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All Countries Sep - Aug Check with the merchant for stock availability. Wine-Searcher is not responsible for omissions and inaccuracies. One of our sponsors is: Volgograd, Russia - Change. A hearty man he was, who would lend his last shilling or borrow his neighbour's with equal readiness, forcing one to a certain angry liking for him because of his good-will to do that for you which you were loth to do for him.
Yet if there ever was a man in harness to Satan as to the lusts of his flesh and his pride of life, it was Parson Downs, in despite of his bold curvets and prances of exhortation, which so counterfeited freedom that I doubt not that they deceived even himself; and he felt not, the while he was expanding his great front over his pulpit, and waving his hands, on one of which shone a precious red stone, the strain of his own leash. But I have ever had a scorn which I could not cry down for any man who was a slave, except by his own will.
Feeling thus, I was glad when Parson Downs was done, and letting himself down with stately jolts of ponderosity from his pulpit, and the folk were moving out of the church in a soft press of decorously veiled eagerness, with a great rustling of silks and satin, and jingling of spurs and swords, and waving of plumes, and shaking out of stronger odours of flowers and essences and spices.
And gladder still I was when astride my horse in the open, with the sweet broadside of the spring wind in my face, and all the white flowering trees and bushes bowing and singing with a thousand bird-voices, like another congregation before the Lord.
I had not the honour to assist Mistress Mary to her saddle. Sir Humphrey Hyde and Ralph Drake, who was a far-off cousin of hers; and my Lord Estes, who was on a visit to his kinsman, Lord Culpeper, the Governor of Virginia; and half a score of others pressed before me, who was but the tutor, and had no right to do her such service except for lack of another at hand. And a fair sight it was for one who loved her as I, with no privilege of jealousy, and yet with it astir within him, like a thing made but of claws and fangs and stinging tongue, to see her with that crowd of gallants about her, and the other maids going their ways unattended, with faces of averted meekness, or haughty uplifts of brows and noses, as suited best their different characters.
Mistress Mary was, no doubt, the fairest of them all, and yet there was more than that in the cause for her advantage over them. She kept all her admirers by the very looseness of her grasp, which gave no indication of any eagerness to hold, and thus aroused in them no fear of detention nor of wiles of beauty which should subvert their wills.
And, furthermore, Mary Cavendish distributed her smiles as impartially as a flower its sweetness, to each the same, though but a scant allotment to each, as beseemed a maid. I could not, even with my outlook, observe that she favoured one more than another, unless it might have been Sir Humphrey Hyde. I knew well that there was some confidence betwixt the two, but whether it was of the nature of love I could not tell. Sir Humphrey kept the road with us for some distance after we had left the others, gazing beside the horse-block, all equally desirous of following, but knowing well that it would not be a fair deed to the maid to attend her homeward on the Sabbath day with a whole troop of lovers.
But Sir Humphrey Hyde leapt to his saddle and rode abreast with no ado, being ever minded to do what seemed good to himself, unless, indeed, his mother stood in the way of his pleasure. Sir Humphrey's mother, Lady Clarissa Hyde, was one of those unwitting tyrants which one sees among women, by reason of her exceeding delicacy and gentleness, which made it seem but the cruelty of a brute to cross her, and thus had her own way forever, and never suspected it were not always the way of others.
Sir Humphrey was a well-set young gentleman, and he was dressed in the farthest fashion. The broad back of his scarlet coat, rising to the trot of his horse, clashed through the soft gold-green mists and radiances of the spring landscape like the blare of a trumpet; his gold buttons glittered; the long plume on his hat ruffled to the wind over his fair periwig. Wigs were not so long in fashion, but Sir Humphrey was to the front in his. Mary Cavendish and Sir Humphrey rode on abreast, and I behind far enough to be cleared of the mire thrown by their horse-hoofs, and my heart was full of that demon of jealousy which possessed me in spite of my love.
