Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr.

The bow of orange ribbon; a romance of New York online

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wi' a candle at this hour, I wonder ? "

"She'll be sewing or reading, father."

"Hoots! she should aye mak' the wark and the
hour suit. There's spinning and knitting for the
night-time. Wi' soldiers quartered to the right
hand and the left hand, and a civil war staring us in


the face, it's neither tallow nor wax we'll hae to

He was climbing the pipe-clayed steps as he spoke,
and in a few minutes was standing face to face with
the offender. Madam Semple was reading; and, as
her husband opened the parlor-door, she lifted her
eyes from her book, and let them calmly rest upon

"Fire-light and candle-light, baith, Janet! A
fair illumination, and nae ither thing but bad news
of it."

"I'm reading the Word, elder."

" For the night season, meditation, Janet, medita-
tion ; " and he lifted the extinguisher, and put out
the candle. " Meditate on what you hae read. The
Word will bide a deal o' thinking about. You'll hae
heard the ill news ? "

' I heard naething ill."

'DidnaNeil tell you ? "

* Anent what ? "

' The closing o' the king's customs."

'Ay, Neil told me."


'Weel, since you ask me, I say it was gude

" Noo, Janet, we'll hae to come to an understand-
ing. If I hae swithered in my. loyalty before, I'll do
sae nae niair. From this hour, .me and my house
will serve King George. I'll hae nae treason done
in it, nor said ; no, nor even thocht o'."

" You'll be a vera Samson o' strength, and a vera
Solomon o' wisdom, if you keep the hands and the
tongues and the thochts o' this house. Whiles, you
canna vera weel keep the door o' your ain mouth,
gudeman. What's come o'er you, at a' ? "

"I'm surely master in my ain house, Janet."

" 'Deed, you are far from being that, Alexander
Semple. Doesna King George quarter his men in
it? And havena you to feed and shelter them, and
to thole their ill tempers and their ill ways, morn-
ing, noon, and night? You master in your am
house! You're just a naebody in it! "


" Dinna get on your high horse, madam. Things
are coming to the upshot: there's nae doot o' it."

" They've been lang aboot it, too lang."

" Do you really mean that you are going to set
yoursel' among the rebels ? "

(( Going? Na, na; I have aye been amang them.
And ten years syne, when the Stamp Act was the
question, you were heart and, soul wi' the people.
The quarrel to-day is the same quarrel wi' a new
name. Tak' the side o' honor and manhood and
justice, and dinna mak' me ashamed o' you, Alex-
ander. The Semples have aye been for freedom,
Kirk and State, and I never heard tell o' them
losing a chance to gie them proud English a set-
down before. What for should you gie the lie to a*
your forbears said and did ? King George hasna
put his hand in his pocket for you ; he has done
naething but tax your incomings and your out-
goings. Ask Van Heemskirk : he's a prudent man,
and you'll never go far wrong if you walk wi r

"Ask Van Heemskirk, indeed! Not I. The
rebellious spirit o' the teji tribes is through all the
land ; but I'll stand by King George, if I'm the only
man to do it."

" George may be king o' the Semples. I'm a
Gordon. He's no king o' mine. The Gordons were
a' for the Stuarts."

" Jacobite and traitor, baith ! Janet, Janet, how
can you turn against me on every hand ? "

" I'll no turn against you, elder; and I'll gie you
no cause for complaint, if you dinna set King George
on my hearthstone, and bring him to my table, and
fling him at me early and late." She was going to
light the candle again ; and, with it in her hand, she
continued : " That's enough anent George rex at
night-time, for he isna a pleasant thought for a
sleeping one. How is Van Heemskirk going? And
Bram ? "

" Bram was wi' them that unloaded the schooner,
and closed the custom-house, the born idiots ! "

" I expected that o' Bram."


" As for his father, he's the blackest rebel you
could find or hear tell o' in the twelve Provinces."

" He's a good man ; Joris is a good man, true and
sure. The cause he lifts, he'll never leave. Joris
and Bram, excellent! They two are a multitude."

"Humff! " It was all he could say. There was
something in his wife's face that made it look un-
familiar to him. He felt himself to be like the
prophet of Pethor, a man whose eyes are opened.
But Elder Semple was not one of the foolish ones who
waste words. "A wilfu' woman will hae her way,"
he thought; " and, if Janet has turned rebel to the
king, it's mair than likely she'll throw off my ain law-
fu' authority likewise. But we'll see, we'll see," he
muttered, glancing with angry determination at the
little woman, who, for her part, seemed to have put
quite away all thoughts of king and Congress.

