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Full text of "Lafitte: the pirate of the Gulf"

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LAFITTE: 



THE PIRATE Qj THE GULF. 



BY THE AUTHOR 



THE SOUTH WEST." 



"A chief on land — an outlaw on the deep." / 

" He left a Corsair's na ne to other times, 
Link'd with one virtue and a thousand crimes." 

Byron. 



IN TWO VOLUMES. 

VOL. IL 



NEW-YORK: 

PUBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS, 

no. 82 CLIFF-STREET. 



MDCCCXZZVI. 



^> •• ^\ .\ 



[Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1836, 
by Harper & Brothers, in the Clerk's Office of the Southern 
District of New- York.] 



LAFITTE: 

THE PIRATE OF THE GULF. 
BOOK n. 

CONTINUED. 



CHAPTER Xni. 

" As no privation is so great as the loss of personal liberty, so no en- 
joyment is so great as its restoration." 

President Edwards. 

Count D'Oyley and Constanza — an alarm — upon the sea — 
hope brightens. 

Shortly after Juana entered the cavern, two 
figures, one slight and boyish, the other taller and 
stouter, came forth from the cave, passed with a 
hasty and suspicious tread by the drunken guard, 
whose pistols they secuied, and crossed carefully 
the plank bridge over which the taller, who was in 
female apparel, carefully assisted the lighter, who 
wore a cap and pea-jacket. 

On gaining the shrouds, the apparent female 
passed her arm around the waist of the boy, and 
supported his unsteady and unpractised footsteps 
down the descent to the deck. 

" Now dearest Constanza, all your energy and 
presence of mind is necessary. There stands the 



4 LAFITTE. 

watch with his head leaning upon the quarter rail, 
holding to a stay. He is not wholly intoxicated, 
hut we must pass him as Juana and Theodore ; now 
move lightly and firmly." 

" Va usted a los infiernos !" muttered one of the 
sleepers, as the count's foot pressed heavily upon 
his hand. 

Constanza had the presence of mind not to scream, 
when the disturbed sleeper turned over upon his 
hard bed, and grumblingly fell asleep again. 

" Who are you, there ? Carramba ! Is it you Juana ? 
Per amor de dios ! but that agua de vita of yours Ju- 
Juana my beauty, has made the schoo-schooner, 
and the bay, and the land, go rou-round in a merry 
reel," he said, slowly and thickly articulating — " Fa 
la ra la ra la, la ! But who is that Juana ?" he said, 
suddenly stopping in the midst of a drunken pirou- 
ette. " Oh, I see ! Seiior Theodore. Your humble 
servant ; I kiss my hand to you. It is your next 
watch Senor Theodore, your watch ! Do you take 
Seiior Theodore ? I b-believe I am drunk or getting 
so — but it's all owing to — to that beauty there — she 
fascinated me master Theodore, she fascinated me. 
There sweet Juana, hold up your pretty face, let 
me banquet on it. So, gi-give me a small sip more, 
one si-sip at that fl-flask ; what kills may cure, yo- 
you know, Seiior Theodore !" 

The disguised coiuit handed him the bottle, and 
while he was diligently engaged in quaffing its con- 
tents, he handed Constanza over tlie side of the 
schooner into the boat, and immediately followed 
himself. 

" Ho ! wh-where are you go-going, Juana ? — oh ! 
I, I see, to get the clothe-cloihes. Well, Pll take 
them up — take them np," — and as he made an at- 
tempt to reach over the quarter-railing, he lost his 
equilibrium, and staggering backward, fell across 
the companion-way, where he lay nearly insensible. 



LAFITTE. O 

" Now, Conslanza, dearest," said the count, " sit 
perfectly still. Are you alarmed ? have you all 
firmness ?" 

*' Perfect — perfect, Alphonse," she whispered, 
" I can assist, if you require it." 

" No no, dearest, brave girl ! I shall need only 
your mental energies." 

Cutting with a cutlass which he had taken from 
the deck, the painter, or rope which secured the 
boat to the schooner, he cautiously, and without 
noise, shoved off from her. Then seizing an 
oar, five or six of which besides a mast with a 
single sail lay along the thwarts, he wrapped a 
portion of the carpet which he severed for the 
purpose, around it, and placing it in the rowlock 
or cavity fitted for its reception in the stern, gently 
as though he plied a glass oar, he turned the head 
of the boat, and impelled her, by sculling, across 
the basin to the entrance of the rock-bound passage 
"which communicated with the open sea. 

Constanza, with a fluttering pulse but courageous 
heart, sat silently by him. Not a word w^as spoken, 
and not a sound was heard around them. Even the 
motion of the blade of his oar as it divided the wa- 
ter, was noiseless, and the ripple under the stem 
scarcely reached her ear. 

They had now entered the passage, and with 
more boldness and assurance the count urged for- 
ward his little bark. Their bosoms began to swell 
with hope, as the schooner, the mouth of the cave, 
and the tall cliff gradually faded in the disiance ; 
when suddenly, the loud voice of one giving the 
alarm as they thought, fell upon their ears with 
fearful distinctness, curdling the current of Jife in 
the bosom of the maiden, while a cold thrill passed 
over the heart of her lover. 

" We are missed," said the count incited to 
greater exertion, " h\h the chances are on our side.'' 

i* 



V LAFITTE. 

With a seaman's skill he worked the single oar, 
and urged the boat through the water with increa- 
sing rapidity. 

But a single voice had yet been heard by them, 
and listening, they recognized the air of a song, 
which some one — Diego, as they judged from the 
sound of the voice, was singing in a wild air — 

" The winds are fair — far on the main. 
The waves are Jashing free, 
Heave, comrades, heave the anchor in, 
The order is — " To sea !" 
Square broad the yards, trim down the sail,. 
We'll bowl alonii before th^ gale ! 
Heave O ! heave ! ye ho ! 

What life, so stirring, free as ours? 

Where'er we list, we roam : 
The broad, blue sea — this gallant bark 
Our heritage — our home. 
The white surge dashes from our bow. 
As fleet and far the 'waves we plough. 
Heave O ! heave O ! ye ho ! 

Our bold and daring deeds resound 

In many a distant dime ; 
Minstrels and gray-beard sires shall teE 
Our fame in after time — 
When those who cavil at our sway, 
Forgotten, shall have passed away. ^ 
Heave O ! heave O ! ye ho !. 

Though landsmen frown upon our deedst. 

And deem us " men of fear," 
Bright-eyed signoras bend with smiles 

Our bold exploits to hear. 
Our life is in their smiles — the brave 
They love, but scorn the coward, slave ? 
Heave ! heave O ! ye ho ! 

We lack not gold — a princess' dower 

Each brave heart may command ; 

We lack not wine — we've vintage rar?- 

From many a sunny land. 

No wants have we — no cares we know f. 

We're proud to call the world our foe ^ 

Heave ! heave O ! je bo ! 



LAFITTE. T 

Here's lady's love — bright gold and wine, 

Freedom from all control ; 
Here's dastard's hate — here's all that loves 

The free and fearless soul. 
Then bring the ruby wine — fill high, 
Drain to the chief your goblets dry. , 
Heave ! heave ! ye ho !" 

*' It is but that drunken watch," he said>. as' he 
listened to tlie last notes of the song dying awjiy ib 
the distance, "he has recovered from his momen- 
tary stupor, and is now giving vent to his excitement 
in a bacchanahan song. Would to heaven he had 
been as much of the animal as the guard. Be not 
alarmed dear Constanza," he continued, stooping to 
kiss her brow% " do not fear ,' there is no real dan- 
ger;" and he still swayed vigorously to the oar. 

" But may not Lafitte, who is so rigid in his ex- 
actions of duty, if he is awakened by this man, 
come to learn the cause and discover us ? Hea- 
yen forbid ! Holy Maria bless us, and aid us with 
thy presence !" and she sought her crucifix to press 
it to her lips, as she lifted her heart in devotion. 

" Oh ! Alphonse — I have lost my crucifix, my 
mother's dying gift ;" she exclaimed, alarmed, "my 
long cherished medium of communication with hea- 
ven ! Oh ! have you it ?" 

" No, dearest, you have probably dropped it."" 

" My sainted mother ! it is an augury of evil. 
Holy virgin protect me !" and tears filled the eyes 
of the lovely petitioner, as with locked hands she 
gazed upwards. 

" Calm your feelings, sweetest," he said cheer- 
•ingly, " we shall soon be free. See f they pursue 
us not. Listen T the voice of the singer is scarcely 
heard ; and look about you ! we are just at the 
mouth of the passage with the open sea before us, 
and Port au Prince but a few leagues to leewards 
Courage my brave Constanza," he added encoura- 
gingly. " Now we are out of the pass — I feel 



8 LAFITTE. 

the sea breeze already upon my cheek. See how 
it is playing with your hair. No, do not fear ; do 
you see that bright burning star, deep set in the 
heavens, directly above us ? Tiiat star, my love, T 
have always regarded as the star of my destiny — 
whenever that is in the ascendant I am successful. 
Be happy, for with that eye of light open above us, 
we have nothing to fear. 

" Feel the wind ! how refreshing it comes from 
the sea ! Now Constanza we will hoist our sail ; 
and the gull shall not skim the water with a 
swifter wing than our little bark." 

He raised the mast, and hoisted the little latteen 
sail, which swelHng and distending as it caught the 
breeze, instantly depressed the boat down to one 
side, and impelled her rapidly over the water. Un- 
der the influence of this new agent, it sprung 
lightly forward, skipping from wave to wave and 
dashing their broken crests from her bows. 

The count who had taken his seat by the side of 
Constanza now that the boat was urged forward by 
the wind was congratulating her upon their escape. 

She silently pressed his hand, and kept her eyes 
fixed steadily on the shore. 

**Did you see that light?" she said, suddenly cling- 
ing to his arm. ^ 

The count, who was intent upon his duty of go- 
verning the boat, whose head he turned towards the 
entrance of St. Marc's channel in the direction of 
Port au Prince, where he expected to find his fri- 
gate, turned and saw the edge of the moon just ap- 
pearing above the distant clitF and broken into appa- 
rent flame by the woods over which it was rising. 

" No no, sweetest, it is the moon ; a second au- 
gury for good. It smiles upon our departure. See 
now, as she ascends the skies, how she flings her 
silvery scarf out upon the waters." 

" No no, not that, it was a flash. Hark ! did you 



LAFITTE. 9 

hear that ?" she exclaimed, as the heavy report of a 
gun came booming over the sea. 
• " It is indeed a gun, and fired from the schooner; 
but be not alarmed, they can hardly reach us." 

" Hark ! what whizzing, rushing sound is that 
over our heads ?" 

" A bird, merely," said the count quietly; and then 
added to himself, " Tiiat shot was w-ell aimed. 
Couracre my dearest, this beautiful boat was built 
for sailing. If this wind holds, we shall make Cape 
St. Marc by sunrise, and then if we are pursued, 
which I doubt, we can run into the town — but if 
not, we will continue on to Port au Prince, which 
is but fifteen leagues farther. Ah ! there is another 
flash." 

A few seconds after he spoke, the report of a 
second gun came sharply from the shore. 

" Courage, Constanza! they cannot reach us now. 
That too was shotted," he added. " If they have 
discovered our escape, Constanza, dearest, they are 
firing at some object which they think is our boat. 
It will require time to take them off and put them 
on the right track. Blow bravely winds ! Are you 
confident, dearest ?" he asked, pressing her to his 
heart ;* " there is now no longer cause for fear." 

" Yes, now I begin to hope we may yet escape. 
Heaven, I thank thee !" and she looked devoutly 
upward, the mellow moonlight falling upon her fair 
forehead, and adding a richer gloss to her dark hair. 
In that attitude something fell from her bosom, and 
rung as it struck the bottom of the boat. 

" There is your crucifix, sweet Constanza," he 
said, bending to pick it up — " What ! no, a dagger ! 
What means this V 

" My last hope on earth, if yon outlaw had reta- 
ken us," she answered, with firmness and emotion. 

"God forbid! Constanza; — noble spirited wo- 
man !" he exclaimed, embracing her. 



10 LAFITTE. 

Morning found the lovers in sight of the town 
of St. Marc. At the first moment of dawn the 
count eagerly searched the horizon for an indication 
of being pursued, and just as the sun lifted his disc 
above the inland mountains, his beams fell upon a 
white spot many leagues to the northward, and on 
the verge of the sky and sea. 

Pointing out to her the pleasant town of St. Marc 
at the head of the bay of the same name, he sug- 
gested to Constanza the expediency of continuing 
their course to the port of their original destination ; 
as the sail which he saw in the distance, even if in 
pursuit, was too far off to overtake them. To this 
she acquiesced with buoyant spirits. 

Before a steady wind, they now held on their way 
along the romantic and cultivated shores of the 
channel — their bosoms elated with the hope of soon 
terminating their varied and trying adventures. 



LAPITTE. 1 1 



CHAPTER XIV. 



Lesio. — " Hast heard the news, Vesca?" 

Vesca.— " What"'news ?" 

L. — The Pole 's escaped, and carried with him my master's daugh 
ter." 

V. — " The Saints ! you jest, Lesio !" 

L. — " 'Tis true as the cross. My master has ta'en horse and half a 
score of followers and spurred in pursuit." 

V. — " Heaven grant he catch them not." 

L.— " Amen!" 



An alarm— discovery— result— pursuit. 

We will now return to Lafitte, whom we left 
lying in troubled sleep on one of the rude benches 
in the cave upon which he had thrown himself, after 
having, with a severe struggle between his passions 
and desire to act honourably towards his fair cap- 
tive, decided upon giving her and her lover their 
freedom, and convey them to Port au Prince in the 
morning. His sleep though deep, was still tortured 
with dreams. 

A fourth time he dreamed. He was upon the 
deck of his vessel, contending hand lo hand with an 
officer. At length he disarmed him, and passed his 
cutlass through his breast, from which the blood 
flowed as he drew out the steel. He uttered a cry 
of horror ! It w^as the bosom of Constanza ! A loud 
voice rung in his ears, which sounded like a chorus 
of triumph at the fatal deed. He sprung to his feet, 



12 LAFITTE. 

and the cry " To arms — to arms !" rung loudly 
in his ears. 

" To arms, seiior," shouted his lieutenant — " a 
boat is in the passage — we may be surprised !" 

" The oullavv, shouting to the men who slept 
about liim to arm and follow, hastened to the 
terrace, where two or three of the buccaneers had 
collected. 

" Awake the crew in the schooner," he shouted. 
'* Where is the guard ? Ho ! there ! Ho ! the guard ! 
where is he ?" he sternly demanded. 

His commands, issued in the cavern, had been 
followed by a hasty and simultaneous rising of 
the sleeping crew, who had not heard the alarm 
given by 'J'heodore, who, leaving a recess within 
the cavern where he slept, had gone forth to stand 
his watch, when the boat of the fugitives in the 
passage caught his quick eye, and he instantly 
flew to communicate his discovery to Lafitte. 

There was now a bustle of preparation on board 
the schooner, when Lafiite gave orders to the crew 
to ascend to the platform and defend it. Having 
lost so many men in the severe fight of the previous 
nighl, he did not wish to expose the lives of his men 
needlessly. 

" Up ! who is that lagger there ?" he demanded, 
as the form of the guard lying on the quarter-deck 
caught his eye. 

"It is Diego, sefior— he is dead, or dead drunk," 
replied one of the men. 

" Drunk ? Throw him down the hatches, and 
leave him to the knives of the enemy, if there be 
any." 

• '• Theodore, how do you make that boat ? you 

said you saw her in the passage ;" he inquired, 

turning quickly to the youth: " I can see nothing." 

" Look sir ! there I just oeyond the farthest rock 



LAFITTE. 13 

— see ! she has a sail, which I did not before disco- 
ver — she must have set it since." 

" That boat is not approaching," replied Lafitte, 
after looking for a moment in the direction indicated 
by Tiieodore, " she is outside, and standmg to the 
south. What can it mean V 

" Whoever it is, sefior, they seem to have been 
ashore on mischief!" said one of the crew. " Here 
is Gil also drunk or dead." 

The pirate turned as he spoke, and saw the body 
of the guard, insensible where he had fallen. 

" Ho ! a light here. He is warm," he said, pla- 
cing his hand upon him. "Faugh ! he breathes like 
a distillery. Up, brute, up !" he cried fiercely ; but 
the drunkard remained immoveable. With an ex- 
ecration, the chief raised him from the ground with 
an iron grasp upon his throat, and hurled him over 
the precipice into the sea. 

" Say you the w^alch is drunk too ?" he inquired, 
as the waters closed over the body of his victim. 

" Yes sir, as dead as the guard ;" replied the man 
whom he addressed. 

" By the holy cross ! I would hke to know what 
this means!" he shouted. 

" Diable I Now I think, seiior," said one of the 
men; "somebody stepped on my hand while 1 was 
asleep, and 1 afterward dreamed of hearing a boat 
leave the schooner." 

" Fool ! dolt ! dreaming idiot ! there may have 
been good cause for your dream — you deserve to 
be swung from the yard arm," he said, striking the 
man with the hilt of his cutlass. " But why do I 
dally — light that match — depress that piece Theo- 
dore, if you see the boat." 

" Yes, seiior !" replied the youth in a voice which 
had lost its former animation. He now began to 
suspect whom the boati contained, having, as the 
man spoke of his dreams, cast his eyes over the 

Vol. H.— 2 



14 LAFITTE. 

terrace and discovered that the schooner's boat was 
gone. Obeying the command of his chief, he lev- • 
elled the gun high over the true mark which was 
now visible as the wfiile sail of the boat gleamed in 
the rising moon — while his bosom beat with appre- 
hension Jest his good intention should be unsuc- 
cessful. 

The chief seized the match and fired the piece, 
the report of which reverberated among the cliffs, 
and died away like distant thunder along the cav- 
erned shores of the bay. 

" A useless shot — they still move on," he ex- 
claimed. "See! the white sail glances in the 
moonlight. Do belter than that." The gun was 
eagerly depressed and fired by Lafitte himself, with 
no belter result, and in a few moments ihe object of 
their altention and alarm, was entirely invisible in 
the haze and darkness of llie sea. 

" I would give ray right hand to know w^hat this 
means !" said the pirate musingly. 

" 'J^he schooner's boat is gone sir !" said one of 
the men hastily. 

"Gone!" he exclaimed, springing to the verge of 
the terrace — " Gone indeed ! hell and devils ! it is 
so!" he shouled, as apparently a new thought flashed 
across his mind. "That light here !" and seizing 
a lamp from one of 'his men, he rushed through the 
long passage into the inner cavern with rapidity, 
and entered the chamber recently occupied by his 
prisoners. 

It was silent and deserted. He looked into every 
recess — sprung through the breach into the oppo- 
site room, and called upon their names, yet the 
echoes of his own voice and footsteps only replied. 
Again he traversed the apartments, scaled the walls 
and searched every niche and corner of the room, 
before he was thoroughly convinced of the flight of 
his captives. Then he dashed the lamp upon the 



LAFITTE. 15 

pavement, and muttered between bis clencbed teeth 
deep execrations. 

For several minutes be paced tbe cavern bke a 
madman ; gradually be became calmer and spoke: 

" Tbey bave es^caped me tben ! sbe wbom I 
worshipped bas doubted my faiib — no! no!" be 
added quickly, "sbe has not; it was be — he! I 
will pay him back this deed. Curse, curse the 
fates tbat are ever crossing me ! Here I bave been 
humbling my passion to bis — schooling my mind to 
virtuous resolves, for tbe happiness of tbis woman 
who despises me. For ibe bliss of tbis titled fool 
who doubts my word, I have let slip tbe fairest 
prize tbat ever fell into tbe possession of man. But 
the cbarm is broken — now will I win her ! There 
are now no terms between him and me. I will 
pursue bim to tbe deatb, and her I will win and 
wear. Sbe sball yet becom.e tbe bride of the de- 
tested onllaw." 

" Ho !" be sbouted, without baving formed any- 
decisive plan to pursue with regard to tbe fugitives 
— " Cast offand make sail on tbe schooner — spring I 
we must overbaul tbat boat. Lively ! men, lively !" 
be added, as bastily issuing from tbe cavern, he en- 
ergetically repeated bis orders for immediately get- 
ting under weigb. 

Tbe morning sun sbone upon tbe sails of tbe pi- 
rate's scbooner, many leagues from tbe point of ber 
departure, crowding all sail and standing towards 
the south and east as tbe most probable course taken 
by those of whom Lafiite was in pursuit. 

Tbe outlaw was upon tbe deck which be had 
not quilted since tbe scbooner left the basin, his egi- 
ger eye scanning tbe faint lines of tbe horizon. 

"Do you see nolbing yel, Theodore?" he in- 
quired of iiis young protege, wbom he bad sent aloft 
— " See you nothing ?" 



16 LAFITTE. 

" No, senor, the sun is just lifting the haze from 
the water — you can see better from the deck." 

" Sail ahead !" shouted a man on the forecas- 
tle. 

"I see it," cried Theodore, "as the haze rises — 
it is ahead, just off St. Marc's town. If it is the 
boat we seek it is useless to pursue it, as it has at 
least two leagues the start of us, and unless we take 
her out from under the guns of the town we must 
give her up." 

" If it were from under the guns of the Moro, I 
would take her out," exclaimed the buccaneer chief. 
"Set the fore top mast studding sail — we will 
yet reach them before they get under the land," he 
added, bringing his spy-glass to his eye. 

" It is the boat !" he exclaimed joyfully after a 
moment's scrutiny ; " I would know my little gig as 
far as I could see her. It is the fugitives ! they 
have hauled their wind and are passing the port no 
doubt for Port au Prince." 

" Now favour me, hell or heaven, and I will yet 
have my revenge !" he added through his shut leeth; 
and under additional sail the pirate dashed on after 
the boat of the fugitives. 

Theodore descended to the deck after the disco- 
very of the boat, with a thoughtful brow and a gra- 
vity unusual to his years and to the individual, who 
was naturally gay and light hearted, while a vein of 
delicacy, high moral sentiments, and an honourable 
feeling in spite of his education formed the basis of 
his character. Perhaps, however — although grati- 
tude in every shape should be a virtue ; perhaps, it 
was shaded by a grateful attachment to his benefac- 
tor which influenced him to do that against which 
his heart and judgment revolted. Sometimes he 
had modified his obedience to the instructions of his 
friend and chief, and occasionally he had dissuaded 



LAFITTE. 17 

him from insisting upon the act, or when this was 
impossible to appoint some other agent. Whenever 
he thought his own presence would diminish the 
amount of human suffering, he w'ould often with the 
hope of doing good wlien evil was intended, over- 
come his own repngnance, and himself voluntarily 
become the agent of the ouilavv. 

Knowing the character of his protege, and desir- 
ing when he parted from Constanza to render her 
situation as comfortable as circumstances would ad- 
mit of, Lafitte had appointed his young friend to 
the pleasing and congenial duty of protecting her to 
Kingston. How^ he executed this task is well 
known. 

In the fair Castillian he had taken a deep and 
lively interest; and her helpless situation, her ex- 
treme beauty and gentleness had captivated him 
and made him, if not her lover, her enthusiastic de- 
votee. Her image was ever present in the waking 
hours of the romantic youth, and he could never 
picture a paradise without filling it with angels 
whose bright faces were only some beautiful modi- 
fication of that of the Spanish maiden. 

When the shipwreck of the brig again threw her 
into the power of Lafitte, knowmg his impulsive 
character, Theodore trembled for her happiness. 
In the silence of his own bosom he had sworn that 
he would protect her from insult, even to the shed- 
ding of the blood of his benefactor. When he dis- 
covered the absence of the boat and her escape, his 
heart leaped with joy, and the darkness of the night 
alone kept him from betraying his emotion upon his 
tell-tale features. 

Appearing to second Lafitte's anxiety to overtake 
them, he did all in his power to retard the prepara- 
tions for commencing the pursuit. During the daik 
hours of the morning as he leaned over the quarter- 
2* 



18 LAFITTE. *- 

rail watching witli a trembling heart the indistinct 
horizon, fearing to look lest he should discover the 
boat, yet by a kind of fascination constantly keeping 
his eyes wandering over the water, his thoughts 
•were busy in devising means to prevent the recap- 
ture of the lovers. 



LAFITTE. 19 



CHAPTER XV. 



" No man, however abandoned, has utterly lost that heavenly spark 
by which he participates in the Divine Nature. 

" If charity rather than censure, governed our intercourse with the 
depraved, we might kindle this spark into a fire that should purify the 
w^hole man, instead of mercilessly quenching the smoking flax and 
breaking the bruised reed." 

Newton. 



Lafitte and Theodore — persuasion — a tictory — change of 

PURPOSE. 

When morning showed clearly llie object of 
their pursuit, the cry of the sailor, which made the 
blood uf Lafitte leap, sent the life-current of the 
youth's veins back to his heart chilled and dead. 

"What means that sad countenance, my young 
child of the sea ?" inquired Lafitte, playfully, as, in 
pacing with an elastic step, fore and aft the quarter- 
deck, he slopped and tapped lightly the shoulder 
of the boy who was leaning thoughtfully against 
the rigging, gazing upon the glimmering sail of the 
boat diminished in the distance to a mere sparkle 
upon the water. 

" Want of sleep has paled you, Theodore. Go 
below and turn in, and when the watch is next called 
you shall once more become fair lady's page. Ha! 
your blood mounts quickly to your cheek ! Nay^ 
never be ashamed to be esquire of dames. It is the 
best school of gallantry for a spirited youth ! Silent, 
sir page ? and pale again ! — but I crave your par- 
don, my boy, I meant not to jest with you," he ad- 



20 LAFITTE. 

ded as the youth's emotion although from a different 
cause than he imagined, visibly increased. 

" You do not jest with me, senor, my more than 
parent ; but there is something weighs heavily upon 
my spirits. I cannot throw it off!" he replied in a 
serious and impressive tone of voice. 

" What is It, Theodore ? tell me freely. It 
must indeed be heavy to chill you thus ; you are not 
wont to give room to sadness without cause — a deep 
cause must there be for this. Tell me freely w^hat 
so saddens your spirit, you have never yet asked 
favour of me in vain. Surrounded as I am by men 
who fear, but love me not, there is happiness in 
feeling that there is one whose attachment for me 
is sincere. 

" You have been a greater source of happiness to 
me since first I took you from amidst the ocean 
than words can express. Till then my heart was 
hke a wild vine running riot upon the dank earth; 
but you, my child, have caught up at least one ten- 
dril, and so trained, nourished and twined it about 
your heart, unpromising as it may have seemed, it 
bears some fruit of human affection. 

" It tells too what the whole vine might have 
become," he continued sadly, " had it not been 
trampled upon and laid waste by him who should 
have cherished it, instead of being sought out and 
nurtured by the hand of affection. To all but you 
I am cast out as a loathsome and poisonous weed; 
and if I did not know that one human breast knew 
me better, I should be, if you can believe it, a much 
worse man than I am. It is this little tendril your 
love has nurtured which binds me to my species 
— which makes me not forget that I am a man !" 

" There is one other breast that does you equal 
justice, senor ?"^ said the boy inquiringly and with 
embarrassment, as the outlaw turned away and 
walked the deck in silence. 



LAFITTE. 21 

," One other ! what — whose ?" none but the all- 
seeing Virgin, w^ho knows me by my heart, and not 
b}^ my actions, as men know me. It is the will,>not 
the deed, boy, which makes the guilt." 

" Father Arnaud whom you sent for to Havana 
to confess the men, says differently," remarked 
Theodore. 

" No matter what he said," replied the chief has- 
tily. " The father w^as bigoted, and loved his wine 
too well for his doctrine, to be seasoned with the 
right spirit. Jt is the will — " 

"Ha ! we gain on the boat rapidly," he said in- 
terrupting himself, and looking out forward, and 
then continued : 

"It is the will, that stamps the guilt or innocence 
of an action. If I, wjdving suddenly from a dream 
discharge a pistol at the phantom which scared me, 
and pierce your heart, I am absolved by heaven of 
murder. I had not the will to slay you ; — there is 
no guilt involved in the act. But if I resolve to kill 
you and place the dagger in my slave's hand, and 
he strikes home the blow which releases your soul, 
then I am guiltv, though my hand struck not the 
blow. No, no !" he added with energy, " I am not 
so guilty before heaven as I seem. God is merci- 
ful. I would rather He and all heaven should read 
my heart than man — man ! guiltiest of all, yet the 
most unforgiving of guilt ;" and his lip wTithed with 
a scornful smile as he spoke. 

" But, senor," inquired his companion, his mind 
diverted from his anxiety for the fugitives by the 
language of his friend — " you have been engaged 
in scenes of strife and carnage; was not the blow 
the agent of the will at such times ?" 

" Not always — no !" he replied, after a moment's 
reflection, apparently appealing to memory — " with 
but two exceptions have I voluntarily and delibe- 



22 LAFITTE. 

lately spilled human life ; for these I am accounta- 
ble. May God in his mercy, assoilzie m"e for ihem? 
But am I accountable, strictly, for impulses which 
are beyond my control — which .are not truly my 
own acts ? Seldom have I done deeds of violence, 
where I did not regret the fatality which impelled 
me to do them^revoliing at the act, of which at the 
same time I felt the necessity." 

" Then you resolve all actions into one single 
cause — irresistible fate — dividing them into three' 
kinds — accidental, impulsive, deliberative. But 
shall wjannot change the subject sir?" ,he added ab- 
ruptly, as he thought of the fugitives. 

" There is one, who regards you with the same 
feelings I do ; she — " 

"She ? Whom mean you ? No, you do not mean 
her !" 

" I mean the Castillian." 

"Say you so, Theodore?" he said, grasping his 
arm. " You have been much with her. Do you 
know her heart ?" and he looked steadily and ea- 
gerly into his face. 

" It is not of her heart I speak, seiior, but of her 
expressed opinions." The pirate's brow changed, 
but he listened in silence. " I have heard your 
name frequently upon her lips, and never as the 
world uses it. She spoke of you with interest. — " 

" Ha !" 

" The interest she would feel for a brother ;" he 
coniinued, without noticing the interruption. " She 
asked me of your character, the tone of your mind, 
and indeed all J knew of you." 

" And how did you speak of me to her ?" he in- 
quired eagerly. 

" As I can only speak of my benefactor," he said 
taking and warmly pressing hi^ hand : " x\s I, and 
210 one else know you." 



LAFITTB. 23 

" Thank you, thank you, Theodore ;" he said, 
moved al the generous sincerity of the boy. "And 
what said she further ?" 

"Slie alluded to her capture — to her interview 
with you ; and she spoke of and enlarged upon your 
generous nature ; she said she could never cease to 
rennemiber you with kindness, and that next to the 
stranger count, you shared a place in her heart." 

" Said she so nnuch ?" he exclaimed, his eye 
lighting with hope. " Prosper me Heaven ! and she 
may yet, voluntarily be mine !" 

" But the Count D'Oyley, sir !" said' Theodore 
with emphasis. 

Abruptly changing his tone and manner, which 
were softened by his conversation with his young 
friend he exclaimed almost fiercely — 

" And what of him ? Has he not outraged me ? 
has he not stolen off, when my plighted word that 
he should have safe conduct to Port au Prince was 
yet warm upon his ear ? what shall bind me to 
terms of courtesy to him ? We gain upon them 
bravely ;" he added eagerly, as he turned in his 
walk, and looked steadily ahead. "I almost fancy 
I can see the mantilla of the maiden floating in 
the breeze." 

" And what is your purpose with the lady sir, if 
we recapture her?" inquired the youth with firm- 
ness and respect. 

Lafitte started at this abrupt question, and his 
face flushed and paled again before he spoke. 

"Purpose ? purpose ? purpose sure enough !" he 
slowly articulated. 

" Seiior, you would not do the sweet lady harm?" 

" Harm ! what mean you sir ?" he said, turning 
fiercely upon the boy and grasping his cutlass hilt. 

" Forgive me seiior ! but rather than so gentle a 
creature should come to harm, I would be willing" 



24 LAFITTE. 

he coniinned, mildly and firmly, " to pour out my 
heart's best blood." 

" Do you dare me to my face, Theodore ? do 
you presume upon my affection, to use such lan- 
guage ? Know you that where deejj love has been 
planted, hate takes deeper root. Boy — boy, be- 
low !" and his anger rising with his wo«ds, he struck 
the youth violently upon the breast. He reeled 
against the main-mast, but recovering himself, with 
a face in which resentment and wounded feelings 
struggled forcibly, he silently descended to the 
cabin. 

His captain paced the deck alone for awhile, with 
agitation in his step and manner, and then hastily 
followed him. 

"Theodore, my son, my brother, forgive me that 
blow ! It was an angry one, and I would atone for 
it. Oh ! if you knew how I have been punished for 
a blow like that given in a moment of passion in 
early life, you would forgive and pity me." 

The youth rose from the table, where he sat with 
his head leaning upon his hand, and threw himself 
into the arms of his benefactor. 

"Forgive you! It is all forgiven. Ungrateful 
should I be to let this cancel all I owe you, my 
more than parent. I spoke warmly for the lady, 
for I feel much for her — so gentle ! so lovely ! and 
then her whole soul wrapped up in her lover. Oh ! 
if you could see how their hearts are bound up in 
one another — how pure and deep their love — how 
fondly she doats on him ; you would — I am sure 
you would, like me, be willing to sacrifice even 
your life to make them happy. For my sake," he 
continued warmly, " if you regard me — for her sake, 
if you love her, pursue them no farther. Seek not 
to capture them. Oh ! let them go free, let them 
be happy and their prayers will be for you ; your 



LAFITTE. 25 

name will be graven upon their hearts for ever, in 
I-etters of gratitude. What is your purpose, if you 
take them ? It is true, they are almost in your 
power; but let them go in peace. Stain not your 
heart and hand with innocent blood, and far deeper 
moral guilt. Let there be no more marks of crime 
upon vour brow ; for oh ! jny benefactor, you can- 
not possess her even as your wife without dark and 
dreadful crime !" Observing, that Lafitte remained 
silent and moved by his appeal, the noble and youth- 
ful advocate for innocence and love continued ; 

** You love her dee])ly, — intensely. I know it is 
an honourable love you cherish. Let her still be 
free, and such it will be always, and your soul sin- 
less of the crime I fear you meditate. But take 
her once more captive, and you debase her to the 
earth either as a bride or mistress. Your love will 
turn to disgust ; and hatred instead of gratitude 
which now reigns there, will fill her breast for the 
slayer of her lover, the violator, even with the sanc- 
tion of the Holy Church, of her honor, and plighted 
troth. — Nay sir ! please listen to me — it is for your 
honor, from love to you, my best benefactor, I speak 
so freely. Do you not remember, just before Con- 
stanza left your' vessel, I remarked how cheerfully 
you smiled, and what a calmness dwelt upon your 
brow, and how consciousness of doing right and 
governing your own impulses, elevated and enno- 
bled the expression of your features ?" 

"I do, Theodore." 

" And were you not then happy — happier than 
you had been before — happier than you have been 
to-day r 

" I was — I was !" 

"Was it not the victory over )^ourself, a.. . .._ 
resolutions which on bended knee you made to-tlie 
lady, that henceforward your course should be one 
?hat she would feel proud to mark— Oh ! was it not 

Vol. TL — 3 



26 LAFITTE. 

the calm confidence of rectitude, when you let the 
maiden go free, and the resolution to win an hon- 
ourable name which thus restored peace to your bo- 
som and composure to your brow, a^d ennobled 
you in your own mind with sentiments of self- 
respect ?" 

" It was — it was, my Theodore." 
" And were you not very happy; and did you not 
feel better satisfied with yourself than ever in your 
life before, when your eye dwelt upon the faint speck 
indicating the fast disappearing vessel which con- 
tained the being who had called up these holy and 
honourable feelings ?" 

" Theodore, I did my boy !" 
" Oh ! then why will you throw away this cup of 
happiness, when it is once more offered to your 
lips ? why will not my excellent benefactor create 
for himself again, this happiness ?" he said, taking 
the passive hand of his friend and chief, and looking 
up with an entreating smile in his face. 

" I will Theodore, I will ! you have conquered!" 
exclaimed Lafitte, touched by the passionate and 
affectionate appeal of his ardent young friend ; and 
yielding to his better feehngs, he said, after a few 
moments' affecting silence. " Theodore, you have 
conquered — go to the deck and give what orders 
you wmII." 

"Yet, for Constanza I will live ; for her sake," 
he said mentally as the happy boy disappeared up 
the companion-way — " I will become an honourable 
man. Oh ! that some good angel would help me 
to do what I wish to do, but have noi the power ! 
Bright spirit of my departed mother !" he said look- 
ing upward calmly and thoughtfully, " if there is a 
communication between saints and men, give me 
thy assistance ; temper my passions, allure me to 
virtue, make me to abhor my present mode of ex- 
istence and refrain evermore from dying my hand 



LAFITTE. 27 

In guilt. To tliea, I offer my broken and subdued 
spirit ; 1 am in thy liand, take me and mould me 
as thou wilt!" 

" Sail ho !" shouted the lookout from the foretop- 
mast head. The cry was again repeated by the 
officer of the deck at the entrance of the compan- 
ion-way, before the pirate moved from, his statue- 
like attitude. 

" Where away, Theodore ?" he quietly asked, as 
he slowly ascended to the deck. 

'' Off the starboard quarter, sir. I have put the 
schooner about V he said inquiringly to his captain, 
looking with sympathy into his pale face. 

" It IS well, Theodore !" 

" The Stranger, sir, is in a line with the boat. If 
he should be one of our cruisers — " 

" True boy, true ; we must watch over their 
safety. Alter her course again, we must see that 
they come not to harm." 

in a few minutes the schooner was once more 
under sail, standing for the boat which was now 
about five miles ahead. 

" What do you make her ?" he hailed to the man 
aloft. 

" I can't see her very distinctly now sir, she is 
almost in the sun's wake. There ! now I make her 
out sir — a large vessel, and very square-rigged. I 
think she must be a man of war. I can't make her 
hull yet, she's down, to her fore-yard, under the ho- 
rizon." 

"We must look out, and not run into the lion's 
den;" said Lafitte ; "there is a stir I see among 
the craft. in the bay of St. Marc, as though they 
suspected the wolf was abroad," he continued with 
a saddened smile. " Stir up the crew, Ricardo." 

" Aye, aye, sir. Forward there all ! Be ready to 
tack ship," shouted Ricardo. "To your posts 
men." A momentary bustle ensued, and dispersed 



28 LAFiTTE. 

in different parts of the vessel, the crew remained 
silently awaiting llie next command of their officer. 

The stranger gradually rose above the horizon, 
and showed the majestic proportions of a large fri- 
gate, standing close-hauled on the wind out of St. 
Marc's channel. The boat containing the lovers, 
was now within a mile of the ship of war. 

" That is the French frigate seiior, that passed us 
the night we came out of the devil's punch bowl," 
said Ricardo. " See, she has the French ensign 
flying at her peak." 

"'"Ha! it must then be the Count D'Oyley's fri- 
gate," said Lafitte. " So we shall in our turn, have 
to play the fugitive." 

" No, senor," said Theodore, '' he will not pur- 
sue us ; but were it not as wxll to put about. See, 
the boat steers for her." 

After watching with his glass for a longtime, and 
with much interest, Lafitte saw her run along side 
of the stranger^ who lay too and took the lovers on 
board. 

He then laid down the spy-glass, and giving in a 
calm and measured tone, his orders to put about and 
stand for Barritaria, with a melancholy expression 
upon his fine features, he descended into his state- 
room, leaving the command of the vessel for the re- 
mainder of the day, to his lieutenant- 



BOOK III. 



BARRITARIA. 

■ Came you here to insult us, or remain 
As spy upon us, or as hostage for us ?" 

The two Foscari. 

And now he stood upon the dazzling height 
For which he long had laboured." 

The Conqueror. 



-wealth, such as 



The state accords her worthiest servants ; nay, 
Nobility itself I guaranty thee." 

