You have brought glad tidings

Theresa had met the young Englishman on an embassay to Manhattan, as
Captain Van Zandt had said. Their love had been a plant of quick growth,
and her father learned too late that her heart was given to Willie.
She had been betrothed in youth to young Van Zandt, the son of an old
comrade in arms. Hence the knowledge made the fiery colonel particularly
angry. In his rage, Van Curter had sent a messenger to Joseph, desiring
his presence at Good Hope. Every thing being remarkably quiet in the
Manhattan settlement, just then, the captain readily obtained leave of
absence. While on his way to the House of Good Hope, by the river, he
met the young lieutenant, who was evidently waiting for somebody, on
the river’s bank. Retiring as the boat-load of Manhattaners approached,
Barlow was followed into the forest by the captain. Not being a man to
run from a Manhattaner, Barlow paused, and, as we have seen, closed in
mortal combat.

It was the desire of Van Curter to hurry on the marriage by every means
in his power. But, at present, his whole attention was turned to a
project for driving the English from Windsor. He saw, with increasing
fear, that the domineering Yankees were spreading more and more through
the country, and that, unless checked by some means, they would soon
possess the whole country. The transactions carried on by our English
ancestors, of which the dealings of Boston Bainbridge was a fair type,
were enough to drive that well-intentioned people stark mad. No wonder,
therefore, that they concocted a plan for the possession of Windsor, on
the river above Good Hope.

Captain Holmes had set up this post, as has been suggested, in direct
opposition to the wishes of Van Curter. The dialogue which passed between
them as the English sloop passed up the stream, was so characteristic of
the two men, that we repeat it:

“Where would you go?” cried Van Curter.

“Up the river, to trade,” replied Holmes.

“Strike and stay!” shouted the commandant, “or I will fire into you.”

“Fire and be hanged,” returned Holmes. “The river is mine as much as your
own.”

Van Curter thought better of it, and did not fire. The sloop passed up
the stream, and founded the post which afterward awakened the Dutchman’s
ire to such an extent.

It was night when Joseph Van Zandt arrived at Good Hope, and he went at
once to the cabin of Van Curter. He had not retired, but sat alone at a
table, by a flaring lamp, writing a dispatch to the governor. He started
up in great joy at the sight of the captain, and held out both hands to
him.

“Sit thee down, lad. Thou art welcome. How go things in the Manhattoes?”

“Very fairly. Can you say as much of this colony?”

“No. The Yankees advance step by step, and the time is not far off when
we shall be driven entirely away, unless we do something ourselves. But,
I have a plan in my mind, Joseph—I have a plan; and, faith, it is a good
one. How long have you been on the way?”

“Four days. I should have been here ere now, but my horse got his foot
into a stocking on the road, and broke it. I was forced to shoot it and
take to the sound and river.”

“That is bad; but I think we can supply you. Ten Eyck bragged to-day, in
the council, that he had the best horse in the colony. It ought to be, if
he paid the price he says he did, which is a hundred and fifty guilders.
You ought to have seen Paul Swedlepipe’s face while Ten Eyck told about
that horse.”

“What? Do they keep up the old feud yet?”

“Stronger than ever, my dear Joseph. But, what puzzled me most was, that
Paul seemed to work hard to refrain from laughing, when he ought to have
felt more like crying. It looked suspicious to me.”

“Has any one else seen the horse?”

“Yes—several of the council. And they all agree that it is a good beast.
Most wonderful of all, he was sold by a Yankee. Swedlepipe bid as high as
a hundred and forty guilders before he would give up. But that a Yankee
should sell a good horse! Who ever heard of such a thing?”

Joseph laughed at this, but he was not so far from Good Hope as not to
know that Yankees did not sell good wares.

“We will see this wonderful beast to-morrow, and if he is any thing
like what he is reported, I shall want him. Whom think you I met in the
forest?”

“I could not guess.”

“You will hardly believe it. A man whom I never saw but once in my life,
and whom I hate, for all that, with all my soul.”

“Who may that be?”

“William Barlow.”