She stood with the tinder-box and the flint and
brimstone matches in her hands, " I wonder if the
tinder is burnt enough, Alexander," she said; and
with the words she sharply struck the flint. A spark
fell instantly and set fire to it, and she lit her match
and watched it blaze with a singular look of triumph
on her face. Somehow the trifling affair irritated
the elder. " What are you doing at a' ? You're
acting like a silly bairn, makin' a blaze for naething.
There's a fire on the hearth : whatna for, then, are
you wasting tinder and a match ? "

" Maybe it wasna for naething, elder. Maybe I
was asking for a sign, and got the ane I wanted.
There's nae sin in that, I hope. You ken Gideon
did it when he had to stand up for the oppressed,
and slay the tyrant."

"Tut, woman, you arena Gideon, nor yet o'
Gideon's kind ; and, forbye, there's nae angel speak-
ing wi' you."

" You're right there, elder. But, for a' that, I'm
glad that the spark fired the tinder, and that the
tinder lit the match, and that the match burnt sae
bright and sae bravely. It has made a glow in my
heart, and I'll sleep well wi' the pleasure o' it."

Next morning the argument was not renewed.


Neil was sombre and silent. His father was un-
certain as to his views, and he did not want to force
or hurry a decision. Besides, it would evidently be
more prudent to speak with the young man when he
could not be influenced by his mother's wilful,
scornful tongue. Perhaps Neil shared this prudent
feeling; for he deprecated conversation, and, on the
plea of business, left the breakfast-table before the
meal was finished.

The elder, however, had some indemnification for
his cautious silence. He permitted himself, at
family prayers, a very marked reading of St. Paul's
injunction, "Fear God and honor the king;" and
ere he left the house he said to his wife, " Janet, I
hope you hae come to your senses. You'll allow
that you didna treat me wi' a proper respect yest'r-
een? "

She was standing face to face with him, her hands
uplifted, fastening the broad silver clasp of his
cloak. For a moment she hesitated, the next she
raised herself on tiptoes, and kissed him. He pursed
up his mouth a little sternly, and then stroked her
white hair. " You heard what St. Paul says, Janet ;
isna that a settlement o' the question ? "

" I'm no blaming St. Paul, Alexander. If ever St.
Paul approves o' submitting to tyranny, it's thae
translator's fault. He wouldna tak' injustice him-
seP, not even from a Roman magistrate. I wish St.
Paul was alive the day: I'm vera sure if he were,
he'd write an epistle to the English, wad put the
king's dues just as free men would be willing to pay
them. Now, don't be angry, Alexander. If you go
awa' angry at me, you'll hae a bad day; you ken
that, gudeman."

It was a subtile plea ; for no man, however wise or
good or brave, likes to bespeak ill-fortune when it
can be averted by a sacrifice so easy and so pleasant.
But, in spite of Janet's kiss, he was unhappy ; and,
when he reached the store, the clerks and porters
were all standing together talking. He knew quite
well what topic they were discussing with such eager
movements and excited speech. But they dispersed


to their work at the sight of his sour, stern face, and
he did not intend to open a fresh dispute by any

Apprentices and clerks then showed a great deal
of deference to their masters, and Elder Semple
demanded the full measure due to him. Something,
however, in the carriage, in the faces, in the very
tones of his servants' voices, offended him ; and he
soon discovered that various small duties had been

** Listen to me, lads," he said angrily; " I'll have
nae politics mixed up wi' my exports and imports.
Neither king nor Congress has aught to do wi' my
business; and if there is among you ane o' them
fools that ca' themselves the 'Sons o' Liberty,' I'll
pay him whatever I owe him now, and he can gang
to Madam Lit3erty for his future wage."

He was standing on the step of his high counting-
desk as he spoke^and he peered over the little
wooden railing at the men scattered about with pens
or hammers or goods in their hands. There was a
moment's silence ; then a middle-aged man quietly
laid down the tools with which he was closing a box,
and walked up to the desk. The next moment,
every one in the place had followed him. Semple
was amazed and angry, but he made no sign of
either emotion. He counted to the most accurate
fraction every one's due, and leUthem go without
one word of remonstrance.

