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Title: The Heir to Grand-Pré

Date of first publication: 1907

Author: John Frederic Herbin

Date first posted: January 9, 2013

Date last updated: January 9, 2013

Faded Page ebook #20130104

This ebook was produced by: David T. Jones, woodie4, Mardi Desjardins & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net

title page

The Heir to


John Frederic Herbin

Author of

"The History of Grand-Pré,"
"The Marshlands."



Entered according to Act of the Parliament of Canada, in the year one thousand nine hundred and seven, by John Frederic Herbin, at the Department of Agriculture.

[Pg 3]


Chapter I.PAGE
What the Tide Brought5
Chapter II.
Chapter III.
The Precious Stocking27
Chapter IV.
Bluff Castle36
Chapter V.
The Heir to Grand-Pré46
Chapter VI.
Chapter VII.
Chapter VIII.
Chapter IX.
The Alternative81
Chapter X.
[Pg 4]
Chapter XI.
The Adoption97
Chapter XII.
The Blue Vein105
Chapter XIII.
Chapter XIV.
Cross Purposes121
Chapter XV.
Evangeline's Return130
Chapter XVI.
The Return of Gabriel136
Chapter XVII.
The Water Curse147
Chapter XVIII.

[Pg 5]




"The moveless helm needs no ruling hand,
Because there is no wind awake to fill
The sail that idles in the sun."

"Well, Len, how is she making now?"

"Falling a little, sir."

"No sign of wind yet?"

"Not a whiff."

"How long before we will have to anchor?"

"About an hour more ebb, sir?"

On this report, the bare head, which had been slightly raised while the interrogation was taking place, fell back into the hollow it had made for itself on an old sail which was both couch and pillow. A well-worn sporting coat lay between the rough cloth and the golden-brown hair and the summer-seasoned skin of a man's face, fresh and full of the health of youth. The figure of the young man settled into a more comfortable position, and a light cloud of smoke rose from his pipe into the moveless air. He lay on the roof of the cabin in the shadow of[Pg 6] the mainsail, now hanging out of use from the mast. The sky was hazy and cloudless, and the whole sheet of water was white as burnished silver. Afar off the horizon was dark in places with the mirage of hills or marsh, showing a steamer with its smoke in a straight line upward from its stack. The man minded not the bright sky or the reflecting sea, and from thoughtful blue eyes glanced from time to time at the shore not beyond half a mile distant, frequently turning a pair of powerful binoculars upon the vari-colored bluffs and cliffs as the swift tide bore the boat along. The warm air of June made no impression upon the alertful if moody eyes.

"What point is that just in sight beyond the blue bluff?"

"Pierre Island, sir."

This reply brought the young man to his feet, and he gazed at the island that came quickly out from behind the headland till it was fully exposed to view.

Pierre Island, as now seen, sloped rather steeply from the shore side upward, while the direct front and the whole outer portion in view was precipitous and irregular, rising out of huge masses of broken rock and boulders. The summit was wooded like the cliffs on either hand along the shore followed by the boat.

Frank Winslow, geologist and student, was not of the common type. His easy manner and almost listless movement of body came not from vacation negligence. Nature had given his man[Pg 7]hood a fine frame, which his own vigorous temperament had developed with toil and training. His face gave evidence of maturity. The calm and at times thoughtful cast of countenance, due to the serious and studious mind that ruled it, deceived one as to the age of the man. A student by selection and opportunity, a life spent among books and the men of books made his speech deliberate and his face grave. A strong mouth was only partially concealed by a close-cut golden-brown beard and a soft moustache that had seldom been sacrificed to the razor. At rare moments an inexpressibly kind smile disclosed the other man, the inner soul of Frank Winslow.

We are introduced to him thus on board the yacht Marie, owned and commanded by Len Lawson. The yacht and her owner were engaged by Winslow for the purpose of examining the trap bluffs of the shores of Minas Basin in Nova Scotia, and to study the famous tides of the region and of the Bay of Fundy.

The boat was moving rapidly with the outgoing tide towards the island which both Winslow and Len were now looking upon. The whole sheet of water was without a ripple as far as the eye could see, yet the boat passed the shore rapidly, more quickly than a man might run who attempted to keep abreast of the Marie. There was no show of hurry. They were far enough from shore to make their passage seem slow, and objects ahead of them appeared but a short distance away in the deceptive[Pg 8] brilliancy of the sea and air, while the small need of effort on board to keep the course and the sails right made the trip dull and slow. Thus they drifted, completely at the mercy of the tide and its shifting currents. Sounds from unseen sources, voices of men and the crash of loading vessels, came to their ears with strange clearness and loudness.

"Shall we be able to get beyond the island before we anchor?" asked Winslow, surveying the enlarging head of the brown-colored bluff in the distance.

"Yes, sir," answered Len, with his hand on the useless tiller, and gazing ahead with thoughtful face. "The water is falling fast, and the tide is making inshore a little. We must make in behind the island for anchorage till the wind comes, or till the tide rises."

"Why is it called Pierre Island, Len?"

"Pierre Gotro owns it and lives there. His father's name was Pierre, and so was his grandfather's," continued Len, still examining the land, and often glancing at the passing cliffs. He was reading the signs and noting the changes of air and land. He had spent the most of his years on the shore of Minas or on its waters, and had become a skilful sailor and pilot, as all must who thus earn their bread. Swift currents, tidal changes, numerous rivers and hidden rocks, and the sudden squalls of that great inland sea make good seamen if they are spared. Len Lawson was of this type, and Winslow tacitly acknowledged his superiority as a "skipper," although he had had a great deal of ex[Pg 9]perience in yachting. Looking at him, Winslow caught a sudden change of expression, a lighting of the eyes, as he discovered some familiar object on the shore of the island. Directing his glass again to the land, Winslow saw on the long slope of bright red beach two ox-teams moving down towards the sea. The leading one was guided by a stalwart old man with grey beard, and deep voice, which could be plainly heard across the water. In the cart drawn by the second pair were two women, one past middle age, the other young.

"Look through this, Len," said Winslow, holding out the powerful glass made for the purpose of examining inaccessible veins of mineral and geological formations.

Len placed the glass to his eye, and the exclamation he made told how much of a surprise the glance gave him.

"Is that Pierre, the owner of the island?"

"Yes, sir."

"Who are the women?"

"The servant and his daughter."

"What is the daughter's name, and is she the older or the younger woman?" asked Winslow, making a mental surmise as to the cause of the interest evinced by the young master of the Marie in the people on the shore.

"The young woman with bare head is the daughter," replied Len, evasively.

"You did not mention her name, did you?" persisted Winslow.

[Pg 10]

"Marie," said Len, attempting to hide his evident confusion by directing the glass to another quarter, thus turning his face from the cool eyes of Winslow.

"A pretty name, Len; you did well in choosing it for your boat."

Len soon turned his gaze again to the island, and caught sight of the last of the kindly smile in the eyes still looking him through. He was loth to let the glasses leave his face, and he looked long and steadily at the group. They were near enough now to enable them to hear the deep, rich voice of Pierre and the lower tones of the occupants of the following team. The oxen moved slowly down the shore in the soft red clay and sand, the wheels thumping over the black projecting rocks at times, sending the echoed sound along the shore. The laughter of the girl came pleasantly to their ears as the swaying cart forced the older woman to seize the side near her more firmly while one wheel or the other went over a rock.

The Marie had now drifted well in towards the island, while at the same time the tide had fallen away, thus lessening the space between the boat and the shore. Len still kept the glass to his eyes, and his eyes on the shore till a sudden blow upon the bottom of the yacht, and a loud scraping along her side startled him into giving his attention to matters elsewhere.

"Only a rock, Len," said Winslow, coolly surveying the shore again with the glass which Len[Pg 11] had hastily restored to him. Yet not a sign of danger had been manifest.

A little to their left the current swept between the island and the mainland, about a mile away, while the line the boat was following would direct them about half a mile from the outside of the island. They had now approached so near the shore as to be within easy speaking distance of the island folk, who had reached the edge of the water and stood watching the yacht.

"Sheer off, boy! sheer off! if you don't want to ground," called out Pierre. At the sound of his voice the cattle walked fearlessly into the water.

Len sounded with an oar, and found that the sand was just under his keel.

Springing to the bow of the boat, he again reached for bottom, and putting all his weight on the oar, turned the boat's head away from the shore. Winslow was in a moment following his example at the stern, and their united strength gave a slight outward motion to the heavy boat. Another slight scraping sound told them how near they were to being aground, and they exerted all their force to escape the danger that threatened them at every moment.

"It's all against us, sir, there is a breeze coming," cried Len, flushed with his exertions. "It will drive us on, if we don't strike before it comes."

The next moment the boat struck again, and came to a standstill. Len let down the sail, which fell with a rattle, and tried to force the boat off[Pg 12] into deep water. In his attempts his oar slipped off the rock on which they had lodged, and he fell with a splash into the water. As the rock was beneath him he was only waist deep in the water, and with no little difficulty, because of the force of the tide, he got back into the boat again.

The speed of the current was more apparent as it rushed by the side of the Marie, now firmly held, and listing slowly towards the shore as the tide fell.

Pierre meanwhile was urging his oxen slowly towards the helpless young men. The water was up to the hubs, and the animals seemed to enjoy the cool current gliding past them up to their bellies.

"Well, Len, you are as good as anchored for this tide, and some of the flood," said the old man from the cart. "You are listed right, and you can run to good harbor to-night if you are not stove in."

The young man made no reply, but stood looking down the side of the injured boat, for he found that she was leaking, and waited for a chance to examine her side.

It was not long before he was able to step down to the rock, which now stood out of the water, and showed the position held by the boat, and the extent of the damage she had received.

"She leaks pretty bad, sir," he said to Winslow, "I don't think we can leave here for a couple of days."

"All right," said Winslow, quietly; "I can spend the time here, about the island and under the cliffs."

[Pg 13]

Pierre now stood near the rock, and with Len was examining the damaged side of the craft.

"You can't get her right in less than two days, Len, as you will have to get her out of this as soon as you can."

"I will stay here till you are ready, Len," said Winslow, "if Mr. Gotro will permit me to go over his island."

"The shore is free to all," answered the old man.

"Can you put me up? Any small room will serve for the few hours I will spend in it," asked Winslow.

"We never keep people, sir," said Pierre, kindly. "At the house on the mainland there are several Americans staying, and they can keep you there."

"You will have to cross by the stone ford in about an hour, or you can cross over in a boat at half flood," explained Len.

"I think I will examine the rear of the island first, where the formation is so broken," said Winslow. "What do the veins contain?"

"You will find minerals of different kinds there. Many people come here and carry away a great deal of stone of different colors, which they seem to consider valuable. I send several boxes of it away every spring, after the frost comes out of the cliff and lets down the specimens. The rock is dangerous and overhangs very much, and is loose and broken. The best veins are above, where it is not easy to get to them. Those below have been broken out and are not so good."

[Pg 14]

"I can see the beautiful coloring of the veins from here, through my glass. Have the cliffs never been climbed?"

"Not often. I would advise you not to attempt it, sir," said the old man, seriously.

"I thank you, Mr. Gotro," returned Winslow, "I do not think I shall be tempted to climb. I am more interested in studying the formation than in securing specimens, if I can find any that are fairly good below."

"Our visitors carry away about everything that is worth taking," said Pierre, with a smile.

"I can well believe it," laughed Winslow, as he stepped to the shore and walked towards the island.

A cool breeze was now coming up out of the west, and the pleasant sound of the rippling water on the beach, and the sunshine flooded the broad space between the cliffs and the island, lighting up the red sandstone walls and the colored faces of the wooded hills, falling upon the right and left into the soft blue haze of the distance.

The laughter of the young woman, or the sound of the boat being set to rights, were borne to the ears of Winslow as he took his way upward. The blood coursed freely in his veins, and as he looked about him he found his eyes pleased, and in his breast a contentment and luxurious calm seemed to find place. He felt the joyousness of his fresh and strong manhood, and he turned to the nature about him the reflection of the bright light of his warm eyes and glowing face.

[Pg 15]



"The garnet dulse and glistening curls of weed."

The tide is now almost at its lowest point. Over a mile of shining flat beach lay between the sea and Pierre Island rising into the bright air like an immense tower or castle. On the side nearest the main shore a steep slope gave access to the island by means of a winding road through the woods to the summit. Here, amid trees and cleared strips of garden and field, rose a stone house, dark against the blue sky.

On the outer or sea side jagged and precipitous cliffs, here and there indented by inlets where the high tide made small bays, composed the sea front of the island, impassable to man or animal. On the innumerable small shelves and ledges, showing white patches from the presence of seagulls and their young, clumps of green brush and small trees were thinly scattered over the face of the rock.

Between the cliffs and the road the sides of the island gradually increased in slope and became more and more wooded with the thick, gnarled, and stunted growth peculiar to the islands of this salt lake, the Basin of Minas.

[Pg 16]

The ox-teams had passed on with the tide, and the island folk were busy along the seaweed-covered fringe of dark beach that marked the junction of sea and land.

The yacht, perched on a broad, flat rock only a few feet high, lay helpless on its side. The busy figure of the young sailor often appeared as he passed in and out of the boat with implements of his craft. On the rock alongside a small fire burned and the smell of tar pervaded the air.

Pierre Gotro and his daughter, and their servant, old Suzanne, moved quickly among the seaweed, and with small forks were busy loading the carts with dulse. The tides were running low for a few days and the dulse-beds were fully exposed.

Light-hearted Marie laughed and jested with Suzanne, and often directed her words to her father.

"Suzanne, do you think that Len is dry yet? Poor fellow, he did get so wet." She smiled as she asked the question.

"He will tell you himself to-night when he comes to Bluff Castle," said the older woman, in reply.

"I hope he won't come, Suzanne; he is so strange now, since we have grown up."

"You are strange, too, perhaps. He says you have become proud since you have been going away to school," said Suzanne.

"I am not proud," cried Marie, quickly; "but he frightens me sometimes. He is changed," she continued, in a calmly positive tone.

"Why did the stranger wish to stay with us,[Pg 17] Suzanne?" Marie asked, after some minutes of silence.

"I suppose to be near the cliffs," replied Suzanne.

"They will have all Pierre Island carried away some time if père does not ask them to stop pulling down the cliff." Her low, musical laughter rippled from her lips and filled her eyes with brown, warm light. Often a merrier peal reached out to where Len was at work and made him look towards the group.

"It is a wonder that Len is not here helping père," she said, as she saw him standing beside his boat.

"Marie! Marie!" Pierre would sometimes say, without looking up from his work.

This gentle admonishment restrained but little the overflow of healthy good-nature. Suzanne often laughed at the gay words of her young mistress.

The carts were now full of the wet dulse, trembling like jelly as the oxen moved over the beach. Marie had seated herself on the front of the cart, her feet resting on the pole to which the animals were yoked. Her father was leading his pair, and now carefully avoided the rocks and soft places, while Suzanne walked behind, not caring to trust herself to so precarious a seat as was left for her.

They filed slowly upward upon the long stretch of sand. Marie was now silent. Her large brown Acadian eyes became thoughtful. Suzanne had enough to do to walk after the slow team, while[Pg 18] Pierre, though far beyond middle life, walked easily at the head of his team.

The old man, hardy and active, bronzed by a life of labor on the open shore or upon his island, made a venerable figure in the dignity and manliness of his bearing. His dress was rough, and wet from the labor he had been engaged in on the beach, but his commanding figure and kindly features, softened by time, and ripened by the great grief that had left him uncompanioned through the later years of his life, gave Pierre a bearing and dignity of face above the ordinary type of the workingman.

Pierre Gotro was the last of his name who had inhabited once the marsh country on the south of the Basin of Minas. His ancestors had been removed at the time of the great deportation, in 1755, by the harsh orders of Governor Lawrence. He was the highest type of the Acadian in form and feature, patriarchal in ripe old age, and calmly peaceful amid the conditions of a life removed from the bustling world, and faithful to the duties of his isolated existence. The sadness of his race he inherited as the only legacy bequeathed by an unfortunate people. This melancholy vein may be detected in the nature of the Acadians of to-day after a hundred and fifty years of transmission. This great inheritance of grief the generations must yet bear to mark their lives and to influence their living for another century.

Marie had suddenly become silent. Her large brown eyes suggested the sway of active thought,[Pg 19] dominated by some strong emotion tinged with melancholy. In the limpid depth of her look could be read the play of imagination. Her eyes made her a part of everything in the warm love of her heart; and everything became a part of her. The blue of the sky gave of its glorious color to her being. The long stretch of bluff and cliff and wooded crest, and the magnificent sweep of the tide, though now fallen to its lowest ebb, and the dim blue line of Blomidon, and the rich, salty air, entered into her nature as an essence, and filled her with an exaltation of melancholy gladness, of happy intensity of feeling that almost led to tears. So is that intimate commingling of spirit and nature in the exquisite moments of pure physical existence.

The carts had now reached the foot of the bluff, upon the clean pebbles, free of sand, heated by the sun, and on these the wet dulse was thrown and spread to dry. In the course of a few hours the two large loads would be reduced by the process of drying to less than half the original bulk.

The teams now returned to the beds for another load before the tide covered the shore again. They had gone but a short distance down the red sand when there came a sudden interruption to the quiet of the afternoon and the calm of the proceedings. A slight, warm breeze was coming out of the west, and borne up against it from some part of the island came the dull roar of falling stone. This was heard by Pierre and Suzanne, and the old man stopped the oxen in wonder at the unusual sound,[Pg 20] but the cry of a human voice that followed upon the noise was heard only by the young ears of Marie.

"Père, père!" she cried to her father, "did you hear the voice?"

"No, child. What did you hear?"

"I heard a man's voice at the bluffs back of the island, where the sound of the falling stone came from."

They all listened for a moment, Marie's face pale with uncertainty and fear.

"There, there it is again!" the girl cried, and without another word she ran towards the bluffs. Pierre turned the head of the teams towards the island again, and giving some directions to Suzanne, took the direction now followed by his daughter with fleet feet. As he hurried along he thought of Len, and stopping for a moment, he put his hands to his mouth and sent his voice ringing out over the beach to the boat. Len stood up and saw the old man beckoning him. He also observed the figure of Marie making her way among the smaller boulders, and in another moment her flying feet carried her out of sight. He noted that for some reason the teams were returning and Pierre was now moving rapidly towards the point where his daughter had disappeared. He cried out that he could not leave the boat, for the tide was coming.

Marie was meanwhile approaching the place where she had detected a faint cloud of dust among the huge fragments of rock which must have fallen[Pg 21] from the face of the island and rolled out on the rocky beach which formed this part of the shore, centuries before, perhaps.

Again she heard the man's voice, but louder now, as the sounds were brought to her ears from among the piled-up masses of stone. The voice electrified her into increased activity. There was hope in the sound to her, where previously the silence had filled her with a vague terror of something awful that would suddenly confront her vision. The slight sound of her light feet darting over the sand, or the beds of trap even, echoed back to her ears with a warning tone. Only once did she hear the voice again. It was yet some distance ahead, but it lent wings to her feet. Panting and pale in spite of her exertions, and with wide, scared eyes, and teeth set in determination to go on, though in expectation of something shocking to her senses at every turn of her path and around every projecting point of the cliff, she now approached an inlet or small ravine cut into the cliff about fifty yards, whose bottom sloped down from each side. After every rain a brook, fed by the waters caught on the island, would run down the cliff and find its way to the sea by means of this cove, lessening gradually till it fell drop by drop. At the head of this cove was a large vein of red mineral known as acadialite, which formed part of the cliff to a great height, following the irregular surface of the rock. This vein was in the bed of the brook, at this time with no water running. Through centuries the cove[Pg 22] had been gradually deepened, the softer mineral yielding to the action of the elements more easily than other parts of the rock. The action of frost had loosened the adjacent stone, and in many places it was broken and ready to fall. The flow of the water had worn down the bottom of the cove, leaving a depression of some depth.

