Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr.

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

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danger that had come to the dear little one at her
side. She was laughing softly with her, even while
the fearful father stood at the closed door, and lifted
up his tender soul in that pathetic petition, " Ach,
mijn kind I mijn kind ! mijn liefste kind ! Almighty
God preserve thee from all sin and sorrow ! "



" The proverb holds, that to be wise and love
Is hardly granted to the gods above."

" Sow an act, and you reap a habit ;
Sow a habit, and yon reap a character ;
Sow a character, and you reap a destiny."

" WELL, well, to-day goes to its forefathers, like all
the rest ; and, as for what comes after it, every thing
is in the love and counsel of the Almighty One."

This was Jons Van Heemskirk's last thought ere
he fell asleep that night, after Elder Semple's cau-
tious disclosure and proposition. In his calm, me-
thodical, domestic life, it had been an " eventful
day." We say the words often and unreflectingly;
seldom pausing to consider that such days are the
results which months, years, perchance centuries,
have made possible. Thus, a long course of reckless
living and reckless gambling, and the consequent
urgent need of ready money, had first made Capt.
Hyde turn his thoughts to the pretty daughter of
the rich Dutch merchant.

Madam Semple, in her desire to enhance the im-
portance of the Yan Heemskirks, had mentioned


more than once the handsome sum of ready money

fiven to each of Katherine's sisters on their wed-
ing-day ; and both Col. Gordon and his wife had
thought of this sum so often, as a relief to their
nephew's embarrassments, that it seemed almost as
much Hyde's property as if he had been born to in-
herit it. At first, Katherine, as its encumbrance,
had been discussed very heartlessly, she could be
left in New York when his regiment received march-
ing orders, if it were thought desirable ; or she could
be taken to England, and settled as mistress of Hyde
Manor House, a lonely mansion on the Norfolk fens,
which was so rarely tenanted by the family that
Hyde had never been there since liis boyhood.

"She is a homespun little thing," laughed the
colonel's fashionable wife, " and quite unfit to go
among people of our condition. But she adores you,
Dick ; and she will be passably happy with a house
to manage, and a visit from you when you can spare
the time."

" Oh, your servant, aunt ! Then I am a very indif-
ferent judge: for indeed she has much spirit below
her gentle manner; and, upon my word, I think her
as fine a creature as you can find in the best London
society. The task, I assure you, is not easy. When
Katherine js won, then, in faith, her father may be
in no hurry of approval. And the child is a fair,
innocent child: I am very uneasy .to do her wrong.
The ninety-nine plagues of an empty purse are to
blame for all my ill deeds."

" Upon my word, Dick, nothing can be more com-
mendable than your temper. You make vastly
proper reflections, sir; but you are in troubled
waters, admit it, and this little Dutch-craft may
bring you respectably into harbor."

It was in this mood that Katherine and her prob-
able fortune had been discussed ; and thus she was
but one of the events, springing from lives anterior
to her own, and very different from it. And causes
nearly as remote had prepared the way for her ready
reception of Hyde's homage, and the relaxation of
domestic discipline which had trusted her so often


and so readily in his society, causes which had
been forgotten, but which had left behind them a
positive and ever-growing result. When a babe, she
was remarkably frail and delicate ; and this circum-
stance, united to the fact of her being the youngest
child, had made the whole household very tender to
her, and she had been permitted a much larger por-
tion of her own way than was usually given to any
daughter in a Dutch family.

Also, in her father's case, the motives influencing
his decision stretched backward through many gen-
erations. None the less was their influence potent
to move him. In fact, he forgot entirely to reflect
how a marriage between his child and Capt. Hyde
would be regarded at that day ; his first thoughts
had been precisely such thoughts as would have oc-
curred to a Van Heemskhk living two hundred
years before him. And thus, though we hardly re-
member the fact, it is this awful solidarity of the
human family which makes the third and fourth
generations heirs of their forefathers, and brings
into every life those critical hours we call " eventful

Joris, however, made no such reflections. His age
was not an age inclined to analysis, and he was still
less inclined to it from a personal stand-point. For
he was a man of few, but positive, ideas ; yet these
ideas, having once commended themselves to his
faith or his intelligence, were embraced with all his
soul. It was this spirit which made him deprecate
even religious discussions, so dear to the heart of
his neighbor.

