[Placing himself squarely before Bradburn, whose arms he seizes, and whose features he scans with intense eagerness.]
This face,—this stature—should I know them not?
'T is Colonel Bradburn—but, alas, how changed!
Yes, deeply changed through grim Affliction's hand,
In face and hair,—but also changed in heart.
We heard of it, though scarce we could believe it;
So tell! what leads thy journey to our camp?
To call you out to fight this very hour.
Hast, Chief, thou heard? Have, Generals, ye heard
What greater proof of my opinion's justice
Will you require than that, my word scarce uttered,
It instantly and strongly is confirmed.
And though it is a beggar, a deserter,
A traitor, if you will, that bears it out.
No less he comes a messenger from heaven!
For Providence has different ways from ours
And uses means beyond our comprehension.
But, Bradburn, tell us now whereon thou basest
Thy message which to me is clear enough.