Infomotions, Inc.Wyandott‚e; or, The hutted knoll. A tale. / Cooper, James Fenimore, 1789-1851




Author: Cooper, James Fenimore, 1789-1851
Title: Wyandott‚e; or, The hutted knoll. A tale.
Publisher: New York, Stringer and Townsend, 1852.
Tag(s): hutted knoll; willoughby; knoll; nick; beulah; joel; hutted; joyce; captain willoughby; captain; robert willoughby; hut; major; major willoughby
Contributor(s): Eric Lease Morgan (Infomotions, Inc.)
Versions: original; local mirror; HTML (this file); printable; PDF
Services: find in a library; evaluate using concordance
Rights: GNU General Public License
Size: 167,516 words (longer than most) Grade range: 10-12 (high school) Readability score: 63 (easy)
Identifier: wyandottehutted00cooprich
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WYANDOTTE; 



OR, 



THE HUTTED KNOLL 



BY J. FENIMORE COOPER 



"I venerate the Pilgrim s cause, 
Yft for the rt-d man clure t(i plead: 
We bow to Heaven s recorded laws, 
H turns to Nature for his creed." Sprague 



IN TWO VOLUMES. 
VOL. I. 



NEW EDITION. 



NEW YORK: 
STRINGER AND TOWNSEND, 

1852. 




Entered, according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1843, by 

J. FENIMORE COOPER, 

in the clerk s office of the district court of the United States, for tho 
Northern District of New York. 



PREFACE. 



THE history of the borders is filled with legends 
of the sufferings of isolated families, during the 
troubled scenes of colonial warfare. Those which 
we now offer to the reader, are distinctive in many 
of their leading facts, if not rigidly true in the details. 
The first alone is necessary to the legitimate objects 
of fiction. 

One of the misfortunes of a nation, is to hear little 
besides its own praises. Although the American 
revolution was probably as just an effort as was ever 
made by a people to resist the first inroads of oppres 
sion, the cause had its evil aspects, as well as all 
other human struggles. We have been so much ac 
customed to hear everything extolled, of late years, 
that could be dragged into the remotest connection 
with that great event, and the principles which led 
to it, that there is danger of overlooking truth, in a 
pseudo patriotism. Nothing is really patriotic, how 
ever, that is not strictly true and just; any more 
than it is paternal love to undermine the constitution 
of a child by an indiscriminate indulgence in per 
nicious diet. That there were demagogues in 1776, 
is as certain as that there are demagogues in 1843, 
and will probably continue to be demagogues as long 
as means for misleading the common mind shall exist. 

* 



Vi PREFACE. 

A great deal of undigested morality is uttered to 
the world, under the disguise of a pretended public 
virtue. In the eye of reason, the man who delibe 
rately and voluntarily contracts civil engagements is 
more strictly bound to their fulfilment, than he whose 
whole obligations consist of an accident over which 
he had not the smallest control, that of birth ; though 
the very reverse of this is usually maintained under 
the influence of popular prejudice. The reader will 
probably discover how we view this matter, in the 
course of our narrative. 

Perhaps this story is obnoxious to the charge of a 
slight anachronism, in representing the activity of 
the Indians a year earlier than any were actually 
employed in the struggle of 1775. During the century 
of warfare that existed between the English and 
French colonies, the savage tribes were important 
agents in furthering the views of the respective bel 
ligerents. The war was on the frontiers, and these 
fierce savages w r ere, in a measure, necessary to the 
management of hostilities that invaded their own 
villages and hunting-grounds. In 1775, the enemy 
came from the side of the Atlantic, and it was only 
after the struggle had acquired force, that the opera 
tions of the interior rendered the services of such 
allies desirable. In other respects, without pretend 
ing to refer to any real events, the incidents of this 
tale are believed to be sufficiently historical for all 
the legitimate purposes of fiction. 

In this book the writer has aimed at sketching 
several distinct varieties of the human race, as true 



PREFACE. Vll 

to the governing impulses of their educations, habits, 
modes of thinking and natures. The red man had 
his morality, as much as his white brother, and it is 
well known that even Christian ethics are coloured 
and governed, by standards of opinion set up on 
purely human authority. The honesty of one Chris 
tian is not always that of another, any more than 
his humanity, truth, fidelity or faith. The spirit 
must quit its earthly tabernacle altogether, ere it 
cease to be influenced by its tints and imperfections. 



THE HUTTED KlNOLL. 



CHAPTER I. 

44 An acorn It ll from an old oak tree, 
And lay on the frosty ground 
*O, what shall the fate of the acorn be?* 
Was whispered all around 
Uy low-toned voices chiming sweet, 
Like a floweret s hell when swung 
And grasshop|)cr steeds were gathering fleet, 
And the beetle s hoofs up-rung." 

MRS. SEBA SMITH. 

THERE is a wide-spread error on the subject of American 
scenery. From the size of the lakes, the length and breadth 
of the rivers, the vast solitudes of the forests, and the seem 
ingly boundless expanse of the prairies, the world has 
come to attach to it an idea of grandeur; a word that is in 
nearly every case, misapplied. The scenery of that portion 
of the American continent which has fallen to the share of 
the Anglo-Saxon race, very seldom rises to a scale that 
merits this term ; when it does, it is more owing to the 
accessories, as in the case of the interminable woods, than 
co the natural face of the country. To him who is accus 
tomed to the terrific sublimity of the Alps, the softened and 
yet wild grandeur of the Italian lakes, or to the noble 
witchery of the shores of the Mediterranean, this country 
is apt to seem tame, and uninteresting as a whole ; though 
it certainly has exceptions that carry charms of this nature 
to the verge of loveliness. 

Of the latter character is the face of most of that region 
which lies in the angle formed by the junction of the Mo 
hawk with the Hudson, extending as far south, or even 
farther, than the line of Pennsylvania, and west to the verge 
of that vast rolling plain which composes Western New 
York. This is a region of more than ten thousand square 

(9) 



1Q ;TH;E; HUTTED KNOLL. 

miles of ^suirfac^, e-mbracing to-day, ten counties at least, 
a,nd. supporting a .rural population of near half a million of 
cbuls, exelueiiEg the river: towns. 

Afi who have 1 seeV this district of country, and who are 
familiar with the elements of charming, rather than grand 
scenery it possesses, are agreed in extolling its capabilities, 
and, in some instances, its realities. The want of high 
finish is common to everything of this sort in America ; and, 
perhaps we may add, that the absence of picturesqueness, 
as connected with the works of man, is a general defect ; 
still, this particular region, and all others resembling it for 
they abound on the wide surface of the twenty-six states- 
has beauties of its own, that it would be difficult to meet 
with in any of the older portions of the earth. 

They who have done us the honour to read our previous 
works, will at once understand that the district to which we 
allude, is that of .which we have taken more than one occa 
sion to write ; and we return to it now, less with a desire 
to celebrate its charms, than to exhibit them in a somewhat 
novel, and yet perfectly historical aspect. Our own earlier 
labours will have told the reader, that all of this extended 
district of country, with the exception of belts of settlements 
along the two great rivers named, was a wilderness, anterior 
to the American revolution. There was a minor class of 
exceptions to this general rule, however, to which it will 
be proper to advert, lest, by conceiving us too literally, the 
reader may think he can convict us of a contradiction. In 
order to be fully understood, the explanations shall be given 
at a little length. 

While it is true, then, that the mountainous region, which 
now contains the counties of Schoharie, Otsego, Chenango, 
Broome, Delaware, &c., was a wilderness in 1775, The 
colonial governors had begun to make grants of its lands, 
some twenty years earlier. The patent of the estate on 
which we are writing lies before us ; and it bears the date 
of 1769, with an Indian grant annexed, that is a year or 
two older. This may be taken as a mean date for the por 
tion of country alluded to ; some of the deeds being older, 
and others still more recent. These grants of land were 
originally made, subject to quit-rents to the crown; and 
usually on the payment of heavy fees to the colonial officers, 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 11 

after going through the somewhat supererogatory duty of 
"extinguishing the Indian title," as it was called. The 
latter were pretty eflbctually " extinguished" in that day, 
as well as in our own ; and it would be a matter of curious 
research to ascertain the precise nature of the purchase- 
money given to the aborigines. In the case of the patent 
before us, the Indian right was " extinguished" by means 
of a few rifles, blankets, kettles, and beads ; though the 
grant covers a nominal hundred thousand, and a real 
hundred and ten or twenty thousand acres of land. 

The abuse of the grants, as land became more valuable, 
induced a law, restricting the number of acres patented to 
any one person, at any one time, to a thousand. Our mo 
narchical predecessors had the same facilities, and it may 
be added, the same propensities, to rendering a law a dead 
letter, as belongs to our republican selves. The patent on 
our table, being for a nominal hundred thousand acres, con 
tains the names of one hundred different grantees, while 
three several parchment documents at its side, each signed 
by thirty-three of these very persons, vest the legal estate 
in the first named, for whose sole benefit the whole conces 
sion was made ; the dates of the last instruments succeeding, 
by one or two days, that of the royal patent itself. 

Such is the history of most of the original titles to the 
many estates that dotted the region we have described, 
prior to the revolution. Money and favouritism, however, 
were not always the motives of these large concessions. 
Occasionally, services presented their claims ; and many 
instances occur in which old officers of the army, in par 
ticular, received a species of reward, by a patent for land, 
the fees being duly paid, and the Indian title righteously 
"extinguished." These grants to ancient soldiers were 
seldom large, except in the cases of officers of rank ; three 
or four thousand well-selected acres, being a sufficient boon 
to the younger sons of Scottish lairds, or English squires, 
who had been accustomed to look upon a single farm as an 
estate. 

As most of the soldiers mentioned were used to forest 
life, from having been long stationed at frontier posts, and 
had thus become familiarized with its privations, and har 
dened against its dangers, it was no unusual thing for them 



12 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

to sell out, or go on half-pay, when the wants of a family 
began to urge their claims, and to retire to their " patents," 
as the land itself, as well as the instrument by which it was 
granted, was invariably termed, with a view of establishing 
themselves permanently as landlords. 

These grants from the crown, in the portions of the 
colony of New York that lie west of the river counties, 
were generally, if not invariably, simple concessions of the 
fee, subject to quit-rents to the king, ar.d reservations of 
mines of the precious metals, without any of the privileges 
of feudal seignory, as existed in the older manors on the 
Hudson, on the islands, and on the Sound. Why this dis 
tinction was made, it exceeds our power to say j but, that 
the fact was so, as a rule, we have it in proof, by means of 
a great number of the original patents, themselves, that 
have been transmitted to us from various sources. Still, 
the habits of " home" entailed the name, even where the 
thing was not to be found. Titular manors exist, in a few 
instances, to this day, where no manorial rights were ever 
granted ; and manor-houses were common appellations for 
the residences of the landlords of large estates, that were 
held in fee, without any exclusive privileges, and subject to 
the reservation named. Some of these manorial residences 
were of so primitive an appearance, as to induce the belief 
that the names were bestowed in pleasantry ; the dwellings 
themselves being of logs, with the bark still on them, and 
the other fixtures to correspond. Notwithstanding all these 
drawbacks, early impressions and rooted habits could easily 
transfer terms to such an abode ; and there was always a 
saddened enjoyment among these exiles, when they could 
liken their forest names and usages to those they had left 
in the distant scenes of their childhood. 

The effect of the different causes we have here given was 
to dot the region described, though at long intervals, with 
spots of a semi-civilized appearance, in the midst of the 
vast nay, almost boundless expanse of forest. Some of 
these early settlements had made considerable advances 
towards finish and comfort, ere the war of 76 drove their 
occupants to seek protection against the inroads of the 
savages ; and long after the influx of immigration which 
succeeded the peace, the fruits, the meadows, and the tjlle^ 



THE HUTTED KNOLL, 13 

fields of fnese oases in the desert, rendered them conspicuous 
amidst the blackened stumps, piled logs, and smooty fallows 
of an active and bustling settlement. At even a much later 
day, they were to be distinguished by the smoother surfaces 
of their fields, the greater growth and more bountiful yield 
of their orchards, and by the general appearance of a more 
finished civilization, and of greater age. Here and there, 
a hamlet had sprung up; and isolated places, like Cherry 
Valley and Wyoming, were found, that have since become 
known to the general history of the country. 

Our present tale now leads us to the description of one 
of those early, personal, or family settlements, that had 
grown up, in what was then a very remote part of the ter 
ritory in question, under the care and supervision of an 
ancient officer of the name of Willoughby. Captain Wil- 
lough by, after serving many years, had married an Ameri 
can wife, and continuing his services until a son and 
daughter were born, he sold his commission, procured a 
grant of land, and determined to retire to his new posses 
sions, in order to pass the close of his life in .the tranquil 
pursuits of agriculture, and in the bosom of his family. An 
adopted child was also added to his cares. Being an 
educated as well as a provident man, Captain Willoughby 
had set about the execution of this scheme with deliberation, 
prudence, and intelligence. On the frontiers, or lines, as it 
is the custom to term the American boundaries, he had 
1 ecome acquainted with a Tuscarora, known by the English 
sobriquet of " Saucy Nick." This fellow, a sort of half- 
outcast from his own people, had early attached himself to 
the whites, had acquired their language, and owing to a 
singular mixture of good and bad qualities, blended with 
groat native shrewdness, he had wormed himself into the 
confidence of several commanders of small garrisons, among 
whom was our captain. No sooner was the mind of the 
latter made up, concerning his future course, than he sent 
for Nick, who was then in the fort ; when the following 
convocation took place : 

" Nick," commenced the captain, passing his hand over 
his brow, as was his wont when in a reflecting mood; 
* Nick, I have an important movement in view, in which 
you can be of some service to me." 

VOL. I. 2 



14 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

The Tuscarora, fastening his dark basilisk-like eyes on the 
soldier, gazed a moment, as if to read his soul ; then he 
jerked a thumb backward, over his own shoulder, and said, 
with a grave smile 

" Nick understand. Want six, two, scalp off French 
man s head ; wife and child ; out yonder, over dere, up in 
Canada. Nick do him what you give ?" 

" No, you red rascal, I want nothing of the sort it is 
peace now, (this conversation took place in 1764), and you 
know I never bought a scalp, in time of war. Let me hear 
no more of this." 

" What you want, den ?" asked Nick, like one who was 
a good deal puzzled. 

" I want land good land little, but good. I am about 
to get a grant a patent " 

" Yes," interrupted Nick, nodding ; " I know him paper 
to take away Indian s hunting-ground." 

" Why, I have no wish to do that I am willing to pay 
the red men reasonably for their right, first." 

" Buy Nick s land, den better dan any oder." 

" Your land, knave ! You own no land belong to no 
tribe have no rights to sell." 

" What for ask Nick help, den ?" 

" What for ? Why because you know a good deal, 
though you own literally nothing. That s what for." 

" Buy Nick know, den. Better dan he great fader know, 
down at York." 

" That is just what I do wish to purchase. I will pay 
you well, Nick, if you will start to-morrow, with your rifle 
and a pocket-compass, off here towards the head-waters of 
the Susquehannah and Delaware, where the streams run 
rapidly, and where there are no fevers, and bring me an 
account of three or four thousand acres of rich bottom-land, 
in such a way as a surveyor can find it, and I can get a 
patent for it. What say you, Nick ; will you go?" 

" He not wanted. Nick sell e captain, his own land ; 
here in e fort." 

" Knave, do you not know me well enough not to trifle, 
when I am serious ?" 

" Nick ser ous too Moravian priest no ser ouser more 
dan Nick at dis moment. Got land to sell." 

Captain Willoughby had found occasion to punish the 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 15 



Tuscarora, in the course of his services ; and as the 
understood each other perfectly well, the former saw the 
improbability of the latter s daring to trifle with him. 

" U liere is this land of yours, Nick," he inquired, after 
studying the Indian s countenance for a moment. " Where 
does it lie, what is it like, how much is there of it, and how 
came you to own it ?" 

" Ask him just so, ag in," said Nick, taking up four 
twii^s, to note down the questions, seriatim. 

The captain repeated his inquiries, the Tuscarora laying 
down a stick at each separate interrogatory. 

" Where he be?" answered Nick, taking up a twig, as a 
memorandum. " He out dere where he want him where 
he say. One day s march from Susquchanna." 

" Well ; proceed." 

" What he like ? Like land, to be sure. T ink he like 
water ! Got some water no too much got some land 
got no tree got some tree. Got good sugar-bush got 
place for wheat and corn." 

" Proceed." 

"How much of him?" continued Nick, taking up another 
twig ; " much as he want want little, got him want more, 
got him. Want none at all, got none at all got what he 
want." 

" Go on." 

"To be sure. How came to own him? How a pale 
face come to own America? Discover him ha! Well, 
Nick discover land down yonder, up dere, over here." 

" Nick, what the devil do you mean by all this?" 

"No mean devil, at all moan land good land. 
Discover him know where he is catch beaver dere, 
three, two year. All Nick say, true as word of honour ; 
much more loo." 

" Do you mean it is an old beaver-dam destroyed ?" asked 
the captain, pricking up his ears; for he was too familiar 
with the woods, not to understand the value of such a thing. 

" No destroy stand up yet good as ever. Nick dere, 
last season." 

" Why, then, do you tell of it? Are not the beaver of 
more value to you, than any price you may receive for tho 
land ?" 

"Cotch him all, four, two year ago rest run away. 



16 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

No find beaver to stay long, when Indian once know, two 
time, where to set he trap. Beaver cunninger an pale 
face cunning as bear." 

" I begin to comprehend you, Nick. How large do you 
suppose this pond to be ?" 

" He m not as big as Lake Ontario. S pose him smaller; 
what den ? Big enough for farm." 

" Does it cover one or two hundred acres, think you ? 
Is it as large as the clearing around the fort?" 

" Big as two, six, four of him. Take forty skin, dere. 
one season. Little lake ; all e tree gone." 

"And the land around it is it mountainous and rough, 
or will it be good for corn ?" 

" All sugar-bush what you want better ? S pose you 
want corn ; plant him. S pose you want sugar ; make 
him." 

Captain Wi Hough by was struck with this description, and 
he returned to the subject, again and again. At length, 
after extracting all the information he could get from Nick, 
he struck a bargain with the fellow. A surveyor was 
engaged, and he started for the place, under the guidance 
of the Tuscarora. The result showed that Nick had not 
exaggerated. The pond was found, as he had described it 
to be, covering at least four hundred acres of low bottom 
land ; while near three thousand acres of higher river-flat, 
covered with beach and maple, spread around it for a con 
siderable distance. The adjacent mountains too, were ara 
ble, though bold, and promised, in time, to become a fertile 
and manageable district. Calculating his distances with 
judgment, the surveyor laid out his metes and bounds in 
such a manner as to include the pond, all the low-land, and 
about three thousand acres of hill, or mountain, making the 
materials for a very pretty little "patent" of somewhat 
more than six thousand acres of capital land. He then col 
lected a few chiefs of the nearest tribe, dealt out his rum, 
tobacco, blankets, wampum, and gunpowder, got twelve 
Indians to make their marks on a bit of deer-skin, and 
returned to his employer with a map, a field-book, and a 
deed, by which the Indian title was " extinguished." The 
surveyor received his compensation, and set-off on a similar 
excursion, for a different employer, and in another direction. 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 17 

Nick got his reward, too, and was well satisfied with tho 
transaction. This he afterwards called " sellin beaver 
when he all run away." 

Furnished with the necessary means, Captain Willoughby 
now " sued out his patent," as it was termed, in due form. 
Having some influence, the affair was soon arranged; the 
grant was made by the governor in council, a massive seal 
was annexed to a famous sheet of parchment, the signatures 
were obtained, and " Willoughby s Patent" took its place 
on the records of the colony, as well as on its maps. We 
are wrong as respects the latter particular ; it did not take 
its place, on the maps of the colony, though it took a place ; 
the location given for many years afterwards, being some 
forty or fifty miles too far west. In this peculiarity there 
was nothing novel, the surveys of all new regions being 
liable to similar trifling mistakes. Thus it was, that an 
estate, lying within five-and-twenty miles of the city of 
New York, and in which we happen to have a small interest 
at this hour, was clipped of its fair proportions, in conse 
quence of losing some miles that run over obtrusively into 
another colony ; and, within a short distance of the spot 
where we are writing, a " patent" has been squeezed entirely 
out of existence, between the claims of two older grants. 

No such calamity befell Willoughby s Patent," how- 
ever. The land was found, with all its " marked or blazed 
trees," its " heaps of stones," " large butternut corners," 
and " dead oaks." In a word, everything was as it should 
be ; even to the quality of the soil, the beaver-pond, and the 
quantity. As respects the last, the colony never gave 
"struck measure;" a thousand acres on paper, seldom 
falling short of eleven or twelve hundred in soil. In tho 
present instance, the six thousand two hundred and forty- 
six acres of " Willoughby s Patent," were subsequently 
ascertained to contain just seven thousand and ninety-two 
acres of solid ground. 

Our limits and plan will not permit us to give more than 
a sketch of the proceedings of the captain, in taking pos 
session ; though we feel certain that a minute account of 
the progress of such a settlement would possess a sort of 
Robinson Crusoe-like interest, that might repay the reader. 
As usual, the adventurers commenced their operations in 
2* 



18 THE HUTTED KNOLIi. 

the spring. Mrs. Willoughby, and the children, were left 
with their friends, in Albany ; while the captain and his 
party pioneered their way to the patent, in the best manner 
they could. This party consisted of Nick, who went in the 
capacity of hunter, an office of a good deal of dignity, and 
of the last importance, to a set of adventurers on an expedi 
tion of this nature. Then there were eight axe-men, a 
house-carpenter, a mason, and a mill-wright. These, with 
Captain Willoughby, and an invalid sergeant, of the name 
of Joyce, composed the party. 

Our adventurers made most of their journey by water. 
After finding their way to the head of the Canaideraga, mis 
taking it for the Otsego, they felled trees, hollowed them 
into canoes, embarked, and, aided by a yoke of oxen that 
were driven along the shore, they wormed their way, 
through the Oaks, into the Susquehanna, descending that 
river until they reached the Unadilla, which stream they 
ascended until they came to the small river, known in the 
parlance of the country, by the erroneous name of a creek, 
that ran through the captain s new estate. The labour of 
this ascent was exceedingly severe ; but the whole journey 
was completed by the end of April, and while the streams 
were high. Snow still lay in the woods ; but the sap had 
started, and the season was beginning to show its promise. 

The first measure adopted by our adventurers was to 
" hut." In the very centre of the pond, which, it will be 
remembered, covered four hundred acres, was an island of 
some five or six acres in extent. It was a rocky knoll, that 
rose forty feet above the surface of the water, and was still 
crowned with noble pines, a species of tree that had escaped 
the ravages of the beaver. In the pond, itself,, a few 
" stubs" alone remained, the water having killed the trees, 
which had fallen and decayed. This circumstance showed 
that the stream had long before been dammed ; successions 
of families of beavers having probably occupied the place, 
and renewed the works, for centuries, at intervals of genera 
tions. The dam in existence, however, was not very old ; 
the animals having fled from their great enemy, man, rather 
than from any other foe. 

To the island Captain Willoughby transferred all his 
stores, and here he built his hut. This was opposed to the 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 19 

notions of his axe-men, who, rightly enough, fancied tho 
mainland would be more convenient ; but the captain and 
the sergeant, after a council of war, divided that the position 
on the knoll would be the most military, and might bo 
defended the longest, against man or beast. Another station 
was taken up, however, on the nearest shore, where such 
of the men were permitted to "hut," as preferred the 
location. 

These preliminaries observed, the captain meditated a 
bold stroke against the wilderness, by draining the pond, 
and coming at once into the possession of a noble (arm, 
cleared of trees and stumps, as it might be by a coup de 
main. This would be compressing the results of ordinary 
years of toil, into those of a single season, and everybody 
\vas agreed as to the expediency of the course, provided it 
were feasible. 

The feasibility was soon ascertained. The stream which 
ran through the valley, was far from swift, until it reached 
a pass where the hills approached each other in low pro 
montories ; there the land fell rapidly away to what might 
be termed a lower terrace. Across this gorge, or defile, a 
distance of about five hundred feet, the dam had been 
thrown, a good deal aided by the position of some rocks 
that here rose to the surface, and through which the little 
river found its passage. The part which might be termed 
the key-stone of the dam, was only twenty yards wide, and 
immediately below it, the rocks fell away rapidly, quite 
sixty feet, carrying down the waste water in a sort of fall. 
Here the mill-Wright announced his determination to com 
mence operations at once, putting in a protest against 
destroying the works of the beavers. A pond of four 
hundred acres being too great a luxury for the region, the 
man was overruled, and the labour commenced. 

The first blow was struck against the dam about nine 
o clock, on the 2d day of May, 1765, and, by evening, the 
little sylvan-looking lake, which had lain embedded in the 
forest, glittering in the morning sun, unruffled by a breath 
of air, had entirely disappeared ! In its place, there re 
mained an open expanse of wet mud, thickly covered with 
pools and the remains of beaver-houses, with a small river 
winding its way slowly through the slime. The change to 



20 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

the eye was melancholy indeed ; though the prospect was 
cheering to the agriculturist. No sooner did the water 
obtain a little passage, than it began to clear the way for 
itself, gushing out in a torrent, through the pass already 
mentioned. 

The following morning, Captain Willoughby almost 
mourned over the works of his hands. The scene was so 
very different from that it had presented when the flats 
were covered with water, that it was impossible not to feel 
the change. For quite a month, it had an influence on the 
whole party. Nick, in particular, denounced it, as unwise 
and uncalled for, though he had made his price out of the 
very circumstance in prospective ; and even Sergeant Joyce 
was compelled to admit that the knoll, an island no longer, 
had lost quite half its security as a military position. The 
next month, however, brought other changes. Half the 
pools had vanished by drainings and evaporation ; the mud 
had begun to crack, and, in some places to pulverize ; while 
the upper margin of the old pond had become sufficiently 
firm to permit the oxen to walk over it, without miring. 
Fences of trees, brush, and even rails, enclosed, on this 
portion of the flats, quite fifty acres of land ; and Indian 
corn, oats, pumpkins, peas, potatoes, flax, and several other 
sorts of seed, were already in the ground. The spring 
proved dry, and the sun of the forty-third degree of latitude 
was doing its work, with great power and beneficence. 
What was of nearly equal importance, the age of the pond 
had prevented any recent accumulation of vegetable matter, 
and consequently spared tho se who laboured around the 
spot, the impurities of atmosphere usually consequent on 
its decay. Grass-seed, too, had been liberally scattered on 
favourable places, and things began to assume the appear 
ance of what is termed " living." 

August presented a still different picture. A saw-mill was 
up, and had been at work for some time. Piles of green 
boards began to make their appearance, and the plane of 
the carpenter was already in motion. Captain Willoughby 
was rich, in a small way ; in other words, he possessed a 
few thousand pounds besides his land, and had yet to re 
ceive the price of his commission. A portion of these means 
were employed judiciously to advance his establishment; 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 21 

and, satisfied that there would be no scarcity of fodder for 
the ensuing winter, a man had been sent into the settle 
ments for another yoke of cattle, and a couple of cows. 
Fanning utensils were manufactured on the spot, and sleds 
began to take the place of carts ; the latter exceeding the 
skill of any of the workmen present. 

October offered its products as a reward for all this toil. 
The yield was enormous, and of excellent quality. Of 
Indian corn, the captain gathered several hundred bushels, 
besides stacks of stalks and tops. His turnips, too, were 
superabundant in quantity, and of a delicacy and flavour 
entirely unknown to the precincts of old lands. The pota 
toes had not done so well ; to own the truth, they were a 
little watery, though there were enough of them to winter 
every hoof he had, of themselves. Then the peas and 
garden truck were both good and plenty ; and a few pigs 
having been procured, there was the certainty of enjoying 
a plenty of that important article, pork, during the coming 
winter. 

Late in the autumn, the captain rejoined his family in 
Albany, quitting the field for winter quarters. He left ser 
geant Joyce, in garrison, supported by Nick, a miller, the 
mason, carpenter, and three of the axe-men. Their duty 
was to prepare materials for the approaching season, to 
take care of the stock, to put in winter crops, to make a few 
bridges, clear out a road or two, haul wood to keep them 
selves from freezing, to build a log barn and some sheds, 
and otherwise to advance the interests of the settlement. 
They were also to commence a house for the patentee. 

As his children were at school, captain Willoughby de 
termined not to take his family immediately to the Hutted 
Knoll, as the place soon came to be called, from the cir 
cumstance of the original bivouack. This name was con 
ferred by sergeant Joyce, who had a taste in that way, and 
as it got to be confirmed by the condescension of the pro 
prietor and his family, we have chosen it to designate our 
present labours. From lime to time, a messenger arrived 
with news from the place ; and twice, in the course of the 
winter, the same individual went back with supplies, and 
encouraging messages to the different persons left in the 
clearing. As spring approached, however, the captain be- 



22 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

gan to make his preparations for the coming campaign, in 
which he was to be accompanied by his wife ; Mrs. Wil- 
loughby, a mild, affectionate, true-hearted New York wo 
man, having decided not to let her husband pass another 
summer in that solitude without feeling the cheering influ 
ence of her presence. 

In March, before the snow began to melt, several sleigh- 
loads of different necessaries were sent up the valley of the 
Mohawk, to a point opposite the head of the Otsego, where 
a thriving village called Fortplain now stands. Thence 
men were employed in transporting the articles, partly by 
means of " jumpers" improvised for the occasion, and partly 
on pack-horses, to the lake, which was found this time, in 
stead of its neighbour the Canaderaiga. This necessary 
and laborious service occupied six weeks, the captain having 
been up as far as the lake once himself; returning to Albany, 
however, ere the snow was gone. 



CHAPTER II. 

All things are new the buds, the leaves, 
That gild the elm-tree s nodding crest, 
And even the nest beneath the eaves 
There are no birds in last year s nest. 

LONGFELLOW. 

" I HAVE good news for you, Wilhelmina," cried the 
captain, coming into the parlour where his wife used to sit 
and knit or sew quite half the day, and speaking with a 
bright face, and in a cheerful voice " Here is a letter from 
my excellent old colonel ; and Bob s affair is all settled and 
agreed on. He is to leave school next week, and to put on 
His Majesty s livery the week after." 

Mrs. Willoughby smiled, and yet two or three tears fol 
lowed each other down her cheeks, even while she smiled. 
The first was produced by pleasure at hearing that her son 
had got an ensigncy in the 60th, or Royal Americans ; and 
the last was a tribute paid to nature ; a mother s fears at 
consigning an only boy to the profession of arms. 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 23 

"I am rejoiced, "U ilioughby," she said, "because you 
rejoice, and I know that Robert will be delighted at po 
ing tiie king s commission ; but, he is eery young to be sent 
into the dangers of battle and the camp !" 

k - I was younger, when I actually went into battle, for 
then it was war; now, we have a peace that promises to be 
endless, and Bob will have abundance of time to cultivate a 
beard before he smells gunpowder. As for myself" he 
added in a ha If- regretful manner, for old habits and opinions 
would occasionally cross his mind "as for myself, the 
cultivation of turnips must be my future occupation. Well, 
the bit of parchment is sold, Bob has got his in its place, 
while the difference in price is in my pocket, and no more 
need be said and here come our dear girls, Wilhclmina, 
to prevent any regrets. The father of two such daughters 
ought, at least, to be happy." 

At this instant, Beulah and Maud Willoughby, (for so 
the adopted child was called as well as the real), entered 
the room, having taken the lodgings of their parents, in a 
morning walk, on which they were regularly sent by the 
mistress of the boarding-school, in which they were receiving 
what was then thought to be a first-rate American female 
education. And much reason had their fond parents to be 
proud of them ! Beulah, the eldest, was just eleven, while 
her sister was eighteen months younger. The first had a 
staid, and yet a cheerful look ; but her cheeks were bloom 
ing, her eyes bright, and her smile sweet. Maud, the adopt 
ed one, however, had already the sunny countenance of an 
angel, with quite as much of the appearance of health as 
her sister ; her face had more finesse, her looks more intel 
ligence, her playfulness more feeling, her smile more ten 
derness, at times ; at others, more meaning. It is scarcely 
necessary to say that both had that delicacy of outline 
which seems almost inseparable from the female form in 
this country. What was, perhaps, more usual in that day 
among persons of their class than it is in our own, each 
spoke her own language with an even graceful utterance, 
and a faultless accuracy of pronunciation, equally removed 
from effort and provincialisms. As the Dutch was in very 
common use then, at Albany, and most females of Dutch 
origin had a slight touch of their mother tongue in their 



24 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

enunciation of English, this purity of dialect in the two girls 
was to be ascribed to the fact that their father was an Eng 
lishman by birth ; their mother an American of purely 
English origin, though named after a Dutch god-mother ; 
and the head of the school in which they had now been 
three years, was a native of London, and a lady by habits 
and education. 

" Now, Maud," cried the captain, after he had kissed the 
forehead, eyes and cheeks of his smiling little favourite 
" Now, Maud, I will set you to guess what good news I 
have for you and Beulah." 

" You and mother do n t mean to go to that bad Beaver 
.Manor this summer, as some call the ugly pond?" answered 
the child, quick as lightning. 

" That is kind of you, my darling ; more kind than pru 
dent ; but you are not right." 

" Try Beulah, now," interrupted the mother, who, while 
she too doted on her youngest child, had an increasing 
respect for the greater solidity and better judgment of her 
sister : " let us hear Beulah s guess." 

" It is something about my brother, I know by mother s 
eyes," answered the eldest girl, looking inquiringly into 
Mrs. Willoughby s face. 

" Oh ! yes," cried Maud, beginning to jump about the 
room, until she ended her saltations in her father s arms 
" Bob has got his commission ! I know it all well enough, 
now I would not thank you to tell me I know it all now 
dear Bob, how he will laugh ! and how happy I am !" 

" Is it so, mother ?" asked Beulah, anxiously, and without 
even a smile. 

" Maud is right ; Bob is an ensign or, will be one, in a 
day or two. You do not seem pleased, my child ?" 

" I wish Robert were not a soldier, mother. Now he will 
be always away, and we shall never see him ; then he may 
be obliged to fight, and who knows how unhappy it may 
make him ?" 

Beulah thought more of her brother than she did of her 
self; and, sooth to say, her mother had many of the child s 
misgivings. With Maud it was altogether different: she 
saw only the bright side of the picture ; Bob gay and bril 
liant, his face covered with smiles, his appearance admired, 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 25 

himself, and of course his sisters, happy. Captain Wil- 
. >\ sympathi/ -d altogether with his p-r. Accustomed 
li arms, h that a career in \\liidi he had partially 

iailed this he did not conceal from himself or his wile 
that this same career had opened, as he trusted, with better 
.1 his only son. He covered Maud with kisses, 
and then rushed from the house, finding his heart too full 
to run the risk of being unmanned in the presence of fe 
males. 

A week later, availing themselves of one of the last falls 
of snow of the season, captain Willoughby and his w; 
Albany for the Knoll. The leave-taking was tender, and 
to the parents bitter; though after all, it was known that 
little more than a hundred miles would separate them from 
their beloved daughters. Fifty of these miles, however, 
were absolutely wilderness ; and to achieve them, quite a 
hundred of tangled forest, or of difficult navigation, were 
to be passed. The communications would be at considera 
ble intervals, and difficult. Still they might be held, and 
the anxious mother left many injunctions with Mrs. Waring, 
the head of the school, in relation to the health of her daugh 
ters, and the manner in which she was to be sent for, in the 
1 of any serious illness. 

Mrs. Willoughby had often overcome, as she fancied, the 
difficulties of a wilderness, in the company of her husband. 
It is the fashion highly to extol Napoleon s passage of the 
Alps, simply in reference to its physical obstacles. There 
: was a brigade moved twenty-four hours into the Ame 
rican wilds, that had not greater embarrassments of this 
nature to overcome, unless in those eases in which favour 
able river navigation has offered its facilities. Still, time 
and necessity had made a sort of military ways to all the 
more important frontier points occupied by the British gar 
risons, and the experience of Mrs. Willoughby had not 
hitherto been of the severe character of that she was now 
compelled to undergo. 

The first fifty miles were passed over in a sleigh, in a 
few hours, and with little or no personal fatigue. This 
brought the travellers to a Dutch inn on the Mohawk, where 
the captain had often made his halts, and whither he had, 
from time to time, sent his advanced parties in the course 

VOL. I. 3 





26 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

of the winter and spring. Here a jumper was found pre 
pared to receive Mrs. Willoughby ; and the horse being led 
by the captain himself, a passage through the forest was 
effected as far as the head of the Otsego. The distance be 
ing about twelve miles, it required two days for its perform 
ance. As the settlements extended south from the Mohawk 
a few miles, the first night was passed in a log cabin, on 
the extreme verge of civilization, if civilization it could be 
called, and the remaining eight miles were got over in the 
course of the succeeding day. This was more than would 
probably have been achieved in the virgin forest, and under 
the circumstances, had not so many of the captain s people 
passed over the same ground, going and returning, thereby 
learning how to avoid the greatest difficulties of the route, 
and here and there constructing a rude bridge. They had 
also blazed the trees, shortening the road by pointing out 
its true direction. 

At the head of the Otsego, our adventurers were fairly in 
the wilderness. Huts had been built to receive the travel 
lers, and here the whole party assembled, in readiness to 
make a fresh start in company. It consisted of more than 
a dozen persons, in all ; the black domestics of the family 
being present, as well as several mechanics whom Captain 
Willoughby had employed to carry on his improvements. 
The men sent in advance had not. been idle, any more than 
those left at the Hutted Knoll. They had built three or 
four skiffs, one small batteau, and a couple of canoes. 
These were all in the water, in waiting for the disappearance 
of the ice ; which was now reduced to a mass of stalactites 
in form, greenish and sombre in hue, as they floated in a body, 
but clear and bright when separated and exposed to the sun. 
The south winds began to prevail, and the shore was glit 
tering with the fast-melting piles of the frozen fluid, though 
it would have been vain yet to attempt a passage through it. 

The Otsego is a sheet that we have taken more than one 
occasion to describe, and the picture it then presented, 
amidst its frame of mountains, will readily be imagined by 
most of our readers. In 1765, no sign of a settlement was 
visible on its shores ; few of the grants of land in that 
vicinity extending back so far. Still the spot began to be 
known ; and hunters had been in the habit of frequenting 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. ~7 

its bosom and its shores, for the last twenty years or more. 
Nut . of their presence, however, was to b- 

from the huts of the captain ; but Mrs. U illoughby assured 
her husband, as she stood leaning on his arm, the morning 
after her arrival, that never beiure had she gazed on so 
eloquent, and yd MJ pleasing a picture of solitude as that 
which lay spread before her * 

" There is something encouraging and soothing in this 

bland south wind, too," she added, " which seems to pr<>- 

iiai wr shall meet with a beneficent nature, in the 

spot to which we are going. The south airs of spring, to 

me arc always filled with promise." 

" And justly, love ; for they are the harbingers of a 

renewed vegetation. If the wind increase, as I think it 

may, we shall see this chilling sheet of ice succeeded by the 

mom cheerful view of water. It is in this way, that all 

:al;es open their bosoms in April." 

Captain \\ illoughby did not know it, while speaking, but, 
at that moment, quite two miles of tiie lower, or southern 
end of the lake, was clear, and the opening giving a sweep 
to the breeze, the latter was already driving the sheets of 
ice before it, towards the head, at a rate of quite a mile in 
the hour. Just then, an Irishman, named Michael O l ; 
who had recently arrived in America, and whom the cap 
tain had hired as a servant of all work, came rushing up to 
iiis master, and opened his teeming thoughts, with an 
earnestness of manner, and a confusion of rhetoric, that 
were equally characteristic of the man and of a portion of 
his nation. 

" Is it journeying south, or to the other end of this bit of 
wather, or ice, that yer honour is thinking of?" he cried. 
.1, and there ll be room for us all, and to spare ; lor 
divil a bir-r-d will be left in that quarter by night, or 
nent twelve o clock either, calculating by the clock, if one 
had such a thing ; as a body might say." 

his was said not only vehemently, but with an accent 
that defies imitation with the pen, Mrs. Willoughbv was 
quite at a loss to get a clue to the idea ; but, her husband, 
more accustomed to men of Mike s class, was sufliciently 
lucky to comprehend what li<- was at. 

" You mean the pigeons, Mike, I suppose," the captain 



28 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

answered, good-humouredly. " There are certainly a 
goodly number of them ; and I dare say our hunters will 
bring us in some, for dinner. It is a certain sign that the 
winter is gone, when birds and beasts follow their instincts, 
in this manner. Where are you from, Mike?" 

" County Leitrim, yer honour," answered the other, 
touching his cap. 

** Ay, that one may guess," said the captain, smiling , 
" but where last ?" 

" From looking at the bir-r-ds, sir ! Och ! It s a sight 
that will do madam good, and contains a sartainty there 11 
be room enough made for us, where all these cr atures came 
from. I m thinking, yer honour, if we don t ate them, 
they 11 be wanting to ate us. What a power of them, count 
ing big and little ; though they re all of a size, just as much 
as if they had flown through a hole made on purpose to 
kape them down to a convanient bigness, in body and 
feathers." 

" Such a flight of pigeons in Ireland, would make a sen 
sation, Mike," observed the captain, willing to amuse his 
wife, by drawing out the County Leitrim-man, a little. 

" It would make a dinner, yer honour, for every mother s 
son of em, counting the gur-r-rls, in the bargain ! Such a 
power of bir-r-ds, would knock down praties, in a wonder 
ful degree, and make even butthermilk chape and plenthiful. 
Will it be always such abundance with us, down at the 
Huts, yer honour ? or is this sight only a delusion to fill us 
with hopes that s never to be satisfied ?" 

" Pigeons are seldom wanting in this, country, Mike, in 
the spring and autumn ; though we have both birds and 
beasts, in plenty, that are preferable for food." 

" Will it be plentthier than this ? Well, it s enough to 
destroy human appetite, the sight of em ! I d give the 
half joe I lost among them blackguards in Albany, at their 
Pauss, as they calls it, jist to let my sisther s childer have 
their supper out of one of these flocks, such as they are, 
betther or no betther. Och ! its pleasant to think of them 
childer having their will, for once, on such a power of 
wild, savage bir-r-ds !" 

Captain Willoughby smiled at this proof of naivete in his 
new domestic, and then led his wife back to the hut ; it 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 29 

being time to make some fresh dispositions for the approach. 
ing movement. ly noon, u became apparent to those who 
were waiting such an event, that the lake was nooning; 
and, about the same time, one of the hunters came in from 
a neighbouring mountain, and reported that he had seen 
clear water, as near their position as three or four miles. 
J!y this time it was blowing fresh, and the wind, having a 
clear rake, drove up the honeycomb-looking sheet before it, 
as the scraper accumulates snow. When the sun set, the 
whole north shore was white with piles of glittering icicles; 
while the bosom of the Otsego, no longer disturbed by the 
wind, resembled a placid mirror. 

Karly on the following morning, the whole party em- 
b-.rked. There was no wind, and men were placed at the 
paddles and the oars. Care was taken, on quitting the 
hots, to close their doors and shutters ; for they were to be 
taverns to cover the heads of many a traveller, in the fre 
quent journeys that were likely to be made, between the 
Knoll and the settlements. These stations, then, were of 
the last importance, and a frontier-man always had the samo 
regard for them, that the mountaineer of the Alps has for 
his " refuge." 

The passage down the Otsego was the easiest and most 
agreeable portion of the whole journey. The day was 
pleasant, and the oarsmen vigorous, if not very skilful, ren 
dering the movement rapid, and sufficiently direct. JJut 
one drawback occurred to the prosperity of the voyage. 
Among the labourers hired by the captain, was a Connecti 
cut man, of the name of Joel Strides, between whom and tho 
County Leitrim-man, there had early commenced a warfare 
of tricks and petty annoyances ; a warfare that was per- 
frctly defensive on the part of O Hoarn, who did little more, 
in the way of retort, than comment on the long, lank, shape 
less figure, and meagre countenance of his enemy. Joel 
had not been seen to smile, since he engaged with the cap 
tain ; though three times had he lan-jln 1 *! oufriirht, and eaeh 
time at the occurrence of some mishap to MiHiae! ()* fleam, 
the fruit of one of his own schemes of annoyance. 

On the present occasion, Joel, who had the distribution 
of such duty, placed Mike in a skiff, by himself, flattering 
the poor fellow with the credit he would achieve, by rowing 
3* 



30 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

a boat to the foot of the lake, without assistance. lie might 
as well have asked Mike to walk to the outlet on the surface 
of the water ! This arrangement proceeded from an innate 
love of mischief in Joel, who had much of the quiet waggery, 
blended with many of the bad qualities of the men of his 
peculiar class. A narrow and conceited selfishness lay at 
the root of the larger portion of this man s faults. As a 
physical being, he was a perfect labour-saving machine, 
himself; bringing all the resources of a naturally quick and 
acute mind to bear on this one end, never doing anything 
that required a particle more than the exertion and strength 
that were absolutely necessary to effect his object. He 
rowed the skiff in which the captain and his wife had em 
barked, with his own hands ; and, previously to starting, 
he had selected the best sculls from the other boats, had 
fitted his tvvhart with the closest attention to his own ease, 
and had placed a stretcher for his feet, with an intelligence 
and knowledge of mechanics, that would have done credit 
to a Whitehall waterman. This much proceeded from the 
predominating principle of his nature, which was, always to 
have an eye on the interests of Joel Strides ; though the 
effect happened, in this instance, to be beneficial to those he 
served. 

Michael O Hearn, on the contrary, thought only of the 
end ; and this so intensely, not to so say vehemently, as 
generally to overlook the means. Frank, generous, self- 
devoted, and withal accustomed to get most things wrong- 
end-foremost, he usually threw away twice the same labour, 
in effecting a given purpose, that was expended by the 
Yankee ; doing the thing worse, too, besides losing twice 
the time. He never paused to think of this, however. 
The masther s boat was to be rowed to the other end of the 
lake, and, though he had never rowed a boat an inch in his 
life, he was ready and willing to undertake the job. " If a 
certain quantity of work will not do it," thought Mike, " I ll 
try as much ag in ; and the divil is in it, if that won t sarve 
the purpose of that little bit of a job." 

Under such circumstances the party started. Most of 
the skiffs and canoes went off half an hour before Mrs. 
Willoughby was ready, and Joel managed to keep Mike for 
the last, under the pretence of wishing his aid in loading his 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 31 

own boat, with the bod and bidding from the hut. All was 
ready, at length, and taking his scat, with a sort of quiet 
delilxM-ilion, Joel said, in his drawling way, " You ll follow 
.id ymi can t be a thousand miles out of the way." 
Th--n he ] Hilled from the shoiv with a quiet, steady stroke 
of the sculls, that sent the skiiF ahead with great rapidity, 
though with much ease to himself. 

Michael O l learn stood looking at the retiring skill , in 
silent admiration, for two or three minutes. He was quite 
alone ; for all the other boats were already two or throe 
miles on their way, and distance already prevented him 
from serini; the mischief that was lurking in Joel s hypo 
critical eyes. 

" Follow yees /" soliloquized Mike " The divil burn ye, 
for a guessing yankcc as ye ar how am I to follow with 
such legs as the likes of these ? If it was n t for the masther 
and the missus, ra al jontlemen and ladies they be, I d turn 
my back on ye, in the desert, and let ye find that Beaver 
estate, in ycr own disagreeable company. Ha! well, I 
must thry, and if the boat wont go, it 11 be no fault of the 
man that has a good disposition to make it." 

Mike now took his seat on a board that lay across tho 
gunwale of the skiff at a most inconvenient height, placed 
two sculls in the water, one of which was six inches longer 
than the other, made a desperate effort, and got his craft 
fairly afloat. Now, Michael O Hearn was not left-handed, 
and, as usually happens with such men, the inequality be- 
twi en the two limbs was quite marked. By a sinister acci 
dent, too, it happened that the longest oar got into tho 
strongest hand, and there it would have staid to the end of 
time, before Mike would think of changing it, on that ac 
count. Joel, alone, sat with his face towards the head of 
the lake, and he alone could see the dilemma in which the 
county Leitrim-man was placed. Neither the captain nor 
his wife thought of looking behind, and the yankcc had all 
the fun to himself. As for Mike, he succeeded in getting a 
few rods from the land, when the strong arm and the longer 
lever assorting their superiority, the skiff began to in-line; 
to the westward. So intense, however, was the poor fel 
low s zeal, that he did not discover the change in hiscourso 
until he had so far turned as to give him a glimpse of his 



32 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

retiring master ; then he inferred that all was right, and 
pulled more leisurely. The result was, that in about ten 
minutes, Mike was stopped by the land, the boat touching 
the north shore again, two or three rods from the very point 
whence it had started. The honest fellow got up, looked 
around him, scratched his head, gazed wistfully after the 
fast-receding boat of his master, and broke out in another 
soliloquy. 

" Bad luck to them that made ye, ye one-sided thing !" 
he said, shaking his head reproachfully at the skiff: "there s 
liberty for ye to do as ye ought, and ye 11 not be doing it, 
just out of contrairincss. Why the divil can t ye do like 
the other skiffs, and go where ye re wanted, on the road to 
wards thim beavers 1 Och, ye 11 be sorry for this, when 
ye re left behind, out of sight!" 

Then it flashed on Mike s mind that possibly some arti 
cle had been left in the hut, and the skiff had come back to 
look after it ; so, up he ran to the captain s deserted lodge, 
entered it, was lost to view for a minute, then came in sight 
again, scratching his head, and renewing his muttering 

" No," he said, " divil a thing can I see, and it must be 
pure conframness ! Perhaps the baste will behave betther 
next time, so I 11 thry it ag in, and give it an occasion. 
Barring obstinacy, t is as good-lookin a skiff as the best of 
them." 

Mike was as good as his word, and gave the skiff as fair 
an opportunity of behaving itself as was ever offered to a 
boat. Seven times did he quit the shore, and as often return 
to it, gradually working his way towards the western shore, 
and slightly down the lake. In this mariner, Mike at length 
got himself so far on the side of the lake, as to present a 
barrier of land to the evil disposition of his skiff to incline 
to the westward. It could go no longer in that direction, 
at least. 

" Divil burn ye," the honest fellow cried, the perspiration 
rolling down his face; "I think ye 11 be satisfied without 
walking out into the forest, where I wish ye war with all 
my heart, amang the threes that made ye ! Now, I 11 see 
if yer con^rairy enough to run up a hill." 

Mike next essayed to pull along the shore, in the hope 
that the sight of the land, and of the overhanging pines and 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 83 

hemlocks, would cure the boat s propensity to turn in that 
direction. It is not necessary to say that his expectations 
wt-iv disappointed, and lie finally was reduced to getting out 
into the water, cool as was tin- \\vnther, and of wading along 
tin: .shoiv, dragging the hoat alter him. All this Joel saw 
before he passed out of sight, hut no movement of his mus 
cles let the eaptain into the secret of the poor Irishman s 
strait. 

In the meanwhile, the rest of the flotilla, or brigade of 
boats, as the captain termed them, went prosperously on 
their way, going from one end of the lake to the other, in 
the course of three hours. As one of the party had been 
over the route several times already, there was no hesitation 
on the subject of the point to which the boats were to pro- 
ceed. They all touched the shore near the stone that is now 
called the " Otsego Rock," beneath a steep wooded bank, 
and quite near to the place where the Susquehannah glanced 
out of the lake, in a swift current, beneath a high-arched 
tracery of branches that were not yet clothed with leaves. 

Here the question was put as to what had become of 
Mike. His skiff was nowhere visible, and the captain felt 
the necessity of having him looked for, before he pro< 
any further. After a short consultation, a boat manned by 
two negroes, father and son, named Pliny the elder, and 
Pliny the younger, or, in common parlance, "old Plin" 
and " young Plin," was sent back along the west-shore to 
hunt him up. Of course, a hut was immediately prepared 
for the reception of Mrs. Willoughby, upon the plain that 
stretches across the valley, at this point. This was on the 
site of the present village of Cooperstown, but just twenty 
years anterior to the commencement of the pretty little shire 
town that now exists on the spot. 

It was night ere the two Plinics appeared towing Mike, 
as their great namesakes of antiquity mi^ht have brought 
in a Carthaginian galley, in triumph. The county Leitrim- 
man had made his way with excessive toil about a league 
ere he was met, and glad enough was he to see his succour 
approach. In that day, the strong antipathy which now 
exists between the black and the emigrant Irishman was 
unknown, the competition for household service commencing 
more than half a century later. Still, as the negro loved 



34 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

fun constitutionally, and Pliny the younger was somewhat 
of a wag, Mike did not entirely escape, scot-free. 

"Why you drag im like ox, Irish Mike?" cried the 
younger negro " why you no row im like other folk ?" 

" Ah you re as bad as the rest of em," growled Mike. 
" They tould me Ameriky was a mighty warm country, 
and war-r-m I find it, sure enough, though the wather isn t 
as warm as good whiskey. Come, ye black divils, and see 
if ye can coax this con^miry cr athure to do as a person 
wants." 

The negroes soon had Mike in tow, and then they went 
down the lake merrily, laughing and cracking their jokes, 
at the Irishman s expense, after the fashion of their race. 
It was fortunate for the Leitrim-man that he was accustom 
ed to ditching, though it may be questioned if the pores of 
his body closed again that day, so very effectually had they 
been opened. When he rejoined his master, not a syllable 
was said of the mishap, Joel having the prudence to keep 
his own secret, and even joining Mike in denouncing the 
bad qualities of the boat. We will only add here, that a 
little calculation entered into this trick, Joel perceiving that 
Mike was a favourite, and wishing to bring him into dis 
credit. 

Early the next morning, the captain sent the negroes and 
Mike down the Susquehannah a mile, to clear away some 
flood-wood, of which one of the hunters had brought in a 
report the preceding day. Two hours later, the boats left 
the shore, and began to float downward with the current, 
following the direction of a stream that has obtained its 
name from its sinuosities. 

In a few minutes the boats reached the flood-wood, where, 
to Joel s great amusement, Mike and the negroes, the latter 
having little more calculation than the former, had com 
menced their operations on the upper side of the raft, piling 
the logs on one another, with a view to make a passage 
through the centre. Of course, there was a halt, the females 
landing. Captain Willoughby now cast an eye round him 
in hesitation, when a knowing look from Joel caught his 
attention. 

" This does not seem to be right," he said " cannot we 
better it a little?" 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 35 

" It s right wrong, captain," answered Joel, laughing liko 
one who enjoyed other people s ignorance. " A sensible 
crittur would begin the work on such a job, at the lower 
side of the raft." 

" Take the direction, and order things to suit yourself." 

This was just what Joel liked. Head-work before all 
other work for him, and he set about the duty authorita 
tively and with promptitude. Ailer rating the negroes 
roundly for their stupidity, and laying it on Mike without 
much delicacy of thought or diction, over the shoulders of 
the two blacks, he mustered his forces, and began to clear 
the channel with intelligence and readiness. 

Going to the lower side of the jammed flood-wood, he 
soon succeeded in loosening one or two trees, which floated 
away, making room for others to follow. By these means 
a passage was effected in half an hour, Joel having the pru 
dence to set no more timber in motion than was necessary 
to his purpose, lest it might choke the stream below. In 
this manner the party got through, and, the river being high 
at that season, by night the travellers were half-way to the 
mouth of the Unadilla. The next evening they encamped 
at the junction of the two streams, making their prepara 
tions to ascend the latter the following morning. 

The toil of the ascent, however, did not commence, until 
the boats entered what was called the creek, or the small 
tributary of the Unadilla, on which the beavers had erected 
their works, and which ran through the " Manor." Here, 
indeed, the progress was slow and laborious, the rapidity 
of the current and the shallowness of the water rendering 
every foot gained a work of exertion and pain. Perseve 
rance and skill, notwithstanding, prevailed ; all the boats 
reaching the foot of the rapids, or straggling falls, on which 
the captain had built his mills, about an hour before the sun 
disappeared. Here, of course, the boats were left, a rude 
road having been cut, by means of which the freights were 
transported on a sledge the remainder of the distance. 
Throughout the whole of this trying day, Joel had not only 
worked head-work, but he had actually exerted himself 
with his body. As for Mike, never before had he male 
such desperate efforts. He felt all the disgrace of his ad 
venture on the lake, and was disposed to wipe it out by his 



36 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

exploits on the rivers. Thus Mike was ever loyal to his 
employer. He had sold his flesh and blood for money, and 
a man of his conscience was inclined to give a fair penny s- 
worth. The tractable manner in which the boat had floated 
down the river, it is true, caused him some surprise, as was 
shown in his remark to the younger Pliny, on landing. 

" This is a curious boat, afther all," said Pat. " One 
time it s all contrariness, and then ag in it s as obliging as 
one s own mother. It followed the day all s one like a 
puppy dog, while yon on the big wather there was no more 
dhrimng it than a hog. Och ! it s a faimale boat, by its 
whims !" 



CHAPTER III. 

" He sleeps forgetful of his once bright flame ; 
He has no feeling of the glory gone ; 
He has no eye to catch the mounting flame 
That once in transport drew him on ; 
He lies in dull oblivious dreams, nor cares 
Who the wreathed laurel bears." 

PERCIVAL. 

THE appearance of a place in which the remainder of 
one s life is to be past is always noted with interest on a 
first visit. Thus it was that Mrs. Willoughby had been 
observant and silent from the moment the captain informed 
her that they had passed the line of his estate, and were 
approaching the spot where they were to dwell. The stream 
was so small, and the girding of the forest so close, that 
there was little range for the sight ; but the anxious wife 
and mother could perceive that the hills drew together, at 
this point, the valley narrowing essentially, that rocks began 
to appear in the bed of the river, and that the growth of the 
timber indicated fertility and a generous soil. 

When the boat stopped, the little stream came brawling 
down a ragged declivity, and a mill, one so arranged as to 
grind and saw, both in a very small way, however, gave 
the first signs of civilization she had beheld since quitting 
the last hut near the Mohawk. After issuing a few orders, 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 37 

the captain drew his wife s arm through his own, and hur- 
ried up the ascent, with an eagerness that was almost 
boyish, to show her what had been done towards the im 
provement of the " Knoll." There is a pleasure in diving 
into a virgin forest and commencing the labours of civiliza 
tion, that has no exact parallel in any other human occu 
pation. That of building, or of laying out grounds, has 
certainly some resemblance to it, but it is a resemblance so 
faint and distant as scarcely to liken the enjoyment each 
produces. The former approaches nearer to the feeling of 
creating, and is far more pregnant with anticipations and 
hopes, though its first effects are seldom agreeable, and are 
sometimes nearly hideous. Our captain, however, had 
escaped most of these last consequences, by possessing the 
advantage of having a clearing 1 , without going through the 
usual processes of chopping and burning; the first of which 
leaves the earth dotted, for many years, with unsightly 
stumps, while the rains and snows do not wash out the hues 
of the last for several seasons. 

An exclamation betrayed the pleasure with which Mrs. 
Willoughby got her first glimpse of the drained pond. It 
was when she had clambered to the point of the rocks, 
where the stream began to tumble downward into the valley 
below. A year had done a vast deal for the place. The 
few stumps and stubs which had disfigured the basin when 
it was first laid bare, had all been drawn by oxen, and 
burned. This left the entire surface of the four hundred 
acres smooth and fit for the plough. The soil was the de 
posit of centuries, and the inclination, from the woods to 
the stream, was scarcely perceptible to the eye. In fact, it 
was barely sufficient to drain the drippings of the winter s 
snows. The form of the area was a little irregular; just 
enough so to be picturesque ; while the inequalities were 
surprisingly few and trifling. In a word, nature had formed 
just such a spot as delights the husbandman s heart, and 
placed it beneath a sun which, while its fierceness is relieved 
by winters of frost and snow, had a power to bring out all 
its latent resources. 

Trees had been felled around the whole area, with the 
open spaces filled by branches, in a way to form what is 
termed a brush fence. This is not a sightly object, and the 

VOL. I. 4 



38 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

captain had ordered the line to be drawn within the woods, 
so that the visible boundaries of the open land were the 
virgin forest itself. His men had protested against this, a 
fence, however unseemly, being in their view an indispen 
sable accessory to civilization. But the captain s authority, 
if not his better taste, prevailed ; and the boundary of felled 
trees and brush was completely concealed in the back 
ground of woods. As yet, there was no necessity for cross- 
fences, the whole open space lying in a single field. One 
hundred acres were in winter wheat. As this grain had 
been got in the previous autumn, it was now standing on 
the finest and driest of the soil, giving an air of rich fertility 
to the whole basin. Grass-seed had been sown along both 
banks of the stream, and its waters were quietly flowing 
between two wide belts of fresh verdure, the young plants 
having already started in that sheltered receptacle of the 
sun s rays. Other portions of the flat showed signs of im 
provement, the plough having actually been at work for 
quite a fortnight. 

All this was far more than even the captain had expected, 
and much more than his wife had dared to hope. Mrs. 
Willoughby had been accustomed to witness the slow pro 
gress of a new settlement ; but never before had she seen 
what might be done on a beaver-dam. To her all appeared 
like magic, and her first question would have been to ask 
her husband to explain what had been done with the trees 
and stumps, had not her future residence caught her eye. 
Captain Willoughby had left his orders concerning the 
house, previously to quitting the Knoll ; and he was now 
well pleased to perceive that they had been attended to. As 
this spot will prove the scene of many of the incidents we 
are bound to relate, it may be proper, here, to describe it, at 
some length. 

The hillock that rose out of the pond, in the form of a 
rocky little island, was one of those capricious formations 
that are often met with on the surface of the earth. It stood 
about thirty rods from the northern side of the area, very 
nearly central as to its eastern and western boundaries, and 
presented a slope inclining towards the south. Its greatest 
height was at its northern end, where it rose out of the rich 
alluvion of the soil, literally a rock of some forty feet in 



THE II UTTED KNOLL. 39 

perpendicular height, having a summit of about an acre of 
level hind, ami Hilling oll on its three sides ; to the east and 
west precipitously ; to the south quite gently and with rogu- 
lariiy. It was this accidental fbmiation which had induced 
tin- captain to select the spot as the site of his residence; 
for dwelling so far from any post, and in a place so difficult 
of access, something like military defences were merely 
precautions of ordinary prudence. While the pond remained, 
the i.-J.et was susceptible of being made very strong against 
any of the usual assaults of Indian warfare; and, now that 
the basin was drained, it had great advantages for the same 
purpose. The perpendicular rock to the north, even over 
hung the plain. It was almost inaccessible; while the 
formation on the other sides, offered singular facilities, both 
for a dwelling and for security. All this the captain, who 
was so familiar with the finesse of Indian stratagem, had 
resolved to improve in the following manner : 

In the first place, he directed the men to build a massive 
wall of stone, for a hundred and fifty feet in length, and six 
feet in height. This stretched in front of the perpendicular 
rock, with receding walls to its verge. The latter were 
about two hundred feet in length, each. This was enclosing 
an area of two hundred, by one hundred and fifty feet, 
within a blind wall of masonry. Through this wall there 
was only a single passage ; a gate-way, in the centre of its 
southern face. The materials had all been found on the 
hill itself, which was well covered with heavy stones. 
Within this wall, which was substantially laid, by a Scotch 
mason, one accustomed to the craft, the men had erected a 
building of massive, squared, pine timber, well secured by 
cross partitions. This building followed the wall in its 
whole extent, was just fifteen feet in elevation, without tho 
roof, and was composed, in part, by the wall itself; the 
latter forming nearly one-half its height, on the exterior. 
The breadth of this edifice was only twenty feet, clear of 
the stones and wood-work ; leaving a court within of about 
one hundred by one hundred and seventy-five feet in extent. 
The roof extended over the gateway even ; so that the spaco 
within was completely covered, the gates being closed. This 
much had been done during the preceding fall and winter ; 
the edifice presenting an appearance of rude completeness 



40 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

on the exterior. Still it had a sombre and goal-like air ,* 
there being nothing resembling a window visible ; no aper 
ture, indeed, on either of its outer faces, but the open gate 
way, of which the massive leaves were finished, and placed 
against the adjacent walls, but which were not yet hung. 
It is scarcely necessary to say, this house resembled bar 
racks, more than an ordinary dwelling. Mrs. Willoughby 
stood gazing at it, half in doubt whether to admire or to 
condemn, when a voice, within a few yards, suddenly drew 
her attention in another direction. 

" How you like him ?" asked Nick, who was seated on a 
stone, at the margin of the stream, washing his feet, after a 
long day s hunt. " No t ink him better dan beaver skin ? 
Cap in know all bout him ; now he give Nick some more 
last quit-rent ?" 

" Last, indeed, it will be, then, Nick ; for I have already 
paid you twice for your rights." 

" Discovery wort great deal, cap in see what great man 
he make pale-face." 

" Ay, but your discovery, Nick, is not of that sort." 

" What sort, den ?" demanded Nick, with the rapidity of 
lightning. " Give him back e beaver, if you no like he 
discovery. Grad to see em back, ag in ; skin higher price 
dan ever." 

Nick, you re a cormorant, if there ever was one in this 
world ! Here there is a dollar for you ; the quit-rent is 
paid for this year, at least. It ought to be for the last 
time." 

" Let him go for all summer, cap in. Yes, Nick won 
derful commerant ! no such eye he got, among Oneida !" 

Here the Tuscarora left the side of the stream, and came 
up on the rock, shaking hands, good-humouredly, with Mrs. 
Willoughby, who rather liked the knave ; though she knew 
him to possess most of the vices of his class. 

" He very han som beaver-dam," said Nick, sweeping his 
hand gracefully over the view ; " bye nd bye, he 11 bring 
potatoe, and corn, and cider all e squaw want. Cap in 
got e;ood fort, too. Old soldier love fort ; like to live in 
him." 

" The day may come, Nick, when that fort may serve us 
all a good turn, out here in the wilderness," Mrs. Willoughby 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 41 

observed, in a somewhat melancholy tone ; for her tender 
thoughts naturally turned towards her youthful and innocent 
daugjb 

Indian gazed at the house, with that fierce intentness 
which somet lilies glared, in a manner tliat had got to be, in its 
ordinary aspects, dull and besotted. There was a startling 
intelligence in his eye, at such moments ; the feelings of 
youth and earlier habit, once more asserting their power. 
Twenty years before, Nick had been foremost on the war 
path ; and what was scarcely less honourable, among the 
wise>t around the council-lire. He was born a chief, and 
had made himself an outcast from his tribe, more by the 
> of ungovernable passions, than from any act of base 
meam 

Cai/in tell Nick, now, what he mean by building such 
house, out here, among ole beaver bones ?" he said, sideling 
up nearer to his employer, and gazing with some curiosity 
into his face. 

" What do I mean, Nick? Why I mean to have a place 
of safety to put the heads of my wife and children in, at 
need. The road to Canada is not so long, but a red-skin 
can make one pair of moccasins go over it. Then, the 
( >!!< -idas and Mohawks are not all children of heaven." 

" No pale-face rogue, go about, I s pose?" said Nick, sar 
castically. 

" Yes, there are men of that class, who are none the 
worse for being locked out of one s house, at times. But, 
what do you think of the hut ? You know I call the place 
the * Hut, the Hutted Knoll." 

" lie hole plenty of beaver, if you cotch him ! But no 
water left, and he all go away. Why you make him stone, 
first; den you make him wood, a ter ; eh] Plenty rock; 
plenty tree." 

" Why, the stone wall can neither be cut away, nor set 
fire to, Nick; that s the reason. I took as much stone as 
was necessary, and then used wood, which is more easily 
worked, and which is also drier." 

" Good Nick t ought just dat. How you get him water 
if Injen come?" 

" There s the stream, that winds round the foot of tho 
4* 



42 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

hill, Nick, as you see ; and then there is a delicious spring, 
within one hundred yards of the very gate." 

"Which side of him?" asked Nick, with his startling 
rapidity. 

" Why, here, to the left of the gate, and a little to the 
right of the large stone " 

No no," interrupted the Indian, " no left no right 
which side inside gate ; outside gate ?" 

" Oh ! the spring is outside the gate, certainly ; but 
means might be found to make a covered way to it ; and 
then the stream winds round directly underneath the rocks, 
behind the house, and water could be raised from that, by 
means of a rope. Our rifles would count for something, 
too, in drawing water, as well as in drawing blood." 

" Good. Rifle got long arm. He talk so, Ingin mind 
him. When you t ink red-skin come ag in your fort, cap- 
in, now you got him done ?" 

" A long time first, I hope, Nick. We are at peace with 
France, again ; and I see no prospect of any new quarrel, 
very soon. So long as the French and English are at 
peace, the red men will not dare to touch either." 

" Dat true as missionary ! What a soldier do, cap in, 
if so much peace ? Warrior love a war-path." 

" I wish it were not so, Nick. But my hatchet is buried, 
I hope, for ever." 

" Nick hope cap in know where to find him, if he want 
to ? Very bad to put anyt ing where he forget ; partic larly 
tomahawk. Sometime quarrel come, like rain, when you 
don t tink." 

" Yes, that also cannot be denied. Yet, I fear the next 
quarrel will be among ourselves, Nick. The government 
at home, and the people of the colonies, are getting to have 
bad blood between them." 

" Dat very queer ! Why pale-face mo der and pale-face 
darter no love one anoder, like red-skin ?" 

" Really, Nick, you are somewhat interrogating this 
evening; but, my squaw must be a little desirous of seeing 
the inside of her house, as well as its outside, and I must 
refer you to that honest fellow, yonder, for an answer. His 
name is Mike ; I hope he and you will always be good 

f\ i * * 

friends. 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 43 

So p.-iyinjz, the captain nodded in a friendly manner, and 
led Mrs. Willoughby towards the liut, taking a loot-path 
(hat \\as already trodden lirin, and which followed the 
sinuosities of the stream, to which it served as a sort of a 
dyke. Nick took the captain at his word, and turning 
about he met the county Leitrim-mun, with an air of great 
blandm-ss, thrusting out a hand, in the pale-face fashion, as 
a sign of amity, sayinir, at the same time 

" How do, Mike? Sago Sago grad you come good 
fellow to drink Santa Cruz, wid Nick." 

"How do, Mike!" exclaimed the other, looking at tho 
irora with astonishment, for this was positively the first 
red man the Irishman had ever seen. " How do Mike ! 
Ould Nick be ye? well ye look pretty much as I ex 
pected to see you pray, how did ye come to know my 
name ?" 

" Nick know him know every t ing. Grad to see you, 
Mike hope we live together like good friend, down yon 
der, up here, over dere." 

" Ye do, do ye ! Divil burn me, now, if I want any sich 
company. Ould Nick s yer name, is it?" 

"Old Nick young Nick saucy Nick; all one, all 
to thcr. Make no odd what you call ; I come." 

" Och, yer a handy one ! Divil trust ye, but ye 11 como 
when you arn t wanted, or yer not of yer father s own 
family. D ye live hereabouts, masthcr Ould Nick ?" 

" Live here out yonder in he hut, in he wood where 
he want. Make no difference to Nick." 

Michael now drew back a pace or two, keeping his eyes 
,ed on the other intently, for he actually expected to 
see some prodigious and sudden change in his apjx?arance. 
When he thought he had got a good position for manly de 
fence or rapid retreat, as either might become necessary, 
the county Leitrim-man put on a bolder front and resumed 
the discourse. 

"If it s so indifferent to yc where ye dwell," asked 
Mike, " why can t you keep at home, and let a body carry 
these cloaks and bundles of the missuses, out yonder to the 
house wither she s gon< . " 

" Nick help carry em. Carry t ing for dat squaw hun 
dred time." 



44 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

" That what ! D ye mane Madam Willoughby by yer 
blackguard name?" 

" Yes ; cap in wife cap in squaw, mean him. Carry 
bundle, basket, hundred time for him." 

" The Lord preserve me, now, from sich atrocity and 
impudence !" laying down the cloaks and bundles, and 
facing the Indian, with an appearance of great indignation 
" Did a body ever hear sich a liar ! Why, Misther Quid 
Nick, Madam Willoughby wouldn t let the likes of ye 
touch the ind of her garments. You would n t get the 
liberty to walk in the same path with her, much less to 
carry her bundles. I 11 answer for it, ye re a great liar, 
now, ould Nick, in the bottom of your heari." 

" Nick great liar," answered the Indian, good-naturedly; 
for he so well knew this was his common reputation, that 
he saw no use in denying it. "What of dat? Lie good 
sometime." 

" That s another ! Oh, ye animal ; I ve a great mind to 
set upon ye at once, and see what an honest man can do 
wid ye, in fair fight ! If I only knew what ye d got about 
yer toes, now, under them fine-looking things ye wear for 
shoes, once, I d taich ye to talk of the missus, in this 
style." 

" Speak as well as he know how. Nick never been to 
school. Call e squaw, good squaw. What want more ?" 

" Get out ! If ye come a foot nearer, I 11 be at ye, like 
a dog upon a bull, though ye gore me. What brought ye 
into this paiceful sittlement, where nothing but virtue and 
honesty have taken up their abode ?" 

What more Mike might have said is not known, as Nick 
caught a sign from the captain, and went loping across the 
flat, at his customary gait, leaving the Irishman standing 
on the defensive, and, to own the truth, not sorry to be rid 
of him. Unfortunately for the immediate enlightenment of 
Mike s mind, Joel overheard the dialogue, and compre 
hending its meaning, with his native readiness, he joined 
his companion in a mood but little disposed to clear up the 
error. 

" Did ye see that crathure ?" asked Mike, with em 
phasis. 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 45 

" Sartain he is often seen hero, at tho Hut. He may bo 
said to lis: here, halt his time." 

" A pritty hut, then, ye must have of it ! Why do ye 
tolerate the vagabond ? He s not lit for Christian society." 

"Oh! hi; s good company, sometimes, Alike. When 
you know him better, you 11 like him better. Come ; up 
with the bundles, and let us follow. The captain is looking 
after us, as you 

" Well may he look, to see us in sich company ! Will 
he har-r-m the missus?" 

" Not he. I tell you, you 11 like him yourself when you 
come to know him." 

" If I do, burn me! Why, he says himself, that he s 
Ould Nick, and I m sure I never fancied the crathure but 
it was in just some such for-r-m. Och ! he s ill-looking 
enough, for twenty Ould Nicks." 

Lest the reader get an exaggerated notion of Michael s 
credulity, it may be well to say that Nick had painted a 
few days before, in a fit of caprice, and that one-half of his 
face was black, and the other a deep red, while each of his 
ryes was surrounded with a circle of white, all of which 
had got to be a little confused in consequence of a night or 
two of orgies, succeeded by mornings in which the toilet 
had been altogether neglected. His dress, too, a blanket 
with tawdry red and yellow trimmings, with ornamented 
Ironings and moccasins to correspond, had all aided in 
maintaining the accidental mystification. Mike followed 
his companion, growling out his discontent, and watching 
the form of the Indian, as the laftor sfill went loping over 
the flat, having passed the captain, with a message to tho 
bnrns. 

" I 11 warrant yo, now, the captain wouldn t tolerate 
such a crathure, but he s sent him off to the woods, as ye 
may sre, like a divil, as he is ! To think of such a thing s 
ppakcing to the missus! Will I fight him? That will I, 
rather than he ll say an uncivil word to the likes of her! 
He s claws they tell me, though he kapes them so well co 
vered in his fine brogues; divil burn me, but I d grapple 
him by the toes." 

Joel now saw how deep was Michael s delusion, and 
knowing it must soon be over, he determined to make a 



46 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

merit of necessity, by letting his friend into the truth, there 
by creating a confidence that would open the way to a 
hundred future mischievous scenes. 

" Claws !" he repeated, with an air of surprise " And 
why do you think an Injin has claws, Mike ?" 

" An Injin ! D ye call that miscoloured crathure an Injin, 
Joel. Isn t it one of yer yankee divilsl" 

" Out upon you, for an Irish ninny. Do you think the 
captain would board a devil ! The fellow s a Tuscarora, 
and is as well known here as the owner of the Hut himself. 
It s Saucy Nick." 

" Yes, saucy Ould Nick I had it from his very mout , 
and even the divil would hardly be such a blackguard as to 
lie about his own name. Och ! he s a roarer, sure enough ; 
and then for the tusks you mintion, I didn t see em, with 
my eyes ; but the crathure has a mouth that might hould a 
basket-full." 

Joel now perceived that he must go more seriously to 
work to undeceive his companion. Mike honestly believed 
he had met an American devil, and it required no little ar 
gumentation to persuade him of the contrary. We shall 
leave Joel employed in this difficult task, in which he finally 
succeeded, and follow the captain and his wife to the hut. 

The lord and lady of the manor examined everything 
around their future residence, with curious eyes. Jamie 
Allen, the Scotch mason mentioned, was standing in front 
of the house, to hear what might be said of his wall, while 
two or three other mechanics betrayed some such agitation 
as the tyro in literature manifests, ere he learns what the 
critics have said of his first work. The exterior gave great 
satisfaction to the captain. The wall was not only solid 
and secure, but it was really handsome. This was in some 
measure owing to the quality of the stones, but quite as 
much to Jamie s dexterity in using them. The wall and 
chimneys, of the latter of which there were no less than 
six, were all laid in lime, too ; it having been found neces 
sary to burn some of the material to plaster the interior. 
Then the gates were massive, being framed in oak, filled 
in with four-inch plank, and might have resisted a very 
formidable assault. Their strong iron hinges were all 
in their places, but the heavy job of hanging had been de- 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 47 

ferred to a leisure moment, when all the strength of the 
manor might be collected for that purpose. There they 
stood, inclining against tin: wall, one on each side of the 
gate- way, like indolent sentinels on post, who felt too secure 
1 miu attack to raise their eyes. 

The dillerent mechanics crowded round the captain, each 
eager to show his own portion of what had been done. The 
winter had not been wasted, but, proper materials bein<j in 
abundance, and on the spot, captain Willoughby had every 
reason to be satisfied with what he got tor his money. 
Completely shut out from the rest of the world, the men had 
worked cheerfully and with little interruption ; for their la 
bours composed their recreation. Mrs. Willoughby ilund the 
part of the building her family was to occupy, with the usual 
offices, done and furnished. * This comprised all the front 
on the eastern side of the gate-way, and most of the wing, 
in the same half, extending back to the cliff. It is true, the 
finish was plain ; but everything was comfortable. The 
ceilings were only ten feet high certainly, but it was thought 
prodigious in the colony in that day ; and then the plaster 
ing of Jamie was by no means as unexceptionable as his 
stone-work ; still every room had its two coats, and white 
wash gave them a clean and healthful aspect. The end of 
the wing that came next the cliff was a laundry, and a pump 
was fitted, by means of which water was raised from the 
rivulet. Next came the kitchen, a spacious and comfortable 
room of thirty by twenty feet ; an upper-servant s apartment 
succeeded ; after which were the bed-rooms of the family, 
a large parlour, and a library, or office, for the captain. As 
the entire range, on this particular side of the house, extend 
ed near or quite two hundred and fifty feet, there was no 
want of space or accommodation. 

The opposite, or western half of the edifice, was devoted 
to more homely uses. It contained an eating-room and 
divers sleeping-rooms far the domestics and labourers, be- 
sides store-rooms, garners, and omnium gathcrums of all 
sorts. The vast ranges of garrets, too, answered for various 
purposes of household and farming economy. All the win 
dows, and sundry doors, opened into the court, while the 
whole of the exterior wall, both wooden and stone, presented 
a perfect blank, in the way of outlets. It was the captain s 



48 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

intention, however, to cut divers loops through the logs, at 
some convenient moment, so that men stationed in the gar 
rets might command the different faces of the structure with 
their musketry. But, like the gates, these means of defence 
were laid aside for a more favourable opportunity. 

Our excellent matron was delighted with her domestic 
arrangements. They much surpassed any of the various 
barracks in which she had dwelt, and a smile of happiness 
beamed on her handsome face, as she followed her husband 
from room to room, listening to his explanations. When 
they entered their private apartments, and these were fur 
nished and ready to receive them, respect caused the rest 
to leave them by themselves, and once more they found that 
they were atone. 

" Well, Wilhelmina," asked the gratified husband grati 
fied, because he saw pleasure beaming in the mild counte 
nance and serene blue eyes of one of the best wives living 
" Well, Wilhelmina," he asked, " can you give up Albany, 
and all the comforts of your friends dwellings, to be satis 
fied in a home like this? It is not probable I shall ever 
build again, whatever Bob may do, when ke comes after 
me. This structure, then, part house, part barrack, part 
fort, as it is, must be our residence for the remainder of our 
days. We are hutted for life." 

" It is all-sufficient, Willoughby. It has space, comfort, 
warmth, coolness and security. What more can a wife and 
a mother ask, when she is surrounded by those she most 
loves 1 Only attend to the security, Hugh. Remember how 
far we are removed from any succour, and how sudden and 
fierce the Indians are in their attacks. Twice have we, 
ourselves, been near being destroyed by surprises, from 
which accident, or God s providence, protected us, rather 
than our own vigilance. If this could happen in garrisons, 
and with king s troops around us, how much more easily 
might it happen here, with only common labourers to watch 
what is going on !" 

" You exaggerate the danger, wife. There are no Indians, 
in this part of the country, who would dare to molest a set 
tlement like ours. We count thirteen able-bodied men in 
all, besides seven women, and could use seventeen or eigh 
teen muskets and rifles on an emergency. No tribe would 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 49 

dare commence hostilities, in a time of general peace, and 
so near the settlements too ; and, as to stragglers, who 
might indt -(. (.I immK-r to rob, we arc so strong, ourselves, 
that we may sleep in peace, so far as they are concerned." 

* One never knows that, dearest Hugh. A marauding 
party of half-a-dozen might prove too much for many times 
their own number, when unprepared. I do hope you will 
have the gates hung, at least ; should the girls come here, 
in the autumn, I could not sleep without hanging the guu-s. 

" Fear nothing, love," said the captain, kissing his wife, 
with manly tenderness. " As for Beulah and Maud, let them 
come when they please; we shall always have a welcome 
for them, and no place can be safer than under their father s 
eyes." 

" I care not so much for myself, Hugh, but do not let the 
gates be forgotten until the girls come." 

" Everything shall be done as you desire, wife of mine, 
though it will be a hard job to get two such confounded 
heavy loads of wood on their hinges. We must take some 
day when everybody is at home, and everybody willing to 
work. Saturday next, I intend to have a review ; and, once 
a month, the year round, there will be a muster, when all 
the arms are to be cleaned and loaded, and orders given 
how to act in case of an alarm. An old soldier would be 
disgraced to allow himself to be run down by mere vaga 
bonds. My pride is concerned, and you may sleep in 
peace." 

" Yes, rfo, dearest Hugh." Then the matron proceeded 
through the rooms, expressing her satisfaction at the care- 
which had been had for her comfort, in her own rooms in 
particular. 

Sooth to say, the interior of the Hut presented that odd 
contrast between civilization and rude expedients, which so 
frequently occurs on an American frontier, where persons 
educated in refinement often find themselves brought in closo 
collision with savage life. Carpets, in America, and in the 
year of our Lord 1765, were not quite as much a matter of 
course in domestic economy, as they are to-day. Still they 
were to be found, though it was rare, indeed, that they cover 
ed more than the centre of the room. One of these great 
essentials, without which no place can appear comfortable 
VOL. 1. 5. 



50 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

in a cold climate, was spread on the floor of Mrs. Willough- 
by s parlour a room that served for both eating and as g 
sala, the Knight s Hall of the Hut, measuring twenty by 
twenty-four feet though in fact this carpet concealed exactly 
two-thirds of the white clean plank. Then the chairs were 
massive and even rich, while one might see his face in the 
dark mahogany of the tables. There were cellarets the 
captain being a connoisseur in wines bureaus, secretaries, 
beaufets, and other similar articles, that had been collected 
in the course of twenty years housekeeping, and scattered 
at different posts, were collected, and brought hither by 
means of sledges, and the facilities of the water-courses. 
Fashion had little to do with furniture, in that simple age, 
when the son did not hesitate to wear even the clothes of 
the father, years and years after the tailor had taken leave 
of them. Massive old furniture, in particular, lasted for 
generations, and our matron now saw many articles that 
had belonged to her grandfather assembled beneath the first 
roof that she could ever strictly call her own. 

Mrs. Willoughby took a survey of the offices last. Here 
she found, already established, the two Plinies, with Man , 
the sister of the elder Pliny, Bess, the wife of the younger, 
and Mony alias Desdemona a collateral of the race, by 
ties and affinities that garter-king-at-arms could not have 
traced genealogically ; since he would have been puzzled 
to say whether the woman was the cousin, or aunt, or step 
daughter of MaH , or all three. All the women were hard 
at work, Bess singing in a voice that reached the adjoining 
forest. Marz this name was pronounced with a strong 
emphasis on the last syllable, or like Maria, without the 
final vowel Mari was the head of the kitchen, even Pliny 
the elder standing in salutary dread of her authority ; and 
her orders to her brother and nephew were pouring forth, 
in an English that was divided into three categories ; the 
Anglo-Saxon, the Low Dutch, and the Guinea dialect ; a 
medley that rendered her discourse a droll assemblage of 
the vulgar and the classical. 

" Here, niggers," she cried, " why you don t jump about 
like Paus dance? Ebbery t ing want a hand, and some 
want a foot. Plate to wash, crockery to open, water to 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 51 

Vile, dcm knife to clean, and nol ing missed. Lord, here s 
a niruiain, and o whole kitchen in a dill usion." 

" Well, Mart ," exclaimed the captain, good-naturedly, 
* here you are, scolding away as if you had been in the 
place these six months, and knew all its faults and weak- 



"Can t help a scold, master, in sich a time as dis 
come away from dem plates, you Great Smash, and let a 
proper hand take hold on em." 

Here we ought to say, that captain Willoughhy had chris 
tened Bess by the sobriquet of Great Smash, on account of 
her size, which fell little short of two hundred, estimated in 
pounds, and a certain facility she possessed in destroying 
crockery, while Mony went by the milder appellation of 
" Little Smash ;" not that bowls or plates fared any better 
in her hands, but because she weighed only one hundred 
and eighty. 

" Dis is what I tell em, master," continued Mari , in a re 
monstrating, argumentative sort of a tone, with dogmatism 
and respect singularly mingled in her manner "Dis, 
massa, just what I tell em all. I tell em, says I, this is 
Hunter Knoll, and not All&owny here no store no place 
to buy t ing if you break em ; no good woman who know 
ebbery t ing, to tell you where to find t ing, if you lose him. 
If dere was only good woman, dat somet ing ; but no fortun - 
teller out here in de bushes no, no when a silber spoon 
go, here, he go for good and all Goody, massy" staring 
at something in the court " what he call dat, sa ?" 

" That oh ! that is only an Indian hunter I keep about 
me, to bring us game you 11 never have an empty spit, 
Mart , as long as he is with us. Fear nothing ; he will not 
harm you. His name is Nick." 

"De O/eNick, m:. 

" No, only Saucy Nick. The fellow is a little slovenly 
to-day in his appearance, and you see he has brought already 
several partridges, besides a rabbit. We shall have venison, 
in the season." 

Here nil tho negroes, after staring at Nick, quite a min 
ute, set up a loud shout, laughing as if the Tuscarora had 
been created for their special amusement. Although the 
captain was somewhat of a martinet in his domestic disci- 



52 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

pline, it had ever altogether exceeded his authority, or hi3 
art, to prevent these bursts of merriment ; and he led his 
wife away from the din, leaving Mari , Great Smash, and 
Little Smash, with the two Plinies, in ecstasies at their own 
uproar. Burst succeeded burst, until the Indian walked 
away, in offended dignity. 

Such was the commencement of the domestication of the 
Willoughbys at the Hutted Knoll. The plan of our tale 
does not require us to follow them minutely for the few 
succeeding years, though some further explanation may be 
necessary to show why this settlement varied a little from 
the ordinary course. 

That very season, or, in the summer of 1765, Mrs. Wil- 
loughby inherited some real estate in Albany, by the death 
of an uncle, as well as a few thousand pounds currency, in 
ready money. This addition to his fortune made the cap 
tain exceedingly comfortable ; or, for that day, rich ; and it 
left him to act his pleasure as related to his lands. Situated 
as these last were, so remote from other settlements as to 
render highways, for some time, hopeless, he saw no use in 
endeavouring to anticipate the natural order of things. It 
would only create embarrassment to raise produce that 
could not be sent to market ; and he well knew that a popu 
lation of any amount could not exist, in quiet, without the 
usual attendants of buying and selling. Then it suited his 
own taste to be the commander-in-chief of an isolated esta 
blishment like this ; and he was content to live in abundance, 
on his flats, feeding his people, his cattle, and even his hogs 
to satiety, and having wherewithal to send away the occa 
sional adventurer, who entered his clearing, contented and 
happy. 

Thus it was that he neither sold nor leased. No person 
dwelt on his land who was not a direct dependant, or hire 
ling, and all that the earth yielded he could call his own. 
Nothing was sent abroad for sale but cattle. Every year, 
a small drove of fat beeves and milch cows found their way 
through the forest to Albany, and the proceeds returned in 
the shape of foreign supplies. The rents, and the interests 
on bonds, were left to accumulate, or were applied to aid 
Robert in obtaining a new step in the army. Lands began 
to be granted nearer and nearer to his own, and here and 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 53 

there some old officer like himself, or a solitary farmer, be 
gan to cut away the wilderness; but none in his immediate 
vicinity. 

Still" the captain did not live altogether as a hermit. He 
veiled Edmcston of Mount Edmeston, a neighbour Irs; 
than fitly miles distant; was occasionally seen at Johnson 
Hall, with Sir William; or at the bachelor establishment 
of Sir John, on the Mohawk ; and once or twice he so fur 
overcame his indolence, as to consent to serve as a memh -r 
for a new county, that was called Tryon, after a ruling 
governor. 



CHAPTER IV. 

. 

Hail ! sober evening ! Thee the harass d brain 
And aching heart with fond orisons greet; 
The respite thou of toil; the balm of pain ; 
To thoughtful mind the hour for musing meet : 
Tis then the sage from forth his lone retreat, 
The rolling universe around espies; 
Tis then the bard may hold communion sweet 
With lovely shapes unkcnncd by grosser eyes, 
And quick perception comes of finer mysteries. 

SANDS. 

IN the preceding chapter we closed the minuter narrative 
with a scene at the Hut, in the spring of 1765. We must 
now advance the time just ten years, opening, anew, in the 
month of May, 1775. This, it is scarcely necessary to tell 
the reader, is bringing him at once up to the earliest days 
of the revolution. The contest which preceded that great 
event had in fact occurred in the intervening time, and wo 
are now about to plunge into the current of some of the 
minor incidents of the struggle itself. 

Ten years are a century in the history of a perfectly now 
settlement. The changes they produce are even surprising, 
though in ordinary cases they do not suffice to erase the 
signs of a recent origin. The forest is opened, and the light 
of day admitted, it is true; but its remains are still to be 
seen in multitudes of unsightly stumps, dead standing trees, 
and ill-looking stubs. These vestiges of the savage state 



54 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

usually remain a quarter of a century ; in certain regions 
they are to be found for even more than twice that period. 
All this, however, had captain Willoughby escaped, in con 
sequence of limiting his clearing, in a great measure, to that 
which had been made by the beavers, and from which time 
and natural decay had, long before his arrival, removed 
every ungainly object. It is true, here and there a few acres 
had been cleared on the firmer ground, at the margin of the 
flats, where barns and farm buildings had been built, and 
orchards planted ; but, in order to preserve the harmony of 
his view, the captain had caused all the stumps to be pulled 
and burnt, giving to these places the same air of agricul 
tural finish as characterized the fields on the lower land. 

To this sylvan scene, at a moment which preceded the 
setting of the sun by a little more than an hour, and in the 
first week of the genial month of May, we must now bring 
the reader in fancy. The season had been early, and the 
Beaver Manor, or the part of it which was cultivated, lying 
low and sheltered, vegetation had advanced considerably 
beyond the point that is usual, at that date, in the elevated 
region of which we have been writing. The meadows were 
green with matted grasses, the wheat and rye resembled 
rich velvets, and the ploughed fields had the fresh and mel 
lowed appearance of good husbandry and a rich soil. The 
shrubbery, of which the captain s English taste had intro 
duced quantities, was already in leaf, and even portions of 
the forest began to veil their sombre mysteries with the de 
licate foliage of an American spring. 

The site of the ancient pond was a miracle of rustic 
beauty. Everything like inequality or imperfection had 
disappeared, the whole presenting a broad and picturesquely 
shaped basin, with outlines fashioned principally by nature, 
an artist that rarely fails in effect. The flat was divided 
into fields by low>post-and-rail fences, the captain making 
it a law to banish all unruly animals from his estate. The 
barns and out-buildings were neatly made and judiciously 
placed, and the three or four roads, or lanes, that led to 
them, crossed the low-land in such graceful curves, as 
greatly to increase the beauty of the landscape. Here and 
there a log cabin was visible, nearly buried in the forest, 
with a few necessary and neat appliances around it ; the 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 55 

homes of labourers who had long dwelt in them, and who 
seemed content to pass their lives in the same place. As 
most of these men had married and become fathers, the 
whole colony, including children, notwithstanding the cap- 
policy not to settle, had grown to considerably more 
than a hundred souls, of whom three-and-twenty were able- 
bodied men. Among the latter were the millers ; but, their 
mills were buried in the ravine where they had been first 
placed, quite out of sight from the picture above, concealing 
all the unavoidable and ungainly-looking objects of a saw 
mill yard. 

As a matter of course, the object of the greatest interest, 
as it was the most conspicuous, was the Hutted Knoll, as 
the house was now altogether called, and the objects it con 
tained. Thither, then, we will now direct our attention, and 
describe things as they appeared ten years after they were 
first presented to the reader. 

The same agricultural finish as prevailed on the flats 
pervaded every object on the Knoll, though some labour had 
been expended to produce it. Everything like a visible 
rock, the face of the clifFon the northern end cxcepted, had 
disappeared, the stones having been blasted, and either 
worked into walls for foundations, or walls for fence. The 
entire base of the Knoll, always excepting the little precipice 
at the rivulet, was encircled by one of the latter, erected 
under the superintendence of Jamie Allen, who still remain 
ed at the Hut, a bachelor, and as he said himself, a happy 
man. The southern face of the Knoll was converted into 
lawn, trfere being quite two acres intersected with walks, 
and well garnished with shrubbery. What was unusual in 
America, at that day, the captain, owing to his English 
education, had avoided straight lines, and formal paths; 
giving to the little spot the improvement on nature which is 
a consequence of embellishing her works without destroying 
them. On each side of this "lawn was an orchard, thrifty 
and young, and which were already beginning to show signs 
of putting forth their blossoms. 

About the Hut itself, the appearance of change was not 
BO manifest. Captain Willoughby had caused it to be con 
structed originally, as he intended to preserve it, and it 
formed no part of his plan to cover it with tawdry colours. 



56 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

There it stood, brown above, and grey beneath, as wood or 
stone was the material, with a widely projecting roof. It 
had no piazzas, or stoups, and was still without external 
windows, one range excepted. The loops had been cut, but 
it was more for the benefit of lighting the garrets, than for 
any other reason, all of them being glazed, and serving the 
end for which they had been pierced. The gates remained 
precisely in the situation in which they were, when last 
presented to the eye of the reader! There they stood, each 
leaning against the wall on its own side of the gate-way, 
the hinges beginning to rust, by time and exposure. Ten 
years had not produced a day of sufficient leisure in which 
to hang them : though Mrs. Willoughby frequently spoke of 
the necessity of doing so, in the course of the first summer. 
Even she had got to be so familiarized to her situation, and 
so accustomed to seeing the leaves where they stood, that 
she now regarded them as a couple of sleeping lions in stone, 
or as characteristic ornaments, rather than as substantial 
defences to the entrance of the dwelling. 

The interior of the Hut, however, had undergone many 
alterations. The western half had been completed, and 
handsome rooms had been fitted up for guests and inmates 
of the family, in the portion of the edifice occupied by the 
latter. Additional comforts had been introduced, and, the 
garners, cribs and lodgings of the labourers having been 
transferred to the skirts of the forest, the house was more 
strictly and exclusively the abode of a respectable and well- 
regulated family. In the rear, too, a wing had been thrown 
along the verge of the clifF, completely enclosing the court. 
This wing, which overhung the rivulet, and had, not only a 
most picturesque site, but a most picturesque and lovely 
view, now contained the library, parlour and music-room, 
together with other apartments devoted to the uses of the 
ladies, during the day ; the old portions of the house that 
had once been similarly occupied being now converted into 
sleeping apartments. The new wing was constructed en 
tirely of massive squared logs, so as to render it bullet-proof, 
there being no necessity for a stone foundation, standing, as 
it did, on the verge of a cliff some forty feet in height. This 
was the part of the edifice which had external windows, 
the elevation removing it from the danger of inroads, or 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 57 

hostile shot, while the air and view were both grateful and 
desirable. S.me extra attention had been paid to the ap- 
pea ranee of the meadows on this side of the Knoll, and the 
captain had studiously kept their skirts, as far as th 
could see from the windows, in virgin forest; placing tbo 
barns, cabins, and other detached buildings, so far south as 
to be removed from view. Beulah U illonghby, a gentle, 
tranquil creature, had a profound admiration of the beauties 
of nature; and to her, her parents bad yielded the control 
of everything that was considered accessary to the mere 
charms of the eye ; her taste had directed most of that 
which had not been effected by the noble luxuriance of na 
ture. Wild roses were already putting forth their leaves in 
various fissures of the rocks, where earth had been ; 
for their support, and the margin of the little stream, that 
actually washed the base of the cliff, winding off in a 
charming sweep through the meadows, a rivulet of less than 
twenty feet in width, was garnished with willows and alder. 
Quitting this sylvan spot, we will return to the little shrub- 
adorned area in front of the Hut. This spot the captain 
called his glacis, while his daughters termed it the lawn. 
The hour, it will be remembered, was shortly before sunset, 
and thither nearly all the family had repaired to breathe the 
freshness of the pure air, arid bathe in the genial warmth of 

-on, which is ever so grateful to those who have, re 
cently escaped from the rigour of a stern winter. Rude, 
and sufficiently picturesque garden-seats, were scattered 
about, and on one of these were seated the captain and his 
wife; he, with his hair sprinkled with grey, a hale, athletic, 
healthy man of sixty, and she a fresh-looking, mild-featured, 
and still handsome matron of forty-eight. In front, stood a 

table-looking personage, of small stature, dJKsaed in 
rusty black, of the cut that denoted the attire of a clergy 
man, before it was considered aristocratic to wear the out 
ward symbols of belonging to the dnuvh <>f <;<>d. This uas 
the Rev. Jedidiah Woods, a native of New England, who 
had long served as a chaplain in the same regiment \\ith the 
captain, and who, being a bachelor, on retired pay, had 
dwelt with his old messmate for the last right years, in tbo 
double capacity of one who exercised the healing art as well 
for the soul as for the body. To his other offices, he added 



58 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

that of an instructor, in various branches of knowledge, to 
the young people. The chaplain, for so he was called by 
everybody in and around the Hut, was, at the moment of 
which we are writing, busy in expounding to his friends 
certain nice distinctions that existed, or which he fancied to 
exist, between a torn-cod and a chub, the former of which 
fish he very erroneously conceived he held in his hand at 
that moment ; the Rev. Mr. Woods being a much better 
angler than naturalist. To his dissertation Mrs. Willoughby 
listened with great good-nature, endeavouring all the while 
to feel interested ; while her husband kept uttering his " by 
all means," " yes," " certainly," " you re quite right, Woods," 
his gaze, at the same time, fastened on Joel Strides, and 
Pliny the elder, who were unharnessing their teams, on the 
flats beneath, having just finished a " land," and deeming it 
too late to commence another. 

Beulah, her pretty face shaded by a large sun-bonnet, 
was superintending the labours of Jamie Allen, who, finding 
nothing just then to do as a mason, was acting in the capacity 
of gardener ; his hat was thrown upon the grass, with his 
white locks bare, and he was delving about some shrubs, 
with the intention of giving them the benefit of a fresh 
dressing of manure. Maud, however, without a hat of any 
sort, her long, luxuriant, silken, golden tresses covering her 
shoulders, arid occasionally veiling her warm, rich cheek, 
was exercising with a battledore, keeping Little Smash, now 
increased in size to quite fourteen stone, rather actively em 
ployed as an assistant, whenever the exuberance of her own 
spirits caused her to throw the plaything beyond her reach. 
In one of the orchards, near by, two men were employed 
trimming the trees. To these the captain next turned all 
his attention, just as he had encouraged the chaplain to per 
severe, by exclaiming, " out of all question, my dear sir" 
though he was absolutely ignorant that the other had just 
advanced a downright scientific heresy. At this critical 
moment a cry from Little Smash, that almost equalled a 
downfall of crockery in its clamour, drew every eye in her 
direction. 

" What is the matter, Desdemona?" asked the chaplain, 
a little tartly, by no means pleased at having his natural 
history startled by sounds so inapplicable to the subject. 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 59 

" How often have I told you that the Lord views with dis 
pleasure anything so violent and improper as your out 
cries!" 

" Can t help him, dominie nebber can help him, whuu 
he take me sudden. See, masser, dere come Ole Nick !" 

There was Nick, sure enough. For the first time, in 
more than two years, the Tuscarora was seen approaching 
the house, on the long, loping trot that he affected when he 
wished to seem busy, or honestly earning his money. He 
was advancing by the only road that was ever travelled by 
the stranger as he approached the Hut ; or, he came up the 
valley. As the woman spoke, he had just made his appear 
ance over the rocks, in the direction of the mills. At that 
distance, quite half a mile, he would not have been recog 
nised, but for this gait, which was too familiar to all at the 
Knoll, however, to be mistaken. 

" That is Nick, sure enough !" exclaimed the captain. 
" The fellow comes at the pace of a runner ; or, as if he 
were the bearer of some important news !" 

" The tricks of Saucy Nick are too well known to deceive 
any here," observed Mrs. Willoughby, who, surrounded by 
her husband and children, always felt so happy as to depre 
cate every appearance of danger. 

" These savages will keep that pace for hours at a time," 
observed the chaplain ; " a circumstance that has induced 
some naturalists to fancy a difference in the species, if not 
in the genus." 

" Is he chub or torn-cod, Woods ?" asked the captain, 
throwing back on the other all he recollected of the previous 
discourse. 

" Nay," observed Mrs. Willoughby, anxiously, " I do 
think he may have some intelligence ! It is now more than 
a twelvemonth since we have seen Nick." 

" It is more than twice twelvemonth, my dear ; I have 
not seen the fellow s face since I denied him the keg of rum 
for his discovery* of another beaver pond. He has tried to 
sell me a new pond every season since the purchase of 
this." 

