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moving a peace-loving man like Denys least, was regarded until D'Aulnay de to action.”
Charnisay became his enemy. Even in “ Nicholas Denys ought to take part that year of grace 1645, before Acadia with you."
was diked by home-making Norman “ Yet he will scarce do it.”
peasants or watered by their parting “ The king-favored governor of Aca- tears, contending forces had begun to dia will some time turn and push him trample it. Two feudal barons fought as he now pushes you.”
each other on the soil of the New World. “D'Aulnay hath me at sore straits,” “ All things failing me La Tour confessed La Tour, staring at the flame, held out his wrists, and looked at them “since he has cut off from me the help with a sharp smile. of the Bostonnais."
“Let D'Aulnay shake a warrant, “ They were easily cut off,” said Ma- monsieur. He must needs have you rie. “Monsieur, those Huguenots of the before he can carry you in chains to colonies were never loving friends of France.” ours. Their policy has been to weak- She seized La Tour's hands, with a en this province by helping the quarrel swift impulse of atoning to them for the betwixt D’Aulnay and you. Now that thought of such indignity, and kissed D'Aulnay has strength at court, and has his wrists. He set his teeth on a trempersuaded the king to declare you an bling lip. outlaw, the Bostonnais think it wise to “I should be a worthless, aimless withdraw their hired soldiers from you. vagrant without you, Marie. You are We have not offended the Bostonnais as young, and I give you fatigue and allies; we have only gone down in the heart-sickening peril instead of jewels world.”
merry company." La Tour stirred uneasily.
“ The merriest company for us at “ I dread that D'Aulnay may profit present, monsieur, are the men of our by this hasty journey I make to north- honest garrison. If Edelwald, who ern Acadia, and again attack the fort came so lately, complains not of this in my absence.”
New World life, I should endure it mer“ He hath once found a woman there rily enough. And you know I seldom who could hold it,” said Marie, check- now wear the jewels belonging to our ing a laugh.
house. Our chief jewel is buried in the La Tour moved his palm over her ground.” cheek. Within his mind the province She thought of a short grave wrapped of Acadia lay spread from Penobscot in fogs near Fort St. John; of fair curls River to the island of Sable, and from and sweet childish limbs, and a mouth the southern tip of the peninsula now shouting to send echoes through the called Nova Scotia nearly to the mouth river gorge; of scamperings on the flags of the St. Lawrence. This domain had of the hall ; and of the erect and princebeen parceled in grants : the north to ly carriage of that diminutive presence Nicholas Denys; the centre and west the men had called “my little lord.” to D'Aulnay de Charnisay; and the “ But it is better for the boy that south, with posts on the western coast, he died, Marie,” murmured La Tour. to Charles de la Tour. Being Protes- “ He has no part in these times. He tant in faith, La Tour had no influence might have survived us to see his inat the court of Louis XIII. His grant heritance stripped from him.” had been confirmed to him from his They were silent, until Marie said, father. He had held it against trea- “ You have a long march before you son to France, and his loyal service, at to-morrow,
“Yes; we ought to throw ourselves wide, and the young officer appeared into these mangers,” said La Tour. with men at his back.
One wall was lined with bunks like “Have you found an ambush, Sieur those in the outer room. In the lower Charles ?” row travelers' preparations were already “ We have here a listener, Edelwald,” made for sleeping.
replied La Tour, "and there may be “I am yet of the mind, monsieur," more in the loft above." observed Marie, “ that you should have Several men sprang up the bunks, and made this journey entirely by sea.” moved some puncheons overhead. A
" It would cost me too much in time light was raised under the dark roof to round Cape Sable twice. Nicholas canopy, but nothing rewarded its search. Denys can furnish ship as well as men, The much-bedraggled woman was young, if he be so minded. My lieutenant in with falling strands of silken hair, which arms next to Edelwald,” said La Tour, she wound up with one hand, while holdsmiling over her, “ my equal partner in ing the baby. Marie took the poor wailer troubles, and my lady of Fort St. John from her with a divine motion, and carwill stand for my honor and prosperity ried it to the hearth. until I return."
“Who brought you here?” demanded Marie smiled back.
La Tour of the girl. “D'Aulnay has a fair wife, and her She cowered before him, but anhusband is rich and favored by the king, swered nothing. Her presence seemed and has got himself made governor of to him a sinister menace against even Acadia in your stead. She sits in her his obscurest holdings in Acadia. The own hall at Port Royal ; but poor Ma stockade was easily entered, for La Tour dame D'Aulnay! - she has not thee!” was unable to maintain a garrison there.
