Haralson, aware that the coffers in the Mordecai vault were well-filled with the coveted ore, pledged himself, and swore a terrible oath, that his ocean wanderer should accomplish this trip, even at the cost of the last drop of his heart’s blood. How successful he was in landing and treacherously inveigling his victim into the ship, has been seen. Then, after two days of rather tempestuous sailing in a tropical sea, dodging here and there, for fear of being pounced upon by the maritime monsters he sought to elude, Haralson landed, at length, at an inlet, obscure but well-known to him, upon the low, sandy shore of the Palmetto State. With downcast heart, Emile once more set foot upon his native soil, and at the bidding of his captor followed sullenly in the way she led. Chagrined, stung, maddened almost, he trod the devious way that led him back once more-back, back, to the Queen City. Not back to his father’s comfortable home, for that, alas! was unoccupied, and the family refugees in a foreign land. But back again, in a felon’s manacles, to find lodgment in a felon’s cell-back to solitude and despair, when at length, the grim old turnkey turned the grating bolt upon him, and he was left alone in prison.
The war still raged. Everywhere in all the beleaguered land, the tide of brothers’ blood flowed apace. Bitterness grew with every hour, and not one heaven-toned voice was heard above the din of carnage, saying, “Stay the madness, and let the blood stop flowing.” The end was not yet reached, the great problem of this unnatural conflict not yet solved. The bombardment of the Queen City still continued, though with little hope of its surrender. But the shelling went on, as though this murderous rain of death were but a merry pastime, on those summer days. The fort was now deemed impregnable; and yet the hope of its surrender was one that could not die in the hearts of the beleaguerers. Day after day, they assaulted and reassaulted, and day by day were filled with disappointment.
At last, one bright June day was ushered in by a terrific boom, and then, as if summoning the last spark of hope and determination, the grim mouths of the cannon belched forth, for many hours, such a rain of shot and shell as will ever be remembered. The sky was blackened early with the cloud of smoke that rolled up from the sea-the sulphurous smoke that pervaded every nook of the city, and was borne away upon every hurrying breeze to the far-off hills and valleys. One might well imagine the scene a very inferno; so terrible was the conflict. Stern, dark, and resolute, Defiance stood for hours-not a gun dismounted, not a man dismayed. But the day grew late, and still the booming cannons roared. The heavens above were overcast, as though nature were ready with a flood of tears to weep over the deeds of humanity. The lightning flashed, and the guns flashed, and here and there and everywhere the dreadful shells fell thick and fast.