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by the bridle, and asked, " What news ? "

" Great news ! great news ! There has been a bat-
tle, a massacre at Lexington, a running fight from
Concord to Boston! Stay me not!" But, as he
shook the bridle free, he threw a handbill, contain-
ing the official account of the affair at Lexington, to
the inquirer.

Who then thought of church, though the church-
bells were ringing ? The crowd gathered around the
man with the handbill, and in ominous silence lis-
tened to the tidings of the massacre at Lexington,
the destruction of stores at Concord, the quick gath-
ering of the militia from the hills and dales around
Reading and Eoxbury, the retreat of the British
under their harrassing fire, until, worn out and dis-
organized, they had found a refuge in Boston.
"And this is the postscript at the last moment,"
added the reader: " ' Men are pouring in from all
the country sides; Putnam left his plough in the
furrow, and rode night and day to the ground;
Heath, also, is with him.' "

Joris was white and stern in his emotion ; Bram
stood by the reader, with a face as bright as a bride-
groom's; Hyde's lips were drawn tight, and his eyes
flashing with the true military flame. " Father," he
said, "take mother and Katherine to church; Bram
and I will stay here, for I can see that there is some-
thing to be done."



THE BOW OF ORANGE RIBBON. 239

" God help us ! Yes, I will go to Him first ; " and,
taking his wife and daughter, he passed with them
out of the crowd.

Hyde turned to the reader, who stood with bent
brows, and the paper in his hand. " Well, sir, what
is to be done ? " he asked.

" There are five hundred stand of arms in the City
Hall ; there are men enough here to take them. Let
us go."

A loud cry of assent answered him.

"My name is Eichard Hyde, late of his Majesty's
'Windsor Guards;' but I am with you, heart and
soul."

" I am Marinus Willet."

" Then, Mr. Willet, where first ? "

" To the mayor's residence. He has the keys of
the room in which the arms are kept."

The news spread, no one knew how, but men
poured out from the churches and the houses on
their route, and Willet's force was soon nearly a
thousand strong. The tumult, the tread, the animus
of the gathering, was felt in that part of the city
even where it could not be heard. Joris could
hardly endure the suspense, and the service did him
very little good. About two o'clock, as he was walk-
ing restlessly about the house, Bram and Hyde re-
turned together.

"Well?" he asked.

"There were five hundred stand of arms in the
City Hall, and I swear that we have taken them all.
A man called Willet led us ; a hero, quick of thought,
prompt and daring, a true soldier."

" I know him well ; a good man."

" The keys the mayor refused to us," said Bram.

"Oh, sir, he lied to us! Vowed he did not have
them, and sent us to the armorer in Crown Street.
The armorer vowed that he had given them to the>
mayor."

" What then ? "

"Oh, indeed, all fortune fitted us! We went ere
masse down Broadway into Wall Street, and so to
the City Hall. Here some one, with too nice a sense



240 THE BO W OF ORANGE RIBBON.

of the sabbath, objected to breaking open the doors
because of the day. But with very proper spirit
Willet replied, ' If we wait until to-morrow, the
king's inen will not wait. The arms will be removed.
And as for a key, here is one that will open any
lock.' As he said the words, he swung a great axe
around his head ; and so, with a few blows, he made
us an entrance. Indeed, I think that he is a grand
fellow."

" And you got the arms ? "

" Faitn, we got all we went for! The arms were
divided among the people. There was a drum and
fife also found with them, and some one made us
very excellent music to step to. As we returned up
Broadway, the congregation were just coming out
of Trinity. Upon my word, I think we frightened
them a little."

" Where were the English soldiers ? "
"Indeed, they were shut up in barracks. Some
of their officers were in church, others waiting for
orders from the governor or mayor. 'Tis to be
found out where the governor might be ; the mayor
^was frightened beyond every thing, and not capable
of giving an order. Had my uncle Gordon been still
in command here, he had not been so patient."
" And for you that would have been a hard case."
" Upon my word, I would not have fought my old
comrades. I am glad, then, that they are in Quebec.
Our swords will scarce reach so far."
" And where went you with the arms ? "
" To a room in John Street. There they were
stacked, the names of the men enrolled, and a guard
placed over them. Bram is on the night patrol, by
nis own request. As for me, I have the honor of as-
sisting New York in her first act of rebellion ; and,
if the military superstition be a true one, 'A Sunday
fight is a lucky fight.' And now, mother, we will
have some dinner: ' the soldier loves his mess.' "

Every one was watching him with admiration.
Never in his uniform had he appeared so like a sol-
dier as he did at that hour in his citizen coat and
breeches of wine-colored velvet, his black silk stock-



THE BOW OF ORANGE RIBBON. 241

ings, and gold buckled shoes. His spirits were in-
fectious : Bram had already come into through sym-
pathy with him, and grown almost gay in his com-
Eauy ; Joris felt his heart beat to the joy and hope
i his young comrades. All alike had recognized
that the fight was inevitable, and that it would be
well done if it were soon done.

