In about an hour's time we discovered some fine corn-fields and meadows, which Belmein told me belonged to his brother, whose house was near the water-side, to which we soon arrived, and landed immediately. Belmein led me through a most beautiful wood to a back-entrance into the house, which seemed large and magnificent. A young gentleman, whom I had never seen, but whose resemblance to Belmein easily persuaded me he was his brother, received us with the greatest transports of joy; and, supposing I was there by my own consent, made me many compliments on the generous passion I had for his brother. "Had you come half an hour sooner, said he to Belmein, I should have had some apprehensions of your being discovered. A party of soldiers have been here to inquire for this young lady: they set out from A---- soon after she was missing, and have rode all night. There are several other parties dispatched to different places in search of her. However, miss, continued he, don't be concerned; it is very easy to conceal you in this house, though they should take it in their heads to search it again." I made very little reply to these words, when Belmein desired his brother to call his housekeeper to attend me to a chamber, where I might take some repose after my fatiguing voyage. The moment this young woman appeared, I conceived no very favorable opinion of her. She had an air of levity and assurance; and the circumstance of her being house keeper to a gay gentleman of two and twenty, prepossessed me a little against her discretion, and made me resolve to treat her with great reserve. She approached me, however, with much respect, and told me she had pre pared a chamber for my reception. I followed her, making a cool courtesy to Belmein and his brother, who waited on me to the door. When I came into the room, which was indeed a very elegant one, Mrs. Saunders (for that I found was the house-keeper's name) begged me to repose myself on the bed, and she would return immediately with some chocolate. I chose, however, to wait her return in an easy chair, where I had some difficulty to keep from sleeping. The busy house-keeper presently returned, followed by a black woman, who brought the chocolate and several sorts of cakes. The slave retired as soon as she had placed the things on a table; when Mrs. Saunders, seating herself near me, pressed me very officiously to eat, assuring me the cakes were made by herself, and she had been instructed in all sorts of pastry at N----, where she was born and educated. The place of her birth accounted immediately for the insipid lightness of her behavior. There is no place in the world where the women labor so much to attract the eyes of the men. But this extreme fondness for creating love, is accompanied with a very strange disposition to receive it; and if a woman there has half a dozen lovers, one may be assured half of them at least are very much favored. I was greatly alarmed at the loose mien and behavior of this woman, and, as I drank my chocolate, could not help observing her with a fixed attention. "Indeed, miss, said she, (with an affected lisp) I think captain Belmein is extremely happy in having gained your affection. I don't wonder the men make such a rout about you: I never saw any one so pretty and genteel in my life; and they say you have a world of wit. But, dear miss, how did you contrive to escape? I am sure poor captain Belmein has run a great hazard to get you. For all he is the governor's son, they say, if they can get him, he'll be tried, and condemned too, for killing the doctor, though it was in a fair duel." To all this I made very little answer; but observing she continued to treat me with great familiarity, on the supposition that I had made a voluntary elopement from my family, I thought proper to undeceive her in that point. "I am of opinion, said I, that captain Belmein is far from being safe here, though disguised in his Indian habit. It would have been the safest way to have escaped directly to N----, where his father's power might have sheltered him, till the most favorable circumstances of his duel with the doctor were known, and his pardon secured: now, if he is taken, the affair may have worse consequences. The rash action he has been guilty of, in forcing me away, will subject him to a great many censures, and possibly be a means of discovering him." "Bless me, miss, said Mrs. Saunders, (in surprise) has captain Belmein forced you away? I thought you had consented to make your escape with him. Lord! how people may be mistaken!" "No, replied I, (with some emotion) my esteem for captain Belmein should never oblige me to an action so contrary to my duty and honor. When he took me away, he had no time to consult my inclinations, which, it is possible, he thought were favorable to his designs. My fright at being seized by four Indians, made me fall into a swoon; and