Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr.

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

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St. Nicholas ribbon."

" La, miss, I thought you were a Calvinist ! What
are you talking of the saints for ? "

" St. Nicholas is our saint, our own saint; and on
his day we wear orange. Yes, even my father then,
on his silk cap, puts an orange bow. Orange is the
Dutch color, you know, madam."

"Indeed, child, I do not know; but, if so, then it
is the best color to send to your true love."

" For the Dutch, orange always. On the great
days of the kirk, my father puts blue with it. Blue
is the color of the Dutch Calvinists."

" Make me thankful to learn so much. Then when


Councillor Van Heemskirk wears his blue and orange,
he says to the world, ' I am a Dutchman and a Cal-

" That is the truth. For the Vaderland and the
Moeder-Kerk he wears their colors. The English,
too, they will have their own color ? "

" La, my dear, England claims every color! But,
indeed, even an English officer may now wear an
orange favor; for I remember well when our Prin-
cess Anne married the young Prince of Orange. Oh,
I assure you the House of Nassau is close kin to the
House of Hanover! And when English princesses
marry Dutch princes, then surely English officers
may marry Dutch maidens. Your bow of orange
ribbon is a very proper love-knot."

" Indeed, madam, I never "

" There, there! I can really wait no longer. Some
one is already in a fever of impatience. 'Tis a
quaintly pretty room : I am happy to have seen its
curious treasures. Good-by again, child ; my serv-
ice once more to your mother and sister; " and so,
with many compliments, she passed chatting and
laughing out of the house.

Katherine closed the best parlor, and lingered a
moment in the act. She felt that she had permitted
Mrs. Gordon to make an appointment for her lover,
and a guilty sense of disobedience made bitter the
joy of expectation. For absolute tEuthf ulness is the
foundation of the Dutch character; and an act of
deception was not only a sin according to Katherine's
nature, but one in direct antagonism to it. As he
turned away from the closed parlor, she felt quite
inclined to confide everything to her sister Joanna;
but Joanna, who had to finish the cleaning of the
silver, was not in that kind of a temper which in-
vites confidence; and indeed, Katherine, looking
into her calm, pre-occupied face, felt her manner to
be a reproof and a restraint.

So she kept her own counsel, and doubted and
debated the matter in her heart until the hands of
the great clock were rising quickly to the hour of
fate. Then she laid down her fine sewing, and said,


" Mother, I want to walk in the garden. When I
come back, my task I will finish."

" That is well. Joanna, too, has let her work fall
down to her lap. Go, both of you, and get the fine
air from the river."

This was not what Katherine wished ; but nothing
but assent was possible, and the girls strolled slowly
down the box-bordered walks together. Madam
Yan Heemskirk watched them from the window for
a few minutes. A smile of love and pleasure was on
her fine, placid face ; but she said with a sigh, as she
turned away,

"Well, well, if it is the will of God they should
not rise in the world, one must be content. To the
spider the web is as large as to the whale the whole
wide sea; that is the truth."

Joanna was silent ; she was thinking of her own
love affairs: but Katherine, doubtful of herself,
thought also that her sister suspected her. When
they reached the river-bank, Joanna perceived that
the lilacs were in bloom, and at their root the beau-
tiful auriculas; and she -stooped low to inhale their
strange, nameless, earthy perfume. At that moment
a boat rowed by with two English soldiers, stopped
just below them, and lay rocking on her oars. Then
an officer in the stern rose and looked toward Kath-
erine, who stood in the full sunlight with her large
hat in her hand. Before she could make any sign
of recognition, Joanna raised herself from the
auriculas and stood beside her sister; yet in the
slight interval Katherine had seen Capt. Hyde fling
back from his left shoulder his cloak, in order to
display the bow of orange ribbon on his breast.

The presence of Joanna baffled and annoyed him;
but he raised his beaver with a gallant grace, and
Joanna dropped a courtesy, and then, taking Kath-
erine's hand, turned toward home with her, saying,
" That is the boat of Capt. Hyde. What comes he
this way for ? "

"The river way is free to all, Joanna." And
Joanna looked sharply at her sister, and remained


But Katherine was inerry as a bird. She chattered
of this and of that, and sang snatches of songs, old
and new. And all the time her heart beat out its
own glad refrain, " My bow of orange ribbon, my
bow of orange ribbon ! " Her needle went tft her
thoughts, and her thoughts went to melody ; for, as
she worked, she sang,

" Will you have a pink knot ?

