“I thanked him.
“’I wish that you could go with me down the river to meet her in the morning,’ he said. ’But in my absence it will, of course, be necessary for you to be on duty. Mrs. Arnold will go with me and we shall, I hope, bring the young lady safely to head-quarters.’
“He was preoccupied. His face wore a serious look. There was a melancholy note in his tone—I had observed that in other talks with him—but it was a friendly tone. It tended to put my fears at rest.
“I asked the General what he thought of the prospects of our cause.
“‘They are not promising,’ he answered. ’The defeat of Gates in the south and the scattering of his army in utter rout is not an encouraging event.’
“’I think that we shall get along better now that the Gates bubble has burst,’ I answered.”
This ends the testimony of “the able and most valued officer,” Jack Irons, Jr.
“WHO IS SHE THAT LOOKETH FORTH AS THE MORNING, FAIR AS THE MOON, CLEAR AS THE SUN, AND TERRIBLE AS AN ARMY WITH BANNERS?”
The American army had been sold by Arnold. The noble ideal it had cherished, the blood it had given, the bitter hardships it had suffered—torture in the wilderness, famine in the Highlands, long marches of half naked men in mid-winter, massacres at Wyoming and Cherry Valley—all this had been bartered away, like a shipload of turnips, to satisfy the greed of one man. Again thirty pieces of silver! Was a nation to walk the bitter way to its Calvary? Major Andre, the Adjutant-General of Sir Henry Clinton’s large force in New York, was with the traitor when he rowed from the ship to the west shore of the Hudson and went into the bush under the observation of Solomon with his spy-glass. Arnold was to receive a command and large pay in the British army. The consideration had been the delivery of maps showing the positions of Washington’s men and the plans of his forts and other defenses, especially those of Forts Putnam and Clinton and Battery Knox. Much other information was put in the hands of the British officer, including the prospective movements of the Commander-in-Chief. He was to be taken in the house of the man he had befriended. Andre had only to reach New York with his treasure and Arnold to hold the confidence of his chief for a few days and, before the leaves had fallen, the war would end. The American army and its master mind would be at the mercy of Sir Henry Clinton.
Those September days the greatest love-story this world had known was feeling its way in a cloud of mystery. The thrilling tale of Man and Liberty, which had filled the dreams of sage and poet, had been nearing its golden hours. Of a surety, at last, it would seem the lovers were to be wed. What time, in the flying ages, they had greeted each other with hearts full of the hope of peace and happiness,