|Newspaper Title||The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933)|
|Trove Title||The Soldier's Wife|
THE SOLDIER'S WIFE.
A prison with its bolts,
AND cold unwholesome damps, and fetid air,
Caged that young spirit; yet it burst its bonds, And burst them all alone.
WE shall not follow our heroine's adventures very minutely at this stage of her history, but briefly relate that she and her companion reached the Hague in safety, excessively fatigued indeed, but without having met with anything disastrous on their way. She
had there to deliver an autograph letter of con- siderable importance to Prince Louis of Bruns- wick, who, for the time of their minority, was guardian to the orphan children of Anne, Prin- cess of Orange, the high-spirited daughter of George the Second, who in the previous year
expired with the same cool courage which had
marked her life. The business was soon trans-
acted, and having obtained letters to facilitate the onward journey, Kate and Phelim were
hastening from the city to pursue their route, well pleased that their detention had been so slight; but, alas for human hopes! no sooner had they lost sight of the gates, and struck into the pleasant groves which surrounded the Hague with refreshing verdure, than their progress was arrested by a small but armed force. Resist- ance was useless. Utterly ignorant of the lan-
guage of the country, any hope of obtaining an explanation was vain. Phelim protested in
strong language against this infringement of his liberty, calling all the saints to witness his innocence of any offence. Kate entreated him to be pacified, and not to waste his breath in unavailing lamentations.
The appearance of their captors showed that they had fallen into the hands of officers of justice, and knowing they were in no way amen- able to the laws of the country through which they were passing, and that one at least was an accredited messenger from a powerful ally, Kate felt assured that they would meet with justice, supposing that their arrest arose from some mis- take of the officials. She did not, therefore, lose courage when she found herself made prisoner; but it must be admitted that her heart sunk within her, as she observed that instead of con- ducting them to the city, they were led to a small fortified tower on the sea-shore, situated some miles from the Hague. Any thought of escape under present circumstances would have been rash as well as useless. The prisoners were led in, and conducted with no very good grace to the upper part of the tower, and there thrust into a small chamber, without the least appearance of accommodation, unless a rough bench might have been called such. The floor- ing was of stone, and in one corner lay a bundle of straw, by which stood an empty pitcher. A shadow came over poor Kate's face as she gazed around, for the scene was that of a dungeon, with the exception that neither links nor chains were visible, that the chamber was not under- ground, and that a narrow window with a single bar in the centre admitted light; the deep blue sky too was visible; and the restless sea, wash- ing the foot of the strong tower, made a some- what melancholy noise, that at another moment, and in another scene, would have been more soothing than dreadful. Poor Phelim's face was very blank; he was not deficient in courage, could use his shillelagh as well as any man in "ould Ireland;" but then it must be in the free air of heaven!
Some one, who appeared of superior degree to those who had captured them, entered at the moment of their incarceration. In the faint hope that he might understand her, Kate ad- dressed him, and demanded an explanation of their unwarrantable detention; but he shook his head, and did not, or would not under- stand. She addressed him in French, with equally bad success; once more shaking his head he withdrew, and the regular gaoler enter- ing placed some coarse food and water on the bench, and then retiring also, left the prisoners
to their meditations. Phelim was the first to break silence. "Arrah, honey, an' it's ourselves as has raison to mourn the day we iver saw the blissed light! Sure, Misthress Allan, jewel, but it's all over with us now—quite entirely un-
"Not quite, Phelim," said Kate, making an effort to raise his courage. "There must be some inquiry made, and then they will discover that we have been unjustly deprived of our liberty. Yes, we shall certainly recover it in the end. What I most regret is the loss of time, which may be of fearful consequence. I shall wait patiently till to-morrow; and then, Phelim, if no deliverance come, we must set our wits to work, and attempt an escape."
"An escape, honey!" exclaimed Phelim—" an escape! Shall we dig through these walls, that are thick as you're long? Or burst the door
that's iron-bound? or—"
"No, Phelim; but we shall escape in some way."
"How, honey? inquired Phelim, in a dis-
"I don't know," said Kate; "but we cer- tainly shall!"
Phelim shook his head sorrowfully as he answered, "Faith, and if Father Pater, or Norah's blissed silf (rest her sowl!) telled me
that same I'd scarce belave it."
"Well, you'll see, Phelim—you'll see," said Kate. "There's a kind Providence above that sometimes puts thoughts of strength and courage into the weakest hearts, and always watches over the innocent. Let us pray to heaven, and then use as we best may the inspi- ration which heaven gives."
"The what, darlint?" said Phelim, for whom Kate's vocabulary was now rather too select.
