Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

The Pioneers Or, The Sources of the Susquehanna by James Fenimore Cooper

Part 3 out of 10

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.9 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

“No, no. my old friend,” cried Marmaduke, “it shall be my task to
provide in some manner for the youth; I owe him a debt of my own,
besides the service he has done me through my friends. And yet I
anticipate some little trouble in inducing him to accept of my
services. He showed a marked dislike, I thought, Bess, to my offer of
a residence within these walls for life.”

“Really, dear sir,” said Elizabeth, projecting her beautiful under-
lip, “I have not studied the gentleman so closely as to read his
feelings in his countenance. I thought he might very naturally feel
pain from his wound, and therefore pitied him; but”—and as she spoke
she glanced her eye, with suppressed curiosity, toward the major-domo—
” I dare say, sir, that Benjamin can tell you something about him, He
cannot have been in the village, and Benjamin not have seen him

“Ay! I have seen the boy before,” said Benjamin, who wanted little
encouragement to speak; “he has been backing and filling in the wake
of Natty Bumppo, through the mountains, after deer, like a Dutch long-
boat in tow of an Albany sloop. He carries a good rifle, too, ‘the
Leather-Stocking said, in my hearing, before Betty Hollister’s bar-
room fire, no later than the Tuesday night, that the younger was
certain death to the wild beasts. If so be he can kill the wild-cat
that has been heard moaning on the lake-side since the hard frosts and
deep snows have driven the deer to herd, he will be doing the thing
that is good. Your wild-cat is a bad shipmate, and should be made to
cruise out of the track of Christian men,”

“Lives he in the hut of Bumppo?” asked Marmaduke, with some interest.

“Cheek by jowl; the Wednesday will be three weeks since he first hove
in sight, in company with Leather-Stocking. They had captured a wolf
between them, and had brought in his scalp for the bounty. That
Mister Bump-ho has a handy turn with him in taking off a scalp; and
there’s them, in this here village, who say he l’arnt the trade by
working on Christian men. If so be that there is truth in the saying,
and I commanded along shore here, as your honor does, why, d'ye see,
I’d bring him to the gangway for it, yet. There’s a very pretty post
rigged alongside of the stocks; and for the matter of a cat, I can fit
one with my own hands; ay! and use it too, for the want of a better.”

“You are not to credit the idle tales you hear of Natty; he has a kind
of natural right to gain a livelihood in these mountains; and if the
idlers in the village take it into their heads to annoy him, as they
sometimes do reputed rogues, they shall find him protected by the
strong arm of the law,”

“Ter rifle is petter as ter law,” said the Major sententiously.

“That for his rifle!” exclaimed Richard, snapping his fingers; “Ben is
right, and I—” He was stopped by the sound of a common ship-bell, that
had been elevated to the belfry of the academy, which now announced,
by its incessant ringing, that the hour for the appointed service had
arrived. “‘For this and every other instance of his goodness—’ I beg
pardon, Mr. Grant, will you please to return thanks, sir? It is time
we should be moving, as we are the only Episcopalians in the
neighborhood; that is, I and Benjamin, and Elizabeth; for I count
half— breeds, like Marmaduke as bad as heretics.”

The divine arose and performed the office meekly and fervently, and
the whole party instantly prepared them selves for the church—or
rather academy.


“And calling sinful man to pray,
Loud, long, and deep the bell had tolled.”—Scotts Burgher

While Richard and Monsieur Le Quoi, attended by Benjamin, proceeded to
the academy by a foot-path through the snow, the judge, his daughter,
the divine, and the Major took a more circuitous route to the same
place by the streets of the village.

The moon had risen, and its orb was shedding a flood of light over the
dark outline of pines which crowned the eastern mountain. In many
climates the sky would have been thought clear and lucid for a
noontide. The stars twinkled in the heavens, like the last
glimmerings of distant fire, so much were they obscured by the
overwhelming radiance of the atmosphere; the rays from the moon
striking upon the smooth, white surfaces of the lake and fields,
reflecting upward a light that was brightened by the spotless color of
the immense bodies of snow which covered the earth.

Elizabeth employed herself with reading the signs, one of which
appeared over almost every door; while the sleigh moved steadily, and
at an easy gait, along the principal street. Not only new
occupations, but names that were strangers to her ears, met her gaze
at every step they proceeded. The very houses seemed changed. This
had been altered by an addition; that had been painted; another had
been erected on the site of an old acquaintance, which had been
banished from the earth almost as soon as it made its appearance on
it. All were, however, pouring forth their inmates, who uniformly
held their way toward the point where the expected exhibition of the
conjoint taste of Richard and Benjamin was to be made.

After viewing the buildings, which really appeared to some advantage
under the bright but mellow light of the moon, our heroine turned her
eyes to a scrutiny of the different figures they passed, in search of
any form that she knew. But all seemed alike, as muffled in cloaks,
hoods, coats, or tippets, they glided along the narrow passages in the
snow which led under the houses, half hid by the bank that had been
thrown up in excavating the deep path in which they trod. Once or
twice she thought there was a stature or a gait that she recollected;
but thc person who owned it instantly disappeared behind one of those
enormous piles of wood that lay before most of the doors, It was only
as they turned from the main street into another that intersected it
at right angles, and which led directly to the place of meeting, that
she recognized a face and building that she knew.

The house stood at one of the principal corners in the village; and by
its well-trodden doorway, as well as the sign that was swinging with a
kind of doleful sound in the blasts that occasionally swept down the
lake, was clearly one of the most frequented inns in the place. The
building was only of one story; but the dormer-windows in the roof,
the paint, the window-shutters, and the cheerful fire that shone
through the open door, gave it an air of comfort that was not
possessed by many of its neighbors. The sign was suspended from a
common ale-house post, and represented the figure of a horseman, armed
with sabre and pistols, and surmounted by a bear-skin cap, with a
fiery animal that he bestrode “rampant.” All these particulars were
easily to be seen by the aid of the moon, together with a row of
somewhat illegible writing in black paint, but in which Elizabeth, to
whom the whole was familiar, read with facility, “The Bold Dragoon.”

A man and a woman were issuing from the door of this habitation as the
sleigh was passing, The former moved with a stiff, military step, that
was a good deal heightened by a limp in one leg; but the woman
advanced with a measure and an air that seemed not particularly
regardful of what she might encounter. The light of the moon fell
directly upon her full, broad, and red visage, exhibiting her
masculine countenance, under the mockery of a ruffled cap that was
intended to soften the lineamints of features that were by no means
squeamish. A small bonnet of black silk, and of a slightly formal
cut, was placed on the back of her head, but so as not to shade her
visage in the least. The face, as it encountered the rays of the moon
from the east, seemed not unlike sun rising in the west. She advanced
with masculine strides to intercept the sleigh; and the Judge,
directing the namesake of the Grecian king, who held the lines, to
check his horse, the par ties were soon near to each other.

“Good luck to ye, and a welcome home, Jooge,” cried the female, with a
strong Irish accent; “and I’m sure it’s to me that ye’re always
welcome. Sure! and there’s Miss Lizzy, and a fine young woman she is
grown. What a heart-ache would she be giving the young men now, if
there was sich a thing as a rigiment in the town! Och! but it’s idle
to talk of sich vanities, while the bell is calling us to mateing jist
as we shall he called away unexpictedly some day, when we are the
laist calkilating. Good-even, Major; will I make the bowl of gin
toddy the night, or it’s likely ye’ll stay at the big house the
Christmas eve, and the very night of yer getting there?”

“I am glad to see you, Mrs. Hollister,” returned Elizabeth. “I have
been trying to find a face that I knew since we left the door of the
mansion-house; but none have I seen except your own. Your house, too,
is unaltered, while all the others are so changed that, but for the
places where they stand, they would be utter strangers. I observe you
also keep the dear sign that I saw Cousin Richard paint; and even the
name at the bottom, about which, you may remember, you had the

“It is the bould dragoon, ye mane? And what name would he have, who
niver was known by any other, as my husband here, the captain, can
testify? He was a pleasure to wait upon, and was ever the foremost in
need. Och! but he had a sudden end! but it’s to be hoped that he was
justified by the cause, And it’s not Parson Grant there who’ll gainsay
that same. Yes, yes; the squire would paint, and so I thought that we
might have his face up there, who had so often shared good and evil
wid us. The eyes is no so large nor so fiery as the captain’s Own;
but the whiskers and the cap is as two paes. Well, well, I'll not
keep ye in the cowld, talking, but will drop in the morrow after
sarvice, and ask ye how ye do. It’s our bounden duty to make the most
of this present, and to go to the house which is open to all; so God
bless ye, and keep ye from evil! Will I make the gin-twist the night,
or no, Major?”

To this question the German replied, very sententiously, in the
affirmative; and, after a few words had passed between the husband of
the fiery-faced hostess and the Judge, the sleigh moved on. It soon
reached the door of the academy, where the party alighted and entered
the building.

In the mean time, Mr. Jones and his two companions, having a much
shorter distance to journey, had arrived before the appointed place
some minutes sooner than the party in the sleigh. Instead of
hastening into the room in order to enjoy the astonishment of the
settlers, Richard placed a hand in either pocket of his surcoat, and
affected to walk about, in front of the academy, like one to whom the
ceremonies were familiar.

The villagers proceeded uniformly into the building, with a decorum
and gravity that nothing could move, on such occasions; but with a
haste that was probably a little heightened by curiosity. Those who
came in from the adjacent country spent some little time in placing
certain blue and white blankets over their horses before they
proceeded to indulge their desire to view the interior of the house.
Most of these men Richard approached, and inquired after the health
and condition of their families. The readiness with which he
mentioned the names of even the children, showed how very familiarly
acquainted he was with their circumstances; and the nature of the
answers he received proved that he was a general favorite.

At length one of the pedestrians from the village stopped also, and
fixed an earnest gaze at a new brick edifice that was throwing a long
shadow across the fields of snow, as it rose, with a beautiful
gradation of light and shade, under the rays of a full moon. In front
of the academy was a vacant piece of ground, that was intended for a
public square. On the side opposite to Mr. Jones, the new and as yet
unfinished church of St. Paul’s was erected, This edifice had been
reared during the preceding summer, by the aid of what was called a
subscription; though all, or nearly all, of the money came from the
pockets of the landlord. It had been built under a strong conviction
of the necessity of a more seemly place of worship than “the long room
of the academy,” and under an implied agreement that, after its
completion, the question should be fairly put to the people, that they
might decide to what denomination it should belong. Of course, this
expectation kept alive a strong excitement in some few of the
sectaries who were interested in its decision; though but little was
said openly on the subject. Had Judge Temple espoused the cause of
any particular sect, the question would have been immediately put at
rest, for his influence was too powerful to be opposed; but he
declined interference in the matter, positively refusing to lend even
the weight of his name on the side of Richard, who had secretly given
an assurance to his diocesan that both the building and the
congregation would cheerfully come within the pale of the Protestant
Episcopal Church. But, when the neutrality of the Judge was clearly
ascertained, Mr. Jones discovered that he had to contend with a stiff
necked people. His first measure was to go among them and commence a
course of reasoning, in order to bring them round to his own way of
thinking. They all heard him patiently, and not a man uttered a word
in reply in the way of argument, and Richard thought, by the time that
he had gone through the settlement, the point was conclusively decided
in his favor. Willing to strike while the iron was hot, he called a
meeting, through the news paper, with a view to decide the question by
a vote at once. Not a soul attended; and one of the most anxious
afternoons that he had ever known was spent by Richard in a vain
discussion with Mrs. Hollister, who strongly contended that the
Methodist (her own) church was the best entitled to and most deserving
of, the possession of the new tabernacle. Richard now perceived that
he had been too sanguine, and had fallen into the error of all those
who ignorantly deal with that wary and sagacious people. He assumed a
disguise himself—that is, as well as he knew how, and proceeded step
by step to advance his purpose.

