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plexion had lost much of its brilliancy, but
enough still remained to assert its original
beauty and clearness. To this description
might be added, fine, mellow blue eyes,
beautifully white, though large teeth, a
regular set of features, and a person that
was clad in a dark lead-coloured silk~,
which fitted her full, but gracefully mould,
ed form, with the closest exactness.



THE PILOT. 217

Colonel Howard paused a moment, after
this lady was seated, and then turned him
self to Katherlne ; with an air that became
stiff and constrained by attempting to
seem extremely easy, he said

" You no sooner summon Miss Alice,
but she appears, Miss Plowden ready and
(I am bold to say, Miss Alice) able to de
fend herself against all charges that her
worst enemies can allege against her."

" I have no charges to make against
Miss Dunscombe," said Katherine, pet
tishly, " nor do I wish to have dissensions
created between me and my friends, even
by Colonel Howard."

" Colonel Howard will studiously avoid
such offences in future," said the veteran,
bowing ; and turning stiffly to the others,
he continued " I was just con versing with
my niece, as you entered, Miss Alice, on the
subject of her immuring herself like one of
the veriest nuns who ever inhabited these
cloisters. I tell her, madam, that neither
her years, nor my fortune, nor, indeed, her
own, for the child of Harry Howard was
not left pennyless, require that we should

VOL. i. L



218 THE PILOT.

live as if the doors of the world were
closed against us, or there was no other
entrance to St. Ruth's but through those
antiquated windows. Miss Plowden, I
feel it to be my duty to inquire why those
pieces of silk are provided in such an un
usual abundance, and in so extraordinary
a shape ?"

" To make a gala dress for the ball you
are about to give, sir/' said Katharine,
promptly, and with a saucy smile, that was
only checked by the reproachful glance of
her cousin. " You have taste in a lady's
uttire, Colonel Howard ; will not this
bright yellow form a charming relief to
my brown face, while this white and black
relieve one another, and this pink contrasts
so sweetly with black eyes. Will not the
whole form a turban fit for an empress to
wear ?"

As the arch maiden prattled on in this
unmeaning manner, her rapid fingers en
twined the flags in a confused maze, which
she threw over her head in a form not
unlike the ornament for which she inti
mated it was intended. The veteran was



THE PILOT, 219

by far too polite to dispute a lady's taste,
and he renewed the dialogue, with his
slightly awakened suspicions completely
quieted by her dexterity and artifice. But
although it was not difficult to deceive
Colonel Howard in matters of female dress,
the case was very different with Alice
Dunscombe. This lady gazed, with a
steady eye and reproving countenance, on
the fantastical turban, until Katherine
threw herself by her side, and endeavoured
to lead her attention to other subjects, by
her playful motions and whispered ques
tions.

" I was observing, Miss Alice," con-
tinned the colonel, " that although the
times had certainly inflicted some loss on
my estate, yet we were not so much re
duced as to be unable to receive our friends
in a manner that would not disgrace the
descendants of the ancient possessors of
St. Ruth. Cecilia, here, rny brother
Harry's daughter, is a young lady that
any uncle might be proud to exhibit, and
I would have her, madam, show your
English dames, that we rear no unworthy



220 THE PILOT.

specimens of the parent stock on the other
side of the Atlantic."

" You have only to declare your plea
sure, my good uncle/' said Miss Howard,
" and it shall be executed."

" Tell us how we can oblige you, sir,"
continued Katherine, " and if it be in any
manner that will relieve the tedium of this
dull residence, I promise you at least one
cheerful assistant to your scheme."

" You speak fair," cried the colonel,
u and like two discreet and worthy girls !
Well, then, our first step shall be to send
a message to Dillon and the captain, and
invite them to attend your coffee. I see
the hour approaches."

Cecilia made no reply, but looked dis
tressed, and dropped her mild eyes to the
carpet ; but Miss Plowden took it upon
herself to answer.

" Nay, sir, that would be for them to
take steps in the matter ; as your proposal
was that the first step should be ours, sup
pose we all adjourn to your part of the
house, and do the honours of the tea-table
in your drawing-room, instead of our own.



THE PILOT. 221

I understand, sir, that you have had an
apartment fitted up for that purpose, in
some style ; a woman's taste might aid
your designs, however.''

" Miss Plowden, I believe I intimated
to you, some time since," said the dis
pleased colonel, u that so long as certain
suspicious vessels were known to hover
on this coast, I should desire that you and
Miss Howard would confine yourselves to
this wing."

