Lewis Rand
By Mary Johnston

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Chapter X: To Althea

Adam Gaudylock came, when his leisure served him, to Fontenoy as he went everywhere, by virtue of his quality of free lance and golden-tongued narrator of western news. The stress of thought at the moment was to the West and the empire that had been purchased there; and a man from beyond Kentucky, with tales to tell of the Mississippi Territory, brought his own welcome to town, tavern, and plantation. If this were true of all, it was trebly true of Adam, who had been born open-eyed. As the magnet draws the filings, so he drew all manner of tidings. News came to him as by a thousand carrier pigeons. He took toll of the solitary in the brown and pathless woods, of the boatmen upon fifty rivers, of the Indian braves about the council-fire, of hunters, trappers, traders, and long lines of Conestoga wagons, of soldiers on frontier posts, Jesuit missionaries upon the Ohio, camp-meeting orators by the Kentucky and the upper James, martial emissaries of three governments, village lawyers, gamblers, dealers in lotteries, and militia colonels, Spanish intendants, French agents, American settlers, wild Irish, thrifty Germans, Creoles, Indians, Mestizos, Quadroons, Congo blacks,–from the hunter in the forest to the slave in the fields, and from the Governor of the vast new territory to the boatman upon a Mississippi ark, not a type of the restless time but imparted to Adam something of its view of life and of the winds that vexed its sea. He was a skilful compounder, and when, forever wandering, he wandered back by wood and stream to the sunny, settled lands east of the Blue Ridge, he gave to the thirsty in plantation and town bright globules of hard fact in a heady elixir of fancy. While he talked all men were adventurers, and all women admired him. Adam liked this life and this world; asked nothing better than to journey through a hundred such.

Now, sitting at his ease in the blue room, a fortnight after Rand’s accident, he delivered a score of messages from the Republicans of the county, gentle and simple, whom he had chanced to encounter since the accident to their representative.

“Colonel Randolph says the President has bad luck with the horses he gives–young Mr. Carr was thrown by a bay mare from Shadwell. Old Jowett swears that a trooper of Tarleton’s broke his neck at that identical place–says you can hear him any dark night swearing like the Hessian he was. They drank your health at the Eagle, the night they heard of the accident, with bumpers–drank it just after Mr. Jefferson’s and before the memory of Washington. ’Congress next!’ they said. ’Hurrah! He’ll scatter the Black Cockades–he’ll make the Well-born cry King’s Cruse! Hip, hip, hurrah! What’s he doing at Fontenoy? They’ll put poison in his cup! Hurrah!’”

“Fontenoy will not put poison in my cup,” said Rand. “I hope some one was there to say as much.”

“I said it,” answered Adam. “They are a noisy lot. Tom Mocket made a speech and compared you to Moses. He wept when he made it, and they had to hold him steady on his feet. When they broke up, I took him home to the Partridge. I’ll tell you one speech that he never made by himself, and that’s the speech that’s going to hang Fitch.”

“No,” said Rand. “I wrote it. You were at the trial?”

“Ay. It would have hung Abel, so poor Cain had no chance. Mr. Eppes says Mr. Jefferson counts upon your becoming a power in the state. I don’t know–but it seems to me there’s power enough in these regions! It’s getting crowded. First thing you know, you’ll be jealous of Mr. Jefferson, or he’ll be jealous of you. If I were you, I’d look to the West.”

“The old song!” exclaimed Rand. “What should I do in the West?”

“Rule it,” said Adam.

Rand shot a glance at the hunter where he lounged against the window, a figure straight and lithe as an Indian, not tall, but gifted with a pantherish grace, and breathing a certain tawny brightness as of sunshine through pine needles. “You’re daft!” he said; then after a moment, “Are you serious?”

“Why should I not be serious?” asked Adam. “My faith! it’s a restless land, the West, and it’s a far cry from the Mississippi to the Potomac. The West doesn’t like the East anyhow. But it wants a picked man from the East. It will get one too! The wind’s blowing hard from the full to the empty, from the parcelled-out to the virgin land!”

“Yes,” said Rand.