" Do you think he took serious offence, Hugh, at that 
refusal ? If so, would it not be better to give him what ho 
asks?" 



CO THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

" I have thought little about it, and care less, my dear. 
Nick and I know each other pretty well. It is an acquaint 
ance of thirty years standing, and one that has endured 
trials by flood and field, and even by the horse-whip. No 
less than three times have I been obliged to make these 
salutary applications to Nick s back, with my own hands ; 
though it is, now, more than ten years since a blow has 
passed between us." 

" Does a savage ever forgive a blow T asked the chap 
lain, with a grave air, and a look of surprise. 

" I fancy a savage is quite as apt to forgive it, as a civil 
ized man, Woods. To you, who have served so long in 
His Majesty s army, a blow, in the way of punishment, can 
be no great novelty." 

" Certainly not, as respects the soldiers ; but I did not 
know Indians were ever flogged." 

" That is because you never happened to be present at 
the ceremony but, this is Nick, sure enough ; and by his 
trot I begin to think the fellow has some message, or news." 

" How old is the man, captain ? Does an Indian never 
break down ?" 

" Nick must be fairly fifty, now. I have known him more 
than half that period, and he was an experienced, and, to 
own the truth, a brave and skilful warrior, when we first 
met. I rate him fifty, every day of it." 

By this time the new-comer was so near, that the conver 
sation ceased, all standing gazing at him, as he drew near, 
and Maud gathering up her hair, with maiden bash fulness, 
though certainly Nick was no stranger. As for Little 
Smash, she waddled off* to proclaim the news to the younger 
Pliny, Mari , and Great Smash, all of whom were still in 
the kitchen of the Hut, flourishing, sleek and glistening. 

Soon after, Nick arrived. He came up the Knoll on his 
loping trot, never stopping until he was within five or six 
yards of the captain, when he suddenly halted, folded his 
arms, and stood in a composed attitude, lest he should be 
tray a womanish desire to tell his story. He did not even 
pant, but appeared as composed and unmoved, as if he. had 
walked the half-mile he had been seen to pass over on a 
trot. 

"Sago Sago," cried the captain, heartily " you are 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 61 

welcome back, Nick ; I am glad to see you still so ac 
tive." 

Sago" answered the guttural voice of the Indian, who 

nodded his head. 

What will you have to refresh you, after such a jour 
ney, Nick our trees give us good cider, now." 

" Santa Cruz better," rejoined the sententious Tusca- 
rora. 

" Santa Cruz is certainly stronger" answered the captain 
laughing, " and, in that sense, you may find it better. You 
shall have a glass, as soon as we go to the house. What 
news do you bring, that you come in so fast ?" 

" Glass won t do. Nick bring news worth jug. Squaw 
give two jug for Nick s news. Is it barg in?" 

" I !" cried Mrs. Willoughby " what concern can I have 
with your news. My daughters are both with me, and 
Heaven be praised ! both are well. What can I care for 
your news, Nick ?" 

" Got no pap-poose but gal ? T ink you got boy officer 
great chief up here, down yonder over dere." 

" Robert ! Major Willoughby 1 What can you have to 
tell me of my son ?" 

" Tell all about him, for one jug. Jug out yonder ; Nick s 
story out here. One good as t other." 

" You shall have all you ask, Nick." These were not 
temperance days, when conscience took so firm a stand 
between the bottle and the lips. " You shall have all you 
ask, Nick, provided you can really give me good accounts 
of my noble boy. Speak, then ; what have you to say ?" 

" Say you see him in ten, five minute. Sent Nick before 
to keep moder from too much cry." 

An exclamation from Maud followed ; then the ardent 
girl was seen rushing down the lawn, her hat thrown aside, 
and her bright fair hair again flowing in ringlets on her 
shoulders. She flew rather than ran, in the direction of the 
mill, where the figure of Robert Willoughby was seen rush 
ing forward to meet her. Suddenly the girl stopped, threw 
herself on a log, and hid her face. In a few minutes sho 
was locked in her brother s arms. Neither Mrs. Willoughby 
nor Beulah imitated this impetuous movement on the part 
of Maud ; but the captain, chaplain, and even Jamie Allen, 
VOL. I. 6 



62 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

hastened down the road to meet and welcome the young 
major. Ten minutes later. Bob Willoughby was folded to 
his mother s heart ; then came Beulah s turn ; after which, 
the news having flown through the household, the young 
man had to receive the greetings of Mart , both the Smashes, 
the younger Pliny, and all the dogs. A tumultuous quarter 
of an hour brought all round, again, to its proper place, and 
restored something like order to the Knoll. Still an excite 
ment prevailed the rest of the day, for the sudden arrival 
of a guest always produced a sensation in that retired set 
tlement ; much more likely, then, was the unexpected ap 
pearance of the only son and heir to create one. As every 
body bustled and was in motion, the whole family was in 
the parlour, and major Willoughby was receiving the grate 
ful refreshment of a delicious cup of tea, before the sun set. 
The chaplain would have retired out of delicacy, but to this 
the captain would not listen ; he would have everything 
proceed as if the son were a customary guest, though it 
might have been seen by the manner in which his mother s 
affectionate eye was fastened on his handsome face, as well 
as that in which his sister Beulah, in particular, hung about 
him, under the pretence of supplying his wants, that the 
young man was anything but an every-day inmate. 

" How the lad has grown !" said the captain, tears of 
pride starting into his eyes, in spite of a very manful reso 
lution to appear composed and soldier-like. 

11 1 was about to remark that myself, captain," observed 
the chaplain. " I do think Mr. Robert has got to his full 
six feet every inch as tall as you are yourself, my good 
sir." 

" That is he, Woods and taller in one sense. He is a 
major, already, at twenty-seven ; it is a step I was not able 
to reach at near twice the age." 

" That is owing, my dear sir," answered the son quickly, 
and with a slight tremor in his voice, " to your not having 
as kind a father as has fallen to my share or at least one 
not as well provided with the means of purchasing." 

" Say none at all, Bob, and you can wound no feeling, 
while you will tell the truth. My father died a lieutenant- 
colonel when I was a school-boy ; I owed my ensigncy to 
my uncle Sir Hugh, the father of the present Sir Harry 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 63 

Willoughby ; after that I owed each step to hard and long 
service. Your mother s I -gacir.s have helped you along, at 
a faster rate, though 1 do trust there has been some merit 
to aid in the prcfrmx iit. 

" Speaking >f Sir Harry Willoughby, sir, reminds me of 
one part of my errand to the Hut," said the major, glancing 

towards his father, as if to prepare him for somo 
unexpected intelligence. 

What of my cousin?" demanded the captain, calmly. 
44 Wo have not met in thirty years, and are the next thing 
to strangers to each other. Has he made that silly match 
of which I heard something when last in York? Has he 
disinherited his daughter as he threatened? Use no reserve 

mr friend Woods is one of the family." 

" Sir Harry Willoughby is not married, sir, but dead." 
11 Dead !" repeated the captain, setting down his cup, liko 
one who received a sudden shock. " I hope not without 
having been reconciled to his daughter, and providing for 
her large family f 

" He died in her arms, and escaped the consequences of 
his silly intention to marry his own housekeeper. With 
one material exception, he has left Mrs. Bowater his whole 
fortune." 

The captain sat thoughtful, for some time ; every one else 
being silent and attentive. But the mother s feelings piompt- 
ed her to inquire as to the nature of the exception. 

" Why, mother, contrary to all my expectations, and I 
may say wishes, he has left me twenty-five thousand pounds 
in the fives. I only hold the money as my father s trustee." 

" You do no such thing, Master Bob, I can tell you !" said 
the captain, with emphasis. 

The son looked at the father, a moment, as if to see whe 
ther he was understood, and then he proceeded 

" I presume you remember, sir," said the major, " that 
you are the heir to the title?" 

" 1 have not forgot that, major Willoughby ; but what is 
an empty baronetcy to a happy husband and father liko 
me, hore in the wilds of America ? Were I still in the army, 
and a colonel, the thing might be of use; as I am, I would 
rather have a tolerable road from this place to the Mohawk, 
than the duchy of Norfolk, without the estate." 



64 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

" Estate there is none, certainly," returned the major, in 
a tone of a little disappointment, " except the twenty-five 
thousand pounds ; unless you include that which you possess 
\vhere you are ; not insignificant, by the way, sir." 

" It will do well enough for old Hugh Willoughby, late a 
captain in His Majesty s 23d Regiment of Foot, but not so 
well for Sir Hugh. No, no, Bob. Let the baronetcy sleep 
a\vhile ; it has been used quite enough for the last hundred 
years or more. Out of this circle, there are probably not 
ten persons in America, who know that 1 have any claims 
to it." 

The major coloured, and he played with the spoon of his 
empty cup, stealing a glance or two around, before he an 
swered. 

" I beg your pardon, Sir Hugh my dear father, I mean 
but to own the truth, never anticipating such a decision 
on your part, I have spoken of the thing to a good many 
friends I dare say, if the truth were known, I ve called you 
the baronet, or Sir Hugh, to others, at least a dozen times." 
" Well, should it be so, the thing will be forgotten. A 
parson can be unfrocked, Woods, and a baronet can be un- 
baroneted, I suppose." 

" But, Sir William" so everybody called the well-known 
Sir William Johnson, in the colony of New York " But, 
Sir William found it useful, Willoughby, and so, I dare say, 
will his son and successor, Sir John," observed the attentive 
wife and anxious mother; "and if you are not now in the 
army, Bob is. It will be a good thing for our son one day, 
and ought not to be lost." 

" Ah, I see how it is, Beulah ; your mother has no notion 
to lose the right of being called Lady Willoughby." 

" I am sure my mother, sir, wishes to be called nothing 
that does not become your wife ; if you remain Mr. Hugh 
Willoughby, she will remain Mrs. Hugh Willough uy. But 
papa, it might be useful to Bob." 

Beulah was a great favourite with the captain, Maud be 
ing only his darling; he listened always to whatever the 
former said, therefore, with indulgence and respect. He 
often told the chaplain that his daughter Beulah had the true 
feelings of her sex, possessing a sort of instinct for whatever 
was right and becoming, in woman. 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. G5 

"Well, U..b may have the baronetcy, thru," ho said, 
smiling. "Major Sir Robert Willoughby will not sound 
amiss in a di.-spatch." 

"But, Bob cannot have it, father," exclaimed Maud 
Ni one can have it but you; and it s a pity it should be 
lost." 

" Lot him wait, then, until I am out of the way ; when he 
may claim his own." 

" Can that be done?" inquired the mother, to whom no 
thing was without interest that affected her children. " How 
is it, Mr. Woods ? may a title be dropped, and then picked 
up again 1 how is this, Robert ?" 

" 1 believe it may, my dear mother it will always exist, 
so long as there is an heir, and my father s disrelish for it 
will not be binding on me." 

" Oh ! in that case, then, all will come right in the end 
though, as your father does not want it, I wish you could 
have it, now." 

This was said with the most satisfied air in the world, as 
if the speaker had no possible interest in the matter herself, 
and it closed the conversation, for that time. It was not 
easy to keep up an interest in anything that related to the 
family, where Mrs. Willoughby was concerned, in which 
heart did not predominate. A baronetcy was a considerable 
dignity in the colony of New York in the year of our Lord, 
1775, and it gave its possessor far more importance than it 
would have done in England. In the whole colony there 
was but one, though a good many were to be found Ifurther 
south ; and he was known as " Sir John," as, in England, 
Lord Rockingham, or, in America, at a later day, La Fayette, 
was known as " The Marquis." Under such circumstances, 
then, it would have been no trifling sacrifice to an ordinary 
woman to forego the pleasure of being called " my lady. 
But the sacrifice cost our matron no pain, no regrets, no 
thought even. The same attachments which made her 
happy, away from the world, in the wilderness where she 
dwelt, supplanted all other feelings, and left her no room, 
or leisure, to think of such vanities. When the discourse 
changed, it was understood that " Sir Hugh"- was not to be 
" Sir Hugh," and that " Sir Robert"" must bide his time. 
" Where did you fall in with the Tuscarora, Bob?" sud- 
6* 



66 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

denly asked the captain, as much to bring up another sub 
ject, as through curiosity. " The fellow had been so long 
away, I began to think we should n^ver see him again." 

" He tells me, sir, he has been on a war path, somewhere 
out among the western savages. It seems these Indians 
fight among themselves, from time to time, and Nick has 
been trying to keep his hand in. I found him down at 
Canajoharie, and took him for a guide, though he had the 
honesty to own he was on the point of coming over here, 
had I not engaged him." 

" I 11 answer for it he didn t tell you that, until you had 
paid him for the job." 

" Why, to own the truth, he did not, sir. He pretended 
something about owing money in the village, and got his 
pay in advance. I learned his intentions only when we 
were within a few miles of the Hut." 

" I m glad to find, Bob, that you give the place its proper 
name. How gloriously Sir Hugh Willoughby, Bart., of 
The Hut, Tryon county, New York, would sound, Woods ! 
Did Nick boast of the scalps he has taken from the Car 
thaginians ?" 

" He lays claim to three, I believe, though I have seen 
none of his trophies." 

" The Roman hero ! Yet, I have known Nick rather a 
dangerous warrior. He was out against us, in some of my 
earliest service, and our acquaintance was made by my 
saving his life from the bayonet of one of my own grena 
diers. I thought the fellow remembered the act for some 
years ; but, in the end, I believe I flogged all the gratitude 
out of him. His motives, now, are concentrated in the little 
island of Santa Cruz." 

" Here he is, father," said Maud, stretching her light, 
flexible form out of a window. " Mike and the Indian are 
seated at the lower spring, with a jug between them, and 
appear to be in a deep conversation." 

" Ay, I remember on their first acquaintance, that Mike 
mistook Saucy Nick, for Old Nick. The Indian was in 
dignant for a while, at being mistaken for the Evil Spirit, 
but the worthies soon found a bond of union between them, 
and, before six months, he and the Irishman became sworn 
friends. It is said whenever two human beings love a 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 67 

common principle, that it never fails to make them firm 
allies." 

" And what was the prnciple, in this case, captain WiU 
loti-hby r inquired the chaplain, with curiosity. 

S.snta Cm/.. Mike renounced whiskey altogether, after 
he came to America, and took to rum. As for Nick, he 
was never so vulgar as to find pleasure in the former 
Jiqnor." 

The whole party had gathered to the windows, while tho 
discourse was proceeding, and looking out, each individual 
saw Mike and his friend, in the situation described hy Maud. 
The two amateur* connoisseurs would not be misapplied, 
cither had seated themselves at the brink of a spring of 
delicious water; and removing the corn-cob that Pliny the 
younger had felt it to be classical to affix to the nozzle of a 
quart jug, had, some time before, commenced the delightful 
recreation of sounding the depth, not of the spring, but of 
the vessel. As respects the former, Mike, who was a wag 
in his way, had taken a hint from a practice said to be com 
mon in Ireland, called " potatoe and point," which means 
to eat the potatoe and point at the butter; declaring that 
" rum and p int" was every bit as entertaining as a " p int 
of rum." On this principle, then, with a broad grin on a 
face that opened from ear to ear whenever he laughed, tho 
county Leitrim-man would gravely point his finger at the 
water, in a sort of mock-homage, and follow up the move 
ment with such a suck at the nozzle, as, aided by the efforts 
k, soon analyzed the upper half of the liquor that had 
entered by that very passage. All this time, conversation 
did not flag, and, as the parties grew warm, confidence in- 
cr<-a<e<l, though reason sensibly diminished. As a part of 
this discourse will have some bearing on what is to follow, 
it may be in place to relate it, here. 

" Yer e a jewel, ye be, oi/Id Nick, or young Nick !" cried 
Mike, in an ecstasy of friendship, just after he had com 
pleted his first half-pint. " Yer e as wilrome at the Huts, 
as if ye owned thim, and I love ye as I did my own bro 
ther, More I left the county Leitrim paioe to his sowl !" 

" He dead?" asked Nick, sententiously ; for he had lived 
enough among the pale-faces to have some notions of their 
theory about the soul. 



68 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

" That s more than I know but, living or dead, the man 
must have a sovvl, ye understand, Nicholas. A human 
crathure widout a sowl, is what I call a heretick ; and none 
of the O Hearns ever came to that." 

Nick was tolerably drunk, but by no means so far gone, 
that he had not manners enough to make a grave, and some 
what dignified gesture ; which was as much as to say he was 
familiar with the subject. 

" All go ole fashion here?" he asked, avoiding every ap 
pearance of curiosity, however. 

" That does it that it does, Nicholas. All goes ould 
enough. The captain begins to get ould; and the missus is 
ouldcr than she used to be; and Joel s wife looks a hundred, 
though she isn t t irty ; and Joel, himself, the spalpeen he 
looks " a gulp at the jug stopped the communication. 

" Dirty, too ?" added the sententious Tuscarora, who did 
not comprehend more than half his friend said. 

" Ay, dir-r-ty he s always that. He s a dirthy fellow, 
that thinks his yankee charactur is above all other things." 

Nick s countenance became illuminated with an expres 
sion nowise akin to that produced by rum, and he fastened 
on his companion one of his fiery gazes, which occasionally 
seemed to penetrate to the centre of the object looked at. 

" Why pale-face hate one anoder? Why Irishman don t 
love yankee ?" 

" Och ! love the crathure, is it? You d bctther ask me to 
love a to d" for so Michael would pronounce the word 
* toad. " What is there to love about him, but skin and 
bone ! I d as soon love a skilitcn. Yes an immortal skiliten." 

Nick made another gesture, and then he endeavoured to 
reflect, like one who had a grave business in contemplation. 
The Santa Cruz confused his brain, but the Indian never 
entirely lost his presence of mind ; or never, at least, so 
long as he could either see or walk. 

" Don t like him" rejoined Nick. " Like anybody ?" 

" To be sure I does I like the capt in och, Tie s a jon- 
tleman and I likes the missus ; she s a laddy and I likes 
Miss Beuly, who s a swate young woman and then there s 
Miss Maud, who s the delight of my eyes. Fegs, but isn t 
fthe a crathure to relish !" 

Mike spoke like a good honest fellow, as he was at the 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 69 

bottom, with all his heart and soul. The Indian did not 
seem pleased, but he made no answer. 

" You ve been in the wars then, Nick ?" asked the Irish 
man, after a short pause. 

" Yes Nick been chief ag in take scalps." 

" Ach ! That s a mighty ugly thrade! If you d tell em 
that in Ireland, they d not think it a possibility." 

" No like fight in Ireland, hah ?" 

" I ll not say that no, I ll not say that ; for many s the 
jollification at which the fighting is the chafe amusement. 
But we likes thumping on the head not skinning it." 

" That your fashion my fashion take scalp. You thump; 
I s kin which best ?" 

" Augh ! skinnin is a dreadthful operation ; but shillaleh- 
work comes nately and nat rally. How many of these said 
scalps, now, may ye have picked up, Nick, in yer last 
journey ?" 

" T ree all man and woman no pappoose. One big 
enough make two; so call him four. 11 

" Oh ! Divil burn ye, Nick ; but there s a spice of your 
namesake in ye, aftherall. T ree human crathures skinned, 
and you not satisfied, and so ye ll chait a bit to make em 
four ! D ye never think, now, of yer latther ind ? D ye 
never confess?" 

" T ink every day of dat. Hope to find more, before last 
day come. Plenty scalp here; ha, Mike?" 

This was said a little incautiously, perhaps, but it was 
said under a strong native impulse. The Irishman, however, 
was never very logical or clear-headed ; and three gills of 
rum had, by no means, helped to purify his brain. He 
heard the word " plenty," knew he was well fed and warmly 
clad, and just now, that Santa Cruz so much abounded, tho 
term seemed peculiarly applicable. 

" It s a plinthiful place it is, is this very manor. There ? 
all sorts of things in it that s wanted. There s food and 
raiment, and cattle, and grain, and porkers, and praichinir 
yes, divil burn it, Nick, but there s what goes for praiching, 
though it s no more like what we calls praiching than yer e 
like Miss Maud in comeliness, and ye ll own, yourself, Nick, 
ycr e no beauty." 

" Got handsome hair," said Nick, surlily " How she 
look widout scalp ?" 



70 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

" The likes of her, is it ! Who ever saw one of her beauthy 
without the finest hair that ever was ! What do you get for 
your scalps? are they of any use when you find em?" 

" Bring plenty bye m bye. Whole country glad to see 
him before long den beavers get pond ag in." 

" How s that how s that, Indian ? Baiver get pounded ? 
There s no pound, hereabouts, and baivers is not an animal 
to be shut up like a hog !" 

Nick perceived that his friend was past argumentation, 
and as he himself was approaching the state when the 
drunkard receives delight from he knows not what, it is 
unnecessary to relate any more of the dialogue. The jug 
was finished, each man very honestly drinking his pint, and 
as naturally submitting to its consequences ; and this so 
much the more because the two were so engrossed with the 
rum that both forgot to pay that attention to the spring that 
might have been expected from its proximity. 



CHAPTER V. 

The soul, my lord, is fashioned like the lyre. 

Strike one chord suddenly, and others vibrate. 

Your name abruptly mentioned, casual words 

Of comment on your deeds, praise from your uncle, 

News from the armies, talk of your return, 

A word let fall touching your youthful passion, 

Suffused her cheek, call d to her drooping eye 

A momentary lustre, made her pulse 

Leap headlong, and her bosom palpitate. 

HlLLHOUSE. 

THE approach of night, at sea and in a wilderness, has 
always something more solemn in it, than on land in the 
centre of civilization. As the curtain is drawn before his 
eyes, the solitude of the mariner is increased, while even his 
sleepless vigilance seems, in a measure, baffled, by the 
manner in which he is cut off from the signs of the hour. 
Thus, too, in the forest, or in an isolated clearing, the mys 
teries of the woods are deepened, and danger is robbed of 
its forethought and customary guards. That evening, Major 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 71 

Willoughby stood at a window with an arm round the slen 
der \vai>t of 1 {mini), Maud standing a little aloof; and, as tho 
twilight retired, leaving the shadows of evening to thicken 
on the forest that lay within a few hundred feet of that side 
of the Hut, and casting a i^looin over the whole of the quiet 
solitude, he felt the force of the feeling just mentioned, in a 
!) had never before experienced. 

" This is a tcry retired abode, my sisters," he said, 
thoughtfully. " Do my father and mother never speak of 
bringing you out more into the world ?" 

" They take us to New York every winter, now father is 
in the Assembly," quietly answered Beulah. " We expected 
to meet you there, last season, and were greatly disappointed 
that you did not come." 

" My regiment was sent to the eastward, as you know, 
and having just received my new rank of major, it would 
not do to be absent at the moment. Do you ever see any 
one here, besides those who belong to the manor?" 

" Oh ! yes" exclaimed Maud eagerly then she paused, 
as if sorry she had said anything ; continuing, after a little 
pause, in a much more moderated vein " I mean occasion 
ally. No doubt the place is very retired." 

" Of what characters are your visitors? hunters, trap 
pers, settlers savages or travellers?" 

Maud did not answer ; but, Beulah, after waiting a moment 
for her sister to reply, took that office on herself. 

" Some of all," she said, " though few certainly of the 
latter class. The hunters are often here ; one or two a 
month, in the mild season ; settlers rarely, as you may sup 
pose, since my father will not sell, and there are not many 
about, I believe; the Indians come more frequently, though 
I think we have seen less of them, during Nick s absence, 
than while he was more with us. Still we have as many as 
a hundred in a year, perhaps, counting the women. They 
come in parties, you know, and five or six of these will 
make that number. As for travellers, they are rare ; being 
generally surveyors, land-hunters, or perhaps a proprietor 
who is looking up his estate. We had two of the last in the 
fall, before we went below." 

" That is singular ; and yet one might well look for an 
estate in a wilderness like this. Who were your proprie 
tors?" 



72 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

" An elderly man, and a young one. The first was a sort 
of partner of the late Sir William s, I believe, who has a 
grant somewhere near us, for which he was searching. His 
narns was Fonda. The other was one of the Beekmans, 
who has lately succeeded his father in a property of consi 
derable extent, somewhere at no great distance from us, and 
came to take a look at it. They say he has quite a hundred 
thousand acres, in one body." 

" And did he find his land ? Tracts of thousands and tens 
of thousands, are sometimes not to be discovered." 

" We saw him twice, going and returning, and he was 
successful. The last time, he was detained by a snow-storm, 
and staid with us some days so long, indeed, that he 
remained, and accompanied us out, when we went below. 
We saw much of him, too, last winter, in town." 

" Maud, you wrote me nothing of all this ! Are visiters 
of this sort so very common that you do not speak of them 
in your letters ?" 

"Did I not? Beulah will scarce pardon me for that. 
She thinks Mr. Evert Beekman more worthy of a place in 
a letter, than I do, perhaps." 

" I think him a very respectable and sensible young 
man," answered Beulah quietly, though there was a deeper 
tint on her cheek than common, which it was too dark to 
see. " I am not certain, however, he need fill much space 
in the letters of either of your sisters." 

" Well, this is something gleaned !" said the major, laugh 
ing " and now, Beulah, if you will only let out a secret of 
the same sort about Maud, I shall be au fait of all the 
family mysteries." 

" All !" repeated Maud, quickly " would there be no 
thing to tell of a certain major Willoughby, brother of 
mine?" 

" Not a syllable. I am as heart-whole as a sound oak, 
and hope to remain so. At all events, all I love is in this 
house. To tell you the truth, girls, these are not times for 
a soldier to think of anything but his duty. The quarrel is 
getting to be serious between the mother country and her 
colonies." 

" Not so serious, brother," observed Beulah, earnestly, 
" as to amount to that. Evert Beekman thinks there will 



THE IIUTTED KNOLL. 73 

be trouble, but he docs not appear to fancy it will go as far 
y serious violence." 

" Evert Beekfnan! most of that family are loyal, I be- 
lieve ; ho\v is it with this Evert?" 

" I dare say, you would call him a rebel" answered Maud, 
laughing, for now Beulah chose to be silent, leaving h-r 
sister to explain. " He is not fiery; but he calls himself 
an American, with emphasis; and that is saying a good 
deal, when it means he is not an Englishman. Pray what 
do you call yourself, Bob?" 

" 1 Certainly an American in one sense, but an Eng 
lishman in another. An American, as my father was a 
Cumberland-man, and an Englishman as a subject, and as 
connected with the empire." 

" As St. Paul was a Roman. Heigho ! Well, I fear I 
have but one character or, if I have two, they are an 
American, and a New York girl. Did I dress in scarlet, 
as you do, I might feel English too, possibly." 

" This is making a trifling misunderstanding too serious," 
observed Beulah. " Nothing can come of all the big words 
that have been used, than more big words. I know that is 
Evert Beekman s opinion." 

" I hope you may prove a true prophet," answered the 
major, once more buried in thought. " This place does 
seem to be fearfully retired for a family like ours. I hope 
my father may be persuaded to pass more of his time in 
New York. Does he ever speak on the subject, girls, or 
appear to have any uneasiness?" 

"Uneasiness about what? The place is health itself; 
all sorts of fevers, and agues, and those things being quite 
unknown. Mamma says the toothache, even, cannot be found 
in this healthful spot." 

" That is lucky and, yet, I wish captain Willoughby- 
Sir Hugh Willoughby could be induced to live more in 
New York. Girls of your time of life, ought to be in tho 
way of seeing the world, too." 

" In other words, of seeing admirers, major Bob," said 
Maud, laughing, and bending forward to steal a glance in 
her brother s face. " Good night. Sir Hugh wishes us to 
send you into his library when we can spare you, and my 
lady has sent us a hint that it is ten o clock, at which hour 
it is usual for sober people to retire." 

VOL. I. 7. 



74 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

The major kissed both sisters with warm affection 
Beulah fancied with a sobered tenderness, and Maud thought 
kindly and then they retired to join their mother, while he 
went to seek his father. 

The captain was smoking in the library, as a room of 
all-Aead-work was called, in company with the chaplain. 
The practice of using tobacco in this form, had grown to be 
so strong in both of these old inmates of garrisons, that they 
usually passed an hour, in the recreation, before they went 
to bed. Nor shall we mislead the reader with any notions 
of fine-flavoured Havana segars ; pipes, with Virginia cut, 
being the materials employed in the indulgence. A little 
excellent Cogniac and water, in which however the spring 
was not as much neglected, as in the orgies related in the 
previous chapter, moistened their lips, from time to time, 
giving a certain zest and comfort to their enjoyments. Just 
as the door opened to admit the major, he was the subject 
of discourse, the proud parent and the partial friend finding 
almost an equal gratification in discussing his fine, manly 
appearance, good qualities, and future hopes. His presence 
was untimely, then, in one sense; though he was welcome, 
and, indeed, expected. The captain pushed a chair to his 
son, and invited him to take a seat near the table, which 
held a spare pipe or two, a box of tobacco, a decanter of 
excellent brandy, a pitcher of pure water, all pleasant com 
panions to the elderly gentlemen, then in possession. 

" I suppose you are too much of a maccaroni, Bob, to 
smoke," observed the smiling father. " I detested a pipe at 
your time of life ; or may say, I was afraid of it; the only 
smoke that was in fashion among our scarlet coats being 
the smoke of gunpowder. Well, how comes on Gage, and 
your neighbours the Yankees?" 

" Why, sir," answered the major, looking behind him, to 
make sure that the door was shut " Why, sir, to own the 
truth, my visit, here, just at this moment, is connected with 
the present state of that quarrel." 

Both the captain and the chaplain drew the pipes from 
Iheir mouths, holding them suspended in surprise and atten 
tion. 

" The deuce it is !" exclaimed the former. " I thought I 
owed this unexpected pleasure to your affectionate desire to 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 75 

let me know I had inherited the empty honours of a baron- 

" That was one motive, sir, but the least. I beg you to 
icmember the awkwardness of my position, as a king s 
oilicrr, in the midst of enemies." 

"The devil! I say, parson, this exceeds heresy and 
schism ! Do you call lodging in your father s house, major 
Willougkby, being in the midst of enemies? This is rebel 
lion against nature, and is worse than rebellion against the 
king." 

" My dear father, no one feels more secure with you, 
than I do ; or, even, with Mr. Woods, here. But, there are 
others besides you two, in this part of the world, and your 
very settlement may not be sale a week longer ; probably 
would not be, if my presence in it were known." 

Both the listeners, now, fairly laid down their pipes, and 
the smoke began gradually to dissipate, as it might have 
been rising from a field of battle. One looked at the other, 
in wonder, and, then, both looked at the major, in curiosity. 

"What is the meaning of all this, my son?" asked the 
captain, gravely. " Has anything new occurred to compli 
cate the old causes of quarrel ?" 

"Blood has, at length, been drawn, sir; open rebellion 
has commenced !" 

" This is a serious matter, indeed, if it be really so. But 
do you not exaggerate the consequences of some fresh in 
discretion of the soldiery, in firing on the people? Remem 
ber, in the other affair, even the colonial authorities justified 
the officers." 

" This is a very different matter, sir. Blood has not been 
drawn in a riot, but in a battle" 

" Battle ! You amaze me, sir ! That is indeed a serious 
matter, and may lead to most serious consequences !" 

" The Lord preserve us from evil times," ejaculated the 
chaplain, "and lead us, poor, dependent creatures that wo 
are, into the paths of peace and quietness ! Without his 
grace, we are the blind leading the blind." 
^ " Do you mean, major Willoughby, that armed and dis 
ciplined bodies have met in actual conflict ?" 

" Perhaps not literally so, my dear father ; but the minute- 
men of Massachusetts, and His Majesty s forces, have met 



76 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

and fought. This I know, full well ; for my own regiment 
was in the field, and, I hope it is unnecessary to add, that 
its second officer was not absent." 

" Of course these minute-men rabble would be the better 
word could not stand before you?" said the captain, com 
pressing his lips, under a strong impulse of military pride. 

Major Willoughby coloured, and, to own the truth, at that 
moment he wished the Rev. Mr. Woods, if not literally at 
the devil, at least safe and sound in another room; any 
where, so it were out of ear-shot of the answer. 

" Why, sir," he said, hesitating, not to say stammering, 
notwithstanding a prodigious effort to seem philosophical 
and calm " To own the truth, these minute-fellows are not 
quite as contemptible as we soldiers would be apt to think. 
It was a stone-wall affair, and dodging work ; and, so, you 
know, sir, drilled troops wouldn t have the usual chance. 
They pressed us pretty warmly on the retreat." 

" Retreat ! Major Willoughby !" 

" I called it retreat, sure enough ; but it was only a march 
i/V again, afler having done the business on which we went 
out. I shall admit, I say, sir, that we were hard pressed, 
until reinforced" 

" Reinforced, my dear Bob ! Your regiment, our regi 
ment could not need a reinforcement against all the Yankees 
in New England." 

The major could not abstain from laughing, a little, at 
this exhibition of his father s esprit de corps ; but native 
frankness, and love of truth, compelled him to admit the 
contrary. 

" It did, sir, notwithstanding," he answered ; " and, not 
to mince the matter, it needed it confoundedly. Some of 
our officers who have seen the hardest service of the last 
war, declare, that taking the march, and the popping work, 
and the distance, altogether, it was the warmest day they 
remember. Our loss, too, was by no means insignificant, 
as I hope you will believe, when you know the troops en 
gaged. We report something like three hundred casual- 
lies." 

The captain did not answer for quite a minute. All this 
time he sat thoughtful, and even pale ; for his mind was 
teeming with the pregnant consequences of such an out- 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 77 

break. Then IK? desired his son to give a succinct, but 
connected history of the whole affair. The major complied, 
beginning his narrative with an account of the general state 
of tin? country, and concluding it, by giving, as far as it was 
r mi, \\ii --K.ii.tl pride and political fed- 

ings were too deeply involved to be entirely impartial, a 
reasonably just account of the particular occurrence al- 
ready mentioned. 

The even s that li d to, and the hot skirmish which it is the 
practice of the country to call the Battle of Lexington, and 
the incidents of the day itself, are too familiar to the ordi 
nary reader, to require repetition here. The major explained 
all the military points very clearly, did full justice to the 
peweverance and darin-j of the provincials, as he called his 
enemies for, an American himself, he would not term them 
Americans and threw in as many explanatory remarks as 
he could think of, by way of vindicating the " march in, 
again.* This he did, too, quite as much out of filial piety, 
as out of self-love; for, to own the truth, the captain s mor 
tification, as a soldier, was so very evident as to give his son 
sensible pain. 

" The effect of all this," continued the major, when his 
narrative of the military movements was ended, " has been 
to raise a tremendous feeling, throughout the country, and 
God knows what is to follow." 

M And this you have come hither to tell me, Robert," said 
the father, kindly. " It is well done, ancl as I would have 
expected from you. We might have passed the summer, 
here, and not have heard a whisper of so important an 
event." 

" Soon after the affair or, as soon as we got some notion 
of its effect on the provinces, general Gage sent me, pri 
vately, with despatches to governor Tryon. lit, governor 
Tryon, was aware of your position ; and, as I had also to 
communicate the death of Sir Harry Willoughby, he directed 
me to come up the river, privately, have an interview with 
Sir John, if possible, and then push on, under a feigned 
name, and communicate with you. He thinks, now Sir 
William is dead, that with your estate, and new rank, and 
local influence, you might be very serviceable in sustaining 
the royal cause ; for, it is not to be concealed that this affair 
7* 



78 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

is likely to take the character of an open and wide-spread 
revolt against the authority of the crown." 

" General Tryon does me too much honour," answered 
the captain, coldly. " My estate is a small body of wild 
land ; my influence extends little beyond this beaver mea 
dow, and is confined to my own household, and some fifteen 
or twenty labourers ; and as for the new rank of which you 
speak, it is not likely the colonists will care much for that, 
if they disregard the rights of the king. Still, you have 
acted like a son in running the risk you do, Bob ; and I pray 
God you may get back to your regiment, in safety." 

" This is a cordial to my hopes, sir ; for nothing would 
pain me more than to believe you think it my duty, because 
I was born in the colonies, to throw up my commission, and 
take side with the rebels." 

" I do not conceive that to be your duty, any more than 
I conceive it to be mine to take sides against them, because 
I happened to be born in England. It is a weak view of 
moral obligations, that confines them merely to the accidents 
of birth, and birth-place. Such a subsequent state of things 
may have grown up, as to change all our duties, and it is 
necessary that we discharge them as they are; not as they 
may have been, hitherto, or may be, hereafter. Those who 
clamour so much about mere birth-place, usually have no 
very clear sense of their higher obligations. Over our birth 
we can have no control ; while we are rigidly responsible 
for the fulfilment of obligations voluntarily contracted." 

" Do you reason thus, captain?" asked the chaplain, with 
strong interest " Now, I confess, I feel, in this matter, not 
only very much like a native American, but very much 
like a native Yankee, in the bargain. You know I was born 
in the Bay, and the major must excuse me but, it ill-be 
comes my cloth to deceive I hope the major will pardon 
me I I do hope " 

" Speak out, Mr. Woods," said Robert Willoughby, 
smiling " You have nothing to fear from your old friend 
the major." 

" So I thought so I thought well, then, I was glad- 
yes, really rejoiced at heart, to hear that my countrymen, 
down-east, there, had made the king s troops scamper." 

" I am not aware that I used any such terms, sir, in con- 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 79 

nection with the manner in which we marched in, after tho 
duty we went out on was performed," returned the young 
soldier, a little stiflly. " I suppose it is natural for one 
Yankee to sympathize with another; but, my father, Mr. 
Is, is an Old England, and not a JVeic-England-man ; 
and In; may be excused if he feel more for the servants of 
the crown." 

" Certainly, rny dear major certainly, my dear Mr. Ro 
bert my old pupil, and, I hope, my friend all this is true 
enough, and very natural. I allow captain Willoughby to 
wish the best for the king s troops, while I wish the best for 
my own countrymen," 

" This is natural, on both sides, out of all question, though 
it by no means follows that it is right. Our country, right 
or wrong, is a high-sounding maxim, but it is scarcely the 
honest man s maxim. Our country, after all, cannot have 
nearer claims upon us, than our parents for instance ; and 
who can claim a moral right to sustain even his own father, 
in error, injustice, or crime ? No, no I hate your pithy 
sayings ; they commonly mean nothing that is substantially 
good, at bottom." 

" But one s country, in a time of actual war, sir !" said 
the major, in a tone of as much remonstrance as habit would 
allow him to use to his own father. 

" Quite true, Bob ; but the difficulty here, is to know 
which is one s country. It is a family quarrel, at the best, 
and it will hardly do to talk about foreigners, at all. It is the 
same as if I should treat Maud unkindly, or harshly, be 
cause she is the child of only a friend, and not my own 
natural daughter. As God is my judge, Woods, I am un 
conscious of not loving Maud Meredith, at this moment, as 
tenderly as I love Beulah Willoughby. There was a period, 
in her childhood, when the playful little witch had most of 
my heart, I am afraid, if the truth were known. It is use, 
and duty, then, and not mere birth, that ought to tie our 
hearts." 

The major thought it might very well be that one child 
should be loved more than another, though he did not un 
derstand how there could bo a divided allegiance. Tho 
chaplain looked at the subject with views still more narrow 
ed, and he took up the cudgels of argument in sober earnest, 



80 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

conceiving this to be as good an opportunity as another, for 
disposing of the matter. 

" I am all for birth, and blood, and natural ties," he said, 
" always excepting the peculiar claims of Miss Maud, whose 
case is sui generis, and not to be confounded with any 
other case. A man can have but one country, any more 
than he can have but one nature ; and, as he is forced to 
be true to that nature, so ought he morally to be true to 
that country. The captain says, that it is difficult to deter 
mine which is one s country, in a civil war ; but I cannot 
admit the argument. If Massachusetts and England get to 
blows, Massachusetts is my country ; if Suffolk and Wor 
cester counties get into a quarrel, my duty calls me to 
Worcester, where I was born ; and so I should carry out 
the principle from country to country, county to county, 
town to town, parish to parish ; or, even household to house 
hold." 

" This is an extraordinary view of one s duty, indeed, 
my dear Mr. Woods," cried the major, with a good deal of 
animation ; " and if one-half the household quarrelled with 
the other, you would take sides with that in which you 
happened to find yourself, at the moment." 

" It is an extraordinary view of one s duty, for a parson;" 
observed the captain. " Let us reason backward a little, 
and ascertain where we shall come out. You put the head 
of the household out of the question. Has he no claims ? 
Is a father to be altogether overlooked in the struggle be 
tween the children 1 Are his laws to be broken his rights 
invaded or his person to be maltreated, perhaps, and his 
curse disregarded, because a set of unruly children get by 
the ears, on points connected with their own selfishness ?" 

" I give up the household," cried the chaplain, " for the 
bible settles that ; and what the bible disposes of, is beyond 
dispute Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days 
may be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth 
thee are terrible words, and must not be disobeyed. But 
the decalogue has not another syllable which touches the 
question. Thou shalt not kill, means murder only ; com 
mon, vulgar murder and thou shalt not steal, thou shalt 
not commit adultery, &c., don t bear on civil war, as I see. 
* Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy Thou shalt not 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 81 

covet the ox nor the ass * Thou shalt not take the name 
of the Lord thy Gu>d in vain none of these, not one of 
them, bears, at all, on this qu -stion/ 

" \\ i::!l t!o y.m think of the words of the Saviour, whore 
he tells us to render unto Ca-sar the things which are 
Ca ->nr s . Has Cocsar no rights here? Can Massachusetts 
and my Lord North settle their quarrels in such a manner 
as to put Cicsar altogether out of view?" 

The chaplain looked down a moment, pondered a little, 
nnd then he came up to the attack, again, with renewed 
ardour. 

" Cocsar is out of the question here. If His Majesty will 
come and take sides with us, we shall be ready to honour 
and obey him ; but if he choose to remain alienated from us, 
it is his act, not ours." 

" This is a new mode of settling allegiance ! If G; 
will do as we wish, he shall still be Cfrsar ; but, if he refuse 
to do as we wish, then down with C:rsar. I am an old 
soldier, Woods, and while I feel that this question has two 
sides to it, my disposition to reverence and honour the king 
is still strong." 

The major appeared delighted, and, finding matters going 
on so favourably, he pleaded fatigue and withdrew, feeling 
satisfied that, if his father fairly got into a warm discussion, 
taking the loyal side of the question, he would do more to 
confirm himself in the desired views, than could be effected 
by any other means. By this time, the disputants were so 
warm as scarcely to notice the disappearance of the young 
man, the argument proceeding. 

The subject is too hackneyed, and, indeed, possesses too 
little interest, to induce us to give more than an outline of 
what passed. The captain and the chaplain belonged to 
that class of friends, which may be termed argumentative. 
Their constant discussions were a strong link in the chain 
of esteem ; for they had a tendency to enliven their solitude, 
and to give a zest to lives that, without thorn, would have 
been exceedingly monotonous. Their ordinary subjects 
were theology and war; the chaplain having some pracii.-al 
knowledge of the last, and the captain a lively disposition 
to the first. In these discussions, the clergyman was good- 
natured, and the soldier polite ; circumstances that tended 



82 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

to render them far more agreeable to the listeners than they 
might otherwise have proved. 

On the present occasion, the chaplain rang the changes 
diligently, on the natural feelings, while his friend spoke 
most of the higher duties. The ad captandum part of the 
argument, oddly enough, fell to the share of the minister of 
the church ; while the intellectual, discriminating, and really 
logical portion of the subject, was handled by one trained 
in garrisons and camps, with a truth, both of ethics and 
reason, that would have done credit to a drilled casuist. 
The war of words continued till past midnight, both dis 
putants soon getting back to their pipes, carrying on the 
conflict amid a smoke that did no dishonour to such a well- 
contested field. Leaving the captain and his friend thus 
intently engaged, we will take one or two glimpses into 
different parts of the house, before we cause all our charac 
ters to retire for the night. 

About the time the battle in the library was at its height, 
Mrs. Willoughby was alone in her room, having disposed 
of all the cares, and most of the duties of the day. The 
mother s heart was filled with a calm delight that it would 
have been difficult for herself to describe. All she held most 
dear on earth, her husband, her kind-hearted, faithful, long- 
loved husband ; her noble son, the pride and joy of her 
heart ; Beulah, her own natural-born daughter, the mild, 
tractable, sincere, true-hearted child that so much resembled 
herself; and Maud, the adopted, one rendered dear by soli 
citude and tenderness, and now so fondly beloved on her 
own account, were all with her, beneath her own roof, 
almost within the circle of her arms. The Hutted Knoll 
was no longer a solitude ; the manor was not a wilderness 
to her; for where her heart was, there truly was her trea 
sure, also. After passing a few minutes in silent, but de 
lightful thought, this excellent, guileless woman knelt and 
poured out her soul in thanksgivings to the Being, who had 
surrounded her lot with so many blessings. Alas ! little did 
she suspect the extent, duration, and direful nature of the 
evils which, at that very moment, were pending over her 
native country, or the pains that her own affectionate heart 
was to endure ! The major had not suffered a whisper of 
the real nature of his errand to escape him, except to his 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 83 

father and the chaplain ; and we will now follow him to his 
apartment, and pass ;i minute, tcte-ti-tMe, with tho youn 
soldier, ere ho too lays his head on his pillow. 

A couple of neat rooms were prepared and furnished, that 
were held sacred to tlie uses of the hen-. They were known 
to the whole household, black and white, as the " youn" 
captain s quarters;" and even Maud called them, in her 
laughing otl-handedness, "Bob s Sanctum." Here, then, 
the major found everything as he left it on his last visit, u 
twelvemonth before ; and some lew things that were stran 
gers to him, in the bargain. In that day, toilets covered 
with muslin, more or less worked and ornamented, were a 
regular appliance of every bed-room, of a better-class house, 
throughout America. The more modern " Duchesses," 
" Psyches," " dressing-tables,* 1 &c. &c., of our own extra 
vagant and benefit-of-the-act-taking generation, were then 
unknown ; a moderately -sized glass, surrounded by curved, 
gilded ornaments, hanging against the wall, above the said 
muslin-covered table, quite as a matter of law, if not of do 
mestic faith. 

As soon as the major had set down his candle, he looked 
about him, as one recognises old friends, pleased at renew 
ing his acquaintance with so many dear and cherished ob 
jects. The very playthings of his childhood were there ; 
and, even a beautiful and long-used hoop, was embellished 
with ribbons, by some hand unknown to himself. "Can 
this be my mother?" thought the young man, approaching 
to examine the well-remembered hoop, which he had never 
found so honoured before; "can my kind,*tendcr-heartcd 
mother, who never will forget that I am no longer a child, 
can she have really done this? I must laugh at her, to 
morrow, about it, even while I kiss and bless her." Then 
he turned to the toilet, where stood a basket, filled with 
different articles, which, at once, he understood were offer 
ings to himself. Never had he visited tho Hut without find 
ing such a basket in his room at night. It was a tender 
proof how truly and well he was remembered, in his ab 
sence. 

" Ah !" thought the major, as ho opened a bundle of knit 
lamb s-wool stockings, " here is my dear mother again, with 
her thoughts about damp feet, and the exposure of service. 



84 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

And a dozen shirts, too, with * Beulah pinned on one of 
them how the deuce does the dear girl suppose I am to 
carry away such a stock of linen, without even a horse to 
ease me of a bundle ? My kit would be like that of the com- 
mander-in-chief, were I to take away all that these dear 
relatives design for me. What s this? a purse! a hand 
some silken purse, too, with Beulah s name on it. Has 
Maud nothing, here 1 Why has Maud forgotten me ! Ruffles, 
handkerchiefs, garters yes, here is a pair of my good mo 
ther s own knitting, but nothing of Maud s Ha ! what have 
we here ? As I live, a beautiful silken scarf netted in a 
way to make a whole regiment envious. Can this have 
been bought, or has it been the work of a twelvemonth] 
No name on it, either. Would my father have done this ? 
Perhaps it is one of his old scarfs if so, it is an old new 
one, for I do not think it has ever been worn. I must in 
quire into this, in the morning 1 wonder there is nothing 
of Maud s!" 

As the major laid aside his presents, he kissed the scarf, 
and then I regret to say without saying his prayers the 
young man went to bed. 

The scene must now be transferred to the room where 
the sisters in affection, if not in blood were about to seek 
their pillows also. Maud, ever the quickest and most prompt 
in her movements, was already in her night-clothes ; and, 
wrapping a shawl about herself, was seated waiting for 
Beulah to finish her nightly orisons. It was not long before 
the latter rose from her knees, and then our heroine spoke. 

" The major*nust have examined the basket by this time," 
she cried, her cheek rivalling the tint of a riband it leaned 
against, on the back of the chair. " I heard his heavy 
tramp tramp- tramp^-as he went to his room how dif 
ferently these men walk from us girls, Beulah !" 

" They do, indeed ; and Bob has got to be so large and 
heavy, now, that he quite frightens me, sometimes. Do you 
not think he grows wonderfully like papa?" 

" I do not see it. He wears his own hair, and it s a pity 
he should ever cut it off, it s so handsome and curling. Then 
he is taller, but lighter has more colour is so much 
younger and everyway so different, I wonder you think 
so. I do not think him in the least like father." 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 85 

" Well, that is odd, Maud. Both mother and myself wero 

struck with the resemblance, this evening, and \vc were both 

delighted to sec it. Papa is quite handsome, and so I think 

is Bob. Mother says he is not quite as handsome as father 

it his age, but so like him, it is surprising !" 

" Men may be handsome and not alike. Father is cer 
tainly one of the handsomest elderly men of my acquaint 
ance and the major is so-so-ish but, I wonder you can 
think a man of scven-and-twenty so very like one of sixty 
odd. Bob tells me he can play the flute quite readily now, 
Beutah." 

" I dare say ; he does everything he undertakes uncom 
monly well. Mr. Woods said, a few days since, he had 
never met with a boy who was quicker at his mathe 
matics." 

" Oh ! All Mr. Wood s geese are swans. I dare say there 
have been other boys who were quite as clever. I do not 
believe in non-pareils, Beulah." 

" You surprise me, Maud you, whom I always supposed 
such a friend of Bob s ! He thinks everything you do, too, 
so perfect ! Now, this very evening, he was looking at the 
sketch you have made of the Knoll, and he protested he did 
not know a regular artist in England, even, that would have 
done it better." 

Maud stole a glance at her sister, while the latter was 
speaking, from under her cap, and her cheeks now fairly 
put the riband to shame ; but her smile was still saucy and 
wilful. 

" Oh ! nonsense," she said " Bob s no judge of draw 
ings He scarce knows a tree from a horse !" 

"I m surprised to hear you say so, Maud," said the 
generous-minded and affectionate Beulah, who could see no 
imperfection in Bob; "and that of your brother. Wli-n 
he taught you to draw, you thought him well skilled as an 
artist." 

"Did I? I dare say I m a capricious creature but, 
somehow, I don t regard Bob, just as I used to. He has 
been away from us so much, of late, you know and the 
army makes men so formidable and, they are not like us, 
you know and, altogether, I think Bob excessively 
changed." 

VOL. I. 8 



86 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

" Well, I m glad mamma don t hear this, Maud. She 
looks upon her son, now he is a major, and twenty-seven, 
just as she used to look upon him, when he was in petti- 
coats nay, I think she considers us all exactly as so many 
little children." 

" She is a dear, good mother, I know," said Maud, with 
emphasis, tears starting to her eyes, involuntarily, almost 
impetuously " whatever she says, does, wishes, hopes, or 
thinks, is right." 

" Oh ! T knew you would come to, as soon as there was a 
question about mother ! Well, for my part, I have no such 
horror of men, as not to feel just as much tenderness for 
father or brother, as I feel for mamma, herself." 

" Not for Bob, Beulah. Tenderness for Bob ! Why, my 
dear sister, that is feeling tenderness for a Major of Foot, 
a very different thing from feeling it for one s mother. As 
for papa dear me, he is glorious, and I do so love him !" 

" You ought to, Maud ; for you were, and I am not cer 
tain that you are not, at this moment, his darling." 

It was odd that this was said without the least thought, 
on the part of the speaker, that Maud was not her natural 
sister that, in fact, she was not in the least degree related 
to her by blood. But so closely and judiciously had captain 
and Mrs. Willoughby managed the affair of their adopted 
child, that neither they themselves, Beulah, nor the inmates 
of the family or household, ever thought of her, but as of a 
real daughter of her nominal parents. As for Beulah, her 
feelings were so simple and sincere, that they were even 
beyond the ordinary considerations of delicacy, and she took 
precisely the same liberties with her titular, as she would 
have done with a natural sister. Maud alone, of all in the 
Hut, remembered her birth, and submitted to some of its 
most obvious consequences. As respects the captain, the 
idea never crossed her mind, that she was adopted by him; 
as respects her mother, she filled to her, in every sense, that 
sacred character ; Beulah, too, was a sister, in thought and 
deed; but, Bob, he had so changed, had been so many years 
separated from her ; had once actually called her Miss 
Meredith somehow, she knew not how herself it was 
fully six years since she had begun to remember that he 
was not her brother. 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 87 

As for my father," said Maud, rising with emotion, and 
peaking with startling emphasis " 1 will not say I love 
him 1 irorship him !" 

"All! I know that well enough, Maud; and to say the 
truth, you are a couple of idolators, between you. Mamma 
says this, sometimes; though she owns she is not jealous. 
But it would pain her excessively to hear that you do not 
feel towards Boh, just as we all feel." 

"But, ought H Beulah, I cannot!" 

" Ought you ! Why not, Maud? Are you in your senses, 
child?" 

"But you know I m sure you ought to remem 
ber-" 

" What? 1 demanded Beulah, really frightened at the 
other s excessive agitation. 

" That I am not his real true born sister !" 

This was the first time in their lives, either had ever 
alluded to the fact, in the other s presence. Beulah turned 
pale ; she trembled all over, as if in an asue ; then she 
luckily burst into tears, else she might have fainted. 

"Beulah my sister my oirn sister!" cried Maud, 
throwing herself into the arms of the distressed girl. 

" Ah ! Maud, you are, you shall for ever be, my only, 
only sister." 



CHAPTER VI. 

O! It is great for our country to die, where ranks are contending; 

Bright is the wreath of our fame; Glory awaits us for aye 
Glory, that never is dim, shining on with lijjht never ending 

Glory, that never shall fade, never, O ! never away. 

PER civ A L. 

NOTWITHSTANDING the startling intelligence that had so 
unexpectedly reached it, and the warm polemical conflict 
that had been carried on within its walls, the night passed 
fully over the roof of the Hutted Knoll. At the return 
of dawn, the two Plinys, both the Smashes, and all the 
menials were again afoot ; and, ere long, Mike, Saucy Nick, 



88 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

Joel, and the rest were seen astir, in the open fields, or in 
the margin of the woods. Cattle were fed, cows milked, 
fires lighted, and everything pursued its course, in the order 
of May. The three wenches, as female negroes were then 
termed, ex officio, in America, opened their throats, as was 
usual at that hour, and were heard singing at their labours, 
in a way nearly to deaden the morning carols of the tenants 
of the forest. Mart , in particular, would have drowned the 
roar of Niagara. The captain used to call her his clarion. 

In due time, the superiors of the household made their 
appearance. Mrs. Willoughby was the first out of her room, 
as was ever the case when there was anything to be done. 
On the present occasion, the " fatted calf" was to be killed, 
not in honour of the return of a prodigal son, however, but 
in behalf of one who was the pride of her eyes, and the joy 
of her heart. The breakfast that she ordered was just the 
sort of breakfast, that one must visit America to witness. 
France can set forth a very scientific dejeuner d la four- 
cliette, and England has laboured and ponderous imitations ; 
but, for the spontaneous, superabundant, unsophisticated, 
natural, all-sufficing and all-subduing morning s meal, take 
America, in a better-class house, in the country, and you 
reach the ne plus ultra, in that sort of thing. Tea, coffee, 
and chocolate, of which the first and last were excellent, 
and the second respectable ; ham, fish, eggs, toast, cakes, 
rolls, marmalades, &c. &c. &c., were thrown together in 
noble confusion ; frequently occasioning the guest, as Mr. 
Woods naively confessed, an utter confusion of mind, as 
to which he was to attack, when all were inviting and 
each would be welcome. 

Leaving Mrs. Willoughby in deep consultation with Mari , 
on the subject of this feast, we will next look after the two 
sweet girls whom we so abruptly deserted in the last chap 
ter. When Maud s glowing cheeks were first visible that 
morning, signs of tears mii^ht have been discovered on them, 
as the traces of the dew are found on the leaf of the rose ; 
but they completely vanished under the duties of the toilet, 
and she came forth from her chamber, bright and cloudless 
as the glorious May-morning, which had returned to cheer 
the solitude of the manor. Beulah followed, tranquil, bland, 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 89 

and mild as the day itself, the living image of the purity of 
soul, and dorp alliviions, of her h<>nrst nature. 

The sisters \vrnt into the breakfast-room, where they ha-J 
little lady-like otliees of thrir own to discharge, too, in ho 
nour of tin- i^ucst ; each employing herself in decorating the 
tahle, and in string that it wanted nothing in the proprie 
ties. As thrir pleasing tasks were fulfilled, the discourse 
did not flag between them. Nothing, however, had been 
said, that made the smallest allusion to the conversation of 
the past night. Neither felt any wish to revive that subject; 
and, as for Maud, bitterly did she regret ever having broach 
ed it. At times, her cheeks burned with blushes, as she 
recalled her words ; and yet she scarce knew the reason 
why. The feeling of Beulah was ditlerent. ISho wondered 
-tcr could ever think she was a Meredith, and not a 
Willoughby, At times she ll-aivd some unfortunate over 
sight of her own, some careless allusion, or indiscreet act, 
might have served to remind Maud of the circumstances of 
her real birth. Yet there was nothing in the last likely to 
awaken unpleasant reflections, apart from the circumstance 
that she was not truly a child of the family into which she 
had been transplanted. The Merediths were, at least, as 
honourable a family as the Willoughbys, in the ordinary 
worldly view of the matter; nor was Maud, by any means, 
a dependant, in the way of money. Five thousand pounds, 
in the English funds, had been settled on her, by the mar 
riage articles of her parents ; and twenty years of careful 
husbandry, during which every shilling had been scrupu 
lously devoted to accumulation, had quite doubled the origi 
nal amount. So far from being penniless, therefore, Maud s 
fortune was often alluded to by the captain, in a jocular 
way, as if purposely to remind her that she had the means 
of independence, and duties connected with it. It is truo, 
Maud, herself, had no suspicion that she had been educated 
altogether by her "father," and that her own money had 
not been u<"d for this purpose. To own the truth, she 
thought little about it ; knew little about it, beyond the fact, 
that she had a fortune of her own, into the possession of 
which she must step, when she attained her majority. How 
she came by it, even, was a question she never asked ; 
though there were moments when tender regrets and atfec- 
8* 



90 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

tionate melancholy would come over her heart, as she 
thought of her natural parents, and of their early deaths. 
Still, Maud implicitly reposed on the captain and Mrs. 
Willoughby, as on a father and mother ; and it was not 
owing to them, or anything connected with their love, treat 
ment, words, or thoughts, that she was reminded that they 
were not so in very fact, as well as in tenderness. 

" Bob will think you made these plum sweetmeats, Beu. 
lah," said Maud, with a saucy smile, as she placed a glass 
plate on the table " He never thinks I can make anything 
of this sort ; and, as he is so fond of plums, he will be cer 
tain to taste them ; then you will come in for the praise !" 

" You appear to think, that praise he must. Perhaps he 
may not fancy them good." 

" If I thought so, I would take them away this instant," 
cried Maud, standing in the attitude of one in doubt. " Bob 
does not think much of such things in girls, for he says 
ladies need not be cooks ; and yet when one does make a 
thing of this sort, one would certainly like to have it well 
made." 

" Set your heart at ease, Maud ; the plums are delicious 
much the best we ever had, and we are rather famous for 
them, you know. I 11 answer for it, Bob will pronounce 
them the best he has ever tasted." 

" And if he shouldn t, why should I care that is, not 
very much about it. You know they are the first 1 ever 
made, and one may be permitted to fail on a first effort. 
Besides, a man may go to England, and see fine sights, and 
live in great houses, and all that, and not understand when 
he has good plum sweetmeats before him, and when bad. I 
dare say there are many colonels in the army, who are 
ignorant on this point." 

Beulah laughed, and admitted the truth of the remark ; 
though, in her secret mind, she had almost persuaded her 
self that Bob knew everything. 

" Do you not think our brother improved in appearance, 
Maud," she asked, after a short pause. " The visit to Eng 
land has done him that service, at least." 

" I don t see it, Beulah I see no change. To me, Bob 
is just the same to-day, that he has ever been ; that is, ever 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 91 

since ho nivw to bo a man with boys, of courso, it is dif 
ferent. KMT sinre lie \v;is made a cap!ain, I moan." 

As major Willoughby- had readied that rank tho day ho 
ue-and-tuenty, the roadcr can understand the pnviso 
dale uhen .Maud b^gan to lake her present views of his ap- 
[< aranee- and character. 

"I am surprised to hear you say so, Maud ! Papa says 
he is better * set up, as he calls it, by his English drill, and 
that he looks altogether more like a soldier than he did." 

" Bob has always had a martial look !" cried Maud, 
quickly " lie got that in garrison, when a boy." 

" If so, I hope he may never lose it !" said the subject of 
the remark, himself, who had entered the room unperceivcd, 
and overheard this speech. " B ing a soldier, one would 
wish to look like what he is, my little critic." 

The kiss that followed, and that given to Beulah, were 
no more than the usual morning salutations of a brother to 
his sisters, slight touches of rosy checks; and yet Maud 
blushed ; for, as she said to herself, she had been taken by 
surprise. 

" They say listeners never hear good of themselves," an 
swered Maud, with a vivacity that betokened confusion. 
I lad you come a minute sooner, master Bob, it might have 
been an advantage." 

" Oh ! Beulah s remarks I do not fear ; so long as I get 
off unscathed from yours, Miss Maud, I shall think myself 
a lucky fellow. But what has brought me and my training 
into discussion, this morning?" 

" It is natural for sisters to speak about their brother after 
so long " 

" Tell him nothing about it, Beulah," interrupted Maud. 
"Let him listen, and eaves-drop, and find out as lie may, 
if he would learn our secrets. There, major WiHoughby, I 
hope that is a promise of a breakfast, which will satisfy even 
your military appetite !" 

"It looks well, indeed, Maud and there, I perceive, aro 
some of Beulah s excellent plums, of which I am so fond 
I know they were made especially for me, and I must kiss 
you, sister, for this proof of remembrance." 

Beulah, to whose simple mind it seemed injustice to ap 
propriate credit that belonged to another, was about to tell 



92 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

the truth ; but an imploring gesture from her sister induced 
her to smile, and receive the salute in silence. 

" Has any one seen captain Willoughby and parson 
Woods this morning ?" inquired the major. "I left them 
desperately engaged in discussion, and I really feel some 
apprehension as to the remains left on the field of battle." 

" Here they both come," cried Maud, glad to find the dis 
course taking so complete a change ; " and there is mamma, 
followed by Pliny, to tell Beulah to take her station at the 
coffee, while I go to the chocolate, leaving the tea to the 
only hand that can make it so that my father will drink it." 

The parties mentioned entered the room, in the order 
named ; the usual salutations followed, and all took their 
seats at table. Captain Willoughby was silent and thought 
ful at first, leaving his son to rattle on, in a way that beto 
kened care, in his view of the matter, quite as much as it 
betokened light-heartedness in those of his mother and sis 
ters. The chaplain was rather more communicative than 
his friend ; but he, too, seemed restless, and desirous of 
arriving at some point that was not likely to come upper 
most, in such a family party. At length, the impulses of 
Mr. Woods got the better of his discretion, even, and he 
could conceal his thoughts no longer. 

" Captain Willoughby," he said, in a sort of apologetic, 
and yet simple and natural manner, " I have done little 
since we parted, seven hours since, but think of the matter 
under discussion." 

" If you have, my dear Woods, there has been a strong 
sympathy between us ; I have scarcely slept. I may say I 
have thought of nothing else, myself, and am glad you have 
broached the subject, again." 

" I was about to say, my worthy sir, that reflection, and 
rny pillow, arid your sound and admirable arguments, have 
produced an entire change in my sentiments. I think, now, 
altogether with you." 

" The devil you do, Woods !" cried the captain, looking 
up from his bit of dry toast, in astonishment. " Why, my 
dear fellow this is odd excessively odd, if the truth must 
be said. To own the real state of the case, chaplain, you 
have won me over, and I was just about to make proper 
acknowledgments of your victory !" 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 93 

It nerd scarcely !><> milled that the rest of the company 
not a little amu/.ed at these cross-concessions, while 
Maud was exceeding v amused. As for Mrs. \\ illoughby, 
nothing laughahle ever occurred in connection with ln-r 
husband ; ami then she would as soon think of assailing the 
chuivh itself, a.s to ridicule one of its ministers. Beulah 
could see nothing but what was right in her father, at least ; 
and, a.s for the major, he felt too much concerned at this 
u n< .\pectcd admission of his father s, to perceive anything 
but the error. 

Have you not overlooked the injunction of scripture, 
my excellent friend?" rejoined the chaplain. " Have you 
the rights of Caosar, all their weight and authority? 
The king s name is a tower of strength. " 

" Have not you, Woods, forgotten the superior claims of 
reason and right, over those of accident and birth that 
man is to be considered as a reasoning being, to be go- 
verned by principles and ever-varying facts, and not a 
mere animal left to the control of an instinct that perishes 
with its usefulness ?" 

" What can they mean, mother?" whispered Maud, scarce 
able to repress the laughter that came so easily to one with 
a keen sense of the ludicrous. 

" They have been arguing about the right of parliament 
to tax the colonies, I believe, my dear, and over-persuaded 
each other, that s all. It is odd, Robert, that Mr. Woods 
should convert your father." 

" No, my dearest mother, it is something even more se 
rious than that." By this time, the disputants, who sat 
opposite each other, were fairly launched into the discus 
sion, again, and heeded nothing that passed " No, dearest 
mother, it is far worse than even that. Pliny, tell my man 
to brush the hunting-jacket and, s-e he Ins his breakfast, 
in good style he is a grumbling rascal, and will give the 
house a bad character, else you need not come back, until 
we ring for you yes, mother, yes dearest girls, this is a 
far more serious matter than you suppose, though it ought 
not to be mentioned idly, among the people. God knows 
how they may take it and bad news flics swift enough, of 
itself." 

"Merciful Providence!" exclaimed Mrs. Willoughby 
" What can you mean, my son ?" 



94 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

" I mean, mother, that civil war has actually commenced 
in the colonies, and that the people of your blood and race 
are, in open arms, against the people of my father s native 
country in a word, against me." 

" How can that be, Robert 1 Who would dare to strike a 
blow against the king?" 

" When men get excited, and their passions are once in 
flamed, they will do much, my mother, that they might not 
dream of, else." 

" This must be a mistake ! Some evil-disposed person 
has told you this, Robert, knowing your attachment to the 
crown." 

" I wish it were so, dear madam ; but my own eyes have 
seen I may say my own flesh has felt, the contrary." 

The major then related what had happened, letting his 
auditors into the secret of the true state of the country. It 
is scarcely necessary to allude to the degree of consternation 
and pain, with which he was heard, or to the grief which 
succeeded. 

" You spoke of yourself, dear Bob," said Maud, naturally, 
and with strong feeling " You were not hurt, in this cruel, 
cruel battle." 

" I ought not to have mentioned it, although I did cer 
tainly receive a smart contusion nothing more, I assure 
you here in the shoulder, and it now scarcely inconve 
niences me." 

By this time all were listening, curiosity and interest 
having silenced even the disputants, especially as this was 
the first they had heard of the major s casualty. Then 
neither felt the zeal which had warmed him in the previous 
contest, but was better disposed to turn aside from its pur 
suit. 

" I hope it did not send you to the rear, Bab?" anxiously 
inquired the father. 

I was in the rear, sir, when I got the hurt," answered 
the major, laughing. " The rear is the post of honour, on a 
retreat, you know, my dear father ; and I believe our march 
scarce deserves another name." 

" That is hard, too, on king s troops ! What sort of 
fellows had you to oppose, my son ?" 

" A rather intrusive set, sir. Their object was to persuade 



THE HOTTED KNOLL. 95 

us lo go into Boston, as last as possible; and, it was a little 
difficult, at times, not tu listen to their arguments. If my 
Lord Percy had not come out, with a strong party, and two 
pieces of artillery, we might not have stood it much longer ! 
Our mm were lagged like hunted deer, and the day proved 
oppressively hot." 

"Artillery, too!" exclaimed the captain, his military 
pride reviving a little, to unsettle his last convictions of 
duty. " Did you open your columns, and charge your 
enemies, in line?" 

" It would have been charging air. No sooner did we 
halt, than our foes dispersed; or, no sooner did we renew 
the march, than every line of wall, along our route, became 
a line of hostile muskets. I trust you will do us justice, 
sir you know the regiments, and can scarce think they 
misbehaved." 

" British troops seldom do that ; although I have known it 
happen. No men, however, are usually more steady, and 
then these provincials are formidable as skirmishers. In 
that character, I know them, too. What has been the effect 
of all this on the country, Bob? You told us something of 
it last night ; complete the history." 

" The provinces are in a tumult. As for New England, 
a flame of fire could scarce be more devastating ; though I 
think this colony is less excited. Still, here, men are arm 
ing in thousands." 

" Dear me dear me" ejaculated the peacefully-inclined 
chaplain " that human beings can thus be inclined to self- 
destruction !" 

" Is Tryon active ? What do the royal authorities, all 
this time?" 

" Of course they neglect nothing feasible ; but, they must 
principally rely on the loyalty and influence of the gentry, 
until succour can arrive from Europe. If that fail thorn, 
their difficulties will be much increased." 

Captain Willoughby understood his son j he glanced to- 
wirds his unconscious wife, as if to see how far she felt 
w th him. 

* Our own families are divided, of course, much as they 
have been in the previous discussions," he added. " The 
De Lanceys, Van Cortlandts, Philipses, Bayards, and most 



96 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

of that town connection, with a large portion of the Long 
Island families, I should think, are with the crown ; while 
the Livingstons, Morrises, Schuylers, Rensselaers, and their 
friends, go with the colony. Is not this the manner in which 
they are divided ?" 

" With some limitations, sir. All the De Lanceys, with 
most of their strong connections and influence, are with us 
with the king, I mean while all the Livingstons and Mor 
rises are against us. The other families are divided as 
with the Cortlandts, Schuylers, and Rensselaers. It is for 
tunate for the Patroon, that he is a boy," 

"Why so, Bob?" asked the captain, looking inquiringly 
up, at his son. 

" Simply, sir, that his great estate may not be confiscated. 
So many of his near connections are against us, that he 
could hardly escape the contamination ; and the conse 
quences would be inevitable." 

" Do you consider that so certain, sir? As there are two 
sides to the question, may there not be two results to the 
war?" 

" I think not, sir. England is no power to be defied by 
colonies insignificant as these." 

" This is well enough for a king s officer, major Wil- 
loughby ; but all large bodies of men are formidable when 
they are right, and nations these colonies are a nation, in 
extent and number are not so easily put down, when the 
spirit of liberty is up and doing among them." 

The major listened to his father with pain and wonder. 
The captain spoke earnestly, and there was a flush about 
his fine countenance, that gave it sternness and authority. 
Unused to debate with his father, especially when the latter 
was in such a mood, the son remained silent, though his 
mother, who was thoroughly loyal in her heart meaning 
loyal as applied to a sovereign and who had the utmost 
confidence in her husband s tenderness and consideration 
for herself, was not so scrupulous. 

" Why, Willoughby," she cried, " you really incline to 
rebellion ! I, even I, who was born in the colonies, think 
them very wrong to resist their anointed king, and sove 
reign prince." 

" Ah, Wilhelmina," answered the captain, more mildly, 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 07 

" you have a true colonist s admiration of home. But I \VILS 
old enough, when 1 left England, to appreciate what I saw 
and knew, and cannot Ibel all this provincial admiration." 

" Iitit surely, my dear captain, England is a very great 
country," interrupted the chaplain " a prodigious country ; 
one that can claim all our respect and love. Look at the 
church, now, the purified continuation of the ancient visible 
authority of Christ on earth ! It is the consideration of this 
church that has subdued my natural love of birth-place, and 
altered my sentiments." 

" All very true, and all very well, in your mouth, chap 
lain ; yet even the visible church may err. This doctrine 
of divine right would have kept the Stuarts on the throne, 
and it is not even English doctrine ; much less, then, need 
it be American. I am no Cromwellian, no republican, that 
wishes to oppose the throne, in order to destroy it. A good 
king is a good thing, and a prodigious blessing to a country ; 
still, a people needs look to its political privileges if it wish 
to preserve them. You and I will discuss this matter ano 
ther time, parson. There will be plenty of opportunities," 
he added, rising, and smiling good-humourcdly ; " I must, 
now, call my people together, and let them know this news. 
It is not fair to conceal a civil war." 

" My dear sir!" exclaimed the major, in concern "are 
you not wrong? precipitate, I mean Is it not better to 
preserve the secret, to give yourself time for reflection to 
await events? I can discover no necessity for this haste. 
Should you see things ditferently, hereafter, an incautious 
word uttered at this moment might bring much motive for 
regret." 

" I have thought of all this, Bob, during the night for 
hardly did I close my eyes and you cannot change my 
purpose. It is honest to let my people know how matters 
stand ; and, so far from being hazardous, as you seem to 
think, I consider it wise. God knows what time will bring 
forth ; but, in every, or any event, fair-dealing can scarcely 
injure him who practises it. I have already sent directions 
to have the whole settlement collected on the lawn, at the 
ringing of the bell, and I expect every moment we shall 
hear the summons." 

VOL. I. 9 



88 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

Against this decision there was no appeal. Mild and in 
dulgent as the captain habitually was, his authority was not 
to be disputed, when he chose to exercise it. Some doubtg 
arose, and the father participated in them, for a moment*, as 
to what might be the effect on the major s fortunes ; for, 
should a very patriotic spirit arise among the men, two- 
thirds of whom were native Americans, and what was more, 
from the eastern colonies, he might be detained ; or, at least, 
betrayed on his return, and delivered into the hands of the 
revolted authorities. This was a very serious consideration, 
and it detained the captain in the house, some time after the 
people were assembled, debating the chances, in the bosom 
of his own family. 

" We exaggerate the danger," the captain, at length, ex 
claimed. " Most of these men have been with me for years, 
and I know not one among them who I think would wish to 
injure me, or even you, my son, in this way. There is far 
more danger in attempting to deceive them, than in making 
them confidants. I will go out and tell the truth ; then we 
shall, at least, have the security of self-approbation. If 
you escape the danger of being sold by Nick, my son, I 
think you have little to fear from any other." 

" By Nick 1" repeated half-a-dozen voices, in surprise 
" Surely, father surely, Willoughby surely, my dear cap 
tain, you cannot suspect as old and tried a follower, as the 
Tuscarora !" 

" Ay, he is an old follower, certainly, and he has been 
punished often enough, if he has not been tried. I have 
never suffered my distrust of that fellow to go to sleep it 13 
unsafe, with an Indian, unless you have a strong hold on 
his gratitude." 

" But, Willoughby, he it was who found this manor for 
us," rejoined the wife. "Without him, we should never 
have been the owners of this lovely place, this beaver-dam, 
and all else that we so much enjoy." 

" True, my dear ; and without good golden guineas, we 
should not have had Nick." 

" But, sir, I pay as liberally as he can wish," observed 
the major. " If bribes will buy him, mine are as good as 
another s." 

" We shall see under actual circumstances, I think we 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 99 

shall be, in every respect, safer, by keeping nothing back, 
than by toiling all to thu people." 

The captain now put on his hat, and issued through tho 
undefended gate-way, followed by every individual of hi.* 
family. As the summons had been general, when the 
Willoughbya and the ehaplain appeared on the lawn, every 
living soul of that isolated settlement, even to infants in the 
arms, was collected there. Tho captain commanded the 
profound respect of all his dependants, though a few among 
them did not love him. The fault was not his, however, 
but was inherent rather in the untoward characters of the 
disaffected themselves. His habits of authority were un- 
suited to their habits of a presuming equality, perhaps; and 
it is impossible for the comparatively powerful and allluent 
to escape the envy and repinings of men, who, unable to 
draw the real distinctions that separate the gentleman from 
the low-minded and grovelling, impute their advantages to 
accidents and money. But, even the lew who permitted this 
malign and corrupting tendency to influence their feeling, 
could not deny that their master was just and benevolent, 
though he did not always exhibit this justice and benevo 
lence precisely in the way best calculated to soothe their 
own craving self-love, and exaggerated notions of assumed 
natural claims. In a word, captain Wiiioughby, in the eyes 
of a few unquiet and bloated imaginations among his people, 
was obnoxious to the imputation of pride; and this because 
he saw and felt the consequences of education, habits, man 
ners, opinions and sentiments that were hidden from those 
who not only had no perception of their existence, but who 
had no knowledge whatever of the qualities that brought 
them into being. Pope s familiar line of " what can we 
reason but from what we know?" is peculiarly applicable 
to persons of this class ; who are ever for dra^mi; all things 
down to standards created by their own ignorance ; and 
who, slaves of the basest and meanest passions, reason as 
if they were possessors of all the knowledge, sensibilities 
nnd refinements of their own country and times. Of this 
class of men, comes the ordinary demagogue, a wretch 
equally incapable of setting an example of any of the higher 
qualities, in his own person or practice, and of appreciating 
it when exhibited by others. Such men abound under all 



100 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

systems where human liberty is highly privileged, being the 
moral fungi of freedom, as the rankest weeds are known to 
be the troublesome and baneful productions of the richest 
soils. 

It was no unusual thing for the people of the Hutted Knoll 
to be collected, in the manner we have described. We are 
writing of a period, that the present enlightened generation 
is apt to confound with the darker ages of American know 
ledge, in much that relates to social usages at least, though 
it escaped the long-buried wisdom of the Mormon bible, and 
Miller s interpretations of the prophecies. In that day, men 
were not so silly as to attempt to appear always wise ; but 
some of the fetes and festivals of our Anglo-Saxon ancestors 
were still tolerated among us ; the all-absorbing and all- 
swallowing jubilee of " Independence-day" not having yet 
overshadowed everything else in the shape of a holiday. 
Now, captain Willoughby had brought with him to the 
colonies the love of festivals that is so much more prevalent 
in the old world than in the new ; and it was by no means 
an uncommon thing for him to call his people together, to 
make merry on a birth-day, or the anniversary of some 
battle in which he had been one of the victors. When he 
appeared on the lawn, on the present occasion, therefore, it 
was expected he was about to meet them with some such 
announcement. 

The inhabitants of the manor, or the estate of the Hutted 
Knoll, might be divided into three great physical, and we 
might add moral categories, or races, viz : the Anglo-Saxon, 
the Dutch, both high and low, and the African. The first 
was the most numerous, including the families of the millers, 
most of the mechanics, and that of Joel Strides, the land- 
overseer ; the second was composed chiefly of labourers ; 
and the last were exclusively household servants, with the 
exception of one of the Plinys, who was a ploughman, 
though permitted to live with his kinsfolk in the Hut. 
These divisions, Maud, in one of her merry humours, had 
nick-named the three tribes ; while her father, to make the 
enumeration complete, had classed the serjeant, Mike, and 
Jamie Allen, as supernumeraries. 

The three tribes, and the three supernumeraries, then, 
were all collected on the lawn, as the captain and his family 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 101 

approached. Iiy a sort of secret instinct, too, they had 
divided themselves into knots, the Dutch keeping a little 
aloof from the \ankees; and the blacks, almost as a matter 
of reli-ion, Mantling a .short distance in the rear, as became 
people ofihrir colour, and slaves. Mike and Jamie, how 
ever, had ^ot u sort of neutral position, between the two 
great divisions of the whites, as if equally indifferent to their 
iMons or antipathies. In this manner all parties stood, 
impatiently awaiting an announcement that had been so 
long delayed. The captain advanced to the front, and re 
moving his hat, a ceremony he always observed on similar 
occasions, and which had the effect to make his listeners 
imitate- his own courtesy, he addressed the crowd. 

" When people live together, in a wilderness like this," 
commenced the captain, " there ought to be no secrets be 
tween them, my friends, in matters that touch the common 
interests. \Ve are like men on a remote island ; a sort of 
colony of our own ; and we must act fairly and frankly by 
each other. In this spirit, then, 1 am now about to lay be 
fore you, all that I know myself, concerning an affair of the 
last importance to the colonies, and to the empire." Here 
Joel pricked up his ears, and cast a knowing glance at * the 
miller, a countryman and early neighbour of his own, who 
had charge of the grinding for the settlement, and who went 
by that appellation * p<ir excellence / "You all know," 
continued the captain, " that there have been serious diffi 
culties between the colonies and parliament, now, for more 
than ten years; difficulties that have been, once or twice, 
partially settled, but which have as often broken out, in some 
new shape, as soon as an old quarrel was adjusted." 

IT re the captain paused a moment; and Joel, who was 
the usual spokesman of the people, took an occasion to 
put a question. 

" The captain means, I s pose," he said, in a sly, half- 
honest, half-jcsuitical manner, "the right of parliament to 
tax us Americans, without our own consent, or our having 
any members in th -ir Icg//sla/oorp?" 

" I mean what you say. The tax on tea, the shutting the 
port . and other steps, have brought larger bodies 

of the kinir s troops among us, than have been usual. Boston, 
as you probably know, has had a strong garrison, now, for 

y 



102 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

some months. About six weeks since, the commander-in- 
chief sent a detachment out as far as Concord, in New 
Hampshire, to destroy certain stores. This detachment had 
a meeting with the minute-men, and blood was drawn. A 
running fight ensued, in which several hundreds have been 
killed and wounded ; and I think I know both sides suffi 
ciently well, to predict that a long and bloody civil war is 
begun. These are facts you should know, and accordingly 
I tell them to you." 

This simple, but explicit, account was received very dif 
ferently, by the different listeners. Joel Strides leaned for 
ward, with intense interest, so as not to lose a syllable. 
Most of the New Englanders, or Yankees, paid great atten 
tion, and exchanged meaning glances with each other, when 
the captain had got through. As for Mike, he grasped a 
shillelah that he habitually carried, when not at work, look 
ing round, as if waiting for orders from the captain, on 
whom to begin. Jamie was thoughtful and grave, and, once 
or twice, as the captain proceeded, he scratched his head in 
doubt. The Dutch seemed curious, but bewildered, gaping 
at each other like men who might make up their minds, if 
you wouM give them time, but who certainly had not yet. 
As for the blacks, their eyes began to open like saucers, 
when they heard of the quarrel ; when it got to the blows, 
their mouths were all grinning with the delight of a thing 
so exciting. At the mention of the number of the dead, 
however, something like awe passed over them, and changed 
their countenances to dismay. Nick alone was indifferent. 
By the cold apathy of his manner, the captain saw at once 
that the battle of Lexington had not been a secret to the 
Tuscarora, when he commenced his own account. As the 
captain always encouraged a proper familiarity in his de 
pendants, he now told them he was ready to answer any 
questions they might think expedient to put to him, in grati 
fication of their natural curiosity. 

" I s pose this news comes by the major?" asked Joel. 
" You may well suppose that, Strides. My son is here, 
and we have no other means of getting it." 

" Will yer honour be wishful that we shoulther our fire 
arms, and go out and fight one of them sides, or t other?" 
demanded Mike. 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 103 

" I wish nothing of the sort, O Hearn. It will be time 
enough ll>r us to lake a decided part, when we get better 
ideas of what is really going on." 

** Does nt the captain, then, think matters have got far 
enough towards a head, for the Americans to make up their 
minds conclusively, as it might be?" put in Joel, in his very 
manner. 

" I think it will be wiser for us all to remain where we 
are, and as we are. Civil war is a serious matter, Strides, 
and no man should rush blindly into its dangers and diffi- 
culti* 

Joel looked at the miller, and the miller looked at Joel. 
Neither said anything, however, at the time. Jamie Allen, 
had been out in the * forty-five, when thirty years younger 
than he was that day ; and though he had his predilections 
and antipathies, circumstances had taught him prudence. 

" Will the parliament, think ye, no be bidding the sol 
diery to wark their will on the puir unairtned folk, up and 
down the country, and they not provided with the means to 
resist them ?" 

" Och, Jamie !" interrupted Mike, who did not appear to 
deem it necessary to treat this matter with even decent re 
spect " where will be yer valour and stomach, to ask sich 
a question as that ! A man is always reathy, when he has 
his ar-r-ms and legs free to act accorthing to natur . What 
would a rigiment of throops do ag in the likes of sich a place 
as this ? 1 m sure it s tin years I Ve been in it, and I ve 
niver been able to find my way out of it. Set a souldier to 
rowing on the lake forenent the rising sun, with orders to 
get tb the other ind, and a pretty job he d make of march 
ing on that same ! I knows it, for I Ve thried it, and it is 
not a new beginner that will make much of sich oars; 
barring he knows nothin about them." 

This was not very intelligible to anybody but Joel, and he 
had ceased to laugh at Mike s voyage, now, some six or 
seven years ; divers other disasters, all having their origin 
in a similar confusion of ideas, having, in the interval, sup 
planted that calamity, as it mi<, r it be, seriatim. Still it was 
an indication that Mike might be set down as u belligerent, 
who was disposed to follow his leader into the battle, \vithout 
troubling him with many questions : ocerning the merits 



104 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

of the quarrel. Nevertheless, the county Leitrim-man ac 
knowledged particular principles, all of which had a certain 
influence on his conduct, whenever he could get at them, to 
render them available. First and foremost, he cordially 
disliked a Yankee ; and he hated an Englishman, both as an 
oppressor and a heretic ; yet he loved his master and all that 
belonged to him. These were contradictory feelings, cer 
tainly ; but Mike was all contradiction, both in theory and 
in practice. 

The Anglo-Saxon tribe now professed a willingness to 
retire, promising to think of the matter, a course against 
which Mike loudly protested, declaring he never knew any 
good come of thinking, when matters had got as far as 
blows. Jamie, too, went off scratching his head, and he 
was seen to make many pauses, that day, between the 
shovels-full of earth he, from time to time, threw around 
his plants, as if pondering on what he had heard. As for 
the Dutch, their hour had not come. No one expected them 
to decide the day they first heard of argument. 

The negroes got together, and began to dwell on the 
marvels of a battle in which so many Christians had been 
put to death. Little Smash placed the slain at a few thou 
sands ; but Great Smash, as better became her loftier appel 
lation and higher spirit, affirmed that the captain had stated 
hundreds of thousands ; a loss, with less than which, as 
she contended, no great battle could possibly be fought. 

When the captain was housed, Serjeant Joyce demanded 
an audience ; the object of which was simply to ask for 
orders^ without the least reference to principles. 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. ] 05 



CHAPTER VII. 



We arc all here ! 

Father, mother, 

Sister, brother, 

All who hold each other dear. 
Each chair is fill d we re all ut home; 
To-night K t no cold stranger come : 
It is i, .t ..:>, ii thus around 
Our old familiar hearth we re found : 
. thru, the meeting and the spot; 
For once be every care forgot; 
Let gentle Peace assert her power, 
And kind Affection rule the hour; 

We re all all here. 

SPRAGUE. 

ALTHOUGH most of the people retired to their dwellings, 
or their labours, as soon as the captain dismissed them, a 
few remained to receive his farther orders. Among theso 
last were Joel, the carpenter, and the blacksmith. Tin -so 
men now joined the chief of the settlement and his son, who 
had lingered near the gateway, in conversation concerning 
the alterations that the present state of things might render 
necessary, in and about the Hut. 

" Joel," observed the captain, when the three men were 
near enough to hear his orders, " this great change in the 
times will render some changes in our means of defence 
prudent, if not necessary." 

" Does the captain s pose the people of the colony will 
attack vs?" asked the wily overseer, with emphasis. 

" Perhaps not the people of the colony, Mr. Stride, l r 
t\c not yet declared ourselves their enemies ; but there 
are other foes, who are more to be apprehended than the 
people of the colony." 

" I should think the king s troops not likely to trouble 
themselves to ventur here the road might prove easier to 
come than to return. Besides, our plunder would scarce 
pay for such a march." 



r 



106 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

" Perhaps not but there never has yet been a war in 
these colonies that some of the savage tribes were not en 
gaged in it, before the whites had fairly got themselves into 
line." 

" Do you really think, sir, there can be much serious 
danger of that!" exclaimed the major, in surprise. 

" Beyond a question, my son. The scalping-knife will 
be at work in six months, if it be not busy already, should 
one-half of your reports and rumours turn out to be true. 
Such is American history." 

" I rather think, sir, your apprehensions for my mother 
and sisters may mislead you. I do not believe the Ameri 
can authorities will ever allow themselves to be driven into 
a measure so perfectly horrible and unjustifiable ; and were 
the English ministry sufficiently cruel, or unprincipled, to 
adopt the policy, the honest indignation of so humane a 
people would be certain to drive them from power." 

As the major ceased speaking, he turned and caught the 
expression of Joel s countenance, and was struck with the 
look of intense interest with which the overseer watched his 
own warm and sincere manner. 

" Humanity is a very pretty stalking-horse for political 
orations, Bob," quietly returned the father ; " but it will 
scarcely count for much with an old campaigner. God 
send you may come out of this war with the same ingenu 
ous and natural feelings as you go into it." 

" The major will scarce dread the savages, should he be 
on the side of his nat ral friends !" remarked Joel ; " and if 
what he says about the humanity of the king s advisers be 
true, he will be safe from them" 

" The major will be on the side to which duty calls him, 
Mr. Strides, if it may be agreeable to your views of the 
matter," answered the young man, with a little more hau 
teur than the occasion required. 

The father felt uneasy, and he regretted that his son had 
been so indiscreet ; though he saw no remedy but by draw 
ing the attention of the men to the matter before them. 

" Neither the real wishes of the people of America, nor of 
the people of England, will avail much, in carrying on this 
war," he said. " Its conduct will fall into the hands of 
those who will look more to the ends than to the means ; 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 107 

and success will be iomid a .--ullieirnt apology for any w 
This h::- i-een the history of all the wars of my tinir, audit 
is likely to prove tL- hisiury of this. 1 il-ar it will mako 
little difference to us on which side we may be in feeling; 
there will be s;r uar.l against in either case. This 

gate must be hung, one of the first things, Joel ; and I havo 
serious thoughts of placing palisades around the Knoll. 
The Hut, well palisaded, would make a work that could not 
be easily carried, without artillery." 

Joel seemed struck with the idea, though it did not appear 
that it was favourably. He stood studying the house and 
the massive gates for a minute or two, ere he delivered his 
sentiments on the subject. When he did speak, it was a 
good deal more in doubt, than in approbation. 

"It s all very true, captain," he said; the house would 
seem to be a good deal more safe like, if the gates were up ; 
but, a body don t know ; sometimes gates be a security, and 
sometimes they isn t. It all depends on which side the 
danger comes. Still, as these are made, and finished all to 
hanging, it s most a pity, too, they shouldn t be used, if a 
body could find time." 

" The time must be found, and the gates be hung," inter- 
rupted the captain, too much accustomed to Joel s doubting, 
sort-o -concluding manner, to be always patient under the 
infliction. " Not only the gates, but the palisades must be 
got out, holes dug, and the circumvallation completed." 

" It must be as the captain says, of course, he being 
master here. But time s precious in May. There s half 
our planlin to be done yet, and some of the ground hasn t 
got the last ploughin . Harvest won t come without seed 
time ; for no man, let him be great, or let him be small 
and it does seem to me a sort o wastin of the Lord s 
blessin s, to be hangin gates, and diiigin holes for that 
the thing the captain mentioned when there s no visible 
T in sight to recommend the measure to prudence, as 
it mi-ht be." 

" That may be your opinion, Mr. Strides, but it is not 
mine. I intend to guard against a visible danger that is out 
of sight, and I will thank you to have these gates hung, this 
very day." 

" This very day ! The captain s a mind to be musical 



108 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

about the matter ! Every hand in the settlement couldn t 
get them gates in their places in less than a week." 

" It appears to me. Strides, you are playing on the music, 
as you call it, yourself, now ?" 

" No, indeed, captain ; them gates will have to be hung 
on the mechanic principle ; and it will take at least two or 
three days for the carpenter and blacksmith to get up the 
works that s to do it. Then the hanging, itself, I should 
think would stand us in hand a day for each side. As for 
the circumvalley, what between the cuttin , and haulin , and 
diggin , and settin , that would occupy all hands until after 
first hoein . That is, hoein would come afore the plantinV 

" It does not appear to me, Bob, such a heavy job as Joel 
represents ! The gates are heavy, certainly, and may take 
us a day or two ; but, as for stockading I ve seen barracks 
stockaded in, in a week, if I remember right. You know 
something of this what is your opinion? 

"That this house can be stockaded in, in the time you 
mention ; and, as I have a strong reluctance to leave the 
family before it is in security, with your permission I will 
remain and superintend the work." 

The offer was gladly accepted, on more accounts than 
one ; and the captain, accustomed to be obeyed when he 
was in earnest, issued his orders forthwith, to let the work 
proceed. Joel, however, was excused, in order that he 
might finish the planting he had commenced, and which a 
very few hands could complete within the required time. 
As no ditch was necessary, the work was of a very simple 
nature, and the major set about his portion of it without even 
re-entering the house. 

The first thing was to draw a line for a trench some six 
or seven feet deep, that was to encircle the whole building, 
at a distance of about thirty yards from the house. This 
line ran, on each side of the Hut, on the very verge of the 
declivities, rendering the flanks far more secure than the 
front, where it crossed the lawn on a gently inclining sur 
face. In one hour the major had traced this line, with accu 
racy ; and he had six or eight men at work with spades, 
digging the trench. A gang of hands was sent into the 
woods, with orders to cut the requisite quantity of young 
chestnuts; and, by noon, a load of the material actually 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 109 

appeared on the ground. Still, nothing was done to the 

To own the truth, the captain was now delighted. Tim 
scene reminded him of some in liis military life, and ho 
bustled about, giving his orders, with a good deal of the firo 
ith renewed, taking care, however, in no manner to 
re with the plans of his son. .Mike buried himsdf 
like a mole, and had actually advanced several feet, before 
either of the Yankees had got even a fair footing on the 
bottom of his part of the trench. As for Jamie Allen, ho 
went to work with deliberation ; but it was not long before 
his naked gray hairs were seen on a level with the surface 
of the ground. The digging was not hard, though a little 
Moiiy, and the work proceeded with spirit and success. All 
that day, and the next, and the next, and the next, the Knoll 
app.-arcd alive, earth being cast upward, teams moving, 
carpenters sawing, and labourers toiling. Many of the men 
protested that their work was useless, unnecessary, unlaw 
ful even ; but no one dared hesitate under the eyes of the 
major, when his father had once issued a serious command. 
In the mean time, Joel s planting was finished, though he 
made many long pauses while at work on the flats, to look 
up and ga/c at the scene of activity and bustle that was 
presented at the Knoll. On the fourth day, towards even 
ing, he was obliged to join the general " bee," with the few 
Irmds he had retained with himself. 

By this lime, the trench was dug, most of the timber was 
prepared, and the business of setting up the stockade was 
commenced. Each young tree was cut to the length of 
twenty feet, and pointed at one end. Mortices, to receive 
cross-pieces, were cut at proper distances, and holes v.e;e 
bored to admit the pins. This was all the preparation, and 
the timbers were set in the trench, pointed ends uppermost. 
When a snlTioient number were thus arranged, a few inches 
from each other, the cross-pieces were pinned on, bringing 
tlie whole info a single connected frame, or bent. Th 
^is then raised to a perpendicular, and secured, by pound- 
ing the earth around the lower ends of the timbers. The 
latter process required care and judgment, and it was en 
trusted to the especial supervision of the deliberate Jamie ; 
the major having discovered that the Yankees, in general, 

VOL. I. 10 



110 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

were too impatient to get on, and to make a show. Serjeant 
Joyce was particularly useful in dressing the rows of tim 
ber, and in giving the whole arrangement a military air. 

" Guid wark is far better than quick wark," observed the 
cool-headed Scotchman, as he moved about among the men, 
" and it s no the fuss and bustle of acteevity that is to give 
the captain pleasure. The thing that is well done, is done 
with the least noise arid confusion. Set the stockades mair 
pairpendic lar, my men." 

" Ay dress them, too, my lads" added the venerable 
ex-serjeant. 

" This is queer plantin , Jamie," put in Joel, " and queerer 
grain will come of it. Do you think these young chestnuts 
will ever grow, ag in, that you put them out in rows, like so 
much corn?" 

" Now it s no for the growth we does it, Joel, but to pre- 
sairve the human growth we have. To keep the savage 
bairbers o the wilderness fra clippin our polls before the 
shearin time o natur has gathered us a in for the hairvest 
of etairnity. They that no like the safety we re makin for 
them, can gang their way to ither places, where they 11 find 
no forts, or stockades to trouble their een." 

"I m not critical at all, Jamie, though to my notion a 
much better use for your timber plantation would be to turn 
it into sheds for cattle, in the winter months. I can see some 
good in that, but none in this" 

" Bad luck to ye, then, Misthcr Sthroddle," cried Mike, 
from the bottom of the trench, where he was using a pound 
ing instrument with the zeal of a paviour " Bad luck to the 
likes of ye, say T, Misther Strides. If ye ve no relish for a 
fortification, in a time of war, ye ve only to shoulther yer 
knapsack, and go out into the open counthry, where ye II 
have all to yer own satisfaction. Is it forthify the house, 
will we? That we will, and not a hair of the missuss s 
head, nor of the ) r oung ladies heads, nor of the masther s 
head, though he s mighty bald as it is, but not a hair of all 
their heads shall be harmed, while Jamie, and Mike, and 
the bould ould serjeant, here, can have their way. I wish 
I had the trench full of yer savages, and a gineral funeral 
we d make of the vagabonds ! Och ! They re the divil s 
imps, I hear from all sides, and no love do I owe them." 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. Ill 

" And yet you re the bosom friend of Nick, who s any 
thing l)iit what I call a specimen of his people." 

"Is it Nick ye re afther > \\V1I, Nick s half-civilized 
accorthin to yer Yankee manners, and he s no spicimen, 
at all. Let him hear you call him by sich a name, if \ e 
want throtible." 

Joel walked away muttering, leaving the labourers in 
doubt whether he relished least the w..rk he was now obliged 
to unite in furthering, or Mike s hit at his own peculiar peo 
ple. Still the work proceeded, and in one week from the 
day it was commenced, the stockade was complete, its gate 
pled. The. entrance through the palisades was directly 
in front of that to the house, and both passages still remain 
ed open, one set of gates not being completed, and the other 
not yet beini; hum:. 

It was on a Saturday evening when the last palisade was 
placed firmly in the ground, and all the signs of the recent 
labour were removed, in order to restore as much of the 
former beauty of the Knoll as possible. It had been a busy 
week; so much so, indeed, as to prevent the major from 
holding any of that confidential intercourse with his mother 
and sisters, in which it had been his habit to indulge in for- 
m-T visits. The fatigues of the days sent everybody to their 
pillows early ; and the snatches of discourse which passed, 
had been affectionate and pleasant, rather than communica 
tive. Now that the principal job was so near being finished, 
however, and the rubbish was cleared away, the captain 
summoned the family to the lawn again, to enjoy a delicious 
evening near the close of the winning month of May. The 
season was early, and the weather more bland, than was 
usual, even in that sheltered and genial valley. For the 
first time that year, Mrs. Willoughby consented to order the 
lipago to be carried to a permanent table that had been 
placed under the shade of a fine elm, in readiness for any 
nimpttrc of this simple character. 

" Come, Wilhelmina, give us a cup of your fragrant 
i. of which we have luckily abundance, tax or no tax. 
I should lose caste, were it known how much American 
treason we have gulped down, in this way ; hut, a little tea, 
up here in the forest, can do no man s conscience any great 
violence, in the long run. I suppose, major Willoughby, 



112 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

His Majesty s forces do not disdain tea, in these stirring 
times." 

" Far from it, sir ; we deem it so loyal to drink it, that it 
is said the port and sherry of the different messes, at Boston, 
are getting to be much neglected. I am an admirer of tea, 
for itself, however, caring little about its collateral qualities. 
Parrel" " turning to his man, who was aiding Pliny the 
elder, in arranging the table " when you are through here, 
bring out the basket you will find on the toilet, in my 
room." 

" True, Bob," observed the mother, smiling " that basket 
has scarce been treated with civility. Not a syllable of 
thanks have I heard, for all the fine things it contains." 

" My mind has been occupied with care for your safety, 
dear mother, and that must be my excuse. Now, however, 
there is an appearance of security which gives one a breath 
ing-time, and my gratitude receives a sudden impulse. As 
for you, Maud, I regret to be compelled to say that you 
stand convicted of laziness ; not a single thing do I owe to 
your labours, or recollection of me." 

" Is that possible !" exclaimed the captain, who was pour 
ing water into the tea-pot. " Maud is the last person I should 
suspect of neglect of this nature ; I do assure you, Bob, no 
one listens to news of your promotions and movements with 
more interest than Maud." 

Maud, herself, made no answer. She bent her head aside, 
in a secret consciousness that her sister might alone detect, 
and form her own conclusions concerning the colour that 
she felt warming her cheeks. But, Maud s own sensitive 
feelings attributed more to Beulah than the sincere and sim 
ple-minded girl deserved. So completely was she accustomed 
to regard Robert and Maud as brother and sister, that even 
all which had passed produced no effect in unsettling her 
opinions, or in .giving her thoughts a new direction. Just 
nt this moment Parrel came back, and placed the basket on 
the bench, at the side of his master. 

" Now, my dearest mother, and you, girls" the major 
had begun to drop the use of the word sisters when ad 
dressing both, the young ladies " Now, my dearest mother, 
and you, girls, I am about to give each her due. In the first 
place, I confess my own unworthiness, and acknowledge, 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 11. ? 

that I do not deserve one-half the kind attention T have re. 
enved in these various presents, after which we will d- . 
to panim; 

The major, then, expos. ! (very article contained in tho 
basket* finding tte worda "mother" and " Beuiah" pinned 

on cai-h, hut nowhere any indication that his younger .sister 
had even home liim in mind. His lather looked siir 
at this, not to say a little grave ; and he waited, with evident 
curiosity, lor the gilts of Maud, as one thing alter another 
came up, without any signs of her having recollected tho 
i tee. 

" This is odd, truly," observed the father, seriously ; " I 
hope, Bob, you have done nothing to deserve this? I should 
be sorry to have my little girl affronted ! 