Colonel Van Curter leaped to his feet. “I swear by the bones of my
father, that if Boston Bainbridge dares to show his face again in Good
Hope, I will crop his ears off close to his head, and turn him off.”

“Boston Bainbridge!”

“Ay.”

“That is the very man who came between us. You must know, then, that I
followed this man Barlow into the woods, and soon had him at bay, curse
him! We were down upon the earth, tearing at each other’s throats, so
closely grappled that we could not use our swords, when this man rushed
in and parted us, swearing to strike the one who made another stroke—a
daring, resolute fellow, I saw at a glance.”

“You astonish me. It can not be the man I mean. The Bainbridge I knew is
a sneaking dog of a hawker, who has made more mischief in Good Hope than
any ten men I know. But he is a pitiful wretch, who will do almost any
thing for money.”

“This man was as determined-looking a fellow as I ever saw in my life, I
am certain; and looked as if a fight was meat and drink to him. And what
is more, your friend Barlow deferred to him as to a superior.”

“It can not be that there are two. The fellow showed some spirit to-day,
and all the information I got out of him did not amount to much. You may
be right; it may be the hawker—confound him! But I am at a loss. Did he
have his pack?”

“No. He was armed, though, with musket, knife and pistols, and looked an
ugly customer.”

“Let it pass. As to the Boston Bainbridge who is known to me, we shall
have something to say to each other when we next meet. If it is the one
who is known to you, we may have something else to say to him. You say
you quarreled with Barlow.”

“Yes. The very name of the fellow aroused me to rage. I struck him with
my open hand in the face—and we fought. This Bainbridge came between; but
it is a quarrel to the death. In the first burst, he spoke quite angrily
to Barlow, as one who had a right to do it, and the young man appeared
ashamed.”

“What can it mean?” said Van Curter, uneasily. “This fills me with doubts
and fears which I can not fathom. Did you leave them together?”

“Yes, in the forest, a league or more from Good Hope.”

“It must be Bainbridge,” mused Van Curter. “He is the sworn friend of
Barlow; and yet, the new character you give him is so utterly unlike the
one he has borne, that I can’t understand it at all.”

“Let us speak of something else. Does Theresa know of my coming?”

“No; I thought it would be a pleasant surprise for her.”

Van Zandt set his teeth hard at the words, for he realized, only too
painfully, that any thing like love for him was now foreign to the heart
of Theresa. The old soldier knew that he was angry, and wisely allowed
him his own time to answer. When the captain had controlled himself
sufficiently to speak, he said:

“I have my fears upon the subject—I am afraid I shall never get my own.
You have promised me the hand of Theresa; I have waited for it long
years; but I have always feared that something would come between me and
the promise. It _has_ come.”

“Do you fear this Barlow?” asked the other, in some contempt. “Have you
not an honored name—a name second to none in our own land? Have you not
the most handsome face in the seven colonies? Bah!”

“You are old, Colonel Van Curter, and you do not know a woman’s heart,
after all. I tell you that I have made woman a study; they claim to be
influenced by personal beauty in man; but, put them to the test, and you
will find that, after all, the most beautiful women make a choice of men
who, though plain in person, are the only ones who can find the road to
their hearts.”

“In truth, you may be right; but you may be the one who has the key to
Theresa’s heart. You _shall_ be, by heaven!”

“Would you force her to marry me against her inclination?”

“I would keep my word to your father, even if I had to use force.”

“I would not have her upon such terms,” said the young man. “She must
be mine entirely, heart and hand; if it can not be so, I renounce her
hand, and apply myself to the task of taking worthy vengeance upon the
man who has dared to step in between me and the love of the woman I prize
highest. I know him, I thank God. He can not escape me. Where is Theresa?”

“She has retired.”

“There will be a meeting, I am sure, between her and this Yankee. We must
watch.”

“This is the work of Bainbridge; he has gone between them, carried letter
after letter, and been the means of making her fancy stronger; he, too,
has something which will draw him back to this place.”

“What is that?”

“Katrine.”

“Bah!”

“She is a beauty not to be despised, and her family is good—she is first
cousin to Theresa.”

“Right, I forgot; but I have not seen her for years. Do you know that in
coming up the river, I fancied I was followed by a canoe part of the way.”