But events cannot be driven by wishes: many
things had to be settled before a movement forward
could be made. Joris had his store to let, and the
stock and good-will to dispose of. Horses and ac-
coutrements must be bought, uniforms made ; and
every day this charge increased : for, as soon as
Van Heemskirk's intention to go to the front was
known, a large number of young men from the best
Dutch families were eager to enlist under him.

Hyde's time was spent as a recruiting-officer. His
old quarters, the " King's Arms," were of course
closed to him ; but there was a famous tavern on
Water Street, shaded by a great horse-chestnut tree,
and there the patriots were always welcome. There,
also, the news of all political events was in some
mysterious way sure to be first received. In com-
pany with Willet, Sears, and McDougall, Hyde
might be seen under the chestnut-tree every day,
enlisting men, or organizing the "Liberty Regi-
ment" then raising.

From the first, his valorous temper, his singleness
of purpose, his military skill in handling troops, and
his tine appearance and manners, had given him in-
fluence and authority. He soon, also, gained a won-
derful power over Bram; and even the temperate
wisdom and fine patience of Joris gradually kindled,
until the man was at white heat all through. Every
day's events fanned the temper of the city, although
it was soon evident that the first fighting would be
done in the vicinity of Boston.

For three weeks after that memorable April Sun-
day, Congress, in session at Philadelphia, had rec-
ognized the men in camp there as a Continental
army, the nucleus of the troops that were to be
raised for the defense of the country, and had com-



242 THE BOW OF ORANGE RIBBON.

missioned Col. Washington as commander-in-chief
to direct their operations. Then every heart was in
a state of the greatest expectation and excitement.
No one remembered at that hour that the little army
was without organization or discipline, most of its
officers incompetent to command, its troops alto-
gether unused to obey, and in the field without en-
listment. Their few pieces of cannon were old and
of various sizes, and scarce any one understood their
service. There was no siege-train and no ordnance
stores. There was no military chest, and nothing
worthy of the name of a commissariat. Yet every
one was sure that some bold stroke would be struck,
and the war speedily terminated in victory and in-
pendence.

So New York was in the buoyant spirits of a young
man rejoicing to run a race. The armorers, the
saddlers, and the smiths were busy day and night;
weapons were in every hand, the look of appre-
hended triumph on every face. In June the Van
Heemskirk troops were ready to leave for Boston,
nearly six hundred young men, full of pure purpose
and brave thoughts, and with all their illusions and
enthusiasms undimmed.

The day before their departure, they escorted Van
Heemskirk to his house. Lysbet and Katherine
saw them coming, and fell weeping on each other's
necks, tears that were both joyfcri and sorrowful,
the expression of mingled love and patriotism nnd
grief. It would have been hard to find a nobler
looking leader than Joris. Age had but added dig-
nity to his fine bulk. His large, fair face was serene
and confident. And the bright young lads who fol-
lowed him looked like his sons, for most of them
strongly resembled him in person ; and any one
might have been sure, even if the roll had not shown
it, that they were Van Brunts and Van Eipers and
Van Eensselaers, Koosevelts, Westervelts, and Ter-
hunes.

They had a very handsome uniform, and there had
been no uncertainty or dispute about it. Blue, with
orange trimmings, carried the question without one



THE BOW OF ORANGE RIBBON. 243

dissenting voice. Blue had been for centuries the
color of opposition to tyranny. The Scotch Cove-
nanters chose it because the Lord ordered the chil-
dren of Israel to wear a ribbon of blue that they
m^gni, " look upon it, and remember all the com-
mandfnents of the Lord, and do them ; and seek not
after their own heart and their own eyes, and be
holy unto their God." (Num. xv. 38.) Into their
cities of refuge in Holland, the Covenanters carried
their sacred color; and the Dutch Calvinists soon
blended the blue of their faith with the orange of
their patriotism. Very early in the American strug-
gle, blue became the typical color of freedom; and
when Van Heemskirk's men chose the blue and
orange for their uniform, they selected the colors
which had already been famous on many a battle-
field of freedom.

