Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr.

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

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to their God and their fatherland. He was a Dutch-
man, soul and body; and no English duke was
prouder of his line, or his royal quarterings, than
was Joris Van Heemskirk of the race of sailors and
patriots from whom he had sprung.

Through his father, he clasped hands with men
who had swept the narrow seas with De Euyter, and
sailed into arctic darkness and ice-fields with Van
Heemskirk. Farther back, among that mysterious,
legendary army of patriots called " The Beggars of
the Sea," he could proudly name his fore-goers,
rough, austere men, covered with scars, who fol-
lowed Willemsen to the succor of Leyden. The like-
ness of one of them, Adrian Van Heemskirk, was in
his best bedroom, the big, square form wrapped in a
pea-jacket; a crescent in his hat, with the device,
" Rather Turk than Papist; " and upon his breast one
of those medals, still hoarded in the Low Countries,,
which bore the significant words, " In defiance of
the Mass."

He knew all the stories of these men, how, forti-
fied by their natural bravery, and by their Calvin-
istic acquiescence in the purposes of Providence,
they put out to sea in any weather, braved any
danger, fought their enemies wherever they found
them, worked like beavers behind their dams, and
yet defiantly flung open their sluice-gates, and let in
the ocean, to drown out their enemies.

Through his mother, a beautiful Zealand woman,
he was related to the Evertsens, the victorious
admirals of Zealand, and also to the great mercan-
tile family of Doversteghe ; and he thought the en-
terprise of the one as honorable as the valor of the
other. Beside the sailor pictures of Cornelius and
Jan Evertsen, and the famous " Keesje the Devil,"
he hung sundry likenesses of men with grave, calm
faces, proud and lofty of aspect, dressed in rich
black velvet and large wide collars, merchants
who were every inch princes of commerce and

These lines of thought, almost tedious to indicate,


flashed hotly and vividly through his mind. The
likes and dislikes, the faiths and aspirations, of past
centuries, colored the present moments, as light
flung through richly stained glass has its white
radiance tinged by it. The feeling of race that
strong and mysterious tie which no time nor circum-
stances can eradicate was so living a motive in
Joris Van Heemskirk's heart, that he had been quite
conscious of its appeal when Semple spoke of a mar-
riage between Katherine and his own son. And
Semple had understood this, when he so cunningly
insinuated a common stock and a common form of
faith. For he had felt, instinctively, that even the
long tie of friendship between them was hardly
sufficient to bridge over the gulf of different nation-

Then, Katherine was Van Heemskirk's darling,
the very apple of his eye. He felt angry that
already there should be plans laid to separate her in
any way from him. His eldest daughters, Cornelia
and Anna, had married men of substance in Esopus
and Albany: he knew they had done well for them-
selves, and had become contented in that knowl-
edge ; but he also felt that they were far away from
his love and home. Joanna was already betrothed
to Capt. Batavius de Vries ; Bram would doubtless
find himself a wife very soon : for a little while, he
had certainly hoped to keep Katherine by his own
side. Semple, in speaking of her as already mar-
riageable, had given him a shock. It seemed "such a
few years since he had walked her to sleep at nights,
cradled in his strong arms, close to his great, loving
heart; such a little while ago when she toddled
about the garden at his side, her plump white hands
holding his big forefinger; only yesterday that she
tad been going to the school, with her spelling-book
and Heidelberg in her hand. When Lysbet had
spoken to him of the English lady staying with
Madam Semple, who was teaching Katherine the
new crewel-stitch, it had appeared to him quite
proper that such a child should be busy learning
something in the way of needlework. " Needle-


work " had been given as the reason of those visits,
which he now remembered had been very frequent ;
and he was so absolutely truthful, that he never
imagined the word to be in any measure a false

Therefore, Elder Semple's implication had stunned
him like a buffet. In his own room, he sat down on
a big oak chest; and, as he thought, his wrath
slowly gathered. Semple knew that gay young
English officers were coming and going about his
house, and he had not told him until he feared they
would interfere with his own plans for keeping Neil
near to him. The beautiful little Dutch maiden had
been an attraction which he was proud to exhibit,
just as he was proud of his imported furniture, his
pictures, and his library. He remembered that
Semple had spoken with touching emphasis of his
longing to keep his last son near home ; but must he
give up his darling Katherine to further this plan ?

