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Bennett, Emerson, 1822-1905 [1851], The league of the Miami. (Lorenzo Stratton, Cincinnati) [word count] [eaf470T].
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The morning on which we left Edward
and Cicely on their return, some hours
later, was beautiful, most beautiful. The
sun, as he crept up the arching vault,
gradually dispelled the fog—which rolled
away in large, cloud-like masses—and
then shone out in glorious refulgence.
Here and there bright water drops lingered,
for awhile, on blade and flower,
giving an animated sparkle to the whole
face of nature—while a soft breeze swept
gently by, bearing its stolen perfume with
it. The little birds, as they flew from
branch to branch among the thick foliage
of the trees, or skimmed lightly over the
more open plain or meadow, tuned their
silver voices with a heart-felt joy divinely

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musical. It was, in fact, one of those
beautiful days of summer, in which we see
everything through a lovely medium—in
which everything seems at peace and harmony
with the whole—and we, as we
gaze upon it, feel such a noble, highgushing
of soul—such lofty, inspiring
thoughts—that our mind is unconsciously
borne upward to the supreme fount—to
God, the holy giver of all—and impulsively
we bow in adoration.

Such, or similar, were the thoughts and
feelings at work in the breast of Molly
Magore, as she stood in the door of the
old cottage, and gazed forth upon the enchanting
scene. Since the capture of
Cicely, she had scarcely ate or slept, so
much had her mind been troubled with
doubts and fears, alternately struggling
with hope; and the effects of their many
combats were plainly visible on her altered
features; but now, she could not
tell why, for the first time since Cicely's
absence, she felt a sudden thrill of joy—
her heart seemed to expand, and it seemed
to her she was at peace with everything—
could love everything around her—and
drawing to her a chair, she seated herself
thereon, and mused away a couple of

At length she started up with a cry of
joy—before her stood Edward and
Cicely—and the next moment the latter
was locked in her arms; while the tears
of both—tears of joy—mingled together.

“O, Cicely! dear, dear Cicely! have
you returned to me again? Do I again
behold you?” cried Molly, starting back
and gazing upon her. “Yes, yes! it is,
it is my own dear little Cicely!” and
springing forward, she was again clasped
to her heart.

“Thank God!” said Cicely, “I have
once more returned.”

“Ay, my daughter, thank God, that is
right—thank God; for he it is who has
borne you up through your trials, and
returned you safe to your home: thank
God! thank God! But where have you
been, my child? you have suffered—
you look pale!”

Cicely thought of her many trials—
her escape—and shuddered.

“Oh! mother, I have been—I cannot
tell you where; I have suffered—I cannot
tell you what; but I have seen
strange, strange things—and horrid, horrid
sights. But you forget my deliverer,
there!” and Cicely pointed to Edward,
who was standing a little back, and, with
tearful eyes, gazing upon this affectionate

“True, true,” said Molly, turning to
Edward, and grasping his hand; “in my
joy of beholding my Cicely, I had forgotten
you, sir; may God bless you, sir,
for this noble act!”

“May God bless me, I echo,” returned'
Langley, pressing her hand; “but forthe
noble act, as you are pleased to term
it, I will say I have done no more than
my duty—nothing more than I would do
an hundred times again, were I an hundred
times to have the opportunity. I
only feel I have done too little;” and he
glanced at Cicely with a lover's eye, who
rewarded him with a similar glance, and
then modestly turned away her head.

“You are a noble fellow,” said Molly,
and her look told she meant what she
said. “But come!—come! be seated,
and tell me all about it: I am anxious to
hear it from your sweet lips, Cicely;
something told me this morning all would
yet be well, and now that I see you here,
I am as eager for the story as a child.”

In a few minutes all three were seated,
and Cicely, in a style of sweet simplicity,
related what had occurred; but as the
reader is already acquainted with the incidents,
it will be unnecessary for us to
detail them again.