Marie was drawn to this cove because she knew of the large vein, and also because she was aware of the dangerous character of the place, made so by the looseness of the formation. She saw from the mouth of the inlet a large mass of stone that had recently fallen, piled up near the head of the cove. She examined it quickly from her position at the opening of the cove, and seeing nothing of Winslow she was about to pass on farther around the island, when her quick eye caught the faded colors of the coat which the young man had worn when he left the boat. It lay near the heap of stone, and a few pieces of rock had rolled upon it. At this discovery Marie cried out with terror at the first thought that came to her, that the voice she had heard was of the stranger now buried under the stone, and either unconscious or dead. Half fainting from the effect of this thought upon her, she had to force herself to return by the way she came, to meet her father and to hurry him on to the rescue. Her weakened strength did not permit her to move quickly, but she met her father but a short distance away, and after telling Pierre what she had seen she fell to the sand utterly helpless.

[Pg 23]

"Hurry, père, the gentleman may be saved yet!" she said, faintly.

"I will take you back to Suzanne first," replied the old man.

"Oh, no, père, I will be stronger soon. The running tired me." As she spoke she rose to her feet, though pale and trembling.

Pierre then hurried away, and in a few moments Marie turned toward the cove again. Just as she came in sight of her father, Len arrived with a rope in his hand, and the two men set to work at once to throw aside the stone from the pile which had fallen.

Marie looked on and heard the crash of rock after rock as it was cast from the desperate hands of the men, and the sounds echoed out of the cove and filled her heart with ominous fear and dread of something about to be revealed. Yet she could not take her eyes from the mass of rock. She watched with feverish interest her father lift huge stones, or help Len in removing those too large for the strength of one alone. In this way the intense strain upon her nerves continued. Once she went out of sight of them, but the sounds were more terrible to hear when out of sight of the cause of them than before. So she was forced to return again. It was a terrible sight for Marie, with her quick imagination and tender heart. Tears would often force themselves to her eyes, and her terror heightened more and more.

Suddenly the work was interrupted by a groan[Pg 24] that filled the cove. The men looked about them with questioning eyes, and Marie, springing towards them, looked intently up the cliff for the cause of the sound.

Again the sound reached their ears, and the maiden shrieked wildly as she caught the motion of a hand and arm above a rocky shelf some distance above the place where the men stood.

Pointing to the place, she cried, "There, there he is, père!"

As if in reply to her words, Winslow rose to a sitting position, which brought him into sight of all of them below. He looked down upon them in a dazed way, his face pale and bleeding, and his clothes dusty and torn. He gave evidence in his appearance of having passed through a terrible experience.

"Ah, Len, is that you! I am glad to see you. And you also, good friend. What are you going to do for me?" said Winslow faintly, but smiling in spite of his condition.

"Are you much hurt, sir?" asked Pierre.

"A little bruised; and from the looks of things here I am likely to stay for awhile—at least, unless the rest of the rock goes down."

He began feeling his left arm as he spoke, which hung down helpless at his side.

"No bones broken, I think," said Winslow, "but pretty painful. My shoulder is stiff, and I can't lift my arm. I did not follow your advice, Mr. Gotro, so here I am, paying the penalty of rashness.[Pg 25] I saw this vein of acadialite, and it seemed so fine above the shelf that I could not resist the temptation of coming up to get a piece of it. The way up was not difficult at all, but I did not realize how loose the stone is here. In getting out a piece of the vein I started some loose rock just above me, which fell and nearly broke my arm, knocked me down, and, worse of all, it started the rock below by which I came up, and left it difficult for me to return.

"It looks difficult," said Pierre, "but I think we can get you down. There is no chance from above," he continued, examining the cliff intently. "Can you move along the cliff a little?"

Winslow attempted to rise, but fell back again, putting his hand to his head as he did so.

"No use," he said. "I shall have to stay where I am for awhile. Something to drink would be in order just now, Len; can you pass me up something?"

The young man addressed looked more helpless than ever, being unable to appreciate the humor of Winslow in the trying and dangerous situation in which he was placed.

The sound of falling particles of stone warned the men below at this moment, and moving quickly back from the base of the cliff, they escaped a mass of rock that fell near the pile already down.

"Don't stand too near, friends," said Winslow, when the dust cleared away. "It would be suicide for you to attempt to come up here. I don't see just now how I can get down, with only one arm to[Pg 26] aid me. I feel better, however, and if I can reach what looks like a small stream of water yonder, a taste of it will revive me."

He then rose slowly and carefully to his knees, and resting one hand on the rock, made his way inch by inch to the dripping water, the last of the brook that found its course out of the cliff above and lost itself in the loose material of the shelf.

After much difficulty he reached it, and stooping down, caught up the precious drops in his hand and raised them to his lips.

"Thank heaven for that!" he murmured, looking down again at the anxious faces below.

[Pg 27]



"Thick veined with amethyst and zeolite."

Marie had now joined her father near the head of the cove, and was an interested though silent spectator of the events that were transpiring. The intensity of her feeling was shown in her eyes. She forgot herself entirely in the overpowering emotion caused by the danger Winslow was in, and by his inability to do anything to aid his escape from the ledge without the assistance of her father. At the same time she feared that even Pierre could not rescue him. Her fear for the young man was greater than her confidence in her father's skill to aid him, the situation of Winslow seemed so terribly fraught with danger.

"Pass up your rope, now, Len," said Winslow, as he saw the young man making a suitable coil for throwing, and measuring the distance to the shelf with his eye.

"Try a throw from that high rock there, skipper."

Len did as he was directed, but the rope did not reach half the necessary height.

[Pg 28]

"Have you a ball of stout twine?" asked Winslow, his mind alert and stronger now. "If so, throw it up to me, and I will let down the end for your rope."

All pockets were emptied, but only a few yards of twine of varying size and quality were found, Marie's shoelaces not adding nearly enough to serve the purpose.

Suddenly the young woman made an exclamation of joy, and turning to her father, came close to him and said in their native tongue:

"J'amelerai mon bas, père."

"Merci, mademoiselle," said Winslow, in good French accent.

These words only added greater speed to her feet as she withdrew from sight behind a large rock, and in a few minutes appeared again with a goodly ball of yarn. Her appearance at once disclosed the secret the rock would otherwise have kept. There was not enough of her skirt to cover her rough boots used for the beach and the shell-covered dulse-beds, so beneath it was seen one white ankle and part of a limb, which was reason enough for the heightened color of the maiden's cheeks. It must be understood that a stocking can only be unravelled by beginning at the end knitted last, namely, at the toe.

"Now, Len, do your best. Throw it as near to me as you can."

The ordeal was too much for his accuracy of[Pg 29] aim, and he threw the ball so that it lodged out of Winslow's reach, some distance to one side.

At this unlucky throw Marie hastened to the large rock again, and returned at once with the leg of a stocking which had already been partly sacrificed. She gave one end of it to her father to hold, and with deft fingers began to wind up another ball of the strong homespun yarn. This was ready in a few minutes, and Pierre took the ball, and standing at some distance away from the cliff, threw it upward to within easy reach of Winslow, who soon had hold of it.

Tying a small stone to the end of the yarn, Winslow let it down the side of the ledge to Pierre, holding the ball carefully. When the end came to the old man's hand, and he had drawn out enough of it to serve, Winslow then held the upper end of the length with his mouth, and, still retaining the ball, unrolled it and let down a loop of the string, till Pierre had three lengths to which to attach the rope.

"Now let me see what I can do with the rope when I get it up here," said Winslow.

Pierre now spoke. "I see but one place where you can fasten the rope. That is a little beyond where you got the water. It looks like a corner of stone which this loop I have made will slip over."

Winslow could see the place, and moved forward to it.

"You see, sir, that the rock of the shelf is bare and firm there, so that when you slip off the rock you are on now to come down the rope you are not[Pg 30] likely to bring down a lot of stone on top of you or us, and perhaps break your hold upon the rope."

"True," answered Winslow, "I will try the point."

With hand and mouth Winslow succeeded in getting the loop of the life-line to his hand, and trying it over the rock found that it would not hold.

"It will not hold," said Winslow, in a disappointed tone.

"Is there a crack in the rock near in which you could put a stick to hold the loop?" asked Pierre.

"Yes, there is," he replied. "A piece of wood an inch thick would hold."

"Let down the yarn, then, and this driftwood will give us what we want."

Selecting a tough piece of wood, Pierre attached the cord to it, and Winslow with much labor drew it up to the shelf.

"Just the thing," he said, slipping the loop over the stake as he drove it into the crack in position. It caused him many a twinge of pain, and Marie's quick ears heard an occasional groan, and his face had become pale again. She called her father's attention to this.

"You cannot feel sure of being able to come down the rope with one hand," said Pierre, "though you have courage and determination. You have not strength enough. We cannot go to you to help you any more. It would only add to your danger. The rope is not long enough to lower you down. Rest awhile, and when you are fully prepared to try[Pg 31] the rope, the tide will be in the cove and a fall will be less serious, if such an accident should occur."

And then, turning to Len, Pierre went on: "It is time you were looking after your boat."

"I see the water is already nearing the cove," said Winslow, now resting as easily as he could, and showing in his voice and face that his strength was much reduced.

As Len went away Pierre said to Marie, "I must leave you here for a short time. Will you be afraid to stay?"

"No, père, but do not be gone long."

Marie, with all her pity disclosed in her eyes, was alone with Winslow. Her shyness was forgotten in the fear that possessed her for his safety. She gazed at him steadily as he lay against the cliff with his eyes closed and the marks of his accident still upon him.

They remained in this situation for some time, Marie's alarm becoming greater with vague uncertainty and doubt as the minutes passed without any sign of her father's approach.

The tide had now come well into the cove and was rising rapidly, moving steadily towards her where she sat. She could now detect the sound of rolling pebbles on the edge of the tide. The cove was filled with a loud noise as of some new, invisible life stirring and hurrying about from one side to the other and whispering incoherently. A cool breeze had followed the tide and was blowing into the place in gusts, and as she watched Winslow she could see[Pg 32] it move his hair, or lift the long tie that hung from his throat. He opened his eyes as the sound of Pierre's voice made Marie start to her feet. The noise of a cart bumping over the rocks filled the cove with loud echoes, and the voice that guided them recalled Winslow to affairs about him. Marie ran to her father as he appeared in sight and spoke to him, in her anxiety expressing herself in the Acadian tongue.

Pierre came up towards the head of the cove and spoke encouragingly to Winslow.

"We will soon have you down now. The tide is well up, and when it is deep enough to save you from falling upon the rocks in case anything should happen to the rope or your strength should give out, you will be saved any more bruises."

Pierre feared that Winslow could not get down the rope with one hand, in his present weak state.

Winslow had indeed become so reduced in energy as to be unable to act without the direction of Pierre.

Meanwhile, the oxen were backed close to where the rope reached the ground, and stood patiently in the water, now rising quickly towards their bodies. The cart was on the lower ground of the sloping beach of the cove. Pierre stood ready in the cart, reserving his strength for the final trial, and permitting Winslow to rest without fatiguing him with useless conversation.

"Get yourself ready," commanded Pierre, put[Pg 33]ting force into his words which rose above the increased sounds of the place.

Winslow slowly rose, obedient to the directing will of the old man.

"Lie down on the rock near the rope." The words were obeyed.

"Take the rope under you, and hold it with your hand." Painfully he followed the instruction.

"Move your body till your legs hang over the shelf." A few minutes passed away while Winslow slowly drew himself back, a few fragments of stone clattering down as he reached the position indicated by Pierre. Here he hung, his stronger hand holding the rope.

"Move your legs till the line is wound about them." As he complied the line was given a circling motion till it had wound about his legs and was held between them.

"Keep your legs stiff and hold on!" cried out Pierre, in a firm and earnest tone of voice. The order came loud and sharp to the dull sense of Winslow, and he put all his strength into play in a desperate effort, his brain acting by the inherent desire to live, and the man responding, though dully.

"Slip off the shelf, slowly, slowly."

In a moment Winslow was in mid air, clinging with one hand to the rope held stiff by Pierre and kept away from the bluff wall. He was able by means of the rope wound round Winslow's legs to control the speed of his descent, and relieve the[Pg 34] weight and muscular strain upon the one arm he was able to use. Pierre kept him from falling down upon the rocks so quickly as to injure or perhaps kill him. He let Winslow slip down slowly, not to burn his hands or loosen his hold. He could not thus use his strength many minutes, and the old man timed his fall carefully, as not a second could be lost to ensure his safety. His place was yet dangerous, because of its height, though he was clear of the dangerous rock.

Seeing a sudden motion of Winslow's head, like that of a man who tries to keep himself awake and yet nods, Pierre felt that he was relaxing his hold of the rope.

"Hold on, hold on, sir," cried Pierre, reserving his last command for the important time he saw had come. Immediately the head rose slowly, and as the downward motion was checked altogether, he saw Winslow's arm grow more rigid and his fingers clasp themselves more closely about the rope.

Again Pierre lessened the strain on the rope, and the almost limp body began to descend again slowly, the helpless arm swinging a little. Inch by inch he lowered, each fraction of time lessening the danger and bringing him nearer the arms of the old man.

Suddenly, without warning, Winslow's head fell back and his hand relaxed, and slipping out of the control of the rope he fell into the water near Pierre, who was now up to his armpits in the tide.

Seizing the unconscious form of the young man, he bore him to the cart higher up the sloping beach,[Pg 35] and speaking to the well-trained oxen, directed them out of the water to the dry shore.

Pierre found Marie in a swoon, and placing her in the cart beside the lifeless form of Winslow, he urged his oxen quickly forward along the devious way among the boulders, and soon came to the road leading upward to his home on the summit of the island. At "Bluff Castle," as Pierre's stone house was called, Suzanne anxiously waited, while out on the rising tide the Marie, under sail, was making for safe harbor.

When Winslow came to himself, above the consciousness of pain, he felt upon his face the soft touch of a woman's hair.

The sun that day went down and left Minas Basin in the cool, clear air of a summer night. Blomidon lay dark against the western heavens, pointing on the one side to the open waters of the Bay of Fundy, whose bosom is a mighty tide with forces never at rest; and on the other hand to the marshes of the Grand-Pré shore, full of the fate of a people.

[Pg 36]



"Where are the hands to guide the waiting plow,
To sway the lumbering oxen with a stroke,
Now waiting at the bars for band and yoke?—
An exile curst as with a branded brow.
The kindly walls that cannot shield him now
Are black in embers that have ceased to smoke,
Wrapt tenderly with marsh-fogs as a cloak.
The willows shade no gables where they bow.
The wandering exile from dead Acadie
Sees through the mist of sorrow never done
That mercy has no hand held out to save.
Yet ne'er again the meadows of the sea
Mayhap shall know this heart-sore, weary son,
Denied the kindness of an alien grave."

Winslow's recovery was rapid, under the care and skill of Suzanne. His left shoulder gave him considerable trouble, and he was compelled to keep his arm in a sling for several days; yet it was not long after his mishap when he had strength enough to wander over the island and ingratiate himself with the folk of Pierre Island.

A deep friendship soon drew Winslow and Pierre together, and the young man spent much of his time in the company of the older. He felt that he owed[Pg 37] him a debt of gratitude that could never be paid, while Pierre treated the matter lightly as regards his own connection with the rescue. He dealt with the escape of his young friend as with an event that touched a sympathetic and vital chord in his own heart. Pierre opened his heart to him as a father would who had recovered a lost son. A deep friendship developed and drew them together in a bond of fellowship and mutual confidence.

Winslow was now domiciled at "Bluff Castle," where his simple and modest tastes, his good-nature and his quiet tact, pleased the old Acadian and the women of his household.

Pierre carried with him into his daily life the rural simplicity of the peasant, and a certain dignity and kindness which never left him. His was a calm and quiet old age, far removed from the world, and free from its weaknesses and sordid influences and its common failings. The philosophers of old had the nature of this old Acadian, wise in the experiences peculiar to their environments, and true to those high principles of living which only men learn who contemplate with correct judgment the events of their existence and aim at the highest point for the purpose of their life. Tempered with a long life of labor, reared and trained within the sight and influence of the mighty changes of elemental nature, and in constant communication with its forces, and at last made wise at the shrine of sorrow, Pierre seemed to Winslow the embodiment of the highest qualities of ripe and noble old age.

[Pg 38]

Pierre found himself drawn to Winslow as he would have been to his own son had not an accident cut him off in his young manhood. Because of this greatest loss and its resulting sorrow, the whole tendency and purpose of his life had been changed, and in his only daughter, Marie, he had placed the whole of his affection and hope and purpose of life. Yet the maiden had become a great fear to him in the element of uncertainty which necessarily affected his view of her future years. The father realized his age and the youth of the daughter, and the difficulties that might at any time surround her if he were removed by death. He yet mourned his wife, and felt that his life was broken by the loss of his son, but he faced the future calmly and without fear, save for the thought of his daughter. In her young womanhood she made the only concern of his life, and there was as yet no promise for the future.

Yet in her was his only life. To her would descend all the title and history of the Gotros, for the first time since the great banishment of the Acadians in 1755 without a male representative. The name was virtually extinct and the house broken when he passed away.

"This stone house of the Gotros is known among the Acadians as 'Pierre Logis,' and has been the home of the Pierres, as the Gotros of the direct line are known, ever since your ancestor removed our people from Grand-Pré," said the old man, pointing to his house.

"Tell me, good friend," said Winslow, "how this[Pg 39] came to be chosen by the Gotros as a place of residence, and how they escaped the persecution that followed your people even after they were driven from their lands and separated."

"It is a long story, full of cruelty and suffering," answered the old man, sadly. "We must go back almost to the first settlement of Grand-Pré. Our name became very numerous, and then gradually through centuries died out. I am the last of our line,—the last of the name Pierre Gotro."

The old man remained for some moments in thought, and a shade of sadness resting on his face darkened the depths of his eyes. His mind seemed to be dwelling upon the things of the past, and his thoughts shaped themselves at last in words calm and unimpassioned, as one who deals with revered things. The strength of his heart and mind, the chastening experiences of his life, the philosophical cast of his reason and understanding, gave dignity to his utterances, and impressed Winslow with the nobility of this son of toil. He began the story of his people and his family.

"The first Gotro came to Grand-Pré from Port Royal, now called Annapolis, after that place had been settled for eighty years. It sent off its people like a hive in summer when, overcrowded, the young bees are compelled to seek a new home. The great meadows of Grand-Pré were waiting unpeopled, and in a few years became the largest of the Acadian centres. The whole section on the south yonder, called Minas," pointing with his arm across the[Pg 40] water to the blue hills in the south, thirty miles distant, "saw four generations of our sons, who had become a prosperous and contented people.

"The Gotros in particular were favorable to English rule, as they had rich and large possessions of land and were anxious to avoid trouble with the people of other nationality. Yet, with all the other Acadian people who had taken the oath of allegiance to the English crown, they refused to the last to take up arms against their own kindred and nationality, as they were expected to do by the provincial governors who proposed the measure. This refusal on their part served as a pretext for removing them in 1755 from the province.

"You know how all the people were called to their church, deceived by the order which declared that it was the command of the king, and that they were to hear the wishes of the English king in regard to themselves. Expecting a settlement of all their difficulties, they were thus entrapped and forcibly removed from their homes, and all the houses, barns and mills of Grand-Pré destroyed by fire."