" I like them not, elder," he would say ; " of what
use are they, then ? The Calvinistic faith is the true
faith. That is certain. Yery well, then: what is
true does not require to be examined, to see if it be

Semple's communication regarding Capt. Hyde
and his daughter had aroused in him certain feel-
ings, and led him to certain decisions. He went to
sleep, satisfied with their propriety and justice. He
awoke in precisely the same mood. Then he dressed,


and went into his garden. It was customary for
Katherine to join him there; and he frequently
turned, as he went down the path, to see if she were
coming. He watched eagerly for the small figure in
its short quilted petticoat and buckled shoes, and the
fair, pink face shaded by the large Zealand hat, with
its long blue ribbons crossed over the back. But
this morning she did not come. He walked alone to
his lily bed, and stooped a little forlornly to admire
the tulips and crocus-cups and little purple pansies;
but his face brightened when he heard her calling
him to breakfast, and very soon he saw her leaning
over the half-door, shading her eyes with both her
hands, the better to watch his approach.

Lysbet was already in her place; so was Joanna,
and also Bram ; and a slim black girl called Dinorah
was handing around fricasseed chicken and venison
steaks, hot fritters and johnny-cake; while the rich
Java berry filled the room with an aroma of tropical
life, and suggestions of the spice-breathing coast of
Sunda. Joris and Bram discussed the business of
the day ; Katherine was full of her visit to Semple
House the preceding evening. Dinorah was no re-
straint. The slaves Joris owned, like those of Abra-
ham, were born or brought up in his own household :
they held to all the family feelings with a faithful,
often an unreasonable, tenacity.

And yet, this morning, Joris waited until Lysbet
dismissed her handmaid, before 'he said the words he
had determined to speak ere he began the work of
the day. Then he put down his cup with an emphasis
which made all eyes turn to him, and said,

" Katryntje, my daughter, call not to-day, nor call
not any day, until I tell you different, at Madam
Semple's. The people who go and come there, I
like them not. They will be no good to you. Lys-
bet, what say you in this matter ? "

"What you say, I say, Joris. The father is to be
obeyed. When he will not, the children can not."

"Joanna, what say you ? "

"I like best of all things to do your pleasure,


" And you, Bram ? "

" As for me, I think you are very right. I like not
those English officers, insolent and proud men, all
of them. It would have been a great pleasure to
me to strike down the one who yesterday spurned
with his spurred boot our good neighbor Jacob
Cohen, for no reason but that he was a Jew "-

" Heigho ! go softly, Bram. That which burns thee
not, cool not."

" As he passed our store door where I stood, he
said ' devil,' but he meant me."

"Only God knows what men mean. Now, then,
little one, thy will is my will, is it not ? "

She had drawn her chair close to her father's, and
taken his big hand between her own, and was strok-
ing and petting it as he spoke ; and, ere she answered,
she leaned her head upon his breast.

"Father, I like to see the English lady; and she
is teaching me the new stitch."

" ScJioone Lammetje ! There are many other things
far better for thee to learn ; for instance, to darn the
fine Flemish lace, and to work the beatiful ' clocks '
on thy stockings, and to make perfect thy Heidel-
berg and thy Confession of Faith. In these things,
the best of all good teachers is thy mother."

"I can do these things also, father. The lady
loves me, and will be unhappy not to see me."

" Then, let her come here and see thee. That will
be the proper thing. Why not ? She is not better
than thou art. Once thy mother has called on her ;
thou and Joanna, a few times too often. Now, then,
let her call on thee. Always honor thyself, as well
as others. That is the Dutch way ; that is the right
way. Mind what I tell thee."

His voice had gradually grown sterner; and he
gently withdrew his hand from her clasp, and rose
as a man in a hurry, and pressed with affairs :
"Come, Bram, there is need now of some haste. The
' Sea Hound ' has her cargo, and should sail at the
noon-tide; and, as for the 'Crowned Bears,' thou
knowest there is much to be said and done. I hear
she left most of her cargo at Perth Amboy. Well,


well, I have told Jerome Brakel what I think of that.
It is his own affair."

Thus talking, he left the room; and Lysbet in-
stantly began to order the wants of the house with
the same air of settled pre-occupation. " Joanna,"
she said, " the linen web in the loom, go and see
how it is getting on; and the fine napkins must be
sent to the lawn for the bleaching, and to-day the
chambers must be aired and swept. The best parlor
Katherine will attend to."

