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Bennett, Emerson, 1822-1905 [1851], The league of the Miami. (Lorenzo Stratton, Cincinnati) [word count] [eaf470T].
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On the same evening in which the attack,
as we have shown, was made upon
the League—about the hour of ten—
Cicely was seated in the same room
wherein we left her in a previous chapter.
A week had passed, and on the gentle
countenance of Cicely was written a week
of trouble. Her features were pale, almost
sallow, and much thinner than before.
Soft blue veins stood out upon her countenance
in rather bold relief, and her eyes:
were red with weeping. Poor Cicely! to
her had it been a week of misery and

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apprehension. Everything in the future
had looked dark and gloomy; she had
been a prey to strange, wild fancies; horrid
dreams had made even her sleep a
sleep of pain; and her waking moments
had been racked with the thoughts of a
burning brain. Mary had paid her the
strictest attention. Every want that could
be, had been supplied, save that of liberty;
for, strict to the letter of Burrand's
injunctions, she had not allowed her to
leave the cottage even for a moment.

Thus day and night, day and night had
passed, and now the awful, dreaded night
of all had come. The terrible words of
Burrand had sunk as barbed steel into
her soul—“One week from to-night,
remember!” This was the night. Oh!
what might this night unfold? what new
act of villainy? what terrible crime?
Cicely thought, and shuddered. She
thought of Molly—alas! how would she
bear the separation, the loss? She
thought of Edward—where was he? did
he know of her capture? and, if so, what
would he do? what could he do? what
interest would he now take in her welfare?
had they not parted? had she not
rejected him? would he ever see her
again? Wildly such thoughts rushed
through her brain—wildly and madly;
she felt she was growing mad; her head
seemed pressed to bursting; and, in her
agony, she clasped it with her hands and

Suddenly she started to her feet—
looked hurriedly around—she was alone—
(Mary had, for the moment, left the room,)
she might, perchance, escape!—she had,
during her captivity, never before thought
of this!—it was an inspiring thought!—
she sprang to the door—but no, no, alas!
it was fast; and again Cicely sank upon
her seat, and buried her face in her

“So, then, you would escape!” said
Mary, entering at the moment. “You
are weary of me, I suppose?”

“Oh! Mary,” said Cicely, looking up,
her eyes filling with tears—“do not
blame me; you know not the terrible
feelings that are harrowing my soul. Oh!
I shall go mad!” and she wrung her
hands in a sort of frenzy.

Mary gazed on her a moment, and
her eyes looked watery—her heart was

“Do not weep—do not grieve thus,
poor Cicely! would to Heaven I had died
ere I had a hand in your wrong; but it
alters nothing now.”

“You! a hand in my wrong?” repeated
Cicely; “what mean you? surely,
it was not by your influence, or your plotting,
that I was brought hither?”

“True, neither. Yet have I not
shared in the crime, by being made your

“Oh, lady! if, then, you have pity—
assist me to escape—I entreat, I beg of

“It is impossible, Cicely; we are
watched, night and day; such an attempt
would only place you in a worse position,
and cost me my life.”

“Heavens! Mary—watched from
without? I did not think that; then all
is lost—all is lost! Oh! Father of
Heaven, help me! But what is to take
place? O, tell me that, Mary? Who is
this dark man? what are his intentions?
why are you, who seem to possess a
kindly heart, joined with him?”

“To answer the latter question, Cicely,
would take me hours; I shall not attempt
it; suffice, that I am what I am—a ruined
woman—Aaron Burrand my seducer.”

“Aaron Burrand! Mary! was that terrible
man Aaron Burrand? is it with him
I have to contend? Then do I know his
purpose; then am I lost; oh, God! oh!
God!” and Cicely paced the room,

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wringing her hands, and crying in a state
bordering on insanity.

“Then you have heard of Aaron Burrand,
before?” said Mary, inquiringly.

“Heard of him?” repeated Cicely,—
“who has not? his name is the terror of

“Then do you well know his base design;
I shall not, therefore, be pained by
having to explain.”

“Is there no escape?—no hope?”

“None. Yet hold!—a thought strikes
me; which had you rather suffer, death
or dishonor?”

“Death!” replied Cicely, shuddering.

“Then your only hope lies in death.
Here is a dagger—do you understand?”

“I do,” said Cicely, as she firmly
clenched it in her trembling hand, and
gazed on it with a pale cheek. “I understand—
I thank you;” and she concealed
it in the folds of her dress.

“Hark!” said Mary, listening; “I
hear his steps already now approaching;
I was but just in time. Remember, do
not use the dagger, save as your last

“I shall remember,” replied Cicely.