"I mean, Phelim, that Providence will show us what to do."
"I hope so, honey" replied Phelim; "I hope that same; but I don't see if St. Pater's silf stood here wid the kays how we'd get out!"
"You'll see, Phelim," repeated Kate; "you'll see," though she was herself very far from seeing any way of escape. Still there was in our heroine a certain amount of love of ad- venture, which lent its aid to throw a kind of charm over her present situation, and which doubtless assisted her in bearing up under so formidable a misfortune as the loss of liberty.
Phelim sat down in a corner and commenced a kind of howl, which might have been enliven- ing at a wake, but was rather dismal in a prison, while Kate ruminated on an apparently impos- sible escape.
The morrow came, without bringing them either relief or further hope of deliverance. In vain Kate gesticulated to the Dutch gaoler; he did not appear to comprehend her meaning. His face remained as immoveable and rigid as a statue, albeit not quite so classical. The pri- soner thought a coin might appeal more practi- cally to his feelings than the utmost stretch of verbal eloquence, and she consequently produced
a gold piece, which had the effect of unfixing
the muscles of his face, and it produced some- thing that on any other countenance would have been a smile. Having taken the coin, he care- lessly dropped it into his huge pocket, but once more shook his head, and on going out locked the ponderous door as securely as ever. For awhile our heroine's spirits drooped; actual misfortune was new to her, and she had for years been accustomed to a life of luxurious ease. She however soon rallied sufficient to climb up on the bench, and from the narrow window to take a survey of the scene below. Before her appeared the wide sea, for the tower was built on the water's edge. It was only by standing on the very points of her feet that she contrived to look out at the window; but to reach the bar with her hands, so as to estimate its strength, was an impossibility. Still she gazed at it earnestly, as if measuring its dimen-
"It is very strong, honey!" said Phelim, shaking his head.
"But not very thick, Phelim," said Kate, try- ing to discover the bright side of the cloud that spread over them.
"The sea roars beneath!" said Phelim.
"But it washes the shore," said Kate; "and if we were but once in it—"
"We should be drowned, darlint," interrupted Phelim, "and our bodies would have no decent
"No, no, Phelim, we should not be drowned; we should in some way manage to scramble out. Recollect the sea only washes the tower on one
"But 'tis mighty boistherous," said Phelim, "though it be convanient to the shore."
"Well, I see, Phelim, you're determined to despair," said Kate; "but I was made to hope. So now for another survey. Do help me to
move this bench."
"To where, darlint?"—"To the window."
"By the powers, but it would take all the strong hands of the giant Fergus to move it, and he had ten of them, beside his feet, that
made sixteen in all!"'
"I know, dear Phelim, that 'tis heavy; but do let us try."
"Let me try, and welcome," said Phelim; "but its not for the likes of you to be siling your
"Better be free with coarse hands, than a prisoner with delicate ones!" said Kate, setting to work. By repeated efforts, the rude-bench was forced into the position required; a log of wood, which stood in a corner of the room, was placed upon it, and Kate rose high enough to grasp the iron bar, which she found very strong, as Phelim had remarked. While the poor girl was testing its strength, a boat laden with vege- tables and rowed by a woman shot under the
Start not, reader, at the idea of a woman's handling the oar. This practice is as familiar to many Dutch women as the use of the knit- ting needle. We have ourselves seen them rowing boats, guiding the plough, and riding
oxen without a side-saddle! The frow in her colored jacket and petticoat, and her snowy cap, was quite a picturesque object among her re- freshing-looking green merchandise. She had a large, broad, good-natured visage, and happen- ing to glance upwards, her eye rested with in- terest on the fair young face behind the prison bars. The frow lay on her oars, while she was wondering what that innocent-looking youth could have done to be shut up in so dreary a cage. Kate having caught the expression of her homely, but kind face, jerked a small gold coin into her lap as she sat in the boat, and then, clasping her hands, pointed to the bars, thus contriving to make her unknown friend understand that these were the formidable impe- diments to her escape. Yes, the good frow understood her well; but, alas! she too shook her head; not however like the gaoler. She was not like him apathetic; but still she did
shake her head.
At last Kate thought of a very bright expe- dient. She imitated with her finger the action of filing the bar; the frow smiled, nodded, and holding up her hands counted ten on her fingers; then hastily seizing her oars, she pulled with vigorous strokes in the direction of a small ship which lay in the effing, and which she was in the habit of supplying with vegetables and other commodities which always lay concealed under heaps of market-garden produce in the bottom of her boat. Kate had no difficulty in interpreting the pantomime into a promise of some assistance or relief to be received at 10 o'clock. Phelim was not so readily convinced; though an Irishman, he was not so sanguine as his countrymen in general. Norah's loss had strangely altered his character, and left him little of his once joyous nature. Kate however was animated with hope, and descending from her elevated position began to tear up her cloak into strips, which she soon knotted tightly to- gether, and produced a long string of cloth.