Is it blue you prize ?
One is like a fresh rose,

One is like your eyes.
No, the maid of Holland,

For her own true love,
Ties the splendid orange

Orange still above!
O oranje boven I *

Orange still above.

Will you have the white knot?

No, it is too cold.
Give me splendid orange,

Tint of flame and gold ;
Kich and glowing orange,

For the heart I love ;
Under, white and pink and blue ;

Orange still above!
O oranje boven !

Orange still above ! "

"How merry you sing, mijn Katrijntje ! Like a
little bird you sing. What, then, is it ? "

"A pretty song made by the schoolmaster, mijn
moeder. ' Oranje Boven ' the name is."

" That is a good name. Your father I will remind
to have it painted over the door of the summer-

" There already are two mottoes painted, ' Peace-
ful is my garden.' and ' Contentment is my lot.' "

"Well, then, there is always room for two more
good words, is there not?" And Katherine gayly
sung her answer,

" Tie the splendid orange,

Orange still above!
O oranje boren .'
Orange still above."

* Pronounced O-ran-ya boven.




11 The trifles of our daily lives,
The common things scarce worth recall,
Whereof no visible trace survives,
These are the mainsprings, after all."

" The little waves make the large ones, and are of the same

" HONORED gentleman, when will you pay me my
money ? "

The speaker was an old man, dressed in a black
coat buttoned to the ankles, and a cap of silk and
fur, from beneath which fell a fringe of gray hair.
His long beard was also gray, and he leaned upon an
ivory staff carved with many strange signs. The in-
quiry was addressed to Capt. Hyde. He paid no at-
tention whatever to it, but, gayly humming a stave
of " Marlbrook," watched the crush of wagons and
pedestrians, in order to find a suitable moment to
cross the narrow street.

" Honored gentleman, when will you pay me my
moneys ? "

The second inquiry elicited still less attention;
for, just as it was made, Neil Semple came out of the
City Hall, and his appearance gave the captain a
good excuse for ignoring the unpleasant speaker.

"Faith, Mr. Semple," he cried, "you came in an
excellent time. I am for Fraunce's Tavern, and a
chop and a bottle of Madeira. I shall be vastly glad
of your company."

The grave young lawyer, with his hands full of
troublesome-looking papers, had little of the air of a
boon companion ; and, indeed, the invitation was at
once courteously declined.

" I have a case on in the Admiralty Court, cap-
tain," he answered, " and so my time is not my own.
It belongs, I may say, to the man who has paid me
good money for it."


" Lawyer Semple ? "

" Mr. Cohen, at your service, sir."

" Capt. Hyde owes me one hundred guineas, with
the interests, since the fifteenth day of last Decem-
ber. He will not hear me when I say to him, ' Pay
me my moneys : ' perhaps he will listen, if you speak
for me."

" If you are asking my advice in the way of busi-
ness, you know my office-door, Cohen ; if in the way
of friendship, I may as well say at once, that I never
name friendship and money in the same breath.
Good-day, gentlemen. I am in something of a hurry,
as you may understand." Cohen bowed low in re-
sponse to the civil greeting; Capt. Hyde stared in-
dignantly at the man who had presumed to couple
one of his Majesty's officers with a money-lender and
a Jew.

" I do not wish to make you more expenses, cap-
tain;" and Cohen, following the impulse of his
anxiety, laid his hand upon his debtor's arm. Hyde
turned in a rage, and flung off the touch with a pas-
sionate oath. Then the Jew left him. There was
neither anger nor impatience visible in his face or
movements. He cast a glance up at the City Hall,
an involuntary appeal, perhaps, to the justice sup-
posed to inhabit its chambers, and then he walked
slowly toward his store and home.

Both were under one roof, a two-storied building,'
in the lower part of Pearl Street, dingy and unat
tractive in outward appearance, but crowded in it**
interior with articles of beauty and worth, Flemish
paintings and metal work, Venetian glasses and vel-
vets, Spanish and Moorish leather goods, silverware,
watches, jewelry, etc. The window of the large room
in which all \vas stored was dim with cobwebs, and
there was no arrangement of the treasures. They
were laid in the drawers of the great Dutch presses
and cabinets, or packed in boxes, or hung against
the walls.

