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GRACE




PHILIPVERRILL
MIGHELS



LIBRARY
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA

TV



Hearts of Grace




GARDE APPEARED LIKE THE VERY SPIRIT OF THE FOREST

Page 78



HEARTS of GRACE



BY



PHILIP VERRILL MIGHELS

AUTHOR OP

"The Furnace of Gold," "Thurley Ruxton,"
and "As It Was in the Beginning"



New York
Desmond FitzGerald, Inc.



Copyright, 1918
By DESMOND FITZGERALD, INC.



AUTHOR'S NOTE.

SEVERAL years ago there was published
anonymously " When a Witch Is Young."
This is a revision of the same story.



-



CONTENTS.



PART I.

CHAPTER PAOK

I. LeRoiestMort 9

II. A Friendship of Chance 14

III. The Germ of a Passion 22

PART II.

I. A Rover and his Retinue 27

II. An Ungodly Performance 36

III. Twixt Cup and Lip 45

IV. The Opening of a Vista 53

V. A Weighty Confidence 62

VI. Pan's Brother and the Nymph 71

VII. The Meeting in the Greenwood 78

VIII. Paying the Fiddler 86

IX. A Matter of State 94

X. To Foil a Spy 100

XI. Dangerous Tributes 105

XII. Hours that Grow Dark 110

XIII. A Kiss Deferred 121

XIV. Overtures from the Enemy 133

XV. Love's Inviting Light 140

iii



iv Contents.

CHAPTER PAGE

XVI. Garde's Lonely Vigil 149

XVII. A Night Attack 153

XVIII. The Glint of Treasure 160

XIX. Mutiny 164

XX. Garde's Extremity 171

XXI. Randolph's Courtship 180

XXII. David's Coercion 187

XXIII. Goody's Boy 193

XXIV. A Greenwood Meeting 200

XXV. Love's Traps for Confessions 213

XXVI. A Holiday Ended 221

XXVII. In Boston Town 228

XXVIII. Love's Garden 234

XXIX. The Enemy in Power 243

XXX. A Light at the Tavern 249

XXXI. ARefugee 255

XXXII. A Foster Parent 260

XXXIII. Repudiated Silver 269

XXXIV. Lodgings for the Retinue 275

XXXV. Garde Obtains the Jail Keys 280

XXXVI. Garde's Ordeal 287

XXXVII. Rats in the Armory 296

XXXVIII. Love's Long Good-by 303

XXXIX. Mutations 308

XL. Golden Oysters 314

XLI. Fate's Devious Ways 319

XLII. Little Ruses and Waiting 327

PART III.

I. A Topic at Court 885

II. Illness in the Family 342



Contents. v

CHAPTER PAGK

III. Foiled Purposes 345

IV. Making History 350

V. Old Acquaintances 357

VI. Juggling with Fire 362

VII. A Beef-eater Passes 368

VIII. A Woman Scorned 371

IX. Revelations 382

X. After Six Years 392

XI. A Blow in the Dark 398

XII. Adam's Nurse , ... 403

XIII. Goody in the Toils ' 407

XIV. Garde's Subterfuge 414

XV. The Midnight Trial 425

XVL The Gauntlet Run 436

XVII. Bewitched.. ,. 443



Hearts of Grace



HEARTS OF GRACE

PART I.
CHAPTER I.

LE ROI EST MORT.

THE first, the last the only King the Americans
ever had, was dead. King Philip, the mighty Sachem
of the Wampanoag Indians, had been slain. His
warriors were slaughtered or scattered. The war was
ended.

It was the 13th day of August, in the year 1676.
The seemly town of Plymouth was in an uproar. The
human emotions of the Puritan people of Massachu
setts had tugged at the shackles of a long restraint
and had broken them asunder. Men, women and
children, they surged through the streets, acclaiming
a buff-colored army that filled the thoroughfares like
a turgid flood. They were the forces which Captain
Benjamin Church had led to the camp of King Philip,
in the swamps of Mount Hope and Pocasset, where
the final scene of the gory drama had been enacted.

Armed with clanking swords, shouldered carbines,
and with great pistols flopping at the waist, rode a
troop of sixty horsemen, caparisoned in glittering

9



io Hearts of Grace.

back, breast and head pieces. Behind them tramped
a long column of foot-soldiers; brown Puritans
stern, mirth-denying, lusty at fighting. Above their
heads swayed a thin forest of pikestaves, the sunbeams
glinting from their steel tips. There was clinking
of metal on metal, thud and clatter of hoofs and feet
upon the paved streets, rattle of arms; and, above
all, the shouts of the townsmen mingled with the
shrill treble of gabbling women and children.