But, as soon as he was alone, he felt the full bit-
terness of their desertion, and he could not keep the
tears out of his eyes as he looked at their empty
places. " Wha could hae thocht it ? " he exclaimed.
" Allan has been wi' me twenty-seven years, and
Scott twenty, and Grey nearly seventeen. And the
lads I have aye been kindly to. Maist o' them have
wives and bairns, too; it's just a sin o' them. It's
no to be believed. It's fair witchcraft. And the
pride o' them ! My certie, they all looked as if their
hands were itching for a sword or a pair o' pistols ! "

At this juncture Neil entered the store. "Here's
a bonnie pass, Neil ; every man has left the store. I
may as weel put up the shutters."


"There are other men to be hired."

" They were maistly a' auld standbys, auld married
men that ought to have had inair sense."

"The married men are the trouble-makers; the
women have hatched and nursed this rebellion. If
they would only spin their webs, and mind their
knitting! "

" But they willna, Neil ; and they never would. If
there's a plot o' rebellion brewing between the twa
poles, women will be dabbling in it. They have aye
been against lawfu' authority. The restraints o'
paradise was tyranny to them. And they get worse
and worse : it isna ane apple would do them the noo ;
they'd strip the tree, my lad, to its vera topmost

"There's mother "

"Ay, there's your mother, she's a gude example.
She's a Gordon ; and thae Gordon women cried the
'Slogan' till their men's heads were a' on Carlisle
gate or Temple Bar, and their lands a' under King
George's thumb. But is she any wiser for the les-
son ? Not her. Women are born rebels ; the ' powers
that be ' are always tyrants to them, Neil."

"You ought to know, father. I have small and
sad experience with them."

" Sae, I hope you'll stand by my side. We twa can
keep the house thegither. If we are a' right, the
Government will whistle by a woman's talk."

" Did you not say Katherine was coming back ? "

" I did that. See there, again. Hyde has dropped
his uniform, and sold a' that he has, and is coming
to fight in a quarrel that's nane o' his. Heard you
ever such foolishness? But it is Katherine's doing;
there's little doot o' that."

" He's turned rebel, then ? "

"Ay has he. That's what women do. Politics
and rebellion is the same thing to them."

" Well, father, I shall not turn rebel."

"O Neil, you take a load off my heart by thae
words! "

" I have nothing against the king, and I could not
be Hyde's comrade."




"How glorious stand the valiant, sword in hand,
In front of battle for their native land! "

" Force and right rule all things in the world ; force arrives first*
then right."

"Justice is truth in action."

IT was into this thundery atmosphere of coming
conflict, of hopes and doubts, of sundering ties and
fearful looking forward, that Richard and Kather-
ine Hyde came, from the idyllic peace and beauty
of their Norfolk house. But there was something in
it that fitted Hyde's real disposition. He was a
natural soldier, and he had arrived at the period of
life when the mere show and pomp of the profession
had lost all satisfying charm. He had found a quar-
rel worthy of his sword, one that had not only his
deliberate approval, but his passionate sympathy.
In fact, his first blow for American independence
had been struck in the duel with Lord Paget; for
that quarrel, though nominally concerningLady Suf-
folk, was grounded upon a dislike engendered by
their antagonism regarding the government of the

It was an exquisite April morning when they sailed
up New York bay once more. Joris had been watch-
ing for the "Western Light; " and, when she came
to anchor at Murray's Wharf, his was the foremost
figure on it. He had grown a little stouter, but was
still a splendid looking man ; he had grown a little
older, but his tenderness for his daughter was still
young and fresh and strong as ever. He took her in
his arms, murmuring, "Jfjjjn Katrijntje, mijn Kat-
rijntje! Ach, mijn kind, mijn kind!"

Hyde had felt that there might be some embarras-
ment in his own case, perhaps some explanation or
acknowledgment to make; but Joris waved aside
any speech like it. He gave Hyde both hands ; he


called him "mijn zoon;" he stooped, and put the
little lad's arms around his neck. In many a kind
and delicate way he made them feel that all of the
past was forgotten but its sweetness.

And surely that hour Lysbet had the reward of
her faithful affection. She had always admired
Hyde ; and she was proud and happy to have him in
her home, and to have him call her " mother." The
little Joris took possession of her heart in a moment.
Her Katherine was again at her side. She had felt
the clasp of her hands ; she had heard her whisper
" mijn moeder " upon her lips.

