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The Forge in the Forest   By: (1860-1943)

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First Page:

[Frontispiece: On a block just inside the door sat Marc.]

The Forge in the Forest


The Narrative of the Acadian Ranger, Jean de Mer, Seigneur de Briart; and how he crossed the Black Abbé; and of his Adventures in a Strange Fellowship


Charles G. D. Roberts

Lamson, Wolffe and Company

Boston, New York and London

William Briggs, Toronto


Copyright, 1896,

By Lamson, Wolffe and Company.

All rights reserved

Norwood Press

J. S. Cushing & Co. Berwick & Smith

Norwood Mass. U.S.A.


George E. Fenety, Esq.

This Story of a Province among whose Honoured Sons he is not least distinguished is dedicated with esteem and affection

[Illustration: Map of Peninsula of Acadie (Nova Scotia)]


Part I. Marc

A Foreword


I. The Capture at the Forge II. The Black Abbé III. Tamin's Little Stratagem IV. The Governor's Signature V. In the Run of the Seas VI. Grûl VII. The Commander is Embarrassed VIII. The Black Abbé Comes to Dinner IX. The Abbé Strikes Again X. A Bit of White Petticoat XI. I Fall a Willing Captive

Part II. Mizpah

XII. In a Strange Fellowship XIII. My Comrade XIV. My Comrade Shoots Excellently Well XV. Grûl's Hour XVI. I Cool My Adversaries' Courage XVII. A Night in the Deep XVIII. The Osprey , of Plymouth XIX. The Camp by Canseau Strait XX. The Fellowship Dissolved XXI. The Fight at Grand Pré XXII. The Black Abbé Strikes in the Dark XXIII. The Rendezvous at the Forge

Part I


The Forge in the Forest

A Foreword

Where the Five Rivers flow down to meet the swinging of the Minas tides, and the Great Cape of Blomidon bars out the storm and the fog, lies half a county of rich meadow lands and long arcaded orchards. It is a deep bosomed land, a land of fat cattle, of well filled barns, of ample cheeses and strong cider; and a well conditioned folk inhabit it. But behind this countenance of gladness and peace broods the memory of a vanished people. These massive dykes, whereon twice daily the huge tide beats in vain, were built by hands not suffered to possess the fruits of their labour. These comfortable fields have been scorched with the ruin of burning homes, drenched with the tears of women hurried into exile. These orchard lanes, appropriate to the laughter of children or the silences of lovers, have rung with battle and run deep with blood. Though the race whose bane he was has gone, still stalks the sinister shadow of the Black Abbé.

The low ridge running between the dykelands of the Habitants and the dyke lands of the Canard still carries patches of forest interspersed among its farms, for its soil is sandy and not greatly to be coveted for tillage. These patches are but meagre second growth, with here and there a gnarled birch or overpeering pine, lonely survivor of the primeval brotherhood. The undergrowth has long smoothed out all traces of what a curious eye might fifty years ago have discerned, the foundations of the chimney of a blacksmith's forge. It is a mould well steeped in fateful devisings, this which lies forgotten under the creeping roots of juniper and ragged robin, between the diminished stream of Canard and the yellow tide of Habitants.

The forest then was a wide spreading solemnity of shade wherein armies might have moved unseen. The forge stood where the trail from Pereau ran into the more travelled road from the Canard to Grand Pré. The branches of the ancient wood came down all about its low eaves; and the squirrels and blue jays chattered on its roof. It was a place for the gathering of restless spirits, the men of Acadie who hated to accept the flag of the English king. It was the Acadian headquarters of the noted ranger, Jean de Mer, who was still called by courtesy, and by the grace of such of his people as adhered to his altered fortunes, the Seigneur de Briart. His father had been lord of the whole region between Blomidon and Grand Pré; but the English occupation had deprived him of all open and formal lordship, for the de Briart sword was notably conspicuous on the side of New France... Continue reading book >>

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