At the forefront of this motley procession, like a
mockery of a drum-major, heading a march of
doom, walked an Indian ally. At intervals he
leaped, and contorted his body weirdly, for the
purpose of the better calling to the attention of the
rabble the ghastly proof of victory that he bore the
head of the great King Philip.

Racing, crowding, surging, the townsfolk made no
secret of their ghoulish delight in beholding this gory
object. Love, anger, joy, hate the daily emotions
of mankind the world over were so habitually re
pressed by these serious people that, as a vent to their
pent-up natures, they seemed to give themselves wholly
to an orgy of gasping, shuddering, and unholy gloat
ing. They laughed, they skipped on nimble feet, they
sang praises hysterically to the God who had deliv
ered their enemy into their hands. In the frenzy
that had swept like a fire through the chaff of their
shriveled emotions, all bonds of deportment loosened,
and the young men and women seized the occasion to
look unbridled feelings into one another's eyes.

About the extreme rear of the procession another
crowd had gathered. The people hooted, pushed,



Le Roi est Mort. n

craned their necks, and raced to keep pace with the
steady, long strides of the soldiers. Interest centered
upon two captives, marching together between the
ranks of a loosely-formed guard of pike-men. One
was a mere boy, white as any in the multitude, and
paler than the palest. The other was an Indian ; noble
of feature and dignified in his bearing. He was old
Annawon, the last of King Philip's councilors; who,
having surrendered under promise of " good quar
ter," was even now being led to his death.

The greater attraction, however, seemed to be the
boy. Tall and lithe he was, though his age could
scarcely be a whit above fourteen. Though white, he
was dressed as an Indian, and bore himself like a
sullen brave. Through the stoicism, which he labored
to hold as a mask upon his face, the signs of anguish
played, as a strong under-current betrays itself from
beneath the surface of still waters. In all the multi
tude he had but a single friend the Red-man with
whom he was marching. He gazed stolidly at the
crowding, pitiless faces. Near him a score of nimble
boys were running, a frantic desire to strike him show
ing in their eyes. Then, into the press behind these
vicious urchins, towering head high over the human
tide, a man strode. Perched upon his shoulder, safe
from the crush and jostling of the rabble, he bore a
little Puritan maiden, whose brown eyes rested upon
the boy captive with an expression of tenderest com
passion. She clung to her huge protector with a tense
little fist, while her other hand was pressed upon her
cheek till all about each tiny finger was white, in the
bonny apple-blush of her color. It seemed as though



12 Hearts of Grace.

she must cry her sympathy aloud to the young pris
oner. The boy raised his eyes, and saw the look.
Sweet as a gleam of God's sunshine in the darkness
of a dungeon ; grateful as a cool spring in a burning
desert; seemed the little flower face, moving above
the shifting masks of brutality and hate. With his
eyes upon it, he strode more manfully along.

The boy was still gazing back his answer to the
child, when an urchin, bolder than his fellows, hurled
a stone that struck him smartly in the side. With a
panther-like motion he turned, and breaking through
his loosely-formed escort, hurled himself upon his
assailant and bore him to the ground. And then,
above the tumult which arose, came the voice of the
old councilor, Annawon, who was marching to his
death. It was a soft, quick word, in the Indian
tongue, but it sufficed. The lad in buckskin released
his overthrown antagonist, and darted back to his
place in the ranks. His eyes blinked swiftly, but in
vain, for tears of rage and pain forced their way
between his eyelids, and made dark furrows adown
his dusty cheeks. Angrily he wiped them away upon
his sleeve. When he looked once more at the place
where the little Puritan girl had smiled from the
big man's shoulder, she was gone.

Foot-soldiers closed in about their dangerous charge.
The bawling youths of Plymouth seemed to multiply,
as though by magic. But their opportunities for
committing further mischief were past, for the
pageant was passing the gray jail building; and the
escort, wedging their way through the press of people,
forced him towards the gloomy entrance. Again, above



Le Roi est Mort. 13

the clamor, there rose a voice, and in the Indian

tongue the young captive heard the words:
11 Farewell, Little-Standing-Panther/ 7
It was old Annawon, who had divined that there

would be no other parting with the lad who was the

only creature which the war had left for him to love.
" Farewell," and again: " Farewell," cried the

boy. And the grim gates of the prison-house clanged

shut behind him.

*** *******

Night closed down night the beneficent, that
shrouds the evidences of mankind's barbarities. Long
since, the people, at the request of Governor Winslow,
had dispersed to their several homes. The head of the
butchered King Philip had been impaled upon a
stake, and planted on the public square. The moon
arose, casting a pale, cold light, and a passionless
calm brooded upon the sleeping village.