“Why shouldn’t you be the man?” demanded Gaudylock. “Just as well you as Claiborne–Wilkinson’s naught, I don’t count him–or any one still East, like–like–Aaron Burr.”

“Aaron Burr?”

“Well, I just instance him. He’s ambitious enough, and there doesn’t seem much room for him back here. If Adam Gaudylock was ambitious and was anything but just an uneducated hunter with a taste for danger–I tell you, Lewis, I can see the blazed trees, I can see them with my eyes shut, stretching clean from anywhere–stretching from this room, say–beyond the Ohio, and beyond the Mississippi, and beyond Mexico to where the sun strikes the water! It’s a trail for fine treading and a strong man, but it leads–it leads–”

“It might lead,” said Rand, “to the Tarpeian Rock.”

“Where’s that?”

“It’s where they put to death a sort of folk called traitors–Benedict Arnolds and such.”

“Pshaw!” exclaimed Adam. “Traitors! Benedict Arnold was a traitor. This is not like that. America’s large enough for a mort of countries. All the states are countries–federated countries. Say some man is big enough to make a country west of the Mississippi–Well, one day we may federate too. Eh, Lewis, ’twould be a powerful country–great as Rome, I reckon! And we’d smoke the calumet with old Virginia–and she’d rule East and we’d rule West. D’you think it’s a dream?–Well, men make dreams come true.”

“Yes: Corsicans,” answered Rand. “Aaron Burr is not a Corsican.” He looked at his left hand, lying upon the arm of his chair, raised it, shut and opened it, gazing curiously at its vein and sinew. “You are talking midsummer madness,” he said at last. “Let’s leave the blazed trees for a while–though we’ll talk of them again some time. Have you been along the Three-Notched Road?”

“Yes,” replied Adam, turning easily. “Your tobacco’s prime, the wheat, too, and the fencing is all mended and white-washed. It’s not the tumble-down place it was in Gideon’s time–you’ve done wonders with it. The morning-glories were blooming over the porch, and your white cat washing itself in the sun.”

“It’s but a poor home,” said Rand, and he said it wistfully. He wished for a splendid house, a home so splendid that any woman must love it.

“It’s not so fine as Fontenoy,” quoth Adam, “nor Monticello, nor Mr. Blennerhassett’s island in the Ohio, but a man might be happy in a poorer spot. Home’s home, as I can testify who haven’t any. I’ve known a Cherokee to die of homesickness for a skin stretched between two saplings. How long before you are back upon the Three-Notched Road?”

Rand moved restlessly. “The doctor says I may go downstairs to-day. I shall leave Fontenoy almost immediately. They cannot want me here.”

“Have you seen Mr. Ludwell Cary?”

“He and his brother left Fontenoy some time ago. But he rides over nearly every day. Usually I see him.”

“He is making a fine place of Greenwood. And he has taken a law office in Charlottesville–the brick house by the Swan.

“Yes. He told me he would not be idle.”

Adam rose, and took up the gun which it was his whim to carry. “I’ll go talk ginseng and maple sugar to Colonel Churchill for a bit, and then I’ll go back to the Eagle. As soon as you are on the Three-Notched Road again I’ll come to see you there.”

“Adam,” said Rand, “in the woods, when chance makes an Indian your host, an Indian of a hostile tribe, an Indian whom you know the next week may see upon the war-path against you–and there is in his lodge a thing, no matter what, that you desire with all your mind and all your heart and all your soul, and he will not barter with you, and the thing is not entirely his own nor highly valued by him, while it is more than life to you, and moreover you believe it to be sought by one who is your foe–would you, Adam, having eaten that Indian’s bread, go back into the forest, and leave behind, untouched, unspoken of, that precious thing your soul longed for? The trail you take may never lead again to that lodge. Would you leave it?”

“Yes,” answered Adam. “But my trail should lead that way again. It is a hostile tribe. I would come back, not in peace paint, but in war paint. I would fairly warn the Indian, and then I would take the bauble.”

“Here is Mammy Chloe,” said the other. “What have you there, mammy–a dish of red pottage?”

