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Let there be nothing between us save war, and
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
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.
There on the roof of the church, or is it to
shoot red devils ?
Truly the only tongue that is understood by a
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
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
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.
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
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