"And if the window," said Phelim, "was fifty times wider, darlint, think you that you or me could be afther hangin' by that bit of cloth? Nothin' could get below by it."
"But," replied Kate, "something could come up, you know, Phelim."
Kate worked on; but in the midst of her preparations she was startled by the approach- ing footsteps of the gaoler. Hastily replacing the log of wood, and concealing her work among the straw, time not admitting of the bench's removal, Kate threw herself thereon and feigned sleep. The fellow entered, placed the evening meal on the floor, and departed, shutting the door in a way which indicated that his office had become a pleasure. Then Kate started up and renewed her work. A light was not allowed the prisoners; but as evening advanced, the broad maonlight streamed into the prison and lit every
10 o'clock came; and the expected and wel- come oars were distinctly heard by Kate, who already was mounted on her rough pedestal, ready to drop her rope of cloth the moment the boat arrived. She was not disappointed—true to her appointment the good frow was there, and holding up some dark object, which, if not a file, imagination could easily form into one. The cord was dropped, the instrument of deliverance was secured, and something more weighty attached thereto. What could it be? Kate hastily drew up her treasure, and found herself in possession, not only of a file, real, hard, and substantial, but a coil of strong rope also. What a cheering sight! Already she seemed to breathe the air of fredom; her eyes sparkled with happiness, and in her joyous grati- tude the poor girl dropped on her knees, and
thanked Heaven aloud.
When Kate had sufficiently recovered her com- posure to look out again, the frow and her boat had disappeared, and the unrufled waves flowed on, calm and tranquil.
Phelim now needed no urging to use his utmost efforts. He insisted on Kate's trying to get a little sleep, while he worked at the bar, which he contined to file throughout the night. When morning came he was obliged to cease, far fear of attracting attention. That day the frow did not appear. On the following evening Phelim renewed his exertions, and before the morning dawned the bar gave way. The diffi- culty now was not how to descend from the tower—for it was not high, nor was there any apprehension that the rope was not strong enough—but how to escape the element beneath was the perplexing consideration; for the tide was high and would not recede for a consider- able time. Phelim could swim a little, and thought he could easily support Kate's light weight, till they reached the shore, which they could do almost immediately.
They were just about to commence their hazardous trial, when poor Kate drew back with disappointment and chagrin, remembering the important papers in her possession, which would certainly be spoilt, and rendered illegible by the water. The plan was therefore abandoned, and nothing remained but to await with patience the re-appearance of the good frow; but the day passed and she came not. At nightfall Kate stationed herself at the window, in which they had temporarily replaced the bar in order to avoid suspicions. It was more for the melan- choly pleasure of watching the stars than in the hope of deliverance. She might have been freed perchance by the bold plunge she had con- templated, but she felt that even freedom might not be purchased at the expense of betraying her trust; and she had not forgotten her word of promise to the high-minded statesman that guided England's, and indeed Europe's desti- nies, "I will defend them with my life."
While thus ruminating, a dark speck ap- peared on the distant waters; it came nearer and nearer, and at last a boat rowed by six men appeared in full view. In the stern a woman was seated, whom Kate, in hope at least, recog- nised as her friend. The skiff shot forward, and soon the rowers rested on their oars under the prison window. The rope was soon ad- justed, and half breathless with joy the two prisoners glided successively into the friendly boat, and in a few moments they trod the deck
of a small craft at anchor.
The brief passage had been performed noise- lessly, and only on reaching the ship could they give or receive any explanation. The skipper understood a little English, having learnt it, he said, for the purpose of commerce; but the general appearanoe of the craft betokened a smuggler, though one of those who carry on that lucrative calling under false colors. But there was an air of such kindliness aud open- hearted feeling in both skipper and crew, that our heroine's sympathies were largely awakened by them. The frow received her grateful ac- knowledgments with much good feeling; but so far from accepting any further remuneration for her timely services, she insisted on restoring the piece she had already received from Kate.
