Adeline’s War of 1812 Journal: April 1815
©2012 Mollie Pearce McKibbon
Saturday, April 16, 1815
Charlie, Andrew and I are now moved into our dear little home. I have been much occupied with making it cosy and safe for my little ones. Charlie is content to sit and play with the blocks Henry made for him and Andrew, but Andrew is quickly out of my sight if I don’t watch him. He is an expert at hiding from me when he wants to and I’m constantly pulling him away from the hearth or the water bucket.
Oh, goodness, we have company! I shall have to finish writing this later.
It is now evening and my happy mood of the morning is destroyed. Robert came riding in at a great hurry and came straight to the cabin. I thought it odd, as he was alone and did not speak to Father first, as he usually does. When I opened the door, Robert’s appearance shocked me. He almost sagged in relief when he saw me standing there in the doorway.
“Adeline, thank God you are safe! I got here as soon as possible when I heard the news.” Robert strode in and swung Charlie up into his arms, scattering the blocks. “Where is my Andrew,” he asked and a little tousled head popped out behind a bedpost.
“Robert, what is wrong?” I managed to say. “You are frightening me.”
Robert put Charlie down and took both my hands in his. He was trembling.
“Adeline, Bourke has escaped from custody. He is said to have sworn an oath to “get yer good”.
I almost fell on to the chair by the hearth.
Was I never going to see the last of this devil?
“But how? I don’t understand. The army was going to take him to Brockville for the trial.” I thought I might vomit.
Charlie and Andrew began to cry. Robert gathered them to himself and began soothing them. When they quieted he said, “It was the O’Meara brothers, they attacked the two soldiers escorting him, wounded one and released Bourke.”
“He’s escaped?” My head was reeling and then Robert did an astonishing thing. He got down on one knee and said, “Marry me, Adeline, and I will keep you safe. Your father gave me permission to ask you months ago, but I wanted to give you time…”
I began to sob and immediately, Robert let go of my hands and got to his feet. His face reddened and he muttered, “ I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have …of course, you aren’t prepared for this. I just want to protect you and your boys, Adeline. Forgive me. I ‘ve spoken to soon.”
With that he rushed out of the cabin and rode away and my babies burst into wails. Now I am most distraught, for Robert, for myself and for my fatherless boys.
Oh, Janetta, what should I do?