Then up the river comes Christopher Newport in the Francis and John, to be followed some weeks later by the Phoenix. Here is new life stores for the settlers and a hundred new Virginians! How certain, at any rate, is the exchange of talk of home and hair-raising stories of this wilderness between the old colonists and the new! And certain is the relief and the renewed hopes. Mourning turns to joy.
But though he laughed he did not deceive John Mortimer, who knew as well as possible that the loss of Dorothea Graham pressed heavily on his heart. "You two are going to dine with me, of course," he said, when all the party had passed into the wilderness beyond his garden. "On the contrary, with your leave," answered Valentine, "we are going to take a lesson of Swan in the art of budding roses.
"Truly, friend; and methinks it must gladden your heart, after your troubles and sojourn in the wilderness," said the townsman, "to find yourself at length in a land where iniquity is searched out and punished in the sight of rulers and people, as here in our godly New England.
She wrote widely and telegraphed far on their behalf till, armed with her letter of introduction, she drove them into that wilderness which is reached from an ash-barrel of a station called Charing Cross. They were to go to Rockett's the farm of one Cloke, in the southern counties where, she assured them, they would meet the genuine England of folklore and song.
Happy for him then,—happy both for him and her,—if they remembered that there was a path to heaven, as well from this heathen wilderness as from the Christian land whence they had come. And so, in one short month from her arrival, the gentle Lady Arbella faded away and died.
No wonder that men went about in fear and trembling, and that even in the heart of the wilderness they dared not whisper the doubts which oppressed them. At first this vague and terrible power was exercised only upon the recalcitrants who, having embraced the Mormon faith, wished afterwards to pervert or to abandon it. Soon, however, it took a wider range.
So, think of yourselves as the priests of God, journeying through the wilderness, with the treasures of the Temple and the vessels of the sacrifice for your special deposit and charge. Further, I touch on the command, the guardianship that is here set forth.
"But what I see is not simple, but complex and intriguing beyond expression. A woman of your sort walling herself up in a wilderness, renouncing the world, renouncing life itself in its very heyday !" "But hardly that, monsieur." "Then I am stupid..." "I will explain." The sleekly coiffured brown head bent low over hands that played absently with their jewels.
Outside the walls of the town a commodious cabin seventy feet long was built for them; and on June 5, 1637, in the part of the cabin consecrated as a chapel, Father Pijart celebrated Mass. The residence was named La Conception de Notre Dame. For a wilderness church it was a marvel.
This was a matter of much satisfaction to Redhand, who wished to show these unfortunate children of the wilderness that there were at least some white trappers who were actuated by different and kindlier feelings than many who sought their livelihood in those regions.