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made the bloodhound Federal laws invade the North. A hundred Quakers have done as much, Ninon."
“ Master," said the woman, “ I have gained knowledge. I have predicted things which came to pass. I predict that, before you leave this humble farm, the brazen door of bondage will resound to the sledge-hammers of our daring smiths !”
As she spoke, fervidly, she seemed to swoon, and her long hair fell downward to the ground.
He placed his arm around her, and she pushed it away.
“No more of that, master! I am in the very labor of my lifework now, and my soul is in the depths of travail ! Oh, be a just man to your son! He loves you.”
“He is too brave to need my justice,” Abel Quantrell said. “ Like me, he will not bow the knee to man, and be ashamed of Nature-bountiful and wise in him. Justice is for the commonplace; freedom and independence are for heroes.” .
His face, being animated now, had lines of coarseness in it, as if he was of the satyr's type, and mocked conventionalities.
“Shall I be just to you, Ninon ?” continued Abel Quantrell, when he had restored his hand to his bosom, and was restfully proud again.
“ I have been just to myself, master.”
“See, sir! The dead deliver to me the rights I would not ask for. She who has sought to lose her life, has saved it.”
His faded eyes fell upon the wedding-ring, which she had dropped into his palm, upon her hand.
“Magic !” said Abel Quantrell; “how came it here?".
“Wafted !” Hannah Ritner spoke ; "the day of my agony, when my martyr-fires, perhaps, are lighted and my chain is forged, the ring I had refused slides down the rainbow to my feet.”
“Are you one of those Spiritualist fanatics, Ninon ? Sho, sho! There is no divination in geometry. Three times from the base is the cube. It was my son you got that ring from."
“No, master; but from the child he gave it to when he engaged himself.”
“Sho! He had visited no lady when he left. Baltimore six days ago. I have found a wife for him, and that brings me here.”
“He has found love here, master. You may give him another wife, but not the one he loves."
“Who is it?"
“ Little Katy, who sits in yonder house of log and stone; the · Dunker farmer's child.”
“Sho, sho! No need of marrying there. He can love in one place and marry in another"
“And have remorse, like you, master?"
“I heard you bring it from the woodlands of your sleep, saying that self-indulgence never could be expanded into a sacrifice."
The old man raised his club-foot and looked at it bitterly.
“ There is a gnawing in my bosom, Ninon, but it is the decaying principle of life. I am sixty-seven. That self I accuse myself of is the selfishness of career. If I have sacrificed others, here and there, it was to keep the greater compassion in view, and change the systems by which wrong and tyranny were possible. I resigned most passionate love to plant myself in the domestic circle of border-State slavery, and to work its downfall by the social foothold I obtained. My son must marry to strengthen me in the same labor, and make Maryland a free State before I die."
“ You will marry him to a religious woman?”
“Yes, to a Catholic. The strength of slavery in Maryland lies in the old Catholic counties and families, and in the increasing college and conventual institutions of that Church. There was a time when Carroll, of Carrollton, took me by the hand, when we Antimasons came to Baltimore to overthrow the power of President Jackson. There lie latent in his church resentments against all forms of ruffianism, of which human bondage is the chief. I have sent my son to Catholic school and worship. For me all gates to heaven are too narrow; by freedom I will go in, or be the specter of Heaven's own injustice, agitating at the gate!"
He spoke with sardonic quietness, yet without quietness of soul.
“Master, is there not the Jesuit's method in your plan ? «The quality of mercy is not strained.' It passes no suffering human creature, to do some greater good, beyond. By Jesus came compassion in the world, and by politicians and by pontiffs came religious craft. The New World was given to tyrants, and its native millions thrown into slavery, that they might be saved from greater damna
tion. I predict, with truth in my soul, that one brave man this day, without scrip or raiment, and his life for the stone in his sling, will strike every false system down, and be the hero of the world.”
“You wander, Ninon! Sho, sho! you were always wild of mind. Had there been such a man, he would have come to me."
“You were a politician, master, and he came to me. Oh, I fear I may have done wrong, that good may come of it!"
Abel Quantrell took her head upon his shoulder. She resisted a little moment, and was still.
“How much you have suffered, Ninon !"
“I have died, master, and am raised from the grave. When you married, I prayed for your wife, but all was death to me for days. I came to this world again, people thought a little crazy."
“ Always a little above this world, child.”
