Author of To Have And To Hold, Prisoners Of Hope, etc.
With Illustrations by F. C. Yohn
Boston and New York Houghton Mifflin Company The Riverside Press Cambridge
THIS BOOK IS INSCRIBED
TO THE MEMORY OF
JOHN TYLER MORGAN
FOR THIRTY YEARS
UNITED STATES SENATOR
AND THROUGHOUT THE COURSE
OF A LONG LIFE
A GOOD MAN AND A PATRIOT
I. THE ROAD TO RICHMOND II. MR. JEFFERSON III. FONTENOY IV. THE TWO CANDIDATES V. MONTICELLO VI. RAND COMES TO FONTENOY VII. THE BLUE ROOM VIII. CARY AND JACQUELINE IX. EXPOSTULATION X. TO ALTHEA XI. IN THE GARDEN XII. A MARRIAGE AT SAINT MARGARET'S XIII. THE THREE-NOTCHED ROAD XIV. THE LAW OFFICE XV. COMPANY TO SUPPER XVI. AT LYNCH'S XVII. FAIRFAX AND UNITY XVIII. THE GREEN DOOR XIX. MONTICELLO AGAIN XX. THE NINETEENTH OF FEBRUARY XXI. THE CEDAR WOOD XXII. MAJOR EDWARD XXIII. A CHALLENGE XXIV. THE DUEL XXV. OLD SAINT JOHN'S XXVI. THE TRIAL OF AARON BURR XXVII. THE LETTER XXVIII. RAND AND MOCKET XXIX. THE RIVER ROAD XXX. HOMEWARD XXXI. HUSBAND AND WIFE XXXII. THE BROTHERS XXXIII. GREENWOOD XXXIV. FAIRFAX CARY XXXV. THE IMAGE XXXVI. IN PURSUIT XXXVII. THE SIMPLE RIGHT XXXVIII. M. DE PINCORNET XXXIX. UNITY AND JACQUELINE XL. THE WAY OF THE TRANSGRESSOR
I will make court to you in a court some day (Frontispiece)
You are a scoundrel
Cary saw and flung out his arm, swerving his horse, but too late
Drink to me only with thine eyes
THE ROAD TO RICHMOND
The tobacco-roller and his son pitched their camp beneath a gum tree upon the edge of the wood. It was October, and the gum was the colour of blood. Behind it rolled the autumn forest; before it stretched a level of broom-sedge, bright ochre in the light of the setting sun. The road ran across this golden plain, and disappeared in a league-deep wood of pine. From an invisible clearing came a cawing of crows. The sky was cloudless, and the evening wind had not begun to blow. The small, shining leaves of the gum did not stir, and the flame of the camp-fire rose straight as a lance. The tobacco cask, transfixed by the trunk of a young oak and drawn by strong horses, had come to rest upon the turf by the roadside. Gideon Rand unharnessed the team, and from the platform built in the front of the cask took fodder for the horses, then tossed upon the grass a bag of meal, a piece of bacon, and a frying-pan. The boy collected the dry wood with which the earth was strewn, then struck flint and steel, guarded the spark within the tinder, fanned the flame, and with a sigh of satisfaction stood back from the leaping fire. His father tossed him a bucket, and with it swinging from his hand, he made through the wood towards a music of water. Goldenrod and farewell-summer and the red plumes of the sumach lined his path, while far overhead the hickories and maples reared a fretted, red-gold roof. Underfoot were moss and coloured leaves, and to the right and left the squirrels watched him with bright eyes. He found the stream where it rippled between banks of fern and mint. As he knelt to fill the pail, the red haw and the purple ironweed met above his head.
Below him was a little mirror-like pool, and it gave him back himself with such distinctness that, startled, he dropped the pail, and bending nearer, began to study the image in the water. Back in Albemarle, in his dead mother's room, there hung a looking-glass, but it was cracked and blurred, and he seldom gazed within it. This chance mirror of the woods was more to the purpose. The moments slipped away while he studied the stranger and familiar in the pool below him. The image was not formed or coloured like young Narcissus, of whom he had never heard, but he observed it with interest. He was fourteen, and old for his years. The eyes reflected in the stream were brooding, the mouth had lost its boyish curves, the sanguine cheek was thin, the jaw settling square. His imagination, slow to quicken, had, when aroused, quite a wizard might. He sank deeper amid the ironweed, forgot his errand, and began to dream. He was the son of a tobacco-roller, untaught and unfriended, but he dreamed like a king. His imagination began to paint without hands images of power upon a blank and mighty wall, and it painted like a young Michael Angelo. It used the colours of immaturity, but it conceived with strength. "When I am a man—" he said aloud; and again, "When I am a man—" The eyes in the pool looked at him yearningly; the leaves from the golden hickories fell upon the water and hid him from himself. In the distance a fox barked, and Gideon Rand's deep voice came rolling through the wood: "Lewis! Lewis!"
The boy dipped the pail, lifted it brimming, and rose from his knees. As he did so, a man parted the bushes on the far side of the stream, glanced at the mossed and slippery stones rising from its bed, then with a light and steady foot crossed to the boy's side. He was a young man, wearing a fringed hunting-shirt and leggins and a coonskin cap, and carrying a long musket. Over his shoulder was slung a wild turkey, and at his heels came a hound. He smiled, showing very white teeth, and drew forward his bronze trophy.
"Supper," he said briefly.
The boy nodded. "I heard your gun. I've made a fire yonder beneath a black gum. Adam Gaudylock, I am well-nigh a man!"
"So you be, so you be," answered the other; "well-nigh a man."
The boy beat the air with a branch of sumach. "I want to be a man! But I don't want to be a tobacco-roller like my father, nor—"
"Nor a hunter like me," the other finished placidly. "Be the Governor of Virginia, then, or come with me and make yourself King of the Mississippi! I've watched you, boy! You're growing up ambitious, ambitious as What's-his-name—him that you read of?"
"Lucifer," answered the boy—"ambitious as Lucifer."
"Well, don't spill the water, my kingling," said the hunter good-naturedly. "Life's not so strange as is the way folk look at it. You and I, now,—we're different! What I care for is just every common day as it comes naturally along, with woods in it, and Indians, and an elk or two at gaze, and a boat to get through the rapids, and a drop of kill-devil rum, and some shooting, and a petticoat somewhere, and a hand at cards,—just every common day! But you build your house upon to-morrow. I care for the game, and you care for the prize. Don't go too fast and far,—I've seen men pass the prize on the road and never know it! Don't you be that kind, Lewis."
"I won't," said the boy. "But of course one plays to win. After supper, will you tell me about New Orleans and the Mississippi, and the French and the Spaniards, and the moss that hangs from the trees, and the oranges that grow like apples? I had rather be king of that country than Governor of Virginia."
The sun set, and the chill dusk of autumn wrapped the yellow sedge, the dusty road, and the pines upon the horizon. The heavens were high and cold, and the night wind had a message from the north. But it was warm beneath the gum tree where the fire leaped and roared. In the light the nearer leaves of the surrounding trees showed in strong relief; beyond that copper fretwork all was blackness. Out of the dark came the breathing of the horses, fastened near the tobacco-cask, the croaking of frogs in a marshy place, and all the stealthy, indefinable stir of the forest at night. At times the wind brought a swirl of dead leaves across the ring of light, an owl hooted, or one of the sleeping dogs stirred and raised his head, then sank to dreams again. The tobacco-roller, weary from the long day's travel, wrapped himself in a blanket and slept in the lee of his thousand pounds of bright leaf, but the boy and the hunter sat late by the fire.
"We crossed that swamp," said Gaudylock, "with the canes rattling above our heads, and a panther screaming in a cypress tree, and we came to a village of the Chickasaws—"
"In the night-time?"
"In the night-time, and a mockingbird singing like mad from a china tree, and the woods all level before us like a floor,—no brush at all, just fine grass, with flowers in it like pinks in a garden. So we smoked the peace pipe with the Chickasaws, and I hung a wampum belt with fine words, and we went on, the next day, walking over strawberries so thick that our moccasins were stained red. At noon we overtook a party of boatmen from the Ohio,—tall men they were, with beards, and dark and dirty as Indians,—and we kept company with them through the country of the Chickasaws and the Choctaws until we came to a high bluff, and saw the Mississippi before us, brown and full and marked with drifting trees, and up the river the white houses of Natchez. There we camped until we made out the flat-boat,—General Wilkinson's boat, all laden with tobacco and flour and bacon, and just a few Kentucks with muskets,—that the Spaniards at Natchez had been fools enough to let pass! We hailed that boat, and it came up beneath the cottonwoods, and I went aboard with the letters from Louisville, and on we went, down the river, past the great woods and the strange little towns, and the cotton-fields and the sugar-canes, and the moss hanging like banners from taller trees than this gum, to New Orleans. And there the Intendant would have laid hands on our cargo and sent every mother's son of us packing, but Miro, that was governor, stood our friend, being frightened indeed of what Kentucky might do if put to it! And there, on the levee, we sold that tobacco and flour and bacon; and the tobacco which we sold at home for shillings and pence, we sold at New Orleans for joes and doubloons. Ay, ay, and not one picayune of duty did we pay! Ay, and we opened the Mississippi!"
The speaker paused to take from his pouch several leaves of tobacco, and to roll them deftly into a long cigar. The boy rose to throw more wood upon the fire, then sat again at the trader's feet, and with his chin in his hand stared into the glowing hollows.
"The West!" said Gaudylock, between slow puffs of smoke. "Kentucky and the Ohio and the Mississippi, and then Louisiana and all that lies beyond, and Mexico and its gold! Ha! the Mississippi open from its source—and the Lord in Heaven knows where that may be—to the last levee! and not a Spaniard to stop a pirogua, and right to trade in every port, and no lingo but plain English, and Mexico like a ripe apple,—just a touch of the bough, and there's the gold in hand! If I were a dreamer, I would dream of the West."
