If you don’t know now you will know then

“Git eout,” said Boston, executing another flourish as he disappeared.
“Two days, umph. Where will you be in two days, I should like to know?
Now to business.”

He took up the pack and departed from head-quarters, going out upon the
parade. There he was besieged by a score of Dutchmen, several of whom
reproached him with bad faith in previous bargains, but did not fail to
buy; indeed, Boston Bainbridge was gifted by nature with that shrewdness
in a bargain which is characteristic of that famous town from whence he
took his name; so gifted, indeed, that one of his own countrymen, who
had been cheated by him, gave him the name, and it had stuck to him ever
after.

Getting rid of his purchasers, he carried his diminished pack to the door
of a house more pretentious than the others, situated upon the river
bank. His knock brought to the door a Teutonic damsel, who started back
in undisguised dismay at the sight of the hawker.

“Hist, Katrine,” said he; “don’t make a row. How are you?”

“What do you want, Boston?” replied the girl, quickly. “I will not join
any scheme against the peace of my cousin.”

“Sho, now, who asked you? It seems to me, my dear, that you don’t seem
glad to see me, after so long a time.”

“I ain’t. Don’t you know it’s dangerous to come here? You were in trouble
enough before, cheat that you are; but now—”

“Well, what now?”

“I won’t tell. It’s enough for you to know that something besides a
broken head will be yours if you stay. Take up your pack, for heaven’s
sake, and be off about your business.”

Boston passed his arm about the waist of the buxom girl, and led her into
the kitchen. There he dropped his pack, drew her down upon his knee,
and kissed her with hearty good-will. She struggled desperately, uttered
a good many protests, and ended by returning his kisses in right good
earnest.

“Dere now,” said Katrine, in her pretty English, just enough touched with
the Teutonic element to give it a zest, “I hope you be satisfied. Now
tell me why you come here? Be quiet, can’t you?”

The last exclamation was elicited by an attempt on the part of Boston to
kiss her again. This she resisted, as in duty bound, until out of breath,
and then yielded as before.

“You want to know why I am here. I came upon that which you would have
sent me away on a while ago—business, and to see you.”

“Me! Far enough from Good Hope you would be, if only poor Katrine brought
you here. Confess, now, you have other business?”

“Of course; I said so. _Plenty_ of business, and you must help me,
Katrine. But first, tell me what you meant by saying I should have
something besides my head broken?”

“Just your neck, that’s all.”

“That ain’t much, Katrine.”

“No, dat ain’t much, or you wouldn’t risk it so many times every day. I
tell you to go away.”

“You haven’t told me why.”

“I won’t tell, either.”

“Then I won’t go. I am not going to run away from a shadow.”

“Dis no shadow; you will be taken as a spy.”

“Sho; we ain’t at war with the Dutch. No saying how soon we may be,
though; besides, I don’t mind telling you that I have been before the
commandant to-day, and was pretty thoroughly searched, too. What does it
matter? They didn’t find any thing, though. Where is your cousin?”

“I knew you would come to that, Boston; but it is no use. I won’t—I
_won’t_—I WON’T! You needn’t ask me.”

“You won’t—you _won’t_—you WON’T! and I needn’t ask you. That’s pretty
strong. Pray, before you refuse any thing, wait till you are asked. Do
you think I want to hurt your cousin?”

“I don’t know,” sobbed poor Katrine, “I don’t think you would; but I love
my cousin.”

“So do I!”

“What!”

“I love her just as every man who ever saw her loves her, as I love
a beautiful picture or a clear night, or as something holy and pure,
entirely beyond my reach. As a lovely piece of God’s handiwork, I admire
her—but she would not do for every-day use. I have some one in my mind
who would suit me better.”

“Who?” asked Katrine, quickly.

“I don’t like to tell; you might not like it.”

“Never mind,” said she, struggling away from him. “Don’t touch me again;
I don’t want to know her name.”

“Oh, but you must hear it,” replied the other, “I’ll tell it now, just to
spite you. Her name is—”

“I won’t hear,” cried the girl, putting her fingers in her ears—“I won’t
hear. Don’t you try for to tell me.”

“She is a pretty girl, I tell you,” said Boston, with a malicious twinkle
in his eyes, “and you don’t know how I love her—you don’t want to hear
her name?”

