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"Tirez!" cried Sancho, the blackest of all possible black men-and he shook his fist at his crew of twenty willing rowers, almost as black as he. The men gave way heartily, and in good time; the boat shot out from the levee, and in a few minutes Inez could no longer see her father's handkerchief, nor he hers. Still he stood watching the receding boat, till it was quite lost among the crowd of flat-boats and other vessels in the river.

The parting, indeed, between father and

daughter was such as did not often take place, even in those regions, in those times. Silas Perry, the father of this young girl, was a successful merchant, who had been established near forty years in the French and Spanish colony of Orleans, then a small colonial trading-post, which gave little pledge of the great city of New Orleans of to-day. He had gone there-a young New Englander, who had his fortunes to make-in the year 1763, when the King of France first gave Louisiana to his well-beloved cousin, King of Spain. Silas Perry had his fortunes to make, and he made them. He had been loyal to the cause of his own country, so soon as he heard of tea thrown over, of stamps burned in King street, and of effigies hanging on Liberty Tree. He had wrought gallantly with his friend and fellow-countryman, Oliver Pollock, in forwarding Spanish gunpowder from the King's stores to Washington's army, by the unsuspected route of the Mississippi and Ohio. He had wrought his way into the regards of successive

Spanish governors, and had earned the respect of the more important of the French planters.

At this time the greater part of the handful of white people who made the ruling class in Orleans were French; and a brilliant "society" did the little colony maintain. But it had happened to Silas Perry, whose business had often called him to the Havanna, that he had there wooed, won and married a Spanish lady, and about the times of tea-parties, stamp-acts, English troops recalled from the Mississippi, and other such matters, Silas Perry had busied himself largely in establishing his new home in Orleans, and in bringing his bride there. Here the Spanish lady was cordially made welcome by the ladies of the little court, in which governor, and commandant, and the rest, were of Spanish appointment, though their subjects were of French blood. Here she lived quietly, and here, after ten years, she died, leaving to her husband but two children. One of them had been sent to Paris for his education, nine years before the time when the reader sees his sister. For it is his sister, who was an infant when her mother died, whom we now see, sixteen years after, waving her handkerchief to her father as the barge recedes from the levee. Other children had died in infancy. This little Inez herself was but six months old when her mother died, and she had passed through infancy and girlhood without a mother's care.

But her father had risen to the emergency in a New Englander's fashion. Not that he looked round to find a French lady to take the place of the Spanish donna. Not he. He did write home to Squam Bay and stated to his sister Eunice the needs of the little child. He did not tell Eunice that if she came to be the child's second mother she would exchange calls with marchionesses, would dress in silks, and ride in carriages. He knew very well that none of these things would move her. He did tell her that if she did not watch over the little thing in her growth, nobody else would but himself. He knew what he relied upon in saying this, and, on the return of Captain Tucker in the schooner "Dolores," sure enough, the aunt of the little orphaned baby had appeared, with a very droll assortment of trunks and other baggage, in the most approved style of Squam Bay. She was herself scarcely seventeen years old when she thus changed her home. But she had the conscientious VOL. XI.-26.

decision, to which years of struggle had trained her before her time. She loved her brother, and she was determined to do her duty by his child. To that child she had ever since been faithful, with all a mother's


And so Miss Inez had grown up in a French town, under Spanish government, with her daily life directed at home under the simplest traditions of New England. With her little friends, and away from home, she saw, from day to day, the habits, so utterly different from those of home, of a French colony, not indisposed to exaggerate the customs of home. For language, she spoke English at home, after the fashion of the New Englanders. But in the society of her playmates and friends she spoke French, after the not debased fashion of the Creole French of Louisiana. Through all her life, however, Louisiana had been under the Spanish rule. Silas Perry himself spoke and read Spanish perfectly well, and he had taught Inez to use it with ease. The girl had, indeed, read no little of the masterpieces of Spanish literature, so far as, in a life not very often thwarted at home, she had found what pleased her among her father's books.

