The Project Gutenberg eBook of Ridgeway: An Historical Romance of the Fenian Invasion of Canada

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Title: Ridgeway: An Historical Romance of the Fenian Invasion of Canada

Author: Scian Dubh

Release date: December 1, 2005 [eBook #9476]
Most recently updated: January 26, 2021

Language: English

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By Scian Dubh

“On our side is virtue and Erin;
On theirs’ is the Saxon and guilt.”—MOORE.


[Transcriber’s Note: The nonstandard spellings of the original have been retained in this etext.]
























In the dark, English crucible of seven hundred years of famine, fire and sword, the children of Ireland have been tested to an intensity unknown to the annals of any other people. From the days of the second Henry down to those of the last of the Georges, every device that human ingenuity could encompass or the most diabolical spirit entertain, was brought to bear upon them, not only with a view to insuring their speedy degradation, but with the further design of accomplishing ultimately the utter extinction of their race. Yet notwithstanding that confiscation, exile and death, have been their bitter portion for ages—notwithstanding that their altars, their literature and their flag have been trampled in the dust, beneath the iron heel of the invader, the pure, crimson ore of their nationality and patriotism still flashes and scintillates before the world; while the fierce heart of “Brien of the Cow Tax,” bounding in each and every of them as of yore, yearns for yet another Clontarf, when hoarse with the pent-up vengeance of centuries, they shall burst like unlaired tigers upon their ancient, and implacable enemy, and, with one, long, wild cry, hurl her bloody and broken from their shores forever.

Had England been simply actuated by a chivalrous spirit of conquest, alone, or moved by a desire to blend the sister islands into one harmonious whole, even then her descent upon Ireland could not be justified in any degree whatever. Ireland had been her Alma Mater. According to the venerable Bode and others, her noble and second rank flocked thither in the seventh century, where they were “hospitably received and educated, and furnished with books without fee or reward.” Even at the present moment, the Irish or Celtic tongue is the only key to her remote antiquities and ancient nomenclature. The distinguished Lhuyd, in his Archaelogia Britannica, and the celebrated Leibnitz himself, place this latter beyond any possible shadow of doubt. Scarcely a ruined fane or classic pile of any remote date within her borders but is identified with the name of some eminent Irish missionary long since passed away. What would Oxford have been without Joannes Erigena, or Cambridge, deprived of the celebrated Irish monk that stood by the first stone laid in its foundation? The fact is every impartial writer, from the “father of English history” down to the present day, admits, that in the early ages, when darkness brooded over the surrounding nations, Ireland, learned, philanthropic and chivalrous, blazed a very conflagration on the ocean, and stretched forth her jewelled and generous hand to poor, benighted England, and fostered, in addition, the intellectual infancy of Germany, France and Switzerland, as well as the early civilization of regions more remote still. Then it was that the milk and honey of her ancient tongue and lore flowed out from her in rivers to wash the stains from the soul and brow of the stolid and unintellectual Saxon. Then it was, that her very zone gave way in her eagerness to pluck his Pagan life from gloom, and wed her day unto his night. But what of all this now?—The sin that is “worse than witchcraft” is upon him! His hands are stained with innocent blood! He has spurned his benefactress with the foot of Nero, “removed her candlestick”, and left her in hunger, cold and darkness upon her own hearthstone.

Had not Ireland, at the time of the invasion, been cut up through the fierce pride and petty jealousies of her rulers, the English could never have effected a permanent footing upon her shores. Contemptible in numbers, shipping and appointments, the concentrated opposition of even a few petty chiefs could have scattered them to the winds, or sent them “howling to their gods”. But, wanting in that homogeneity without which a nation must always remain powerless, the invasion of the territory of one individual ruler was often regarded as a matter of no very grave importance to those who were not his immediate subjects; so that from this cause, as well as from, the unhappy dissentions which harrassed the country at the period, the new colony found the means of establishing themselves upon the eastern borders of the island, and of possessing themselves of some of the walled towns, which they subsequently turned to such good account in fortifying themselves against surprise and baffling the pursuit of the natives, when worsted in the open field.

Whether the subtle influences of a common nationality moved Pope Adrian the Fourth—who was an Englishman named Nicholas Breakspear,—to issue the famous Bull granting Ireland to his fellow countryman, Henry the Second of England, or whether, as it has been alleged, no such Bull was ever issued, and that the one still extant is a forgery, it matters but little now. The Pope’s claims extended to the spiritual jurisdiction of Ireland only; and even had he granted the Bull in question, and assumed the right of conveying the whole island to the English king, the transfer was obtained under false pretenses for, from the very wording of the document itself, it is palpable that Henry led the Sovereign Pontiff, to believe that Ireland was sunk in the grossest ignorance and superstition, and that, in making a descent upon it, he had only the glory and honor of the Church in view. So terrible a distortion of the facts of the case on his part, necessarily rendered all action based upon his statement morally invalid at least; and thus it is, that even those who have confidence in the genuineness of this Bull, regard it as utterly worthless, and at not all admissable into any pleadings which ingenious English politicians may choose to advance on the subject.

So inveterate the hostility that manifested itself on the part of the Irish towards the invader from the moment that his foul and sacrilegious foot first desecrated their soil, a reign of terror was at once inaugurated in the vicinage of his camp or stronghold, by those chieftains with whom he came into more immediate contact, and upon whose territories he more directly impinged. In the track of both peoples, “death follows like a squire.” Neither truce nor oath was kept by the English; while their fiery adversaries, necessarily stung to frenzy at the presence of yet another invader in their midst, made sudden reprisals in a manner so unexpected and daring, that the laws of the hour like those of Draco, were literally written in blood. While the dash and chivalry of the Irish prevented them from adopting the stealthy dagger of the assassin, and prompted them rather, to bold and open deeds of death, the enactments of “The Pale” as the English patch or district was termed, were absolutely of a character the most demonical. According to their provisions, the murder of an Irish man or woman was no offence whatever; while the slaughter of a native who had made submission to the Pale, was visited with a slight fine only—not for the crime per se, but for the murderer’s having deprived the king of a servant. From this it can be easily perceived, that a cowardly system of warfare obtained on the part of the English, which, were it not for the quick eye and fierce agility of the inhabitants, would soon have resulted in their total annihilation.

This foul and dastardly system of assassination was but simply a leading expression of the bastard nationality of the invader. Not one, single drop of proud, pure blood coursed through his veins. His degraded country had been in turn the mistress of the Roman, the Saxon, the Dane and the Norman, and he was the hybrid offspring of her incontinence. Consequently, he had neither a history nor a past of his own, calculated to prompt even one exalted aspiration. He was a mongrel of the most inveterate character, and was therefore, and inevitably, treacherous, cowardly; and cunning. Not so the brave sons of the land he so ardently coveted. Ere the mighty gnomon of “The Great Pyramid” had thrown its gigantic shadow o’er the red dial of the desert, they had filled the long gallery of a glorious past with an array of portraits, the most superb presented by antiquity. Before the Vocal Memnon poured forth his hidden melody at sunrise, or “The City of a Hundred Gates” had sent forth her chariots to battle, they had a local habitation and a name, and had stamped their impress upon many a shore. No people in existence, to-day, can look back to an origin more remote or clearly traceable through a countless lapse of ages than the Irish: and hence it was, that at the period of the Anglo-Norman descent upon their borders, the chivalry of a stupendous past was upon them: and having its traditions and its glories to maintain and emulate, and being, besides, inspired by the pure and unadulterated crimson tide that had flowed in one uninterrupted stream through their fiery veins for the space of two thousand years previously, they shrank from the treacherous and dastardly system of assassination introduced by the ignoble and cowardly Saxon, and struck only to the dread music of their own war cry.

Still, although in detail hostile to the invader, no great, united effort appears to have been made to rout him out root and branch, until he had become so powerful as to make any attack upon him a matter of the most serious moment, and had, in addition, enlarged his borders through sundry reinforcements from his own shores. The few more purely Norman leaders that were inspired with some desire at least for a more honorable mode of warfare, were utterly powerless among the overwhelming throng of their followers who had been long brutalized on the other side of the channel. In this connection the proud, revengeful and chivalrous natives were had at a sad disadvantage; for then, as to-day, they were characterized by a spirit of knight-errantry, which disdained to take an enemy unawares.

As an evidence that Henry had the spiritual welfare only of the people of Ireland at heart, and that the building up of the Church there was his sole object, no sooner did he land in that country, than he parcelled out the entire island among ten Englishmen—Earl Strongbow, Robert Fitzstephens, Miles de Cogan, Philip Bruce, Sir Hugh de Lacy, Sir John de Courcy, William Burk Fitz Andelm, Sir Thomas de Clare, Otho de Grandison and Robert le Poer. At one sweep, in so far as a royal grant could go, he confiscated every foot of land from Cape Clear to the Giant’s Causeway, denied the right of the inhabitants to a single square yard of their native soil, and made the whole country a present to the persons just named. Perhaps history does not record another such outrageous and infamous act, and one so antagonistic to every principle of right and justice. Had there been a preceding series of expensive and bloody wars between both countries, in which Ireland, after years of fruitless resistance, fell at last beneath the yoke of the conqueror, it could be readily understood, that the victor would seek to indemnify himself for his losses, on terms the most exacting and relentless if you will; but in the case under consideration, no animosity existed between the two nations until the ruler of one, without even a shadow of provocation on the part of the inhabitants of the other, made a deliberate descent upon them, and ignoring the benefits conferred gratuitously by them, previously, on his own ungrateful land, subjected them to every barbarity and wrong known to the history of crime.

For upwards of four hundred years of the English occupation—that is, from the landing of Strongbow down to the period of James the First, there was no legal redress for the plunder or murder of an Irishman, by any of the invaders, or for the violation of his wife or daughter. The laws of the Pale, enacted under the sanction of the King and the people of England, subsidized, in effect, a horde of ruthless assassins and robbers, with a view to striking terror to the hearts of the natives, and driving them into a recognition of the right of the usurper to rule over them, and dispose as he saw fit of their property and persons. This right, however, was never conceded in even the most remote degree; for, notwithstanding that the colony of foreign spears and battle-axes waxed stronger daily, the Irish element, disunited though it was, fought it constantly. True, that an occasional lull characterized the tempest as it swept and eddied through each successive generation; but never did Ireland assume the yoke of the oppressor voluntarily, or bow, for even a single moment, in meek submission to his unauthorized sway.

It would require volumes to recount a tithe of the frightful atrocities practiced by the invaders upon the rightful and unoffending owners of the soil during the long period just referred to, and especially towards its close, when that lewd monster, Elizabeth, disgraced her sex and the age. No language can describe adequately the various diabolical modes of extermination practiced against all those who refused to bow the knee and kiss the English rod. No code of laws ever enacted in even the most barbarous age of the world, could compare in fiendish cruelty with the early penal enactments of the Pale—so forcibly supplemented in after years by the perjured “Dutch boor” and the inhuman Georges. The foul fiend himself could not have devised laws more diabolical in their character or destructive in their application. So close were their meshes and sweeping their folds, that the possibility of escape was obviously out of the question; as their victim was met and entangled at every turn, until at last the fatal blow descended, and the unequal contest was ended. But more infamous and unjustifiable still, when “the foul invader” found himself occasionally unable to cope successfully with his brave and chivalrous antagonists, he had recourse to a darker and deeper treachery than even that which characterized the stealthy and unexpected stroke of his midnight dagger. He adopted the guise of friendship; and professing to forget the past, lured into his power with festive blandishments the chiefs of many a noble following, whom he dared not meet in open fight, but who, at a given signal, and while the brimming goblet circled through the feast, were suddenly set upon and foully murdered ere they could draw a dagger or leap to their feet. In corroboration of this assertion, we have only to refer to Mullaghmast, where a deed of this description was perpetrated; and of a character so cruel and dastardly, that the names of those concerned in the inhuman plot are now desecrated by every individual raised above the brute, or inspired with the hope of heaven.

Nor was there any mode of propitiating the satanic spirit which seemed to actuate the English against their opponents, from the first moment that they set their foot upon Irish soil; for, when, in the lapse of years, a portion of the inhabitants in the vicinity of the Pale, professed their readiness to conform to the manners, laws and customs of the invader, their overtures were rejected, and they were still held at the point of the sword, as “the Irish enemy,” and denied the protection of the laws that they were ready to obey. In short, every move of the English, established beyond any possibility of doubt, that their sole object was the utter and complete extirpation of the natives, and the subsequent establishment upon their conquered shores of a dynasty from which every drop of pure, Celtic blood should be excluded forever.

But that day never arrived, and with God’s help never shall. However she might have suffered or failed through an occasional traitor, Ireland, as a whole, fought against English usurpation from the moment that she became aware of its ultimate aims, and felt its growing power within her borders. There was, besides, in the two races, those opposites of character—those natural antagonisms which repelled each other with a force and vehemence not to be neutralized or unified by any process within the reach of even the most humane or astute ruler. They were too different peoples, with habits of thought, moral perceptions, and ideas of chivalry at total variance with each other as entertained by them individually. The great bulk of the English colony was composed of unprincipled freebooters and degraded Saxon serfs; the Conqueror having, a century previously, turned the masses of the English into swine-herds, banished their language from court, and reduced them to a condition of the most abject slavery. Hence their stolid brutality, the low plane of their intelligence, and their systematic murders. But, how different the condition of the Irish in this respect. Far ages previous, both learning, refinement, and the chivalrous use of arms, pervaded their shores. Evidences of the truth of this assertion lie scattered around us in every direction. Girald Barry—the English Cambrensis, William Camden, Archbishop Usher, Vallancey, Lord Lyttleton, and a host of others, all bear witness to the profound learning and noble chivalry of the Irish from the earliest periods; while the various educational institutions throughout the continent, founded shortly after the introduction of Christianity into Ireland, establish, upon a basis the most immovable, the truth of an assertion made by one of the authors just mentioned, namely, that “most of the lights that illumined those times of thick darkness proceeded out of Ireland”. As may be presumed, then, a people so refined and chivalrous—so sensitive to all that was noble and elevated—a people who, as in the case of Alfred, had educated the very kings of the invaders, as well as plucked their subjects from Paganism, were averse to meeting the usurper on his own plane of warfare, and that consequently, the very pride and dignity of their arms walled in, as it were, the tyrant from any of those cold-blooded and dastardly atrocities which so disfigured his own career.

Notwithstanding that, after four hundred and twenty years of outlawry the most cruel and unrelenting, the Irish were, (12th James I. 1614.) at last, admitted within the pale of English law, and recognized nominally as subjects at least, so long had they been subjected to the grinding heel of oppression, and the baneful influences of continuous warfare, and so long, also, had the usurper been accustomed to treat them as enemies, that this recognition of their claims upon humanity availed them but very little. Under the new regime, their freedom was merely technical only; for now the terrible ban of the Reformation, intensified by the cruel spirit evinced throughout the whole of Elizabeth’s infamous reign, was upon them, and their persecution, which had so long been regarded as a matter of course, experienced but little diminution through the attempted toleration of her weak and pedantic successor. Still, frightful and unprecedented as was the ordeal through which they had passed, they preserved their nationality, and clung to their traditions, hoping one day to rid themselves of their oppressors, as they had already done in the case of the Danes; and in this way has the case stood between both parties up to the present hour.

Although long previous to the Reformation, the atrocities practiced upon Catholic Ireland by Catholic England were of a character the most revolting, and although the murderous hand of the invader was never stayed by the knowledge or conviction, that both parties professed a common creed and knelt at a common altar, yet the intensity of the sufferings of the Irish, or what may be termed their studious, refined, and systematic persecution, began with the civilisation of Elizabeth. The new creed of the three preceding reigns had not, up to that period, acquired sufficient strength to exert its deadliest influence against the ancient faith of the people, or to be introduced as a new agency of oppression in the case of Ireland; but now, no sooner had the “Virgin Queen” ascended the throne, than the heart of the tigress leaped within her; and, breaking loose from every restraint, human and divine, she at once pounced upon the unfortunate Irish, and sought to bury her merciless fangs, with one deadly and final crash, in their already bleeding and lacerated vitals. The coarse, cruel fibre of an apostate and libertine father, and the impure blood of a lewd mother, had done their work in her case. From the first to the last moment of her reign, she combined the courtesan with the assassin. She was the murderer of Essex, said to have been her own son and paramour; and was, at the same time, the mistress of more than one noble besides Leicester. According to her own countryman, Cobbett, she spilled more blood during her occupancy of the throne, than any other single agency in the world for a commensurate period; while her treatment of Ireland, under the “humane guidance” and advice of such cruel wretches as Spenser, was neither more nor less than absolutely satanic. For fifteen long years she never ceased to subject that unhappy land to famine, fire and sword. Every device that her hellish nature or that of her agents could concoct for the total extirpation of the people, was put into the most relentless requisition by her. Under the guise of the most sincere friendship, her deputies, times without number, betrayed many of the leaders of the Irish into accepting their hospitality, and then foully set upon them and murdered them while they sat unsuspecting guests at their festive board. And yet, notwithstanding her penal laws, her blood-thirsty soldiery, and all her revolting persecutions, the Irish were more than a match for her in the open field, and ultimately embittered the closing years of her life. From the first moment of the invasion, the O’Neills—Kings and Princes of Aileach, Kings of Ulster and Princes of Tir-Eogain—as well as other chiefs and leaders, fought the Pale incessantly: and now, after a lapse of nearly four hundred years, again evinced to the world, that Ireland was still unconquered, and regarded England as a tyrant and usurper. And yet the opposition of those chiefs and rulers to the hirelings and paid assassins of this infamous woman and her corrupt associates, was of a character the most chivalrous. Unaccustomed to cowardly deeds of blood, these proud warriors preferred to meet the enemy face to face, and decide the issues of the hour in fair, open fight. They could not entertain the Saxon idea of disposing of an adversary by the stealthy knife of the professional murderer; and hence it was that their pride and chivalry had ever been taken advantage of: the invaders being convinced that no reprisals of a character sufficiently dastardly or atrocious to meet their own depredations, would be indulged in by their chivalrous opponents. In evidence of the spirit that actuated both parting individually in this connection, we may refer to the massacre of Mullaghmast, on the one hand, where the English, under professions of the purest friendship, lured many of the Irish chiefs and nobles to a conference or council, and then suddenly pouncing on them, murdered every single soul of them in cold blood; while, on the other hand, we may contrast with this cowardly act—which is but one of a series of the same sort—the noble and generous conduct of Tir-Oen, at the battle of the Yellow Ford, in 1598, where, after defeating the Queen’s troops with terrible slaughter, taking all their artillery and baggage, as well as twelve thousand pieces of gold, the remainder of the shattered army was totally at his mercy, when he might have put every soul that composed it to death. Unlike the cowardly invader, the field once won, he sheathed his sword, and ordered the remnant of the enemy to be spared, as they were unable to fight longer, and commanded that they should be conducted in safety to the Pale. In these two instances we have a thorough insight into the character of the invader and the invaded: so that not another word need be said upon this part of the subject.

And in this manner have the O’Neills and the Irish fought the English up to the present hour. Circumstances have, we know, from time to time, caused a lull in the tempest of arms, but the moment opportunity served the smouldering fires burst forth anew. Not a single day of pure and happy sunshine has ever obtained between England and Ireland, since the flag of the former first flew over the latter. Throughout every single hour of seven hundred long years, Ireland has been secretly plotting or openly fighting against England. Not one solitary reign, from Henry II down to Victoria I, but has been marked with Irish dissatisfaction of English rule. Either in the aggregate or in detail, the Irish people have, throughout that long period, been constantly asserting their right to independence, and their unalterable antipathy to the presence of a foreign power upon their shores. And the same spirit that fought the Henrys, Elizabeth, William and the Georges, is alive still, and lighting their descendants to-day; 1688, 1798, 1848, and 1868 are all episodes of the same history; and the volume now must soon be closed. Humanity and civilisation, common justice and the laws of nations, demand that a people who have battled against tyranny and usurpation for seven successive centuries, and who have still preserved intact their identity, their traditions and their altars, shall be no longer subjected to the brute force and infamous exactions of a freebooter who has so long played false to every principle of honor, and who has been the highwayman of powers and principalities for countless generations.

The record of England in relation to Ireland, is one of the most atrocious known to the history of mankind. It is fraught with the blackest ingratitude, the vilest injustice, and the direst oppression. Notwithstanding that Ireland first gave her an alphabet, and taught her how to spell her name—notwithstanding that Irish missionaries had nurtured her early educational institutions and reclaimed her from Paganism, she misrepresented their religion and their learning in high places, stole in upon them while they slept, and turning upon them like the frozen snake in the fable, robbed them of their independence, and loaded them with chains. Every year of her accursed dominion upon their shores has been marked with some new and overwhelming oppression. She has spit upon their creed, broken their altars, hunted them down with blood-hounds, robbed them of their estates, exiled them penniless to foreign shores, banned their language, murdered their offspring, destroyed their trade and commerce, ruined their manufactures, plundered their exchequer, robbed them of their flag, deprived them of their civil rights, and left them, houseless wanderers, a prey to hunger, cold and rags, upon their own soil. Of all this she stands convicted before the world; and for all this she must alone, so sure as there is a God above her. Ireland still lives, and so do her wrongs. The O’Neills and thousands of brave scions of the past, are still with her, while the rank and file of her sons are as bitterly opposed to English usurpation to-day as they were seven hundred years ago. Besides, at the present hour, the approaches to their final triumph are made luminous with the generous countenance of free America, and the glorious conviction that heaven bends benignly over them; and thus it is that they now stand shoulder to shoulder in eager anticipation of the coming hour, when their banners shall yet once more be flung to the winds, as, with a cry that rends the very earth, they dash down upon their deadly and relentless foe, and smite her hip and thigh as of yore; dealing her the last fatal blow that forever seals her infamous doom.

In the order of Providence, a great corrective, or reactionary principle, attends the misdoings of nations, that, sooner or later, exerts itself in restoring the equilibrium of justice, and avenging the infringement of any of those laws, human or divine, constituted for the welfare and guidance of our race. Whether on the part of governments or individuals, no act of palpable cruelty or barbarity, has ever escaped the censure and reprobation of all good and true peoples since the world became civilized; so that in this connection, the oppressed or injured party has always had the countenance and sympathy of humanity, at least. True, that an effective expression of this sympathy may have often been chilled or embarrassed in individual cases by political considerations or unworthy interests; but then the tendency to illustrate it was there, and in this sense alone, it has often exerted a benign influence. Hungary, Greece, Poland, &c., have all, in turn, had the sympathy of mankind; and so have had the oppressed colonies and people of Great Britain. The cruel treatment, treachery and fraud practiced in the name of justice and religion upon the Sepoys of India, by England, have awakened the deepest commiseration in the bosom of all good and true governments, and aroused, at the same time, the strongest indignation even on the part of nations not over-scrupulous of chains themselves. In like manner, the condition of Ireland has, from time to time, commanded the attention of the world; and, through the cruel expatriation of her children, made itself felt more widely perhaps than that of any other nation. When England perjured herself for the hundredth time, and violated the Treaty of Limerick, she exiled to France a host of our countrymen, who afterwards met her at Fontenoy, as the Irish Brigade, and trailed her bloody and broken in the dust. The wrongs of the past were with them. The cruelties of the Henrys, the murders of Elizabeth, the confiscations of Cromwell, and the perfidy of William, so nerved their arm at the period, that their charge upon the English is mentioned as one of the most memorable and destructive on record. But if they had more than sufficient grounds for dealing a death blow to the power of the tyrant then, how must this debt of vengeance have accumulated since; when, to the wrongs already enumerated are to be added the atrocities of the Georges, as well as those of their worthy descendant—that traitress to humanity, whose hands have been just imbrued in the innocent blood of Allen, O’Brien and Larkin, and who now holds in thrall, within the gloom of her noisome dungeons, some of the noblest spirits that have ever breathed the vital air in this or any age of the world? How, we say, must this debt of vengeance have been heaped up since; and may we not, under its terrible pressure, the next time that we have a fair opportunity of meeting the enemy face to face, anticipate a repetition of that glorious charge in every individual descent we make upon her ranks, until we shall have ground her into pulp, and avenged the blood of our martyrs, which has for ages been crying aloud from the ground, “how long, Oh! Lord?”

We have said that the misdoings of nations are, in the order of Providence, attended with a corrective or reactionary principle, which, sooner or later, exerts itself in restoring the equilibrium of justice; and in no case has this been made more apparent than in that of Ireland. When under the frightful pressure of famine, murder and robbery, her children fled her shores, and sought refuge in the open arms of free America, the tyrant who had caused their exile, never fancied, for a moment, that she was laying the foundation stone of her own ultimate destruction, and gradually forming an Irish Brigade on this continent, which should, one day, with a terrible rebound, repay all the cruelties and wrongs to which she had subjected them from generation to generation. She little fancied, that in each individual Irishman that she had driven from his native shores to seek an asylum beyond the seas, she had sent forth an agent of her own destruction, that would colonize, in common with his exiled brethren, the whole world with a sense of her infamy, and build up, on this free continent, an opposition so tremendous to her interests in every connection, that it should command the attention of every civilized people under the sun, and shake her institutions and existence to their very centre. As is invariable in such cases, she administered the antidote with the poison; and transformed the victims of her wrongs and cruelties into enemies and soldiers; and now that, in the aggregate, they assume the proportions of a powerful and antagonistic nation outside her borders, they only await the hour when they shall descend upon her to the hoarse music of their ancient war cry, and, on the banks of the Shannon, and by the Blackwater, smite her hip and thigh, as of old; but this time without generously escorting her broken and disabled ranks to the borders of the Pale, or permitting them, in the hour of defeat, to recruit their exhausted forces, so that the fight may become more equal.

From the landing of Strongbow, in 1171, at Port Largi, then on subsequently called also the Harbor of the Sun, near Waterford, down to the sacking and burning of Magdala, the capital of King Theodoras, in the present year of grace 1808, the history of English rule and conquests has been one of bloodshed, perjury and crime. Look where you may, and you encounter continuous atrocities similar to the massacres of Elizabeth and Cromwell, or the blowing of the Sepoys of India from the mouth of the cannon of the invader. Well may the ensign of England wear an encrimsoned hue; for, from time immemorial, it has been stooped in the blood of the nations: and that too, without her people having ever fought a proud or decisive battle single-handed. Her fame, in this connection, rests solely upon the influence of her gold and the power of foreign bayonets. Scotland and Ireland have been the main stay of her armies; her native element, per se, affecting their composition in but a secondary degree. The muster rolls of the Peninsula, and the supplementary field of Waterloo, have attested this assertion to the fullest. The fact is, her laurels, for the most part, have been gathered by Irish hands. Taking advantage of the proud daring and chivalry of our people, in connection with the poverty and oppression which she had wrought among them, she shook her gold in their half-starved faces, as she does to-day, and lured them into her service whenever she had a point to attain in the field. Through this channel, and through it alone, the fame of her arms became established; the true aspirations of her own sons seldom exceeding the exalted limits of a bread riot, or the sudden exploits incident to some poaching expedition. As a general thing, the English are traders and diplomats, rather than soldiers. Their character for bravery has been won through the lavish use of their subsidizing gold, rather than through any innate warlike propensities on their part. They have never fought for a myth, or an abstract, chivalrous idea; but always for some bread and beef object, however apparently unconnected with the project said to be had in view. In the exemplification of their Christian missionary spirit, too, this feature of their character is abundantly set forth. Wherever they have succeeded in introducing the Gospel among the heathen, they have subsequently inserted the wedge of civil discord, to be followed on their part by the sword of conquest. No more forcible illustration of this can be found than that presented by India, and other of their dependencies that we could name. In Ireland, also, the same spirit has been evinced; but under different circumstances. She was already civilized and Christianized when the invader first landed upon her shores; but in no way was he enabled to totally overthrow her independence, except through the instrumentality of the brand of religious discord, which, for upwards of two hundred years, he had kept flaming at the foundations of her nationality. It was the hostility bitterly fomented between the Protestants and the Catholics of Ireland, from 1782 to the year 1800, that led to the so-called Union, and from this latter period left her, to the present hour, at the mercy of one of the most relentless and unprincipled despotisms that has ever disfigured the annals of the human race.

Edmund Burk was right when he declared in his place in Parliament, if we remember correctly, that the Penal Laws enacted by England against Ireland, were characterized by an ingenuity the most fiendish on record, and an attempt to oppress, degrade and demoralize a people, without a parallel in the history of even the most barbarious ages. Within the recollection of persons now living, nine-tenths of the population were held in a condition of the most abject slavery, and treated as aliens and enemies at their own doors. Add to this the fact, that, previous to the granting of Emancipation, scarce a generation had passed away since their priests were murdered at the altar, or hunted down with dogs, like wild beasts; their goods and chattels seized upon by any emissary of the government, and at a nominal valuation appropriated to his own use; their creed and language denounced and outlawed; their children deprived of the light of learning under a penalty the most fearful; and, wherever the tyrant had the power, their lands confiscated and handed over to their oppressors. The wonder has long been, that, under such a terrible regime, Ireland had not sunk into the most hopeless barbarism, or that England had not absorbed her, until, as Lord Byron once observed on the subject, they had become one and indivisible, as “the shark with his prey.” No more desperate attempt has ever been made to blot out a nation, and none has ever failed more signally; for, notwithstanding this dreadful cannonade of ages, backed up with the final and murderous assault of the Reformation and the Georges, Ireland, to-day, is more powerful and united than she has ever been since the sceptre of the Dane was broken upon her historic shores. This fact is sustained by evidences teeming upon us from every point of the compass. A great and mysterious embodiment of her influence, and a vague and oppressive sense of her unseen presence, hang ominously over all the councils of her task-masters, and build up strange dynasties in the disturbed slumbers of even royalty itself. Nor bolt nor bar can shut out the low mutterings of her approaching thunder, or exclude her ubiquitous hand from tracing, in letters of blood, the impending doom of her infamous oppressor upon the wall. Heaven has decreed it; and thus it is, that, in more than one quarter of the globe the exiled children of her matchless hills and vales have multiplied into a positive power, that, inflamed with the memories of her undeserved sufferings, shall, one day, be precipitated upon her enemies with the most destructive and overwhelming effect, and humble them forever in the dust.

To avert this blow has now become a desideratum so great with England, that all her cunning and genius are brought to bear upon the subject. So long as Ireland was dependent solely upon her own resources, and the spirit of revolution confined strictly within her borders, England felt herself competent to avert the evil day, for an indefinite period, through the instrumentality of the rope and the bayonet; but now that beyond the seas, the terrible war cloud of Fenianism fills the whole west, surcharged with vengeance and the great, broad lightnings of American freedom, she reels to her very centre, and begins to loosen her hold, claw by claw, upon her victim, in the hope that her lacerated and bleeding prey may be satisfied with a partial release from its sufferings, and still permit her to hold it in her modified clutch. Here she shall fail, however; for the people of Ireland know her too well to permit her to breathe the same atmosphere with them, or preserve the slightest footing on their soil. They know her to have been a traitor, a perjurer, a robber and an assassin, throughout the whole of her infamous career. Besides remembering her at Mullaghmaston and Limerick, they had a taste of her quality in 1782, when, under the pressure of the Protestant bayonets of the famous “Volunteers,” she, by a solemn act of her King, Lords and Commons, in Parliament assembled, swept Poyning’s despotic Law from her Statute Books, and relinquished FOREVER all right and title to interfere in the local affairs of Ireland, only to perjure herself subsequently, by creating rotten boroughs and dispensing titles and millions of gold, for the purpose of controlling those very same affairs, not only more effectually than ever, but with the further view of diverting all the resources of the country out of their legitimate channels into her own hands, so that she should be at once the tyrant, and the purse and conscience keeper of our race. They remember all this, we say, and now they are about to call upon her for an account of her stewardship, and make her foot the bill, and that, too, to the very last farthing.

Of course, we are aware that much of the elevated mind and strength which invigorate the Irish element on this continent, in this connection, is to be attributed, unquestionably, to the sublime lessons of the great American people, and the generous sympathy they evince invariably in regard to nations deprived of the blessings of freedom. Time was, we are aware, when the children of Ireland had no such exalted idea of human liberty as they possess to-day, and when they would have hailed the return of kingcraft to their shores, on the restitution of their independence, with every demonstration of pleasure; but that period has passed away, and forever. Having once tasted the blessings, and imbibed the idea of American institutions, they have now cast aside every sentiment of barbarism in this relation, and stepped out on the broad platform of justice and common sense; ignoring the mere accident of birth, and paying homage only to those attributes and characteristics which, in themselves, tend to the elevation of the human family, and which are not confined to any peculiar class or people.

When it becomes understood, that ever since the introduction of printing, and the consequent diffusion of book and newspaper literature throughout Europe, the history and people of Ireland have been subjected by the invader to every description of the grossest misrepresentation, it will create no small degree of surprise, that the country has survived the assault, or that she presents to-day a compact individuality, that commands the sympathy and respect of most of the nations of the earth. Heaven, itself, must have inspired the vigor, truth and heroism which, through a lapse of seven hundred years, have battled for the right against the most fearful odds, and that now arms her, on both sides of the Atlantic, with the mighty resolve which cannot fail to result in her final redemption from the chains of the oppressor. Her vitality in this connection has scarcely a parallel in the history of the past; from the fact, that she has been subjected to a twofold persecution—that of semi-barbarism, and that of civilization also. The atrocities of the hybrid freebooters that invaded her shores in the twelfth century, were not more revolting than those which characterized her rulers six hundred years subsequently, when they were engaged in founding educational institutions, and printing whole cargoes of ten-penny Bibles, for the purpose of pandering to the whims of the age, and doing honor to the spirit of the royal Pacha who moulded his creed to his lusts, and left his rottenness a loathsome legacy to his successors. Yes, the wonder is, that she has survived all this, and, instead of falling into the vortex prepared for her, now stands with her uplifted arm, awaiting the propitious moment, when she can deal a final and irresistible blow to the ingrate that, in days of yore, she had warmed into intellectual life on her own hearthstone.

If there had been anything in the climate, soil, people or geographical position of Ireland, to operate against her prosperity as a nation, or calculated to retard her progress in any connection whatever, there might be some misgivings in relation to the causes of her poverty and degradation; but as the most reliable political economists, and even those unfriendly to the Irish name and race, admit that no such drawbacks exist, we look, of course, to the system of government to which the country has been so long subjected, as the source of all the evils that have so cruelly and pertinaciously beset it. McCollough, Wakefield, Foster, and other English writers, bear the highest testimony to the richness of its soil, the salubrity of its air, and its other great natural advantages. Its harbors, bays, lakes and rivers are among the finest in the world, while its neglected mineral wealth is presumed to be all but inexhaustible. In addition to this, it is stated by Dr. Forbes—one of the Court physicians, who had made a tour of the kingdom—that the inhabitants are of a character the most industrious, and bear up under the oppressive system which weighs upon them in a manner the most heroic. It is to opinions from such sources as these we point, with every degree of confidence, as they cannot be charged with being prejudiced in our favor; and were we inclined to be more diffuse upon the subject, we might quote author after author, and all of English proclivities too, who bear evidence to the suggestive character of the elements of material wealth which we possess in every relation, and which, through the disastrous policy pursued towards us from generation to generation, have been paralyzed and prostituted to an extent that almost defies comprehension.

Why did England violate a solemn pledge, given in 1782, to the effect, that she relinquished all claim to interfere in the management of the local affairs of Ireland, and conceded to the people of that country the undoubted and inalienable right of conducting their own internal affairs upon any basis they thought proper? After having experienced the beneficial results of this policy upon the sister kingdom for a space of eighteen years, why did she revoke the act establishing it, and force the hated Union upon a people, a majority of whom were not free to express an opinion upon the subject, or to resist a measure thrust upon them through perjury, intimidation, bribery and fraud? The reason has long been quite obvious to the world—the manufacturing interests and the trade and commerce of Ireland have ever been and must ever remain antagonistic to those of England. This fact has always influenced the legislation of the latter country, and brought it to bear heavily and unjustly upon almost every Irish project that has been undertaken for the last three hundred years. When any particular Irish manufacture was found to interfere with the interests of a similar one in England, instantly devices were set on foot by the enemy to crush it, or so embarrass it that its destruction could not fail to follow. It was banned and taxed out of the market until it died. In this way, the silk, glass and woolen manufactures of the country were destroyed; the latter having so injured the English manufacturers in the time of William the Third, that they presented a memorial to this dignified and affectionate son-in-law of James, praying that the manufacture in Ireland might be suppressed, as it was interfering with the success of the woolen trade in England; which prayer the king entertained favorably, and promised to grant. In this way, from the earliest days of the invasion, the interests of Ireland have been trodden under the feet of the oppressor; while, in a religious point of view, her people have been held for generations in the most frightful bondage, and constrained to contribute to the maintenance of a Church which nineteen-twentieths of them believed to be heretical, and which had been thrust upon them in violation of every right, human and divine.

Now, however, it is brightening up on the verge of the horizon, and, like chickens, England’s untold acts of infamy and oppression, in regard to Ireland, are coming home to roost. In every city and hamlet, throughout the great Republic of the United States, and in every town and village in Ireland, as well as throughout the rural districts, there exists a regiment or detachment of the vast army of the Irish Republic. No matter how invisible the force may be at any particular point, yet there it exists, awaiting the signal to pounce upon the enemy, and avenge the wrongs of ages; each member of it feeling, within his heart of hearts, that those injuries have reached him individually, and that, without the opportunity of wiping them out, even at the expense of the last drop of his heart’s blood, the conquest, when achieved, would be almost worthless in his eyes. It is with this element that England, at the present juncture, has to deal at home and abroad; and now that the avalanche, after rolling down the steep of seven successive centuries, has accumulated in magnitude and force most tremendously, and sufficiently to overcome every obstacle that happens to lie in its path, ere long we shall find it leaping in thunder upon the plain, and overwhelming those who so long mocked at its approach, and who now so vainly attempt to stay its resistless course.




On a gloomy evening in the early part of May, 1866, and while astute politicians were struck with the formidable aspect of Fenianism in both hemispheres, a solitary soldier, in the muddy, red jacket of a private in the English army, might be seen hastily wending his way across a bridge which led from one of the most important strongholds in Canada, to a town of considerable pretensions, that lay directly opposite, and to which he was now bending his steps. Although the weather, from the season of the year, might be presumed to be somewhat genial, yet it was raw and gusty; and as the pedestrian was without an overcoat, the uncomfortable and antagonistic shrug of his shoulders, as the chill, fitful blast swept past him, was quite discernible to any eye that happened to catch his figure at the period. Soon, however, he left the bridge and river behind him, and, stepping on terra firma, turned hastily down one of the unpretending streets of the town, and entered a restaurant, out of the drinking saloon of which, several narrow passages led to small convivial apartments, or rather compartments, in which the landlord, or “mine host” professed to work culinary miracles, of every possible shade, in the interest of his patrons. The establishment, although not the most fashionable in the place, was still regarded as respectable, and was, consequently, the frequent resort of many well-to-do tradesmen, and others, who, after the cares of the day had been laid by, generally repaired thither to slake their thirst with a flowing tankard, or indulge in “a stew,” a quiet game of billiards or a cigar, as the case might be. From the description of the various pictures which adorned or decorated the bar-room, the nationality of the proprietor was easily discerned. Just over a goodly and shining away of handsome mirrors that, inside the counter, reflected a maze of graceful bottles, cut glass and various ornaments appropriate to the profession, hung a large map of Ireland, very beautifully gotten up: while on either side of it, a neat, gilt frame, enclosing a most excellent likeness of Daniel O’Connell and Robert Emmet, respectively, harmonized in every relation with the map itself. Around the walls of the room, and throughout the whole establishment, kindred prints and paintings were somewhat profusely scattered; presenting unmistakable evidences, that the proprietor hailed from the Emerald Isle, and had no inclination, whatever, to disguise the fact from either his customers or the world.

At the period that the soldier entered the premises, there were some half dozen persons seated in the bar; each discussing his favorite beverage or enjoying his peculiar “weed.” Among these there was one individual, however, whose appearance was singularly striking, and who was taking part in the general conversation with an easy flippancy and keenness of observation that showed he was a person of no ordinary information or experience. There was something about him, nevertheless, that, notwithstanding all his efforts to be attractive, was strangely repellent. His small, grey eyes, thin, blue lips and hooked nose, gave an expression to his countenance which was far from prepossessing; while his soft, low, purring chuckle of a laugh, whenever he made a point in his favor through some facile observation that interfered with the deductions of those around him, evoked the idea, that he was some huge, human mouser that was congratulating himself on having disposed of some unfortunate and unsuspecting canary. He was, withal, shapely, and had an air of refinement about him, the most decided, and, quite beyond the ordinary run of saloon habitues. His complexion though somewhat dark and out of keeping with the color of his eyes, was yet pure; while his teeth were remarkably white and brilliant, and apparently as sharp as lancets. In height he was about five feet ten inches; and in age, somewhere in the vicinity of thirty. He was dressed in plain gray clothes; and, from all one might gather from his external appearance, was a person in comfortable circumstances. He was unknown not only to “mine host,” but to every one present; having, as he informed them in the ordinary flow of conversation, but just arrived in town, where he had business to transact which might detain him for a few days, or possibly longer. This information had been volunteered before the arrival of the soldier; so that when the latter had taken his seat, he was literally a greater stranger as to the name or intentions of the hook-nosed gentleman than any one present—the former having been communicated to the landlord as Philip Greaves, and the latter, as already intimated, quite freely disclosed during the natural flow of the conversation in which he had taken and still took part.

Perhaps there were no two beings on earth so dissimilar in every relation, as were he and the red coat who now ensconsed himself in one of the chairs, and accepted the invitation to take a friendly glass with the stranger. He, humble as the rank he bore in the service, was a young man of most prepossessing appearance and excellent address. His figure, although slight, was beautifully symmetrical and finely knit. In stature he was about five feet eleven inches, and was apparently as agile as a leopard. The whole volume of his heart was laid open in his broad, manly brow and clear dark eyes; and his laughter rang out now and then, at the brilliant wit or searching sarcasm of his neighbor, in such pure and joyous tones, as to be infectious even amongst those who were paying but little attention to what had provoked it. He could not have numbered more than twenty-five or twenty-six summers; and it was almost painful, in the presence of such manly beauty and so light a heart, to dwell on the fact, that the possessor of both, was in absolute slavery, how carelessly soever he wore his shackles. While both these individuals differed the one from the other to the extent already mentioned, the proprietor of the saloon, in turn, presented an appearance as dissimilar to that of either of his customers as did that of the one to the other. He was a man of herculean proportions, and blessed with as commonplace features as you could find in a day’s walk. Every fibre of his frame bespoke the most gigantic strength, while his full, round face glowed with the most refreshing health, and presented at the same time as stolid an expression as could well be imagined in connection with his vocation. Still, there was something in his keen, gray eye and about his mouth, that bid you beware of taking the book by the cover; while an odd word of the conversation that now and then reached his ear, called up a strange expression of intelligence which swept across his features with the speed of light, and then left them as quiescent and apparently unintellectual as before. This individual whom we shall name Thomas O’Brien, or Big Tom, as his friends were wont to call him, although never regarded as being over brilliant, there were those who averred that he not only possessed a fund of good, common sense, but who stated further, that he was a man of great influence not only among the soldiers in the fort, but among many of his countrymen both in town and out of it. Tom spoke very slowly and always in an oracular manner; nor were his movements behind his bar of a very demonstrative character; as no press of custom, whatever, seemed to possess the power of accelerating his motions or inducing him to exceed the steady formula that he appeared to have adopted in relation to serving his customers; still he possessed the jewel of honesty and urbanity as an offset to all this; and, like most large men, was, on the whole, of a kind and excellent temper. When seen standing by the river or in any elevated position, he conveyed the idea of a sort of human lighthouse, or a chimney on fire, so fiercely red was the tremendous shock of hair that covered his towering head. He was still a young man, and, like the soldier, unmarried; although the heart of the latter had gone forth and was in the safe keeping of a charming young cousin of “mine host,” who had emigrated to America some time previously, and who now resided with her friends in the city of Buffalo. Tom had preceded his relatives by some years, and had sojourned, up to the period of their landing, in the United States also; but taking a sudden notion, as it would seem, he pulled up his stakes, and, like other adventurers, settled down, apparently haphazard, in the town in which he now lived; and where he had already been upwards of two years; having bought out the “Sign of the Harp,” as we shall call it, with all its appointments, from another Son of the Sod, who had made up his mind to go West.

Before the soldier, whom we shall name Nicholas, or Nick Barry, had finished his glass, Greaves entered into conversation with him in relation to the strength of the fort, and the nationality of the regiment that garrisoned it; observing, at the same time, that, of course, as usual, a fair sprinkling from the Emerald Isle was to be found among them.

“Yes,” said Barry, “go where you may throughout the empire, and whenever you meet a red coat you will be right in four cases out of six in putting it down as belonging to an Irishman; that is, provided its precise color and texture are like mine; but you would not be so safe in applying the same rule wherever you chanced to encounter the clear, bright flash of the genuine scarlet.”

“And why?” returned Greaves, with an inquiring air which seemed to be quite at sea upon the subject; although up to that moment, his conversation was such as to lead one to infer that he could scarcely be in the dark upon a subject so generally understood.

“Because,” said Nick, “the Irish are only fit to do the fighting; and that’s always done, you know, by the rank and file.”

This reply, although not over satisfactory to the interrogator, seemed to afford infinite amusement to Big Tom, who, with a perfect sledge hammer of a laugh, exclaimed when Barry had finished:

“Well done Nick, and the divil a betther could it be said if I said it myself.”

This unusual and lively demonstration on the part of O’Brien, seemed to attract the notice of Greaves, who, with the utmost good humor, observed, while glancing in the direction of the bar:

“From Ireland, too, I’ll bet my head!”

“Seven miles out of it,” returned Tom with a slight twinkle of his eye, “and, of coorse, a gintleman so larned as you will be able to tell where that is.”

“Well, for the life of me,” observed Greaves, “I cannot divine what you are at, with your ‘seven miles out,’ but as I’m an Englishman, I suppose that accounts for it.”

“He means by what he has said,” interrupted Barry, “that he is from Connaught, which, for some reason or other, is regarded as seven miles out of Ireland.”

“For some raison or other did you say,” returned Tom. “Faith and its raison enough there is for that same; for it was to Connaught that Cromwell and the rest of the blaggards banished or confined the Irish hayros that gave the Sassenach such throuble in oulden times, and that’s the raison, you know, that the sayin, ‘to h—l or Connaught,’ first got a futtin in the world, and that Connaught is regarded as bein seven miles out, by the people who know the ins and outs of it.”

This was delivered in a quiet, oracular manner from which there was no appeal; so the conversation continued to flow in a kindred channel—Barry observing that the regiments then stationed in Canada were largely adulterated, as he humorously termed it, with the Irish element, which, during such times of commotion, was considered by England safer abroad than at home.

“How is that?” said Greaves, casting a searching glance towards the speaker. “I should fancy that the British soldier was safe, and true to the crown whether at home or abroad; although I am free to confess, that the Irish, as a nation, have much to complain of.”

“And how can you separate the man from the nation; and if a people are oppressed and wronged as a whole, are they not oppressed and wronged individually?” replied O’Brien.

“The inference is reasonable,” returned the other; “but as England seems sensible that something ought to be done for the amelioration of the condition of Ireland no doubt the two nations will soon settle down in the bonds of amity and love, and, in a better state of things, forget all their bickerings and heartburnings.”

“There was a payriod,” retorted Tom, “when England could have done somethin to appase Ireland, but that payriod is past and gone forever! Durin the airly days of O’Connell, the repale of the Union and the abolition of the Church Establishment would have worked merricles. These measures would have done away with absenteeism, an unjust and gallin taxation, and would have given Ireland the conthrol, in some degree at laste, of her own local affairs. If the Act of 1782 previntin England from intherfarin in any degree in those affairs was revived, it would have given the Irish a chance to build up their manufactures and recruit their ruined thrade and commerce. It would have recalled the landlord to his estates, from forrin parts, and re-inthroduced a native parliament that understood the wants and wishes of the people, and that was intherested in carryin them out, and givin the masses an opportunity of developin their resources and turnin their soil to account, that is acre for acre more fertile than that of England, to-day. It would have gathered home from the four winds of the earth the scatthered wealth that has followed the absentee to distant lands and made Dublin and Cork and every city in the counthry alive with min and wimmin, that were able to pathronise Irish manufactures, aye, and pay for them too. All this it would have done and a thousand times more; but as I have already said, the chance has been thrown away by England, never to be recovered by her durin secula seculorum; for now the light of American freedom has fallen upon Ireland, and, pointed out what ought to be her thrue standin, and the insufficiency of what she once would have been satisfied with. In the broad effulgence of its glory, the people of Ireland now persave that so if long as they attached any importance to the mere accident of birth, or bent the knee to hereditary monarchy, they were but walking in the valley and shadow of death. The great moral spectacle of American freedom built upon the broad and imperishable basis of the voluntary and intelligent consint of a whole people, has so upset their household gods and desthroyed the prestige of kingcraft in their eyes, that they now look forward to the total overthrow of monarchical institutions in their midst, and the establishment, on their shores, of a Republic in every particular the counterpart of that which now commands the admiration of the world, across the lines there, and which is gradually sappin the foundation of British rule on this side of the lakes, as well as litherally swallowin us up unknownst to ourselves. This is how the case stands now; so that we can aisily persave, that England has lost the power and opportunity of conciliatin the Irish race; bekase they have no longer a feelin or sintiment in common with her.”