“No, sah,” said Mammy. “Hit’s a baked apple an’ whipped cream an’ nutmeg. Ole Miss she say Gineral Lafayette sho’ did favour baked apples wunst when he wuz laid up wid a cold at her father’s house in Williamsburgh. An’ de little posy, Miss Deb she done gather hit outer her square in de gyarden. De Cun’l he say de fambly gwine expect de honour of yo’ company dis evenin’ in de drawin’-room.”

Adam said good-bye and went away. An hour later, going down the Fontenoy road, he came upon a small brown figure, seated, hands over knees, among the blackberry bushes.

“Why, you partridge!” he exclaimed. “You little brown prairie-hen, what are you doing so far from home? Blackberries aren’t ripe.”

“No,” said Vinie. “I was just a-walking down the road, and I just walked on. I wasn’t tired. I always think the country’s prettier down this way. Did you come from Fontenoy, Mr. Adam?”

“Yes,” replied Adam, sitting down beside her. “I went to see Lewis Rand–not that I don’t like all the people there anyway. They’re always mighty nice to me.”

Vinie dug the point of her dusty shoe into the dusty road.

“How ith Mr. Rand, Mr. Adam?”

“He ’ith’ almost well,” answered Adam. “He’s going down into the parlour to-night, and pretty soon he’s going home, and then he’ll be riding into town to his office.”

He looked kindly into the small, freckled, pretty face. The heat of the day stood in moisture on Vinie’s brow, she had pushed back her sunbonnet, and the breeze stirred the damp tendrils of her hair. “Tom must miss him,” said the hunter.

“Yeth, Tom does.” Vinie drew toward her a blackberry branch, and studied the white bloom. “Which do you think is the prettiest, Mr. Adam,–Miss Unity or Miss Jacqueline?”

“Why, I don’t know,” answered Adam. “They are both mighty pretty.”

“I think Miss Unity’s the prettiest,” said Vinie. “It’s time I was walking back to Charlottesville.” She rose and stood for a moment in the dusty road below the blackberry bushes, looking toward Fontenoy. “I don’t suppose he asked after Tom and me, Mr. Adam?”

“Why, surely!” protested Adam, with cheerful mendacity. “He asked after you both particularly. He said he certainly would like a cup of water from your well.”

“Did he?” asked Vinie, and grew pink. “That water’s mighty cold.”

“I’d like a cup of it myself,” said Adam. “Since we are both walking to town, we might as well walk together. Don’t you want me to break some cherry blossoms for your parlour?”

“Yeth, if you please,” replied Vinie, and the two went up the sunny road to Charlottesville.

Back at Fontenoy, in the blue room, Rand, resting in the easy chair beside the window, left the consideration of Adam and Adam’s talk, and gave his mind to the approaching hour in the Fontenoy drawing-room. He both desired and dreaded that encounter. Would Miss Churchill be there? Aided by the homely friendliness of her cousin’s house on the Three-Notched Road, he had met her and conversed with her without being greatly conscious of any circumstance other than that she was altogether beautiful, and that he loved her. But this was not Mrs. Selden’s, this was Fontenoy. He had stood here hat in hand, within Miss Churchill’s memory–certainly within the memory of the men of her family. Well! He was, thank God! an American citizen. The hat was now out of his hand and upon his head. The conditions of his boyhood might, he thought, be forgotten in the conditions of his manhood. But–they would all be gathered in the drawing-room. Should he speak first to Colonel Churchill as his host, or first to the ladies of the house, to Miss Churchill and Miss Dandridge? If Miss Churchill or Miss Dandridge were at the harpsichord, should he wait at the door until the piece was ended? He had a vision of a great space of polished floor reflecting candlelight, and of himself crossing that trackless desert beneath the eyes of goddesses and men. The colour came into his face. There were twenty things he might have asked Mr. Pincornet that night at Monticello. He turned with hot impatience from the consideration of the usages of society, and fell to building with large and strong timbers the edifice of his future. He built on while the dusk gathered, and he built while Joab helped him to dress, and he was yet busy with beam and rafter when at eight o’clock, with some help from the negro, he descended the stairs and crossed the hall to the parlour door. How was he dressed? He was dressed in a high-collared coat of blue cloth with eagle buttons, in cloth breeches and silk stockings, in shoes with silver buckles, and a lawn neckcloth of many folds. His hair was innocent of powder, and cut short in what the period supposed to be the high Roman fashion. It was his chief touch of the Republican. In the matter of dress he had not his leader’s courage. Abhorring slovenliness and the Jacobin motley, he would not affect them. He was dressed in his best for this evening; and if his attire was not chosen as Ludwell Cary would have chosen, it was yet the dress of a gentleman, and it was worn with dignity.