" Do not say that we confine ourselves/'
said Katherine, " but let it be spoken in
plain English, that you confine us here."

" Am I a gaoler, madam, that you apply
such epithets to my conduct ! Miss Alice
must form strange conclusions of our man
ners, if she receives her impressions from
your very singular remarks. I "

" All measures adopted from a dread of
the ship and schooner that ran within the
Devil's Grip, yester-eve, may be dispensed
with now," interrupted Miss Dunscombe,
in a melancholy, reflecting tone. " There
are few living, who know the dangerous



222 THE PILOT.

paths that can conduct even the smallest
craft in safety from the land, with day
light and fair winds ; but when darkness
and adverse gales oppose them, the chance
for safety lies wholly in God's kindness."

" There is truly much reason to believe
they are lost," returned the veteran, in a
voice in which no exultation was appa
rent.

" They are not lost !" exclaimed Kathe-
rine, with startling energy, leaving her
seat, and walking across the room to join
her cousin, with an air that seemed to ele
vate her little figure to the other's height.
" They are skilful and they are brave, and
what gallant sailors can do, will they do,
and do it successfully ; besides, in whose
behalf would a just Providence sooner
exercise its merciful pow r er, than to protect
the daring children of an oppressed coun
try, Awhile contending against tyranny and
countless wrongs ?"

The conciliating disposition of the cola-

nel deserted him as he listened. His own

back eyes sparkled with a vividness un-



THE PILOT. 223

usual for his years, and his courtesy barely
permitted the lady to conclude, ere he
broke forth.

" What sin, madam, what damning
crime, would sooner call down the just
wrath of Heaven on the transgressors, than
the act of foul rebellion ? It was this
crime, madam, that deluged England in
blood in the reign of the first Charles ; it
is this crime, that has dyed more fields red
than all the rest of man's offences united ;
it has been visited on our race, as a con
dign punishment, from the days of the
deservedly devoted Absalom, down to the
present time ; in short, it lost heaven for
ever to some of the most glorious of its
angels, and there is much reason to believe
that it is the one unpardonable sin, named
in the holy gospels."

" I know not that you have authority
for believing it to be the heavy enormity
that you mention, Colonel Howard," said
Miss Dunscombe, anticipating the spirited
reply of Katherine, and willing to avert
it ; she hesitated an instant, and then draw
ing a heavy, shivering sigh, she continued,



24 THE PILOT.

in a voice that grew softer as she spoke
u 'tis indeed a crime of magnitude, and one
that throws the common backslidings of
our lives, speaking by comparison, into the
sunshine of his favour. Many there are,
who sever the dearest ties of this life, by
madly rushing into its sinful vortex, for I
would fain think the heart grows hard with
the sight of human calamity, and becomes
callous to the miseries its owner inflicts ; es
pecially where we act the wrongs on our
own kith and kin, regardless who or how
many that are dear to us suffer by our evil
deeds. It is, besides, Colonel Howard,
a dangerous temptation, to one little prac
tised in the great world, to find himself
suddenly elevated into the seat of power;
and if it do not lead to the commission of
great crimes, it surely prepares the way to
it, by hardening the heart/'

" I hear you patiently, Miss Alice," said
Katherine, dancing her little foot, in af
fected coolness, "for you neither know
of whom nor to whom you speak. But
Colonel Howard has not that apology.
Peace, Cecilia, for I must speak ! Believe



THE PILOT.



them not, dear girl ; there is not a wet hair
on their heads. For you. Colonel Howard,
who must recollect that the sister's son of
the mothers of both your niece and myself
is on board that frigate, there is an appear
ance of cruelty in using such language. "

" I pity the boy ! from my soul I pity
him !" exclaimed the veteran ; " he is
a child, and has followed the current that
is sweeping our unhappy colonies down
the tide of destruction. But there are
others in that vessel, who have no excuse
of ignorance to offer. There is a son of
my old acquaintance, and the bosom friend
of my brother Harry, Cecilia's father,
dashing Hugh Griffith, as we called him.
The urchins left home together, and were
rated on board one of his majesty's vessels
on the same day. Poor Harry lived to
carry a broad pennant in the service, and
Hugh died in command of a frigate. This
boy too! he was nurtured on board his
father's vessel, and learned, from his
majesty's discipline, how to turn his arms
against his king. There is something
shockingly unnatural in that circumstance,
L 3



226 THE PILOT.

Miss Alice ; 'tis like the child inflicting a
blow on the parent, 'Tis such men as
these, with Washington at their head, who
maintain the bold front this rebellion



wears."