She was now parted from him for the first time, if we except short visits on one plantation or another on the coast. The occasion of the parting was an unrelenting storm of letters and messages from her mother's only sister, Donna Maria Dolores, the wife of a Spanish officer of high rank, named Barelo. For some years now this husband had been stationed at the frontier part of San Antonio, in the province which was beginning to take the name of Texas, and in this little settlement, Donna Maria, lonely enough herself, was making such sunshine as she could for those around her. Forlorn as such a position seems, perhaps, to people with fixed homes, it was anything but forlorn to Donna Maria. She had lived, she said, "the life of an Arab" till now. And now to know that her husband was really stationed here, though the station were a frontier garrison, was to know that for the first time since her girlhood she was to have the luxury of a home.

No sooner were her household gods established than she began, by the very infrequent "opportunities" for writing which the frontier permitted, to hurl the storm of letters on Silas Perry's defenseless head. Fortunately for him, indeed, "opportunities" were few. This word, in the use we now

make of it, is taken from the older vocabulary of New England, in whose language it implied a method of sending a letter outside of any mail. Just as in English novels you find people speaking of "Franks" for letters, these older New Englanders spoke of "Opportunities." Mail between Texas and Orleans there was not, never had been, and, with the blessing of God, never would be. "Had I the power," said the Governor Salcedo, "I would not let a bird cross from Louisiana to Texas." But sometimes a stray priest going to confer with the Bishop of Orleans; sometimes a Government messenger from Mexico; sometimes a concealed horse-trader, and always camps of Indians, passed the frontier eastward, on one pretext or another; and, with proper license given, there was no reason left why they should not, after Louisiana became in name a Spanish province. No such stray traveler came to the city without finding Silas Perry, and inevitably he brought a double letter,-an affectionate note to Inez, begging her to write to her mother's sister, and an urgent and persuasive one to her father, begging him, by all that was sacred, not to let the child grow up without knowing her mother's only relations.

Silas Perry's heart was still tender. If he had lived to be a thousand, he would never have forgotten the happy days in the Havanna when he wooed and won his Spanish bride, nor the loyal help that her sister Dolores gave to the wooing and to the winning. But till now he had the advantage of possession, and the priests and soldiers and traders always carried back affectionate letters, explaining how much Inez loved her aunt, but how impossible it was for her to come. The concocting of these letters had become almost a family joke at home.

It may help the reader's chronology if we say that our story begins in the first year which bore the number of "eighteen hundred" he may call it the last year of the eighteenth century, or the first of the nineteenth, as he likes to be accurate or inaccurate. At this time business required that Silas Perry should go to Paris and leave his home for many months, perhaps for a year. Silas would gladly have taken his sister Eunice and his daughter with him. But travel was not what it is now,-nor was Paris what it is now. And, although he did not think his daughter's head would be cut off, still he doubted, so far, what he might find in Paris, that he shrank from taking her



thither. As it happened, at this moment, there came a particularly well-aimed shaft from Aunt Dolores's armory; and fortune added an "opportunity," not only for reply, but for permitting Inez and her aunt to make the journey into Texas under competent escort, if they chose to submit themselves to all the hardships of travel across prairies and through a wilderness. True, the enterprise was utterly unheard of. This did not make it less agreeable in Silas Perry's eyes. It was not such an enterprise as Donna Maria Dolores had proposed. She had arranged that the girl should be sent with proper companionship on one of Silas's vessels to Corpus Christi on the Gulf. She had promised to go down herself to meet her with an escort of lancers whom their friend Governor Herrera had promised her. Silas Perry had not liked this plan. said boldly that if the girl were to ride a hundred miles she might ride three hundred. Mr. Nolan would take better care of her than any Governor Herrera of them all. "Women always supposed you were sending schooners into mud-holes where there was nothing to buy, and nothing to sell." so the most improbable of all possible events took place. By way of preparation for going to Paris, Silas Perry sent his precious daughter and his sister, only less precious, on a long land journey of adventure to make a visit as long, at least, as his own was. It need not be said, if the reader apprehends what manner of man he was, that he had provided for her comfort, so far as forethought, lavish expenditure, and a wide acquaintance with the country could provide for it. If he had not come to this sudden and improbable determination, this story would not have been written.


Inez, as has been said, fairly broke down as the rowers gave way. Her aunt Eunice kept up the pretense of flying her handkerchief till they had wholly lost sight of the point of their embarkation. And then the first words of comfort which came to the sobbing girl were not from her aunt.

