Lewis Rand
By Mary Johnston

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Chapter XXXVI: In Pursuit

January passed and February passed. Fairfax Cary, riding for the third time since the New Year from Malplaquet toward Greenwood, marked the blue March sky, the pale brown catkins by the brooks, and the white flowers of the bloodroot piercing the far-spread carpet of dead leaves. He rode rapidly, but he paused at Forrest’s forge and at the mill below the ford. This also he had done before. Neither the smith nor the men at the mill knew the idea that brought him there, but they may have thought–if they thought at all–that he put strange questions. It was, moreover, matter of regret to them, and of much comment when he had passed, that Mr. Fairfax Cary had lost an old and well-liked way of making a man laugh whether he would or no. He didn’t jest any more, he didn’t smile and flash out something at them fit to make them hold their sides. He had aged ten years since September, he had the high look of the Carys, but he was even quieter than his brother had been–all the sparkle and play dashed out as by a violent hand. The smith and the men at the mill thought it a great pity, shook their heads as they looked after him, then fell again to work, or to mere happy lounging in the first spring airs.

The lonely horseman crossed the ford below the mill, drew rein beneath the guide-post, and halted there for some minutes, deep in thought. At last, with a shake of the head and an impatient sigh, he spoke to Saladin, and once again they took the main road. “It is the third time," thought the rider. “There is luck in the third time.”

The quiet highroad, wide and sunny, seemed to mock him, and the torn white clouds sailing before the March wind might have been a beaten navy, carrying with it a wreck of hope. The gusty air brought a swirl of sere leaves across his path, and the dust rose chokingly. “Caw! caw!" sounded the crows from a nearby field. The dust fell, the wind passed, the road lay quiet and bright. “Never!” said Cary between his teeth. “I will never give up!”

Half an hour’s riding, and he came in sight of a small ordinary, its low porch flush with the road, a tall gum tree standing sentinel at the back, and on the porch steps a figure which, on nearer approach, he recognized as that of the innkeeper. He rode up, dismounted, and fastened Saladin to the horse-rack, then walked up to and greeted a weight of drowsy flesh, centre to a cloud of tobacco smoke, and wedded for life to the squat bottle and deep glass adorning the step beside it.

“Good-morning, Mr. Cross.”

The innkeeper stirred, removed his pipe, steadied himself by a hand upon the step, and turned a dull red face upon the speaker. “Morning, Mr.–Mr. Cary! Which way did you come, sir? I never heard you.”

“I came up from the ford. You were asleep, I think.”

Mr. Cross denied the imputation. “Not at this hour, sir, never at this hour–not at ten o’clock in the morning, sir! Later, maybe, when I’ve had my grog, I’ll take my forty winks–”

“It is not ten o’clock. It is nearly twelve, Mr. Cross.”

“Well, well!” returned Mr. Cross, whose face, blushing all the time, showed at no particular instant any particular discomfiture. “I must just have dropped off a bit. There’s little business nowadays, and a man had better sleep than do worse! What’ll you have, sir? I’ll call my girl Sally to serve you.

“Nothing at the moment, Mr. Cross.” Cary sat down upon the step beside the other. “I stopped here a month ago–”

“You did,” answered the innkeeper. “You stopped in January, too, didn’t you?”

“Yes. In January.”

“I remember plain. You wanted to know this and you wanted to know that, but you certainly treated me handsome, sir, and I’m far from grudging you any information Joe Cross can give!”

“We will go back to the same subject,” said Cary. “Any recompense in my power to make I should consider but your due, Mr. Cross, could you tell me–could you tell me what I want to know.”

He had spoken at first guardedly, but at last with an irresistible burst of feeling. The innkeeper looked at him with dull wonder. “I’d do anything to oblige ye, Mr. Cary, I certainly would! But when we come to talking about the road, and who goes by, and who doesn’t go by, and about the seventh of September, and wasn’t I asleep and dreaming just before the big storm broke?–why, I say, sir, No! I don’t think I was. ’Tween man and man, Mr. Cary, I don’t mind telling your father’s son, sir, that ’tis possible I might ha’ had a drop more than usual, and ha’ been asleep earlier! But I wasn’t asleep when the negro spoke to me. ’Hit’s gwine ter be an awful storm,’ says he, just that way, just as if he were lonesome and frightened. His voice came to me as plain as my hand, and I know the mare he was riding. ’Hit’s gwine ter be an awful storm,’ says he–”

“The other–the other!” exclaimed Cary impatiently. “It is the other I would know of!”

