Gaspar of the Black Le Marchands
THE very heart of the green Acadian land was Grand Pré, village of apples and willows. Behind it rose the long, moderate slopes of Gaspereau Ridge, blue-patched in Summer with blossoming flax fields, but in late autumn softly crimsoned with the stalks of the ripening buckwheat. Past the eastern skirt of the village ebbed and flowed tumultuously the yellow currents of Gaspereau stream, filling with noise the red mud chasm of their channel. In front lay outrolled the treasure of Grand Pré, — the fruitful marshes which her dykebuilders had patiently reclaimed from the sea. Beyond the marshes, gnawing with sleepless depredation at the dykes, rose and fell the huge gray tides of Minas, the unstable among waters; and beyond Minas stood the looming purple bastion of Blomidon. West of the village flourished a thick beech wood, stretching over toward the mouth of the river Habitants ; and there by the river, part of Grand Pré, yet set apart from her, was the little settlement of the Black Le Marchands, with its barley and flax fields hewn from the beech wood, its snug acreage of dyke marsh snatched from the Habitants tide.
The Le Marchand men were dark, even for Acadians. Unlike their fellows, they were of Basque rather than Normandy or Picardy blood. Swarthy of skin, black-haired, black-bearded, and with heavy coal - black eyebrows meeting over the nose, they well deserved their name “the Black Le Marchands.” Blackest of all, a Le Marchand of the Le Marchands, was Gaspar, son of Pierre, — save that he went with cheek and chin clean-shaven, and his eyes, instead of being black, had the cool, invincible hue of dark steel. The cottage next the beech wood, just where the Grand Pré trail emerged, was Gaspar’s, — a low white cottage, with widely overhanging eaves, door and window frames stained to a slate color with a wash of lime and wood ash, and squat apple trees gathered about it. Here, with his mother and his boy brother Pierrot, lived Gaspar, and kept, as it were, the gates of the Le Marchands. Young though he was, — but two and twenty, — his level eyes and visibly resolute mouth made him much of a force among his kinsmen.
The red after light of autumn sunset, shooting low over the tide and the marshes, poured into the west windows of the cottage and dimmed the blaze on the great kitchen hearth. The smooth dark wood of the walls and the low ceiling warmly reflected it. It lit the bunches of herbs and strings of onions hanging from the beams. It played cheerily over the polished crockery — yellow and brown and blue and gray — on the dresser shelves. It threw a pinkish flush on the sanded floor, and on the wellwhitened table whereat sat Gaspar and Pierrot. It laughed upon the happy, expectant face of the boy, whose eyes were intent on his mother, as she bent her broad, homespun-clad form over the pot swung in the fireplace ; but upon Gaspar’s face it only brought out the lines of anxious annoyance.
There was no sound in the kitchen but the crisp sputtering of the hot lard in the pot. Mistress Le Marchand dexterously dipped out a dish of little brown crescent-shaped cakes, steaming and savory to smell. Carrying them to the dresser, she dusted them with powdered maple sugar. There she left them, the loadstone of Pierrot’s eyes, while from two covered dishes by the fire she fetched a baked shad and a pile of hot barley cakes. This portion of the meal was to be dealt with before Pierrot should be let loose upon the hot cookies. She seated herself opposite her two sons, and her round, hot, gentle face turned beaming from one to the other ; but it grew troubled at Gaspar’s gloom.
舠 What is it? ” she asked in the old Normandy dialect which prevailed among the Acadians.
“ The Black Abbé ! ” answered Gaspar sententiously, breaking his barley cake into a bowl of milk.
“ Well, and what of him, Gaspar?” inquired the dame mildly.
“ Just this, mother,” said the young man, looking up, his black brows one straight frown across his face : “ he is in Grand Pré, and on his way to see me, according to what I have just heard from yellow Ba’tiste at the ferry.”
“ But — but what can the good father want with you, my son ? ” asked the mother tremulously.
“ You call him good to ward off his evil, mother,” replied Gaspar, with a short laugh. “Well, it’s no harm to try. But I fear he has heard I am not hot enough against the English to suit him. No knowing what he may have heard. There is like to be trouble for us out of this visit! ”
“ Oh, don’t anger him, my son ! ” pleaded his mother, growing white and worried.
“ Why are you not hot against the English, Gaspar?” asked Pierrot in a tone of rebuke. “ Are they not our enemies ? Have they not trampled us down, and torn us from our own king ? Are we not French, Gaspar ? ”
“ You don’t know what you are talking about, boy ! ” retorted Gaspar, with the wonted gentle patience of the elder brother.