It is passing strange that I, though loving Mary Cavendish better than myself, and having the strength to prefer her to myself in all things, yet had not the power to do it without pain, and must hold that ravening jealousy to my breast. But not once did it get the better of me, and all the way was I, even then, thinking that Sir Humphrey Hyde might be good man and true for Mary Cavendish to wed, except for a few faults of his youth, which might be amended, and that if such be her mind I might help her to her happiness, since I knew that, for some reason, Madam Cavendish had small love for Sir Humphrey, and I knew also that I had some influence with her.
Behind us straggled the black slaves, as on our way thither, moving unhaltingly, yet with small energy, as do folk urged hither and yon only by the will of others and not by their own; but, presently, through them, scattering them to the left and right, galloped a black lad on a great horse after Sir Humphrey, with the word that his mother would have him return to the church and escort her homeward.
Then Sir Humphrey turned, after a whispered word or two with Mistress Mary, and rode back to Jamestown; and the black lad, bounding in the saddle like a ball, after him. I still kept my distance behind Mistress Mary, though often I saw her head turn, and caught a blue flash of an eye over her mask. Then passed us, booted and spurred, for he had gotten his priestly robes off in a hurry, Parson Downs on the fastest horse in those parts, and riding like a jockey in spite of his heavy weight.
His horse's head was stretched in a line with his neck, and after him rode, at near as great speed, Capt. Noel Jaynes, who, as report had it, had won wealth on the high seas in unlawful fashion.
He was a gray old man, with the eye of a hot-headed boy, and a sabre-cut across his right cheek. The parson saluted Mistress Mary as he passed, and so did Captain Jaynes, with a glance of his bright eyes at her that stirred my blood and made me ride up faster to her side. But the two men left the road abruptly, plunging into a bridle-path at the right, and the green walls of the wood closed behind them, though one could still hear for long the galloping splash of their horse's hoofs in the miry path.
Mistress Mary turned to me, and her voice rang sharp, "'Tis a pretty parson," said she; "he is on his way to Barry Upper Branch with Captain Jaynes, and who is there doth not know 'tis for no good, and on the Sabbath day, too? They had fought well against the Indians, and also against the Government with Nathaniel Bacon some half dozen years before. There had been a prize on their heads and they had been in hiding, but now lived openly on their plantation and were in full feather, and therein lay in a great measure their ill repute.
When my Lord Culpeper had arrived in Virginia, succeeding Berkeley, Jeffries, and Chichely, then returned the brothers Richard and Nicholas Barry, or Dick and Nick, as they were termed among the people; and as my Lord Culpeper was not averse to increasing his revenues, there were those who whispered, though secretly and guardedly, that the two bold brothers purchased their safety and peaceful home-dwelling. Barry Upper Branch was a rich plantation and had come into full possession of the brothers but lately, their father, Major Barry, who had been a staunch old royalist, having died.
There were acres of tobacco, and whole fields of locust for the manufacture of metheglin, and apple orchards from which cider enough to slack the thirst of the colony was made. But the brothers were far from content with such home-made liquors for their own drinking, but imported from England and the Netherlands and Spain great stores of ale and rum and wines, and held therewith high wassail with some choice and kindred spirits, especially on the Sabbath. Not a woman was there at Barry Upper Branch, except for slaves, and such stories were told as might cause a modest maid to hesitate to speak of the place; but Mary Cavendish was as yet but a child in her understanding of certain things.
Her blue eyes fixed me with the brave indignation of a boy as she went on, "'Tis a pretty parson," said she again, "and it would be the tavern, just as openly, were it on a week day. While I cared not for myself, having never yet held my tongue, except from my own choice, yet was I always concerned for this young thing, with her utter recklessness of candour, lest her beauty and her charm might not protect her always against undesirable results; and not only were the slaves within hearing of her voice, but none knew how many others, for those were brave days for tale-bearers.
But Mary spoke again, and more sweetly and shrilly than ever. And to keep company with a pirate captain! When he looks at me, I clutch my gold chain and turn the flash of my rings from sight, and Dick and Nick Barry are the worst rakes in the colony! Naught was ever heard good of them, except their following of General Bacon, but a good cause makes not always worthy adherents.