“Indians?”

“I do not know.”

“Never mind; come nearer, and I will tell you my secret plans about
Windsor and the English, whom I am determined to baffle and defeat.”

The men drew close together, and looked over the paper. As they did so a
face rose slowly into view on the other side of the room, peering in at
the open lattice. It was the face of Boston Bainbridge.

“You are sure no one listens?” asked Joseph.

“Ay; my men know better than to listen at the windows or doors of Jacob
Van Curter; I would string them up to a swaying limb, or give them forty
stripes, save one.”

“I thought I heard a sound, a moment since.”

“The girls, perhaps; open that door, and look into the kitchen.”

Joseph rose and opened the door; the kitchen was empty; the fire burned
low upon the hearth, and the rays danced upon the dishes in the dresser.

“You heard the wind,” said Van Curter; “it is rising fast. It will rain
to-night.”

“I am glad I got in safe before the storm. Hark to that.”

The wind was rising with a sullen and fast-increasing roar; in a few
moments the rain begun to fall. Joseph stirred the fire with a feeling of
enjoyment, and the two drew up to the table.

“You remember this Captain Holmes—my curse upon his head—who would not
pause when I told him to strike and stay?” said Van Curter.

“I remember him well.”

“He commands this post at Windsor; if any thing would make me long to
take the post more than another, it would be the fact that I hate him. To
him we may trace the entrance of these Yankees into our midst.”

“Did you not invite them to settle?”

“Yes, fool that I was to do it; but I did not know them then as I do now.
I would as soon have let in fiends from the pit.”

“Then they are not to blame for hanging on to their possessions. You
should not have asked them here.”

“They have learned to despise us, because we are so easily taken in.
They are right in that; a greater set of dunderheads than those under my
command never congregated before. If it were not for two or three of my
officers, my blockheads would have their teeth drawn in the night, and
never know it.”

“What slander upon such men as the worthy Paul Swedlepipe and Mynheer Ten
Eyck.”

“There you have a specimen. What can a man do who must be guided, in a
manner, by the advice of such men as those? It is enough to make one give
up in despair.”

“But they will fight, if it is necessary.”

“Yes; it is their only redeeming quality. They are too thick-headed to
appreciate the danger. But to my plan. I shall march out with forty men
in the night, and get near enough to Windsor to attack them early in the
morning. We will take the fellows prisoners and send them to the nearest
English post.”

“Very good; how many men can the English muster?”

“Not over twenty, and those we will take by surprise.”

“Captain Holmes is there.”

“Yes. His brother is next in command, and Barlow next. I should not care
to fight them if they are on their guard.”

“I never heard of this brother of Holmes’.”

“He has never been in Good Hope; I do not know that I have seen him. He
is represented as a man under forty, active, vigilant and acute—a man
formed by nature for a life in the woods.”

“You describe such a man as I take this very Bainbridge to be.”

“You are mistaken; I know the man well; he may have taken the attitude of
a brave man because they were two to one; but, in reality, he is one of
the most egregious cowards upon the face of the earth.”

“This is pleasant news to come to a man’s ears,” muttered the peddler,
lying _perdu_ beneath the shelter of the eaves. “They say listeners never
hear any good of themselves, and I am not inclined to doubt it; but go
on—go on, the time will come to settle yet, and I will give you back that
coward in your teeth. Phew! how the rain comes down.”

“The Windsor people are not in a very strong stockade, and I think I may
succeed. I shall march on the afternoon of to-morrow.”

“Who will you leave here?”

“I don’t know certainly. We shall not be long gone, and I think one of my
blockheads may be trusted for a day. Come, taste this aqua vitæ, which
was sent to me from Manhattan by my worthy friend, Wilhelem Kieft, and
then to bed, to be ready for the morning. ’Tis a wild night.”

They sat talking for some time over the liquor, and then went to their
couches. Boston wrapped himself warmly in a wolf-skin robe which lay upon
the porch, and lay down to rest; he slept two hours. When he arose, the
storm was at its height, and he could move about the house with perfect
impunity. Walking quickly to a window-lattice on the south, he gave a
single tap upon it, and waited. The tap was answered from within, and the
lattice was raised to allow Katrine to thrust out her head. She looked so
provokingly sweet that Boston solaced himself with a kiss before a word
was said.

