•' Fire, Carlos !" he cried in a loud voice after giving his orders, and disposing his men on different parts of the platform, and around the gun. '' Sink that nearest boat, and you shall command the schooner."

Half a dozen flashes gleamed above the rock, and the whole broadside of the schooner, which commanded the whole breadth of the channel, was discharged at once. As soon as a cloud of thick smoke which rolled up before the platform was b'ovvn along the cliff—the pirate bent an eager eye upon the boats, which, still to his astonishment, approached uninjured, and with renewed velocity.

" Holy devils ! who aimed those guns," he shouted in a voice of thunder.—By the God that made you, men! you shall rue such boy's play. Away from this gun ! "—he shouted, sweeping a circle around him with his cutlass—as he sprung to the gun, and with a single hand, wheeled it to the verge and depressed it upon the leading boat. Then, snatching a match from the hand of one of his men, he applied it to the powder.

" Ha ! blessed St. Antonio," he exclaimed, as a loud crash, and shouts, and yells, followed the

report;—and the smoke drifting away, he saw a score of men struggling in the water, and dinging to the oars and fragments of their shattered boat.

"Fire upon them, men," he shouted, "makeyom* pistols ring merrily—one more broadside, Ricardo, and I forgive the last," he cried, with exultation in his voice and manner. But rhe other boats were too near for the large guns to bear upon them, as emerging from the straits, they rapidly approached, one on the quarter, and the other on the bows of the schooner. Those belonging to the last boat who were not shot in the head as they swam, were either picked up by iJie other boats, or gained the rocks on one side of the basin, or witli uncooled daring, reached the schooner just as the remaining two boats struck her side.

With the courage of lions, the, till now, passive men, leaped from their boats, and poured over the vessel's side, in spite of the desperate struggles of the buccaneers, to hurl them over into the water. In a few seconds the deck of the schooner exhibited a scene of fearful carnage. The pirates were overpowered by the superior numbers of their opponents, and began to give way. Their chief who had his hand upon a stay, and was about descending to endeavour, to turn the tide of battle, witnessing the unequal contest, paused and shouted to jtbem to mount, and leave the vessel to the enemy.—All at once the rigging was alive with the pirates, who ascended, before their astonished foes, with often practised activity, and threw themselves from the yards upon the terrace.

" Up men, follow them ! " cried the leader of the party who had boarded the vessel—"never let American tars be outdone by those cowardly Spanish cut-throats! " and he sprung into the rigging as he spoke, rapidly followed by his band ; and ascending, with reckless daring, he gained the topmast cross-

trees, crossed the yard, cutlass in hand, and sprung upon the terrace into the midst of his foes, before his real character was discovered.

^'Over with him!" cried a dozen voices. "Heave him into the sea!" and a host of cutlasses w^ere brandished about his head. But he was so rapidly seconded by his men, who leaped from the yards upon the rock as fast as they could follow one another, that the pirates had not time to deal him a fatal blow, before each one found himself in mortal combat with an American sailor.

Long and bloody was the fight. Living men were hurled upon the deck of the vessel below with terrific violence, or into the deep flood beneath. Blood flowed like water, and tlie cries, groans, and shouts of the combatants rose wildly in the air, multiplied into a thousand echoes among the chfls. The pirates numbered about fifty, and the force of the Americans was nearly equal. The deck of the vessel was deserted, save by a solitary figure crawling about; and wounded and slain men were locked in the deadly embrace in which they had fallen from the cliff, and limbs and bones were strewed in great numbers through the vessel. The fight raged fiercely directly in front of the cavern, and the pirates at last, hotly pressed, retreated to its mouth.

Here their leader, whose form the count had seen like the genius that directed the battle, whenever the figlit raged hottest, whose voice of command and encouragement was heard above the din of the conflict, and whose arm carried death wherever it fell. Many of his men had fallen around him, yet he remained cool and undaunted ; and collecting his followers about him, he slowly retreated down the terrace to the entrance of the cave.

" Press him hard—driv^e him to his den, my hearties ! *' shouted the officer who had first ascended the rigging, and who, through the whole conflict 16*

had fought with that daring and unabated energy for which American sailors are distinguished.

The terrace was strewed with the dead and dying; and Lafitte, witii iialf the original number of his men, stood near the mouth of the cavern, fighting hand to hand with the otficer, who had sought him out, hke a tiger at bay.

The count had remained in his conceahnent a witness of the fight, until the retreat of the pirates towards the mouth of the cavern, just within which he stood. As they filled the entrance, full of alarm for Constanza, whom he had left in the grotto, he suddenly sprung fiom the. elevated station upon which he stood during the fight, on to the floor of the cave, and flew towards its interior. But the noise he made alarmed the buccaneers, who turned and gazed upon his retreating figure with astonishment.

" We are surprised !" shouted several voices, and two or three of the pirates darted after him, and before he could pass round the angle in the passage, near which the lamp was suspended, he was compelled to turn upon his pursuers and defend his life. Two of the pirates assailed him at once, and he had only his pike to parry the blows of their cutlasses, when a thrust of his weapon through the sword arm of one of them caused him to drop his cutlass, which, with an exclamation of joy, the count seized, and rained blows upon his unwounded antagonist, whom he soon disabled. But before he could avail himself of this advantage, he was assailed by others of the band, who, on hearing the cry that they were taken in the rear, left the mouth of the cave, and turned their blades upon their new enen)y.