But, indeed, in this I had full sympathy with her, though chary of expressing it.
Had it not been for my state of disgrace and my outlook for the welfare of the Cavendishes, I should most assuredly have fought with that brave man myself, for 'twas a good cause, and one which has been good since the beginning of things, and will hold good till the end—the cause of the poor and down-trod against the tyranny of the rich and great. No greater man will there ever be in this new country of America than Nathaniel Bacon, though he had but twenty weeks in which to prove his greatness; had he been granted more he might well have changed history.
I can see now that look of high command which none could withstand, for leaders of men are born, as well as poets and kings, and are invincible. But it may be that the noble wave of rebellion which he raised is even now going on, never to quite cease in all time, for I know not the laws that govern such things. It may be that, in consequence of that great and brief struggle of Nathaniel Bacon, this New World will never sit. However, this I do know, that his influence was not then ceased in Virginia, though he was six years dead, and has not yet.
Mistress Mary Cavendish had framed in black, in her chamber, a silhouette of this hero, and she wore in a locket a lock of his hair, by which she had come, in some girlish fashion, through a young gossip of hers, a kinswoman of Bacon's, from whose head I verily believe she had pilfered it while asleep. And, more than that, I knew of her and Cicely Hyde strewing fresh blossoms on the tide of the York River, in which Bacon had been buried, on the anniversary of his death, and coming home with sweet eyes red with tears of heroic sentiment, which surely be not the most ignoble shed by mankind.
I trow had I been a man and fought with General Bacon, as I would have fought, had I been a man, I would have paid no price therefore to the king himself, but would have stayed in hiding forever. V Thus we rode homeward, and presently came in sight of the Cavendish tobacco-fields overlapped with the fresh green of young leaves like the bosses of a shield, and on the right waxed rosy garlands of the locust grove, and such a wonderful strong sweetness of honey came from it that we seemed to breast it like a wave, and caught our breaths, and there was a mighty hum of bees like a hundred spinning-wheels.
But Mistress Mary and I regarded mostly that green stretch of tobacco, and each of us had our thoughts, and presently out came hers—"Master Wingfield, I pray you, whose tobacco may that be? Since the Navigation Act, it was, indeed, small profit any one had of his own tobacco, since it all went into the exchequer of the king, and I did not gainsay her. When we had passed the negro huts, swarming with black babies shining in the sun as sleek as mahogany, and all turning toward us with a marvellous flashing of white eyeballs and opening of red mouths of smiles, all at once, like some garden bed of black flowers, at the sight of our gay advance, we reached the great house, and Mistress Catherine stood in the door clad in a green satin gown which caught the light with smooth shimmers like the green sheath of a marsh lily.
Her bare, slender arms were clasped before her, and her long, white neck was bent into an arch of watchful grace. Her face was the gravest I ever saw on maid, and not to be reconciled with my first acquaintance with her, thereby giving me always a slight doubt as of a mask, but her every feature was as clear and fine as ivory, and her head proudly crowned with great wealth of hair.
Catherine Cavendish was esteemed a great beauty, by both men and women, which shows, perchance, that her beauty availed her little in some ways, else it had not been so freely admitted by her own sex. However that may be, Catherine Cavendish had had few lovers as compared with many a maid less fair and less dowered, and at this time she seemed to have settled into an expectation and contentment of singleness.
She stood looking at her sister and me as we rode toward her, and the sun was full on her face, which had the cool glimmer of a pearl in the golden light, and her wide-open eyes never wavered. As she stood there she might have been the portrait of herself, such a look had she of unchanging quiet, and the wonder and incredulity which always seized me at the sight of her to reconcile what I knew with what she seemed, was strong upon me. When her young sister had dismounted and had gone up the steps, she kissed her, and the two entered the hall, clinging together in a way which was pretty to see.
I never saw such love betwixt two where there was not full sympathy, and that was lacking always and lacked more in the future, through the difference in their two temperaments gotten from different mothers. Madam Cavendish was still in her bedchamber, and the two sisters and I dined together in the great hall.