At the back of the store, there was a small sitting-
room, and behind it a kitchen, built in a yard which
was carefully boarded up. A narrow stairway near


the front of the store led to the apartments above.
They were three in number. One was a kind of him-
ber-room ; a second, Cohen's sleeping-room ; and
the largest, at the back of the house, belonged to
the Jew's grandchild Miriam. There was one serv-
ant in the family, an old woman who had come to
America with Jacob. She spoke little English, and
she lived in complete seclusion in her kitchen and
yard. As far as Jacob Cohen was concerned, he pre-
served an Oriental reticence about the women of his
household: he never spoke of them, and he was
never seen in their company. It was seldom they
went abroad ; when they did so, it was early in the
morning, and usually to the small synagogue in Mill

He soon recovered the calmness which had been
lost during his unsatisfactory interview with Capt.
Hyde. " A wise man frets not himself, for the folly
of a fool ; " and, having come to this decision, he en-
tered his house with the invocation for its peace and
prosperity on his lips. A party of three gentlemen
were examining his stock: they were Gov. Clinton
and his friends Golden and Belcher.

"Cohen," said Clinton, "you have many fine
things here; in particular, this Dutch cabinet, with
heavy brass mountings. Send it to my residence.
And that Venetian mirror with the silver frame will
match the silver sconces you sold me at the New
Hear. I do not pretend to be a judge, but these
things are surely extremely handsome. Pray, sir,
let us see the Moorish leather that William Walton
has reserved for his new house. I hear you are to
have the ordering of the carpets and tapestries. You
will make money, Jacob Cohen."

" Your Excellency knows best. I shall make my
just profits, no more, no more."

" Yes, yes; you have many ways to make profits,
I hear. All do well, too."

"When God pleases, it rains with every wind,
your Excellency."

Then there was a little stir in the street, that pe-
culiar sense of something more than usual, which


can make itself felt in the busiest thoroughfare,
and Golden went to the door and looked out. Joris
Van Heemskirk was just passing, and his walk was
something quicker than usual.

" Good-day to you, councillor. Pray, sir, what is
to do at the wharf ? I perceive the bustle comes

"At your service, Councillor Golden. At the
wharf there is good news. ' The Great Christopher '
has come to anchor, Capt. Batavius de Tries. So a
good-morrow, sir; " and Joris lifted his beaver, and
proceeded on his way to Murray's Wharf.

Bram was already on board. His hands were
clasped across the big right shoulder of Batavius,
who stood at the mainmast, giving orders about his
cargo. He was a large mau, with the indisputable
air of a sailor from strange seas, familiar with the
idea of solitude, and used to absolute authority. He
loved Bram after his own fashion, but his vocabulary
of affectionate words was not a large one. Bram,
however, understood him ; he had been quite satis-
fied with his short and undemonstrative greeting,

" Thee, Bram ? Good! How goes it ? "

The advent of Joris added a little to the enthusi-
asm of the meeting. Joris thoroughly liked Bata-
vius, and their hands slipped into each other's with
a mighty grasp almost spontaneously. After some
necessary delay, the three men,, left the ship to-
. gether. There was quite a crowd on the wharf.
Some were attracted by curiosity; others, by the
hope of a good job on the cargo; others, again, not
averse to a little private bargaining for any curious
or valuable goods the captain of the " Great Chris-
topher " had for sale. Cohen was among the latter;
but he had too much intelligence to interfere with a
family party, especially as he heard Joris say to the
crowd with a polite authority, " Make way, friends,
make way. When a man is off a three-years' cruise,
for a trifle he should not be stopped."

Joanna had had a message from her lover, and
she was watching for his arrival. There was no se-
crecy in her love-affairs, and it was amid the joy and


smiles of the whole household that she met her af-
fianced husband. They were one of those loving,
sensible couples, for whom it is natural to predict a
placid and happy life ; and the first words of Bata-
vius seemed to assure it,

" My affairs have gone well, Joanna, as they gen-
erally do ; and now I shall build the house, and we
shall be married."

Joanna laughed. " I shall just say a word or two,
also, about that, Batavius."

"Come, come, the word or two was said so long
ago. Have you got the pretty Chinese has I sent
from the ship ? and the Javanese cabaya, and the
sweatmeats, and the golden pins ? "

" All of them I have got. Much money, Batavius,
they must have cost."