"Take one o' them Boston crackers; they say they's dreadful good when you go on the water. Can't git none all along the coast; they don't know how to keep 'em. So soon as ye father said you was to go, I told old Tucker to bring me some from home. Told him where to git 'em. Got 'em at Richardson's in School street. Don't have 'em good nowhere else."

Inez, poor child, could as easily have eaten a horseshoe as the biscuit which was


thus tendered her. But she took it with a | rous devotion blazed out afresh on each pleasant smile, and the words answered a better purpose than Dr. Flavel's homilies on Contentment could have served.

The speaker was a short-set, rugged New Englander, of about sixty years of age, whose dress and appointments were, in every respect, curiously, not to say sedulously, different from those of the Creole French, or the Spanish seamen, or the Western flatboatmen all around him. Regardless of treaties, of nationalities, or of birthright privileges, Seth Ransom regarded all these people as "furriners," and so designated them, even in the animated and indignant conversations which he held with them. He was himself, a Yankee of the purest blood, who had, however, no one of the restless or adventurous traits attributed to the Yankee of fiction, or of the stage. He had, it is true, followed the sea in early life. But having fallen in with Silas Perry in Havana, he had attached himself to his service with a certain feudal loyalty. The institution of feudalism, as the philosophical student has observed, made the vassal quite as much the master of his lord as the master was of his vassal, if not more. That this was the reason why Seth Ransom served Silas Perry it would be wrong to say. But it is true that he served him in a masterful way, as a master serves. It is also true that he idolized Inez, as he had idolized her mother before her. Of each, he was the most faithful henchman, and the most loyal admirer. Yet he would address Inez personally with the intimate terms in which he spoke to her when she was a baby in his arms,-when perhaps she had been left for an hour in his happy and perfect charge. If no one else were present, he would call her "Een," or "Inez," as if she had been his own granddaughter. In the presence of others, on the other hand, no don of the Governor's staff could have found fault with the precision of his etiquette.

He was athletic, strong, and practical. Nobody had ever found anything he could not do, excepting that he read and wrote with such difficulty, that in practice he never descended to these arts except in the most trying emergency. trying emergency. When, therefore, Silas Perry determined on his rash project of sending his daughter and sister under Mr. Nolan's escort to San Antonio, he determined, of course, to send Seth Ransom with them as their body-guard. The fact that he sent him, in truth, really relieved the enterprise from its rashness. For though Seth Ransom had never crossed the prairies, anyone who knew him, and the relation in which he stood to Miss Inez, knew that, if it were necessary, he would carry her from Natchez to the Alamo in his arms.

The boat was soon free from the little flotilla, which then made all the commerce of the little port, and the steady stroke of the well-trained crew hurried her up-stream with a speed that exacted the admiration of the lazy lookers-on of whatever nation.

Inez thanked her old cavalier for his attention, made him happy by asking him to find something for her in a bag which he had stowed away, and then kept him by her side.

"Do they row as well as this in Boston harbor, Ransom?" she said. For some reason unknown, Ransom was never addressed by his baptismal name.

"Don't have to. Ain't many niggers there no way. What they is lives on Nigger Hill; that's all on one side. Yes; some niggers goes to sea, but them's all cooks. Don't have to row much there. Have sail-boats; don't have no rivers."

The girl loved to hear his dialect, and was not averse to stir up his resentment against all men who had not been born under her father's roof, and all nations but those which ate cod-fish salted on Saturday.

"I don't see where they get their ducks, if they have no rivers," she said artfully, as if she were thinking aloud.

The necessities of Mr. Perry's business often sent Seth Ransom back to New England, so that he could drink again from the "Ducks! thousands on 'em. Big ducks, waters of the pump in King street, as he too; not little critters like these! Go into still called the State street of to-day. It Faneuil Hall Market any day, and have was as Hercules sometimes let Antæus put more ducks than you can ask for. Ducks his foot to the ground. Ransom returned is nothin'." And a grim smile stole over his from each such visit with new contempt for face, as if he were pleased that Inez had everything which he found upon other shores, selected ducks as the precise point on which excepting for the household of Silas Perry, her comparison should be made. and, perhaps, a modified toleration for that of Oliver Pollock. For Silas Perry himself, for Miss Eunice, and Miss Inez, his chival

"Well, surely, Ransom, they have no sugar-cane," said she; and, by her eye, he saw that she was watching Sancho, the boat

swain, as he might be called, who, as he | nodded to his men, solaced himself by chewing and sucking at a bit of fresh cane from a little heap at his side.