The skipper was of opinion that the fugitives should accompany him in his outward-bound voyage; but they represented to him that hav- ing been falsely imprisoned, and being guilty of no offence, they preferred going on shore in the morning, and making their representation to the proper authorities. That plan was accordingly adopted. The British minister was called on, Prince Louis of Brunswick appealed to, and a tedious investigation was commenced, of which our heroine would not await the issue, merely remaining long enough to ascertain that their unjust detention had been the work of a officer secretly in the service of the French. Charles St. John and his companion were supposed to be the bearers of important despatches, the non- arrival of which would seriously incommode the allies. Their detention for some time was there- fore a matter of some moment. It was intended to set them at liberty when the despatches they were supposed to bear would be useless; and then to account for their injurious treatment by supposing some unfortunate mistake in their
The iniquitous plan however was overthrown, as our readers have seen, and its authors met with the punishment their treachery merited. Meanwhile our travellers resumed their journey; but previously to setting out Kate unsealed the paper of instructions she had been desired to open at the Hague, and found it to contain a re- quest to the British minister there resident, to quest to the British minister there resident, to the prosecution of her journey.
"You see, Phelim, we are not quite kilt," said Kate, gaily, as they cantered from the city.
"No, Misthress Al—, that is, Misther St. John; but who knows what may come next? Not the same did father and mother of me, rest their sowls!" responded Phelim.
COURTEOUS and brave, St. Launcelot
Upheld his country's fame for knightly deeds, And for himself he won a peerless name: Without fear, and without reproach.
PHELIM's doleful ejaculations seemed pro- phetic! Fortune was not yet tired of persecut- ing our heroine. Escaped from the snares which treachery had laid for her at the Hague, she little imagined that in less than twelve hours she would again lose her freedom. Such how- ever was the case. While nearing the object of her hopes and wishes, and exulting in the pros- pects of a speedy reunion, the enthusiast woke from a dream of happiness to find herself and her companion actually in the hands of a de- tachment of French troops, which had been sent out to reconnoitre, and to intercept suspicious- looking strangers. Under that class they cap- tured Kate and Phelim. Her late escape em- boldened her to expect success in whatever she might undertake for their deliverance; but she had yet to learn the difference between sleepy Dutch guards and vigilant French sentinels, who, though for moro courteous, wero equally alert and clear-sighted, and she soon became convinced that in this case an attempt at escape would be useless. She was not, it is true, im- mured in thick stone walls; on the contrary, her captors marched in the day and bivouacked at night, but kept so strict a watch that evasion was impossible. Perhaps out of compassion to the youth of the supposed boy, Kate was kindly treated, and no attempt had as yet been made to search her person. This search however she hourly expected, and in consequence took a bold resolution, in order to preserve sacred the pre- cious deposit of Mr. Pitt, which she felt it a point of honor to retain inviolate at all hazards. She had closely observed the countenance of the young commander of the corps which had cap- tured her. It was spirited and vivacious, like those of his countrymen; yet more, it was noble and manly, stamped with the signet of high birth and breeding. He was a type of the French gentry, such as they were before the
revolutionary period, while a lingering remnant of Bayard's spirit rested among them.
Kate's quick eye had discerned all this at a glance, and when all other hope failed she de- termined on an appeal to the brave man whose appearance had so favorably impressed her. She felt he was one of those in whom one might confide, and she determined, as far as her per- sonal safety went, to rely on his honor. Ac- cordingly she requested an audience with the Vicomte de Montravers, which being granted, she was led into his presence when they halted for the evening. The gallant officer received his prisoner with gentle courtesy, and requested her to be seated; but what was his surprise when, without hesitation or circumlocution, Kate (merely prefacing her avowal by request- ing him to keep inviolate what she should con- fide to his honor) informed him of her real character, assuring him that she had merely assumed the garb she wore in order to pass with more safety through a country which was the seat of war, and entreated him, in consi- deration of her sex snd age, to restore her liberty and that of her faithful attendant, neither of them having the most distant intention of bearing arms against his countrymen.
The vicomte listened to her with astonish- ment, interest, and admiration, and thought not for an instant of doubting her truth. Every glance of her ingenuous countenance confirmed the veracity of her narration, and as the young officer gazed on her with respectful admiration, his prisoner interested him as never prisoner had before. To Kate's earnest prayer for liberty De- Montravers yielded a generous assent, though he would willingly have deferred the moment of parting from her. She had in her disclosures prudently guarded against mentioning the fact of her mission, or the vicomte might have felt himself justified in detaining her papers, and probably herself also, from a feeling of duty towards his country. As it was, though declar- ing her free, he suggested that as they were proceeding in the same direction, she would act more prudently in continuing under the protec- tion of his corps, than in running the risk of crossing the open country unguarded, or with a single attendant. But Kate, while gratefully thanking him for his intended kindness, replied that she thought her husband would prefer her trusting to the protection of her own courage, than to that of strangers, however courteous and
"Your husband!" exclaimed the vicomte. "Ah, madam, you are, then, married!"