Katherine and Lysbet had made the flag of the
new regiment, an orange flag, with a cluster of
twelve blue stars above the word liberty. It was
Lysbet's hands that gave it to them. They stood in
a body around the open door of the Van Heemskirk
house ; and the pretty old lady kissed it, and handed
it with wet eyes to the color-sergeant. Katherine
stood by Lysbet's side. They were both dressed as for
a festival, and their faces were full of tender love and
lofty enthusiasm. To Joris and his men they repre-
sented the womanhood dear to each individual heart,
Lysbet's white hair and white cap and pale-tinted
face was " the mother's face ; " and Katherine, in her
brilliant beauty, her smiles and tears, her shining
silks and glancing jewels, was the lovely substitute
for many a precious sister and many a darling lady-
love. But few words were said. Lysbet and Kath-
erine could but stand and gaze as heads were bared,
and the orange folds flung to the wind, and the in-
spiring word liberty saluted with bright, upturned
faces and a ringing shout of welcome.

Such a lovely day it was, a perfect June day;
doors and windows were wide open ; a fresh wind
blowing, a hundred blended scents from the garden
were in the air; and there was a sunshine that



244 THE BOW OF ORANGE RIBBON.

warmed everything to the core. If there were tears
in the hearts of the women, they put them back with
smiles and hopeful words, and praises of the gallant
men who were to fight a noble fight under the ban-
ner their fingers had fashioned.

It was to be the last evening at home for Joris and
Bram and Hyde, and everything was done to make
it a happy memory. The table was laid with the
best silver and china ; all the dainties that the three
men liked best were prepared for them. The room
was gay with flowers and blue and orange ribbons,
and bows of the same colors fluttered at Lysbet's
breast and on Katherine's shoulder. And, as they
they went up and down the house, they were both
singing, singing to keep love from weeping, and
hope and courage from failing; Lysbet's thin, sweet
voice seeming like the shadow of Katheriue's clear,
ringing tones,

'Oh for the blue and-the orange,

Oh for the orange and the blue!
Orange for men that are free men,

Blue for men that are true.
Over the red of the tyrant,

Bloody and cruel in hue.
Fling out the banner of orange,

With penantand border of blue.
Orange for men that are free men,

Blue for men that are true."

So they were singing when Joris and his sons came
home.

There had been some expectation of Joanna and
Batavius, but at the last moment an excuse was
sent. "The child is sick, writes Batavius; but I
think, then, it is Batavius that is afraid, and not the
child who is sick," said Joris.

" To this side and to that side and to neither side,
he will go; and he will miss all the good, and get all
the bad of every side," said Bram contemptuously.

"I think not so, Bram. Batavius can sail with the
wind. All but his honor and his manhood he will
save."

"That is exactly true," continued Hyde. "He



THE BOW OF ORANGE RIBBON. 245



will grow rich upon the spoils of both parties. Upon
my word, I expect to hear him say, 'Admire my pru-
dence. While you have been fighting for an idea,
I have been making myself some money. It is a
principle of mine to attend only to my own affairs."

After supper Bram went to bid a friend good-bye ;
and, as Joris and Lysbet sat in the quiet parlor,
Elder Semple and his wife walked in. The elder was
sad and still. He took the hands of Joris in his
own, and looked him steadily in the face. "Man
Joris," he said, " what's sending you on sic a daft-
like errand? "

Joris smiled, and grasped tighter his friend's hand.
"So glad am I to see you at the last, elder. As in
you came, I was thinking about you. Let us part
good friends and brothers. If I come not back "

" Tut, tut! You're sure and certain to come back ;
and sae I'll save the quarrel I hae wi' you until
then. We'll hae mair opportunities ; and I'll hae rnair
arguments against you, wi' every week that passes.
Joris, you'll no hae a single word to say for yoursel'
then. Sae, I'll bide my time. I came to speak
anent things, in case o' the warst, to tell you that if
any one wants to touch your wife or your bairns, a
brick in your house, or a flower in your garden-plat,
I'll stand by all that's yours, to the last shilling I
hae, and nane shall harm them. Neil and I will
baith do all men may do. Scotsmen hae lang mem-
ories for either friend or foe. O Joris, man, if you
had only had an ounce o' common wisdom ! "

" I have a friend, then ! I have you, Alexander.
Never this hour shall I regret. If all else I lose, I
have saved mijn jongen." *

The old men bent to each other : there were tears
in their eyes. Without speaking, they were aware of
kindness and faithfulness and gratitude beyond the
power of words. They smoked a pipe together, and
sometimes changed glances and smiles, as they
looked at, or listened to, Lysbet and Janet Semple,
\vho had renewed their long kindness in the sympa-
thy of their patriotic hopes and fears.
* My fiuiiiliiir friend.