The task of erecting the building had been unanimously transferred to
Mr. Jones and Hiram Doolittle. Together they had built the mansion-
house, the academy, and the jail, and they alone knew how to plan and
rear such a structure as was now required. Early in the day, these
architects had made an equitable division of their duties. To the
former was assigned the duty of making all the plans, and to the
latter the labor of superintending the execution.

Availing himself of this advantage, Richard silently determined that
the windows should have the Roman arch; the first positive step in
effecting his wishes. As the building was made of bricks, he was
enabled to conceal his design until the moment arrived for placing the
frames; then, indeed, it became necessary to act. He communicated his
wishes to Hiram with great caution; and, without in the least
adverting to the spiritual part of his project, he pressed the point a
little warmly on the score of architectural beauty. Hiram heard him
patiently, and without contradiction, but still Richard was unable to
discover the views of his coadjutor on this interesting subject. As
the right to plan was duly delegated to Mr. Jones, no direct objection
was made in words. but numberless unexpected difficulties arose in
the execution. At first there was a scarcity in the right kind of
material necessary to form the frames; but this objection was
instantly silenced by Richard running his pencil through two feet of
their length at one stroke. Then the expense was mentioned; but
Richard reminded Hiram that his cousin paid, and that he was
treasurer. This last intimation had great weight, and after a silent
and protracted, but fruitless opposition, the work was suffered to
proceed on the original plan.

The next difficulty occurred in the steeple, which Richard had
modelled after one of the smaller of those spires that adorn the great
London cathedral. The imitation was somewhat lame, it was true, the
proportions being but in differently observed; but, after much
difficulty, Mr. Jones had the satisfaction of seeing an object reared
that bore in its outlines, a striking resemblance to a vinegar-cruet.
There was less opposition to this model than to the windows; for the
settlers were fond of novelty, and their steeple was without a

Here the labor ceased for the season, and the difficult question of
the interior remained for further deliberation. Richard well knew
that, when he came to propose a reading-desk and a chancel, he must
unmask; for these were arrangements known to no church in the country
but his own. Presuming, however, on the advantages he had already
obtained, he boldly styled the building St. Paul’s, and Hiram
prudently acquiesced in this appellation, making, however, the slight
addition of calling it “New St. Paul’s,” feeling less aversion to a
name taken from the English cathedral than from the saint.

The pedestrian whom we have already mentioned, as pausing to
contemplate this edifice, was no other than the gentleman so
frequently named as Mr. or Squire Doolittle. He was of a tall, gaunt
formation, with rather sharp features, and a face that expressed
formal propriety mingled with low cunning. Richard approached him,
followed by Monsieur Le Quoi and the major-domo.

“Good-evening, squire,” said Richard, bobbing his head, but without
moving his hands from his pockets.

“Good-evening, squire,” echoed Hiram, turning his body in order to
turn his head also.

“A cold night, Mr. Doolittle, a cold night, sir.”

“Coolish; a tedious spell on’t.”

“What, looking at our church, ha! It looks well, by moonlight; how the
tin of the cupola glistens! I warrant you the dome of the other St.
Paul’s never shines so in the smoke of London.”

“It is a pretty meeting -house to look on,” returned Hiram, “and I
believe that Monshure Ler Quow and Mr. Penguilliam will allow it.”

“Sairtainlee!” exclaimed the complaisant Frenchman, “it ees ver fine,”

“I thought the monshure would say so. The last molasses that we had
was excellent good. It isn’t likely that you have any more of it on

“Ah! oui; ees, sair,” returned Monsieur Le Quoi, with a slight shrug
of his shoulder, and a trifling grimace, “dere is more. I feel ver
happi dat you love eet. I hope dat Madame Doleet’ is in good ‘ealth.”

“Why, so as to be stirring,” said Hiram. “The squire hasn’t finished
the plans for the inside of the meeting house yet?”

“No—no—no,” returned Richard, speaking quickly, but making a
significant pause between each negative—.. “it requires reflection.
There is a great deal of room to fill up, and I am afraid we shall not
know how to dispose of it to advantage. There will be a large vacant
spot around the pulpit, which I do not mean to place against the wall,
like a sentry-box stuck up on the side of a fort.”

“It is rulable to put the deacons’ box under the pulpit,” said Hiram;
and then, as if he had ventured too much, he added, “but there’s
different fashions in different Countries.”

“That there is,” cried Benjamin; “now, in running down the coast of
Spain and Portingall, you may see a nunnery stuck out on every
headland, with more steeples and outriggers. such as dog-vanes and
weathercocks, than you’ll find aboard of a three-masted schooner. If
so be that a well-built church is wanting, old England, after all, is
the country to go to after your models and fashion pieces. As to
Paul’s, thof I’ve never seen it, being that it’s a long way up town
from Radcliffe Highway and the docks, yet everybody knows that it’s
the grandest place in the world Now, I’ve no opinion but this here
church over there is as like one end of it as a grampus is to a whale;
and that’s only a small difference in bulk. Mounsheer Ler Quaw, here,
has been in foreign parts; and thof that is not the same as having
been at home, yet he must have seen churches in France too, and can
form a small idee of what a church should be; now I ask the mounsheer
to his face if it is not a clever little thing, taking it by and

“It ees ver apropos of saircumstance,” said the French-. man—” ver
judgment—but it is in the catholique country dat dey build dc—vat you
call—ah a ah-ha—la grande cathédrale—de big church. St. Paul, Londre,
is ver fine; ver belle; ver grand—vat you call beeg; but, Monsieur
Ben, pardonnez-moi, it is no vort so much as Notre Dame.”

“Ha! mounsheer, what is that you say?” cried Benjamin; “St. Paul’s
church is not worth so much as a damn! Mayhap you may be thinking too
that the Royal Billy isn’t so good a ship as the Billy de Paris; but
she would have licked two of her any day, and in all weathers.”

As Benjamin had assumed a very threatening kind of attitude,
flourishing an arm with a bunch at the end of it that was half as big
as Monsieur Le Quoi’s head, Richard thought it time to interpose his

“Hush, Benjamin, hush,” he said; “you both misunderstand Monsieur Le
Quoi and forget yourself. But here comes Mr. Grant, and the service
will commence. Let us go in.”

The Frenchman, who received Benjamin’s reply with a well-bred good-
humor that would not admit of any feeling but pity for the other’s
ignorance, bowed in acquiescence and followed his companion.

Hiram and the major -domo brought up the rear, the latter grumbling as
he entered the building:

“If so be that the king of France had so much as a house to live in
that would lay alongside of Paul’s, one might put up with their jaw.
It’s more than flesh and blood can bear to hear a Frenchman run down
an English church in this manner. Why, Squire Doolittle, I’ve been at
the whipping of two of them in one day—clean built, snug frigates with
standing royals and them new-fashioned cannonades on their quarters—
such as, if they had only Englishmen aboard of them, would have fout
the devil.”

With this ominous word in his mouth Benjamin entered the church.


“And fools who came to scoff, remained to pray.”—Goldsmith.

Notwithstanding the united labors of Richard and Benjamin, the “long
room” was but an extremely inartificial temple. Benches; made in the
coarsest manner, and entirely with a view to usefulness, were arranged
in rows for the reception of the Congregation; while a rough,
unpainted box was placed against the wall, in the centre of the length
of the apartment, as an apology for a pulpit. Something like a
reading-desk was in front of this rostrum; and a small mahogany table
from the mansion-house, covered with a spotless damask cloth, stood a
little on one side, by the way of an altar. Branches of pines and
hemlocks were stuck in each of the fissures that offered in the
unseasoned and hastily completed woodwork of both the building and its
furniture; while festoons and hieroglyphics met the eye in vast
profusion along the brown sides of the scratch-coated walls. As the
room was only lighted by some ten or fifteen miserable candles, and
the windows were without shutters, it would have been but a dreary,
cheerless place for the solemnities of a Christmas eve, had not the
large fire that was crackling at each end of the apartment given an
air of cheerfulness to the scene, by throwing an occasional glare of
light through the vistas of bushes and faces.

The two sexes were separated by an area in the centre of the room
immediately before the pulpit; amid a few benches lined this space,
that were occupied by the principal personages of the village and its
vicinity. This distinction was rather a gratuitous concession made by
the poorer and less polished part of the population than a right
claimed by the favored few. One bench was occupied by the party of
Judge Temple, including his daughter, and, with the exception of Dr.
Todd, no one else appeared willing to incur the imputation of pride,
by taking a seat in what was, literally, the high place of the

Richard filled the chair that was placed behind another table, in the
capacity of clerk; while Benjamin, after heaping sundry logs on the
fire, posted himself nigh by, in reserve for any movement that might
require co-operation.

It would greatly exceed our limits to attempt a description of the
congregation, for the dresses were as various as the individuals.
Some one article of more than usual finery, and perhaps the relic of
other days, was to be seen about most of the females, in connection
with the coarse attire of the woods. This wore a faded silk, that had
gone through at least three generations, over coarse, woollen black
stockings; that, a shawl, whose dyes were as numerous as those of the
rainbow, over an awkwardly fitting gown of rough brown “woman’s wear.”
In short, each one exhibited some favorite article, and all appeared
in their best, both men and women; while the ground-works in dress, in
either sex, were the coarse fabrics manufactured within their own
dwellings. One man appeared in the dress of a volunteer company of
artillery, of which he had been a member in the “down countries,”
precisely for no other reason than because it was the best suit he
had. Several, particularly of the younger men, displayed pantaloons
of blue, edged with red cloth down the seams part of the equipments of
the “Templeton Light Infantry,” from a little vanity to be seen in
“boughten clothes.” There was also one man in a “rifle frock,” with
its fringes and folds of spotless white, striking a chill to the heart
with the idea of its coolness, although the thick coat of brown” home-
made” that was concealed beneath preserved a proper degree of warmth.

There was a marked uniformity of expression in Countenance, especially
in that half of the congregation who did not enjoy the advantages of
the polish of the village. A sallow skin, that indicated nothing but
exposure, was common to all, as was an air of great decency and
attention, mingled, generally, with an expression of shrewdness, and
in the present instance of active curiosity. Now and then a face and
dress were to be seen among the congregation, that differed entirely
from this description. If pock-marked and florid, with gartered legs,
and a coat that snugly fitted the person of the wearer, it was surely
an English emigrant, who had bent his steps to this retired quarter of
the globe. If hard-featured and without color, with high cheek-bones,
it was a native of Scotland, in similar circumstances.

The short, black-eyed man, with a cast of the swarthy Spaniard in his
face, who rose repeatedly to make room for the belles of the village
as they entered, was a son of Erin, who had lately left off his pack,
and become a stationary trader in Templeton. In short, half the
nations in the north of Europe had their representatives in this
assembly, though all had closely assimilated themselves to the
Americans in dress and appearance, except the English man. He,
indeed, not only adhered to his native customs in attire and living,
but usually drove his plough among the stumps in the same manner as he
had before done on the plains of Norfolk, until dear-bought experience
taught him the useful lesson that a sagacious people knew what was
suited to their circumstances better than a casual observer, or a
sojourner who was, perhaps, too much prejudiced to compare and,
peradventure, too conceited to learn.

Elizabeth soon discovered that she divided the attention of the
congregation with Mr. Grant. Timidity, therefore, confined her
observation of the appearances which we have described to stoles
glances; but, as the stamping of feet was now becoming less frequent,
and even the coughing, and other little preliminaries of a
congregation settling themselves down into reverential attention, were
ceasing, she felt emboldened to look around her. Gradually all noises
diminished, until the suppressed cough denoted that it was necessary
to avoid singularity, and the most pro found stillness pervaded the
apartment. The snapping of the fires, as they threw a powerful heat
into the room, was alone heard, and each face and every eye were
turned on the divine.