Music was playing, as he paused at the half-open door,–he could see Miss Dandridge at the harpsichord. The room seemed very light. For a moment he ceased to be the master-builder and sank to the estate of the apprentice, awkward and eaten with self-distrust; the next, with a characteristic abrupt motion of head and hand, he recovered himself, waved Joab aside, and boldly crossed the threshold.

Unity, at the harpsichord, was playing over, very rapidly, one after another, reels, hornpipes, jigs, and Congos, and looking, meanwhile, slyly out of velvet eyes at Fairfax Cary, who had asked for a particularly tender serenade. He stood beside her, and strove for injured dignity. It was a day of open courtship, and polite Albemarle watched with admiration the younger Cary’s suit to Miss Dandridge. He had ridden alone to Fontenoy; his brother, who had business in Charlottesville, promising to join him later in the evening. Mr. Ned Hunter, too, was at Fontenoy, and he also would have been leaning over the harpsichord but for the fact that Colonel Dick had fastened upon him and was demonstrating with an impressive forefinger the feasibility of widening into a highway fit for a mail-coach a certain forest track running over the mountains and through the adjoining county. They stood upon the hearth, and Mr. Hunter could see Miss Dandridge only by much craning of the neck. “Yes, yes,” he said vaguely, “it can easily be widened, sir.”

Major Churchill, playing Patience at the small table, raised his head like a war-horse. “Nonsense! widen on one side and you will fall into the river; on the other, and a pretty cliff you’ll have to climb! You could as well widen the way between Scylla and Charybdis–or Mahomet’s Bridge to Paradise–or Thomas Jefferson’s Natural Bridge! Pshaw!” He began to build from the five of clubs.

“A detour can be made,” said Colonel Dick.

“Around the Blue Ridge?” asked the Major scornfully. “Pshaw! And it passes my comprehension what a stage-coach would do in that country. There are not ten houses on that cart track.”

“Nonsense! there are fifty.”

“Fifty-three, I assure you, sir.”

The Major laid down his cards and turned in his chair. “I counted every structure the last time I was on that road. Taking in Fagg’s Mill and Brown’s Ferry and the Mountain Schoolhouse, there are just ten houses. It is my habit, sir, to reckon accurately.”

Mr. Hunter grew red. “But, sir, the count was taken before the last election, and fifty-three–”

“Ten, sir!” said the Major, and placed the queen of diamonds.

“When did you ride that way, Edward?” queried his brother. “I don’t believe you’ve been across the mountain since the war.”

“I was on that road in ’87,” said the Major. “I rode that way on the sixth of April with Clark. And there are ten houses; I counted them.”

“But good Lord, sir, this is 1804!”

The Major’s hawk eyes, dark and bright beneath shaggy brows, regarded Mr. Ned Hunter with disfavour. “I am aware, sir, that this is 1804,” he said, and placed the king of diamonds.

Jacqueline arose from her chair beside the open window, softly crossed the floor, and touched Colonel Churchill upon the arm. “Uncle Dick,” she murmured, and with the slightest of gestures indicated Rand standing in the door.

Colonel Churchill started, precipitantly left Mr. Hunter, and crossed the floor to his guest of two weeks. “My dear sir, you came in so quietly! I welcome you downstairs. Gilmer says you’re a strong fighter. When I was thrown at that same turn coming home from a wedding, I believe I was in bed for a month!–Allow me to present you to my nieces–Miss Churchill, Miss Dandridge. My poor wife, you know, never leaves her chamber. Mr. Ned Hunter, Mr. Rand. Mr. Fairfax Cary I think you know, and my brother Edward.”