"Folk have always dreamed of the West," said the boy. "Sailors and kings, and men with their fortune to make. I've read about Cortez and Pizarro,—it would be fine to be like that!"
"I thought you wanted to study law."
"I do; but I could be a great soldier, too."
Gaudylock laughed. "You would trap all the creatures in the wood! Well, live long enough, and you'll hear a drum beat. They're restless, restless, yonder on the rivers! But they'll need the lawyers, too. Just see what the lawyers did when we fought the British! Mr. Henry and Mr. Jefferson—"
The boy put forth a sudden hand, gathered to him a pine bough, and with it smote the red coals of the fire. "Oh!" he cried, "from morn till night my father keeps me in the fields. It's tobacco! tobacco! tobacco! And I want to go to school—I want to go to school!"
"That's a queer wanting," said the other thoughtfully. "I've wanted fire when I was cold, and venison when I was hungry, and liquor when I was in company, and money when I was gaming, and a woman when the moon was shining and I wished to talk,—but I have never wanted to go to school. A schollard sees a wall every time he raises his head. I like the open."
"There are walls in the forest," answered the boy, "and I do not want to be a tobacco-roller! I want to study law!"
The hunter laughed. "Ho! A lawyer among the Rands! I reckon you take after your mother's folk!"
The boy looked at him wistfully. "I reckon I do," he assented. "But my name is Rand."
"There are worse folk than the Rands," said the woodsman. "I've never known one to let go, once he had man or beast by the throat! Silent and holdfast and deadly to anger—that's the Rands. If Gideon wants tobacco and you want learning, there'll be a tussle!"
"My father's a tyrant!" cried the boy passionately. "If he doesn't keep his hands off me, I'll—I'll kill him!"
Gaudylock took the cigarro from his lips. "You're too fond of that word," he exclaimed, with some sternness. "All the wolves that the Rands ever hunted have somehow got into their blood. Suppose you try a little unlearning? Great lawyers and great men and great conquerors and good hunters don't kill their fathers, Lewis,—no, nor any other man, excepting always in fair fight."
"I know—I know!" said Lewis. "Of course he's my father. But I never could stand for any one to get in my way!"
"That's just what the rattlesnake says—and after a while nobody does get in his way. But he must be a lonely creature."
"Do you think," asked the boy oddly,—"do you think I am really like that,—like a rattlesnake?"
Adam gave his mellow laugh. "No, I don't. I think you are just a poor human. I was always powerfully fond of you, Lewis,—and I never could abide a rattler! There's the moon, and it's a long march to-morrow, and folks sit up late in Richmond! Unroll the blankets, and let's to bed."
The boy obeyed, and the two lay down with the fire between them. The man's thoughts went back to the Mississippi, to cane-brakes and bayous and long levees; and the boy's mind perused the road before him.
"When I get to Richmond," he suddenly announced, "I am going to find a place where they sell books. I have a dollar."
The hunter put his hand in his pouch, drew out a shining coin, and tossed it across the fire. "There's another," he said. "Good Spanish! Buy your Caesars and your Pompeys, and when you are a lawyer like Mr. Jefferson, come West—come West!"
Men and beasts slumbered through the autumn night, waked at dawn, and, breakfast eaten, took again the road. Revolving cask, horses, dogs, and men, they crossed the wet sedge and entered the pine wood, left that behind and traversed a waste of scrub and vine, low hills, and rain-washed gullies. Chinquapin bushes edged the road, the polished nut dark in the centre of each open burr; the persimmon trees showed their fruit, red-gold from the first frosts; the black haw and cedar overhung the ravines; there was much sassafras, and along the plashy streams the mint grew thick and pungent-sweet. In the deep and pure blue sky above them, fleecy clouds went past like galleons in a trade-wind.
The tobacco-roller was a taciturn man, and the boy, his son, never thought of disburdening his soul to his father. Each had the power to change for the other the aspect of the world, but they themselves were strangers. Gideon Rand, as he rode, thought of the bright leaf in the cask, of the Richmond warehouse, and fixed the price in his mind. His mind was in a state of sober jubilation. His only brother, a lonely, unloved, and avaricious merchant in a small way, had lately died, and had left him money. The hundred acres upon the Three-Notched Road that Gideon had tilled for another were in the market. The money would buy the land and the small, dilapidated house already occupied by the Rands. The purchase was in train, and in its own fashion Gideon's sluggish nature rejoiced. He was as land-mad as any other Virginian, but he had neither a lavish hand nor a climbing eye. What he loved was the black earth beneath the tobacco, and to walk between the rows and feel the thick leaves. For him it sufficed to rise at dawn and spend the day in the fields overseeing the hands, to come home at dusk to a supper of corn bread and bacon, to go to bed within the hour and sleep without a dream until cockcrow, to walk the fields again till dusk and supper-time. Church on Sunday, Charlottesville on Court Days, Richmond once a year, varied the monotony. The one passion, the one softness, showed in his love for horses. He broke the colts for half the county; there was no horse that he could not ride, and his great form and coal-black locks were looked for and found at every race. The mare that he was riding he had bought with his legacy, before he bought the land on the Three-Notched Road. He was now considering whether he could afford to buy in Richmond a likely negro to help him and Lewis in the fields. With all the stubbornness of a dull mind, he meant to keep Lewis in the fields. Long ago, when he was a handsome young giant, he had married above him. His wife was a beautiful and spirited woman, and when she married the son of her father's tenant, it was with every intention of raising him to her own level in life. But he was the stronger, and he dragged her down to his. As her beauty faded and her wit grew biting, he learned to hate her, and to hate learning because she had it, and the refinements of life because she practised them, and law because she came of a family of lawyers. She was dead and he was glad of it,—and now her son was always at a book, and wanted to be a lawyer! "I'll see him a slave-driver first!" said Gideon Rand to himself, and flecked his whip.
On the other side of the cask Adam Gaudylock whistled along the road. He, too, had business in Richmond, and problems not a few to solve, but as he was a man who never sacrificed the present to the past, and rarely to the future, he alone of the three really drank the wine of the morning air, saw how blue was the sky, and admired the crimson trailers that the dewberry spread across the road. When his gaze followed the floating down from a milkweed pod, or marked the scurry of a chipmunk at a white oak's root, or dwelt upon the fox-grape's swinging curtain, he would have said, if questioned, that life in the woods and in an Indian country taught a man the use of his eyes. "Love of Nature" was a phrase at which he would have looked blank, and a talisman which he did not know he possessed, and it may be doubted if he could have defined the word "Romance." He whistled as he rode, and presently, the sun rising higher and the clear wind blowing with force, he began to sing,—
"From the Walnut Hills to the Silver Lake, Row, boatmen, row! Danger in the levee, danger in the brake, Row, boatmen, row! Yellow water rising, Indians on the shore!"
Lewis Rand, perched upon the platform before the cask, his feet dangling, his head thrown back against the wood, and his eyes upon the floating clouds, pursued inwardly and with a swelling heart the oft-broken, oft-renewed argument with his father. "I do not want to go to the fields. I want to go to school. Every chance I've had, I've learned, and I want to learn more and more. I do not want to be like you, nor your father, nor his father, and I do not want to be like Adam Gaudylock. I want to be like my mother's folk. You've no right to keep me planting and suckering and cutting and firing and planting again, as though I were a negro! Negroes don't care, but I care! I'm not your slave. Tobacco! I hate the sight of it, and the smell of it! There's too much tobacco raised in Virginia. You fought the old King because he was a tyrant, but you would make me spend my life in the tobacco-field! You are a tyrant, too. I'm to be a man just as you're a man. You went your way; well, I'm going mine! I'm going to be a lawyer, like—like Ludwell Cary at Greenwood. I'm not afraid of your horse-whip. Strike, and be damned to you! You can break every colt in the country, but you can't break me! I've seen you strike my mother, too!"
"Way down in New Orleans, Beneath an orange tree, Beside the lapping water, Upon the old levee, A-laughing in the moonlight, There sits the girl for me!"
"She's sweeter than the jasmine, Her name it is Delphine."
The day wore on, the land grew level, and the clearings more frequent. Stretches of stacked corn appeared like tented plains, brown and silent encampments of the autumn; and tobacco-houses rose from the fields whence the weed had been cut. Blue smoke hung in wreaths above the high roofs, for it was firing-time. Now and then they saw, far back from the road and shaded by noble trees, dwelling-houses of brick or wood. Behind the larger sort of these appeared barns and stables and negro quarters, all very cheerful in the sunny October weather. Once they passed a schoolhouse and a church, and twice they halted at cross-road taverns. The road was no longer solitary. Other slow-rolling casks of tobacco with retinue of men and boys were on their way to Richmond, and there were white-roofed wagons from the country beyond Staunton. Four strong horses drew each wagon, manes and tails tied with bright galloon, and harness hung with jingling bells. Whatever things the mountain folk might trade with were in the wagons,—butter, flour, and dried meat, skins of deer and bear, hemp, flaxseed, wax, ginseng, and maple sugar. Other vehicles used the road, growing more numerous as the day wore into the afternoon, and Richmond was no longer far away. Coach and chaise, curricle and stick-chair, were encountered, and horsemen were frequent.
In 1790 men spoke when they passed; moreover, Rand and Gaudylock were not entirely unknown. The giant figure of the one had been seen before upon that road; the other was recognized as a very able scout, hunter, and Indian trader, restless as quicksilver and daring beyond all reason. Men hailed the two cheerily, and asked for the news from Albemarle, and from Kentucky and the Mississippi.
"Mr. Jefferson is coming home," answered Rand; and "Spain is not so black as she is painted," said the trader.
"We hear," quoth the gentleman addressed, "that the Kentuckians make good Spanish subjects."