Marino Falieros 



LAFITTE. SI 



BOOK III 



CHAPTER L 



*' It was a rational conjecture that, on account of the difficulty a[ 
ascending the Mississippi river, the British would seek a passage 
through the pass of Barritaria. It was also feared they would form an 
alUance with the Barritarian chief, to promote their object, as he was 
perfectly acquainted with ever>' inlet and entrance to the gulf, through 
which a passage could be effected," 

History of the war. 



Barritaria — the chief and his adherents— a strange sail— 

A CHASE, 



The third part, or natural division, of our tale, 
opens in that portion of Louisiana, described in the 
historical sketch of the Barritarians commencing 
the second book, to which we refer the reader, and 
six daj^s later than the period -with which we closed 
that book. 

• On the seventh morning after the scenes and events 
just related, nearly the whole of the fleet, consisting 
of thirteen vessels, over which Lafitte held com- 
mand, composed principally of brigantines, polac- 
cas, small schooners of that peculiar class known 
then, and now, as the " Baltimore Clipper," two or 
three gun boats and feluccas, besides many small 
boats with and without masts, were anchored in the 
little harbour behind the island, and under cover of 
the guns of the strong hold of the smugglers, crovvn^ 



32 LAFITTE. 

ing the western extremity of the island of Grand 
Terre. 

Between these vessels and the smooth beach, 
boats were constantly passing and repassing, whilst 
the wild air of some popular French or Spanish song 
— the loud laugh of reckless merriment, or bandied 
jokes, mingled with strange and fierce oaths, floated 
over the water to the shore with wonderful distinct- 
ness in the clear morning air. 

On the southern or opposite side of the island,i 
upon a gentle eminence commanding a prospect of 
the sea to the south — while over the intercepting 
trees was an uninterrupted and distant view of the 
masts of the anchored fleet — in various natural atti- 
tudes, was congregated a group apparently deeply 
engaged in watching the movements of two vessels 
standing towards the island. 

The- shape and number of sails of the approach- 
ing objects which engrossed the attention of the ob- 
servers, indicBted vessels of small and equal bur- 
den ; apparently sailing side by side, and making, 
with all their canvass spread, for the western pass. 

As they lessened their distance from the island,, 
and their low hulls rose above the sphericity of the 
sea, the interest of the spectators became more in- 
tense.^ Suddenly a little triangular flag was run 
up to the peak of one of the vessels nearest the en- 
trance to the lake, and at the same instant a light 
cloud of blue smoke shot suddenly from the side of 
the more distant vessel, and curled upwards, wreath- 
ing over her tall masts. This was followed by the 
sharp report, deadened by the distance, of a shotted 
gun. 

The knoll upon which this party were assembled,- 
consisted of a grassy swell, dotted here and there by 
a magnificent live oak, and terminating abruptly 
several feet above the sea in a perpendicular preci- 
pice of earth, formed by the encroachment of the 



LAFITTE. 33 

waves, combined with the heavy rains characteristic 
of that chmate, acting upon the loose and impalpable 
soil of those alluvial regions. Under a large and 
venerable tree, which, growing near the precipice, 
hung partly over it, casting a deep shadow not only 
upon the sumnait of the cliff, but upon the beach 
beneath, lay buried in deep sleep, like one who had 
kept long vigils the preceding night, the athletic 
form of the chief of the buccaneers, whose dress 
and appearance we will employ the time occupied 
by the vessels in gaining the island, to describe. 

With a cheek browned by southern suns, his 
manly features gave no indication of that age 
which a silvery hair sprinkled here and there among 
his raven locks, betrayed. An ample, dark, gray 
roquelaure faced with black silken velvet, lay out- 
spread by the foot of the tree, serving him both for 
a couch and protection from the dampness of the 
morning, which the up-risen sun was rapidly dissi- 
pating before his warm and enlivening beams. One 
arm grasping a richly inlaid belt pistol in its con- 
scious fingers was bent under his head, constituting 
the sleeper's only pillow, while the other was buried 
in his bosom. The blue collar of his seaman's 
shirt was turned back from his throat and neck, ex- 
posing them to the refreshing breeze of the sea, and 
displaying a depth and strength of chest, as uncom- 
mon in this day of physical degeneracy, as it was 
the birth-right of the men of a sterner age. 

Encircling his waist, was a gorgeous belt of wam- 
pun — Uae gift of a Mexican Indian chief, as a token 
of his gratitude to him for preserving from- violation 
his only child. In it glistened the handle of a dirk, 
and the curled hmds of a brace of serviceable pis- 
tols. A black velt^et jacket, a slouched sombrero, and 
a pair of full, long pantaloons ornamented with nu- 
merous bell-buttons, pendant from the eye by liitio 



34 LAFiTTE. 

chains, ringing with a clear tinkling sound at every 
tread of the wearer, with low wrinkled boots, pecu- 
liar to that period, completed the dress, and with the 
aduiiion of a sheathed sabre mounted with costly 
jewels, lying by his side and within reach of his dis- 
engaged hand, also the arms, of the handsome and 
athletic sleeper. 

At his feet, and comfortably stretched upon the 
cloak of his master, apparently dozing, but wMth 
eyes of watchfulness and intelligence that took no- 
tice of every surrounding circumstance, lay a noble 
dog, of that dignified and sagacious species, origi- 
nally derived (rom the island of Newfoundland. 
Scarcely, however, and with strong struggles of self 
denial, did the faithful animal, with philosophy wor- 
thy of a stoic, resist repeated temptations to quit his 
post horci time to time, presented him in the shape of 
certain comestibles, by a third individual of the party. 

" Dat dog Leon, love stretch de lazy bone on 
massa cloak, more, dan eat. Here, you wooly nig- 
ger, Leon, come get dis nice turkey wing for you 
breakuss," 

Leon occasionally raised his eyes, and looked 
■wistfully upon the tempting morcel, then casting 
them upon his master, reprovingly and negatively 
shook his head. 

Upon a rude hearth, not far from the sleeper, 
burned a bright wood fire, over wdiich, suspended 
upon a crane resting upon two upright crotchets, 
hung a large iron pot, the black cover of which was 
constantly dancing above tlie boiling water, wJiich, 
with certain culinary instruments and preparations 
around, gave sign of an intention to break, by a sub- 
stantial meal, the fast of the right. 

Into this vessel, Cudjoe, as he progressed in dis- 
secting a wild turkey, tossed, as he sawed them 
from the body, the severed portions, with, which 



LAFITTG. 3o 

however, before consigning it to the. boihng recep- 
tacle, he would provokingly tempt his fellow ser- 
vant, the philosophical Leon, from his duty. 

Cudjoe, this mischievous leader into temptation, 
whom w-e have before passingly introduced to the 
reader, was a young slave about four feet high, with 
a glossy black skin, ivory white teeth, two of which, 
flanking his capacious jaws, projected outwards, with 
the dignity of the embryo tusks of a young elephant. 
His lips were of ample dimensions, and of the 
brightest vermillion, the lower one hanging down, 
and resting familiarly upon his short, retreating chin. 
His nose, which surmounted, or rather stood in the 
rear of these formidable appendages to his mouth, 
was of vast dimensions, terminating in a magnificeni 
expansioxi of the nostril, and threatening to encroach 
upon the province of his ears, which hung down in 
enormous lappels, as if welcoming the expected 
proximity. 

His eyes were small, restless, and almost defi- 
cient in that generous display of white, characl er- 
istic of his race. One of these organs, he kept at 
all times hermetrically sealed, while the other en- 
joyed that obliquity of vision, which rendered it dif- 
ficult for the beholder to decide certainly as to the 
particular point their owner was directing his visual 
orb. 

His neck, short, thick, and buli-like, was set into 
broad shoulders, from which depended long arms 
hanging by his side like those of the ourang-outang. 
and.^ terminating in short stunted fingers, of which 
useful ornaments two and a half were wanting. 
His feet were broad and flat, of equal longitude ei- 
ther way from the base of his short legs,- which 
were placed exactly in their centre ; so that he 
seemed to enjoy the enviable facility of progressing 
in opposite directions without the trouble of turning 
his body. 



36 LAFITTE. 

His forehead, lined with innumerable fine wrin- 
kles, was very high and round, down to the centre of 
which the reddish wool curled barrenly to a point, 
displaying a physiognomical feature, which was the 
mere mockery of that intellect it indicated. His voice 
or ratlier his voices, for nature charitably making up 
his deficiencies, had bestowed two upon him, in 
ordinary conversation was sharp and wirey, and 
pitched upon a shrill, discordant key ; but when he 
sung, as he often did, the soft airs of his tribe for the 
amusement of his master, the melody of a syren 
seemed floating around the enraptured listener. 

His natural disposition was gentle and affection- 
ate ; but when roused to levenge, he was more ter- 
rible than the uncaged hyena. Gratitude to his 
master, who captured him from a slaver, and sub- 
sequently saved him from an miminent and revolting 
death, had bound him to him with a faithfulness and 
attachment nothing could diminish, and death only 
terminate ; while the shrewdness, activity and ani- 
mal courage of the young and deformed African, 
rendered hrni a useful and necessary appendage to 
the person of his master. 

The fourth and last figure in the group was a 
supernatural and decrepid old man, with a noble, 
yet attenuated profile, doubled with age and infir- 
rhity, with a sunken and watery eye, haggard fea- 
tures, a long, neglected, gray beard, and a few strag- 
gling silver hairs blowing about his aged temples. 
He was clothed in coarse and squallid garments, 
which he confined to his form with one hand, whifst 
the other sustained a bundle of dry fuel that he had 
just gathered on the skirts of the forest. From time 
to time, tlie old man would add a stick to tire fire, 
and kneeling down blow feebly the expiring (lames, 
while at intervals, he muttered indistinctly with that 
unconscious manner, characteristic of second child 
iiood. 



LAFITTE. 37 

But the aged menial, was not only afflictecJ with 
imbecile dotage, but the rays of intellect were faint 
and flickering in his shattered brain. The light of 
mind was extinguished in mental night. The cis- 
tern was broken at the fountain. Who may read 
the dark page of that old man's life and trace out 
the causes which led to such effects ? 

Not far from the scene of the aged man's occupa- 
tion, and within ear shot of the sleeper, four or five 
dark-looking men in the garb of buccaneers, reclined 
upon the sward, smoking and watching in silence 
the approaching vessels. 

To the right of the knoll occupied by these groups, 
at the distance of half a -mile, rose the strong hold 
of the buccaneers ; while in the rear, and hidden 
from a prospect of the sea, interspersed among the 
trees and surrounding the fort, were several rude 
huts constructed for the habitations of those of the 
band, not immediately engaged in the duty of de- 
fending the battery. Upon the walls of the forti* 
lace, and among the adjacent village of cots, figures 
dressed in various wild and fantastic, yet sailor-like 
garbs, were seen, either engaged under the trees 
cookmg their morning meal, burnishing their arms, 
or hastening to and from the hold of their chief, as 
though busy with preparations for some important 
event. 

By these individuals, the objects which had at- 
tracted the attention of Cudjoe, the old man, and the 
group of smokers had not yet been discovered. 

" Who tink dem two vessel be, stannen for de 
pass on de wnn ?" asked Cudjoe, pausing a moment 
in the midst of his dissecting operations, as his rest- 
less one eve, always on the alert, caught sight of 
the white sails of the two vessels, standing, with all 
drawing sails set for the island. 

Old Lafon fixed his bleared eye-balls in the direc- 
tion Cudjoe indicated by extending in his long arms 

Vox.. TT.— 4 



38 LAFITTE. 

a dissected leg of the turkey upon which he was op" 
crating, and shook his palsied head. 

" See now, dey sail togedder like two gull on de 
gulf; dey jis de same bigness." 

" No, no ! the old man cannot see ; two, did you 
say? Then shall one destroy the other. Alas ! for 
two ! it is an evil number," and he talked incohe- 
rently, mumbling the words in his toothless jaws. 

The two vessels now stood in close-hauled, with 
starboard tacks on board. The one to leeward how- 
ever, seemed to gain rapidly upon that to windward, 
who hoisted her colours, a broad English ensign, 
while a parti-coloured signal fluttered from her 
main-peak. 

'* By St. Jone, but dat is one dam English crui- 
ser !" exclaimed Cudjoe as the colours were spread 
to the breeze, ''and sacre debble, if dat aint one 
o' our own craf he chasin." 

One vessel was now evidently in pursuit of the 
other. The pursuer was a large-sized English 
armed brig, while the chase was a brigantine, light- 
armed, but a very fast sailer, and every moment 
increasing the distance between herself and pursuer. 
Still she displayed no colours, when the brig fired a 
gun ahead, to compel her to show them. 

At the same mocnent, the chase run up the 
Carthagenian flag, and returned the gun by a whole 
broad side. 

The sleeper started from his deep sleep at the 
sound of the single gun, and with his sabre in his 
grasp, stood upon his feet, a tall, finely-formed and 
manly figure. His dark hair curled around his ex- 
pansive forehead ; beneath his arched brows glowed 
eyes of the deepest black, now sparkling like coals 
of fire as he glanced seaward at the approaching 
vessels. As the English colours of the armed brig 
caught his eye, his lip, graced by handsome musta- 
choes blended with his dark whiskers, curled with 



lafitte. 39 

a cold expression of contempt; but as he gazed 
more steadily upon tlie vessels, a proud smile light- 
ed up his suii-browned features. 

" Here comes a timber of old England's wooden 
walls, banging away at the Lady of the Gulf, as if 
she had nothing better to do than to scale her guns 
at my vessels. 

"Ha! that tells well, my good lieutenant!" and 
his eye lighted with pleasure as he saw the head of 
the Englishman's bowsprit and jib-boom shot away 
by the gallant broadside of the chase and fall into 
the water. 

The buccaneer was now top far to leeward, to 
reach the pass without tacking; and before he 
could execute this nautical manoeuvre, the English 
brig ranged upon his larboard quarter. 

" Well, ^Monsieur Johnny," continued the pirate 
quietly watching the movement of the two vessels, 
"if you fire your starboard broadside into my little 
clipper, we may turn the brigantine over to Cudjoe 
here for a riddling seive. 

; " Ha ! she has grounded, and, — now the English- 
man has saved his powder ;" and instead of firing 
her broadside into the brigantine, as her manoeuvre- 
ing threatened, the English brig leaving the chase, 
ran boldly in and came to an anchor close under 
the island, and about half a mile from the cliff upon 
which stood the group, who with various degrees of 
interest had watched the nautical movements we 
have briefly described. 

" By the holy cross ! but sir Englishrpan shows 
consummate impudence, firing his spare shot into 
one of my vessels, and then dropping his anchor in 
the face of my battery as if he had done me good 
service. Holy devil ! but his coolness shall be 
warmed a little with red, iron bullets, if my little bat- 
tery has not forgotten how to speak. 

" Here Cudjoe, you beautiful boy, go as though 



40 LAFITTE. 

ihe devil sent you, and tell Getzendanner I want to 
see him." 

" An who but de debblo do sen me ?" chuckled 
Cudjoe, but very wisely to himself, as he went off 
like a second Mercury, marvellously aiding his pro- 
gress up the slight ascent to the fort with his long 
arms, which he alternately applied to the ground 
with great dexterity and effect. 

" Ha ! he launches his pinnace ! and it is prettily 
manned withaL And there flutters a flag of truce!" 
exclaimed the pirate, as he saw these indications of 
pacific intentions on the part of the brig. 

" Blessed visit of peace ! sending out round shot 
as its pioneers. Ho ! my men !" he shouted. And 
his boat's crew springing from their recumbent atti- 
tude upon the grass, were upon their feel and at 
his side, 

" To the boat ! Let us reconnoitre this myste- 
rious stranger, who thus saucily beards us to our 
very faces," he commanded, seizing his weapons 
and casting his cloak upon the ground. Hastily 
buckling his sabre around him, and placing his pis- 
tols in his belt, he descended the cliff followed by 
his oarsmen, and the next moment stood upon the 
beach. 



LAFITTE. 41 



CHAPTER II. 



" Towards the close of the war, there appeared an armed brig on 
the coast, opposite the pass of Barritaria. She fired a gun at a vessel 
entering, and then tacked and anchored off the island. A pinnace, 
bearing British colours and a flag of truce was sent to the shore, con- 
veying four British oflicers, who had come to treat with the chief, and 
endeavour to gain him and his adherents, which comprised a force of 
one thousand men, besides thirteen vessels, over to their interests. 
Upwards of two hundred men lined the shores when they landed, and 
it was a general cry among them, that the British officers should be 
made prisoners as spies. It was with diiHculty Lafilte dissuaded the 
multitude from their attempt, and led the guests in safety to his camp," 

Latour's War. 



Prisoners — mutiny — soliloquy — an interview. 

The seamen placed their shoulders to the bows of 
the boat and shoved her off, while iheir leader, taking 
from one of his men a coarse seaman's jacket and tar- 
paulin, put them on, at once and effectually covering 
his richer dress, and concealing any indications of 
rank above those around him. Stepping on boards 
he seated himself in the stern sheets and took the 
helm. 

" Give way men !" he cried in a low yet energetic 
tone of command; and the light boat shot away 
from the beach like an arrow. 

In a few moments, he approached within hail of 
the pinnace, which, with steady pull was making 
for the shore. 

" Boat ahoy !" hailed an officer in the full uniform 
of a British naval officer, who was slandirifg near the 
stern of the boat leaning upon his sword, while 
4» 



42 LAFITTE, 

another officer of the navy, and a gentleman in the 
mihtary dress of a commander of infantry, were 
seated under a canopy in the stern sheets. 

"Ahoy !" and the manly voice of the disguised 
rover rung full and clear over the water, as lie re- 
plied. 

"Where is your captain?" inquired the English 
officer, as the boats came close to each other. 

The outlaw, preferring from motives of policy to 
conceal his real character, replied : 

*' If you mean the Barritarian chief, you will find 
him on shore." 

" Are you of his band ?" 

"We can communicate any message to him," he 
answered evasively. 

" I am the bearer of a packet to Captain Lafitte ;"" 
replied the officer, "I would know to whom I en- 
trust it." 

" We are of Captain Lafitte's party, and will ex- 
ecute any commission with which we may be en- 
trusted, be its import peaceful or hostile," said La- 
fitte firmly. 

" What say you Williams, shall this, business be 
entrusted to this stranger ?" 

"It is perhaps, the only alternative;" he replied 
cautiously ; " he is, most likely,, one of the outlaw's 
band, and will no doubt convey the packet safely to 
his, chief." 

" Ho ! Monsieur, will you convey this packet to 
Captain Lafitte, and say to him that we will here 
await his reply?" demanded the English officer; 
and he proffered to him as he spoke, a large packet 
heavy with seals. 

" 1 will, gentlemen ; but had you not better see 

Captain Lafitte yourselves ? If you will pull into the 

shore with me, I will notify him of your desire of 

an interview with him." 

After a few moment's hesitation tlie officer com- 



LAFITTB. 43 

plied, and ihe two boats were soon seen approaching 
the island, by the buccaneers on the beach, who, 
alarmed by the firing, had assembled on the shore 
in great numbers, armed and prepared for conflict, 
where ihey watched the movements of the boats 
with no litile interest. 

When tliey came within reach of the guns of the 
battery on the shore, and within hail of the beach, 
where nearly two hundred men had already col- 
lected, the disguised buccaneer, desirous of deiain- 
ing the officers until he learned the contents of the 
package, stood up in his boat, threw aside the sea- 
man's jacket in which he w^as enveloped and turning 
to the British officers, said calmly, but in a deter- 
mined tone : 

" Gentlemen, I am Lafitte — you are my priso- 
ners !" 

^^^rhe astonisfied officers, half drew their swords, 
and grasped the handles of their pistols. 

" J)raw no weapons gentlemen ! you are, you see, 
in my power. I shall detain you but a few h-ours." 

" Base traitor ! Well is it said, you honour no 
flag but your own blood-stained ensign, if thus you 
recognise a flag of truce. The devil himself would 
respect that emblem of peace and honouiable confi- 
dence !" shouted the Briton fiercely. 

" Nay, sir officer, — Do you bring messengers of 
peace at the cannon's mouth ? — Do you bear a flag 
of truce in one hand and a lighted match in the other? 
— Peace, sir, — It is you, sir, who tarnish the flag 
you accuse me of dishonouring ?" 

The boats had now i cached the shore, and Lafitte- 
springing out upon the beach, said : — 

" Gentlemen, I will take your arms — " 

"Jacques, hold these men," he continued, point- 
ing to the crew of the pinnace, "under safe guard 
until further orders. Stand back! back — men!" 
he called loudly to his followers. " Why do- you 



44 LAFITTE. 

crowd thus, with lowering brow and hand on wea- 
pon, around my prisoners ?" 

"Spies! spies! Muerto a los Ingleses, — Down 
wilh the British ! — seize thenn — hang them !" cried 
the multitude, and rushed forward wilh lifted 
weapons as if determined to seize them in spile of 
the stern discipline which usually controlled their 
fierce natures. 

" Men, do you press me ?" he shouted as they still 
closed around the Englishmen. " Back, hounds ! 
or by tlie Holy God 1 will send one of you to break- 
fast in hell !" and he drew a pistol from his belt. 

The most forward of the men at that moment 
laid his hand upon the arm of one of the officers, 
who stood between the buccaneer chief and the bow 
of the boat from which they had just stepped. The 
report of a pistol rung in the air, and the daring muti- 
neer fell a corpse at the feet of the Englishman." 

The crowd fell suddenly back, as they witnessed 
this summary act of piratical justice. "Away wilh 
this mutinous slave !" he exclaimed ; and his iollow- 
ers near him,-^raised the corpse in silence and moved 
away to bury it in a hastily scooped grave in the 
sand beneath the cliff. 

"There is nothing like blood to cool blood !" he 
said, quietly turning to his prisoners. "Now, Mes- 
sieurs, let this severe but necessary act of discip- 
line, assure you of my desire to secure your per- 
sonal safety." 

" Herp, my brave fellows, you are but tools of 
subtler men," said he, turning to the crew of the 
pinnace, who sat moodily and in silence in their 
boat, expecting momently to be sacrificed to the 
violent passions of the lawless men, who, altliough 
awed into temporary passiveness, might the first 
opportunity, satiate their appetite for blood upon 
their defenceless persons. 

" Here men, sliove off this boat !" 



LAFITTE. 45 

The British coxswain looked at his officer for 
instructions. 

" Put off, Carroll ; but watch any signal fronn 
the shore," he said ; and under tlie combined efforts 
of several of his own crew the boat shot out from 
the beach, the men stooped to their oars, and in a 
short time, were along side of their brig. 

In the meanwhile the Barritarian conducted 
through the retiring horde, the English officers to his 
fortress, while dark eyes gloated on them beneath 
the lowering brows of men — familiar with crime, 
pursued, until it had become a passion — whose hands 
mechanically rested upon the butt of a pistol, oi the 
handle of a dirk or Spanish knife. 

The fortilace into which the chief ushered his 
prisoners, crowned a slight eminence of the island 
overlooking the sea to the south, and the lake or bay 
of Barritaria to the north, whose distant shore was 
marked by a low level line of cypress and other trees. 

The quarters, or camp, as it was more frequently 
termed, of the outlaw, consisted of a brick edifice 
within the fort, constructed on a plan sintilar to those 
old Spanish houses still to be ?een in the more an- 
cient portions of the chief maritime port of Louisi- 
ana. The entrance to the fort consisted of a low, 
massive gate-way, before which paced a s-entinel in 
the dress of a seaman, with a drawn sabre in his 
hand and a brace of heavy pistols stuck in his belt. 
On either side of this gate-way, was a row of barri- 
caded windows, admitting light into several small 
apartments, used as store, sleeping, and guard rooms. 

" Weston, close the gate and add three men to 
every guard ! on your life admit no one without my 
orders !" said Lafitte as he passed into the fort. 

The sailor whom he thus addressed lifted his hat 
and moved to obey the order, while his captain with 
his three prisoners passed through the gate-way 



46 LAFITTE. 

into a rude court, around which were ranged seve- 
ral low buildings, serving as work-shops, store- 
houses, and quarters for the men who staid on 
shore. Several pieces of disuiounted cannon were 
lying about the court, while a long, mounted gun, 
which turning on a pivot, commanded the whole 
of the interior of the defences, made use of in 
quelling domestic disturbances, stood in front of 
the buildings, just mentioned as the quarters of 
the chief. To this dwelling, after crossing the court, 
he conducted his involuntary guests. 

" Theodore !" he called, stopping at the entrance : 
and the youth, with a pale, and as the Englishman 
thought, a strikingly intelligent face, came forth 
from a room communicating with the passage run- 
ning through the building, with a pen in his hand as 
if the voice of Lafitte had interrupted him while 
employed in writing. 

*' Theodore, conduct these gentlemen into the 
opposite building and tell Weston to place a guard 
at the door." "Gentlemen," he added with cour- 
tesy, turning to the officers, " I regret the necessity 
of placing you under temporary restraint, but the 
fierce humor of my men require it. They unfor- 
tunately suspect you visit our island under feigned 
pretences, while vour real object is, to examine the 
coast for the purpose of making a descent:" and he 
looked at them severally and fixedly as he spoke. 

"You will excuse me," he said abruptly after a 
moment's pause, " while I examine the package of 
which you are the bearer ! 

" Cudjoe, see that the gentlemen are comfortable 
in their room and have refreshments placed before 
them." 

The officers politely bowed to their captor, who 
returned their courtesy with dignity ; and following 
their youthful guide, disappeared. 



LAFITTE. 47 

In a few minutes Theodore re-appeared in the 
court, closed behind him a heavy door, turning the 
massive bolt in the lock, and returned to the quar- 
ters of the chief, where he found him examining the 
contents of the package. 

He was seated at a table in a small room, lighted 
by two barred windows deeply set in the thick walls 
overlooking the western pass, and affording an ex- 
tensive prospect of the southern sea. The oppo- 
site window commanded the anchorage with its 
little squadron, and the bay of Barritaria, with the 
distant green line of the level horizon. 

Five or six rude chairs, a large ship's table, and a 
seaman's chest were the only articles of furniture. 
Several charts, a few books, and bundles of filed, 
and many loose papers, lay upon the table. 

For an hour, he sat perusing the official papers 
which had been placed in his hands, then laying 
them upon the table, and leaning his liead upon his 
hand, he remained a long time buried in deep 
thought. Suddenly starting up, he cried : 

" Theodore, conduct Captain Lockyer to me. 
What turmoil is that without?" he added with a rai- 
sed voice, as loud words reached his ears. "Send 
Weston here !" 

" Weston," he said rapidly, as the captain of the 
guard appeared at the door — "run the long gun out 
of the port hole m the gate, and bring it to bear 
upon the blustering fools, and wail my orders to 
fire. See that it is well charged with grape." 

" Aye, aye, sir !" said the guard, who had been 
recently promoted from the command of a pollacca 
to the defence of the fort. And the creaking of the 
gun-carriage as it was swung around to the ap- 
pointed position, had scarcely ceased, when a heavy 
footstep was heard in the hall, and the bearer of the 
packet entered the quarters of the pirate. 



48 LAFITTE. 

" Be seated, sir," said Lafitte, waving his hand 
to a chair, which the officer occupied. " I have 
considered the propositions contained in these doc- 
uments before me, and feel honoured in the confi- 
dence reposed in me by your government. Bui the 
subject of whici] they treat is of too great moment 
for hasty decision. 1 shall require a few days de* 
lay before I can return a final answer." 

"Captain Lafitte!" replied the officer; "without 
commenting upon the circumstances which make 
me your prisoner, and which I am happy to acknow- 
ledge it is not in your power wholly to control, I 
will proceed, by communicating my private instruc* 
lions, to second the arguments made use of by 
my superior officer, with which those papers be- 
fore you have made you acquainted, for the pur- 
pose of inducing you to become an ally of England, 
in this her present contest, with the North American 
States. I am instructed to offer you a commis- 
sion in his Britanic majesty's service with the full 
pardon and admittance into the navy, with ranks 
equivalent to what they now hold, of all under your 
command, if you will throw the weight of your 
power and influence into the scale in our favour." 

" These are tempting and honourable proposals 
Monsieur, and as honourable to the gentlemen who 
make them as flattering to the subject of them!" re- 
plied the outlaw in a tone between irony and sin- 
cerity ; "But do I understand you, that I and ray 
officers retain command in our own vessels, provi- 
ded that we substitute 8t. George's cross for the 
flag under which we now sail ?" 

" Such were not my instructions. Monsieur La- 
fitte. Ii is expected that the armed vessels which 
compose your Barritarian fleet, will be placed at the 
disposal of the officers of his majesty in the con- ' 
templated descent upon the coast." 



LAFITTE. 49 

*' These are conditions with which I am not at 
present, prepared to comply ;" answered the chief. 
" They are — " 

" But consider the advantages which will result 
sir, both to yourself and the numbers you command;" 
interrupted the officer. " You will be restored to 
the pale of society, bearing an honourable rank, 
(pardon me, Captain Lafitte) among honourable 
men. The rank of Captain shall be yours, if you 
co-operate with us, and moreover, the sutp of six 
thousand pounds sterling shall be paid into your 
hands, whenever^you signify your acceptance of the 
terms proposed. I beg of you sir, do not permit 
this opportunity of acquiring fortune and honour to 
yourself, but glory and success to the arms of Eng- 
land, who is ready to welcome you as one of her 
bravest sons, escape you." 

" Sir, replied the Barritarian, your offers are ex- 
tensive, too much so for an outlaw — a banned and 
hunted man. Ambition will not allure me to accept 
them; for have I not power, fame and wealth as I am ? 
Is the reward of ambition greater than this? what 
will it gain me more ? Honor ? desire of an honour- 
able name ? i\las ! that, I have not. That — that in- 
deed, were a spur to drive me to your purpose. But 
wnll men confer honour upon dishonour ? Will a par- 
don, a title, a station, make men think better of me ? 
Shall I not, in all eyes, still be Lafitte ? the branded, 
the despised, the feared and cursed of men ? No 
— no — no ! Yet," he added, as the image of Con- 
stanza passed across his mind, " I will thjjfik of it, 
Captain Lockyer ; I will reflect upon yoilr propo- 
sals. I wish to become a better and a happier man. 
Fate, passions, influence — not principles, has made 
me what I am ! 

" I will consider this matter sir," he added, coolly, 
casting his eye upon the paper which lay before 

Vol. II.— 6 



50 LAFiTTE. 

him, with a manner that implied his desire to ter- 
minate the interview. 

The officer however still lingered — " I should 
think sir," he urged, "that little or no reflection 
would be necessary respecting proposals that obvi- 
ously preclude any kind of hesitation. You are at 
heait, if not by birth, a Frenchman, Captain Lafitte, 
and therefore, in the existing peace betv;een our re- 
spective nations, a friend to England. You are 
outlawed by the government of the United States ; 
your name is held up to infamy, and a price is set 
upon your head by the executive of Louisiana. 

'' What have you sir, to bind you to America? 
The tie which alone binds the slave to the galley. 
The ties that bind you to England are many and 
may be increased a thousand fold. Promotion is 
before you among the gallant gentlemen of her 
navy — " 

" Gentlemen !" interrupted Lafitte sarcastically, 
" aye, gentlemen !" What Lethe can make the 
outlaw the gentleman ? Sir, I may become a Bri- 
tisfi officer — daring, brave and gallant, may be — but, 
shall 1 be recognized as a gentleman ? 

" No, no !" he added afiei a pause, and with bitter 
emphasis, " I must still be Lafitte — the pirate !" 

" Nay, Monsieur ! nay, Monsieur !" said the 
Englishman touched by Lafitte's manner; "allow 
me to suggest, that with your knowledge of the 
coast and its narrow passes, your services will be 
of infinite value to the success of our arms against 
southern Louisiana. An army is now waiting in 
Canada to unite with the forces here, and it re- 
mains with you to promote the success of the step. 
It is on your skill, sagacity and knowledge we rely 
to bring about this object." 

"Truly Monsieur these are lofty schemes, — 
well and deeply planned. Such inducements as 



LAFITTE. 51 

you have offered to an honourable career, must not, 
nor will they, be disregarded. I must, however, 
deliberate before taking so important a step, as that 
proposed by Col. Nichols, your superior. Good 
morning sir." 

" Theodore ! conduct captain Lockyer to the 
guard room." 



52 LAFITTE. 



CHAPTER III. 



'• Lafitte having taken the earliest opportunity, after the agitation 
among the crews had subsided, to examine the pacquet brought by the 
officers, listened calmly to the splendid promises and ensnaring insin- 
uations held out to him by the naval captain. He replfed, that in a 
few days, he would give a final answer. His object, in this procrasti- 
nation, being to gain time, to inform the officers of the state govern- 
ment of these overtures." Latour's Memoirs. 



Getzendanner, and the buccaneer.— a signal.— the 
mutineers. 

The outlaw paced his room with a firm tread, 
after the officer left him, his brow contracted with 
thought and indignation, whilst the white line of his 
even teeth glittered fronn between his curled and 
contracted lips, upon which dwelt a sarcastic smile, 
expressive of the bitterest scorn. 

" Poor fools ! they extend the right hand to La- 
fitte, and say, ' come and help us, good sir pirate' !" 
said he, dashing the papers from him, and ri- 
sing from his chair as the door closed upon his 
departing prisoner : — " Cunning diplomatists as they 
are! they sliall find me the cunninger. They seek 
my aid, and have come to ask it, with red hands 
bathed in the blood of my men. They carry aloft 
the flag of truce, as though a lady's wiiite 'kerchief 
would cover their treachery. This Knglishman 
thini\s I have little cause to love my countrymen ! 
Thinks he J have better cause to love Eng- 



LAFiTTE. 63 

land ? Has she not hunted me down, worried and 
torn me. Pressed, imprisoned, or hung without ce- 
remony, the bravest of my men; sunk my vessels, 
and chased my cruisers from the sea, with over- 
grown frigates ? Verily ! I have much cause to 
love her !" 

*' But, Massa ! 'merica do worse nor dat ; she 
take, she kill, she burn de craf ; she do, damma, 
much more ob de debil's mischief dan massa Ing- 
lish. She say she block you up in de bay, and 
play de debil wid de camp on de island, and send 
for to da it, dat brave cap'un Pattyson — and if he 
come, he knock de ol' camp to pieces, or Cudjoe no 
nigger — che ! che ! ehe !" 

Lafitte paused a moment in his walk to and fro 
in his little chamber, as his reflections were thus 
interrupted. Cudjoe seldom restrained his thoughts 
in the presence of his master, who allowed him such 
license, not only because experience taught him 
that he might as well stop his breath as his tongue, 
but he had often profited by the shrewd observa- 
tions to which his slave from time to time gave ut-. 
terance, winding up every speech with a low 
chuckle, expressive of satisfaction. 

"■ You say well, Cudjos ! My countrymen have 
given me little cause to love them neither. But, 
then," continued he, relapsing into his former 
thoughtful walk ; " but then it is my country, and 
cursed be the hand that betrays either the country 
of his adoption or of his birth ! She is my country, 
and I love her! No, proud Englishmen !" he add-, 
ed firmly, " you shall yet learn that there is not only 
honour among outlaws, but love of country — pure 
and disinterested patriotism ; and England shall 
learn, that the outlaw Jjnfitte is too honourable to 
submit to propositions which she had not honour 
enough to withhold. She shall learn, that, although 
*he condescends to take the hand of a priced man, 
5* 



54 LAFITTE, 

from motives of policy, that man feels that he rises 
superior to her wlien he refuses to accept it. No ! 
there is more honour for Lafitte in serving his coun- 
try as an outlaw, than in betraying her, with the 
deck of a line of battle ship, which he could call 
his own, under his feet. Where lies the greatest 
infamy, in those who propose to an outlaw, or in the 
outlaw who refuses to betray his country ? Ho, 
slave !" he called sternly, as he concluded. 

Cudjoe was at his side in a moment, with a 
long arm stretched to the handle of the door, while 
he stood in the altitude of one just about to run — 

" Hasten, and tell Captain Getzendanner I desire 
to speak v^ith him." 

This personage, with whom the reader is already 
somewhat acquainted, was standing before a three- 
cornered fragment of a mirror that once probably had 
reflected the features of some honest sea-captain, af- 
fixed into a lattice of a Small hut, covered with pal- 
metto leaves, situated opposite to that occupied by 
his commanding officer. The hut was about ten feet 
square, and so low that Captain Getzendanner, who 
was not very tall, unless five feet two inches be 
termed so, could not stand upright, without bring- 
ing the apex of his cranium in familiar contact with 
the roof. Besides a hammock slung athwart the 
room, the apartment contained a seaman's chart, and 
a dark inlaid mahogany table, that once, no doubt, 
graced the state-room of some fair lady, one or two 
chairs, and a planed board, then reclining ai^ainst 
the side of the cabin, but which, twice a day, when 
he was on shore, laid horizontally from the top of 
one chair to the other, served efl'ectually as a table. 

Two or three cutlasses, a brace of pistols, small 
swords, carbines, muskets, boarding caps, and the 
Various rude paraphernalia of a sailor's wardrobe, 
were himg, or strewn carelessly, about the walls and 
floor of the apartment. 



LAFITTE. 55 

The only opening admitting lifjlit to the interior, 
was a square window, defended by a lattice of 
reeds, which served at the same time to support the 
lieutenant's mirror, before wliich he had been per- 
forming the unclassical operation of shaving — al- 
most a sinecure with him, on account of the gene- 
rous depth of whiskers and mustachoes wliich he 
allowed to grace his round physiognomy. The 
lieutenant was of that age, when silver begins, 
though sparingly, to mingle with tlie legitimate hue 
of tlie hair, and when, from a proneness to table 
pleasures, the person begins to assume a rotundity, 
which, from some imaginary resemblance, has been 
compared with that of a puncheon. 

A Dutchman, and moreover a bachelor, he was a 
man of phlegm. From. a snub-nosed cabin-boy, 
under a Hudson river skipper, he had passed 
through all the phases of a sailor's life, until an un- 
fortunate predeliction for certain golden sequins 
contained in a stranger's purse, who promenaded 
the quay at Havana, led him to seek a mode of 
life, where the distinction between meum and teum 
was less scrupulously regarded than in the pale of 
society. 

" Mein Got, but in in dis little tamn tree corner, 
dere is no seeing half-quarter of a jenllemansh fas'," 
and as he spoke, he dodged every way his red round 
face, gashed here and there witli his razor, peering 
through his fiery red whiskers and bushy hair, like 
the full moon, (to venture such a comparison,) 
seen through the bright leaves of an autumn tree. 

" Vat vool maks de fashion off shavin'. — Blood 
and blodkins! if 1 cut one tamn more hair off my 
fas' ! Abra'am was one wise mans, and he wore a 
beard a saint might shwear py, and dunder and 
blodkins ! fader Abra'am vill pe nor petter man nor 
mynheer Capt. Jacop Getzentanner, — to pe shure ! 
Hi, you plack peast of de tey vil's tarn, — vat you poke 



56 LAFITTE. 

3'our ugly snout in here for, heb ?" suddenly shout- 
ed the lieutenant, as he saw, wiihout the effort of 
turning his body, the reflection of Cudjoe's features 
in the glass, as he darkened the little doorway 
opening into the interior of the camp. 

"Vat now, you elepfiantsh cub? Some infernal 
order pefore preakfas-t, I vill shwear ! I vish Cap- 
tain Lafitte, who isli. a most exshellent sailor, and 
very much pelter gentlemansh, vould get into the 
comfortable habits, of doing pusiness after preakfast 
ish eaten. It were petter for de digestions. Hi, 
you kunning ape — I'll cut your ugly visand off if 
you pe saucy— to pe shure !" and he brandished his 
razor, threatningly. 

" Gi, Massa Cap'un Jacob, if you use dat in- 
strum', you quicker saw him off — Che ! che ! che !" 
and Cudjoe looked behind like a wary general, to 
secure a retreat. 