“That I might not be a burden and mockery to my great political relatives, I crossed the State line and lived in a little hut. The children came to me for curiosity, the mature to have me tell their fortunes; my cottage light was the polar star of a thousand slaves."
“All this time, Ninon, I was mismated. Disgrace followed me, also: my brother moved beside me, and became a negro-trader; my son became a corner-lounger and a bully. Sho, sho! My heart sought you out in the dreams of sleep and in the nervous wakefulness of the night. Why did you not take the square root from our troubles and send for me?”
“You were married, master. A great thing had purified my heart.”
“I know, my child. How noble you were, there! Behold my wretched residue of marital ambition ! I am too old to love you now.”
“Master, it was from you, in the days of our passion, that I drew the example to think on others' wrongs. The old Dutch sects— Quakers in other respects—felt no offense at human slavery. I took up the work when you relinquished it. My labors are almost ended. - What man is that yonder, master ?”
As she arose, in all her strength and stature, Abell Quantrell saw that she was trembling.
“Sho! Joan d'Arc,” he said, tenderly, “ beneath your armor I see the poor child still.”
A black man came forward with Nelly and with Katy; he was half naked, and nearly dead with fatigue.
“Speak, poor man!” called Hannah Ritner. “You were with Isaac Smith across the river?”
“Missy, dey's fout all day. Mos’ all is tuck an' killed. Two of us got away—and what was leff in Maryland. Mosster Quantrell sent me.”
He produced gold pieces.
“Good Lord !” cried Nelly Harbaugh; “this is the runaway nigger, and he must have stole the whole reward for himself.”
“Missy, Lloyd tole me to come to Bosler's farm and give dis money to Luther to buy me with it. He wants to save my life and own me."
“Yes, do buy the pore man!” Katy cried. “He's known nothing but misery."
“I'll attend to the matter," Abel Quantrell observed. “Ninon, put yourself across the Pennsylvania line without delay! Has this weakness brought on a civil war?”
Hannah Ritner was the picture of one dying, yet struggling to
“Go with her,” Abel Quantrell continued, speaking to the negro Ashby. “I am anxious to gratify all my son's wishes at this moment, foolish as they may be.”
“Why?” asked Katy Bosler.
“Because I have picked out a wife for him, little Dunker! and would persuade him to my will.”
He called for his carriage and servant. Hannah Ritner and Job Snowberger drove away with the negro Ashby.
Suddenly Nelly Harbaugh cried, as Abel Quantrell also passed from view :
“Katy, fergesht! where is your wedding-ring?"
Awakened from the stupor of several minutes, Katy looked at her hand and screamed.
She ran to the house and rang the bell loudly for the field-hands to come home, and then started up the stairs.
“Where are you going, Katy ?"
JOHN BROWN'S FORT. As Lloyd Quantrell entered the armory-yard with a signal of truce, his quickened apprehension took in the Washington familycarriage on the grass riddled with bullets, the engine-house doors splintered as if by lightning, and at least four short barrels of rifles pointing at himself from the door-crevices and the brick loop-holes.
Expecting each instant to meet the fate of Stevens and wallow on the ground, a hulk of broken bones, he exerted his empty hand with an earnestness which enabled him to gain the door unshot.
“Captain Brown, they are killing your son-in-law, William Thompson! He cried to me for help. None but you can save him!”
At the moment he spoke a shower of balls made a circle around him, and the rod, on which had been his hat, was twisted out of his hand by a bullet which benumbed his whole arm, and from the wood and brick of the engine-house chips and brick-dust were struck. The door opened, and unseen hands pulled him in.
“ Prospectin', heigh ?” a merry voice said.
“Your brother, Dauph Thompson, is being murdered on the bridge. Listen!"
The sounds of many guns, a faint women's wail, and a cheer without a note of joy in it, followed by a sort of silence such as animals keep whose food has suddenly been thrown into their dens, related some horrible story.
Dauph Thompson turned pale, and still his voice was cheery : “Willy murdered? They wouldn't do that!"
He threw open the engine-house door sufficiently to crouch in the sill, and said pleasantly, yet troubled :
In a moment something appeared protruding on sticks and poles from the corner of the hotel and station, where the town mayor had exposed his life.
“ That's something to draw your fire, men ; don't be foolish!" John Brown's settled, metallic voice spoke from the top of a fireengine, looking through an arched and shivered window.