“Impudence!” whispered the girl. “I shall close the lattice.”

“No you won’t, my dear. Where is Theresa?”

“Like your impudence to ask. She is in bed, and you ought to be in yours,
instead of tramping about on such a night as this.”

“We have no time to talk. Go in and wake Theresa, and tell her to open
her lattice in half an hour, for one she wots of will come to her before
that time.”

“You are crazy, both of you. It is death for you to be near Good Hope
to-night. Do you not know that Captain Van Zandt is here, and that he
spares none who stand in his way?”

“Little care we,” replied the other, snapping his fingers, “for Captain
Joseph Van Zandt. We know more of his movements than you think, Katrine.
But get you gone, and tell Theresa that Willie is here. When you have
done that, come back to me.”

“You speak sometimes like one born to command” said Katrine, looking at
him fixedly. “If it should be so—if you _should_ deceive me!”

“Katrine, you mistrust me. Have I ever given you cause?”

She was back in a moment, with one soft arm about his neck. “I trust
you,” was all she said.

“I _have_ a secret from you, my darling,” he said, returning her embrace.
“But, take this to your heart—whatever your station, whatever mine, I
love you entirely. Now, go.”

She opened the door which led into the room of Theresa. She found her
awake, with her head bowed upon a table. Katrine was not so much a
servant as a dear friend to Theresa, and she passed her arm about her
kindly, as she asked why she was sad.

“He is here,” was the answer.

“Who?”

“Van Zandt.”

“I know that; but why should you fear him? Your lover will never see you
forced to be his wife. I will not. My lover will not.”

“Alas, what can they do? Willie is far away.”

“Not so far as you may imagine. I heard a tapping at my window just now.
I opened it, and who do you suppose was there?”

“Hans Drinker,” said Theresa, with a smile, for she knew that the worthy
Dutchman persecuted poor Katrine to the verge of distraction.

“If I served you rightly,” said Katrine,“I should go back to my room, and
not tell you a single word.”

“But you won’t. Who was it? Carl Anselm?”

“Be careful! It was Bainbridge.”

“I knew he was here. Did he say any thing about Willie?”

“He told me to bid you rise, and be at your lattice in half an hour, for
Willie Barlow would then be there.”

Theresa clasped her hands in fervent thanksgiving.

“You have brought glad tidings, dear Katrine,” she said. “Sit with me
until he comes. Ah, what is he doing in this frightful storm?”

“It is enough that he is here. You should have seen poor Boston. Wet—oh,
so wet! Like one drownded cat.”

The two sat with clasped hands until a tap came at the lattice. Theresa
rose and opened it softly.

“Who is it?” she whispered.

“Willie,” he replied. Hands and lips met. That hour could not be
forgotten, in any after pain.

The meeting between the lovers was long, and it was only the wise council
of Boston which induced them at length to separate. He had moved away
a little from the window, and was calling in a low tone upon Willie to
make haste, when a chamber lattice was thrown rudely back, and a gun
protruded. It was Captain Van Zandt who had heard voices.

“Come away,” cried Boston, now careless. “You will spoil all. Obey me,
Sir Lieutenant!”

“How dare he speak in that way?” thought Katrine.

Willie, imprinting a farewell kiss upon the willing lips of Theresa,
bounded away. A stream of fire leaped from the muzzle of the musket of
Van Zandt. A mocking laugh came back in response. Without a moment’s
hesitation, he leaped from the window, sword in hand, calling upon Van
Curter, who was up and armed by this time, to follow. It is a maxim which
all woodsmen should heed, not to follow an enemy _too_ closely in the
dark. But, an angry man is not apt to take maxims to heart. Van Zandt had
recognized the voice of the peddler, and heard him call “Willie,” and
knew full well who were the intruders and their business.