At this moment a knocking was heard
at the door. Mary immediately opened
it, and admitted the figure of Aaron Burrand,
who, with perfect sang froid, walked
into the room, and took off his hat and
gloves deliberately.

“Well, my pretty Cicely,” said he,
seating himself close to her, “you look
extremely beautiful this evening.”

Cicely shuddered, but made no answer.

“I believe this is the night on which I
promised to see you again; am I not

“You are right,” returned Cicely,

“I am extremely sorry that I have thus
long kept you in waiting; but some very
important business called me away.”

“But come, have you nothing to say to
me after my absence, my pretty Cicely?”
pursued Burrand, endeavoring to draw
her into conversation.

“Nothing, save that had you staid longer
away, I should have less cause for

Burrand compressed his lips, and a
dark smile lingered on his features as he

“So, you have grown a little ironical,
I perceive;” and turning to Mary, he
gave her a peculiar look, when she immediately
left the room. “But come, dear
Cicely,” continued he, endeavoring to
take her hand, “why will you feign what
you do not feel?”

“I never feign,” replied she, withdrawing
her hand, and moving her chair somewhat

“O, Cicely, if you did but know how
much I love you.”

“'Tis false!” interrupted she, with
flashing eyes; “you love me not. You
say this but to cover base design!”

“Ha! who hath told you this?”

“Your features.”

“Nay, my lovely Cicely, you misjudge
me: I would not wrong you!”

“Then go your way—let me go mine.”

“O, Cicely, you do not mean this!”

“And wherefore not? Do you think
I prefer a prison to liberty?”

“But you shall have liberty, sweet one;
only be mine, and you shall have everything
you may ask, within my power to
grant; refuse, and you shall know what
I can do!”

“You continue to threaten, then, it
seems; this is brave in an American officer—
a powerful man—to steal away a
girl, by cowardly ruffians, and then
threaten her because she does not love
him—because she will not consent to
be by him degraded!—truly, this is

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“I see 'tis useless to dally farther with
you. I now say—as I said when I last
saw you—you must be mine—you shall
be mine! You are in my power; think
not you can escape—'tis impossible; think
not you will have assistance, for you are
far from friends, and he is bold who dares
to cross my will!”

“I know all this,” said Cicely, calmly,
but firmly; “I have conned the matter
over well; and, ere you take this daring
step—ere your soul is deeper steeped in
crime—I charge you, solemnly charge
you! to pause—reflect! Reason well
the matter, and what, after all, will you
have gained—even supposing you succeed
in your foul intent?—nothing. On
the contrary, you will have ruined one
who never did you wrong: will it not be
a serious death-bed thought, when you
are approaching the confines of eternity?
when about to stand in the presence of

“You reason prettily,” said Burrand,
with a wicked smile—a smile which made
Cicely shudder; “but you reason like
the mass, who think there is a God—that
that the soul is immortal; with me such
thoughts do not have weight: I disbelieve
them all.”

“What!” cried Cicely, staring in
alarm—“do you disbelieve there is a

“I do.”

“Then God protect me! else am I
lost;” and, turning her eyes upward,
she murmured a prayer.

“Pshaw! this is idling time!” said
Burrand, approaching her.

“Off! villain, off!” cried Cicely,
springing from her seat, and drawing the
dagger; “you see that I am armed;
press not upon me, else my blood be on
your head! For, solemnly I swear! if
you persist, this pointed steel shall free
my spirit. I will drive it through and
through my heart, ere you shall clasp me
other than a corpse!”

Burrand paused. He saw, by a glance,
that Cicely would fulfill her threat, should
he still persist; and, consequently, his
only course was now to manage so as to
disarm her.

“Well, well, my gentle Cicely,” said
he, “I see that you are obstinate toward
my advances, and I like you the better
for it. It was but done to try your

“O, sir! then you will not—will not
wrong me?” cried Cicely, beseechingly.

“No, Cicely, I will not. You shall be
returned to your friends.”

“God of Heaven! I thank thee!” exclaimed
she, dropping the dagger—clasping
her hands—and looking upward, with
tearful eyes.

Burrand gazed for a moment upon her
in undisguished admiration. Wicked as he
was, this noble sight affected even him.'
Twas but for a moment, however; good
thoughts, or good intents, ne'er held a
place with him; for, as the water when
separated by the falling in of some ponderous
globe, again rushes back with twofold
power, burying the mass within its
tide—so the evil in the heart of Burrand,
when separated by the good, collected
and returned with double fury. Springing
forward with a bound, he caught the dagger
from the floor, and, turning to Cicely,

“Now I have thee!” and he grasped
her by the wrist, and fixed his dark, lascivious
eyes upon her.