“No,” said Katrine, with a quiver of the lip, “I won’t hear it.”

“I’ve a good mind not to tell you, though I know you are dying to hear
it. Yes, I will; her name is—” Katrine took her fingers partly out of her
ears.

“A Dutch one,” went on Bainbridge. The girl again stopped her ears.

“But a pretty name for all that,” said Boston. “You don’t want to hear
it; then I’ll tell it. I call her _Katrine_!”

“What’s her other name?”

“Veeder.”

“_Me!_ Oh, you beast—you been fooling me all dis time. You lie,
_dreadful_; I don’t know what may happen to you; but, after all, I am
glad you said Katrine, and I am glad you said Veeder, for I don’t know
what I should do if you were to fall in love with any one else, you dear,
cheating, bundling old vagabond!”

With these somewhat contradictory epithets, Katrine kissed him, then and
there.

“Let’s get back to what we were talking of before, my dear,” said Boston.
“I can’t afford too much time here. Where is Theresa?”

“Somewhere about the house.”

“Where?”

“I don’t know, Boston; promise me—promise poor Katrine that you will not
lead her into any rash things, which may make her father angry; he is
none too kind to her since she saw dat young lieutenant, and they learned
to love each other. Dat’s de same time you and me tried it, you dear old
swindler.”

“The very time. Now, I ain’t going to make no rash promises. I don’t know
what _may_ happen; but, this I will promise—through my means, no harm
shall come to the gal. I like her for herself, and I like her for the
sake of Willie, who is the best young fellow I know.”

A clear, rich voice sounded at this moment in a merry song. Katrine held
up her hand.

“That’s her; who could have the heart to do her a wrong? Ah; she is
coming in here.”

The door was thrown open, and the singer stood upon the threshold like
a picture in a frame—a beautiful picture, too. Theresa Van Curter was
a rare type of her style of beauty—the blonde. Her fair hair, lustrous
and waving, was put back from a white forehead, and confined at the back
with an antique comb; her dress was suited to the station in which she
was placed, partaking something of the Indian character, and giving free
play to her limbs, a broad hat, which she had been wearing in her stroll
through the forest, was swung upon her arm, while her hand clasped a
bouquet of wild flowers she had gathered. She started in some surprise at
the appearance of Boston, and then, dropping the flowers and hat to the
floor, sprung forward.

“Oh, sir, you here! Have you any news?”

She paused in some confusion.

“You needn’t go on,” said Boston, “I never keep a lady waiting. I have a
letter for you.”

Theresa put out her hand quickly.

“It must be from _him_!”

“Yes, it’s from _him_. Your father tried hard to find it. He would give
me both Jerusalem and Jericho if he knew I had it. You see I calculated
on being searched, and hid the paper.”

“You did?”

“Yes, I did. Have you got such a thing as a knife around here? Thank you,
Katrine. What a famous little house-keeper you’ll make, having every
thing so handy about you! Take hold of my old cap and help me.”

A few moments’ work about the lining of the old hat which the hawker had
worn revealed a letter, which he took and handed to Theresa. She turned
away to the window, and read it hastily. A shade passed over her fine
face as she read.

“Is he well?” she asked, turning to Boston, who was engaged in a
flirtation with Katrine.

“Oh, yes, ma’am. You see he is out of spirits on your account, and that
runs him down some. But he is hearty. Just send him a cheery word, and
all will be well in the twinkling of an eye.”

“I am going to my room now, and shall write an answer to this. You must
remain until I come back. I shall not be long.”

She hurried away quickly, leaving Boston with Katrine—and they sat down
by the casement. They quarreled, and “made up” again, several times,
before Theresa appeared with an answer to the note.

“I have a little to say to you. Your father took me to-day, and made me
confess that I had a message to you.”

“Oh dear! You did not show him that letter?”

“Not a bit of it. But I told him that the message was verbal, and gave
him one of my own making up. Sounded natural enough. Faithful unto death,
and that sort of stuff. You understand.”

“And did not Willie send any such message to me?”

“A thousand; but I couldn’t think of half he said, if I were to spend a
week in meditation on the subject. You will take them all for granted.”

“I fancy that Willie had better change his messenger,” said Theresa, with
a pout. “I am sure he might do better.”

