NY PUBLIC LIBRARY THE BRANCH LIBRARIES
3 3333 08101 4520
The Bow of Orange
A ROMANCE OF NEW YORK
AMELIA E. BARR
Dodd, Mead and Company
COPYRIGHT, 1886, 1914
DODD, MEAD & COMPANY
PRINTED IN U. S. A.
_^ PROPERTY OF , if . >
CITY OF NEW YORK /C'Y'
I. THE VAN HEEMSKIRKS /. . . * 3
II. LOVE'S HOUR 19
III. ORANJE BOVEN ....... 37
IV. JOY IN THE HOUSE 59
V. THE BEGINNING OF STRIFE 78
VI. AT THE SWORD'S POINT 101
VII. AT "THE KING'S ARMS" . ... 120
VIII. "THE SILVER LINK, THE SILKEN TIE". . 146
IX. KATHERINE'S DECISION ... . 176
X. POPULAR OPINION 201
XL AT HYDE MANOR, AND BRAM AND MIRIAM . 225
XII. LONDON LIFE v. 248
XIII. THE TURN OF THE TIDE 270
XIV. THE Bow OF ORANGE RIBBON . . . 284
XV. TURNING WESTWARD. . . 299
XVI. FOR FREEDOM'S SAKE . . . 323
POSTSCRIPT ... c .... 345
THE BOW OF ORANGE RIBBON
A ROMANCE OF NEW YORK
THE VAN HEEMSKIRKS
"The tender grace of a day that is dead."
" Love, that old song, of which the world is never weary."
IT was one of those beautiful, lengthening days,
when May was pressing back with both hands
the shades of the morning and the evening; May
in New York one hundred and twenty-one years
ago, and yet the May of A. D. 1886 the same clear
air and wind, the same rarefied freshness, full of
faint, passing aromas from the wet earth and the
salt sea and the blossoming gardens. For on the
shore of the East River the gardens still sloped
down, even to below Peck Slip; and behind old
Trinity, the apple trees blossomed like bridal nose-
gays, the pear trees rose in immaculate pyramids,
and here and there cows were coming up heavily
to the scattered houses ; the lazy, intermitting tinkle
of their bells giving a pleasant notice of their ap-
proach to the waiting milking-women.
In the city the business of the day was over;
4 THE BOW OF ORANGE RIBBON
but, at the open doors of many of the shops, little
groups of apprentices in leather aprons were talk-
ing, and on the broad steps of the City Hall a
number of grave-looking men were slowly separat-
ing after a very satisfactory civic session. They
had been discussing the marvelous increase of the
export trade of New York; and some vision of
their city's future greatness may have appeared to
them, for they held themselves with the lofty and
confident air of wealthy merchants and "members
of his Majesty's Council for the Province of New
They were all noticeable men, but Joris Van
Heemskirk specially so. His bulk was so great
that it seemed as if he must have been built up :
it was too much to expect that he had ever been
a baby. He had a fair, ruddy face, and large,
firm eyes, and a mouth that was at once strong and
sweet. And he was also very handsomely dressed.
The long, stiff skirts of his dark-blue coat were
lined with satin, his breeches were of black vel-
vet, his ruffles edged with Flemish lace, his shoes
clasped with silver buckles, his cocked-hat made of
the finest beaver.
With his head a little forward, and his right arm
across his back, he walked slowly up Wall Street
into Broadway, and then took a northwesterly di-
rection toward the river-bank. His home was on
the outskirts of the city, but not far away; and his
face lightened as he approached it. It was a hand-
some house, built of yellow bricks, two stories high,
THE VAN HEEMSKIRKS 5
with windows in the roof, and gables sending up
sharp points skyward. There were weather-cocks
on the gables, and little round holes below the
weather-cocks, and small iron cranes below the
holes, and little windows below the cranes all
perfectly useless, but also perfectly picturesque and
perfectly Dutch, The rooms were large and airy,
and the garden sloped down to the river-side. It
had paths bordered by clipped box, and shaded by
holly and yew trees cut in fantastic shapes.