"Then you hear a damned lie," said Gaudylock imperturbably. "The boot's on the other foot. Ten years from now a Kentuckian may rule in New Orleans."
The gentleman laughed, settled back in his stick-chair, and spoke to his horse. "Mr. Jefferson is in Richmond," he remarked to Rand, and vanished in a cloud of dust.
The tobacco-cask and its guardians kept on by wood and stream, plantation, tavern, forge, and mill, now with companions and now upon a lonely road. At last, when the frogs were at vespers, and the wind had died into an evening stillness, and the last rays of the sun were staining the autumn foliage a yet deeper red, they came by way of Broad Street into Richmond. The cask of bright leaf must be deposited at Shockoe Warehouse; this they did, then as the stars were coming out, they betook themselves to where, at the foot of Church Hill, the Bird in Hand dispensed refreshment to man and beast.
By ten of the Capitol clock Gideon Rand had sold his tobacco and deposited the price in a well-filled wallet. "Eighteen shillings the hundred," he said, with grim satisfaction. "And the casks I sent by Mocket sold as well! Good leaf, good leaf! Tobacco pays, and learning don't. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Lewis Rand!"
Father and son came out from the cool, dark store, upon the unpaved street, and joined Adam Gaudylock where he lounged beneath a sycamore. Up and down the street were wooden houses, shops of British merchants, prosperous taverns, and dwelling-houses sunk in shady gardens. An arrow-flight away brawled the river among bright islands. The sky above the bronze sycamores was very blue, the air crystal, the sunshine heavenly mild. The street was not crowded. A Quaker in a broad-brimmed hat went by, and then a pretty girl, and then a minister talking broad Scotch, and then a future chief justice who had been to market and had a green basket upon his arm. Gideon drew another breath of satisfaction. "I've been thinking this long time of buying a negro, and now I can do it! Mocket says there's a likely man for sale down by the market. Lewis, you go straight to Mocket now, and tell him I'll wait for him there! Are you coming with me, Adam Gaudylock?"
"Why," said Gaudylock, with candour, "I have business presently in Governor Street, and a man to meet at the Indian Queen. And I think I'll go now with Lewis. Somehow, the woods have spoiled me for seeing men bought and sold."
"They're black men," said Rand indifferently. "I'll see you, then, at dinner-time, at the Bird in Hand. I'm going home to-morrow.—Lewis, if you want to, you can look around this morning with Tom Mocket!" He glanced at his son's flushing face, and, being in high good humour, determined to give the colt a little rein. "Be off, and spend your dollar! See what sights you can, for we'll not be in Richmond again for many a day! They say there's a brig in from Barbadoes."
He put up his wallet, and with a nod to Gaudylock strode away in the direction of the market, but presently halted and turned his head. "Lewis!"
"Don't you be buying any more books! You hear me?"
He swung away, and his son stood under the sycamore tree and looked after him with a darkened face. Gaudylock put a hand upon his shoulder. "Never mind, Lewis! Before we part I'm going to talk to Gideon." He laughed. "Do you know what the Cherokees call me? They call me Golden-Tongue. Because, you see, I can persuade them to 'most anything,—always into the war-path, and sometimes out of it! Gideon may be obstinate, but he can't be as obstinate as an Indian. Now let's go to Mocket's."
The way to Mocket's lay down a steep hillside, and along the river-bank, under a drift of coloured leaves, and by the sound of falling water. Mocket dwelt in a small house, in a small green yard with a broken gate. A red creeper mantled the tiny porch, and lilac bushes, clucked under by a dozen hens, hedged the grassy yard. As the hunter and Lewis Rand approached, a little girl, brown and freckled, barefoot and dressed in linsey, sprang up from the stone before the gate, and began to run towards the house. Her foot caught in a trailing vine, and down she fell. Adam was beside her at once. "Why, you little partridge!" he exclaimed, and lifted her to her feet.
"It's Vinie Mocket," said his companion. "Vinie, where's your father?"
"I don't know, thir," answered Vinie. "Tom knows. Tom's down there, at the big ship. I'll tell him."
She slipped from Gaudylock's clasp and pattered off toward the river, where the brig from Barbadoes showed hull and masts. The hunter sat down upon the porch step, and drew out his tobacco pouch. "She's like a partridge," he said.
"She's just Vinie Mocket," answered the boy. "There's a girl who stays sometimes at Mrs. Selden's, on the Three-Notched Road. She's not freckled, and her eyes are big, and she never goes barefoot. I reckon it's silk she wears."
"What's her name?" asked the hunter, filling his pipe.
"Jacqueline—Jacqueline Churchill. She lives at Fontenoy."
"Fontenoy's a mighty fine place," remarked Gaudylock.
"And the Churchills are mighty fine people.—Here's the partridge back, with another freckle-face."
"That's Tom Mocket," said Lewis. "If Vinie's a partridge, Tom's a weasel."
The weasel, sandy-haired and freckled, came up the path with long steps. "Hi, Lewis! Father's gone toward the market looking for your father. That's a brig from the Indies down there, and the captain's our cousin—ain't he, Vinie? I know who you are, sir. You're Adam Gaudylock, the great hunter!"
"So I am, so I am!" quoth Adam. "Look here, little partridge, at what I've got in my pouch!"
The partridge busied herself with the beaded thing, and the two boys talked aside. "I've till dinner time to do what I like in," said Lewis Rand. "Have you got to work?"
"Not unless I want to," Young Mocket answered blissfully. "Father, he don't care! Besides"—he swelled with pride—"I don't work now at the wharf. I'm at Chancellor Wythe's."
"Chancellor Wythe's! What are you doing there?"
"Helping him. Maybe, by and by, I'll be a lawyer, too."
"Heugh!" said the other. "Do you mean you're reading law?"
"No-o, not just exactly. But I let people in—and I hear what they talk about. I like it better than the wharf, anyhow. I'll go with you and show you things. Is Mr. Gaudylock coming?"
"No," replied Adam. "I'll finish my pipe, and take a look at the ship down there, and then I'll meet a friend at the Indian Queen. Be off with you both! Vinie will stay and talk to me."
"Yeth, thir," said Vinie, her brown arm deep in the beaded pouch.
The two lads left behind the scarlet-clad porch, the hunter and Vinie, the little green yard and the broken gate. "Where first? demanded Tom.
"Where is the best place in Richmond to buy books?"
Young Mocket considered. "There's a shop near the bridge. What do you want with books?"
"I want to read them. We'll go to the bridge first."
Tom hung back. "Don't you want to see the brig from Barbadoes? She's a beauty. There's a schooner from Baltimore, too, at the Rock Landing. You won't? Then let's go over to Widewilt's Island. Well, they whipped a man this morning and he's in the pillory now, down by the market. Let's go look at him.—Pshaw! what's the use of books! Don't you want to see the Guard turn out at noon, and hear the trumpet blow? Well, come on to the bridge! Nancy, the apple-woman, is there too."
The shop near the bridge to which they resorted was dark and low, but learning was spread upon its counter, and a benevolent dragon of knowledge in horn spectacles ran over the wares for Lewis Rand. "De Jure Maritimo, six shillings eightpence, my lad. Burnet's History and Demosthenes' Orations, two crowns, Mr. Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, a great book and dear! Common Sense—and that's Tom Paine's, and you may have it for two pistareens."
The boy shook his head. "I want a law-book."
The genie put forth The Principles of Equity, and named the price.
"'Tis too dear."
A gentleman lounging against the counter closed the book into which he had been dipping, and drew nearer to the would-be purchaser.
"Equity is an expensive commodity, my lad," he said kindly. "How much law have you read?"
"I have read The Law of Virginia," answered the boy. "I borrowed it. I worked a week for Mr. Douglas, and read The Law of Nations rest-hours. Mrs. Selden, on the Three-Notched Road, gave me The Federalist. Are you a lawyer, sir?"
The gentleman laughed, and the genie behind the counter laughed. Young Mocket plucked Lewis Rand by the sleeve, but the latter was intent upon the personage before him and did not heed.
"Yes," said the gentleman, "I am a lawyer. Are you going to be one?"
"I am," said the boy. "Will you tell me what books I ought to buy? I have two dollars."
The other looked at him with keen light eyes. "That amount will not buy you many books," he said. "You should enter some lawyer's office where you may have access to his library. You spoke of the Three-Notched Road. Are you from Albemarle?"
"Yes, sir. I am Gideon Rand's son."
"Indeed! Gideon Rand! Then Mary Wayne was your mother?"
"I remember," said the gentleman, "when she married your father. She was a beautiful woman. I heard of her death while I was in Paris."
The boy's regard, at first solely for the books, had been for some moments transferred to the gentleman who, it seemed, was a lawyer, and had known his people, and had been to Paris. He saw a tall man, of a spare and sinewy frame, with red hair, lightly powdered, and keen blue eyes. Lewis Rand's cheek grew red, and his eyes at once shy and eager. He stammered when he spoke. "Are you from Albemarle, sir?"
The other smiled, a bright and gracious smile, irradiating his ruddy, freckled face. "I am," he said.
"From Monticello." The speaker, who loved his home with passion, never uttered its name without a softening of the voice. "From Monticello," he said again. "There are books enough there, my lad. Some day you shall ride over from the Three-Notched Road, and I will show you them."
"I will come," said Lewis Rand. The colour deepened in his face and a moisture troubled his vision. The shop, the littered counter, the guardian of the books, and President Washington's Secretary of State wavered like the sunbeam at the door.
Jefferson ran his hand over the row of books. "Mr. Smith, give the lad old Coke, yes, and Locke on Government, and put them to my account.—Where do you go to school?"
The boy swallowed hard, straightened his shoulders, and looked his questioner in the face. "Nowhere, sir—not now. My father hates learning, and I work in the fields. I am very much obliged to you for the books,—and had I best buy Blackstone with the two dollars?"