when I recovered, it was too late to restore me without danger. But I have captain Belmein's promise to send me to Fort H----, from whence I may return home; and 'tis the dependence I have upon his honor, that makes me support my present situation with patience." Mrs. Saunders, who did not seem to relish this grave discourse, observing I had breakfasted, made haste to remove the things; and then asked me, if I chose to repose myself on the bed for a few hours, which I refused, telling her I should take a short sleep in the easy chair. She then retired with a sort of dissatisfaction in her looks, that persuaded me the sentiments I discovered were far from exalting me in her opinion. I rose and fastened the door, and seating myself in my chair, notwithstanding the uneasy situation of my mind, I fell into a profound sleep, which lasted some hours, and from which I was waked by a gentle rap at the door. I opened it immediately, and perceiving it was Belmein, I reproached him with having disturbed me. "You are very happy, miss, said he, that can sleep with so much tranquillity, and yet give disquiets that deprive others of all repose. I find by Mrs. Saunders's discourse, that you have represented your lover as a strange fellow, who has forced you from your friends. Ah! miss Harriot, was that well done? Might you not have depended upon the promise I gave you to send you back, without exposing me in this manner?" "Sure, Sir, I replied, you ought not to be surprised, if I am impatient to clear myself from being accessory to an action, which must inevitably wound my reputation. If my fame was dear to you, the danger you expose it to would touch you sensibly; and, far from blaming me for seeking to just)* myself, you ought to seize every opportunity of declaring my innocence." Belmein, who was naturally haughty, and vain enough to think very favorably of his accomplish -meets, had never despaired of making me at last approve the method he had taken to secure me to himself. He was amazed at so determined an opposition from a young girl, of whose affections he thought himself absolute master: and his disappointed hopes, joined to the resentment he conceived at my indifference, was possibly the motive for his assuming a behavior very different from what he had always observed. For the present, however, he suppress his chagrin, and desired me to walk down stairs to dinner; telling me, he would afterwards acquaint me with his designs, in which I would find my honor was far from being indifferent to him. I suffered him to lead me to a parlor, where his brother was expecting us; and, dinner being immediately served, my lover told me, if it would be agreeable to me, Mrs. Saunders should sit at table. I accepted this proposal with great pleasure, as I was under an inconceivable confusion at being alone with two young gentlemen. After dinner she retired, and captain Belmein addressing himself to me, "Will you allow me, miss, said he, to make my brother judge of the dispute between us, and suffer me to relate my motives for this attempt on your liberty, as you are pleased to call it?" "I have no objection, sir, replied I, to hearing your brother's sentiments upon this occasion; but, added I, (smiling) though you have appointed him judge in this important cause, I shall reserve to myself the liberty of dissenting from his judgment, if it is contrary to my interest." "I am sorry, interrupted captain Belmein, that our interests are divided; and that it is possible for my brother to decide favorably for me, and yet against you. Was there ever any thing, dear Bob, said he, so cruel as this charmer! I hazarded my life to rescue her from being the wife of a man she hated. She even once commanded me to undertake her deliverance, which I have now effected, with infinitely more danger to myself; yet, instead of that tenderness which I expected she would receive me with, she loads me with reproaches; and chooses rather to return, and be the victim of a forced marriage, than trust herself in the hands of an adoring and respectful lover." "There is certainly, said I, (blushing) some reason in the reproaches you have cast upon me. I confess I once consented you should deliver me from the persecution I suffered: when I took that resolution, Sir, I was almost distracted with the fear of being forced to marry Mr. Maynard; but when I reflected on the consequences that must necessarily follow an action, which expressed so much contempt for the commands of both our fathers, I could not help feeling the bitterest remorse. And as I opposed the will of my father, by refusing the husband he chose for me, my disobedience in marrying a gentleman, whom, for very essential reasons, he had commanded me to think of no more, would have been a double guilt. Though you had not taken me from A----, I would never have been the wife of Maynard: I would have avoided that misfortune