“I am sorry to say that _I_ think you are wrong,” replied Boston, coolly
stroking his beard. “There ain’t another man in the five provinces that
would do for you what I’ve done, time and again.”

“I am sorry I said that, Boston,” said Theresa, relenting quickly. “I
know you are faithful and true, but you ought to remember. Was my father
_very_ angry?”

“Very particularly angry,” replied Boston. “Looked as if he wanted to eat
all the tribe of Yankees, beginning with me.”

“Was he angry at me?”

“I calculate he _was_. I don’t want no one to be angrier with me, I
guess. He was _awful_ mad.”

“Then you had better go away. But first open your pack and let me get
what I need. We have waited a long time for you.”

“That’s because you can trust me. You know that, though I will beat Dutch
_men_ sometimes, I never try to beat women.”

“What a twister,” cried Katrine.

“Now don’t you put in at all, Katrine. I won’t have it. Let me trade with
Miss Theresa in my own way. You know I won’t try to cheat her.”

“But you do some women.”

“In trade I might. You stop talking, or the dress I am going to sell you
will fall to pieces in washing.”

The girl was bending over the pack when the commandant entered. He looked
a little angry when he saw the peddler.

“Don’t attempt to ply your trade here, sir. Go elsewhere.”

“Why, squire, as to that, the way I look at it is this: You gave me two
days to trade, and you didn’t say _where_ I should go in particular. You
didn’t buy any thing, and I thought your daughter might want a few traps.”

“Where do you intend to pass the night?”

“I don’t know. But surely some one will be glad to entertain me, and take
some of my wares in consideration. I’ve picked up a good many furs since
I came out here, and they are getting heavy. I can’t travel far in a day.”

“You should have a horse,” said Theresa, looking up from the pack, which
she was turning over after a woman’s fashion.

“I _did_ have one when I came, but old Paul Swedlepipe wouldn’t take ‘no’
for an answer, but would have him.”

“I’ll wager my commission that he paid for the horse,” said Van Curter,
with a laugh. “How much did he give you?”

“Seventy-five guilders. I look upon it in the light of a praiseworthy
action—_giving_ that hoss away.”

“Giving it away! S’death, man, I have a dozen horses, and you may have
the best of them for seventy-five guilders.”

“I’ll take a look into your stable before I go away,” said Boston. “In
the mean time, I’ve got something I want _you_ to look at.” He tumbled
over the wares and took out a pair of heavy spurs. “Now look at that,”
he cried, in a tone of exultant admiration. “Did you ever, in your born
days, see sech a pair of spurs as that? No you didn’t, so you needn’t say
it. I don’t say that they are the best pair of spurs in the Colonies, but
I put it to you, squire, can you put your finger upon a pair as good,
anywhere? If you can, I should be proud to know it.”

Van Curter took up the spurs and looked at them closely.

“Now tell me,” said he, “where is the cheat in this pair of spurs. I
take it for granted that there is such a thing about it, since a Yankee
brought them. Is it in the price, or in the articles themselves?”

“Oh, as to that,” replied Boston, with an air of injured innocence, “I
don’t say any thing. You will have it that there is a cheat in every
thing I offer for sale; but, if there is one there, _you_ can’t find it.”

Van Curter laughed again.

“Come now,” he said, “I am willing to take the spurs, and at your price,
too, if you will tell me just where the cheat is to be?”

“You will take them any way?”

“Yes.”

“Then I’ll tell you; or, rather, it won’t be necessary to tell you any
more than the price.”

“And what is the price?”

“Forty guilders.”

“Hein!” shouted Van Curter, breaking into Dutch. “Do you mean, seriously
and gravely, to ask me forty guilders for a pair of spurs not worth ten?”

“You wanted to know where the cheat was—in the spurs or the price. You’ve
got it. It’s in the _price_.”

“Der tuyvel! Hold; here is your money. And now take away your pack, or
you will ruin my house. Go quickly.”

“I was thinking to wait,” said Boston, coolly buttoning up the cash in
his breeches-pocket, “until the lady has made her selections; she don’t
seem to have finished.”

“Make your purchases quickly, Theresa, and come with me. I wish to speak
with you. Do not delay.”

Theresa gathered up her purchases and demanded the price. He gave such a
moderate one, even for him, that Van Curter was astonished, and made no
attempt to make the price less.

“You have some conscience yet, Bainbridge,” he said. “Here is your money.
Come, Theresa.”