At length, with a tread as silent as that of death
itself, an active figure crept from shadow to shadow,
adown the streets which the night had silver-plated,
till it came to the square where was planted the stake
with the moon-softened head upon it. The lone visitor
was the white boy-captive, still dressed in his Indian
toggery. He had eluded the tired jail guards.

He espied that which he sought, and came forward
slowly; then halted, and extended his arms towards
the stake with its motionless burden. Again he ad
vanced reverently, murmuring brokenly in the Indian
tongue :

" Metacomet Metacomet , my foster father, I
have come."



CHAPTER II.

A FRIENDSHIP OF CHANCE.

THROUGH the gray mist of Plymouth's dawn there
came a sound of footsteps, and then a murmur of melo
dious humming, somewhat controlled and yet too
sturdy and joyous to be readily accounted for in the
strict Puritan village. Presently, looming out of the
uncertain light, appeared the roughly-hewn figure of a
young man of five and twenty. He was singing to him
self, as he hastened with big strides through the
deserted streets.

On the point of passing the place where the gibbeted
head of King Philip made a rude exclamation point in
the calm of gray Plymouth, the early riser suddenly
noted the curled-up form of a human being on the
ground, one arm loosely bent about the iron stake, his
head resting against it, and his eyes fast closed in
the sleep of exhaustion. The man started slightly,
halted and ceased his singing.

He blinked, shifted his feet uneasily and rubbed
stoutly at his jaw, as he gazed in perplexity at
the picture before him. He then tiptoed as if
to go on, quietly, about his own business. He
glanced at the head, then back to the boy, from
whose lips, in his sleep, a little moan escaped. The
visitor noted the traces where tears had channeled down
14



A Friendship of Chance. 15

the lad's pale cheeks. There was something unescap-
able in the attitude of the bare golden head against the
stake. The man stopped and laid his big hand gently
on the half-curled locks.

Instantly the boy awoke, leaped to his feet and fell
down again, from sheer stiffness, staring at the man
with eyes somewhat wild. He arose again at once,
more steadily, overcoming the cramps in his muscles
doggedly, never ceasing for a second to watch the man
who had waked him.

" I give you good morrow," said the man. " It
seems to me you have need of a friend, since you have
clearly lost one that you much esteemed/'

There was persuasion and honesty in the stranger's
warm-blue eyes, good nature in his broad, smooth face
and a large capacity for affection denoted in his some
what sensuous mouth. Such a look of friendship and
utter sincerity as he bestowed on the startled and defi
ant boy before him could not have been easily counter
feited. The youthful know sincerity by intuition.

" Who are you ? " said the boy, his voice hoarse and
weakened. " What would anybody want with me ? "

" My name is William Phipps," said the stranger,
simply. " I am a ship-builder of Boston. If you have
no better friend, perhaps I would do till you can find
one. I am on my way to Boston now. If you need a
friend and would like to leave Plymouth, you may come
with me, unless you feel you cannot trust any one about
this village." He paused a moment and then added,
" I think you must be the boy I heard of, Adam Bust,
brought in with the captured Indians."

"My name is Adam Kust," the boy admitted. "I



16 Hearts of Grace

have no friends left. If you have been helping to kill
the Wampanoags I would rather not try to be your
friend. But I know I would like you and I should be
glad to go to Boston, or any place away from here." In
the daylight he could not bear to look up at the head
above him.

"I have been too busy to fight," said William Phipps,
employing the same excuse he had used for friends with
recruiting proclivities. " And I have been too happy,"
he added, as if involuntarily. ' ' So, you see, there is
no reason why I should not be your friend. Have you
had any breakfast ? " He put out his hand to shake.

" No," said Adam. He lost his hand in the big fist
which Phipps presented, and restrained himself from
crying by making a mighty effort. He had gone with
out eating for two days, but he said nothing about it.

" Then," said Phipps heartily, " the sooner we start
the better. We can get something hot on the brig."

He began his long striding again. Adam hesitated a
moment. He looked up at the features above him, his
heart gushing full of emotion.

Some inarticulate farewell, in the Indian tongne, he
breathed through his quivering lips. His eyes grew
dimmed. He fancied he saw a smile of farewell and of
encouragement play intangibly on those still, saddened
lineaments, and so he held forth his arms for a second
and then turned away to join his new-found protector.