At this La Tour laughed aloud. The All that open country lay sodden with ring of his voice, and the clang of his the breath of the sea. From whatever breastplate which fell over on the floor point she had approached, La Tour could as he arose, woke an answering sound. scarcely believe her feet came tracking It did not come from the outer room, the moist red clay alone. where scarcely a voice stirred among “ Will you give no account of yourthe sleepy soldiery, but from the top self ?” row of bunks. Marie turned white at “ You must answer monsieur,” enthis child wail soothed by a woman's couraged Marie, turning from her cares voice.
with the child. It lay unwound from “ What have we here?” exclaimed its misery on Marie's knees, watching La Tour.
the new ministering power with ac“Monsieur, it must be a baby!” cepting eyes. Feminine and piteous as
“Who has broken into this post with the girl was, her dense resistance to a baby? There may be men concealed command could only vex a soldier. overhead."
“Put her under guard,” he said to He grasped his pistols, but no men his officer. at-arms appeared with the haggard wo 66 And Zélie must look to her comman who crept down from her hiding- fort,” added Marie. place near the joists.
“Whoever she may be,” declared La " Are you some spy sent from D’Aul- Tour, " she hath heard too much to go nay?" inquired La Tour.
free of this place. She must be sent in “ Monsieur, how can you so accuse a the ship to Fort St. John, and guarded poor outcast mother!” whispered Marie. there."
The door in the partition was flung “ What else could be done, indeed ?"
AN ACADIAN FORTRESS.
asked Marie. “ The child would die of St. John set out toward the sea instead exposure here.”
of rushing back on its own channel, and The prisoner was taken to the other rocks swallowed at flood now broke the hearth; and the young officer, as he surface. closed the door, half smiled to hear his A plume of smoke sprang from one lady murmur over the wretched little bastion, followed by the rolling thunder outcast, as she always murmured to ail- of a cannon shot. From a small ship ing creatures, “Let mother help you." in the bay a gun replied to this salute.
She stood gradually clear of a headland,
her sails hanging torn and one mast I.
broken, and sentinel and cannoneer in the bastion saw that she was lowering a boat. They called to people in the
fortress, and all voices caught the news : At the mouth of the river St. John “ Madame has come at last!” an island was lashed with drift, and Life stirred through the entire inclotide terraces alongshore recorded how sure with a jar of closing doors and runfuriously the sea had driven upon the ning feet. land. There had been a two days' Though not a large fortification, St. storm on the Bay of Fundy, subsiding John was well and compactly built of ceto the clearest of cool spring evenings. mented stone. A row of hewn log barAn amber light lay on the visible world. racks stood against the southern wall, The forest on the west was yet too bare ample for all the troops La Tour had of leaf buds to shut away sunset. been able to muster in prosperous times.
A month later, the headlands would There was a stone vault for ammunition. be lined distinctly against a blue and A well, a mill and great stone oven, and quickening sky by freshened air and a storehouse for beaver and other skins light and herbage. Two centuries and were between the barracks and the coma half later, long streaks of electric light mandant's tower built massively into the would ripple on that surface, and great northeast bastion. This structure gave ships stand at ease there, and ferry- La Tour the advantage of a high lookboats rush back and forth. But in this out, though it was much smaller than a closing dusk it reflected only the gray castle he had formerly held at La Hève. . and yellow vaporous breath of April, The interior accommodated itself to such and shaggy edges of a wilderness. The compactness, the lower floor having only high shores sank their shadows farther one entrance and windows looking into and farther from the water's edge. the area of the fort, while the second
Fort St. John was built upon a gradual floor was lighted through deep loopholes. ascent of rocks, which rose to a small A drum began to beat, a tall fellow promontory on the south side of the
gave the word of command, and the river. There were four bastions guard- garrison of Fort St. John drew up in ed with cannon, the northeast bastion line, facing the gate. A sentinel unswelling above its fellows in a round barred and set wide both inner and outer turret topped with battlements. On this leaves, and a cheer burst through the tower the flag of France hung down its deep-throated gateway, and was thrown staff against the evening sky, for there back from the opposite shore, from forest was scarcely any motion of the air. That and river windings. Madame La Tour, coast lay silent, like a pictured land, ex- with two women attendants, was seen cept a hint of falls above in the river. coming up from the water's edge, while It was ebb tide. The current of the two men pushed off with the boat.
She waved her hand in reply to the “Madame, I have some news, but noshout.
thing serious.” The tall soldier went down to meet “ If it be nothing serious, I will have her, and paused, bareheaded, to make a change of garments and my supper the salutation of a subaltern to his before I hear it. We have had a hard military superior. She responded with voyage.” the same grave courtesy. But as he
my lord send any new orders ?” drew nearer she noticed him whitening None, save to keep this poor girl through the dusk.
about the fort : that is easily obeyed, as “All has gone well, Klussman, at we can scarce do otherwise with her.” Fort St. John, since
lord left?” “I meant to ask in the first breath “Madame,” he said, with a stam- how he fared in the outset of his expemer, “the storm made us anxious about dition.”
“ With a lowering sky overhead, and “ Have you seen D’Aulnay?” wet red clay underfoot. But I thanked “No, madame.”
