Puslapio vaizdai

more guarded narrative of her early life, or old Ransom's wild exaggerations of the glories of New England, had the most to do with a loyalty for the newly born nation which the girl found few ways to express, and indeed few ears to listen to.

Such a dreamer found herself now, for the first time, in the weird silence of a pine forest, which she fancied must be precisely like the silent pine groves of her father's home. Nor was any one cruel enough to undeceive her by pointing out the differences. She could hear the soughing of the wind, as if it had been throwing up the waves upon the beach. Her horse's feet fell noiseless on the brown carpet of leaves below her. And she was the center, if not the commander, of a party all loyal to her strangers in a strange land, threatened perhaps, as it seemed, by the minions of this king she despised, though it was her bad luck to be born under his banner.

"Surely," she said to herself, " I am escaping from my thraldom, if it be only for a few days. I am a woman now, and in these forests, at least, I am an American."

has been sometimes under fire from the Comanches, sometimes when I did not choose to be scalped by another red-skin, but nothing that you would call war."

"But you have been in the army! You brought Captain Pope to our house, and Lieutenant Pike."

"Oh, yes! If being with army men will help you, count me one. A good many of the older officers were in the war, you know. General Wilkinson was, and Colonel Freeman was. There is no end to their talk of war days. But I-I did nothing but train, as we called it, with the volunteers at Frankfort, when we thought the Indians would burn us out of house and home."

"Did you never-did you never-Captain Nolan, don't think it a foolish questiondid you never see Washington ?"

"Oh, no!" he said, with a tone that showed her that he would not laugh at her eagerness." But these men have; Wilkinson has; Freeman has. They will talk by the hour to you about what he said and did. I wish they had all loved him as well then as they say they did now. But, really, Miss Inez, I do believe that in the trying times that are just now coming, young America is going to be true to old America. These twenty

In this mood Nolan found her. "You have been talking with my dear old Ransom, Captain Nolan." "Yes he has been telling me of his bat-years have not been for nothing." tles. Did you know how often the old fellow has been under fire ?"

"Know it could I not tell you every shot he fired in the 'Franklin'-don't I know every word of Mugford's, and every cruise of Manly's? I love to make him tell those old stories. Captain Nolan, why did we not live in such times ?"

"Perhaps we do."

"Do? I wish I thought so!" cried the girl. "The only battles I see are the Madame Superior's battles with his Excellency the Governor, whether the Donna Louisa shall learn a French verb or not. I am sick of their lies and their shilly-shally, are not you?”

"There is no harm in saying to you that for two years I have been hoping to lead a hundred riflemen down this very trail!"

"Thank you, Captain Nolan, for saying something which sounds so sensible. Take my hand upon it, and count me for number one when the time comes to enlist. Have you been in battle, Captain? or are you a Captain like?" and she paused.

Nolan laughed.

"Like the Governor's aids yonder, with their feathers and their gold lace? Woe's me, Miss Inez, the powder I have burned

"Say it again," said the girl, with more feeling than can be described.

"Why, what goes there?" cried Nolan. He dashed forward. But this time old Ransom rose before him, and was the person to receive the challenge of a Spanish trooper.

The man was in the leathern garments of the wilderness, but he had a sash round his waist, a cockade in his hat, and a short carbine swinging at his saddle, distinct enough evidences that he belonged to the Spanish army. In a moment more, the whole group of cavaliers approached him, so that the conversation, if such it may be called, which he began with Ransom, was continued by others of the party.

The Spanish horseman volubly bade them stop in the King's name, and show who they were. He had order to arrest all travelers and turn them back.

"What did you tell him, Ransom ?" said Eunice, as soon as she came up.

"Told him to go and be hanged. Told him he hadn't got no orders to arrest us, 'cos the Gov'ner had sent us. Told him he didn't know nothin' about it. Ye brother hed made it all right with the Gov'ner, and had gone to see the King about it. Wen

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I told him about the King, he seemed frightened and said he would see."

The appearance of the Spanish sergeant was indeed a surprise to all parties. Nolan had told Eunice that they should meet no one before they came to the Sabine River, and that he would keep himself out of the way when that time came. And now they had stumbled on just such another party as he met the week before, sent out, as it would seem, simply to look after him. Eunice, however, was quite ready for the emergency. She saluted the Spanish sergeant most courteously, apologized in a few well-chosen words of very good Castilian for her servant's "impetuosity," and gave to the sergeant a little traveling bag which had swung at her saddle, telling him that if he would open it, he would find the pass which the Marquis of Casa Calvo had provided for them, and his recommendation to any troops of General Cordero.

"I cannot be grateful enough," she said, "to the good Providence which has so soon given to us the valorous protection of the chivalrous soldiers of the King of Spain." The sergeant bowed, a good deal sur

prised, did not say he could not read, as he might have said with truth; but, touching his hat with courtesy, turned to an officer approaching him, whose dress had rather more of cloth, and rather less of leather, than his own, and indicated that he would show the passport to him.

The Captain Morales opened and scrutinized both papers; returned them silently to the leather satchel, and, with a low bow, gave it back to Eunice.

"This is a sufficient pass for yourself, my lady, and for the señorita who accompanies you, and for your party. How many of these gentlemen and servants are of your party? My officer here will fill out the verbal catalogue, which the Secretary of the Marquis has omitted."

"Let me present the Señorita Perry, my niece. Here is my major-domo; these three are servants with their duties in her household; the old negro yonder is our cook."

The lieutenant entered on his tablet this answer, and the Captain Morales said: "And who is the hidalgo behind you -the gentleman who says nothing?"

