This was, indeed, a moment of proud triumph to the heart of Henry Grantham. He saw his brother not only freed from every ungenerous imputation, but placed in a situation to win to himself the first laurels that were to be plucked in the approaching strife. The “Canadian” as he imagined he had been superciliously termed, would be the first to reap for Britain’s sons the fruits of a war in which those latter were not only the most prominent actors, but also the most interested. Already in the enthusiasm of his imagination, he pictured to himself the honor and promotion, which bestowed upon his gallant brother, would be reflected upon himself, and, in the deep excitement of his feelings he could not avoid saying aloud, heedless of the presence of his uncle:
“Now, Captain Molineux, your own difficulty is removed—my brother has revenged himself. With me you will have an account to settle on my own score.”
“What do you mean, Henry?” seriously inquired Colonel D’Egville; “surely you have not been imprudent enough to engage in a quarrel with one of your brother officers.”
Henry briefly recounted the conversation which had taken place between Captain Molineux and himself.
“Far be it from my intention to check the nice sense of honor which should be inherent in the breast of every soldier,” returned his uncle impressively, “but you are too sensitive, Henry; Captain Molineux, who is, moreover, a very young man, may not have expressed himself in the most guarded manner, but he only repeated what I have been compelled to hear myself—and from persons not only older, but much higher in rank. Take my advice, therefore, and let the matter rest where it is; Gerald, you see, has given the most practical denial to any observations which have been uttered of a nature derogatory to his honor.”
“True,” quickly returned the youth, with a flushing cheek, “Gerald is sufficiently avenged, but you forget the taunt he uttered against Canadians.”
“And if he did utter such taunt, why acknowledge it as such,” calmly rejoined Colonel D’Egville, “are you ashamed of the name? I too am a Canadian, but so far from endeavoring to repudiate my country, I feel pride in having received my being in a land where every thing attests the sublimity and magnificence of nature. Look around you, my nephew, and ask yourself what there in the wild grandeur of these scenes to disown? But ha!” as he cast his eyes upon the water; “I fear Gerald will lose his prize after all—that cunning Yankee is giving him the Indian double.”
During the foregoing short conversation, an important change had been effected in the position of the adverse boats. The shot fired, apparently with the view of bringing the enemy to, had produced no favorable result; but no sooner had the gun boat come abreast with the chase, than the latter, suddenly clewing up her sails, put her helm about, and plying every oar with an exertion proportioned to the emergency,