*' Hoh ! hob! hob ! you pe pretty near de truth," 
said the burly captain, laughing good-humouredly ; 
"here, you take de razor yourself to saw off dose 
vite tusks. It vill help you peauty ;" and the cap- 
lain chuckled at his own wit, as he esteemed it, 
complacently in his own bosom ; but the eye of the 
slave gleamed with rage, and ademoniac smile fear- 
fully displayed the hideous features of his mouth for 
a moment, and then he echoed the lauoh of the 
officer; but deep and bitter was- the hatred which 
rankled in his dark bosom against him for tamper- 
ing with his deformities. Lafitte, and he alone, 
could allude to them jocosely, with impunity ; but 
it was seldom that he did so ; whilst his followers, 
imitating his language and manner lowards the 
slave, without penetration to discover the strong 
current of resentment excited in the bosom of the 
object of their rough witticisms, were sowing un- 
consciously seeds of revenge in the heart of the 
deformed negro,, of which they were,, in his own, 



LAFITTE. 57 

purposes, destined to reap the bitter fruits. He 
never forgot nor forgave the joke elicited by iiis na- 
tural defornriilies. To time and opportunity, while 
he passed by the present jest with a laugh, or appa- 
rently unnoticed, he deferred, vi'hilst he gloated over 
his terrible schemes, that revenge, which he had 
sworn by Obeah, his most solemn adjuration, 
should be one day his. 

*' Veil, yon peauty plark poy, vat do you vant 
mit me ?" inquired the captain as he cleaned his ra- 
zor upon the edge of the glass. 

" Massa say him w^ant see you ? dem Eng- 
h"sh capins dat come play de spy, make de water 
boil and all de fuss," replied Cudjoe, turning about 
to go, although in the opinion of captain Jacob there 
appeared no necessity for such a preparatory change 
in his position. 

The slave walked grumblingly to the quarters 
of his master. " Young elephant — heh ! saw de 
tusk — heh !" and he ground his large teeth to- 
gether, while the protruding objects of the officers 
jest, glanced longer and whiter from his huge red 
lips. 

The portly captain after twisting his mustachoes 
into a fiercer curl, and placing on his carroty locks 
a broad brimmed hat, looped up in front to a silver 
button made of a frank piece — buckled on a huge 
sword, placed his pistols in his belt, which he drew 
lighter with the air of a man who expects to meet, 
and is accustomed to, danger — passed, not without 
some difficulty through the narrow door, and rolled 
along over the area to the quarters of his comman- 
der. 

Entering the door of the passage leading to the 
room, he heard the heavy and measured tread of 
its occupant, pacing the floor, as his habit w^as, when 
his thoughts were busy, and matters of deep and 
exciting interest occupied his mind. 



58 LAFITTE. 

"De lion is lashing his sides mit his tail," said 
he, "captain Jacop Getzentanner look to your dis- 
cretions." 

" Come in," answered a low, stern voice as he 
tapped hesitatingly at the door with the point of 
his sheathed sabre. The visitor entered, and at a 
nod from his master, Cudjoe handed him a chair. 

" Captain Getzendanner, I have sent for you. 
This is a lime of action. You love the British, Get- 
zendanner?" and he looked fixedly into the face of 
his oilicer, with his deep, searching eyes which let 
not a shade of expression escape detection and men- 
tal analysis. 

" Tousand teyvels! Captain Lafitte," replied the 
Dutchman warmly, striking his clenched fist upon 
his knee. "Do 1 love de murterer of my proder? 
did dey not press him into der tam navy ? and vas 
he not kill in de pattlesh ? I love de hangman pet- 
ter, vat ish one tay to tie mine veasand round apout 
mit de hemp." 

" Well, 1 thought as much," replied Lafitte, " and 
knew you would rather swing to the yard arm, than 
do Mister Englishman service. Here are papers, 
but you do not read ?" 

" J vas read Teuche, ven I vas a leetle pit poy; 
put de smooth Tnglisli lettersh pe mitout handles, 
and I never could keep dem from slipping out of 
mine memorysh, and now tevfil a one is left behind 
put F — to pe shure," said he. half seriously, half 
humourously. 

" And that you remember from its resemblance 
to a gallows, ha ! worthy Getzendanner? But a truce 
to this trifling. Here in these papers," and he 
struck emphatically the documents he held in his 
hand, " here are proposals from the Hon. W. H. 
Percy — so says the endorsement," and his lip curled 
ironically as he continued, "Captain of liis-Brit- 
tanic majesty's sloop of war Hermes, and Admiral 



LAFITTE. 59 

of the naval forces in these seas, and from Lieut. 
Co]. Edward JNicholls commander of his majesty's 
military forces on the coasts of Florida, to me — 
simple Captain Lafitte." He then briefly stated 
the nature and extent of the proposition lo his as- 
tonished lieutenant. 

" JNovv, Getzendanner, I well know, for love nor 
fear, would you obey neither me nor Satan, but from 
haired to the English, I can depend upon your co- 
operation ; therefore I will trust you ; but betray 
me and you know the penally. Here, in this paper, 
you have my written instructions, which if you can- 
not r^'ad, Theodore, who is always in my confidence, 
will explain to you." 

Theodore, at this moment, who was leaning out 
of the window which overlooked the sea, suddenly 
interrupted him. 

" There is a signal flying on board the Lady of 
the Gulf, for your presence on board, sir." 

"Ha ! it is so indeed. What can Belluche 
want? why not send a boat ? Have ready my barge, 
Theodore. Getzendanner, J must aboard ; during 
my absence observe the strictest vigilance in the 
camp, and on your life, see that those Englishmen 
escape not ; and that the excited crews of the pri- 
vateer do not seize and sacrifice them to their sus- 
picions. On my return, I will talk with those mu- 
tinous fiends, and you must aid me in giving a right 
direction to their roused feelings. Ho ! there, you 
sea-dogs, are you ready V he shouted from the 
window. 

" Aye, aye, sir," came from the beach, where at 
the end of a small pier lay a large boat, in which, 
resting on -their oars, sat eight seamen in red sliirts 
and white trowsers, each with a red woolen cap 
upon his head. They were all dark, fine looking 
men, .with muscular arms, whose sinews, exposed 



60 LAFITTE. 

by the drawn up sleeve, showed in relief out from 
the surface like whip-cords. The glitter of their dark 
eyes, and the reckless expression of their faces, indi- 
cated thai marked character, peculiar to men trained 
in the school of blood and rapine. They were seated 
two by two, on the four thwarts of the boat with their 
faces to the stern, where with his hand resting care- 
lessly upon the head of the tiller, sat Theodore, who 
had preceded Lafitte, dressed in an embroidered jack- 
et of velvet, and snow-white trowsers, with a richly 
wrought belt, confining a brace of costly pistols and 
a silver-hafted dirk. An eye, of the rich hue of the 
chestnut, sparkled beneath a brow whose fairness a 
maiden might envv, and a profusion of silken, au- 
burn hair curled luxuriantly from under his blue 
velvet Spanish cap, terminated by a tassel, which, 
drooping over his ear, played, with his delicately 
browned cheek in the passing breeze. An ex- 
pression of resolution, calm and deep determination, 
the more severe, from its being foreign to features 
so delicate, compressed his lips, as he gazed upon 
the turbulent crews of the vessels lining the beach, 
talking loudly and fiercely of British spies, and oc- 
casionally whispering to each other, that their lea- 
der was about to sell them to the English as the 
price of his own pardon. At that moment, there 
was a movement among the multitude, Avhich gave 
back on either hand as he advanced, and Lafiite 
came through the crowed to his boat. 

*' What means this turmoil, my men ?" he said, 
in a conciliatory tone as he stepped upon the gun- 
wale ; "have you not confidence in me? These 
men are not spies. They seek restitution for those 
two London brigs taken by you before my return 
from my late cruise in the West Indies ; and shall 
they not have it, if they state their terms in ready 
gold?" he said chiming in with their humour. 



LAFITTE. 61 

" Aye, give them their vessels if they give us 
their gold," cried several voices. 

" Very easy said, my masters," growled an old 
weather-beaten snjuggler near Lafitte, " but who is 
to handle the chink when its got ?" and he cast his 
eyes moodily and suspiciously at his commander. 

" Down with old Fritz ;" said two or three who 
heard him; "our captain is all honour; we never 
have had cause to grumble at shares." 

" Rest easy, my men," continued Lafitte in the 
same tone; "you shall have all things explained 
and understood when I return from the schooner. 
If there is a man who mistrusts Lafitte or doubts 
his word, let him step forward." 

No one moved, and the next moment every hat 
was in the air. 

" Give way," he cried to his young coxswain, 
and shoved off from the land amid the cries of, 
" Long live Lafitte — viva Lafitte !" which rose long 
and loud from the fickle and tumultuous assembly 
upon the shore. 



Vol. IL— 6 



62 LAFITTE. 



CHAPTER IV. 



"Discipline among a community of outlaws can only be preserved 
by frequent and summary acts of justice." 

" Lafitte having occasion to leave the island for a short time, the crew 
seized the British officers, and placed ihem under guard. On his re- 
turn, he released them, represented to his adherents the infamy that 
would attach to them if they treated as prisoners, persons who had come 
with a flag of truce. Apologizing for the disagreeable treatment they 
had received, and which he could not prevent, he saw them safe on board 
their pinnace." 

Latour's Louisiana. 



An attack from the mutineers— interview with the 
British officers— secret expedition. 

The business of Lafitte on board the Lady of the 
Gulf relating to the private disposition of some spe- 
cie, which, unknown to his crew, the captain had 
smuggled into his slate-room, having no immediate 
connexion with our story, we shall leave him to 
transact without our supervision, and return to the 
prisoners confined in the guard-room of the fortalice. 

" Well, Williams, we are in a fine pickle, cooped 
up in this seven-by-nine bit of a box, at the tender 
mercies of Lafitte and his merciful crew," said the 
naval officer, getting up from the rude bench on 
which he had been sometime seated in silence, and 
looking forth from the grated window. 

"Damme," he continued, "if I ever saw such a 
swarm of gallows-looking cut-throats as were as- 
sembled on the shore to honour our debarkation ! 
They need neither change of place nor body, to be 
fiends incarnate. 



LAFITTE. 63 

" You say true, Lockyer," replied the military of- 
ficer addressed; " such blacl^-browed villains would 
shame the choicest corps of Beelzebub's nifantry. 
I have no doubt he would set up a rendezvous on 
this blessed island of Grand Terre, Barrita, or what- 
ever else it is called, if he did not apprehend his 
new recruits would corrupt his old soldiers." 

"But then," replied the naval officer, "their 
chief seems to be a man of other metal. T could 
hardly believe I was looking upon the celebrated 
Lafiite, when I gazed upon his elegant, even noble, 
person and fine features, in which, in spite of their 
resolute expression, there is an air of frankness, 
which assures me that he never would be guilty of 
a mean action, however familiar bold deeds of blood 
and battle may be to his hand. I have seldom seen 
a finer countenance nor a nobler presence than that 
of this same buccaneer. What a devil he must be 
among the women ?" he added in a gay tone, pass- 
ing his hand complacently over his own fine face. 
" I will w^ager my epaulettes against a middie's war- 
rant, if he has not broken more hearts than heads." 

And as he ceased speaking he stroked his whis- 
kers, and glanced with much apparent self-approval 
upon his brigfit breastplate which reflected his hand- 
some features as in a mirror. 

" What think you," he continued, turning to the 
other naval officer by his side, " can we trust La- 
fitte in this matter? He seems to care for our wel- 
fare, nor would he have sent that fierce Spaniard 
to breakfast with his infernal highness this morning, 
if he had determined to sacrifice us. He might 
have suffered our massacre, without being charged 
with foul play. We are in his power safe enough ! 
What fatal temerity could have induced us to let 
him inveigle us within reach of his guns ? For such 
a blind piece of folly, if it does not end better than 
I foresee, I will throw up my commission and run a 



64 LAFITTE. 

lugger between Havana and Matanzas, with a 
young savage before the mast, and a bull-headed 
Congo negro, for officers and crew. Curse me," 
he added, with much apparent chagrin, " but Cap- 
tain Lockyer, you have run your craft hard aground ; 
if you get clear this time, you may thank any thing 
but your own wils." 

" Hark ! there's a gun — another — a volley !" ex- 
claimed the mihtary officer. 

" Good God ! can these infernal fiends be attack- 
ing the Sophia ?" exclaimed Caplain Lockyer ; " ho, 
there, guard ! what, ho ! what is that firing and com- 
motion without ?" he cried, springing to the barri- 
caded window which only overlooked ihe court. 

The guard, who was a heavily armed and tall 
Portuguese, with an air half-military, half-naval, 
preserved in keeping by a tall chasseur's cap, a sai- 
lor's jacket, and loose trowsers, paused a moment, 
while he took a huge quid from a roll of tobacco he 
held in his fist, and then turned to the window and 
replied, while a malign expression lighted up his 
full black eyes — 

" Holy si. Antoine, caballeros, but you need not 
be so warm ! it is only a bit of a trial among the 
men, to see who is the stronger." 

*' How mean you, guard ?" 

" I mean, sigfiores, that the party that proves 
the strongest below on the beach there, will either 
let you remain peaceably where you are till El 
Signor Captain Lafilie returns, or take you forth to 
dangle by the necks from the .ive oak before the 
gate." 

*' What ! how you jest," exclaimed, in great per- 
turbation, the officer of his majesty's royal colonial 
marines. " Villain, you jest !" and the fingers of 
his gloved hand, involuntarily sought the precincts 
of his windpipe, with tender solicitude. 

*' Jest ! do you call that jest, sehor ?" as a loud 



LAFITTE. 65 

shout filled the air, mingled with cries of " seize 
ihem ! spies ! swing ihem ! down with the gales !" 
above which was heard the voice of Capt. Getzen- 
danner, in vain exerted to quell the turmoil. 

The officers, like resolute men determined to 
sell their^ lives dearly as possible, drew each a con- 
cealed dirk from his bosom, and stood wiih folded 
arms, facing the window which commanded ihe 
main entrance to the court from witliout, and to- 
wards which the noise was rapidly approaching. 

The guard himself, mounted a flight of sieps 
leading to the flat roof of the guard-house, not 
only commanding a view of the ground outside 
of the defences, but of the whole island, the south- 
ern sea to the horizon, the passes, and the bay, with 
its fleet riding quietly at anchor. 

" By St. Josef!" he exclaimed, as he gained the 
summit, and cast his eye beneath upon the tumul- 
tuous scene. 

The whole green esplanade, or terrace, which 
sloped from the fort to the beach, was dark with a 
dense crowd of men, all under the inlensest excite- 
ment, which they manifested by shouts, execrations, 
and brandishing various weapons in the'air. The 
crowd, consisting of persons of all nations, tongues, 
and hues, mostly in the garb of seamen, seemed to 
the eye of the guard divided into two unequal divi- 
sions, one of which was assembled with aims in 
their hands around the gale, and near a large oak, 
growing by the fort, under the command of Get- 
zendanner, who with loud oaths, a sabre in one 
hand and a cocked pistol in the other, was stand- 
ing before another party, pressing towards the gate, 
some of whom were armed with pistols, harpoons, 
and heavy spars. The last, slung between eight or 
ten men, by ropes, in rude imitation of the ancient 
battering ram, threatened destruction to the barred 
gate, for which it was evidently designed. 
6» 



66 LAFITTE. 

The two hostile bands, with ready weapons, were 
eyeing each other wilh looks of haired. 

" Den lousand teyfils, and py all de shainls, you 
sail not pass into de camp, Miles Cosgrove — to pe 
shure !" continued the lieutenant, his face livid with 
rage, and an eye full of determination, as a huge 
seaman, wilh an Irish physiognomy advanced, 
with a handspike, a lillle in advance of the muti- 
neers, " you once shaved mein life. Miles, and I 
don't forget it ; put, py Got himself, I vill make a 
port hole in your lam long carcass, if you move an- 
oder step forward." 

" Misiher lieutenant," replied the Irishman calm- 
ly, lifting his hand to his hat, " we mane to hoort 
not wone hair of your head, but we are resolved," — 
and he raised his voice so that all, even the prison- 
ers in the guard-room heard his words, — " we are 
resolved to seize them British officers — they are 
spies ! and they have either desaived Captain La- 
fitte, or he himself is a traithor ! So stand aside, 
Captain dear, an' let us pass. You have but a 
handful of men to oppose us!" and he cast his eyes 
contemptuously over the small party of better disci- 
plined buccaneers who rallied around their officer, to 
aid him in upholding that discipline, which they 
knew, could alone hold their dangerous community 
together. The number that met his eye was in- 
deed small, for most of those who had at first op- 
posed the measure, when they saw liie popularity 
of the cause, espoused by the other parly, like sa- 
ger politicians on more distinguished theatres, wise- 
ly went over to the stronger side. • f 

The Irishman then turned his eye back upon his 
own followers, numbering six lo one of his oppo- 
nents. " Be discreet captain, and let us pass peace- 
ably inlo the fort," he said, with some show of sul- 
len earnestness; "See you ihese men sir?" he- 
added wilh increased ferocity, pointing lo his rude 



LAFITTE. 67 

and undisciplined force, " lliey will pass through 
that gate, if ihey pass over your dead bodies." 

Captain Getzendanner finding resistance vain 
against such a fierce and overwhelming torrent, re- 
plied : 

" On one condition shall you pass de gate : dat 
you give me your vord, Miles Cosgrove — and I 
know de value you place on dat — dat you vill only 
mount one guard from your mutinous crew over 
dem prisoners, till Lafilte comes on shore ; and 
den refer de decisions of dis matter to him. Dis 
ish mein vish — to pe shure !" 

" 1 give you the pledge, misther lieutenant, that 
you ask," said the Irishman, who was mate of one 
of the pirate's cruisers. 

*' Den you sail pe admitted," he replied, and a 
cunning, treacherous expression glowed in his eye 
as he spoke, requiring more than the Irishman's pen- 
etration to detect. " Ho ! dere Weshton, unbar de 
gate and obey your first ordersh ?" 

With as rapid a step as was consistent with his 
corporeal dignity, the Lieutenant with his men, who 
might number about seventy, moved round the an- 
gle of the building towards a stockade or exterior 
fortlet, in the rear of the main defences, while the 
besiegers rushed in a mass to the entrance. Too 
impatient to wait the unlocking of bolts and bars, 
those wlio bore the suspended spar, rushed at half 
speed against the gate, which partly unbarred, gave 
way before the tremendous power of the beam, 
swung with tremendous momentum against it. 

The forcing of the gate was followed by a shout, 
and a rapid and tumultuous rush into the narrow 
passage. All at once, a fearful cry burst from 
twenty throats — 

*' Hold there ! back ! back ! for God's sake hold !'* 
cried the Irish leader of the assault in a voice of 
terror, and in another moment a match would have 



68 ^ LAFITTE. 

been applied to the long gun by Weston, in obedi- 
ence to the command ofLafiite, repeated, as he left 
the passage to the gate open, by the wily lieutenant, 
though not understood by the mutineers at the time. 

The appalled men uttered a shriek of dismay, and 
those who had the most presence of mind, fell flat 
on their faces, while the rest, in wild confusion and 
terror, crowded back upon each other uitering cries 
and imprecations of despair and fury. 

At this fearful crisis, the bars of the grated 
window gave way as they were wrenched out, one 
after another by an iron hand. Lockyer sprung from 
the aperture grasping one of them, and overthrew 
his guard who attempted to intercept him ; and, just 
as the torch was about to ignite the powder, to 
send a shower of iron hail into that living mass of 
human beings before its open mouth, the murderous 
hand was arrested by his irresistible grasp, and the 
flaming torch hurled far over the heads of the mul- 
titude, and quenched in the sea. 

" By the twelve apostles, sir Englishman, you 
have saved your life by that bould act," exclaimed 
the astonished Irishman as soon as he could reco- 
ver from his momentary surprise, as amid the cheers 
of his party, Lockyer drew back a step, and sur- 
veyed with a firm manner and folded arms the motly 
crew before him. " By St. Pathrick, men, but we 
may thank that stranger that we did not make our 
dinner on grape shot and slugs." 

A shout of " viva el Ingles ! — viven los Ingle- 
ses !" replied. 

From the momentary check the mutineers recei- 
ved at the sight of the long gun, standing open- 
mouthed in their path, and on account of the sud- 
den change of sentiment produced by it among 
those in advance, who had witnessed the bold and 
humane act of the gallant Englishman, it was easy 
to direct the current of their feelings. 



LAFITTE. 69 

" Give back now my lionies*. You see this En- 
glishman is no spy or lie'd have let that bloody 
spalpeen Weston blow us into purgatory. Return 
sir to the guard room," he added, addressing the 
officer, wt^o was now as much the idol of their re- 
spect, as he was before the object of their hatred, 
*' and you shall be protected until Captain Lafitte 
comes on shore." 

The crowd acquiesced in the proposition of their 
herculean leader, with a shout, and turned their 
rage against Weston, who with his guard had re- 
treated into the quarters of their commander, con- 
structed both for strength and defence, and firmly 
secured the entrance. 

The English officer was once more shut up in 
the guard-room with his fellow prisoners, while 
Cosgrove after posting a guard of men by the door 
and window, attempted to restore order anriong his 
undisciplined associates, who, now finding a worthy 
object upon which to vent the rage which the gal- 
lant act of the Englishman had turned from himself 
and his fellow prisoner, had brought the gun, so re- 
cently directed against their own bosoms, to bear 
upon the door of the building containing the guard, 
and with cries of revenge, were only waiting for a 
torch, for w^hich one of the number had been sent, 
to drive the whole charge of grape through the door 
and force a passage to their victims. 

Suddenly there was a movement among the pri- 
vateers at the gate, and " Lafitte ! — the captain !" 
passed hurriedly fron:i mouth to mouth. 

" Holy devil ! what means all this ?" cried the 
chief, pressing through the crowd, who shrunk 
back before his lightning eye and upraised sabre. 
" Take that, sir," and the hand which was about to 
apply the burning brand to the priming of the can- 
non, fell, still grasping the blazing wood, severed 



^0 LAFITTE. 

from the arm, by a single blow from the sabre of 
the outlaw. 

7'he next moment he stood upon the gun, with a 
drawn pistol in each hand ; — his eye flashing, and 
his tall athletic figure expanded with rage, while a 
broad circle was made around him, as the men in- 
voluntarily drew back from the summary justice of 
his ready hand. 

" How is it !" he continued, vehemently, " that I 
cannot leave the camp half an hour but there is 
mutiny among ye knaves ! By the holy St. Peter, 
you shall remember this morning's work ! Who 
are the ringleaders of this fray ? Who, I say ?" and 
his voice rung in their ears. '' Come forward !" 
and his eyes passed quickly over the silent and 
TTiOody multitude, each man, as he dropped his own, 
felt that they were fixed individually upon himself* 

" What — Cosgrove ! my tru.^ty Miles Cosgrove !" 
exclaimed the pirate, as the tall Irishman stepped 
forth from among his fellows, — " and yet I might 
have thought it," he added ; " it were a miracle to 
find one of you a stranger to treachery. What 
could have led you," he continued, raising his voice, 
"thus boldly to despise the authority of your Cap- 
tain, and throw off the discipline of our communi- 
ty ?" Speak, sir ! what was your object in this mad 
assault upon the garrison of the fortress — a small 
one indeed, for we thought friends and not traitors, 
were around us ? What have you to answer, sir ?" 

" Captain Lafitte ! I have this defence," said 
Cosgrove, coming forward and speaking with a firm 
countenance and a clear eye, which shrunk not be- 
neath the stern gaze of his superior, And in a few 
words he detailed the circumstances as they had 
happened. 

" Cosgrove, I believe you. You are impulsive 
and headstrong, but I think, in the main, faithful,'* 



LAFITTE. ' 71 

said, as he concluded, Lafitte, who had calm- 
ly listened to the recapitulative defence of the 
ringleader, which frona the mutterings and pleasu- 
rable exclamations that proceeded from various 
^quarters of the fort, differently affected his hear- 
ers. 

*■ Well, my men," he said, raising his voice, — 
" will you all return to your duly and your vessels, 
if no luither notice is taken of this matter?" 

" Aye, aye ! all, all !" came unanimously from 
the multitude. 

" Will you freely leave me to deal with these 
prisoners ?" 

" Freely, captain, freely," said a hundred voices. 

" I thank you, one and all. I hope a scene like 
this witnessed to-day, will never be repeated. — 
Return each man to his duty. To each officer un- 
der my command, I would suggest the expediency 
of preparing for the threatened attack from the 
squadron, said to be fitting out against us at xNew- 
Orleans ; and laying aside private animosities and 
prejudices, party feelings, or unjust suspicions, let 
us adopt for our own the wary motto of the Stales. 

His address was received with acclamations by 
his men, who, in a few moments, each under his 
respective officer, departed for the fleet, leaving be- 
hind only the regular guard of the garrison. 

" Gentlemen," said Lafilte, stepping from his ele- 
vated station upon the gun, and approaching the 
window of the guard-room, from which his guests had 
been silent and deeply inieresled spectators of the 
scene passing before them, — " Gentlemen, I con- 
gratulate you on your safety amidst this wild com- 
motion of human passions. Such tempests are 
fiercer ihan the storms and waves of the ocean to 
contend with. You may thank your own daring, 
and not my authority, that this storm is allayed. It 
would have cost me the lives of many brave men 



72 LAFITTE. 

to have quelled it. Gentlemen, you are no longer 
under restraint. I hailed, as 1 came under the 
stern of your brig, and your pinnace is now ap- 
proaching the shore." 

Here he whispered to Theodore, who hastened 
into his room. 

" Allow me, Messieurs, to express my sincere 
regret at the unpleasant situation in which you have 
been placed. You have seen that I can scarcely 
control the wild spirits around me, except by what 
may be thought cruel and unnecessary severity. — 
But should I abate for a moment, a feather's weight 
of my discipline or authority, I should lose my 
command or my head." 

I'heodore now approached, with the swords of 
the officers, which were courteously tendered them 
by Lafitte, with an apology for detaining them ; and 
after doing ample justice to the sparkling stores of 
the Barralarian, presented on a richly chased salver, 
by his slave, accompanied by Lafitte, they left the 
garrison; and after crossing the green terrace, 
stretching before it quite to the beach, they were 
in a few moments at their boat. 

" Messieurs," said the outlaw, with dignity and 
address, as the British officer, before stepping into 
his boat, desired to be told what conclusion he had 
formed in relation to the proposals of Admiral 
Percy, — " Messieurs, in reference to this important 
subject, some delay is indispensable. The confu- 
sion which prevailed in my camp this morning, has 
prevented me from considering with that attention 
I should wish to, the ofi'ers made me by your go- 
vernment. If you will grant oje a fortnight's delay, 
— such a length of time is necessary to enable me 
to put my affairs in order, and attend to other things 
which peremptorily demand my present attention, 
— at the termination of this period, I will be entire- 
ly at your disposal. You may communicate with 



LAFITTE. 73 

me then by sending a boat to the eastern pass, an 
hour before sunset, where I shall be found. You 
have inspired me, Captain Lockyer, with more con- 
fidence," he said, sincerely, " than the admiral, 
your superior officer, himself could have done. 
With you alone I wish to deal, and from you also 
I will reclaim in due time, the reward of the servi- 
ces Avhich I may render you." 

The decided tone and manner of Lafitte gave 
Capt. Lockyer no hope of being able to draw from 
him a present decisive reply ; he therefore merely 
said : — 

" I must, I find, though reluctantly enough, com- 
ply with your request, Captain Lafitte. On the 
evening of the fourteenth day from the present, we 
will ask again, your determination, which, I trust, 
will be that, which will give you an opportunity of 
securing a high and honourable name among men, 
and that, which will add Louisiana to his majesty's 
crown. Good morning, sir." 

" Good morning, Messieurs," replied Lafitte ; and 
the pinnace moved swiftly away from the beach, 
and the outlaw stood alone- — the sea-breeze playing 
cooll}^ upon his brow — the broad gulf with a low 
murmur unrolling its waves at his feet — the rich 
forest rising in majesty behind him, and the deep 
blue skies above him-^yet, all unseen, unlieard, 
unfelt by him. After gazing thoughtfully a few 
moments after the receding boat, he folded his arms 
upon his breast, and walked slowly back to the 
camp. 

The sun had just set on the evening of the day 
in which the events we have recorded,, transpired, 
when Lafixtte, his tall and commanding figure 
enveloped in a gray cloak, issued from the gate 
of the fortress, after giving several brief orders 
to Captain Getzendanncr, who was stationed with 
his portly mien, and goodly corporeal dimensions, 

Vol,. IL— 7 



74 LAFITTE. 

just within the gate as he passed. Cudjoe^s low^ 
deformed figure also wrapped in a cloak followed 
him with an awkward rolling gait, as he walked 
rapidly towards a point at the extremity of the an- 
chorage on the north side of the island, closely en- 
gaged in conversation with Theodore, who moved 
by his side with a light step. After a rapid walk 
of about forty minutes the three stopped under a 
broad tree, casting a deep shadow over a narrow 
inlet, penetrating a little way into the island, in 
which a small, gracefully shaped boat could be in- 
distinctly seen through the obscurity of the night. 

Just as they entered the dark shadow of the tree, 
they, were challenged by a seaman, who, with a 
drawn cutlass in his hand was pacing fore and aft 
under the tree, with that habitual tread learned by 
that class of men, in their lonely watch upon their 
vessels' decks. 

" Our country!" replied the deep voice of Lafitte. 
"What ho! Corneille, is all still in the fleet?" he 
added. 

" Aye, aye, sir ; there is nothing moving within a 
mile crtf us." 

" Are you all ready ?" 

"All, sir." 

, Theodore, see that the oars are muffled. I choose 
not that the fleet should mark our movements. 
They will be in chase of us for another God-send 
of English spies, and I prefer passing unnoticed. 
Cudjoe, place yourself in the bows," he said play- 
iuWy, " and show your tusks generously; if they 
should spy us, they will take us for an in-shore 
fisherman, Avith his bow-lights hung out, and so let 
us pass." 

In a few moments the lililc boat shoved noise- 
lessly out from the creek in which it had been hith- 
erto concealed, and after a few light but skilful 
strokes by the four oarsmen by whom it was man- 



LAFITTE. 7 

ned, shot rapidly out into the open bay, or, as it has 
been more recently denominated, Lake, of Barri- 
taria. 

For an hour they steered by the lonely polar star, 
which, in that southern latitude, hung low in the 
northern skies, and leaving the anchored squadron 
far in shore to the left, they raised their dark brown 
sail — so painted, to be less easily distinguished 
through the night haze — and shipping their oars, 
glided swiftly towards the narrow mouth of a deep 
bayou, which, after many intricate windings termi- 
nated in the Mississippi river, nearly opposite to the 
city of New-Orleans, 

As they/approached, long after the hour of mid- 
night, the secret and scarcely discernable outlet, 
nearly lost in the dark shadow of the shore, they 
lowered their sail ; and, yielding once more to the 
impulse of the oars, the little boat shot into the 
mouth of the creek, and suddenly disappeared in 
the deep gloom which hung over it. 



BOOK IV. 



SIEGE. 

• Greece gathers up again her glorious band, 
They strike the noblest, who shall strike the first." 
Thh Emigrant. 

' I pray you let the proofs 

Be in the past acts, you were pleased to praise 
This very night, and in my farther bearing, 
Beside." 

Byron' 

' My chiefest glory 

Shall be to make me worthier of your love." 

Ibid. 

' Oh ! what an agony of soul was his ! 
Baffled just in the moment of success." 

ThB CONQUStlOB. 



LAFITTE. 79 



BOOK IV. 



CHAPTER I. 



" At a crisis so important, and from a persuasion that the country 
in its menaced situation, could not be presen-ed by the exercise of any 
ordinary powers, the commanding general proclaimed martial law, 
suspending constitutional forms for the preservation of constitutional 
rights." 

History op the war. 



New-Orleans before the siege — guard boats — a scen-e ok 
the river. 

A FEW weeks before that memorable battle, the 
last and most decisive fought during the recent war 
between the United States and Great Britain, the 
citizens of New Orleans were thrown into conster- 
nation by the rumour of extensive naval and military 
preparations making by the British, who were as- 
sembled in great force along the northern coast o-f 
the Mexican Gulf; and this alarm was still increa- 
sed, by the report, that they meditated a descent 
upon the capital of Louisiana. 

This point, next to the city of Washington, had 
been always deemed in the eye of England, the 
most important conquest she could make upon the 
territory of her enemy. 

And to this point all her forces were now con- 
centrated for the purpose of striking a blow, which 
should at once terminate the war, and make the 



80 LAFITTE. 

Americans of the west, to use her proud language, 
"prisoners in the heart of their own country." 

As the rumours became more frequent, and were 
finally corroborated by official despatches, directed 
to the legislative assembly which hastily convened 
to deliberate upon measures for the safety of the 
country, the panic increased, until distress, confu- 
sion and forebodings filled the minds of all. Me- 
naced by so formidable a foe, without any regular 
soldiering or means of defence in which to place 
confidence, they lost all decision and energy. Bu- 
siness was suspended, and the streets were filled 
with groups, anxiously conversing upon the fearful 
rumours, rife on every tongue, or with individuals 
hurrying to and fro in exaggerated alarm; while the 
roads leading to the interior of the state, were alive 
with individuals and famihes laden with their more 
portable wealth, seeking that safety beyond the 
probable invasions of the enemy, Avhich their fears, 
and, among such a motley assemblage as constituted 
the citizens, want of combination, prevented them 
from securing by their swords. 

Those, whose love for property, or disbelief of the 
reports so generally accredited, or patriotism, indu- 
ced to remain, were united together by no common 
bond ; and destitute of that confidence in each other 
which the crisis called for. Composed principally 
of Spaniards, Frenchmen and Englishmen, each 
national division viewed the coming events through 
a medium of its own peculiar colouring. Mutual 
jealousies arose and general disaffection usurped the 
place of good faith. The legislature itself was dis- 
severed and weakened by these party jealousies, and 
their deliberations were only scenes of warm and 
conflicting debate, from which none of the mea- 
sures resulted, demanded by the exigencies of the 
time. 

Some of the senators whose patriotism led them 



LAFITTE. 81 

to propose such steps as would place the city in a 
stale for receiving the enemy, were overruled by 
others, whose prejudices inclined them either to the 
side of the British, or to neutrality, in the character 
of French citizens, or as subjects of Spain, with 
which countries the English were then at peace. 

At this period of indecision and civil anarchy^ 
and when every good citizen and reflecting man 
was looking about for some one who would lead in 
this emergency, the American chief of the southern 
forces arrived at New-Orleans. His presence pro- 
duced a sudden and healthy change in the aspect 
of affairs, and before he had been in the city one 
hour, his name was upon every lip, either with 
hope, or pride, or hostility, and the eyes of all 
lovers of their country tiurned upon him, and mark- 
ed him as their leader in the great struggle before 
them. 

His presence and language roused them to a de- 
fence of their rights, and kindled patriotism and ha- 
tred for the enemy in their breasts. He excited them 
to vigilance, and called them to put forth all their 
energies for the approaching trial. He was second- 
ed by the governor of Louisiana, a few distinguish- 
ed senators, and numerous citizens. The confi- 
dence which filled his own bosom, was communi- 
cated to the desponding hearts of those around him, 
and intrepidity, decision, and energy succeeded the 
inaction and dismay which had before reigned in 
the bosoms and minds of men. A new spirit invi- 
gorated every breast, and men, strong in the right- 
eousness of their cause, rallied around the standard 
of their country, prepared for the approaching con- 
test. 

He recommended to the legislature to change 
their tempmizing policy for unv/avcring and digni- 
fied deliberations, burying and forgetting all minor 
considerations, in their labour for the public good. 



82 LAFITTE. 

Those aliens who felt no attachment to the existing 
government, and were ready to sell or surrender it 
to the British, Spanish, or French, as either natu- 
ral faction predominated, were allowed, or compel- 
led, to quit the town. 

Every resource that could contribute to the safe- 
ty of the city, was in requisition, and operations on 
an extensive scale for its defence, were projected 
with military promptness and skill. General con- 
fidence became at once every where restored, and 
with the exception of some disaffected citizens, who 
were strictly watched, there was but one heart and 
hand enlisted in the mutual defence. Regiments 
were formed of the citizens, and, throwing off the 
habits of a life, each man became a soldier. Even 
women and children partook of the general enthu- 
siasm; and when the enemy were at the gates, the 
day before the battle, the citizens appeared more 
like rejoicing for a victory than preparing to with- 
stand a siege. 

For the greater security of the country, martial 
law was at length proclaimed throughout New-Or- 
leans and its environs, and the whole city became 
at once under the rigid discipline of a fortified 
camp. Patroles of veterans paraded the streets, 
and guard boats were stationed at various points on 
the river, before the city. 

" All persons," says a historian of the period, 
*' entering the city, were required immediately to 
report themselves to the adjutant-general, and on 
failing to do so, were to be arrested and detained in 
prison, for examination. None were allowed to de- 
part, or pass beyond the chain of sentinels, but by 
permission from the commanding general, or one of 
the staff, nor was any vessel or craft permitted to 
sail on the river, but by the same authority, or by a 
passport signed by the commander of the naval 
forces. The lamps were to be extinguished at the 



LAFITTE. 83 

hour of nine at night, after which time all persons 
found in the streets, or from their respective homes, 
without such passport, were to be arrested as spies, 
and thrown into prison to await an examination the 
ensuing morning." 

It is at this period of the war, and under these pe- 
culiar features of it, at the expense of a slight ana- 
chronism, that our scenes once more open. 

The morning after leaving the island of Barrita- 
ria, or Grand Terre, the party, consisting of the 
buccaneer chief, his young companion Theodore, 
and faithful slave Cudjoe, having rowed all the pre- 
ceding night through the sluggish and sinuous ba- 
yous, reached a hamlet of fishermen's huts, nearly 
hid in a cypress wood, and amidst tall grass, which 
enclosed it on every side. Here they delayed, un- 
til once more, under the cover of the darkness, they 
should be enabled to enter the vigilantly-guarded 
city unperceived. 

Night, hurrying away the scarcely visible twilight, 
had passed over city, river, and forest, obscuring 
every object in the gloomy shade cast by her sable 
wing. ISilence reigned over all, that on^ short hour 
before was active and animate, save the occasion- 
al challenge of a sentinel, the 'ringing of fire-arms 
accidentally struck together, and now and then 
the dip of an oar — to m.aintain their position against 
the current — beard from the guard-boats, wiiich, 
at regular intervals, formed fines across the Missis- 
sippi, against various points of the city. Here and 
there, a light gleamed in the mass of dwellings 
along the margin of the river, or from the stern 
window of some armed vessel at anchor in the 
stream. 

At the mouth of a narrow canal, opening nearly 
opposite to the suburb Marigny, about a mile be- 
low the main body of the city, and communicat- 



84 LAFITTE. 

ing in the rear of the estate it intersected, with the 
ba3-ou which the outlaw and his party ascended 
from the island, about half an hour after night had 
wholly assumed her empire, lay a boat concealed 
in the deep shade of a large oak overhanging the 
entrance, its tendril-like branches nearly touching 
the water. In it sat four boatmen resting upon 
their oars, in the attitude of men prepared to use 
them at the slightest word of command. 

Against the tree, with his arms habitually folden 
upon his chest, thoughtfully leaned the pirate, di- 
vested of his cloak, and dressed in the ordinary garb 
of his men, from whom he was distinguished only 
by his superior height, erect figure, and the defe- 
rence shown to him by his companions. 

Upon a gnarled root of the tree, which the action 
of the water had laid bare, sat his companion en- 
gaged in watching the changing lights moving along 
the opposite shore, and listening to the challenges of 
the guard boats — his pulse occasional!}'- bounding 
wnth the wild spirit of adventure, as the danger 
attending their expedition occurred to his mind. 

Cudjoe was hanging- by his arms and feet, froni 
one of the drooping branches, as motionless as the 
limb which bore him. The air was still. Not a 
leaf moved, and the deep silence that reigned at the 
moment, was made more striking, by the reedy- 
toned ripple of the flowing water curling among 
the tips of the slender branches, as, borne down by 
the weight of the slave, they dipped in tho rolling 
flood. 