The passage was narrow, scarcely admitting the wielding of their weapons with full effect. At this point the fight now became desperate. Driven into the cave by their opponents, and finding their way

obstructed in the rear, the buccaneers fought hke fiends. Five of them fell beneath the cutlass of the count, who, fearing the fatal consequences of their entrance to Constanza's safety, and aware that his own life also was at stake, and perhaps actuated by a desire to second the attack of the American sailors, fought with the power and effect of an armed phalanx in his single arm.

The American officer had fallen severely wounded before the vigorous attacks of the outlaw, and leaving the less distinguished of his antagonists to his men, the victor turned upon the daring stranger, who, single-handed, stood defending the narrow passage.

" Santo Diablo ! whom have we here ? Give back, men—give back ! he has sent enough of you to the devil;" and treading over the dead bodies of his men, who had fallen by the hand of the desperate Frenchman, he shouted, "Let me cross blades with this stranger," aiming, as he spoke, a blow at the head of the officer, which was parried and returned with the skill of a master of the weapon.

For several seconds their rapidly clashing weapons rung against each other, flashing fiercely in the hght of the lamp suspended above their heads.

The count, weak from his former wounds, and bleeding from fresh ones, soon began to show signs of exhaustion. His opponent discovered this, and changing his mode of fighting, used all his skill to disarm him and take him prisoner.

" Surrender, sir—it is madness to contend against such odds," cried the pirate. The only reply he received was a stroke from the count's cutlass, which nearly cleft the thick cap he wore through to his head. Enraged, the pirate raised his weapon, throwing all his muscular power into his arm for a decisive blow, when a wild shriek rang through the vault, and Constanza suddenly appeared before

them, with a terrified eye, her luxuriant tresses dishevelled and floating over hei: shoulders, and her mantle disarranged in her struggles to break away from her faithful attendant, who would have held her.

The pirate started at the shriek and figure of the maiden, indistinctly seen in the obscurity of the cavern, and suddenly arrested his weapon, but too late to withhold the blow, which descended with half its original force upon the defenceless head of the count. He staggered and fell into the arms of Con-stanza, who, with an eye in which timidity had given place to resolution, caught his head upon her bosom, over which sprinkled the warm blood of her lover, and erecting her figure to its full height, wnth her disengaged arm, she drew a pistol from his belt, and levelled it at the heart of the buccaneer. The motion brought her brow under the full light of the lamp, and he, with an exclamation of surprise, as he recognized, in those full features, stamped with heroic energy and woman's self-devotion, the fair CastiUian, for whom, but a few days before, he had made magnanimous sacrifice of his love.

" Dona Constanza ! can it be !" he cried, in amazement. Then instantly changing his tone, he laid his hand upon his heart, and said, with a voice of emotion and humility, " Fire, lady ! thus shall be expiated my crime !"

The pistol dropped from her hand—" Lafitte ! " she exclaimed, after an instant's silent surprise, during which doubt and confidence struggled within her bosom. "Oh, what have you done? This is your bloody deed. Help, help, or he will die in my arms!" and tearing her mantilla, she attempted to staunch the blood which flowed freely from a slight cut in his head.

" Forgive! forgive ! lady !" cried the chief, springing to her assistance. " Leave this wounded stran-

ger to me—those shouts tell me the enemy are retreating-. Goj seiiora, I will attend you; such a scene as this is not for your presence. Leave him to my care—I see you feel an interest in him!—that is enough for me- he shall be cared for as if he were a brother. Nay, nay," he added, suddenly changing countenance; " as if he were Constanza Velasquez," and he spoke the last words tenderly.

She resigned him to his arms, and cried earnestly,

" Bear him into the Inner cave. The light, Juana!" and with eager footsteps she preceded the outlaw, who bore the wounded officer in his arms. Entering the cave originally occupied by the count, and directing him to be laid on the bamboo rushes in the niche, she kneeled beside him, and forgetful of the presence of the chief, seemed wholly absorbed in her wounded lover.

By the activity of Juana, the presence of mind and experience of the outlaw, and the angelic tenderness of the maiden—all those attentions which his state required, were completed, and the count, w^ho had not been wholly unconscious, although he betrayed his sense of consciousness only by an occasional writhing of his features, fell into a broken sleep. From the moment she kneeled by his couch, she had remained silent; but when the eyes of her lover were closed, she looked up into the face of Lafitte, who, after his services were no longer required, stood, with folded arms and a thoughtful brow, gazing in silence upon the scene.

'' Seiior Lafitte! " said the lady, " did you know of his capture ? "

" No, lady, nor your own ! I am surrounded with mystery. Why do I find you here ? Why this interest in this wounded man?" he suddenly exclaimed, striking his forehead,—" ah ! can it be! itis—?"

^' The Count D'Oyley of the French navy, Sefior,

to whom I am betrothed," she said, with feeling and dignity.

The face of the pirate changed, and a slight flush-passed across his brow. But this momentary exhibition of feeling gave place to an expression of interest.

" Lady! " he said, with a slight embarassment in his manner, " this officer shall be cared for. . I regard him as a sacred trust!—moreover, he is free from this moment! Tell me, lady, how you came to be once more a captive—voluntarily to share a prison with him ? Resolve this mystery, which I cannot fathom."

In a few words she related to him the incidents of her re-capture, and her conveyance to the cavern—the expedition of her lover—his capture—their meeting in the cavern—and their attempt to escape, just as his vessel was chased in by the American cruiser.