“ Don’t I! ” cried the lad indignantly, his eyes flaming. 舠 Oh, but when I am old enough I won’t stay here, grubgrub-grubbing ; but I ’ll go to Quebec and fight for France, for King Louis, and for the Golden Lilies.”
A rare smile softened the harshness of Gaspar’s face.
“ I spoke in haste, because I am troubled,” said he. “ Only a brief while back I thought as you do now, Pierrot; and I like your spirit, too. But look ! Years ago France sold us to the English, to purchase peace ! We belong to England. These years she has ruled us better than we were ever ruled before, and we have prospered ; nevertheless, we have been forever troublesome and a thorn in her side.”
“ I should hope so ! ” interrupted Pierrot scornfully.
“ But she has been patient and never punished us, and let us have our own way ; and we have waxed fat under her care. You and I, Pierrot, are born under the English flag! Consider that. It is hard to see one’s duty clearly. Think of what the Black Abbé has made us do, — things to make us ashamed of the name of Frenchmen ! Think of the massacre of sleeping women and children at Dartmouth ! Think of the good and brave Howe, murdered by La Garne’s savages under a flag of truce ! ”
The boy was taken aback for a moment; then he cried passionately, “One bad priest could not make me turn against my country ! ”
“ I say, now, it is hard to know what is our country,” said Gaspar, earnest in his argument. “ We are born English, some will say. Yet we are surely not English. France we love, but she cast us off, and now tries to make a cat’s-paw of us, or else forgets us and leaves us to the mercies of Quebec. Oh, Quebec ! There’s rottenness for you. You don’t want to go there, Pierrot. There, New France is being betrayed, murdered. There, Bigot, the great thief, the prince of cheats, fattens himself and his crew on the people, and sucks his country’s blood. The people are crashed with wicked taxes, Pierrot. They groan and starve there. And then look at us, the English ruling us, and plenty in our houses, and no misery save what Quebec and the Black Abbé make for us. Look at it, Pierrot. No, it is clear we have no country, we, save this good, kindly Acadian land. Let us be true to Acadie.”
The door behind the speaker opened suddenly.
“ A very proper sentiment, if properly understood, Gaspar Le Marchand,” came a strident, authoritative voice, and a lean figure in a black cassock upgirt for marching strode into the room. The face of the newcomer, though almost grotesque by reason of its long, bulboustipped nose, was never known to excite derision. The chin and mouth were too fanatically domineering, too much of power spoke in the bitter, narrow-set, piercing pale eyes, to make pleasantry easy for the bravest.
Mistress Le Marchand sprang up in a flutter, ran around the table, sank on her knees, and besought a blessing. Rather doubtfully, Pierrot followed his mother’s example. But Gaspar merely arose, bowed respectfully, and asked the visitor to be seated.
“ I heard that you were on your way hither, sir,” said he, “and in part expected that you might honor us.”
“ A guilty conscience, I fear,” replied the grim priest, dismissing the woman and the boy with a somewhat perfunctory benediction. “ I will not sit down in your house, Gaspar Le Marehand, till I know if it be the house of a loyal man.”
“ Be seated, then, Father La Garne,” said Gaspar,. with a cool civility. “ My conscience is at ease, — I confessed to good Father Fafard last Sunday ; and I am a loyal man according to my lights.’
La Garne’s lips became thin with anger, and his voice took on a menacing edge.
“ Hark you ! ” said he. “ You speak well of the English, and ill of the authorities at Quebec. Is this true?”
“ Would you have me speak well of Monsieur the Intendant, sir ? ” asked Gaspar, unsmiling, but with irony under his tongue.
“ Speak of him not at all, then,” snapped La Garne. “ But what of the other charge ? ”
“ I must confess, sir, I have remarked upon the forbearance of these English, and upon their moderate rule,” answered Gaspar firmly.
The Black Abbé looked at him with a long, silent scrutiny, under which Pierrot trembled and Mistress Le Marchand began to sob. But Gaspar’s black brows took it serenely.
“ So much an enemy may concede,” said La Garne at last, in a voice grown smooth, as was ever his wont when most dangerous. “ But you are young, and not yet quite resolute to follow the path of duty, my son. I must strengthen you,
I perceive. You must choose here, now, between France and England.”