Katherine still sat at the table ; her eyes were cast
down, and she was arranging without a conscious-
ness of doing so her bread crumbs upon her Delft
plate. The directions roused her from her revery,
and she comprehended in a moment how decisive her
father's orders were intended to be. Yet in this mat-
ter she was so deeply interested that she instinctively
made an appeal against them.

" Mother, my mother, shall I not go once more to
see Madam Gordon ? So kind she has been to me!
She will say I am ungrateful, that I am rude, and
know not good manners. And I left there the cush-
ion I am making, and the worsteds. I may go once,
and bring them home ? Yes, mother, I may go once.
A young girl does not like to be thought ungrateful
and rude."

" More than that, Katherine ; a young girl should
not like to disobey a good father. You make me to
feel astonished and sorry. Here is the key of the
best parlor; go now, and wash carefully the fine
china-ware. As to the rose-leaves in the big jars,
you must not let a drop of water touch them."

" My cushion and my worsteds, mother! "

" Well, then, I will send Dinorah for them with a
civil message. That will be right."

So Lysbet turned and left the room. She did not
notice the rebellious look on her daughter's face,
the lowering brows, the resentment in the glance
that followed her, the lips firmly set to the mental
purpose. " To see her lover at all risks " that was
the purpose; but how best to accomplish it, was not
clear to her. The ways of the household were so or-


derly, so many things brought the family together
during the day, Lysbet and Joanna kept such a lov-
ing watch over her, the road between their own house
and the Semples' was so straight and unscreened,
and she was, beside, such a novice in deception,
all these circumstances flashing at once across her
mind made her, for a moment or two, almost despair.

But she lifted the key given her and went to the
parlor. It was a large, low room, with wainscoted
walls, and a big tiled fireplace nearly filling one end
of it. The blinds were closed, but there was enough
light to reveal its quaint and almost foreign charac-
ter. Great jars with dragons at the handles stood in
the recesses made by large oak cabinets, black with*
age, and elaborately carved with a marvelous nicety
and skill. The oval tables were full of curious bits
of china, dainty Oriental wicker-work, exquisite shells
on lacquered trays, wonderfully wrought workboxes,
and fans and amulets. The odors of calamus and
myrrh and camphor from strange continents mingled
with the faint perfume of the dried rose-leaves and
the scent-bags of English lavender. 1M any of these
rare and beautiful things were the spoils brought
from India and Java by the sea-going Van Heems-
kirks of past generations. Others had come at long
intervals as gifts from the captains of ships with whom
the house did business. Katherine had often seen
such visitors men with long hair and fierce looks,
and the pallor of hot, moist lands below the tan of
wind and sunshine. It had always been her delight
to dust and care for these various treasures ; and the
room itself, with its suggestive aromas, was her fav-
orite hiding-place. Here she had made her own
fairy tales, and built the enchanted castles which the
less fortunate children of this day have clever writers
build for them.

And at length the prince of her imagination had
come! As she moved about among the strange
carven toys and beautiful ornaments, she could think
only of him, of his stately manner and.dark, hand-
some face. Simple, even rustic, she might be ; but
she understood that he had treated her with as much


deference and homage as if she had been a princess.
She recalled every word he said to her as they sat
under the water beeches. More vividly still she re-
called the tender light in his eyes, the lingering clasp
of his hand, his low, persuasive voice, and that
nameless charm of fashion and culture which per-
haps impressed her more than any other thing.

Among the articles she had to dust was a square
Indian box with drawers. It had always been called
"the writing-box," and it was partly filled with
paper and other materials for letter-writing. She
stood before the open lid thoughtfully, and a sudden
overwhelming desire to send some message of apol-
*ogy to Mrs. Gordon came into her heart. She could
write pretty well, and she had seen her mother and
Joanna fold and seal letters ; and, although she was
totally inexperienced in the matter, she determined
to make the effort.