" Would to God, lady, you had both escaped, before I had again met you ! But, adieu ! Seiiora, I must leave you for the present," he exclaimed, as the report of the gun at the mouth of the cavern reverberated through the long passages of the grotto. ''■ Where is Theodore, lady ? I will send him to you."

" I know not, Senor, but perhaps he is near. He was sleeping in the outer apartment, by the door, when I left it. I thank you, Senor," she added, struck with the outlaw's dehcacy, in proposing Theodore to watch over the count—" Juana will call him—happy youth!—he has slept amid all this storm of death !"

A loud shout without, now called Lafitte away, after assuring her that she should be sacred from intrusion, and Constanza was left alone by the couch of her lover. Clasping her hands, she raised her full eyes to heaven, and remained several


minutes: the pale lamp painting, with light and shade, her lovely face, lost in devotion. " Thy •will, not mine, be done," she said aloud, with a voice of resignation, as she rose from her devotional attitude, and with a more cheerful brow and lighter heart, she turned and addressed her young attendant, who, with surprise pictured upon his countenance, was listening to the strange recital of the events of the night, which Juana, with characteristic volubility was detailing to him.

'' Shame upon my drowsy eyes," said Theodore, with evident mortification in his manner,— '- You find me but a poor knight, lady. But who is this pale stranger ? " he exclaimed, inquiringly, as his eye fell upon the handsome features of the wounded count.

" He is an officer of the French navy, the count D' Oyley. Theodore, you have heard me speak of him," she added, with a faint and sweet smile, "he is severely wounded; I fear I need your aid to nurse him."

The youth expressed his devotion to her slightest wish, and, placing himself near the sleeper, passed the succeeding hour in hstening to the thrilling tale, told by the maiden, with an absorbing interest, that swallowed all time but the present moment.


"When, from sentiments of honour, and desire to act justly towards those over whom he may possess temporary power, a man renounces the cherished idols of his bosom, preferring their happiness, with the certain forfeiture of his own, he has achieved the greatest victory of which he is capable.—A victory over himself.— Sherwood.



The morning broke upon the watches, and found them still by the bedside of the wounded officer. His wound had been rather a severe contusion, with the side of the pirate's cutlass, than a deep cut.

After passing the remainder of the night in feverish slumber, he awoke, as the hand of the maiden was gently parting the hair from his brow.

•' Is it you, sweet one ? " he said, with a faint smile—the whole scene of the preceding night coming, at once, to his recollection ! Have you been watching by me through the long hours of the night! How kind, Constanza ! But speak ! " he added, suddenly rising, " tell me—where is my antagonist, the buccaneer, who wounded me ? Did I not see you near me, when I fell? I have a half* consciousness of being caught by you. Devoted

Constanza ! was it not so ? and was I not borne, by some one, back to this cave ? Who was it ? was he wounded ? or—' looking with anxious affection into her face, " you, my dearest! were you hurt?" he continued, with feverish rapidity, as the various scenes he had passed through, came, indistinctly, and unconnected, to his mind.

'^ Nay, nay, dear Alphonse ! I cannot reply to all your rapid questions. You must not rise so soon—be quiet. There is no danger to you, or me !"

" But I am better, dearest!" he said, playing with a truant tress, which hung over her temples. " I am better ! my sleep has been refreshing."

" But your wound ? " %_

" It i^ but slight, although it must have been given with a good-will at the time; a httle patch will make all sound as ever. But, my sweet Con-stanza, do not be alarmed ! Who was the pirate that fought so fiercely ? Ah !" he suddenly exclaimed, as his eye rested upon the shght form of young Theodore, who stood within the niche— ^' whom have we here ? "

" The youth, Theodore, of whom I spoke," she repUed.

" Ah! I remember! Monsieur Theodore, pardon me, young sir ! I owe you better courtesy ! You have loaded me with a debt of gratitude.

" Speak of that at another time. Monsieur, your health requires silence and repose," replied the youth, remarking the mixture of indecision and energy in his manner and language, which he attributed to the fever of his wound.

" Not so, my good youth. I must thank yoti now. Yet, I know not how ! You are a sailor," he continued, after a moment's thought; <' will you take a midshipman's berth on board the Sultan V

VOL. I.—17

" I thank you, but I need no reward for performing my duty, if I have deserved any. I have sufficiently received it, by knowing that I have been instrumental in adding to this kind lady's happiness. A kind word from her lips is more than I dare hope to ask ! " he added, with a blushing brow.

"You are modest, for a protege of Lafitte, fail* youth," he repUed, smilingly. '• but this lady will not only give you words of kindness, I think, but her white hand to kiss ! will you not, Constanza ? and this, as you hint, were honour enough, for belted knight in days of Charlemagne."

Constanza, with a sweet smile, presented her hand to the youth, who. bending over it with an ah of devout respect, pressed his lips lightly to the taper fingers.

At this instant a foot-fall was heard, echoing through the chamber Constanza had occupied, and she had hardly said—

'' It is Lafitte," when the outlaw appeared at the breach in the stalactic drapery of the cave, and before passing into the apartment, gazed silently for a few seconds upon the group.

When Lafitte left the lovers, after the count had fallen asleep, he trave-sed the long passage with a rapid tread and an aching heart. He found the terrace strewed with dead and dying ; several of his men leaning with an air of fatigue against the sides of the clitf, or upon the cannon, which had just been fired at the retreating Americans, who, driven over the verge, sprung into the water, or slid down the stays to the deck, with the loss of more than half their number, besides two wounded officers, onr^. of whom they bore from the deck into the boat, severely hurt. Then with rapidity they pulled rapidly down the passage to their vessel. " Ho, Carlos ! below there!" he shouted.