" Cudjoe, down sir !" said Lafltte,- suddenly ad- 
dressing the slave. 

The African dropped from the limb and stood by 
his master. 

" You swim, Cndjoe !" 

" Yes, Mas§a, Cudjoe swim like fis'." 



LAFITTE. 86 

" Do you see that first boat there, just under 
that brightest star in the range of those double 
lights ?" • 

" Yes, Massa." 

"It is one of the watch boats. There are but 
two men in it — go up the levee till you are about 
one hundred rods above the boat — then strike off 
into the river and let the current drift you against 
her bows. If you are cautious you will approach 
unperceived. Then get over the bows into the 
boat and master the men the best way you can — 
so you effect it without noise. But, slave, take no life. 
When you have captured the boat, scull it here !" 

" Yes, Massa," he replied, displaying his tusks 
with delight. 

" Go, then." 

The slave, with a stealthy step left the shadow 
of the tree, and glided along the levee until he was 
above the boat, when, from a projecting limb, he 
dropped himself noiselessly into the river ; his head 
in the obscure starlight as he swum, resembling the 
end of a buoy, or a shapeless block floating upon 
the water. 



Vol. TL— 8 



86 LAFITTE. 



CHAPTER 11. 



" Guard boats were stationed across the river ; the lamps were to be 
extinguished at nine o'clock at night, after which all persons found in 
the streets without a passport, were to be arrested as spies." 

*' Although a large reward was offered by the governor for the chief 
of the Barritarians, he frequently visited the city in disguise." 

Sketches of the last war. 



THE VOLUNTEERS— COLLOQUY INTERRUPTED — PRISONERS — 
THE CITY. 

The two men were sitting in the boat, engaged in 
social discourse, one with his face to the stern, 
the other fronting the bows, upon whose features 
the rays of the hght shone brightly. 

" But, Mr. Aughrim, in your opinion, what think 
these Englishers w^ould do willi't if they should, 
(which is a niighty"bad chance for 'em) take the old 
yallow fever city ?" said one of the oarsmen of the 
boat, gently rubbing with his palm the head of a 
carbine, whilst with the other hand he occasionally 
dipped his oar into the water, with just force enough 
to counteract the current. 

"Why you see, Tim, dear," rephed his compan- 
ion, " the ould counthry has her eye open, sure! and 
is not this the kay of Ameriky ; it's a kingdom 
they'll make of it at wanst — bad loock to the likes 
o' thim. Faix, its for faar o' that same Dennis Au- 
ghrim is this blissed night a 'listed sojer." 

" I reckon they'll feel a small touch of the alli- 
gator's tooth, and a kick from the old horse Ken- 



LAFITTE. 87 

tuck, afore they turn narry acre o' land in the States 
into a kingdom, come.'" 

" Troth, honey — bad loock to the likes o' my 
mimory;" said the Irish volunteer rubbing that in- 
tellectual organ, " sure I've heard that same big 
bog-trotter of a hoorse, mintioned — the omadhoun ! 
An' has he divil of an alligator's tooth in his beau- 
tiful mouth, Tim, dear — or is it ony a *figur o' 
spache' as ould father Muldoodthrew, pace to his 
mimory, used to say." 

" Look ! what is that ?" said his companion has- 
tily, pointing out a dark object floating on the water, 
towards which they pulled for a moment, and then 
again rested on their oars. 

" Nothin' my darlint," said Dennis, "but one of 
thim same Jewells that coom sailin' all the way from 
furrin parts, about the north pole. We'll kape our 
four eyes aboot us, sure, but divil a sthraw could 
dhrift by, widout Dennis Aughrim's seeing it wid 
his peepers shut." 

" Perhaps," said his companion speaking slowly, 
giving u-terance to the thoughts the inaniniale'object 
called up, " perhaps that old log has drifted by my 
door, and the old woman and little ones have looked 
at it, and thought how it was floating away down to 
Orleans, where daddy Tim is ;" and till it faded in 
the distance from his eyes, he gazed after the float- 
ing tree, which, even in his rude breast conjured up 
emotions, for a moment, carrying his, thoughts far 
back to the rude cabm and the little group he had 
left behind him, to go forth and fight the battles of 
his country. 

"Is it far, the childer and the ould 'ooman live, 
Masther Tim ?" inquired Dennis, chiming in with 
the feelings of his comrade. 

"It is in old Kentuck — Hark?" he said, as one 
guard boat challenged another which was rowiog 
across her bows. 



88 LAFITTE. 

" An' thin is there the likes o' sich a hoorse in 
your counthry ?" inquired the Irishman after a mo- 
ment's silence, " faix, it's exthraordinary." 

" And you never saw old Keniuck ?" said his 
companion, recovering at once, the low humour 
characteristic of his countrymen, " Well, he's a cau- 
tion ! He's about four hundred miles long from 
head to tail, and when he stands up, one foot is on 
the Mississippi and another on the Ohio, and his 
two fore legs rest on Tennessy and old Virgin.iy. 

" Thrue for you, indeed ! Maslher Tim ; but sure 
it's joking you are, Tim, dear," said Dennis in cre- 
dulous surprise. 

" Never a joke in the matter, paddy — he's a screa- 
mer I tell you. Why, his veins are bigger than any 
river in all Ireland, and he has swallowed whole 
flat boats and steamers ; and stranger, let me tell 
you, the boys aboard, never minded but what they 
were sailing on a river — only they said they thought 
the water looked a little reddish. Why it lakes a 
brush as large as all Frankfort, and that's a matter 
of some miles long, to rub him down, and every 
brustle is a pine tree. When he drinks you can 
wade across the Mississippi for a day after, just 
about there. He snorts louder than July thunder, 
and when he winks, it lightens — make him mad, and 
he'll blow like one of these here new fashioned 
steam boats. — " 

" Oh ! Holy mother ! The saints betune us and 
this omadhoun ! But it must take the mate and the 
praitees to feed him. Och hone !" 

" But this is not all, Dennis ;" continued his com- 
panion with humour, amused at the credulity of his 
fellow soldier; "his tail is like a big snake and as 
long as the Irish channel." 

"The Lord and the blessed St. Pathrick betwixt 
us and harm." 



LAFITTE. 89; 

" His back is covered with a shell of a snapping 
turtle, that you could put your island under. — " 

" Oh murther ! but may be it's no expinse the 
Prisident will be for a saddle. Lord ! Lord !" 

'' Not a bit, paddy ; nor a bridle either, for that 
matter," continued the Kentuckian with imperlu- 
ble gravity, while his companion, with incredulous 
and simple wonder, listened aghast; "his head is 
shaped like an alligators, with a double row of teelh 
and a large white tusk sticking out each side of his 
mouth.—" 

" Oh ! the Lord look down upon us ! there 
he is !" suddenly shrieked the Irishman, and 
fell senseless on the bottom of the boat. Before 
the Kentuckian could turn to see the cause of the 
alarm, the slave, whose hideous features seen 
over the bows, combined with his excited ima- 
gination, had terrified the simple Irishman, already 
inflamed by the recital of his comrade, sprung for- 
ward ; and he felt the iron clutch of Cudjoe's fingers, 
around his throat, and his arms pressed immoveably 
to his side. Until his captive grew black in the face, 
the slave kept his hold ; and when he found him in- 
capable of resistance, he seized the oars and pulled 
into the mouth of the canal, opposite which the 
boat had now drifted. 

" Done like Cudjoe," said his master, who had 
watched with interest, the success of his plan, as 
the boat touched the bank. 

^' Ha, slave ! did I not tell you to shed no blood ?" 
he added angrily, as his eye rested upon the pros-i 
trate forms of the boatmen. 

" Cudjoe no spill one drop," replied the slave ; 
^■' one sojer tinky me alligator, curse him ; he make 
one yell and den go to de debil, dead directly. Dis 
oder big sojer — he only little bit choke." 

" Take them out," he said to his crew, " and lay 
them on the bank." 

8* 



90 LAFITTE. 

In a few moments, the Kentuckian revived, and 
looked around him in moody silence. 

" You are a prisoner," said Lafitte. 

" And to the devil, I suppose, stranger," he said, 
looking at Cudjoe's ungainly figure. The next mo- 
ment a thought of his lonely family swelled his 
bosom, and a desire to escape suddenly inspired 
him. Leaping from the ground, while his captors 
thought him incapable of rising, he threw himself 
headlong into the river. In a few seconds, they 
heard the water agitated far below them by his 
athletic arms. He gained the shore on the lower 
side of the canal, beyond pursuit, and his recedmg 
footsteps were heard far down the levee. 

" Better he were free," said Lafitte ; " that mar^ 
would lose his life before he would betray the 
watch-word. But this looks like baser metal," he 
added, placing his foot upon the body of the Irish- 
man, who, after being deluged with a few caps full 
of the cold river water, revived. 

" Oh ! murther, murther !" he exclaimed, as a ge- 
nerous discharge nearly drowned him — " Oh ! the 
hoorse — the hoorse ! Och, murther me 1 It is kilt 
you are Dennis Aughrim ! Och, hone " 

" Up, sir, up, and slop that riowling," said Lafitte, 
"taking him by the collar, and lifting him as a less 
muscular man would a child, and placing him upon 
his feet — 

" What is the pass-word of the night ?" 
■ " The woord is't yer honor ?" said Deimis, his 
consciousness partially restoring — " and devil a bit 
did I know, how ever I coome here. Oh, the 
hoorse, and the alligathur !" he suddenly exclaimed, 
looking about him, as if he expected again to see 
the object of his fears — " and did yer honor pick 
me from the wather, where he dhragged me to de- 
voor mc. Oh ! holy St. Pathrick ! but it was a di- 
vil of a craather," 



1 



LAFITTE. 91 

" Back, Cudjoe," said Lafiite, as the slave was 
gradually creeping round to intercept his vision. 
" Give me the pass word of the night, soldier." 

" By dad, an' wid a heart an' a will would I 
obhge yer honor; the niither in heaven send bless- 
in' on blessin' on yer honor's head ; for savin' nne 
from droouin' ; but Tim, Tim is it wid de bit pa- 
per." 

' " No trifling man, or you will be worse off than 
in an alligator's jaws," replied his captor sternly. 

" ( )h, thin, dear, yer honor ! but I must spake it 
low," and standing on his toes, he whispered in the 
ear of Lafitte, the pass word of the night. 

" 'Tis as I thought," he exclaimed. " Now get 
into this boat and guide us up to the city; serve me 
faithfully, and you shall soon be free ; betray or de- 
ceive me, and you die." 

" Oh, blissed mither ! that Dennis Aughrim should 
be prisoner to the Inglishers ! and, poor craythur ! 
that he should lit them into the city, to make it a 
kingdom. Och, Dennis ! but you'll have to go 
back to ould Ireland ! xA.miriky is .no more to be 
the free counthry o' the world. Och, murther me ! 
that Dinnis's own milher's son should come to 
this !" he soliloquized, as he reluctantly stepped 
into the boat for the purpose of betraying his trust. 

Leaving orders for his men to remain in their 
concealment until his return, and be on the aleit 
against surprise, the buccaneer chief stepped into 
the guard-boat with Theodore and his slave. 

Taking an oar himself, and giving the other to 
his guide and prisoner^ he pushed boldly out from 
the bank, and confidently passed the line of boats, 
every challenge from them being answered by the 
familiar voice of the Irishman, as they passed with- 
in two or three oars' length of the line of guard- 
boats ; all but the chief and the guide lying in the 
bottom of the barge. 



92 LAFlTtE. 

In about half an hour after leavincr the shore, he 
shot into the inlet of canal Mariguay, and nearly 
under the guns of fort St. Charles. At this point 
were collected many other boats and fishing craft; 
and having passed the chain of guard-boats with 
security, he pulled along side of the levee, and in- 
to the midst of the boats, without attractmg obser- 
vation. 

Leaving the Irishman in the barge under the 
charge of Cudjoe, of whom he stood in mortal fear 
— the chief, accompanied by his companion, mount- 
ed the levee, and with an indifferent pace passed un- 
der the walls of the fort. As he walked forward, 
the esplanade in front of the city, was crowded, 
with citizens and soldiers, along which mounted 
officers were riding at speed, and detachments of 
soldiers moving swiftly and without music, down 
the road which wound along the banks of the river. 
At every corner he passed by guards posted there, 
and nearly every man he met was armed, and as 
the lamps shone upon their faces, he discovered that 
expectation of some important event dwelt thereon, 
giving a military sternnSife to their visages. 

The parade was nearly deserted except by citi- 
zens and soldiers, too old to bear arms i"n the field. 
Without being questioned or challenged by any one, 
for the hour of nine, when vigilance more thoroughly 
reigned throughout the guarded city, had not yet 
arrived. 

Turning from the levee and leaving the parade on 
his left, he passed up Rue St. Anne to Charles- 
street, without lifting his eyes to the cathedral, its 
dark lowers rising abruptly and gloomily against 
the sky, overtopping the government house and 
other massive public buildings around it. 

A soldier in the uniform of Lateau's coloured rei 
giment was pacing in front of the government-house 



LAFITTE. 93 

with his musket to his shoulder. Against the wall 
of the church, leaned a group of citizens and soldiers, 
all of whom, though apparently off duty, wore arms, 
and had the air of me'n who momently expected to 
be called into action. A neighbouring guard-house 
was full of soldiers smoking segars, burnishing their 
arms and discussing the great suhject of the ex- 
pected attack upon their city. Occasionally, a pri- 
vate or an officer in uniform hurried past on the 
trottoir, neither turning to the right or left, nor re- 
plying to the questions occasionally put to them by 
the inquisitive passers-by. 

" Soldier, is the governor in the city ?" inquired 
Lafitte, stopping as he met the guard. 

" You must be a stranger here, monsieur, to put 
such a question," said he, eyeing him suspiciously; 
*' next to her noble general, is he not the guardian 
of our city ?" 

" You say well, monsieur — he is then in the go- 
vernment-house V inquired the buccaneer. 

" Would you speak with the governor, seiior ;" 
said one of the soldiers stepping up. 

"I have important papers for him," answered 
Lafitte, looking at the man fixedly. 

"You will then find him at the quarters of the 
general in Faubourg Marigny — he rode by with his 
staff" not half an hour since," replied the man. 

" Thank you, monsieur," said Lafitte. 

As he spoke, the bell of the cathedral tolled nine, 
and the report of a heavy piece of artillery placed 
in front upon the parade, awoke the echoes of the 
city, warning every householder to extinguish his 
lights, and confining the inhabitants to their own 
dwellings. The foot of the loiterer hastened as the 
first note struck his ear, and a thousand rights at 
once disappeared from the windows of the dweU 
lings ; and before the sound of the last stroke of th^ 



94 LAFITTE. 

bell died away, ihe city became silent and dark. 
After that hour, until sunrise, with the exception of 
here and there one bearing about him a passport 
from the American chief, every one abroad was on 
the severe duty of a soldier. 

"You have the pass, monsieur?" inquired the 
soldier, whom he first addressed, extending his hand 
as the clock broke the stillness of the night. 

Lafitte gave the word which had passed him 
through the chain of boats. 

" Jt will not do, monsieur," replied the guard, 
" have you not a passport?" 

The soldier who had directed him where to find 
the governor whispered in his ear — " Pensacola." 

Lafitte starting, repeated the word to the guard; 
adding, " I gave you before by mistake, the word 
for the river." 

" It is well, monsieur," said the soldier, giving 
back, " pass with the youth." 

Lafitte and his companion turned and retraced 
their steps to the suburb, occupied by the com- 
mander-in-chief. 

As they were crossing Rue St. Phillipe, some 
one called the chief's name in a distinct whisper. 
He turned and distinguished the figure of the sol- 
dier who had given him the pass-word. 

" Ha ! is it you, Pedro ? I knew you then ! but 
how is this? Have you turned soldier?" 

"For a time, seiior captain — I must not starve." 

" Nor will you if you can find other man's meat," 
said Lafitte, laughingly. " I thought you had taken 
your prize money and gone to Havana." 

" No, seiior ; a pair of large black eyes and one 
small bag of five-frank pieces tempted me out of 
that." 

" That is, you are married !" 

" It is a sad truth, seiior, I am now captain of 



LAFITTE. 95 

a carbaret on Rue Royal, and my dame is first offi- 
cer. And master Theodore, how fare you, seiior," 
he saitJ, abruptly changing the subject and address- 
ing the youth. " It is many a month since I have 
seen your bright eye. Well, you are coming up to 
the tall man," continued the quondam pirate, curling 
his mnstachio and drawing up to the full attitude of 
his five feet one inch, uniil his eyes reached to the 
chin of the young buccaneer. " You will yet walk 
a deck bravely." 

"How did you recognize me so soon?" inquired 
Lafitte. 

" When you folded your arms, and threw your 
head up, in the way you have, while you spoke to 
the guard, I said to myself ' that's Captain Lafitte, 
or I'm no Benedict." 

" Well, your penetration has done me good ser- 
vice, Pedro." 

" Yes, seiior ; I wish you may always proRt as 
well by having your disguise penetrated. Your 
tall figure, and way of fixing your head, will betray, 
you more than once to-night, if you are on secret 
business, as I conjecture. A little stoop, and a low- 
er gait, like a padre, if such be the case, would be 
wisdom in you, as you walk the streets. You 
know the reward offered for your head, by the Go- 
vernor." 

" I know it, Pedro ; and you have no doubt seen 
my proclamation for lh6 g'overnor's, wherein I have 
done him much honour, vahiing his head five times 
at what he fixes mine," said he, laughingly. 

" And you are seeking him," exclaimed Pedro. 
" This is strange ; but it is like you, Captain La- 
fitte," he added, impressively. " There were six 
out of the seven standing with me, when you came 
up, who would have taken your life for a sous, if they 
could. Be careful, sefior ! but if you are in dan- 
ger, you will find many brave hearts and ready 



96 LAFITTE. 

hands even in this city, to aid you. If you would 
like a taste of Bordeaux or old claret of the true 
brand, I should be honoured to have you seek it in 
my humble carbaret. The wine, the carbaret — all I 
have, is at your service, seiior." 

^ All? good Benedictine," said his former Cap- 
tain, playfully, and with a stress upon the first word. 
*' But I'll come, if thirst drive me ; so, adieu, and 
thanks for your timely service to-night." 

" Adios, senor ; the saints prosper you !" said 
Pedro, taking leave of his chief, and returning to 
his comrades ; while Laiitte, with a firm and steady 
pace, proceeded to the quarters of the commanding 
general. 



LAFITTE. 97 



CHAPTER II. 



■** That a sentiment, baring for its object tbe surrender of the city, 
should be entertained by this body, was scarcely credible ; yet a few- 
days brought the certainty of it more fully to view, and showed that 
they were already devising plans to insure the safety of themselves 
and property. 

" In reference to these plans, a special committee of the legislature 
called to know of the commanding general what course he should pur- 
sue in relation to the city, should he be driven from his entrench- 
ments." Memoirs of the War. 



HEAD-QUARTERS— CAPITULATION OF THE SENATE— THE GOVERNOR 
AND HIS VISITOR. 



In the Faubourg Marigny, and not far from the 
canal of the same name, at the period of the war, 
stood a large dwelhng, constructed after that com- 
bination of the Spanish, or Moresque and French 
orders, peculiar to the edifices of this suburb of the 
Louisianian capital. 

It was two stories in height ; massive, with thick 
walls, stuccoed, originally white,^but now browned 
by the dust and smoke of many years. Heavy pi- 
lasters adorned the front, extending from the pave- 
ment to the cornice ; the roof was covered with 
red tiles, and nearly flat, surrounded by a brick bat- 
tlement. The street in which this edifice was si- 
tuated, fronted the river, and was principally com- 
posed of similar structures, many of which ap- 
proached close to the trottoir, while others were se- 
parated from the street by a paved parterre, filled 
Vol. IL— 9 



98 LAFITTE, 

with evergreens and numerous flowers, leaving a 
walk a few yards in length, to the dwelling. Two 
or three, including the one we are describings 
were situated still farther from the street, in the 
midst of a garden, with umbageous groves of 
orange, lemon, fig, and olive trees. 

To the house in question, led an avenue, border- 
ed by these trees, terminating upon the street, in a 
heavy gate-way. The gate was of solid oak, and 
placed between square pillars of brick, each sur- 
mounted by an eagle, his wings extended, in the 
act of rising from the column. The house, situa- 
ted about twenty yards from the gate, and fronting 
the levee and noble river beyond, upon whose bo- 
som rode many armed vessels, was square and ve- 
ry large, surrounded by ancient trees, which even 
at noon day defended it from the southern sun. 

The spacious entrance of the mansion, with its 
lofty folding leaves, or more properly gates, thrown 
open, w^ould freely admit the passage of a carriage. 
It gave admittance from the front into a lofty hall, 
paved, and without furniture, with doors leading 
into large rooms on either side, and terminating in a 
court in the rear, also paved, in the centre of Avhich 
spouted a fountain. The court was surrounded 
with a colonnade or a sort of cloister, and Vv^as fill- 
ed with plots of flowers and huge vases of plants, 
arranged with much taste by the proprietor in ma- 
ny picturesque and fantastic forms. 

About the hour of nine, on the evening with w^hich 
our story is connected, this dwelling presented a 
scene of warlike animation. Sentinels were posted 
in front ; officers arm in arm, were promenading in 
grave or lively discourse before the door — horses 
richly caparisoned for war were held by slaves in 
miUtary livery on the street in front of the mansion, 
where also a guard was posted in honor of the pre- 



LAFITTE. 99 

sent distinguished occupant. Citizens were occa- 
sionally passing in and out with busy faces, and 
hasty steps. 

Horsemen, with brows laden with care or weight}'- 
tidings, rode frequently up, and dismounting, threw 
the bridles of their foaming horses to those in wait- 
ing, and rapidly traversed the avenue to the house, 
while others, hurriedly coming out, mounted and 
spurred away at full speed. 

A door leading into one of the large rooms from 
the paved hall of the mansion, through which per- 
sons were constantly passing, displayed within, rich 
drapery, curtains, deep window recesses, alcoves 
for ottomans and various articles of furniture indi- 
cating the opulence of the citizen proprietor of the 
dwelling. Swords, richly-mounted pistols, plumes, 
belts, military gloves and caps were lying as they 
were hastily thrown down, about the room, upon 
ottomans, tables and chairs. 

Near the centre of the apartment drawn a little 
towards the fire place in which blazed a cheerful 
fire, necessary even in this southern clime to dissi- 
pate the damp and chill of the night, stood a large 
square table, surmounted by a shade lamp and cov- 
ered with papers, charts, open letters, plans of for- 
tifications, mathematical instruments, a beaver mil- 
itary hat without a plume, and an elegant small 
sword with its belt attached, which a tall, gentle- 
manly man, in the full dress of a raihtary chief, 
seated at the table, examining very intensely a 
large map of Louisiana, had just unbuckled and 
placed there. 

The rays -of the lamp failing obliquely upon his 
high forehead, over which the hair slightly sprinkled 
with gray, was arranged after the military fashion 
of the period, cast into deep shadow his eyes and 
the lower portion of his face. 

Raising his head from the chart for an instant to 



100 LAFITTE. 

address an officer standing on the opposite side of 
the table, his features in the bright glare of the lamp 
which shone full upon them, then became plainly 
visible. ' 

The contour of his face, now pale and thin, 
apparently from recent illness, was nearly oval. 
His age might be about fifty. His forehead was 
high and bold, with arched, and slightly projecting 
brows, bent, where they met, into a slight habitual 
frown, indicating a nervousness and irritability of 
temperament, qualified however by the benevolent 
expression about his mouth. 

His eyes were dark blue, sparkling when their 
possessor was animated, with a piercing lustre, and 
when highly excited, they became almost fiercely 
penetrating. His countenance was marked with 
resolution, firmness and intelligence. His smile 
was bland, his manners easy, and his address plea- 
sing if not winning, as he spoke to the officer op- 
posite to him. When erect, his height might be 
above six feet, commanding and military. His 
frame was rather slight, yet apparently muscular. 
Although his physical conformation seemed to dis- 
qualify him for the fatigues and arduous duties of 
the camp, yet, the bronzed cheek, the deep angu- 
lar lines in his face, and the field-worn, and military 
appearance , of the officer, showed, that with the 
hard details of a soldier's life he had long been fa- 
miliar. 

A gentleman in the dress of an American naval 
captain, much younger than the soldier, with a brown 
cheek, a frank air and manly features, leaned over 
his shoulder with his eyes fixed upon the chart, and 
occasionally making a remark, or replying to some 
question put in a quick, searching tone by the mili- 
tary chieftain. 

In the opposite or back part of the room, walked 
two gentlemen, both of much dignity of person and 



L AFITTE. 101 

manner; one of whom, by his dress, was an offi- 
cer in high command ; the other was only distin- 
guished from a citizen by the mihtary insignia of a 
small sword, buff gloves, which he held in his hand, 
and a military hat carried under his left arm. They 
were engaged in low but animated conversation, one 
of them often gesticulating with the energy of a 
Frenchman, which his aquiline features, lofty retrea- 
ting forehead, foreign air and accent, betrayed him to 
be. The citizen was graver, yet equally interested 
in the subject of conversation. The tones of his 
voice were firm, and there was a calm and quiet 
dignity in his language and manner, more impress- 
ive to an observer, than the gesticulative energy of 
his companion. 

In a recess of one of the windows, a group of 
young oflRcers stood engaged in low-toned, but ani- 
mated conversation ; while two or three of a graver 
age, promenaded the back part of the apartment 
conversing closely in suppressed voices upon sub- 
jects, which, from their manner, vi^ere of the (deepest 
import. ' 

Suddenly, a heavy, ringing tread was beard in the 
hall, and an officer of dragoons hastily entered, and 
without noticing the addresses, — 
" Ha ! colonel ! good evening." 
" What news, colonel ?" 

"Hot haste, ha ! yo" Mississippians do nothing 
by halves !" from several of the young officers who 
crowded round him, he approached the table where 
the geraeral officer was seated and communicated 
some information to him, which, from its instanta- 
neous effect, must have been of the most surprising 
nature. 

Starting from his chair, with his brow contracted, 
his eye flashing, and his cheek reddened with emo- 
tion, he exclaimed in a stern voice which rung 
through the apartment, 

9* 



102 LAFITTE. 

" Capitulate ! capitulate ! the legislature capit- 
ulate ! By the G — d of Heaven we will see to that ! 
— Where learned you this danaing treachery of our 
disaffected senate, colonel ?" he inquired, address- 
ing the officer, while his eye burned with rage. 

"But now, Sir; as I passed the Capitol, I 
heard it whispered among the crowd assembled 
before, the doors. Dismounting, I ascended to the 
outer gallery and found the house closed — yet — " 
" A secret conspiracy !" said the general, pacing 
the room in excitement — " go on !" 

"As I was about to descend, a member, M. Bu- 
fort, came out and told me they were at the moment 
agitating the subject of capitulation to the enemy, 
and making at once a proffer to surrender the city 
into their hands — " 

" The false, cowardly traitors !" exclaimed the 
commanding general incensed, and in a loud angry 
voice — " By heaven, they shall be blown up with 
their crazy old capitol to the skies. Governor," he 
said with readily assumed courtesy, turning to the 
gentleman in the blue dress of a citizen, " my im- 
mediate pressing duties will not allow me to go 
in person and wait on these traitors. To your ex- 
cellency I entrust the office. Take a sufficient 
force with you — closely watch their motions, and 
the moment a project of offering a capitulation to 
the enemy shall be fully disclosed — place a guard 
at the door and confine them to their chamber. If 
they will not take the field, they had better be 
blown up to the third heavens, than remain there to 
plot treason against the state." 

The governor accompanied by two or three of 
the young officers, immediately left the apartmeiit 
to execute the command. 

"My object in taking this step commodore," 
said the general, quietly resuming his examination 
of the chart as the governor.left the room, address- 



LAEITTE. 103 

ing the naval officer," is, that they may be able to 
proceed to their business without injury to the state ; 
now, whatever schemes they entertain will remain 
within themselves without the power of circulating 
to the prejudice of any other interest than their 
own. Like the serpent in the fable — if they will 
bite, they must fix their fangs in their own coils." 

The gentlemen who remained in the room, were 
gathered in a group near the door, conversing upon 
the conduct of the senate — and the general, having 
laid aside the chart, was engaged in affixing his 
signature to some papers lying before him, when a 
special committee from the legislative body was an- 
nounced. 

" Admit them !" said the chief somewhat stern 

Three gentlemen in the plain habiliments of citi- 
zens entered with some embarrassment ; originated 
perhaps, by the nature of their business. 

" Well, gentlemen ! '' said the general officer 
quickly, his brow clouding as he rose to receive 
them. 

One of the legislative committee advanced a step 
before the other gentlemen of the deputation and 
said with some degree of hesitation, 

" We are sent, sir, officially from the legislative 
assembly of this state, being ourselves members of 
that body, to ask of you — as commander in chief of 
the army, and to whom is entrusted the defence of 
our city — what course you have decided to pursue, 
should necessity drive you from your position." 

" If," replied the general, his eye kindling and 
his lip writhing with contempt, looking fixedly 
upon each individual of the deputation, as if he 
sought to make him feel his look — " if I thought the 
hair of my head could divine what I should do, I 
would cut it off. Go back with this answer ! Say to 
your honourable body, that if disaster does overtake 



104 LAFITTE. 

me and the fate of war drives, me from my line to 
the city, they may expect to have a very warm 
session! You have my answer," he added, resum- 
ing his occupation at the table, as he observed the 
committee made no movement to take leave. 

" Let me suggest o your honourable body, how- 
ever," he resumed ironically, raising his eyes as the 
deputation were leaving the room — " that it would 
better comport with the spirit of these stirring times, 
while the roar of artillery is pealing in their ears, 
if they should abandon their civil duties for the 
sterner and more useful labours of the field." 

" And what," inquired the naval officer in a low 
voice, as the deputaiion left the department, " and 
what do you design to do general, provided you are 
forced to retreat ?" 

" Fall back on the city — fire it — and fight the 
enemy amidst the surrounding flame! There are 
with me gentlemen of wealth, owners of property, 
who in such an event, will be amongst the fore- 
most to apply the torch to their own dwellings. 
The senate fears this — and it is to save their per- 
sonal property from the flames, that the members 
are willing to surrender the city to the enemy," he 
added indignantly. " And what they leave undone," 
he continued with anim.ation, rising from his chair 
and vehemently gesticulating with his hands, "I 
shall complete. Nothing for the maintenance of 
the enemy, shall be left in the rear. If necessary, I 
will destroy New Orleans to her foundations, oc- 
cupy a position above on the river, cut off all sup- 
plies, and in this way compel the enemy to depart 
from the coimlry." 

x\s he spoke, a messenger entered and handed 
him a sealed paper. Hastily breaking it open, he 
glanced over it with a quick eye. 

" To horse, young gentlemen," he said in a sharp 
tone, addressing the group of officers, rising and 



LAFITTE. 



105 



buckling on his sword ; and taking his cloak which 
lay on a chair beside him, he wrapped it closely 
about his tall form. 

" Well, commodore," he said addressing the na- 
val officer as he took up his cocked hat and gloves, 
"you will co-operate, as we have determined, with 
the land forces. Urgent busmess now calls me 
away ; I will communicate with you on my return." 

" General," he said, addressing the French-look- 
ing military officer, whom we have already intro- 
duced to the notice of the reader, " I shall be hon- 
oured with your attendance for an hour. The night 
dew will not hurt veterans like you and I, although 
it may derange, perhaps," he said pleasantly, " the 
mustachoes of the younger members of our staff." 

At this moment the governor returned, and after 
briefly stating to him the situation of affairs in rela- 
tion to the legislature, the general said, 

" I will return before eleven, your excellency. If 
you will do the honors of my household until then, 
we will take our leisure to look over this business 
the traitorous senators have thrust upon our hands 
— as if they were not already filled." 

Taking the arm of the Louisianian general, he 
then left the room ; and in a few seconds the sound 
of his horses feet, moving rapidly down the street 
from the gate, fell upon the ears of the governor, 
who was now left alone in the apartment. 

Approaching the table, as the last sound of the 
receding horsemen faded from his ear, he cast his 
eyes over the map recently occupying the atten- 
tion of the general ; and after tracing thought- 
fully with a pencil, a line from the mouth of the 
bayou Mezant on lake Borgne to the Mississippi, 
speaking audibly, he said, — 

"Here is the avenue Packenham seizes upon. 
It will conduct him close to the city. Well, let 
him come — he will be caught in the nets his own 



106 LAFITTE. 

policy spreads. But these papers from the secre*- 
tary of war ! I must look to them. This lynx-eyed 
general must be ably seconded. What noble Ro- 
mans are our senators !" he added, his thoughts re- 
verting to the commands of the general he had just 
seen executed. " They would fain capitulate before 
the enemy is in sight." 

He then, taking up a bundle of papers, seated 
himself by the table, the light falling upon his clear, 
intellectual forehead, and unfolding them, commen- 
ced reading with great attention, occasionally adding 
or striking out passages, and making brief notes in 
the margin. At length, having been several times 
interrupted by individuals desirous of seeing the 
chief, he closed the door, and gave orders to the 
sentinel to admit no one, unless on business with 
himself, and again became absorbed in the occupa- 
tion from which his attention had been so frequently 
called off. 

While thus engaged, and about half an hour after 
ihe departure of the general and his staff, the chal- 
lenge of the sentinel stationed before the front door, 
was followed by a low reply, and the heavy tread of 
a man in the hall. 

The door opened, and the governor lifting his 
eyes, beheld enter, a tall man in the dress of a sea- 
man, who deliberately turned the key in the door 
and approached him. 

The. act, the manner and the appearance of the 
bold intruder, surprised him, and starting from his 
chair, he demanded who he was, and the nature of 
his business. 

1'he stranger stood for a moment surveying him 
in silence, his full dark eye fixed penetratingly upon 
his features. 

" Sir," repeated the governor, after recovering 
from his surprise, "to what circumstance am I in- 
debtcd for the lionour of this visit?" 



LAFITTE. 107 

The stranger, without replying, drew from his 
breast a folded paper, and approaching, whilst the 
governor placed his hand upon his sword, laid it, 
without speaking, upon the table. 

He hastily opened and run his eye over it, and 
then glancing fronri the paper to the stranger, alter- 
nately several times, before he spoke, lie at last said 
while his brow changed: 

"What means this, sir? Tt is but the printed 
proclamation for llie head of that daring outlav/, La- 
fitte. Know you ought of him ?" 

The intruder advanced a step, and calmly folding 
his arms upon his breast and fixing his piercing eye 
upon him, said quietly and firmly — 
"He stands before you !" 

" Ha !" exclaimed the governor, starting back ; 
and seizing a pistol which lay near him, had just 
elevated his voice to alarm the guard, as he levelled 
the weapon, when Lafitte springing forward, grasp- 
ed it. 

" Hold, sir ! I mean v^ou no harm ! It is for 
your good I am here. If I desire revenge, I would 
not seek it beneath this roof, and thus place miyself 
in Your power. Put up that weapon, your excel- 
lency, and listen to me," he added respectfully. 

" Nay, if you have business with me communi- 
cate it, and let there be this distance between us." 
"As you desire, sir," replied the Barritarian. 
" Be seated, your excellency. I have received com- 
munications," continued the outlaw, as the governor 
somewhat assured, took a chair and motioned him 
to another, "from the British commander, that I 
would confide to you. I feel they are of impor- 
tance to our common country, which, although out- 
lawed, I love." 

"You are a strange man, captain Laiitte — to en- 
ter a city where thousands know you, with a re- 
ward hanging over your head; and then voluntarily 



108 LAFITTE. 

place yourself in the power of the executor of the 
laws you have violated; and on the pretence too, that 
you can serve the state, which you have passed your 
life in injuring ! How am I to understand you, sir? 
Shall I admire your intrepidity, or pity your dupli- 
city?" 

"Different language becomes our interview, mon- 
sieur governor. At no small risk and trouble have 
I undertaken this expedition. Fearlessly have I 
placed myself in your excellency's power, trusting 
that your sense of justice, would appreciate my con- 
fidence." 

" 1 do appreciate it, sir," replied the governor, 
after a moment's deliberative silence; "and what- 
ever, so that you do not forget yourself, may be the 
issue of this interview, which I warn you must be 
brief, for the general and his staff will soon return, 
I pledge you my word as a gentleman and governor 
of this state, that you shall go as free and as secret 
as you came. I respect your confidence, and will 
listen to what you have to communicate in reference 
to the public welfare." 

Lafitte then briefly related his interview with the 
British officer, stated and enlarged upon the over- 
lures so tempting to a band of proscribed men, who, 
weary of their precarious existence, might be desi- 
rous of embracing so favourable an opportunity of 
recovering an honourable attitude among men, by 
ranging themselves under the banners of a nation 
so powerful as the English. After stating his re- 
ception of the officers, and his expedient to obtain 
delay to communicate with his excellency, he con- 
tinued, 

" x\lthough a reward is suspended over my head 
— although I have been hunted down like a wild 
beast by my fellow citizens — although proscribed 
by the country of my adoption — I will never let 
pass an opportunity of serving her cause to the 



LAFITTE. 109 

shedding of my blood. I am willing to make some 
atonement for the violence done to your laws 
through my instrumentality. I desire to show you 
how much I love my country — how dear she is to 
me ! Of this my presence here, and these papers 
which I bear, are convincing proofs. A British offi- 
cer of high rank, whose name you will find append- 
ed to the papers I lay before you, has made me 
propositions to which few men would turn a deaf 
ear. Two of them are directed to me. One is a 
proclamation to the citizens of this state, and the 
fourth, admiral Percy's instructions to that officer 
in relation to his overtures to myself." 



Vol. II.— 10 



110 LAFITTE. 



CHAPTER IV. 



"Whilst preparations were making by Commodore Patterson for 
an. expedition against Barritaria, Governor Claiborne, received com- 
munications from that point, which were deemed of importance to the 
safety of the state. He therefore invited on the occasion the opinions 
of the officers of the navy, army, and militia, to w hom he communi- 
cated the letters of the British officers, which he had received from the 
Barritarian." 

Latour. 

" Lafitte and his band rejected the overtures of the English with in- 
dignation. These men saw no dishonour in enriching themselves by 
plunder, but they had a horror of treason." 

Maeboi's Louisiana. 

interview between lafitte and the governor — an adven- 
ture in the streets. 

After having placed the papers in the governors 
hands, Lafitte turned away and walked to the win- 
dow. 

" Indeed," exclaimed the governor, glancing over 
the papers, preparatory to a more thorough exami- 
nation, as he read audibly the several signatures. 
Then taking the letter of the British officer address- 
ed to Lafitte ; he read it aloud, commenting upon 
ever}^ few lines. 

" I call upon you with your brave followers to 
enter into the service of Great Britain in which you 
shall have the rank of caplain." 

" Indeed," said the governor, looking up at Lafitte 
with interest and surveying as his eye lingered over 
it for a moment, his commanding figure. " Lands," 
he continued, "will be given to you, all in proportion 



LAFITTE. Ill 

to your respective ranks in his majesty's colonies in 
America." (Ha, this is indeed counting the birds 
rather prematurely) he soliloquized. " Your pro- 
perty shall be guaranteed — your persons protected." 
" I herewith enclose you a copy of my procla- 
mation to the Louisianians, which will, I trust, point 
out to you the honourable intentions of my govern- 
ment." 

" Humph ! honourable ! It is nevertheless a fine 
round period." 

"You may be a useful assistant to me in forward- 
ing them : therefore, if you determine, lose no time. 
We have a powerful reinforcement on its way here. 
And I hope to cut out some other work for the 
Americans than oppressing the inhabitants of Lou- 
isiana." 

" Humph ! it is to be hoped so. — Well, this is a 
most praiseworthy document," said he, laying it 
aside, and again glancing at the pirate, who stood 
silently at the window, apparently gazing out upon 
the stars ; but his eye watched every expression of 
the governor's features. 

