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CHAPTER II.

GETTING UNDER WAY.

'The stout earl of Northumberland
A vow to God did make,

His pleasure on the Scottish ground
Three summer days to take."

THE stout Earl Percy, here alluded to, did take his pleasure on the Scottish ground-and how, all the world knows that has read the fine old ballad of "Chevy Chase." How the stout gentlemen, and also those who were none of the stoutest, who took their pleasure on the Blackwater, came off, hearken to the following chronicle, and you shall learn.

It was toward the first of June last past, that a number of gentlemen, residing near each other, in a pleasant part of that rich valley vaunted to the world as the garden of Virginia, and called by the people of the mountain-ranges back of it the land of Egypt, from the quantity of grain which it produces, determined to make a pleasure expedition into the Allegany country, having it chiefly in view to harry its streams for trout. Accordingly, on one fine morning—it was on the last day of the univer

sally-lauded month of May--we gathered together, prepared as best we knew how for the expedition.

It was at the pleasant country-dwelling of Mr. Peter Botecote, one of our number, that we made our rendezvous:

"And Wat of Harden came thither amain,

And thither came John of Thirlestane,
And thither came William of Deloraine"-

and all the rest of us-men, dogs, and horses. Here, after some animated parley, and an early dinner, it was resolved that we should forthwith take our departure, notwithstanding the strawberries that were ripe in the garden, and the cream that was abounding in the dairy, and what too was far more delaying, the fascination of our lady-hostess. Pleasant enough this bower of Botecote's; but hope smiled its enchantments upon us far away, from the very midst of the wild Alleganies, and our hearts were too much agog and all a-tiptoe with its illusions, to think of staying. The delirium of the mountains was upon us; and so, amid the neighing and pawing of horses, the speeding to and fro of servants, the dancing eyes of children, and the wife's halfsorrowful smile as she committed her adventurous husband to the destiny of a two or three weeks' separation, we wheeled into order, and took up the line of march. "Hey!"-"Get away!"-" Ho!"-"Ha, you dog!"—whips flourishing, dogs barking--all the commotion that a country-gentleman's establish

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ment could well get up; every good spirit attending, to say nothing of the high ones: thus we left the Botecote portals, and

"All the blue bonnets are over the border!”

We drove to Winchester, a town when George II. was king here in Virginia: not one of your recent cities, grown up to a hundred thousand people within the memory of men alive, but an old, timehonored town, of some five thousand souls, with remembrances about it; familiar to the footsteps of Thomas, the sixth Lord Fairfax, when he lived at Greenway court (some ten miles off), and held power as lieutenant of the county of Frederick, hunted the boar, wrote for "The Spectator," and set twenty covers daily at his table: famous, too, in our provincial history, as the military headquarters of Washington during the war of '65 against the French for the possession of the western country. Here, to this old border stronghold of the Dominion, where the dismantled ramparts of Fort Loudon still look down upon the town, we drove over night, a matter of some twenty miles, ready to make a more sustained movement the next morning on Winstonsome eighty-seven miles distant, as already stated, on the Northwestern road.

The expedition travelled in three light carriages, such as are commonly called wagons, all tight and sound, freshly washed, oiled, and rubbed, and glit

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