" 1 assure you, sir, that I am altogether ignorant of any 
act, and I can solemnly protest against any intention, to give 
otii-nre. If guilty, I now pray Maud to pardon me." 

" You have done nothing, Bob said nothing, Bob 
thought nothing to offend me," cried Maud, eagerly. 

" Why, then, have you forgotten him, darling, when your 
mother and sister have done so much in the way of recol 
lection ?" asked the captain. 

" Forced gifts, my dear father, arc no gifts. I do not like 
to be compelled to make presents." 

This was uttered in a way to induce the major to throw 
all tho articles hack into the basket, as if he wished to get 
rid of the subject, without further comment. Owing to this 
precipitation, the scarf was not seen. Fortunately for Maud, 
who was ready to burst into tears, the service of the tea 
prevented any farther allusion to the matter. 

" You have told me, major," observed captain Willough- 
by, " that your old regiment has a new colonel ; but you 
have forgotten to mention his name. I hope it is my old 
messmate, Tom Wallingford, who wrote me he had some 
such hopes last year." 

" General Wallingford has got a Unlit-dragoon regiment 
general Meredith has my old corps ; he is now in this coun 
try, at the head of one of (lake s brigades." 

It is a strong proof of the manner in which Maud Maud 
Willoughby, as she was ever termed had become identified 
with the family of the Hutted Knoll, that, with two excep- 
10* 



114 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

tions, not a person present thought of her, when the name 
of this general Meredith was mentioned ; though, in truth, 
he was the uncle of her late father. The exceptions were 
the major and herself. The former now never heard the 
name without thinking of his beautiful little playfellow, and 
nominal sister; while Maud, of late, had become curious 
and even anxious on the subject of her natural relatives. 
Still, a feeling akin to awe, a sentiment that appeared as if 
it would be doing violence to a most solemn duty, prevented 
her from making any allusion to her change of thought, in 
the presence of those whom, during childhood, she had 
viewed only as her nearest relatives, and who still continued 
so to regard her. She would have given the world to ask 
Bob a few questions concerning the kinsman he had men 
tioned, but could not think of doing so before her mother, 
whatever she might be induced to attempt with the young 
man, when by himself. 

Nick next came strolling along, gazing at the stockade, 
and drawing near the table with an indifference to persons 
and things that characterized his habits. When close to the 
party he stopped, keeping his eye on the recent works. 

" You see, Nick, I am about to turn soldier again, in my 
old days," observed the captain. " It is now many years 
since you and I have met within a line of palisades. How 
do you like our work 1" 

4; What you make him for, cap in ?" 

" So as to be secure against any red-skins who may hap 
pen to long for our scalps." 

" Why want your scalp ? Hatchet hasn t been dug up, 
a-tween us bury him so deep can t find him in ten, two, 
six year." 

" Ay, it has long been buried, it is true ; but you red 
gentlemen have a trick of digging it up, with great readi 
ness, when there is any occasion for it. I suppose you 
know, Nick, that there are troubles in the colonies ?" 

" Tell Nick all about him," answered the Indian, eva 
sively " No read no hear don t talk much talk most 
wid Irisher can t understand what he want say t ing one 
way, den say him, anoder." 

Mike is n6t very lucid of a certainty," rejoined the cap- 
tain, laughing, all the party joining in the merriment " but 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 115 

he is a sterling good frllnw, and is always to be found, in a 

time of iic. 1 1." 

"Poor rifle n- Mx-r hit shoot one way, look t other?" 
" Ilr i- no L r ivat shot, I will admit; hut li- is a famous 

fellow \\i:h a shillaK h. lias lie gi\vn you any of the 

"All ho say, n<-\vs much news ten time, as one time. 
Cap in lend Nick a quarter dollar, yesterday." 

"I did lend you a quarter, certainly, Nick; and I sup 
posed it had gone to the miller for rum, before this. What 
am I to understand by your holding it out in this manner? 
that you mean to repay mo !" 

S irtain good quarter just like him cap in lent Nick. 
Like as one pea. Ni-k man "( honour; keep his word." 

" This does look more like it than common, Nick. The 
money was to be returned to-day, but I did not expect to see 
it, so many previous contracts of that nature having been 
vacated, as the lawyers call it." 

" Tuscarora chief alway gentleman. What he say, he do. 
Good quarter dollar, dat, cap in?" 

" It is unexceptionable, old acquaintance ; I II not disdain 
receiving it, as it may serve for a future loan." 

" No need bye m-by take him, now cap in, lend Nick 
dollar ; pay him to-morrow." 

The captain protested against the scquitvr that the Indian 
evidently wished to establish; declining, though in a good- 
natured manner, to lend the larger sum. Nick was disap 
pointed, and walked sullenly away, moving nearer to the 
stockade, with the air of an offended man. 

"That is an extraordinary fellow, sir!" observed the 
major " I really wonder you tolerate him so much about 
the Hut. It might be a good idea to banish him, now that 
the war has broken out." 

" Which would be a thing more easily said than done. 

A drop of water miuht as readily be banished from that 

i. as an Indian from any part of the forest he may 

t<> visit. You brought him here yourself, Bob, and 

should not blame us lor tolerating his presence." 

"I brought him, sir, because I found he recognised me 
even in th , nd it was wi-o to make a friend of him. 

Then I wanted a guide, and I was well assured he knew 



116 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

the way, if any man did. He is a surly scoundrel, how 
ever, and appears to have changed his character, since 1 
was a boy." 

" If there be any change, Bob, it is in yourself. Nick has 
been Nick these thirty years, or as long as I have known 
him. Rascal he is, or his tribe would not have cast him 
out. Indian justice is stern, but it is natural justice. No 
man is ever put to the ban among the red men, until they 
are satisfied he is not fit to enjoy savage rights. In garri 
son, we always looked upon Nick as a clever knave, and 
treated him accordingly. When one is on his guard against 
such a fellow, he can do little harm, and this Tuscarora has 
a salutary dread of me, which keeps him in tolerable order, 
during his visits to the Hut. The principal mischief he does 
here, is to get Mike and Jamie deeper in the Santa Cruz 
than I could wish ; but the miller has his orders to sell no 
more rum." 

" I hardly think you do Nick justice, Willoughby," ob 
served the right-judging and gentle wife. " He has some 
good qualities ; but you soldiers always apply martial-law 
to the weaknesses of your fellow-creatures." 

" And you tender-hearted women, my dear Wilhelmina, 
think everybody as good as yourselves." 

" Remember, Hugh, when your son, there, had the can 
ker-rash, how actively and readily the Tuscarora went into 
the forest to look for the gold-thread that even the doctors 
admitted cured him. It was difficult to find, Robert ; but 
Nick remembered a spot where he had seen it, fifty miles 
off; and, without a request even, from us, he travelled that 
distance to procure it." 

" Yes, this is true" returned the captain, thoughtfully 
" though I question if the cure was owing to the gold-thread, 
as you call it, Wilhelmina. Every man has some good 
quality or other ; and, I much fear, some bad ones also. 
But, here is the fellow coming back, and I do not like to let 
him think himself of sufficient consequence to be the subject 
of our remarks." 

" Very true, sir it adds excessively to the trouble of such 
fellows, to let them fancy themselves of importance." 

Nick, now, came slowly back, after having examined the 
recent changes to his satisfaction. He stood a moment in 



Till: HUTTED KNOLL. 117 

r tin* table, and then, assuming an air of more 
dignity than common, he addiv.-.sed tin- captain. 

" Nick ole <///</ ," 1" >aid. l ! vn at Council Fire, oiVu 
as cap in. Can t tell, all he know; want to hear about 
urar.* 1 

4 - \\"hy, Xick, it is a family quarrel, this time. The French 
have nothing to do with it." 

" Yengeesr liiiht \Vngccsc um ?" 

" I am afraid it will so turn out. Do not the Tuscaroras 
somehiix s dig U p t }, ( . hatchet against th-- Tuscaroras?" 

" Tuscarora man kill Tuscarora man good he quarrel, 
and kill he enemy. But Tuscarora warrior nebher take 
scalp of Tus. arora squaw and j)aj>jx>osc ! What you t ink 
he do dat for? lied man no hog, to eat pork." 

" It must be admitted, Nick, you are a very literal logi 
cian * dog won t eat dog, is our English saying. Still the 
Yankee will fight the Ycngccsr, it would seem. In a word, 
the Great Father, in England, has raised the hatchet against 
hi> American children." 

" How you like him, cap in um? Which go on straight 
path, which go on crooked ? How you like him . " 

"I like it little, Nick, and wish with all my heart the 
quarrel had not taken place." 

" .Mean to put on regimentals hah ! Mean to be cap in, 
ag in ? Follow drum and fife, like ole time?" 

" I rather think not, old comrade. After sixty, one likes 
peace better than war ; and I intend to stay at home." 

" What for, den, build fort? Why you put fence round 
a house, like pound for sheep?" 

" Because I intend to stay there. The stockade will be 
good to keep off any, or every enemy who may take it into 
their heads to come against us. You have known me de 
fend a worse position than this." 

" He got no gate," muttered Nick" What he good for, 
widout gate? Yengeese, Yankees, red man, French man, 
walk in just as he please. No good to leave such squaw 
wid a door wide open." 

"Thank you, Xirk," cried Mrs. Willongjiby. "I knew 
yon were my friend, and have not forgotten the gold 
thread." 

" He very good," answered the Indian, with an important 



118 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

look. " Pappoose get well like not ing. He a most die, to 
day ; to-morrow he run about and play. Nick do him, 
too ; cure him wid gold-thread." 

" Oh ! you are, or were quite a physician at one time, 
Nick. I remember when you had the smallpox, yourself." 

The Indian turned, with the quickness of lightning, to 
Mrs. Willoughby, whom he startled with his energy, as he 
demanded 

" You remember dat, Mrs. cap in ! Who gib him who 
cure him urn ?" 

" Upon my word, Nick, you almost frighten me. I fear 
I gave you the disease, but it was for your own good it was 
done. You were inoculated by myself, when the soldiers 
were dying around us, because they had never had that 
care taken of them. All I inoculated lived; yourself among 
the number." 

The startling expression passed away from the fierce 
countenance of the savage, leaving in its place another so 
kind and amicable as to prove he not only was aware of the 
benefit he had received, but that he was deeply grateful for- 
it. He drew near to Mrs. Willoughby, took her still white 
and soft hand in his own sinewy and dark fingers, then 
dropped the blanket that he had thrown carelessly across 
his body, from a shoulder, and laid it on a mark left by the 
disease, by way of pointing to her good work. He smiled, 
as this was done. 

" Ole mark," he said, nodding his head " sign we good 
friend he nebber go away while Nick live." 

This touched the captain s heart, and he tossed a dollar 
towards the Indian, who suffered it, however, to lie at his 
feet unnoticed. Turning to the stockade, he pointed sig 
nificantly at the open gate-ways. 

" Great danger go t rough little ole," he said, senten- 
tiously, walking away as he concluded. " Why you leave 
big ole open ?" 

" We must get those gates hung next week," said the 
captain, positively ; " and yet it is almost absurd to appre 
hend anything serious in this remote settlement, and that at 
so early a period in the war." 

Nothing further passed on the lawn worthy to be record 
ed. The FUQ set, and the family withdrew into the house. 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 119 

as usual, to trust to the overseeing care of Divine Provi- 
, throughout a night passed in a wilderness. By 
common consent, the discourse turned upon things noway 
connected with the. civil war, or its expected results, until 
tin- party was about to separate for the night, when the 
major i ound himself alone with his sisters, in his own little 
parlour, dressing-room, or study, whatever the room adjoin 
ing liis chamber could properly l>e. called. 

N on will not leave us >o<ui, Robert," said Beulah, taking 
her brother s hand, with confiding affection, "I hardly 
think my father young and active enough, or rather alarmed 
enough, to live in times like these !" 

" lie is a soldier, Beulah, and a good one ; so good that 
his son can teach him nothing 1 . I wish I could say that he 
is as good a subject : I fear he leans to the side of the colo 
nies." 

"Heaven be praised!" exclaimed Beulah "Oh! that 
his son would incline in the same direction." 

" Nay, Beulah," rejoined Maud, reproachfully ; " you 
speak without reflection. Mamma bitterly regrets that papa 
sees things in the light he does. She thinks the parliament 
right, and the colonies wrong." 

" What a thing is a civil war !" ejaculated the major 
"Here is husband divided against wife son against father 
brother against sister. I could almost wish I were dead, 
ere I had lived to see this !" 

" Nay, Robert, it is not so bad as that, either," added 
Maud. " My mother will never oppose my father s will or 
judgment. Good wives, you know, never do that. She will 
only pray that he may decide right, and in a way that his 
children will never have cause to regret. As for me, I count 
for nothing, of coin 

And IJeuluh, Maud; is she nothing, too? Here will 
be praying for her brother s defeat, throughout this 
war. It has been some presentiment of this dillerence of 
opinion that has probably induced you to forget me, while 
Beulah and my mother were passing so many hours to fill 
that IK: 

" Perhaps you do Maud injustice, Robert," said Beulah, 
smiling. " I think I can say none loves you better than 



120 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

our dear sister or no one has thought of you more, in your 
absence." 

" Why, then, does the basket contain no proof of this 
remembrance not even a chain of hair a purse, or a ring 
nothing, in short, to show that I have not been forgotten, 
when away." 

" Even if this be so," said Maud, with spirit, " in what 
am I worse than yourself. What proof is there that you 
have remembered us?" 

" This," answered the major, laying before his sisters two 
small packages, each marked with the name of its proper 
owner. " My mother has her s, too, and my father has not 
been forgotten." 

Beulah s exclamations proved how much she was gratified 
with her presents ; principally trinkets and jewelry, suited 
to her years and station. First kissing the major, she de 
clared her mother must see what she had received, before 
she retired for the night, and hurried from the room. That 
Maud was not less pleased, was apparent by her glowing 
cheeks and tearful eyes ; though, for a wonder, she was far 
more restrained in the expression of her feelings. After 
examining the different articles, with pleasure, for a minute 
or two, she went, with a quick impetuous movement, to the 
basket, tumbled alt its contents on the table, until she reach 
ed the scarf, which she tossed towards the major, saying, 
with a faint laugh 

"There, unbeliever heathen is that nothing? Was 
that made in a minute, think you ?" 

" This!" cried the major, opening the beautiful, glossy 
fabric in surprise. " Is not this one of my father s old 
sashes, to which I have fallen heir, in the order of nature?" 

Maud dropped her trinkets, and seizing two corners of the 
sash, she opened it, in a way to exhibit its freshness and 
beauty. 

" Is this oZc?, or worn?" she asked, reproachfully. " Your 
father never even saw it, Bob. It has not yet been around 
the waist of man." 

" It is not possible ! This would be the work of months 
is so beautiful you cannot have purchased it." 

Maud appeared distressed at his doubts. Opening the 
folds still wider, she raised the centre of the silk to the light, 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 121 

and pointed to certain letters that had been wrought into the 
fabric, so ingeniously as to escape ordinary observation, and 
yet so plainly as to be distinctly legible when the attention 
was once drawn to them. The major took the sash into his 
own hands altogether, held it opened before the candles, and 
read the words "Maud Meredith" aloud. Dropping the 
sash, he turned to seek the face of the donor, but she had 
fled the room. He followed her footsteps and entered the 
library, just as she was about to escape from it, by a different 
door. 

" I am offended at your incredulity," said Maud, making 
an effort to laugh away the scene, " and will not remain to 
hear lame excuses. Your new regiment can have no nature 
in it, or brothers would not treat sisters thus." 

" Maud Meredith is not my sister," he said, earnestly, 
" though Maud Willoughby may be. Why is the name 
Meredith ?" 

"As a retort to one of your own allusions did you not 
call me Miss Meredith, one day, when I last saw you in 
Albany?" 

" Ay, but that was in jest, my dearest Maud. It was not 
a deliberate thing, like the name on that sash." 

" Oh ! jokes may be premeditated as well as murder ; 
and many a one is murdered, you know. Mine is a pro 
longed jest." 

** Tell me, does my mother does Beulah know who mado 
this sash ?" 

" How else could it have been made, Bob? Do you think 
I went into the woods, and worked by myself, like some 
romantic damsel who had an unmeaning secret to keep 
against the curious eyes of persecuting friends !" 

" I know not what I thought scarce know what I think 
now. But, my mother; does she know of this name?" 

Maud blushed to the eyes ; but the habit and the love of 
truth were so strong in her, that she shook her head in the 
negative. 

" Xor Beulah? She, I am certain, would not have per- 
mitted Meredith to appear where * Willoughby should have 
been." 

" Nor Beulah, either, major Willoughby," pronouncing 
the name with an affectation of reverence. " The honour 

VOL. I. 11 



122 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

of the Willoughbys is thus preserved from every taint, and 
all the blame must fall on poor Maud Meredith." 

" You dislike the name of Willoughby, then, and intend 
to drop it, in future I have remarked that you sign your 
self only Maud, in your last letters never before, how 
ever, did I suspect the reason." 

" Who wishes to live for ever an impostor ? It is not my 
legal name, and I shall soon be called on to perform legal 
acts. Remember, Mr. Robert Willoughby, I am twenty ; 
when it comes to pounds, shillings, and pence, I must not 
forge. A little habit is necessary to teach me the use of 
my own bond Jlde signature." 

"But ours the name is not hateful to you you do not 
throw it aside, seriously, for ever !" 

" Yours! What, the honoured name of my dear, dearest 
father of my mother of Beulah of yourself, Bob !" 

Maud did not remain to terminate her speech. Bursting 
into tears, she vanished. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

The village tower tis joy to me ! I cry, the Lord is here ! 
The village bells ! They fill the soul with ecstasy sincere. 
And thus, I sing, the light hath shined to lands in darkness hurled, 
Their sound is now in all the earth, their words throughout the 
world. 

COXE. 

ANOTHER night past in peace within the settlement of 
the Hutted Knoll. The following morning was the Sabbath, 
and it came forth, balmy, genial, and mild ; worthy of the 
great festival of the Christian world. On the subject of reli 
gion, captain Willoughby was a little of a martinet ; under 
standing by liberty of conscience, the right of improving by 
the instruction of those ministers who belonged to the church 
of England. Several of his labourers had left him because 
he refused to allow of any other ministrations on his estate; 
his doctrine being that every man had a right to do as he 
pleased in such matters ; and as he did not choose to allow 



TUB HUTTED KNOLL. 123 

of schism, within the sphere of his own influence, if others 
1 to be schismatics they were at liberty to go else 
where, in order to indulge their tastes. Joel Strides and 
Jamie Allen were both disatleeted to this sort of orthodoxy, 
and they h;ul frequent private discussions on its propriety ; 
rmer in his usual wily and Jesuitical mode of sneering 
and insinuating, and the latter respectfully as related to his 
,i-stly as it concerned his conscience. Others, 
too, were dissentients, but with less repining; though occa 
sionally they would stay away from Mr. Wood s services. 
Mike, alone, took an open and manly stand in the matter, 
and he a little out-Heroded Herod ; or, in other words, he 
exceeded the captain himself in strictness of construction. 
On the very morning we have just described, he was present 
at a discussion between the Yankee overseer and the Scotch 
mason, in which these two dissenters, the first a congrega- 
tionalist, and the lasf a seceder, were complaining of the 
hardships of a ten years abstinence, during which no spiritual 
provender had been fed out to them from a proper source. 
The Irishman broke out upon the complainants in a way 
that will at once let the reader into the secret of the county 
Leitrim-man s principles, if he has any desire to know 
them. 

" Bad luck to all sorts of religion but the right one !" cried 
Mike, in a most tolerant spirit. Who d ye think will be 
wishful of hearing mass and pr aching that comes from any 
of your heretick parsons? Ye re as dape in the mire yer- 
selves, as Mr. Woods is in the woods, and no one to lade 
ye out of either, but an evil spirit that would rather see all 
mankind br iling in agony, than dancing at a fair." 

" Go to your confessional, Mike," returned Joel, with a 
sneer " It s a month, or more, sin you^ seen it, and the 
priest will think you have forgotten him, and go away 
offended." 

"Och! It s such a praist, as the likes of yees has no 
nade of throubling ! Yer conscience is aisy, Misther Straddle, 
so that yer belly is filled, and yer wages is paid. Bad luck 
to sich religion !" 

The allusion of Joel related to a practice of Michael s that 
is deserving of notice. It seems that the poor fellow, ex 
cluded by his insulated position from any communication 



r ~ 

124 THE HtlTTED KNOLL. 

with a priest of his own church, was in the habit of resort 
ing- to a particular rock in the forest, where he would kneel 
and acknowledge his sins, very much as he would have 
done had the rock been a confessional containing one 
authorized to grant him. absolution. Accident revealed 
the secret, and from that time Michael s devotion was a 
standing jest among the dissenters of the valley. The 
county Leitrimrnan was certainly a little too much ad 
dicted to Santa Cruz, and he was accused of always visit 
ing his romantic chapel after a debauch. Of course, he 
was but little pleased with Joel s remark on the present 
occasion ; and being, like a modern newspaper, somewhat 
more vituperative than logical, he broke out as related. 

"Jamie," continued Joel, too much accustomed to 
Mike s violence to heed it, " it does seem to me a hardship 
to be obliged to frequent a church of, which a man s con 
science can t approve. Mr. Woods, though a native 
colonist, is an Old England parson, and he has so many 
popish ways about him, that I am under considerable 
concern of mind" concern, of itself, was not sufficiently 
emphatic for one of Joel s sensitive feelings " I am 
under considerable concern of mind about the children. 
They sit under no other preaching; and, though Lyddy 
and I do all we can to gainsay the sermons, as soon as 
meetin is out, some of it will stick. You may worry the 
best Christian into idolatry and unbelief, by parseverance 
and falsehood. Now that things look so serious, too, in 
the colonies, we ought to be most careful." 

Jamie did not clearly understand the application of the 
present state of the colonies, nor had he quite made up his 
mind, touching the merits of the quarrel between parlia 
ment and the Americans. As between the Stuarts and the 
House of Hanover, he was for the former, and that mainly 
because he thought them Scotch, and it was surely a good 
thing for a Scotchman to govern England ; but, as between 
the Old countries and the New, he was rather inclined to 
think the rights of the first ought to predominate ; there be 
ing something opposed to natural order, agreeably to his 
notions, in permitting the reverse of this doctrine to prevail. 
Asforpresbyterianism, however, evenin the mitigated form 
of New England church government, he deemed it to be so 



TUB HUTTED KNOLL. 125 

much tatter than episcopacy, that he would have taken up 
arms, <>M as lie was, for the party that it could be made to 
appear was lighting to uphold the last. \\ e have no wish 
t<> mislead the reader. Neither of the persons mentioned, 
Mike included, actually k/uw anything of the points in dis 
pute between the di lib rent sects, or churches, mentioned ; 
but only fancied themselves in possession of the doctrines, 
traditions, and authorities connected with the subject. These 
lanries, h<>\v<-ver, served to keep alive a discussion that soon 
had many listeners; and never before, since his first minis 
tration in the valley, did Mr. Woods meet as disaffected a 
congregation, as on this day. 

The church of the Hutted Knoll, or, as the clergyman 
more modestly termed it, the chapel, stood in the centre of 
the meadows, on a very low swell of their surface, where a 
bit of solid dry ground had been discovered, fit for such a 
purpose. The principal object had been to make it central ; 
though some attention had been paid also to the picturesque. 
It was well shaded with young elms, just then opening into 
leaf; and about a dozen graves, principally of very young 
children, were memorials of the mortality of the settlement. 
The building was of stone, the work of Jamie Allen s own 
hands, but small, square, with a pointed roof, and totally 
without tower, or belfry. The interior was of unpainted 
cherry, and through a want of skill in the mechanics, had 
a cold and raw look, little suited to the objects of the struc 
ture. Still, the small altar, the desk and the pulpit, and the 
large, square, curtained pew of the captain, the only one the 
house contained, were all well ornamented with hangings, 
or cloth, and gave the place somewhat of an air of clerical 
comfort and propriety. The rest of the congregation sat on 
benches, with kneeling-boards before them. The walls were 
plastered, and, a proof that parsimony had no conn 
with the simple character of the building, and a thing almost 
as unusual in America at that period as it is to-day in parts 
of Italy, the rhapel was entirely finished. 

It has boon said that the morning of the particular Sab 
bath at which we have now arrived, was mild and balmy. 
The sun of the forty-third decree of latitude poured out its 
genial rays upon the valley, ^ildin^ the tender leaves of the 
surrounding forest with such touches of light as are best 
11* 



126 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

known to the painters of Italy. The fineness of the weather 
brought nearly all the working people of the settlement to 
the chapel quite an hour before the ringing of its little bell, 
enabling the men to compare opinions afresh, on the subject 
of the political troubles of the times, and the women to 
gossip about their children. 

On all such occasions, Joel was a principal spokesman, 
nature having created him for a demagogue, in a small way; 
an office for which education had in no degree unfitted him. 
As had been usual with him, of late, he turned the discourse 
on the importance of having correct information of what 
was going on, in the inhabited parts of the country, and of 
the expediency of sending some trustworthy person on such 
an errand. He had frequently intimated his own readiness 
to go, if his neighbours wished it. 

" We re all in the dark here," he remarked, " and might 
stay so to the end of time, without some one to be relied on, 
to tell us the news. Major Willoughby is a fine man" 
Joel meant morally, not physically " but he s a king s 
officer, and nat rally feels inclined to make the best of things 
for the rig lars. The captain, too, was once a soldier, him 
self, and his feelin s turn, as it might be, unav idably, to the 
side he has been most used to. We are like people on a 
desart island, out here in the wilderness and if ships won t 
arrive to tell us how matters come on, we must send one 
out to 1 arn it for us. I m the last man at the Dam" so 
the oi polloi called the valley " to say anything hard of 
either the captain or his son ; but one is English born, and 
the other is English bred ; and each will make a difference 
in a man s feelin s." 

To this proposition the miller, in particular, assented ; 
and, for the twentieth time, he made some suggestion about 
the propriety of Joel s going himself, in order to ascertain 
how the land lay. 

" You can be back by hoeing," he added, " and have 
plenty of time to go as far as Boston, should you wish to." 

Now, while the great events were in progress, which led 
to the subversion of British power in America, an under 
current of feeling, if not of incidents, was running in this 
valley, which threatened to wash away the foundations of 
the captain s authority. Joel and the miller, if not down- 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 127 

right conspirators, had hopes, calculations, and even projects 
of their own, that never would have originated with men of 
the same class, in another state of society; or, it might 
almost be said, in another part of the world. The sagacity 
of the overseer had long enabled him to foresee that the 
pf the present troubles would be insurrection; and a 
sort of instinct which some men possess for the strongest 
side, had pointed out to him the importance of being a pa 
triot. The captain, he little doubted, would take part with 
the crown, and then no one knew what might be the conse 
quences. It is not probable that Joel s instinct for tho 
strongest side predicted the precise confiscations that subse 
quently ensued, some of which had all the grasping lawless 
ness of a gross abuse of power; but he could easily foresee 
that if the owner of the estate should be driven off, the pro 
perty and its proceeds, probably for a series of years, would 
be very apt to fall under his own control and management. 
Many a patriot has been made by anticipations less brilliant 
than these ; and as Joel and the miller talked the matter 
over between them, they had calculated all the possible 
emolument of fattening beeves, and packing pork for hostile 
armies, or isolated frontier posts, with a strong gusto for 
the occupation. Should open war but fairly commence, and 
could the captain only be induced to abandon the Knoll, and 
take refuge within a British camp, everything might be mado 
to go smoothly, until settling day should follow a peace. At 
that moment, non cst inventus would be a sufficient answer 
to a demand for any balance. 

" They tell me," said Joel, in an aside to the miller, " that 
law is as good as done with in the Bay colony, already ; and 
you know if the law has run out Mere, it will quickly come 
to an end, here. York never had much character for law." 

" That s true, Joel ; then you know the captain himself 
is the only magistrate hereabout ; and, when he is away, 
we shall have to be governed by a committee of safety, or 
something of that natur ." 

" A committee of safety will be the thin^ !" 

"What is a committee of safety, Joel?" demanded the 
miller, who had made far less progress in the arts of the 
demagogue than his friend, and who, in fact, had much less 



128 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

native fitness for the vocation ; " I have heer n tell of them 
regulations, but do not rightly understand em, a ter all." 

" You know what a committee is ?" asked Joel, glancing 
inquiringly at his friend. 

" I s pose I do it means men s takin on themselves the 
trouble and care of public business." 

" That s it now a committee of safety means a few of 
us, for instance, having the charge of the affairs of this 
settlement, in order to see that no harm shall come to any 
thing, especially to the people." 

" It would be a good thing to have one, here. The car 
penter, and you, and I might be members, Joel." 

"We ll talk about it, another time. The corn is just 
planted, you know ; and it has got to be hoed twice, and 
topped, before it can be gathered. Let us wait and see how 
things come on at Boston." 

While this incipient plot was thus slowly coming to a 
head, and the congregation was gradually collecting at the 
chapel, a very different scene was enacting in the Hut. 
Breakfast was no sooner through, than Mrs. Willoughby 
retired to her own sitting-room, whither her son was shortly 
summoned to join her. Expecting some of the inquiries 
which maternal affection might prompt, the major proceeded 
to the place named with alacrity ; but, on entering the room, 
to his great surprise he found Maud with his mother. The 
latter seemed grave and concerned, while the former was 
not entirely free from alarm. The young man glanced in 
quiringly at the young lady, and he fancied he saw tears 
struggling to break out of her eyes. 

" Come hither, Robert" said Mrs. Willoughby, pointing 
to a chair at her side with a gravity that struck her son as 
unusual " I have brought you here to listen to one of the 
old-fashioned lectures, of which you got so many when a 
boy." 

" Your advice, my dear mother or even your reproofs 
would be listened to with far more reverence and respect, 
now, than I fear they were then," returned the major, seat 
ing himself by the side of Mrs. Willoughby, and taking one 
of her hands, affectionately, in both his own. " It is only 
in after-life that we learn to appreciate the tenderness and 
care of such a parent as you have been ; though what I 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 129 

lone lately, to bring me in danger of the guard-house, 
1 cannot imagine. Stirelv yon eanirot blame me lor adhering 
to the crown, at a nnnm-nt like this !" 

44 1 shall not invni-iv with \c>ur conscience in this matter, 
Robert; and my own ((.clings, American as I am by birth 
nnd family, rather incline me to think as you think. I have 
wished to see you, my son, on a different business." 

44 Do not keep me in suspense, mother ; I feel like a pri 
soner who is waiting to hear his charges read. What have 
Ido. 

Nay, it is rather for you to tell me what you have done. 
You cannot have forgotten, Hubert, lu>w very anxious I have 
been to awaken and keep alive tamilv affection, among my 
children; how very important both your father and I have: 
always deemed it ; and how strongly we have endeavoured 
to impress this importance on all your minds. The tie of 
family, and the love it ought to produce, is one of the sweetest 
of all our earthly duties. Perhaps we old people see its value 
more than you young ; but, to us, the weakening of it seems 
like a disaster only a little less to be deplored than death." 

" Dearest dearest mother ! What can you what do 
you mean ? What can / what can Maud have to do with 
this?" 

44 Do not your consciences tell you, both? Has there not 
been some misunderstanding perhaps a quarrel certainly 
a coldness between you ? A mother has a quick and a jea 
lous eye ; and I have seen, for some time, that there is not 
the old confidence, the free natural manner, in either of 
you, that there used to be, and which always gave your 
father and me so much genuine happiness. Speak, then, 
and let me make peace between you." 

Robert WiUoughby would not have looked at Maud, at 
that moment, to have been given a regiment; as f>r Maud, 
herself, she was utterly incapable of raising her eyes from 
the floor. The former coloured to the temples, a proof of 
consciousness, his mother fancied ; while the latter s face 
resembled ivory, as much as flesh and bl>d. 

"If you think, Robert," continued Mrs. Willouiihhy, 
44 that M.-in.l has forgotten you, or shown pique for any little 
former misunderstanding, during your last absence, you do 
her injustice. No one has done as much for you, in tho 



130 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

way of memorial ; that beautiful sash being all her own 
work, and made of materials purchased with her own pocket- 
money. Maud loves you truly, too ; for, whatever may be 
the airs she gives herself, while you are together, when 
absent, no one seems to care more for your wishes and 
happiness, than that very wilful and capricious girl." 

" Mother ! mother !" murmured Maud, burying her face 
in both her hands. 

Mrs. Willoughby was woman in all her feelings, habits 
and nature. No one would have been more keenly alive 
to the peculiar sensibilities of her sex, under ordinary cir 
cumstances, than herself; but she was now acting and 
thinking altogether in her character of a mother ; and so 
long and intimately had she regarded the two beings before 
her, in that common and sacred light, that it would have 
been like the dawn of a new existence for her, just then, to 
look upon them as not really akin to each other. 

" I shall not, nor can I treat either of you as a child," 
she continued, " and must therefore appeal only to your 
own good sense, to make a peace. I know it can be nothing 
serious ; but, it is painful to me to see even an affected cola- 
ness among my children. Think, Maud, that we are on the 
point of a war, and how bitterly you would regret it, should 
any accident befall your brother, and your memory not be 
able to recall the time passed among us, in his last visit, with 
entire satisfaction." 

The mother s voice trembled ; but tears no longer strug 
gled about the eyelids of Maud. Her face was pale as 
death, and it seemed as if every ordinary fountain of sorrow 
were dried up. 

" Dear Bob, this is too much !" she said eagerly, though 
in husky tones. " Here is my hand nay, here are both. 
Mother must not think this cruel charge is can be true." 

The major arose, approached his sister, and impressed a 
kiss on her cold cheek. Mrs. Willoughby smiled at these 
tokens of amity, and the conversation continued in a less 
earnest manner. 

" This is right, my children," said the single-hearted 
Mrs. Willoughby, whose sensitive maternal love saw no 
thing but the dreaded consequences of weakened domestic 
affections ; " and I shall be all the happier for having wit- 



T11E HUTTED KNOLL. 131 

ncsscd it. Young soldiers, Maud, who arc sent early from 
their h>mes, have tuo many induceraenta to forget them and 
those they contain ; and we women are so dependent on tho 
f our male friends, that it is^wisdom in us to keep 
alive all the earlier ties as long and as much as possible." 

"I am sure, dearest mother," murmured Maud, though 
in a voice that was scarcely audible, u / shall be the last to 
wish to weaken this family tie. No one can feel a warmer 
a more proper a more sisterly affection for Robert, than I 
do he was always so kind to me when a child and so 
ready to assist me and so manly and so everything that 
he ought to be it is surprising you should have fancied 
there was any coldness between us !" 

.Major Willoughby even bent forward to listen, so intense 
was his curiosity to hear what Maud said ; a circumstance 
which, had she seen it, would probably have closed her lips. 
But her eyes were riveted on the floor, her cheeks were 
bloodless, and her voice so low, that nothing but the breath 
less stillness he observed, would have allowed the young 
man to hear it, where he sat. 

" You forget, mother" rejoined the major, satisfied that 
the last murmur had died on his ears " that Maud will 
probably be transplanted into another family, one of these 
days, where we, who know her so well, and have reason to 
love her so much, can only foresee that she will form new, 
and even stronger ties than any that accident may have 
formed for her here." 

" Never never" exclaimed Maud, fervently " I can 
never love any as well as I love those who are in this 
house." 

The relief she wanted slopped her voice, and, bursting 
into tears, she threw herself into Mrs. Willoughby s arms, 
and sobbed like a child. The mother now motioned to her 
son to quit the room, while she remained herself to soothe 
the weeping girl, as she so often had done before, when 
overcome by her infantile, or youthful griefs. Throughout 
this interview, habit and single-heartedness so exercised 
their influence, that the excellent matron did not, in the most 
remote manner, recollect that her son and Maud were not 
natural relatives. Accustomed herself to see the latter every 
day, and to think of her, as she had from the moment when 



132 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

she was placed in her arms, an infant of a few weeks old, 
the effect that separation might produce on others, never 
presented itself to her mind. Major Willoughby, a boy of 
eight when Maud was received in the family, had known 
from the first her precise position ; and it was perhaps mor 
ally impossible that he should not recall the circumstance in 
their subsequent intercourse; more especially as school, 
college, and the army, had given him so much leisure to 
reflect on such things, apart from the influence of family 
habits ; while it was to be expected that a consequence of his 
own peculiar mode of thinking on this subject, would be to 
produce something like a sympathetic sentiment in the bosom 
of Maud. Until within the last few years, however, she had 
been so much of a child herself, and had been treated so 
much like a child by the young soldier, that it was only 
through a change in him, that was perceptible only to her 
self, and which occurred when he first met her grown into 
womanhood, that she alone admitted any feelings that were 
not strictly to be referred to sisterly regard. All this, never 
theless, was a profound mystery to every member of the 
family, but the two who were its subjects ; no other thoughts 
than the simplest and most obvious, ever suggesting them 
selves to the minds of the others. 

In half an hour, Mrs. Willoughby had quieted all Maud s 
present troubles, and the whole family left the house to repair 
to the chapel. Michael, though he had no great reverence 
for Mr. Wood s ministrations, had constituted himself sexton, 
an office which had devolved on him in consequence of his 
skill with the spade. Once initiated into one branch of this 
duty, he had insisted on performing all the others ; and it 
was sometimes a curious spectacle to see the honest fellow, 
busy about the interior of the building, during service, liter 
ally stopping one of his ears with a thumb, with a view, 
while he acquitted himself of what he conceived to be tem 
poral obligations, to exclude as much heresy as possible, 
One of his rules was to refuse to commence tolling the bell, 
until he saw Mrs. Willoughby and her daughter, within a 
reasonable distance of the place of worship ; a rule that had 
brought about more than one lively discussion between him 
self and the levelling-minded, if not heavenly-minded Joel 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 133 

Strides. On the present occasion, this simple process did 
not pass altogether without a dispute 

( "in -, .Mike; it s half-past ten; the people have been 
waiting about the merlin us, some time; you should open 
the doors, and toll the bell. People can t wait, for ever, 
for anybody ; not even for your church." 

" Then let em just go home, ag in, and come when 
they re called. !> cause, the ould women, and the young 
women, and the childcr, and the likes o them, wishes to 
scandalize their fellow cr atures, Christians I will not call 
em, let cm mate in the mill, or the school-house, and not 
come forenent a church on sich a business as that. Is it 
toll the bell, will I, afore the Missus is in sight? No not 
for a whole gineration of ye, Joel ; and every one o them, 
too, a much likelier man than ye bees yerself." 

" Religion is no respecter of persons" returned the phi 
losophical Joel. " Them that likes masters and mistresses 
may have them, for all me ; but it riles me to meet with 
meanness." 

" It does !" cried Mike, looking up at his companion, with 
a very startling expression of wonder. " If that be true, ye 
must be in a mighty throubled state, most of the live-long 
day, ye must !" 

" I tell you, Michael O Hearn, religion is no respecter of 
persons. The Lord cares jist as much for me, as he does 
for captain Willoughby, or his wife, or his son, or his dar 
ters, or anything that is his." 

" Divil burn me, now, Joel, if I believe that!" again cried 
Mike, in his dogmatic manner. " Them that understands 
knows the difference between mankind, and I m sure it can 
be no great sacrct to the I/ord, when it is so well known to 
a poor fellow like myself. There s a plenthy of fellow- 
cr alures that has a mighty good notion of their own excel 
lence, but when it comes to r ason and thruth, it s no very 
great figure ye all make, in proving what ye say. This 
chapel is the master s, if chapel the heretical box cnn bo 
called, and yonder bell was bought wid his money; and the 
rope is his ; and the hands that mane to pull it, is his ; and 
so there s little use in talking ag in rocks, and ag in minds 
that s made up even harder than rocks, and to spare." 

This settled the matter. The bell was not tolled until 

VOL. I. 12 



134 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

Mrs. Willoughby, and her daughters, had got fairly through 
the still unprotected gateway of the stockade, although the 
recent discussion of political questions had so far substituted 
discontent for subordination in the settlement, that more 
than half of those who were of New England descent, had 
openly expressed their dissatisfaction at the delay. Mike, 
however, was as unmoved as the little chapel itself, refusing 
to open the door until the proper moment had arrived, ac 
cording to his own notion of the fitness of things. He then 
proceeded to the elm, against which the little bell was hung, 
and commenced tolling it with as much seriousness as if the 
conveyer of sounds had been duly consecrated. 

When the family from the Hut entered the chapel, all the 
rest of the congregation were in their customary seats. This 
arrival, however, added materially to the audience, Great 
Smash and Little Smash, the two Plinys, and some five or 
six coloured children, between the ages of six and twelve, 
following in the train of their master. For the blacks, a 
small gallery had been built, where they could sit apart, a 
proscribed, if not a persecuted race. Little did the Plinys 
or the Smashes, notwithstanding, think of this. Habit had 
rendered their situation more than tolerable, for it had 
created notions and usages that would have rendered them 
uncomfortable, in closer contact with the whites. In that 
day, the two colours never ate together, by any accident ; 
the eastern castes being scarcely more rigid in the observ 
ance of their rules, than the people of America were on this 
great point. The men who would toil together, joke toge 
ther, and pass their days in familiar intercourse, would not 
sit down at the same board. There seemed to be a sort of 
contamination, according to the opinions of one of these 
castes, in breaking bread with the other. This prejudice often 
gave rise to singular scenes, more especially in the house 
holds of those who habitually laboured in company with 
their slaves. In such families, it not unfrequently happened 
that a black led the councils of the farm. He might be seen 
seated by the fire, uttering his opinions dogmatically, rea 
soning warmly against his own master, and dealing out his 
wisdom ex cathedra, even while he waited, with patient 
humility, when he might approach, and satisfy his hunger, 
after all of the other colour had quitted the table. 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 135 

Mr. Woods was not fortunate in the selection of his sub< 
j -ct, on the occasion of which we are writing. There had 
been so much personal activity, and so much political dis 
cussion during the past week, as to prevent him from writing 
a new sermon, and of course he was compelled to fall back 
on the o her end of the barrel. Tin; recent arguments in 
clined him to maintain his own opinions, and he chose a 
discourse that he had delivered to the garrison of which he 
had last been chaplain. To this choice he had been enticed 
by the text, which was, " Render unto Cccsar the things 
that are Ciesar s," a mandate that would be far more pala 
table to an audience composed of royal troops, than to one 
which had become a good deal disaffected by the ar: 
arguments of Joel Strides and the miller. Still, as the ser 
mon contained a proper amount of theological truisms, and 
had a sufficiency of general orthodoxy to cover a portion 
of its political bearing, it gave far more dissatisfaction to a 
few of the knowing, than to the multitude. To own the 
truth, the worthy priest was so much addicted to continuing 
his regimental and garrison course of religious instruction, 
that his ordinary listeners would scarcely observe this ten 
dency to loyalty ; though it was far different with those who 
were eagerly looking for causes of suspicion and denuncia 
tion, in the higher quarters. 

" Well," said Joel, as he and the miller, followed by their 
respective families, proceeded towards the mill, where the 
household of the Strides were to pass the remainder of the 
day, " well, this is a bold sermon for a minister to preach 
in times like these ! I kind o guess, if Mr. Woods was down 
in the Bay, render unto Cccsar the things that are Coesars, 
wouldn t be doctrine to be so quietly received by every con 
gregation. What s your notion about that, Miss Strides?" 

Miss Strides thought exactly as her husband thought, 
and the miller and his wife were not long in chiming in 
with her, accordingly. The sermon furnished material for 
conversation throughout the remainder of the day, at the 
mill, and divers conclusions were drawn from it, that were 
ominous to the preacher s future comfort and security. 

Nor did the well-meaning parson entirely escape comment 
in the higher quarters. 

* I wish, Woods, you had made choice of some other 



136 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

subject," observed the captain, as he and his friend walked 
the lawn together, in waiting for a summons to dinner. 
" In times like these, one cannot be too careful of the politi 
cal notions he throws out; and to own the truth to you, I 
am more than half inclined to think that Caesar is exercising 
quite as much authority, in these colonies, as justly falls to 
his share." 

" Why, my dear captain, you have heard this very ser 
mon three or four times already, and you have more than 
once mentioned it with commendation !" 

"Ay, but that was in garrison, where one is obliged to 
teach subordination. I remember the sermon quite well, 
and a very good one it was, twenty years since, when you 
first preached it ; but " 

" I apprehend, captain Willoughby, that * tempora mu- 
tantur, et, nos mutamus in illis. That the r^andates and 
maxims of the Saviour are far beyond the mutations and 
erring passions of mortality. His sayings are intended for 
all times." 

" Certainly, as respects their general principles and go 
verning truths. But no text is to be interpreted without 
some reference to circumstances. All I mean is, that the 
preaching which might be very suitable to a battalion of 
His Majesty s Fortieth might be very unsuitable for the 
labourers of the Hutted Knoll ; more especially so soon 
after what I find is called the Battle of Lexington." 

The summons to dinner cut short the discourse, and pro 
bably prevented a long, warm, but friendly argument. 

That afternoon and evening, captain Willoughby and his 
son had a private and confidential discourse. The former 
advised the major to rejoin his regiment without delay, 
unless he were prepared to throw up his commission and 
take sides with the colonists, altogether. To this the young 
soldier would not listen, returning to the charge, in the hope 
of rekindling the dormant flame of his father s loyalty. 

The reader is not to suppose that captain Willoughby s 
own mind was absolutely made up to fly into open rebellion. 
Far from it. He had his doubts and misgivings on the 
subjects of both principles and prudence, but he inclined 
strongly to the equity of the demands of the Americans. 
Independence, or separation, if thought of at all in 1775, 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 137 

entered into the projects of but very few ; the warmest wish 
of the most ardent of the whigs of the colonies being directed 
toward compromise, and a distinct recognition of their poli 
tical franchises. The events that followed so thickly were 
merely the consequences of causes which, once set in- mo 
tion, soon attained an impetus tint defied ordinary human 
control. It was doubtless one of the leading incidents of 
the great and mysterious scheme of Divine Providence for 
the government of the future destinies of man, that political 
separation should commence, in this hemisphere, at that 
particular juncture, to be carried out, ere the end of a cen 
tury, to its final and natural conclusion. 

But the present interview was less to debate the merits 
of any disputed question, than to consult on the means of 
future intercourse, and to determine on what was best to be 
done at the present moment. After discussing the matter, 
pro and con, it was decided that the major should quit the 
Knoll the next day, and return to Boston, avoiding Albany 
and those points of the country in which he would be most 
exposed to detection. So many persons were joining the 
American forces that were collecting about the besieged 
town, that his journeying on the proper road would excite 
no suspicion; and once in the American camp, nothing 
would be easier than to find his way into the peninsula. AH 
this young Willoughby felt no difficulty in being able to 
accomplish, provided he could get into the settlements with 
out being followed by information of his real character. 
The period of spies, and of the severe exercise of martial - 
law, was not yet reached ; and all that was apprehended 
was detention. Of the last, however, there was great dan 
ger ; positive certainty, indeed, in the event of discovery ; 
and major Willoughby had gleaned enough during his visit, 
to feel some apprehensions of being betrayed. He regretted 
having brought his servant with him ; for the man was a 
European, and by his dulness and speech might easily get 
them both into difficulties. So serious, indeed, was this last 
danger deemed by the father, that he insisted on Robert s 
r. artin^ without the man, leaving the last to follow, on the 
first suitable occasion. 

As soon as this point was settled, there arose the question 
of the proper guide. Although he distrusted the Tuscarora, 
12* 



138 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

captain Willoughby, after much reflection, came to the 
opinion that it would be safer to make an ally of him, than 
to give him an opportunity of being employed by the other 
side. Nick was sent for, and questioned. He promised to 
take the major to the Hudson, at a point between Lunenburg 
and Kinderhook, where he would be likely to cross the river 
without awakening suspicion ; his own reward to depend on 
his coming back to the Hutted Knoll with a letter from the 
major, authorizing the father to pay him for his service?. 
This plan, it was conceived, would keep Nick true to his 
fait-h, for the time being, at least. 

Many other points were discussed between the father and 
son, the latter promising if anything of importance occurred, 
to find the means of communicating it to his friends at the 
Knoll, while Parrel was to follow his master, at the end of 
six weeks or two months, with letters from the family. 
Many of the captain s old army-friends were now in situa 
tions of authority and command, and he sent to them mes 
sages of prudence, and admonitions to be moderate in their 
views, which subsequent events proved were little regarded. 
To general Gage he even wrote, using the precaution not to 
sign the letter, though its sentiments were so much in favour 
of the colonies, that had it been intercepted, it is most pro 
bable the Americans would have forwarded the missive to 
its direction. 

These matters arranged, the father and son parked for the 
night, some time after the house-clock had struck the hour 
of twelve. 



TUB HUTTED KNOLL 



CHAPTER IX. 

Though old in cunning 1 , as in years, 
He is so small, that like u child 
In f.icc ;md lorm, the od apj>ears, 
And sportive like a boy, and wild ; 
Lightly lie moves from place to place, 
In none at rest, in none content; 
Delighted sumo m-w toy to chase 
On childish purpose ever bent. 
Beware ! to childhood s spirits gay 
Is added more than childhood s power; 
And you perchance may rue the hour 
That saw you join his seeming play. 

GRIFFIN. 

THE intention of the major to quit the Knoll that day, 
was announced to the family at breakfast, on the following 
morning. His mother and Beulah heard this intelligence, 
with a natural and affectionate concern, that they had no 
scruples in avowing; but Maud sccnv-J to have so schooled 
her feelings, that the grief she really felt was under a pru 
dent control. To her, it appeared as if her secret were 
constantly on the point of exposure, and she believed that 
would cause her instant death. To survive its shame was 
impossible in her eyes, and all the energies of her nature 
were aroused, with the determination of burying her weak 
ness in her own bosom. She had been so near revealing it 
to Beulah, that even now she trembled as she thought of the 
precipice over which she had been impending, strengthen 
ing her resolution by the recollection of the danger she had 
run. 

As a matter of necessary caution, the intended movements 
of the young man were kept a profound secret from all in 
the settlement. Nick had disappeared in the course of the 
night, rarrying with him the major s pack, having repaired 
to a designated point on the stream, where he was to be 
joined by his fellow-traveller at an hour named. There 
were several forest-paths which led to the larger settlements. 



140 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

That usually travelled was in the direction of old Fort Stan- 
wix, first proceeding north, and then taking a south-eastern 
direction, along the shores of the Mohawk. This was the 
route by which the major had come. Another struck the 
Otsego, and joined the Mohawk at the point more than once 
mentioned in our opening chapters. As these were the two 
ordinary paths if paths they could be called, where few or 
no traces of footsteps were visible it was more than pro 
bable any plan to arrest the traveller would be laid in re 
ference to their courses. The major had consequently 
resolved to avoid them both, and to strike boldly into the 
mountains, until he should reach the Susquehanna, cross 
that stream on its flood-wood, and finding one of its tributa 
ries that flowed in from the eastward, by following its banks 
to the high land, which divides the waters of the Mohawk 
from this latter river, place himself on a route that would 
obliquely traverse the water-courses, which, in this quarter 
of the country, have all a general north or south direction. 
Avoiding Schenectady and Albany, he might incline to 
wards the old establishments of the descendants of the emi 
grants from the Palatinate, on (he Schoharie, and reach the 
Hudson at a point deemed safe for his purposes, through 
some of the passes of the mountains in their vicinity. He 
was to travel in the character of a land-owner who had 
been visiting his patent, and his father supplied him with a 
map and an old field-book, which would serve to corroborate 
his assumed character, in the event of suspicion, or arrest. 
Not much danger was apprehended, however, the quarrel 
being yet too recent to admit of the organization and distrust 
that subsequently produced so much vigilance and activity. 

" You will contrive to let us hear of your safe arrival in 
Boston, Bob," observed the father, as he sat stirring his tea, 
in a thoughtful way " I hope to God the matter will go no 
farther, and that our apprehensions, after all, have given 
this dark appearance to what has already happened." 

" Ah, my dear father* you little know the state of the 
country, through which I have so lately travelled !" an 
swered the major, shaking his head. " An alarm of fire, 
in an American town, would scarce create more movement, 
and not so much excitement. The colonies are alive, parti 
cularly those of New England, and a civil war is inevita- 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 141 

ble; though I trust the power of England will render it 
short." 

"Then, Robert, do not trust yourself among the people 
of New Kn^l.unr cried the anxious mother. * Go rather 
to New York, where we have so many friends, and so much 
influence. It will be far easier to reach New York than to 
) ,!< ! Boston." 

" That may be true, mother, but it will scarcely be as 
creditable. My regiment is in Boston, and its enemies are 
before Boston ; an old soldier like captain Willoughby will 
tell you that the major is a very necessary officer to a corps. 
No no my best course is to fall into the current of ad 
venturers who are pushing towards Boston, and appear like 
one of their number, until I can get an opportunity of steal 
ing away from them, and join my own people." 

" Have a care, Bob, that you do not commit a military 
crime. Perhaps these provincial officers may take it into 
their heads to treat you as a spy, should you fall into their 
hands !" 

" Little fear of that, sir; at present it is a sort of colonial 
scramble for what they fancy liberty. That they will fight, 
in their zeal, I know ; for I have seen it; but matters have 
not at all gone as far as you appear to apprehend. I question 
if thr-y would even stop Gage, himself, from going through 
their camp, were he outside, and did he express a desire to 
return." 

" And yet you tell me, arms and ammunition are seized 
all over the land ; that several old half-pay officers of the 
king have been arrested, and put under a sort of parole !" 

" Such things were talked of, certainly, though I question 
if they have yet been done. Luckily for yourself, under 
your present opinions at least, you are not on half-pay, 
even." 

" It is fortunate, Bob, though you mention it with a smile. 
With my present feelings, I should indeed be sorry to be on 
halt-pay, or quarter-pay, were there such a thing. I now 
fcel myself my own master, at liberty to follow the dictates 
of my conscience, and the suggestions of my judgment." 

" Well, sir, you are a little fortunate, it must be acknow 
ledged. I cannot see how any man can be at liberty to 



142 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

throw off the allegiance he owes his natural sovereign. 
What think you, Maud?" 

This was said half in bitterness, half in jest, though the 
nppeal at its close was uttered in a serious manner, and a 
little anxiously. Maud hesitated, as if to muster her thoughts, 
ere she replied. 

" My feelings are against rebellion," she said, at length ; 
" though I fear my reason tells me there is no such thing 
as a natural sovereign. If the parliament had not given us 
the present family, a century since, by what rule of nature 
would it be our princes, Bob ?" 

"Ah! these are some of the flights of your rich imagina- 
tion, my dear Maud ; it is parliament that has made them 
our princes, and parliament, at least, is our legal, constitu 
tional master." 

" That is just the point in dispute. Parliament may be 
the rightful governors of England, but are they the rightful 
governors of America ?" 

" Enough," said the captain, rising from table " We 
will not discuss such a "question, just as we are about to se 
parate. Go, my son ; a duty that is to be performed, cannot 
be done too soon. Your fowling-piece and ammunition are 
ready for you, and I shall take care to circulate the report 
that you have gone to pass an hour in the woods, in search 
of pigeons. God bless you, Bob ; however we may differ 
in this matter you are my son my only son my dear 
and well-beloved boy God for ever bless you !" 

A profound stillness succeeded this burst of nature, and 
then the young man took his leave of his mother and the 
girls. Mrs. Willoughby kissed her child. She did not even 
weep, until she was in her room ; then, indeed, she went to 
her knees, her tears, and her prayers. Beulah, all heart 
and truth as she was, wept freely on her brother s neck ; 
but Maud, though pale and trembling, received his kiss 
without returning it ; though she could not help saying with 
a meaning that the young man had in his mind all that day, 
ay, and for many succeeding days " be careful of your 
self, and run into no unnecessary dangers ; God bless you, 
dear, dear Bob." 

Maud alone followed the movements of the gentlemen 
with her eyes. The peculiar construction of the Hut pre- 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 143 

vented external view from the south windows ; but there wag 
a loop in a small painting-room of the garret that was espe 
cially under her charge. Thither, then, bhe Hew, to ease 
her nearly bursting heart with tears, and to watch the re 
tiring footsteps of Robert. She saw him, accompanied by 
his father and the chaplain, stroll leisurely down the lawn, 
conversing and aifecting an indifferent manner, with a wish 
to conceal his intent to depart. The glass of the loop was 
open, to admit the air, and Maud strained her sense of hear 
ing, in the desire to catch, if possible, another tone of his 
voice. In this she was unsuccessful ; though he stopped 
and gazed back at the Hut, as if to take a parting look. 
Her father and Mr. Woods did not turn, and Maud thrust 
her hand through the opening and waved her handkerchief. 
" He will think it Beulah or I," she thought, " and it may 
prove a consolation to him to know how much we love him." 
The major saw the signal, and returned it. His father un 
expectedly turned, and caught a glimpse of the retiring 
hand, as it was disappearing within the loop. " That is 
our precious Maud," he said, without other thought than of 
her sisterly affection. "It is her painting-room ; Beulah s 
is on the other side of the gate-way ; but the window does 
not seem to be open." 

The major started, kissed his hand fervently, five or six 
times, and then he walked on. As if to change the conver 
sation, he said hastily, and with a little want of connection 
with what had just passed 

" Yes, sir, that gate, sure enough have it hung, at once, 
I do entreat of you. I shall not be easy until I hear that 
both the gates are hung that in the stockade, and that in 
the house, itself. v 

" It was my intention to commence to-day," returned the 
father, " but your departure has prevented it. I will wait a 
day or two, to let your mother and sisters tranquillize their 
minds a little, before we besiege them with the noise and 
clamour of the workmen." 

"Better besiege them with that, my dear sir, than leave 
them exposed to an Indian, or even a rebel attack." 

The major then went on to give some of his more modern 
military notions, touching the art of defence. As one of the 
old school, he believed his father a miracle of skill ; but 



144 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

what young man, who had enjoyed the advantages of ten 
or fifteen years of the most recent training in any branch 
of knowledge, ever believed the educations of those who 
went before him beyond the attacks of criticism. The cap 
tain listened patiently, and with an old man s tolerance for 
inexperience, glad to have any diversion to unhappy 
thoughts. 

All this time Maud watched their movements from the 
loop, with eyes streaming with tears. She saw Robert pause, 
and look back, again and again ; and, once more, she thrust 
out the handkerchief. It was plain, however, he did not see 
it ; for he turned and proceeded, without any answering 
signal. 

" He never can know whether it was Beulah or I," 
thought Maud ; " yet, he may fancy we are both here." 

On the rocks, that overhung the mills, the gentlemen 
paused, and conversed for quite a quarter of an hour. The 
distance prevented Maud from discerning their countenances; 
but she could perceive the thoughtful, and as she fancied 
melancholy, attitude of the major, as, leaning on his fowling- 
piece, his iace was turned towards the Knoll, and his eyes 
were really riveted on the loop. At the end of the time 
mentioned, the young soldier shook hands hastily and co 
vertly with his companions, hurried towards the path, and 
descended out of sight, following the course of the stream. 
Maud saw him no more, though her father and Mr. Woods 
stood on the rocks quite half an hour longer, catching occa 
sional glimpses of his form, as it came out of the shadows 
of the forest, into the open space of the little river; and, in 
deed, until the major was within a short distance of the 
spot where he was to meet the Indian. Then they heard 
the reports of both barrels of his fowling-piece, fired in quick 
succession, the signals that he had joined his guide. This 
welcome news received, the two gentlemen returned slowly 
towards the house. 

Such was the commencement of a day, which, while it 
brought forth nothing alarming to the family of the Hutted 
Knoll, was still pregnant with important consequences. 
Major Willoughby disappeared from the sight of his father 
about ten in the morning ; and before twelve, the settlement 
was alive with the rumours of a fresh arrival. Joel knew 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 145 

not whether to rejoice or to despair, as he saw a party of 
eight or ten armed men rising above the rock, and holding 
their course across the Hats towards the house. He enter 
tained no doubt of its being a party sent by the provincial 
authorities to arrest the captain, and he foresaw the proba 
bility of another s being put into the lucrative station of 
receiver of the estate, during the struggle which was in 
perspective. It is surprising how many, and sometimes how 
pure patriots are produced by just such hopes as those of 
Joel s. At this day, there is scarce an instance of a confis 
cated estate, during the American revolution, connected 
with which racy traditions are not to be found, that tell of 
treachery very similar to this contemplated by the overseer; 
in some instances of treachery effected by means of kins 
men and false friends. 

Joel had actually got on his Sunday coat, and was making 
his way towards the Knoll, in order to be present, at least, 
at the anticipated scene, when, to his amazement, and some 
what to his disappointment, he saw the captain and chaplain 
moving down the lawn, in a manner to show that these un 
expected arrivals brought not unwelcome guests. This 
caused him to pause ; and when he perceived that the only 
two among the strangers who had the air of gentlemen, 
were met with cordial shakes of the hand, he turned back 
towards his own tenement, a half-dissatisfied, and yet half- 
contented man. 

The visit which the captain had come out to receive, in 
stead of producing any uneasiness in his family, was, in 
truth, highly agreeable, and very opportune. It was Evert 
Beekman, with an old friend, attended by a party of chain- 
bearers, hunters, &c., on his way from the "Patent" he 
owned in the neighbourhood that is to say, within fifty 
miles and halting at the Hutted Knoll, under the courteous 
pretence of paying his respects to the family, but, in reality, 
to bring the suit he had now been making to Beufah for 
quite a twelvemonth, to a successful termination. 

The attachment between Evert Beekman and Beulah 
Willoughby was of a character so simple, so sincere, and 
so natural, as scarce to furnish materials for a brief episode. 
The young man had not made his addresses without leave 
obtained from the parents ; he had been acceptable to the 

VOL. I. 13 



146 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

daughter from the commencement of their acquaintance ; 
and she had only asked time to reflect, ere she gave her 
answer, when he proposed, a day or two before the family 
left New York. 

To own the truth, Beulah was a little surprised that her 
suitor had delayed his appearance till near the close of May, 
when she had expected to see him at the beginning of the 
month. A letter, however, was out of the question, since 
there was no mode of transmitting it, unless the messenger 
\vere sent expressly ; and the young man had now come in 
person, to make his own apologies. 

Beulah received Evert Beekman naturally, and without 
the least exaggeration of manner, though a quiet happiness 
beamed in her handsome face, that said as much as lover 
could reasonably desire. Her parents welcomed him cor 
dially, and the suitor must have been dull indeed, not to 
anticipate all he hoped. Nor was it long before every 
doubt was removed. The truthful, conscientious Beulah, 
had well consulted her heart ; and, while she blushed at her 
own temerity, she owned her attachment to her admirer. 
The very day of his arrival they became formally betrothed. 
As our tale, however, has but a secondary connection with 
this little episode, we shall not dwell on it more than is ne 
cessary to the principal object. It was a busy morning, 
altogether ; and, though there were many tears, there were 
also many smiles. By the time it was usual, at that bland 
season,. for the family to assemble on the lawn, everything, 
even to the day, was settled between Beulah and her lover, 
and there was a little leisure to think of other things. It 
was while the younger Pliny and one of the Smashes were 
preparing the tea, that the following conversation was held, 
being introduced by Mr. Woods, in the way of digressing 
from feelings in which he was not quite as much interested 
as some of the rest of the party. 

" Do you bring us anything new from Boston ?" demand 
ed the chaplain. " I have been dying to ask the question 
these two hours ever since dinner, in fact ; but, somehow, 
Mr. Beekman, I have not been able to edge in an inquiry." 

This was said good-naturedly, but quite innocently; elicit 
ing smiles, blushes, and meaning glances in return. Evert 
Beekman, however, looked grave before he made his reply. 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 147 

"To own the truth, Mr. Woods," ho said, "things are 
getting to be very serious. Boston is surrounded by thoti- 
Kimls of our people; and we hope, not only to keep tho 
king s forces in tho Peninsula, but, in the end, to drive them 
out of the colony/ 

This is a bold measure, Mr. Bookman! a very bold 
step to take against Cccsar !" 

" Woods preached about the rights of Caesar, no later than 
yesterday, you ought to know, Beekman," put in the laugh 
ing captain; "and I am afraid he will be publicly praying 
for the success of the British arms, before long." 

" I did pray for the Royal Family," said the chaplain, 
with spirit, " and hope I shall ever continue to do so." 

" My dear fellow, I do not object to that. Pray for all 
conditions of men, enemies and friends alike; and, particu 
larly, pray for our princes ; but pray also to turn the hearts 
of their advisers." 

Beekman seemed uneasy. He belonged to a decidedly 
whig family, and was himself, at the very moment, spoken 
of as the colonel of one of the regiments about to be raised 
in the colony of New York. lie held that rank in tho 
militia, as it was; and no one doubted his disposition to re 
sist the British forces, at the proper moment. He had even 
stolen away from what he conceived to be very imperative 
duties, to secure the woman of his heart before he went into 
the field. His answer, in accordance, partook essentially 
of the bias of his mind. 

"I do not know, sir, that it is quite wise to pray so very 
willingly for the Royal Family," he said. " We may wish 
them worldly happiness, and spiritual consolation, as part of 
the human race ; but political and specific prayers, in times 
like these, are to be used with caution. Men attach more 
than the common religious notion, just now, to prayers for 
the kin^, which some interpret into direct petitions against 
the United Colonies." 

" \VelI," rejoined the captain, " I cannot agree to this, 
myself. If there were a prayer to confound parliament and 
its counsels, I should be very apt to join in it cordially ; but 
I am not yet ready to throw aside king, queen, princes and 
princesses, all in a lump, on account of a few taxes, and a 
little tea." 



148 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

" I am sorry to hear this from you, sir," answered Evert. 
" When your opinions were canvassed lately at Albany, 1 
gave a sort of pledge that you were certainly more with ug 
than against us." 

" Well then, I think, Beekman, you drew me in my true 
outlines. In the main, I think the colonies right, though I 
am still willing to pray for the king." 

" I am one of those, captain Willoughby, who look for 
ward to the most serious times. The feeling throughout tho 
colonies is tremendous, and the disposition on the part of 
the royal officers is to meet the crisis with force." 

" You have a brother a captain of foot in one of the regi 
ments of the crown, colonel Beekman what are his views 
in this serious state of affairs?" 

"He has already thrown up his commission refusing 
even to sell out, a privilege that was afforded him. His 
name is now before congress for a majority in one of the 
new regiments that are to be raised." 

The captain looked grave ; Mrs. Willoughby anxious ; 
Beulah interested ; and Maud thoughtful. 

" This has a serious aspect, truly," observed the first. 
" When men abandon all their early hopes, to assume new 
duties, there must be a deep and engrossing cause. I had 
not thought it like to come to this !" 

" We have had hopes major Willoughby might do the 
same ; I know that a regiment is at his disposal, if he be 
disposed to join us. No one would be more gladly received. 
We are to have Gates, Montgomery, Lee, and many other 
old officers, from regular corps, on our side." 

" Will colonel Lee be put at the head of the American 
forces?" 

" I think not, sir. He has a high reputation, and a good 
deal of experience, but he is a humourist ; and what is some 
thing, though you will pardon it, he is not an American 
bom." 

" It is quite right to consult such considerations, Beek 
man ; were I in congress, they would influence me, English 
man as I am, and in many things must always remain." 

" I am glad to hear you say that, Willoughby," exclaimed 
the chaplain " right down rejoiced to hear you say so ! A 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 149 

man is bound to stand by his birth-place, through thick and 
thin." 

" How do you, then, reconcile your opinions, in this 
matter, to your birth-place, Woods?" asked the laughing 
captain. 

To own tho truth, the chaplain was a little confused. He 
had entered into the controversy with so much zeal, of late, 
as to have imbibed the feelings of a thorough partisan; and, 
as is usual with such philosophers, was beginning to over 
look everything that made against his opinions, and to 
exaggerate everything that sustained them. 

" How ?" he cried, with zeal, if not with consistency 
"Why, well enough. I am an Englishman too, in the 
general view of the case, though born in Massachusetts. < )f 
English descent, and an English subject." 

" Umph ! Then Beekman, here, who is of Dutch de 
scent, is not bound by the same principles as we are our 
selves?" 

" Not by the same feelings, possibly ; but, surely, by 
the same principles. Colonel Beekman is an Englishman 
by construction, and you are by birth. Yes, I m what may 
be called a constructive Englishman." 

Even Mrs. Willoughby and Beulah laughed at this, though 
not a smile had crossed Maud s face, since her eye had lost 
Robert Willoughby from view. The captain s ideas seemed 
to take a new direction, and he was silent some little time 
before he spoke. 

" Under the circumstances in which we are now placed, 
as respects each other, Mr. Beekman," he said, " it is pro 
per that there should be no concealments on grave points. 
Had you arrived an hour or two earlier, you would have 
met a face well known to you, in that of my son, major 
Willoughby." 

" Major Willoughby, my dear sir!" exclaimed Beekman, 
with a start of unpleasant surprise ; " I had supposed him 
with the royal army, in Boston. You say he has left the 
Knoll I sincerely hope not for Albany." 

M \. I wished him to go in that direction, at first, and 
to see you, in particular; but his representations of the state 
of the country induced me to change my mind ; he travels 
by a private way, avoiding all the towns of note, or size." 
13* 



150 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

" In that he has done well, sir. Near to me as a brother 
of Beulah s must always seem, I should be sorry to see Bob, 
just at this moment. If there be no hope of getting him to 
join us, the farther we are separated the better." 

This was said gravely, and it caused all who heard it 
fully to appreciate the serious character of a quarrel that 
threatened to arm brother against brother. As if by com 
mon consent, the discourse changed, all appearing anxious, 
at a moment otherwise so happy, to obliterate impressions 
so unpleasant from their thoughts. 

The captain, his wife, Beulah and the colonel, had several 
long and private communications in the course of the even 
ing. Maud was not sorry to be left to herself, and the 
chaplain devoted his time to the entertainment of the friend 
of Beekman, who was in truth a surveyor, brought along 
partly to preserve appearances, and partly for service. The 
chain-bearers, hunters, &c., had been distributed in the 
different cabins of the settlement, immediately on the arrival 
of the party. 

That night, when the sisters retired, Maud perceived that 
Beulah had something to communicate, out of the common 
way. Still, she did not know whether it would be proper 
for her to make any inquiries, and things were permitted to 
take their natural course. At length Beulah, in her gentle 
way, remarked 

" It is a fearful thing, Maud, for a woman to take upon 
herself the new duties, obligations and ties of a wife." 

" She should not do it, Beulah, unless she feels a love for 
the man of her choice, that will sustain her in them. You, 
who have real parents living, ought to feel this fully, as I 
doubt not you do." 

" Real parents ! Maud, you frighten me ! Are not my 
parents yours 1 Is not all our love common ?" 

" I am ashamed of myself, Beulah. Dearer and better 
parents than mine, no girl ever had. I am ashamed of my 
words, and beg you will forget them." 

" That I shall be very ready to do. It was a great con 
solation to think that should I be compelled to quit home, 
as compelled I must be in the end, I should leave with my 
father and mother a child as dutiful, and one that lovea 
them as sincerely as yourself, Maud." 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 151 

" You have thought right, Beulah. I do love them to my 
heart s core ! Then you arc right in another sense ; for I 
shall never marry. My mind is made up to that." 

" Well, dear, many are happy that never marry many 
women aiv happier than those that do. Evert has a kind, 
manly, ailectionate heart, and I know will do all he can to 
prevent my regretting home; but we can never have more 
than one mother, Maud !" 

Maud did not answer, though she looked surprised that 
Deulah should say this to her. 

" Evert has reasoned and talked so much to my father 
and mother," continued the Jiancce, blushing, " that they 
have thought we had better be married at once. Do you 
know, Maud, that it has been settled this evening, that the 
ceremony is to take place to-morrow !" 

" This is sudden, indeed, Beulah ! Why have they deter 
mined on so unexpected a thing ?" 

" It is all owing to the state of the country. I know not 
how he has done it but Evert has persuaded my father, 
that the sooner I am his wife, the more secure we shall all 
be, here at the Knoll." 

" I hope you love Svert Beekman, dearest, dearest Beu 
lah r 

" What a question, Maud ! Do you suppose I could stand 
up before a minister of God, and plight my faith to a man 
I did not love? Why have you seemed to doubt it?" 

" I do not doubt it I am very foolish, for I know you 
are conscientious as the saints in heaven and yet, Beulah, 
I think / could scarce be so tranquil about one I loved." 

The gentle Beulah smiled, but she no longer felt uneasi 
ness. She understood the impulses and sentiments of her 
own pure but tranquil nature too well, to distrust herself; 
and she could easily imagine that Maud would not be as 
composed under similar circumstances. 

" Perhaps it is well, sister of mine," she answered laugh 
ing, though blushing, " that you are so resolved to remain, 
single; for one hardly knows where to find a suitor suffi 
ciently devoted and ethereal for your taste. No one pleased 
you last winter, though the least encouragement would havo 
brought a dozen to your feet ; and here there is no one you 
can possibly have, unless it be dear, good, old Mr. Woods." 



152 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

Maud compressed her lips, and really looked stern, so 
determined was she to command herself; then she answered 
somewhat in her sister s vein 

" It is very true," she said, " there is no hero for me to 
accept, unless it be dear Mr. Woods ; and he, poor man, has 
had one wife that cured him of any desire to possess another, 
they say." 

" Mr. Woods ! I never knew that he was married. Who 
can have told you this, Maud 1" 

" I got it from Robert" answered the other, hesitating a 
little. " He was talking one day of such things." 

"What things, dear? 

" Why of getting married I believe it was about mar 
rying relatives or connections or, some such thing ; for 
Mr. Woods married a cousin-german, it would seem and 
so he told me all about it. Bob was old enough to know 
his wife, when she died. Poor man, she led him a hard 
life he must be far from the Knoll, by this time, Beulah !" 

" Mr. Woods ! I left him with papa, a few minutes since, 
talking over the ceremony for to-morrow !" 

" I meant Bob " 

Here the sisters caught each other s eyes, and both blush 
ed, consciousness presenting to them, at the same instant, 
the images that were uppermost in their respective minds. 
But, no more was said. They continued their employments 
in silence, and soon each was kneeling in prayer. 

The following day, Evert Beekman and Beulah Willough- 
by were married. The ceremony took place, immediately 
after breakfast, in the little chapel ; no one being present 
but the relatives, and Michael O Hearn, who quieted his 
conscience for not worshipping with the rest of the people, 
by acting as their sexton. The honest county Leitrim-man 
was let into the secret as a great secret, however at early 
dawn ; and he had the place swept and in order in good 
season, appearing in his Sunday attire to do honour to the 
occasion, as he thought became him. 

A mother as tender as Mrs. Willoughby, could not resign 
the first claim on her child, without indulging her tears. 
Maud wept, too ; but it was as much in sympathy for Beu- 
lah s happiness, as from any other cause. The marriage, 
in other respects, was simple, and without any ostentatious 



J 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 153 

manifestations of feeling. It was, in truth, one of those 
rational and wise connections, which promise to wear well, 
there being a perfect fitness, in station, wealth, connections, 
years, manners and habits, between the parties. Violence 
was done to nothing, in bringing this discreet and, well- 
principled couple together. Evert was as worthy of Beulah, 
as she was worthy of him. There was confidence in the 
future, on every side ; and not a doubt, or a misgiving of 
any sort, mingled with the regrets, if regrets they could bo 
called, that were, in some measure, inseparable from the 
solemn ceremony. 

The marriage was completed, the affectionate father had 
held the weeping but smiling bride on his bosom, the tender 
mother hud folded her to her heart, Maud had pressed her 
in her arms in a fervent embrace, and the chaplain had 
claimed his kiss, when the well-meaning sexton ap 
proached. 

" Is it the likes of yees I wish well to !" said Mike " Ye 
may well say that; and to yer husband, and childer, and 
all that will go before, and all that have come afther ye ! I 
know d ye, when ye was mighty little, and that was years 
agone ; and niver have I seen a cross look on yer prctthy 
face. I ve app inted to myself, many s the time, a consait 
to tell ye all this, by wor-r-d of mouth ; but the likes of 
yees, and of the Missus, and of Miss M;iud there och ! 
isn t she a swate one ! and many s the pity, there s no sich 
tall, handsome jontleman to take her, in the bargain, bad 
luck to him for staying away ; and so God bless ye, all, 
praist in the barga ; n, though he s no praist at all; arid 
there s my good wishes said and done." 



154 THE HUTTED KNOLL 



CHAPTER X. 

Ho ! Princes of Jacob! the strength and the stay 

Oi the daughters of Zion ; now up, and away ; 

Lo, the hunters have struck her, and bleeding alone 

Like a pard in Ihe desert she rnaketh her moan : 

Up with war-horse and banner, with spear and with sword, 

On the spoiler go down in the might of the Lord ! 

LtJNT. 

THE succeeding fortnight, or three weeks, brought no 
material changes, beyond those connected with the progress 
of the season. Vegetation was out in its richest luxuriance, 
the rows of corn and potatoes, freshly hoed, were ornament 
ing the flats, the wheat and other grains were throwing up 
their heads, and the meadows were beginning to exchange 
their flowers for the seed. As for the forest, it had now 
veiled its mysteries beneath broad curtains of a green so 
bright and lively, that one can only meet it, beneatli a ge 
nerous sun, tempered by genial rains, and a mountain air. 
The chain-bearers, and other companions of Beekman, 
quitted the valley the day after the wedding, leaving no one 
of their party behind but its principal. 

The absence of the major was not noted by Joel and 
his set, in the excitement of receiving so many guests, and 
in the movement of the wedding. But, as soon as the fact 
was ascertained, the overseer and miller made the pretence 
of a slack-time in their work, and obtained permission to 
go to Ihe Mohawk, on private concerns of their own. Such 
journeys were sufficiently common to obviate suspicion ; 
and, the leave had, the two conspirators started off, in com 
pany, the morning of the second day, or forty-eight hours 
after the major and Nick had disappeared. As the latter 
was known to have come in by the Fort Stanwix route, it 
was naturally enough supposed that he had returned by the 
same ; and Joel determined to head him on the Mohawk, at 
some point near Schenectady, where he might make a merit 
of his cwn patriotism, by betraying the son of his master. 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. !" ) 

The reader is not to suppose Joel intended to do all this 
openly ; so far from it, his plan was to keep himself in tho 
back-ground, while he attracted attention to the supposed 
toryism of the captain, and illustrated his own attachment 
to the colonies. 

It is scarcely necessary to say that this plan failed, in 
consequence of the new path taken by Nick. At the very 
moment when Joel and the miller were lounging about a 
Dutch inn, some fifteen or twenty miles above Schenectady, 
in waiting for the travellers to descend the valley of tho 
Mohawk, Robert Willoughby and his guide were actually 
crossing the Hudson, in momentary security at least. After 
remaining at his post until satisfied his intended prey had 
escaped him, Joel, with his friend, returned to the settle 
ment. Still, the opportunity had been improved, to mako 
himself better acquainted with the real state of the country; 
to open communications with certain patriots of a moral 
calibre about equal to his own, but of greater influence; to 
throw out divers injurious hints, and secret insinuations con 
cerning the captain ; and to speculate on the propriety of 
leaving so important a person to work his will, at a time so 
critical. But the pear was not yet ripe, and all that could 
now be done was to clear the way a little for something im 
portant in future. 

In the meantime, Evert Bookman having secured his 
gentle and true-hearted wife, began, though with a heavy 
heart, to bethink him of his great political duties. It was 
well understood that he was to have a regiment of the new 
levies, and Beulah had schooled her affectionate heart to a 
degree that permitted her to part with him, in such a cause, 
with seeming resignation. It was, sooth to say, a curious 
spectacle, to see how these two sisters bent all their thoughts 
and wishes, in matters of a public nature, to favour the en 
grossing sentiments of their sex and natures; Maud being 
strongly disposed to sustain the royal cause, and the bride 
to support that in which her husband had enlisted, heart 
and hand. 

As for captain Willoughby, he said little on the subject 
of politics ; but the marriage of Beulah had a powerful in 
fluence in confirming his mind in the direction it had taken 
after the memorable argument with the chaplain. Colonel 



156 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

Bcekman was a man of strong good sense, though without 
the least brilliancy ; and his arguments were all so clear 
and practical, as to carry with them far more weight than 
was usual in the violent partisan discussions of the period. 
Beulah fancied him a Solon in sagacity, and a Bacon in 
wisdom. Her father, without proceeding quite as far as this, 
was well pleased with his cool discriminating judgment, and 
much disposed to defer to his opinions. The chaplain was 
left out of the discussions as incorrigible. 

The middle of June was passed, at the time colonel Beek- 
man began to think of tearing himself from his wife, in 
order to return into the active scenes of preparation he had 
quitted, to make this visit. As usual, the family frequented 
the lawn, at the close of the day, the circumstance of most 
of the windows of the Hut looking on the court, rendering 
this resort to the open air more agreeable than might other 
wise have been the case. Evert was undecided whether to 
go the following morning, or to remain a day longer, when 
the lawn was thus occupied, on the evening of the 25th of 
the month, Mrs. Willoughby making the tea, as usual, her 
daughters sitting near her, sewing, and the gentlemen at 
hand, discussing the virtues of different sorts of seed-corn. 

" There is a stranger !" suddenly exclaimed the chaplain, 
looking towards the rocks near the mill, the point at which 
all arrivals in the valley were first seen from the Hut. " He 
comes, too, like a man in haste, whatever may be his er 
rand." 

" God be praised," returned the captain rising ; " it is 
Nick, on his usual trot, and this is about the time he sho Ad 
be back, the bearer of good news. A week earlier might 
have augured better ; but this will do. The fellow moves 
over the ground as if he really had something to communi 
cate !" 

Mrs. Willoughby and her daughters suspended their avo- 
cations, and the gentlemen stood, in silent expectation, 
watching the long, loping strides of the Tuscarora, as he 
came rapidly across the plain. In a few minutes the Indian 
came upon the lawn, perfectly in wind, moving with deli 
beration and gravity, as he drew nearer to the party. Cap 
tain Willoughby, knowing his man, waited quite another 



TIIE IIUTTED KNOLL. 157 

minute, after the red-mail was leaning against an apple-tree, 
be lo re he questioned him. 

" Welcome back, Nick," he then said. " Where did you 
leave my a 

" He tell dere," answered the Indian, presenting a note, 
which the captain read. 

" This is all right, Nick ; and it shows you have been a 
true man. Your wages shall be paid to-night. But, this 
letter has been written on the eastern bank of the Hudson, 
and is quite three weeks old why have we not seen you, 
soon , 

"t an t see, when he don t come." 

" That is plain enough ; but why have you not come back 
sooner . That is my question." 

" Want to look at country went to shore of Great Salt 
Lake." 

" Oh ! Curiosity, then, has been at the bottom of your 
absence ?" 

Nick warrior no squaw got no cur osity." 

M No, no I beg your pardon, Nick ; I did not mean to 
accuse you of so womanish a feeling. Far from it ; I know 
you are a man. Tell us, however, how far, and whither 
you went ?" 

11 Bos on," answered Nick, sententiously. 

Huston ! That has been a journey, indeed. Surely my 
son did not allow you to travel in his company through 
Massachusetts?" 

"Nick go alone. Two path; one for major; one for 
Tuscarora. Nick got dcre first." 

" That I can believe, if you were in earnest. Were you 
not questioned by the way ?" 

" Yes. Tell em I m Stockbridge pale- face know no 
belter. T ink he fox; more like wood-chuck." 

"Thank you, Nick, for the compliment. Had my son 
<1 Boston before you came away . " 

11 H -rc he be" answered the Indian, producing another 
i:ii>>ive, from the folds of his calico shirt. 

The captain received the note which lie read with extreme 
gravity, and some surprise. 

" This is in Bob s hand-writing," he said, " and is dated 

VOL. I. 14 



158 THE HUTTED- KNOLL. 

* Boston, June 18th, 1775; but it is without signature, and 
is not only Bob, but Bob Short." 

" Read, dear Willoughby," exclaimed the anxious mo 
ther. " News from him, concerns us all." 

" News, Wilhelmina ! They may call this news in Bos 
ton, but one is very little the better for it at the Hutted Knoll. 
However, such as it is, there is no reason for keeping it a 
secret, while there is one reason, at least, why it should be 
known. This is all. My dearest sir Thank God I am 
unharmed ; but we have had much to make us reflect ; you 
know what duty rcquires-^-my best and endless love to my 
mother, and Beulah and dear, laughing, capricious, pretty 
Maud. Nick was present, and can tell you all. I do not 
think he will " extenuate, or aught set down in malice." 
And this without direction, or signature ; with nothing, in 
fact, but place and date. What say you to all this, Nick?" 

" He very good major dere ; he know. Nick dere hot 
time a t ousand scalp coat red as blood." 

" There has been another battle !" exclaimed the captain ; 
" that is too plain to admit of dispute. Speak out at once, 
Nick which gained the day ; the British or the Ameri 
cans?" 

" Hard to tell one fight, t other fight. Red-coat take do 
ground ; Yankee kill. If Yankee could take scalp of all he 
kill, he whip. But, poor warriors at takin scalp. No know 
how." 

" Upon my word, Woods, there does seem to be some 
thing in all this ! It can hardly be possible that the Ameri 
cans would dare to attack Boston, defended as it is, by a 
strong army of British regulars." 

" That would they not," cried the chaplain, with em 
phasis. " This has been only another skirmish." 

" What you call skirmge?" asked Nick, pointedly. " It 
skirmge to take, t ousand scalp, ha ?" 

" Tell us what has happened, Tuscarora?" said the cap 
tain, motioning his friend to be silent. 

" Soon tell soon done. Yankee on hill ; reg lar in canoe. 
Hundred, t ousand, fifty canoe full of red-coat. Great 
chief, dere ! ten six two all go togeder. Come ashore 
parade, pale-face manner march booh booh--dem 
cannon ; pop, pop dem gun. Wah ! how he run "* 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 159 

"Run! who ran, Nick? Though I suppose it must 
have been the poor Americans, of course." 

" Red-coat run," nnsuvivii the Indian, quietly. 

This reply produced a general sensation, even the ladies 
starting, and ^a/in^ at each other. 

* Ili-d-ruut rim" repeated the captain, slowly. "Goon 
with your history, Nick where was this battle fought?" 

" T other Bos on over river go in canoe to fight, liko 
Injin from Canada." 

" That must have been in Charlestown, Woodsyou may 
remember Boston is on one peninsula, and Charlestown on 
another. Still, I do not recollect that the Americans wcro 
in the latter, Beckman you told me nothing of that . " 

" They were not so near the royal forces, certainly, when 
I left Albany, sir," returned the colonel. " A few direct 
questions to the Indian, however, would brino- out the whole 
truth." 

" We must proceed more methodically. How many 
Yankees were in this fight, Nick ? Calculate as we used 
to, in the French war." 

" Reach from here to mill t ree, two deep, cap in. All 
farmer; no sodger. Carry gun, but no carry baggonet ; 
no carry knapsack. No wear red-coat. Look like town- 
meetin ; fight like devils." 

" A line as long as from this to the mill, three deep, would 
contain about two thousand men, Beekman. Is that what 
you wish to say, Nick ?" 

" That about him pretty near just so." 

" Well, then, there were about two thousand Yankees on 
this hill how many king s troops crossed in the canoes, to 
go against them ?" 

"Two time one time, so many; t other time, half so 
many. Nick close by ; count him" 

" That would make three thousand in all ! By Geor^r, 
this does look like work. Did they all go together, Nick"?" 

" No ; one time go first ; fight, run away. Den two time 
go, fight good deal run away, too. Den try harder set 
fire to wigwam go up hill ; Yankee run a\\ 

" This is plain enough, and quite graphical. Wigwam on 
fire? Charlestown is not burnt, Ni 

" Dat he Look like old Council Fire, gone out. Big 



160 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

canoe fire booh booh Nick nebber see such war before 
wah ! Dead man plenty as leaves on tree ; blood run 
like creek !" 

" Were you in this battle, Nick 1 How came you to learn 
so much about it?" 

"Don t want to be in it better out no scalp taken. 
Red-man not iri to do, dere. How know about him ? See 
him dat all. Got eye; why no see him, behind stone 
wall. Good see, behind stone wall." 

" Were you across the water yourself, or did you remain 
in Boston, and see from a distance?" 

" Across in canoe tell red-coat, general send letter by 
Nick major say, he my friend let Nick go." 

" My son was in this bloody battle, then !" said Mrs. 
Willoughby. " He writes, Hugh, that he is safe?" 

" He does, dearest Wilhelmina ; and Bob knows us too 
well, to attempt deception, in such a matter." 

"Did you see the major in the field, Nick after you 
crossed the water, I mean ?" 

" See him, all. Six two seven t ousand. Close by ; 
why not see major stand up like pine no dodge he head, 
dere. Kill all round him no hurt him! Fool to stay dere 
tell him so ; but he no come away. Save he scalp, too." 

" And how many slain do you suppose there might have 
been left on the ground or, did you not remain to see ?" 

" Did see stay to get gun knapsack oder good t ing 
plenty about ; pick him up, fast as want him." Here Nick 
coolly opened a small bundle, and exhibited an epaulette, 
several rings, a watch, five or six pairs of silver buckles, 
and divers other articles of plunder, of which he had man 
aged to strip the dead. " All good t ing plenty as stone 
have him widout askin ." 

" So I see, Master Nick and is this the plunder of Eng 
lishmen, or of Americans?" 

" Red-coat nearest got most t ing, too. Go farder, fare 
worse ; as pale-face say." 

" Quite satisfactory. Were there more red-coats left on 
the ground, or more Americans ?" 

" Red-coat so," said Nick, holding up four fingers 
" Yankee, so ;" holding up one. Take big grave to hold 
red-coat. Small grave won t hold Yankee. Hear what he 



THE HUTTED KNOLL- 161 

count ; most red-coat. More than thousand warrior ! Bri 
tish groan, like s.jti;i\v dat ioso her liunter." 

Such was Saucy Nick s description of the celebrated, 
and, in soin-* particulars, unrivalled combat of Hunker Hill, 
of \vhirh lit- had actually Uvn an rye-witni-ss, on the ground, 
though usiniT thf precaution to keep his body well covered, 
ltd not think it necessary to state the fact that he had 
glvm the coup-de-grace, himself, to the owner of the epau 
lette, nor did he deem it essential to furnish all the particu 
lars of his mode of obtaining so many buckles. In other 
respects, his account was fair enough, " nothing extenuating, 
or setting down aught in malice." The auditors had listened 
with intense feeling ; and .Maud, when the allusion was made 
to Robert Willoughby, buried her pallid face in her hands, 
and wept. As for Bculuh, time and again, she glanced 
anxiously at her husband, and bethought her of*the danger 
to which he might so soon be exposed. 

The receipt of this important intelligence confirmed Beek- 
man in the intention to depart. The very next morning he 
tore himself away from Beulah, and proceeded to Albany. 
The appointment of Washington, and a long list of other 
officers, soon succeeded, including his own as a colonel ; 
and the war may be said to have commenced systematically. 
Its distant din occasionally reached the Hutted Knoll ; but 
the summer passed away, bringing with it no event to affect 
the tranquillity of that settlement. Even Joel s schemes were 
thwarted for a time, and he was fain to continue to wear the 
mask, and to gather that harvest for another, which he had 
hoped to reap for his own benefit. 

Beulah had all a young wife s fears for her husband ; but, 
as month succeeded month, and one affair followed another, 
without bringing him harm, she began to submit to the 
anxieties inseparable from her situation, with less of self- 
torment, and more of reason. Her mother and Maud were 
invaluable friends to her, in this novel and trying situation, 
though each had her own engrossing cares on account of 
Robert Willoughby. As no other great battle, however, 
occurred in the course of the year 75, Bcckman remained 
in sat-ty with the troops that invested Boston, and the major 
with the army within it. Neither was much exposed, and 
14* 



162 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

glad enough were these gentle affectionate hearts, when they 
learned that the sea separated the combatants. 

This did not occur, however, until another winter was 
passed. In November, the family left the Hut, as had been 
its practice of late years, and went out into the more inha 
bited districts to pass the winter. This time it came only to 
Albany, where colonel Beekman joined it, passing a few 
happy weeks with his well-beloved Beulah. The ancient 
town mentioned was not gay at a moment like that ; but it 
had many young officers in it, on the American side of the 
question, who were willing enough to make themselves ac 
ceptable to Maud. The captain was not sorry to see several 
of these youths manifesting assiduity about her he had so 
long been accustomed to consider as his youngest daughter ; 
for, by this time, his opinions had taken so strong a bias in 
favour of the rights of the colonies, that Beekman himself 
scarce rejoiced more whenever he heard of any little success 
alighting on the American arms. 

" It will all come right in the end," the worthy captain 
used to assure his friend the chaplain. " They will open 
their eyes at home, ere long, and the injustice of taxing the 
colonies will be admitted. Then all will come round again ; 
the king will be as much beloved as ever, and England and 
America will be all the better friends for having a mutual 
respect. I know my countrymen well ; they mean right, 
and will do right, as soon as their stomachs are a little 
lowered, and they come to look at the truth, coolly. I II 
answer for it, the Battle of Bunker s Hill made ws" the 
captain had spoken in this way, now, for some months 
" made us a thousand advocates, where we had one before. 
This is the nature of John Bull ; give him reason to respect 
you, and he will soon do you justice; but give him reason 
to feel otherwise, and he becomes a careless, if not a hard 
master." 

Such were the opinions captain Willoughby entertained 
of his native land ; a land he had not seen in thirty years, 
and one in which he had so recently inherited unexpected 
honours, without awakening a desire to return and enjoy 
them. His opinions were right in part, certainly ; for they 
depended on a law of nature, while it is not improbable they 
were wrong in all that was connected with the notions of 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 103 

any peculiarly manly quality, in any particular part of 
Christendom. No maxim is truer than that which teaches 
us ** like causes produce like ad a-; human l>eings 

are governed by very similar laws all over the (ace of this 
round world of ours, nothing is more certain than the simi 
larity of their propensities. 

Maud had no smiles, beyond those extracted by her natu 
rally sweet disposition, and a very prevalent desire to oblige, 
for any of the young soldiers, or youn^ civilians, who 
crowded about her chair, during the Albany winter men 
tioned. Two or three of colonel Beekman s military friends, 
in particular, would very gladly have become com; 
with an officer so much respected, through means E 
ceedingly agreeable; but no encouragement emboldened 
either to go beyond the attention and assiduities of a marked 
politeness. 

" I know not how it is," observed Mrs. Willoughby, one 
day, in a t&te-a-ttte with her husband ; " Maud seems to 
take less pleasure than is usual with girls of her years, in the 
attentions of your sex. That her heart is affectionate 
warm even tender, I am very certain ; and yet no sign of 
preference, partiality, or weakness, in favour of any of these 
fine young men, of whom we see so many, can I discover 
in the child. They all seem alike to her !" 

" Her time will corne, as it happened to her mother before 
her," answered the captain. " Whooping-cough and measles 
are not more certain to befall children, than love to befall a 
young woman. You were all made for it, my dear Willy, 
and no fear but the girl will catch the disease, one of these 
and that, too, without any inoculation." 

" I am sure, I have no wish to separate from my child" 
so Mrs. Willoughby always spoke of, and so she always 
felt towards Maud " I am sure, I have no wish to separate 
from my child ; but as we cannot always remain, it is per 
haps better this one should rnarry, like the other. Th 
young Vcrplanck much devoted to her; he is everyway ,1 
suitable match ; and then he is in Evert s own regiment." 

M Ay, he would do; though to my fancy Luke Herring is 
the far better match." 

"That is bccaiK-- h" is richer and more powerful, Iluoh 
you men cannot think of a daughter s establishment, with- 



164 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

out immediately dragging in houses and lands, as part of 
the ceremony." 

" By George, wife of mine, houses and lands in modera 
tion, are very good sweeteners of matrimony !" 

" And yet, Hugh, I have been very happy as a wife, nor 
have you been very miserable as a husband, without any 
excess of riches to sweeten the state !" answered Mrs. WiU 
loughby," reproachfully. " Had you been a full general, I 
could not have loved you more than I have done as a mere 
captain." 

" All very true, Wilhelmina, dearest," returned the hus 
band, kissing the faithful partner of his bosom with strong 
affection " very true, my dear girl ; for girl you are and 
ever will be in my eyes ; but you are one in a million, and 
I humbly trust there are not ten hundred and one, in every 
thousand, just like myself. For my part, I wish dear, saucy, 
capricious little Maud, no worse luck in a husband, than 
Luke Herring." 

" She will never be his wife ; I know her, and my own 
sex, too well to think it. You are wrong, however, Wil- 
loughby, in applying such terms to the child. Maud is not 
in the least capricious, especially in her affections. See with 
what truth and faithfulness of sisterly attachment she clings 
to Bob. I do declare I am often ashamed to feel that even 
his own mother has less solicitude about him than this dear 
girl." 

" Pooh, Willy ; don t be afflicted with the idea that you 
don t make yourself sufficiently miserable about the boy. 
Bob will do well enough, and will very likely come out of 
this affair a lieutenant-colonel. I may live yet to see him a 
general officer ; certainly, if I live to be as old as my grand 
father, Sir Thomas. As for Maud, she finds Beulah uneasy 
about Bcekman ; and having no husband hers-ejf, or any 
lover that she cares a straw about, why she just falls upon 
Bob as a pis oilier. I 11 warrant you she cares no more for 
him than any of the rest of us than myself, for instance; 
though as an old soldier, I don t scream every time I fancy 
a gun fired over yonder at Boston." 

" I wish it were well over. It is so unnatural for Ever! 
and Robert to be on opposite sides." 

" Yes, it is out of the common way, I admit ; and yet 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 1G5 

twill all come round, in the long run. This Mr. Washington 
is a clever lellou, ami seems to play his cards with spirit 
and judgment, He \sa- with us, in that awkward affair of 
Braddock fl ; and between you and me, Wilhelmina, he co- 
veivd the regulars, or we should all have laid our bonos on 
that accursed field. I wrote you at the time, what I thought 
of him, and now you see it is all coming to pass." 

It was one of the captain s foibles to believe himself a 
political prophet ; and, as he had really both written and 
spoken highly of Washington, at the time mentioned, it had 
no small influence on his opinions to find himself acting on 
the same side with this admired favourite. Prophecies often 
produce their own fulfilment, in cases of much greater gra 
vity than this; and it is not surprising that our captain 
found himself strengthened in his notions by the circum 
stance. 

The winter passed away without any of Maud s suitors 
making a visible impression on her heart. In March, 
the English evacuated Boston, Robert Willoughby sailing 
with his regiment for Halifax, and thence with the expedi 
tion against Charleston, under Sir Henry Clinton. Tho 
next month, the family returned to the Knoll, where it was 
thought wiser, and even safer to be, at a moment so critical, 
than even in a more frequented place. The war proceeded, 
and, to the captain s great regret, without any very visible 
approaches towards the reconciliation he had so confidently 
anticipated. This rather checked his warmth in favour of 
the colonial cause; for, an Englishman by birth, he was 
much opposed at bottom to anything like a dissolution of 
the tie that connected America with the mother country ; a 
political event that now began seriously to be talked of 
among the initiated. 

Desirous of thinking as little as possible of disagreeable 
things, the worthy owner of the valley busied himself with 
his crops, his mills, and his improvements. He had intended 
to commence leasing his wild lands about this time, and to 
begin a more extended settlement, with an eye to futurity ; 
but the state of the country forbade the execution of the. 
project, and he was fain to limit his efforts by their former 
boundaries. The geographical position of the valley put it 
beyond any of the ordinary exactions of military service j 



106 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

and, as there was a little doubt thrown around its owner s 
opinions, partly in consequence of his son s present and his 
own previous connection with the royal army, and partly 
on account of Joel s secret machinations, the authorities 
were well content to let the settlement alone, provided it 
would take care of itself. Notwithstanding the prominent 
patriotism of Joel Strides and the miller, they were well 
satisfied, themselves, with this state of things ; preferring 
peace and quietness to the more stirring scenes of war. 
Their schemes, moreover, had met with somewhat of a 
check, in the feeling of the population of the valley, which, 
on an occasion calculated to put their attachment to its 
owner to the proof, had rather shown that they remembered 
his justice, liberality, and upright conduct, more than exactly 
comported with their longings. This manifestation of re 
spect was shown at an election for a representative in a 
local convention, in which every individual at the Hutted 
Knoll, who had a voice at all, the two conspirators excepted, 
had given it in favour of the captain. So decided was this 
expression of feeling, indeed, that it compelled Joel and the 
miller to chime in with the cry of the hour, and to vote 
contrary to their own wishes. 

One, dwelling at the Hutted Knoll, in the summer of 1776, 
could never have imagined that he was a resident of a coun 
try convulsed by a revolution, and disfigured by war. There, 
everything seemed peaceful and calm, the woods sighing 
with the airs of their sublime solitude, the genial sun shed 
ding its heats on a grateful and generous soil, vegetation 
ripening and yielding with all the abundance of a bountiful 
nature, as in the more tranquil days of peace and hope. 

" There is something frightful in the calm of this valley, 
Beulah !" exclaimed Maud one Sunday, as she and her sister 
looked out cf the library window amid the breathing stillness 
of the forest, listening to the melancholy sound of the bell 
that summoned them to prayers. " There is a frightful 
calm over this place, at an hour when we know that strife 
and bloodshed are so active in the country. Oh ! that the 
hateful congress had never thought of making this war!" 

" Evert writes me all is well, Maud ; that the times will 
lead to good ; the people are right ; and America will now 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 167 

be a nation in time, he thinks, a great, and a very great 
nation. 

" Ah ! It is this ambition of greatness that hurries them 
all on ! Why can they not be satisfied with being respecta 
ble subjects of so great a country as England, that they 
must destroy each other for this phantom of liberty 1 Will 
i: make them wiser, or happier, or better than they are?" 

Thus reasoned Maud, under the influence of one engross 
ing sentiment. As our tale proceeds, we shall have occasion 
to show, perhaps, how far was that submission to events 
wh h-h she inculcated, from the impulses of her true character. 
Bculah answered mildly, but it was more as a young Ame 
rican wife : 

" I know Event thinks it all right, Maud ; and you will 
own he is neither fiery nor impetuous. If his cool judgment 
approve of what has been done, we may well suppose that 
it has not been done in too much haste, or needlessly." 

" Think, Bculah," rejoined Maud, with an ashen cheek, 
and in trembling tones, " that Evert and Robert may, at 
this very moment, be engaged in strife against each other. 
The last messenger who came in, brought us the miserable 
tidings that Sir William Howe was landing a large army 
near New York, and that the Americans were preparing to 
meet it. We are certain that Bob is with his regiment ; and 
his regiment we know is in the army. How can we think 
of this liberty, at a moment so critical?" 