246 THE BOW OF ORANGE RIBBON.



Hyde and Katherine were walking in the garden,
lingering in the sweet June twilight by the lilac
hedge and the river-bank. All Hyde's business was
arranged : he was going into the fight without any
anxiety beyond such as was natural to the circum-
stances. While he was away, his wife and son were
to remain with Lysbet. He could desire no better
home for them : their lives would be so quiet and
orderly, that he could almost tell what they would be
doing at every hour. And, while he was in the din
and danger of siege and battle, he felt that it
would be restful to think of Katherine in the still,
fair rooms and the sweet garden of her first home.

If he never came back, ample provision had been
made for his wife and son's welfare; but and he
suddenly turned to Katherine, as if she had been
conscious of his thoughts " The war will not last
very long, dear heart ; and when liberty is won, and
the foundation for a great commonwealth laid,
why then we will buy a large estate somewheie upon
the banks of this beautiful river. It will be delight-
ful, in the midst of trees and parks, to build a
grander Hyde Manor House. Most completely we
will furnish it, in all respects ; and the gardens you
shall make at your own will and discretion. A hun-
dred years after this, your descendants shall wander
among the treillages and cut hedges and boxed
walks, and say, ' What a sweet taste "our dear great,
great grandmother had ! ' '

And Katherine laughed at his merry talk and fore-
casting, and praised his uniform, and told him how
soldierly and handsome he looked in it. And she
touched his sword, and asked, " Is it the old sword,
my Eichard ? "

" The old sword, Kate, my sweet. With it I won
my wife. Oh, indeed, yes! You know it was pity
for my sufferings made you marry me that blessed
October day, when I could not stand up beside you.
It has a fight twice worthy of its keen edge now."
He drew it partially from its sheath, and mused a
moment. Then he slowly untwisted the ribbon and
tassel of bullion at the hilt, and gave it into her



THE BOW OF ORANGE RIBBON. 247

hand. " I have a better hilt-ribbon than that," he
said ; " and, when we go into the house, I will re-
trim my sword."

She thought little of the remark at the time,
though she carefully put the tarnished tassel away
among her dearest treasures ; but it acquired a new
meaning in the morning. The troops were to leave
very early; and, soon after dawn, she heard the
clatter of gallopping horses, and the calls of the
men as they reined up at their commander's door.
Bram, as his father's lieutenant, was with them.
The horses of Joris and Hyde were waiting.

They rose from the breakfast-table and looked at
their wives. Lysbet gave a little sob, and laid her
head a moment upon her husband's breast. Kath-
erine lifted her white face and whispered, with
kisses, " Beloved one, go. Night and day I will
pray for you, and long for you. My love, my dear
one! "

There was hurry and tumult, and the stress of
leave-taking was lightened by it. Katherine held
her husband's hand till they stood at the open door.
Then he looked into her face, and down at his
sword, with a meaning smile. And her eyes dilated,
and a vivid blush spread over her cheeks and throat,
and she drew him back a moment, and passionately
kissed him again ; and all her grief was lost in love
and triumph. For, wound tightly around his sword-
hilt, she saw though it was brown and faded her
first, fateful love-token, The Bow of Orange Ribbon.



POSTSCRIPT.

[QUOTATION FROM A LETTER DATED JULY 5, A. D. 1885.]

" YESTERDAY I went with my aunt to spend ' the
Fourth' at the Hydes'. They have the most de-
lightful place, a great stone house in a wilderness



248 THE BOW OF ORANGE RIBBON.

of foliage and beauty, and yet within convenient
distance of the railroad and the river-boats. Why
don't we build such houses now ? You could make
a ball-room out of the hall, and hold a grand recep-
tion on the staircase. Kate Hyde said the house is
more*than a hundred years old, and that the fifth
generation is living in it. I am sure there are pic-
tures enough of the family to account for three hun-
dred years; but the two 'handsomest, after all, are
those of the builders. They were very great people
at the court of Washington, I believe. I suppose it
is natural, for those who have ancestors, to brag
about them, and to show off the old buckles and
fans and court-dresses they have hoarded up, not to
speak of the queer bits of plate and china; and, I
must say, the Hydes have a really delightful lot of
such bric-a-brac.' But the strangest thing is the
'household talisman.' It is not like the luck of
Eden Hall : it is neither crystal cup, nor silver vase,
nor magic bracelet, nor an old slipper. But they
have a tradition that the house will prosper as long
as it lasts, and so this precious palladium is care-
fullv kept in a locked box of carved sandal- wood ;
for it is only a bit of faded satin that was a love-
token, a St. Nicholas Bow of Orange Ribbon"



THE END.



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