“ Under what compulsion, sir ? ” asked Gaspar, very civilly, though a flush glowed under the swart tan of his face.
“ Do you need to ask, my young friend ? ” inquired La Garne, almost tenderly, but still standing. “ My faithful Micmacs are with me. Remember how difficult it is, at times, to restrain their zeal for France, their rage against traitors. Beaubassin, luckless village, defied them— and alas, Beaubassin is not!
This is a pleasant home of yours, my son. It were pity, indeed, if they should turn their zealous indignation against this house. Yet a lesson would not be amiss in these parts ! ”
There was dead silence for a moment in the room ; then Gaspar Le Marchand laughed aloud. La Garne eyed him with angry amazement.
“ I can see a corner,” said Gaspar, “ when I am in it ! ”
“ What do you mean ? ” asked La Garne curtly. He liked not riddles save of his own propounding.
“ I had hoped but to till my fields here, and not meddle,” replied Gaspar, with an air of resignation. “ But since I must choose, I have chosen. Even if I loved the English, which I don’t ; even if I were cold toward France, which I am not, my choice would be the same. I am for France, sir.” The Black Abbé sat down ; but Gaspar continued : “ I am for France, of a surety. Your arm, Father La Garne, is long and nimble. The arm of the English governor at Halifax is not so long, and it moves very slowly. Nevertheless, it may be long enough to reach you, sir, some day. Report says it gropes for you very zealously.”
“You have chosen with discretion,” said La Garne ; “ but the manner of your choice is something lacking in the reverence due to your superiors. It were well to amend that, perhaps.”
Gaspar promptly seated himself, and fixed his cool gray eyes on the eyes of the priest.
“ Do not push me too hard,” said he significantly. “You have now my obedience. Do not demand what it may be difficult for me to give.”
“ You are right! ” exclaimed this singular Churchman, springing up, and speaking with evident sincerity. “Your obedience is necessary for the cause; your reverence, — that would be to me as a man. Who am I that I should demand it ? I am but the humble instrument.” His eyes gleamed with a fanatical brilliancy. “ But look you, Gaspar Le Marchand,” he went on, drawing himself up and stretching out his arm solemnly, “ this land of Acadie shall again shine among the rich jewels of the crown of France ; and this hand of mine, mark you, this hand of mine shall place it there! ”
With this he strode to the door, and a look of deep relief came upon the countenances of his hearers. But at the door he stopped. He turned. He came back to the table. His whole demeanor had changed. His mouth wore a smile of caustic irony.
“ I was forgetting,” said he, “ the chief part of ray purpose. Your conversion, my son (upon which I had counted, indeed), was perhaps something sudden. I will fortify you in it. You shall signally serve France, and that at once.”
Gaspar bowed his readiness, betraying neither anxiety nor reluctance. He was not one to spoil a gift by grudging.
“ A band of my faithful followers will set out to-night for the Isthmus,” continued La Garne, scrutinizing Gaspar’s face. “ They go on a grave enterprise, of great moment to the fortunes of this land, and they will be strengthened by your presence. You shall go with them, my son, that I may thereafter feel assured of you.”
“ And the enterprise ? ” asked Gaspar.
“ There are some English settlers to be discouraged,” answered La Garne grimly. “ You will know more when the time comes, my son. You will clothe yourself and paint yourself as an Indian, of course. Be ready at moonrise.”
“ It is not war, this,” protested the young man.
“What have we to do with war?” sneered the visitor. “ It is victory we need! Are you with us or against us, Gaspar Le Marchand ? ”
“ I will be ready,” replied Gaspar, with indifference ; and the Black Abbé, turning abruptly, departed without a word.
“ Eat your supper, Pierrot,” ordered Gaspar. “ I have work for you.” And the boy, with a white and flightened face, did as he was bidden. Gaspar went on with his meal in silence, his black brows lowering over his eyes. His mother sat sobbing.
“ Oh, my boy, my Gaspar, you will be killed ! ” she exclaimed brokenly, after a few minutes.
“ Nonsense, mother ! It’s not that,” said the young man. “ There ’s no danger for me.”
“ What is it, then, Gaspar ? ” she asked, drying her eyes.
He looked at her in wonder.
“ It means,” he answered presently, “ that some harmless English settlers are to be murdered in their beds by the Black Abbé’s red devils, and that I am to take a hand in it, in order that it may be impossible for me ever after to expect any mercy from Halifax.”
“ Why do you go, then ? ” demanded the boy indignantly, his ardor for France much diminished.
