[Footnote 24: It may perhaps add interest to the story, for the reader to know that the foregoing account concerning Reynolds and Captain Patterson, is historically true; as is also the one which follows with regard to Boone and his son.]
Month upon month rolled away, quiet succeeded to the alarm and commotion of war, hostilities between Great Britain and America ceased, and the country both east and west now began to look up from the depression and gloom which had pervaded it during its long and sanguinary struggle for independence. In Kentucky the effect was really invigorating; and the settlers, who for a year past had been driven from their homes in terror and dismay—who had quitted their peaceable farming implements for the destructive weapons of strife and bloodshed—now ventured to return to their desolate firesides, and renew their honest occupations of tilling the soil. Some, however, more predisposed to financiering than their neighbors, sought only speculation; in consequence whereof the Land Offices of the Virginia Commissioners—which opened in November, after the return of the troops under Clark—were daily thronged with applicants for the best locations; whereby was laid the first grand corner-stone of subsequent litigation, disaffection, and civil discord among the pioneers. But with these, further than to mention the facts as connected with the history of the time, we have nothing to do; and shall now forthwith pass on to the finale of our story.
Month upon month, as we said before, had rolled away, spring had come, and with it had departed many of those who had occupied Bryan’s Station during the siege of August; but still, besides the regular garrison and their families, a few of the individuals who had sought refuge therein, yet remained; among whom we may mention Mrs. Younker, Ella, Isaac and his wife, and so forth. Algernon, too—by the entreaty of his friends, and contrary to his previous calculations, and what he considered his duty—had been induced to defer his departure until the opening of spring. Possibly there might have been a secret power, stronger than the mere entreaties of others, which had prevailed over his resolution to depart; but further the records say not. Be that as it may, the extreme limit of time which he had set for remaining, was now nearly expired; and he was, at the moment when we again present him to the reader, engaged in conversation with Ella on the painful subject. Suddenly he was startled by the information that a stranger in the court desired to speak with him.
“A stranger!” exclaimed Algernon, in surprise; and as he spoke, his face became very pale, his lips quivered, and his hands trembled. Turning upon Ella a look of agony, which seemed to say, “I am an arrested felon,” he wheeled upon his heel, and followed the messenger in silence; while she, knowing the cause of his agitation, and fearful of the worst, sunk almost lifeless upon a seat.