Captain Belmein had bribed a servant in our family, who acquainted him with every thing that passed which related to me. He understood by her, that my brother was endeavoring to force me to marry Maynard, and that he was shortly expected in A---- for that purpose. This intelligence inflamed him with resentment against my brother. I was wakened one night out of my sleep by a loud shriek of my mother's; and, at the same time, heard my father calling out of his window to the guard to stop my brother, and not suffer him to go out of the gates. I rose immediately, and, throwing on a loose gown, ran to my father's apartment. I met him just as I entered; when, with a look full of fury, he pushed me aside, and went hastily down stairs. My mother seemed to lie breathless and without motion in Mrs. Blandon's arms, surrounded by the other servants, whom her fearful cries had drawn to her apartment. "Tell me, for heaven's sake, cried I, (staring wildly about the room) what is the meaning of all this disorder?" My mother hearing my voice, opened her eyes, and casting a reproachful look at me, "Oh thou disturber of my family! said she, see the effects of your ungovernable passion! Your beloved Belmein has by this time, no doubt, murdered my son." The wild despair that seized me at these words, deprived me instantly of my senses: I fell down in a swoon at my mother's feet; and continued so long in that condition, that they despaired of ever seeing me return to life. The moment I recovered my senses, the terrible words my mother had uttered rushed upon my memory. The image of a brother murdered by the man I loved, wrought so strongly upon my imagination, that I was very near relapsing again into my swoon. "Compose yourself, my dear, said Mrs. Blandon, (who held me in her arms) your brother is safe." "Is my brother alive? cried I, (in a transport of joy)." "Yes, dear Harriot, said he, (advancing towards me) I am alive; but most sensibly afflicted at the condition I see you in. My mother's unnecessary fears has caused all this disturbance. I never was in any danger." "Have you not quarreled with captain Belmein? interrupted I, (in the utmost surprise). Alas! what meant my mother by the terror she expressed, and the cruel words she uttered to me!" "It is certain, said my brother, (taking my hand, which he affectionately pressed) that captain Belmein and I have quarreled: however, the consequence has been far from fatal, though very ridiculous; and I am persuaded it gives him, as well as myself, some reason to be ashamed of it, especially as your mother suffered herself to be so much alarmed. I own, Harriot, continued he, I was most sensibly touched at the sarcastic reflections Belmein threw on my father. He ridiculed his romantic honor (as he called it), in not allowing you to marry him without the governor's consent, with so much apparent malice, that, losing all patience, I retaliated the affront, by loading the governor with the most satirical reproaches, whose sordid avarice, and unjustifiable pride, had rejected an alliance that would have done him honor. In short, in the heat of our fury, each of us gave and received a challenge. We looked for our swords; but the doctor, who had been present at some part of the dispute, conveyed them unperceived out of the room. I remembered my father had always a brace of pistols loaded in his bedchamber: I desired Belmein to wait for me behind the fort; when, getting unseen into my father's chamber, I took down the pistols, and got out of the gates before the guards, alarmed by my father's orders to stop me, could execute their commission. Guess my surprise, dear Harriot, when, delivering one of the pistols to Belmein, after examining it, he told me it was not charged; and, supposing mine was, exclaimed against me for the design I apparently had to take away his life unfairly. By this time I found my own pistol in the same harmless condition, and, struck with the reproaches he made me, obliged him to examine it: he did so, and was convinced I had no dishonorable intention. Certainly, never did two fellows make a more ridiculous figure: we stood, for a minute, divided between rage and a strong inclination to laugh, when the appearance of some soldiers, with a sergeant at their head, obliged us to separate. I followed this officer, who had orders to bring me to the fort; where the first object that I cast my eyes upon was my father's man, who, when he saw me, jumped about like one distracted. The rogue had a mind to be witty too, upon my disappointment. Thank heaven, sir, said he, and my negligence for once, that you are safe. If I had loaded the pistols, as my master ordered me, when I cleaned them, it might have been fatal to one or the other. Thus was the whole mystery unraveled. However, my father is so offended, that I despair of appeasing him this long time." In effect, my brother, for some days, was almost as much in disgrace as myself. I was looked upon as an incendiary, who introduced nothing but disorder and confusion into the family. My father was greatly incensed against captain Belmein for this last rashness; and, through my mother's continual insinuations, was irritated so highly against me, that he was prevailed on to enter into the most