“ Because,” replied Gaspar, “ rather those strangers than my mother and my brother. La Garne and his power are here. If I defied him, this house would be ashes and you homeless, perhaps worse, this very night. Slow, slow and stupid are the English,” he went on, flaming into sudden anger. “ Why do they not shield those of us who wish to live at peace and obey their laws ? We are ground to dust between the upper and the lower stone. Let them look to themselves. Nevertheless, I will warn them. Slip you out, now, Pierrot, down back of the barn and into the cover of the wood ; and run, run your best to Father Fafard. Tell him to get word to the English at Piziquid that a raid is afoot against one of the English settlements. Vite ! ”
The boy, pleased at the weighty errand, was off noiselessly in a moment, despite his mother’s tearful attempt to stop him.
“ He’s like a shadow. Don’t be afraid, mother,” said the elder brother reassuringly, hasting to finish his meal. “ Come and eat, for there’s much to be done after.” Late that night, when the moon, shapeless and withering, crept up over the fringed line of the beech woods, the Black Abbé came again to the door of Gaspar’s cottage. He was met in silence by a painted, leathern-leggined young warrior, whose steady eyes met his with a cold, gray gleam. La Garne was too hot a fanatic, too dominant and domineering, to be a discerner of men’s minds. He was satisfied with his taciturn consort.
“ Come,” he said, leading the way to the river, where the canoes lay at the brink of the full tide.
The night fell dark over the marshes of Main-à-Dieu. The half dozen new cottages of the English settlers showed no glimmer of candlelight from their windows. Secure in the neighborhood of Fort Lawrence, not ten miles distant, and happy in the fertility of their new lands, proved by the rich harvest just garnered, the settlers slept the sound sleep of those who rise at dawn to work with their hands.
The raiding party had made their journey from Grand Pré, by canoe and trail, in three days. Haste was not urgent, or they might have done it in less time. It wanted some hours of moonrise when they came upon the first rail fence of the Main-à-Dieu fields.
Gaspar’s heart sank as he perceived that there had been no warning, — that Pierrot’s errand to Father Fafard had been in vain. A minute more and the cabins were surrounded, with no sound but here and there a hushed rustling, like the wind among dead leaves. A dog barked, but the bark ended abruptly in a whining sob.
Then, in three or four places, little flickers of flame appeared, punctuating the dark. In a second the rolls of white birch bark flared up vividly, and were set to stack and barn. At the same instant every door was beaten in, windows went to pieces with a shivering crash, and the cruel yell of the Micmacs, wolfish, appalling, rose over the sudden glare, wavered in long-drawn cadence, and stopped. After what seemed to Gaspar an interminably prolonged silence, shrieks, oaths, and shouting broke out within the cabins.
At first he had stood inactive, sick with pity and impotence; but at this first sign of living humanity in the dark cottages Gaspar made up his mind what to do. The largest of the houses was just before him. Springing through the open door, he stumbled over two prone and writhing figures in the passage. The glare from the stacks showed him a painted Micmac and a white man in his shirt, locked in a death grip. This was no affair of his. He slipped past, darted up a narrow stairway, and found himself before two doors, one open and one shut. To the shut one he turned, with a flash of thought that here, perhaps, he might be in time.
The door was bolted, but snapped open as his shoulder surged against it; and he paused upon the threshold.
The little room was brilliantly alight from a blaze of hay just before the window. Against one wall was a low bed. He had a vision of a young girl starting up from the pillow, her great eyes wide with fear, her face whitely gleaming from a wild glory of red-gold hair. A cry froze on her lips, and she clutched at the blankets as if to try to hide some small form that lay between her and the wall.
At this moment, another door, opposite to Gaspar, burst open, and a savage darted in. His fierce black eyes fell on the bed, and with a whoop he pounced forward, scalping knife in hand. The girl cowered, shuddering, and hid her face.
But Gaspar was there as soon as the savage. With his left hand he caught the uplifted wrist, and the stroke never fell. Under the raised arm his long knife shot home to the hilt, driven hotly. The redskin dropped, with a deep, gasping grunt.
Caspar rolled the limp body under the bed. The girl, who had looked up in time to see the end of the swift encounter, was gazing at him in bewilderment.
“ Quick, mademoiselle ! Get up ! Come ! There ‘ll be others here on the instant ! ” He ordered sharply, thrusting into her hands a heavy woolen skirt which lay on a chair near by.
