Lewis Rand
By Mary Johnston

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Chapter VIII: Cary and Jacqueline

At supper table that evening at Fontenoy, Ludwell Cary said something complimentary to the prisoner in the blue room. Fairfax Cary fired up. “You are too easy, Ludwell! Lewis Rand, I warn you, is a dangerous man! Serve him once, and you serve him once too often!–begging your pardon, Colonel Churchill!”

“We could hardly have left him, you know,” reasoned his host good-naturedly, “on the roadside, and Dick Wood’s the nearest house! And once within a man’s doors, every attention, of course, must be shown. But, as you say, he is a dangerous fellow.”

“Dangerous fiddlesticks!” growled Major Churchill from the other side of the table, where he sat at Jacqueline’s right hand. “I would have as soon called old Gideon Rand dangerous! Like father, like son. You may be sure that this fellow’s spirit rolls tobacco. Maybe now and then it breaks a colt.

“Dangerous’ implies power to be dangerous,” said Cary, “and conversely power to be humane. A turn, and all the strength of the man may flow toward good.”

“A fool and his doctrine!” snapped Major Edward. “I do not expect grapes from thistles, or a silk purse from a sow’s ear.”

“Tut, tut, Ned! The man who carries this county may be a damned Republican, but he is not a fool,” pronounced Colonel Dick. “Jacqueline, my dear, another cup of coffee.”

“If we were all as good as gold,” said Unity pensively, “and as wise as–as Socrates, and wore black cockades, and cared only for the Washington March, and hated Buonaparte, and the Devil, how tiresome life would be!–Myself, I like variety and the Marseillaise!”

“Then you differ from the other rogues only in liking the Rogue’s March,” said Uncle Edward. “Jacqueline, more sugar!”

The younger Cary rushed to Miss Dandridge’s defence. “Well, sir, in itself the Marseillaise is a very noble air. It is better than Jefferson’s March!”

“Oh, a very good air to go to the gallows by!” snapped Uncle Edward. “Jacqueline, some cream!”

“Well, well,” said his brother amicably, from the head of the table, “we must care for a man when he’s wounded at our door, friend or foe, Federalist or damned Republican. Noblesse oblige. I was glad enough the night my mare Nelly threw me, coming home from Maria Erskine’s wedding, to hear Bob Carter’s voice behind me! And if Gideon Rand was a surly old heathen, he broke colts well, and he rolled tobacco well. We’ll treat his son like a Christian.”

“And he’ll repay you like a Turk!” broke out Major Edward. “I tell you it is bred in the bone–”

“Mr. Rand is our guest,” said Jacqueline, in a clear voice, from her place behind the coffee urn. Her hands made a little noise amid the rosebud china. “Mr. Cary, may I not pour you another cup?–Caleb, Mr. Cary’s cup.–Bring more waffles, Scipio.”

“The work at Greenwood is nearly finished, sir,” remarked Ludwell Cary, addressing his host. “I rode over this afternoon, and the men assure me that the house will soon be habitable. Fair and I have no excuse for staying longer.”

“Then stay without excuse,” answered Colonel Dick heartily. “Fontenoy will miss you–eh, Unity, eh, Jacqueline?”

“It will indeed,” said Jacqueline, with a smile; and Unity, “Will I have time to order a black scarf from Baltimore? Will you leave us mourning rings?”

“If Miss Dandridge would accept another fashion of ring!” cried Fairfax Cary, and all at table laughed. Scipio took away the rosebud china, and laid the purple dessert service for the strawberries and floating island and Betty Custis cake. Caleb placed the decanters of claret and Madeira, and the Fontenoy men began to talk of horse-racing, of Mustapha, Nonpareil, York, and Victor.

Jacqueline and Unity, leaving the gentlemen at their wine, came out into the broad hall and stood at the front door looking out at the coloured clouds above the hills. They supped early at Fontenoy, and the evening was yet rosy.

“He is going to speak to-night,” said Unity, with conviction. “It is written in his eye.”

“If you mean Mr. Cary–”

“Whom else should I mean? What are you going to say to him, Jacqueline? I want you to say Yes, and I want you to say No.”

