Salute to Adventurers eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 335 pages of information about Salute to Adventurers.

Lawrence nodded his wise head.  “All you say is true, but I want a different kind of service from you.  You may have noticed in your travels, Mr. Garvald—­for they tell me you are not often out of the saddle—­that up and down the land there’s a good few folk that are not very easy in their minds.  Many of these are former troopers of Bacon, some are new men who have eyes in their heads, some are old settlers who have been soured by the folly of the Government.  With such poor means as I possess I keep in touch with these gentlemen, and in them we have the rudiments of a frontier army.  I don’t say they are many; but five hundred resolute fellows, well horsed and well armed, and led by some man who knows the Indian ways, might be a stumbling-block in the way of an Iroquois raid.  But to perfect this force needs time, and, above all, it needs a man on the spot; for Virginia is not a healthy place for me, and these savannahs are a trifle distant, I want a man in James Town who will receive word when I send it, and pass it onto those who should hear it, I want a discreet man, whose trade takes him about the country.  Mr. Campbell tells me you are such an one.  Will you accept the charge?”

I was greatly flattered, but a little perplexed.  “I’m a law-abiding citizen,” I said, “and I can have no hand in rebellions.  I’ve no ambition to play Bacon’s part.”

Lawrence smiled.  “A proof of your discretion, sir.  But believe me, there is no thought of rebellion.  We have no quarrel with the Council and less with His Majesty’s Governor.  We but seek to set the house in order against perils which we alone know fully, I approve of your scruples, and I give you my word they shall not be violated.”

“So be it,” I said, “I will do what I can.”

“God be praised,” said Mr. Lawrence, “I have here certain secret papers which Will give you the names of the men we can trust.  Messages will come to you, which I trust you to find the means of sending on.  Mercer has our confidence, and will arrange with you certain matters of arms.  He will also supply you with what money is needed.  There are many in the Tidewater who would look askance at this business, so it must be done in desperate secrecy; but if there should be trouble I counsel you to play a bold hand with the Governor.  They tell me that you and he are friendly, and, unless I mistake the man, he can see reason if he is wisely handled.  If the worst comes to the worst, you can take Nicholson into your confidence.”

“How long have we to prepare?” I asked.

“The summer months, according to my forecast.  It may be shorter or longer, but I will know better when I get nearer the hills.”

“And what about the Carolina tribes?” I asked.  “If we are to hold the western marches of Virginia, we cannot risk being caught on the flank.”

“That can be arranged,” he said.  “Our friends the Sioux are not over-fond of the Long House.  If the Tuscaroras ride, I do not think they will ever reach the James.”

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Salute to Adventurers from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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