“Hear you this, Colonel de Haldimar?” shouted the latter in a fierce and powerful voice, and in the purest English accent; “hear you the curse and prophecy of this heart-broken woman? You have slain her husband, but she has found another. Ay, she shall be my bride, if only for her detestation of yourself. When next you see us here,” he thundered, “tremble for your race. Ha, ha, ha! no doubt this is another victim of your cold and calculating guile; but it shall be the last. By Heaven, my very heart leaps upward in anticipation of thy coming hour. Woman, thy hatred to this man has made me love thee; yes, thou shall be my bride, and with my plans of vengeance will I woo thee. By this kiss I swear it.”
As he spoke, he bent his face over that of the pale and inanimate woman, and pressed his lips to hers, yet red and moist with blood spots from the wounds of her husband. Then wresting, with a violent effort, his reeking tomahawk from the cranched brain of the unfortunate soldier, and before any one could recover sufficiently from the effect of the scene altogether to think even of interfering, he bore off his prize in triumph, and fled, with nearly the same expedition he had previously manifested, in the direction of the forest.
Volume Two of Three
It was on the evening of that day, so fertile in melancholy incident, to which our first volume has been devoted, that the drawbridge of Detroit was, for the third time since the investment of the garrison, lowered; not, as previously, with a disregard of the intimation that might be given to those without by the sullen and echoing rattle of its ponderous chains, but with a caution attesting how much secrecy of purpose was sought to be preserved. There was, however, no array of armed men within the walls, that denoted an expedition of a hostile character. Overcome with the harassing duties of the day, the chief portion of the troops had retired to rest, and a few groups of the guard alone were to be seen walking up and down in front of their post, apparently with a view to check the influence of midnight drowsiness, but, in reality, to witness the result of certain preparations going on by torchlight in the centre of the barrack square.
In the midst of an anxious group of officers, comprising nearly all of that rank within the fort, stood two individuals, attired in a costume having nothing in common with the gay and martial habiliments of the former. They were tall, handsome young men, whose native elegance of carriage was but imperfectly hidden under an equipment evidently adopted for, and otherwise fully answering, the purpose of disguise. A blue cotton shell jacket, closely fitting to the person, trowsers of the same material, a pair of strong deer-skin