“I told you before, and I tell you now,” replied Mr Cross, “that I don’t seem somehow clearly to remember what the other said. I’ll take my oath that he said something, for he’s one that don’t miss speaking to a voter when he finds him! It’s just slipped my mind–things act sometimes as though there was a fog, but I wasn’t drunk and I wasn’t asleep. No, sir! no more than I was just now when you come up and spoke to me–and it don’t stand to reason, sir, that I could ha’ seen two horses instead of one!”

Cary, sitting moodily attentive, chin in hand, and his eyes upon the sunny road, started violently. “Two horses instead of one,” he repeated, with a catch of the breath. In a moment he was upon his feet, and the innkeeper, had he looked up and had he been less blear-eyed and dull, might have seen an approach to the old Fairfax Cary–colour in cheek and light in eye.

“I am your debtor, Mr. Cross. That’s it–that’s precisely it! You heard it asserted by all around you that he had gone by, and your keen mind arrived at the same conclusion. You saw and heard–in a fog–the negro boy, and later on your strong imagination provided him with a companion. Just that–you thought you saw two where there was but one! I’m your servant, Mr. Cross, your very humble, very obliged servant!”

He drew out his purse, abstracted from it all the gold it contained, and gently slid the pieces into the hand which happened to rest upon the steps in an apt position for their reception. “A trifle of drink-money, Mr. Cross! If I might suggest a toast, I would have you drink to the next Governor of Virginia! Good-day, Mr. Cross, good-day! I think I begin to remember.”

He mounted and rode away. “I begin to remember–I begin to remember. The boy and I were not always together upon the main road! Did we part at the guide-post? Then where did we come together again?”

He rode through March wind and sun, by fields where men were ploughing and copses where the bloodroot bloomed, beneath the branches of a great blasted oak, and past a red bank shelving down to the road from the forest above, then on by Red Fields, and so at last into Charlottesville. Here he turned at once to the office of an agent and man of business much respected in Albemarle.

Mr. Smith rubbed his hands and asked what he could do for Mr. Cary–who was looking well, extremely well! “Spring is here, sir, spring is here! We all feel it. On a day like this I cultivate my garden, sir!”

“I also,” said Cary. “Mr. Smith, my affair is short. I will thank you to keep it secret also. I want to buy, if possible, a negro boy called Young Isham, who is owned by Lewis Rand. You may offer any price, but my name is not to appear. Manage it skilfully, Mr. Smith, but manage it! I have reasons for wishing to own the boy. You will bear it in mind that my name is not to appear as purchaser.”

An hour later, nearing the Greenwood gates, he saw before him another horseman, bent from the saddle and engaged with the fastening. Cary rode up. “Ned Hunter, is it you? Why, man, I have not seen you this long while! Where have you been in hiding?”

“I have visited,” answered Mr. Hunter, “New York and the Eastern Shore. You are looking well, Cary; better than you did at Christmas. I was in this quarter, and so I thought I would stop at Greenwood.”

The two rode together up the hill, beneath the arching oaks. The servants appeared, the horses were taken, and Cary and his guest entered the quiet old house. A little later, in the drawing-room, over a blazing fire and a bottle of wine, Mr. Hunter laid aside a somewhat quaint air of injured dignity, and condescended to speak of Fontenoy and of how very changed it was since the old days. “Nothing like so bright, sir, nothing like so bright! I have not thought Miss Dandridge looking cheerful for more than a year–and she used to be the gayest thing! always smiling, and with something witty to say every time I came near! I hate changes. This is good wine, Cary.”

“Yes. I do not, on the whole, think Fontenoy so changed.”

“Don’t you? I do. Well, well, it is not the only place that has changed! You’ve no sign yet, have you, Cary, of the murderer?”

“He still goes free.”

“If there’s a man in the county that I dislike,” remarked Mr. Hunter, “it is Lewis Rand. But if he had taken the river road that day as he said he should, he and your brother might have travelled together, and the two would have been a match for the damned gypsy, or whoever it was, that shot Mr. Cary. Have you ever noticed what little things make all the difference? Shall I pour for you, too?”