Beulah did not reply ; for in spite of her quiet nature, and 
implicit confidence in her husband, she could not escape a 
woman s solicitude. The colonel had promised to write at 
every good occasion, and that which he promised was usually 
performed. She thought, and thought rightly, that a very 
few days would bring them intelligence of importance ; 
though it came in a shape she had little anticipated, and by 
a messenger she had then no desire to see. 

In the meantime, the season and its labours advanced. 
August was over, and September with its fruits had suc 
ceeded, promising to bring the year round without any new 
or extraordinary incidents to change the fortunes of the in 
mates of the Hutted Knoll. Beulah had now been married 
more than a twelvemonth, and was already a mother; and 
of course all that time had elapsed since the son quitted his 



168 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

father s house. Nick, too, had disappeared shortly after 
his return from Boston ; and throughout this eventful sum 
mer, his dark, red countenance had not been seen in the 

valley. 



CHAPTER XI. 

And now tis still ! no sound to wake 
The primal forest s awful shade ; 
And breathless lies the covert brake, 
Where many an ambushed form is laid : 
I see the red-man s gleaming eye, 
Yet all so hushed the gloom profound, 
That summer birds flit heedlessly, 
And mocking nature smiles around. 

LUNT. 

THE eventful summer of 1776 had been genial and gener 
ous in the valley of the Hutted Knoll. With a desire to drive 
away obtrusive thoughts, the captain had been much in his 
fields, and he was bethinking himself of making a large con 
tribution to the good cause, in the way of fatted porkers, of 
which he had an unusual number, that he thought might 
yet be driven through the forest to Fort Stanwix, before the 
season closed. In the way of intelligence from the seat of 
war, nothing had reached the family but a letter from the 
major, which he had managed to get sent, and in which he 
wrote with necessary caution. He merely mentioned the 
arrival of Sir William Howe s forces, and the state of his 
own health. There was a short postscript, in the following 
words, the letter having been directed to his father : " Tell 
dearest Maud," he said, " that charming women have ceased 
to charm me ; glory occupying so much of my day-dreams, 
like an ignis fatuus, I fear ; and that as for love, all my 
affections are centred in the dear objects at the Hutted Knoll. 
If I had met with a single woman I admired half as much 
as I do her pretty self, I should have been married long 
since." This was written in answer to some thoughtless 
rattle that the captain had volunteered to put in his last 
letter, as coming from Maud, who had sensitively shrunk 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 169 

from sending a message when asked ; and it was read by 
father, mother, and Beulah, as the badinage of a brother to 
a sister, without awaking a second thought in either. Not 
HO with Maud, herself, however. When her seniors had 
done with this letter, she carried it to her own room, reading 
and re-reading it a dozen times; nor could she muster reso 
lution to return it ; but, tinding at length that the epistle was 
forgotten, she succeeded in retaining it without awakening 
attention to what she had done. This letter now became 
her constant companion, and a hundred times did the sweet 
girl trace its characters, in the privacy of her chamber, or 
in that of her now solitary walks in the woods. 

As yet, the war had produced none of those scenes of 
ruthless frontier violence, that had distinguished all the pre 
vious conflicts of America. The enemy was on the coast, 
and thither the efforts of the combatants had been principally 
directed. It is true, an attempt on Canada had been made, 
but it failed for want of means ; neither party being in a 
condition to effect much, as yet, in that quarter. The cap 
tain had commented on this peculiarity of the present strug 
gle ; all those which had preceded it having, as a matter of 
course, taken the direction of the frontiers between the hos 
tile provinces. 

" There is no use, Woods, in bothering ourselves about 
these things, after all," observed captain Willoughby, one 
day, when the subject of hanging the long-neglected gates 
came up between them. " It s a heavy job, and the crops 
will sutler if we lake off the hands this week. We are as 
safe, here, as we should be in Hyde Park; and safer too; 
for there house-breakers and foot-pads abound ; whereas, 
your preaching has left nothing but very vulgar and every 
day sinners at the Knoll." 

The chaplain had little to say against this reasoning; for, 
to own the truth, he saw no particular cause for apprehen 
sion. Impunity had produced the feeling of security, until 
these gates had got to be rather a subject of amusement, 
than of any serious discussion. The preceding year, when 
the stockade was erected, Joel had managed to throw so 
many obstacles in the way of hanging the gates, that the 
duty was not performed throughout the whole of the present 
summer, the subject having been mentioned but once or 

VOL. I. 15 



170 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

twice, and then only to be postponed to a more fitting occa 
sion. 

As yet no one in the valley knew of the great event which 
had taken place in July. A rumour of a design to de 
clare the provinces independent had reached the Hut in 
May ; but the major s letter was silent on this important 
event, and positive information had arrived by no other 
channel ; otherwise, the captain would have regarded the 
struggle as much more serious than he had ever done be 
fore ; and he might have set about raising these all-important 
gates in earnest. As it was, however, there they stood ; 
each pair leaning against its proper wall or stockade, though 
those of the latter were so light as to have required but 
eight or ten men to set them on their hinges, in a couple of 
hours at most. 

Captain Willoughby still confined his agricultural schemes 
to the site of the old Beaver Pond. The area of that was 
perfectly beautiful, every unsightly object having been re 
moved, while the fences and the tillage were faultlessly neat 
and regular. Care had been taken, too, to render the few 
small fields around the cabins which skirted this lovely rural 
scene, worthy of their vicinage. The stumps had all been 
dug, the surfaces levelled, and the orchards and gardens 
were in keeping with the charms that nature had so bounti 
fully scattered about the place. 

While, however, all in the shape of tillage was confined 
to this one spot, the cattle ranged the forest for miles. Not 
only was the valley, but the adjacent mountain-sides were 
covered with intersecting paths, beaten by the herds, in the 
course of years. These paths led to many a glen, or look 
out, where Beulah and Maud had long been in the habit of 
pursuing their rambles, during the sultry heats of summer. 
Though so beautiful to the eye, the flats were not agreeable 
for walks ; and it was but natural for the lovers of the pic 
turesque to seek the eminences, where they could overlook 
the vast surfaces of leaves that were spread before them ; or 
to bury themselves in ravines and glens, within which the 
rays of the sun scarce penetrated. The paths mentioned 
led near, or to, a hundred of these places, all within a mile 
or two of the. Hut. As a matter of course, then, they were 
not neglected. 



THE IIUTTED KNOLL. 171 

Beuhli had now been a mother several months. Her 
little Evert was born at the Knoll, and he occupied most of 

politic and aileetionate thoughts which were not en 
grossed by his absent lather. Her marriage, of itself, had 

some changes in her intercourse with Maud ; but the 
birth of the child had brought about still more. The care 
of this little being formed Beulah s great delight; and Mrs. 
Willoughby had ail that peculiar interest in her descendant, 
which marks a grandmothers irresponsible love. 1 
two passed half their time in the nursery, a room fitted bc- 
.. their respective chambers; leaving Maud more alone 
than it was her wont to be, and of course to brood over her 
thoughts and leelings. Th-->i. p<-ri<nU of solitude our heroine 
iiuch accustomed to pass in the forest. Use had so far 
emboldened her, that apprehension never shortened her 
walks, or lessened their pleasure. Of danger, from any 
ordinary source, there was literally next to none, man never 
having been known to approach the valley, unless by the 
regular path ; while the beasts of prey had been so actively 
hunted, as rarely to be seen in that quarter of the country. 
The panther excepted, no wild quadruped was to be in the 
least feared in summer ; and, of the first, none had ever 
been met with by Nick, or any of the numerous woodsmen 
who had now frequented the adjacent hills for two lustrums. 
About three hours before the setting of the sun, on the 
evening of the 23d of September, 1770, Maud Willoughby 
was pursuing her way, quite alone, along ohe of the paths 
beaten by the cattle, at some little distance from a rocky 
eminence, where there was a look-out, on which Mike, by 
her father s orders, had made a rude seat. It was on the 
side of the clearing most remote from all the cabins ; though, 
once on the elevation, she could command a view of the 
whole of the little panorama around the site of the ancient 
pond. In that day, ladies wore the well-known gipscy hat, 
a style that was peculiarly suited to the face of our heroine. 

Be had oiven her cheeks a rich glow; and though a 
shade of sadness, or at least of reflection, was now habitually 
thrown athwart her sweet countenance, this bloom added an 
unusual lustre to her eyes, and a brilliancy to her beauty, 
that the proudest belle of any drawing-room might have 
been glad to possess. Although living so retired, her dress 



172 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

always became her rank ; being simple, but of the charao 
ter that denotes refinement, and the habits and tastes of a 
gentlewoman. In this particular, Maud had ever been ob 
servant of what was due to herself; and, more than all, had 
she attended to her present appearance since a chance ex 
pression of Robert Willoughby s had betrayed how much 
he prized the quality in her. 

Looking thus, and in a melancholy frame of mind, Maud 
reached the rock, and took her place on its simple seat, 
throwing aside her hat, to catch a little of the cooling air on 
her burning cheeks. She turned to look at the lovely view 
again, with a pleasure that never tired. The rays of the 
sun were streaming athwart the verdant meadows and rich 
corn, lengthening the shadows, and mellowing everything, 
as if expressly to please the eye of one like her who now 
gazed upon the scene. Most of the people of the settlement 
were in the open air, the men closing- their day s works in 
the fields, and the women and children busied beneath 
shades, with their wheels and needles ; the whole presenting 
such a picture of peaceful, rural life, as a poet might de 
light to describe, or an artist to delineate with his pencil. 

" The landscape smiles 
Calm in the sun ; and silent are the hills 
And valleys, and the blue serene of air." 

The Vanished Lark. 

" It is very beautiful !" thought Maud. " Why cannot 
men be content with such scenes of loveliness and nature 
as this, and love each other, and be at peace, as God s laws 
command? Then we might all be living happily together, 
here, without trembling lest news of some sad misfortune 
should reach us, from hour to hour. Beulah and Evert 
would not be separated ; but both could remain with their 
child and my dear, dear father and mother would be so 
happy to have us all around them, in security and, then, 
Bob, too perhaps Bob might bring a wife from the town, 
with him, that I could love as I do Beulah" It was one of 
Maud s day-dreams to love the wife of Bob, and make him 
happy by contributing to the happiness of those he most 
prized " No ; I could never love her as I do Beulah; but 
I should make her very dear to me, as I ought to, since she 
would be Bob s wife." 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 173 

The expression of Maud s lace, towards the close of this 
mental soliloquy, was of singular sadness; and yrt it was 
the \vry picture of sincerity and truth. It was some such 
look us the windows of I lie- mind assume, when the feelings 
struggle against nature and hope, for resignation and sub- 
u to duty. 

At this instant, a cry arose from the valley ! It was one 
of those spontaneous, involuntary outbreaking! of alarm, 
that no art can imitate, no pen describe; but which convex s 
to the listener s ear, terror in the very sound. At the next 
instant, the men from the mill were seen rushing up to the 
summit of the dill that impended over their dwellings, fol 
lowed by their wives dragging children after them, making 
frantic gestures, indicative of alarm. The first impulse of 
Maud was to lly r ; but a moment s reflection told her it was 
much too late for that. To remain and witness what fol 
lowed would be safer, and more wise. Her dress was dark, 
and she would not be likely to be observed at the distance 
at which she was placed ; having behind her, too, a back 
ground of gloomy rock. Then the scene was too exciting to 
admit of much hesitation or delay in coming to a decision ; 
a fearful species of maddened curiosity mingling with her 
alarm. Under such circumstances, it is not surprising that 
Maud continued gazing on what she saw, with eyes that 
seemed to devour the objects before them. 

The first cry from the valley was followed by the appear 
ance of the fugitives from the mill. These took the way 
towards the Hut, calling on the nearest labourers by imme, 
to seek safety in flight. The words could not be distin 
guished at the rock, though indistinct sounds might; but 
the gestures could not be mistaken. In half a minute, the 
plain was alive with fugitives; some rushing to their cabins 
for their children, and all taking the direction of the stock 
ade, as soon as the last were found. In five minutes the 
and lanes near the Knoll were crowded with m-n, 
women and children, hastening forward to its protection, 
while a few of the former had already rushed through the 
Maud correctly fancied, in quest of their arms. 

( aptain Willoughby was riding am<>nj; his labourers when 
this fearful interruption to a tranquillity so placid first broke 
upon his ear. Accustomed to alarms, lie galloped forward 
15 * 



174 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

to meet the fugitives from the mill, issuing orders as he 
passed to several of the men nearest the house. With the 
miller, who thought little of anything but safety at that in 
stant, he conversed a moment, and then pushed boldly on 
towards the verge of the cliffs. Maud trembled as she saw 
her father in a situation which she thought must be so ex 
posed ; but his cool manner of riding about proved that he 
saw no enemy very near. At length he waved his hat to 
some object, or person in the glen beneath ; and she even 
thought she heard his shout. At the next moment, he turned 
his horse, and was seen scouring along the road towards the 
Hut. The lawn was covered with the fugitives as the captain 
reached it, while a few armed men were already coming out 
of the court-yard. Gesticulating as if giving orders, the 
captain dashed through them all, without drawing the rein, 
and disappeared in the court. A minute later, he re-issued, 
bearing his arms, followed by his wife and Beulah, the latter 
pressing little Evert to her bosom. 

Something like order now began to appear among the 
men. Counting all ages and both colours, the valley, at 
this particular moment, could muster thirty-three males 
capable of bearing arms. To these might be added some 
ten or fifteen women who had occasionally brought down a 
deer, and who might be thought more or less dangerous, 
stationed at a loop, with a rifle or a musket. Captain Wil- 
loughby had taken some pains to drill the former, who could 
go through some of the simpler light-infantry evolutions. 
Among them he had appointed sundry corporals, while Joel 
Strides had been named a serjeant. Joyce, now an eged 
and war-worn veteran, did the duty of adjutant. Twenty 
men were soon drawn up in array, in front of the open gate 
way on the lawn, under the immediate orders of Joyce ; and 
the last woman and child, that had been seen approaching 
the place of refuge, had passed within the stockade. At this 
instant captain Willoughby called a party of the stragglers 
around him, and set about hanging the gates of the outer 
passage, or that which led through the palisades. 

Maud would now have left th^ rock, but, at that moment, 
a dark body of Indians poured up over the cliffs, crowning 
it with a menacing cloud of at least fifty armed warriors. 
The rivulet lay between her and l*he Hut, and the nearest 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 175 

bridge that crossed it would have brought her within reach 
of (hinder. Then it would require at least half an hour to 
reach that bridge by the circuitous path she would be com- 
pd led to take, and there was little hope of getting over it 
before the strangers should have advanced. It was better 
to remain where she could behold what was passing, and to 
be governed by events, than to rush blindly into unseen 
risks. 

The party that crowned the cliffs near the mills, showed 
no impatience to advance. It was evidently busy in recon 
noitring, and in receiving accessions to its numbers. The 
latter soon increased to some seventy or eighty warriors. 
After waiting several minutes in inaction, a musket, or rifle, 
was fired towards the Hut, as if to try the effect of a summons 
and the range of a bullet. At this hint the men on the lawn 
retired within the stockade, stacked their arms, and joined 
the party that was endeavouring to get the gates in their 
places. From the circumstance that her father directed all 
the women and children to retire within the court, Maud 
supposed that the bullet might have fallen somewhere near 
them. It was quite evident, however, that no one was in 
jured. 

The gates intended for the stockade, being open like the 
rest of that work, were materially lighter than those con 
structed for the house itself. The difficulty was in handling 
them with the accuracy required to enter the hinges, of 
which there were three pairs. This difficulty existed on 
account of their great height. Of physical force, enough 
could be applied to toss them over the stockade itself, if 
necessary ; but finesse was needed, rather than force, to 
effect the principal object, and that under difficult circum 
stances. It is scarcely possible that the proximity of so 
fierce an enemy as a body of savages in their war-paint, 
;oh the men at the mill had discovered was the guiso 
of their assailants, would in any measure favour the coolness 
and tact of the labourers. Poor Maud lost the sense of her 
own danger, in the nervous desire to see the long-forgotten 
gates hung ; and she rose once or twice, in feverish excite 
ment, as she saw that the leaf which was raised fell in or 
out, missing its fastenings. Still the men persevered, one 



176 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

or two sentinels being placed to watch the Indians, and give 
timely notice of their approach, should they advance. 

Maud now kneeled, with her face bowed to the seat, and 
uttered a short but most fervent prayer, in behalf of the dear 
beings that the Hut contained. This calmed her spirits a 
little, and she rose once more to watch the course of events. 
The body of men had left the gate at which they had just 
been toiling, and were crowding around its fellow. One 
leaf was hung ! As an assurance of this, she soon after saw 
her father swing it backward and forward on its hinges, to 
cause it to settle into its place. This was an immense relief, 
though she had heard too many tales of Indian warfare, to 
think there was any imminent danger of an attack by open 
day, in the very face of the garrison. The cool manner in 
which her father proceeded, satisfied her that he felt the 
same security, for the moment ; his great object being, in 
truth, to make suitable provision against the hours of dark 
ness. 

Although Maud had been educated as a lady, and possess 
ed the delicacy and refinement of her class, she had unavoid 
ably caught some of the fire and resolution of a frontier life. 
To her, the forest, for instance, possessed no fancied dan- 
gers; but when there was real ground for alarm, she estimated 
its causes intelligently, and with calmness. So it was, also, 
in the present crisis. She remembered all she had boen 
taught, or had heard, and quick of apprehension, her infor 
mation was justly applied to the estimate of present circum 
stances. 

The men at the Hut soon had the second leaf of the gate 
ready to be raised. At this instant, an Indian advanced 
across the fiat alone, bearing a branch of a tree in his hand, 
and moving swiftly. This was a flag of truce, desiring to 
communicate with the pale-faces. Captain Willoughby met 
the messenger alone, at the foot of the lawn, and there a 
conference took place that lasted several minutes. Maud 
could only conjecture its objects, though she thought her 
father s attitude commanding, and his gestures stern. The 
red-man, as usual, was quiet and dignified. This much our 
heroine saw, or fancied she saw ; but beyond this, of course, 
all was vague conjecture. Just as the two were about to 
part, and had even made courteous signs of their intention, a 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 177 



shout arose from the workmen, which a-crnded, 
i aintly, as hi^h as the ro -k. Captain Wiiloughby turned, 
and thdi Maud saw his arm extended towards the stockade 
The second leaf of th r> gate was in its place, swinging tc 
and fro, in ,1 sort of exulting demonstration of its i 
Tin 1 savage moved away, more slowly than he had ;idva 
occasionally stopping to reconnoitre the Knoll and its de 
fences. 

Captain Willoughby now returned to his people, and he 
->mc time busied in examining the gates, and giving 
directions about its fastenings. Utterly forgetful of her own 
situation, Maud shed tears of joy, as she saw that this great 
object was successfully effected. The stockade was an im- 
security to the people of the Hut. Although it cer 
tainly might be scaled, such an enterprise would require 
great caution, courage, and address; and it could hardly 
be effected, at all, by day-light. At night, even, it would 
allow the sentinels time to give the alarm, and with a vigi 
lant look-out, might be the means of repelling an enemy. 
There was also another consideration connected with this 
stockade. An enemy would not be fond of trusting himself 
inside of it, unless reasonably certain of carrying the citadel 
altogether ; inasmuch as it might serve as a prison to place 
him in the hands of the i-arri^m. To recross it under a 
fire from the loops, would be an exploit so hazardous that 
few Indians would think of undertaking it. All this .Maud 
knew from her father s conversations, and she saw how 
much had been obtained in raising the gates. Then the 
stockade, once properly closed, aflorded great security to 
those moving about within it; the timbers would be apt to 
stop a bullet, and were a perfect defence against a rush ; 
leaving time to the women and children to get into the court, 
even allowing that the assailants succeeded in scaling the 
palisades. 

.Maud thought rapidly and well, in the strait in which she 
was placed. She understood most of the movements, on 
both sides, and she also saw the importance of her remain- 
inn where she could note all that passed, if she intended to 
make an attempt at reaching the Hut, after dark. This 
necessity determined her to continue at the rock, so long as 
light remained. She wondered she was not missed, but 



178 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

rightly attributed the circumstance to the suddenness of the 
alarm, and the crowd of other thoughts which would natu 
rally press upon the minds of her friends, at such a fearful 
moment. " I will stay where I am," thought Maud, a little 
proudly, " and prove, if I am not really the daughter of 
Hugh VVilloughby, that I am not altogether unworthy of 
his love and care ! I can even pass the night in the forest, 
at this warm season, without suffering." 

Just as these thoughts crossed her mind, in a sort of men 
tal soliloquy, a stone rolled from a path above her, and fell 
over the rock on which the seat was placed. A footstep was 
then heard, and the girl s heart beat quick with apprehen 
sion. Still she conceived it safest to remain perfectly quiet. 
She scarce breathed in her anxiety to be motionless. Then 
it occurred to her, that some one beside herself might be 
out from the Hut, and that a friend was near. Mike had 
been in the woods that very afternoon, she knew ; for she 
had seen him ; and the true-hearted fellow would indeed be 
a treasure to her, at that awful moment. This idea, which 
rose almost to certainty as soon as it occurred, induced her 
to spring forward, when the appearance of a man, whom 
she did not recognise, dressed in a hunting-shirt, and other 
wise attired for the woods, carrying a short rifle in the 
hollow of his arm, caused her to stop, in motionless terror. 
At first, her presence was not observed ; but, no sooner did the 
stranger catch a glimpse of her person, than he stopped, 
raised his hands in surprise, laid his rifle against a tree, and 
sprang forward ; the girl closing her eyes, and sinking on 
the seat, with bowed head, expecting the blow of the deadly 
tomahawk. 

" Maud dearest, dearest Maud do you not know me !" 
exclaimed one, leaning over the pallid girl, while he passed 
an arm round her slender waist, with an affection so delicate 
and reserved, that, at another time, it might have attracted 
attention. " Look up, dear girl, and show that at least you 
fear not me /" 

" Bob," said the half-senseless Maud. " Whence come 
you? Why do you come at this fearful instant! Would 
to God your visit had been better timed !" 

" Terror makes you say this, my poor Maud ! Of ail the 
family, I had hoped for the warmest welcome from you. 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 179 

Wo think alike about this war then you arc not so much 
terrified at the idea of my being found here, but can hear 
reason. Why do you say thi<, then, my dearest Maud I" 

By this time Maud had so. far recovered as to be able to 
look up into the major s fan*, with an expression in which 
alarm was blended with unutterable tenderness. Still she 
did not throw her arms around him, as a sister would clasp 
a beloved brother ; but, rather, as he pressed her gently to 
liis bosom, repelled the embrace by a slight resistance. 
Extricating herself, however, she turned and pointed towards 
the valley. 

" Why do I say this ? See for yourself the savages havo 
at length come, and the whole dreadful picture is before 
you." 

Young Willoughby s military eye took in the scene at a 
glance. The Indians were still at the clifF, and the peoplo 
of the settlement were straining at the heavier gates of tho 
Hut, having already got one of them into a position where 
it wanted only the proper application of a steady force to bo 
hung. He saw his father actively employed in giving direc 
tions ; and a few pertinent questions drew all the other cir 
cumstances from Maud. The enemy had now been in tho 
valley more than an hour, and the movements of the two 
parties were soon related. 

"Are you alone, dearest Maud? are you shut out by this 
sudden inroad?" demanded the major, with concern and 
surprise. 

" So it would seem. I can see no other though I did 
think Michael might be somewhere near me, in the "woods, 
here ; I at first mistook your footsteps for his." 

* That is a mistake" returned Willousrhby, levelling a 
small pocket spy-glass at the Hut " Mike is tugging at 
that gate, upholding a part of it, like a corner-stone. I see 
most of the faces I know there, and my dear father is as 
active, and yet as cool, as if at the head of a regiment." 

" Then I am alone it is perhaps better that as many as 
possible should be in the house to defend it." 

" Not alone, my sweet Maud, so long as I am with you. 
Do you still think my visit so ill-timed ?" 

" Perhaps not, after all. Heaven knows what I should 
have done, by myself, when it became dark 1" 



180 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

" But are we safe on this seat ? May we not be seen by 
the Indians, since we so plainly see them ?" 

" I think not. I have often remarked that when Evert 
and Beulah have been here, their figures could not be per 
ceived from the lawn ; owing, I fancy, to the dark back 
ground of rock. My dress is not light, and you are in 
green ; which is the colour of the leaves, and not easily to 
be distinguished. No other spot gives so good a view of 
what takes place in the valley. We must risk a little expo 
sure, or act in the dark." 

" You are a soldier s daughter, Maud" This was as true 
of major Meredith as of captain Willoughby, and might 
therefore be freely said by even Bob " You are a soldier s 
daughter, and nature has clearly intended you to be a sol 
dier s wife. This is a covp-d -ceil not to be despised." 

" I shall never be a wife at all" murmured Maud, scarce 
knowing what she said ; " I may not live to be a soldier s 
daughter, even, much longer. But, why are you here ? 
surely, surely you can have no connection with those sa 
vages ! I have heard of such horrors ; but you would not 
accompany them, even though it were to protect the Hut." 

" I 11 not answer for that, Maud. One would do a great 
deal to preserve his paternal dwelling from pillage, and his 
father s grey hairs from violence. But I came alone ; that 
party and its objects being utterly strangers to me." 

" And why do you come at all, Bob ?" inquired the anxious 
girl, looking up into his face with open affection " The 
situation of the country is now such, as to make your visits 
very hazardous." 

" Who could know the regular major in this hunting- 
shirt, and forest garb? I have not an article about my per 
son to betray me, even were I before a court. No fear for 
me then, Maud ; unless it be from these demons in human 
shape, the savages. Even they do not seem to be very 
fiercely inclined, as they appear at this moment more dis 
posed to eat, than to attack the Hut. Look for yourself; 
those fellows are certainly preparing to take their food ; the 
group that is just now coming over the cliffs, is dragging a 
deer after it." 

Maud took the glass, though with an unsteady hand, and 
she looked a moment at the savages. The manner in which 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 181 

the instrument brought these wild beings nearer to her eye, 
d her to shudder, and six.- was soon satisfied. 

"That deer was killed this morning by the miller," she 

said; "they ht\<- doubtless found it in or near his cabin. 

We will be thankful, however, for this breathing-time it 

ni u- enab: father to got up the other gate. Look, 

, and sec what progress they make?" 

One side is just hung, and much joy does it produce 
among them ! Persevere, my noble old father, and you will 
soon be safe against your enemies. What a calm and steady 
air he has, amid it alii Ah ! .Maud, I lugh \Villoughby ought, 
at this moment, to be at the head of a brigade, helping to 
suppress this accursed and unnatural rebellion. Nay, more ; 
he may be there, if lie will only listen to reason and duty." 

"And this is then your errand here, Bob?" asked "his 
fair companion, gazing earnestly at the major. 

" It is, Maud and 1 hope you, whose feelings I know to 
be right, can encourage me to hope." 

44 1 li-ar not. It is now too late. Beulah s marriage with 
h is strengthened his opinions and then " 

44 What, dearest .Maud ? You pause as if that then? had 
:iing you hesitated to ex: 

Maud coloured ; after which she smiled faintly, and pro 
ceeded : 

u U c should speak reverently of a father and such a 
father, too. But does it not seem probable to you, Bob, tint 
the many discussions he has with Mr. Woods may have a 
tendency to confirm each in his notions?" 

Robert Willoughby would have answered in the affirma 
tive, had not a sudden movement at the Hut prevented. 



182 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 



CHAPTER XII. 

From Flodden ridge 
The Scots beheld the English host 
Leave Barmore wood, their evening 1 post, 
And heedful watched them as they crossed 

The Till by Twisal Bridge. 

SCOTT. 

IT was just at this instant that most of the women of the 
settlement rushed from the court, and spread themselves 
within the stockade, Mrs. Willoughby and Beulah being 
foremost in the movement. The captain left the gate, too, 
and even the men, who were just about to raise the last 
leaf, suspended their toil. It was quite apparent some new 
cause for uneasiness or alarm had suddenly awoke among 
them. Still the stack of arms remained untouched, nor was 
there any new demonstration among the Indians. The 
major watched everything, with intense attention, through 
the glass. 

" What is it, dear Bob ?" demanded the anxious Maud. 
" I see rny dearest mother she seems alarmed." 

" Was it known to her that you were about to quit the 
house, when you came out on this walk ?" 

" I rather think not. She and Beulah were in the nursery 
with little Evert, and my father was in the fields. I came 
out without speaking to any person, nor did I meet any be 
fore entering the forest." 

" Then you are now first missed. Yes, that is it and 
no wonder, Maud, it creates alarm. Merciful God ! How 
must they all feel, at a moment like this !" 

" Fire your rifle, Bob that will draw their eyes in this 
direction, and I will wave my handkerchief perhaps that 
might be seen. Beulah has received such signals from me, 
before." 

" It would never do. No, we must remain concealed, 
watching their movements, in order to be able to aid them 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 183 

at the proper time. It is painful to endure this sus;> 
ln Nond a d- >u hi; but the jain must be borne in order to 
ensure the saii-ty of one \vho is so very, very precious to 
us all." 

Notwithstanding the* fearful situation in which she was 

;, .Maud felt soothed by these words. The language 

of ailed ion, as coming from Robert \Villoughby, was vry 

> her at all times, and never more than at a moment 

when it appeared that even her life was suspended, as it 

miiiiit be, by a hair. 

" It is as you say," she answered gently, giving him her 
hand with much of her ancient frankness of manner; " we 
should be i md of course lost but what means the 

movement at the Hut?" 

There was indeed a movement within the stockade. 
Maud s absence was now clearly ascertained, and it is need 
less to describe the commotion the circumstance produced. 
No one thought any longer of the half of the gate that still 
remained to be hung, but every supposable part of the house 
and enclosure had been examined in quest of her who was 
missing. Our heroine s last remark, however, was pro 
duced by certain indications of an intention to make a de 
scent from one of the external windows of the common 
parlour, a room it will be remembered that stood on the 
little cliff, above the rivulet that wound beneath its base. 
This clilF was about forty feet high, and though it offered a 
formidable obstacle to any attempt to scale it, there was no 
great difficulty in an active man s descending, aided by a 
rope. The spot, too, was completely concealed from the 
view of the party which still remained on the rock, near the 
mill, at a distance of quite half a mile from the gates of the 
stoekade. This fact greatly facilitated the little sortie, since, 
once in the bed of the rivulet, which was fringed with hush "*, 
it would be very practicable, by following its windin 
L r ain the forest unseen. The major levelled his ijlass at the 
windows, and immediately saw the truth of all that has here 
be. ii mentioned. 

" They are preparing to send a party out," he said, " and 
doubtless in quest of you, Maud. The thing is very feasible, 
provided the savages remain much longer in their pr 
position. It is matter of surprise to me, that the last have 



184 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

not sent a force in the rear of the Hut, where the windows 
are at least exposed to fire, and the forest is so close as to 
afford a cover to the assailants. In front there is literally 
none, but a few low fences, which is the reason I presume 
that they keep so much aloof." 

" It is not probable they know the valley. With the ex 
ception of Nick, but few Indians have ever visited us, and 
that rarely. Those we have seen have all been of the most 
peaceable and friendly tribes ; not a true warrior, as my 
father says, ever having been found among them. Nick is 
the only one of them all that can thus be termed." 

" Is it possible that fellow has led this party ? I have never 
more than half confided in him, and yet he is too old a friend 
of the family, I should think, to be guilty of such an act of 
baseness." 

" My father thinks him a knave, but I question if he has 
an opinion of him as bad as that. Besides, he knows the 
valley, and would have led the Indians round into the rear 
of the house, if it be a place so much more favourable for 
the attack, as you suppose. These wretches have come by 
the common paths, all of which first strike the river, as you 
know, below the mills." 

" That is true. I lost my way, a few miles from this, the 
path being very blind on the eastern route, which I travelled 
as having gone it last with Nick, and thinking it the safest. 
Fortunately I recognised the crest of this mountain above 
us, by its shape, or I might never have found my way ; al 
though the streams, when struck, are certain guides to the 
woodsman. As soon as I hit the cow-paths, I knew they 
would lead me to the barns and sheds. See ! a man is 
actually descending from a window !" 

" Oh ! Bob, I hope it is not my father ! He is too old it 
is risking too much to let him quit the house." 

" I will tell you better when he reaches the ground. Un 
less mistaken ay it is the Irishman, O Hearn." 

" Honest Mike ! He is always foremost in everything, 
though he so little knows how anything but digging ought 
to be done. Is there not another following him or am I 
deceived ?" 

; There is -he has just reached the ground, too. This 
might be spared, did they know how well you are guarded, 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 185 

Maud. By one ul:o \\nuM die cheerfully to prevent harm 
from reaching . 

"They , :i of that, Bob," answered Maud, in a 

low t<uie. ,\ot a human bcinu in that valley fancies you 

r to him than the- royal armies are, at tins moment. 

But they do not s-ml a third 1 am glad they weaken their 

own force no furtl, 

" It is certainly best they should not. The men had their 
rill, s s,lung when they descended, and they are now getting 
th -in ready for service. It is Joel Strides who is with 
Mike/ 

" 1 am sorry for it. That is a man I little like, Bob, and 
I should be sorry he knew of your being here." 

This was fcauj quickly, and with a decree of feeling that 
surprised the major, who questioned Maud earnestly as to 
her meaning and its reasons. The latter told him she scarce 
herself; that she disliked the man s manner, had long 
thought liis principles bad, and that Mike in his extraordi 
nary way had said certain things to her, to awaken distrust. 

" Mike speaks in hieroglyphics," said the major, laughing, 
in spite of the serious situation in which he and his compa 
nion wen- placed, "and one must never be too sure of Ids 
meaning. Joel has now been many years with my father, 
and he seems to enjoy his confidence." 

" lie makes himself useful, and is very guarded in what 
he says at the Hut. Still I wish him not to know of your 

here." 

It will not be easy to prevent it, Maud. I should have 
come boldly into the valley, but for this accidental meeting 
with you, trusting that my father has no one about him so 
base as to betray his son." 

" Trust not Joel Strides. I 11 answer for Mike with my 
life ; but sorry indeed should I be that Joel Strides knew of 
your being among us. It were better, perhcrps, that most 
of the workmen should not be in the secret. See the two 
men are quitting the foot of the rocks." 

This was true, and Robert Willoughby watched their 
movements with th> j . As Iiad Ix-en <-.\|>r "ted, they 
first d -scend.-d into the l>ed of the rivulet, wading along its 
shore, under the cover of the bushes, until they soon became 
concealed even from the view of one placed on a height as 
16* 



186 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

elevated as that occupied by Robert and Maud. It was 
sufficiently apparent, however, that their intention was to 
reach the forest in this manner, when they would probably 
commence their search for the missing young lady. Nor 
was it long before Robert and Maud plainly saw the two 
adventurers quit the bed of the stream and bury themselves 
in the forest. The question now seriously arose as to the 
best course for the major and his companion to pursue. 
Under ordinary circumstances, it would have been wisest, 
perhaps, to descend at once and meet the messengers, who 
might soon be found at some of the usual haunts of the girl ; 
but against this the latter so earnestly protested, and that in 
a manner so soothing to the young man s feelings, that he 
scarce knew how to oppose her wishes. She implored him 
not to confide in Joel Strides too hastily, at least. It might 
be time enough, when there was no alternative ; until the 
true character of the party then in the valley was known, 
it would be premature. Nothing was easiev than to conceal 
himself until it was dark, when he might approach the Hut, 
and be admitted without his presence being known to any 
but those on whom the family could certainly rely. The 
major urged the impossibility of his quitting Maud, until 
she was joined by the two men sent in quest of her, and 
then it would be too late, as he must be seen. Although he 
might escape immediate recognition in his present dress, the 
presence of a stranger would excite suspicions, and compel 
an explanation. To this Maud replied in the following 
manner : Her customary places of resort, when in the 
woods, were well known ; more especially to Michael, who 
was frequently employed in their vicinity. These were a 
little water-fall, that was situated a hundred rods up the 
rivulet, to which a path had been made expressly, and where 
an arbour, seat, and little table had been arranged, for the 
purposes of Working, reading, or taking refreshments. To 
this spot the men would unquestionably proceed first. Then, 
there was a deep ravine, some distance farther, that was 
often visited for its savage beauty, and whither she more 
frequently went, perhaps, than to any other place. Thither 
Michael would be certain to lead his companion. These 
two places visited, they might infallibly expect to see the 
men at the rock, where the two were then seated, as the 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 187 

last spot in which Maud might naturally bo expected (o 1><; 
found. It \vou!d require an hour t> visit the two places first 
numed, and to examine the surrounding woods ; and I v that 
time, not only would the sun hi- set, but the twilight would 
be disappearing. I ntii that moment, then, the major might 
remain at her side, and on the sound of the approaching 
footsteps of ill-- rs, h hud only to retire bcliind a 

; -tion of the rocks, and afterwards follow towards the 
Knoll, at a sail distance. 

This plan was too plausible to be rejected ; and giving 
Robert an hour of uninterrupted discourse with his c 
nion, it struck him as having more advantages than any 
other mentioned. The party near the mills, too, remaining 
perfectly quiet, there was less occasion for any change of 
th"ir own, than might otherwise have been the case. So 
far, indeed, from appearing to entertain any hostile invn- 
tion, not a cabin had been injured, if approached, and the 
smoke of the conflagration which had been exp -eted to rise 
from the mills and the habitations in the glen, did not make 
i s appearance. If any such ruthless acts as applying the 
brand and assaulting the people were in contemplation, they 
it least delayed until night should veil them in a fitting 
darkness. 

It is always a great relief to the mind, in moments of trial, 
to have decided on a course of future action. So the major 
and Maud now found; for, taking his seat by her si<! . 
began to converse with his companion more connectedly, 
and with greater calmness than either had yet been able to 
achieve. Many questions were asked, and answers given, 
concerning the state of the family, that of his fath -r an I 
mother, and dear Beulah and her infant, the latter being as 
yt-t quite a stranger to the young soldier. 

; Is he like his rebel of a fath -r ! asked the royal officer, 

smiling, but as his companion fancied, painfully; "or has 

he more of the look of the Willoughbys. He<-kman is a 

good-looking Dutchman; yet, I would rather have the boy 

nble the good old English stork, after all." 

"Th s\v< t lit !,. . ,-h lather and mo. 

ther; though the first the m at d Iiuhf. 

Papa says h" is true Holland s come of, as they call if, 
though neither mamma nor I will allow of any such thing. 



188 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

Colonel Beekman is a very worthy man, Bob, and a most 
affectionate and attentive husband. Beulah, but for this 
war, could not be happier." 

" Then I forgive him one-half of his treason for the re 
mainder let him take his luck. Now I am an uncle, my 
heart begins to melt a little towards the rebel. And you, 
Maud, how do the honours of an aunt sit upon your feel 
ings ? But women are all heart, and would love a rat." 

Maud smiled, but she answered not. Though Beulah s 
child were almost as dear to her as one of her own could 
have been, she remembered that she was not its aunt, in 
fact ; and, though she knew not why, in that company, and 
even at that grave moment, the obtrusive thought summon 
ed a bright flush to her cheeks. The major probably did 
not notice this change of countenance, since, after a short 
pause, he continued the conversation naturally. 

"The child is called Evert, is it not, aunt Maud?" he 
asked, laying an emphasis on aunt. 

Maud wished this word had not been used ; and yet Ro 
bert Willoughby, could the truth have been known, had 
adverted to it with an association in his own mind, that 
would have distressed her, just then, still more. Aunt Maud 
was the name that others, however, were most fond of adopt 
ing, since the birth of the child ; and remembering this, our 
heroine smiled. 

" That is what Beulah has called me, these six months," 
she said " or ever since Evert was born. I became an 
aunt the day he became a nephew ; and dear, good Beulah 
has not once called me sister since, I think." 

" These little creatures introduce new ties into families," 
answered the major, thoughtfully. " They take the places 
of the generations before them, and edge us out of our hold 
on the affections, as in the end they supplant us in our 
stations in life; If Beulah love me only as an uncle, how 
ever, she may look to it. I 11 be supplanted by no Dutch 
man s child that was ever born !" 

" FO?/, Bob !" cried Maud, starting. " You are its real 
uncle ; Beulah must ever remember you> and love you, as 
her own brother !" 

Maud s voice became suddenly hushed, like one who fear 
ed she had said too much. The major gazed at her intently, 



TUB HUTTED KNOLL. ISO 

but he spoke not; nor did his companion see his Ion! 
uun ryes being ca>t iiM kly and tivmMin^ly on the earth at 
her feet. A considerable pans.- succeeded, and then the 
conversation reverted to what \\as going on in the valley. 

The sun was no\v set, and the shadows of evening IM LMII 
;. ler objects a little indistinct beneath them. Btill it 
was apparent that much anxiety prevailed in and about the 
Hut, doubtless on account of our heroine s absence. So 
jrrrat was it, indeed, as entirely to supersede the hanging 
of the remaining leaf of the gate, which stood in the gap 
where it belonged, stayed by pieces of limber, but unhung. 
Th major thought some disposition had been made, how 
ever, by which the inmates might pass and repass by the 
half that was suspended, making a tolerable defence, when 
all was c!< 

* Hist !" whispered Maud, whose faculties were quickened 
by the danger of her companion ; " I hear the voice of Mi- 
chael, and they approach. No sense of danger can repress 
poor O Hearn s eloquence; his ideas seeming to flow from 
his tongue very much as they rise to his thoughts, chance 
directing which shall appear first." 

" It is true, dear girl ; and as you seem so strongly to 
wish it, I will withdraw. Depend on my keeping near" you, 
and on my presence, should it be required." 

" Vou will not forget to come beneath the windows, Bob," 
said Maud, anxiously, but in great haste ; for the footsteps 
of the men drew rapidly near; "at the very spot where the 
others descended." 

The major bent forward and kissed a cheek that was 
chilled with apprehension, but which the act caused to burn 
like fire; then he disappeared behind the projection of rock 
he had himself pointed out. As for Maud, she sate in seem 
ing composure, awaiting the approach of those who drew 



near. 



The divil bur-r-n me, and nil the Injins in Anif-riky 
along wid me," said Miko. scrambling up the n 
shortcut, "but I think we ll find the young .Mi^;i>, h- r*-, 
or I don t think we ll be finding her the niuht. ; 
rursrd couQthry to live in, Misther Strides, where a youn" 
lady of the loveliness and pithiful beauty of Miss .Maud can 



190 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

be lust in the woods, as it might be a sheep or a stray baste 
that was for tasting the neighbour s pastures." 

" You speak too loud, Mike, and you speak foolishness 
into the bargain," returned the wary Joel. 

" Is it I, you mane ! Och ! don t think ye re goin to set 
me a rowin a boat once more, ag in my inclinations and 
edication, as ye did in ould limes. I ve rung ye into yer 
ma tin , and out of yer m atin , too, twenty times too often 
to be catched in that same trap twice. It s Miss Maud I 

wants, and Miss Maud I 11 find, or Lord bless her 

swate face and morals, and her chamcfcter, and all belong 
ing to her ! isn t that, now, a prathy composure for the 
likes of her, and the savages at the mill, and the Missus in 
tears, and the masther mighty un asy, and all of us bother 
ed ! See how she sits on that bit of a sate that I puts there 
for her wid my own hands, as a laddy should, looking jist 
what she is, the quane of the woods, and the delight of our 
eyes !" 

Maud was too much accustomed to the rhapsodies of the 
county Leitrim-man to think much of this commencement ; 
but resolute to act her part with discretion, she rose to meet 
him, speaking with great apparent self-possession. 

" Is it possible you are in quest of me?" she said "why 
has this happened ? I usually return about this hour." 

" Hoors is it ! Don t talk of hoors, beauthiful young laddy, 
when a single quarther may be too late," answered Mike, 
dogmatically. " It s your own mother that s not happy at 
yer being in the woods the night, and yer ould father that 
has moore un asiness than he 11 confess ; long life to the 
church in which confession is held to be right, and dacent, 
and accorthing to the gospel of St. Luke, and the whole 
calender in the bargain. Ye 11 not be frightened, Miss 
Maud, but take what I ve to tell ye jist as if ye didn t bel ave 
a wo-r-r-d of it ; but, divil bur-r-n me, if there arn t Injins 
enough on the rocks, forenent the mill, to scalp a whole 
province, and a county along wid it, if ye 11 give em time 
and knives enough." 

" I understand you, Michael, but am not in the least 
alarmed," answered Maud, with an air of great steadiness ; 
such, indeed, as would have delighted the captain. " Some 
thing of what has been passing below have I seen j but, by 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 191 

bt-ing calm and reasonable, wo shall escape the dan^iT. 
Tell mo only, that all is sale in the Hut that my dear mo 
ther and sister are uell." 

" Is it the .Missus ? Och, she s as valiant as a ]>< -acock, 
only striek duwn and overcome about your own self! As 
lor Miss Beuly, where s the likes of her to be found, unless 
it s on this same bit of a rock . And it s ajjraable to see 
the captain, looking for all the wor-r-ld like a commander- 
in-ch:tif of six or eight rijiments, ordering one this-a-\vav, 
and another that-a-way By St. Patrick, young laddy, I 
only hopes them vagabonds will come on as soon as your 
self is inside the sticks, jist to give the ould jontlcman a 
better occasion to play souldier on em. Should they happen 
to climb over the sticks, I ve got the prattiest bit of a shil- 
lak h ready that mortal eyes iver adorned ! Tvvould break 
a head and niver a hat harmed a thousand s the pities 
tii- ;n rhaps wears no hats. Howsever, we ll see." 

" Thank you, Mike, for the courage you show, and the 
interest you take in all our welfares Is it not too soon to 
venture down upon the flats, Joel ? I must trust to you as a 
guide." 

" I think Miss Maud would do full as well if she did. 
Mike must be told, too, not to talk so much, and above all, 
not to speak so loud. He may be heard, sometimes, a dozen 
rods." 

" Tould !" exclaimed the county Leitrim-man, in heat 
"And isn t tould I ve been twenty times already, by your 
own smooth conversation? Where s the occasion to tell a 
thing over and over ag in, when a man is not wanting in 
ears. It s the likes of you that loves to convarse." 

4 Well, Mike, for my sake, you will be silent, I hope," 
said Maud. " Remember, I am not fitted for a battle, and 
the first thing is to get safely into the house. The sooner 
we are down the hill, perhaps, the better it may be. Lead 
the way, then, Joel, and I will follow. Michaol will go next 
to you, in readiness for any enemy, and I will bring up the 
rear. It will be better for all to keep a dead silence, until it 
be necessary to speak." 

This arrangement was made, and the party proceeded, 
Maud remaining a little behind, in order that the major 
might catch glimpses of her person, in the sombre light jf 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

the hour and the forest, and not miss the road. A few 
minutes brought them all upon the level land, where, Joel, 
instead of entering the open fields, inclined more into the 
woods, always keeping one of the many paths. His object 
was to cross the rivulet under cover, a suitable place offer 
ing a short distance from the point where the stream glided 
out of the forest. Towards this spot Joel quietly held his 
way, occasionally stopping to listen if any movement of im 
portance had occurred on the flats. As for Maud, her eyes 
were frequently cast behind her, for she was fearful Robert 
Willoughby might miss the path, having so little acquaint 
ance with the thousand sinuosities he encountered. She 
caught glimpses of his person, however, in the distance, and 
saw that he was on the right track. Her chief concern, 
therefore, soon became an anxiety that he should not be 
seen by her companions. As they kept a little in advance, 
and the underbrush was somewhat thick, she had strong 
hopes that this evil would be avoided. 

The path being very circuitous, it took some time to reach 
the spot Joel sought. Here he, Mike, and Maud, crossed 
the rivulet on a tree that had been felled expressly to answer 
the purposes of a rustic foot-bridge ; a common expedient 
of the American forest. As our heroine had often performed 
this exploit when alone, she required no assistance, and she 
felt as if half the danger of her critical situation had vanish 
ed, when she found herself on the same side of the stream 
as the Hut. Joel, nothing suspecting, and keeping all his 
faculties on the sounds and sights that might occur in front, 
led the way diligently, and soon reached the verge of the 
woods. Here he paused for his companions to join him. 

Twilight had, by this time, nearly disappeared. Still, 
enough remained to enable Maud to perceive that many 
were watching for her, either at the windows above the 
cliff, or through different parts of the stockades. The distance 
was so small, that it might have been possible, by raising 
the voice, even to converse ; but this would be an experi 
ment too hazardous, as some hostile scouts, at that hour, 
might very well be fearfully near. 

" I see nothing, Miss Maud," observed Joel, after taking a 
good look around him. " By keeping the path that follows 
the edge of the brook, though it is so crooked, we shall be 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 193 

certain of good walking, and shall be half hid by the bushes. 
It s best to walk quick, and to be silent." 

Maud bade him go on, waiting herself behind a tree, to 
let the two men precede her a short distance. This was 
done, and the major stole up to her side unseen. A few 
words of explanation passed, when the young lady ran after 
her guides, leaving Robert Willoughby seated on a log. It 
was a breathless moment to Maud, that in which she was 
passing this bit of open land. But the distance was so short, 
that it was soon gotten over ; and the three found themselves 
beneath the cliff. Here they passed the spring, and follow 
ing a path which led from it, turned the edge of the rocks, 
and ascended to the foot of the stockades. It remained to 
turn these also, in order to reach the so recently suspended 
gates. As Maud passed swiftly along, almost brushing the 
timbers with her dress, she saw, in the dim light, fifty faces 
looking at her, and thrust between the timbers ; but she 
paused not, spoke not scarcely breathed. A profound 
stillness reigned on the Knoll,; but when Joel arrived at the 
gate, it was instantly opened^ and he glided in. Not so 
with Mike, who stopped and waited until she he had been 
in quest of entered before him, and was in safety. 

Maud found herself in her mother s arms, the instant the 
gate was passed. Mrs. Willoughby had been at the angle 
of the cliff, had followed her child, in her swift progress 
round the stockade, and was ready to receive her, the mo 
ment she entered. Beulah came next, and then the captain 
embraced, kissed, wept over, and scolded his little favourite. 

" No reproaches now, Hugh" said the more considerate 
wife, and gentle woman " Maud has done no more than 
has long been her custom, and no one could have foreseen 
what has happened." 

" Mother father" said Maud, almost gasping for breath 
" let us bless God for my safety, and for the safety of all 
that are dear to us thank you, dear Mr. Woods there is 
a kiss, to thank you now let us go into the house; I have 
much to tell you come dear sir come dearest mother, do 
not lose a moment ; let us all go to the library." 

As this was the room in which the family devotions were 
usually held, the auditors fancied the excited girl wished to 
return her thanks in that mode, one not unfrequent in that 

VOL. I. 17 



194 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

regulated family, and all followed her, who dared, with 
tender sympathy in her feelings, and profoundly grateful 
for her safety. As soon as in the room, Maud carefully 
shut the door, and went from one to another, in order to 
ascertain who were present. Finding none but her father, 
mother, sister, and the chaplain, she instantly related all 
that had passed, and pointed out the spot where the major 
was, at that moment, waiting for the signal to approach. It 
is unnecessary to dwell on the astonishment and delight, 
mingled with concern, that this intelligence produced. 

Maud then rapidly recounted her plan, and implored her 
father to see it executed. The captain had none of her ap 
prehensions on the subject of his people s fidelity, but he 
yielded to the girl s earnest entreaties. Mrs. Willoughby 
was so agitated with all the unlooked-for events of the day, 
that she joined her daughter in the request, and Maud was 
told to proceed with the affair, in her own way. 

A lamp was brought, and placed by Maud in a pantry 
that was lighted by a single, long, narrow, external window, 
at the angle of the building next the offices, and the door 
was closed on it. This lamp was the signal for the major to 
approach, and with beating hearts the females bent forward 
from the windows, secure of not being seen in the night, 
which had now fairly closed on the valley, to listen to his 
approaching footsteps beneath. They did not wait long ere 
he was not only heard, but dimly seen, though totally out 
of the line of sight from all in the Hut, with the exception 
of those above his head. Captain Willoughby had prepared 
a rope, one end of which was dropped, and fastened by the 
major, himself, around his body. A jerk let those above 
know when he was ready. 

" What shall we do next ?" asked the captain, in a sort 
of despair. " Woods and I can never drag that tall, heavy 
fellow up such a distance. He is six feet, and weighs a 
hundred and eighty, if he weighs a pound." 

" Peace," half-whispered Maud, from a window. " All 
will be right in a moment." Then drawing in her body, 
the pale but earnest girl begged her father to have patience. 
" I have thought of all. Mike and the blacks may be trusted 
with our lives I will call them." 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 195 

This was done, and the county Lcitrim-man and the two 
Plinys were soon in the room. 

" O Hearn," said Maud, inquiringly * I think you are 
my friend ?" 

" Am I my own ! Is it yees, is the question ? Well, jist 
wish for a tooth, and yc may take all in my head for the 
asking. Och, I d be a baste, else ! I d ate the remainder 
of my days wid not ing but a spoon to oblcege ye." 

"As for you, Pliny, and your son here, you have known 
us from children. Not a word must pass the lips of either, 
as to what you see now pull, but with great care, lest the 
rope break." 

The men did as ordered, raising their load from the ground, 
a foot or two at a time. In this manner the burthen approach 
ed, yard after yard, until it was evidently drawing near tho 
window. 

" It s the captain hoisting up the big baste of a hog, fgr 
provisioning the hoose, ag in a saige," whispered Mike to 
the negroes, who grinned as they tugged ; " and when the 
cr atur squails, sec to it, that ye do not squail yerselves." 

At that moment the head and shoulders of a man appear 
ed at the window. Mike let go the rope, seized a chair, and 
was about to knock the intruder on the head ; but the captain 
arrested the blow. 

" It s one of the vagabond Injins that has undermined the 
hog, and coome up in its stead," roared Mike." 

" It s my son" answered the captain, mildly" see that 
you are silent, and secret." 



196 THE HUTTED KNOLL 



CHAPTER XIII. 

And gloiy long has made the sages smile ; 

Tis something, nothing, words, illusion, wind 

Depending more upon the historian s style 

Than on the name a person leaves behind. 

Troy owes to Homer what whist owes to Hoyle ; 

The present century was growing hlind 

To the great Marl borough s skill in giving knocks, 

Until his late Life by Archdeacon Coxe. 

BYRON. 

MAJOR Willoughby s feet were scarcely on the library 
floor, when he was clasped in his mother s arms. From 
these he soon passed into Beuiah s ; nor did his father hesi 
tate about giving him an embrace nearly as warm. As for 
Maud, she stood by, weeping in sympathy and in silence. 

" And you, too, old man," said Robert Willoughby, dash 
ing the tears from his eyes, and turning to the elder black, 
holding out a hand " this is not the first time, by many, 
old Pliny, that you have had me between heaven and earth. 
Your son was my old play-fellow, and we must shake hands 
also. As for O Hearn, steel is not truer, and we are friends 
for life." 

The negroes were delighted to see their young master ; 
for, in that day, the slaves exulted in the honour, appear 
ance, importance and dignity of their owners, far more than 
their liberated descendants do now in their own. The major 
had been their friend when a boy ; and he was, at present, 
their pride and glory. In their view of the matter, the Eng 
lish army did not contain his equal in looks, courage, mili 
tary skill, or experience ; and it was treason per se to fight 
against a cause that he upheld. The captain had laughingly 
related to his wife a conversation to this effect he had not 
long before overheard between the two Plinys. 

" Well, Miss Beuly do a pretty well" observed the elder; 
"but, den he all e better, if he no get Merican mission. 
What you call raal colonel, eh ? Have e paper from e king 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 197 

like Masser Bob, and wear a rigimcntal like a lioad of a 
turkey cock, so ! Dat be-in an up and down otliccr." 

u P rhaps .Miss Reilly bring a colonel round, and take ofT 
a blue coat, and put on a scarlet," answered the younger. 

\,-!>}irr! nebbcr see dat, Plin, in a rebbleushun. Dis 
got to be a rubbleushun ; and when dat begin in arriest, gib 
up all idee of Amendment. Rebbleushuns look all one way 
iK bber see two side, any more dan coloured man see two 
side in a red-skin." 

As we have not been able to trace the thought to antiquity, 
this expression may have been the original of the celebrated 
axiom of Napoleon, which tells us that "revolutions never 
go backwards. 1 At aJl events, such was the notion of 
Pliny Willoughby, Sen., as the namesake of the great Ro 
man sty led" himself; and it was greatly admired by Pliny 
WU lough by^ Jun., to say nothing of the opinions of Big 
Smash and Little Smash, both of whom were listeners to 
the discourse. 

" Well, I wish a colonel Beekman" To this name the 
fellow gave the true Doric sound of Bakeman. " I wish a 
colonel Beekman only corprul in king s troops, for .Miss 
Beuly s sake. Better be sarjun dere, dan briggerdeer-ginral 
in .Mi-rikan company ; dat /know." 

" What a briggerdeer mean, Plin ]" inquired Little Smash, 
with interest. k > Who he keep company wid, and what he 
do ? Tell a body, do so many officer in e army, one nebber 
know all he name." 

"Mericans can t hab em. Too poor for dat. Brigger- 
deer great gentleum, and wear a red coat. Ole time, see 
em in hundreds, come to visit Masser, and Missus, and play 
wid Masser Bob. Oh ! no rebbleushun in dem days ; but 
ebbery body know he own business, and do it, too." 

This will serve to show the political sentiments of the 
Plinys, and may also indicate the bias that the Smashes 
were likely to imbibe in such company. As a matter of 
% the major was gladly welcomed by these devoted 
admirers; and when Maud a^.-iin whispered to them the ne 
cessity of - ich shut his mouth, no trifling operation 
in itself, as if it were to be henceforth hermetically s 

The assistants were now dismissed, and the major was 
left alone with his family. Again and again Mrs. Willoughby 
17* 



198 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

embraced her son ; nor had her new ties at all lessened 
Beulah s interest in her brother. Even the captain kissed 
his boy anew, while Mr. Woods shook hands once more 
with his old pupil, and blessed him. Maud alone was passive 
in this scene of feeling and joy. 

" Now, Bob, let us to business," said the captain, as soon 
as tranquillity was a little restored. " You have not made 
this difficult and perilous journey without an object ; and, 
as we are somewhat critically situated ourselves, the sooner 
we know what it is, the less will be the danger of its not 
producing its proper effect." 

" Heaven send, dear sir, that it fail not in its effect, in 
deed," answered the son. " But is not this movement in 
the valley pressing, and have I not come opportunely to 
take a part in the defence of the house?" 

" That will be seen a few hours later, perhaps. Every 
thing is quiet now, and will probably so remain until near 
morning ; or Indian tactics have undergone a change. The 
fellows have lighted camp-fires on their rocks, and seern 
disposed to rest for the present, at least. Nor do I know 
that they are bent on war at all. We have no Indians near 
us, who would be likely to dig up the hatchet ; and these 
fellows profess peace, by a messenger they have sent me." 

" Are they not in their war-paint, sir ? I remember to 
have seen warriors, when a boy, and my glass has given 
these men the appearance of being on what they call a 
war-path. " 

" Some of them are certainly in that guise, though he 
who came to the Knoll was not. He pretended that they 
were a party travelling towards the Hudson in order to learn 
the true causes of the difficulties between their Great English 
and their Great American Fathers. He asked for meal and 
meat to feed his young men with. This was the whole pur 
port of his errand." 

" And your answer, sir ; is it peace, or war, between 
you ?" 

" Peace in professions, but I much fear war in reality. 
Still one cannot know. An old frontier garrison-man, like 
myself, is not apt to put much reliance on Indian faith. We 
are now, God be praised ! all within the stockade ; and 
having plenty of arms and ammunition, are not likely to be 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 199 

easily stormed. A siege is out of the question ; we are too 
well provisioned to dread that." 

" But you leave the mills, the growing grain, the barns, 
even the cabins of your workmen, altogether at the mercy 
of these wretches." 

That cannot well be avoided, unless we go out and 
drive them off, in open battle. For the last, they are too 
strong, to say nothing of the odds of risking fathers of fami 
lies against mere vagabonds, as I suspect these savages to 
be. I have told them to help themselves to meal, or grain, 
of which they will find plenty in the mill. Pork can be got 
in the houses, and they have made way with a deer already, 
that I had expected the pleasure of dissecting myself. The 
cattle roam the woods at this season, and are tolerably safe ; 
but they can burn the barns and other buildings, should 
they see fit. In this respect, we are at their mercy. If 
they ask for rum, or cider, that may bring matters to a 
head ; for, refusing may exasperate them, and granting 
either, in any quantity, will certainly cause them all to get 
intoxicated." 

" Why would not that be good policy, Willoughby ?" ex 
claimed the chaplain. " If fairly disguised once, our people 
might steal out upon them, and take away all their arms. 
Drunken men sleep very profoundly." 

" It would be a canonical mode of warfare, perhaps, 
Woods," returned the chaplain, smiling, * but not exactly 
a military. I think it safer that they should continue sober ; 
for, as yet, they manifest no great intentions of hostility. 
But of this we can speak hereafter. Why are you here, 
my son, and in this guise ?" 

" The motive may as well be told now, as at another 
time," answered the major, giving his mother and sisters 
chairs, while the others imitated their example in being 
seated. * Sir William Howe has permitted me to come out 
to see you I might almost say ordered me out ; for matters 
have now reached a pass when we think every loyal gentle 
man in America must feel disposed to take sides with the 
crown." 

A general movement among his auditors told the mnjor 
the extent of the interest they felt in what was expected to 
follow. He paused an instant to survey the dark-looking 



200 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

group that was clustering around him ; for no lights were in 
the room on account of the open windows, and he spoke in 
a low voice from motives of prudence ; then he proceeded : 

" I should infer from the little that passed between Maud 
and myself," he said, " that you are ignorant of the two 
most important events that have yet occurred in this un 
happy conflict ?" 

" We learn little here," answered the father. " I have 
heard that my Lord Howe and his brother Sir William have 
been named commissioners by His Majesty to heal all the 
differences. I knew them both, when young men, and their 
elder brother before them. Black Dick, as we used to call 
the admiral, is a discreet, well-meaning man ; though I fear 
both of them owe their appointments more to their affinity 
to the sovereign than to the qualities that might best fit them 
to deal with the Americans." 

" Little is known of the affinity of which you speak,* and 
less said in the army," returned the major, " but I fear there 
is no hope of the object of the commission s bei-ng effected. 
The American congress has declared the colonies altogether 
independent of England ; and so far as this country is con 
cerned, the war is carried on as between nation and nation. 
All allegiance, even in name, is openly cast aside." 

" You astonish me, Bob ! I did not think it could ever 
come to this !" 

" I thought your native attachments would hardly endure 
as strong a measure as this has got to be," answered the 
major, not a little satisfied with the strength of feeling mani 
fested by his father. " Yet has this been done, sir, and done 



* The mother of the three Lords Howe, so well known in American 
history, viz: George, killed before Ticonderoga, in the war of 56; 
Richard, the celebrated admiral, and the hero of the 1st June; and 
Sir William, for several years commander-in-chief in this country, 
and the 5th and last viscount; was a Mademoiselle Kilmansegge, 
who was supposed to be a natural daughter of George I. This would 
make these three officers and George II. first-cousins; and George III. 
their great-nephew a la mode de Bretagne. Walpole, and various other- 
English writers, speak openly, not only of the connection, but of the 
family resemblance. Indeed, most of the gossiping writers of that 
age seem to allow that Lord Howe was a grandson of the first English 
sovereign of the House of Brunswick. 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 201 

in a way that it will not be easy to recall. Those who now 
;s, resist for the sake of throwing off all connection 
with Enulaml." 

44 Il;i- Franco any agency in this, Bob? I own it startles 
me, and h;:s a French look." 

44 It has driven many of the most respectable of our ene- 
mius into our arms, sir. We have never considered you a 
direct enemy, though unhappily inclining too much against 
us ; * but this will determine Sir Hugh, said the commander- 
in-chief in our closing interview I suppose you know, my 
dear father, that all your old friends, knowing what has 
happened, insist on calling you Sir Hugh. I assure you, I 
open my lips on the subject; and yet Lord Howe 
drank to the health of Sir Hugh VVilloughby, openly at his 
own table, the last time I had the honour to dine with 
him." 

41 Then the next time he favours you with an invitation, 
Bob, be kind enough to thank him. 1 want no empty baron 
etcy, nor do I ever think of returning to England to live. 
Were all I had on earth drummed together, it would barely 
make out a respectable competency for a private gentleman 
in that extravagant state of society ; and what is a mere 
name to one in such circumstances? I wish it were trans 
ferable, my dear boy, in the old Scotch mode, and you should 
be Sir Bob before you slept." 

44 But, Willoughby, it may be useful to Robert, and why 
should he not have the title, since neither you nor I care for 
it ?" asked the considerate mother. 

44 So he may, my dear ; though he must wait for an event 
that I fancy you are not very impatient to witness my 
death. When I am gone, let him be Sir Robert, in welcome. 
But, Bob for plain, honest Bob must you remain till then, 
unless indeed you earn your spurs in this unhappy war 
have you any military tidings for us ! Wo have heard no- 
Ihinir since the arrival of the fleet on the coast." 

v - We are in New York, after routing Washington on 
Long Island. The rebels" the major spoke a little more 
confidently than had been his wont 44 The rebels have 
retreated into the high country, near the borders of Connec 
ticut, where they have inveterate nests of the disaffected in 
their rear." 



202 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

" And has all this been done without bloodshed 1 Wash 
ington had stuff in him, in the old French business." 

" His stuff is not doubted, sir; but his men make misera 
ble work of it. Really I am sometimes ashamed of having 
been born in the country. These Yankees fight like wrangling 
women, rather than soldiers." 

" How s this ! You spoke honestly of the affair at Lex 
ington, and wrote us a frank account of the murderous work 
at Bunker Hill. Have their natures changed with the change 
of season ?" 

" To own the truth, sir, they did wonders on the Hill, and 
not badly in the other affair ; but all their spirit seems gone. 
I am quite ashamed of them. Perhaps this declaration of 
independence, as it is called, has damped their ardour." 

" No, my son the change, if change there is, depends 
on a general and natural law. Nothing but discipline and 
long training can carry men with credit through a campaign, 
in the open field. Fathers, and husbands, and brothers and 
lovers, make formidable enemies, in sight of their own 
chimney-tops ; but the most flogging regiments, we used to 
say, were the best fighting regiments for a long pull. But, 
have a care, Bob ; you are now of a rank that may well get 
you a separate command, and do not despise your enemy. 
I know these Yankees well you are one, yourself, though 
only half-blooded ; but I know them well, and have often 
seen them tried. They are very apt to be badly commanded, 
heaven cursing them for their sins, in this form more than 
any other but get them fairly at work, and the guards will 
have as much as they can wish, to get along with. Woods 
will swear to that" 

" Objecting to the mode of corroboration, my dear sir, 1 
can support its substance. Inclined as I am to uphold Csesar, 
and to do honour to the Lord s anointed, I will not deny my 
countrymen s courage ; though I think, Willoughby, now J 
recall old times, it was rather the fashion of our officers to 
neat it somewhat disrespectfully." 

" It was, indeed," answered the captain, thoughtfully 
" and a silly thing it was. They mistook the nature of a 
mild and pacific people, totally without the glitter and habits 
of military life, for a timid people; and I have often heard 
the new hands in the colonies speak of their inhabitants 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 203 

with contempt on this very head. Braddock had that failing 
to a great degree; and yet this very major Washington 
saved his army from annihilation, when it came to truly 
desperate work. Mark the words of a much older soldier 
than yourself, Bob; you may have more of the bravery of 
apparel, and pivsrnt a more military aspect ; may even grain 
advantages over them by means of higher discipline, better 
arms, and more accurate combinations ; but, when you meet 
them fairly, depend on it you will meet dangerous foes, and 
men capable of being sooner drilled into good soldiers than 
any nation I have met with. Their great curse is, and 
probably will be, in selecting too many of their officers from 
classes not embued with proper military pride, and altoge 
ther without the collaterals of a good military education." 

To all this the major had nothing very material to object, 
and remembering that the silent but thoughtful Beulah had 
a husband in what he called the rebel ranks, he changed the 
subject. Arrangements were now made for the comfort and 
privacy of the unlooked-for guest. Adjoining the library, a 
room with no direct communication with the court by means 
of either door or window, was a small and retired apartment 
containing a cot-bed, to which the captain was accustomed 
to retire in the cases of indisposition, whon Mrs. Willoughby 
wished to have either of her daughters with herself, on their 
account, or on her own. This room was now given to the 
major, and in it he would be perfectly free from every sort 
of intrusion. He might eat in the library, if necessary ; 
though, all the windows of that wing of the house opening 
outward, there was little danger of being seen by any but 
the regular domestics of the family, all of whom were to be 
let into the secret of his presence, and all of whom were 
rightly judged to be perfectly trustworthy. 

As the evening promised to be dark, it was determined 
among the gentlemen that the major should disguise him 
self still more than he was already, and venture outside of 
the building, in company with his father, and the chaplain, 
as soon as the people, who were now crowded into the 
vacant rooms in the empty part of the house, had taken 
possession of their respective quarters for the night. In the 
meantime a hearty supper was provided for the traveller in 
the library, the bullet-proof window-shutters of which room, 



204 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

and indeed of all the others on that side of the building, 
having first been closed, in order that lights might be used, 
without drawing a shot from the adjoining forest. 

" We are very safe, here," observed the captain, as his 
son appeased his hunger, with the keen relish of a traveller. 
" Even Woods might stand a siege in a house built and 
stockaded like this. Every window has solid bullet-proof 
shutters, with fastenings not easily broken ; and the logs of 
the buildings might almost defy round-shot. The gates are 
all up, one leaf excepted, and that leaf stands nearly in its 
place, well propped and supported. In the morning it shall 
be hung like the others. Then the stockade is complete, 
and has not a speck of decay about it yet. We shall keep 
a guard of twelve men up the whole night, with three senti 
nels outside of the buildings; and all of us will sleep in our 
clothes, and on our arms. My plan, should an assault be 
made, is to draw in the sentinels, as soon as they have dis 
charged their pieces, to close the gate, and man the loops. 
The last are all open, and spare arms are distributed at 
them. I had a walk made within the ridge of the roofs this 
spring, by which men can run round the whole Hut, in the 
event of an attempt to set fire to the shingles, or fire over 
the ridge at an enemy at the stockades. It is a great im 
provement, Bob ; and, as it is well railed, will make a capital 
station in a warm conflict, before the enemy make their way 
within the stockade." 

" We must endeavour not to let them get there, sir," an 
swered the major " but, as soon as your people are housed, 
I shall have an opportunity to reconnoitre. Open work is 
most to the taste of us regulars." 

" Not against an Indian enemy. You will be glad of such 
a fortress as this, boy, before the question of independence, 
or no independence, shall be finally settled. Did not Wash 
ington entrench in the town ?" 

" Not much on that side of the water, sir ; though he was 
reasonably well in the ground on Long Island. There he 
had many thousands of men, and works of some extent." 

" And how did he get off the island ?" demanded the cap- 
tain, turning round to look his son in the face. " The arm 
of the sea is quite half-a-mile in width, at that point how 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 205 

did he cross it in the face of a victorious army ? 01 did he 
only save himself, while you captured his troops?" 

Tin major coloured a little, and then he luoKcd at Beulah 
and smiled good-naturedly. 

" 1 am so surrounded by rebels here," he said, " that it is 
not ea>y to answer all your questions, sir. Beat him we did, 
beyond a question, and that with a heavy loss to his army 
and out of New York we have driven him, beyond a ques 
tion but 1 will not increase Beulah s conceit by stating 
any more !" 

" If you can tell me anything kind of Evert, Bob, you 
will act like a brother in so doing," said the gentle wife. 

"Ay, Heekman did well too, they said. I heard some 
of our officers extolling a charge he made; and to own the 
truth, I was not sorry to be able to say he was my sister s 
husband, since a fierce rebel she would marry. All our 
news of him is to his credit ; and now I shall get a kiss for 
my pains." 

The major was not mistaken. With a swelling heart, but 
smiling countenance, his sister threw herself into his arms, 
when she kissed and was kissed until the tears streamed 
down her cheeks. 

" It was of Washington I intended to speak, sir," resumed 
the major, dashing a tear or two from his own eyes, as 
Beulah resumed her chair. " His retreat from the island is 
n of as masterly, and has gained him great credit. He 
conducted it in person, and did not lose a man. I heard Sir 
William mention it as masterly." 

"Then by heaven, America will prevail in this contest!" 
exclaimed the captain, striking his fist upon the table, with a 
suddenness and force that caused all in the room to start. 
" If she has a general who can effect such a movement skil 
fully, the reign of England is over, here. Why, Woods, 
r did a better tiling ! Tin; retreat of the ten 
thousand was boy s play to getting across that water. Be 
sides, your victory could have been no great matter, Bob, 
or it would never have be^n done." 

"Our victory was re^x-r -iMe, sir, while I acknowledge 
that the retreat was great. No one among us denies it, and 
Washington is always named with respect in the army." 

VOL. I. 18 



206 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

In a minute more, Big Smash came in, under the pretence 
of removing the dishes, but in reality to see Master Bob, and 
to be noticed by him. She was a woman of sixty, the mo 
ther of Little Smash, herself a respectable matron of forty; 
and both had been born in the household of Mrs. Willough- 
by s father, and had rather more attachment for any one of 
her children than for all of their own, though each had been 
reasonably prolific. The sobriquets had passed into general 
use, and the real names of Bess and Mart were nearly 
obsolete. Still, the major thought it polite to use the latter 
on the present occasion. 

" Upon my word, Mrs. Bess," he said, shaking the old 
woman cordially by the hand, though he instinctively shrunk 
back from the sight of a pair of lips that were quite ultra, 
in the way of pouting, which used often to salute him twenty 
years before " Upon my word, Mrs. Bess, you improve 
in beauty, everytime 1 see you. Old age and you seem to 
be total strangers to each other. How do you manage to 
remain so comely and so young?" 

" God send e fus , Masser Bob, heabben be praise, and a 
good conscience do e las . I do wish you could make ole 
Plin hear dat ! He nebber t ink any good look, now-a-day, 
in a ole wench." 

" Pliny is half blind. But that is the way with most hus 
bands, Smash ; they become blind to the charms of their 
spouses, after a few years of matrimony." 

" Nebber get marry, Masser Bob, if dat be e way." 

Then Great Smash gave such a laugh, and such a swing 
of her unwieldy body, that one might well have apprehended 
her downfall. But, no such thing. She maintained the 
equilibrium ; for, renowned as she had been all her life at 
producing havoc among plates, and cups, and bowls, she 
was never known to be thrown off her own centre of gra 
vity. Another hearty shake of the hand followed, and the 
major quitted the table. As was usual on all great and joy. 
ous occasions in the family, when the emotions reached the 
kitchen, that evening was remarkable for a " smash," in 
which half the crockery that had just been brought from the 
table, fell an unresisting sacrifice. This produced a hot 
discussion between " The Big" and " The Little," as to the 
offender, which resulted, as so often happens in these in- 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 207 

quirics into the accidents of domestic life, in the conclusion 
that " nub" ion.; to hlaiii". 

How V fink lie can come back, and not a plate crack !" 
exclaimed Little Smash, in a vindicatory tone, she being the 
real delinquent " ;Jut in V winder, too! Lor! dot enough 
to break all e dish in c house, and in V mill, too ! I do wish 
ebbery plate we got was an Injin den you see fun ! Can 
neither like Injin ; cm so red, and so sabbage !" 

" Ncbbcr talk of Injin, now," answered the indignant mo- 
ther " better talk of plate. Dis make forty t ousand dish 
you break, Mari , sin you war a young woman. S pose 
you t ink Masser made of plate, dat you break em up so ! 
bat what ole Plin say de nigger! He say all men made 
of clay, and plate made of clay, too well, hot clay, and 
bot break. All on us wessels, and all on us break to pieces 
some day, and don dey ll t row us away, too." 

A general laugh succeeded this touch of morality, Great 
Smash bein-g a little addicted to ethical remarks of this na 
ture ; after which the war was renewed on the subject of 
the broken crockery. Nor did it soon cease ; wrangling, 
laughing, singing, toiling, a light-heartcdncss that knew no 
serious cares, and affection, making up the sum of the every 
day existence of these semi-civilized beings. The presence 
of the party in the valley, however, afforded the subject of 
an episode; for a negro has quite as much of the de haul 
en has in his manner of viewing the aborigines, as the whites 
have in their speculations on his own race. Mingled with 
this contempt, notwithstanding, was a very active dread, 
neither of the Plinys, nor of their amiable consorts, in the 
least relishing the idea of being shorn of the wool, with 
shears as penetrating as the scalping-knife. After a good 
deal of discussion on this subject, the kitchen arrived at the 
conclusion that the visit of the major was ordered by Provi 
dence, since it was out of all the rules of probability and 
practice to have a few half-clad savages get the better of 
oer Bob," who was born a soldier, and had so recently 
been fighting for the king. 

On the latter subject, we ought to have stated that the 
captain s kitchen was ultra-loyal. The rude, but simple 
beings it contained, had a reverence for rank and power 
that even a " rebbelushun" could not disturb, and which 



208 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

closely associated, in their minds, royal authority \i ith divine 
power. Next to their own master, they considered George 
III. as the greatest man of the age ; and there was no dis 
position in them to rob him of his rights or his honours. 

" You seem thoughtful, Woods," said the captain, while 
his son had retired to his own room, in order to assume a 
disguise less likely to attract attention in the garrison than 
a hunting-shirt. " Is it this unexpected visit of Bob s that 
furnishes food for reflection ?" 

" Not so much his visit, my dear Willoughby, as the 
news he brings us. God knows what will befall the church, 
should this rebellion make serious head. The country is in 
a dreadful way, already, on the subject of religion ; but it 
will be far worse if these * canters get the upper hand of 
the government." 

The captain was silent and thoughtful for a moment ; then 
he laughingly replied 

" Fear nothing for the church, chaplain. It is of God, 
and will outlast a hundred political revolutions." 

"I don t know that, Willoughby I don t know that" The 
chaplain did not exactly mean what he said " Twouldn t 
surprise me if we had taking up collections, sitting un 
der preaching? providentially happening, l exercised in 
mind? and our Zion? finding their way into dictionaries." 

" Quite likely, Woods" returned the captain, smiling 
" Liberty is known to produce great changes in things; 
why not in language?" 

" Liberty, indeed ! Yes ; * liberty in prayer is another of 
their phrases. Well, captain Willoughby, if this rebellion 
should succeed, we may give up all hopes for the church. 
What sort of government shall we have, do you imagine, 
sir?" 

" Republican, of course," answered the captain, a^ain 
becoming thoughtful, as his mind reverted to the important 
results that were really dependent on the present state of 
things. " Republican it can be no other. These colonies 
have always had a strong bias in that direction, and they 
want the elements necessary to a monarchy. New York 
has a landed gentry, it is true ; and so has Maryland, and 
Virginia, and the Carolinas ; but they are not strong enough 
to set up a political aristocracy, or to prop a throne j and 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 209 

then this centry will probably be much weakened by tho 

slruu r u r ii . Half the principal families an; known to be with 
the crown, as it is; and n<".v nun will force them out of 
place, in a revolution. No, Woods, if this revolution prosper, 
the monarchy is done in America, for at least a century." 

And tin- prayers for the king and royal family what 
will become of /Arm / 

" I should think they must cease, also. I question if a 
people will continue long to pray for authorities that they 
refuse to obey." 

" I shall stick to the rubrics as long as I have a tongue 
in my head. I trust, Willoughby, you will not stop these 
prayers, in your settlement?" 

" It is the last mode in which I should choose to show 
hostility. Still, you must allow it is a little too much to ask 
a congregation to pray that the king shall overcome his 
enemies, when they are among those very enemies ? The 
question presents a dilemma." 

" And, yet, I have never failed to read that prayer, as 
well as all the rest. You have not objected, hitherto." 

" I have not, for I have considered the war as being waged 
with parliament and the ministers, whereas it is now clearly 
with the king. This paper is certainly a plain and forcible 
document." 

" And what is that paper? Not the Westminster Confes 
sion of Faith, or the Saybrook Platform, I hope ; one of 
which will certainly supersede the Thirty-nine Articles in 
all our churches, if this rebellion prosper." 

" It is the manifesto issued by congress, to justify their 
declaration of independence. Bob has brought it with him, 
ns a proof how far matters have been carried ; but, really, 
it seems to be a creditable document, and is eloquently rea 
soned." 

" I see how it is, Willoughby I sec how it is. We shall 
find you a rebel general yet; and I export to live to hear 
you talk about 4 our Zion and providential accidents. " 

X -i h -r, Woods. For the first, I am too old; and, for 
the last, I have too much taste, I trust. Whether I shall 
alway> pray for the king is another matter. Bat, here is 
the major, ready for his sortie. Upon my word, his mas 
querade is so complete, I hardly know him myself." 
18* 



210 THE HUTTED KNOLL 



CHAPTER XIV. 

He could not rest, he could not stay 
Within his tent to wait for day ; 
But walked him forth along the sand, 
Where thousand sleepers strewed the strand. 

Siege of Corinth. 

IT was now so late that most of the men of the Hut, and 
all the women and children, were housed for the night, pro 
vided no alarm occurred. There was consequently little 
risk in the major s venturing forth, disguised as he was, 
should care be taken not to approach a light. The great 
number of the latter, streaming through the windows of the 
western wing of the building, showed how many were now 
collected within the walls, and gave an unusual appearance 
of life and animation to the place. Still, the court was clear, 
the men seeking their pallets, in readiness for their coming 
watches, while the women were occupied with those great 
concerns of female life, the care of children. 

The captain, major, and chaplain, each carrying a rifle, 
and the two former pistols, moved rapidly across the court, 
and passed the gate. The moveable leaf of the latter was 
left unbarred, it being the orders of the captain to the senti 
nels without, on the approach of an enemy, to retire within 
the court, and then to secure the fastenings. 

The night was star-light, and it was cool, as is common 
to this region of country. There being neither lamp nor 
candle on the exterior of the house, even the loops being 
darkened, there was little danger in moving about within 
the stockades. The sentinels were directed to take their 
posts so near the palisades as to command views of the open 
lawn without, a precaution that would effectually prevent 
the usual stealthy approach of an enemy without discovery. 
As the alarm had been very decided, these irregula guar 
dians of the house were all at their posts, and exceedingly 
watchful, a circumstance that enabled the captain to avoid 
them, and thus further remove the danger of his son s being 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 211 

recognised. lie accordingly held himself aloof from the 
men, keeping within the of the sides of the Hut. 

As a matter of course, the first object to which our two 
soldiers direeted their eyeSj was the rock above the mill. 
The Indians had lighted tires, and were now apparently 
bivouacked at no great distance from them, having brought 
boards from below with that especial object. Why they 
chose to remain in this precise position, and why they ne 
glected the better accommodations afforded by^some fifteen 
or twenty log-cabins, that skirted the western side of the 
valley in particular, were subjects of conjecture. That they 
near the fires the board shanties proved, and that they 
were to the last degree careless of the proximity of the peo 
ple of the place, would seem also to be apparent in the fact 
that they had not posted, so far as could be ascertained, 
even a solitary sentinel. 

" This is altogether surprising for Indian tactics," observed 
the captain, in a low voice ; for everything that was uttered 
that night without the building was said in very guarded 
tones. " I have never before known the savages to cover 
themselves in that manner; nor is it usual with them to light 
fires to point out the positions they occupy, as these fellows 
seem to have done." 

" Is it not all seeming, sir?" returned the major. "To 
me that camp, if camp it can be called, has an air of being 
deserted." 

" There is a look about it of premeditated preparation, 
that one ought always to distrust in war." 

" Is it not unmilitary, sir, for two soldiers like ourselves 
to remain in doubt on such a point 1 My professional pride 
revolts at such a state of things ; and, with your leave, I 
will go outside, and set the matter at rest by reconnoitring." 

M Professional pride is a good thing, Bob, rightly under 
stood and rightly practised. But the highest point of honour 
with the really good soldier is to do that for which he was 
precisely intended. Some men fancy armies were got toge 
ther just to maintain certain exa^ Tat* -d notions of military 
honour; whereas, military honour is nothing but a moral 
expedient to aid in effecting the objects for which they are 
really raised. I have known men so blinded as to assert 
that a soldier is bound to maintain his honour at the expense 



212 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

of the law ; and this in face of the fact that, in a free coun 
try, a soldier is in truth nothing but one of the props of the 
law, in the last resort. So with us ; we are here to defend 
this house, and those it contains ; and our military honour 
is far more concerned in doing that effectually, and by right 
means, than in running the risk of not doing it at all, in 
order to satisfy an abstract and untenable notion of a false 
code. Let us do what is right, my son, and feel no concern 
that our honour suffer." 

Captain Willoughby said this, because he fancied it a. 
fault in his son s character, sometimes to confound the end 
with the means, in appreciating the ethics of his profession. 
This is not an uncommon error among those who bear 
arms, instances not being wanting in which bodies of men 
that are the mere creatures of authority, have not hesitated 
to trample the power that brought them into existence under 
foot, rather than submit to mortify the feelings of a purely 
conventional and exaggerated pride. The major was rebuked 
rather than convinced, it not being the natural vocation of 
youth to perceive the justice of all the admonitions of age. 

"But, if one can be made auxiliary to the other, sir," the 
son remarked, " then you will allow that professional esprit^ 
and professional prudence, may very well march hand in 
hand." 

" Of that there can be no doubt, though I think it far 
wiser and more soldier-like, even, to use all proper precau 
tions to guard this house, under our actual circumstances, 
than to risk anything material in order to satisfy our doubts 
concerning the state of that camp." 

" But the cabins, and all the property that lies exposed to 
fire and other accidents, including the mills ? Js it not worth 
your while to let me make a little excursion, in order to 
ascertain the state of things, as connected with them ?" 

" Perhaps it would, Bob" returned the father, after a 
little reflection. " It would be a great point gained, to send 
a man to look after the buildings, and the horses. The poor 
beasts may be suffering for water; and, as you say, the first 
thing will be to ascertain where our wild visiters really are, 
and what thej are actually bent on. Woods, go with us to 
the gate, and let us out. I rely on your saying nothing of 
our absence, except to explain to the two nearest sentinels 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 213 

who we are, and to be on the look-out for us, against the 
moment we may return." 

" Will it not be very hazardous to be moving in front of 
the stockade, in the darkl Some of our own people may 
lire upon you." 

" You will tell them to be cautious, and we shall use great 
circumspection in our turn. I had better give you a signal 
by which wo shall be known." 

This was done, and the party moved from under the 
shadows of the Hut, down to the gate. Here the two soldiers 
halted for several minutes, taking a deliberate and as tho 
rough a survey of the scene without, as the darkness per 
mitted. Then the chaplain opened the gate, and they issued 
forth, moving with great caution down the lawn, towards 
the flats. As a matter of course, captain Willoughby was 
perfectly familiar with all the lanes, ditches, bridges and 
fields of his beautiful possessions. The alluvial soil that 
lay spread around him was principally the result of ages of 
deposit while the place was covered with water ; but, as the 
overflowing of the water had been produced by a regular 
dam, the latter once removed, the meadows were free from 
the excessive moisture which generally saturates drained 
lands. Still, there were two or three large open ditches, to 
collect the water that came down the adjacent mountains, 
or bubbled up from springs near the margin of the woods. 
Across these ditches the roads led, by bridges, and the 
whole valley was laid out, in this manner, equally with a 
view to convenience and rural beauty. A knowledge of all 
the windings was of great use, on the present occasion, 
even on the advance ; while, on the retreat, it might clearly 
be the means of preserving the lives, or liberties, of the two 
adventurers. 

The captain did not proceed by the principal road which 
led from the Hut to the mills, the great thoroughfare of the 
vallry, since it might be watched, in order to prevent A 
hostile sortie against the camp ; but he inclined to th<; right, 
or to the westward, in order to visit the cabins and barns 
in that quartor. It struck him his invaders might have 
quietly taken possession of the houses, or even have stolen 
his horses and decamped. In this direction, then, he and 
his son proceeded, using the greatest caution in their move- 



214 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

ments, and occasionally stopping to examine the waning 
fires at the rock, or to throw a glance behind them at the 
stockade. Everything remained in the quiet which renders 
a forest settlement so solemn and imposing, after the daily 
movements of man have ceased. The deepest and most 
breathless attention could not catch an unaccustomed sound. 
Even the bark of a dog was not heard, all those useful ani 
mals having followed their masters into the Hut, as if con 
scious that their principal care now lay in that direction. 
Each of the sentinels had one of these animals near him, 
crouched under the stockade, in the expectation of their 
giving the alarm, should any strange footstep approach. 
In this manner most of the distance between the Knoll and 
the forest was crossed, when the major suddenly laid a hand 
on his father s arm. 

" Here is something stirring on our left," whispered the 
former " It seems, too, to be crouching under the fence." 

" You have lost your familiarity with our rural life, Bob," 
answered the father, with a little more confidence of tone, 
but still guardedly, " or this fragrant breath would tell you 
we are almost on a cow. It is old Whiteback ; I know her 
by her horns. Feel ; she is here in the lane with us, and 
within reach of your hand. A gentler animal is not in the 
settlement. But, stop pass your hand on her udder she 
will not stir how is it, full or not ?" 

" If I can judge, sir, it is nothing remarkable in the way 
of size." 

" I understand this better. By Jupiter, boy, that cow has 
been milked ! It is certain none of our people have left the 
house to do it, since the alarm was first given. This is 
ominous of neighbours." 

The major made no reply, but he felt to ascertain if his 
arms were in a state for immediate service. After a mo 
ment s further pause the captain proceeded, moving with 
increased caution. Not a word was now uttered, for they 
were getting within the shadows of the orchard, and indeed 
of the forest, where objects could not well be distinguished 
at the distance of a very few yards. A cabin was soon 
reached, and it was found empty ; the fire reduced to a few 
embers, and quite safe. This was the residence of the man 
who had the care of the horses, the stables standing directly 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 215 

behind it. Captain Willoughby was a thoughtful and humano 
man, and it struck him the animals might now be turned 
into a field that joined the barn-yard, where there was not 
only rich pasture, but plenty of sweet running water. This 
termioed to do at once, the only danger being from 
the unbridled inov m-nts of cattle that must be impatient 
from unusual privation, and a prolonged restraint. 

The major opened the gate of the field, and stationed him- 
self in a way to turn the animals in the desired direction, 
while his father went into the stable to set them free. Tho 
first horse came out with great deliberation, being an old 
animal well cooled with toil at the plough, and the major 
had merely to swing his arm, to turn him into the field. Not 
so with the next, however. This was little better than a colt, 
a creature in training for his master s saddle ; and no sooner 
was it released than it plunged into the yard, then bounded 
into the field, around which it galloped, until it found the 
water. The others imitated this bad example ; the clatter 
of hoofs, though beaten on a rich turf, soon resounding in 
the stillness of the night, until it might be heard across the 
valley. The captain then rejoined his son. 

" This is a good deed somewhat clumsily done, Bob," 
observed the father, as he picked up his rifle and prepared 
to proceed. " An Indian ear, however, will not fail to dis 
tinguish between the tramping of horses and a charge of 
foot." 

" Faith, sir, the noise may serve us a good turn yet. Let 
us take another look at the fires, and see if this tramping 
has set any one in motion near them. We can get a glimpse 
a little further ahead." 

The look was taken, but nothing was seen. While stand 
ing perfectly motionless, beneath the shadows of an apple- 
tree, however, a sound was heard quite near them, which 
resembled that of a guarded footstep. Both gentlemen d:vw 
up, like sportsmen expecting the birds to rise, in waiting for 
the sound to approach. It did draw nearer, and presently 
a human form was seen moving slowly forward in the path, 
approaching the tree, as if to get within its cover. It was 
allowed to draw nearer and nearer, until captain Willoughby 
laid his hand, from behind the trunk, on the stranger s 



216 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

shoulder, demanding sternly, but in a low voice, " who aro 
you?" 

The start, the exclamation, and the tremor that succeeded, 
all denoted the extent of this man s surprise. It was some 
little time, even, before he could recover from his alarm, 
and then he let himself be known by his answer. 

" Massy !" exclaimed Joel Strides, who ordinarily gave 
this doric sound to the word mercy " Massy, captain, is 
it you ! I should as soon thought of seeing a ghost ! What 
in natur has brought you out of the stockade, sir?" 

" I think that is a question I might better ask you, Mr. 
Strides. My orders were to keep the gate close, and for no 
one to quit the court-yard even, until sent on post, or called 
by an alarm." 

" True, sir quite true true as gospel. But let us mo 
derate a little, captain, and speak lower ; for the Lord only 
knows who s in our neighbourhood. Who s that with you, 
s ir7_Not the Rev. Mr. Woods, is it?" 

" No matter who is with me. He has the authority of my 
commands for being here, whoever he may be, while you 
are here in opposition to them. You know me well enough, 
Joel, to understand nothing but the simple truth will satisfy 
me." 

" Lord, sir, I am one of them that never wish to tell you 
anything but truth. The captain has known me now long 
enough to understand my natur , I should think ; so no more 
need be said about that" 

" Well, sir give me the reason and see that it is given 
to me without reserve." 

" Yes, sir ; the captain shall have it. He knows we 
scrambled out of our houses this afternoon a little onthink- 
ingly, Injin alarms being skeary matters. It was an awful 
hurrying time ! Well, the captain understands, too, we don t 
work for him without receiving our wages ; and I have been 
"aying up a little, every year, until I ve scraped together a 
few hundred dollars, in good half-joes ; and I bethought me 
the money might be in danger, should the savages begin to 
plunder ; and I ve just came out to look a ter the money." 

" If this be true, as I hope and can easily believe to be 
the case, you must have the money about you, Joel, to 
prove it." 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 217 

The man stretched forth his arm, and let the captain feel 
a handkerchief, in which, sure enough, there was a goodly 
quantity of coin. This gave him credit for truth, and re 
moved all suspicion of his present excursion being mado 
with any sinister intention. The man was questioned as 
to his mode of passing the stockade, when he confessed he 
had fairly clambered over it, an exploit of no great difficulty 
from the inside. As the captain had known Joel too long to 
be ignorant of his love of money, and the offence was very 
pardonable in itself, he readily forgave the breach of orders. 
This was the only man in the valley who did not trust his 
little hoard in the iron chest at the Hut ; even the miller 
reposing that much confidence in the proprietor of the estate ; 
but Joel was too conscious of dishonest intentions himself 
to put any unnecessary faith in others. 

All this time, the major kept so far aloof as not to be re 
cognised, though Joel, once or twice, betrayed symptoms of 
a desire to ascertain who he was. Maud had awakened 
suspicions that now became active, in both father and son, 
when circumstances so unexpectedly and inconveniently 
threw the man in their way. It was consequently the wish 
of the former to get rid of his overseer as soon as possible. 
Previously to doing this, however, he saw fit to interrogate 
him a little further. 

" Have you seen anything of the Indians since you left 
the stockade, Strides ?" demanded the captain. " We can 
perceive no other traces of their presence than yonder fires, 
though we think that some of them must have passed this 
way, for Whiteback s udder is empty." 

" To own the truth, captain, I haven t. I some think 
that they Ve left the valley ; though the Lord only can tell 
when they ll be back ag in. Such critturs be beyond calci- 
lation ! They outdo arithmetic, nohow. As for the cow, I 
milked her myself; for being the crittur the captain has 
given to Phoebe for her little dairy, I thought it might hurt 
her not to be attended to. The pail stands yonder, under 
the fence, and the women and children in the Hut may be 
glad enough to se it in the morning." 

This was very characteristic of Joel Strides. He did not 
hesitate about disobeying orders, or even to risk his life, in 
order to secure his money ; but, determined to come out, he 

VOL. L 19 



218 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

had the forethought and care to bring a pail, in order to 
supply the wants of those who were now crowded within 
the stockade, and who were too much accustomed to this 
particular sort of food, not to suffer from its absence. If we 
add, that, in the midst of all this prudent attention to the 
wants of his companions, Joel had an eye to his personal 
popularity and what are called " ulterior events," and that 
he selected his own cow for the precise reason given, the 
reader has certain distinctive traits of the man before him. 

" This being the case," returned the captain, a good deal 
relieved at finding that the savages had not been the agents 
in this milking affair, since it left the probability of their 
remaining stationary " This being the case, Joel, you had 
better find the pail, and go in. As soon as day dawns, how 
ever, I recommend that all the cows be called up to the 
stockade and milked generally. They are feeding in the 
lanes, just now, and will come readily, if properly invited. 
Go, then, but say nothing of having met me, and " 

" Who else did the captain say ?" inquired Joel, curiously, 
observing that the other paused. 

" Say nothing of having met us at all, I tell you. It is 
very important that my movements should be secret." 

The two gentlemen now moved on, intending to pass in 
front of the cabins which lined this part of the valley, by a 
lane which would bring them out at the general highway 
which led from the Knoll to the mill. The captain marched 
in front, while his son brought up the rear, at a distance of 
two or three paces. Each walked slowly and with caution, 
carrying his rifle in the hollow of his arm, in perfect readi 
ness for service. In this manner both had proceeded a few 
yards, when Robert Willoughby felt his elbow touched, and 
saw Joel s face, within eighteen inches of his own, as the 
fellow peered under his hat. It was an action so sudden 
and unexpected, that the major saw, at once, nothing but 
perfect coolness could avert his discovery. 

" Is t you, Dan el" so was the miller named. " What 
in natur has brought the old man on this tramp, with the 
valley filled with Inj ins?" whispered Joel, prolonging the 
speech in order to get a better view of a face and form that 
still baffled his conjectures. " Let s know all about it." 

"You ll get me into trouble," answered the major, shaking 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 219 

off his unwelcome neighbour, moving a step further from 
him, and speaking also in a whisper. " The captain s bent 
on a scout, and you know he ll not bear contradiction. Off 
with you, then, and don t forget the milk." 

As the major moved away, and seemed determined to 
baflle him, Joel had no choice between complying and ex 
posing his disobedience of orders to the captain. He disliked 
doing the last, for his cue was to seem respectful and at 
tached, and he was fain to submit. Never before, however, 
did Joel Strides suffer a man to slip through his fingers with 
so much reluctance. He saw that the captain s companion 
was not the miller, while the disguise was too complete to 
enable him to distinguish the person or face. In that day, 
the different classes of society were strongly distinguished 
from each other, by their ordinary attire; and, accustomed 
to see major Willoughby only in the dress that belonged to 
his station, he would not be likely to recognise him in his 
present guise, had he even known of or suspected his visit. 
As it was, he was completely at fault ; satisfied it was not 
his friend Daniel, while unable to say who it was. 

In this doubting state of mind, Joel actually forgot the sav 
ages, and the risks he might run from their proximity, 
lie walked, as it might be mechanically, to the place where 
he had left the pail, and then proceeded slowly towards the 
Knoll, pondering at every step on what he had just seen. 
He and the miller had secret communications with certain 
active agents of the revolutionists, that put them in posses 
sion of facts, notwithstanding their isolated position, with 
which even their employer was totally unacquainted. It is 
true, these agents were of that low caste that never fail to 
attach themselves to all great political enterprises, with a 
sole view to their own benefit ; still, as they were active, 
cunning and bold, and had the sagacity to make themselves 
useful, they passed in the throng of patriots created by the 
times, and were enabled to impart to men of similar spirits 
much available information. 

It was through means like these,- that Joel knew of the 
all-important measure of the declaration of independence, 
while it still remained a secret to captain Willoughby. The 
hope of confiscations was now active in the bosoms of all this 
set, and many of them had even selected the portions of 



220 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

property that they intended should be the reward of their 
own love of freedom and patriotism. It has been said that 
the English ministry precipitated the American revolution, 
with a view to share, among their favourites, the estates 
that it was thought it would bring within the gift of the 
crown, a motive so heinous as almost to defy credulity, and 
which may certainly admit of rational doubts. On the other 
hand, however, it is certain that individuals, who will go 
down to posterity in company with the many justly illus 
trious names that the events of 1776 have committed to 
history, were actuated by the most selfish inducements, 
and, in divers instances, enriched themselves with the wrecks 
of estates that formerly belonged to their kinsmen or friends. 
Joel Strides was of too low a class to get his name enrolled 
very high on the list of heroes, nor was he at all ambitious 
of any such distinction ; but he was not so low that he could 
not and did not aspire to become the owner of the property 
of the Hutted Knoll. In an ordinary state of society, so 
high a flight would seem irrational in so low an aspirant ; 
but Joel came of a people who seldom measure their preten 
sions by their merits, and who imagine that to boldly aspire, 
more especially in the way of money, is the first great step 
to success. The much talked of and little understood doc 
trine of political equality has this error to answer for, in 
thousands of cases ; for nothing can be more hopeless, in 
the nature of things, than to convince a man of the necessity 
of possessing qualities of whose existence he has not even a 
faint perception, ere he may justly pretend to be put on a 
level with the high-minded, the just, the educated, and the 
good. Joel, therefore, saw no other reason than the law, 
against his becoming the great landlord, as well as captain 
Willoughby ; and could the law be so moulded as to answer 
his purposes, he had discreetly resolved to care for no other 
considerations. The thought of the consequences to Mrs. 
Willoughby and her daughters gave him no concern what 
ever ; they had already possessed the advantages of their 
situation so long, as to give Phoebe and the miller s wife a 
sort of moral claim to succeed them. In a word, Joel, in 
his yearnings after wealth, had only faintly shadowed forth 
the modern favourite doctrine of " rotation in office." 
The appearance of a stranger in company with captain 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 221 

Willoughby could not fail, therefore, to give rise to many 
ronjtvtiuvs in the mind of a man whose daily and hourly 
thoughts were running on these important changes. " Who 
can it he," thought Joel, as he crawled along the lane, bear 
ing the milk, and lilting one leg after the other, as if lead 
were fastened to his feet. " Dan el it is not nor is it any 
one that I can consait on, about the Hut. The captain is 
mightily strengthened by this marriage of his da ter with 
colonel Beekman, that s sartain. The colonel stands won 
derful well with our folks, and he ll not let all this firsi-iate 
land, with such capital betterments, go out of the family 
without an iffort, I conclude but then I calcilate on his 
being killed there must be a dispcrate lot on em shot, 
afore the war s over, and he is as likely to be among em as 
another. Dan el thinks the colonel has the look of a short 
lived man. Waal ; to-morrow will bring about a knowledge 
of the name of the captain s companion, and then a body 
may calcilate with greater sartainty 1" 

This is but an outline of what passed through Joel s mind 
as he moved onward. It will serve, however, to let the 
reader into the secret of his thoughts, as well as into their 
ordinary train, and is essentially connected with some of 
the succeeding events of our legend. As the overseer ap 
proached the stockade, his ideas were so abstracted that he 
forgot the risk he ran ; but walking carelessly towards the 
palisades, the dogs barked, and then he was saluted by a 
shot. This effectually aroused Joel, who called out in his 
natural voice, and probably saved his life by so doing. The 
report of the rifle, however, produced an alarm, and by tha 
time the astounded overseer had staggered up to the gate, 
the men were pouring out from the court, armed, and ex 
pecting an assault. In the midst of this scene of confusion, 
the chaplain admitted. Joel, as much astonished as the man 
himself, at the whole of the unexpected occurrence. 

