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dining-room, where the three young ladies with their mamma were already seated at the table. It was a handsome room, and the furniture was handsome; but nevertheless it was a heavy room, and the furniture was heavy. The table was large enough for a party of twelve, and might have borne a noble banquet; as it was the promise was not bad, for there were three large plated covers concealing hot viands, and in some houses lunch means only bread and cheese.
Mr. Mason went through a form of introduction between Mr. Dockwrath and his daughters.
"That is Miss Mason, that Miss Creusa Mason, and this Miss Penelope. John, remove the covers." And the covers were removed, John taking them from the table with a magnificent action of his arm, which I am inclined to think was not innocent of irony. On the dish before the master of the house—a large dish which must, I fancy, have been selected by the cook with some similar attempt at sarcasm—there reposed three scraps, as to the nature of which Mr. Dockwrath, though he looked hard at them, was unable to enlighten himself. But Mr. Mason knew them well, as he now placed his eyes on them for the third time. They were old enemies of his, and his brow again became black as he looked at them. The scraps, in fact, consisted of two drumsticks of a fowl and some indescribable bone out of the back of the same. The original bird had no doubt first revealed all its glories to human eyes—presuming the eyes of the cook to be inhuman—in Mrs. Mason's "boodoor." Then, on the dish before the lady, there were three other morsels, black-looking and very suspicious to the eye, which in the course of conversation were proclaimed to be ham—broiled ham. Mrs. Mason would never allow a ham in its proper shape to come into the room, because it is an article upon which the guests are themselves supposed to operate with the carving-knife. Lastly, on the dish before Miss Creusa there reposed three potatoes.
The face of Mr. Mason became very black as he looked at the banquet which was spread upon his board, and Mrs. Mason, eying him across the table, saw that it was so. She was not a lady who despised such symptoms in her lord, or disregarded in her valor the violence of marital storms. She had quailed more than once or twice under rebuke occasioned by her great domestic virtue, and knew that her husband, though he might pnt up with much as regarded his own comfort and that of his children, could be very angry at injuries done to his household honor and character as a hospitable English country gentleman.
Consequently, the lady smiled and tried to look self-satisfied as she invited her guest to eat. "This is ham," said she, with a little simper— "broiled ham, Mr. Dockwrath; and there is chicken at the other end; I think they call it— deviled."
"Shall I assist the young ladies to any thing first?" said the attorney, wishing to be polite. "Nothing, thank you," said Miss Penelope,
with a very stiff bow. She also knew that Mr. Dockwrath was an attorney from Hamworth, and considered herself by no means bound to hold any sort of conversation with him.
"My daughters only eat bread and butter in the middle of the day," said the lady. "Creusa, my dear, will you give Mr. Dockwrath a potato. Mr. Mason, Mr. Dockwrath will probably take a bit of that chicken."
"I would recommend him to follow the girls' example, and confine himself to the bread and butter," said the master of the house, pushing about the scraps with his knife and fork. "There is nothing here for him to eat."
"My dear!" exclaimed Mrs. Mason. "There is nothing here for him to eat," repeated Mr. Mason. "And as far as I can see there is nothing there either. What is it you pretend to have in that dish?"
'' My dear!" again exclaimed Mrs. Mason. "What is it?" repeated the lord of the house in an angry tone.
"Broiled ham, Mr. Mason." "Then let the ham be brought in," said he. "Diana, ring the bell."
"But the ham is not cooked, Mr. Mason," said the lady. "Broiled ham is always better when it has not been first boiled."
"Is there no cold meat in the house?" he asked.
"I am afraid not," she replied, now trembling a little in anticipation of what might be coming after the stranger should have gone. "You never like large joints yourself, Mr. Mason; and for ourselves we don't eat meat at luncheon."
"Nor any body else either, here," said Mr. Mason, in his anger.
"Pray don't mind me, Mr. Mason," said the attorney; "pray don't, Mr. Mason. I am a very poor fist at lunch; I am indeed."