"I like not it," he muttered. "God for the
Dutchman made the Dutchwoman. That is the
right way ; but I will not make angry myself for so
much of passion, so much of nothing at all to the
purpose. That is the truth. Always I have found
it so."

Then Lysbet, having finished her second locking
up, entered the room. She came in as one wearied
and troubled, and said with a sigh, as she untied
her apron, " By the girls' bedside I stopped one
minute. Dear me! when one is young, the sleep is

" Well, then, they were awake when I passed,
that is not so much as one quarter of the hour,
talking and laughing: I heard them."

" And now they are fast in sleep : their heads are on
one pillow, and Katherine's hand is fast clasped in
Joanna's hand. The dear ones! Joris, the elder's
words have made trouble in my heart. What did
the man mean? "

" Who can tell ? What a man says, we know ; but
only God understands what he means. But I will
say this, Lysbet, and it is what I mean : if Semple


has led my daughter into the way of temptation,
then, for all that is past and gone, we shall be un-

"Give yourself no kommer on that matter, Joris.
Why should not our girls see what kind of people
the world is made of? Have not some of our best
maidens married into the English set ? And none
of them were as beautiful as Katherine. There is
no harm, I think, in a girl taking a few steps up
when she puts on the wedding-ring."

" Mean you that our little daughter should marry
some English good-for-nothing? Look, then, I
would rather see her white and cold in the dead-
chamber. In a word, I will have no Englishman
among the Van Heemskirks. There, let us sleep.
To-night I will speak no more."

But madam could not sleep. She was quite sensi-
ble that she had tacitly encouraged Katherine's
visits to Semple House, even after she understood
that Capt. Hyde and other fashionable and notable
persons were frequent visitors there. In her heart,
she had dreamed such dreams of social advancement
for her daughters as most mothers encourage. Her
prejudices were less deep than those of her husband ;
or, perhaps, they were more powerfully combated
by her greater respect for the pomps and vanities
of life. She thought rather well than ill of those
people of her own race and cla-ss who had made
themselves a place in the .most exclusive ranks.
During the past ten years, there had been great
changes in New York's social life: many families
had become very wealthy, and there was' a rapidly
growing tendency to luxurious and splendid living.
Lysbet Yan Heemskirk saw no reason why her
younger children should not move with this current,
when it might set them among the growing aristoc-
racy of the New World.

She tried to recall Katherine's demeanor and
words during the past day, and she could find no
cause for alarm in them. True, the child had spent
a long time in arranging her beautiful hair, and she
had also begged from her the bright amber neck-


lace that had been her own girlish pride ; but what
then ? It was so natural, especially when there was
likely to be fine young gentlemen to see them. She
could not remember having noticed any thing at all
which ought to make her uneasy ; and what Lysbet
did not see or hear, she could not imagine.

Yet the past ten hours had really been full of dan-
ger to the young girl. Early in the afternoon, some
hours before Joanna was ready to go, Katherine was
dressed for her visit to Semple House. It was the
next dwelling to the Van Heemskirks' on the river-
bank, about a quarter of a mile distant, but plainly
in sight ; and this very proximity gave the mother a
sense of security for her children. It was a different
house from the Dutchman's, one of those great
square, plain buildings, so common in the Georgian
era, not at all picturesque, but finished inside with
handsomely carved wood-work, and with mirrors
and wall-papering brought specially for it from

It stood, like Yan Heemskirk's, at the head of a
garden sloping to the river; and there was a good
deal of pleasant rivalry about these gardens, both
proprietors having impressed their own individuality
upon their pleasure-grounds. Semple's had nothing
of the Dutchman's glowing prettiness and quaint-
ness, no clipped yews and hollies, no fanciful
flower-beds and little Gothic summer-house. Its
slope was divided into three fine terraces, the de-
scent from one to the other being by broad, low
steps ; the last flight ending on a small pier, to which
the pleasure and fishing boats were fastened. These
terraced walks were finely shaded and adorned with
shrubs; and on the main one there was a stone sun-
dial, with a stone seat around it. Van Heemskirk
did not think highly of Semple's garden ; and Sem-
ple was sure, "that, in the matter o' flowers and
fancy clippings, Van Heemskirk had o'er much o' a
gude thing." But still the rivalry had always been
a good-natured one, and, in the interchange of
bulbs and seeds, productive of much friendly feel-