The other smiled. "No, no, not Blackstone. Blackstone's frippery. You've got old Coke. Buy for yourself some book that shall mean much to you all your life.—Mr. Smith, give him Plutarch's Lives—Ossian, too. He's rich enough to buy Ossian.—As for law-books, my lad, if you will come to Monticello, I will lend you what you need. I like your spirit." He looked at his watch. "I have to dine at the Eagle with the Governor and Mr. Randolph. When do you return to Albemarle?"
"Then I may overtake you on the road. Once I did your father a good turn, and I shall be glad to have a word with him now. He must not keep the son of Mary Wayne in the fields. Some day I will ride down the Three-Notched Road, and examine you on old Coke. Don't spare study; if you will be a lawyer, become a good one, not a smatterer. Good-day to you!"
He left the shop. The bookseller gazed after him, then nodded and smiled at the boy. "You look transfigured, my lad! Well, he's a great man, and he'll be a greater one yet. He's for the people, and one day the people will be for him! I'll tie up your books—and if you can make a friend of Mr. Jefferson, you do it!"
Lewis Rand came out into the sunlight with "old Coke" and Locke, Plutarch and Ossian, under his arm, and in his soul I know not what ardour of hero-worship, what surging resolve and aspiration. Young Mocket, at his elbow, regarded him with something like awe. "That was Mr. Jefferson," he said. "He knows General Washington and Marquis Lafayette and Doctor Franklin. He's just home from Paris, and they have made him Secretary of State—whatever that is. He wrote the Declaration of Independence. He's a rich man—he's a lawyer, too. He lives at a place named Monticello."
"I know," said Lewis Rand, "I've been to Monticello. When I am a man I am going to have a house like it, with a terrace and white pillars and a library. But I shall have a flower garden like the one at Fontenoy."
"Ho! your house! Is Fontenoy where Ludwell Cary lives?"
"No; he lives at Greenwood. The Churchills live at Fontenoy.—Now we'll go see the Guard turn out. Is that the apple-woman yonder? I've a half-a-bit left."
An hour later, having bought the apples, and seen the pillared Capitol, and respectfully considered the outside of Chancellor Wythe's law office, and having parted until the afternoon with Tom Mocket, who professed an engagement on the Barbadoes brig, young Lewis Rand betook himself to the Bird in Hand. There in the bare, not over clean chamber which had been assigned to the party from Albemarle, he deposited his precious parcel first in the depths of an ancient pair of saddle-bags, then, thinking better of it, underneath the straw mattress of a small bed. It was probable, he knew, that even there his father might discover the treasure. What would follow discovery he knew full Well. The beating he could take; what he wouldn't stand would be, say, Gideon's flinging the books into the fire. "He shan't, he shan't," said the boy's hot heart. "If he does, I'll—I'll—"
Through the window came Gaudylock's voice from the porch of the Bird in Hand. "You Stay-at-homes—you don't know what's in the wilderness! There's good and there's bad, and there's much beside. It's like the sea—it's uncharted."
Lewis Rand closed the door of the room, and went out upon the shady porch, where he found the hunter and a lounging wide-eyed knot of listeners to tales of Kentucky and the Mississippi. The dinner-bell rang. Adam fell pointedly silent, and his audience melted away. The hunter rose and stretched himself. "There is prime venison for dinner, and a quince tart and good apple brandy. Ha! I was always glad I was born in Virginia. Here is Gideon swinging down the hill—Gideon and his negro!"
The tobacco-roller joined them, and with a wave of the hand indicated his purchase of the morning. This was a tall and strong negro, young, supple, and of a cheerful countenance. Rand was in high good-humour. "He's a runaway, Mocket says, but I'll cure him of that! He's strong as an ox and as limber as a snake." Taking the negro's hand in his, he bent the fingers back. "Look at that! easy as a willow! He'll strip tobacco! His name is Joab."
The namesake of a prince in Israel looked blithely upon his new family. "Yaas, marster," he said, with candour. "Dat is my name dat sho' is! Jes' Joab. An' I is strong as en ox,—don' know 'bout de snaik. Marster, is you gwine tek me 'way from Richmond?"
"Albemarle," said the tobacco-roller briefly. "To-morrow morning."
Joab studied the vine above the porch. "Kin I go tell my ole mammy good-bye? She's washin' yonder in de creek."
Rand nodded, and the negro swung off to where, upon the grassy common sloping to Shockoe Creek, dark washer-women were spreading clothes. The bell of the Bird in Hand rang again, and the white men went to dinner.
Following the venison, the tart, and apple brandy came the short, bright afternoon, passed by Lewis Rand upon the brig from the Indies with Tom Mocket and little Vinie and a wrinkled skipper who talked of cocoanuts and strange birds and red-handkerchiefed pirates, and spent by Gideon first in business with the elder Mocket, and then in conversation with Adam Gaudylock. Lewis, returning at supper-time to the Bird in Hand, found the hunter altered no whit from his habitual tawny lightness, but his father in a mood that he knew, sullen and silent. "Adam's been talking to him," thought the boy. "And it's just the same as when Mrs. Selden talks to him. Let me go—not he!"
In the morning, at six of the clock, the two Rands, the negro Joab, the horses, and the dogs took the homeward road to Albemarle. Adam Gaudylock was not returning with them; he had trader's business with the merchants in Main Street, hunter's business with certain cronies at the Indian Queen, able scout and man-of-information business in Governor Street, and business of his own upon the elm-shaded walk above the river. Over level autumn fields and up and down the wooded hills, father and son and the slave travelled briskly toward the west. As the twilight fell, they came up with three white wagons, Staunton bound, and convoyed by mountaineers. That night they camped with these men in an expanse of scrub and sassafras, but left them at dawn and went on toward Albemarle. A day of coloured woods, of infrequent clearings, and of streams to ford, ended in an evening of cool wind and rosy sky. They descended a hill, halted, and built their fire in a grassy space beside a river. Joab tethered the horses and made the fire, and fried the bacon and baked the hoecake. As he worked he sang:—
"David an' Cephas, an' ole brer Mingo, Saul an' Paul, an' de w'ite folk sinners— Oh, my chillern, follow de Lawd!"
Supper was eaten in silence. When it was over, Gideon Rand sat with his back against a pine and smoked his pipe. His son went down to the river and stretched his length upon a mossed and lichened boulder. The deep water below the stone did not give him back himself as had done the streamlet five days before. This was a river, marred with eddies and with drifting wood, and red with the soil. The evening wind was blowing, and the sycamore above him cast its bronze leaves into the flood which sucked them under, or bore them with it on its way to the larger river and the ultimate sea. This stream had no babbling voice; its note was low and grave. Youth and mountain sources forgotten, it hearkened before the time to ocean voices. The boy, idle upon the lichened stone, listened too, to distant utterances, to the sirens singing beyond the shadowy cape. The earth soothed him; he lay with half shut eyes, and after the day's hot communion with old wrongs, he felt a sudden peace. He was at the turn; the brute within him quiet behind the eternal bars; the savage receding, the man beckoning, the after man watching from afar. The inner stage was cleared and set for a new act. He had lowered the light, he had rested, and he had filled the interval with forms and determinations beautiful and vague, vague as the mists, the sounds, the tossed arms of the Ossian he had dared to open last night, before his father, by the camp-fire of the mountaineers. In the twilight of his theatre he rested; a shadowy figure, full of mysteries, full of possibilities, a boy in the grasp of the man within him, neither boy nor man unlovable, nor wholly unadmirable, both seen, and seeing, "through a glass darkly."
He turned on his side, and the light went up sharply. A man riding a beautiful and spirited horse was coming over the hilltop. Horse and rider paused a moment upon the crest, standing clear against the eastern sky. In the crystal air and the sunset glow they crowned the hill like a horse and rider nobly done in bronze. A moment thus, then they began to pick their way down the rocky road. Lewis Rand looked, and started to his feet. That horse had been bred in Albemarle, and that horseman he had met in Richmond. The boy's heart beat fast and the colour surged to his cheek. There was little, since the hour in the bookshop, that he would not have done or suffered for the approaching figure. All along the road from Richmond his imagination had conjured up a score of fantastic instances, in each of which he had rescued, or died for, or had in some impossibly romantic and magnificent fashion been the benefactor of the man who was drawing near to the river and camp-fire. As superbly generous as any other youth, he was, at present, in his progress through life, in the land of shrines. He must have his idol, must worship and follow after some visible hero, some older, higher, stronger, more subtle-fine and far-ahead adventurer. Heretofore, in his limited world, Adam Gaudylock had seemed nearest the gates of escape. But Adam, he thought, was of the woods and the earth, even as his father was, and as the tobacco was, and as he himself was. His enormous need was for some one to follow whose feet were above the fat, red fields and the leafy trails. All this was present with him as he watched the oncoming figure. Great men kept their word. Had not Mr. Jefferson said that he would overtake them?—and there he was! He was coming down to the camp-fire, he was going to stop and talk to the surly giant, like Giant Despair, who sat and smoked beside it.
Lewis Rand left the river and the windy sycamore and hastened across the sere grass. "Father, father!" he cried. "Do you know who that is?" In his young voice there was both warning and appeal. Adam Gaudylock, he knew, had spoken to his father, but Gideon had given no sign. Suppose, no matter who spoke, his father would give, forever, no other sign than that oft seen and always hated jerk of the head toward the tobacco-fields?
Gideon Rand took his pipe from his lips. "It's Mr. Jefferson," he answered laconically. "He's the one man in this country to whom I'd listen."
Jefferson rode up to the group about the camp-fire, checked his horse, and gave the tobacco-roller and his son a plain man's greeting to plain men. The eagerness of the boy's face did not escape him; when he dismounted, flung the reins of Wildair to his groom, and crossed the bit of turf to the fire beneath the pines, he knew that he was pleasing a young heart. He loved youth, and to the young he was always nobly kind.