Then, after the meal was over, I went forth with my book of Sir William Davenant's plays, and sought a favourite place of mine in the woods, and stayed there till sundown. Then, rising and going homeward when the mist floated over the marshlands like veils of silver gauze, and the frogs chorused through it in waves of sound, and birds were circling above it, calling sweetly with fluting notes or screaming with the harsh trumpet-clang of sea-fowl, I heard of a sudden, just as the sun sank below the western sky, a mighty din of horns and bells and voices from the direction of Jamestown.
I knew that the sports which a certain part of the community would have on a Sabbath after sundown, when they felt so inclined, had begun. Since the king had been restored such sports had been observed, now and then, according to the humour of the governor and the minister and the others in authority. Laws had been from time to time set forth that the night after the Sabbath, the Sabbath being considered to cease at sundown, should be kept with decorum, but seldom were they enforced, and often, as now, a great din arose when the first gloom overspread the earth.
However, that night was the 30th of April, the night before May day; and there was more merrymaking in consequence, though May was not here as in England, and even in England not what it had been in the first Charles's reign. But they kept up their rollicking late that night, for the window of my chamber being toward Jamestown, and the wind that way, I could hear them till I fell asleep. At midnight I wakened suddenly at the sound of a light laugh, which I knew to be Mary Cavendish's.
There was never in the maid any power of secrecy when her humour overcame her. She laughed again, and I heard a hushing voice, which I knew to be neither her sister's nor grandmother's, but a man's. I was up and dressed in a trice, and sword in hand, and out of my window, which was on the first floor, and there was Mistress Mary and Sir Humphrey Hyde.
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I stepped between them and thrust aside Sir Humphrey, who would have opposed me. Then while she hesitated, half shrinking before me, with her old habit of obedience strong upon her, yet with angry wilfulness urging her to rebellion, forth stepped her distant cousin Ralph Drake from behind a white-flowering thicket, and demanded to know what that cursed convict fellow did there, and had he not a right to parley with his cousin, and was her honour not safe with her kinsman and he an English gentleman?
I perceived by Ralph Drake's voice that he had perchance been making gay with the revellers at Jamestown, and stood still when he came bullyingly toward me, but at that minute Mistress Mary spoke. He is a gentleman as well as yourself, and you owe him an apology. But Ralph Drake, whose face I could see was flushed, even in that whiteness of light, flung away with an oath muttered under his breath, and struck out across the lawn, his black shadow stalking before him. Then Mistress Mary turned and bade me good-night in the sweetest and most curious fashion, as if nothing unusual had happened, and yet with a softness in voice as if she would fain make amends for her cousin's rough speech, and fluttered in through the open door like a white moth, and left me alone with Sir Humphrey Hyde.
Sir Humphrey was but a lad to me, scarcely older than Mistress Mary, for all his great stature. He stood before me scraping the shell walk with the end of his riding whip. Both men had ridden hither, and I at that moment heard Ralph Drake's horse's hard trot. Sir Humphrey had been much about the place since he was a mere lad, and had had, I believe, a sort of boyish good-will toward me. Not much love had he for books, but I was accounted a fair shot, and had some knowledge of sports of hunting and fishing, and had given him some lessons, and he had followed me about some few years before, somewhat to the uneasiness of his mother, who could not forget that I was a convict.
I cast about in my mind what to say, being resolved not to betray Mary Cavendish, even did this man know what I could betray, and yet being resolved to have some understanding of what was afoot. Sir Humphrey stammered and looked at me, and looked away again. Then suddenly spake Mistress Mary from her window overhead, set in a climbing trumpet-vine, and so loudly and recklessly that had not her grandmother and sister been on the farther side of the house they must have heard her. Then she laughed, and at the same moment a mock-bird trilled in a tree.