Heaven, while we were tossing with a “ You look haggard, Klussman.” broken mast, that he was at least on firm
“If I look haggard, madame, it must land and moving to his expectations.” come from seeing two women follow you, They entered the gateway, Madame when I should see only one.”
La Tour's cheeks tingling richly from He threw sharp glances behind her, the effort of climbing. She saluted her as he took her hand to lead her up the garrison, and her garrison saluted her, steep path. Marie's attendant was car- each with a courteous pride in the other, rying the baby, and she lifted it for him born of the joint victory they had won to look at, the hairs on her upper lip over D'Aulnay de Charnisay when he moved by a good-natured smile. Kluss- attacked the fort. Not a man broke man's scowl darkened his mountain-born rank until she entered her hall. There fairness.
was a tidiness about the inclosure pecu“I would rather, indeed, be bringing liar to places inhabited by women. It more men to the fort instead of more wo- added grace to military appointments. men," said his lady, as they mounted the
miss the swan, madame,” slope. “ But this one might have per
noted Klussman. “Le Rossignol is out ished in the stockade where we found again.” her; and your lord not only misliked “ When did she go ?” her, as you seem to do, but he held her “ The night after my lord and you in suspicion. In a manner, therefore, sailed northward. She goes each time she is our prisoner, though never went in the night, madame.” prisoner so helplessly with her captors.” “ And she is still
?" “Yes, any one might take such a “ Yes, madame.” creature,” said Klussman.
“And this is all you know of her ?” “ Those are no fit words to speak, “ Yes, madame. She went, and has Klussman.”
not yet come back.” He was unready with his apology, “ But she always comes back safely. however, and tramped on without again Though I fear,” said Madame La Tour looking behind. Madame La Tour on the threshold, “the poor maid will glanced at her ship, which would have
some time fall into harm.” to wait for wind and tide to reach the He opened the door, and stood aside, usual mooring
saying under his breath, “ I would call tell me you had news ?" a creature like that a witch instead of a she was reminded to ask him.
66 Did you
“I will send for you, Klussman, when “ It hath a stiffened look, like a paI have refreshed myself.”
poose,” observed Antonia. “Is it well “ Yes, madame.”
in health?” The other women filed past him, and “ No; poor baby. Attend to the entered behind his lady.
child," said Marie sternly to the moThe Swiss soldier folded his arms, ther; and she added, “ Zélie must go staring hard at that crouching vagrant directly with me to my chests before she brought from Beausejour. She had a waits on me, and bring down garments covering over her face, and she held it for it to this hearth.” close, crowding on the heels in front of “Let me this time be your maid,” her, as if she dared not meet his eye. said Antonia.
“ You may come with me and be my
resolution, Antonia ; for I have to set II.
about the unlocking of boxes which hold some sacred clothes."
“I never saw you lack courage, ma
dame, since I have known you." A girlish woman was waiting for “ Therein have I deceived
you, then," Marie within the hall, and the two ex- said Marie, throwing her cloak on Zechanged kisses on the cheek with sedate lie's arm, “ for I am a most cowardand tender courtesy.
ly creature in my affections, Madame “ Welcome home, madame."
Bronck.” “ Home is more welcome to me be- They moved toward the stairs. Antocause I find you in it, Antonia. Has nia was as perfect as a slim and blueanything unusual happened in the for eyed stalk of flax. She wore the laced tress while I have been setting monsieur bodice and small cap of New Holland. on his way?”
Her exactly spoken French denoted all “This morning, about dawn, I heard a the neat appointments of her life. This great tramping of soldiers in the hall.
Dutch gentlewoman had seen much of One of the women told me prisoners had the world ; having traveled from Fort been brought in.”
Orange to New Amsterdam, from New “ Yes. The Swiss said he had news. Amsterdam to Boston, and from Boston And how has the Lady Dorinda fared ?” with Madame La Tour to Fort St. John
“ Well, indeed. She has described to in Acadia. The three figures ascendme three times the gorgeous pageant of ed in a line the narrow stairway, which her marriage.”
made a diagonal band from lower to upThey had reached the fireplace, and per corner of the remote hall end. Zélie Marie laughed as she warmed her hands walked last, carrying her lady's cloak. before a pile of melting logs.
At the top a little light fell on them “Give our sea-tossed bundle and its through a loophole. mother a warm seat, Zélie,” she said to “ Was Mynheer La Tour in good her woman.
heart for his march? ” inquired AntoThe unknown girl was placed near nia, turning from the waifs brought back the hearth corner, and constrained to to the expedition itself. take upon her knees an object which she “ Stout-hearted enough ; but the man held indifferently. Antonia's eyes rest- to whom he goes is scarce to be counted ed on her, detecting her half-concealed We Protestant French are all held face, with silent disapproval.
alien by Catholics of our blood. Edel“We found a child on this expedi- wald will move Denys to take arms with tion.”
My lord depends