"Good-evening, Mr. Rand," he said. "You are homeward bound, as I am. It is good to see Albemarle faces after years of the French. I had the pleasure of making your son's acquaintance yesterday. It is a great thing to be the father of a son, for so one ceases to be a loose end and becomes a link in the great chain. Your son, I think, will do you honour. And, man to man, you must pay him in the same coin. We on a lower rung of the ladder must keep our hands from the ankles of the climbers above us! Make room for me on that log, my lad! Your father and I will talk awhile."
Thus it was that an able lawyer took up the case of young Lewis Rand. It was the lawyer's pleasure to give aid to youth, and to mould the mind of youth. He had many proteges, to all of whom he was invariably kind, invariably generous. The only return he exacted was that of homage. The yoke was not heavy, for, after all, the homage was to Ideas, to large, sagacious, and far-reaching Thought. It was in the year 1790 that he broke Gideon Rand's resistance to his son's devotion to other gods than those of the Rands. The year that followed that evening on the Albemarle road found Lewis Rand reading law in an office in Charlottesville. A few more years, and he was called to the bar; a little longer, and his name began to be an oft-spoken one in his native county, and not unknown throughout Virginia.
In the springtime of the year 1804 the spectacle of human conduct ranged from grave to gay, from gay to grave again much as it had done in any other springtime of any other year. In France the consular chrysalis was about to develop imperial wings. The British Lion and the Russian Bear were cheek by jowl, and every Englishman turned his spyglass toward Boulogne, where was gathered Buonaparte's army of invasion. In the New World Spanish troops were reluctantly withdrawing from the vast territory sold by a Corsican to a Virginian, while to the eastward of that movement seventeen of the United States of America pursued the uneven tenor of their way. Washington had been dead five years. Alexander Hamilton was yet the leading spirit of the Federalist party, while Thomas Jefferson was the idol of the Democrat-Republicans.
In the sovereign State of Virginia politics was the staple of conversation as tobacco was the staple of trade. Party feeling ran high. The President of the Union was a Virginian and a Republican; the Chief Justice was a Virginian and a Federalist. Old friends looked askance, or crossed the road to avoid a meeting, and hot bloods went a-duelling. The note of the time was Ambition; the noun most in use the name of Napoleon Buonaparte. It seemed written across the firmament; to some in letters of light and to others in hell fire. With that sign in the skies, men might shudder and turn to a private hearth, or they might give loosest rein to desire for Fame. In the columns of the newspapers, above the name of every Roman patriot, each party found voice. From a lurid background of Moreau's conspiracy and d'Enghien's death, of a moribund English King and Premier, of Hayti aflame, and Tripoli insolent, they thundered, like Cassandra, of home woes. To the Federalist, reverencing the dead Washington, still looking for leadership to Hamilton, now so near that fatal Field of Honour, unconsciously nourishing love for that mother country from which he had righteously torn himself, the name of Democrat-Republican and all that it implied was a stench in the nostrils. On the other hand, the lover of Jefferson, the believer in the French Revolution and that rider of the whirlwind whom it had bred, the far-sighted iconoclast, and the poor bawler for simplicity and red breeches, all found the Federalist a mete burnished fly in the country's pot of ointment. Nowhere might be found a man so sober or so dull as to cry, "A plague o' both your houses!"
In the county of Albemarle April was blending with May. The days were soft and sunshiny, apt to be broken by a hurry of clouds, of slanting trees, and silver rain. When the sun came out again, it painted a great bow in the heavens. Beneath that bright token bloomed a thousand orchards; and the wheat and the young corn waved in the wet breeze. The land was rolling and red in colour, with beautiful trees and narrow rivers. Eastward it descended to misty plains, westward the mountains rose, bounding a noble landscape of field and forest. For many years the axe had swung and trees had fallen, but the forest yet descended to the narrow roads, observed itself in winding streams, gloomed upon the sunlit clearings where negroes sang as they tilled the soil. In the all-surrounding green the plantations showed like intaglios. From pleasant hillsides, shady groves, and hamlets of offices and quarters, the sedate red-brick, white-porticoed "great houses" looked easily forth upon a world which interested them mightily.
Upon a morning in late April of the year 1804, the early sunshine, overflowing such a plantation, dipped at last into a hollow halfway between the house and the lower gates, and overtook two young creatures playing at make-believe, their drama of the moment being that of the runaway servant.
"Oh, the sun!" wailed Deb. "We can't pretend it's dark any longer! God has gone and made another day! We'll see you running away,—all of us white folk, and the overseer and Mammy Chloe! If you climb this willow, the dogs will tree you like they did Aunt Dinah's Jim! Lie down and I'll cover you with leaves like the babes in the wood!"
Miranda, a slim black limb of Satan in a blue cotton gown, flung herself with promptitude upon the ground. "Heap de beech leaves an' de oak leaves upon dis heah po' los' niggah. Oh, my lan'! don' you heah 'um comin'?"
Dead leaves fell upon her in a shower, and her accomplice gathered more with frantic haste. "Oh, it's the ghost in the tobacco-house! it's a rock rolling down the mountain! it's—it's something splashing in the swamp!"
"Is I a-hidin' in de swamp? Den don' th'ow no oak leaves on dis niggah, for dey don' grow dyar. Gawd A'moughty, lis'en to de river roarin'! I's hidin' by de river—I's hidin' by de river! I's hidin' by de river Jordan!"
Deb swayed to and fro, beating her hands in her excitement. "I see a boat—a great big boat! It's as big as the Ark! The finders are in it, and the dogs and the guns! Let us pray! O Jesus, save Miranda, even though it is a scarlet sin to run away! O Jesus, don't let them take her to the Court House! O Jesus, let them take me—"
Miranda reared herself from her leafy bed. "Humph! what you gwine do at de Co'te House? Answer me dat! I knows what de Lawd gwine say. He gwine say, 'Run for it, niggah!' Yaas, Lawd, I sholy gwine do what you say—I gwine run to de very aidge of de yearth.
"Oh, I fool you, Mister Oberseer Man! Oh, I fool you, my ole Marster! Cotch de mockin'bird co'tin' in de locus', Cotch de bullfrog gruntin' in de ma'sh, Cotch de black snake trabellin' 'long his road, But you ain' gwine see dis niggah enny mo'!
"Miss Deb, ef I gets to de big gate fust, you gwine lemme hol' dat doll baby Marse Edward gin you?"
Deb brushed the last oak leaf from the skirt of her green gown, tossed her yellow hair out of her brown eyes, and scrambled up the steep side of the dell to a level of lawn and flowers. Her handmaiden followed her, and they paused for breath beneath the white blooms of a mighty catalpa. A hundred yards away, across an expanse of dewy turf, rose the great house, bathed in sunlight. Box, syringa, and honeysuckle environed it, and a row of poplars made a background of living green. It had tall white pillars, and shallow steps leading down to a gravelled drive. The drive was over-arched by elm and locust, and between the trees was planted purple lilac. All of fresh and fair and tender met in the late April weather, in the bright and song-filled morning, in the dew and in the flowers. Upon the steps, between the white pillars, were gathered several muslined figures, flowery bright to match the morning. In the drive below, two horsemen, booted and spurred, clad in many-caped riding-coats and attended by a negro groom, were in the act of lifting tall hats to the ladies of the house they were quitting.
"Hi!" panted Miranda. "Marse Ludwell Cary, Marse Fairfax Cary, an' dat brack niggah Eli! Whar dey gwine dis mawnin'?"
"To the Court House—to the election," answered Deb. "I know all about it, for I asked Uncle Edward. If the Federalists win, the crops will be good, and General Washington and my father and my grandfather will lie quiet in their graves. We are Federalists. If the Republicans win, the country will go to the devil."
"Hi, dat so?" said Miranda. "Le's run open de big gate. Dey two gent'men moughty free wid dey money."
Racing over the jewelled turf, mistress and maid arrived at the big gate in time to swing it open before the approaching riders. Young Fairfax Cary laughed and tossed a coin to Miranda, who bobbed and showed her teeth, while his elder brother stooped gallantly to the pretty child of the house he was leaving. "Do you know what you are like in your narrow green gown and your blowing, yellow hair? You are like a daffodil in your sister's garden."
"If you were to swing me up from the ground," said Deb meditatively, "I could stand upon the toe of your boot, and hold by Pluto's mane, and ride with you as far as the creek.—What flower is Jacqueline like?"
"Like no flower that blooms," said Mr. Ludwell Cary. "Ah, well sprung, Proserpina! Now shall we go fast as the wind?"
They went fast as the wind to the creek, and then went like the wind back to the gate, where Ludwell Cary swung the child down to earth and the waiting Miranda.
Deb curtsied to him. "Wish me good luck, Daffy-down-Dilly!" he said, with his charming smile.
"I do," she answered earnestly. "I hope that you will kill the Devil."
He looked puzzled. "Is that feasible? I don't know where to find him."
"Aren't you going to fight him at the Court House? Uncle Edward said that you were going to put down Lucifer."
The two brothers broke into laughter. "I say, Fair!" cried the elder. "Has Lewis Rand a cloven hoof? I've scarcely seen him, you know, since I went to England!"
"He's all cloven hoof, damn him!" the other answered cheerfully. "Best ride on. He'll have been at the Court House this hour!"
Ludwell Cary glanced at his watch. "Early or late, the result will be the same. The county's going for him twice over!"
"A damned tobacco-roller's son!" growled the other.
The elder brother laughed. "'A man's a man for a' that,' Fair. I dare say old Gideon rolled tobacco with all his might. As for his son, his worst enemy—and I don't know that I am that—couldn't deny him courage and energy."