He cannot betray us, Humphrey, for his tongue is tied with honour, even if he be not on our side. But he is on our side, as is every true Englishman. It may be that faculty is so ordained by a wise Providence, which so keeps youth and the bloom of it upon the earth, and makes the spring and new enterprises possible. It may be that without it we should rust and stick fast in our ancient rivets and bolts of use. That very next morning, after I had learned from Mary Cavendish, supplemented by a sulky silence of assent from Sir Humphrey Hyde, that she had, under pretence of ordering feminine finery from England, spent all her year's income from her crops on powder and shot for the purpose of making a stand in the contemplated destruction of the new tobacco crops, and thereby plunged herself and her family in a danger which were hard to estimate were it discovered, I heard a shrill duet of girlish laughs and merry tongues before the house.
Then, on looking forth, whom should I see but Mary Cavendish and Cicely Hyde, her great gossip, and a young coloured wench, all washing their faces in the May dew, which lay in a great flood as of diamonds and pearls over everything. I minded well the superstition, older than I, that, if a maid washed her face in the first May dew, it would make her skin wondrous fair, and I laughed to myself as I peeped around the shutter to think that Mary Cavendish should think that she stood in need of such amendment of nature.
Down she knelt, dragging the hem of her chintz gown, which was as gay with a maze of printed posies as any garden bed, and she thrust her hollowed hands into the dew-laden green and brought them over her face and rubbed till sure there was never anything like it for sweet, glowing rosiness. And Cicely Hyde, who must have come full early to Drake Hill for that purpose, did likewise, and with more need, as I thought, for she was a brown maid, not so fair of feature as some, though she had a merry heart, which gave to her such a zest of life and welcome of friends as made her a favourite.
Up she scooped the dew and bathed her face, turning ever and anon to Mary Cavendish with anxious inquiries, ending in trills of laughter which would not be gainsaid in May-time and youth-time by aught of so little moment as a brown skin. Saw you ever a lily as fair as my face? Then she would give it as her opinion that she had best persevere, and laugh somewhat doubtfully at first, then in a full peal when Cicely, nothing daunted by such discouragement in her friend's eyes, went bravely to work again, all her slender body shaking with mirth.
But the most curious sight of all, and that which occasioned the two maids the most merriment, though of a covert and even tender and pitying sort, was Mary's black serving-wench Sukey, a half-grown girl, who had been bidden to attend her mistress upon this morning frolic.
She was seated at a distance, square in the wet greenness, and was plunging both hands into the May dew and scrubbing her face with a fierce zeal, as if her heart was in that pretty folly, as no doubt it was. And ever and anon as she rubbed her cheeks, which shone the blacker and glossier for it, she would turn the palms of her hands, which be so curiously pale on a negro's hands, to see if perchance some of the darkness had stirred.
And when she saw not, then would she fall to scrubbing again. Presently up stood Mary and Cicely, and Cicely flashed in the sun a little silver mirror which she had brought and which had lain glittering in the grass a little removed, and looked at herself, and saw that her brown cheeks were as ever, with the exception of the flush caused by rubbing, and tossed it with her undaunted laugh to Mary.
I trow the skin be off in spots, and all to no purpose! Look at thyself, Mary Cavendish, and blush that thou be so much fairer than one who loves thee! And Cicely laughed, and took her face in her two hands and held it away that she might see it. Had Cicely Hyde had a lover, she would have said that fond speech to him instead of Mary Cavendish, but lover she had none.
But all at once the two maids nudged one another, and turned their faces, all convulsed with merriment, and I looked and saw that the poor little black lass had crept on hands and knees to where the mirror flashed in the grass, and was looking at her face therein with such anxiety as might move one at once to tears and laughter, to see if the dew had washed her white. But Mary Cavendish ceased all in a minute her mirth, and went up to the black child and took the mirror from her, and said, in the sweetest voice of pity I ever heard, "'Tis not in one May dew nor two, nor perchance in the dews of many years, you can wash your face white, but sometime it will be.