"The history of Pierre Gotro does not relate to those of our race who were removed. The first Pierre Gotro who made this island his home was known as 'Peche Gotro,' because of his fondness for fishing, and his skill in that calling. He was but a young man at the time, not being married, and was but one of the numerous name in Minas. Pierre owned a fishing boat, and had been away[Pg 41] fishing during the summer. While the salmon ran he lived near this island. Having injured his boat, he was belated in his return to Grand Pré. Before the boat was ready to sail he saw the New England ships sail into the Basin, and from the island he saw them at anchor or sailing about on the waters at the south of the basin. Other ships came after, and he learned from Indians and escaping Acadians what was happening at Grand Pré.

"Pierre Island at that time made a safe retreat. It was almost inaccessible save by a narrow and dangerous path which animals had discovered and kept open by constant use. The slope of the island which has the road leading up here was not connected with the beach, for the lowest point of it at that time was nearly fifty feet high, and was built up as it is now after many years of labor when it was finally safe for an Acadian to return to Nova Scotia.

"Here Pierre made his home. In the cove where you were hurt he kept his boat, the channel thither being through a long and dangerous space of boulders.

"It is strange that the Acadians ever attempted to return to a country where they had received such cruel treatment. It would have seemed more pleasing to them to go among their own people in other places, where they would not have been subjected to such severe and unjust treatment, after they had been separated and broken as a people. Yet they returned. And thus it was that Pierre came to[Pg 42] take possession of this island. He saw the ships sail out of the Basin. He saw the glare of many fires that told of the fate of the homes of the Acadians, his own people. He felt himself as much an outcast as if he had been on a ship destined for a strange country and an unfriendly people.

"With the building of the stone house Pierre began the long and lonely life which opens the history of Pierre Island. Months of terrible doubt as to the fate of his own kindred, and the privation which beset him turned the young man into an old man before his time. Winter set in and cut him off from his home, or what had been his home. His supply of salted fish, with other provisions he had providently gathered, sustained him. But for eight years he never tasted bread. In six years the New England settlers had homes on the Acadian lands. Each year brought more people. The exiled Acadians themselves found their way back to their own country, but not to the places which had been their homes. Many of them who had escaped the dangers of the sea, and the disease that broke out on the ships, died on the long march back to Acadia. They toiled on through a thousand miles of wilderness. Government persecution finally ceased, but for many years they were hated by many of the new settlers, and were glad to escape from them into the woods and to make homes again in the wilderness. On their fine lands the English settlers could not at first support themselves, and had to get aid from the government. The Aca[Pg 43]dians, in spite of the many disadvantages of their new life and the changed conditions of their existence, throve without help, and in the course of a few years had numerous colonies. In this way the people have learned to do with little, and learned the value of hard labor, while in their inmost souls was planted the melancholy of a hunted and oppressed race.

"Pierre in his lonely life learned wisdom and acquired great skill in the chase and on the water. It was many long years before he learned of his own family and relatives, and of the cruel fate of the numerous Gotros. In twenty years but few remained. Their large possessions, which had included almost all of the present village of Grand-Pré, and a large and rich family, were reduced to a few heart-broken and hopeless old men and women.

"At forty years of age Pierre married one of his own people who had returned to her country after years of wandering and privation. She was an Acadian woman whom he had known at Grand-Pré. For twenty years he had lived alone on this island, and had cleared enough land to raise the necessaries of daily life, and by means of his fishing he added to his small wealth. He had built the stone house, and had raised up with stone and earth a road from the beach to the slope by which we come up to Bluff Castle.

"Four generations of Pierres end with me," said the old man, sadly. "When I am placed with those whose graves are in sight of the land lost to them[Pg 44] while they lived, and where their ancestors lie without a stone or mark to show the wayfarer, when I lie down with them the Pierres will be no more.

"That is the story of Bluff Castle. Each Pierre in turn went to his own people and chose a wife, and marrying her brought her here. Here the wives of the Pierres died and were buried. The daughters have never married till my sister broke the law established in the family after the deportation. That law required that no female should marry if the Pierre Gotro should continue and the name be perpetuated.

"We had come to look upon this as an old family tradition, without meaning, and belonging to an earlier and superstitious time. They had placed much importance on the perpetuation of the name, and deemed it not too great a sacrifice if the females of the family remained unmarried. I did not think it justifiable to make the whole life of my sister bound to the observance of it. Indeed, her own spirit rebelled against the acceptance of that old family law after she had been away to school and had become imbued with the ideas of a later generation.

"Well," continued Pierre, "my sister married. She died of a terrible disease in a month, and her husband followed not long after. Then came the fate of the Pierres. My only son was drowned. As if the dreadful broken vow of the Gotros were not yet expiated, my wife sickened and passed away, not soon, but after a lingering illness of years,[Pg 45] forcing upon my unbelieving heart the truth of the legend of our family, and the belief that the end of the Pierres was indeed to come with myself. I have rejected the belief all my life since the last loss that came to me through the death of my wife. I reject it to-day as I see myself the last of the Pierre Gotros of the direct line. I look about me at Pierre Logis, and at the place of our labor for nearly a hundred and fifty years. Our pride was placed in a name. Our pride will die as our name will go out. The effect of so selfish an object and so personal a desire is manifest in our family now. The once despised and unconsidered female element of the name takes up the family line, and upon a woman depends the continuance of the Gotro blood, for the name is soon to be lost."

The old man paused, gazing towards the place where lay the Gotros, the dark stones standing in mute testimony of the pride of a family, and the noble man in his great grief and firm submission to the fatal result of that pride blotted out in the judgment book all that was scored against the Gotros. He was the noblest of them all, this Gotro, the last of the Pierres.

[Pg 46]



"Along my father's dykes I roam again,
Among the willows by the river side,
These miles of green I know from hill to tide,
And every creek and river's ruddy stain.
Neglected long and shunned, our dead have lain,
Here where a people's dearest hope had died."

Frank Winslow was more and more drawn to Pierre as he continued the history of the Gotros and his connection with them. He looked at him now as he stood thoughtfully gazing about him upon the scene which would change its character when he died, and which had been unchanged for over a century. He must have felt that to him were entrusted the traditions of a family and a name. His was the duty to be fulfilled in the accomplishment of a purpose that had come to him through four generations. In him was the death of this aim, and the end of the name associated with that purpose. In not complying with the conditions of the trust imposed upon him, was he really to blame for the final failure of that great ambitious purpose transmitted through so many of his ancestors and conditioned with so many difficulties? Winslow felt that a strange fatality had followed upon the actions of[Pg 47] Pierre, and a cruel punishment had come on him for the violation of the Gotro traditions. His case had been a most remarkable one. As he thought of the years of sorrow the old man had had to endure, and had borne so faithfully and without murmur, he saw in Pierre a complete expiation for any blame that might stand against him. The spell was broken. The punishment for the broken family law was fully meted out in Pierre's life. He yet suffered for his act, but he had sacrificed himself to relieve others. If he did wrong, or made a mistake, he bore the penalty of it in himself that nobody else might suffer.

While Winslow mused thus, and felt the sorrow that must be moving the heart of his aged friend, he could not give voice to his sympathy, for he realized that such a grief was beyond his range of expression in condolence. Words would have been out of place. He could but wait. He felt his feelings pledged to support the old man in his deep grief. While they were silent, each guided by his peculiar emotions, Pierre's beautiful daughter appeared at the door of the stone house. Seeing the two men, she approached quickly, and before her father was aware of her presence she had placed her hand upon his arm and laughingly called him from his reverie.


Pierre turned to her, and with a smile placed his hand upon her shoulder, saying to Winslow as he did so:

[Pg 48]

"To this girl have the generations of the Pierres come. What remains of their proud ambitions and lifelong desires dies with me. In her may begin the better life, free from those stern traditions, that may make the blood of the Gotros pure again, even though the name be never revived again in us."

"You have been kept apart from your own people even, by the purpose your ancestors imposed. It has isolated you," said Winslow.

He did not say what was in his mind concerning Marie. He did not express the desire he experienced to take upon himself the guardianship of this maiden, should occasion require it. He determined that she would not be entirely alone or without protection if the care of the father were taken from her. He noted the love of the old man for this girl. He realized the anxiety of the father, who had been almost a mother as well, for the lovely charge which had been left to his care. This fixed Winslow's resolve to take the old man's place whenever it should be necessary. He did not feel that he could disclose the feelings that moved him on the subject, although he knew that Pierre reciprocated the friendship Winslow had for him. He desired to tell Pierre that he need have no fear. Yet he could not do so, certainly not before the young woman. The situation was delicate, and only time could show how they stood to each other. Pierre, though an old man, looked so strong and hale that he knew in all probability he would add two decades to his life,[Pg 49] and by that time his daughter would be of sufficient age to be no longer a cause of anxiety.

Winslow looked upon his self-imposed task as a matter of course. He was a young man, but the work of his life had matured him early, and the peculiar character of his experiences had thrown him in contact with older men rather than with the things of youth. He looked upon Marie as a child. She did not impress him in any other way. And as a child he dealt with her, and gave her such a place in his mind as made him now resolve to become, as it were, a father to her should she be left in the world without a protector. He found another condition in his life from that moment. He was no longer alone and with but himself to consider henceforth. He deemed it a sacred trust placed upon him by the friendship that had sprung up between the last Pierre and himself.

The old man again turned to Winslow, and holding his daughter's hand, said:

"To this girl, after I am gone, belongs Grand-Pré. Long ago the Pierres learned of the death of all who had land there, and by the marriage of the second Pierre he united in his family all title and claim to Grand-Pré. From this you may believe sprung the desire to maintain and perpetuate the ownership that they vainly hoped might eventually be enjoyed in the possession of land that had been taken from them. This desire and hope led to a care that the interests should not be lost or divided, and hence arose the traditions of the Pierre Gotros,[Pg 50] and the penalty of any infringement of the family law. That there could be but one male heir was an imperative condition. The fate of the family was cast upon one son. If there should be a daughter she should not marry. There has been but one son, and no daughter married till my sister broke the established law.

"That I am heir to Grand-Pré gives me no concern. What was once our land is never to return to us. We have waited for a century. The persons who now claim it and who dwell upon it recognize no claim made by any Acadian for the land of his fathers. The government has at no time considered the right or wrong of returning it to the heirs of the original owners. It has all passed out of our hands, and I see no hope, no possibility of chance, remote or otherwise, of the land of the Gotros, the home of the Pierres, the Grand-Pré of our desire and ambition, ever being put back into our hands again. We can but point to that beautiful country and say that it was once ours. Not a trace of our occupation remains, and it is never to see us more. At my time of life I cannot feel regret at this. What I may have once thought of it does not concern me now. My daughter is heir to all my claims upon Grand-Pré. But the penalties shall never fall to her. I feel that the purpose of our family dies with me. Indeed it is now dead. Marie enters upon a new lease of life not embarrassed by the traditions of a family, and not restrained by the conditions placed upon the Pierres.[Pg 51] It has cost our family much to free her, if there is any meaning in what has been experienced. But that is done.

"It has always seemed strange to me that the hope of the Gotros lived so long. It must have grown out of the great love our people have always had for their homes. It must have been this love that brought them back after the deportation. It certainly bound several generations of them to a hopeless purpose of one day being able to return to Grand-Pré. Grand-Pré village, you must understand, was, in comparison with the country usually called Grand-Pré, but a small part. Less than twenty families were included in the village, yet it was a rich village, the choicest of all Minas. It gave its name to almost the whole section. It had the church, in which the people were kept prisoners. Near it on the east is the burying ground, to-day without a mark to tell where our people sleep.

"Your writers and historians for years have been justifying the act of that people who removed the Acadians. Simple statement of the case was not deemed sufficient, and all kinds of reasons have been stated to give foundation for the deportation. Perhaps you do not know that facts have come to light within a few years which prove beyond a doubt that the governor of the province of Nova Scotia, Lawrence, was the chief instrument in bringing about the removal of the Acadians. The country under his administration had a large French population. Lawrence hated the Acadians, and by harsh treat[Pg 52]ment, arbitrary manner, and irritating restrictions put upon their movements he drove them to the extreme of fear and unhappiness. He compelled them to look upon him as an enemy, and to expect any violence at his hands. He had determined to get rid of them, and drove them to desperation to do something that would give a reason for removing them. He kept up the agitation against them in New England by false statements as to their behaviour and attitude towards the English. At the last, in spite of his efforts, he had to make accusations that were without foundation to give a show of reason for removing them. Yet all this effort against the people, and the deportation itself, were contrary to the expressed wishes of the government of England, and orders came, but too late, to stay any attempt at removing the Acadian people out of the country. As may be expected, the records of Lawrence's administration stand against the people. The genius that could develop the scheme of removing a people from their homes, and leave them to the mercy of such cruel circumstances and unfavorable conditions, could well be expected to make the record of his term of office seem to stand against this people. According to the reports and documents of his administration the Acadians are condemned, that is, in the records that have been preserved. But strange to say, many records of certain important periods have been altogether lost or destroyed. This silence of history is construed against our people.

[Pg 53]

"Many of your people who visit here, and come to the island," continued Pierre, "send me books and histories that are printed from time to time dealing with the question of the deportation."

"Yes," said Winslow, "I have just read a book by one, a well-known Canadian writer, who most unfairly and slightingly deals with your people, and ignores utterly the latest accepted statements of history."

"Our families bear witness to the hatred of the New England people to the unfortunate and homeless race when they were thrown helpless among them. Many tales of cruelty are told of those days."

"It is a sad story," said Winslow. "My own kinsman, I am sorry to say, when he wrote his journal, was filled with apprehension that your Grand-Pré people were likely to rise, unarmed as they were, against his soldiers, and he dealt with them in a way only excused by the stern demands of discipline and a soldier's duty. He had to restrain his men from acts of brutality and oppression they were too apt to practise. It is too evident that to have been an Acadian was to be liable to almost any outrage at the hands of the rude soldiery. But the otherwise worthy colonel was somewhat vain, and made history for himself. He made the statement in his journal, and permits the belief, that all the Acadians were captured and removed. Among his private papers are statements to the contrary, however, and he regretted his connection with the[Pg 54] deportation to his dying day. He was under orders. He fulfilled his most unpleasant duty, but one may read his protest upon every page of his journal. His pride was that of a soldier in the strict performance of his duty."

"There was no desire on the part of Governor Lawrence," continued Winslow, warmly, "to have the people treated kindly. They were of no further use in Nova Scotia. Indeed, they were on land that he desired to get from them for other people, and they had large stocks of cattle that would become confiscate when they were removed. Their return to their homes was contrary to his desire and against the success of his scheme. He endeavored in every way to prevent this. He made little attempt to arrange that they should find homes in New England, and, indeed, he found that they would not be permitted to land in many places. Yet he worked out his devilish plan to get rid of them at any cost, and he threw them upon the charity of the other provinces. If many died on the way to our country, packed as they were like animals in the holds of the small vessels, and without help or hope when they were landed at various points down our coast, and if disease thinned their ranks and hunger and fatigue killed, these were agents he was glad to have the aid of to lessen the possibility of any great number ever returning to the lands that they had been taken from. He was a most brutal man, with strength of purpose to accomplish anything and to bend others to his desires."

[Pg 55]

Winslow ceased speaking with the flush of manly scorn and indignation upon his face and the warmth of sincere enthusiasm glancing from his eyes.

Father and daughter looked upon him in silence. Marie felt the contagion of his feeling, while his presence and the force of his words moved strongly, absorbing her every thought and feeling.

"Salmon! Salmon!" came a loud and excited voice from the shore below. Pierre was roused to action by the words. He explained to Winslow that the first salmon had come up the Basin, and that there were fish in the weir.

[Pg 56]



"Silver salmon, mystery of the seas."

"Salmon! Salmon!"

Again the cry was borne up to Bluff Castle from the shore. In a few minutes Pierre and Winslow, followed shortly after by Marie and Suzanne, hurried down the road. The tide was out, and as they came in sight of the weir they saw Len Lawson moving about in the shallow water of the channel between the island and the mainland. The first run of salmon of the season had come, which had been expected for several days.

Again Len called out, "Salmon! Salmon!" as he saw the men approach down the beach. He had in his hands a long, slight pole about twelve feet long, and as he moved about he struck the water with it and appeared to be much excited.

"Come on, Mr. Winslow," he cried out, "here is sport for you. There are fifty of them at least." He struck the water again, and Winslow could see the ripples made by a number of fish in rapid motion through the water.

Low tide had left but a narrow and shallow channel, across which had been placed a weir, composed[Pg 57] of brush. The bottom of the channel was solid rock, and to keep the weir in position, and to prevent the rapid tides carrying it out, heavy beams had been laid down and pinned to the rock bed with iron bolts. To these beams were attached the posts supporting the weir.

The place had been well chosen. The water at certain times of the tide was but a few inches deep at the shallowest point. From this point each way the water deepened gradually. About fifty yards from this shallow point, in the direction the tide takes when running out, the weir was placed. In this way the shallow water prevented the fish escaping back into the sea, and the weir shut them off from the water on the other side. In this pond, so to speak, they were kept till the tide rose again. Yet there was a broad stretch of water for them to move about to escape the efforts of the beaters to strike them. At other times the tide did not fall low enough to enable the salmon to be caught. As it happened, the tide now ran low, and the fish had come in, and there was considerable excitement apparent in the efforts made to secure the valuable fish.

The water was perfectly clear, and the school of salmon could be seen darting about easily in the deeper tide. Often, when separated, they leaped into the air, or broke the bright surface of the water into tiny ripples which showed the rapid movements of their silvery bodies. When in the shal[Pg 58]lower places their fins could be seen as they curved back into deeper water.

A party of American tourists from the hotel on the mainland was now approaching, to witness the capture of the salmon. Winslow in a few moments found himself in the water, where he was soon joined by others. Each took up a position and was provided with a pole.

The work now began in earnest. The men thrashed here and there, and as the salmon darted about they attempted to strike the water above them so as to stun them till they could be taken to the shore. Often in the excitement somebody would fall into the water, or would be well splashed by somebody else, and thus for some minutes the scene was a lively as well as a noisy one.

Each salmon stunned by a blow was carried to shore, and all were captured but one, very large and swift, which had eluded the efforts of the beaters.

Suddenly it darted into the shadow of one of the beams supporting the weir poles. Seeing this, Pierre, who had taken no part in the killing of the salmon, called the other men away from the fish, and approaching from the other side of the log, slipped his hand over it. He touched the side of the fish with his fingers, and at once the salmon inclined towards his hand, and in another moment Pierre slipped his fingers into its gills and lifted it from the water.

The exclamations of surprise that this feat elicited were interrupted by loud laughter from Len Law[Pg 59]son, who was having some amusement at the expense of one of the strangers. This gentleman had removed his glasses, and being near-sighted, had attacked a large fish which he supposed was a salmon. Len drew it from the water, and held it up to view as Pierre was carrying to shore the salmon he had caught. It proved to be a large and extremely ugly fish, with head out of all proportion to its body, and known as a sculpin, a fish without any apparent use in nature. As he approached to examine it more closely Len threw it towards him, and in stepping back to avoid it he fell with a splash into the water.

"Another salmon," cried Len, as he threw it. "May you enjoy it when it is served."

When the stranger rose to his feet again Len feared that he had gone too far with the joke, and said,

"I am very sorry, sir; I did not mean to make you wet."

"It's all right, young man," returned the other; "I am not much wetter than I was previously, thanks to this kind of fun. However, my fondness for water will never equal what yours may be some day."

