An Unwilling Maid eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 186 pages of information about An Unwilling Maid.
until midnight, and then I spoke to him through the aperture in the great chimney and instructed him how to climb up through it by the pegs Reuben had left there, and I stole to the garret and waited until he came.  Ruben did not see me pass the door of the north chamber, for he was asleep (do not tell this to Oliver, as it might bring reproof upon poor Reuben, who was too weary to be of much service as a sentinel), and I brought Captain Yorke safely down the stairs which lead from the garret to the buttery.  Once there, all was easy; I opened the door, and—­and—­I even offered him the mare, father, I was in such fear of his recapture; but he stoutly refused to take her.  This is all.  If I am a traitor, dear father, punish me as I deserve, but never think me disloyal to you or to my country.”

There was a pause, as Betty’s sweet, passionate tones ceased; she stood with head thrown back, but downcast eyes, as fair a picture us ever greeted father’s eye.

“A loyal traitor, Betty,” said General Wolcott slowly; “and I think that it were well I should look after the condition of my chimneys.”

Scarcely daring to believe her ears, Betty looked up, and in another second she had thrown her arms around her father’s neck, sobbing softly as he caressed her.

“’Twas a daring, mad scheme, my child,” said General Wolcott, his own eyes not quite guiltless of moisture; “but bravely carried out; and looking at the matter much as you do, I cannot find it in my heart to censure you.  Captain Yorke is doubtless a manly foe, and of such I have no fear.  It shall be our secret, yours and mine, Betty; we will not even tell Oliver just now, else it might make sore feeling between you.  For Oliver was right, and”—­smiling kindly, “so were you.  Everything depends upon the point of view, my daughter; but let me beg you never to try your hand again to assist the escape of a British officer, or it might cost me the friendship of General Washington.”

“Father, dear father!” cried Betty, overjoyed to find judgment so lenient accorded her, “I crave your pardon; ’twas alone for Moppet’s sake.”

“Aye,” said General Wolcott, and then paused a brief second, for his wife’s death, had been the forfeit paid for Moppet’s birth, and this was one reason why the child had become the family idol.  “Now run away, for I must close these papers in time for Oliver, who rides dispatch to Fort Trumbull to-night.  And, Betty,” as she stood glowing and smiling before him “my child, you grow more like your mother every day.” and with a hasty movement General Wolcott turned away to conceal his emotion, as Betty went quickly from the room.



It had been a wild night, find the morning wind sobbed and sighed through the elms, which, denuded of their leaves, stood out tall and bare against the leaden sky, and there was a chill in the air that might betoken snow.  Pamela Wolcott stood in the sitting-room window and sighed softly, as she gazed out at the November landscape, letting her fingers beat soft tattoo against the lozenge-shaped pane.

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An Unwilling Maid from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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