“I lower it to none but the Prince Orange and my masters, the Lords States General.” So saying, he resumed his pipe and smoked with an air of dogged determination.
Bang! went a gun from the fortress; the ball cut both sail and rigging. Govert Lockerman said nothing, but smoked the more doggedly.
Bang! went another gun; the shot whistling close astern.
“Fire, and be d——d,” cried Govert Lockerman, cramming a new charge of tobacco into his pipe, and smoking with still increasing vehemence.
Bang! went a third gun. The shot passed over his head, tearing a hole in the “princely flag of Orange.”
This was the hardest trial of all for the pride and patience of Govert Lockerman; he maintained a stubborn though swelling silence, but his smothered rage might be perceived by the short vehement puffs of smoke emitted from his pipe, by which he might be tracked for miles, as he slowly floated out of shot and out of sight of Bearn Island. In fact, he never gave vent to his passion until he got fairly among the Highlands of the Hudson, when he let fly whole volleys of Dutch oaths, which are said to linger to this very day among the echoes of the Dunderberg, and to give particular effect to the thunder-storms in that neighborhood.
It was the sudden apparition of Govert Lockerman at Dog’s Misery, bearing in his hand the tattered flag of Orange, that arrested the attention of William the Testy, just as he was devising a new expedition against the marauders of Merryland. I will not pretend to describe the passion of the little man when he heard of the outrage of Rensellaersteen. Suffice it to say, in the first transports of his fury, he turned Dog’s Misery topsy-turvy, kicked every cur out of doors, and threw the cats out of the window; after which, his spleen being in some measure relieved, he went into a council of war with Govert Lockerman, the skipper, assisted by Anthony Van Corlear, the trumpeter.
The eyes of all New Amsterdam were now turned to see what would be the end of this direful feud between William the Testy and the patron of Rensellaerwick; and some, observing the consultations of the governor with the skipper and the trumpeter, predicted warlike measures by sea and land. The wrath of William Kieft, however, though quick to rise, was quick to evaporate. He was a perfect brush-heap in a blaze, snapping and crackling for a time, and then ending in smoke. Like many other valiant potentates, his first thoughts were all for war, his sober second thoughts for diplomacy.