Page images
PDF
EPUB

Nothing daunted, however, by the welcome I received, While she was vainly appealing to all the saints of her I at once set to work to soften the feelings of my calendar in my behalf, I had opened the casement, and hostess towards me; and I succeeded so well in my cautiously looked down into the street, anxiously endeaendeavor to ingratiate myself with her, that I was very voring to ascertain the exact state of affairs. soon not only tolerated, but liked. I performed my part I have remarked that the house I occupied was 80 well, that at last I was looked on as an exception to situated in a back street, at a short distance in the rear the rule, according to the Spanish peasantry of that of the place d'armes, and therefore, although the tumult day, that Frenchmen were barbarians to be hated was evidently spreading, and becoming more serious always, and to be killed when safe occasion offered ; and every moment, I had a few brief instants for consideraI soon found the wisdom of the line of conduct I had tion of the course which it would be most prudent for adopted. I treated her with respect, and gave as little me to pursue. From the volleys of musketry—a sort trouble as possible; and she, on her side, treated of platoon firing-which now began to be heard at me more as a friend, than as a lodger forced on her exceedingly short intervals, I could discover but too against her will by the necessities of war.

plainly what sort of work was going on in the neighborMeanwhile, my professional duties occupied me but ing square. The guerillas were evidently shooting, in little. Indeed, had it not been for the occasional alarm cold blood, the French as fast as they could collect caused by rumors of the approach of large bodies them, and it was clear that all hope of resistance was of guerrillas, those of my companions who were in less gone. As it was quite impossible for me to join any of attractive quarters than myself would have had nothing my countrymen, in order to organize a defence, I was to relieve them from the attacks of ennui, and to give free to take any steps I pleased for my personal safety. them a taste of that excitement so necessary to the con- But what could I do? To fly, was impossible; to tentment, and almost to the existence, of every true remain many minutes where I was, certain death. My Frenchman. Gradually, however, even this source of only chance seemed to be to secrete myself about the distraction and amusement became less and less frequent. premises, until the enemy either retired of their own “ Wolf!” had been cried so often to no purpose, that, accord, or should be beaten off by our friends from the unless on very authentic grounds and on more than convent. But, again, where could I conceal myself so ordinarily positive information, little notice was taken as to escape the strict search which the guerrillas would of such rumors. They ceased even to amuse. The be almost sure to make for me? Interrupting my effect, too, of these false alarms was to make our colo- hostess, I explained my desire of getting into some nel relax even the very insufficient precautions he had place of concealment, and in fact confided myself to her for a time taken against a surprise; and our watch- hands. She, it appeared, had already decided on what ful enemies, who doubtless had eyes and ears for every- was best to be done, and now, bidding me follow her, thing that passed in the town and convent, were promised to lead me to a place of shelter. I obeyed, of not long in taking advantage of our ill-grounded con- course, without reply-for I had no reason to distrust fidence.

my guide—and, having no fixed plan of my own, was One morning, when off guard, and therefore in glad enough to adopt the first that offered elf. To be my own quarters, I was roused from a deep sleep by the sure, as she hurried me down the stairs, the thought rattling of drums. The first tap must have set me crossed my mind that she might, after all, be leading me dreaming, for I was once more a conscript about com- into the lion's den, and that she was, perhaps, going to mencing my first lessons in the art militaire, when loud betray instead of save me; but any misgivings of this shouts and discharges of musketry fairly awakened me, kind were soon proved to be without foundation. and told me that something important had happened. Without a word passing between us, we reached the Jumping out of bed, I had just hurried on some clothes, court-yard at the back of the house, and there my prowhen my old hostess rushed into my room, exclaiming, tectress acquainted me with the project she had formed with a superabundance of gesticulation :

for my safety. At the back of this yard had been heaped “Ah! Señor Teodoro, Señor Teodoro, you are lost, up a huge pile of fagots, and it was behind these that I you are lost! These guerrillas have surprised the town was to be secreted. The idea seemed a good one: with a large force. All communication between your so, setting to work, I very quickly removed enough of compatriots and the convent is completely cut off. The them to make a sort of cave, in which I might pass French, caught like rats in a trap, and taken wholly some hours without too much discomfort. Creeping unawares, are at the mercy of my enraged countrymen, into this hole, the old lady repiled the fagots I had who are murdering them in heaps.”