It is unnecessary to say that many questions were asked. 
Joel got rid of them, by simply stating that he had gone out 
to milk a cow, by the captain s private orders, and that he 
had forgotten to arrange any signal, by which his return 
might be known. He ventured to name his employer, be 
cause he knew he was not there to contradict him ; and Mr. 
Woods, being anxious to ascertain if his two friends had 
19* 



222 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

been seen, sent the men back to their lairs, without delay, 
detaining the overseer at the gate for a minute s private 
discourse. As the miller obeyed, with the rest, he asked 
for the pail with an eye to his own children s comfort ; but, 
on receiving it, he found it empty ! The bullet had passed 
through it, and the contents had escaped. 

" Did you see any thing, or person, Strides ?" demanded 
the chaplain, as soon as the two were alone. 

" Lord, Mr. Woods, I met the captain ! The sight on him 
came over me a most as cruelly as the shot from the rifle ; 
for I no more expected it than I do to see you rise up to 
heaven, in your clothes, like Elijah of old. Sure enough, 
there was the captain, himself, and and " 

Here Joel sneezed, repeating the word "and" several 
times, in hopes the chaplain would supply the name he so 
much wished to hear. 

" But you saw no savages ? I know the captain is out, 
and you will be careful not to mention it, lest it get to Mrs. 
Wiiloughby s ears, and make her uneasy. You saw nothing 
of the savages ?" 

" Not a bit the critturs lie cluss enough, if they haven t 
actually tramped. Who did you say was with the captain, 
Mr. Woods?" 

" I said nothing about it I merely asked after the In 
dians, who, as you say, do keep themselves very close. 
Well, Joel, go to your wife, who must be getting anxious 
about you, and be prudent." 

Thus dismissed, the overseer did not dare to hesitate; but 
he entered the court, still pondering on the late meeting. 

As for the two adventurers, they pursued their march in 
silence. As a matter of course, they heard the report of 
the rifle, and caught some faint sounds from the alarm that 
succeeded ; but, readily comprehending the cause, they pro 
duced no uneasiness ; the stillness which succeeded soon 
satisfying them that all was right. By this time they were 
within a hundred yards of the flickering fires. The major 
had kept a strict watch on the shanties at the report of the 
rifle ; but not a living thing was seen moving in their vici 
nity. This induced him to think the place deserted, and he 
whispered as much to his father. 

" With any other enemy than an Indian," answered the 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 223 

latter, " you might be right enough, Bob ; but with these 
rascals one is never certain. We must advance with a good 
deal of their own caution." 

This was done, and the gentlemen approached the fires 
in the most guarded manner, keeping the shantees between 
them and the light. By this time, however, the flames were 
nearly out, and there was no great difficulty in looking into 
the nearest shantee, without much exposure. It was de 
serted, as proved to be the case with all the others, on fur 
ther examination. Major Willoughby now moved about on 
the rock with greater confidence ; for, naturally brave, and 
accustomed to use his faculties with self-command in mo 
ments of trial, he drew the just distinctions between real 
danger and unnecessary alarm ; the truest of all tests of 
courage. 

The captain, feeling a husband s and a father s responsi 
bility, was a little more guarded; but success soon gave 
him more confidence, and tfie spot was thoroughly explored. 
The two then descended to the mills, which, together with 
the adjacent cabins, they entered also, and found uninjured 
and empty. After this, several other suspected points were 
looked at, until the captain came to the conclusion that the 
party had retired, for the night at least, if not entirely. 
Making a circuit, however, he and his son visited the chapel, 
and one or two dwellings on that side of the valley, when 
they bent their steps towards the Knoll. 

As the gentlemen approached the stockade, the captain 
gave a loud hem, and clapped his hands. At the signal the 
gate flew open, and they found themselves in company with 
their friend the chaplain once more. A few words of ex 
planation told all they had to say, and then the three passed 
into the court, and separated ; each taking the direction to 
wards his own room. The major, fatigued with the toils of 
a long march, was soon in a soldier s sleep ; but it was 
hours before his more thoughtful, and still uneasy father, 
could obtain the rest which nature so much requires. 



224 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 



CHAPTER XV. 

" I could teach you, 

How to choose right, but then I am forsworn; 
So will I never be; so may you miss me; 
But if you do, you 11 make me wish a sin 

That I had been forsworn." 

Portia. 

CAPTAIN WILLOUGHBY knew that the hour which pre 
ceded the return of light, was that in which the soldier had 
the most to apprehend, when in the field. This is the mo 
ment when it is usual to attempt surprises ; and it was, in 
particular, the Indian s hour of blood. Orders had been 
left, accordingly, to call him at four o clock, and to see that 
all the men of the Hut were afoot, and armed also. Not 
withstanding the deserted appearance of the valley, this ex 
perienced frontier warrior distrusted the signs of the times ; 
and he looked forward to the probability of an assault, a 
little before the return of day, with a degree of concern he 
would have been sorry to communicate to his wife and 
daughters. 

Every emergency had been foreseen, and such a disposi 
tion made of the forces, as enabled the major to be useful, 
in the event of an attack, without exposing himself unneces 
sarily to the danger of being discovered. He was to have 
charge of the defence of the rear of the Hut, or that part of 
the buildings where the windows opened outwards ; and 
Michael and the two Plinys were assigned him as assistants. 
Nor was the ward altogether a useless one. Though the 
cliff afforded a material safeguard to this portion of the de 
fences, it might be scaled ; and, it will be remembered, there 
was no stockade at all, on this, the northern end of the 
house. 

When the men assembled in the court, therefore, about 
an hour before the dawn, Robert Willoughby collected his 
small force in the dining-room, the outer apartment of the 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 225 

suite, whore he examined their arms by lamp-light, inspect- 
cd their ac.-uufrements, and directed them to remain until 
1 fresh ordi-rs. 11U lather, aided by serjeant Joyce, 
did th- same in the court; issuing out, through the iute of 
the buildings, with his whole force, ay soon as this duty was 
performed. The call being general, the women and children 
were all up also ; many of the former repairing to the loops, 
while the least resolute, or the less experienced of their 
number, administered to the wants of the young, or busied 
themselves with the concerns of the household. In a word, 
tii- Hut, at that early hour, resembled a hive in activity, 
though the different pursuits had not much affinity to tho 
collection of honey. 

It is not to be supposed that Mrs. Willoughby and her 
daughters still courted their pillows on an occasion like this. 
They rose with the others, the grandmother and Bculah be- 
stowing their first care on the little Evert, as if his life and 
safety were the considerations uppermost in their thoughts. 
This seemed so natural, that Maud wondered she too could 
not feel all this absorbing interest in the child, a being so 
totally dependent on the affection of its friends and relatives 
to provide for its wants and hazards, in an emergency like 
the present. 

" We will see to the child, Maud," observed her mother, 
ten or fifteen minutes after all were up and dressed. " Do 
you go to your brother, who will be solitary, alone in his 
citadel. He may wish, too, to send some message to his 
father. Go, then, dear girl, and help to keep up poor Bob s 
spirits." 

What a service for Maud ! Still, she went, without hesi 
tation or delay ; for the habits of her whole infancy were 
not to be totally overcome by the natural and more engross- 
->f her later years. She could not feel pre 
cisely the reserve and self-distrust with one she had so loni? 
brother, as might have been the case wii h 
a strnnnrrr youth in whom she had begun to fed tho ii. 
she entertained for Robert Willoughby. But, Maud did ii .t 
re about complying. An order from her mother to 
her was law ; and she had no shame, no reserves on the 
subject of contributing to Bob s comfort or happiness. 



226 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

Her presence was a great relief to the young man him* 
self, whom she found in the library. His assistants were 
posted without, as sentinels to keep off intruders, a disposi* 
tion that left him quite alone, anxious and uneasy. The 
only intercourse he could have with his father was by 
means of messages ; and the part of the building he occu 
pied was absolutely without any communication with the 
court, except by a single door near the offices, at which he 
had stationed O Hearn. 

" This is kind, and like yourself, dearest Maud," exclaim 
ed the young man, taking the hand of his visiter, and press 
ing it in both his own, though he strangely neglected to kisa 
her cheek, as he certainly would have done had it been 
Beulah " This is kind and like yourself; now I shall learn 
something of the state of the family. How is my mother?" 
It might have been native coyness, or even coquetry, that 
unconsciously to herself influenced Maud s answer. She 
knew not why and yet she felt prompted to let it be under 
stood she had not come of her own impulses. 

" Mother is well, and not at all alarmed," she said. "She 
and Beulah are busy with little Evert, who crows and kicks 
his heels about as if he despised danger as becomes a sol 
dier s son, and has much amused even me; though I am 
accused of insensibility to his perfections. Believing you 
might be solitary, or might wish to communicate with some 
of us, my mother desired me to come and inquire into your 
wants." 

" Was such a bidding required, Maud ! How long has 
an order been necessary to bring you to console me T 

" That is a calculation I .have never entered into, Bob," 
answered Maud, slightly blushing, and openly smiling, and 
that in a way, too, to take all the sting out of her words T 
" as young ladies can have more suitable occupations, one 
might think. You will admit I guided you faithfully and 
skilfully into the Hut last evening, and such a service should 
suffice for the present. But, my mother tells me we have 
proper causes of complaint against you, for having so thought 
lessly left the place of safety into which you were brought, 
and for going strolling about the valley, after we had retired, 
in a very heedless and boyish manner !" 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 227 

I \vcnt with my father; surely I could not have been in 
better company." 

" At his suggestion, or at your own, Bob?" asked Maud, 
shaking her head. 

" To own the truth, it was, in some degree, at my own. 
It seemed so very uumilitary Tor two old soldiers to allow 
themselves to be shut up in ignorance of what their enemies 
were at, that I could not resist the desire to make a little 
sortie. You must feel, dear Maud, that our motive was your 
safety the safety, I mean, of my mother, and Beulah, and 
all of you together and yor ought to be the last to blame 
us." 

The tint on Maud s cheek deepened as Robert Willoughby 
laid so heavy an emphasis on " your safety ;" but she could 
not smile on an act that risked so much more than was 
prudent. 

" This is well enough as to motive," she said, after a 
pause ; " but frightfully ill-judged, I should think, as to the 
risks. You do not remember the importance our dear father 
is to us all to my mother to Beulah even to me, Bob." 

" Even to you y Maud ! And why not as much to you as 
to any of us ?" 

Maud could speak to Beulah of her want of natural affi 
nity to the family; but, it far exceeded her self-command to 
make a direct allusion to it to Robert Willoughby. Still, it 
M as now rarely absent from her mind ; the love she bore the 
captain and his wife, and Beulah, and little Evert, coming 
to her heart through a more insidious and possibly tenderer 
t u*, than that of purely filial or sisterly affection. It was, 
indeed, this evcry-day regard, strangely deepened and enli 
vened by that collateral feeling we so freely bestow on them 
who are bound by natural lies to those who have the strongest 
holds on our hearts, and which causes us to sec with their 
. and to feel with their affections. Accordingly, no reply 
made to the question ; or, rather, it was answered by 
putting another. 

" Did you see anything, after all, to compensate for so 
much risk?" asked Maud, but not until a pause had betiay- 
ed her embarrassment. 

" We ascertained that the savages had deserted their fires, 
and had not entered any of the cabins. Whether this were 



228 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

done to mislead us, or to make a retreat as sudden and un 
expected as their inroad, we are altogether in the dark. My 
father apprehends treachery, however ; while, I confess, to 
me it seems probable that the arrival and the departure may 
be altogether matters of accident. The Indians are in mo- 
tion certainly, for it is known that our agents are busy 
among them ; but, it is by no means so clear that our 
Indians would molest captain Willoughby Sir Hugh 
Willoughby, as my father is altogether called, at head 
quarters." 

" Have not the Americans savages on their side, to do us 
this ill office?" 

" I think not. It is the interest of the rebels to keep the 
savages out of the struggle ; they have so much at risk, that 
this species of warfare can scarcely be to their liking." 

" And ought it to be to the liking of the king s generals, 
or ministers either, Bob !" 

" Perhaps not, Maud. I do not defend it ; but I have seen 
enough of politics and war, to know that results are looked 
to, far more than principles. Honour, and chivalry, and 
humanity, and virtue, and right, are freely used in terms ; 
but seldom do they produce much influence on facts. Vic 
tory is the end aimed at, and the means are made to vary 
with the object." 

"And where is all we have read together? Yes, toge 
ther. Bob? for I owe you a great deal for having directed 
my studies where is all we have read about the glory and 
truth of the English name and cause?" 

" Very much, I fear, Maud, where the glory and truth 
of the American name and cause will be, as soon as this 
new nation shall fairly burst the shell, and hatch its public 
morality. There are men among us who believe in this 
public honesty, but I do not." 

" You are then engaged in a bad cause, major Willoughby, 
and the sooner you abandon it, the better." 

" I would in a minute, 8 if I knew where to find a better. 
Rely on it, dearest Maud, all causes are alike, in this parti 
cular ; though one side may employ instruments, as in the 
case of the savages, that the other side finds it its interest to 
decry. Men, as individuals, may be, and sometimes are, 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 229 

reasonably upright but, bodies of men, I much fear, never. 
The latter cheapo responsibility by dividing it." 

"Still, a good cause may elevate even bodies of men," 
said Maud, thoughtfully. 

"For a time, perhaps ; but not in emergencies. You and 
I think it a good cause, my good and frowning Maud, to de 
ft-mi the rights of our sovereign lord the king. Beulah I 
have given up to the enemy ; but on you I have implicitly 
relied." 

" Llculah follows her heart, perhaps, as they say it is 
natural to women to do. As for myself, I am left free to 
follow my own opinion of my duties." 

" And they lead you to espouse the cause of the king, 
Maud !" 

" They will be very apt to be influenced by the notions 
of a certain captain Willoughby, and Wilhelmina, his wife, 
who have guided me aright on so many occasions, that I 
shall not easily distrust their opinions on this." 

The major disliked this answer; and yet, when he came 
to reflect on it, as reflect he did a good deal in the course 
of the day, he was dissatisfied with himself at being so un 
reasonable as to expect a girl of twenty-one not to think 
with her parents, real or presumed, in most matters. At 
the moment, however, he did not wish further to press the 
point. 

" I am glad to learn, Bob," resumed Maud, looking more 
cheerful and smiling, " that you met with no one in your 
rash sortie for rash I shall call it, even though sanctioned 
by my father." 

" 1 am wrong in saying that. We did meet with one man, 
and that was no less a person than your bug-bear, Joel 
Strides as innocent, though as meddling an overseer as 
one could wish to employ." 

"Robert Willoughby, what mean you! Does this man 
know of your presence at the Knoll ?" 

" 1 should hope not think not." Here the major ex 
plained all that is known to the reader on this head. wh-n 
he continued "The fellow s curiosity brought his face 
within a few inches of mine; yet 1 do not believe he recog 
nised me. This disguise is pretty thorough ; and what be- 

VOL. I. 20 



230 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

tween his ignorance, the darkness and the dress, I must 
believe he was foiled." 

" Heaven be praised !" exclaimed Maud, breathing more 
freely. " I have long distrusted that man, though he seems 
to possess the confidence of every one else. Nejther my 
father nor my mother will see him, as I see him ; yet to me 
his design to injure you is so clear so obvious ! I wonder, 
often wonder, that others cannot view it as I do. Even 
Beulah is blind !" 

" And what do you see so clearly, Maud ? I have con 
sented to keep myself incog, in submission to your earnest 
request ; and yet, to own the truth, I can discover no parti 
cular reason why Strides is to be distrusted more than any 
one else in the valley than Mike, for instance." 

" Mike ! I would answer for his truth with my life. He 
will never betray you, Bob." 

" But why is Joel so much the object of your distrust ? 
and why am / the particular subject of your apprehen 
sions ?" 

Maud felt the tell-tale blood flowing again to her cheeks ; 
since, to give a simple and clear reason for her distrust, ex 
ceeded her power. It was nothing but the keen interest 
which she took in Robert Willoughby s safety that had be 
trayed to her the truth ; and, as usually happens, when 
anxiety leads the way in discoveries of this sort, logical and 
plausible inferences are not always at command. Still, 
Maud not only thought herself right, but, in the main, she 
teas right ; and this she felt so strongly as to be enabled to 
induce others to act on her impressions. 

" Why I believe in Strides sinister views is more than I 
may be able to explain to you, in words, Bob," she replied, 
after a moment s thought ; " still, I do believe in them as 
firmly as I believe in my existence. His looks, his questions, 
his journeys, and an occasional remark, have all aided in 
influencing the belief; nevertheless, no one proof may be 
perfectly clear and satisfactory. Why you should be the 
subject of his plans, however, is simple enough, since you 
are the only one among us he can seriously injure. By 
betraying you, he might gain some great advantage to him 
self." 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 231 

"To whom can he betray mo, dear? My father is tho 
only person hero, in any authority, and of him I have no 
cause to be- afraid." 

" Yet, you were so far alarmed when last here, as to 
change your route back to Boston. If there were cause for 
apprehension then, the same reason may now exist." 

" That was when many strangers were in the valley, and 
we knew not exactly where we stood. I have submitted to 
your wishes, however, Maud, and shall lie perdu, until 
there is a serious alarm ; then it is understood I am to be 
permitted to show myself. In a moment of emergency my 
unexpected appearance among the men might have a dra 
matic effect, and, of itself, give us a victory. But tell me 
of my prospects am I likely to succeed with my father ? 
Will he be brought over to the royal cause?" 

" I think not. All common inducements are lost on him. 
His baronetcy, for instance, he will never assume; that, 
therefore, cannot entice him. Then his feelings are with 
his adopted country, which he thinks right, and which he 
is much disposed to maintain ; more particularly since Beu- 
lah s marriage, and our late intercourse with all that set. 
My mother s family, too, has much influence with him. 
They, you know, are all whigs." 

" Don t prostitute the name, Maud. Whig does not mean 
rebel ; these misguided men are neither more nor less than 
rebels. I had thought this declaration of independence 
would have brought my father at once to our side." 

" I can see it has disturbed him, as did the Battle of 
Bunker s Hill. But he will reflect a few days, and decide 
now, as he did then, in favour of the Americans. He has 
Kn^iish partialities, Bob, as is natural to one born in that 
country; but, on this point, his mind is very strongly Ame 
rican." 

" The accursed Knoll has done this ! Had he lived in 
society, as he ought to have done, among his equals and 
the educated, we should now see him at the head Maud, I 
know I can confide in T/OI/." 

Maud was pleased at this expression of confidence, and 
she looked up in the major s face, her full blue eyes express 
ing no small portion of the heartfelt satisfaction she expe 
rienced. Still, she said nothing. 



232 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

" You may well imagine," the major continued, " that I 
have not made this journey entirely without an object I 
mean some object more important, even, than to see you 
all. The commander-in-chief is empowered to raise several 
regiments in this country, and it is thought useful to put 
men of influence in the colonies at their head. Old Noll 
de Lancey, for instance, so well known to us all, is to have 
a brigade ; and 1 have a letter in my pocket offering to Sir 
Hugh Willoughby one of his regiments. One of the Aliens 
of Pennsylvania, who was actually serving against us, has 
thrown up his commission from congress, since this wicked 
declaration, and has consented to take a battalion from the 
king. What think you of all this? Will it not have weight 
with my father?" 

" It may cause him to reflect, Bob ; but it will not induce 
him to change his mind. It may suit Mr. Oliver de Lancey 
to be a general, for he has been a soldier his whole life ; but 
my father has retired, and given up all thoughts of service. 
He tells us he never liked it, and has been happier here at 
the Knoll, than when he got his first commission. Mr. 
Allen s change of opinion may be well enough, he will say, 
but I have no need of change ; I am here, with my wife and 
daughters, and have them to care for, in these troubled 
times. What think you he said, Bob, in one of his conver 
sations with us, on this very subject ?" 

" I am sure I cannot imagine though I rather fear it was 
some wretched political stuff of the day." 

" So far from this, it was good natural feeling that be 
longs, or ought to belong to all days, and all ages," answer 
ed Maud, her voice trembling a little as she proceeded. 
1 There is my son, he said ; one soldier is enough in a 
family like this. He keeps all our hearts anxious, and may 
cause them all to mourn. " 

Major Willoughby was mute for quite a minute, looking 
rebuked and thoughtful. 

" I fear I do cause my parents concern," he at length an 
swered ; " and why should I endeavour to increase that of 
my excellent mother, by persuading 1 her husband to return 
to the profession? If this were ordinary service, I could not 
think of it. I do not know that I ought to think of it. as 
it is!" 



TUB HUTTED KNOLL. 233 

u Do not, dear Roh-rt. \Ve arc all that is, mother is 
often miserable on your account; and why would you in 
crease her sorrows ? Remember that to tremble for one life 
is sufficient for a woman." 

" My mother is miserable on my account !" answered the 
young man, who was thinking of anything but his fathi-r, 
at that instant. " Does Beulah never express concern for 
me? or have her new ties completely driven her brother 
from her recollection ? I know she can scarce wish me suc 
cess ; but she might still feel some uneasiness for an only 
brother. We are but two " 

Maud started, as if some frightful object glared before her 
eyes ; then she sat in breathless silence, resolute to hear what 
would come next. But Robert Willoughby meant to pursue 
that idea no farther. He had so accustomed himself had 
endeavoured even so to accustom himself to think of Beulah 
as his only sister, that the words escaped him unconsciously. 
They were no sooner uttered, however, than the recollection 
of their possible effect on Maud crossed his mind. Profoundly 
ignorant of the true nature of her feelings towards himself, 
he had ever shrunk from a direct avowal of his own senti 
ments, lest he might shock her; as a sister s ear would 
naturally be wounded by a declaration of attachment from 
a brother; and there were bitter moments when he fancied 
delicacy and honour would oblige him to carry his secret 
with him to the grave. Two minutes of frank communica 
tion might have dissipated all these scruples for ever ; but, 
how to obtain those minutes, or how to enter on the subject 
at all, were obstacles that often appeared insurmountable to 
the young man. As for Maud, she but imperfectly under 
stood her own heart true, she had conscious glimpses of 
il state; but, it was through those sudden and ungo 
vernable impulses that were so strangely mingled with her 
affections. It was years, indeed, since she had ceased to 
think of Robert Willoughby as a brother, and had begun to 
vi -w him with different eyes ; still, she struggled with her 
feelings, as against a weakness. The captain and his wife 
were her parents; Beulah her dearly, dearly beloved sister ; 
little Evert her nephew ; and even the collaterals, in and 
about Albany, came in for a due share of her regard ; while 
Bob, though called Bob as before ; though treated with a 
20* 



234 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

large portion of the confidence that was natural to the 
intimacy of her childhood ; though loved with a tenderness 
he would have given even his high-prized commission to 
know, was no longer thought of as a brother. Often did 
Maud find herself thinking, if never saying, " Beulah may 
do that, for Beulah is his sister ; but it would be wrong in me. 
I may write to him, talk freely and even confidentially with 
him, and be affectionate to him ; all this is right, and I should 
be the most ungrateful creature on earth to act differently ; 
but I cannot sit on his knee as Beulah sometimes does ; I 
cannot throw my arms around his neck when I kiss him, 
as Beulah does ; I cannot pat his cheek, as Beulah does, 
when he says anything to laugh at ; nor can I pry into his 
secrets, as Beulah does, or affects to do, to tease him. I 
should be more reserved with one who has not a drop of 
my blood in his veins no, not a single drop." In this way, 
indeed, Maud was rather fond of disclaiming any consan 
guinity with the family of Willoughby, even while she 
honoured and loved its two heads, as parents. The long 
pause that succeeded the major s broken sentence was only 
interrupted by himself. 

" It is vexatious to be shut up here, in the dark, Maud," 
he said, " when every minute may bring an attack. This 
side of the house might be defended by you and Beulah, 
aided and enlightened by the arm and counsels of that 
young son of liberty, little Evert; whereas the stockade 
in front may really need the presence of men who have 
some knowledge of the noble art. I wish there were a look 
out to the front, that one might at least see the danger as it 
approached." 

" If your presence is not indispensable here, I can lead 
you to my painting-room, where there is a loop directly op 
posite to the gate. That half of the garrets has no one 
in it." 

The major accepted the proposal with joy, and forthwith 
he proceeded to issue a few necessary orders to his subordi 
nates, before he followed Maud. When all was ready, the 
latter led the way, carrying a small silver lamp that she 
had brought with her on entering the library. The reader 
already understands that the Hut was built around a court ; 
the portion of the building in the rear, or on the cliff, alone 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 235 

having windows that opened outward. Tins was as true of 
the roofs as of the perpendicular parts of the structure, tho 
only exceptions being in the loops that had been cut in the 
half-story, beneath the eaves. Of course, the garrets were 
very extensive. They were occupied in part, however, by 
small rooms, with dormer-windows, the latter of which 
opened on the court, with the exception of those above the 
cliff It was on the roofs of these windows that captain 
Willoughby had laid his platform, or walk, with a view to 
extinguish fires, or to defend the place. There were many 
rooms also that were lighted only by the loops, and which, 
of course, were on the outer side of the buildings. In addi 
tion to these arrangements, the garret portions of the Hut 
were divided into two great parts, like the lower floor, with 
out any doors of communication. Thus, below, the apart 
ments commenced at the gate- way, and extended along one- 
half the front; the whole of the east wing, and the whole 
of the rear, occupying five-eighths of the entire structure. 
This part contained all the rooms occupied by the family 
and the offices. The corresponding three-eighths, or the 
remaining half of the front, and the whole of the west wing, 
were given to visitors, and were now in possession of the 
people of the valley ; as were all the rooms and garrets 
above them. On the other hand, captain Willoughby, with 
a view to keep his family to itself, had excluded every one, 
*but the usual inmates, from his own portion of the house, 
garret-rooms included. 

Some of the garret-rooms, particularly those over tho 
library, drawing-room, and parlour, were convenient and 
well-furnished little apartments, enjoying dormer-windows 
that opened on the meadows and forest, and possessing a 
very tolerable elevation, for rooms of that particular con 
struction. Here Mr. Woods lodged and had his study. The 
access was by a convenient flight of steps, placed in the 
vestibule that communicated with the court. A private and 
narrower flight also ascended from the offices. 

Mafld now led the way up the principal stairs, Mike being 
on post at the outer door to keep off impertinent eyes, follow 
ed by Robert Willoughby. Unlike most American houses, 
the Hut had few passages on its principal floor ; the rooms 
communicating en suite, as a better arrangement where the 



236 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

buildings were so long, and yet so narrow. Above, how 
ever, one side was left in open garret ; sometimes in front 
and sometimes in the rear, as the light came from the court, 
or from without. Into this garret, then, Maud conducted 
the major, passing a line of humble rooms on her right, 
which belonged to the families of the Plinys and the Smashes, 
with their connections, until she reached the front range of 
the buildings. Here the order was changed along the half 
of the structure reserved to the use of the family ; the rooms 
being on the outer side lighted merely by the loops, while 
opposite to them was an open garret with windows that 
overlooked the court. 

Passing into the garret just mentioned, Maud soon reached 
the door of the little room she sought. It was an apartment 
she had selected for painting, on account of the light from 
the loop, which in the morning was particularly favourable, 
though somewhat low. As she usually sat on a little stool, 
however, this difficulty was in some measure obviated ; and, 
at all events, the place was made to answer her purposes. 
She kept the key herself, and the room, since Beulah s mar 
riage in particular, was her sanctum ; no one entering it 
unless conducted by its mistress. Occasionally, Little Smash 
was admitted with a broom ; though Maud, for reasons known 
to herself, often preferred sweeping the small carpet that co 
vered the centre of the floor, with her own fair hands, in 
preference to suffering another to intrude. 

The major was aware that Maud had used this room for 
the last seven years. It was here he had seen her handker 
chief waving at the loop, when he last departed ; and hun 
dreds of times since had he thought of this act of watchful 
affection, with doubts that led equally to pain or pleasure, 
as images of merely sisterly care, or of a tenderer feeling, 
obtruded themselves. These loops were four feet long, cut 
in the usual bevelling manner, through the massive timbers ; 
were glazed, and had thick, bullet-proof, inside shutters, 
that in this room were divided in equal parts, in order to give 
Maud the proper use of the light she wanted. All these shut 
ters were now closed by command of the captain, in order to 
conceal thf lights that would be flickering through the dif 
ferent garrets ; and so far had caution become a habit, that 



TIIE IIUTTED KNOLL. 237 

Maud seldom exposed her person at night, near the loop, 
with the shutter open. 

On the present occasion, she left the light without, and 
threw open the upper-half of her heavy shutter, remarking 
as she did so, that the day was just beginning to dawn. 

" In a few minutes it w ill be light," she added ; " then we 
shall be able to see who is and who is not in the valley. 
Look you can perceive my father near the gate, at this 
moment." 

" I do, to my shame, Maud. He should not be there, 
while I am cooped up here, behind timbers that are almost 
shot-proof." 

" It will be time for you to go to the front, as you sol 
diers call it, when there is an enemy to face. You cannot 
think there is any danger of an attack upon the Hut this 
morning." 

" Certainly not. It is now too late. If intended at all, it 
would have been made before that streak of light appeared 
in the east." 

" Then close the shutter, and I will bring in the lamp, 
and show you some of my sketches. We artists are thirst- 
ing always for praise ; and I know you have a taste, Bob, 
that one-might dread." 

* This is kind of you, dear Maud," answered the major, 
closing the shutter ; " for they tell me you are niggardly of 
bestowing such favours. I hear you have got to likenesses 
little Evert s, in particular." 



END OF VOL. I. 



WYANDOTTE; 

O*. 

THE HUTTED KNOLL 



BY J. FENIMORE COOPER 



"I venerate tho Pilgrim s cause, 
Yet for tho red man dare to plead: 
We bow to ! T(I.-,I laws, 

He turns to Nature for his creed." Sprayue 



IN TWO VOLUMES. 
VOL. II. 



NEW EDITION. 



NEW YORK: 
TRINGER AND TOWNSEND, 

1852. 



Entered, according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1843, by 

J. rENEMORE COOPER, 

in the clerk s office of the district court of the United b tates, for the 
Northern District of New Yoik. 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 



CHAPTER I. 

Anxious*, she hovers o er the web the while, 
Reads, as it prows, thy figured story there; 
Now she explains the texture with a smile, 
And now the woof interprets with a tear. 

FAWCETT. 

ALL Maud s feelings were healthful and natural. She had 
no exaggerated sentiments, and scarcely art enough to con 
trol or to conceal any of the ordinary impulses of her heart. 
~\Ve are not about to relate a scene, therefore, in which a 
long-cherished but hidden miniature of the young man is to 
play a conspicuous part, and to be the means of revealing 
to two lovers the state of their respective hearts ; but one of 
a very different character. It is true, Maud had endeavoured 
to make, from memory, one or two sketches of " Bob s" 
face ; but she had done it openly, and under the cogni 
zance of the whole family. This she might very well do, 
indeed, in her usual character of a sister, and excite no 
comments. In these efforts, her father and mother, and 
IVulah, had uniformly pronounced her success to be far 
beyond their hopes ; but Maud, herself, had thrown them 
all aside, half-finished, dissatisfied with her own labours. 
Like the author, whose fertile imagination fancies pictures 
that defy his powers of description, her pencil ever fell far 
short of the face that her memory kept so constantly in \\<>\v. 
This sketch wanted animation, that gentleness, another fire, 
and a fourth candour ; in short, had Maud begun a thousand, 
all would have been deficient, in her eyes, in ^ome gn at 
.rial of perfection. Still, she had no secret about her 
efforts, and half-a-dozen of these very sketches lay upper- 

(3) 



4 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

most in her portfolio, when she spread it, and its contents, 
before the eyes of the original. 

Major Willoughby thought Maud had never appeared 
more beautiful than as she moved about making her little 
preparations for the exhibition. Pleasure heightened her 
colour; and there was such a mixture of frank, sisterly 
regard, in every glance of her eye, blended, however, wilh 
sensitive feeling, and conscious womanly reserve, as made 
her a thousand times measuring amounts by the young 
man s sensations more interesting than he had ever seen 
her. The lamp gave but an indifferent light for a gallery, 
but it was sufficient to betray Maud s smiles, and blushes, 
and each varying emotion of her charming countenance. 

" Now, Bob," she said, opening her portfolio, with all her 
youthful frankness and confidence, " you know well enough 
I am not one of those old masters of whom you used to talk 
so much, but your own pupil the work of your own hands ; 
and if you find more faults than you have expected, you 
will have the goodness to remember that the master has 
deserted his peaceful pursuits to go a campaigning there 
that is a caricature of your own countenance, staring you 
in the face, as a preface !" 

" This is like, I should think was it done from memory, 
dear Maud?" 

" How else should it be done ? All our entreaties have 
never been able to persuade you to send us even a miniature. 
You are wrong in this, Bob" by no accident did Maud 
now ever call the major, Robert, though Beulah often did. 
There was a desperate sort of familiarity in the Bob, that 
she could easily adopt; but the Robert had a family sound 
that she disliked ; and yet a more truly feminine creature 
than Maud Meredith did not exist " You are wrong, Bob ; 
for mother actually pines to possess your picture, in some 
shape or other. It was this wish that induced me to attempt 
these things." 

" And why has no one of them ever been finished ? Here 
are six or eight beginnings, and all, more or less, like, I 
should think, and not one of them more than half done. 
Why have I been treated so cavalierly, Miss Maud ?" 

The fair artist s colour deepened a little ; but her smile 
was quite as sweet as it was saucy, as she replied 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

" Girlish caprice, I suppose. I like neither of them ; and 
of that which a woman dislikes, she will have none. To be 
candid, however, I hardly think there is one of them all that 
does you justice." 

NO 7 w hat fault have you to find with this 1 This might 
be worked up to something very natural." 

" It would be a natural, then it wants expression, fear- 
fully." 

" And this, which is still better. That might be finished 
while I am here, and I will give you some sittings." 

"Even mother dislikes that there is too much of the 
Major of Foot in it. Mr. Woods says it is a martial pic 
ture." 

" And ought not a soldier to look like a soldier? To me, 
now, that stvms a capital beginning." 

" It is not what mother, or Beulah or father or even 
any of us wants. It is too full of Bunker s Hill. Your 
friends desire to see you as you appear to them; not as you 
appear to your enemies." 

" Upon my word, Maud, you have made great advances 
in the art! This is a view of the Knoll, and the dam and 
here is another of the mill, and the water-fall all beauti 
fully done, and in water-colours, too. What is this? 
you been attempting a sketch of yourself! The 
glass must have been closely consulted, my fair coquette, to 
enable you to do this !" 

The blood had rushed into Maud s face, covering it with 
a rich tell-tale mantle, when her companion first alluded to 
the half-finished miniature he held in his hand ; then her 
failures resembled ivory, as the revulsion of feeling, that 
overcame her confusion, followed. For some little time she 
sate, in breathless stillness, with her looks cast upon the floor, 
conscious that Robert Willouhby was glancing from her 
own face to the miniature, and from the miniature to her 
face again, making his observations and comparisons. Then 
she ventured to raise her eyes timidly towaids his, half- 
imploringly, as if to beseech him to pruvrd to something 
else. But the young man was too much engrossed with the 
exceedingly pretty sketch he held in his hand, lo understand 
her meaning, or to comply with her wishes. 
1* 



6 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

" This is yourself, Maud !" he cried " though in a strange 
sort of dress why have you spoilt so beautiful a thing, by 
putting it in this masquerade]" 

" It is not myself it is a copy of a miniature I pos 
sess." 

" A miniature you possess ! Of whom can you possess 
so lovely a miniature, and I never see it ?" 

A faint smile illumined the countenance of Maud, and the 
blood began to return to her cheeks. She stretched her hand 
over to the sketch, and gazed on it, with intense feeling, 
until the tears began to stream from her eyes. 

" Maud dear, dearest Maud have I said that which 
pains you 1 I do not understand all this, but I confess there 
are secrets to which I can have no claim to be admitted " 

" Nay, Bob, this is making too much of what, after all, 
must sooner or later be spoken of openly among us. I be 
lieve that to be a copy of a miniature of my mother." 

"Of mother, Maud you are beside yourself it has 
neither her features, expression, nor the colour of her eyes. 
It is the picture of a far handsomer woman, though mother 
is still pretty ; and it is perfection !" 

" I mean of my mother of Maud Yeardley ; the wife of 
my father, Major Meredith." 

This was said with a steadiness that surprised our heroine 
herself, when she came to think over all that had passed, 
and it brought the blood to her companion s heart, in a 
torrent. 

" This is strange !" exclaimed Willoughby, after a short 
pause. " And my mother our mother has given you the 
original, and told you this? I did not believe she could 
muster the resolution necessary to such an act." 

" She has not. You know, Bob, I am now of age ; and 
my father, a month since, put some papers in my hand, 
with a request that I would read them. They contain a 
marriage settlement and other things of that sort, which 
show I am mistress of more money than I should know what 
to do with, if it were not for dear little Evert but, with such 
a precious being to love, one never can have too much of 
anything. With the papers were many trinkets, which I 
suppose father never looked at. This beautiful miniature 
was among the last ; and I feel certain, from some remarks 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 7 

I ventured to make, mother does not know of its exist 
ence." 

As Maud spoke, she drew the original from her bosom, 
and placed it in Robert Willoughby s hands. When this 
simple act was performed, her mind seemed relieved ;. and 
she wailed, with strong natural interest, to hear Robert 
Willoughby s comments. 

"This, then, Maud, was your own your real mother!" 
the young man said, after studying the miniature, with a 
thoughtful countenance, for near a minute. " It is like her 
like you." 

" Like her, Bob? How can you know anything of that? 
I suppose it to be my mother, because I think it like my 
self, and because it is not easy to say who else it can be. 
But you cannot know anything of this?" 

" You are mistaken, Maud I remember both your pa 
rents well it could not be otherwise, as they were the 
bosom friends of my own. You will remember that I am 
now eight-and-twenty, and that I had seen seven of these 
years when you were born. Was my first effort in arms 
never spoken of in your presence?" 

" Never perhaps it was not a subject for me to hear, if 
it were in any manner connected with my parents." 

" You are right that must be the reason it has been kept 
from your ears." 

"Surely, surely, I am old enough to hear it now you 
will conceal nothing from me, Bob ?" 

" If I would, I could not, now. It is too late, Maud. You 
know the manner in which Major Meredith died ? " 

" He fell in battle, I have suspected," answered the daugh 
ter, in a suppressed, doubtful tone " for no one has ever 
directly told me even that." 

" lie did, and I was at his side. The French and ?,-. 
made an assault on us, about an hour earlier than th; 
our two fathers rushed to the pickets to repel it I 
reckless boy, anxious even at that tender age to sre a fray, 
and was at their side. Your father was one of the fir 
fell ; but Joyce and our father beat the Indians back from 
his body, and saved it from mutilation. Your mother was 
buried i n the same grave, and then you came to us, where 
our have been ever since." 



1 

8 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

J I 

Maud s tears flowed fast, and yet it was not so much in 
grief as in a gush of tenderness she could hardly explain to 
herself. Robert Willoughby understood her emotions, and 
perceived that he might proceed. 

" I was old enough to remember both your parents well 
I was a favourite, I believe, with, certainly was much petted 
by, both I remember your birth, Maud, and was suffered 
to carry you in my arms, ere you were a week old." 

" Then you have known me for an impostor from the be 
ginning, Bob must have often thought of me as such !" 

" I have known you for the daughter of Lewellen Mere 
dith, certainly ; and not for a world would I have you the 
real child of Hugh Willoughby " 

"Bob!" exclaimed Maud, her heart beating violently, a 
rush of feeling nearly overcoming her, in which alarm, con 
sciousness, her own secret, dread of something wrong, and 
a confused glimpse of the truth, were all so blended, as 
nearly to deprive her, for the moment, of the use of her 
senses. 

It is not easy to say precisely what would have followed 
this tolerably explicit insight into the state of the young 
man s feelings, had not an outcry on the lawn given the 
major notice that his presence was needed below. With a 
few words of encouragement to Maud, first taking the pre 
caution to extinguish the lamp, - lest its light should expose 
her to a shot in passing some of the open loops, he sprang 
towards the stairs, and was at his post again, literally within 
a minute. Nor was he a moment too soon. The alarm 
was general, and it was understood an assault was moment 
arily expected. 

The situation of Robert Willoughby was now tantalizing 
in the extreme. Ignorant of what was going on in front, 
he saw no enemy in the rear to oppose, and was condemned 
to inaction, at a moment when he felt that, by training, 
years, affinity to the master of the place, and all the usual 
considerations, he ought to be in front, opposed to the enemy. 
It is probable he would have forgotten his many cautions to 
keep close, had not Maud appeared in the library, and im 
plored him to remain concealed, at least until there was the 
certainty his presence was necessary elsewhere. 

At that instant, every feeling but those connected with the 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 9 

danger, was in I I forgotten. Still, Willoughby had 

it consideration for Maud to insist on her joining her 
moihiT and Benlah, in the portion of the building whore the 
absence of external windows rendered their security com 
plete, so lonu r as the foe could be kept without the palisades. 
In this he succeeded, but not until he had promised, again 
and au f ain, to be cautious in not exposing himself at any of 
the windows, the day having now fairly dawned, and parti 
cularly not to let it be known in the Hut that he was present 
until it became indispensable. 

The major felt relieved when Maud had left him. For 
her, he had no longer any immediate apprehensions, and ho 
turned all his faculties to the sounds of the assault which 
he supposed to be going on in front. To his surprise, how 
ever, no discharges of fire-arms succeeded ; and even the. 
cries, and orders, and calling from point to point, that are a 
little apt to succeed an alarm in an irregular garrison, had 
entirely ceased ; and it became doubtful whether the whole 
commotion did not proceed from a false alarm* The Smashes, 
in particular, whose vociferations for the first few minutes 
had been of a very decided kind, were now mute ; and the 
nations of the women and children had ceased. 

Major VVilloughby was too good a soldier to abandon his 
v. ithout orders, though bitterly did he regret the facility 
with which he had consented to accept so inconsiderable a 
command. He so far disregarded his instructions, however, 
as to place his whole person before a window, in order to 
reconnoitre ; for it was now broad day-light, though the sun 
had not yet risen. Nothing rewarded this careless exposure; 
and then it Hashed upon his mind that, as the commander 
of a separate detachment, ho had a perfect right to employ 
any of his immediate subordinates, cither a- nvs< -in. 
scouts. His choice of an agent was somewhat limited, it is 
true, lying between Mike and the Plinys; after a moment 
of reflection, he determined to choose the former. 

Mike was duly relieved from his station at the door, the 
younger Pliny lemg substituted for him, and he was led 
into the library. II-re he received hasty but clear orders 
fr-un the major how he was to proceed, and was thrust, 
rather than conducted from the room, in his superior s haste 
to hear the tidings. Three or four minutes might have 



10 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

elapsed, when an irregular volley of musketry was heard in 
front ; then succeeded an answering discharge, which sound- 
ed smothered and distant. A single musket came from the 
garrison a minute later, and then Mike rushed into the library, 
his eyes dilated with a sort of wild delight, dragging rather 
than carrying his piece after him. 

" The news !" exclaimed the major, as soon as he got a 
glimpse of his messenger. " What mean these volleys, 
and how comes on my father in front ?" 

"Is it what do they mane?" answered Mike. "Well, 
there s but one maning to powther and ball, and that s far 
more sarious than shillelah wor-r-k. If the rapscallions 
didn t fire a whole plathoon, as serjeant Joyce calls it, right 
at the Knoll, my name is not Michael O Hearn, or my na 
ture one that dales in giving back as good as I get." 

" But the volley came first from the house why did my 
father order his people to make the first discharge ?" 

" For the same r ason that he didn t. Och ! there was a 
big frown on his f atures, when he heard the rifles and 
muskets ; and Mr. Woods never pr ached more to the pur 
pose than the serjeant himself, ag in that same. But to think 
of them rapscallions answering a fire that was ag in orders ! 
Not a word did his honour say about shooting any of them, 
and they just pulled their triggers on the house all the same 
as if it had been logs growing in senseless and uninhabited 
trees, instead of a rational and well p apled abode. Och ! 
ar n t they vagabonds !" 

" If you do not wish to drive me mad, man, tell me clearly 
what has past, that I may understand you." 

"Is it understand that s wanting? Lord, yer honour, 
if ye can understand that Misther Strhides, that s yon, ye 11 
be a wise man. He calls hisself a son of the poor atin s, 
and poor ating it must have been, in the counthry of hig 
faders, to have produced so lane and skinny a baste as that 
same. The orders was as partic lar as tongue of man could 
utter, and what good will it all do? Ye re not to fire, says 
serjeant Joyce, till ye all hear the wor-r-d ; and the divil of 
a wor-r-d did they wait for; but blaze away did they, list 
becaase a knot of savages comes on to them rocks ag in, 
where they had possession all yesterday afthernoon ; and 
sure it is common enough to breakfast where a man sups. * 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 11 

" You mean to say that tho Indians have reappeared on 
the rucks, and tha; Ics s men them, 

without orders ? i 

"It s ji.st that, inujjor; and little good, or little har-r-m, 
did it do. Joel, and his pnor utin s, blazed away at cm, as 
il they had been so many Christians and twould have done 
yer heart good to have heard the scrjcant belabour 
with hrd \vor-r-ds, lor their throuble. There s none of tho 
poor atin family in the scrjcant, who s a mighty man wid 
his tongue !" 

" And the savages returned the volley which explains 
the distant discharge I heard." 

" Anyb .jjor, that ye re yer father s son, 

and a squtdier bor-r-n. Och ! who would of t ought of that, 
but one bred and bor-r-n in the army? Yes; the savages 
sent back as good as they got, which was jist not in at all, 
scein that no one is har-r-m d." 

"And the single piece that followed there was one dis 
charge, by itself f 

Mike opened his mouth with a grin that might have put 

either of the Plinys to shame, it being rather" a favourite 

theory with the descendants of the puritans or " poor a- 

as the county Leitrim-man called Joc-l and his set 

that the Irishman was more than a match for any son of 

Ham at the Knoll, in the way of capacity about this portion 

of the human countenance. "The major saw that there was 

a good deal of self-felicitation in the expression of Mike s 

, and he demanded an explanation in more direct 

terms. 

" Twas I did it, majjor, and twas as well fired a piece 
as ye ve ever hear-r-d in the king s sarvioe. Divil bur-r-n 
me, if I lets Joel get any such advantage, over me, as to 
a whole battle to himself. No no as soon as I 
smelt his Yankee powther, and could get my own r.. 
cock d, and pointed out of the forlhifications, I If 
it, as if it had been so much breakfast ready cooked to their 
hands. *T\vns well pointed, too; for I m not the man to 
shoot into a fri nd s countenance." 

" And you broke the orders for a reason no better than 
the fact that Strides had broken them before?" 



12 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

" Divil a bit, majjor Joel had bj oken the orders, ye see v 
and that settled the matter. The thing that is once broken 
is broken, and wor-r-ds can t mend it, any more than for- 
bearin to fire a gun will mend it." 

By dint of cross-questioning, Robert Willoughby finally 
succeeded in getting something like an outline of the truth 
from Mike. The simple facts were, that the Indians had 
taken possession of their old bivouac, as soon as the day 
dawned, and had commenced their preparations for break 
fast, when Joel, the miller, and a few of that set, in a pa 
roxysm of valour, had discharged a harmless volley at 
them ; the distance rendering the attempt futile. This fire 
had been partially returned, the whole concluding with the 
finale from the Irishman s gun, as has been related. As it 
was now too light to apprehend a surprise, and the ground 
in front of the palisade had no very dangerous covers, Ro 
bert Willoughby was emboldened to send one of the Plinys 
to request an interview with his father. In a few minutes 
the latter appeared, accompanied by Mr. Woods. 

" The same party has reappeared, and seems disposed to 
occupy its old position near the mill," said the captain, in 
answer to his son s inquiries. " It is difficult to say what 
the fellows have in view ; and there are moments when I 
think there are more or less whites among them. I suggested 
as much to Strides, chaplain ; and I thought the fellow ap 
peared to receive the notion as if he thought it might be 
true." 

" Joel is a little of an enigma to me, captain Willoughby," 
returned the chaplain ; " sometimes seizing an idea like a 
cat pouncing upon a rat, and then coquetting with it, as the 
same cat will play with a mouse, when it has no appetite 
for food." 

" Och ! he s a .precious poor atin !" growled Mike, from 
his corner of the room. 

"If whites are among the savages, why should they not 
make themselves known ?" demanded Robert \Villoughby. 
" Your character, sir, is no secret ; and they must be ac 
quainted with their own errand here." 

" I will send for Strides, and get his opinion a little more 
freely," answered the captain, after a moment of delibera 
tion. " You will withdraw, Bob ; though, by leaving your 



THE II U T T T. D K N O L L . 13 

door n little ajar, the conversation will reach you ; and pre 
vent the n.-rrssity of a repetition." 

As Robert Willoughby was not unwilling to hear what 
the overseer mi^ht have to say in the present state of things, 
he did not hesitate about complying, withdrawing into his 
own room as requested, and leaving the door ajar, in a way 
to prevent suspicion of his presence, as far as possible. But, 
Joel Strides, like all bad men, ever suspected the worst. The 
innocent and pure of mind alone are without distrust; while 
one constituted morally, like the overseer, never permitted his 
thoughts to remain in the tranquillity that is a fruit of confi- 
. Conscious of his own evil intentions, his very nature 
put on armour against the same species of machinations in 
others, as the hedge-hog rolls himself into a ball, and thrusts 
out his quills, at the sight of the dog. Had not captain 
Willouiihby been one of those who arc slow to see evil, he 
might have detected something wrong in Joel s feelings, by 
the very first glance he cast about him, on entering the 
library. 

In point of fact, Strides thoughts had not been idle since 
the rencontre of the previous night. Inquisitive, and under 
none of the usual restraints of delicacy, he had already 
probed all he dared approach on the subject; and, by this 
time, had become perfectly assured that there was some 
mystery about the unknown individual whom he had met in 
his master s company. To own the truth, Joel did not sus 
pect that major Willoughby had again ventured so far into 
the lion s den ; but he fancied that some secret agent of the 
i was at the Hut, and that the circumstance offered a 
fair opening for helping the captain down the ladder of 
public favour, and to push himself up a few of its rounds. 
He was not sorry, therefore, to be summoned to this confer* 
enrf, hoping it might lead to some opening for farther dis 
cover 

"Sit down, Strides" said captain Willoughby, motion 
ing towards a chair so distant from the open door of tlr: 
Ix-d-roorn, and so placed as to remove th< dinner of too 
a proximity " Sit down I wish to consult you about 
the state of things towards the mills. To m" it seems as 
if there were more pale-faces than red-skins among our 
vipiters." 

VOL. II. 2 



14 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

" That s not onlikely, captain the people has got to bo 
greatly given to paintin and imitatin , sin the hatchet has 
been dug up ag in the British. The tea-boys were all in 
Indian fashion." 

" True ; but, why should white men assume such a dis 
guise to come to the Knoll 1 I am not conscious of having 
an enemy on earth who could meditate harm to me or 
mine." 

Alas ! poor captain. That a man at sixty should yet 
have to learn that the honest, and fair-dealing, and plain- 
dealing, and affluent for captain Willoughby was affluent 
in the eyes of those around him that such a man should 
imagine he was without enemies, was to infer that the Spirit 
of Darkness had ceased to exercise his functions among 
men. Joel knew better, though he did not perceive any 
necessity, just then, for letting the fact reach the ears of the 
party principally concerned. 

" A body might s pose the captain was pop lar, if any 
man is pop lar," answered the overseer ; " nor do I know 
that visiters in paint betoken onpopularity to a person in 
these times more than another. May I ask why the captain 
consails these Injins a nt Injins? To me, they have a des 
perate savage look, though I a n t much accustomed to red 
skin usages." 

" Their movements are too open, and yet too uncertain, 
for warriors of the tribes. I think a savage, by this time, 
would have made up his mind to act as friend or foe." 

Joel seemed struck with the idea ; and the expression of 
his countenance, which on entering had been wily, distrust 
ful and prying, suddenly changed to that of deep reflection. 

" Has the captain seen anything else, particular, to con. 
firm this idee ?" he asked. 

" Their encampment, careless manner of moving, and 
unguarded exposure of their persons, are all against their 
being Indians." 

" The messenger they sent across the meadow, yester 
day, seemed to me to be a Mohawk ?" 

* He was. Of Ids being a real red-skin there can be no 
question. But he could neither speak nor understand Eng 
lish. The little that passed between us was in Low Dutch. 
Our dialogue was short ; for, apprehensive of treachery, I 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 15 

brought it to a close sooner than I might otherwise have 

"Yes; trrachery is a cruel thing," observed the con- 
scit utious Joel ; " a man can t be too strongly on his guard 
iiir in it. Docs the captain ra ally calcilate on defending the 
house, should a serious attempt be brought forward ibr the 
day . " 

" Do I ! That is an extraordinary question, Mr. Strides. 
Why have I built in this mode, if I have no such intention? 
why palisaded ? why armed and garrisoned, if not in 
earnest . " 

" I s posed all this might have been done to prevent a 
surprise, but not in any hope of standin a siege. I should 
be sorry to see all our women and children shut up under 
one roof, if the inimy came ag in us, in airnest, with fire and 
sword." 

" And I should be sorry to see them anywhere else. But, 
this is losing time. My object in sending for you, Joel, was 
to learn your opinion about the true character of our visitors. 
Have you any opinion, or information to give me, on that 
point?" 

Joel placed his elbow on his knee, and his chin in the 
palm of his hand, and pondered on what had been suggested, 
with seeming good-will, and great earnestness. 

" If anv one could be found venturesome enough to go 
out with a flag," he at length remarked, " the whole truth 
might be come at, in a few minutes." 

" And who shall I employ ? Cheerfully would I go my- 
self, were such a step military, or at all excusable in one in 
my situation." 

" If the likes of myself will sarve yer honour s turn," put 
in Mike, promptly, and yet with sufficient diffidence as re- 
garded his views of his own qualifications "there ll bo 
nobody to gainsay that same ; and it isn t wilcome that I 
nade tell you, ye* ll be to use me as ye would yer own pro 
perty." 

" I hardly think Mike would answer," observed Joel, not 
altogether without a sneer. " He scurce knows an Indian 
from a white man ; when it comes to the paint, it would 
throw him into dreadful confusion." 

" If ye thinks that I am to be made to believe in any more 



16 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

Ould Nicks, Misther Strhides, then ye re making a mistake 
in my nature. Let but the captain say the word, and I 11 
go to the mill and bring in a grist of them same, or 1 ave 
my own body for toll." 

" I do not doubt you in the least, Mike," captain Wil- 
loughby mildly observed ; " but there will be no occasion, 
just now, of your running any such risks. I shall be able 
to find other truce-bearers." 

" It seems the captain has his man in view," Joel said, 
keenly eyeing his master. " Perhaps t is the same I saw 
out with him last night. That s a reliable person, I do 
s pose." 

" You have hit the nail on the head. It was the man who 
was out last night, at the same time I was out myself, and 
his name is Joel Strides." 

" The captain s a little musical, this morning waal if 
go I must, as there was two on us out, let us go to these 
savages together. I saw enough of that man, to know he 
is reliable; and if he ll go, I ll go." 

" Agreed" said Robert Willoughby, stepping into the 
library " I take you at your word, Mr. Strides ; you and I 
will run what risks there may be, in order to relieve this 
family from its present alarming state." 

The captain was astounded, though he knew not whether 
to be displeased or to rejoice. As for Mike, his countenance 
expressed great dissatisfaction ; for he ever fancied things 
were going wrong so long as Joel obtained his wishes. 
Strides, himself, threw a keen glance at the stranger, recog 
nised him at a glance, and had sufficient self-command to 
conceal his discovery, though taken completely by surprise. 
The presence of the major, however, immediately removed 
all his objections to the proposed expedition; since, should 
the party prove friendly to the Americans, he would be safe 
on his own account ; or, should it prove the reverse, a king s 
officer could not fail to be a sufficient protection. 

" The gentleman s a total stranger to me," Joel hypocri 
tically resumed ; " but as the captain has belief in him, I 
must have the same. I am ready to do the ar n d, therefore, 
as soon as it is agreeable." 

" This is well, captain Willoughby," put in the major, in 
order to anticipate any objections from his father ; " and the 



THE HUTTED KNOLL 



17 



sooner a thing of this sort is done, the better will it be for 
all concerned. I am ready to proceed this instant; and I 
take it this worthy man 1 think you called him Strides- 
is quite as willing/ 

Joel signified his assent; and the captain, perceiving no 
means of rctivaf, was lain to yield. lie took the major 
into the bed-room, however, and held a minute s private 
discourse, when he returned, and bade the two go forth to 
gether. 

" Your companion has his instructions, Joel," the captain 
observed, as they left the library together ; " and you will 
follow his advice. Show the white flag as soon as you quit 
the gate; if they are true warriors, it must be respected." 

Robert Willoughby was too intent on business, and too 
fearful of the reappearance and reproachful looks of Maud, 
to delay. He had passed the court, and was at the outer 
gate, before any of the garrison even noted his appearance 
among them. Here, indeed, the father s heart felt a pang ; 
and, but for his military pride, the captain would gladly 
have recalled his consent. It was too late, however; and, 
squeezing his hand, he suffered his son to pass outward. 
Joel followed steadily, as to appearances, though not without 
misgivings as to what might be the consequences to himself 
and his growing famHy. 



18 THE HUTTED KNOLL 



CHAPTER II. 

** I worship not the sun at noon, 
The wandering stars, the changing moon, 
The wind, the flood, the flame; 
I will not bow the votive knee 
To wisdom, virtue, liberty; 
There is no god, but God for me, 
Jehovah is his name." 

MONTGOMERY. 

So sudden and unexpected had been the passage of Robert 
Willoughby through the court, and among the men on post 
without the inner gates, that no one recognised his person. 
A few saw that a stranger was in their midst ; but, under 
his disguise, no one was quick enough of eye and thought 
to ascertain who that stranger was. The little white flag 
that they displayed, denoted the errand of the messengers ; 
the rest was left to conjecture. 

As soon as captain Willoughby ascertained that the alarm 
of the morning was not likely to lead to any immediate re 
sults, he had dismissed all the men, with the exception of a 
small guard, that was stationed near the outer gate, under 
the immediate orders of serjeant Joyce. The latter was one 
of those soldiers who view the details of the profession as 
forming its great essentials ; and when he saw his com 
mander about to direct a sortie, it formed his pride not to 
ask questions, and to seem to know nothing about it. To 
this, Jamie Allen, who composed one of the guard, quietly 
assented ; but it was a great privation to the three or four 
New England-men to be commanded not to inquire into the 
why and wherefore. 

" Wait for orders, men, wait for orders," observed the 
serjeant, by way of quieting an impatience that was very 
apparent. " If his honour, the captain, wished us to be ac 
quainted with his movements, he would direct a general 
parade, and lay the matter before us, as you know he always 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 19 

docs, on proper occasions. Tis a flag going out, as you 
can see, and should a truce follow, we ll lay aside our 
muskets, and seize the plough-shares ; should it be a capi 
tulation I know our brave old commander too well to 
suppose it possible but should it be even that, we 11 ground 
arms like men, and make the best of it." 

" And should Joel, and the other man, who is a stranger 
to me, be scalped ?" demanded one of the party. 

"Then we ll avenge their scalps. That was the way 
with us, when my Lord Howe fell < avenge his death ! 
cried our colonel ; and on we pushed, until near two thou 
sand of us fell before the Frenchmen s trenches. Oh ! that 
was a sight worth seeing, and a day to talk of!" 

" Yes, but you were threshed soundly, serjeant, as I ve 
heard from many that were there." 

"What of that, sir! we obeyed orders. * Avenge his 
death ! was the cry ; and on we pushed, in obedience, until 
there were not men enough left in our battalion to carry the 
wounded to the rear." 

" And what did you do with them?" asked a youth, who 
regarded the serjeant as another Caesar Napoleon not 
having come into notice in 1776. 

" We let them lie where they fell. Young man, war 
teaches us all the wholesome lesson that impossibilities are 
impossible to be done. War is the great schoolmaster of the 
human race; and a learned man is he who has made nine 
teen or twenty campaigns." 

" If he live to turn his lessons to account" remarked the 
first speaker, with a sneer. 

" If a man is to die in battle, sir, he had better die with 
his mind stored with knowledge, than be shot like a dog 
that has outlived his usefulness. Every pitched battle car 
ries out of the world learning upon learning that ha^ 
got in the field. Here comes his honour, who will confirm 
all I tell you, men. I was letting these men, sir, und - 
that the army and the field are the best schools on earth. 
Kvcry old soldier will stick to that, your honour." 

" \Ve are apt to think so, Joyce have the arms been in 
spected this morning?" 

" As soon as it was light, I did that myself, sir." 

" Flints, cartridge-boxes, and bayonets, I hope ?" 



20 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

" Each and all, sir. Does your honour remember the 
morning we had the affair near Fort du Quesne?" 

"You mean Braddock s defeat, I suppose, Joyce?" 

" I call nothing a defeat, captain Willoughby. We were 
roughly handled that day, sir ; but I am not satisfied it was 
a defeat. It is true, we fell back, and lost some arms and 
stores ; but, in the main, we stuck to our colours, consider 
ing it was in the woods. No, sir ; I do not call that a de 
feat, by any means." 

" You will at least own we were hard pressed, and might 
have fared worse than we did, had it not been for a certain 
colonial corps, that manfully withstood the savages?" 

" Yes, sir ; that I allow. I remember the corps, and its 
commander, a colonel Washington, with your honour s per 
mission." 

" It was, indeed, Joyce. And do you happen to know 
what has became of this same colonel Washington ?" 

" It never crossed my mind to inquire, sir, as he was a 
provincial. I dare say he may have a regiment or even 
a brigade by this time ; and good use would he make of 
either." 

" You have fallen far behind his fortunes, Joyce. The 
man is a commander-in-chief a captain-general." 

" Your honour is jesting since many of his seniors are 
still living." 

" This is the man who leads the American armies, in the 
war with England." 

" Well, sir, in that way, he may indeed get a quick step, 
or two. I make no doubt, sir, so good a soldier will know 
how to obey orders." 

" From which I infer you think him right, in the cause 
he has espoused ?" 

"Bless yoqr honour, sir, I think nothing about it, and 
care nothing about it. If the gentleman has taken service 
with congress, as they call the new head-quarters, why he 
ought to obey congress ; and if he serve the king, His Ma 
jesty s orders should be attended to." 

" And, in this crisis, serjeant, may I ask in what particu 
lar service you conceive yourself to be, just at the present 
moment ?" 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 21 

" Captain Willoughby s, late of His Majesty s th 

incut of Foot, at your honour s command." 

" If all act in the same spirit, Joyce, we shall do well 
enough at the Knoll, though twice as many savages hrav? 
us as are to be seen on yon rocks," returned the captain, 
smiling. 

"And why should they no?" demanded Jamie Allen, 
earnestly. " Ye re laird here, and we ve no the time, nor 
the grace, to study and understand the orthodoxy and he 
terodoxy of the quarrel atween the House of Hanover and 
the houses of these Americans ; so, while we a stand up 
for the house and household of our old maistcr, the Lord 
will smile on our efforts, and lead us to victory." 

" Divil bur-r-n me, now, Jamie," said Mike, who having 
seen the major to the gate, now followed his father, in 
readiness to do him any good turn that might offer " Divil 
bur-r-n me, now, Jamie, if ye could have said it better had 
ye just aised yer conscience to a proper praist, and were 
talking on a clanc breast ! Stick up for the captain, says I, 
and the Lord will be of our side!" 

The serjcant nodded approbation of this sentiment, and 
the younger Pliny, who happened also to be within hearing, 
uttered the sententious word " gosh," and clenched his fist, 
which was taken as proof of assent also, on his part. But, 
the Americans of the guard, all of whom were the tools of 
Joel s and the miller s arts, manifested a coldness that even 
exceeded the usual cold manner of their class. These men 
meant right; but they had been deluded by the falsehoods, 
machinations, and frauds of a demagogue, and were no 
longer masters of their own opinions or acts. It struck the 
captain that something was wrong ; but, a foreigner by birth 
himself, he had early observed, and long known, the pecu 
liar exterior and phlegm of the people of the country, which 
so nearly resemble the stoicism of the aborigines, as to in 
duce many writers to attribute both alike to a cause con 
nected with climate. The present was not a moment how 
ever, nor was the impression strong enough to induce the 
master of the place to enter into any inquiries. Turning 
his eyes in the direction of the two bearers of the flag, he 
there beheld matter for new interest, completely diverting 
his thoughts from what had just passed. 



22 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

" I see they have sent two men to meet our messengers, 
serjeant," he said " This looks as if they understood the 
laws of war." 

" Quite true, your honour. They should now blindfold 
our party, and lead them within their own works, before 
they suffer them to see at all ; though there would be no 
great advantage in it, as Strides is as well acquainted with 
every inch of that rock as I am with the manual exercise." 

" Which would seem to supersede the necessity of the 
ceremony you have mentioned?" 

" One never knows, your honour. Blindfolding is accord 
ing to the rules, and I should blindfold a flag before I let 
him approach, though the hostile ranks stood drawn up, one 
on each side of a parade ground. Much is gained, while 
nothing is ever lost, by sticking to the rules of a trade." 

The captain smiled, as did all the Americans of the guard; 
the last having too much sagacity not to perceive that a 
thing might be overdone, as well as too little attended to. 
As for Jamie and Mike, they both received the Serjeant s 
opinions as law ; the one from having tried the troops of the 
iine at Culloden, and the other on account of divers expe 
riences through which he had gone, at sundry fairs, in his 
own green island. By this time, however, all were too 
curious in watching the result of the meeting, to continue 
the discourse. 

Robert Willoughby and Joel had moved along the lane, 
towards the rocks, without hesitating, keeping their little 
flag flying. It did not appear that their approach produced 
any change among the savages, who were now preparing 
their breakfasts, until they had got within two hundred yards 
of the encampment, when two of the red-men, having first 
laid aside their arms, advanced to meet their visiters. This 
was the interview which attracted the attention of those at 
the Hu% and Its progress was noted with the deepest in 
terest. 

The meeting appeared to be friendly. After a short con 
ference, in which signs seemed to be a material agent in the 
communications, the four moved on in company, walking 
deliberately towards the rocks. Captain Willoughby had 
sent for his field-glass, and could easily perceive much that 
occurred in the camp, on the arrival of his son. The major s 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 23 

movements were calm and steady, and a feeling of pride 
passed over the father s heart, as hi; noted this, amid a 
scene that was well adapted to disturbing the equilibrium 
of the firmest mind. Joel certainly betrayed nervousness, 
though he kept close at his companion s side, and together 
they proceeded into the very centre of the party of strangers. 

The captain observed, also, that this arrival caused no 
visible sensation among the red-men. Even those the major 
almost touched in passing did not look up to note his ap 
pearance, while no one seemed to speak, or in any manner 
to heed him. The cooking and other preparations for tho 
breakfast proceeded precisely as if no one had entered the 
camp. The two who had gone forth to meet the flag alone 
attended its bearers, whom they led through the centre of 
the entire party ; stopping only on the side opposite to the 
Hut, where there was an open space of flat rock, which it 
had not suited the savages to occupy. 

Here the four halted, the major turning and looking back 
like a soldier who was examining his ground. Nor did any 
one appear disposed to interrupt him in an employment 
that serjeant Joyce pronounced to be both bold and against 
the usages of war to permit. The captain thought the 
stoicism of the savages amounted to exaggeration, and it 
renewed his distrust of the real characters of his visitors. 
In a minute or two, however, some three or four of the red- 
men were seen consulting together apart, after which they 
approached the bearers of the flag, and some communica 
tions passed between the two sides. The nature of these 
communications could not be known, of course, though the 
conference appeared to be amicable. After two or three 
minutes of conversation, Robert Willoughby, Strides, the 
two men who had advanced to meet them, and the four 
chiefs who had joined the group, left the summit of the 
rock in company, taking a foot-path that descended in the 
direction of the mills. In a short time they all disappeared 
in a body. 

The distance was not so great but these movements could 
easily be seen by the naked eye, though the glass was ne 
cessary to discover some of the details. Captain Willoughby 
had planted the instrument among the palisades, and he kept 
his gaze riveted on the retiring group as long as it was visi- 



24 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

ble ; then, indeed, he looked at his companions, as if to read 
their opinions in their countenances. Joyce understood the 
expression of his face ; and, saluting in the usual military 
manner, he presumed to speak, in the way of reply. 

" It seems all right, your honour, the bandage excepted," 
said the serjeant. " The flag has been met at the outposts, 
and led into the camp ; there the officer of the day, or some 
savage who does the duty, has heard his errand ; and, no 
doubt, they have all now gone to head-quarters, to report." 

" I desired my son, Joyce " 

"Whom, your honour ?" 

The general movement told the captain how completely 
his auditors were taken by surprise, at this unlooked-for 
announcement of the presence of the major at the Knoll. It 
was too late to recall the words, however, and there was so 
little prospect of Robert s escaping the penetration of Joel, 
the father saw no use in attempting further concealment. 

" I say I desired my son, major Willoughby, who is the 
bearer of that flag," the captain steadily resumed, " to raise 
his hat in a particular manner, if all seemed right ; or to 
make a certain gesture with his left arm, did he see any 
thing that required us to be more than usually on our 
guard." 

" And which notice has he given to the garrison, if it be 
your honour s pleasure to let us know ?" 

" Neither. I thought he manifested an intention to make 
the signal with the hat, when the chiefs first joined him ; but 
he hesitated, and lowered his hand without doing as I had 
expected. Then, again, just as he disappeared behind the 
rocks, the left arm was in motion, though not in a way to 
complete the signal." 

" Did he seem hurried, your honour, as if prevented from 
communicating by the enemy?" 

" Not at aH, Joyce. Irresolution appeared to be at the 
bottom of it, so far as I could judge." 

" Pardon me, your honour ; uncertainty would be a better 
word, as applied to so good a soldier. Has major Willoughby 
quitted the king s service, that he is among us, sir, just at 
this moment ?" 

" I will tell you his errand another time, serjeant. At 
present, I can think only of the risk he runs. These In- 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 25 

dians are lawless wretches ; one is never sure of theii 
faith." 

41 They are bad enough, sir ; but no man can well be so 
bad as to disregard the rights of a flag," answered the ser- 
jrant, in a grave and slightly important manner. " Even 
the French, your honour, have always respected our fags " 

"That is true; and, yet, I wish we could overlook that 
position at the mill. It s a great advantage to them, Joyce, 
that they can place themselves behind such a cover, when 
th-y choose !" 

The scrjeant looked at the encampment a moment ; then 
his eye followed the woods, and the mountain sides, that 
skirted the little plain, until his back was fairly turned upon 
the supposed enemy, and he faced the forest in the rear of 
the Hut. 

" If it be agreeable to your honour, a detachment can be 
detailed to make a demonstration" Joyce did not exactly 
understand this word, but it sounded military " in the fol 
lowing manner : I can lead out the party, by the rear of 
the house, using the brook as a covered-way. Once in the 
woods, it will be easy enough to make a flank movement 
upon the enemy s position ; after which, the detachment can 
be guided by circumstances." 

This was very martial in sound, and the captain felt well 
assured that Joyce was the man to attempt carrying out his 
own plan ; but he made no answer, sighing and shaking his 
head, as he walked away towards the house. The chaplain 
followed, leaving the rest to observe the savages. 

" Ye re proposition, scrjeant, no seems to give his honour 
much satisfaction," said the mason, as soon as his superior 
was out of hearing. " Still, it was military, as I know by 
what I saw mysal in the Forty-five. Flainking, and sur 
prising, and obsairving, and demonstrating, and such de 
vices, are the soul of war, and are a on the great highway 
to victory. Had Chairlie s men obsairved, and particularised 




of the pairty." 
VOL. II. 3 



26 THE II U T T E D KNOLL. 

" I didn t think the captain much relished the notion of 
being questioned about his son s feelin s, and visit up here, 
at a time like this," put in one of the Americans. 

" There s bowels in the man s body !" cried Mike, " and 
it isn t the likes of him that has no falin . Ye don t know 
what it is to be a father, or ye d groan in spirit to see a 
child of yer-own in the grip of fiery divils like them same. 
Isn t he a pratty man, and wouldn t I be sorrowful to hear 
that he had come to har-r-m ? Ye Ve niver asked, serjeant, 
how the majjor got into the house, and ye a military sentry 
in the bargain !" 

" I suppose he came by command, Michael, and it is not 
the duty of the non-commissioned officers to question their 
superiors about anything that has happened out of the com 
mon way. I take things as I find them, and obey orders. 
I only hope that the son, as a field-officer, will not out-rank 
the father, which would be unbecoming; though date of 
commissions, and superiority, must be respected." 

" I rather think if a major in the king s service was to 
undertake to use authority here," said the spokesman of the 
Americans, a little stiffly, " he wouldn t find many disposed 
to follow at his heels." 

" Mutiny would not fare well, did it dare to lift its head 
in this garrison" answered the serjeant, with a dignity that 
might better have suited the mess-room of a regular regiment, 
than the situation in which he was actually placed. " Both 
captain Willoughby and myself have seen mutiny attempted, 
but neither has ever seen it succeed." 

" Do you look on us as lawful, enlisted soldiers ?" de 
manded one of the labourers, who had a sufficient smattering 
of the law, to understand the difference between a mercenary 
and a volunteer. " If I m regimented, I should at least like 
to know in whose service it is ?" 

" Ye re over-quick at yer objections and sentiments," 
said Jamie Allen, coolly, " like most youths, who see only 
their ain experience in the airth, and the providence o the 
Lord. Enlisted we are, a of us, even to Michael here, and 
it s in the sairvice of our good master, his honour captain 
Willoughby ; whom, with his kith and kin, may the Lord 
presairve from this and all other dangers." 

The word master would, of itself, be very likely to create 



TI1EIIUTT12D KNOLL. 27 

a revolt to-day, in such a corps as it was the fortune of our 
captain to command, though to that of " boss" there would 
not be raised the slightest objection. lUit the Knglish lan 
guage had not undergone half of its present mutations in 
the year 177G; and no one winced in admitting that he 
a " master, though the gorges of several rose at the 
idea of being engaged in the service of any one, considered 
in a military point of view. It is likely the suggestion of 
the mason would have led to a hot discussion, had not a stir 
among the savages, just at that instant, called off the atten 
tion of all present, to matters of more importance than even 
an angry argument. 

The movement seemed to be general, and Joyce ordered 
his men to stand to their arms ; still he hesitated about 
giving the alarm. Instead of advancing towards the Hut, 
however, the Indians raised a general yell, and went over 
the cliffs, disappearing in the direction of the mill, like a 
flock of birds taking wing together. After waiting half an 
hour, in vain, to ascertain if any signs of the return of the 
Indians were to be seen, the serjeant went himself to report 
the state of things to his commander. 

Captain Willoughby had withdrawn to make his toilet for 
the day, when he saw the last of his son and the overseer. 
While thus employed he had communicated to his wife all 
that had occurred ; and Mrs. Willoughby, in her turn, had 
told the same to her daughters. Maud was much the most 
distressed, her suspicions of Joel being by far the most active 
and the most serious. From the instant she learned what 
had passed, she began to anticipate grave consequences to 
Robert Willoughby, though she had sufficient fortitude, and 
sufficient consideration for others, to keep most of her ap 
prehensions to herself. 

When Joyce demanded his audience, the family was at 
breakfast, though little was eaten, and less was said. The 
serjeant was admitted, and he told his story with military 
precision. 

" This has a suspicious air, Joyce," observed the captain, 
after musing a little ; " to me it seems like an attempt to in 
duce us to follow, and to draw us into an ambuscade." 

" It may be that, your honour ; or, it may be a good ho 
nest retreat. Two prisoners is a considerable exploit for 



28 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

savages to achieve. I have known them count one a vie* 
tory." 

" Be not uneasy, Wilhelmina ; Bob s rank will secure 
him good treatment, his exchange being far more important 
to his captors, if captors they be, than his death. It is too 
soon to decide on such a point, serjeant. After all, the In 
dians may be at the mills, in council. On a war-path, all 
the young men are usually consulted, before any important 
step is taken. Then, it may be the wish of the chiefs to 
impress our flag-bearers with an idea of their force." 

" All that is military, your honour, and quite possible. 
Still, to me the movement seems as if a retreat was intended, 
in fact, or that the appearance of one was in view." 

" I will soon know the truth," cried the chaplain. " I, a 
man of peace, can surely go forth, and ascertain who these 
people are, and what is their object." 

" You, Woods ! My dear fellow, do you imagine a tribe 
of blood-thirsty savages will respect you, or your sacred 
office? You have a sufficient task with the king s forces, 
letting his enemies alone. You are no missionary to still a 
war-cry." 

" I beg pardon, sir" put in the serjeant " his reverence 
is more than half right" here the chaplain rose, and quitted 
the room in haste, unobserved by the two colloquists 
" There is scarce a tribe in the colony, your honour, that 
has not some knowledge of our priesthood ; and I know of 
no instance in which the savages have ever ill-treated a 
divine." 

" Poh, poh, Joyce ; this is much too sentimental for your 
Mohawks, and Oneidas, and Onjndagas, and Tuscaroras. 
They will care no more for little Woods than they care for 
the great woods through which they journey on their infer 
nal errands." 

" One cannot know, Hugh" observed the anxious mo 
ther " Our dear Robert is in their hands ; and, should Mr. 
Woods be really disposed to go on this mission of mercy, 
does it comport with our duty as parents to oppose it?" 

"A mother is all mother" murmured the captain, who 
rose from table, kissed his wife s cheek affectionately, and 
left the room, beckoning to the serjeant to follow. 

Captain Willoughby had not been gone many minutes, 



THE HUTTED K N O L L . 29 

when the chaplain made his appearance, attired in his sur 
plice, ami u curing his best wig ; an appliance that ail elderly 
gentlemen in that day fancied necessary to the dignity and 
gravity of their appi arance. .Mrs. Willoughby, to own the 
truth, was delighted. If this excellent woman was ever 
unjust, it was in behalf of her children ; solicitude for whom 
sometimes induced her to overlook the rigid construction of 
the laws of equality. 

" We will see which best understands the influence of the 
sanvd ofiice, captain Willoughby, or myself;" observed the 
chaplain, with a little more importance of manner than it 
was usual for one so simple to assume. " I do not believe 
the ministry was instituted to be brow-beaten by tribes of 
savages, any more than it is to be silenced by the unbe 
liever, or schismatic." 

It was very evident that the Rev. Mr. Woods was consi 
derably excited ; and this was a condition of mind so unusual 
with him, as to create a species of awe in the observers. As 
for the two young women, deeply as they were interested 
in the result, and keenly as Maud, in particular, felt every 
thing which touched the fortunes of Robert Willoughby, 
neither would presume to interfere, when they saw one 
whom they had been taught to reverence from childhood, 
acting in a way that so little conformed to his ordinary 
manner. As for Mrs. WiUoughby, her own feelings were 
so much awakened, that never had Mr. Woods seemed so 
evangelical and like a saint, as at that very moment; and 
it would not have been difficult to persuade her that he was 
acting under something very like righteous superhuman im 
pulses. 

Such, however, was far from being the case. The worthy- 
priest had an exalted idea of his office ; and, to fancy it 
might favorably impress even savages, was little more than 
; ng out his every-day notions of its authority. He con 
scientiously believed that he, himself, a regularly ordained 
presbyter, would be more likely to succeed in the under 
taking before him, than a mere deacon ; were a bishop p re- 
he would cheerfully have submitted to his superior 
claims to sanctity and success. As for arch-bishops, arch 
deacons, deans, rural deans, and all the other worldly ma 
chinery which has been superaddcd to the church, the truth 



30 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

compels us to add, that our divine felt no especial reverence, 
since he considered them as so much clerical surplusage, 
of very questionable authority, and of doubtful use. He 
adhered strictly to the orders of divine institution ; to these 
he attached so much weight, as to be entirely willing, in 
his own person, to demonstrate how little was to be appre 
hended, when their power was put forth, even against Indians, 
in humility and faith. 

" I shall take this sprig of laurel in my hand, in lieu of 
the olive-branch," said the excited chaplain, " as the symbol 
of peace. It is not probable that savages can tell one plant 
from the other ; and if they could, it will be easy to explain 
that olives do not grow in America. It is an eastern tree, 
ladies, and furnishes the pleasant oil we use on our salads. 
I carry with me, notwithstanding, the oil which proves a 
balm to many sorrows ; that will be sufficient." 

" You will bid them let Robert return to us, without de 
lay?" said Mrs. Willoughby, earnestly. 

" I shall bid them respect God and their consciences. I 
cannot now stop to rehearse to you the mode of proceeding 
1 shall adopt ; but it is all arranged in my own mind. It 
will be necessary to call the Deity the Great Spirit or 
Manitou and to use many poetical images ; but this can 
I do, on an emergency. Extempore preaching is far from 
agreeable to me, in general ; nor do I look upon it, in this 
age of the world, as exactly canonical ; nevertheless, it shall 
be seen I know how to submit even to that, when there is a 
suitable necessity." 

It was so seldom Mr. Woods used such magnificent ideas, 
or assumed a manner in the least distinguishable from one 
of the utmost simplicity, that his listeners now felt really 
awed ; and when he turned to bless them, as he did with 
solemnity and affection, the two daughters knelt to receive 
his benedictions. These delivered, he walked out of the 
room, crossed the court, and proceeded straightway to the 
outer gate. 

It was, perhaps, fortunate to the design of the Rev. Mr. 
Woods, that neither the captain nor the serjeant was in the 
way, to arrest it. This the former would certainly have 
done, out of regard to his friend, and the last out of regard 
to " orders." But these military personages were in the 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 3J 

library, in deep consultation concerning the next step neces 
sary to take. This left the coast clear, no one belonging to 
the guard conceiving himself of sufficient authority to stop 
the chaplain, more especially when he appeared in his wig 
and surplice. Jamie Allen was a corporal, by courtesy ; 
and, at the first summons, he caused the outer gate to be 
unlocked and unbarred, permitting the chaplain to make 
his egress, attended by his own respectfub bows. This Jamio 
did, out of reverence to religion, generally; though the sur 
plice ever excited his disgust ; and, as for the Liturgy, he 
deemed it to be a species of solemn mockery of worship. 

The captain did not reappear outside of the court, until 
the chaplain, who had made the best of his way towards tho 
rocks, was actually stalking like a ghost among ruins, 
through the deserted shantees of the late encampment. 

u What in the name of Indian artifice is the white animal 
that I see moving about on the rocks ?" demanded the cap 
tain, whose look was first turned in the direction of the 
camp. 

" It seems an Indian wrapped up in a shirt, your honour 
as I live, sir, it has a cocked hat on its head !" 

" Na na" interrupted Jamie, " ye Ml no be guessing 
the truth this time, without the aid of a little profane reve 
lation. The chiel ye see yan, yer honour, is just chaplain 
Woods." 

Woods the devil !" 

"Na na yer honour, it s the reverend gentleman, 
hissel , and no the de il, at a . He s in his white frock 
though why he didn t wear his black gairment is more than 
I can tell ye but there he is, walking about amang the In 
dian dwellings, all the same as if they were so many pews 
in his ain kirk." 

" And, how came you to let him pass the gate, against 
orders?" 

" Well, and it is aboot the orders of the priesthood, that 
he so often preaches, and seeing him in the white gairment, 
and knowing ye J ve so many fast-days, and Christmas , iu 
the kirk o England, I fancied it might be a bit matter o 
prayer he wished to offer up, yan, in the house on the flat ; 
and so I e en thought church prayers better than no prayers 
at nil, in such a strait." 



32 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

As it was useless to complain, the captain was fain to 
submit, even beginning to hope some good might come of 
the adventure, when he saw Mr. Woods walking unmolested 
through the deserted camp. The glass was levelled, and 
the result was watched in intense interest. 

The chaplain first explored every shantee, fearlessly and 
with diligence. Then he descended the rocks, and was lost 
to view, like those who had preceded him. A feverish hour 
passed, without any symptom of human life appearing in 
the direction of the mills. Sometimes those who watched, 
fancied they beheld a smoke beginning to steal up over the 
brow of the rocks, the precursor of the expected conflagra 
tion ; but a few moments dispersed the apprehension and 
the fancied smoke together. The day advanced, and yet 
the genius of solitude reigned over the mysterious glen. 
Not a sound emerged from it, not a human form was seen 
near it, not a sign of a hostile assault or of a friendly return 
could be detected. All in that direction lay buried in silence, 
as if the ravine had swallowed its tenants, in imitation of 
the grave. 



CHAPTER III. 

To deck my list by Nature were design d 

Such shining 1 expletives of human kind; 

Who want, while through blank life they dream along, 

Sense to be right, and passion to be wrong. 

YOUNG. 

THE disappearance of Mr. Woods occasioned no uneasi 
ness at first. An hour elapsed before the captain thought it 
necessary to relate the occurrence to his family, when a 
general panic prevailed among the females. Even Maud 
bad hoped the savages would respect the sacred character 
of the divine, though she knew not why ; and here was one 
of her principal grounds of hope, as connected with Robert 
Willoughby, slid from beneath her feet. 

" What can we do, Willoughby ?" asked the affectionate 
mother, almost reduced to despair. " I will go myself, in 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 33 

search of my son they will respect me, a woman and a 
mother." 

" You little know the enemy we have to deal with, \Vil- 
helmina, or so rash a thought could not have crossed your 
mind. We will not be precipitate ; a few hours may bring 
some change to direct us. One thing I learn from Woods 
delay. The Indians cannot be far oil , and he must be with 
them, or in their halids ; else would he return after having 
visited the mills and the houses beneath the cliffs." 

This sounded probable, and all felt there was a relief in 
fancying that their friends were still near them, and were 
not traversing the wilderness as captives. 

" I feel less apprehension than any of you," observed 
Bculali, in her placid manner. " If Bob is in the hands of 
an American party, the brother-in-law of Evert liftman 
cannot come to much harm ; with British Indians he will 
be respected for his own sake, as soon as he can make him 
self known." 

"I have thought of all this, my child" answered the 
father, musing " and there is reason in it. It will be difti- 
cult, however, for Hob to make his real character certain, 
in his present circumstances. He does not appear the man 
he is ; and should there even be a white among his captors 
who can read, he has not a paper with him to sustain his 
word." 

" But, he promised me faithfully to use Evert s name, 
did he ever fall into American hands" resumed Beulah, 
earnestly " and Evert has said, again and again, that my 
brother could never be his enemy." 

u Heaven help us all, dear child !" answered the captain, 
kissing his daughter "It is, indeed, a cruel war, wh-n 
such aids are to be called in for our protection. We will 
endeavour to be cheerful, notwithstanding; for we know of 
nothing yet, that ought to alarm us, out of reason; all may 
come right before the sun set." 

The captain looked at his family, and endeavoured to 
smile, but he met no answering gleam of happiness on either 
face; nor was his own eiiort very siicrc^ful. As for his 
wife, she was never known to be. atijrht but miserable, while 
any she loved were in doubtful safety. She lived entirely 
out of herself, and altogether for her husband, children, and 



84 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

friends ; a woman less selfish, or one more devoted to the 
affections, never existing. Then Beulah, with all her reli 
ance on the magic of Evert s name, and with the deep feel 
ings that had been awakened within her, as a wife and a 
mother, still loved her brother as tenderly as ever. As for 
Maud, the agony she endured was increased by her efforts 
to keep it from breaking out in some paroxysm that might 
betray her secret ; and her features were getting an expres 
sion of stern resolution, which, blended with her beauty, 
gave them a grandeur her father had never before seen in 
her bright countenance. 

" This child suffers on Bob s account more than any of 
us" observed the captain, drawing his pet towards him, 
placing her kindly on his knee, and folding her to his 
bosom. " She has no husband yet, to divide her heart ; all 
her love centres in her brother." 

The look which Beulah cast upon her father was not re 
proachful, for that was an expression she would not have 
indulged with him ; but it was one in which pain and mor 
tification were so obvious, as to induce the mother to receive 
her into her own arms. 

"Hugh, you are unjust to Beulah" said the anxious 
mother" Nothing can ever cause this dear girl, either, to 
forget to feel for any of us." 

The captain s ready explanation, and affectionate kiss, 
brought a smile again to Beulah s face, though it shone amid 
tears. All was, however, immediately forgotten ; for the 
parties understood each other, and Maud profited by the 
scene to escape from the room. This flight broke up the 
conference ; and the captain, after exhorting his wife and 
daughter to set an example of fortitude to the rest of the 
females, left the house, to look after his duties among the 
men. 

The absence of Joel cast a shade of doubt over the minds 
of the disaffected. These last were comparatively numerous, 
comprising most of the native Americans in the Hut, the 
blacks "and Joyce excepted. Strides had been enabled to 
effect his purposes more easily with his own countrymen, 
by working on their good qualities, as well as on their bad. 
Many of these men most of them, indeed meant well ; 
but their attachment to the cause of their native land laid 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 35 

them open to assaults, aiiainst which Mike and Jamie All. n 
w iv iusi-nsihlo. Captain \Villoughby was an Englishman, 
in the first pirn- an old anny-ofliccr, in the next; 

and lie had an only son who was confessedly in open arms 
against the independence of America. It is easy to sec how 
a demagogue like Joel, who had free access to the cars of 
his comrades, could improve circumstances like these to his 
own particular objects. Nevertheless, he had difficulties to 
contend with. If it were true that parson Woods still in 
sisted on praying for the king, it was known that the captain 
laughed at him for his reverence for Caesar ; if Robert. Wil- 
loughby were a major in the royal forces, Evert Beekman 
was a colonel in the continentals ; if the owner of the manor 
were born in England, his wife and children were born in 
America ; and he, himself, was often heard to express his 
convictions of the justice of most of that for which the pro 
vincials were contending all, the worthy captain had not 
yet made up his mind to concede to them. 

Then, most of the Americans in the Hut entertained none 
of the selfish and narrow views of Joel and the miller. Their 
wish was to do right, in the main ; and though obnoxious to 
the charge of entertaining certain prejudices that rendered 
them peculiarly liable to become the dupes of a demagogue, 
they submitted to many of the better impulses, and were 
indisposed to be guilty of any act of downright injustice. 
The perfect integrity with which they had ever been treated, 
too, had its influence ; nor was the habitual kindness of Mrs. 
"Willoughby to their wives and children forgotten; nor tho 
gentleness of Beulah, or the beauty, spirit, and generous 
impulses of Maud. In a word, the captain, when he went 
forth to review his men, who were now all assembled under 
arms within the palisades for that purpose, went to meet a 
wavering, rather than a positively disaffected or rebellious 
body. 

" Attention !" cried Joyce, as his commanding officer 
came in front of a line which contained men of different 
colours, statures, ages, dresses, countries, habits and phy 
siognomies, making it a sort of epitome of the population of 
the whole colony, as it existed in that day " Attention ! 
Present, arms." 

The captain pulled off his hat complacently, in return to 



5G THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

this salute, though he was obliged to smile at the army 
which met his eyes. Every one of the Dutchmen had got 
his musket to an order, following a sort of fugleman of their 
own ; while Mike had invented a " motion" that would have 
puzzled any one but himself to account for. The butt of 
the piece was projected towards the captain, quite out of 
line, while the barrel rested on his own shoulder. Still, as 
his arms were extended to the utmost, the county Leitrim- 
man fancied he was performing much better than common. 
Jamie had correct notions of the perpendicular, from having 
used the plumb-bob so much, though even he made the 
trifling mistake of presenting arms with the lock outwards. 
As for the Yankees, they were all tolerably exact, in every 
thing but time, and the line ; bringing their pieces down, one 
after another, much as they were in the practice of follow 
ing their leaders, in matters of opinion. The negroes defied 
description; nor was it surprising they failed, each of them 
thrusting his head forward to see how the " motions" look 
ed, in a way that prevented any particular attention to his 
own part of the duty. The serjeant had the good sense to 
see that his drill had not yet produced perfection, and he 
brought his men to a shoulder again, as soon as possible. 
In this he succeeded perfectly, with the exception that just 
half of the arms were brought to the right, and the other 
half to the left shoulders. 

" We shall do better, your honour, as we get a little more 
drill" said Joyce, with an apologetic salute " Corporal 
Strides has a tolerable idea of the manual, and he usually 
acts as our fugleman. When he gets back, we shall im 
prove." 

"When he gets back, serjeant can you, or any other 
man, tell when that will be ?" 

" Yes, yer honour," sputtered Mike, with the eagerness 
of a boy. " I se-the man to tell yees that same." 

" You 1 What can you know, that is not known to all 
of us, my good Michael ?" 

" I knows what I sees ; and if yon isn t Misther Strhides, 
then I am not acquainted with his sthraddle." 

Sure enough, Joel appeared at the gate, as Mike concluded 
his assertions. Flow he got there, no one knew ; for a good 
look-out had been kept in the direction of the mill ; and, yet, 



TUB HUTTED KNOLL. 37 

here was the overseer applying for admission, as if lie had 
fallen from the, clouds ! Of course, the application was not 
denied, though made; in a manner so unexpected, and Joel 
stood in front of his old comrades at the hoe and plough, 
if not in arms, in less than a minute. His return was pro 
claimed through the house in an incredibly short space of 
time, by the aid of the children, and all the females came 
pouring out from the court to learn the tidings, led by Mrs. 
iStridt-s and her young brood. 

" Have you anything to communicate to me in private, 
s ?" the captain demanded, maintaining an appearance 
of sang froid that lie was far from feeling " or, can your 
report be made here, before the whole settlement ?" 

" It s just as the captain pleases," answered the wily de 
magogue; "though, to my notion, the people have a right 
to know all, in an aiiair that touches the common interest." 

" Attention ! men" cried the serjeant "By platoons, 
to the right " 

" No matter, Joyce," interrupted the captain, waving his 
hand " Let the men remain. You have held communica 
tions with our visiters, I know, Strides ?" 

" \Ve have, captain \Villoiighby, and a desperate sort of 
visitors be they ! A more ugly set of Mohawks and Onon- 
dagas 1 ii -ver laid eyes on." 

"As for their appearance, it is matter of indifference to 
me what is the object of their visit?" 

" I mean ugly behaved, and they deserve all I say of em. 
Their ar nd, according to their own tell, is to seize tho 
captain, and his family, in behalf of the colonies." 

Joel uttered this, he cast a glance along the line of 
paraded before him, in order to read the effect it might 
produce. That it was not lost on some, was as evi-l 
that it was on others. The captain, however, appeared tin- 
moved, and there was a slight air of incredulity in the smile 
that curled his lip. 

u This, then, you report as being the business of the party 
in coming to this place!" he said, quietly. 

" I do, sir; and an ugly ar nd it is, in" times like these." 

" Is there any person in authority in a party that pretenda 
to move about the colony, with such high duties?" 

VOL. II. 4 



3S THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

" There s one or two white men among em, if that s 
what the captain means; they pretend to be duly authorised 
and app inted to act in behalf of the people." 

At each allusion to the people, Joel invariably looked to 
wards his particular partisans, in order to note the effect the 
use of the word might produce. On the present occasion, 
lie even ventured to wink at the miller. 

" If acting on authority, why do they keep aloof? I have 
no such character for resisting the laws, that any who come 
clothed with its mantle need fear resistance." 

" Why, I s pose they reason in some such manner as this. 
There s two laws in operation at this time; the king s law, 
and the people s law. I take it, this party comes in virtue 
of the people s law, whereas it is likely the law the captain 
means is the king s law. The difference is so great, that 
one or t other carries the day, just as the king s friends or 
the people s friends happen to be the strongest. These men 
don t like to trust to their law, when the captain may think 
it safest to trust a little to his n." 

" And all this was told you, Strides, in order to be repeat 
ed to me ?" 

" Not a word on t ; it s all my own consait about the 
matter. Little passed between us." 

" And, now," said the captain, relieving his breast by a 
long sigh, " I presume I may inquire about your companion. 
You probably have ascertained who he is ?" 

" Lord, captain Wiiloughby, I was altogether dumb 
founded, when the truth came upon me of a sudden ! I 
never should have known the major in that dress, in the 
world, or out of the world either; but he walks so like the 
captain, that as I followed a ter him, I said to myself, who 
can it be? and then the walk came over me, as it might 
be ; and then I remembered last night, and the stranger that 
was out with the captain, and how he occupied the room 
next to the library, and them things; and so, when I come 
to look in his face, there was the major sure enough !" 

Joel lied famously in this account ; but he believed him 
self safe, as no one could very well contradict him. 

" Now, you have explained the manner in which you re 
cognised my son, Strides," added the captain, " I will thank 
you to let me know what has become of him?" 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 3D 

"He s with the savages. Having come so far to seize 
the father, it wasn t in natur to let the son go free, when 
he walked right into the lion s don, like." 

" And how could the s-ivares know he was my son? Did 
they, too, recognise the family walk ?" 

Strides was taken aback at this question, and he even had 
the grace to colour a little. He saw that lie was critically 
placed ; for, in addition to the suggestions of conscience, he 
understood the captain sufficiently to know he was a man 
w ho would not trifle, in the event of his suspicions becoming 
active. lie knew he deserved the gallows, and Joyce was 
a man who would execute him in an instant, did his com 
mander order it. The idea fairly made the traitor tremble 
in his shoes. 

" Ah ! I Ve got a little ahead of my story," he said, 
hastily. * But, perhaps I had best tell everything as it 
happened " 

" That will be the simplest and clearest course. In order 
that there be no interruption, we will go into my room, 
whore Joyce will follow us, as soon as he has dismissed his 
men." 

This was done, and in a minute or two the captain and 
Jorl were seated in the library, Joyce respectfully standing; 
the old soldier always declining to assume any familiarity 
with his superior. We shall give the substance of most of 
Joel s report in our own language; preferring it, defective 
as it is, to that of the overseer s, which was no bad repre 
sentative of his cunning, treacherous and low mind. 

It seems, then, that the bearers of the flag were amicably 
received by the Indians. The men towards whom they were 
led on the rocks, were the chiefs of the party, who treated 
them with proper respect. The sudden movement was ex 
plained to them, as connected with their meal; and the chiefs, 
accompanied by the major and Strides, proceeded to tho 
house of the miller. Here, by means of a white man for 
an interpreter, the major had demanded tho motive of the 
strangers in coming into tho settlement. The answer was 
a frank demand for the surrender of the Hut, and all it con 
tained, to the authorities of the continental congress. The 
major had endeavoured to persuade a white man, who pro 
fessed to hold the legal authority for what was doing, of the 



40 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

perfectly neutral disposition of his father, when, according 
to Joel s account, to his own great astonishment, the argu 
ment was met by the announcement of Robert Willoughby s 
true character, and a sneering demand if it were likely a 
man who had a son in the royal army, and who had kept 
that son secreted in his own house, would be very indifferent 
to the success of the royal cause. 

" They Ve got a wonderful smart man there for a magis 
trate, I can tell you," added Joel, with emphasis, " and he 
ra ally bore as hard on the major as a lawyer before a court. 
How he found out that the major was at the Hut is a little 
strange, seein that none of us know d of it ; but they ve got 
extraor nary means, now-a-days." 

" And, did major Willoughby admit his true character, 
when charged with being in the king s service ?" 

" He did and like a gentleman. He only insisted that 
his sole ar nd out here was to see his folks, and that he in 
tended to go back to York the moment he had paid his 
visit." 

" How did the person you mention receive his explana 
tions ?" 

" Waal, to own the truth, he laugh d at it, like all natur . 
I don t believe they put any great weight on a syllable the 
major told em. I never see critturs with such onbelievin 
faces ! After talking as long as suited themselves, they or 
dered the major to be shut up in a buttery, with a warrior 
at the door for a sentinel ; a ter which they took to examin 
ing me." 

Joel then proceeded with an account his own account, 
always, be it remembered of what passed between himself 
and the strangers. They had questioned him closely touch 
ing the nature of the defences of the Hut, the strength of the 
garrison, its disposition, the number and quality of the arms, 
and the amount of the ammunition. 

" You may depend on t, I gave a good account," conti 
nued the overseer, in a self-satisfied way. " In the first 
place, I told em, the captain had a lieutenant with him that 
had sarved out the whull French war; then I put the men 
up to fifty at once, seein it was just as easy to say that, as 
thirty or thirty-three. As to the arms, I told em more than 
half the pieces were double-barrelled ; and that the captain, 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 41 

in particular, carried a rifle that had killed nine savages in 
on<- light." 

" You were much mistaken in that, Joel. It is -rue, that 
a celebrated chief once fell by this rifle ; even that is not a 
matter for boasting." 

" Waal, them that told me on t, said that two had fallen 
before it, and I put it up to nine at once, to make a good 
story better. Nine men had a more desperate sound than 
two ; and when you do begin to brag, a man shouldn t be 
backward. I thought, howsevcr, that they was most non 
plussed, when I told em of the field-piece." 

"The field-piece, Strides! Why did you venture on an 
exaggeration that any forward movement of theirs must 
expi 

"We ll sec to that, captain we ll see to that. Field- 
pieces are desperate dampers to Indian courage, so I thought 
1 d just let em have a six-pounder, by way of try in their 
natur s. They look d like men go-in to execution, when I 
told em of the cannon, and what a history it had gone 
through." 

"And what may have been this history, pray?" 

" I just told em it was the very gun the captain had took 
from the French, about which we ve all heern tell ; and 
that, as everybody knows, was a desperate piece, havin 
killed more than a hundred reg lars, before the captain 
chared bayonet on it, and carried it off." 

This was a very artful speech, since it alluded to the most 
distinguished exploit of captain Willoughby s military life ; 
one of which it would have been more than human, had lie 
not been a little proud. All who knew him, had heard of 
this adventure, and Joel cunningly turned it to account, in 
the manner seen. The allusion served to put to sleep, for 
the moment at least, certain very unpleasant suspicions that 
"were getting to be active in his superior s mind. 