These observations, which were made with a degree of ease and eloquence regarded as totally foreign to Tom, actually electrified his hearers, and drew a compliment from Greaves; while Barry, who knew a good deal of him, was so astonished at his sudden and earnest volubility, he could not resist the temptation of assuring him that he was an honor to his country, if not to humanity at large. The other three or four individuals present joined in the sentiment, so that, for the time being, O’Brien was no ordinary personage in their minds, while a quiet wink from one to the other seemed to place it beyond a shadow of doubt, that, in their estimation, Big Tom knew more than he ever got credit for.

When the conversation again began to flow freely, the gentleman, with the hooked nose, turned it imperceptibly upon Fenianism, and the rumored intention of the Organization, in the United States, to make a descent upon Canada at no distant day. At this point, O’Brien put in a word or two, to the effect, that he was not so sure of the propriety of the Brotherhood invading the Province, as its inhabitants were not in any way answerable for the wrongs which had been inflicted by England upon Ireland. Here Barry observed, that although he was not competent to speak on the matter, and had no desire to endorse or countenance such an invasion, he regarded a Fenian attack upon Canada fully as justifiable as an assault of the same character upon England, or any other portion of her majesty’s dominions. The empire, he contended, was a unit and no part of it could be assailed, that did not possess, in relation to Ireland, just as inoffensive people as the Canadians were. Fenianism, he presumed, did not pretend to make war upon individuals, but upon a government, in any or all of its ramifications, that was alleged to be oppressive and an enemy to civil and religious freedom; and so long as any people chose to endorse the acts of such a government by defending them, and adhering to the flag under which they were said to have been committed, so long were they amenable to the party who assumed to be aggrieved in the premises, as aiders and abettors of the offence.

This position was so reasonable and so logical that there was but little room for dispute upon the subject. And hence the absurdity of certain squeamish gentlemen who, before and since the invasion of 1866, have denounced a descent upon Canada as not so justifiable as an attack upon the more central parts of the empire, from the assumed fact, that the Canadians are in no way chargeable with the wrongs inflicted by the British Government upon Ireland. Such an argument to a military man, or astute politician, would be the very height of absurdity. The outworks are always stormed and taken before the citadel falls; nor are those who occupy or defend them regarded with any personal ill feeling by the assailing party, and are only enemies in so far as they choose to espouse the cause and defend, at the point of the sword, the acts and existence of a government held to be corrupt and oppressive. From the difference in population and other circumstances, there are a greater number of inoffensive persons in England, in relation to Irish grievances, than there are in Canada; so that, adopting the very style of argument used by those gingerly or subsidized cavillers, there are more causes for justifying a descent, at any time, upon the latter than upon the former country. The truth is, the masses or people of any country are, for the most part, inoffensive on the whole, and are merely wielded by governments with a view to maintaining a power for good or evil, having in many cases themselves no very clear idea of the grounds upon which the field may have been taken; and laying down their arms at a moment’s notice, without being concerned as to the expediency or justice of a cessation of hostilities. In truth, even amid armies thundering down upon each other at the word of command, there are necessarily thousands of unoffending persons who entertain not a single feeling of animosity against their opponents individually, and who are but simply the exponents of an idea that their rulers deem necessary to maintain at the point of the bayonet; although they themselves may not sympathize with it to any extent whatever. So that it is apparent, that the invasion of Canada was never undertaken with a view to despoiling or injuring the people per se of that country; but for the simple purpose of making a descent upon a point of the British empire most accessible to the arms of the Republic of Ireland on this continent, in the hope of establishing a basis that would enable Irish Nationalists to operate successfully against a government that had for seven hundred years subjected their country, name and race, to every injustice and persecution known to the history of crime. Such are the contingencies of war, that the innocent are dragged into the vortex by the guilty, and that those who choose to adopt a flag and are found armed in its defence, are constructively the enemies of the invaders, and according to the usages of all nations amenable in the field for the conduct of their rulers. Whatever may be said to the contrary, then, by English sympathizers or weak-kneed patriots, so long as Canada is a portion of the British empire, so long is she a legitimate point of attack for the enemies of that empire, and no description of special pleading can make it otherwise. And here we would advise the people of the New Dominion to look into this matter and weigh the consequences of being influenced by any seeming or real hostile attitude to the government of the United States, or the mighty hosts which are now gathering in battle array in the cause of Irish freedom. England is fallen! Her power and prestige are gone forever! The star of Irish liberty has already emerged from the clouds that have so long lain piled up along the horizon of the land of the enslaved Celt, and no power on earth can obscure its growing Lustre, until it blazes forth in the full meridian, splendor of Irish nationality and independence! Let our neighbors, therefore, we say, not be betrayed into raising a puny arm against the tremendous force that cannot fail to be exerted ere long in this connection, or their redemption from the British yoke and their consequent absorption by the great American Commonwealth may be reddened with more blood than the circumstances of the case really require.

When Barry had finished his few observations on this topic, Greaves, in further pursuance of the subject, and with the apparent view of gathering the tone of Canadian opinion upon it, observed, that if all the Irish population of the Provinces were as true to the sentiment of the independence of their country, as O’Brien and his military friend, there might be some reason for apprehending that the intended invasion of the Canadas by the Fenian organization of the United States, would tend to more alarming results to England than were anticipated by the friends of that country; remarking, in addition, that the Irish element must be very large in her majesty’s Canadian possessions, if one might judge from the recent St. Patrick’s Day demonstration throughout them, and the various St. Patrick’s Societies to be found scattered from one end of the colony to the other; all of which were, no doubt, more or less tinged with opinions and aspirations similar to those held by the two individuals who had just spoken.

“Oh, yes,” rejoined Big Tom, “there are St. Patrick Societies in abundance, but let me inform you, that instead of bein national associations, as they purport to be, they are the very sthrongholds of England in this country, and, with scarce an exception, the deadliest opponents to the very indepindence that we have benn jist spakin about. For the most part, they are filled chock full of a pack of miserable toadies to the governmint, which manages to gather into them a pack of rottin, ladin Irishmin who can make speeches, dhrink ‘the day and all who honor it,’ sing ‘God save the Queen,’ and talk English blatherskite about the glory of the impire, the army and navy, and everythin else in the world save and except the wrongs of poor, ould Ireland, and the way to redhress them. Why, sir, barrin a word dhropped here and there, you’d think it was in an Orange Lodge you were, if you happened to step in on one of those societies while engaged in celebrating, as they call it, the anniversary of their pathron Saint; for it’s nothin you’d hear but ‘Rule Britannia,’ ‘The Red, White and Blue,’ and kindhered sintiments, and if a chap did happen to give ‘The harp that wanst,’ why, its the sweet, soft air they’d be admirin, and the poethry of Tom Moore, rather than the low wail for vingeance that was smothered in the heart of the song itself. What could you expect from sich a St Patrick’s Society as that of Toronto, with a gintleman at its head with the freedom of an English city in his breeches pocket, and a desire to emulate English statesmen and English institutions in his heart! Look, also, at the able and larned Irishman who stands at the head of the University of that same methropolis of the West, and whose eloquence so mystifies his faithlessness to Ireland as to confuse you, and almost lade you captive, until, on cooler deliberation, you find that his response to ‘the toast of the evenin,’ is naither more nor less than a superb burst of oratory, robed in green and goold, but with a heart as purely English as that which throbbed within the breast of the renegade Wellington or the late wily Lord Palmerston. Oh, no! the St. Patrick Societies of America, and of every other portion of the globe, are simply whited sepulchres, or false beacons erected or fosthered by the English governmint to mislade the unsuspectin portions of our race from the allagiance due to their own counthry, by studiously inculcatin sintimints and ideas favorable to English supremacy, which can be paraded before the world as the thrue expression of the Irish people, in relation to the red that governs them, and their willinness to remain as they are, part and parcel of the impire. Sich min as the two I have jist mintioned do more to perpetuate the thraldom of our country than the most unfrindly and subtle statesman that exists on the other side of the Atlantic to-day; bekase they are powerful inemies, by their example in our own camp, and bekase there are those amongst us who are aisily led, and who consequintly fall a victim to their influence and example.”

“Sure, we all know, that the Scotch thricksther at the head of the govermint here, could do but little if it was not for such people as Ogle R., George. L., Darcy and ‘the docther,’ as he is called in Toronto; and thus it is, that although the three Toronto gintlemen that I now name, are, I honestly believe, deservedly respected and esteemed in every other relation of life, they belong body and sowl to the English sintimint of the counthry; and if the most favorable opportunity was offered them to-morrow, would never raise a helpin hand to place the green above the red. But, as this is dhry work, and as I have not had sich a bout at it since I opened here, come, one and all, and let us wet our whistles, for I see you have jist made spy-glasses of your tumblers.”


Although delivered in a style somewhat uncouth, there was a great deal of truth and native eloquence about these observations of O’Brien. There is no doubt but the St. Patrick Societies of this continent, and perhaps of the world, are characterized, in no ordinary degree, by the spirit and design to which he alluded. In so far as those belonging to the British empire are concerned, he was right, almost without an exception; for it must be admitted, that these societies are, for the most part, filled with pseudo patriots, who discard all revolutionary theories, and are of the opinion, that the independence of their country, if they ever cast a glance in that direction, ought to be achieved in the most lady-like manner, and with “white kids.” Look, for instance, at some of the members of these associations and kindred bodies in New York and in various other parts of the Union, and analyze the spirit which finds expression in their observance of the anniversary of Ireland’s tutelar Saint. From the moment that the cloth is removed, until the last of the company gyrates out of the room to his carriage, we have nothing but a war of eloquence between rival politicians who are candidates for municipal or other lucrative honors, or a subtle bid for Irish support through some adroit manoeuvre, by which an adversary is, for the time being, thrown into the shade. To be sure, Mr. Richard This or Mr. John That, may occasionally give us a taste of his research and learning, in a re-hash from the “Annals of the Four Masters,” or from some of the leading periodicals of the day; and we may, in addition, be treated to an original poem touching Ireland from some of the various up-hill-workers of the Muses, with whom the great mercantile centre abounds; but as to anything practical relative to the amelioration of the wretched condition of the country in whose name they assemble upon such occasions, that is simply out of the question; all parties, as a general thing, satisfying themselves with a hacknied and stereotyped enumeration of her wrongs, and the usual bland denunciations of her oppressors.

And here we give an illustration of St. Patrick Societies under their most patriotic aspect; for the power of speech which characterizes, this great Commonwealth, and our total immunity from English persecution, enable the spirit which actuates these societies, beneath the skull and cross bones of St. George, to be a little more patriotic here, in its language at least, than it dares to be in any portion of the dominions of England. Still, its positive antagonism to Irish independence, under the British flag, is scarcely more reprehensible than its negative influence in the same direction under the Stars and Stripes; so that Ireland, suffering at their hands alike, might with every degree of justice place them in the same category.

After all, it is the masses that free a nation, and thank God for it. A leader may in vain look for a host to follow him, but a host never in vain for a leader, and hence the defection of a few prominent men from the great, Irish national idea which now so moves this continent, and commands the attention of the world, amounts to but little save sorrow at the stigma it casts upon our race. The rank and file of our people are true to the spirit that fired the O’Neill’s and the Geraldines of old; and this being the case, the freedom of Ireland is secured beyond any possible contingency—England is brought to bay at home and abroad. The mighty embodiments of Irish power and patriotism, yclept Fenianism, stalks forth through the empire with an uplifted glaive in its hand, and no one can say how soon or where the swift stroke of destruction shall fall. Its presence fills with gloomy alarm every nook and corner of the land, and paralyzes all the energies of the oppressor. Through its overwhelming influence, the most cherished institutions of the usurper are being overthrown, and the crown and mace all but converted into baubles. It has destroyed the power and prestige of a hereditary aristocracy, and thrown, in a measure, the whole government of the land into the hands of Commoners. The privileged classes, no longer oracular, recede before it, and a great democratic idea occupies the ground upon which they stood—in short, illuminated and impelled by the glorious spirit and impulses which moved the immortal founders of this grand Republic of the West, it has gone forth to avenge and to conquer, and to build up upon the shores of the Old World such a grateful monument to the genius of American freedom, as shall, from its lofty summit, pour its radiance over the darkest valleys of Central Europe, until the frozen grasp of despotism yields to its magic touch and the chains shall fall from the bleeding limbs of millions, who on emerging from the valley and shadow of death into the pure sunlight of liberty, shall sing paeans in honor of the great American people who first taught humanity to the nations of the earth.

When all present had done justice to O’Brien’s proffered “treat,” and when Greaves seemed to be moved to a friendly view of Irish nationality, in a gap in some desultory conversation that happened to occur casually, this latter worthy asked whether he could be accommodated with a room at “The Harp,” while he remained in town, as he was a stranger in a great measure, and having accidentally, as he said, made the acquaintance of one he believed to be an agreeable landlord. Tom replied in the affirmative; for, in connection with the saloon business, he kept a few boarders and had, besides, ample accommodation for more than one occasional guest. Soon then, Greaves, who was to send the following morning to the railroad station for his luggage, picked up a small traveling bag by his side, asked to be shown to his room, as he professed to be somewhat tired, and bidding the company “good night,” while shaking hands with Barry, disappeared with Tom down the long passage which led to his sleeping apartment on the floor above.

When O’Brien returned to the bar, half a dozen more of his usual customers had dropped in to exchange a kindly word with him, and taste his newest “on tap.” Before reaching the counter, however, and just as he was passing Barry, he whispered something in the ear of the latter, which seemed to arrest his attention, and to which he appeared to answer with a significant nod and peculiar expression of countenance. Barry being off duty, and having received permission to remain in town all night, paid no regard to the nine o’clock drums and fifes audible from the garrison; and although quite an abstemious young fellow, he made himself sufficiently social with the new comers, most of whom were acquaintances. The remainder of the evening was passed in the usual bar-room style; although the conversation for the most part, turned upon the wrongs of Ireland and the mode of redressing them. Now that Greaves had retired, there appeared to be less restraint upon the few who had been a witness of the observations he had made upon the subject, for they one and all seemed to flow into the common channel of sympathy, so largely occupied by O’Brien in this connection. In addition, one of them ventured to remark, that although Greaves pretended to be an Englishman, he was evidently no such thing; for on more than one occasion, he gave utterance to expressions that were not only purely Irish, but tinged with a genuine Irish accent and native peculiarity, that no mere accident could account for, and which was, without doubt, the genuine thing itself peeping out at the elbows of a foreign dress. This idea seemed to find favor with O’Brien, although Barry was not impressed with its correctness, from the fact, no doubt, of his constant intercommunication with the English and Irish element that was so jumbled up in his company.

As it became later, the party began to drop off, until about twelve o’clock, up went the shutters and round went the heavy key in the bar-room door—all having disappeared at the latter period, save Barry and one of his most intimate friends who seemed loath to leave, and inclined to take another glass. No sooner then, were the doors and windows securely fastened, and the gas extinguished, than both these parties accompanied by Tom with a bed-room lamp in his hand, proceeded to a small and comfortable apartment which was sacred to the foot of every individual who was not a tried friend of O’Brien. Here all three seated themselves beside a comfortable coal fire that burned brightly in the grate: when Tom, on extinguishing the lamp, after having lit the jet of gas that hung in the centre of the room, exclaimed:—

“Nick, my name’s not Tom O’Brien, or we have got the divil up-stairs!—but what he’s up to it’s hard to say: although I thought it was jist as well to let him take up his quarthers here, seem that I’ll be able to keep an eye on him—now that the times are becomin sarious.”

“Certainly,” replied Barry, “his appearance is far from prepossessing, but you know, Tom, it’s not always safe to judge a man by this criterion.”

“That’s thrue,” returned the other, “but didn’t you hear the fella how he wanted to sift you about the Irish sintiment of the garrison, as well as lade us out upon the feelins of the Irish in gineral throughout the Province?”

“I did, of course,” answered Nick, “but really thought that the gentleman, being a stranger, was simply asking for information’s sake only, and had no ulterior object in view.”

“I agree with you, O’Brien,” interrupted the third party, who was named Burk, and who had been in the saloon during the period Greaves was present, “there can be nothing good in so cunning a face; but what is the real news to-night, and have you heard from New York or Buffalo?”

“I have harde from both places,” returned Tom, “and everythin looks well; but how are things here, and are you all prepared to assist the invading army when they cross the lines; and what number of men can we fairly count upon?”

“It has, I believe, been ascertained beyond a shadow of doubt,” replied Burk, “that there are upwards of one hundred thousand men throughout the Provinces who would at once rush to arms if they found the flag of the Irish Republic firmly planted at any one point within our borders; while it is known or believed, that more than twice that number would follow in their wake, if Toronto was once in the hands of the invaders. In fact, Toronto and Montreal once taken, the day is ours, for we should have the French almost to a man, no matter what Monsieur George Etienne or Master John Alexander may say to the contrary. Canada is evidently tired of British rule, and is only kept from kicking over the traces by a pack of government officials who hold the purse strings, and a subsidized press that destroys the homogeneity of the people, by making them doubt each other, and impressing every man disaffected to the Crown, with the idea that every other individual Colonist, or nearly so, is opposed to him. In this way, the sentiment of independence which underlies the nine tenths of our population is obstructed and embarrassed, and one man prompted to look with distrust upon another, although both may entertain precisely the same sentiments in relation to the desirability of throwing off the British yoke. As to how the army stands, Nick here can tell you more about that than I can.”

“The army,” said Barry, “is just as you might expect it to be. The Irish who compose it in part, are, as you know, not British soldiers from choice, but from necessity. They had no resource between starvation and a red coat; so that their oath of allegiance to the English Crown may be said to have been exacted from them under pain of death. For ages, their country had been devastated and plundered by the power that now holds them in special thrall, and the means of existence wrested from them through the inhuman exactions of a tyrannical government. Their name and race had been banned, their humble homesteads razed to the ground, and their families scattered, naked and hungry, throughout the length and breadth of the land, or exiled to foreign shores. The stranger had stolen in on their hearthstone, robbed them of their lands, goods and chattles, usurped their powers of local legislation, and then closed every door to preferment against them, leaving them without a hope or a crust for the future, on their own shores. Under this horrible pressure, thousands of them necessarily gave way and fell victims to those gaunt recruiting sergeants of the government—Hunger and Rags. Unable to earn wherewithal to keep body and soul together at their own doors, or within their own borders, and perceiving that the commerce, the manufactures and all the native resource of their country were crushed to the earth, beneath the relentless heel of the oppressor, they fell into the pit-fall dug for them by an accursed perjurer and traitor, and, in obedience to the first law of nature, assumed her livery, and swore allegiance to her flag. But think you that either God or man attaches the slightest importance to an oath exacted under such circumstances? Here am I, Nick Barry, now in the service of the usurper, and driven into it with tears in my eyes and rebellion in my heart, and do you suppose that I regard my oath as other than an additional incentive to plot the downfall of the infamous tyrant and robber who hounded me into swallowing it, and who, to-day, keeps the girl I love out of her mother’s property, that, on a mere technicality, was laid hold of, and thrown into chancery, by a villainous and traitorous relative, long in the secret service of the government at home, when he found the poor, young thing an orphan, and without a wealthy friend in the world to back her, and that too, upon a claim that hadn’t a leg to stand upon, as everybody knew? My soldier-life, and his continued absence in England, prevented my meeting the villain before he died; but as he has left the suit to his son, who, I learn, is no better than he was himself, and is also a great hanger on about the Castle of Dublin, I am in hopes of one day or other meeting this same gentleman, who purports to represent the old villain in this case, when, no matter how the chancery suit may go, I shall hold him to a severe reckoning for the injustice and hardships to which she has been so long subjected through their joint instrumentality. But why should she complain any more than Tom there, whose father’s side of the house, once powerful and wealthy, in the west of Ireland, have been all but beggared through the same infamous government, and their accursed agents, who had plundered them of every acre they possessed, and exiled the bravest and best of them to these distant shores?”

These few observations were made with an earnestness and vehemence that showed how fierce and hostile the blood that boiled in the veins of the speaker. Nor was there any appeal from the inexorable logic of his remarks. From the inhuman manner in which England has, for seven centuries preyed upon the vitals of Ireland, and plundered and expatriated her children, the latter are morally absolved from all allegiance or fidelity to her, no matter what the circumstances of their plighted faith. No man should be bound by oaths or obligations, to maintain the supremacy or defend the interests of a tyrant, exacted under an inhuman pressure or in the presence of such an alternative as the poor Irish recruit is subject to, namely, that of enlisting or starving. How can any Irish soldier, possessed of a single spark of pride or patriotism, and wearing the queen of England’s livery to-day, be other than the deadly enemy of the representative of a people who have laid his country waste, murdered his kindred and left him and millions of his race without a roof to cover them on their own native shores? How can he gaze with any degree of enthusiasm or pleasure upon the blood-stained rag that waved over Mullaghmast, that was perjured at Limerick, and that endorsed with its baleful glare all the demoniacal atrocities of the Penal Laws? “Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God”—therefore the children of Ireland who have been so long trodden in the dust under the feet of an usurper, are but obeying the dictates of heaven and of humanity, when, by every means within the boundaries of civilization, they endeavor to encompass not only their own redemption from the bonds of the oppressor, but the total destruction of his power in every connection. Ireland owes no allegiance to England. For seven hundred years she has been crying out against the colony of foreign bayonets that have kept her in bondage and reduced her to beggary. For one single hour, throughout the whole of that long period, she has never voluntarily accepted the condition of her thraldom, or bowed submissively beneath the British yoke. She therefore cannot be regarded in the light of a conquered nation, but must be looked upon as still engaged in the deadly and mortal contest, whose first field was fought long years ago, between the Anglo-Norman freebooters and the Fenians of Cuan-na-Groith, or the Harbor of the Sun, when Strongbow, at the instance of the second Henry, made an unprovoked descent upon her shores.

“Yes,” replied Tom, when Barry had finished, “both I and mine have felt the cruel fangs of the despoiler; but, sure, where is the use of singlin out ourselves, when the whole of the thrue native Irish—which manes the nineteenth twintieths of the kingdoms-are jist as badly off. The quarrel is not yours nor mine, nor the grievances naither. Both belong to every man, woman and child possessed of a pure dhrop of Irish blood in their veins; for all have suffered alike, as far as that is consarned. And, now, all that has to be done on the head of it, is jist to wait the nick of time that we are all expectin, and then, with one well directed and united blow, dash the tyrant to the ground on this side of the Atlantic, and thrust to Providence, the sympathy of the great American people and our own sthrong arms and hearts for the rest.”

“Quebec and the fort beyond there,” observed Burk, “may give us some trouble; but further than this, from what has been ascertained of the Province generally, there is little to be apprehended. The intimate business relations and the intermarriages between the Canadians and the people of the United States, will exercise a most powerful influence in the case, while the manner in which both the English and Canadian Governments fomented the recent civil war on the other side of the lines, cannot fail to have embittered the American people against the British Flag, wherever it is to be found. The treacherous attack of England upon the existance of the Republic, in subsidizing the South with arms and money, and in destroying, as she did for a considerable period, the American carrying trade, through the instrumentality of pirates built and fitted out in her own ship-yards and docks, will now afford the American government an opportunity of paying her off in kind, through permitting Fenianism to pursue its course without interruption, until the Provinces become part and parcel of the Union, when they have served as a basis of operation for the purpose of fitting out expeditions against the arch enemy of Ireland and of human freedom, and contributed to the final redemption of that oppressed country from the bonds in which it has so long lain. Surely, what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander; and if England, through the House of Commons, cheered the Alabama when her destructive qualities were described before that body by Mr. Laird, and, after having built the pirate, sent her out to make war upon the North when it was in sore trouble—surely, I say, America will not be over anxious to throw obstructions in the way of any party who may take in hand the chastisement of such an infamous power, no matter what the grounds of the quarrel. But when it comes to be understood that for the last ninety years, and up to a very recent period, England has been the deadly defamer and the secret or avowed enemy of America and American institutions—when it comes to be understood, that the statesmen, the business men and the wives and daughters of the citizens of the American Commonwealth, ever since the immortal Washington won the day for the oppressed of the whole world, have been subjected to the sneers and jibes of the English aristocracy and press, and held up to the ridicule of despotic Europe—when this comes to be understood, I repeat, in connection with the fact, that the cause of Ireland is the cause of human liberty and of republican institutions, there will be but little fear of America stepping out of her way to uphold the skull and cross-bones of St. George, either on this or on the other side of the Atlantic ocean, or, in fact, in any portion of the globe.”

“Nor will the clear-sighted children of the Republic be cajoled into a friendly attitude towards this blood-thirsty dastard, because that, in the feebleness and fear that have now overtaken her, she essays to gloze over the infamous acts of which she stands convicted before the nations, and assumes an air of friendship towards them. Had the Union fallen, through her infernal machinations, not a city throughout her dominions but would have blazed with joyful illuminations at the result; while her government would again introduce the impressments of 1812. Even when the slightest reverse was suffered by the arms of the North, the news was heralded throughout the whole of England with tokens of the most intense satisfaction; while both her people and statesmen took a fiendish delight in referring to the Commonwealth as “the late United States!” All this, I say, will influence, and ought to influence, America in favor of the independence of Ireland, and prevent the American people from regarding the present pusillanimous blandishments of John Bull as other than simply the result of cowardice, and an attempt to propitiate a great power that had survived his infernal machinations, and now looms up a just and mighty avenger before him. So long then, as England is permitted to hold Ireland, that is battling for her rights, in chains, or to taint permanently the pure atmosphere of this free continent, so long will the Stars and Stripes shine with subdued lustre, and the memory of the immortal heroes of ‘76 be but half honored, by those who are pledged to defend it to the death in the sight of both God and man.”

“As to Quebec and the other garrisons down this way,” observed Barry, “when Hamilton and Toronto are in the hands of the Army of the Irish Republic, they will be easily managed. None of the strongholds are proof against Irish sympathizers, in their vicinity. This I know to be true. Every genuine Irishman within easy hailing distance of the garrison at Quebec, has more than one tried friend within its walls; and so of the other strongholds along the St. Lawrence and lakes. But supposing, for argument’s sake, that any of those forts should take it into its head to stand a siege, where would it be when invested with such an army as Fenianism can now put into the field, composed of thousands upon thousands of veterans who are still grim with blood and smoke from the terrible fields of the South? What, too, would your militia do, with their holiday legs and maiden swords, against the men who fought at Cold Harbor, Gettysburg or Bull Run? Why the one-fourth of the force which it is said Fenianism has at its command, would sweep Canada like a tornado from Sanwich to Gaspe, and be recruited every yard of the road, besides; while the instant one signal victory was won by them, the government of the United States would at once acknowledge them as belligerants. This, I believe, is the true state of the case; and if the Fenian organization across the lines, and here amongst us, possess honest, brave and competent leaders, the overthrow of England in the Provinces cannot fail to be achieved; for, after all, she has no secure footing in the hearts of the masses, and enjoys nothing but a mere official existence here, under the protection of her guns, and through the instrumentality of a corrupt government and a hireling press. But as it is getting well up in the small hours, and as I feel I need some rest, I think I’ll take another tumbler, if you only join me, and then turn in.”


When young Barry spoke of the girl of his love, he referred to Kate McCarthy, now in her twentieth year, and certainly one of the most beautiful Irish girls that had emigrated to America for many a long day. Kate and he had been schoolfellows and neighbors from their infancy, and, as they grew up, were regarded as a sort of “matter of course match,” from the fact, that they were always together, and apparently cut out for each other. They were both natives of the county Leitrim, and born on the banks of the Shannon, in the sweet little town of Drumsna. It was by the beautiful waters of this noble river that they first felt that impassioned glow that colors all the after life of man or woman, and which is as different from the feelings that characterize early boy or girlhood, as the noon-day solar blaze is from the cold and placid beams of the pale new moon. There is one point at which the true passion of love, in all great hearts, leaps into fierce and instantaneous existence. There may be many imperceptible approaches to it in some cases, we know, but out of these it is possible to turn aside. When the hour arrives, however, in a single moment the storming party, under one wild impulse, unknown before, mounts the ramparts of the heart, and, after a moment’s sweet confusion, the garrison falls and is surrendered forever into the hands of the enemy. And thus it was with our hero and heroine. Although they had long been the dearest of friends and constant companions—although they had long felt that the happiness of the one was necessary to that of the other, the great secret of their existence was never fully revealed to them, until they felt they were about to be separated from each other for an indefinite period; Kate to accompany her only relatives to America and poor Barry to enter the British army, under a pressure of poverty too dreadful to relate. As already intimated, the prospects of both had been blighted through oppression and villainy, brought to bear upon them by distant relatives, who were the infamous agents of a still more infamous government. The case of Nick, although sore enough in its way, was not so heartrending as that of Kate. He was of a sex fitted to wrestle with the storms of life, but she, proud and brave as she was, occupied a different position. Fortunately for both, however, through the instrumentality of a small pittance set aside by the Courts in her case, and a kind relation in that of Barry, their education was far above their pecuniary pretensions, so that at the age of twenty Kate was really an accomplished and refined girl, while her lover, at that of twenty-five, was a dashing young fellow, with a well stored mind and quite as capable of acquitting himself agreeably in society as any man, no matter what his rank, in the regiment to which he belonged. It was, then, in consequence of his education that he was looked up to by his comrades; although neglected and studiously kept in the back grounds by some of the officers of his company, who, viewing his attainments through the medium of their English spectacles, closed the door of preferment against him, and never suffered a single stripe to appear on his jacket. With as good blood in his veins as the best of them, and with a sense of the wrongs inflicted upon his country by the government whose abettors they were, he could never bring himself to stoop to the fawning and servility through which the lower grades of rank are attainable, only in the service; and thus, it was that, from first to last, he was viewed with an eye of suspicion by his superiors, who regarded him as an incorrigible young Irishman, who, notwithstanding that he wore the uniform of a British soldier, had no love for the service or the interests it represented.

Barry entered the army under the most terrific pressure only. He found that Kate and her friends were destined for America, and being himself, at the period, totally destitute of funds and without the means of realizing them speedily, in a moment of desperation he enlisted in a regiment that was under sailing orders for that country, in the hope of being stationed somewhere near the being he loved, and of being able, at least, to keep up a constant and unbroken correspondence with her until fortune should turn the wheel in his favor. And so he enlisted and parted from Kate and her friends, to follow her in a short period across the Atlantic, and renew his vows of love and affection upon another shore.

The ship that had borne her away from his view had been scarcely two days at sea, when the deadly intelligence reached his ear that the sailing orders of his regiment had been countermanded, and that instead of proceeding to Quebec, it was to sail for Malta, where it was likely to remain for perhaps a couple of years. This dreadful news almost annihilated him. He had made a sacrifice to no purpose, and was now bound hand and foot beyond the hope of redemption. Before Kate and he parted, he had agreed to write her to Quebec, in care of a friend, if anything should occur that might postpone the sailing of his regiment, or that portion of it that was for foreign service; and now the dreadful opportunity arrived, when he found himself called upon to convey to her the intelligence, that not only was the sailing of the regiment postponed, but its destination altered. In due course the fatal disclosure reached her, and almost deprived her of life and reason. In the space of one brief hour she passed through the agony of years. The being she loved, in the burning ardor of his young soul, had hastily—thoughtlessly sacrificed his freedom; and all for her! It had been a sufficient dagger to her soul to see him attired in the blood-stained uniform of the enemies of her country, yet she knew that he had been driven by the most inexorable circumstances to assume the hated garb. But now he was overtaken with twofold desolation—he was a slave, and beyond the reach of one kind word of solace from her, for whom he had sacrificed all, save and except that which might be borne to him, through the ordinary channels, across the trackless deep.

Racked as she was with those torturing reflections, and while the first wild burst of grief was yet rolling down her cheeks, she determined to begin her lone, young widowhood by instantly writing to him and bidding him hope. In this epistle, all the nobility of her true heart and nature blazed forth so transcendently, and with such fierce, womanly fervor, that the moment it reached the hands of the young soldier the light was re-kindled within him, and he at once set about procuring his discharge, or rather realizing the means of effecting his release from the bonds into which he had allowed his pure ‘though ungovernable passion to betray him. His education, as already observed, was most excellent, and now, when off duty, he turned it to good account, and slowly but surely began to add daily to what trifle he was able to save from his paltry pay, in the hope of yet commanding a sufficient sum to purchase his freedom and enable him, ultimately, to sail for America. In this way, and during the two years he was stationed at Malta, he spent his spare moments, being throughout that whole period particularly fortunate in keeping up what was life to him, an unbroken correspondence with his beloved.

At the expiration of three years, having been quartered, on his return from the Mediterranean, for the last one, in England, at length came the welcome and startling intelligence, that the regiment, now indeed, was to proceed forthwith to Canada, where it would be likely to remain for a considerable period. In a delirium of joy he communicated the happy intelligence to his love, and had just time to receive a hurried epistle in reply, in which the very arms of the true-hearted and beautiful Kate seemed thrown open to receive him. For some months previously, however, she had been informing him, from time to time, of a very disagreeable position in which she had been placed, through the persistent attentions paid her by an Irish gentleman named Lauder, who, by some means or other, had so ingratiated himself with her relatives, as to win them over to urge his suit; and who was reputed to be a person of means. These hints, however disagreeable, were always accompanied by a renewal of the vows they had long since plighted on the banks of the Shannon, and the fervent assurance that no one living or yet to live should ever lead Kate McCarthy a bride to the altar, save her own Nicholas Barry.

When Kate and her relatives arrived at Quebec, they remained in that city but a short period, as they had friends at Toronto, as well as near Fort Erie and at Buffalo, in the State of New York, whom they were desirous of visiting, and near whom they had determined to settle permanently. Unfortunately for Barry, the more intimate guardians or relatives of Kate had become unfriendly to his suit ever since he entered the army; impressed, as they had become, with that Irish idea, that the red coat of a private soldier in the British service was the most disreputable that could be worn. In this light, therefore, they encouraged the advances of Lauder, in the hope that absence would so weaken the first love of Kate, as to induce her to yield ultimately to her new suitor. But they little new the girl with whom they had to deal; for when Lauder, under their sanction, made a formal declaration of his passion to her, she quenched his hopes, as she supposed, forever, by informing him that both her heart and her hand were previously engaged, and that were they even at her disposal, she should be quite unable to bestow them upon any gentleman for whom she did not and could not entertain a single particle of true love, although he might have secured her esteem. This rejection, however, did not, as she supposed it would, preclude the possibility of any further advances from such a quarter, for Lauder, nothing daunted, kept up the siege when and wherever he could, without giving absolute offense; so cunningly and intangibly did he still pursue the object set before him. At last, nevertheless, so constant were his visits at the house, and so permanent a footing was he getting in the estimation of her friends, that, after having resided at Toronto upwards of two years, she left it at the instance of one of the family, who, on their first arrival in America, had settled in Buffalo, to which city she proceeded, and in which she now took up her residence.

While in Toronto the thought struck her that she might be able to turn whatever abilities she had to account, in the hope of being able to accumulate sufficient funds to aid our young hero in purchasing his discharge, fearing, as she did, that his own opportunities, in this relation, would be greatly restricted. So with her needle, and through the instrumentality of a small private school, she ultimately found herself mistress of the required amount, and was about to forward it to Nicholas, at the very period when she received intelligence of his regiment being ordered to America. She therefore thought it better to wait until they met, as she had made up her mind to set out, when apprised of his arrival, for any place in which he might happen to be quartered, and there plan for their future and his freedom.

In due time Barry reached Quebec, and from thence was ordered, with his company, to the town in which we first encountered him. Here he was soon joined by the true-hearted Kate, who remained for a few days with her cousins, Big Tom and his sister. During this period it was decided that Nicholas should purchase his discharge when he found that there was any prospect of the regiment being called home. The reasons for his not at once availing himself of the freedom he knew he could obtain at any moment, need not now be referred to more minutely; and as Kate left him to return to Buffalo, just four months previous to the opening of our story, after having made more than one pilgrimage from the United States to spend a few days with her cousins as she averred, it was settled upon finally, that he should quit the service in the ensuing summer, when they should become man and wife, as well as residents of the great Republic of the United States of America.

The intimacy, then, between Big Tom and Nick, is now accounted for in a satisfactory manner; and thus it was, that whenever the young soldier got leave to spend a night out of the Fort, he invariably took up his quarters at the sign of the Harp, where he not only knew he was welcome on his own account, but was sure to find company that was agreeable to him, and sympathized with all his aspirations in relation to his poor, down-trodden country.

Kate McCarthy, as we have already said, was in her twentieth year at the time we were first introduced to O’Brien and his customers, and certainly, as previously intimated, a more lovely woman could scarcely be found in a day’s walk. Her face and figure were absolute mirages of beauty, while, if there could be such a thing as black sunbeams, her eyes and hair would have illustrated them to intensity. She was above the medium height, with a slightly olive complexion that harmonized superbly with the glorious orbs through which the pure light of her soul poured forth a mellow blaze, and the dark, heavy tresses that fell in shining masses upon her pearly shoulders. Nothing, too, could surpass the intensified loveliness of her soft, rounded arms, and exquisitely shaped hands and feet, while her delicious mouth and beautifully chiseled nose and ears were really mysteries of loveliness so rare, that few could entertain the idea that she who possessed them could have laid her whole heart at the feet of a common soldier, and that, too, when it was in her power to turn such charms to high account in the every day market of society. But she knew Nicholas Barry and the nobility of his nature, and was aware, in addition, that had he not, like herself, been the victim of foul play and of a government that fostered crime in its adherents, he would never have been constrained to swear allegiance to the flag he both hated and despised, or have been obliged to exchange the garb of the son of a true Irish gentleman for that which had so lowered him, in the eyes of her relatives at least. But rich or poor, in scarlet or homespun, he was all the same to her; and now that he was almost at her side, and master, in a measure, of his own fate, she only looked forward to the period when she should have a legal right to his protection, and to call him by that name which, beyond all others is the one that lies nearest a woman’s heart.

The relative and his wife with whom Kate lived in Buffalo, were, in reality, noble and true-hearted people. They had known Nicholas from his childhood, and had always loved him for his manliness and bold struggles to gain some position at home in which he might be able to realize a sufficiency to maintain both himself and the girl of his love, before he led her to the altar. They had witnessed his repeated failures when he applied for any vacant situation where his education could be turned to account, and felt for his dire disappointment upon many an occasion when he was denied even a subordinate office in connection with the management of the large property that had once belonged to his family. With pain and anger they saw his praiseworthy exertions baffled at every turn, and, unlike the rest of their relations, discovered more of his self-sacrificing spirit still, in the desperate step he took for the purpose of joining his betrothed upon a foreign shore—a step which they would have gladly prevented, had their own slender means been sufficient to have transported him with them to their new home. Moved by this spirit of kindness and esteem, these worthy people were the very main-stay of Kate in the hour of her sorest trial, and now that Barry was near her once more, they entered heart and hand into all her projects, and were delighted to know that his discharge should be purchased before his regiment was ordered to leave the colony.

It must not be presumed, however, that Kate, since her arrival in America, had permitted herself to be a burden, in even the slightest degree, upon any of her friends or relations. Far from it; from the moment that they became settled at Toronto, up to the hour of Nicholas’ arrival in the colony, she not only supported herself through her industry and perseverence, but contributed, in a degree, to the maintenance of some of them also. Of course, in view of the all-absorbing object she had before her, regarding her lover, she could not be expected to do much in this latter relation; yet she did what she could, and so satisfied her pride and her conscience. Sometimes the recollection of the long and weary chancery suit would obtrude itself upon her, but only to provoke a hopeless and languid smile, prompted by the conviction that her enemy, whom she had never seen, and who had recently succeeded to the claims of his father—Philip Darcy, now but a few months dead—had too much influence with the government and its legal minions, to permit her to indulge in the slightest hope, that, were the case decided tomorrow, it could be otherwise than against her. Consequently, it mattered but little to her whether she was worsted by Philip the elder or Philip the younger; so, in this way, she now invariably disposed of the unpleasant matter. Yet, she felt, notwithstanding, deeply and bitterly upon the subject: and knew that she was the victim of a most diabolical plot; but she did not permit this to interfere with her daily avocations, or induce her to sit down in apathetic sorrow, and repine over a fate that no effort of hers could influence in any degree whatever.

Still, as may be readily supposed, both from her education and a knowledge of her own personal wrongs, and those which had for centuries been inflicted upon the unhappy land of her birth, she was no friend or admirer of the government or people who had wrought her so much ruin in this connection. On this head she was most inexorable, and felt that it was the duty of every true Irishman and Irishwomen in existence, to conspire, as best they could, against a power which had plunged their race and country into such frightful ruin; and she believed, firmly, that, in so far as her native land was concerned, its children were justified in using any means by which they could rid themselves of a tyrant and usurper, who, in violation of every law, both human and divine, subjected them to sword and flame for ages.

It will be perceived, then, that both Kate McCarthy and Nicholas were influenced by the same just and deadly spirit against England; and that neither thought it otherwise than meritorious, to hurl that tyrant to the dust, at any time and under any circumstances. The iron had penetrated their souls; and now that rumors were afloat touching the intention of the great organization of Fenianism, which overspread the American Union, to make a descent upon the Canadas, with a view to destroying the power of England upon this continent, and ultimately rescuing Ireland from the grasp of the oppressor, Kate’s eye was lit, from time to time, with the most patriotic fervor; while the world could, at any moment, discover the true nature of the fame that burned within her soul, from the emerald sheen of the silken band which invariably bound up her raven hair, and encircled her snowy throat.

Once or twice she happened to encounter Lauder in Buffalo, so as to recognize him without the possibility of mistake; while on several occasions, she could not divest herself of the idea that he had just passed her in disguise; although she could not imagine what prompted him to such secrecy, when she never noticed him since she had left Toronto, or recognized him on the two occasions when she chanced to meet him in the public street. Yet, a strange presentiment seemed to impress her that he had not, after all her plainness with him, abandoned the idea of obtaining her hand, notwithstanding the repugnance she had always evinced towards him. Now, however, that Nicholas was almost within hail of her, and that her friends, in Buffalo at least, were true to her in every relation, she felt secure from whatever machinations her imagination conjured up; and, therefore, whenever the subject suddenly obtruded itself upon her thoughtful moments, she dismissed it as summarily; reassured by the conviction that she was totally beyond the reach of any schemes that might have been concocted in relation to her or her future.

For the purpose, however, of setting the matter at rest forever, she was resolved that her lover should leave the service now as early as possible; and, stimulated by this desire, on returning to her residence, one evening towards the middle of April of the year in which we first encountered him on the bridge leading from the Fort, she addressed a letter to Nicholas, urging him to leave the army as soon as practicable, assigning as a reason the presence of Lauder in Buffalo, whom she had, as she felt assured, again encountered or rather discovered in the vicinity of her residence, and adding a further reason, based upon the rumor, that the Army of the Irish Republic would soon move upon Canada, and that his regiment could not fail to be called out to oppose it—a circumstance that would, as she well knew, be the cause of more actual pain to him, than anything that could possibly occur in the discharge of what was termed his duty.

This letter Barry received the second day after it was written; and on consulting with O’Brien, at once set about procuring his discharge; but as the Colonel of his regiment had gone to the Lower Provinces, from which he was not to return for a week or two, the matter was left in abeyance until he should again arrive in town. In due course, however, he did return, and the necessary application being made, no objection was offered to granting the discharge, as Barry’s conduct had always been most unexceptionable since he entered the service.

In this way matters stood, then, on the night on which we found Big Tom in secret conclave with his two friends, Nick and Burk, in his own little sanctum; Nick having got leave to stay out until morning, as the officer in command informed him, it was probably the last request he should have the power of granting him.


An organization so wide-spread and so numerous as that of the Fenian Brotherhood, it was not to expected that all its members, without an exception, were good men and true; yet so rarely were traitors found among its ranks, that no patriotic confraternity of its magnitude had ever, in ancient or modern times, presented so pure a record in this relation. When we take into consideration the fact that, the insidious and subsidizing gold of England was brought to bear upon the frightful poverty of the masses that composed the organization in Ireland, as well as the temptations to treason held out by the government, through their agents in the Republic of the United States of America, the wonder is that there were not more Corydons and Masseys to do the work of the usurper, and betray the cause to which they had sworn fealty. However, there were traitors sufficient at work to cause great damage in individual cases, and send many a brave fellow into the gloomy depths of a British dungeon. Nearly all the injury in this connection, however, appears to have been done at home, as treason of this character was totally powerless under any foreign flag—or at least not so capable of direct mischief. From the first moment of the inception of the organization, the British and the Canadian governments had their paid spies in and outside the American press, who kept the authorities well informed as to all the particulars that transpired within the range of their observation or through other channels; but these disclosures were necessarily meagre and, in many cases, totally unreliable; from the circumstance that those disreputable parties, for the purpose of magnifying their importance, and securing further the patronage of their employers, colored and distorted facts so terribly, that scarce a line from their pens or a sentence from their lips was worthy even the slightest credence. Still, from time to time, some little rumor struggled to the surface, which pointed to treachery somewhere; and thus it was that the authorities of the organization were often placed awkwardly in relation to the idle though dangerous gossip which occasionally singled out this individual or that, as the party who had betrayed his trust. In the various cities along the American frontier, there was from time to time a good deal of this gossip—a circumstance that might have been quite easily accounted for; seeing that the inhabitants of some of these places were in what might be termed hourly intercommunication with the people of Canada; giving, in some cases, rise to suspicions, which were in the main without any foundation. This distrust, although affecting the stability or growing prosperity of the Brotherhood in scarcely any degree, had yet the effect of strengthening the hands of British sympathizers in the Union, and inducing them to resolve themselves into little coteries or societies—such as was hurriedly formed not long since under the influence and guidance of Mr. H——, of Buffalo, for the ostensible purpose of aiding destitute Canadians, but with the real design of keeping an eye upon Fenianism, and disclosing, as far as the members could divine, all its intentions, hopes and prospects, to the British government. Occasionally an emissary, direct from Great Britain, in the guise of a lecturer or tourist, visited these associations and received their report, which, as far as was practicable, he verified by personal observation, and through whatever reliable channels, he believed to be open to him. These emissaries have been supplemented by others of a somewhat different character, but all bearing upon the interests of England. In this latter case, however, it has been the direct unfriendly relations between the American government and that of Great Britain, which had stimulated the pilgrimages of certain individuals of this class to the shores of the great Republic. England perceiving that she had Fenianism to deal with on the one hand, and American hostility, regarding her infamous course during the late war, on the other, in her cowardly fears for the consequences, backed up her anti-Fenian agents, by sending out such persons as Mr. Charles Dickens and Mr. Henry Vincent, to prove to the citizens of the Commonwealth how friendly the sentiments that England had always entertained for them, and how disasterous a thing it would be to both peoples, should a war, under any circumstances, be permitted to take place between them. Both these gentlemen, and others, distinguished and popular in their respective literary shades, went forth preaching peace and good will between the Saxons on the one side of the Atlantic and their so-called American cousins on the other. With an audacity the most barefaced and unaccountable, upon every possible occasion, opportune or otherwise, they wore the olive branch at their button-hole, and described in periods the most eloquent, the identity of blood and interests which characterized both nations, and which it were heinous to ignore. Notwithstanding that for ninety long years their infamous government had been indulging in the most heartless sneers, insults and injustice towards the press, the people and the executive of the United States—notwithstanding that during the late war every reverse of the arms of the Republic was hailed with heartfelt joy by the English party, both at home and in Canada, and that pirates were built and fitted out under the very eyes of the British Cabinet, and with the secret sanction of that corrupt horde, to make war upon American commerce and destroy the Union in the hour of its extremity—notwithstanding all this, we say, and maugre the kindred circumstance of subsidizing the South with money and arms so as to prolong the fratracidal conflict until both parties lay bloody and broken at the feet of English despotism, these able and smooth-tongued gentry had the accursed assurance to stand up in most of the principal cities of the Democracy, and assert broadly, that England was the true and tried friend of republican institutions and of the people who sustained them on the free continent of America. Under the liberal laws which accord freedom of speech to every man who touches the shores of the Republic, these men had, we know, a right to express, publicly or otherwise, their sentiments in this connection, how treacherous and untenable soever; but what we could never fathom, was the daring of any journal professing to be true to the interests of freedom or those of the Union, in endorsing those sentiments and setting them forth to the world as truthful and worthy the acceptance of every genuine American, no matter what his creed or party. An attempt so monstrous to stullify all past experience and ignore all history has never been made in any relation whatever; and the wonder is, that, few as they are, so many Americans have been led astray by it. To any individual, of even the most ordinary penetration, it must be obvious, that the present cringing and treacherous attitude assumed by England towards the American people, is but the mask of a foul and dangerous spirit, snatched up in a moment of mortal fear to be worn only until some opportune moment arrives when it can be thrown aside with safety, revealing the old, familiar, demoniacal scowl which lurked unaltered beneath its smiling exterior. America, to be true to herself, must beware of such false lights, of the press as these. They are for the most part subsidized by English gold, or so imbuded with English sentiment, that the interests of the Union are quite a secondary consideration with them. In evidence of the truth of this assertion, we have only to dwell upon the apathy with which these journalists regard the building up of a dangerous despotism upon our borders, in the very teeth of American traditions and sentiments, and in opposition to the feelings of the masses whom it effects more immediately, and who were not permitted by their tyrants to express a single opinion at the polls on so grave a subject as the total disruption or remodeling of the constitution under which they lived. Look at the expression of Nova Scotia on this head, and see how it reflects upon the course pursued by the great American people in relation to the confederation of the adjoining Provinces. Not long since the inhabitants of that section of the New Dominion set forth, in a memorial to the British government, that this same confederation was forced upon the people of the Canadas, through falsehood, bribery and the vilest fraud. And, yet, free and generous America, who assumes to be the day-star of freedom on this continent, and to the world, permitted this despotic measure to be enforced at her own threshold, and in relation to a people, thousands upon thousands of whom sympathized with her interests and institutions, and looked forward with longing eyes to the hour when the Stars and Stripes should float from every flag-staff and tower throughout the whole of the English possessions in the New World. Surely the missionary spirit of the Republic has not been best illustrated in this instance; nor can we discover now, how it is, that the authorities of the Union sit quietly playing at thumbs, while the Parliament of the Dominion is voting millions for the defenses of the new despotism, and framing projects that are intended to result in a line of impregnable forts from Sandwich to Gaspe, and at every point where it is possible for an invader to set foot upon their shores. Wait until false, foul and treacherous England can sit beneath the shadow of the guns of her infant monarchy, on the Canadian frontier, and then see if she does not begin to show her cloven foot anew. Let her once get a permanent foothold among the newly projected fortresses along the St. Lawrence and the Lakes, with Quebec as their key, and the peace and prosperity of America, as well as the stability of republican institutions, cannot be counted as secure, for a single day, from petty annoyance, or perhaps inroads of a more formidable character. This idea may, we know, be scouted by those who have a well grounded faith in the destiny of the American people and the power they undoubtedly possess in a naval and military point of view; but, after all, a gun is a gun and a garrison a garrison; and to allow an implacable and formidable enemy to possess herself of either, within range of our fire-sides, when we can prevent it, is what we should call courting the presence of a bombshell on our borders, that may at any moment be thrown into our midst.