At this moment, a heavy stamping of feet was heard in the passage
below, as if a new-corner was releasing his limbs from the snow that
was necessarily clinging to the legs of a pedestrian. It was
succeeded by no audible tread; but directly Mohegan, followed by the
Leather-Stocking and the young hunter, made his appearance.

Their footsteps would not have been heard, as they trod the apartment
in their moccasins, but for the silence which prevailed.

The Indian moved with great gravity across the floor, and, observing a
vacant seat next to the Judge, he took it, in a manner that manifested
his sense of his own dignity. Here, drawing his blanket closely
around him so as partly to conceal his countenance, he remained during
the service immovable, but deeply attentive. Natty passed the place
that was so freely taken by his red companion, and seated himself on
one end of a log that was lying near the fire, where he continued,
with his rifle standing between his legs, absorbed in reflections
seemingly of no very pleasing nature. The youth found a seat among
the congregation, and another silence prevailed.

Mr. Grant now arose and commenced his service with the sublime
declaration of the Hebrew prophet: “The Lord is in His holy temple;
let all the earth keep silence before Him.” The example of Mr. Jones
was unnecessary to teach the congregation to rise; the solemnity of
the divine effected this as by magic. After a short pause, Mr. Grant
proceeded with the solemn and winning exhortation of his service.
Nothing was heard but the deep though affectionate tones of the
reader, as he went slowly through this exordium; until, something
unfortunately striking the mind of Richard as incomplete, he left his
place and walked on tiptoe from the room.

When the clergyman bent his knees in prayer and confession, the
congregation so far imitated his example as to resume their seats;
whence no succeeding effort of the divine, during the evening, was
able to remove them in a body. Some rose at times; but by far the
larger part continued unbending; observant, it is true, but it was the
kind of observation that regarded the ceremony as a spectacle rather
than a worship in which they were to participate. Thus deserted by
his clerk Mr. Grant continued to read; but no response was audible.
The short and solemn pause that succeeded each petition was made;
still no voice repeated the eloquent language of the prayer.

The lips of Elizabeth moved, but they moved in vain and accustomed as
she was to the service of the churches of the metropolis, she was
beginning to feel the awkwardness of the circumstance most painfully
when a soft, low female voice repeated after the priest,” We have left
undone those things which we ought to have done.” Startled at finding
one of her own sex in that place who could rise superior to natural
timidity, Miss Temple turned her eyes in the direction of the
penitent. She observed a young female on her knees, but a short
distance from her, with her meek face humbly bent over her book.

The appearance of this stranger, for such she was, entirely, to
Elizabeth, was light and fragile. Her dress was neat and becoming;
and her countenance, though pale and slightly agitated, excited deep
interest by its sweet and melancholy expression. A second and third
response was made by this juvenile assistant, when the manly sounds of
a male voice proceeded from the opposite part of the room, Miss Temple
knew the tones of the young hunter instantly, and struggling to
overcome her own diffidence she added her low voice to the number.

All this time Benjamin stood thumbing the leaves of a prayer-book with
great industry; but some unexpected difficulties prevented his finding
the place. Before the divine reached the close of the confession,
however, Richard reappeared at the door, and, as he moved lightly
across the room, he took up the response, in a voice that betrayed no
other concern than that of not being heard. In his hand he carried a
small open box, with the figures “8 by 10” written in black paint on
one of its sides; which, having placed in the pulpit, apparently as a
footstool for the divine, he returned to his station in time to say,
sonorously, “Amen.” The eyes of the congregation, very naturally, were
turned to the windows, as Mr. Jones entered with his singular load;
and then, as if accustomed to his “general agency,” were again bent on
the priest, in close and curious attention.

The long experience of Mr. Grant admirably qualified him to perform
his present duty. He well understood the character of his listeners,
who were mostly a primitive people in their habits; and who, being a
good deal addicted to subtleties and nice distinctions in their
religious opinions, viewed the introduction of any such temporal
assistance as form into their spiritual worship not only with
jealousy, but frequently with disgust. He had acquired much of his
knowledge from studying the great book of human nature as it lay open
in the world; and, knowing how dangerous it was to contend with
ignorance, uniformly endeavored to avoid dictating where his better
reason taught him it was the most prudent to attempt to lead, His
orthodoxy had no dependence on his cassock; he could pray with fervor
and with faith, if circumstances required it, without the assistance
of his clerk; and he had even been known to preach a most evangelical
sermon, in the winning manner of native eloquence, without the aid of
a cambric handkerchief.

In the present instance he yielded, in many places, to the prejudices
of his congregation; and when he had ended, there was not one of his
new hearers who did not think the ceremonies less papal and offensive,
and more conformant to his or her own notions of devout worship, than
they had been led to expect from a service of forms, Richard found in
the divine, during the evening, a most powerful co-operator in his
religious schemes. In preaching, Mr. Grant endeavored to steer a
middle course between the mystical doctrines of those sublimated
creeds which daily involve their professors in the most absurd
contradictions, and those fluent roles of moral government which would
reduce the Saviour to a level with the teacher of a school of ethics.
Doctrine it was necessary to preach, for nothing less would have
satisfied the disputatious people who were his listeners, and who
would have interpreted silence on his part into a tacit acknowledgment
of the superficial nature of his creed. We have already said that,
among the endless variety of religious instructors, the settlers were
accustomed to hear every denomination urge its own distinctive
precepts, and to have found one indifferent to this Interesting
subject would have been destructive to his influence. But Mr. Grant
so happily blended the universally received opinions of the Christian
faith with the dogmas of his own church that, although none were
entirely exempt from the influence of his reasons, very few took any
alarm at the innovation.

“When we consider the great diversity of the human character,
influenced as it is by education, by opportunity, and by the physical
and moral conditions of the creature, my dear hearers,” he earnestly
concluded “it can excite no surprise that creeds so very different in
their tendencies should grow out of a religion revealed, it is true,
but whose revelations are obscured by the lapse of ages, and whose
doctrines were, after the fashion of the countries in which they were
first promulgated, frequently delivered in parables, and in a language
abounding in metaphors and loaded with figures. On points where the
learned have, in purity of heart, been compelled to differ, the
unlettered will necessarily be at variance. But, happily for us, my
brethren, the fountain of divine love flows from a source too pure to
admit of pollution in its course; it extends, to those who drink of
its vivifying waters, the peace of the righteous, and life
everlasting; it endures through all time, and it pervades creation.
If there be mystery in its workings, it is the mystery of a Divinity.
With a clear knowledge of the nature, the might, and the majesty of
God, there might be conviction, but there could be no faith. If we
are required to believe in doctrines that seem not in conformity with
the deductions of human wisdom, let us never forget that such is the
mandate of a wisdom that is infinite. It is sufficient for us that
enough is developed to point our path aright, and to direct our
wandering steps to that portal which shall open on the light of an
eternal day. Then, indeed, it may be humbly hoped that the film which
has been spread by the subtleties of earthly arguments will be
dissipated by the spiritual light of Heaven; and that our hour of
probation, by the aid of divine grace, being once passed in triumph,
will be followed by an eternity of intelligence and endless ages of
fruition. All that is now obscure shall become plain to our expanded
faculties; and what to our present senses may seem irreconcilable to
our limited notions of mercy, of justice, and of love, shall stand
irradiated by the light of truth, confessedly the suggestions of
Omniscience, and the acts of an All-powerful Benevolence.”

“What a lesson of humility, my brethren, might not each of us obtain
from a review of his infant hours, and the recollection of his
juvenile passions! How differently do the same acts of parental rigor
appear in the eyes of the suffering child and of the chastened man!
When the sophist would supplant, with the wild theories of his worldly
wisdom, the positive mandates of inspiration, let him remember the
expansion of his own feeble intellects, and pause—let him feel the
wisdom of God in what is partially concealed. as well as that which
is revealed; in short, let him substitute humility for pride of
reason—let him have faith, and live!”

“The consideration of this subject is full of consolation, my hearers,
and does not fail to bring with it lessons of humility and of profit,
that, duly improved, would both chasten the heart and strengthen the
feeble-minded man in his course. It is a blessed consolation to be
able to lay the misdoubtings of our arrogant nature at the thresh old
of the dwelling-place of the Deity, from whence they shall be swept
away, at the great opening of the portal, like the mists of the
morning before the rising sun. It teaches us a lesson of humility, by
impressing us with the imperfection of human powers, and by warning us
of the many weak points where we are open to the attack of the great
enemy of our race; it proves to us that we are in danger of being
weak, when our vanity would fain soothe us into the belief that we arc
most strong; it forcibly points out to us the vainglory of intellect,
and shows us the vast difference between a saving faith and the
corollaries of a philosophical theology; and it teaches us to reduce
our self-examination to the test of good works. By good works must be
understood the fruits of repentance, the chiefest of which is charity.
Not that charity only which causes us to help the needy and comfort
the suffering, but that feeling of universal philanthropy which, by
teaching us to love, causes us to judge with lenity all men; striking
at the root of self-righteousness, and warning us to be sparing of our
condemnation of others, while our own salvation is not yet secure.”

“The lesson of expediency, my brethren, which I would gather from the
consideration of this subject, is most strongly inculcated by
humility. On the heading and essential points of our faith, there is
but little difference among those classes of Christians who
acknowledge the attributes of the Saviour, and depend on his
mediation. But heresies have polluted every church, and schisms are
the fruit of disputation. In order to arrest these dangers, and to
insure the union of his followers, it would seem that Christ had
established his visible church. and delegated the ministry. Wise and
holy men, the fathers of our religion, have expended their labors in
clearing what was revealed from the obscurities of language, and the
results of their experience and researches have been em bodied in the
form of evangelical discipline That this discipline must be salutary,
is evident from the view of the weakness of human nature that we have
already taken; and that it may be profitable to us, and all who listen
to its precepts and its liturgy, may God, in his infinite wisdom,
grant!—And now to,” etc.

With this ingenious reference to his own forms and ministry, Mr. Grant
concluded his discourse. The most profound attention had been paid to
the sermon during the whole of its delivery, although the prayers had
not been received with so perfect demonstration of respect. This was
by no means an intended slight of that liturgy to which the divine
alluded, but was the habit of a people who owed their very existence,
as a distinct nation, to the doctrinal character of their ancestors.
Sundry looks of private dissatisfaction were exchanged between Hiram
and one or two of the leading members of the conference, but the
feeling went no further at that time; and the congregation, after
receiving the blessing of Mr. Grant., dispersed in Silence, and with
great decorum.


“Your creeds and dogmas of a learned church
May build a fabric, fair with moral beauty;
But it would seem that the strong hand of God
Can, only, 'rase the devil from the heart.”—Duo.

While the congregation was separating, Mr. Grant approached the place
where Elizabeth and her father were seated, leading the youthful
female whom we have mentioned in the preceding chapter, and presented
her as his daughter. Her reception was as cordial and frank as the
manners of the country and the value of good society could render it;
the two young women feeling, instantly, that they were necessary to
the comfort of each other, The Judge, to whom the clergyman’s daughter
was also a stranger, was pleased to find one who, from habits, sex,
and years, could probably contribute largely to the pleasures of his
own child, during her first privations on her removal from the
associations of a city to the solitude of Templeton; while Elizabeth,
who had been forcibly struck with the sweetness and devotion of the
youthful suppliant, removed the slight embarrassment of the timid
stranger by the ease of her own manners. They were at once
acquainted; and, during the ten minutes that the “academy” was
clearing, engagements were made between the young people, not only for
the succeeding day, but they would probably have embraced in their
arrangements half of the winter, had not the divine interrupted them
by saying:

“Gently, gently, my dear Miss Temple, or you will make my girl too
dissipated. You forget that she is my housekeeper, and that my
domestic affairs must remain unattended to, should Louisa accept of
half the kind offers you are so good as to make her.”

