Lewis Rand
By Mary Johnston

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Chapter XXXII: The Brothers

At Fontenoy the deluging rain and pitchy blackness of the night sufficiently warranted Colonel Dick’s assertion that it was an evening for a sensible man to stay where he was, and that a bowl of punch and wedding-talk and Unity at the harpsichord were to be preferred to a progress to Greenwood through such a downpour and a foot of mud. Ludwell!–Ludwell wouldn’t be there anyway. He was a man of sense and would be sleeping at Red Fields, if indeed he had ever left Malplaquet. Fairfax Cary was persuaded, and after a very happy evening in the drawing-room, went to bed and to sleep in the blue room.

Dressing, next morning, he gazed around him. The room was familiar to him, and he had a liking for it, from the mandarin on the screen to General Washington on the wall. The storm had passed away early in the night, and it was now a lovely morning, clear-washed, fresh, and fragrant. He looked out of the window toward the blue hills, and down into the garden where autumn flowers were in bloom, and as he dressed he hummed an air that Unity had sung.

     “Give me pleasure, give me pain,
     Give me wine of life again!
     Death is night without a morn,
     Give the rose and give the thorn.”

Downstairs he found Miss Dandridge and Major Edward upon the wide porch. The wind had torn away a great bough from one of the poplars, and Colonel Dick and Deb upon the drive below were superintending its removal. Birds were singing, delicate airs astir. “It’s going to be the divinest day!” said Unity, and led the way to the dining-room.

Breakfast went happily on with talk of politics, county affairs, and now and then from Colonel Dick a sly allusion to the approaching marriage. The meal was nearly over when old Cato, coming in from the hail, said something in a low voice to his master. Colonel Churchill pushed back his chair. “Excuse me a moment, Unity, my dear. There’s a man wants to see me.”

He left the room. Fairfax Cary and Major Edward continued a discussion of the latest Napoleonic victory; Unity played with her spoon and thought of her wedding-gown; Deb drank her glass of milk and planned a visit with Miranda to a blasted pine tree, lived in, all the quarter agreed, by a ha’nt that came out at night, like a ring of smoke out of a great black pipe!

Colonel Dick’s figure appeared for an instant in the doorway. “Edward, come here a moment, will you?”

“A thousand hussars, and the thing went off like flaming tinder," finished Major Edward. He laid down his napkin and arose. “Excuse me, Unity. Very well, Dick,” and left the room.

“Unity,” enquired Deb. “Are there any ha’nts?”

“No, honey, no!”

“Just make believe?”

“Just make believe.”

“Oh!” exclaimed Deb, and fell to wondering if the ha’nt would come out if only she and Miranda sat long enough before the tree. It might get hungry.

“Will you have another cup?” asked Unity of the guest, her hand upon the coffee-urn. “No? Then let us go and see what is the matter. They are not coming back.”

“I want,” whispered Fairfax Cary, as they left the table, “to talk to you about–about two weeks from now. Don’t you think it would be sweet and shady this morning, under the catalpa tree?”

He managed to touch her hand, and she turned her velvety eyes upon him with both laughter and moisture in their black depths. “I’ve chosen the place for Unity Dandridge’s grave. Would you like to see it? It’s underneath the flowering almond.”

Fairfax Cary glanced behind him. The servants were out of the room; Deb was gathering crumbs for the birds. “Give me one kiss! If you knew how much I love you! The world’s tuned to-day just to that.”

“Such an old tune! The world has other things to think of and other airs than that!”

They went out into the hail. It was empty, but through the open doors voices sounded from the porch at the back of the house. Another moment and Major Edward appeared, stood still at the sight of Cary, then came on up the hall to meet the two. He looked intensely grey and meagre, and his thin lips twitched. “Fairfax,” he said,–"Fairfax, look here–”

The other, who had been laughing, grew suddenly grave. “I have never heard you, sir, use a voice like that. Has anything happened?”

Major Edward made a little noise in his throat, then stiffened himself as if on parade. “There may have been an accident. It looks that way, Fair. It was Eli who came.”

“Eli! What has happened at Greenwood? Ludwell’s home?

“Unity, my dear,” said the Major, “let him come with me. Let’s go into the library, Fair.”

But Fairfax Cary was halfway down the hail. The Major hastened after him, and at the porch door laid a thin old hand upon the other’s arm. “Fair, my boy, you are going to need all a man’s courage. Think of Dick and me as of Fauquier Cary’s–as of your father’s–old, old friend Come, now.”

They found on the square porch at the back of the house, Colonel Churchill, the negro Eli, and a white man, roughly dressed. The first, seated on the steps, his elbows on his knees and his face in his hands, looked up with a gasp. “Fair, Fair–”

Cary spoke with steadiness “What has brought you here, Eli? Mr. Ludwell came home last night?”