Without dwelling further on this particular point, however, we may observe, that through some of the channels already referred to, the English government became aware, in 1865, that it was the intention of the Irish Nationalists in the United States to make a descent, at no distant day, upon Canada, and seize it as a basis of operations, with a view to carrying out their projects for the redemption of Ireland. In connexion with this information, they found, also, that the troops in Canada were largely interspersed with Irishmen, and it was consequently deemed necessary to send a secret agent to the Provinces to look into the case and report upon it, or rather upon the sentiment of the Irish element in the colony, whether in or out of the army, in relation to Fenianism. This they thought could be best accomplished through the instrumentality of a tried emissary of their own, as even from the Provincial Cabinet conflicting accounts were arriving constantly in relation to the all-important subject. In furtherance of this view, the Castle of Dublin was, of course, applied to, and a creature selected to do the work, who was not himself fully aware that his position was recognized by the imperial Cabinet so decidedly, but simply fancied himself in the capacity of a sort of trusty policeman, appointed by one of the Castle authorities, who was anxious to know for himself how the case stood on the other side of the Atlantic. This agent was one of the cleverest of his class, and possessed of the most consummate cunning, and a spirit of reckless daring but seldom evinced by members of his tribe. Already he had rendered substantial service to the Viceroy and to England, as an inveterate spy, and a scoundrel who had, on more than one occasion, distinguished himself in the witness box. In addition to his investigations in Canada, he was instructed to extend the line of his observations to the United States also, and to move from point to point, as his own judgment might dictate in the premises. He was, of course, furnished with ample means to carry out successfully the project intrusted to him; and although but little faith could be placed in his integrity, so far as the disposal of the funds put in his hands were concerned, yet, by an opportune circumstance, connected with his own personal interest, and overriding any sum that was entrusted to him, the Castle was enabled to hold him in check, no matter how he might be tempted, or where he chanced to move. With his activity and fidelity thus insured, this miserable wretch, who went in Dublin by the name of Philip the Spy, was despatched on his mission, and, in due coarse arriving at Quebec, set about it in his usual cautious and conning manner. He visited the Citadel as a stranger, under the ordinary pass from the Town Major, and soon made himself agreeable in the dark, low canteen among the soldiers. Whenever he thought he discovered a young and inexperienced Irishman among the rank and file, he was unusually pleasant and communicative. With such a companion he always moved about the garrison, descanting upon its force and power, and imperceptibly stealing into his good graces, until he found some opportunity of making an apparently accidental enquiry touching the information he was desirous of obtaining. In this way he became possessed of the knowledge that even Quebec held within its impregnable walls many a man who was far from being the true friend of England, and who, as he surmised, waited the opportunity of not only deserting her flag, but betraying her stronghold into the hands of her enemies. In this state of things he could not but discover the truthfulness of the beautiful line of the poet, “Coelum non animum mutant qui trans mare currunt,” for he perceived that the mighty waters of the great Atlantic were insufficient to wash out the blood stains from the skirts of England in relation to Ireland, or to remove the deep hatred of the exiled children of the latter, towards a tyrannical power that had held them in bitter thrall so unjustly and so long.

Satisfied of this, and of the additional fact, that the garrison was invulnerable from the river side only, and that much of the artillery that manned the citadel was all but worthless, on the pretense of being a friend to the cause of Irish freedom and a deadly enemy to England, he learned that not only were there many Fenian sympathizers within the walls of the garrison, but that the city outside was literally alive with similar friends, some of whom were to be found among the French population, who had never forgotten England’s treatment of the First Napoleon, or her conquest of Canada in the days of Wolf These he knew himself were sore points with the Lower Canadians, and likely to bear bitter fruit in relation to English interests in America, one day or other. He perceived also that these facts, taken in connection with the unfriendly feeling which England had engendered in the United States, through the Alabama piracies and secret subsidies to the South during the war that had just closed, would, tend to both foster and embolden Fenianism, until it grew almost into an institution in the New World, or became, at least, a leading idea with no inconsiderable portion of both the Canadian and American people. He knew that every civilized nation on the face of the earth, save England herself, sympathized with the lamentable condition of the country to which he himself was a traitor; and such being the case, he felt how easy it would be on the part of these sympathizers, to find a means of justifying almost any measure that might be adopted against the usurper, by the organization at home and abroad. He saw and felt all this, and thus it became him to be doubly cautious, as he could not but understand, that were his mission divined by those whom he was now hourly betraying into positions of death or danger, it would go hard with him indeed. In fact, the idea struck him, that England, with all her boasting, was but little better than a camp in America; and that, as in Ireland, she was surrounded here also, by a hostile although a less demonstrative population.

And, certainly, a truer deduction than this has never been drawn from any premises whatever. The nine tenths of the loyalty of Canada towards the British Crown, is superficial and terribly unreliable. Subtract the official and the Orange element from the masses, and they would drift at once into the arms of the United States. The events of 1837 prove that a strong undercurrent of American feeling exists in the colony, and various subsequent disclosures prove that it is even now only restrained by circumstances. When we find Canadian representatives on the floor of the House of Assembly, threatening England with an appeal to Washington in a certain connection, and when we see Americans filling some of the highest offices in the Dominion, and sitting at the Council Table with the representatives of royalty, we may be sure that the interests of Great Britain are not in safe keeping in such an atmosphere, and that such persons can always be brought to see how necessary it is to the material welfare of the inhabitants of the Canadas that they should become part and parcel of the free and prosperous Republic of the United States. They cannot fail to see, that in their present dependent position,—lying, as they are, in the grasp of an English aristocrat, unacquainted with their wants and wishes, and who sympathizes only with the Crown, their trade, their commerce, and their internal resources must suffer to a frightful extent. So long as they are outside the pale of the Union and under the British flag, so long will a mighty war cloud hang upon their borders, that is liable to roll in upon them at any moment. The fact is fixed and unalterable, that the people of Ireland have secured for all time a permanent footing on this continent, where their numbers, wealth and influence have become irresistible, touching any project that they may entertain within the limits of the American Constitution. We say the American Constitution, for to this they have sworn fealty, and its maintenance is to them a matter of the first importance—a matter of life and death; from the fact, that it is to its generous provisions and the liberal spirit of its framers and their descendents, as well as to the kind sympathy of the American people in general, that they now owe their all. Were it not for the noble stand against tyranny taken by the heroes of 1765, and the subsequent glorious career of the country they had freed from the grasp of the English tyrant, Ireland should be still laden with chains the most hopeless; but, now that free America has influenced her to higher aspirations than she had ever felt previously in relation to human liberty and just and enlightened government, it is probable that she shall become the first fruits of American institutions on the despotic side of the Atlantic, and raise her bright republican head, in the midst of the hoary tyrannies of Europe, a glorious monument to the genius of American liberty and power, as well as to the memory of the immortal heroes of the war of Independence, who first taught manhood to the nations, and hurled to the dust, beneath their feet, the foul and blood-stained braggart who had sought to build up her despotic rule upon their virgin shores. In no way can America so justify the purity and sincerity of her soul in relation to her institutions, as by hurling them against the despotisms of the old world, and diffusing amongst its peoples, wherever she can with any degree of propriety, the blessings they are so eminently calculated to impart. And no point stands more invitingly open at the present moment for an experiment so indispensable to the true prestige of her power and greatness, than Ireland. Self-evident as the fact is, that that country has for generations been kept in slavery at the point of the bayonet, and plundered and starved by an accursed despot and her own deadly enemy, too, she can with the greatest possible ease move in the direction of breaking those galling bonds, and wreathing the poor, fleshless limbs, so long lacerated by them, with the flowery links which so bind her own glorious children in one harmonious and invincible whole. So long as Ireland lies groaning beneath the heel of the usurper, so long shall America have failed in her mission, and her duty towards God and man. She cannot be truly great, and sit down beneath her own vine and fig tree, listlessly enjoying the blessings of liberty, peace and plenty, while her kindred and friends lie in chains on the opposite side of the Atlantic, or while the infamous flag of the despot who oppresses them, and who but recently sought to stab her to the heart, floats in triumph on her very borders. Both heaven and humanity demand something more at her hands; and if actuated by no higher motive than that of mere self-preservation, or of providing against a rainy day, we would advise her, in view of the powerful armaments and the ingrained antagonisms which characterize Europe in every direction, to assist in establishing one friendly power at least on the shores of the Old World, which, in the hour of need, would make common cause with her in the interests of freedom, justice and truth. This, and the fact of the attempt now being made by England to build up an armed despotism in the New Dominion of Canada, are, in our humble opinion, matters of the deepest moment to the great American people; while we are equally convinced, that, should they neglect to avail themselves of their right to interpose wherever human suffering of the most heart-rending character obtains under the sway of a tyrant, or where the peace and security of a whole continent is threatened, by portentous and aggressive undertakings on its confines, the day will arrive, and that speedily, when they will be afforded a bitter opportunity of regretting their criminal apathy and neglect, without the power of atoning for either.


Although Kate had, as we have already stated, encountered Lauder on more than one occasion in Buffalo, without any very uneasy feeling as to his unpleasant proximity, yet she was not totally devoid of suspicion that she was, in some way or other, the cause of his presence in that city. True, she had rejected his heart and hand in the most decided manner; but then there was something about the man so obtrusive and yet so cunning, that at times she could have wished herself totally beyond has reach or hopes, as the wife of the noble young fellow she loved so ardently. When in Toronto, she had been sorely tried by the insidious attacks and insinuations of her persecutor, bearing upon the character and vocation of Nicholas, regarding which he appeared to be exceedingly well informed. He spoke of the uniform faithlessness of soldiers in general—their wretched mode of life and morals, together with the stigma that invariably attached to the wife of any individual who wore a private’s coat in the service. In addition, he seemed to be conversant with the pecuniary embarrassments of Kate, as well as with the circumstances of the chancery suit, and, as he averred, the settled opinion at home, that it would be soon decided, and, without any possible doubt, in favor of the son of Philip Darcy. All this was heart-rending in the extreme to the poor girl; but yet her faith never faltered for a single moment in the truth and fidelity of her lover; and what cared she for aught else in the world, so long as he was left her without spot or blemish. Observing the foothold that Lauder had in the house and estimation of her relatives, she did not feel herself at liberty to treat him with all the contempt and severity that he deserved; so that she was too often, for appearances sake and out of respect for the feelings of those under whose roof she was, constrained not to notice in anger much that had escaped his lips regarding Nicholas, or, rather, the possible character which he had turned out to be under the baneful influence of a soldier’s life. When, however, she accepted the hospitality and kindness of that portion of the family who had taken up their residence in Buffalo, and who were the staunchest friends of young Barry, she, at once, cut the acquaintance of her rejected suitor, and, as already observed, passed him once or twice in the street without deigning to notice him.

This probed Lauder to the quick, and aroused all the fiend within him; and now that Barry had reached Canada, he determined to work in some way the ruin of either the one or the other, in order to make their union impossible, were even the most revolting crime necessary to that end. While dwelling on this subject, every vestige of humanity disappeared from the heart and face of the wretch who would encompass such ruin, and that, too, in the case of two individuals who had never injured him in thought, word or act. He was slighted and rejected by the only woman on earth that he cared to marry, and he would be avenged at even the risk of his life. He would dog her footsteps were she to move to the uttermost ends of the earth, until an opportunity to put his infernal plans in operation arrived; and as he had abundance of means at his command, he would enlist in his service those who would not hesitate to sell their souls for gold. Moved by this diabolical impulse, he followed her to Buffalo, and there made the acquaintance of two unmitigated villains who kept a low gambling house in one of the vilest streets in the city, and who were capable of any atrocity known to the annals of crime. These two vagabonds were already refugees from Canadian justice, having been concerned in one of the bank robberies so frequent in the Provinces, and had an accomplice of their own stamp on the Canadian frontier, not far from their present den, to whom they were in the habit of secretly forwarding goods stolen on the American side, to be kept until the excitement regarding the robbery had subsided, and an opportunity presented itself for disposing of them in some part of the Province where detection would be impossible. Under the cover of night one or the other of these wretches frequently stole across the lines and visited this locality, where he remained concealed until a fitting period occurred for returning to his old haunt.

Of this stamp were the two persons whom Lauder now took into his confidence and employment in relation to the abduction of Kate McCarthy from her friends, and her transportation into Canada to some place of secrecy and of safety, until he should be able to force her into an alliance with him, or failing in this, make such a disposition of her as should, at least, place an eternal barrier between her and Nicholas. Among their friends and acquaintances these two villains were known as “black Jack” and the “Kid,”—the former as forbidding a specimen of the human race as ever breathed the vital air. He was low and thick set, with a neck like a bull, and a frame of prodigious strength.. His nose was broad and flat, his month large, his ears of immense size, his forehead low and retreating, while the breadth between his ears at the back of his head was inconceivable.

His companion in crime, the Kid, in so far as external appearance was concerned, was his intensified antipodes. He was slightly formed and of rather prepossessing appearance; and were it not for a sinister expression of his full watery, grey eyes, remarkable when excited by anger, and some coarse and sensual lines about his mouth, perceptible upon all occasions, he might pass unnoticed among the thousands that crowded daily the locality in which he lived. He was the general, Jack the army—he plotted, Jack executed; and thus it was, that, through his consummate cunning, they had both been enabled to avoid justice so long. They ostensibly kept a sort of drinking saloon, from which they professed to banish all disreputable characters, and which, through the clear-headedness of the one, and the awe in which the great personal strength of the other was held, was unusually free from the disreputable rows and scenes that generally characterize such places.

If the Kid and Black Jack differed from each other in personal appearance, they were nearly if not quite as much opposed to each other in dress. Jack’s attire was of the very coarsest description, and always slovenly in appearance. No matter what the season of the year, he invariably wore a dark blue flannel shirt, a short, heavy over-coat, with huge, deep pockets, thick, iron-shod boots, coarse, loose trousers, and a huge, greasy, slouched, hat, of black felt, invariably pulled over his eyes when out through the city. The only difference as to the disposition of his attire, touching winter and summer, was, that during the former season he always served his customers with his slouched hat and jacket on, while throughout the warmest part of the latter, he was invariably to be found behind his dark, dingy bar, with his shirt sleeves tucked up and his collar unbuttoned and thrown open, displaying a pair of huge, swarthy arms, covered with coarse, black hair, and a broad and massive chest, presenting a similar aspect, and which exhibited all the characteristics, in this connection, of the most savage denizens of the forest. Such, then, were the personal appearance and the character of the two men whom Lauder now visited by stealth from time to time, but always in a disguise which defied detection, and which was made up with the most consummate skill.

Unconscious of all the danger that surrounded her, Kate still kept the even tenor of her way, happy in the prospect of soon becoming the wife of the man she loved; while Barry, on the other hand, felt but little apprehension as to any fears that she had expressed in relation to the proximity of Lander; believing, as he did, that she was totally beyond his reach or power, and that his presence in Buffalo was occasioned by some business not in any degree connected with her. What, he argued, had she to fear from any man whom she despised, and from whose society she had deliberately and pointedly estranged herself? The days of feudal abductions had passed away, and if in this practical age a woman refused to become the wife of any man, she had a perfect right so to do, and there the matter ended. Besides, was she not beneath the roof of her own relatives, who loved her with the sincerest warmth, and who were able to protect her until she could claim the shelter of his own breast, as he stood by her side the husband of her heart. All this went to reassure him, so that when he sat down to reply to the letter which urged him to procure his discharge at once, he wrote in the most cheering and happy manner, bidding her to be of good heart, that she was safe from the importunities and machinations of any individual who sought to gain her affections; but intimating, at the same time, that he should at once, or as soon as practicable, leave the army and as quickly as possible join her on the other side of the great lakes.

In the love that exists between two true Irish hearts that have been pledged to each other, deliberately and solemnly on the threshold of man and womanhood, there is often something so confiding, so unreasoning and so unselfish, as to put one in good humor with humanity. There is no country on earth in which the love of gain intermixes with the affections of the heart to so small an extent as in Ireland. In this relation we, from time to time, witness in the Green Isle such genuine and grateful glimpses of the better phases of human nature, that, no matter to what subsequent inconvenience and embarrassments they may tend, they, for the time being, at least, charm us into a recognition of something that is, after all, beautiful and truthful in our souls. Except where the inexorable tyranny of birth creeps in, our matrimonial alliances are, for the most part, purged of the cool calculation of Scotland, or the bread and beef considerations of the English. This may be censurable in us, and doubtless it is; but, still, the charge lies more against our heads than our hearts. It is a fact the most indisputable, that in England most of the marriages in high or low life are those of convenance, while in Ireland the contrary is the case. Even the poorest Irish girl in the land gives her hand only, where she can bestow her heart; nor, as a general thing, can any amount of wealth induce her to ignore her pride or affections in this connection; while, should her love be given to even the simplest peasant that ever stood by her milking pail, she is totally beyond the reach of temptation. On the part of both there is an out-going of souls in this direction that may be said to be peculiar to Ireland. Completely outside all physical accidents and circumstances, there is a commingling of spirit which ratifies a compact for all time, and lives in the future as well as the present. Stretching beyond the hoar, such souls are not dependent upon mere personal contact or intercourse for the vitality of the passion that animates them, for they are ever en rapport with each other, and clasped breast to breast wherever their individual physical organizations may be. In this manner they bid defiance to fate and all materiality; living on, undivided, and secure in the continuence of the power that binds them to each other. Such individualities become one spiritually—all their aspirations are identical—all their sentiments are the same, and so closely do they become united, that you cannot destroy the one without destroying the other. We know and feel, beyond any shadow of doubt, that there are beings whose loss or total annihilation we should be unable to survive, and if doomed to live, whose place could never be filled in our souls, throughout the endless ages of eternity. Hence the generous and beautiful, provision of the All Wise and All Good. To every human heart, that interprets His Laws aright and conforms to His will, he presents that beautiful counterpart which, although mysteriously foreign, is yet, so delightfully and essentially, a part and parcel of our two-fold nature.

In no country in the world, then, does this divine law of natural affinities prevail more than in Ireland; and in no case had it ever been more clearly illustrated than in the case of Nicholas Barry and Kate McCarthy; as each, if so inclined, could have sacrificed the other in forming a matrimonial alliance respectively, identified with what was believed, to be undoubted wealth. For the hand of Kate, long before she left her native land, there had been more than one suitor of means; while handsome Nick, previous to his entering the army, was an object of the warmest admiration on the part of many a damsel whose prospects were of the most flattering description. But all to no purpose; not one of the wealthy women was Kate McCarthy in the one case, and not a single well-to-do gentleman was Nick Barry, in the other. So this made all the difference; and Nick and Kate, without pausing to cast their horoscope, gave themselves to each other, as already described, by the banks of the Shannon—a river whose bright murmuring waters have reflected more beautiful eyes and manly forms than those of any other in Europe, or perhaps the world. Without a thought for the future at the moment of which we have already spoken, they plighted their faith for all time and eternity; and well they kept their vows; although previous to the arrival of Nicholas in America, they had been upwards of three years separated from each other-the one leading the life of a soldier in a sunny clime, and the other, on a far distant shore, hoping for the hour when they should be once more side by side.

When, however, our hero found himself the plighted lover of the being he adored, and discovered himself simultaneously separated from her toy the most cruel, unexpected and perverse fate, he bent, as previously observed, every energy towards effecting his release from the bonds he had assumed for her sake. He consequently, instead of wasting his hours in sullen and useless repining, set actively to work and kept both his mind and his body in a healthy condition; never losing confidence for a moment, in his own ability to secure freedom or permitting the hope to be shaken, that he should ultimately join the woman of his love in the new world, and there realize an independence for both. And here we may observe, that this feature in the character of Nicholas was one of the noblest and most dignified that could possibly distinguish any member of the race to which we belong. The world has been lost to many a man, from the fact of his not sitting down to look circumstances fairly in the face, with a full determination to grapple with them and give them a tussel for if wherever a good man and true places any reasonable and legitimate object before him, no matter how dark the clouds that surround him, in nine cases out often he achieves it. The grave error in this connection is, that finding our inability to move the great mass of our difficulties out of our road en bloc and at once, ignoring the lesson taught by the constant drop that wears the stone, we sit down overwhelmed, and never set sturdily about trying to remove it piecemeal. The most profusely illustrated lesson that heaven has yet taught to man, is that of industry and perseverence. Whether within the fragrant chambers of the golden hive, or in the kingdoms of the busy ant, or mid the curious nests that swing from forest boughs, we roam in thought, we find what perseverence can accomplish, and that too, by steps almost imperceptible in themselves. It is the individual atoms that build up the mighty and effective aggregate that overawes all opposition, and like an avalanche sweeps all resistance before it. The loftiest pyramid that throws its shadow over the desert to-day, and that dwarfs at its foot the beholder into the most incomparable insignificance, incapable of being removed in fragments not larger than a pea, from its present site to the other side of the globe; and the grandest structure ever erected by human hands, has been built up from almost imperceptible beginnings, into the imposing dimensions which so overshadow the admirer and excite in his bosom feelings of almost superstitious awe. So that look where we may, throughout the whole range of nature, of science or of art, we find tee lesson of industry and perseverence inculcated in the most impressive manner, and in a language that should reach and influence our spirit struggles to the core.

If less distinct than we have here delineated them, such were the sentiments and convictions that influenced the actions and conduct of our hero and heroine when fate had separated them. Moved by the same impulses, they both set about accomplishing the same end, and in the same manner. Barry’s pen and Kate’s needle flew at intervals; and the result, as already intimated, was, that each had accumulated a sum sufficient to effect this release from the army, and that it now was to be brought into requisition for the purpose of accomplishing that end.

Had Nicholas been made of that sort of stuff which, with the greatest possible degree of coolness, lays a friend or relative under contribution, he might have been able, through its instrumentality, to realize a sufficient sum to have taken him to America, at the period that Kate sailed, without having had recourse to the dreadful alternative of enlisting in the English army; but not being built of such questionable material, he bowed beneath the heavy yoke, believing, as he did, that however distasteful and derogatory to his feelings, it was more honorable and independent to be indebted to himself, even at so great a sacrifice, for the means of joining his beloved on the other side of the Atlantic, than to be constrained to traverse its trackless waste, weighed down with the conviction, that, for the purpose of accomplishing an object that could at least be honestly attained otherwise, he had deprived those whom he had left behind of that of which they themselves stood sorely in need. Besides, he felt satisfied from what he knew of himself, and the prospects open to even an industrious soldier on the shores of Canada, he should soon be able to relieve himself of his bondage, and stand erect once more, freed from the humiliation of the uniform he wore. But, as already seen, the fates were against him in the first moments of his military career; and for the time every fibre of his being was almost crushed beneath the most frightful tension to which could have been possibly subjected. How dreadful must have been the appalling intelligence of the countermand of his regiment to the Mediteranean, when it first fell upon his ear; and how sufficient was the awful announcement to crush any ordinary mortal. Yet, with the elasticity which is ever inseparable from a true and noble spirit, when the first crash of the news bore him almost to the earth, he steadily began to brace himself against it, and ultimately, though by slow and painful degrees, straightened himself beneath it, and, although it was not the less heavy, stood erect under it at last, and bore it squarely upon his shoulders.

Poor Kate, although brave, too, had at first almost given up hope, when, a few days after her arrival at Quebec, she learned the fatal intelligence contained in the letter already referred to; but soon perceiving, as he did, that nothing was to be achieved by useless murmuring or hopeless inactivity, she shook herself, as free as her strength would permit, from the dreadful incubus of the sorrow that bowed her to the earth, and turned whatever talents she possessed to good account; working night and day to accomplish the great and only desire of her heart, and trusting to heaven for the rest. In this way her constant and unwearied exertions lightened much of the load that could not have failed under less favorable promptings, to have crushed her completely, and have, in all human probability, consigned her to a premature grave.

And thus, we see, that these two brave young spirits had all but accomplished the wish of their hearts, at the period at which our story opens, and that they were now but simply awaiting the hour when Nicholas should be able to exchange the hated red jacket that he wore, for a dress more in consonance with not only his own feelings, but those of the being he so faithfully loved.


Whatever censure may be attached to any portion of the career of the founders of Fenianism, after the organization had become a recognized power on both sides of the Atlantic, we cannot divest ourselves of the settled impression, that the men who were mainly instrumental in calling it into existence and sustaining its infancy, were actuated by the purest motives. To be sure, Fenianism can scarcely be said to be the embodiment of a new idea, or the exponent of new principles; but, then, there was a masterly grouping of energies and sentiments in connection with it, which possessed the merit of originality, and which tended so largely, not only to popularize it, but to give it a foothold on every Irish national hearthstone. In the selection of the name by which the organization was to be distinguished, there was a clearness of judgment as well as a thorough acquaintance with the necessities of the case, that cannot fail to strike any impartial observer. Had the Brotherhood been organized under any commonplace appelation, or under any of the various names that had characterized the previous revolutionary societies of Ireland, the probability is, it would have long since fallen into line with those convivial associations, which content themselves with an annual exposition of the grievances of Ireland, over the short leg of a turkey, a “bumper of Burgundy,” and that roar of lip artillery, against the usurper, which dies away in a few maudlin hiccups, about two o’clock in the morning, to be revived only at the expiration of another twelve months. Under the burden of any commonplace name, such, we say, might have been the fate of the organization ere this; and so we regard the knowledge and genius which obviated the possibility or rather the probability of failure in this relation, as entitled to prominent consideration and respect. To the superficial observer, this may appear of very little moment in connection with a subject of such magnitude; but let it be understood, that we are influenced by seeming trifles and the surface of things to an extent far greater than we ourselves are willing to confess. Notwithstanding the oft repeated query, “what’s in a name?” there is a great deal in a name. Let two strangers, Mr. Harold Bloomfield and Mr. John Smith send in their cards together to an important official, of whom they expect to get an audience separately, and the chances are nine out of ten in favor of Mr. Bloomfield’s being granted an interview first. This, we apprehend, holds good in a thousand kindred instances, and in no way has the supposition been more clearly verified than in relation to the name bestowed upon the organization under consideration.

The name “Fenian” is of very remote antiquity, and appears to be most comprehensive in its signification, and to be peculiarly adapted to the great confraternity of patriots which now engrosses so much of the history of passing events. There seems to be nothing sectional in it. It is national in the broadest sense of the term, and primative and forcible to intensity. In some annotations to the Annals of the Four Masters we find that the ancient Fenians were called by the Irish writers Fianna Eirionn signifying the Fenians of Ireland, and mentioned under the name of Fene, or Feine, which, according to Dr. O’Conor, signifies the Phenicians of Ireland, as Feine, according to Dr. O’Brien, in his dictionary, at the word Fearmiugh, signifies Phenicians; as they were probably called so from the tradition that Phenicians came to Ireland in the early ages. They are also called by the Irish writers Clann-Ua-Baois-gine, and so named, according to Keating and others, from Baoisgine, who was chief commander of these warriors, and ancestor of the famous hero Fionn, the son of Cumhall; but according to O’Conor, in his notes to the Four Masters, they were called Baoisgine, as being descended from the Milesians who came from Basconia, in Spain, now Biscay, in the country anciently called Cantabria. The Fenian warriors were a famous military force, forming the standing national militia, and instituted in Ireland in the early ages, long before the Christian era, but brought, to the greatest perfection in the reign of the celebrated Cormac, monarch of Ireland in the third century. None were admitted into this military body but select men of the greatest activity, strength, stature, perfect form, and valor, and, when the force was complete, it consisted of thirty-five Catha, that is, battalions or legions, each battalion containing three thousand men, according to O’Halloran and various other historians, making twenty-one thousand for each of the five provinces, or about one hundred thousand fighting men in time of war for the entire kingdom. The Ardrigh, or head king of Ireland, had, for the time being, chief control over these forces, but they often resisted his authority. A commander was appointed over every thousand of these troops, and the entire force was completely armed and admirably disciplined, and each battalion had their own bands of musicians and bards to animate them in battle, and celebrate their feats of arms. In the reign of the monarch Cormac, the celebrated Fionn MacCumhaill, who was descended from the Heremonian kings of Leinster, was the chief commander of the Fenian warriors, and his great actions, strength and valor are celebrated in the Ossianic poems, and various other productions of the ancient bards; he is called Fingal in MacPherson’s Poems of Ossian; but it is to be observed that these are not the real poems of Ossian, but mostly fictions fabricated by Mac Pherson himself, and containing some passages from the ancient poems. Fionn had his chief residence and fortress at Almhuim, now either the hill of Allen, near Kildare, or Ailinn, near old Kilcullen, where a great rath still remains, which was a residence of the ancient kings of Leinster. The Fenians were the chief troops of Leinster, and were Milesians of the race of Heremon; and their renowned commander Fionn, according to the Four Masters, was slain by the cast of a javelin, or, according to others, by the shot of an arrow, at a place called Ath Brea, on the river Boyne, A.D. 283, the year before the battle of Gaura, by the Lugnians of Tara, a tribe who possessed the territory now called the barony of Lune, near Tara, in Meath; and the place mentioned as Ath Brea, or the Ford of Brea, was situated somewhere on the Boyne, between Trim and Navan.

In the reign of king Cairbre Liffeachair, son of the monarch Cormac, the Fenian forces revolted from the service of Cairbre, and joined the famous Mogh Corb, King of Munster, of the race of the Dalcassians. After the death of Fionn Mac Cumhaill, the Fenians were commanded by his son Oisin or Ossian, the celebrated warrior and bard; and at the time of the battle of Gaura, Osgar, another famous champion, the son of Oisin, commanded the Fenian forces. The army of Munster, commanded by Mogh Corb, a name which signifies the Chief of the Chariot, and by his son Fear Corb, that is, the man or warrior of the chariot, was composed of the Clanna Deagha and Dalcassian troops, joined by the Fenians and their Leinster forces; and it is stated in the Ossianic poems, and in Hanmer’s Chronicle, from the Book of Howth, that a great body of warriors from North Britain. Denmark and Norway, came over and fought on the side of the Fenians at Gaura. The army of the monarch Cairbre was composed of the men of Heath and Ulster, together with the Clanna Morna, or Connaught warriors, commanded by Aodh or Hugh, King of Connaught, son of Garadh, grandson of Moraa of the Damnonian race. The Munster forces, and Fenians, marched to Meath, where they were met by the combined troops of the monarch Cairbre, and fought one of the most furious battles recorded in Irish history, which continued throughout the whole length of a summer’s day. The greatest valor was displayed by the warriors on each side, and it is difficult to say which army were victors or vanquished. The heroic Osgar was slain in single combat by the valiant monarch Cairbre, but Cairbre himself soon afterwards fell by the hand of the champion Simon, the son of Ceirb, of the race of the Fotharts of Leinster. Both armies amounted to about fifty thousand men, the greatest part of whom were slain; of the Fenian forces, which consisted of twenty thousand men, it is stated that eighteen thousand fell, and on both sides, thirty thousand warriors were slain. In the following year, Hugh, king of Connaught, according to O’Flaherty’s Ogygia, defeated the Munsters forces in battle at Spaltrach, near the mountain Senchua, in Muscry, in which he slew Mogh Corb, king of Munster. The tremendous battle of Gaura is considered to have led to the subsequent fall of the Irish monarchy, for after the destruction of the Fenian forces, the Irish kings never were able to muster a national army equal in valor and discipline to those heroes, either to cope with foreign foes, or to reduce to subjection the rebellious provincial kings and princes; hence the monarchy became weak and disorganized, and the ruling powers were unable to maintain their authority or make a sufficient stand against the Danish and Anglo-Norman Invaders of after time.

From what is here stated, it must be obvious, that no more appropriate name than that of “Fenian” could be given to the organization which now holds the destiny of Ireland in its hands, and which has ramified itself throughout almost every portion of the habitable globe.

We have already observed that the selection of this name was judicious in more than one relation. In the first place, it was far removed from that of any of the well known cognomens which had characterized so many of the noted revolutionary associations that had already failed in Ireland, and, in this respect, was strong; being free from any unpleasant reminiscences; while, from the fact of its import not being generally known to the masses, it stimulated enquiry on the part of the curious or weak nationalists which resulted in the most salutary consequences. The rarity of the name led to newspaper expositions of it, and moved the inquiring patriot to look into Irish history in relation to it; and in this manner a knowledge of much of the ancient greatness of Ireland became the common property of those who were formerly but slightly acquainted with such lore. The result was, thousands of the Irish became interested in relation to the past of their race; for, in connection with this name there was that which was calculated to arouse the spirit of patriotism within them and lead them on to a further perusal of the annals of their country.

It is evident, then, that no common appelation could have been fraught with such beneficial results; as there would have been nothing connected with it to stimulate enquiry or research. Repealers, Irish National Leagues, Whiteboys, Rockites, United Irishmen, &c., all had their day, and carried their meaning upon the surface; so that it was really necessary to give the new organization some occult, comprehensive and characteristic name, that would separate it in this aspect from all the Irish revolutionary bodies that had preceded it, and place it en rapport with the great past of the nation which was the grand receptacle of its traditions and source of its pride. Here, then, we leave this part of the subject, without presuming that we have thrown much more light upon the matter than has already been recognized by those who have at all looked into it; for it must, we think, be obvious to most Irish nationalists, that the energies and sentiments of their patriotic countrymen, could never have been grouped so successfully under any of the appelations just named, as they have been under that of “Fenians”—given, as we have already perceived, to the great national army of Ireland during the days of her early glory and power, and which alone represented the nation as a whole.

It is not our province to dwell here upon the infancy of the Brotherhood on either side of the Atlantic, or to enter into the various difficulties and unpleasant circumstances to which it has been subjected by alleged want of true patriotism and economy on the part of some of its founders. Sufficient to say, that through all such alleged obstructions it has struggled into the greatest and most powerful organization that has ever existed in any age of the world, and is, to-day, the mightiest and most invincible floating power that has ever influenced the destinies of any people. Its friends are numbered by millions and its members by hundreds upon hundreds of thousand. To its ranks belong soldiers, statesmen and orators, men of large pecuniary means and cultivated minds; cool heads and strong arms, and many guiding spirits who need but little light save that which shines within them. In addition, the sympathies of America and of every generous nation on the face of the earth, are with it; so that it has triumphed in advance, in a measure; for, backed by such influences, and actuated, as it is, by impulses so pure and holy, not a solitary doubt can obtain in relation to its ultimate success. True, that there are those who are thoughtless or traitorous enough to designate it as antagonistic to religion, and subversive, of the established order of things; but these, for the most part, are persons who reason through their pockets or their prejudices, and who are devoid of any thorough recognition of those great principles which are applicable to nations as well as to individuals and which are based upon the just doctrine, that resistence to tyrants is obedience to God—persons who are so methodical and patient under the sufferings of others, that they would pause to measure the precise length of rope that, was necessary to reach a drowning man. In the day of Ireland’s triumph, such people, will cone to confusion; as will those who have withheld from her, in the period of her sore travail, the pecuniary aid; which they could have well afforded out of their ample means, with a view to relieving their kinsmen and suffering fellow countrymen from the grasp of a tyrant the most inexorable that ever drew breath.

Were the Fenian organization confined entirely to Ireland, and did no active outside sympathy obtain for that unfortunate country the day of her redemption might be postponed to an indefinite period. So completely are all the resources and defences of the land in the hands of the English, that it would be difficult for the natives to make any lengthened or effective stand against the usurper. England has her, navy and her army to operate against any rising of the inhabitants, at a moment’s warning; while every office in the kingdom, of the slightest importance or trust, is in the hands of her minions. Again, among some of the recreant sons of the soil, she has, alas too ample scope for the use of her accursed gold; and thus it is; that to cope singled handed with her against such fearful odds, would involve oceans of blood, both on the field and on the scaffold. When, however, we come to dwell on the fact, that outside and beyond her control or reach, another body of Irish, which has been aptly termed a nation within a nation—when it comes to be understood, we say, that on the shores of free America a mighty and invincible Brotherhood has been built up, actuated by every sentiment of hostility which fires the breast of the most implacable of her enemies to-day, and that has for its aim and end an object in common with the people of Ireland at her own doors, then we begin to perceive how harrassed and powerless she must be. Neither her famine, fire nor sword, can avail her here. Secure beneath the ample folds of the glorious stars and stripes of the great Republic of America, and fired with the love of free institutions, and taught in the great principles of freedom by the liberty loving American people, this mighty band of exiles, in connection with their children born beneath the folds of the American flag, are steadily preparing to join fierce issue with her and test, upon the open field, the prowess she has so often set forth as superior to that of any other nation. This is what now disables and paralyses her. Ireland is, for the time being, beneath her heel; but what of the warlike hosts that loom in the western horizon and may soon rush down on her like a wolf on the fold, and wedge her in between two hostile walls? This is the great strength, of Ireland at the present moment. Her energies are not walled in by the ocean or a British fleet She is alive and active in other lands, and so powerful outside her own borders, that there is no such thing as circumscribing her influence or operations in so far as they relate to her struggles for independence. It is, then, from America that she is to obtain her most effective aid; and such being the case, it behooves the Irish nationalists on American soil to be true and steady to the great purpose in which they are now so ardently engaged; for so far, fortune has smiled upon them. The American people sympathize with them and feel that while they are aiding them to regain the long lost freedom of their country, they are bringing to the dust the very self-same enemy that sought, by stealth and the most cowardly means, to overthrow their own Commonwealth, and leave the Union a hopeless ruin before the world. It is this which now hangs a millstone about the neck of the British government, and which must ultimately develope itself in active sympathy with any people who have for their object the humiliation of the skull and cross-bones of St. George, on this side of the Atlantic at least.

And so the ball rolls; hourly accumulating force and magnitude, and destined, at no distant day, to sweep in upon Ireland and hurl the invader from her shores. No power on earth can stay its onward course. The freedom of Ireland is the creed of millions. The young lisp it; strong men repeat it in every clime; and the old of both hemispheres murmur it in their prayers. In short, it has taken a hold of the Irish heart wherever a true pulse warms it to-day, and has so incorporated itself with the hopes and aspirations of the Irish of all lands, that fate itself must yield to its power and universality. Within the last few years it has become part and parcel of the education of the Irish people wherever they are found; whether beneath the burning zone, in temperate latitudes or at the frozen poles; so that its ultimate success is beyond any possible contingency; from the fact that there never was a sentiment so widely spread and so religiously cultivated and cherished, that failed to accomplish all that it would attain.


While the children of Ireland were engaged in defending the flag of the Union during the late civil war, and sealing with their blood their fidelity to the great Republic, they were, also, acquiring a knowledge of arms and a warlike hardihood, which tended, on the cessation of hostilities, to render the Fenian organization more formidable than it could possibly have become, had peace pervaded the land from the inception of the Brotherhood to its triumph at Ridgeway. All through this gigantic struggle the hand of the Irish patriot and exile was prominently observable. Not a field had been fought from the firing of the first gun at Fort Sumter to the surrender of Lee’s army, on which their blood had not flowed in rivers. Look at Murfreesboro, Corinth, Perrysville, Iuka, Antietam, Chickahomany, Winchester, Fort Donaldson, Island Ten, Shiloh, Lexington, Bull Run, Carnifex Ferry, the Rappahannock, the Mississippi, the Cumberland, the Potomac and Fredericksburg, “where one-half of Meagher’s Brigade are still encamped under the sod,” and we have evidence of the truth of this assertion, the most ample and complete. Amidst these scenes of terrific carnage, the warlike genius and matchless personal bravery of many a distinguished Irishman were eminently conspicuous; while the latent fires that had previously lain dormant in the breast of others, leaped forth into a glorious conflagration, that commanded the admiration of every true soldier and evoked the recognition of the Commonwealth at large. Amongst this latter class stood pre-eminently forward, the present President of the Fenian Brotherhood throughout the world—GENERAL JOHN O’NIELL, a brief sketch of whom we introduce here for obvious reasons, drawn from authentic records in our possession, as well as from the current newspaper literature of the day:

“To the Irish reader,” observes a contemporary, well informed upon this subject, “and especially to that portion of our people, who are conversant with the past history of their country, and feel a patriotic pride in its glorious records, as well as a fervent hope for their renewal in the future—there is no name fraught with memories more inspiring than that of O’Neill—the princely house of Ulster, the champions of the Red Hand, who, for centuries, in the struggles of the nation against the Saxon invader, led the hosts of their people to victory, and only succumbed at last when poison and treachery, and chicane had accomplished what force failed to effect; for their valor was powerless against the dagger of the assassin, as were their honesty and open-heartedness against the bad faith of England’s perjured tools. Like many a noble and ancient Irish house, its scions are to-day to be found scattered through the world, in every walk of life. But though its banner no longer floats over embattled hosts, there is magic still in its associations; and when men speak of the O’Neill, the Irish heart leaps fondly towards the historic name and the proud recollection of the days when Hugh and Owen stood for the rights of their people and native land, and dealt the assailants of both those sturdy blows which so well justified their claim to the blazon of the ‘Red Hand.’

“In our own day, too, the old blood has vindicated its inherent force and purity, and has found a worthy representative in the subject of our present sketch—GENERAL JOHN O’NEILL,—whose name, in the future history of the Irish race, will be as inseparably linked with the struggles of the present generation for national independence, as are those of his ancestors with the efforts made by our people in the past against English tyranny and usurpation. As this noble and patriotic Irishman is now occupying so much of the public attention, and his political conduct meeting with that cordial endorsement which is a just tribute to his bravery and patriotism—whether on the bloody fields of the South, routing a Morgan, or assuming the command of his colonel, or, with thirty men repelling the attack of a regiment; or, with his gallant band of Irish soldiers, chasing the ‘Queen’s Own’ at Ridgeway—a brief review of his career will not be devoid of interest to all who desire to preserve a record of those who have deserved well of their country. Within the limits of such a sketch it would be impossible to do adequate justice to the character of a man like General O’Neill, and we can only assume to glance at the many attestations of his bravery and gentlemanly bearing which should have a public record, as they are from men of high position, and are of importance in illustrating the estimation in which he has always been held by his superior and brother officers. No man can produce a more unsullied one, or one better calculated to confirm his title to the high position in which his countrymen have placed him.

“General O’Neill was born on the 8th of March, 1834, in the townland of Drumgallon, parish of Clontibret, county Monaghan, Ireland. At his birth he was an orphan, his father having died a few weeks previously. The early part of his existence was spent with his grandparents in his native place. Bred up in a country, every hill and river and plain of which was linked in story with the deeds of the mighty men of old, it is not to be wondered at that the mind of young O’Neill seized with avidity every incident of the past connected with the condition and history of his fatherland, or that the bias of his future life was given by his meditations as he rambled along the slopes of Benburb, or traced the victorious steps of his ancient sept, through the classic region where his schoolboy days were passed. That it should be so is only natural; for he is a kinsman, as well as namesake, of the great Hugh O’Neill who, with his fearless followers, swept over Ulster and defeated so many of England’s greatest generals, and brought the heads of some of her pets to the block. And there is no doubt but that some of her favorites of to-day shall be made to bite the dust ere the General has done with them.

“General O’Neill is a man of calm temperament, but a firm will, which, when excited, however, is stern and inflexible; uniting with this a good education and gentlemanly address, with a mind bold, independent and decisive. His person partakes of the character of his mind for if the one never succumbed in the council, the other never bent in the field. Few could imagine from his modest exterior the latent, fire and energy which burn in his bosom. His manner is as unassuming as his mind is noble; quiet, yet impervious to flattery or laudations, he seems at the same time to pay due regard to popular opinion, without in the least permitting it to influence him in the discharge of his duties.

“While he was yet quite young, the family of General O’Neill emigrated to the United States, and his mother settled at Elizabeth, N.J., where she still resides. He did not follow them until 1848, when he was fourteen years of age. Having devoted some time to the completion of his studies here, he determined to engage in commercial pursuits, and for some time travelled as agent for some of the leading Catholic publishing houses. In 1855 he opened a Catholic Book Store in Richmond, Va., and while residing there became a member of the ‘Emmet Guard,’ then the leading Irish organization in that section of the country. The inclination thus manifested for the military profession soon proved to be the ruling passion in the mind of the young Celt,—checked only by the repugnance of his family towards the soldier’s life; for, in 1857, he gave up his business and entered the Second Regiment of U.S. Cavalry—a regiment which has since furnished the most distinguished officers who have figured on both sides during the late war.

“In the Regular Army, O’Neill rose steadily by his good character, bravery and aptitude, no less than by his education and invariable gentlemanly conduct. But though he has since filled positions of high responsibility, he has often declared that one of the most pleasurable emotions of his life was experienced when, for some meritorious act, he received, from his commanding officer, his warrant of Corporal.

“At the outbreak of the war, the regiment with which he was serving was recalled from California, and on the organization of the army under McClellan, was attached to the Regular Cavalry Division, which took part in the principal battles in the campaign of the Peninsula, during which O’Neill was in command of Gen. Stoneman’s body guard. After the withdrawal of the army from the Peninsula, he was dispatched to Indiana, where he was retained for some time as instructor of cavalry, drilling the officers of the force then being raised for the defence of that portion of the Union against the incursions of the Confederate guerillas. He subsequently entered the 5th Indiana Cavalry as Second Lieutenant, and served with that regiment, during 1863, in the operations against the Southern leaders in Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana and Ohio. In these expeditions, which, whether in the nature of scouts, reconnoisances or advances, generally took the shape of sharp running fights, Lieut. O’Neill’s skill and daring not only attracted the attention of his commanding officers, but further enlisted the enthusiasm of the men, insomuch that, when one of those sorties was ordered, the first question asked was always—‘Is O’Neill to lead it?’—and if the answer was in the affirmative, no matter how jaded the men might be, volunteers in any number were ready at once.

“There is no greater instance of personal bravery, or gallantry equal to any emergency, than that related by Archbishop Purcell, of Cincinnati, in his account of O’Neill’s encounter with Morgan, the famous guerilla; and as many of our readers have not read the partial account given in Mr. Savage’s ‘Fenian Heroes and Martyrs,’ it may prove of interest to them, as his encounter with Morgan is more generally spoken of than understood. Archbishop Purcell says:—

‘There is a remarkably brave officer suffering from diarrhoea, contracted in a three month’s chase after Morgan, now in St. John’s Hospital, in this city—Lieut. O’Neill, of the 5th Indiana Cavalry. His mother resides in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Her adventurous boy enlisted in the regular army at the time of the Mormon excitement in Utah; was afterwards sent to California; was made Sergeant for distinguished services on the Potomac; employed on a recruiting tour in Indiana, and promoted to a Lieutenancy in the famous 5th Indiana cavalry.

‘Respecting his encounter with Hamilton’s rebel force, in May, the Indianapolis papers spoke of the exploit of Lieut. O’Neill, and a detachment of his company, as one of the most daring and brilliant achievements of the war. The Lieutenant has kindly furnished us with the following interesting account of the part he took in the defeat of Morgan. The authorities here have recommended him for promotion to the rank of Major.


‘On the night of the 19th, about 10 o’clock, Gen. Judah, with his cavalry and artillery command, left Pomeroy for Buffington. The General sent First Lieutenant John O’Neill, of the 5th Indiana cavalry, with fifty men, ahead, with instructions to try and open communications with the militia, said to be in close proximity to the island. The Lieutenant was delayed by losing the road during the night, and did not arrive till about an hour and a half after daylight. He then learned that the militia had been skirmishing with the enemy during the night, and that Gen. Judah’s advance had been ambushed, the morning being foggy; and the General’s Assistant Adjutant General, Capt. Rice, with some twenty-five or thirty men and a piece of artillery, and Chief of Artillery, Capt. Henshaw, had been captured and sent to Gen. Morgan’s headquarters on the river road, some thirty miles ahead of him, on the enemy’s left flank. The Lieutenant at once resolved to recapture what had been taken; and, with his Spartan band, kept steadily on. Several parties tried to stop him; but a volley from the “Sharp’s” carbines of his boys invariably drove them back. At length he came on Morgan, with two regiments and a body guard of one hundred men. The Lieutenant halted his men suddenly, at an angle of the road, within one hundred and fifty paces. He gave the command “ready,” and intended to have given them a volley; but seeing some of his own men in front, he did not fire, but commanded “forward,” and dashed in amongst them. If he had fired, every shot must have told, he was so close. Morgan, with his two regiments and body guard, ran without firing a shot. All our prisoners were released, and about thirty of the enemy taken. Some were killed and wounded. The Lieutenant pursued Morgan about two miles clear off the field, and captured three pieces of artillery, which he carried off with him. This was the last of Morgan on the field. The Lieutenant cannot tell how many he killed or wounded, as his fight was a running one, extending over four miles; but the surgeon in charge of burying the dead and looking after the wounded, reported that most of both were along the river where O’Neill had been.’