The space between the two houses was an enclosed
meadow ; and this afternoon, the grass being warm
and dry, and full of wild flowers, Katherine followed
the narrow foot-path through it, and entered the
Semple garden by the small side gate. Near this
gate was a stone dairy, sunk below the level of the

f round, a deliciously cool, clean spot, even in the
ottest weather. Passing it, she saw that the door
was open, and Madam Semple was busy among its
large, shallow, pewter cream-dishes. Lifting her
dainty silk skirts, she went down the few steps, and
stood smiling and nodding in the doorway. Madam
was beating some rich curd with eggs and currants
and spices; and Katherine, with a sympathetic
smile, asked delightedly,

"Cheesecakes, madam ? "

"Just cheesecakes, dearie."

" Oh, I am glad ! Joanna is coming, too, only she
had first some flax to unplait. Wait for her, I could
not. Let me fill some of these pretty little patty-

"I'll do naething o' the kind, Katherine. You'd
be spoiling the bonnie silk dress you hae put on.
Go to the house and sit wi' Mistress Gordon. She
was asking for you no' an hour ago. And, Kather-
ine, my bonnie lassie, dinna gie a thought to one
word that black-eyed newhew o' her's may say to
you. He's here the day and gane to-morrow, and
the lasses that heed him will get salr" hearts to them-

The bright young face shadowed, and a sudden
fear came into Madam Sernple's heart as she watched
the girl turn thoughtfully and slowly away. The
blinds of the house were closed against the after-
noon sun ; but the door stood open, and the wide,
dim stairway was before her. All was as silent as if
she had entered an enchanted castle. And on the
upper hall the closed doors, and the soft lights fall-
ing through stained glass upon the dark, rich car-
pets, made an element of mystery, vague and charm-
ful, to which Katherine's sensitive, childlike nature
was fully responsive.


Slowly she pushed back a heavy mahogany door,
and entered a large room, whose richly wainscoted
walls, heavy friezes, and beautifully painted ceiling
were but the most obvious points in its general
magnificence. On a lounge covered with a design
done in red and blue tent stitch, an elegantly dressed
woman was sitting, reading a novel. "The Girl of
Spirit," " The Fair Maid of the Inn," " The Curious
Impertinent," and other favorite tales of the day,
were lying upon an oval table at her side.

"La, child! " she cried, " come here and give me
a kiss. So you wear that sweet-fancied suit again.
You are the most agreeable creature in it; though
Dick vows upon his sword-hilt that you look a hun-
dred times more bewitching in the dress you wore
this morning."

"How? This morning, madam? This morning
Capt. Hyde did not see me at all."

" Pray don't blush so, child ; though, indeed, it
is vastly becoming. I do assure you he saw you
this morning. He had gone out early to take the
air, and he had a most transporting piece of good
fortune : for he bethought himself to walk under the
great trees nearly opposite your house ; and when
you came to the door, with your excellent father, he
noted all, from the ribbon on your head to the
buckles on your shoes. His talk now is of nothing
but your short quilted petticoat, and your tight
bodice, and beautiful bare arms. Is that the Dutch
style, theo, child ? It must be extremely charming."

"If my mother you could see in it ! She is beauti-
ful. And we have a picture of my grandmother in
the true Zealand dress. Like a princess she looks,
my father says ; but, indeed, I have never seen a

" My dear, you must allow me to laugh a little.
Will you believe it, princesses are sometimes very
vulgar creatures ? I am sure, however, that your
grandmother was very genteel and agreeable. I
must tell you that I have just received my new
scarf from London. You shall see it, and give me
your opinion."


" O madam, you are very kind ! What is it like ? "

"It is all extravagance in mode and fancy. I be-
lieve, my dear, there two hundred yards of edging
on it ; and it has the most enchanting slope to the
shoulders. I am wonderfully pleased with it, and
hope it will prove becoming."

" Indeed, I think all your suits are becoming."

" Faith, child, I think they are. I have always
dressed with the most perfect intelligence. I follow
all the fashions, and they must be French. La, here
comes Richard! He is going to ask you to take a
sail on the river; and I shall lend you my new green
parasol. I do believe it is the only one in the

" I came to sit with you, and work with my
worsteds. Perhaps my mother might not like me
to go on the river with any one."