Len's smile vanished, and an ugly look came into his eyes, and he muttered something under his breath. He looked stealthily about him, and moved away from the people. Winslow saw the whole affair, and wondered what the meaning of the sud[Pg 60]den change in Len's manner meant, as he did not understand the words of the stranger.

The salmon were now divided up, or sold on the spot at a high price, and in a few more minutes the tide turned and filled up quickly the space between the shores.

Pierre and Winslow walked up the road together, and the old man explained to his friend the meaning of the words that had so affected Len. The story was in substance as follows:

An old Acadian woman and her grandson, whose father and mother had died while attempting to reach their own country again after having been left on the shore of Virginia, had reached this part of the province after months of difficulty and hardship. She was passing through a settlement of English people. The whole care and hope of her life were in her grandchild. She had often given to him and starved herself for his sake. She had carried him miles and miles to save him from suffering. On this day she had walked a long distance in the heat of the summer, and held him in her arms while he slept. He awoke, and feeling very thirsty, asked several times for a drink. Just then a man approached with a bucket of water which he had taken from a well or spring. Seeing him, the child again cried out for a drink. On this the woman arose from the stone on which she had rested for a moment, and asked the man for a sip to give her child. The man refused her request, and pushing her aside, passed on, leaving the child in tears. The man's cruelty[Pg 61] and the tears of the child aroused her, and crying out after the man as he left her, she said:

"Man of hate! Man of Satan! you shall thirst. And your sons from their manhood shall thirst till your name shall die. Your breed shall be cursed with what you deny my child."

"From that day," said Pierre, in concluding his narrative, "the sons of the man have been afflicted with an awful, unquenchable thirst. They are known as the water-cursed, and they are dying out. It is believed by the people here that Len will not escape the water curse, and it has isolated them from their own race. There are several who are afflicted, but Len has not come of age yet. I know what the effect upon them has been, and it is indeed a curse.

"Unfortunately for Len, he has grown into a violent attachment for Marie. No Acadian would marry a victim of the water curse."

"I have observed evidence of his love for Marie," he replied.

"They have known each other from childhood," the old man continued.

"Your daughter is young, sir, and doubtless you intend to continue her education?" said Winslow.

"Marie goes to school in winter, as that season is severe here. I wish to give her as much schooling as I can. I have little to leave her when I am gone."

Marie in her radiant and beautiful maidenhood was waiting for her father at the door of Bluff Castle.

[Pg 62]



"Evangeline, sad-eyed with longing pain."

To Marie Gotro the last few weeks had been filled with events which would influence her whole existence. Every tendency of her life, every inherent impulse of her nature, every impression made upon her heart by the character of her growth and training, had been affected by something which gave new direction to her soul, and tinged her whole personality. An unknown force had developed in her life. Her existence gave her new lights and shadows and feelings as if she had entered suddenly into a new world. Hitherto no thought had ever come to her as to her future. Her young womanhood was yet pervaded with the glow and with the happy ease of an unrestrained childhood. She had lived under the influence of conditions which had made no especial demand upon her, and she had followed the direction of other wills than her own, and knew no force within herself which ruled her but for the moment. She loved her father, and lived in the life he had made for her, uninfluenced by the secret care and solicitude he often found troubling his soul for her future. She had not yet[Pg 63] fully come out of childhood to indulge in dreams of fresh youth, or to feel the melancholy pinings of a more mature intellect and a more highly developed physical being. Of late a slight melancholy had come upon her at times, the inheritance of all her race, and the natural tendency of a nature such as hers. Yet there was nothing defined in her feelings. An exquisite emotion during such periods, without any play of intellect, gave her a vague and yet powerful feeling beyond expression in words, and potent in its influence upon her. Unknown to herself, these forces of her young soul were at the sanction of her heart and eyes ready to fix themselves upon some object which all her nature could not resist, and which henceforth would make the purpose which was lacking and which would mould her whole life. This purpose was now outlined in her soul. The strong light of desire had come to her, and gave a different value to life, and made a hope which thrilled with expectation, and created a future as if a new existence had suddenly been realized. In an object outside herself were centred all the forces of her being. She realized herself no longer as the individuality of a few days previous. She reached out to something beyond her, and at the same time out of her reach, with all the passion her heart was capable of, suddenly strengthened into the full maturity of womanhood and conscious of the whole and single desire of her life.

Unfortunately for Marie, she was not made[Pg 64] happy by the sudden birth of love. Her nature's rapid development she was not prepared for. She found herself with feelings that were new to her. The pain was as unfamiliar as the love that caused it. She was, however, all youth, ready to be moulded, easy of influence, immature in experiences, and in the peculiar strength of her life capable of much suffering and of much happiness. The change of her life came quickly. There was no doubt of its reality, there was no hesitation in meeting it or resistance on her part to the influence that ruled her. She loved with all the strength of her being.

With her love, Marie came to the realization of a great helplessness. Greater than all the dreams and hopes are the doubts of young love. In her self-abasement she made a house of grief for herself. In silence and in secret she dwelt with her new life. Neither her father nor old Suzanne knew of the change in her life.

The presence of Winslow at Bluff Castle placed no restraint upon the members of the household, for his quiet and natural manner and unconventional mode of life soon made him intimate with Suzanne as well as with Pierre. Marie laughed less than was her wont. Pierre and Winslow were thrown more and more into each other's society as the days passed and as the young man found his strength again. The old Acadian woman was more occupied with the duties of the house. Marie wandered alone much of the time, sometimes on the beach about the island, or watched from the summit the[Pg 65] passing of the ships coming and going with the tide. The change in Marie did not arouse attention. She seldom addressed Winslow, and at those times with a modesty and color of cheek which left on his mind the impression that Marie was extremely shy and without experience. Yet at times he saw in her eyes a depth of expression and warmth of color which left him uncertain as to what meaning they conveyed.

Pierre and Winslow in their conversation talked of the Acadians often. One evening their conversation turned to Longfellow, who had never seen Nova Scotia, and yet in his poem, "Evangeline," has described Grand-Pré so accurately. Winslow quoted some lines and was suddenly attracted by the pensive face of Marie, who, lost in thought, was following the words, her large brown eyes fixed upon him.

"Sat by some nameless grave
And thought that perhaps in its bosom he was already at rest,
And she longed to slumber beside him."

"It is a beautiful poem," continued Winslow, "and a sad story. What theory do you hold in regard to the origin of the story? I have known that it is a common belief that it came to Longfellow through Hawthorne, who got it from a priest. Longfellow asked the novelist for the privilege of using the story for a poem, as he did not care to make anything of it. The priest got the story from a relative of the historian Haliburton, who knew many of the returned Acadians."

[Pg 66]

"The story of a young Acadian woman," said Pierre, "who was sent away on one ship and her husband on another, and of their having wandered over the country in search of each other for years, was told among our people in the early part of this century. It was only one of the many sad tales they made current, and many homes to-day preserve traditions of the sufferings of their forefathers in those awful days."

"Then there was a kernel of fact about which the incidents of the poem, 'Evangeline,' were formed."

"The name 'Evangeline' was chosen by Longfellow in preference to 'Celestine' and 'Gabrielle.'"

"The privilege of the poet for the purpose of the poem," smiled Winslow. "It might just as well have been 'Marie,'" looking at the young woman as he spoke.

"That was indeed her name," Pierre added. "Marie Landry and Jacque Hebert. The story has been told to many generations of Acadians."

Marie blushed violently, and dropped her eyes, which until then had been fixed upon him and Pierre in turn, oblivious of herself till addressed.

"Your daughter much resembles that famous picture of Evangeline by an English painter, Thomas Faed. Indeed, I believe that the picture, while very beautiful in the suggestion of strength of character and of a high type of loving womanhood, is but the idealization of your Acadian women."

[Pg 67]

Pierre did not reply to this, but looked at his daughter intently for some time. He probably saw in her some resemblance to his dead wife.

In the silence that followed Winslow still looked at the young woman, studying her face and much struck with the wonderful beauty of it. His thoughts drifted on under the influence of her young, fresh loveliness, and he experienced an undefined and pleasant sense of something swaying him for the moment.

So, while Winslow was recovering the use of his shoulder and arm, the old man was his frequent companion, and they were being drawn into closer relationship. It was as if the house of Pierre had found a son. But in finding the son the young life of the daughter was lost, and in its place was the new life of the woman, with her days made up of the feelings and impulses, the doubts and desires of the heart.

Another fact in the changed conditions of her life was her sudden aversion to Len Lawson. Previous to the coming of Winslow she had simply felt amused or annoyed at him, according to her humor or his behaviour. The young fellow had seen with what favor his employer had been received by the inhabitants of Bluff Castle. This fact drove him to acts of attention, more or less eager, which Marie did not like. He persisted often in appearing before her when she preferred to be alone. What she had formerly received with indifference or slight vexation she now saw with fear, and she[Pg 68] felt a consciousness of herself which was new to her, so that she shunned Len in a way that aroused in him fits of anger and upbraidings.

When Winslow was not out in Len's boat examining the shores and studying the tides and their changes, Len was often at the island to accompany him on some excursion or to receive his instructions. Winslow knew of Len's attachment for Marie, and often had opportunity to observe them both. He noted particularly the effect his presence had upon her, and to free her from his rude attentions he often sent Len off upon long trips, or took him away for days when his strength finally permitted him to undergo the exertion. Often his errands did not seem to Len to have any other purpose than to rid Marie of him. As this feeling grew, his manner changed towards his employer. There was soon in his mind another cause for this change. He began to believe that Winslow's fancy for Marie had altered her treatment of himself. At last, he began to use Winslow's name in the manner of an accusation against the young woman, and the bitter tone he indulged in often brought a flash of anger to her eyes. In this way he became more and more offensive to her, and in the end her agitation overcame her anger when she thought that by some chance Winslow should learn that he was the cause, on the part of both Len and herself, of the present difficulty.

"Why will you not sail with me, Marie?" Len would sometimes ask her.

[Pg 69]

"You are in the employ of Mr. Winslow now," she would perhaps reply.

"If you think I should do so, I will tell him you want to go sailing. He will not refuse it."

"No, no! Don't ask him," Marie would exclaim; "it is not necessary."

"Then you will go?"

"Perhaps, some time," Marie would say, glad of a chance to escape.

After a few such scenes Len's anger would break forth, and she would abruptly leave him, while he would cry after her that she was afraid of Winslow.

It was really the case after awhile. Marie feared both Len and Winslow.

In this way Marie was driven to the extremity of disliking Len and avoiding him as much as she could possibly do so.

All this made it more difficult for her to assume an easy and natural manner in the presence of Winslow. The restraint it put upon her made it impossible for her to receive him into her daily life as she might otherwise have done. It also affected her position with regard to him, and left him without a true estimate of her character, attractive as she was in feature and in the charm of her fresh youth. He was to a certain extent influenced by the halo of romance surrounding her as the daughter of his venerable friend Pierre. He was, moreover, bound to her by the bond of duty voluntarily accepted, which he was anxious to perform. As yet no woman had entered his life. His studies[Pg 70] had been his passion both from choice and favorable opportunity.

In this way the young love of Marie began for her self-appointed guardian and the friend of her father.

[Pg 71]



"Dark was thy coming and with fire and dearth;
Internal shudderings and voiceless throes;
When from the burning depths thy form arose
To lie all black and shapeless on the earth."

Frank Winslow was now in the midst of his work, fully recovered from the effect of his accident, and in the enthusiasm of his investigations, with the ardor and strength of his young manhood, he kept himself actively engaged. Sometimes with Pierre and Len, and often with Pierre alone, he made excursions to regions of important geological formations on the numerous islands that studded the waters of the Basin of Minas. He often kept Len afloat for several days, much to the vexation of that young man.

They were again out on the flood tide approaching Blomidon, Len, as usual, at the tiller and Winslow busy with his glass. The wind was fresh and the Marie moved quickly into the shadow of that famous mountain of volcanic birth, the termination of the range of hills that make the backbone of Nova Scotia. The end of the mountain rose in front, lying along the Basin for several miles, and[Pg 72] presenting a rugged and precipitous face over the greater part of its extent. Here and there the crown of forest extended down the face of the cliffs like a cape, while in other places the soil was red and stood out in sharp contrast to the black or darker portions of the trap formations. Occasionally were open spaces of farm land where a barn or house could be seen perched seemingly on the very edge of the bluff. Along the whole face of the shore line the mountain stood out in coves and bays curving backward for several miles. To the extreme right the rock terminated in a sharp point called Cape Split, pointing seaward into the waters of the Bay of Fundy. On the right could be seen the lower lands of the Annapolis Valley, resting in quiet beauty on the south of the mountain. On the extreme south, blue in the distance, rose the outline of the South Mountain, making the other wall of the valley. The whole scene lay under the glorious sky of an Acadian summer, a veritable—

"Tempe, vale of the gods, deep-couched amid woodland and woodland,
All day drowsed with the sun, charm-drunken with moonlight at midnight,
Walled from the world forever under a vapor of dreams,—
Hid by the shadows of dreams not found by the curious footstep,
Sacred and secret forever, Tempe, vale of the gods."

C. G. D. Roberts.

"Well, Len," said Winslow, "you seem to know[Pg 73] everything about this grand old Basin: what is the meaning of Blomidon?"

"Blow-me-down, sir," answered Len, laconically.

The boat was under light sail, as the wind was fresh, and the early tide was driving them along rapidly. Frequent gusts of wind seemed to sweep down upon them from the mountain, literally falling upon the sails. One of these gusts struck the boat just as Len answered Winslow's question. The effect was startling and strange as the squall whirled about them without a sign of its coming.

"I understand your meaning, Len," said Winslow, after the boat had recovered and the wind had passed.

Len made no reply, but kept on the alert, sheet in hand and tiller free.

Blomidon cast a dark shadow to-day which the little boat was now darting through under the great bluffs. They soon sailed into smoother water and glided along steadily near the shore. Their course lay just outside the tide "rips," which roared and foamed where eddy and tide passed each other. The tide was rising rapidly and in a few hours would be sixty feet deeper, all the water pouring into the Basin between Blomidon and the opposite shores of Partridge Island, five miles distant.

Len pointed out the long line of beach formed of gravel and stone thrown up beyond the highest tides by the action of the surf. Behind this "sea-wall," many yards in extent, were the excavations[Pg 74] made by the treasure hunters after Captain Kidd's hidden money.

Passing southward, they cut across from point to point the magnificent curve of "Big Eddy," after having examined for some time Amethyst Cove, so famous for the quality and quantity of its amethyst veins.

Their destination was Indian Springs, where it was possible to observe the junction of red sandstone and the overlying trap which had been forced up and poured over the earth during a great internal disturbance.

Leaving Len to look after the boat, Winslow spent the greater part of the day alone. He had proceeded along the shore for several miles, fully absorbed by his investigations, when he saw by the height of the tide that it was time for him to return to the boat. The formation of the red sandstone yet drew him onward till he saw, about half a mile ahead of him, that the face of the bluff was almost perpendicular to the beach, and that the waves of the tide were washing against the face of the rock, thus cutting off farther passage. As he stood examining the elevated rocky shore on which he now stood, he heard a voice below him, and turning he saw a young woman who had just risen into view from behind a large boulder.

Seeing him, she spoke hurriedly and with serious face.

"Oh, sir, are you acquainted with these tides?[Pg 75] If so, do pray tell us how long it may be before we can pass that point which the tide reaches yonder?"

"High tide will not be for an hour," said Winslow, looking at his watch as he approached her. "It will be another hour, perhaps, before the tide will recede to enable you to pass the point."

"Oh, what shall we do?" said another voice, proceeding from the same rock.

As he came nearer he saw another young woman, with a look of utter despair, seated upon a stone, her head resting on both hands.

"Oh, Grace, what shall we do? Mother will be so frightened at our absence, and you know she is not yet strong after her illness. Oh, sir, can you help us to return to our friends? We should have left here an hour ago. If we cannot get back before two hours I do not know how much my mother may be affected."

"Calm yourself, Lizzie," said her friend, encouragingly; "perhaps this gentleman may help us," turning to Winslow as she spoke.

"I came to this shore in a sail-boat which is, I fear, too far away to be brought here in an hour. If I had been a few minutes earlier I might have helped you past the point, even if it had been necessary to carry you."

"My friend, Miss Forest, is not a good mountain climber, or we might try to reach the top of the bluff and return that way."

"I think, Miss—?" hesitated Winslow.

"Gaston," she said, smiling, in reply.

[Pg 76]

"I think, Miss Gaston," as he spoke passing to her a card he happened to have, "if you are willing to permit me to assist you, that we may find a way up the mountain."

"Lizzie, if you will accept Mr. Winslow's kind offer to help us we may return at once. I can carry the camera and get on very well without help, as you know."

"Anything, Grace, if we may escape from here. The sound of the waves will drive me to do anything. I have become so nervous thinking of mother."

"It is very kind of you, Mr. Winslow," said Miss Gaston, "and pray excuse the necessity of taking your time in this way. It may cause you much inconvenience."

"Not at all," smiled Winslow, in reply; "I am my own master, and my boatman is engaged for the season."

"Do let us hasten, then, Mr. Winslow, I beg of you. It is very, very kind of you indeed."

Winslow at once moved up the rocky base of Blomidon, choosing a way through the boulders and over the rough broken stone that was easiest for the ladies. As he came near the steep face of the cape he selected a place which seemed to promise less difficulty than elsewhere for their ascent. The course took them up the bed of a brook in the sandstone worn irregularly smooth, and free from stone and earth. At this dry season the amount of water running was small. It was very steep in many[Pg 77] places, but the sharp, fine material of the rock over which they trod gave them a good footing. Winslow paid all attention to Miss Forest, who was more timid and less agile and firm of foot than Miss Gaston. Often the way was so steep as to be most difficult for him to ascend, but when he got himself up it was more easy to assist them afterward. To aid him he used a long, tough stick which he found on the way, and by taking the ends in his hands he made good use of the loop by passing it around the waist of the young women.

"Are you sure you can hold out, ladies?" asked Winslow, when they had risen about a hundred feet in this way, and were resting, still in the bed of the brook.

"We must! We must!" cried Miss Forest, clinging to her friend as she looked down the steep way they had come. "It can be no worse than going up. Indeed, I do not believe we can get back. Do you think so, Grace?"

Her friend smiled and said, "We are doing well, are we not, Mr. Winslow?"

"You certainly are. Fifty feet more will take us out of this brook bed to a road less steep, though perhaps less easy to climb."

Having rested for a short time, they again began the ascent, but a few more yards brought them to the most difficult place to surmount they had met with.

"Now, ladies, I have helped you up so far," said Winslow, after he had examined the wall before[Pg 78] and above them; "you must now help me." He spoke cheerfully. "This place is too high for me to go up without a little help. Just above is the last of the brook bed for us."

"How may we help you?" said Miss Gaston, surveying the red and apparently impassable wall they were yet to climb. Her face told Winslow that she felt the difficulty of their position. Her friend sat down without a word, the picture of despair.

Winslow lost no time. Taking from his pocket a large knife, he carefully selected a place measuring from Miss Gaston's head, and in a few minutes had cut a notch in the loose rock large enough to receive part of a foot. He then cut another as high from the base as she could reach with her foot to lift her weight from the ground. Between the two now cut he made another.

"Now, ladies you must hold me against the rock when I step up on the lowest notch."

Placing his foot in position he rose up, and while held there by both the young women he cut a fourth notch above the highest one. Miss Forest saw what he wished to do and became more hopeful again.

"Less than three minutes will find us all above. Now, ladies, your assistance again."

