Well go thy way: thou shalt not from this groveThe words were still in the mouth of the scout, when the leader of the
party, whose approaching footsteps had caught the vigilant ear of the Indian, came openly into view. A
beaten path, such as those made by the periodical passage of the deer, wound through a little glen at
no great distance, and struck the river at the point where the white man and his red companions had
posted themselves. Along this track the travelers, who had produced a surprise so unusual in the depths
of the forest, advanced slowly toward the hunter, who was in front of his associates, in readiness to
Till I torment thee for this injury.
MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM.
? demanded the scout, throwing his rifle carelessly across his left arm, and keeping the
forefinger of his right hand on the trigger, though he avoided all appearance of menace in the act.
comes hither, among the beasts and dangers of the wilderness
Believers in religion, and friends to the law and to the king
, returned he who rode foremost.
have journeyed since the rising sun, in the shades of this forest, without nourishment, and are sadly
tired of their wayfaring
You are, then, lost
, interrupted the hunter,
and have found how helpless 'tis not to know whether to take
the right hand or the left
Even so; sucking babes are not more dependent on those who guide them than we who are of larger
growth, and who may now be said to possess the stature without the knowledge of men. Know you the
distance to a post of the crown called William Henry
! shouted the scout, who did not spare his open laughter, though instantly checking the dangerous
sounds he indulged his merriment at less risk of being overheard by any lurking enemies.
You are as
much off the scent as a hound would be, with Horican atwixt him and the deer! William Henry, man! if
you are friends to the king and have business with the army, your way would be to follow the river down
to Edward, and lay the matter before Webb, who tarries there, instead of pushing into the defiles, and
driving this saucy Frenchman back across Champlain, into his den again
Before the stranger could make any reply to this unexpected proposition, another horseman dashed the
bushes aside, and leaped his charger into the pathway, in front of his companion.
What, then, may be our distance from Fort Edward
? demanded a new speaker;
the place you advise us
to seek we left this morning, and our destination is the head of the lake
Then you must have lost your eyesight afore losing your way, for the road across the portage is cut to
a good two rods, and is as grand a path, I calculate, as any that runs into London, or even before the
palace of the king himself
We will not dispute concerning the excellence of the passage
, returned Heyward, smiling; for, as the
reader has anticipated, it was he.
It is enough, for the present, that we trusted to an Indian guide to
take us by a nearer, though blinder path, and that we are deceived in his knowledge. In plain words, we
know not where we are
An Indian lost in the woods
! said the scout, shaking his head doubtingly;
When the sun is scorching the
tree tops, and the water courses are full; when the moss on every beech he sees will tell him in what
quarter the north star will shine at night. The woods are full of deer-paths which run to the streams
and licks, places well known to everybody; nor have the geese done their flight to the Canada waters
altogether! 'Tis strange that an Indian should be lost atwixt Horican and the bend in the river! Is he a