Boston did not run far. Reaching the edge of a little thicket, he paused,
and waited for the captain, who was only a few feet behind, hurrying
forward at his best pace; when Boston, making a single forward step,
dealt a blow with such fullness and force, that the furious soldier went
down like an ox under the ax of the butcher. No one, looking at the light
frame of the peddler, would have imagined for a moment that his muscles
were developed to such an extent. No sooner was the blow struck, than
he grasped Willie by the arm and hurried him forward at a quick pace,
leaving Van Zandt prostrate upon the earth.

“Have you hurt him badly?” inquired Willie.

“Oh, no. I hit him behind the ear in the way you wot of. I did not care
to use my weapons.”

“You are right. What shall we do now? I am afraid you have betrayed
yourself. You called out, ‘obey me!’ in a way that made me start.”

“Katrine suspects too, the little darling. I have promised to tell her
the secret. She shall know it when the house of Good Hope is ours.”

“You have hope, then?”

“When I shall tell you what I have heard this night from the lips of
Jacob Van Curter, you will understand why I have hope. But, we can not
stay now. We must go to Windsor at once. We know the river, and our canoe
is at hand.”

“I am ready to go.”

As they glided from the shore, Van Curter stumbled over the prostrate
form of Joseph. This aroused the captain, and he staggered to his feet,
making a weak attack upon his friend, who parried his blows with great
ease.

“You are mad. It’s I, Van Curter.”

Van Zandt came to his senses.

“I believe I am crazy,” he said. “But what a blow. My head seems split
asunder.”

“What did he strike you with? Ho, there, Hans! Bring the torch hither.
What did he strike you with?”

“It seemed like a clinched hand. And it can not be that a human hand
should have such power. I would sooner be kicked by a horse than take
such another blow.”

“Do you know who struck you?”

“Not I; though when the blow came every sun, moon and star in a clear sky
seemed to blaze close before my eyes. By my faith, I am dizzy yet.”

“I should think you were. Lean upon me, and let us return to the house.
Do you know who they were?”

“Surely. Who should it be but the worshipful Lieutenant Barlow, and his
friend Bainbridge. I tell you again that he is something more than he
shows upon the outside. S’death, man, he called out to the lieutenant
like a master, I can tell you, and he came at his call.”

“What was it all about?”

“I heard voices under my window, and listened. It was Theresa talking
with Barlow. I threw open my window and called upon him to speak. But
Bainbridge called to his comrade to come away, and I missed him—it was
very dark.”

“By the bones of my father!” cried Van Curter. “Has it gone so far as
that. Follow me.”

He strode into the house, and knocked heavily at his daughter’s door,
ordering her to come forth. She did so, with her garments thrown loosely
about her. She greeted the young man in a hesitating manner, which went
to his heart.

“How is this?” said her father, harshly. “Who dares to come to Good Hope
in the dead of night, to meet the daughter of a Van Curter? Where is your
womanhood, girl? Can you think of this and not blush?”

Theresa had much of her father’s untamable spirit, and answered quickly:

“It is no shame to meet one whom I love! And I take no fear in saying
that I love Willie Barlow.”

“Say you so? Am I bearded to my face by a child of mine? Look upon Joseph
Van Zandt. You were promised to him long ago. He has waited long years
until this hour. And now you—you, of all others, spit upon the contract
of your father, and plight your faith to one of alien blood! While I
live, it shall never be.”

Theresa did not lower her eyes, but met the angry orbs of her father with
a full glance.

“Speak no more of Joseph Van Zandt. Joseph, I am very sorry that you have
set your heart upon a thing which can never be. I do not love you. But,
if report says true, you would not have far to go to find one who would
be true to you in wedlock. But _I_ love you not as a wife should love,
and I never can be yours.”

Van Zandt looked at her a moment, the fierce anger in his heart blazing
in his eyes. He had waited long years for Theresa—had seen her grow more
beautiful, day by day, and now, the torture of hearing her say that she
loved him not! He raised his clinched hand on high, and brought it down
upon the table with a force which made the glasses ring again.

“God in his mercy keep him out of my sight, or I shall kill him,” he
cried.

“Father!” she cried, “look upon the man you would have me marry. He is a
murderer in his heart.”