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IN sooth I have forgotten, for it is long ago,
And winters twelve have hid it beneath their shrouds of snow;
And 'tisn't well, the parson says, o'er bygone things to brood,
But, sure, it was the strangest tale, this tale of Hilda's hood.

For Hilda was a merry maid, and wild as wild could be,
Among the parish maidens was none so fair as she;
Her eyes they shone with willful mirth, and like a golden flood
Her sunny hair rolled downward from her little scarlet hood.

And once I was out a-fishing, and, though sturdy at the oar,
My arms were growing weaker, and I was far from shore;
And angry squalls swept thickly from out the lurid skies,
And every landmark that I knew was hidden from mine eyes.

The gull's shrill shriek above me, the sea's strong bass beneath,
The numbness grew upon me with its chilling touch of death,—
And blackness gathered round me; then through the night's dark shroud
A clear young voice came swiftly as an arrow cleaves the cloud.

It was a voice so mellow, so bright and warm and round,
As if a patch of sunshine had been melted into sound;
It fell upon my frozen nerves and thawed the springs of life;
I grasped the oar and strove afresh; it was a bitter strife.
VOL. XI.-27.

The breakers roared about me, but the song took bolder flight,
And rose above the darkness like a beacon in the night;

And I steered swift and safely, struck shore, and by God's rood,
Through gloom and spray I caught the gleam of Hilda's scarlet hood.

The moon athwart the darkness broke a broad and misty way,
The dawn grew red beyond the sea and sent abroad the day;
And loud I prayed to God above to help me, if He could,
For.deep into my soul had pierced that gleam from Hilda's hood.

I sought her in the forest, I sought her on the strand,

The pine-trees spread their dusky roof, bleak lay the glittering sand,
Until one Sabbath morning at the parish church I stood,
And saw, amid a throng of maids, the little scarlet hood.

Then straight my heart ran riot, and wild my pulses flew;

I strove in vain my flutter and my blushes to subdue;

"Why, Eric!" laughed a roguish maid, "your cheeks are red as blood;" Another cried, "Tis but the shine from Hilda's scarlet hood."

I answered not, for 'tis not safe to banter with a girl;

The trees, the church, the belfry danced about me in a whirl;

I was as dizzy as a moth that flutters round the flame;

I turned about, and twirled my cap, but could not speak for shame.

But that same Sabbath evening, as I sauntered o'er the beach
And cursed that foolish heart of mine for choking up my speech,
I spied, half wrapped in shadow at the margin of the wood,
The wavy mass of sunshine that broke from Hilda's hood.

With quickened breath on tiptoe across the sand I stepped;
Her face was hidden in her lap, as though she mused or slept;
The hood had glided backward o'er the hair that downward rolled,
Like some large petal of a flower upon a stream of gold.

"Fair Hilda," so I whispered, as I bended to her ear;
She started up and smiled at me without surprise or fear.
"I love you, Hilda," said I; then in whispers more subdued:
"Love me again, or wear no more that little scarlet hood."

"Why, Eric," cried she, laughing, "how can you talk so wild?
I was confirmed last Easter, half maid and half a child,
But since you are so stubborn-no, no; I never could-
Unless you guess what's written in my little scarlet hood."

"But I cannot, fairest Hilda," quoth I with mournful mien,
While with my hand I gently, and by the maid unseen,
Snatched from the clustering wavelets the brightly flaming thing.
And saw naught there but stitches small, crosswise meandering.

"There is nothing in your hood, love," I cried with heedless mirth. "Well," laughed she, "out of nothing God made both heaven and earth; But since the earth to you and me as heritage was given, I'll only try to make for you a little bit of heaven."



AMERICANS cannot but be interested in all that relates to Norway and the Norwegians. The old Norsemen who visited our shores some five centuries before Columbus discovered the New World, have transmitted to their descendants many of the sterling qualities that made them once pre-eminent in Northern Europe, and the curious student who pores over the scanty records of their voyages to North America, should visit the land of their descendants, who are still a hardy race, and who have to a surprising degree adhered to their language and habits, their dress and architecture, naval as well as ecclesiastical. Moreover, Norway, if we are correctly informed, sends annually ten thousand of her sons and daughters to our shores, and they form, with the Swedes, the most valuable class of immigrants, learning our language with remarkable facility, and conforming to our ways and customs the more readily since they are closely allied to us by their mental traits.

The poorer class of Norwegians, with their blood relatives and neighbors, the Swedes, on the whole form the finest class of peasantry in Europe. Indeed, we were constantly reminded of New Englanders and the inhabitants of our northernmost States, in noticing the faces and idiosyncrasies of Norwegians. The common people rule absolutely in Norway as in America. They

have never, strictly speaking, been under feudal laws, and have none of the servility and obsequiousness of the peasantry of England, Ireland, and Germany. Still independent, bold, and careful of their political rights, which each man holds as if a sacred trust handed down from his Viking ancestors, they excel in beauty of person, stature, and a certain freedom and nobility of carriage, those of a similar station in life elsewhere in Europe, not even perhaps excepting the Swiss. In these respects, they constantly remind the American traveler of the poorer class of farmers in New England and the North-western States. Add to this their strict economy, their proneness to strong drinks, in which during the fishing seasons. they indulge far more than the people of Southern Europe, a taste undoubtedly fostered by the rigors and sudden changes of a cold climate; their devotion to chewing tobacco, almost a national trait; their native wit and mixture of simplicity and a certain quality of shrewdness, and one detects many

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