Leah Mordecai eBook

Belle K. Abbott
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 169 pages of information about Leah Mordecai.

“Well, Marshall, bloodshed is inevitable, unless as a section we are allowed our constitutional rights; and I, for one, say, if it must, let it come, even with the fury of a storm.  I am for State rights, and the Palmetto State forever!”

“Not bloodshed, Fred, if we can avert it,” replied the young officer to the enthusiastic outburst of the impetuous young Pinckney, the beloved friend of his boyhood.  “I am just from the gory field, where I saw my brave men fall beneath the treacherous blows of the Indians.  I have seen bloodshed, and desire to see no more of it.  I have always loved military life, you know, Fred; but I tell you it tries the heart of a man to see his men shot down like dogs.”

“Oh, yes; you are for the Union, I see,” replied young Pinckney with impatient gesture.  “Your service in the regular army has weaned your heart from your native State, I fear.”

“Oh! yes; I am for the Union just now-the union of hearts, at least; and as you go with me to Melrose, you shall see that the union is maintained.”

“O bother!  Marshall; you can think of nothing now but matrimony.  I am for the union of hearts myself; but the union of States as it has existed, I detest.  Peaceable secession, you see, we cannot have; and if it must come in bloodshed, why, in the name of mankind, let it come!  I am ready for the issue of my State’s action.”

“I pray your blood may never be required as the price of forcible secession, my dear Fred. But the condition of the country appals me!  I-whom duty calls to one place, and whom ties of affection bind to another-I am placed in no enviable position.  Yet I still hope the trouble will soon clear up, and all will yet be bright.”

“Your duty is plain before you, Marshall.  It’s for or against us now, and no equivocation.”

“Well, we’ll not fall out about our country’s troubles.  They may be better and they may be worse than we anticipate.  I’ll hope for the best, though evil come.  Let’s talk of Melrose, and the fair flower that blooms there.  Eh, Fred?”

Fred replied smiling, “So we will, dear boy; here, take this cigar.  Let’s have a smoke, and if you like we’ll stroll down to the Battery and see the encampment.”

CHAPTER XXVIII.

The rosy month of May succeeded the chilly April in that memorable year when the war-cloud of civil contest overshadowed the land so darkly.  It came with unwonted verdure, freshness, and beauty, filling the hearts of the despondent with hope, and the hopeful with rejoicing.  It was scarcely a month from the time the coach dashed out of the half-aroused town of Minneopoli in the chilly April morning, when a similar vehicle, one evening, toiled slowly up the long hill whose summit was crowned by picturesque Melrose.  Among the passengers were Captain Marshall and his friend Fred Pinckney.  The former had come to Melrose to claim the hand of his affianced, Eliza Heartwell, and to take her away as his wife.  In that sweet May-time, no heart was happier than George Marshall’s, and no voice gladder, as it rang out in unrestrained laughter at the droll jokes and facetious comments of his witty friend Fred.

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Leah Mordecai from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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