violent measures to oblige me to marry Maynard. I had kept my room three or four days, during which time I was never favored with a visit from either of them, who were contented with inquiring slightly after me. At last, when I least expected it, my father entered my chamber, and, in a most determined manner, told me, that Mr. Maynard was within two days journey of A----, and that I must resolve to accept him for a husband immediately; protesting, he would never own me as his child, if I refused. It was in vain that I put him in mind of his promise never to force my inclinations: my mother's arguments had steeled his heart: he was proof to all my prayers and tears, and left me, repeating his protestations of eternal displeasure, if I did not resolve to obey him. As soon as he was gone, I flung myself on the floor in a transport of grief and rage: the idea of the detested Maynard, to whom I was to be sacrificed, rose to my imagination with such additional aversion, that (almost distracted with despair at my approaching misery) I, all at once, took a resolution of flying with Belmein. Reason, duty, honor, all opposed this wild scheme: but I was capable of listening to nothing but what my dread of being the wife of Maynard inspired me with. Having fixed my resolution, I grew more calm, and wrote a billet to Belmein; in which I told him, in few words, the danger that threatened me, and my purpose of marrying him privately, as he had often requested. When I had finished this, I waited impatiently for the hour of the doctor's visiting me: for my late indisposition had furnished him with a presence for seeing me twice a day. When he came, I put the billet into his hand, desiring him to convey it immediately to Capt. Belmein. I observed that he seemed greatly surprised at this commission, as I had always refused writing to Belmein before; however he received it with much respect, promising to deliver it directly to my lover. I had appointed him to be at the garden-gate the next evening, from whence I proposed making my escape: my lover had, some time before, received orders from the governor to come immediately to N----, from whence he was to set out with general B----, who was then at ----, to enter as a volunteer in the expedition against Carthegena. He had delayed his journey on various presences, in order to gain my consent to engage myself to him, before he went away. This, however, I had constantly refused; and nothing but the cruel persecution I suffered upon Maynard's account, could have obliged me to take a step so contrary to my duty.
I passed that night in the utmost perturbation of mind; and, though my heart often reproached me, for the fatal resolution I had taken, yet I still continued firm in it: when Mrs. Blandon entering my room, very early, desired me to rise, in a tone and manner so altered from her usual sweetness, that I was greatly surprised. I obeyed her, however, and was scarce dressed, when my brother peeped into the room: "Is she ready, said he, to Mrs. Blandon?" who replied, "I should come to him immediately." Amazed at this, I eagerly inquired what business my brother had with me so early. Mrs. Blandon (with a mixture of anger and concern) told me, that my father had discovered something in my conduct that had greatly offended him; and that he was going to send me into the country, 'till Capt. Belmein was gone. "Are you sure, said I, (trembling with the agitation that I was in) that I am not going to meet Maynard? Heaven is my witness, that I will never dispute my father's commands to abandon Capt. Belmein; but I cannot, without being miserable to the last degree, consent to marry that wretch." "Alas! my dear, said Mrs. Blandon (touched at the anguish she saw me in) be persuaded I would not be accessory to betraying you into the power of Mr. Maynard. Your father has been informed, that you intended to go away with Capt. Belmein, and 'tis to prevent, from him, any attempts to that purpose, that you are sent away." These words a little reassured me, and I went down with Mrs. Blandon to the gate, where I found my brother waiting for me; he helped me into the chaise, and came in after me, and, I found, took the road to S----. I struggled to conceal my grief, and, though by suppressing my sighs and tears, I was almost choked; yet I affected a serenity in my looks that surprised him. He talked to me of indifferent things, and I answered him with a suitable composure. This painful disguise continued a long while; at last, charmed with my behavior, and taking my hand, which he tenderly pressed between his, "I always expected, said he, uncommon fruits from that good sense you possess in so eminent a degree. Such an absolute resignation to a design which opposes your wishes, is a convincing proof of it." I affected not to understand him. "Ah! (resumed he) don't forfeit your sincerity; I am no stranger to Capt. Belmein's scheme: what have I done to deserve the little confidence you allow me!" This reproach made me blush, when my brother (without seeming to take any notice of my confusion) went on: "Be assured, my dear Harriot, I would not take so much pains to cross your inclination, was I not certain, that what I do is for your advantage. I do not absolutely condemn either