"He's a dangerous man—"
"Most men are who have won by fighting. But I don't think he loves violence. Well, well, I'm coming! Good-bye, little one!"
Deb curtsied and Miranda bobbed, the gentlemen touched their hats, black Eli grinned, the horses began to canter, and, the leafy road bending sharply, the party for the Court House passed suddenly from view as though the earth had swallowed them up.
Miranda bent her eyes upon her mistress. "Hit's time you wuz in de schoolroom. An' Lan' o' Goshen! Jes' look at yo' wet shoes! I reckon Mammy Chloe gwine whup me!"
Deb considered her stockings and slippers. "There's no school to-day. Mr. Drew's going to the Court House to vote. Uncle Edward says it is the duty of every gentleman to vote against this damned upstart and the Democrat-Republican party. The damned upstart's other name is Lewis Rand. I'll ask Jacqueline to beg Mammy Chloe not to whip you. I like wet feet."
The parlour at Fontenoy was large and high and cool, hung with green paper, touched with the dull gold of old mirrors, of a carved console or two, of oval frames enclosing dim portraits. Long windows opened to the April breeze, and from above the high mantel a Churchill in lovelocks and plumed hat looked down upon Jacqueline seated at her harp. She was playing Water parted from the Sea, playing it dreamily, with an absent mind. Deb, hearing the music from the hall, came and stood beside her sister. They were orphans, dwelling with an uncle.
"Jacqueline," said the child, "do you believe in the Devil?"
Jacqueline played on, but turned a lovely face upon her sister. "I don't know, honey," she said. "I suppose we must, but I had rather not."
"Uncle Edward doesn't. He says 'What the Devil!' but he doesn't believe in the Devil. Then why do he and Uncle Dick call Mr. Lewis Rand the Devil?"
Jacqueline's hands left the strings. "They neither say nor mean that, Deb. Uncle Dick and Uncle Edward are Federalists. They do not like Republicans, nor Mr. Jefferson, nor Mr. Jefferson's friends. Mr. Lewis Rand is Mr. Jefferson's friend, and he is his party's candidate for the General Assembly, and so they do not like him. But they do not call him such names as that."
"Mr. Ludwell Cary doesn't like him either," said Deb. "Why, Jacqueline?"
"Mr. Ludwell Cary is his political opponent."
"And Mr. Fairfax Cary called him a damned tobacco-roller's son."
Jacqueline reddened. "Mr. Fairfax Cary might be thankful to have so informed a mind and heart. It is well to blame a man for his birth!"
"Mr. Ludwell Cary said, 'A man's a man for a' that.' What does that mean, Jacqueline?"
"It means," said Jacqueline, "that—that man stamps the guinea, but God sees the gold."
"Won't you tell me a story?" demanded Deb. "Tell me about the time when you were a little girl and you used to stay at Cousin Jane Selden's. And about the poor boy who lived on the next place—and the apple tree and the little stream where you played, and the mockingbird he gave you. And how his father was a cruel man, and you cried because he had to work so hard all day in the hot fields. You haven't told me that story for a long time."
"I have forgotten it, Deb."
"Then tell me about summer before last, when you were at Cousin Jane Selden's again, and you were grown, and you saw the poor boy again—only he was a man—and his father was dead, and he talked to you in Cousin Jane Selden's flower garden. You never told me that story but once."
"I have forgotten that one too."
"Why does your breath come long like that, Jacqueline? I have gotten my feet wet. Will you tell Mammy Chloe not to whip Miranda? Here is Uncle Edward!"
Major Edward Churchill entered from the garden, for which he had an attachment almost comparable to his love for the old Fontenoy library and the Fontenoy stables. He was a gentleman of the old school, slight, withered, high-nosed and hawk-eyed, dressed with precision and carrying an empty sleeve. The arm he had lost at Yorktown; a temper too hot to hold he daily lost, but he had the art to keep his friends. There were duels to his account, as well as a reputation for great courage and coolness during the late war. Under the name of Horatius he contributed to The Virginia Federalist diatribes of a polished ferocity against the Democrat-Republicans and their chief, and he owned Mustapha, the noblest race-horse of the day. He was a bachelor, a member of the Cincinnati, a Black Cockade, a friend of Alexander Hamilton, a scholar, and a sceptic; a proud, high, fiery man, who had watched at the death-bed of many things. He made his home with his brother, the master of Fontenoy; and his niece Jacqueline, the daughter of a younger, long dead brother, was to him youth, colour, music, and romance.
"The moss-rose is in bloom," he announced, standing in the parlour door. "Come see it, Jacqueline."
They went out into the garden and stood before the moss-rose bush. "Oh, beautiful!" exclaimed Jacqueline, and touched the rose with her lips. It was sunny in the garden, and the box smelled strong and sweet. The Major plucked a sprig and studied it as though box were a rarity. "I have found," he said, "Ludwell Cary's visit highly agreeable. He has come home to Virginia as likely a man as one could find in a summer day. He adorns the state. I predict for him a long and successful career."
"Yes, indeed," assented Jacqueline. "I like him very much. How well he talks! And travel has not made him forget the old days here."
The Major plucked another sprig of box. "In the old days, my dear, your father and your Uncle Dick and I used to plan—well, well, castles in Spain! castles in Spain! But he's a handsome fellow!"
"He is indeed," said Jacqueline. "His eyes are especially fine. I like that clear grey—frank and kind."
"He has sense and principle—he has mind."
"That is evident," answered his niece. "He does everything admirably. Last night after supper he read to Unity and me. He reads extremely well. The book was the Death of Wallenstein. He made me see that murder! My heart stood still."
"He is to be admired for standing up to-day against that damned demagogue, Lewis Rand! No matter if he is defeated. Every gentleman applauds him. You women adore victory, but let me tell you, a vanquished Federalist is still the conqueror of any ranting Republican!"
"Did I tell you," asked Jacqueline, "that Mr. Pincornet holds the dancing class at Fontenoy this week?"
"The dancing class be damned! Ludwell Cary is a man and a gentleman, Jacqueline—"
"Yes," said Jacqueline.
The Major threw away his sprig of box. "The Sphinx was a woman, and every woman is an incarnate riddle! Why don't you care for him, Jacqueline?"
"I do care for him. I like him very much."
"Pshaw!" said the Major irritably. "Don't look at that rose any longer! It's cankered! And it's time that Dick and I were off. We vote—" he put his shapely, nervous hand upon his niece's shoulder—"we vote, Jacqueline, for Ludwell Cary."
"Yes, uncle," said Jacqueline. "I know—I know."
Colonel Dick Churchill, large and beaming, and Major Edward Churchill, thin and saturnine, rode away, and from between the white pillars Deb and Jacqueline watched them go. Colonel Dick's wife was an invalid, and lay always in the cool and spacious "chamber," between dimity bed curtains, with her key basket on the counterpane.
"Jacqueline," said Deb, "whom do you vote for?"
"Women do not vote, honey."
"But if you did vote, Jacqueline?"
"Do you remember," asked Jacqueline, "how Lady Mary Wortley Montagu offended Mr. Alexander Pope?"
"Ah," said Deb. "I'm little, and I ask questions, but I'm not crooked! Will Mr. Lewis Rand ever come to Fontenoy, Jacqueline?"
"You are going to wear your blue gown to the dancing class," said Jacqueline. "Unity is going to wear her yellow jaconet, and I shall wear white. I will make you a wreath of syringa like stars. And you may wear your gloves."
"Oh-h!" breathed Deb. "And my cornelian ring—and the flowered scarf—and—and your fan, Jacqueline?"
"Yes," said Jacqueline. "I am tired this morning, Deb. The sunlight is so strong. I think I'll go darken my room, and lie down upon my bed."
"Does your head ache?"
"Yes, my head," said Jacqueline, and went into the house.
THE TWO CANDIDATES
The town, established forty years before this April morning, had been named for a Princess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, lately become Queen of England. During the Revolution it had been the scene of a raid of Tarleton's and a camp of detention for British prisoners. It was the county seat to which three successive presidents of the United States must travel to cast their votes; and somewhat later than the period of this story it was to rub elbows with a great institution of learning. No city even in our own time, it was, a hundred years ago, slight enough in size to suit the genius for tempered solitude characteristic of a tobacco-growing State.
A few dwelling-houses of frame and brick rose from an emerald mist of gardens, and there were taverns, much at the service of all who came to town with money in their purse. The Swan allured the gentlefolk of the county, the coach-and-four people, Jehus of light curricles, and riders of blooded horses. The Eagle had the stage-coach patronage, and thrice a week blew a lusty horn. Besides the inns and the dwelling-houses there were stores and a half-built church, the Court House, and the shady Court House yard.
For a great part of the time, the Court House, the centre of gravity for the county, appeared to doze in the sunshine. At stated intervals, however, it awoke, and the drowsy town with it. Once awake, both became very wide awake indeed. Court days doubled the population; an election made a beehive of the place.
It was the fourth Wednesday in April, and election day. A man was to be sent to the House of Delegates at Richmond. All likelihood was upon the side of the candidate of the Democrat-Republicans, but the Federalists had a fighting chance. There were reasons why this especial election was of great interest to the county, and the motto of both parties was "No malingering!" Early in the morning, by the Three-Notched Road, the Barracks Road, and the Secretary's Road, through the shady Thoroughfare, over the misty Rivanna, the Hardware, and the Rapidan, the county began to pour electors into Charlottesville. They came upon wheels, on horseback, and afoot; the strong and the weak, the halt and the blind, the sick and the well, the old and the young, all the free men of Albemarle, all alert, all pleasurably excited over the prospect of the fight.