In the spring this garden was a wonder of tulips
and hyacinths and lilacs, of sweet daffodils and
white lilies. In the summer it was ruddy with
roses, and blazing with verbenas, and gay with the
laburnum's gold cascade. Then the musk carna-
tions and the pale-slashed pinks exhaled a fragrance
that made the heart dream idyls. In the autumn
there was the warm, sweet smell of peaches and
pears and apples. There were morning-glories in
riotous profusion, tall hollyhocks, and wonderful
dahlias. In winter it still had charms the white
bnow, and the green box and ^edar and holly, and
the sharp descent of its frozen paths to the frozen
river. Councilor Van Heemskirk's father had built
the house and planted the garden, and he had the
Dutch reverence for a good ancestry. Often he
sent his thoughts backward to remember how he
walked by his father's side, or leaned against his
mother's chair, as they told him the tragic tales of
the old Barneveldt and the hapless De Witts; or
how his young heart glowed to their memories of
THE BOW OF ORANGE RIBBON
the dear fatherland, and the proud march of the
But this night the mournful glamour of the past
caught a fresh glory from the dawn of a grander
day forespoken. "More than three hundred vessels
may leave the port of New York this same year,"
he thought. "It is the truth; every man of stand-
ing says so. Good evening, Mr. Justice. Good
evening, neighbors;" and he stood a minute, with
his hands on his garden-gate, to bow to Justice Van
Gaasbeeck and to Peter Sluyter, who, with their
wives, were going to spend an hour or two at Chris-
topher Laer's garden. There the women would
have chocolate and hot waffles, and discuss the new
camblets and shoes just arrived from England, and
to be bought at Jacob Kip's store; and the men
would have a pipe of Virginia and a glass of hot
Hollands, and fight over again the quarrel pending
between the Governor and the Assembly.
"Men can bear all things but good days," said
Peter Sluyter, when they had gone a dozen yards
in silence : "since Van Heemskirk has a seat in the
council-room, it is a long way to his hat."
"Come, now, he was very civil, Sluyter. He
bows like a man not used to make a low bow,
that is all."
"Well, well! with time, every one gets into his
right place. In the City Hall, I may yet put my
chair beside his, Van Gaasbeeck."
"So say I, Sluyter; and, for the present, it i
all well as it is."
THE VAN HEEMSKIRKS 7
This little envious fret of his neighbor lost itself
outside Joris Van Heemskirk's home. Within it,
all was love and content. He quickly divested him-
self of his fine coat and ruffles, and, in a long
scarlet vest and a little skull-cap of orange silk, sat
down to smoke. He had talked a good deal in the
City Hall, and he was chewing the cud of his wis-
dom over again. Madam Van Heemskirk under-
stood that, and she let the good man reconsider
himself in peace. Besides, this was her busy hour.
She was giving out the food for the morning's
breakfast, and locking up the cupboards, and listen-
ing to complaints from the kitchen, and making a
plaster for black Tom's bealing finger. In some
measure, she prepared all day for this hour, and
yet there was always something unforeseen to be
done in it.
She was a little woman, with clear-cut features,
and brown hair drawn backward under a cap of lace
very stiffly starched. Her tight-fitting dress 'of blue
taffeta was open in front, and looped up behind in
order to show an elaborately quilted petticoat of
light blue camblet. Her .white wool stockings were
clocked with blue, her high-heeled shoes cut very
low, and clasped with small silver buckles. From
her trim cap to her trig shoes, she was a pleasant
and comfortable picture of a happy, domestic wo-
man ; smiling, peaceful, and easy to live with.
When the last duty was finished, she let her bunch
of keys fall with a satisfactory "all done" jingle,
that made her Joris look at her with a smile. "That
8 THE BOir OF ORANGE RIBBON
is so," she said in answer to it. "A woman is glad
when she ;ets all under lock and key for a few
hours. Servants are not made without fingers ; and,
I can tell thee, all the thieves are not yet hung."
"That needs no proving, Lysbet. But where,
then, is Joanna and the little one? And Bram
should be home ere this. He has staid out late
more than once lately, and it vexes me. Thou art
his mother, speak to him."
"Bram is good : do not make his bridle too
short. Katherine troubles me more than Bram.
She is quiet and thinks much; and when I say,
'What art thou thinking of?' she answers always.
'Nothing, mother/ That is not right. When a girl
says, 'Nothing, mother,' there is something per-
haps, indeed, somebody on her mind."
"Katherine is nothing but a child. Who would
talk love to a girl who has not yet taken her first
communion ? What you think is nonsense, Lysbet ;"
but he looked annoyed, and the comfort of his pipe
was gone. He put it down, and walked to a side-
door, where he stood a little while, watching the
road with a fretful anxiety.
"Why don't the children come, then ? It is nearly
dark, and the dew falls: and the river mist I like
not for them."
"For my part, I am not uneasy, Joris. They
were to drink a dish of tea with Madam Semple,
and Bram promised to go for them. And, see, they
are coming; but Bram is not with them, only the
elder. Now, what can be the matter?"