Then the two maids, Mary Cavendish and Cicely Hyde, went into the house, and left me, as I said before, to wonder at that spirit of youth which can all in a minute disregard care and anxiety and risk of death for the play of vanity. But, after all, which be stronger, wars and rumours of wars or vanity? And which be older, and which fathered the other? After the house door had shut behind the maidens, I too went out, but not to wash my grim man's face in May dew, but rather for a stroll in the morning air, and the clearing of my wits for reflection; for much I wondered what course I should take regarding my discovery of the night before.
I went down the road toward Jamestown, and struck into the path to the wharf, the same that we had taken the day before, but there were no masts of the Golden Horn rising among the trees with a surprise of straightness. She had weighed anchor and sailed away over night, and possibly before. The more I reflected the more I understood that Mistress Mary Cavendish, with her ready wit and supply of money through her inheritance from her mother, might have concocted the scheme of bringing over ammunition from England to enable us to make a stand against the government; but the plot in the first of it could not have been hers alone.
The main part for Mistress Mary might well have been the furnishing of the powder and shot, for Ralph Drake was poor, and lived, it was said, by his good luck at cards; and as for Sir Humphrey Hyde, his mother held the reins in those soft hands of hers, which would have been sorely bruised had they been withdrawn too roughly.
I sat me down on a glittering ridge of rock near the river-bank, and watched the blue run of the water, and twisted the matter this and that way in my mind, for I was sorely perplexed. Never did I feel as then the hamper of my position, for a man who was held in such esteem as I by some and contempt by others, and while having voice had no authority to maintain it, was neither flesh nor fowl nor slave nor master.
Madam Cavendish treated me in all respects as the equal of herself and her family—nay, more than that, she deferred to me in such fashion as I had never seen in her toward any one, but Catherine treated me ever with iciness of contempt, which I at that time conceived to be but that transference of blame from her own self to a scapegoat of wrong-doing which is a resort of ignoble souls. They will have others not only suffer for their own sin, but even treat them with the scorn due themselves.
And not one man was there in the colony, excepting perhaps Sir Humphrey Hyde and Parson Downs and the brothers Nicholas and Richard Barry, which last were not squeamish, and would have had me as boon companion at Barry Upper Branch, having been drawn to me by a kindred boldness of spirit and some little passages which I had had with the Indians, which be not worth repeating.
I being in such a position in the colony, and considering the fact that Madam Cavendish and Catherine were staunch loyalists, and would have sent all their tobacco to the bottom of the salt sea had the king so ordained, and regarded all disaffection from the royal will as a deadly sin against God and the Church, as well as the throne, and knowing the danger which Mary Cavendish ran, I was in a sore quandary. Could I have but gone to those men whom I conceived to be in the plot, and talked with them on an equal footing, I would have given my right hand.
But I wondered, and with reason, what hearing they would accord me, and I wondered how to move in the matter at all without doing harm to Mistress Mary, yet feared greatly that the non-movement would harm her more. As I sat there I fell to marvelling anew, as I had marvelled many times before, at that yielding on the part of the strong which makes the power of those in authority possible. At the yielding of the weak we marvel not, but when one sees the bending of staunch, true men, with muscles of iron and hearts of oak, to commands which be manifestly against their own best interests, it is verily beyond understanding, and only to be explained by the working of those hidden springs of nature which have been in men's hearts since the creation, moving them along one common road of herding to one common end.
As I sat there I wondered not so much at the plot which was simply to destroy all the young tobacco plants, that there be not an over-supply and ruinous prices therefor next year, as at the fact that the whole colony to a man did not arise and rebel against the order of the king in that most infamous Navigation Act which forbade exportation to any place but England, and load their ships for the Netherlands, and get the full worth of their crops. Well I knew that some of the burgesses were secretly in favour of this measure, and why should one man, Governor Culpeper, for the king, hold for one minute the will of this strong majority in abeyance?
I reasoned it out within myself that one cause might lie in that distrust and suspicion of his neighbour as to his good-will and identical interest with himself which is inborn with every man, and in most cases strengthens with his growth. When a movement of rebellion against authority is on foot, he eyes all askance, and speaks in whispering corners of secrecy, not knowing when he strikes his first blow whether his own brother's hand will be with him against the common tyrant, or against himself.