without consenting to a flight, which must irreparably wound my reputation." "But, miss, said Mr. Belmein, my brother entreats you to accept his hand, and, by making him your husband, silence the censures which you apprehend may be cast on your conduct. My sister B---- is preparing to return to her husband in Jamaica: she will receive you with the utmost tenderness, and you may remain there till your fathers are reconciled to your marriage." "But, Sir, replied I, though I was really inclined to marry Captain Belmein, against the positive commands of my father; yet I must necessarily take a very long voyage with him, before he is at liberty to offer me his hand: and though I have a very great dependence upon your brother's honor, yet I am not of a temper to hazard my own, or give the world occasion to be justly severe upon my reputation." Captain Belmein interrupted me here, and seizing my hand, which he forcibly kissed, "No, my lovely angel, said he, your conduct shall never be questioned. Before we leave this house, I will engage my faith to you." "`Tis true, continued he, (with some hesitation) the person who shall read over the ceremony is not in holy orders; but, notwithstanding, our marriage will be as firm and indissoluble, as if it was celebrated with the usual formalities." My surprise at this insolent proposal, rendered me mute and immovable for some moments: at last, recovering myself, and observing he waited for my answer, "How have you dared, said I, (with a look that had all the scorn I was capable of assuming) to imagine I would accept such base and dishonorable proposals! I would not give my father a moment's disquiet, to be yours in the most honorable manner; and have you the vanity to think my affection for you could influence me to so mean a condescension? Perfidious and designing as you are! I now despise and hate you." Belmein, who had never seen me so enraged before, gave me a look which expressed at once the extremes of love, fear, and indignation. He started up, and walked about the room in a violent emotion, repeating my last words: then suddenly stopping, and fixing his eyes steadfastly upon me, after a pause, which lasted some moments, "You despise me then, miss, said he, (sighing) and the effects of a most tender and violent passion have drawn upon me your hate and indignation." "I never desire to hear more of your passion, interrupted I. Restore me to my family, I conjure you; and by that action atone, in some measure, for the insults you have offered me." Belmein, who was master of every tender and ensnaring art, practiced them all to remove the resentment he had raised in me. The softest language that ever love inspired, attended with all the moving rhetoric of sighs and tears, had now, such was the pride of virtue, lost the power of moving me. I persisted in telling him, he had for ever forfeited my tenderness and esteem; and all the favor my heart would now allow him, was to think of him with indifference, without being either moved to hate or pity him. My enraged lover, at these words, snatching up a pen-knife that lay on the table, held it in a menacing posture, and darting a look at me, in which despair was visibly painted, "Know, miss, said he, (in a terrible voice) that I will not live to bear either your hate or indifference." Terrified to the last degree at this action, I gave a loud shriek, and springing to him, he eagerly seized hold of me, threw away the knife, and pressed me tenderly in his arms. Alas! dear Amanda, this menace, which had so much alarmed me, was only a stratagem of the designing Belmein, to know if I was really capable of that indifference I affected. A moment's reflection would possibly have convinced me my lover had no intention to execute his threats; but my disposition was naturally tender and compassionate, easily imposed on by appearances, and incapable of dissimulation. I could not suppress the first violent emotions this action caused in my soul. Belmein exulted in this discovery of my tender concern for him; his eyes wandered over me with a triumphant pleasure, as I sat all pale and silent in a chair where he had placed me. His brother, who had left the room some minutes before, came in, and, observing that I was extremely discomposed, asked me, in a most obliging manner, what had given me this new disturbance. My tears, which I had with difficulty restrained, burst forth with violence at this demand: I was not able to speak, and could only cast an upbraiding glance at Belmein, who was beholding me with a fixed attention: "Ah, miss, said he, I understand too well the meaning of those reproachful looks. You think me a villain, and perhaps I have deserved to be thought so: but can you not, continued he, (throwing himself at my feet) pardon an error which excess of love has forced me to commit, when, to expiate it, I will obey your harsh commands; and, though I doom myself to the severest sorrow that ever tortured a faithful heart, part with you to morrow for ever. My brother shall attend you to Fort H----. I will condemn myself to a lasting absence from you; and if you will promise only to think of me without detestation, 'tis all that my presumptuous hopes shall ever aim at." These words, delivered with all that moving tenderness he so well knew how to assume, were far from producing the effect he designed they should: the artifice was too plain; he wanted to lull my virtue into a full security, in order to take his advantage of that affection my late terror, on his account, convinced him I still felt for him. Was it possible to imagine that a man, who, but some minutes before, had committed the greatest extravagances on a supposition he was not beloved, should now so calmly give up his pretensions, when he had just received a convincing proof that he was? My brother had often told me, that it was very dangerous to trust a lover with the secret of our affection for him: such an acknowledgment destroys their solicitude to please, and creates a habit of offending, because they are sure of a pardon; it being almost a generally received maxim with that sex, That no woman can ever absolutely hate a man she has once passionately loved.
My virtue took the alarm at this sudden change: I saw nothing in his looks that spoke him so calm and moderate. His glances were tender and passionate, he grasped my hand with an eager pressure, and waited for my answer with a trembling impatience; all which spoke too much of the interested, designing lover, to leave me a possibility of doubting that he was meditating some stratagem to ensnare me. Though my heart labored with the blackest suspicions, yet my delicacy suggested a behavior that argued the utmost confidence in his promises. He desired his brother to give orders for the chaise to be got ready early in the morning to carry me to Fort H----, which I found, by their discourse, was not many miles off. While he was gone to give the necessary orders for my journey, my artful lover, under the presence of taking leave of me for ever, pressing me eagerly in his arms, snatched several kisses by force, without my being able to disengage myself. At last I got loose, and complaining, with tears which pride and affronted modesty forced from my eyes, of the unlicensed freedom he took with me, he fell again into his personated indifference; conjured me to pardon the last efforts of a passion he was resolved to suppress; and promised, for the short time he was to have the pleasure of beholding me, to behave with more reserve. Mr. Belmein now returned, and told me, he had given directions to have a chaise ready; and that he would attend me, at what hour I pleased, to Fort H----. I named eight the next morning; and expressing an inclination to retire, Mrs. Saunders was called to attend me to my room. As I found there was a necessity for staying that night, which was now pretty far advanced, I resolved to pass it in reading, being determined not to undress myself and go to bed in that suspected place. I dismissed Mrs. Saunders, who offered to stay with me, not being desirous of having a companion of her stamp. When she was gone I fastened the door with great care, and sat down to meditate on the mysterious behavior of Belmein. When I recollected all the inconsistencies he had been guilty of that day, I was convinced he had no intention of sending me home; and the dishonorable designs he had discovered, inflamed my resentment against him to the last degree. I shuddered with fear when I remembered I was in his power, and that he possibly proposed to send me out of the province, instead of restoring me to my family. If I accept of their proposal, thought I, how can I be sure that I am not precipitating myself into more certain danger; and if I continue here, what persecution may I not expect from Belmein, whose vanity will construe my voluntary stay as a secret approbation of his designs. In this distracting dilemma I fell on my knees, and recommended myself to the protection of heaven, with a fervor that drew tears from my eyes. While I was in this posture, a noise, which I heard on the other side of the room, made me start; and turning my eyes that way, I saw Belmein enter by a door which had escaped my notice. Terror and astonishment seized me! He made but one step from the door to the place where amazement kept me still kneeling. He raised me up, and kissing my hand, which I struggled in vain to draw from him, "Do not, my charming angel, said he, refuse me the liberty of seeing you a few moments, when I have consented to lose that blessing to-morrow for ever. Yes, continued he, (clasping me in his arms) I will part with you, since you desire it: I will part with you, my adorable Harriot; and, though never man loved with that excess of violence that I do, and though by such a step I sacrifice all the quiet of my life, I will give this fatal proof of obedience to your will." Base and designing Belmein! Was this a proof that he meant me honorably, to invade my chamber at so late an hour, and treat me with such unlicensed freedoms? I struggled to suppress the rage that, for some moments, had wholly engrossed my soul; and knowing that it was to dissimulation alone I could owe my safety, I seemed to be moved at what he said, and asked him, in a faltering accent, if he was sure he could keep his word. His eyes sparkled with pleasure at this discovery of my unsettled resolution to leave him: "Yes, miss, said he, (in a transport he could ill disguise) I can keep my word, and part with you to-morrow; but, possibly, this cruel instance of my perfect submission to your commands, will prove fatal to a life I had wholly devoted to you." "If you had not determined, interrupted I, (smiling) to send me away in the morning, I would have taken this night and to morrow to have considered of the proposal you made me; but perhaps you have now arrived to such a pitch of indifference, that you'll hardly condescend to treat with me upon any conditions." The tone with which I pronounced these words, convinced Belmein that I strove, under the appearance of raillery, to hide the confusion which my weakness, in not being able to keep my resolution, must necessarily cause. He threw himself at my feet in a transport of joy, kissing my hand a thousand times, which I suffered him to hold, without any attempt to withdraw it. "Oh, my adorable Harriot, cried he, how have you raised me, in a moment, from the deepest affliction to the greatest excess of happiness! Will you be mine, then, at last, my lovely angel? And, after all the misery you have made me suffer, will you then consent to make me happy?" "I have told you, replied I, that I will take some time to consider of what you proposed. At present I should be glad to be left alone: a little rest would be agreeable, after the fatigue I have suffered." Belmein, who now thought himself absolutely sure of my consent, made no scruple to comply instantly with my desires. He again put on the submissive lover, and, kissing my hand respectfully, took his leave. I followed him to the door by which he had entered, and observed it led to a pair of back-stairs. Having fastened it after him as well as I could, I sat down, oppressed with the most violent sorrow my heart had ever experienced. I saw no possibility of avoiding the dangerous snares my lover laid for my virtue, but by escaping from his power.
I had learned that Fort H---- was but a few miles distant from the place where I now was; and I determined, as soon as it was day, to make an attempt to steal out of the house, and strike into the first road I saw, which, if it did not lead me to Fort H----, might possibly conduct me to some farm house, where I might be safe. As dangerous as this project might appear, it was infinitely less so than the cruel artifices of a lover; whom, notwithstanding the insults he had offered me, I could not bring myself to hate. But pride and resentment had so well fortified my heart, that, in the resolution I had taken to abandon him for ever, I felt at present no other pain than what the fear of not accomplishing it occasioned. My apprehensions of another visit from Belmein, together with the perplexity of my thoughts on the most probable means of escaping, kept me waking the whole night. I waited impatiently for day, and, when it appeared, stole softly down the back-stairs, which I imagined might lead to some part of the house, that would favor my design of getting out unobserved. Though it was very early, yet, by a noise which I heard in the house, I found some of the family were up. My heart fluttered with fear and anxiety: I trembled lest any one should meet me; and not daring either to go forward or return to my chamber, I stood a moment irresolute what to do. Immediately a servant, passing by at the bottom of the stairs, opened a pair of large folding doors, and went out. I saw the prospect of a large court yard and stables; and stepping to the door, to see if there was a possibility of getting through to the road that way, the man, who was at a little distance, turned at the noise I made in opening the door, which had clapped to, and stood still to observe me. As I was now discovered, I thought it would be in vain to attempt to hide my design, and was thinking of some means to engage this fellow to assist me in getting away, when he approached me. "I suppose, madam, said he, you are waiting for the chaise; but my master did not order me to get it ready till eight o'clock: however, I can put the horses to in a minute, if you intend to go so early." It is not easy to express the transport I felt at this lucky accident. I found Mr. Belmein had been really deceived in his brother's intentions; for he had no very strong head, and was not capable of entering into the captain's deep schemes.
I resolved to take advantage of the fellow's mistake, and asked him, with some surprise, if Mrs. Saunders had sent no one to call him, for that there was a necessity for setting out immediately. The man who imagined there was another party coming to search the house, and that my being found there would be of the utmost prejudice to captain Belmein, went immediately to the stables, and left me trembling with fear, hope, and impatience. The moment I saw the chaise appear I flew towards it. "Oh! heavens, cried I (in a real terror which increased the man's apprehension) help me in, a moment's delay will ruin us." "Does not my master go with you miss, said he? (getting off the box to help me in)." "No, no, replied I, there will be other business for him: but drive away immediately:" he did as I commanded him, and, in a few minutes, I saw myself in the road to Fort H----, which, at the rate we drove, I could not fail of reaching before it was possible my faithless lover could overtake me. While, in the exultings of my heart, I was offering up my most earnest thanks to that providence, which had so visibly succored me; a stump of a tree, which lay cross the road, but had escaped the view of my precipitate driver, overturned the chaise and threw me to the ground. I was a little stunned with the fall: but what were my agonies, when the fellow informed me that it would be near half an hour before he could repair the damages the chaise had received, and make it fit to pursue our journey! I lifted up my eyes, swimming in tears, and begging heaven to continue its protection to me, sat down at the foot of a tree, recommending it to the man to make all possible dispatch. I waited with the most torturing impatience, and my eyes were constantly turned towards the place I had left; when I discovered, at some distance, a person on horseback, riding very fast: and, concluding I was pursued, I rose with the utmost precipitation, and, striking into a path that led into the woods, ran as fast as my legs would carry me, 'till I was got to a very considerable distance. I stopped for a moment to take breath, and looking round me, to see if I could discover any signs of a habitation, I observed a countryman at some distance cutting wood. I immediately made towards him, with all the speed that fear could give me: the man, who was wholly engrossed by his employment, never saw me till I was come close to him, when starting and looking on me for a moment without speaking, "Bless me! young lady, said he at last (in a tone that expressed his surprise) what has brought you to this place?" "Do you know me, friend, said I, scarce recovering breath enough to speak?" "Yes, miss, replied he (bowing respectfully) I am one of your father's soldiers, and have a little plantation hard by." "Convey me thither instantly, said I; and if you can conceal me a few hours in your house, I promise you my father shall reward you liberally." The man expressed the utmost willingness to serve me, and observing I was so tired I could scarce stand, offered to carry me to his house, but I refused; and, summoning all my strength, suffered him only to lead me along, and thus got to the house, just when my weariness would hardly permit me to walk one step more. As I was going to enter it, a voice (which methought I was well acquainted with) struck my ears, that uttered in a transported accent, "O! my God, there she is." I stood a minute in the utmost confusion, when the person who pronounced these words, advanced towards me, and whom I immediately knew, notwithstanding the disguise of a sailor's habit, and a large patch that hid part of his face, to be the doctor himself. Amazement seized me at this sight; my spirits, too weak to support the strong surprise, failed me in an instant, and I fell breathless into the arms of the good woman of the house, who eagerly ran to support me. When I recovered, I asked (trembling) where the stranger was that I had seen? "Sure, said I, I could not be deceived, it was certainly the doctor himself." "Mercy on us, replied the woman, madam has seen a spirit, for certain: be comforted, dear young lady, there is no body here now but myself and my husband, and this honest sailor, who is going to the Indian castle to traffic for some of their toys." "What sailor, said I, looking round the room? When observing him stand fixed in thought, at one corner, Ah cried I, screaming, how dare you impose upon me? I either see the doctor, or his ghost! Is not that he that stands yonder?" The good couple, at these words, gave one another several significant looks, which seemed to say, I was certainly distracted; when the sailor advanced and threw himself on his knees before me. "Ah! miss, said he, you have indeed discovered me: but let me entreat you to be composed. I came here in search of you, and am transported to find (by all that I can collect from what this man told me, during your swoon and your own behavior) that you have not left your father's house voluntarily. There is no occasion for me to conceal myself any longer, said he, tearing the plaster from off his face: if you will accept of me, miss, in this garb, to conduct you to Fort H----, this man and I will undertake to convey you safe; we shall there find a conveyance to carry you home; and then if captain Belmein has a mind to renew his pretensions, he may do it publicly. I was enough recovered from my surprise, to be able to ask the doctor some questions which might relieve me from the perplexity my thoughts were in about him; when the woman (clapping her hands) cried out, "I protest there's the young 'squire! he's certainly come to seek you, miss: what shall we say?" I rose immediately in the utmost agony, believing it was captain Belmein, and dreading the consequence of his meeting with the doctor, when, to my great satisfaction, I saw only Mr. Belmein, who entered the room with a smiling countenance, and reproached me for having gone away without him. I had not time to answer him: he had cast his eyes upon the doctor's face, and, starting back with an action that expressed the strongest surprise, remained for some moments immovable as a statue. "Is it possible! said he at last: May I believe my eyes?" "Yes, sir, interrupted the doctor, (bowing) I am still alive; and it was in order to serve the governor more effectually, that I have suffered myself to be thought dead so long." Mr. Belmein, who was eager to inquire into this mystery, expressed a desire of retiring into a more private apartment. The people of the house, telling him that was the best they had, went out immediately, and left us to ourselves. "I am strangely at a loss, sir, said Mr. Belmein, (the moment they were gone) to understand how your concealing yourself thus long could be of any use to my father. You have, indeed, taken a very ungenerous revenge of my brother, by allowing the world to suppose him guilty of your death, and obliging him to keep himself concealed, lest he should be called to account for it." "I know not, sir, replied the doctor, whether captain Belmein ever told you, that the governor had given me commission to break off his marriage with this young lady; but 'tis certain I had instructions from him to do every thing in my power to prevent it. Your brother thought proper to quarrel with me, for the opposition I had made to his carrying off miss Harriot; and all the respect I had for the governor, could not hinder me from accepting a challenge which he gave me, accompanied with insults not to be borne by a man of honor. I followed him to the place appointed: we fought, and the event of our combat was very unfavorable for me. When I fell, the great quantity of blood which I had lost threw me into a swoon, which, I suppose, made captain Belmein conclude me dead. When I recovered I found there had been care taken of my wounds; for they were bound up, and the bleeding was stopped. I perceived they were far from being dangerous, being only in the flesh; and I was endeavoring to rise, and try if I could get home, when I saw a gentleman, who was nearly related to me, riding as fast as possible up to me. He expressed an infinite deal of surprise at finding me in so good a condition, when every one believed me almost dead; and told me, that there was assistance coming immediately. I inquired after captain Belmein, and being answered that he was not to be found, and that it was supposed he had made his escape, on a belief that I was dead, I earnestly entreated my friend to conceal me till I was able to go abroad; judging, that if the report of my death was confirmed, captain Belmein would be obliged to keep out of the way, and have no opportunities of renewing his designs upon miss Harriot. You see, sir, the motives of my concealing myself. I easily persuaded my friend to carry me to his country-house, which was at a small distance. He placed me before him on his horse, and took a by-path home. It being almost dark, he led me to a summer-house in the garden, of which he kept the key, and there disposed me, till he had an opportunity of conveying me unseen into the house. As soon as I was conveniently lodged in a chamber, I applied myself to cure my wounds, and in a very little time was perfectly recovered. I resolved not to appear till the governor arrived at A----. My servant, whom I had trusted with my secret, brought me accounts of all that passed in the Fort family. I understood that miss Harriot was carried off; and judging, that if captain Belmein had not left the province with her directly, he would certainly lie concealed at your house, I took the habit you see me in, and came to these people, knowing they rented a little