favour of an inequality in the ground, where a growth of grass thicker than common offered the advantage of concealment. From this spot they reconnoitred the fortress for several anxious, and to Ellen, interminable minutes. Then one advanced singly, and apparently more in the character of a herald than of an assailant.

“Phœbe, do you fire,” and “no, Hetty, you,” were beginning to be heard between the half-frightened and yet eager daughters of the squatter, when Ellen probably saved the advancing stranger from some imminent alarm, if from no greater danger, by exclaiming—

“Lay down the muskets; it is Dr. Battius!”

Her subordinates so far complied, as to withdraw their hands from the locks, though the threatening barrels still maintained the portentous levels. The naturalist, who had advanced with sufficient deliberation to note the smallest hostile demonstration of the garrison, now raised a white handkerchief on the end of his fusee, and came within speaking distance of the fortress. Then, assuming what he intended should be an imposing and dignified semblance of authority, he blustered forth, in a voice that might have been heard at a much greater distance—

“What, ho! I summon ye all, in the name of the Confederacy of the United Sovereign States of North America, to submit yourselves to the laws.”

“Doctor or no Doctor; he is an enemy, Nelly; hear him! hear him! he talks of the law.”

“Stop! stay till I hear his answer!” said the nearly breathless Ellen, pushing aside the dangerous weapons which were again pointed in the direction of the shrinking person of the herald.

“I admonish and forewarn ye all,” continued the startled Doctor, “that I am a peaceful citizen of the before named Confederacy, or to speak with greater accuracy, Union, a supporter of the Social Compact, and a lover of good order and amity;” then, perceiving that the danger was, at least, temporarily removed, he once more raised his voice to the hostile pitch,—“I charge ye all, therefore, to submit to the laws.”

“I thought you were a friend,” Ellen replied; “and that you travelled with my uncle, in virtue of an agreement—”

“It is void! I have been deceived in the very premises, and, I hereby pronounce, a certain compactum, entered into and concluded between Ishmael Bush, squatter and Obed Battius, M.D., to be incontinently null and of non-effect. Nay, children, to be null is merely a negative property, and is fraught with no evil to your worthy parent; so lay aside the fire-arms, and listen to the admonitions of reason. I declare it vicious —null—abrogated. As for thee, Nelly, my feelings towards thee are not at all given to hostility; therefore listen to that which I have to utter, nor turn away thine ears in the wantonness of security. Thou knowest the character of the man with whom thou dwellest, young woman, and thou also knowest the danger of being found in evil company. Abandon, then, the trifling advantages of thy situation, and yield the rock peaceably to the will of those who accompany me—a legion, young woman—I do assure you an invincible and powerful legion! Render, therefore, the effects of this lawless and wicked squatter,—nay, children, such disregard of human life, is frightful in those who have so recently received the gift, in their own persons! Point those dangerous weapons aside, I entreat of you; more for your own sakes, than for mine. Hetty, hast thou forgotten who appeased thine anguish when thy auricular nerves were tortured by the colds and damps of the naked earth! and thou, Phœbe, ungrateful and forgetful Phœbe! but for this very arm, which you would prostrate with an endless paralysis, thy incisores would still be giving thee pain and sorrow! Lay, then, aside thy weapons, and hearken to the advice of one who has always been thy friend. And now, young woman,” still keeping a jealous eye on the muskets which the girl had suffered to be diverted a little from their aim,—“ and now, young woman, for the last, and therefore the most solemn asking: I demand of thee the surrender of this rock, without delay or resistance, in the joint names of power, of justice, and of the—” law he would have added; but recollecting that this ominous word would again provoke the hostility of the squatter’s children, he succeeded in swallowing it in good season, and concluded with the less dangerous and more convertible term of “reason.”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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