Wild Nat, The Trooper
William R. Eyster
There was a time in the history of our country when the stoutest hearts were filled with despair. The defeat of General Gates, followed by the overrunning of the Carolinas, the treachery of Benedict Arnold, and the general bad condition of our army, did not, certainly, tend to cheer those thousands of noble souls earnestly praying for the success of the American cause. It is of that period, of that darkest hour, which precedes the day, that we purpose to write.
Toward the close of a long, disagreeable day, two women sat by the fireside of a dwelling some fifteen or eighteen miles from Charleston. The two presented a contrast, indeed, even though their features were alike. One was an elderly woman, with hair sprinkled with threads of gray, though she yet retained much of her early beauty. The other was a young girl, whose age could not have exceeded nineteen. Although not absolutely beautiful, there was that about her which made her fascinating. With features finely molded, and a graceful carriage, her figure was a model of physical grace and perfectness. Her hair was of that golden hue, so seldom seen save in poet’s dreams. Her voice was as musical and clear as the notes of a flute. Not in all that land of fair women could be found a more truly lovable woman than Catherine Vale.