THE VAN HEEMSKIRKS 9
"For everything, there are more reasons than
one: if there is a bad reason, Elder Semple will
be sure to croak about it. I could wish that just
now he had not come."
"But then he is here, and the welcome must be
given to a caller on the threshold. You know that,
"I will not break a good custom."
Elder Alexander Semple was a great man in his
He had a reputation both for riches and god-
liness, and was scarcely more respected in the
market-place than he was in the Middle Kirk. And
there was an old tie between the Semples and the
Van Heemskirks a tie going back to the days when
the Scotch Covenanters and the Netherland Con-
fessors clasped hands as brothers in their "churches
under the cross." Then one of the Semples had
fled for life from Scotland to Holland, and been
sheltered in the house of a Van Heemskirk; and
from generation to generation the friendship had
been continued. So there was much real kindness
and very little ceremony between the families; and
the elder met his friend Joris with a grumble about
having to act as "convoy" for two lasses, when the
river mist made the duty so unpleasant.
"Not to say dangerous," he added, with a forced
cough. "I hae my plaid and my bonnet on; but a
coat o' mail conldna stand mists, that are a vera
shadow o' death to an auld man, wi* a sair short-
ness o' the breath."
io THE BOW OF ORANGE RIBBON
"Sit down, elder, near the fire. A glass of hot
Hollands will take the chill from you."
"You are mair than kind, gudewife; and I'll no
say but what a sma' glass is needfu', what wi' the
late hour, and the thick mist "
"Come, come, elder. Mists in every country you
will find, until you reach the New Jerusalem."
"Vera true, but there's a difference in mists.
Noo, a Scotch mist isna at all unhealthy. When
I was a laddie, I hae been out in them for a week
thegither, ay, and felt the better o' them." He had
taken off his plaid and bonnet as he spoke; and he
drew the chair set for him in front of the blazing
logs, and stretched out his thin legs to the comfort-
In the mean time, the girls had gone upstairs to-
gether; and their footsteps and voices, and Kath-
erine's rippling laugh, could be heard distinctly
through the open doors. Then madam called, "Jo-
anna!" and the girl came down at once. She was
tying on her white apron as she entered the room;
and, at a word from her mother, she began to take
from the cupboards various Dutch dainties, and
East Indian jars of fruits and sweetmeats, and a
case of crystal bottles, and some fine lemons. She
was a fair, rosy girl, with a kind, cheerful face, a
pleasant voice, and a smile that was at once inno-
cent and bright. Her fine light hair was rolled high
and backward; and no one could have imagined a
dress more suitable to her than the trig dark bodice,
the quilted skirt, and the white apron she wore.
THE VAN HEEMSKIRKS n
Her father and mother watched her with a lov-
ing satisfaction ; and though Elder Semple was dis-
coursing on that memorable dispute between the
Caetus and Conferentie parties, which had resulted
in the establishment of an independent Dutch church
in America, he was quite sensible of Joanna's pres-
ence, and of what she was doing.
"I was ay for the ordaining o' American min-
isters in America/' he said, as he touched the ringer
tips of his left hand with those of his right; and
then in an aside full of personal interest, "Joanna,
my dearie, I'll hae a Holland bloater and nae other
thing. And I was a proud man when I got the
invite to be secretary to the first meeting o' the new
Csetus. Maybe it is praising green barley to say
just yet that it was a wise departure; but I think
sae, I think sae."
At this point, Katherine Van Heemskirk came
into the room ; and the elder slightly moved his
chair, and said, "Come awa', my bonnie lassie, and
let us hae a look at you." And Katherine laugh-
ingly pushed a stool toward the fire, and sat down
between the two men on the hearthstone. She was
the daintiest little Dutch maiden that ever latched
a shoe very diminutive, with a complexion like a
sea-shell, great blue eyes, and such a quantity of
pale yellow hair, that it made light of its ribbon
snood, and rippled over her brow and slender white
neck in bewildering curls. She dearly loved fine
clothes ; and she had not removed her visiting dress
of Indian silk, nor her necklace of amber beads.
12 THE BOW OF ORAXGE RIBBON
And in her hands she held a great mass of lilies of
the valley, which she caressed almost as if they were
"Father." she said, nestling close to his side, "look
at the lilies. How straight they are ! How strong !
Oh, the white bells full of sweet scent ! In them put
your face, father. They smell of the spring." Her
fingers could scarcely hold the bunch she had gath-
ered: and she buried her lovely face in them, and
then lifted it. with a charming look of delight, and
the cries of "Oh, oh, how delicious !''