“And why should they not be neglected entirely, sir?” interrupted
Elizabeth. “There are but two of you; and certain I am that my
father’s house will not only contain you both, but will open its doors
spontaneously to receive such guests. Society is a good not to he
rejected on account of cold forms, in this wilderness, sir; and I have
often heard my father say, that hospitality is not a virtue in a new
country, the favor being conferred by the guest.”

“The manner in which Judge Temple exercises its rites would confirm
this opinion; but we must not trespass too freely. Doubt not that you
will see us often, my child, particularly during the frequent visits
that I shall be compelled to make to the distant parts of the country.
But to obtain an influence with such a people,” he continued, glancing
his eyes toward the few who were still lingering, curious observers of
the interview, “a clergyman most not awaken envy or distrust by
dwelling under so splendid a roof as that of Judge Temple.”

“You like the roof, then, Mr. Grant,” cried Richard, who had been
directing the extinguishment of the fires and other little necessary
duties, and who approached in time to hear the close of the divine’s
speech. “I am glad to find one man of taste at last. Here’s ‘Duke.
now, pretends to call it by every abusive name he can invent; but
though ‘Duke is a tolerable judge, he is a very poor carpenter, let me
tell him. Well, sir, well, I think we may say, without boasting, that
the service was as well per formed this evening as you often see; I
think, quite as well as I ever knew it to be done in old Trinity—that
is, if we except the organ. But there is the school-master leads the
psalm with a very good air. I used to lead myself, but latterly I
have sung nothing but bass. There is a good deal of science to be
shown in the bass, and it affords a fine opportunity to show off a
full, deep voice. Benjamin, too, sings a good bass, though he is
often out in the words. Did you ever hear Benjamin sing the ‘Bay of
Biscay, 0?”

“I believe he gave us part of it this evening,” said Marmaduke,
laughing. “There was, now and then, a fearful quaver in his voice,
and it seems that Mr. Penguillian is like most others who do one thing
particularly well; he knows nothing else. He has, certainly, a
wonderful partiality to one tune, and he has a prodigious self-
confidence in that one, for he delivers himself like a northwester
sweeping across the lake. But come, gentlemen, our way is clear, and
the sleigh waits. Good-evening, Mr. Grant. Good-night, young lady—
remember you dine beneath the Corinthian roof, to-morrow, with

The parties separated, Richard holding a close dissertation with Mr.
Le Quoi, as they descended the stairs, on the subject of psalmody,
which he closed by a violent eulogium on the air of the “Bay of
Biscay, 0,” as particularly connected with his friend Benjamin’s

During the preceding dialogue, Mohegan retained his seat, with his
head shrouded in his blanket, as seemingly inattentive to surrounding
objects as the departing congregation was itself to the presence of
the aged chief, Natty, also, continued on the log where he had first
placed himself, with his head resting on one of his hands, while the
other held the rifle, which was thrown carelessly across his lap. His
countenance expressed uneasiness, and the occasional unquiet glances
that he had thrown around him during the service plainly indicated
some unusual causes for unhappiness. His continuing seated was, how
ever, out of respect to the Indian chief. to whom he paid the utmost
deference on all occasions, although it was mingled with the rough
manner of a hunter.

The young companion of these two ancient inhabitants of the forest
remained also standing before the extinguished brands, probably from
an unwillingness to depart without his comrades. The room was now
deserted by all but this group, the divine, and his daughter. As the
party from the mansion-house disappeared, John arose, and, dropping
the blanket from his head, he shook back the mass of black hair from
his face, and, approaching Mr. Grant, he extended his hand, and said

“Father, I thank you. The words that have been said, since the rising
moon, have gone upward, and the Great Spirit is glad. What you have
told your children, they will remember, and be good.” He paused a
moment, and then, elevating himself with the grandeur of an Indian
chief, he added: “If Chingachgook lives to travel toward the setting
sun, after his tribe, and the Great Spirit carries him over the lakes
and mountains with the breath of his body, he will tell his people the
good talk he has heard; and they will believe him; for who can say
that Mohegan has ever lied?”

“Let him place his dependence on the goodness of Divine mercy,” said
Mr. Grant, to whom the proud consciousness of the Indian sounded a
little heterodox, “and it never will desert him. When the heart is
filled with love to God, there is no room for sin. But, young man, to
you I owe not only an obligation, in common with those you saved this
evening on the mountain, but my thanks for your respectable and pious
manner in assisting in the service at a most embarrassing moment. I
should be happy to see you sometimes at my dwelling, when, perhaps, my
conversation may strengthen you in the path which you appear to have
chosen. It is so unusual to find one of your age and appearance, in
these woods, at all acquainted with our holy liturgy, that it lessens
at once the distance between us, and I feel that we are no longer
strangers. You seem quite at home in the service; I did not perceive
that you had even a book, although good Mr. Jones. had laid several
in different parts of the room.”

“It would be strange if I were ignorant of the service of our church,
sir,” returned the youth modestly; “for I was baptized in its
communion and I have never yet attended public worship elsewhere. For
me to use the forms of any other denomination would be as singular as
our own have proved to the people here this evening.”

“You give me great pleasure, my dear sir,” cried the divine, seizing
the other by the hand, and shaking it cordially. “You will go home
with me now—indeed you must—my child has yet to thank you for saving
my life. I will-listen to no apologies. This worthy Indian, and your
friend, there, will accompany us. Bless me! to think that’ he has
arrived at manhood in this country, without entering a dissenting *

* The divines of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States
commonly call other denominations Dissenters, though there never was
an established church in their own country!

“No, no,” interrupted the Leather-Stocking, “I must away to the
wigwam; there’s work there that mustn’t be forgotten for all your
churchings and merry-makings. Let the lad go with you in welcome; he
is used to keeping company with ministers, and talking of such
matters; so is old John, who was christianized by the Moravians abouts
the time of the old war. But I am a plain unlarned man, that has
sarved both the king and his country, in his day, agin’ the French and
savages, but never so much as looked into a book, or larnt a letter of
scholarship, in my born days. I’ve never seen the use of much in-door
work, though I have lived to be partly bald, and in my time have
killed two hundred beaver in a season, and that without counting thc
other game. If you mistrust what I am telling you, you can ask
Chingachgook there, for I did it in the heart of the Delaware country,
and the old man is knowing to the truth of every word I say.”

“I doubt not, my friend, that you have been both a valiant soldier and
skilful hunter in your day,” said the divine; “but more is wanting to
prepare you for that end which approaches. You may have heard the
maxim, that ‘young men may die, but that old men must’”

“I’m sure I never was so great a fool as to expect to live forever,”
said Natty, giving one of his silent laughs; “no man need do that who
trails the savages through the woods, as I have done, and lives, for
the hot months, on the lake streams. I’ve a strong constitution, I
must say that for myself, as is plain to be seen; for I’ve drunk the
Onondaga water a hundred times, while I’ve been watching the deer-
licks, when the fever-an’-agy seeds was to be seen in it as plain and
as plenty as you can see the rattle snakes on old Crumhorn. But then
I never expected to hold out forever; though there’s them living who
have seen the German flats a wilderness; ay! and them that’s larned,
and acquainted with religion, too; though you might look a week, now,
and not find even the stump of a pine on them; and that’s a wood that
lasts in the ground the better part of a hundred years after the tree
is dead.”

“This is but time, my good friend,” returned Mr. Grant, who began to
take an interest in the welfare of his new acquaintance, “but I would
have you prepare for eternity. It is incumbent on you to attend
places of public worship, as I am pleased to see that you have done
this evening. Would it not he heedless in you to start on a day’s
toil of hard hunting, and leave your ramrod and flint behind?”

“It must be a young hand in the woods,” interrupted Natty, with
another laugh, “that didn’t know how to dress a rod out of an ash
sapling or find a fire-stone in the mountains. No, no, I never
expected to live forever; but I see, times be altering in these
mountains from what they was thirty years ago, or, for that matter,
ten years. But might makes right, and the law is stronger than an old
man, whether he is one that has much laming, or only like me, that is
better now at standing at the passes than in following the hounds, as
I once used to could. Heigh-ho! I never know’d preaching come into a
settlement but it made game scarce, and raised the price of gunpowder;
and that’s a thing that’s not as easily made as a ramrod or an Indian

The divine, perceiving that he had given his opponent an argument by
his own unfortunate selection of a comparison, very prudently
relinquished the controversy; although he was fully determined to
resume it at a more happy moment, Repeating his request to the young
hunter with great earnestness, the youth and Indian consented to ac
company him and his daughter to the dwelling that the care of Mr.
Jones had provided for their temporary residence. Leather-Stocking
persevered in his intention of returning to the hut, and at the door
of the building they separated.

After following the course of one of the streets of the village a
short distance. Mr. Grant, who led the way, turned into a field,
through a pair of open bars, and entered a footpath, of but sufficient
width to admit one person to walk in at a time. The moon had gained a
height that enabled her to throw her rays perpendicularly on the
valley; and the distinct shadows of the party flitted along on the
banks of the silver snow, like the presence of aerial figures, gliding
to their appointed place of meeting. The night still continued
intensely cold, although not a breath of wind was felt. The path was
beaten so hard that the gentle female, who made one of the party,
moved with ease along its windings; though the frost emitted a low
creaking at the impression of even her light footsteps.

The clergyman in his dark dress of broadcloth, with his mild,
benevolent countenance occasionally turned toward his companions,
expressing that look of subdued care which was its characteristic,
presented the first object in this singular group. Next to him moved
the Indian, his hair falling about his face, his head uncovered, and
the rest of his form concealed beneath his blanket. As his swarthy
visage, with its muscles fixed in rigid composure, was seen under the
light of the moon, which struck his face obliquely, he seemed a
picture of resigned old age, on whom the storms of winter had beaten
in vain for the greater part of a century; but when, in turning his
head, the rays fell directly on his dark, fiery eyes, they told a tale
of passions unrestrained, and of thoughts free as air. The slight
person of Miss Grant, which followed next, and which was but too
thinly clad for the severity of the season, formed a marked contrast
to thc wild attire and uneasy glances of the Delaware chief; and more
than once during their walk, the young hunter, himself no
insignificant figure in the group, was led to consider the difference
in the human form, as the face of Mohegan and the gentle countenance
of Miss Grant, with eyes that rivalled the soft hue of the sky, met
his view at the instant that each turned to throw a glance at the
splendid orb which lighted their path. Their way, which led through
fields that lay at some distance in the rear of the houses, was
cheered by a conversation that flagged or became animated with the
subject. The first to speak was the divine.

“Really,” he said, “it is so singular a circumstance to meet with one
of your age, that has not been induced by idle curiosity to visit any
other church than the one in which he has been educated, that I feel a
strong curiosity to know the history of a life so fortunately
regulated. Your education must have been excellent; as indeed is
evident from your manners and language. Of which of the States are
you a native, Mr. Edwards? for such, I believe, was the name that you
gave Judge Temple.”

“Of this.”

“Of this! I was at a loss to conjecture, from your dialect, which does
not partake, particularly, of the peculiarities of any country with
which I am acquainted. You have, then, resided much in the cities,
for no other part of this country is so fortunate as to possess the
constant enjoyment of our excellent liturgy.”

The young hunter smiled, as he listened to the divine while he so
clearly betrayed from what part of the country he had come himself;
but, for reasons probably connected with his present situation, he
made no answer.