farm of you. I was just arrived, and asking the good woman some questions in the character of a sailor who was going to the Indian-castle, when I saw miss Harriot enter. By what I learned from your tenant who brought her in, the young lady had fled from some place where she was unwillingly detained. I have offered her my service to conduct her to Fort H----, where one of her father's lieutenants commands, and where she may remain with safety, till the captain sends proper persons to wait on her home." Mr. Belmein, who had listened attentively to all the doctor said, interrupted him here with a tartness, which showed he was not quite satisfied with the artifice he had used. "I shall not, said he, pretend to determine whether you have acted generously or not by my brother: I leave the governor to decide that; but I reserve to myself the care of conducting this lady to Fort H---- and am concerned her distrust in my honor should occasion her so many inconveniences, as she must have endured by her unnecessary fears. I have left my brother, miss, said he, almost distracted; and, to prevent his following you himself, I was obliged to promise him to bring you back, if I overtook you. I thought him absolutely sincere in the resolution he had taken to let me conduct you to Fort H---- but your precipitate flight, and the transports of grief he discovered when we found you were gone, convinced me I had been deceived in his intentions. I beg you to believe, miss, continued he, that I will never join with my brother in laying any force on your inclinations. Since the doctor is discovered to be alive, he may appear again in public, and renew his pretensions: and if you can venture to put so much confidence in my honor, the chaise is not far off, allow me to conduct you to Fort H----." There appeared so much good-nature and sincerity in this offer, that I made no scruple to comply with it; telling the doctor, I should be obliged to him if he would accompany us. Mr. Belmein understood this invitation to be the effect of some distrust I still entertained of him: however, he suppressed his resentment, and offered me his hand to lead me to the chaise. I gave the countryman what little money I had in my pocket, for the timely assistance he had afforded me, promising him he should be further rewarded; and taking leave of the good woman, who loaded me with blessings and praises, I walked, attended by my two protectors, to the place where Mr. Belmein had ordered the chaise to wait, not doubting, as he told me, but that he should find me at that house where I had took refuge, the man having informed him I had gone that way. As soon as I was seated in the chaise, Mr. Belmein and the doctor mounted their horses, which the countryman had led after them. We reached Fort H---- in a little time; and the chaise had no sooner stops at the gate than Mr. Belmein approached, and asked me if I had any commands for his brother. I told him I had not; but, in the most grateful manner, expressed my sense of the obligations he had laid upon me, by the generous part he had acted. "But, miss, replied he, consider how deeply this cruel indifference will affect my brother. I left him plunged in the most frightful despair; shall I add to it, by telling him you have resolved to forget him eternally?" "Sir, answered I, the governor is shortly expected in A----: if my father and he consent to my marriage with your brother, I shall then consider whether it will be proper for me to pardon captain Belmein the insults he has presumed to offer me." Mr. Belmein, who seemed not to approve this haughty answer, took his leave with a very low bow, and, without speaking to the doctor, took the road to his own house. The sentinels having informed their commander I was at the gates, he came out with his daughter to receive me. As soon as we were conducted to an apartment, the doctor discovered himself to Mr. Vere, so was the lieutenant called, and acquainted him with the whole story of his supposed death, suppressing only some circumstances which related to me. When he had an opportunity of speaking to me apart, he did not fail to insinuate, that the passion he felt for me had suggested to him the design of keeping concealed, to prevent captain Belmein's meeting me; and inquired, though with much caution, into the particulars of my being carried away. As it was not my business to conceal any part of that adventure, I related it without disguise, as well to the lieutenant and his daughter as to him; only my pride made me drop the circumstance of captain Belmein's insolent proposal. I had the satisfaction to hear my behavior applauded with the highest marks of admiration; and the doctor, taking occasion to compliment me upon the address I discovered in getting out of the house, gave me a look which declared, in a very intelligible manner, how much he was interested in what I had done.