Eli, trembling violently, and of the ashen hue that a negro takes in terror, tried to answer, but at first there came only jabbered and meaningless words. He fell on his knees, and finally became coherent. “Marse Fair–Marse Fair–ain’ I done lif’ you bofe in dese ahms w’en you wuz jes’ little fellers–he er lot de oldes’ an’ you nuttin’ but er baby, toddlin’ after him eberywhar he went! Ain’ I done ride behin’ you bofe dese yeahs an’ yeahs? Oh, Gawd-a-moughty! O Lawd, hab mercy–”

Cary took him by the shoulder. “Eli, stop that crying out and tell me at once what is the matter! What has happened to Mr. Ludwell?”

“I’ll tell you, Fair,” answered the Major, in a shaking voice. “The negro can’t do it. Ludwell did not come home last night, and this morning James Wilson, here, found Saladin–”

“Far up the river road, near my house,” said the man upon the steps. “’Twas just about daybreak. I didn’t know, sir, whose horse he was, so I put him in my stable. Then my son and me and Joe White, a neighbour of mine, we set out down the river road.”

“Oh, my young marster! Oh, my young marster!” wailed Eli. “De kindes’ an’ de bes’! Oh, Lawd hab mercy!”

“It was just dawn, sir, and we went down the road–we were on horseback–quite a good bit of miles. There wasn’t any sign until we came to where Indian Run crosses the road; but on the further side, where there’s a strip of rocks, you know, sir–”

The speaker stopped short. “They found him there, Fair,” finished Major Edward.

The young man turned squarely to the old. “Thank you, sir. You are the man for me. Was he–is he badly hurt?”

“There’s nothing can ever hurt him more, my dear. It is you, and we with you, who must suffer now. They found him–they found him dead, Fair.”

There was a silence; then, “Ludwell–Ludwell dead?” said Cary. “I don’t believe you, Major Churchill.”

He turned, walked to a bench that ran along the wall, and sat down. “Eli, get up from there and stop that camp-meeting wailing! Mr. Wilson, you perhaps do not yet know my brother’s horse–black with a white star. Colonel Dick, they’ve got hold of the wrong end of some damned rigmarole or other–”

“I didn’t know the horse, sir,” replied Wilson, not without gentleness, “for I’ve been out of the county for a long time, and your brother used to ride a bay. But I knew your brother, sir.”

“That’s what I said, too, Fair,” groaned Colonel Churchill from the steps. “I said it was all a damned mistake. But I was wrong. You listen to Edward. Edward, tell him all!”

“Yes, Dick. It is true, Fair, damnably, devilishly true. He had been dead for hours, Fair.”

“Joe White’s something of a doctor, sir,” put in Wilson. “Joe said he would have been lying there since before the storm.”

Fairfax Cary drew a gasping breath “Lying there, suffering, through the storm and darkness? Thrown? Ill and fallen from his horse? Major Edward, don’t play with me!” He started up. “Where is he now?”

“We left him there, sir, just as he was, with Joe White to guard him. My son, he undertook to rouse the nearest people. I happened to know, sir, that the sheriff was staying overnight near Red Fields, and I sent him there first. I told the coroner myself, and then I came as hard as I could ride to Greenwood, where I heard that you were here–”

“It was thought best not to move him at once, Fair. They are intelligent men, and they were right.” The Major’s hand closed around the other’s wrist. “He did not suffer, Fair. He was not thrown. He was shot–shot through the heart!”

“And there, by God,” came from the steps Colonel Dick’s deep voice, “there, at least, there’s something to be done! But oh, my poor boy, my poor boy!”

Unity came from the doorway, took her lover’s hands, and pressed them to her lips. “Fair,” she whispered, “Fair!”

He kissed her on the forehead. “There, dear! We won’t sit under the catalpa tree this morning. Eli! get the horses.”

“They have been ordered, Fair,” said the Colonel. “We’ll go together, you and Edward and I.”

The little rocky strand above the stream upon the river road lay half in sun and half in shade. After the storm the air was crystal. Birds sang in the forest trees, and the stream laughed as it slid over ledges into deep pools. The sky was blue, the day brilliant, a cool wind rustled through the laurels, and the wet earth sent out odours of mould and trodden leaf. Perhaps a score of men and boys, engaged in excited talk and in as close a scrutiny of one quiet figure as a line which the sheriff had drawn would permit, turned at the sound of rapid hoofs and watched the Churchills and Fairfax Cary, with Wilson and Eli, come down to the stream.

“Back, all of you, men!” ordered the sheriff, in a low voice. “That is Mr. Fairfax Cary"; then turned to a spectator or two of importance: “Mr. Morris, Mr. Page–I hope you’ll be so good as to meet them with me? This is a dreadful thing!”

The Fontenoy party splashed through Indian Run and dismounted. It was not an ungentle people, and the little strand, from the woods to the water, was now free from intruding figures. Only the sheriff, the coroner, and the two planters, old friends and neighbours, remained, and these joined the Churchills. Fairfax Cary walked alone to his brother’s side and stood, looking down.