"Well, well, then! There is enough left. A man
does not go to the African coast for nothing. Katri-
jntje, mijn meisje, what's the matter now, that you
never come once ? "

Katherine was standing at the open window, ap-
parently watching the honey-bees among the locust
blooms, but really perceiving something far beyond
them, a boat on the river at the end of the garden.
She could not have told how she knew it was there ;
but she saw it, saw it through the intervening space,
barred and shaded by many trees. She felt the slow
drift of the resting oars, and the fascination of an
eager, handsome face lifted to the lilac-bushes which
hedged the bank. So the question of Batavius
touched very lightly her physicial consciousness. A
far sweeter, a far more peremptory voice called her ;
but she answered,

" There is nothing the matter, Batavius. I am
well, I am happy. And now I will go into the gar-
den to make me a fine nosegay."

"Three times this week, into the garden you have
gone to get a nosegay; and then all about it you
forget. It will be better to listen to Batavius, I
think. He will tell us of the strange countries where
he has been, and of the strange men and women."

" For you, Joanna, that will be pleasant ; but "


" For you also. To listen to Batavius is to learn

"Well, that is the truth. But to me all this talk
is not very interesting. I will go into the garden ; "
and she walked slowly out of the door, and stopped
or stooped at every flower-bed, while Joanna watched

"The child is now a woman. It will be a lover
next, Joanna."

"There is a lover already; but to any thing he
says, Katrijntje listens not. It is at her father's
knee she sits, not at the lover's."

" It will be Eem Verplanck ? And what will come
of it?"

"No, it is Neil Semple. To-night you will see.
He comes in and talks of the Assembly and the
governor, and of many things of great moment.
But it is Katherine for all that. A girl has not been
in love four years for nothing. I can see, too, that
my father looks sad, and my mother says neither
yes nor no in the matter."

" The Semples are good business managers. They
are also rich, and they approve of good morals and
the true religion. Be content, Joanna. Many roads
lead to happiness beside the road we take. Now,
let us talk of our own affairs."

It was at this moment Katherine turned to observe
if she were watched. No : Batayms and Joanna had
gone away from the window, and for a little while
she would not be missed. She ran rapidly to the end
of the garden, and, parting the lilac-bushes, stood
flushed and panting on the river-bank. There was a
stir of oars below her. It was precisely as she had
known it would be. Capt. Hyde's pretty craft shot
into sight, and a few strokes put it at the landing-
stair. In a moment he was at her side. He took
her in his arms ; and, in spite of the small hands
covering her blushing face, he kissed her with pas-
sionate affection.

" My darling, my charmer! " he said. " How you
have tortured me ! By my soul, I have been almost
distracted. Pray, now, let me see thy lovely face."


He lifted it in his hands and kissed it again, kissed
the rosy cheeks, and white dropped eyelids, and red
smiling mouth ; vowed with every kiss that she was
the most adorable of women, and protested, " on his
honor as a soldier," that he would make her his
wife, or die a bachelor for her sake.

And who can Iplame a young girl if she listens and
believes, when listening and believing mean to her
perfect happiness ? Not women who have ever stood,
trembling with love and joy, close to the dear one's
heart. If they be gray-haired, and on the very shoal
of life, they must remember still those moments of
delight, the little lane, the fire-lit room, the drifting
boat, that is linked with them. If they be young and
lovely, and have but to say, " It was yesterday," or,
" It was last week," still better they will understand
the temptation that was too great for Katherine to

And, as yet, nothing definite had been said to her
about Neil Semple, and the arrangement made for
her future. Joris had intended every day to tell her,
and every day his heart had failed him. He felt as
if the entire acceptance of the position would be
giving his little daughter away. As long as she was
not formally betrothed, she was all his own ; and
Neil could not use that objectionable word " my " in
regard to her. Lysbet was still more averse to a
decisive step. She had had "dreams" and "pre-
sentiments " of unusual honor for Katherine, which
she kept with a superstitious reverence in her mem-
ory ; and the girl'"s great beauty and winning man-
ners had fed this latent expectancy. But to see her
the wife of Neil Semple did not seem to be any real-
ization of her ambitious hopes. She had known
Neil all his life ; and she could not help feeling, that,
if Katherine's fortune lay with him, her loving
dreams were all illusions and doomed to disappoint-

