“What is the French for ‘the scarlet woman,’ Amos?” he asked, glancing over his shoulder. “Tell this man that we shall see him through. Tell him that we’ve got a country where he’ll just fit in like a bung in a barrel. Tell him that religion is free to all there, and not a papist nearer than Baltimore or the Capuchins of the Penobscot. Tell him that if he wants to come, the Golden Rod is waiting with her anchor apeak and her cargo aboard. Tell him what you like, so long as you make him come.”
“Then we must come at once,” said De Catinat, as he listened to the cordial message which was conveyed to his uncle. “To-night the orders will be out, and to-morrow it may be too late.”
“But my business!” cried the merchant.
“Take what valuables you can, and leave the rest. Better that than lose all, and liberty into the bargain.”
And so at last it was arranged. That very night, within five minutes of the closing of the gates, there passed out of Paris a small party of five, three upon horseback, and two in a closed carriage which bore several weighty boxes upon the top. They were the first leaves flying before the hurricane, the earliest of that great multitude who were within the next few months to stream along every road which led from France, finding their journey’s end too often in galley, dungeon and torture chamber, and yet flooding over the frontiers in numbers sufficient to change the industries and modify the characters of all the neighbouring peoples. Like the Israelites of old, they had been driven from their homes at the bidding of an angry king, who, even while he exiled them, threw every difficulty in the way of their departure. Like them, too, there were none of them who could hope to reach their promised land without grievous wanderings, penniless, friendless, and destitute. What passages befell these pilgrims in their travels, what dangers they met, and overcame in the land of the Swiss, on the Rhine, among the Walloons, in England, in Ireland, in Berlin, and even in far-off Russia, has still to be written. This one little group, however, whom we know, we may follow in their venturesome journey, and see the chances which befell them upon that great continent which had lain fallow for so long, sown only with the weeds of humanity, but which was now at last about to quicken into such glorious life.
IN THE NEW WORLD.
THE START OF THE “GOLDEN ROD.”