Placing one on each side of him, he stood close to the rock and raised himself carefully and slowly with his foot in the first step. The ladies held him against the face of the rock while he aided himself as much as he could by placing his hands in the step[Pg 79] above his head. When he reached the second step he could not depend upon anything above to support him. Now taking the knife from between his teeth where he held it open, he reached up and made another small cut, into which he pressed his fingers. He held for a moment to give the ladies an opportunity to rest, for he felt the trembling of their hands against him. In a few more seconds he had the notch deeper, and with his foot in the third hole, he was able to draw himself up to the shelf above, which was large and flat.

"Now, ladies, if your skirts will not permit you to be sure in taking the steps, you had better shorten them. You will not be able to use your hands."

"Miss Gaston, if you will help your friend up one step, I will be able to use this stick. She will let it pass over her shoulders under her arms. By all means keep close to the rock. I have cut a place here to brace my feet."

Very pale, and with set lips and eyes filled with fear, Miss Forest went up as she was directed. She was slight, and Winslow was able almost to lift her up the ascent, her own exertions merely keeping her from being bruised against the rock. She was up in a moment at his side.

"You are without anyone to help you, Miss Gaston, but your strength was necessary to aid your friend.

"Place your foot in the first step and rest your two hands in the second. When I say 'ready,' leap up from the ground as far as you can. Try it[Pg 80] a few times easily till you are sure of your footing."

She did so, and after a few trials could rest for a brief space of time on one foot supported by her hands.

"Now, ready!" cried Winslow, and as she rose he let the loop of the stick fall over her shoulders far enough down for it to rest under her arms as her hands slipped off the step. Holding firmly to the stick, and balanced on one foot, she steadied herself for a moment, and lifting the other foot she placed it in the second step. With his assistance she was able to rise to this foot, and with another step upward was drawn to a safe place on the ledge by her hands, which Winslow seized with his own.

He gave them time to let down their skirts, not before his eyes of necessity had sight of shapely ankles and limbs, and suspicion of torn hosiery.

[Pg 81]



"Grim warders of the everlasting crags,
To whose bleak avenues the eagle steers;
Holding an endless conclave of the peers,
Where often Time lays down his blade and lags;
Ye are of other days when roaming stags
Leaped from no human voice with trembling fears;
Ere came the red men and the pioneers;
Or Glooscap plied his paddle to the flags."

While Winslow and his recent acquaintances were resting on the broad shelf which they had reached with so much difficulty, and were looking out over the waters that lay below them nearly two hundred feet, a boat appeared sailing close to shore.

"My boatman has arrived, ladies. Shall we return and take the boat, or continue up the mountain?"

"We could never get down again," said Miss Forest, going as near the edge as she dared, and looking down with a shudder. "I am sure I do not know how we ever came up."

"It is always easier to go up a steep place than to go down," said Winslow, recalling his own experience of a few weeks previous.

[Pg 82]

"I also think we had better try the ascent," added Miss Gaston.

"The way has been so difficult, I do not wish to conjecture as to the rest of the ascent. Yet I think we have gone over the worst of it," rejoined Winslow, looking up the face of the mountain, which from where he stood could be seen rising into the woods of the summit. On the right a strip of hardwood ran down the face of the cliff and shut off their view to the north-east, but on their left hand the rough formation extended for several hundred yards, patches of green shrubbery and woods alternating with rough stone broken off the cliff and sloping downward. Everything seemed to be clinging to the steep face of the mountain, and was apparently at any moment likely to lose its hold and go sliding and tumbling down into the sea. The wind often started a rock or slide of sand downward, and the noise of invisible movement often came to their ears. Yet the birds were all about them. Eagle and hawk were interrupted in their warfare on the smaller bird life, and the seagulls floated through the air with graceful motion.

"Let us go, Grace," said Miss Forest, at last becoming impatient.

By this time Winslow had succeeded in attracting the attention of Len, though he could not make him understand in the roar of the waves, but by motioning in the direction he intended to take he kept him going on to the termination of the mountain.

The ladies were climbing up and were able to[Pg 83] get along very well without assistance. Their course lay up a long, loose slide of rock and earth not easy to traverse at times because of its tendency to slip from beneath their feet and endanger the limbs of the person who happened to be just below. Large rocks were easily set rolling downward, and their way was marked by a continuous rolling of stones and earth.

Taking a diagonal direction up the face of the mountain, they approached the long line of trees and brush which seemed to extend from the brow of the bluff of Blomidon downward to where they were.

They now stood within a short distance of the wood they were aiming for, but to Winslow's dismay he found that the more solid formation on which they stood and the woods beyond were separated by a long slide, steep and treacherous, of fine red sand. This slide was as level as a roof. The particles of sand moving so freely over each other had made the slide extremely steep, and the whole slope presented no visible break in the smoothness of its surface. Winslow found that when he tried to go across it was necessary to step very quickly, as his feet sank in the soft material, and the whole surface seemed to move downward in a body, bearing him along with it. His strength kept him from sliding down quicker than he could walk, and he was able to make his way across, where he found another difficulty. The rise from the slide was high, the margin of the wood making a steep bank[Pg 84] held together by the countless roots of the trees that bordered it. It was higher than his shoulders, and could only be climbed by the aid of the bare roots and overhanging branches. To stand in one place was impossible, and it would exhaust the strongest man in a short while to attempt to walk up the slide.

"Your assistance, Mr. Winslow," said a voice near him, and turning around he found that Miss Gaston had followed him, but without strength enough to enable her to keep in line with him, she had been carried down some distance by the moving sand. He was at her side in an instant, and together they slowly came up the slope until he was able to grasp a projecting root, and with much difficulty he succeeded in helping her up the bank. As a muscular feat it was the most severe he had attempted that day. They had torn so much of the sand down in their passage across that now the whole face of the slide was amove, the particles filling up all the traces of their exertions. Returning quickly for Miss Forest, he led her up the bank some distance, and as she was slight of figure he was able, by half dragging and half lifting her, to get her safe across. And they again stood together, glad to rest for a time.

"Admirably done, Mr. Winslow," said Miss Gaston, laughing. "You surely have repented of this undertaking many times since we left the beach."

"I have regretted what it has caused you, rather. You will have painful reminders in bruised body[Pg 85] and stiffened and strained limbs for some weeks. This trip will be one to be remembered."

"And much torn clothing," added Miss Forest, whose spirits had revived somewhat, surveying the disorder of her garments, at the same time exchanging glances with Miss Gaston whose meaning seemed to be mutually understood, for merry laughter followed.

"Are you sufficiently rested, Mr. Winslow?" asked Miss Gaston, smiling.

"Quite so, thank you," replied Winslow, at once making his way up the mountain through the thick growth of trees and underbrush. From this point they were able to make their way with comparative ease and comfort to the top of the bluff and along the summit.

"At last, at last!" cried Miss Forest, as they clambered up the last part of the steep bluff, and found themselves on the level ground, over which they could now proceed to their destination. They did not pause to enjoy the magnificent view presented from the top of Cape Blomidon, but hurried downward, the delight of their escape lending renewed strength to their limbs. The roar of the sea came to their ears from the shore hundreds of feet below them, and the sun was now about to dip into the crimson and gold lights of the west.

Miss Forest had recovered her natural vivacity of manner and speech.

"Our meeting was a fortunate one for us, Mr. Winslow. But for you we would still be prisoners[Pg 86] in that dreadful place, and perhaps would not have been able to get away from it till after dark. You certainly saved my peace of mind, and my mother will thank you for thus restoring her daughter to her arms."

"I shall be glad to tell her what a good mountain climber her daughter is," smiled Winslow. "You both did well, and gave a good exhibition of American pluck. If I mistake not, you are Americans? Almost all the tourists who come here are Americans."

"Yes, we are New Yorkers," she replied.

"My home also for several years," said Winslow. "My summers are usually spent away."

"It may seem strange to you that we should have been caught in such a trap, but we had been told to return in an hour, and we did not think it possible that the tide could rise so rapidly as it did. We are collecting mineral specimens,—not as some of you gentlemen fish, you know, with silver hooks, but we find our own specimens, and in our enthusiasm among the agates and amethysts we did not note how far we were away from the point until too late."

"And our lovely specimens!" cried Miss Gaston. "We have left them on the beach; I did not bring a crystal of any kind."

"Grace, you may have to go after them alone to-morrow. Mother objected to letting me go away from her to-day. After this experience I do not[Pg 87] think I shall desire to attempt another for some time."

"I shall return to-morrow by way of the shore and may be able to find your collection," said Winslow. "My work will keep me here two or three days longer, and my intention is to go over the beach thoroughly on foot."

"We have already put ourselves under obligation to you beyond our power to repay," said Miss Gaston.

They now were in sight of the little wharf at White Waters, and the red road leading down beside it to the beach which had been followed by the young ladies. On the pier they saw a man and woman walking to and fro, often stopping to look towards the point around which the young ladies were expected to come.

"My poor, dear old mother!" cried Miss Forest, in a burst of excitement, as she caught sight of the two figures. They all set up a cry, and with their handkerchiefs waving soon attracted the attention of their friends.

It was not many minutes before mother and daughter were in each other's arms, as if the younger woman had escaped from some great danger.

"My dear child, how anxious I have been for you, and for you, too, Grace."

"You must thank our escort, Mr. Winslow, mother, for he was a friend indeed, and came along at the right moment."

[Pg 88]

"I hope you will join us at the hotel this evening, Mr. Winslow," said Mrs. Forest to him as they proceeded up the pier. Miss Gaston was accompanied by the gentleman, whom Winslow observed with interest. Of quiet and easy manner, Mr. Sternly left a doubt in the mind of the young geologist as to what place to assign him in relation to the party whom chance had so suddenly thrown in his way.

It was an eventful day in the life of two of the party at least. The sun went down, and under the cliffs of Blomidon night soon fell, while out across the Basin glided the lights of ships, and far across the waters of the now quickly falling tide gleamed the bright beacon of Horton Bluff, telling the pilots where the Cornwallis, the Avon and the Gaspereau rivers lie, and to the eye familiar with all the loveliness of the south shore that bright gleam told where stretched the verdant dykeland of the Grand-Pré.

[Pg 89]



"Beneath a cliff wrenched from the inner earth,
All seamed and blackened in an ancient war,
I saw rich crystals marking many a scar,
Healed when the world was recent from its birth."

The small party of Americans consisted of Mrs. Forest, her only daughter, Miss Gaston, a schoolmate of Miss Forest, and Mr. Sternly, a young artist and friend of Miss Gaston.

Winslow was glad of the opportunity that had thrown him into the society of these persons. During the evening he became aware of the position in which Mr. Sternly stood in relation to Miss Gaston, which only heightened his interest in that young lady. Her behaviour during their arduous climb up the face of Blomidon had impressed him greatly in her favor, and the good opinion he entertained of her was augmented during the evening he spent at the hotel. The effects of their rough climb were removed, and the changed conditions of their existence as he found them in the private parlor of the hotel, as compared with the adverse circumstances of their first acquaintance, left a strong impression upon his feel[Pg 90]ings. Their few hours of companionship on the mountain had accelerated their good feeling, and there already existed a very good understanding between the several persons who had thus been so strangely thrown together.

Miss Gaston, while apparently young in years, had lived through a period of life and experiences and changes which had stamped her face with a quiet and almost reserved yet strong maturity. A personality well in hand, a sweet disposition, and a disinterested nature were often disclosed by her word or smile.

At the breakfast table the next morning Winslow learned that Miss Gaston and Mr. Sternly were to accompany him in search of the specimens they had left on the shore.

"If you are still interested in mineral specimens I can recommend the part of the Basin where I have been stopping for a few weeks."

"Is the variety good?" asked Miss Gaston.

"Excellent," replied Winslow, "and well worth your consideration. The veins are very numerous, and the combinations are many and interesting, and more or less valuable. As to the beauty of the places there, I think they are worthy the brush of any artist."

"By all means, girls, let us go," said Mrs. Forest. "We have spent enough time here, and we may see Grand-Pré later."

"It was our purpose to go to Evangeline's home from here," added her daughter to Winslow; "but[Pg 91] your account of Pierre Island, and its venerable owner and his beautiful daughter, has made us decide to go there at once."

"I am sure it will not disappoint you. You may discover the vein of very rich and rare mineral said to be there somewhere. Its discovery means an immense fortune to somebody," he said, smiling.

"We must go at once, Grace. We will form a joint stock company for the tearing down of Pierre Island. We will give these gentlemen important positions on the managing staff."

Everybody was in good spirits when Winslow took his leave of the Forests.

Miss Gaston and her friend, Mr. Sternly, accompanied Winslow on his return, for the purpose of recovering the specimens that had been left the day before. Len was to follow with the boat when it floated, as the tide was now but half out and a half-mile of beach lay between the bluff and the sea.

In the morning light Winslow had looked with interest on the scene which lay before him. He tried to recall the time when his famous ancestor had sailed into the Basin, and, landing at Grand-Pré, took possession of the church and the priest's house for himself and his soldiers. He pictured to himself the prosperous and contented people inhabiting the region from the upper waters of the Avon, which he could see, all along the south shore and up all the other large streams as far as Pereau, but a few miles distant. Here were farms and orchards, populous villages[Pg 92] and many scattered homes. Then he saw it as it was when Colonel Winslow departed, destroyed and laid waste; churches, houses, mills and barns all burned, people removed, and six years of silence and desolation haunted by the spectre of things as they had been, a spectre called up by the ruins of what had been happy homes, by the uncared-for fields, the broken dykes and marshes covered again by the sea, the orchards of fruit ungathered, the bones of cattle that had starved to death. Then he noted the coming of the New England people to take up the vacated lands, and how dependent they were upon the very people they replaced to restore the dykes. Also the returning Acadians, with gaunt-eyed and suffering faces disclosing the fear they yet felt because of the terrible fate that had befallen them and seemed to follow them wherever they went. This he saw, and, above all, he recognized the merciless hand that had struck them with such deadly hate, following them in their utter helplessness and misery, when all hope seemed dead and no door open for them. Thus he had mused as he realized that not one of the people could be found in all the country that lay before him and that had been all theirs.

Miss Gaston showed no sign of fatigue in the morning. Under the red bluffs in the cool air of the day they made their way, and soon passed out of sight of the wharf around the steep point where the tide had cut them off the day before.

"We have heard a great deal here about Kidd's[Pg 93] diamond from the Blomidon folk, Mr. Winslow. How do you account for the light sometimes seen on the face of the cliff by persons on vessels? It is always at the same point above Amethyst Cove."

"I presume the cause of it is a large cluster of quartz which at times catches the light of the sun and reflects it. I understand it has been a belief for many years that Captain Kidd, our famous buccaneer, brought much of his treasure here, and hiding it in a cave on Blomidon shore, walled the entrance to the place."

"And the diamond is supposed to indicate the location of the treasure?" asked Miss Gaston.

"Yes. And, moreover, certain individuals, it is told, have seen a dull glow at night where the brightness is sometimes observable in the daytime. If you are interested in such tales and legends there are many to be learned."

"It is a country with a romantic history, and it is very beautiful," she said. "We hope to remain for a time among the descendants of the Grand-Pré Acadians who returned to the country after they were expelled. Our trip to Pierre Island will introduce us to the people, and open up the subject in a pleasant way. Then a visit to Grand-Pré and a few weeks with the people themselves on our way back will complete our study of 'Evangeline.'"

"This place seems familiar," said Winslow, as they now came to huge boulders and a large stretch of broken stone. "Yes, there is the dry brook-way,[Pg 94] and that yonder is the stone rock you were standing near when I first saw you yesterday."

"And here are our specimens," exclaimed Miss Gaston, with delight.

"Amethyst and agate, and a very good piece of opal," said Winslow, examining the collection.

"And what is the red-colored piece?" she asked.

"Acadialite, a variety of what is known as chabazite. The red kind is peculiar to Acadia, and the stone is so called because of this."

Miss Gaston gathered up her precious collection, and her friend, who had been making a sketch of the place, joined them as Winslow prepared to take his leave of them.

"If by any chance we should not see you at the other side, I shall expect to see you in New York when you return there."

"Thank you, but do not fail to come to Pierre Island. It is well worth the effort and will repay you."

"I am much interested in your Evangeline. We have had a steel engraving of Faed's picture which is so well known, but I have never seen an Acadian in the flesh. The people and their story fascinate me."

They now separated, and Winslow went on alone, leaving his friends to return to White Waters.

Winslow recalled, as he strode along over the rocky beach, her words, "your Evangeline," and he thought of the brown-eyed maiden, awkwardly shy, and always noticeably embarrassed in his presence.

[Pg 95]

His athletic frame and light, firm step paused not, and his active mind kept him good company. Often a gull passed him in easy flight on the way to its fishing ground, or an eagle, startled from its place on a lofty ledge, floated away into some better concealment far in advance. No sign of human life met his eye along the whole stretch of shore. Out on the Basin the long trail of a steamer's smoke hung black in the summer morning air.

Winslow at last reached Amethyst Cove, where from the beach near the tide he examined the cliff carefully with his glass. He was curious to discover the secret of Kidd's diamond. Scattered veins of quartz ran in various parts of the perpendicular bluff, here and there showing the purple color peculiar to the amethyst of Cape Blomidon. Nowhere in reach of his glass could he discern anything like what he thought was worthy of the fame tradition had given Kidd's diamond. He changed his position several times, till, at last, from a high rock, he scanned the cliff for the last time. Suddenly, high up on the face of the cliff, he discovered something that held his attention. There, in a slight depression in the solid rock, appeared a large cluster of bright crystals of quartz, but slightly tinted with blue. He could see that the points were of extraordinary size and extremely bright of surface.

Here, then, must be the explanation of the mysterious light that had been a puzzle for so long. Only at certain favorable times would it be possible for the sun's rays to strike the crystals, and then[Pg 96] only at certain points on the Basin could the reflection be caught, because of the projecting sides of the cavity. The moon when full might produce the same effect, but much softened. Only with a powerful glass such as he used could the place have been detected and the secret of Amethyst Cove been disclosed.

Having satisfied himself as to the explanation of the mysterious light, he proceeded on his way. The boat was not yet in sight, and as he passed around a point of the bluff his ears were shocked by a loud report. The sound had scarcely died away when two men appeared from behind a large rock which had protected them from the blast, and came towards him where the smoke of the powder was yet rising in the air. Winslow joined the men as they reached the place where the rock had been thrown down. He found a large vein of red-colored agate exposed, and the men were soon at work prying pieces of it out. Near by he observed a number of amethyst specimens that they had already secured, some of it beautifully colored and with large crystals. They soon forced off a large piece of the vein, and disclosed a large pocket of finely tinted crystals of the true amethyst color in a great mass of brilliant points. Securing from the men a good-sized crystal as a memento of his visit to Amethyst Cove and the famous Blomidon, he passed on and was soon out of the reach of the sound of any human labor, and strode on in the full enjoyment of the ever-changing character of the geological formations that were observable.

[Pg 97]



"And then I found that Art was but a song,
A pulse of life that beats away the years;
For while I touched the strings that trembling died
A voice came into mine and made it strong;
And through the curtain of emotion-tears
I saw that Love was ruling at my side."

Winslow spent several more days on Blomidon than he had previously thought would be sufficient to conclude his investigations. The differing trap formations, the composition of the vein deposits, and the varied character of the crystalline structures gave him a large field for study. Here, also, the tides in all their force and wonderful character were easier of investigation than elsewhere.

Camping on the shore at various points of the mountain, or spending a night now and then on the boat, he had found in his boatman, Len Lawson, an interesting study as well, and had attempted at various times to get from him the confirmation of the strange story connected with his family.