"Yes," replied Kate, with a deep blush, "I have been long married. It is to join my hus- band, who is an officer of the allied army, that I have undertaken this perilous journey."
"What devotion!" exclaimed the officer, with a sigh. "He must be the most loyal and faith- ful of gentlemen, that his love is thus rewarded."
In her turn Kate sighed, as she inwardly ejaculated, "Oh that it were so! But no! George has forgotten me. Every passing stranger feels more interest in me than my hus- band; and yet I have his image and memory in my heart, and must for ever bear them there."
The gallant Frenchman noted the shade of sadness that swept over her lovely countenance He thought her the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. There was something so new and charming to him in that angelic innocence, mingled with vivacious humor and a bold, reso- lute spirit. He was one easily impressed— not one of the cold sons of the north, but of those impassioned southerners, whose imagination, ardent as their skies, throws the halo of poetry around every lovely object. He was immediately fascinated and spell-bound by the blue-eyed daughter of Erin; but beyond all he was a man of honor, and resolved to take no advantage of the fortune of war which had thrown the lovely girl in his power. Accordingly, when morning light broke, after furnishing them with refresh- ment, and faithful directions for the road, the young commander placed his prisoners at liberty, and dismissed them with all the gracious cour- tesy of a knight in the good old times of erran- try. He gazed with emotion at our heroine's receding figure. Kate turned, and taking off her hat waved a courteous adieu, while the young man returned her salute with more of sadness than befitted the occasion. Immediately afterwards he despatched an escort to follow the travellers, without seeming to do so, and give them aid and protection should either be re- quired. The gallant foemen were far from sus- pecting that they thus formed the safeguard for the despatches of the prime minister of Eng-
NOT wisely loved she—yet upbraid her not!
For though guilt mingled with that passionate love, She did but sin in ignorance.
ON the 29th of July 1759, the allied armies were encamped on the plains of Minden. The whole body had a general consciousness of an approaching crisis; but even the British com- mander, the brave but unfortunate Lord George Sackville, was utterly ignorant of the Com- mander-in-Chief Ferdinand's intentions. A harassing warfare had hitherto been carried on in which, though the British troops had borne the chief burden, they had reaped no substan- tial advantage, and their native leaders were continually thwarted and annoyed by the jealou- sies and rivalry of the allies. Yet never had men toiled more arduously, never had braver soldiers taken the field against an enemy; and even amid discouragement and occasional re- pulses, their indomitable valor rose superior to every consideration but the glory and honor of the British arms. The splendour of the minis- tration at home did much to keep up the cou- rage of the troops; and it seemed as though the spirit of the nation's immortal leader in- spired those distant children of the soil, and made every one of them feel that he had the heart of a hero. All had done well and nobly; but every individual soldier panted for some decisive action, which would figure on the page of history, and mark this epoch as a beacon to coming generations.
Among the younger officers none had more pro- minently distinguished himself than George Allan. He had performed such daring acts of valor, that those who knew not the high ambition of his nature, and his intense thirst for distinction, would have imagined him tired of life, and pro- digally throwing it away; though in reality few enjoyed the bright morning of existence as he did. Handsome, fascinating, and accomplished, life had hitherto been to him as a garden of sweets. Among his comrades he was distin- guished as a man of honor; strictly honorable in his engagements; in an age of intem- perance never known to commit an excess; frank, generous, and in friendship steadfast as ardent; but in one respect he evinced great weakness. Wherever he came he loved—if the brief passion of a passing soldier can be called love—to day frenzy, to-morrow oblivion! He
was stationed perhaps at some spot where ac-
cident threw in his way an interesting or beauti- ful woman, and admiration soon became passion. The tents were struck, the army was put in motion, remembrance lasted for a brief space, a few impassioned letters passed; they grew colder, less frequent; a fresh object ap- peared, and the image of the absent one faded away. Yet George never dreamt of breaking a heart; perhaps few men do. Few are delibe- rately cruel; easily consoled when fate sepa- rates them from a beloved object, they doubtless think, hope, and believe that woman is the same. As for his marriage, George had no dishonorable intentions towards Kate; in fact, he had no in- tentions at all. She certainly did sometimes
recur to his memory, but more like a half- forgotten dream than a reality. He considered the period he had spent with her, a brief, bright season of joyous existence, spent with a lovely being, something between a wild mountain fairy and a mortal; but it never occurred to him that Kate would ever lay claim to him as a husband. Their union was, after all, but a childish frolic; and if a letter now and then arrived to remind him of his ties he quickly shook off the impres- sion it made, and felt himself a free man.