“So am I,” her parent answered, moodily. “Girl, get you in. You shall wed
Joseph, as I am your father.”

“I would not have it so,” said Joseph. “I marry no unwilling wife. But
him—let him take care!”

“What would you do?” she half-screamed.

“Murder! You have described the feelings of my heart. If he cross not
my path, well—he is safe. But, if I meet him, God do so to me, and more
also, if both leave the ground alive!”

“He is mad,” she said.

“You have made me so—you, with your accursed beauty. Blame that, and
nothing more.”

“Get you in, I say,” cried Van Curter. “Do you still tarry to madden him
the more? Get to bed! As for you, Joseph, go to your room and try to get
a little sleep. Remember that in the morning we prepare for the march.”

“You are right. Now she is gone, I am a man again. I tell you she maddens
me. I did not mean to tell her that, when I spoke. Let him look to
himself, the alien dog!”

“You will have the chance, Joseph, as we march against him, to do away
with him forever. Come, be a man.”

“I am. You have seen me fight, and know my power. I shall do good service
if it comes to blows.”

“Thanks. Go to your room and get a little sleep. You will need it.
To-morrow we shall see Ten Eyck, and secure his horse for your service.”

“Will he sell it?”

“I shall give him command while we are gone. That will make him ready to
do any thing. Good-night.”

Joseph went up to his room and sat at the open window. The rain drifted
in his face, but he heeded it not. He could hear Van Curter tramping
to and fro in his room, and the voices of Theresa and Katrine in low
conversation below. Before morning, he dropped into an uneasy slumber,
with his head upon the sill. He was waked by the sound of noisy
preparation in the open space below the window. He sprung up at once,
buckled his sword-belt about him, and went down. He met Theresa in the
large room in which he had seen her the night before. Neither spoke a
word; but the glance of mingled repulsion and fear upon the one side, and
of deadly threatening upon the other, was of greater expression than
a volume. He passed her quickly, with his spurs ringing upon the hard
floor, and went out into the open space, or parade of the House of Good
Hope. He was greeted by a cheer from those of the men who recognized him,
for Captain Van Zandt was known far and near as a brave and skillful
leader. He called to his side a slender youth, who was cleaning a gun in
the corner of the parade. He had a strange face, sharp features, with
thin, cruel lips, receding forehead, and small, glittering, deep-set
eyes. The youth laid down the gun when called by the captain, and
followed him from the stockade to a retired spot outside the works.

“Carl Anselm,” said the latter, stopping suddenly, and laying his hand
impressively upon the shoulder of the young man, “do you owe me any
thing?”

“A life!” said the boy, quickly.

“You have said often, Carl, that you would like to do me a service. I do
not remind you of your indebtedness to me because I like to remind people
of their obligations; but the time has come when I need your help.”

“I have waited long,” said the young man. “When I lay under the hand of
the savage Mohawk, and you killed him, I swore to repay you for the life
you gave me. You have made me happy. What would you have me do?”

“Do you know the road to the Nipmuck village of Wampset?”

“Yes; one of Wampset’s men was here but a day or two ago.”

“Is it far?”

“Twenty miles—so the brave said.”

“It can be done, then. Take your arms and go to the village; find the
chief, Wampset, give him this wampum belt, and tell him that the sender
calls upon him to meet him at the three hills above Windsor, at midnight,
with all the men he can muster. Do not fear for yourself; there is no
Indian who owns the sway of the Nipmucks or the Mohawks who would lay a
hand in anger upon the man who wears that belt. Put it on.”

Carl encircled his waist with the wampum belt. “Shall I go now?” he
asked.

“Yes, and make haste; you must have a horse. Ha, Paul Swedlepipe, come
hither.”

That individual, who was passing in a great hurry, came up at the call.

“Where is that Narragansett pony you bought from the Yankee?”

“In my stable.”

“You must lend him to Carl. We are going on an expedition in which you
are to have an important trust. Can he have the horse?”

“If you will be responsible for him, yes.”

“Go with him, Carl,” said the captain, turning away. “Do not stop a
moment to talk. Kill any one who attempts to stay you. I know you are
good and true. Good-by, and all luck to you.”