“I am delighted to meet with you, my young friend, for I think an
ingenuous mind, such as I doubt not yours must be, will exhibit all
the advantages of a settled doctrine and devout liturgy. You perceive
how I was compelled to bend to the humors of my hearers this evening.
Good Mr. Jones wished me to read the communion, and, in fact, all the
morning service; but, happily, the canons do not require this of an
evening. It would have wearied a new congregation; but to-morrow I
purpose administering the sacrament, Do you commune, my young friend?”

“I believe not, sir,” returned the youth, with a little embarrassment,
that was not at all diminished by Miss Grant’s pausing involuntarily,
and turning her eyes on him in surprise; “I fear that I am not
qualified; I have never yet approached the altar; neither would I wish
to do it while I find so much of the world clinging to my heart.”

“Each must judge for himself,” said Mr. Grant; “though I should think
that a youth who had never been blown about by the wind of false
doctrines, and who has enjoyed the advantages of our liturgy for so
many years in its purity, might safely come. Yet, sir, it is a solemn
festival, which none should celebrate until there is reason to hope it
is not mockery. I observed this evening, in your manner to Judge
Temple, a resentment that bordered on one of the worst of human
passions, We will cross this brook on the ice; it must bear us all, I
think, in safety. Be careful not to slip, my child.” While speaking,
he descended a little bank by the path, and crossed one of the small
streams that poured their waters into the lake; and, turning to see
his daughter pass, observed that the youth had advanced, and was
kindly directing her footsteps. When all were safely over, he moved
up the opposite bank, and continued his discourse. “It was wrong, my
dear sir, very wrong, to suffer such feelings to rise, under any
circumstances, and especially in the present, where the evil was not

“There is good in the talk of my father,” said Mohegan, stopping
short, and causing those who Were behind him to pause also; “it is the
talk of Miquon. The white man may do as his fathers have told him;
but the ‘Young Eagle’ has the blood of a Delaware chief in his veins;
it is red, and the stain it makes can only be washed out with the
blood of a Mingo.”

Mr. Grant was surprised by the interruption of the Indian, and,
stopping, faced the speaker. His mild features were confronted to the
fierce and determined looks of the chief, and expressed the horror he
felt at hearing such sentiments from one who professed the religion of
his Saviour. Raising his hands to a level with his head, he

“John, John! is this the religion that you have learned from the
Moravians? But no—I will not be so uncharitable as to suppose it.
They are a pious, a gentle, and a mild people, and could never
tolerate these passions. Listen to the language of the Redeemer: ‘But
I say unto you, love your enemies; bless them that curse you; do good
to them that hate you; pray for them that despitefully use you and
persecute you.’ This is the command of God, John, and, without
striving to cultivate such feelings, no man can see Him.”

The Indian heard the divine with attention; the unusual fire of his
eye gradually softened, and his muscles relaxed into their ordinary
composure; but, slightly shaking his head, he motioned with dignity
for Mr. Grant to resume his walk, and followed himself in silence, The
agitation of the divine caused him to move with unusual rapidity along
the deep path, and the Indian, without any apparent exertion, kept an
equal pace; but the young hunter observed the female to linger in her
steps, until a trifling distance intervened between the two former and
the latter. Struck by the circumstance, and not perceiving any new
impediment to retard her footstep, the youth made a tender of his

“You are fatigued, Miss Grant,” he said; “the snow yields to the foot,
and you are unequal to the strides of us men. Step on the crust, I
entreat you, and take the help of my arm, Yonder light is, I believe,
the house of your father; but it seems yet at some distance.”

“I am quite equal to the walk,” returned a low, tremulous voice; “but
I am startled by the manner of that Indian, Oh! his eye was horrid, as
he turned to the moon, in speaking to my father. But I forgot, sir;
he is your friend, and by his language may be your relative; and yet
of you I do not feel afraid.”

The young man stepped on the bank of snow, which firmly sustained his
weight, and by a gentle effort induced his companion to follow.
Drawing her arm through his own, he lifted his cap from his head,
allowing the dark locks to flow in rich curls over his open brow, and
walked by her side with an air of conscious pride, as if inviting an
examination of his utmost thoughts. Louisa took but a furtive glance
at his person, and moved quietly along, at a rate that was greatly
quickened by the aid of his arm.

“You are but little acquainted with this peculiar people, Miss Grant,”
he said, “or you would know that revenge is a virtue with an Indian.
They are taught, from infancy upward, to believe it a duty never to
allow an injury to pass unrevenged; and nothing but the stronger
claims of hospitality can guard one against their resentments where
they have power.”

“Surely, sir,” said Miss Grant, involuntarily withdrawing her arm from
his, “you have not been educated with such unholy sentiments?”

“It might be a sufficient answer to your excellent father to say that
I was educated in the church,” he returned; “but to you I will add
that I have been taught deep and practical lessons of forgiveness. I
believe that, on this subject, I have but little cause to reproach
myself; it shall he my endeavor that there yet be less.”

While speaking, he stopped, and stood with his arm again proffered to
her assistance. As he ended, she quietly accepted his offer, and they
resumed their walk.

Mr. Grant and Mohegan had reached the door of the former's residence,
and stood waiting near its threshold for the arrival of their young
companions. The former was earnestly occupied in endeavoring to
correct, by his precepts, the evil propensities that he had discovered
in the Indian during their conversation; to which the latter listened
in Profound but respectful attention. On the arrival of the young
hunter and the lady, they entered the building. The house stood at
some distance from the village, in the centre of a field, surrounded
by stumps that were peering above the snow, bearing caps of pure
white, nearly two feet in thickness. Not a tree nor a shrub was nigh
it; but the house, externally, exhibited that cheer less, unfurnished
aspect which is so common to the hastily erected dwellings of a new
country. The uninviting character of its outside was, however,
happily relieved by the exquisite neatness and comfortable warmth

They entered an apartment that was fitted as a parlor, though the
large fireplace, with its culinary arrangements, betrayed the domestic
uses to which it was occasionally applied. The bright blaze from the
hearth rendered the light that proceeded from the candle Louisa
produced unnecessary; for the scanty furniture of the room was easily
seen and examined by the former. The floor was covered in the centre
by a carpet made of rags, a species of manufacture that was then, and
yet continues to be, much in use in the interior; while its edges,
that were exposed to view, were of unspotted cleanliness. There was a
trifling air of better life in a tea-table and work-stand, as well as
in an old-fashioned mahogany bookcase; but the chairs, the dining-
table, and the rest of the furniture were of the plainest and cheapest
construction, Against the walls were hung a few specimens of needle-
work and drawing, the former executed with great neatness, though of
somewhat equivocal merit in their designs, while the latter were
strikingly deficient in both,

One of the former represented a tomb, with a youthful female weeping
over it, exhibiting a church with arched windows in the background.
On the tomb were the names, with the dates of the births and deaths,
of several individuals, all of whom bore the name of Grant. An
extremely cursory glance at this record was sufficient to discover to
the young hunter the domestic state of the divine. He there read that
he was a widower; and that the innocent and timid maiden, who had been
his companion, was the only survivor of six children. The knowledge
of the dependence which each of these meek Christians had on the other
for happiness threw an additional charm around the gentle but kind
attentions which the daughter paid to the father.

These observations occurred while the party were seating themselves
before the cheerful fire, during which time there was a suspension of
discourse. But, when each was comfortably arranged, and Louisa, after
laying aside a thin coat of faded silk, and a gypsy hat, that was more
becoming to her modest, ingenuous countenance than appropriate to the
season, had taken a chair between her father and the youth, the former
resumed the conversation.

“I trust, my young friend,” he said, “that the education you have
received has eradicated most of those revengeful principles which you
may have inherited by descent, for I understand from the expressions
of John that you have some of the blood of the Delaware tribe. Do not
mistake me, I beg, for it is not color nor lineage that constitutes
merit; and I know not that he who claims affinity to the proper owners
of this soil has not the best right to tread these hills with the
lightest conscience.”

Mohegan turned solemnly to the speaker, and, with the peculiarly
significant gestures of an Indian, he spoke:

“Father, you are not yet past the summer of life; your limbs are
young. Go to the highest hill, and look around you. All that you
see, from the rising to the setting sun, from the head-waters of the
great spring, to where the ‘crooked river’* is hid by the hills, is
his. He has Delaware blood, and his right is strong.

* The Susquehannah means crooked river; “hannah,” or “hannock,” meant
river in many of the native dialects. Thus we find Rappahannock as
far south as Virginia.

But the brother of Miquon is just; he will cut the country in two
parts, as the river cuts the lowlands, and will say to the ‘Young
Eagle,’ ‘Child of the Delawares! take it—keep it; and be a chief in
the land of your fathers.’”

“Never!” exclaimed the young hunter, with a vehemence that destroyed
the rapt attention with which the divine and his daughter were
listening to the Indian. “The wolf of the forest is not more
rapacious for his prey than that man is greedy of gold; and yet his
glidings into wealth are subtle as the movements of a serpent.”

“Forbear, forbear, my son, forbear,” interrupted Mr. Grant. “These
angry passions most be subdued. The accidental injury you have
received from Judge Temple has heightened the sense of your hereditary
wrongs. But remember that the one was unintentional, and that the
other is the effect of political changes, which have, in their course,
greatly lowered the pride of kings, and swept mighty nations from the
face of the earth. Where now are the Philistines, who so often held
the children of Israel in bondage? or that city of Babylon, which
rioted in luxury and vice, and who styled herself the Queen of Nations
in the drunkenness of her pride? Remember the prayer of our holy
litany, where we implore the Divine Power—’that it may please thee to
forgive our enemies, persecutors, and slanderers, and to turn their
hearts. The sin of the wrongs which have been done to the natives is
shared by Judge Temple only in common with a whole people, and your
arm will speedily be restored to its strength.”

“This arm!” repeated the youth, pacing the floor in violent agitation.
“Think you, sir, that I believe the man a murderer? Oh, no! he is too
wily, too cowardly, for such a crime. But let him and his daughter
riot in their wealth—a day of retribution will come. No, no, no,” he
continued, as he trod the floor more calmly—” it is for Mohegan to
suspect him of an intent to injure me; but the trifle is not worth a
second thought.” He seated himself, and hid his face between his
hands, as they rested on his knees.

“It is the hereditary violence of a native’s passion, my child,” said
Mr. Grant in a low tone to his affrighted daughter, who was clinging
in terror to his arm. “He is mixed with the blood of the Indians, you
have heard; and neither the refinements of education nor the
advantages of our excellent liturgy have been able entirely to
eradicate the evil. But care and time will do much for him yet.”

Although the divine spoke in a low tone, yet what he uttered was heard
by the youth, who raised his head, with a smile of indefinite
expression, and spoke more calmly:

“Be not alarmed, Miss Grant, at either the wildness of my manner or
that of my dress. I have been carried away by passions that I should
struggle to repress. I must attribute it, with your father, to the
blood in my veins, although I would not impeach my lineage willingly;
for it is all that is left me to boast of. Yes! I am proud of my
descent from a Delaware chief, who was a warrior that ennobled human
nature. Old Mohegan was his friend, and will vouch for his virtues.”

Mr. Grant here took up the discourse, and, finding the young man more
calm, and the aged chief attentive, he entered into a full and
theological discussion of the duty of forgiveness. The conversation
lasted for more than an hour, when the visitors arose, and, after
exchanging good wishes with their entertainers, they departed. At the
door they separated, Mohegan taking the direct route to the village,
while the youth moved toward the lake. The divine stood at the
entrance of his dwelling, regarding the figure of the aged chief as it
glided, at an astonishing gait for his years, along the deep path; his
black, straight hair just visible over the bundle formed by his
blanket, which was sometimes blended with the snow, under the silvery
light of the moon. From the rear of the house was a window that
overlooked the lake; and here Louisa was found by her father, when he
entered, gazing intently on some object in the direction of the
eastern mountain. He approached the spot, and saw the figure of the
young hunter, at the distance of half a mile, walking with prodigious
steps across the wide fields of frozen snow that covered the ice,
toward the point where he knew the hut inhabited by the Leather-
Stocking was situated on the margin of the lake, under a rock that was
crowned by pines and hemlocks. At the next instant, the wild looking
form entered the shadow cast from the over-hanging trees, and was lost
to view.