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As Cicely came to the narration relative
to her meeting with Vandemore, Molly
grew more and more interested; but
when she spoke of his death from an unknown
hand, she started from her seat—
clasped her hands—uttering, “Dead!
dead! is he hands—uttering, “Dead!
dead! is he then dead? Cicely's father
dead! and a robber, too! Oh! this is

“He is dead,” said Langley, joining
in, “that is true, most true, for I myself
saw him die,—though he is not Cicely's

“How!” asked Molly, breathlessly—
“not her father, say you?”

“Those were his dying words. But
probably this letter will explain,” and he
produced the one found on the person of
Vandemore, superscribed, “Molly Magore,
Covington, Ky.”

Molly hastily took it—broke the seal—
glanced at the contents—but immediately
handed it back, saying:

Read it, Edward—read it; my eyes
are dim—I cannot see the letters.”

Edward took it, and thus commenced:

To Molly Magore.

Madam:—When this reaches you, I
shall probably be no more. I believe
that we are often warned of our approaching
dissolution, and I feel that mine is
near at hand. What my end will be,
God only knows; yet, while I contemplate
and write, I shudder. Seven years
ago, I placed in your charge Cicely

“What!” gasped Molly, interrupting
him—clasping her head with her hands—
“Cicely Edgerton! yes, yes—go on! go

—“Who,” resumed Edward, reading,
“I gave out as my daughter, Cicely Vandemore,
but for reasons best known to
myself, which may never be explained.
She is the daughter of a wealthy family
in the city of New York, and was by me
stolen from her parents in the year 1790,
then some two years of age.”

“Heavens!” exclaimed Cicely, in
wonder—“can this be true?”

“Every word of it!” cried Molly,
wildly; “go on! go on!”

“I received pay from an unknown villain
to put an end to her life, and took a
dreadful oath to that effect; but which,
thank God! as you see, I did not fulfill;
for, young as she was, she stole the affections
of my heart, and, having nothing to
love, I loved her—ay, loved her, strange
as it may seem, wildly and madly. I
determined to rear her, and call her my
own child, at least, till she should come
of age. It was a wild, wicked thought,
to deprive her so long of her parents, I
know; and yet I felt I could not yield
her up before. Well, I lived on; the
sum I received for this daring crime was
large, and enabled me to live in comfortable
circumstances for several years; but
at last my funds ran low, and I came to
the West for the purpose of seeking some
honest employment, and ending my days.
But, I know not why, I never could be
honest. I never could resist temptation;
and, falling in with bad company, brilliant
offers were made me if I would join a
band in a lawless enterprise. On the impulse
of the moment, while under the
influence of liquor, I consented, and was
sworn in by an oath—a dreadful oath—
which I could not, dare not break. Terrible
were my reflections, when I came to
myself, and thought of the pure, the innocent
Cicely—what would become of
her, and the like—for I now felt myself
bound—dreadfully bound—and no escape.
I sat down and drew up those
papers which I left in your possession—
so that in case of accident to myself, the
girl, if she lived, would sometime know
the facts of her birth. In them you will
find the corroboration of this statement;

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which, should this reach you ere she is of
age, I give you privilege to open; for
there are many things therein of importance
in establishing her parentage.

“Well, the girl, as you know, I consigned
to your care, and went forth. My
life, thereafter, I shall not attempt to explain;
suffice, it has been one of mystery
and crime. I have frequently sent you
money; but whether you have received it
or not, I know not. I have often learned
of Cicely, sweet girl, and know that under
your charge she has fared well—for
which, God bless you! I have yearned
to see her—tell her so; but I suppose we
may not meet again on the shores of
time; whether we shall in the world to
come, is a mystery I cannot solve. Kiss
her a dozen times for me, and say to her,
hard-hearted as I am, I have wept over
her memory hours together.

“Farewell! God bless you! Farewell—

Gerolstein Vandemore.

“O Cicely, Cicely!” cried Molly, as
Edward concluded the letter, throwing
her arms around the other's neck in a
transport of joy; “I have often, often
fancied this; and now that my dream has
come true, it almost seems incredible.
The ways of Providence are indeed

“Mother, mother! what means this?”
exclaimed Cicely, in wonder—almost
doubting her senses, as a wild crowd of
thoughts rushed swiftly through her brain.