As he said he should. How do you know that he said he should?”

“Why, he and I slept the night of the sixth of September at the Cross Roads Inn–”


“Yes, one gets strange housemates at an inn. Well, after supper I went out on the porch and began calling to the dogs, and he was there sitting on the steps in the dusk. The wind was blowing, and there were fireflies, and the dogs were jumping up and down. ’Down, Rover!’ said I, ’Down, Di! Down, Vixen!’ And then Rand and I talked a bit, and I said to him, ’The river road’s bad, but it’s much the shortest.’”

“What,” demanded Cary, in a strained voice,–"what did he answer?”

“He answered, ’I shall take the river road.’”

Mr. Hunter helped himself to wine. “I was tired, and he was tired, and I didn’t like him anyway, and wasn’t interested, so I went on calling to the dogs, and we didn’t speak again. He and his negro boy went on at dawn, and he took, after all, the main road. He isn’t,” finished Mr. Hunter, “the kind of person you think of as changeable, and it’s a thousand pities he didn’t hold to his first idea! Things might have been different.”

Cary rose from the table. “Would you swear, Hunter, to what he said?”

“Why, certainly–before all the justices in Virginia. I don’t believe," said Mr. Hunter, “that my parents could have had good memories, for somehow things slip away from me–but when I do remember, Cary, I remember for all time!” He drank his wine and looked around him. “I haven’t been in this room, I don’t believe, for five years! That was before it was all done over like this. What a lot of Carys you’ve got hanging on the walls–and just one left to sit and look at them! You haven’t a portrait of your brother?”

“No. Not upon the walls. If you’re not fatigued, would you object to riding with me to West Hill? That’s the nearest justice.”

“I’m not at all fatigued. But I can’t see what you want it taken down for–”

“Perhaps not,” answered Cary patiently, “but you’ll swear to it, all the same?”

“Why,” said Mr Hunter, “I can have no possible objection to seeing my words in black and white. I’ll take another glass, and then I’ll ride with you wherever you like.”

At sundown Fairfax Cary, returning to Greenwood alone, gave his horse to Eli, and presently entered the library. It was a dim old room, unrenewed and unimproved, but the two brothers had loved and frequented it. Now, in the March sunset, with the fire upon the hearth, with the dogs that had entered with the master, the shadowy corners, and many books, it had an aspect both rough and gracious. It was a room in which to remember, and it had an air favourable to resolve.

The last of the Greenwood Carys walked to the western window and stood looking out and up. He looked from a hill-top, but the summit upon which lay the Cary burying-ground was higher yet. The flat stones did not show, nor the wild tangle of dark vine, but the trees stood sharp and black against the vivid sky. Cary stood motionless, a hand on either side of the window frame. The colour faded from the sky, and there set in the iron grey of twilight. He left the window, called for candles, and when they had been brought, sat down at the heavy table and began to draw a map of the country between the ford and Red Fields.

Three days later he rode into Charlottesville and stopped at the office of Mr. Smith, whom he found at the back of the house, watching from a chair planted in the sunshine the springing of a line of bulbs. “You see, sir,” quoth the agent, “I cultivate my garden! Tulips here, crocus there, yonder hyacinths. Red Chalice has been up two days, and my white Amazon peeped out of the earth yesterday. King Midas and Sulphur and Madame Mere are on the way. Well, Mr. Cary, I tried my level best with that commission of yours, and I failed! The boy is not for sale.”

“Ah!” said Cary, and stooped to examine the white Amazon. “I hardly expected, Mr. Smith, that he would be for sale. At no price, I presume?”

“At no price. He is one of the house servants, and his master is attached to him. I am very sorry, sir.”

His client rose from the contemplation of the springing hyacinth. “Give yourself no uneasiness, Mr. Smith. I am not disappointed. There are reasons, no doubt, why Mr. Rand declines to part with him. Let us put it out of mind. What a bright little garden you will have, sir, when tulip, crocus, and hyacinth are all in bloom!”

He took his leave, and rode homeward through the keen March weather. “I am beginning to remember quite plainly,” he said. “Presently I’ll know it like an old refrain–every word, Saladin, every word, every word, down to the last black one.”


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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