Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

Let there be nothing between us save war, and

implacable hatred!”

So spake the Captain of Plymouth, and

strode about in the chamber, Chafing and choking with rage ; like cords

were the veins on his temples. But in the midst of his anger a man appeared

at the doorway, Bringing in uttermost haste a message of ur

gent importance, Rumors of danger and war and hostile incur

sions of Indians ! Straightway the Captain paused, and, without

further question or parley, Took from the nail on the wall his sword with

its scabbard of iron, Buckled the belt round his waist, and, frown

ing fiercely, departed. Alden was left alone. He heard the clank of

the scabbard

Growing fainter and fainter, and dying away

in the distance. Then he arose from his seat, and looked forth

into the darkness, Felt the cool air blow on his cheek, that was

hot with the insult, Lifted his eyes to the heavens, and, folding his

hands as in childhood, Prayed in the silence of night to the Father

who seeth in secret.

Meanwhile the choleric Captain strode wrath

ful away to the council, Found it already assembled, impatiently wait

ing his coming; Men in the middle of life, austere and grave in

deportment, Only one of them old, the hill that was nearest

to heaven, Covered with snow, but erect, the excellent

Elder of Plymouth.

5*

There on the roof of the church, or is it to

shoot red devils ?

Truly the only tongue that is understood by a

savage

Must be the tongue of fire that speaks from the

mouth of the cannon!” Thereupon answered and said the excellent

Elder of Plymouth, Somewhat amazed and alarmed at this irrev

erent language: “ Not so thought Saint Paul, nor yet the other

Apostles; Not from the cannon's mouth were the tongues

of fire they spake with ! ” But unheeded fell this mild rebuke on the

Captain, Who had advanced to the table, and thus con

tinued discoursing : “Leave this matter to me, for to me by right

it pertaineth.

War is a terrible trade; but in the cause that

is righteous, Sweet is the smell of powder; and thus I an

swer the challenge!

Then from the rattlesnake's skin, with a sud

den, contemptuous gesture, Jerking the Indian arrows, he filled it with

powder and bullets Full to the very jaws, and handed it back to

the savage,

Saying, in thundering tones: “Here, take it !

this is your answer!” Silently out of the room then glided the glis

tening savage, Bearing the serpent's skin, and seeming himself

like a serpent, Winding his sinuous way in the dark to the

depths of the forest.

V.

THE SAILING OF THE MAY FLOWER.

Just in the gray of the dawn, as the mists up

rose from the meadows, There was a stir and a sound in the slumber

[ocr errors]

ing village of Plymouth; Clanging and clicking of arms, and the order

imperative, “ Forward !” Given in tone suppressed, a tramp of feet, and

then silence. Figures ten, in the mist, marched slowly out

of the village. Standish the stalwart it was, with eight of his

valorous army,

« ПредишнаНапред »