“Vainly, but well, that Chief had
He was a captive now;
Yet pride, that fortune humbles not,
Was written on his brow.
The scars his dark, broad bosom wore,
Showed warrior true and brave;
A prince among his tribe before—”
“A manifest Papist! I can scent one of them out as easily as a hound doth the hare,” said Endicott, after the lady had retired.
“Beyond a peradventure,” echoed Dudley; “and the attempt at deception doth aggravate her guilt.”
“I, too, remarked,” said an Assistant, “that she possesses not the shibboleth whereunto she laid claim.”
“Yet, wherefore should they, being Papists, come hither?” said Master Nowell. “I understand not the mystery that surrounds them.”
“A circumstance in itself suspicious,” said Endicott, “wherefore needs an honest intent to hide its head?”
“On the contrary, it is ever ready to show itself in the sunlight,” said Master Nowell.
“Know you what is expected to be learned from the child?” asked an Assistant, of Dudley.
“I surmise our Governor desires something further to quiet his ever-anxious and doubting mind,” answered Dudley.
“I lack no light to form a judgment,” said Endicott, “and a further inquiry is supererogatory.”
“Nevertheless,” said Master Bradstreet, “there be some of us on whom a clear light hath not yet shined. My charity strongly inclines me to view this poor woman in a less unfavorable light since she hath avowed herself not to be an idolater of Rome.”
“Well saith the Scripture,” exclaimed Dudley, “that charity doth cover a multitude of sins. The rule is good in the exercise of judgment in things pertaining to private concerns, but in public business it is naught. But your scruples, and those of Master Winthrop, are likely soon to be satisfied, for here comes the little Canaanite.”
And as he spoke the door was opened, and the servitor appeared, bringing in the child.
“Where is the other Indian?” inquired Endicott.
“He will be here incontinently, your worship,” replied the man. “As there was some delay in the needful preparation, I did think it expedient not to keep your worships waiting, more especially as it would not be becoming that ye should be put to inconvenience for a heathen red skin.”
“Reasoned like Aristoteles,” said Dudley, laughing. “Give me a man of thy humor, Hezekiah Negus, who rightly apprehends the value of time, and the danger of keeping his superiors dependent on his laziness.”
“Bring hither the child,” said Winthrop.
The servitor, in obedience to the order, led the girl to the Governor’s seat, and placed her standing by his side.
“What is thy name, little one?” asked Winthrop, putting his hand upon her head.