They landed upon a Saturday, upon one of those
delightsome days that April frequently gives to New
York. There was a fresh wind, full of the smell of
the earth and the sea; an intensely blue sky, with
flying battalions of white fleecy clouds across it; a
glorious sunshine above every thing. And people
live, and live happily, even in the shadow of war.
The stores were full of buyers and sellers. The doors
and windows of the houses were open to the spring
freshness. Lysbet had heard of their arrival, and
was watching for them. Her hair was a little whiter,
her figure a little stouter; but her face was fair and
rosy, and sweet as ever.

In a few hours things had fallen naturally and
easily into place. Joris and Bram and Hyde sat
talking of the formation of a regiment. Little Joris
leaned on his grandfather's shoulder, listening.
Lysbet and Katherine were unpacking trunks full
of fineries and pretty things; occasionally stopping
to give instructions to Dinorah, who was preparing
an extra tea, as Batavius and Joanna \vere coining
to spend the evening. " And to the elder and Janet
Semple I have sent a message, also," said Lysbet;
"for I see not why anger should be nursed, or old
friendships broken, for politics."

Katherine had asked at once, with eager love, for
Joanna ; she had expected that she would be waiting
to welcome her. Lysbet smiled faintly at the sup-
position. " She has a large family, then, and Bata-
vius, and her house. Seldom comes she here now."


But about four o'clock, as Katherine and Hyd<
were dressing, Joanna and Batavius and all thei
family arrived. In a moment, their presence seemeq
to diffuse itself through the house. There was t
sense of confusion and unrest, and the loud crying
of a hungry baby determined to be attended to
And Joanna was fulfilling this duty, when Kath-
erine hastened to meet her. Wifehood and mother-
hood had greatly altered the slim, fair girl of ten
years previous. She had grown stout, and was un-
tidy in her dress, and a worried, anxious expression
was continually on her countenance; for, though
Batavius kept an eye on the children, there were
five of them beside the baby, fat, rosy, round-faced
miniatures of himself, all having a fair share of his
peculair selfish traits, which each expressed after |
their individual fashion.

Hyde met his brother-in-law with a gentlemanly
cordiality; and Batavius, who had told Joanna " he
intended to put down a bit that insolent English- j
man," was quite taken off his guard, and, ere he was i
aware of his submission, was smoking amicably
with him, as they discussed the proposed military
organization. Very soon Hyde asked Batavius, "If
he were willing to join it ? "

" When such a family a man has," he answered,
waving his hand complacently toward the six chil-
dren, "he must have some prudence -and considera-
tion. I had been well content with one child ; but
we must have our number, there is no remedy. And
I am a householder, and I pay my way, and do my
business. It is a fixed principle with me, not to
meddle with the business of other people."

" But, sir, this is your business, and your chil-
dren's business also."

" I think, then, that it is King George's business."

" It is liberty "

" Well, then, I have my liberty. I have liberty to
buy and to sell, to go to my own kirk, to sail the
' Great Christopher ' when and where I will. My
house, my wife, my little children, nobody has


" Pray, sir, what of your rights ? your honor ? "

" Oh, indeed, then, for ideas I quarrel not! Facts,
they are different. Every man has his own creed,
and every m*an his own liberty, so say I. Come
here, Alicia," and he waved his hand imperiously to
a little woman of four years old, who was sulking at
the window, " what's the matter now ? You have
been crying again. I see that you have a discon-
tented temper. There is a spot on your petticoat
also, and your cap is awry. I fear that you will
never become a neat, respectable girl, you that
ought to set a good pattern to your little sister

Evidently he wished to turn the current of the
conversation; but, as soon as the child had been
sent to her mother, Joris resumed it.

"If you go not yourself to the fight, Batavius,
plenty of young men are there, longing to go, who
have no arms and no clothes : send in your place
one of them."

" It is my fixed principle not to meddle in the
affairs of other people, and my principles are sacred
to me."

" Batavius, you said not long ago, that the colon-
ists were leaving the old ship, and that the first in
the new boat would have the choice of oars."

" Bram, that is the truth. I said not that I would
choose any of the oars."

"A fair harbor we shall make, and the rewards
will be great, Batavius."

" It is not good to cry 'herrings,' till in the net
you have them. And to talk of rowing, the colon-
ists must row against wind and tide; the Eng-
lish will row with set sail. That is easy rowing.
Into this question I have looked well, for always I
think about every thing."