Besides, with a natural contradiction, she was a
little angry at Neil's behavior. He had been coming
to their house constantly for a month at least; every
opportunity of speaking to Katherine on his own be-


half had been given him, and he had not done so.
He was too indifferent, or he was too confident; and
either feeling she resented. But she judged Neil
wrongly. He was an exceedingly cautious young
man ; and he felt what the mother could not per-
ceive, a certain atmosphere about the charming
girl which was a continual repression to him. In
the end, he determined to win her, win her entirely,
heart and hand ; therefore he did not wish to embar-
rass his subsequent wooing by having to surmount
at the outset the barrier of a premature " no. " And,
as yet, his jealousy of Capt. Hyde was superficial and
intermitting; it had not entered his mind that an
English officer could possibly be an actual rival to
him. They were all of them notoriously light of
love, and the Colonial beauties treated their homage
with as light a belief; only it angered and pained
him that Katherine should suffer herself to be made
the pastime of Hyde's idle hours.

On the night of De Yries's return, there was a
great gathering at Van Heemskirk's house. No
formal invitations were given, but all the friends of
the family understood that it would be so. Joris
kept on his coat and ruffles and fine cravat, Batavius
wore his blue broadcloth and gilt buttons, and
Lysbet and her daughters were in their kirk dresses
of silk and camblet. It was an exquisite summer
evening, and the windows looking into the garden
were all open ; so also was the door ; and long before
sunset the stoop was full of neighborly men, smoking
with Joris and Batavius, and discussing Colonial and
commercial affairs.

In the living-room and the best parlor, their wives
were gathered, women with finely rounded forms,
very handsomely clothed, and all busily employed in
the discussion of subjects of the greatest interest to
them. For Joanna's marriage was now to be freely
talked over, the house Batavius was going to build
described, the linen and clothing she had prepared
examined, and the numerous and rich presents her
lover had brought her wondered over, and com-
mented upon.


Conspicuous in the happy, chattering company,
Lysbet Van Heemskirk bustled about, in the very
whitest and stiffest of lace caps; making a sugges-
tion, giving an opinion, scolding a careless servant,
putting out upon the sideboard Hollands, Geneva,
and other strong waters, and ordering in from the
kitchen hot chocolate and cakes of all kinds for the
women of the company. Very soon after sundown,
Elder Semple and madam his wife arrived; and the
elder, as usual, made a decided stir among the group
which he joined.

"No, no, councillor," he said, in answer to the in-
vitation of Joris to come outside. " No, no, I'll not
risk my health, maybe my vera life, oot on the stoop
after sunset. 'Warm,' do you say? Vera warm,
and all the maur for being warm. My medical man
thinks I hae a tendency to fever, and there's four-
fourths o' fever in every inch o' river mist, that a
man breathes these warm nights."

"Well, then, neighbors, we'll go inside," said
Joris. "Clean pipes, and a snowball,* or a glass of
Hollands, will not, I think, be amiss."

The movement was made among some jokes and
laughter; and they gathered near the hearthstone,
where, in front of the unlit hickory logs, stood a tall
blue jar filled with feathery branches of fennel and
asparagus. But, as the jar of Virginia was passed
round, Lysbet looked at Dinorah, and Dinorah went
to the door and called, "Baltus;" and in a minute
or two a little black boy entered with some hot coals
on a brass chafing-dish, and the fire was as solemnly
and silently passed round as if it were some occult
religious ceremony.

The conversation interrupted by Semple's entrance
was not resumed. It had been one dealing out un-
sparing and scornful disapproval of Gov. Clinton's
financial methods, and Clinton was known to be a
personal friend of Semple's. But the elder would
perhaps hardly have appreciated the consideration,
if he had divined it; for he dearly loved an argu-
ment, and had no objections to fight for his own side
* Snowball, gin mixed stiff with sugar.


single-handed. In fact, it was so natural for htm to
be "in opposition," that he could not bear to join the
general congratulation to De Vries on his fortunate

" You were lang awa', captain," was his opening
speech. " It would tak' a deal o' gude fortune to
mak' it worth your while to knock around the high
seas for three years or mair."

" Well, look now, elder, I didn't come home with
empty hands. I have always been apt to get into
the place where gold and good bargains were go-

" Hum-m-m ! You sailed for Rotterdam, I think?"

" That is true ; from Rotterdam I went to Batavia,
and then to the coast of Africa. The African cargo
took me to the West Indies. From Kingston it was

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