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Shining like seven stars in the dusk and mist

of the evening. Soon he entered his door, and found the re

doubtable Captain Sitting alone, and absorbed in the martial pa

ges 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

refusal. But when he came at length to the words Pris

cilla 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

explosion, Even as a land-grenade, that scatters destrucWildly he shouted, and loud : “ John Alden !

tion around it.

you have betrayed me ! Me, Miles Standish, your friend ! have sup

planted, 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 trea

son to friendship! You, who lived under my roof, whom I cher

ished 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

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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 fero

cious in aspect; While on the table before them was lying un

opened 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 mes

sage and menace, Talking of this and of that, contriving, suggest

ing, 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 how

itzer planted

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