"There was no necessity, Strides, for saying anything 
about that ailair" the captain, modestly, interposed. " It 
happened a long time since, and might well be forgotten. 
Then, you know we have no gun to support your account; 
when our deficiency is ascertained, it will all be set down 
to the true cause a wish to conceal our real weakness." 
4* 



42 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

" I beg your honour s pardon," put in Joyce " I think 
Strides has acted in a military manner in this affair. It is 
according to the art of war for the besieged to pretend to bo 
stronger than they are ; and even besiegers sometimes put a 
oetter face than the truth will warrant, on their strength. 
Military accounts, as your honour well knows, never pass 
exactly for gospel, unless it be with the raw hands." 

" Then," added Joel, " I know d what I was about, seein 
that we had a cannon ready for use, as soon as it could be 
- mounted." 

" I think I understand Strides, your honour," resumed 
the serjeant. " I have carved a quaker, as an ornament 
for the gateway, intending to saw it in two, in the middle, 
and place the pieces, crosswise, over the entrance, as your 
honour has often seen such things in garrisons like the 
brass ornaments on the artillery caps, I mean, your honour. 
Well, this gun is finished and painted, and I intended to split 
it, and have it up this very week. I suppose Joel has had 
it in his mind, quaker fashion." 

" The Serjeant s right. That piece looks as much like a 
real cannon as one of our cathechisms is like another. The 
muzzle is more than a foot deep, and has a plaguy gun 
powder look !" 

" But this gun is not mounted ; even if it were, it could 
only be set up for show," observed the captain. 

" Put that cannon up once, and I 11 answer for it that no 
Injin faces it. Twill be as good as a dozen sentinels," an 
swered Joel. " As for mountin , I thought of that before I 
said a syllabl-e about the crittur. There s the new truck- 
wheels in the court, all ready to hold it, and the carpenters 
can put the hinder part to the whull, in an hour or two, and 
that in a way no Injin could tell the difference between it 
and a ra al cannon, at ten yards." 

" This is plausible, your honour," said Joyce, respect 
fully, " and it shows that corporal Strides" Joel insisted he 
was a serjeant, but the real Simon Pure never gave htm a 
title higher than that of corporal " and it shows that cor 
poral Strides has an idea of war. By mounting that piece, 
and using it with discretion refusing it, at the right mo 
ment, and showing it at another a great deal might be 
done with it, either in a siege or an assault. If your honour 



Till: IIITTKD KNOLL. 43 

will excuse the liberty, I would n -sportfully suggest that it 
might be well to set the quaker on his legs," and plailt him 
at l ho gate, as an exhortcr." 

The captain reflected a moim-nt, and then desired the 
overseer to proceed in his account. The rest of Joel s story 
was soon told. lie had mystified the strangers, according 
to his own account of the matter, so thoroughly, by nlU- -t- 
ing to withhold nothing, that they considered him as a sort 
of ally, and did not put him in confinement at all. It is 
true, he was placed en surveillance / but the duty was so 
carelessly performed, that, at the right moment, he had 
passed down the ravine, a direction in which a movement 
was not expected, and buried himself in the woods, so very 
nil -dually that it would have baffled pursuit, had any been 
attempted. After making a very long detour, that consumed 
hours, he turned the entire valley, and actually reached the 
Hut, under the cover of the rivulet and its bushes, or pre 
cisely by the route in which he and Mike had gone forth, in 
quest of Maud, the evening of the major s arrival. This 
latter fact, however, Joel had reasons of his own for con- 
cealing. 

" You have told us nothing of Mr. Woods, Strides," the 
captain observed, when Joel s account was ended. 

" Mr. Woods ! I can tell the captain nothing of that gen 
tleman ; I supposed he was here." 

The manner in which the chaplain had left the Hut, and 
his disappearance in the ravine, were then explained to the 
overseer, who evidently had quitted the mill, on his return, 
before the divine performed his exploit. There was a 
sinister expression in Joel s eyes, as he heard the account, 
that might have given the alarm to men more suspicious 
than the two old soldiers; but he had the address to conceal 
all he felt or thought. 

" If Mr. Woods has gone into the hands of the Injins, in 
his church shirt," rejoined the overseer, " his case is hope 
less, so far as captivity is consarned. One of the charges 
i the captain is, that the chaplain ho keeps prays as 
regulairly for the king as ho used to do when it was lawful, 
and agreeable to public foolin ." 

" This you heard, while under examination before the 
magistrate you have named?" demanded the captain. 



44 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

" As good as that, and something more to the same p int. 
The squire complained awfully of a minister s prayin for 
the king and r yal family, when the country was fightin 
em." 

" In that, the Rev. Mr. Woods only obeys orders," said 
the serjeant. 

" But they say not. The orders is gone out, now, they 
pretend, for no man to pray for any on em." 

" Ay orders from the magistrates, perhaps. But the 
Rev. Mr. Woods is a divine, and has his own superiors ire 
the church, and they must issue the commands that he obeys. 
I dare to say, your honour, if the archbishop of Canterbury, 
or the commander-in-chief of the church, whoever he may 
be, should issue a general order directing all the parsons 
not to pray for King George, the Rev. Mr. Woods would 
have no scruple about obeying. But, it s a different thing 
when a justice of the peace undertakes to stand fugleman 
for the clergy. It s like a navy captain undertaking to 
wheel a regiment." 

" Poor Woods !" exclaimed the captain " Had he been 
ruled by me, he would have dropped those prayers, and it 
would have been better for us both. But, he is of your 
opinion, serjeant, and thinks that a layman can have no 
authority over a gownsman." 

" And isn t he right, your honour ! Think what a mess 
of it the militia officers make, when they undertake to med 
dle with a regular corps. Some of our greatest difficulties 
in the last war came from such awkward hands attempting 
to manage machines of which they had no just notions. As 
for praying, your honour, I m no wise particular who I pray 
for, or what I pray for, so long as it be all set down in ge 
neral orders that come from the right head-quarters ; and I 
think the Rev. Mr. Woods ought to be judged by the same 
rule." 

As the captain saw no use in prolonging the dialogue, he 
dismissed his companions. He then sought his wife, in 
order to make her acquainted with the actual state of things. 
This last was a painful duty, though Mrs. Willoughby and 
her daughters heard the truth with less of apprehension 
than the husband and father had anticipated. They had 
suffered so much from uncertainty, that there was a relief 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 45 

in learning the truth. The mother did not think the autho 
rities of the colony would hurt her son, whom she fancied 
all men must, in a (Krivo, love as she loved. Jlrulah thought 
of her own husband as Bob s salt-guard; while Maud ll-lt it 
to be comparative happinrs > to know he was unharmed, and 
still so near her. 

This unpleasant duty discharged, the captain hegan to 
bethink him seriously of his military trust. After some 
reflection, and listening to a few more suggestions from 
Joyce, he consented to let the " quaker" be put on wheels. 
The carpenters were immediately set at work to achieve 
this job, which the serjeant volunteered to superintend, in 
person. As for Joel, his wife and children, with the mil 
ler, occupied most of the morning; the day turning, and 
even drawing towards its close, ere he became visible, 
as had formerly been his wont, among the men of the settle 
ment. 

All this time, everything without the palisades lay in the 
silence of nature. The sun cast its glories athwart the lovely 
scene, as in one of the Sabbaths of the woods ; but man 
was nowh -rr visible. Not a hostile Indian, or white, exhi 
bited himself; and the captain began to suspect that, satis 
fied with their captures, the party had commenced its return 
towards the river, postponing his own arrest for some other 
occasion. So strong did this impression become towards 
the close of the day, that he was actually engaged in writing 
to some friends of influence in Albany and on the Mohawk 
to interpose their names and characters in his son s behalf, 
wlu ii the serjeant, about nine o clock, the hour when he had 
been ordered to parade the guard for tho first half of the 
night, presented himself at the door of his room, to mako 
an important report. 

" What now, Joyce?" demanded the captain. " Are any 
of our fellows s-leepy, and plead illness?" 

"Worse than that, your honour, I greatly fear," was thn 
answer. Of the ten men your honour commanded me to 
detail for the guard, five are missing. I set them down as 
deserters." 

" Deserters ! This is serious, indeed ; let the signal bo 
made for a general parade the people cannot yet have 
gone to bed ; we will look into this." 



46 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

As Joyce made it matter of religion " to obey orders," 
this command was immediately put in execution. In five 
minutes, a messenger came to summon the captain to the 
court, where the garrison was under arms. The serjeant 
stood in front of the little party, with a lantern, holding his 
muster-roll in his hand. The first glance told the captain 
that a serious reduction had taken place in his forces, and 
he led the serjeant aside to hear his report. 

" What is the result of your inquiries, Joyce T he de 
manded, with more uneasiness than he would have liked to 
betray openly. 

" We have lost just half our men, sir. The miller, most 
of the Yankees, and two of the Dutchmen, are not on pa 
rade ; neither is one of them to be found in his quarters. 
They have either gone over to the enemy, captain Willough- 
by, or, disliking the appearance of things here, they have 
taken to the woods for safety." 

" And abandoned their wives and children, serjeant ! Men 
would scarcely do that." 

" Their wives and children have deserted too, sir. Not a 
chick or child belonging to either of the runaways is to be 
found in the Hut." 



CHAPTER IV. 

" For all the Welshmen, hearing thou wert dead, 
Are gone to Bolingbroke, dispersed and fled." 

Richard III. 

THIS was startling intelligence to receive just as night 
had shut in, and under the other circumstances of the case. 
Touching the men who still remained, captain Willoughby 
conceived it prudent to inquire into their characters and 
names, in order to ascertain the ground he stood on, and tc 
govern his future course accordingly. He put the question 
to the serjeant, therefore, as soon as he could lead him far 
enough from the little array, to be certain he was out of 
car-shot. 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 47 

"We have .Michael O Hearn, Jamie Allen, the two car- 
pcntcrs, the thn niters, Joel, and the three Dutchmen 
that last mine into the settlement, and the two lads that 
Strides engaged at the beginning of the year, left," was the 
answer. " Those, counting your honour and myself, make 
just fifteen men ; quite enough yet, I should think, to 
make good the house, in case of an assault though 1 lear 
everything like an outwork must be abandoned. " 

" On the whole, these are the best of our men," returned 
the captain ; " I mean the most trustworthy. I count on 
Mike, Jamie, and the blacks, as being as much to be relied 
on as we are ourselves. Joel, too, is a man of resources, 
if he will but do his duty under fire." 

" Corporal Strides is still an untried soldier, your honour; 
though recruits, even, sometimes do wonders. Of course, I 
shall reduce the guard to half its former strength, as the 
men must have some sleep, sir." 

" We must depend very much on your vigilance and 
mine, to-night, Joyce. You shall take the guard till one, 
when I will stand it for the rest of the night. I will speak 
to the men before you dismiss them. An encouraging word, 
just now, may be worth a platoon to us." 

The serjeant seldom dissented from any suggestion of his 
commanding officer, and the scheme was carried out on the 
spot. The lantern was so placed as to permit the captain to 
see the heterogeneous row of countenances that was drawn 
up before him, and he proceeded : 

" It seems, my friends," he said, " that some of our people 
have been seized with a panic, and have deserted. These 
mistaken men have not only fled themselves, but they Invo 
induced their wives and children to follow them. A little 
reflection will show you to what distress all must be reduced 
by this ill-judged flight. Fifty miles from another settlement 
of any size, and more than thirty from even a single huf, 
beyond the cabin of a hunter, days must pass before they 
can reach a place of safety, even should they escape the 
savage foe that we know to be scouring the woods. The 
n and children will not have sufficient art to conceal 
their trail, nor sufficient strength to hold out against hunger 
and fatigue many hours. God forgive them for what they 
have done, and guide them through the difficulties and pains 



48 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

by which they are menaced ! As for us, we must determine 
to do our whole duty, or, at once to retire, with the consent 
of each other. If there is a man among you, then, who 
apprehends the consequences of standing to his arms, and 
of defending this house, let him confess it frankly ; he shall 
have leave to depart, with all that belongs to him, taking 
food and the means of subsistence and defence with him. I 
wish no man to remain with me and mine, but he who can 
do it cheerfully. The night is now dark, and, by quitting 
the Hut at an early hour, such a start might be gained over 
any pursuers, as to place him in comparative security before 
morning. If any such man is here, let him now speak out 
honestly, and fear nothing. The gate shall be opened for 
his march." 

The captain paused, but not a soul answered. A common 
sentiment of loyalty seemed to bind every one of the listeners 
to his duty. The dark eyes of the negroes rolled along the 
short rank to see who would be the first to desert their mas 
ter, and grins of delight showed the satisfaction with 
which they noted the effect of the appeal. As for Mike, he 
felt too strongly to keep silence, and he muttered the passing 
impnessions aloud. 

" Och !" growled the county Leitrim-man " Is it a good 
journey that I wish the runaways ? That it isn t, nor many 
a good male either, as they trudge alang t rough the woods, 
with their own consciences forenent their eyes, pricking 
them up to come back, like so many t ieves of the wor-r-ld, 
as they are, every mother s son of em, women and all. I d 
nivir do that; no, not if my head was all scalp, down to the 
soles of my fut, and an Injin was at every inch of it, to cut 
out his summer clothes of my own skin. Talk of religion 
amang sich cr athures ! Why, there isn t enough moral in 
one of thim to carry him through the shortest prayer the 
Lord allows a Christian to utter. Divil burn em say I, and 
that s my kindest wish in their behalf." 

The captain waited patiently for this soliloquy to termi 
nate ; then he dismissed the men, with a few more words 
of encouragement, and his thanks for the fidelity they, at 
least, had shown. By this time the night had got to be dark, 
and the court was much more so, on account of the shadows 
of the buildings, than places in the open air. As the captain 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 49 

turned aside to give his last instructions to Joyce, he disco- 
vered, by the light of the lantern the latter held, a figure 
standing at no great distance, quite dimly seen on account 
of its proximity to the walls of the Hut. It was clearly a 
iii.-tn ; and as all the males able to bear arms, a single sen 
tinel outside the court exceptcd, were supposed to be in the 
group that had not yet separated, the necessity of ascer 
taining the character of this unlooked-for visiter flashed on 
the minds of both the old soldiers at the same instant. Joyce 
raised the lantern, as they moved quickly towards the mo 
tionless form, and its light glanced athwart a pair of wild, 
glowing, dark eyes, and the red visage of an Indian. 

" Nick !" exclaimed the captain, "is that you? V/hat 
has brought you here again, and how have you entered the 
palisades? Do you come as a friend, to aid us, or as an 
enemy ?" 

" Too much question, cap in too much like squaw ; ask 
all togeder. Go to book-room ; Nick follow ; tell all he got 
to say." 

The captain whispered the serjeant to ascertain whether 
thf watch without was vigilant, when he led the way to the 
library, where, as he expected, he found his wife and daugh 
ters, anxiously waiting his appearance. 

" Oh ! Hugh, I trust it is not as bad as we feared !" cried 
the mother, as the captain entered the room, closely attended 
by the Tuscarora ; " our men cannot be so heartless as to 
desert us at such a moment !" 

The captain kissed his wife, said a word or two of en 
couragement, and pointed to the Indian. 

Nick !" exclaimed all three of the females, in a breath. 
Though the tones of their voices denoted very different sen 
sations, at the unexpected appearance of their old acquaint- 
an<-e. .Mrs. Willouiihby s exclamation was not without plea 
sure, for she thought the man her friend ; Beulah s was 
filled with alarm, little Evert and savage massacres suddenly 
-ing the sensitive mind of the young mother; while 
Maud s tone had much of the stejrn resolution that she had 
summoned to sustain her in a moment of such fearful trial. 
" Yes, Nick Sassy Nick," repeated the Indian, in his 
guttural voice " Ole friend you no glad sec him?" 
VOL. II.-5 



50 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

" That will depend on your errand," interposed the cap 
tain. " Are you one of the party that is now lying at the 
mill ? but, stop ; how did you get within the palisades ? 
First answer me that." 

" Come in. Tree no good to stop Injin. Can t do it 
vvid branches, how do it widout? Want plenty of musket 
and plenty of soldier to do dat. Dis no garrison, cap in, to 
make Nick afeard. Always tell him too much hole to be 
tight." 

" This is not answering my question, fellow. By what 
means did you pass the palisades?" 

" What means? Injin means, sartain. Came like cat, 
jump like deer, slide like snake. Nick great Tuscarora 
chief; know well how warrior march, when he dig up 
hatchet." 

" And Nick has been a great hanger-on of garrisons, and 
should know the use that I can make of his back. You 
will remember, Tuscarora, that I have had you flogged, 
more than once, in my day." 

This was said menacingly, and with more warmth, per 
haps, than was prudent. It caused the listeners to start, as 
if a sudden and new danger rose before their eyes, and the 
anxious looks he encountered warned the captain that he 
was probably going too far. As for Nick, himself, the ga 
thering thunder-cloud is not darker than his visage became 
at the words he heard ; it seemed by the moral writhing of 
his spirit as if every disgracing blow he had received was at 
that instant torturing his flesh anew, blended with the keenest 
feelings of ignominy. Captain Willoughby was startled at 
the effect he had produced ; but it was too late to change his 
course ; and he remained in dignified quiet, awaiting the 
workings of the Tuscarora s mind. 

It was more than a minute ere Nick made any reply. 
Gradually, but t very slowly, the expression of his visage 
changed. It finally became as stoical in expression as se 
vere training could render the human countenance, and as 
unmoved as marble. Then he found the language he 
wanted. 

^ " Listen," said the Indian, sternly. " Cap in ole man. 
(lot a head like snow on rock. He bold soldier; but he 
no got wisdom enough for gray hair. Why he put he hand 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 51 

rough, on pi arc where whip strike . Wi>r man iicbber do 
dat. Last winter lie cold; fire wanted to make, him warm. 
Mueh iff, miu-h storm, inueh snow. \\"orld serin bad lit 
only for bear, and snake, dat hide in rock. Well; winter 
gone away ; ice gone away ; snow gone away ; storm gone 
away. Summer come, in his place. Kbbery t ing good 
obbcry t ing pleasant. Why fink of winter, when summer 
come, and drive him away wid pleasant sky?" 

" In order to provide for its return. He who never thought 
of the evil day, in the hour of his prosperity, would find that 
he lias forgotten, not only a duty, but the course of wis 
dom." 

He not wise!" said Nick, sternly. " Cap in pale-face 
chief. He got garrison; got soldier; got musket. Well, 
he flog warrior s back ; make blood come. Dat bad enough ; 
worse to put finger on ole sore, and make e pain, and e 
shame, come back ag in." 

" Perhaps it would have been more generous, Nick, to 
have said nothing about it ; but, you see how I am situated ; 
an enemy without, my men deserting, a bad look-out, and 
one finding his way into my very court-yard, and I ignorant 
of the means." 

" Nick tell cap in all about means. If red-men outside, 
shoot Vw; if garrison run away, flog garrison; if don t 
know, Tarn ; but, don t flog back, ag in, on olc sore !" 

" Well, well, say no more about it, Nick. Here is a dollar 
to keep you in rum, and we will talk of other matters." 

Nick heeded not the money, though it was held before his 
. some little time, to tempt him. Perceiving that the 
, rora was now acting as a warrior and a chief, which 
Nick would do, and do well, on occasion, the captain pock 
eted the oflerinc, and regulated his own course accordingly. 

" At all events, I have a right to insist on knowing, firs!, 
ly what means you entered the palisades ; and, second, 
\\*hat business has brought you here, at night, and so sud 
denly." 

" Ask Nick, cap in, all he right to ask ; but, don t touch 
ole fii".:. H"W I cross palisade? Where your sentinel to 
stop Injin? One at gate; well, none all round, t other place. 
Get in, up here, down dere, over yonder. Ten, twenty, 
t ree spot s pose him tree? climb him. S posc him pa- 



T il E HUTTED KNOLL. 

lisade? climb him, too. What help? Soldier out at gate, 
when Nick get over t other end ! Come in court, too, when 
he want. Half gate half no gate. So easy, shamed to brag 
of. Cap in once Nick s friend went on same war-path 
dat in ole time. Both warrior; both went ag in French 
garrison. Well ; who crept in, close by cannon, open gate, 
let pale-men in. Great Tuscarora do dat; no flog, den 
no talk of ole sore, dat night !" 

" This is all true enough, Wyandotte" This was Nick s 
loftiest appellation ; and a grim, but faint smile crossed his 
visage, as he heard it, again, in the mouth of one who had 
known him when its sound carried terror to the hearts of 
his enemies " This is all true, Wyandotte, and I have ever 
given you credit for it. On that occasion you were bold as 
the lion, and as cunning as a fox you were much honour 
ed for that exploit." 

" No ole sore in dat, um ?" cried Nick, in a way so start 
ling as to sicken Mrs. Willoughby to the heart. " No call 
Nick dog, dat ni^ht. He all warrior, den all face ; no 



" I have said you were honoured for your conduct, Nick, 
and paid for it. Now, let me know what has brought you 
here to-night, and whence you come." 

There was another pause. Gradually, the countenance 
of the Indian became less and less fierce, until it lost its ex 
pression of malignant resentment in one in which human 
emotions of a kinder nature predominated. 

" Squaw good," he said, even gently, waving his hand 
towards Mrs. Willoughby " Got son; love him like little 
baby. Nick come six, two time before, runner from her 
son." 

" My son, Wyandotte !" exclaimed the mother " Bring 
you any tidings, now, from my boy?" 

" No bring tidin too heavy; Indian don t love to carry 
load bring letter" 

The cry from the three females was now common, each 
holding out her hand, with an involuntary impulse, to re 
ceive the note. Nick drew the missive from a fold of his 
garment, and placed it in the hand of Mrs. Willoughby, with 
a quiet grace that a courtier might have wished to equal, in 
vain. 



THE HI T T I> K X O I, L . f)3 

The note was short, and had been writlm in pencil, on a 
Iraf torn from some book of coane paper. The handwriting 
however, was at once nro-nix-d as Robert WilloughbyX 
though there was no address, nor any signature. The paper 
merely contained the following 

" Trust to your defences, and to nothing else. This party 
.my white men in it, disguised as Indians. 1 am sus 
pected, if not known. You will be tampered with, but the 
wisest course is to be firm. If Nick is honest, he can tell 
you more; if false, this note will be shown, even though it 
be delivered. Secure the inner gates, and depend more on 
the house itself, than on the palisades. Fear nothing for 
me my life can be in no danger." 

This note was read by each, in succession, Maud turning 
aside to conceal the tears that iell fasten the paj>er, as she pe 
rused it. She read it last, and was enabled to retain it ; and 
pnvious to her heart was the boon, at such a moment, when 
nearly every sensation of her being centred in intense feel 
ing in behalf of the captiv. 

" We are told to inquire the particulars of you, Nick," 
observed the captain ; " I hope you will tell us nothing but 
truth. A lie is so unworthy a warrior s mouth!" 

Nick didn t lie bout beaver dam ! Cap in no find him 
good, as Indian say ?" 

" In that you dealt honestly, and I give you credit for it. 
Has any one seen this letter but ourselves, yourself, and the 
person who wrote it ?" 

"What for ask? If Nick say no, cap in t ink he lie. 
Even fox tell trut some time ; why not Injin ? Nick say 
NO." 

" Where did you leave my son, and when ? Where is 
the party of red-skins at this moment?" 

" Alf pale-face in hurry! Ask ten, one, four question, 
altogeder. Well; answer him so. Down here, at mill; 
down dere, at mill ; half an hour, six, two, ten o clock." 

" I understand you to say that major Willoughby was at 
the mill when you saw him "last, and that this was only half 
an hour since?" 

The Tuscarora nodded his head in nsscnt, but made no 
other reply. Even as he did this, his keen eyes rolled over 
the pallid faces of the females in a way to awaken the cap- 
5* 



54 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

tain s distrust, and he resumed his questions in a tone that 
partook more of the military severity of his ancient habits 
than of the gentler manner he had been accustomed to use 
of late years. 

" You know me, Nick," he said sternly, " and ought to 
dread my displeasure." 

" What cap in mean, now ?" demanded the Indian, 
quietly. 

" That the same whip is in this fort that I always kept in 
the other, in which you knew me to dwell ; nor have I for 
gotten how to use it." 

The Tuscarora gazed at the captain with a very puzzling 
expression, though, in the main, his countenance appeared 
to be ironical rather than fierce. 

" What for, talk of whip, now?" he said. " Even Yen- 
geese gen ral hide whip, when he see enemy. Soldier can t 
fight when back sore. When battle near, den all good 
friend ; when battle over, den flog, flog, flog. Why talk 
so ? Cap in nebber strike Wyandottc." 

" Your memory must be short, to say this ! I thought an 
Indian kept a better record of what passed." 

" No man dare strike Wyandotte !" exclaimed the In 
dian, with energy. " No man pale-face or red-skin, can 
give blow on back of Wyandotte, and see sun set !" 

" Well well Nick ; we will not dispute on this point, 
but let bye-gones be bye-gones. What has happened, has 
happened, and I hope will never occur again." 

" Dat happen to Nick Sassy Nick poor, drunken 
Nick to Wyandotte, nebber!" 

" I believe I begin to understand you, now, Tuscarora, 
and am glad I have a chief and a warrior in my house, in 
stead of a poor miserable outcast. Shall I have the pleasure 
of filling you a glass in honour of our old campaigns?" 

" Nick alway dry Wyandotte know no thirst. Nick, 
beggar ask for rum pray for rum fink of rum, talk of 
rum, laugh for rum, cry for rum. Wyandotte don t know 
rum, when he see him. Wyandotte beg not in ; no, not his 
scalp." 

" All this sounds well, and I am both willing and glad, 
chief, to receive you in the character in which you give me 
to understand you have now come. A warrior of Wyan- 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 55 

dotte s high name is too proud to carry a forked tongue in 
his mouth, and I shall hear nothing but truth. Tell me, 
(hen, all you know about this party at the mill ; what has 
brought it here, how you came to meet my son, and what 
will be the next step of his captors. Answer the questions 
in the order in which I put them." 

" Wyandotte not newspaper to tell ebbery t ing at once. 
Let cap in talk like one chief speaking to anoder." 

" Then, tell me first, what you know of this party at tha 
mill. Are there many pale-faces in it?" 

" Put em in the river," answered the Indian, senten- 
tiously ; " water tell the trut ." 

" You think that there are many among them that would 
wash white?" 

" Wyandotte know so. When did red warriors ever travel 
on their path like hogs in drove ? One red-man there, as 
Great Spirit make him ; by his side two red-men as paint 
make em. This soon told on trail." 

" You struck their trail, then, and joined their company, 
in that manner?" 

Another nod indicated the assent of the Indian. Perceiving 
that the Tuscarora did not intend to speak, the captain con 
tinued his interrogatories. 

"And how did the trail betray this secret, chief?" ho 
asked. 

" Toe turn out step too short trail too broad trail too 
plain march too short." 

" You must have followed them some distance, Wyan 
dotte, to learn all this?" 

" Follow from Mohawk join em at mill. Tuscarora 
don t like too much travel with Mohawk." 

" But, according to your account, there cannot be a great 
many red-skins in the party, if the white men so much out 
number them." 

Nick, now, raised his ri^ht hand, showing all the fingers 
and the thumb, at each exhibition, four several times. Then 
he raised it once, showing only the fore-finger and thumb. 

"This makes twenty-two, Nick Do you include your 
self in the number?" 

" Wyandotte, a Tuscarora he count Mohawks" 

" True Are there any other red-men among them 7" 



56 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

" Oneida, so" holding up four fingers only. After which 
he held up a single finger, adding " Onondaga, so." 

" Twenty-two Mohawks, four Oneidas, and a single Onon 
daga, make twenty-seven in all. To these, how many whites 
am I to add ? You counted them, also 1" 

The Indian now showed both hands, with all the fingers 
extended, repeating the gestures four times ; then he showed 
one hand entire, and two fingers on the other. 

" Forty-seven. Add these to the red- skins, and we get 
seventy-four for the total. I had supposed them rather 
stronger than this, Wyandotte ?" 

"No stronger no weaker just so. Good many ole 
womans, too, among pale-faces." 

"Old women! You are not speaking literally , Nick? 
All that I have seen appear to be men." 

" Got beard ; but ole woman, too. Talk talk talk ; 
do not in . Dat what Injin call ole woman. Party, poor 
party ; cap in beat em, if he fight like ole time." 

" Well, this is encouraging, Wilhelmina, and Nick seems 
to be dealing fairly with us." 

" Now, inquire more about Robert, Hugh" said the wife, 
in whose maternal heart her children were always upper 
most. 

" You hear, Nick ; my wife is desirous of learning some 
thing about her son, next." 

During the preceding dialogue, there had been something 
equivocal in the expression of the Indian s face. Every 
word he uttered about the party, its numbers, and his own 
manner of falling in with it, was true, and his countenance 
indicated that he was dealing fairly. Still, the captain fan 
cied that he could detect a covert fierceness in his eye and 
air, and he felt uneasiness even while he yielded him cre 
dence. As soon as Mrs. Willoughby, however, interposed, 
the gleam of ferocity that passed so naturally and readily 
athwart the swarthy features of the savage, melted into a 
look of gentleness, and there were moments when it might 
be almost termed softness. 

" Good to have moder" said Nick, kindly. "Wyandotte 
got no squaw wife dead, moder dead, sister dead all gone 
to land of spirits by m bye, chief follow. No one throw 
stone on his grave ! Been on death-path long ago, but 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 57 

cap in s squaw say * stop, Nick ; little too soon, now ; take 
medicine, and get well. Squaw made to do good. Chief 
ulway like e squaw, when his mint! not wild with war." 

" And your mind, Wyandutte, is not wild with war, now," 
answered* Mrs. Willotighby, earnestly. "You will help a 
mother, then, to get her son out of the hands of mercile.ss 
enemies ?" 

" Why you t ink merciless? Because pale-face dress like 
Injin, and try to cheat?" 

" That may be one reason ; but I fear there are many 
others. Tell me, Wyandotle, how came you to discover 
that Robert was a prisoner, and by what means did he con 
trive to give you his let: 

The Indian assumed a look of pride, a little blended with 
hauteur; for he felt that he was manifesting the superiority 
of a red-man over the pale-face, as he related the means 
through which he had made his discoveries. 

" Read book on ground," Nick answered gravely. "Two 
book alway open before chief; one in sky, t other on ground. 
Book in sky, tell weather snow, rain, wind, thunder, 
lightning, war hook on ground, tell what happen." 

* And what had this book on the ground to do with my 
son, Wyandolte ?" 

" Tcfl all about him. Major s trail first seen at mill. No 
moccasin much boot. Soldier boot like letter say 
deal, in few word. First t ink it cap in ; but it too short. 
Den know it Major." 

" This sounds very well, Nick," interrupted the captain, 
" though you will excuse me if I say it is going a little too 
*far. It seems impossible that you should know that the 
print of the foot was that of my son. How could you be 
certain of this?" 

" How could, eh? Who follow trail from houso, hero, to 
Hudson river ? T ink Nick blind, and can t see? Tusrarora 
read his book well as pale-face read bible." Hero Nick 
looked round him a moment, raised his foro-fingor, dropped 
his voice, and added earnestly " see him at Bunker Hill 
know him among ten, six, two t ousand warrior. Know dal 
foot, if meet him in Happy Hunting Ground." 

" And why my son s foot, in particular ? The boot is often 
changed, can never be exactly like its predecessor, and one 



58 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

boot is so much like another, that to me the thing seems 
impossible. This account of the boot, Nick, makes me 
distrust your whole story." 

" What distrust?" demanded the Indian like lightning. 

"It means doubt, uncertainty distrust." 

"Don t believe, hal" 

" Yes, that is it, substantially. Don t more than half be 
lieve, perhaps, would be nearer to the mark." 

" Why, ole soldier alway distrust ; squaw nebber? Ask 
moder ha ! you t ink Nick don t know son s trail hand 
some trail, like young chiefs ?" 

" I can readily believe Nick might recognise Bob s trail, 
Hugh" expostulated Mrs. Willoughby. "He has a foot in 
a thousand you may remember how every one was accus 
tomed to speak of his beautiful foot, even when he was a 
boy. As a man, I think it still more remarkable." 

" Ay, go on, Nick, in this way, and my wife will believe 
all you say. There is no distrust in a mother s partiality, 
certainly. You are an old courtier, and would make your 
way at St. James s." 

" Major nebber tell about foot ?" asked Nick, earnestly. 

" I remember nothing ; and had he spoken of any such 
thing, I must have heard it. But, never mind the story, 
now ; you saw the foot-print, and knew it for my son s. Did 
you ask to be admitted to his prison ? or was your inter 
course secret?" 

" Wyandotte too wise to act like squaw, or boy. See 
him, widout look. Talk, widout speak hear, widout ear. 
Major write letter, Nick take him. All done by eye and 
hand ; not in done by tongue, or at Council Fire. Mohawk- 
blind like owl !" 

" May I believe you, Tuscarora ; or, incited by demons, 
do you come to deceive me ?" 

" Ole warrior look two time before he go; t ink ten time 
before he say, yes. All good. Nick no affronted. Do so 
himself, and t ink it right. Cap in may believe all Nick 
say." 

" Father !" cried Maud, with simple energy, " I will an 
swer fo>- the Indian s honesty. He has guided Robert so 
often, and been with him in so many trying scenes, he never 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 59 

can have the heart to betray him, or us. Trust him, then ; 
lie may be of infinite sen 

Even captain Willoiighby, little disposed as he was to 
judge Nick favourably, was struck with the glcirn of manly 
kindo bol ;KT>S the dark face of the Indian, as he 

ga/fd at the glowing check and illuminated countenance of 
the ard -nl ami beautiful girl. 

M Nick seems disposed to make a truce with T/OW, at least, 
Maud," he said, smiling, "and I shall now know where to 
look for a mediator, whenever any trouble arises between 
us." 

" I have known Wvandolte, dear sir, from childhood, and 
he has ever been my friend. lie promised me, in particular, 
to be true to Bob, and I am happy to say he has ever kept 
his word." 

This was telling but half the story. Maud had made the 
Indian many presents, and most especially had she attended 
to his wants, when it was known he was to be the major s 
guide, the year previously, on his return to Boston. Nick 
had known her real father, and was present at his death. 
1 1 % was consequently acquainted with her actual position in 
the family of the Hutted Knoll; and, what was of far more 
consequence in present emergencies, he had fathomed the 
depths of her heart, in a way our heroine could hardly be 
said to have done herself. Off her guard with such a being, 
Maud s solicitude, however, had betrayed her, and the pene 
trating Tuscarora had discerned that which had escaped the 
observation of father, and mother, and sister. Had Nick 
been a pale-face, of the class of those with whom he usually 
associated, his discovery would have gone through the set 
tlement, with scoffincs and exaggerations ; but this forest 
gentleman, for such was Wyandotte, in spite of his di gra 
dation and numerous failings, had too much consideration 
to make a woman s affections the subject of his coarseness 
and nif-rrimrnt. The secrets of Maud would not have been 
more sacred with her own brother, had such a relative 
existed to become her confidant, than it was with Saucy 
Nick. 

" Nick gal s friend," observed the Indian, quietly ; " dat 
enough ; what Nick say, Nick mean. What Nick mean, 



60 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

he do. Come, cap in ; time to quit squaw, and talk about 
war." 

At this hint, which was too plain to be misunderstood, 
captain Willoughby bade the Indian withdraw to the court, 
promising to follow him, as soon as he could hold a short 
conference with Joyce, who was now summoned to the 
council. The subject of discussion was the manner in which 
the Tuscarora had passed the stockade, and the probability 
of his being true. The serjeant was disposed to distrust all 
red-men, and he advised putting Nick under arrest, and to 
keep him in durance, until the return of light, at least. 

* I might almost say, your honour, that such are orders, 
sir. The advice to soldiers carrying on war with savages, 
tells us that the best course is to pay off treachery with 
treachery ; and treachery is a red-skin s manual exercise. 
There is O Hearn will make a capital sentinel, for the fellow 
is as true as the best steel in the army. Mr. Woods room 
is empty, and it is so far out of the way that nothing will be 
easier than to keep the savage snug enough. Besides, by 
a little management, he might fancy we were doing him 
honour all the while." 

" We will see, serjeant," answered the captain. " It has 
a bad appearance, and yet it may be the wisest thing we can 
do. Let us first go the rounds, taking Nick with us for 
safety, and determine afterwards." 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 61 



CHAPTER V. 

** His hand was stay d he knew not why; 
Twas a presence breathed around 
A pleading- from the deep-blue sky, 
And up from the teeming- ground. 
It told of the care that lavished had been 
In sunshine and in dew 
Of the many things that had wrought a screen 
When peril round it grew." 

MRS. SEBA SMITH. 

THE desertions gave not only the captain, but his great 
support and auxiliary, the serjeant, the gravest apprehen 
sions. A disposition of that nature is always contagious, 
men abandoning a failing cause much as rats are known to 
quit a sinking ship. It is not a matter of surprise, therefore, 
that the distrust which accompanied the unexpected appear- 
awe of the Tuscarora, became associated with this tailing 
off in the loyalty of the garrison, in the minds of the two 
old soldiers. 

" I do think, your honour," said Joyce, as they entered 
the court together, " that we may depend on O FIearn, and 
Jamie, and Strides. The latter, as a matter of course, being 
a corporal, or serjeant as he calls himself; and the two first, 
as men who have no ties but such as would be likely to keep 
them true to this family. But here is the corporal to speak 
for himself." 

As this was said, corporal Strides, as the serjeant persist 
ed in terming Joel, on the ground that being but one stop 
higher himself, the overseer could justly claim no rank of 
greater pretension, approached the captain, taking care to 
make the military salute which Joyce had never succeeded 
before in extracting from him, notwithstanding a hundred 
admonitions on the subject. 

" This is a distressing affair, captain Willoughby," ob- 
sfTvod Joel, in his most Jesuitical manner ; " and to me it is 
altogether onaccountable ! It does seem to me ag in natur , 

VOL. II. 6 



62 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

for a man to desart his own household and hum (Joel meant 
< home ) in the hour of trial. If a fellow-being wunt (Anglice 
wont ) stand by his wife and children, he can hardly be 
expected to do any of his duties." 

" Quite true, Strides," answered the confiding captain, 
" though these deserters are not altogether as bad as you 
represent, since, you will remember, they have carried their 
wives and children with them." 

" I believe they have, sir yes, that must be allowed to 
be true, and that it is, which to me "seems the most extr or - 
nary. The very men that a person would calciiate on the 
most, or the heads of families, have desarted, while them 
that remain behind are mostly single !" 

" If we single men have no wives and children of our 
own to fight for, Strides," observed Joyce, with a little mili 
tary stiffness, " we have the wife and children of captain 
Willoughby ; no man who wishes to sell his life dearly, 
need look for a better motive." 

" Thank you, serjeant," the captain said, feelingly "On 
you, I can rely as on myself. So long as I have you, and 
Joel, here, and Mike and the blacks, and the rest of the 
brave fellows who have stood by me thus far, I shall not 
despair. We can make good the house against ten times 
our own number. But, it is time to look to the Indians." 

" I was going to speak to the captain about Nick," put in 
Joel, who had listened to the eulogium on his own fidelity 
with some qualms of conscience. " I can t say I like the 
manner he has passed between the two parties ; and that 
fellow has always seemed to me as if he owed the captain a 
mortal grudge ; when an Injin does owe a grudge, he is 
pretty sartain to pay it, in full." 

" This has passed over my mind, too, I will confess, Joel ; 
yet Nick and I have been on reasonably good terms, when 
one comes to remember his character, on the one side, and 
the fact that I have commanded a frontier garrison on the 
other. If I have had occasion to flog him a few times, I 
have also had occasion to give him more rum than has done 
him good, with now and then a dollar." 

u There I think the captain miscalcilates," observed Joel, 
with a knowledge of human nature that would have been 
creditable to him, had he practised on it himself. " No man 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 63 

is thankful for rum when the craving is off, sin he knows 
he has Ixx ii taking an iniiny into iiis stomach ; and as for 
the money, it was much the same as giving the liquor, secin 
that it went for liquor as soon as he could trot down to the 
mill. A man will seek his rc\engi- lor rum, as soon as (ir 
anything else, when he gets to feel injuries uppermost. Be- 
I s pose the captain knows an injury will be remem 
bered long a ter a favour is forgotten." 

" This may be true, Strides, and certainly I shall keep 
my eyes on the Indian. Can you mention any particular 
act, that excites your suspicion ?" 

" Don t the captain think Nick may have had suthin to 
do with the desartions ? A dozen men would scarce desart 
all at once, as it might be, onless some one was at the bot 
tom of it." 

This was true enough, certainly, though Joel chose to 
keep out of view all his own machinations and arts on the 
subject. The captain was struck by the suggestion, and he 
determined to put his first intention in respect to Nick in 
force immediately. Still, it was necessary to proceed with 
caution, the state of the Hut rendering a proper watch and 
a suitable prison difficult to be obtained. These circum 
stances were mentioned to the overseer, who led the way to 
the part of the buildings occupied by his own family ; and, 
throwing open the doors, ostentatiously exhibited Phrcbe 
and her children in their customary beds, at a moment when 
so many others had proved recreant. His professed object 
was to offer a small closet in his own rooms as a prison for 
Nick, remarking he must be an ingenious savage indeed, if 
he could escape the vigilance of as many watchful eyes as 
would then be on him. 

" I Ix^lieve you, Strides," said the captain, smiling as he 
walked away from the place; " if he can escape Phcelx; and 
Inr children, the fellow must be made of quicksilver. Still, 
1 have a better prison in view. I am glad to see this proof, 
however, of your own fidelity, by finding all your family in 
their beds ; for those are not wanting who would have me 
suspect even you" 

" Me ! Well, if the captain can t count on his own over 
seer, I should like to ask such persons on whom he can 
count ? Madam Willoughby and the young ladies isn t more 



64 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

likely to remain true than I am, myself, I should think. 
What in reason, or natur , or all lawful objects, could make 

55 

Joel was about to run into that excess of vindication that 
is a little apt to mark guilt ; but, the captain cut him short, 
by telling him it was unnecessary, recommending vigilance, 
and walking away in search of Nick. 

The Indian was found standing beneath the arch of the 
gateway, upright, motionless, and patient. A lantern was 
kept burning here, the place being used as a sort of guard 
house ; and, by its light, it was easy to perceive the state 
of the still unhung leaf of the passage. This leaf, however, 
was propped in its place, by strong timbers ; and, on the 
whole, many persons would think it the most secure half 
of the gate. Captain Willoughby observed that the Indian 
was studying this arrangement when he entered the place 
himself. The circumstance caused him uneasiness, and 
quickened his determination to secure the Indian. 

" Well, Nick," he said, concealing his intention under an 
appearance of indifference, " you see our gates are well 
fastened, and steady hands and quick eyes will do the rest. 
It is getting late, and I wish to have you comfortably lodged 
before I lie down myself. Follow me, and I will show you 
to a place where you will be at your ease." 

The Tuscarora understood the captain s object the instant 
he spoke of giving him comfortable lodgings, a bed being a 
thing that was virtually unknown to his habits. But, he 
raised no objections, quietly treading in the other s footsteps, 
until both were in the bed-room of the absent Mr. Woods. 
The apartments of the chaplain were above the library, and, 
being in the part of the house that was fortified by the cliff, 
they had dormer windows that looked toward the forest. 
The height of these windows the captain thought would be 
a sufficient security against flight ; and by setting Mike and 
one of the Plinys on the look-out, to relieve each other at 
intervals of four hours, he thought the Tuscarora might bo 
kept until the return of light. The hour when he most ap 
prehended danger was that which just precedes the day, 
sleep then pressing the heaviest on the sentinel s eye-lids, 
and rest having refreshed the assailants. 

" Here, Wyandotte, I intend you shall pass the night," 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 65 

said the captain, assuming as much courtesy of mariner as 
if he wore doing the honours of his house to an invited and 
honoured guest. " I know you despise a bed, hut there are 
hiankrts, anil by spreading them on the floor, you can make 
your o\\ n arrai.. 

Nick mad** a ii< -sture of assent, looking cautiously around 
him, carefully avoiding every appearance of curiosity at the 
same time, more in pride of character, however, than in 
cunning. Nevertheless, he took in the history of the locality 
at a lilan 

"ft is well," he said; "a Tuscarora chief no t ink of 
sleep. Sleep come standing, walking; where he will, ichcn 
he will. Dog eats, den lie down to sleep ; warrior always 
ready. Good bye, cap in to-morrow see him ag in." 

" Good night, Nick. I have ordered your old friend 
Mike, the Irishman, to come and sit in your room, lest you 
might want something in the night. You are good friends 
with Mike, I believe; I chose him on that account." 

The Indian understood this, too; but not an angry gleam, 
no smile, nor any other sign, betrayed his consciousness of 
the captain s motives. 

" Mike good" he answered, with emphasis. " Long 
tongue short t ink. Say much ; mean little. Heart sound, 
like hard oak mind, like spunk burn quick, no too much 
strong." 

This sententious and accurate delineation of the county 
Leitrim-man s characteristics induced a smile in the captain; 
but, O Hearn entering at the moment, and possessing his 
entire confidence, he saw no use in replying. In another 
minute the two worthies were left in possession of the bed 
room, Michael having received a most solemn injunction not 
to be tempted to drink. 

It was now so late, the captain determined to let the regu 
lar watches of the night take their course. He held a short 
consultation with Joyce, who took the first ward, and then 
threw himself on a mattrass, in his clothes, his affectionate 
wife having done the same thing, by the side of her daugh- 
t> is and grandson in an adjoining room. In a short time, 
the sounds of footsteps ceased in the Hut ; and, one unac 
quainted with the real state of the household, might have 
6* 



66 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

fancied -that the peace and security of one of its ancient 
midnights were reigning about the Knoll. 

It was just two in the morning, when the serjeant tapped 
lightly at the door of his commanding officer s room. The 
touch was sufficient to bring the captain to his feet, and he 
instantly demanded the news. 

" Nothing but sentry-go, your honour," replied Joyce. 
" I am as fresh as a regiment that is just marching out of 
barracks, and can easily stand the guard till day-light. 
Still, as it was orders to call your honour at two, I could do 
no less, you know, sir." 

" Very well, serjeant I will just wash my eyes, and be 
with you in a minute. How has the night gone?" 

" Famously quiet, sir. Not even an owl to trouble it. 
The sentinels have kept their eyes wide open, dread of the 
scalping-knife being a good wakener, and no sign of any 
alarm has been seen. I will wait for your honour, in the 
court, the moment of relieving guard being often chosen by 
a cunning enemy for the assault." 

" Yes," sputtered the captain, his face just emerging from 
the water " if he happen to know when that is." 

In another minute, the two old soldiers were together in 
the court, waiting the return of Jamie Allen with his report, 
the mason having been sent round to the beds of the fresh 
men to call the guard. It was not long, however, before 
the old man was seen hastening towards the spot where 
Joyce had bid him come. 

" The Lord ha maircy on us, and on a wretched sin 
ners !" exclaimed Jamie, as soon as near enough to be 
heard without raising his voice on too high a key " there 
are just the beds of the three Connecticut lads that were to 
come into the laird s guard, as empty as a robin s nest fra 
which the yang ha j flown !" 

"Do you mean, Jamie, that the boys have deserted?" 

" It s just that ; and no need of ca ing it by anither name. 
The Hoose o Hanover wad seem to have put the deil in a 
the lads, women and children included, and to have raised 
up a spirit o disaffection, that is fast leaving us to carry on 
this terrible warfare with our ain hearts and bodies." 

" With your honour s permission," said the serjeant, " I 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 07 

would ask corporal Allen if the deserters have gone off with 
thrir arms and uivoiitrrnn-ir 

**Airms1 Ay, and legs, and a belonging to em, w th 
mair that is the lawfu property of the laird. Not so much 
as a flint is left he-hind." 

"Then we may count on seeing all the fellows in tho 
enemy s ranks," the scrjoant quietly remarked, helping him- 
self to the tobacco from -which he had refrained throughout 
the previous hours of the night, Joyce being too much of a 
martinet to smoke or chew on duty. " It s up-hill work, 
your honour, when every deserter counts two, in this man 
ner. The civil wars, however, are remarkable for this sort 
of wheeling, and facing to the right-about ; the same man 
often changing his colours two or three times in a cam 
paign." 

Captain Wilioughby received the news of this addition to 
his ill lurk with an air of military stoicism, though he felt, 
in reality, more like a father and a husband on the occasion 
than like a hero. Accustomed to self-command, he suc 
ceeded in concealing the extent of his uneasiness, while he 
immediately set about inquiring into the extent of the evil. 

" Joel is to join my watch," he said, " and he may throw 
some light on this affair. Let us call him, at once, for a 
few minutes may prove of importance." 

Even while speaking, the captain crossed the court, ac 
companied by the serjcant and mason ; and, ceremony being 
little attended to on such occasions, they all entered the 
quarters of Strides, in a body. The place was empty ! 
Man, woman, and children had abandoned the spot, seem 
ingly in a body ; and this, too, far from empty-handed. The 
manner in which the room had br-rn stripped, indrvd. 
the first fact which induced the captain to believe that a man 
so much and so long trusted would desert him in a strait so 
serious. There could be no mistake ; and, for a moment, 
the husband and father felt such a sinking of the heart as 
would be apt to follow the sudden conviction that his enemies 
must prevail. 

"Let us look further, Joyce," he said, "and ascertain 
the extent of the evil at once." 

" This is a very bad example, your honour, that corporal 
Strides has set the men, and we may expect to hear of more 



68 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

desertions. A non-commissioned officer should have had 
too much pride for this ! I have always remarked, sir, in 
the army, that when a non-commissioned officer left his 
colours, he was pretty certain to carry off a platoon with 
him." 

The search justified this opinion of the serjeant. A com 
plete examination of the quarters of all the men having been 
made, it was ascertained tha-t every white man in the Hut, 
the serjeant, Jamie Allen, and a young New England 
labourer of the name of Blodget excepted, had abandoned 
the place. Every man had carried off with him his arms 
and ammunition, leaving the rooms as naked of defence as 
they had been before they were occupied. Women and 
children, too, were all gone, proving that the flights had 
been made deliberately, and with concert. This left the 
Hut to be defended by its owner, the serjeant, the two Plinys 
and a young descendant of the same colour, Jamie Allen, 
Blodget and Mike, who had not yet been relieved from his 
ward over the Indian ; eight men in all, who might possibly 
receive some assistance from the four black females in the 
kitchen. 

The captain examined this small array of force, every 
man but Mike being up and in the line, with a saddened 
countenance ; for he remembered what a different appear 
ance it made only the previous day, when he had his gallant 
son too, with him, a host in himself. It added mortification 
to regret, also, when he remembered that this great loss had 
been made without a single blow having been struck in de 
fence of his precious family, and his lawful rights. 

" We must close the gate of the court, and bar it at once, 
Joyce," the captain said, as soon as fully apprised of the 
true state of his force. " It will be quite sufficient if we 
make good the house, with this handful of men ; giving up 
all hope of doing anything with the stockade. It is the 
facility offered by the open gateway that has led to all this 
mischief." 

" I don t know, your honour. When desertion once fairly 
gets into a man s mind, it s wonderful the means he will 
find to bring about his wishes. Corporal Strides, no doubt, 
has passed his family and his kit through both gates ; for, 
being in authority, our people were hardly disciplined enough 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. CD 

to understand the ditierence between a non-commissioaed 
ollicer on guard and one off guard ; but, there were a hun 
dred ways to mischief, even had there been no gate. Jamie, 
take one of the blacks, and bar the inner gate. What id 
your honour s pleasure i, 

" I wish my mind were at ease on the subject of the Tus- 
carora. With Nick s assistance as a runner and spy, and 
.even as a sharp-shooter, we should be vastly stronger. Seo 
to the gate yourself, scrjeant, then follow me to Mr. Woods 
room." 

This was done, the captain waiting for his companion on 
the threshold of the outer door. Ascending the narrow stairs, 
they were soon on the floor above, and were happy to find 
the door of the Tuscarora s prison fastened without, as they 
had left it ; this precaution having been taken as a salutary 
assistance to O l MMrh fl sagacity. Undoing these fastenings, 
the serjeant stepped aside to allow his superior to precede 
him, as became their respective stations. The captain ad 
vanced, holding the lantern before him, and found an empty 
room. Both Nick and Mike were gone, though it was not 
easy to discover by what means they had quitted the place. 
The door was secure, the windows were down, and tho 
chimney was too small to allow of the passage of a human 
body. The defection of the Irishman caused the captain 
rjvat pain, while it produced surprise even in the serjeant. 
Mike s fidelity had been thought of proof; and, for an in 
stant, the master of the place was disposed to believe some 
evil spirit had been at work to corrupt his people. 

" This is more than I could have expected, Joyce !" he 
said, as much in sorrow as in anger. " I should have as 
soon looked for the desertion of old Pliny as that of Mike ! 

" It is extr or nary, sir; but one is never safe without in- 
and-in discipline. A drill a week, and that only for M 
or two of a Saturday afternoon, captain Willouuhhv, may 
make a sort of country militia, but it will do nothing for iho 
field. Talk of enlisting men for a year, sorjeant J>\ ce, 
said old colonel Flanker to me, one day in the last war 
* why it will take a year to teach a soldier how to eat. Your 
silly fellows in the provincial assemblies fancy because a 
man has teeth, and a stomach, and an appetite, that he 
knows how to eat ; but eating is an art, serjeant ; and mill- 



70 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

tary eating above all other branches of it ; and I maintain a 
soldier can no more learn how to eat, as a soldier, the colonel 
meant, your honour, than he can learn to plan a cam 
paign by going through the manual exercise. For my part, 
captain Willoughby, I have always thought it took a man 
his first five years enlistment to learn how to obey orders." 

" I had thought that Irishman s heart in the right place, 
Joyce, and counted as much on him as I did on you !" 

" On me, captain Willoughby !" answered the serjeant,* 
in a tone of mortification. " I should think your honour 
would have made some difference between your old orderly 
a man who had served thirty years in your own regiment, 
and most of the time in your own company, and a bit of a 
wild Hibernian of only ten years acquaintance, and he a 
man who never saw a battalion paraded for real service !" 

" I see my error now, Joyce ; but Michael had so much 
blundering honesty about him, or seemed to have, that I 
have been his dupe. It is too late, however, to repine; the 
fellow is gone ; it only remains to ascertain the manner of 
his flight. May not Joel have undone the fastenings of the 
door, and let him and the Indian escape together, in com 
mon with the rest of the deserters?" 

" I secured that door, sir, with my own hands, in a mili 
tary manner, and know that it was found as I left it. The 
Rev. Mr. Woods bed seems to have been disturbed ; per 
haps that may furnish a clue." 

A clue the bed did furnish, and it solved the problem. 
The bed-cord was removed, and both the sheets and one of 
the blankets were missing. This directed the inquiry to tho 
windows, one of which was not closed entirely. A chimney 
stood near the side of this window, and by its aid it was not 
difficult to reach the ridge of the roof. On tho inner side 
of the roof was the staging, or walk, already mentioned ; 
and, once on that, a person could make the circuit of the 
entire roof, in perfect safety. Joyce mounted to the ridge, 
followed by the captain, and gained the staging with a little 
effort, whence they proceeded round the buildings to ascer 
tain if the rope was not yet hanging over the exterior, as a 
means of descent. It was found as expected, and withdrawn 
lest it might be used to introduce enemies within the house. 

These discoveries put the matter of Michael s delinquency 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 71 

at rest, lie had clearly gone off with his prisoner, and 
might next be looked for in the ranks of the besiegers. The 
:iu of this truth gave the captain more than uneasi 
ness ; it caused him pain, for the county Lcitrim-man had 
t favourite with the whole family, and most especially 
with his daughter Maud. 

" I do not think you and the blacks will leave me, Joyce," 
he observed, as the scrjeant and himself descended, by the 
common passage, to the court. " On you I ran rely, as I 
would rely on my noble son, were he with me at this mo 
ment." 

" I beg your honour s pardon few words tell best for a 
man, deeds being his duty but, if your honour will have 
the condescension just to issue your orders, the manner in 
which they shall be obeyed will tell the whole story." 

" I am satisfied of that, scrjcant ; we must put shoulder to 
shoulder, and die in the breach, should it be necessary, be 
fore we give up the place." 

By this time the two old soldiers were again in the court, 
where they found all their remaining force, of the male sex ; 
the men being too uneasy, indeed, to think of going to their 
pallets, until better assured of their safety. Captain Wil- 
loughby ordered Joyce to draw them up in line again, when 
he addressed them once more in person. 

" My friends," the captain commenced, " there would be 
little use in attempting to conceal from you our real situa 
tion ; nor would it be strictly honest. You see here every 
man on whom I can now depend for the defence of my fire 
side and family. Mike has gone with the rest, and the In 
dian has escaped in his company. You can make up your 
own opinions of our chances of success, but my resolution 
is formed. Before I open a gate to the merciless wretches 
without, who are worse than the savages of the wilderness, 
possessing all their bad and none of their redeeming quali- 
!t is my determination to be buried under the ruins of 
this dwelling. But you are not bound to imivate my exam 
ple ; and, if any man among you, black or white, regrets 
here at this moment, he shall still have arms and am 
munition, and food given him, the gates shall be opened, 
and he may go freely to seek his safety in the forest. For 
God s sake, let there b no more desertions ; he that wishes 



72 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

to quit me, may now quit me unmolested ; but, after this 
moment, martial law will be enforced, and I shall give or 
ders to shoot down any man detected in treachery, as I 
would shoot down a vicious dog." 

This address was heard in profound silence. No man 
stirred, nor did any man speak. 

" Blodget," continued the captain, " you have been with 
me a shorter time than any other person present, and cannot 
feel the same attachment to me and mine as the rest. You 
are the only native American among us, Joyce excepted 
for we count the blacks as nothing in respect to country 
and may feel that I am an Englishman born, as I fear has 
been the case with the rest of your friends. Perhaps I 
ought not to ask you to remain. Take your arms, then, 
and make the best of your way to the settlements. Should 
you reach Albany, you might even serve me essentially by 
delivering a letter I will confide to you, and which will bring 
us effectual succour." 

The young man did not answer, though his fingers work 
ed on the barrel of his musket, and he shifted his weight, 
from leg to leg, like one whose inward feelings were moved. 

" I believe I understand you, captain Willoughby," he 
said, at length, " though I think you don t understand me. 
I know you old country people think meanly of us new 
country people, but I suppose that s in the natur of things; 
then, I allow Joel Strides conduct has been such as to give 
you reason to judge us harshly. But there is a difference 
among us, as well as among the English ; and some of us 
I won t say I am such a man, but actions speak louder than 
words, and all will be known in the end but some of us 
will be found true to our bargains, as well as other men." 

" Bravely answered, my lad," cried the serjeant, heartily, 
and looking round at his commander with exultation, to 
congratulate. him on having such a follower "This is a 
man who will obey orders through thick and thin, I 11 an- 
swer for it, your honour. Little does he care who s king 
or who s governor, so long as he knows his captain and his 
corps." 

" There you are mistaken, serjeant Joyce," the youth ob 
served, firmly. " I m for my country, and I d quit this 
house in a minute, did I believe captain Willoughby meant 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 73 

to help the crown. But I have lived long enough here, to 
know he is at the most neutral ; though I think he rather 
favours the side of the colonies than that of the crown." 

" You have judged rightly, Blodget," observed the cap 
tain. " I do not quite like this declaration of independence, 
though I can scarce blame congress for having made it. Of 
the two, I think the Americans nearest right, and I now 
conceive myself to be more of an American than an English 
man. I wish this to be understood, Joyce." 

" Do you, sir ? It s just as your honour pleases. I 
didn t know which side it was your pleasure to support, nor 
does it make any great difference with most of us. Orders 
are orders, let them come from king or colonies. I would 
take the liberty of recommending, your honour, that this 
young man be promoted. Strides desertion has left a va 
cancy among the corporals, and we shall want another for 
the guard. It would hardly do to make a nigger a cor 
poral." 

" Very well, Joyce, have it as you wish," interrupted the 
captain, a little impatiently; for he perceived he had a spirit 
to deal with in Blodget that must hold such trifles at their 
true value. " Let it be corporal Allen and corporal Blodget 
in future." 

" Do you hear, men ? These are general orders. The 
relieved guard will fall out, and try to get a little sleep, as 
we shall parade again half an hour before day." 

Alas ! the relieved guard, like the relief itself, consisted 
of only two men, corporal Blodget and Pliny the younger; 
old Pliny, in virtue of his household work, being rated as an 
idler. These five, with th* captain and the serjeant, made 
th< number of the garrison seven, which was the whole male 
force that now remained. 

Captain Willoughby directed Joyce and his two compa 
nions to go to their pallets, notwithstanding, assuming the 
charge of the look-out himself, and profiting by the occasion 
to make himself better acquainted with the character of his 
new corporal than circumstances had hitherto permitted. 

VOL. II. 7 



74 THE HUTTED KNOLI*. 



CHAPTER VI. 

For thee they fought, for thee they fell, 
And their oath was on thee laid ; 
To thee the clarions raised their swell, 
And the dying warriors pray d." 

PERCIVAL. 

THE distaste for each other which existed between the 
people of New England and those of the adjoining colonies, 
anterior to the war of the revolution, is a matter of history. 
It was this feeling that threw Schuyler, one of the ablest 
and best men in the service of his country, into the shade, 
a year later than the period of which we are writing. This 
feeling was very naturally produced, and, under the circum 
stances, was quite likely to be active in a revolution. Al 
though New England and New York were contiguous terri 
tories, a wide difference existed between their social condi 
tions. Out of the larger towns, there could scarcely be said 
to be a gentry at all, in the former; while the latter, a con 
quered province, had received the frame-work of the English 
system, possessing Lords of the Manor, and divers other of 
the fragments of the feudal system. So great was the social 
equality throughout the interior of the New England pro 
vinces, indeed, as almost to remove the commoner distinctions 
of civilised associations, bringing all classes surprisingly 
near the same level, with the exceptions of the very low, or 
some rare instance of an individual who was raised above 
his neighbours by unusual wealth, aided perhaps by the ac 
cidents of birth, and the advantages of education. 

The results of such a state of society are easily traced. 
Habit had taken the place of principles, and a people ac 
customed to see even questions of domestic discipline referred, 
either to the church or to public sentiment, and who knew 
few or none of the ordinary distinctions of social intercourse, 
submitted to the usages of other conditions of society, with 
singular distaste and stubborn reluctance. The native of 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 7f> 

England deil-nvd singularly to great wealth, in 1?7;, 
a> ii" is kii(.\\n to defer to it to-day ; but it was opposed to 
all his habits and prejudices to d-ter to social station. Un 
used to intercourse with what was then called the great 
world of tin; province*) lie knew not how to appreciate its 
manners or opinions,- and, as is usual with the provincial, 
he affected to despise that which he neither practised nor 
understood. This, at once, indisposed him to acknowledge 
the distinctions of classes; and, when accident threw him 
into tho adjoining province, he became marked, at once, i\>r 

.!iL, r the usages he encountered, comparing them, with 
singular self-felicitation, to those he had left behind him; 
sometimes with justice beyond a doubt, but oflener in pro 
vincial ignorance and narrow bigotry. 

A >imilar state of things, on a larger scale, has been wit 
nessed, more especially in western New York, since the 
of 83; the great inroads of emigrants from the New 

aid states having almost converted that district of 
country into an eastern colony. Men of the world, while 
they admit how much has Ixx-u gained in activity, available 
intelligence of the practical school, and enterprise, regret 
that the fusion has been quite so rapid and so complete; it 

apparently a law of nature that nothing precious that 
comes of man shall be enjoyed altogether without alloy. 

The condition in which captain \Villoughby was now 
placed, mini/I have been traced t6 causes connected with 
tin- i-din.s and habits above alluded to. It was distasteful 
to Joel Strides, and one or two of his associates, to see a 
social chasm as wide as that which actually existed between 
the family of the proprietor of the Knoll and his own, grow 
ing no narrower; and an active cupidity, with the h<>, 
confiscations, or an abandonment of the estate, came in aid 
of this rankling jealousy of station; the most uneasy, as it 
is tho meanest of all our vices. Utterly incapable of appre 
ciating the width of that void which separates the gentle 
man from the man of coarse feelings and illiterate vulgarity, 

^an to preach that doctrine of cxaimerafed and mis 
taken equality which says " one man is as good as another," 
a doctrine that is nowhere engrafted even on the most de 
mocratic of our institutions to-day, since it would totally 
supersede* the elections, and leave us to draw lots for public 



76 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

trusts, as men are drawn for juries. On ordinary occasions, 
the malignant machinations of Strides would probably have 
led to no results ; but, aided by the opinions and temper of the 
times, he had no great difficulty in undermining his master s 
popularity, by incessant and well-digested appeals to the 
envy and cupidity of his companions. The probity, liberality, 
and manly sincerity of captain Willoughby, often counter 
acted his schemes, it is true ; but, as even the stone yields 
to constant attrition, so did Joel finally succeed in over 
coming the influence of these high qualities, by dint of per 
severance, and cunning, not a little aided by certain auxilia 
ries freely obtained from the Father of Lies. 

As our tale proceeds, Joel s connection with the late 
movement will become more apparent, and we prefer leaving 
the remainder of the explanations to take their proper places 
in the course of the narrative. 

Joyce was so completely a matter of drill, that he was in 
a sound sleep three minutes after he had lain down, the 
negro who belonged to his guard imitating his industry in 
this particular with equal coolness. As for the thoughtful 
Scotchman, Jamie Allen, sleep and he were strangers that 
night. To own the truth, the disaffection of Mike not only 
surprised, but it disappointed him. He remained in the 
court, therefore, conversing on the subject with the "laird," 
after his companions had fallen asleep. 
. " I wad na hae thought that o Michael," he said, " for 
the man had an honest way with him, and was so seeming 
valiant, that I could na hae supposed him capable of proving 
a desairter. Mony s the time that I ve heard him swear 
for Michael was an awfu hand at that vice, when his betters 
were no near to rebuke him but often has he swore that 
Madam, and her winsome daughters, were the pride of his 
een : ay, and their delight too !" 

" The poor fellow has yielded to my unlucky fortune, 
Jamie," returned the captain, " and I sometimes think it 
were better had you all imitated his example." 

" Begging pairdon, captain Willoughby, for the fami 
liarity, but ye re just wrang, fra beginning to end, in the 
supposition. No man with a hairt in his body wad desairt 
ye in a time like this, and no mair s to be said in the 
matter. Nor do I think that luuk has had anything to do 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 77 

with Michael s deficiency, unless ye ca it luuk to !K> huni 
niul edicated in a misguiding religion. Michael s catholicity 
is at thi/ bottom of his backsliding, ye 11 find, if ye look 
iy into the maiter." 

" I do not eee h<>sv that is to bo made out, Allen ; all socts 
of the Christian religion, I believe, teaching us to abide by 
our engagements, and to perform our duties." 

.\a douht IKI doubt, squire \Villoughby there s a 
seeming desire to teach as much in a churches; but ye II 
no deny that the creatur o Rome wears a mask, and that 
catholicity is, at the best, but a wicked feature to enter into 
the worship of God." 

"Catholicism, Jamie, means adherence to the catholic 
church " 

" Just that just that" interrupted the Scot, eagerly 
"and it s that o which I complain. All protestants wa- 
ther fully disposed, or uinly half-disposed, as may be the 
-. . ith the Knglish kirk all protestants agree in con 
demning the varry word catholic, which is a sign and a 
symbol of the foul woman o Babylon." 

" Then, Jamie, they agree in condemning what they don t 
understand. I should be sorry to think I am not a member 
of the catholic church myself." 

Yer<aP! No, captain Willoughby, ye re no catholic, 
though you are a bit akin to it, perhaps. I know that Mr. 
Woods, that s now in the hands o the savages, prays for 
the catholics, and professes to believe in what he ca s the 
Holy Catholic Kirk ; but, then, I ve always supposed that 
was in the way o Christian charity like; for one is oh 1 
to use decent language, ye 11 be acknowledging, sir, in the 
pulpit, if it s only for appearances sake." 

u \Vcll well Jamie; a more fitting occasion may occur 
for discussing matters of this nature, and we will postpone 
the subject to another time. I may have wed of your ser 
vices an hour or two honce, and it will be well for rvt-ry 
man to come to the work fresh and clear-headed. Go to 
your pallet then, and expoct an early call." 

The mason was not a man to oppose such an order com- 
ing from the laird; and he withdrew, leaving tho captain 
standing in the centre of the court quite alone. ^ 
alone, for young Blodget had ascended to the gallery or 
7* 



78 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

staging that led around the inner sides of the roofs, while 
the negro on guard was stationed at the gateway, as the 
only point where the Hut could be possibly carried by a 
coup-de-main. As the first of these positions commanded 
the best exterior view from the inside of the buildings, the 
captain mounted the stairs he had so recently descended, 
and joined the young Rhode Islander at his post. 

The night was star-light, but the elevation at which the 
two watchers were placed, was unfavourable to catching 
glimpses of any lurking enemy. The height confounded 
objects with the ground on which they were placed, though 
Blodget told the captain he did not think a man could cross 
the palisades without his being seen. By moving along the 
staging on the southern side of the quadrangle, he could 
keep a tolerable look-out, on the front and two flanks, at 
the same time. Still, this duty could not be performed with 
out considerable risk, as the head and shoulders of a man 
moving along the ridge of the building would be almost 
certain to attract the eye of any Indian without. This was 
the first circumstance that the captain remarked on joining 
his companion, and gratitude induced him to point it out, in 
order that the other might, in a degree at least, avoid the 
danger. 

" I suppose, Blodget, this is the first of your service," 
said captain Willoughby, " and it is not easy to impress on 
a young man the importance of unceasing vigilance against 
savage artifices." 

" I admit the truth of all you say, sir," answered Blodget, 
" though I do not believe any attempt will be made on the 
house, until the other side has sent in what the serjeant calls 
another flag." 

" What reason have you for supposing this ?" asked the 
captain, in a little surprise. 

" It seems unreasonable for men to risk their lives when 
an easier way to conquest may seem open to them. That 
is all I meant, captain Willoughby." 

" I believe I understand you, Blodget. You think Joel 
and his friends have succeeded so well in drawing off my 
men, that they may be inclined to wait a little, in order to 
ascertain if further advantages may not be obtained in the 
same way." 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 79 

Blodget confessed that he had some such thoughts in his 
mind, while, at the same lime, he declared that he believed 
the disaffection would go no further. 

" It is not easy for it to do so," returned the captain, 
smiling a little bitterly, as he remembered how many who 
itcn of his bread, and had been cared for by him, in 
sickness and adversity, had deserted him in his need, " un 
less they persuade my wife and daughters to follow those 
who have led the way." 

Respect kept Blodget silent for a minute ; then uneasiness 
induced him to speak. 

" I hope captain Willoughby don t distrust any who now 
remain with him," he said. " If so, I know / must be the 
person." 

" Why you, in particular, young man ? With you, surely, 
I have every reason to be satisfied." 

" It cannot be serjeant Joyce, for he will stay until he 
get your orders to march," the youth replied, not altogether 
without humour in his manner; "and, as for the Scotch 
man, he is old, and men of his years are not apt to wait so 
long, if they intend to be traitors. The negroes all lovo 
you, as if you were their father, and there is no one but me 
left to betray you." 

" I thank you for this short enumeration of my strength, 
Blodget, since it gives me new assurance of my people s 
fidelity. You I will not distrust ; the others I cannot, and 

there is a feeling of high confidence What do you see 1 

why do you lower your piece, and stand at guard, in this 
manner?" 

" That is a man s form, sir, on the right of the gate, try 
ing to climb the palisades. I have had my eye on it, for 
some time, and I feel sure of my aim." 

" Hold an instant, Blodget ; let us be certain before we 
act." 

The young man lowered the butt of his piece, waiting 
patiently and calmly for his superior to decide. There was 
a human form visible, sure enough, and it was seen slowly 
and cautiously rising until it reached the summit of the 
stockade, where it appeared to pause to reconnoitre. Whe 
ther it were a pnle-friee or a red-skin, it was impossible to 
distinguish, though the whole movement left little doubt thac 



80 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

an assailant or a spy was attempting to pass the outer 
defences. 

" We cannot spare that fellow," said the captain, with a 
little regret in his manner ; " it is more than we can afford. 
You must bring him down, Blodget. The instant you have 
fired, come to the other end of the stage, where we will 
watch the result." 

This arranged, the captain prudently passed away from 
the spot, turning to note the proceedings of his companion, 
the moment he was at the opposite angle of the gallery. 
Blodget was in no haste. He waited until his aim was cer 
tain ; then the stillness of the valley was rudely broken by 
the sharp report of a rifle, and a flash illumined its obscu 
rity. The figure fell outward, like a bird shot from its perch, 
lying in a ball at the foot of the stockade. Still, no cry or 
groan gave evidence of nature surprised by keen and unex 
pected anguish. At the next instant Blodget was by captain 
Willoughby s side. His conduct was a pledge of fidelity 
that could not be mistaken, and a warm squeeze of the hand 
assured the youth of his superior s approbation. 

It was necessary to be cautious, however, and to watch 
the result with ceaseless vigilance. Joyce and the men be 
low had taken the alarm, and the serjeant with his compa 
nions were ordered up on the stage immediately, leaving 
the negro, alone, to watch the gate. A message was also 
sent to the females, to give them confidence, and particularly 
to direct the blacks to arm, and to repair to the loops. 

All this was done without confusion, and with so little 
noise as to prevent those without from understanding what 
was in progress. Terror kept the negroes silent, and disci 
pline the others. As every one had lain down in his or her 
clothes, it was not a minute before every being in the Hut 
was up, and in motion. It is unnecessary to speak of the 
mental prayers .and conflicting emotions with which Mrs. 
Willoughby and her daughters prepared themselves for the 
struggle; and, yet, even the beautiful and delicate Maud 
braced her nerves to meet the emergency of a frontier as 
sault. As for Beulah, gentle, peaceful, and forgiving as she 
was by nature, the care of little Evert aroused all the mother 
within her, and something like a frown that betokened reso 
lution was, for a novelty, seen on her usually placid face. 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 81 

A moment sufficed to let Joyce and his companions into 
the state of affairs. There iu>\v being four armed men on 
the stnge, one took each of the three exposed sides of the 
buildini> it. ua ch, leaving the master of the house to inuve. 
from post to post, to listen to suggestions, hear reports, and 
communicate orders. 

The dark object that lay at the foot of the palisades was 
pointed out to the serjeant the instant he was on the stage, 
and one of his othVes uas to observe it, in order to ascertain 
if it moved, or whether any attempts were made to carry 
off the body. The American Indians attach all the glory 
or shame of a battle to the acquisition or loss of scalps, and 
one of their practices was to remove those who had fallen, 
at every hazard, in order to escape the customary mutila 
tion. Some tribes even believed it disgrace to suffer a dead 
body to be struck by the enemy, and many a warrior has 
lost his life in the effort to save the senseless corpse of a 
comrade from this fancied degradation. 

As soon as the little stir created in the Hut by the muster 
ing of the men was over, a stillness as profound as that 
which had preceded the alarm reigned around the place. 
No noise came from the direction of the mill; no cry, or 
call, or signal of battle was heard ; everything lay in the 
quiet of midnight. Half an hour thus passed, when the 
streak of light that appeared in the east announced the ap 
proach of day. 

The twenty minutes that succeeded were filled with in 
tense anxiety. The slow approach of light gradually brought 
out object after object in the little panorama, awakening and 
removing alike, conjectures and apprehensions. At first the 
<:rey of the palisades became visible; then the chapel, in its 
sombre outlines ; the skirts of the woods; the different cabins 
that lined them; the cattle in the fields, and the scattering 
. As for Joyce, he kept his gaze fastened on the object 
at thn foot of the stockade, expecting every instant there 
would be an attempt to carry it off. 

At length, the light became so strong as to allow the eye 
to take in the entire surface of the natural glacis without 
the defences, brinirin? the assurance that no enemy was 
near. As the ground was perfectly clear, a few fruit-trees 
and shrubs on the lawn excepted, and by changing positions 



82 T II E HUTTED. KNOLL. 

on the stage, these last could now be examined on all sides, 
nothing was easier than to make certain of this fact. The 
fences, too, were light and open, rendering it impossible for 
any ambush or advancing party to shelter itself behind them. 
In a word, daylight brought the comfortable assurance to 
those within the palisades that another night was passed 
Without bringing an assault. 

" We shall escape this morning, I do believe, Joyce," said 
the captain, who had laid down his rifle, and no longer felt 
it necessary to keep the upper portions of his body conceal 
ed behind the roof " Nothing can be seen that denotes an 
intention to attack, and not an enemy is near." 

" I will take one more thorough look, your honour," an 
swered the serjeant, mounting to the ridge of the building, 
where he obtained the immaterial advantage of seeing more 
at the same time, at the risk of exposing his whole person, 
should any hostile rifle be in reach of a bullet " then we 
may be certain." 

Joyce was a man who stood just six feet in his stockings; 
and, losing no part of this stature by his setting up, a better 
object for a sharp-shooter could not have been presented 
than he now offered. The crack of a rifle soon saluted the 
cars of the garrison ; then followed the whizzing of the bullet 
as it came humming through the air towards the Hut. But 
the report was so distant as at once to announce that the 
piece was discharged from the margin of the forest ; a certain 
evidence of two important facts ; one, that the enemy had 
fallen back to a cover ; the other, that the house was nar 
rowly watched. 

Nothing tries the nerves of a young soldier more than the 
whizzing of a distant fire. The slower a bullet or a shot 
approaches, the more noise it makes ; and, the sound con 
tinuing longer than is generally imagined, the uninitiated 
are apt to imagine that the dangerous missile is travelling 
on an errand directly towards themselves. Space appears 
annihilated, and raw hands are often seen to duck at a 
round shot that is possibly flying a hundred yards from 
them. 

On the present occasion, the younger Pliny fairly squatted 
below the root Jamie thought it prudent to put some of his 
own masonry, which was favourably placed in an adjacent 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 83 

chimney for such a purpose, between him and the spot 
whence the report proceeded; while even Blodget looked up 
into the air, as if he expected to sec where the bullet was 
going. Captain \Villoughby had no thought of the missile; 
s looking for the smoke in the skirts of the woods, to 
note the spot ; while Joyce, with folded arms, stood at rest 
on the ridge, actually examining the valley in another direc 
tion, certain that a fire so distant could not be very dan 
gerous. 

Jamie s calculation proved a good one. The bullet struck 
against the chimney, indented a brick, and fell upon the 
shingles of the roof. Joyce descended at the next instant, 
and he coolly picked up, and kept tossing the flattened bit 
of lead in his hand, for the next minute or two, with the air 
of a man who seemed unconscious of having it at all. 

" The enemy is besieging us, your honour," said Joyce, 
" but lie will not attack at present. If I might presume to 
advise, we shall do well to leave a single sentinel on this 
stage, since no one can approach the palisades without being 
seen, if the man keeps in motion." 

" I was thinking of this myself, serjeant ; we will first 
post Blodget here. We can trust him ; and, as the day 
advances, a less intelligent sentinel will answer. At the 
same time, he must be instructed to keep an eye in the rear 
of the Hut, danger often coming from the quarter least ex 
pected." 

All this was done, and the remainder of the men descended 
to the court. Captain Willoughby ordered the gate unbarred, 
when he passed outside, taking the direction towards the life 
less body, which still lay where it had fallen, at the foot of 
the stockades. He was accompanied by Joyce and Jamie 
Allen, the latter carrying a spade, it being the intention to 
inter the savago as the shortest means of getting rid of a 
disagreeable object. Our two old soldiers had none of the 
sensitiveness on the subject of exposure that is so apt to 
disturb the tyro in the art of war. With sentinels propeily 
posted, they had no apprehensions of clangors that did not 
exist, and they moved with confidence and steadily wherever 
duty called. Not only was the inner gate opened and passed, 
but the outer also, the simple precaution of stationing a man 
at the first being the only safeguard taken. 



84 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

When outside of the palisades, the captain and his com 
panions proceeded at once towards the body. It was now 
sunrise, and a rich light was illuminating the hill-tops, 
though the direct rays of the luminary had not yet descend 
ed to the valley. There lay the Indian, precisely as he had 
fallen, no warrior having interposed to save him from the 
scalping-knife. His head had reached the earth first, and 
the legs and hody were tumbled on it, in a manner to ren 
der the form a confused pile of legs and blanket, rather than 
a bold savage stretched in the repose of death. 

" Poor fellow !" exclaimed the captain, as the three ap 
proached the spot; " it is to be hoped Blodget s bullet did its 
commission faithfully, else the fall must have hurt him 
sadly." 

" By Jove, tis nothing but a stuffed soldier !" cried Joyce, 
rolling the ingeniously contrived bundle over with his foot; 
" and here, the lad s ball has passed directly through its 
head ! This is Injin deviltry, sir ; it has been tried, in order 
to see whether our sentinels were or were not asleep." 

" To me, Joyce, it seems more like a white man s clumsi 
ness. The fellow has been made to resemble an Indian, but 
people of our own colour have had a hand in the affair." 

" Well, sir, let that be as it may, it is lucky our youngster 
had so quick an eye, and so nimble a finger. See, your 
honour ; here is the pole by which the effigy was raised to 
the top of the palisades, and here is the trail on the grass 
yet, by which his supporter has crept off. The fellow seems 
to have scrambled along in a hurry ; his trail is as plain as 
that of a whole company." 

The captain examined the marks left on the grass, and 
was of opinion that more than one man had been employed 
to set up the decoy figure, a circumstance that seemed pro 
bable in itself, when the weight of the image and the danger 
of exposure were remembered. Let that be as it might, he 
was rejoiced on reflection that no one was hurt, and he still 
retained the hope of being able to come to such an under 
standing with his invaders as to supersede the necessity of 
actual violence. 

At all events, your honour, I will carry the quaker in," 
said Joyce, tossing the stuffed figure on a shoulder. " He 
will do to man the quaker gun at least, and may be of use 



THE IIUTTED KNOLL. 65 

in frightening some one of the other side, more than he has 
yet frightened 

Captain VVilloughby did not object, though ho reminded 

that the desertions hud probably put the enemy in 

-it ii of a minute statement of their defences and force, 

including the history of the wooden gun. If Joel and his 

fellow-delinquents had joined the party at the mill, the name, 

age, character and spirit of every man remaining in the 

garrison were probably known to its leaders; and neither 

quakers nor paddies would count for much in opposing an 

assault. 

The captain came within the gate of the palisades last, 
closing, barring, and locking it with his own hands, when 
all immediate apprehensions from the enemy ceased. He 
knew, certainly, that it would probably exceed his present 
means of resistance, to withstand a vigorous assault; but, 
on the other hand, he felt assured that Indians would never 
approach a stockade in open day, and expose themselves to 
the hazards of losing some fifteen or twenty of their num 
bers, before they could carry the place. This was opposed 
to all their notions of war, neither honour nor advantage 
tempting them to adopt it. As for the first, agreeably to 
>-a \aire notions, glory was to be measured by the number 
of scalps taken and lost; and, counting all the women left 
in the Hut, there would not be heads enough to supply a 
sufficient number to prove an offset to those which would 
probably be lost in the assault. 

All this did the captain discuss in few words, with the 
serjeant, when he proceeded to join his anxious and expect 
ing will.- and daughters. 

" God has looked down upon us in mercy, and protected 
us this ninht," said the grateful Mrs. Willoaghby, with 
streaming -lie received and returned her hu>band s 

warm embrace. \\"e cannot be too thankful, \\hrn ue 
Joi.k at these dear girls, and our precious little Evert. If 
Robert were only with us now, I should be entirelv happy! 

"Such is human nature, my little Maud" answered the 
captain, drawing his darling towards himself and ki>.-in^ 
her po!i>h d forehead. " The very thoughts of being in our 
actual strait would have made your mother as miserable as 
her worst enemy could wish if, indeed, there be such a 

VOL. II. 8 



86 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

monster on earth as her enemy and, now she protests 
she is delighted because our throats were not all cut last 
night. We are safe enough for the day I think, and not 
another night shall one of you pass in the Hut, if I can have 
my way. If there be such a thing as desertion, there is 
such a thing as evacuation also." 

" Hugh ! What can you, do you mean ! Remember, we 
are surrounded by a wilderness." 

" I know our position reasonably well, wife of mine, and 
intend to turn that knowledge to some account, God willing, 
and aiding. I mean to place old Hugh Willoughby by the 
side of Xenophon and Washington, and let the world see 
what a man is capable of, on a retreat, when he has such a 
wife, two such daughters, and a grandson like that, on his 
hands. As for Bob, I would not have him here, on any 
account. The young dog would run away with half the 
glory." 

The ladies were too delighted to find their father and 
husband in such spirits, to be critical, and all soon after sat 
down to an early breakfast, to eat with what appetite they 
could. 



CHAPTER VII. 

Yet I well remember 

The favours of these men : were they not mine ? 
Did they not sometimes cry, all hail ! to me ? 
So Judas did to Christ : but he, in twelve 
Found truth in all but one ; I in twelve thousand none. 

Richard II. 

THAT which captain Willoughby had said in seeming 
pleasantry he seriously meditated. The idea of passing 
another night in the Hut, supported by only six men, with 
more than ten times that number besieging him, and with 
all the secrets of his defences known, through the disaffec 
tion of his retainers, was, to the last degree, painful to him. 
Had his own life, alone, been at risk, military pride might 
have tempted him to remain ; but his charge was far too 
precious to be exposed on account of considerations so vain. 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 87 

No sooner, therefore, was the breakfast over, than the 
captain summoned Joyce to a consultation on the contem 
plated movement. The interview took place in the lihrary, 
whither the scrjrant repaired, <>n receiving his superior s 
orders. As to the parly without, no apprehension was felt, 
so long as the sentinels were even moderately vigilant, and 
the day lasted. 

"I suppose, serjeant," commenced captain Willoughby, 
" a soldier of your experience is not to be taught what is the 
next resort of a commanding officer, when he finds himself 
unable to make good his ground against his enemy in 
front?" 

" It is to retreat, your honour. The road that cannot be 
passed, must be turned." 

" You have judged rightly. It is now my intention to 
evacuate the Hut, and to try our luck on a march to the 
rear. A retreat, skilfully executed, is a creditable thing; 
and any step appears preferable to exposing the dear beings 
in the other room to the dangers of a night assault." 

Joyce appeared struck with the suggestion ; though, if one 
might have judged from the expression of his countenance, 
far from favourably. He reflected a moment ere he an 
swered. 

" Did your honour send for me," he then inquired, "to 
issue orders for this retreat, or was it your pleasure to hear 
anything I might have to say about it ?" 

"The last I shall give no orders, until I know your 
opinion of the measure." 

" It is as much the duty of an inferior to speak his mind 
freely, when he is called for art opinion, captain Willoughby, 
is to obey in silence, when he gets nothing but orders. 
According to my views of the matter, we shall do better to 
stand our ground, and try to make good the house against 
these vagabonds, than to trust to the woods." 

" Of course you have your reasons for this opinion, 
Joyce?" 

" Certainly, your honour. In the first place, I suppose it 
lo be against the rules of the art of war to evacuate a place 
that is well provisioned, without standing an assault. This 
we have not yet done. It is true, sir, tnat our ranks are 
thinned by desertions ; but I never heard of a garrisoned 



88 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

town, or a garrisoned house, capitulating on account of a 
few deserters ; and, I take it, evacuation is only the next 
step before capitulation." 

" But our desertions, Joyce, have not been few, but many. 
Three times as many have left us, if we include *.vir other 
losses, as remain. It matters not whence the loss proceeds, 
so long as it is a loss." 

" A retreat, with women and baggage, is always a ticklish 
operation, your honour, especially if an enemy is pressing 
your rear ! Then we have a wilderness before us, and the 
ladies could hardly hold out for so long a march as that 
from this place to the Mohawk ; short of which river they 
will hardly be as safe as they are at present." 

" I have had no such march in view, Joyce. You know 
there is a comfortable hut, only a mile from this very spot 
on the mountain side, where we commenced a clearing for 
a sheep-pasture, only three summers since. The field is in 
rich grass ; and, could we once reach the cabin, and manage 
to drive a cow or two up there, we might remain a month 
in security. As for provisions and clothes, we could carry 
enough on our backs to serve us all several weeks ; espe* 
cially if assisted by the cows." 

" I m glad your honour has thought of this idea," said 
the serjeant, his face brightening as he listened ; it will be 
a beautiful operation to fall back on that position, when we 
can hold out no longer in this. The want of some such 
arrangement has been my only objection to this post, cap 
tain Willoughby ; for, we have always seemed to me, out 
here in the wilderness, like a regiment drawn up with a 
ravine or a swamp in its rear." 

" I am glad to find you relishing the movement for any 
cause, serjeant. It is my intention at present to make the 
necessary arrangements to evacuate the Hut, while it is 
light ; and, as soon as it is dark, to retreat by the gates, the 

palisades, and the rivulet How now, Jamie? You look 

as if there were news to communicate?" 

Jamie Allen, in truth, had entered at that instant in so 
much haste as to have overlooked the customary ceremony 
of sending in his name, or even of knocking. 

" News !" repeated the mason, with a sort of wondering 
smile ; and it s just that I ve come to bring. Wad ye 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 89 

think it, baiih, gentlemen, that our people are in their ain 
cahins ag in, boiling tlu-ir pots, and frying their pork, a the 
same as it" tin- valley was in ;i state of tranquillity, and we 
so many lairds waiting lor them to come and do our plea 
sure !" 

"I do not understand you, Jamie whom do you mean 
by our people T " 

44 Sure, just the desairters ; Joel, and the miller, and Mi- 
rhael, and the rest." 

44 And the cabins and the pots and the pork it is 
gibberish to m<-. 

44 1 hae what ye English ca an aiccent, I know ; but, in 
my judgment, captain Willoughby, the words may be com- 
pn-hrnded without a dictionary. It s just that Joel Strides, 
and Daniel the miller, and the rest o them that fleed, the 
past night, have gane into their ain abodes, and have lighted 
thi-ir fnvs, and put over their pots and kettles, and set up 
their domestic habitudes, a the same as if this Beaver Dam 
was ain o the pairks o Lonnon !" 

44 The devil they have ! Should this be the case, serjeant, 
our sortie may be made at an earlier hour than that men 
tioned. I iii vi-r will submit to such an insult." 

Captain Willoughby was too much aroused to waste many 
words; and, sfi /.ing his hat, he proceeded forthwith to take 
a look for himself. The stage, or gallery on the roofs, offer- 
ing the best view, in a minute he and his two companions 
were on it. 

44 There ; ye Ml be seein a smoke in Joel s habitation, 
with your own een ; and, yon is anithcr, in the dwelling of 
his cousin Seth," said Jamie, pointing in the direction he 
named. 

44 Smoke there is, of a certainty ; but the Indians may 
have lighted fires in the kitchen, to do their own cooking. 
This looks like investing us, serjeant, rather more closely 
than the fellows have done before." 

44 1 rather think not, your honour Jamie is righ ., or my 
eyes do not know a man from a woman. That is certainly 
a* female in the garden of Joel, and I 11 engage it s Phoebe, 
pulling onions for his craving stomach, the scourdrel !" 

Captain Willoughby never rnvrd without his little glas?, 
and it was soon levelled at the object mentioned. 
8* 



90 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

"By Jupiter, you are right, Joyce" he cried. "It is 
Phoebe, though the hussy is coolly weeding, not culling the 
onions ! Ay and now I see Joel himself! The rascal is 
examining some hoes, with as much philosophy as if he 
were master of them, and all near them. This is a most 
singular situation to be in !" 

This last remark was altogether just. The situation of 
those in the Hut was now singular indeed. Further exami 
nation showed that every cabin had its tenant, no one of the 
party that remained within the palisades being a householder. 
By using the glass, and pointing it, in succession, at the 
different dwellings, the captain in due time detected the pre 
sence of nearly every one of the deserters. Not a man of 
them all, in fact, was missing, Mike alone excepted. There 
they were, with their wives and children, in quiet possession 
of their different habitations. Nor was this all ; the business 
of the valley seemed as much on their minds as had been 
their practice for years. Cows were milked, the swine were 
fed, poultry was called and cared for, and each household 
was also making the customary preparations for the morn 
ing meal. 

So absorbed was the captain with this extraordinary scene, 
that he remained an hour on the staging, watching the course 
of events. The breakfasts were soon over, having been 
later than common, and a little hurried ; then commenced 
the more important occupations of the day. A field was 
already half ploughed, in preparation for a crop of winter 
grain ; thither Joel himself proceeded, with the necessary 
cattle, accompanied by the labourers who usually aided him 
in that particular branch of husbandry. Three ploughs 
were soon at work, with as much regularity and order as 
if nothing had occurred to disturb the tranquillity of the 
valley. The axes of the wood-choppers were next heard, 
coming out of the forest, cutting fuel for the approaching 
winter ; and a half-finished ditch had its workmen also, 
who were soon busy casting up the soil, and fashioning 
their trench. In a word, all the suspended toil was renewed 
with perfect system and order. 

" This beats the devil himself, Joyce !" said the captain, 
after a half-hour of total silence. " Here are all these fel 
lows at work as coolly as if I had just given them their 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 91 

tasks, and twice a* diligently. Their unusual industry is a 
bad symptom of it- 

"Your honour will remark one circumstance. Not a 
rascal of them all comes uithin the fair range of a musket ; 
fur, as to throwing away ammunition at such distance^, it 
would be clearly unmilitary, and might be altogether use- 
less." 

" I have half a mind to scatter them with a volley" said 
the captain, doubtingly. " Bullets would take effect among 
those ploughmen, could they only be made to hit." 

" And amang the cattle, too," observed the Scotsman, 
who had an eye on the more economical part of the move 
ment, as well as on that which was military. " A ball 
would slay a horse as well as a man in such a skairmish." 

"This is true enough, Jamie; and it is not exactly tho 
sort of warfare I could wish, to be firing at men who were 
so lately my friends. I do not see, Joyce, that the rascals 
have any arms with them?" 

" Not a musket, sir. I noticed that, when Joel first de 
tailed his detachments. Can it be possible that the savages 
have retired?" 

M Not they; else would Mr. Strides and his friends have 
gone with them. No, serjeant, there is a deep plan to lead 
us into some sort of ambush in this affair, and we will be on 
the look-out for them." 

Joyce stood contemplating the scene for some time, in 
profound silence, when he approached the captain formally, 
and made the usual military salute; a ceremony he had 
punctiliously observed, on all proper occasions, since the 
garrison might be said to be placed under martial law. 

" If it s your honour s pleasure," he said, " F will detail 
a detachment, and go out and bring in two or three of th-o; 
deserters; by which means we shall get into their secrets." 

U A detachment, Joyce!" answered the captain, eyeing 
his subordinate a little curiously "What trcops do you 
propose to tell-off for the service?" 

"Why, your honour, there s corporal Allen and old 
Pliny off duty; I think the tiling mi.uht be done with them, 
it* yuur honour would have the condescension to order cor 
poral Blodgc-t, with the two other blacks, to form as a sup 
porting party, under the cover of one of the fences." 



92 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

" A disposition of my force that would leave captain WiU 
loughby for a garrison ! I thank you, serjeant, for your offer 
and gallantry, but prudence will not permit it. We may 
set down Strides and his companions as so many knaves, 
and " 

" That may ye !" cried Mike s well-known voice, from 
the scuttle that opened into the garrets, directly in front of 
which the two old soldiers were conversing "That may 
ye, and no har-r-m done the trut , or justice, or for that 
matther, meself. Och ! If I had me will of the blackguards, 
every rogue of em should be bound hand and fut and laid 
under that pratthy wather-fall, yon at the mill, until his sins 
was washed out of him. Would there be confessions then ? 
That would there ; and sich letting out of sacrets as would 
satisfy the conscience of a hog!" 

By the time Mike had got through this sentiment he was 
on the staging, where he stood hitching up his nether gar 
ment, with a meaning grin on his face that gave a peculiar 
expression of heavy cunning to the massive jaw and capa 
cious mouth, blended with an honesty and good-nature that 
the well-meaning fellow was seldom without when he ad 
dressed any of the captain s family. Joyce glanced at the 
captain, expecting orders to seize the returned run-away ; 
but his superior read at once good faith in the expression of 
his old retainer s countenance. 

"You have occasioned us a good deal of surprise, O Hearn, 
on more accounts than one," observed the captain, who 
thought it prudent to assume more sternness of manner thap 
his feelings might have actually warranted. " You have 
not only gone off yourself, but you have suffered your pri 
soner to escape with you. Then your manner of getting 
into the house requires an explanation. I shall hear what 
you have to say before I make up my mind as to your con 
duct." 

" Is it spake I will ? That will I, and as long as it plase 
yer honour to listen. Och ! Isn t that Saucy Nick a quare 
one ? Divil burn me if I thinks the likes of him is to be 
found in all Ameriky, full as it is of Injins and saucy fel 
lies ! Well, now, I suppose, sarjeant, ye ve set me down 
as stnriding off with Misther Joel and his likes, if ye was to 
open yer heart, and spake yer thrue mind ?" 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 93 

" You have bocn marked tor a deserter, O Hearn, and 
one, too, that deserted from post/ 

"Post! Had I bc ii that, 1 shouldn t have stirred, and 
ye d !> wanting in the news I bring ye from the Majjor, 
ii ml .Mr. Woods, and the savages, and the rest of the var 
mints." 

11 .My son ! Is this possible, Michael ? Have you seen 
him, or can you tell us anything of his state?" 

Mike now assumed a manner of mysterious importance, 
laying a finger on his nose, and pointing towards the sentinel 
and Jamie. 

" It s the sarjeant that I considers as one of the family," 
said the county Leitrim-man, when his pantomime was 
through, "but it isn t dacent to be bawling out saen is 
through a whole nighbourhood ; and then, as for Ould 
Nick or Saucy Nick, or whatever yc calls him Och ! 
isn t he a pratthy Injin ! Ye 11 mar-r-ch t rough Ameriky, 
and never see his ai<]iiel !" 

" This will never do, O Hearn. Whatever you have to 
say must be said clearly, and in the simplest manner. Fol 
low to the library, where I will hear your report. Joyce, 
you will accompany us." 

" Let him come, if he wishes to hear wonderful achaive- 
ments !" answered Mike, making way for the captain to 
descend the steps ; then following himself, talking as he 
went. "He ll niver brag of his campaigns ag in to the 
likes of me, seeing that I ve outdone him, ten ay, forty 
. and boot. Och ! that Nick s a divil, and no har-r-m 
said !" 

" In the first place, O Hearn," resumed the captain, as 
soon as the three; wore alone in the library "you must 
explain your own desertion." 

" Me ! De.sirt ! Sure, it isn t run away from yor honour, 
and the Missus, and Miss Beuly, and pratthy Miss Maud, 
and the child, that s yer honour s m anin^ . " 

This was said with so much nature and truth, that the 
captain had not the heart to repeat the question, though 
Joyce s more drilled feelings were less moved. The first even 
felt a tear springing to his eye, and he no longer distrusted 
the Irishman s fidelity, as unaccountable as his conduct did 
and must seem to his cooler judgment. But Mike s seasi- 



94 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

tiveness had taken the alarm, and it was only to be appeased 
by explanations. 

" Yer honour s not sp aking when I questions ye on that 
same?" he resumed, doubtingly. 

" Why, Mike, to be sincere, it did look a little suspicious 
when you not only went off yourself, but you let the Indian 
go off with you." 

" Did it?" said Mike, musing" No, I don t allow that, 
seein that the intent and object was good. And, then, I 
never took the Injin wid me; but twas I, meself, that went 
wid Azm." 

" I rather think, your honour," said Joyce, smiling, " we ll 
put O Hearn s name in its old place on the roster, and make 
no mark against him at pay-day." 

" I think it will turn out so, Joyce. We must have pa 
tience, too, and let Mike tell his story in his own way." 

" Is it tell a story, will I ? Ah ! Nick s the cr ature for 
that same ! See, he has given me foor bits of sticks, every 
one of which is to tell a story, in its own way. This is the 
first ; and it manes let the captain into the sacret of your 
retrait ; and how you got out of the windie, and how you 
comes near to breaking yer neck by a fall becaase of the 
fut s slipping ; and how ye wint down the roof by a rope, 
the divil a bit fastening it to yer neck, but houlding it in yer 
hand with sich a grip as if twere the fait of the church 
itself; and how Nick led ye to the hole out of which ye 
bot wint, as if ye had been two cats going t rough a door !" 

Mike stopped to grin and look wise, as he recounted the 
manner of the escape, the outlines of which, however, were 
sufficiently well known to his auditors before he began. 

" Throw away that stick, now, and let us know where 
this hole is, and what you mean by it." 

" No" answered Mike, looking at the stick, in a doubt 
ing manner " I 11 not t row it away, wld yer honour s Pave, 
till I ve told ye how we got into the brook, forenent the 
forest, and waded up to the woods, where we was all the 
same as if we had been two bits of clover tops hid in a hay 
mow. That Nick is a cr ature at consailment !" 

" Go on," said the captain, patiently, knowing that there 
was no use in hurrying one of Mike s peculiar mode of 
communicating his thoughts. " What came next ?" 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 95 

" That will I ; and the r ason comes next, as is seen by 
this oder stick. And, so, Nick and mcself was in the chap 
lain s room all alone, and n ither of us had any mind to 
dhrink; Nick becaase he was a prisoner and ll-lt crass, and 
full of dignity like; and meself becaase I was a sentinel; 
and sarjeant Joyce, there, had tould me, the Lord knows 
how often, that if I did my duty well, I might come to be a 
corporal, which was next in rank to himself; barring, too, 
that I was a sentinel, and a drunken sentinel is a disgrace 
to a man, sowl and body, and musket." 

" And so neither of you drank ?" put in the captain, by 
way of a reminder. 

" For that same r ason, and one betther still, as we had 
nothin to dhrink. Well, says Nick Mike, says he 
1 you like cap in, and Missus, and Miss Beuly, and Miss 
Maud, and the babby ? * Divil burn ye, Nick, says I, why 
do ye ask so foolish a question ? Is it likes ye would know? 
Well then just ask yerself if you likes yer own kith and 
kin, and ye ve got yer answer. " 

" And Nick made his proposal, on getting this answer," 
interrupted the captain, " which was " 

Here it is, on the stick. Well, says Nick, says he 
* run away wid Nick, and see Majjor ; bring back news. 
Nick cap in friend, but cap in don t know it won t believe 1 
Fait , I can t tell yer honour all Nick said, in his own 
manner ; and so, wid yer 1 ave, I Ml just tell it in my own 
way." 

" Any way, Mike, so that you do but tell it." 