" Now, what says this scion of nobility, com- 
mander of his majesty's fleet," continued his excel- 
lency, opening a second paper. " This is to Captain 
Lockyer, and seems to be a letter of instructions :" 

" Su' — You are hereby required and directed, af- 
ter having received on board an officer belonging to 
the first battalion of royal colonial marines, to pro- 
ceed in his majesty's sloop under your command, 
without a moment's loss of time, for Barritaria. 
On your arrival at that place, you w^ill communicate 
with its chief, and urge him to throw himself upon 
the protection of Great Britain; and should you 
find the Barritarians inclined to pursue such a step, 
you will hold out to them that their property shall 
be secured to tiiem and that they shall be consider-, 
ed British subjects ; and at tl>e conclusion of the 



112 LAFITTE, 

war, lands within his majesty's colonies in Ame- 
rica" — (" yet to be won, worthy admiral," said the 
governor, in parenthesis,) — " will be allotted to 
them. Should you succeed completely in the ob- 
ject for which you are sent, you will concert mea- 
sures for the annoyance of the enemy as you judge 
best, having an eye to the junction of their small 
armed vessels with me, for a descent upon the 
coast." 

" So much for the son of Lord Beverly," said the 
governor, in a tone of irony. " These papers are 
growing in importance. What is this ?" 

" Proclamation, by Lieutenant-Colonel Edward 
Nicholls, commanding his Britannic majesty's forces 
in the Floridas." 

" This sounds well." 

"natives of LOUISIANA ! 

" On you the first call is made to assist in li- 
berating from a faithless, imbecile government " — 
(" Humph !") — " your paternal soil ! — Spaniards, 
Frenchmen, Italians, and British! — whether settled, 
or residing for a tim.e in Louisiana, on you, also, I 
call to aid me in this just cause. The American 
usurpation in this country must be abolished, and 
the lawful owners of the soil put in possession. 

" I am at the head of a large body of Indians !" 
(" Humph ! British valour ! British chivalry !") — 
" well armed, disciplined and commanded by Bri- 
tish officers. Be not alarmed, inhabitants of the 
countr}^, at our approach"— (" Jupiter tonens !") 
^—'' rest assured that these red men only burn 
with an ardent desire of satisfaction forlhc wrongs 
they have suffered from the Americans, to join 
you in liberating these southern provinces from 
their yoke, and drive them into those limits former- 
ly prescribed by my sovereign." 
" " Bah ! this has a tinge of the Eton fledgling !" 



LAFITTE. 113 

** The Indians have pledged themselves" — (" bless- 
ed pledge ! assuredly") — " in the most solemn mrai- 
ner not to injure in the slightest degree, the per- 
sons or properties of any but enemies to their Spa- 
nish or English fathers. A flag over any door, whe- 
ther Spanish, French, or British, will be a certain 
protection, nor dare any Indian put his foot on the 
threshold thereof, under penalty of death from his 
own countrymen. Not even an enemy will an In-^ 
dian put to death, except resisting in arms." 

" Well, verily, the rhodomantme Captain must 
have tamed his painted allies by some mode un- 
known to us. He thinks to conquer by proclama- 
tion. The gallant Lawrence should have taught him 
better. So he concludes" — " accept of my offers; 
every thing 1 have promised in this paper, I gua- 
rantee you on the sacred honour of a British offi- 
cer." 

" Given under my hand, at head-quarters." 

" These papers, Captain Lafitte, united with 
your verbal communications, are indeed important," 
said the governor, rising and approaching the out- 
law, with dignity and respect in his manner. 

" I do not wish to offend your feelings, sir; but. 
in the relation in which we stand to each other, I 
must have authority for acting upon the knowledge 
of their contents I possess. What other authority 
than your own word, have I that they are genuine ?" 

" My person, your excellency !" he replied, with 
firmness and unchanged features ; " I am your pri-. 
soner till you can ascertain from a more credible 
source, the genuineness of these letters, and the 
Uuth of my statements." 

" Captain Lafitte," said the Governor, struck 
with his manner, " I cannot do otherwise than place 
confidence in you. I believe you sincere. The 
letters themselves bear upon their face, also, the 
stamp of genuineness, I will call a council in the 



114 LAFITTE. 

morning of some of the principal officers of the na- 
vy, army, and militia, and, informing them how I 
obtained them, submit these letters to their opin- 
ions. 

" Captain Lafitte," he continued, in a more friend- 
ly tone, " 1 know not the motives which induced 
you all at once to adopt this honourable course. I 
am willing to ai tribute it to the best — a desire to re- 
gain your standing in society, to atone for your past 
violence to the offended laws of your country, and, 
to the patriotism of a good citizen. As the last I am 
willing to consider you. There is my hand, sir, in 
token of amity between us ! The proscription 
against you shall be revoked, and I shall feel proud 
to rank you hereafter among the defenders of our 
common country." 

Lafitte, moved by the language of the governor, 
replied, with emotion : 

" Again, your excellency, I feel my bosom glow 
with virtuous emotions. You do justice to my mo- 
tives, and I am grateful to you. This reception I 
had not anticipated when I determined to make you 
the repository of a secret, on which, perhaps, the 
tranquillity of the country depended ; but I knew 
that it was in the bosom of a just man, of a true 
American, endowed with all other qualities which 
give dignity to society, that 1 was placing this con- 
fidence, and depositing the interests of my country. 

"The point I occupy, is doubtless considered im- 
portant by the enemy. I have hitherto kept on the 
defensive, on my own responsibility. Now, sir, I 
offer my services to defend it for the state. If the 
enemy attach that importance to the possession of 
the place, they give me room to suspect they do, 
they may employ means above my strength. In that 
case, if you accept of my services, your intelligence 
and the degree of your confidence in mc, will sug- 
gest to you the propriety of strengthening the position 



LAFITTE. 115 

by your own troops. If yovjr excellency should de- 
cline my services, at least I beg you will assist me 
with your judicious council in this weighty affair." 

" I know not how to express the pleasure I expe- 
rience in recognising this extraordmary cliange in 
you, captain Lafiite," rephed the governor; his no- 
ble features beaming with benevolence and gratifica- 
tion. " So far as my influence extends 1 accept 
your services; but there must be a prehminary and 
indispensable step ! A pardon for all offences is 
first necessary, and this can be granted only by the 
president. Your disinterested and honourable con- 
duct shall be made known to the council in the 
morning, and if I can aid you in setting out in your 
new and high minded career, my services and coun- 
sels are cheerfully at your command." 

" You can do so, your excellency !" replied the. 
outlaw. 

"In what?" 

" In procuring my pardon from the President, and 
also that of my followers." 

" Cheerfully! I will at once, by the next post, re- 
commend you to the favour of the executive." 

" I thank you, sir !" s-aid Lafitte, and turned away 
with a full heart to conceal his emotion. 

The reception he had met with by the governor, 
whom he esteemed- — his ready wish to forget his 
offences — the prospect of returning to the w^orld, and 
of regaining his attiiude in society, came over him all 
at once with powerful effect. Then, prominent, and 
superior to all, the image of Constanza floated before 
his mind, and his bosom swelled with renewed be- 
ing. The wishes — the hopes — the prayers, of many 
days of penitence and remorse, were now about to 
be realized ! A career in the American army was 
open before him— fame, honour, and perhaps love, to 
reward him ; for, notwithstanding all the barriers 
surroundmg the young Castillian, he still cherished 



116 lafitte. 

a half-formed hope, that she might one day reward 
him with her heart. He could not think that a be- 
ing, who had exerted such an influence over an im- 
poitant period of his life, who had thus turned the 
current of his destinies, and by her gentle virtues 
led him to love virtue for her sake — should come 
and depart again, as angels visit earth, and never 
more lighten or influence his pilgrimage through the 
world. 

The governor remarked his emotion, and with 
ready delicacy divining the cause, turned once more 
his attention to the papers which he still held in 
his hand. 

'' Before I leave your excellency," said Lafitte, 
after a few moments silence — the silence of a heart 
too full for utterance — " I desire to learn something 
definite as to the course to be pursued with refe- 
rence to these disclosures." 

" I. have offered to defend for you that part of 
Louisiana I now hold. But not as an outlaw, would 
I be its defender ! In that confidence, with which 
you have inspired me, I offer to restore to the state 
many citizens, now under my command, who, in the 
eyes of your excellency, have perhaps forfeited that 
sacred title. I offer you them, however, such as 
you could wish to find them, ready to exert their 
utmost efforts in defence of their country. As I 
have remarked before, the point I occupy is of 
great importance in the present crisis. 1 tender not 
only my own services to defend it, but those of all 
I command, and the only reward I ask, is, that a 
stop be put to the proscription against me and my 
adherents, by ^ act of oblivion for all that has been 
done hitherto. I am, your excellency," and his 
voice betrayed emotion as he continued, " the stray 
sheep, wishing to return to the sheep-fold !* If you 
were thoroughly acquainted with the nature of my 

* Sec Latour's Memoirs of Louisiana : Appendix, page xiv. 



LAFITTE. 117 

offences, I should appear much less guilty, and still 
worthy to discharge the duties of a good citizen and 
an honest patriot. I nnight expatiate on the proofs 
of patriotism 1 have shown this evening, but I let 
the fact speak for itself. I beg you to submit to 
3^our council and to the executive what I have ad- 
vanced. The answer of your council I will await 
until to-morrow noon, when I will send for it, by 
one who will not be molested. Should it be unfa- 
vourable to my sincere prayers, I shall turn my 
back upon the dazzling offers of the British govern- 
ment, and for ever leave a soil, which, dearly as I 
love, I am thought unworthy to defend ! Thus will 
I avoid the imputation of having co-operated with 
the enemy, towards an invasion on this point I 
hold — which cannot fail to take place — and rest se- 
cure in the acquittal of my own conscience." 

" My dear sir," said the governor with undis- 
guised admiration of his sentiments ; " your praise- 
worthy wishes shall be laid before the gentlemen 
whose opinions and councils I shall invite early to- 
morrow, to aid me in this important affair. Your 
messenger shall receive an answer by noon. Twill 
also confer upon the subject, with the commanding 
general on his return. Perhaps your pardon," he 
added hesitatingly, " may rest upon a condition. I 
have thought of proposing to the council, that your 
own, and the services of your adherents be accepted 
to join the standard of the United States; and, if your 
conduct, .meet the approbation of the general com- 
manding, I will assure vou of his co-operation with 
me, in a request to the President, to extend to all 
engaged, a free and full pardon." 

'* With these conditions, I most willingly com- 
ply !" said Lafitte. " I must now leave you sir, 
but," he added, laying his hand upon his heart, 
*' with sentiments of permanent gratitude !" 

'^ Have you the pass-word of the night, Captain 



il8 lafitte. 

Lafitle?" inquired the governor, turning to the table. 

"I have, your excellency." 

" Farewell tlien, sir ! I am your friend. When 
we meet again, 1 trust it will be in the ranks of the 
American army ;" said the governor smiling, and 
extendmg his hand to the chief. 

Lafitte seized, and grasping it warmly, pressed it 
to his lips, and precipitately left the room. 

Passing through the hall, he was re-joined by- 
Theodore, with whom he left ihe mansion, and after 
replying to the cfiallenge of the sentinel at the gate, 
the two passed at a rapid pace down the street. 

The moon was just rising, and they had been 
walking but a few minutes, when a clattering of 
horses' hoofs and the ringincr of arms were heard at ' 
the extremity of one of the long streets, intersectmg- 
that, they were traversing, and in a few moments, 
w^ith nodding plumes, ringing swords, and jing- 
ling spurs, the general in chief with his staff, and 
followed by two or three mounted citizens, turned 
the angle of the street, and dashed past them down 
the road to his head quarters. 

The outlaw and his companion had nearly gained 
their boat, and were walking in the shadow of 
fort St. Charles, along the canal, where it was 
secured, having met no one but the horsemen, and 
occasionally, a guard who challenged and allowed 
them to pass, since they had left the house, when 
their attention was attracted by a figure gliding 
along the side of the canal Marigny, and evidently 
isceking to escape observation. 

They drew back v»'ithin the shadow of a building 
on the banks, when the figure passed them, almost 
crawling upon the ground. Avoiding the street, im- 
mediately afterward, he dropped without noise into 
the water, swum to the side where they stood, and 
cautiously ascending the levee or bank, paused ^ 
moment and peered over the lop. 



LAFITTE. 119 

Apparently satisfied that he was unobserved, he 
then crept along to the side of the fort and lingering 
a mon:ient, disappeared around the angle, leaving a 
paper affixed to the wall. 

" Here is mischief brewing." said Lafitte — " Did 
you observe that fellow closely Theodore ?" 

" Yes, I thought at first ii was Cudjoe." 

" No — no — he is too tall for him" — "we will see 
what he has been at." 

Followed by Theodore, he left the canal and ad- 
vanced, until he stood under the walls of the fort. 

"It is too dark to read in this pale moon ; we 
will take the paper to the light," he said passing 
round the fort, to a lamp burning in the gate-way, 
and over the head of a sentinel posted there. 

" Ho, who goes there ?" — he challenged as they 
approached. Answering the challenge, Lafitte 
added ; 

" Here, guard, is a paper, but now stuck upon the 
wall of your fort by a skulkiijg slave, who just dis- 
appeared among yonder china trees — I fear it 
bodes mischief iji these perilous times !" and as he 
spoke, he held up the placard to the light. On it 
w^as printed in large letters both in French and 
Spanish, 

" louisianians ! remain quiet in your houses ; your slaves 
shall be preserved to you, and your property respected. 
We make war only agaixst Americans." 

" Well, this is most politic — ' said Lafitte,' our 
enemy fights with printed proclamations, signed too 
by admiral Cochrane and major general Keane ! 
Preserve slaves! These Englishmen have shone me 
what reliance is to be placed on their promise to 
preserve slaves to their masters. Did they not by 
their insurrection, expect lo conquer Louisiana ?" 

The soldier who heard hitn read the placard, was 
about to call for two or three comrades within the 



1 20 LAFITTE. 

guard room, to pursue and arrest the black, when 
Lafitte interrupted him. 

" Hold, my good man ! I know his figure, and the 
way he has taken. I will pursue him !" and adding 
to Theodore " now we will show our attachment to 
the cause we have embraced," followed the slave. 
In a few moments, after passing two other pla- 
cards, which Theodore tore down, they saw him 
— his form hardly distinguishable among the trunks 
of the trees — apparently engaged in affixing anoth- 
er of the proclamations to a limb. They cautiously 
approached, when the negro discovering them, 
and supposing himself unseen, drew himself up 
into the tree to escape detection as they passed 
by. But this action was delected ; and Lafitte 
walking rapidly forward, before he could conceal 
himself, caught him by one of his feet." 

" The negro drew a long knife and would have 
plunged it into the arm of his captor, over whose 
head it gleamed as he raised it for the blow, had 
he not caught his hand, and hurled him with violence 
to the ground. 

" Oh mossee beg a mercy mossee, pauvre negre — 
nigger gibbee all up," he cried rolling upon the 
ground in pain. Lafitte grasped him by the arm 
and drew from his breast a large bundle of placards. 
*' Who gave these to you slave ?" 

*'Moj;see dc English ossifer." 

" Where is he V'^ 

"Down by mossee Laronde's plantation; he tellee 
me stick um up in de city ; dey stick um up all 'long 
on de fence down de Levee mossee. Now mossee, 
good, sweet, kind mossee, letlee poor negre go, he 
hab tell mossee all de libbing Irufh." 

"You must go with me," replied his captor, 
heedless of the chattering and the prayers of the 
slave ; and leading him by the arm, he returned and 
delivered him to the guard at the fort. 



LAFITTE. 121 

" Take him to the governor in the morning," be 
said to him as he called some of his comrades to 
receive him. 

" Thank you Monsieur," said the guard, as La- 
fitte turned -ftway. " You are a good patriot. I 
would all the citizens were like you. Will you 
take wine ?" 

" No, Monsieur." 

"Who, shall I tell the governor, has taken this 
prisoner?" 

He wrote the word " Lafitte,^ with a pencil 
upon one of the bills, and folding it up, handed it to 
him ; and before the guard could decipher it, he had 
disappeared below the levee._ Springing into his boat, 
he waked the Irishman, who had fallen asleep, and 
sought once more, through the chain of guard-boats, 
the barge he had left secreted at the mouth of the 
artificial inlet to the bayou. Then releasing his 
Irish prisoner, with a warning to be less afraid of 
alligators, and to keep better watch when on post, 
he entered his own boat ; and before the break of 
day, was again concealed among the huts of the 
fishermen, which he had left earl}^ on the precedijig 
evening. 



A^OL. II.— 11 



122 LAFITTE. 



CHAPTER V. 



"The genuineness of the letters was questioned by the council con^ 
vened by the governor ; and they advised him to hold no communica- 
tion with the Barritarians. Major General Villere alone dissented 
from the general decision. This officer, as well as the governor, who, 
presiding in council, could not give his opinion, was well satisfied as to 
the authenticity of the letters and the sincerity of the Barritarian out- 
law The expedition against the island was hastened, and soon sailed 
under the command of Commodore Patterson. Latour. 



im:cision of the council— its reception by lapitte— his 
destination — a storm. 



The decision of the council, convened by the Go- 
vernor of Louisiana, in the executive department of 
the government house the following morning, for 
the purpose of laying before it the letters of the 
British officers, and consulting with them respecting 
the offers of the outlaw, is recorded in the history 
of that period. 

After communicating the information contained 
in the letters, and stating the manner in which they 
had fallen into his hands, and his reasons for belie- 
ving them genuine, the governor submitted for their 
consideration, two questions. 

" Is it your opinion, gentlemen, that these letters 
are genuine ? and — is it proper, as governor of this 
state, that I should hold intercourse, or enter into 
any official correspondence with the Barritarian out- 
law and his associates ?" 

After a warm discussion, an answer was returned 



LAFITTE. 123 

in the negative, and with but one exception, unani- 
mously. 

Major General Viliero stood alone in the affirma- 
tive. 

This gentleman, as wrell as Governor Claiborne, 
who, president of the council, was disqualified from 
giving his opinion, was not only convinced of the 
authenticity of the papers brought by Lafitte, but be- 
lieved ho raid his adherents might be so employed 
at the present crisis, as greatly to contribute to the 
safety of the state, and the annoyance of the enemy. 

With this impolitic decision, which time showed 
to be unjust and premature, the council broke up. 
So far indeed, were they from placing confidence 
in Lafitte, that they suggested to a naval officer 
forming one of the council, whom we have be- 
fore introduced to the reader, who had been for sev- 
eral days fitting out a flotilla destined for the island 
of Barritaria — a descent upon which, having been 
some months in contemplation — th« propriety of 
hastening his preparations for the expedition. 

Proceeding from the council chamber to his ves- 
sel, the commodore found he could immediately get 
under weigh. The same evening, therefore, taking 
with him a detachment of infantry, he gave the sig- 
nal for sailing, and moved down the river towards 
;the destined point of attack. 

About noon, the Barritarian chief, ignorant of the 
proceedings in which he was so deeply interested, 
sent Theodore to the city, for the purpose of recei- 
ving the reply of the governor. 

" Well, Theodore, what news ?" inquired he, 
standing in the door of one of the rude fishermen's 
huts, as the boat, which had conveyed the youth, ap- 
peared in sight from the concealment of the narrow 
banks of the creek, lined with tall grass and cypres- 
ses which, stretching across from either side nearly 
met over the water ;" Saw you the governor ?" 



124 LAFITTE. 

" I. did, Ffionsieur, and a gentleman of noble pre- 
sence he is," replied Theodore with animation; "he 
spoke of you in such terms, that I could not but 
like him." 

" But what said he ?" interrogated the chief anx- 
iously, springing into the barge by tlie side of the 
youth, " Heard you the decision of the council ?" 

" Here is a note for you, whicli he gave me." 

He seized it and read hurriedly — 

" M. Lafilte must regret equally with myself, the 
decision of the council. It is against your sincerity 
and the genuineness of the letters. General Villere 
alone, was of my opinion, of which you are already 
informed. Be patient, dear sir — take no rash steps. 
I have unlimited confidence in you. I will consult 
with the commanding general at the earliest con- 
venience — remain firm, and your wishes may yet 
be achieved. You could not have shown your sin- 
cerity better, than in apprehending the slave las6 
night. This seal of good faith shall be remembered^ 
and will materially advance your suit." 

" Is this the way my proffers are received ?"said 
Lafitte fiercely, with a deep execration, crushing the 
note in his clenched hand, while his face grew livid 
with passion and disappointment ; "Is it thus I am 
treated — my feelings trifled with — my word doubt- 
ed — myself scorned — despised ! If they will not 
have my aid, their invaders shall," he shouted. " To 
youT oars, men — to your oars !" he said, turning to 
his boat's crew. " We must see Barritaria to-night 
, — ^I have work for all of you." 

"And for]me too, ugh ?" said inquiringly, a tall, gray- 
headed and dark-visaged Indian, arrayed in loose fish- 
erman's trowsers, his head and neck passed through 
the aperture of a gaily-dyed Spanish ponto, coming 



LAFITTE. 125 

iorth from the hut, and standing as he spoke, sup- 
ported by a boat-hook, on the verge of the bank.' 

" Yes, Chitahisa, but not with me. You are 
better here. I will soon find you other fish to 
•catch. Mark me Chitalusa," said the pirate, hoarse- 
ly, in the ear of the Indian — " before New- Year's 
eye, you will find a red snake, with scales of steel, 
and more dangerous than the green serpent of your 
tribe, with ten thousand human feet beneath his 
belly, winding up this bayou, past your hut." 

" Ugh ! me un'stan','' said the Indian, his eyes 
sparklmg with pleasure, but whether malignant, or 
a mere expression of dehght, it was difficult to de- 
termine. 

" Then wait here, under cover, till you see it, and 
I will then find work for you, chief," said Lafitte, 
springing into the boat and seating himself in si- 
lence. 

As the men plied their oars, and moved swiftly 
down the bayou, the Indian, who was the last of 
his name and race — with whom would expire the 
proud appellation, centuries before recognised among 
other tribes, as the synonyme for intelligence, civi- 
lization, and courage — The Natchez ! The inju- 
red, persecuted, slaughtered, and unavenged Natch- 
ez — the Grecians of the aboriginal nations of North 
America ! The eloquent language of a native poet, 
with truth and feeling, might have flowed from the 
lips of the old exile — exile, on the very lands over 
which his fathers reigned kings — now doomed to 
seek a precarious existence, among the Spanish 
fishermen of the lakes, wilder, ruder even than him- 
self: 

" They waste us : aye like April snows, 
In the warm noon we melt away; 
And fast they follow as we go, 
Towards the setting day — 
Till they shall fill the land, and we 
Be driven into the western sea." 



126 LAFITTE, 

As the boat receded, he muttered, " Ugh ! de 
snake! Chitalusa know! me know too much. — 
Him link Indian bad as him. Me let he see me no 
bad. Me let no red snake — Inglish snake, ugh ! 
come here ! Me no will." 

At once a new thought flashed upon his mind, 
and entering his hut, he armed himself with a rifle, 
took his paddle from its beckets over the door, 
launched his canoe, and jumping into it, paddled 
rapidly in the direction opposite to that taken by 
Lafitte, and tow^ards the artificial outlet of the ba- 
you, into the Mississippi. 

For several hours, the oarsmen rowed with that 
heavy, regular movement of the sweeps, which is al- 
most mechanical to the thorough bred seamen. 
No sound but the regular dipping of the four oars 
and the low rattling as they played in the row- 
locks, ,the occasional splash of an alligator, as he 
sought concealment beneath the surface of the wa- 
ter, or the heavy flapping of the wings, and shrill 
cry, of some disturbed heron or other water bird, 
broke the silence of the wild region through which 
they moved. The barge all at once emerged from 
the narrow and gloomy pass which it had been 
threading during tlie afternoon, into a broader sheet 
of water, and at the same moment, the setting sun 
shone bright upon the summit of " The Temple,'' 
which stood on an angle at the intersection of three 
bayous, two of which led by various routes into the 
bay of Barritaria ; the third, w^as that which they 
had just descended. " 

Lafitte sat in the stern of the boat, with his 
arms folded and his head dropped despondingly up- 
on his breast, an attitude he insensibly fell into 
after the first burst of passion, elicited by the result 
of his application, had passed away. 

His better resolves held again their influence 
over him ; his anger and resentment, by degrees 



LAFITTE. 127 

subsided, and he had come to the determination to 
exile himself, disband his followers, and depart 
for ever from that country he was thought too base 
to serve. 

" I have won the confidence, and I believe the 
respect, of one honourable man. This, at least, 
will I endeavour to retain," he said, abruptly address- 
ing Theodore. " He has said he will counsel with 
the general in chief. I place my cause, then, in 
the hands of a brave man. Suppose I see him my- 
self? Ha ! that will do— I will ! England," he 
cried, with energy, " thou hast not made me a re- 
negade yet! nor," he added mentally, "will you, 
Constanza, find me recreant to my pledged faith. 
1 will not let the prejudiced decisions of a few men, 
thus turn me from the straight-forward path I have 
chosen. Impulsive they call me. — Well, impulse 
shall be bridled, and I will henceforward lead her 
— not she, me." 

" Ship your oars, men !" he added aloud, as they 
came to a little inlet, at the foot of a mound, just 
large enough to contain the boat. 

" The dripping oars rose simultaneously into the 
air, and were then laid lengthways upon the thwarts. 
Cudjoe sprang out, as the bows touched the bank, 
and secured the boat to a tree. Lafitte, warn- 
ing his men not to go far away, accompanied by 
Theodore, stepped on shore, and ascended one of 
those mounds of shells thrown up by the Indians, 
long before the earliest era of American history, 
filled with human bones, and evidently designed, 
either as religious, or funereal monuments. From 
the prevalence of the former opinion, this congre- 
gation of mounds where our party stopped, has 
been denominated " The Temple." On the highest 
of them, according to the tradition of the country? 
the idolatrous worshippers preserved burning, a 
perpetual fire. Some attempts at one period, had 



128 LIFITTE. 

been made to fortify it, traces of which still ex- 
isted. 

" If I was superstitious," said Theodore, as, 
emerging from the trees near the margin of the ba- 
you, they came in full view of the largest mound, 
" I should believe that the sun — which it is said the 
Indians worshipped — in reproof of our unbelief of his 
divinity, and detestation to the truth of their religion, 
has kindled a flame upon the summit of the Temple." 

Lafitte looked up, and saw that an appearance 
like fire rested upon its top — the reflection of a lin- 
gering, light red sunbeam shot from the lurid sun, 
then angrily disappearing in the west. 

*' There is poetry, if not truth, in your language, 
Theodore !" replied the chief, his spirit soothed by 
the mild influence of the hour. " How beautiful 
the theory of their religion ! Worshippers of that 
element, which is the purifier of all things ! Next 
to the invisible God — whom they knew not — in 
their child-like ignorance, and with the touching 
poetry, which seems to have been the soul of the 
simple Indian's nature, they sought out that, alone, 
of all His works, which most gloriously manifested 
Himself to his created intelhgences. They bowed 
their faces to the earth, at his rising and setting, 
and worshipped the bright sun, as their Creator, 
Preserver, and God ! Author of light and heat, of 
time and seasons — visible, yet unapproachable ! — 
What more appropriate object could they have cho- 
sen as the corner stone upon which- to raise a su- 
perstructure of natural religion ? For it is our na- 
ture, Theodore, to be religious ! All men, and all 
races of men, have always been worshippers, either 
of truth or falsehood ! Does not this choice alone 
prove, that, if heathens, they approached nearer to 
true religion, in their worship, than all other nations 
ignorant of divine revelation ? Does it not show 
the dignity and refmement of the Indian's mind — 



LAFITTE. 129 

the poetry of his heart — the purity of his imagina- 
tion ? On their altars burned a perpetual fire ! 
What a beautiful representation of their divinity ! 
How infinitely is this pure emblem above the stocks 
and stones of the civilized idolaters of old Greece 
and Rome ! How etherial and elevated the con- 
ceptions of such a people ! Yet we call them bar- 
barians — savages — brutes ! If they are brutes, we 
have made them so. The vices of the Europeans, 
like a moral leprosy, have diseased their minds, and 
blackened their hearts ! If they are degraded, we 
have debased them ! If they are polluted, we have 
laid our hand upon them ! — Ha !" he said quickly, 
" yonder sun-beam glows on that bush like fire. It 
is a flame, indeed ! Your idea, my Theodore, was 
very beautiful ! But were it not better and more 
in unison with our fortunes, my boy ! to regard it 
as a beacon, lighting us to fame ; a bright omen of 
good ! — Go up the mound, and see if you can dis- 
cover any thing moving in either bayou. I shall 
give the men an hoar's rest, and then start again." 

He stopped on a small mound they had just as- 
cended, and leaning against a cypress tree, crowning 
its summit, he soon became wrapped in reflections 
upon the presented crisis of his life and the proba- 
ble issue of his plans. 

Presently, his eye was arrested by a white object, 
dimiy seen in the twilight, rolling along on the 
ground near his feet. It was round, and at every 
turn displayed the eyeless sockets and hideous grin 
of a skull. ■ He gazed upon it with surprise, but did 
not move; and a fascination seemed to chain him to 
the spot, and fasten his eyes upon the loathsome 
object. 

It came nearer and nearer, and now struck with 
a hollow sound against his foot. He was about to 
spring from the fearful contact, when the head and 
claws of a crab were protruded from the cavities, as 



1 30 LAFITTE. 

if to ascertain and remove the obstacle to its ad- 
vancement. 

With a smile of derision at this humiliation of 
his species, as he discovered the cause of this 
strange locomotion, he raised the skull with its 
inmate, and gazed on it for a moment, with a lip, in 
which bitterness was mingled with contempt. 

"And this is man! the image of God! the tene- 
ment of immortal mind I Poor crab, thou knowest 
not what kingly throne thou hast usurped ! Well, 
why not a crab as well as brain ! The skull can walk 
the earth full as well, and to as good a purpose ! 
And is this our end !" he added, "to become thus 
at last ! — a habitation for reptiles ! And shall I too 
come to this ? Shall this head, which now throbs 
with life," and he raised his hand to his temples, 
" which can think — plan — originate — at last be no 
more than this ? — so helpless as to be borne about 
by such a creeping thing ! Where is that conscious 
something, which once supplied this crab's place ? 
Who has displaced it ? Death ! Death ? — and what 
is death ? — Methinks it were better to be like this 
glaring ball, than to be as [ am ! Here," he con- 
tinued placing his hand upon it, " here is no sense 
.of passing events ; of joy or suffering; of treachery 
or friendship ; of despair or ambition ; of praise or 
insult. See — I can place my foot upon it, and it 
rises not against me to avenge the insult ! Happy, 
happy nothingness! But is it nothingness? Although 
the mind lives not in this glaring shell, which, with- 
out tongue, discourses most eloquently to the living 
— may it not exist somewhere ? Here 1 see it not ! 
It is perceptible to no sense ! Yet reason — hope — 
fear, tell me it is not extinct. Heaven never made 
man for such an end as this ! There must be 
deeper purpose than we can fathom — a cause re- 
moter than we can reach, why we were made ! 
Eternity ! eternity ! — thou art no bug-bear to frighten 



LAFITTE. 131 

children with. I feel — would to God I felt it not' 
that thou art a stern and fearful reality. 

"Well, my boy, saw you aught?" he inquired 
hastily, resuming his usual tone and manner as the 
youth appeared. 

" No, xMonsieur — the night thickens so fast, that 
it is impossible to see far down the bayous — I think 
we shall have a storm." 

" There is no doubt of it, if the heavens speak 
truly," said Lafitte, gazing upon masses of black 
clouds drifting low above their heads, increasing in 
density and blackness every moment, and gathering 
to a head with that rapidity, characteristic of storms 
in that climate. 

" Theodore, tell the men to spread the tarpaulin 
over the boat for a shelter from the rain." 

The youth communicated the order, and was re- 
turning, when a flash of lightning, accompanied by 
a peal of thunder, loud and abrupt, like the near 
explosion of artillery, gleamed like flame through the 
woods, and rove to the roots the cypress against 
which the chief leaned, with the skull still extended 
in his hand, upon which — resuming his reflections as 
the youth left him to execute his order, he still 
mused — and laid him prostrate and as senseless as 
the shell he held, upon the ground. With an ex- 
clamation, of surprise and terror, Theodore sprung 
forward, and kneeling by his side, called loudly upon 
the crew to aid in resuscitating hin]. They bore 
him to the boat, and the youth, at the moment re- 
collecting the hut of a fisherman, situated about a 
mile below the Temple, ordered the men to resume 
their oars and pull to that place. 



132 LAFITTE. 



-/ 



CHAPTER VI. 



" The government of the State, informed of the proceedings of the 
British at Barritaria, and doubtful of the good faith of the outlaws, 
fitted out a flotilla, viith great despatch. The pirates prepared for re- 
sistance ; hut finally abandoned their vessels, and dispersed. Their 
store-houses, fortress, vessels, and a considerable booty, fell into the 
povi-er of the Americans. Lafitte, who escaped, proposed to surren- 
der himself to Governor Claiborne, and his confidence appeared to 
i-equire that indulgence should be shown to him and his party." 

Marboi's History of Louisiana. 



FISHERMAN — ILLNESS — CANNONADING — APPROACH THE ISLAND — 
[the outlaw's reply to the ENGLISH OFFICER. 

With the head of his friend and benefactor up- 
on his lap, and in great agitation of mind, the youth 
guided the boat through the bayou, his course Hght- 
ed by the hghtning, which now became incessant. 

" Ho, the boat !" shouted a voice from the bank, 
as a flash of ho;htnino; showed them the fisherman's 
cot, in a bend of the bayou. 

" Grand Torre !'^ rephed Theodore. 

" Grand Terre it is," answered the man ; who 
now came from behind the tree, with an English 
musket in his hand, an old canvass cap on his head, 
covered with signs of the cross, done in red and 
black paint — a blue woollen shirt, and a pair of duck 
trowsers, cut off at the knee, leaving the portion of 
his legs below it bare. His head was gray and 
.bushy, and an opulence of grisly beard and whis- 
kers encircled his tawny face, which was marked 
witli arched brows and lan:ibent dark eyes — a sharp 



LAFITTE* 133 

aquiline nose, small moulh, and thin lips, display- 
ing when parted, a row of even and very white 
teeth, v^'hich see«ied to bid defiance to the ravages 
of time ! *^,,. 

*' Where is the Captain ?" he inquired. 

" Senseless, from a stroke of lightning!" replied 
the youth ; " we must claim your hospitality, Man- 
uelillo." 

" Pobre capitan ! with all my heart. Bring him 
into the cot, hombres," he said to the men. "Po- 
bre capitan — es mateo— no ? Seiior Theodore ?" 

" No ! there is life, but he is insensible." 

In a short time, the chief was laid upon the rude 
bed of dried grass and rushes, constituting the 
couch of the fisherman, who, in addition to his pis- 
cal profession, was also a privateersman or smug- 
gler, as interest prompted, or taste allured. 

Slowly yielding to their exertions and skill, the 
stagnant life once more received action, and he re- 
turned to consciousness. In the morning, a fever 
succeeded, which increased in violence during the 
day. That night he became delirious, and wildly 
raved like a maniac- — calling on *' Constanza," 
" D'Oyley," " Henri," " Gertrude," — names often on 
his burning lips, during his illness. For five days, 
his fever and delirium continued, without abate- 
ment. His disorder, then assuuied a more favour- 
able character, and he began rapidly to conva- 
lesce. 

On the seventh day, just before noon, he was 
seated at the door of the hut, under the shade of a 
tree, which grew in front, giving orders to his boat- 
men, who were preparing the barge for departure 
that evening, when a heavy cannonading reached 
his ears, borne upon the south wind over the level 
country, froiii the quarter of Barritaria, which was 
about twenty miles distant, 

" Do you hear that, sir ?" said Theodore, from 
Vol. II.— 12 



134 LAFITTE. 

within the hut — who, during his ilhiess, had watch- 
ed over him with untiring assiduity and tenderness. 

" What means it, Manuel ?" demanded the chief, 
starting. 

" I don't know, senor ; there must be some fight- 
ing between your vessels and the cruisers." 

" 1 suspect as much. Quick, with that boat, 
men !" he added, with animation. " We must away 
from this." 

With a strength unlocked for, he stepped into the 
boat, after grasping warmly the hand of the old 
fisherman, and thanking him for his attention and 
kindness, and was soon swiftly moving on his way 
to the island. 

As he approached, the firing increased, and be- 
came more distinct. Night set in before they 
reached the mouth of the bayou, from which, as 
they emerged into the bay, they could see far over 
the water, a flame apparently rising from a burning 
vessel. The cannonading had ceased s-everal hours, 
and it was now too dark to see across the bay, or 
distinguish the outline of the island. 

" There has been warm work, Theodore," said 
Lafilte. " I am afraid we have been attacked by 
a superior force." 

" It may be Massa Cap'um Pattyson," said Cud- 
joe ; "he tinky catch Cudjoe, and make sailor ob 
him, when in de boat, when you gone to see de go- 
be rn or." 

. " What is that ?" said Lafitte, quickly. " Press 
yoii ?" 

" I now recollect," answered Theodore, "as I 
went for the governor's reply, it was rumoured in 
the streets, that Commodore Patterson was com- 
pleting his crew by every exertion, and that he 
was to sail the same evening, on some expedition. 
It may have been Barritaria." 

" You are right Theodore, he has attacked our 



LAFITTE. 135 

camp. Set the sail and sprinfr to your oars, men ; 
we must know at once if our fears are true." 

Having set their sail, their speed increased, and 
shooting rapidly away from the mouth of the ba- 
you, tliey steered across the bay. They were 
within a league of the island, when a barge full of 
men, was discovered a short distance ahead. 

" Ship your oars ; see to your arms, men !" said 
Lafitle, shifting the helm so as to weather the boat. 
We are now more likely to meet foes than friends 
in these waters." 

As he spoke, the strange boat hailed, while the 
click of several pistols was heard from her by the 
pirate and his party, who answered that hostile pre- 
paration with similar sounds of defiance. 

" Ho ! the boat ahoy !" hailed a voice in Spanish. 

" It is Sebastiano," said Theodore hastily, as he 
recognized the voice of the person hailing. 

" Camaradas !" replied Lafitte. 

"Ah captain, is that you," exclaimed a rough 
voice with a strong French accent. " We thought 
you had gone to pay off old scores "in the other 
world." 

*' I have been on business, Belluche, connected 
with our safety, and have been detained by illness. 
But the news, the news ! Lieutenant Belluche," he 
added with impatience as the boats came in con- 
tact. 

" Bad enough, my good captain," said Sebastiano, 
interposing in reply, '' bad enough for one day's 
work, in proof of which, sefior, I refer you to this 
handful of men, who are all that remain of the 
pretty Julie, who by the same token, is burned to 
the water's edge. May the srande diable have the 
burning of those who compelled me with my own 
hand to set her on fire. But it was necessity, cap- 
tain. I can prove to you it was necessity." 

" Be brief, Sebastiano ! What has happened ? 



136 LAFITTE. 

Who are the aggressors, Belluche ? What means 
the firing J have heard to-day ? Be brief and tell 
me!" 

" This morning," said the whilom captain of the 
Lady of the Gulf, "between eight and nine, we 
saw a fleet of small vessels and gun-boats standing 
in for the island. Our squadron lay at anchor 
within the pass, and on seeing the fleet I ordered 
the Carthagenian flacr to be hoisted on all the ves- 
sels. As the strangers approached, I got under 
weigh with the whole fleet, including prizes, which 
made ten in number, and formed in order of battle, 
in case the intentions of ihe fleet should be hostile. 
As the evidences of their hostile character thick- 
ened, T sent boats in various directions to the main 
land to give the alarm, and ordered my men to light 
iires along the coast, as signals to our friends ashore 
that we were about to be attacked. The enemy 
stood in, and formed into a line of battle near the 
entrance of the harbour. Their force consisted of 
six gun-vessels, a tender, mounting one six pounder 
and full of men, and a launcli, mounting one twelve 
pound carronade, and a large schooner, called the 
Carolina. 

