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his lips, as if he enjoyed the liquor, for the liquor's sake, more than from a desire to be hospitable. A few moments later Dick appeared and announced supper.
A smoking supper, such as was spread in the old colonial days, greeted the stranger. Mrs. Gray, who came to the dining-room to see that he was well served, noticed that, while he was hungry, he observed the manners of a gentleman. He used no undue haste, and his whole manner was that of a well-bred person. When supper was over,
Mr. Gray insisted on his coming to the sitting-room.
“Where do you come from?” the inquisitive inn-keeper asked.
The north." New York?” “ Yes."
“ There be rumors of a great fighting on the north frontier of New York."
The stranger made no response.
With the French and Indians? God save our king and bring victory to our arms; but, stranger, where be you going?”
“ To Williamsburg."
“A full two days' journey, as you go; but perhaps you have means to buy a horse ?”
The stranger shook his silvered locks and answered:
“ I told you I had no money.”
“ All said when the Earl of Loudon became commander-in-chief of the American armies great things would be done; but, by my soul! I believe he is worse than Shirley.”
The stranger seemed averse to entering into a conversation. He was very grave and silent, and they noticed that his gaze was riveted on the fire before him. The garrulous inn-keeper went on to discuss the unsettled condition of the country, and the traveller was a silent listener. After a while, they were startled by the loud tramp of horses' feet on the road, and two continental officers drew rein and asked for shelter for the night.
“We had supper at the village,” one said, “and thought we could make it to the next town; but, egad! no one can travel on such a night.'
Dick was roused from his corner where he lay asleep, and sent to take the troopers' horses to the stable, while the riders were ushered into the great room where the silent stranger sat.
Again the “good old peach” was passed round; the officers lighted their pipes, and their tongues began to wag freely on the all-important question of the day
The stranger sat listening, but taking little part in the conversation. One of the officers had seen some service in the north, and claimed to have been in half a dozen conflicts, the most notable of which was in the battle on Lake George where Dieskau was wounded.
“You may sum up all the disasters on both sides, and, egad! we are still ahead, we have conquered Acadia," he remarked.
“You were with Winslow at Acadia, were you not, Lieutenant Jones?" interrupted his companion.
“I was, and I trow I never saw a sadder sight than the group of poor devils, when General Winslow at Grand Pre read their doom to them. We had them all in a church, and when they heard that they were to be taken away at once from their homes, the air was full of yells, curses and cries.
“I was told that one young fellow was that day to wed the beauty of Grand Pre. I saw the maid afterward, and, by my soul! my eyes never lighted on a more comely creature. It seems that Captain Winslow, a nephew of the general, was enamoured of her; but she preferred this native of her country, whose name I do not remember. The order of Winslow broke off the wedding, and, as he was driven on board, Captain Winslow swore he would look after the bride-elect himself."
The grave, silent stranger, starting to his feet, cried:
“ Diabolical !”
“ Hey, stranger, do you call the work of English officers the works of the devil?”
"I do; by my soul, a greater outrage than you perpetrated on the Acadians never disgraced a Christian nation!”
Have we a traitor here?” “You have an Acadian, one who suffered by your accursed tyranny and greed of land.”
The officers started to their feet, and the landlord sat transfixed with amazement, while his good wife Becky raised her hands in silent horror and dread.
Lieutenant Jones, finally regaining in a certain measure his self-possession, said:
“You an Acadian? Your speech and manner are those of an Englishman.”
“I am a Virginian by birth,” the old man answered, in a voice that quivered with pent-up emotions.
“Circumstances as distressing as those that bring me here took me at an early age to Acadia, which one might have hoped was neutral ground. There I married the woman I loved, the best on earth. There our children were born to droop and die, until but one was left me. My poor wife, thank God, never lived to see that wretched day, and would to heaven I had not. My countrymen, whom I had always loved and defended, came at last like wolves on the fold, and, at the point of the bayonet, we were driven forth. It was my son that was to wed on that
drove him to the forest to madness and despair, to wander the earth, God knows where."
The old man's voice grew fainter and weaker with emotion, until it died away in a whisper, and, burying his face in his hands, he sank down upon his chair and sobbed. It was a sad sight to behold that old gray head bowed in grief, and the feeble frame trembling with pent-up emotions. The officers were men with tender hearts, and they sympathized with the old man; but when he was asked to tell his story in detail, he was silent and soon after retired to sleep until morning.
Morning dawned bright and clear. The mists had cleared away, and the sun shone from a cloudless sky. The white-haired stranger was as calm as the morning; all show of passion having passed from his face. After breakfast, he thanked his host for his hospitality, and, with his stout staff, started again on his journey. The flowers bloomed and birds sang along the way, and all nature seemed gay; but he heeded not the beauties on every side. When he looked about, it was in the hope of seeing some familiar object; but changes come to the home of our childhood. A visit to scenes of youth