The girl followed him from the room, casting a glance back at the
peddler, who had stooped over his pack, and was throwing out various
articles, at the bidding of Katrine.

“Do you know what I will bring from Boston when I come again?” said he.

“No,” said Katrine, with a smile. “What?”

“A ring and a minister.”

“What for?” asked Katrine, in sublime unconsciousness.

“If you don’t know now you will know then,” was the answer. “You’d better
have this dress made up against that time.” With this he kissed her
again, arranged his pack, and left the house, making his way back to the
house of Paul Swedlepipe.

Boston found Paul Swedlepipe exercising the horse which he had so lately
bought from him. Beyond a strong desire to get his hind feet higher than
his head when hard pressed, and a tendency to roll upon his rider when
spurred, Paul had no fault to find with his purchase. He found that
the little beast really possessed great powers of endurance, and was
tolerably swift. The truth of the matter was, Boston had purchased the
pony for his own use, and not to _sell_. The pleasant little fiction on
his part, in regard to his having been purchased for Mynheer Ten Eyck,
was made up on the spur of the moment, to induce Swedlepipe to buy, for
Boston never missed any opportunity for a trade.

Not being cheated so badly as he expected, Swedlepipe was in good humor,
and received the peddler with a smile, even while he restrained an
attempt to kick on the part of the Narragansett.

“Ah-ha! Boston. Dat you, eh? Dis pretty goot hoss; glad dat you not sheat
me too mooch dis time. You come for dem guilders, eh?”

“Not yet, mynheer. You see I’ve been pesky busy sense I left you. But
I’ll keep my word. There comes Ten Eyck now.”

“Yaw, dat is goot. Let me stant by vile you sheat him.”

“I am only going to begin to-day. To-morrow I will finish,” replied
Boston.

The ancestor of that famous race, the Ten Eyck’s of our country, rode up
at this moment. It may be well to mention that this man and Swedlepipe
were hereditary foes, and lost no opportunity for inflicting loss upon
each other. Ten Eyck had rather the best of the encounter, as he had
heard the story of the horse sold to Swedlepipe a few months before,
which had caused the quarrel between the peddler and Swedlepipe.

In person, the two Dutchmen were at variance. Swedlepipe was short and
stout; Ten Eyck was tall and lank. Swedlepipe’s hair was black; Ten
Eyck’s was yellow, nearly approaching to red. Swedlepipe’s voice was
pitched in a high treble; Ten Eyck had a deep, resounding bass. In an
encounter with cudgels, the battle would have been to the strong, in
the person of Swedlepipe. The acute Ten Eyck knew this right well, and
likewise knew that he had the advantage in the use of harsh words and
taunts. He had been especially hard upon poor Paul in the matter of the
horse-trade.

The steed which Ten Eyck himself bestrode would not have been selected
as an object of admiration upon Broadway or Rotten Row. In spite of the
food which his master crammed into him, he would _not_ grow fat. His
bones protruded in a highly objectionable manner. His head was nearly
double the size of that of any ordinary horse, and his neck being very
long, he found it extremely difficult to hold it up. In consequence, a
line drawn from the ears to the tail would have touched the back at every
point. Boston hailed the appearance of this remarkable beast with a yell
of delight.

“Oh, Lord! What a hoss—what a hoss!”

Swedlepipe joined at once in the cry.

“Whose hoss you laughing at, you Yankee? Dat hoss you sell to Swedlepipe
a _little_ worse, I guess.”

“I calculate you are wrong there, Mister Longshanks. Why, I know that
hoss you are riding. He is forty years old. Some say that he was brought
over in the Mayflower; some say not. A man like you oughtn’t to ride such
a horse. Look at Mynheer Swedlepipe, and see what a hoss _he_ rides! I
s’pose you have heard how I sold the other one to him. That was all a
mistake, and I have made it all right. Haven’t I, Mynheer Swedlepipe?”

“Yaw;” said Paul. “Dat ish goot now; dat vash bad hoss, dis ish goot von.”

Ten Eyck looked at the prancing pony with infinite disgust. Such was the
nature of the two men, that one could not bear to have the other possess
any thing which he could not get. Every prance of the Narragansett,
every shake of his long tail, went to the tall man’s very heart. As for
Swedlepipe, his face fairly beamed with exultation, and he stuttered in
his joy, when he attempted to speak.