" On discovering these demonstrations of battle on 
their part, and not bemg in the best condition to 
withstand them, 1 hoisted a white flag at the fore 
on board the Lady of the Gulf, an American flag at 
the mainmast, and the Carthagenian flag, at the top- 
ping lift. The enemy replied, with a white flag at 
his main. I now took my boat, and went from ves- 
sel to vessel to ascertain the disposition of the crews 
for fighting, and none but Captain Getzendanner, 
and Sebastiano and their men were for awaiting the 
attack. ] in vain tried to convince them of the ex- 
pediency of fighting to save our vessels. 

" I then determined that the Lady of the Gulf 
should not fall into the enemy's hands, and teliinoj 



LAFITTE. 137 

Captain Gelzendanner what I intended to do, I re- 
turned on board, and fixing a train in the hole, and 
setting the rigging on fire, I took to the boats with 
my crew. Getzendanner and kSebastiano did the 
same, while the other cowardly pallroons deserted 
their vessels and took to their oars, and pulled for 
the main land. The enemy no sooner saw the 
flame rising from the schooner, than he hauled down 
the flag of truce, and made the signal for battle ; 
hoisting with it a broad while flag bearing the words, 
'pardon to deserters,' knowing that we had not 
a few from the army and navy, among our villain- 
ous, cowardly, runaway gang. 

" 'I'he enemy run in and took possession of the 
vessels, while a detachment landed upon the island, 
and destroyed our buildings and fortifications. All 
this J witnessed from the main land, where we had 
retired. The enemy's fleet is now outside, inclu- 
ding our own, numbering in all seventeen sail. 
They will probably get under weigh in the morning 
for the Balize." 

" We," concluded Sebastiano, who bad waited 
with much impatience for an opportunity to speak, 
" have just returned from the island, where I have 
been since they left, to have occular demonstration 
of the true slate of things, and an old woman might 
as well hold good her {Jantry against a party of 
half-slarved recruits, as we could have held the old 
island ; and this admits of the clearest demonstra- 
tion, captain." 

Lafiite listened to this recital in silence; nor did 
he speak for some moments after the commander 
of the Lady of the Gulf had completed his account 
of the attack upon the piratical hold, by the Ameri- 
can flotilla. This expedition was under the com- 
mand of that naval officer, whom we first introduced 
to the reader, looking over a map with the com- 
manding general at his head quarters, a yOung and ' 
12* 



138 LAFITTE. 

gallnnt man, whose ambition to signalize his com- 
mand and beneht his country by the destruction of 
the buccaneering iiorde, who had so long infested 
the south-western shores of Jvouisiana, had rendered 
him, with the majority of the council called by the 
governorj incredulous to the extraordinary proffers 
of the pirate. 

If blame in reference to this decision could be 
attached to either parly, Lafitte felt that it was 
justly fastened upon himself. 

" It is right," he said, after reflecting for a 
few moments upon the communication of his offi- 
cer. " It is but just — not them — not him — do I 
censure, but myself — my past career of crime and 
contempt of those iiealihy laws which govern 
society. I blame them not. It would be stranger if 
they should have believed me." After a few mo- 
ments pause he added earnestly, " this shall not 
change me ; they shall yet know and believe, that 
I acted from motives they must honour. They 
sha41 learn that they have injured me by their de- 
cisions. Injured! But let it pass — my country shall 
have my arm and single cutlass, if no more ! and 
your's too, my boy ?" Ijc said to Theodore. 

" Wherever you aie, my benefactor, you will 
find me by your side," exclaimed the youth warmly. 
" I knew it Theodore, I knew it," replied Lafitte, 
returning the enthusiastic arasp of his hand. 
*' Where, away now Belluclie?" 
" To the city, caplain! We hear of fighting about 
to go on there ; we may perhaps find something to 
do." 

" Sebastiano, Belluche, my worthy comrades and 
friends, and you my brave men all ! the Americans 
have destroyed our fleet; but they have done only 
justice. If f know all of you who are in that boat, 
like myself, you are Americans by birth or ademption. 
Fight not against your country, draw every cutlass in 



LAFITTE. 139 

her defence ; forgive her injuries, and fight for lier. 
The tyrant of England seeks to enslave her ; meet 
him foot to foot, blade to blade. Endeavour to atone 
for your wrongs to your country by devotion to her 
cause. Fighting is your trade — but fight now on 
the right side. What say you my men ? 8ebastiano, 
stand you for or against your country, in this strug- 
gle V[ 

" Viva Louisiana — viva la patria — viva Lafitte !" 
shouted the men. 

" That is as it should be my brave fellows, if you 
are faithful in the cause you espouse you may yet 
get government to wink at the past, and if any of you 
choose to follow honest livelihoods, ihe way will 
then be open before you. To the city, I will soon 
follow, gather all our scattered force and persuade 
them to adopt the same course. You will hear of 
me on the third evening frotn this at the cabaret of 
Pedro Torrio, on Rue Royale. I must now visit 
the island. Where is Getzendanner ?" 

" He has taken the western bayou to the city, I 
suspect," replied Belluche. 

" Tell him our plans if you meet with him, and 
hold out to him pardon. He will acquiesce, I think," 
he said laughing, "for there is a fair frow in New 
York, he would fain supply his lost rib with ; but 
she wont take him without a license from the Presi- 
dent. I depend on you both," he added more seri- 
ously " to collect our followers and unite them to 
the American party." 

With a shout from the crews of each, the boats 
separated, and in an hour afterward, Lafitte reached 
the island and secured his boat in the narrow cove or 
inlet from which he had unmoored it, under very dif- 
ferent circumstances, ten days before, on embark- 
ing to lay before the governor the letters of the 
British officers. 

The next morning the chief who had remained 



140 LAFITTE. 

all night in the boat, was awakened by a gun, which 
on rising, and gaining a slight elevation on the 
island, he discovered to be the signal for the ene- 
my's fleet, with his prizes, to get under weigh. 

With calm and unchanging features, he watched 
their departure, and as the last sail disappeared on 
the horizon, he said turning to Theodore, 

" I have only to wait to give the EngUshman his 
answer," he said with a bilier smile, " and then re- 
turn to New Orleans, and there welcome my cap- 
tured fleet." 

" There is a sail south of us," exclaimed Theo- 
dore. 

"I see it," replied the chief, "it may be the 
English brig coming in for my reply, although I did 
not expect her before evening." The vessel wliich 
attracted their observation, in the course of an hour 
showed the square rig and armament of a brig of 
war. Approaching within half a mile of the island, 
she put off a boat, which pulled directly for the is- 
land. 

" What answer shall you give them now, mon- 
sieur'?" inquired Theodore doubtfully, watching the 
face of the outlaw, and anxious to know if he would 
accept the proposals of the British, now that he 
had received such treatment from the American 
government. 

Lafitte made no reply but hastened to meet the 
boat, which grounded, as Theodore spoke, upon tiie 
beach. 

" You are welcome to my fortress, gentlemen ! 
you have no doubt come for my answer," he said 
addressing the midshipman who commanded the 
boat. " So your captain did not like to trust him- 
self on shore again. Well," he added in a melan- 
choly voice, "he might have come now in all safety 
— he would have little to fear. What says captain 
Lockyer ?" 



LAFITTE. 141 

" He desired me to give you this sealed paper, 
and await your answer respecting liis proposed alli- 
ance with you," replied the youlli, giving him a 
pacquet addressed to him. 

" You have not long to wait," replied Lafitte, re- 
ceiving the pacquet ; and taking a pencil from the 
officer, he wrote upon the back, 

" No TERMS WITH TYRANTS '•" 

And giving it back to him he sternly said, "There 
is my answer !" Then turning and taking the arm 
of Theodore, he walked away to his boat, which lay 
on the opposite side of the island. 



142 LAFITTE. 



CHAPTER VII. 



"After the invasion of the state became inevitable, the expediency 
of inviting the Barritarians to our standard was generally admitted. 
The governor conferred with the major general, and with his approba- 
tion, issued general orders inviting them to join the army. These or- 
ders tended to bring to our standard many brave men and excellent 
artillerists, whose services contributed greatly to the safety of Louis- 
iana, and received the highest approbation of the commanding general. 
Subsequently, the President, by proclamation, granted them a full and 
entire pardon." 

Latour's Memoirs of the war. 



THE BARRITARIANS — BATTLE OP THE SIEGE — LAFITTE AND THE 
STRANGER. 

The subsequent events, immediately preceding 
the decisive battle of the eighth of January, having 
no material connexion with our tale, w^e shall briefly 
pass by. Lafiite returned to the city, and again of- 
fered his services to his country, with lliose of as 
many of his former adherents as he could assemble. 

After the disastrous capture of the American gun- 
boats by the British, the invasion of the state was 
deemed inevitable, and in the perilous condition of 
the country, it was thought good policy by those 
entrusted with the public safety, to avail themselves 
of the services of men accustomed to war, and 
whose perfect knowledge of the coasts and the va- 
rious bayous leading from the sea to the capital, 
might render their aid of great importance to the 
enemy, who it was now generally known, had in 
vain and with great ofl'ers, entreated them to repair 
to their standard, Although ^he expediency of uni- 



LAFITTE. 143 

ting them to the American standard, was general y 
admitted, it was indispensably necessary that they 
should receive pardon for all real or supposed 
offences against the laws. This could only be 
granted by the President of the United Slates. 
Governor Claiborne, whose faith in the outlaw re- 
mained unshaken, and who regretted the attack on 
Barritaria, so far as it rendered, by breaking them 
up, the forces of the outlaws less available to the 
country, conferred on the subject with the major 
general in command. 

The result of this conference was very different 
from that of the council convened by the governor, 
and with the approbation of the commanding gene- 
ral, he issued the following general order. 

*' The Governor of Louisiana, informed that ma- 
ny individuals implicated in the offences heretofore 
committed against the United States at Barritaria, 
express a willingness at the present crisis to enrol 
themselves and march against the enemy — 

*' He does hereby invite them to join the standard 
of the United States, and is authorized to say, should 
their conduct in the field meet the approbation of the 
major general, that, that officer will unite with the 
governor in a request to the President of the United 
States, to extend to each and every individual, so 
marching and acting, a free and full pardoA." 

These general orders were placed in the hands 
of Lafitte, who circulated them among his dispersed 
followers, most of whom readily embraced the con- 
ditions of pardon they held out. In a few days ma- 
ny brave men and skilful artillerists, whose services 
contributed greatly to the safety of the invaded 
state, flocked to the standard of the United States, 
and by their conduct, received the highest approba- 
tion of the commanding general. 



144 LAFITTE. 

In anticipation of onr narrative, we will here men- 
tion, that previous to their adjournment, the legisla- 
ture of the state, recommended the Barritarians as 
proper objects for the clemency of the President, 
who issued a proclamation upon the subject, bear- 
ing dale the sixth of February, eighteen hundred 
and fifteen, and transmitted it, officially, to the go- 
vernor of Louisiana, by the secretary of state, grant- 
ing to them a full and entire pardon. 

We will now return from this digression to La- 
fitte, the individual whose personal acts are the sub- 
ject of our tale. 

The morning of the eighth of January was ush- 
ered in with the discharge of rockets, the sound of 
cannon, and the cheers of the British soldiers ad- 
vancing to the attack. The Americans, behind the 
breast-work, awaited, with calm intrepidity, their 
approach. The enemy advanced in close column 
of sixty men^n front, shouldering their muskets and 
carrying fascines and ladders. A storm of rockets 
preceded them, and an incessant fire opened from 
the battery, which comrrjanded the advanced col- 
umn. The musketry and rifles from the Kentuck- 
ians and Tenneseans, joined the fire of the artillery, 
and in a few moments was heard along the line a 
ceaseless, rolhng fire, whose tremendous noise re- 
sembled the continued reverberation of thunder. 
One oi^ these guns, a twenty-four pounder, placed 
upon the breastwork, in the third embrasure from 
the river, drew — from the fatal skill and activity with 
which it was managed, even in the heat of battle — 
the admiration of both Americans and British; and 
became one of the points most dreaded by the ad- 
vancing foe. 

Here was stationed Lafitte, and three of his lieu- 
tenants, Belluche, Scbastiano, and Getzendanner, 
already introduced to the reader, and a large band 
of his men, who, during the continuance of the bat- 



LAFITTE. 145 

tie, fought with unparalleled bravery. The British 
already, had been twice driven back in the utmost 
confusion, with the loss of their commander in chief, 
and two general officers. 

In the first attack of the enemy, a column push- 
ed forward, between the levee and river ; and so 
precipitate was their charge that the outposts were 
forced to retire, closely pressed by the enemy. Be- 
fore the batteries could meet the charge, clearing 
the ditch, they gained the redoubt through the em- 
brasures, leaping over the parapet, and overwhelm- 
ing, by their superior force, the small party sta- 
tioned there. 

Lafitte, who was commanding, in conjunction 
with his officers, at one of the guns, no sooner saw 
the bold movement of the enemy, than, calling a 
few of his best men by name, with Theodore by 
his side, he sprung forward to the point of dan- 
ger, and clearing the breastwork of the entrench- 
ment, leaped, cutlass in hand, into the midst of the 
enemy, followed by a score of his men, who in ma- 
ny a hard-fought battle upon his own deck, had 
been well tried. 

Astonished at the intrepidity which could lead 
men to leave their entrenchments and meet them 
hand to hand, and pressed by the suddenness of the 
charge, which was made with the recklessness, 
skill, and rapidity of practised boarders bounding 
upon the deck of an enemy's vessel, they began to 
give way, while, one after another, two British of- 
ficers fell before the cutlass of the pirate, as they 
were bravely encouraging their men by their inspi- 
ring shouts, and fearless example. AH the ener- 
gies of the British were now concentrated to scale 
the breast-work, which one daring officer had al- 
ready mounted. While Lafitte and his followers, 
seconding a gallant band of volunteer riflemen, 

Vol. II.— 13 



146 LAriTTE. 

formed a phalanx which they in vain assayed to 
penetrate. 

As the British column advanced to this attack, a 
small boat, propelled by two seamen, and contain- 
ing a handsome man, in the dress of a British na- 
val officer, after ascending the river, imt oticed in 
the confusion and uproar of battle, touched the bank 
nearly opposite to the centre of the advancing co- 
lumn. The officer sprung out amidst a shower of 
balls, which fell harmlessly around him ; then draw- 
ing his sword, and loosening his pistols in his belt, 
he hastened forward to the head of the column, 
and side by side with a gallant Scotchman, leaped 
into the redoubt. 

Twice he mounted the breast-work, and was 
hurled back to rise and again mount; his blue eye 
emitting fire, and his sword flashing like a meteor 
as he hewed his way through the opposing breasts 
of the Americans. 

At this moment, Lafitte bounded into the redoubt, 
and turned the tide of battle. The stranger, whose 
reckless daring and perseverance had, even in the 
midst of battle, attracted the attention of those on 
whose side he fought, was also pressed back with 
the retreating column. Yet, with an obstinacy 
which drew upon him the fire of the riflemen, and 
the cutlasses of the pirates, he stood his ground 
and fought with cool and determined courage. 
Every blow of his weapon laid a buccaneer dead at 
his feet. 

The British, leaving their numerous dead, had re- 
treated ; yet he stood alone, pressed on every side, 
and heedless of danger. His object seemed to be 
to press forw^ard to the spot where stood the pirate 
chief, who was separated from him by half a dozen 
of his men. In vain they called upon him to surren- 
der. His brow was rigid, with desperate resolu- 



LAFITTE. 147 

tion ; his eye burning with a fierce expression, 
while his arm seemed endowed with the strength of 
a Hercules. 

" Take him prisoner, but harm him not !" said 
Lafille, struck with the daring of the man. 

" Give back," cried the stranger, speaking for the 
first time. " Give way to my revenge ! Pirate, 
Lafiite ! ravislier ! murderer! 1 dare you to single 
combat ! — coward !" and his voice rung clear, amid 
the din of war. 

"Ha, is it so! stand back, men. Hold, Sebas- 
tiano ! leave him to me, if I am the game he seeks 
so rashly !" 

The men who had involuntarily given back at 
the sound of the stranger's voice, now left a path 
between him and their chief, and, before Lafitte, 
surprised at his conduct — but in his checquered life, 
not unused to adventure and danger in every shape 
— could bring his weapon to the guard, he received 
that of the stranger through his sword arm. 

" Not that vile stream ; but your heart's 
blood," shouted the officer. " Revenge ! revenge ! 
I seek!" — and with a headlong impetuosity that 
swallowed up every emotion but the present pas- 
sion, he played with fatal skill, his weapon about 
the breast of his antagonist, who required all his cool- 
ness and swordsmanship to save his life, for which 
it became evident to his men he now only fought. 
By a dexterous manoeuvre, the stranger caught the 
guard of the pirate's cutlass on his own sword, and 
at the risk of his life, held it entangled for an in- 
stant, till he drew and cocked a pistol, which he 
levelled at his heart. 

At that moment, Chitalusa, who, on leaving the 
hut, sought in vain to obtain an interview with the 
governor, to inform him of Lafitte's intentions, and 
had now joined the army, sprung forward to seize 



148 LAFITTE. 

the weapon, crying, " Chitalusa, tinkee you bad, 
brother Lafitle ! Chitalusa save your life now for 
dat." 

His heroic atonement, for what he deemed his 
unworthy suspicions, seeing that Lafille was fight- 
ing on the side of the Americans, was fatal. The 
officer fired, and the ball passed through the tawny- 
breast of the simple minded Indian. 

" Me tinkee de red snake de Inglish. Me tinkee 
bad," he murmured ; and died, the victim of the out- 
law's change of purpose, on receiving the govern- 
or's note, and of the figurative language in which 
he had expressed it to ihe Indian. 

The outlaw felt as if his own hand had slain him, 
for his own ambiguous v/ords had caused his death. 

The combat now grew fiercer, and the pirates be- 
gan to murmur, and fear for the life of their leader, 
handling their weapons, and looking upon the stran- 
ger with eyes of malignity; anxious, notwithstanding 
his prohibition, to save the life of iheir captain by 
sacrificing that of his antagonist. 

Theodore, had stood by the side of Lafitte, with 
his sword drawn, often involuntarily crossing the 
blade of the stranger, simultaneously with him, as 
some more skilful pass threatened his life. His 
eye, which all the time was fixed with an inquiring 
gaze, upon his features, suddenly lighted up with 
peculiar intelligence. 

"Hold seiior ! there is some error!" he said ra- 
pidly to Lafitte, and wiiispered in his ear. 

The point of Lafitle's sword dropped, as he ex- 
claimed, *' Thank God ! I hurt him not!" 

The stranger, without knowing the cause which 
produced it, and in his eagerness, heedless of the 
defenceless state in which Lafitte had exposed his 
person by the action, plunged his sword into his 
side, and would have run him quite tiu'ough the 



LAFITTE. 149 

body, had not Theodore dexterously caught the 
weapon upon the guard of his own. 

Lafiiie, murmuring — " this for Constanza's sake !" 
fell backward into the arms of Theodore and his 
men. 

His adherents, absorbed by the danger of their 
chief, gave all iheir attention for the moment to 
him. When, the next instant, they turned to re- 
venge him, they saw the mysterious stranger, who 
had retired the moment he saw his object — the death 
of Lafiite — apparently accomplished, mingling with 
the retreating column of the British. 

Lafitte was borne wiihin the entrenchment by 
his men, who found it useless to pursue his late an- 
tagonist. But as they reascended the breastwork, 
Theodore looked back with a searching eye, while 
foreboding apprehensions filled his anxious mind, 
and saw the late mysterious antagonist of his chief, 
distinguished by his naval attire, step into the boat 
which had conveyed him to the scene of action, 
and amidst the hurricane of iron hail storming 
around him, harmlessly, as if he bore a charmed 
life, and with great speed, move rapidly down the 
river. 

With the true spirit of Christianity, the doors of 
the churches and convents of the invaded city were 
thrown open to the wounded soldiers, not only of 
the defending army, but of the invading foe. To the 
convent des LVsulines, one of these temporary hos- 
pitals in the heart of the city, Lafitte was borne by 
the attentive Theodore and some of his followers. 

"Who have you there, my children?" inquired 
an aged priest with silvery hair flowing over the 
collar of his black robe, as the faithful buccaneers 
bore the litter on which lay their leader, into the 
paved hall of the convent, and placed it against the 
wall. " He is a man of noble presence. I trust 
not one'in high command." 



150 LAFITTE. 

"It is of no importance father," said another 
of the priests coming forward, in whom Theodore 
recognized the padre Arnaud whom he had seen at 
Barrilaria, the odour of whose sanctity had not 
availed to save Sebasliano's schooner, whose pas- 
senger he once had been, from being finally blown 
into the air. " It is enough that he is wounded and 
that his situation demands our charity." 

" You say well, my son ; call the physician, and 
we will have his wounds forthwith examined. Hea- 
ven grant he is not in danger !" he said, looking up- 
ward devotionally : " It were sad to die without 
confession and absolution — but Heaven is merciful." 

The father Arnaud, immediately on his entrance, 
recognized Lafitie, who had once sent for him from 
Havana, to confess and give general absolution to 
such of his men, who were Roman Catholics. The 
father thought if he was recognized as the outlaw 
whose name had struck terror throughout the Mex- 
ican seas, he might not, among the simple-minded 
sisterhood and fraternity, receive the attention due 
to every human being, in such a situation. He 
therefore, with true benevolence of heart, sought to 
conceal the real character of the invalid, and hast- 
ened to bring to him medical aid. 

His wound was probed, and dressed by the sur- 
geon, who declared his case by no means dangerous, 
and said tliat the loss of blood, had rendered it only 
apparently so; adding, that sleep, quiet and attention, 
would in a few days restore him to health. Recom- 
mending him to, the care of Theodore and one or 
two aged nuns, who were bending over him with 
commiseration expressed in their calm faces, he 
left him with professional abruptness, to attend to 
a wounded soldier, just brought in from the field. 



LAFITTE. 151 



CHAPTER VIII. 



'* The evils of this world, drive more to the cloister, than the happi 
ness held out to them in the next, invites." 

" To say that men never love truly but once, is well enough in poetry ; 
but every day's realities convince us of its untruth. If you have ob- 
served much, you have found that men seldom marry the first object 
of their youthful affections." 

Chesterfield. 

a suhprise — an interview between a nun and the chief. 

On the third evening, the wound of the chief 
closed, and he was rapidly convalescing; having 
received permission from the surgeon to leave the 
convent the succeeding day. 

The eve of that day, the halls and corridors of the 
convent were deserted. Silence reigned undistur- 
bed, save by the light step of a nun in her vigils 
around the couch of an invalid, the deep breathing 
of some sufferer, and the sighing of the winds 
among the foliage of the evergreens, waving their 
branches without. At the extremitv of tlie hall, stood 
the couch of the chief, above which a narrow win- 
dow opened upon the court yard adjoining the edi- 
fice. The cool night wind blew in, refreshingly, 
upon his temples, and the rich melody of a distant 
mocking-bird, which loves \o wake the echoes of 
night, fell soothingly, as he listened to its varied 
notes, upon his attentive ear. 

Tljeodore had just deserted his couch, and step- 
ped forth to enjoy the cool air of the night. Under 
these soothing influences, the wounded chief insen- 
sibly slept; but his slumbers were soon disturbed by 



152 LAFITTE. 

a scarcely heard foot-fall at the extremity of the 
passage. He opened his eyes, and by the dim 
light of a lamp suspended in the centre of the cei- 
ling of the corridor, he discovered near him, the tall 
and graceful form of one of the nuns, who had olten 
bent above him in his feverish moments, and whose 
presence exerted a strange power over his thoughts, 
and even the very throbbings of his heart, which 
became irregular and wild when she was near. 

He felt there was a mystery around her, in some 
way connected -with himsell ; but how, or why, after 
long hours given to thought and imagination, he 
could not conjecture. Her voice he had never yet 
heard, but her slight fingers placed upon his pulse 
or throbbing temples, would strangely thrill the blood 
in his veins. But all his speculations respecting 
her were futile — and at last, wearied with pursuing 
the vague associations, her presence, air and man- 
ner called up, he would close his eyes, articula- 
ting — " Strange ! strange ! very strange !" and fall 
into disturbed sleep, in which visions of his boyhood 
and its scenes of love and strife, passed with won- 
derful distinctness before him ; yet still, in all his 
dreams, the form of the nun was mysteriously min- 
gled with other characters, which memory, with her 
dreamy wand called up from the abyss of the past. 

Giving no evidence of being conscious of her pre- 
sence, with his eyes closed, he waited with palpita- 
ting heart, the approach of his midnight visitant. She 
came within a few feet of him and stopped ; while 
shading her brow with' her hand, from the light of 
the lamp above her, she gazed fixedly at the ap- 
parent sleeper, as though to be assui-ed that he 
slept. 

Her figure, as she bent forward in an attitude of 
natural grace, displayed faultless proportions. She 
was a little above the middle height of women, and 
her brow, as she drew aside her black veil, which, 



LAFITTE. 153 

with a long robe of the same funereal hue encircled 
her person, was calm and pale — paler, perhaps, 
from the strong contrast of her transparent skin, 
with the black mantilla she wore about her head. 
Her marble-like features rivalled in Grecian accu- 
racy of outline, the most perfect models that ever 
passed from the chisel of Praxiiiles : the colour of 
her eye was of a deep blue — not the cold blue of 
northern skies, but the warm azure of sunny Italy. 
There was in ihem, a shade of melancholy, cast 
also over her whole face. Piety and devotion were 
written upon her seraphic countenance, from which 
care and sorrow, not illness, had faded the roses 
and richness of youth. 

Yet she was not a youthful maiden ! Perhaps 
seven and twenty summers and winters, had passed, 
with their changes and vicissitudes, over her head. 
Her general manner and air was that of humble re- 
signation to some great and deep-settled sorrow. 
No one could gaze upon her without interest ; no 
one without respect. Among her sister nuns she 
was regarded as but a little lower than a saint in 
Heaven ; by the devotees of her church, her bless- 
ing and prayers were sought next to that of their 
tutelar divinities. Among the sisterhood, she was 
was called the holy St. Marie. Her real name, 
for which she had assumed this religious one, had 
been concealed from all but the superior, during the 
twelve or thirteen years she had been an inmate of 
the convent. 

Apparently satisfied that her patient slept, she 
approached him, and uttering a short ejaculation, 
while she raised her fine eyes heavenward, she 
laid a finger lightly upon his temple. 

" He is better ! thank thee Heaven, and sweet 
Mary, mother ! His sleep is calm, and he is njuch 
— much better !" and as she spoke luw, her voice, 
although saddened in its tones, was silvery. « 



154 LAFITTE. 

Its effect upon the chief, was extraordinary ; and 
although he raised not his eyes, nor moved, his heart 
beat wildly, and the veins upon his temple leaped 
to her touch. Yet, with a strong effort, anxious to 
know more of his mysterious visiter, and wonder- 
ing at the strange effect of her voice upon him, he 
remained apparently asleep. Still retaining her 
hand upon his temple, she continued : — " His sleep 
is yet unquiet. Our blessed Saviour grant him life 
for repentance !" she said fervently. * 

" She knows me !" thought he. " Strange 
that she should take such interest in me, then. — 
Those silvery accents ! where have I heard them 
before ? Why do they move me so ? I must solve 
this mystery." 

" I thank thee, sweet Mother of Heaven, for this 
favour !" she continued ; " I may yet be the instru- 
ment in thy hands for good to tKis wanderer ! For- 
give me, Holy Mary — I tliought I had bid adieu to 
all worldly emotion — and yet I should have betray- 
ed my feelings to all around me in the hall, when I 
recognized his features, so like his father's, had I 
not hastened to my cell to give vent to my feelings 
in tears. Sinful ! sinful, I have been ! Resentment 
and pity have been struggling the past hour within 
this bosom, that should be dead to all earthly ex- 
citement. Pity me. Heaven ! I will err no more ! 
But, oh ! what a history of buried recollections has 
the sight of him revived ! I thought I had shut out 
the world for ever; but no, no! with him be- 
fore me, I live again in it! Its scenes are present with 
me ; and when I gaze on this working brow — these 
features, which many years have changed, but 
whose familiar expression still lives — how can I be 
all at once the calm, impassioned nun ! I sin whilst I 
speak! I know I am sinning ! but pity my weakness, 
Mary ! Thou hast been human, and a looman f and 
thou canst sympathize — but oh ! censure not! In- 



LAFITTE. 155 

dulge me in this moment of human failing, and I 
will then give back my whole heart and soul to 
thee I", . 

And as she spoke, she lifted her angelic counte- 
nance upward, clasped the cross she wore, and 
pressed it to her lips. At this moment, Lafitte 
opened his eyes, and, while every word she uttered, 
glowed in his bosom like a pleasant memory of half- 
forgotten things — of mingled bhss and woe — for the 
first lime he had a glimpse at her features — 

" Great God ! Gertrude !" he exclaimed, spring- 
ing from the couch and clasping her uplifted hands 
in his own — " Gertrude ! speak — Is it you ? — my 
cousin ?" 

" It is, Achille ! Gertrude — and none other !" she 
said, while the rich blood mounted to her pale 
cheeks, at the sudden movement and ardent manner 
of her cousin. 

" Can I believe?" he said, gazing fondly, while he 
still held her hands. " Yet, still it must be — and 
why here — in this garb ? were you not the bride 
of ?" 

"Of Heaven alone, cousin!" she said, interrupt- 
ing his impetuous interrogations. 

" Where then is — but how came you here ? — I 
know — alas I know it all — all !" he added bitterly, stri- 
king his forehead with his clenched hand, and falling 
back upon the pillow, as she covered her pale face 
with her hands in tearful silence : " I know all ! This 
hand has made you thus !" and burying his face in 
the curtain of his couch, his chest heaved, and he 
sobbed audibly and with great agitation. 

Gertrude was deeply affected by his emotion. 

The discovery of her cousin among the wounded, 
had broken up a life of repose, which she had cho- 
sen after the crime and flight of her cousin. Even 
when giving preference to his brother, who had won 
her by those gentle means, which, rather than pas- 



156 LAFITTE. 

sionate appeals — when the female heart is the prize 
— assures victory, there existed in her bosom, a par- 
tiality for, or rather friendly feeling towards Achille, 
his own impetuosity of character rendered him in- 
capable of profiting by. He desired to be loved at 
once, and for himself, scorning to seek, by assidu- 
ous attention, smiles and favours which could not 
become his own at the mere expression of his wish 
to possess them. 

In love, as well as in other pursuits which en- 
gage men, it is labour which must ever conquer. 
To the contempt by the one, and the adoption by 
the other, of this maxim, in relation to a young heart 
as yet neutral in its partialities, is to be, perhaps, 
attributed the success of Henri, and the failure of 
his brother. 

" Calm your emotion, cousin ; I forgive you all 
that through heaven you have caused me to suffer!" 
she said, taking his unresisting hand. 

Lafitte spoke not, and for a few moments, he 
seemed to be suffering under the acutest mental 
torments. 

" You have — indeed you have my forgiveness !" 
she repeated with earnestness ; "but it is not to me 
you must look for forgiveness, Achille. It is not 
me you have injured or sinned against !" 

" My brother ! my poor — poor brother !" h© groan- 
ed. 

"Not Henri alone. Heaven," she said with fer- 
vour, " awaits your contrition and repentance, 
Achille!" 

" Heaven !" he repeated, as though he knew not 
that he spoke aloud. " I know it. 1 do repent and 
sue its mercy ! But my brother ! my innocent mur- 
dered brother?" he interrogated, rising and grasping 
her arm. 

"Nay, Achille, you are not so guilty in act as 
you imagine ! Henri survived the wound." 



LAFITTE. 157 

" Survives ! Henri lives ! Lives ! did you say-^- 
speak, tell me quickly ! oh heavenly tidings ! An- 
gel of mercy ! Speak, tell me, oh tell me my bro- 
ther lives !" he reiterated, with almost insane anima- 
tion ; while a strange lire filled his eyes, as, sitting 
upright, with both hands grasping her sholders, he 
fixed them upon her face. 

" Say that he lives ! that he lives ! lives !" 

"He does, Achille; calm yourself, he lives, and 
you may yet meet him." 

" Oh ! God — lives — meet again !" he faintly ar- 
ticulated , " Oh ! I could die, with those sweet 
words dwelling upon my ear !" 

" He recovered and went to France," she said, 
after a few moments mutual silence, "the day after 
my arrival in this city to seclude myself, the ill- 
fated cause of all your quarrel, for ever from the 
world." 

" Heaven is good — too kind !" " You say he 
died not ! Oh, speak it again ! — once more let me 
hear the sweet assurance." 

" He died not by your hand !" 

" It is enough, enough P"* he said, and sunk back 
like a child, overpowered by the strong excitement, 
weakened as he still was, he had passed through. 

In a few moments he resumed his self-possession, 
and addressed Gertrude more calmly. 

" Where .went he, cousin ?" 

"To France. Since then, shut out from the 
world, I have sought to forget it, and have nov 
heard from him." 

" VV^iy married you him not ?" 

"As an atonement — the only atonement I could 
make, for the mischief of which I was the uninten- 
tional cause — I renounced all worldly hopes and 
became the bride of the church." 

" And I have made you thus !" he said sadly ; 
" but I thank you, thank you for your tidings. This 

VnT IT — 14 



158 LAFITTE. 

is too much happiness ! I will seek my brother 
out, and at his feet atone for the wrongs 1 did him. 
Poor, gentle boy ! I loved him, Gertrude, and 
would not have slain him. — No, no !" he added, 
quickly, and laughed wildly — "ha! ha! ha! — You 
tell me he did not die — he lives ! God of heaven ! I 
thank thee! I am not my brother's murderer !" 

With his spirit subdued, and his heart full of gra- 
titude, he hid his face in the folds of his cousin's 
mantilla, and wept aloud. 

She would not interrupt him, by addressing him ; 
but silently kneeled beside his couch, and with all 
the devotions of a woman's piety, put up a prayer 
to heaven, for the spititual welfare of the softened 
being before hpr. With holy fervor, like a seraph 
supplicating, she souglit pardon for his errors, and 
prayed that the spirit of penitence would embrace 
that moment to act upon his heart and renew him 
with a right spirit. Every word of the lovely and 
devout petitioner fell soothingly, like the pleading 
of an angel, upon his heart, and before she conclu- 
ded her holy petition, his heart was melted, and 
with the quiet humility of a child, he joined his voice 
with hers, in responding " Amen !" 

The nun rose from her kneeling posture, and la- 
king the hand of her cousin, said with as calm a 
\oice and manner as she could assume — 

" Cousin, I must leave you now. I have too long 
held stolen intercourse with you ; but Heaven 1 
hope will forgive me if I have erred. We must 
now part. You leave our convent to-morrow, and 
from this time we meet no more — till — we meet I 
hope in heaven !" and her soft blue eyes beamed with 
celestial intelligence, as she raised them to her fu- 
ture home. 

"God forbid we should part thus! Gertrude! 
cousin ! bid not adieu ! leave me not. Oh, God ! 
how lonelv and utterly lost I shall be without you !" 



LAFITTE. 159 

*' Na}^, cousin. I cannot slay ; I must go !" she 
added firmly — " I must go now !" May God, who 
is ever ready to meet the returning penitent, for- 
give your past life, and guide you in the new path 
you have chosen, and for which you have already 
shed your blood !" 

'* You kr.ow me and my life, then ?" he inquired 
eagerly. 

" I know you now, as my cousin Achille, a re- 
claimed, penitent son of the' church. You have 
borne a name I wish not to utter !" 

" Lafitte ?" 

" The same," she replied, mournfully. 

'' Vv^hy, then, cared you for me?" 

'• That I might do you good." 

" No one in the convent has recognized or iden- 
tified me as Lafitte ; how did you ? 

" The youth"— 

" Theodore ?" 

" That is his name, I believe. He has told me 
all." 

*^ And yet, you can come and see, and talk with 
me i Ah ! kind, good Gertrude ! how much 1 have 
injured you ! and yet you can forget it and for- 
give It all. Sweet woman ! thou art indeed earth's 
angel!" 

"Now, farewell, Achille. Christianity teaches 
us both to forget and forgive," she said, with humi- 
lity. " It is our religion, not me, 3'ou should ad- 
mire. We will meet in heaven." 

'• Oh ! go not yet — stay but for a moment !" he 
said, risincr, and following her. " ]\Iay I not see you 
again ?" 

" Not on Earth, Achille. I am betrothed to 
Heaven !" she said, with dignity united w^ith humi- 
lity, in her voice and manner. 

Lafitte held her hand for a moment in silence, 



160 LAFITTE. 

while bis features were agitated by many confiict- 
ing emotions. 

Suddenly, he spoke and said, with energy — 

" Gertrude ! listen to me ! this interview has de- 
cided my fate. I hare wronged you ; I would 
cheerfully lay down my life to atone for it; but 
with the will of heaven, T will work out a more 
befitting atonement. My brother — thank God, that 
he lives — I have injured deeply, deeply ! I will 
seek him out, if he is yet a living man, and obtain 
his forgiveness for my crime. Then, having made 
restitution to those I have wronged, as far as lies in 
my power, I will devote the remainder of my life 
to penance and prayer. Oh ! I have sinned — grie- 
vously sinned ! 

" Yet there is pardon for the guiltiest, cousin !" 
she replied, with timid firmness. 

" I know it — it is in that I trust," he answered with 
animation. 

" May the Blessed Virgin, grant you life to ac- 
complish your holy purposes," she said, while her 
face glowed with devotion. '' Achille — cousin ! I 
must now bid you farewell." 

*' But, the old man, my father ?" inquired he, with 
sudden eagerness, as memory, though slowly, faith- 
ful to her task, brought up the past scenes of his 
early life — 

" Lives he ?" 

The heavy gate in front of the convent, at that 
moment opened, with a startling sound, and she re- 
plied hastily — " I know not, Achille. Your father — 
my beloved uncle, and Henri, after accompanying 
mc to this city, departed the next day for France. 
From neither have J heard since. He did speak of 
leaving Henri in France, and visiting his estate 
near Martinique. He may now reside there. O ! 
what a tide of feeling — of sorrow !" she said, while 



I.AFITTE. 161 

her voice liembled with emotion, '* sorrow long 
sealed up in my heart, have you called forth! Oh ! 
I must be more than human, not to feel — Farewell ! 
God and heaven bless you !" 

Once more pressing his hand, while tears told 
that nature would hold her empire even within 
the strong walls and gloomy cloisters of a convent, 
she hastily glided to the farthest extremity of the 
hall, and swiftly ascending the broad winding stair- 
case dimly lighted by a lamp, suspended in the hall 
beneath, she disappeared from his eager gaze. 

His first impulse was to pursue her, though his 
purpose, he himself could not have defined. This 
determination he however abandoned, as he heard 
the tramp of men bearing a litter up the avenue ; 
when they entered the hall, he had resumed his 
original recumbent position on the couch, where 
wakeful, and his brain teeming with busy thoughts, 
in deep melancholly, he passed the remaininghours 
of the night. 

In those hours of reflection, he lived over again, 
his whole life. With how much sorrow for crime 
— how much remorse, was that retrospection filled ! 
He sunk to sleep as the morning broke, after hav* 
ing resolved, and fortified his resolutions by an ap- 
peal to Heaven, that he would restore, so far as lay 
in his power, the wealth he had taken from others ; 
although to collect it, h^ knew he must sail to his 
different places of rendezvous. This accomplished, 
he determined that he would seek out his brother, 
obtain forgiveness for the injuries he had done him, 
and then, in the seclusion of a monastery, bury him- 
self from the world, and devote the remainder of 
his life ^0 acts of beneficence and piety, 

14* 



BOOK V 



DENOUEMENT. 

" He left a corsair's name to other times." 

" How speed the outlaws ? stand they well prepared, 
Their plundered wealth, and robber's rock to guard ? 
Dreamed they of this, our preparation, ?" 