"I am sure I am very sorry, very sorry, Mr. Mason," continued the lady. "If I had known that an early dinner was required, it should have been provided; although the notice given was so very short."
"I never dine early," said Mr. Dockwrath, thinking that some imputation of a low way of living was conveyed in this supposition that he required a dinner under the pseudonym of a lunch. ''I never do, upon my word—we are quite regular at home at half past five, and all I ever take in the middle of the day is a biscuit and a glass of sherry—or perhaps a bite of bread and cheese. Don't be uneasy about me, Mrs. Mason."
The three young ladies, having now finished their repast, got up from the table and retired, following each other out of the room in a line. Mrs. Mason remained for a minute or two longer, and then she also went. "The carriage has been ordered at three, Mr. M.,"she said. "Shall we have the pleasure of your company?" "No," growled the husband. And then the lady went, sweeping a low courtesy to Mr. Dockwrath as she passed out of the room.
There was again a silence between the host and his guest for some two or three minutes, during which Mr. Mason was endeavoring to get the lunch out of his head, and to redirect his whole mind to Lady Mason and his hopes of vengeance. There is nothing perhaps so generally consoling to a man as a well-established grievance; a feeling of having been injured, on which his mind can brood from hour to hour, allowing him to plead his own cause in his own court, within his own heart—and always to plead it successfully. At last Mr. Mason succeeded, and he could think of his enemy's fraud and forget his wife's meanness. '' I suppose I may as well order my gig now,"said Mr. Dockwrath, as soon as his host had arrived at this happy frame of mind.
"Your gig? ah, well. Yes. I do not know that I need detain you any longer. I can assure you that I am much obliged to you, Mr. Dockwrath, and I shall hope to see you in London very shortly."
"You are determined to go to Round and Crook, I suppose?"
"You are wrong, Sir. They'll throw you over again as sure as your name is Mason."
"Mr. Dockwrath, you must, if you please, allow me to judge of that myself."
"Oh, of course, Sir, of course. But I'm sure that a gentleman like you, Mr. Mason, will understand—"
"I shall understand that I can not expect your services, Mr. Dockwrath—your valuable time and services—without remunerating you for them. That shall be fully explained to Messrs. Ronnd and Crook."
"Very well, Sir; very well. As long as I am paid for what I do, I am content. A professional gentleman of course expects that. How is he to get along else; particularly with sixteen children?" And then Mr. Dockwrath got into the gig, and was driven back to the Bull at Leeds.
GEORGE ROGERS CLARKE. [concluded.]
RELIEVED by the result of Gibanlt's diplomacy at Vincennes from apprehension of an attack from that quarter, Clarke turned his whole attention to the pacification of the neighboring Indian tribes. His plan was to treat them with the strictest justice, adopting a manner kind, haughty, or contemptuous, as occasion demanded; but always reserved and dignified. Maintaining the superiority of the white men, he never allowed himself to be provoked into any unseemly display of passion or excitement. Seldom offering presents; when he did do so, it was always with the distinct understanding that it was a mere act of grace, and not intended as a bribe. Though anxious to secure the neutrality of the tribes of Illinois, he never condescended to invite them to a council; and all the overtures for peace came from those who had begun the war.