removed as neatly as possible, and she had but just All this, and much more, the good dame poured forth finished her task when a furious battering at the street with wonderful volubility and immense energy, all the door, with an accompaniment of threats because it was while crossing herself most vigorously. Then hastily not opened immediately, proclaimed the arrival of the whipping a little ivory crucifix, such as is usually worn enemy. by superstitious devotees in Spain, out of the bosom of The mistress of the house, herself opened the door, her dress, she detached it from the ribbon by which it and with admirable sang-froid inquired their pleasure. was suspended, set it on end on the dressing-table, and, Scarcely waiting to give her a reply, they rushed into falling on her knees before it, began, rosary in band, to the house, and proceeded to ransack the apartment mutter aves and paters as fast as she could gabble. which I had occupied. Uttering terrible threats against my landlady, if they should find that she had harbored as the guerrillas would hardly think of looking for me in one of the hated race, and intimating that they would such a place; and even if they should, the passage was ere long return and make stricter search, they at last so ill lighted, that at a depth of some fifty or sixty feet hastily left the house, not willing at that moment to I should most likely escape observation. The plan was lose time in searching for a single Frenchman, when so an excellent one, and I at once prepared to put it in many of my countrymen could be slaughtered without execution. I was soon let gently down to the surface that trouble, and feeling satisfied that I could not ulti- of the water. We had at first agreed that I should mately escape from the village withouttheir knowledge. thrust a foot into each side of the crumbling walls of

The fellows had gone very systematically to work. the well, and so, supporting myself the best way I could, They had entirely surrounded the place, so that no path allow the bucket to be drawn up, in order to avoid the was left open for escape before any alarm was given ; suspicion which might be created by leaving it in so and, having been furnished by their friends in the town unusual a position. But to do this I found to be quite with an accurate list of all the houses wherein the impossible. I could by no means dispense with the French were quartered, they succeeded in cutting them rope. The well was so wide that, without a support in off in detail, and preventing any of them from reaching the middle, I should inevitably leave go my hold and the open country. Rejoiced enough was I to hear them be drowned. A remedy, however, was soon suggested. depart. Hope, which had been well-nigh extinguished, By the side of the wood-pile in the yard there were again revived, and I was endeavoring to persuade my- several long poles; and, if the water should not prove self that even if the guerrillas were to return and insti- too deep, it was evident that I could use one of them tate a regular search for me, which was but too proba- in place of the rope. With a long piece of cord a pole ble, my retreat would afford me a good chance of safety, was sent down, and to my great joy I found that about when a serio-comic incident convinced me that I could four feet of it remained ont of the water. I was thus put not trust in the wood-pile as a place of conceal- enabled to do without the rope ; and, the bucket having ment.

been drawn up by my kind friends, I was left to make My hostess had a pet dog, which I had always treated myself as comfortable as possible. They could do with the greatest attention, and in return was favored nothing more for me; and so, vainly recommending me with a great deal of its affection. As it happened, the to the protection of their favorite saints, they betook poor animal came into the court-yard just as the guer- themselves to another part of the premises. illas left, and, getting on my trail, soon traced me to It was by this time broad daylight, and the guerrillas the pile of wood. Having by two or three long sniffs were eagerly searching for those unhappy Frenchmen fully satisfied himself that his friend was really there, who, like me, had sought safety in concealment, when he began tearing at the bundles of wood, yelping all the they found both flight and resistance impossible. At while, and apparently determined to get at me. It was short intervals a discharge of musketry, followed by rather hard that, in return for all the fondlings and lond vivas, told me that the hunters had been successful, feedings I had lavished on him, he should betray me to and showed me, in the most unmistakable manner,