Without the Court House yard, under the locust trees to the right of the open gate, were placed long tables, and on them three mighty punch-bowls, flanked by drinking-cups and guarded by house servants of venerable appearance and stately manners. Here good Federalists refreshed themselves. To the left of the gate, upon the trampled grass beneath a mulberry, appeared other punch-bowls, and in addition a barrel of whiskey, ready broached for all good Democrat-Republicans. The sunny street was filled with horses, vehicles, and servants; the broad path between the trees, the turf on either hand, and the Court House steps were crowded with riotous voters. All ranks of society, all ages, occupations, and opinions, met in the genial weather, beneath the trees where sang every bird of spring.
Within the Court House the throng, slight at first, was rapidly increasing. The building was not large, and from end to end, and on the high window-sills beneath the long green blinds, the people pushed and shoved and stood a-tiptoe. It was yet early morning, and for some unexplained reason the Federalist candidate had not arrived.
Upon the Justice's Bench, raised high above the crowded floor, sat the candidate of the Democrat-Republicans—the Republicans, pure and simple, as they were beginning to be called. Near him stood the sheriff and the deputy-sheriff; around him pressed committee-men, heelers with tallies, vociferous well-wishers, and prophets of victory, and a few, a very few, personal and private friends. On the other hand, strongly gathering and impatiently awaiting their candidate, his foes gloomed upon him. Everywhere was a buzzing of voices: farmers and townspeople voting loudly, the sheriff as loudly recording each vote, the clerk humming over his book, the crowd making excited comment. There was no ballot-voting; it was a viva voce matter, and each man knew his fellow's creed.
Lewis Rand sat at ease, a tall and personable man, with the head of a victor, and a face that had the charm of strength. The eye was keen and dark, the jaw square, the thick brown hair cut short, as was the Republican fashion. His dress was plain but good, worn with a certain sober effect, an "it pleases me," that rendered silk and fine ruffles superfluous. He was listening to a wide-girthed tavern-keeper and old soldier of the Revolution's loud declaration that Lewis Rand was the coming man, and that he was for Lewis Rand. The old county wanted no English-thinking young Federalist in Richmond. "Too many Federalists there a'ready! Mr. Lewis Rand, Mr. Sheriff!"
The Republicans applauded. The custom of the time required that the man voted for should thank the man who voted, and that aloud and aptly, with no slurring acknowledgment of service. Lewis Rand, a born speaker and familiar with his audience, was at no loss. "I thank you, Mr. Fagg! May your shadow never grow less! The old county—Mr. Jefferson's county, gentlemen—may be trusted to hold its own, in Richmond or in Washington, in Heaven or in Hell! Mr. Fagg, I will drink your health in punch of the Eagle's brewing! Your very obliged friend and servant!"
From street and yard without came a noise of cheering, with cries of "Black Cockade! Black Cockade! The party of Washington—Washington forever!—The old county for Cary!—Albemarle for Cary!—The county for a gentleman!"
"Mr. Ludwell Cary has arrived," announced the sheriff.
"Here comes the gentleman!" cried a man from a windowsill. "Stand up, Lewis Rand, and show him a man!"
The throng at the door parted, and with a Federalist and distinguished following the two Carys entered, the elder quiet and smiling, the younger flushed, bright-eyed, and anxious. The attachment between these two brothers was very strong; it was to be seen in every glance that passed between them, in every tone of voice used by each to the other. The elder played fond Mentor, and the younger thought his brother a demi-god. They were men of an old name, an old place, an inherited charm. "Ludwell Cary!" cried a mail. "Long live Ludwell Cary!"
Rand left the Justice's Bench, stepped forward, and greeted his opponent. The two touched hands. "I trust I see you in health, Mr. Cary?"
"Mr. Rand, I thank you, I am very well. You are early in the lists!"
"I am accustomed to early rising," answered Rand. "This morning I have ridden from the Wolf Trap. Will you sit?"
"Ah," said Cary, "I rode from Fontenoy. After you, sir!"
They sat down, side by side, upon the Justice's Bench, the Federalist very easy, the Republican, lacking the perfection of the other's manner, with a stiffness and constraint of which he was aware and which he hated in himself. He knew himself well enough to know that presently, in the excitement of the race, the ugly mantle would slip from the braced athlete, but at the moment he felt his disadvantage. Subtly and slowly, released from some deep, central tarn of his most secret self, a vapour of distaste and dislike began to darken the cells of clear thought. As a boy he had admired and envied Ludwell Cary; for his political antagonist, pure and simple, he had, unlike most around him, often the friendliest feeling; but now, sitting there on the Justice's Bench, he wondered if he were going to hate Cary. Suddenly an image came out of the vapour. "How long has he been at Fontenoy? Does he think he can win there, too?"
The younger Cary marched to the polls with his head held high, and voted loudly for his brother. The latter smiled upon him, and said with simplicity, "Thank you, Fair!" The Republican candidate looked attentively at the young man. The spirit and the fire, subdued in the elder brother, was in the younger as visible as lightning. Rand was quick at divining men, and now he thought, "This man would make a tireless enemy."
Following Fairfax Cary came another of the group who had entered with the Carys. "Mr. Peyton votes for Mr. Ludwell Cary!" cried the sheriff. The Federalists applauded, the Republicans groaned, the tallymen took note, and Cary bowed his thanks. "Mr. Peyton, your very humble servant! Mount Eagle and Greenwood are old comrades-at-arms!"
"I'll kill your vote, Craven Peyton!" came a voice. "I vote, Mr. Sheriff, for Lewis Rand!"
"Ludwell Cary!" cried another, "and there's a killer killed, Dick Carr!"
"I'll draw a bead on you, Gentry!" put in a third. "The best shot in the county, Mr. Sheriff, and that's Lewis Rand!"
"Lewis Rand stands ten ahead!" cried a committee-man; and the sheriff, "Gentlemen, gentlemen! order at the polls!"
A small, wizened man, middle-aged and elaborately dressed in much ancient and tarnished finery, came bowing through the crowd. A curled wig shadowed a narrow face, and lace ruffles fell over long-fingered hands, yellow as old ivory. The entire figure was fantastic, even a little grotesque, though after a pleasant fashion. In a mincing voice and with a strong French accent, M. Achille Pincornet, dancing-master and performer on the violin, intimated that he wished to vote for Mr. Ludwell Cary. Lewis Rand glanced sharply up, then made a sign to a sandy-haired and freckled man who, tally in hand, stood near him.
"I challenge that vote!" cried the man with the tally.
"Mr. Pincornet's vote is challenged!" shouted the sheriff.
"Order, order, gentlemen! Your reason, Mr. Mocket?"
"The gentleman is a Frenchman and not a citizen of the United States! He is not even a citizen of the French Republic! He is an emigre. He has no vote. Mark off his name!"
"Sir!" cried the challenged voter, "I am a de Pincornet, cadet of a house well known in Gascony! If I left France, I left it to find a great and free country, a country where one gentleman may serve another!"
A roar of laughter, led by Mocket, arose from the younger and lower sort of Republicans. "But you do serve, Mr. Pincornet! You teach all the 'Well-born' how to dance!"
"Didn't you teach the Carys? They dance beautifully."
"Are brocaded coats still worn in Gascony?"
"Ne sutor supra crepidam judicaret! Caper all you please on a waxed floor, but leave Virginians to rule!"
Fairfax Cary, hot and angry, put in an oar. "Mr. Sheriff, Mr. Sheriff! Mr. Pincornet has lived these twelve years in Albemarle! We have no more respected, no more esteemed citizen. His vote's as good as any man's—and rather better, I may remark, than that of some men!" He looked pointedly at Mocket.
Lewis Rand gave his henchman a second guiding glance.
"It is merely," said Mocket promptly, "a question of that Alien Law of which the 'Well-born' are so proud. Show your papers, Mr. Pincornet. If you are a citizen of the United States, you have papers to show for it."
"Yes, sir," agreed the sheriff. "That's right, Mr. Mocket. Let me see your papers, Mr. Pincornet."
"Papers, papers! I have no papers!" cried Mr. Pincornet.
"But every gentleman here—and I have no care for the canaille—knows that I live in Albemarle, in a small house between Greenwood and Fontenoy! I have lived there since I left France in the abhorred year of '92, with tears of rage in my eyes! I came to this land, where, seeing that I must eat, and that my dancing was always admired, I said to myself, 'T'enez, Achille, my friend, we will teach these Virginians to dance!' Mr. Fairfax Cary has been my pupil, and it gives me pleasure to vote for his brother to go make the laws for my adopted country—"
"I'm sorry, Mr. Pincornet," interrupted the sheriff, "but you have no vote. I'll have to ask you to stand aside."
"Come up here, Mr. Pincornet," said Cary, from the Justice's Bench. "I want to ask you about a gentleman of your name whom I had the honour to meet in London—M. le Vicomte de Pincornet, a very gallant man—"
"That," said the dancing master, "would be my cousin Alexandre. He escaped during the Terror hidden under a load of hay, his son driving in a blouse and red nightcap. Will Mr. Cary honour me?" and out came a tortoise-shell snuff-box.
The voting quickened. "Rand is ahead—Rand is winning!" went from mouth to mouth. Fairfax Cary, caring much where his brother cared little, welcomed impetuously the wave of Federalists which that rumour brought in from the yard and street. "Ha, Mr. Gilmer, Mr. Carter, you are welcome! Who votes? Who votes as General Hamilton and Mr. Adams and Judge Marshall vote? Who votes as Washington would have voted?"
So many crowded to vote as Washington would have voted, that it almost seemed as though his shade might lead the Federalists to victory. But the dead Washington must cope with the living Jefferson; mild monarchism and stately rule with a spirit born of time, nursed by Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, grown articulate in the French Revolution, and now full swing toward majority. When thrown, the Democrat-Republicans rose from the earth like Antaeus. Much of the gentle blood and many of the prominent men of the county voted for Lewis Rand. Jefferson's personal following of friends and kinsmen was large; these accepted his man as a matter of course, while to the plain men of the county Lewis Rand was more even than the coming man: he was of them; he was a plain man. The clamour and excitement grew. "Here come the Three-Notched Road people!" cried a voice. "They all rolled tobacco with Gideon Rand!"