The young men’s greeting, if somewhat constrained, was courteous. Major Churchill played the card which he held in his hand, then slowly rose, came stiffly from behind the small table, and made an elaborate bow. There was in his acknowledgment of the honour of Mr. Rand’s acquaintance so much accent, cruelty, and hauteur that the younger man flushed. “This is an enemy,” said a voice within him. He bowed in return, and he no longer felt any distrust of himself. When Miss Dandridge, leaving the harpsichord, established herself upon the sofa before him and opened a lively fire of questions and comment, he answered with readiness. He thought her pretty figure in amber lutestring, and the turn of her ringleted head, and the play of her scarlet lips all very good to look at, and he looked without hesitation. The account which she demanded of the accident which had placed him there he gave with a free, bold, and pleasing touch, and the thanks that were her due as the immediate Samaritan he chivalrously paid. Unity made friends with all parties, and she now found, with some amusement, that she was going to like Lewis Rand.

Rand looked too, freely and quietly, at the young men, his fellow guests. Each, he knew, was arrogantly impatient of his presence there. Well, they had nothing to do with it! His sense of humour awoke, and Federalist hauteur ceased to fret him. Colonel Churchill, the most genial of men, pushed his chair into the Republican’s neighbourhood, and plunged into talk. Conversation in Virginia, where men were concerned, opened with politics, crops, or horseflesh. Colonel Dick chose the second, and Rand, who had a first-hand knowledge of the subject, met him in the fields. The trinity of corn, wheat, and tobacco occupied them for a while, as did the fruit and an experiment in vine-growing. The horse then entered the conversation, and Rand asked after Goldenrod, that had won the cup at Fredericksburg. “I broke him for you, you know, sir, seven years ago.”

Colonel Churchill, who in his own drawing-room would not for the world have mentioned this little fact to his guest, suddenly thought within his honest heart, “This is a man, even if he is a damned Republican!” He gave a circumstantial account of Goldenrod, and of Goldenrod’s brother, Firefly, and he said to himself, “I’ll keep off politics.” Presently Rand began to speak of Adam Gaudylock’s account of New Orleans.

“Ay, ay,” said the Colonel, “there’s a city! But it’s not English–it is Spanish and French. And all that new land now! ’twill never be held–begging your pardon, Mr. Rand–by Thomas Jefferson and a lot of new-fangled notions! No Spaniard ever did believe that all men are born equal, and no Frenchman ever wanted liberty long–not unadorned liberty, anyway. As for our own people who are pouring over the mountains–well, English blood naturally likes pride and power and what was good enough for its grandparents! Louisiana is too big and too far away. It takes a month to go from Washington to New Orleans. Rome couldn’t keep her countries that were far away, and Rome believed in armies and navies and proper taxation, and had no pernicious notions–begging your pardon again, Mr. Rand–about free trade and the abolishment of slavery! I tell you, this new country of ours will breed or import a leader–and then she’ll revolt and make him dictator–and then we’ll have an empire for neighbour, an empire without any queasy ideas as to majorities and natural rights! And Thomas Jefferson–begging your pardon, Mr. Rand–is acute enough to see the danger. He’s not bothering about majorities and natural rights either–for the country west of the Ohio! He’s preparing to govern the Mississippi Territory like a conquered province. Mark my words, Mr. Rand, she’ll find a Buonaparte–some young demagogue, some ambitious upstart without scruple or a hostage to fortune some common soldier like Buonaparte or favourite like–like–”

“Like–” queried Rand. But the Colonel, who had suddenly grown very red, would not or could not continue his comparison. He floundered, drew out his snuff-box and restored it to his pocket, and finally was taken pity on by Unity, who with dancing eyes reŽntered the conversation, and asked if Mr. Rand had read The Romance of the Forest. Fairfax Cary left the harpsichord, where he had been impatiently turning over the music, and, strolling to one of the long windows, stood now looking out into the gloomy night, and now staring with a frowning face at the lit room and at Miss Dandridge, in her amber gown, smiling upon Lewis Rand! Near him, Major Churchill, preternaturally grey and absorbed, played Patience. The cards fell from his hand with the sound of dead leaves. Beside a second window sat Jacqueline, looking, too, into the night. She sat in a low chair covered with dull green silk, and the straight window curtains, of the same colour and texture, half enshadowed her. Her dress was white, with coral about her throat and in her hair. She leaned her elbow on her knee, and with her chin in her hand looked upon the dark mass of the trees, and the stars between the hurrying clouds.