" Carlos es muerte!" said faintly a wounded pirate, who rested on his cutlass.

'' Ha ! dead! Ho, the deck there—fire upon that boat! Do you mean to let them man the brig again and blockade us ?—Fire !"

" No es possible, senor," cried one fi'om the schooner. " Los Americans have spike all de gun."

" Spiked the guns ! Maldicho ! how was that done, Mateo .^"

" No se, sefior ! no es possible to tell. I hear de click, click, five six time, when one sailor run over de gvm to de boat; and when I put de prime ob de horn in de hole, dere was no hole dere, all fill up with big rusty nail."

•' Spiked, ha ! well, let them go—they will be glad enough to get out of this and show the old rock the stern of their brig," said he, quietly.

After Lafitte, with much humanity, had attended to the wounded, and given orders for the disposal of the dead, Avho numbered seventeen of the Americans, and more than twenty of the buccaneers, he placed the Avatch for the remainder of the night, and then, last of all, attended to his own wounds, which, though not severe, were numerous. He entered the cavern, and passing the spot which the count had defended, and from w^hich the bodies had been removed, he traversed the passage for a few yards, and then turned into one of those recesses which the fugitives had supported;—niches, which opened before him as he advanced, increasing in height and breadth. Although perfectly dark, he traversed this new avenue with an unfaltering footstep, and like one familiar with its details.

About seventy paces from the main passage, he came into a small vaulted apartment, Ughted fitfully by the flickering flame of an expiring fire, which had been kindled near the centre against a

fragment of rock which had faflen from the side of the grotto, and rolled into the middle of the floor. Several chests, such as seamen use to contain their apparel, rude camp stools, a round polished table, with a marble top, piles of cordage, rolls of canvass, and heaps of old sails, with many other articles necessary to the repair and preservation of vessels. filled the sides of the apartment.

On a projecting shelf, at the extremity of the cave, stood a costly pier-glass, the height of a man, with radii diverging from a point near the centre, as if a bullet had shattered it. One of the chests, the lid of which was up, displayed a number of cutlasses and pistols, and a pyramid of shot, adapted to the calibre of the piece of ordnance at the mouth of the cave, was piled at one end of it, and laid against the wall, tied up like faggots, were several bundles of pikes. In a distant niche, placed one upon another, were several kegs, half seen indis-^ tinctly in the obscurity, covered by a tarpaulin,, which had been hastily displaced, and branded " poudre a canon."

A long table, of that construction best adapted to a ship's cabin, extended nearly across the cave, about half way between the fire and the sides, which were perfectly smooth and black, and no where incrusted with stalactite.

An upturned bench lay near, and parallel with the tablej upon which stood, in bacchanalian confusion, bottles of French wines, glasses, deep plates, and tureens, with vessels for preparing coffee. It was without a cloth, wet with spilled w^ine, and strewed with fish ]3ones, and fragments of bread and meat.

Mattresses lay about the floor, and one or two hammocks were swung across from side to side, at the left hand of the shattered mirror was a recess, terminating in a heavy door, apparently con-

structed of the plank of a ship, as circular apertures once filled with spikes, and the traces of other adaptation of the material than the present, sufficiently indicated.

This part of the grotto Avas evidently appropriated by the buccaneers as the armory, store-room, and hall of feasting and carousing.

It was silent and deserted as the outlaw entered^ except by the ungainly figure of his slave, CudjoCy who lay with his naked feet to the fire, his head closely wrapped in a soiled blanket, fast asleep, preferring the embraces of Somnus to those of Mars, from which he had escaped at the commencement of the conflict.

Lafitte gazed upon the scene around him with a bitter smile.

•' And this," he said, with a cloudy brow, after standing awhile in silence, '' this i« my abode! the-outlaw's home !—this my domestic hearth —this my social board—for the plaudits of such as I command—for the boast of a beast like this slave ! Is it for this I live ! alas, I have lived in vain ! all, all in vain !" and he paced the cave with an agitated step, while hatred for his present life, aspirations for an honourable career, and lov^e for the Castilliaii maiden, filled his mind with conflicting emotions.

'' She is in my power once more," he hoarsely whispered; " have I not made sufficient sacrifice in letting her once depart! Is my passion again to be immolated upon the altar of self-denial! Yet I may not use the power I possess. I love her—and only to honourable love shall she be sued ! But will she listen !—Listen !—am I mad—listen with hi r hand upon the brow, and kneeling beside the couch of her betrothed husband! Success is now doubly walled up against me. But if he die!—ah, if he die !—as he may—as he must!" he added with a rii>ging voice, and starting at the guilty thoughts IT*

which stirred his bosom: but suddenly checking-huBself, he continued, in a lower tone—" No, no, no !—I am sick of crime !—back, back, tempter—I will win her fairly. Am I indeed so base as to wish this maiden ill—to think of destroying so much happiness when I can make it bliss ! If he should not live—then ! then, perhaps !—but no—oh, God. no!—have I not stricken the blow—and will she place her hand in his, red with her lover's blood ?— Will she give her heart to be healed by him who broke it ? But time, perhaps, might mitigate and veil over the bitter memory of the past—and then," and his step became more elastic, and Iiis brow clear as he spoke, but as suddenly changed again, " Alas ! there is no hope for me !—she never—never can love me !—^lier spirit is too pure to mingle with mine. It is in vain for me to hope—yet I must love her—love her—for ever ! But I will school myself to think of her without passion—worship her as a lovely incarnation of the Virgin !"

