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"Have Butcut stuck up to his shoulders in a decomposed hemlock, and a bear after him!"

"A rattlesnake, too!"

"A panther or so!"

"And some owls about!”

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"I'll try and do the subject justice, gentlemen,' replied the Signor. "No historical feature shall be left out."

Thus commenting on the passage of the laurel, we moved on; and after a while, descending a long hillside, we came to the head of a glade, through which a stream of some size ran its waters of a light-chocolate hue. We were very much jaded by this time; and so we threw ourselves down upon the soft, beautiful grass, knee-high everywhere around, and for half an hour enjoyed such grateful rest as seldom comes to the sons and daughters of men who stay in civilized regions; it recompensed even the laurel, so exquisite was the rest, and so gorgeous the bower where we took it!

"And then he said, 'How sweet it were

A fisher or a hunter here,

A gardener in the shade,

Still wand'ring with an easy mind

To build a household fire, and find

A home in every glade!

"What days and what sweet years!-Ah me!
Our life were life indeed, with thee

So passed in quiet bliss,

And all the while,' said he, 'to know

That we were in a world of wo,

On such an earth as this!'

"And then he sometimes interwove
Fond thoughts about a father's love:
'For there,' said he, 'àre spun
Around the heart such tender ties,
That our own children to our eyes
Are dearer than the sun.

"Sweet Ruth! and could you go with me,
My helpmate in the woods to be,

Our camp at night to rear-
Or run, my own adopted bride,
A sylvan huntress at my side,
And drive the flying deer!'

"Beloved Ruth!".

Such thoughts filled the teeming brain of the Prior, as he lay half sleeping in the beautiful glade.—But we can not follow him in his dreams of wild bliss; for we must go into another chapter, and bivouac for the night.

CHAPTER IX.

THE LODGE IN THE WILDERNESS.

WHILE yet the sun in his westward journey had but about an hour to go, before he left the Canaan to darkness and the expedition-not to mention the bears and owls, &c., about-a snake stole into our bower, and disturbed the heavenly repose of the glade. A very harmless, inoffensive little grasssnake-polished and slippery, disturbed by the rolling about of some one of the party, wound itself along swiftly over one of the extended arms of Doctor Blandy, as he lay sprawled out upon his back-gazing up into the heavens, and dreaming dreams of the balmy summer's eve. Galen sprang to his feet, and jumped some ten paces off into the meadow. Whereupon we all did the same. It was a rattlesnake at least to our startled imagination!-until we saw, to our shame, that it was not. Being on our feet, however, the word was given to take up the line of march again—and off we went: the guides being of opinion, that by crossing the ridge before us, we would come upon the Blackwater by night.

We made our way out of the glade, encountering

and once more filed

As we advanced we
We were evidently

but a small strip of laurel; into the dense wild forest. grew more and more silent. beginning to flag in spirit. It was our first day, and we were not yet inured to the toil. Every now and then some startled deer would give a little life to the party-but it would not last, and we trudged along almost noiseless over the mossy ground. Instead of the country's giving indication of our being near a stream such as the Blackwater, it was growing more hilly and broken ever since we left the glade. The shades of evening too, were fast closing in upon us. Something was wrongwe ought certainly to have reached the Blackwater before this. The hunters were evidently in doubt about their course, and they now held frequent consultations with each other. They had told us before we set off from the dale of the Potomac, that they would certainly take us to our destination by night, and they were anxious to accomplish their purpose; they feared their skill as guides would be called in question if they failed in what they had been so certain of accomplishing. It was now near sundown, and we were hemmed in, on all sides, by mountains. The impression that we were really lost was uppermost in the minds of all of us; and presently we held a general council-the result of which was, that if we did not come to some indica

tion of the Blackwater, when we crossed the next ridge, we would encamp for the night.

Crossing over this ridge, everything looked as before. It was all the same rugged, dense, dark, deep, grand gloom of mountainous forest that we had left behind us no appearance of laurel—the sure harbinger of water; no such sloping down of the hills anywhere, as looked like the descent into a valley, such as a stream of any size would find its way through; and above all, listen as intently as we might, no sound of a waterfall (such as we were assured would greet our ears from the river we sought) was mingled with the song of the evening wind. Therefore there was but one voice in the general assembly of the expedition-and that was to halt for the night, and take counsel of to-morrow's sun as to our direction. Finding a little trickling rill in the bed of a rugged ravine close at hand, we resolved upon taking up our abode by its waters for the night. Accordingly the most appropriate spot we could find was selected; and, throwing down our burdens in a pile, we commenced the construction of a camp, with a great deal of busy bustle. As the reader unacquainted with the ways. of a wilderness life, may take some interest in knowing how this was done, we will enter, for his benefit, into the particulars.

In the first place, then, the hunters set to work and gathered together a number of dried logs and

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