The Lily and the Cross A Tale of Acadia

Language: English
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Once upon a time there was a schooner belonging to Boston which was registered under the somewhat singular name of the "Rev. Amos Adams." This was her formal title, used on state occasions, and was, no doubt, quite as appropriate as the more pretentious one of the "Duke of Marlborough," or the "Lord Warden." As a general thing, however, people designated her in a less formal manner, using the simpler and shorter title of the "Parson." Her owner and commander was a tall, lean, sinewy young man, whoso Sunday-go-to-meeting name was Zion Awake Cox, but who was usually referred to by an ingenious combination of the initials of these three names, and thus became Zac, and occasionally Zachariah. This was the schooner which, on a fine May morning, might have been seen "bounding over the billows" on her way to the North Pole.

About her motion on the present occasion, it must be confessed there was not much bounding, nor much billow. Nor, again, would it have been easy for any one to see her, even if he had been brought close to her; for the simple reason that the "Parson," as she went on her way, carrying Zac and his fortunes, had become involved in a fog bank, in the midst of which she now lay, with little or no wind to help her out of it.

Zac was not alone on board, nor had the present voyage been undertaken on his own account, or of his own motion. There were two passengers, one of whom had engaged the schooner for his own purposes. This one was a young fellow who called himself Claude Motier, of Randolph. His name, as well as his face, had a foreign character; yet he spoke English with the accent of an Englishman, and had been brought up in Massachusetts, near Boston, where he and Zac had seen very much of one another, on sea and on shore. The other passenger was a Roman Catholic priest, whose look and accent proclaimed him to be a Frenchman. He seemed about fifty years of age, and his bronzed faced, grizzled hair, and deeply-wrinkled brow, all showed the man of action rather than the recluse. Between these two passengers there was the widest possible difference. The one was almost a boy, the other a world-worn old man; the one full of life and vivacity, the other sombre and abstracted; yet between the two there was, however, a mysterious resemblance, which possibly may have been something more than that air of France, which they both had.

Whatever it may have been, they had been strangers to one another until the past few days, for Claude Motier had not seen the priest until after he had chartered the schooner for a voyage to Louisbourg. The priest had then come, asking for a passage to that port. He gave his name as the Abbé Michel, and addressed Claude in such bad English that the young man answered in French of the best sort, whereat the good priest seemed much delighted, and the two afterwards conversed with each other altogether in that language.

Besides these three, there were the ship's company dispersed about the vessel....