“The above, from Archbishop Purcell, is an unquestionable testimony of the daring and audacity of the subject of this sketch in the field. The National Journal, in giving an account of the same battle, says:

‘Lieutenant O’Neill, of the 5th Indiana Cavalry, now appeared by another road, with but fifty men, and charged two different regiments so desperately that they broke and left our captured guns, officers and men in our possession.’

“The Louisville Journal, after relating an instance of O’Neill’s personal bravery, says:

‘Lieutenant O’Neill is the same who, about two weeks ago, while out with Col. Graham, on the Tennessee side of Cumberland, with twenty men as an advanced guard, came up with Hamilton, having two hundred men drawn up in line—charged and ran him thirteen miles, and with his own hand, while ahead of his men, killed five—two of them with the sabre.’

“To go into detail, and give a minute account of the many instances of gallantry, pluck and determination displayed by the subject of our sketch, would be beyond the scope of our present purpose, as they, at the same time, would only tend to multiply instances, without lending any additional proof. But we cannot, as it directly bears on his letter of resignation, with accompanying letters of endorsement from distinguished Generals, pass over that singular and noble proof of unexampled bravery—his assuming the command of his Colonel Butler, when the latter showed signs of cowardice.

“The affair took place at Walker’s Ford, on Clinch River, in East Tennessee, where the division to which O’Neill’s regiment was attached was stationed, to dispute the passage of the Southern troops, which in large force occupied the adjacent country. O’Neill had only a few days before rejoined his command, after the illness incurred in his chase after Morgan, and was at breakfast when the alarm was given that the enemy had surprised the advanced guard, and were attacking in force. Springing on his horse, he rallied the company of picked men he commanded, and for a long time held the advancing forces of the enemy in check, to give time for others to form line of battle. But the enemy were rapidly getting in rear of the Union troops, and O’Neill fell back on the main body of his regiment, just in time to hear his Colonel cry out, ‘Oh, God! all is lost! save yourselves, men, the best way you can. Nothing is left us but retreat!’ ‘Not by a long sight!’ shouted O’Neill, as, sword in hand, he dashed in front of the mob of soldiers, upon whom panic and the example of their commander were rapidly doing the work of disorganization. ‘Men,’ continued he, turning to them, ‘all of you who mean to fight, fall in with me.’ The effect was almost miraculous. About one hundred and fifty of the fugitives rallied, and with these he drove back the advancing columns of the enemy, saved the day, and, though severely wounded in the action, remained master of the field.

“Of this attack, a correspondent of the Indianapolis Daily Journal, of January, 1864, says:

‘The rebels, finding we were retreating, determined to drive us into the river. About three hundred mounted men came over the hills, charging Company “A,” 65th Indiana, and three companies of the 5th, commanded by Col. Butler and Capt. Hodge. Our boys began to waver. The Colonel tried to rally them to no effect, when O’Neill rode up and took command. Taking a Henry rifle from one of the 65th boys, he commenced firing, at the same time yelling at the men to charge them, which they did. For about five minutes it was the most frightful scene I have ever witnessed. Out of the three hundred Confederates, only about twenty went back mounted, the balance being killed, wounded, and dismounted. A rebel officer, afterwards taken, admitted the loss of twenty killed and forty wounded in the charge. This so effectually checked them, and convinced them that a charge would not pay, that we very easily held our ground until the wagons and guns had crossed the river. But our brave Lieutenant, O’Neill, received a wound in the thigh while we were making our last stand. He rode out all day, never seeking shelter, cheering his men. When other officers had given up all as lost, he replied, “Not by a long sight.” He met with a hearty response from the men. We afterwards learned that we were fighting three brigades, among them the “Texan Rangers.”’

“There is no nobler instance of daring or pluck, or of presence of mind, or decisiveness of character, equal to any crisis, than this. But what is the sequel? The Colonel, narrow minded as he was cowardly, was piqued at young O’Neill’s gallantry in repelling the attack, which at once stamped himself with cowardice, and lowered him, as a consequence, in the estimation of his brother officers. After the battle he sent a report of the officers and non-commissioned officers whom he recommended for promotion, omitting the name of O’Neill. This was a direct insult to the man who displayed the most bravery, and had saved them from a watery grave, a fiery death, or, worse than all, an ignominious surrender. It at once aroused all that was stern in his nature—to have such a coward offer him an insult. He went to the Colonel, and demanded if it was true that he had sent the names of certain officers to the Governor for promotion, and noncommissioned officers for commissions over him, and omitted his name altogether. The Colonel replied in the affirmative. ‘Then,’ said O’Neill, ‘I shall never serve another day in your regiment.’

“We give these particulars in detail, as well as his resignation, not only on account of its boldness, but as some people try to put a different construction on the fact of his sending in his resignation at that time. Conformably with his determination, he went to his quarters, where, after a fortnight, he prepared his resignation, and sent it to headquarters. In the interim, the Colonel sent one day to know if he would drill the regiment. O’Neill sent back to know if it was an order or a request; on being assured it was the latter, he complied. He was expecting to be arrested every day; but the Colonel was too much of a coward, as he was afraid the consequences would be rather unpleasant. After a few weeks, his resignation was sent to headquarters, with letters of disapproval—but endorsing his complaints, and testifying to his bravery and efficiency—from Gens. Sturges and Stoneman. Comments on these letters would be superfluous, as they speak forcibly for themselves.

  “CAMP NEAR PARIS, KENTUCKY, April 7th, 1864.

  “Sir: I have the honor herewith to tender my resignation as First
  Lieutenant of Company ‘I,’ 5th Cavalry, 90th Regiment Indiana
  Volunteers, on account of promotions in the regiment, which have
  placed men over me whom I cannot consistently serve under. Some of
  them, Captains, have been Sergeants in the same regiment since I
  have been First Lieutenant; and while I have a high regard for these
  officers personally, I can never allow myself to be commanded by
  them in the field.

  “I served in the regular army nearly four years, in Utah,
  California, and on the Peninsula: as private, Corporal, Sergeant,
  and acting-Sergeant-Major, and have been in the regiment, as
  Lieutenant, sixteen months.

  “The enclosed copies of letters from Generals Hodson, Judah and
  Stoneman, with others from the present Colonel of my regiment, and
  the former, Colonel Graham, recommending me to Governor Morton, for
  the position of field-officer in one of the regiments being
  organized in Indiana, will show that I am not undeserving of
  promotion in my own regiment, and that I have some cause to be
  dissatisfied with not receiving it, and with having officers placed
  over me whom, in point of military knowledge and experience, I
  cannot regard as my superiors.

  “I certify, on honor, that I am not indebted to the United States
  on any account whatever, and that I am not responsible for any
  government property, except what I am prepared to turn over to the
  proper officer on the acceptance of my resignation, and that I was
  last paid by Major Haggerty to include the twenty-ninth of February,

  “Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

  “JOHN O’NEILL, First Lieut., Co. ‘I,’ 5th Ind. Cav.

“Rather a bold epistle this! He tells his commander squarely he will not serve under officers whom he considers his inferiors in military knowledge. We shall now give the accompanying letters to which he refers, from Generals Sturges, Judah and Stoneman, which furnish unquestionable proof of his ability and military capacity. These letters, from men of fine military experience, are very high references of O’Neill’s ability. The following is that from Major-General Stoneman:—

  “HEADQUARTERS 23D ARMY CORPS, March 8th, 1864.

  “I knew Lieut. O’Neill well on the Peninsula, and as a brave and
  worthy officer, in whose judgment and capacity I had the greatest
  confidence. I hope he will receive the promotion to which his merits
  entitle him, that of a field-officer in a colored regiment.

  “GEORGE STONEMAN, Major-Gen., Com’g. Corps.

“That from General Judah is equally as commendatory. If the one refers to his bravery on the Peninsula, the other testifies equally to his daring during the war:—

  In camp near Mossy Creek, Tenn., March 7th, 1864.

  “It gives me pleasure to state that, from personal observation, I
  deem Lieut. John O’Neill, of the 5th Indiana Cavalry, one of the most
  gallant and efficient officers it has been my duty to command.
  His daring and services have been conspicuous, and I trust he may
  receive what he has so ably merited—his promotion.

  “H.M. JUDAH, Brig.-Gen., Com’g. Division.

“The following endorsement, written on the resignation by General Sturges, when forwarded to the headquarters, shows that if merit, military and personal, could meet with its reward, Lieut. O’Neill should get speedy promotion:—

  PARIS, KY., April 7th, 1864.

  “Disapproved and respectfully forwarded.

  “This is an excellent officer—too valuable, indeed, to be lost to
  the service. He was severely wounded near Tazewell, under Colonel
  Graham, last December, and is estimated as one of the best officers
  of my command. This is not the only resignation which has been
  offered on account of the promotions of inferiors having been made
  in the 5th Indiana Cavalry over the heads of superiors, based upon
  political or other considerations, and altogether regardless of
  merit. By this system junior and meritorious officers find
  themselves cut off from all hope of advancement, and compelled to
  serve subordinate to others for whose qualifications they can
  entertain no respect.

  “While, therefore, I disapprove his resignation for the public
  good, I would respectfully urge that some policy be initiated
  or recommended by which officers can see the way open for their
  advancement according to merit.


  “L.D. STURGES, Brig.-Gen. Com’g.

“The following was the reply from Headquarters:—

  KNOXVILLE, TENN., April 16, 1864

  “Respectfully returned from this Headquarters, Cavalry Corps, to
  Lieut. John O’Neill, 5th Indiana Cavalry.

  “There appears to be no remedy for the evil referred to by General

  “By command of


  “R. MOORE, Ass’t. Adj’t. Gen.

“Such attestations of the bravery, military skill and high moral character of General O’Neill, coming from his companions in arms, from the public press, and from Generals of experience and high position, form a record of which any man might be proud. Comment on them is unnecessary, as they speak forcibly for themselves. Of his noble spirit, decisiveness in the hour of danger, ability, pure character, and gentlemanly bearing, we have produced overwhelming testimony; but as he is now before the public in so very prominent a manner, it is necessary that the people should know minutely his every act and the nature of the man under whose leadership the Irish Nationalists in America are about to renew the good old fight for loved Erin’s disenthralment. No matter whether on the field or in the drawing-room, his calmness of deportment and gentlemanly bearing are the same. The simplest child he would no more offend than the most powerful man. Uniting with such gentleness and heroic bravery, precise military knowledge, and a pure patriotism, may not Irishmen hope that in him they have found the man who is destined to lead them on to victory and liberty. In whatever sphere he moves, he is universally endeared to all; for

  ‘In him is the heart of a woman, combined
   With a heroic life and a governing mind.’ 

“In the movement on Canada, in 1866, Gen. O’Neill sacrificed a business which, in a few years, would have made him a wealthy man. But he did so without hesitation; for he loved his country, and had pledged his life to her service. With the contingent raised by him in Tennessee, he proceeded to Buffalo, where, finding himself the senior officer, he assumed command of the troops there assembled, and, in obedience to the orders he had received, crossed the Niagara river, at the head of six hundred men, on the night of the 31st of May, and raised the Green Flag once more on the soil of the enemy. On the following evening, receiving information that the British forces were marching against him to the number of five thousand, in two distinct columns, he resolved to fight them in detail, and by a rapid march got between them. On the morning of the 2d of June, at Ridgeway, he struck them under Booker; and, though the enemy out-numbered his force four to one, routed them signally. Falling back on his original position at Fort Erie, he there learned that the United States Government had stopped the movement at other points, and arrested its leaders. Under the circumstances, nothing more could be done, at that time; and he was reluctantly obliged to re-cross the Niagara, and surrender to the United States forces. That he only did so under the pressure of necessity, is attested by his offer to the Committee in Buffalo to hold his ground, as his own report of the battle of Ridgeway attests, in which he simply says:

‘But if a movement was going on elsewhere, I was perfectly willing to make the Old Fort a slaughter pen, which I knew it would be the next day if I remained; for I would never have surrendered!

“At the Cleveland Convention of the Fenian Brotherhood, in September, 1867, General O’Neill was elected a Senator of that body; and having been chosen Vice President on the resignation of that office by James Gibbons, Esq., he succeeded President W.R. Roberts, on the resignation of that gentleman, Dec. 31, 1867.

“We have thus briefly sketched the principal incidents of General O’Neill’s career, and, in conclusion, may venture to say that a more stainless, or meritorious, could scarcely be presented to the public. His whole history incontrovertibly illustrates as noble, determined and daring a character as ever led a brave but enslaved people to victory.

“We could supplement this with various other official documents and accounts, serving, if such were possible, to illustrate still further the proud daring and exalted spirit of this worthy son of an illustrious past; but shall, at this particular point of our story, content ourselves with what has just been said. We might, were we so inclined, introduce, also, various other Irish names that shone forth with unrivalled splendor during the late war, and point to the thousands upon thousands of Irish rank and file that, on numerous fields, piled up ramparts of dead around the glorious flag of the Union; but such would not serve our purpose here, as we are restricted in relation to the task before us; and as the fact of the exploits and the bravery of hosts of our loyal countrymen are known to the government and people of this Republic. Sufficient to say, however, that amongst all those of our race who fought and bled in defence of the North, and the integrity of the Commonwealth, there was not to be found one individual who evinced more profound judgment than he in handling the forces at his command, or more cool daring, or instances of personal bravery, as well as that tremendous and overwhelming dash, which gained for Ney the proud appellation, ‘the bravest of the brave?’ and placed the Marshals of France amongst the foremost in history.

“From out of this fierce civil contest, then, it is obvious from all that we have just said, that Fenianism, in its military aspect, received the largest and most important accessions. At the close of the conflict, thousands upon thousands of veterans joined its standard; and thus, in an incredibly short period, its warlike character became intensified, until, at last, the organization on the American continent loomed up before England with an aspect so threatening and a purpose so apparent, that she instantly set about putting her house in order, and began to glance in the direction of making some cunning, though paltry, concessions to Ireland.

“If, however, the military circles of the Brotherhood were distinguished by the accession of many brave and patriotic soldiers, at the juncture already referred to, the organization, in its civil aspect, was not less fortunate or noticeable. Led triumphantly through some of the most difficult phases of its existence, by such self-sacrificing and noble patriots as Colonel W.R. Roberts, of New York, its late President, and James Gibbons, Esq., of Philadelphia, its present Vice President—than whom two more disinterested and sterling Sons of the Sod do not exist—its basis enlarged and strengthened, we say, by such men as these, and the able and truehearted Senators that surrounded them, the Brotherhood, at the close of the war, was in a condition sufficiently exalted to attract to its centre many of the ablest soldiers who had fought on the side of the Union, and who, with their numerous and respective followings, were ready to evince their love of liberty and republican institutions further, by resuming their swords and striking home for the freedom of poor, down-trodden Ireland, against a tyrant the most infamous that has ever existed, and to whom America owes a debt of vengeance, that, under any circumstances, cannot fail to be one day repaid with tenfold interest.

“And so this grand confraternity of patriots prospered and became the greatest and most powerful that has ever appeared upon the theatre of human existence. To be sure, in a body so numerous and all but ramified throughout every portion of the habitable globe, there have been some unworthy members, who fell before the love of gain, or British gold; but, then, and with pride we say it, taking the gigantic proportions of the organization into consideration, and the temptations to sin which have been so constantly placed before it by that blood-thirsty assassin, England, it stands, by comparison, pre-eminently pure above any other similar revolutionary body that has ever obtained in either hemisphere, or in any age of the world. Up to the present hour, under the protection and guidance of a Divine providence, it has surmounted every difficulty that has beset it. It has outlived whatever of treason or mismanagement obtained in its own bosom; it has survived the cruel calumnies and falsehoods of a traitorous and subsidized press, and the machinations of that dangerous English element that sometimes steals into high places, and which has so often interfered with the true interests of America within her own borders, as well as touching her foreign relations. These and many either untoward influences it has surmounted; until, now, it stands upon a pedestal beyond the reach of danger; not only from its great inherent strength and virtue, but from its all but incomprehensible ubiquity, and positive existence in every land and clime. How futile, then, the efforts of its enemies to crush it either by ungenerous legislation, or through the propagation of falsehood. Fenianism is a power founded upon the immutable principles of truth and justice; and is, therefore, indestructible. Consequently, until it has achieved the grand and holy objects that it has set before it, it must win its way to triumph, step by step, if needs be no matter what the magnitude or the number of the difficulties that beset it.”


Early as Barry was up on the morning following his introduction to the reader, he found Tom and Greaves in the bar-room, discussing one of O’Brien’s favorite decoctions, which was averred to possess the virtue of giving a “fillip” to the lagging appetite, and attuning it to the healthiest possible breakfast pitch. Nicholas, although not addicted to early potations, was prevailed upon to join the party. During, the friendly conversation which accompanied this faithless libation to the Goddess of Health, Greaves observed that while he did not feel himself at liberty to speak freely in the mixed company of the preceding evening, notwithstanding what might have been termed his unfriendly insinuations in relation to Ireland, he was himself a true friend of Irish freedom; and, on all befitting occasions, an humble champion of her total and unequivocal independence of England. Here he produced a letter, from a secret pocket in the lining of his vest, which he handed to Tom for hasty perusal; remarking, at the same time, that he well knew to whom he was submitting it. A hurried glance at the contents induced O’Brien to open his eyes wider than they had been opened for some time, and to regard his companion with an almost bewildered stare!

“Sure enough, it’s his handwritin, and it’s as thrue as the sun,” ejaculated Tom, as he folded up the letter and returned it to the owner, “and it’s a different opinion both Nick and myself had of you last night, although sorry I am for it now; and there’s my hand for you.”

“What’s up now?” retorted Barry, well knowing that O’Brien would never have offered his hand to Greaves, unless there were good reasons for it.

“Nothin’ more,” returned Tom, “beyond that we had formed a wrong opinion of our frind here, last night; for, instead of his bein’ what I was half inclined to take him for, he cannot fail to be other than the right stamp, or he never could have that letther in his pocket.”

“That’s enough for me, Tom,” replied Barry, extending his hand to Greaves, “for whoever you endorse is sure to pass muster, in this place, at least.”

The conversation here became low and confidential; being interrupted only by an occasional customer who dropped in to take his “morning;” until, at last, breakfast was announced, and the soldier and Greaves, taking the hint, were soon snugly seated side by side in the little parlor of the preceding night, at a neat and comfortable table, smoking with some of the good things which so constantly characterized The Harp. O’Brien, from his other avocations, was unable to join them at the moment; so they both conversed freely on the topic that had just commanded their attention in the bar, and which referred to neither more nor less than the intended invasion of Canada by the army of the Irish Republic, then said to be preparing for a descent upon the Provinces, in the neighboring Union. Nicholas was unable to give any definite information upon the matter; as the authorities of the organization in the United States were very reticent regarding it, and Greaves himself appeared but little better informed. Barry, however, expressed the opinion that, if any man in Canada had thorough information on the point, it was Tom; although he himself had no very tangible grounds for making the observation, notwithstanding the strength of his surmises.

“Do you not belong to the organization yourself, and if you do, ought you not to be in possession of some facts on this all-important movement?” rejoined Greaves, “and if you are not a member, surely you are sufficiently true to Ireland to have been informed, to some extent at least, in regard to it, by your friend O’Brien, who is, I learn, a Centre here.”

“Well, strange as it may appear,” returned the other, “I don’t belong to the Brotherhood, not having, yet had an opportunity to join it; and as for Tom, whatever my suspicions may be, I really am unable to say positively that he is in any degree connected with the organization; although I am sensible that his sympathies, like my own, lie in that direction.”

“How is your regiment situated on this point,” remarked Greaves, leisurely breaking an egg and commencing to chip the shell.

“A good many of my way of thinking,” replied the other; “but, as you know, it is necessary to be cautious, as not only is the commanding officer a tartar, but most of the swords and sashes are of the same kidney. The fact of the case is, however, several of our fellows have deserted, and no doubt will join the organization in the States, and render good service to the cause there, in a military point of view.”

“Why don’t you follow their example and do something for your poor, down-trodden country,” said Philip in reply, “seeing that now is the time she needs the service of all her children?”

“There is no necessity for my deserting,” rejoined Barry, “for I have already applied for my discharge, which I expect to receive this very day; so that ere the sun sets, in all probability, I shall be a freeman.”

Greaves became silent here for a few moments, as if revolving something in his mind, when, lifting his head again, he resumed the conversation by asking:

“Are strangers permitted to visit the Fort? If so, I should be very glad to take a peep at it this morning, as I shall have a few boars to spare before I can do any business, or rather before the parties I have come to see will be prepared to meet me.”

“Why, not as a general thing, just now,” returned Nicholas, “but I think you may be able to gain admittance if you are accompanied by me, who will, of course, vouch to the sentry for you.”

“Then if you allow me,” said Greaves, “I shall avail myself of your kind invitation, and cross the bridge with you after we have breakfasted, for I can well imagine that during a period when such rumors are afloat, the Commandant as rather chary of permitting strangers to enter his gates.”

In this strain the conversation flowed until breakfast was ended, when the friends proposed to sally forth from the Harp, and wend their way to the point already mentioned. As Barry was leaving the bar-room, however, Tom whispered something in his ear, which appeared to puzzle him for a moment, but returning a keen glance of recognition, both he and Greaves passed out into the cool, fresh morning-air, and began slowly wending their way to the Fort.

There being as yet no special order about the admission of strangers, Greaves, with Nicholas by his side, passed the sentry without question, and proceeded to the canteen, which, early as it was, showed some signs of life. Here Barry introduced his new acquaintance to many of his comrades; but in such common place terms, as to attract no attention whatever on the part of any person. Being for parade, however, he was obliged to leave his friend in other keeping, for a short period, and so hastened to the barrack-room to prepare himself for his morning duties. During the interval of his absence, Greaves stepped out of the canteen, alone, and learning that the Colonel was speaking to some of the officers near the parade ground, made his way towards where the group was standing, and crossing the path of the Colonel as he was walking towards his quarters, accosted him in a manner which soon arrested the progress and attention of that officer, and brought him to a dead halt. The conversation was brief and rapid, while a slip of paper thrust into the hands of the Colonel, by Greaves, seemed to place both on a strange footing of recognition. So brief was the interview, that it was not observed by any individual in the garrison; and so quickly did Greaves return to the canteen, that his absence was scarcely noticed. Here Barry found him as he had left him, making himself agreeable to the soldiers; being more than liberal in paying for all they drank. As the bugle sounded for parade, he bid our young hero “good bye for the present,” and leaving the Fort, proceeded to retrace his steps towards the town, or city, as it may be called.

When he arrived here, instead of returning to The Harp, he bent his steps in another direction, and entered a hotel that was in every relation the very antipodes of the establishment in which he had passed the night. Here, in every direction, were to be found the traces of an English spirit and blind adhesion to wretched and exploded traditions. In the office hung the portrait of the cruel Queen of England, and that of her defunct consort, whose injustice and pedantry were so snubbed by the illustrious Humboldt. Here, too, were to be seen the likeness of the—iron-hearted, it should have been—Duke, presenting a birth-day present, or something of the sort, to a moonfaced yonker that sat fair and plump upon the knee of its royal mother. In another corner was to be found a representation of the Prince of Wales, for whose head and face the engraver had done infinitely more than nature; while directly opposite stood, in a dark, heavy frame, the one-armed hero of the Nile, who owed so much of his fame to poor Emma Harte—the unfortunate Lady Hamilton, who, after having conferred the most serious benefits upon England, was permitted to starve, with her daughter, in a garret somewhere in or near Calais; while some of the spurious offspring of orange and ballet girls filled many of the highest offices in the land she had so often served.

In this establishment the subject of Fenianism was discussed as a leading topic, in a manner quite different from the style in which it was treated at the Harp. Here no voice was raised in its favor—no word of justification advanced in its behalf. Still, although its importance was ignored ostensibly, there were a nervousness and misgiving about some of those who conversed upon it, which showed that they were ill at ease. There seemed, in addition, to be some vague sense of insecurity preying upon them, which could only have originated in their want of confidence in themselves, or in some person or persons to whom were entrusted the gravest interests of the Province. This was the more obvious, from the fact, that, from time to time, mysterious and half-whispered enquiries were made, in reference to one particular individual, whose state of health or mind seemed at the moment to engross no ordinary share of the attention of the numerous guests that filled the bar or office, for the apartment was used as both.

Greaves listened with open ears to all that transpired, and, after inspecting the hotel register, took up a morning paper and seated himself in an arm-chair at his side. While engaged, as he feigned to be, in perusing the news, although actually endeavoring to catch every whisper that floated around him, he gathered, that, for the week or ten days proceeding, one of the most important functionaries in the Province, who, although a clever man, was sorely addicted to fits of intemperence, was now, while the country was convulsed with gloomy forebodings, regarding Fenianism, again passing through one of his prolonged and fearful drinking bouts, and totally unfit to pay even the slightest attention to the momentous business of his office. Already, it was averred, numerous dispatches, of the most vital moment, were lying unopened upon his table, where they were scattered, wet and stained with wine and debauch, some of them having, as it was urged, been obviously disfigured, in part, for the purpose, perhaps, of lighting cigars; while, pale, wretched and half insane, the miserable creature to whom they were addressed, reclined on a sofa by their side, jabbering to a few bloated boon companions, obscene jests and amusing anecdotes, through which the fire of his own native wit sometimes shot brilliantly, though but for a single moment. This, we say. Greaves gathered from the conversation around him, and as in one or two cases he perceived, on the part of the speakers, scarcely any desire to preserve a tone of secrecy on the subject, he felt pretty much assured, that the case was a bad one indeed, and that the individual who could so far forget his own interests for the sake of the bottle, and who could be tolerated in any position of high trust in the State, while addicted to vices of such a character, not to mention others, thought by the Hamilton Quarterly Review to be of a graver nature were that possible, must be sustained by the influence of persons terribly deluded, or creatures vile in their degree in turn, and who, like himself, were regardless of the trust reposed in them by the people. And yet, as Greaves afterwards learned, this same man came to Canada a poor, bare-footed, Scotch lad, with a father whose only fortune was an old fiddle, and that inexorable but praiseworthy characteristic of his country—a determination to collect the bawbees at whatever shrine first presented itself on the shores of the New World. Be this as it may, the daily press of the Province has since verified the correctness of the whispers heard by Greaves, and made public the accusation, that this individual, so recently distinguished by a mark of royal favor, for three weeks previous to the invasion of Canada, was so lost in a whirlpool of the most deplorable intemperance, as to be utterly incapable of opening or attending to the important dispatches which lay scattered and unheeded upon his bedroom table.

When Greaves returned to The Harp, he found O’Brien in a state of great excitement. A soldier, as it appeared, had just arrived from the Fort, with the information that the Colonel, on second consideration, did not find it justifiable to apply for Barry’s discharge, at a moment when the country was threatened with danger; and that, as the regiment should soon be ordered home, as he was assured, he had determined not to recommend any discharges until it had reached England. This intelligence had been conveyed to Nicholas by the Colonel in person, after parade, and in a manner which precluded the slightest hope of its being reversed by any succeeding alteration of opinion on the part of the individual who communicated it. A thunderbolt, had it fallen at the feet of the young soldier, could not have startled or paralyzed him more. He was actually struck dumb by it Here was the chalice dashed from his lips at last. He turned away in despair; but as he was for duty, he was constrained to smother the tumultuous feelings within his breast. When alone, however, and pacing his lonely round with his musket on his shoulder, he had time to measure, with sufficient calmness and accuracy, the length, breadth and depth of the great misfortunes that had befallen him. There was but one course left open to him. He had sought to purchase his discharge and leave the service, without the taint of desertion attaching to his name amongst any of his comrades, although he felt that he was not morally bound to remain in the service of England, for a single moment longer than it served his own private ends. Desertion, then, was the only course left open to him, and he was determined to follow it, upon the first fitting opportunity. Another reason why he would rather have been discharged in the ordinary manner from the service: if he once deserted he should never again, with any degree of security, visit any portion of the British dominions; and as Canada lay so close beside the United States, he would gladly have avoided the inconvenience of being shut out from it, as O’Brien and more than one of his friends resided there. However, there was now no help for it; to England he should never return, and so he disposed of the matter in his own bosom. When relieved of duty, then, and with his purpose fixed firmly in his heart, he once again visited The Harp, where he found Tom and Greaves lamenting over the intelligence of his misfortune, and to whom, in a moment of anxiety and excitement, he disclosed his determination to quit the service, and gain the shores of the neighboring Republic the first favorable moment that presented itself. Tom appeared somewhat agitated if not alarmed; at so serious a disclosure, made with such apparent unconcern; and it was only when Barry remembered the hint of the morning, which O’Brien gave him as he was about proceeding to the garrison, that he, himself, felt that he had perhaps been too incautious and precipitate before a person who, after all, was but a stranger to him, although apparently a kindly one. The cat being out of the bag, however, there was now no help for it; and as Greaves seemed to enter warmly into the project, and even offered to share his purse with Nicholas, if there was any necessity for it, the matter was allowed to rest as it was, and suspicion of Greaves, if any remained in the breast of either the soldier or Tom, was driven into the background, and constrained to remain in abeyance for the time being.

When Barry again returned to his quarters, he freely discussed his disappointment among his comrades, and declared his determination to lay the matter before the Commander-in-Chief, averring, with great earnestness, that he had always done his duty, and that he was not accountable for the state of the country, and should not be called upon to suffer for a condition of things outside and beyond his control, and which he was in no manner instrumental in bringing about. His argument seemed plausible enough, but then what, at any time, his argument, when it ran counter to the desires or intentions of his commanding officer? Therefore, the matter, after having been subjected to due discussion, was allowed to fall asleep in the usual stereotyped style; although as may be supposed, there were one or two breasts, at least, that were kept alive and active by it. Nicholas, believing that any intelligence of his embarrassment on the subject would but perplex and pain Kate, determined not to write to her regarding it, but to be the first to bear her the news himself. As already observed, she had written to him to procure his discharge at the earliest possible moment, and now to learn that his freedom was jeopardized for an indefinite period, involving, in addition, his return to England first, would be a renewal of her old agony. This he was determined to spare her; so, to those of his company in whom he could confide, and who were themselves ripe for any project that would tend to their total disseverment from the flag they so detested, he cautiously communicated his intentions, finding, in return, that more than one of them were on the eve of trying their fortune in the same manner. Soon, then, a sturdy little band had determined to leave the Fort, whatever night Barry should pitch upon; premising, of course, that it should be some one on which he would be on duty, and at a favorable point.

This much arranged, Greaves and Tom were made acquainted with the whole particulars of the plot; the former entering, to all appearance, heart and soul into it, and furthering it in every manner within the limits of his power. In fact, Greaves was actually behaving in a manner which staggered some suspicions still entertained by Tom, notwithstanding the letter to which reference has already been made, for he agreed to assist in forwarding the escape of one of Nicholas’ company that had deserted sometime previously, and was still concealed in the outskirts of the town, in a place known to Barry only, and where he was hemmed in by detectives from his regiment that were continually traversing the city in colored clothes, or stationed as look-outs at certain points in its vicinity. Barry was most anxious that this poor fellow should not be left behind, and as Greaves promised to procure a disguise for him and have him conveyed secretly to Tom’s on the night that the project of leaving the Fort was to be put into execution, Barry, at the request of Greaves, penned a note, which he hastily sealed with a love device well known to the deserter, and which he had himself received at the hands of the beautiful girl of his heart. The note ran thus:—

  “Place the fullest confidence in the bearer. Follow his directions
  implicitly. Your fate hangs in the balance. He will lead you to
  where we shall meet. In great haste, &c.,


This note he handed to Greaves, who immediately consigned it to his pocket-book, and set forth, as he alleged, to reconoitre the hiding place of the soldier, and make such arrangements in his behalf as the necessities of the case required.

As the brief missive just quoted was written in O’Brien’s, and in the presence of Tom himself, when Greaves left the premises, the host with some uneasiness observed:—

“I don’t know how it is, Nick, but somehow or other I cannot divest myself of sartain lurkin suspicions which I have of that man; although there is not a single Irish Nationalist in the city that would not offer him his hand and a glass afther seein the letther that I saw. However, you will remimber that the first night he came I didn’t warm to him, as I tould you, notwithstandin that I had to give up the next mornin. Still, and withal he appears to be actin fair, although I can’t make out exactly what he’s about here. Any way, in for a pinny in for a pound, so we must make the best of it; but, if I find that he is playin foul—well, God Almighty help him, and that’s all I’ll say. However, three nights from this will tell the whole story, and if you all make good your escape, you may take my word for it, I’ll make a clane breast of it to him and ask his pardon into the bargain. I think with you that it was wise not to write to Kate about your throuble and disappointment, or apprise her of your intintion, as it would only agonize the poor craytshure; but should you be foiled and taken, what a dreadful thing it would be for her to hear instead of the intelligence of your freedom, that you were in the depths of a dungeon from which you might have no manes of escape for years!”

Barry absolutely shuddered at the possibility of such a denouement to the scheme that now absorbed his whole mind and soul. Although sensible of the risk he ran, he never paused to regard the peculiar features of the case as presented by his friend; but now that they loomed up before him in such bold and fearful relief, he almost shrank from pushing farther the dangerous project he had undertaken. Yet, there was no other channel through which he could hope to become speedily the husband of the woman he loved; while, if he abandoned it, he might probably be separated from her forever, as he felt convinced, that should an ocean roll once more between them, she would not long survive the calamity. In a moment, then, the faintness of his heart had passed away, and in its stead came the firm resolve to prosecute his design to the death; feeling that imprisonment for any term of years on the shores trodden by the being he adored, was preferable to freedom, such as it was, in a land cut off from her by the trackless desert of the great deep.

Re-assured once more, then, he continued cautiously the preparations for his departure, attending to his duties with his usual assiduity, and still murmuring at the decision of the Colonel. Neither he nor Tom, of course, ever approached the hiding place of the refugee already mentioned, although they managed to hear from him occasionally, and to keep his spirits up. Had either, by day or night, ventured near his retreat, they could scarcely have escaped notice—the one from his soldier’s uniform and the other from his remarkable height and personal appearance; they were, therefore, with all their misgivings, relieved of their embarrassment in this relation, by the generous offer of Greaves, who, as it seemed, had abundance of means at his command to further any project that he might think proper to undertake relative to the escape of the deserter, or those who had now determined to join him.

In this way, then, matters stood on the very evening which was to close in the night selected by the intending fugitives, to put their designs into execution. Everything was ready, and as the clock struck twelve and the streets of the city were partially deserted, a cab rumbled up to the door of The Harp, and Greaves and a stranger, muffled to the eyes, stepping from it, entered the establishment and passed through the bar into Tom’s little parlor. Greaves had kept his faith—the stranger was the deserter!


As might be presumed, from what we have already said regarding Kate McCarthy, from the moment she took up her abode with her relatives at Buffalo, she resumed her industrious habits, and set to work, in real earnest, to add something to whatever young Barry had realized from his own abilities and steady conduct on both sides of the Atlantic; for, since his arrival in Canada, he had plied his pen amongst his comrades, and in other quarters, copying papers and instructing the children of the soldiers where he was stationed. She consequently soon found her little store increased, and her time fully occupied. In music and the earlier branches of English, she had several young pupils; while for some of the fancy millinery stores of the city, she occasionally employed her needle on some of those delicate and exquisite ornaments of female dress which are at once so expensive and attractive. Her labors were, of course, cheered through constant intercourse by letter with Barry; and so the time rolled on up to the very point when Nicholas first applied for his discharge. It may be considered strange, that Barry had not left the service on his first arrival in Canada; but, then, let it be understood, that neither he nor Kate had yet acquired sufficient means with which to begin the world; while both were steadily accumulating a little, slowly but safely; and when, besides, he felt assured, that having the means at his command, he could, at any moment, procure his discharge. We have already said, that owing to his proud and unyielding nature, he was not a favorite with his officers, and that such being the case, he never ‘rose above the ranks; but, then, after all, the most of his superiors had, at times, recourse to his pen and excellent education in various matters connected with the regiment, requiting him for his services handsomely enough; but still at enmity with his Irish blood, and what they feared was, his anti-British tendencies. Such inducements as these, although accompanied with drawbacks, moved him to remain in the service for a longer period than he should have done under other circumstances, and reconciled his lover to an absence which she believed could be terminated at any moment. And so time sped with her, until the eve of the very day, on the night of which Barry and his comrades were to leave the Fort, when returning towards her home in the direction of Black Bock, from the city, just as it began to get dusk, she was met by an over-dressed stranger, who accosting her in a most respectful manner, begged to know if she could direct him to the residence of Miss Kate McCarthy.

After recovering her surprise, and casting a searching glance at her interrogator, she replied, that she was, herself, Miss McCarthy, and begged to know what was his business with her. The man appeared to hesitate, as if not crediting her assertion, and proceeded to say, that he had a message for Miss McCarthy, but that he was led to believe that that lady was a much older person than the one whom he now addressed.

“Possibly,” returned Kate, “there is some other lady of my name here; but if such be the case, I am totally unaware of it. However,” she continued, “as I expect no message from any person of my acquaintance, doubtless I am not the person you seek,” and bowing slightly to the stranger, she turned to pursue her way in the direction of her home.

“I beg your pardon for attempting to delay you,” rejoined the stranger, “but after all, you may be the lady I seek. If you are,” he went on to say, “you will be apt to recognize this token;” holding something in his hand, which he now thrust out towards her.

In an instant, her whole manner altered, her cheeks flushed, and a strange light burned in her eyes, as she exclaimed hurriedly, and while greatly agitated:

“Yes, I am the person; let us walk towards the house. It is but a short distance from where we stand.”

In a few moments, they were both engaged in the most earnest conversation, and evidently entering into some stipulation that was to be carried out without delay. On nearing her residence, however, the stranger expressed his opinion, that it were better that he should return to the city at once, and make some arrangements in connection with the subject of their conversation, whatever that was; enforcing upon her, in the meantime, the most profound secrecy, and the strange necessity, above all things, of not informing any of her friends or relations of the project upon which they had decided.

“Twelve o’clock, at the Lower Ferry, then!” observed the stranger, as he turned his face towards the city.

“Twelve o’clock!” she returned. “No fear! I shall be awaiting you!”

When she entered the house, with a view to concealing her emotions and making some secret preparations for the accomplishment of the sudden project foreshadowed by the words of the stranger, she hastily gained her chamber. When alone, she gazed confused yet enraptured on the unexpected talisman that had been given her, and which she still held firmly in her grasp. Soon, however, becoming more calm, she set about making such arrangements for her midnight tryst as she conceived necessary; upon the completion of which, she penned a few lines to her kind relatives, begging them to make no inquiries after her, as she was safe; although, for reasons afterwards to be explained, she was obliged to leave their roof by stealth, and for the moment in utter darkness as to her destination. She assured them, nevertheless, that although her conduct was for the present suspicious and inexplicable, she was free from any taint of wrong, and was only obeying a voice that would soon justify to the fullest, and before them personally, the step she was now about to take. This note was left upon her bed-room table, where she knew it would be discovered; so, after declining to join the family at tea, on the plea of slight indisposition, she filled a traveling satchel with what necessaries she thought she might require for the few days she presumed she should be absent, and extinguishing her lamp at the hour she usually retired to rest, awaited, alone and in silence, for the clock to strike eleven; at which time she knew the family would have all sought their couch and be sunk in slumber.

From her chamber window she perceived that the lights soon began to disappear from the casements of the few dwellings that were in the immediate vicinity of her habitation, and that the quiet of repose was stealing over the neighborhood. Busied with her own thoughts, and anxious for the future, the time for her departure drew nigh more rapidly than she had anticipated; so, when the last stroke of eleven had died away through the house, she, having previously attired herself for her journey, and secured, about her person, whatever money she possessed, took up her satchel, and cautiously descending the stairs, soon emerged out into the gloomy night, hastily bending her footsteps towards the place of rendezvouz.

Here, besides encountering the individual already introduced to the reader, who was waiting for her, she having had to travel a considerable distance, and it being now close on midnight, she found a second party stationed by the side of a good sized boat, into which all three stepped upon her arrival; the two strangers seizing the oars and striking boldly out for the Canadian side of the river. Although rapid the current at the point of their crossing, so admirably did they manage their craft and lustily did they pull, they did not deviate much from the light on the opposite shore, which seemed to gleam from some cottage window, and which they took as a beacon and guide to their course. In the space of about half an hour, they landed at the point they expected to make, where they found a team waiting, with a lantern so ingeniously fixed in the wagon as to be discernible from the American side of the river only; this being the light by which the two boatmen had steered.

As they all stepped ashore, Kate had a full opportunity of scrutinizing the appearance of the second stranger, who aided her in crossing the river. He was a short, thick-set, heavy man, of a most forbidding aspect, with a huge mouth and a broad, flat nose, without a bridge. He wore a blue flannel shirt and a heavy, short over-coat and slouched hat, and was, taking him all and all, about as villainous a looking specimen of humanity as one could well meet in a day’s walk. Nor was the driver of the wagon into which she now was lifted, a very decided improvement in this relation. He, also, was a most suspicions looking fellow, although civil enough in his way. Kate felt relieved, however, when her earliest acquaintance of the evening took his seat beside her, and when she perceived the man with the blue shirt re-entering the boat and pushing off for the American shore once again.

The driver now having adjusted himself in his place in front of Kate and her polite companion, the whip was laid to the horses, and the party moved briskly along the bank of the river, until they struck into a road which evidently led into the interior of the country. This road they pursued at a slow pace until the first gray streaks of dawn were visible in the eastern horizon; Kate’s companion, from time to time, making such commonplace observations as the necessity of the case required; she supposing that the presence of the driver prevented him from offering her any farther explanation on the subject of her singular adventure. Just as surrounding objects were becoming more distinct, they pulled up before an isolated building, in what appeared to be a country place, and in which, early as it was, there was some person already astir, as was evident from the light which shone from one of the windows.

Here they all alighted and were received at the door of the dwelling by a middle aged woman, with a strip of red silk bound round her head and drawn down over one of her eyes. She was dressed in a plain but neat manner, and exhibited sufficient traits of feminine beauty to recommend her to either sex. The driver was evidently her husband, and no very affectionate one either, if the coarse, cold manner in which he received her welcome could be taken as any indication on this head. However, as Kate was cold and weary, she gladly accepted an invitation to alight and enter the building, where she found a large fire blazing and crackling upon the hearth, in an apartment that was used as a dining-room and kitchen; although the house was a large one and clearly contained many apartments. When seated by the fire, and while the driver was seeing to his horses, her companion, who also seated himself by the warm blaze, informed her that, for the present, she was at the end of her journey—that the driver, his wife and a grown up niece or daughter, were the only inhabitants of the house, and that the place was selected as her retreat for the time being, for reasons that would doubtless be explained to her in due time. Although surprised and mystified at all she had already experienced, she, of course, had not one word to say in opposition to the disposition that had been made of her; for had she not in her bosom the guarantee that all was right; so, professing her willingness to remain in her temporary abode until the period for her release arrived, and promising to be as patient as possible, under the circumstances, she begged the woman of the house to show her to her room, as she needed a few hours rest, to which request her hostess readily acceded, having first, though in vain, endeavored to prevail upon her to take some refreshments after her journey.

The room to which Kate was shown was far from a despicable one, and possessed many articles of furniture infinitely superior to those in the department she had first entered. The floor was carpeted, and the chairs and tables of quite a superior quality; the bed, also, seemed invitingly clean and comfortable, while some excellent books were to be found in a small, neat case, standing in one corner of the apartment. On the table there burned a handsome lamp, and a fire blazed cheerfully in a small, open stove, as though her arrival had been expected and well cared for. When her hostess left her, she examined her chamber door and windows, and found the latter quite secure, while in the lock of the former was a key, one turn of which would cut her off completely from any intrusion whatever. Seating herself beside her lamp, she reviewed rapidly the events of the night, and finding no solution for them, she slowly undressed, and consigning herself to the care of heaven, was soon lost in a calm and refreshing slumber, from which she did not awake until the sun had nearly attained his meridian glory.

When she opened her eyes and collected her scattered senses, she hastily arose, and dressing herself, rang a small bell that lay on her table, and which her hostess desired she should use when she required any attendance. Immediately a gentle tap was heard at her chamber door, upon opening which, a young girl, about sixteen years of age, presented herself with a pitcher of fresh water, begging to know, as she placed it on the wash-stand, at what period she should bring up breakfast; setting about opening the windows as she spoke, and otherwise busying herself in arranging the room. There was something in the appearance of this young creature, that at once enlisted the sympathy and kindly feelings of Kate. Her features were strangely handsome and prepossessing, and her form of the very finest proportions. Her hands, although rough with hard work, were, nevertheless, small and delicately shaped, while her feet, notwithstanding that they were encased in a pair of over-large slippers, were obviously very beautiful. She was tall for her age, and apparently better educated than her seeming condition in life might warrant. But what was most peculiar about her, was an air of sadness, that seemed native to her expressive countenance, and which pervaded her smiles even, with a strange, subduing power, that nearly allied them to gentle tears. Her voice, too, was singularly sweet, low and melodious; while her whole demeanor was so tinged with what might be termed some lone, hidden sorrow, that Kate felt drawn towards her in a manner the most unaccountable. In answer to a query put to her, she said she was not, as was generally supposed, the daughter of the owners of the establishment, but their niece, as she believed; and that she had now been residing in the locality for over five years. That her uncle did a great deal of teaming, and was often from home; and that, in his absence, she and her aunt took care of a small patch of ground that lay at the back of the house. She was almost glad, she said, that the lady had come to stay sometime with them, and hoped that she would allow her to often sit by her and read during the times her uncle would be away; as it might tend to beguile many a weary hour; that is, provided the lady would have to remain any length of time with them.

There was something in all this which seemed to move Kate strangely. The expression “almost glad” sounded curiously in her ears, and awakened in her feelings of a no very pleasurable character. However, she determined, upon so slight an acquaintance, not to push her inquiries further just then; and by way of forming a friendly compact with her attendant, assured her, that so long as she remained in the house, she should always be happy to have her as a companion whenever she could be spared from her domestic duties; and further, that it would afford her the greatest possible pleasure to sit and listen to her, whenever she could find a moment’s time to either read for her or while away a few minutes in friendly conversation. This condescension seemed to light up the face of the interesting young creature with a flush of gratitude the most ardent; and with a lighter step than that with which she had entered the chamber, she tripped away, for the purpose of bringing up the breakfast to which she had already referred.

When Martha, as Kate’s new acquaintance was called, again entered the apartment, she was accompanied by her aunt, who was dressed just as she had been the night before, with the exception that the strip of red silk had been replaced by a purple band of the same material. As the breakfast, which was excellent for a country place, was being placed upon the table, Kate perceived that one side of the woman’s face was discolored, and being moved to make some inquiries regarding the cause, was informed, that while breaking up some kindling wood, a splinter had accidentally struck her face. This went to satisfy her, of course, although she thought the large, black patch which fell down along the cheek was singularly dark and wide to be traceable to the small splinter that the woman asserted to be the cause of it. A strange look from Martha, too, aroused a suspicion that the origin of the disfigurement was not that named; so here the matter rested for the present.

During her repast, she learned from Martha, who remained with her, that the name of the people of the house was Wilson; that they were English, and that the person who had arrived in company with her uncle, who was also English, was called Stephen Smith; but where he resided she was unable to say. This she knew, however, that he made occasional visits to the family, and was sometimes accompanied by a very ill-looking man, who remained a day or two, after having left some boxes or cases in charge of her uncle, who subsequently disposed of them in some manner unknown to her.

“But,” she continued, “I don’t like these men. They always come in the night, and go away in the night, and are ever whispering; you must not, however,” she went on to say, “mention this to either my aunt or my uncle; for, if they should know I had said so much, they would doubtless be very angry with me.”

“Oh!” returned Kate, “you may rely upon it, that whatever you may choose to say in relation to the men in question, or anything else, shall remain in my bosom; for to betray any confidence of the kind, would, in my eyes, be criminal in the last degree.”

“What brought you here, then!—what brought you here!” ejaculated Martha, in an anxious, nervous tone. “There must be something wrong!—some treachery, or I am sure a lady so good and pure as you seem to be, would never cross this threshold.”

Kate, becoming instantly alarmed, broke off suddenly in her repast, and begged the young girl, for Heaven’s sake, to be more explicit.

“I really don’t know what more to say than I have already said,” replied the girl; “but, as I feel drawn towards you by some invisible power, short as our acquaintance has been, I will say, that I fear my uncle’s associates are lawless men, and believe that my aunt knows it, and regrets it, too. But a few nights ago, when Smith came here to make arrangements about your arrival, as I suppose, I heard high words between my relatives after his departure, and, the next morning, found my aunt’s face just as you have seen it. But we dare not say much in opposition to any proposition that my uncle might choose to make in any connection, so violent and brutal is his temper at times. For my own part, however,” she proceeded, “so soon as I can escape from such thraldom and associations, I shall try and make my own way in the world; for my impression is, my uncle has some idea of a union between me and the detestable creature, Smith, who accompanied you here last night, and who, after an hour’s rest, was again driven off by my uncle, doubtless to whatever point he came from.”