mies. To get out of my hiding-place to him what sort of treatment I had to expect at their hands if was impossible; so there was no help for it but to en- I should have the calamity to be discovered. I fully deavor to coax or scold him into silence. But I alter- expected that the enemy would return immediately ; nately wheedled and threatened in vain. On hearing and not the least painful part of the trial I had to my voice, he stopped scratching and yelping for a brief endure was the apprehension that the next minute moment, but soon set to work more vigorously than would put the sufficiency of my hiding-place to the test. ever, and seemed determined not to listen to either The posture, too, in which I was obliged to remain was threats or entreaties. He tore, he barked, he howled, exhausting in the extreme. With my legs at least four he whined, until I fairly perspired with mingled fear feet apart, and my toes thrust into crevices in the sides and vexation ; and I was at last worked up to such a of the well, I leaned the whole weight of my body on pitch of uneasiness, that I was on the point of forcing the pole; and so, without any possibility of resting mydown the wood in front of me, in order to silence my self by even the most trifling change of position, I injudicious friend, when my hostess once more came to awaited the issue of events. Two hours had already the rescue, and, seeing how matters stood, without a passed, and I was really beginning to fear that my moment's delay carried my well-meaning persecutor out strength would give way, when my landlady, who had

kept away all this time because a party of guerrillas On the return of my hostess to the spot, she now were searching the neighboring houses, appeared prayed me to come out, as she had thought of a safer suddenly at the month of the well. place in which to secrete me. The adventure of the “Señor Teodoro," said she, in that sort of frightened dog clearly proved that the security afforded me by the whisper which one hears as distinctly as words spoken wood-pile was very inadequate, and I therefore gladly in a voice of thunder—“Señor Teodoro, I have brought consented to a change of quarters.

you some bread and a flask of wine, as I am sure you From the back entrance to the house, a long covered must need refreshment.” passage led to the bottom of the yard, and about mid- I was about to thank her warmly for the welcome way in this passage was a rather deep well. My host-viands, when she interrupted me withess now proposed that I should descend in the bucket, “Waste no time in thanks, but recruit your strength,

my en

of the way.

which will yet be sorely tried.” She then lowered the they would, if they found that she had concealed me, bread and wine by means of the cord which had served wreak their vengeance on her. to lower the pole, and, having done so, again withdrew, And now commenced a systematic hunt, in the not, however, until she had replied to my anxions ques-course of which every part of the house was thorouglıly tions as to the position of affairs. I learned from her examined. Meantime those of the party who had been that the guerrillas had been very successful in hunting left in the yard were not idle. No place was left unexout my compatriots, and that the band as yet s&w no plored where it was possible for a man to lie concealed, reason to be believe that they should be disquieted by and of course thowood-pile was thoroughly overhauled. the party from the convent. I had but just finished my | Indeed, if I had remained behind it, as I at first intend

[graphic]

loaf, and taken a draught from the wine-flask, when, ed, discovery would have been inevitable; for the guer. without a moment's warning, a party of some thirty or rillas, not trusting entirely to their eyes, thrust their forty guerrillas came rushing down the passage into the swords in between the bundles of wood, in a fashion yard. It appeared that now, having pretty well finished which would have compelled me to allow myself to be the bloody work they had undertaken, they had return- killed where I was, or to come out and throw myself on ed with the determination of making a more rigorous their mercy. While all this was going on just over my search for me. They immediately dispersed themselves head, I could hear every word that was uttered, almost over the house, not forgetting to assure my hostess that as plainly as if I had been in the midst of them. Fear

me.

is a wonderful quickener of the senses; and my ears a fresh appeal to my wine-flask, prepared myself to were so stimulated, as it were, by my intense anxiety remain, if necessary, some time longer in my painfal to discover exactly what was passing, that I lost not a position. Happily, I was not put to the trial. Relief word or a sound, and I could tell exactly what was going was close at hand. My comrades from the convent had on, as well as if I had seen every movement. Soon, now turned the tables on the Spaniards. It was now however, to my great relief, the search seemed to have the turn of the guerrillas to be hunted down and shot in been completed, and with inexpressible satisfaction I cold blood; and so enraged were the French, that they heard the word given for their departure. I was were with difficulty restrained from wreaking their already beginning to draw breath more freely, hoping vengeance, not only on the guerrillas, but also on the that the peril had really passed, when the mouth of the townsfolk, who were accused of having connived at, if well was darkened by the head and shoulders of a guer- they had not actually assisted in, the attack. My prorilla, who was peering into the depths of my place of tectress, therefore, was not at all sorry to have so good refuge. Although I knew by actual experience that the a voucher as to the friendly part she had played in the eye could not penetrate so low, yet my blood seemed to affair, as was afforded her by my presence; and I have rush back on my heart at the sight, and, literally, I the satisfaction of knowing that I thus repaid, in some dared not breathe, lest the slightest sound should betray small degree, the devotedness with which she had