Cicely uttered a wild, heart-piercing
scream, and attempted to free herself
from his grasp.

“Nay, 'tis useless,” said Burrand,
seizing her with both hands, in a rude
manner. “By hell! if you escape me
now, then do I give you liberty.”

Again Cicely uttered a thrilling scream.

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At this instant the door was burst open,
and Gerolstein, pale and breathless, rushed
into the room.

“That voice! that voice!” cried he,
wildly; “by heavens! 'tis she! 'tis
Cicely! O, Cicely, do you not know

On the entrance of Gerolstein, Burrand
relaxed his hold of Cicely, and started
back, to be on guard in case of danger;
surprise then held him mute—while
Cicely, wild with fluctuating feelings,
gazed upon her deliverer in joyful wonder.

“Do you not know me? my own, dear
Cicely!” cried Gerolstein, throwing out
his arms.

“A thought—a wild, thrilling thought—
passed through the brain of Cicely; she
looked again—yes! it must be him—it
was him—and with the cry of—

“Father! dear, dear father!” she
sprang forward, and fainted in his arms.

“Quick! good fellows, quick!” said a
voice from without; “he entered here;”
and the next moment the door was again
thrown open, and Edward Langley, with
three or four stout followers, sprang into
the room.

“Heavens!” exclaimed Langley;
“what do I behold! Cicely in the arms
of a stranger? Have I then sought her
rescue to find myself dishonored by the

“There stands the man who can best
answer that question,” replied Gerolstein,
pointing to Burrand.

“Who are you, sir?” asked Langley,
sternly, turning to Burrand; “how came
you here?”

Burrand saw there was but one way
of escape, and quickly made answer:

“My name is one of honor—I came
to rescue this lady, who is now in the
arms of her seducer.”

“ 'Tis false! 'tis a lie, as black as hell!”
cried Gerolstein, in rage. “Cicely, poor
girl, shall be my proof; see! she recovers.”

As he spoke, all eyes were directed to
Cicely, who, awaking from her swoon,
started, rubbed her eyes, and looked
hurriedly around, exclaiming:

“Father—Edward—what is the meaning
of this? am I awake, or is this a
delusive dream?”

“Father!” cried Langley, springing
forward, and clasping Cicely in his arms—
“is this your father, dearest Cicely?”

“It is,” murmured Cicely.

“ 'Tis false!” said Burrand. “Her
name is Vandemore; this is Gerolstein,
the notorious Captain of the League.”

“Ha! this is the man we seek—seize
him!” cried another of the party.

“Not while a traitor lives!” exclaimed
Gerolstein, as he drew from his belt a
pistol, and fired at Burrand.

“You have missed,” remarked Barrand,
coolly, as the ball passed through
the wall close to his head; “I shall remember
this!” and he ground together
his teeth.

Ere Gerolstein could try a second, he
was seized and disarmed by three of the
men; while Cicely, uttering a scream,
sprang from Langley, exclaiming:

“Oh! do not believe that villain! this
is some terrible mistake; this is my
father, Vandemore—'tis not Gerolstein!”

“Here is mystery,” said Langley,
turning to Gerolstein—“will you explain,
sir, which is your right name?”

“Both!” replied Gerolstein, gloomily.
“I feel my time has come; I no longer
care for concealment; my name is Gerolstein
Vandemore; to one am I known as
Vandemore, to the other as Gerolstein:
do with me as you will; I am ready.”

“Gerolstein Vandemore!” muttered
Burrand to himself;—“ 'tis the name, by
all the gods! Cicely, too—'tis so, 'tis so—
I have been duped—the girl he was to

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have destroyed is living—this is she: yet
shall he pay the penalty with his life, or
I know not my nature;” and, unperceived,
he glided from the room.

While this was taking place with Burrand,
the rest were not less active.

“Oh! father! father! is this true?”
cried Cicely, in the most piteous, agonizing
tones conceivable. “Oh! have you
thus linked yourself with men of crime?
Oh! father, dear father, say 'tis not so—
say 'tis false—'tis a lie, and I will bless

“ 'Tis true—'tis all true, dearest

“Oh, God!” exclaimed she, and sank
at his feet.

“Merciful Heavens!” cried Langley,
pressing his hands upon his temples—
“can this be true? Cicely, the gentle,
the lovely Cicely, the daughter of an outlaw?”

“No, that is not true,” said Vandemore,
deeply affected.

