The after-deck of the schooner presented a different, though not less sombre and discouraging, scene. On a pile of mattresses lay the light and almost inanimate form of Clara de Haldimar; her fair and redundant hair overshadowing her pallid brow and cheek, and the dress she had worn at the moment of her escape from the fort still spotted with the blood of her generous but unfortunate preserver. Close at her side, with her hands clasped in his, while he watched the expression of deep suffering reflected from each set feature, and yet with the air of one pre-occupied with some other subject of painful interest, sat, on an empty shot-box, the young man in sailor’s attire, whose cutlass had performed the double service of destroying his own immediate opponent, and avenging the death of the devoted Baynton. At the head of the rude couch, and leaning against a portion of the schooner’s stern-work, stood his companion, who from delicacy appeared to have turned away his eyes from the group below, merely to cast them vacantly on the dark waters through which the vessel was now beginning to urge her course.
Such was the immediate position of this little party, when the gun fired at the Indians was heard booming heavily along the lake. The loud report, in exciting new sources of alarm, seemed to have dissipated the spell that had hitherto chained the energies and perception of the still weak, but now highly excited girl.
“Oh, Captain Baynton, where are we?” she exclaimed, starting up suddenly in terror, and throwing her arms around him, who sat at her side, as if she would have clung to him for protection. “Is the horrid massacre not finished yet? Where is Madeline? where is my cousin? Oh, I cannot leave the fort without her.”
“Ha! where indeed is she?” exclaimed the youth, as he clasped his trembling and scarcely conscious burden to his chest, “Almighty God, where is she?” Then, after a short pause, and in a voice of tender but exquisite anguish, “Clara, my beloved sister, do you not know me? It is not Baynton but your brother, who now clasps you to his breaking heart.”