served me. Not that I could either say or do anything For a few seconds, which to me were hours of agon- to protect her from the insults and violence to which izing suspense, the Spaniard strove to penetrate the her countrymen were exposed; for the intense excitedeep shadow of the well, and then, remarking that he ment I had undergone, coupled with the bodily exhauswould make assurance doubly sure, he seized a large tion consequent on so many hours of painful exertion, stone which lay near, and dashed it into the opening. now that the danger was over, proved too much for me, I saw the missile lifted high above his head. I could and nature fairly gave way. On being hauled up, I remark even the compressed lip, the deep inspiration, swooned in the arms of my deliveress, and the good lady and the knitted brow—and then, as I involuntarily had to tell her own story. As for me, I was roused closed my eyes, and commended myself to God, the from one fainting fit only to fall into another; and when stone, with a tremendous splash, fell into the water at I recovered entire consciousness, many days after, I my feet. But, although I escaped with life, I did not found myself prostrate from an attack of brain feverescape without injury. In its descent, the missile just the not unnatural concomitant of all that I had undergrazed my temple, inflicting a long, but happily superfi- gone. I had been carried insensible to the convent, and cial wound. I had nerve enough, however, not to cry it was long ere I could crawl from it to the town. out, and, what was of equal importance, strength of When I did so, my first visit of course was to my kind body enough not to give way under this additional trial hostess. Alas! the house had been closed some days, of my powers of physical endurance. For a moment I and its mistress, Don Pedro, and his daughter, had gone feared that I must have dropped, for my brain swam, none could tell me where. But I had little time for and a deadly faintness seized me; but the pain of my vain regrets. I was soon well enough to set out for my wound prevented me from losing consciousness, and I regiment, which, during my sickness, had been sent on was roused to fresh exertion by hearing the last of the active service. guerrillas depart. I then ventured to move, and, making

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

God's sand-glass has been shaken-Lo! there falls,
Upon the distressed, upturned brow of Earth,
Another of the year-grains. It is thus
Time's sands increase-how imperceptibly-
Grain upon grain-till with their desert army
They gather in the empires; and enclose,
In their long desolate wastes, all that is grand
And beautiful-all cities where the kings
Build for renown--for Time must-weary thought !-
Ever destroy-vain man must ever build.

As traversing a Libyan waste, the stream,
Nursed in the secret caverns of far hills,
Sinks by degrees into the hungry sands,
Till from the traveller's sight it disappears;
So in Time's hungrier Saharas sink
The streams of human life-they disappear
Even while we gaze upon them. Are they lost

Irrevocably in the aridness
Of the increasing ages! Nay! for lo,
With weary feet emerging from the sand,
The traveller, joy-inspired, beneath the cool
of roofing palms descries the plenteous spring,
And knows it is the river he had lost,
There, in that Eden of the wilderness,
Strangely restored! Upon the odorous grass
Seated, he muses on that river far
Away for ever sinking-on that spring-
Its purer life--for ever rising near!
“We are that river—we will be that spring,"
He cries: “life in the desert of the years
May disappear, but in fair gardened realms,
Familiar to the tread of angel feet,
Celestial watchers view it welling up
In purity, cleansed by Death's filtering."