" There are men, who have never worn
the servile livery of Britain, sir, whose
names are as fondly cherished in America
as any that she boasts off," said Katherine,
proudly ; " ay, sir, and those who would
gladly oppose tne bravest officers in the
British fleet."

" I contend not against your misguided
reason," said Colonel Howard, rising with
cool respect. " A young lady who ven
tures to compare rebels with gallant gen
tlemen engaged in their duty to their
prince, cannot but be subjected to the im
putation of possessing a misguided reason.
No man I speak not of women, who can
not be supposed so well versed in human
nature but no man, who has reached the
time of life that entitles him to be called
by that name, can consort with these dis-
organizers, who would destroy every thing
that is sacred these levellers, who would



THE PILOT. 227



pull down the great, to exalt the little
these Jacobites, who who "

" Nay, sir, if you are at a loss for op
probrious epithets," said Katherine, with
provoking coolness, " call on Mr. Christo
pher Dillon for assistance ; he waits your
pleasure at the door."

Colonel Howard turned in amazement,
forgetting his angry declamations at this
unexpected intelligence, and beheld in
reality the sombre visage of his kinsman,
who stood holding the door in his hand,
apparently as much surprised at finding
himself in the presence of the ladies, as
they themselves could be at his unusual
visit.
















CHAPTER XL

" Pr'ythee, Kate, let's stand aside, and see the end of this
controversy."

SHAKSPEARE.



DURING the warm discussions of the pre
ceding chapter. Miss Howard had bowed
her pale face to the arm of the couch, and
sate an unwilling and distressed listener to
the controversy ; but now that another,
and one whom she thought an unauthori
zed intruder on her privacy, was announc
ed, she asserted the dignity of her sex as
proudly, though with something more of
discretion, than her cousin could possibly
have done. Rising from her seat, she in
quired, with cool but delicate reserve

u To what are we indebted for so unex -
pected a visit from Mr. Dillon ? Surely
he must know that we are prohibited
going to the part of the dwelling where



THE PILOT. 229

he resides, and I trust Colonel Howard
will tell him that common justice requires
we should be permitted to be private."

The gentleman replied, in a manner in
which malignant anger was sufficiently
mingled with calculating humility

" Miss Howard will think better of my
intrusion, when she knows that I come
on business of importance to her uncle."

u Ah ! that may alter the case, Kit ; but
the ladies must have the respect that is due
to their sex. I forgot, somehow, to have
myself announced ; but that Borroughcliffe
leads me deeper into my Madeira than I
have been accustomed to go, since the
time when my poor brother Harry, with
his worthy friend, Hugh Griffith the
devil seize Hugh Griffith, and all his race
your pardon, Miss Alice. What is your
business with me, Mr. Billon ?"

" I bear a message from Captain Bor
roughcliffe. You may remember that,
according to your suggestions, the sentinels
were to be changed every night, sir."

" Ay ! ay ! we practised that in our cam-
paign against Montcalm ; 'twas necessary



230 THE PILOT.

to avoid the murders of their Indians, who
were sure, Miss Alice, to shoot down a
man at his post, if he were placed two
nights running in the same place."

" Well, sir, your prudent precautions
have not been thrown away," continued
Dillon, moving farther into the apartment,
as if he felt himself becoming a more
welcome guest as he proceeded ; " the con
sequences are, that we have already made
three prisoners."

" Truly it has been a most politic
scheme !" exclaimed Katherine Plow den,
with infinite contempt. " I suppose, as
Mr. Christopher Dillon applauds it so
highly, that it has some communion
with the law; and that the redoubtable
garrison of St. Ruth are about to reap the
high glory of being most successful thief-
takers !"

The sallow face of Dillon actually be
came livid as he replied, and his whole
frame shook with the rage that he vainly-
endeavoured to suppress.

" There may be a closer communion
with the law, and its ministers, perhaps,



THE PILOT. 231

than Miss Plowden can desire/' he said ;
" for rebellion seldom finds favour in any
Christian code."