“It is marvellous how long the propensities of the savage continue in
that remarkable race,” said the good divine; “but if he perseveres as
he has commenced, his triumph shall yet be complete. Put me in mind,
Louisa, to lend him the homily ‘against peril of idolatry,’ at his
next visit.”

“Surety, father, you do not think him in danger of relapsing into the
worship of his ancestors?”

“No, my child,” returned the clergyman, laying his hand affectionately
on her flaxen locks, and smiling; “his white blood would prevent it;
but there is such a thing as the idolatry of our passions.”


“And I’ll drink out of the quart pot— Here’s a health to the barley
mow. “—Drinking Song.

On one of the corners, where the two principal streets of Templeton
intersected each other, stood, as we have already mentioned, the inn
called the “Bold Dragoon”. In the original plan it was ordained that
the village should stretch along the little stream that rushed down
the valley; and the street which led from the lake to the academy was
intended to be its western boundary. But convenience frequently
frustrates the best-regulated plans. The house of Mr., or as, in
consequence of commanding the militia of that vicinity, he was called,
Captain Hollister, had, at an early day, been erected directly facing
the main street, and ostensibly interposed a barrier to its further
progress. Horsemen, and subsequently teamsters, however, availed
themselves of an opening, at the end of the building, to shorten their
passage westward, until in time the regular highway was laid out along
this course, and houses were gradually built on either side, so as
effectually to prevent any subsequent correction of the evil.

Two material consequences followed this change in the regular plans of
Marmaduke. The main street, after running about half its length, was
suddenly reduced for precisely that difference in its width; and “Bold
Dragoon” became, next to the mansion-house, by far the most
conspicuous edifice in the place.

This conspicuousness, aided by the characters of the host and hostess,
gave the tavern an advantage over all its future competitors that no
circumstances could conquer. An effort was, however, made to do so;
and at the corner diagonally opposite, stood a new building that was
in tended, by its occupants, to look down all opposition. It was a
house of wood, ornamented in the prevailing style of architecture, and
about the roof and balustrades was one of the three imitators of the
mansion-house. The upper windows were filled with rough boards
secured by nails, to keep out the cold air—for the edifice was far
from finished, although glass was to be seen in the lower apartments,
and the light of the powerful fires within de noted that it was
already inhabited. The exterior was painted white on the front and on
the end which was exposed to the street; but in the rear, and on the
side which was intended to join the neighboring house, it was coarsely
smeared with Spanish brown. Before the door stood two lofty posts,
connected at the top by a beam, from which was suspended an enormous
sign, ornamented around its edges with certain curious carvings in
pine boards, and on its faces loaded with Masonic emblems. Over these
mysterious figures was written, in large letters, “The Templeton
Coffee-house, and Traveller’s Hotel,” and beneath them, “By Habakkuk
Foote and Joshua Knapp.” This was a fearful rival to the” Bold
Dragoon,” as our readers will the more readily perceive when we add
that the same sonorous names were to be seen over a newly erected
store in the village, a hatter’s shop, and the gates of a tan-yard.
But, either because too much was attempted to be executed well, or
that the “Bold Dragoon” had established a reputation which could not
be easily shaken, not only Judge Temple and his friends, but most of
the villagers also, who were not in debt to the powerful firm we have
named, frequented the inn of Captain Hollister on all occasions where
such a house was necessary

On the present evening the limping veteran and his consort were hardly
housed after their return from the academy, when the sounds of
stamping feet at their threshold announced the approach of visitors,
who were probably assembling with a view to compare opinions on the
subject of the ceremonies they had witnessed.

The public, or as it was called, the “bar-room,” of the Bold Dragoon,”
was a spacious apartment, lined on three sides with benches and on the
fourth by fireplaces. Of the latter there were two of such size as to
occupy, with their enormous jambs, the whole of that side of the
apartment where they were placed, excepting room enough for a door or
two, and a little apartment in one corner, which was protected by
miniature palisades, and profusely garnished with bottles and glasses.
In the entrance to this sanctuary Mrs. Hollister was seated, with
great gravity in her air, while her husband occupied himself with
stirring the fires, moving the logs with a large stake burnt to a
point at one end.

“There, sargeant, dear,” said the landlady, after she thought the
veteran had got the logs arranged in the most judicious manner, “give
over poking, for it’s no good ye’ll be doing, now that they burn so
convaniently. There’s the glasses on the table there, and the mug
that the doctor was taking his cider and ginger in, before the fire
here— just put them in the bar, will ye? for we’ll be having the
jooge, and the Major, and Mr. Jones down the night, without reckoning
Benjamin Poomp, and the lawyers; so yell be fixing the room tidy; and
put both flip irons in the coals; and tell Jude, the lazy black baste,
that if she’s no be cleaning up the kitchen I’ll turn her out of the
house, and she may live wid the jontlemen that kape the ‘Coffee
house,’ good luck to ‘em. Och! sargeant, sure it’s a great privilege
to go to a mateing where a body can sit asy, without joomping up and
down so often, as this Mr. Grant is doing that same.”

“It’s a privilege at all times, Mrs. Hollister, whether we stand or be
seated; or, as good Mr. Whitefleld used to do after he had made a
wearisome day’s march, get on our knees and pray, like Moses of old,
with a flanker to the right and left to lift his hands to heaven,”
returned her husband, who composedly performed what she had directed
to be done. “It was a very pretty fight, Betty, that the Israelites
had on that day with the Amalekites, It seams that they fout on a
plain, for Moses is mentioned as having gone on the heights to
overlook the battle, and wrestle in prayer; and if I should judge,
with my little larning, the Israelites depended mainly on their horse,
for it was written ‘that Joshua cut up the enemy with the edge of the
sword; from which I infer, not only that they were horse, but well
diseiplyned troops. Indeed, it says as much as that they were chosen
men; quite likely volunteers; for raw dragoons seldom strike with the
edge of their swords, particularly if the weapon be any way crooked.”
“Pshaw! why do ye bother yourself wid texts, man, about so small a
matter?” interrupted the landlady; “sure, it was the Lord who was with
‘em; for he always sided with the Jews, before they fell away; and
it’s but little matter what kind of men Joshua commanded, so that he
was doing the right bidding. Aven them cursed millaishy, the Lord
forgive me for swearing, that was the death of him, wid their
cowardice, would have carried the day in old times. There’s no rason
to be thinking that the soldiers were used to the drill.”

“I must say, Mrs. Hollister, that I have not often seen raw troops
fight better than the left flank of the militia, at the time you
mention. They rallied handsomely, and that without beat of drum,
which is no easy thing to do under fire, and were very steady till he
fell. But the Scriptures contain no unnecessary words; and I will
maintain that horse, who know how to strike with the edge of the
sword, must be well disoiplyned. Many a good sarmon has been preached
about smaller matters than that one word! If the text was not meant to
be particular, why wasn’t it written with the sword, and not with the
edge? Now, a back-handed stroke, on the edge, takes long practice.
Goodness! what an argument would Mr. Whitefield make of that word
edge! As to the captain, if he had only called up the guard of
dragoons when he rallied the foot, they would have shown the inimy
what the edge of a sword was; for, although there was no commissioned
officer with them, yet I think I must say,” the veteran continued,
stiffening his cravat about his throat, and raising himself up with
tile air of a drill-sergeant, “they were led by a man who knowed how
to bring them on. in spite of the ravine.”

“Is it lade on ye would,” cried the landlady, “when ye know yourself,
Mr. Hollister, that the baste he rode was but little able to joomp
from one rock to another, and the animal was as spry as a squirrel?
Och! but it’s useless to talk, for he’s gone this many a year. I
would that he had lived to see the true light; but there’s mercy for a
brave sowl, that died in the saddle, fighting for the liberty. It is
a poor tombstone they have given him, anyway, and many a good one that
died like himself; but the sign is very like, and I will be kapeing it
up, while the blacksmith can make a hook for it to swing on, for all
the ‘coffee-houses’ betwane this and Albany.”

There is no saying where this desultory conversation would have led
the worthy couple, had not the men, who were stamping the snow off
their feet on the little plat form before the door, suddenly ceased
their occupation, and entered the bar-room.

For ten or fifteen minutes the different individuals, who intended
either to bestow or receive edification before the fires of the “Bold
Dragoon” on that evening, were collecting, until the benches were
nearly filled with men of different occupations. Dr. Todd and a
slovenly-looking, shabby-genteel young man, who took tobacco
profusely, wore a coat of imported cloth cut with something like a
fashionable air, frequently exhibited a large French silver watch,
with a chain of woven hair and a silver key, and who, altogether,
seemed as much above the artisans around him as he was himself
inferior to the real gentle man, occupied a high-back wooden settee,
in the most comfortable corner in the apartment.

Sundry brown mugs, containing cider or beer, were placed between the
heavy andirons, and little groups were found among the guests as
subjects arose or the liquor was passed from one to the other. No man
was seen to drink by himself, nor in any instance was more than one
vessel considered necessary for the same beverage; but the glass or
the mug was passed from hand to hand until a chasm in the line or a
regard to the rights of ownership would regularly restore the dregs of
the potation to him who de frayed the cost.

Toasts were uniformly drunk; and occasionally some one who conceived
himself peculiarly endowed by Nature to shine in the way of wit would
attempt some such sentiment as “ hoping that he” who treated “might
make a better man than his father;” or “live till all his friends
wished him dead;” while the more humble pot-companion contented
himself by saying, with a most composing gravity in his air, “Come,
here’s luck,” or by expressing some other equally comprehensive
desire. In every instance the veteran landlord was requested to
imitate the custom of the cupbearers to kings, and taste the liquor he
presented, by the invitation of “After you is manners,” with which
request he ordinarily complied by wetting his lips, first expressing
the wish of “Here’s hoping,” leaving it to the imagination of the
hearers to fill the vacuum by whatever good each thought most
desirable. During these movements the landlady was busily occupied
with mixing the various compounds required by her customers, with her
own hands, and occasionally exchanging greetings and inquiries
concerning the conditions of their respective families, with such of
the villagers as approached the bar.

At length the common thirst being in some measure assuaged,
conversation of a more general nature became the order of the hour.
The physician and his companion, who was one of the two lawyers of the
village, being considered the best qualified to maintain a public
discourse with credit, were the principal speakers, though a remark
was hazarded, now and then, by Mr. Doolittle, who was thought to be
their inferior only in the enviable point of education. A general
silence was produced on all but the two speakers, by the following
observation from the practitioner of the law:

“So, Dr. Todd, I understand that you have been per forming an
important operation this evening by cutting a charge of buckshot from
the shoulder of the son of Leather-Stocking?”

“Yes, sir,” returned other, elevating his little head with an air of
importance. “I had a small job up at the Judge’s in that way; it was,
however, but a trifle to what it might have been, had it gone through
the body. The shoulder is not a very vital part; and I think the
young man will soon be well. But I did not know that the patient was
a son of Leather-Stocking; it is news to me to hear that Natty had a

“It is by no means a necessary consequence, returned the other,
winking, with a shrewd look around the bar room; “there is such a
thing, I suppose you know, in law as a filius nullius.”

“Spake it out, man,” exclaimed the landlady; “spake it out in king’s
English; what for should ye be talking Indian in a room full of
Christian folks, though it is about a poor hunter, who is but little
better in his ways than the wild savages themselves? Och! it’s to be
hoped that the missionaries will, in his own time, make a conversion
of the poor devils; and then it will matter little of what color is
the skin, or wedder there be wool or hair on the head.”

