I was deeply solemnized, though I scarce understood the full drift of his words, and the queer thing was that I was not ill-pleased. I had come out to seek for trade, and it looked as if I were to find war. And all this when I was not four hours landed.
“What think you of that?” he asked, as I kept silent, “I’ve been warned. A man I know on the Rappahannock passed the word that the Long House was stirring. Tell that to the gentry in James Town. What side are you going for, young sir?”
“I’ll take my time,” I said, “and see for myself. Ask me again this day six months.”
He laughed loud. “A very proper answer for a Scot,” he cried. “See for yourself, travel the country, and use the wits God gave you to form your judgment.”
He paid the lawing, and said he would put me on the road back. “These alleys are not very healthy at this hour for a young gentleman in braw clothes.”
Once outside the tavern he led me by many curious by-paths till I found myself on the river-side just below the Court-house. It struck me that my new friend was not a popular personage in the town, for he would stop and reconnoitre at every turning, and he chose the darkest side of the road.
“Good-night to you,” he said at length. “And when you have finished your travels come west to the South Fork River and ask for Simon Frew, and I’ll complete your education.”
I went to bed in a glow of excitement. On the morrow I should begin a new life in a world of wonders, and I rejoiced to think that there was more than merchandise in the prospect.
Tells of my education.
I had not been a week in the place before I saw one thing very clear— that I should never get on with Mr. Lambie. His notion of business was to walk down the street in a fine coat, and to sleep with a kerchief over his face in some shady veranda. There was no vice in the creature, but there was mighty little sense. He lived in awe of the great and rich, and a nod from a big planter would make him happy for a week. He used to deafen me with tales of Colonel Randolph, and worshipful Mr. Carew, and Colonel Byrd’s new house at Westover, and the rare fashion in cravats that young Mr. Mason showed at the last Surrey horse-racing. Now when a Scot chooses to be a sycophant, he is more whole-hearted in the job than any one else on the globe, and I grew very weary of Mr. Lambie. He was no better than an old wife, and as timid as a hare forbye. When I spoke of fighting the English merchants, he held up his hands as if I had uttered blasphemy. So, being determined to find out for myself the truth about this wonderful new land, I left him the business in the town, bought two good horses, hired a servant, by name John Faulkner, who had worked out his time as a redemptioner, and set out on my travels.