In a few moments Carl Anselm, with the wampum belt girt about his waist,
rode out of Good Hope. The captain stepped to the side of his horse for a
parting word:

“Do you know William Barlow, the man who was in Good Hope last night?”

“I have met him and know him perfectly by sight.”

“He is my enemy. Do you fear him?”

“I fear no man,” replied the youth, drawing himself up proudly. “What
would you have me do?”

“I tell you he is my enemy. Is not that enough for thee? Say, shall he
die, if you meet? Will you give him a grave in the forest?”

“If knives are sharp or bullets dig deep—if water can drown or fire burn,
when we meet he shall die.”

“You are a friend indeed,” cried Joseph, grasping his hand. “Go out upon
your duty, with my thanks for your kindness. And remember, that in me you
always have a friend.”

They shook hands and parted, the young man riding swiftly forward upon
his way, along the bank of the “Happy River,” while Joseph went back to
the camp. On the way, he met Van Curter, who asked him to go with him to
secure the horse of Ten Eyck.

That worthy was reposing in front of his house, smoking a pipe in great
enjoyment. He greeted the approach of the two dignitaries with a nod
of recognition, thinking in his heart how he would crow over Paul
Swedlepipe, who could not boast of the honor of such a visit.

“Good-day, mynheer, good-day,” said Van Curter. “We have agreed to go out
against Windsor to-day, and, after considerable discussion, my friend the
captain and myself have agreed upon a person to take command of Good Hope
during our absence.”

“Who is it?” asked Ten Eyck, watching the puff of smoke which ascended in
spiral rings from his fair, long pipe.

“What would you say to Paul Swedlepipe?” asked the captain, with a touch
of mischievous humor. “Would he be a good man for the place?”

“What! Paul Swedlepipe? Do you insult me? I would suggest that you go and
get Hans Drinker’s boy, Jacob, and give him command, before you take Paul
Swedlepipe. To be sure, little Jacob is a fool; but what of that? Paul is
a fool, too.”

“Then you don’t think Paul would do?”

“Nix, _no_, NO!” he cried using all the negatives at his command.

“Well, we concluded, after due discussion, not to take Paul. What do you
say to Hans Drinker?”

“He is a bigger fool than Jacob!”

“Then _he_ won’t do; and, in fact, we didn’t think of having him. The man
we have in our mind is one Ten Eyck!”

“Ha!” said he, without moving a muscle of his face, “that is sensible!
Oh, Saint Nicholas,” he thought, “won’t I crow over that Paul Swedlepipe
after this!” Then he added aloud: “How many men do you leave with us?”

“Five. You won’t need many, as our expedition must be kept secret. Mind
that, and don’t blab.”

Ten Eyck nodded his head vigorously, and the captain came to the
principal object of the visit. “You bought a horse yesterday?”

“Yaw,” said he.

“What did you give for him?”

“One hundred and fifty guilders.”

“Ah; the price is large. I want to see the horse. If he is good, I will
give you a hundred and fifty.”

“I sells him den. I puys him,” he went on, now using broken English, as
it was more in sympathy with the subject, “vor fear Paul Swedlepipe get
him. Coom over unt see him.”

The two men followed to the place where the beast had spent the night.
The reader will remember that a tremendous rain had fallen during the
night. The horse had been shut up in a sort of corral of rails which,
however, afforded little shelter.

To describe the puffed-up and vainglorious manner in which Ten Eyck
approached the corral, would be in vain. He seemed to grow taller, and
his head was thrown back to such a fearful extent that there seemed to be
immediate danger of his falling over on his back. Those familiar with the
ballad which some years since was the delight of the youngsters of this
country and of Merry England, “Lord Bateman,” will remember the engraving
representing that individual. Mynheer Ten Eyck, approaching the corral,
was his exact representative. Mentally, he was crowing over his enemy at
every step. They entered the corral by a bar which was set in holes in
two posts, set upright, about eight feet apart. Ten Eyck put up the bar,
lest the spirited beast should attempt to escape.