On the evening to which we refer, the young soldier might have been seen in his tent, kneel- ing before a tall and lovely woman, whose aris- tocratic beauty and rich habiliments spoke her "a lady of the land." He was pouring forth so passionate a declaration, that anyone inex- perienced in man's love would have deemed it the pledge of a life-lasting attachment. Yes, he really seemed in earnest, and he was so, while he knelt before the beautiful woman,
clasping her hands in his, and his very soul
spoke through his large, bright eyes. The lady's presence in the young officer's tent was strange, very strange; and many of our readers will probably condemn her on the first appear- ance. But the woman who has really loved will look into her own heart, and there find
some excuse for her who has risked more than
life, honor's self, for what might be a last inter-
view with one whom she believed her faithful
lover. Report had spoken of a coming battle, and all who feel attached to a soldier have an instinctive yearning for what may be perchance
a last farewell.
Anna von Erenstein was the daughter of a noble family; young, enthusiastic, and beauti- ful. During a brief interval of tranquility, ac- cident threw in her way the brilliant and fasci- nating George Allan. She had heard his bravery extolled till she was prepared to con- sider him a hero; and when he appeared in her presence in the midst of a brilliant festival, she recognised in him a man to be loved as
soon as seen. The transition from admiration
to passionate love was speedy, and George added one more to his many conquests. Dif- ferent countries—their hearts are measured by ferent countries—their hearts are measured by longitude and latitude, by zones and meridians. We, however, believe that they have but one character from "Indus to the pole," that is, when they have any character at all. Woman is woman still, be she reared 'neath India's suns, or in the colder climates of the north; and Anna (albeit a German) had conceived as impassioned a love for George Allan as ever Italian bosom nurtured. Yet she had not been
won unsought. The young captain adopted the most eloquent means of wooing—certainly the most flattering and persuasive—the declaration that needs no words, but breathes in every look of the speaking eye, is seen in every passing light or shadow of the countenance; and Anna felt herself beloved before a word of love had reached her ears. Speech added but little to her assurance of his devotion; for although George had never mentioned marriage, yet he must have meant it, thought Anna; and com- forting her heart with that persuasion she inno- cently gave her lover all the rights of an
She had that day received a few hurried words from George, informing her of the pro- bability of an engagement, and that he was unable to leave his post, to which honor and express commands at once bound him. At the same time he bitterly lamented the impossibility of strengthening his courage, nerving his arm for the fight, by one last embrace ere he went to that which might be his last field! Anna von Erenstein, consulting only her heart, crept forth from her parents' noble dwelling when the shadows of evening fell on the earth, and she soon reached her lover's tent. Blame her not, reader! The high-born lady had forgotten her caste —the timid woman her fears—the young maiden her blameless name. Yes, she had for- gotten all on earth but love! She was sorely punished; and as she wound her delicate arms round the young soldier's neck, and embraced him with gushing tears, she felt that it was for
the last time.
Some one approached the tent; instinctively the lady lowered her veil, and shrunk back. A soldier entered to summon Captain Allan to the British commander-in-chief's presence on some urgent affair.
"Await me about half an hour," he whispered to the trembling Anna, "and I will return, dearest, and conduct you to the outskirts of the camp. I dread to think of what may happen to you if you return alone. Promise to await me, beloved."
A silent pressure of the hand conveyed the promise requested. Did he at that moment think of the hour when four years previously he stood before the altar of Castle Connor Church, and the white-haired priest united him, in the Creator's awful name, to one who still clung with enthusiastic fondness to his memory? Anna von Erenstein seated herself on a military cloak which George had spread for her con- venience, not far from the entrance of the tent; she lifted her veil, and the night breeze swept over her delicate face; the stars gave a brilliant light. On looking out she observed a hand- some boy pass by the tent, with a wearied yet anxious step.
"Can you tell me, madam," said the youth, in English, "which is Captain Allan's tent?"
Anna had some knowledge of the language, and as it was but a mere youth who addressed her, she without the least hesitation told him that the tent in which she was sitting was the captain's.
"Indeed!" said the boy, starting, as he drew back the canvas screen and entered the tent. Having seated himself on a log of wood he began to scrutinise Anna's countenance in a way that was not very agreeable to her.
"This then is Captain Allan's tent," con- tinued the youth; and you, madam, are—"
"He will soon return," said Anna, evading the coming question. "He has been summoned to speak with the commander. You look wearied, good youth; have you travelled far?"