[blocks in formation]

THE LINDSEY FAMILY,

Major BENJAMIN LONG was a native of Union Dis- | arms—"covered and protected you from the swords of trict, South Carolina. He belonged to the rifle sharp- my men, when, during the Revolutionary War, you shooters, who were in advance, and commenced the were found in a suspected place. From you I expected Attack, upon the approach of the British to the Cow- gratitude, therefore, not abuse; but I was wrong; from pens. His narration of the part he took in that affair, a hog, I ought to expect no more than a grunt.” was confirmed by the scars his face exhibited. Posted behind a tree, he took fair aim at a dragoon in full charge. The dragoon saw the levelled rifle, and heard

THE LINDSEY FAMILY, belonging to the patriotic the click of the lock; and supposing the discharge had

side, were actively engaged in partisan affairs during followed, he shrunk from the expected ball, unharmed the War, in Newberry and Laurens Districts. Three of -for the weapon had snapped—and the next instant the men, with others under Water's command, carried came up to Long, who, with his rifle “clubbed,” had off and saved the field-piece at the Battle of Stono. stepped from behind the tree. Intending to knock the Colonel John Lindsey commanded the scout in which dragoon off his horse, he struck at him; the blow was

they all served. He was a good officer, and an honorparried, and returned with a sabre cut above the able man. Others of the name could not refrain from assailant's eye; this was followed quickly by a back

"spoiling the Amalekites," as the Tories were often handed stroke on the neck and face, which came with called ; and in their burning zeal for the service, now such effect, that the young rifleman fell prostrate on the and then they swept through the Quaker settlements on ground. As the dragoon charged over his body, he Bush River, and carried off much plunder from the plunged his sword into it, and spurred on, leaving his

pacific inhabitants. A homely juvenile marauder, enemy apparently dead. Long, however, recovered,

among the rest, on one of these occasions, had assisted and served under Breman and Thomas to the close of in plundering Daniel Richardson's house, and with the Revolution. Such incidents of personal adventure other things had carried off a raccoon-skin belonging to among those whose names are not mentioned in history,

an idiot named Jake. Some time afterwards, young illustrate the social life of the period ; for the experience Lindsey happened to visit the place again, and saw of one was that of many who did not follow the war- Jake standing at the door of the house. The idiot suflike profession.

fered the party to pass him quietly, till it came to the Levi Casey was an active partisan officer, and a gene- turn of the spoiler of his raccoon-skin; him he seized by ral in the Revolutionary War. Many instances of his the throat, and hurled him back, exclaiming, “Stand courage and presence of mind, are related by those who back-stand back-ugly boy! love 'coon-skin too heard their fathers speak of him. On one occasion,

much !" riding alone, as he turned an angle in the road, he saw a large body of loyalists approaching, and close in front. The meeting was wholly unexpected on both sides. ABSALOM TURNER was a young lad of a loyalist Without a moment's hesitation, Casey drew his sword family in South Carolina, and had taken no part in the and sprang forward, exclaiming—"Come on, boys!" struggle of the times; his only offence was being Then, checking his charge, he turned his horse round, the brother of Ned and Dick Turner, two of the and galloped back the way he came, as if to bring on bloodiest bravoes of the notorious band called “the bis men.

The feint was successful. The hostile party | Bloody Scout,” commanded by Cunningham. The halted to prepare for the expected rencontre, and before house of Mrs. Turner, the boy's mother, was a rendezthey were aware of the deception, Casey was in safety. vous for the Tories. It stood in the bend of Saluda

He was celebrated for his mercy to prisoners. A River. Absalom fell a victim to the crimes of his relafact memorable on this account was mentioned while he tions; he was killed by a party of savage Whigs, and was a candidate for a seat in Congress. His principles not content with the slaughter of one who had never had been coarsely assailed by a man named Hogg. injured them, they resolved on a wanton piece of Meeting this man afterwards, in the presence of a num- cruelty, in revenge for outrages committed on their ber of persons, he said, “ These arms "_extending his friends.

THE AVENGERS OF BLOOD.

From original papers, written out from personal recollections, by the Hon. Judge O'Neall, of South Carolina, and furnished by him for

Mrs. Ellet's work.

Latered, according to Act of Congreu, in the year 186, by EDWARD STOPKENS, in the Clork's Office of the District Court of the U.S., for the Southera District of New Yest.

« PreviousContinue »