hinged and open, the accumulated sand at its base showed it had not been closed in many years.
But the decay and neglect everywhere manifest in its defenses extended no further, for inside the enclosure was a garden carefully tended; a trailing vine clung lovingly to a corner of the wide gallery, and even a few of the bright roses of France lent their sweetness to a place it seemed impossible to associate with a thought of barbaric warfare.
I loved this humble home, for in such a one my mother and I had spent those last years of sweet good-comradeship before her death—the roses, the rude house, all reminded me of her, of peace, of gentler things.
The character of its lone occupant protected this lowly abode far better than the armies of France, the chivalry of Spain, or the Choctaw's ceaseless vigilance could possibly have done. He came there it was said, some fifteen years before, a Huguenot exile, seemingly a man of education and birth. He built his castle of refuge on a knoll overlooking the sheltered bay, hoping there to find the toleration denied him in his native land. The edict of Nantes had been revoked by King Louis, and thousands of exiled Frenchmen of high and low degree sought new fortunes in newer lands.
Many had reached America, and strove with energetic swords and rapacious wallets to wrest blood and gold and fame from whatsoever source they might.
This man alone of all those first explorers had shown no disposition to search out the hidden treasures of the