"From England," replied Kate, whom the reader no doubt has recognised.
The dejected tone in which she spoke forcibly have had a long and weary journey. Are you have had a long and weary journey. Are you
going to volunteer?"
"Perhaps," said Kate, smiling.
"You will meet with kindness and protection from Captain Allan, I am sure," said Anna.
"I ought to," responded Kate.
"You are a relation, then?" inquired Anna. "You are a relation, then?" inquired Anna.
"And resemble him," continued Anna, "Yes, certainly you resemble him—the same features, only more femi—more delicate I mean. I suppose you are his younger brother."
"No, I am not," replied Kate; "I am— but never mind; it would not interest you,
"Indeed it would," said Anna.
"Pardon me, madam: I think not," said Kate. But one piece of information I had bet- ter give you perhaps. I bring Captain Allan
news of his wife."
"His wife!—his wife!" cried Anna, suddenly becoming white as the veil that shrouded her.
"Yes," said Kate, more gently. "Did you not know that he was married, madam?"
"Had I known it," said Anna von Erenstein, in a tone in which anguish and haughtiness were strangely blended, "I had not been here. I believed George Allan incapable of treachery. "But, good youth," she continued, placing her trembling hand on Kate's arm, "you know the lady. Tell her (it will be some consolation to her spirit, and to my proud heart, that she should know the truth)—tell her that if I have wronged her it was in ignorance. Tell her that Captain Allan and I meet no more; but that till this hour I believed him free, and myself his destined bride." As she spoke, her eye rested on Kate, as if fascinated with her counte- nance, over which the shades of mingled emo- tions were stealing. "You—you are the lady!" she suddenly exclaimed. "You are his wife!"
"Even so," said Kate; I am indeed his wife; but though you are my rival, I can feel for you. He has deceived and injured you; but yet you are happier than I, because you are free—free to despise and forget him! I, on the contrary, am his wife, and am bound for life to one who has forgotten and betrayed me!" and as she spoke she burst into a passionate flood of tears.
"Poor girl!—poor girl!" said Anna; "and you have come this long, dangerous journey to see your husband. Oh, what a cruel, cold heart
his must be!"
"Nay, not cold," said Kate; "only too warm to all but the absent; but I have no time for be- wailing my fate; though, after all I have en- dured to join him, 'tis a bitter disappointment to find him so faithless. But you said he would
"Yes," replied Anna; he spoke of being absent but half an hour. I must begone im- mediately. Listen to me, madam. You have found me here alone and unprotected, almost at nightfall, in your husband's tent. Yet think not harshly of me. I have till now believed him the most loyal of gentlemen, and, confiding in his honor, I came here to take leave of him before the approaching battle."
"There is to be a battle, then!" exclaimed
"Yes, and I thought—I feared that had I not come to-night we should never meet again. My fears were prophetic. As you, madam, will await his return, pray tell him that the Countess Anna von Erenstein has no place in her heart for a traitor. And further, lady, as you are a stranger in this unknown country, if he deals harshly with you, remember that you will find a friend in me—a home in my home. Any one will lead you to the Castle Erenstein. Farewell! and I entreat, if you should need my help, that you will not hesitate to apply to one who has in- jured you involuntarily, and would do much to undo the past, for your sake and hers." So saying, the countess pressed Kate's hand and
left the tent.
Doubtless the young wife suffered as every true-hearted woman so situated would suffer; but happily Kate's was not a spirit to be crushed at a blow. She looked round the tent, and observing a pitcher of water, availed herself of it to bathe her face, and re-arranging her hair (which had been cut short before her de- parture from London) she prepared to meet her husband, without making herself known to him. Nearly four years had elapsed since they had met, and the alteration which that time must have wrought in her, would, she conceived, pre- vent a recognition. She had not long to wait, for soon after her plans were mentally laid, he entered the tent. It was fortunate that the night shadows stretched over them and con- cealed the poor girl's emotion, which nearly choked her, and for a time prevented the utter-
ance of a word.
"Who are you, young man?" said George, in no very gentle voice, for he was chafed and vexed to find the countess gone.
"A messenger from England, sir," said Kate, assuming a manly tone.
"From England!" said George, carelessly; "but few there interest me—very few. Have you letters for me?"
"No, sir; but a message," replied Kate.
"From whom?" inquired George, with con- siderable anxiety.
"From Captain Fitzmorris," she replied.
"Fitzmorris!" exclaimed George. "Indeed! what says he?"
"He bids you, sir, to guard the outposts well, and to beware of a traitor in the camp?"