“Don’t, Unity–”

“If you say Yes, you will have Greenwood and the most charming husband in the world, and be envied of every girl in the county; and if you say No, I’ll have you still–”

“I shall say No.”

“What ails you, Jacqueline? I could swear that you’re in love, and yet I don’t believe you are in love with Ludwell Cary!–though I am sure you ought to be. It’s not Mr. Lee, nor Mr. Page, nor Jack Martin, nor–you’re never in love with Fairfax Cary?”

Jacqueline laughed, “How absurd, Unity!–though may be some day I shall love him as a cousin!”

Unity regarded her with a puzzled gathering of black brows. “There’s no one else that by any stretch of imagination I can believe you in love with–unless it’s Mr. Pincornet!”

“Oh, now you certainly have it!” cried Jacqueline, with another tremulous laugh. She released herself from her cousin’s arm. “I am going to tell Deb good-night. And Unity–I don’t want Mr. Cary to speak to-night, nor to-morrow night, nor any other night! I’ll stay at Fontenoy–I’ll stay at Fontenoy and care for Aunt Nancy and Deb and Uncle Dick and Uncle Edward. I’ll dance at your wedding, Unity, but you’ll not dance at mine!”

She was gone. Unity sat down upon the porch steps and began to name upon her fingers the eligible young men of three counties. In her anxiety to account for Jacqueline’s pallor and the dark beneath her eyes, she went far afield, but she met with no success. “It’s not one of them!” she sighed at last. “And yet, she’s changed–”

Jacqueline went slowly upstairs, a slender figure in white, touching with her hand the polished balustrade. When she reached the long and wide upper hall, she passed steadily along it, but she turned her eyes upon a door at the far end, the door of the blue room. Arrived in her own cool and fragrant chamber, she found Deb already asleep in the small bed, her yellow hair spread upon the pillow, her gown open at the throat, a rag doll in the hollow of her arm. Upon the floor, with her head against the bed, sat Miranda, as fast asleep as her mistress. At Jacqueline’s touch she awoke, smiled widely, and was on her feet with a spring. “Yaas, Miss Jacqueline, I done put Miss Deb to bed. Mammy Chloe say dat niggah Joab don’ know nothin’ ’bout er broken ahm, an’ she too busy in de blue room. Yaas’m, I done mek Miss Deb wash her face an’ say her prayers. Kin I go now?”

Alone, Jacqueline stood for a minute beside the sleeping child, then bent and kissed Deb’s brown neck. Moving to a window, she sat down before it, resting her arm upon the sill and her head upon her arm. Outside the window grew a giant fir tree, shading the room, and giving it at times an aspect too cold and northern. But Jacqueline loved the tree, and loved and fed the birds that in winter perched upon the dark boughs. Now, between the needles, the eastern sky looked blue and cold. Jacqueline, sitting idle, felt her eyes fill with slow tears. They did not fall. She was not lacking in self-control, and she told herself that of late she had wept too often. She sat very still, her head bowed upon her listless arm, while the moments passed, bearing with them pictures seen through unshed tears. She was living over the days of the Three-Notched Road, and she beheld each shifting scene by the light of a passion that she believed to be unreasonable, unnatural, secret, and without hope. Her uncle’s voice came to her from the hall below. “Jacqueline, Jacqueline!” She arose, bathed her eyes, and went downstairs.

It was the custom of the family to gather after supper upon the great white pillared porch, and to sit through the twilight. The men smoked slowly and reflectively, the women sat with folded hands, watching the last glow upon the hills, and the brightening of the evening star; dreamily listening to the choir of frogs, the faint tinkle of cowbells, the bleating of folded lambs, and the continual rustle of the poplar leaves.

Jacqueline took her seat beside Unity. Colonel Churchill, in his especial chair, was smoking like a benevolent volcano; at a small table Major Edward was playing Patience. On the broad porch steps below Jacqueline and Unity half sat, half lay, the two Carys. The fireflies were beginning to show, and out of the distance came a plaintive Whip-poor-will–Whip-poor-will! “I shall have,” said Ludwell Cary, “the vines at Greenwood trained like these. There could be no better way.”

“Is the drawing-room finished?” asked Unity.

“Almost finished. The paper came to-day from Baltimore. The ground is silver, and there are garlands of roses and a host of piping shepherds.”