“It means, Cicely Edgerton,” said
Molly, wiping her eyes, “that these rough
old arms have held you in your father's
mansion when a child; ay, and when you
were stolen from me, I was not only cast
forth upon the heartless world, without a
friend, but I was tried, Cicely, tried for
being your supposed murderess!”

“Is it possible?” exclaimed Langley
and Cicely together.

“And now—and now,” contined
Molly, seemingly unheedful of everything
around her—“and now I can restore
her, and they shall acknowledge they
were wrong! O, merciful God of Hea
ven! I thank thee—I thank thee! my
bliss is too deep for words;” and for a
few minutes Molly paced the room, wringing
her hands in a transport of joy, almost
amounting to agony, while the
others, occupied with thoughts of their
own, gazed upon her in silence.

At length Molly paused, and then approaching
Cicely, she took her hand,
placed it in that of Edward's, exclaiming:
“Take her, Edward Langley, take her;
you have won her, and she is worthy of
you: her connexions will not shame
yours: take her—protect her—love her.”

“Cicely!” gasped Langley, almost
wild with delight, as their glances met in
the holy unison of love.

“Edward!” murmured she, faintly,
and sank into his arms.

The pure, deep, holy, transporting bliss
of that moment, was worthy a record in
Heaven; we will not attempt to describe
it. Molly, half frantic, fairly danced
around the room; while Edward clasped
the lovely Cicely forever to his heart.

And now kind reader, a few words
more and we must part—must bid you
adieu, at least, for a time. We are loth
to do so; for while we bask in the light
of your kind smiles, the sun of hope seems
ever in its zenith of glory; but stern necessity
commands, and our only choice is
to obey.

The package in the possession of Molly
Magore was opened, and found to contain
sufficient proofs to establish the birthright
of Cicely Edgerton, which was
afterward done, though not until she
had learned to write her name Cicely
Langley, which she was enabled to do in

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less than a month from the foregoing

Accompanied by her husband and
Molly Magore, in the ensuing fall she
visited New York, and found her parents,
who were still living in the luxury of

Great was the excitement, and great
the rejoicing with them, when their long
lost daughter, and only heir, was again
restored; and princely entertainments
were given in honor of the event.

There were some who did not rejoice;
but these were disappointed heirs, of
whom Aaron Burrand was one.

It was a proud moment to poor old
Molly, when after a life of troubles and
perplexities, she stood before her former
accusers, and pointed, with glowing
checks, to their beautiful child, returned
to them, through her unceasing care,
pure in thought as when she slept in

In justice to them, we will say, they
did all in their power to repair the error
done her in former years. She was not
only publicly exonerated, but a worthy
income settled upon her for life; and the
remainder of her days glided gently past;
and a few years after, the pillow of her
death bed was smoothed by one whom
she ever claimed as her daughter, Cicely

The parents of Cicely dying about
the same time, left her sole heir to their
vast possessions; when with Edward she
returned to the West, and purchased a
large estate in Kentucky, where a son and
daughter were added to the family.

Forty years have passed,* and one by
one have our characters disappeared from
the stage of action, and Cicely only remains.

The case of Aaron Burrand is too well
known to require much explanation from
us. His deeds are recorded on the page
of history in glaring colors, serving as
beacon lights to warn men to steer clear
of the shoals of a worthless, grasping
ambition. All his high-wrought schemes
of glory failed him, and he was afterward
tried by a jury of his countrymen, and,
by a mere chance, escaped the awful
punishment so justly awarded to a Conspirator.

In conclusion, we will say, it is not an
unfrequent occurrence, that a fine, noble
looking lady, dressed in black, some fifty-seven
years of age, is seen walking the
streets of Cincinnati at the present day,
who, should you question her in regard
to her past life, would, undoubtedly, tell
you some strange things relative to what
came beneath her own notice—without
taking into consideration a hundred other
stories in circulation, at the time—of
which space has not permitted us even to
mention—concerning that far-famed, notorious
combination—the LEAGUE OF THE MIAMI.

THE END eaf470n1

* This was written and published in 1845.

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