The younger Cary, at his window, leaned out into the night, listened a moment, then turned and left the room. “It is my brother, sir,” he announced, as he passed Colonel Churchill. “I hear him at the gate.”

Ten minutes later Ludwell Cary entered. He was in riding-dress, his handsome face a little worn and pale, but smiling, his bearing as usual, quiet, manly, and agreeable. “It is a sultry night, sir,” he said to Colonel Churchill. “There is a storm brewing.–Miss Dandridge, your very humble servant!–Mr. Rand–” He held out his hand. “I am rejoiced to see you recovered!”

Rand stood up, and touched the extended hand. “Thank you,” he said, with a smile. “I were a Turk if I did not recover here amidst all this goodness.”

“Yes, yes, there’s goodness,” answered Cary, and moved on to the window where Jacqueline sat in the shadow of the curtains. Rand, looking after him, saw him speak to her, and saw her answer with a smile.

A pang ran through him, acrid and fiery. It was not like the vapour of distaste and dislike, of which he had been conscious on the day of the election. That had been cold and clinging; this was a burning and a poisoned arrow. It killed the softening, the consciousness of charm, the spell of Cary’s kindness while he lay there helpless in the blue room. Not since the old days when his heart was hot against his father, had he felt such venom, such rancour. That had been a boy’s wild revolt against injustice; this passion was the fury of the adolescent who sees his rival. He looked at Cary through a red mist. This cleared, but a seed that was in Rand’s nature, buried far, far down in the ancestral earth, swelled a little where it lay in its dim chasm. The rift closed, the glow as of heated iron faded, and Rand bitterly told himself, “He will win; more than that, he deserves to win! As for you, you are here to behave like a gentleman.” He turned more fully to Unity, and talked of books and of such matters as he thought might be pleasing to a lady.

Fairfax Cary entered, brushing the drops from his coat-sleeve. “The rain is coming down,” he said, and with deliberation seated himself beside Miss Dandridge.

“That’s good!” exclaimed the Colonel. “Now things will grow!–Jacqueline, child, aren’t you going to sing to us?”

Jacqueline rose, left the window, and went to her harp, Cary following her. She drew the harp toward her, then raised her clear face. “What shall I sing?” she asked.

Cary, struck by a note in her voice, glanced at her quickly where she now sat, full in the light of the candles. She had no colour ordinarily, but to-night the fine pale brown of her face was tinged with rose. Her eyes were lustrous. As she spoke she drew her hands across the strings, and there followed a sound, faint, far, and sweet. Cary wondered. He was not a vain man, nor over-sanguine, but he wondered, “Is the brightness for me?” The colour came into his own cheek, and a vigour touched him from head to heel. “I don’t care what you sing!” he said. “Your songs are all the sweetest ever written. Sing To Althea!”

She sang. Rand watched her from the distance–the hands and the white arm seen behind the gold strings, the slender figure in a gown of filmy white, the warm, bare throat pouring melody, the face that showed the soul within. All the room watched her as she sang,–

     “Stone walls do not a prison make,
       Nor iron bars a cage;
     Minds innocent and quiet take
       That for a hermitage.”

Through the window came the sound of rain, the smell of wet box and of damask roses. Now and then the lightning flashed, showing the garden and the white bloom of locust trees.

     “Minds innocent and quiet take
       That for a hermitage.”

Rand’s heart ached with passionate longing, passionate admiration. He thought that the voice to which he listened, the voice that brooded and dreamed, for all that it was so angel-sweet, would reach him past all the iron bars of time or of eternity. He thought that when he came to die he would wish to die listening to it. The voice sang to him like an angel voice singing to Ishmael in the wilderness.