" And Lara sleeps not where his fathers slept." 

Byron. 



LAFITTE. 165 



BOOK V. 



CHAPTER I. 



" Formerly, the influence of Obeah priestesses was very great over 
the negroes. Hundreds have died from the mere terror of being under 
the ban of Obeah. This is evidently a practise of oriental origin. Its 
influence over the negroes some twent}^ or thirty years ago, was almost 
incredible. The fetish, is the African divinity, invoked by the negroes 
in the practice of Obeah." 

Madden's West Indies, 



BRIDAL PREPARATION— AX OBEAH SORCERESS — SCENE AT THE HUT. 

The events connected with our romance, natu- 
rally divide themselves into several distinct parts, 
which we have denominated books. Pursuing this 
division, we now open our fifth and last book, which, 
like the last act of a drama, contains the key to un- 
lock all the mysteries of the preceding the sagacious 
reader has not already anticipated, dissipating the 
darkness, and shedding the sunsiiine of an unveiled 
denouement over the whole. 

The evening of the day on which Count D'Oyley 
and the fair Castillian, with whom he had escaped 
from the rendezvous of the buccaneer after a warm 
pursuit on the part of Lafitte, were taken up by his 
own frigate, Le Sultan, in the channel of St. Marc's 
— a stalely ship arrayed in the apparel of war, 
sailed, with majestic motion, into the bay of Gon- 
zaves. 



166 LAFITTE. 

- The flag of France waved over her quarter deck, 
and a lon^ tier of guns bristled from each side. 
Her course vi^as directly for the narrow pass be- 
tween the two parallel ridges of rocks, which formed 
a communication from the sea, with the pirate's 
grot'o An hour after she hove in sight at the 
southward, she had breasted the pass, and anchored 
^n deep water, within a few fathoms of the outer- 
most rock terminating the passage. 

On gaining the deck of his frigate, the count, af- 
ter attending to the comfort of the wearied Constan- 
za, had hastily replied to the questions of his aston- 
ished officer ; and informing them of his separation 
from the tender, which had not been heard of, he 
briefly recounted his adventures, and then issued 
orders for proceeding directly to the cavern, and 
demolishing the rendezvous of the pirates, by spi- 
king their guns and otherwise rendering it untenable 
as a foitified place. It was the frigate, Le Sultan, 
we have seen drop her anchor the same evening, 
abreast of the cavern. 

The setting sun flung his red beams across the 
level waters of the bay, and the winds were dying 
away with the fading of the sun-light, as Constanza 
— the crimson rays of the sun tinging her brow wilh 
a rich glow — leaned from the cabin window, and 
with a calm and thoughtful countenance, gazed up- 
on the evening sky, its purple palaces of clouds — 
its winged creatures, and its mountains of gold and 
emerald. Her dreams — for although her eyes were 
fixed upon the gorgeous west, she Avas wrapped 
in a dreamy reverie of the past — were of her 
happy childhood — her paternal home near the impe- 
rial cily of Montezuma — her aged father — his death, 
and the various scenes through which she had pass- 
ed. The character of Lafltte — his crimes and his 
virtues, ixnd ihc kiiiJncss arid nolle nature of Theo- 
dore ; her capture and escape, all floated through 



LAFITTE. 167 

her mind, invested with their pecuUar associations. 

" And am I at last happy ?" she said, half inqui- 
ringly. " Oh ! that my poor father were here to 
share my happiness ! Can it be true that this is not 
a dream ? Am I indeed free, and is D'Oyley indeed 
here ?" 

" Here ! my sweet Con stanza, and folding you in 
his arms ;" said the count, who had entered the' 
state room unperceived, " here ! to make you happy, 
and terminate your sufferings." Constanza leaned 
her cheek upon his shoulder, and with one arm en- 
circling his neck, looked up into his face with the 
artless confidence of a child, while her features be- 
came radiant with joy. But she spoke not — her 
happiness was too great for utterance. For a few 
moments he lingered in this pure embrace, and then 
breathed into her ear : — 

" When, dearest one, shall D'Oyley become your 
protector ? Tell me now, while I hold you thus !" 
and he clasped her closer to his heart. 

She rephed not, and the rich blood mantled her 
brow, rivaling the crimson sun-glow which deli- 
cately suffused it. Her lips moved inaudibly, and 
her lover felt the small hand he held, tremble like 
an imprisoned dove within his own. 

" Say, Constanza, my love ! this evening shall it 
be ? shall the chaplain of the frigate unite us this 
very hour? Refuse me iiot this request!" he con- 
tmued ardently. 

She pressed his hand, and looked up into his face 
wnth her large black eyes full of confidence and love, 
.whose eloquent expression spoke a deeper and more 
befitting language than words could convey. 

" Bless you, my sweet angel !" he exclaimed, 
reading with a lover's skill the language of her 
speaking eyes; and their lips were united in that 
pure, first kiss of love, whose raptures to mortals 



168 LAFITTE. 

wedded or betrothed — if minstrels tell us truly — is 
never knowii but once. 

The count ascended to the deck to complete the 
preparations for liis expedition against the rock. 
From his knowledge of the pass and mode of access 
to the cave, he determined to conduct the expedition 
himself, 

II was his intention merely to proceed -to the- 
cavern, and leaving his men under the 'command 
of one of his lieutenants, return to the frigate and 
be united to the fair maiden, whom from her child- 
hood, when he first saw her, the pride of her father's 
eye, and the idol of his household, while on a di- 
plomatic mission to Mexico, he had admired, whilst 
her image lived, fondly cherished, in his memory. 
In after years, when the old Castilian became an 
exile, he sought him out in his retired villa in Ja- 
maica. But a few weeks before it was attacked by 
the pirates, he had renewed that admiiration, which 
a few days beneath the same roof with the fair girl, 
ripened into love. For a few short Aveeks he left 
her for the purpose of cruising in the neighborhood 
of Carthagena, to return, and find the villa a scene 
of desolation, the venerable parent lying a corpse in 
his own house, which was filled with armed sol- 
diery, and the daughter, his beloved Constanza, car- 
ried off, no one could tell whither, by the daring 
buccaneer. 

In one hour more, their scenes of danger and trial 
passed, they hoped for ever, he was to fold licrjo 
his heart, his wedded bride! This hope filled- his 
bosom with ecstacy, as with an elastic step and joy- 
ous eye he ascended to the deck. 

The boats were already along side and manned ; 
and delaying a moment, to repeal his instructions to 
the chaplain in relation to the approaching ceremony, 
y.nd conuncndinir Constanza to the watchful atten- 



LAFITTE. 169 

tion of young Montville, he entered the cabin once 
inore, to en:ibrace her and assure her of his speedy 
return. 

" Why must you go, dearest D'Oyley ?" she in- 
quired pleadingly, "1 cannot trust you in that fear- 
ful cave again." 

" I shall not sta}^ my love ; I alone can conduct 
the expedition, which ihe safety of these seas ren- 
ders it necessary should be undertaken." 

" But you will quickly return ?" she inquired, de- 
taining him. 

"Before Venus hovering in the rosy west," he 
said, pointing to that lowly planet^ shining low in the 
western sky like a lesser moon, " shall wet her sil- 
ver slipper in the sea, will I return to you." 

The next moment, he was standing in the stern 
of the boat, which, propelled by twelve oars, moved 
steadily and swiftly up the rocky passage to the 
cave. 

About a quarter of a mile to the south of the grotto 
occupied by th.e buccaneers, extended from the 
cliff a narrow tongue of land, strewn with loose gi- 
gantic rocks. This tongue, connected by rocks and 
sand bars, with one of the parallel ridges confining 
the passage from the sea to the cave, formed the 
southern and eastern boundary of the basin, or la- 
goon, often before alluded to. Near its junction 
with the rocks of the pass, it spread out into a level 
flat, covered with long grass. It was half buried 
at noon day in shadow, cast by the rocks which 
overhung it on every side, but that opening to the 
water. In this direction the sea was visible through 
a narrow gap, a few yards in width. 

In the back part of this area, whose surface was 
rather less than an acre and a half, hid by a pro- 
jecting rock, which formed its roof, stood a rude hut 
made of cane branches and bamboo leaves inter- 
laid. A single door facing the sea, was the only 

Vol. II.— 15 



170 LAFITTE. 

aperture in the rude habitation, which, a wreath of 
blue smoke curling up its face indicated it to be. 
The sun justsettuig, reddened with his fiery beams 
the hideous features of an old decrepid hag, with a 
sunken eye full of malignity, toothless jaws, grizzly 
wool, long and tangled, and squallid figure bent 
nearly double with age and infirmity. It was Oula, 
and the rude liut, her habitation. 

She was an aged African sybil, a degenerate 
priestess of the terrible deity, fetish or the Obeah. 
Thiough her incantations, charms, amulets and pro- 
phecies, besides her skill in foretelling evil tidings, 
and her accuracy in giving the fortunes of her de- 
luded votaries, which were usually of her own hue, 
her name was widely extended. 

Occasionally there would be some of a paler 
complexion from among the buccaneers, from time 
to time resorting to the grotto, who sometimes 
honoured her art by seeking of her knowledge of 
their future destinies. 

As she squatted in the door of her hut, her eye 
was fixed upon the advancing frigate, though she 
watched its approach with apparent indiflerence. 
As the ship lessening her sail, finally dropped her 
anchor within half a mile of her wild abode, her fea- 
tures gave indication of interest. 

" Quacha !" she called in a low harsh voice, as 
the ship swung to her anchor. 

At the sound of her voice, a little deformed ne- 
gro, whose size indicated extreme youth, but whose 
large features, and the lines of sagacity and cun- 
ning drawn in his face, showed that he had seen 
many years, perhaps one-third of the number his 
mother, for in this relation she stood to him, herself 
counted, stood before her. His head was large, 
and covered with long, strait, shaggy hair, which fell 
in thick masses over his eyes. It was the head of an 



LAFITTE. 171 

adult, placed upon the shrivelled body of a sickly 
child. 

" Hoh, mummy!" he replied, as he emerged from 
the hut where he hid been lying, with his head 
among the ashes, wiih which he was cooking their 
evening meal. 

" Did you sa' dat Spanis' Martinez, come down 
in boat' day, Hugh ?" she inquired, without turning 
her head. 

'' 'Es or mum." 

" Wdt I teU'er 'bout nebber call me ol', you deb- 
bles' brat," she said, in a loud angry voice, and aim- 
ino" a blow at his bead, with a long staff she lield 
in her hand, which he from much practice, dexter- 
ously evaded, and improving his phraseology, re- 
plied — 

" 'Es, mummy." 

" Wat he come for, Quacha ?" 

" Quacha don't know, mummy. He sa' he- come 
see de ol' Obi." 

"Or Obi! he say dat?" she said, muttering; "I'll 
ol' Obi him, wit his black Spannis fas." 

" Hoh ! here he come hesef, mummy," exclaim- 
ed the hope and promise of the old beldame ; and 
the athletic, finely moulded figure of the young 
Spaniard emerged from a path, which, winding 
among the rocks, led to the main land, and stood 
before them. 

" Good even to you, Oula," he said, with an air 
in which superstitious reverence struggled with in- 
credulity and an inclination to jest with the myste- 
rious being, whose supernatural aid he sought. 

" Oula is't, an' god een," she growled. " Well, 
that's belter nor ol' Obi," she said, without turning 
her eyes from the frigate. *' You needn't 'spose 
any thing's hid from Oula. Wat for is she Obi, if 
not to know ebery ting." 

*' Now be at peace, Oula, and harm me not with 



172 LAFITTE. 

Obeah," he said, soothingly. " I meant not to an- 
ger you. Listen ! do you know the music of this 
gold ?" he asked, shaking several gold pieces in his 
hand — " I have brought it to give you, Oula." 

The eyes of the negress sparkled as she stretch- 
ed forth her bony arm, to grasp the coin, which he 
resigned to her greedy chitch. 

" Wat want for dese, Martinez? Sail Oula Obi 
you en'my, show you de prize-ship, or find de while 
breast buckra missy for you," she said, as slowly 
and carefully she told the money from one hand in- 
to the other. 

The Spaniard approached her, and said, with 
emphasis — " The last, Oula ! Serve me, and you 
shall have five times the coin you clasp so tigiitly 
there." 

" Come in, come in, Martinez," said she, rising 
upon her staff, and hobbling into the hut. Obi can 
do nothui' wid de fire-stars, looking down so bright." 

With a paler brow anti faltering step, he enter- 
ed the gloomy hut, half filled with smoke, and hot 
and fillliy, from the fumes of tobacco, and nauseous 
herbs, drying in the chimney, which was built of 
loose stones. 

Closing the door, after commanding Quacha to 
stay without and watch against intrusion, she point- 
ed Martinez to a seat upon a fragment of rock, and 
bidding hrni turn his back and preserve the strictest 
silence till she spoke, she commenced her myste- 
rious preparations. 

Baring her shrivelled arms and scraggy neck, 
she passed her long fingers through her tangled 
hair till it stood out from her head like the quills of 
a porcupine. Then taking from a box by the fire- 
place, a tiara, or head-dress, formed of innumerable 
stuffed water-snakes, curiously interwoven, so that 
their heads were all turned outward, forming in the 
eye of her credulous devotee, a formidable and ter- 



LAFITTE. 173 

rific coronet for the sorceress, she placed it upon 
her dislirivelled locks — a second Medusa. 

From the same repository which used to con- 
lain her materials for practisincr Obeah, she drew 
forth a necklace, strung wiili the claws and teeth 
of cats, the fangs of serpents and the teeth of 
hanged men, which, with great solemnity of man- 
ner, she passed three limes around her neck. To 
this, she suspended a lillle red bag, filled with grave 
dirt, and tied up with the hair of a murdered wo- 
man. Bracelets, of similar materials of the neck- 
lace, with the addition of the beak of a parrot, which 
had been taught to speak the thiee magic names of 
Fetish, ornamented her arms. Er.circling her 
waist with an enormous green and black serpent, 
she tied it by the head and tail, leaving them to 
dangle before her. 

Then oiling her face, arms, neck, and breast, she 
dipped her finger into a basin of water which stood 
upon the box, muttering mean while, words unin- 
telligible to the Spaniard. Taking an iron pot, 
she placed it, with great solemnuy, in the back 
part of the hut, leaving room to pass between it and 
the wall. 

These preparations completed with great show 
of ceremony, she took from a branch upon which 
it lay, a long slender human bone, and stirred the 
fire with its charred end. Laying this aside, she 
took from the same place, a skeleton hand, the 
joints retained in their places by wires, with which 
she took up a live coal, and placed it under the pot. 
After several coals were transferred from the fire 
place, in this manner, she got down upon her knees, 
before the fire, she had thus kindled under the 
pot, and began to blow it until it blazed. 

Then rising and hobbling to the fire-place, she slip- 
ped a slide which had once belonged to a binnacle 
case, and reaching her hand into the cavity, drew 

15* 



174 LAFITTE. 

forth from its roost a snow white cock, fat, and un- 
wieldy, fro«i long, and careful keeping. 

This bird, held sacred in all Obeah rites, the old 
sorceress placed over the coals, upon a roost which 
she had constructed of three human bones, two pla- 
ced upright, and one laid on them horizontally. 

These mysterious preparations completed, she 
walked three times round the cauldron, working, as 
she moved, her features into the most passionate 
contortions, so that when she slopped on comple- 
ting her round, her face was more demoniac than 
human in its aspect and expression. In a shrill, 
startling voice she then addressd her votary. 

"Rise, huckra, look; no speak !" 

The Spaniard had witnessed with feelings of dis- 
may which he could not subdue, all the ominous 
preparations we have described, reflected in a small 
broken mirror which he was made purposely by her 
to face, that by its imperfect representation the re- 
ality might be exaggerated by her visiters, and their 
fears acted upon, better to prepare them for her 
purpose. 

As she spoke, he stood up and turned with a wild 
look, while his hand voluntarily grasped the hilt of 
his cutlass. The distorted features of the beldam, 
and her strange ornaments and appalling prepara- 
tions met his superstitious eye. She allowed him 
to survey the scene before him for a moment, and 
then commenced chanting in rude improvisatore : 

" Now tell huckra, wat dat you 
Ax of Fetish for you do? 
If you b'lieve dat Fetish know 
Ebery ting abub, below — 
Den you hub all dat you seek, 
Walk dree times roun', den buckra speak." 

Seizing his passive hand as she addressed him, she 
leaped with almost supernatural activity three times 
around the pot, drawing him after her with reluc- 



LAFITTE. 175 

tant steps, yet fearing to hold back. The third time 
she paused, and taking an earthen vessel from the 
box, she commenced dancing round the fire, com- 
manding him to foUow, dropping as she whirled, 
something she took from it into the iron vessel, the 
while chanting in a rude measure ; — 

"Here de unborn baby heart, 

Fetisli lub dis much ! 
Here de hair from off de cat 

Dat knaw de nails, 

Eat out de eyes, 

Dat drink de blood 

Ob dead man. 
Here de poison for de friend ? 

Fetish lub dis too ! 
Here de trouble for de foe ! 
Here de egg ob poison snake — 
Here de head ob speckle cock — 
Here de blood, and here de dirt 

From de coffin, from de grave 

Of murdered 'ooman an' her babe." 

Then followed some unintelligible incantation, in a 
languacre unknown to the {Spaniard, and still grasp- 
ing both of his hands, she whirled with him around 
the cauldron. Suddenly stopping, after many rapid 
revolutions during which her body writhed in con- 
vulsions, while the astonished and paralyzed victim 
of his own superstition, yielded passively to the 
strange rites in which he was now an unwilling ac- 
tor, she acrain commenced her monotonous chant, 
in the same wild and shrill tone of voice : 

" Now de blood from near de heart. 
Perfect make de Obeah art ; 
Buckra's wish will dei: be grant, 
An' Fetish gib him dat he want." 

*' What mean you, Oula ?'^ he inquired, as the 
Obeah priestess drew a long knife from her girdle 
and held the earthen vessel in the other hand. She 
replied, while her eyes darkened with malignity and 
her features grew more haggard and hideous i 



176 LAFITTE. 



" After buckra tell his wish, 
Den his blood nius' till (lis dish ; 
Middle linger — middle vein, 
Blood from dat will gib no pain — 
In de kittle it shall mix, 
Wid hangman's bones for stirring sticks ! 
Now buckra Spaniard, wat's dy wilH 
Speak ! dy wis' to Oula, tell." 



And she fixed her eyes, before whose strange ex- 
pression his own quailed, full upon her votary. 

The Spaniard, who had sought her in the full be- 
lief of her supernatural powers, to solicit her aid in 
the accomplishment of his object, was wholly un- 
prepared for the scenes — of magnitude, to one of 
his tone of mind — which he had passed through. 
It was several moments before he recovered his 
self-possession, and then an impulse to withdraw his 
application, rather than pursue his object, influenced 
him. But after a moment's reflection, and recol- 
lection of the object he sought in this visit to her, 
he summoned resolution, and replied with a hoarse 
voice, while he looked about him suspiciously, as if 
fearful of being overheard, 

" Oula, there is a maiden beautiful as the 
moon ! I love her — but she would scorn me if I 
wooed her, and she is also betrothed to another. 
He was my prisoner — I brought him to this 
island and imprisoned him to await our captain's 
arrival. The next day, befoie my vessel sailed 
again, she was brought in a prisoner. I bribed my 
captain, and lingered behind in disguise, that I 
might see her, of wliorn I had heard so much. I 
at length had a glimpse of her from the opening in 
the top of the cave, and when I saw her — I loved 
her. 

" Loved her to marry, Martinez ?" she said, with 
an ironical grin. 

" I said not so," replied the Spaniard, quickly. 



LAFITTE. 177 

" I loved her with a burning passion. I sought to 
gain the part of the grotto she occupied, and arrang- 
ed nay plan; but Lafifte returned, and the next day 
I would have effected it, but they the last night es- 
caped, she and her lover, and I have all the day been 
planning son?ie way to obtain her. This evening as 
I was sitting by the cave, cursing my fate and 
thinking perhaps 1 should never see her more^ 
yonder frigate hove in sight. I took a glass and 
watched her until she dropped her anchor — and 
whom think you I saw upon her deck ?" 

" The buckra lady ?" 

" The same — I knew her by her form and air. 
She leaned upon the arm of my late prisoner, who 
is, no doubt, commander of the ship." 

" What you want done ?" she inquired, as he ab- 
ruptly paused. 

"1 would possess her," he replied warmly ; "now 
good Oula, fulfil your boasted promise," he added 
eagerly, as his dark eye flashed with hope and pas- 
sion. 

" It hard business — but Fetish he do ebery ting — 
you'bleive dat, buckra Martinez," she added, fixing 
her blood-shot and suspicious eye upon him. 

" All, every thing, only give me power to accom- 
plish my desires," he exclaimed, impatiently. 

" Dat you sail hab," she replied, seizing his arm; 
" hoi you lef arm — dat next de heart's blood," she 
cried, chanting, 

" Blood from heart, 

Firs' mus' part, 
'Fore Fetish 
Grant you wish.** 

With revolting gestures, and brandishing her 
glistening knife, she danced around him, then fas- 
tening her long fingers upon his hand, she contin- 
ued, 



178 LAFITTE. 

" From middle finger — middle vein, 
Blood must flow, you' end to gain." 

When the Spaniard, after a struggle between ap- 
prehension and fear of failing in his object, and of 
danger to himself, made up his mind to go through 
the ordeal, though resolved to watch her so that she 
should inflict no severe wound upon his hand, the 
voice of the old beldam's son was heard at the door 
in altercation with some one in the possession of a 
voice no less discordant than his own. 

The Obeah surprised in the middle of her orgies 
in a shrill angry voice, demanded the cause of this 
interruf)tion. 

" Jt is Cudjoe, mummy — he want see ol' Obi, he 
sa'." 

" Maldicho !" exclaimed the Spaniard, "it were 
as much as my head is worth for Lafitte's slave to 
find me here, when I should be at sea. " Is there 
no outlet?" he inquired, hastily. 

" No — but here be de deep hole," she said, re- 
moving some branches and old clothing — this will 
hide you. He mus come in, or he brak in," she 
added, as Cudjoe's anxiety to enter grew more ob- 
vious by his loud demand for admittance, and his 
repeated heavy blows against the door. 

The Spaniard, not in a situation to choose his 
place of concealment, let himself down into the hole, 
which formed her larder and store-room, and seating 
himself upon a cask, was immediately covered over 
with branches and blankets. 

" What for such rackett, you Coromantee nigger 
— break in lone 'oomans house afer dark," she 
grumbled with much apparent displeasure, as taking 
a lighted brand in her hand, she unbarred the frail 
door. 

At the sight of her strange attire and wild ap- 
pearance, increased by the flame of the burning 
brand she held, alternately flashing redly upon her 



LAFITTE. 179 

person, and leaving it in obscurity, the slave drew 
back with an exclamation of terror. The old sor- 
ceress, who with a strange but common delusion, 
believed that she possessed tlie power for which 
the credulous gave her credit — having deceived 
others so long, that she ultimately deceived herself 
— enjoyed his surprise, feeling it a compliment to 
her art, and received character, as one of the terrible 
priestesses of Fetish. 

" Hugh ! Coromantee," she said, " if you start 
dat away, at Oula, wat tinky you do, you see Fe- 
tish? What you want dis time?" she inquired, ab- 
ruptly. " What for you no wid you massa Lafitle ?" 

" Him sail way af'er de prisoners dat get way- 
las night, and leave Cudjoe sleep in de cave like a 
col' dead nigger, and know noffin." 

" Gi me ! well what for you come 'sturb Oula — 
you no 'fraid she obi you ?" 

" Oh Gar Armighly ! good Oula, nigger ! dont 
put de finger on me. Cudjoe come for Obi," ex- 
claimed the slave in alarm. 

" Obi can do nottin without music ob de gold," 
she said, mechanically extending her hand. 

"Cudjoe know dat true well 'nuff," he replied, 
taking several coins of copper, silver, and gold, 
from the profound depth of his pocket, in which al- 
most every article of small size missing in the ves- 
sel in which he sailed, always found a snug berth. 

Giving her the money, which she counted wilh 
an air somewhat less satisfied than that she wore 
when telling the weightier coin of the Spaniard, 
she invited him into her hut. 

Casting his eyes around the gloomy apartment 
with awe, he at last rested his gaze upon the white 
cock which still reposed upon his roost of human 
bones. Gradually, as he looked, and became more 
familiar with the gloom of the interior, his eye dila- 
ted with superstitious fear, and without removing it 



180 LAFITTE. 

from the sacred bird, he sunk first on one knee, then 
on the other, the while rapidly repeating some hea- 
thenish form of adjuration, and then fell prostrate, 
with his face to the damp earth. 

For a moment, he remained in this attitude of 
worship, in which fear predominated over devotion, 
when the voice of Oula aroused him. 

" Dat good — Obeah like dat. Now what you 
want Cudjoe ? be quick wid your word, coz I hab 
much bus'ness to do jus dis time." 

" Cudjoe w^ant revenge ob hell !" replied the slave 
rising to his knees, his features at once changing 
to a fiendish expression, in faithful keeping with his 
wish. 

" Bon Gui ! Who harm you now, Coromantee ?" 
she inquired in a tone of sympathy, gratified at 
meeting a spirit and feelings kindred with her own. 

" Debbie ! Who ?" he said fiercely, " more dan 
de fingers on dese two han'!" 

" What dare name ?" she inquired. " Obeah mus' 
know de name." 

Here the. slave, w^ho never forgave an insult eli- 
cited by his personal deformities, recapitulated the 
injuries he imagined he had suffered from this cause, 
while the old beldam gave a willing ear, forgetting 
in her participation of his feelings, her first visiter, 
who impatiently awaited the termination of this in- 
terview. And as he heard his own name in the cat- 
alogue of vengeance repeated by the slave, he mut- 
tered within his teeth, that ihe slave should rue the 
hour he sought the Obcah's skill. 

" Gi me !" she exclaimed, as he ended. " All 
dese you want hab me gib obi ! Hugh ! what nice 
picking for de jonny crows dey make. But dare 
mus' be more gold. Hough! hoh ! hoh !" she 
laughed, or rather croaked. " Gab me ! what plenty 
dead men ! Well, you be de good cus'omer, if you 
be de Coromantee nigger !" 



LAFITTEv iSi 

" Will de obi be set for dem all ?" he impatiently 
inquired. 

" Dare mus' be two tree tings done fus;you mus' 
take de fetish in de fus place," she said, going to 
her box and taking from it an ebony idol carved into 
many grotesque variations of the human form. 
"Here is de great Fetish," slie continued; "now 
put you right han' on de head ob dis white bird, 
while I hoi' dis felisli to you lips. Dare," she con- 
tinued, as he tremblingly assumed the required po- 
sition and manner, "dare, now swear you b'leve 
wat 1 speak — 

Fetish he be black — debil he be white. 

Sun he make for nigger, — for buckra is mak de night. 

Now kiss de fetish," she said, as he repeated after 
her the form of an Obeah oath, administered only to 
those of her own race and religion. One or two 
other similar ceremonies were performed, when 
she suddenly exclaimed, "Darelhab it — how de 
debble, no tink sooner ?" 

" Coromanlee," she said abruptly — "dare is one 
ting more mus' be done, or Fetish do noffin' and 
Obeah no be good." 

The slave looked at her inquiringly, and she con- 
tinued : " Dare mus' be de blood from de heart ob a 
white breas' lady, to dip de wing ob de white bird 
in. You mus' get de lady ; she mus' be young, 
hab black eye, an' nebber hab de husban'. Do dis, 
an' vou sail hab you wish." ' 

The slave's countenance fell, as he heard the an- 
nouncement suggested by her practised subtlety. 

" Dare was a while lady," he replied, " in de 
schooner, but she gone — oh gar ! it take debble time 
to do dis ;" he said whh an air of disappointment. 
"Mus' de great Fetish hab one ?" he inquired anx- 
iously. 

Vol. II.— 16 



1S2 lafitte. 

" He mus', he do noffin widout ;" she rephed de- 
terminedly. 

The slave stood lamenting the loss of his antici- 
pated revenge, when she inquired if he saw the fri- 
gate that dropped her anchor half an hour before, off 
the pass. On his replying in the affirmative, she 
said, " dare is a lady board dat ship, may serve de 
purpose. As de ship was swung roun', 1 see her in 
de window on de stern." 

The eyes of the slave lighted up at this intelli- 
gence. 

*' Wat frigate is dat Oula ?" 

" I don' know," she replied ; fearing if the slave 
knew the lady to be the Castillian his master had 
protected, he would decline the enterprise upon 
which she was about sending him. 

" No matter 'bout de ship," she replied, " de lady 
dare. De stern lie close to de rocks ; you can go 
out to de end ob de passage, and den swim under 
de stern — climb up de rudder, or some way into de 
window an' take her off before dey can catch you 
in de dark. You hear dis — now wat you say ?" 

The slave, without replying, darted through the 
door, and before the old woman could gain the out- 
side, to warn him to be cautious, his retreating form, 
as he ran rapidly along the rocky ridge in the direc- 
tion of the frigate, was lost to her eye. 






LAFITTE. 183 



CHAPTER 11. 



" The dissimulation and cunning of those practising Obeah, is incre- 
dible. The Africans have an opinion that insanity and supernatural 
inspiration are combined, and commonly, knaves and lunatics are the 
persons who play the parts of sorcerers or sorceresses. Instances are 
on record where they have fallen victims to the revenge of votaries, 
when their Obeah failed in its eflfects, or did injury." 

The West Indies. 

the slave akd his captive — his revenge— pursuit of the 
strange sail. 

After the count left the frigate on his expedition 
against tlie rendezvous of the pirates, the fair girl, 
whose star of happiness seenned now in the ascen- 
dant, and about to shine propitiously upon her fu- 
ture life, re-assumed her recHning attitude by the 
cabin window, which overlooked the sea in the 
direction of her native land. For a few moments, 
her thoughts were engaged upon her approaching 
bridal ; but gradually, they assumed the garb of 
memory, and winging, like a wearied bird, over the 
evening sea, reposed in the home of her childhood. 
As she still gazed vacantly upon the fading hori- 
zon, she was conscious that a dark object broke its 
even line. It grew larger, and approached the fri- 
gate rapidly before she was called from her half- 
conscious abstraction by a change in its appearance; 
when, fiiing her look more keenly in the direction, 
she saw it was a schooner just rounding to about a 
mile beyond the frigate. Apparently, it had not as 
yet, been observed from the deck, as all eyes were 



184 



LAFITTE, 



turned to the shore, following the boats which had 
just gained the foot of the cliff. 

At the sight of the vessel, so nearly resembling 
the one whose prisoner she had been, her capture 
and its trying scenes canne vividly before her mind, 
and she turned her face from an object, connected 
with such disagreeable associations. The approach- 
ing ceremony again agitated her bosom ; and as her 
eye rested upon a mirror in the opposite pannel, she 
parted with care her dark hair from her forehead, 
arranged in more graceful folds her mantilla, and all 
the woman beamed in her fine eyes as they met 
the reflection of her lovely countenance and sym- 
metrically moulded figure. 

''How long he stays ! — he must have been gone 
full an hour," she said, unconsciously aloud. "The 
virgin protect him from harm ?" 

" T^e count will soon return, ma'moiselle," said a 
small mulatto boy, who acted as steward of the 
state rooms, now that they were occupied by their 
fair inmate. She turned as he spoke, 

" Is there danger, boy ?" 

"None, please you ma'moiselle — the men on 
deck, say the rovers have left their rock, and that 
there will be no fighting." 

" Sacra diable !" he suddenly shrieked, pointing 
to the state-room window, at which appeared the 
head of the slave. Constanza also turned, but only 
to be grasped in his frightful arms. At first sur- 
prised, and too much paralized with fear to scream, 
Cudjoe prevented her from giving the alarm by 
winding her mantilla about lier mouth, and hastily 
conveyed her through the window or port hole, from 
Avhich the gun, usually stationed there, had been 
removed. Rapidly letting himself, with his bur- 
den, down by the projections of the rudder, he drop- 
ped with her into the sea, and laising her head 
above water with one muscular arm, a few vigorous 



LAFITTE. 185 

Strokes with the other bore him within the black 
shadow of the rocks behind a projecting point of 
which, he disappeared. 

Re-entering tiie hiU after the abrupt departure of 
the slave, Oula released the Spaniard from his place 
of concealment, and informed him of her plan to 
place the lady in his power. 

" You are a very devil for happy thoughts," he 
said, with animation ; but if the revengeful slave 
gets her, I may thank you, and not Fetish, for the 
prize. Have her this night I must, for I expect my 
schooner." 

" Ha ! there is the Julie now, by the holy 
twelve !" he exclaimed, as his quick eye rested upon 
the object which had attracted the attention of Con- 
stanza. "Getzendanner will be putting a boat in for 
me, and yet he must see the frigate unless she lays 
too dark in the cliff's shadow. St. Peter, send for- 
tune with the slave ! Will he bring her to the hut 
if he^succeeds, think you, Oula?" he suddenly and 
sharply inquired, as a suspicion of change in the 
negro's purpose flashed across his mind. 

"Bring de lady?" she exclaimed in surprize, 
" he know he finger rot oif — he eye fall out — and 
he hair turn to de live snake wid de fang, if he no 
bring her — He no dare keep her way." 

Solaced by this assurance, he paced the little 
green plat before the cabin, often casting his eyes 
in the direction of the frigate. Nearly half an hour 
elapsed after the departure of Cudjoe, when the 
robes of the maiden borne in the arms of the slave 
caught his eye. 

" Back, back, you spoil de whole," exclaimed 
Oula, as the impatient Spaniard darted forward to 
seize his prize. 

Instead of the maiden's lovely form, he met the 
herculean shoulders of the slave, whose long knife 
16* 



186 LAFITTE. 

passed directly tbroiigb his heart. Without a word 
or a groan, Martinez iell dead at his feet. 

Resicrning the maiden to the faithful Juana, who 
followed immediately behind, Cudjoe sprung for- 
ward with a cry of vindictive rage, and before Quia 
could comprehend bis motives, the reeking blade 
passed tlirongli her withered bosom. 

" Take dis bag ob hell !" he shouted, as he drew 
forth the knife from her breast. " You make no 
more fool ob Cudjoe, for de curs' Spaniard." 

" Grande diable ! what debble dis ?" he suddenly 
yelled and groaned, as the son of the slain Obeah 
leaped upon his neck, when he saw his mother fall, 
and grappled his throat tightly with his fingers, 
while he fixed his leeth deep into his flesh. The 
struggle between them was but for a moment. 
Finding it impossible to disengage his fingers, the 
slave bent his arm backward, and passed his long 
knife up through his body. The thrust was a skil- 
ful one, and fatal to the boy, who released his 
grasp, and fell back in the death struggle to the 
gi'ound. 

In the meanwhile, Juana had borne Constanza 
to the fire, in the hut, and was using every means 
to restore circulation to the chilled limbs of the un- 
conscious girl. 

The interview between the Spaniard and Oula, 
had been overheard by Juana, from the rock above 
the hut. After the escape of her mistress and the 
count, and the departure of Lafitte and his men, in 
pursuit — with the exception of Cudjoe, who, in the 
hurry and confusion of geiting undervveigh, was 
left behind, and with whom she was accustomed 
occasionally to indulge in social African gossip on 
ship-board — she had been left quite alone. This, 
solitude and anxiety on account of her mistress, led 
her, at the approach of evening,, lo pay a visit to the 



LAFITTE. 187 

old sybil, for the purpose of consulting her respect- 
ing her safet}'. 

After the hasty departure of the slave, to obey 
the commands ot Oula, she descended the rock over- 
hnnging the hut, and rapidly following him, she 
awaited his return, and then communicated to him 
the information relative to the JSpaniard and the lady. 
Indignant at this treachery towards one whom he 
regarded as liis master's lady, and enraged that 
tlie old woman should ihus use him as the tool for 
the Spaniard, he drew [lis knife, bounded forward, 
and met Martinez with the fatal result we have just 
mentioned. 

When the slave entered the hut, after his bloody 
revenge was completed, Juana informed him of the 
expedition against the cave which she had seen 
moving from its destination towards the rock above 
the hut. 

Constanza soon recovering, Juana led her forth 
into the air, and told her that she would go round 
with her to the cave, where the boats of her lover 
then were, at the same time warning Cudjoe to en- 
deavour to get on board the schooner, and escape 
from the French seamen. The slave looked sea- 
ward, where she could just be discovered lying to, 
and m a few seconds afterward, he saw a boat pull- 
ing close to the shore. Supposing, from the lan- 
guage of the Spaniard, that it was sent for him, and 
thai the schooner was the Julie, he bid Juana con- 
duct Constanza to the barges of the frigate, and has- 
tily leaving them, he approached the boat, which 
now touched the beach. 

" Boat ahoy !" he hailed, as he came near. 

" Ha, Cudjoe ! that's your sweet voice, in a thou- 
sand !" replied one, in answer to his hail— "how 
came you here ?" 

" The captain, sail and leab me sleep in de cabe," 
he replied ; " I must go lo Barrita in de Julie," 



188 LAFITTE. 

" You are right welcome, my beaut}' ; but where's 
Martinez ?" 

" He was jus' killed by de Frenchman, in shore. 
I jus' 'scape vvid my neck." 

" Frenchman ? how V exclaimed the man, in sur- 
prise. " What do you mean ?" 

" No see dal frigate, dar ? I tought you bol' nufF 
to com' in right under her guns. See her ! dere 
she lay. You can hardly tell her masts from de 
trees." 

The man looked for a mom.ent steadily, and then 
exclaimed — " By the holy St. Peter, you say truly. 
Spring into the boat, Cudjoe. Shove off, men — 
shove off, and give way like devils to your oars. — 
We must be out of this, or we shall have hard quar- 
ters between Monsieur's decks." 

In a few moments, they stood on the deck of 
the schooner, which immediately filled and stood 
seaward. — Her subsequent career is already known 
to the reader. 

Before Juana gained the cave, with her charge, 
to effect which she had first to ascend the cliff, and 
then descend by a perilous foot-way, to the platform 
before it, the object of the count had been effected. 
The gun had been pitched over into the basin, and 
the arms and stores either destroyed or carried off. 
When he gained the deck of his frigate, he was 
met by the first lieutenant, who reported a sail in 
the offing. " She has been lying to some time, 
sir," he added. 

" Ha, I see her ! she is now standing out," said 
the count, as he took his glass from his eye, 

" Shall we get under way, sir V inquired ihe lieu- 
tenant. 

" Not yet, Monsieur," replied he smiling. " We 
have a festival below, which will require the pre- 
sence of my officers ; and the men must make merry 
to-night ;" and winged with love, he hastened to meet 



LAFITTE. 189 

Constanza. Entering the state-room, he encoun- 
tered ihe prostrate form of the mulatto boy, who 
was lying insensible by the door. 

Glancing his eyes hastily around the apartment, 
whilst his heart palpitated with a sudden foreboding 
of evil, the loved form he sought, no where me this 
eager gaze. Alarmed, he called her name, and 
searched every recess of that and the adjoining state 
rooms. 

" My God } where can she be ?" he exclaimed, 
now highly excited ; " Can she have fallen into the 
water from this port ? yet, it cannot be — Constanza! 
my betrothed, my beloved ! speak to me, if you are 
near !" he cried, hoping, yet with trembling, that she 
might still be concealed — playfully hiding from him 
to try, as maidens will do, her lover's tenderness. 
" Yet if here, what means this ?" he added raising 
the boy; " There is life here — he has fainted — speak 
Anloine, open your eyes and look at me !" 

The boy still remained insensible; but the count 
by applying restoratives hastily taken from the toi- 
let of the maiden, soon restored his suspended fac- 
ulties. To his eager questions the boy told in reply 
of the hideous visage that appeared at the port-hole, 
enlarging upon h:s black face and white tusks. 

Was it a man or a wild beast?" he interrogated. 

"Oh ! Monsieur, one man-devil — with such long 
arms, and long white tusks like a boar!" he replied, 
clinging to the person of the officer, and looking 
fearfully around, as if expecting the appalling ap- 
parition to start momentarily upon his sight. 