"Pray, child, don't be affected. 'My mother
might not like me to go on the river with any
one ; ' " and she mimicked Katherineso cleverly that
the girl's face burned with shame and annoyance.

But she had no time to defend herself; for, with
his cavalry cap in his hand, and a low bow, Capt.
Hyde entered the room; and Katherine's heart
throbbed in her cheeks, and she trembled, and yet
withal dimpled into smiles, like clear water in the
sunshine. In a few minutes afterward she was go-
ing down the terrace steps with^ him ; and he was
looking into her face with shining eyes, and whis-
pering the commonest words in such an enchanting
manner that it seemed to her as if her feet scarcely
touched the low, white steps, and she was some sort
of glorified Katherine Van Heemskirk, who never,
never, never could be unhappy again.

They did not go on the river. Capt. Hyde hated
exertion. His splendid uniform was too tight to
row in. He did not want a third party near, in any
capacity. The lower steps were shaded by great
water beeches, and the turf under them was green
and warm. There was the scent of lilies around, the
song of birds above, the ripple of water among
pebbles at their feet. A sweeter hour, a lovelier


maid, man could never hope to find; and Capt.
Hyde was not one to neglect his opportunity.

"Let us stay here, my beloved," he whispered.
" I have something sweet to tell you. Upon mine
honor, I can keep my secret no longer."

The innocent child ! Who could blame her for
listening to it ? at first with a little fear and a lit-
tle reluctance, but gradually resigning her whole
heart to the charm of his soft syllables and his
fervent manner, until she gave him the promise he
begged for, love that was to be for him alone, love
for him alone among all the sons of men.

What an enchanted afternoon it was! how all too
quickly it fled away, one golden moment after an-
other! and what a pang it gave her to find at the
end there must be lying and deception! For, some-
how, she had been persuaded to acquiesce in her
lover's desire for secrecy. As for the lie, he told it
With the utmost air of candor.

"Yes, we had a beautiful sail; and how enchant-
ing the banks above here are! Aunt, I am at your
service to-morrow, if you wish to see them."

" Oh, your servant, captain, but I am an indiffer-
ent sailor ; and I trust I have too much respect for
myself and my new frocks, to crowd them into a
river cockboat! "

In a few minutes Joanim and the elder came in.
He had called for her on his way home; for he
liked the society of the young and beautiful, and
there were many hours in which he thought Joanna
fairer than her sister. Then tea was served in a
pretty parlor with Turkish walls and colored win-
dows, which, being open into the garden, framed
lovely living pictures of blossoming trees. Every
one was eating and drinking, laughing and talking:
so Katherine's unusual silence was unnoticed, ex-
cept by the elder, who indeed saw and heard every
thing, and who knew what he did not see and hear
by that kind of prescience to which wise and obser-
vant years attain. He saw that the cakes Katherine
dearly loved remained upon her plate untasted, and
that she was usually, suspiciously quiet.


After tea he walked down the garden with Col.
Gordon. The lily bed was near the river; and he
made the gathering of some lilies for Katherine an
excuse for going close enough to the pier to see ho\v
the boat lay, and whether the oars had been moved
from the exact position in which he had placed them.
And he found the boat rocking at its moorings,
tied with his own peculiar knot. It told him every
thing, and he was sincerely troubled at the dis-

" Love and lying," he mused. " I wonder why
they are ever such thick friends. As for Dick Hyde,
lying in his native tongue; but if Katherine Van
Heeinskirk has been aye one thing above another, it
was to tell the truth. It ought to come easy to her
likewise, for I'll say the same o' the hale nation o'
Dutchman. I dinna think Joris would tell a lie to
save baith life and fortune."

He looked at Katherine almost sternly when he
went back to the house; though he gave her the
lilies, and bid her keep her soul sweet and pure as
their white bells. She was sitting by Mistress Gor-
don's side, in one of those tall-backed Dutch chairs,
whose very blackness and straightoess threw into
high relief her own undulating roundness and mo-
bility, the glowing colors of her Indian silk gown,
the shining amber against her white throat, and the
picturesque curl and flow of her fair hair. Capt.
Hyde sat opposite, bending toward her; and his
aunt reclined upon the couch, and watched them
with a singular look of speculation in her half-
shut eyes.