William Phipps, having thought the boy to be follow
ing more closely than he was, stopped to let him catch
up. Thus he noted the look of anguish with which the
lad was leaving that grim remnant of King Philip
behind. Phipps was one of Nature's " motherly men "



A Friendship of Chance. 17

hardly ever more numerous than rocs' eggs on the
earth. He felt his heart go forth to Adam Rust. There
fore it was that he looked down in the boy's face, time
after time, as they walked along together. Thus they
came to the water-front and wharves, at the end of one
of which the brig " Captain Spencer *' was swinging.

"This ship belongs to me and I made her/' said
Phipps, with candid pride in his achievement. " You
shall see that she sails right merrily."

They went aboard. A few sailors scrubbing down
the deck, barefooted and with sleeves at elbow, now
abandoned their task temporarily, at the command of
the mate, who had seen his captain coming, to hoist
sail and let go the hawsers. The chuckle in the blocks,
as the sailors heaved and hauled at the ropes, gave
Adam Rust a pleasure he had never before experienced.

Breakfast being not yet prepared for service, Phipps
conducted his foundling about the craft for a look at
her beauties. When Adam had patted the muzzle of
the brig's gun and felt the weight of a naked sword in
his fist, in the armory, the buoyancy of his youth put
new color in his cheeks and a sparkle in his eyes. He
was a bright-natured, companionable lad, who grew
friendly and smiled his way into one's affections rapidly,
but naturally. When he and Phipps had come up
again to the deck, after breakfast, they felt as if they
had always been friends.

The brig was under way. Shorewards the gray old
Atlantic was wrinkled under the fretful annoyance of a
brisk, salty breeze. The ship was slipping prettily up
the coast, with stately courtesies to the stern rocks that
stood like guardians to the land.



i8 Hearts of Grace

" I think we shall find yon were born for a sailor,
Adam," said the master of the craft. "I can give you
my word it is more joy and life to sail a ship than to

make one. And someday "but he halted. The

modest boasts, with which he warmed the heart of his
well beloved wife, were a bit too sacred for repetition,
even to a boy so winning. " But," he concluded, " per
haps you would like to tell me something of yourself."

Thus encouraged Adam related his story. He was
the son of John Kust, a chivalrous gentleman, an affec
tionate husband and a serious man, with a light heart
and a ready wit. John Kust had been the friend of the
Indians and the mediator between them and the whites
until the sheer perfidy of the Puritans had rendered him
hopeless of retaining the confidence of the Bed-men,
when he had abandoned the office. Adam's mother had
been dead for something more than four years. Af
flicted by his sense of loss, John Eust had become a
strange man, a restless soul hopelessly searching for
that other self, as knights of old once sought the holy
grail.

He went forth alone into the trackless wilderness
that led endlessly into the west. Although the father
and son had been knit together in their affections by
long talks, long ranges together in the forests and by
the lessons which the man had imparted, yet when John
Kust had gone on his unearthly quest, he could not
bear the thought of taking young Adam with him into
the wilds.

He had therefore left the boy with his friends, the
lad's natural guardians, the honorable nation of Wam-
panoags. " Keep him here, teach him of your wisdom,



A Friendship of Chance. 19

make him one of your young warriors," he had said when
he went, " so that when I return I may know him for
his worth."

King Philip, the mighty Sachem of the tribe, had
thereafter been as a foster-father to the boy. For more
than two years the Eed-man had believed John Eust to
have found his final lodge, and this was the truth. And
perhaps he had also found his holy grail. He perished
alone in the trackless forest. Adam had learned his
wood-lore of his red brothers. He was stout, lithe,
wiry and nimble. He rode a horse like the torso of a
centaur. He was a bit of a boaster, in a frank and
healthy way.

King Philip's war, ascribed, as to causes, to " the
passion of the English for territory ; their confidence
that God had opened up America for their exclusive
occupancy ; their contempt for the Indians and their
utter disregard for their rights," had come inexorably
upon the Wampanoags. In its vortex of action, move
ment, success and failure at last for the Indians, Adam
Rust had been whirled along with Metacomet. He had
never been permitted by King Philip to fight against
his ' ( white brothers," but he had assisted to plan for the
safety of the old men, women and children, in procur
ing game and in constructing shelters. He had learned
to love these silently suffering people with all his heart.
The fights, the hardships, the doom, coming inevitably
upon the hopeless Wampanoags, had made the boy a
man, in some of the innermost recesses of a heart's suf
fering. He had seen the last sad remnants of the
Wampanoags, the Pocassets and the Narragansetts
scatter, to perish in the dismal swamps. He had wit-



2O Hearts of Grace

nessed the death of King Philip, brought upon him by
a treacherous fellow Red-man. And then he had
marched in that grim procession.

