Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
The sun is still high on a sultry August afternoon in 1782, when a train of emigrants emerges from the gloom of the forest and rides slowly toward Bruce’s Station, one of the principal forts in the district of Kentucky. The travelers, consisting of free and enslaved men, women, children, are accompanied by cattle and loaded packhorses, the whole group giving the appearance of a village on the march. In the position of responsibility rides a young man whose five years in the camps and battles of the American Revolution show in his military bearing and in the mature gravity of his features. The beautiful young woman at his side is sufficiently like him in appearance to suggest their kinship.
Captain Roland Forrester and his cousin, Edith, are on their way to the Falls of the Ohio. The orphaned children of twin brothers who had died early in the Revolution, they had been reared as wards of their stern, wealthy uncle, Major Roland Forrester. A staunch Tory, the Major had never forgiven his younger brothers for supporting the cause of the American patriots, and to keep them from inheriting his estate—for he was unmarried—he had executed a will in favor of an illegitimate daughter. About the time that his brothers fell in battle, the child burned to death in the home of her foster mother. The Major then adopted his nephew and niece and repeatedly declared his intention of making them his heirs. Young Roland Forrester forfeited his share of the...
(The entire section is 2304 words.)
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