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scratching his forehead thoughtfully with his fingers. “I believe I have heard that name before.”
He turned slowly about, with a military salute, and went into the house. Before many minutes, he returned more hastily then he went, with the bare-headed governor at his heels. Running to Monsieur Pierre De Vere, he extended both his hands, exclaiming :
“Ah! my dear friend, Pierre, I beg your pardon for this stupid fellow keeping you in waiting; but he did not know you."
The officer, realizing his mistake, was quite profuse in his bows and apologies.
“Do not mind it, governor. Though a civilian, I know that in the army discipline is necessary. Pray do not feel any annoyance at our having to wait."
“Who is this pretty Mademoiselle with you, Monsieur De Vere? Not your daughter?”
“In truth, she is, Monsieur.”
• Verily, she is pretty,” cried the governor, taking her small hand in his own, while he gazed on the fair face, flushed to crimson. “By the mass ! monsieur; she will break more hearts in our army than the English will heads. But here I am standing talking all the while, forgetting that you are weary from your journey. Come into my house at once."
The voluble governor, polite as he was brave and loquacious, drew the arm of the pretty Adele within his own and led the way into the mansion set apart for himself. He presented his visitors to his wife and bade them make their home with him during their stay in Quebec.
“ Affairs of State will engage my time for the day,” the governor apologetically explained; "but on the morrow, my dear friend, I shall be at your service.”
That day Monsieur De Vere went about the town at his own sweet will, accompanied by his daughter. There is always much that is new and strange in a frontier port. The houses were comparatively new. The fort was being strengthened and the ramparts rebuilt.
“Oh, what a beautiful place; so picturesque and grand !” cried Adele, clapping her hands with delight.
In the distance, were some men mounting heavy guns on the ramparts.
“Let us go over to where they are at work,” said M. De Vere.
“No, no, father; I do so dread to see those great engines of death,” she answered with a shudder. “Father, I would rather wander about the plains of Abraham.”
They went to the great plateau on which General Wolfe afterward breathed his last, and it was quite late when they returned to Quebec. As they were returning, they met a priest, on whose face there was an expression of sadness. He held in his hands a crucifix which he kissed occasionally, while tears started from his eyes.
“Holy father, wherefore are you so sad?” asked M. De Vere.
“I have just been at the bedside of a dying sinner,” the priest answered, “ and my soul is filled with grief. Oh, 'tis heart-rending to witness the death of such an one!".
“Could you not give him absolution?” asked Adele. ! "Sweet daughter, I exhausted all the church's prayers; yet it was unavailing;” the priest answered.
“Surely he was a hardened sinner,” said the mademoiselle.
“He was a convict, and he died cursing the men who had made him a slave.”
“ Then, holy father, there is no help for his soul.” “None.”
The priest sobbed, crossed himself reverently, and went on, while Adele and her father stood gazing after him. The bright eyes of the fair Acadian were sad for a moment, then, turning them inquiringly upon her father, she asked:
“ What are convicts ?”
In her simple, innocent life, the word was a stranger to her vocabulary. Her father explained as well as he could the meaning of the term, and she sighed as she said:
“Must all be doomed to that eternal death ?”
“No; there is hope for the vilest who will accept absolution from the holy fathers."
“ Father, might not a convict be innocent?” The father, after a painful silence, answered: “Many are. Human justice is short-sighted.”
“If one should be innocent, would it not be cruel to confine him with others ?”
“Certainly; but, my child, this is a painful subject; let us change it to something more agreeable. Look at the landscape and blue hills over beyond the river. Was ever scenery more enchanting ?”
“It is beautiful, my father. I never knew any more lovely, unless it be our dear Acadia. Those murmuring pines and hemlocks bearded with moss, which, in green garments, stand like giant sentinels in the indistinct twilight of forest shades are grand, father; but our Acadian land is the only place I can ever call home.”
“ 'Tis true, my child, of all who once inhabit the charmed vale of Acadia. The foe is in our land,—but let us return for the day wanes and is almost gone."
The governor, having thrown off his official cares, greeted his friend and old acquaintance anew. As is always the case when old friends meet after a long separation, there were many things to talk about. They recalled the happy days of long ago in sunny old France, and the many changes that were coming about.
They talked late into the night, and Adele, being tired with climbing the hills about Quebec, retired to bed and slept profoundly. The boom of the morning gun awoke her and, for a moment, she was confused. Starting up, she gazed out of the window to see the sun rising like Venus, all radiant with light and beauty, from the sea. Already, the heights of Abraham were tipped with a golden sheen, while the soft gray rocks in the deeper shades were changed to a purple hue. The river below was white with skimming sails, and the odd barks of the voyageurs glided hither and thither in the water, while each dimpled wavelet laughed in the morning sunlight.
"Oh, holy morn!” the girl cried, hastily making her toilet. Then she joined her father, Goyernor Vaudreuil and Madame Vaudreuil in the great old hall, and all went to breakfast.
The governor was never more jolly than on this morning. Adele was thoughtful, and he rallied her on her lack of spirits.