“Oh! it is Latin, not Indian, Miss Hollister!” returned the lawyer,
repeating his winks and shrewd looks; “and Dr. Todd understands Latin,
or how would he read the labels on his gailipots and drawers? No, no,
Miss Hollis ter, the doctor understands me; don’t you, doctor?”

“Hem—why, I guess I am not far out of the way,” returned Elnathan,
endeavoring to imitate the expression of the other’s countenance, by
looking jocular. “Latin is a queer language, gentlemen; now I rather
guess there is no one in the room, except Squire Lippet, who can
believe that ‘Far. Av.’ means oatmeal, in English.”

The lawyer in his turn was a good deal embarrassed by this display of
learning; for, although he actually had taken his first degree at one
of the eastern universities, he was somewhat puzzled with the terms
used by his companion. It was dangerous, however, to appear to he out
done in learning in a public bar-room, and before so many of his
clients; he therefore put the best face on the matter, and laughed
knowingly as if there were a good joke concealed under it, that was
understood only by the physician and himself. All this was attentively
observed by the listeners, who exchanged looks of approbation; and the
expressions of “ tonguey mati,” and “I guess Squire Lippet knows if
anybody does,” were heard in different parts of the room, as vouchers
for the admiration of his auditors. Thus encouraged, the lawyer rose
from his chair, and turning his back to the fire, and facing the
company, he continued:

“The son of Natty, or the son of nobody, I hope the young man is not
going to let the matter drop. This is a country of law; and I should
like to see it fairly tried, whether a man who owns, or says he owns,
a hundred thousand acres of land, has any more right to shoot a body
than another. What do you think of it, Dr. Todd?”

Oh, sir, I am of opinion that the gentleman will soon be well, as I
said before; the wound isn’t in a vital part; and as the ball was
extracted so soon, and the shoulder was what I call well attended to,
I do not think there is as much danger as there might have been.”
“I say, Squire Doolittle,” continued the attorney, raising his voice,
“you are a magistrate, and know what is law and what is not law. I
ask you, sir, if shooting a man is a thing that is to be settled so
very easily? Suppose, sir, that the young man had a wife and family;
and suppose that he was a mechanic like yourself, sir; and sup pose
that his family depended on him for bread; and suppose that the ball,
instead of merely going through the flesh, had broken the shoulder-
blade, and crippled him forever; I ask you all, gentlemen, supposing
this to be the case, whether a jury wouldn’t give what I call handsome

As the close of this supposititious case was addressed to the company
generally, Hiram did not at first consider himself called on for a
reply; but finding the eyes of the listeners bent on him in
expectation, he remembered his character for judicial discrimination,
and spoke, observing a due degree of deliberation and dignity.

“Why, if a man should shoot another,” he said, “ and if he should do
it on purpose and if the law took notice on’t, and if a jury should
find him guilty, it would be likely to turn out a state-prison

“It would so, sir,” returned the attorney. “The law, gentlemen, is no
respecter of persons in a free country. It is one of the great
blessings that has been handed down to us from our ancestors, that all
men are equal in the eye of the laws, as they are by nater. Though
some may get property, no one knows how, yet they are not privileged
to transgress the laws any more than the poorest citizen in the State.
This is my notion, gentlemen: and I think that it a man had a mind to
bring this matter up, something might be made out of it that would
help pay for the salve—ha! doctor!”

“Why, sir,” returned the physician, who appeared a little uneasy at
the turn the conversation was taking, “I have the promise of Judge
Temple before men—not but what I would take his word as soon as his
note of hand— but it was before men. Let me see—there was Mounshier
Ler Quow, and Squire Jones, and Major Hartmann, and Miss Pettibone,
and one or two of the blacks by, when he said that his pocket would
amply reward me for what I did.”

“Was the promise made before or after the service was performed?”
asked the attorney.

“It might have been both,” returned the discreet physician; “though
I’m certain he said so before I undertook the dressing.”

“But it seems that he said his pocket should reward you, doctor,”
observed Hiram. “Now I don’t know that the law will hold a man to
such a promise; he might give you his pocket with sixpence in’t, and
tell you to take your pay out on’t,”

“That would not be a reward in the eye of the law, interrupted the
attorney—” not what is called a ‘quid pro quo;’ nor is the pocket to
be considered as an agent, but as part of a man’s own person, that is,
in this particular. I am of opinion that an action would lie on that
promise, and I will undertake to bear him out, free of costs, if he
don’t recover.”

To this proposition the physician made no reply; but he was observed
to cast his eyes around him, as if to enumerate the witnesses, in
order to substantiate this promise also, at a future day, should it
prove necessary. A subject so momentous as that of suing Judge Temple
was not very palatable to the present company in so public a place;
and a short silence ensued, that was only interrupted by the opening
of the door, and the entrance of Natty himself.

The old hunter carried in his hand his never-failing companion, the
rifle; and although all of the company were uncovered excepting the
lawyer, who wore his hat on one side, with a certain dam’me air, Natty
moved to the front of one of the fires without in the least altering
any part of his dress or appearance. Several questions were addressed
to him, on the subject of the game he had killed, which he answered
readily, and with some little interest; and the landlord, between whom
and Natty there existed much cordiality, on account of their both
having been soldiers in youth, offered him a glass of a liquid which,
if we might judge from its reception, was no unwelcome guest. When
the forester had got his potation also, he quietly took his seat on
the end of one of the logs that lay nigh the fires, and the slight
interruption produced by his entrance seemed to he forgotten.

“The testimony of the blacks could not be taken, sir,” continued the
lawyer, “for they are all the property of Mr. Jones, who owns their
time. But there is a way by which Judge Temple, or any other man,
might be made to pay for shooting another, and for the cure in the
bargain. There is a way, I say, and that without going into the
‘court of errors,’ too,”

“And a mighty big error ye would make of it, Mister Todd,” cried the
landlady, “should ye be putting the mat ter into the law at all, with
Joodge Temple, who has a purse as long as one of them pines on the
hill, and who is an asy man to dale wid, if yees but mind the humor of
him. He’s a good man is Joodge Temple, and a kind one, and one who
will be no the likelier to do the pratty thing, becase ye would wish
to tarrify him wid the law. I know of but one objaction to the same,
which is an over-careless ness about his sowl. It’s neither a
Methodie, nor a Papish, nor Parsbetyrian, that he is, but just nothing
at all; and it’s hard to think that he, ‘who will not fight the good
fight, under the banners of a rig’lar church, in this world, will be
mustered among the chosen in heaven,’ as my husband, the captain
there, as ye call him, says—though there is but one captain that I
know, who desarves the name. I hopes, Lather-Stocking, ye’ll no be
foolish, and putting the boy up to try the law in the matter; for
‘twill be an evil day to ye both, when ye first turn the skin of so
paceable an animal as a sheep into a bone of contention, The lad is
wilcome to his drink for nothing, until his shoulther will bear the
rifle agin.”

“Well, that’s gin’rous,” was heard from several mouths at once, for
this was a company in which a liberal offer was not thrown away; while
the hunter, instead ‘of expressing any of that indignation which he
might be sup posed to feel, at hearing the hurt of his young companion
alluded to, opened his mouth, with the silent laugh for which he was
so remarkable; and after he had indulged his humor, made this reply:

“I knowed the Judge would do nothing with his smooth bore when he got
out of his sleigh. I never saw but one smooth-bore that would carry
at all, and that was a French ducking-piece, upon the big lakes; it
had a barrel half as long agin as my rifle, and would throw fine shot
into a goose at one hundred yards; but it made dreadful work with the
game, and you wanted a boat to carry it about in. When I went with
Sir William agin’ the French, at Fort Niagara, all the rangers used
the rifle; and a dreadful weapon it is, in the hands of one who knows
how to charge it, and keep a steady aim. The captain knows, for he
says he was a soldier in Shirley’s; and, though they were nothing but
baggonet-men, he must know how we cut up the French and Iroquois in
the skrimmages in that war. Chingachgook, which means ‘Big Sarpent’
in English, old John Mohegan, who lives up at the hut with me, was a
great warrior then, and was out with us; he can tell all about it,
too; though he was overhand for the tomahawk, never firing more than
once or twice, before he was running in for the scalps. Ah! times is
dreadfully altered since then. Why, doctor, there was nothing but a
foot path, or at the most a track for pack-horses, along the Mohawk,
from the Jarman Flats up to the forts. Now, they say, they talk of
running one of them wide roads with gates on it along the river; first
making a road, and then fencing it up! I hunted one season back of the
Kaatskills, nigh-hand to the settlements, and the dogs often lost the
scent, when they came to them highways, there was so much travel on
them; though I can’t say that the brutes was of a very good breed.
Old Hector will wind a deer, in the fall of the year, across the
broadest place in the Otsego, and that is a mile and a half, for I
paced it my self on the ice, when the tract was first surveyed, under
the Indian grant.”

“It sames to me, Natty, but a sorry compliment to call your comrad
after the evil one,” said the landlady; “and it’s no much like a snake
that old John is looking now, Nimrod would be a more becomeing name
for the lad, and a more Christian, too, seeing that it conies from the
Bible. The sargeant read me the chapter about him, the night before
my christening, and a mighty asement it was to listen to anything from
the book.”

“Old John and Chingachgook were very different men to look on,”
returned the hunter, shaking his head at his melancholy recollections.
“In the ‘fifty-eighth war’ he was in the middle of manhood, and taller
than now by three inches. If you had seen him, as I did, the morning
we beat Dieskau, from behind our log walls, you would have called him
as comely a redskin as ye ever set eyes on. He was naked all to his
breech-cloth and leggins; and you never seed a creatur’ so handsomely
painted. One side of his face was red and the other black. His head
was shaved clean, all to a few hairs on the crown, where he wore a
tuft of eagle’s feathers, as bright as if they had come from a
peacock’s tail. He had colored his sides so that they looked like
anatomy, ribs and all, for Chingachgook had a great taste in such
things, so that, what with his bold, fiery countenance, his knife, and
his tomahawk, I have never seen a fiercer warrior on the ground. He
played his part, too, like a man, for I saw him next day with thirteen
scalps on his pole. And I will say this for the ‘Big Snake,’ that he
always dealt fair, and never scalped any that he didn’t kill with his
own hands.”

“Well, well!” cried the landlady, “fighting is fighting
anyway, and there is different fashions in the thing; though
I can’t say that I relish mangling a body after the breath
is out of it; neither do I think it can be uphild by doctrine.
I hope, sargeant, ye niver was helping in sich evil worrek.”
“It was my duty to keep my ranks, and to stand or fall by the baggonet
or lead,” returned the veteran. “I was then in the fort, and seldom
leaving my place, saw but little of the savages, who kept on the
flanks or in front, skrimmaging. I remember, howsomever, to have
heard mention made of the ‘Great Snake,’ as he was called, for he was
a chief of renown; but little did I ever expect to see him enlisted in
the cause of Christianity, and civilized like old John.”

“Oh! he was Christianized by the Moravians, who were always over-
intimate with the Delawares,” said Leather-Stocking. “It’s my opinion
that, had they been left to themselves, there would he no such doings
now about the head-waters of the two rivers, and that these hills
mought have been kept as good hunting-ground by their right owner, who
is not too old to carry a rifle, and whose sight is as true as a fish-
hawk hovering—”

He was interrupted by more stamping at the door, and presently the
party from the mansion-house entered, followed by the Indian himself.


“There’s quart-pot, pint-pot. Mit-pint,
Gill-pot, half-gill. nipperkin.
And the brown bowl— Here’s a health to the barley mow,
My brave boys, Here’s a health to the barley mow.”—Drinking Song.