There was nothing in the materials then to help
her. The letter-paper was coarse and unruled ; en-
velopes were unknown. She would have to bring a
candle into the room in order to seal it ; and a candle
could only be lit by striking a spark from the flint
upon the tinder, and then igniting a brimstone
match from it, unless she lit it at the kindled fire,
which would subject her to questions and remon-
strances. Also, the quill pens must be mended, and
the ink renewed. But all these difficulties were
overcome, one by one; and the following note in-
trusted to the care of Diedrich Becker, the old man
who worked in the garden and milked the cows,


Honored Madam, My father forbids that I come to see you.
He thinks you should upon my mother call. That you will judge
me to be rude and ungrateful, I fear very much. But that is not
true. I am unhappy, indeed. I think all the day of you.
Your obedient servant,


"The poor child," said Mrs. Gordon, when she
had read the few anxious sentences. " Look here,
Dick;" and Dick, who was beating a tattoo upon


the window-pane, turned listlessly and asked,
" Pray, madam, what is it? "

" Of all earthly things, a letter from that poor
child, Katherine Van Heemskirk. She has more wit
than I expected. So her father won't let her come
to me. Why, then, upon my word, I will go to her.'*

Capt. Hyde was interested at once. He took the
letter his aunt offered, and read it with a feeling of
love and pity and resentment. "You will go to-
morrow ? " he asked ; " and would it be beyond
good breeding to accompany you ? "

"Indeed, nephew, I think it would. But I will
give your service, and say every thing that is agree-
able. Be patient: to-morrow morning I will call
upon our fair neighbor."

The next morning was damp, for there had been
heavy rain during the night ; but Capt. Hyde would
not let his aunt forget or forego her promise. She
had determined to make an unceremonious visit;
and early in the day she put on her bonnet and pe-
lisse, and walked over to the Van Heemskirks. A
negro woman was polishing the brass ornaments of
the door, and over its spotless threshold she passed
without question or delay.

A few minutes she waited alone in the best parlor,
charmed with its far-off air and Eastern scents, and
then Madam Van Heemskirk welcomed her. In her
heart she was pleased at the visit. She thought

grivately that her Joris had been a little too strict,
he did not really see why her beautiful daughters
should not have the society and admiration of the
very best people in the Province. And Mrs. Gor-
don's praise of Katherine, and her declaration that
" she was inconsolable without the dear creature's
society," seemed to the fond mother the most proper
and natural of feelings.

"Do but let me see her an hour, madam," she
said. " You know my sincere admiration. Is not
that her voice? I vow, she sings to perfection!
And what a singular melody ! Please to set wide the
door, madam."
" It is the brave song of the brave men of Zealand,


when from the walls of Leyden they drove away the
Spaniards ; " and madam stood in the open door,
and called to her daughter, " Well, then, Katherine,
begin again the song of ' The Beggars of the Sea.' "

" We are the Beggars of the Sea,
Strong, gray Beggars from Zealand we ;
We are fighting for liberty :
Heave ho ! rip the brown sails free !

Hardy sons of old Zierikzee,
Fed on the breath of the wild North Sea.
Beggars are kings if free they be:
Heave ho! rip the brown sails free!

' True to the Wallet,'' whatever betide;
'Long live the Gueux,'t\\e sea will provide
Graves for the enemy, deep and wide:
Heave ho! rip the brown sails free!

Beggars, but not from the Spaniard's hand ;
Beggars. ' under the Cross ' we stand ;
Beggars, for love of the fatherland:
Heave ho! rip the brown sails free!

Now, if the Spaniard comes our way,
What shall we give him, Beggars gray ?
Give him a moment to kneel and pray:
Heave ho ! rip the brown sails free ! "

At the second verse, Mrs. Gordon rose and said,
" Indeed, madam, I find my good-breeding no match
against such singing. And the tune is wonderful :
it has the ring of trumpets, and the roar of the
waves, iu it. Pray let us go at ofice to your daugh-

"At work are they; but, if you mind not that,
you are welcome indeed." Then she led the way to
the large living, or dining, room, where Katherine
stood at the table cleaning the silver flagons and
cups and plates that adorned the great oak side-

Joanna, who was darning some fine linen, rose
and made her respects with perfect composure. She
had very little liking, either for Mrs. Gordon or her
nephew; and many of their ways appeared to her
utterly foolish, and not devoid of sin. But Kather-
ine trembled and blushed with pleasure and excite-


ment, and Mrs. Gordon watched her with a certain
kind of curious delight. Her hair was combed
backward, plaited, and tied with a ribbon ; her arms
bare to the shoulders, her black bodice and crimson
petticoat neatly shielded with a linen apron ; and
poised in one hand she held a beautiful silver flagon
covered with raised figures, which with patient labor
she had brought into shining relief.

