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Shining like seven stars in the dusk and mist of the evening.

Soon he entered his door, and found the redoubtable Captain

Sitting alone, and absorbed in the martial pages of Cæsar,

Fighting some great campaign in Hainault or Brabant or Flanders.

"Long have you been on your errand," he said with a cheery demeanor,

Even as one who is waiting an answer, and fears not the issue.

"Not far off is the house, although the woods are between us;

But you have lingered so long, that while you were going and coming

I have fought ten battles and sacked and de

molished a city.

Come, sit down, and in order relate to me all that has happened."

Then John Alden spake, and related the

wondrous adventure,

From beginning to end, minutely, just as it happened;

How he had seen Priscilla, and how he had sped in his courtship,

Only smoothing a little, and softening down her


But when he came at length to the words Priscilla had spoken,

Words so tender and cruel: "Why don't you speak for yourself, John?"

Up leaped the Captain of Plymouth, and stamped on the floor, till his armor

Clanged on the wall, where it hung, with a sound of sinister omen.

All his pent-up wrath burst forth in a sudden


Even as a hand-grenade, that scatters destruction around it.

Wildly he shouted, and loud: "John Alden! you have betrayed me!

Me, Miles Standish, your friend! have supplanted, defrauded, betrayed me!

One of my ancestors ran his sword through the heart of Wat Tyler;

Who shall prevent me from running my own through the heart of a traitor?

Yours is the greater treason, for yours is a treason to friendship!

You, who lived under my roof, whom I cherished and loved as a brother;

You, who have fed at my board, and drunk at my cup, to whose keeping

I have intrusted my honor, my thoughts the most sacred and secret,

You too, Brutus! ah woe to the name of friendship hereafter !

Brutus was Cæsar's friend, and you were mine, but henceforward

God had sifted three kingdoms to find the wheat for this planting,

Then had sifted the wheat, as the living seed of a nation;

So say the chronicles old, and such is the faith of the people!

Near them was standing an Indian, in attitude stern and defiant,

Naked down to the waist, and grim and ferocious in aspect;

While on the table before them was lying unopened a Bible,

Ponderous, bound in leather, brass-studded, printed in Holland,

And beside it outstretched the skin of a rattle

snake glittered,

Filled, like a quiver, with arrows; a signal and challenge of warfare,

Brought by the Indian, and speaking with

arrowy tongues of defiance.

This Miles Standish beheld, as he entered, and

heard them debating

What were an answer befitting the hostile message and menace,

Talking of this and of that, contriving, suggesting, objecting;

One voice only for peace, and that the voice of the Elder,

Judging it wise and well that some at least were converted,

Rather than any were slain, for this was but Christian behavior!

Then outspake Miles Standish, the stalwart Captain of Plymouth,

Muttering deep in his throat, for his voice was husky with anger,

"What! do you mean to make war with milk and the water of roses?

Is it to shoot red squirrels you have your howitzer planted

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