Yet, when necessary, no one could be more persuasive, as was proven by his interview with the Big Gate—so called from having, when a youth, shot a British officer standing on the gate of the fort at Detroit, during the attempt of Pontiac to surprise that place. This chief, a deadly foe to the Big Knives, had accidentally met a party of Piankshaws coming to attend the great council, which was being held by the American commander at Kaskaskia; and although an avowed enemy, he resolved to accompany them in order to behold this mighty chief of the pale-faces, whose fame had spread over the whole northwest. With the most audacious calmness he appeared each day in the council, sitting conspicuously in the front of the room in full war-dress, wearing the bloody belt he had received from the English, and elaborately bedecked in his war-paint. Thus he continued to attend for many days, saying not a word to the Americans nor they to him. But on the last day, when the deliberations were closed, Clarke addressed him, apologizing for not noticing him until the public business was over. He said, "Although they were enemies, still it was the custom of the white men, when they met in this way, to treat each other in proportion to their exploits in war." On this account, and because "he was a great chief," the Colonel invited him to dinner—a compliment never extended to less distinguished men. The savage, taken completely by surprise, endeavored to decline; but Clarke would take no denial. At last the chief, confused by such unexpected kindness and attention, and yielding to the spell of a superior mind, could contain his excited feelings no longer. Springing into the middle of the room, he flung down the war-belt and a little British flag that he carried in his bosom, and ended by stripping himself of every article of clothing except his breech-cloth. Then striking himself energetically upon the breast, he told his hearers that "they all knew he had been a great warrior from his youth up and delighted in bat| tIe. That he had been out three times against the Big Knives in Kentucky, for the British had told him lies I That he was preparing for another war-party when Clarke arrived, when he determined to rest himself a while, and come and hear what the Americans had to say on their side of the question. Now he knew the Big Knives were right, and as an honest warrior he would no longer fight against them:" upon which he shook hands with Clarke and his officers and saluted them as brothers. He ever afterward remained true to his new friends, and in a private interview detailed to the Colonel the situation of Detroit, and offered to go out and bring him a scalp or a prisoner. Clarke declined the offered scalp, but said that he would be glad to secure a prisoner, from whom he could obtain some information of the movements of the British. The chief, dressed in a fine laced suit, decorated with a silver medal, and bearing a captain's commission, set out on this expedition.
While Clarke was engaged in negotiatious with the Indians between the Mississippi and the Wabash he came near falling a victim to a plot for his assassination, concocted by some of the British emissaries, probably without the knowledge of their superiors. They promised a band of Indians, composed of outcasts from all the tribes, a large reward if they would kill "the great chief of the Bostoni." Under pretense of friendship they pitched their camp close by his, and made a treacherous attempt to shoot him at night. The plot failed, and the conspirators were made captive. The chiefs were heavily ironed, and shut up in the guard-house, whence they were every day brought forth and placed in the midst of the council to be gazed at by the assembled tribes, and not allowed to speak or be spoken to. At last, when the council was about to be broken up, Clarke ordered their chains to be taken off, telling them contemptuously "that he had meant to put them to death; but on considering the meanness of watching a bear and catching him asleep, he had found out that they were not warriors, but only old women, whom it would be a shame to kill; but that they ought to be whipped for putting on breech-cloths like men. They shall be taken off of you," he concluded, ''and plenty of food given you for your journey home, as squaws do not know how to hunt;" and then turned away to speak with other persons, as though he scorned to talk any longer with snch mean creatures. This treatment was too much for the Indians to bear; they begged for forgiveness. Clarke would not allow their speech to be interpreted; and when they offered him the pipe of peace, he broke it with his sword. The other Indiaus intereeded in their favor, but he still refused to listen. Suddenly two young men of the offending tribe stepped into the centre of the room, sat down in silence upon the floor, and threw a blanket over their heads. While all were wondering at this movement, the chief again advanced with the pipe of peace and informed Clarke that these youths offered their own lives as an atonement for the crime of their people, and they hoped the sacrifice would appease the Big Knife. As he spoke he extended the pipe, the pledge and symbol of peace. Clarke was deeply affected by this display of patriotic self-sacrifice. He had intended from the first to grant the tribe peace after a sufficient show of reluctance, and this touching incident enabled him to do so gracefally. As soon as he dared trust his own voice —for, said he afterward, "I never felt so powerful a gush of emotion over my mind, or was ever so incapable of speaking from the impulse of that feeling"—he ordered the young men to rise, saying, "he was rejoiced to find that there were men in all nations, and that they at least were a proof for their own countrymen. Such characters were alone fit to be chiefs, and with such he liked to treat, and through them he granted peace to their tribe; and he, therefore, took them by the hand as its chiefs." They were introduced to the American, French, and Spanish officers, and then to the great men of
the other tribes, who saluted them in their new character. A solemn council was held, in which the terms of peace were settled.