" Have you read the speeches of Adams and Han-
cock and Quincy ? Have you heard what Col. Wash-
ington said in the Assembly ? "

"Oh, these men are discontented! Something
which they have not got, they want. They are
troublesome and conceited. They expect the cen-


tury will be called after them. Now, I, who punctu-
ally fulfil my obligations as a father and a citizen,
/ am contented, / never make complaints, J never
want more liberty. You may read in the Holy
Scriptures, that no good comes of rebellion. Did
not Absalom sit in the gate, and say to the discon-
tented, ' See, thy matters are good and right; but
there is no man deputed of the king to hear thee ; '
and, moreover, 'Oh, that I were made a judge in
the land, that every man which hath any suit or
cause might come unto me, and I would do him
justice'? And did not Sheba blow a trumpet, ar.d
say, ' We have no part in David, neither have we
inheritance in the son of Jesse. Every man to his
tents, O Israel ' ? Well, then, what came of such
follies? You may read in the Word of God, that
they ended in ruin."

Hyde looked with curiosity at the complacent
orator. Bram rose, and, with a long-drawn whistle,
left the room. Joris said sternly; "Enough you
have spoken, Batavius. None are so blind as those
who will not see."

" \Vell, then, father, I can see what is in the way
of mine own business; and it is a fixed principle
with me not to meddle with the business of other
people. And look here, Joanna, the night is com-
ing, and the dew with it, and Alida had a sore throat
yesterday : we had better go. 'Past in sleep the
children ought to be at this hour." And he bustled
about them, tying on caps and capes; and finally,
having marshalled the six children and their two
nurses in front of him, he trotted off with Joanna
upon his arm, fully persuaded that he had done him-
self great credit, and acted with uncommon wisdom.
" But it belongs to me to do that, Joanna," he said :
"among all the merchants, I amknownforniy gieat

"I think that my father and Bram will get into
trouble in this matter."

"You took the word out of my mouth, Joanna;
and I will have nothing to do with such follies, for
they are waxing hand over hand like the great


winds at sea, till the hurricane comes, and then the

The next morning was the sabbath, and it broke in
a perfect splendor of sunshine. The New World
was so new and fresh, and Katherine thought she
had never before seen the garden so lovely. Joris
was abroad in it very early. He looked at the gay
crocus and the pale snowdrop and the budding pan-
sies with a singular affection. He was going, per-
chance, on a long warfare. Would he ever return to
greet them in the coming springs ? If he did return,
would they be there to greet him ? As he stood pen -
sively thoughtful, Katherine called him. He raised
his eyes, and watched her approach as be had been
used when she was a child, a schoolgirl, a lovely
maiden. But never had she been so beautiful as
now. She was dressed for church in a gown of rich
brown brocade over a petticoat of paler satin, with
costly ornaments of gold and rubies. As she joined
her father, Hyde joined Lysbet in the parlor; and
the two stood at the window watching her. She had
clasped her hands upon his shoulder, and leaned her
beautiful head against them. " A most perfect pic-
ture," said Hyde, and then he kissed Lysbet; and
from that moment they were mother and son.

They walked to" church together; and Hyde
thought how beautiful the pleasant city was that
sabbath morning, with its pretty houses shaded by
trees just turning green, its clear air full of the
grave, dilating harmony of the church-bells, its
quiet streets thronged with men and women, both
sexes dressed with a magnificence modern Broadway
beaux and belles have nothing to compare with.
What staid, dignified men in three-cornered hats
and embroidered velvet coats and long plush vests!
What buckles and wigs and lace ruffles and gold
snuffboxes ! What beautiful women in brocades and
taffetas, in hoops and high heels and gauze hats !
Here and there a black-robed dominie ; here and
there a splendidly dressed British officer, in scarlet
and white, and gold epaulettes and silver embroid-
eries! New York has always been a highly pictur-


esque city, but never more so than in the restless
days of A. D. 1775.

Katherine and Hyde and Bram were together;
Joris and Lysbet were slowly following them. They
were none of them speaking much, nor thinking
much, but all were very happy and full of content.
Suddenly the peaceful atmosphere was troubled by
the startling clamor of a trumpet. It was a note so
distinct from the music of the bells, so full of terror
and warning, that every one stood still. A second
blast was accompanied by the rapid beat of a horse's
hoofs ; and the rider came down Broadway like one
on a message of life and death, and made no pause
until he had very nearly reached Maiden Lane.

At that point a tall, muscular man seized the horse

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