"Oh," cried the visitor, "that is indeed a piece of
plate worth looking at! Surely, child, it has a his-
tory, a romance perhaps. La, there are words also
upon it! Pray, madam, be so obliging as to read
the inscription ; " and madam, blushing with pride
and pleasure, read it aloud,

" ' Hoog van Moed,
Klein van G9ed,
Een zwaard in de hand:
Is 't vvapen van Gelderland."

" Dutch, I vow! Surely, madam, it is very sonor-
ous and emphatic; vastly different, I do assure you,
from the vowelled idioms of Italy and Spain. Pray,
madam, be so civil as to translate the words for me."

" ' Of spirit great,
Of small estate,
A sword in the hand :
Such are the arms of Guelderland.'

"You must know," continued Madam Van Heems-
kirk, " that my husband's father had a brother, who,
in a great famine in Guelderland, filled one hundred
flat boats with wheat of Zealand, in all the world it
is the finest wheat, that is the truth, and help he
sent to those who were ready to perish. And when
came better days, then, because their hearts were
good, they gave to their preserver this flagon. Joris
Van Heemskirk, my husband, sets on it great store,
that is so."

Conversation in this channel was easily main-
tained. Madam Van Heemskirk knew the pedigree
or the history of every tray or cup, and in reminis-
cence and story an hour passed away very pleasantly
indeed. Joanna did not linger to listen. The visitor


did not touch her liking or her interest; and besides,
as every one knows, the work of a house must go on,
no matter what guest opens the door. But Kath-
erine longed and watched and feared. Surely her
friend would not go away without some private
token or message for her. She turned sick at heart
when she rose as if to depart. But Mrs. Gordon
proved herself equal to the emergency; for, after
bidding madam an effusive good-by, she turned sud-
denly and said, " Pray allow your daughter to show
me the many ornaments in your parlor. The glimpse
I had has made me very impatient to see them more

The request was one entirely in sympathy with the
mood and the previous conversation, ancl madam
was pleased to gratify it; also pleased, that, having
fully satisfied the claims of social life, she could
with courtesy leave her visitor's further entertain-
ment with Katherine, and return to her regular
domestic cares. To her the visit had appeared to be
one of such general interest, that she never sus-
pected any motive beneath or beyond the friendli-
ness it implied. Yet the moment the parlor-door
had been shut, Mrs. Gordon lifted Katherine's face
between her palms, and said,

" Faith, child, I am almost run off my head with
all the fine things I have listened to for your sake.
Do you know who sent me here ? "

"I think, madam, Capt. Hyde."

" Psha! Why don't you blush, and stammer, and
lie about it ? 'I think, madam, Capt. Hyde,' " mim-
icking Katherine's slight Dutch accent. " 'Tis to
be seen, miss, that you understand a thing or two.
Now, Capt. Hyde wishes to see you : when can you
oblige him so much ? "

"I know not. To come to Madam Semple's is
forbidden me by my father."

"It is on my account. I protest your father is
very uncivil." '

" Madam, no ; but it is the officers : many come
and go, and he thinks it not good for me to meet


" Oh, indeed, miss, it is very hard on Capt Hyde,
who is more in love than is reasonable! Has your
father forbidden you to walk down your garden to
the river bank? "

'No, madam."

' Then, if Capt. Hyde pass about two o'clock, he
might see you there ? "

" At two I am busy with Joanna."

' La, child ! At three then ? "


The word was a question more than an assent; but
Mrs. Gordon assumed the assent, and did not allow
Katherine to contradict it. "And I promised to
bring him a token from you, he was exceedingly
anxious about that matter : give me the ribbon from
your hair."

" Only last week Joanna bought it for me. She
would surely ask me, ' Where is your new ribbon ? '"

" Tell her that you lost, it."

" How could I say that ? It would not be true."

The girl's face was so sincere, that Mrs. Gordon
found herself unable to ridicule the position. " My
dear," she answered, "you are a miracle. But,
among all these pretty things, is there nothing you
can send ? "

Katherine looked thoughtfully around. There
was a small Chinese cabinet on a table : she went to
it, and took from a drawer a bow of orange ribbon.
Holding it doubtfully in her hand, she said, " My

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