Gerald’s was not a nature to remain untouched by such an act of chivalrous courtesy, and he expressed in brief, but pointed terms, his sense of the compliment.
A dozen of the boarders, under the command of a midshipman, now received orders to remain, and bring the prize into Buffalo as soon as day light would permit, and with these were left the killed and wounded of both parties, the latter receiving such attention as the rude experience of their comrades enabled them to afford. Five minutes afterwards Gerald, who had exchanged his trusty cutlass, for the sword he had been so flatteringly permitted to retain, found himself in the leading boat of the little return squadron, and seated at the side of his generous captor. It may be easily imagined what his mortification was at this unexpected reverse, and how bitterly he regretted not having weighed anchor the moment his prisoners had been landed. Regret however, was now unavailing, and dismissing this consideration for a while, he reverted to the strange circumstance of the spiking of his gun, and the mocking cheers, which had burst from the lips of his enemies, on the attempt to discharge it. This reflection drew from him a remark to his companion.
“I think you said,” he observed, “that you had been informed, the conquest of the schooner would not be an easy one. Would it be seeking too much to know who was your informant?”
The American officer shook his head. I fear I am not at liberty exactly to name—but thus much I may venture to state, that the person who has so rightly estimated your gallantry, is one not wholly unknown to you.
“This is ambiguous. One question more, were you prepared to expect the failure of the schooner’s principal means of defence—her long gun?”
“If you recollect the cheer that burst from my fellows, at the moment when the harmless flash was seen ascending, you will require no further elucidation on that head,” replied the American evasively.
This was sufficient for Gerald. He folded his arms, sank his head upon his chest, and continued to muse deeply. Soon afterwards the boat touched the beach, where many of the citizens were assembled to hear tidings of the enterprize, and congratulate the captors. Thence he was conducted to the neat little inn, which was the only place of public accommodation the small town, or rather village of Buffalo, at that period afforded.
At the termination of the memorable war of the revolution —that war which, on the one hand, severed, and for ever, the ties that bound the Colonies in interest and affection with the parent land, and, on the other, seemed as by way of indemnification, to have rivetted the Canadas in closer love to their adopted Mother—hundreds of families who had remained staunch in their allegiance, quitted the republican soil, to which they had been unwillingly