"Sugar-cane! Guess not.

Don't want 'em. Won't touch 'em. Oceans of white sugar, all done up in sugar-loaves jest when they want it. Them as makes sugar makes it in the woods, makes it out of trees; don't have to have them dirty niggers make it. Oceans of sugar-loaves all the time!" And again that severe smile stole over his face, and he looked up into the sky, almost as if he saw celestial beings carrying purple-papered sugar-loaves to Boston, and as ifnext to ducks the supply of sugar to that town was its marked characteristic.

Eunice Perry was glad to follow the lead which Ransom had given, sagaciously or unconsciously. Anything was better for the voyage than a homesick brooding on what they had left behind.

"We must not make Inez discontented with Orleans and the coast, Ransom. Poor child, she has nothing but roses and orange blossoms, figs and bananas; we must not tell her too much about russet apples, or she will be discontented."

"I do like russet apples, aunty darling, quite as well as I like figs; but I shall not be discontented while I have you on one side of me and Ransom on the other, and dear old Sancho beating time in front." This, with a proud expression, as if she knew they were trying to lead her out from herself, and that she did not need to be cosseted. Old Sancho caught the glance, and started his rowers to new energy. To maintain a crack crew of oarsmen was one of the boasts of the "coast" at that time; and although Silas Perry was in no sort a large planter, yet he maintained the communication between his plantation above the city and his home in the city-which, for himself, he preferred at any season to any place of refuge -by a crew as stalwart and as well trained as any planter of them all.

sails, or sometimes of skins, but in Inez's boat, of light wood-work; it had among the habitants the name of tendelet. Under the tendelet a little deck, with the privileges of all quarter-decks, belonged to the master of the boat and his company. Here he ate his meals by day; here, if he slept on board, he spread his mattress at night. It was high enough to give a good view of the river and the low shores, of any approaching boat, or any other object of interest in the somewhat limited catalogue of river experiences. In the preparations for the voyage of the ladies, curtains had been arranged, which would screen them from either side, from the sun, from wind, or even from a shower.

A long tarpaulin, called the prélat, was stretched over the whole length of the boat to protect the stores, the trunks, and other cargo, from the weather. The rowers sat at the sides, old Sancho watching them from the rear, while a man in the bow called the bosman,* who generally wielded a sort of a boathook, watched the course, and fended off any floating log, or watched for snag or sawyer.

The voyage this afternoon was not long. It was, as Inez said, only a "taste piece." Eunice said it was as the caravans at the East go a mile out of town on the first night, so that they may the more easily send back for anything that is forgotten.

"All nonsense!" said Ransom. "I told ye father might as well start afore sunrise and be at the Cross to-night; would not hear a word on it and so lost all day."

In truth, Inez was to spend her last night at the plantation, which had been her favorite summer home for years, to bid farewell to the servants there, and to gather up such of her special possessions as could be carried on the pack-horses, on this pilgrimage to her Spanish aunt. Her father would gladly have come with her, but for the possibility that his ship might sail for Bordeaux early the next morning.



-ALEXANDer Pope.

The boat on which the two ladies and their companions were embarked was not the elegant barge in which they usually made "Pleased with a rattle, tickled with a straw." the little voyage from the plantation to their city home. It was a more business-like craft which Silas Perry had provided to carry his daughter as far as Natchitoches on the Red River, where she and her companions were to join the land expedition of Philip Nolan and his friends. The after part of the boat was protected from sun or rain by an awning or light roof, generally made of

BEFORE Sunrise the next morning the final embarkation was to take place. The whole house was in an uproar. The steady determination of old Chloe, chief of the kitchen, that Miss Inez should eat the very best breakfast she ever saw before she went off

* Was this word once "boatswain," perhaps?

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