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An Unwilling Maid Being the History of Certain Episodes during the American Revolution in the Early Life of Mistress Betty Yorke, born Wolcott   By: (1846-1921)

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AN UNWILLING MAID

Being the History of Certain Episodes during the American Revolution in the Early Life of Mistress Betty Yorke, born Wolcott

By Jeanie Gould Lincoln

"O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?"

1897

TO A NINETEENTH CENTURY GIRL.

A great grandmother's bewitching face, Looks forth from this olden story, For Love is a master who laughs at place, And scoffs at both Whig and Tory.

To day if he comes, as a conqueror may, To a heart untouched by his flame, Be loyal as she of the olden day, That Eighteenth Century dame!

CONTENTS

I. MISS MOPPET

II. BULLETS FOR DEFENSE

III. OLIVER'S PRISONER

IV. FRIEND OR FOE

V. A LOYAL TRAITOR

VI. BY COURIER POST

VII. WHAT FOLLOWED A LETTER

VIII. INSIDE BRITISH LINES

IX. BETTY'S JOURNEY

X. A MAID'S CAPRICE

XI. ON THE COLLECT

XII. A FACE ON THE WALL

XIII. AT THE VLY MARKET

XIV. THE DE LANCEY BALL

XV. LOVE OR LOYALTY

XVI. MOPPET MAKES A DISCOVERY

XVII. A KNOT OF ROSE COLORED RIBBON

CHAPTER I

MISS MOPPET

It was a warm summer day. Not too warm, for away up in the Connecticut hills the sun seemed to temper its rays, and down among the shadows of the trees surrounding Great Pond there were cool, shady glades where one could almost fancy it was May instead of hot July.

At a point not far from the water, leaning against the trunk of a stately maple, stood a young man. His head, from which he had raised a somewhat old and weather beaten hat, was finely formed, and covered with chestnut curls; his clothes, also shabby and worn, were homespun and ill fitting, but his erect military carriage, with an indescribable air of polish and fine breeding, seemed strangely incongruous in connection with his apparel and travel worn appearance.

"I wonder where I am," he said half aloud, as he surveyed the pretty sheet of water sparkling in the afternoon sun. "Faith, 'tis hard enough to be half starved and foot sore, without being lost in an enemy's country. The woman who gave me that glass of milk at five o'clock this morning said I was within a mile of Goshen. I must have walked ten miles since then, and am apparently no nearer the line than I was yesterday Hark! what's that?" as a sound of voices struck his ear faintly, coming from some distance on his right. "Some one comes this direction. I had best conceal myself in these friendly bushes until I ascertain whether 'tis friend or foe."

So saying, he plunged hastily into a thicket of low lying shrubs close at hand, and, throwing himself flat upon the ground under them, was comparatively secure from observation as long as he remained perfectly still. The next sound he heard was horses' feet, moving at a walk, and presently there came in view a spirited looking bay mare and a gray pony, the riders being engaged in merry conversation.

"No, no, Betty," said the little girl of about nine years, who rode the pony; "it is just here, or a few rods farther on, where we had the Maypole set last year, and I know I can find the herbs which Chloe wants near by on the shore of the pond. Let's dismount and tie the horses here, and you and I can search for them."

"It's well I did not let you come alone," said the rider of the bay mare, laughing as she spoke. "Truly, Miss Moppet, you are a courageous little maid to wish to venture in these woods. Not that I am afraid," said Betty Wolcott suddenly, remembering the weight and dignity of her sixteen years as compared with her little sister, "but in these troublous times father says it were well to be careful."

"Since when have you grown so staid?" said Miss Moppet, shaking her long yellow hair back from her shoulders as she jumped off her pony and led him up to a young ash tree, whose branches allowed of her securing him by the bridle to one of them, "Of all people in the world, Betty, you to read me a lecture on care taking," and with a mischievous laugh the child fled around the tree in pretended dismay, as Betty sprang to the ground and shook her riding whip playfully in her direction... Continue reading book >>




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