" Rebellion !" exclaimed the colonel ;
" and what has this detention of three
vagabonds to do with rebellion. Kit ? Has
the damnable poison found its way across
the Atlantic ? your pardon. Miss Alice
but this is a subject on which you can feel
with me ; I have heard your sentiments on
the allegiance due to our anointed sove
reign. Speak, Mr. Dillon, are we sur
rounded by another set of demons! if so,
we must give ourselves to the work, and
rally round our prince : for this island is
the main pillar of his throne."

" I cannot say that there is any appear
ance, at present, of an intention to rise in
this island," said Dillon, with demure
gravity ; " though the riots in London
warrant any precautionary measures on
the part of his majesty's ministers, even to
a suspension of the habeas corpus. But
you have had your suspicions concerning
two certain vessels that have been threat-






232 THE PILOT.

ening the coast, for several days past, in a
most piratical manner ?"

The little foot of Katherine played
rapidly on the splendid carpet, but she
contented herself with bestowing a glance
of the most sovereign contempt on the
speaker, as if she disdained any further
reply. With the colonel, however, this
was touching a theme that lay nearest his
heart, and he answered, in a manner
worthy of the importance of the sub
ject

" You speak like a sensible man, and a
loyal subject, Mr. Dillon. The habeas cor.
pus, Miss Alice, was obtained in the reign
of King John, along with magna charta,
for the security of the throne, by his
majesty's barons ; some of my own blood
were of the number, which alone would
be a pledge that the dignity of the crown
was properly consulted. As to our' pira
tical countrymen, Christopher, there is
much reason to think that the vengeance,
of an offended Providence has already
reached them. Those who know the



THE PILOT. 233

coast well, tell me that without a better
pilot than an enemy would be likely to
procure, it would be impossible for any
vessels to escape the shoals among which
they entered, on a dark night, and with
an adverse gale ; the morning has arrived,
and they are not to be seen ! "

" But be they friends or be they ene
mies, sir," continued Dillon, respectfully,
" there is much reason, to think that we
have now in the Abbey those who can tell
us something of their true character; for
the men we have detained carry with
them the appearance of having just landed,
and wear not only the dress but the air of



seamen."



" Of seamen!" echoed Katherine, a
deadly paleness chasing from her cheeks
the bloom which indignation had height
ened.

" Of seamen, Miss Plowden," repeated
Dillon, with malignant satisfaction, but
concealing it under an air of submissive
respect.

" I thank you, sir, for so gentle a term,"
replied the young lady, recollecting her-



234 THE PILOT.

self, and recovering her presence of mind
in the same instant; " the imagination of
Mr. Dillon is so apt to conjure the worst,
that he is entitled to our praise for so far
humouring our weaknesses, as not to alarm
us with the apprehensions of their being
pirates."

" Nay, madam, they may yet deserve
that name," returned the other, coolly ;
" but my education has instructed me to
hear the testimony before I pronounce
sentence."

" Ah ! that the boy has found in his
Coke upon Littleton," cried the colonel ;
" the law is a salutary corrective to human
infirmities, Miss Alice, and, among other
things, it teaches patience to a hasty tem
perament. But for this cursed, unnatural
rebellion, madam, the young man would,
at this moment, have been diffusing its
blessings from a' judicial chair, in one of
the colonies, ay ! and I pledge myself, to
all alike, black and white, red and yellow,
with such proper distinctions as nature has
made between the officer and the private.
Keep a good heart, kinsman $ we shall yet



THE PILOT.



find a time ! the royal arms have many
hands, and things look better at the last
advices. But, come, we will proceed to
the guard-room, and put these stragglers
to the question ; runaways, I'll venture to
predict, from one of his majesty's cruisers,
or, perhaps, honest subjects engaged in
supplying the service with men. Come,
Kit, come, let us go, and "

" Are we, then, to lose the company of
Colonel Howard so soon ?" said Katherine,
advancing to her guardian, with an air of
blandishment and pleasantry. " I know
that he too soon forgets the hasty language
of our little disputes, to part in anger, if,
indeed, he will even quit us till he has
tasted of our coffee."

The veteran turned to the speaker of
this unexpected address, and listened with
profound attention. When she had done,
he replied, with a good deal of courtesy,
if not of softness in his tones

" Ah ! provoking one ! you know me
too well to doubt my forgiveness ; but
duty must be attended to, though even a



236 THE PILOT.

young lady's smiles tempt me to remain.
Yes, yes, child, you, too, are the daughter
of a very brave and worthy seaman ; but
you carry your attachment to that profes
sion too far, Miss Plowden you do, in
deed you do."