"What absurdity!" said George. "That odd fellow deals in enigmas. And did you cross
the seas to tell me this?"
"No, sir; but for more important matters. I bear despatches to His Highness Prince Ferdi- nand, and to my Lord George Sackville, as well as letters from the Hague. I thought it would be no unwelcome office to Captain Allan to con- duct me to the commander's quarters."
"You speak well," said George; "this is more to the purpose. But tell me, my good youth, did you see a lady in the tent when you
"I did, sir."
"She departed, then, soon after you came
"Not long after, sir."
"Did she say anything?"
"Yes, sir; she talked freely with me. She told me to be honest; never to betray a woman, and added that a noble lady has no room in her heart or memory for a traitor!"
"She read you a homily then," said George. "Did you ever see so fair a lady?"
"Some as fair—some yet fairer," said Kate; "but, in truth, she charmed me, and seemed a noble lady. She dwelt much on honor. But, sir, will you lead me to the commander? for he
who intrusted me with my mission spoke of it as most urgent."
"And who may he be, young man?" "The King of England, sir."
"I am glad His Majesty has so loyal and attached a servant," said George, smiling, as he led the way over the plain to the quarters of
Lord George Sackville.
After the usual amount of difficulties attend- ing the approach of great men; George and his companion were admitted. Lord George was seated, examining various plans and drawings spread before him on a small table. He nodded his head, and without being actually dis- courteous was just sufficiently abrupt to show that he never courted popularity. His fault, as a man and a soldier, was that of never un- bending, creating no interest in himself by those gentle courtesies of demeanor which are by far more winning than substantial kindness. No one was more ready than Lord George to confer a real benefit, though few possessed less of that graciousness of manner which gives goodness its proper form.
"I thought my orders were explicit, sir?" said his lordship, supposing that George had
returned for further information.
"They were, my lord," said George; "I do not come for further directions, but to introduce a messenger, who brings important despatches from England."
"From England?" said Lord George, glanc- ing up with a look of satisfaction--"from Eng-
land?—it is well."
"This for your lordship," said Kate, draw- ing forth a packet; "this for His Highness
A cloud came over the veteran soldier's face as he marked the voluminous despatch for
"I have nothing to do with that packet," said he, knitting his brows; "you will present it to the prince yourself, young man. As far as I am concerned, you have fulfilled your mission faithfully. Name your reward."
"I am sufficiently rewarded by your appro- bation, my lord, and his who honored me with the trust," said Kate, turning towards the door of the tent. Lord George said no more, but again nodding, became absorbed in the perusal of the papers, while George and Kate retired.
"Strange man!" said Allan,alluding to his lordship.
"Oh, sir, all men are strange!" said Kate; "but I am sure his lordship is a man of
"How know you that, my boy?"
"By his eyes, sir; they are stern, but full of
truth and honor."
"You are young thus to discriminate!" said George; "but we must hasten to Prince Fer-
Of a different mould to Lord George Sack- ville, Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick received the messenger of England's prime minister with the most studied courtesy; but there was a pompous ostentation in the man, which pleased Kate far less than the rough honesty of the English commander. The most superficial ob- server must have seen that an ill-feeling existed between the rival leaders. On Prince Ferdi-
nand's part (whatever partial historians may aver) it was founded on an unworthy jealousy, which the clear-sighted skill and vast military genius of the other inspired; while Lord George felt an indignant sense of the haughty assump- tion and overbearing insolence of power, which was so conspicuous in the prince.
"There is one weight off my mind!" said Kate, as they left the prince's quarters.
"Indeed!" said George, who seemed to be amused by the remark. "I should have thought at your age life would be so buoyant that it would float down time's stream as smoothly as a summer cloud sails through the sky. You a weight on your mind!—impossible!"
"But indeed I have felt such," said Kate, sighing, "though some burdens are certainly heavier than mine—those, for instance, of an oppressed conscience."
"Yes, persons so affected must feel very un- comfortable indeed," said George, carelessly. "There is nothing like a clean bosom. A man of honor has the courage of a lion. Bear that with you through life, good youth."
"I will, sir," said Kate; while she inwardly sighed, "alas! how different are our estimates
"Do you mean to volunteer?" asked George. "I scarcely know, sir," replied Kate; "but I dare say I shall see some fighting if there is really a battle at hand."
"But a lad of your spirit should not be con- tent to look on," said George.
"I should be of more use when the fight is over, in taking care of the wounded," said Kate.
"Fie! fie! Never shrink from danger, boy!" said George. "But what will you do with yourself to-night? Come with me, and I will find you a corner in my tent."
[TO BE CONTINUED.]