Some little commotion was produced by the appearance of the new
guests, during which the lawyer slunk from the room. Most of the men
approached Marmaduke, and shook his offered hand, hoping “that the
Judge was well;” while Major Hartmann having laid aside his hat and
wig, and substituted for the latter a warm, peaked woollen nightcap,
took his seat very quietly on one end of the settee, which was
relinquished by its former occupant. His tobacco-box was next
produced, and a clean pipe was handed him by the landlord. When he
had succeeded in raising a smoke, the Major gave a long whiff, and,
turning his head toward the bar, he said:

“Petty, pring in ter toddy.”

In the mean time the Judge had exchanged his salutations with most of
the company, and taken a place by the side of the Major, and Richard
had bustled himself into the most comfortable seat in the room. Mr.
Le Quoi was the last seated, nor did he venture to place his chair
finally, until by frequent removals he had ascertained that he could
not possibly intercept a ray of heat front any individual present.
Mohegan found a place on an end of one of the benches, and somewhat
approximated to the bar.

When these movements had subsided, the Judge remarked pleasantly:
Well, Betty, I find you retain your popularity through all weathers,
against all rivals, and among all religions. How liked you the

“Is it the sarmon?” exclaimed the landlady. “I can’t say but it was
rasonable; but the prayers is mighty unasy. It’s no small a matter
for a body in their fifty-nint’ year to be moving so much in church.
Mr. Grant sames a godly man, any way, and his garrel a hommble on; and
a devout. Here, John, is a mug of cider, laced with whiskey. An
Indian will drink cider, though he niver be athirst.
“I must say,” observed Hiram, with due deliberation, “that it was a
tongney thing; and I rather guess that it gave considerable
satisfaction, There was one part, though, which might have been left
out, or something else put in; but then I s’pose that, as it was a
written discourse, it is not so easily altered as where a minister
preaches without notes.”

“Ày! there’s the rub, Joodge,” cried the landlady. “How can a man
stand up and be preaching his word, when all that he is saying is
written down, and he is as much tied to it as iver a thaving dragoon
was to the pickets?”

“Well, well,” cried Marmaduke, waving his hand for silence, “there is
enough said; as Mr. Grant told us, there are different sentiments on
such subjects, and in my opinion he spoke most sensibly. So, Jotham,
I am told you have sold your betterments to a new settler, and have
moved into the village and opened a school. Was it cash or dicker?”

The man who was thus addressed occupied a seat immediately behind
Marmaduke, and one who was ignorant of the extent of the Judge’s
observation might have thought he would have escaped notice. He was
of a thin, shapeless figure, with a discontented expression of
countenance, and with something extremely shiftless in his whole air,
Thus spoken to, after turning and twisting a little, by way of
preparation, he made a reply:

“Why part cash and part dicker. I sold out to a Pumfietman who was
so’thin’ forehanded. He was to give me ten dollar an acre for the
clearin’, and one dollar an acre over the first cost on the woodland,
and we agreed to leave the buildin’s to men. So I tuck Asa Montagu,
and he tuck Absalom Bement, and they two tuck old Squire Napthali
Green. And so they had a meetin’, and made out a vardict of eighty
dollars for the buildin’s. There was twelve acres of clearin’ at ten
dollars, and eighty-eight at one, and the whole came to two hundred
and eighty-six dollars and a half, after paying the men.”

“Hum,” said Marmaduke, “what did you give for the place?”

“Why, besides what’s comin’ to the Judge, I gi’n my brother Tim a
hundred dollars for his bargain; but then there’s a new house on’t,
that cost me sixty more, and I paid Moses a hundred dollars for
choppin’, and loggin’, and sowin’, so that the whole stood to me in
about two hundred and sixty dollars. But then I had a great crop oft
on’t, and as I got twenty-six dollars and a half more than it cost, I
conclude I made a pretty good trade on’t.”

“Yes, but you forgot that the crop was yours without the trade, and
you have turned yourself out of doors for twenty-six dollars.”

“Oh! the Judge is clean out,” said the man with a look of sagacious
calculation; “he turned out a span of horses, that is wuth a hundred
and fifty dollars of any man’s money, with a bran-new wagon; fifty
dollars in cash, and a good note for eighty more; and a side-saddle
that was valued at seven and a half—so there was jist twelve shillings
betwixt us. I wanted him to turn out a set of harness, and take the
cow and the sap troughs. He wouldn’t—but I saw through it; he thought
I should have to buy the tacklin’ afore I could use the wagon and
horses; but I knowed a thing or two myself; I should like to know of
what use is the tacklin’ to him! I offered him to trade back agin for
one hundred and fifty-five. But my woman said she wanted to churn, so
I tuck a churn for the change.”

“And what do you mean to do with your time this winter? You must
remember that time is money.”

“Why, as master has gone down country to see his mother, who, they
say, is going to make a die on’t, I agreed to take the school in hand
till he comes back, It times doesn’t get worse in the spring, I’ve
some notion of going into trade, or maybe I may move off to the
Genesee; they say they are carryin’ on a great stroke of business
that-a-way. If the wust comes to the wust, I can but work at my
trade, for I was brought up in a shoe manufactory.”

It would seem that Marmaduke did not think his society of sufficient
value to attempt inducing him to remain where he was, for he addressed
no further discourse to the man, but turned his attention to other
subjects. After a short pause, Hiram ventured a question:

“What news does the Judge bring us from the Legislature? It’s not
likely that Congress has done much this session; or maybe the French
haven’t fit any more battles lately?”

“The French, since they have beheaded their king, have done nothing
but fight,” returned the Judge. “The character of the nation seems
changed. I knew many French gentlemen during our war, and they all
appeared to me to be men of great humanity and goodness of heart; but
these Jacobins are as blood thirsty as bull-dogs.”

“There was one Roshambow wid us down at Yorrektown,” cried the
landlady “a mighty pratty man he was too; and their horse was the very
same. It was there that the sargeant got the hurt in the leg from the
English batteries, bad luck to ‘em.”

“Oh! mon pauvre roil” muttered Monsieur Le Quoi.

“The Legislature have been passing laws,” continued Marmaduke, “that
the country much required. Among others, there is an act prohibiting
the drawing of seines, at any other than proper seasons, in certain of
our streams and small lakes; and another, to prohibit the killing of
deer in the teeming months. These are laws that were loudly called
for by judicious men; nor do I despair of getting an act to make the
unlawful felling of timber a criminal offence.”

The hunter listened to this detail with breathless attention, and,
when the Judge had ended, he laughed in open derision.

“You may make your laws, Judge,” be cried, “but who will you find to
watch the mountains through the long summer days, or the lakes at
night? Game is game, and be who finds may kill; that has been the law
in these mountains for forty years to my sartain knowledge; and I
think one old law is worth two new ones. None but a green one would
wish to kill a doe with a fa’n by its side, unless his moccasins were
getting old, or his leggins ragged, for the flesh is lean and coarse.
But a rifle rings among the rocks along the lake shore, sometimes, as
if fifty pieces were fired at once—it would be hard to tell where the
man stood who pulled the trigger.”

“Armed with the dignity of the law, Mr. Bumppo,” returned the Judge,
gravely, “a vigilant magistrate can prevent much of the evil that has
hitherto prevailed, and which is already rendering the game scarce. I
hope to live to see the day when a man’s rights in his game shall be
as much respected as his title to his farm,”

“Your titles and your farms are all new together,” cried Natty; “but
laws should be equal, and not more for one than another. I shot a
deer, last Wednesday was a fort night, and it floundered through the
snow-banks till it got over a brush fence; I catched the lock of my
rifle in the twigs in following, and was kept back, until finally the
creature got off. Now I want to know who is to pay me for that deer;
and a fine buck it was. If there hadn’t been a fence I should have
gotten another shot into it; and I never drawed upon anything that
hadn’t wings three times running, in my born days. No, no, Judge,
it’s the farmers that makes the game scarce, and not the hunters.”

“Ter teer is not so plenty as in tee old war, Pumppo,” said the Major,
who had been an attentive listener, amid clouds of smoke; “put ter
lant is not mate as for ter teer to live on, put for Christians.”

“Why, Major, I believe you’re a friend to justice and the right,
though you go so often to the grand house; but it’s a hard case to a
man to have his honest calling for a livelihood stopped by laws, and
that, too, when, if right was done, he mought hunt or fish on any day
in the week, or on the best flat in the Patent, if he was so minded.”

“I unterstant you, Letter-Stockint,” returned the Major, fixing his
black eyes, with a look of peculiar meaning, on the hunter: “put you
didn’t use to be so prutent as to look ahet mit so much care.”

“Maybe there wasn’t so much occasion,” said the hunter, a little
sulkily; when he sank into a silence from which be was not roused for
some time.

“The Judge was saying so’thin’ about the French,” Hiram observed when
the pause in the conversation had continued a decent time.

“Yes, sir,” returned Marmaduke, “the Jacobins of France seem rushing
from one act of licentiousness to an other, They continue those
murders which are dignified by the name of executions. You have heard
that they have added the death of their queen to the long list of
their crimes.”

“Les monstres!” again murmured Monsieur Le Quoi, turning himself
suddenly in his chair, with a convulsive start.

“The province of La Vendée is laid waste by the troops of the
republic, and hundreds of its inhabitants, who are royalists in their
sentiments, are shot at a time. La Vendée is a district in the
southwest of France, that continues yet much attached to the family of
the Bourbons; doubtless Monsieur Le Quoi is acquainted with it, and
can describe it more faithfully.”

“Non, non, non, mon cher ami,” returned the Frenchman in a suppressed
voice, but speaking rapidly, and gesticulating with his right hand, as
if for mercy, while with his left he concealed his eyes.

“There have been many battles fought lately,” continued Marmaduke,
“and the infuriated republicans are too often victorious. I cannot
say, however, that I am sorry that they have captured Toulon from the
English, for it is a place to which they have a just right.”

“Ah—ha!” exclaimed Monsieur Le Quoi, springing on his feet and
flourishing both arms with great animation; “ces Anglais!”

The Frenchman continued to move about the room with great alacrity for
a few minutes, repeating his exclamations to himself; when overcome by
the contrary nature of his emotions, he suddenly burst out of the
house, and was seen wading through the snow toward his little shop,
waving his arms on high, as if to pluck down honor from the moon. His
departure excited but little surprise, for the villagers were used to
his manner; but Major Hartmann laughed outright, for the first during
his visit, as he lifted the mug, and observed:

“Ter Frenchman is mat—put he is goot as for noting to trink: he is
trunk mit joy.”

“The French are good soldiers,” said Captain Hollis ter; “they stood
us in hand a good turn at Yorktown; nor do I think, although I am an
ignorant man about the great movements of the army, that his
excellency would have been able to march against Cornwallis without
their reinforcements.”

“Ye spake the trot’, sargeant,” interrupted his wife, “and I would
iver have ye be doing the same. It’s varry pratty men is the French;
and jist when I stopt the cart, the time when ye was pushing on in
front it was, to kape the riglers in, a rigiment of the jontlemen
marched by, and so I dealt them out to their liking. Was it pay I
got? Sure did I, and in good solid crowns; the divil a bit of
continental could they muster among them all, for love nor money.
Och! the Lord forgive me for swearing and spakeing of such vanities;
but this I will say for the French, that they paid in good silver; and
one glass would go a great way wid ‘em, for they gin’rally handed it
back wid a drop in the cup; and that’s a brisk trade, Joodge, where
the pay is good, and the men not over-partic’lar.”

“A thriving trade, Mrs. Hollister,” said Marmaduke. “But what has
become of Richard? he jumped up as soon as seated, and has been absent
so long that I am really fearful he has frozen.”

“No fear of that, Cousin ‘Duke,” cried the gentleman himself;

Book of the day: