“I wish, dear, you could put off your journey until I am better,” said Mrs. Garie, faintly; “I do hate you to go just now.”
“I would if I could, Emily; but it is impossible. I shall be back to-morrow, or the next day, at farthest. Whilst I’m there, I’ll——”
“Hush!” interrupted Mrs. Garie, “stop a moment. Don’t you hear a noise like the shouting of a great many people.” “Oh, it’s only the firemen,” replied he; “as I was about to observe—”
“Hush!” cried she again. “Listen now, that don’t sound like the firemen in the least.” Mr. Garie paused as the sound of a number of voices became more distinct.
Wrapping his dressing-gown more closely about him, he walked into the front room, which overlooked the street. Opening the window, he saw a number of men—some bearing torches—coming rapidly in the direction of his dwelling. “I wonder what all this is for; what can it mean,” he exclaimed.
They had now approached sufficiently near for him to understand their cries. “Down with the Abolitionist—down with the Amalgamationist! give them tar and feathers!”
“It’s a mob—and that word Amalgamationist—can it be pointed at me? It hardly seems possible; and yet I have a fear that there is something wrong.”
“What is it, Garie? What is the matter?” asked his wife, who, with a shawl hastily thrown across her shoulders, was standing pale and trembling by the window.
“Go in, Emily, my dear, for Heaven’s sake; you’ll get your death of cold in this bleak night air—go in; as soon as I discover the occasion of the disturbance, I’ll come and tell you. Pray go in.” Mrs. Garie retired a few feet from the window, and stood listening to the shouts in the street.
The rioters, led on evidently by some one who knew what he was about, pressed forward to Mr. Garie’s house; and soon the garden in front was filled with the shouting crowd.
“What do you all want—why are you on my premises, creating this disturbance?” cried Mr. Garie.
“Come down and you’ll soon find out. You white livered Abolitionist, come out, damn you! we are going to give you a coat of tar and feathers, and your black wench nine-and-thirty. Yes, come down—come down!” shouted several, “or we will come up after you.”
“I warn you,” replied Mr. Garie, “against any attempt at violence upon my person, family, or property. I forbid you to advance another foot upon the premises. If any man of you enters my house, I’ll shoot him down as quick as I would a mad dog.”
“Shut up your gap; none of your cussed speeches,” said a voice in the crowd; “if you don’t come down and give yourself up, we’ll come in and take you—that’s the talk, ain’t it, boys?” A general shout of approval answered this speech, and several stones were thrown at Mr. Garie, one of which struck him on the breast.
Seeing the utter futility of attempting to parley with the infuriated wretches below, he ran into the room, exclaiming, “Put on some clothes, Emily! shoes first—quick—quick, wife!—your life depends upon it. I’ll bring down the children and wake the servants. We must escape from the house—we are attacked by a mob of demons. Hurry, Emily! do, for God sake!”