By the last of January, 1779, Clarke had finished his task of pacification. In the mean time he had become anxious concerning the state of affairs at Vincenues, from which place he had heard nothing for many weeks. But on the 29th he was once more roused to the most strenuous activity by the arrival of Colonel Viejo, with the intelligence that Governor Hamilton had recaptured that post in December, and was occupying it with about eighty regulars, besides an Indian force of six or eight hundred warriors. Captain Helm, who had been left in the fort with one single private, had made a most vigorous defense —with menaces and profane language—and only surrendered on being allowed all the honors of war, the British commander choosing to humor him so far, rather than run the risk of losing half a dozen of his men by the charge of grapeshot that Helm swore he would send into his ranks if his conditions of capitulation were not granted. Hamilton was provided with a small train of field-pieces, and had orders to penetrate up the Ohio to Fort Pitt, sweeping Kentucky in his course; he was then to pass on to the invasion of Augusta County, by which name all the western part of Virginia was then known. But he had first to dispose of one of the most resolute and vigorous leaders of the age; and in spite of all that had transpired, he had utterly failed to appreciate the character of the man with whom he had to deal. Instead of assailing him at once, he had sent his Indian allies on an expedition against the settlers along the Upper Ohio, intending to recall them early in the spring for an attack on Kaskaskia.
Clarke had no idea of waiting the pleasure of his antagonist, and resolved to bring matters to an instant issue. "I knew," he said, "if I did not take him he would take me;" and he immediately set about preparing his forces for this truly formidable undertaking. He fitted up a sort of a row galley with an armament of two 4-pounders and two swivels, placing on board forty-six men under command of Lieutenant Rogers, with orders to move round by the Mississippi and Ohio to the mouth of the Wabash, up which stream he was te* foree his way to within a few miles of Vincenues, and suffer nothing to pass. To the remainder of his own foree ho added two companies of Kaskaskia volunteers, and with this small body of one hundred and seventy men he set out on the 7th of February on a march of two hundred miles across the '' drowned lands" of Illinois. The season was rainy but not cold; otherwise no human beings could have endured the hardships of that expedition. Yet it required all the influence of the commander to prevent despondency among those hardy men whose whole lives had been a constant wrestle with difficulties. At length, on the 18th, they reached the Little Wabash, not far from its junction with the larger stream of that name. Instead of finding an end to their toils and suffering, they saw that the worst was still to come. From the western bluff on which they had halted, the high lands that bounded the eastern side of the valley were full five miles distant, and the whole intervening space was one uubroken expause of water, "three feet deep, never under two, and frequently four;" while two broad bands of ripples on the otherwise motionless surface indicated the channels of the two rivers.