Joanna was talking to Neil Semple in the recess
of a window ; but Neil's face was white with sup-
pressed anger, and, though he seemed to be listen-
ing to her, his eyes full of passion were fixed upon
Hyde. Perhaps the young soldier was conscious
of it; for he occasionally addressed some trivial re-
mark to him, as if to prevent Neil losing sight of the
advantages he had over him.

"The vera air o' this room is gunpowdery,"
thought the elder; "and ane or the other will be


flinging a spark o' passion into it, and then the deil
will be to pay. O'er many women here ! O'er many
women here! One is enough in any house. I'll
e'en tak' the lasses hame myseP ; and I'll speak to
Joris for his daughter, as good now as any other

Then he said in his blandest tones, "Joanna, my
dearie, you'll hae to tell Neil the rest o' your tale the
morn ; and, Katherine, put awa' now that bit o' busy
idleness, and don your hoods and mantles, baith o'
you. I'm going to tak' you hame, and I dinna
want to get my deathe wi' the river mist."

"Pray, sir," said Hyde, "consider me at your
service. I have occasion to go into town at once,
and will do your duty to the young ladies with in-
finite pleasure."

"Much obliged, captain, vera much obliged ; but
it tak's an auld wise-headed, wise-hearted man like
mysel' to walk safely atween twa bonnie lasses; "
then turning to his son, he added, "Neil, my lad,
put your beaver on, and go and find Bram. You
can tell him, as he didna come to look after his sis-
ters afore this hour, he needna come at a'."

"Do you know, father, where Bram is likely to be

"Hum-m-m! As if you didna know yoursel'!
He will dootless be among that crowd o' young wise-
acres wha are certain the safety o' the Provinces is
in their keeping. It's the young who ken a' things,
ken mair than councils and assemblies, and king
and parliament, thegither."

Col. Gordon laughed. "Never mind, sir," he
said, " they let the army alone, and the church: so
you and I need hardly alarm ourselves "

"I'm no sure o' that, colonel. When it comes to
the army, it's a mere question o' wha can strike the
hardest blows; and as to kirk matters, I'm thinking
men had better meddle wi' the things o' God, which
they canua change, than wi' those o' the king, wi'
which they can wark a deal o' mischief."

While he was speaking, Neil left the room. The
little argument struck him as a pretext and a.cover,


and he was glad to escape from a position which he
felt to be both painful and humiliating. He was in a
measure Capt. Hyde's host, and subject to traditions
regarding the duties of that character : any display of
anger would be derogatory to him, and yet how dif-
ficult was restraint! So his father's interference
was a welcome one; and he was reconciled to his
own disappointment, when, looking back, he saw
the old gentleman slowly taking the road to Van
Heemskirk's, with the pretty girls in their quilted
red hoods, one on each side of him.

The elder was very polite to his charges ; he never
once regretted to them the loss of his pipe, and chat
with Col. Gordon. But he noticed that Katherine
was silent and disappointed, and that she lingered
in her own room after her arrival at home. Her sub-
sequent pretty cheerfulness, her delight in her lilies,
her confiding claims upon her father's love, noth-
ing in these things deceived him. He saw beneath
all the fluttering young heart, trembling, and yet
happy in the new, sweet feeling, never felt before,
which had come to it that afternoon.

But he thought most girls had to have this initia-
tive: it prepared the way for a soberer and more
lasting affection. In the end, Katherine would per-
ceive how imprudent, how impossible, a marriage
with Capt. Hyde must be; and her heart would turn
back to Neil, who had been her lover from boyhood.
Yet, he reflected, it would be well to have the matter
understood, and to give it that " possibility " which
is best attained on a money basis.

So while he and the Van Heemskirks discussed the
matter, a little reluctantly, he thought, on their
part, Katherine talked with Joanna of the Gordons.
Her heart was so full of her lover, that it was a re-
lief to discuss the people and things nearest to him.
And her very repression excited her. She toyed
with her cambric kerchief before the small looking-
glass, and imitated the fashionable English lady
with a piquant cleverness that provoked low peals
of laughter, and a retrospective discussion of the
evening, which was merry enough, without being in
the least ill-natured.


But, oh, in what strange solitudes every separate
soul dwells! When Katherine kissed her sister, and
said simperingly, with the highest English accent,
" La, child, I protest it has been the most agreeable
evening," Joanna had not a suspicion of the joy and

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