She had her wits about her in a moment.
“ No,舡 she answered. “ Save him if you can ! ” and pulling aside the coverings she showed him a rosy child asleep beside her.
Caspar’s jaw set like iron.
“ Jesu-Marie ! ” he vowed between his teeth, 舠 I will save you both. But it wall be hard ! Come ! Come ! ” And hastily rolling the little one in the blanket, he snatched him up and turned to the door by which he had entered. The girl, meanwhile, had slipped small white feet into the shoes which lay by the bed, thrown on the skirt deftly, flung a quilt over her head and shoulders, and was at his side without, a further word. Even in that desperate moment Gaspar gloried in her self-control.
舠 How our women would have been shrieking ! ” he said to himself.
The bundle on his left arm began to squirm awkwardly, and muffled cries came from within it. He turned, and thrust it into the girl’s arms.
“ Keep him quiet! ” he muttered, — though in truth there seemed little need of silence, for the red night was one quavering horror of yells, shrieks, and curses, penetrated sharply with a musket shot now and then. As the girl took the child a brief lull in the uproar let her hear deep groans from a neighboring room.
舠 Oh, that is my uncle’s room ! ” she gasped, beginning to tremble violently, and leaning against the wall. But in a second she was firm again, and followed steadily with the child in her arms.
At the foot of the stairs opened a small, windowless closet; and into this, perceiving the approach of several savages by the front door, Gaspar pushed his charges. He took his stand in the entrance, leaning indifferently against the doorpost. His musket, hitherto unused, its one charge guarded for a supreme emergency, rested in his left arm. His right hand lay on the handle of his sheathed knife.
“ Huh ? ” grunted the foremost savage inquiringly, while the others passed on. He peered over Gaspar’s shoulder into the thick shadows of the closet. Then he attempted to push past, but the young man’s elbow, jerked forward ungently, balked him. The savage grunted again with resentment, and half raised his hatchet; but Gaspar’s cold gaze made him hesitate.
舠 My business, brother ! Go on ! " was the curt command ; and after an angry pause the redskin followed his fellows up the stairs.
The moment he disappeared Gaspar turned, clutched the girl’s arm, and dragged her at a run out of the door, into the lurid street. There he paused ; and they walked, as if there were no need of haste, straight down the middle of the street. A savage in the doorway opposite eyed them curiously, but, not recognizing Gaspar in his war paint, supposed his brother savage knew his business. Then three yelling redskins ran past, hard on the heels of a half-naked and unarmed white man, who fled with chalk face and mad eyes of horror. As they passed, one of the redskins aimed a slash at the girl with his knife ; but his arm was caught by Gaspar with a wrench that nearly snapped it, and with a cry of pain and astonishment he ran on, not stopping to investigate the mystery.
A minute more and the fugitives found themselves opposite a lane which led down between some burning outbuildings to a spur of thick woodland. Here they turned ; but as they did so two savages stepped out from the nearest house, to which they had set fire, and stood squarely in their path. Simultaneously they caught at the bundle in the girl’s arms. But quick as a flash Gaspar swept her behind him.
“ Mine ! ” said he curtly and coolly, warning them off with a gesture. “ Have a care, brothers.”
“ Huh! Chief Cope say no captives this time! ” said one of the savages, while the other stood irresolute.
“ But I say captives,” rejoined Gaspar in a haughty voice. “ If Chief Cope objects, he can talk to me by and by. I am Gaspar Le Marchand, and am minding my business. Go you about yours, brothers.”
The two savages looked at each other, and then at Gaspar’s steady eyes confronting them.
“ We want our share, brother,” grumbled the spokesman.
“ You shall have that, — the scalp money ! ” replied Gaspar, with a sneer. “ One livre tournois to each of you I will pay. Come to me for it, at Grand Pré, when yon will.”
“ How we know ? The French lie, sometimes, eh what ? ” objected the savage.
“ The Black Le Marchands don’t lie,” apswered Gaspar sternly. “ I will pay you. Go ! ”
And they went, judging this Frenchman one ill to thwart. Gaspar fetched a deep breath of relief as he led the girl with her silent burden down the lane, safe out of the glaring exposure of the street. The heat was stifling as they passed between the blazing sheds, but he judged the worst of the peril was behind him. From a noticeable change in the character of the shouts and yells which still rent the air, he knew that certain supplies of potent New England rum had been discovered, and that for a time the raiders would have other things than dry pursuit to think of.