“The fact is, Mynheer Ten Eyck,” said Boston, “you don’t know who to buy
a horse of, and you get cheated. Now I will tell you, in confidence, that
there are several men in Windsor who would not hesitate to cheat you,
upon any occasion. But, I have a character to lose; I must deal in a good
article. If I sell you bad goods or a bad hoss, you will not buy of me
again. Do you see?”

Ten Eyck saw.

“Very good, then. If you had bought a horse from me, it would have been a
good one, if you paid me a _good price_. Of course you wouldn’t expect a
very good horse for a very poor price. That’s plain enough, is it not?”

“You got long tongue, Boston,” said Ten Eyck. “Have you got a hoss to
sell?”

“I can’t rightly say that I have a hoss just now. But I know where I can
put my hand upon one within five hours.”

“Steal him?”

“You say that again, and I’ll drive your long legs four feet into the
ground,” cried Boston, turning upon the Dutchman in sudden wrath. “Hark
ye, sir. I am a plain man, and I speak plain language. In the way of
trade I’ll get as much out of a man for as little in return, as any man
in the five colonies. But, I won’t take ‘thief’ from any man. So look
out.”

Ten Eyck almost fell from his horse in fear, and hastened to disclaim any
personal allusion in his question.

“All right. Now I’ll answer your question. This hoss is where I can get
him easily. All you have got to do is to ride home, and come again about
five this evening to Paul Swedlepipe’s. You can see the hoss there.”

Turning up his nose at Paul Swedlepipe, and applying his heels to the
sides of the remarkable courser he bestrode, Ten Eyck rode away, bobbing
up and down in his saddle like a dancing-Jack.

“Now, Paul,” said Boston, “I want your help. Where is this hoss I sold
you the other day?”

“Out in de bush.”

“Send for him.”

“What you want of him?”

“Never you mind; he is mine, and I want him. And mind, I also want the
teeth and tail I sold with him. Them I must have.”

Paul called to one of his boys, and sent him after the horse, while he
himself produced the tail and teeth which he had carefully preserved. The
boy returned in about an hour, during which Paul and the hawker imbibed
large quantities of apple-jack, not strong enough, however, to unsettle
their ideas. When the boy appeared, Boston took the bridle of the horse,
and led him away, closely followed by Swedlepipe.

Reaching an open glade in the forest, the peddler stopped, and tethered
the horse to a swaying limb. He then took from his pack a keen lancet,
with which he made a small incision in the skin under the shoulder of
the beast. In this slit he inserted a quill, and begun to blow. Those
accustomed to the management of a horse know the effect of this. In a few
moments Paul, who stood looking on in open-mouthed wonder, did not know
the horse, who seemed to grow fat under the hands of the skillful jockey.

After he had blown the animal up to a wholesome plumpness, Boston nicely
and tightly sewed up the small incision. Then taking from his pack a
small vial, he filled a large gourd which he had brought from the house
with water from the spring, and poured into it the contents of the vial.
The water at once assumed a greenish hue. With this mixture he now
washed the horse thoroughly in every part, keeping him carefully in the
shade. This done, he led him out into the sunlight, and, to the intense
astonishment of Paul Swedlepipe, by some chemical action of the sun upon
the mixture, the horse changed at once from a dirty white to a delicate
shade of brown. Raising his hands upward, as if calling witnesses to his
astonishment, the Dutchman cried:

“Der tuyvel is upon earth. You ish der tuyvel!”

“No, Paul. A lineal descendant of the old fellow, though. Do you think I
could sell that horse to Ten Eyck?”

“Yaw. He is so goot changed he would sheat me again. I never puys
nottings from you no more.”

“He must stand in the sun for a couple of hours, to let the color fasten,
and then we will take him up to the house. Now let me put you up to a
wrinkle. When Ten Eyck comes for the horse, I want you to bid against
him.”

“Vat ish dat?”

“If he offers forty guilders for him, you must offer fifty.”

“For dat hoss? I no wants dat hoss.”

“You needn’t have him. Of course Ten Eyck will bid sixty. You will then
say seventy.”

“Yaw, put I ton’t vant dat hoss.”

“I tell you I only want you to _bid_, and when I think he has offered
enough, I shall wink to you, and you must stop bidding.”