This intelligence, as may be supposed, caused poor Kate the greatest possible anxiety; but what had she to fear so long as she took the talisman for her guide? Here there could be no mistake, anyway; for had she not it in her bosom, and was it not from him? Still, that there was something perfectly mysterious about the whole affair, she was quite ready to admit; but as she had received the strictest injunctions from Smith not to permit herself to be seen for the present in the vicinity of the place, or outside the dwelling, she determined to obey one to whom no small power in her case had unquestionably been delegated by her lover.

During the day Martha and Kate were frequently together—the poor young girl disclosing her history scrap by scrap, until at last Kate learned that she was in reality an orphan; that both her parents died when she was yet quite young; that her aunt, who was possessed of an excellent education, had been twice married—once to her own mother’s brother, and subsequently to the man whom she now called uncle; that her own parents had been Irish, and that on their death, her real uncle became her guardian and true friend until his death; when, on this second, unfortunate marriage, the affairs of the family becoming hopelessly embarrassed, she and her relatives embarked for America, taking up their abode first in Toronto, and subsequently in the place where they now resided. In addition, she stated that her opportunities of education had been good, and that, somehow or other, since she had crossed the Atlantic, she managed to keep a few choice books about her, and avail herself of the assistance of her aunt, whenever they could, in the absence of her uncle, devote an hour to study or the perusal of some new work.

The small clearing, on the verge of which the house occupied by the Wilsons stood, was surrounded with woods, and no other habitation was to be found in its immediate vicinity. From the morose disposition and suspicious character of the proprietor himself, but few of the neighbors were on visiting terms with the family; so that they might be said to lead a completely sequestered life. From time to time only, an occasional visit was paid him by some one who stood in need of the services of his team; and thus his standing in the neighborhood was that of a suspected or banned man—the general impression being, that he was neither more nor less than a dangerous and daring smuggler, who was constantly engaged in the interests of unprincipled merchants on both sides of the lines. This idea obtained footing from the circumstance that he had been observed returning late one night from the frontier with his wagon laden down with suspicious looking boxes and bales; and from the further fact, that his absences from home were frequently lengthy and mysterious—no one knowing the precise nature of his business, or the points to which his journeys were made so often.

The clearing, itself, was under good cultivation, the spring crops giving fine promise of an abundant harvest. A short distance from the house flowed a beautiful brook, whose murmurs occasionally reached the ears of the inmates; while the thickening foliage of the surrounding groves, as they might be termed, gave shelter to various birds, amongst which might now be heard, at early morn and throughout the day, the clear, round notes of the robin.

“The robin!”—what on earth has, we should like to know, bewitched ornithologists to designate the great, coarse, tuneless bird, that visits us in the earliest dawn of spring, in this far off America, “the robin?” Neither in throat nor plumage is it even a thirty-first cousin of the sweet, timid, little, brown bunch of melody that haunts the hawthorn hedges of Ireland and the sister island, when they are in bloom, or seeks a crumb at the open casement, when winter ruffles all its russet plumes, and sets his chill, white seal on all its stores; We have been often struck with the great dissimilarity between these two namesakes of the feathered kingdom; for never on these transatlantic shores have we heard what might be termed a domestic bird sing a song so sweet as that poured beneath our window in the soft blue haze of an Irish summer evening, by the genuine robin-red-breast, as he sang the daylight down the west, through a sky flushed and flecked with azure, crimson and gold, to such extreme intensity, that the poet or painter might, at the moment, half indulge in the idea, that the sun had fallen into curious ruins upon the verge of the horizon. Oh! the silver thread of such a song, as it flashed and scintillated from that trembling throat! Never shall we forget it, or the land in which it first wound itself around our heart.

But this, we know, is inclined to be sentimental; and as we now have to do with stern realities, we shall resume the chain of our story by saying, that after her first day’s residence with the Wilsons, and finding that the uncle of Martha had no intelligence for her on his return home on the evening or night succeeding the one of her arrival, she expressed her great anxiety to Martha, who now devoted every moment she could spare from her other duties, to the pleasing task of rendering her solitude as agreeable as possible.

On the morning of the second day after her arrival she ventured to ask Wilson if he had any idea of when she was to be relieved from her embarrassing position. In reply to her interrogatory he assured her, that he was quite unable to give her any information on the subject, but was led to believe that she should not be long a prisoner, as he termed it. All he could say in relation to the matter was, that some person, with whose name even he was unacquainted, had secured, through a third party, his services as her host, and engaged the apartment she occupied, and attendance, etc. In addition to this, he observed, carelessly, that he was responsible for her safety until the arrival of those who had delegated to him the right to watch over her and shield her from observation until the proper moment arrived.

To all this Kate made no reply; the thought having just struck her, that Nicholas had perhaps learned of some intended design upon her by Lauder, and that he took this method of transporting her to some point unknown to that person, until he himself could offer her his full and unembarrassed protection. Yet she wondered why it was that he had left her in such dreadful uncertainty, and did not write her explicitly upon the subject Again, she was perplexed at the idea that he was in no position to learn anything of the plots or plans of her rejected suitor, if he entertained any; so that, upon the whole, she was in no very comfortable state of mind when she rejoined Martha whom she had left in her chamber, and whom she now induced to make up a bed upon a sofa and consent to sleep in her apartment during her stay.

Martha, on her part, moved by this token of friendship, and while sitting up late on the very night of the conversation with Wilson, became mysteriously nervous and, through various vague hints and insinuations, so far alarmed Kate at last, that the poor girl implored her new acquaintance to tell her frankly if she knew anything that bore upon her ease, or the reasons for her being so singularly circumstanced.

To this solicitation Martha made no direct reply; but rising cautiously, she stepped lightly towards the chamber door, and opening it softly put out her head into the passage and listened for a few moments. Then gently closing the door, she again noiselessly retraced her steps, and drawing her seat close beside that of Kate, began thus, in a low, trembling voice, in which fear and agitation were distinctly traceable:

“Oh! Miss McCarthy, horrible as the disclosure is, I believe that, instead of a smuggler, which my aunt and I long supposed him to be, my uncle is a robber, or leagued with robbers! This, for the first-time, came to our knowledge last night, after his return from wherever he had been. We had been always accustomed to his bringing here, during the night, mysterious packages; but as he informed us that they were goods for merchants who, as he asserted, resided at some distance, we took him at his word, and when he removed the goods again were, of course, under the firm impression that he carried them to their owners. However, as I have observed, on returning last night, when my aunt and I were assisting him to remove a heavy case from his wagon, while carrying it into the stable to place it under the hay beneath which he invariably concealed such things, my aunt and I perceived that, this time, it was a large trunk that he had brought, and that the lock had given way, disclosing gleams within it, as though it contained some bright objects. He did not notice the circumstance of the fastening having failed, and we did not call his attention to the fact; but permitted him to shake the hay over it as usual. Subsequently, however, my aunt and I referred to the matter, when she, taking advantage of my uncle’s sound slumbers, he having retired to rest before her, went out again and, re-lighting the stable lantern, removed the covering from the lid of the great trunk, and raising it, perceived that it contained many valuable articles of silver and dress; but all evidently old, and huddled together in a manner the most confused. This almost paralysed the poor woman, and as I subsequently inspected the package, on her retiring for the night, I arrived at the conclusion which she had, as she informed me, herself previously adopted; namely, that the goods were stolen, and that Smith was in some way mixed up with the robbery.”

Now, indeed, Kate felt her situation alarming in the truest sense of the term, and sat looking at her companion in speechless horror and amazement. Mystery upon mystery it was; but as the dangers that appeared to surround her, though gloomy, were indistinct, she once more had recourse to her panacea of the token, and seeking her couch with a fervent prayer on her lip, was soon, like her young friend on the sofa, lost in uneasy slumbers.


It was on the night of Sunday the 27th of May, 1866, that Barry and his comrades were to attempt their escape from the Fort; and, as already seen, it was on the same night that the deserter was conveyed in a cab to The Harp, by Greaves. Two o’clock in the morning was the time decided upon, and a rendezvous having been appointed, our hero, who was on guard, saw, without challenging them, six figures steal by him into the darkness and immediately disappear. No sooner had the last of them vanished, than he placed his musket bolt upright in his sentry box, and the next moment was lost also in the gloom, and in the direction in which the figures had melted from his vision. Soon he reached the side of the river, where he found Tom with a boat, beside which stood his six companions. On recognizing him, they all leaped into the boat, and, although the moon was in the heavens, sheltered by the dark overhanging clouds that fortunately filled the sky, they dropped down the river, and landing Tom at a point previously decided upon, they all wrung his hand in silence, and once more put forth into the gloom, heading their craft towards the American shore, under the guidance of a pilot who knew every island and turn in the channel, and who joined them at the spot where O’Brien bid them farewell. With muffled oars and in the most profound silence, they moved along until they arrived at a turn in the channel, where they were instructed to bend to their work by the stranger who held the tiller; when, taking heart from their good fortune, for so far, they made their willing craft almost leap out of the water, as they gave a long pull, a strong pull, and a pull altogether.

As day was beginning to shape the world around them, they found themselves nearing the American shore, and now perceiving themselves beyond the reach of danger and out of the jurisdiction of the flag they had so long and so cordially detested, they rested on their oars, and giving three hearty cheers for the land they were fast approaching, again set to with a will, and soon found themselves beneath the Stars and Stripes of the glorious Republic before which all the nations of the earth now bow, however reluctantly. On leaping ashore, they discovered a short distance from the water a small village to which, on securing their boat, they all posted; and having gained a neat little tavern, the shutters of which were just being opened, they explained their situation to the proprietor, and ordered breakfast, determined to rest themselves for a period, and deliberate upon their future movements, although the destination of Barry had, of course, long been decided upon.

On hearing that they were deserters from the British army, and that, without an exception, they were all Irishmen, who had come to the United States with a view to aiding in any project that had for its object the humiliation of England, and the freedom of Ireland, the landlord, who was a six-footer from Tipperary—one of the Cummingses—gave “a yell out of him” that brought his wife and children in deshabille to the bar-room door, proceeded by a boy of all work, who evidently shared their alarm and surprise to the fullest extent; but when, instead of a bar-room disturbance, they perceived the master of the premises shaking hands over and over again with the new arrivals, and bidding them welcome to the land of the free, they soon disappeared from the hall and regained their chambers, from which they had been so unceremoniously summoned. Cummings was literally in his glory, and instantly had his counter be-littered with glasses, bottles and decanters; while, with genuine hospitality, he made the fugitives partake more than once of some one of the beverages that he had placed before them. Ere long a smoking, hot breakfast was in readiness for them, prepared by the mistress of the house,—herself a comely Irishwoman, with a set of teeth that you’d almost let bite you, they were so white and sunny, and a handsome, fair face, with a cead mille failte in every line and dimple of it. Already the poor adventurers began to feel the exhilarating effects of freedom, and, as soon as they had satisfied their appetites, each set about changing his soldier’s coat for a rough, plain one, which had been provided by O’Brien and his friends, and which they found awaiting them when they first entered the boat.

As Barry, who was regarded as chief of the little party, avowed his intention of pushing on direct for Buffalo, the others, who had no fixed point in view, determined to join him; so, when they had taken a few hours repose, they parted from their kind host and hostess, who would not permit them to pay a single shilling for anything they had drank or eaten since they entered the friendly hostel. During the time they were waiting at the railway station, they heard various rumors as to the intended invasion of the Province they had but just left; and from numerous significant hints which they had received, they were fully convinced that some important movement was on foot, which would soon develope itself in bolder outline. On entering the cars that were to take them west, they found the subject of Fenianism freely discussed, and in many cases with a friendliness that showed there was, in some instances at least, a feeling hostile to England among the American people. As they pursued their journey and received other accessions to their numbers as travellers, they found that this aversion was both widely spread and deeply rooted, so that by the time they reached their destination, they were fully satisfied that the people of America, and those of the adjoining English Colony, could never become true friends so long as the latter adheared to the standard of Great Britain, or remained part and parcel of the British empire. The antagonism of institutions, the infamous conduct of England during the late civil war, and the fixed impression of every true American, that the Canadas belong of right to the great people who now rule the continent, made it strikingly apparant that England had but a precarious foot-hold upon the shores of the New World.

On the arrival of the train at Black Rock, Barry, who had been previously informed as to the precise locality in which the relatives of Kate were to be found, stepped off the cars, informing his comrades that he would join them in the city during the day. With but little difficulty he found the dwelling of his friends, and entering it, was received with open arms, and was instantly asked as to where he left Kate. For a moment he did not comprehend the question, but when by degrees he heard the fearful disclosure, that she had secretly left the house, by night, about a week previously, he fell into a chair, almost fainting, while the greatest consternation seized all those about him. Slowly, and with their hearts sinking within them, they recounted the circumstance of the note that had been written and left for them on her bedroom table, and the fact of her having taken some of her wearing apparel with her, but as to where she had gone, or with whom, they were in the most profound darkness. No one had called at the house,—no previous intimation had been given them by her as to her intentions; and, in so far as they were concerned, all was darkness. Lauder, they knew, had been in the vicinity of the Rock, but then, of course, he could have had no hand in the strange transaction, as her detestation of him precluded, as they thought, the possibility of his exercising the slightest influence over any of her actions. However, she was gone, and now, as it appeared, was the victim of some horrible plot or mistake beyond the reach of any elucidation, for the present at least.

Never was a strong man so bowed to the dust as the poor young fellow who now found all his hopes so rudely and unexpectedly dashed to the earth. With a face pale as death he shook throughout every limb in a manner fearful to behold. In vain he looked from one face to another for some explanation of the dreadful calamity that had befallen him—all was dark and blank and silent around him. Even conjecture was paralysed, so completely was the disappearance of his betrothed enveloped in mystery. As a preliminary step, to gain even the feeblest information of her, he did not know how, or when or where to move. Could he get even the slightest glimpse of any link in the chain, he could set about unravelling the tangled and gloomy skein; but as it was, he was as helpless as a child. Secure in her fidelity, however, and trusting to Providence, crushed as he was, his young heart, after the first blow, began to rise within him, and collecting himself, he set about making such enquiries in the neighborhood as he thought were likely to throw some light upon the subject. In this he was warmly aided by the alarmed wife of his friend, who learned that on the very evening of the night of her disappearance, after having given her last music lesson in the house of one of her pupils, she was seen in company with a man, who was recognized as no very respectable character, by one of the hands employed in the rolling mills, who happened to catch a glimpse of them in conversation as he was returning from his work. The name of this latter individual having been ascertained, Barry at once visited the mills and heard, to his consternation, that the suspicious person seen in company with Kate on the evening referred to, was neither more nor less than the Kid, previously introduced to the reader, as one of the keepers of the low gambling house already mentioned, where we first met him and his partner of the blue shirt, alluded to also as a burglar and robber.

This much ascertained, Nicholas prevailed upon the workman to accompany him to the den in question, into which they accidentally dropped as it were. The person they sought was, as usual, about the premises; but from him Barry could gain no information whatever, beyond the circumstance, that he did remember, about a week ago, accosting a lady near Black Bock, having taken the liberty of enquiring of her, whether a certain person whom he was anxious to find resided in the neighborhood.

“I know that’s a lie,” said the workman, when he and Nicholas had gained the street once more, “for as I happened to come upon them just as they were separating, I heard the lady say, before she perceived me, and as I was turning a corner of the road, ‘I’ll not fail to be there,’ or words to that effect.”

To Nicholas this was more perplexing than ever; although he now arrived at the conclusion, that Kate was the victim of some infamous and deep-laid plot, and that Lauder was at the bottom of it. But here again he was embarrassed by the circumstance, that he had never, so far as he knew, seen her rejected suitor, nor was he known to any of his friends at the Rock; from the fact that they had left Toronto before his arrival there, and that, notwithstanding his visits to Buffalo, he had never crossed their path. All, then, that Nicholas had to stand upon was the circumstance that she had actually been seen in conversation with the Kid, and that that worthy had evidently misrepresented the tenor of that conversation, whatever it might have been.

The next day after his arrival, Barry, with a heart sore and dark enough, went in search of his comrades, informing such of them as he thought proper to admit to his confidence, of the dreadful condition of his affairs and mind. While sympathising with him sincerely, however, and offering him all the assistance in their power, they seemed absorbed with some new subject of importance which appeared to engross no ordinary share of their attention. Since their arrival, they had learned that it was a fact and beyond all doubt, that the Fenians were gathering along the frontier for the purpose of making a descent upon Canada and securing a foothold upon its shores, with a view to making it the basis of operations against England in their attempt to secure the independence of Ireland. One and all they had determined to join the expedition as volunteers, and Nicholas, who entertained a lurking suspicion that Kate had crossed the American frontier under some mysterious impulse or influence, half made up his mind to make one of the invading army also. This suspicion was based upon the fact of Kate’s having no friends or relatives in the States, save those at the Rock, while she had several in Canada in the direction of which she might have been attracted by letters or representations now a mystery to him. However, he felt assured that, under any circumstance, she was not to be found in Buffalo or its vicinity; so, moved by both love and patriotism, before the evening had set in, he came to the conclusion to join his comrades in the approaching struggle.

This resolution once taken, he made instant application to some of the Fenian authorities of the city, stating the circumstance of his recent arrival, and quickly found himself surrounded by a host of friends who were ready to share their last mouthful or dollar with him. During this juncture, the Irish spirit of Buffalo, strongly impregnated with the generous national sentiment of America, was discernible upon every side. The groups of patriots quietly at first arriving from almost every point of the compass, were received with open arms and the sincerest hospitality by those who had an interest in the cause of freedom and the humiliation of the tyrant England. There were, of course, a few British sympathisers among the people and press who, ignoring their allegiance to the Union, or the principles for which the heroes of the Revolution laid down their lives, threw their voice and influence into the scale on the side of England, but they were in a hopeless minority; as the great heart of the nation beat steadily in the interests of liberty, and inspired its sons with all the confidence necessary to the most complete success.

To decide, with Barry, was to act. Consequently, now that he had made up his mind to join the expedition, he at once acquainted his friends at the Rock, and gave them such information and instructions relative to Kate as he thought desirable; intimating to them, at the same time, that he was of the fixed impression that she had, by some means or other, been lured into Canada; although a telegram, in reply to one dispatched to Toronto, informed his friends that she had not visited that city since she left it. Upon further inquiry, however, regarding the Kid, he learned that that respectable personage, together with his worthy coadjutor, Black Jack, were in the habit of paying frequent visits to Canada on the sly; it being thought that they were employed by persons who were engaged in smuggling. This information he gained while walking near the breakwater with a new acquaintance well versed in city notorieties, and who, at the moment, happened to espy a boat known to belong to the doubtful firm of Jack and the Kid, lying drawn up on the shore.

This craft, of course, engaged the attention of our hero, as belonging, in part, to the individual who seemed to be mixed up in some mysterious manner with the fate of his beloved. Consequently, he stepped over to it and casting a glance of scrutiny at the interior, saw something sparkle among a little sand, that had accumulated at the bottom near one of the stretchers. Picking it up, he found that it was a handsome button that had apparently dropped from the dress of some lady. This he examined with the most intense eagerness; when the thought struck him that it was very like some buttons that belonged to a dress occasionally worn by Kate. Of this, however, he was not sufficiently certain; so, thrusting it into his pocket, he turned away, more perplexed than ever with the mystery that surrounded him. Hurrying to the Rock with the waif as soon as he could, he submitted it to his friends, when it was at once recognized as being similar to a set of buttons worn by Kate, and which belonged to a dress that, it was believed, she wore on the night of her disappearance. Corroborative as this evidence was, it availed him but little for the time being; although it strengthened his resolve to move with the army of invasion; being convinced that his betrothed had, by some foul means, been spirited across the borders, and all through the machinations of her rejected suitor, Lauder.

And now how he cursed the procrastination that had kept him from applying for his discharge long since, when he might have procured it without any difficulty, and have placed her he loved beyond the power of any villain. Again, he was no longer free to search for her in the Province; for he was under the ban of military law there, and, unless supported by a sufficient number of bayonets, could not stem the torrent that should soon overwhelm him if he re-entered the territories of the Queen and was discovered. Yet, even death were preferable to the state of mind in which he now found himself; he therefore at once set to work to prepare himself for the coming contest, in the hope that when once across the borders, if even amid the din of war, he might gain some clue to the fate of all that he now cared to live for.

As may be supposed, the service of such men as Nicholas and his comrades were, at a moment so critical, accepted with alacrity by the military authorities of the Fenian organization of the city. Amongst the various sterling patriots in power here, both he and his comrades were instantly taken by the hand and placed in positions where their knowledge of arms could be made most serviceable to the grand cause in which they had resolved to embark. They were all Irish, and of that stamp that never loses color, how fierce soever the scorching fires to which they might be subjected. Under a special provision, and at Barry’s request, they were attached to the same company; while he, from his evident superiority in education and address, as well as from his thorough knowledge of drill and military tactics, was presented, upon joining the organization, with a captain’s commission. In the hurry and bustle attending the note of preparation, he found some slight relief from the great and overshadowing trouble that darkened all around him; and finding how necessary it was to keep both mind and body employed, if he was to retain either health or energy to aid him in any of the important projects that now loomed before him, he gave no place to useless repinings, but busily engaged with the necessities of his new avocation, found the hours slipping by which intervened between the period when he swore the true fealty of his soul to the flag of his love, and that which was to see him a hostile invader upon the shores he had so recently left.

As the men steadily poured into the city for a short period before the invasion, and filled the streets and suburbs in groups of various sizes, it became a matter of general conversation and surprise that, in bodies so peculiarly situated, and under such seemingly slight restraint, many of them being far distant from their homes, not a single individual was to be found who suffered in the slightest degree from even the appearance of intoxication. Look where you might, there was nothing but the utmost sobriety and good behaviour. Although the men were, for the most part, young, and many of them just from the bloodiest fields of the South, there hung about them an air of serious decorum that argued well for the mission in which they were about to engage. In addition, notwithstanding that, in some cases, they were badly housed and provisioned, a murmur never escaped their lips; nor could the most bitter of their enemies point to a single act where the law was violated by any of them, or show that even to the value of one mouthful of bread had been appropriated to their use without being paid for honestly, or given to them freely by those who felt for their position. This is so well known that, even at the period at which we write, upwards of two years after the occurrence of these scenes, not a solitary fact has come to light reflecting in any degree upon the honesty, sobriety and good conduct of these noble patriots, many of whom had left home penniless, to wage war against a power that had almost every resource at its command, and which they knew they should meet under circumstances that could not fail to be disadvantageous to them.

And here we may observe, history does not record a more daring or chivalrous project than that entertained by the brave fellows who made the night of Thursday the 31st of May, 1866, memorable in the annals of this continent, as well as in those of Ireland. Although laboring under embarrassments from the most fearful mistakes and criminal neglect of an individual to whom the grand project of the redemption of Ireland from the yoke of the oppressor was, in its strictly military aspect, entrusted in this country—although badly provisioned, uniformed and equipped—although perplexed with mysterious, contradictory and imperfect orders, and although, at the very moment of their destiny, left without the leader whom they were led to expect should command them, they never lost heart for a moment; feeling that heaven would raise up amongst them a chief not only competent to meet the emergency of the moment, but one in whom they should be able to place the fullest and most enthusiastic confidence.

And heaven did not disappoint their noble and confiding aspirations; for, when all looked dark and dreary to the more uneasy of their numbers, the gallant O’Neill, crowned with the laurels which he had so nobly won during the war that had then just closed, and true to the genius of his ancient name and house, stepped in upon the stage, and grasping the drooping standard of the Irish Republic, held it aloft; and, fired with the spirit of the “Red Hand” of yore, raised the war-cry of his race, before which many a Saxon tyrant and slave had trembled in the days long past.


When Philip Greaves received the note from Barry, to the deserter who was secreted in the suburbs of the city, he proceeded, towards evening, to the point where the soldier lay concealed, and to which he had been directed with unerring accuracy. On reaching the house in which the fugitive was said to be hidden, he found but an old woman, who seemed neither alarmed nor surprised at his arrival. Upon whispering a word in her ear, however, a look of intelligence stole into her eyes, and putting on her bonnet and cloak, in the deep dusk, she motioned him to follow her, having closed and locked to door behind her. After leading him but a short distance, among a number of small though clean huts, she gained one in which the family were seated at their plain evening repast. As they entered the dwelling, he perceived that there was one vacant seat at the table, from which some person had evidently arisen hastily and disappeared from the apartment In the course of a few moments, however, and on the head of the family having been called aside by the old woman, Philip was greeted with a hearty welcome, and instantly led into a little back room, where he found the person whom he sought, gazing about him with a distrustful if not an alarmed air. To this individual he showed Barry’s note, which he had previously abstracted from the envelope, requesting him, as he perused it, to return it to him again, as he wished to destroy it himself, lest, by accident, it should fall into other hands, and as he desired to say to Nicholas that he was personally cognizant of the fact of its being put out of the way. To this request the deserter readily acceded, as he would have to any other of a reasonable character, so delighted was he to receive the assurance that the hour of his deliverance drew nigh. Here, then, were the particulars of the plan of his escape settled upon. He was to remain still concealed, until Greaves called for him with a cab, but was to hold himself ready to quit his hiding place at a moment’s notice.

These preliminaries being arranged, Philip left the house and speedily proceeded to a neighboring hotel, where he procured a private room, and, calling for pen, ink and paper, at once addressed himself to writing a letter. Various were the rubbings of hands and sinister smiles which punctuated this epistle, until at last, on its being finished, he carefully folded it, and taking from his pocket-book a sealed envelope, one end of which had been previously opened with great care, and the superscription completely removed by a cunning process, he took from another compartment of his book a small note and introduced it into the envelope, adroitly closing the apperture with a little mucilage, so as to completely conceal the incision that had been made, and obliterate every evidence of the envelope’s having been tampered with. This done, he slowly, and with apparent great caution as to the conformation of the letters, directed it, and when he found the ink to be completely dried, enclosed the whole in the letter that he had just written; placing it, in turn, in a larger envelope which he hastily directed to some party, from whom he apparently cared but little to conceal his hand-writing. This accomplished, he called for some brandy, and after paying liberally for it and the use of the room, directed his steps towards a stationer’s shop where he purchased a postage stamp which he attached to his letter. Here, also, he heard the subject of the threatened invasion of the Province discussed in all its bearings and probable results; and here, too, the bitter murmurs of discontent regarding the criminal conduct of the individual to whom the whole interests of the country were entrusted by the people and the Crown, and who was said to have been already for weeks in a condition of mind and body absolutely loathsome. Not wishing, however, to delay the mailing of his letter, he soon found himself wending his way to the Post-office, where, with his own hand, he consigned the missive to the care of her Majesty the Queen, by putting it in the apperture that opened into the letter-box from the street—the office being already closed. On this, he retraced his steps towards The Harp, where he so managed to thrust himself in among the struggling suspicions of O’Brien, as to almost gain the full confidence of that generous patriot and banish the last doubt from his breast.

“Well,” said Tom, when he found a fitting opportunity, “how did you find the poor fellow?”

“Willing enough to leave the Province,” whispered Philip, “if he could only manage to get away; but I think that will be easily arranged now, as the storm about his desertion has blown over.”.

“On the night after that of to-morrow, then,” returned Tom, “they will make the attimpt; and as I can get a man to help them who knows every turn and crank of the river, I have hopes of their success; besides it will be Nick’s night for guard, and there’s somethin in that, you know; as they can get out at the point where he stands, without much throuble to themselves or anyone else. However,” he observed farther, “I hope no one will let the cat out of the bag, as it would be a cryin sin to have the poor fellows ‘nabbed’ at the very moment when they fancied themselves about to brathe the purest air that ever floated benathe the canopy of heaven.”

“There’s no fear of that,” replied Greaves, “for you and I only know of their intentions; although I feel that you are not exactly at home with me yet, for all your friendly conduct and information; but recollect, that I’ll perform my part of the contract, and it is for you and them to do the rest.”

This speech made Tom feel a little awkward; and he was about to make a suitable reply, when he was happily relieved by some parties who dropped in, to command the attention he so willingly accorded at the moment.

That Greaves puzzled and perplexed him there could be no doubt; but at no period could that individual elicit from him any information, if he possessed such, in relation to Fenianism. He, of course, knew that Philip learned from Barry that there were many soldiers in the Fort who sympathised warmly with Ireland; but this was as far as he was informed in the matter. It was obvious, however, that for some reason or other, he was anxious to fathom the depths of the actual Organization, if such existed in or about the city; but in every attempt he was foiled; for, notwithstanding his most subtle attacks, he was met at each turn by a spirit of reticence which baffled all his ingenuity and led him to the conclusion that, after all, there were perhaps but slight grounds for believing that the Brotherhood had any very extensive footing in the colony.

Tom sometimes reasoned, that his solicitude on this head was prompted by patriotic motives; and then, again, the idea used to creep in upon him that he sought this information for sinister purposes; and thus the worthy host, trembling in the balance between the two impressions, kicked the beam on the side of prudence, and if he knew anything of the movements and intentions of the Organization, kept it to himself; although the letter in the possession of Greaves might, were he less cautious, have drawn from him some serious information; for Tom O’Brien was, at that moment, the Centre of a Fenian Circle, with three hundred armed men at his command, ready to join the invaders the instant they entered the Province and planted their standard near him upon British soil. This being the case, he was well aware of the intentions of the Brotherhood in the United States; and thus it was, that when he found Barry could not procure his discharge before the invaders were upon them, he instantly endorsed the project of his desertion; well knowing that, should he fail to escape before the hour of the movement arrived, he should be called to take the field against his countrymen and against Ireland; and, perhaps, under circumstances that might preclude the possibility of his acting otherwise than as their enemy. Nor did he relax in his watchfulness and caution when Greaves even brought the deserter to The Harp in redemption of his word, or, more remarkable still, when he learned, on the morning succeeding the night of their escape from the Fort, that seven soldiers of the Regiment had bid their commanding officer an unexpected and unceremonious adieu; and notwithstanding that the garrison was all but alive with sentries and guards patroling every avenue which led from it, made good their escape to the American shore, where they were now beyond the reach of the Canadian or Imperial authorities.

No sooner had Philip ascertained that the party had made good their escape, than he himself prepared to bid good-bye to The Harp. O’Brien was not at all surprised at this sudden resolution, as Greaves had professed to be daily transacting business; which he asserted might be brought to a close at any moment. And so he had been transacting business; for he might have been seen occasionally entering, by stealth, a certain dwelling in the outskirts of the city where Fenianism and all Irish Nationalists had their deadliest enemy; but, as already intimated, this enemy had been rendered powerless by the wine cup for some time past, so that if there had been any matter of importance to transact between them, it would have been useless to have even approached it. Still Philip called and called, but to no purpose; so finding that he had pressing matters in another direction to claim his immediate attention, he left the mystified functionary in disgust, casting a glance at the numerous unopened dispatches on his table, and congratulating Canada on the possession of such a creditable and efficient, leading officer.

Shaking hands with Tom, then, after having honestly liquidated his bill, our mysterious friend soon found himself on board a train bound direct for Toronto, where he arrived in due course, amid hosts of rumors, and military movements which were being accomplished in that reckless and inefficient haste, that went to prove a screw loose somewhere. Here he found himself on the evening of the 29th, and being obliged to remain in the city all the next day, he started the following morning for the West, when he learned, while journeying onwards, that the Fenian forces were massed at Buffalo and along the American frontier, and that a descent upon Fort Erie was sure to take place within a very few hours. Although he had intended to reach his destination before night, he was delayed at the various stations, by rumors which tended to make it important for the train not to proceed in haste, it having been alleged, more than once, that the Fenian army was already in the Province, and burning and destroying all before it, In turn, however, each of these rumors was contradicted; and so the cars proceeded until another was encountered. In this way the morning of the first of June overtook him before he had yet reached the point for which he was bound. Now, however, he ascertained that the Province was, without any manner of doubt, invaded by the army of the Irish Republic, and that even then the “Sunburst” was flying over the village of Fort Erie.

This intelligence seemed to confound him, and to have exceeded anything that he could have anticipated. He hod fancied that, notwithstanding all the rumors he had heard within the last few months, there was no real intention on the part of the Irish Nationalists of the United States to actually invade the Province; and believed the reports of their having congregated upon the American frontier as either unfounded or tremendously exaggerated. Now, nevertheless, they were within a very few miles of him, and might be upon him and the neighborhood he was approaching, at any moment.

There was something in this latter conviction that appeared to move him greatly as he stepped off the train at Port Colborne, where he found the inhabitants in a state of the direst alarm. Being a stranger, and unable or unwilling to account very clearly for his sudden presence here, and at a juncture when suspicion was so rife and every new comer subjected to the closest scrutiny, he was put under surveillance and not permitted to leave the village, as he was about to do, until he had explained his business to the authorities. Chafing with disappointment and anger, he was taken into custody and confined in one of the rooms of his hotel, until a magistrate could be found to look into his case. Here, notwithstanding his protestations and willingness to prove that he was a loyal British subject and one of importance too, he was detained nearly the whole day; tormented by the uncomfortable misgiving that perhaps, after all his generalship, Nicholas Barry might again be in the Province and at a point, too, where he should be able to frustrate all the plans he had laid so deeply and executed for so far with the utmost secrecy and success. At last, however, a magistrate was found and a private investigation of his case granted. The examination was brief; for scarcely had that functionary been closeted five minutes with him, before he was set at liberty and again stepped forth a free man.

So utterly helpless were the people of the section of the country in which he now was, that they must have fallen before any considerable force of the invaders, had such entered the Province. The greatest distrust obtained among themselves; there being a strong body of Irish and Irish sympathisers in their midst, who scarcely cared to hide their sentiments. And although there was an element in the little town that was truly loyal to the Crown, yet it is still a matter of doubt as to its having been in the ascendant, in so far as numbers were concerned. True, that if the census of the place had been taken at the moment, and the tendencies of every man registered according to a public statement, extracted from his own lips, England should have carried the day by an overwhelming majority, as, on the same basis, she should at this present hour throughout the whole of the New Dominion. But had one glimpse of a victorious Irish army been caught in the distance, the case would have been widely different, indeed; and those who were constrained, through the force of circumstances, to fall into line with the paid, official squad who ruled the roast for the time being, would soon hoist their true colors and step out beneath the folds of that glorious banner of green and gold before which, with all her boasting armaments, the tyrant power of England now trembles to its very base. And so it will be throughout the Colony at large, whenever the Irish Nationalists, or any other people inimical to England, enter it with a view to tearing down the skull and cross-bones of St. George, and ultimately replacing it with the proud and invincible banner of the United States of America. Not a single doubt obtains in well informed quarters on this head; so that the tyrant England cannot fail to be swept ultimately from this continent, never to lift her dishonored head upon its free, historic shores again.

And what wonder that the thinking portion of the people of Canada—men who have its material prosperity and its happiness at heart—should long for a union with this Republic, with which their interests are so intimately identified, and upon which they are almost solely dependant for a market and that good will that is not only necessary to their peace, but to their very existence? Shut out from the ocean, that great highway of nations, for six months of the year, they are, almost daily, at the mercy of the United States for any description of commercial intercourse, or exchange of thought, in relation to the material condition of the continent or their own probable future. Lying a frozen strip against the North pole, with all their available lands settled, if we are to credit the assertions made by their own statesmen, were this great Republic to close its doors against them, they should be obviously cut off, in a measure, from all civilization, and dwarfed both mentally and physically into the most contemptible dimensions. As it is, they are depending upon America for every refining and practical influence that warms their partial life, or gives any value whatever to their social status. American literature, tastes, habits, inventions and even foibles color all their internal intercourse; although the fact does not seem apparent to those who are interested in perpetuating British rule amongst them, and is denied by others from motives of envy or vanity. Add to this the circumstance that their government is the most wretched that could possibly be found among a people professing to be free. Scarce a single department of it but is stained with fraud of the vilest description to the very lips, and neither more nor less than an instrument of public plunder in the hands of corrupt officials. Even while we write, and for years back, a charge lies in the department of the Minister of Finance, against the present Premier of the Dominion, accusing that unscrupulous individual of conspiring with a whisky dealer, while he himself was First Minister of the Crown, to defraud the revenue—a charge made by the present Assistant Commissioner of Customs and Excise, whom this same Premier has been obliged to retain in office to the present hour, with a view to saving himself from disclosures calculated to drive him from office in disgrace. So dreadful have been the circumstances of this case, that when an offer was made subsequently, through the public press, to produce bank, official and mercantile evidence that the government functionary who preferred this frightful accusation was dishonest and incompetent, and that he had purloined public documents and destroyed them with a view to concealing his crimes, still this Premier dared not summon him to trial, although, times without number, he gave assurances, as did the then Inspector General, that the culprit should be brought before the proper tribunal, and justice done in the premises. But why need we complain, when Canada takes the matter so coolly; for will it be believed, that these two worthies—both the accused and the accuser—both disfigured by the most damning accusations, are still in the pay of the Canadian people, and have been so ever since the circumstances of their official character were laid through the daily press before the world. Not a single move has yet been made in the direction of justice, nor an inquiry instituted as to the truth or falsehood of these frightful charges. The Premier still carries the filthy load upon his shoulders, while his subordinate, of the stolen bank receipts and false report, laughs in his sleeve at the rod that he holds over his naked shoulders.

Nor is this more than an individual case amongst others of a similar class. What of the tens of thousands of the people’s money given, without the sanction of Parliament, to the Grand Trunk Railway in the interest of English stockholders; and the postal subsidies handed over to the same line, in excess of the tender made by the Managing Director for the carrying of her Majesty’s mails? Was not the government liberal with the hard earnings of their poor dupes throughout the land, when they virtually informed the authorities of the Grand Trunk that they were altogether too modest in their estimates, and that the country ought not to take advantage of such nice young men, but give them more than they asked for performing the service mentioned? Glorious! wasn’t it? We might also allude to the manner in which Sir John A. taxed the struggling industry of the Province, millions to build up his pet Parliament Houses at the back of God speed—buildings that almost rival those of England—and refer also to the delightful manner in which the Crown Lands were dealt with by another member of this happy family: citing the case of the Wallace Mine Claim, in which the Commissioner managed to dispose, at a mere nominal figure, of a portion of the public domain by private sale among a few of his friends, including a gentleman presumed to be his own agent, and that, too, in the face of a law which made it imperative upon the government to advertise all lands in the Canada Gazette before they were put upon the market. For appearance sake, the lands were advertised in the Gazette; but when a purchaser dropped in to make inquiries, it leaked out that they had been all disposed of previously. In this way the business of the people has been conducted for years; and what is the result? To-day they are without immigration, trade or commerce—to-day there is no public confidence existing in any portion of the Dominion; for the government seem to grasp the purse-strings with one hand while they hold a drawn sword in the other. There is no security to be found in any corner of the State; and no projects, formed for the future of its people. To be sure, certain parties prate and jabber about the Volunteer Service and national defenses; but what have they to defend? If their frontier were bristling to-morrow with forts and bayonets, all they could hope to accomplish would be the shutting out of American liberty and national prosperity from the people. This must be self-evident to any individual who is at all conversant with the true nature of the case, or cognizant of the fact, that there cannot possibly be any hope for Canada so long as she holds herself aloof from the great social and political compact of this Union, upon the pulses of which, in her present helpless and isolated position, she will always have to dance attendance and pay the piper besides. Either the sunlight or the shadow of the Republic must fall on her without intermission. If she choose the former, well and good; let her cut herself free of the despotic tyrant that now holds her in cunning thrall, and step into the broad effulgence of American freedom, or if she will it, until circumstances of themselves precipitate her into the arms of the Commonwealth with less grace than she might otherwise have fallen into them, let her feel the blighting influence of the cold clouds that cannot fail to envelope her and paralyze all her energies in the interim. There is no need of mincing the matter—Canada beneath the skull and cross-bones of St. George, must ever remain a poor, puny starveling; while under the proud and ample folds of the glorious flag of this mighty Republic, she should at once become great, powerful and prosperous, as yet another star added to the refulgent galaxy that now rides high amid the noontide of nations.


One grand evidence of the deep rooted sentiment that actuates Fenianism in the great Irish American heart, is to be found in the fact, that at the time of the Pittsburgh Convention, the Organization was in debt, and that within the brief space intervening between that period and the invasion of Canada, the Brotherhood armed and equipped thousands upon thousands of their number, and still had not expended the last dollar in their treasury. This is, of itself, a most significant fact, and one that goes far to exalt the Irish element on this continent in the eyes of both soldiers, citizens and statesmen. The abiding faith of our people in the justice of their cause, and the fixed conviction that it shall one day triumph, enable them to deal with reverses and opposition in a manner at once intelligent, dignified and philosophic. They know that repeated failures have been the crucible in which the holiest and the most successful projects have been tried in all ages; and, like that of the spider of Bruce, the heart never fails within them. Amongst them, too, were found upon the eve of their descent upon the Province, as well as long previous to it, men of undoubted patriotism, genius and chivalry. And at no point was this more obvious than at Buffalo. We say, more obvious, for we know that scarce a city, town or village in the State, and far and wide outside it, but contained just us good men and true as were possessed by Buffalo; but we refer to it thus particularly, as it is more immediately connected with our tale. We could mention many names as sterling in every relation as those we now introduce; but none, we apprehend, more intimately blended with the actual descent of the brave O’Neill upon Canada, save the handful of heroes who joined him in that proud and daring expedition; and none which, in the hour of the sorest need of the Organization, sacrificed more for the sake of Ireland.

When the moment was considered ripe for the movement, then, the eyes of the Fenian authorities were turned towards Buffalo, and other points on the frontier lying close upon the Canadian borders. In this city, Francis B. Gallagher, Esq., and five or six others were regarded as marked personages towards which a peculiar portion of the movement should gravitate before finally crossing the lines. These gentlemen, from their independent circumstances, excellent social standing and undoubted patriotism, were regarded as pillars of strength upon which the expedition might properly lean for a moment, and adjust itself before attempting to cross the Rubicon and enter the country of the enemy. There were more, also, in this city, who evinced a spirit of the truest love of Ireland upon that occasion, as upon all previous once, and who assisted in forwarding the grand objects of the organization to the utmost stretch of their abilities, but as their names are too numerous to mention here, and as they had their counterpart, as they have to-day, in various localities throughout the Union, we shall merely note the circumstance of their existence. As to the Brotherhood in its military aspect here, no portion of the State or Union was better represented in this connection, or more competent to distinguish itself upon the field. Its civil relations, also, were equally creditable; Mr. Gallagher, as the period for action approached, becoming active, anxious and restless; devoting his time assiduously to the affairs of the Brotherhood, and constantly communicating with headquarters on some point of importance. And thus affairs stood when the first draft of men arrived in the city under Senator Bannon, of Louisville, Ky., and Senator Fitzgerald, of Cincinnati, and when the movement on Canada might be said to have fairly commenced.

Soon, however, it began to be discovered that, although Buffalo, and other places, were alive to their duty and ready to contribute their quota to the expedition, there was a screw loose somewhere; and on the evening of the thirty-first of May, it was ascertained that, although numbers of volunteers had arrived from various points, through the unfortunate neglect or incapacity of the then Secretary of War, there was no one to command them. This was a dreadful state of affairs indeed, and one which admits of no palliation. It was expected that General Lynch, or some other distinguished officer, would take charge of the expedition from this point; but that gallant and experienced soldier, owing to the receipt of incorrect orders, did not arrive in time to assume the command. Up to this point, and for some time previously, matters had been conducted in a manner so careless by the War Department, that the mere casual observer might reasonably presume some parties connected with it courted failure. Arms and ammunition had been despatched to the frontier without due precaution, and to parties to whom they ought not have been transmitted, for various reasons. Again, the massing of forces at the various points of debarkation was neither compact nor simultaneous,—a circumstance which occasioned so much delay, that the American government could not possibly close their eyes to the fact of the invasion, without compromising themselves before the world. Had one simultaneous and compact movement characterized the expedition, the American authorities would never have interfered with it; but when it was rubbed under their nose for days, through the blundering or criminality of those who undertook to direct it from the War Department, what was to have been expected other than is now known to have occurred?

In addition to this, no transport had been actually secured for the troops that had arrived at Buffalo, and the dilemma was intensified to the extremest pitch. What ship-owner, in the face of such bungling, would run the risk of placing any of his vessels at the disposal of a party so uncomfortably situated? That was a question which presented itself at the last moment, and which was more easily put than answered.

When all was dark and uncertain, however, and when the heart of many began to fail, in stepped the gallant O’Neill upon the platform, offering to command the expedition. He had arrived previously from Nashville, Tenn., with his contingent, and felt how dreadful the position in which the project was placed. A council of war was held, at which Captain Hynes was present; and as this latter gentleman had delegated authority from Gen. Sweeney, Colonel O’Neill—now General—was at once placed in command. So far so good; but how were the troops to get across the river? The interrogatory, as already observed, was a perplexing one; but it was instantly solved by Mr. Gallagher and one or two other gentlemen, who voluntarily, and at the imminent risk of every dollar they possessed, pledged all they were worth in the world, and procured the necessary means for crossing the river, and landing the first instalment of the army of the Irish Republic upon British soil.

The number of men assembled at Buffalo on the night already mentioned was about eight hundred,—being detachments from the following regiments:—13th Infantry, Colonel John O’Neill; 17th Infantry, Colonel Owen Stan; 18th Infantry, Lieutenant Colonel Grace; 7th Infantry, Colonel John Hoy, and two companies from Indiana, under Captain Haggerty; but the number of men that could be gotten together when the expedition crossed did not exceed six hundred.

An authentic report of this brief but glorious campaign will be found at the close of this work. We introduce it as historical information, from a most unerring source. The subject, it will be perceived, is treated in the most impartial and unimpassioned manner; dealing simply in dry details, and in that curt, soldier-like matter of fact style, which aims at nothing like effect, and seeks only to recount circumstances as they occurred, and that, too, in the briefest possible manner.

Scarcely had the last boat, with the invading expedition, pushed off from the American shore, on the night of the 31st of May, already mentioned, when another craft, pulled by two men, its only occupants, followed in the wake of the receding troops, dropping a little further down the river, as it neared the Canadian side. From their dress and appearance, the rowers might have been recognized by many a Buffalonian, as Black Jack and the Kid, who were evidently bent upon dogging the invaders, and, while keeping at a safe distance, dealing in such plunder on their outskirts as might swell their own villainous coffers, while the criminality should attach to the Fenians. This course was prompted on their part by a sort of blind, bull-dog adherence to everything English, and a hope of picking up in the red trail of the campaign such valuables as would increase their already large though ill-gotten store.

On reaching the Canadian shore, both these worthies, who had but a few nights previously conveyed Kate across the Niagara, set out for the village of Fort Erie, which lay about four miles up the river, and which they did not wish to approach directly from the American side, but creep towards in the rear of the moving mass.

Under no circumstances does the human wolf exhibit itself to such monstrous intensity as under those of war. Not the wolf in the uniform of the soldier, for, let him be as blood-thirsty as he may, he buys, on the field, to some extent at least, the right to be savage. The current coin in which he deals is human gore; and in this relation he freely exchanges with his antagonist the circulating medium, and gives or takes, as the necessities of the moment may demand. He stands a nine-pin on the great bowling-alley of the field, and takes his chance of being knocked down in common with his opponent, who occupies a precisely similar position. He offers life for life; and, lamentable as the doctrine may be, he seems licensed to plunder, and, if needs be, kill. Here, of course, we speak of the mere hireling, who has no higher object before him than that of simple gain—who is actuated solely by a sordid love of gold—whose soul and body are as purchasable as a pound of beef in the shambles, and who is moved by the wretched pulses of mammon only. Such an one, although low in the scale of humanity, and unworthy of being mentioned in the same breath with the glorious patriot who unsheathes his sword for Father-land, Liberty and Heaven, is an angel of light compared with the lynx-eyed, dastardly prowler, who, when the heart of his quarry has been stilled by some other hand, gropes, gloved with clotted sore, among the mangled remains for the booty he never earned; or who, when the thunder of the field, or the onward course of a victorious army lays waste the fair land, takes advantage of the dread and confusion of the inhabitants, and gorges himself with plunder, as though he were a victor to whom should belong the spoils. Such wreckers of the dead are the ghouls of our race; and never had they more faithful representatives than the two villains who, in due course, mingled with the invaders in the village, anxious to commence their depredations before even a single shot was fired.

Barry, as already intimated, joined the expedition, and was now numbered among the invaders. Of course he perceived that with such a mere handful of men, nothing could be effected in the Province; but, then, he never supposed for a moment, that they were other than the simple advance-guard of a numerous following close upon their rear. In addition, it was anticipated that the landing of troops upon the Canadian shore would be effected simultaneously along the frontier at different points. This was the settled conviction of O’Neill, and of his officers also, as the scheme formed a leading feature of the programme of the campaign. But here the fates were against them; for transportation, as we are led to believe, was not secured effectively at any point save Buffalo. In fact, this city appears to have acquitted itself with regard to the invasion, in a manner that reflects the highest credit upon the Fenian authorities of the district; for even when the expedition, on finding that the American Government had interfered with the transport of reinforcements, had considered it prudent to return, the means of reaching the American shore were placed at its command by the patriotic gentlemen already alluded to; while, farther still, when the United States authorities were seizing the arms of the Brotherhood in every direction, Buffalo, through the admirable management of these persons, contrived to keep its quota intact.

During the morning of the landing, Nicholas happened to get a glimpse of the Kid and big dark companion in the village; and the circumstance awoke strong hopes in his bosom in relation to gaining some intelligence of Kate. From all he had heard, and from having found the trinket in their boat, he felt convinced that either one or the other of these scoundrels knew something of her. He, therefore, kept track of them until a fitting opportunity, when he accosted the Kid, as a sort of half acquaintance, and, by way of attempting to surprise him into a confession of some knowledge of Kate, produced the silver chased button already referred to, and asked him if he knew the name of the lady that had recently dropped it in his boat. For a moment the villain, who was, of course, none other than the Stephen Smith that was in the habit of visiting the Wilsons, seemed taken aback; but instantly recovering himself, replied, that his boat was so often hired by fishing parties, it would be difficult to tell the name of the lady from whose dress it might have dropped—that was, “provided it had dropped from a lady’s dress, at all.”