Katherine might have faintly blushed,
but the slight smile which mingled with
the expression of her shame gave to her
countenance a look of additional archness,
and she laid her hand lightly on the sleeve
of her guardian, to detain him, as she re
plied

" Yet why leave us, Colonel Howard ?
It is long since we have seen you in the
cloisters, and you know you come as a
father ; tarry, and you may yet add con
fessor to the title."

" I know thy sins already, girl," said
the worthy colonel, unconsciously yielding
to her gentle efforts to lead him back to
his seat ; u they are, deadly rebellion in
your heart to your prince, a most invete
rate propensity to salt-water, and a great
disrespect to the advice and wishes of an



THE PILOT. 237

old fellow whom your father's will and the
laws have made the guardian of your per
son and fortune."

" Nay, say not the last, dear sir," cried
Katherine ; " for there is not a syllable
you have ever said to me, on that foolish
subject, that I have forgotten. Will you
resume your seat again ? Cecilia, Colonel
Howard consents to take his coffee with



us."



" But you forget the three men, honest
Kit, there, and our respectable guest, Cap
tain Borroughcliffe."

" Let honest Kit stay there, if he please ;
you may send a request to Captain Bor
roughcliffe to join our party ; I have
a woman's curiosity to see the soldier ; and
as for the three men " she paused, and
affected to muse a moment, when she
continued, as if stricken by an obvious
thought " Yes, and the men can be
brought in, and examined here ; who knows
but they may have been wrecked in the
gale, and need our pity and assistance, ra
ther than deserve your suspicions."

" There is a solemn warning in Miss



238 THE PILOT.

Plowden's conjecture, that should come
home to the breasts of all who live on this
wild coast," said Alice Dunscombe ; " I
have known many a sad wreck among
the hidden shoals, and when the wind has
blown but a gentle gale, compared to last
night's tempest. The wars, and the un
certainties of the times, together with
man's own wicked passions, have made
great havock with those who knew well
the windings of the channels among the
" Ripples." Some there were who could
pass, as I have often heard, within a fearful
distance of the " Devil's-Grip," the darkest
night that ever shadowed England ; but
all are now gone, of that daring set, either
by the hand of death, or, what is even as
mournful, by unnatural banishment from
the land of their fathers."

" This war has then probably drawn off
most of them, for your recollections must
be quite recent, Miss Alice," said the vete
ran ; "as many of them were engaged in
the business of robbing his majesty's re
venue, the country is in some measure re
quited for their former depredations, by



THE PILOT. 239

their present services, and at the same
time it is happily rid of their presence.
Ah ! madam, ours is a glorious constitu
tion, where things are so nicely balanced,
that, as in that of a healthy, vigorous
man, the baser parts are purified in the
course of things, by its own wholesome
struggles."

The pale features of Alice Dunscombe
became slightly tinged with red, as the
colonel proceeded, nor did the faint glow
entirely leave her pallid face, until she
had said

" There might have been some who
knew not how to respect the laws of the
land, for such are never wanting ; but
there were others, who, however guilty
they might be in many respects, need not
charge themselves with that mean crime,
and yet who could find the passages that
lie hid from common eyes, beneath the
rude waves, as well as you could find the
way through the halls and galleries of the
Abbey, with a noonday sun shining upon
its vanes and high chimneys."

" Is it your pleasure, Colonel Howard,



240 THE PILOT.

that we examine the three men, and as
certain whether they belong to the num
ber of these gifted pilots ?" said Christo
pher Dillon, who was growing uneasy at
his awkward situation, and who hardly
deemed it necessary to conceal the look
of contempt which he cast at the mild
Alice, while he spoke ; " perhaps we may
gather information enough from them, to
draw a chart of the coast, that may gain
us credit with my lords of the Admi
ralty."

This unprovoked attack on their unre
sisting and unoffending guest, brought the
rich blood to the very temples of Miss
Howard, who rose, and addressed herself
to her kinsman, with a manner that could
not easily be mistaken, any more than it
could be condemned

u If Mr. Dillon will comply with the
wishes of Colonel Howard, as my cousin
has expressed them, we shall not, at least,
have to accuse ourselves of unnecessarily
detaining men who probably are more
unfortunate than guilty."

When she concluded, Cecilia walked



THE PILOT. 241

across the apartment, and took a seat by
the side of Alice Dunscombe, with whom
she began to converse, in a low soothing
tone of voice. Mr. Dillon bowed with a
deprecating humility, and having ascer


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