For an hour he paced the grotto, struggling with his passion, which, one moment gaining the ascendancy, filled his mind with dark and guilty purposes ; but innnediately yielding to the dictates of honour, and the native generosity of his character, he Avould picture forth scenes of happiness for her and her lover in the vista of the future. His step was irregular, his features worked convulsively, his brow was bent with the violence of the struggle.

" I will—I Avill!" he at length said, suddenly stopping. " She shall respect—if she cannot love me—only with gratitude shall she remember La-fitte ! They shall both be free, and this veiy day will I myself take them to Port-au-Prince. If I cannot make my own happiness, I will not mar theirs—nay, I will make it—I will teach my passion this step;" and his voice became calmer as he spoke. "As I now feel,'' he continued,'' I think

I could place her hand withm his, and bid Heaven bless them. Yes, then I could seek an early death on the battle-field, or in the seclusion of a monastery atone for my past life by penance and prayer. Penance and prayer !" he repeated, with an altered voice, wliile a disdainful expression dwelt upon his Up, as though he had given utterance to thoughts of which he became at once ashamed. "Yes— beads and rosaries ! genuflexions and ablutions, fasts and confassions ! cowl and gown ! truly these would well become me ! Yet, for all that, it may yet be to what my coward heart will drive me. Nevertheless, this lady shall go free, whatever shall be my future fate."

He then threw hiixiself upon one of the rude couches, and bringing the butt of his pistols round to the ready grasp of his hand, he sought in the oblivion of sleep, to forget himself.

Sleep! blessing both of the innocent and guilty! With thy presence thou visitest like the rain, both the just and the unjust. Angel of charity, messenger from on high, sent d^wn to shorten half the weary pilgrimage of life ! "^^iste'r of mercy—the curse of Eden would have b^i^unmingied without thee. Thou hast shared with us the heavy load, and cooled the sweating brow, and for us borne half the burden and heat of the long day of existence !

He awoke at dawn refreshed, and with a calmer breast. Low voices struck his ear, from beyond the door within the recess. He listened a moment in surprise, and then rising quickly he unlocked the door, and entered the apartment once occupied by Constanza.

The canopy and other preparations made by the order and attention of Th5odore for her comfort, caught his eye—for all parts of the cave was now visible by the daylight, let in from the crevices and apertures in the roof His ra^id glance also detect-

ed the breach made by the count, and he at once understood the object of it; and as he was advanc-ing to examine it, the voices of the party in the adjoining chamber became distinct.

'-'• Ha! my captive lover is better it seems," he exclaimed as the words struck his ear. "But, he has made a soldier's breach through this wall. Constanza then was placed here by that prosy fool Sebastiano ; and thick-skulled, Dutch Getzendan-ner must place his prisoner Avithin ear-shot. It is said there is no separating true lovers, and here is most visible proof of it. What have we here, Cie-los ! the maiden's sparkling crucifix, dropped in her flight," he suddenly added, eagerly seizing the jewel which caught his eye ; ^- This next my heart forever !" he fervently exclaimed, pressing it to his lips—•' this shall be twice worshipped—I devote it to heaven, and love," and he hung it around his neck by its chain, conceaUng the cross in his bosom.

"■Protege of Lafitte!" he repeated with bitter emphasis, as he overheard the words of D'Oyley. " Monsieur Le Compte thinks there can come nothing good out of Nazareth! Ha ! how cavaherly he gives away the lady's hand to the boy's lip—pity that so fair a scene should be interrupted."

''Senora, buenos dias tenga vm. Monsieur Compte^ I trust you are much better. Theodore, welcome back again !" and as he entered the chamber, he grasped the hand of the boy with a smile of pleasure—bowed coldly to the county who was sitting on his couch of bamboo-rushes in the niche, and with an air of profound respect, bent low to the maiden.

" Pardon this intrusion, Senora, I knew not of this passage between the rooms, it being made since my last visit to our rendezvous, probably for greater facilities of intercourse," and he smiled meaningly^



" and hearing voices, I came to learn from whence they proceeded."

'• Monsieur," he continued " I am happy to see you so far recovered from your wounds. You are at Uberty to depart, when you are well enough to be removecf."

"I thank you, Monsieur Lafitte,"replied the count, courteously, " My wound was but trifling. I am able to move ; but, monsieur, permit me to say, how profoundly I feel your kindness extended to this lady !"

" Enough, count, I followed my own feelings. It is not for you to thank me,"—said he sternly— '• speak of your departure."

" If I am at liberty, as you say, I would leave at once. Have you any news of my schooner ? you have I presume heard the particulars of my capture /"

" Yes, Monsieur, in a few words from Gaspar— of your vessel, I have not heard. I will take you. to Port au Prince, in my schooner as soon as she> undergoes some repairs. She will be ready by the


" Thank you, Monsieur ; and this lady?"

" Shall accompany you, sir!" he replied in a deep voice, that drew the eye of the count upon his face, which reflected the agitation of his mind, produced by the question, and the associations which it called up.

"Sacre ! " exclaimed the count, suspicious of the cause of Lafitte's emotion, suddenly flashing across his mind.

"Are you in pain, Alphonse ?" inquired Con-stanza, with a changing cheek, as she remarked his exciting manner.

" No ! yes ! great ! " and he laid his hand upon his breast.