Although the thrust was adroitly parried, Nicholas, who was on the qui vive, noticed his momentary confusion, and determined to keep his eye upon him, in the hope that something might soon turn up that would throw the villain more completely into his power, and enable him to extract from him the intelligence which he still felt satisfied was in his possession. With this end in view, he set one of his comrades, who had escaped from the Fort with him, to watch with the utmost caution and secrecy every manoeuvre of the wretch and his companion; fully satisfied, as he was, that both the rascals were determined to follow in the wake of the army, for purposes already mentioned.

The conduct of the Invaders at Fort Erie was of such general excellence, that the inhabitants of that place speak of them, up to the present hour, in terms of such admiration as to excite the jealous animadversions of many of the Canadian people themselves. Notwithstanding that the village and its vicinity lay helplessly at their disposal, and was, for the moment, theirs by right of conquest, they entered it rather in the character of guests than in that of masters. Although the usages of war placed all that it contained at their feet, they never appropriated to their use even one solitary loaf of bread or glass of ale without having first paid for it. As to their generosity and chivalry in this connection, let us quote from the work of Major George T. Denison, Jun’r, commanding “the Governor General’s Body Guard,” Upper Canada; author of “Manual and Outpost Duties,” “Observations on the best Defensive Force for Canada, &c.”—an officer who took part in the campaign against the Fenians, and who cannot be charged with partiality to the invaders. In this work, published in June, 1866, by Rollo & Adam, Toronto, and entitled “The Fenian Raid on Fort Erie, with an account of the Battle of Ridgeway,” the author, page 62, observes, first, as to the disastrous result of the collision between both armies, to the Canadians:—

“The loss of this fight was the loss of the whole expedition. The two Commanding Officers were wandering about the country, the main body of the men captured or lying wounded about the village; the Captain of the Artillery struck down with the loss of a leg, and the Tug almost denuded of men, and the few left so hampered with a lot of useless prisoners, as to be unable to undertake anything.”

And again, after having complimented the invaders on some instances of personal bravery, he remarks, page 69:

“Before closing this chapter, I must mention that, from all accounts, the Fenians, except in so far as they were wrong in invading a peaceful country, in carrying on an unjustifiable war, behaved remarkably well to the inhabitants. I spent three weeks in Fort Erie, and conversed with dozens of the people of the place, and was astonished at the universal testimony borne by them to their unvarying good conduct. They have been called plunderers, robbers and marauders; yet, no matter how unwilling we may be to admit it, the positive fact remains, that THEY STOLE BUT FEW VALUABLES; THAT THEY DESTROYED, COMPARATIVELY SPEAKING, LITTLE OR NOTHING, AND THAT THEY COMMITTED NO OUTRAGES UPON THE INHABITANTS, BUT TREATED EVERYONE WITH UNVARYING COURTESY. On taking a number of the Welland Battery and the Naval Company prisoners, THEY TREATED THEM WITH THE GREATEST KINDNESS, putting the officers under their parole and RETURNING TO THEM THEIR SIDE ARMS; taking them down to the wharf on their departure, and releasing them, bidding them adieu with EXPRESSIONS OF GOOD WILL.”

“Another incident,” he goes on to say, same page, “occurred, worth mentioning: A number of them went to a widow lady’s house, near Fort Erie, and asked her for something to eat. They were about going into the kitchen to sit down, and she told them she would not let them in,—they laughingly replied, ‘very well, ma’am, we’ll do here very well, it is a very nice yard;’ and accordingly they sat down on the grass and ate the bread and butter and milk she gave them. Another squad in the same way took breakfast there. In the evening a man came, ragged and tired, looking for something to eat. Seeing a loaf of bread on the table he took it up. The lady said: ‘That is the last loaf I have.’ The man looked at her and said slowly: ‘Is that the last loaf of bread that you have? then I’ll not take it,’ and laid it on the window-sill. Seeing this, she asked him to take half. After pressing it upon him, he at length took a portion of it. This story is undoubtly true, as I obtained it from the lady herself, with whom I am intimately acquainted.”

“It perhaps,” he continues in the next paragraph, page 70, “does not come with a good grace from a Canadian to give any credit to the Fenians, who, without any ground of complaint against us, invade our country and cause the loss of valuable lives among us; but as a truthful narrator of facts, I must give them credit on the only ground on which they can claim it.”

This is honest and soldierly on the part of Major Denison; but should these pages chance to meet his eye, he will find his theory untenable in relation to the immunity of Canada from the consequences of any acts for which England may seemingly be responsible only. The war of 1812 was not a war against Canada, but against Great Britain, and yet Canada was invaded by the Americans and made the principal theatre of the conflict. How multifarious soever, or widely scattered its colonies or dependencies, every nation is a unit, and consequently amenable as well in detail as in the aggregate, for any offence committed against public justice or humanity. When you quarrel with a man, you don’t quarrel in particular with his eye, his foot, or his nose, although you may punish him as a whole by inflicting injury upon all or any of these organs; and thus it is in the case under consideration; the New Dominion is the foot or the eye or the nose of John Bull, and as such, any enemy of England is justifiable in maiming him in any or all of these parts. This is the hard logic of the point; and if Canada wishes to escape its consequences, she must demonstrate to the Irish people, or to any other who may be at enmity with England, that she is neither part nor parcel of the British Empire. How ridiculous the plea set up by Canada, that because she was not forsooth an active individual agent of gross tyranny and injustice towards Ireland, she ought to be exempt from any of the consequences arising to the real culprit in the case. The same argument might be urged with as much reason, by half the population of England herself, who are just as innocent in this respect as the people of Canada; they having never been consciously concerned in any oppression of Ireland, either individually or collectively. But they are the friends, allies and abettors of the government which has perpetrated such crimes in relation to Ireland,—nay, more, they create and sustain the agencies through which these wrongs are committed; and in this they are joined heart, hand and soul, by the people of Canada or the representatives of that people. Canada, then, having sworn allegiance to the Crown of Great Britain, is constructively, as well as virtually, as much an enemy of Ireland as England is. The Firm, comprising Great Britain and all its colonies and dependencies throughout the world, is known as John Bull & Co., and the distinctive sign of the house, in all its ramifications, is the Union Jack or some adaptation of the red cross of St. George to local predilections. As in ordinary mercantile transactions, a debt incurred by any branch of the establishment involves the responsibility of the whole, and can be levied for in London or Hokitika. This is the true state of the case, and any individual who would advance a doctrine contrary to it, is either a simpleton or a knave.

Black Jack and his companion were astonished to find such order reign in the midst of an invading army, and to perceive that the inhabitants of the village were not subjected to instant plunder, if not fire and sword, by the troops now in possession of the place. They had come over in the hope of being able to make some bold strokes in the wake of the soldiery, and the confusion that they had fancied should obtain among the people; but finding that they were foiled in this direction, they cast their eyes about them to see what was best to be done under the circumstances.

“I’ll be blowed,” growled Jack, as they both rambled in the outskirts of the village the morning of their arrival, “if this ain’t a go. Honly fancy, Kid, vot a set of spoonies these ‘ere fellows har, not to be goin it like the Hinglish in Hindia, or in the Peninsoola under the Duke. I ‘eard a fellow as vos there say, that they used to steal hoff at night and ‘av hodd sport and leave none to tell the tale in the mornin. Glorious, vosn’t it? And then ven they gathered hup the svag, they made it hall right vith the sentries and sometimes vith the hofficers themselves.”

“Jack, I’ll never make anything of you,” returned the Kid; “your language is so vulgar, and your address altogether so ungentlemanlike, that you at once peach on yourself; for anybody, with even half an eye, that either sees you or hears you speak, would take you for the villain you unquestionably are.”

“Oh! bless’ee, but you’re a sveet cove,” rejoined Jack, “and no vun vould suppose for a moment that you cut Sal Gordon’s throat, the night you coaxed her hoff to marry her, just because you took a fancy to a couple of five-pun notes she had in her trash-bag that she refused to give hup afore the knot vos tied.”

“Come, come,” winced the Kid, “no more of that, but let us see if we can’t do a little business here, or, at least, before we return, which I venture to say we shall manage if we keep in the wake of these fellows without arousing the suspicions of any of them.”

“Yes, yes!” said Jack, “but vot hif ve should run foul of the henemy and be taken hup as belongin to these ‘ere chaps, hif so be they’re beaten, as I hope they vill?”

“I tell you what, there’s but one chap among them all that’ll keep his eye on us,” replied the Kid, “and that’s the fellow who thought to surprise me into a confession, by suddenly producing a button that, I apprehend, dropped off the dress of the lady that we, recently ran over here for our new employer. I have found out his name, and learned that he was engaged to be married to this same beauty, who is now safely caged at Wilson’s, where she’ll soon be apt to learn that she’s in about as nice a fix as ever she was in during her life. But,” he continued, “I don’t know what to make of that Martha. All I can do or say, whenever I happen to be at the house, has no other effect than that of apparently making her more and more opposed to her uncle’s wishes, until I am convinced shell never be mine, willingly at least. And after all, I love the girl well enough; although I feel I should kill her before she was mine a month.”

Thus baffled and circumscribed, these two scoundrels prowled about the village until near ten o’clock, when the troops moved down the river about four miles, and went into camp at Newbiggin’s farm. At this period the gallant O’Neill was in great uncertainty. Here he was in an enemy’s country with but a handful of men, and in utter darkness as to what was going on at other points. Already, at Buffalo, he had a taste of the manner in which the War Department had conducted the expedition to that point; and was, of course, afraid that the inefficiency of that department would make itself apparent in more relations than one. In the ability, activity and devotion of President Roberts, Vice-President Gibbons and the Senate, he had the fullest confidence; but Col. Roberts did not take it upon himself to dictate to a department that was in charge of what was believed to be an old and experienced military officer, and one on whose judgment and practical skill he placed the fullest reliance. The position was a desperate one; but O’Neill was determined to maintain his ground on British soil, until satisfied that failure had obtained elsewhere, and that there was no probability of his being reinforced. He had long burned for an opportunity of meeting the enemies of the land of his birth in open fight; and now, although all around looked dark and uncertain, he was determined to join issue with any force that was brought against him. His men for the most part, too, shared this sentiment. True, that a few cowardly hounds had deserted his standard almost as soon as it had been unfurled on the enemy’s shore; but then these were of that miserable breed that always attach themselves to expeditions of this sort without measuring their motives or the strength of their principles. However, be this as it may, they have forever forfeited their claims to the name of Irishmen, if such they were; while the very recollection will be painful to many, that so dastardly and worthless a crew tainted, even for a single moment, the pure atmosphere in which such men breathed as the following, not to speak of the noble rank and file whose names we are unable, for obvious reasons, to give here, and who, like them, led by the gallant O’NEILL, immortalized themselves on the field of Ridgeway:


  Lieutenant RUDOLPH FITZPATRICK, Aid-de-Camp to O’NEILL.

  Colonel OWEN STARR, commanding Kentucky troops.
  Lieutenant Colonel JOHN SPAULDING, Louisville, Kentucky troops.
  Captain TIMOTHY O’LEARY, Louisville, Kentucky troops.
  Captain JOHN GEARY, Lexington, Kentucky troops.
  Lieutenant PATK J. TYRRELL. Louisville, Kentucky troops.
  Lieutenant MICH’L BOLAND, Louisville, Kentucky troops.

  Colonel JOHN HOY, Buffalo, commanding 7th Regiment I.R.A.
  Lieutenant Colonel MICH’L BAILEY, Buffalo, 7th Regiment I.R.A.
  Captain JOHN M. FOGARTY, Buffalo.
  Captain WM. B. SMITH, Buffalo.
  Lieutenant EDW’D LONERGAN, Buffalo.

  Colonel JOHN GRACE, Cincinnati; commanding Ohio troops.
  Captain SAM SULLIVAN, Cincinnati. Ohio troops.
  Lieutenant JOHN J. GEOGHAN, Cincinnati. Ohio troops.

  Captain —— BUCKLEY, Cleveland, Ohio troops.
  Lieutenant TIMOTHY LAVAN, Cleveland, Ohio.

  Captain —— McDONALD, Pulaski, Tennessee.

  Captain LAWRENCE SHIELDS, Nashville, commanding Tennessee troops.
  Captain PHILIP MUNDY, Chattanooga, Tenn.
  Lieutenant JAMES J. ROACH, Nashville, Tenn.
  Lieutenant JOHN MAGUIRE, Nashville, Tenn.

  Captain MICH’L CONLON, Memphis, Tennessee.

  Captain —— HAGGERTY, Indianapolis, Indiana.

  Major JOHN C. CANTY, Fort Erie, C.W.

We trust that we have not omitted here the name of any officer present at Ridgeway. If it should ever appear that we have done so, it will be a source of great pain to us, although we can plead in apology that every effort was made on our part to procure a complete list.

Seeing that there was not much to be made out of Fort Erie, the two comrades, Black Jack and the Kid, moved cautiously in the rear of the troops as they fell down the river; their intention being to remain concealed in the vicinity of any point at which an engagement might take place, and then trust to chance for an opportunity of rifling the dead or picking up whatever spoils happened to drop in their way. While deliberating upon this creditable resolve, about noon, as they had made a detour and pushed ahead of the troops, who were going into camp, their attention was arrested by the noise of some vehicle coming up a side road across which they were wending their way. In the course of a few moments they discovered that it was the wagon of Wilson, driven by that worthy, in the direction of the village of Waterloo; he evidently not having, as yet, heard of the Province being invaded. Immediately a conference took place between the three friends, when it was agreed that Wilson’s wagon should be concealed in a wooded hollow close by, and that it should be made the receptacle of whatever plunder might be secured during the struggle that they all felt must soon take place. Consequently, the team was turned aside, and, after being unhitched, was secured in a close clump of trees, that was not likely to be visited by any persons in the vicinity; and more particularly so, when the country was now being alarmed throughout, and people were securing themselves in their habitations.

After this being arranged, and the horses fed and watered, the party again sallied forth towards the main road, with a view to getting as near as was safe to the camp of the invaders, and gleaning some information as to their future movements. They had been hovering about in this way for some time, when they came to a point where two roads met, and where they perceived two wagons in which were a number of people, all standing and reconoitering something, in alarm or surprise, through a field-glass, which they were passing from one to the other. At a glance the trio saw that these persons were Canadians; and, fearing nothing, they made instantly towards them, and as though in ignorance of what had taken place, made inquiries as to what they were inspecting.

While engaged in conversation upon this point, and learning that those in the wagons were observing a body of armed men who were moving at some distance from them, but whom they could not identify as either friends or foes, the whole party perceived an officer riding towards them with the greatest apparent coolness and confidence. On coming up, he informed them that the body of men in the distance were some volunteers who were not very well acquainted with the roads about there, and that he would feel obliged if they would just drive down and give the commanding officer whatever information was in their power upon the subject of the best route to be taken to a certain point, naming it. To this request they all gladly acceded, the Kid and Jack not daring to say a word, and not one of them suspecting anything from the peculiar uniform of the officer; from the fact that they were not aware the hat indicated that he did not belong to any Canadian force; believing, as they did, that the uniforms of the volunteers were of various descriptions. When, however, they arrived at the point where the men were stationed, they quickly found out their mistake, and, to their utter consternation, were all made prisoners, Wilson and his two companions included. The body that made this capture was a reconnoitering force commanded by Col. John Hoy; and no sooner was it made, than the prisoners and the two wagons were at once forwarded under an escort to O’Neill’s camp, where, on the Kid and Black Jack being recognized as belonging to Buffalo, they were released at once; the others being held for a short period with a view to gaining some information from them, relative to the movements or whereabouts of the enemy, of which, as it subsequently turned out, they knew nothing whatever.

This introduction to the camp was considered fortunate by the Kid and his comrade, who now, on being acknowledged by some of the men who knew nothing of their real character, seemed anxious to remain under the protection of the Irish flag until, as they stated, they could effect their escape across the river; as they now averred that, should they attempt to regain Buffalo alone, they could not fail to fall into the hands of the Canadian forces, who, it was rumored, were gathering on every side of the Fenian army, with the design of surrounding it and cutting off its retreat. This all seemed natural and reasonable enough; and more particularly as the two villains asserted that they were on their way to Chippewa on business of importance, but should now get back to their home as soon as practicable; they not having had any idea that the invasion was about to take place; and having crossed to the Canadian side early the evening before; that finding they could not get any one to recross the river with them, as things stood, they thought it better to keep in the wake of the army until they had reached some point where they could effect a crossing; not wishing to entrust themselves to the people of Fort Erie, after the troops had evacuated that place, as they felt certain that the inhabitants regarded them as Fenians, and would treat them as such if an opportunity was afforded them to do so.

During the day nothing of interest transpired, until towards evening, when Barry, with two of his old comrades and four others of his company, who were thoroughly acquainted with the locality, were despatched from the camp, as were similar squads in other directions, to make reconnoissances of the enemy, if they were anywhere near the main body of the army. After proceeding cautiously for a couple of miles, and pausing, from time to time, to reconnoitre, on gaining the verge of a small piece of wooded land, they suddenly found themselves almost face to face with ten or twelve armed soldiers, in British uniform, who seemed to be an outpost lying in wait among some pine shrubs, on the opposite side of a narrow ravine. Fortunately for our hero, he was the first to discover the red coats, upon whom the sun was pouring its declining rays, revealing them to the green coats, while at the same time it dazzled and obscured their vision, from the fact that the light flashed full in their faces, while it fell on the backs of their advancing adversaries. A few hundred yards towards the upper end of the ravine, there was a small patch of wood, through which Barry instantly determined to move towards the point occupied by the enemy; hoping to be able to surprise them before they were aware of his proximity. This manoeuvre was accomplished rapidly, and with the utmost caution; but as an open space yet intervened between him and them, when he had gained the verge of the grove, he determined to remain under cover, with a view to ascertaining the strength of the force he might have to cope with; not knowing but it was larger than it seemed to be from the opposite side of the glen.

Here, however, he had scarcely halted when he was discovered by the enemy, who took alarm; but, after a moment’s pause, during which a good deal of coolness was observed amongst their ranks, they deliberately poured a volley into the grove where he and his little band stood under shelter, although discernible among the trees. No sooner had the music of the bullets ceased, and as a full view was had of the force of the enemy, than the Fenians dashed across the open space already mentioned, and charged in a spirited manner, although received by the foe with the utmost intrepidity, and an evident intention to work some mischief before they retired from the spot. Barry, however, instructed his little band not to fire until within a few yards of their antagonists, who were now coolly reloading; so, before the redcoats were again prepared to give another volley, one simultaneous crash of the Fenian rifles threw them into momentary confusion; and, the next instant, both parties were closely engaged in a life and death struggle.

The fire of the Fenians had made sad havoc amongst the small force, which was now cut down to the proportions of that of their own; still those that remained never swerved an inch, but joined with their adversaries, hip and thigh. There was but one volley fired on either side; and, now that the shrubbery was so thick and withal so inconveniently high, both parties had recourse to their side arms to decide the day. Hand to hand, and desperately they fought, without much indication of the mortal strife, save the low groan of the dying and the thick breathing of those who struggled upon the green sward among the roots of the young pines that so thickly studded the place. Already had Barry silenced forever the pulses of more than one of his antagonists, when their leader, a powerful man of about thirty-five, made a sudden bound towards him, after having in turn brought his own assailant to the ground, and instantly both their swords were crossed, as they stood, alone, in an open space of a few feet square, while the deadly conflict still half silently raged around them among the three or four who now survived to battle for their respective flags.

Barry, although but a private soldier when in the British service, was regarded as one of the best swordsmen in his regiment. In fact, he was that sort of person who took delight in excelling in every military exercise, so that his task-masters should have no grounds for wounding his feelings or his pride in any matter connected with the discipline of a soldier. So skillful was he in this connection, that the moment he caught sight of the manner in which his enemy grasped his weapon, he looked for but one issue touching the encounter, and that was, the probable destruction of both. He felt that he had an antagonist before him worthy the occasion, and braced himself for the work with all the energy of his being. Swift as lightning, both weapons flashed in the sunlight, and the next instant lay pressing uneasily against each other in mid-air; forming a shifting and glittering arch of death, beneath which either its crimson or emerald pillar was soon to fall in ensanguined ruins. Not a word was spoken on either side; each believing that his hour or that of the other had come! The conflict in the surrounding shrubbery had already almost ceased. Brief as the period was, the remaining few of the enemy were vanquished and soon had fled, pursued by a victorious two or three, being scarcely themselves more than that number, having suffered severely, although they fought with great bravery. It was the seven hundred years of hate and the red blood of Ireland, that decided the conquest for so far in favor of the green; and now, face to face, with lips compressed and glaring eye, stood the two representatives of the individual antagonisms, which had been pitted against each other for ages, and which never can breathe in peace the same vital air. As if understanding, thoroughly, the power, agility and skill of his antagonist, the opponent of Barry, who was an Englishman by birth, and had been in the British service, never sought for a moment to gain any advantage of the ground. In this relation, he seemed satisfied to fight his adversary on equal terms; being well aware that a single move might be fatal, inasmuch as it could not fail to distract his attention to some extent from his watchful enemy. The sward sloped down rapidly to the ravine; so that he who occupied the most elevated position would have his adversary at an advantage; but, although this conviction was impressed upon the minds of both, neither seemed anxious to avail himself of it; and thus they stood upon equal terms, in every way antagonists worthy of each other. In height, the Englishman had it somewhat in his favor; but, then, not above an inch or so; while Barry, in agility and compactness, seemed to be vastly his superior. And such they were, when the first thrust and parry told that the work had begun. This was immediately succeeded by a furious clashing, that evidenced a rising tempest of anger in the breast of either, or both, and which gave promise of being speedily followed by some fatal stroke that was sure to terminate the encounter. During this ominous flurry, Barry stood on the defensive, coolly eyeing his brave adversary, and watching for the unguarded moment when he could either kill or disarm him; but this was not so easily found, as the Englishman was every inch a soldier and a superb swordsman; and Barry knew it well.

Notwithstanding the violence of the attack, so adroitly was it met, and so firmly was it withstood, that our hero never gave way a hair’s breadth of ground, or suffered a single scratch; and now only, in reality, the murderous conflict commenced. The Englishman perceiving that our hero was not to be moved or thrown off his guard for an instant, became more fully satisfied that he had a dangerous antagonist to deal with, and so commenced to be himself more cautions and guarded. Seeing that mere personal strength availed him but little, he fell back on his admirable swordsmanship and fought with coolness the most undaunted. Barry now, in turn, became the assailant, and pressing his antagonist with great skill and courage, gave him a slight flesh wound, followed rapidly by another in the sword arm, from which the blood began to flow copiously. Perceiving that the conflict must be decided at once, as he should soon become faint from loss of blood, once more the red coat became the assailing party; but this time, as he was pressing our hero, but somewhat more feebly than before, his foot caught beneath the tough, fibrous roots of one of the pine shrubs by which they were surrounded, and the next instant he was thrown headlong towards Barry, while his sword flew out of his hand far beyond his reach.

The fight was over; and fortunate it was for the prostrate soldier that it was brought to so singular a determination; for, from the manner in which he was bleeding, if from nothing else, the day was sure to be decided in Barry’s favor. Regaining his feet, as soon as possible, he looked aghast for a moment, as if expecting his death blow; but found his antagonist not only presenting him his sword, but begging him not to continue the conflict, as from his wound he was in no situation to keep it up longer with any show of success.

“By my faith,” he replied in return, “I believe, under any circumstances, the fates were against me; so, understanding what is due to a brave man, keep my sword and find me some water, as I begin to feel a little shakey about the knees.”

Just at the foot of the slope, and but a few yards distant, there was a brook, to which our hero now led his prisoner, and where, after bathing his temples and bandaging his wound with a handkerchief, he left him for a moment to look after those who might need his aid more urgently, hard by. He found, after all, that but one of his party was killed, although two others, who managed to creep in amongst the shrubbery, were severely wounded. Not knowing how the contest was going, and seeing themselves completely hors de combat, they waited in silence the result, fearing to call out, lest the enemy might be upon them and despatch them. The red coats suffered most severely; six of their number having been killed outright. Strange to say, however, that there appeared to have been none of them simply wounded; for, although groans were heard to proceed from the point where they lay, they must have been uttered in their death agonies, so mortal was the damage dealt them.

When this much was ascertained, Barry was deliberating as to what had become of the remaining three of his party, when they returned to the scene of conflict, weary with a fruitless chase. These men instantly took up their comrades and bore them down to the brook, where they were refreshed with a cooling draught. Barry, finding that it would be dangerous for them to remain to bury the dead, as the noise of their rifles might have attracted the attention of some other body of the enemy that might possibly be somewhere in the vicinity of the ravine, determined to retrace his steps at once. His two wounded companions, like his prisoner, were able to walk slowly towards the camp; so, collecting the enemy’s dead into one place, and covering them with branches of evergreens, they took up the body of their fallen comrade and, placing it on a litter hastily formed of boughs gathered on the spot, slowly wended their way with it towards the point occupied by the main body of the army—Barry and his prisoner moving in the same direction, some distance in the rear.


In the morning that Greaves visited the Fort in Canada, garrisoned by Barry’s regiment, it will be remembered that he had a brief interview with the Colonel. Momentary as it was, however, it was sufficient to prevent Barry from getting his discharge; for the Colonel was then and there apprised that our hero sought to leave the army for the purpose only of joining the anticipated Fenian invasion, giving it the advantage of his military skill, and aiding it with his knowledge of the fortifications that the invaders might attempt to posses themselves of. On being persuaded, through a glance at a certain document placed in his hands, that Greaves was to be trusted, he at once decided as to the course that he himself ought to pursue, and the reader has already seen the result. Strange as it may appear for the present, it was Greaves’ object to induce Barry to desert, and thereby shut himself out from ever revisiting the British dominions again. He felt that it would be better, too, that he should not be taken while in the act of deserting; as his punishment could be but light, owing to the circumstance, that he had endeavored, though in vain, to obtain his discharge honorably; so he determined to aid his escape from the Fort, and secure his outlawry beyond any possibility of mistake. Why he was prompted to an act so gratuitous and so apparently undeserved, remains for future explanation; but, at present, all we have to do with is the simple fact, that owing to his mysterious machinations, our young hero was driven to the step he had taken.

It is, we perceive, a fact, that O’Brien was correct in his first estimate of Greaves; as that smooth-tongued traitor was the notorious spy in the pay of the English government, sent out to Canada with a view to learning the particulars of the power and intentions of Fenianism in the Provinces, as well as in the adjoining Republic. In this connection, he had such papers in his possession as recommended him to the Canadian Minister who gave him, on his arrival in the city where we first encountered him, such assistance and direction as his maudlin state of mind could afford. He recommended him to the confidence of many persons in the upper part of the Province, where he had been staying for some time previous to his appearance at The Harp. Among these was the Hon. J. R——-, of Toronto—a Patrick’s Day Son of the Sod, who has often nailed Ireland to the cross for place and power; and who regards every body as his “dear friend” who can help him up the ladder—a man with no more human flesh about his bones or heart within him, than is possessed by the veriest skeleton that has ever served the purposes of a college of surgeons, after having reposed for a whole generation in the silence of the grave. Oh! how we long for the day when we shall meet such miserable Judases face to face, and spit upon them before the nations; and how willing we are to admit that we should rather tomorrow shake the manly hand of the English Joe Sheard of Toronto, open enemy and all as he is, than touch the vile, clammy paw of such repulsive creatures as compose the snake-like breed of which this same paltry and sordid trimmer is a true representative. Of course, Greaves and he understood each other at once—they were both traitors alike; only that the former was lavish of money in attaining his nefarious ends, while the latter would crawl to whatever goal he had in view, through any description of filth provided it would obviate the necessity of relaxing his gripe upon his ill-gotten gain. It is to such men as he, that Ireland owes all her misfortunes, and that the people of Canada owe the curse of the great embarrassments that now sorely beset them. For so far, not a single Irishman who has ever been prominently identified with the Government of Canada, if we are at all able to judge, has possessed a spark of honest or true patriotism. From first to last, every man Jack of them has fleeced the poor Canucks unmercifully, and played the toady to England in the most fulsome and sickening manner. Even the best of them were rotten to the core, and but mere adventurers. Look at the case of the “Hyena,” as he was called in his prime. One day we find him out at the elbows peddling samples of wine around the Province, and the next, wallowing in wealth through his Point Levi and other gouges at the expense of the people; until, at last, he became sufficiently corrupt for England to send him to take charge of her interests in one of her dependencies: where, as it is asserted, he, from time to time, is carried from boating parties, etc., to his palatial residence dead drunk, in open daylight. But why spend a single breath in referring to such miserable specimens of humanity? The world knows what they are; and Canada ought to have some slight acquaintance with them: as they built her into the worthless Grand Trunk at a ruinous figure, and, like her present, leading, political juggler, Sir John A., fleeced her in every direction that a collop could be cut out of her.

It was amongst such tricksters, English, Irish and Scotch, that Greaves, for the most part, moved secretly from the moment of his arrival in the Province up to the date at which we find him at Port Colborne. He was, however, surprised to learn that men so high in power, and that had been so high in power, really knew so little of the great impending movement which overshadowed the Provinces and bid fair to wrest them from the hands of England. But few papers in Upper Canada appeared to know anything of what was really going on in this relation, besides the Globe, of Toronto. Nearly all the others, like the leader of the government and his satellites, seemed to be at sea upon the subject. This fact Greaves took care to mention in the dispatches which he sent home to Ireland, from time to time; giving it as his opinion, that the Prime Minister of Canada was a dangerous man to entrust with any large interests, civil or military.

How the spy had become possessed of the letter or paper which so staggered O’Brien, is easily accounted for. One of the Organization in Ireland, named Greaves, who had been purchased by the government while on a mission of trust, and who had sworn his way into the Brotherhood with a view to making merchandise of it, gave up his credentials for a certain sum; and thus it was that they had fallen into the hands of the Castle of Dublin and subsequently into those of the spy. Cunning as O’Brien was, the spy read his connection with the Organization through exhibiting this document to him on the morning succeeding the night of our first introduction to The Harp; for he perceived, at once, that were O’Brien not, is some way, identified with the Brotherhood, he would have been unable to recognize the meaning of certain expressions contained in the paper, which, as already observed, seemed to impress him so suddenly and so forcibly.

Now, however, that the Provinces were actually invaded, Greaves, as we shall yet continue to call him, found that his mission had suddenly been brought to a close. As the cat was out of the bag, however, he instantly turned his undivided attention to some private matters of his own, and which, after all, was the only thing that induced him to move so rapidly west, after the escape of Barry and his comrades from the Fort. But with all his deeply laid schemes, he began to feel a strange presentiment that he had overreached himself, and that, notwithstanding the supposition that he had shut out our hero from Canada for all time to come, it was more than likely he was in the Province again, and that, too, as an invader, and but a very short distance from the village in which he now found himself. This surmise maddened him, for reasons to be disclosed in due course; and, as if urged by some unseen power, he was determined to make his way towards the camp of the invaders; well knowing that had Barry joined it, he would vouch for his friendliness; while, had he not re-entered the Province, he himself could make his way among the Brotherhood as a friend, by the same means that he had stepped into the good graces, or rather escaped the detection, of O’Brien.

Early on the morning of the second of June, then, he set out from Port Colborne, with a force under the command of Lieut. Col. Booker, anxious to witness, and if necessary, take part in the first encounter between the invaders and the Provincial troops. How did he know—perhaps a chance bullet fired by himself might find its billet in the heart of Barry, had the latter joined the Fenians; and if it did, then all would be right, and his triumph secured. Still he had his misgivings as to the success of the Canadians, notwithstanding their reputed superior numbers, and the presence of the regulars to strengthen and inspirit the volunteers. He saw that all was uncertainty and confusion. Col. Peacock, of the 16th regulars, chief in command of the united forces, was at “sixes and sevens” with the commanding officer of the volunteers, while General Napier, commanding the regular troops in the whole of Upper Canada, was so perplexed with rumors of invasion at various points, as to be absolutely lost in a maze of bewilderment, and utterly incapable of meeting the crisis in a soldierly and intelligent manner.

Thus the confusion ran amongst the Canadians, when Col. Booker, on the morning just alluded to, set out with his command from Port Colborne, to attack the Irish Republican forces, encamped at Newbiggin’s Farm, and with the further intention of forming a junction with the regulars under Col. Peacock, coming from Chippewa—the invaders being absolutely hemmed in on all sides; as a steamer with a field battery occupied the river in their rear, with a view to cutting off their retreat, when they were, as it was expected they should be, defeated by the large number of forces that were being steadily brought down upon them.

Arriving at the village of Ridgeway, the troops left the cars and proceeded cautiously in the direction of Stevensville, at or near which point they hoped to form the junction with Col. Peacock, who was on his way from Chippewa, where he had bivouacked the night before. The village of Ridgeway is on the line of the Grand Trunk Railway, which connects it with Port Colborne on Lake Erie on the one side, and Fort Erie on the same lake, at the mouth of the Niagara River, on the other. It is situated about eleven miles from the former place, and something like eight from the latter; leaving the extreme points distant from each other about nineteen miles. At this little place, then, Lieut. Col. Booker found himself, in command of a force which has been variously estimated at from twelve to eighteen hundred men, composed of the crack volunteers of the country, and, as a general thing, commanded by brave and experienced officers. It has, however, been asserted by some that there were not more than one thousand British engaged at Ridgeway; but we fear that this is under the mark, and are inclined to believe, that, at an honest computation, their force amounted to between thirteen and fourteen hundred. This we give on what we consider to be reliable authority, and can, at once, presume that the division under Col. Booker stood something more than three to one against the invaders, as the handful under the gallant O’Neill did not exceed four hundred on the actual field of Ridgeway.

Stevensville lies in the direction of Chippewa, on a wagon road branching off at right angles from the Grand Trunk at Ridgeway village, and here it was that Col. Peacock ordered Col. Booker to meet him, with the men under his command, with the design of forming a junction and attacking O’Neill with a combined force of volunteers and regulars amounting to between two and three thousand men. This junction O’Neill was determined to defeat, and did defeat it;—but let us not anticipate.

When Greaves stepped from the cars at Ridgeway, the first man he encountered was the Kid; and, strange as it may appear, a sign of recognition passed between them instantaneously. In a few moments they managed to extricate themselves from the crowds that thronged the place, and move off to an unfrequented spot, where they could converse unheard and unobserved. Here they were soon engaged on a subject which seemed to excite Greaves to the highest pitch, and elicit from him sundry ejaculations of surprise mixed with anger. Becoming cooler, however, he led his companion into a spot even more sequestered, and then fell into a low and earnest conversation with him, in which the name of Barry might be heard pronounced with a deadly, hissing vehemence, indicative of the most frightful passion and hate. All this time the Kid remained quite calm, answering the interrogatories of his employer, for such Greaves appeared to be, until, at last, the plot or contract, whatever it was, was completed, and the parties had again bent their steps to the railway station by different paths.

Had the gallant O’Neill two thousand men at his command on the morning of the 2d of June, 1866, with the certainty of reinforcements, Canada would, ere this, have been part and parcel of the United States, and Ireland an independent Republic, modeled after that of the American Union. No officer was better calculated to accomplish the overthrow of British power in the Dominion, than he. A thorough and practiced soldier—a man of great personal courage and daring, and above all, a genuine Celt, fired with the hereditary hatred of England so characteristic of his name and race, he was in himself a host. With two thousand men, composed of such stuff as he commanded at Ridgeway, he could have swept the road before him to Toronto; for there can be no doubt that his numbers would have been largely augmented on the way by Irish Nationalists and American sympathisers, who then, as now, pine for annexation. In addition, when it became once known, that a victorious army of the Republic of Ireland was marching on Toronto, a demonstration favorable to the invaders would have been made in that city, or such indications of friendship evinced by the Irish portion of the inhabitants, as would paralyze the energies of all those within its borders who were determined to stand by the flag of the tyrant. This, we are certain, would have been the real result of a march upon that city; for, all that thousands upon thousands of the people of Canada, who are now muzzled by the government, require at any moment to range them on the side of Ireland, is the assurance of success on the part of any invader, whether Irish or American, who makes a descent upon their shores. What a dreadful calamity, then, it was, that the War Department of the Irish Republic had fallen into such careless or incompetent hands, and that some man was not at its head who could have managed to have thrown upon Canadian soil, at Fort Erie and one or two other points, a force to act separately or in conjunction with sufficient effect to completely paralyse all opposition in Western Canada, among an already excited and incongruous host, who could have been easily swept before a compact handful of troops fired by a spirit so lofty and a resolve so unconquerable as that which actuated the brave little band of patriots who have made the 2d day of June, 1866, famous in the annals of the Irish race on this continent and on the other side of the Atlantic.

Let it be thoroughly understood, that although the fortress of Quebec is considered the Gibraltar of this continent, it is in the midst of an Irish and French population absolutely hostile to British rule. The French, like the children of Ireland, never were and never can be loyal to England; and there are but few men in Lower Canada to-day, who would not rather see the American flag floating over Cape Diamond at the present moment, than the blood-stained standard which proclaims it in the grasp of a tyrant. From this we infer, that had Toronto, Kingston and Montreal fallen into the hands of the invaders, Quebec could not fail to soon follow; and then for the fitting out of Irish Republican privateers that would requite all the depredations of the Alabama ten-fold, and cripple the commerce of England, as she had destroyed that of the United States during the last war. General O’Neill had all this in his eye, and was ready to push the case to the mouth of the St. Lawrence, and there commence active operations against the merchant service of the common enemy of both Ireland and America; sweeping it from the high seas, and striking the tyrant in her Counting House, as one of her most vulnerable points. There could have been no difficulty in managing all this, had a sufficient force been thrown into the Province at the time already mentioned; nor can it be attended with much difficulty at any moment, provided the right men are placed at the head of the Fenian War Department. Canada is doomed, whomsoever her conqueror may be; so the sooner her people experience the change which is sure to overtake her, the sooner shall she be restored to internal peace, prosperity and security; from all of which she is now excluded, and must remain so, as long as she continues part and parcel of the British Empire.

As by this time, the invading army had been in the Province for a portion of two days and two nights, the country generally was pretty well excited; but particularly in and about the section where the invaders had taken up their position, as well as along the line of Col. Peacock’s march. Still there did not appear any very marked disposition on the part of the actual settlers in these quarters to take a decided part in stemming the invasion. It appears to us, that it was simply the government that moved through agencies, in this connection, which could not well disregard or resist their commands, rather than any antagonistic, out-spoken sentiment of the people, that had developed itself into active hostility against the Fenian forces. Be this as it may, the numbers hastily brought against the invaders were large in comparison with their own rank and file; and had they been actuated by a spirit similar to that which made a host of each individual Fenian, the fortunes of the day could not have failed to have been otherwise than they subsequently turned out to be. Again, let it be understood, that the majority of the little band who withstood the tempest shock at Ridgeway, were fresh from the fields of the South and used to the song of the bullet and the roar of artillery, as the great bulk of the army of the Irish Republic in America is to-day; while even the British regulars who were marching on Ridgeway were, with all their pretensions, but feather-bed soldiers who were totally out of practice of the real field, and had for many a day exhibited their pluck and discipline at general reviews or sham battles only. This we hold to weigh heavily on the side of the Irish National forces, and to decide in their favor, in advance, in any fight with treble their number of such an enemy—that is, we are of the fixed impression, that any hundred picked men from the force now under the gallant O’Neill, will beat, in open fight, any three hundred of the British army brought against them, all things being equal, with the exception of numbers. And why?—simply because in one case the belligerents would be fighting for the traditions and independence of the land of their love, while in the other they would, as a general, thing, be fighting for about six-pence a day.

As soon as Colonel Booker and his command took the road towards Stevensville, Greaves, who was as daring as a man could be, and who was besides well acquainted with military tactics, procured a rifle, a soldiers jacket, cap and accoutrements, and started forth in the wake of the volunteers, with the rear guard of which he soon came up. The accoutrements he wore belonged to one of the volunteers who, like many of the men under Colonel Peacock, took suddenly ill as they approached the Fenian lines, and fell out of the ranks. Fortunately for the spy, he found in this guard the very comrade of the man who was left behind at the village, and having received permission from the officer in charge, fell into the ranks with him and held on his way, as though he were an ordinary member of the force.

On the other hand, the Kid, on parting with Greaves, took his way in the direction in which he knew the invaders were slowly and cautiously moving, in order to get between Booker and Peacock, and defeat one command before it could form a juncture with the other. On approaching their lines, the steady tramp of which he could hear, he fell rapidly in the rear, where, true to their instincts, he found Black Jack and Wilson following in the team of the latter at a respectable distance, and anxiously waiting for the first volley that should give intimation that an engagement had commenced.

“By ——,” exclaimed Wilson, as his acquaintance jumped into the wagon, “this is coming to rather close quarters.”

“If so be,” replied Jack, “as there vos henny har tillery in the vay, it might urt the missuses jam pots, seein as ‘ow we can’t be much hover a mile from them, from this ‘ere place.”

“Scarcely that,” returned the Kid, “and what’s more, from the course the Fenians are taking, they must soon be into it against three or four times their number, and serve them right; but what luck have you had during the night?” he continued, turning to Jack, “although I suspect there was not much chance in the direction in which you spent it.”

“Call this a hinvasion?” retorted Jack, “vy these coves ‘av only a come hover to show their good breedin and spend their money amongst the Canadians, instead of doin the decent thing like as ow it vos done in Hindia and the Peninsoola, veh the real harmy cut, burned and plundered hall afore ‘em, ‘and carried hoff, from old and young, bags of the most precious svag. This is disgustin. Honly fancy the fellows a behavin as if they vos on knight herranty of the hancient times, instead of givin a cove a chance of to do a little business among the walluables of Fort Erie, or hany hother place in the wicinity. I tell ‘ee what, Kid, I’m sorry as vee hever comed hover—that I be; and I vish I vos veil back again behind my hown counter.”

“Don’t be down-hearted,” replied the Kid, “for there will be fun somewhere soon, when these invaders will have to fall back on Fort Erie, where there may be a muss, or else the Canadians will have to retreat towards the village I have but recently left, so that in either case there may yet be a chance to throw something into the bottom of the wagon, and then in our turn fall back on friend Wilson’s, here.”

In this way the conversation was continued, while the horses moved slowly along the road taken by the invaders, and at such a distance from the rear of the force, as not to be visible to any of the soldiers; until, just as the three companions we’re passing through a patch of woods about a quarter of a mile from the rear guard of the invaders, they were suddenly startled by the report of firearms in the direction of the troops, just ahead of them. This report was followed by another, and yet another, and now by one continuous volley. The famous battle of Ridgeway had commenced!


Kate McCarthy, after having heard the disclosure of Martha, regarding the character of her uncle, and the dangerous and nefarious practices in which he and Smith, or the Kid, were engaged, arrived, by degrees, at the conclusion, that she was the victim of some horrible and mysterious plot, in which Nicholas, too, was involved unconsciously. This idea having taken full possession of her, she immediately communicated it to her friend, who also seemed to share her apprehension. Of course, she had no means of accounting for the existence of the talisman upon which, at the time she received it, she could have staked her life; but, now, it was too plain, that even about this there was something strange and unsatisfactory; because, from her frequent inspection of it, although it had evidently come from the hand of Nicholas, it appeared to have not been so clearly intended for her, as she could have desired. Yet for whom else could it have been designed? This was the question; and it necessarily remained unanswered, while the conviction still obtained, that, notwithstanding there was enough in the mysterious token to justify the course she had taken, she was nevertheless in most dangerous toils, with the existence of which her lover was totally unacquainted.

This once settled in her mind, her first impulse was to flee the house immediately; but, on second consideration, she felt it were better to await results, as she was certain that Martha was her true friend, and believed that no actual violence would be offered to her while under Wilson’s roof. Were she to effect her escape she had neither acquaintance nor guide to direct her steps, and was totally uninformed as to the character and people of the locality in which she found herself. Again, Wilson had no doubt, placed eyes upon her that would arrest her footsteps, or so embarrass her that she should again fall into the hands from which she sought to escape. The region around her, as she now learned, was addicted to smuggling, and so marked was this truth, that a house of entertainment in the neighborhood was called the Smuggler’s Home; where, it was said, bold and reckless men were to be found constantly. There was one thing, however, she was determined upon, and that was to procure, if possible, some weapon of defence in case any attempt were made to further jeopardize her person or liberty; and in this she was promptly aided by her young friend.

She had now been nearly a week from home, and yet not an additional word or line had arrived from her lover. It was fortunate, however, that in her present perilous condition she had one in whom she could confide, and whom she knew sympathised with her. This was a solace to her, as it enabled her from time to time, to ease her burdened heart of the heavy load that pressed upon it, and converse upon the probable designs of those into whose toils she hod been betrayed. Smith, she was well aware, knew all the circumstances of her case; but he was in the employment of her persecutor or persecutors, and nothing, she was certain, was to be gleaned from him. However, as he had some design on the hand of Martha, the thought struck her that if opportunity served, her young friend might be able to extract from him even a hint as to the real state of her case; and this idea she at once communicated to her. Martha, on her part, expressed herself willing to befriend her to the utmost of her power; but still evinced a repugnance to be under any obligation to Smith, or enter into relations with him that could aim at anything like confidence between them. Yet she confessed herself ready to sacrifice her feelings as far as she could properly do so, for the purpose of fathoming the plot that surrounded her companion; but, then, where was Smith to begin with; and when was it probable that he should again make his appearance in that locality? These were points more easily entertained than disposed of; and thus matters stood when circumstances threw in their way the very individual they both desired to see.

When the Kid, Jack and Wilson were liberated on the evening of the day on which they had been captured with others, and sent into the headquarters of Gen. O’Neill, it was decided that the first named of these worthies should proceed at once to Wilson’s, and apprise the family of the presence of a hostile army, and the necessity of keeping close and barricading the house in case the tide of war should roll in that direction. The habitation, as already mentioned, stood in an isolated spot surrounded with woods, and the proprietor was of the impression, that it would escape notice or molestation; from the fact that the Fenians seemed to eschew everything that savored, in even the slightest degree, of the destruction of private property or of gratuitous pillage. Besides, he perceived that for the purpose of meeting some of the necessities of the invaders, a few horses had been already impressed into their service, and felt, consequently, that were his discovered on the road leading to his home, they could not fail to share the same fate. He therefore, as just intimated, begged the Kid to make the best of his way to Limestone Ridge, beside which his domicile stood. To this request the Kid willingly acceded, as it would afford him another opportunity of seeing Martha; so, when evening was about to set in, he commenced his journey.

Earlier in the day, the brave Captain O’Donohue, of the 18th, white out on a foraging party towards Chippewa, came up with some outposts of the enemy, who, noticing his dauntless bearing, and the steady, onward tramp of his handful of men, fled at his approach without firing a single shot.

When passing out of the camp to the main road, the Kid learned that the whole force was to move off at about ten o’clock in the direction of Chippewa; it being the intention of the commander, as previously observed, to get between the body of regulars about proceeding from that point, and that of the volunteers, to move forward, and form a junction with them, from Port Colborne; intending to attack and defeat the one before the other came up. At this time O’Neill’s troops did not, as is confidently asserted, number as many as five hundred men; while the force of the enemy surrounding him on every side, was estimated at an aggregate of some thousands. This he well knew, but he had invaded the territories of the ancient and implacable antagonist of his country and his name, and he was determined to make another Thermopylae of any pass in which he happened to meet the foe, no matter how overwhelming their numbers.

This intelligence impressed the Kid with the idea that a battle might possibly take place somewhere in the vicinity of Stevensville or Ridgeway; as he knew that the leader of the Irish Republican Army, or forlorn hope, as so small a body of men might be termed, would attempt to intercept a junction of the enemy somewhere near one or the other of these points, as both lay on the line between Chippewa and Port Colborne, taking the Sodom Road and the Grand Trunk Railway as the surest and speediest route between both these latter places. So pushing forward, with speed that never slackened, just at the period that O’Neill was about to break camp, under the pretence of attacking Chippewa, Mr. Stephen Smith arrived at Wilson’s door, and after a polite double knock was admitted by the mistress of that suspicious dwelling.

Martha was soon apprised of his arrival, and while her companion trembled throughout every limb with anxiety for the fate of the important enquiries which she had kindly consented to make, she hastily left the apartment where both had been long seated, conversing upon their future and the chances of escape from such a den. On perceiving the Kid, although her very soul revolted against the touch of his cold, clammy hand, she seemed to welcome him with more than ordinary cordiality. She was, of course, both surprised and alarmed at the intelligence of the invasion, and the proximity of the two armies; for, as yet, not a whisper of it had reached her, so secluded the place. He spoke of the necessity of putting the house in a state of defence, so as to be ready to meet any contingency; although, as he himself averred, he did not apprehend the slightest danger so long as the inmates remained within their doors, in case the din of battle was heard in the vicinity. As it was, however, the windows were well secured, and the heavy, oaken front-door was capable of being rendered all but invulnerable by a huge iron bar that could be speedily thrown across it into two deep grooves in the posts.

All this having been seen to, some trifling inquiry was made as to their lodger, when Mrs. Wilson, understanding previously the intention of Martha, and sympathizing with the case of poor Kate, left the apartment, as if on some ordinary household affair. Martha now set about gaining the information she sought; but with all her art, could only ascertain from her suitor, that Kate was in the power of an individual who, for some reason unknown to him, had betrayed her into Canada, and consigned her, for a time at least, to the place where she was now domiciled.