“Put I needn’t have te hoss, eh?”

“No, you blockhead! Do as I tell you, if you want him to buy the horse.”

All this while, however, the Yankee was at work putting on the alien tail
and putting in the ejected teeth, which, instead of being tied in, as
Paul had said, were, in truth wired together with a skill which a modern
dentist might have envied. It must have cost Boston time and patience
to have produced such a double row of horse-incisors and molars; but he
accomplished the task quite to his satisfaction—“good enough to deceive a
dumb Dutchman,” he ejaculated.

It took some time to drum into Swedlepipe’s head that he was only
required to make Peter Funk bids against the destined victim. Boston knew
full well that if he _sold_ Ten Eyck he would make a powerful enemy, as
the tall man was high in power in the House of Good Hope. But, the events
which he knew were on the march made him careless of consequences. Ten
Eyck came at the appointed time, and found the two seated amicably over
some long pipes and a goodly measure of apple-jack.

“Vere is dat hoss?” he said.

“Outside,” said Boston. “Let’s go out and see him. Oh, by the way, since
you were here my friend Swedlepipe has seen this horse and has taken a
fancy to it. I am afraid he will bid against you.”

“You promised him to me.”

“I promised to _show_ you a hoss, and I will keep my word. Come, mynheer,
let us go together.”

The horse was now tied in a little inclosure at the back of the house,
whither the party now wended their way. Boston’s jockey-training had not
been in vain, and it was really a handsome beast to look at!

“Now, den,” said Ten Eyck, taking out a plethoric purse, “vat you ask for
dat hoss?”

“I don’t set any price for him,” replied Boston. “What do you think he is
worth.”

“I gif’s you vifty guilders.”

“What do you say, Mynheer Swedlepipe? Shall I let it go for that? I leave
it entirely to you.”

“No,” said Paul. “I gif’s sixty.”

“You try to git dat hoss, _pudding-head_,” cried the other; “I gif’s
seventy guilders.”

It is needless to follow the course of the trade—to give the words which
passed between the bidders—how Paul, forgetting that he was only bidding
in jest, refused to stop when Boston winked at him, but bid higher!
Affairs trembled in the balance. Ten Eyck looked at the horse and his
rival, and swore in his inmost soul to have the beast, if it took every
guilder from his purse. He bid higher, and while he cogitated, Boston had
winked Paul into submission.

“One hundred and fifty guilders,” said Boston. “It’s a good pile. You
don’t go any higher, Mynheer Swedlepipe?”

“Nein,” said Paul.

“Then you may have him, Ten Eyck. It’s as good a _sell_ as you ever heard
on, I guess.”

The last named individual counted out the money, bestrode the transformed
beast, and rode away to his home, while Paul, falling prostrate upon the
earth, hugged himself, and shouted with laughter. Boston, chinking the
money in his purse, uttered a satisfied chuckle, and went his way.

The hawker did not stay in the settlement, though the sun was low in
the forest, and the Indians were thick as the deer, and bloody as the
panther. Once in the woods, and out of sight of the village, he deftly
hid his pack beside a fallen tree, drew out a beautiful gun from its
place of concealment, and assumed an active, erect attitude, much unlike
the slouching gait which had marked his course in the village. He cast a
keen glance about him, and begun to load his piece before he set forward
on the trail. This done, he tightened his belt, took a hasty glance at
the sky, and buried himself in the woods.

The forest path along which he journeyed was tangled, and covered by
fallen leaves, in which his feet fell with a slight rustle. At times the
deer started up from a thicket, and went crashing away. At others the
brown bear went lumbering over the path, casting a surly glance over
her shoulder at the strange intruder upon her native woods. The warning
rattle of the venomous snake sounded in his ear; the howl of a distant
panther was heard. Such were the sights and sounds of a Connecticut
forest, in those early times.

The change in the man who trod the forest path was wonderful. No longer
the peddler keen for a trade, and seeing only the main chance, but a
sharp, vigilant woodman, ready for any emergency which might arise.

As he passed through a thick part of the woods, a confused sound came
to his ears, as of a struggle among the dry leaves. Dashing aside the
branches, with a hasty step he broke into an open place in the forest,
and looked in upon a strange scene.