“Explain! explain!” cried Langley,
breathlessly, while Cicely looked up in

“Not in this world,” muttered Burrand,
who had paused at the door—“not
in this world, and there is no next! She
knows not who she is—she never shall

While speaking, he drew a pistol from
his breast, and deliberately glancing
along the barrel, he touched the trigger—
it flashed—the report rang out—and ball
entered Vandemore's head—and he fell
forward, even over the gentle Cicely,
whose lovely features were bespattered
with his blood.

All stood aghast—horrified—dumb
with amazement, at an act so bold—so
unexpected—while Cicely again swooned
from the effects.

“Great God! who could have done
this?” cried Langley. All sprang to the
door—it was densely dark—no one could
be seen. “The officer—ha! he is gone—'
twas he—'twas he!”

Oh! what a sight was there!—Vandemore
stretched upon the floor, on his
side—his mouth a little ajar, gasping for
breath—his features distorted with the
throes of death, over which the blood
was trickling from the wound in his
head—while beside him, apparently
lifeless, lay the beautiful Cicely—her
features without color, save here and
there the red spots of the other's blood.

Edward, as this caught his eye, started,

“Oh, God! what a sight!” and
springing to Cicely, he knelt beside her,
and commenced chafing her hand, while
the others flew to Vandemore, and proceeded
to examine his wound.

“It is mortal,” said one, who appeared
to be somewhat skilled in surgery—“he
can survive but a few minutes.”

At this moment Cicely opened her
eyes, with a shudder, partly raised herself,
and seeing Vandemore, uttered a
scream, threw herself forward, clasped
him around the neck, bloody as he was,
and buried her head upon his breast,
while her whole frame was shaken with
terrible emotions.

It was an awful, heart-rending sight,
and the pen droops in attempting to deseribe

This seemed to revive the dying man
a little, for he attempted to rise, and as
he did so, gasped out:

“Cicely—will—will—you for—forgive
me? Cicely—I am not your—your
father. I—I am dy-ing, Cicely. This:
paper (partly withdrawing one from his:
breast)—this will—tell all—all—all;' ”
and sinking back with a groan he expired.

For some time no one moved or spoke,
so powerfully were they affected by the
piteous sight. Cicely, in a kneeling

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posture, was gazing upon him with marble
features, and clasped hands—her very
eyes seemed glazed.

Edward at length moved forward, and
touched her on the shoulder:

“Cicely,” said he, “dear Cicely, look
up, my love!”

Cicely slowly raised her eyes to his,
with a mournful look; then rising herself,
she took a step forward, buried her
head upon his breast, and wept like a child.

It was a thrilling moment to Edward,
as he drew the being of his love—this
tender flower—to his heart.

But why prolong this scene. Matters
were soon arranged that one of the party
should procure horses, and that Edward
and Cicely should return to Covington,
while the others should remain, and on
the following day inter the remains of
Gerolstein Vandemore. About his person
were found some fifty dollars, and a
letter, directed to Molly Magore—the one
he had attempted to draw forth as he
expired—all of which Langley took possession

While waiting for the horses, considerable
curiosity was excited by Cicely informing
them that Mary was in another
apratment. Search was made, but nothing
of her person discovered, and it was supposed
that she and Burrand had fled
together. About daylight the horses
arrived, and Edward and Cicely set out
upon their return.

Perhaps, ere we close this chapter, a
word of explanation may not be deemed

Burrand, after leaving the cave, at the
time of the attack, took a direct line for
the cottage, which was distant some five
miles—while Gerolstein, in wandering
about, had accidentally come upon it; and
seeing the lights, and hearing the shriek
of Cicely, and rightly divining it was her
voice, he had rushed to her assistance.

Langley, with some three or four of
his party in their search, chanced to be
near the place also; and, likewise seeing
the lights, hearing the screams, and marking
one enter, who they took to be one of
the League, they rushed in, as has been

We will briefly state here, as we may
not refer to it again, that by the perseverance
of the citizens, and the terrible and
summary manner in which they dealt
with all the aggressors that fell in their
power, (some being shot in Lawrenceburgh,
and elsewhere—some being hung,)
that the League was, for the time, disbanded
and broken. We say for the time;
for it is supposed to be in existence even
at the present day, though in nothing of
the force which it was at that date.

Having said this much, we will dismiss
the outlaws and their pursuers, and turn
to another, the final, and closing scene.

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Bennett, Emerson, 1822-1905 [1851], The league of the Miami. (Lorenzo Stratton, Cincinnati) [word count] [eaf470T].
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