Where was he? There, shivering in one corner of the corral, was a strange
animal, without tail or teeth, for he had dropped them both in the night;
a hide streaked here and there with marks of the coloring-substance which
Boston had used in the metamorphosis; with drooping head and dejected
looks generally. Ten Eyck took in all at a glance. Sold! fearfully and
irrecoverably by the Yankee, aided and abetted by Paul Swedlepipe!

“Where is your horse?” asked the captain. “Not this, I hope!”

“You have been cheated again,” cried Van Curter.

Ten Eyck glared from side to side for an object upon which to wreak his
vengeance. In that unlucky moment Paul, who had heard in some way that
Joseph intended to buy the horse, and had followed to see the fun, peeped
over the rails. The woebegone face of his enemy met his eye. It was too
much. He burst into a stentorian laugh. Ten Eyck turned, wrath blazing
from his eyes, and rushed at his foe. Nothing loth, Paul tumbled into
the inclosure and met him half-way. At any other time, Ten Eyck would
have known better than to peril his fame in open battle. But, the last
drop had been put into the pot of his wrath, and it boiled over. They
met, like Ajax and Hector, in the center of the list, and great deeds
were achieved, whereof Good Hope rung for many a day. As we have said,
Paul was short and choleric, and ready for a fray. The strokes of the
combatants fell thick and fast. Ten Eyck had armed himself, in hot haste,
with the fallen tail of the cause of the quarrel. Paul had caught up
a more hurtful weapon, a short cudgel, which he had found outside the
corral. At him, Paul! At him, Ten Eyck! Now Hector! Now Ajax! It was
the Battle of the Giants. The horse-tail swept the air with a whistling
sound and lighted with stinging force upon the face of Paul. The cudgel
cracked upon the crown of Ten Eyck, and twice brought him to his knee.
The two lookers-on would not interfere, for they knew the quarrel had
been fomenting for many years, and they hoped this would decide it.

Holding their sides with laughter, the two soldiers watched while the
unequal fight went on—unequal because the weapon of Ten Eyck, beyond
maddening Paul to new exertions, did no harm. At last, a well-directed
blow brought the tall man to the ground.

As Paul rushed forward, ready, like ancient warriors, to fight for the
body of his conquered foe, the captain held him back:

“Enough of this. Away to your duty, Paul. Leave him to us.”

Paul obeyed, and Ten Eyck rose from the ground, a dejected man—a sadly
different one from him who had entered the corral. He was humbled in the
dust. Not only had he been overreached by his hated foe in the bargain,
but he was beaten in open battle. From this day, he dared not meet Paul
Swedlepipe. The star of Ten Eyck had set forever!

They left the spot, as the captain did not desire to invest in
horse-flesh of that kind. It was in vain that they attempted to console
Ten Eyck. His self-respect was gone; he had been betrayed, beaten, sold!

“Cheer up, man, cheer up,” said the captain, slapping him upon the
shoulder. “Paul didn’t do it. He never had the head for it at all. It
was all the work of that scoundrel, Boston Bainbridge.”

“The lightning blast him!” roared Ten Eyck.

“If I catch that fellow,” said Van Curter, “I will keep my promise to
him. I will strap him up to a swaying limb and give him forty stripes
save one.”

“I imagine you will have to catch him first,” answered the younger man,
setting his teeth hard. “I have to thank him for his interference when I
met Barlow in the forest, as well as for the blow which I think came from
his hand last night. Barlow is not cool enough to knock a man down who
has a sword in his hand. He would have used the steel.”

“Hot blood, hot blood, like your own. How did you miss _him_, last night?”

“It was dark enough, the only light coming from a taper at the back of my
room. No, I do not wonder that I missed him.”

“Where did you send Carl Anselm?”

“I thought I told you. In my Indian-fighting I made the friendship of
Wampset, a sachem of the Nipmucks. He gave me a wampum belt, and promised
that, if I needed his help, and would send or bring that belt to him, he
would come to my aid with all the men at his command.”

“Ah, that is good; where shall we meet them?”

“At the three hills, near Windsor.”

“It is a good place. You must be satisfied with one of my horses.”

“It will do. Let us go in.”