Lafltte smiled scornfully, and he glanced at the


officer with an expression of dislike. After a few,, moments, vexed at the silence of Constanza, who' liad not raised her eyes from her lover's face, since he entered, he left the cave accompanied by Theodore, whom he took with him, to ascertain more particularly than he had learned from Gaspar, the details of their capture, and the events succeeding it.

While the pirate chief neglected nothing that could contribute to the comfort of Constanza, and the count, he refrained from visiting them during the day, resolved to have no farther communication with the lovely Castillian, lest his resoluton should forsake him—and under the iniluence of passion, increased by the presence of the maiden, he should throw off all his honourable resolves for her happiness—the consequences of which he dare not contemplate.

The struggle in his own mind was prolonged, and severe. At one moment he was ready to rush into her presence, throw himself at her feet, and plead his deep, unconquerable love—at another moment he would feed upon the reflection, that she was in his power, and he resolved that he would not let her go. Again the wild idea of challenging the count to single combat, or the more guilty one of exposing him in his wounded state to die, would by turns fire his bosom. The exclamation of the count, w^hich he had attributed to sudden pain, repeatedly occurred to him. and he curled his lip contemptuously as he said mentally,

'• He is jealous of me. The proud Frenchman fears Lafitte may take a fancy to have so fair a protegee ; hatred for him could almost tempt me to detain this lovely flower, did I not love her so well as I too truly do—did I not know that her happiness, which alone I seek, is bound up in him. Dios ! he has a noble presence^ and is a man a lady might

.well love—yet I love her too well for this," he added with feeling. " The jealous count should rather thank my love for the lady's safety, than show his jealousy. If I loved her not, as I never loved woman—Ha, a footstep ! Who goes there ? It is but fancy, or but a bat," he said as a slight noise, which he thought a footstep, at the extremity of the passage struck his ear. " But alas," he continued—" Gertrude—I have loved thee, thou art not forgotten. Well he shall have her" -he hastily added, and God help me, he shall have her from my hand—and I will have the approval of my conscience, for at least one disinterested act. To-morrow they go! and as he spoke he swung himself from the terrace on to the rigging of his vessel, and descending to the deck, forwarded by his presence, the repairs and preparations for sailing early on the morning of the coming dciy.


** The same kind, though not degree, of genius is as necessary lo plan and direct the escape of an individual, from a perilous situation^ as of an army."— Lamb.

"Wme and wassail have taken more strong places than gun or steel."— Chestekfield.


The stars burned like lamps in the clear, Indian skies. The air was motionless, and broken only by some alarmed bird fluttering- chirpingly from tree to tree, or the suppressed moan of the surge—profound silence reigned without and within the deep chambers of the grotto.

The guard, posted rather to give the alarm when vessels approached the shore, than to guard the prisoners, paced slowly along the terrace in front of the cavern, with his cutlass resting carelessly upon his left arm. The deck of the schooner below him was covered with sleepers, who, after the fatigues of the day, had thrown themselves upon it, in various positions. The remainder of the outlaw's crew were sleeping in the magazine of the cave, where Lafitte had passed the preceding night.

The outlaw himself, after promenading the passage in which we left him, a long time in troubled thought, threw himself upon the cold pavement, and also slept; but his dreams were of his lovely captive.

He was kneeling before an altar in a gloomy and

gorgeous temple, beside a veiled female. A priest, in rich robes, was in the act of pronouncing a blessing over them. He was about to press her to his heart, when she suddenly changed to the bleeding corse of his young brother. He cried with horror and awoke.

Again he dreamed Constanza was struggling in the sea. He sprang into the flood to save her, when a gigantic monster, with large, beautiful eyes—a knife buried in his bosom, and blood oozing from his temples, caught her from his grasp, and conveyed her from his sight, into the depths of the ocean. With a convulsed frame, he started from his dream.

A third time he slept. He was in the cathedral of New Orleans, and about to be united to Con-stanza, who stood beside him, veiled in white. She was just parting her lips to pronounce the solemn words Avhich should unite their destinies forever, when the priest removed his mask, cast off his robes, and clasped her in his anus. It was the Count D'Oyley.

In the mean time, the count was in the chamber, lighted by a single lamp, Avhere he had been borne the preceding night; but he slept not. Constanza, with her head resting upon his shoulder, slumbered peacefully, and her dreams were all of happiness.

'• Constanza, my love ! awake ! " said her lover, gently touching her closed eyes.

He had long been engaged in ruminating upon his condition, upon the character of Lafitte, and the probability that he would be in the same mind in the morning, with regard to their liberation.

The more he reflected, the greater his doubts became, and when he recalled, with a feeling of apprehension and indignation, the language, tone, and manner, of the outlaw, in his interview with

VOL. I.—18

him in the morning, the detached sentences he had overheard when his footsteps interrupted his sohlo-quy, his confidence in liis promises failed, and he at once resolved to make his escape before day * fearing even to remain through the night, subject to the caprice of his captor.

" Awake, love!" he said, softly, as he came to this determination.

'• What, Alphonse, is it you ? Are there more trials for me?" and she looked up into his face, with her eloquent eyes, suddenly suffused with tears, and clinging to his arm, with nervous apprehension.

" No, my Constanza—I think we may escape from this place—I dare not trust Captain Lafitte's firmness till the morning."

" Oh, have you fresh cause for alarm or suspicion ? Tell me ! Leave me not in suspense ; '^ and she looked with an alarmed manner into his face.

" No, love ! but I fear he may change his mind^ he is an impulsive being, and if we can escape, it will not be prvident to remain till morning."