Nothing is more characteristic of great leaders than the art with which, in critical emergencies, they have appealed to the master-feeling in the hearts of their followers. History has preserved many speeches by which men have been nerved to accomplish the seemingly impossible; and we are sometimes inclined to wonder at their effect, forgetting that it was the occasion and the peculiar character of the hearers, with which we do not fully sympathize, that gave them their magic power. Few military orations will stand the test of a strict critical analysis, nor do we claim that our hero's appeal to his followers on this occasion should be received as a model of elegance. His speech on first coming in sight of Kaskaskia was one of the longest he ever uttered in the field, except on one sad future occasion; and that was far more pithy than elaborate, containing only the single sentiment, "We must take the place at all events." Now when he saw his soldiers gazing in gloomy despondency upon the lake through which lay their only road to Vincennes he did not expend even so many words; but stepping to the front so that all might see, he took a little wet powder in his hand, blackened his face, and raising the startling war-whoop, plunged into the water. The men who were educated in the symbolical customs of the Indians saw in this act of their leader an unalterable determination to succeed or perish in the attempt, and the well-known note of border war, which they had heard pealing over many a bloody skirmish or scene of midnight murder, fired them. The right chord had been struck, and echoing the revengeful yell the whole band dashed resolutely into the lake. It was a terrible undertaking, and it seemed as if their strength could not possibly bear them through. The march became slower and more toilsome; the song gradually ceased, and nothing was to be heard but the splashing and loud panting of the men as they struggled painfully onward. The march was not over a smooth bottom of sand, but upon ground encumbered with submerged logs, brushwood, and all the thousand obstructions of uncleared land, and through water often up to the armpits. Here were to be seen men supporting themselves by embracing the tree trunks with their arms, in order to gain a few moments' rest for their aching legs, while others were seen trying to evade some of the difficulties by paddling themselves forward on pieces of floating timber, and one little drummer created some faint merriment by navigating the deeper places on the head of his drum. At last they reached a small island that offered them a resting-place, from
which the object of all their labors could plainly be seen. But for that very reason it was impossible to remain there long; yet between them and the shore there still spread a wide expanse of water, entirely destitute of any friendly timber by which they could cling and rest.
Clarke now spoke a few cheering words, and again led the way into the stream; but before stepping off he had ordered Captain Bowman to fall back with twenty-five men and shoot any one who refused to march. But the precaution was needless, and the order was received with a huzza, and every man again took bravely to the water. At last the eastern shore was reached, but so complete was the exhaustion of the party that many of them fell with their bodies half in the water, not able, when the spur of absolute necessity was no longer felt, to take even the one single step that would place them on dry land. It was a wonderful achievement, and without a parallel in history since the time when the rancorous hatred of Dutch and Spaniards marched armies along the bottom of the sea, and covered the straits and estuaries of Zealand with floating corpses.
While the army was resting in this manner an Indian canoe came in sight and was brought to. In it were found a quarter of buffalo beef. The timely supply was at once made into broth. Refreshed by this and somewhat rested the line of march for the town was again taken up, Clarke sending word to the inhabitants of his approach, and warning all who were friendly to the enemy to retire at once to the fort. This stroke of policy had the desired effect, for the astonished people thought that such frankness could only belong to one who felt himself too strong to fear resistance. Indeed, the idea was prevalent throughout the place that it was a new army from Kentucky, as it was deemed impossible that a march could have been made from Kaskaskia in such a state of the waters. This delusion was cunningly kept up by several officers sending a captured hunter with messages to their acquaintances in the town, under the names of persons known to be then in Kentucky. In making his approach Clarke countermarched his men several times around some eminences in the plain, displaying each time they came into view different sets of colors in order to create an exaggerated idea of his numbers. He was received with open arms by the French inhabitants, while even the few who were hostile to the American cause were so completely overawed that they dared not even inform the commander of the fort of what was transpiring. He therefore remained quietly within his walls, never dreaming that his antagonist, instead of waiting in winterquarters according to established military usage, would in a few minutes be under the guns of his own stronghold, demanding an instant decision of the contest.
In order to make his opponent unmask—if there were really any design concealed behind his apparent inaction—Clarke sent forward fourteen men to begin an attack on the fort. At first the fire of these was attributed to some drunken Indians who had been lying about the place. But one of the men, having had Captain Helm's quarters pointed out to him—who, it will be remembered, was a prisoner in the fort —asked permission of his officer to shoot at the chimney and knock the mortar down into the captain's toddy, which, he said, '' was sure to be on the hearth at about this time." The shot was so well aimed that the captain, who was sitting within, engaged as the man conjectured, on seeing this new ingredient added to his favorite beverage, sprang up and exclaimed, "That is Clarke, and he will make us all prisoners; but damn him, he has no business to spoil my toddy!" Immediately afterward a soldier was shot through one of the port-holes, and the truth could no longer be doubted. "Is Colonel Clarke a merciful man ?" asked the Governor, anxiously, of his prisoner. But soon recovering himself, the fire was returned and continued hotly throughout the night, and until nine o'clock on the following morning. About that time the Americans, having received a good supply of ammunition—from several of the chief men of the place, who had concealed it during the British occupation—began to push the attack with greater vigor. Lying within thirty yards of the walls, they kept up so murderous a fusillade that the garrison could no longer be kept to their guns, for the instant a port-hole was opened, even a few inches, half a dozen rifle balls would be sent whizzing through the aperture, cutting down every thing in the way; nor could the smallest portion of a person be exposed without receiving the same unweleome salute. "You had better take care!" said Captain Helm to a man whom he saw trying to get a peep at the state of things without, through a crevice in one of the block-houses, "Clarke's men will shoot your eye out." There was no time to profit by the warning, for the words were scarcely uttered when both the prying organ and the brain behind it were knocked out by a nicely-aimed rifle bullet.