Len proved himself on several occasions a skilful seaman and thoroughly acquainted with the changing conditions of the Basin and its more uncertain neighbor, the Bay of Fundy. But as to his person[Pg 98]ality Winslow found him every day less approachable, and he could not but be conscious of the fact that there was something of a dangerous nature in his companion. Winslow did not impress anybody with whom he came in contact with the idea that he feared anything. His open-handed manner and unconscious calmness in the face of danger kept Len in check. He had ample opportunity to learn that beneath the calm exterior, which always seemed unchanged in Winslow, was a great reserve of force and strength, and which he never attempted to trifle with. The one never took advantage of his position to work anything unmanly upon the other simply because he was in his employ. Nor would Len have submitted to imposition of any kind. One was perhaps as courageous as the other, but with the courage of Winslow was the strength of moral intelligence, the unobtrusive pride of a young manhood and a kind heart.

Familiar with many of the curious legends connected with every part of those northern shores, Len was at his best moments ready enough to talk about them. It was a part of his business to amuse those whom he conveyed in his boat. His shrewd intelligence taught him the advantage of this, and his mind was one which easily and naturally stored itself with tale and legend. Yet he carefully avoided any reference to his family or to anything which would lead up to that subject. Unintentionally, Winslow sometimes asked a question which in Len's mind suggested a connection with the haunt[Pg 99]ing and proscribed subject. At once his manner would change, and for hours a strange set expression of his face and eyes never left him, while his manner was at once suspicious and repellent. At other times it left him in the power of some strong emotion, which alternated between defiance and despair.

At such times Winslow would set him at work demanding all his activity, either in working out a vein of mineral or in sailing out on the rapid waters of the channel between the bay and the Basin. Once this cost Winslow six hours in the boat without a wind and at the mercy of the tide, the wind having died out before they could get back to their camp.

It was almost a week before the Marie cast anchor in the shadow of Pierre Island and Winslow found himself making his way to the road leading to Bluff Castle. On reaching the level top of the island he was both pleased and astonished to see coming out of the grove near the house Miss Gaston and the blushing Marie.

"We have been enjoying the view, and we saw your boat come in," said Miss Gaston, after the first greetings.

"I observe you have found our Evangeline," smiled Winslow.

"Oh, yes, we are fast friends," replied Miss Gaston. "I have needed a guide to disclose to me the secrets of these shores, and a companion as well, as Mrs. Forest does not wish her daughter to be long away from her since our adventure on Blomidon.[Pg 100] In Marie I have found both guide and companion, as well as a friend."

"Have you found the place interesting at all?" he asked.

"Very much so, and we have found very beautiful specimens to add to our collection."

As they came near the house Marie escaped into it, leaving her friends. A moment after Suzanne appeared with a bundle of letters and papers and a telegram.

"How do you do, Suzanne? My mail, I suppose. Ah! a telegram. How is my friend Pierre?" he said, looking into her smiling face as he opened the despatch.

Miss Gaston slipped into the house as he was looking over his mail, and in a few minutes appeared again.

"I am in time to cross by the ford. My friends are expecting you as soon as you are able to come over to our hotel."

Winslow walked by her side to the beach.

"May I ask, how long has this intimacy existed between you and Marie?" he asked.

"We have been here four days. On our arrival we introduced ourselves at the island, and found that your name was the open sesame. I was much pleased with Marie, and interested in the father as well. I think the daughter is a beautiful girl, as good of heart as lovely of face."

"I would like to help the family," said Winslow, "for their history, while strange and fascinating,[Pg 101] is also a sad one; and as you may know, Pierre is the last of his line."

"Yes, I have learned a great deal about the people from Marie and Suzanne. The child may need a protector some day, for her father's health is failing, and he is an old man, though he seems good for many years yet."

"I fear not," said Winslow, in reply; "he has a great grief ever bearing him down. Marie is all he has left in the world. And while he seldom speaks of his sorrow, I know he is bending under it. I am glad you have been drawn to the family as I have. I owe my life to Pierre," he continued, "and I feel, in the confidence the old man has reposed in me, under obligation to them, and more than that, I feel it a duty that binds me to them."

She looked at the young man and was struck by the words he had spoken in such a straightforward and manly way. She did not reply for a time, her thoughts being taken up with what he had said.

"I hope I may share with you in interest and responsibility in Marie, who has apparently bound us both to her," she said, at last. "I would not intrude myself into their lives or affect your connection with them by it, but I have found in Marie a sweet creature who has spoken to me of herself and laid bare her young heart as to a mother. She may need the comfort and love of a woman in her life, as well as the protection of a man."

"I am much pleased to know that you have assumed a place in her life," said the young man,[Pg 102] warmly, turning upon her a face that told her of the honesty of his words and thoughts. He spoke openly, as if they had known each other for a much longer time. He continued:

"If my judgment is not at fault, and I am sure Marie's friendship confirms my opinion, there could not have been a better choice made by her."

"Thank you," she said, blushing at the unreserved expression of his approval, while she laughed to hide the embarrassment his words caused.

He also burst out laughing, and said, "Pardon me, Miss Gaston, but I do not feel as if I had not known you for a long time. The climb we had together and your purpose in regard to my friends here have made me feel well towards you, and are accountable for my plain statement of our position. We have these things in common, and from them springs a mutual interest."

So they came to an understanding, and yet each formed erroneous ideas of the other, whose result would be felt seriously by both for years of their life.

"Our friends are on the beach, I observe, waiting for me at the ford. I do not think they know that you have returned," she said.

Their appearance was the signal for the waving of handkerchiefs and the exchange of merry greetings.

"We have been expecting you, Mr. Winslow," said Mrs. Forest, after an exchange of courtesies.

[Pg 103]

"I was longer on Blomidon than I expected to be. I did not think to find you here so soon."

"We had all these lovely places in anticipation, you know, and we had exhausted Blomidon and completed our geological investigations," continued her daughter, with a smile. "This field presented a greater range for our work, and permits mother to have a sharper eye upon me. She has not gotten over her fear of the tide. Yet we have found all the zeolites, and the combinations of them,—stilbite, acadialite, flybites and skylights, and I don't know how many tights."

Their merry laughter echoed along the cliffs after this speech.

"I see you have been making a careful study of the subject, and have not lost much time," said Winslow, laughing.

"My dear, there is another bite you have forgotten to mention. I found a good specimen this morning, you know," said Mrs. Forest.

"When may we see you?" she said to Winslow, as he raised his cap, about to leave them. "We are easily found."

"We inhabitants of Pierre Island time our going and coming by the tide."

He returned to the island.

Events were making history in the life of Marie, the child-woman, the woman-child. When Winslow reached Bluff Castle he was surprised to meet Len, who strode past him without a word, his face pale with rage, and a savage look in his eyes. Enter[Pg 104]ing the house, he found Marie in tears and Suzanne absent. Seeing him, she withdrew into another room, leaving him to conjecture as to the cause of her emotion. He suspected that Len had found her alone and had continued to force his unpleasant and jealous humor upon her after his protracted absence. He had lost no time, as the occasion showed.

Leaving the house, he went quickly after Len and called to him. This did not stop him or even cause him to turn his head to see who spoke his name. Again Winslow called after him in such a tone of voice as told Len he had better heed, so he stopped in the road and waited for him to come near enough to speak with him.

"I have received a telegram which will compel me to leave here sooner than I expected to. As the rest of my work will be done without a boat, I will pay you for the whole time I engaged you for. Is that satisfactory?"

"Yes, sir," he said, the sullen look on his face relaxing as he found that there was to be no reference to himself or Marie, which he had expected.

"When are you going away?" he asked, scarcely concealing his interest and satisfaction in what had occurred.

"Quite soon, I think. I liked your boat, Len, and I hope to need her again some other time."

Saying this, he turned to the house and went over his mail again, before preparing to meet his American friends.

[Pg 105]



"The wakened distance hears the falling rock
That gives to day thy treasure, as to greet
From the young world thou canst no longer hide."

Pierre welcomed Winslow heartily and with every evidence of pleasure. The old man had not returned home till he had been driven in by the tide, and Winslow came to the island, after spending a few hours with his friends, at high tide.

It should be understood, from the base of the cliff near the road boats could be rowed to the mainland, and on one of these Winslow had returned. At low tide it was possible to cross by the ford of large stones placed for that purpose in the channel, which never lost all its water. After the turn of the coming tide it was not safe to attempt to cross against the strong current that would be running in. From half tide to full tide, and for a short time after, the current could be stemmed with a boat. For this reason the passage to and from the island was limited to these periods, and at other times the island was virtually shut off from the mainland.

After the greetings of the men were over, Winslow informed Pierre what he had seen on his first[Pg 106] coming to the house when he met Len. He supposed that Marie would not speak of it to her father. The old man said nothing as he continued:

"I have paid him off to-day, as I shall have to leave for New York in a week or so. My uncle desires my return about that time. I am sorry I shall not be able to stay with you as long as I had purposed."

"I would like you to examine a vein of blue mineral I have found lately, in the bluff at the back of the island. I have been clearing a way to it, and the tide drove me in before I had finished it."

"We may look at it to-morrow, if you wish. How did you happen to discover it? I have never seen anything but blue agate veins about the island."

"I had been thinking about a valuable mineral which you told me about, and I remembered what my father used to tell me about a cave which was under the back of the island, and which had a blue vein. The cave, he told me, was known to the Indians in earliest time, and they yet have tradition of the existence of it somewhere. Like all the traditions of those days there is much of the supernatural woven into this story. The cave was made by the Micmacs during many years by cutting away the rock to remove fragments of the vein. The stone supplied them with their most precious and beautiful ornament. In the course of time the stones became valuable to the white people, and they were obtained from the Indians. The story goes that Glooscap, the Micmac god, created the stone[Pg 107] for the Indian alone, and put a curse upon it for the white men, whom he did not like, as he saw that they were to become the enemies of his people. Strange to say, the stone has brought a curse to the white people. Yet the stones were bought of the Indians until they were all gone from them, and they had to break them out of the rock again and shape and polish them as the Micmac knew how. The 'Devil Stones,' or the 'Devil's Eye,' as they used to call the mineral, became scarce. A white man found out where the vein was, a secret which the Indians had guarded so carefully. They would not permit anybody not of their own race to remove the stone, because they considered it a gift of their own great spirit, Glooscap. One night the white man put a charge of powder in the rock to remove the vein, and when he returned to get the stone after the discharge the cave fell in with many thousands of tons of the cliff, and buried both the man and the blue vein. From that day all knowledge of the vein was lost. I had never seen the stones, for in my day the Indians had lost them all. My father said the noise of the falling stone could be heard for miles, and shook the island as if an earthquake had occurred at the same time. In the morning the great mass of rock was found piled up and rolled down on the beach. Until now the vein has never been seen, if what I have found is the blue vein of those early times."

"You do not know any other name for the stone,[Pg 108] I think you said?" asked Winslow, when Pierre had ended his account of the blue vein.

"I have seen the stone called opal worn by so many of your people of late. From the description of the Devil Stone given by my father, and what I have heard of the supposed unlucky nature of the opal, I think the stones must be one and the same."

"My friend, if you have found an opal vein on your island you are a rich man, for the stone is valuable and in great demand just now. The people have outgrown the superstition as to its unlucky character, and there is a large demand for it this season."

"It will be of little use to me," said Pierre; "but I have not as much to leave Marie as I would wish. I must send her away," the old man continued, thoughtfully, "for Len is becoming too troublesome, and it is affecting my daughter more than it used to."

"Miss Gaston has taken a deep interest in her," said Winslow, leading up to the subject carefully which he had had in mind for some time.

"She has spoken to me about her. I cannot keep her here during the long, cold winters on the island, and the young woman, whom Marie has learned to love, has offered to find her a good school in New York, and to care for her there."

"I have every confidence in Miss Gaston," said Winslow, "and I esteem her very much."

"It seems strange," Pierre broke in, "that we should have found two friends at the same time in[Pg 109] our remote home here. We were unknown to each other a few weeks ago."

"My coming to your island, sir, is the most important event of my later life," said Winslow, warmly.

It was three days before Pierre and Winslow found it convenient to go to inspect the blue vein. After the turn of the tide they started together over the same course which Winslow had taken when he met with the accident. They went past the cove and found themselves in the midst of the largest rocks that strewed the shore. They had to pick their way carefully till Pierre led his friend towards a more open space surrounded by immense boulders and in front of a huge mass of fallen rock which extended some distance up the side of the bluff from which it had separated.

"Somebody has been here since the last high tide," exclaimed Pierre, examining some faint marks left in the sand, "and foot-prints seem to be going in the direction of the blue vein."

His words proved true. The tracks made a line to the place where the opening in the rocks led to the base of the cliff, as Pierre explained.

"The person went past the entrance, but I do not know whether he went in or not, as the rock shows no track there."

Winslow now looked about them as they stood before a small opening between the rocks.

"This opening I have seen for some time," said Pierre. "The sand has been washing off the rock[Pg 110] till it led me to believe that there was an opening large enough to enter. I removed the sand, and cleared away the stone, and was able to go in some distance towards the cliff. I went far enough to be in darkness. Let us enter."

Pierre took the lead, and lighting a lantern which he had left in the passage, he proceeded for some distance.

"At this place I cleared away a great deal of stone and broke up a rock which obstructed the passage. As you can see, I had much work to open the way. We are almost to the vein."

Their passage was now slightly upward and broader, and the huge stones over their heads were in close and firm contact, and supported the immense weight of rock which rested upon them.

It was not necessary to point out the location of the blue vein. As they came near enough for the light they carried to reach the wall of the island the color of the vein stood out against the dull hue of the adjoining rock. Winslow went near the vein and held the lantern close to it. The mineral was in the solid rock, and showed evidence of having been recently worked, for the breaks were fresh. All about the rock were scars and scratches belonging to an earlier period, and made by human agency, evidently with crude tools and long labor.

The vein itself, made damp by the moisture of the air, showed everywhere beautiful colors and shades of tinting, which changed and glowed like the eye of an animal in the dark. Blue and red,[Pg 111] with a dominant cast of green, through the whole length of the narrow seam, gave its wonderful beauty to their eyes, and told, to Winslow at least, the great wealth that lay there undeveloped.

Winslow made an exclamation of surprise and delight.

"Your fortune is made, sir. This is the most beautiful opal I have ever seen in the rough. I think it will prove as fine as anything that can be found in the world."

"What is this?" said Pierre. "A knife; but not mine."

"It must have been left by the man whose tracks we saw outside."

"Then our blue vein is no longer our secret. If this man makes a claim at once he will own the mine, and my share in it will be but one-quarter."

"We had better return at once; and if you wish to do so, send in your claim at once to the government at Halifax."

They went back to Bluff House, and at low tide Miss Gaston and Miss Forest came to the island. Addressing the old man, Miss Forest said:

"Oh, Mr. Gotro, where can we get some of the beautiful opals such as Mr. Winslow's boatman had this morning?"

"Then it is Len who has found the blue vein," cried Winslow. "When did you see him?"

"Early this morning. He found out from somebody that the stone had considerable value, and he is on his way to Halifax, after telegraphing ahead[Pg 112] to the government. He had with him several pieces. He said that nobody else knew where the place is."

"That young man is the owner of a valuable mine, and is from this day a rich man. My friend, Mr. Gotro, is the rightful owner, as he has known of the mine for several days and first found it, yet he is too late now to get possession of it."

"My share of it will be sufficient," said Pierre, calmly. The venerable old man, in his life of seclusion and labor, had never known the lust of wealth. But for his daughter he would not have made an effort to secure his just share in the blue vein.

[Pg 113]



"Dear Love, I am grown mad with gazing long
Into thy eyes, moveless, and ever sweet;
Upon thy lips that never smile and greet;
That rule my soul and make my passion strong."

Len Lawson had suddenly become a rich man. By that strange chance which seems to favor some men, and by his own prompt action in seizing the opportunity, the boatman, whose whole wealth consisted previously of a twenty-foot keel sail-boat, had now become the owner of an opal mine. With the ready money with which Winslow had paid him off he was able to secure the right to work the mine and make the foundation of his fortune. The stone proved to be exceptionally good, and though in a small vein it was easily worked and needed no expensive machinery to remove it. Two New York houses bought all the stone he could get, and Len was soon in possession of a large bank account. All this occurred in a very few days, for on the first shipment of stone he had more money than he had ever dreamed of in his most sanguine moments of hope and anticipation.

With the acquisition of wealth the sullen manner[Pg 114] of the boatman changed to the arrogant and insolent attitude of the man of riches and power. Yet the riches did not bring him happiness or comfort, and the power he did not know how to use.

In his hopeless passion for Marie he became at times so violent as to lose the friendship of Pierre, and to sever his connection altogether with Bluff Castle and its inmates.

After the novelty of the feeling that he was a rich man had worn off, his mind turned back to the two subjects which took all his attention, and which were never forgotten, the awful expectation of the water curse, and his love for the Acadian's daughter.

The entrance of Marie into the life of Len Lawson had increased the effect the fear of the curse had upon him. While he had lived for himself alone, before he fully realized what his affection for the beautiful girl meant to him, he was not so haunted by the thing as when he came to years of thought and manhood. He looked upon it now as an obstacle to the greatest desire of his life, and he believed that but for it he would be in a much stronger position in regard to Marie. It dwelt with him every day of his life. Since the changes of the last few weeks he brooded upon it to the exclusion of everything else; while with the intensity of his feelings his jealous hatred and vindictive anger were increased as well. His very independence induced the later development of his mixed emotions. He had known of the strange curse set upon his[Pg 115] name, and from boyhood had become familiar with it. He had seen the effect of it upon his father. He had been led to believe it might also be his fate to come under its bane when he had reached maturity. Familiarity had lessened the horror of it while it affected him only. But now that it was affecting others, and in a way that most seriously concerned the future of his life, he looked upon it in a different way. He saw in it more than a curse on his life. He knew it to be the death of his greatest hope, and equal to death itself.

This later feeling came when he had been admitted to a more intimate relationship with the Gotros, and had come to look upon Marie as the passion of his life. He had known her from childhood, and after his manhood had come to him he had begun to appreciate the difficulty of the position he held as a would-be lover. Yet the more this difficulty became apparent, the more ardor it gave his passion. What the last developments had done for him as well as for Marie we have already seen. By his own efforts to better his cause he cut himself off altogether from privileges which he had previously enjoyed.

In Marie herself important and sudden changes had taken place. She had become another being. The indifference of the light-hearted girl gave place to the more highly sensitive nature of the woman. The arrival of Winslow at Pierre Island, and the effect of his personality upon the life of the young woman, had at a stroke severed all possible intimacy[Pg 116] between Len and her, and for all time. They were no longer children and could not do with the things of childhood. In Marie had developed the secret but strong love of her heart; and with it a sensitiveness which made her avoid such things as had been lightly regarded by the girl. In the man had sprung into life propensities for evil, and harshness of manner and speech, which, with a lack of refinement and education, put the young man in a very unfavorable light. He erred in placing so much value upon force and the advantage of a certain power which wealth gave him. At last love in the one had brought with it elevation of thought and sensitiveness of heart; in the other passion had sunk to the depths of half-despair and half hatred, and required but little to turn the whole current of his energy to love or hatred.

The tendency of his life and the peculiar circumstances of his youth had been much against Len. He was working against great odds. Need we wonder at the defeat that must surely come to him? Though only in his twentieth year, the unfortunate conditions of his life had prematurely developed him. Even Pierre was unprepared for the result of the sudden changes that had occurred in the young man during the last few weeks.