Long before supper was over. Madam Van
Heemskirk had discovered that this night Elder
Semple had a special reason for his call. His talk
of Mennon and the Anabaptists and the objection-
able Lutherans, she perceived, was all surface talk ;
and when the meal was finished, and the girls gone
to their room, she was not astonished to hear him
say, 'Joris, let us light another pipe. I hae some-
thing to speak anent. Sit still, gudewife, we shall
want vour word on the matter."
"On what matter, elder?"
"Anent a marriage between my son Xeil and
your daughter Katherine."
The words fell with a sharp distinctness, not
unkindly, but as if they were more than common
words. They were followed by a marked silence,
a silence which in no way disturbed Semple. He
knew his friends well, and therefore he expected it.
He puffed his pipe slowly, and glanced at Joris and
Lvsbet Van Heemskirk. The father's face had not
THE VAN HEEMSKIRKS 13
moved a muscle; the mother's was like a handsome
closed book. She went on with her knitting, and
only showed that she had heard the proposal by a
small pretense of finding it necessary to count the
stitches in the heel she was turning. Still, there
had been some faint, evanescent flicker on her face,
some droop or lift of the eyelids, which Joris un-
derstood; for, after a glance at her, he said slowly,
"For Katherine the marriage would be good, and
Lysbet and I would like it. However, we will think
a little about it; there is time, and to spare. One
should not run on a new road. The first step is
what I like to be sure of; as you know, elder, to
the second step it often binds you. Say what you
"Neil is to my mind, when the time comes. But
yet the child knows not perfectly her Heidelberg.
And there is more : she must learn to help her
mother about the house before she can manage a
house of her own. So in time, I say, it would be
a good thing. We have been long good friends."
'We hae been friends for four generations, and
we may safely tie the knot tighter now. There
are wise folk that say the Dutch and the Lowland
Scotch are of the same stock, and a vera gude
stock it is the women o' baith being fair as lilies
and thrifty as bees, and the men just a wonder o'
everything wise and weel-spoken o'. Forbye, baith
o' us Scotch and Dutch are strict Protestors.
The Lady o' Rome never threw dust in our een,
and neither o' us would put our noses to the
14 THE BOW OF ORANGE RIBBON
ground for either powers spiritual or powers tem-
poral. When I think o' our John Knox "
"First came Erasmus, elder."
"Surely. Well, well, it was about wedding and
housekeeping I came to speak, and we'll hae it oot.
The land between this place and my place, on the
river-side, is your land, Joris. Give it to Katherine,
and I will build the young things a house; and the
furnishing and plenishing we'll share between us."
"There is more to a wedding than house and
"Vera true, madam. There's the income to meet
the outgo. Neil has a good practise now, and is
like to have better. They'll be comfortable and re-
spectable, madam ; but I think well o' you for speer-
ing after the daily bread."
"Well, look now, it was not the bread-making
I was thinking about. It was the love-making. A
young girl should be wooed before she is married.
You know how it is; and Katherine, the little one,
she thinks not of such a thing as love and marriage."
"Wha kens what thoughts are under curly locks
at seventeen? You'll hae noticed, madam, that
Katherine has come mair often than ordinar' to
Semple House lately?"
"That is so. It was because of Colonel Gordon's
wife, who likes Katherine. She is teaching her a
new stitch in her crewel-work."
"Hum m m ! Mistress Gordon has likewise a
nephew, a vera handsome lad. I hae seen that he
takes a deal o' interest in the crewel-stitch likewise.
THE VAN HEEMSK1RKS 15
And Neil has seen it too for Neil has set his heart
on Katherine and this afternoon there was a look
passed between the young men I dinna like. We'll
be haeing a challenge, and twa fools playing at mur-
"I am glad you spoke, elder. Thank you. I'll
turn your words over in my heart." But Van
Heemskirk was under a certain constraint : he was
beginning to understand the situation, to see in
what danger his darling might be. He was ap-
parently calm ; but an angry fire was gathering in
his eyes, and stern lines settling about the lower part
of his face.
"You ken," answered Semple, who felt a trifle
uneasy in the sudden constraint, "I hae little skill
in the ordering o' girl bairns. The Almighty
thought them beyond my guiding, and I must say
they are a great charge, a great charge; and, wi'
all my infirmities and simplicity anent women
one that would hae been mair than I could hae kept.
But I hae brought up my lads in a vera creditable
way. They know how to manage their business,
and they hae the true religion. I am sure Neil
would make a good husband, and I would be glad
to hae him settled near by. My three eldest lads
hae gone far off, Joris, as you ken."