" You have heard something, dear Alphonse! I know you have, that leads you to this sudden step, and you are still so weak—oh, tell me all!" she added, earnestly—" am I not worthy of your confidence."

" All, all confidence, dearest!—Your suspicions are true! Not long since, when I walked along the passage to breathe the cooler air, at the mouth of the cave, I heard the voice of Lafitte, as you tell me is his habit, in soliloquy. Thinking I might learn something which in our situation, could be improved to advantage, I cautiously approached the gallery, along which he was pacing backwards and forwards, and heard sufficient to alarm me for your safety and my own, and to lead me to place

LAFITTE. ^ 207

but slight confidenqe in his promise, to take us to Port-au-Prince to-morrow, will you not second me, dearest?"

'' Can we escape, Alphonse ? and why should we fear to trust Lafitte ? He is impulsive, it is true, but would not, I think, err intentionally, or deceive us. But I will go with you, dearest! never will I be separated from you again ! Whom do I love or have to love or care for me, but you, my Alphonse ! Oh, let us go :—he may, indeed, be in another mood in the morning," she added, hastily, as some part of his first interview with her flashed on her mind, " Oh, I fear—fear him much. I will go with you, let us hasten—but how ?''

" There was a felucca at the foot of the rock, which I saw, as I was brought in, a prisoner, containing a small mast. It was lying opposite the long passage. If we can gain this boat, unper-ceived, in an hour we will be beyond pursuit, and, with a light breeze, by to-morrow evening, be able to reach Port-au-Prince Now let us arrange our plan."

" Shall I waken Juana ? "

'• You would best, she may assist us materially.'*

The slave, who was asleep in the extremity of the chamber, was roused, with difficulty, from her heavy and dreamless sleep, by the count, who was now excited and cheerful, with the prospect of being soon far from the presence and power of one whom he suspected to be his rival, and from whom, consequently, he had every thing to fear. Besides his desire for personal liberty, he experienced the in-tensest anxiety for the safety and happiness of Constanza, whose health and mind, already affected by what she had passed through, he feared would be materially injured, if she should be again exposed to exciting scenes, or, in the morning, meet with disappointment.

208 " LAFITTE.

He was, therefore, desirous of removing her, at once, to a place of security and quietude.

The old slave was informed of their project, to which she listened with attention and pleasure.

" Old Juana tink, massa Doly better wait till morning come, 'cans if massa Lafitte sa' he let hly lady and buckra gemman go free—dey sure go— as Juana 'tan here—but den, if de hly Missy 'fraid Juana jess go 'long wid her."

" Thank you, Juana," said Constanza, " we find, that if escape is possible, we had best leave the cave to-night. In the morning, perhaps, the crew of the vessel might, as they often do, oppose his his commands, and we should then be lost."

'• Juan' know dat, well 'nough !—How tink you get out, massa Doly ?—de guard 'tan at de mouf.— de schooner down in de basin, full of men—Its mighty diffikil to get way—Massa Doly," she said, shaking her head, impressively.

" Speak low, Juana," said the count. '' Listen ! " we have thought of this plan. You have a husband on the schooner, I am told. Pass the guard, and say you wish to take some articles of clothing to him—he will permit it—this carpet, and these provisions, to place in the boat, shall pass as the clothing—descend to the vessel—let the watch on deck see you—speak to him, but do not go beloAv— take your opportunity, and drop the articles into the felucca, or the schooner's boat, if you find it alongside—again speak to the watch, and ply him with this spirit which 1 give you, tell him you wish to return for something, and that master Theodore may come back with you. Leave the impression, that is, make him believe, that you will soon be there, with Theodore. Tell the guard the same, and do not forget to ply the bottle freely. Then, if you can find a cap and cloak, belonging to Theodore, bring it with you here, and I will ihen tell you

further our plans. Do you understand what I have said?"

" Is, massa Doly, ol' Juana no fool! She know jiss how to do. Leave Juana to herself."

Taking the flask of sph-its, which had been left by the side of the invalid, and muttering, " Juana no de root put in dis, if massa Doly want make sleep come," the old African disappeared in the darkness of the passage. In a few moments her footsteps died away, and the lovers, in silence and expectation, aw^aited her return.

Half-way through the cave she turned into a niche, in which were many cooking utensils, and, taking a bundle of dry leaves and roots, from an aperture, she dropped a portion in the flask, and pursued her way to the mouth of the grotto.

"Who is there?" said the guard, as the dark form of the old slave emerged from the gloom of the cavern.

" What for you speak so loud and cross, Gil?— nobody but oF nigger—don't be frighten."

" Diablo !—Juana, you are ugly enough to frighten the devil"— he replied with a loud laugh, "what are you crawling about for this time of night ?"

"I want to see my oF husband—an'car'dese tings to him—You know Gil—I've been among wid dis purty hlly lady, dis more dan week."

"Ah, ha, the Castillian." said Gil with a smile, ''she is pretty, Juana—you two together must very well personate light and darkness. But where is the lady that our wise captain loves so well as to give his own share of booty for her ransom?— Sancta Maria ! but he nmst have tal^n a vow of chastity."

" You mity quisitive Gil—such as you no more shouldnt open your two ugly eye, to look at such a lady—dan notin' at all."