" Nick s a cr ature ! His idee was for us two to get out 
of the windie, and up on the platform, and to take the bed- 
cord, and other things, and slide down upon the ground 
and we did it ! As sure as yer honour and the sarjeant is 
there, we did that same, and no bones broke ! * Well, says 
I, Nick, ye re here, sure enough, but how do you mane to 
get out of here? Is it climb the palisades ye will, and be 
shot by a sentinel ? if there was one, which there wasn t, 
yer honour, seeing that all had run away * or do ye mane 
to stay here, says I, and be taken a prisoner of war ag in, 
in which case ye 11 be two prisoners, seein that ye ve been 
taken wonst already, will ye Nick ? says I. So Nick never 
spoke, but he held up his finger, and made a sign for me to 



96 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

follow, as follow I did ; and we just crept through the pa 
lisade, and a mhighty phratty walk we had of it, alang the 
meadies, and t rough the lanes, the rest of the way." 

" You crept through the palisades, Mike ! There is no 
outlet of sufficient size." 

" I admits the hole is a tight squaze, but twill answer. 
And then it s just as good for an inlet as it is for an outlet, 
seein that I came t rough it this very marnin . Och ! Nick s 
acr ature! And how d ye think that hole comes there, 
barring all oversights in setting up the sticks?" 

" It has not been made intentionally, I should hope, 
O Hearn?" 

" Twas made by Joel, and that by just sawing off a post, 
and forcin out a pin or two, so that the palisade works 
like a door. Och ! it s nately contrived, and it manes mis 
chief." 

" This must be looked to, at once," cried the captain ; 
" lead the way, Mike, and show us the spot." 

As the Irishman was nothing loth, all three were soon in 
the court, whence Mike led the way through the gate, round 
to the point where the stockade came near the cliffs, on the 
eastern side of the buildings. This was the spot where the 
path that led down to the spring swept along the defences, 
and was on the very route by which the captain contem 
plated retreating, as well as on that by which Maud had 
entered the Hut, the night of the invasion. At a convenient 
place, a palisade had been sawed off, so low in the ground 
that the sods, which had been cut and were moveable, con 
cealed the injury, while the heads of the pins that ought to 
have bound the timber to the cross-piece, were in their holes, 
leaving everything apparently secure. On removing the 
sods, and pushing the timber aside, the captain ascertained 
that a man might easily pass without the stockade. As this 
corner was the most retired within the works, there was no 
longer any doubt that the hole had been used by all the de 
serters, including the women and children. In what manner 
it became known to Nick, however, still remained matter 
of conjecture. 

Orders were about to be given to secure this passage, 
when it occurred to the captain it might possibly be of use 
in effecting his own retreat. With this object in view, then, 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 07 

he hastened away from the place, lest any wandering eye 
without might detect his {manioc near it, and conjecture the 
cans.-. On returning to the library, the examination of Mike 
u;ts ivsmiK.ul. 

As the reader must be greatly puzzled with the county 
Lrii run-man s manner of expressing himself, we shall relate 
the substance of what he now uttered, for the sake of bre 
vity. It would seem that Nick had succeeded in persuading 
Mike, first, that he, the Tuscarora, was a fast friend of the 
captain and his family, confined by the former, in conse 
quence of a misconception of the real state of the Indian s 
feelings, much to the detriment of all their interests ; and 
that no better service could be rendered the Willoughbys 
than to let Nick depart, and for the Irishman to go with 
him. Mike, however, had not the slightest idea of desertion, 
the motive which prevailed on him to quit the Hut being a 
desire to see the major, and, if possible, to help him escape. 
As soon as this expectation was placed before his eyes, Mike 
became a convert to the Indian s wishes. Like ail exceed 
ingly zealous men, the Irishman had an itching propensity 
to be doing, and he was filled with a sort of boyish deliirht 
at the prospect of effecting a great service to those whom he 
so well loved, without their knowing it. Such was the his 
tory of Michael s seeming desertion ; that of what occurred 
after he quitted the works remains to be related. 

The Tuscarora led his companion out of the Hut, within 
half an hour after they had been left alone together, in the 
room of Mr. Woods. As this was subsequently to Joel s 
fliirht, Nick, in anticipation of this event, chose to lie in 
ambush a short time, in order to ascertain whether the de- 
fi-rtion was likely to go any further. Satisfied on this head, 
In- quietly retired towards tho mill. After making a sufficient 
ditonr to avoid being seen from the house, Nick gave him 
self no trouble about getting into the woods, or of practising 
any of the expedients of a time of real danger, as had been 
done by all of the deserters ; but he walked leisurely across 
the meadows, until he struck the highway, along which he 
proceeded forthwith to the rocks. All this was done in a 
way that showed he felt himself at home, and that he had 
no apprehensions of falling into an ambush. It might have 
arisen from his familiarity with the ground; or, it might 
VOL. II. 9 



98 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

have proceeded from the consciousness that he was ap 
proaching friends, instead of enemies. 

At the rocks, however, Nick did not deem it wise to lead 
Mike any further, without some preliminary caution. The 
white man was concealed in one of the clefts, therefore, 
while the Indian pursued his way alone. The latter was 
absent an hour ; at the end of that time he returned, and, 
after giving Mike a great many cautions about silence and 
prudence, he led him to the cabin of the miller, in the buttery 
of which Robert Willoughby was confined. To this buttery 
there was a window ; but, as it was so small as to prevent 
escape, no sentinel had been placed on the outside of the 
building. For his own comfort, too, and in order to possess 
his narrow lodgings to himself, the major had given a species 
of parole, by which he was bound to remain in duresse, 
until the rising of the next sun. Owing to these two causes, 
Nick had been enabled to approach the window, and to hold 
communications with the prisoner. This achieved, he re 
turned to the rocks, and led Mike to the same spot. 

Major Willoughby had not been able to write much, 
in consequence of the darkness. That which he communi 
cated, accordingly, had to pass through the fiery ordeal of 
the Irishman s brains. As a matter of course it did not 
come with particular lucidity, though Mike did succeed in 
making his auditors comprehend this much. 

The major was substantially well treated, though intima 
tions had been given that he would be considered as a spy. 
Escape seemed next to impossible ; still, he should not easily 
abandon the hope. From all he had seen, the party was 
one of that irresponsible character that would render capitu 
lation exceedingly hazardous, and he advised his father to 
hold out to the last. In a military point of view, he consi 
dered his captors as contemptible, being without a head ; 
though many of the men the savages in particular ap 
peared to be ferocious and reckless. The whole party was 
guarded in discourse, and little was said in English, though 
he was convinced that many more whites were present than 
he had at first believed. Mr. Woods he had not seen, nor 
did he -now anything of his arrest or detention. 

This much Mike succeeded in making the captain com 
prehend, though a great deal was lost through the singular 



THE IIUTTED KNOLL. 99 

confusion that prevailed in the mind of the messenger. Mike, 
however, IKK! still (uoot her communication, which we reserve 
for the ears of the person to whom it was especially sent. 

This news produced a pause in captain Willoughby s de 
termination. Some of the lire of youth awoke within him, 
and he debated witii himself on the possibility of making a 
sortie, and of liberating his son, as a step preliminary to 
victory; or, at least, to a successful retreat. Acquainted 
with every foot of the ground, which had singular facilities 
for a step so bold, the project found favour in his eyes each 
minute, and soon became fixed. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

* Another love 

In its lone woof began to twine; 
But, ah ! the golden thread was wove 
That bound my sister s heart in mine !" 

WILLIS. 


WHILE the captain and Joyce were digesting their plans, 
Mike proceeded on an errand of peculiar delicacy with which 
he had been entrusted by Robert Willoughby. The report 
that he had returned flew through the dwellings, and many 
were the hearty greetings and shakings of the hand that tho 
honest fellow had to undergo from the Plinys and Smashes, 
ere he was at liberty to set about the execution of this trust. 
The wenches, in particular, having ascertained that Mike 
had not broken his fast, insisted on his having a comfortable 
meal, in a sort of servants hall, before they would con>i-nt 
to his quitting their sight. As the county Leitrim-man was 
singularly ready with a knife and fork, he made no very 
determined opposition, and, in a few minutes, he was hare 
at work, discussing a cold ham, with the other collaterals 
of a substantial American breakfast. 

The blacks, the Smashes inclusive, had been seriously 
alarmed at t ie appearance of the invading party. Between 
them and the whole family of red-men there existed a sort 
of innate dislike ; an antipathy that originated in colour, and 



100 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

wool, and habits, and was in no degree lessened by appre 
hensions on the score of scalps. 

" How you look, ole Plin, widout wool?" Big Smash had 
reproachfully remarked, not five minutes before Mike made 
his appearance in the kitchen, in answer to some apologetic 
observation of her husband, as to the intentions of the . 
savages being less hostile than he had at first imagined ; 
" why you say dey no murder, and steal and set fire, when 
you know dey s Injin ! Natur be natur ; and dat I hear 
dominie Woods say t ree time one Sunday. What e dominie 
say often, he mean, and dere no use in saying dey don t 
come to do harm." 

As Great Smash was an oracle in her own set, there was 
no gainsaying her dogmas, and Pliny the elder was obliged 
to succumb. But the presence of Mike, one who was under 
stood to have been out, near, if not actually in, the enemy s 
camp, and a great favourite in the bargain, was a circum 
stance likely to revive the discourse. In fact, all the negroes 
crowded into the hall, as soon as the Irishman was seated 
at table, one or two eager to talk, the rest as eager to listen. 

"How near you been, to sabbage, Michael?" demanded 
Big Smash, her two large coal-black eyes seeming to open 
in a degree proportioned to her interest in the answer. 

" I wint as nigh as there was occasion, Smash, and that 
was nigher than the likes of yer husband there would be 
thinking of travelling. Maybe twas as far as from my 
plate here to yon door; maybe not quite so far. They re 
a dhirty set, and I wish to go no nearer." 

" What dey look like, in e dark?" inquired Little Smash 
" Awful as by daylight ?" 

" It s not meself that stopped to admire em. Nick and 
I had our business forenent us, and when a man is hurried, 
it isn t r asonable to suppose he can kape turning his head 
about to see sights." 

" What dey do wid Misser Woods ? What sabbage want 
wid dominie?" 

" Sure enough, little one ; and the question is of yer own 
asking. A praist, even though he should be only a heretic, 
can have no great call for his sarvices, in sick a congrega 
tion. And, I don t think the fellows are blackguards enough 
f.o scalp a parson." 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 101 

Then followed a flood of incoherent questions that wcro 
put by all the blacks in a body, accompanied by divers looks 
ominous of tin- most serious disasters, blended with bursts 
of laughter that broke out of their risible natures in a way 
to render the medley of sensations as ludicrous as it was 
strange. Mike soon found answering a task too diilicult to 
be attempted, and he philosophically came to a determina 
tion to confine: his efforts to masticating. 

Notwithstanding the terror that actually prevailed among 
the blacks, it was not altogether unmixed with a resolution 
to die with arms in their hands, in preference to yielding to 
savage clemency. Hatred, in a measure, supplied the place 
of courage, though both sexes had insensibly imbibed some 
of that resolution which is the result of habit, and of which 
a border life is certain to instil more or less into its subjects, 
in a form suited to border emergencies. Nor was this feel 
ing confined to the men ; the two Smashes, in particular, 
being women capable of achieving acts that would be thought 
heroic under circumstances likely to arouse their feelings. 

" Now, Smashes," said Mike, when, by his own calcula 
tion, he had about three minutes to the termination of his 
breakfast before him, "ye 11 do what I tells ye, and no 
questions asked. Ye 11 find the laddies, Missus, and Miss 
P.euly, and Mi>s Maud, and ye 11 give my humble respects 
to em all divil the bit, now, will ye be overlooking eithei 
of the t ree, but ye 11 do ycr errand genteely and like a 
laddy yerself and ye 11 give my jcwty and respects to em 
a//, I tells ye, and say that Michael O Hearn asks the ho 
nour of being allowed to wish em ^ood morning." 

Little Smash screamed at this message ; yet she went, 
forthwith, and delivered it, making reasonably free with 
Michael s manner and gallantry in so doiiiL r . 

"O Hearn has something to tell us from Rol>ert" -aM 
Mrs. Willoughby, who had been made acquainted with tho 
Irishman s exploits and return ; " he must be suffered to 
come in as soon as he desires." 

With this reply, Little Smash terminated her mission. 
" And now, laddies and gentlemen," said Mike, with 
gravity, as lie rose to quit the servants hall, "my blessing 
and good wishes be wid ye. A hearty male have I had at 
yer hands and yer cookery, and good thanks it desarvos. 
9* 



102 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

As for the Injins, jist set yer hearts at rest, as not one of 
ye will be scalp d the day, seeing that the savages are all to 
be fbrenent the mill this morning, houlding a great council, 
as I knows from Nick himself. A comfortable time, then, 
ye may all enjoy, wid yer heads on yer shoulters, and yer 
wool on yer heads." 

Mike s grin, as he retreated, showed that he meant to be 
facetious, having all the pleasantry that attends a full sto 
mach uppermost in his animal nature at that precise moment. 
A shout rewarded this sally, and the parties separated with 
mutual good humour and good feeling. In this state of 
mind, the county Leitrim-man was ushered into the presence 
of the ladies. A few words of preliminary explanations 
were sufficient to put Mike in the proper train, when he 
came at once to his subject. 

" The majjor is no way down-hearted," he said, " and he 
ordered me to give his jewty and riverence, and obligations, 
to his honoured mother and his sisters. Tell em, Mike, 
says he, says the majjor, that I feels for em, all the same 
as if I was their own fader ; and tell em, says he, to keep 
up their spirits, and all will come right in the ind. This is 
a throublesome wor-r-ld, but they that does their jewties to 
God and man, and the church, will not fail, in the long 
run, to wor-r-k their way t rough purgatory even, into para 
dise. " 

" Surely my son my dear Robert never sent us such 
a message as this, Michael ?" 

" Every syllable of it, and a quantity moor that has slipped 
my memory," answered the Irishman, who was inventing, 
but who fancied he was committing a very pious fraud 
" Twould have done the Missuses heart good to have listen 
ed to the majjor, who spoke more in the charac&ter of a 
praist, like, than in that of a souldier." 

All three of the ladies looked a little abashed, though 
there was a gleam of humour about the mouth of Maud, 
that showed she was not very far from appreciating the 
Irishman s report at its just value. As for Mrs. Willoughby 
and Beulah, less acquainted with Mike s habits, they did not 
so readily penetrate his manner of substituting his own de 
sultory thoughts for the ideas of others. 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 103 

" As I am better acquainted with Mike s language, dear 
mother" whispered Maud " {>erhaps it will be well if I 
take him into the library and question him a little between 
ourselves about what actually passed. Depend on it, I shall 
get the truth." 

" Do, my child, for it really pains me to hear Robert so 
much misrepresented and, as Evert must now begin to 
!<leas, I really do not like that his uncle should be so 
placed before the dear little fellow s mind." 

Maud did not even smile at this proof of a grandmother s 
weakness, though she felt and saw all its absurdity. Heart 
was ever so much uppermost with the excellent matron, 
that it was not easy for those she loved to regard anything 
but her virtues ; and least of all did her daughter presume 
to indulge in even a thought that was ludicrous at her ex 
pense. Profiting by the assent, therefore, Maud quietly 
made a motion for Mike to follow, and proceeded at once to 
the room she had named. 

Not a word was exchanged between the parties until both 
were in the library, when Maud carefully closed the door, 
her face pale as marble, and stood looking inquiringly at her 
companion. The reader will understand that, Mr. Woods and 
Joyce excepted, not a soul at the Hut, out of the limits of 
the Willoughby connection, knew anything of our heroine s 
actual relation to the captain and his family. It is true, 
some of the oldest of the blacks had once some vague no 
tions on the subject; but their recollections had become 
obscured by time, and habit was truly second nature with 
all of the light-hearted race. 

" That was mighty injanious of you, Miss Maud !" Mike 
commenced, giving one of his expressive grins again, and 
fairly winking. " It shows how fri nds wants no spache but 
their own minds. Barrin mistakes and crass-accidents, I m 
sartain that Michael O Hearn can make himself understood 
any day by Miss Maud Willoughby, an niver a word said." 

" Your success then, Mike, will be greater at dumb-show 
than it always is with your tongue," answered the young 
lady, the blood slowly returning to her cheek, the accidental 
use of the name of Willoughby removing the apprehension 
of anything immediately embarrassing ; " what have you to 
tell me that you suppose I have anticipated ?" 



104 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

" Sure, the like o yees needn t be tould, Miss Maud, that 
the majjor bad me spake to ye by yerself, and say a word 
that was not to be overheerd by any one else." 

" This is singular extraordinary even but let me know 
more, though the messenger be altogether so much out 
of the common v/ay !" 

" I t ought ye d say that, when ye come to know me. Is 
it meself that s a messenger? and where is there another 
that can carry news widout spilling any by the way ? Nick s 
a. cr ature, I allows ; but the majjor know d a million times 
bhetter than to trust an Injin wid sich a jewty. As for Joel, 
and that set of vagabonds, we 11 grind em all in the mill, 
before we ve done wid em. Let em look for no favours, 
if they wishes no disapp intment." 

Maud sickened at the thought of having any of those sa 
cred feelings connected with Robert Willoughby that she 
had so long cherished in her inmost heart, rudely probed by 
so unskilful a hand; though her last conversation with the 
young soldier had told so much, even while it left so much 
unsaid, that she could almost kneel and implore Mike to be 
explicit. The reserve of a woman, notwithstanding, taught 
her how to preserve her sex s decorum, and to maintain 
appearances. 

" If major Willoughby desired you to communicate any 
thing to me, in particular," she said, with seeming compo 
sure, " I am ready to hear it." 

" Divil the word did he desire, Miss Maud, for everything 
was in whispers between us, but jist what I m about to 
repait. And here s my stick, that Nick tould me to kape 
as a reminderer; it s far bhetter for me than a book, as I 
can t read a syllable. And now, Mike, says the majjor, 
says he, 4 conthrive to see phratty Miss Maud by her 
self " 

" Pretty Miss Maud !" interrupted the young lady, invo 
luntarily. 

" Och ! it s meself that says that, and sure there s plenty 
of r ason for it ; so we 11 agree it s all right and proper 
" phratty Miss Maud by herself, letting no mortal else know 
what you are about. That was the majjor s." 

" It is very extraordinary ! Perhaps it will be better, 
Michael, if you tell me nothing but what is strictly the 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 105 

major s. A message should be delivered as nearly like the 
words that were actually sent as possible." 

k> \Vi.r-r-ds ! And it isn t wor-r-ds at all, that I have to 
give ye." 

"If not a mexsaue in words, in what else can it be? 
Xot in sticks, surely." 

In tlniT cried .Mike, exultingly "and, I ll warrant, 
when the trut comes out, that very little bit of silver will bo 
found as good as forty Injin scalps." 

Although Mike put a small silver snuff-box that Maud at 
once recognised as Robert Willoughby s property into the 
young lady s hand, nothing was more apparent than the 
circumstance that he was profoundly ignorant of the true 
meaning of what he was doing. The box was very beauti 
ful, and his mother and Beulah had often laughed at the 
major for using an article that was then deemed tic r lift/cur 
for a man of extreme ton, when all his friends knew ho 
never touched snuff. So far from using the stimulant, 
nidi ((!, he never would show how the box was opened, a 
se.-ret spring existing; and he even manifested or betrayed 
shyness on the subject of suffering 1 either of his sisters to 
vaivh for the means of doing so. 

The moment Maud saw the box, her heart beat tumultu- 
ously. She had a presentiment that her fate was about to 
be decided. Still, she had sufficient self-command to make 
an effort to learn all her companion had to communicate. 

" Major Willoughby gave you this box," she said, her 
voice trembling in spite of herself. "Did he send any me,. 
sage with it? Recollect yourself; the words may be very 
important." 

" Is it the wor-r-ds ? Well, it s little or them that p 
between us, barrin that the Injins was so near by, that it 
was whisper we did, and not a bit else." 

" Still there must have been some message." 

"Ye are as wise as a sarpent, Miss Maud, as Father 
O Loony used to tell us all of a Sunday ! Was it wor-r-ds ! 
(Jive that to Miss Maud, says the majjor, says he, * and 
tell her she is now mist/ircss of mi/ sat 

" Did he say this, Michael ? For heaven s sake, be cer 
tain of what -you tell me." 



106 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

"Irish Mike Masser want you in monstrous hurry," 
cried the youngest of the three black men, thrusting his 
glistening lace into the door, announcing the object of the 
intrusion, and disappearing almost in the same instant. 

" Do not leave me, O Hearn," said Maud, nearly gasping 
for breath, " do not leave me without an assurance there is 
no mistake." 

" Divil bur-r-n me if I d brought the box, or the message, 
or anything like it, phretty Miss Maud, had I t ought it would 
have done this har-r-m." 

" Michael O Hearn," called the serjeant from the court, 
in his most authoritative military manner, and that on a key 
that would not brook denial. 

Mike did not dare delay ; in half a minute Maud found 
herself standing alone, in the centre of the library, holding 
the well-known snuff-box of Robert Willoughby in her little 
hand. The renowned caskets of Portia had scarcely excited 
more curiosity in their way than this little silver box of the 
major s had created in the mind of Maud. In addition to his 
playful evasions about letting her and Beulah pry into its 
mysteries, he had once said to herself, in a grave and feel 
ing manner, " When you get at the contents of this box, 
dear girl, you will learn the great secret of my life." These 
words had made a deep impression at the time it was in 
his visit of the past year but they had been temporarily 
forgotten in the variety of events and stronger sensations 
that had succeeded. Mike s message, accompanied by the 
box itself, however, recalled them, and Maud fancied that 
the major, considering himself to be in some dangerous 
emergency, had sent her the bauble in order that she might 
learn what that secret was. Possibly he meant her to com 
municate it to others. Persons in our heroine s situation 
feel, more than they reason ; and it is possible Maud might 
have come to some other conclusion had she been at leisure, 
or in a state of mind to examine all the circumstances in a 
more logical manner. 

Now she was in possession of this long-coveted box 
coveted at least so far as a look into its contents were con 
cerned Maud not only found herself ignorant of the secret 
by which it was opened, but she had scruples, about using 
the means, even had she been in possession of them. At 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 101 

first she thought of carrying the thing to Bculah, and of 
asking if sh- know any way of getting at the spring; then 
she shrunk from the exposure that might possibly attend 
such a step. The motv >hi. reflected, the more she felt con 
vinced that Robert Willoughby would not have sent her that 
particular box, unless it were connected with herself, in 
SOUR; way more than common ; and ever since the conver 
sation in the painting-room she had seen glimmerings of the 
truth, in relation to his feelings. These glimmerings too, 
had aided her in better understanding her own heart, and all 
her sentiments revolted at the thought of having a witness 
to any explanation that might relate to the subject. In every 
event she determined, after a few minutes of thought, not to 
speak of the message, or the present, to a living soul. 

In this condition of mind, filled with anxiety, pleasing 
doubts, apprehensions, shame, and hope, all relieved, how 
ever, by the secret consciousness of perfect innocence, and 
motives that angels might avow, Maud stood, in the very 
spot where Mike had left her, turning the box in her hands, 
when accidentally she touched the spring, and the lid flew 
open. To glance at the contents was an act so natural and 
involuntary as to anticipate reflection. 

Nothing was visible but a piece of white paper, neatly 
folded, and compressed into the box in a way to fill its in- 
terior. "Bob has written," thought Maud "Yet how 
could he do this? He was in the dark, and had not pen or 
paper !" Another look rendered this conjecture still more 
improbable, as it showed the gilt edge of paper of the quality 
used for notes, an article equally unlikely to be found in the 
mill and in his own pocket. " Yet it must be a note," passed 
through her mind, "and of course it was written before he 
left the Hut quite likely before he arrived possibly the 
year before, when he spoke of the box as containing tlio 
evidence of the irrcat secret of his life." 

Maud now wished for Mike, incoherent, unintelligible, 
and blundering as he was, that she might question him still 
further as to the precise words of the message. " Possibly 
Bob did not intend me to open the box at all," she thought, 
" and meant merely that I should keep it until he could 
return to claim it. It contains a great secret ; and, because 
he wishes to keep this secret from the Indians, it does not 



108 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

follow that he intends to reveal it to me. I will shut the 
box again, and guard his secret as I would one of my 
own." 

This was no sooner thought than it was done. A pressure 
of the lid closed it, and Maud heard the snap of the spring 
with a start. Scarcely was the act performed ere she 
repented it. " Bob would not have sent the box without 
some particular object," she went on to imagine ; " and had 
he intended it not to be opened, he would have told as much 
to O Hearn. How easy would it have been for him to say, 
and for Mike to repeat, tell her to keep the box till I ask 
for it it contains a secret, and I wish my captors not to 
learn it. No, he has sent the box with the design that 1 
should examine its contents. His very life may depend on 
my doing so; yes, and on my doing so this minute !" 

This last notion no sooner glanced athwart our heroine s 
mind, than she began diligently to search for the hidden 
spring. Perhaps curiosity had its influence on the eagerness 
to arrive at the secret, which she now manifested ; possibly 
a tenderer and still more natural feeling lay concealed be 
hind it all. At any rate, her pretty little fingers never were 
employed more nimbly, and not a part of the exterior of the 
box escaped its pressure. Still, the secret spring eluded her 
search. The box had two or three bands of richly chased 
work on each side of the place of opening, and amid these 
ornaments Maud felt certain that the little projection she 
sought must lie concealed. To examine these, then, she 
commenced in a regular and connected manner, resolved 
that not a single raised point should be neglected. Accident, 
however, as before, stood her friend ; and, at a moment 
when she least expected it, the lid flew back, once more 
exposing the paper to view. 

Maud had been too seriously alarmed about re-opening 
the box, to hesitate a moment now, as to examining its con 
tents. The paper was removed, and she began to unfold it 
slowly, a slight tremor passing through her frame as she 
did so. For a single instant she paused to scent the delight 
ful and delicate perfume that seemed to render the interior 
$acred ; then her fingers resumed their office. At each in 
stant, her eyes expected to meet Robert Willoughby s well- 
known hand-writing. But the folds of the paper opened on 



j 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 109 

a blank. To Maud s surprise, and, for a single exquisitely 
painful moment, .sin- saw that a lock of hair was all the box 
contained, bouirs the JKI[MT in which it was enveloped. I K-r 
leok Ixvame anxious, and her face pale; then the eyes 
brightened, and a blush that might well be likened to the 
tints with which the approach of dawn illumines the sky, 
suliused her checks, as, holding the hair to the light, the 
li.ng ringlets dropped at length, and she recognised one of 
those beautiful tresses, of which so many were falling at 
that very moment, in rich profusion around her own lovely 
laci-. To unloosen her hair from the comb, and to lay the 
secret of Bob Willoughby by its side, in a way to compare 
the glossy shades, was the act of only a moment ; it sufficed, 
however, to bring a perfect conviction of the truth. Jt was a 
memorial of herself, then, that Robert Willoughby so prized, 
had so long guarded with care, and which he called the se 
cret of his life ! 

It was impossible for Maud not to understand all this. 
Robert Willoughby loved her; he had taken this mode of 
telling his passion. He had been on the point of doing this 
in words the very day before ; and now he availed himself 
of the only means that offered of completing the tale. A 
Hood of tenderness gushed to the heart of Maud, as she 
passed over all this in her mind ; and, from that moment, 
she ceased to feel shame at the recollection of her own at 
tachment. She might still have shrunk a little from avowing 
it to her father, and mother, and Bculah ; but, as to herself, 
the world, and the object of her affections, she now stood 
perfectly vindicated in her own eyes. 

That was a precious half-hour which succeeded. For the 
moment, all present dangers were lost siuht of, in the glow 
of future hopes. .Maud s imagination portrayed scenes of 
happiness, in which domestic duties, Bob beloved, almost 
worshipped, and her father and mother happy in the felicity 
of iheir children, were the prominent features ; while Bculah 
and little Evert filled the back-ground of the picture in co 
lours of pleasing softness. But the>e were illusions that 
rould not last for ever, the fearful realities of her situation 
returning with the urealer consciousness of existence. Still, 
Bob might now be loved, without wounding any of the sen- 

VoL.lI. 10 



HO THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

sitiveness of her sex s opinions ; and dearly, engrossingly, 
passionately was he rewarded, for the manner in which he 
had thought of letting her know the true state of his heart, 
at a moment when he had so much reason to think only of 
himself. 

It was time for Maud to return to her mother and sister. 
The box was carefully concealed, leaving the hair in its old 
envelope, and she hurried to the nursery. On entering the 
room, she found that her father had just preceded her. The 
captain was grave, more thoughtful than usual, and his wife, 
accustomed to study his countenance for so much of her 
happiness, saw at once that something lay heavy on his 
mind. 

" Has anything out of the way happened, Hugh ?" she 
asked, " to give you uneasiness ?" 

Captain Willoughby drew a chair to the side of that of 
his wife, seated himself, and took her hand before he an 
swered. Little Evert, who sat on her knee, was played 
with, for a moment, as if to defer a disagreeable duty ; not 
till then did he even speak. 

" You know, dearest Wilhelmina," the captain finally 
commenced, " that there have never been any concealments 
between us, on the score of danger, even when I was a pro 
fessed soldier, and might be said to carry my life in my 
hand." 

" You have ever found me reasonable, I trust, while feel 
ing like a woman, mindful of my duty as a wife?" 

"I have, love; this is the reason I have always dealt 
with you so frankly." 

" We understand each other, Hugh. Now tell me the 
worst at once." 

" I am not certain you will think there is any worst about 
it, Wilhelmina, -as Bob s liberty is the object. I intend to 
go out myself, at the head of all the white men that remain, 
in order to deliver him from the hands of his enemies. This 
will leave you, for a time six or seven hours, perhaps 
in the Hut, with only the three blacks as a guard, and with 
the females. You need have no apprehension of an assault, 
however, everything indicating a different intention on the 
part of our enemies ; on that score you may set your hearts 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. Ill 

" All my apprehensions mid prayers will be for you, my 
husband for ourselves, \\<- rap- not." 

" This I expected ; it is to lessen these very apprehensions 
that I have come to tell you my whole plan." 

Captain \VilIoughby now related, with some minuteness, 
; -stance of Mike s report, and his own plan, of the 
last of which we have already given an outline. Every 
thing had been well matured in his mind, and all promi I 
success. The men were apprised of the service on which 
they were to be employed, and every one of them had mani- 
the best spirit. They were then busy in equipping 
tin -mselvcs ; in half an hour they would be ready to march. 

To all this Mrs. Willoujrhby listened like a soldier s wife, 
accustomed to the risks of a frontier warfare, though she 
felt like a woman. Beulah pressed little Evert to her heart, 
while her pallid countenance was turned to her father with 
a look that seemed to devour every syllable. As for Maud, 
a strange mixture of dread and wild delight were blended in 
her bosom. To have Bob liberated, and restored to them, 
was approaching perfect happiness, though it surpassed her 
powers not to dread misfortunes. Nevertheless, the captain 
IP clear in his explanations, so calm in his manner, and 
of a judgment so approved, that his auditors felt far less 
concern than might naturally have been expected. 



CHAPTER IX. 

" March march march ! 
M;ikin sounds as they tread, 
Ho-ho ! how they step, 
Going down to the dead." 

COXE. 

THE time Maud consumed in her meditations over thn 
box and its contents, had been employed by the captain in 
preparations for his enterprise. Joyce, young Blodgct, Jamie 
nnd Mike, led by their commander in person, were to com 
pose the whole force on the occasion ; and every man had 
been busy in getting his arms, ammunition and provisions 



112 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

ready, for the last half-hour. When captain Willoughby, 
therefore, had taken leave of his family, he found the party 
in a condition to move. 

The first great desideratum was to quit the Hut unseen. 
Joel and his followers were still at work, in distant fields ; 
but they all carefully avoided that side of the Knoll which 
would have brought them within reach of the musket, and 
this left all behind the cliff unobserved, unless Indians were 
in the woods in that direction. As Mike had so recently 
passed in by that route, however, the probability was the 
whole party still remained in the neighbourhood of the mills, 
where all accounts agreed in saying they mainly kept. It 
was the intention of the captain, therefore, to sally by the 
rivulet and the rear of the house, and to gain the woods 
under cover of the bushes on the banks of the former, as 
had already been done by so many since the inroad. 

The great difficulty was to quit the house, and reach the 
bed of the stream, unseen. This step, however, was a good 
deal facilitated by means of Joel s sally-port, the overseer 
having taken, himself, all the precautions against detection 
of which the case well admitted. Nevertheless, there was 
the distance between the palisades and the base of the rocks, 
some forty or fifty yards, which was entirely uncovered, 
and had to be passed under the notice of any wandering 
eyes that might happen to be turned in that quarter. After 
much reflection, the captain and serjeant came to the con 
clusion to adopt the following mode of proceeding. 

Blodget passed the hole, by himself, unarmed, rolling 
down the declivity until he reached the stream. Here a 
thicket concealed him sufficiently, the bushes extending 
along the base of the rocks, following the curvature of the 
rivulet. Once within these bushes, there was little danger 
of detection. As soon as it was ascertained that the young 
man was beneath the most eastern of the outer windows of 
the northern wing, the only one of the entire range that had 
bushes directly under it, all the rifles were lowered down to 
him, two at a time, care being had that no one should ap 
pear at the window during the operation. This was easily 
effected, jerks of the rope sufficing for the necessary signals 
when to haul in the line. The ammunition succeeded ; and, 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 113 

in this manner, all the materials of offence and defence 
>uon collected on the margin of the stivam. 

The next step was to M-nd the men out, one by one, 
imitating the precautions taken by Blodget. Each individual 
had his own provisions, and most of the men carried some 
sort of arms, -Mich as a pistol, or a knife, about his per 
son. In half an hour the four men were armed, and waited 
for the leader, concealed by the bushes on the border of the 
brook. It only remained for captain Willoughby to give 
some instructions to those he left in the Hut, and to follow. 

Pliny the elder, in virtue of his years, and some 

in Indian warfare, succeeded to the command of the 
garrison, in the absence of its chief . Had there remained ;i 
male white at the Knoll, this trust never could have devolved 
on him, it being thought contrary to the laws of nature for 
a negro to command one of the other colour; but such was 
not the fact, and Pliny the elder succeeded pretty much as 
a matter of course. Notwithstanding, he was to obey not 
only his particular old mistress, but both his young rni.s- 
, who exercised an authority over him that was not 
to be disputed, without doing violence to all the received 
notions of the day. To him, then, the captain issued his 
final orders, bidding him be vigilant, and above all to keep 
the gates closed. 

As soon as this was done, the husband and father wont 
to his wile and children to take a last embrace. Anxious 
not to excite too strong apprehensions by his manner, this 
was done affectionately solemnly, perhaps but with a 
manner so guarded as to effect his object. 

" I shall look for no other signal, or sign of success, 
Hugh," said the weeping wife, " than your own return, ac 
companied by our dearest boy. When I can hold you both 
in my arms, I shall be happy, though all the Indians of the 
continent were in the valley." 

" Do not miscalculate as to time, Wilhelmina. That 
affectionate heart of yours sometimes travels over time and 
space in a way to give its owner unnecessary pain. Re 
member we shall have to proceed with great caution, both 
in going and returning; and it will require hours to make 
the detour I have in view. I hope to see you again before 
10* 



114 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

sunset, but a delay may carry us into the night. It may 
even become necessary to defer the final push until after 
dark." 

This was melancholy intelligence for the females ; but 
they listened to it with calmness, and endeavoured to be, as 
well as to seem, resigned. Beulah received her father s 
kiss and blessing with streaming eyes, straining little Evert 
to her heart as he left her. Maud was the last embraced. 
lie even led her, by gentle violence, to the court, keeping 
her in discourse by the way, exhorting her to support her 
mother s spirits by her own sense and steadiness. 

" I shall have Bob in the Hut, soon," he added, " and 
this will repay us all for more than twice the risks all but 
you, little vixen ; for your mother tells me you are getting, 
through some caprice of that variable humour of your sex, 
to be a little estranged from the poor fellow." 

" Father !" 

"Oil know it is not very serious ; still, even Beulah 
tells me you once called him a Major of Foot." 

" Did 1 1" said Maud, trembling in her whole frame lest 
her secret had been prematurely betrayed by the very at 
tempt to conceal it. " My tongue is not always my heart." 

" I know it, darling, unless where I am concerned. Treat 
the son as you will, Maud, I am certain that you will always 
love the father." A pressure to the heart, and kisses on 
the forehead, eyes, and cheeks followed. " You have all 
your own papers, Maud, and can easily understand your 
own affairs. When examined into, it will be seen that 
every shilling of your fortune has gone to increase it; and, 
little hussy, you are now become something like a great 
heiress." 

"What does this mean, dearest, dearest father? Your 
words frighten, me !" 

" They should not, love. Danger is never increased by 
being prepared to meet it. I have been a steward, and 
wish it to be known that the duty has not been unfaith 
fully discharged. That is all. A hundred-fold am I repaid 
by possessing so dutiful and sweet a child." 

Maud fell on her father s bosom and sobbed. Never 
before had he made so plain allusions to the true relations 
which existed between them ; the papers she possessed hav- 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 115 

ing spoken for themselves, and havm-/ been given in silence. 
rtheless, as he appeared disposed to proceed no further, 
at present, the poor girl struggled to command herself, sue- 
ceedcd in part, : .v-.l her lather s Benediction, m--t 

solemnly and tenderly delivered, and saw him depart, with 
an air of calmm>s that subsequently astonished even h-r- 



\Ve must now quit the interesting group that was left 
behind in the Hut, and accompany the adventurers in their 
march. 

Captain Willounhhy was obliged to imitate his men, in 
the Mode df quilting the, j)alisades. He had dressed himself 
in the American hunting-shirt and trowsers for the occasion; 
and, this being an attire he now rarely used, it greatly 
diminished the chances of his being recognised, if si in. 
Joyce was in a similar garb, though neither Jamie nor Mike 
could ever be persuaded to assume a style that both insisted 
so much resembled that of the Indians. As for Blodget, he 
was in the usual dress of a labourer. 

As soon as he had reached the bottom of the cliff, the 
captain let the fact be known to Old Pliny, by using his 
voice with caution, though sufficiently loud to be heard on the 
staging of the roof, directly above his head. The black had 
been instructed to watch Joel and his companions, in order 
to ascertain if they betrayed, in their movements, any con 
sciousness of what was in progress at the Hut. The report 
was favourable, Pliny assuring his master that " all e men 
work, sir, just as afore. Joel hammer away at plough- 
handle, tinkerin just like heself. Not an eye turn dis away, 
massa." 

Encouraged by this assurance, the whole party stole 
through the bushes, that lined this part of the base of the 
cliffs, until they entered the bed of the stream. It was 
September, and the water was so low, as to enable the party 
to move along the margin of the rivulet dry-shod, occasion- 
ally stepping from stone to stone. The latter expedient, 
indeed, was adopted wherever circumstances allowed, with 
a view to leave as few traces of a trail as was praciicable. 
Otherwise the cover was complete; the winding of the rivu 
let preventing any distant view through its little reache.. 
and the thick fringe of the bushes on each bank, effectually 



116 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

concealing the men against any passing, lateral, glimpse of 
their movements. 

Captain Willoughby had, from the first, apprehended an 
assault from this quarter. The house, in its elevation, how 
ever, possessed an advantage that would not be enjoyed by 
an enemy on the ground ; and, then, the cliff offered very 
serious obstacles to anything like a surprise on that portion 
of the defences. Notwithstanding, he now led his men, 
keeping a look riveted on the narrow lane in his front, far 
from certain that each turn might not bring him in presence 
of an advancing party of the enemy. No such unpleasant 
encounter occurred ; and the margin of the forest was 
gained, without any appearance of the foe, and seemingly 
without discovery. 

Just within the cover of the woods, a short reach of the 
rivulet lay fairly in sight, from the rear wing of the dwell 
ings. It formed a beautiful object in the view ; the ardent 
and tasteful Maud having sketched the silvery ribbon of 
water, as it was seen retiring within the recesses of the 
forest, and often calling upon others to admire its loveliness 
and picturesque effect. Here the captain halted, and made 
a signal to Old Pliny, to let him know he waited for an 
answer. The reply was favourable, the negro showing the 
sign that all was still well. This was no sooner done, 
than the faithful old black hurried down to his mistress, to 
communicate the intelligence that the party was safely in 
the forest; while the adventurers turned, ascended the bank 
of the stream, and pursued their way on more solid ground. 

Captain Willoughby and his men were now fairly en 
gaged in the expedition, and every soul of them felt the 
importance and gravity of the duty he was on. Even Mike 
was fain to obey the order to be silent, as the sound of a 
voice, indiscreetly used, might betray the passage of the 
party to some outlying scouts of the enemy. Caution was 
even used in treading on dried sticks, lest their cracking 
should produce the same effect. 

The sound of the axe was heard in the rear of the cabins 
coming from a piece of woodland the captain had ordered 
cleared, with the double view of obtaining fuel, and of in 
creasing his orchards. This little clearing was near a quar 
ter of a mile from the flats, the plan being, still to retain a 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 117 

belt of forest round the latter ; and it might have covered 
half-a-dozen acres of land, having n<\v been UM -d lour or 
five years for the same purpose. To pass between this 
clearing and tlie cabins would have been too hazardous, and 
it became mve>sary to direct the march in a way to turn 

till? former. 

The cow-paths answered as guides for quite a mile, Mike 

being thoroughly acquainted with all their sinuosities. Tho 

capiain and serjeant, however, each carried a pocket com- 

an instrument without which lew ventured far into the 

i. Then the blows of the axes served as sounds to 

Id the adventurers know their relative position, and, as they 

circled the place whence they issued, they gave the constant 

assurance of their own progress, and probable security. 

The reader will probably comprehend the nature of the 
ground over which our party was now marching. The 
* flats proper, or the site of the old Beaver Dam, have 
already been described. The valley, towards the south, ter 
minated at the rocks of the mill, changing its character be 
low that point, to a glen, or vast ravine. On the east were 
mountains of considerable height, and of unlimited range; 
to the north, the level land extended miles, though on a plat 
form many feet higher than the level of the cleared mea 
dows; while, to the west, along the route the adventurers 
were marching, broad slopes of rolling forest spread their 
richly-wooded surfaces, filled with fair promise for the fu 
ture. The highest swell of this undulating fmvst was that 
nearest t the Hut, and it was its elevation only that gave 
the home-scene the character of a valley. 

Captain Willoughby s object was to gain the summit of 
this first ridge of land, which would serve as a guide to his 
object, since it terminated at the line of rocks that made the 
waterfall, quite a mile, however, in the rear of the mills. 
It would carry him also quite beyond the clearing of the 
wood-choppers, and be effectually turning the whole of the 
enemy s position. Once at the precipitous termination 
caused by the face of rock that had been thrown to the sur 
face by some geological phenomenon, he could not miss his 
way, since these rugged marks must of themselves lead him 
directly to the station known to be occupied by thu body of 
his foes. 



118 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

Half an hour served to reach the desired ridge, when the 
party changed its march, pursuing a direction nearly south, 
along its summit. 

" Those axes sound nearer and nearer, serjeant," Captain 
Willoughby observed, after the march had lasted a long 
time in profound silence. " We must be coming up near 
the point where the men are at work." 

"Does your honour reflect at all on the reason why 
these fellows are so particularly industrious in a time like 
this ? To me it has a very ambuscadish sort of look !" 

" It cannot be connected with an ambuscade, Joyce, inas 
much as we are not supposed to be on a march. There 
can be no ambuscade, you will remember, practised on a 
garrison." 

" I ask your honour s pardon may not a sortie be am 
bushed, as well as a march?" 

" In that sense, perhaps, you may be right. And, now 
you mention it, I think it odd there should be so much in 
dustry at wood-chopping, in a moment like this. We will 
halt as soon as the sounds are fairly abreast of us, when 
you and I can reconnoitre the men, and ascertain the appear 
ance of things for ourselves." 

" I remember, sir, when your honour led out two compa 
nies of ours, with one of the Royal Irish, a major s command, 
of good rights, to observe the left flank of the French, the 
evening before we stormed the enemy s works at Ty " 

" Your memory is beginning to fail you, Joyce," inter 
rupted the captain, smiling. " We were far from storming 
those works, having lost two thousand men before them, and 
failed of seeing their inside at all." 

" I always look upon a soldierly attempt, your honour, 
the same as a thing that is done. A more gallant stand 
than we made .1 never witnessed ; and, though we were 
driven back, I will allow, yet I call that assault as good as 
storming !" 

"Well, have it your own way, Joyce. The morning 
before your storming, I remember to have led out three 
companies ; though it was more in advance, than on either 
flank. The object was to unmask a suspected ambush." 

" That s just what I wanted to be at, your honour. The 
general sent you, as an old captain, with three companies, 



THE IIUTTKD KNOLL. 119 

to spring the trap, before lie should put his own foot 
into it." 

" He certainly did and the movement had the desired 
effect: 

" Bettor and belter, sir. I remember we were fired on, 
and lost sonic ten or fifteen men, but I would not presume 
to say whether the march succeeded or not; for nothing 
was said of the affair, next day, in general orders, sir " 

"Next day we had other matters to occupy our minds. 
It was a bloody and a mournful occasion for England and 
her colonies." 

" Well, your honour, that does not affect our movement, 
which, you say, yourself, was useful." 

" Very true, Joyce, though the great calamity of the suc 
ceeding day prevented the little success of the preceding 
morning from being mentioned in general orders. But to 
what does all this tend ; as I know it must lead to something ?" 

" It was merely meant as a respectful hint, your honour, 
that the inferior should be sent out, now, according to our 
own ancient rules, to reconn itre the clearing, while the 
commander-in-chief remain with the main body, to cover the 
retreat." 

" I thank you, serjeant, and shall not fail to employ you, 
on all proper occasions. At present, it is my intention that 
we go together, leaving the men to take breath, in a suitable 
cover." 

This satisfied Joyce, who was content to wait for orders. 
As soon as the sounds of the axes showed that the party 
were far enough in advance, and the formation of the land 
assured the captain that he was precisely where he wished 
to be, the men were halted, and left secreted in a cover 
made by the top of a fallen tree. This precaution was 
taken, k-st any wandering savage might get a glimpse of 
their persons, if they stood lounging about in the more open 
forest, during the captain s absence. 

This disposition made, the captain and serjeant, first ex 
amining the priming of their pieces, moved with the neces 
sary camion towards the edge of the wood-chopper s clear 
ing- The axe was a sufficient guide, and ere they had pro- 
1 far the light began to shine through the trees, proof 
in itself that they were approaching an opening in the forest. 



120 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

" Let us incline to the left, your honour," said Joyce, re 
spectfully ; " there is a naked rock hereabouts, that com 
pletely overlooks the clearing, and where we can get even 
a peep at the Hut. I have often sat on it, when out with 
the gun, and wearied ; for the next thing to being at home, 
is to see home." 

" I remember the place, serjeant, and like your sugges 
tion," answered the captain, with an eagerness that it was 
very unusual for him to betray. " I could march with a 
lighter heart, after getting another look at the Knoll, and 
being certain of its security." 

The parties being both of a mind, it is not surprising 
that each looked eagerly for the spot in question. It was 
an isolated rock that rose some fifteen or twenty feet above 
the surface of the ground, having a width and depth about 
double its height one of those common excrescences of 
the forest that usually possess interest for no one but the 
geologist. Such an object was not difficult to find in an 
open wood, and the search was soon rewarded by a dis 
covery. Bending their steps that way, our two soldiers 
were quickly at its base. As is usual, the summit of this 
fragment of rock was covered with bushes ; others shooting 
out, also, from the rich, warm earth at its base, or, to speak 
more properly, at its junction with the earth. 

Joyce ascended first, leaving his rifle in the captain s 
charge. The latter followed, after having passed up his 
own and his companion s arms ; neither being disposed to 
stir without having these important auxiliaries at command. 
Once on the rock, both moved cautiously to its eastern brow, 
care being had not to go beyond the cover. Here they 
stood, side by side, gazing on the scene that was outspread 
before them, through openings in the bushes. 

To the captain s astonishment, he found himself within 
half musket shot of the bulk of the hostile party. A regu 
lar bivouac had been formed round a spring in the centre 
of the clearing, and bodies of trees had been thrown to 
gether, so as to form a species of work which was rudely, 
but effectually abbatied by the branches. In a word, one 
of those strong, rough forest encampments had been made, 
which are so difficult to carry without artillery, more espe 
cially if well defended. By being placed in the centre of 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 121 

the clearing, an assault could not be made without exposing 
the assailants, and the spring always assured to the gar 
rison the great requisite, water. 

There was a method and order in this arrangement that 
surprised both our old soldiers. That Indians had resorted 
to this exprdient, neither believed; nor would the careless, 
untaught and inexperienced whites of the Mohawk be apt to 
adopt it, without a suggestion from some person acquainted 
with the usages of frontier warfare. Such persons were not 
difficult to find, it is true; and it was a proof that those 
claiming to be in authority, rightfully or not, were present. 

There was something unlocked for, also, in the manner 
in which the party of strangers were lounging about, at a 
moment like that, seemingly doing nothing, or preparing 
for no service. Joyce, who was a man of method, and was 
accustomed to telling off troops, counted no less than forty- 
nine of these idlers, most of whom were lounging near the 
log entrenchment, though a few were sauntering about the 
clearing, conversing with the wood-choppers, or making 
their observations listlessly, and seemingly without any 
precise object in view. 

" This is the most extr ornary sight, for a military expe 
dition, I have ever seen, your honour," whispered Joyce, 
aAer the two had stood examining the position for quite a 
minute in silence. " A tolerable good log breast-work, I 
will allow, sir, and men enough to make it good against a 
sharp assault ; but nothing like a guard, and not so much 
as a single sentinel. This is an affront to the art. Captain 
Wiiloughby ; and it is such an affront to us, that 1 feel cer 
tain we might carry the post by surprise, if all felt the insult 
as I do myself." 

" This is no time for rash acts or excited feelings, Joyce. 
Though, were my gallant boy with us, I do think we might 
make a push at these fellows, with very reasonable chances 
of success." 

"Yes, your honour, and without him, too. A close fire, 
three cheers, and a vigorous charge would drive every one 
of the rascals into the woods !" 

" Where they would rally, become the assailants in their 
turn, surround us, and either compel us to surrender, or 
starve us out. At all events, nothing of the sort must be 

VOL. H. 11 



, __ 

122 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

undertaken until we have carried out the plan for the rescue 
of Major Willoughby. My hopes of success are greatly 
increased since I find the enemy has his principal post up 
here, where he must be a long half-mile from the mill, even 
in a straight line. You have counted the enemy ? 

" There are just forty-nine of them in sight, and I should 
think some eight or ten more sleeping about under the logs, 
as I occasionally discover a new one raising his head. 
Look, sir, does your honour see that manoeuvre ?" 

"Do I see what, serjeant? There is no visible change 
that I discover." 

" Only an Indian chopping wood, Captain Willoughby, 
which is some such miracle as a white man painting." 

The reader will have understood that all the hostile party 
that was lounging about this clearing were in Indian guise, 
with faces and hands of the well-known reddish colour that 
marks the American aborigines. The two soldiers could 
discover many evidences that there was deception in these 
appearances, though they thought it quite probable that 
real red men were mingled with the pale-faces. But, so little 
did the invaders respect the necessity of appearances in 
their present position, that one of these seeming savages had 
actually mounted a log, taken the axe from the hands of 
its owner, and begun to chop, with a vigour and skill that 
soon threw off chips in a way that no man can success 
fully imitate but the expert axe-man of the American 
interior. 

" Pretty well that, sir, for a red-skin," said Joyce, smiling. 
" If there isn t white blood, ay, and Yankee blood in that 
chap s arm, I 11 give him some of my own to help colour it. 
Step this way, your honour only a foot or two there, 
sir; by looking through the opening just above the spot 
where that very make-believe Injin is scattering his chips 
as if they were so many kernels of corn that he was tossing 
to the chickens, you will get a sight of the Hut." 

The fact was so. By altering his own position a little on 
the rock, Captain Willoughby got a full view of the entire 
buildings of the Knoll. It is true, he could not see the lawn 
without the works, nor quite all of the stockade, but the 
whole of the western wing, or an entire side-view of the 
dwellings, was obtained. Everything seemed as tranquil 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 123 

and secure, in and around them, as if they vegetated in \\ 
sabbath in the wilderness. There was .sunn-thing imposing 
e\ n. in the solemn silence of their air, and the captain now 
saw that if he had been struck, and rendered uneasy by the 
nu.Ntery that accompanied the inaction and quiet of his in 
vaders, tlic-v, in their turns, might experience some such 
sensations as they gazed on the repose of the Hut, and the 
apparent security of its garrison. But for Joel s desertion, 
indeed, and the information he had carried with him, tin -re 
cuuld be little doubt that the stranger must have felt the in 
fluence of such doubts to a very material extent. Alas ! as 
things were, it was not probable they could be long im 
posed on, by any seeming calm. 

Captain WiUoughby felt a reluctance to tear himself away 
from the spectacle of that dwelling which contained so many 
that were dear to him. Even Joyce gazed at the house 
with pleasure, for it had been his quarters, now, so many 
years, and he had iookcd forward to the time when he 
should breathe his last in it. Connected with his old com 
mander by a tie that was inseparable, so far as human 
wishes could control human events, it was impossible that 
the serjeant could go from the place where they had left so 
many precious beings almost in the keeping of Providence, 
at a moment like that, altogether without emotion. While 
each was thus occupied in mind, there was a perfect still 
ness. The men of the party had been so far drilled, as to 
speak in low voices, and nothing they said was audible on 
the rock. The axes alone broke the silence of the woods, 
and to ears so accustomed to their blows, they offered no 
intrusion. In the midst of this eloquent calm, the bushes 
of the rock rustled, as it might be with the passage of a 
squirrel, or a serpent. Of the last the country had but few, 
and they of the most innocent kind, while the former 
abounded. Captain W 7 illoughby turned, expecting to see 
one of these little restless beings, when his gaze eixvumti -r. -d 
a swarthy face, and two glowing eyes, almost within reach 
cf his arm. That this was a real Indian was beyond dis 
pute, and the crisis admitting of no delay, the old officer 
drew a dirk, and had already raised his arm to strike, when 
Joyce arrested the blow. 



124 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

" This is Nick, your honour ;" said the serjeant, inqui 
ringly " is he friend, or foe?" 

" What says he himself?" answered the captain, lowering 
his hand in doubt. " Let him speak to his own character." 

Nick now advanced and stood calmly and fearlessly at 
he side of the two white men. Still there was ferocity in 
his look, and an indecision in his movements. He cer 
tainly might betray the adventurers at any instant, and they 
felt all the insecurity of their situation. But accident had 
brought Nick directly in front of the opening through which 
was obtained the view of the Hut. In turning from one to 
the other of the two soldiers, his quick eye took in this 
glimpse of the buildings, and it became riveted there as by 
the charm of fascination. Gradually the ferocity left his 
countenance, which grew human and soft. 

" Squaw in wigwam" said the Tuscarora, throwing for 
ward a hand with its fore-finger pointing towards the house. 
" Ole squaw young squaw. Good. *Wyandotte sick, she 
cure him. Blood in Injin body ; thick blood nebber forget 
good nebber forget bad." 



CHAPTER X. 

" Every stride every stamp, 
Every footfall is bolder ; 
T is a skeleton s tramp, 
With a skull on its shoulder ! 
But ho, how he steps 
With a high-tossing head, 
That clay-covered bone, 
. Going down to the dead !" 

COXK. 

NICK S countenance was a fair index to his mind ; ncr 
were his words intended to deceive. Never did Wyan- 
dotte forget the good, or evil, that was done him. After 
looking intently, a short time, at the Hut, he turned and 
abruptly demanded of his companions, 

" Why come here ? Like to see enemy between you 
and wigwam ?" 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 125 

As all -Nick said i .! in a guarded tone, as if he 

fully entered into the necessity of remaining concealed from 
tln M- who were in such a dangerous vicinity, it served to in 
spire confidence, inducing the two soldiers to believe him 
disposed to serve them. 

Am 1 to trust in you as a friend?" demanded the cap 
tain, looking the Indian steadily in the eye. 

" Why won t trust? Nick no hero gone away Nick 
nebbcr come au in \Vyandotle hero who no trust \Vyun- 
dotte? Ycngeese always trust great chief." 

" 1 shall take you at your word, Wyandotle, and tell you 
r\< Ty thing, hoping to make an ally of you. But, first ex 
plain to me, why you left the Hut, last night friends do 
not desert friends." 

" Why leave wigwam? Because wanted to. Wyandotte 
come when he want ; go when he want. Nick go too. 
Went to see son come back ; tell story ; eh?" 

" Yes, it has happened much as you say, and I am will 
ing to think it all occurred with the best motives. Can you 
tell me anything of Joel, and the others who have left me?" 

"W)>y tell? Cap in look; he see. Some chop some 
plough some weed some dig ditch. All like ole time. 
Bury hatchet tired of war-path why cap in ask ?" 

" 1 see all you tell me. You know, then, that those fel 
lows have made friends with the hostile party?" 

" No need know see. Look Injin chop, pale-face look 
on! Call that war?" 

" I do see that which satisfies me the men in paint yon 
der are not all red men. 

" No cap in right tell him so at wigwam. But dat 
Mi -hawk dog rascal Nick s enemy !" 

This was said with a gleam of fierceness shooting across 
the swarthy face, and a menacing gesture of the hand, in 
the direction of a real savage who was standing indolently 
leaning against a tree, at a distance so small as to allow 
those on the rock to distinguish his features. The vacant 
expression of this man s countenance plainly denoted that 
he was totally unconscious of the vicinity of danger. It 
expressed the listless vacancy of an Indian in a state of 
perfect rest his stomach full, his body at ease, his mind 
peaceful. 

11* 



126 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

" I thought Nick was not here," ihe captain qaietly ob 
served, smiling on the Tuscarora a little ironically. 

" Cap in right Nick no here. Well for dog tis so. Too 
mean for Wyandotte to touch. What cap in come for / 
Eh ! Better tell chief get council widout lightin fire." 

" As I see no use in concealing my plan from you, Wy. 
andotte," Nick seemed pleased whenever this name was 
pronounced by others " I shall tell it you, freely. Still, 
you have more to relate to me. Why are you here? And 
how came you to discover us?" 

" Follow trail know cap in foot know serjeant foot 
know Mike foot see so many foot, follow him. Leave so 
many" holding up three fingers " in bushes so many" 
holding up two fingers " come here. Foot tell which come 
here Wyandotte chief he follow chief." 

" When did you first strike, or see our trail, Tuscarora ?" 

" Up here down yonder over dere." Captain Wil- 
loughby understood this to mean, that the Indian had crossed 
the trail, or seen it in several places. " Plenty trail ; plenty 
foot to tell all about it. Wyandotte see foot of friend 
why he don t follow, eh ?" 

" i hope this is all so, old warrior, and that you will prove 
yourself a friend indeed. We are out in the hope of libe 
rating my son, and we came here to see what our enemies 
are about." 

The Tuscarora s eyes were like two inquisitors, as he 
listened ; but he seemed satisfied that the truth was told him. 
Assuming an air of interest, he inquired if the captain knew 
where the major was confined. A few words explained 
everything, and the parties soon understood each other. 

" Cap in right," observed Nick. " Son in cupboard still; 
but plenty warrior near, to keep eye on him." 

" You know his position, Wyanaotte, and can aid us 
materially, if you will. What say you, chief; will you 
take service, once more, under your old commander?" 

" Who he sarve King George Congress eh?" 

" Neither. I am neutral, Tuscarora, in the present quar 
rel. I only defend myself, and the rights which the laws 
assure to me, let whichever party govern, that may." 

" Dat bad. Nebber neutral in hot war. Get rob from 
bot side. Alway be one or t oder, cap in." 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 127 

" You may be right, Nicholas, but a conscientious man 
may think neither wholly right, nor wholly wrong. I wish 
ni.-vcr to lift the hatchet, unless my quarrel be just." 

"Injin no understand dat. Throw hatchet at enemy 
what matter what he say good t ing, bad t ing. He enemy 
dat enough. Take scalp from enemy don t touch 
frirnd." 

" That may do for your mode of warfare, Tuscarora, but 
it will hardly do for mine. I must feel that I have right of 
my side, before I am willing to tnke life." 

" Cap in always talk so, eh ? When he soldier, and gene 
ral say shoot ten, forty, t ousand Frenchmen, den he say ; 
1 stop, general no hurry let cap in t ink. Bye- m-by 
he 11 go and take scalp ; eh !" 

It exceeded our old soldier s self-command not to permit 
the blood to rush into his face, at this home-thrust ; for he 
felt the cunning of the Indian had involved him in a seeming 
contradiction. 

" That was when I was in the army, Wyandotte," he 
answered, notwithstanding his confusion, " when my first, 
and highest duty, was to obey the orders of my superiors. 
Then I acted as a soldier ; now, I hope to act as a man." 

" Well, Indian chief alway in army. Always high duty, 
and obey superior obey Manitou, and take scalp from 
enemy. War-path alway open, when enemy at t other 
end." 

" This is no place to discuss such questions, chief; nor 
have we the time. Do you go with us ?" 

Nick nodded an assent, and signed for the other to 
quit the rocks. The captain hesitated a moment, during 
which he stood intently studying the scene in the clearing. 

" What say you, Tuscarora ; the serjcant has proposed 
assaulting that breast-work ?" 

" Xo good, cap in. You fire, halloo, rush on well, kill 
four, six, two rest run away. Injin down at mill hear 
rifle ; follow smoke where major, den ? Get major, first 
fink about enemy afterwards. 

As Nick said "this, he repeated the gesture to descend ; 
and he was obeyed in siiencc. The captain now led the 
way back to his party ; and soon rejoined it. All were glad 
to sen Nick, for he was known to have a sure rifle; to bo 



128 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

fearless as the turkey-cock ; and to possess a sagacity in 
the woods, that frequently amounted to a species of intuition. 

" Who lead, cap in or Injin?" asked the Tuscarora, in 
his sententious manner. 

" Och, Nick, ye re a cr ature !" muttered Mike. " Divil 
bur-r-rn me, Jamie, but I t inks the fallie would crass the 
very three-tops, rather than miss the majjor s habitation." 

" Not a syllable must be uttered," said the captain, raising 
a hand in remonstrance. " I will lead, and Wyandotte will 
march by my side, and give me his council, in whispers. 
Joyce will bring up the rear. Blodget, you will keep a sharp 
look-out to the left, while Jamie will do the same to the 
right. As we approach the mills, stragglers may be met in 
the woods, and our march must be conducted with the 
greatest caution. Now follow, and be silent." 

The captain and Nick led, and the whole party followed, 
observing the silence which had been enjoined on them. 
The usual manner of marching on a war-path, in the woods, 
was for the men to follow each other singly ; an order that 
has obtained the name of Indian file, the object being to 
diminish the trail, and conceal the force of the expedition, 
by each man treading in his leader s footsteps. On the 
present occasion, however, the captain induced Nick to 
walk at his side, feeling an uneasiness on the subject of the 
Tuscarora s fidelity that he could not entirely conquer. The 
pretext given was very different, as the reader will suppose. 
By seeing the print of a moccasin in company with that of 
a boot, any straggler that crossed the trail might be led to 
suppose it had been left by the passage of a party from the 
clearing or the mill. Nick quietly assented to this reason 
ing, and fell in by the side of the captain without remon 
strance. 

Vigilant eyes were kept on all sides of the line of march, 
though it was hoped and believed that the adventurers had 
struck upon a route too far west to be exposed to interrup 
tion. A quarter of a mile nearer to the flats might have 
brought them within the range of stragglers ; but, following 
the summit of the ridge, there was a certain security in the 
indolence which would be apt to prevent mere idlers from 
sauntering up an ascent. At all events, no interruption 
occurred, the party reaching in safety the rocks that were 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 129 

a continuation of ftbe ran^e \\hirh funned the precipice at 
the falls the sign that they had gone liir enough to the 
soutli. At this period, tin- precipice was nearly lost in the 
rising of tin. lower land, hut its margin \vas sullicicntly dis 
tinct to form a good mask. 

Detceading to the plateau beneath, the captain and Nick 
now inclined to the ea^, the intention being to come in upon 
the mills from the rear. As the buildings lay in the ravine, 
this could only be done by making a rapid descent imme 
diately in their vicinity; a formation of the ground that 
rendered the march, until within pistol-shot of its termina 
tion, reasonably secure. Nick also assured his companions 
that he had several times traversed this very plateau, and 
that he had met no signs of footsteps on it ; from which lie 
inferred that the invaders had not taken the trouble to 
a-i-end the rugged dills that bounded the western side of 
the glen. 

The approach to the summit of the clifF was made with 
caution, though the left flank of the adventurers was well 
protected by the abrupt descent they had already made 
from the terrace above. This left little more than the ri^ht 
flank and the front to be watched, the jailing away of The 
land forming, also, a species of cover for the rear. It is 
not surprising then, that the tergeof the raxine or glen 
was attained, and no discovery was made. The spot being 
favourable, the captain immediately led down a winding 
path, that was densely fringed with bushes, towards the 
level of the buildings. 

The glen of the mills was very narrow ; so much so, as 
barely to leave sites for the buildmgs themselves, and thr. 
or four cabins for the workmen. The mills were placed 
in advance, as near as possible to the course of the \\ : 
while the habitations of the workmen were perched on 
shelves of the rocks, or such level bits of bottom-land as 
ofli-n d. Owing to this last circumstance, the hoi; 
Daniel the miller, or that in which it was snppo-ed the 
major was still confined, stood by itself, and tort 
the very foot of the path by which the adventurers were 
:iding. All this was favourable, and had been taki-n 
into the account as a material advantage, by Captain Wil- 



130 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

loughby when he originally conceived the plan of the pre 
sent sortie. 

When the chimney of the cabin was visible over the 
bushes, Captain Willoughby halted his party, and repeated 
his instruction to Joyce, in a voice very little raised above 
a whisper. The serjeant was ordered to remain in his pre 
sent position, until he received a signal to advance. As for 
the captain, himself, he intended to descend as near as 
might be to the buttery of the cabin, and reconnoitre, be 
fore he gave the final order. This buttery was in a lean-to, 
as a small addition to the original building was called in the 
parlance of the country ; and, the object being shade and 
coolness, on account of the milk with which it was usually 
well stored at this season of the year, it projected back to 
the very cliff, where it was half hid in bushes and young 
trees. It had but a single small window, that was barred 
with wood to keep out cats, and such wild vermin as affected 
milk, nor was it either lathed or plastered ; these two last 
being luxuries not often known in the log tenements of the 
frontier. Still it was of solid logs, chinked in with mortar, 
and made a very effectual prison, with the door properly 
guarded ; the captive being deprived of edged tools. All 
this was also known to the father, when he set forth to effect 
the liberation of his son, and, like the positions of the build 
ings themselves, had been well weighed in his estimate of 
the probabilities and chances. 

As soon as his orders were given, Captain Willoughby 
proceeded down the path, accompanied only by Nick. He 
had announced his intention to send the Tuscarora ahead 
to reconnoitre, then to force himself among the bushes 
between the lean-to and the rocks, and there to open a com 
munication with the major through the chinks of the logs. 
After receiving Nick s intelligence, his plan was to be go 
verned by circumstances, and to act accordingly. 

" God bless you, Joyce," said the captain, squeezing the 
Serjeant s hand as he was on the point of descending. " We 
are on ticklish service, and require all our wits about us. 
If anything happen to me, remember that my wife and 
daughter will mainly depend on you for protection." 

" I shall consider that as your honour s orders, sir, and 
no more need be said to me, Captain Willoughby." 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 131 

The captain smiled on his old follov, vr, and Joyce thought 
that never had he seen the fine manly face of his superior 
beam with a calmer, or sweeter expression, than it did as 
he returned his own pressure of the hand. The two 
adventurers were both careful, and their descent was 
noiseless. The men above listened, in breathless silence, 
but the stealthy approach of the cat upon the bird could not 
have been more still, than that of these two experienced 
warriors. 

The place where Joyce was left with the men, might 
have been fifty feet above the roof of the cabin, and almost 
perpendicularly over the narrow vacancy that was known 
to exibt between the rocks and the lean-to. Still the bushes 
and trees were so thick as to prevent the smallest glimpse 
at objects below, had the shape of the cliff allowed it, while 
they even intercepted sounds. Joyce fancied, nevertheless, 
that he heard the rustling bushes, as the captain forced his 
way into the narrow space he was to occupy, and he au 
gured well of the fact, since it proved that no opposition had 
been encountered. Half an hour of forest silence followed, 
that was only interrupted by the tumbling of the waters 
over the natural dam. At the end of that weary period, a 
shout was heard in front of the mills, and the party raised 
their pieces, in a vague apprehension that some discovery 
had been made that was about to bring on a crisis. No- 
thing further occurred, however, to confirm this impression, 
and an occasional burst of laughter, that evidently came 
from white men, rather served to allay the apprehension. 
Another half-hour passed, during which no interruption was 
heard. By this time Joyce became uneasy, a state of things 
having arrived for which no provision had been made in his 
instructions. He was about to leave his command under 
the charge of Jamie, and descend himself to reconnoitre, 
when a footstep was heard coming up the path. Nothing 
but the deep attention, and breathless stillness of the men 
could have rendered the sound of a tread so nearly noise 
less, audible ; but heard it was, at a moment when every 
sense was wrought up to its greatest powers. Rifles were 
lowered, in readiness to receive assailants, but each was 
raised again, as Nick came slowly into view. The Tusca- 
rora was calm in manner, as if no incident had occurred to 



332 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

disconcert the arrangement, though his eyes glanced a/ound 
him, like those of a man who searched for an absent person. 

" Where cap in? Where major?" Nick asked, as soon 
as his glance had taken in the faces of all present. 

" We must ask that of you, Nick," returned Joyce. " We 
have not seen the captain, nor had any orders from him, 
since he left us." 

This answer seemed to cause the Indian more surprise 
than it was usual for him to betray, and he pondered a mo 
ment in obvious uneasiness. 

" Can t stay here, alway," he muttered. " Best go see. 
Bye m-by trouble come ; then, too late." 

The serjeant was greatly averse to moving without or 
ders. He had his instructions how to act in every probable 
contingency, but none that covered the case of absolute in 
action on the part of those below. Nevertheless, twice the 
time necessary to bring things to issue had gone by, and 
neither signal, shot, nor alarm had reached his ears. 

"Do you know anything of the major, Nick?" the ser 
jeant demanded, determined to examine the case thoroughly 
ere he came to a decision. 

* Major dere see him at door plenty sentinel. All 
good where cap in ?" 

" Where did you leave him ? You can give the last ac 
count of him." 

" Go in behind cupboard under rock plenty bushes 
all right son dere." 

" This must be looked to perhaps his honour has fallen 
into a fit such things sometimes happen and a man who 
is fighting for his own child, doesn t feel, Jamie, all the same 
as one who fights on a general principle, as it might be." 

" Na ye re right, sairjeant J yce, and ye 11 be doing the 
kind and prudont act, to gang doon yersal , and investigate 
the trainsaction with yer ain een." 

This Joyce determined to do, directing Nick to accom 
pany him, as a guide. The Indian seemed glad to comply, 
and there was no delay in proceeding. It required but a 
minute to reach the narrow passage between the cliff and 
the lean-to. The bushes were carefully shoved aside, and 
Joyce entered. He soon caught a glimpse of the hunting- 
shirt, and then he was about to withdraw, believing that he 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 133 

was in error, in anticipating orders. But a short Vx>k at }\ia 
commander removed all scruples ; for he observed that he 
was seated i.n a projection of the rocks, with his body bowed 
forward, apparently leaning on the logs of tiie building. 
Tliis Deemed to corroborate the thought about a fit, and the 
Serjeant pres>ed eagerly forward to ascertain the truth. 

Joyce touched his commander s arm, but no sign of con 
sciousness came from the latter. He then raised his body 
upright, placing the back in a reclining attitude against the 
rocks, and started kick hiin^-lf wlu-n ho caught a glimpse 
of the death-like hue of tin- face. At first, the notion of the 
fit was strong with the serjeant ; but, in ehanifing his own 
position, he caught a glimpse of a little pool of blood, which 
at once announced that violence had been used. 

Although the serjeant was a man of great steadiness of 
B, and unchangeable method, he fairly trembled as he 
ascertained the serious condition of his old and well-beloved 
commander. Notwithstanding, lie was too much of a sol 
dier to neglect anything that circumstances required. On 
examination, he discovered a deep and fatal wound between 
two of the ribs, which had evidently been inflicted with a 
common knife. ( The blow had pa.-sed into the heart, and 
Captain Willoughby was, out of all question, dead! He 
had breathed his last, within six feet of his own gallant son, 
who, ignorant of all that passed, was little dreaming of the 
proximity of one so dear to him, as well as of his dire 
condition. 

J>yeo, was a man of powerful frame, and, at that moment, 
he felt he was master of a giant s strength. First assuring 
If of the fact that the wounded man had certainly 
i to breathe, he brought the. arms over his own shoul 
ders, raised the body on his back, and walked from the 
place, with less attention to caution than on entering, but 
with sufficient care to prevent exposure. Nick stood watch- 
in L r his movements with a wondering look, and as soon as 
.hi -re was room, he aided in supporting the cor; 

In this manner the; two went up the path, bearing their 
senseless burd.-n. A gesture directed lh<- party with Jamie 
to precede the two who had been below, and the serjeant did 
not pause even to breathe, until he had fairly reached the 
summit of the cliff; then he halted in a place removed from tiie 
VOL. II. 12 



134 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

danger of immediate discovery. The body was laid reve 
rently on the ground, and Joyce renewed his examination 
with greater ease and accuracy, until perfectly satisfied that 
the captain must have ceased to breathe, nearly an hour. 

This was a sad and fearful blow to the whole party. No 
one, at such a moment, thought of inquiring into the manner 
in which their excellent master had received his death-blow ; 
but every thought was bent either on the extent of the 
calamity, or on the means of getting back to the Hut. 
Joyce was the soul of the party. His rugged face assumed 
a stern, commanding expression; but every sign of weak 
ness had disappeared. He gave his orders promptly, and 
the men even started when he spoke, so bent on obtaining 
obedience did he appear to be. 

The rifles were converted into a bier, the body was placed 
upon it, and the four men then raised the burthen, and began 
to retrace their footsteps, in melancholy silence. Nick led 
the way, pointing out the difficulties of the path, with a 
sedulousness of attention, and a gentleness of manner, that 
none present had ever before witnessed in the Tuscarora 
He even appeared to have become woman, to use one of his 
own peculiar expressions. 

No one speaking, and all the men working with good 
will, the retreat, notwithstanding the burthen with which it 
was encumbered, was made with a rapidity greatly exceed 
ing the advance. Nick led the way with an unerring eye, 
even selecting better ground than that which the white men 
had been able to find on their march. He had often tra 
versed all the hills, in the character of a hunter, and to him 
the avenues of the forest were as familiar as the streets of 
his native town become to the burgher. He made no offer 
to become one of the bearers ; this would have been opposed 
to his habits ; but, in all else, the Indian manifested gentle 
ness and solicitude. His apprehension seemed to be, and 
so he expressed it, that the Mohawks might get the scalp of 
the dead man ; a disgrace that he seemed as solicitous to 
avoid as Joyce himself; the serjeant, however, keeping in 
view the feelings of the survivors, rather than any notions 
of military pride. 

Notwithstanding the stern resolution that prevailed among 
the men, that return march was long and weary. The dis 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 135 

tanre, of itself, exceeded two miles, and there were tho 
inequalities and obstacles of a forest to oppose them. Per 
severance and strength, h>w- nne all difficulties; 
and, at the end of two hours, the party approached the point 
where it became mressary to enter the !>ed of the rivulet, 
or expose their sad procession by marching in open view of 
any who might be straggling in the rear of the Hut. A 
s of desperate determination had influenced the men 
in their re-turn march, rendering them reckless of discovery, 
or its consequences; a circumstance that had greatly 
favoured their object; the adventurous and bold frequently 
encountering fewer difficulties, in tho affairs of war, than 
the cautious and timid. But an embarrassment now pre 
sented itself that was far more difficult to encounter than 
anv which proceeded from personal risks. The loving 
family of the deceased was to be met ; a wife and daughters 
apprised of the fearful loss that, in the providence of God, 
had suddenly alighted on their house. 

Lower the body, men, and come to a halt," said Joyce, 
using the manner of authority, though his voice trembled ; 
" we must consult together, as to our next step." 

There was a brief and decent pause, while the parly 
placed the lifeless body on the grass, face uppermost, with 
the limbs laid in order, and everything about it, disposed of 
in a seemliness that betokened profound respect for the 
senseless clay, even after the noble spirit had departed. 
Mike alone could not resist his strong native propensity to 
talk. The honest fellow raised a hand of his late master, 
and, kissing it with strong affection, soliloquized as follows, 
in a tone that was more rebuked by feeling, than any appre 
hension of consequences. 

"Little need had ye of a praist, and extreme unction," ho 
said. "The likes of yerself always kapos a clane breast ; 
and the knife that went into ycr heart found nothing that yo 
need have been ashamed of! Sorrow come over me, but 
v.-r IfU -reat a one to meself, as if I had tidings of the 

iinkii: ; Ireland into tho salt say, itself; a thing that 

niver run happen, and nivor will happen; no, not even at 
the last day ; as all agree tho wor-r-ld is to be burned and 
not drowned. And who Ml there be to tell this same to the- 
Missus, and Miss Beuley, and phratty Miss Maud, and tho 



136 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

babby, in the bargain ? Divil bur-r-n me, if t will be 
Michael O Hearn, who has too much sorrow of his own, to 
be running about, and d aling it out to other people. Sar- 
jeant, that will be yer own jewty, and I pities the man that 
has to perform it." 

" No man will see me shrink from a duty, O Hearn," 
said Joyce, stiffly, while with the utmost difficulty he kept 
the tears from breaking out of a fountain that had not 
opened, in this way, for twenty years. " It may bear hard 
on my feelings 1 do not say it will not but duty is duly, 
and it must be done. Corporal Allen, you see the state of 
things ; the commanding officer is among the casualties, 
and nothing would be simpler than our course, were it not 
for Madam Willoughby God bless her, and have her in 
His holy keeping and the young ladies. It is proper to 
deliberate a little about them. To you then, as an elderly 
and experienced man, I first apply for an opinion." 

" Sorrow s an unwelcome guest, whether it comes ex 
pected, or without any previous knowledge. The hairts o 
the widow and fairtherless must be stricken, and it s little 
that a our consolations and expairiments will prevail ag in 
the feelin s o natur . Pheeloosophy and religion tall us that 
the body s no mair than a clod o the valley when the 
speerit has fled ; but the hairt is unapt to listen to wisdom 
while the grief is fraish, and of the severity of an unlooked- 
for sairtainty. / see little good, therefore, in doing mair 
than just sending in a messenger to clear the way a little 
for the arrival of truth, in the form o death, itsaP." 

" I have been thinking of this will you take the office, 
Jamie, as a man of years and discretion?" 

" Na na ye 11 be doing far better by sending a younger 
man. Age has weakened my memory, and 1 11 be over 
looking some o -the saircumstances in a manner that will be 
unseemly for the occasion. Here is Blodget, a youth of 
ready wit, and limber tongue." 

" I wouldn t do it, mason, to be the owner of ten such 
properties as this !" exclaimed the young Rhode Islander, 
actually recoiling a step, as if he retreated before a dreaded 
foe. 

" -Well, sairjeant, ye ve Michael here, who belangs to a 
kirk that has so little seempathy with protestantism as to 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 137 

lessen the pain o the office. Death is a near ally to religion, 
and Michael, hy taking a religious view o the mnither, might 
bring his hairt into such a condition of insensibility as wad 
give him little to do but to tell what has happened, leaving 
God, in his ain maircv, to temper the wind to the shorn 
lamb." 

You hear, O Hcarn ?" said the serjeant, stiflly " Every 
body seems to expect that you will do this duty." 

" Jcwty ! D ye call it a jcwty for a man in my situation 
to break the hearts of Missus, and Miss Beuly, and phratty 
MUs Maud, and the babby ? for babbies has hearts as well 
as the stoutest man as is going. Divil bur-r-n me, then, if 
ye gets out of my mout so much as a hint that the captain s 
dead and gone from us, for ever and ever, amen ! Ye may 
send me in, for ye re corporals, and serjeants, and the likes 
of yces, and I 11 obey as a souldier, seein that he would 
have wished as much himself, had the breat staid in his 
body, which it has not, on account of its 1 aving his sowl on 
arth, and departing with his corporeal part for the mansions 
of happiness, the Blessed Mary have mercy on him, whether 
here or there but the captain was not the man to wish a 
faitYul follower to afllict his own wile; and so I ll have 
not in to do with such a message, at all at all." 

" Nick go" said the Indian, calmly " Used to carry 
message carry him for cap in, once more." 

" Well, Nick, you may do it certainly, if so disposed," 
answered Joyce, who would have accepted the services of a 
Chinese rather than undertake the office in person. " You 
will remember and speak to the ladies gently, and not break 
the news too suddenly." 

"Yes squaw soft heart Nick know had moder had 
wife, once had darter." 

"Very well ; this will be an advantage, men, as Nick is 
the only married man among us; and married men should 
best understand dealing with females." 

Joyce then held a private communication with the Tusca- 
rora, that lasted some five or six minutes, when the last 
leaped nimbly into the bed of the stream, and was soon con 
cealed by the bushes of one of its reaches. 
12* 



138 THE HUTTED KNOLL 



CHAPTER XI. 

" Heart leaps to heart the sacred flood 

That warms us is the same ; 
That good old man his honest blood 
Alike we fondly claim." 

SPRAGUE. 

ALTHOUGH Nick commenced his progress with so much 
seeming zeal and activity, his speed abated, the moment he 
found himself beyond the sight of those he had left in the 
woods. Before he reached the foot of the cliff, his trot had 
degenerated to a walk ; and when he actually found he was 
at its base, he seated himself on a stone, apparently to reflect 
on the course he ought to pursue. 

The countenance of the Tuscarora expressed a variety ot 
emotions while he thus remained stationary. At first, it 
was fierce, savage, exulting ; then it became gentler, soft, 
perhaps repentant. He drew his knife from its buckskin 
sheath, and eyed the blade with a gaze expressive of uneasi 
ness. Perceiving that a clot of blood had collected at the 
junction with the handle, it was carefully removed by the 
use of water. His look next passed over his whole person, 
in order to ascertain if any more of these betrayers of his 
fearful secret remained ; after which he seemed more at ease. 

" Wyandotte s back don t ache now," he growled to him 
self. " Ole sore heal up. Why Cap in touch him ? T ink 
Injin no got feelin 1 Good man, sometime ; bad man, some 
time. Sometime, live ; sometime, die. Why tell Wyan- 
dotte he flog ag in, just as go to enemy s camp? No ; back 
feel well, now nebber smart, any more." 

When this soliloquy was ended, Nick arose, cast a look; 
up at the sun, to ascertain how much of the day still re 
mained, glanced towards the Hut, as if examining the nature 
of its defences, stretched himself like one who was weary, 
and peeped out from behind the bushes, in order to see how 
those who were afield, still occupied themselves. All this 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 139 



done, with singular deliberation and steadiness, li (i 
his light dress, and prepared to present himself before tho 
will.- and daughters of the man, whom, three hours before, 
IK* had remorselessly murdered. Nick had often meditated 
this tn ach. i-ous de (1, during the thirty years which had 
elapsed between his tirst flogging and the present period; 
but circumstances had never placed its execution safely in 
his power. The subsequent punishments had increased tho 
desire, for a l<-w years; but time had so far worn off tho 
craving for revenue, that it would never have bren actively 
revived, perhaps, but for the unfortunate allusions of the 
victim himself, to the subject. Captain Willoughby had 
been an Knglish soldier, of the school of the last century. 
lli was naturally a humane and a just man, but he believed 
in the military axiom that "the most flogging regiments 
were the best fighting regiments;" and perhaps he was not 
in error, as regards the lower English character. It was a 
fatal error, however, to make in relation to an American 
savage ; one who had formerly exercised the functions, and 
who had not lost all the feelings, of a chief. Unhappily, at 
a moment when everything depended on the fidelity of tho 
Tuscarora, the captain had bethought him of his old expe 
dient for insuring prompt obedience, and, by way of a re 
minder, he made an allusion to his former mode of punish 
ment. As Nick would have expressed it, " the old sorea 
smarted ;" the wavering purpose of thirty years was sud 
denly and fiercely revived, and the knife passed into tho 
heart of the victim, with a rapidity that left no time for ap 
peals to the tribunal of God s mercy. In half a minute, 
Captain WiUoughby had ceased to breathe. 

Such bad boon the act of the man who now passed through 
the opening of the palisade, and entered the former I: 
tion of his victim. A profound stillness rei<_n u >d -n and 
around tho Hut, and no one appeared to question the unex 
pected intruder. Nick passed, with his noiseless >tep, round 
to the gnte, which he found secured. It was necessary to 
knock, and this be did in a way effectually to brinir a porter. 

Who den- . " demanded the elder Pliny, from within. 

" Good friend open gate. Come wid message from 
cap in." 

The natural distaste to the Indians which existed among 



140 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

the blacks of the Knoll, included the Tuscarora. This disgust 
was mingled with a degree of dread ; and it was difficult 
for beings so untutored and ignorant, at all times to draw 
the proper distinctions between Indian and Indian. In their 
wonder-loving imaginations, Oneidas, Tuscaroras, Mohawks, 
Onondagas, arid Iroquois were all jumbled together in inex 
tricable confusion, a red man being a red man, and a sa 
vage a savage. It is not- surprising, therefore, that Pliny 
the elder should hesitate about opening the gate, and ad 
mitting one of the detested race, though a man so well 
known to them all, in the peculiar situation of the family. 
Luckily, Great Smash happened to be near, and her hus 
band called her to the gate by one of the signals thai was 
much practised between them. 

" Who you t ink out dere?" asked Pliny the elder of his 
consort, with a very significant look. 

"How you t ink guess, ole Plin? You spose nigger 
wench like Albonny wise woman, dat she see t rough a 
gate, and know ebbery t ing, and little more !" 

" Well, dat Sassy Nick. What you say now ?" 

" You sartain, ole Plin?" asked Mistress Smash, with a 
face ominous of evil. 

* Sartain as ear. Talk wid him he want to come in. 
What you t ink ?" 

" Nebber open gate, ole Plin, till mistress tell you. You 
stay here dere ; lean ag in gate wid all you might ; dere ; 
now I go call Miss Maud. She all alone in librarim, and 
will know what best. Mind you lean ag in gate well, ole 
Plin." 

Pliny the elder nodded assent, placed his shoulders reso 
lutely against the massive timbers, and stood propping a 
defence that would have made a respectable resistance to a 
battering-ram, like another Atlas, upholding a world. His 
duty was short, however, his lady soon returning with 
Maud, who was hastening breathlessly to learn the news. 

" Is it you, Nick ?" called out the sweet voice of our he 
roine through the crevices of the timber. 

The Tuscarora started, as he so unexpectedly heard 
those familiar sounds ; for an instant, his look was dark ; 
then the expression changed to pity and concern, and his 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. Ill 

reply was given \\ith less than usual of the abrupt, guttural 
brevity that belonged to his habits. 

" Tis Nick Sassy Nick Wyandotte, Flower of the 
Woods," for so the Indian often termed Maud. "Got 
oewfl cap iii send him. Meet party and go along. No 
body here; only Wyandotte. Nick see major, too say 
somet ing to young squaw." 

This decided the matter. The gate was unbarred, and 
Nick in the court in half-a-minute. Great Smash stole a 
glance without, and beckoned Pliny the elder to join her, 
in order to see the extraordinary spectacle of Joel and his 
associates toiling in the fields. When they drew in their 
heads, Maud and her companion were already in the library. 
The message from Robert Willoughby had induced our he- 
roine to seek this room ; for, placing little confidence in the 
delicacy of the messenger, she recoiled from listening to his 
words in the presence of others. 

But Nick was in no haste to speak. He took the chair 
to which Maud motioned, and he sate looking at her, in a 
way that soon excited her alarm. 

* Tell me, if your heart has any mercy in it, Wyandotte ; 
has aught happened to Major Willoughby?" 

" He well laugh, talk, feel good. Mind nol ing. He 
prisoner ; don t touch he scalp." 

" Why, then, do you wear so ominous a look your face 
is the very harbinger of evil." 

" Bad news, if trut must come. What you name, young 
squaw ? 

"Surely, surely, you must know that well, Nick! I am 
Maud your old" friend, Maud." 

41 Pale-face hab two name Tuscarora got t ree. Some 
time, Nick sometime, Sassy Nick sometime, Wyan 
dotte." 

"You know my name is Maud Willoughby," returned 
our heroine, colouring to the temples with a certain secret 
consciousness of her error, but preferring to keep up old 
appearan 

" Dat call you fader s name, Meredit ; no Willoughby. 

" Merciful Providence ! and has this great secret been 
known to you, too, Nick !" 

* He no secret know all about him. Wyandotte dere. 



142 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

See Major Meredit shot. He good chief nebber flog 
nebber strike Injin. Nick know fader, know moder know 
squaw, when pappoose." 

" And why have you chosen this particular moment to 
tell me all this? Has it any relation to your message- to 
Bob to Major Willoughby, I mean ?" demanded Maud, 
nearly gasping for breath. 

* No relation, tell you," said Nick, a little angrily. 
" Why make relation, when no relation at all. Meredit ; 
no Willoughby. Ask moder ; ask major ; ask chaplain 
all tell trut ! No need to be so feelin ; no you fader, at 
all." 

"What can you what do you mean, Nick? Why do 
you look so wild so fierce so kind so sorrowful so 
angry 1 You must have bad news to tell me." 

" Why bad to you he no fader only fader friend. You 
can t help it fader die when you pappoose why you care, 
now, for dis ?" 

Maud now actually gasped for breath. A frightful glimpse 
of the truth gleamed before her imagination, though it 
was necessarily veiled in the mist of uncertainty. She 
became pale as death, and pressed her hand upon her heart, 
as if to still its beating. Then, by a desperate effort, she 
became more calm, and obtained the power to speak. 

" Oh ! is it so, Nick ! can it be so !" she said ; " my 
father has fallen in this dreadful business 1" 

" Fader kill twenty year ago ; tell you dat, how often ?" 
answered the Tuscarora, angrily ; for, in his anxiety to 
lessen the shock to Maud, for whom this wayward savage 
had a strange sentiment of affection, that had grown out of 
her gentle kindnesses to himself, on a hundred occasions, 
he fancied if she knew that Captain Willoughby was not 
actually her father, her grief at his loss would be less. 
" Why you call dis fader, when dat fader. Nick know 
fader and moder. Major no broder." 

Notwithstanding the sensations that nearly pressed her 
to the earth, the tell-tale blood rushed to Maud s cheeks, 
again, at this allusion, and she bowed her face to her knees. 
The action gave her time to rally her faculties ; and, catch 
ing a glimpse of the vast importance to all for her maintain- 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 143 

ing self-command, she was enabled to raise her face with 
something like the fortitude the Indian hoped to 

"Trifle with me no lonjM-r, \Vyundotte, but let me know 
the worst at once. Is my father dead? By father, I mean 
captain Willoughby ?" 

"Mean wrong, den no fader, tell you. Why yoang 
quaw so much like Mohawk ?" 

- Man j s captain Willoughby killed?" 

Nick gazed intently into Maud s face for half a minute, 
and then he nodded an assent. Notwithstanding all her 
resolutions to be steady, our heroine nearly sauk under the 
blow. For ten minutes she spoke not, but sat, her head bowed 
to her knees, in a confusion of thought that threatened a 
temporary loss of reason. Happily, a flood of tears relieved 
her, and she became more calm. Then the necessity of 
knowing more, in order that she might act intelligently, oc 
curred to her mind, and she questioned Nick in a way to 
elicit all it suited the savage to reveal. 

Maud s first impulse was to go out to meet the body of 
the captain, and to ascertain for herself that there was ac 
tually no longer any hope. Nick s account had been so 
laconic as to leave much obscurity, and the blow had been 
so sudden she could hardly credit the truth in its full extent. 
Still, there remained the dreadful tidings to be communicated 
to those dear beings, who, while they feared so much, had 
never anticipated a calamity like this. Even Mrs. Wil 
loughby, sensitive as she was, and wrapped up in those she 
loved so entirely, as she was habitually, had been so long 
accustomed to see and know of her husband s exposing 
himself with impunity, as to begin to feel, if not to think, 
that he bore a charmed life. All this customary confid in < 
was to be overcome, and the truth was to be said. Tell the 
fact to her mother, Maud felt that she could not then ; 
scarcely under any circumstances would she have consented 
to perform this melancholy office ; but, so long as a shadow 
of doubt remained on the subject of her father s actual de- 
cctso, it seemed cruel even to think of it. Her decision was 
to send for Beulah, and it was done by means of one of 
the negresses. 

So long as we feel that there are others to be sustained 
by our fortitude, even the feeblest possess a firmness to 



144 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

which they might otherwise be strangers. Maud, contrary 
to what her delicate but active frame and sweetness of dis 
position might seem to indicate, was a young woman capa 
ble of the boldest exertions, short of taking human life. Her 
frontier training had raised her above most of the ordinary 
weaknesses of her sex ; and, so far as determination went, 
few men were capable of higher resolution, when circum 
stances called for its display. Her plan was now made up 
to go forth and meet the body, and nothing short of a com 
mand from her mother could have stopped her. In this 
frame of mind was our heroine, when Beulah made her ap 
pearance. 

" Maud !" exclaimed the youthful matron, " what has 
happened ! why are you so pale ! why send for me ? 
Does Nick bring us any tidings from the mill V 

"The worst possible, Beulah. My father my dear, 
dear father is hurt. They have borne him as far as the 
edge of the woods, where they have halted, in order not to 
take us by surprise. I am going to meet the to meet the 
men, and to bring father in. You must prepare mother for 
the sad, sad tidings yes, Beulah, for the worst, as every 
thing depends on the wisdom and goodness of God !" 

" Oh! Maud, this is dreadful !" exclaimed the sister, sink 
ing into a chair " What will become of mother of little 
Evert of us all!" 

" The providence of the Ruler of heaven and earth will 
care for us. Kiss me, dear sister how cold you are 
rouse yourself, Beulah, for mother s sake. Think how much 
more she must feel than we possibly can, and then be reso 
lute." 

" Yes, Maud very true no woman can feel like a wife 
unless it be a mother " 

Here Beulah s words were stopped by her fainting. 

" You see, Smash," said Maud, pointing to her sister 
with a strange resolution, " she must have air, and a little 
water and she has salts about her, I know. Come, Nick ; 
we have no more time to waste you must be my guide." 

The Tuscarora had been a silent observer of this scene, 
and if it did not awaken remorse in his bosom, it roused 
feelings that nad never before been its inmates. The sight 
of two such beings suffering under a blow that his own 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 145 

hand had struck, was novel to him, and lie knew not which 
to encourage most, a sentiment allied to regret, or a fierce 
resentment, that any should dare thus to reproach, though it 
were only by yielding to the grid natural to their situation. 
But .Maud had obtained a command over him, that he knew 
not how to resist, and he followed her from the room, k <-.,. 
in:; his eyes riveted the while on the pallid face of Bculali. 
The last was recalled from her insensibility, however, in 
the course of a few minutes, through the practised attentions 
of the negresses. 

Maud waited for nothing. Motioning impatiently for the 
Tuscarora to lead the way, she glided after him with a ra 
pidity that equalled his own loping movement. She made 
no difficulties in passing the stockade, though Nick kept his 
eyes on the labourers, and felt assured their exeunt was not 
noticed. Once by the path that led along the rivulet, Maud 
refused all precautions, but passed swiftly over it, partially 
concealed by its bushes. Her dress was dark, and left little 
liability to exposure. As for Nick, his forest attire, like the 
hunting shirt of the whites, was expressly regulated by the 
wish to go to and fro unseen. 

In less than three minutes after the Indian and Maud had 
passed the gate, they were drawing near to the melancholy 
group t^at had halted in the forest. Our heroine was re 
cognised as she approached, and when she came rushing up 
to the spot, all made way, allowing her to fall upon her 
knees by the side of the lifeless body, bathing the placid 
face of the dead with her tears, and covering it with kisses. 

" Is there no hope oh ! Joyce," she cried, " can it bo 
possible that my father is actually dead ?" 

" I fear, Miss Maud, that his honour has made his last 
march. He has received orders to go hence, and, like a 
gallant soWier as he was, he has obeyed, without a mur 
mur ;" answered the serjeant, endeavouring to appear firm 
and soldier-like, himself. " We have lost a noble and hu 
mane commander, and you a most excellent and tender 
father." 

"No fader," growled Nick, at the Serjeant s elbow, 
twitching his sleeve, at the same time, to attract attention. 
" Serjeant know her fader. He by ; I by, when Iroquoia 
shoot him." 
VOL. II. 13 



146 THE HUTTED KNCLL. 

" I do not understand you, Tuscarora, nor do I think you 
altogether understand us ; the less you say, therefore, the 
better for all parties. It is our duty, Miss Maud, to say 
* God s will be done, and the soldier who dies in the dis 
charge of his duty is never to be pitied. I sincerely wish 
that the Rev. Mr. Woods was here ; he would tell you all 
this in a manner that would admit of no dispute; as for 
myself, I am a plain man, Miss Maud, and my tongue can 
not utter one-half that my heart feels at this instant." 

" Ah ! Joyce, what a friend what a parent has it pleased 
God to call to himself!" 

" Yes, Miss Maud, that may be said with great justice 
if his honour has left us in obedience to general orders, it 
is to meet promotion in a service that will never weary, and 
never end." 

" So kind ; so true ; so gentle ; so just ; so affectionate !" 
said Maud, wringing her hands. 

" And so brave, young lady. His honour, captain Wil- 
loughoy, was n t one of them that is always talking, and 
writing, and boasting about fighting ; but when anything 
was to be done, the Colonel always knew whom to send on 
the duty. The army could n t have lost a braver gentle 
man, had he remained in it." 

" Oh ! my father my father," cried Maud, in bitter 
ness of sorrow, throwing herself on the body and embra 
cing it, as had been her wont in childhood " would that I 
could have died for you !" 

" Why you let go on so," grumbled Nick, again. " No 
her fader you know dat, serjeant." 

Joyce was not in a state to answer. His own feelings 
had been kept in subjection only by military pride, but they 
now had become so nearly uncontrollable, that he found 
himself obliged- to step a little aside in order to conceal his 
weakness. As it was, large tears trickled down his rugged 
face, like water flowing from the fissures of the riven oak 
Jamie Allen s constitutional prudence, however, now became 
active, admonishing the party of the necessity of their get 
ting within the protection of the Hut. 

" Death is at a times awfu ," said the mason, " but it 
must befall young and auld alike. And the affleection it 
brings cometh fra" the heart, and is a submission to the la 



THE 11 UT TED KNOLL. 147 

o nature. Nevertheless \vc a h;ic our duties, so lang gj 
we remain in tin- ilr>h, and it is time to be thinking o car- 
ryin the body into >ume plaru u 1 sali-ty, while we hae a 
prudent regard to our ain conditions also." 

Maud had risen, and, hearing this appeal, she drew baek 
m-ekly, a>sumed a manner of forced composure, and signed 
to the men to proceed. On this intimation, the body \\a> 
raised, and the melancholy procession resumed its niaivh. 

Fr the purpose of concealment, Joyce led the way into 
the bed of the stream, leaving Maud waiting their move 
ments, a little deeper within the forest. As soon as he and 
his fellow-bearers were in the water, Joyce turned and de 
sired Nick to escort the young lady in, again, on dry land, 
or by the path along which she had come out. This said, 
the Serjeant and his companions proceeded. Maud stood 
gazing on the sad spectacle like one entranced, until she 
ie.lt a sleeve pulled, and perceived the Tuscarora at her side. 

" Xo go to Hut," said Nick, earnestly ; " go wid Wyan 
dotte." 

" Not follow my dear father s remains not go to my be 
loved mother in her anguish. You know not what you ask, 
Indian move, and let me proceed." * 

" Xo go home no use no good. Cap in dead what 
do widout commander. Come wid Wyandotte find major 
den do some good." 

Maud fairly started in her surprise. There seemed some 
thing so truly useful, so consoling, so dear in this proposal, 
that it instantly caught her ear. 

" Find the Major !" she answered. " Is that possible, 
Nick? My poor father perished in making that attempt 
what hope can there be then for my success ?" 

** Plenty hope much as want all, want. Come wid 
Wyandotte he great chief show young squaw where to 
find broder." 

Here was a touch of Nick s consummate art. He knew 
the female bosom so well that he avoided any allusion to hi? 
knowledge of the real relation between Robert Willouuhhv 
and Maud, though he had so recently urged her want of 
natural affinity to the family, as a reason why she should 
not grieve. By keeping the Major before her eyes as a 
brother, the chances of his own success were greatly in- 



148 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

creased. As for Maud, a tumult of feeling came over her 
heart at this extraordinary proposal. To liberate Bob, to 
lead him into the Hut, to offer his manly protection to her 
mother, and"Beulah, and little Evert, at such an instant, 
caught her imagination, and appealed to all her affections. 

"Can you do this, Tuscarora" she asked, earnestly, 
pressing her hand on her heart as if to quiet its throbbings. 
" Can you really lead me to Major Willoughby, so that I 
may have some hope of liberating him?" 

" Sartain you go, he come. I go, he no come. Don t 
love Nick fink all Injin, one Injin fink one Injin, all 
Injin. You go, he come he stay, find more knife, and die 
like Cap in. Young squaw Jollow Wyandotte, and see." 

Maud needed no more. To save the life of Bob, her well- 
beloved, he who had so long been beloved in secret, she 
would have gone with one far less known and trusted than 
the Tuscarora. She made an eager gesture for him to pro 
ceed, arid they were soon on their way to the mill, threading 
the mazes of the forest. 

Nick was far from observing the precautions that had 
been taken by the captain, in his unfortunate march out. 
Acquainted with every inch of ground in the vicinity of the 
Dam, and an eye-witness of the dispositions of the invaders, 
he had no occasion for making the long detour already de 
scribed, but* went to work in a much more direct manner. 
Instead of circling the valley, and the clearing, to the west 
ward, he turned short in the contrary direction, crossed the 
rivulet on the fallen tree, and led the way along the eastern 
margin of the flats. On this side of the valley he knew 
there were no enemies, and the position of the huts and 
barns enabled him to follow a path, that was just deep 
enough in the forest to conceal his movements. By taking 
this course, besides having the advantage of a clear and 
beaten path, most of the way, the Tuscarora brought the 
whole distance within a mile. 