“Oh, lovely!” cried Unity. “But no shepherdesses?”

“Yes, in among the roses. It is quite Arcadian. When will the princesses come to see the shepherdesses?”

He looked at them both. “The Princess and her waiting-maid,” said Unity demurely, “will come very soon.” She rose from the green bench. “The waiting-maid is going now to her harpsichord!” Her eyes rested upon the younger Cary. “Will you be so very good as to turn the leaves for me?”

Fairfax Cary embracing with alacrity the chance of goodness, the two went into the house. The dusk deepened; the odour of honeysuckle and syringa grew heavier, and white moths sailed by on their way to the lighted windows.

     “Since love–since love is blissful sorrow,
     Then bid the lad–then bid the lad–
     Then bid the lad a fair good morrow!”

flowed in soprano from the parlour.

Colonel Churchill laid down his pipe and lifted his burly figure from the great chair. “I forgot,” he remarked to Jacqueline, “to tell your Aunt Nancy that Charles Carter is going to marry Miss Lewis,” and he left the porch. The rose in the sky turned to pearl, the fireflies grew brilliant, and the wind brought the murmur of streams and the louder rustling of the poplar leaves. “It is too dark to see the cards,” said Major Edward. “I’ll go read what the Gazette has to say of Burr and the Massachusetts secession fools. Don’t move, Cary!” He deftly gathered up the cards, and went indoors.

“When I was green in years, and every month was May"–sang Unity.

“With Phyllis and with Chloe made I holiday!”

“It is dark night,” said Jacqueline. “Shall we not go in?”

Cary put out an appealing hand. “Don’t rise! May we not stay like this a little longer?–Miss Churchill, there is something that I ardently wish to say to you.”

“Yes, Mr. Cary?”

“It is too soon to speak, I know,–it must seem too soon to you. But to-day I said, ’The spring is flying–I’ll put my fortune to the touch!’ I think that you must guess the thing I wish to say–”

“Yes, I know. I wish that you would leave it unsaid.”

“I love you. On the day, three months ago, when I saw you after my return and found the lovely child I remembered changed into the loveliest of all women, I loved you. If then, what now, when I have seen you, day by day?–I love you, and I shall never cease to love you.”

“Oh, with all my heart I wish that you did not!”

“I ask you to be my wife. I beg you to let me prove throughout my life the depth of my love, of my solicitude for your happiness–”

“Ah, happiness!” cried Jacqueline sharply. “I do not see it in my life. The best that you can do is to forget me quite.”

“I will remember you when I draw my dying breath. And if we remember after death, I will remember you then. With all my strength I love you.”

“I am sorry–I am sorry!” she cried. “Oh, I hoped ’twas but a fancy, and that you would not speak! I do not love you–”

“Let me wait,” said Cary, after a pause. “I said that I was speaking too soon. Let me wait–let me prove to you. Your heart may turn.”

She shook her head. “It will not change.”

“Is there,” asked Cary, in a low voice, “is there another before me?”

She looked at him strangely. “You have no right to question me. I do not think that I shall ever marry. For you, you will live long and be happy. You deserve happiness. If I have wounded you, may it soon heal! Forget this night, and me.”

“Forget!” said Cary. “I am not so lightly made! But neither will I despair. I will wait. If there is no man before me, I will win you yet! There is little reason, God knows, why you should care for me, but I shall strive to make that reason greater!”

“There is reason,” answered Jacqueline. “I think highly, highly of you! You would make a woman happy;–all her life she would travel a sunny road! I prize your friendship–I am loth to lose it. But as for me,"–she locked her hands against her breast,–"there is that within me that cries, The shadowed road!–the shadowed road!” She rose, and Cary rose with her. “Forgive me,” she said. “Is it not cruel that we hurt each other so? Forgive–forget.”

“I would forgive you,” he answered, with emotion, “the suffering and the sorrow of a thousand lives. But forget you–never! I’ll love you well and I’ll love you long. Nor will I despair. To-night is dark, but the sun may shine to-morrow. Think of me as of one who will love you to the end.” He took her hand and kissed it, then stood aside, saying, “I will not face the lights quite yet.” She passed into the hail and up the stairway, and he turned and went down the porch steps into the May night.


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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