Were it not for this lamentable quality of the human heart, which will prevent forever the perfect concerting of power to one end, such a giant might be made of one people that it could hold all the world and all the nations thereof at its beck and call. But that cannot be, even in England, which had known and knows now and will know again that division of interest and doubts, every man of his brother's heart, which weaken the arm against the common foe.
But, reflecting in such wise, I came no nearer to the answer to my quandary as to my best course for the protection of Mary Cavendish. I sat there on that rock glittering like frost-work in the May sunlight and watched the river current until it seemed to me that my rock and all Virginia were going out on the tide to sea and back to England, where, had I landed then, I would have lost my head and all my wondering with it, and my old astonishment, which I had had from a boy, was upon me, that so many things that be, according to the apparent evidence of our senses are not, and how can any man ever be sure that he is on sea or land, or coming or going?
And comes there not to all of us some day a great shock of knowledge of the slipping past of this world, and all the history thereof which we think of so much moment, and that we only are that which remains? But then verily it seemed to me that the matter of the tobacco plot and Mary Cavendish's danger was of more moment than aught else in the century. She stood quite near the rock where I sat, but she kept her head turned slightly away as if she could not bear the sight of my face, though she was constrained to speak to me.
But I, and I speak the truth, since I held it unworthy a man and a gentleman to feel aught of wrath or contempt when he was sole sufferer by reason of any wrong done by a woman, had nothing but that ever recurrent surprise and unbelief at the sight of her, to reconcile what I knew, or thought I knew, with what she seemed. I rose and stepped from my rock to the green shore, and she moved a little back with a slight courtesy. So satin smooth was her hair that even the fresh wind could not ruffle it, and in such straight lines of maiden modesty hung her green gown—always she wore green, and it became her well, and 'twas a colour I always fancied—that it but fluttered a little around her feet in the marsh grass, but her face looked out from a green gauze hood with an expression that belied all this steadfastness of primness and decorum.
It was as if a play-actress had changed her character and not her attire, which suited another part. Out came her slim arm, as if she would have caught me by the hand for the sake of compelling my answer; then she drew it back and spoke with all the sharp vehemence of passion of a woman who oversteps the bounds of restraint which she has set herself, and is a wilder thing than if she had been hitherto unfettered by her will.
Then indeed she caught my arm with a little nervous hand, like a cramp of wire. Yesterday the Golden Horn came in and was unladen of powder and shot instead of the goods that my sister pretended to order, and the cases are stored at Laurel Creek. This much do I know, but not what is afoot, nor for what Mary had conference with Sir Humphrey Hyde and Ralph last night, and you later on with Sir Humphrey.
I demand of you that you tell me, Harry Wingfield. She gave me a look with those great black eyes of hers, and how it came to pass I never knew, but straight to the root of the whole she went as if my face had been an open book. Such quickness of wit I had often heard ascribed to women, but never saw I aught like that, and I trow it seemed witchcraft. Major Beverly, who is clerk of the assembly, hath turned against the government since Bacon died, and all the burgesses are with him, and Governor Culpeper sails for England soon, and what, is the lieutenant-governor to hold the reins?
There is a plot hatching to cut down the young tobacco plants. Then suddenly she caught at my hands with hers, and cried out with that energy that I saw all at once the fire of life beneath that fair show of maiden peace and calm of hers, "Harry, Harry Wingfield, if my grandmother, Madam Cavendish, knows this, my sister is undone; no pity will she have.
The ripeness and malolactic fermentation yielded warm-climate characteristics of butterscotch and pineapple. After the whites, Jason whet our palates for the reds by pouring us a shared glass of Estate Merlot, which was still showing well, but with much softer tannins and tertiary flavors of earth and mint. This powerful, young merlot was decadent, with aromas and flavors of black cherry and chocolate. Shortly thereafter, it became very warm at our northwesterly facing table, so we moved to another open table located in the shade of the winery and residence.