As for Maud, she asked no questions, solicited no pauses, 
manifested no physical weakness. Actively as the Indian 
moved among the trees, she kept close in his footsteps ; and 
she had scarcely begun to reflect on the real nature of the 
undertaking in which she was engaged, when the roar of the 
rivulet, ana the formation of the land, told her they had 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 149 

reached the edge of the glen below the mills. Here Nick 
told her to remain stationary a moment, while he advanced 
to a covered point of the rocks, to reconnoitre. This was 
the place \\here tin- Indian had made his first observations 
of the invaders of the valley, ascertaining their real charac 
ter before he trusted his person among them. On the pre 
sent occasion, his object was to see if all remained, in and 
about the mills, as when he had last left the spot. 

"Come" said Nick, signing for Maud to follow him 
" we go fools sleep, and eat, and talk. Major prisoner 
now; half an hour, Major fi 

This was enough for the ardent, devoted, generous- hears d 
Maud. She descended the path before her as swiftly as her 
guide could lead, and, in five more minutes, they reached the 
bank of the stream, in the. glen, at a point where a curvature 
hid the rivulet from those at the mill. Here an enormous 
pine had been laid across the torrent ; and, flattened on its 
up[)er surface, it made a secure bridge for those who were 
sure of foot, and steady of eye. Nick glanced back at his 
companion, as IK; stepped upon this bridge, to ascertain if 
she were equal to crossing it, a single glance sufficing to tell 
him apprehensions were unnecessary. Haifa minute placed 
both, in safety, on the western bank. 

.ood!" muttered the Indian; "young squaw make 
wife lor warrior." 

But Maud heard neither the compliment nor the expres 
sion of countenance which accompanied it. She m< r- ly 
made an impatient gesture to proceed. Nick gazed intently 
at the excited girl ; and there was an instant when he seemed 
to waver in his own purpose; but the gesture rejieaied, 
caused him to turn, and lead the way up the glen. 

The progress of Nick now, necessarily, became more 
guarded and slower. He was soon obliged to quit the com 
mon path, and to incline to the left, more against the side 
of the cliff, for the purposes of concealment. From the time 
he had struck the simple bridge, until he took this precau 
tion, his course had lain alonir what might have been termed 
the common highway, on which there was always the dan 
ger of meeting some messenger, travelling to or from the 
valley. 

But Nick was at no loss for paths. There were plenty 
13* 



1 50 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

of them ; and the one he took soon brought him out into that 
by which Captain Willoughby had descended to the lean-to. 
When the spot was reached where Joyce had halted, Nick 
paused ; and, first listening intently, to catch the sound of 
noises, if any might happen to be in dangerous proximity, he 
addressed his companion : 

" Young squaw bold," he said, encouragingly ; " now want 
heart of warrior." 

" I can follow, Nick having come so far, why distrust 
me, now ?" 

" Cause he here down dere woman love man ; man 
love woman dat right ; but, no show it, when scalp in 
danger." 

" Perhaps I do not understand you, Tuscarora but, my 
trust is in God ; he is a support that can uphold any weak 
ness." 

" Good ! stay here Nick come back, in minute." 

Nick now descended to the passage between the rocks 
and the lean-to, in order to make certain that the major still 
remained in his prison, before he incurred any unnecessary 
risk with Maud. Of this fact he was soon assured ; after 
which he took the precaution to conceal the pool of blood, 
by covering it with earth and stones. Making his other 
observations with care, and placing the saw and chisel, with 
the other tools, that had fallen from the captain s hand, when 
he received his death-wound, in a position to be handy, he 
ascended the path, and rejoined Maud. No word passed 
between our heroine and her guide. The latter motioned 
for her to follow ; then he led the way down to the cabin. 
Soon, both had entered the narrow passage ; and Maud, in 
obedience to a sign from her companion, seated herself on 
the precise spot where her father had been found, and where 
the knife had passed into his heart. To all this, however, 
Nick manifested the utmost indifference. Everything like 
ferocity had left his face ; to use his own figurative language, 
his sores smarted no longer ; and the expression of his eye 
was friendly and gentle. Still it showed no signs of com 
punction. 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 151 



CHAPTER XII. 

" Her pallid face display d 

Something 1 , mcthought, surpassing mortal beauty. 
She presently turn d round, and fix d her large, wild eyes, 
Brimming with tears, upon me, fetch d a sigh, 
As from a riven heart, and cried : u He s dead !" 

HlLLHOUSE. 

Mvri) had been so earnest, and so much excited, that she 
scarcely reflected on the singularity and novelty of her 
situation, until she was seated, as described at the close of 
the last chapter. Then, indeed, she began to think that she 
had embarked in an undertaking of questionable prudence, 
and to wonder in what manner she was to be useful. Still 
her heart did not fail her, or her hopes altogether sink. 
She saw that Nick was grave and occupied, like a man who 
intended to effect his purpose at every hazard ; and that 
purpose she firmly believed was the liberation of Robert 
Willoughby. 

As for Nick, the instant his companion was seated, and 
he had got a position to his mind, he set about his business 
with great assiduity. It has been said that the lean-to, liko 
the cabin, was built of logs ; a fact that constituted tho 
security of the prisoner. The logs of the lean-to, however, 
were much smaller than those of the body of the house, and 
both were of the common white pine of the country ; a wood 
of durable qualities, used as it was here, but which yielded 
easily to edged tools. Nick had a small saw, a large chisel, 
and his knife. With the chisel, he cautiously commenced 
opening a hole of communication with the interior, by 
removing a little of the mortar that filled the interstices 
between the logs. This occupied but a moment. When 
effected, Nick applied an eye to the hole and took a look 
within. He muttered the word " good," then withdrew his 
own eye, and, by a sign, invited Maud to apply one of hers. 
This our heroine did, and saw Robert Willoughby, reading 
\vithin a few feet of her, with a calmness of air, that at onco 



152 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

announced his utter ignorance of the dire event that had so 
lately occurred, almost within reach of his arm. 

" Squaw speak," whispered Nick ; " voice sweet as wren 
go to Major s ear like song of bird. Squaw speak music 
to young warrior." 

Maud drew back, her heart beat violently, her breathing 
became difficult, and the blood rushed to her temples. But 
an earnest motion from Nick reminded her this was no time 
for hesitation, and she applied her mouth to the hole. 

"Robert dear Robert," she said, in a loud whisper, 
" we are here have come to release you." 

Maud s impatience could wait no longer ; but her eye 
immediately succeeded her mouth. That she was heard 
was evident from the circumstance that the book fell from 
the Major s hand, in a way to show how completely he was 
taken by surprise. " He knows even my whispers," thought 
Maud, her heart beating still more violently, as she observed 
the young soldier gazing around him, with a bewildered air, 
like one who fancied he had heard the whisperings of some 
ministering angel. By this time, Nick had removed a long 
piece of the mortar ; and he too, was looking into the but 
tery. By way of bringing matters to an understanding, the 
Indian thrust the chisel through the opening, and, moving 
it, he soon attracted Willoughby s attention. The latter 
instantly advanced, and applied his own eye to the wide 
crack, catching a view of the swarthy face of Nick. 

Willoughby knew that the presence of this Indian, at such 
a place, and under such circumstances, indicated the neces 
sity of caution. He did not speak, therefore ; but, first 
making a significant gesture towards the door of his narrow 
prison, thus intimating the close proximity of sentinels, he 
demanded the object of this visit, in a whisper. 

" Come to set, major free," answered Nick. 

" Can I trust you, Tuscarora ? Sometimes you seem a 
friend, sometimes an enemy. I know that you appear to be 
on good terms with my captors." 

" Dat good Injin know how to look two way warrior 
TTiust, if great warrior." 

" I wish I had some proof, Nick, that you are dealing 
with me in good faith." 

" Call dat proof, den !" growled the savage, seizing Maud s 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 153 

little hand, and passing it through the opcniiur, before tho 
startled girl was fully aware of what he nx-aut to d<>. 

Willoughby knew the hand at a glance. I !< would have 
recognised it, in that forest solitude, by its symmetry and 
whiteness, its delicacy anil its fullness; hut one of tin- taper 
lingers wore a ring that, of late, Maud had much used ; 
heiiiLT a diamond hoop that she had learned was a favourite 
ornament of her real mother s. It is not surprising, there 
fore, that he seized the pledge that was thus strangely held 
litrih, and had covered it with kisses, before Maud had pre 
sence of mind sufficient, or strength to reclaim it. This 
she would not do, however, at such a moment, without re 
turning all the proofs of ardent affection that were lavished 
on her own hand, by giving a gentle pressure to the one in 
which it was clasped. 

" This is so strange, Maud ! so every way extraordinary, 
that I know not what to think," the young man whispered, 
soon as he could get a glimpse of the face of the sweet girl. 
44 Why are you here, beloved, and in such company?" 

"You will trust me, Bob Nick comes as your friend. 
Aid him all you can, now, and be silent. When free, then 
will be the time to learn all." 

A sign of assent succeeded, and the major withdrew a 
step, in order to ascertain the course Nick meant to pursue. 
By this time, the Indian was at work with his knife, and ho 
soon passed the chisel in to the prisoner, who seized it, and 
commenced rutting into the logs, at a point opposite to that 
where the Tuscarora was whittling away the wood. The 
object was to introduce the saw, and it required some labour 
to effect such a purpose. By dint of application, hov. 
and by cutting the log above as well as that below, sufficient 
space was obtained in the course of a few minutes. Xi -k 
then passed the saw in, through the opening, it exceeding 
his skill to use such a tool with readiness. 

By this time, Willoughby was en<iared with the ear 
ness and zeal of the captive who catches a glimpse of lib 
erty. Notwithstanding, he proceeded intelligently and with 
caution. The blanket given him by his captors, as a pallet, 
was hanging from a nail, and he took the precaution to 
draw this nail, and to place it above the spot selected for the 
cut, that he might suspend the blanket so as to conceal 



lf>4 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

what he was at, in the event of a visit from without. When 
all was ready, and the blanket was properly placed, he 
began to make long heavy strokes with the tool, in a way 
to deaden the sound. This was a delicate operation ; but 
the work s being done behind the blanket, had some effect in 
lessening the noise. As the work proceeded, Willoughby s 
hopes increased ; and he was soon delighted to hear from 
Nick, that it was time to insert the saw in another place. 
Success is apt to induce carelessness ; and, as the task pro 
ceeded, Willoughby s arm worked with greater rapidity, 
until a noise at the door gave the startling information that 
he was about to be visited. There was just time to finish 
the last cut, and to let the blanket fall, before the door 
opened. The saw-dust and chips had all been carefully re 
moved, as the work proceeded, and of these none were left 
to betray the secret. 

There might have been a quarter of a minute between 
the moment when Willoughby seated himself, with his book 
in his hand, and that in which the door opened. Short as 
was this interval, it sufficed for Nick to remove the piece of 
log last cut, and to take away the handle of the saw ; the 
latter change permitting the blanket to hang so close against 
the logs as completely to conceal the hole. The sentinel 
who appeared was an Indian in externals, but a dull, white 
countryman in fact and character. 

" I thought I heard the sound of a saw, major," he said, 
listlessly ; " yet everything looks quiet, and in its place 
here !" 

" Where should I get such a tool ?" Willoughby coolly 
replied ; " and what is there here to saw ?" 

" Twas as nat ral, too, as the carpenter himself could 
make it, in sound !" 

" Possibly the mill has been set in motion by some of 
your idlers, and you have heard the large saw, which, at a 
distance, may sound like a smaller one near by." 

The man looked incredulously at his prisoner for a mo 
ment ; then he drew to the door, with the air of one who 
was determined to assure himself of the truth, calling aloud, 
as he did so, to one of his companions to join him. Wil 
loughby knew that no time was to be lost. In half-a-minute, 
he had passed the hole, dropped the blanket before it, had 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 155 

circled the slender waist of Maud with one arm, and was 
shoving aside the bushes with the other, as lie followed 
Nick from the straitened passage between the lean-to and 
the rock. The major seemed more bent on hearing Maud 
iVnin the spot, than on saving himself. Her feet scarce 
touched tin: ground, as he ascended to the place where 
had halted. Here Nick stood an instant, with i\ 
finger raised in intense listening. His practised ears caught 
the sound of voices in the lean-to, then scarce fifty feet dis 
tant. Men called to each other by name, and then a voice 
directly beneath them, proclaimed that a head was already 
thrust through the hole. 

" Here is your saw, and here is its workmanship!" ex 
claimed this voice. 

" And here is blood, too," said another. " See ! the 
ground has been a pool beneath those stones." 

.Maud shuddered, as if the soul were leaving its earthly 
tenement, and Willoughby signed impatiently for Nick to 
proceed. But the savage, for a brief instant, seemed be 
wildered. The danger below, however, increased, and 
evidently drew so near, that he turned and glided up the 
ascent. Presently, the fugitives reached the descending 
path, that diverged from the larger one they were on, and 
by which Nick and Maud had so recently come diagonally 
up this cliif. Nick leaped into it, and then the intervening 
bushes concealed their persons from any who might continue 
on the upward course. There was an open space, however, 
a little lower down ; and the quick-witted savage came to 
a stand under a close cover, believing flight to be useless 
should their pursuers actually follow on their heels. 

The halt had not b"en made half-a-dozen seconds, when 
the voices of the party ascending in chase, were heard 
above the fugitives. Willoughby felt an impulse to dash 
down the path, bearing Maud in his arms, but Nick inter 
posed his own body to so rash a movement. There was 
not time for a discussion, and the sounds of voices, speaking 
English loo distinctly to pass for any but those of men of 
English birth, or English origin, wen- hoard disputing about 
the course to be taken, at the point of junction between the 
two paths. 

" Go by the lower, "called out one, from the rear ; " he 



156 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

will run down the stream, and make for the settlements on 
the Hudson. Once before, he has done this, as I know from 
Strides himself." 

" D n Strides !" answered another, more in front. " He 
is a sniveling scoundrel, who loves liberty, as a hog loves 
corn ; for the sake of good living. I say go the upper, 
which will carry him on the heights, and bring him out 
near his father s garrison." 

" Here are marks of feet on the upper," observed a third, 
" though they seem to be coming down, instead of going up 
the hill." 

" It is the trail of the fellows who have helped him to 
escape. Push up the hill, and we shall have them all in ten 
minutes. Push up push z/p." 

This decided the matter. It appeared to Willoughby that 
at least a dozen men ran up the path, above his head, eager 
in the pursuit, and anticipating success. Nick waited no 
longer, but glided down the cliff, and was soon in the broad 
path which led along the margin of the stream, and was the 
ordinary thoroughfare in going to or from the Knoll. Here 
the fugitives, as on the advance, were exposed to the dan 
ger of accidental meetings ; but, fortunately, no one was 
met, or seen, and the bridge was passed in safety. Turn 
ing short to the north, Nick plunged into the woods again, 
following the cow-path by which he had so recently de 
scended to the glen. No pause was made even here. Wil 
loughby had an arm round the waist of Maud, and bore her 
forward, with a rapidity to which her own strength was 
altogether unequal. In less than ten minutes from the time 
the prisoner had escaped, the fugitives reached the level of 
the rock of the water-fall, or that of the plain of the Dam. 
As it was reasonably certain that none of the invaders had 
passed to that side of the valley, haste was no longer neces 
sary, and Maud was permitted to pause for breath. 

The halt was short, however, our heroine, herself, now 
feeling as if the major could not be secure until he was 
fairly within the palisades. In vain did Willoughby try to 
pacify her fears, and to assure her of his comparative safety ; 
Maud s nerves were excited, and then she had the dreadful 
tidings, which still remained to be told, pressing upon her 



TUB HUTTED KNOLL. 157 

spirits, and quickening all her natural impulses and senti 
ments. 

Nick soon made the signal to proceed, and then the three 
began to circle the flats, as mentioned in the advance of 
.Maud and her companion. When they reached a favoura 
ble sput, the Indian onee more directed a halt, intimating 
his own intention to move to the margin of the woods, in 
order to reconnoitre. Both his companions heard this an 
nouncement with satisfaction, for Willoughby was ea^er to 
say to .Maud directly that which he had so plainly indicated 
by means of the box, and to extort from her a confession 
that she was not offended; while; Maud herself felt the ne 
cessity of letting the major know the melancholy circum 
stance that yet remained to be told. With these widely 
distinct feelings uppermost, our two lovers saw Nick quit 
them, each impatient, restless and uneasy. 

\\ liloughby had found a scat for Maud, on a log, and he 
now placed himself at her side, and took her hand, pressing 
it silently to his heart. 

" Nick has then been a true man, dearest Maud," he said, 
"notwithstanding all my doubts ami misgivings of him." 

" Yes ; he gave me to understand you would hardly trust 
him, and that was the reason I was induced to accompany 
him. We both thought, Bob, you would confide in me/" 

"Bless you bless you beloved Maud but have you 
Mike has he had any interview with you in a word, 
did he deliver you my box?" 

Maud s feelings had been so much excited, that the decla 
ration of Willoughby s love, precious as it was to her heart 
failed to produce the outward si^ns that are usually exhi 
bited by the delicate and sensitive of her se\, when they 
listen to the insinuating lani/ua^e for the first time. 1 1< r 
thoughts were engrossed with her dreadful secret, and with 
tin- best and least shocking means of breaking it to tho 
major. The tint on her cheek, ihereti,: . dtvpmed, 

as this question \\as put to her, while her eye, full of earnest 
, .-till remained riveted on the face of her com 
panion. 

tk I have seen Mike, dear Bob," she answered, with n 
steadiness that had its rise in her singleness of purpose 
" and he has shown me given me, the box." 

VOL. II. 11 



158 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

" But have you understood me, Maud ? You will remem* 
ber that box contained the great secret of rny life !" 

** This I well remember yes, the box contains the great 
secret of your life." 

" But you cannot have understood me, Maud else 
would you not look so unconcerned so vacantly I am 
not understood, and am miserable !" 

" No no-^-no" interrupted Maud, hurriedly " I un 
derstand all you have wished to say, and you have no cause 

to be " Maud s voice became choked, for she recollected 

the force of the blow that she had in reserve. 

"This is so strange! altogether so unlike your usual 
manner, Maud, that there must be some mistake. The box 
contained nothing but your own hair, dearest." 

" Yes ; nothing else. It was my hair ; I knew it the in 
stant I saw it." 

" And did it tell you no secret? Why was Beulah s hair 
not with it? Why did I cherish your hair, Maud, and your s 
alone? You have not understood me !" 

** I have, dear, dear Bob ! You love me you wished to 
say we are not brother and sister, in truth ; that we have an 
affection that is far stronger one that will bind us together 
for life. Do not look so wretched, Bob ; I understand every 
thing you wish to say." 

"This is so very extraordinary I So unlike yourself, 
Maud, I know not what to make of it ! I sent you that box, 
beloved one, to say that you had my whole heart ; that I 
thought of you day and night; that you were the great ob 
ject of my existence, and that, while misery would be cer 
tain without you, felicity would be just as certain with you ; 
in a word, that I love you, Maud, and can never love an 
other." 

" Yes, so I understood you, Bob." Maud, spite of her 
concentration of feeling on the dreadful secret, could not 
refrain from blushing " It was too plain to be mistaken." 

" And how was my declaration received ? Tell me at 
once, dear girl, with your usual truth of character, and 
frankness can you, will you love me in return?" 

This was a home question, and, on another occasion, it 
might have produced a scene of embarrassment and hesita 
tion. But Maud was delighted with the idea that it was in 



THE II U T T i; I) KNOLL. 1 59 

her power to break the violence of the blow she was about 
to indict, by setting Robert \Villouirhby s mind at ease on 
this great point. 

"1 do love you, Bob," she said, with fervent affection 
beaming in every lineament of her angel face have loved 
you, lor \e;ir> how could it be Otherwise I I have scarce 
M rn any other to love; and how see you, and refrain . " 

" Blessed, blessed, Maud but this is so strange I fear 
you do not understand me I am not speaking of such atli-c- 
tion as Beulah bears me, as brother and sister feel ; I speak 
of the love that my mother bore my father of the love of 
man and wife 

A groan from Maud stopped the vehement young man, 
who received his companion in his arms, as she bowed her 
head on his bosom, half fainting. 

" Is this resentment, dearest, or is it consent?" he asked, 
bewildered by all that passed. 

" Oh ! Bob Father-father father !" 

" My father ! what of him, Maud ? Why has the allu 
sion to him brought you to this state?" 

"They have killed him, dearest, dearest Bob; and you 
must now be father, husband, brother, son, all in one. We 
have no one left but you !" 

A long pause succeeded. The shock was terrible to 
Robert Willoughby, but he bore up against it, like a man. 
Maud s incoherent and unnatural manner was now explained, 
and while unutterable tenderness of manner a tenderness 
that was increased by what had just passed was exhibited 
by ach to the other, no more was said of love. A common 
urief appeared to bind their hearts closer together, but it was 
unnecessary to dwell on their mutual affection in words. 
Robert Willoui>hby s sorrow mingled with that of Maud, 
and, as he folded her to his heart, their faces were literally 
bathed in each other s tears. 

It was some time before Willoughby could ask, or Maud 
give, an explanation. Then the latter briefly recounted all 
she knew, her companion listening with the closest attention. 
Th- son thought the occurrence as extraordinary as it was 
afflicting, but there was not leisure for inquiry. 

It was, perhaps, fortunate for our lovers that Nick s em- 
ploymcnt kept him away. For nearly ten minutes longer 



160 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

did he continue absent ; then he returned, slowly, thought* 
ful, and possibly a little disturbed. At the sound of hia 
footstep, Willoughby released Maud from his arms, and both 
assumed an air of as much tranquillity as the state of their 
feelings would allow. 

" Better march" said Nick, in his sententious manner 
" Mohawk very mad." 

" Do you see the signs of this ?" asked the major, scarce 
knowing what he said. 

" Alway make Injin mad ; lose scalp. Prisoner run 
away, carry scalp with him." 

"I rather think, Nick, you do my captors injustice; so 
far from desiring anything so cruel, they treated me well 
enough, considering the circumstances, and that we are in 
the woods." 

" Yes ; spare scalp, cause t ink rope ready. Nebber 
trust Mohawk all bad Injin." 

To own the truth, one of the great failings of the sav 
ages of the American forests, was to think of the neighbour 
ing tribes, as the Englishman is known to think of the 
Frenchman, and vice versa ; as the German thinks of both, 
and all think of the Yankee. In a word, his own tribe con 
tains everything that is excellent, with the Pawnee, the 
Osage and Pottawattomie, as Paris contains all that is per 
fect in the eyes of the bourgeois, London in those of the 
cockney, and this virtuous republic in those of its own en 
lightened citizens ; while the hostile communities are re 
morselessly given up to the tender solicitude of those beings 
which lead nations, as well as individuals, into the sinks of 
perdition. Thus Nick, liberalized as his mind had compa 
ratively become by intercourse with the whites, still retained 
enough of the impressions of childhood, to put the worst 
construction on the acts of all his competitors, and the best 
on his own. In this spirit, then, he warned his companions 
against placing any reliance on the mercy of the Mohawks. 

Major Willoughby, however, had now sufficient induce 
ments to move, without reference to the hostile intentions of 
his late captors. That his escape would excite a malignant 
desire for vengeance, he could easily believe ; but his mother, 
his revered heart-broken mother, and the patient, afflicted 
Beulah, were constantly before him, and gladly did he press 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. lb 1 

on, Maud loaning on his arm, the instant Nick led the way. 
To say that the lovely, confiding beinir who clung to his 
side, as the vine inclines to the tn > . Wftfl : >r<jotten, or that 
he did not retain a vivid recollection of all that she had so 
ingenuously avowrd in his favour, would not be rigidly ac 
curate, though the hopes thus created shone in the distance, 
under the present causes of grief, as the sun s rays illumine 
UK- depths of the heavens, while his immediate lace is en 
tirely hidden by an eclipse. 

I )id you sec any signs of a movement against the house, 
Nick / demanded the major, when the three had bn-n 
busily making their way, for several minutes, round the 
margin of the forest. 

The Tuscarora turned, nodded his head, and glanced at 
Maud. 

M Speak frankly, Wyandotte " 

" Good !" interrupted the Indian with emphasis, assuming 
a dignity of manner the major had never before witnessed. 
" Wyandotte come Nick gone away altogeder. Nebber 
see Sassy Nick, ag in, at Dam." 

" I am glad to hear this, Tuscarora. and as Maud says, 
you may speak plainly." 

" T ink, den, best be ready. Mohawk feel worse dan if 
he lose ten, free, six scalp. Injin know Injin feelin . Pale 
face can t stop red-skin, when blood get up." 

"Press on, then, Wyandotte, for the sake of God let 
me, at least, die in defence of my beloved mother !" 

Moder; good ! Doctor Tuscarora, when death grin in 
face ! She my moder, too !" 

This was said energetically, and in a manner to assure 
his listeners that they had a firm ally in this warlike savage. 
Little did either dream, at that instant, that this same way 
ward being the creature of passion, and the fierce aven 
ger of all his own fancied griefs, was the cause of the dread 
ful blow that had so recently fallen on them. 

The sun still wanted an hour of setting, when Nick 
brought his companions to the fallen tree, by which they 
were again to cross the rivulet. Here lie paused, pointing 
to the rools of the Hut, which were then just visible through 
the trec^s ; as much as to say that his duty, as a guide, was 
done. 

14* 



162 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

" Thank you, Wyandotte," said Willoughby ; " if it be 
the will of God to carry us safely through the crisis, you 
shall be well rewarded for this service." 

" Wyandotte chief want no dollar. Been Injin runner 
now be Injin warrior. Major follow squaw follow 
Mohawk in hurry." 

This was enough. Nick passed out of the forest on a 
swift walk but for the female, it would have been his cus 
tomary, loping trot followed by Willoughby ; his arm, 
again, circling the waist of Maud, whom he bore along, 
scarce permitting her light form to touch the earth. At this 
instant, four or five conches sounded, in the direction of the 
mills, and along the western margin of the meadows. Blast 
seemed to echo blast ; then the infernal yell, known as the 
war-whoop, was heard all along the opposite face of the 
buildings. Judging from the sounds, the meadows were 
alive with assailants, pressing on for the palisades. 

At this appalling moment, Joyce appeared on the ridge 
of the roof, shouting, in a voice that might have been heard 
to the farthest point in the valley 

" Stand to your arms, my men," he cried; "here the 
scoundrels come; hold your fire until they attempt to cross 
the stockade." 

To own the truth, there was a little bravado in this, min 
gled with the stern courage that habit and nature had both 
contributed to lend the serjeant. The veteran knew the 
feebleness of his garrison, and fancied that warlike cries, 
from himself, might counterbalance the yells that were now 
rising from all the fields in front of the house. 

As for Nick and the major, they pressed forward, too 
earnest ind excited, to speak. The former measured the 
distance by his ear ; and thought there was still time to gain 
a cover, if no moment was lost. To reach the foot of the 
cliff, took just a minute ; to ascend to the hole in the palisade, 
half as much time; and to pass it, a quarter. Maud was 
dragged ahead, as much as she ran ; and the period when 
the three were passing swiftly round to the gate, was preg 
nant with imminent risk. They were seen, and fifty rifles 
were discharged, as it might be, at a command. The bul 
lets pattered against the logs of the Hut, and against the 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 163 

palisades, but no one was hurt. The voice of Willoughby 
o|MMifl the gnti-, and the next instant the three were within 
the shelter of the court. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

" They have not perish d no ! 
Kind words, remembered voices, once so sweet, 
Smiles, radiant long ago, 
And features, the great soul s apparent seat; 

"All shall come back, each tie 
Of pure affection shall be knit again ; 
Alone shall evil die, 
And sorrow dwell a prisoner in thy reign. 

tt And then shall I behold 
Hun, liy wh<*e kind paternal side I sprung, 
And her, who still and cold, 
Fills the next grave the beautiful and young." 

BRYANT S PAS-I. 

THE scene that followed passed like a hurricane sweep 
ing over the valley. Joyce had remained on the ridge of 
the roof, animating his little garrison, and endeavouring to 
intimidate his enemies, to the last moment. The volley of 
bullets had reached the palisades and the buildings, and ho 
was >till unharmed. But the sound of the major s voice 
below, and the cry that Miss Maud and Nick were at the 
gate, produced a sudden change in all his dispositions for 
the defence. The scrjeant ran below himself, to report and 
receive his orders from the new commander, while all the 
negroes, females as well as males, rushed down into the 
court, to meet their young master and mistress. 

It is not easy to describe the minute that succeeded, after 
Wifloughby and Maud were surrounded by the blacks. 
The delight of these untutored brings was in proportion lo 
their recent sorrow. The death of their master, and the cap 
tivity of Ma<!-r Iiob and Mi^ Maud, had appeared to them 
like a general downfall of the family of Willoughby; but 
here was a revival of its hopes, that came as unexpectedly 
as its previous calamities. Amid the clamour, cries, tears, 



L 



164 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

lamentations, and bursts of uncontrollable delight, Joyce 
could scarce find a moment in which to discharge his duty. 

" I see how it is, serjeant," exclaimed Willoughby ; " the 
assault is now making, and you desire orders." 

" There is not an instant to lose, Major Willoughby ; the 
enemy are at the palisades already, and there is no one at 
his station but Jamie and young Blodget." 

" To your posts, men to your posts, everybody. The 
house shall be made good at all hazards. For God s 
sake, Joyce, give me arms. I feel that my father s wrongs 
are to be revenged." 

" Robert dear, dear Robert," said Maud, throwing her 
arms on his shoulders, " this is no moment for such bitter 
feelings. Defend us, as I know you will, but defend us like 
a Christian." 

One kiss was all that the time allowed, and Maud rushed 
into the house to seek her mother and Beulah, feeling as 
if the tidings of Bob s return might prove some little alle 
viation to the dreadful blow under which they must be suf 
fering. 

As for Willoughby, he had no time for pious efforts at 
consolation. The Hut was to be made good against a host 
of enemies; and the cracking of rifles from the staging and 
the fields, announced that the conflict had begun in earnest. 
Joyce handed him a rifle, and together they ascended 
rapidly to the roofs. Here they found Jamie Allen and 
Blodget, loading and firing as fast as they could, and were 
soon joined by all the negroes. Seven men were now col 
lected on the staging ; and placing three in front, and two 
on each wing, the major s dispositions were made ; moving, 
himself, incessantly, to whatever point circumstances called. 
Mike, who knew little of the use of fire-arms, was stationed 
at the gete, as porter and warder. 

It was so unusual a thing for savages to attack by day 
light, unless they could resort to surprise, that the assail 
ants were themselves a little confused. The assault was 
made, under a sudden feeling of resentment at the escape 
of the prisoner, and contrary to the wishes of the principal 
white men in the party, though the latter were dragged in 
the train of events, and had to seem to countenance that of 
which they really disapproved. These sudden out-break- 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 165 

ings were sufficiently common in Indian warfare, and often 
produced memorable disasters. < hi the present occasion, 
howev< T, tin- most that could occur was a repulse, and to 
this tin 1 leaders, demagogues who owed their authority to 
the excesses and necessities of the times, were lain to sub 
mit, should it happen. 

The onset had been fierce and too unguarded. The mo 
ment the volley was fired at the major, the assailants broke 
rover, and the fields were alive with men. This was tho 
instant when the defence was left to Allen and Blodget, else 
might the exposure have cost the enemy dear. As it was, 
the last brought down one of the boldest of the Indians, 
while the mason fired with i*ood will, though with less visi 
ble efKx-t. The yell that followed this demonstration of the 
apparent force of the garrison, was a wild mixture of anger 
and exultation, and the rush at the palisades was general 
and swift. As Willoughby posted his reinforcement, the 
stockade was alive with men, some ascending, some firing 
from its summit, some aiding others to climb, and one fall- 
inn within the enclosure, a second victim to Blodget s un 
erring aim. 

The volley that now came from the roofs staggered the 
sa\ages, most of whom fell outward, and sought cover in 
their usual quick and dexterous manner. Three or four, 
however, thought it safer to fall within the palisades, seek 
ing safety immediately under the sides of the buildings. The 
view of these men, who were perfectly safe from the fire of 
the garrison so long as the latter made no sortie, gave an 
idea to those without, and produced, what had hitherto been 
wanting, something like order <-id concert in the attack. 
The firing now became desultory and watchful on both 
sides, the attacking party keeping themselves covered by the 
trees and fences as well as they could, while the garrison 
only peered above the ridge of the roof, as occasions re 
quired. 

The instant the outbreak occurred, all the rl-ilcrant de 
pendants of captain Willoughby, who had deserted, aban 
doned their various occupations in the woods and fields, 
collecting in and around the cabins, in the midst of their 
wives and children. Joel, alone, was not to be seen. He 
had sought his friends among the leaders of the party, be- 



166 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

hind a slack of hay, at a respectful distance from the 
house, and to which there was a safe approach by means 
of the rivulet and its fringe of bushes. The little council 
that was held at this spot took place just as the half-dozen 
assailants who had fallen within the palisades were seen 
clustering along under the walls of the buildings. 

" Natur gives you a hint how to conduct," observed Joel, 
pointing out this circumstance to his principal companions, 
as they all lay peering over the upper portions of the stack, 
at the Hut. " You see them men under the eaves they re 
a plaguy sight safer up there, than we be down here ; and, 
if tvvere n t for the look of the thing, I wish I was with em. 
That house will never be taken without a desperate sight 
of fightin ; for the captain is an old warrior, and seerns to 
like to snufT gunpowder" the reader will understand none 
knew of the veteran s death but those in the house " and 
won t be for givin up while he has a charge left. If I had 
twenty men no, thirty would be better, where these fellows 
be, I think the place could be carried in a few minutes, and 
then liberty would get its rights, and your monarchy-men 
would be put down as they all desarve." 

" What do then 1" demanded the leading Mohawk, in his 
abrupt guttural English. " No shoot can t kill log." 

" No, chief, that s reasonable, an ongainsayable, too ; 
but only one-half the inner gate is hung, and I ve contrived 
matters so, on purpose, that the props of the half that is n t 
on the hinges can be undone, all the same as onlatching the 
door. If I only had the right man here, now, the business 
should be done, and that speedily." 

" Go self," answered the Mohawk, not without an ex 
pression of distrust and contempt. 

" Every man to his callin , chief. My trade is peace, and 
politics, and liberty, while your s is war. Howsever, I can 
put you, and them that likes fightin , on the trail, and then 
we 11 see how matters can be done. Mortality ! How them 
desperate devils on the roof do keep blazin away ! It 
would n t surprise me if they shot somebody, or get hurt 
themselvos !" 

Such were the deliberations of Joel Strides on a battle. 
The Indian leaders, however, gave some of their ordinary 
signals, to bring their * young men more under command, 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 107 

and, sending messengers with orders in different directions, 
they left the haystack, compelling Joel to m.vcmipany them. 

The results of th >e m .vrmrnts \\. apparent. 

The most daring of the Mohawks made their \\.iy into the 
rivulet, north of the buildings, and were soon at the fool of 
the cliff. A little reconnoitring told them that the hole 
which Joel had pointed out, had not been closed since the 
entrance of Willoughby and his companions. Led by their 
chief, the warriors stole up the ascent, and began to crawl 
through the same inlet which had served as an outlet to so 
many deserters, the previous night, accompanied by their 
wives and children. 

The Indians in front had been ordered to occupy the 
attention of the garrison, while this movement was in the 
course of execution. At a signal, they raised a yell, un 
masked them, fired one volley, and seemed to make another 
rush at the works. This was the instant chosen for the 
passage of the hole, and the seven leading savages effected 
their entrance within the stockade, with safety. The eighth 
man was shot by Blodget, in the hole itself. The body was 
instantly withdrawn by the legs, and all in the rear fell 
back under the cover of the cliff. 

Willoughby now understood the character of the assault. 
Stationing Joyce, with a party to command the hole, he 
went himself into the library, accompanied by Jamie and 
Blodget, using a necessary degree of caution. Fortunately 
the windows worn raised, and a sudden volley routed all the 
Indians who had taken shelter beneath the rocks. These 
men, however, fled no further than the rivulet, where they 
rallied under cover of the bushes, keeping up a dropping 
fire at the windows. For several minutes, the combat was 
confined to this spot ; Willoughby, by often shifting from 
window to window along the rear of the house, getting seve 
ral volleys that told, at the men under the cover. 

As yet, all the loss had been on the side of the assailants, 
though several of the garrison, including both Willoughby 
and Joyce, had divers exceedingly narrow escapes. Quite 
n dozen of the assailants had suffered, though only four 
were killed outright. By this time, the assault had lasted 
an hour, and the shades of evening were closing around the 
place. Daniel, the miller, had been sent by Joel to spring 



1(58 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

the mine they had prepared together, but, making the mis 
take usual with the uninitiated, he had hung back, to lei 
others pass the hole first, and was consequently carried 
down in the crowd, within the cover of the bushes of the 
rivulet. 

Willoughby had a short consultation with Joyce, and then 
he set seriously about the preparations necessary for a night 
defence. By a little management, and some personal risk, 
the bullet-proof shutters of the north wing of the Hut were 
all closed, rendering the rear of the buildings virtually im 
pregnable. When this was done, and the gates of the area 
were surely shut, the place was like a ship in a gale, under 
short canvass and hove-to. The enemy within the palisades 
were powerless, to all appearance, the walls of stone pre 
venting anything like an application of fire. Of the last, 
however, there was a little danger on the roof, the Indians 
frequently using arrows for this purpose, and water was 
placed on the staging rn readiness to be used on occasion. 

All these preparations occupied some time, and it was 
quite dark ere they were completed. Then Willoughby had 
a moment for reflection ; the firing having entirely ceased, 
and nothing further remaining to do. 

" We are safe for the present, Joyce," the major observed, 
as he and the serjeant stood together on the staging, after 
having consulted on the present aspect of things ; " and I 
have a solemn duty, yet, to perform my dear mother 
and the body of my father " 

" Yes, sir ; I would not speak of either, so long as it was 
your honour s pleasure to remain silent on the subject. Ma 
dam Willoughby is sorely cut down, as you may imagine, 
sir ; and, as for my gallant old commander, he died in his 
harness, as a soldier should." 

"Where haVe you taken the body? has my mother 
seen it ?" 

" Lord bless you, sir, Madam Willoughby had his honour 
carried into her own room, and there she and Miss Beulah" 
so all of the Hut still called the wife of Evert Beekman - 
" she and Miss Beulah, kneel, and pray, and weep, as you 
know, sir, ladies will, whenever anything severe comes over 
their feelings God bless them both, we all say, and think, 
ay, and pray, too, in our turns, sir." 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 169 

" Very well, Joyce. Even a soldier may drop a tear over 
the dead body of his own father. God only knows what 
tliis night will brills forth, and I may never have a moment 
as favourable as this, for discharging so solemn a duty." 

" Yes, your honour" Joyce fancied that the major had 
succeeded to this appellation by the decease of the captain 
. your honour, the commandments, that the Rev. Mr. 
Woods used to read to us of a Sunday, tell us all about 
that ; and it is quite as much the duty of a Christian to mind 
the commandments, I do suppose, as it is for a soldier to 
obey orders. God bless you, sir, and carry you safe through 
tii 1 all air. I had a touch of it with Miss Aland, myself, and 
know what it is. It s bad enough to lose an old commander 
in so sudden a way like, without having to feel what has 
happened in company with so sweet ladies, as these wo 
have in the house. As for these blackguards down inside 
the works, let them give you no uneasiness ; it will be light 
work for us to keep them busy, compared to what your ho 
nour has to do." 

It would seem by the saddened manner in which Wil- 
loughby moved away, that he was of the same way of 
thinking as the serjeant, on this melancholy subject. The 
moment, however, was favourable for the object, and delay 
could not be afforded. Then Willoughby s disposition was 
to console his mother, even while he wept with her over the 
dead body of him they had lost. 

Notwithstanding the wild uproar that had so prevailed, 
not only without, but within the place, the portion of the 
house that was occupied by the widowed matron and her 
daughters, was silent as the grave. All the domestics were 
either on the staging, or at the loops, leaving the kitchens 
and offices deserted. The major first entered a little 
chamber, that opened between a store-room, and the aj-nr 1 - 
ment usually occupied by his mother; this being the ordi 
nary means of approach to her room. Here he paused, 
and listened quite a minute, in the hope of catching some 
sound from within that might prepare him for the ncene he 
was to meet. Not a whisper, a moan, or a sob could 
be heard; and he ventured to lap lightly at the door. 
This was unheeded ; waiting another minute, as much 
in dread as in respect, he raised the latch with some such 

VOL. II. 15 



170 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

awe, as one would enter into a tomb of some beloved one. 
A single lamp let him into the secrets of this solemn place. 

In the centre of the room, lay stretched on a large table, 
the manly form of the author of his being. The face was 
uppermost, and the limbs had been laid, in decent order, as 
is usual with the dead that have been cared for. No change 
had been made in the dress, however, the captain lying in 
the hunting-shirt in which he had sallied forth ; the crimson 
tint which disfigured one breast, having been sedulously 
concealed by the attention of Great Smash. The passage 
from life to eternity had been so sudden, as to leave the 
usual benignant expression on the countenance of the corpse; 
the paleness which had succeeded the fresh ruddy tint of 
nature, alone denoting that the sleep was not a sweet repose, 
but that of death. 

The body of his father was the first object that met the 
gaze of the major. He advanced, leaned forward, kissed 
the marble-like forehead, with reverence, and groaned in 
the effort to suppress an unmanly outbreaking of sorrow. 
Then he turned to seek the other well-beloved faces. There 
sat Beulah, in a corner of the room, as if to seek shelter for 
her infant, folding that infant to her heart, keeping her look 
riveted, in anguish, on the inanimate form that she had 
ever loved beyond a daughter s love. Even the presence 
of her brother scarce drew a glance away from the sad 
spectacle ; though, when it at length did, the youthful ma 
tron bowed her face down to that of her child, and wept 
convulsively. She was nearest to the major, who moved 
to her side, and kissed the back of her neck, with kind 
affection. The meaning was understood ; and Beulah, 
while unable to look up, extended a hand to meet the fra 
ternal pressure it received. 

Maud was near, kneeling at the side of the bed. Her 
whole attitude denoted the abstraction of a mind absorbed in 
worship and solicitation. Though Willoughby s heart 
yearned to raise her in his arms ; to console her, and bid 
her lean on himself, in future, for her earthly support, he 
too much respected her present occupation, to break in upon 
it with any irreverent zeal of his own. His eye turned from 
this loved object, therefore, and hurriedly looked for his 
mother. 



TUB UUTTEl) KNOLL. 171 

The form of Mrs. \Villoughl>y had escaped the first glance* 
of JUT son, in consequence of the position in which she had 
placed herself. Tin- stricken will: was in a corner of the 
room, her person partly concealed by the drapery of a 
window-curtain; though this was evidently more the elll-ct 
of accident, than of design. \\ illoughby started, as he 
caught the tirst glance of his beloved parent s face; and he 
felt a chill pass over his whole frame. There she sat up. 
right, motionless, tearless, without any of the alleviating 
weaknesses of a less withering grief, her mild countenance 
exposed to the light of the lamp, and her eyc.s riveted on the 
of the dead. In this posture had she remained for 
hours; no tender cares on the part of h -r daughters ; no 
attentions from her domestics ; no outbreaking of her own 
sorrows, producing any change. Even the clamour of the 
assault had passed by her like the idle wind. 

" My mother my poor dear heart-broken mother !" 
burst from \Villoughl>y, at this sight, and he stepped quickly 
forward, and knelt at her feet. 

But Bob the darling Bob his mother s pride and joy, 
was unheeded. The heart, which had so long beaten for 
others only ; which never seemed to feel a wish, or a pulsa 
tion, but in the service of the objects of its affection, wai 
not sufficiently firm to withstand the blow that had I 
on it so suddenly. Enough of life remained, however, to 
support the frame for a while; and the will still exercised 
its power over the mere animal functions. Her son shut 
out the view of the body, and she motioned him aside with 
an impatience of manner he had never before witnessed from 
;me quarter. Inexpressibly shocked, the major took 
her hands, by gentle compulsion, covering them with kisses, 
and literally bathing them in tears. 

* Oh ! mother dearest, dearest mother !" he cried, " icill 
you not do you not know me Robert Bob your much- 
indulged, grateful, affectionate son. If father is gone into 
the immediate presence of the God he revered and served, I 
am still left to be a support to your declining years. 
Lean on me, mother, next to your Father in IIca\cn." 

" Will he ever get up, Robert?" whispered th>- \viii 
mother. " You speak too loud, and may rouse him before 
his time. He promised me to bring you back ; and he ever 



172 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

kept his promises. He had a long march, and is weary, 
See, ho\v sweetly he sleeps !" 

Robert Willoughby bowed his head to his mother s knees, 
and groaned aloud. When he raised his face again, he saw 
the arms of Maud elevated towards heaven, as if she would 
pluck down that consolation for her mother, that her spirit 
was so fervently asking of the Almighty. Then he gazed 
into the face of his mother again ; hoping to catch a gleam 
of some expression and recognition, that denoted more of 
reason. It was in vain ; the usual placidity, the usual mild 
affection were there ; but both were blended with the unna 
tural halo of a mind excited to disease, if not to madness. 
A slight exclamation, which sounded like alarm, came from 
Beulah ; and turning towards his sister, Willoughby saw 
that she was clasping Evert still closer to her bosom, with 
her eyes now bent on the door. Looking in the direction 
of the latter, he perceived that Nick had stealthily entered 
the room. 

The unexpected appearance of Wyandotte might well 
alarm the youthful mother. He had applied his war-paint 
since entering the Hut ; and this, though it indicated an in 
tention to fight in defence of the house, left a picture of 
startling aspect. There was nothing hostile intended by 
this visit, however. Nick had come not only in amity, but 
in a kind concern to see after the females of the family, 
who had ever stood high in his friendship, notwithstanding 
the tremendous blow he had struck against their happiness. 
But he had been accustomed to see those close distinctions 
drawn between individuals and colours ; and, the other pro 
prieties admitted, would not have hesitated about consoling 
the widow with the offer of his own hand. Major Wil 
loughby, understanding, from the manner of the Indian, 
the object of his visit, suffered him to pursue his own course, 
in the hope it might rouse his mother to a better conscious 
ness of objects around her. 

Nick walked calmly up to the table, and gazed at the 
face of his victim with a coldness that proved he felt no 
compunction. Still he hesitated about touching the body, 
actually raising his hand, as if with that intent, and then 
withdrawing it, like one stung by conscience. Willoughby 
noted the act ; and, for the first time, a shadowy suspicion 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 173 

glanced on his mind. Maud had told him all she knew of 
tin- ;. his lather s death, and old distrusts i 

to revive, though so iaintly us to j>roduce no immediate 
ilia. 

:br the Indian, the hesitating gesture exceptcd, the 
strictest scrutiny, or the keenest suspicion could have d 
od no signs of Hi-ling. The senseless form before him was 
not less moved than he appeared to he, so far as the human 
eye could penetrate. Wyandottc was unmoved. He be 
lieved that, in curing the sores on his own hack in this par 
ticular manner, ho had done what became a Tu>earor;i 
warrior and a chief. Let not the self-styled Christians of 
civilized society ailect horror at this instance of s 
justice, so long as they go the whole length of the law 
of their several communities, in avenging their own fan 
cied wrongs, using the dagger of calumny instead of the 
scalping-knife, and rending and tearing their victims, by 
the agency of gold and power, like so many beasts of 
the field, in all the forms and modes that legal vindictive- 
will cither justify or tolerate; often exceeding those 
broad limits, indeed, and seeking impunity behind perjuries 
and frauds. 

.Nick s examination of the body was neither hurried nor 
agitated. When it was over, he turned calmly to consider 
the daughters of the deceased. 

"Why you cry why you fear d," he said, approach 
ing Beulah, and placing his swarthy hand on the head of 
,-rping infant. " Good squaw good pappoose. Wy- 
andotte take care em in woods. Bye m-by go to pale-face 
town, and sleep quiet." 

This was rudely said, but it was well meant. Beulah so 

\ (1 it ; and .--he endeavoured to smile her gratitude in 

the face of the very king from whom, more than from all 

of earth, she would have turned in horror, could her mental 

vision have reached the fearful secret that lay buried in his 

i.osom. The Indian understood her look; and making 

a gesture of encouragement, he moved to the side of :he 

; ;i whom his own hand h.-.d made a widow. 

The appearance of Wyandotte produced no change in 
the look or manner of the matron. The Indian took her 
hand, and spoke. 
15* 



174 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

" Squaw berry good," he said, with emphasis. " Why 
look so sorry cap in gone to happy huntin -ground of hia 
people. All good dere chief time come, must go." 

The widow knew the voice, and by some secre-t associa 
tion it recalled the scenes of the past, producing a mo 
mentary revival of her faculties. 

" Nick, you are my friend," she said, earnestly. " Go 
speak to him, and see if you can wake him up." 

The Indian fairly started, as he heard this strange pro 
posal. The weakness lasted only for a moment, however, 
and he became as stoical, in appearance at least, as before. 
" No," he said ; " squaw quit cap in, now. Warrior go 
on last path, all alone no want companion. She look at 
grave, now and den, and be happy." 

" Happy !" echoed the widow, " what is that, Nick ? 
what is happy, my son? It seems a dream I must have 
known what it was ; but I forget it all now. Oh ! it was 
cruel, cruel, cruel, to stab a husband, and a father wasn t 
it, Robert? What say you, Nick shall I give you more 
medicine? You ll die, Indian, unless you take it mind 
what a Christian woman tells you, and be obedient. Here, 
let me hold the cup there ; now you 11 live !" 

Nick recoiled an entire step, arid gazed at the still beau 
tiful victim of his ruthless revenge, in a manner no one had 
ever before noted in his mien. His mixed habits left him 
in ignorance of no shade of the fearful picture before his 
eyes, and he began better to comprehend the effects of the 
blow he had so hastily struck a blow meditated for years, 
though given at length under a sudden and vehement im 
pulse. The widowed mother, however, was past noting 
these changes. 

"No no no Nick," she added, hurriedly, scarce 
speaking above a whisper, " do not awake him ! God will 
do that, when he summons his blessed ones to the foot 
of his throne. Let us all lie down, and sleep with him. 
Robert, do you lie there, at his side, my noble, noble boy; 
Beulah, place little Evert and yourself at the other side ; 
Maud, your place is by the head; I will sleep at his feet; 
while Nick shall watch, and let us know when it will be 

time to rise and pray " 

The general and intense almost spell-bound attention 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 175 

with which .ill in the room listened to these gentle but. touch- 
tr.ilerinus of a mind so single and pure, was intcr- 
rupk d by yells so internal, and shrieks so wild and fearful, 
that it seemed, in sooth, as if the last trump had sounded, 
and men were passing forth from their graves to judgment. 
Willoughby almost leaped out of the room, and Maud fol- 
:. to shut and bolt the door, when her waist was encir 
cled by the arm of Nick, and she found herself borne 
forward towards the din. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

44 O, Time and Death ! with certain pace, 
Though still unequal, hurrying on, 
O erturning, in your awful race, 
The cot, the palace, and the throne 1" 

SANDS. 

MAUD had little leisure for reflection. The yells and 
shrieks were followed by the cries of combatants, and iho 
crack of the rifle. Nick hurried her along at a rate so rapid 
that she had not breath to question or remonstrate, until she 
found herself at the door of a small store-room, in which 
her mother was accustomed to keep articles of domestic 
economy that required but little space. Into this room Nick 
thrust her, and then she heard the key turn on her egress. 
For a single moment, Wyandotte stood hesitating whether 
he should endeavour to get Mrs. Willoughby and her other 
daughter into the same place of security ; then, judging of 
the futility of the attempt, by the approach of the sounds 
within, among which he heard the full, manly voice of Ro 
bert Willoughby, railing on the garrison to be firm, he raised 
an answering yell to those of the Mohawks, the war-whoop 
of his tribe, and plunged into the fray with the desperation 
of one who ran a muck, and with the delight of a demon. 

In order to understand the cause of this sudden change, 
it will 1)0 necessary to return a little, in the order of time. 
\Vhil<- Willousjhby was with his mother and sisters, Mike 
had charge of the gate. The rest of the garrison was either 



r 

176 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

at the loops, or was stationed on the roofs. As the darkness 
increased, Joel mustered sufficient courage to crawl through 
the hole, and actually reached the gate. Without him, it 
was found impossible to spring his mine, and he had been 
prevailed on to risk this much, on condition it should not 
be asked of him to do such violence to his feelings as to 
enter the court of a house in which he had seen so many 
happy days. 

The arrangement, by which this traitor intended to throw 
a family upon the tender mercies of savages, was exceed 
ingly simple. It will be remembered that only one leaf of 
the inner gate was hung, the other being put in its place, 
where it was sustained by a prop. This prop consisted of 
a single piece of timber, of which one end rested on the 
ground, and the other on the centre of the gate ; the last be 
ing effectually prevented from slipping by pins of wood, 
driven into the massive wood-work of the gate, e&ove its 
end. The lower end of the prop rested against a fragment 
of rock that nature had placed at this particular spot. As 
the work had been set up in a hurry, it was found necessary 
to place wedges between the lower end of the prop and the 
rock, in order to force the leaf properly into its groove, with 
out which it might have been canted to one side, and of 
course easily overturned by the exercise of sufficient force 
from without. 

To all this arrangement, Joel had been a party, and he 
knew, as a matter of course, its strong and its weak points. 
Seizing a favourable moment, he had loosened the wedges, 
leaving them in their places, however, but using the precau 
tion to fasten a bit of small but strong cord to the most 
material one of the three, which cord he buried in the dirt, 
and led half round a stick driven into the earth, quite near 
the wall, and thence through a hole made by one of the 
hinges, to the outer side of the leaf. The whole had been 
done with so much care as to escape the vigilance of casual 
observers, and expressly that the overseer might assist his 
friends in entering the place, after he himself had provided 
for his own safety by flight. The circumstance that no one 
trod on the side of the gateway where the unhung leaf stood, 
prevented the half-buried cord from being disturbed by any 
casual footstep. 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 177 

As soon as Joel reached tin- wall of the Hut, his first rare 
was to ascertain if he were ^a:c from missiles from the 

d of this fact, he; stole round to the gate, ami had a 
consultation with the- Mohan k chief, on the Md.jecl of spring 
ing the mini . The cord was found in its place; and, haul 
ing on it gently, . "I was soon certain that lie had rn 
the wedge, and that force might speedily throw down the 
unhung leaf. Still, he proceeded with caution. Applying 
the point of a lever to the bottom of the leaf, he hove it hack 
sufficiently to be sure it would pass inside of its li-llmv : ai.d 
then he announced to the grave warrior, who had watched 
the whole proceeding, that the time was come to lend his 
aid. 

There were a dozen reckless whiles, in the cluster of sa- 
- collected at the gate ; and enough of these were placed 
at handspikes to effect the intended dislodgement. The 
plan was this : while poles were set against the upper por 
tion of the leaf, to force it within the line of the suspended 
part, handspikes and crowbars, of which a sufficiency had 
been provided by Joel s forethought, were to be applied be 
tween the hinire edge and the wall, to cast the whole over 
to the other side. 

Unluckily, Mike had been left at the gate as the sentinel. 
A more unfortunate selection could not have been made ; 
the true-hearted fellow having so much self-confidence, and 
so little forethought, as to believe the gates impregnable. 
lie had lighted a pipe, and was smoking as tranquilly as If 
had ever done before, in his daily indulgences of this cha 
racter, when the unhung leaf came tumbling in upon the 
side where he sat ; nothing saving his head but the upper 
edge s lodging (mains! the wall. At the same momrnf, a 
11 Indians leaped through the opening, and sprang into 
the court, raising the yells already described. Mike iM- 
lowed, armed with his shillelah, for his musket was aban 
doned in the surprise, and he he^an to lay about him with an 
Kirn< stiK-ss that in nowise lessened the clamour. This was 
the moment when Joyce, nobly sustained by Blodget and 
Jamie Allen, poured a volley into the 4 nirt, from the roofs; 
when the fray became general. To this point had the com 
bat reached, when Willoughby rushed into the open air, 
followed, a few instants later, by Nick. 



178 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

The scene that succeeded is not easily described. It was 
a melee in the dark, illuminated, at instants, by the flashes 
of guns, and rendered horrible by shrieks, curses, groans 
and whoops. Mike actually cleared the centre of the court, 
where he was soon joined by Willoughby, when, together, 
they made a rush at a door, and actually succeeded in gain 
ing their own party on the roof. It was not in nature for 
the young soldier to remain here, however, while his mother, 
Beulah, and, so far as he knew, Maud, lay exposed to the 
savages below. Amid a shower of bullets he collected his 
whole force, and was on the point of charging into the court, 
when the roll of a drum without, brought everything to a 
stand. Young Blodget, who had displayed the ardour of a 
hero, and the coolness of a veteran throughout the short 
fray, sprang down the stairs unarmed, at this sound, passed 
through the astonished crowd in the court, unnoticed, and 
rushed to the outer gate. He had barely time to unbar it, 
when a body of troops marched through, led by a tall, man 
ly-looking chief, who was accompanied by one that the 
young man instantly recognised, in spite of the darkness, for 
Mr. \Voods, in his surplice. At the next moment, the stran 
gers had entered, with military steadiness, into the court, to 
the number of, at least, fifty, ranging themselves in order 
across its area. 

" In the name of Heaven, who are you ?" called out Wil 
loughby, from a window. " Speak at once, or we fire." 

" I am Colonel Beekman, at the head of a regular force," 
was the answer, " and if, as I suspect, you are Major Wil 
loughby, you know you are safe. In the name of Con 
gress, I command all good citizens to keep the peace, or 
they will meet with punishment for their contumacy." 

This announcement ended the war, Beekrnan and Wil 
loughby grasping each other s hands fervently, at the next 
instant. 

" Oh ! Beekman !" exclaimed the last, " at what a mo 
ment has God sent you hither! Heaven be praised! not 
withstanding all that has happened, you will find your wife 
and child safe. Place sentinels at both gates ; for treachery 
has been at work here, and I "shall ask for rigid justice." 

" Softly softly my good fellow," answered Beekman, 
pressing his hand. " Your own position is a little delicate, 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 179 

and we must proceed with moderation. I learned, just in 
time, that a party was coming hither, bent on mischief; aiul 
obtaining UK.- mrrssary authority, I hastened to the nearest 
garrison, obtained a company, and commenced my maivh 
as soon as possible. Had we not met with Mr. Woods, 
travelling lor the settlements in quest of succour, we might 
have brrn too late As it was, God be praised ! I think wo 
have arrived in season." 

Such were the facts. The Indians had repelled tho 
zealous chaplain, as a madman ; compelling him to take the 
route toward the settlements, however ; their respect for this 
unfortunate class of beings, rendering them averse to his 
rejoining their enemies. He could, and did impart enough 
to Beekman to quicken his march, and to bring him and 
his followers up to the gate at a time when a minute might 
have cost the entire garrison their lives. 

Anxious as he was to seek Beulah and his child, Beek 
man had a soldier s duties to perform, and those he would 
not neglect. The sentinels were posted, and orders issued 
to light lanterns, and to make a fire in the centre of tho 
court, so that the actual condition of the field of battle might 
be ascertained. A surgeon had accompanied Beekman s 
party, and he was already at work, so far as the darkness 
would allow. Many hands being employed, and combusti 
bles easy to be found, ere long the desired light was gleam 
ing on the terrible spectacle. 

A dozen bodies were stretched in the court, of which, 
three or four were fated never to rise again, in life. Of tho 
rest, no less than four had fallen with broken heads, in 
flicted by O Hearn s shillelah. Though these blows were not 
fatal, they effectually put the warriors hors dc combat. Of 
the garrison, not one was among the slain, in this part of 
the field. On a later investigation, however, it was ascer 
tained that the poor old Scotch mason had received a mortal 
hurt, through a window, and this by the very last shot, that 
had been fired. On turning over the dead of the assailants, 
too, it was discovered that Daniel the Miller was of tho 
number. A few of the Mohawks were seen, with glowing 
. in corners of the court, applying their own rude dress- 
ings to their various hurts ; succeeding, on the whole, in 



180 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

effecting the great purpose of* the healing art, about as well 
as those who were committed to the lights of science. 

Surprisingly few uninjured members of the assaulting 
party, however, were to be found, when the lanterns ap 
peared. Some had slipped through the gate before the sen 
tinels were posted ; others had found their way to the roof, 
and thence, by various means to the ground ; while a few 
lay concealed in the buildings, until a favourable moment 
offered to escape. Among all those who remained, not an 
individual was found who claimed to be in any authority. 
In a word, after five minutes of examination, both Beekman 
and Willoughby were satisfied that there no longer existed 
a force to dispute with them the mastery of the Hut. 

" We have delayed too long relieving the apprehensions 
of those who are very dear to us, Major Willoughby," Beek 
man at length observed. " If you will lead the way to the 
parts of the buildings where your my mother, and wife, are 
to be found, I will now follow you." 

" Hold, Beekman there yet remains a melancholy tale 
to be told nay, start Hot I left our Beulah, and your boy, 
in perfect health, less than a quarter of an hour since. But 
my honoured, honourable, revered, beloved father has been 
killed in a most extraordinary manner, and you will find his 
widow and daughters weeping over his body." 

This appalling intelligence produced a halt, during which 
Willoughby explained all he knew of the manner of his 
father s death, which was merely the little he had been en 
abled to glean from Maud. As soon as this duty was per 
formed, the gentlemen proceeded together to the apartment 
of the mourners, each carrying a light. 

Willoughby made an involuntary exclamation, when he 
perceived that the door of his mother s room was open. He 
had hoped Maud would have had the presence of mind to 
close and lock it; but here he found it, yawning as if to in 
vite the entrance of enemies. The light within, too, was 
extinguished, though, by the aid of the lanterns, he saw large 
traces of blood in the ante-room, and the passages he was 
obliged to thread. All this hastened his steps. Presently 
he stood in the chamber of death. 

Short as had been the struggle, the thirst for scalps had 
led some of the savages to this sanctuary. The instant the 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 181 

Indians had gained the court, some of the most ferocious of 
Iheir number had rushed into the building, penetrating ltd 
- in a uay to defile them \\ith slaughter. The first 
object that \Villoughby *>aw was one of these ruthless war 
riors, stretched on the floor, with a living Indian, bleeding at 
half a dozen uoumls, standing over him; the eye-balls of 
the latter were glaring like the tiger s that is suddenly con 
front* d to a foe. An involuntary motion was made towards 
the rifle he carried, by the major; but the next look told him 
that the living Indian was Nick. Then it was, that he : 
more steadily about him, and took in all the horrible truths 
of that fatal chamber. 

.Mrs. \VilloLighby was seated in the chair where she had 
last been seen, perfectly dead. No mark of violence was 
ever found on her body, however, and there is no doubt that 
her constant spirit had followed that of her husband to the 
other world, in submission to the blow which had separated 
them. Beulah had been shot ; not, as was afterwards as 
certained, by any intentional aim, but by one of those ran 
dom bullets, of which so many had been living through the 
buildings. The missile had passed through her heart, and 
she lay pressing the little Evert to her bosom, with that air 
of steady and unerring affection which had mark -d e\rry 
act of her innocent and feeling life. The boy himself, thanks 
to the tiger-like gallantry of Nick, had escaped unhurt. The 
Tuscarora had seen a party of six take the direction of this 
chamber, and he followed with an instinct of their intentions. 
When the leader entered the room, and found three d-ad 
bodies, he raised a yell that betokened his delight at the 
et of gaining so many scalps; at the next instant, 
while his fingers were actually entwined in the hair of Onp- 
tain Willoughby, he fell by a blow from Wyandotte. Ni.-k 
next extinguished the lamp, and then succeeded a 
which none of the actors, themselves, could have described. 
Another .Mohawk fell, and the remainder, after sulierinii 
horribly from the keen knife of Niek, as well as fmm hlo-.vs 
received from each other, dragged then. .nv, !ea\inj 

th- field to the Tuscarora. The lat:-r met the almost be 
wildered gaze of the major with a smile of grim triumph, 
as he pointed to the three bodies of the beloved ones, and 
said 

VOL. II. 16 



182 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

" See all got scalp ! Deaf, nothin scalp, ebbery 
t ing." 

We shall not attempt to describe the outbreaking of an 
guish from the husband and brother. It was a moment of 
wild grief, that bore down all the usual restraints of man 
hood, though it was such a moment as an American frontier 
residence has often witnessed. The quiet but deep-feeling 
nature of Beekman received a shock that almost produced 
a dissolution of his earthly being. He succeeded, however, 
in raising the still warm body of Beulah from the floor, and 
folding it to his heart. Happily for his reason, a flood of 
tears, such as women shed,. burst from his soul, rather than 
from his eyes, bedewing her still sweet and placid counte 
nance. 

To say that Robert Willoughby did not feel the desola 
tion, which so suddenly alighted on a family that had 
often been quoted for its mutual affection and happiness, 
would be to do him great injustice. Fie even staggered un 
der the blow; yet his heart craved further information. 
The Indian was gazing intently on the sight of Beekman s 
grief, partly in wonder, but more in sympathy, when he felt 
an iron pressure of his arm. 

" Maud Tuscarora" the major rather groaned than 
whispered in his ear, " know you anything of Maud ?" 

Nick made a gesture of assent ; then motioned for the 
other to follow. He led the way to the store-room, produced 
the key, and throwing open the door, Maud was weeping on 
Robert Willoughby s bosom in another instant. He would 
not take her to the chamber of death, but urged her, by 
gentle violence, to follow him to the library. 

" God be praised for this mercy !" exclaimed the ardent 
girl, raising her hands and streaming eyes to heaven. " I 
know not, care not, who is conqueror, since you are safe !" 

" Oh ! Maud beloved one we must now be all in all to 
each other. Death has stricken the others." 

This was a sudden and involuntary announcement, though 
it was best it should be so under the circumstances. It was 
long before Maud could hear an outline, even, of the details, 
but she bore them better than Willoughby could have hoped. 
The excitement had been so high, as to brace the mind to 
meet any human evil. The sorrow that came afterwards, 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 183 

though sweetened by so many tender recollections, and chas 
tened hopes, was deep and enduring. 

Our picture would not have been complete, without relat 
ing the eara>tru|>he that befell the I lulled Knoll; hut, having 
irgcd this painful duty, we prei er t-> draw a veil over 
Daimler of that dreadful night. The cries of the no- 
s/when they learned the death of their old and young 
mistress, disturbed the silence of the place for a few minutes, 
and then a profound stillness settled on the buildings, mark 
ing them distinctly as the house of mourning. On further 
inquiry, too, it was ascertained that Great Smash, after 
shooting an Oneida, had been slain and scalped. Pliny the 
younger, also, fell fighting like a wild beast to defend the 
entrance to his mistresses apartments. 

The following day, when light had returned, a more ac 
curate idea was obtained of the real state of the valley. 
All of the invading party, the dead and wounded excepted, 
had made a rapid retreat, accompanied by most of the de 
serters and their families. The name, known influence, 
and actual authority of Colonel Beek man had wrought this 
change; the irregular powers that had set the expedition in 
motion, preferring to conceal their agency in the transac 
tion, rather than make any hazardous attempt to claim tho 
reward of patriotic service, as is so often done in revolu 
tions, for merciless deeds and selfish acts. There had been 
no real design on the part of the whites to injure any of the 
family in their persons; but, instigated by Joel, they had 
fancied the occasion favourable for illustrating their own 
public virtue, while they placed themselves in the way of 
receiving fortune s favours. The assault that actually oc 
curred, was one of those uncontrollable outbreakings of 
Indian ferocity, that have so often set at defiance the re 
straints of discipline. 

Nick was not to be found either. He had been last seen 
dressing his wounds, with Indian patience, and Indian skill, 
preparing to apply herbs and roots, in quest of which ho 
went into the forest about midnight. As he did not return, 
\Vil!oi !_ h!.y f -ared that he might be suffering alone, and 
determined to have a search made, as soon as he had per 
formed the last sad offices for the dead. 

Two days occurred, however, before this melancholy duty 



184 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

was discharged. The bodies of all the savages who had 
fallen were interred the morning after the assault ; but that 
of Jamie Allen, with those of the principal persons of the 
family, were kept for the pious purposes of affection, until 
the time mentioned. 

The funeral was a touching sight. The captain, his wife, 
and daughter, were laid, side by side, near the chapel ; the 
first and last of their race that ever reposed in the wilds of 
America. Mr. Woods read the funeral service, summoning 
all his spiritual powers to sustain him, as he discharged this 
solemn office of the church. Willoughby s arm was around 
the waist of Maud, who endeavoured to reward his tender 
assiduities by a smile, but could not. Colonel Beekman 
held little Evert in his arms, and stood over the grave with 
the countenance of a resolute man stricken with grief one 
of the most touching spectacles of our nature. 

" I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord" 
sounded in the stillness of that valley like a voice from 
heaven, pouring out consolation on the bruised spirits of 
the mourners. Maud raised her face from Willoughby s 
shoulder, and lifted her blue eyes to the cloudless vault 
above her, soliciting mercy, and offering resignation in the 
look. The line of troops in the back-ground moved, as by 
a common impulse, and then a breathless silence showed 
the desire of these rude beings not to lose a syllable. 

A round red spot formed on each of the cheeks of Mr. 
Woods as he proceeded, and his voice gathered strength, 
until its lowest intonations came clear and distinct on every 
ear. Just as the bodies were about to be lowered into their 
two receptacles, the captain, his wife and daughter being 
laid in the same grave, Nick came with his noiseless step 
near the little group of mourners. He had issued from tho 
forest only a few minutes before, and understanding the 
intention of the ceremony, he approached the spot as fast 
as weakness and wounds would allow. Even he listened 
with profound attention to the chaplain, never changing his 
eye from his face, unless to glance at the coffins as they lay 
in their final resting-place. 

" / heard a voice from Heaven, saying unto me, write, 
From henceforth blessed are the dead who die in the Lord ; 
even so saith the Spirit, for they rest from their labours ," 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 185 

continued the chaplain, his voice beginning to betray a 
tremor; then the i:;i/- .f the Tu-earora Lvalue keen as the 
panther s glance at his discovered victim. Tears followed, 
and, lor a moment, the voice was choked. 

" Why you woman I" demanded Nick, fiercely. " Savo 
all c sculp!" 

This strange interruption failed to produce any effect. 
First Beeknaan yielded ; Maud and \\ illoughby followed ; 
until Mr. Woods, himself, unable to resist the double as 
saults of the power of sympathy and his own affection, 
closed the book and wept like a child. 

It required minutes for the mourners to recover their self- 
command. Wlx-n the latter returned, however, all knelt on 
the grass, the line of soldiers included, and the closing 
prayers were raised to the throne of God. 

Tliis act of devotion enabled the mourners to maintain an 
appearance of greater tranquillity until the graves were filled. 
The troops advanced, and fired three volleys over the cap 
tain s grave, when all retired towards the Hut. Maud had 
caught little Kvert from the arms of his father, and, pressing 
him to her bosom, the motherless babe seemed disposed to 
slumber there. In this manner she walked away, attended 
closely by the father, who now cherished his boy as an only 
ire. 

W illoughby lingered the last at the grave, Nick alone 
remaining near him. The Indian had been struck by the 
exhibition of deep sorrow that he had witnessed, and he felt 
an uneasiness that was a little unaccountable to himself. It 
was one of the caprices of this strange nature of ours, that 
he should feel a desire to console those whom he had so 
deeply injured himself. He drew near to Robert Willough- 
bv, therefore, and, laying a hand on the lattcr s arm, drew 
his look in the direction of his own red and speaking face. 

" Why so sorry, major ?" he said. " Warrior nebber die 
but once must die sometime." 

** There lie my father, my mother, and my only sister, 
Indian is not that enough to make the stoutest heart bend ? 
You know them, too, \ick- did you ever know better?" 

< Squaw good both squaw good Nick sec no pale-face 
squaw he like so much/ 

" I thank you, Nick ! This rude tribute to the virtues of 
16* 



186 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

my mother and sister, is far more grateful to me than the 
calculating and regulated condolence of the world." 

" No squaw so good as ole one she, all heart love every 
body, but self." 

This was so characteristic of his mother, that Willoughby 
was startled by the sagacity of the savage, though reflection 
told him so long an acquaintance with the family must have 
made a dog familiar with this beautiful trait in his mother. 

" And my father, Nick !" exclaimed the major, with feel 
ing " my noble, just, liberal, gallant father ! He, too, you 
knew well, and must have loved." 

" No so good as squaw," answered the Tuscarora, sen- 
tentiously, and not altogether without disgust in his manner. 

" We are seldom as good as our wives, and mothers, and 
sisters, Nick, else should we be angels on earth. But, al 
lowing for the infirmities of us men, my father was just and 
good." 

"Too much flog" answered the savage, sternly" make 
Injin s back sore." 

This extraordinary speech struck the major less, at the 
time, than it did, years afterwards, when he came to reflect 
on all the events and dialogues of this teeming week. Such 
was also the case as to what followed. 

" You are no flatterer, Tuscarora, as I have always found 
in our intercourse. If my father ever punished you with 
severity, you will allow me, at least, to imagine it was me 
rited." 

" Too much flog, I say," interrupted the savage, fiercely. 
"No difference, chief or not. Touch ole sore too rough. 
Good, some; bad, some. Like weather now shine; now 
storm." 

" This is no time to discuss these points, Nick. You 
have fought nobly for us, and I thank you. Without your 
aid, these beloved ones would have been mutilated, as well 
as slain; and Maud my own blessed Maud might now 
have been sleeping at their sides." 

Nick s face was now all softness again, and he returned 
the pressure of Willoughby s hand with honest fervour. 
Here they separated. The major hastened to the side of 
Maud, to fold her to his heart, and console her with his love. 
Nick passed into the forest, returning no more to the Hut. 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 187 

\-ith- led him near the irrave. On the sido where lay 
the body of Mrs. Willoughby, IK- threw a flower lie had 
plucked in the meadow; \\lnlc he shook his IIIIL- r inena- 
riniily at the other, whieh liid the person of his em-my. In 
this, he was true to his nature, \\hieh taught him never to 
forget u favour, or ibrgive an injury. 



CHAPTER XV. 

" I shall go on through all eternity, 
Thank God, I only am an embryo still : 
The small beginning O f a glorious soul, 
An atom that shall fill immensity." 

COXE. 

A FORTNIGHT elapsed ere Willoughby and his party could 
tear themselves from a scene that had witnessed so much 
domestic happiness; but on which had fallen the blight of 
death. During that time, the future arrangements of the 
survivors were completed. Beekman was made acquainted 
with the state of feeling that existed between his brother-in- 
law and Maud, and he advised an immediate union. 

" Be happy while you can," he said, with bitter emphasis. 
" We live in troubled times, and heaven knows when wo 
shall sec better. Maud has not a blood- relation in all A Ul 
rica, unless there may happen to be some in the British 
army. Though we should all be happy to protect and 
cherish the dear girl, she herself would probably prefer to 
be near those whom nature has appointed her friends. To 
me, she? will always seem a sister, as you must ever 
brother. By uniting yourselves at once, all appearances 
of impropriety will be avoided; and in time, God a\ 
evil, you can introduce your wife to her English con 
nections." 

" You forget, Beekman, that you are giving this advice 
to one who is a prisoner on parole, and one who may pos 
sibly be treated as a spy." 

"No that is impossible. Schuyler, our noble com 
mander, is both just and a gentleman. He will tolerate 



188 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

nothing of the sort. Your exchange can easily be effected, 
and, beyond your present difficulties, I can pledge myself 
to be able to protect you." 

Willoughby was not averse to following this advice ; and 
he urged it upon Maud, as the safest and most prudent 
course they could pursue. Our heroine, however, was so 
reluctant even to assuming the appearance of happiness, so 
recently after the losses she had experienced, that the lover s 
task of persuasion was by no means easy. Maud was to 
tally free from affectation, while she possessed the keenest 
sense of womanly propriety. Her intercourse with Robert 
Willoughby had been of the tenderest and most confidential 
nature, above every pretence of concealment, and was ren 
dered sacred by the scenes through which they had passed. 
Her love, her passionate, engrossing attachment, she did 
not scruple to avow ; but she could not become a bride 
while the stains of blood seemed so recent on the very 
hearth around which they were sitting. She still saw the 
forms of the dead, in their customary places, heard their 
laughs, the tones of their affectionate voices, the maternal 
whisper, the playful, paternal reproof, or Beulah s gentle call. 

" Yet, Robert," said Maud, for she could now call him by 
that name, and drop the desperate familiarity of l Bob, 
" yet, Robert, there would be a melancholy satisfaction in 
making our vows at the altar of the little chapel, where we 
have so often worshipped together the loved ones who 
are gone and we who alone remain." 

" True, dearest Maud ; and there is another reason why 
we should quit this place only as man and wife. Beek- 
man has owned that a question will probably be raised 
among the authorities at Albany concerning the nature of 
my visit here. It might relieve him from an appeal to more 
influence than would be altogether pleasant, did I appear as 
a bridegroom rather than as a spy." 

The word " spy" settled the matter. All ordinary con- 
siderations were lost sight of, under the apprehensions it 
created, and Maud frankly consented to become a wife thai 
very day. The ceremony was performed by Mr. Woods 
accordingly, and the little chapel witnessed tears of bitter 
recollections mingling with the smiles with which the bride 
received the warm embrace of her husband, after the bene- 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 189 

diction was pronounced. Still, all felt that, under the cir- 
cumvtances, (It-lay would have been unwise. .Maud >:i\v a 
species of holy solemnity in a ceremony so closely con 
nected with scenes so sad. 

A day or two after the marriage, all that remained of 
those who had so lately crowded the Hut, left the valley 
;;<T. The valuables were packed and transported to 
boats lying in the stream below the mills. All the cattle, 
hogs, Ace.; were collected and driven towards the settle- 
ments; and horses wen- prepared for Maud and the females, 
who were to thread the path that led to Fort Stanwix. In a 
word, the K mill was to be abandoned, as a spot unfit to be 
occupied in such a war. None but labourers, indeed, could, 
or would remain, and Bcekmnn thought it wisest to leave 
the spot entirely to nature, for the fe\v succeeding years. 

There had been some rumours of confiscations by the 
new state, and Willoughby had come to the conclusion that 
it would be safer to transfer this property to one who would 
be certain to escape such an infliction, than to retain it in 
his own hands. Little Evert was entitled to receive a por 
tion of the captain s estate by justice, if not by law. No 
will had been found, and the son succeeded as heir-at-law. 
A deed was accordingly drawn up by Mr. Woods, who un 
derstood such matters, and being duly executed, the Heaver 
Dam property v\as vested in fee. in the child. His own 
thirty thousand pounds, the personals he inherited from his 
mother, and Maud s fortune, to say nothing of the major s 
commission, formed an ample support for the new-married 
pair. When all was settled, and made productive, indeed, 
Willoughby found himself the master of between three and 
four thousand sterling a year, exclusively of his allowances 
from the British government, an ample fortune for that day. 
In looking over the accounts of Maud s fortune, lie had rea 
son to admire the rigid justice, and free-handed liberality 
with which his father had managed her affairs. Kvry 
farthing of her income had been transferred to capital, a 
long minority nearly doubling the original investment. Un 
known to himself, he had married one of the largest heir 
esses then to be found in the American colonies. This was 
unknown to Maud, also ; though it gave her great delight 



190 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

on her husband s account, when she came to learn the 
truth. 

Albany was reached in due time, though not without en 
countering the usual difficulties. Here the party separated. 
The remaining Plinys and Smashes were all liberated, hand 
some provisions made for their little wants, and good places 
found for them, in the connection of the family to which 
they had originally belonged. Mike announced his deter 
mination to enter a corps that was intended expressly to 
fight the Indians. He had a long score to settle, and hav 
ing no wife or children, he thought he might amuse himself 
in this way, during a revolution, as well as in any other. 

" If yer honour was going anywhere near the county 
Leitrim," he said, in answer to Willoughby s offer to keep 
him near himself, " I might travel in company ; seein that 
a man likes to look on ould faces, now and then. Many- 
thanks for this bag of gold, which will sarve to buy scalps 
wid ; for divil bur-r-n me, if I don t carry on that trade, for 
some time to come. T ree cuts wid a knife, half a dozen 
pokes in the side, and a bullet scraping the head, makes a 
man mindful of what has happened ; to say nothing of the 
captain, and Madam Willoughby, and Miss Beuly God for 
ever bless and presarve em all t ree and, if there was such 
a thing as a bit of a church in this counthry, wouldn t I 
use this gould for masses ? dat I would, and let the scalps 
go to the divil !" 

This was an epitome of the views of Michael O Hearn. 
No arguments of Willoughby s could change his resolu 
tion ; but he set forth, determined to illustrate his career by 
procuring as many Indian scalps, as an atonement for the 
wrongs done " Madam "Willoughby and Miss Beuly," as 
came within his reach. 

"And you, Joyce," said the major, in an interview he 
had with the serjeant, shortly after reaching Albany ; " I 
trust we are not to part. Thanks to Colonel Beekman s 
influence and zeal, I am already exchanged, and shall repair 
to New York next week. You are a soldier ; and these are 
times in which a good soldier is of some account. I think I 
can safely promise you a commission in one of the new 
provincial regiments, about to be raised." 

" I thank your honour, but do not feel at liberty to accept 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 191 

the offer. I took service with Captain Willoughby for life; 
had he lived, I would have followed wherever lie led. Uut 
that enlistment has expired; and 1 am now like a recruit 
before he takes the bounty. In such cases, a man has always 
a right to pick his corps. Politics I do not much under 
stand ; but when the question comes up of pulling ah 
for or against his country, an unengaged man has a right 
to choose. Between the two, meaning no reproach to your 
self, Major Willoughby, who had regularly taken service 
with the other side, before the war began but, between the 
two, I would rather fight an Englishman, than an Ameri 
can." 

" You may possibly be right, Joyce ; though, as you say, 
my service is taken. I hope you follow the dictates of con 
science, as I am certain I do myself. We shall never meet 
in arms, however, if I can prevent it. There is a negotia 
tion for a lieutenant-colonelcy going on, which, if it suc 
ceed, will carry me to England. I shall never serve an 
hour longer against these colonies, if it be in my power to 
avoid it." 

" States, with your permission, Major Willoughby," 
answered the serjeant, a little stiffly. " I am glad to hear 
it, sir; for, though I wish my enemies good soldiers, I 
would rather not have the son of my old captain among 
them. Colonel Beekman has offered to make me serjeant- 
major of his own regiment ; and we both of us join next 
week." 

Joyce was as good as his word. He became serjeant- 
major, and, in the end, lieutenant and adjutant of the regi 
ment he had mentioned. He fought in most of the princi 
pal battles of the war, and retired at the peace, with an 
excellent character. Ten yrnrs later, he fell, in one of the 
murderous Indian affairs, that occurred during the first 
presidential term, a grey-headed captain of foot. The man 
ner of his death was not to be regretted, perhaps, as it was 
what he had always wished might happen ; but, it was a 
singular fact, that Mike stood over his body, and protected 
it from mutilation; the County Lcitrim-man having turned 
soldier by trade, re-enlisting n-iiularly, us soon as at liberty, 
and laying up scalps on all suitable occasions. 

Blodget, too, had followed Joyce to the wars. The reudi- 



192 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

ness and intelligence of this young man, united to a courage 
of proof, soon brought him forward, and he actually came 
out of the revolution a captain. His mind, manners and 
information advancing with himself, he ended his career, not 
many years since, a prominent politician in one of the new 
states ; a general in the militia no great preferment, by the 
way, for one who had been a corporal at the Hut and a 
legislator. Worse men have often acted in all these capaci 
ties among us ; and it was said, with truth, at the funeral of 
General Blodget, an accident that does not always occur on 
such occasions, that " another revolutionary hero is gone." 
Beekman was never seen to smile, from the moment he first 
beheld the dead body of Beulah, lying with little Evert in 
her arms. He served faithfully until near the close of the 
war, falling in battle only a few months previously to the 
peace. His boy preceded him to the grave, leaving, as con 
fiscations had gone out of fashion by that time, his uncle 
heir-at-law, again, to the same property that he had con 
ferred on himself. 

As for Willoughby and Maud, they were safely conveyed 
to New York, where the former rejoined his regiment. Our 
heroine here met her great-uncle, General Meredith, the first 
of her own blood relations whom she had seen since infancy. 
Her reception was grateful to her feelings ; and, there being 
a resemblance in years, appearance and manners, she trans 
ferred much of that affection which she had thought interred 
for ever in the grave of her reputed father, to this revered 
relative. He became much attached to his lovely niece, 
himself; and, ten years later, Willoughby found his income 
quite doubled, by his decease. 

At the expiration of six months, the gazette that arrived 
from England, announced the promotion of " Sir Robert 
Willoughby, Bart., late major in the th, to be lieutenant- 
colonel, by purchase, in His Majesty s th regiment of 
foot." This enabled Willoughby to quit America ; to which 
quarter of the world he had no occasion to be sent during 
the remainder of the war. 

Of that war, itself, there is little occasion to speak. Its 
progress and termination have long been matters of history. 
The independence of America was acknowledged by Eng 
land in 1783 ; and, immediately after, the republicans com- 



TfcE HUTTED KNOLL. 193 

mcnccd the conquest of their wide-spread domains, by means 
of the arts of peace. In 1785, the first great assaults were 
made on the wilderness, in that mountainous region which 
has been the principal scene of our tale. The Indians had 
been driven oil , in a great measure, by the events of tho 
revolution ; and the owners of estates, granted under the 
cruwn, began to search for their lands in the untenanted 
woods. Such isolated families, too, as had taken refuge in 
the settlements, now began to return to their deserted posses 
sions ; and soon the smokes of clearings were obscuring the 
sun. Whitestown, Utica, on the site of old Fort Stanwix, 
Cooperstown, for years the seat of justice for several thou 
sand square miles of territory, all sprang into existence be 
tween the years 1785 and 1790. Such places as Oxford, 
Binghamton, Norwich, Sherburne, Hamilton, and twenty 
more, that now dot the region of which we have been writ 
ing, did not then exist, even in name ; for, in that day, the 
appellation and maps came after the place ; whereas, now, 
the former precede the last. 

The ten years that elapsed between 1785 and 1795, did 
wonders for all this mountain district. More favourable 
lands lay spread in the great west, but the want of roads, 
and remoteness from the markets, prevented their occupa 
tion. For several years, therefore, the current of emigra 
tion which started out of the eastern states, the instant peace 
was proclaimed, poured its tide into the counties mentioned 
in our opening chapter counties as they are to-day ; county 
ay, and fragment of a county, too, as they were then. 

The New York Gazette, a journal that frequently related 
facts that actually occurred, announced in its number of 
June llth, 1795, "His Majesty s Packet that has just ar- 
rived" it required half a century to teach the journalists 
of this country the propriety of saying " His Britannic 
Majesty s Packet," instead of " His Majesty s," a bit of good 
taste, and of good sense, that many of them have yet to 
learn " has brought out" home would have been better 
" among her passengers, Lieutenant-General Sir Robert 
Willoughby, and his lady, both of whom are natives of this 
state. We welcome them back to their land of nativity, 
where we can assure them they will be cordially received, 
notwithstanding old quarrels. Major Willoughby s kind- 

VOL. II. 17 



194 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

ness to American prisoners is gratefully remembered ; nor 
is it forgotten that he desired to exchange to another regi 
ment in order to avoid further service in this country." 

It will be conceded, this was a very respectable puff for 
the year 1795, when something like moderation, truth, and 
propriety were observed upon such occasions. The effect 
was to bring the English general s name into the mouths of 
the whole state ; a baronet causing a greater sensation then, 
in America, than a duke would produce to-day. It had the 
effect, however, of bringing around General Willoughby 
many of his father s, and his own old friends, and he was 
as well received in New York, twelve years after the termi 
nation of the conflict, as if he had fought on the other side. 
The occurrence of the French revolution, and the spread 
of doctrines that were termed Jacobinical, early removed 
all the dissensions between a large portion of the whigs of 
America and the tories of England, on this side of the wa 
ter at least; and Providence only can tell what might have 
been the consequences, had this feeling been thoroughly 
understood on the other. 

Passing over all political questions, however, our narra 
tive calls us to the relation of its closing scene. The visit 
of Sir Robert and Lady Willoughby to the land of their 
birth was, in part, owing to feeling ; in part, to a proper 
regard for the future provision of their children. The ba 
ronet had bought the ancient paternal estate of his family 
in England, and having two daughters, besides an only son, 
it occurred to him that the American property, called the 
Hutted Knoll, might prove a timely addition to the ready 
money he had been able to lay up from his income. Then, 
both he and his wife had a deep desire to revisit those scenes 
where they had first learned to love each other, and which 
still held the remains of so many who were dear to them. 

The cabin of a suitable sloop was therefore engaged, and 
the party, consisting of Sir Robert, his wife, a man and 
woman servant, and a sort of American courier, engaged 
for the trip, embarked on the morning of the 25th of July. 
On the afternoon of the 30th, the sloop arrived in safety at 
Albany, where a carriage was hired to proceed the remain 
der of the way by land. The route by old Fort Stanwix, 
as Utica was still generally called, was taken. Our travel- 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 105 

lers reached it on the >f the third day ; tho Sands, 

which arc now traversed in less than an hour, then occu 
pying more than hall of tin.- first day. When at Fort Stan- 
\vi.\, a passable country road was iiuml, by which the tra 
vellers journeyed until they reached a tavern that uni .e.l 
many of the comforts of a coarse civilisation, with frontier 
simplicity. Here they were given to und -rstand they had 
only a dozen miles to go, in order to reach the Knoll. 

It was necessary to make the remainder of the journey 
on horseback. A large, untenanted estate lay between the 
highway and the valley, across which no public road had 
yet been made. Foot-paths, however, abounded, and the 
rivulet was found without any difficulty. It was, perhaps, 
fortunate for the privacy of the Knoll, that it lay in the line 
of no frequented route, and, "squatters being rare in that 
day, Willoughby saw, the instant he struck the path that 
followed the sinuosities of the stream., that it had been sel 
dom trodden in the interval of the nineteen years which had 
occurred since he had last seen it himself. The evidences 
of this fact increased, as the stream was ascended, until tho 
travellers reached the mill, when it was found that the spirit 
of destruction, which so widely prevails in the loose state of 
society that exists in all new countries, had been at work. 
Kvory one of the buildings at the falls had been burnt ; 
probably as much because it was in the power of some reck 
less wanderer to work mischief, as for any other reason. 
That the act was the result of some momentary impulse, 
was evident in the circumstance that the mischief went no 
further. Some of the machinery had been carried away, 
however, to be set up in other places, on a principle that is 
very widely extended through all border settlements, which 
considers the temporary disuse of property as its virtual 
abandonment. 

It was a moment of pain and pleasure, strangely min 
when Willoughby and Maud reached the rocks, ami 
first view of the ancient Heaver Dam. All the buildings 
remained, surprisingly little altered to the eye by the lapse 
of years. The gates had !. en secured when they Id! tho 
place, in 177(> ; and the Hut, havinir no accessible external 
windows, that dwelling remained positively intact. It is true, 
quite half the palisadoes were rotted down ; but the Hut, 



196 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

itself, had resisted the ravages of time. A fire had been 
kindled against its side, but the stone walls had opposed an 
obstacle to its ravages ; and an attempt, by throwing a 
brand upon the roof, had failed of its object, the shingles 
not igniting. On examination, the lock of the inner gate 
was still secure. The key had been found, and, on its ap 
plication, an entrance was obtained into the court. 

What a moment was that, when Maud, fresh from the 
luxuries of an English home, entered this long and well re 
membered scene of her youth ! Rank grasses were grow 
ing in the court, but they soon disappeared before the scythes 
that had been brought, in expectation of the circumstance. 
Then, all was clear for an examination of the house. The 
Hut was exactly in the condition in which it had been left, 
with the exception of a little, and a very little, dust col 
lected by time. 

Maud was still in the bloom of womanhood, feminine, 
beautiful, full of feeling, and as sincere as when she left 
these woods, though her feelings were tempered a little by 
intercourse with the world. She went from room to room, 
hanging on Willoughby s arm, forbidding any to follow. 
All the common furniture had been left in the house, in 
expectation it would be inhabited again, ere many years ; 
and this helped to preserve the identity. The library was 
almost entire ; the bed-rooms, the parlours, and even the 
painting-room, were found very much as they would have 
appeared, after an absence of a few months. Tears flowed 
in streams down the cheeks of Lady Willoughby, as she 
went through room after room, and recalled to the mind of 
her husband the different events of which they had been 
the silent witnesses. Thus passed an hour or two of unut 
terable tenderness, blended with a species of holy sorrow. 
At the end of that- time, the attendants, of whom many had 
been engaged, had taken possession of the offices, &c., and 
were bringing the Hut once more into a habitable condition. 
Soon, too, a report was brought that the mowers, who had 
been brought in anticipation of their services being wanted, 
had cut a broad swathe to the ruins of the chapel, and the 
graves of the family. 

It was now near the setting of the sun, and the hour was 
favourable for the melancholy duty that remained. For- 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 197 

bidding any lo follow, Willmighby proceeded with Maud to 
the graves.. These had born dug within a little thicket of 
shrubs, planted by poor Jamie Allen, under Maud s own 
diivetiuiis. She had then thought that the spot might one 
day be wanted. These bushes, lilacs, and ceringos, had 
grown to a vast size, in that rich soil. They completely 
concealed the space within, an area of some fifty square 
feet, from- the observation of those without. The grass had 
been cut over all, however, and an opening made by the 
mowers gave access to the graves. On reaching this open 
ing, Willoughby started at hearing voices within the inclo- 
sure; he was about to reprove the intruders, when Maud 
pressed his arm, and whispered 

"Listen, Wilionohhy those voices sound strangely to 
my ears ! We have heard them before." 

" I tell ye, Nick ould Nicky, or Saucy Nick, or what 
ever s yer name," said one within in a strong Irish accent, 
"that Jamie, the mason that was, is forenent ye, at this 
minute, under that bit of a sod and, it s his honour, and 
Missus, and Miss Beuly, that is buried here. Och ! ye re 
a cr ature, Nick ; good at takin scalps, but ye knows nothin* 
of graves; barrin the quhantity ye ve helped to fill." 

" Good" answered the Indian. " Cap in here ; squaw 
here; darter here. Where son? where t other gal?" 

" Here," answered Willoughby, leading Maud within the 
hedge. " I am Robert Willoughby, and this is Maud Mere 
dith, my wife." 

Mike fairly started ; he even showed a disposition to seize 
p. musket which lay on the grass. As for the Indian, a tree 
in the forest could not have stood less unmoved than he was 
at this unexpected interruption. Then all four stood in silent 
admiration, noting the changes which time had, more or 
less, wrought in all. 

Willoughby was in the pride of manhood. IIo had served 
with distinction, and his countenance and frame both showed 
it, though neither had suffered more than was necessary to 
give him a high military air, and a look of robust vigour. 
As (or Maud, with her graceful form fully developed by her 
riding-habit, her soft lineaments and polished expression, no 
one would have thought her more than thirty, which wag 
ten years less than her real age. With Mike and Nick it 
17* 



198 THE UUTTED KNOLL. 

was very different. Both had grown old, not only in fact, 
but in appearance. The Irishman was turned of sixty, and 
his hard, coarse-featured face, burnt as red as the sun in a 
fog, by exposure and Santa Cruz, was getting to be wrinkled 
and a little emaciated. Still, his frame was robust and 
powerful. His attire was none of the best, and it was to 
be seen at a glance that it was more than half military. In 
point of fact, the poor fellow had been refused a reinlistment 
in the army, on account of his infirmities and years, and 
America was not then a country to provide retreats for her 
veterans. Still, Mike had an ample pension for wounds, 
and could not be said to be in want. He had suffered in 
the same battle with Joyce, in whose company he had ac 
tually been corporal O Hearn, though his gallant commander 
had not risen to fight again, as had been the case with the 
subordinate. 

Wyandotte exhibited still greater changes. He had seen 
his threescore and ten years ; and was fast falling into the 
" sere and yellow leaf." His hair was getting grey, and 
his frame, though still active and sinewy, would have yield 
ed under the extraordinary marches he had once made. In 
dress, there was nothing to remark ; his ordinary Indian 
attire being in as good condition as was usual for the man. 
Willougbby thought, however, that his eye was less wild 
than when he knew him before; and every symptom of in 
temperance had vanished, not only from his countenance, 
but his person. 

From the moment Willoughby appeared, a marked change 
came over the countenance of Nick. His dark eye, which 
still retained much of its brightness, turned in the direction 
of the neighbouring chapel, and he seemed relieved when a 
rustling in the bushes announced a footstep. There had not 
been another word spoken when the lilacs were shoved aside, 
and Mr. Woods, a vigorous little man, in a green old age, 
entered the area. Willoughby had not seen the chaplain 
since they parted at Albany, and the greetings were as warm 
as they were unexpected. 

" I have lived a sort of hermit s life, my dear Bob, since 
the death of your blessed parents," said the divine, clearing 
his eyes of tears ; " now and then cheered by a precious 
letter from yourself and Maud I call you both by the names 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 199 

I gave you both in baptism and it was, * I, Maud, take 
thee, Robert? when you stood before the altar in that little 
edifice \i>u \\ill pardon me if I am too familiar with a ge 
neral oilier r and his lady" 

" Familiar !" exclaimed both in a breath ; and Maud s 
soft, \\liite hand \\as extended towards the chaplain, with 
reproachful earnestness " We, who were made Christians 
by you, and who have so much reason to remember and 
love you always !" 

"Well, well; I see you are Robert and Maud, still" 
dashing streaming tears from his eyes now. "Yes, I did 
bring you both into God s visible church on earth, and you 
were baptised by one who received his ordination from the 
Archbishop of Canterbury himself," Maud smiled a little 
archly " and who has never forgotten his ordination vows, 
as he humbly trusts. But you are not the only Christians 
I have made I now rank Nicholas among the number" 

"Nick!" interrupted Sir Robert " Wyandotte !" added 
his wife, with a more delicate tact. 

" I call him Nicholas, now, since he was christened by 
that name there is no longer a Wyandotte, or a Saucy 
Nick. Major Willoughby, I have a secret to communicate 
I beg pardon, Sir Robert but you will excuse old habits 
if you will walk this way." 

Willoughby was apart with the chaplain a full half-hour, 
during which time Maud wept over the graves, the rest stand 
ing by in respectful silence. As for Nick, a stone could 
scarcely have been more fixed than his attitude. Never 
theless, his mien was rebuked, his eye downcast; even his 
bosom was singularly convulsed. He knew that the chap 
lain was communicating to Willoughby the manner in which 
he had slain his father. At length, the gentlemen returned 
slowly towards the graves; the general agitated, frowning, 
and flushed. As for Mr. Woods, he was placid and full of 
hope. Willoughby had yielded to his expostulations and 
arguments a forgiveness, which came reluctantly, and per 
haps as much for the want of a suitable object for retaliation, 
as from a sense of Christian duty. 

" Nicholas," said the chaplain, " I have told the general 
all." 

u He know him !" cried the Indian, with startling energy. 



200 THE HUTTED KNOLL. 

" I do, Wyandotte ; and sorry have I been to learn if. 
You have made my heart bitter." 

Nick was terribly agitated. His youthful and former 
opinions maintained a fearful struggle with those which had 
come late in life ; the result being a wild admixture of hig 
sense of Indian justice, and submission to the tenets of his 
new, and imperfectly-comprehended faith. For a moment, 
the first prevailed. Advancing, with a firm step, to the 
general, he put his own bright and keen tomahawk into the 
other s hands, folded his arms on his bosom, bowed his head 
a little, and said, firmly 

" Strike Nick kill cap in Major kill Nick." 

" No, Tuscarora, no," answered Sir Robert Willoughby, 
his whole soul yielding before this act of humble submission 
" May God in heaven forgive the deed, as I now forgive 
you." 

There was a wild smile gleaming on the face of the In 
dian ; he grasped both hands of Willoughby in his own. 
He then muttered the words, " God forgive," his eye rolled 
upward at the clouds, and he fell dead on the grave of his 
victim. It was thought, afterwards, that agitation had ac 
celerated the crisis of an incurable affection of the heart. 

A few minutes of confusion followed. Then Mike, bare 
headed, his old face flushed and angry, dragged from his 
pockets a string of strange-looking, hideous objects, and laid 
them by the Indian s side. They were human scalps, collected 
by himself, in the course of many campaigns, and brought, 
as a species of hecatomb, to the graves of the fallen. 

" Out upon ye, Nick !" he cried. " Had I known the like 
of that, little would I have campaigned in yer company ! 
Och! twas an undacent deed, and a hundred confessions 
would barely wipe it from yer sowl. It s a pity, too, that 
ye ve died widout absolution from a praist, sich as I ve 
tould ye off. Barrin the brache of good fellicship, I could 
have placed yer own scalp wid the rest, as a p ace-ofFering, 
to his Honour, the Missus and Miss Beuly " 

"Enough," interrupted Sir Robert Willoughby, with an 
authority of manner that Mike s military habits could not 
resist ; " the man has repented, and is forgiven. Maud, 
love, it is time to quit this melancholy scene ; occasions will 
offer to revisit it" 



THE HUTTED KNOLL. 201 

In the end, Mr. Woods took possession of the Hut, as a 
sort of hermitage, in which to spend the remainder of his 
days. He had toiled hard for the conversion of Nick, in 
gratitude for the manner in which he had fought in defence 
of the females. He now felt as keen a desire to rescue 
the Irishman from the superstitions of what he deemed an 
error quite as fatal as heathenism. Mike consented to pass 
the remainder of his days at the Knoll, which was to be, 
and in time, was, renovated, under their joint care. 

Sir Robert and Lady Willoughby passed a month in the 
valley. Nick had been buried within the bushes ; and even 
Maud had come to look upon this strange conjunction of 
graves, with the eye of a Christian, blended with the tender 
regrets of a woman. The day that the general and his 
wife left the valley for ever, they paid a final visit to the 
graves. Here Maud wept for an hour. Then her husband, 
passing an arm around her waist, drew her gently away ; 
saying, as they were quitting the inclosure 

"They are in Heaven, dearest ^looking down in love, 
quite likely, on us, the objects of so much of their earthly 
affection. As for Wyandotte, he lived according to his 
habits and intelligence, and happily died under the convic 
tions of a conscience directed by the lights of divine grace. 
Little will the deeds of this life be remembered, among 
those who have been the true subjects of its blessed influ 
ence. If this man were unmerciful in his revenge, he also 
remembered my mother s kindnesses, and bled for her and 
her daughters. Without his care, my life would have 
remained unblessed with your love, my ever-precious Maud ! 
He never forgot a favour, or forgave an injury." 



THE END. 




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