It was said by the English that Clarke's success in this attack was entirely owing to the awkward elevations of the platforms, which prevented the guns being sufficiently depressed to bear upon the assailants. This may be partially true, but it only shows the wisdom of Clarke in adopting a mode of attack never thought of by those who planned the defenses, and which was certainly the most effectual that could have been employed in the absence of a siege artillery; for could the besieged even have brought their guns to bear they might have occasioned us greater loss, and postponed the final result, but could scarcely have changed it, since cannon balls and even grape would have availed but little against riflemen fighting under cover and in the loosest order. This is one of the first instances of attacking fortified places in this manner, and a few years before would have been laughed to scorn as the project of a fool by the scientific martinets of Europe. But one of the
greatest improvements in the system of modern tactics grew out of the necessities of Indian warfare in North America, or rather was learned directly from the Indians themselves; we mean the employment of those light corps of rifle-armed sharp-shooters, which, under various names, now form an indispensable portion of every perfect military establishment.
Toward three o'clock Hamilton, either on account of the, uselessness of his cannon, or because he could no longer make his men face the deadly fusillade of the besieger, sent a flag with an offer to treat. The two leaders therefore met at the village church, the Englishman being accompanied by Captain Helm and a Major Hay. Clarke demanded an unconditional surrender, which Hamilton refused, and a violent scene ensued. Clarke arose to depart, informing the Governor that the firing would recommence in fifteen minutes. But the latter, who knew the discouragement of his men, and dreaded being taken by assault, or that the fort, which stood within thirty feet of the steep river-bank, might be undermined, called to his opponent, as he was retiring, and mildly inquired his reasons for insisting on such harsh terms. "Because," exclaimed Clarke, "I know the principal Indian partisans from Detroit are in the fort, and I want only an honorable opportunity of putting such instigators of Indian barbarities to death. So sacred do I consider this claim upon me that I would rather lose fifty of my men than not execute the vengeance demanded by so much innocent blood. If Governor Hamilton chooses to risk the destruction of his garrison for such miscreants he has it at his pleasure."
It may seem strange that Clarke should risk his own success on such a point. But in order to understand the importance he attached thereto it is only necessary to read the historical collections of that time, and learn something of the feelings with which those wretches called Indian agents or partisans were regarded. We do not mean the officers of the English army, who were sometimes compelled by the cruel policy of their masters to serve in conjunction with the Indians. These were generally as much disgusted aj tho barbarity of their red allies as civilized men would naturally be. And we remember Colonel Byrd's strange withdrawal from Kentucky after the capture of two stations, and when he might have swept the whole State, because he would not pluck laurels stained with the blood of women and children. But the men to whom Clarke had reference were a set of abandoned villains, many of them renegades from the colonies, who had domesticated themselves among the Indians, whose natural ferocity they were continually stimulating; planning for them expeditions into the settlements, which they not unfrequently led in person, and outdid the savages themselves in deeds of cruelty and blood. The bitter hatred borne by the early settlers of the West toward these men may be conceived from the detestation that is even yet excited in their descendants by the very names of Girty and M'Kee. Hence