her to his bosom and prayed for her forgiveness.
Walter had been deeply interested in the narrative related by Jack Frost. Before him stood his and Amy’s grand-mother encircled within the arms of his grand-father. Tears of joy ran down her cheeks, and her bosom swelled with emotion.
God is good! she exclaimed. Husband and child restored to me in a day. Come to my arms, boy you are the picture of your mother.
Walter embraced his grand-mother, but was too full of emotion to speak.
Friends, said Captain Davis, let us return to the object of this meeting. Does Walter return to America with me, or will he remain with you?
I have already answered and decided that question, replied Walter. Although we have found the Amy my grand-father thought I alluded to still there is another Amy, the daughter of Thomas and Mary Powers.
Is she living? asked Lady Wallace.
I do not positively know, replied Walter, but I think so.
He then gave the reason why he thought she was alive, and concluded by stating that he intended to return to America and prosecute his search until he was satisfied.
To this Lord and Lady Wallace consented. The reconciliation was complete.
It was arranged that Jack Frost’s wife and daughter should accompany Lady Wallace to her old home and remain with her until Jack returned from his next voyage to America.
We will pass over the incidents attending the funeral of Admiral Powers, by simply saying that he was buried according to his rank in the Navy, and followed to his grave amid the belching of cannon and the tramp of citizens.
Both Lord and Lady Wallace tried to induce Walter to enter London society, but he utterly refused. He even refused to change his sailor suit for a citizen’s dress.
After making arrangements with his lawyer to look after his interest in his grand-father Powers’ estate, he and Cora made a short journey to France and Scotland, and returned a few days before the Reindeer was to sail.
There had been many surmises as to what was contained in the package handed by Admiral Powers to Captain Davis, with directions that it should not be opened until the morning of the sailing of the Reindeer.
The morning for the sailing of the ship had arrived, and the Reindeer presented a beautiful appearance, being neatly dressed with flags.
The men formed in little parties on deck, as the parting between husband and wife, and parents and children was about to take place, among which was Jack Frost, wife and daughter. In the cabin was the Captain, Cora and Lord and Lady Wallace. The time for the opening of the mysterious package had arrived. Captain Davis was about to break the seal, when he discovered that Walter was not present.
Where is Walter? he asked. He has an interest in the contents of this package, and should be present when it is read. Lieutenant, please call him to the cabin.
The Lieutenant found him with Tom Jones, Jack Frost and wife.
The Captain requests your company in the cabin. They are about to break the seal of the package delivered to the Captain by your grand-father Powers.
Walter reluctantly obeyed the summons, for he had resolved on his return trip to mess with his friends Tom and Jack.
The seal was removed and the package opened. Captain Davis read the first, which directed the Bank of England to pay to Walter Wallace £1,000. The Captain then read the second paper and handed it to Walter, saying:
This was the last official act of your grand-father.
Walter took the paper, read it carefully and then remarked:
I am not worthy of this at present, Captain. Please take it, and when I am able to perform the duties of that office, I will accept it, and not before.
What is it? asked the Lieutenant and Cora in the same breath.
It is his appointment as Second Lieutenant in the English Navy, and assigned to this ship, and he is qualified to enter upon his duties at once, replied Captain Davis.
The whole party then congratulated him upon his appointment, and urged him to accept. But it was not until his friends Tom and Jack put in their oar that he would consent, and then it was only conditionally.
I accept this office for the present, but I shall resign it if it in any way interferes with my plans in searching for the absent one in America.
I do not ask, neither do I consent that you should abandon the search you have in view for that lost child, for something tells me that my lost child will be found at the same time.
Bang! went the gun to give warning to those on shore to come on board, and to those on board that the time for parting had come—when wives must bid their husbands good-bye, and lovers renew their troth.
The parting between Walter and his grand-father was of the most affectionate character. He conducted his grand-mother to the boat and passed her to Lieutenant Powers. Lord Wallace followed, but before entering the boat said:
I regret, my boy, that we must part on so short acquaintance, yet I appreciate and approve of the motive that actuates you, and hope that you will be successful. And in case you succeed in finding the girl, you can assure her that she will be welcomed and received as my grand-daughter. I doubt not but that your search will be thorough, and to that end, I ask you to receive this package, and use the contents to further the enterprise. And now good bye for the present.
Depend upon it, said Walter. The whole country between the Hudson and Delaware Rivers shall be searched, and Amy shall be found if alive. But I must detain you no longer. The vessel is moving.
As they sailed down the Thames toward the Atlantic, Walter’s mind naturally reverted to the contrast between his past and present condition. But a few weeks before, he was a penniless boy. Now he was the acknowledged son and heir of two of the first families of the nation. Then he was an invited guest on board of the Reindeer, dependent upon the bounty of Captain Davis. Now he was a Lieutenant in His Majesty’s Service. Then there were grave doubts whether he would be received by his kindred. Now the relationship between them was established. Now he had the opportunity and means to prosecute his search for Amy. Yet, he thought, all this work and wealth without her is a bubble, that floats for a moment and then disappears. But I forget the package handed me. I wonder what it contains.
He breaks the seal, and within finds a £1,000 note on the Bank of England, and on a piece of paper is written:
“Please accept this token of my regard. From your grand-father. I feared that your manly pride and self-independence would incite you to reject the gift, which would have pained me. Therefore I hand it to you at the last moment. Take it and use it as you think best.”
We will pass over the incidents of the voyage between Europe and America, as nothing unusual occurred. They had a quick and prosperous voyage, and entered Philadelphia harbor just as the sun was setting, about the middle of October.
By the time the ship was safely moored, it was surrounded by small boats containing the friends of those on board, among which were surveyor Webb and wife. Captain Davis met them at the gang-way and conducted them to the cabin. After the ordinary civilities were over, Webb informed them that after the departure of the Reindeer he had the bodies of the dead mutineers buried in the potters field, and that Sambo was buried in his own lot.
But where is my boy Walter? he inquired.
On duty, replied the Captain, but he will soon be here.
At this instant Walter made his appearance and saluted both Webb and his wife with an affectionate kiss.
Father, he said, more than a father—how much I owe you. How can I ever repay you?
Repay me? replied Webb. I am more than repaid now to see you dressed in a Lieutenant’s uniform, and performing the duties of that office. This gives me a satisfaction that money could not purchase.
Webb was then informed of the incidents that had taken place on the voyage to England, Walter’s injury and unconsciousness, his return to reason, his acknowledgement by both of his grand-parents, and that the object of his return to America was to search for Amy.
And where do you intend searching? asked Webb.
The entire country between the Hudson and Delaware Rivers, replied Walter.
That is where I found you, and where you took your first lessons in surveying. Had Amy been in those parts, we would have heard of her. I am afraid, boy, that this will be a fruitless search. What reason have you for believing that she is in those parts?
Instinct—not reason, tells me that she is there. I have seen her on the mountain top surrounded with hawks, but protected by an aged and intelligent Indian.
At this remark, Webb’s countenance brightened. It was evident that old memories had awakened in his imagination. He was again surveying the Minisink country and taking the grand scenery of the Delaware Valley, and with confidence replied:
The mountain, the rocks and the hawks that you saw in your delirium, I have seen with my natural eyes. It is in the Minisink country, and the rocks that you describe are on the north side of the Delaware River, three miles west of Machackamack, and near the camp of the Cahoonshees, and the Indian you describe can be no other than Cahoonshee himself.
Cahoonshee! exclaimed Captain Davis and wife in the same breath. Why that is the name of the Indian that sailed from London to America with me over twenty years ago.
He promised to make inquiries about my lost boy. We landed him at the Palisades at sun-rise one morning, and that is the last I have ever heard of him.
I knew him well, replied Webb. He was the last of his tribe and lived on the Steneykill. The Cahoonshees were a small tribe, and lived on the mountains between the Neversink and Delaware Rivers.
And it is my determination to search that part of the Delaware Valley for Amy, replied Walter.
Then remain on board of the Reindeer until you arrive at Kingston Point, on the Hudson River, and commence the search from there. It will be but four days travel to Hawk’s Nest Mountains, and then you are in the country of the Cahoonshees.
The Reindeer remained at New York a few days, and then proceeded up the Hudson to Kingston Point.
This was a sandy point of land extending out in the river. South of the point were extensive mud flats through which flowed the Wallkill River, of which the Rosendale is a tributary. The head waters of the Rosendale was the north-east end of the Mamakating Valley, and about twenty-five miles from the Delaware River. About one mile north of Kingston Point, was situated a rocky island about half-a-mile long and four hundred feet wide, and about a thousand feet from the west shore of the river, which at this point is about one mile wide.
Opposite Kingston Point, on the east bank of the Hudson, was a small settlement called Becktown. In after years a man by the name of Rhine married a Beck. Then the place was called Rhinebeck, which name it still retains.
About one mile from the shore was a large stone house in which Judge Hasbrook lived.
The island above described was occupied by a man called Shell. He was far advanced in years, and lived alone on the island and held but little intercourse with the outside world. Why he lived a hermit’s life was unknown. He lived by fishing and hunting. His garden furnished him with vegetables, and drift-wood with fuel.
A few days after the Reindeer anchored, Judge Hasbrook gave a ball in honor of the officers, and the principal part of the inhabitants were invited. Walter was anxious to start on his contemplated journey, as Tom Jones and Jack Frost were to accompany him. He felt no interest in balls and parties, and would gladly have excused himself, but through the solicitation of Mrs. Davis and Cora, he consented to defer the journey until after the ball.
A large party had assembled at the Judge’s house, which included all the beaux and belles for miles around, in which all seemed to enjoy themselves except Walter. His interests were toward the setting sun and the land of the Cahoonshees. He could not be prevailed upon to take a part in the dance, but remained a silent spectator. Cora tried to rouse him to at least allow himself to be introduced to the ladies present. Failing in this, she took him by the arm and said:
Come, Walter, this will never do for a Lieutenant in the English Navy. Come and take a walk with me. Let us go to the arbor and pick some grapes.
Certainly, he replied. That will be in keeping with my thoughts, and by the moonlight they walked toward the grape arbor.
On the way they met Tom and Jack loaded down with the luscious fruit.
There, said Walter. Sit down and pick and eat. That is easier than to climb after them.
I prefer climbing, and top fruit is the best, laughingly replied Cora, and off she skipped like a young fawn.
Cora, said Walter, some lurking Indian might run off with you, and then you would be cured of your romance.
Not a bit of it, she replied. I wish that one of the red-skins would steal me. That would be romantic indeed. And to think that you and the whole ship’s company would be hunting after me. That would be what the sailors call a stern chase, and then she disappeared behind the arbor.
Instantly a blanket is thrown over her head, and she is carried, she knows not where.
She supposed it was a trick got up by Walter to scare her, and to carry out the joke, submitted willingly, and it was not until she found herself laid in the bottom of a canoe that she awoke to a sense of danger. She now realized that she was in a boat of some kind, sailing on the water.
The Bee Hunters—Drake and Rolla on the Trail—Call of the Tree Toad—Answer of the Blue Jay.
We left Drake and the two Quicks on the Steneykill, returning with honey. When they discovered moccasin tracks and heard Rolla’s peculiar bark, they became alarmed for the safety of those at the cabin, and hurried forward. Rolla rushed ahead and commenced an uncommon continued howl.
That is a new howl, said Drake.
And has a new meaning, replied Cahoonshee.
They hurried forward and Rolla continued to howl.
When they approached they saw Rolla stretched out at full length on the ground, and the cat Walt lay dead by his side with an arrow through its head.
The Great Spirit have mercy on those at the cabin, exclaimed Cahoonshee.
The cabin was soon reached, and there sat Betsy tied to her chair. She was soon released and the parties informed of the capture of Amy by the Stockbridge Indians.
Drake was much affected, and tears ran down his cheeks.
Fear not, we will save the girl, said Cahoonshee. You three take the dog and go in search of the trail. Follow it as long as it goes west, but if it turns east, send one of your number to me.
Drake and the Quicks shouldered their guns and started, Rolla taking the lead, and soon found the trail, which went nearly due west, toward the Mongaup.
It would seem that the Indians made no effort to conceal their trail, which for a long time puzzled the pursuing party. The sun was now down, and the darkness of the night over-shadowed the forest. Yet, Rolla with perfect confidence followed the trail until they came to Mongaup River.
Here the hunters found themselves baffled. They went two miles up on the east side of the River. Then crossing, searched back to the point where they commenced, but failed to find any sign of the trail.
Then they resolved to return to the cabin, fill their knapsacks and renew the search in the morning.
After the hunters left, Cahoonshee went out and shot some rabbits, and with their brains preserved the skin of the cat Walt.
It was after midnight when the hunters returned. They informed Cahoonshee of the finding of the trail and losing it again at the Mongaup.
You lost time in searching down-stream, he said. They went up the River until they found a small stream, then they followed that to its source. But somewhere between where they reached the River and Mongaup Falls, they had to leave the River and pass over land. They may have gone up the Bushkill as far as the Falls. But there they would be compelled to leave the stream. Fill your knapsacks, and at sun-rise start for the mouth of the Bushkill. Follow it up to the Falls. From there go to my cabin on the Steneykill, where I will meet you.
As soon as the day broke, Drake, Tom and Rolla started, and were at the mouth of the Bushkill at sun-rise. Rolla seemed to understand the object of the search, and applied his nose to every stone that lay above the water. He had not been gone long before he gave three loud barks.
He has the trail! Drake fairly screamed.
But Rolla was soon out of sight and was not heard again for some moments. Then he was heard again and continued barking until Drake and Tom came up to him at the foot of the falls.
It was evident that they had found the trail. There was the remains of their camp fire, strewed with fish bones.
What is that? said Tom, pointing to a small rock that leaned against the side of the mountain.
That, replied Drake, is Amy’s writing:
“Gone to the cave from whence you came. Amy.”
That is plain. Let us go up the Falls and over the ridge to Cahoonshee’s cabin.
They found Cahoonshee and the elder Quick at the cabin, and a warm breakfast prepared for them.
Cahoonshee was informed of the finding of the trail and the course it took.
There is but one more thing to learn, he said. They will cross the river at Kingston. From here to Kingston there are three trails. The first is the old Kingston trail. But they will not take that, as there are white settlers every few miles, and they would not take their captive that way. The other trails are farther west and are seldom traveled. It will take them two days longer than if they went by the Kingston trail. We must try and get to the Hudson ahead of them. The whites are thickly settled there, and we can get all the assistance we want.
Now, Drake, you, Tom and Rolla take their trail and follow it until you can determine which route they have taken. Then go direct to the Yah House, and Quick and I will meet you there.
The boys were soon on the trail and followed it across Handy Hill, then across the Neversink, then north, until they struck the western trail leading to Kingston.
At this point they left the trail and took a north-easterly course to the Yah House, where they arrived late in the evening and found Quick and Cahoonshee there.
It was then determined to travel direct on the Kingston trail and head the Indians off before they reached the river. If they failed in this, to push forward to the cave.
We shall not stop to describe the incidents that happened to the travelers from the Yah House to Kingston. Suffice it to say that they traveled as fast as Cahoonshee’s health would permit. When within ten miles of the Hudson River, they struck north-west, and after going about two miles, Rolla gave the usual signal that he had discovered where Amy had walked.
They followed the trail about four miles to a stream that emptied into the Hudson, and here the trail was lost. The party divided and followed down both sides of the stream until they reached the river, but no trail was found.
Cunning dogs! exclaimed Cahoonshee. They have waded up or down stream. But they will have to come to the shore somewhere. They can’t wade across the river. They will have to steal a canoe or build a raft. They have probably gone down stream. Let us follow them.
The sun was just setting, and dark clouds threatened a storm from the south-west. A vivid flash of lightning lit up the forest and river. Rolla sprang into the air and gave the usual three barks.
The dog either sees or smells something, said Cahoonshee. Look on the river when the next flash comes.
Then came a gust of wind that bent the trees nearly to the ground, which was followed by continuous lightning, and which lit up the river from shore to shore. About a thousand feet from the shore was plainly to be seen the canoe containing Amy and her captors.
Our chase is in vain, said Cahoonshee. The canoe cannot float long in that stream. It will drive them on the rocks at the head of the island. Let us build a raft and renew the search as soon as the storm is over.
The Storm—Buried in the River—Old Shell to the Rescue. Which is Which and What is What.
The Indians had scarcely left the shore when the storm broke upon them in all its fury. The canoe had capacity for but six in still water. With its present cargo, it sank to the gunwale.
The thunder roared, the lightning flashed, and the waves ran mountain high. Earth, air and water seemed to be striving for the mastery. The little canoe was tossed about on the surging foam like an egg shell in a boiling caldron. The occupants realized their danger, yet remained cool and collected and patiently awaited their doom. At last the Chief said:
We must leave the canoe. Perhaps with none on board but the women it will float.
There was a small rope attached to one end of the canoe held by a toggle. He caught this and jumped into the river, followed by the other four.
Amy saw at a glance that she had it in her power to free herself and escape from the Indians. What could be easier than to pull the toggle and cast the Indians adrift. Then her conscience checked her.
That would drown them, and that would be murder. But life, liberty and self-preservation soon overruled conscience. She pulled the toggle and the Indians were adrift.
Springing to her feet, she applied the paddle, going, where she knew not—cared not—if she could get away from the savages.
Once, and once only, did she look back, and by the lightning’s flash saw them struggling in the rolling swell.
Shell was sitting in his cabin door, smoking his pipe, and listening to the roar of the elements, when a flash of lightning revealed to his view a canoe making its way to the rift of rocks. At the second glance, he saw a person manfully working a paddle.
Zounds! That chap, whoever he is, has got good stuff in him. But I guess he don’t know the points of the compass. That course will carry him on the rocks. He will be drowned, and the canoe dashed to pieces. It is but little Old Shell can do, but I will do that little.
Taking a brand from the fire, he lit a pile of pine knots that was piled on the beach. Suddenly the wind turned to the north east, and this made the situation of the canoe still more dangerous.
On—on it came—first on the crest of a wave, then hid from sight in the bottom of the swell.
Pull to the west! Pull to the west! cried Old Shell. But the sound of his voice was drowned by the incessant slash of the water. Nearer and nearer the fatal rock is approached. The canoe is raised on the top of the crest, and as the water recedes, it strikes amidships and is broken into fragments. The next wave drives the wreck and occupants ashore. Shell stood ready, and caught them before the undertow could carry them back. Taking one under each arm, he carried them into his cabin and laid them down before the fire.
The girls were wet but not seriously injured, and were soon on their feet.
The reader must remember that, although Amy knew that another person had been added to their number, she had not seen Cora until her face was revealed by the light of the fire.
The first glance amazed her. She saw in her the likeness of herself as plainly as if she had looked in a glass.
Cora was equally astonished, and for the time doubted her own identity.
Neither of them seemed to be inclined to speak, or rather each of them was waiting for the other to say something. This surprised the old man, who had relit his pipe, and was puffing away in the corner.
I say, gals, I suppose that this is new quarters for you. But, sailors say “any port in a storm.” But I guess this a safer place than the one you were being tossed about on out there on the rocks. But you are safe now, and in the morning I will take you on shore. It was lucky for you that I was at home, and I did not get home any too soon. If I had stayed at the Judge’s any longer I could not have got home before morning.
What Judge’s do you mean, my good man? said Cora.
I mean Judge Hasbrook. They had a dance there last night, and the Admiral’s daughter got lost, strayed or stolen. All the people were looking for her, but she could not be found. Men on horses were sent out on every road. The marines were ordered from the ship to scour the woods, but it was no go. They could not find her. They said that she was a good, but dare-devil of a girl, and there was no telling what she might do. Some of the scouts returned and reported that about the middle of the afternoon, four men, with a black dog was seen about two miles from the Judge’s house, and they feared the girl had been stolen by them.
Amy could scarcely control her feelings on hearing this, but did not think it wise to state who she thought the party were.
The girls were now standing in front of the fire drying their clothes.
Girls, said Old Shell, you smoke like musk rats drying in the sun. I think you had better change your clothes.
I have no others, said Amy.
Nor I, rejoined Cora.
Be easy as two that, replied the old man. I have them, and think they will fit exactly. I have not always lived alone. I once had daughters that were as smooth-faced as you are, and as pretty as you appear. I have their clothes here, (pulling out a large chest.) See if these clothes will fit.
The girls, both from interest and curiosity, stepped toward the trunk.
Here, said the old man lifting a garment out of the trunk. Here is a shir—shir—what do you call it? Well, it is a shir-shirt.
The girls blushed, and the old man noticed it.
Here, girls, you go through the trunk. It is so long since I have had anything to do with women’s-ware, that I have forgotten their names and how they are worn. There are two red flannel dresses that look exactly alike. Put them on, and while you are fixing up, I will go out and look at the river.
The old man walked to the head of the island. The storm had ceased, and the moon was shining brightly. The waves continued to roll over the rift and dash against the rocks. Something appeared on the rift that had the appearance of being a human being. On examination, there appeared to be several of them all huddled in one mass. No signs of life were visible, and the waves continued to pound their bodies against the rocks.
When the old man returned, he found the girls dressed in red flannel suits, white aprons, blue stockings and gaudy hats, trimmed with white and yellow feathers.
By jingo, he exclaimed. If you two girls wasn’t run in the same mould, then I am no judge of human nature. Gosh darn it! If you don’t look so much alike that I can’t tell which from which.
You are in error there, my good man. We are no relation. I never saw this girl until I saw her here, remarked Cora.
How is that you both came on shore in the same boat and at the same time?
That is so. Yet I never saw her before.
Where do you belong, and how did you get in her company. This is a mysterious mystery that I can’t unriddle. Hang me if I don’t believe that you are two witches.
Oh no, my good man, we are not witches. I belong on board of the Reindeer. I am the Admiral’s daughter—the dare-devil of a girl you described. The one the marines were scouring the country to find. Yes, I am Cora Powers.
Powers! exclaimed Amy excitedly, but said nothing more, yet thought much.
The old man remained silent a few moments, then said:
How came you in the canoe?
I was carried there by some one. I thought it was Tom and Jack, supposing that the Lieutenant had told them to throw a blanket over me and carry me off. For that reason I made no resistance, and lay in his arms quietly as a babe on its mother’s breast. In fact, I enjoyed it, and when I lay in the boat, I thought that I would be taken on board of the Reindeer, and rather enjoyed it, to think how surprised they would be when they learned that I could not be scared. When I was doused in the water, I took it as a kind of a sailor baptism, and I don’t know yet what to make of it.
I don’t think, said the old man, that your friends had anything to do with your departure.
And if they didn’t, who did? asked Cora.
The Indians, replied Amy.
What? Do you mean that I was carried off in the arms of an Indian and laid in the canoe?
I do, said Amy. I saw it with my own eyes.
Cora was silent for a few moments, then said:
Then I have been stolen by the Indians and didn’t know it. There is no romance about that, and I am the one who has been fooled. I have a good notion to faint. I would if there was some one here to prevent my falling.
Young woman, this is no light affair. If they stole you they meant to take your scalp or make your friends pay well for your ransom. But what became of them? Are they prowling about now?
Amy turned her face away to hide her confusion, but the old man noticed it.
I think, he said, that this girl knows more about the Indians than she is willing to tell. Tell us, girl, where you last saw them.
Amy remained silent, dreading to tell where she last saw them, knowing that it would lead to other questions.
Speak, as you value your life, said the old man. The storm is over, and they will soon be down upon us.
There were five of them, and they belonged to the Stockbridge tribe.
Stockbridge Indians! exclaimed Shell. Then we must expect no mercy, but must prepare to defend ourselves, rising and seizing his gun that stood in the corner.
This will stop one or more of them.
Have you another gun? inquired Amy. If so, I will stop another.
Here, said the old man opening a closet, is half a dozen guns, and I will load them all.
Let me load them, said Amy.
Do you know how?
Amy took up the guns and loaded them in half the time the old man could.
There. I have loaded them all, and if they come, I can shoot them.
Are you the daughter of a hunter? asked old Shell.
I am the daughter of no one, but I know how to load and shoot a gun.
But you have not told us how you came to be in company with the Indians.
Tell us girl, let us know the worst, and then we can act for the best.
Those Indians stole me from my home on the Shinglekill, and were taking me to Stockbridge, and just as we were starting to cross the river, they stole this girl. A storm arose, and the Indians jumped into the river to lighten the canoe, and that is the last I saw of them.
If they got ashore anywhere, it must have been on this island. I will take my gun and go out on the raft and look.
And I will take another and go with you, said Amy.
And I will take the rest and shoot them all at once, said Cora.
All parties being armed and equipped for the emergency, they marched for the spot. It was low water, and the rocks were bare for several hundred feet above the island.
You wait here, said the old man, and I will climb out on the rocks.
I see the Indians!—I see them! exclaimed Cora excitedly.
The old man looked, and saw the same objects that he saw when he was out before, and raised his gun.
Don’t shoot! They are all dead now. The life has been pounded out of them on the rocks.
Don’t you believe that, girl. They are only playing possum, and will go for your scalp at the first opportunity. Some of them may be on the island now.
I see five, and there were but five. Let us go a little closer said Amy, starting, and followed by the old man.
At every step the forms of the dusky Indians became more visible.
Careful, girl, careful. We have a treacherous foe to deal with.
We have the dead, and the dead only to deal with, replied Amy. They have gone to the Indian’s last hunting ground.
The rock was reached, and there lay the bloated bodies of the five Indians. They had caught hold of each other’s hair and around the waist.
Drowning men catch at straws, said the old man.
They had taken hold of each other for protection, and all had drowned in each other’s embrace.
But where did this rope come from that is wound around them? asked Shell.
Amy kept silent. She knew too well where the rope came from.
Well girls, it is rather early in the morning for a funeral, but I think we had better bury them now.
Where? asked Cora.
In a sailor’s grave he said. And taking his knife, cut the tangled rope loose, and one by one, he threw them into the River to be food for the fishes.
The parties now returned to the house.
Stay here, girls, and keep a good watch, and I will go toward the lower end of the island. Some of them may have landed lower down. The dog would swim ashore.
What dog? asked Amy.
The dog that was seen with the Indian that stole this girl, pointing toward Cora.
Amy felt embarrassed for some moments, and then said:
My good man, I will tell you all I know about the Indians. I have told you that they stole me at the Shinglekill, in the country of the Cahoonshees. I had friends who followed me, and with them was my faithful dog Rolla. It was that party that was seen by the party that went in search of this girl, and they are all dead. To lighten the canoe, they took hold of the rope that you saw about their bodies, and jumped overboard. I pulled the toggle and cast them adrift. You know the rest.
Brave girl, said the old man seizing Amy’s hand. There are five less of the murderous dogs. I wish that the whole tribe had been tied to that rope. Girls, I have not always been what I now appear to be. I once had a wife and a happy home. The first year of our marriage, she became the mother of twins. They grew up to be young ladies. On my return home one night, I found my house burned, and my wife and daughters dead and scalped. The Stockbridge Indians did it. I could not live in that desolate home where so many things reminded me of former days. I removed to this island. The clothes you have on and the clothes you see in the trunk were once worn by those I loved. But the Indians robbed me of all. Stealing was their business. Years ago they stole an infant on this very island almost from its mother’s arms, and from that day to this, Captain Davis has mourned the loss of his child. Rewards have been offered and search made among all the tribes, but no child found. It probably died soon after it was stolen, as it had a mark on its breast that would have led to its discovery if living.
What was the mark? asked Cora and Amy at the same time.
A ship, and the letters C. D. on the top, and E. N. on the bottom. If you belong on board of the Reindeer, you should have heard them speak of their child.
I have, repeatedly, replied Cora. And to-morrow we intended to start for the Delaware Valley in search of him. Lieutenant Wallace was to be in charge of the searching party.
Amy turned pale and staggered back. That name brought to her recollection the days of her childhood. Her father, mother, and her home on the Callicoon.
Both Cora and the old man noticed her emotions, and the struggle she was making to suppress them.
You are a brave girl, said old Shell, but you haven’t got the timber in you to stand the strain that you have been subjected to. You had better go to bed and get some rest, and in the morning I will take you on board of the Reindeer. Right in there is a good feather bed made by the girls whose dress you have on. Go in there, and I will watch over you as I would over them.
The girls retired, and Cora was soon in a deep sleep. Not so with Amy. Her thoughts were on Walter Wallace. It was plain to her that the child mentioned by the old man was Charles Drake. That many a time she had looked at the mark on his breast, and it was just as the old man had described it. But who was this Lieutenant Wallace that was going to the Delaware Valley to look for Drake?
Is this my Walter? Oh, wish I knew his first name. This girl at my side can tell me. I will ask her.
Miss Powers! Miss Powers! Miss Powers.
A-h-a-h—What do you want?
Will you tell me the first name of Lieutenant Wallace who is going to look for the lost child!
Oh you go to sleep. What have you got to do about that?
I only wanted to know Mr. Wallace’s given name. Tell me that, and then you can go to sleep again.
And if I refuse, what then?
Then you will be very unlady-like, said Amy.
This stung Cora, and she replied:
His name is Walter Wallace, and he came from a place they call Callicoon.
Amy sprang from the bed and ran into the old man’s room followed by Cora.
Look out for that girl! She is mad—crazy—insane! She is as mad as a march hare! She wants me to tell her the name of every-body on the ship! Look at her eyes—see her bosom swell! I tell you she has lost her reason.
Little bird, said the old man, placing his hand on her head and looking into her eyes, tell me what causes this emotion?
She is mad! replied Cora.
Lady, I am not mad. Amy Powers is not mad, but knows all, and in time will explain all.
Amy Powers! exclaimed Cora. Is that your name? Was your father’s name Thomas? and your mother’s name Mary? and did you live on the Callicoon?
So she continued to ask questions, not stopping to give Amy an opportunity to answer.
What is that? asked Amy.
That is the sun-rise gun on the Reindeer, replied the old man.
The Hunt—The Fatal Shot.
On the discovery that Cora could not be found, it was surmised that she was playing one of her pranks, and she would soon leave her hiding place and return. But as the night advanced, it was learned that four men and a dog had been seen in the neighborhood. This raised the suspicion that she had been kidnapped, and a general search was ordered. Men on horse-back were sent to examine every road and house for twenty miles around, and a file of marines were ordered to search the woods. But at sun-rise the next morning, nothing had been learned of her.
Captain Davis ordered a strict lookout from the mast head for any parties that might be seen crossing the river, and a boat manned and in readiness to pursue any craft that might appear.
When Drake and his party saw the Indians disappear in the darkness of the night, they supposed that the storm would drive them back. In the meantime, they were at work securing material to build a float on which they could cross the river. But the storm seriously interfered with their work, and it was not until the sun rose the next morning that they were prepared to cross the river.
The river at this point was about one mile across, and they started to cross one mile above the island. The wind was in the east, and the float made slow progress. The strong ebb tide carried them down stream so that they barely cleared the rift, and placed them nearly east of the island. Rolla sniffed the wind from the island and goes to the rear of the float and whines.
The dog winds something on the island, said Cahoonshee.
But he hasn’t given the Amy bark, replied Drake.
Bang! went a gun on board of the Reindeer, and a cannon ball came skipping over the water, passing directly ahead of the float.
What does that mean? inquired Drake.
That means stop, replied Cahoonshee.
Rolla gave three barks, sprang into the water, and swam toward the island.
That is the Amy bark, exclaimed Drake. Let us paddle after him.
Put down the paddle, boy, or they will blow us out of the water.
The ball is seen ricocheting on the water in a direct line with the float, and struck the end of one of the forward logs, and knocked off a sliver that struck Cahoonshee and carried him overboard. Quick caught him by the hair and pulled him back.
Don’t move a paddle, he said. If you do, the third shot will tear us to pieces. But just keep still and we are safe. See, they are coming after us, and then they will tell us what they want. Perhaps they will take us on board of the ship.
By this time the ship’s boat had nearly reached the float. Walter stood in the bow with his sword drawn. Lieutenant Powers was at the helm, and between them stood a company of armed marines.
Keep quiet, said Cahoonshee, I will answer all questions.
Who commands this float? inquired Lieutenant Wallace.
I do, replied Cahoonshee. What is your wish?
We have orders to bring you on board of the ship.
By whose orders?
By the orders of Captain Davis.
Captain Davis shall be obeyed, said Cahoonshee.
Then hand in your guns and consider yourselves prisoners for the present.
The guns and other articles were placed in the boat. Cahoonshee stepped on board and was conducted to the stern. The Quicks were seated at mid-ship, and Drake at the bow.
I think that we have met before, said Cahoonshee to Lieutenant Powers.
I think not, replied Powers.
You was a mere boy then—the son of Admiral Powers.
Was you acquainted with my father!
Before the question could be answered Cahoonshee fainted. Drake instantly sprang to his assistance, but was restrained by the sailors.
Gentlemen, said Drake, I do not know for what crime you have shot this old man, but I beg of you to let me take care of him. See—he is dying. Let me hold his head.
This appeal touched the sympathies of the officers, and Drake was permitted to go to his assistance.
What caused this wound on his head? asked the Lieutenant.
The shot from the ship, replied Drake.
They were now along side of the ship, which was something new to Drake. He was still holding Cahoonshee’s head, who gave some signs of returning consciousness. Still the blood continued to flow from his wound.
Boy, tell the Captain that I am Cahoonshee. Show him the mark on your breast. My time has come.
Evidently he intended to say something more, but dizziness prevented.
The ship is reached and Cahoonshee is carried on deck, and then to the doctor’s room. Drake and the Quicks were taken before the Captain and questioned.
Where is the girl and dog that was in your company?
There has been no girl in our company. The dog left when you shot the old man, and is now on yonder island.
Have you any knowledge, young man, of a lady in the hands of the Indians?
Yes sir. For five days we have been in pursuit of a party of Indians who hold a young lady a captive.
Have you any knowledge of a young lady that was taken from her friends last night?
Who have you been pursuing?
A girl that was captured by the Indians in the Delaware Valley.
How came your dog to leave you?
I think he scented the girl on the island and went to rescue her. Perhaps the same party that stole the Delaware girl captured the girl you refer to. If so, no time should be lost. We should go to the island immediately.
Then proceed at once, said the Captain.
The boat was manned, and proceeded toward the island.
Soon after the boat left, the doctor went to the cabin, where he found Captain Davis and wife.
Captain, said the doctor, the old Indian that was brought on board is anxious to see you, and requested me to ask you to come to his quarters.
I have other duties to perform at present, he said.
The old Indian said that it was to your interest to see him—that his name was Cahoonshee.
Cahoonshee! exclaimed Captain Davis and his wife at the same moment.
He is the Indian that promised to hunt for our lost child.
This seemed to have changed the Captain’s mind, and he soon was at the side of the dying Indian.
Cahoonshee was apparently asleep—at least he did not notice the Captain, who looked on his pale face, and then said to the doctor:
Is the wound on his head fatal?
The wound on his head, replied the doctor, is of little consequence. His ailment is old age. The machine is worn out, and the loss of blood has weakened him.
Doctor, I think that Indian knows of my lost child. Do for him all you can.
Cahoonshee heard the last remark, and turned his head. The doctor and Davis were soon at his side.
At this moment Mrs. Davis entered the room. A mother’s feelings could no longer be suppressed, and taking the dying Indian by the hand, said:
Does my child live?
Yes, he faintly answered.
Where is he? quickly asked the Captain.
Cahoonshee made signs to be raised up in bed.
Where are my friends?—those that were on the float with me? Let me see them.
An officer was directed to bring Tom and his father.
Cahoonshee continued to revive, and on the arrival of his friends felt sufficiently strong to talk. He beckoned the Captain to take his hand and said:
These men are friends of your child. This one is his brother, and this one has been to him a father. They will tell you all, and then he fell back on his bed exhausted.
The Quicks were taken to the cabin, where they related the history of Charles Drake, from the time he was captured by the elder Quick on the upper waters of the Mongaup, to the present time, and that when the boat returned from the island they would see their lost child.
I have already seen him! exclaimed Mrs. Davis excitedly. It was he that you questioned about Cora!
Nothing but the mark on his breast will convince me, said the Captain.
Then, replied Quick, you will be convinced. The mark is on there—anchor, ship, with the letters C. D. and E. N. Is that your boy, Captain?
That is the way he was marked when he was stolen from his mother on the island where they have now gone.
At this juncture an officer entered the cabin and informed the Captain that the boat was approaching with two ladies on board.
It was difficult for old Shell to pacify Amy after Cora had mentioned the name of Walter Wallace. She was determined to go on board of the Reindeer in search of her lover if she had to swim from the island to the ship.
I have often swam farther than that through the falls of the Delaware, she said.
At last she reluctantly consented to wait until morning, and went to sleep in her chair. Cora retired to bed again, and the old man prepared breakfast, which consisted of smoked ham, dried herring, pan cakes and birch bark tea.
They had not finished eating, when Bang! went a gun on board of the Reindeer. In an instant they were all out of the cabin.
The ship first attracted their attention. Then they saw an armed boat rowing up the river. Bang! went the gun again, when they looked up the river and saw the float, with people on it.
I see, said Shell. They are shooting at a black bear. Don’t you see? He is making direct for the island. I will get my gun and stop his bearship.
Amy was herself again, and watched the bear with great interest until the old man returned with his gun.
You stay here girls, and I will go to the beach and settle him.
Amy followed him unperceived. The old man took accurate aim, when suddenly Amy struck up his gun, and the ball went over the bear’s head.
Girl, what do you mean! he exclaimed.
I mean to save the life of my best friend. That is no bear, it is my dog Rolla, and the party on the float are my friends.
By this time Rolla had reached the shore and embraced Amy with a kind of fatherly affection. The parties watched the float, and saw the people on it get in the boat and row toward the ship.
It will be remembered that the appearance of Amy and Cora was so much alike that it was difficult to distinguish between them. But now they were dressed exactly alike, and a casual observer could not tell one from the other. This will account for the mistakes and confusion about to be related.
When they saw the boat coming toward the island, the old man suggested that they had better walk to the lower end of the island, as the boat could safely land at that point.
At the time of the landing, Amy was standing on the east side of the island with Rolla by her side. Walter being ignorant of the real facts, took her for Cora. Acting under the impulse of the moment, he sprang out of the boat, and swiftly ran to her, and folding her in his arms, said:
Cora! Oh, Cora—you are safe—you are safe! I feared that we should not see you again! and he passionately kissed her.
But the girl did not reciprocate, but tried to free herself from his embrace.
You are mistaken, young man. My name is not Cora.
Walter stared into her eyes for a moment.
You say that your name is not Cora? You have lost yourself. Your reason is dethroned. You don’t know your nephew. If you are not Cora, who are you? releasing her.
They continued to look into each others’ eyes for a few moments, when a gleam of satisfaction beamed in Amy’s countenance. Her bosom heaved, and instantly she threw her arms around him, and passionately exclaimed:
I am Amy Powers—your long lost Amy. Walter! Oh, Walter!
She could say no more, and willingly remained in his arms.
Walter looked down into her sweet and agitated face a moment, and a thousand memories flashed across his mind. In his arms lay the mature woman. In her he saw the girl of his childhood—his long lost Amy. And here, locked in each other’s embrace, we must leave them, and turn our attention to other parties.
Drake jumped ashore, and saw, as he supposed, Amy, standing on the west side of the island. He ran to her and clasped her in his arms and smothered her with kisses, exclaiming:
Sister? dear sister! You are saved. I was afraid that you would be either killed or drowned.
See here young man, said Cora. I guess that you are a persistent lover, and have learned the art of hugging and kissing to perfection—not that I have any particular fault to find—in fact, I rather like it, at least I would if it was meant for me. But it is meant for that other girl. I am not Amy, my name is Cora.
Oh, Amy, Drake continued. Don’t you know me? Don’t you know your brother? Look at me Amy.
Oh, young man, I see you plain enough, and rather like your looks. But I am not your sister. I don’t know you. I never saw you before.
Oh, Amy, this is terrible. The Indians have turned your head, deprived you of reason, and caused you to forget your best friends. But you will know the mark on my breast, tearing his shirt open and bringing to view the anchor and ship.
Cora looked at his breast and the tell-tale letters on it. She saw at a glance and understood who the young man was that so firmly held her. She knew that he was the long lost child of Captain Davis. At the moment she was embarrassed and faltered as to the course she should pursue. Then suddenly throwing her arms about his neck, said:
I wish I was your sister—no, I don’t mean that. What do I want to be your sister for? I wish—well no matter what I wish. Now, young man, sit down by me, and I will tell you something you don’t know. First, I am not Amy. She is over there in the arms of her old lover, Walter Wallace.
Drake sprang to his feet.
Don’t disturb them, she said, for they have not met for a great many years and have a great deal to talk about. In the next place, my name is Cora Powers, and I am the aunt of the girl you call Amy. In the next place, you are Charles Davis, and was stolen many years ago from your mother on this island near the spot where we now sit, and your father and mother are now on board of the Reindeer.
Drake heard this announcement with amazement, scarcely believing his eyes or ears. Then he remembered that Cahoonshee had said that he should inquire for his father on board of the English war vessel. He was satisfied that the girl by his side was not Amy, not from any difference in her looks, but from her voice and actions.
Lady, said Drake, let us go and see Amy and her lover.
As soon as they appeared, Rolla bounded toward them, jumping and barking with joy.
Amy saw Drake coming, and advanced to meet him. Their meeting was of such an affectionate character that Walter was at a loss to understand it. Wallace seized Cora’s hand and congratulated her on her escape from the Indians. Amy introduced Drake to Walter, saying;
He has always been a good brother to me.
Cora drew Drake aside and said:
Mr. Davis, for now that is your name, I want to ask you one straight-forward question.
Certainly, lady, proceed.
Did you love Amy as a sister only?
As a sister only, he replied.
In Charles Davis, Cora had found her hero—one that was bold, just and generous, with just enough savage life in his exterior to interest a girl of Cora’s mind. The smothering kisses and manly embraces he had bestowed on her, although meant for another, had aroused within her a passion different from any she had before experienced. She was the pet child of a wealthy family, gay, giddy and trifling, and in one sense a flirt. Accustomed to have her own way, yet noble and high minded. Her hand had been sought by the noble of her London home, but she had repulsed them all. Why? Because in them she did not see her hero—her ideal of a man. In Charles Davis, although dressed in torn and tattered clothes, although his face was sun-burned, and had the appearance of bronze, although his home had been in the forest, and his companions savages, yet something within her heart told her that she loved Charles Davis, that he had aroused within her bosom a passion heretofore dormant, and, on the impulse of the moment intended to tell him the state of her mind and declare her love. It was for this purpose she led him aside and asked him if he loved Amy only as a sister. But his answer being so frank, “as a sister only,” disconcerted her. How unlike the fops she had been accustomed to meet in London. It then flashed across her mind that Davis was no longer the half savage, the half civilized youth of the Delaware Valley, but the son of Captain Charles Davis, a man of influence and power in the English Navy. She realized that to talk and act love that was prompted by genuine affection was quite a different thing from the every day flirtation in which there was but little sense and no heart. She therefore concluded to await the result of the meeting that was about to take place on board of the Reindeer.
When it was announced that a boat containing two ladies was approaching, all hands rushed to the deck. That Cora was one of them there was no doubt. But who could the other one be.
See, said Mrs. Davis to her husband. Cora is sitting by Walter in the bow.
Then her shadow must be reflected to the stern, said the Captain, for that is certainly Cora. But who is the young man sitting by her side?
That is the young man you questioned. That is your and my son, Captain.
The Captain placed his arm around his wife, and said:
Is it possible that this young man is our son?
The boat comes alongside, and Walter assists Amy on deck. Immediately the Captain and his wife advanced to meet her, supposing that it was Cora. Walter noticed Amy’s embarrassment.
This is not Cora. She will be on board soon.
A moment later Cora came on deck, and running to the Captain, said:
I claim the reward.
What reward? the Captain asked.
The reward you offered for the production of your son. Here he is, turning to where she supposed Drake stood.
But Drake was not there. Neither could he be seen or found on deck.
Cora was surprised, and felt hurt. She supposed he stood by her side, and intended to have the honor of introducing him to his parents, but he was nowhere to be found.
I saw a young man in the boat when you came along-side, said Mrs. Davis.
Yes, and it was your son. He came on deck with me, replied Cora.
The Captain was in a maze. He had at no time been convinced that the person alluded to by Cahoonshee was his child and this sudden disappearance raised greater doubts.
Lieutenant, said the Captain, this is very remarkable that the person said to be my son came on board, but cannot be found.
Said to be your son? exclaimed Walter. I have heard of no such person.
I have, replied Cora, and am the only one on board that knew that fact.
How do you know? inquired the Captain.
I saw the mark on his breast that I have so often heard described. He showed it to me on the island.
The decks were searched, but Drake could not be found, and amid the confusion the doctor appeared.
How is your patient? asked the Captain.
Better. He is sitting up conversing with the young man who was on the float with him when he got hurt.
That is Drake, said Cora. I will go after him, and started for the doctor’s room.
Don’t disturb them at present. The old man realizes that his end is near, and wishes to have a private talk with the boy.
The parties then went to the cabin, and Amy and Cora related in part their adventures.
Amy gave Drake’s history from the time she became acquainted with him, and was describing her mother’s funeral when Tom Jones and Jack Frost appeared bearing Cahoonshee in their arms, followed by Drake.
Instantly all voices are hushed, and a death-like silence prevailed.
Here youth and old age clasped hands. The old man was weak and trembling, and it was evident that he was making a superhuman effort to perform a promise made many years ago. Drake stood by his side holding his hand, the very picture of despair as his whole soul went out for Cahoonshee. At that moment he would have forsaken father and mother to prolong the life of him that had been his friend and foster-father.
Mrs. Davis made an attempt to go to the side of her child, but was restrained by the Captain who was doubting whether he could believe his own eyes. Whether the youth that held the aged warrior’s hand was his son.
Cahoonshee beckoned Captain Davis and wife to approach, and they advanced.
Years ago I promised to find and restore to you your child. Why I have delayed it so long, your son will explain at some other time. My sands of life are nearly run out, and my last act will be to present to you your son. Examine the mark and satisfy yourselves.
Drake bared his bosom. The Captain and wife in the same breath exclaimed:
Captain, said Cahoonshee, take this boy. He is one of nature’s noblemen. It has been the pride and study of my life to leave behind me an example of Indian training. I think I have fixed his character, moulded his mind, and educated him in the arts and sciences far beyond what he could have learned in the schools. Lay me down.
That night Drake stayed with his parents. I shall not attempt to describe the interview. Suffice it to say that the Captain and wife were both inexpressibly happy in the society of their child. The Captain was surprised at the learning and intelligence of a boy that had been reared in the dark forest of the Delaware.
Walter spent most of the night on deck with Amy, where he related his adventures in searching for her—the trip to England, the finding of Lord Wallace, and lastly, the discovery of his and her grand-father.
Amy, nestling on his bosom, exclaimed:
Oh, Walter, how happy I am. Will this always last?
Certainly my dear. Nothing shall part us now. You will go with me to England and become queen of my house.
And leave Drake and Cahoonshee? she replied.
Walter looked into her sweet face as if to divine her thoughts.
Drake will undoubtedly remain with his father, and Cahoonshee shall be taken care of.
By whom? she asked.
Walter saw that these words meant more than they expressed, and drawing Amy still closer to him, said:
I suppose this old man has been a good friend of yours and you do not like to leave him.
He has been more than a friend. He has been a father, a protector, an instructor. What little I know, he taught me. I wish to remain with him to the last.
Your wish shall be gratified, said Walter.
We shall not attempt to follow the parties or relate their conversation at this, their first meeting. And if we made the attempt, we would certainly fail, for the most vivid imagination cannot describe the sensation of two hearts so firmly united, that had been so long separated. They were in fact “one twain, one flesh.” Their hearts beat in unison, and each of them could truthfully say:
“Mine is thine and thine is mine.”
And here in the pale moonlight of a coming morn, we must leave the lovers, and turn our attention to other characters.
Cora had, in a sense, been left alone. The others held within their embrace the object of their affection, but she was alone and lonely. The object of her affection was sitting between his parents in the cabin, relating the adventures of the past, and planning for the future. The future of that man was all the world to her. With him the future would be heaven. Without him, misery. From her room she could hear distinctly the conversation that passed between them. At last she heard him say:
Now my dear parents, you must excuse me. Duty calls me to the side of my foster-father.
She heard the good-night said, and the parting kiss bestowed. She knew that Drake was going to see Cahoonshee. I will be there first, she thought; and started through a passage way that led to the doctor’s room. On opening the door, she found Cahoonshee quietly sleeping, and Tom and Jack watching by his side.
My good men, she said, I have come to relieve you. Let me watch by the side of the dying hero.
Tom and Jack departed, and Cora was left alone with the dying man. In a few moments he opened his eyes and said:
Amy, my child, extending his hand.
This is not Amy, she said. I am Cora Powers, the daughter of Admiral Powers.
Then, replied the old man, I must be near the Spirit Land. My eyes have failed me. Bend down, child, and let me place my hand on your neck.
The old man drew his hand across her neck below the ear.
You are right, child. The mole is not there. You are not Amy. Where is she? and where is Drake?
At this moment the door opened, and Drake appeared. He was embarrassed at finding Cora there, and was at a loss what to say. But Cahoonshee knew him.
My eyes are not mistaken now. This is my boy Drake.
Yes, father, I have come to stay with you.
Cahoonshee looked at Cora.
Who is this lady if it is not Amy? It must be her spirit.
Drake then related the incidents of the day and who Cora was, the similarity between the two girls, and the mistakes that had been made in taking one girl for the other, and the meeting of Amy and her lover, Walter Wallace, on the island, and that they were together now.
Cahoonshee grew stronger, and raised up in bed.
Come here, girl, and let me look in your eyes, and read your soul.
Cora advanced to the bed. Cahoonshee took her hand and gazed into her eyes.
You have the same form and features—the same eyes and soul of Amy. You differ in name, and in name only, and he fell back on his pillow.
Cora and Drake withdrew a short distance.
I fear, said Cora, that your friend has but a short time to live.
I fear not, replied Drake, sobbing, and the tears running down his cheeks.
She took him by the hand to console him.
You loved this old man as a father?
Yes, more than a father. He has watched over me since the days of my childhood. He has spent days and nights educating me. He has periled his life to save his friends. And I came here at this time to hear his last request. I think he wants to be buried on the Steneykill.
The old man had awakened and was watching them, and saw Cora holding Drake’s hand.
Lady, he asked, could you hold his heart as tenderly and affectionately as you hold his hand?
Cora blushed, and they both went to his side.
Shall I raise you up further? asked Drake.
Yes, he replied, my race is nearly run. I will soon be in the Spirit Land. But I have a request to make before I depart. Send for Amy and the rest to come here.
Drake went to call them and Cora and Cahoonshee were left alone.
Sit by my side he said, and tell me if your hand and heart are free. Tell me whether holding that boy’s hand was actuated by pure sympathy, or whether a higher and nobler attribute springing from your heart prompted it?
Cora, true to the instincts of her nature, concealed nothing. Throwing her arms around the old man’s neck, and kissing him, said;
Father, you read my heart. How could you tell what occupied my soul?
Before she could finish the sentence, the door opened, and in walked Drake and the rest of the friends. Amy threw herself on the couch and wept as if her heart would break.
I have sent for you, friends, to make my last request. Before the setting of many suns, this mortal will put on immortality. This spirit will go to the Happy Hunting Grounds. My request is that my body be buried on the Pine Knoll west of my cabin on the Steneykill.
It shall be done, said Drake and Walter at the same time.
My books and writings I give to Charles Drake. My gun and other property I give to Tom and his father, and to Amy my furs.
Here his voice faltered. His eyes closed and for several minutes he seemed to be communing with the Spirits in the Spirit World. His countenance showed that it was a struggle of mental duty that he wished to perform before he shut his eyes for the last time.
Raise me up a little higher. Come here, boy. Something tells me that I have another request to make. I may be wrong.
You can’t be wrong. You never did wrong. Make your request, and it shall be obeyed. I have followed your advice through life. At death, and in the presence of these friends, I promise to revere it.
I have something to give away. It consists of mind and matter. Have I a right to give it? Heaven direct me.
Heaven will direct you, and what heaven directs must be right, replied Drake. What is it, father, that you wish to give away?
It is you, my boy, it is you. Here, Cora, taking her by the hand and extending it to Drake. Take this girl, and may heaven smile on your union. She loves you, boy, ardently, sincerely, devotedly. She is like Amy, not only in form and figure, but in mind and soul. My work is done. Lay me down.
Farewell to Earth—Indian’s Idea of the Hereafter—Death of Cahoonshee—Married on Her Mother’s Grave.
Wallace and Drake returned to the deck to consult as to the future.
Have you any plan arranged to carry out Cahoonshee’s request?
I have, replied Drake. That was agreed upon in the private conversation I had with him when I first came on board of the ship. It is to build a litter on which to carry him, and start immediately for the Delaware Valley.
What—before he is dead?
Yes, immediately. He is impressed with the idea that he will live until his arrival at home. At any rate, that is his request, and it shall be complied with if possible.
You seem to have perfect confidence in the wisdom of the old man. Do you intend to perform his last request and marry Cora?
My promise to a dying man is sacred. And as far as it is in my power, it shall be performed. I do not know what Cora’s feelings are. I have followed his advice for over twenty years, and shall not reject it now. If Cora is willing I shall make her my bride.
Cora had approached them unperceived, and on hearing Drake’s last remark, tapped him under the chin and said:
Then I shall be your bride. I do consent. I consented on the island, when you held me in your arms and thought I was another girl. I then thought that Walter had found a prize that belonged to another, and I asked you if you loved her, and you said “as a sister.” Now kiss me, and I will go and see my intended mother-in-law and Amy.
She skipped away like a young fawn, leaving Walter and Drake to perfect their plans.
I think, said Walter, that we had better consult the Captain.
The Captain was then informed of the plan to remove Cahoonshee to his home. He approved of the same, and ordered them to take what men and material they wanted to accomplish their object.
How long will you be gone? inquired the Captain.
That is uncertain, and will depend on how long he lives, replied Drake. I shall not leave him until I have performed my promise.
Just then Cora and Amy came rushing up, as happy as two kittens. Cora threw her arms around Mrs. Davis’s neck, looked into her eyes, and said:
Mother, how do you like your new daughter-in-law?
That is a good joke on you, said Lieutenant Powers.
But, replied Cora, it is no joke. I was never more sincere in my life. I tell you my name is Mrs. Charles Davis, seizing the Captain by one hand and Drake by the other. Come father, why don’t you congratulate us?
For finding a son and losing him the same day and getting a daughter in his place.
Do you think that you could love my son on so short an acquaintance?
Oh, we met before we came on the ship.
On the island. Oh, if you had seen him hug and kiss me, you would have thought him a persistent lover and that he had studied the art to perfection.
My children, all I know about this matter is what I have heard Cahoonshee say, and he had some reasons to believe that his wishes would be complied with. For my part, I am ready to believe anything. The events have rushed upon us so fast for the past forty eight hours, that I have lost my reckoning. But if you two intend to make fast to each other, leave the sea of single blessedness and sail upon the broad ocean of matrimony, you have my consent. But our first duty is to take care of Cahoonshee.
The ship carpenter built a litter on which to carry Cahoonshee, and the arrangements were completed, when an unexpected difficulty arose. Amy wished to return with the party, and Cora said that she would not trust Drake to go through that wilderness unless she was along to protect him. Then the doctor appeared and informed them Rolla was sick and would probably die, but that Cahoonshee was stronger.
It was finally arranged that both of the girls should accompany the party back to the Delaware Valley, and officers were sent on shore to procure horses.
Thus, another day was passed.
The next morning Cahoonshee was carried on shore and placed on the litter. The elder Quick was sent on horse-back in advance to announce to the people the return of Cahoonshee and his condition.
Amy, Cora, Walter and Drake led the way, followed by Tom and Jack and ten others carrying Cahoonshee.
It is not our intention to describe the incidents of the journey home further than to say that during the entire journey, the greatest respect was paid to the returning warrior, by both natives and whites.
It already appears that civilization was moving west, and at the time of which we write, the Delaware Valley, from Milford, on the south, to Mamakating, on the north, was settled by the whites, principally of the Holland and French extractions, among which were the Cuddebacks, Deckers, Gumaers, Van Fleets, Van Inwegens, Swartwouts and Westfalls, who will become conspicuous as we proceed in our history.
On the evening of the third day, the parties carrying Cahoonshee arrived on the west bank of the Neversink River, (Port Clinton,) and about two miles from the Penepack (Huguenot) settlement.
Here the principal people of the Valley had assembled to pay their last respects to a man that all had loved, and the settlers above mentioned volunteered to accompany the party to Cahoonshee’s cabin on the Steneykill, and Amy was congratulated on her escape from the Indians and return home.
The next morning they marched to Peenpack, and from there, by way of the Cahoonshee trail, to the Steneykill, where they found the elder Quick ready to receive them.
As Cahoonshee was lifted from the litter and carried into his old home, his countenance brightened, and for a few moments he seemed to be living his life over again. Through the western window the declining sun could be seen. The leaves on the trees presented a golden hue, and proclaimed to the observer that the green and golden forest would soon be wrapped in the cold embrace of winter. All this was emblematical to Cahoonshee. As the leaf faded, died and returned to mother earth, so would he.
My friends, he said, this is the last sun that I shall see set. To-morrow, at this time, I shall have passed away. That orb that has so long furnished me light and heat will be seen by me no more.
Is this the last of man? or is there an existence beyond the grave? If not, why this distinction between men and animals? Do what I may, go where I will, I am always impressed by some influence—I know not what—that I am mortal. Yet this same certain something convinces me that I am immortal.
This is a path leading to the Great Spirit—a mirror of Deity. And to prove that, it is not necessary to explain how I came by this idea—whether I derived it from my forefathers, or whether the Great Spirit has engraved it on my mind, or whether I, myself have formed it from a chain of principles.
Of myself, I am fully persuaded that I have an idea of a being supremely great, and one, whose perfections and powers I am unable to understand. And I know that there must be somewhere without me an object answering to the idea within.
For, as I think and as I know that I am not the author of the faculty that thinks within me, I am obliged to conclude that a foreign cause has produced it. If this foreign cause is a being that derives its existence from another foreign cause, then I am necessarily obliged to proceed from one step to another, and in this way go on until I find a self existing being. That self existing being is the Indian’s Great Spirit—the white man’s God.
This idea is not a phantom of my creation, it is the portrait of the original. It exists in me and independent of me. Thus, in myself I find proof of a first great cause.
I am now going to unite myself to that cause. To-morrow I lay this body down. The body will return to its original dust, and my spirit to its original—to the Great Spirit that gave it.
I have no desire to stay any longer. My tribe has become extinct. My race is passing away. The Indians of the American forest will live in history only—raise me up a little higher, Drake—there, that will do. I see the silver streaks in the east, and soon the sun will cast its cheerful rays over this beautiful landscape, to be seen, but not by me. Then Cahoonshee will have winged his way to the last hunting ground.
The whole party was standing by the dying man. His mind was clear, strong and vigorous, but his voice was weak.
The sun rose over the eastern hills and cast its rays in the old man’s face. A perceptible smile lit up his countenance, and he faintly said:
It is finished.
Thus died the last of the Cahoonshees.
A rude coffin is made, and Cahoonshee is carried to the house prepared for all living.
What a commentary on human nature. A few years before, the Delaware Valley swarmed with the red men of the forest. Now the last of his race is carried to his grave by the white man. Cuddeback and Gumaer on the left and Swartwout and Van Etten on the right, carry him to the grave, followed by the rest of the party, and bury him on a pine hill, west of his cabin.
There was no ringing of bells, no mock eulogy, no hypocritical mourning. But in silence they laid him away, each one feeling that the body of one of the wisest and best of men reposed there. (See Appendix.)
The parties then returned to the cabin and distributed the personal effects of Cahoonshee, and then proceeded to Quick’s cabin on the Shinglekill.
The next morning they went to Hawk’s Nest, where Drake pointed out to Walter the point in the river where he first saw the float with Amy and her mother on it. Then they visited the Callicoon, the former home of Walter and Amy. There was the old sugar maple tree where they had so often played, and where they first learned to love. There was the towering oak where Walter shot the panther. There was the tree where his cat Amy stood, and just over the ridge was where he found surveyor Webb.
The reader can imagine the thoughts that passed through their minds as they sat under the tree, holding each other’s hands, living over again the days of their childhood.
Walter, said Amy, there is one more place I wish to visit, and then I will be ready to go with you to England. I wish to go once more to my mother’s grave.
Did we not pass near it on the way to Hawk’s Nest?
Yes, but I did not wish to go there then. There is where I lost my best friend, and there is where I wish to give my hand to you—my heart you have always owned. I gave it to you under this tree. Let us go to the grave of my mother. There for the first time let me call you husband.
Walter could not deny this request, although he had intended to defer the marriage until their arrival in London.
The parties then returned to the Shinglekill, where preparations were made to celebrate the nuptials of Walter and Amy.
The pastor of the little flock of worshipers that resided in the Valley, Johannes Casparus Fryenmout, was invited to officiate on the occasion, and bring with him his young wife that he had lately taken from the Van Etten family.
His little church was built of logs, and was situated on the road leading from Carpenters Point (Tri-States,) to Kingston, on the west bank of the Machackamack (Neversink) River. (See Appendix.)
He thought that the wedding should take place at his church, assigning as a reason, that “a grave yard was not in keeping with the occasion.” But Amy thought different, and insisted that the marriage should take place at her mother’s grave.
It was a warm November day when they left Quick’s cabin to march to the cemetery that contained a single grave. The good pastor led the way, followed by the Quicks and other neighbors. Next came Tom and Jack, followed by the sailors and marines. Then came Amy and Cora, followed by Walter and Drake.
As the head of the column reached the consecrated place the lines divided, and the heroes of our tale marched through and took their station at the head of the grave.
The pastor took for his text the words that Cahoonshee had cut on the grave stone:
“Here lies Mary, the mother of Amy.”
Here we have another proof of the wisdom of the Psalmist: “God works in a mysterious way his wonders to perform.” Years ago, the mother of the lady that is about to take upon herself the duties of a wife, was consigned to this grave. Her body lies mouldering in the silent tomb. Her soul has gone to the God that gave it. And if, as we are assured, angels are the spirits of the just made perfect, then the spirit of that mother is hovering over and about us, and I doubt not, approving of this union. From the day her body was consigned to this grave, a mysterious providence has protected her child. And not only her child, but the child of William Wallace, who is now about to make her his bride. My friends, as a token that this union has the sanction of Heaven, that you have given to and received each other to yourself, that each of you possesses the whole of the other’s heart, that you are twain, one flesh, you will signify it by kneeling on this sacred grave. Here, in the presence of Heaven and these witnesses, I pronounce you one, and recorded in Heaven as husband and wife. And may the same kind providence that has so mysteriously led you in the past continue to watch over you. May the same love and emotions that was your polar star when in search of each other still continue to shine. And when the time comes for an earthly separation, may there be a re-union in Heaven between mother and child. Amen.
Drake had been an interested spectator of this scene. It brought vividly to his memory the history of the past. He remembered that at this grave he had tried to console Amy for the loss she sustained by the death of her mother. That on this spot he had promised to search for her lover, and now on this spot he had witnessed the consummation of his wishes. At his side stood Cora, his affianced wife. Were their hearts united like the couple that had knelt before them? He felt a strong infatuation for Cora. Was it real? Did it come from the heart, or was it the influence that Cahoonshee still exerted over him? Was it the promise that he had made a dying man that influenced him?
From the time they left the ship until Amy’s marriage, Cora had been in his company, but by no word or action had she referred to the scene on the ship, where Cahoonshee had placed her hand in his and said:
“She loves you!”
True, at that time, she seemed to acquiesce to the dying man’s request. Was this real, or was it an acquiescence to please an aged warrior, and dismissed from her mind when death had closed his eyes?
I will know, now and here, he thought to himself.
He offered Cora his arm, and they walked to the upper end of Butternut Grove. Seating themselves, he said:
Cora, you remember the occasion on the ship, when all were present, and Cahoonshee joined our hands, and asked me to make you my wife? I consider that promise sacred, and my love of the memory of the dead tells me to keep it. But with you, it is different. I have no right to insist that you should keep a promise given under such circumstances. Tell me frankly, Cora, do you feel yourself bound by that promise?
Cora seized both of his hands, and looked intently into his eyes, said:
Charles, do you wish me to keep that promise?
Drake was not prepared to answer this straight forward question, and wished for time to collect his thoughts. Cora noticed his confusion, and said:
I will answer your question. I do feel myself bound by that promise—not that I made it to Cahoonshee, but from the fact that my heart was yours before that promise was made.
When? he asked.
On the island, she replied. Now Charles, I have answered your question. Will you answer mine? Do you wish me to keep mine?
I do if—
Don’t have any ifs about it, throwing her arms around him. Now hug and kiss me as you did on the island.
He took her in his arms and said:
Cora. I neither know myself or you. Yet something tells me that without you life would be miserable.
Cora Receives Her Reward.
The next morning they parted, the Quicks returning to their farm at Milford, and Walter, Amy and friends to the Hudson, arriving there on the evening of the third day.
They were met at the landing by Lieutenant Powers and escorted to the Reindeer, where they were joyfully received by Captain Davis and wife.
Then the events of the journey were related, and Amy and Walter introduced to them as husband and wife.
Cora was in the best of spirits, and sought the first opportunity to make a demand on Captain Davis for the reward he had offered for the recovery of his son.
I claim the reward, she said.
You shall have it, he replied. Let me see. I believe it was one hundred and fifty pounds. We will call it that, more or less. Purser, bring the sparkling gold.
I prefer sparkling eyes, replied Cora, taking Charles by the hand and advancing to the Captain. I want the one hundred and fifty pounds you promised, but I don’t want it in gold, I want one hundred and fifty pounds avoirdupoise, in flesh and blood. In a word, I want your son for a husband.
My son is of age and can speak for himself, said the Captain.
And he has spoken for himself. He has promised to marry me.
Ah, sly puss, said the Captain. That is the result of allowing you to go off together in the wilds of the Delaware Valley.
You are mistaken there, Captain. As far as our hearts are concerned, that was settled before we started.
Charles, said the Captain, marriage is a personal matter in which parents should advise, but never control their children. But if you have agreed, you have my consent. Set the time for the wedding, and I will see that ample arrangements are made.
I think, said Charles, that my mother should be consulted.
Certainly, replied Cora.
I think, said Mrs. Davis, that the marriage should be deferred until we reach home. A few months’ acquaintance may change your feelings. I fear the promise made to Cahoonshee is the moving cause to this engagement. If so, it might be disastrous to both parties.
While Cora was standing at the grave of Mary Powers she resolved that if she married Drake, it should be at her father’s house, and for that reason intended to defer the marriage until they arrived in London. But she didn’t like the reasoning of Mrs. Davis. The idea that any change could take place was preposterous, as she was convinced that Charles loved her, and that her heart was in the right place.
The parties then went into a committee of the whole, and resolved to let all matters rest until they arrived in London.
In a few days the anchor is raised, and the Reindeer starts on her ocean voyage, and in due time entered the Thames.
This brought to Walter’s mind the contrast between the past and present. When he sailed up the river before, all was doubt and uncertainty. Then the object of his affections was far behind, somewhere in the wilderness of America. Now she stood by his side, his Amy, his loving bride. Then it was uncertain how he would be received. Now he knew that he would be welcome and received as the child and heir of two of the first families in London.
In the mean time, the Reindeer is nearing the harbor, the docks of which were lined with people. The parties landed, and Lord and Lady Wallace gave their children a hearty welcome. Amy was put in possession of her share of her grand-father’s property, and Tom Jones married Jack Frost’s eldest daughter.
A few evenings after their arrival, the mansion of the old Admiral was ablaze of light. The occasion was the marriage of Charles Davis to Cora Powers.
After the ceremony was over, Walter invited all present to the art gallery, which contained many objects of interest, but none were more conspicuous than the preserved skins, stuffed and made natural, of the white cats, Walt and Amy, and standing between them, looking as natural as life, was the dog Rolla. And here we will dismiss them and return to the Delaware Valley.
Death of Thomas Quick, Sr., and the Threat of His Son Tom.
Many years have passed since William Wallace and Thomas Powers passed up the Delaware Valley. Then the country was one unbroken forest, inhabited by wild beasts and Indians only. Now all has changed. The Indians have mostly left, and the whites have taken their place. The flat land from Milford to Mamakating is mostly improved, and is yielding to the farmer an abundant harvest. Stacks of hay and grain are to be seen in every field. The flail is heard from morn till night thrashing out the golden wheat. In every house is heard the buzzing wheel, the prattling babe and the merry voices of lovely maids. Grist and saw mills have been erected, schools established, and passable roads built.
But now a cloud appears. It was the cloud that Cahoonshee had foretold many years before. That:
“There would be a war of extermination between the white men and the Indians, and the Indians would be exterminated.”
The Indians claimed that they had been cheated by the whites, and robbed and driven from their soil and the graves of their fathers. Revenge smothered in their breasts, and at a council held by the remnants of several of the tribes, it was resolved to destroy all the whites in the Delaware and Neversink Valleys.
The whites did not see the danger that was impending over them, or the dark cloud that would soon deluge the Valley with blood and cause mourning in every house.
Most of the inhabitants thought the Indians friendly, and those that were unfriendly too few to make war on the whites.
For this reason they became careless, and went to their fields and on journeys unarmed, and thus became easy victims of the savages.
Thomas Quick, Sr., was now living on his farm at Milford, and had always been a staunch friend of the Indians. His house had always been open for their reception and his table bountifully spread to satisfy their wants.
His son, Tom spent most of his time among them and appeared to think more of them and their savage life than he did of his father and the comforts of home.
He thought that this would protect him, and that if war was made upon the whites, he would not be molested.
But he was deceived. Instead of being passed by, he was doomed to be the first victim. His sentence had already been passed, and the wily Indians were waiting in ambush for an opportunity to execute it.
Having occasion to use some hoop-poles, he, with his son Tom and his son-in-law, went up the river to cut them unarmed.
At this time the Indians were concealed, planning an attack on the Milford settlement, with the intention of putting to death the entire population. Knowing that Quick and his sons kept trusty rifles and that their aim was deadly, they faltered and argued as to the best mode of attack.
In the midst of this harangue, Quick and his sons were seen coming toward them. It was immediately resolved to take their scalps.
An Indian by the name of Muswink fired, and Quick fell mortally wounded. He advised his son to leave him to his fate and save themselves. But they persisted in trying to save him. He cried again as the Indians rushed upon them.
Leave me and save yourselves and those that are at the house.
It was a struggle for Tom to leave his father, and it was not until he saw them coming in great numbers that he fled.
Farewell, Father, Farewell, your death shall be avenged.
Then he fled across the river on the ice, a volley of bullets followed him. He falls. The war whoop is sounded.
Tom is dead—Tom is dead!
But Tom is neither dead nor wounded. He springs to his feet and escapes to the Jersey Shore. A ball had struck the heel of his shoe and tripped him.
In the meantime his father had been killed and scalped. Tom sought the opportunity and recovered the scalped body of his father and gave it christian burial. His love for the Indians and their society now forsook him, and the uppermost thought in his mind was revenge. He covered the grave with green sod, and taking his knife in his right hand, and his rifle in his left, looking toward heaven, exclaimed:
and he threw himself across his father’s grave.
How well Tom kept his promise and how many Indians his rifle sent to the Spirit world will appear in the next chapter.
Tom kept his vow and had his revenge.
The threat of Tom Quick mentioned in the preceding chapter was one that was not made in vain. It was made while he was standing in the presence of his dead father. On finding the body, he turned it over and exclaimed, “dead and scalped.” Tradition says that from that moment he was a changed man. His love for the society of the Indians forsook him, and his only thought was revenge; and turning to his mother and other friends said, “You will see that father is properly buried, I have other work to do. From this time my work will be to avenge my father’s death.” Then followed the vow recorded in the former chapter—“To kill all and spare none.” And left his friends to perform the last office to the dead, and went forth on his mission of revenge. For two years after this he was seldom seen in the settlements, and then only long enough to procure powder and shot, which was his chief stock in trade. Tom seldom talked and then only to hunters or those he could rely on to keep his secrets; except to himself and to his gun, which was of the largest size, being seven feet four inches long and weighed 21 pounds, and carried a ball one inch in diameter. It was an old saying that when one of Tom’s bullets went through an Indian, that it made two windows in him and a hall between them. I have said that Tom seldom talked except to himself and he did the most of this when he was alone, or at least when he thought he was alone. But he was heard on several occasions, and tradition has handed down to us several of his soliloquies. The following is a fair sample of his home talk. He had been out on a hunt and had returned to his cabin in the edge of evening with a saddle of venison. He hung the venison up on the corner of the house and looked toward the east where he saw a full moon, when he soliloquized as follows:
“This is rather a nice evening. Let me see, it is a full moon; a good coon night. What say you long Tom, (raising his gun) how would you like to drop one of the red coons before morning. I would; that would make just 87 red devils that I have sent to the Spirit land since Muswink murdered my father. Tell me, O ye stars, (looking up) for what was he murdered. For being a friend to the Indian, for furnishing them with shelter and food, for being a good man, a kind neighbor, a God-fearing and God-loving man. Father, my father, you sleep on the banks of the Delaware; no only your body lies there, your spirit is here, there, everywhere it is now hovering round and about me. It is continually whispering in my ear revenge, revenge. It is God’s will, father that your death should be avenged. It is God’s will that your son Tom Quick should be the avenger. For this I have left home and the comforts of civilized life and burrowed in the ground like a rabbit. For this I left the mother that gave me birth, and taught me to say: ‘Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep; If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.’ That kind good and generous mother now kneels on the old family hearth and mourns the loss of the living as though dead. Maggie too; God bless her. She is here; I feel her continually knocking at my heart, saying ‘Uncle Tom, come home.’ Pray on dear girl, and when my mission is ended, may father, son, mother and child meet in that happy hunting ground where there will be no father’s blood to avenge.”
Here Tom was interrupted in his soliloquy by an unusual noise in his pig pen. He was always on the alert, knowing that the Indians intended to shed his blood and take his scalp. Therefore he took notice of every sound. It was uncommon for the pig to squeal. This squeal sounded unnatural, and Tom concluded that the squealing emanated from the throat of an Indian. “Some new deviltry is going on; that squeal sounds more like a two legged devil than a four legged hog. Come Tom, (taking his gun) let us look around and see if one of those pesky red skins is trying to steal our pork, (Pig squeals.) That is pretty well done, yet the genuine hog grammar is left out. You forget to dot your I’s and cross your T’s. (Squeals again.) That is a little better, and might deceive a boy, but it won’t me. Tom is too old for that. You had better stop squealing and go to praying for the devil will have a new comer before morning, or my name is not Tom Quick. Come Tom (taking up his gun) let us walk around and see how his porkship looks in the rear.” Tom passes through his cabin and appears to the left of the pig pen. He was not mistaken in his calculation, for there he saw a powerful Indian holding the hog with the left hand, while he held the gun in his right, ready to shoot Tom when he came to see what was the matter with the pig. Tom aimed and fired. The Indian gave one whoop, leaped in the air, and fell on the outside of the pen dead. A ball had pierced his head. Tom placed his foot on the Indian’s breast.
Well done, Tom, patting his gun. Well done. Let me see. That makes the record just eighty-seven red devils that I have sent to the Spirit World since Muswink murdered my father. Let me see. According to old Daball, it will take just thirteen more to make an even hundred. Tom, let us pray.
He kneels, holding the gun before him.
Good Lord, or good devil—either one or both, I do hereby pray that I may be permitted to remain in this mortal coil until I have sent thirteen more Indians to the Spirit Land. Then I shall be ready and willing to depart to the Hunter’s Paradise. Amen.
Tom gets up off his knees and turns the Indian over with his foot.
Well, Mr. Squealer, why don’t you squeal now? I guess that Long Tom has taken all the squeal out of you. I suppose that when the bullet went in, the squeal went out. But I must get rid of you. You will smell bad here and will invite the bears and wolves to view your miserable carcass. Come, take your last leap down the rocks.
Then Tom threw his carcass down the rocks and went on his way rejoicing.
The stories of Tom’s adventures are legion, and for nearly one hundred years have been told. The author heard them related nearly seventy years ago. His father lived in the days of Tom Quick and was conversant with his history.
Tom made it his habit to watch the Indians and shoot them as they went up and down the Delaware in their canoes and frequently waylaid them as they traveled through the country on their trails or deerpaths.
With these paths he was well acquainted and would spend days and months lurking in the vicinity of their haunts for the purpose of getting a shot at one or more of them. Every few days an Indian was missed. He was last seen in the company of Tom, but never after.
The Indians knew that Tom had sworn that he would kill them whenever opportunity offered. Consequently, when an Indian was missing it was laid to Tom.
Furthermore, Tom had a knack of finding a great many guns in his travels through the woods. It was usually thought that he found the Indian that owned the gun before he found the gun.
For this reason the Indians were not only anxious, but determined to kill him. Many a ball had been fired at him, but they all went wide of the mark. The Indians believed that the white man’s God protected him, that he had a charmed life, and could not be hit by a bullet fired by an Indian. They therefore resolved to take him alive, and to that end six Braves were appointed to watch and capture him.
It so happened that about this time Tom was splitting rails for a Mr. Westbrook who then lived in the Mamakating Valley. Tom wished to get the rails split in the forenoon as he had been informed that there was to be total eclipse of the sun about one o’clock in the afternoon, and that it would then be so dark that he could not see to work. The log he was trying to split was winding and cross grained, and the blows of the heavy beetle on the wedges failed to open the log. Tom was nearly out of breath and quite out of patience, and commenced talking to himself.
“Here I am at Westbrookville splitting rails. I should be at Shohola splitting heads and scattering Indian brains. That would be more in keeping with my conscience, than to stand here and pound these wedges. Confound the log, it is as cross grained as a peperage, and sticks to the bark as close as an Indian to his scalping knife. Curse the red Devils, I long to see the last one killed and scalped. If there was more Tom Quick’s there would be less Indians. Well, they are growing less every day. Yesterday I sent five more to the Spirit land. Yesterday I colored Butler’s Falls with blood. Yesterday the hawks at Hawk’s Nest mountain wafted the spirits of five more to the Indians’ eternal hunting ground. There were big spirits and little spirits. It was easy to pop over the old man and his Squaw, but when it came to knocking out the brains of the little babe, that kinder went against the grain. Confound the little redskin, he looked me right in the eye and laughed—as much as to say, ‘Uncle Tom don’t.’ I most wish that I had spared the boy to see if anything could be made out of a redskin. But pshaw! Papooses become Indians as surely as nits become lice. But I must go to work, or the sun will darken before I get these rails split. To-day comes the great eclipse of the sun and soon that orb from which we receive light and heat will be obscured, and the earth will be wrapped in the mantle of night. I see that it is approaching and darkness will soon prevail.”
This soliloquy nearly cost Tom his life. Whilst he was talking six dusky Indians were noiselessly crawling toward him. So stealthily had been their approach that Tom was not aware of their presence until he was grasped by two stalwart Indians. He sprang for his rifle, dragging the Indians with him, but the others came and Tom was overpowered. He saw his peril and knew that it was only by strategy that he could escape. The fact of the eclipse flashed across his mind and he resolved at once to excite the superstition of the Indians by appealing to the white man’s God.
Hawkeye was the first to break the silence. “Pale face, your time has come. The Avenger of the Delaware Valley must die. At sun down you can fight faggot and fire. Now call on the white man’s God and see if he will save you.”
Tom replied: “The white man’s God is the Indian’s great spirit; that spirit is here and talks with me.”
Hawkeye looked at Tom with astonishment. “What does the white man’s God say?”
Tom replied: “He says that Indian tells the truth—that my time has come—that I must die—that I must not fight the Indians anymore, but must go with you as soon as my work is done.”
Hawkeye looked pleased and said: “What work?”
“Finish splitting this log,” replied Tom.
The Indians were so pleased to capture Tom without a fight that they were thrown off their guard and laid down their arms.
What more does the white man’s God say, inquired Hawkeye?
He says, replied Tom, that you must help me split this log and that he will darken the sun until you light the fire about me. See, the sun darkens, the work of the Great Spirit has begun, and it will soon be night at noon-day.
The sun was partially eclipsed and the Indians gazed with astonishment. Hawkeye seemed dumbfounded and stammered out: White man’s God great and powerful. How did he say Indian help?
Tom replied: Get three on a side and pull when I strike the wedge. The Indians obeyed and arranged themselves three on each side of the log with their fingers in the crack of the log.
We ready, strike the wedge, said Hawkeye.
Tom struck; but instead of striking the wedge in, he struck it out, and the Indians were fast in the log as much so as if they had been screwed in a vice.
Tom was jubilant. He now had the six Indians in his power and could kill them at his leisure. He gave one of his peculiar laughs and said: Ha! Ha! Mr. Indians, the white man’s God says more. He says you Indians must die. Look at the waning sun. When that becomes dark, you Indians will be in the Spirit world. It grows darker, darker. Your time has come—now you die.
The eclipse was now nearly total, and Tom proceeded to the execution of his purpose; by knocking their brains out with the beetle. And then left for the house, leaving the Indians still fast in the log to become food for bears and wolves.
Killing a Buck with Seven Skins.
Tom had a great many cabins or caves between the Water Gap and Shohola, and was never at a loss for a place to stay over night. But he usually wintered at the house of some mutual friend, and the terms upon which he stayed was that he should furnish the winter meat. Any family living on the border was anxious and willing to board him; for during his stay they were sure of being provided with plenty of game and living on the fat of the land.
On one occasion winter set in earlier than usual and he did not have his usual supply of venison on hand to supply the table of the friend with whom he intended to winter. He made arrangements for a long hunt in a part of the country where he knew that game was plenty, and in a few days he would get sufficient to supply his friend’s cabin for a long time.
The night before he intended to start, a friendly Indian called at the cabin and asked to stay over night, which was granted.
Tom was suspicious, although the Indian appeared to be friendly. They soon became acquainted, and it was not long before they agreed to go on a hunt, Tom agreeing to take the venison for his part and the Indian the skins.
Game was plenty, especially deer. In fact the woods seemed to be full of them. It was bang!—bang!—bang! and at every report a deer fell. They were soon skinned and the hind quarters hung up out of the reach of bears and wolves until Tom could get time to take them to the cabin.
When they came to count, they found that they had killed seven. The Indian was in the best of spirits, and so was his companion.
Me lucky, said the Indian. Me got seven skins. They worth seven dollars. That buy me piles of fire water, powder and lead. Whoop! Whoop!
Seven skins was all the Indian could carry, and it was resolved to return, Tom to the cabin, and the Indian to Minisink to get powder, fire water and lead.
The skins were securely fastened on his back, and they started. But the Indian never reached the settlement. They had not traveled far before the report of Tom’s gun was heard, and down went the Indian, the ball having gone through the seven skins and penetrated his heart.
It was not long after this that another Indian came to the house where Tom was stopping and asked permission to stay all night, which was granted. He professed to be very friendly, but Tom’s quick eye soon discovered that all was not right.
During the evening the savage pretended that he had seen a great many deer a few miles off, and asked Tom if he wouldn’t like to go the next day and kill some of them.
Tom pretended that he was pleased with the offer, and at once agreed to go with the Indian. But Tom was on the alert. He was well convinced that some Indian deviltry lay behind this pretended friendship, and acted accordingly.
During the night he managed to get the Indian’s rifle and draw the charge and substituted ashes in the place of powder, put the ball back in the barrel, and placed the rifle carefully back where he got it. The next morning the savage slyly inserted the ramrod in the barrel of his rifle, examined the priming, picked the flint and seemed satisfied that all was right. During this time Tom watched him intently and was more than ever convinced that the Indian intended to take his life. But he manifested no particular interest and started out on the hunt with no apparent concern. The snow was deep and the hunters found it inconvenient to travel through it, and to make the walking easier the Indian proposed that one of them should go ahead to break the path. To this Tom readily agreed and started on ahead. A twinkle of the eye showed that the Indian was pleased, but Tom’s keen eye had observed that twinkle and the satisfaction that beamed on the Indian’s countenance. When they had proceeded a mile or two and had come to a very lonely place Tom heard the Indian’s gun snap and the powder flash in the pan, and looking back, asked the Indian what he had fired at. A fine buck, was his reply. The Indian reprimed his gun and they started on. In a few minutes Tom heard another snap and flash. Well, brother, what did you see this time? An eagle swept over the forest, replied the disappointed savage, at the same time priming his gun.
Brother Indian, said Tom, the snow is deep and I am tired.
Yes, brother, the Indian replied, and sullenly took his place in advance. Tom was now ripe for blood. He raised his rifle and took deadly aim at the Indian. Lying dog, what do you see now? The Spirit World, and drew the blanket over his head. You came to kill me.
Yes, replied the Indian, but you have fooled my gun.
And long Tom shall fool you. Tom’s rifle spoke and the Indian was in the Spirit World.
One day in Tom’s wandering through the woods without his rifle he met a young Indian armed. They soon became apparent friends. Brother Indian, said Tom, did you ever see Tom Quick the Indian Slayer?
No, replied the youth, but I would like to see him.
I will show him to you, follow me. They walked on until they came to a ledge of rocks, and Tom peered over. I do not see him yet, he said, but he will soon be along. Here he comes now. You take my place if you want to get a good sight of him.
The Indian cocked his rifle and hastily and eagerly advanced to Tom’s side. Where is he? excitedly inquired the red man.
There, there, said Tom, pointing so that the Indian would lean over the brink in his desire to shoot the enemy of his race. A little further, a little further, whispered the Indian slayer to his proposed victim. The Indian hung over the precipice as far as he could without falling. Tom grasped him by the shoulders and said: Shoot me would you! Shoot me, and hurled him over the precipice. He fell on the rocks below and was dashed to pieces. And Tom went on his way rejoicing, leaving the body of his victim to be devoured by the crows.
Tom’s habit of hiding guns in hollow trees in the woods on one occasion saved his life. Two Indians had captured him near Grass Brook and were taking him off. He seemed perfectly resigned to his fate which appeared unavoidable, and marched with them unreluctantly. His arms were pinioned with deer shins thongs, and his captors kept upon him a vigilant eye, and were ready at any moment to shoot him if he attempted to break away from them. After a while they were visited by a shower of rain, and Tom found that the thongs which bound his wrists began to stretch, and that they had become so loose that he could at any time free his hands. He was very careful to conceal this fact from the savages, and patiently waited for a favorable time to run or do something else to escape. Beside the path that they were pursuing there was a very large chestnut tree which was hollow, and on the side of the trunk that was the farthest from the path, the wood had entirely rotted away leaving a large hollow space. In the opening thus made, Tom had long before concealed several guns which he had found beside dead Indians. He had also deposited with them a flask of powder and a goodly store of bullets. When they had reached this tree, Tom expressed an urgent desire to go to it, and gave such a good reason for the request he made, that his captors consented to let him go. They permitted him to do so the more readily because he had thus far given them but little trouble. The Indians cocked their rifles when Tom stepped from the path and aimed them at him, each with his finger on the trigger, and watching him eagerly, determined to bring him down if he made the least movement to escape. Tom proceeded toward the tree very leisurely, and on reaching it, went behind it and was concealed from the view of his enemies. Within the most inconceivable time he charged three of his weapons with powder and lead. The Indians little thinking what Tom was about stood in the path with hardly a twig to screen them from his murderous fire. Tom afterwards said that he did not stop to return the ramrods to their places until he had as many of his guns loaded as he thought he should need. He hesitated a moment after he was ready to shoot fearing that his guns would “miss fire,” in consequence of their late disuse; but knowing that this was his last chance, he blazed away at one of the savages who fell dead in his tracks. The other tried to get behind the nearest unoccupied tree, but he never reached there, a bullet sent him to the Spirit land, to join hands with those that had been sent there by Tom’s rifle on many occasions before.
According to an old legend, Tom had a very severe battle with a savage who came to him while he was in the field at work. Tom saw the Indian approaching him unarmed and he did not feel afraid to encounter him on equal terms. The savage told a plausible tale about something that he pretended he had discovered not far off and which he wished his brother Yankee to see. Tom apparently without suspecting anything wrong consented to go with the Indian. His quick eye however saw a gleam of malignant satisfaction on the countenance of his visitor that told him plainer than words could have done what was the errand on which the red man was bent. The savage had discovered Tom from a hill near by and concealed his gun in the woods hoping to entice Tom to its neighborhood while he was unarmed and then he could not defend himself. But he counted his chickens before the eggs were hatched. Tom was never caught napping. He was now wide awake and concluded that there was a trap set for him. He had gone but a short distance with the Indian when he came to a hemlock knot which he concluded would be a very good weapon in a rough and tumble fight. He stooped to pick it up when the savage perceived what he was at, he sprang upon him. Then came the tug of war. Tom got hold of the knot; with the Indian on him, therefore he could not use it. A long struggle for life or death ensued between them. Tom finally succeeded and was once more a conqueror. He grappled the Indian by the throat with his teeth and strangled him to death. But to the day of his death, he averred this was the hardest and most severe fight of his life.
According to another legend, a native attempted to kill the Indian slayer while he was engaged in a saw mill. Tom discovered him and arranged his coat and hat in such a way as to deceive his destroyer. While the savage thought that he was about to shoot Tom, Tom sent a bullet through the Indian’s body and his bullets were generally fatal. Thus again the biter was bitten.
Previous to the Revolutionary War, a man named John Showers lived in a log house near the Falls of Mongaup. One evening five or six hunters met at his house which was quite a resort for such people. As the cabin afforded better accommodations than the forest they concluded to avail themselves of its shelter through the night. Tom Quick was among the number. During the evening an Indian came and asked permission to remain all night. He was told that he could stay. Late in the evening a goodly number of logs were placed on the fire. The hunters wrapped themselves in their blankets and laid down on the floor to sleep. They were soon in the land of dreams except Tom, who was watching silently for a chance to kill the Indian. One would imagine that he had shed blood enough already. But Tom thought otherwise. The spirit of his murdered father still animated him. When the breathing of the sleepers showed that they were sound asleep, Tom threw aside his blanket and cautiously and noiselessly got his gun. In a few minutes the hunters were awakened by an explosion. They found themselves bespattered with brains and the Indian lay dead in their midst. Quick immediately after the firing left the cabin and disappeared in the forest. The hunters, after consulting, concluded the murder of the Indian should be concealed, in order to avoid any unpleasant consequences which might follow, if the Indians knew of it. The Indian was buried in the morning, and his death was unknown to any except the hunters, until concealment was no longer necessary.
The Whiskey Scene. Six Indians Roasted.
Near the close of Tom’s life, he was living in a cabin near Barryville. Time had begun to tell on him, yet his work was not done. The murderer of his father still lived, and the pride of his life was to kill Muswink. He was contemplating this tragedy as he stood at the door of his cabin and gave vent to his pent up feelings in the following soliloquy:—
“My work is nearly done, and Indian scalps are growing scarce. Their number now stands at 93. The contract is 100. O, that I could meet and kill and scalp Muswink; then my work would be done and vengeance satisfied. It was he that fired the first gun. It was he that robbed the dead body of my father. It was he that fired my heart and made me the avenger of the Delaware Valley. It was he that made me vow at my father’s grave, ‘To kill all, to spare none.’ That vow I have kept, but Muswink still lives. These hairs are growing gray; these limbs are growing stiff; my work is not yet done. Muswink must—shall die. To-morrow I’ll go to the Neversink and at Decker’s tavern. I will kill and scalp the murderer of my father. Then I will go to Rosencrance’s in the clove and die. There I shall meet again and for the last time, brothers, sisters and friends. In love they will close my eyes and lay me away. There I shall sweetly sleep until Gabriel blows his horn and says, ‘Those that are in the grave come forth.’ Then Tom will come forth with a hundred Indian scalps in his crown as evidence that I have been a true and faithful avenger. But I tire; I must go to my couch and dream of Muswink and to-morrow.”
Tom enters his cabin and goes to bed. Six Indians that were bent on his destruction had been watching him, and were then planning how they could take him alive. Noiselessly they approach the cabin and find Tom asleep. He is seized and taken out of the cabin and tied to a tree. Then they went for Tom’s property which consisted of skins, furs and a keg of brandy. Their joy at finding the brandy was unbounded and caused them in a measure to forget Tom. They imbibed freely and a drunken revelry ensues, and all fall asleep but one. This one was bound to put Tom beyond the means of escape. He takes torch in one hand and a knife in the other and starts to kill him, but the brandy had done its work. He stumbled and fell across Tom’s body, and soon was in an unconscious drunken slumber.
Tom gets his knife, cuts his bands and escapes. The torch the Indian carried sets fire to the cabin and the Indians are roasted in the flames. Tom views the fire from a distance and exclaims:
That is putting the shoe on the other foot. They intended to burn me, but they are now charcoal. But they are out of my way, and I am out their scalps. That makes 99. Now for the Neversink, Muswink and 100.
A few days after this a number of farmers were assembled at Decker’s tavern, among which were the Cuddebacks, Gumaers and Swartwouts discussing a horse race that had taken place but a few days before, when Muswink suddenly appeared. Ugh! Ugh! here you all be; come and drink with the Indian that killed and scalped old Tom Quick. Come along, all of you. The war is over and the hatchet is buried.
Don’t to be too sure of that, said Gumaer. His son, Tom, still lives, and with him the hatchet will never be buried until he has your scalp.
Ugh! Tom Quick take my scalp? When he does, he is welcome to it, replied Muswink.
I understand that he is in the neighborhood and is likely to drop in here at any moment, said Cuddeback.
Let him drop, said Muswink. I can handle him as easy as I did his father.
Maybe not, said Swartwout. You had the first shot then. He may get the first now.
Never, replied the savage. Muswink always ready. Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Here he comes now.
At this moment Tom enters the door and Muswink salutes him: Ugh! He looks just like his father.
Tom was exasperated and seized a chair, but was prevented from striking him by those present.
Muswink continued: Look Tom, I will show you what a pretty face the old man made when I jerked his scalp off. (Here Muswink made hideous grimaces.) Wan’t that a pretty face for an old man to make. I wonder if his son can beat it.
Scoundrel, exclaimed Tom, raising a chair.
Stop, said Gumaer. No blood shed here.
Let him come, said Muswink. I can pull off his shirt as easily as I did his father’s sleeve buttons. Tom, do you know these buttons? (Showing them.) Do you know that I tore them from his shirt the same time I did the scalp from his head.
Tom could control his feelings no longer and sprang for a gun that was hanging over the fire-place, cocked it and presented it at the breast of Muswink, exclaiming, March!
March, where? said the frightened Indian. This was the first that he had realized his danger. He read his doom in Tom’s countenance.
March! Tom repeated for the second time. Muswink leaves the house closely followed by Tom with the gun at his shoulder ready to shoot in case his victim attempted to escape. Tom drove him down the road that leads from Cuddebackville to Carpenter’s Point. There in a thick cluster of pines Muswink turns toward Tom and said: Tom, would you shoot me?
Yes, replied Tom, you shot my father.
But, Tom, the war is over and peace is declared.
Tom raised his rifle and exclaimed in a stentorian voice: The war is not over but still rages in my breast, and peace will not be declared until you die. Die, dog, die.
Tom’s gun spoke and was heard at Decker’s tavern, and at that same instant Muswink went to the Spirit World. Tom silently viewed his corpse for a few minutes and then exclaimed: Vengeance is satisfied. I swore to drive the last red skin from the Delaware Valley. I swore to spare none. I swore to kill the old man with silver hair, the lisping babe without teeth; the mother quick with child; and the maid in the bloom of youth. I have done it. The valley is clear. The Indians have gone west or to the Spirit World. There lies the last of his accursed race. Dog, I will not dirty my fingers with his scalp. I will leave his body to be cooked and dried by the sun, and the scalp to be torn from his head by the wolves. I will now return to the mountains and talk with my father’s spirit.
Tom Quick was not destined to fall by the hand of his Indian foes, nor to be successfully captured by white men.
Capture, Escape and Death of Tom.
After the death of Muswink, the authorities attempted to arrest Tom, and bring him to trial. Not that they thought him guilty of any serious crime, but that he might be the means of bringing on another Indian War. Most of the people justified the killing of Muswink. First, because he was the murderer of his father; secondly, the provocation given by Muswink at Decker’s Tavern justified Tom in slaying him.
But at last he was arrested, tied and put in a sleigh to be taken to Newton where he was to be tried for murder. But with the assistance of some friends, he made his escape, ran to the river, and plunged in, amid ice and snow, and crossed to the west bank of the river, where he was concealed and fed by his friends for two months, and then made his appearance in public again, and died at the house of Jacobus Rosencrance in 1756.
Tradition says, he died of Smallpox. That the Indians hearing of his death, dug up his remains, and distributed them among several tribes of Indians. The Smallpox became prevalent and several tribes were nearly annihilated. Thus, Samsonlike, “he slew more at his death than he did when living.”
Tom Quick’s death was in keeping with his life. He firmly believed that he was appointed by God to avenge his father’s death. At times he had fears that his father’s spirit would be offended because he had not sent more Indians to the Spirit world.
Tom loved his rifle and called the scalps he had taken “his crowns, his jewels,” his passports to the Spirit world.
A short time before his death, he said to the persons that were around him: I am going to meet my father, and fell back on his pillow. When he awoke, he seemed to be disappointed, and looked around in a bewildered gaze: “Where am I? Is this heaven? No this is earth. But I am in sight of heaven. I see the silver lining behind the cloud. I see the portals open. I hear my father say—Come Tom, come. Where is my old companion? (His gun is handed him). Faithful to the last. Where are my jewels, my crowns? (A string of scalps is handed him.) These are crowns of glory, my passports to the Spirit World. Father, I come.” And dropped back dead.
Thus ended Thomas Quick, Jr. One of the most remarkable characters that ever lived in the Delaware Valley. His ashes now repose on the spot where he was born. (Milford, Pa.) And after nearly one hundred years, a suitable monument has been erected, to perpetuate his memory.
The reader may ask, What excuse is there for his several crimes? A conversation that took place between his mother and Maggie Quick his niece, answers the question: Grandma what makes Uncle Tom act so queer, and stay away from home so much?
Her grandma answered: The murder of his father turned his head, and now he is not responsible for anything he says or does.
Yes it was the murder of his father that turned his head, and made him the avenger of the Delaware Valley.
Gardner, in his life of Tom Quick, page 17, says: It was this sad event that fired the heart of the bereaved and frantic son. Tom was transformed. He was from that time forward known as the “Indian Slayer,” or as he called himself, “the Avenger of the Delaware.” Rough in his manners, having been accustomed from infancy as much to Indian as to civilized life, he had a heart which beat with the warmest affection toward all his kindred, especially his father.
The spot where his father fell beneath the ball and the scalping knife of the Indians, was a Carthaginian altar to him. Hamlibar, brought his son Hannibal to the altar of the Gods, that he might swear eternal enmity to Rome.
Tom Quick’s consecration to the destruction of the race whose warriors had wrought the death of his father, lacked indeed the forms of religious rites, but possessed the substance, and no more steadily on a wider field did the son of Hamlibar follow out the pledges of his youth, than did Tom Quick press on to the fulfillment of his vow of vengeance, thinking as he did, “that the blood of the whole Indian race was not sufficient to atone for the blood of his father.” His oath was not violated. He lived to see the day when he could traverse the river from one end to the other without encountering a red man.
But as we have said before, Tom Quick was now transformed. He took to himself the title of the “Avenger of the Delaware.” He who had before been a friend to both white and Indian, now carried with him a double spirit, having no sentiment but that of friendship for the settlers and love for his kindred, he had intense hatred and loathing toward the Indians.
Cato, on a broader field, in the presence of the Roman Senate, and with comparatively little provocation, was accustomed to close his speeches with the exclamation: “Delenda est Carthage,” Let Carthage be destroyed! Those who heard him applauded, and his name appears high in history as a Roman patriot. The appeal of Cato was prompted by jealousy of the rising and rival power of Carthage. “Let the Indians be destroyed,” was the sentiment of Tom Quick. Between the two, as regards provocation, Tom Quick stands upon the higher ground.
Some allowance should be made in Tom’s favor. The times in which he lived should be taken into consideration. He was born in 1734 and died in 1796, therefore he lived through the tragic times of the French and English, and Revolutionary Wars. He lived at a time when an enemy’s life was cheap; he lived at a time when a reward was paid for Indian scalps. Orders were issued to that effect from the Government: “You are to acquaint the men, that if in their ranging if they meet with or at any time are attacked by the enemy and kill any of them, Forty Dollars will be allowed and paid by the Government for each scalp of an Indian enemy so killed.”
This was in 1756. In 1764 the bounties by Penn were:—“For every male above ten years captured $150, scalped, being killed $134; for every female Indian enemy, and every male under ten years of age, captured $130; for every female above ten years of age, scalped being killed $30.”
But we have no record that Tom received any bounty. The presumption is that he scalped to revenge his father’s death and not for money. But the strongest proof that Tom’s actions were approved by the people, and that he was looked upon by the settlers as a protector of their homes and the guardian of their wives and children, is the fact that he was always welcome to their houses, and a plate placed for him at the table. Not only this, but the fact that they universally screened him from the Government officers. In a word, they were proud to think that one of their number had the courage to face the whole Indian nation of red skins.
Such was the opinion of the early settlers of the character of our hero, and time has not changed that opinion.
His life and character has been published to the world. Historians have eulogized his merits. Dramatists have exemplified his life and character on the stage, and the descendants of the early settlers have raised a monument over his dust in his native town, at the spot where he was born to perpetuate his memory.
His historians have been James Quinlan of Monticello, N. Y., P. H. Smith, of Newburgh, N. Y., Wm. Bross, of Chicago, Ills., and A. S. Gardner, of Milford, Pa.
In 1888, James M. Allerton of Port Jervis, N. Y., published a drama in five acts entitled, “Tom Quick the Avenger, or One Hundred for One,” which was well received by the public.
And then to crown all, his descendants on the 28th of August 1889, unveiled a monument to his memory, in the presence of a thousand persons, amid the roar of cannon and the huzzahs of a thousand voices.
The monument stands in a street sixty feet wide, a street which is destined to be a part of one of the leading pleasure drives of Milford.
From the monument can be seen a range of hills extending all around the village. Also in the distance the Shawangunk mountains in New Jersey. Near by is the Van de Mark, which comes from a distance among the hills towards the northwest, and flows southeastward until it empties at Milford eddy into the Delaware.
The inscriptions on the monument are as follows:
On the side looking east: Emblem on shaft, a wreath. Inscription on die:
Tom Quick was the first white child born within the limits
of the present Borough of Milford. This spot was
his birth-place and home till the cruel death of
his father by the Indians, 1756.
On the base next to the die:
Tom Quick, the Indian Slayer;
The Avenger of the Delaware.
On side of monument looking south: Emblem on shaft the following grouped together and united by a shield: Tomahawk, canoe paddle, scalping knife, calumet, wampum. Inscription on die:
Maddened by the death of his father in the hands of the
Savages, Tom Quick never abated his hostility to
them until the day of his death, a period of
over forty years.
On base next to the die:
Tom Quick died in 1796, at the house of James Rosecrantz
on the banks of the Delaware, five miles northeast of this
spot, and was buried on the farm of his friend in
what is now the Rose Cemetery, two miles south
of Matamoras. His remains were taken up
on the 110th anniversary of the battle of
the Minisink, July 22d, 1889, and
placed beneath this
On north side: Emblem on shaft, plow. Inscription on die:
Thomas Quick, Sr., Father of Tom Quick, his oldest child
emigrated from Holland to America, and settled on
this spot in 1733. He was the first white settler in
this part of the upper Delaware, and his Log
Cabin Saw Mill and Grist Mill, built on
this bank of the Van De Mark, were
the first structures ever erected
by white men
in the settlement of this region.
On the base next the die:
After a peaceful residence here of twenty years, and of
unbroken friendship with the Indians, Thomas Quick,
Sr., while crossing the Delaware on the ice, carrying
a grist on his shoulder, was shot and
scalped by his supposed friends, the
Delawares, who were lying in ambush
along the bluff on the south
side of the mouth of the Van
De Mark, and half a mile
east of his humble
On west side: Emblem on shaft, flag of the United States on standard and partly furled. Inscription on die:
This monument was erected by a descendant of Thomas
Quick, of the fourth generation; in youth a resident
of Milford, in age, one of the founders of the
“Chicago Tribune,” and from 1865 to 1869
Lieutenant Governor of the State
Inscription on base next to die:
Done under the direction of Rev. A. S. Gardiner, Pastor
of the First Presbyterian Church of Milford, 1889.
Page 6.—High Point. Is situated in Sussex Co., 5½ miles southeast of Port Jervis, and is the most elevated land in the State of New Jersey, being 1804 feet above the level of the sea and 1395 feet above the Delaware Valley at Tri-States Rock. From its peak twenty-seven cities and villages can be seen. The scenery is grand and sublime. Extending north to the Catskills, south to the Water Gap, east to the Highlands and west across the Delaware, Neversink and Mamakating Valleys; while the pure air from the pine forests of Sullivan County drives the malaria and mosquitoes toward the Atlantic. It is crowned by a beautiful lake, supplied by pure crystal spring water, and a first-class hotel, where the wants of the inner man can be supplied.
Page 9.—Peenpack Ford. Was the usual place of crossing the Neversink River in early times, and was located south-east of the present residence of Peter D. Swartwout. It is now crossed by an iron bridge.
Page 15.—Steneykill. A small stream of water that rises near the “Old Jersey claim line,” in lot 36 of the first division of the Minisink Patent, at the outlet of Long Swamp, which was originally a Beaver Dam, and runs through lot 40 of the 7th division of the Minisink Patent, and empties into the Shinglekill on lot 41; on the farm formerly owned by John Van Etten and now owned by F. H. Maguire.
Page 19.—Shinglekill. A stream of water flowing out of Big Pond about two miles west of Peenpack (Huguenot,) and flows through lots 41 and 42 of the 7th division of the Minisink Patent, and empties into the Delaware River at Bolton Basin. Shinglekill Island where Drake landed the raft is just west of the mouth of the Shinglekill Brook, and the Beneykill is the water that flows between the Island and the west shore.
Page 23.—Charles Webb. In 1704, Her Late Majesty Queen Ann granted to Matthew Ling and others, the land now included within the Minisink Patent. John Thomas and Stephen Crane were appointed Commissioners, and Charles Webb, surveyor. Between 1704 and 1763, Charles Webb surveyed the several divisions and filed the map in the office of the Secretary of State on the 14th day of February 1763. The only remaining copy of that map is in the possession of the author, and it was while Charles Webb was making this survey that he found Walter Wallace, one of the heroes of our tale.
Page 34.—Bottle Rock. A large rock in the Neversink River in the shape of a bottle, on land formerly owned by Abraham J. Cuddeback.
Page 35.—Sand Hill. This was the Indian Cemetery and is situated on the west side of the Neversink River, about three miles northeast of the “Tri-States Rock,” on the farm now (1892) owned by Levi Van Etten. The river has washed the most of it away, and frequently skeletons of Indians that were buried hundreds of years ago are exposed to view.
Page 36.—Handy Hill. Is a ridge of land extending northeasterly from Big Pond to Hartwood. A noted hunter by the name of Handy formerly lived there. The Handy Town road was the first road laid out in the town of Deerpark leading from the Neversink Valley to Sullivan County.
Page 38.—The Grave of Mary Powers was on the bank of the Delaware River, about forty rods northwest of the Shinglekill. The stone wall around it was visible in 1840, since that the bank has slid down into the canal.
Page 60.—Flat Boat. This was a craft about thirty feet long and twelve feet wide, and was used in early times by the Indian traders to transport their goods to the head waters of the Delaware, where they exchanged their goods with the Indians for furs. They towed or poled the boat up the River, and floated down with the current.
Page 86.—Hollicot Glen. This was a narrow gulch on the old Mill Dam Brook, about one mile west of Peenpack.
Page 87.—Spring Brook. In the early history of the Valley a Spring Brook run from about where the Erie Railroad Round House in Port Jervis is, to the Delaware River.
Page 89.—Battle of the Neversink. Tradition says, that the bodies of those that perished in the Battle of the Neversink, were buried in three pits near the bank of the Delaware River. In the year 1847, the New York and Erie Railroad was built through the Village of Port Jervis. In excavating and removing the earth near the bank of the river southwest of Front Street, and about two hundred feet from the south side of the street, on or near the land formerly owned by J. H. Dimmick, and used by him as a lumber yard, three places were opened containing human bones. They were remarkably preserved. The author saw several skulls in which their teeth retained their whiteness. Joseph Van Inwegen was foreman of the work, and Thomas Goble was one of the teamsters. They are both dead now. A few days before the death of Goble, the author requested Dr. W. L. Cuddeback to call on Goble and inquire of him in relation to the finding of human bones at the time they were building the railroad through Port Jervis. The Doctor called on Goble, who related the fact of finding the bones substantially as stated by the author. The place of these pits was pointed out to the author by Jacob C. Wilson.
Page 96.—Skull Rock. This rock is situated in the Town of Lumberland, Sullivan County, N. Y. About one and a half miles east of Pond Eddy, and one fourth of a mile west of Fish Cabin Brook. The projecting rock shown in the engraving at page 96 was blasted off during the building of the Delaware and Hudson Canal.
Page 105.—Bushkill Falls. These Falls are on the Bushkill Brook which rises at the Sand Springs on the Texas property, and about a half a mile west of Rio Post Office, and three fourths of a mile east of the Mongaup River. The Rattle Snake den has been blasted out to get quarry stone. Formerly trout were numerous in this stream, which is located in lot No. 38 of the 7th Division, of the Minisink Patent in the Town of Deerpark.
Page 175.—Yah House, or Hunting House. Was situated at or near Wurtsboro, Sullivan Co., N. Y. It was at this house that Charles Webb commenced the survey of the Minisink Patent.
Page 210.—Fort Dewitt, now Port Clinton. Is situated on the south side of the Neversink River, one mile south of Cuddebackville, and about one eighth of a mile east of the aqueduct over the Delaware and Hudson Canal. Governor Dewitt Clinton was born in this house. His parents resided in the Town of Montgomery, and his mother was on a visit to the Dewitt family at the time of his birth, where she had been detained for several days by a long northeast snow storm.
Page 210.—Cahoonshee Trail. The road running from Huguenot to Mongaup bridge is nearly on this trail and strikes the Mongaup River opposite Grassy Brook. The trail continued northwest to Cochecton in Sullivan Co. This was the trail taken by Brandt after his raid in the Neversink Valley in July 1779, in which he was followed by Colonel Hawthorn and Tusten, and ended in the Battle of Minisink, in the Town of Highland, Sullivan Co., on the 22nd day of July 1779.
Page 212.—Grave of Cahoonshee. Cahoonshee was buried on Sub. Div. Lot No. 7 of the 17th Div. of the Minisink Patent, about one hundred feet east of the Plank Road, and directly in the rear of the Baptist Church on the farm formerly owned by the author, later by John L. Chase and now owned by Jacob Bauer. In 1839 the grave of Cahoonshee was pointed out to the author by an old resident of the Town of Deerpark by the name of Jacob C. Wilson. He was a man of limited education, but of an enquiring mind and retentive memory. He was well read in history, both ancient and modern, especially English, French, Holland, Roman and Egyptian. He had American History at his tongue’s end, and especially that part that related to the North American Indians. He was conversant with the traditional history of the Delaware, Neversink and Mamakating Valleys, and to him more than any other one the author is indebted for the facts contained in this book. The pits containing the remains of those that fell in the battle of the Neversink, and the grave of Mary Powers he pointed out to me when I was a boy. Soon after he showed me the grave of Cahoonshee. At that time I trimmed up a small pine tree, that was then about 4 inches in diameter, which stood about eight feet north of Cahoonshee’s grave. This tree grew to be about three feet in diameter. In 1885 it was struck by lightening, and is now (1892) dead, and only a dead white stump about twelve feet high marks the resting place of the Indian Warrior Cahoonshee. I deem it proper to say that when Jacob C. Wilson died, he was buried but a few feet from Cahoonshee in this secluded cemetery. But a few years later his remains were removed to Quarry Hill Cemetery. I am indebted to several other persons for the traditions upon which the “Hawk’s Nest” is founded among which are Boltos Nearpass, David Canfield and Jonathan Corey.
Page 213.—Johannes Casparus Freyenmout. Was the first Minister of the Gospel that preached in the Delaware Valley. His church was built of logs, and was situated within the present limits of the Village of Port Jervis, on land now (1892) owned by Eli Van Inwegen, on the northeast corner of New Jersey Avenue, and Main Street, opposite the old burying ground, and was destroyed by Brandt in 1779.
Page 220.—Farming. It is the opinion of the author that at the commencement of the Revolutionary War, there was more land under cultivation than there is at the present time. Their farming implements consisted of a wooden mould board plough, grain sickle, grass scythe and hoe. With these simple tools they harvested more grain, cut more grass and made more money than the farmers of the present day.
Page 223.—Tom Quick’s Gun. Is in the possession of the author. It has been cut off and now measures five feet ten inches, and weighs seventeen and a half pounds.