Ludwell Cary lay peacefully. One arm was outstretched, the head a little back, the face quiet, with nothing in it of wrath or fear or pain. The storm had not hurt him. There was little disarray. It was much as though he had thrown himself down there, beside the water, with a sigh for the pleasure of rest. The younger Cary waited motionless for the blood to come back to his heart and the mist before his eyes to clear. It cleared; he saw plainly his brother, guide, and friend, and with a cry he flung himself down and across the body.

The men at the water’s edge turned away their faces. The rudest unit of the small throng beneath the trees put up a sudden hand and removed his cap, and his example was followed. It had been a known thing, the comradeship of these brothers, and there were few in the county more loved than the Carys.

Moments passed. The sheriff spoke in a low voice to Mr. Morris, whereupon the latter whispered to Colonel Churchill. “Edward,” said the Colonel, “time’s being lost. Hadn’t you better try to get him away?”

Major Edward moved along the bank to the two forms and stood in silence, gazing with twitching lips at the dead man’s countenance, so impassive, cold, remote, alien now from all interests of this flesh, quite indifferent to love or to hate, supremely careless as to whether his story were ever told. The Major put his hand to his fierce old eagle eyes, and took it away wet with tears, slow, acrid, and difficult. He stooped and touched the living man. “Fair,–come, Fair!”

The other moved slightly, but did not offer to rise. Major Edward waited, then touched him again. “Fair, we want to mark closely how he lies, and then we want to take him to Greenwood. He has been here long, you know.”

His words elicited only a low groan, but presently Cary lifted himself from the body, remained for a moment upon his knees, then rose to his feet. “Yes, to Greenwood,” he said. “He lay here last night in the wind and rain, and I was warm and happy–I was asleep and dreaming! Why did I leave him at Elm Tree? If I had been with him–”

His face changed, startlingly. He stooped with rapidity, looked at and touched the dark stain upon the coat, straightened himself, and turned violently upon the Major and the little group which had now approached. “Who?” he demanded in a voice that rose to a hoarse cry. “Who?”

Colonel Churchill answered him. “We don’t know, Fair, but by the living God, we’ll find out!” and the sheriff, “We’ve no clue yet, sir, but if ’twas plain murder–and it looks that way, for your brother wasn’t armed–then I reckon the man who did it will as soon find his ease in hell as in old Virginia!”

The farmer who had been first upon the ground spoke from the edge of the group. “I never heard a soul in this county say a hard word of Mr. Cary. I shouldn’t ha’ thought, barring politics, that he had an enemy.”

“Ha!” said Major Edward, but not loudly.

The sheriff spoke again. “Mr. Fairfax Cary, we’ve got a kind of litter here, made of branches, and we’d best be going on. The sooner the law has its hand on this, the better. Shall we lift him now, sir?”

All were by this time gathered about the form on the earth, and the throng at the edge of the wood had also come nearer. Fairfax Cary, who had looked at each speaker in turn, now again bent his eyes upon his brother. That still figure, so fixed, so uncaring in the midst of harsh emotion, had apparently no accusation to make, was there only to state the all-inclusive fact, “I am in death, who, yesterday, could move and speak, could feel joy and grief, like you and these.”

The little knot of men, who had been gazing at the dead as at the chief actor in a drama, began to look, instead, at Fairfax Cary, and to look the more steadily for their first glance. They saw a curious thing; they witnessed a transformation. Had he, like Proteus, slipped before their eyes into another shape, the vital change had hardly been more marked. He had been, even this morning, a young man, handsome and gallant, with a bright eye, a most happy manner, a charm and spirit wholly admirable. All Albemarle knew and liked him under that aspect. The men about him had seen grief and horror and rage, each exhibited strongly out of a strong nature. They now saw, from out of youth and the war of emotions, the man emerge. He came slowly but steadfastly, a man with a set purpose, which he was like to pursue through life. The growth of years took place almost at once, though not the growth that would have been but for this releasing stroke. Latencies in the backward and abysm of inheritance that would not have stirred under a less tremendous stimulus stirred under this, grew, and pushed aside the gay and even life that might have been. The growth was rapid and visible, as visible the sharp turn from every former shining goal to one which, an hour before, the runner had not seen. The men who watched him somewhat held their breath.

The change that was wrought was profound. The man who was stretched upon the earth looked now the younger of the two. He seemed also to have given something of the calmness of his state, for Fairfax Cary no longer grieved with voice or gesture or convulsion of feature. He was quiet, pale, and resolute, and he now spoke to the sheriff evenly enough. “Yes, Mr. Garrett, we’ll take him home. Where is the litter?”

Four men brought it forward. Ludwell Cary was lifted by his brother and Colonel Churchill and laid reverently upon the stretcher of branches where the green leaves nodded above his quiet face. The little procession formed and, with the younger Cary walking beside the litter, crossed the shallow ford and moved slowly up the winding river road.


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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Lewis Rand
By Mary Johnston
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