"I remember. Two went to the Virginia
"To Norfolk tobacco brokers, and making
money. My son Alexander a wise lad : went
to Boston, and is in the African trade. I may say
1 6 THE BOW OF ORANGE RIBBON
that they are all honest, pious men, without wish-
ing to be martyrs for honesty and piety, which, in-
deed, in these days is mercifully not called for. As
for Neil, he's our last bairn; and his mother and I
would fain keep him near us. Katherine would be
a welcome daughter to our auld age, and weel
loved, and much made o' ; and I hope baith Madam
Van Heemskirk and yoursel' will think with us."
"We have said we would like the marriage. It
is the truth. But, look now, Katherine shall not
come any more to your house at this time, not while
English soldiers come and go there; for I will not
have her speak to one : they are no good for us."
"That is rigfht for you, but not for me. My wife
was a Gordon, and we couldn't but offer our house
to a cousin in a strange country. And you'll find
few better men than Colonel Nigel Gordon; as for
his wife, she's a fine English leddy, and I hae little
knowledge anent such women. But a Scot canna
kithe a kindness : if I gie Colonel Gordon a share
o' my house, I must e'en show a sort o' hospitality
to his friends and visitors. And the colonel's wife
is much thought o', in the regiment and oot o' it.
She has a sight o' good company young officers
and bonnie leddies, and some o' the vera best o' our
"There it is. I want not my daughters to learn
new ways. There are the Van Voorts : they began
to dine and dance at the governor's house, and then
they went to the English Church."
"They were Lutherans to begin wf , Joris."
THE VAN HEEMS KIRKS 17
"My Lysbet is the finest lady in the whole land :
let her daughters walk in her steps. That is what
I want. But Neil can come here : I will make him
welcome, and a good girl is to be courted on her
father's hearth. Now, there is enough said, and
also there is some one coming."
"It will be Neil and Bram;" and, as the words
were spoken, the young men entered.
"Again you are late, Bram;" and the father
looked curiously in his son's face. It was like
looking back upon his own youth ; for Bram Van
Heemskirk had all the physical traits of his father
his great size, his commanding presence and
winning address, his large eyes, his deep, sono-
rous voice and slow speech. He was well dressed
in light-colored broadcloth, but Neil Semple wore
a coat and breeches of black velvet, with a long
satin vest, and fine small ruffles. He was tall and
swarthy, and had a pointed, rather sombre face.
Without speaking much in the way of conversation,
he left an impression always of intellectual adroit-
ness a young man of whom people expected a suc-
With the advent of Bram and Neil, the consulta-
tion ended. The elder, grumbling at the chill and
mist, wrapped himself in his plaid, and, leaning on
his son's arm, cautiously picked his way home by
the light of a lantern. Bram drew his chair to the
hearth, and sat silently waiting for any question his
father might wish to ask. But Van Heemskirk was
not inclined to talk. He put aside his pipe, nodded
18 THE BOW OF ORANGE RIBBON
gravely to his son, and went thoughtfully upstairs.
At the closed door of his daughter's room, he stood
still a moment. There was a murmur of conversa-
tion within it, and a ripple of quickly smothered
laughter. How well his soul could see the child,
with her white, small hands over her mouth, and
her bright hair scattered upon the white pillow !
"Adi, mijn kind, mijn kind! Mijn liefste kind!"
he whispered. "God Almighty keep thee from sin
"To be a sweetness more desired than spring,
This is the flower of life."
"Deep in the sun-searched growth the dragon-fly
Hangs like a blue thread loosened from the sky :
So this winged hour is dropped to us from above.
Oh, clasp we to our hearts, for deathless dower,
This close-companioned, inarticulate hour
When twofold silence was the song of love !"
JORIS VAN HEEMSKIRK had not thought of
prayer ; but, in his vague fear and apprehension,
his soul beat at his lips, and its natural language
had been that appeal at his daughter's closed door.
For Semple's words had been like a hand lifting the
curtain in a dark room : only a clouded and uncer-
tain light had been thrown, but in it even familiar
objects looked portentous. In these days, the tend-
ency is to tone down and to assimilate, to deprecate
everything positive and demonstrative. But Joris
lived when the great motives of humanity stood
out sharp and bold, and surrounded by a religious
Many of his people had begun to associate with
the governing race, to sit at their banquets, and
even to worship in their church; but Joris, in his
20 THE BOW OF ORANGE RIBBON
heart, looked upon such "indifferents'' as renegades
to their God and their fatherland. He was a
Dutchman, soul and body; and no English duke
was prouder of his line, or his royal quarterings,