"Ho now Juana—you jealous,"—he replied tapping her on the cheek—" But what have you in that flask—the pure Jamaica or purer Santa Crux— this goes to old blubber lip, the steward, I will wager, I must take a sip to see if it is not too hot for the old boy's stomach. You must be tender of your better half in his old age, Juana.—Ha—peh ! peh ! but this is made of the true grape. Hold, good Juana! don't be in haste. Let old Crisp sleep, he would rather rest his venerable limbs now, than smack his lips over the best quart of aquardiente he ever stole from the captain^s cask"

"Dere Gil, you hab drink 'nough"—she cried interrupting him and seizing the flask •' now jess hoi' dis tight," she said v/alking out on a broad plank extending from the terrace to the cross trees of the schooner.

Assisted by Gil the old woman carefully descended the shrouds to the deck, which was strewn with the wearied and sleeping crcAV.

The watch drowsily leaned against the binnacle with a half-smoked and fireless segar in his lips; but as she approached him, he started when he discovered her by the light of a lantern, which hung in the companion-way.

" Juana, my beauty, are you picking the men's pockets of their spare reals?—come here and let me talk ^vith you! "

" Diego, how you do—it long time I seen you— how is my Crisp ? "

" Why, just like yourself, Juana ; he grows handsomer as they call the change in Congo, that is, blacker every day."

" Well I'm glad to know dat—I'se come aboard to see him—How long you been on watch, Diego ? "

" It is four bells since, and now you've come it's five, my beautiful girl,"—he replied, with mock-gallantry.

" Now jess stop wid dat nonsense, Diego ; you're always flattering me—I'se got ol' and wrinkly now."—

" Yet you've broken many a black lover's heart in your day—when you lived in Louisiana; is it not so, bel' Juana? "

" I can't stop talk now—Diego,"—said she complacently, " have you been two hours on watch ? and no drink, noffin all time I dare say. "

"You say most truly and sadly, good Juana, " he rephed, " Since Mateo got drunk on watch, and let a barge full of men come aboard of us, there's no more drinking."

'' Juana know dat, Diego, well 'nough, and she just bring some—fin to keep the dew from soaking de heart. I don't forget when you nurse my Crisp, when he got he head broke.—Dere, Diego—take two, tree swallow, and gib it back to me."

'' Miraculo; my queen of clubs," he replied, gaily, " but you are a goddess! well this is good—ma-dre de dios! where got you such double distilled nectar ? but never mind where it come from so that we knoAV where it goes to, " he added, placing the mouth of the flask to his own, and qiiafling most generous draughts. " Bah, but you are a jewel, Juana. What's that you cast in the boat ?" he added suddenly, and looking over the side.

" Only two, tree tings belong to Crisp. I don't like go below, and sturb dem sleep, dere, you tell him in de mornin',#his close dere in de boat. Is massa Theodore 'board ? "

" No, it is his next watch too—he'll not be down in time, I fear."

" Neber you fear, Diego, I'll bring him 'long. I'm comin down by and by to bring Crisp he jacket, an I'll wake him, and he'll come wid me. Just gib me one of his cap and him watch coat." Diego readily brought them, and said,

" Well, Juana, you are a nice girlj—stay, let me take another sip at that flask. I would kiss you, Juana, for this," he added, taking the flask from his hps with a sigh ; "but the spirit on my breath might give offence. I never kiss, fair Juana, after taking wine, without first smoking the flavour off with genuine Habana."

" Good bye, Diego; I must go ; you alays mity 'ticular gemman," she replied, turning to go.

" Adios, Juana, my jetty angel! such spiritual visits as your's are always welcome to Diego.'^

The old slave, satisfied that she had given him enough to intoxicate him, after carefully threading her way through the sleeping crew, slowly ascended the shrouds ; while Diego, already excited by big frequent and potent draughts at the mouth of the flask, began to sing a Spanish bacchanalian song, parodied from Moreto, by some Castillian Lyceus, commencing—

Hombres, vino, me mafa Vino es mi muerta y mi vida Yo, de beber vino, vivo -^Y muero, per beber vino.

La ra la, la ra la, la.

" Gil, you gone sleep ! fy, Gil! guard go sleep on pos','' said she, stepping on to the terrace, approaching and shaking him, as he leaned against the face of the rock.

'' Dimonios ! what, old black witch ? " he grumbled, illl-humouredly ; "gi—give me my aq—a— aquardiente—to, diablo! but it is good," he continued, as he took another draught.

" You hab 'nuff; you drunk now, Gil? " she said inquiringly, wishing to ascertain how far her stratagem had taken effect.

" Give me more, yo—you hag—mor—more, or I'il bl—blow (hiccough) you in t-t-the (hiccough) s-sea— hie, do-hie-—do you hear—hugh!" and he drew a



pistol from his belt, and the expression of liis face became ferocious.

" Dere, take httle sip more, Gil—dere, 'nuff. now; '^ and she snatched the bottle from him, at the same time dexterously spilling a part of its contents over the priming of both pistols.

" Curse you. Sathan's dam !" he quickly exclaimed ; " is that the way you use good liq-—hquor." Then, after a pause, he added, incoherently, " how thick the sta—stars are, and what other schoon— schooner's lying side the Gertrude—miraculo ! Ju— Juana—you are de—d—double—(hiccough)—gi--gi—give me one of them flasks in your ha—hand," and the intoxicated guard, no longer able to articulate distinctly, or support himself against the wall, slipped gradually from his upright position, and lay upon his side with his cheek resting upon the cold stone.

Satisfied with the manner in wmi5|i she had obeyed her instructions, the slave hastened into the grotto, where the count and Constanza were waiting her return with apprehension and anxiety.


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