The Three-Notched Road people voted to a man for the son of Gideon Rand, and were promptly reinforced by a contingent of hot Republicans from the Ragged Mountains. At ten o'clock Lewis Rand was again well ahead, but at this hour there was a sharp rally of the Federalists. A cheering from without announced the arrival of some popular voter, and Colonel Churchill and his brother, Major Edward, and an array of Federalists from the Fontenoy district, entered the Court House.
"The Churchills are coming, Oho! Oho!" sang out a wag perched on the window-sill.
"Not to that tune," roared a Scot from the gallery. "Mon, they're Tories!"
"Gentlemen, gentlemen! order at the polls!" shouted the sheriff. "Colonel Churchill, for whom do you vote?"
"I vote, sir," cried the Colonel, "for Mr. Ludwell Cary, for a gentleman and a patriot, sir, and may the old county never be represented but by such!"
"Order, order at the polls! Colonel Churchill votes for Mr. Ludwell Cary! Major Edward Churchill, whom do you vote for?"
"For whom do you suppose, Mr. Sheriff?" said the Major. "For Mr. Ludwell Cary."
Cary rose from the bench and stepped forward to the edge of the platform. "Colonel Dick, Major Edward, I thank you both. May I deserve your confidence and your favour! Fontenoy is as dear to me as Greenwood."
"By God, you shall win, Ludwell!" cried Colonel Dick. "Here's a regiment of us to see you through!"
"Rome hasn't fallen yet," added Major Edward. "I don't hear the geese cackling."
"One's cackling now," smiled Cary, and Mr. Tom Mocket stepped up to the polls.
"It's not a goose; it's a turkey buzzard!"
"It's not feathered at all," said Fairfax Cary. "It's a mangy jackal to a mangy lion."
The young man had spoken loudly and contemptuously. Rand, on the Justice's Bench, and Mocket, in the act of voting, both heard, and both looked his way. Ludwell Cary knit his brows, and meeting his brother's eyes, slightly shook his head. Look and gesture said, "Leave abuse alone, Fair."
Mocket voted for Rand. "I challenge that vote!" cried Major Edward Churchill. "The man's been in prison."
Amid the noise that followed, the Jackal was heard to cry, "It's a lie! Lewis, tell them it's a lie! Major Churchill, you'd better be careful! I was acquitted, and you know it."
"Do I?" answered the Major coolly. "I know that you ought to be making shoes in the penitentiary! Mr. Sheriff, you should really have this courtroom sprinkled with vinegar. There's gaol fever in the air."
"I don't see, Mr. Sheriff," came Rand's voice from the Justice's Bench, "that any more vinegar is needed. Gentlemen, all—whether Federalist or Republican—I was Mr. Mocket's lawyer in the case referred to. Twelve good men and true—men of this county—pronounced him innocent. It is not surprising that my friends the Federalists should wish to gain time,—they are leagued with old Time,—but I protest against their gaining it by such means. This is not a matter of parties; it is a matter of a man being held innocent till he is proved guilty. A hundred men here can testify as to the verdict in this case. Mr. Mocket, gentlemen—" He paused and regarded the sandy-haired and freckled Tom, the brother of little Vinie, the sometime door-boy in Chancellor Wythe's law office, with a smile so broadly humorous, humane, and tolerant, that suddenly the courtroom smiled with him. "Tom Mocket, gentlemen, is a scamp, but he's not a scoundrel! The election proceeds, Mr. Sheriff."
"I vote for Lewis Rand!" shouted the scamp out of the uproar. "Richmond now, then Washington! We'll send Lewis Rand as high as he can go!"
"As high as the gallows!" growled Major Edward Churchill.
"Send him," said a voice in the doorway, "out West. Mr. Jefferson gained Louisiana, but 'twill take a stronger man to gain Mexico. Mexico wants a Buonaparte."
The day wore on with no lessening of heat and clamour. The Court House becoming too full, men betook themselves to the yard or to the street, where, mounted on chairs or on wagons from which the horses had been taken, they harangued their fellows. Public speaking came easily to this race. To-day good liquor and emulation pricked them on, and the spring in the blood. Under the locusts to the right of the gate Federalists apostrophized Washington, lauded Hamilton, the Judiciary, and the beauty of the English Constitution, denounced the French, denounced the Louisiana Purchase, denounced the Man of the People, and his every tool and parasite, and lifted to the skies the name of Ludwell Cary. To the left of the gate, under the locusts, the Republicans praised the President of the United States and all his doings, and poured oblation to Lewis Rand. From side to side of the path there were alarms and incursions. Before noon there had occurred a number of hand-to-hand fights, one, at least, accompanied by "gouging," and a couple of duels had been arranged.
In the courtroom the parties jostled each other at the polls, and the candidates, side by side upon the Justice's Bench, watched the day go now this way and now that. Their partisans they must acceptably thank, and they must be quick of wit with their adversaries. Fatigue did not count, nor hoarseness from much speaking, nor an undercurrent of consciousness that there were, after all, more parties than two, more principles than those they advocated, more colours than black and white, more epithets than hero and villain. They must act in their moment, and accept its excitement. A colour burned in their cheeks, and the hair lay damp upon their foreheads. They must listen and answer to men saying loudly to their faces and before other men, "I hold with you, and your mind is brother to my mind"; or saying, "I hold not with you, and you and your mind are abominable to me! To outer darkness with you both!"
Sometimes they consulted with their committee-men, and sometimes punch was brought, and they drank with their friends. Occasionally they spoke to each other; when they did this, it was with extreme courtesy. Cary used the buttoned foil with polished ease. Rand's manner was less assured; there was something antique and laboured in his determined grasp at the amenities of the occasion. It was the only heaviness. To the other contest between them he brought an amazing sureness, a suppleness, power, and audacity beyond praise. He directed his battle, and at his elbow Tom Mocket, sandy-haired and ferret-eyed, did him yeoman service.
At one o'clock there was an adjournment for dinner. The principal Federalists betook themselves to the Swan; the principal Republicans to the Eagle. The commonalty ate from the packed baskets upon the trampled grass of the Court House yard. An hour later, when the polls were reopened, men returned to them flushed with drink and in the temper for a quarrel, the Republicans boisterous over a foreseen victory, the Federalists peppery from defeat. In the yard the constable had to part belligerents, in the courtroom the excitement mounted. The tide was set now for Lewis Rand. The Federalists watched it with angry eyes; the Republicans greeted with jubilation each new wave. The defeated found some relief in gibes. "Holoa! here's Citizen Bonhomme—red breeches, cockade, and Brutus crop!
"Ah, ca ira, ca ira, ca ira!"
"That man ran away from Tarleton!—yes, you did, the very day that Mr. Jefferson—a-hem!—absented himself from Monticello!"
"Challenge that man—he deserted in the Indian War!
"November the fourth, in the year ninety-one, We had a sore engagement near to Fort Jefferson!"
"Here's a traveller who has seen the mammoth and climbed the Salt Mountain!"
"Here's a tobacco-roller! Hey, my man, don't you miss old friends on the road?"
Under cover of the high words, laughter, and vituperation which made a babel of the courtroom, Cary spoke to his opponent. "Mr. Rand, do you remember that frosty morning, long ago, when you and I first met? I came upon you in the woods, and together we gathered chinquapins. Does it seem long to you since you were a boy?"
"Long enough!" answered Rand. "I remember that day very well."
"We told each other our names, I remember, and what each meant to do in the world. We hardly foresaw this day." "It is not easy to foresee," said Rand slowly. "If we could, we might—"
"We might foresee our last meeting," smiled Cary, "as we remember our first." He took a glass of wine from a passing servant and put it to his lips, "To another meeting, in the wood!" he said, "since I may not quite drink to your victory."
"Ah, my victory!" answered Rand. "When I have it, I don't know that I shall care for it! That's a handsome youth, your brother—and he has worked for you like a Trojan! I'll drink to your brother!"
"Here are the Green Spring folk!" cried a voice. "They always vote like gentlemen!"
The Green Spring folk were a squadron, and they voted Cary again within sight of the goal. A man who had been standing just without the open door rested his long musket against the wall and advanced to the polls. "Last time I voted here," he said, "'twas for Mr. Jefferson. I reckon I'll have to vote to-day for Lewis Rand."
A tumult arose. "Adam Gaudylock belongs upon the Mississippi!—He isn't an Albemarle man!—He's a Kentuck—He's a Louisianian—He's a subject of Jefferson's new kingdom!—Challenged!—He can't vote in Albemarle!"
The hunter waited for the uproar to cease. "You Federalists are mighty poor shots!" he exclaimed at last. "You make no account of the wind. I am subject of no man's kingdom. I trade in New Orleans, and I travel on the great rivers, and I've friends in Kentucky, and I hunt where the hunting's good, but when I want to vote I come back to my own county where I was born, and where I grew up among you all, and where I've yet a pretty piece of land between here and the mountains. I voted here before, and I'll vote here again. The Gaudylocks may wander and wander, but their home is on the Three-Notched Road, and they vote in Albemarle."
The vote standing, and Adam being followed by a string of hunters, traders, and boatmen, the Republican candidate was again and finally in advance. The winds blew for him from the four quarters. In the last golden light of the afternoon there was a strong and sudden muster of Republicans. From all directions stragglers appeared, voice after voice proclaiming for the man who, regarded at first as merely a protege of Jefferson, had come in the last two years to be regarded for himself. The power in him had ceased to be latent, and friend and foe were beginning to watch Lewis Rand and his doings with intentness.