The brow of the lover changed to the hue of 
death; the blood left his lips, and faintly articula- 
ting " Lafitte's slave !" he reeled, and would have 
fallen to the floor, had not the boy cauglit him. Re- 
covering himself by a vigorous intellectual and phy- 
sical effort, he stood for an instant in thought, as if 
resolving upon some mode of action. 



190 LAFITTE. 

All at once he spoke, in a voice hollow and 
deep vviih emotion, and awful with gatherin^^as- 
sion. 

" Lafitte — thou seared and branded outlaw — cur- 
sed of God and loathed of men — fit compeer of hell's 
dark spirits — blaster of human happiness — destroyer 
of innocence ! Guilty thyself, thou wouldst make 
all like thee ! Scorner of purity, thou wouldst 
unmake, and make it guilt. Like Satan, thou 
sowest tares of sorrow among the seeds ot peace 
— thou seekest good to make it evil ! — Renegade 
of mankind ! — Thou art a blot among thy race, 
the living presence of that moral pestilence which 
men and Holy Writ term sin ! Oh, that my 
words were daggers, and each one pierced thy 
heart ! then would I talk on, till the last trumpet 
called tiiee from thy restless shroud to face me. 
But, Lafitte ! Lafitte !" he added, in a voice that 
rung like a battle cry, " I will first face thee on 
earth ! As true as there is one living God, 1 will be 
revenged on thee for this foul and grievous wrong ! 

" Ha ! why do I stand here, idly wasting words ? 
he is not far off. I may pursue and take him within 
the hour — and" he added, bounding to the deck, 
"perhaps Constanza, ere it be — too late." 

His voice, as he issued his orders to get at once 
under weigh, rung with an energy and sternness 
the startled officers and seamen never knew before. 
Having rapidly communicated the disappearance of 
Constanza, he learned from the officer of the watch 
that some of the men who had joined the shore ex- 
pedition, on returning, said they had seen a sail in 
the offing. " But after having swept the whole ho- 
rizon with my glass," he contin\J^d, "and discern- 
ing nothing, I conpluded they must have been de- 
ceived, and therefore, did not report it. Now, I 
think they were right." 

" That vessel was Lafittc's and Constanza is on 



LAFITTE. 191 

board of her," exclaimed the count. " We must 
pursue, and if there is strength in wind or speed in 
ships, overtake and capture her this night. Call the 
men who saw her." 

The seamen being interrogated, indicated by the 
compass the direction the sail bore from the frigate, 
when they discovered it. Towards this point, lea- 
ving her anchor behind, the ship, in less tlian three 
minutes after the count had ascended to the deck, 
began to move with great velocity, her tall masts 
bending gracefully to one side, as if they would 
kiss the leaping waves, the water surging before her 
swelling bows, and gurgling with hoarse but lively 
music around her rudder. 

All that night, a night of intense agony to the 
count, a bright watch was kept on every quarter; 
yet the morning broke without discovering the ob- 
ject of their pursuit. The horizon was unbroken 
even by a cloud ; a calm had fallen upon the 
sea, and not a wave curled to the zephyrs, which 
from time to time danced over its polished surface, 
scarcely dimpling it. 

For several days, within sight of the distant isl- 
and, the frigate lay becalmed, during which period, 
the lover, unable to contend with the fever of his 
burning thoughts, became delirious. The winds 
rose and again died away ! Storms ploughed the 
face of the deep, and calms reigned upon the sea ! 
Yet he was unconscious of any change; day and 
night he raved, and called on the name of his be- 
trothed. During this period the frigate cruised 
along the coast, the officer in command not wishing 
to take any step ifntil he knew the mind of the 
count. 

On the twelfth day after the disappearance of 
Constanza, he was so far recovered as to ascend to 
the deck. His brow was pale, and his eye piercing 
with an unwonted expression. 



192 LAFITTE. 

*' Twelve days Montville — so long ? There is no 
hope — but there is revenge !" and his eyes flashed 
as his voice swelled with emotion and passion. " Put 
about for Barritaria !" he added quickly, rising and 
walking the deck with much agitation. " My only 
passion, my only purpose now shall be to meet that 
man — the bane of my happiness ! Destiny has bid 
him cross my path, and destiny shall bid him die by 
my hand." 

On the third morning, they arrived at the island 
of Barritaria — prepared to destroy that strong hold 
of the pirates, when, instead of a formidable fleet — 
a strong fortress and extensive camp — they found 
desolation. The day before, the buccaneers had 
been dispersed, their vessels captured, and their 
fort dismantled. Here and there wandered a strag- 
gler, ragged and w^ounded — no boats were visible, 
and the smoke of two or three vessels, and the 
ruined camp of the pirates, told how recently and 
completely the revenge of the count had been antici- 
pated. 

From a wounded pirate, whom they took prisoner, 
he learned that Lafitte had been recently at Barri- 
taria, and had gone to New Orleans to join the Ame- 
rican forces in the defence of that city. 

Piloted by one of his men who-was acquainted 
with the inlets and bayous, communicating with 
the Mississippi, he gave orders to his first lieuten- 
ant to await his return, and proceeded at once up 
to the city. On his approach the next morning, the 
thunder of artillery filled his ears, and burning with 
revenge, he urged his oarsmen to their strength. 

Entering the Mississippi about two leagues be- 
low the city, on the morning of the eighth of Janu- 
ary, by a diflbrent route from that taken on a former 
occasion by Lafitte, he crossed to the opposite shore, 
from which came the roar of cannon, the crash of 
musketry, and shouts of combatants, while a dense 



LAFITTE. 193 

cloud of smoke enveloped the plain to the extent of 
half a mile along llie river. 

"There, face to face, steel to steel, will I meet 
him I seek, or — death," he exclaimed. 

Learning from a fisherman the disposition of the 
two armies, and the point defended by the outlaw, 
he crossed the river, and alter pulling up agauist 
the current for a third of a mile, he landed airudst 
a shower of balls and joined in the battle. 

After he had, as he thought, achieved his revenge, 
in the fall of Lafitte, whose personal combat with him 
has already been detailed, the count, himself severely 
wounded, returned to his boat. In a few minutes 
he grew faint from loss of blood, and was landed 
by his crew at a negro's hut on the banks of the 
river. Here he remained several days, confined to 
a wretched couch, until his wound enabled him to 
proceed. 

As he was about to order his boatmen to prepare 
for their departure, he heard the name of Lafitte 
mentioned by the liospitable slave who was his host, 
in conversation with some one outside of the hut. 

" What of him?" he exclaimed. 

" Dere him schooner, massa — gwine down de 
libber !" 

" What, that light-rigged vessel ?" he said, point- 
ing to a small, but beautiful armed schooner. "No 
— no — he is slain." 

" He was wounded in the battle of the eighth, 
with two of his lieutenants, Sebastiano and a Dutch- 
man, Getzendanner, 1 believe they call him," said 
a fislierman, coming forward; "but Lafitte is now 
well, and has purchased that vessel, formerly his 
own, and is going — they say, now he lias received 
his pardon — to spend his days in the West Indies, 
or in France." 

" Ha — say you, Monsieur ! — Was it not him then I 

Vol. II.— 17 



194 LA^lTffi. 

met on the field ? Yet it must have been — know 
you certainly that he sails away in that schooner ?" 
he inquired, eagerly of the man, turning to look as 
he spoke, at the vessel vv^hich, with swift and grace- 
ful motion, with all sail set, moved down the river, 
rapidly disappearing in the distance. 

*' I saw him standing upon the deck as she pass- 
ed," replied the fisherman, decidedly. 

" Then shall he not escape me," cried the count ; 
and calling to his crew, he hastened to his boat, and 
in a few minutes was on the way to his frigate, re- 
solved, if possible, to intercept the schooner at the 
Balize. 

The following day he reached his ship, and im- 
mediately, with his heart steeled to ihe consumma 
tion of his revenge, got under-weigh for the mouth 
of the Mississippi. 



LAFITTE. 195 



CHAPTER III. 



" The consequences of crime are not confined to the guilty indivi- 
dual. Besides the public wrong, they are felt in a greater or less de- 
gree by his friends. Parents suffer more from the crimes of men than 
others. It ought to be the severest mental punishment, for a guilty 
man, if not wholly depraved, to witness a wife's or a parent's wretch- 
edness, produced by his owti acts." 

Letters on Political Economy. 



. A RAMBLE— SURPRISE — AT SEA— CONVERSATION— LAFON. 

We will leave the count in pursuit of Lafitte, 
now no longer " the outlaw^ He had recovered 
his favourite vessel, " The Gertrude," which had 
been captured with the rest of the fleet ; and with 
a select crew, drawn frona his fornner adherents, 
set sail a few days after we left him in the convent, 
for his rendezvous in the Gulf of Gonsaves, for the 
purpose of carrying into effect the resolutions he 
there made. To Constanza — whom we left at this 
rendezvous, with the faithful Juana on her way to 
the boats of her lover's frigate — we will now turn 
the attention of our readers. 

When the desolate and unhappy girl found the 
frigate's boats had left the rock, her heart sunk with- 
in her, and when the ship, shortly after, stood sea- 
ward, under full sail, she at once surrendered her- 
self to hopeless wretchedness. Three weeks she 
remained in the grotto, with a kind slave, her only 



196 LAFITTE. 

companion, from whom she received every atten- 
tion that circumstances permitted. 

Her mind was daily tortured with fears of the 
approach of some of the pirate's squadron, or of 
Lafitte himself, whom, if again thrown into his 
power, she feared above all. As yet she was igno- 
rant of the scenes he had passed through — 
the great change in his destiny — the honourable 
career he had commenced, and his pardon by 
the adnjinistrator of the laws he had so long vio- 
lated. If she had known all this, and known that 
love for her, united with a noble patriotism, influ- 
enced him to take these steps, how different would 
have been her feelings ? — With what other emo- 
tions than of fear, would she have anticipated his 
approach ? 

Tlie moon had shone tremblingly in the west, 
like the fragment of a broken ring, had displayed 
a broad and shining shield, and had nearly faded 
again into the pale eastern skies, and yet Constanza 
remained an inmate of the grotto. 

Late in the afternoon, three days after w-e took 
leave of the count, on his way to intercept the Ger- 
trude at the Balize, Constanza ascended the 
cliff, above the terrace, to survey, as she had done 
each long day of her imprisonment, the exten- 
sive horizon spread out before her to the south and 
west, hoping to discover the white sails of the fri- 
gate, which contained all that bound her to exis- 
tence. 

As night gathered over the sea, she descended 
the cliif, and walked towards the point where stood 
the hut of the deceased Obeah. The waves kiss- 
ed her feet as she walked along the sandy shore. 
The stars, heralded by the evening planet, one 
by one began to appear, sprinkling a faint light 
upon her brow ; the night wind played wantonly 



LAFITTE. 197 

with her hair ; but unmindful of every surround- 
ing object, she walked thoughtfully forward, unheed- 
ing her footsteps, which carried her unconscious- 
ly to the extreme point oi the rocky cape. Here 
seating herself upon a rock, she leaned her head 
upon her hand, and, gazinrr upon the sea, while 
thoughts of her lover and her desolate and unpro- 
tected situation, filled her mind, insensibly fell 
asleep. 

About midnight, a hand laid upon her forehead, 
awoke her. Instinctively comprehending her situ- 
ation, she recollected where she was. A tall figure 
stood by her side. With a scream of terror she 
sprung to her feet, and would have fled ; but he 
detamed her by her robes. 

" Stay, Constanza, senora ! stay — tell me why 
you are here ?" 

" Is it Lafitte — the outlaw ?" she exclaimed, 
breathless with alarm. 

" [t is lady ; but no more Lafitte the outlaw." 

" Oh seiior, have pity, and do not use the power 
you have," she cried with nervous emotion. *' I am 
wretched, miserable indeed." 

" Lady," he replied, moved by her pathetic ap* 
peal, " Lady, there shall no danger come nigh 
you while I can protect you. How you came once 
more in my power, or here, is to me a mystery. I 
thought you happy as the bride of " 

" No — oh ! no. He raturned here after we gain- 
ed his frigate, and your slave stole on board into 
the port, and siezing me, prevented me from giving 
the alarm, and brought me on shore to the hut of an 
old negress. The, frigate, on my being missed, 
stood out to sea, probably after a schooner, which 
they thought was yours, and on board of which 
they no doubt thought I was, or they would i ave 
searched the shore and cavern. Three weeks have 

17* 



198 LAFITTE. 

I been here with none but Juana. Even your pre- 
sence seiior, is a relief to me." 

The chief listened with surprise to this rapid ac- 
count of her capture. 

" Ha !" he exclaimed, the conduct of the count 
on the field of battle, flashing upon his mind. *' I 
see it all. ' Revenge,* was his war-cry — revenge 
for his betrothed. He must have suspected my 
agency in this, and pursued me to avenge his 
wrongs. Thank God ! I am herein guiltless. But 
my slave ! know you whose tool he was, or what 
his purpose, seiiora ?" he inquired quickly. 

" 1 do, seiior," she replied," and then related to 
him the deception practised upon Cudjoe, of which 
Juana had informed her, and his instant revenge. 

'•I knew that Martinez to be. a second Heberlo 
Velanquez in villainy ;" he said. " Lady, I con- 
gratulate you — Heaven surely watches over you 
for good ! My slave's vengeance was like himself. 
Strange, when he arrived in the Julie at Barritaria, 
a day or two after, he told me not of all this. But 
perhaps he feared for his head." 

At this moment a voice startled the maiden, and 
timid as the hunted fawn from the excitement she 
had gone through, she raised a foot to fly. 

" Slay lady, it is but my boatmen on the other 
side of this rock. Passing up the channel to the 
grotto in the schooner," continued Lafitte, " J saw 
your white robes even in this faint star-light, as you 
were sleeping on the rocks. I immediately let 
down my boat, and ordering the schooner to keep 
on into the basin, ] landed to ascertain who it v/as, 
not dieaming — although my heart should have told 
me" — he added tenderly, "that it was you. 

" Now senora," he said, addressing her earnestly, 
** will you so far place confidence in me as volunta- 
rily to put yourself under my protection ? I need 



LAFITTE. 199 

not assure you it shall be a most honourable one. 
Let ine lake you, and this very hour I will sail to 
your friends — nay, to the Count D'Oyley himself. 
If you desire it, I will seek him in every' port in the 
Mexican seas. Confide in me lady, and allow me 
to show you the slrength of my love for you, while 
T manifest its disinterestedness." 

In less than half an hour, Constanza and Juana, 
whom she had left in the cave during her absence, 
were once more occupants of the gorgeously fur- 
nished state-room on board the Gertrude. Before 
morning, Lafitte having also completed the business 
for which he visited his rendezvous, was many 
leagues from t}ie grotto, his swift w^inged vessel al- 
most flying over the waves before a brisk wind, 
in the direction of Havana, where he expected to 
hear of, or fall in with, the French frigate Le Sul- 
tan. 

From the moment his lovely passenger had en- 
tered the cabin he had not seen or spoken with her. 
Again her young protector Theodore became her 
page, and Juana her faithful attendant. 

From Theodore she learned; \vilh surprise and 
pleasure the scenes through which his benefactor 
had passed since she last met him. With prayer- 
ful gratitude she listened to the strange history of 
the last few weeks he had passed at Barritaria and 
in the besieged city, of his exploits upon the battle- 
field, his pardon by the executive, and his resolution 
to devote his life for the good of his fellow men, by 
retiring to the monastery of heroic and benevolent 
monks, on the summit of Mont St. Bernard. 

" May the virgin and her son bless and prosper 
him in his purposes !" she said, raising her eyes with 
devotional gratitude to heaven, while all the wo- 
man beamed in them, as she reflected how far she 
had contributed to this change. And she sighed, 



200 LAFITTE. 

that she could not requite love so noble and pure 
as his. 

With perfect confidence in the sincerity of her 
captor, she now became more composed, and a ray 
of joy illumined her heart, when she looked forward 
to the meeting with her betroihed lover. 

" And where will you go my Theodore — when 
your friend becomes a recluse ?" 

" Lady, I shall never leave him, where he goes, I 
go ! He is mv only friend on earth. There is none 
besides to care for the buccaneer boy," he added, 
with a melancholy air. 

" i\ ay — nay — Theodore. The count D'Oyly, and 
myself — esteem, and feel a deep interest in you. 
Will you not be my brother, Theodore ? Our home 
shall be yours, we will supply your present bene- 
factor. The gloom and solitude of a monastery's 
walls will not suit your young spirit." 

" Lady — urge me not — I will never leave him," 
he said firmly, while his heart overflowed with 
thankfulness for the kind and affectionate interest 
she manifested in his w^elfare. 

At that moment an aged man, bent with the 
weight of years, with a majestic face, although 
deeply lined W4th the furrows of lime, came to the 
state-room door, and in a feeble voice, called to the 
youth. 

" Who is that old man, Theodore ?" she inquired 
with interest, while her eyes filled with tears as she 
thought of her own venerable father. " It is old 
Lafon, Sefiora. He was taken prisoner a few weeks 
since by one of our cruisers, and having been at 
times insane, he was compelled by the officer — Mar- 
tinez, I think — who captured him, to perform such 
menial duties as were suitable to his age." 

" Was not this unfeeling, Theodore ? Where was 
your chief?" 



LAFITTE. 201 

" It was, lady. On account of his numerous du- 
ties, captain Lafitte, who permitted no cruellies of 
that kind, was ignorant of this degradation — for, mis- 
erable as he now is, he appears to have seen hap- 
pier and brighter days — but when he heard of it, he 
released him from his duties." We stopped at Bar- 
ritaria after we left the Balize to take on board some 
treasure concealed there, and found the old man on 
the shore, nearly famished and torpid with exposure 
to the cold and rain. 

" We took him on board, intending to leave him 
in Havana, where he has friends." 

" Is he insane, did you say, Theodore?" she in- 
quired. 

" He has been — but I think is not now." 

" Poor man ; he is, no doubt, the victim of some 
great affliction," she said, with feeling. " Da you 
know any thing of his past history ?" 

'' I do not, Sefiora. He is studiously silent upon 
that subject." 

" Is he now a menial ?" she said, looking with 
sympathy upon the aged man, who still stood with 
one hand upon the lock of the door, and his body 
half-protruded into the room; in which position he 
hail remained during their low-toned conversation, 
waiting for Theodore. 

" No, Seiiora. He is now passenger in the schoon- 
er, and by kindness and atteniion to him, the cap- 
tain seeks to atone for the rigorous treatment he' 
has heretofore received. He also feels a strange 
and unaccountable interest in him." 

" Go, Theodore ; keep him not in waiting — he 
speaks again !" 

The youih left the apartment, to ascertain his 
wishes, which w^ere, to communicate, through him, 
to Lafitte some instructions relating to his landing 
at Havana ; and then ascended to the deck, to ascer- 



202 LAFITTE. 



lain the rate of sailing and position of the vessel, 
which, bowling before a favourable breeze, was 
with within less than two day's sail of their port of 
destination. 



LAFITTE. 20-3 



CHAPTER IV. 



St. Julien. " If sincere penitence be atonement for an ill-spent 
life, then has my guilty sire gone up to heaven." 

Martin. "The holy Fathers preach another doctrine.'^ 
St. JuLiEx. " But which is which they can no two agree." 
Martix. 'Twere better then methinks, sir, to live healthy and ho- 
nest lives, and so through the blood of the Holy Cross, we'll have the 
best assurance." 



AN AMERICAN SLOOP OF WAR — A CHASE — FIGHT OFF THE MORO 
CASTLE — CLOSING SCENE — CONCLUSION. 



" My eye, Bill, but that's a rare tit-bit in the off- 
ing," exclaimed a sailor straddled atliwart the niain- 
yard of an American sloop of war, anchored near the 
entrance of the harbour, ostensibly securing a gas- 
ket, but in reality roving his one eye over the har- 
bour of Havana — its lofty castellated Moro — its 
walls, towers, and cathedral domes — its fleet of 
shipping — and its verdant scenery, luxuriant and 
green even in the second month of winter. 

" That she is !" returned his shipmate, further in 
on the same yard, at the same time cocking his lar- 
board eye to windward, hitching up his loose trow- 
sers, and thrusting into his cheek a generous quid 
tobacco, dropped from the top-gallant-yard by a 
brother tar. " That she is, Sam ; and she moves 
in stays, like a Spanish girl in a jig, and that's as 
fine as a fairy, to my fancy." 

" Lay to, there, my hearty. Blast my eyes, if I 



204 LAFITTE. 

have'nt seen the broadside of that craft before now. 
If it's not a clipper we chased when \ was in the 
schooner last month, cruising off St. Domingo, you 
may sav, ' stop grog'." 

*' What ! one o' your bloody pirates ?" inquired 
Sam, with an oath. 

" Aye ! and she run in shore, and lay along side 
of a high rock, up which they mounted like so ma- 
ny wild monkeys. We followed as fast — but they 
beat' us off, and sent to the bottom of the sea, twen- 
ty as brave fellows as ever handled cutlass." 

" What is this," observed languidly one of the 
lieutenants on deck, interrupting a most luxurious 
yawn ; " that those fellows can feel an interest in, 
this infernal hot weather? Take that glass, will 
you Mr. Edwards, and make us wise in the mat- 
ter." 

The young midshipman rose indolently from an 
ensign on which he had ensconced huiiself to lee- 
ward of the mizen mast, to avoid the extreme heat, 
even on that winter day; for winter holds no em- 
pire through all that lovely clime, and after two or 
three unsuccessful attempts, at last brought the in- 
strument handed him by the officer, into conjunc- 
tion with his visual organ. He then gazed a mo- 
ment seaward, and his face, before expressionless, 
now beamed with pleasure. 

" By all that's lovely, that craft carries a pretty 
foot. She glides over the water like a swan; and 
yet there's hardly breeze enough to fan a lady's 
cheek. Look at lier, sir." 

The officer took the glass, and slightly raising 
himself, so that he could see over the quarter, the 
next moment convinced those around him, that his 
features had not lost all their flexibility, and that his 
muscles were not really dissolved by the heat, by 
exclaiming still more eagerly than the midship- 
man, 



LAFITTL*. 205 

" Beautiful ! admirable!" 

" Can you make out lier colours ?" inquired one 
lying upon ihe deck, under the awning, without 
raising his head, or moving from his indolent alti- 
tude. 

" She carries the stars and stripes ; yet she can- 
not be an American. There is not a boat in the 
navy to be compared to this craft for beauty and 
velocily." 

" She is not an armed vessel ?" 

" Evidently ; although slie shows gun nor port. 
She looks too saucy for a quakeress ; her whole 
bearing is warlike ; and there is a frigate half a mile 
to windward of her, I believe, in chase." 

By this time, the officers, yielding to curiosity, 
abandoned, though reluctantly, their various com- 
fortable positions, and gathered themselves up, to 
take a view of a vessel, that had induced even their 
ease-loving first lieutenant to tlirow off his le- 
thargy. 

The object of general interest — a beautiful taunt- 
rigged rakish schooner now advanced, steadily to- 
wards the er>trance of the harbour. The air was 
scarcely in motion, yet the little vessel ghded over 
the water with the ease and rapidity of a bird on 
the wing. 

" By Heaven ! that craft has been in mischief!" 
exclaimed an officer, "or that frigate would not 
spread such a cloud of studden-sails in chase." 

" He is no doubt a pirate," said Edwards. " Shall 
we give him a gun for running under our flag." 

" No, no ! we will remain neutral. As true as 
that schooner has lighter heels than any crafi that 
ever sailed the sea, she will escape her pursuer !" 
exclaimed the lieutenant with animation. 

" Unless taken between wind and water;" added 
another officer. " See that !" 

Vol. H.— 18 



206 LAFITTE. 

As he spoke a flame flashed from the bows of the 
frigate, and a shot, followed by the report of a heavy 
gun, recochetled over the waves, and carried away 
the bowsprit of the schooner, which was about half 
a mile from ihe frigate. 

" My God ! we shall be blown out of the water 
by that hasty count !" exclaimed Lafitle, as the 
shot struck his vessel — for -on board the Gertrude 
we now take our -readers — " Hoist that white flag 
at the peak," he shouted. 

The order was obeyed; and still the frigate bore 
down upon them, and a second shot shivered her 
foremast, killed several of the crew including his 
mate Ricardo, and mortally wounding his favorite 
slave Cudjoe. 

The schooner was now wholly unmanageable, 
and defeated in his exertions to get into the harbor, 
Lafitte put her before the wind, which was now in- 
creasing, and run her ashore, about a mile to the 
eastward of the Moro. 

The frigate conlinued in chase until the water 
became too shallow for her draught, when she laj 
to and put off two of her boats filled with men, the 
smallest of which was commanded by the count in 
person. 

Lafitte, although determined not to fight unless 
compelled to do so in self-defence, ordered his men 
to their guns. Every ofificer was at his post. The 
carronades were double shotted, and hand grenades, 
boarding-pikes and cutlasses, strewed the deck. 
He himself, was armed with a cutlass and brace of 
pistols, and a shade of melanchoUy was cast over 
his features, which, or the thoughts occasioning 
it, he sought to dispel by giving a succession of ra- 
pid and energetic orders to his men. 

The count, who learned from the prisoner he had 
taken at Barritaria, that this was Lafille's vessel,. 



LAFITTE. 207 

— which he had fallen in with the day before, after 
missing him at the Balize — stood in the stern of his 
boat wliich swiftly approached the grounded schoo- 
ner. His face was pale and rigid with settled pas- 
sion. He grasped the hilt of his cutlass nervously, 
and his eye glanced impatiently over the rapidly 
lessening distance between him and his revenge. 
He saw liis rival standing calmly upon the quarter- 
deck, surveying his approach with seeming indiffer- 
ence. This added fuel to his rage, and he cheered 
his oars-men on with almost frenzied energy. 

" Count D'Oyley" said J^afitte aloud as the boat 
came near the schooner; " she whom you seek is 
safe, and in honor." 

" Thou liest ! slave ! villain !" shouted the count, 
and at that moment, as the boat struck the side of 
the schooner, he leaped, sword in hand, on to her 
deck, followed by a score of his men. 

" Now, or we shall be massacred, fire !" cried 
Lafitte, in a voice that rung above the shouts of the 
boarders, at the same time parrying a blow aimed at 
hi« breast by the count; and the light vessel recoiled 
shuddering in every joint, from the discharge of her 
whole broadside. 

The iron shower was fatally hurled. The larger 
boat, which was within a few fathoms of the schoon- 
er, was instantly sunk, and fifty men were left strug- 
gling in the waves. The barge along side, shared 
the same fate before half its crew had gained the 
deck of the vessel. 

A fierce and sanguinary contest now took place. 
In vain Lafitte called to tfie count to desist — that 
Constanza was on board and in safety. 

" Liar in thv throat! villain !" with more rapid 
and energetic blows of his cutlass, was alone the 
reply he received from his infuriated antagonist. 



20S LAFITTE. 



Lafilte now fought like a tiger at bay upon the 
quarter-deck of his schooner, his followers encir- 
cling him, each hand to hand and steel to steel with 
a boarder. 

Two nobler looking men than the distinguished 
combatants, have seldom trode the balile deck of a 
ship of war. In courage, skill, and physical ener- 
gies, they seemed nearly equal, although the count 
was of slighter make, and possessed greater deli- 
cacy of features. Cutlass rung against cutlass, and 
the loud clangor of their weapons was heard far 
above the din and uproar of baitle. 

The combatants on both sides, as if actuated by 
one impulse, simultaneously suspended the fight to 
gaze upon their chief, as if victory depended alone 
upon the issue of this single encounter. 

They fought for some moments with nearly equal 
success, mutually giving and receiving several slight 
wounds, when a blow, intended by Lafitte who 
fought in the defensive, to disarm his antagonist, 
shivered his steel boarding-cap, which dropped to 
the deck, while a profusion of rich auburn hair fell 
down from his head, clustered with almost feminine 
luxuriance around his neck. At the same instant, 
the sword of the count passed through the breast of 
his antagonist. 

A wild exclamation, not of pain, but of surprise 
and horror escaped from Lafitte, and springing 
backward, he stood staring witli dilated nostrils, a 
heaving breast, from which a stream of blood flow- 
ed to the deck, and eyes almost starting from their 
sockets, upon his foeman. 

" Art thou of this world ? speak !" he cried in 
accents of teiror, while his form seemed agitated 
with super-human emotion. 

The count remained in an attitude of defence, 
displaying by the derangement of his hair, a scar 



LAFITTE. 209 

in the shape of a crescent over his brow, and trans- 
fixed with astonishment, gazing upon liis foe, who 
moved not a muscle, or betraying any sign of life, 
except in the deep sepulchral tones, with which 
he conjured him ' /o speakP 

The count slightly changing his position, an ex-- 
clamation of joy escaped the venerable Lafon, and 
totteruig forward, he fell into his outstretched arms. 

" Henri, my son — my only son !" 

" My father !" and they were clasped in each 
other's arms. 

Their close embrace was interrupted by a deep 
groan and the heavy fall of Lafitte to the deck. 

"Henri! It is uideed my brother T exclaimed 
the wounded man, raising his head — " for — forgive 
me, Henri, before I die !" and he fell back again to 
the deck. 

At the sound of his name, the count started, gaz- 
ed earnestly upon his pale features for an instant, 
and a.l the brother yearned in his bosom. 

Wiih a heart bursting with the infen^sity of his 
feelings, he silently kneeled beside his brother. 

" Acliille !" 

" Henri !" 

They could utter no more, but.w^ept together in 
a silent ernbrace; the count laying his head upon 
his brother's bosom, whose arms encircled him with 
fraternal love, while the aged parent kneeling be-, 
side them, with his uplifted hands, blessed them. 

Suddenly a loud scream pierced their ears — and 
starting up, the count beheld Constanza making her 
way with a wild air towards him, followed by The- 
odore, who had, till now, detained her in the state- 
room, lest in her excitement of mind, she should min- 
gle among the combatants. The voice of her lover 
reached her ears in the silence that followed the 
discovery of the brothers, and she flew to the deck.. 

18* 



210 



LAFITTE. 



" Oh, my Alphonze ! my only love ! we will 
part no more !" she exclaimed, throwing herself 
into his arms. 

The count affectionately embraced her; but his 
face betrayed the whilst, unusual emotion, and his 
eye sought his brother's. 

" Take her ! fold her in your arms, Henri ! she 
is yours — pure as an angel !" he rephed, compre- 
hending the meaning of his glance. "Here, Con- 
stanza, let me take your hand — yours, Henri" — and 
he joined them together: — " May God bless and 
make you truly happy !" he continued, while his 
voice grew more feeble. 

" My father ! my venerable father ! I am ashamed 
to look you in the face ! forgive your repentant son ! 
T am dying, father ! 

The aged man kneeled by his son, and blessed 
him! and wept over him ! in silence. 

" My brother — Henri !" continued the dying man : 
" I have wronged you ; but I have suffered ! Oh ! 
how deeply ! How true, that crime brings its own 
punishment ! Forgive ! forgive me, Henri ! Think 
not you have slain me — mine is the blame. I arm- 
ed your hand against my life ! 

" ConsTanza ! forgive ! 1 have loved you in death ! 
Farewell," he added, after a moment's silence, while 
they all kneeled around him. "Farewell, my fa- 
ther — brother — Constanza — farewell ! Theodore !'* 
he said, affeciingly taking the hand of the youth — 
" Theodore, my orphan boy, farewell ! May God 
bless and protect you, my child ! Henri ! be a 
brother to him." 

'^riie count pressed his hand in silence. 
" Now, once more — adieu, for-for ever ! May God 
forgive !" — and, with this prayer on his Jips, he ex- 
pired in the arms of his father and brother. 



LAFITTE. 21 I 



CONCLUSION. 

One antumn twilight, five years after the peace 
was ratified between the two belligerent powers 
— Europe, and the Noiih United Slates — a group 
might have been observed by one, sailing up 
to ihe capital of Louisiana, gathered on the por- 
tico of an elegant villa, situated on the banks of the 
Mississippi, a few miles below the city. This 
group consisted of six. Fn a large armed chair, sat 
an old gentleman, with a dignified air, and a bland 
smile, dancing upon his knee a lovely child, just 
completing lier third summer, with sparkling black 
eyes, and silken hair of the same rich hue, while 
an old slave, seated at his feet, was amusing her- 
self with the antics of the delighted girl. 

Near the steps of the portico, stood a gentleman 
of middle age, with a lofty forehead, slightly disfi- 
gured by a scar, a mild blue eye, and manly fea- 
tures, who was directing the attention of a beauti- 
ful female, leaning on his arm, to the manoeuvres 
of a small vessel of war then doubling one of the 
majestic curves of the river. 

The lady, united in her face and person the dig- 
nity of the matron with the loveliness of the mai- 
den. The sweet face of the cherub upon its grand- 
sire's knee, was but the reflection of her image in 
miniature ! 

Leaning against one of the columns of the porti- 
co, stood a noble looking and very handsome young 
man, in a hunting-dress. A gun rested carelessly 
upon one arm, and a majestic dog, venerable with 
age, whom he occasionally addressed as Leon, 
stood upoji his hind legs, with his fore paws upon 
his breast. 

Leaving this brief outline of the happiness and 



212 LAFITTE. 

fortunes of those whom we have followed through 
their various adventures, we will take leave of the 
reader with a few words of explanation. 

Henri, on reaching France, fell heir to the title 
and estates of the nobleman whose name Alphonze, 
the Count D'Oyley, he assumed. Lafon was a 
name given to their a^ed captive, by the buccaneers, 
from his resemblance to one of their number, who 
bore that name. Gertrude has long since been 
translated to a better world. Achille, afier exiling 
himself from his native land, assumed the name of 
Lafitte, by which and no other, he was known to 
his adherents, and to the world : 

" He left a corsair's name to other times, 
Link'd with one virtue and a thousand crimes.'* 



ERRATA. 

Postscript. — On page 48, volume first, read recklessness, 
for wrecklessness. On page 66, volume second, read tuum, for 
teum. Page 84, read folded, for folden. Page 33, for wampun, 
read wampum. Page 1 12, for tonens, read tonans. 

The following note — " * Written by Mr. Beckett," should 
have been inserted at the bottom of page 6, volume second. 



APPENDIX. 



Proclamation of pardon to Lafitte and his adherents, by President 
Madison. 



BY THE PRESlDEiNT OP THE UMTED STATES OF AMERICA. 

A PROCLAMATION. 

Among the many evils produced by the wars, which, with little 
intermission, have afflicted Europe, and extended their ravages 
into other quarters of the globe, for a period exceeding twenty 
years, the dispersion of a considerable portion of the inhabitants 
of different countries, in sorrow and in want, has not been the 
least injurious to human happiness, nor the least severe in the 
trial of human virtue. 

" It had been long ascertained that many foreigners, flying from 
the dangers of their own home, and that some citizens, forgetful 
of their duty, had co-operated in forming an establishment on the 
island of Barataria, near the mouth of the river Mississippi, for 
the purpose of a clandestine and lawless trade. The government 
of the United States caused the establishment to be broken up and 
destroyed; and, having obtained the means of designating the 
offenders of every description, it only remained to answer the de- 
mands of justice by inflicting an exemplary punishment. 

" But it has since been represented that the offenders have ma- 
nifested a sincere penitence ; that they have abandoned the prose- 
cution of the worst cause for the support of the best, and, particu- 
larly, that they have exhibited, in the defence of New Orleans, 
unequivocal traits of courage and fidelity. Offenders, who have 
refused to become the associates of the enemy in the war, upon 
the most seducing terms of invitation ; and who have aided to re- 



214 APPENDIX. 

pel his hostile invasion of the territory of the United States, can 
no longer be considered as objects of punishment, but as objects 
of a generous forgiveness. 

" It has therefore been seen, with great satisfaction, that the 
General Assembly of the State of Louisiana earnestly recommend 
those offenders to the benefit of a full pardon : And in compli- 
ance with that recommendation, as well as in consideration of all 
the other extraordinary circumstances of the case, I James Madi- 
son^ President of the United States of America, do issue this proc- 
lamation, hereby granting, publishing knd declaring, a free and 
full pardon of all offences committed in violation of any act or acts 
of the Congress of the said United States, touching the revenue, 
trade and navigation thereof, or touching the intercourse and com- 
merce of the United States with foreign nations, at any time be- 
fore the eighth day of January, in the present year one thousand 
eight hundred and fifteen, by any person or persons whatsoever, 
being inhabitants of New Orleans and the adjacent country, or 
being inhabitants of the said island of Barataria, and the places 
adjacent: Provided, that every person, claiming the benefit of 
this full pardon, in order to entitle himself thejreto, shall produce a 
■certificate in writing from the governor of the State of Louisiana, 
stating that such person has aided in thp. dpfence of New Orleans 
and the adjacent country, during the invasion thereof as aforesaid. 

" And I do hereby further authorize and direct all suits, indict- 
ments, and prosecutions, for fines, penalties, and forfeitures, 
against any person or persons, who shall be entitled to the benefit 
of this full pardon, forthwith to be stayed, discontinued and re- 
leased: All civil officers are hereby required, according to the 
clwties of their respective stations, to carry this proclamation into 
immediate and faithful execution. 

•" Done at the City of Washington^ the sixth day of February, 
in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifteen, and 
of the independence of the United States the thirty-ninth. 
" By the President, 

"James Madison. 
^' Jameb Monroe, 

Acting Secretary of Statc.^^ 



APPENDIX. 215 



The annexed historical sketch of Lafitte suggested the present work. 

" A curious instance of the strange mi xture of magnanimity and 
ferocity, often found among the demi-savages of the borders, was 
afforded by the Louisianian Lafitte. This desperado had placed 
himself at the head of a band of outlaws from all nations under 
heaven, and fixed his abode upon the top of an impregnable rock, 
to the south-west of the mouth of the Mississippi. Under the 
colours of the South American patriots, they pirated at pleasure 
every vessel that came in their way, and smuggled their booty up 
the secret creeks of the Mississippi, with a dexterity that baffled 
all the efforts of justice. The depredations of these outlaws, or, 
as they styled themselves, Buratarians,{{Tom Barata, their island,) 
becoming at length intolerable, the United States' government 
despatched an armed force against their little Tripoli. The esta- 
blishment was broken up, and the pirates dispersed. But Lafitte 
again collected his outlaws, and took possession of his rock. The 
attention of the congress being now diverted by the war, he 
scoured the gulf at his pleasure, and so tormented the coasting 
traders, that Governor Claiborne, of Louisiana, set a price on his 
head. 

*' This daring outlaw, thus confronted with the American go- 
vernment, appeared likely to promote the designs of its enemies. 
He was known to possess the clue to all the secret windings and 
entrances of the many-mouthed Mississippi ; and in the projected 
attack upon New Orleans it was deemed expedient to secure his 
assistance. 

" The British officer then heading the forces landed at Penso- 
cola for the invasion of Louisiana, opened a treaty with the Bara- 
tarian, to whom he offered such rewards as were best calculated 
to tempt his cupidity and flatter his ambition. The outlaw af- 
fected to relish the proposal ; but having artfully drawn from 

Colonel N the plan of his intended attack, he spurned his 

offers with the most contemptuous disdain, and instantly des- 
patched one of "his most trusty corsairs to the governor who had 
set a price for his life, advising him of the intentions of the ene- 
my, and volunteering the aid of his little band, on the single con- 



216 APPENDIX. 

dition that an amnesty should be granted for their past offences. 
Governor Claiborne, though touched by this proof of magnanimity, 
hesitated to close with the offer. The corsair kept himself in 
readiness for the expected summons, and contined to spy and re- 
port the motions of the enemy. As danger became more urgent, 
and the steady generosity of the outlaw more assured, Governor 
Claiborne granted to him and his followers life and pardon, and 
called them to the defence of the city They obeyed with alacrity, 
and served -with a valour, fidelity, and good conduct, not surpass- 
ed by the best volunteers of the republic." — Flint's Miss. Valley. 



THE END. 







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