Adam made no attempt to convey an idea of the mag
nitude of his loss. It would not have been possible.
There is something in human nature which can never
be convinced that death has utterly stilled a beloved
voice and quenched the fire of the soul showing through
a pair of eyes endeared by companionship. This in
Adam made him feel, even as he told his tale to William
Phipps, that he was somehow deserting his faithful
friends.

Bareheaded on the sun-lit deck as he told his story,
lithe in his gestures, splendidly scornful when he imi
tated the great chieftains of the tribes, and then like
a young Viking as at last he finished his narrative and
looked far and wide on the sparkling sea, in joyousness
at the newer chapter which seemed to open to the very
horizons themselves before him, Adam awakened the
lusty youth and daring in William Phipps and the
dreams of a world's career always present in his brain.

The man's eyes sparkled, as he spun the wheel that
guided the brig, bounding beneath their feet. A rest
lessness seized upon the spirit in his breast.

" Adam," he said, "do you like this ship ?"

<< Yes ! oh, it makes me feel like shouting ! " the boy
exclaimed. ef I wish I could straddle it, like a horse,
and make it go faster and wilder, 'way off there and
everywhere ! Oh, don't it make you breathe ! "

" Then," said Phipps, repressing his own love of such
a madness as Adam had voiced, " let us go for along sail
together. I have long had in mind a voyage for trad-



A Friendship of Chance. 21

ing to Hispaniola. If you would like to go with me,
I will get the brig ready in a week."

For his answer young Adam leaped as if he would
spur the ship in the ribs and ride her to the end of the
earth forthwith.



CHAPTER III.

THE GERM OF A PASSION.

A BONNIE little Puritan maid, Mistress Garde Mer
rill, stood in the open doorway at her home, fervently
hugging her kitten. The sunlight seemed almost like
beaten gold, so tangibly did it lay upon the house, the
vines that climbed the wall, and the garden full of old-
fashioned flowers.

A few leaves, which had escaped from the trees, in a
longing to extend their field of romping, were being
whirled about in a brisk zephyr that spun in a corner.
A sense of warmth and fragrance made all the world
seem wantoning in its own loveliness.

Little Garde, watching the frolic of the leaves, and
thinking them pretty elves and fairies, dancing, pres
ently looked up into the solemn visage of a passing
citizen, who had paused at the gate.

" Mistress Merrill," he said, gravely, after a moment's
inspection of the bright, enchanting little face, "your
eyes have not the Puritan spirit of meekness/' There
upon he departed on his way, sadly shaking his head.

Garde's eyes, in all truth, were dancing right joy
ously ; and dancing was not accounted a Puritan de
votion. Such brown, light-ensnaring eyes could not,
22



The Germ of a Passion. 23

however, constrain themselves to melancholy. ^0
more could the apple-red of her smooth, round cheeks
retreat from the ardor of the sun. As for her hair, like
strands on strands of spun mahogany, no power on
earth could have disentangled its nets wherein the rays
of golden light had meshed and intermeshed them
selves. In her brightness of color, with her black and
white kitten on her arm, the child was a dainty little
human jewel.

She was watching a bee and a butterfly when a shadow
fell again into the yard, among the flowers, at the ex-
trance. Garde felt her attention drawn and centered
at once. She found herself looking not so much at a
bareheaded boy, as fairly into the depths of his very
blue and steadfast eyes.

The visitor stood there with his hands clasping two
of the pickets of which the gate was fashioned. He had
seen everything in the garden at one glance, but he was
looking at Garde. His eyes began laughingly, then
seriously, but always frankly, to ask a favor.

" I prithee come in," said Garde, as one a little struck
with wonder.

The boy came in. Garde met him in the path and
gave him her kitten. He took it, apparently because
she gave it, and not because he was inordinately fond
of cats. It seemed to Garde that she knew this boy,
and yet he had on a suit that suggested a young sailor,
and she had never made the acquaintance of any sail
ors whatsoever. If he would only look elsewhere than
at her face, she thought, perhaps she could remember.

" See them," she said, and she pointed to where the
leaves were once more capering in the corner.



24 Hearts of Grace

The boy looked, but his gaze would swing back to its
North, which it found in two brown eyes.

"I saw you that day in Plymouth," he said. "And
I got out of their old jail, and I didn't see anybody else
that looked kind or nice among all those people."

" Oh ! " said Garde, suddenly remembering every
thing, " oh, you were that boy marching with the
old Indian. I was so sorry. And I am so glad that you
got away. I am glad you came to see me. Grand
father and I were down there for a visit so I saw you.



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