Page:The Partisan (revised).djvu/31

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21
THE STRANGER.

It was on a pleasant afternoon in June, that a tall, well made youth, probably twenty-four or twenty-five years of age, rode up to the door of the "Royal George," and throwing his bridle to a servant, entered the hotel. His person had been observed, and his appearance duly remarked upon, by several persons already assembled in the hall which he now approached. The new comer, indeed, was not one to pass unnoticed. His person was symmetry itself, and the ease with which he managed his steed, the unhesitating boldness with which he kept on his way and gazed around him at a period and in a place where all were timid and suspicious, could not fail to fix attention. His face too, was significant of a character of command, besides being finely intelligent and tolerably handsome; and though he carried no weapons that were visible, there was something exceedingly military in his movement; and the cap which he wore, made of some native fur and slightly resting upon one side of his thickly clustering brown hair, imparted a daring expression to his look, which gave confirmation to the idea. Many were the remarks of those in the hall as, boldly dashing down the high road, he left the church to the right, and moving along the market-place, came at once towards the tavern, which stood on the corner of Prince and Bridge streets.

"A bold chap with his spurs, that," exclaimed Sergeant Hastings, of the garrison, who was a frequent guest of the tavern, and had found no small degree of favour with the landlord's daughter. "A bold chap, that—do you know him, Humphries?"

This question brought the landlord to the window. He looked intently upon the youth as he approached, but seemed at fault.

"Know him? why yes, I think I do know him, sergeant: that's—yes—that's—bless my soul, I don't know him at all!"

"Well, be sure now, Humphries," coolly spoke the sergeant. "Such a good-looking fellow ought not to be forgotten. But he 'lights, and we shall soon know better."

A few moments, and the stranger made his appearance. The landlord bustled up to him, and offered assistance, which the youth declined for himself, but gave directions for his horse's tendance.

"Shall be seen to, captain," said the landlord.