Towards Winslow, Len's hatred became fixed and unyielding. His avoidance of his former employer became so marked that Winslow made no attempt to break in upon his humor. Pierre always treated him as a boy, and did not change his calm manner[Pg 117] or fatherly way with him. On the strength of their former friendship and intimacy Len sometimes conversed with Pierre, who was ever patient with him, as he was with everything and everybody. As may be supposed, Len was outspoken, and the subject was almost always Marie. They met a few days after the discovery of the blue vein, and Len soon turned the conversation upon his daughter.

"Why should Marie, because those Americans are here, never speak to me now?"

"Never mind the girl, Len; you are a rich man now, and that will give you a better chance to look about for someone who will please you as much as Marie. You know she is but a child in my eyes, and I must not lose her for a long time yet."

"If I am rich, why does she still shun me?" he persisted.

"You must let a woman have her way, Len," Pierre said.

"What has Winslow said of me? Why did his coming to your house shut me out altogether?" he continued, his rage growing.

"He is a worthy young man, Len. Do not believe anything that is dishonoring to him. He does no man harm."

"Pierre! Pierre! he does not love Marie, if she does love him," he cried, brutally.

"How much do you gain by that, Len?" said the old man, turning upon him his kind eyes, yet without a sign of anger. "You must not think to get[Pg 118] nearer to Marie by speaking in this way about the persons she thinks are her friends."

"Pierre," said Len, "does Marie think that the water curse will come to me?"

"You know what everybody thinks about it, Len. And you know what we Acadians think of it."

"But, Pierre, why must that cursed story stand against me?" he exclaimed, in a rage again in a moment. "I have never believed the lie they tell about it, nor do I think I shall have the water curse."

"I hope not, Len, I hope not. You have only a year, and if you escape it with the money you have, make your life a good one. Restrain your temper, and avoid such suspicions as you seem to hold of worthy people."

In their talks they never got beyond this point. The young man knew the patience of Pierre, and often addressed him in this way. It was probably a relief from the pressure of passion and disappointment, which would have manifested itself in some other way. Yet his ideas never changed, and Pierre saw that he was more and more convinced on certain points touching Winslow, and more unreasonable as his chance of success lessened.

An occasion threw Winslow and Len together not long after the above meeting. Len was waiting for the tide to fall enough for him to cross the ford as Winslow came down for the same purpose. Len remained silent and sullen, while Winslow, as usual, with his calm indifference would have let him[Pg 119] remain as he found him, had not the temptation to address him overcome his better judgment. While he spoke to him in good part, he was not expecting that his words would be so badly received.

"Good day, Mr. Lawson. I have not had a chance to congratulate you upon your good luck in finding an opal mine. Have you quite given over the Marie?"

"I suppose you would want it for its name," replied Len, quickly.

"Oh, for its name," said Winslow, perceiving what he had said, and the effect of his words upon Len; "as for that, it's a very good name. No, not for that reason. Do you want to sell it?"

"No, not till next week."

It was known that Winslow was to leave by that time.

"Oh, you won't give me a chance to bid for it?"

Len made no reply for a moment, and mistook the easy and indifferent manner of Winslow.

Stepping now on the fording stones, he went as far as the middle, when his anger got the better of him, and turning about, he said:

"If you got my boat you would change its name. That's why I would not sell her."

Winslow did not reply or look at him, as he was gazing out to sea. Len, now carried away by both hatred and anger, blurted out:

"Grace would not take the place of Marie."

Winslow was after him like a flash. Len saw that he must protect himself from the body leaping[Pg 120] towards him over the ford stones, and braced himself for the shock. It was useless. Without a word, Winslow, as he reached Len, bent his body quickly, and in a trice that young man was landed on his back with a great splash in the water.

No word was spoken. Winslow proceeded on his way over the rocks, and passed up the road without once looking back.

[Pg 121]



Affairs had moved along very rapidly during the last few days on Pierre Island. It had become the field, and Marie the focal point, of interest in the lives of Grace Gaston and Frank Winslow. This common interest brought them together in the interchange of thought as to her future and in union of purpose for her benefit. She had become their protégé, and they both gave her their care and protection.

At Bluff Castle, or out under the trees at the point of the island that gave the best view of the country, they often conferred with Pierre concerning the question of Marie's future. These self-imposed duties and the arranging of all their plans were productive of pleasant moments for them all. It threw Winslow much into the society of Miss Gaston, which he valued more and more as the days passed which would separate him altogether from his friends. His admiration for her did not lessen as he found each day of their fuller acquaintance some new quality of her personality. Perfectly at ease under almost all circumstances, she did not obtrude herself upon him, so that he could only judge[Pg 122] of her as chance opened to his view some new phase of her character.

The old Acadian himself was much gratified with the interest his friends evinced in his daughter and himself, and it brought a new hope and solace to his saddened life.

Marie had become almost the constant companion of Miss Gaston during the few weeks she had spent away from Blomidon. She was never without her on her walks about the shores of the island or mainland. Often Winslow accompanied them, but never did he find Miss Gaston alone. He sometimes wondered at this, but as Marie went among them as a quiet spirit, without intrusion, ever welcomed by them all, no restraint was ever put upon their conversation by her presence. Moreover, he as a man was outspoken, and while ever calm and deliberate in his manner, imparted a fearless and decided tone to each act of his life. What he had to do he did at once, and was not easily turned aside. He became a lover in his own peculiar way, and as he strengthened as a lover he did not weaken as a man. It was not in his nature to do so. A strength and fineness of soul lay beneath it all, but he unwittingly deceived himself and he deceived others. Recognizing the force of character in Miss Gaston, he was drawn to her by every responsive sensibility of his being. He saw her often. He had every opportunity to realize what she was in herself and in her relations with others. Only one sentiment she did not share with him. Her womanly nature treasured it as its[Pg 123] own, and in this one thing their friendship had been of too short duration for him to discover it from her own lips, and there was no other way by which it might be known, unless chance had revealed it. This chance did not occur, at least for some days after their stay, and then too late for the avoidance of that turn in the state of affairs which left for Miss Gaston the only unhappiness of her visit to Nova Scotia. It might be said that it was one of the regrets of her lifetime. She had found in Winslow a man of that quality which unites him to a woman of high nature in lasting affection. Such experiences are rare in practical life, but they have a force and quality which is only next to love in the highest sense between man and woman.

Without a father, she had come to Acadia with the Forests, and had been accompanied by Mr. Sternly during a part of their trip. This young man, one of the rising artists of the day, was yet in the early stages of his advancement, and while success was certain, he needed yet some years of study and labor to give him the prominence which his talents promised. Not as yet engaged, he and Miss Gaston were accepted lovers. She lived in his ultimate success, and had accepted him as the choice of her heart without binding him or herself to any future relationship till he had given to the world the highest type of success, and crowned his labors with the purest and loftiest ideal of artistic development. She had entered with him into this great hope. She had stimulated him with the influence[Pg 124] of her ambition for him and the strength of her love as well. Between them existed the purest form of that love which crowns and glorifies all earthly labor. It was not a theme for the comment of others.

"Our protégé has been the means of making us better acquainted, Mr. Winslow," said Miss Gaston, during one of their walks, after they had been arranging some plans, as usual, for Marie and Pierre. "Mrs. Forest and her daughter are pleased that we were so fortunate."

"It has been fortunate for me, rather, in that I have found such good friends. I much regret that I must leave here so soon."

"We also regret it. The people staying at the hotel are hoping to arrange for an excursion to Grand-Pré, and Mrs. Forest told me she hoped it would come off before you went away."

Marie was with them, and they wandered towards the Blue Vein, enjoying to the fullest extent the lovely day and the soft breeze from the outgoing tide. They had turned among the huge masses of rock at the rear of the island. Marie, silent as was her wont while in the presence of Winslow, moved along with them, or stopped to examine some object that caught her attention as they walked. She had dropped behind them now, and Miss Gaston, turning to him, said:

"Now that it is all arranged for Marie to make her home with us, I am sure that you will do your duty by her and come to see her often. It will be[Pg 125] a guarantee that you shall not neglect your other friends, for the Forests are often with us."

"I must go to Marie's home to see you," said Winslow, turning upon her with a strange look in his eyes, and a deeper and lower tone in his voice. "Miss Gaston, as I leave here so soon I esteem this opportunity a great privilege."

She started as if she had received a blow, and in an instant she realized the meaning of the situation. A painful light broke in upon her. She feared to let him go on and she hesitated before she should fully understand him. But there was no mistaking his voice and the look on his face. The strong man's soul was on his lips, and the influence of his strength was on her heart and moved her beyond the possibility of a doubt.

"Oh, Mr. Winslow," she cried, in a voice full of pain, "I fear I have been terribly mistaken. And I fear I have unwittingly deceived you."

"Then do not let us misunderstand each other any longer, Miss Gaston. I must tell you that I hoped much from this friendship, so suddenly—and I thought so happily—come to us. Do not, I beg of you, mistake my interest in Marie, and my affection for her father."

"Forgive me, Mr. Winslow," she said, with tears in her eyes, "this is a sadness for me. I was surely, surely blind."

Winslow looked at her long with pale face, and saw that to say more was to add still greater pain[Pg 126] to her grief. He realized his position, and with effort kept himself in hand.

"Pardon me if I return," he said, hurriedly, as he heard Marie's steps approaching them again. He turned away, and caught for an instant the full look of Marie's eyes as he hurried past her. In another instant he was out of sight, and the two women met. Marie saw the tears and agitation of Miss Gaston, and as she came near her friend she was clasped in a moment about the neck, and found her own tears falling, called forth by the silent grief of the older woman.

"Oh, Marie," she said, at last, "I have been injuring you, and I have injured Mr. Winslow. But not for a moment did I think of all this that has occurred."

"You could not injure me or him, Grace," answered Marie, still held by her friend.

"Marie, I shall never forgive myself till you both have forgiven me."

"I forgive you now, and Mr. Winslow forgives you, too," said Marie, smiling in her tears.

It was some time before they returned from the beach. They were both silent, and holding each other's hand, and by the sudden stroke of chance bound still more closely together, the one by sympathy and love, the other by the added quality of a heart filled with the deep desire of doing reparation for a great injury.

Miss Gaston looked upon her coming to Pierre Island as a great misfortune, and her staying there[Pg 127] after the development of the first events and the condition of things which she should have been cognizant of, the greatest blunder of her life. From what Winslow had said of the Pierres she had at once inferred that Marie held first place in his affections. She believed him capable of any disinterested action for the advantage of another, yet she looked upon his relation with the Acadian family as having a deeper meaning than that which was now disclosed. In this she had been deceived, and it had led to such consequences as to bind her to the end of restoring the original condition of affairs as far as in her power lay. How much she would do to see her friends as they were before she came into their lives. With the instinct of a woman, and with that insight peculiar to herself, she had found in Marie such qualities as had pleased her, and had satisfied her as to Winslow's choice. In doing for Marie she felt that she was aiding Winslow as well, and from this double service she had derived a great deal of satisfaction and pleasure.

The intense feeling of regret and sorrow would often quite overcome her as she walked back towards the ford with Marie, and the tears often came to her eyes as she reflected on the possible consequences of her intervention. She feared that it might be even more serious than the strong nature of her friend promised.

With these feelings, and with an occasional overpowering emotion which affected Marie as well,[Pg 128] they now came in sight of the ford, and the appearance of the Forests on the other side, and their signals of welcome caused her to put a strong restraint upon her feelings. They were soon able to converse across the channel which rippled out softly and laid bare the higher stones of the ford.

Miss Forest was in the greatest good humor. She said at once, when her friend came within speaking distance:

"It is all arranged, Grace. We go in the morning."

"To Grand-Pré?"


"Marie," she continued, "you and your father and Suzanne must come with us. We have arranged for everything, and you must come."

Miss Gaston left Marie with a few kind words, and as the tide had fallen, she stepped over the rocks of the ford and joined her friends.

Marie passed up the steep road to Bluff House still oppressed with the grief that had called forth her sympathy with Miss Gaston. From the summit Winslow himself, seated alone, looked down upon the scene presented to his view, and gave himself up for the time to the emotions which his experience of the afternoon left him. He recalled the whole incident, and for the first time he found that the child woman had in some mysterious way been the cause of all his present unhappiness. He recalled what Miss Gaston had said in regard to Marie[Pg 129] and himself, and he wondered how it was possible for her to suppose him occupying the position she had assumed for him in the life of the Acadian maiden. He saw Miss Gaston going up the beach towards the mainland, and as her form grew smaller and at last was lost to view in the road which turned along the side of the hill, he looked at Marie coming nearer and nearer as she ascended with slow steps the island road. Her form stood out with bolder lines, and her large eyes and beautiful face had taken a new quality in his eyes. He found himself thinking about her as a woman, not as a child, as he had done previously. The influence of Miss Gaston on him was already at work, and in the confusion of his thoughts he did not fail to realize that from that day the two women who had so much to do with his destiny had suddenly fallen from the position he had falsely placed them in, and had by a rapid turn of affairs assumed the place they rightly belonged to, and which also changed considerably his own position in regard to them.

[Pg 130]



"Along my father's dykes I roam again,
Among the willows by the river-side.
These miles of green I know from hill to tide
And every creek and river's ruddy stain.
Neglected long and shunned, our dead here lain.
Here where a people's dearest hope has died,
Alone of all their children scattered wide,
I scan the sad memorials that remain.
The dykes wave with the grass, but not for me,
The oxen stir not while this stranger calls.
From these new homes upon the green hill-side,
Where speech is strange and this new people free,
No voice cries out in welcome; for these halls
Give food and shelter where I may not bide."

Early next morning the residents of Pierre Island, including old Suzanne, and their American friends and a number of visitors from the hotel were on board a large and powerful tugboat engaged for the purpose of taking them to Grand-Pré. It was a pleasant party. Merry laughter and conversation were heard from every part of the boat. Under the morning sun that filled with glorious light the clear air, the whole blue sheet of the Basin spread before them, and the white fog-veil of Blomidon slowly melted away. The warm day lay open and[Pg 131] full of delightful repose, giving of its best everywhere. When at its best the glory of a Nova Scotia day on the Basin of Minas is not to be equalled anywhere for balmy freshness on the swelling flood of a Fundy tide fresh from the ocean. Its cool, salty depths were clean and fleet to-day on its errand to the marsh country of Grand-Pré.

Tide and steam were united in accomplishing the journey between Cumberland Hills and Horton Heights. On the east the tide sped up into the Cobequid Bay, where the land was lost sight of altogether. On the west Blomidon lay like a sleeping beast. Where it sloped down to the beginning of the more level country of farms and orchards the Cornwallis Valley opens up. Here begin the red banks and dyked levels of the marsh country. The blue tide has now its fringe of red run into its pure ocean color from the alluvial deposits that fill all the river ways, many of them running to the sea. As their course took them farther south the fringe became broader, and doubling Kingsport Point long wedges of salt marsh cut into the tide until their sedgy growth lay completely buried by the current. The whole body of water around the boat was now red, and the headlands were of the same color, and were cut down almost perpendicular by the action of the sea.

The boat has now reached the Grand-Pré country. Pierre pointed out to Winslow, who stood ever at his side, the different rivers, and where the dykes ran, and the location of the many Acadian villages.[Pg 132] On the west were Habitant and Canard, once large rivers, but now dyked in and made fruitful even to the bottom of the ancient channels. Here the dykes crossed the rivers, and shut out the salt water. The Cornwallis on the north-west, and the Avon on the east, with the historic Gaspereau between them, yet flowed untrammelled by any obstruction, the winding dykes following the sinuosities of the rivers, which were lost to view up the valleys whence they came.

The wooded land in front is Long Island. Quickly the boat goes with the tide till the island is on the right, and entering the mouth of the Gaspereau, the Grand-Pré meadows lie before them, stretching level between Long Island and the upland on the south. Here centre the events of the story of Evangeline. Here was the Grand-Pré of a prosperous and happy people. Here was the Grand-Pré made desolate and lost to its people. Here is the Grand-Pré of another race, rich, beautiful, and for ever to be known in its sad story.

The steamer was soon at the pier inside the broad mouth of the river Gaspereau. Here were the Acadian people taken aboard the vessels by boats under the careless eyes of the soldiery, who did not understand their language and gave little heed to their grief. The season was cold and late. The work was to be done, and the sooner over the better, after the tedious delay of getting enough ships for the purpose, and being kept in the country when they were looking forward to the time when they might[Pg 133] return to their homes. The people were hurried off, and the work promised to be over with soon. The mornings were now unpleasantly cold after uncomfortable nights in the canvas tents, and the ground was often frozen. They were too glad to escape, and short work they made of bustling the poor people into the ships. As there were not enough vessels to take the people comfortably, they had to be stowed away as well as possible in the few there were.

After viewing the scene, the whole party took the road along which the Acadians came to the beach, and in a short time arrived at Grand-Pré. By the row of French willows which the people had set out near the church, they now stood to look up the gentle slope covered with fruit trees, and beautiful with the young green of the year's crops. Here had stood the village of Grand-Pré. Between the slope and the willows Colonel Winslow had picketed his camp.

"Evangeline has returned to Grand-Pré," said Miss Forest, taking Marie's hand as she spoke, "after an absence of a century and a half."

"Only to look upon her fathers' home," said Pierre, who stood near; "only to stand near the graves of her ancestors, unmarked even by a mound. Only to gaze into the hollow of a cellar once the foundation of a Gotro home, or upon the deathless willow that grew in the place of a people's love and marked the home of a trustful peasantry. To our name has the Acadian Grand-[Pg 134]Pré descended, but the Acadian Grand-Pré is no more."

His friends listened to his words in silence, and appreciated the feelings of the venerable old man, embodying in himself the convictions of thousands of his race, their humility and calm, their melancholy patience, the later generations of the Acadian people. They now wandered over the ground near the willows where stood the church of St. Charles, which had served as the prison for the four hundred and twenty-four male inhabitants from ten years and upwards. They walked up the slope on the old French road, while the last Gotro, the heir to Grand-Pré, pointed out the homes of his ancestors. At last, from the hill they looked over the vast stretch of dykeland and the numerous lines of dyke which had been thrown up one beyond the other till the whole meadow had been enclosed.

Winslow and Miss Gaston found themselves a little apart from the others, the first time they had been alone since they had separated on the beach at Pierre Island the day before.

"Mr. Winslow, will you permit me to say it, I think we have united our interest in Marie. I feel that this makes a bond between us which I am sure cannot be without value to either of us. I dare to believe that I may rightfully hold this opinion. Am I right?"

"I cannot relinquish my service to the daughter of my friend Pierre. I can share it with you with pleasure and in all confidence."

[Pg 135]

"I am very glad of it," she returned. "I must believe that our united service is acceptable to Marie, as well as to her father. She accepts yours no less than mine."

"I must take this opportunity to say good-bye, Miss Gaston. I shall not return by the boat, as I go by train from here."

The approach of their friends prevented any further conversation of a personal or private nature, and with many expressions of regret and surprise on all sides, he boarded the train which soon arrived, and was taken from among them.

Marie and Miss Gaston clung to each other almost as mother and child. In Marie's eyes was the story of her grief. In her friend's heart was the sad doubt that had come into it from the sudden departure of Winslow. From that day began the patient waiting of the mourning Evangeline and the long absence of her Gabriel.

[Pg 136]



"Sweet, sorrowing, mute, unplaining maidenhood."

As the coming of Frank Winslow to Pierre Island had been the cause of so many changes and important events in the lives of several individuals, so the period of his absence, on the contrary, was strangely quiet and uneventful. Pierre Island and its venerable inhabitant, seldom disturbed now by the signs of an outside world, felt the years pass away and realized no change.

