I feel a certainty that if I should continue to be an American man for all of the days I may live, to that three score and ten age, I would never be able to gain in any way even a small portion of what my fine Mr. Buzz Clendenning calls “hustle.” I went at his side for the three days which intervened between the news of the arrival of that Lieutenant, Count de Bourdon, and that actual arrival, in what seemed to me to be the pace of a very fleet horse or even as the flight of a bird. And as fast as we went from the arrangement of one detail of entertainment to another, the beautiful Madam Whitworth went with us, with her eyes of the flower blue very bright with a great excitement. I was glad that in all matters it was necessary that my fine Buzz also consult with her and thus I was not exposed to any of her wickedness alone.
And in my own heart was also a great excitement, for it seemed to me that I was fighting a great battle for France all alone. All day I could see that that Mr. Jefferson Whitworth and the other men of wealth who with him were seeking to be robbers to my Country, were first in consultation with themselves and then with my Uncle, the General Robert, and also the Gouverneur Faulkner. Would their powerful wickedness prevail and be able to force a signing of that paper on the Gouverneur? Was that in their power, I asked of myself, and in my ignorance I did not know an answer and had no person to demand one from. There was no ease of heart to me, when the days went by and I was so at work with my Buzz that I had no time for words from my Gouverneur Faulkner or glance from those eyes of the dawn star. I could only murmur to myself:
“Vive la France and Harpeth America!”
“IMMEDIATELY I COME TO YOU!”
And so the time passed until the morning upon which the same railroad train which had brought young Robert Carruthers down into the valley home of his forefathers, arrived with yet another son of France and his secretaries and servants. All were in attendance at the station of arrival, from the Secretary of State, the General Carruthers, who in his large car was to take the Count de Bourdon to the Gouverneur’s Mansion for immediate introduction, down to good Cato in a very new gray coat and a quite shiny black hat.
“Stand right alongside, Robert,” commanded my Uncle, the General Robert, as he arranged with impatience a large white rose I had placed upon the lapel of his very elegant gray coat. “I never did like heathens. They make my flesh crawl. Be sure and repeat slowly all he says, damn him!”
“He will speak to you in English very like unto that I use, I feel sure, my Uncle Robert,” I said with a great soothing.
“He will not, sir, he will not!” answered my Uncle, the General Robert, with a great impatience. “Half the blood in your veins is the good red blood I gave you, sir, and never forget that. Look what a man it has made of you!”