Belmein or you, for the design you have formed: 'tis the effect of an inconsiderate passion, always productive of misfortunes to those who give themselves up to its influence. This fatal love has obscured your understanding, and presented you with only the fair side of things: I, who am not infatuated like you, view them as they really are: and, in your lover's proposals, I see nothing for you but ruin and dishonor." I could not help interrupting him here, by an exclamation that testified my surprise. "I advance nothing, continued he, but what is very reasonable: captain Belmein would marry you privately; he is certainly in the right, he secures your heart and person, and is therefore able to support the pain of absence; but he leaves you to stem the torrent of rage, which this action must raise in the governor and your father: and what alteration may not time and absence make in his sentiments! he may grow indifferent; and the governor would not fail to take all possible measures to prevent your ever meeting more. You depend upon his promises of returning to claim you: don't deceive your self, child: it may not be in his power, suppose he is willing to keep his word: don't you think it probable, that his father will endeavor to have him detained? 'tis all one whether absence be forced or voluntary; its effects are still the same. Our desires naturally cool towards an object we no longer behold: reflection and remembrance but ill supply the place of a substantial blessing. Experience will convince you of this truth: absence will produce the same effect upon you, and the idea of Belmein will shortly afford you a very inconsiderable uneasiness. I think I need not use many arguments to persuade you, that you was engaging in a very dangerous scheme: you have sense and penetration: you know the governor is capable of any thing that is bad to serve his designs; he may exclaim against the validity of such a clandestine marriage, effected by indirect methods. Consider how deeply this would wound your honor and my father's: you know his nice regard for his reputation: could he support such an injurious insult with patience? and might not such a shocking affliction even endanger his life?" There was no occasion for this last terrible thought to make the desired impression upon my heart. I was not only persuaded, but convinced, by my brother's way of reasoning: he had opened my eyes; and I beheld, with shame and grief, the indiscreet lengths my passion, and the dread of Maynard, had hurried me into: a certain elevation of mind, which I always flattered myself I possessed, made me reflect (with a pleasing kind of pride) on the sacrifice I made to duty. "Alas! dear brother, said I, my father's commands are sufficient to make me abandon all thoughts of Belmein, whom (I solemnly declare) I will never receive for a husband, without his consent. But now I have made this promise, continued I, (weeping) who will secure me from the importunities of the detested Maynard? why was I forced upon the cruel extremity of disobeying my father, to avoid marrying a man I hate? There was no necessity for hurrying me from A---- to prevent my being the wife of Belmein. My heart never swerved from its duty, without the most painful reluctance." "I dare believe you, dear Harriot, (interrupted my brother) and it was not from any apprehension, that my arguments could not have effected this alteration in A----, that made me bring you from thence: but, in reality, dear sister, I thought there was an indispensable necessity for your leaving it before Belmein: we must have some regard to public censure: had you staid till your lover went away, it would have been difficult to persuade the world you was not abandoned and forsaken by him: how mortifying must such a reflection be to you, who have so quick a sense of honor, and that decorum your sex is obliged to preserve!" Thus well skilled was this dear brother in the art of persuasion. He had alarmed my pride: I found myself sensibly touched by this last reflection; and though my heart felt a violent pang, at the thoughts of never seeing Belmein more, yet I affected the utmost tranquillity in my looks and behavior. I found our journey terminated at Mrs. Villars's house, who was made acquainted with the occasion of my coming. You may possibly wonder, dear Amanda, that I was committed to the care of Mrs. Villars, who (I have often told you) was greatly in my interests. Is there any thing more frail than female friendships? a conformity of temper, an equal attachment to some darling foible first cements them; a trifle, as invaluable, dissolves the brittle tie: pardon me this observation, 'tis but too just, and will admit of very few exceptions. Mrs. Villars, though married, had conceived a sort of liking for Capt. Belmein; she became my rival, and consequently my enemy. By methods not very favorable to me, during a visit she made us at A----, she had insinuated herself into my mother's confidence, and was now looked upon as a proper person to watch my conduct upon this occasion. However, my brother never left me; he was continually endeavoring, by the most solid reasons, to fortify my mind against the approaches of a melancholy, which began to spread a settled gloom upon my countenance. The fear of being forced to marry Maynard, and the tender remembrance of Belmein alike tormented me: but alas! these disquiets received a considerable augmentation by the arrival of a messenger from my father, who, without the least precaution, informed us that Capt. Belmein had killed the doctor in a duel, and had made his escape. He brought orders from my father to the lieutenant, who commanded there, to arrest Capt. Belmein, in case he could be found; and told my brother, my father desired he would return with me to A---- the next day. The agony of grief this news threw me into, made me incapable of asking the messenger any questions: my brother (who was impatient to know whatever related to this affair) obliged him to inform us of every circumstance that had come to his knowledge. "Sir, said he, it was the doctor's own servant who first discovered it; he had overheard Capt. Belmein and his master at very high words, in the evening; and observing that Capt. Belmein went abroad very early the next day, and that his master (who had ordered his horse to be made ready) took the same road, he followed, as fast as he could, on foot, never losing sight of him, 'till he struck into the woods. He then wandered some time, uncertain what path to take. Chance, at last, brought him to the very place, where his master lay bleeding on the ground, having received several large wounds. The man (who had some little knowledge of his master's profession) tore off his own linen and made bandages of it, to stop the blood; and, perceiving some small remains of life in him (as he thought) having placed him under the shade of a tree, flew back, with the utmost speed, to town, in order to get some assistance to convey him home: he procured a chair, and took one of the surgeons of the town to the place where he had left his master, but found the body gone, being (as is imagined) stripped by the Indians, and buried to conceal their theft. They all returned in great affliction to A----, and alarming the fort, there was immediate orders issued out for the seizing Captain Belmein, and for strict search to be made for the body of the unfortunate doctor." My brother dismissed the man, when he had finished his relation, and turning to me (who sat all in tears beside him) "What fatal accidents, said he, has Belmein's wild passion occasioned! let this, dear Harriot, prevail upon you to marry Maynard; and, by taking away all hopes from Belmein, put an end to his extravagant schemes, which (one way or other) will certainly involve you in misery." "I know, cried I, (weeping excessively) that whatever happens, I must be the victim; but death, I hope, will shortly free me from the tyranny I groan under. Unhappy doctor! continued I, (in the utmost anguish) wretched Belmein! but far more wretched Harriot!" Here my grief rose almost to madness; I tore my hair, and acted so many extravagances, that my brother (fearing the consequence of such violent agonies) employed every soothing art to calm the frenzy that possessed me. The wretched doctor weltering in blood, Belmein (distracted with remorse) flying from justice, my father menacing me with the most dreadful wrath, were the sad images that rose to my tortured imagination, and never left me a moment's ease. Next morning, though my violent transports soon abated, yet a gloomy sorrow took possession of my soul, I hardly ever spoke, or listened to any thing that was said to me; and, during our journey home, sighs and tears were all the returns I made to my brother's obliging efforts to comfort me. When the chaise stopped at the gates, the first objects that presented themselves to my eyes, were my father and the much dreaded Maynard: I hastily turned my eyes from that detested object, not without having first observed he was hastening to help me out; but to avoid his assistance, I jumped down myself with so little caution, that I fell to the ground, and received a sprain in my ankle, which obliged me to be carried, groaning, up stairs to my chamber. I affected indeed to be much worse than I really was, and confined myself to my bed, for two days, to prevent receiving a visit from Maynard, whose presence I dreaded more than death: however, my father and mother (who loaded me with reproaches, for the melancholy accident that had happened) insisted upon my conforming to their intentions of marrying me to Maynard, with the utmost expedition, to prevent any further mischief. I begged them (with tears in my eyes) to grant me a few months delay; promising, to endeavor (in that time) to obey them with less reluctance. My mother (who was extremely obstinate) fearing lest this artifice, as she called it, should incline my father to grant me the favor I asked; possessed him with an opinion, that I was meditating some new stratagem, and possibly had intelligence with Belmein. This so incensed him, that he protested he would give me to Maynard, though he was immediately after to follow me to the grave. I was obliged to suffer his visits, and to listen, with a seeming composure, to his assurances of a passion which had cost me so many tears. "Is it possible, said I to him one day, (when he was most profuse of his protestations of tenderness) that I can look on this passion you profess for me, as any other than a cruel persecution, which has deprived me of what I most value in the world, the affection of my dearest friends. Do you not observe the uneasiness you cause me? Instead of that tenderness and esteem with which I used to be treated, I meet with nothing but anger and reproaches; and am in danger of being for ever abandoned by those who gave me birth. Such is the consequence of your affection! and is it by making me miserable, that you hope to be possessor of my heart?" "How unjustly do you accuse me, miss, said he! am I to be blamed, if, loving you as I do, I take advantage of the consent your father has given me, and press you to be mine, to have it in my power to make you happy?" "Ah! cried I (in a violent emotion) how egregiously do you mistake the means. Would you make me happy, leave me to myself; cease a persecution that only exposes you to my hate; restore me to the good opinion of my dear father; and tell him generously, that you will not be the cause of that force which is put upon my inclinations: do this, and though I can never love you, yet I will not refuse you my esteem." "Sure, miss, replied he (with a provoking- calmness) you have formed very mistaken notions of that passion you have inspired me with: was I able to conquer it, your scorn and aversion would be the surest arms I could employ against it, and your entreaties would be useless; but I am fated to love you, in spite of all your rigor: and since your father approves of my pretensions, no power on earth shall oblige me to resign them." "Inhuman wretch! returned I (bursting into tears) do not flatter yourself, that even my father's authority can force me to be yours. Heaven has not yet abandoned me, and will, I hope, interpose its power against the violence you would do me." In effect, I had taken a resolution which I will not presume to say was inspired by heaven, since it certainly expressed too much contempt for the authority of my parents. As I saw there was great preparations for my marriage, which my father had his own reasons for making as public as possible, I determined to allow myself to be led to the altar; but when the priest required me to pronounce the irrevocable words which were to bind me for ever to Maynard, I would declare (before all that were present) my aversion to this marriage; and falling at my father's feet, conjure him not to force me to be the wife of a man my soul detested. As wild and romantic as this scheme may appear, I believe I should have put it in execution: but providence interposed in my favor, and by very extraordinary, and (as I then thought) terrible means, spared me the horror of committing an action, which must necessarily offend my father beyond all possible hopes of pardon. The five Indian nations, with whom we were in alliance, were accustomed to come every third year to A----, and were met by the governor of N---- to renew a treaty of peace with them, which was confirmed by presents to the extent of several hundred pounds, allowed by the government of Britain for that purpose. These savage people were assembled in great numbers, on the large plain behind the fort: they had brought with them their wives and children, and none but the aged and infirm were left behind. We saw, with astonishment, a new sort of city raised in the compass of a few hours: for these people, when they travel, carry with them the materials for building their houses, which consist of the bark of trees, and two or three wooden poles, with some bear-skins to lye on: thus a square of ten feet will serve to contain a very large family; and it being now the middle of summer, their huts were decorated with the boughs of trees on the outside, to keep out the sun, which (on account of their different verdure) formed a very new and beautiful prospect. I constantly spent some hours every evening in the garden, which was at a small distance from the fort, where I took great pleasure in viewing the Indians at a distance; for I was too much terrified at them, to walk out among their huts, as several gentlemen and ladies who were come from N---- did. The governor's intended interview with the Indians, drew great numbers of people from all parts of the country: my father was preparing to receive him with the usual formalities; but resolving to have me married before his arrival, he told me, in two days he would bestow me on Maynard, and omitted no arguments that could prevail upon me to obey him, without reluctance. I answered only with sighs and tears; and when my father left me, I retired into the garden alone, meditating on the difficult and dangerous part I had to act. My thoughts were so much employed, that I staid later than usual; night stole upon me unawares, and just as I was preparing to return, three or four Indians rushed into the garden; the gate, through the carelessness of the gardener, being left unfastened, they seized me immediately. The terror I was in facilitated their design of carrying me away: I fell into a swoon the moment I perceived them, and, when I recovered my senses, I found myself in a boat, rowing (with the utmost expedition) up the river. I gave a loud shriek the moment I opened my eyes, when one of the company, who supported me in his arms, begged me to compose myself; but, O heavens! what was my surprise, when the first word I heard informed me, it was the well-known voice of Belmein. "May I believe my senses, cried I (trembling with astonishment and joy) is it Captain Belmein that I hear and see? am I not then abandoned entirely to the mercy of these savages?" My first emotions were all joy, but recollecting the violence that had been used to me, I hastily drew away my hand, which Belmein had all this time kept glued to his lips. "But is it possible, resumed I, that Belmein (forgetting the respect he owed me) has acted the part of a brutal ravisher, and snatched me, with violence, from my family." "Ah! too cruel Harriot, interrupted he, I have indeed taken you away without your consent; but have I not snatched you from a man whom you detested, and whom, notwithstanding, you were upon the point of marrying? Do I merit reproaches for having delivered you from so great a misfortune, at the hazard of my life; and must the excess of my love be imputed to me as a crime?" "If you have hazarded your life, replied I, by this action, you have also hazarded my reputation, which ought to be infinitely dearer to me than either your life or my own. Alas! continued I (melting into tears) what affliction is the family involved in upon my account! I am either lamented as unhappily lost, or reproached and detested for my criminal flight." "What do I hear, interrupted Belmein (in a transport of rage) is it my adored Harriot that utters these injurious complaints; has she forgot the everlasting tenderness she promised me? Maynard, the once detested Maynard, is the loss you deplore. Perfidious sex, continued he, why did I suffer myself to be deceived into an opinion, that any woman was capable of truth?" "You had my vows, replied I, and I would have been yours, but for the avarice of your father, and the honor of mine. I cannot follow the dictates of my heart, without disobeying a parent, who has ever loved me with the utmost tenderness; and though I saw myself on the point of being forced to marry a man I hated, yet the governor's insolent behavior, and the fatal accidents in consequence of it, made my father resolve to sacrifice me to the quiet of his family. Ah! Belmein, I only am the victim; my father will never be persuaded that I did not go away voluntarily with you; and however this affair may end, it will be a lasting blot upon my character." "But, tell me miss, replied my lover, did you not (once in thought) consent to be mine, without your father's acquiescence? That fatal billet you gave the doctor, which has cost him his life, and me everlasting remorse; did not that bring a command from you, that I should meet and convey you away? Have I done any thing now which your orders have not authorized? why then these reproaches, this unkind behavior?" "'Tis true, I replied, that in the first transports of my soul, when I received my father's commands to marry Maynard, I did write the billet you mentioned, and gave it to the unhappy doctor; but in my cooler moments I reflected with horror, on the indiscretion I had committed. But, oh! cried I (weeping with more violence than before) did that horrid billet occasion the quarrel between you and the doctor? tell me, I conjure you, how it happened." "Ah! miss, said Belmein, the doctor was my rival, and concealed his passion for you under the appearance of joining in our common interest, against the arbitrary proceedings of both our fathers. That billet you sent he never gave me; I discovered it by mere accident, having fallen out of his pocket with other papers. I knew your dear characters, and, seizing it immediately, taxed him with his treachery: he then pretended to throw off the mask; talked of his zeal for the governor, and confessed he had betrayed our correspondence to your brother, who (by his advice) had removed you from the fort. Alas! dear miss, you know the rest. Do not, by your cruelty, add to the affliction I feel at his unhappy fate. Let me think of nothing but the transporting pleasure of having rescued you from the unworthy husband you were destined for, and the prospect of having you mine for ever." "That sir, I answered, depends as much as ever upon the will of my father. You have been pleased to make me your prisoner, 'tis true, but no force can compel me to make you my husband without his consent." The Indians who rowed us had all this time observed a profound silence, gazing upon us with a fixed attention. The moon was now risen, and discovered to me the whole person of Belmein, so altered by his Indian dress, that it was impossible to know him: he wore the same kind of sandals, an Osnabrig's vest which reached to his knees, and a mantle of blue cloth trimmed with several rows of worsted lace; his face was painted, and his hair, which he had been obliged to cut short, was combed into their frightful fashion, and sprinkled, in the divisions, with a kind of fine red sand which looks like blood, and which the Indians affect, in order to give them a more tremendous appearance. You may imagine, dear Amanda, that a lover thus disfigured, was no very agreeable object in the eyes of his mistress: however, the fine shape and regular features of Belmein, shone through the savageness of his disguise; and though it would have been difficult to have believed him any other than an Indian, yet it must be confessed he was a very handsome one. Having expressed some apprehensions of the Indians who rowed us, he informed me they were young men of quality in their own nation, the Mohocks, who were all converted to Christianity, and whom he had bound to his interests by large gifts and promises of future reward. These people being most religious observers of their oaths, he had exacted one from each of them, which made him quite secure of their secrecy. When they observed Belmein and I to be upon better terms than we were at first, they made me some compliments in the Dutch language, which most of the Mohock Indians can speak fluently. Capt. Belmein explained what they said to me, and I should have fancied it was him who gave their expressions that gallant turn, had I not heard this nation frequently celebrated for its politeness. The whole night the Indians continued to row with all their strength; and captain Belmein had so well fenced me against the air by several bearskins, which he had disposed advantageously about me, that I was in no danger of taking cold. The summer nights in this country are more pleasant and refreshing than can be well expressed; there is just coolness enough in the air to be agreeable, after the excessive heats of the day. The river we were upon is one of the finest in the world; and the shore, on each side, presented nothing but thick woods to our view; yet there was such a beautiful variety of greens, and so romantic a wildness in the whole prospect, as forcibly attracted my observation, notwithstanding the con- fusion and distress of my mind. It was soon day, and the Indians still continuing their hasty progress up the river, I asked Belmein, in a tone that expressed the utmost resentment, where he intended to carry me. "You know, continued I, my resolution is fixed, I will never be yours without my father's consent: amidst all the persecutions I suffered, upon Maynard's account, I still reserved my heart for you; but this unjustifiable action has so entirely effaced that tenderness I once felt for you, that you are now both equally the objects of my aversion." Belmein, who expected I should have judged more favorably of his attempt, was so disconcerted at the determined manner in which I spoke, that he continued some time without answering, in a posture which expressed the greatest perturbation of mind. At last, raising his eyes, (with a sigh, which seemed to proceed from the very bottom of his heart) "I see plainly, miss, (said he) I never was so happy as to make any impression on your heart; you have, no doubt, reserved that glorious conquest for one more deserving than Belmein: no! I can never believe you felt one tender sentiment for me. That savage virtue you so obstinately profess, is nothing more than a proud insensibility, which triumphs at the torments you make me suffer. Cruel and ungrateful as you are, I will give you back to that Maynard you prefer before me: I will no longer be an obstacle to these detested nuptials: with my own hands I will deliver you to your father, and by resigning myself to justice, expiate my guilt in giving death to an unhappy man, whose treachery was the effect of those enchanting arts, which have been so fatal to my quiet. Come, miss, continued he, if you can bear the fatigue of returning back, you shall have the pleasure of leading your prisoner in triumph to your father." Alas! the artful Belmein, who knew too well the tender sensibility of my soul, took this way to work upon my passions, and dispose me to submit patiently to his purpose. "Ah! cried I, (bursting into tears) do you bid me lead you to my father? Shall I deliver you up to justice, and load myself with the guilt of your death? Into what a miserable extremity am I driven! I must either dishonorably accompany you to whatever place you are pleased to convey me, or be accessory to your imprisonment, and perhaps death. Good God! cried I, (lifting up my eyes swimming in tears) relieve me from this insupportable affliction, and let thy providence find the means to restore me to my family, without hastening the fate of this unworthy man, who has abused the tenderness I had for him." I pronounced these words with so strong an emotion, that Belmein, who seemed greatly affected, conjured me in the tenderest and most respectful terms, to compose myself; protesting that he was only taking me to his brother's farm, which I remembered to hear spoken of frequently, as one of the most beautiful seats in the province.
He told me, he would only entreat me to remain there concealed for a few days, till he had fully acquainted me with his designs; and that, if I did not approve of them, he solemnly protested he would have me conducted safe to Fort H----, where a lieutenant of my father's commended: I could then acquaint him where I was, and have an opportunity of reconciling myself to him by the sacrifice I might make to duty. The artful Belmein concluded these promises by a thousand assurances of an inviolable performance; and I suffered myself to be persuaded to what, indeed, there was scarcely a possibility of avoiding.