The song came to an end, but after a moment Jacqueline sang again, sonorous and passionate words of a lover to his mistress. It was not now the Cavalier hymning of constancy; it was the Elizabethan breathing passion, and his cry was the more potent.

     “The thirst that from the soul doth rise
       Doth ask a drink divine"–

Blinding lightning, followed by a tremendous crash, startled the singer from her harp and brought all in the room to their feet. “That struck!" exclaimed the Colonel. “Look out, Fairfax, and see if ’t was the stables! I hear the dogs howling.

“’Twas the big pine by the gate, I think, sir,” answered Fairfax Cary, half in and half out of the window. “Gad! it is black!”

“You two cannot go home to-night,” cried Colonel Churchill, with satisfaction. “And here’s Cato with the decanters! We might have a hand at Loo–eh, Unity? you and Fairfax, Ned Hunter and I.–The card-table, Cato!”

The four sat down, the card-table being so placed as to quite divide Jacqueline and Ludwell Cary, at the harp, from Major Edward’s small table and Rand beside the sofa. “Edward!” said the Colonel. His brother nodded, gathered up his cards, and turned squarely to the entertainment of the Republican. “So, Mr. Rand, Mr. Monroe goes to Spain! What the Devil is he going to do there? I wish that your party, sir, would send Mr. Madison to Turkey and Colonel Burr to the Barbary States! And what, may I ask, are you going to do with the Mississippi now that you’ve got it? It’s a damned expensive business buying from Buonaparte. Sixty millions for a casus belli! That’s what you have paid, and that’s what you have acquired, sir!”

“I don’t think you can be certain that it’s a casus belli, sir–”

“Sir,” retorted the Major, “I may not know much, but what I know, I know damned well! You cry peace, but there’ll be no peace. There’ll be war, sir, war, war, war!”

Unity glanced from the card-table. “Sing again, Jacqueline, do! Sing something peaceful,” and Jacqueline, still with a colour and with shining eyes, laughed, struck a sounding chord, and in her noble contralto sang Scots wha hae wi’ Wallace bled.

Continue...

Chapter I: The Road to Richmond  •  Chapter II: Mr. Jefferson  •  Chapter III: Fontenoy  •  Chapter IV: The Two Candidates  •  Chapter V: Monticello  •  Chapter VI: Rand Comes to Fontenoy  •  Chapter VII: The Blue Room  •  Chapter VIII: Cary and Jacqueline  •  Chapter IX: Expostulation  •  Chapter X: To Althea  •  Chapter XI: In the Garden  •  Chapter XII: A Marriage At Saint Margaret’s  •  Chapter XIII: The Three-Notched Road  •  Chapter XIV: The Law Office  •  Chapter XV: Company to Supper  •  Chapter XVI: At Lynch’s  •  Chapter XVII: Fairfax and Unity  •  Chapter XVIII: The Green Door  •  Chapter XIX: Monticello Again  •  Chapter XX: The Nineteenth of February  •  Chapter XXI: The Cedar Wood  •  Chapter XXII: Major Edward  •  Chapter XXIII: A Challenge  •  Chapter XXIV: The Duel  •  Chapter XXV: Old Saint John’s  •  Chapter XXVI: The Trial of Aaron Burr  •  Chapter XXVII: The Letter  •  Chapter XXVIII: Rand and Mocket  •  Chapter XXIX: The River Road  •  Chapter XXX: Homeward  •  Chapter XXXI: Husband and Wife  •  Chapter XXXII: The Brothers  •  Chapter XXXIII: Greenwood  •  Chapter XXXIV: Fairfax Cary  •  Chapter XXXV: The Image  •  Chapter XXXVI: In Pursuit  •  Chapter XXXVII: The Simple Right  •  Chapter XXXVIII: M. De Pincornet  •  Chapter XXXIX: Unity and Jacqueline  •  Chapter XI: The Way of the Transgressor

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By Mary Johnston
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