But he congratulated himself too soon. One pair of vindictive eyes, at least, had seen him turn into the lane, and had been concerned that Chief Cope’s order, “ All scalps; no captives,” should be enforced. The gild’s quick ear caught a footfall behind her. She glanced back, and sudden as light swung herself, with a warning cry, around in front of her protector. Gaspar wheeled in his tracks and faced a huge savage, whose knife dripped blood still steaming.
For several seconds the two eyed each other in silence. But Gaspar could not waste time.
舠 I don’t want to kill you ! ” said he, no longer cool and masterful, but beginning to lose himself in rage. “ Don’t interfere with me. Be off ! ”
Losing control of himself, he lost control of his opponent.
“ Ugh! ” snarled the savage. " Acadian no good! ” and made a lightning pass at him. But Gaspar had the eye and hand which work quicker than the brain can order them. Ere that stroke formed itself he swerved lithely, and the muzzle of his musket, shooting upward, caught the redskin just below the chin. His head and both hands flew up; and as he staggered backward Gaspar swung the butt in a short circle so that it fetched him terrifically in the ribs.
“ That fellow will not trouble us any further,舡 he explained to the girl, as he eyed the painted heap in the gutter. Less than a minute more and they were within the shadow of the ancient woods.
The girl sank, half fainting, at the foot of a tree, but Gaspar pulled her to her feet.
“ No, no,” he muttered sternly, “ you must not break down now! You have been wonderful, wonderfully brave and strong, mademoiselle ; but you must keep it up. We may be followed. We must get away this instant!
“ Yes, I will be strong. I will do anything you bid me, sir,” she answered, leaning upon him for a moment, but still firmly clutching the child, who meanwhile had got his little yellow head from the smother of blanket, and was watching Gaspar with round, blue, wondering eyes.
“ I ’ll carry him now,” said Gaspar; and the little fellow came to him readily, laughing, and rubbing the paint from his cheek with delighted fingers.
“ You take the musket,” he continued. “ Could you use it at need, mademoiselle — or — not madame ? ”
“ No, not madame,” she answered, the faintest color returning to her white cheek. 舠 He is my little cousin, —alas, an orphan now, as I have been since a child like him ! But as for this,” — and she examined the musket with a brave face, — “ yes, I can use it, sir ; and will fight beside you, if you will let me. But how do you come to be among those fiends, and painted as one of them ? Oh no, — why do I ask questions, instead of just thanking God on my knees that you were among them ! ”
She knelt, but was up again ere Gaspar could bid her take a more convenient season for her devotions. Through the woods they pressed breathlessly, till first the babel behind them died out, and at last, the glare of the burning grew dim ; and then, with the earliest rose of dawn, they came out upon the marshes, and saw, not half a league away, the low ramparts of Fort Lawrence.
As they journeyed, now at an easier pace, Gaspar’s eyes could not keep themselves from the strangely clad but wholly bewildering figure at his side. Her calm, her marvelous courage, the confidence of her white, fine-chiseled face, the wonder of her hair aglow in the early light, were a revelation of unguessed womanhood to him. His brain fumed with a thousand plans, but his tongue was wisely dumb.
At last they reached the foot of a gentle slope, some half mile from the fort gates ; and here Gaspar stopped.
“ I will watch you safely in, mademoiselle,” said he, putting the child back into her arms and taking his musket. 舠 But ” —
“ My name is Ruth, sir,” she interrupted. “ You have not asked it, but I hope you will remember it a little while. Ruth Allison, sir.”
Gaspar’s gray eyes flamed upon her, and his speech grew stammering.
“ Ruth— I mean mademoiselle,” he cried — “I will not go up to the fort now, because I should be detained for explanations, and I must make the utmost haste back to Grand Prd. I must get my house sold, and take my mother and young brother to a place of safety, before the Black Abbé gets wind of my part in this night’s work. Then I must see you again, mademoiselle, to ask if you — if you and the little one — who seems to love me, I think — are recovered after these horrors. You will stay here, will you not ? And I may come, may I not? ”
“ Surely, I should be grieved indeed if your interest in those you have saved were not enough to bring you, sir,” she answered simply. " And for your noble courage, your splendid — Oh, sir, how can I find words for such generosity ? God will surely reward you ! ”
“ I pray, mademoiselle,” said Gaspar in a low voice, turning to go, 舠 that you will not leave my reward altogether to God.”
Charles G. D. Heberts.