Marie had been in New York for three years under the care of Miss Gaston. As all her winters for some time had been spent away from home, it was no unusual condition for her father.

Winslow had gone west immediately after his return to the States, so that when Miss Gaston reached the city he was many miles away. From the Rocky Mountains he had gone to the Klondike. During his stay in that region he had kept in touch with his friends in the East.

After the departure of the Americans, and particularly of Winslow, Len Lawson had changed considerably in demeanor, and when he learned that his rival was in a distant country he did not conceal[Pg 137] his satisfaction in the least. He openly expressed it to Pierre. His manner otherwise was not so unpleasant, and but for the ever-haunting fear of the curse that would soon be upon him, his nature seemed to have undergone a change for the better. Pierre Island saw much of him, and had become a place of refuge, so to speak, when driven to a condition of despair. He was sure of the old man's protection and sympathy.

Frank Winslow found in a strange country, and amid the hardships and occupation peculiar to his mission there, an agreeable means of distraction from the serious thought resulting from the conditions which had lately involved his life. The blow he had received was a severe one, and had come suddenly and unexpectedly. In the toil and routine of his new life he set himself bravely to the task he had before him. There was a grievous wound to be healed, and his force of character turned him into such directions as tended to make him as quickly as possible grow into the new life that must now open to him. His previous active career had kept him remarkably free from woman's influence. Though but a young man, he had travelled a great deal, but with a strict adherence to the demands of his work, and so absorbed by it that he had been able to give it his undivided attention. Science had received his allegiance, to the exclusion of every other mistress.

After coming into intimate relations with Grace Gaston, and seeing in her those high qualities which[Pg 138] pleased his manly heart, he was at once powerfully influenced. Everything tended to bring him more and more into a realization of her personality, and that made the result inevitable, so far as he was concerned. From their first meeting to their final parting he was affected. Such a feeling, whether love or friendship, is of a permanent character. He had interpreted it as meaning love. He had been powerfully moved by it. He had acted as the lover, and as the lover had at last come to her. As a result they both suffered, each in his and her own way, and were prevented in consequence from enjoying the full value which a friendship such as was possible to them would bestow. In the wilds of Alaska he felt the same powerful feelings which had moved him at Pierre Island. His experience gave it a different coloring in his life. There was no uncertainty in relation to it as regarded Grace Gaston. Time was needed to soften the effect of the disappointment upon his life, which had come through her. So he was glad that the work which he had in hand would require not a few years to accomplish.

Grace Gaston found in Marie the development of a womanhood of a pure and retiring nature. Her wonderfully sensitive heart demanded certain conditions to satisfy it. As she broke away from the ties of youth, a few years wrought great changes in her. She ever retained her shyness. A quiet retirement, except to those in whom she placed implicit faith, and a modesty which no state of her life could eradicate or alter, were ever the qualities to charac[Pg 139]terize her. In her everyday life she was strong of character and purpose. Warm of heart, and of firm hope, she grew to riper womanhood capable of any sacrifice for those of her intimate life. With her mental and moral growth was also the beauty of face and form which, never brilliant, was nevertheless of that high type which commands admiration and derives its strength from unaffected native loveliness. Her womanhood was of that pure quality seen only in the reposeful face and the half melancholy, languid relaxation of form utterly unconscious of itself.

To Grace Gaston every day that came found in her heart some hope for the change in the relations that existed between Winslow and her loved companion, Marie. It was the regret of her existence that through her unwitting action she had been the means of separating these two persons. She had come in the way of Marie's love. She had interrupted the course of events which she fully believed would have opened Winslow's heart to a strong attachment for the Acadian girl. For this act of hers she could never rest content with herself until she saw these two friends returned to each other, and the original state of affairs restored as she had found them when she had arrived at Pierre Island, or just before she had seen Winslow at Blomidon. Marie, she believed, was the real and true object of his life. She held to this idea as an intuition, and she had all faith in the ultimate result. She longed for the final restoration of the picture which she had rudely marred. Her own happiness depended on it.[Pg 140] She read the force of Winslow's character. She knew the heart of Marie, and she knew the qualities which had endeared her to herself. In pursuance of this idea, and in acting for its end, she did not see or realize all the results of her efforts. While she exerted every womanly tact to make him understand what had taken place in Marie's life, and of the wonderful development in her personality, she failed to see the impression she made on Winslow's mind in regard to herself. He found her taking a higher and better place in his life than he had been able to give her at first. She rose steadily in his estimation, and though she knew it not, she often left with him all the pain and all the regrets which he suffered on learning the true state of her heart. As to Marie, she was the same to him as she was when he left Pierre Island. He could not change the picture of her in his mind. Shy, gentle, and in the first blush of womanhood, wonderfully beautiful, he remembered, and with a strange light in her eyes which he had seen but a few times,—this was the recollection of the daughter of his friend Pierre, and this only when he gave her a thought.

So Grace Gaston was true to her trust and faithful to the charge she had placed upon herself. No mother more seriously considered the training and culture of her daughter. She felt all the anxiety of her responsible task and looked to a certain result. On her faithful and intelligent arrangement and preparation depended the life happiness of two[Pg 141] of her friends. And on the desired result hung the expiation of the blame she could not rid herself of.

"Marie, I am finishing my letter to Mr. Winslow. What is there from your father he would like to hear?"

"Père wrote to me that Len Lawson had lost a good deal of his money trying to improve the Blue Vein mine. It is not so good now, as the vein is very small, and the stone is not so fine. Len has had the water fever for some time, and between the two he is changing."

"I have told him that you think you cannot leave your father for so long a time again. He does not show any sign of decline, but as he is so old you think that you should not be away from him so much."

"Yes, and père hopes to see Mr. Winslow this year."

"I will tell him so. I think that we will see him this year."

"It is late for him to return from that country, is it not?"

"Yes, but he says that he will have to come south at once."

"Why does he return this year? He said that it would take him another year to complete his work."

"Yes, he wrote to me that he could not expect to come home before next summer."

"Grace, do you think that he is in bad health? It is a terrible country, even for strong men," asked[Pg 142] Marie, looking inquiringly into the face of her friend.

"His last letter does not say why he is returning so soon."

"He must be sick, Grace. That dreadful country, and he has been working so hard."

"I fear he has overworked himself, Marie, and he is compelled to return this year, a year earlier than he first intended."

"If he is not well, my dear father may not see him, even if he returns."

"He would not spend the summer here, and he could not do better than to go to Pierre Island, even in the autumn." As she spoke she laid her hand on Marie's arm, and looked up into her face with a loving expression of countenance.

"I hope he will come," said Marie, without the slightest embarrassment of manner. A soft look came into her eyes as she spoke her thoughts and feelings.

So it was that Marie had in the matured strength of her womanhood unconsciously consecrated her life to her love. Not by deliberate purpose had she done so, but every act and thought of her life were in accord with it, and it was announced in them and dominated her being and controlled her actions. It was akin to worship, yet there was not the slightest element of encouragement in it, so far as she was concerned. She lived happily with her love, nevertheless the forgetfulness of herself, and the disposi[Pg 143]tion on her part to set aside her life for the good of others did not permit her to dwell upon any expectation. She clung firmly to what she had, and lived her years as a precious possession.

In a few more weeks Marie was at home again at Pierre Island, among the rocks and bluffs of Minas Basin. What a loveliness was there in the warm reflections of the sky on the long, bare beaches at low tide. Out along the fringe of the flats she walked as a girl, seeing the beauty of things and places, and feeling the joy of life amid the scenes and objects which before had not so attracted her attention. Her ears were filled with glad sounds. They spoke of the long, lazy fall of the low-tide surf. It sighed through the salmon weir, and overhead soughed in the foliage of the stunted pines, and among the caves and coves of Pierre Island, echoed back with weird loudness from the face of the cliffs. How fresh and clean the breeze came, fanning her face, from the salt tides and briny pools of weed! Where the sand and finer stone had been laid step above step, showing each change of the tide, she walked along the last tide line and marked the gatherings of the sea laid upon the shore. It was all so delightfully real to her now, since she had been away from it so long, and had grown so far into a new life while away. Never before in her absence had she felt the same joy on her return. She was not given to idle dreaming, but she was living in a new life of fresh, maturer years, and she saw the world of her youth, her beautiful world,[Pg 144] through the eyes of her love. It tinted everything. She had become a poet in fancy and perception, in the emotional intensity and expansion of her being. Her education and development gave her an intelligent appreciation of the higher poetic qualities of life around her now, and of her place in it. There was suggestion in it, rich thought, and her love crowned it all.

So Marie brought back to Pierre Island a quality she had never before known or seen in it. She did not realize that it came from herself, and that her changed personality had given of itself to every commonplace object. Nor did she know that the strange thrills which came to her in the play of light and color, of harmonious sound upon her sensibilities, were given life and received their peculiar character from the influences of her love and the expectation of the return of Winslow.

When Marie did think of the possibility of seeing Winslow at Pierre Island, a fear and trembling seized upon her heart at times, and she longed for the presence of her friend, Miss Gaston, the woman she loved as only a woman can love who has no near relative in the world but a father.

She learned from her father that Len Lawson, her old playmate of the beach, whom she had now to drive from her life, had been away for several weeks, consulting skilful specialists, and trying to get a remedy for his malady. The curse was upon him. Every passion and ambition of his former life was drowned in the awful fever of the old male[Pg 145]diction. His love for Marie, his interest in his mine, and the wealth he had acquired, were forgotten in his efforts to get relief from the curse which was upon him day and night.

Not many days after coming home, while the novelty of it all was yet with her, she spent several hours at the bluff side of Pierre Island. She looked with a strange feeling of dread at the shelf in the cove from which Winslow had been rescued. Then she wandered on to the place where the Blue Vein lay under the mass of fallen rock. The opening had been enlarged, and there was every evidence of labor above where the tide reached. Otherwise there was nothing unusual in the appearance of the place. There had not been any labor done since Len had gone away, and the tide had washed out all the signs of human effort. Marie avoided the place with a kind of terror, as though the shadow of an impending fate was already over it. Finally the rising of the tide warned her that it was time for her return. Slowly she moved along the edge of the rising water, taking a delicate bit of seaweed to press, or examining a shell or mineral specimen. In this easy way she reached Bluff Castle at last.

Suddenly the attention of Marie was called to voices which came from the house. She stopped, and in a moment the color left her face, and, trembling, she sank upon a bench near the door. Her fear did not leave her. The sounds of familiar voices, one her father's, the other so well remembered, yet so changed, came to her[Pg 146] with unnerving power. The hoped for, yet the unexpected, had occurred. She had never dwelt upon his coming, and of the possibility of being compelled to enter his presence unannounced, or with nothing to bring them together easily and naturally. He was near her, in her own home, yet she dared not enter. She had not the strength to rise and remove herself from the seat. Suddenly her courage returned, in the words which came to her from within. Her strength asserted itself and she was no longer afraid. She had pictured to herself the stalwart, strong Winslow of three years past, but the words that came to her now told the story, and aroused the woman in her, the heart of sympathy for the man she loved.

"Friend Pierre, it is good to feel the air here. It will mean life and strength to me soon. But for you I would never have climbed Island Road. It seems impossible that I have lost so much."

Marie, aroused all at once, did not see as she heard the words thus spoken, a pale, emaciated man, changed out of almost every semblance of his former athletic self, lying back in an easy chair. Only the firm voice and fine, honest eyes told the Winslow, but fallen so low.

In a moment she was the woman again, equal to him in the purpose of her obedient and sympathetic heart. She felt that he needed her, and then she entered. Gabriel had been found.

[Pg 147]



For a brief space of time Winslow gazed at Marie, and then broke out, astonishment written in his face:

"What, Marie! Then we have both changed."

Her look was equally one of surprise and pain as she took his extended hand, and she was powerless to utter a word.

She was spared further embarrassment, however, by Pierre, who said:

"Marie, put Mr. Winslow's room to rights. We have been waiting for you."

Marie, glad to escape, hurried away.

From that moment a new light came into the life of Marie. New and pleasant duties became hers. Miss Gaston, who heard from her a few days after Winslow's arrival, realized the change in her friend. She wisely concluded not to go to Pierre Island that year, or at least till she was sure her coming would not be the cause of any break in the new condition of affairs. She had her own history to make, and yet her own happiness did not prevent her entering into the lives of her friends.

As the days went by, Marie became more and more a revelation to Winslow. After the fatigue of[Pg 148] his journey, and the long and tedious road to Pierre Island, he did not realize fully what the extent of the development was that had taken place in Marie. He saw it more and more as the time passed and his keener perceptions renewed their activity.

So Winslow saw only Pierre and his family about him. It was some days before he could walk to the beach, although his strength came back with every breath of the Fundy air and the pure sunshine of the late summer days. Marie from the first was installed as nurse and companion. As an associate she was in a very short time as necessary as she had at first been as a nurse. In this way Winslow came to know the woman better than he had known the girl, every day disclosing some quality of her beautiful nature. At last he found that his years spent in the Yukon were of the greatest value in his life. They led to his present position, which any other course would have lost to him.

One day he said to Pierre:

"What has become of Len's boat?"

"The poor fellow got into a rage one day, during a talk with me. It was in the height of summer, and the dread of the curse was breaking him down. He suddenly left me and hurried away to his boat, which was lying on the beach out of the tide. I saw him go aboard of her, and very soon smoke rose from the little cabin. I suspected what he intended to do when he left me, and went after him, but too late to prevent him setting the fire, which soon spread over the whole boat from the cabin. Len[Pg 149] stood by, looking on without a word or movement, till the coming tide washed over the remains of the Marie. He then went away, and I did not see him for weeks, nor did I know where he had gone."

"You wrote to me that he had fallen a victim to the water curse, as the other members of the family had before him."

"Yes, poor boy. He often told me that he did not believe he would be afflicted, as his father was not so bad with it as his grandfather."

"Len was a strange character to me," said Winslow. "There was at times a mad look in his eyes. I think it must be a form of insanity, perhaps a mild type of mental derangement."

"It came on like a fever, and seemed to affect his mind."

"Was it a sudden fever, or did it gradually affect him?" asked Winslow.

"The thirst came with awful suddenness," the old man replied; "but leading up to that time for weeks and months he was a changed man. It was a sad thing to see him avoiding everybody but me, and moving about as if followed by something he did not see, but feared at every step."

"Was there an accompanying sickness of any kind?"

"No, not that we could detect. At the last he remained with us till the worst came."

"Marie was away?"

"Yes, and we did all we could for him. Nothing gave him ease of mind. At last, on the day when[Pg 150] he came of age, we were in the house. Len was never quiet. For days he did not rest, and I think he got very little sleep, for I often heard him pacing the house or passing out of doors. Several times I followed him to the cliffs, fearing he might do violence to himself. For during those last days his life must have been very hard to bear. Yet he had no idea of committing suicide. Surely Len's suffering was enough to atone for any act committed by any ancestor of his."

"Len was a very intelligent fellow. Perhaps this had much to do with making his dread of the curse greater than it would have otherwise been?"

"Perhaps you are right. His wealth gave him a different standing in the community, and his love for Marie also made him look upon the coming of the curse with hatred. At last the time came. He was exhausted with expectation and with the sleepless wandering of many days and nights. He could not stand, but sat with a ghastly face and rolling eyes as the moment came. The time passed. I saw the nervous twitching of his mouth and the clenching of his hands. Several minutes passed, and he began to struggle as one in a fit. He started from his chair, only to fall back again like a corpse. He slipped to the floor, beating with his hands the mat on which he lay; then with a terrible cry he was on his feet again, and seizing me by the arm, he cried:

"'Pierre! Pierre! the curse is upon me! The curse is mine! I am dying of thirst.'

[Pg 151]

"Rushing to the kitchen, he seized a large tin of water, and carrying it to his lips, he began to drink eagerly. I thought he would kill himself, for he took every drop, except what he spilled in his madness to drink and satisfy his terrible thirst.

"Strange to say, he calmed down, and burying his face in his hands, he wept, a broken-spirited man."

"You think it changed him?"

"He was from that moment another man. A more hopeless and afflicted looking man you could not easily find. I feared insanity before the curse worked its worst upon him. I do not know what the effect of the fatal thirst will finally be, but if he does not lose his reason entirely, he will kill himself. Poor boy, poor boy!" murmured the old man.

"It seems to me a wonderful case, and impossible to understand. Has he been under any treatment?"

"He spent some time with two eminent physicians who were interested in his case, but they failed to help him in any way, and did not seem to understand the affliction at all. He is away now. It unfits him sadly for any occupation, and his easy means of living permits him too much time to brood over his condition."

"He has ceased expecting any hope from Marie, then?"

"He no longer speaks of her. He does not even mention your name now. He is dead to his old life, old in his youth, and with no desire in life but[Pg 152] to be cured of his insatiable thirst. That is the only hope left to him."

Winslow was much impressed by Pierre's account of Len's trouble, and while they were speaking Marie appeared, coming towards them. He at once left the old man, who looked after him with a kindly look of affection in his eyes.

"You are late, nurse," said Winslow, as he came near her. "Your father has been able to tell me all about Len while I have been waiting for you."

"Suzanne needed my help, and could not wait. I knew the patient could," said Marie, laughing, "especially if he had père to talk to."

So they both walked away from the old man, who still gazed after them. His heart was with them as their forms gradually became smaller with the increasing distance.

We cannot go with Marie and Winslow very far in their walk. They talked a great deal about Len, and Marie spoke of him with sorrow, and heard of his great trouble with tears. They had been friends in their younger days, and of late years had been separated completely, while his case seemed to her so sad she turned away for a moment to hide her tears from her companion.

Winslow looked at her as she turned away, and suddenly he stepped close to her and spoke words that quickly gushed from his heart. She was startled and turned about to face him, her eyes now uncovered and moist with tears. There she stood[Pg 153] without a word, and he came even nearer, looking into the eyes that did not fall from his own. He saw a fresh flow of tears as her look fell away at last, and from the sight of his happy eyes she hid the new glory which came into hers.

[Pg 154]



For some time matters at Pierre Island went forward pleasantly. There was nothing to mar the serenity of the days, and no distracting element or disturbing condition to break the peace and calm that wrapped the hearts of the folk of Bluff House. Marie and Winslow, as may be supposed, gave themselves up to the delicious moments of their new life.

Grace Gaston, who had kept herself away from her friends for so long, suddenly appeared among them, and her presence added a new element of pleasure to the experience of all, while her own delight was undisguised at what had occurred previous to her arrival.

It was known that Len Lawson had appeared on the scene, and though seldom seen, he spent much of his time near the Blue Vein, until he disappeared altogether. Pierre informed his friends that he had been to the mine to discover, if possible, what had been done there, and he found that the passage to the vein had been closed by a fall of rock. There had been a break from the cliff above, and the material already fallen had been so crushed that no sign of the opening could be discovered. Every trace of the former work was obliterated. Pierre[Pg 155] believed that Len had been buried by the fall, and was beyond all hope of recovery. It had every evidence of probability, as Len was never again heard of or seen.

Frank Winslow, fully restored to health, and with a new purpose in his life, became a permanent resident of Pierre Island, when in Nova Scotia. Before the year was past he was married to Marie, and his friends, who came to know him in the more intimate relations of his home life, often called him the Heir to Grand-Pré.

Transcriber's Note:—

Punctuation errors have been corrected.

The following suspected printer's errors have been addressed.

Page 60. sup changed to sip.
{for a sip to give her child)

Page 79. betwen changed to between.
(from between his teeth)

page 99. repellant changed to repellent.
(suspicious and repellent)

Page 126. aproaching changed to approaching.
(Marie's steps approaching)

[The end of The Heir to Grand-Pré by John Frederic Herbin]