The glade was not empty. Two men lay upon the ground, engaged in a
struggle for life or death. Their quick, panting breaths came to Boston’s
ears. Drawing his knife, he rushed forward, shouting:

“Hold your hands! He who strikes another stroke will have me to fight.”

The two men rose slowly and sullenly to their feet, casting looks of hate
at each other. One, however, recognizing Boston, extended a hand, giving
him a cheerful welcome.

“But what means this, William Barlow? How is it that I find you brawling
like a boy with a stranger, when you have weighty affairs to attend to?
By my faith, I did not look for this at your hands!”

The person he addressed was young, and clad in the uniform of the early
Connecticut soldiery. His form was erect, and his bearing that of a
soldier. He bent down his eyes, wonderful as it may seem, at the words of
the peddler.

“You are right, Boston, in saying that I had no right to quarrel. But it
was forced upon me against my will. Yonder man will tell you that this
quarrel is none of my seeking.”

The person of whom he spoke had stood upon his guard, drawing his sword,
and expecting to fight both men when they had done with their conference.
He, too, had the erect bearing of the soldier, and _his_ dress was that
of captain of the soldiers at Manhattan. His face was a study. Seen in
repose, it was beautiful, for a man. But now, with his anger fresh upon
him, it seemed the face of a fiend. This was Joseph Van Zandt, captain
in the army of the governor at New Netherlands, a brave soldier, but an
unscrupulous foe.

“If it will aid you,” said he, “I do not hesitate to say that I forced
this quarrel upon Lieutenant Barlow.”

“So sure as my name is Boston Bainbridge,” said that worthy, “I could
give you no worse punishment than to leave you in the hands of Willie
Barlow. I have not the least doubt he would give a good account of you.
But, it may not be. How came this quarrel about?”

“I met him here,” said Barlow, “and he talked in a friendly tone at
first; but when I gave my name he drew upon me with the utmost fury.”

“Why was this, sir?” asked Boston, turning to the captain. “Can not men
meet in the forest, but they must fight like dogs?”

“Ask me no questions. I do not recognize your right to do so. It is
enough for me to know that the name of the man who stands by your side is
so hateful to me that I am his enemy to the death.”

“You are over bold, sir,” said Boston, setting his teeth hard. “What hope
have you, if we two set upon you together.”

“The hope of a man and a soldier,” replied Captain Van Zandt, quickly. “I
may fall, or I may conquer. Set on!”

“I did not say we would attack you. We are peaceful men, and do not pick
quarrels with every man whose name does not suit us.”

“Let _him_ ask me why I hate the name he bears,” replied the other, “and
I will tell him. That is, if he cares to know.”

“If you choose to tell,” said Willie, “I should like to hear; for, by my
faith, I never offended you in the slightest degree.”

“I will tell you. Because you took advantage of your position as
ambassador from the Plymouth Colony, and tried to win away from me my
affianced wife, Theresa Van Curter.”

Willie took a forward step, and addressed the young man boldly:

“I am glad you have spoken,” said he. “We now understand each other.
While I fought with you a few moments since, I was angry at myself,
because I fought with a man with whom I had no quarrel. I am best pleased
that you have told me what cause we have to be bad friends. And yet, I
can not feel that it is necessary to fight. Let the one who can win the
heart of Theresa Van Curter take her for a wife, and let the other do as
best he may. If you win her, I shall bid you God-speed. If I win, you may
do the same. Is not this the nobler way?”

“Such sickly philosophy may do for you Englishmen,” answered the other,
coldly. “As for me, I am not of such blood. I love Theresa. She has been
a guide to me through life—my leading star. I will not lose her now, when
the time has come when she was promised to me. Will you give her up?”

“Not I. If I have any place in her heart, I would not yield it for any
living man.”

“Be it so then. We are enemies from this hour. When we fight again it
shall be where no man can come between. Do you intend to detain me, sir?
I do not know your name.”

“Not at all. Go your way and leave us to go ours,” said Boston.

The captain turned hastily away, for it was now quite dark in the forest,
and made his way to the river-side, where he expected to meet a party
from the House of Good Hope, sent to meet him by Van Curter. The two men,
being left alone in the forest, did not remain in the place where they
stood, but hastened away to the river-side, by a different route. Here
they entered one of the limestone caves, found on the river’s bank. The
peddler lighted a pine torch. Then the two sat down to talk.

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