“And were you a party to the abduction of this innocent creature?” exclaimed Martha, the blood mounting to her cheeks in real anger and disgust.

“Oh! it was all in the way of business,” replied the other, “and perceiving that it would result in the most pleasant companionship for one I so admire, I had the less scruples in furthering the design of a good employer.”

Let it be understood that this villain had not even the most remote idea of the pure nature and true character of Martha. Having seen her but a few times, he subjected her moral worth to the standard of that of her uncle, and thought, consequently, that the disclosure he now made would enhance him in her estimation. In this he was mistaken; for, no sooner had he made her thoroughly cognizant of the fact that he was not an innocent, but a willing, instrument in the abduction of poor Kate, than she sprang to her feet, and with a glance the most withering, and full of unconquerable hate and aversion, without a single other word, left the apartment and ascended to that of her friend.

No sooner had she disappeared than an expression the most demoniacal stole over the countenance of Smith. The very devil sat on his brow, while his eyes turned absolutely green in their sockets. His thin, pale lips glistened again, as he drew them across his sharp, white teeth, in an attempt to smile. Looking stealthily about him, while a curious expression, still more horrible, replaced the one already described, he hastily drew a long knife from a sheath concealed beneath his vest, and regarded it for a moment in the light of the lamp before him. He knew that every hope of obtaining the hand of Martha was lost, and forever; and now for a terrible revenge.

“They are helpless and alone,” he muttered, slowly rising to his feet. “There is wealth, too, somewhere here; and should I silence them all, it will be mine, and their death will be laid at the door of the invaders. Besides,” he growled, “no suspicion can rest upon me, as I am the known friend of Wilson and the family. Nobody saw me come—no person shall see me leave. I shall fire the house after having rifled it; and conceal whatever I may obtain, in some convenient spot until the affair has blown over. Jack and Wilson know too much of me: I am tired of them. If needs be, I shall silence them also. I have rare work before me. Barry must die; but what shall I profit by killing him if I kill this woman also? Who cares! The devil is working with me; and now for it! To the foot of the stairs, then; where, as they descend, they shall fall one by one without a groan until the rare bird of a prisoner is left alone in her room. Then for some wild sport and the final blow!”

Having muttered all this to himself, the demon in human shape, extinguishing the lamp, sprang forward in the direction of the stairs, to await the first who happened to descend: but scarcely had he assumed his post of death, before the large oaken door was thrust rudely open and two strapping young fellows, armed with a revolver and a dirk each, rushed into the apartment, and alarmed all the party up stairs by calling aloud for a light, the gleam from the hearth being feeble and uncertain.

Instantly the knife of Smith was returned to its sheath, while he stepped forward, saying that he had just accidently extinguished the lamp in the absence of Mrs. Wilson and Martha, who had run up stairs to acquaint a lady friend with the intelligence that he had but that moment brought her from Mr. Wilson, regarding the invasion of the Province and the proximity, as he had no doubt, of the Fenian and Canadian forces.

“That is just the mission we have come on ourselves,” returned one of the new comers, “as we were apprised that Mr. Wilson was from home, and thought that his family would like to know of the dangers that possibly surrounded them.”

The manly voice of the speaker soon brought Martha and her aunt down stairs; and the lamp being speedily relighted, the former advanced towards the speaker and taking his extended hand, with a bright eye and a flushed cheek, heard all he had to say on the subject which occasioned his unceremonious visit.

“One of us will stay with you,” he continued, while she thanked him for his goodness, “until Mr. Wilson arrives; and although he is not over social in his habits, I am sure he will not misconstrue the anxiety we feel for the safety of his family.”

“Thank you! thank you, Mr. Evans,” returned Martha; “we shall feel so grateful for your protection; and as to my uncle, I am satisfied he cannot be otherwise than obliged to you for this great kindness.”

“You stay then, Harry,” observed the other stranger, “for I shall move on to Ridgeway, as I want to hear what’s afloat there. There are troops, I know, at Port Colborne, and they ought to be apprised of the whereabouts of the enemy, and so should the inhabitants of this neighborhood. Mr. Graham, the Collector of Fort Erie, has, I am informed, proceeded with information of the enemy to Port Colborne; but still there is not yet anything known of their precise location, so contradictory are the rumors, not only as to where they are encamped, but in relation to their numbers.”

“I can satisfy you as to both these circumstances,” broke in the Kid, with a voice as bland as if murder had not visited his heart for an age, “for I heard this evening that they were encamped about four hundred strong at Newbiggin’s farm, four or five miles down the river from Fort Erie; and that they intended to move on towards Chippewa about ten o’clock; branching off in the direction of Ridgeway, in the hope of meeting the troops coming from Port Colborne, and defeating them before they formed a junction with those expected from Chippewa.”

“As my cousin Harry will sit up with the family for the remainder of the night, then, perhaps you would not mind walking as far as Ridgeway,” replied the young fellow who had last spoken, “as we are sure to have news there; from the fact of the village being on the line of the Grand Trunk.”

Seeing that his murderous plot was for the time defeated, the Kid made no objection to this request; feeling that the darkness and the night, as well as any whirl of excitement or debauch, were more in accordance with the infernal tone of his spirit, than the conversation of two beings, Martha and Evans, whom his keen eye at once discovered to be lovers. So bidding the family good night, and not waiting to partake of the refreshments offered him after his journey from the Fenian camp, he sallied forth with his new acquaintance on the road leading to the village.

“Henry,” said Martha, when the sound of their receding footsteps had died in the distance, “do you know anything of the man Smith who has just left us, for you seemed to eye him very intently from the moment the lamp was relighted until the door closed behind him this moment? We know now, and have often suspected, him to be a villain; but circumstances over which we had no control—that is, my aunt and myself—have thrown us occasionally into the society of the wretch, whom we both loathe and detest.”

This interrogatory was put in the absence of Mrs. Wilson, who had again sought the apartment of Kate to tell her all that had just transpired. It seemed to embarrass the young man for a moment; but recovering himself, he frankly replied—

“I have seen that man frequently in Buffalo. Not long since, he was pointed out to me as a most dangerous character who was under the surveillance of the police; and, as you may be well assured, I was astounded to find him here and at such an hour.”

“Oh!” returned Martha, “he has been here often, Henry, and what I now fear is, that my uncle is leagued with him, not only in the most frightfully dishonest practices, but in the abduction, at the instance of some other villain, of a good and pure young creature who, a few nights ago, was brought here by them under the pretense that it was the wish of her lover that she should accompany them where this wretch would—a pretense that disguised itself under a veritable token procured in some way from her betrothed, and evidently used without his sanction or knowledge.”

“I believe your uncle to be a bad man, Martha,” returned Evans, “but the fault is not yours; and besides, there is not a single drop of his blood in your veins. I am convinced, also, that your aunt knows it, and that it is that which so wastes her away and destroys the whole sunshine of her life. I have long felt it; and were it not for the dread of paining you through exposure, I should ere this have directed the attention of the authorities to some circumstances affecting his character and honesty, that came under my own notice; for, Martha, dear, but a few hours since, as I may say, I was an accidental witness of an incident which more than confirms all the suspicions that have so long rested on him.”

“I know! I know?” interrupted Martha, while she hid her face in her hands and wept in bitter agony, “but go on!”

“When,” resumed Evans, “two or three nights ago, believing Wilson to be from home—for I shall no longer call him your uncle, he being, in truth, no relation whatever of yours,—I stole up from our place to say a few words to you and urge you to quit this house and become my wife. I was astonished to see a light in the stable as I crept by it; and looking into one of the windows. I perceived this man leaning over a large case filled with valuables that had evidently been stolen by him, or by some of his accomplices, who had entrusted them to his safe keeping until the noise of the robbery had blown over. I saw this, I saw with my own eyes; and now that you are aware of it, can you longer remain beneath this roof?”

“It is true! alas! too true,” sobbed Martha, “for I myself saw the very same case; and then it was, that for the first time, a full sense of his horrible vocation fell upon me and the poor woman that he calls his wife. Of course, Henry, I shall quit this place, and forever; but until this horrible din is over, and the poor creature up stairs placed in some safe hands, I shall bear my terrible lot as best I can.”

“Rightly spoken, dear Martha,” returned Henry, kissing off her tears, “and I trust that this lady of whom you speak, will prove herself worthy your kindness and esteem.”

“No fear of that, dear Henry,” returned the maiden, “my heart tells me that she is as good as she is beautiful, and I know, not only from her own lips, but from what has transpired this very night, that she is the victim of some foul plot yet to be punished and explained.”

“And where has she come from, and what is her name?” rejoined Henry, evidently becoming interested in the fate of our heroine.

“Her home is in Buffalo,” replied Martha, “and her name is Kate M’Carthy.”

“By heaven!” exclaimed Evans, leaping to his feet as if the house were falling, “where is she? where is she? Lead me to her at once!”


Had General O’Neill not entertained strong hopes he should be re-inforced, knowing, as he did, that a large body of Fenian troops were scattered along the American frontier, under the command of brave and true men, he would have broken camp with a sad heart on the night of the first. No man in existence was more thoroughly aware than he, that, ‘though brave as lions, the force at his command was altogether too small to effect anything permanent upon the soil of the enemy. The most he hoped to achieve, was a footing, until his command had acquired sufficient strength to enable him to move upon some of the important towns of the Upper Province. Of the dangers and perils that surrounded him he was fully aware; but he knew, also, that, now that he had crossed the Rubicon, how fatal it would be to the prestige of the cause of Ireland, to retreat again to the American shore without measuring swords with the foe, no matter what their numbers, and, if needs be, illustrating, with a handful of men, the spirit resolve and bravery which, long previously, fostered by the noble Roberts and Gibbons, etc., fired the whole Organization on this great continent, and placed the ultimate independence of Ireland beyond any possible contingency. O’Neill was just the man to make this impression, and to seize upon every circumstance calculated to aid him in the attempt. Fresh from the fields of the South, where his sword and name were a watchword and a tower of strength when danger was to be met in the gap, he was used to war in all its phases; while the fierce leaven of his patriotism and the mighty promptings of his ancient name, now that he had made a descent upon the enemy of his country and his race, rendered him almost invincible. Though small his band, he knew that each man who had accompanied him thus far was a host in himself, and ennobled by a spirit identical with that which prompted him in the main. And now the hour had arrived when he should show the enemy and the world that numbers were as nothing in the sight of the God of battles. Besides, he felt it, as a mere matter of generalship, incumbent upon him to maintain, if possible, a foothold or rallying point for whatever reinforcements might follow him, as well as keep open the line of communication with the shores he had but just left. In short, critically as he was placed, and regarding his little host as the vanguard of freedom, he determined to sacrifice himself and them to a man, if necessary, in maintaining his ground until thoroughly satisfied of the truth of his fears that President Roberts, deceived, like the Organization generally, in the capacity of the Secretary of War, was no longer able to send reinforcements or further a movement calculated to sweep the Province from Sandwich to Quebec. In this way matters stood with him on the night that he left his camp at Newbiggin’s Farm. He was aware that two large bodies of the enemy’s troops were marching upon him from two opposite points, and that to permit them to form a junction would be to court utter annihilation. As before observed, then, he set out at the hour already named, with a view to getting between them and defeating the one before the other came up. In his sublime enthusiasm he invested each individual of his command with the purposes and attributes of a hero, and felt that a body so constituted, so compact and so easily handled, could be slung with fearful effect against almost any number of men who had no heart in the fight, save that which was engendered by an uneasy and uncomfortable sentiment of badly founded loyalty to the flag of a tyrant, or that degrading spirit of hireling hostility, which changed its force and direction, in accordance with the amount of gold offered by the subsidizing party.

Moved by impulses so noble and disinterested, the whole camp now marched away in the direction of Chippewa, burning the bridges behind them, to a point some five or six miles distant, where the reconnoitering party, under the command of Col. Hoy, had been ordered to wait until the main body of the troops came up, and to the left of which Gen. O’Neill hoped to intercept some one of the two hostile forces that were, as he was perfectly convinced, moving against him from opposite points of the compass.

In the rear of the moving camp followed Black Jack and Wilson, at a very respectful distance; they being comfortably seated in the wagon of the latter, that had been brought cautiously from its hiding place, when the steady tramp of the rear guard of the army had died away.

“What a pity it is,” said Wilson, as the team crawled slowly along, “that we have no chance to take the number of a few of those self-same invaders from behind a tree or log; for I find the English blood beginning to stir within me.”

“Vot’s to be gained by it,” returned Black Jack, “seein as ‘ow there’s no use in cuttin a vizzen or scuttlin a nob, unless there’s some svag at the end on it? For my own part,” he continued, “I’d rather that ve should try our luck among some of the farmers or gentry about here; although I’m certain they’re purty vide avake seem as vot’s afoot just now.”

“Yes! yes!” returned the other, “that’s all well enough in its way; but as we can’t hope to accomplish much until there’s a fight between the invaders and the invaded, I should like, if an opportunity turned up, to thin out a few of those green jackets while we hid the horses hard by and waited the result of the conflict.”

“Vell! vell!” replied Jack, “there vouldn’t be much ‘arm in tryin our ‘and in that vay, as ven ve got a chance ve might step into the ranks of the Hinglish and give them a lift; ven, if needs be, ve could slip out again and take our luck in the trail of the fight, pickin hup votever might drop in the vay.”

About midnight the troops came up with Col. Hoy’s party, and after marching a considerable distance and then taking a couple of hours rest, the whole force made a cautious detour towards the direct line leading from Ridgeway to Chippewa; O’Neill being satisfied that he had already intercepted the junction of the British, and should be able to engage and defeat either one party or the other before they could both unite.

In this way the night was passed; every precaution being taken to guard against ambush or surprise, until morning became well advanced, and the invaders, after having emerged from a swamp through which they had marched, found themselves within three or four miles of Ridgeway.

It was at this point and period that the Kid, after leaving Greaves, had come up with, or rather encountered, the wagon with Black Jack and Wilson, who, as usual, kept moving slowly in the rear of the troops and sniffing, like blood-hounds or vultures, their prey in the distance.

As observed in a previous chapter, the two worthies had scarcely welcomed their companion or seen him comfortably seated beside them, before they were all aroused by the report of fire-arms, apparently ahead of the main body of the troops, which, as near as they could calculate, was about half a mile in advance. It was at this moment that the brave Col. Starr, who commanded the advance, got the first glimpse of the outposts of the enemy, which he at once charged and drove in like so many sheep; and this was the music heard by Wilson and his companions. Shortly afterwards, the main body of the enemy, commanded by Lieut. Col. Booker, from Port Colborne, were discovered, and the battle was opened by a speedy and judicious disposition of the Fenian forces, and the hasty throwing up of a rail barricade from behind which some of the Boys in Green commenced their work of destruction; while others of them kept the British skirmishers in hand in the woods hard by, and in a manner the most cool and artistic.

Any person who gets a view of Major Dennison’s map, in the work already mentioned, representing the disposition of the two antagonistic forces at Ridgeway, will at once be struck with the overwhelming numbers of that under the command of Col. Booker, compared with the compactness and fewness of the troops commanded by General O’Neill. In this chart we have the whole field studded, on the British side, with Highlanders, York Rifles, Trinity College Companies, University Rifles, the Queen’s Own and the 13th Field Battery, etc.; while on the side of the Army of the Irish Republic, as the diagram shows, we have but a handful of men, without artillery, and with but very few mounted officers. The circumstances under which the forces met, were favorable to Col. Booker, also; for not only had the British the advantage of a great superiority in numbers, stores and equipments, but they were engaged at their own doors, in the midst of a passive or friendly element, and with unlimited supplies and resources at their command; while, on the contrary, the men under General O’Neill were but poorly equipped, without supplies or proper ammunition—their bullets having, in some instances, to be pared on the field with a knife before they fitted the bore of their rifles—and were in the midst of an enemy’s country, surrounded on all sides by hostile battalions, and with but a slight hope of being reinforced before the enemy came down in overwhelming numbers upon them. This was a critical position, and well calculated to dismay any man less bold and courageous than O’Neill; but frightful as it was, he saw the necessity of accepting the situation. He remembered having, on the battle fields of the South, with but twenty men, defeated two hundred of a force under Hamilton, and run them in helpless disorder for a distance of thirteen miles; killing five of them with his own hand. He remembered, in addition, having, with a command of but fifty, charged, on the same fields, in defence of the American Union, two different regiments of the enemy, routed them, and recaptured the officers and guns of the Republic that had been previously taken by them; and remembering all this, his heart rose within him, and he felt that with his little band of Spartans, few as they were in number, he could work a double miracle when he met the tyrant of his name, his country and his race face to face. And so he did not stoop to measure the forces that were surrounding him; well knowing that, if all came to all, and that, if it were necessary for him to fall back upon the American shore, he could cut his way through them; as he was inclined to regard their numbers as but simple encumbrances to themselves; feeling, as he did, that they could be neither disciplined nor actuated by any proud impulses such as fired his own troops and his own bosom.

Buoyed with this spirit, and moved by the conviction that the eyes of the world were upon him, the first glimpse of the enemy was as one of sunshine to him; and as he looked around him and saw his brave officers and men towering and immoveable as cliffs in the presence of the angry deep, the strange fire so noticeable sometimes in his eye, blazed forth as though his soul went out in flame through each glaring orb; and the work of death had begun.

The battle of Ridgeway was commenced by skirmishers who were posted on both sides, among the woods and orchards with which that locality abounds; and although for some short period but little life was lost on the part of either the British or the Fenians, the daring of the latter had evidently confused and, in a degree, paralyzed the former from the first. In the woods, they gave the Highlanders a dreadful overhauling, and when pressed by numbers they steadily fell back upon the main body, with advantage to themselves and with loss to their opponents. When once aware of their position, and the great odds against them, in the incredible space of ten minutes, they threw up a breastwork of rails, from behind which they now began to deal the most deadly havoc amongst the enemy. The men engaged in more exposed positions, performed absolute miracles of valor, and charged the foe in the face of the most galling fire, until they actually touched their bayonets, and then poured in the murderous volley that shattered their ranks and strewed the field with their wounded and dying. As we learn from Major Denison, of the British forces, the Fenian officers were ever in front of their men, cheering them on to death or victory, and evincing such instances of true bravery as commanded the admiration of even those against whom they fought. Individual acts of the most terrible daring were performed by them, and so generally did the whole of O’Neil’s staff, including his gallant Aid-de-Camp, Lieut. Rudolph Fitzpatrick, as well as all the officers of the various companies, participate in the dreadful struggle, that even to this hour no writer has attempted to give any one of them pre-eminence over the other. And so of the rank and file, also. Scarce a single man of them, at one period, but was spattered with the blood of the enemy; and never did a solitary knot of them give way, for an instant, before any force that they were ordered to withstand. Wherever they moved the dead and wounded tumbled before them, until, fatigued by the frightful heat of the weather, they were, from time to time, constrained to pause in their dreadful work.

The engagement had continued for about an hour, when the brave Lieut. Lonergan bit the dust, while a cheer for Ireland struggled through the death rattle in his throat. He fell, a true hero and patriot, and well was his death avenged; for no sooner had its intelligence spread through his company, than its members became absolute tigers, and literally glutted themselves with blood. Then it was, that the Sun-burst carried through that hot field, from beginning to end, by Sergeant John Smith, of the 7th I.R.A., company G, might be seen flying where the enemy was thickest, surrounded by a struggling band, each of which was a host himself. Then it was, that the wild cry of “Erin go bragh!” smote on the ear of the foe like a death knell, paralyzed all their energies, and froze the warm current in their heart. At that moment a dozen men in green were worth a regiment of the material he fought against; and thus it was, that the enemy determined to mass all their forces against the gallant O’Neill, who stood like a rock amid the dreadful conflict, giving his orders with as much coolness as if he were dictating a letter; and, while the bullets whistled about him like hail, applauding the noble deeds of his men and officers, the next moment to be whirled into the dreadful melee himself.

With the keen, quick eye of a soldier, O’Neill perceived the intention of his adversary, who had, now, as he saw clearly, made up his mind to mass all his force against the Fenian troops and flank them. At this point the Boys in Green were ordered to fall steadily back and take up a new position, some distance in the rear of their rail barricade. The movement was performed in the most masterly manner; while the enemy continued to extend his wings—both right and left. On perceiving it, however, he construed it, as it was intended he should, into a retreat, and paused for a moment to consider what was best to be done. While deliberating, however, O’Neill, who had in vain been for some time endeavoring to draw out his centre, perceiving that the moment had arrived, sounded the charge, and, the next instant, the whole compact body of the invaders, with himself and his officers at their head, were thundering down, with the sweep of the Cyclone, upon the weak and startled centre of the foe, crashing through it like a cavalcade of thunder bolts, and scattering the whole of the English forces like chaff before the wind!

In the twinkling of an eye the enemy was flying in every direction before the victorious army of the Irish Republic! In their ignoble flight they divested themselves of all the clothing they could decently spare, and of everything that could tend to impede their progress! The field was strown with their great coats, knapsacks, rifles, and musical instruments belonging to their bands. Their dead and dying were left unheeded, and in every direction lay the unmistakable evidences of their sudden disaster and hopeless defeat. The compactness and dreadful resolve of the force slung against them by O’Neill, and the masterly way in which the bolt was hurled, at once bid defiance to all their pre-conceived ideas of fighting, or of the wonders that could be attained by a handful of brave men, commanded by a dauntless and experienced soldier; so, that their rumored attempt at rallying is supposed to have originated in a desire on the part of their historian, to lessen the disgrace of their defeat in the eyes of the people of Canada; for it is well known, that so hot and heavy was the pursuit, that they not only had no time to rally, but so intent was each one of them on effecting his own personal safety, that all discipline was at an end; until the Fenians, on perceiving that they were not yet reinforced, felt it advisable, notwithstanding their success, to fall back on Fort Erie, for the purpose of keeping their line of communication open with the American shore.

And yet until this disaster had overtaken them, the British troops fought well, considering the incentives they had to stake their lives on the field of battle. Nor were the Queen’s Own, who suffered so severely in this tremendous charge, and who fled so panic-stricken before it, a whit behind, in courage, some of the companies who appear to have escaped with less censure from the Canadian public, in relation to the loss of this important field. The Queen’s Own, as we are creditably informed, came up well to the mark on more than one occasion; and only gave way before such a charge as that which carried the day at Fontenoy, and which was, at the period, absolutely irresistible.

Barry and his comrades of the Canadian Fort fought throughout the whole morning with the most heroic courage. In several hand to hand encounters he performed prodigies of valor, and once thought he perceived the Kid and Black Jack, together with Wilson whom he saw in their company at Newbiggin’s farm, fighting on the English side. In this he was not mistaken; for these three worthies, on discovering the superior force of the British, at once concealed their horses and wagon in a sheltered hollow hard by the field, and making a detour through the woods on the verge of which they were passing, joined in the engagement, against the men who had treated them so well but a few hours previously. This they accomplished immediately after Col. Starr had driven in the outposts of the enemy, and when they had ascertained that the English forces outnumbered the invaders to an extent which, as they supposed, rendered the success of the latter totally out of the question.

While on one occasion, Nicholas was engaged with a Highlander whom he was pressing hard, a ball grazed his shoulder, evidently fired stealthily from behind a neighboring tree. A glance in the direction revealed the form of the Kid retreating from the spot and seeking shelter behind another, around which were gathered a few of the enemy who were paying some attention to a wounded officer. This struck him as strange; but as he had other work in hand, he permitted his cowardly assailant to escape for the moment. Later in the day, however, he caught yet another sight of him, and was satisfied that he had made a second deadly attempt upon his life. In this way the matter stood touching this peculiar case, until the total rout of the forces and their retreat towards Ridgeway village; when Barry, left with a few men to look after the dead and wounded while the main body pursued the fugitives, had yet another opportunity of testing the kindly intentions of Smith; for while he and four or five others were collecting the dead into one particular spot beneath a huge elm, in the vicinity of a house near which the greatest carnage had taken place, another ball whizzed by his ear; and the next moment the door of the building opened and out rushed half a dozen men, armed to the teeth, and laying one of his party dead at his feet with the only bullet that had taken effect out of a volley that had been fired as they rushed forward to overwhelm him in a hand to hand struggle.

The assailants were now six to five, but Barry soon made the numbers more equal, and the fight becoming desperate, two of his antagonists closed with him, who appeared to be men of tremendous activity and great personal courage. What seemed strangest, however, in the whole of this sudden attack, was, all the party that rushed from the house were masked, although he was satisfied that one of them, at least, was the Kid. The contest had continued for about eight or ten minutes when one of his assailants was stretched at his feet by an unseen hand; the other taking immediate flight. He looked around,—a stranger stood by his side. He was a handsome young man dressed in the plain garb of a farmer. Anxious to learn how the rest of his comrades fared, while thanking his new ally for his timely assistance, he glanced in the direction in which they fought; all save one was wounded but their antagonists lay beside them dead or dying. Begging the stranger to render him some assistance in staunching the blood of those who still survived, and removing them to a shed belonging to the house hard by, he discovered that his fallen adversary, who lay quite senseless from the blow he had received, now seemed to be bleeding profusely from some wound inflicted by himself; although until that moment he had not noticed it. His enemy had fought with a long, keen dagger after he had discharged his rifle and thrown it away, while the fugitive used one of the ordinary rifle-bayonets in his attack. The superb swordsmanship of their intended victim, however, was more than a match for them, and would, in all probability have triumphed of itself had not the contest been broken in upon in the manner already described.

In the course of a very few moments, the sufferers were removed from out the broiling sun to the shed just mentioned, where they were cared for as well as circumstances would permit—the stranger passing to and from the adjoining house with the necessary bandages, water, etc.

While removing the masks of two of the assailing party, who appeared to be mortally wounded, for the purpose of giving them the draft of water they had so earnestly though feebly implored, as Barry suspected, one of them was the Kid. The other was Wilson, whose last midnight journey had evidently been performed, as he was sinking fast, and that, too, without having gratified his love of plunder in a single instance connected with the invasion from which he and his two companions had anticipated so much. Outside, beneath a huge elm, lay Black Jack stone dead, from a frightful bayonet wound in his throat. His mask had fallen off in his death struggles, which must have been frightful, judging from the manner in which his clothes were covered with dust and the way in which the earth was kicked up all around him. Never was a more horrible face turned in such hideous blindness on the sun. His eyes were staring wide open, and his huge mouth, fringed with blood-stained froth, seemed stretched in demoniacal laughter at some horrid and unearthly orgy in which he was about to join. The sight was actually appalling; and Barry turned away from it in utter loathing to minister to those who were yet within the reach of human aid.

Although, dangerously wounded, he found that, unlike the same number of their comrades who lay stretched on the green sward without, his two companions who had been brought to the earth without being killed, were not beyond the reach of hope. With their antagonists, however, it was different; and now that Barry perceived the Kid; or Smith as we shall now call him, was fast approaching his end, in the great anxiety that he felt concerning the fate of his beloved, he knelt beside him and implored him to give him any information that he might possess regarding her, and so atone, before he crossed the threshold of the grave, for any wrong that he might have been instrumental in doing her through the machinations of others.

The dying man raised his heavy eyelids for a moment and ere they dropped again, managed, as if by one last effort, to point towards the prostrate form of the principal antagonist of our hero, who still lay insensible a short distance from him. His chest labored wildly for a few seconds, but before he could ejaculate a single word, a sudden spirt of blood leaped from his mouth and he was dead. Wilson had passed away more slowly and less perceptibly. From the moment he had been removed to the shed he spoke but once; and that was when he uttered a feeble cry for water. On beholding the latter dead, the stranger, who had lent such timely aid to our hero, regarded the silent form with a curious expression of countenance, and then turned away towards the house. In the meantime, the man who had for so far lain insensible, began to recover slowly. Hitherto, his mask which hid but half his face, leaving his mouth and chin uncovered, had not been removed; but now, as if in some uneasy dream, his trembling hand tore it mechanically away, revealing, to the utter astonishment of Barry, the hooked nose and ghastly countenance of Greaves!


Had O’Neill a single troop of cavalry when he broke the British lines at Ridgeway, the 2d day of June, 1866, would have been the darkest that had ever occurred in the annals of Canada. He would have literally annihilated all the forces that were brought against him on that field, and struck such terror to the heart of the enemy, as to have still farther paralysed their volunteer service and destroyed the confidence of the Canadian people in the vaunted invincibility of the arms of England for many a long day, if not for all time to come. But owing to circumstances already referred to, he fought under every disadvantage possible to an invading army. Still, as the case stood, his triumph was not the less brilliant or decisive. He routed the enemy, horse and foot; and had he been in a position to dispose of prisoners, he could have taken a very large number with scarcely any effort; from the fact, that after the fearful charge that had broken through their lines, they became completely panic stricken and demoralized. As he pursued the flying forces towards Ridgeway, what he would have given for a few mounted riflemen or dragoons; but as a signal and glorious defeat was more his object than the spilling of blood, he now felt, unsustained as he was, it would be wise to fall back upon Fort Erie, in the hope that reinforcements had arrived there, although he was unable to leave even the smallest handful of a garrison to maintain the foothold he had so far achieved. Seeing there was nothing further to gain but everything to lose by remaining longer in a position he could not by any possibility maintain, in view of the hostile forces that he knew would soon be pouring down upon him from other quarters, he paused on the verge of the carnage that he might have wrought still further, and addressed himself to securing the safety of his little band of heroes and occupying some position on the frontier from whence he could, if hard set, effect his transit across the river, or take up a final stand, fighting until the last man fell in his ranks, if necessary to the success of any landings that he might learn of as having taken place on the Canadian shore at other points, or in view of the intention of the authorities at Buffalo to reinforce him, and enable him to pursue the campaign, so gloriously opened, with renewed hope and vigor.

The news of the disastrous defeat of the British arms spread like wild-fire; throwing the inhabitants in the immediate vicinity of Ridgeway, as well as those of the village itself, into a state of the most fearful consternation. Houses were barricaded and property concealed in the full anticipation that the conquerors would act upon the world-wide maxim, “to the victors belong the spoils.” But, as we have already seen, it was the government and not the peasantry or people of the country that O’Neill had come to overthrow. No better evidence of this could be afforded than that shown by the circumstance, that, although two infamous and relentless robbers, and their scarcely less culpable acquaintance and friend, Wilson, had, for two days and two nights, followed in the wake of his army, not a single opportunity was afforded them of joining any portion of his command in a stealthy raid upon the habitations or any of the people, or of taking an advantage of the confusion and lawlessness which almost invariably surround the camp of an invader. From first to last, his troops observed with singular fidelity, his order that the lives and property of the Canadians not found in arms against him, should be held as most sacred. And in no instance, although the temptations were various and marked, was this injunction violated. On this head, Major Denison himself is most explicit; and when we have the testimony of an enemy upon the subject, the most exacting incredulity cannot look for more conclusive evidence in the premises.

As already observed, when the rout and confusion of the English commenced, they fled in all directions; but their main body set off, at full speed, for Ridgeway, through which village, and for a mile beyond it, they were pursued by the Irish forces. As was to be expected, their wounded and dying strewed the way; while those who were thoroughly acquainted with the locality made their escape to the shelter of whatever woods or dwellings were to be found along the line of retreat, without actually bordering upon it. Amongst these latter were Greaves and the persons who made such a sudden and deadly attack upon Barry while engaged in looking after the dead and wounded that were found convenient to the house already referred to. This habitation ought to have been well known to one of the party at least; for it was neither more nor less than the residence of Wilson, in which Kate M’Carthy and Martha and her aunt had barricaded themselves, in the apartment of the former, after having secured the outer doors, when they heard the tide of war rolling towards them. Wilson, understanding how the case stood with them, when he found he could not gain admission, and being sensible that they could not hear his voice, hastily effected an entrance by a window in a sort of out kitchen, attached to the rear of the building, and soon admitted his companions; re-bolting the door, and running up stairs to warn the other inmates of the house not to speak or stir, but remain barricaded as they were, until they heard from him again. This done, he descended to where his comrades were, and was about to make some observation, when the Kid instantly drew the attention of Greaves to the party who were collecting the dead and wounded hard by, among whom he at once recognized Barry. In the twinkling of an eye, the countenance of Greaves was lit with an expression the most revolting; and turning to his companions he exclaimed in a low, hissing voice—

“Now, my countrymen, we can avenge ourselves in part, at least, for the disasters of the morning. There stand some of the most active and dangerous of the army of the invader, and it is for us to take signal vengeance on them, and not permit a single one of them to escape out of our hands. We must not risk firing upon them at a distance so great; as should we chance to miss a single shot, they would be sure to slip beyond our reach. Let us rush out upon them then, with such arms as we have at our command; and after giving them a volley pounce upon them knife in hand, for they appear quite unconscious of any impending danger. Above all things, do not let that officer escape. He is the most deadly enemy we have had to encounter to-day. Let him, at least, be despatched without fail, and one thousand dollars shall be distributed amongst you the moment I find him a corpse before my eyes.”

The Kid, Jack and Wilson understood all this; for the first of the villains had explained previously to the latter two, that Greaves was interested to an unaccountable extent, in the death of Barry; and had, on that very morning, before he left Ridgeway, promised him a round sum if he managed to despatch him in any way; whether by stealth, or otherwise. This he attempted, as we have already seen; but hitherto without the desired effect; so that, now, when his game was within his reach, and where he felt that he should be the gainer, no matter by whom our hero was laid low, he immediately fell into this second proposition, as did all the others who stood around him.

In a few moments, then, Wilson procured the masks already noticed; they being a portion of his stock in trade, and loading the three rifles they had at their command, the door was stealthily opened and the assault made, which had resulted in such disaster to themselves.

When Barry had recovered from the utter surprise occasioned by the presence of Greaves, and overcome the speechless astonishment into which it had thrown him, he knelt down beside the wounded man, and began to examine into the extent of his injuries. At first a few flesh wounds about the shoulders and arms were all that he could discover; and as these had bled freely, he fancied that the feeble condition of the wretch, was attributable simply to a loss of blood; and, now, that his wounds had been staunched, he believed he should gradually recover strength, so as to be able to offer some explanation of his presence in that part of the Province, as well as of the circumstances in which he now found himself. On a closer examination, however, and just about half an inch below the nipple of his left breast, the young soldier perceived a small discolored wound, evidently made with the point of his own sword during the struggle that had just terminated, and from which not a single drop of blood had flowed, outwardly at least. Here, without a doubt, all the danger lay; and as our hero was not versed in injuries, beyond the reach of external applications, all he could do was to bathe the bitter, little, blue or discolored orifice—the lips of which seemed to be pressed together in a vicious sort of manner—in some of the water that had been previously procured at the adjoining house, when the wounded men were removed from the open field. During this operation the eyes of Greaves were steadily fixed upon him, and when he had again bathed the wound and adjusted the head of the unfortunate sufferer on a pillow made of some hay found in one corner of the shed, the lips of the patient became as it were suddenly unsealed, while the light of a larger intelligence, rushed full into his eyes. At this period the wounded companions of our hero were comparatively easy, on the temporary couch made for them by the stranger, just before he disappeared and entered the dwelling a second time; so that, for the moment, there was not much to distract his attention from anything that Greaves might vouchsafe to say, some terrible foreboding having just rushed into his mind, based upon the dying intimation of Smith, that the man who lay thus helpless and for aught he knew dying before him, was in some way connected with the fate of his betrothed.

Scarcely had the conviction seized upon him, when Greaves motioned him to draw nearer. On eagerly complying with the request, he bent his ear almost to the lips of the sufferer, who breathed with great difficulty, and whose voice was scarcely audible, so weak had he become. As though by some effort of his indomitable will, however, he managed to collect all his energies into his tongue and throat; and after whispering through his compressed and pallid lips the single word “listen!” began slowly as follows:

“I am Edward Philip Darcy. I have lost, for I know that my hour has come!”

At the mention of the name “Darcy,” Barry sprang to his feet! Before him lay the son of the man to whose machinations all Kate’s poverty and hardships were clearly traceable. He it was that was now concerned in the Chancery suit, the decision of which was to be replete with such serious results, as he presumed, to Kate. His father had been dead for some time, and had bequeathed his interest in the case to him! He was the only person living who could stand in the way of the property it involved being placed in the hands of its lawful heir; for the claims of Darcy, whatever they might be, expired with this, his only son, and the last of his name and race. The consideration was startling in the extreme; but as our hero saw how necessary it was to command his feelings, and listen to whatever Greaves, or Darcy, as we shall now call him, intended to say, he resumed his position and listened, as the wounded man continued:—

“I worshipped gold and power; and as there was some fear of the suit, of which you have often heard, being decided against as, on the death of my father, I stepped into his shoes, as a man who could make himself useful to the Government, and as one, in these troublous times, pre-eminently calculated to dip into the secrets of Fenianism at home and abroad, and apprise the British authorities of its power, aims and objects, as well as make them acquainted with all its plans and prospects. Although I now surmise I had really to do with the Privy Council itself, I was ostensibly employed by an important official connected with the Castle of Dublin, who, besides paying me liberally for my services, promised to influence the Court of Chancery in my favor, touching the decision now pending; provided that, after doing all I could to unearth the leaders and plans of Fenianism in Ireland, I crossed the Atlantic and commenced operations upon the Brotherhood in America, of which the Canadian government seemed unable to say much that was definite, however they might have apprehended mischief from this quarter. It was known at home, that but little confidence could be placed in the efficiency and honesty of a Cabinet that tolerated a shuffling inebriate at its head; so that from the contradictory official documents reaching the Castle from Canada, through the Imperial authorities, it was, I suppose, deemed advisable to send me out to learn something of the true state of the case. Influenced thus, I set about my work with right good will; and after doing what I could in Ireland, started for this country, with Fenian credentials that, I need not inform you, were obtained through the treason of one of the Organization who had gained admission into the Brotherhood for the simple purpose of betraying it; but who was not sufficiently deep in its plans and confidence to damage it mortally.

“But the strongest inducement I had to visit America was the circumstance of Kate McCarthy’s having emigrated to that country, and a desire which I had long felt of gaining her affections and, if possible, making her my wife; for notwithstanding all the promises of the Castle, I was fearful that the Chancery suit would go against me—a suspicion heightened by the conviction of my lawyer. I knew, of course, all about your engagement to her, but being aware of your having entered the army, and of your having, through an adverse fate, been separated from her by two seas, I thought that I should be able to estrange her feelings and love from you, and make her mine before you again saw her face. But here I had deceived myself. She was not to be moved, and I was repulsed at every point, until, maddened by repeated failures, I determined to make her mine by force. Under the name of Edward Lauder, I first was introduced to her, having managed to trace her from Quebec to Toronto, after rendering good service to the home government in the former city. From the first moment she beheld me, she seemed to entertain an aversion towards me; and when she became aware of my intentions regarding herself, and heard my repeated insinuations touching the general faithlessness and bad character of private soldiers on foreign service, all semblance of cordiality was at an end between us; and soon, perceiving that her friends favored my suit, she left Toronto and took up her abode with some relatives in Buffalo.”

Here the wounded man became faint and silent; but Nicholas, anxious to hear all he had to say, bathed his brow and moistened his lips with the water which still stood in a large wooden vessel by his side. This seemed to refresh and revive his spirits; so that he soon continued, although with increasing difficulty.

“I knew that your regiment was stationed in the city where I first met you; and the thought struck me, that if I could separate you both forever, by betraying you into some act that would consign you to a dungeon or penal servitude for life, or else make away with you secretly, I should have some hope of accomplishing my designs regarding her; and, in case the Chancery suit was decided against me, reap the full advantages of it after all.

“With this scheme deep within me, I followed her to Buffalo, and there became acquainted with the two men that I saw fall a short time since, who had engaged with me, for a certain sum, to keep their eyes upon all her movements whenever I was absent from that city, and obey me in everything, even to her forcible abduction into Canada, if necessary. These men I knew to be desperate characters; so when I made this arrangement with them, and was well assured that they would carry it out if needs be, I started at once in your direction to see what opportunities might there present themselves in furtherance of the design that now seemed to absorb my whole being.

“A man like me, easily found out your city-whereabouts; and, as you are already aware, shortly after my arrival I formed your acquaintance and that of O’Brien, whom I previously learned to be a relative of Miss McCarthy, to whom, since you had been quartered in the Fort, she had already paid a couple of visits. Soon learning your Fenian tendencies, and hearing that you had applied for your discharge and expected to receive it immediately, I determined if possible, to prevent your becoming a freeman on British soil, and to goad you into desertion; as it was rumored, that your regiment was soon to be called home, and knowing that you would never accompany it, even though your discharge were denied you. My object then was, to do, what I actually did do the morning I accompanied you to the Fort. While you were getting ready for parade I managed to exchange a few words with your commanding officer, showed him my credentials from the Castle, and told him that you sought your discharge only for the purpose of joining a Fenian army now about to invade the province; with the further view of placing them in possession of all you knew of the weak points of the Fort. The theory worked like a charm,—you were denied your discharge; and now I knew you would desert. In this, however, I was determined to help you; and, at the same time, cause your betrothed to be lured in some way into Canada, and consigned to some safe, out-of-the-way keeping, where no one should know of her, until I made my appearance as if by accident before her; and where I knew you would not be likely to seek her, from the fact, that once you were a deserter you would be out-lawed forever from British soil.

“You yourself furnished the means of this abduction in a manner the most innocent. You will recollect the note sealed with a peculiar device, that you gave me to the deserter concealed in the city in which you were stationed, telling him to entrust himself wholly, and without question to whomsoever presented it. This note, after exhibiting it to your friend, I retained and perceiving that it would answer my purpose, as it mentioned no names, I enclosed it at once to my agents in Buffalo, instructing them to present it to Miss McCarthy, and without a moment’s delay, convey her across the river to some secluded spot, where she was to be held at all hazards, until further orders from me, or until I was able to visit her myself. My injunctions were obeyed, and all was well—you had deserted and Kate McCarthy was in my power!”

At this point of the infamous revelation, Barry writhed in the most fearful agony, and was on the eve of strangling the villain that lay helpless before him; but his good angel, rushing to the rescue, restored him to reason once more; and while great beads of perspiration stood on his brow, he endeavored to compose himself to hear the terrible recital to its close.

“But,” continued Darcy, “after all my generalship you are master of the field, and she cannot fail to become the possessor of the property justly or otherwise so long estranged from her, although I fear it is already embarrassed with heavy costs.”

“But where is she now?” exclaimed Barry, as the gasping man finished his terrible narrative.

“I know not,” whispered the other with an effort. “As I had not an opportunity of paying the stipulated sum to the men who undertook her abduction, they kept the place of her concealment secret from me until I should perform my part of the contract, which I could have done this day, only for the fate that has overtaken us. There is, however, no doubt of her being in the Province, and, likely, somewhere in the very region where we now are.”

“But,” he whispered, with increasing difficulty and spasmodic interruptions, “I feel as if I were suffocating! Water! Water! Oh! God!” And with a bound that almost brought him to his feet, he sprang clean from the ground on which he lay; and the next moment fell back heavily, a corpse!

And so perished the four men, who scarce an hour previously were as full of life and vigor as their hearts were of evil thoughts and designs. There can be no doubt, that they fell through the instrumentality, unconscious as it was, of the very individuals whom they had injured; differing only in their shades of criminality. In other relations, besides the one to which their fate may be mainly attributed, they were doubtless guilty to an enormous extent. Black Jack, Smith and Wilson were unquestionably old offenders; the two former having the heavy scent of blood about them; while Darcy or the pretended Lauder or Greaves, whatever his antecedents may have been, showed himself capable of any atrocity known to the history of crime. The cup of their iniquity was full; or they had not fallen so signally, thus. How steadily the avenging angel follows in the footsteps of the wretch who makes war upon humanity or does continual violence to the divine spark which, in a greater or less degree, illumes the breast of every human being born into the world. Throughout the whole of their infamous career, these men were well apprised of the fact, that they were engaged in open rebellion against God and Nature, and thus it was, that they were cut off in their prime, without one sympathetic tear, to soothe their last moments or hallow their graves.

Such were the meditations of Barry, as he stood over the inanimate frame of his implacable foe; but soon awaking from his revery, he felt how dreadful to know that his beloved was, perhaps at that very moment, suffering in captivity or exposed to dangers consequent upon the disturbed state of the country at some point, where, now that her persecutors, who had at least provided for her daily sustenance, were dead, she might, on this fact becoming known, be subjected to further injuries, or wrongs that might be irreparable. The thought maddened him; and he was groaning aloud, in the agony of his spirit, when his ears were arrested with the returning tumult of O’Neill’s forces, after their having made the second of June, 1866, memorable in the annals of Canada, and those of Irish Independence. Gazing steadily for a moment on the terribly distorted features of his fallen enemy, he turned towards the wide shed-door to make some arrangements regarding the removal of his wounded comrades, when his opportune friend again emerged from the house, and rejoined him as he was stepping across the threshold.

“How fares it with your antagonist, now?” enquired the stranger as he cast a hurried glance towards the body of Darcy, not knowing that its spirit had already taken its flight forever.

“Dead!” returned Barry. “They who assailed us but a short time ago are all gone to their last home, save the man who made his escape on your arrival and interference, whoever he may be.”

“That’s sharp practice,” rejoined the other; “but in my opinion they richly deserved what they got, for they fought as murderers and not as men.”

“Would to heaven,” returned Nicholas, “that one of them at least had escaped the fearful chastisement inflicted upon him; for his death has enshrouded in darkness a question which presses heavily upon my heart, and one that I have no means of solving. But pray, sir,” he continued, “do you reside in this vicinity, and if you do, perhaps you would be kind enough to say, whether you have heard, recently, of the arrival of a strange lady in this locality, who had been lured from her home and friends under false pretenses; and who is, as I now have every reason to believe, in questionable hands?”

“May I ask your name?” returned the stranger, without replying to the question, and eyeing Barry from head to foot, “and may I, in addition, inquire what is the name of the lady to whom you allude?”

“My name,” replied our hero, “is Nicholas Barry, and the name of the lady is Miss Kate M’Carthy.”

“Mr. Barry,” hastily observed the stranger, extending his hand, “my name is Henry Evans, and my kinswoman, Kate M’Carthy, is well and now in safe keeping.”

At the mention of the name, Evans, and the assurance that his betrothed was safe and well, the heart of Berry so bounded within him, that after the blood had poured itself in one mighty torrent through his whole frame and blazed over his face and brow for a moment, he became as pale as death, and had not his newly found friend leaped forward and caught him in his arms, he should have fallen fainting to the ground. Recovering himself speedily, however, he leaned against the huge door-post at his side, and, breathing with more regularity, soon became cool and collected.

Evans could well understand this sudden emotion. His own heart was just in the vein to sympathize with it; so, in a moment the subtle freemasonry of kindred spirits was established between them.

Who can explain it? Here was a brave, young fellow, with the heart of a lion, who had faced death in various shapes but an hour or so previously—who had within the brief space of two days engaged hand to hand in the most dreadful encounters with the enemy, without experiencing the slightest sense of fear, or condescending to yield a single inch of ground where he had set down his foot—here, we say, we see him succumb at once, and rendered as helpless as a child at the mere mention of a woman, and the assurance of her safety, although not by any means thoroughly satisfied of her being in anything like imminent danger. We shall not attempt to analyse the subtle and powerful influences at work in such mysterious cases; but simply content ourselves with the observation, that men who are susceptible of such influences, and who strike at once to the first tap of their drum, are not notorious for any great deficiency when brought face to face with a more tangible and terrible enemy. And so thought Henry Evans as both he and Nicholas sallied forth; the former to report to the gallant O’Neill, and the latter to re-enter the house already so often referred to, where Barry agreed to join him when he had seen the hero of Ridgeway.


As remarked in a preceding chapter, Kate M’Carthy had some distant relatives in the vicinity of Fort Erie; and, as fortune would have it, the two strangers who, on the night before the battle of Ridgeway, interrupted the murderous designs of Smith, belonged to the family with whom she claimed kindred. One of these, Henry Evans, who had once met her in Toronto, on hearing from Martha of her presence in Wilson’s house and the circumstances that surrounded her, instantly requested to be conducted to her, with a view to reassuring her and offering her the protection of which he was satisfied she stood so much in need. The recognition was mutually exciting, and on the part of Kate appreciated with heartfelt gratitude. Explanations ensued which placed her friend in possession of all that was, for the present, necessary for him to know; and it was at once agreed upon, that she should accompany him on the ensuing morning to the residence of his widowed mother, not far distant, where she was to remain until Barry or her friends in Buffalo could be communicated with; as her return to the United States, at a period so disturbed and critical, was, of course, out of the question. New life and hope welled up through this arrangement; and the poor girl, who but a few moments previously believed herself in a position the most dangerous and difficult, now found herself under the protection of her own stalwart kinsman.

Martha, also, was delighted that the being she herself so loved had made a discovery that not only quieted the painful anticipations and reflections of her new friend, but gave herself an opportunity of speedily abandoning forever a roof that had now become loathsome to her, as she had already made up her mind to accompany Kate to the house of old Mrs. Evans, who, notwithstanding her suspicious associations, loved her for her own sake, and desired that she should forgo all further intimacy with her uncle, and become the wife of young Henry. In this way matters stood until the morning of the second of June—Henry remaining throughout the night with the alarmed family; there being nothing to fear in the direction of his own residence, which lay quite out of the line of the two armies that were now about to close in mortal strife.

The Kid and the cousin of Henry had, as already shown, gone in the direction of the village, where, on arriving in due course, they found the inhabitants in a state of the greatest consternation. As in Port Colborne, here, also, was to be observed that spirit of disaffection towards the British Crown which led to the hoisting of the American flag over a public building at the former place, when it was ascertained that the Province had actually been invaded. As yet, the troops under Lieutenant Colonel Booker had not arrived, and as there was no opportunity for Smith to ply his vocation, that worthy, emulating the course pursued by his companion, rested quietly on his oars, until the cars arrived with the army that was to contest the field of Ridgeway with the soldiers of O’Neill.

On the arrival of this train, Smith, as we have already perceived, encountered Darcy, and had a conversation with him, the substance of which is already known to the reader, as well as his subsequent falling in with Wilson and Black Jack in the immediate rear of the Fenian forces. Before the British had proceeded from Ridgeway towards Chippewa, for the purpose of forming the junction with Colonel Peacock, the cousin of Evans had returned to Wilson’s with the intelligence that the command of Booker was about to move along the Sodom Road; upon which he was begged, by Henry, to start off and inform the widow, his mother, of the approaching storm, and assure her that he should not take up arms against the invaders, nor approach the scene of conflict, if the contending armies joined issue at any point in the neighborhood. These two young men, although born in Canada, were, yet, the sons of Irishmen, and felt that it would be criminal in them to raise their hand against the freedom of the land of their fathers, or in behalf of a government that had for centuries subjected it to every wrong and insult that could be heaped upon it. This they felt; and entered into a mutual compact to remain passive at least, should the tide of the conflict surge their way—hoping only for the success of the cause of poor, down-trodden Erin, without feeling themselves impelled to raise an arm in her defense against a body of men made up in part of their friends and acquaintances.

This was not genuine patriotism, we know; but, still, under the circumstances, it had its merits. In addition, it had enough of the real stuff about it to be capable of being shaped readily, under certain not unreasonable conditions, into a most useful and active element in the cause. Where a sentiment is not absolutely hostile, but on the contrary even imbued with some slight degree of friendliness, it is easily brought into line with the cause towards which it leans. And thus it is with a vast body of the people of Canada, who do not take any active part in the great question that now so agitates the Empire and shakes the tyrant England to her very foundations. They would like to see Ireland free; but they do not care to come into collision with the British authorities on the subject. Could they lend her a helping hand in secret and without detection, they would extend it cheerfully; but they have not the nerve or moral courage to give her three cheers in the market place. To this numerous class, these two young men belonged; and, singular as it may appear, we count on it for real support in the final struggle that must take place between us and England upon this continent, one day or other. We think, also, that in the hands and under the fostering care of the out-and-out Irish Nationalists of Canada, who are ready to mount the scaffold at any moment, this friendly element could be fostered into a great and irresistible power; for we have been always of the opinion, that nine-tenths of those who have even one, single drop of Irish blood in their veins, can, by judicious treatment, be developed into the deadliest enemies of our ancient and implacable foe. Let these people be educated in the history and the wrongs of Ireland, as well as the extent to which England is indebted to that unfortunate country for an that she now is. Let them take the Penal Laws for a text-book, and the murders and confiscations of Elizabeth, Cromwell and the Georges, for their “Reading Made Easy,” and no fear but they will soon fall into the ranks from which they now, alas! keep aloof. Let them dwell upon the ages of famine, fire and sword to which we have been subjected by a wretch who in the days of her gross darkness came begging to our door in her breeches of blue paint and asked us for an alphabet, while we were yet the day star of European civilization and Christianity, and then they will be enabled to justify in their own bosoms any act that would tend to her humiliation, and comprehend fully how bitter and eternal the enmity between us, and how just, whatever stroke should seal her doom at our hands.

  Seek music in the wolf’s fierce howl,
    Or pity In his Wood-shot eye,
  When hanger drives him out to prowl
    Beneath a rayless northern sky.

  But seek not that we shall forgive
    The hand that strikes as to the heart,
  And yet in mock’ry bids us live
    To count our stars as they depart.

  We’ve fed the tyrant with our blood,—
    Won all her battles!—built her throne!—
  Established her on land and flood,
    And sought her glory, next our own.

  We raised her from her low estate
    And plucked her pagan soul from hell.
  And led her up to heaven’s own gate,
    Till she for gold, like Judas, fell.

  And when in one long soulless night
    She lay unknown to wealth or fame.
  We gave her empire—-riches—light,
    And taught her how to spell her name.

  But, now, ungenerous and unjust,
    Forgetful of our old renown,
  She bows us to the very dust,
    But wears our jewels in her Crown!

This is the sentiment that fires the heart of every true son and daughter of Ireland; and all that is necessary to its general adoption on the part of those related to us by even the most distant ties of country, is the constant promulgation throughout the length and breadth of the New Dominion, etc., of sound information regarding the past and present of our native land, and the true history of English legislation affecting us.

Scarcely had the cousin of Evans disappeared from Wilson’s on his mission to the house of the widow, when the echoing woods in the vicinity of the place gave evidence of the meeting of the two hostile forces. The first discharge of the Fenian rifles, after Col. Starr had driven in the advance posts of the enemy, brought Kate to her feet, and kindled in her eye a flame so intense, while her white teeth glistened through her parted lips, that she seemed the very personification of female courage and patriotism. As she listened through her open casement, and caught the distant cheer of her countrymen, the wild music of which she thoroughly recognized, her bosom rose and fell with terrible emotion, while her delicate nostrils were distended in a sort of passionate ecstasy that might be termed the climax of the most sublime enthusiasm. Once more the Saxon and the Celt had joined in the death struggle; and she felt as though she herself ought to be in some way identified then and there with the conflict. Thoroughly appreciating the mighty issues at stake, she implored heaven, in language the most fervent, to crown with victory the standard of Ireland, and nerve the arm of O’Neill in this the hour of his need. And as the moments rolled by, and the tide of the contest ebbed and flowed upon her ear, her excitement became so intense, that she begged of Henry to venture out to some point where, without personal danger to himself, he might learn something of the actual state of the battle and the prospects of her gallant countrymen.

More than an hour had elapsed since the action began, when Evans sallied forth to gratify not only the wishes of his kinswoman, but to satisfy his own mind as to how affairs stood. He was armed with his revolver and dirk only; and felt, notwithstanding his former resolve, a strange inclination to use them on the side of Ireland. A cowardly shot, however, he could not fire; and as he knew nothing whatever of military tactics, he at once dismissed from his mind the idea of participating in the contest. Perceiving that the conflict did not verge towards his own dwelling, he was determined to keep his eye upon that which he had just left, and yet venture as near the field where the battle was raging as a brave man might. Once he retraced his steps to inform Kate that so far as he could perceive, both armies were holding their own; returning again to the edge of a patch of wood close by. Here he had remained for some time endeavoring to form an idea as to the probable issue of the struggle, and occasionally warned of the perilousness of his position by the rifle bullets that now and then sang around him, when suddenly the red cross of St. George was seen to waver, and the next moment the British lines were broken and scattered like chaff before the gallant O’Neill and the victorious charge of his brave handful of heroes.

The pulses of Evans beat quick with a sort of strange, wild joy, when he heard the shout of triumph which burst from the ranks of the Irish, as they swept like a whirlwind in the wake of their retreating foes, some of whom stood at bay but to be instantly overthrown by their pursuers. A desperate encounter between a knot of both forces took place quite near to where he stood concealed: and here, also, the enemy bit the dust; although at this precise point, they were not outnumbered. It was here that Barry and his comrades were ordered to look after the dead and wounded; the point being convenient to Wilson’s, and discernible from it, although a clump of trees shut out the house from Evans.

When Wilson saw that the day was lost, as quickly as possible, both he and his comrades, including Darcy and two or three others of a similar stamp, who joined them in the field, fled and took shelter in his house, unperceived by Evans or the victorious Irish. From this dwelling, as already described, they sallied forth in a murderous assault upon Nicholas and his party; with what success has been already seen. To account for Evan’s opportune appearance at the time of Barry’s being sorely pressed, we have only to observe, that he witnessed the attack without knowing the point from whence it proceeded, or recognizing the persons who made it; and only hastened to the scene of action when he perceived that the assailing party was masked and that Barry was being overwhelmed by unequal numbers. Having gained the point where the struggle was being carried on, the butt-end of his revolver placed Barry on an equal footing with his antagonists; although as already observed, the young soldier had previously inflicted a mortal wound upon the most important of his assailants.

Kate and Martha were eye-witnesses from their chamber window of the whole of this supplementary fight; the former little dreaming, that the officer attacked by the two ruffianly masks, was the man that was all the world to her. She perceived, however, that he belonged to the invading army, and such being the case, she viewed the contest with breathless anxiety; looking every moment for the fatal stroke that was to lay him low in the dust forever, until the sudden appearance of Henry on the spot, decided the day in his favor. The relief that she experienced was so unutterable that she burst into tears; and when a few moments subsequently, she learned from the lips of her kinsman himself that the Irish were every where victorious and the British forces totally routed and in full retreat upon Ridgeway, the intelligence was too much for her, and she swooned away into the arms of Martha, while an expression of ineffable joy overspread her beautiful face.

The death of Wilson was broken to his wife as feelingly as might be by Henry. For a moment the poor woman was paralysed, and then gave vent to a flood of tears of a character so strange, that we shall not pause to analyse it here. Her life had, indeed, been, for so far, a hard one, with him; and now that she had discovered his real character, she almost felt grateful to heaven for removing him from the world he was so dishonoring and the heart that he had already broken. Yet he had been her husband, and she remembered that she had loved him once; and here the woman was touched within her. The die was cast, however; and now it only devolved upon her to see his remains quietly consigned to their last resting place. She saw him where he lay, kissed his cold lips and wept afresh for all his long years of cruelty towards her; and then turned away to her lonely chamber to which the body was removed subsequently. Martha was horrified only at the slaughter that surrounded her; and had no place for grief in a bosom where affection for the husband of her aunt had never existed. All she saw before her was her beloved Henry, alive and safe after the conflict had ceased between the contending armies; while her heart thrilled with the purest delight on learning from her lover, that which she was as yet to keep secret, namely, that the officer who had been attacked by the two masks opposite the house, was the betrothed of Kate who had joined the invaders with the two-fold purpose of striking for the freedom of his native land, and unraveling, if possible, the mystery of her sudden disappearance from Buffalo.

When our hero presented himself before the gallant O’Neill, that distinguished soldier, who was already aware of the services rendered by Nicholas, complimented him on his bravery and informed him, that he should now fall back on Fort Erie with his remaining forces; fearing momently the approach not only of Peacock’s army but that of the numerous other bodies of men that were being concentrated against him from more than one quarter. Orders were therefore given to dispose as hastily as possible of the dead and wounded: some prisoners that were taken having been already paroled; among whom was the officer taken by Barry on the preceeding day.

When Kate opened her eyes to consciousness again, she found herself in arms other than those of Martha; and looking up in a state of startled amazement encountered the radiant face of Nicholas as he pressed her in ecstasy to his bosom. A cry of joy escaped her lips, as she clung to him with an embrace as wild as though she feared some adverse fate should again separate them; and a second time became unconscious. Soon, nevertheless, she was revived through restoratives used by Martha; but yet in a state so confused that she could scarcely bring herself to believe that all was real that was transpiring around her. By degrees, however, she became convinced that it was in reality her lover who enfolded her to his heart; and all was well. In due time, explanations were given, when it was determined that she should at once return with him to her friends in Buffalo, under the protection of the victorious army and in a vehicle that Henry volunteered to furnish for the occasion, and drive in person. The distance to the frontier was but short; and as Henry’s cousin had come up from the widow’s to learn the result of the battle, it was agreed that the one should remain in the house of death with Martha and her aunt until the return of the other from Fort Erie; and that, in the interim, he should collect such of the neighbors as were within reach, and have the body of Wilson and that of Darcy and the others interred as speedily as possible.

This once decided upon, Barry possessed himself of such papers and documents as were on the body of Darcy, hoping thereby, to gain some insight not only into the Chancery case, but into the intentions of the Government or their plans in relation to Fenianism. To him belonged of right any information of this character that could be realized from a dastardly foe who had been vanquished by his sword. But little, however, was gleaned from this source, beyond the fact gathered from a letter received by Darcy from his lawyer a short time previously, announcing that there was no hope of his winning the suit, as some private opinions expressed by those who composed the Court, went to convey the idea that the claims of Kate McCarthy were of a character not to be set aside or ignored even under the pressure of the Castle; and further, that the opposing counsel, who was a sterling lawyer and a man of influence, was pressing the matter so, that a decision favorable to his client could not fail to be given at no distant day.

This was, of course, cheering to our hero, although Darcy, just before his death, had placed him in possession of the contents of the epistle, and prepared him for the intelligence it contained. Kate received the information without evincing any great degree of excitement Her mind had been so perplexed and agitated for the last few days, that her sudden good fortune, in a pecuniary sense, seemed lost sight of in the other events that had already transpired, and her unexpected restoration to her lover. She was certainly surprised at the fate and the machinations of the pretended Lauder; and felt relieved by the conviction that the murderous and unprincipled wretch who had wrought her and Nicholas so much wrong and hardship, and who had attempted the assassination of her betrothed, and her own ruin, was no more. This was a great relief to her overburdened heart; as she now knew, that a man so desperate as he, were he still alive, might manage, even yet, to work them some further mischief.

Among the papers belonging to Darcy there was found a small memorandum book or diary, which, although a riddle to Barry, is worth noting here, as it contained some entries that may possibly find elucidation outside the recognition of our hero. One of them was as follows: “Toronto, April 20th, 1866—Paid to J.G. M—— $20, for information regarding Hib. Benev. Society.” And again: “April 23d—saw Hon. J. R——; willing to do all he can, but wants to be paid for it. Mean fellow, whose tenderest passion is absolutely scrofulous, they say.” The other entries related to mere travelling expenses, etc., and to some transactions which took place in Kingston and other points where Darcy had been conducting his operations in the interest of the English, as well as the Canadian government In addition to this, there was a draft for a considerable amount; but as it needed the signature of the deceased, it was regarded as valueless and permitted to remain in the pocket of the dead man—our hero, however it fared afterwards, feeling a singular repugnance to possessing himself of any property of this kind, or retaining a single shilling of the current funds found upon the corpse. These latter were subsequently devoted to defraying the burial expenses of the deceased, as well as those of his companions.

When matters were so far arranged as to permit of the departure of our hero and heroine, Henry was about to leave the premises with a view to procuring the vehicle that was to carry them to the frontier, when Wilson’s team, that was discovered by a neighbor in the place where it had been concealed, was driven up to the door. This was opportune, as Evans, on perceiving the horses and knowing that there was a light carriage under the shed, determined to put them into requisition at once. Soon, therefore, the three friends were bringing up the rear of O’Neill’s troops as the latter fell steadily back upon Fort Erie, with the intention, as before stated, of learning whether landings had been made at any other point, or whether there were the slightest hopes of reinforcements crossing the river from Buffalo.

Kate parted from Martha with a warm embrace, and an assurance of lasting friendship; while on her part, the betrothed of Evans promised to visit our hero and heroine in Buffalo at no distant day, and there renew the intimacy that had begun amid such clouds, although now surrounded with sunshine. On the departure of our little party, then, Barry’s wounded comrades being previously cared for under the instructions of O’Neill, the bodies of the four accomplices—Wilson, Darcy, Black Jack and the Kid—were interred with infinitely more decent observances than their career in life seemed to warrant. The scruples of Nicholas, however, regarding Darcy’s draft, were not shared by some of those who disposed of his remains; as it was taken charge of by an individual who fancied it might, one day, be turned to account by some person authorised to receive it. Of the mask who had escaped from the conflict opposite Wilson’s, we may have occasion to speak in some future volume; although Evans surmised him simply some villain who had joined Darcy or the Kid for the purposes of murder or plunder. Be this as it may, the fugitive had made good his escape, while those with whom he had acted for the time being, suffered to the extent of their crimes.


It will be remembered that when the brave O’Neill and his handful of troops fell down the river from Fort Erie on the night of the first of June, to go into camp at Newbiggin’s Farm, preparations were being made by the British not only to overpower him with superior numbers but to cut off his retreat upon the American shore and capture his whole command. In view of this, troops were being despatched against him from all points; while the tug Robb, black with artillery and men, came round from Dunville and patrolled the Niagara River between Fort Erie and Black Creek, under command of Capt. L. McCallum. This craft was manned by the Dunville Naval Brigade and the Welland Field Battery, under Capt. R.S. King, all armed to the teeth with Enfield rifles. On this vessel there was, we learn, so much mirth when it was found that the Fenians were cut off from the American shore, that the force aboard it assumed the air of a sort of military pic-nic party. They laughed at the dilemma in which they considered the invaders placed; and landed some of their men at one point on the river to make a pleasant reconnoisance of the enemy, and give them a warm reception as they came flying back towards Fort Erie before the victorious Queen’s Own or the University Rifles—either corps being considered quite sufficient to snuff out the little band of patriots who dared to beard the British Lion in his den. The wine and the jest passed gaily round, until so secure were they of their position and the defeat of the invaders, a landing was effected At Fort Erie where the skull and cross-bones of St. George once again floated over the village, and assured the inhabitants that they were not yet lost to wheezy old England. Lieut. Col. Denis was absolutely in ecstasies and evinced such instances of personal bravery over his brandy and water, that no one could have imagined, that, in the space of a couple of hours or so, he should be found in a hay-loft, shorn of his fierce moustachois, and endeavoring to imitate the Irish brogue, in the slouched caubeen and coarse, gray habiliments of some poor, plundered Son of the Sod. Those who caught a glimpse of the brave commander as he fled before the dangers that threatened him, report him as presenting the most ludicrous appearance imaginable, and scarcely worth sending to his account in a respectable manner. To this disguise alone, we learn, he owed his escape after the second carnage of the British by the Irish troops on the memorable day already named, and on their return from Limestone Ridge.

When O’Neill left Ridgeway, after pursuing the routed English forces through and beyond the village, he took the Garrison Road and, as already mentioned, fell back on Fort Erie. Here he came upon the Welland Field Battery and Dunville Naval Brigade just referred to. Flushed with the victory of the morning, he was upon them like a whirlwind, and, in the twinkling of an eye sent them flying to cover in every direction. His horse being much jaded with the march of the previous night, and the dreadful fatigues of the battle of the morning, he could scarcely get him to move a leg when he entered the village; and this circumstance was near leading to the most fatal results; for, in passing a house in which a number of the enemy had taken shelter, one of them came to the door, and seeing the animal going at so slow a pace, took deliberate aim with a rifle, and fired, in the hope of bringing down his rider. The all but murderous ball displaced the hair just over the right temple of O’Neill, lodging in a building opposite; the hero escaping all the dangers of the day, to the amazement of those who had marked him galloping among the carnage and bullets of the morning, in what might be termed a constant hand to hand struggle with death. It is sometimes thus with the men who show the most daring front in battle, and at the call of duty expose themselves to dangers the most appalling; while such as are more cautious often fall in their first encounter with the enemy.

The British forces at Fort Erie, from the very nature of things, had the Fenians at great advantage on the return of the latter from Ridgeway. The troops under O’Neill were fatigued and hungry, and after a desperate battle and a long march, while the English had been resting on their oars and feasting all day long, or at least for many hours. Still, with all these advantages in their favor, they were whipped instantly a second time; many of them being killed and wounded; Captain King of the Welland Battery losing a leg upon the occasion, and others being terribly maimed. In addition, some of them were so terror-stricken as to roll from the bank into the river, and conceal themselves as best they could, with their heads just over the water, and sheltered by whatever chanced to float against them or project into the flood. In one case they fought for a few minutes from behind some cord-wood: but from this they were soon dislodged by the terrible bayonets of their enemies, and scattered like sheep in and about the village. It was here that the brave Colonel Michael Bailey was dangerously wounded by a rifle ball from a house where the enemy had already hung out a flag of truce. He was riding at the head of his men when he was tumbled from his horse, the ball having entered his left breast, damaging the breast bone and passing out just under his right nipple. The wound was at the time considered mortal; but the gallant soldier survived it for upwards of a year. Still it was the occasion of his death ultimately; for, from the hour that he received it, he drooped gradually into his grave. Only for the timely interference of O’Neill, the house from which this treacherous shot was fired, like that from which he himself had nigh received his death, would have been burned to the ground. He saw, of course, how cowardly the act, to first hang out a flag of truce and then follow the white emblem with so diabolical an attack; but he perceived, also, that if one building chanced to be fired, Fort Erie might be burned to the ground. He therefore quelled the rising tempest at this foul play, and with his iron will held the whole command in the hollow of his hand and made those who composed it trample on their feelings and curb their just anger for the good of the cause—a noble sentiment emulated by the brave Dr. Edward Donnelly, of Pittsburgh, who at the risk of his life and liberty, remained among the wounded of both parties and assisted by the humane Drs. Blanchard and Trowbridge, of Buffalo, attended upon the sufferers even after the troops had recrossed the river, and the British had again taken possession of Fort Erie.

If we except the death of the brave Lonergan and that of half a dozen other noble fellows, whose names are unfortunately not at our command at this moment, and take into consideration the capture by the British of the Christian and chivalrous Father McMahon, who, regardless of his own personal safety, remained with the dead and dying, after the forces of O’Neill had recrossed the river, the victory of Ridgeway was completely unclouded. This patriotic priest and some other friends of Ireland are now suffering for their love of Fatherland in an English bastile at Kingston, in the New Dominion; but the thought strikes us, the hour of their redemption draws nigh. Subsequently, one or two others, including the gallant Bailey, died from the effects of their wounds upon that memorable field; but such are the contingencies of war, and such the fate of some of the truest of our race.

When O’Neill conquered and captured all the British force at Fort Erie, he at once sent a despatch to Buffalo asking for reinforcements and stating that if it were necessary to the success of any movement that might be going on at some other point, he would hold Fort Erie and make it a slaughter-pen to the last man of his command. General Lynch having arrived at Buffalo some short time previously, it was decided to send reinforcements; but on its being found, subsequently, that a sufficient number to be of real service could not be then sent to the Canada side, the idea was abandoned and transportation prepared for the victorious troops to re-cross the river.

When the British entered Fort Erie in the morning, they captured some Fenian stragglers who were, of course, set free on the arrival of O’Neill from Ridgeway; and now after being themselves captured in turn they were released on their parole; O’Neill having no other means of disposing of them. Nicholas was not engaged in this latter affair; as, not anticipating it, he had kept in the rear of the army with Kate and Evans; so that now when he came up, he was both ashamed and mortified that even an engagement so trifling, when compared with that of the morning, was fought without his having participated in it. However, the day was doubly won, and as he explained to his gallant Commander, the peculiarity of his position, with a smile and a hearty shake of the hand, he got permission to re-cross the river with his betrothed. This much accomplished, Henry turned his horses and drove down the bank at a quick pace, until he arrived at the house of a friend who kept a boat; and prevailing on him to take our hero and heroine to the American side a little below the Lower Rock, he made his warm adieux, with a promise soon to visit Buffalo with Martha, where, meeting an express desire from the lips of Kate, he agreed that they should be made man and wife. And so the friends parted for the time being—Nicholas and Kate, in the course of an hour, finding themselves under the Stars and Stripes once more, and beneath the hospitable roof that had so long sheltered her.

Here to their utter astonishment they found Big Tom who had just arrived from Canada; he having been obliged to turn over his establishment hastily to his trusty friend, Burk, and fly the Province; as through some successful espionage, his connection with the Brotherhood had been discovered. From a friendly detective who had learned the true state of the case and the danger that threatened him, he received the hint that urged him to make his escape, and which doubtless saved him from the horrors of a dungeon if not from death. His sister was to follow him as soon as a sale of his establishment could be effected, and then, as he said himself, “good bye to the tyrant until we meet on the battle field.” He was astounded at the disclosures regarding the pretended Greaves, and all but paralysed at the frightful position from which Kate had so miraculously escaped. When, however, he heard of the glorious victory of the arms of the Irish Republic at Ridgeway and Fort Erie, under O’Neill, he forgot everything else and leaped to his feet with a cheer that shook the house to its very foundation. In the ecstasy of joy that seized him, he took everybody near him by the hand ten times over, and added cheer to cheer until it was deemed expedient to recall him to something like reason. A more genuine display of heartfelt pleasure and patriotic feeling was never witnessed or experienced by any individual or indulged in a manner more original or unsophisticated.

“Tell it to me again, Nick! Tell it to me again!” he exclaimed for the twentieth time; “and did you see them run, and how many of them are kilt? Have you a soord or a gun or anythin belongin to them? for if you have I’ll give you tin times the value of it for a keepsake.”

“Oh!” replied Barry, amused at this unusual display on the part of the sedate and phlegmatic Tom, “there will be no lack of keepsakes in Buffalo to-morrow; for the field was covered with their coats, arms, and knapsacks; and some of these, I am sure, will be got for a mere song.”

This seemed to satisfy O’Brien, who soon flowed into conversation touching all that had transpired regarding Kate and Darcy, as well as in relation to Nicholas himself. During the narrative, he referred to the doubts that he had from the first entertained regarding the spy; although he confessed he was not altogether clear at times upon the subject.

After the fight at Fort Erie, many of the Fenians, understanding that they were not to be reinforced and that the enemy was about coming down on them in force and hemming them in on all sides, made the best of their way across the river. The great bulk of the command, however, stood by O’Neill; until about midnight, when a large scow attached to a steam tug approached the Canadian shore and took the whole of the remaining forces on board. Laden thus, they steamed out into the middle of the river, when a 12-pound shot fired across their bows, from the tug Harrison, belonging to the U.S. Steamer Michigan, brought them to—doubtless to the extreme delight of Acting Sailing-Master Morris who seemed anxious enough to fire the gun and make the capture; although they would at the moment have stuck to a child hearing the authority of the United States. It is significant, however, that the over-officiousness of Mr. Morris has not tended much to his advantage as he no longer belongs to the United States Navy; he having been quite as unfortunate as a certain District Attorney, who, also, endeavored to impress the Government as to his undoubted unfriendliness to the cause of Irish freedom. The lesson may be profitable to Government officials at some future period; and prevent them from exceeding the simple and unprejudiced bounds of their duty. Be this as it may, about two o’clock on the morning of the third of June the scow was brought along side the Michigan and the officers taken on board that vessel and handed over to the urbane and gentlemanly Capt. Bryson, its commander, as prisoners under the authority of the United States; while the men were detained in the same character aboard the scow.

We are unable to trace to any particular source, the cruelty inflicted upon these latter noble fellows, in keeping them for days in that open vessel huddled together, and with the rain for a portion of that period, descending upon them in torrents. The disgrace of such a proceeding has been so often denounced, that we dismiss this part of the subject without further comment. Ultimately, they were all liberated on their own recognizance, to appear about the middle of the month at Canaudaigua, to answer for a breach of the Neutrality Laws; and there the matter ended.

Now, however, the arms and ammunition belonging to the Brotherhood had been seized at every point except Buffalo. In addition, the volunteers who poured to the frontier from every side found themselves helpless, being without weapons or a commissariat: although the brave General Spear, with but a handful of men, made a descent subsequently upon the enemy at St. Albans, and put them to a most ignominious flight. According to General Meade, of the United States Army, between thirty and forty thousand of these brave fellows were furnished with transportation back to their homes at the expense of the Government; while the arms that were seized were subsequently returned to the authorities of the Organization on certain conditions that have been for so far complied with.

Thus ended the first invasion of Canada under the gallant O’Neill, who, on his return from the campaign, was made a General and Commander-in-chief of the Army of the Irish Republic, and who, in addition, was subsequently elevated, to the position of President of the Fenian Organization throughout the world. What his next move may be, we are unable to say; but this we know, it will be in the right direction and likely to succeed. He had no doubt been spared on the numerous battle-fields on which he fought so bravely, for some wise purpose: and this purpose, we feel, is in connection with the freedom of Ireland. For the present, then, we bid him and his noble comrades adieu; hoping the next time we shall have occasion to refer to them, the power of England may be broken on this continent, and the green flag of old Ireland floating over the Castle of Dublin. Our hopes of success were never brighter than they appear to be at this, the moment of our writing. We have an immense army in preparation for the field, and a noble and self-sacrificing Senate and band of Organizers that may well command his confidence and that of every Irish Nationalist in the world. For the benefit of our readers, we here give the names of the members of both these bodies, so that they shall be known and cherished throughout the globe. We might single out from amongst them, that of the able and patriotic P.J. Meehan, Esq., editor of the Irish American, and bold it up to the admiration of our countrymen everywhere: but where all have acted so nobly we shall include all as worthy of praise alike; although we could point out D. O’Sullivan, Esq., Secretary of Civil Affairs, A.L. Morrison, Esq., of Chicago, and a host of others, as eminently entitled to our love and admiration; while, were we permitted to do so, we could illumine our pages with the names of thousands of our fair countrywomen and their beautiful American sisters who have laid their hands to the good work with all the passion and nobility of their pure and generous natures: but we must for the present content ourselves with the following list and its recent modifications, at the Seventh National Congress of the Fenian Brotherhood, which assembled at Philadelphia on Tuesday, November 24th. 1868:


  JAMES GIBBONS, ESQ., Vice President, F.B. 333 Chestnut St., Philadelphia.
  THOMAS LAVAN, ESQ., 13 Superior Street, Cleveland, Ohio.
  T.J. QUINN, ESQ., Albany, N.Y.
  MILES D. SWEENEY, ESQ., San Francisco. Cal.
  JOHN CARLETON, ESQ., Bordentown, N.J.
  F.B. GALLAGHER, ESQ., Buffalo, N.Y.
  P.W. DUNNE, ESQ., Peoria. Ill.
  EDWARD L. CAREY, ESQ., New York City.
  PATRICK J. MEEHAN, ESQ., Hudson City, N.J.
  MICHAEL FINNEGAN, ESQ., Houghton, Mich.
  J.C. O’BRIEN, ESQ., Rochester, N.Y.
  WM. FLEMING, ESQ., 16 Congress Street Troy, N.Y.
  HON. J.W. FITZGERALD, Ellen Street, Cincinnati, Ohio.
  PATRICK SWEENEY, ESQ., Newburgh Street, Lawrence, Mass.





“The Seventh National Congress of the Fenian Brotherhood adjourned sine die at six o’clock this morning, the delegates having sat from three o’clock P.M., on Saturday, determined to finish their business in one session. General JOHN O’NEILL was unanimously re-elected President, and resolutions were adopted, approving his administration of the affairs of the Brotherhood.

“The following named Senators, nine in number, were elected to fill vacancies:—

“J.C. O’Brien, Rochester, N.Y.; J.W. Fitzgerald, Cincinnati, Ohio; Major J. McKinley, Nashville, Tenn.; R. McCloud, Norwich, Conn.; J.E. Downey, Providence, R.I.; P. Bannon, Louisville, Ky.; W.J. Hynes, Washington, D.C.; P.J. Meehan, New York; Colonel John O’Neill, Dubuque, Iowa.

“The following named Senators hold over under the Constitutional rule, having been elected for two years at the Cleveland Congress:—

“James Gibbons, of Philadelphia; Miles D. Sweeney, of San Francisco; T.J. Quinn, of Albany, N.Y.; E.L. Carey, of New York; P.W. Dunne, of Peoria, Ill.; Frank B. Gallagher, of Buffalo, N.Y.

“What may be termed the central authority of the Brotherhood, within the Senate, stands thus, Dec., 1868:

 Acting Sec. of War—P.J. MEEHAN.
 Assistant Treasurer—JOHN P. BROPHY.
 Sec. of Civil Affairs—DAN. O’SULLIVAN, of Auburn.

As we have referred to the recent Congress at Philadelphia, the following article from the Philadelphia Age November 27, 1868, will be interesting to our readers as indicative of the present standing and prospects of the Brotherhood on this continent:

“One of the great events of Thanksgiving Day, outside of the festivities of the home circle and the attendance on public worship, was the grand demonstration by the Irishmen of Philadelphia in honor of the assembling of the Fenian Congress in this city. This body, which consists of delegates from all parts of the world, has been holding secret sessions at the Assembly Buildings during the week, and important results have been anticipated by the friends of Ireland all over the world.

“The parade was quite a success, and reflected great credit on the managers. Mr. John Brennan was Chief Marshal, assisted by Frank McDonald, Marshal First Division; Michael Moane, Second Division; James Carr, Third Division; John McAtee, Fourth Division; Michael D. Kelly, Fifth Cavalcade, with the following Aids—John A. Keenan, R.J. Keenan, Andrew Wynne, Thomas N. Stack, Capt. F. Quinlan.

“The line commenced moving about half-past three o’clock, in the following order, the military having the right of the line:

“Gen. John O’Neill, President of the Fenian Brotherhood, and the following Staff—Gen. J. Smolenski, Chief-of-Staff; Col. John W. Byron, Asst. Adjt.-General; Col. J.J. Donnelly, of Engineers; Major T. O’Leary, of Ordnance; Major Henry LeCaron, Com. Subsistence; Dr. Donnelly, Surgeon; Capt. Wm. J. Hynes, Assistant Inspector; Lieut.-Col. Sullivan, Aide-de-Camp; Lieut.-Col. Atkinson, Aide-de-Camp; Lieut.-Col. John W. Dunne, Aid-de-Camp; Capt. J. Smolenski, Aide-de-Camp; Capt. J. Driscoll, Aide-de-Camp.

“There were three regiments of the Irish Republican Army in line; they numbered fully two thousand men, and were clad in their new uniform. The three regiments parading were the Eighth, Ninth and Twenty-fourth. The brigade was commanded by Col. William Clingen, Major Daniel A. Moore, Asst. Adj’t-Gen.

“The Eighth Regiment was commanded by Col. P.S. Tinah, the Ninth by Col. J. O’Reilly, and the Twenty-fourth by Col. Michael Kirwan. The military was followed by numerous civic societies. There were nineteen Circles of the Fenian Brotherhood and three hundred delegates to the Fenian Congress, besides the Charles Carroll Beneficial Society and the Buchanan Beneficial Society. The civic portion of the parade numbered about five thousand men. The participants wore dark suits and badges, and pieces of green ribbon tied in the button-holes of their coats.

“In the line of the procession was a handsome chariot drawn by six gray horses. It was painted green and gold; the platform was covered with beautiful oilcloth, and on it was placed a large brass bell, supported on a green framework. This bell was kept tolling over the whole route of the procession. In the rear of the chariot was a raised platform, on which sat a beautiful daughter of Erin, dressed as a Goddess of Liberty, holding a beautiful silk banner. She was seated underneath an arch of gold stars, set on a field of white satin, and the top of the arch was covered with holly and evergreen. The rear of the arch and the back of the chariot were covered by a beautiful anchor of hope, made entirely of flowers. The horses were decked with red, white and blue plumes and large silk pennants. The whole arrangement made a very fine display, and elicited much applause along the route.

“A banner was carried in the line of the civic societies, containing the following, in gold letters on a field of green satin:

  “Delegates—remember the words of our martyred O’Brien, to unite in
   God’s name, for Ireland and liberty. God save Ireland.

“An outline cross in gold covered the front of the banner.

“Along the route advertised, the sidewalks were lined by expectant watchers, in some instances three or four abreast. They waited patiently for nearly three long hours before the head of the line appeared. Green flags, with yellow harps and the words ‘Erin go Bragh,’ were plentifully distributed throughout the crowd. The universal color was green; green ribbons in button-holes, green neckties, green badges, green flags, green coats, green sashes and green uniforms. The bands played ‘Wearing of the Green,’ continually. ‘Green grow the Rushes, O,’ ‘The Green above the Red,’ and ‘Garry-owen’ were the only substitutes.

“There was a great deal of enthusiasm manifested all along the route, and the procession did not cease marching until the shades of evening had approached.”

But to resume, once more, the thread of our story:—In due time the establishment of The Harp was disposed of to advantage, and the sum realized from it placed in the hands of O’Brien by his sister who had made her way to Buffalo according to his directions. When matters quieted down in the vicinity of Ridgeway, Martha paid a visit to her friend Kate, and was soon followed by Henry with a view to keeping his word in relation to their marriage which took place on the same evening and under the same roof with that of Kate and Nicholas. The joint affair was a grand one; many guests having been invited to the wedding; among whom were some officers of the I.R.A., and all that survived of Barry’s comrades. Tom, was in his glory; and as all the military men present had been at Ridgeway, the pros and cons of that important battle were discussed in a manner the most lively and entertaining. Then and there, it was voted, that although the invasion of the Provinces had not at the moment, resulted in any immediate benefits to the Irish, it had given a prestige to the arms of Ireland in an individual and national sense, not realized by that country for ages. Not since the palmy days of our early chivalry, had British soil been invaded by a hostile Irish army, until O’Neill broke the ice at Ridgeway; and at no period in the history of the nation had a mere handful of men performed greater miracles of valor or been handled with more consummate judgment and daring.

In the course of a few days, Mr. and Mrs. Evans returned to their home near Ridgeway; and prevailed upon Mrs., now the widow Wilson, to dispose of the house and property identified with so many unhappy associations, and near which the young wife could not now be induced to venture. In the roomy and commodious dwelling of the Evans’ she found a home; and in the course of time began to wear a more cheerful aspect, and forget, in a measure, the dreadful ordeal through which she had passed. Nevertheless, no real sunshine visited her brow, as the shadow that had fallen on it was too deep and sorrowful for even the peace and quiet now promised her in the decline of her years.

Six months after their marriage, the Barrys were apprised of their success regarding the Chancery-suit; but so enormous were the expenses attending it, that, after all, the benefits accruing from it were something similar to those experienced by Gulliver after his having encountered and overcome all the difficulties that could have possibly beset humanity. Still they were richer through its having been decided in their favor; and were enabled on the strength of it to purchase a handsome dwelling near their friends of the Rock, where they still reside in comfortable if not affluent circumstances. Tom and his sister, old bachelor and old maid, are once again in business, but this time not in the restaurant line; and had we not given assumed names throughout our whole story in so far as he and Barry are concerned, his establishment might be recognized at any period by those acquainted with Buffalo and its vicinity, or such as have passed along a certain well-known thoroughfare to Black Rock. His faith never falters in relation to the independence of Ireland; and he still keeps up his connection with the Brotherhood on both sides of the line; often receiving from Canada lengthy and mysterious epistles written by Burk, over which he pores, from time to time, with sundry nods, winks and significant smiles.

Henry and Martha are now occasionally to be seen at the Rock; the former wearing a green necktie, and the latter as happy as the day is long. In the arms of both Kate and Martha are now two sweet prattlers—one christened, John O’Neill Barry, and the other, Martha Ridgeway Evans. Perhaps in after years they in turn may plight their vows on the banks of the Niagara, as Kate and Nicholas had done by those of the Shannon. Kate now and then visits her friends at their residence on the Canadian side of the lakes; but Nicholas is of the impression, that he is quite as well off in judiciously remaining at home to look after the affairs of their establishment. Sometimes, however, he gazes across the river and wonders how soon again he shall have an opportunity of measuring swords with the ancient enemy of his race; while Tom has made up his mind to handle a rifle himself, the next time that O’Neill sounds “to horse!”

And so ends our story of Ridgeway, with all the difficulties, loves, hopes and fears connected with it. Throughout the whole of our narrative we have been faithful to circumstances where the interests of the truth required that we should be just and impartial. In this connection we have been guided solely by personal knowledge and the evidence of respectable eye-witnesses; and by official documents of the campaign, the veracity of which are beyond any question whatever. Here, then, we bid our readers good-bye for the present; trusting that we may soon again renew our acquaintance, and that we have not done injustice to any party; for, notwithstanding the slight tinge of romance with which our facts are interwoven, we have, after all, presented nothing for their perusal at variance with truth, or, we hope, prejudicial to society.


[1] Although we are under the impression that others of these gentlemen than those designated belong to the I.R.A. yet we are unable to give their military rank, from the fact of our not being able, at the time of our writing, to obtain proper intelligence on the subject.


By the Army of the Irish Republic, under General O’NEILL, June, 1866.

About midnight, on the 31st May, the men commenced moving from Buffalo to Lower Black Rock, about three miles down the river, and at 3:30 A.M., on the 1st of June, all of the men, with the arms and ammunition, were on board four canal boats, and towed across the Niagara River, to a point on the Canadian side called Waterloo, and at 4 o’clock A.M., the Irish flag was planted on British soil, by Colonel Starr, who had command of the first two boats.

On landing, O’Neill immediately ordered the telegraph wires leading from the town to be cut down; and sent a party to destroy the railroad bridge leading to Port Colborne.

Colonel Starr, in command of the Kentucky and Indiana troops, proceeded through the town of Fort Erie to the old Fort, some three miles distant up the river, and occupied it for a short time, hoisting the Irish flag.

O’Neill then waited on the Reeve of Fort Erie, and requested him to see some of the citizens of the place, and have them furnish rations for the men, at the same time assuring him that no depredations on the citizens would be permitted, as he had come to drive out British authority from the soil, and not for the purpose of pillaging the citizens. The request for provisions was cheerfully complied with.

About 10 o’clock A.M., he moved into camp on Newbiggin’s Farm, situated on Frenchman’s Creek, four miles down the river from Fort Erie, where he remained till 10 o’clock P.M.

During the afternoon, Capt. Donohue, of the 18th, while out in command of a foraging party, on the road leading to Chippewa, came up with the enemy’s scouts, who fled at his approach.

Later in the afternoon, Col. Hoy was sent with one hundred men in the same road. He also came up with some scouts about six miles from camp. Here he was ordered to halt.

By this time—8 o’clock P.M.—information was received that a large force of the enemy, said to be five thousand strong, with artillery, were advancing in two columns; one from the direction of Chippewa, and the other from Port Colborne; also, that troops from Port Colborne were to make an attack from the lake side.

Here truth compels me to make an admission that I would fain have kept from the public. Some of the men who crossed over with us the night before, managed to leave the command during the day, and recross to Buffalo, while others remained in houses around Fort Erie. This I record to their lasting disgrace.

On account of this shameful desertion, and the fact that arms had been sent out for eight hundred men, O’Neill had to destroy three hundred stand, to prevent them falling into the bands of the enemy. At this time he could not depend on more than five hundred men, about one-tenth of the reputed number of the enemy, which he knew were surrounding him. Rather a critical position, but he had been sent to accomplish a certain object, and he was determined to accomplish it.

At 10 o’clock P.M., he broke camp, and marched towards Chippewa, and at midnight changed direction, and moved on the Limestone Ridge road, leading toward Ridgeway; halting a few hours on the way to rest the men;—this for the purpose of meeting the column advancing from Port Colborne. His object was to get between the two columns, and, if possible, defeat one of them before the other could come to its assistance.

At about 7 o’clock A.M., 2d of June, when within three miles of Ridgeway, Col. Owen Starr in command of the advanced guard, came up with the advance of the enemy, mounted, and drove them some distance, till he got within sight of their skirmish line, which extended on both sides of the road about half a mile. By this time, O’Neill could hear the whistle of the railroad cars which brought the enemy from Port Colborne. He immediately advanced his skirmishers, and formed line of battle behind temporary breastworks made of rails, on a road leading to Fort Erie, and running parallel with the enemy’s line. The skirmishing was kept up over half an hour, when, perceiving the enemy flanking him on both aides, and not being able to draw out their centre, which was partially protected by thick timber, befell back a few hundred yards, and formed a new line. The enemy seeing he had only a few men—about four hundred—and supposing that he had commenced a retreat, advanced rapidly in pursuit. When they got close enough, he gave them a volley, and then charged them, driving them nearly three miles, through the town of Ridgeway. In their hasty retreat they threw away knapsacks, guns, and everything that was likely to retard their speed, and left some ten or twelve killed and twenty-five or thirty wounded, with twelve prisoners, in his hands. Amongst the killed was Lieut. McEachern, and amongst the wounded Lieut. Ruth, both of the “Queen’s Own.” The pursuit was given up about a mile beyond Ridgeway.

Although he had met and defeated the enemy, yet his position was still a very critical one. The reputed strength of the enemy engaged in the fight was fourteen hundred, composed of the “Queen’s Own,” the 13th Hamilton Battalion, and other troops. A regiment which had left Fort Colburne was said to be on the road to reinforce them. He also knew that the column from Chippewa would hear of the fight, and in all probability move up in his rear.

Thus situated, and not knowing what was going on elsewhere, he decided that his best policy was to return to Fort Erie, and ascertain if crossings had been made at other points, and if so, he was willing to sacrifice himself and his noble little command, for the sake of leaving the way open, as he felt satisfied that a large proportion of the enemy’s forces had been concentrated against him.

He collected a few of his own wounded, and put them in wagons, and for want of transportation had to leave six others in charge of the citizens, who promised to look after them and bury the dead of both sides. He then divided his command, and sent one half, under Col. Starr, down the railroad, to destroy it and burn the bridges, and with the other half took the pike road leading to Fort Erie. Col. Starr got to the old Fort about the same time that he himself did to the village of Fort Erie, 4 o’clock P.M. He (Starr) left the men there under the command of Lieut. Col. Spaulding, and joined O’Neill in a skirmish with a company of the Welland Battery, which had arrived there from Port Colborne in the morning, and which picked up a few of the men who had straggled from the command the day before. They had these men prisoners on board the steamer “Robb.” The skirmish lasted about fifteen minutes, the enemy firing from the houses. Three or four were killed, and some eight or ten wounded, on each side.

It was here that Lieut. Col. Bailey was wounded, while gallantly leading the advance on this side of the town. Here forty-five of the enemy were taken prisoners, among them Capt. King, who was wounded, (leg since amputated,) Lieut. McDonald, Royal Navy, and Commander of the steamer “Robb,” and Lieut. Nemo, Royal Artillery. O’Neill then collected his men, and posted Lieut. Col. Grace, with one hundred men, on the outskirts of the town, guarding the road leading to Chippewa, while with the remainder of the command he proceeded to the old Fort.

About six o’clock A.M., he sent word to Capt. Hynes and his friends at Buffalo that the enemy could surround him before morning with five thousand men, fully provided with artillery, and that his little command, which had by this time considerably decreased, could not hold out long, but that if a movement was going on elsewhere, he was perfectly willing to make the Old Fort a slaughter pen, which he knew it would be the next day if he remained. FOR HE WOULD NEVER HAVE SURRENDERED.

Many of the men had not a mouthful to eat since Friday morning, and none of them had eaten anything since the night before, and all after marching forty miles and fighting two battles, though the last could only properly be called a skirmish. They were completely worn out with hunger and fatigue.

On receiving information that no crossing had been effected elsewhere, he sent word to have transportation furnished immediately; and about ten o’clock P.M. Capt. Hynes came from Buffalo and informed him that arrangements had been made to recross the river.

Previous to this time some of the officers and men, realizing the danger of their position, availed themselves of small boats and recrossed the river, but the greater portion remained until the transportation arrived, which was about 12 o’clock on the night of June 2, and about 2 o’clock A.M. on the morning of the 3d, all except a few wounded men were safely on board a large scow attached to a tug boat which hauled into American waters. Here they were hailed by the tug Harrison, belonging to the U.S. steamer Michigan, having on board one 12-pounder pivot gun, which fired across their bows and threatened to sink them unless they hauled to and surrendered. With this request they complied; not because they feared the 12-pounder, or the still more powerful guns of the Michigan, which lay close by, but because they respected the authority of the United States, in defence of which many of them had fought and bled during the late war. They would have as readily surrendered to an infant bearing the authority of the Union, as to Acting Master Morris of the tug Harrison, who is himself an Englishman. The number thus surrendered was three hundred and seventeen men, including officers.

The officers were taken on board the Michigan, and were well treated by Capt Bryson and the gentlemanly officers of his ship, while the men were kept on the open scow, which was very filthy, without any accommodation whatever, and barely large enough for them to turn round in. Part of the time the rain poured down on them in torrents. I am not certain who is to blame for this cruel treatment; but whoever the guilty parties are they should be loathed and despised by all men. The men were kept on board the scow for four days and then discharged on their own recognizances to appear at Canandaigna on the 19th of June, to answer to the charge of having violated the Neutrality Laws. The officers were admitted to bail. The report generally circulated, and, I might say, generally believed, that the pickets were left behind, and that they were captured by the enemy, is entirely false. Every man who remained with the command, excepting a few wounded, had the same chance of escaping that O’Neill himself had.

To the extraordinary exertions of our friends of Buffalo, F.B. Gallagher, Wm. Burk, Hugh Mooney, James Whelan, Capt. James Doyle, John Conners, Edward Frawley, James J. Crawley, M.T. Lynch, James Cronin, and Michael Donahue, the command were indebted for being able to escape from the Canadian side. Col. H.R. Stagg and Capt. McConvey, of Buffalo, were also very assiduous in doing everything in their power. Col. Stagg had started from Buffalo with about two hundred and fifty men, to reinforce O’Neill, but the number was too small to be of any use, and he was ordered to return. Much praise is due to Drs. Trowbridge and Blanchard, of Buffalo, and Surgeon Donnelly, of Pittsburg, for their untiring attendance to the wounded.

All who were with the command acted their parts so nobly that I feel a little delicacy in making special mention of any, and shall not do so except in two instances: One is Michael Cochrane, Color Sergeant of the Indianapolis Company, whose gallantry and daring were conspicuous throughout the fight at Ridgeway. He was seriously wounded, and fell into the hands of the enemy. The other is Major John C. Canty, who lived at Fort Erie. He risked everything he possessed on earth, and acted his part gallantly in the field.

In the fight at Ridgeway, and the skirmish at Fort Erie, as near as can be ascertained, the Fenian loss was eight killed and fifteen wounded. Among the killed was Lieut. E.R. Lonergan, a brave young officer, of Buffalo. Of the enemy, thirty were killed and one hundred wounded.